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[ZEN] Time Sieve

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Message  Joey Mer 21 Oct - 4:33

// Lands
7 [B] Island (1)
3 [9E] Plains (4)
3 [5E] Swamp (2)
4 [M10] Glacial Fortress

// Creatures
2 [ALA] Tezzeret the Seeker
3 [LRW] Jace Beleren

// Spells
4 [ARB] Mistvein Borderpost
2 [ZEN] Into the Roil
2 [M10] Sleep
4 [ALA] Angelsong
4 [ARB] Time Sieve
3 [ZEN] Day of Judgement
4 [CFX] Kaleidostone
4 [U] Howling Mine
4 [ARB] Fieldmist Borderpost
4 [ST] Time Warp
4 [M10] Open the Vaults

Nombre de messages : 7876
Date d'inscription : 29/08/2008
Age : 41
Localisation : Bruxelles

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Message  Nico Truc Jeu 12 Nov - 13:59

from Bill Stark @starkingtonpost

Why You Should Play Time Sieve at Worlds (or FNM)
November 11th, 2009
Two weeks ago we were in the midst of what was the most humdrum Standard format since…well, prior to Zendikar when everyone and their mother was playing Five Color. Jund was everywhere (quite literally) and the RGB deck had shifted structure slightly to take into account the hyper-aggressive newcomer in Boros Bushwhacker. It’s been just a few weeks, and the world of Standard has shaken off those shackles to demonstrate itself to be a vibrant, healthy format with room for creativity. This past weekend at the Nashville $5k hosted by Starcitygames a host of El Drazi Green decks filled the Top 8. Here on we broke the Shota Yasooka Crypt of Agadeem deck (read about it here), but the best has been saved for last.

Presenting Time Sieve 2.0:
8 Island
4 Marsh Flats
1 Swamp
3 Plains
4 Mistvein Borderpost
4 Fieldmist Borderpost

4 Glassdust Hulk
4 Architects of Will

4 Angelsong
4 Time Sieve
4 Time Warp
4 Open the Vaults

4 Kaleidostone
4 Howling Mine
4 Jace Beleren

4 Flashfreeze
4 Dispeller’s Capsule
3 Duress
4 Day of Judgment

The last time around, Time Sieve sprang up as a solution to Five Color Control, but struggled against aggro-control elements like Faeries and Merfolk. In the current world of Standard, countermagic is at an all time low in regards to playability. This has hurt the ability of traditional control strategies (aka “Counter that, counter that, kill that, fattie, win”) to remain viable. In their wake have come mid-rangeish decks like Jund, “combo” decks like Shota’s Crypt of Agadeem list, and hyper-aggressive strategies like Boros Bushwhacker or Monored. Those control decks which do exist try to control the battlefield with two-for-ones a la Bituminous Blast and Day of Judgment; the red zone and being able to interact with the creatures seeking to exploit it is the name of the game.

What does that mean? Decks are playing little or no means of interacting with things that aren’t creatures. The time is now to take advantage of that unpreparedness with players not running sufficient numbers of cards like Naturalize, Relic of Progenitus, Pithing Needle, Maelstrom Pulse, Duress, Thought Hemorrhage, and Negate. Time Sieve is that deck.

How it Works

Like Shota’s Crypt deck, Time Sieve uses a set of one-mana cycling creatures (Glassdust Hulk and Architects of Will) to help set up the early game. In addition Howling Mine, Kaleidostone, Jace, and Borderposts fill out the early turns to set up for the mid- and late-games.

Beginning on about turn 4 or 5 (if under pressure), the Time Sieve deck begins taking extra turns. It does this through four means: Time Sieve itself, Time Warp, Open the Vaults, and Angelsong. While the latter isn’t strictly an extra turn, blanking the red zone while an opponent draws meaningless creatures and removal spells functions the same. The extra turns are spent drawing cards, building mana, and continuing to cycle through more turns.

All those steps are to set up The Big Turn, which looks something like this: Open the Vaults will have returned a number of Glassdust Hulks (as well as a host of other artifacts). The Time Sieve player simply sacrifices as many non-Hulk artifacts to Time Sieve as possible, banking a few extra turns, then casts a final Vault to return those artifacts, which makes each Hulk huge, and stomps in for a gigantic amount of unblockable damage.

In practice the deck functions like a well-oiled machine. It simply takes the cards that help it do what it needs to and packs them in as four-ofs. Its early card draw engine (the one-mana cyclers) double as the win condition the second time around and, like any good Howling Mine deck, it abuses the two-mana artifact asymmetrically; sure Mine gives ALL players an extra card each turn, but if you’re the player taking all the turns, it doesn’t mean anything to your opponent!

Tips and Tricks

-Sometimes it behooves you to sacrifice your Kaleidostones early for any reason so you can get them into the graveyard for abuse with Open the Vaults. Of course, there is a fine line between the games where that is the correct play and those in which you need the ‘Stone on the battlefield for use with Time Sieve to start going off. Testing will teach you to distinguish the difference. And don’t forget, Kaleidostone is a mana fixer in a pinch, netting you the WW you need for Open the Vaults or even the UB you need for Time Sieve.

-Use your cyclers on your turn first thing; you may topdeck a Marsh Flats which you should be playing before other lands to make more informed decisions as well as thinning your deck of lands. The exception to this is when your opponent may have multiple Goblin Guides; by holding the cycler you can clear a non-land off the top of your library after the first trigger on their attack, thus giving yourself a second shot at a free land.

-When Vaulting, draw first from Kaleidoscope then use Architects of Will to set up your next draw steps. Don’t forget you can set up your opponent’s as well; this can be critical when comboing from 1 life by using a Jace that needs to give your opponent cards on your turn. Avoid giving them the Lightning Bolt they need to win!

-Time Sieve isn’t concerned with “going infinite;” just set up enough turns to lock your opponent up with Glassdust Hulk. Get too tricky and you’ll misfire, allowing them to get back into a game the effective-but-not-pretty play of simply bashing for enough would have won.

-Keep track of the number of artifacts you cast with Hulk on the battlefield. A few Kaleidostones and Borderposts can add up to a lot of damage over the course of a turn, even if you haven’t played Open the Vaults. The Big Turn will win most of your matches, but sometimes taking extra turns while bashing for 5 by casting an artifact or two will get the job done just as well.


The Jund deck is very Rockish in nature, but the games where they’re on the play and follow up Putrid Leech on the second turn with Sprouting Thrinax and Bloodbraid Elf can be challenging. Barring those games, you’re favored. Don’t fear Blightning, but instead use it to your advantage by discarding artifacts to charge your Open the Vaults. Keep Maelstrom Pulse in mind; don’t cast two Howling Mines when one will do (it’s a critical part of your engine, so having a backup if they blow up the first one can be key), and cast rotating Borderposts when you can instead of doubling or tripling up on one type. Finally, let Jund opponents put Putrid Leech pump triggers on the stack before casting Angelsong. Why spoil free damage?

Sideboard: The sideboard plan presently is to bring Flashfreeze in. Whether you cut Kaleidostone (the default cut option for sideboarding) or Angelsong depends on how aggressive your opponent’s build of Jund is. I prefer to leave Angelsong. Flashfreeze is a fail-safe against cards like Thought Hemorrhage; if your opponent is boarding Duress or artifact hate like Pithing Needle and Relic of Progenitus, adjust your plan accordingly (to counter the handkill keep draw-heavy hands with Mines, Jace, and cyclers, leaving Kaleidostone in; to counter the artifacts try Dispeller’s Capsule).


Boros Bushwhacker and the aggressive Monored decks are, admittedly, bad matchups (a tradeoff for being favored against pretty much everything else). You can’t afford to not play Howling Mines, but if they open on Steppe Lynx and have more than 0 fetch lands, your ability to survive is very minimal, in part because you’ll fuel them with the fetches and burn they need to do you in. Time Sieve is one step behind in regards to speed. The games you do win will come with the help of a heavy assortment of Angelsongs. You need every inch against Boros, and you need to draw as many cards as possible so focus on cycling as often as you can. Don’t forget to hold Hulks and Architects if they could potentially cast two Goblin Guides, and utilize Marsh Flats very carefully. Every single point of life matters, so calculate your use of fetches accordingly.

Sideboard: In testing every time I found myself thinking “Well, I can probably do this; what are the odds they can do X damage to me in one turn?” the answer was always “very high.” It felt like no matter the circumstances, if you had that thought they were swinging for exactsies the following turn. In sideboarding I spent a lot of time trying to come up with the best option. Singleton removal spells didn’t work, nor did blockers like Kraken Hatchling. Wall of Denial was too slow, and so was Safe Passage (oh to have Holy Day again!). Ultimately I came up with Day of Judgment. On the play against Geopede versions (which play more of the 1/1 and as few as 0 Hellspark Elementals) the Wrath can do the trick, functioning as another Time Warp over Kaleidostone. On the draw? Still probably dead.

Other Matchups

The fundamental question in examining other matchups is asking yourself “How does this opponent interact with me?” In the case of El Drazi Green and the Monowhite deck from the Starcity tournament in Nashville, the answer is one-dimensional: through the red zone. Because those style of decks are built to be more mid-rangeish, to combat Jund’s card advantage and the hyper aggressive nature of Boros, the threat they pose is relatively minimal. They don’t blow up your permanents, they don’t counter your spells, and they don’t force you to discard cards from your hand. They are your bread and butter allowing you to take your time building up for the big turns in the late game by playing your mana, draw spells, and cyclers. When sideboarding, be aware of the threat of Pithing Needle and Relic of Progenitus; if they don’t have those, consider boarding Day of Judgment for Angelsong (but you could probably leave the deck unsideboarded to no ill effect).

Against a deck like Shota Yasooka’s Crypt deck, you’re already well matched. Consider that their Big Turn is blanked by your copies of Angelsong, and that your “combo” is actually faster. You could try boarding Duress to muck with them early instead of playing three of your Kaleidostones, but until the Crypt decks adjust their sideboard hate, none is really warranted at the moment.

Finally you have control strategies. They have been taking various forms throughout the season, and they do run a smattering of counterspells (generally Negate and Double Negative). Those can cause problems, but they don’t have enough to keep you down for long, and they still have to try to WIN the game somehow, giving you the opportunity to take advantage of them tapping out/low. Additionally, since eight of your lands have mana costs, you can actually out-mana them early and force through multiple relevant threats. And after they’ve spent all their time countering your stuff? Run it all back with Open the Vaults. The sideboard strategy is currently to board Duress in over Angelsong, but it’s possible Silence would be better. Your plan is to simply use Duress as your “counterspell” the turn you go off by forcing them to discard their actual counterspells (and for much cheaper). Silence would achieve a similar effect, but since you “go off” over the course of multiple turns, Duress seems better suited for the job for now.

And there you have it! What I consider to be “the best deck” in Standard presently, and exactly the style of deck I love building. It has a very focused game plan while taking advantage of a giant hole that exists in the Standard metagame. As word spreads, sideboard hate will reflect its power tamping its overall strength down a bit, but right now it’s primed for powerful finishes for players who can avoid facing off against Boros too many times…

Nico Truc
Nico Truc

Nombre de messages : 6408
Date d'inscription : 09/03/2009
Age : 47
Localisation : niveau 39

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Message  Ben Jeu 12 Nov - 14:16

Bon, ça fait chier, je me disais justement que c'était le bon moment pour ramener un deck "combo"/contrôle -_- ...
Sinon, je suis moyen convaincu par le deck parce qu'au Worlds, je suis sûr qu'on verra la naissance d'un vrai bon deck contrôle qui tiendra Jund et tous les midranges en respect avec une bonne side vs boros et mono red (dont le retour de volcanic fallout qui est bien bombesque contre les matchup précités).

Nombre de messages : 1960
Date d'inscription : 26/03/2009
Age : 41
Localisation : Liège

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Message  Joey Jeu 12 Nov - 14:38

Vraiment nice cette liste ! Le kill à l'Hullk/Architects est clairement meilleur qu'au Tezzeret. Plus je la teste et plus je l'aime Very Happy

Nombre de messages : 7876
Date d'inscription : 29/08/2008
Age : 41
Localisation : Bruxelles

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