Matt Green’s comments:
How would you use Dabbler to win a tournament? Trifle, untap effect, should be useful for big caps…it should be non-terrible, but doesn’t seem to have found its tournament stride. I’d be interested to see if our ideas come close.
There is a tournament winning deck with Dabbler in it: Lucian the Lecturer.
While a way cooler deck than where I’d start, it does share cards with where I’d start. Mind of the Wilds and Read the Winds are easy plays for getting mileage on as many turns as possible.
The basic deck, then, is Tzimisce playing all three of their disciplines.
Deck Name: Challenge 2 – Dabbler
Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 25, Max: 38, Avg: 7.91)
1 Anton ANI AUS cel obf vic8 Tzimisce
1 Caliban ANI AUS VIC 6 Tzimisce
1 Corine Marcon ani AUS VIC 6 Tzimisce
1 Devin Bisley ANI AUS vic 5 Tzimisce
2 Lambach ANI AUS DOM pre VIC10 Tzimisce
1 Little Tailor of Prague ANI AUS dem VIC8 Tzimisce
2 Meshenka ANI AUS VIC 8 Tzimisce
1 Sascha Vykos ani dom AUS THA VIC8 Tzimisce
2 Velya for ANI AUS PRE VIC9 Tzimisce
Library: (90 cards)
Master (19 cards)
1 Archon Investigation
1 Barrens, The
1 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Guide and Mentor
1 Information Highway
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Rack, The
1 Sudden Reversal
1 Wider View
Action (7 cards)
1 Army of Rats
6 Deep Song
Action Modifier (12 cards)
6 Mind of the Wilds
Reaction (24 cards)
2 Cats` Guidance
2 Eagle`s Sight
1 Enhanced Senses
6 Eyes of Argus
1 My Enemy`s Enemy
6 Read the Winds
5 Telepathic Misdirection
Combat (24 cards)
1 Aura Reading
1 Canine Horde
6 Carrion Crows
3 Chiropteran Marauder
8 Horrid Form
1 Skin Trap
2 Taste of Vitae
2 Telepathic Tracking
Ally (1 cards)
1 Underbridge Stray
Equipment (1 cards)
1 Femur of Toomler
Event (1 cards)
1 Uncoiling, The
Combo (1 cards)
1 Plasmic Form
I’m a bit less concerned with this deck being 90. On the one hand, it makes it harder to ensure getting an early Dabbler, on the other, Dabbler is all about card flow. Note the relatively low number of permanents. Yes, there are likely too many masters.
The other concern is that it’s not very offensive. A different take on the idea would be to focus more on the offensive side and run more bleed and/or votes. “Bleed, Mind of the Wilds, Changeling, untap from Dabbler, vote with standard Tzimisce vote lock” is a more exciting way to go but may leave Read the Winds stranded without support.
Could free up a bunch of slots by dropping the Horrid Form angle, but I thought it was cute with Telepathic Tracking, is transiential, and provides some combat defense (not much but some). Maybe better as a fear play than an effective way to win, something (fear plays) I’m often curious about in decks.
Now, there are many things that can be done with Aus/Dem/OBf. Offense is just a Madman’s Quill and Obfuscate stealth play, while defense can come in the form of Random Patterns and Confusion of the Eye (when you fail to block because it’s totally worth failing to actually defend against stuff with multiple cards just for a blood/untap; Mental Maze is too unreliable to plan around as the only other Obfuscate reaction) or Random Patterns and No Trace in combat. But, why does this discipline combo need this? Run !Malks for both Sibyl’s Tongue to tutor out Dabbler and The Hungry Coyote to do things after you untap? Why not Perfectionist or just play cards that cause you to win without blood/untaps?
Scalpel Tongue would make more sense if there was a third discipline that went with it; what’s nice about Scalpel is that you get more out of the untap part of the card. Soul Painting + Obfuscate is loads of fun but in a different realm, as there’s little to do on the defensive side. Quicken Sight + Majesty or whatever on the defensive side works, but what about the offensive side? Same issue with Quicken Sight + Potence.
Who really wants the untap effect? Sure, boring multirushers and ICMs, but Baali obviously like untapping, and they get either the Presence action/action modifier with I Am Legion play or the True Love’s Face with Sense the Sin play, which gives them untaps to drop Condemnations, Infernal Servitors, Contagion, or even do some voting – Charming Lobby + I Am Legion, perhaps?
Shroud of Absence is another efficient building block. Horseshoes is the obvious combo here, with maybe a couple of Tangle Atropos’ Hands for when you want to stop your Shroud of Absenced bounced bleeds. More of a hassle on defense for Lasombra, but moving to Kiasyd makes things easy for just straight bleed on offense and a bit less complicated on defense, assuming either a Obt+Myt intercept play that fails followed by bounce or that succeeds followed by something sketchy.
Did I fail to mention the rather vast number of purely offensive plays, where you multiact for winnage? Yeah, but, then, those aren’t my sort of decks, and the point of this series is to take a look at paths I’d explore in trying to get something to work. I really like getting extra defensive untaps, maybe not as the primary reason for playing the card but as part of a balanced two-way play of the card on defense – gaining blood when the untap isn’t necessary (or the blood is necessary).