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  1. #1

    Hakeem Mill 2/4/4 - T1

    http://www.mmdoc.net/show_deck/15076/

    Finally built a Hakeem Mill I'm happy with. Piloted it to two successive T1s, and we'll see how today goes.

    Pros: Extremely good matchups against most of the field - good against both rush and stall decks. Great against ammar. Interesting games, because the early game is a puzzle, trying to figure out how to use your resources properly.

    Cons: Matchup against Dhamiria depends on the opponent - a weak opponent is a great matchup, but a strong opponent turns it into a bad matchup. In general, games take long, and you get less gold than with other decks because the game doesn't consider milling damage damage that you inflict. Also, if you are an idiot like me, you will occasionally lose games because Observatory and Altar of Shadows are both purple and sometimes you cast the wrong one.

    Warning: You will take a lot of abuse - so if you love seeing idiots nerdrage, this is a great deck for you. Best to have two monitors, because there are plenty of people out there who will play as fast as possible when they think they're winning, but once they start losing will ragequit and walk away from the keyboard rather than finishing the last few turns. (Which I'm fine with... I love nerdrage, and I love watching generic Idiot #3 wasting his own time "stalling me out" right now on the other monitor while I write this.)

    Cards:
    Creatures - All of the creatures have one main goal - throw their worthless lives away protecting your 20 points. The deck has extremely low stat requirements, so the magic channel ability on Scholar and Wizard Tutor isn't really that important - their jobs aren't to boost your magic, they are to cost 1 resource (scholar) or have a 5 defense (tutor). Gargoyle is great, he can block almost any early game creature and a lot of important late-game stuff. He essentially neuters even powerful 4-drops like Lilim or Archlich. Void Shade is much weaker than the others... obviously he's there for his mill ability. However, Anchored - even though they obviously gave it to him so you couldn't just keep bouncing him - is a surprisingly useful ability. Don't underestimate it.

    Spells - Pretty straightforward. Earthquake, Insect Swarm and Curse of the Penitent for creature sweeping, along with Crystal of Power - generally any two of these four cards will wipe the board. Soulreaver gives you point removal, Stone Shield protects you, and Earth's Grasp saves you from all the Paos you're going to be feeding your opponents.

    Fortunes - The meat of the deck. Cosmic realignment, along with the Void Shade, are the meat of the deck. Gold Pile is straightforward, as are Observatory and Favorite Spell - by the way, don't forget the -1 cost to the spell, it's a huge advantage.. Altar of Shadows isn't great (I took two out in my most recent version) but it does its job early on, and sometimes will just buy you a turn to reload late game. Broken bridge is terrific - use it early to pop a Juggernaut back into his hand, mid-game to punish lane stacking, late to clear a lane for Void Shade or as creature kill before you use Realignment. Altar of Asha is a faux-fifth Void Shade, or occasionally will off a problematic creature. (You should almost never be using it for that, though.) Offering to the Void can power up a big turn, but a lot of the time you'll be using it simply to clear the opponent's grave before you Realign... against necro it's the "clear the grave" part that's more important than the resource gain, and you'll often play it to lose resources.

    Events - I dunno about the events. Celebrations is key, always a 4-of, if I could play 8 I would. The other 4, not so sure about. Market of Wonders I like a lot - I'm always happy when my opponent uses it because it mills him for 2, even if it does give him an advantage as well. Week of Austerity seems like it makes sense in a deck like this.


    Gameplay:

    Opening hand - An ideal opening hand includes your two key cards (Void Shade and Realignment) along with a few other creatures and a board wipe. This will change, of course, depending on what you're playing against. Against aggro decks always mulligan if you don't have a board wipe; against Nergal, you probably don't want much removal.

    Early game is all about not losing life. Throw away cards recklessly - you'll get them back later. Throw your Scholars in front of their 2/1/2s, and your 5-tougness guys block DAs. Try to get down Earth's Grasp as soon as possible. Unless you see that a Gold Pile will give you the opportunity to use the Crystal-Insect Swarm combo a turn early, use it to get guys out earlier... If you're going 2nd, nothing wrong with throwing down a void shade on your first turn, either opposite a 2/1/2 or just in a lane on its own, if they played nothing. Usually they answer it , which eats up their resources and is just what you want.

    Play Cosmic Realignment aggressively. Basically, if you have board parity and the realignment is in your hand, cast it over virtually anything else. As early as turn 4, if you can. I will generally prioritize Void Shade over Realignment, but that's really it - it hurts to throw away two Stone Shields or three Insect Swarms but it hurts more to be forced to Realign when you're in a BAD position rather than in a good one. It also sucks to wait 4 turns and draw 2 more realignments.

    Draw cards aggressively as well. It's a low-stat deck - 2/4/4 - and there aren't a ton of cards that use the 2, the 4, or the other 4. (4/10/4.) If you're at 1/3/3 (without Magic Channel) and you don't see a turn coming up where you'll need to cast a Shade + Soulreaver (for instance) then go ahead and draw a card over raising a stat.

    Big turns - your hope is to play a few early void shades, wipe the board, and by turn 6 or 7 have about 20 cards in their graveyard, cast Offering to the Void, Realignment, and control the game from then on out. But realistically, things rarely work out that well. Once you've cast Realignment, you ideally want to see something that will keep you alive another turn - a Stone Shield, a few blockers, etc. If you've got the resources, rolling into an Offering is wonderful. After that, rinse and repeat. Don't out-clever yourself - it's better to use your third Realignment to give your opponent his last 5 cards than to sit on it for 5 turns hoping to mill him out of his hand, and having disaster befall in the meantime. Again, Realign aggressively.

    Sometimes bad things will happen - I once lost a game because all 4 void shades were in the bottom 10 cards of my deck. Sometimes you will Realign into your other three Realignments. It happens. (I just lost a game where I had six turns for a Celebrations to show up, and none did.) Bad draws can happen with any deck, but it's rarely as visible as it is with this deck.

    Final comments:

    Card count - I'd love to hear other people's experiences if you cut this deck down to 59 cards. This count feels about right to me - I'm often winning just as I'm running out of cards, which is where you want to be.

    Graveyard count - keeping an eye on the number of cards in their graveyard is key when you have an Offering in hand. Often, you will be able to cast Insect Swarm or Earthquake for "free" because it drops additional cards into their grave, by killing their guys and your own Shades.

    Deck changes - I took out two Altar of Shadows and one Scholar in my most recent version, and added one Call to Duty - I just wasn't getting Void Shades reliably enough. Altar of Shadows is powerful but marginal, and it's dangerous putting it down in a world where half the decks can play Song of the Sea and slam you. Scholar is a chump. You need 1-drops, but he's just not that good. I will probably take out a Broken Bridge or two as well.

    Gold pile - These got changed from Campfires, and it's a huge improvement. When you're popping them before Realignment, you don't want to be drawing cards, and you can use them on turn 1 or 2 to power something out faster. Both of those are much more important than "not a dead card late game." If you GET to late game, you'll probably win.

    Cosmic Singularity - makes games longer, but I don't think I've ever seen it save a game for someone.

    I think that's about it (like this needs to be longer!) I'm happy to hear comments and suggestions, or answer questions about matchups or anything else.
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  2. #2
    Most or all Hakeem decks I've seen include 3-4 Void Tainted Rituals, is it accidental omission or did you decide to not include them for some reason?
    Asha uses all.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by alternative83 View Post
    Most or all Hakeem decks I've seen include 3-4 Void Tainted Rituals, is it accidental omission or did you decide to not include them for some reason?
    Very purposeful - I think it's terrible, at least in this deck. You'll notice that there are no - zero - cards whose only purpose is to mill. Everything does double duty. Void Tainted Ritual has a minimal effect (mill for three) only in combo with other cards (strike two) and is only good late game, when you have resources to cast it in addition to creatures. (strike three.) And considering I often have games where, on turn 10, I'm Offering to the Void to bring me up to 16 resources and STILL wind up at zero at the end, it just doesn't fit anywhere.

    The whole point of this deck is "mill like life gain" - IE incidental mill is strong, spending cards/resources specifically dedicated to it gets you in trouble.
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  4. #4
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    Why no thrones? Seems like an obvious add.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SasMeng View Post
    Why no thrones? Seems like an obvious add.
    Throne doesn't really accomplish anything this deck wants to accomplish, and it has one major problem. The turn after Throne is used, there is an opening for your opponent to hit you with Paos. Plus, remember - you WANT your opponent to overcommit to the board, so you gain more of an advantage from a wipe. On top of that, throne is generally going to cost a card (IE raise Fortune to 5 instead of draw) to cast.
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  6. #6
    It is more control than mill really and as a control deck it is inferior to l4m4's Hakeem control IMO. You are also incredibly vulnerable to SoTS. Honestly I think this is significantly weaker than the more common actual mill decks as well as other control decks.
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  7. #7
    I played quite a similar deck, but with 3 void tainted rituals. You can easily get rid of one cosmic realignment, one earths grasp (use your tutors for it) and one offering to the void.

    As you stated: Without it you will run out of cards yourself once the game ends. Which is more dangerous than a stray Pao. And it is actually quite easy to get 15 additional dropped cards out of your opponent with 3 rituals for cheap.

    Your deck is stonedead to anyone playing shadow image on your void shades.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Nuff View Post
    It is more control than mill really and as a control deck it is inferior to l4m4's Hakeem control IMO. You are also incredibly vulnerable to SoTS. Honestly I think this is significantly weaker than the more common actual mill decks as well as other control decks.
    Over a significant number of games against decks which play SoTS, it has not been my experience that I am "incredibly vulnerable to SoTS." As you don't state any reason why you think that might be, I can't correct the misconception. It may very well be weaker than other decks - I never claimed it was the most powerful deck in the world. My experience has been that I have gotten excellent results with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by MeiHabara View Post
    I played quite a similar deck, but with 3 void tainted rituals. You can easily get rid of one cosmic realignment, one earths grasp (use your tutors for it) and one offering to the void.
    As I said, I feel that void tainted rituals are very weak in this deck.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeiHabara View Post
    As you stated: Without it you will run out of cards yourself once the game ends. Which is more dangerous than a stray Pao. And it is actually quite easy to get 15 additional dropped cards out of your opponent with 3 rituals for cheap.
    I'm not sure where I stated that. And no, it's not, in this deck. But, if you want to put together an alternate build and test it, I'd be thrilled to discuss the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeiHabara View Post
    Your deck is stonedead to anyone playing shadow image on your void shades.
    Over a significant number of games, many of them playing against people playing Shadow Image, this has not at all been my experience.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Nuff View Post
    It is more control than mill really and as a control deck it is inferior to l4m4's Hakeem control IMO. You are also incredibly vulnerable to SoTS. Honestly I think this is significantly weaker than the more common actual mill decks as well as other control decks.
    Over a significant number of games against decks which play SoTS, it has not been my experience that I am "incredibly vulnerable to SoTS." As you don't state any reason why you think that might be, I can't correct the misconception. It may very well be weaker than other decks - I never claimed it was the most powerful deck in the world. My experience has been that I have gotten excellent results with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by MeiHabara View Post
    I played quite a similar deck, but with 3 void tainted rituals. You can easily get rid of one cosmic realignment, one earths grasp (use your tutors for it) and one offering to the void.
    As I said, I feel that void tainted rituals are very weak in this deck.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeiHabara View Post
    As you stated: Without it you will run out of cards yourself once the game ends. Which is more dangerous than a stray Pao. And it is actually quite easy to get 15 additional dropped cards out of your opponent with 3 rituals for cheap.
    I'm not sure where I stated that. And no, it's not, in this deck. But, if you want to put together an alternate build and test it, I'd be thrilled to discuss the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeiHabara View Post
    Your deck is stonedead to anyone playing shadow image on your void shades.
    Over a significant number of games, many of them playing against people playing Shadow Image, this has not at all been my experience. As you don't state any reason why you think that might be, I can't correct the misconception.
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  10. #10
    You are vulnerable to SoTS as that renders 8 cards of your deck dead weight and another one (altar) significantly weaker. You are vulnerable to shadow image because you have no defense against mill yourself so if the opponent shadow images your Shade's you are going to be in serious trouble. Might of Nature also presents a significant problem for you as you have no answer to it and only 4 soul reavers for defense once it hits the board. (As opposed to, for example, spellstealer wizard or puppet masters in other better Hakeem decks.) You are running 16 creatures in a deck that is not a fast deck...simply put you will run out of creatures.
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