Index. Yay or Nay? (condition specific)

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Ok. Given the draw power of 3 Thought Scour s, 3 Gitaxian Probe s, and 4 Ponder s, should I take out a Ponder for an Index ? This is in a delver deck, UR.

Zesty says... #1

Ponder>index. Here's why: Ponder draws you a card, giving you card advantage, while Index does not. The drawing also allows you to draw answers to tough situations. For example: say you ran terminus and your opponent is all out attacking for game, with ponder you can reveal the top 3 find a terminus, draw it and miracle it since it will be the first card you've drawn for the turn. Index however in this case would just let you know what could have been.

Another important aspect about ponder is the choice to shuffle your library. This is extremely important if you need lands or answers but the top 3 cards of your library don't have one or the other, so you can just shuffle, and have an extra chance at finding what you need, or even getting rid of useless top deck cards like unneccesary lands. index does not allow you to shuffle, so if you have 5 useless cards on the top you are stuck with them.

the only real advantage index brings over ponder is the amount of cards you reveal, which is really irrelevant to what you'd want a scrying card to be doing in a delver deck. Which is creating card advantage or finding answers.

July 9, 2012 7:11 p.m.

Hellhawk says... #2

A gap in your logic Zesty. Ponder is sorcery speed, so I would've already drawn for turn, so having that Terminus would mean nothing unless i have 6 mana at-the-ready, and look at what I wrote. Given all of that draw power.

July 9, 2012 7:22 p.m.

Zesty is right, to an extent. Ponder is vastly superior to Index . Keep using Ponder for as long as it's in standard.

He was mistaken in that you cannot get in a miracle trigger using Ponder because Ponder isn't an instant speed spell. The only way to cast Ponder on your opponent's turn and trigger miracle would be to use card:Alchemist's Refuge, which won't help you in a delver deck.

July 9, 2012 7:24 p.m.

Zesty says... #4

sorry i was totally thinking of something along the lines of Brainstorm when i talked about ponder, buuut if you snapcaster ponder you can do that any time :)

July 9, 2012 8:30 p.m.

Still mistaken Zesty lol. Snapcaster Mage can give a spell flashback for the turn, at instant speed. However, just because it was given flashback at instant speed doesn't mean it can be cast at instant speed. Just like card:Devil's Play, sorcery cards with flashback can still only be cast at sorcery speed from the graveyard.

July 9, 2012 8:34 p.m.

Mirb says... #6

I think, that with all the draw power, you could run one Index , but I personally would run Ponder .

July 9, 2012 10:14 p.m.

@landgrafb: Are you telling me that using Snappy to give Day of Judgment flashback still means it can't be cast during the opponent's turn for it's flashback cost?

July 9, 2012 10:29 p.m.

Demarge says... #8

How about this playtest the deck with all Index instead of Ponder , when you cast it ask yourself which one you wish that Index was, personally I believe Index to not be a good delver card simply because the card doesn't draw you anything and in the event you don't like the top 5 you're still stuck with them. Index seems more like a card slow playing 3+ color control would enjoy as they often can benefit from planning that far (control wants to drop a bomb reliably on optimal turns where as delver wants to keep the tempo up) and control will often be playing Evolving Wilds so they can get rid of a dead top deck.

July 9, 2012 10:33 p.m.

Demarge says... #9

UmbrotheUmbreon yes that's exactly what he's saying, the only instance you can get an instant white boardwipe in standard right now would be to use an instant draw spell to miracle a Terminus (or card:Alchemist's Refuge... or Counterlash a sorcery)

July 9, 2012 10:36 p.m.

To get it out at instant speed you could use card:Alchemist's Refuge along with Snapcaster Mage , but that play will require 8 mana and a land tap. Not to mention playing 3 awkward colors.

Your best bet is to just main phase your board wipes lol. The only reasonable way to instant speed board wipe in standard is to utilize Ponder and instant speed draw spells to miracle out a Terminus . (Miracle triggers bypass timing restrictions.)

July 9, 2012 10:48 p.m.

Well I thought Flashback did the same. I got cheated out then >.<

July 9, 2012 10:52 p.m.

The flashback keyword, in a sense, just gives you an additional chance to cast the spell for a different cost. All other properties of the card remain the same, except that it enters the stack from the graveyard, rather than from your hand.

July 9, 2012 10:56 p.m.

Yeah, I got ripped off then ._. Someone used Day of Judgment at the end of my turn by using flashback >.>

July 9, 2012 11:17 p.m.

Long_Con says... #14

I give a thumbs-down to Index . It's crappy in all the ways Ponder isn't. It is no replacement at all, and I won't be running any in my mono-blue Delver.

In September, don't count on Index to take Ponder 's place as easily as Unsummon would replace Vapor Snag .

July 10, 2012 10:58 a.m.

huginnson says... #15

Index allows you to see two more cards than ponder

Ponder lets you only see three cards, but: 1. Ponder replaces its self, allowing you to gain real advantage from the cards you got to see (which is extremely relevant when you're using it to find your lands). 2. Ponder allows you to shuffle away your cards if they aren't useful for you.

You did mention all of the additional draw power that was available to blue decks these days, but for Index to even be comparable to Ponder requires you to spend 2 cards in order to draw 1.

Index might still be relevant in miracle decks, but until Ponder rotates, Index probably won't even be considered in other decks.

July 10, 2012 2:18 p.m.

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