Prevent Opposition Agent in mono black
Posted on Oct. 9, 2022, 10:15 a.m. by Quickspell
What other ways are there than this kind of effect?
griffstick No, those are three cards with a similar effect. I’ve asked for other ways
October 9, 2022 10:53 a.m.
Instant speed removal - which you should be running anyway - will do the trick.
Maralen’s ability is a triggered ability that goes on the stack. If they play opposition agent before the ability triggers, you just use instant speed removal to kill the Agent before the trigger resolves.
If they flash in opposition agent while Maralen’s ability is still on the stack, you let opposition agent resolve and, while Maralen’s ability is on the stack, cast your removal - every time a spell resolves, players have a new opportunity to add spells to the stack. Your removal will go on the stack above Maralen’s ability, and thus will resolve first, so the opposition agent will be killed before the library search.
October 9, 2022 11:53 a.m.
I’m curious why you’re not running opposition agent?
October 9, 2022 1:21 p.m.
Not running Oppo in Maralen is a HUGE punt, though.
October 9, 2022 5:36 p.m.
Grubbernaut I suppose “punt” is a bad thing. If no one has a way to immediately deal with Maralen or Opposition Agent the game is basically over since your opponents won’t be able to draw an answer anymore. But instead the game drags on because either everybody has to watch you fetch your combo pieces turn by turn while wasting time going through their decks every turn, or you don’t go for any combo end instead just drag out the game for chaos by casting your opponents spells.
That is fun the very first time. After that it’s like playing single player.
Thank you for the removal suggestions.
October 9, 2022 9:20 p.m. Edited.
It's a hard lock if nobody has answers; there's no reason to keep playing if they don't have answers. It's like Knowledge Pool/Teferi and similar combos.
October 10, 2022 3:05 a.m.
Grubbernaut Exactly, and that is no fun for anybody.
October 10, 2022 7:06 a.m.
October 10, 2022 12:37 p.m.
I guess I don't agree, or understand. Does your playgroup dislike when you win?
October 10, 2022 9:51 p.m.
Grubbernaut Recently the Memnarch player destroyed me with the Sensei's Divining Top/Counterbalance combo, countering anything and everything for a few turns until they had enough mana to steal every single of my permanents with Memnarch. In the end, I had nothing left. No cards in hand, no library, no permanents.
I could have scooped the moment he got his combo online, because it was futile to do anything. I gave him the satisfaction to play it out until the end this one time. It took forever and everybody was sitting and watching and waiting, until we could finally go on with the next game. After that, he took out Counterbalance, because it wouldn’t be fun a second time.
Maralen and Opposition Agent is similar. It doesn’t win the game instantly like a Craterhoof Behemoth would. It has to be played out to actually win, and takes forever. So winning with that combo has no satisfaction whatsoever. It is an abrupt end of the game without actually winning but with an explanation of will what will happen during the next few turns.
Maralen makes your dream come true by tutoring for anything you want. There are so many fun possibilities, and there is excitement because everyone does the same. Going down this route into fantasy land is much much more fun than just ending the game in turn 4 by fetching Opposition Agent and proclaiming the game has ended because of what you are going to do in a couple of turns.
October 10, 2022 11:28 p.m.
It does win the game instantly, though, unless your opponents have removal. They literally can't draw another card; the game is over. If you don't like that win, I guess that's fine, but it's still a win; there is no point in playing the game out at that point.
Top/Counterbalance isn't like that. They're required to have the correct CMC; you can also respond to the top activation, and Memnarch isn't helping the combo. Is it difficult to sneak out what you need? Yes, certainly, but not impossible. And I know because I've lost more than once with Top/Balance out. It just incentivizes tighter plays. It also doesn't stop cards with "can't be countered" clauses, to include things cast off a Cavern of Souls. A closer-to-hard lock is Counterbalance+card that lets you view your top card+Necropotence, but even that isn't perfect.
October 11, 2022 2:44 p.m.
Grubbernaut Sure, if you want to the game to quickly end. I rather have fun with Ob Nixilis, Unshackled. What is beautiful about Maralen is how greedy everybody becomes when suddenly they have the opportunity to tutor for anything they want. Once they realise you are not going for Opposition Agent, they let her live - or they try to kill her before the next player can tutor. Suddenly they start countering each other etc. I find that much more entertaining
October 11, 2022 3:19 p.m. Edited.
Grubbernaut - It is one thing to point out that a deck is unoptimised as a friendly way of helping someone improve their deck. But when another player makes it clear they understand their deck is suboptimal and that they intentionally made that decision, the polite thing to do is knock it off. Not everyone wants to play soft locks, high power cards, etc. and when someone says that is not up their alley, harping on “but you are wrong, you should still play X” is simply rude.