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Magic Market Index for Sept 22, 2017
 
The Limited Archetypes of Ixalan
 
Treasure Cruisin' with Monored Burn
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Yeah its hard to fully invalidate opponents removal, but when your only targets are snap, colonnade, and tokens its pretty easy to keep it stranded in their hands and not lose much if/when they get around to using it. Adding any other threat to the deck means it probably eats a removal spell a lot of the time - or you end up having to fight over something that you otherwise wouldn't have. I never counter their push on my snapcaster, I might be stuck negating a path on a tasigur only to regret it when they resolve something tough afterwards.

    I played a few hands with 2x opt and 1x search for ancatenza, inital impression was that you absolutely do not want or need to cast search early. I dropped it turn 4 once and flipped it and it was like "so what" I had so many spells still in hand that using my land to try and pull ahead was not even a consideration. It is a late game move so don't sweat tapping low for it early. Just let it rot in your hand until you have a window to cast it and flip it. Nothing much to say about opt yet - it did what I thought it would, made me fetch an island turn 1 then take more damage over next 2 turns to get lands online. I cast both in a game where I was digging for removal and still came up empty handed on turn 5. I have a feeling the ability to "dig" is going to be less exciting than I first thought. When I really need a verdict it will often make no difference whether I am casting opt or some other cantrip because the card has to be at such a precise position in the library for going 1 more card deep to matter. I guess it will be nice when we can hop over removal in matches with no targets, or over counterspells in matchups with caverns/vials, but it'll always be tough to measure that impact.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Im intrigued by the architect/delirium thing but not sure about shaving lands for a bunch of cantrips. In my mind the way this deck plays is that all my land drops are live due to my card draw, mana sinks, and x spells while my opponents land draws are usually dead past turn four. Thats virtual and real card advantage which is how we bury people in the late game.

    I dont want to get stuck on four lands - I want to make my land drop every turn until the game ends. I dont want to be stuck esper charming on my main phase to make land drops either, I want to draw them either at opponents eot or on my draw step so that I am always presenting interaction.

    Think twice flashing back for 3 is fine because by the time I want to do that the cost is largely irrelevant. And while revelation is inefficient at 5 mana its fine at 6 and a blowout beyond that. When we make all our land drops the blowout version isnt just a pipe dream.

    I can see how it all fits together though - tt and rev work when you make all your land drops. If you replace them with other cards, you may no longer need to make those land drops and can now shave lands. I dont know - that may be a very different version of the deck because making land every turn is kind of a cornerstone of the esper draw go strategy imo.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    On stock list vs competitive and playing sorceries, I think maybe the tension is that we can make esper draw go competitive - add red for bolt and kcommand, cut white, drop the cryptics, stuborn denial in for negate, death shadow and angler for threats, drop the think twice for thought scour and play some discard over counterspells.

    Wait... thats not esper draw go anymore is it? But it sure is competitive!

    If you make the deck better by radically changing it odds are your just making a different deck. Playing serum visions, lingering souls, and tasigurs is a pretty short walk to esper midrange instead of draw-go control.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    A bit of a tangent but I have played a lot of tezzeret/whir in modern and the deck is not hard to pilot at all. Every game has basically one decision point: do I need to disrupt or combo? If you dont need the bridge, needle, or cage you assemble thoptersword and make tokens til they die (or finish up w time sieve to simplify things). The deck vomits its hand quickly most games so its not like you have five cards in hand picking what to do next - you're usually playing from hellbent or heckbent to make your ensnaring bridges work.

    Esper has some tougher calls because you have to optimize matching your answers to the threats, know when discard mode on charm works, when you need to verdict vs wait for more mana so you can negate a coco post-verdict, etc.

    One of my big fears with opt is that ill get sucked into screwing my mana up because ill be going t1 island opt instead of the usual tapped colonnade or shockland; or that ill fall behind turn 2 if I tap out for a search for ancatenza only to have them resolve a liliana or gideon or whatever.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    The efforts here to define competitive seem a little pedantic and wasted. Someone above stated the case pretty clearly - esper can beat good decks and for any one game is pretty good. Its a bad big tournamnt choice due to mental fatigue and no free wins.

    However you want to define competitive it doesnt change that those sentiments ring true. Many decks are good in small events and bad in big ones - espers peculiarity is not that it will eventually hit a tough match and fold because its fragile (the usual small event deck issue) but rather how taxing it is to play the deck for long periods of time and the super slim margin of error.

    I guess even that might be self aggrandizing. One would think pro players have the mental stamina to run whatever deck will do the best, and they dont choose esper control. For the avg schlub though the mental tax is a very real concern.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    I sometimes wonder what valakut pilots people are playing with remarks like above. Yes you have to counter primeval and scapeshift - thats not why I lose. I lose because they kill me with their manabase while I sit around drawing fatal pushes and counterspells. Are you countering their tribe elders and farseeks? Because if not the valakut triggers start around turn 5. They become 6 dmg triggers shortly thereafter and while you may live the dream of cryptic commanding their search for tomorrow you cannot counter their stomping grounds.

    It does not take very many 6 dmg to the face shots before you are just dead.

    But mostly all our removal is dead so you must draw your counterspells only - and then you must also "shred their hand" while also bouncing valakuts and also clocking them w one of your two win conditions.

    Piece of cake tho I guess. Im just bad Frown
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Yeah the idea we have no bad matchups is a bit of a farce. Tron and valakut are very difficult imo. As soon as I see tron land expedition map I know im like 90 percent to lose. Valakut isnt quite that bad but im still going to lose if I draw too many removal and too few counters. Their long game is very strong when every card reads "deal 6" and half of them are uncounterable.

    Then there are the games where your logic knots and cryptics turn to ass because of an aether vial or cavern.

    Or you just dont draw the path and die to something stupid like a turn two gurmag angler.

    Or your opponent refuses to cast spells and you get stuck in a staredown trying to find esper charms.

    There are a lot of holes in this deck. I love it because I understand the gameplan but I have rarely felt like I was dominating an opponent. Its always a matter of weathering those first four turns and then puling ahead.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Yeah all the same md cards not counting my fun-of shadow of doubt and nimble obstructionist. The only thing I would say is unorthodox in that list is the fourth verdict. The vast vast majority of lists run 3.

    Everything else seems reaosnable/common.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Temporary State of the Meta Thread (Rules Update 7/17/17)
    There are a lot more ways to stop empty the warrens than there are to stop grapeshot. With grapeshot gone some of those cards could likely come off the banlist.

    Does that matter? I dont know. Just saying I would way rather face a bunch of goblin tokens without haste than twenty plus copies of deal one to the face. Most decks have sweepers in the side already, few have runed halo.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    So if you dont tap low for scarab god when are you casting it? When you have 9 mana? At that point 8 warriors will win most games too while not being dead in the water to path to exile or turning terminate into time walk.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    What is the point of playing the scarab god in this deck? It doesnt fit the gameplan very well at all, and if they path it (there paths will be in hand) you get tempod out hard. it can be chump blocked for days, if they terminate it you have to re-cast, etc.

    But most importantly this is a draw-go deck. Tapping low on your turn to play a creature is not where you want to be, as you provide them with a window to resolve spells. Out of the sideboard it can be correct when we're confidant that an elspeth or baneslayer is going to be way better than anything they do whil we're tapped out, but even then ive found those cards carry a lot of risk too (whoops, this troll burn player just searing blazed and bolted my baneslayer with me tapped out).

    The scarab god is almost certainly only good when you were going to win anyways, and might as well just be wsz or secure the wastes so as to not non-bo with the draw go strategy
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Gideon with pacts has always sounded good but in practice its awkward. Negation is abysmal without the emblem for a control deck. Pact is ok but misses tasigur death shadow angler and misc nuisances like tidehollow sculler and dark confidant. In a control deck it has the same problem - you want to tap low or even tap out on your upkeep?

    I could see gideon of the trials and slaughter pact teaming up in a smallpox deck but thats about it. Negation is really a combo card and I dont think a deck like ad nauseum really wants gideons.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Yeah I can say for me I have played snapcaster for no value more often than I'd like. Usually to stop a merfolk, elf, or gob guide but sometimes just because I need some pressure to progress the game and can't wait around until t5 to esper charm (e.g. tron, or if opponent resolves a liliana and I need to pressure it). It's not the usual play by any means, but it definitely comes up - not to mention situations where you consider it but decide to be patient instead. I expect opt to improve those situations a bit to a lot (more likely is by opting turn 1/2 I find a push/path and am able to use that to alleviate presure and then reserve my snap for a second round of removal rather than snap-opt - but still the option to snap-opt if I come up blank on the push/path is solid).

    The flip enchantment deserves testing for sure. I think you need to compare it to think twice - The 1U doesnt draw us a card and its sorcery speed, but it does give us some early card selection if we're searching for specific things - once it flips we've got 2U impulse every turn we want it, which is insanely better than a couple 2U draw a card flashbacks. It's also a little ramp bump in the mana that could get us into snap-cryptic or bigger revelation/secure faster which is nothin to scoff at.

    I think the logic knot / snapcaster synergy can equally be non-bo so I don't know what to make of that, I'd consider it moot. The real problem is what was mentioned above - the card is more vulnerable to GY hate than think twice (since TT will always cycle) and vulnerable to abrupt decay / dsphere, plus the enchant hate that people will often bring in to block our halo/rip/stony/leyline (even if you dont run it - people will assume you do)
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    My guess is that full playset will eat too many slots for too little impact, but that two copies of opt will be very good and just cost you a land and a flex spot.

    My turn one is often a colonnade or a tapped shock - so its not like I want more turn one plays necessarily. I look at opt as a way to use open lands more effectively turns 1-5 - and as mentioned earlier something else you can snapcaster cheaply to get a body on the board.

    Will have to see though.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Well, for me its those awkward few weeks where it feels like a waste to keep practicing until the new set drops so you can try new cards out (opt). Trying to make "ixalan" games feels awkward/derpy so just a lull in play.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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