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Jaya Ballard Returns
 
The Magic Market Index for Nov 17, 2017
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Awesome, did not know there was an "ignore user" button, thanks for the tip!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on BW Superfriends
    Nah, you need the sweepers, minimum of three, I reckon. Both token generators have resistance to sweeper effects (as, obviously, do the planeswalkers and Heart, too). The second half of Souls can hang around in the yard until after the sweeper, and BB just keeps pumping out the Faeries post board-clear too. But the real fun is in sweeping in main phase one and then activating one or more large threats for the same turn's combat phase. It's completely possible to swing for 8 on T4 on an empty board, or for 13 on T5.

    Tokens are a plan B in this deck, the way I see it; they mainly help protect the walkers. Gideon and Lili are plan A. Sorin, Solemn Visitor is a card I've been considering, but unlike the other cards (except Heart) it is very bad on an empty board by itself. Still, his synergy with BB and Souls might make him worth it.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Re: Storm
    Sadly, the Storm ban discussion appears to be spiraling out of control from a measured discussion about actual data to a more rhetorical conversation about abstract ways Storm is better/worse than we think. Here are some stats to reground the conversation:

    In the updated N=135 Caleb Scherer dataset, here's Storm's win %

    Overall GWP: 57%
    T3 win%: 12.9%
    Avg win turn: 5.2
    Bootstrapped (n=10k) win% interval: 7.4% - 18.1%
    95% confidence interval: 7% - 18.2%
    Chance that Bloom and Storm have same T3 win %: 23%

    So there's still a 23% chance that Storm has the same T3 win% as Amulet Bloom, but that is down from the upper 30%s from the other week.
    Thanks very much, Sheridan, for following this deck and crunching the numbers around it so we can have an informed discussion. I appreciate your ongoing efforts to make the complicated Modern format intelligible. Wish you were still writing full-fledged content weekly, I gotta say.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on BW Superfriends
    2-2 tonight, couple of fetches swapped in for the Caves and Chapel.


    R1, 2-0 vs. Jeskai Geist: Won the roll and then rode Spirits and Faeries to victory in both games.

    R2, 2-0 vs. Jund: Lost the roll. In G1 I smacked him around with some Spirits and then cleared the board with Damnation to swing in with Gids for the win. In G2 he made a tactical error and left me with a RiP in hand after taking a BB with his opening disruption; that RiP ended up neutering all 4 Goyfs to permanent 0/1 status throughout the game.

    R3, 1-2 vs. Grixis Midrange: Won the roll and G1 but lost G2 & G3 to one of my shop's better players, whom I've beat several times with this deck over the past month. Pia and Kiran Nalaar out valued me as my opponent maxed out on Countersquall draws, backed up by Izzet Staticaster. I was missing the Wraths I took out after G1, after dying to Mom and Dad beats.

    R4, 0-2 vs. Eldrazi Tron: I won the roll and IoK'ed his Map away, seeing him on two Tron lands, but leaving him a Chalice. Naturally he topdecks a Map on his opening draw. It was trivial for him to run me over after that, in part because I punted by discarding a much-needed Wrath to Lili too early in the game. In G2 an early Chalice stranded a total of 5 cards in my hand, by the final turn, and he countered my Damnation with Warping Wail. In this match he also drew two Ratchet Bombs, and blind-Needled Ally on T1, which was in my opening hand, and was the only walker I would see in the match. So, yeah. Tron did Tron things and my interaction was very bad.


    Looking forward to Friday and this weekend at the GP side events. Will write up.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BW Superfriends
    I have played against ETron a bunch at home, MrDude, against my primary play partner, and have a positive win rate so far. All is Dust (or an unanswered Chalice on 3) is a game loss for us for sure. Chalice on 1 is also vey good. But other than that I feel pretty good about the match.

    My list is a little different from yours. I have Thoughtseize #4 in the board, which is very good in the match. I have 2x Wall of Omens main, which are great against Matter Reshaper and can also chump a Seer or Smasher to preserve a walker for a crucial turn. I also have a lower curve, with no 5-drops and fewer 4-drops, so I can get my deck's game plan online a little faster.

    Not sure if those things would help, but I will say that I don't feel a need for Kor Firewalker. With 4x Trials plus two Walls and one Brutality in the main, my Burn match is pretty good without any dedicated hate.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Help me mulligan better in Modern
    Quote from purklefluff »
    Let's throw an example in:

    Against death and taxes
    I'm playing Vizier coco, and I'm on the play.

    - Keep a hand of one land, noble hierarch, 2x devoted druid, coco, Vizier, chord.

    Seems ok, right? Turn 1 hierarch. All I need is a land/hierarch survive and I'm able to put multiple mana producing guys on the field, with the combo in-hand if I can dodge early removal.
    I also figure that D&T plays path as its main removal spell, so I was relatively safe in terms of my noble hierarch. They play a grindy game and this hand has pieces to get me there.

    What actually happened was that he dismembered my hierarch (a spicy one-of from his sideboard) and I never saw another land. He spent the remainder of the game apologising as he chipped in with a few medium creatures.
    I would definitely have kept that hand. Your opponent lucked out.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on BW Superfriends
    4-1 tonight, same list but -1 Caves of Koilos for +1 Courtyard. Thinking maybe the Caves and the Chapel could both go for a couple more off-color fetches to improve the odds against Blood Moon and strengthen Fatal Push. Like maybe one Polluted Delta and one Flooded Strand. Doing it that way would keep me at my current numbers for T1 and T3 mana availability.


    R1, 0-2 vs. 8-Rack: I mulled to 6 on the draw in G1 but never landed anything relevant; in G2 he had 2x The Rack plus a Shrieking Affliction by T4 after taking my opening Disenchant. I died real fast, missing SB Ratchet Bombs, which I have played a lot in BW decks. But they're terrible in the walkers build.

    R2, 2-0 vs. Mono-U Umbral Mantle/Polymorph Combo: I was on the draw. This guy's deck looked to land Umbral Mantle after playing out an early Training Grounds. Then it can make an arbitrarily large Blinkmoth Nexus or do some other stuff with Inkmoth Nexus and Faerie Conclave. He also played a Polymorph (presumably for Emrakul) line as a back-up win con I guess? But I happened to draw all the Pushes and Paths and Ghost Quarters, and killed his guy in response to the equip cost every time he tried to set up the combo. Disruption was great, but this was luck mostly. I wasn't sure what he was up to and I drew like a god, just figured jank like that had to be some kind of combo I didn't want to allow to go off. I had two very easy games as I controlled his board at will.

    R3, 2-0 vs. Grixis Death's Shadow: Lost the roll again. In G2 I had to slow roll around two Stubborn Denial but Lingering Souls managed to chump just long enough for me to start landing Lilis and Gids. Once I had a couple of walkers out he was not able to regain any advantage. In G2 I cleaned him up easily but forgot to take notes and don't recall what happened. GDS feels like an easy match to me; I really like Rest in Peace in this match.

    R4, 2-1 vs. Boros Burn: Won the roll for the first time tonight. But then I kept a terrible hand in the dark with four lands, a Thoughtseize, a Bitterblossom, and a Wrath. I managed to put up a fight but he finished me off with a Shrine of Burning Rage. In G2, a pair of Gideons were too much for him, allowing me to win at -2 life. In G3 he windmill slammed an Ensnaring Bridge on T3... but I already had a Disenchant in hand, because of Shrine in G1. So I shrugged, developed my board state with Gideons for a couple turns, and then wiped out his Bridge and killed him quickly. TBH I would bring in Disenchant in this match anyway for Eidolon of the Great Revel because I have so much to side out; I also side in Fulminator, because taking Burn off W is very good and often surprisingly easy.

    R5, 2-1 vs. RG Titanshift: Definitely got lucky in this match. I kept a BB in my opener in this match too, again going deep on a terrible card for the pairing I ended up facing. I was on the draw, and got Primetime'd fast in G1. In G2 my opponent, who was new to the deck, missed a Summoner's Pact trigger and I called him on it. In G3 I was lucky to be at 18 when he cast Scapeshift with seven lands in play, while I had a Ghost Quarter live; if you blow up one of the six Mountains in response to the group ETB trigger (do NOT hit the Valakut!) then only the land hit by GQ will trigger the Valakut. The other five Mountains will not. (More here.) I also ran him out of Mountains by nerfing Valakut with Gideon to stall, and also Pathing a Titan. Careful T4-5 use of Thoughtseize, IoK, and Brutality were very important in preventing a loss, but I also got very lucky in my opponent's unfamiliarity with his own deck. He's not likely to make the same mistakes again, I'd wager. Titanshift and Valakut decks in general are high among this deck's very hardest matches, in my experience. Leyline would help a lot, but I feel like I'd be losing points against the field by cutting anything from the side. The is a hope-to-dodge for me.


    This deck is solid.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BW Superfriends
    Hi AllanGuldager, have you tried Heart out yet?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Surge - Modern Dice Factory
    So I haven't read the thread, but don't you just get shut down by Stony, or by EE or Ratchet Bomb?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BW Superfriends
    I went 3-1 on Monday, with the same list as in post #23.


    R1, 2-1 vs. Mardu Tokens/Reveler: Pretty sure this guy was running a list that has 5-0'ed on MTGO several times this year, but it didn't seem that great of a deck to me. I put him on no Moons in his build after seeing him fetch only duals, but the online list I'm thinking of runs one Moon main and two more in the side. Maybe he doesn't have them or maybe just didn't draw them, but I did not try to play around the card in this match. Anyway, I started on the draw, and he ran me over in G1 as I flooded and failed to draw a sweeper. But in G2 and G3 an early Bitterblossom proved to be an overwhelming advantage. Faerie Rogues were instrumental in preventing me from dying to Stormbreath Dragon in both games. That card is otherwise extremely difficult for a BW deck to beat, as only Lili or sweepers will get rid of it, and it can't be chumped by Spirits.

    R2, 2-0 vs. UB Midrange/Control: Another player with a UB Goodstuff deck featuring some Faeries, cantrips, counters, and Delve threats. I won the roll. A T2 BB won me another game in G1 of this match, while in G2, Shizo allowed me to connect through flashed-in Spellstutter Sprite chumps. Liliana of the Veil also controlled his hand and board well for a quick victory.

    R3, 1-2 vs. Abzan: Won the roll but lost G1 to a lot of self-damage from Caves of Koilos, Thoughtseize, and BB, and more damage from two huge Goyfs for which I had no removal. In G2 I won off of Ally tokens plus Gideon beats, although I held off on attacking with Gideon after he began clearly telegraphing an in-hand Path to Exile. Finally in G3 I fell to his T2 LotV powered out by a Hierarch, which was backed up by many Spirit tokens and a Pithing Needle which neutered my Liliana, the Last Hope. Heart of Kiran is pretty bad against BGx decks, but probably not as bad as hand disruption is. I always side out all of my targeted hand disruption in these BGx matches.

    R4, 2-0 vs. Abzan: Won the roll and had an easy G1 while my opponent flooded hard. In G2 he had a bad keep and whiffed on land draws. Don't have much in the way of notes for this match, and it was over quickly.


    Thoughts: Bitterblossom has been an absolute house for me. It is quite slow and damaging to the life total, but like the walkers it is a difficult-to-remove permanent that fits the curve and the overall deck idea perfectly. However I have never wanted to play a second one out, so I'm reluctant to add a third to the 75.

    Conversely, Heart of Kiran is only good with a walker in play, so sometimes it's a do-nothing, similar to the drawback of Equipment in a deck. It is also the only card in the 75 that Fatal Push or Terminate are good against. So maybe in a meta with a heavy BGx or Grixis presence it should be replaced by something else. On the other hand, 2-drop threats are tough to come by in BW decks, especially 2-drops that apply a fast clock. And I have also found, through lots of BW midrange play over the past couple years, that a deck like this needs a certain minimum threat density or it can flounder in the mid- to late-game. So I will continue running a single copy for now. Maybe a second Night's Whisper could replace it as a way to dig for threats--but that is also a plan that will lead to a slower game against Affinity or Tron, where a flying 4/4 is just what the doctor ordered.

    I have now played this deck to a 35-15-1 record across all versions. Discounting my first tournament attempt, which led to the most dramatic changes so far, I'm 33-11-1. That is not too shabby for most players, and it's excellent for me, even if it's only at the FNM level. Of the decks I've faced, the only truly unfavorable matchup has been against Valakut decks, which has been true of every midrange deck I've ever played. It's likely that Gideon of the Trials, Fulminator Mage, hand disruption, and Surgical Extraction could be used more effectively in this match than I've done so far, though. For instance, it's probably right to save a Thoughtseize in the opening hand for T4-5 to try to pick off a Titan or Scapeshift, rather than trying to curve out and only nabbing an easily-replaced Explore, as I've often done in the past. Even Inquisition might be better played late in some cases; if they Summoner's Pact in response to an Inquisition, an in-hand Thoughtseize could take the Titan or Woodfall Primus they fetch up.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BW Midrange/ "Deadguy Ale"
    Thanks, Cody_X. I'd like to encourage anyone with an interest in the BW Superfriends deck discussed over the past few posts to come comment on the other thread.

    That deck is playing out as a disruptive, controlly BW Midrange/Control shell with resilient and difficult-to-remove threats that seems to be very good against a wide meta. Because the threats are non-creature permanents, I can run several maindeck sweepers, improving go-wide aggro pairings when compared my my previous BW experiments. The deck is still soft to Valakut builds though.

    My overall record across all versions of the walkers deck currently stands at 35-15-1. I started playing it at the beginning of October when the new planeswalker rule took effect. I only play on paper, in a pretty competitive LGS scene that regularly fields 30+ players per event on Mondays and Fridays.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on BW Midrange/ "Deadguy Ale"
    Thanks for looking, and for your feedback. The deck has really been crushing my shop, which hosts a large and skilled player base with a diverse meta. Not really sure I know where the line between control and midrange falls, here.

    I've thought about more fetches, might add some in place for shocks. The Caves are a little experiment. They are for live draws of a fourth land, because I have lost games a few times due to a topdecked Vent or Courtyard while holding a Wrath effect. But last night I also pinged myself a lot with one and wasn't too psyched about it, so I'm thinking only one. Maybe. There's no room for more basics if I want 14 T1 sources of B and also 19 T3 sources of both BB and WW, which I do want for consistency.

    LtLH has consistently been challenged but I am still not convinced she should go. She threatens on a different axis and her plus not only kills little guys, it also fogs bigger guys. Meanwhile, she demands attention because an opponent cannot afford to let her ult. I'm pretty sure this deck wants as many walkers as possible, and they are definitely better at 3 CMC than 4. If I do swap her out it would probably be for a Sorin, Solemn Visitor who is pretty bad on an empty board, but very good with flying tokens. I'm pretty sure I don't want 4 LotV.

    Moon and Bridge are tough to deal with G1 for sure, other than through discard or possibly a LotV ult. OTOH BGx has threats that are much softer than ours, and is weak to graveyard hate, where BW Superfriends doesn't care about that. There's always gonna be a tradeoff.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (Rules Update 27/10/17)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from spawnofhastur »
    I am somewhat amused that we had a great clamour for better answers in Modern, and so WotC gave us one, at which point we're complaining that that answer is too good. I can't really make a statement about whether Fatal Push is too good, since the decks I play usually dodge it, but I am amused that this is the reaction that Magic players have.
    ...with the nearly complete annihilation of small creatures from the format...
    This just isn't true at all. There are loads of small creatures in the format.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on U/W Eldrazi Ninjas
    ... Ninja's are really annoying for many decks. Too bad I don't have a good method to get them back to Ninjutsu again.

    ... I used mana to cast Kataki, War's Wage on my turn hoping they didn't have a removal. They didn't luckily. And on their upkeep, I Emerged Ninja of the Deep Hours with Elder Deep-Fiend using Temple and I think the Ipnu tapping down their 2 lands Opal and Springleaf Drum. They couldn't pay for Kataki's upkeep cost and had to sacrifice nearly their entire board! That was my highlight of the night.

    Vapor Snag would be good for your deck, maybe.

    I don't think your Deep-Fiend example works against an experienced player, unless I misunderstand. I think you flashed in Deep-Fiend in response to the Kataki trigger, tapping down the opponent's mana sources? A good opponent would have tapped those in response to the Deep-Fiend targeting and simply floated the mana, then used it to pay the cost. Since it's all happening on the same phase the mana pool wouldn't empty. Maybe I'm missing something though.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Gideon's Pacts
    Interesting deck idea and there might even be something to it. But you'll need more than 20 (or 16!) lands to get Gids out on-curve reliably.

    I think you maindeck 4 Angel's Grace in a deck like this.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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