Battle rage pretty much requires become immense to steal any games in your list so I would probably cut that. I’m not really sure BI itself is even worth it but I havnt tried your list. The issue with pump spells is that if you can’t stick a creature they’re dead cards.
You could run a copy unsubstantiate to give you a little more interaction without having to run another counterspell, and a few copies of mandrills should probably be in here if you cut BI. 4 snag/3 pierce seems like a lot. Maybe a little more diversity here.
Alternatively running Traverse gives you another proactive cantrip and would allow you to run a single Bedlam Reveler to tutor up.
I still gotta assume Clique is better than Obstructionist here but neither seem aggressive enough outside of the sideboard where they both have their applications. Stifle is a unique effect that’s very powerful but is a little too narrow for modern at three mana. It’s essentially a more expensive squelch when cycled and is probably too expensive when just hardcast. If you’re bringing it in to hate out something specific it could make sense but game 1 there are too many matchups where it’s just a 3/1 for 3.
Remand is awesome...but you don’t want to be stuck with a hand full of Remands against fast decks like Burn because you won’t get many chances to cast it where they won’t just recast the spell right away and there are quite a few decks it’s bad against. Additionally there are simply spells that we can’t let resolve as our removal sucks so that means Mana Leak in some number is essential here. Remand can complement it as a 1 of which I have done in the past but you primarily have to lean on leak. Against decks like Tron, KCI, Valakut decks, etc Remand is awesome as it provides you the tempo of a hard counter but replaces itself to help you find more interaction. Combined with snapcaster Mage getting a player to tap out two turns in a row to get time walked twice is brutal. This is a true tempo deck and remand is absolutely playable here but I wouldn’t run it over another counterspell, I would run it in the slot of a cantrip because that’s what it is. It just costs two mana with the upside of being a time walk.
Deprive is certainly better then Knot here as we rarely have extra grave fuel to spare but I would only run 3-4 two mana counters in the main at the very most and the rest in the sideboard. Fast decks are hoping game 1 you get clogged up with counterspells as they dump their hand.
4 spirebluff is far too many I would max out at two to give you more basics in order to run Blood Moon in the board, I really wouldn’t play the deck without it.
Extraction is a house. I feel like I should have been running it for years. Traverse->Snap as a follow up for the second Extraction has come up a lot in just a short while.
I also wouldn’t say Looting is a necessity in this deck. If the meta swung back the other way and Jund was more prevalent I’m not sure you could justify it. It’s been in and out for me in a flex slot as a one of and I’ve been generally dissatisfied with it. It unfortunately does mean you have to run at least 2 thought scour which isn’t very good but does the trick. Being able to fix hands where you have too many Mandrills is really useful here though and game one if your counters or burn are dead you can turn them into fuel which is nice, but it’s not a card I want to cast twice from hand in the same game.
So yeah, Manamorphose isn’t very good here. There are times where you load up on elementals or it can lead to more turn two mandrills but those are less often than the times when you’re topdecking and forced to use the Manamorphose without knowing if you’ll have anything to use the mana on which can make it hard to hold up mana for interaction. There’s generally a lot of chances to cycle it for free without much consequence but it wasn’t very impactful so I don’t see it worth taking slots without a true payoff card like Thing in the Ice. Oh well.
That is a pretty big list of decks that sphere can either be very similar to blood moon or literally shuts down the combo. I guess I’ll have to try it out too, then.
I definitely understand how powerful the card selection is, but having two lootings in your opening hand and your opponent opening with thought seize means casting a mandrills on turn two following a double faithless looting leaves you with two cards in hand. They’ll likely be good ones but I’m not sure if that’s where I want to be in this format. I’m just saying there has never once been a deck that’s found real sustained success in modern with 4 looting UNLESS that deck also took serious advantage of the discard aspect of the card which we don’t do at all. Game 1 pitching bad cards in the matchup makes sense. Game 2 and 3 you literally shouldn’t have cards in the deck that you would consider bad in the matchup so any non land you pitch is a quality spell. Of course nothing is sweeter when flooding that pitching two lands but these lists are super lean with lands and you’re more likely to be digging for lands than you are pitching them. I’m not saying it’s wrong to include them but alongside bounce spells that’s a whole lot of negative card advantage to be naturally built into a tempo deck.
I’m going to try something more experimental going forward after a few leagues got my wheels turning. Hoping for some feedback.
I liked the idea of Pyromancer giving us a proactive threat that ignores grave hate but felt that our deck wasn’t the best at abusing him. Manamorphose makes him fantastic while being great fuel for mandrills and provides a built in way to manafix post blood moon. It’s not gitaxian Probe but a free cantrip is really really good in this deck. 2 mandrills isn’t very many but traverse makes them easy to find and I’ve found in the past that 2 mandrills and 1 bedlam Reveler can coexist in the same 60 and Manamorphose is the perfect card to fuel him as well. It’s possible I only need one snap here in which case I would probably go back to 3 mandrills. This list probably doesn’t have room for faithless looting but I’m excited about the direction regardless. I feel like there’s potential here.
I see what you mean by Moon being less relevant now because less GB/x but the best deck is humans, a five color city of brass reliant deck that, combined with artifact hate for vial, gets completely wrecked by Blood Moon. Alpine is better against Tron but Tron is significantly better of a matchup than Eldrazi, where Moon can lock out games and outside of Eldrazi Temple and Tron lands Alpine isn’t very effective while Moon has a ton of (albeit less popular now) applications and generally against poor matchups. One mana is one mana though so I’ll have to try it out.
Damping I just can’t get behind. Trying to cast cantrips behind that thing feels like a complete hose and I’m frankly not sure if any matchups where you need sphere are actually bad enough to justify sideboard slots. There all pretty solid.
Anyways, I started a new league today to shake some rust and started 3-0 so that’s nice.
Here’s my list finding inspiration from the recent discussions here:
Pretty similar to what I’ve run being fairly counter heavy game one but the sideboard is very flexible and I go without delver/pyro to bring in Anger quite often. I like that pyromancer gives us a proactive two threat that ignores grave hate, which has been my primary focus in tweaking as it’s always been a major flaw in the deck.
Faithless looting has been good and I’ve played it before but I’m not sure we can afford to be -1 cards that often. 4 is a lot, drawing two early can certainly feel like a mull to 5 that cost you mana as we have no cards that gain value from being pitched.
Also, there’s something about elemental tokens that make me want to slam a Rancor on them but I’m not sure if that’s worth a slot it’s pretty do nothing at times
Been away from Modern for a while now obsessing over commander/pauper. Obviously I’ve missed a ton of discussion about the recent direction of the deck but one thing in particular stood out to me, can someone convince me of Damping Sphere and Alpine Moon here? I understand the Hardened Scales Affinty, Storm, and KCI lists hate to see a sphere but I can’t help but think in a deck with Snapcaster there are better options as those arnt particularly scary matchups IMO. In regards to Alpine, I could see it in lists that can’t support Blood Moon but I genuinely don’t see it having a ton of value here. Can somebody fill me in?
I like looting a lot and have tried it over a thought scour before. The card selection is fantastic but my real issue is that it’s bad against decks that typically prey on us because it puts us down a card, and topdecks poorly. If you arnt getting value from the cards you discard, I think the deck would have to be much faster overall to compensate from the cards lost. I’ve always dreamed of a list with 7-8 one drops and traverse with a 2/1 split of gnarlwood dryad and swiftspear to complement Delver. When Probe was in the format, and after Reveler was printed, I swear the best iteration of this deck was very similar to this concept but Swiftspear and Reveler are significantly worse now. Being able to tutor for Swiftspear to add enough damage to make your swing lethal came up all the time. I’d like to see something like this but perhaps more aggressive with things like Atarkas Command or Blossomed Defense but then your counterspell suite becomes quite small.
I like Abrade but our main removal spell is bolt complemented by one shock variant or another, 3 damage doesn’t open up our options on what we can kill and fails to check the threats want out of a two mana removal spell so playing it over roast is tough, even if the artifact hate is awesome versatility.
My opinion is that the linear decks are already gold matchups, so why slant the deck in a way that focuses on those matchups instead of trying to even out our inherently bad matchups? Not to mention when you have traverse and bauble you can run less lands while having greater access to Snapcaster Mage, meaning you draw interaction at highter rates. That's where I want to be against linear decks, anyways.
It's actually about the same as before in post #4331. Firespout and Anger come in against the same decks for the most part to that change doesn't matter, and the sideboard threats are different but you basically bring them all in or none. Censor you kinda have to determine case by case, usually if counterspells are bad you can cut it as long as you have something better to bring in. Against jund I don't think I do, for example.
If there's a specific question or matchup you want to know is be happy to cover it but last time I typed that up it took a long time haha
I suppose you're right in that k command is a two for one no matter what mode they choose, maybe I'm looking at collar wrong in that matchup.
Oh and definitely agree on not cutting mandrills. I actually never do that in any matchup I don't think. Being able to burn goyf and then shrink it with delve is actually our most reliable/efficient way to do it, honestly. So often I'll spend three mana to bolt goyf, tutor for mandrills, and then cast it to send goyf to the yard. It's a great play.
The matchups where deprive and moon are in together for me are: scapeshift variants, tron, ad nauseum, and U/x/x control. In those matchups Having that extra counterspell is so essential because they can essentially beat you with one card (except control) so an occasional stumble to get UU with moon in play I think is worth it to have a hard two mana answer to anything they put on the stack. Particularly because if moon is in play you may not even need to counter spells with any urgency.