I top 8'd a PTQ with this deck back in December (you can read my report here:http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showpost.php?p=9523455&postcount=98). A few weeks later I had another PTQ and, feeling confident in the deck, played it again. I started off 3-0, but after a close loss to Jund, ended up losing out and going 3-5. I considered switching decks for the next ptq, but after talking about it with a friend, ended up sticking with this deck. I changed 1 BoP into a MD Mindcensor, the deathrite into SoLaS, and a basic into a third Wildwood. This is the deck I played at the PTQ today:
I've always wanted to play an all singleton sideboard, and decided this deck was probably my best chance to actually do it well.
Round 1: Mono-Blue Tron
G1 I mulligan into a 1 land hand with triple Noble Hierarch and a Qasali Pridemage. I attack him down to 4 when he casts Wurmcoil Engine, which I Path and swing for lethal.
Sideboard: Again I didn't take many notes, but I believe I brought in Silence, Thalia, Pridemage and Teeg.
G2 I get some Lingering Souls tokens and an Aven Mindcensor, and despite his Oblivion Stone apply enough pressure to kill him
Round 2: Naya Pod
G1 I get a t2 Teeg, a t4 Linvala, and somewhere in there an Aven Mindcensor which Stone Rains him. He responds to my Fauna Shaman's ability with a mindcensor of his own, which forces me to take Pontiff and use it to destroy his only fliers.
Sideboard: Teeg, Baneslayer, Mindcensor, Pontiff and possibly Elspeth and the sword.
G2 I don't have a play until t3, when I evoke Shriekmaw to take down his Deciever Exarch. I get a Liege baneslayer and mindcensor and go aggro. We reach a board state where im swinging with baneslayer, mindcensor, wildwood and liege into a hierarch Glen-Elendra Archmage and I think Wall of Roots. He tries flashing in a Restoration Angel targeting the Archmage. I respond by pathing the angel. He plays to protect his combo and taps hierarch to pay for Archmage, leaving him with only 2 blockers and no way to survive my attack.
Round 3: Junk
G1 I get t1 hierarch t2 smiter, and he never catches up to the assault.
Sideboard: Sword, Elspeth, Thrun, Baneslayer and pridemage in case he has Batterskull (which he did, but never drew)
G2 He uses discard spells and Tidehollow Sculler to take out the relevant cards in my hand. When I play Smiter, he path's it then uses Shadow of Doubt to keep me from getting a land. He then cracks his fetch but cant search so just passes the turn. I however never draw anything relevant and just die to sculler beats.
G3 I get Thrun and Smiters in play, then use Shamans to tutor up Lieges until he dies.
Round 4: Bogle
G1 he gets an aggressive draw with Bogle Rancor and Keen Sense. He overruns me with his auras which I cant really do anything about
Sideboard: Elspeth Sword baneslayer and Spellskite
G2 I use pridemages to keep his bogle at a decent size, pontiff away his Scouts, then try to stabilize with Baneslayer. It doesn't work as he draws too many good Auras for me to deal with, and I just die. I might have had a chance to win had I played Baneslayer a turn earlier and used pontiff later, but my opponent played very well. When I left the event he was playing in the semifinals.
Round 5: Living End
G1 I have Thalia early and can swarm him before he reaches the 5 lands needed to cascade into Living End. With him at 4 lands, I swing for lethal. He then exiles Simian Spirit Guide and cascades and I just die.
Sideboard: RiP, Relic, and Thalia
G2 I don't have many lands, but a few manadorks and some paths. My gameplan is to apply pressure without overextending into Living End, then when he goes off path both of my manadorks and start dropping Baneslayers. Turns out he never draws a cascade spell, and my Spirit tokens get there.
G3 doesn't go very well. He cycles a lot of things early, I draw no hate, and he kills me quite easily.
Round 6: UWR Angels
G1 I beat face with Smiters while he gets stuck on 2 lands. When he starts drawing lands, its too late
Sideboard: Teeg, Thalia, Elspeth, Thrun, Baneslayer, Sword
G2 I get a thrun liege and baneslayer in play. He gets a Baneslayer of his own, which I then kill with Shriekmaw. he is able to Lightning Helix my liege, then Pyroclasm away most of my board, but he has no way to kill Thrun
Round 7: UWR Aggro
G1 he gets aggressive with Steppe Lynx, using path plus Snapcaster Mage to clear my board early and force through damage. I manage to stabilize and resolve a Baneslayer, which he cant answer
Sideboard: Elspeth, Sword, Thrun, Thalia, Baneslayer
G2 He gets a Geist, uses Echoing Truth to bounce my blockers, and snapcaster to do it again.
G3 I get a t3 Thrun, which I can tell by his body language my opponent cant beat.
Round 8: Griselbrand Reanimator Combo
My opponent and I had been playing next to each other all day, so we both knew what the other was playing. This leads to a very laid back match, a great way to end a tournament.
G1 he reanimates Griselbrand on turn 3, then immediately announces that he will be drawing 14. I respond with a Path, and after discarding his extra cards, he passes the turn back. I rip Linvala off the top and tap out to play her, despite having another path in hand. He Soul Spikes linvala and combos off.
Sideboard: Baneslayer, Thalia, Teeg, Rip, and Relic
G2 I have t1 hierarch followed by t2 relic. I keep mana up for relic while using my other mana to try and apply some pressure. My baneslayer gets there (the protection from demons ability can actually shut down his entire combo)
G3 he leads off with an exiled Spirit Guide into Faithless Looting, discarding some griselbrands, then passes. I get t1 relic and pass. My opponent then realizes that he forgot to play a land turn 1. Had he played it, he would have been able to combo off turn 2. Instead, he uses his second turn to cast a second Looting. I rip RiP off the top, which he has no way to play around.
6-2 was good enough for 13th place, getting me 18 packs of Gatecrash and an overall record over 3 PTQs with the deck of 16-9.
Overall the deck played very well all day. In the MD, the only card that didn't hold its weight was Sword of Light and Shadow, which I never drew, so I don't know if its worth playing or not. In the sideboard, I never drew Sword of Fire and Ice or Elspeth, and never brought in Kataki or Creeping Corrosion. If I had it to do over again, I would probably move thrun into the MD and SoLaS into the board, then find room for some more gy hate in the board.
Pod's not too awful post-board or if you get a super lucky opening hand with Linvala and a Mindcensor in it.
Soul Sisters and Martyr are really slow, grindy, and unfun. My experience with the deck has generally been <50%, too.
Really you picked a couple of particularly unfun m/u's.
I can't speak for the versions without Fauna Shaman, but when playing lists like the one i posted above, there is no match id rather play than vs Pod variants. Kiki-pod is an easier matchup than Melira Pod, but either way your in for a close, highly interactive match. Game 1 comes down to how many relevant hatebears we can get, and Game 2 and Game 3 usually come down to Baneslayer Angel/Gavony Township battles, where we end up winning because we can make our dudes bigger and we have more removal. I cant put a percentage on how good the matchup is, but its certainly favorable.
Soul Sisters and Martyr however i agree completely. The matches really arent that fun. The Soul Sisters matchup comes down to how easily we can deal with their 6/6 Serra Ascendant and their horde of spirit tokens, and the Martyr matchup usually comes down to how many baneslayers we can start beating face with. I havent played either enough to know exactly how good the matchups vs those 2 are, but they have always felt unfavorable.
I'm going to probably build this version to get started into modern and doing tournaments, I'm a bit new to the modern format, been a vintage player, I don't get a couple choices in the deck...Why is he playing an avacyn's pilgrim and why the baneslayer angel of all the choices? I really don't like the last card usually, but I'm a bit unsure on why the pilgrim in the first place.
Also I'll probably have to cut the hierarch's out unless I can extend my budget, would you think it can still work somehow or should I proxy them and go with that untill I can get them? Kinda wanted to invest in some other staples too but I have to cut something here and there to make that...
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Vintage nostalgic, WUB Fish control/aggro addicted.
Legacy:RUG Temur Delver
Modern: ??? undecided.
BSA is ideal for the deck- offensively and defensively strong. Finishes games against burn decks (Rx deck wins), holds off any midrange deck, comes down t4 often enough.
There is an argument for bird no 3 over pilgrim perhaps.
You could squeeze a tech edge out in favour of a gavony that would make BOP more attractive. Hierachs are rather good, but a budget version could be 4 bop 3 pilgrim.
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People with belligerent signatures are trying to compensate for something....
If you can find a way to fit a playset of Hierarchs into your budget, i highly recommend it. Its hands down the best manadork you can play in this deck and can win you games that no other manadork can. I won a game in my last ptq off of a 1 land hand with three hierarchs. I didnt draw a single land for the rest of the game, but just beat face with triple exalted triggers.
2-0 vs. GB Fauna Vengevine Homebrew
Game 1 - All I remember is seeing him get out deathrite shamans and fauna shaman, pitching 2 vengevines and searching for another vengevine. Ended up killing him with mirran crusader and I think a sword of war and peace over a couple turns.
Game 2 - Thinking he was playing a dredge deck, I board in RIP and my 2nd linvala and took out spellskite, smiters, and a sword or something like that. Think I put out a turn 2 aven mindcensor, 3 linvala that he GftT'ed, then playing my 2nd linvala the turn after and just swinging in the whole time.
He let me look at his deck afterwards and I felt it seemed like a janky homebrew involving decent 4 or 5 cmc creatures, fauna shaman, deathrites, bops, and vengevines
0-2 vs. GR Aggro
Game 1 - He was swinging in with creatures like normal, none of the goblin guide triggers worked. I have a choice turn 5 of BSA at about 13 or so life, or sword equip and attack. Chose BSA. He uses his singleton dismember on his turn and swings in so I'm down to about 5. Too late for me to play swords and equip to gain enough life to stabilize since I had to keep up blockers (only mana dorks left). So I play swords and keep two blockers out. He puts in a haste creature or something like that and swings for game.
Game 2 - Think I boarded in Thrun and spellskites and boarded out Linvala, and mindcensors? Not too sure anymore. All I remember is I just had a red bull around start of round 2 and it was kicking in, so I forgot to play a land on turn 2 though I would've lost that game too with how my draws went (goblin guides missed again and his draws were better than mine) I had a BSA in hand and a thrun, but was stuck at 3 lands
Aggro is a hard matchup if I can't stabilize with an early sword/BSA
2-0 vs RUG with vials
Game 1 - saw island, vial turn 1. Got really afraid I was paired with a fish deck. Vial turn 2, no fishes came out. Only snaps, cliques, cryptics, other counters etc. Think I won game one on the back of small creatures with a sword.
Game 2 - boarded in torpors, thruns and boarded out spellskite, linvala, and elspeth and 1 path I think. turn 1 dork, turn 2 flash mindcensor, turn 3 thrun, turn 4 torpor orb and crusader. Win off the back of thrun, crusader, and mana denial
Vial surprised me and made me scared for a second even though I got paired down since people say fish has a favorable matchup vs hatebears. Once I realized it was RUG, I played the same way I play UWR. Get stuff out. Sword if I can. Deny mana.
2-0 vs UWR Gifts
Game 1 - Mindcensor at his EoT and swing in for 2 multiple times until he gets out clique. I path it, play thalia, deny mana, swing when I can.
Game 2 - thinking he was just normal UWR, I board in torpor orbs, thruns, take out linvala, spellskite, and 2 saders. For the most part, mindcensor at his EoT wait for counter, stick out sword, land a single creature to equip to, and swing.
Got paired up because he chose to tie with someone for a prior round. Not completely sure exactly how these games went since they were over pretty fast and weren't too memorable. Didn't see gifts either game, but someone told me later that he was playing a gifts deck. UWR feels fairly straightforward though. Bait out mana, play swords, deny mana, win.
Got paired down to someone at 2-2 and he wanted to leave, so he gave me the win. Since everyone else was drawing, I ended up being top seed in top 8
2-1 vs kikipod 1
Game 1 - I had my hate out, but he didn't need to find anything so his deck played against mine with creatures and their EtB effects. I lost this one.
Game 2 - board in Linvala and orb. T2 arbiter, T3 mindcensor, T4 orb, got out a crusader. Realized he was tapped out one turn. Double ghost quarter while I have 6 lands and he has 4, pathed something, he pathed something, I held a spare path in my hand just in case. Then just kept swinging. This one was my win
Game 3 - I curved out really well. T1 noble, turn 2 mindcensor, turn 3 sader, turn 4 elspeth. Basically won at this point, but for good measure, turn 5 BSA
Was almost positive going into this that I had amazing chances vs pod, but game 1 shook me. Lost almost all my confidence after that. Luckily, I was able to hate him out games 2 and 3. Was curious at how all my creatures stayed alive. Found out he only had 3 paths and they were sb.
Top 4 QF
2-1 vs kikipod 2
Game 1 - for some reason, I kept a hand with 2 horizons, 3 nobles, and 2 swords. Needless to say, my hate didn't come out until after he had a pretty good board position. Most memorable part of this game was when he pod'ed his wall for an izzet statiscaster and killed all 3 of my nobles along with 2 of his own (he had forgot that it hit his too). Needless to say, he won after stabilizing his board presence. Think it was a close game though.
Game 2 - same boarding strategy as vs kikipod 1. This time, I had relevant hatebears. Advanced my board position while delaying his as per usual. Think I ended up winning this one mostly due to bop with a sword while keeping his field down with the usual hatebears. Was a very close game, but once I got out BSA, I stabilized and won.
Game 3 - This game was down to the wire. I put out T2 arbiter, T3 arbiter. He put out the usual dorks and a redcap and proceeds to swing and pump with gavony. By the time I tec edged his gavony, his dorks were 3/3s and his redcap was 4/4. I put out a BSA, and kept myself in the game. I put out a crusader, and he puts out a thrun. I keep swinging with BSA to gain life back. At one point he blocks with his bop and uses restoration angel to save it so I can't gain life either and I'm down to about 6 at this point. I flash in mindcensor. I have 6 lands and he has 4 - one of which is an arid. I triple ghost quarters him and he manages to find a mountain off of one of the triggers. He has 2 mana dorks at the time. He swings with redcap, thrun and resto I block thrun with sader, chump redcap and take resto so I'm down to 3. I swing with BSA and go up to 8 when he chumps with his bop. Think he's at 8 at this point too. He tries to arid mesa to get lands for the kiki he drew the turn after I popped all his lands. He ends up missing and, to boot, his next card would've been a path which would've saved him from my BSA. I end up keeping guys on the field to chump with and swing with BSA to gain life and deal damage.
All three games here were ridiculously close. Especially game 3 where I kill all his lands the turn before he draws kiki and then where he passed up path when he cracks his arid.
Top 2 SF
1-2 vs Jund
Game 1 - This game took a long time since we had a fairly complex board state. I get out an early BSA that stick and get him down to 5 before he gets an olivia voldaren big enough to prevent me from attacking. I kill his red sources aside from his shamans and have arbiter out to prevent him from searching. He steals my BSA one turn. I play BSA #2. He attacks with my BSA and I take it. I topdeck'ed a path and didn't realize that once olivia dies, I get my BSA out, so I sat there for a long time trying to calculate my best option. Ended up choosing to path his voldaren and play elspeth to pump up and attack with my BSA to bring him down to about 8 and bring me back up. He gives me back BSA to my pleasant surprise. I with 2 BSA and some chumpers, I end up winning.
Game 2 - Boarded in RIP, boarded out linvala, spellskite, and one mindcensor. Kept a hand with 1 land, 2 mana dorks and some other relevant cards since I was on the draw. Needless to say, I drew a 3rd mana dork and sat on 1 land for a couple turns. Put out some hate and an RIP to make his goyf and shaman basically useless. Then he jund charms and I'm left with one land. I drew some lands the next two turns, but he inquisitioned to take out the one creature I could play and got stuff out to finish me off.
Game 3 - first hand had 1 land 1 mana dork, so I mull. Would've had no lands for a couple turns after looking at the top couple cards. 2nd hand 1 land some dorks and some hate, but the land was a tec edge. So I have to mull yet again. Again, wouldn't have drawn any lands for awhile with this hand too. So down to 5 cards, I have 2 lands, 2 dorks,and a path. He puts out a bob turn 2 lili turn 3 and wrecks my hand some more. Lili has 4 counters when I can put out a mirran crusader. He edicts it with lili so she's at 2. At this point I have no creatures out and he's hitting me with a bob (I pathed the first and got a 2nd). I have a BSA in hand and am hoping for a land so I can at least get rid of lili. Sure enough, not a land, so he gets to + lili and the game degenerates as I have no way to stabilize/progress my board state when he can kill my hand and edict any single creature I play. I play it out just in case he misplayed. I end up losing.
All in all, I really liked this list. It's really well positioned in the meta. No matchups feel terrible except some lists that aren't all too popular and/or consistent such as fish or rdw (just a presumption since I've never actually been paired with either of these). Some matchups in this meta feel like a bye. Land disruption when I have a better board position is brutal. Especially when there's no "penalty" involved with my disruption because of mindcensors/arbiters. I feel the best cards today (other than the kit required for the land disruption) were BSA, crusaders, and swords. They won me so many games. Elspeth as a singleton is mostly because I like elspeth and she's always pretty good. As a singleton, she worked out pretty well when I played her (usually because I had a sader or a BSA to pump up) I don't think there's anything in my deck I'd change right now except the qasali in the sb (gonna be a kataki once I can get it). I do notice though that people are surprised when I board in RIP against Jund. My reasoning is that DRS and goyf become mostly useless (and if they run souls, then it's half as good). I've never felt bad having RIP against Jund unless I have more than 1. Orb is a great sb card against decks like uwr and pod. Also, people are surprised that I board my spellskite fairly often. My spellskites are mostly for the aura/infect matchup more so than to protect my creatures. I tend to board them out even against decks with lots of removal because I prefer to cast things that either progress my board state or delay my opponent's board state. Spellskite merely stabilizes my board state from being delayed by my opponent, but playing it instead of a more relevant card tends to feel like I'm already delaying myself by playing it. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but I dunno. I'll have to test it more thoroughly some time.
Mostly so I don't feel bad running RIP's sb, partly because the active doesn't play well with arbiters out, and, tbh, partly because I don't have any quite right now and wouldn't know what to take out for them. If I needed generic 3cmc beaters, smiter and crusader already do wonders and are consistent rather than variable. They also have different forms of evasion and make matchups much better vs control and vs GB midrange/tempo variants respectively.
So played in a ptq yesterday and did not realize there is an apparently popular r/g aggro list going around. Played it twice and got steam rolled both times.
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Its something you got to add into your gaultet. Unlike before, Modern has a stable aggro in town.
G/w used to be able to capitalize by not being the "Best" midrange but make up for it with its hate bears. It usually has low removal count. If you let Gruul zoo do its things for a few early turns, your half past dead in mid game.
older lists used to run dismembers as well as paths. Time to pack removal like that again?