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  • posted a message on The Sportsmanship of Conceding
    Chiming in with the perspective of someone who has played on the pro tour more times than I have played games of commander: I would scoop in most cases if it hurt the player attacking me.

    Lets use the example of 3 players.

    Player A (You) has nothing in hand/play, is at 10 life. Your deck is full of removal spells.
    Player B has a 10/10 lifelink and is at 2 life.
    Player C has a mage-ring bully and has 30 life.

    Turn order is player A, then player B, then player C. After passing the turn, I will warn player B that if he attacks me (killing me), I will concede to the attack, then he will lose to mage-ring bully, which must attack (lets assume B drew land). If on the other hand he attacks player C, there is still a very real chance that I as player A will come back and win.

    So, clearly strategic concession raises my win % here. It also raises your win % in the case of the insurrection example - if the insurrection player knows you will concede if it resolves, then they will be less likely to case it there. Basically, I will always try and damage the player who finises me off in multiplayer as much as possible. I will cultivate a reputation of using everything I have against the player that brings me down (but only if Im actually about to lose).

    Now, is this mindset practical in casual? Probably not - hence why I dont play casual magic much. However, if a bunch of people with competitive mindsets all decide to play a multiplayer game with cash on the line - then it seems this type of behavior makes sense.

    TL;DR depends on play group IMHO.

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Right now, I'm practicing Tyler Hill's maindeck list, but my SB has -1 Hurkyl's Recall, -3rd Spellskite, -1 Wall of Roots and +4th Nature's Claim, +2 Dispel (<- still does their work against Burn and other decks); and my Relics are Tormod's Crypts. Really happy with how the deck runs. I just can't grasp one thing:

    @MrPhysics: Do you board out the 3 Might of Old Krosas against any decks? If so, which ones? :/ I'm having difficulty making the decision because of the raw power it provides.

    I think I board out 1-2 might vs twin, because its awkward when they can just tap your guy in response, and possibly the mirror.

    Im also not a huge fan of dispel vs burn. You dont have much blue mana, because you cant afford to fetch + shock easily. I often try to win without ever getting blue. It also doesnt even counter lava spike. Its mainly useful if they have a card like crackling doom or deflecting palm, but Id rather have G: gain 3 in most other cases in that matchup.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Quote from matus198 »
    Quote from MrPhysics13 »
    @MrPhysics13 WHOA :))) Totally comprehensive, thanks so much sir. :)) The deck makes better sense to me now haha XD I understood the 2 Sylvan Scryings 'cuz this deck draws into lesser Infect dorks compared to MonoGreen Infect, and it helps push Inkmoths against Control and BG/x Midrange. The FOUR Wild Defiance is interesting
    :)) After a lot of goldfishing, I think I'll practise a tweaked list revolving around your build >.< (I couldn't grasp or be comfortable with the CFB Pantheon build XD Also Huey Jensen said in his latest article that their team's list was built on an element of surprise basis, whereas yours was derived from traditional lists of UG Infect)

    Thank you again so much!

    I didnt have 4 wild defiance, I had 2 - my list has been widely misreported.

    Please MrPhysics13 what do you have instead of these 2 Wild Defiances? Thanks

    Ultra_Magnus posted the correct list earlier in the thread.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    @MrPhysics13 WHOA :))) Totally comprehensive, thanks so much sir. :)) The deck makes better sense to me now haha XD I understood the 2 Sylvan Scryings 'cuz this deck draws into lesser Infect dorks compared to MonoGreen Infect, and it helps push Inkmoths against Control and BG/x Midrange. The FOUR Wild Defiance is interesting
    :)) After a lot of goldfishing, I think I'll practise a tweaked list revolving around your build >.< (I couldn't grasp or be comfortable with the CFB Pantheon build XD Also Huey Jensen said in his latest article that their team's list was built on an element of surprise basis, whereas yours was derived from traditional lists of UG Infect)

    Thank you again so much!

    I didnt have 4 wild defiance, I had 2 - my list has been widely misreported.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    @MrPhysics Could you share us the reasons for your sideboard choices and 1-ofs in the maindeck in your Pro Tour list? Thank you so much! Smile

    Since you asked nicely ;).

    There were generally two reasons - I had tested so much that I knew I wanted certain exact ratios of cards with certain functions in my deck, and secondly, I really wanted as many sideboard slots as possible, so I decided to mainboard some sideboard cards.

    I believe I had 4 1-ofs in the maindeck - probe, dismember, spell pierce, and become immense.

    For a very long time, I actually had 2 dismember main and 2 side, since I really liked dismember against pod (full 4 copies post side).I still liked it vs twin and abzan and affinity, but it is obviously terrible vs burn,amulet, and scapeshift. Even vs slower versions of zoo I liked it. I also learned before the event that pantheon was on infect. Given my expected meta, I knew I wanted 2 dismember in my 75, but felt it was good enough vs the expected field that it was fine to maindeck one copy to save a sideboard slot.

    Become immense I tested a lot as both a 1-of and as a 2-of. I felt the PT meta was going to be slightly more combo heavy than it was, were might of old krosa is usually better. Obviously BI is worse in multiples, so I went with the 'safe' option of a single copy.

    The miser's spell pierce has always been good to me. Its definitely not something you want to draw multiple of, but it is devastating if it works. Also, casting spell pierce g1 is great since if you get them with it, they will play around it all match not knowing your a madman with exactly 1 spell pierce. Also, I knew I wanted at least 2 pierce (and possibly a dispel if I could fit it), so maindecking a copy saves me another sideboard slot. Also note that the above 3 cards are typically bad in multiples, Id almost always rather have 1 dismember and 1 spell pierce than 2 of either.

    The 1-of probe is because I feel this deck works best with 20.3 lands, but I cant play 20.3 lands, so I play 20 lands and a probe. Probe is actually a really great card, but becomes less important once you have a ton of experience with the deck. Your lifetotal really matters, and Im already maindecking bad cards vs burn (dismember), so I really cant afford to play many probes. Finally, its also a card thats bad in multiples, just like all my other 1-ofs

    Also, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I planned on top 8ing (I plan on winning every tournament I enter, thats just the competitive mindset I have) - I really felt like my modern prep was outstanding, and I got some very good draft advice the day or two before the PT. Imagine your my opponent and have my list - its much harder to play around all these random 1-ofs than if I just used 3 spell pierce for example.

    On the sideboard:

    3 nature's claim/1 hurkyl's recall: The recall was my 15th sideboard card, going into the PT, Id planned on having a 3rd relic, but changed my mind to wanting a dispel, then I tried to find fog, but the vendors didnt have it, so I settled on recall. Now, the only matchup where Id want all 4 claims is affinity, and if thats true, then I feel like hurkyl's recall is better than claim vs affinity (at least the first copy, Id probably rather have 2 claim than 2 recall, but id rather have 1 of each than 2 claim). 3 claims is needed vs burn, so I didnt seriously consider fewer copies. Its also nice vs affinity, and in general is very solid vs an open field, nature's claim is simply a very versatile card

    1 dismember - as before, I already have 1 main, and id like a second vs the mirror, abzan, twin, etc. Dismember is another card thats good to have as an option - for example, I like a couple copies vs storm, as I find its very difficult for them to race me without electromancer.

    1 spell pierce - pierce stops things like blood moon and living end and wrath (not verdict, but people often respect thrun). You really want at least 2 pieces of countermagic in infect, if not more

    1 dryad arbor - amazing vs abzan, 'ok' vs non-combo. This card is just all around reasonable, although drawing it sucks. I probably shoudlve just maindecked it - then id get another sb slot!

    2x relic - as mentioned previously, Id considered a third relic. You never know when you will face dredge or living end (it was key in both my wins vs living end!) or gifts -> rites. Also, Against abzan I liked it, and I also like it vs things like temur twin. Liking relic so much is another reason I didnt overload on become immense

    1x spellskite - great vs boggles and burn - ok in the mirror, either great of mediocre vs twin (bad vs grudge)

    1x wall of roots - I really wanted a card specifically for burn, and this was the best I could come up with. Spellskite, while great, can be hard to use since you have to shock for blue mana, and they usually have smash to smithereens post side. Generally speaking, Id rather turn 2 wall than spellskite vs burn, whereas spellskite it much better later, and for ths reason I went with a 3/1 split in the 75

    2x twisted image : Once again, amazing in the mirror, and I knew pantheon was on infect (and I was legitimately afraid of their 3x twisted image). I also bring it in in a ton of matches since the upside is so high and the downside is so low, especially once you factor in wild defiance

    2x viridian corrupter: Since I skimped on become immense, my list is a bit weaker vs chalice. I like having at least 4 answers to chalice in my deck, and once again - I like this card in the mirror, since it will often trade with a guy and a pump spell, and furthermore, can eat opposing skites. I also like corrupter in matches where I dont like skite, but have artifacts that arent critical to kill, but that I incidentally want to kill, for example, vs a deck like merfolk (aether vial) or hatebears (vial, splicer tokens). When corrupter is good - its often really good, and I like having this type of high impact card in my side.

    Hope that helps

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Pro Tour Fate Reforged - Modern Discussion
    Pod is actually fine. You need to change your deck to be weaker to burn, but with pod in the format burn is less played by far. Also, pod being played means more scapeshift and tron, both excellent infect matchups.

    It wasnt pod holding infect down, it was delver. With delver gone, infect has all good matchups Wink Before the PT, pre KTK I played 3 modern PTQs to a combined record of 19-5-1, I believe going 4-0 against pod.

    My modern record at the PT was 9-1 with infect.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Quote from BurnyFaceBoy »
    I intend to, but its taken me nearly 6 months to finish my current list.

    What I was really asking is does my list look ok?

    Sure... any infect list will look 'ok' thats one of the major draws it seems, you can build a list that will do reasonable for a cheap price. That said, if you want to improve the deck, splash blue as suggested. If you arent looking to make changes... I dunno what to tell you other than 'fine for FNM, not fine for more competitive events'
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Quote from Alix444 »
    So phyrexian crusader seems hard to answer, it's basically decay or bust right?

    I want to play BUG infect this is half to create my future list, but it is also for criticism if anyone would obligate.

    Playing basic island is bad in U/G infect typically, but worse in a 3 color list. As general advise, unless you are a mana base expert (and honestly, who is?) then simply copy the mana base of similar decks that have been played at the pro tour level. The fact you are playing a 3/2 mana dork split just to make the mana work is a giant red flag. Path is not a huge part of the meta currently, which leads me to believe that some combination of spellskite and wild defiance while sticking to 2 color is better than 3 color. The current meta heavily pressures life totals with burn/delver, so taking a ton off your manabase and gitaxian probes is not ideal.

    If your goal is to win tournaments, I would copy a successful tournament list (i.e. top8 an event with 100+ players) and test it as much as you can in a competitive setting. Make changes to the sideboard based on your expected meta, and incremental changes to the maindeck.

    Do not copy a list off these forums. 95% of them are quite suboptimal. Pre-KTK I wouldve said go read a tom ross article but the corrupter version is pretty bad in the delver/burn meta.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Current Modern Banlist Discussion (7/14/2014 - 1/19/2015)
    Quote from ktkenshinx »

    So am I to assume that you haven't seen this as of yet? http://www.starcitygames.com/article/29484_Daily-Digest-Banworthy.html

    Ugh, yeah I saw that too. At first, I didn't think it was as bad as the Woo one. Gerry's Daily Digest has a much smaller word count and he definitely can't cram in all sorts of research or in-depth analysis in there. He also doesn't write his own headlines and summaries (nor does Woo, in fact), so I can't fault him for the article's presentation on the front page. That's all SCG and all CF. And after all, isn't Gerry just presenting the deck for our education?

    Well, it turns out he isn't doing that at all. He's actually just as much on the hype train as Woo. In fact, it's even worse in this case because Daily Digest is supposed to just be a deck spotlight. Instead, Gerry uses his normally neutral deck spotlight as a ban mania outburst. He has one paragraph about how the deck plays, and it would be a stretch to think you could read that paragraph and actually know how to play the deck. Most other spotlights talk a lot more about the deck itself. In this one, Gerry devotes his word count to more ban hyperbole, with such choice quotes as:

    "The main issue with the deck is that it has an Eggs-level boredom factor. When combo-ing off, this deck can take a while, which can be painful for both spectators and the opponent, who has unwillingly become a spectator."
    "What do y'all think? Banworthy or can we adapt? If we can, is it worth it allowing a deck like this to stay in the format?"
    "What makes this deck so special? Why do people hate it existing so much? Why do people feel like it's unbeatable?"

    In fact, you could quote the entire article except that second paragraph and you would just be quoting ban-mania hyperbole. He talks about an Eggs-level boredom factor without actually giving any comparison of combo turn lengths. He asks if the deck is banworthy but then gives no reasons on the "no" side, and only speculative reasons on the "yes" side. He asks questions about why it is special and unbeatable, and then doesn't even answer them. It would have taken one sentence to mention some of the deck's results, but neither Gerry nor Woo can be bothered with any modicum of evidence.

    What happens in articles like this? Just see the Comments sections of both Woo's and Gerry's. They are swarming with ban maniacs, each one less critical than the last. These authors should be ashamed at their lack of objectivity and research, which just makes the format look bad, make Wizards look bad, and overall perpetuates a Modern culture that we have fought so hard to get away from in the last 2 years.

    Then again, I will say that I might be too harsh on Woo and Gerry T. It is possible that they have marching orders from their sites which instruct them to be as ban crazed and uncritical as possible, or at least to do enough of that to garner views and draw site traffic. If that's the case, then I redirect my criticism of the authors to their host sites. But either way, the end result is the same.

    There are two reasons to call for a ban, one calls for a ton of data and critical analysis, while the other does not.

    Reason 1 is that the deck is too strong for the meta. As you point out, this remains to be seen. I am personally something like 5-0 in matches against this deck with infect. I adjusted my side after the deck came out by a maybe 1 or 2 cards as I expected to see it. Also, we can imagine if affinity came out but no one had affinity hate in their sideboards. Affinity would seem like the best deck. Also, I imagine if twin didnt exist before but suddenly 'appeared' it would seem overpowered, as people wouldnt know how to play around the combo.

    Reason 2 is that this deck violates wizards stated and/or implied vision of the modern format. People usually bring up two points in this regard: 2a: The deck wins on turn 3 consistently. To me, this point has always been a bit bogus. Every single disruption-light combo deck in the format is trying to win by turn 3, as otherwise they couldnt race the incredibly consistent turn 4 aggro decks. I play infect, and get turn 3 kills all the time. At the last GP in the infect mirror I think one player killed turn 3 while also dismembering and thoughtseizing his opponent. In another game a player had a turn 2 goldfish kill. That player lost. I dont think the deck has a particularly faster goldfish than infect (it probably is faster on average, but infect could probably become faster at the cost of some resiliency). Reason 2b: the deck takes turns that are too long, and there is a precedent (eggs), that such decks will be banned. This is more of a problem for online magic as compared to paper magic. In paper, this deck doesnt take significantly longer than a storm player comboing with an active pyromancer's ascension. The main difference is that its better than storm, so you are more likely to play against it.

    Now, I do personally think the deck is strong enough to be format warping to some degree, but some warping is probably helpful to keep the the format from being stale. Maybe cards like meddling mage start to see more play... is that a bad thing? Maybe the fact that ascendancy forces people to play narrower cards will allow other decks to be better. Its possible the deck is too good, but without several high profile tournament successes I feel like its too soon to say it should be banned.

    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Become Immense
    Quote from izzetmage »
    In Infect:
    Quote from me
    It's not worth playing. By the time you have enough cards in your graveyard to reduce it to 2 or less, you have either already given them 10 poison counters, or they killed all your creatures. So the game is basically decided at that point: you've either won already, or lost (and Become Immense won't do anything to change that loss into a win).

    Izzetmage, I respect your opinion as one of the few infect players who appears to know what they are talking about, and I agree that when viewed solely as a pump spell, become immense is not quite there.

    However, I view it as a sideboard card, that isnt the worst thing to maindeck. Ive been in the habit of maindecking 'sideboard' cards in infect for quite some time (wild defiance, spellskite, dismember), and they have typically served me well. The fact is that wild defiance is quite a bad 'pump spell', but its real purpose is an anti hate card, not just against the obvious (burn spells), but also against the less obvious (chalice on 1, spellskite)

    Become immense has many of the same signatures in infect. As a pump spell, it doesnt come down on time. In almost any scenario involving become immense killing on turn 3, another pump spell would have sufficed. Building your deck around become immense by playing a ton of fetches and maxing out on probes is making you unneccesarily weak to burn for a 1-2 of pump spell that isnt even that amazing. These are the points against the card, and they arent all unreasonable.

    However, lets consider the 'non-obvious' uses of the card. First and foremost is shrinking goyf, an admittedly minor consideration, but not entirely irrelevant. Secondly, this is a pump spell that can be played through chalice. This will only come up a small fraction of the time, but when it does, it will be single handedly game winning. Thirdly, this card cannot be taken by inquizition of kozilek. This is another not super important but potentially very impactful when it matters type thing.

    Lastly, this makes winning through 'ordinary damage' reasonably easier. I would say games vs BG/x decks often each this situation vs me (~20% of the time). Also, it comes up any time an opponent chords for melira. These opponents typically take at least 5 from lands/dismember/thoughtseize, so killing with ordinary damage is a real thing, and the extra 2 points will frequently matter significantly.

    Although I would side it out vs burn, its also worth noting that you dont damage yourself when you cast it through Eidolon of the Great Revel.

    Finally, as long as some infect players use it, it will be a card the opponent has to consider, much like slaughter pact (is a card infect players must often consider). This is a minor point, but its nice to always keep an opponent guessing.

    Finally, I think that simply casting this for 3 mana will often be fine. I.e. they kill your turn 1 fetch into elf. You then play shockland into blighted agent. Turn 3 you play an inkmoth, and mutagenic growth, exile 3, play become immense for 3, and hit for 9. They untap, and can deal with your agent, but not your inkmoth. Obviously this scenario is contrived, but it is illustrative of the fact that its not wholly unreasonable for become immense to be cast for 2-3 on turn 3, and help use inkmoth mana effectively.

    Im not 100% sold on it yet, since its very hard to get a good sense of a 1-2 of without a lot of testing, but I do think become immense is worth testing, and definitely something to keep in mind, especially if, say, chalice becomes much more popular in sideboards due to a deck like jeskai ascendancy storm.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    BUG infect is better against tron than UG infect preboard, although of course it depends on decklist. Tron doesnt punish your 3 color mana, and plague stinger is essentially a blighted agent that dodges combust (althought GR tron might not bring in combust vs BUG infect).

    Honestly though, its such a good matchup... I wouldnt be particularly worried. Id spend more time playtesting and learning the deck than worrying about your absolute best matchup in the format.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    I test(ed) regularly against a RG tron player who recently used it to qualify for the Pro Tour.

    The view from the R/G tron side:
    1) They may have 1-2 chalice of the void, which also helps against burn. Also, expect players to tweak their sideboards in small local metas.
    2) They board out O-stone and board in things like nature's claim and combust and spellskite.
    3) They will keep high risk high reward hands since they are such huge underdogs.

    The view from the U/G infect side:
    1) Since the matchup is so good, you want to avoid losing to hate cards like spellskite and chalice if possible
    2) You want to maximize consistency, i.e. maximimize how many infect creatures you have.
    3) Play around the spells they could have and sequence properly. This especially applies to leaving up pendlehaven vs pyroclasm, deciding to play around chalice/spellskite by playing your spells early, and holding up vines to beat karn.
    4) Mulligan fairly aggressively. You can easily win on a 5 card hand, and easily lose on a 6 card hand that doesnt do anything for 2 turns.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Quote from Chudd215 »
    I'm thinking of making the UG build or maybe a BUG build with the reprinted fetches, Overgrown Tomb, and Breeding Pool. Would Birds of Paradise be a suitable substitute for Noble Hierarch? I know that I wouldn't get exalted triggers, but Birds does tap for black so I can use it for Plague Stinger.

    Id probably add thoughtseize or inquisition of kozilek to a BUG infect deck before I would add birds of paradise.

    @Horrible: More like, your opponent dismembers, thoughteizes, and shocks themselves to 10 vs infect. Then you apostle's blessing, vines, groundswell your slaughterhorn and just kill them. Also, I was referring to his red build with ghor clan and assault strobe. If you turn 3 the ghor clan, it is not at all unreasonable to kill turn 4 or 5 with it.

    I would say I win a match every other 4 round tournament with normal damage, with 6 0 power creatures as my non-infect attackers.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    @overlord: Infect lists balance speed vs resiliency. Whenever you cut a creature and add a pump spell, you are increasing the decks speed, but lowering its resiliency.

    Given that, we can ask, what are conventional bad matchups for infect? The answer is decks that prey on its relatively low resilency with cards like path/dismember/bolt i.e. jund/junk/twin.

    This type of deck will improve your 'good' matchups while making your bad ones worse. I have a good win % vs UWR, in part because I avoid cards like distortion strike and assault strobe.

    If you really want to run RUG, Id start by cutting those distortion strikes and a strobe, and add 3 ichorclaw myr, which has good synergy with ghor-clan. if you do that, you want to strongly consider cutting mutagenic growth for rancor, and adding 1-2 more protection effects or gitaxian probes.

    Another option is to try and get clever and run slaughterhorn, with the plan of using regular damage plus assault strobe to kill with ordinary damage a reasonable fraction of the time.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Another PTQ with the deck. Another not terrible but slightly disappointing 6-2* finish. So far I am 6-2, 6-1-1, 6-2* with the deck. Ironically, my game win % this time was 70% (including a gameloss due to boneheadedly misregistering my deck), whereas when I top8'd my game win % was ~58%.

    R1: Blue Fae W
    R2: Domri Pod W
    R3: W/R twin L
    R4: UWR control W
    R5: UWR geist W
    R6: RUG Twin L
    R7: Melira Pod W
    R8*: No opponent ;/

    Losing to both twin decks, after losing to twin in the previous PTQ top4, is a bit frustrating. Im maindecking spellskites. I maindeck dismember. I am really going out of my way to improve this match, but it feels I am missing something. Perhaps more wild defiance is the trick, as it always feels great to resolve in the matchup. I used to run torpor orb side, but I dont love siding artifact hate against ancient grudge.

    It could also be my slow grindy playstyle, which I am confident playing in long games against control, is bad against a deck like twin, and I should be simply trying to 'go off' before they do.

    Thinking about it more, in 3 PTQ's Ive lost 6 times, and 4 of those times were to some type of twin combo. 3 of those times I won a game, and each win involved a resolved wild defiance. Each game I won, I was on the play... Most game 3 I felt were extremely close, then lost.

    Conclusion: Win the die roll. Win game 1. Play more wild defiance. Get lucky...

    If anyone has secret spice vs twin, let me know.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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