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  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Went 4-1 in my first league!

    Was so upset I lost to Dredge to miss the 5-0 :(. He went off by turn three both games (hit 3 of his Creeping Chills in games 1 and 3 respectively by turn 3...so I never had a chance unless I hit a pure god hand and got Karn down on 2 with a Grafdiggers Cage. May have to play Leylines (i hate that but what can you do?).

    I was excited about a 4-1 though. The deck felt good. The games were:

    1. Azorius Stoneble (Win 2-1) on play
    2. Bant Spirits (Win 2-1) on draw
    3. Dredge (Loss 1-2) on draw
    4. Storm (Win 2-0) on play
    5. Sultai Vengevine (Win 2-1) on draw

    The last game against the Vengevine deck he seemed to get stuck on turn 3 (he just didn’t hit what he needed to and gave me a turn where he only cast gravecrawler) so I can imagine on others scenarios he may have won...but I was still pleased with the deck.

    I will say for those Abundant Growth haters...it allowed me to cast an Engineered Explosives on 3 one game and allowed me to cast Oko against stoneblade...so there is some uses for it Smile

    I’m sure I made mistakes and will watch the matches to see if I can learn more/provide more insight. I honestly do think, however, (a) we may be the best Karn the Great Creator shell in the Modern format, and (b) Devotion was improved measurably with the printing of Once Upon a Time and Castle Garenbrig (even though I’m not currently playing castle). I think we are possibly consistent enough to be viable now.

    _______________

    On Pioneer

    Personally, I am a Modern player at heart. There are just too many amazing cards I would miss.

    I also feel as you go “down” in formats, skillful play and pre-thought/lines matters less and less (while the board and getting more on the board becomes more important in Pioneer). I don’t necessarily believe in general one is worse than the other. They are just different. I do think you can likely get away with one misplay in Pioneer where in Modern a misplay will normally bury you (which honestly is a positive for Pioneer).

    I do, however, believe Pioneer is a GREAT idea. It allows more people to play a non-rotating format, allows people to play the cards they’ve loved from the recent standards...and at least the decks are mildly less expensive (although not as much as I would have expected...silly cards are skyrocketing).

    I do think once bannings are done and the novelty of the format wears off it will be a little less appealing...but I like the idea of Modern being its own thing and Pioneer being its own thing (and that the formats “feel” different from one another. Could allow for more Horizons sets in the future. The more formats, the more players, the better for the game I love Smile

    I do think the novelty will wear off once the format becomes more about the four best decks and then the “rest” that are far worse; more people will get back to Modern.

    Unfortunately, I think Pioneer is actually worse for Legacy than Modern. With SCG not supporting Legacy any longer, the inherent problems with the reserved list, and the success of Modern Horizons; I don’t think Modern is going anywhere. As long as it is supported by WOTC and SCG it will thrive. Pioneer will eat into it a little; but that’s ok. Modern was like 70% of the SCG tour...so there was a little room Smile

    I do love that Green Devotion can be played in Pioneer; but it (a) isn’t the same and (b) it’s likely going to see more bans and possibly the removal of Nykthos altogether (although I think they are going to try to keep it at least until after Theros Beyond Death).

    ______

    Pioneer is the new shiny thing. Modern isn’t going anywhere yet.
    But one thing is certain....Devotion is the best deck in both formats!!!!


    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on Jeskai Tempo /Delver/Prowess ("The Jeskai Way" )
    Hi all. I have been trying a bit of a different list lately so I wanted to share it with all of you. I really wanted to give Archmage's Charm a try so I had to do a little rebuild of my deck to be able to play a UUU. Here is the list I am playing



    The cards I am currently questioning are whether they should be cut/changed are The Royal Scions, Serum Visions, and possibly Remand. I would like to have another early threat to be honest, but I'm not sure it exists yet. Hopefully we get another Delver-esque card at some point.

    I had to cut the WR cards from the main deck because it's to hard to cast them along with UUU cards. I am playing two -Deflecting Palm and Lightning Helixin the sideboard when games go a little longer.

    I have another izzet prowess build that I am going to try with reveler and swiftspear in it that I am exited about too and a wizards list. I will share those lists as well. Pioneer is kind of overshadowing modern right now, but it's a good time to brew and finalize lists for upcoming modern events.

    I will keep you all posted.

    I'm very glad to see modern again this weekend on SCG. It will be awesome to see a superior format to Pioneer again :). Pioneer is taking away a little bit of thunder from modern, but I do think both formats will co-exist in the future.


    EDIT-

    I found that the deck plays much better with pressure so I went back to my original idea and was able to 4-1 my first league. Here is the list.


    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Won my first match in league Smile

    Beat Azorius Stoneblade (2-1)

    Changed the list quite a bit since testing this weekend(wanted to test a little before playing a league).

    Granted, the first game the opponent conceded to a turn 2 Karn...but the third game was great.

    Updated List:
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from Deruvid »
    Another point to make comparing Pioneer Devotion to Modern Devotion is the relevance of Nissa, Who Shakes the World. She's generally slow for modern, and we don't often have all that many forests down early. Pioneer gives her time to shine and the inclusion of Once Upon a Time as land/creature search means that we'll generally have more lands on the battlefield in Pioneer. I do agree that the prevalence of early burn for t1 mana dorks in Modern is what largely kept Leyline of Abundance from taking off. I tried several Leyline builds in modern and none of them were as resilient as the traditional manabase. If you haven't found a leyline by t3, all you've got is a big pile of dorks that can't win.


    Very well put. Wanted to reiterate this for those coming here from Pioneer
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    My list had a hair too much set up and not enough payoff; so I’ve switched out the Jadelight Rangers for Voracious Hydra’s. Going to play a tournament if I can this afternoon.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    That seems really strong I always worried that we’d have to lose the Arbor Elf + Utopi Sprawl package with Leyline; but it’s possible we wouldn’t have to.

    I do agree that Leyline is a very top heavy card.

    And the same thing here...it’s kinda just straightforward; but with the tools we have now most of our decks are going to look quite straight forward:). It’s a heck of a lot better than trying to find the bad cards that are the “best fit” Smile

    Great list and great point about Devoted Druid.

    P.S. this makes up my mind what should be in the flex spot in my deck...Wolfbriar Elemental. I love the card. Without having immediate impact I always worry it may be too slow; but I need to play it and see if it’s actually a problem in real life (or if I’m out-thinking myself).
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    [b]@Forestlore44[/b]

    I do think that the recent printings I’d Once Upon a Time, [card]Castle Garenbrig[/b], and [card]Llanowar Tribe[/b] I’d push us into more straight-forward builds. It’s just much easier for us to play a linear game that gets to our “number” (whether it be 6, 7, 8, 9, or even 10+ mana) much more consistently bumpy turns 3 & 4.

    The obvious payoffs are Primeval Titan, Karn, Tooth and Nail, and Wave.

    I do think there is still room for the Leyline of Abundance deck to develop. Wren and Six was HUGE when the card was first printed and Once Upon a Time didn’t exist upon its printing. You can now get away with a few less dorks and a few more sinks (while getting the smoothing) which could go a long way to helping the archetype.

    My Leyline deck played three copies of Nissa Who Shakes the World as well as two copies of Garruk Wildspeaker (not sure if that is still necessary) but I would need to update it with the addition of Once Upon a Time.

    I absolutely do think you could make a Leyline deck that is great (maybe the best). I would end up building one very similar to my above list (as you’d likely still run OUAT, BTE, etc.)

    I’m happy to send you and/or post my Leyline list; but it would not be a heavily tested list (as it would be my old list with OUAT and BTE). I will try to test it more to provide more of an educated discussion over the next few days.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    So here’s what I’m planning on trying out on MTGO:



    * been going back and forth on whether last payoff creature should be Wolfbriar Elemental, Voracious Hydra, or some other payoff... *

    Once Upon a Time really smooths the deck out to a point where even I am playing Burning-Tree Emissary Smile Between Once Upon a Time, Oath of Nissa, Abundant Growth, and Burning-Tree Emissary the deck becomes extremely consistent.

    Getting the pieces in the right order is more important in Devotion than nearly any other archetype. It’s actually one of the weaknesses of the deck...but with so many cards that replace themselves (both in terms of cards and mana) and so much digging; we get the advantage of Devotion (the massive ramp and turn-2 4-mana possibilities) while greatly reducing the downsides (drawing the “wrong half”, etc,).

    My biggest “complaint” With devotion is that we have to spend at least 2 turns building the board...but if you can build the board quickly without drastically reducing your hand by playing cards that either “paying for itself” figuratively with a Nykthos on board or literally in the case of turn-one OUAT and BTE every turn); and with most cards replacing themselves in your hand (by drawing) we can be both fast and resilient.

    Using mana sinks (Karn, Ballista, etc.) rather than 7+ drops also reduces the opponent’s ability to keep up from getting enough mana. It also allows us to go to 20 lands (although this may be greedy). I may very well go to 21 and play 61 cards (with Kessig Wilf Run, Castle Garenbrig, Blast Zone, Etc that is effectively a land and a spell).

    The deck just fills up the board so quickly that it can get to 10 mana for Karn consistently while also giving a secondary ability to just attack and overrun with.

    It is a little straightforward; but it’s a good place to start.

    The deck started as my Curio build (with two of the three “flex” spots being Xenagos the Reveler and Cloudstone Curio....) as I've been playing different versions of that recently

    The sideboard is not remotely set. Would LOVE any ideas from the community. Any color can be splashed.

    P.S. Oko has also been quite good...so it may end up being one of the “flex” spots (another color for walkers in particular is nearly free to this deck in particular).
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    I’ve started playing on MTGO. I’ll try out a few brews to start and then let you know how it goes once I have a set deck. Should be fun!
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on Jeskai Tempo /Delver/Prowess ("The Jeskai Way" )
    Quote from WickedApp »
    I played FNM
    played Jeskia mantis rider
    went 2-2 it has been a while since I played so I was a bit rusty and I was playing in a different game store.

    jund 0-2
    I had no answers to his golfs. (I had forgot to include Path back into the deck from last build) Match was good, his spells all target my things if I could have hit the burn side of the deck I think I could have had a better chance. game 2 I try for control and keep a hand of counters, he gets 2 golfs(5/6) on board with an ooze(4/4). I try to deflecting palm his ooze, he push's his ooze I veto his push, he push's again. I lose next turn. If palm resolved I could have boros charmed him for the win.

    steam kiln burn 2-0
    I staved off his creatures and burn, he gets me down to 5 life T4 I play geist, T5 I put spear of godhead on him. I hold up mana and blockers playing around burn spells (turns out he was only holding 4 land cards in hand) T6-7 I play Rider, and rider swinging in for win

    G2 he gets layline combustion out, and plays a more conservative burn, He kills off my delvers, I hold burn in hand only casting the helixis, I get the red mana in my deck when I really want more blue. This limits my plays and forces me to play opts and visions over creatures. I miss play and allow a scared mage to block a rider. I win a few turns later with Royal scions (this card is very good)..

    mono green control, liquid metal coating/artifact destruction 2-0
    both games were fun and interactive. game 1 I drew and played the burn side of the deck, killing his mana dorks and burning his face. He killed off my lands and creatures but had no answers for my burn. His creatures were tiny and were not a good threat. I kept drawing into lands and manipulated my fetchs to cover what ever mana I was losing.
    Game 2 he did not get Liquid metal online, so he could not shut down my creatures. he did get land destrution going which forced me to play draw and go style opting and burning as I lost lands. With such a variety of lands i was never off color for more than a turn. he pithing needled my geist (which I am not sure is legal, but it looked good). So I had to play a Rider next turn instead of godheading the geist. I start to go on the offensive with 2 riders and geist for the win.

    last match up Boggles 1-2
    he lands an early threat I play to disrupt his enchantments, he gains tempo as I have to hold up mana to counter. I disrupt enough to have 5 lands in play 2 riders and a delver(unfliped). boros charm in hand but no mana left to cast. I have to block a 10/9 boggle taking 3 damage, I forgot about the lifelink, my opponent was at 8 life post attack.
    game 2 boggles player keeps a hand with no creatures and a layline of hexproof. I kill him with geist and riders. Boggles loses to Boggles.
    Game 3 He plays another layline of hexproof, he is short on mana, I am able to counter a few spells keeping his board open for turn. I have to hold up mana trying to counter slowing down my plays.I play a rider t4, he paths my early rider. I think I am safe with a settle the wreckage in hand (I did not realize that it targets players) I play flooded strand but his attack next turn puts my life at 1.

    i had fun it was nice to play jeskia again.
    I will have to strongly edit my deck and sideboard for this meta. I am not going to post this deck because I plan to change it when I get a chance. I think more burn main deck and control sideboard. Delver under performed, I will go back to Ypyromancer or try Thing in the Ice.



    Glad to see you got to play some jeskai again! Good to hear from you WickedApp.

    That is one of the craziest lines of play I have heard in a long time. The deflecting palm ooze, push, veto, push line is nuts. He was rather lucky to have two pushes there and mana to deploy both. Jund is a tough matchup, but is often super tough to play against. Without paths I assume it gets very very tough.

    The second two rounds sounded awesome. Looks like some fun and interactive games. It also helps that it sounds like you played well and that you got the wins. Magic is always fun, but it is more fun when we win Smile

    Boggles can be super tough to win. To be honest, I would have made the exact same mistake you made. I did not realize that settle targeted a player either. This matchup really depends on sideboard cards. It's almost one I think we should just not even worry about too much. I have deflecting palm, EE, Wear // Tear (which i might cut), and that's about it for them.

    It sounds like it was an awesome night with a lot of great games. That's about all you can ask for. If I win as much or more than I lose I am a happy camper. Even the best players in the world only win about 60% of the time. People often for get that they get 2 or 3 byes so when they finish 6-2 they really when 3-2 or 4-2.

    Thanks for posting your game notes. I love to read them and I think everyone learns from them.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Jeskai Tempo /Delver/Prowess ("The Jeskai Way" )
    Hi everyone,

    Hope you had a nice weekend Smile

    I tested a bit the deck yesterday and it felt great! Indeed, even if it's a semi budget one, I didn't feel overwhelmed during the matches Smile
    I also realised that I forgot to put the 2 Celestial Colonnade but I didn't missed them. I played 25 lands, felt good. Note: painlands are not that bad after all.


    Here comes some feedbacks about some cards:
    - Dreadhorde Arcanist: +++ This card is awesome. It helped me a lot and is very versatile (casting back a Bolt or an Opt depending on the situation). Moreover, it synergize very well with Young Pyromancer.
    - Young Pyromancer : +++ It quickly generates a board and feels great about slow decks. I believe that it helps my combo/control matchups in the sense that I could close the game quickly.
    - Goblin Dark-Dwellers: +++ A 4/4 with menace that can flashback an helix/path/opt and put a clock. I even managed to flash back 2 Bolts thanks to Restoration Angel on the Goblin Smile
    - Electrolyze : - The card draw is nice but didn't feel very impactful.

    After some reflexion I decided to cut 1 Spell Queller and 1 Electrolyze in order to put 2 Geist of Saint Traft.
    The reasoning behind:
    With my card choices, Combo decks are bad matchups and Control may be 50/50 thansk to T3feri. Thus, I thought that instead of trying to be reactive (my card choices are not really good at that. Except Queller), I should be the beatdown in those matchups and try to end the game quickly. Hence the 2 Geist of Saint Traft.

    I also came up with a budget sideboard (the Electrolyze is just to occupy the 15th slot):
    4 Spreading Seas
    2 Cleansing Nova
    2 Celestial Purge
    2 Disdainful Stroke
    2 Disenchant
    2 Runed Halo : after some thoughts let's cut 1 so I can put 1 Remorseful Cleric,
    1 Electrolyze: after some thoughts let's cut it so I can put 1 Remorseful Cleric,
    Added: 2 Remorseful Cleric

    I am going to attend a competitive event next weekend (around 100 people), will keep you posted.

    Thanks again to everyone for the previous feedbacks and the good vibes Wink



    That is awesome news! I'm glad the deck worked well for you. I haven't thought of Dreadhoarde Archanist in a more midrange/controlling deck as a source of card advantage. If you can keep the board clear he can really give some card advantage. I like some of the changes. Geist of Saint Traft is my favorite creature of all time so I am a huge fan of adding him in any deck. He is a control killer. They basically have to sweep the board.

    My only concern is combo matchups that go very quickly and Tron. Decks like amulet titan, whirza, affinity, and Tron can get ahead quick without some type of disruption. The spreading seas and disdainful strokes will help against tron post board so I am not as worried about that matchup post board. Amulet titan and titanshift will be tough. Spreading seas can also work here, but may be a bit to slow. You might want a copy of abrade for some of the faster artifact based decks as well as amulet decks. You could probably cut one sweeper from your board, but if it were me I would cut one land and play a mainboard copy of abrade. 25 lands is a lot of lands, especially without 6+ fetches. I think you would be fine with 24 lands. With that said we all have some bad matchups that we are just going to struggle against. Jund and Burn are tough matchups for my deck. I have done what I can to make them better, but in the end there are just some tough matchups.

    Keep us posted on how it plays and we wish you the best of luck in your event! I hope you draw well, play well, and win die rolls!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from Potvii »
    @Rendroc
    Here's the Simic devotion list I played at a recent Face to Face Open in Quebec City, if it interests you.



    I went 4-3 at the tournament, thus finishing 33rd out of 97 players. A reasonable performance. Details are included in the following spoiler. I felt that no matchup was unwinnable. The deck's main strength is its explosiveness. I also felt that being on the play made a huge difference, since the deck is excellent at being proactive.


    Round 1 (Win, 2-1, vs Dregde)
    Game 1 (Loss): My opponent assembles an early large army and uses Conflagrate to burn my Birds and my Courser. Left with no board, I just die pretty soon.
    Game 2 (Win): I'm able to rapidly ramp into Primal Command and shuffle my opponent's graveyard, putting the game effortlessly into my favor. I can then develop a solid board for the win.
    Game 3 (Win): I start with Scavenging Ooze and Surgical Extraction in hand. Meanwhile my opponent rapidly goes hellbent, with no dredgers in his graveyard, and only two Narcomoebas in play. I'm in full control of the game. He concedes pretty soon.

    Round 2 (Loss, 1-2, vs Spirits)
    Game 1 (Loss): My opponent assembles a solid board of flyers and kills me fast.
    Game 2 (Win): I have an explosive start and I'm able to apply strong pressure. It feels like whoever is able to race his opponent first will win the game.
    Game 3 (Loss): My opponent has a somewhat slow start, but is able to reduce my life total. Later in the game I attempt to play Primal Command to gain life and prepare a Wurmcoil Engine on my following turn to stabilize my position. My opponent has four mana open, plays Collected Company and succeeds to find Mausoleum Wanderer to counter my spell. He then proceeds to win. The game was tight.

    Round 3 (Win, 1-0-1, vs GW Taxes)
    Game 1 (Win): I'm able to greatly lower my opponent's life total, but we get to a board stall pretty soon. My opponent uses Giver of Runes and Sigarda to pressure my planeswalkers and my life total, putting the game in his favor. I use Primal Command to gain life and grab Hornet Queen, restoring a good offensive and defensive position. I break the board stall a later on.
    P.S.: I kept a 0-lander during this game, confident in Once Upon a Time's power. At some point I had a single Forest enchanted with a full playset of Utopia Sprawls, a Birds and a Nykthos. Even if I clearly knew at that point that my opponent was playing Ghost Quarter, I needed to do this to develop my board position and have a chance to win the game.
    Game 2 (Draw): My opponent brings in Gaddock Teeg and Worship. His board is unimpressive. I can't win unless I find Walking Ballista to break the lock. We go to a draw before we can do anything usefull.

    Round 4 (Loss, 1-2, vs Jund)
    (Loss, Win, Loss)
    The games were exceptionally grindy, what a surprise. Game 2 was particularly long and fun. He goes through 2 Wurmcoil Engines, I go through 3 of his Liliana. I use a Primal Command to bound a Wrenn and Six with 7 loyalty. Game 3 he has three early Tarmogoyfs. The fact that I play enchantments, artifacts and planeswalkers doesn't help me...

    Round 5 (Loss, 1-2, vs Jund)
    (Loss, Win, Loss)
    My opponent is a friend. We have interesting games, but there's not much to say. He junds while I try to have explosive starts. Well, apart from the fact the Veil of Summer is incredible. During game 2, when I won, he thought he had all the necessary tools to pick apart my board, but he wasn't ready to get his Maelstrom Pulse countered by Veil.

    Round 6 (Win, 2-1, vs Tron)
    Game 1 (Win): I play an early Acidic Slime, denying my opponent's tron. Meanwhile he plays... Trinisphere, which is completely useless after the first few turns of the game. I grab a Craterhoof Behemoth to close the game.
    Game 2 (Loss): I try to pressure my opponent's life total, with a Collector Ouphe in play. I do not respect my opponent's hand and his ability to come back into the game. He surprises me by playing Weather the Storm and gaining a large amount of life. He then plays Thragtusk on next turn. He eventually finds Ugin to wipe my board. I still have a Wurmcoil Engine, but he plays an Ensnaring Bridge and I'm pretty much forced to concede, with no hope of winning the game.
    Game 3 (Win): I play a Collector Ouphe to block his turn one Chromatic Star. I develop a small board and reduce his life total, while he uses Karn to grab Ensnaring Bridge. My opponent is unable to complete his tron. In a single turn I use Eternal Witness to grab a Primal Command previously put in my graveyard by Kiora, to bounce his Bridge and to close the game with Craterhoof.

    Round 7 (Win, 2-1, vs Grixis Death's Shadow)
    Game 1 (Loss): My opponent is my room mate. We train together often and we know the matchup is slightly in his favor. He has an early Gurmag Angler, all the proper answers, and beats me down fast. I had a strong hand and a good start, but he found everything he needed to counter my plays.
    Game 2 (Win): My opponent is forced to mulligan to 5 cards. His hand is insufficient to pressure my board and I'm able to win the game easily.
    Game 3 (Win): Second time I keep a 0-lander during this tournament. Even after a mulligan to 6. Once Upon a Time is exceptional at fixing starting hands. I'm not even trying to win game 3, because I know he will soon not be able to go through my creatures. I sit behind two Coursers and a large board, going back from 6 to 22 life, while Nissa transforms my board into an impenetrable fortress. I know my room mate's plan is to have enough mana to go Temur Battle Rage-Snapcaster Mage-Temur Battle Rage to kill me in a single strike, but my board develops too fast. He eventually concedes.


    Here's what I will be modifying, after my tournament experience:



    Cards I was testing for the first time in the mainboard
    Nissa, Voice of Zendikar: Fine card, but not exceptional. It definitely won me two games during the tournament, one against GW Taxes and another against Grixis Death's Shadow, by transforming a weak board into a definitively solid defense. Her initial purpose was to turn my early rampers (Arbor Elves and Birds) into something useful during longer games, while possibly providing a good source of devotion early on. While she succeeded to accomplish her first role in grindy games, the problem is that she is too slow and unimpressive otherwise. Even if you can generate enough plants to chump block and protect her during the first turns of a game, a single removal spell is sufficient to get her killed. Nissa is strong in grindy games only, and would be much better in a fully dedicated creature-based devotion deck. At that point, I feel like I would prefer a stronger card with a better initial impact.

    Hornet Queen: Absolutely wonderful. Being able to develop a large board covers one of the deck's main weaknesses; being unable to deal with wide aggressive boards. Didn't get to play her often, but I would have liked to draw her more often, for example against Spirits or Dredge.

    Walking Ballista: Didn't like the card. Its role is to deal with opposing creatures, but... it's just too slow. Whenever I had it in hand, I felt like it couldn't help enough. When playing against a Tarmogoyf, a Gurmag Angler or a buffed Supreme Phantom, even a decent Ballista isn't enough. I have the same problem with Ballista that I had with Polukranos before. You need a large amount of mana to make it worth, and most of the time you wish you had better and faster interaction. There is one game against Jund where I played a 9/9 Ballista, but that was completely unnecessary and I could've won with any other wincon. The Vivien+Ballista combo is still excellent, but it's a fringe play only.

    Vivien, Arkbow Ranger: Much better than expected. Her +1 was always useful. Buffed Coursers make for great defense, buffed Birds can destroy opposing planeswalkers with ease, 7/7 wurmcoil spawns are nothing to laugh about. The difference between Nissa and Vivien is that Vivien works well even with a small board, remains at a high loyalty and her +1/+1 counters are used wherever they are useful. I used her -3 with care, only when my opponent was tapped out, hellbent or clearly out of interaction. I didn't use her -5, but I always felt safe when having that option available. All my opponents felt that she was a good threat and had to respect her. Her devotion is exceptional. I will modify my mainboard to include a Kitchen Finks, since Vivien and Finks are absolute best friends. That combo did happen in a few post-sideboard games and always felt good. I will also modify my sideboard to include a wincon, maybe a second Craterhoof, to turn Vivien's "ultimate" into a Garruk's Overrun. Vivien is nice, but there is strong competition for the 4-mana planeswalker spot, so having her as a 1-of feels right.

    Once Upon a Time: Marvelous, but I wouldn't play a full playset. It was always exceptional in opening hands. Between finding a Forest, a ramper, an early Courser or Nykthos, it grabs everything you need. Late game, I was always happy to draw one, since it digs deep and always finds something relevant. However! Some mulligan decisions were made exceptionally harder (especially the two 0-landers I kept during the tournament) because of its inclusion. Sometimes, it sat in my hand for a long period of time, because I drew it after my first turn and I didn't have time to play it. Modern is a fast format and a Turn 1 ramper into a Turn 2 Once is particularly slow. I can also mention that drawing 2 early Once feels really bad.

    I will also modify my deck to include more creatures, since Once Upon a Time doesn't find planeswalkers like Oath of Nissa. Between the two, I was always more excited about Once. Oath seems like a fine card, but its impact is much more subtle. Maybe I could simply replace Oath by Once, I will need to make some tests.

    Mainboard modifications
    +1 Kitchen Finks
    -1 Walking Ballista
    -2 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
    -1-2 Kiora, Master of the Depths?
    -0-3 Oath of Nissa? (Fine card, but slightly meh. Its impact is hard to evaluate)
    +3-7 ???

    I need a better board early on (since my planeswalkers are somewhat weak and slow), some way to weaken aggressive opponents (the deck is better if it can survive long enough to stabilize), I want a resilient source of devotion (because Nykthos needs to be "turned on" fast, even if my opponent has disruption) and... I want more creatures (since I run Once Upon a Time and Kiora). Kitchen Finks feels like a natural fit, and I will therefore include at least 1 in the mainboard. Turn 1 ramper into Turn 2 Finks into Turn 3 Vivien is also pretty solid and natural.

    Walking Ballista was unimpressive, whereas Nissa was too narrow, so I will replace them. Kiora feels... ok. She was the main reason why I went into blue when I played a Genesis Wave devotion deck back in the days, to act as Garruk 5 and 6. But now I went away from that game plan, going for a value deck. Her -2 is her main appeal in order to find gas, but since I do not run a large amount of creatures, I feel like I whiff often. Finding a land through her -2 and using her +1 to ramp is fine to get to your costly threats. And her -2 puts stuff into your graveyard for Eternal Witness to find it. Well... Kiora is good, but I'm unsure about her place in my deck right now. I will try something else in order to better understand her utility.

    Sideboard modifications
    -1 Kitchen Finks (going in the Main)
    -1 Thrun, the Last Troll (felt unnecessary)
    +1 ???
    +1 ??? (Creature for Vivien)

    Things I want to try
    Chord of Calling (since I'm naturally deviating towards a toolbox deck, and I don't want pure draw. I want to find what I need, not draw more lands and rampers)
    Hydroid Krasis (life gain, draw, good threat, flexible, all in one. A good reason to play simic.)
    Oko, Thief of Crowns (discouraging price tag)


    Thats’ awesome! Great write up!
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on Bant Walls Worship
    Quote from StevomatUWR »
    Hi CurdBros, thanks a lot for your input!
    I was already thinking about Worship along side Sylvan Caryatid. Definitely a good idea. Might have to find out during playtesting what's best to cut to free some room.
    Teyo in SB can easily replace Leylines. Eidolon of Rhetoric is a very good addition to the SB!
    One more thing I was thinking about is combat tricks. 2x Aegis of the Heavens could be better than 2x CoCo. The ability to deal 15 dmg by casting Aegis on an unblocked Wall of Denial seems too strong to not include.


    Aegis of the heavens looks like an awesome combat trick! I would definitely include one or you could play a copy or two in the sideboard when you want to be a bit more aggressive.

    This deck looks really really cool and there is always a huge advantage when the opponent has no idea what they are playing against. Things like Aegis of the Heavens will blow out so many people.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Bant Walls Worship
    I was brought here by a great player StevomatUWR. This is a deck that my brother was intersted in for a while with Axebane Guardian. I am by no means an expert on this style of deck, but I LOVE non-tier decks that can compete and this is one of them.

    If I were to play this deck I would definitely try to steal a few game one wins with a copy or two of Worship along side Sylvan Caryatid and Wall of Denial. I know my jeskai deck would just crumble to that combo. I would probably gut a copy of permiter captain, one copy of nyx-fleece ram, one copy wall of denial and one copy of high alert since you have wish for them. Then you could add 2 worship and 2 sylvan caryatid for an additional "win con". Otherwise it looks sick. There a lot of decks in modern right now that would really struggle against this deck.

    Another interesting sideboard card would be Teyo, the Shieldmage who can give you hexproof and also spit out defenders. Eidolon of Rhetoric is another card I would want in the sideboard. Trostani, Selsnyia's Voice is a card I would consider as well for the more grindy matchups.

    I will continue to look into this style of deck and see if anything else jumps out. Looks awesome and magic is much more fun with friends so it's awesome to hear your friend is playing now!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Jeskai Tempo /Delver/Prowess ("The Jeskai Way" )
    I think you have done an excellent job with a budget mana base. Honestly, you would be able to help a lot of people with your knowledge of budget manabases now. The deck looks sweet. Keep us posted on how it goes. The only two problems I can really foresee is dreadhoarde anarchist under performing sometimes if there aren't targets or the board gets to filled up to attack and your combo matchups. Given that spell queller is your only "counter magic", the combo matchups may be tough. However you can play a couple copies of counter magic in the sideboard. Some budget options would be spell pierce, Counterflux, Mystical Dispute, Ceremonious Rejection, and Dovin's Veto.

    Teferi will REALLY help the control matchups so I would lean towards possibly siding for scapeshift, amulet, tron, and burn first and foremost. You will still want a few counters for the control matchup, but they should also hit the matchups I talked about. So Dovin's veto, disdainful stroke, spell pierce would be good. The remaining sideboard cards can be some of the greatest hits like rest in peace, stony silence, Engineered Explosives, etc and cards specific to matchups you think you will play against more often

    Storm- Narset, parter of veils, izzet staticaster, and counters
    Jund- You should have a better jund matchup than most given your top end so not much needed- celestial purge, teferi
    Whirza- Wear/Tear, counter spells, izzet staticaster, Engineered Explosives, mysitical dispute (targets oko and urza)
    Burn- Deflecting Palm, dragon's claw, engineered explosives, celestial purge, spell pierce
    Tron- Abrade, stony silence, disdainful stroke, ceremonious rejection, wear/tear, and more (depending on style of tron)

    And so on. People will be able to help with matchups you have questions about .
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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