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  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »
    We'll agree to disagree on Pilgrim then. It's no big deal really. Wink
    The idea that you think Initiate is worse than Pilgrim makes little sense, because the only common point between those 2 that really matters to me is to be ready for a Coco on T3, or a sure Mantis on T3. I don't really care what the quality of my play is on T2.

    I don't think Initiate is strictly worse in a general sense, but I do think it is worse in an aggro deck like Humans. It's more of a consistent deck velocity thing than anything else. T1 vs T2 dork is a massive difference in terms of velocity, and having 2 extra chances of hitting that is very important (I've found this number difference to be especially important when I have to mulligan). You should very much care about the play quality on T2; it's a big part of how you win games in Modern. I have spent a lot of time tweaking and tuning my lists to have the most impactful T2 plays in the widest array of scenarios, hence why I've spent a lot of time talking about cards like Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, Voltaic Brawler, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Duskwatch Recruiter and Kitesail Freebooter. It's why I went from only playing 4 Hierarchs to playing the 2 Pilgrims as well. My plan A is to have 3 mana available on T2, my plan B is to have a powerful standalone threat. I want my deck to do one of those 2 things as much as possible.

    The scenarios that you mention of uncastable CoCos and Riders are rare, corner case scenarios in my experience. The games where you gain large advantages by playing a T1 dork are a dime a dozen.

    Quote from headminerve »

    What exactly is Brawler losing to on the ground? With ANY single lord or exalted effect...

    I'll stop you there. Most of the time, Brawler is a 3/2 on defense and a 4/3 on offense. The times it's pumped by a Lord is nearly equal to the times he'll attack with no energy.

    Running out of energy is something I paid close attention to when I started playing the card. In fact, I originally ran it with Rogue Refiner at the 3cmc slot to keep the energy tank full. Since then, this is what I've found:

    I think I have had maybe one single game where my Brawler attacked with no energy. At that point, it had already done 8-10 damage with energy-enabled attacks and the opponent was dead. If your brawler lives long enough to run out of energy, then congrats, you've done 8+ damage for 2 mana and still have a 3/2 body on board. That's quite a deal. If you find yourself attacking with it often with no energy available, then something isn't right. Most of the time, the opponent either kills brawler immediately or they die to it - that is exactly what we want out of a 2 drop in an aggressive build like Bant Red, and no other 2 drop I know of does that (Kari Zev being the closest). I have found it incredibly rare to run out of energy; it is a 5/4 trample on attacks far more often than a vanilla 3/2, not to mention that multiples stack very well. We also have a deck that is literally built around a core of ways to make creatures bigger (10+ different cards in most builds), so if we're not able to do that, then our deck is failing at its own gameplan. I don't care what Brawler is on defense because the deck (especially the Bant Red build) is all about getting the opponent dead. We are the aggressor in 90%+ of matchups. It gets sided out for something like Arashin Cleric for the few matchups where we care about blocking and life totals.

    Quote from headminerve »

    It's a nice combo to have both, but it's a fragile argument to bring here (like everything that implies "when everything goes as planned").

    Having the deck perform its most basic, built-around gameplan is not "everything goes as planned." It's what the deck is built to do. If it's not doing what it's built to do, we are losing. You're coming at it from extreme worst case scenarios that are unwinnable regardless of what 2 drop is being played. I am coming at it from a perspective of how the average game plays out, which is generally where we want to focus our attention. We don't currently have access to a 2 drop that can dig us out of such worst case scenarios (unless you're banking on a flipped Jace or sinking mana into a Recruiter), so it's best to play a 2 drop that maximizes our number of outs in average scenarios. More on this below...

    Quote from headminerve »

    So as a 4/3, it's blocked or raced by Tas, Angler, Smasher, Tarmo, Etched Champ, Elves, pumped Merfolk, etc... the list goes on.

    If we have no ways to kill/clear those creatures AND no ways to pump Brawler, we are dead because our deck is doing nothing and we have probably drawn a bunch of lands or the opponent has successfully grinded us out of resources and we're bricking on draws. My above argument applies here as well. In an average version of the scenarios you listed (Tasigur, Angler, Goyf, Smasher), all we need is a single Noble Hierarch, Thalia's Lieutenant, Mayor of Avabruck, Reflector Mage or Path to Exile and we're golden. These cards take up ~18 slots in most main deck configurations, not counting Collected Company. With almost all of our other available 2 drops, we would NEED a Mage or Path to clear it, but with Brawler, we more than double our chances of punching through because all we need is one of at least 10 ways to pump it. If they want to trade their 5 and 6 drops with our 2 drop, be my guest. If you're not drawing into any one of those by the time this scenario pops up, then that just sucks. We simply cannot make card choices with such a scenario in mind. Etched Champion is a problem card regardless of what we do, and falls into the same boat. Against Elves and Merfolk, Brawler increases our ability to race because they can't chump it. So as you can see, with Brawler, we greatly increase the chance that these scenarios are not back breaking.

    Also, with this same argument, lets go ahead and list out why Champion of the Parish is terrible since it's just a 1/1 for 1 :p .

    Quote from headminerve »

    Is it easy enough on the mana though ? It's in completely different colors than Med Mage, Ref Mage, Mantis, Ana, Freebooter, etc...

    As I mentioned earlier, I am rather aggressive with my fetches and shocks and have not had issues casting Brawler, and the vast majority of my reps were before Unclaimed Territory. In a 4 color build, I wouldn't be concerned with mana constraints. A 5 color build is trickier, however.

    Quote from headminerve »

    That said, the power is there, I'm on your side. But let's not spread the idea it's so pushed that nothing can stop/race it. Imho, it's a playable, not a staple, whereas Freebooter leans towards the 2nd category (although not as a 4x necessarily). What do you think ?

    I think that in the context of the Bant Red build, Brawler is most certainly one of the staple top choices; I would not run a Bant Red list without it. When we start talking 5 color or Bant Black, Freebooter is proving to be fantastic. It just depends on what you want your gameplan to be. Also, to be fair, all I originally said is that it has consistently overperformed for me. Whether I play it T2 on an empty board, push through some final damage by trampling over chump blockers, push through large creatures like discussed above, etc, it's played a major role in a lot of game wins in a wide variety of scenarios. Moreso than any other non-lord 2 drop I have tried in Bant Red.

    Quote from polymorpher »
    @kingcars: you gave a lot of arguments for my opinion that we need 7 mana dorks instead of 6.

    Haha that's fair. There are a lot of things to like about a T1 dork, so I can see an argument for running a 7th. I just don't like to draw too many or hit too many off of Collected Company, so 6 has been the sweet spot for me.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »

    I'm also very curious about the reason to run Channeler Initiate over Avacyn's Pilgrim. Sure, the color fixing is nice, but 1 cmc vs 2 cmc is a massive difference. We want to be hitting our 3 drops on turn 2 as much as possible.

    Color fixing is a massive difference as well. And I disagree with the fact I'd want to play 3-drops on T2 as much as possible. On T2, I have Med Mage, Freebooter, Lieutenant and some shocklands that I want etb tapped to save some life.

    It's not even just 3 drops on T2, it's also being able to play 1 drop + 2 drop on T2, setting up for something like a double 2 drop on T3 or a Company or a 1 drop and a 3 drop. Modern as a format is very much about getting to 2 spells a turn as quickly as possible. The quick explosion out of the gates is very important for the deck and it very much wants a T1 dork. Saving life off shocklands is irrelevant in most matchups. You should aim to be the aggressor. I am very aggressive with my fetching and shocking in pretty much any matchup except burn/super aggro. Everything else, it very rarely matters. On the other hand, the speed of the deck matters all the time. Also, for decks running Thalia 2.0, a T1 dork is even more important than usual.

    Quote from headminerve »

    Rider on T3 has haste, so there's not tempo loss.

    Compared to a T2 Mantis Rider, there definitely is a tempo loss. I have won plenty of games off of a T2 Mantis Rider, with a good number of those times being off the back of a Pilgrim.

    Quote from headminerve »

    Ref Mage is a poor beater and must be timed for a specific opponent's creature, so there's no point to cast it on T2 most of the time. Yes bouncing a Goblin Guide on T2 is cool, well I'll do it when I open with Noble and that it survives. No big deal.

    There are plenty of impactful turn 2 Reflector Mage targets. Bouncing an opponent's mana dork is big game early on. Goblin Guide decks are another perfect example of why you'd want a T2 Mage; you're taking a LOT less damage in that scenario, which is crucial in that matchup. On the draw, hitting one of Storm's cost reducers on T2 is huge. There are plenty of times in plenty of matchups where an early Mage is very important.

    Quote from headminerve »

    The argument that Pilgrim makes the opening more explosive is irrelevant to me for this deck, on the other hand fighting Moon, fixing colors, getting one extra beater in the long term, all those little things combined make me confident Initiate is a fine filler in the deck. No more, no less.

    Explosive openings in an aggro deck are the reason why you play an aggro deck. The deck is going to have some weakness to Blood Moon regardless of how you build the list; I want my deck to be as lean and efficient as possible and I don't want to sacrifice that for a single card that isn't actually played in a lot of matchups. And expecting it to live long enough to become a beater is asking a lot.

    Quote from headminerve »

    I would add Pilgrim isn't what I want as another 1-drop. I'd rather have another agressive creature like Champ.

    A deck that's in the market for an aggressive 1 drop isn't going to also be in the market for slowing itself down with T2 mana dorks. 2 cmc is really where we want to be laying down the pressure, whether it's with an aggressive Lord/Brawler/Kari Zev or disruptive like Freebooter. Even something slow like Jace, Vryn's Prodigy at least puts some inevitability on the opponent.

    Quote from headminerve »

    The "it dies to [x]" argument is pretty weak, imo. They need to have a LOT go right for them.

    ^ this. Guys, this deck is an aggro deck relying on creatures for Coco (i.e. 3-drops max that consequently all die to Fatal Push, and for the most part to Ligtning Bolt), please consider we are all aware of the fragility of creatures we play, and that it's not a valid argument not to run them.

    Agreed. It's ok to value toughness when it's not costing anything, but playing subpar creatures just because they're slightly more robust isn't the best idea in this deck.

    Quote from headminerve »

    I have the feeling that the disruptive list is better against combo while the mantis rider list is better against creatures.

    Running both might be the best bet. The cool thing is that we have now one more interactive piece, and if ever the 5C manabase works, it's going to be the superior list. All in all, it's good news to have more flexibility with the archetype now, we can adapt to more specific environments !

    Yeah, I think the mana base is still a bit too rough unfortunately, but the combination of a super fast clock and disruption is quite nice.

    Quote from headminerve »

    Voltaic Brawler underperformed for me.

    I don't quite remember my experience with it, but I know that the mana tension of Champ > Brawler > Mantis was the prime reason to cut it. Too painful. That was before the Death's Shadow dominance, but during the Dredge / Infect era. Now with Eldrazi Tron being a thing, I feel like Brawler lost a little bit of its power. I remember it was already difficult to attack through Tarmogoyf (BGx) back in the day. I still prefer smaller evasive guys over big grounders because many decks have better grounders than us.

    What exactly is Brawler losing to on the ground? With ANY single lord or exalted effect, it's a 5/4 trampler on the ground, meaning it even attacks through Reality Smasher (something I have done plenty of times with the card). I certainly haven't had issues attacking through goyf with it. If we're facing anything bigger than that and don't have an answer for it, we're in big trouble regardless of what we're running at that slot. It's also fantastic against the common opposing gameplan of chump blocking. The color constraints haven't been an issue in the Bant Red deck and should be even easier now with Unclaimed Territory.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Played a few more games and the 5C deck keeps winning. The last match I played was a rogue planeswalker deck running both Anger of the Gods and Supreme Verdict in the main. I sniped both with Freebooter in G1, which would have been an automatic loss without it. Freebooter continues to impress me. I also played against Eldrazi Tron and they simply couldn't deal with the fast Mantis Rider clock in either game.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »
    I only played it against GDS instead of Thalia V1.0. I think I didn't test it enough.

    Gotcha. I've also had success with Kari Zev, Skyship Raider at 2 cmc. Menace + a 2/1 token in a deck that already goes wide is quite good. It's easier on the mana too.

    Quote from polymorpher »
    Would you consider the 5C list with Mantis Rider and Brawler as strong as the disruptive list with MM?

    I've only done a couple of quick games on MTGO, so it's too early to tell. I think if anything is going to hold it back, it's the mana. However, I am very much liking the fast clock backed up with a bit of disruption, and having a larger disruption package post sideboard for the matchups where we want it. It has the heavily favored creature matchups with a sideboard plan that helps against control/burn/storm. Mantis Rider is just a beast of a card.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Really? Brawler has done nothing but overperform for me. The amount of pressure it applies by itself is absurd, especially at just 2 cmc. I had a game not long ago where I mulled to 4, kept 2 land/2 brawler and was beating the opponent down for 10 damage after drawing a Lieutenant. It also can't be chump blocked, which is a big deal. What was it being compared to in the humans lists?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »
    To quote why Kambal is not very scary for storm: "storm bring in enough bolts, dismember efects . also kambal dies to grapeshot."

    Like I said, I'm totally fine if they want to waste slots on removal. All of our other options die to the same cards, so I'd rather have a card that stops them from going off and is useful in other matchups. We only have to hold them at bay long enough to kill them and have plenty of ways to snipe their kill spells Smile .

    The "it dies to [x]" argument is pretty weak, imo. They need to have a LOT go right for them. They'd have to stave off the early pressure, have a way to kill Kambal, have that card NOT get sniped by Freebooter/Collector/Mage AND have enough cards to go off. Good luck. *shrug*

    Quote from polymorpher »

    Against which other matchups do you board in Arashin Cleric?

    As for actual tiered meta decks, only Burn. But it is useful against any low-slung aggro deck. Either way, having some dedicated burn slots is not a bad thing. It's the most prominent bad matchup for the deck.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    Another thing I didn't really understand. Do you only play friendly modern leagues but no competitive modern leagues? I think the deck is in a very good shape right now and can compete with the top decks. I was just wondering (I have never played friendly leagues) how the skill level of your opponent is. We have pretty different opinions about the match percentages against storm and burn and some other matchups. So I was wondering if it is because of the opponents Wink

    I definitely plan to play some Competitive leagues with it, but I was honestly more worried about how it would fare against rogue decks than the top tier decks. The first few rounds of the SCG Open are going to be chock full of rogue decks and a lot of people get knocked out during those rounds. I'd rather get reps playing against stuff I'm not expecting and learning how to read, react and adapt to such surprises. As for skill level, the average skill level on MTGO is much higher than the skill level of the average player you'll find at a local shop, so that is not a concern.

    Also, I just did a couple of test rounds with the 5C list posted above and it's pretty hilarious. Playing a deck with such a fast clock and being able to check out the opponent's hand with Freebooter is quite powerful. The mana is rough though. Think I might try to fit in 1 or 2 Reflecting Pool.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »

    Collector is a worse 3-drop in a main deck than Mantis

    On the surface, sure. But when you're getting to look at your opponent's hand in a deck with Meddling Mage, it's quite good. It also happens to help against the vast majority of the deck's main weaknesses (sweepers, combo etc).

    Quote from headminerve »

    ...so the only remaining question is whether more mana tension is worth forcing Mantis + Freebooter (or the other way around...).

    This is something I'm looking into as well, but it's difficult to pull the deck in too many different directions.

    Running Anafenza and Mantis Rider is pretty bold. I tried that quite a while ago before Unclaimed Territory, so it may be more doable now. Sadly, Mantis' vigilance is a nombo with Anafenza's +1 counter ability. I'm not sure if Anafenza is worth it when you're already running Mantis Rider, but it's worth testing again. I'm also very curious about the reason to run Channeler Initiate over Avacyn's Pilgrim. Sure, the color fixing is nice, but 1 cmc vs 2 cmc is a massive difference. We want to be hitting our 3 drops on turn 2 as much as possible.

    My 5 color list looks like this:

    I'm pretty much just smashing together all the cards that have performed best for me in all of my testing. No idea yet how well it will work, but we'll see Grin . When I try Anafenza, I'll take out 1 Brawler and 1 Thalia and add 2 Anafenza.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Oh dang, for some reason I was thinking that Eidolon was a 2/1. My bad on that.

    As for the sweepers, yes, I rely on my disruption for that. With the 2 Meddling Mages in the main and extra Kitesail Freebooter in the side, my list has a little bit more disruption than yours (which also applies to Valakut and other similar matchups). You set your deck up for a slightly improved creature matchup in the main board, which makes the aforementioned matchups a little tougher. It's the classic give and take, part of what makes Magic the best TCG Smile .

    If you're not a fan of Meddling Mage in the main, maybe try a 4th Freebooter? I could see a list like this being a decent compromise:

    Keep Meddling Mage in the side, so you can bring it in once you know what your opponent is up do. Run a 4th Freebooter in the main for more generic, widely applicable disruption. Run extra copies of Thalia, Heretic Cathar and Sin Collector in the side to further improve their relative matchups.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »

    I think Forge-tender is not only for Anger but also against burn or any spot removal decks that use red like Jeskai Control.

    I don't think using it against spot removal is worthwhile; with so much anti-spell hate, it seems very unnecessary. I'd rather play another threat that they have to answer instead of hoping for a random 1/1 non-human to trade 1-for-1. It doesn't put any pressure on the board and is also blocked by all of their creatures.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    I played Kambal several times against burn and it died immediately; I personally didn't like it very much. I wonder if cards like Thalia V1.0 in the side are more flexible compared to Kambal because she is good against Burn, GDS, Storm, Valakut.

    Even if Kambal dies immediately, you gain and drain 2 life. That isn't bad at all, and a lot better than what Thalia 1.0 will do. They'll just kill her and you gain no life at all; she's a minor speed bump in most scenarios and often very annoying for us; I cut her from all my CoCo Humans lists a while ago and haven't missed her at all. She doesn't even do much against storm since they have a ton of ways to cancel her effect. Kambal is awesome against control and Storm and you can use Meddling Mage to put the opponent in a spot where they have to take extra hits off Kambal to get him off the board. The only thing I'd really want against Valakut is a 4th Freebooter/Collector and maybe some Leyline of Sanctity. The maindeck configuration seems fine otherwise.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    For SCG Charlotte I expect the following decks which I would like to have a sideboard against:
    Storm, Burn, GDS, Eldrazi, Valakut, Affinity

    The GDS matchup is positive, Affinity and Eldrazi are 50/50 and the other three are imo unfavorable matchups.

    Burn is probably 40/60, maybe 50/50. I'm not really sure how our Valakut matchup is bad when we can constantly snipe their best cards. I haven't played that matchup, but with so many ways to cut them off of their key cards, I can't imagine it being bad.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    1.) Storm:
    For me the best to board would be: 2 Rest in Peace, 2 Eidolon of Rhetoric, 1 Izzet Staticaster. The big downside is that Eidolon is not very useful in other matchups (probably only good against Elves?) and it is not a human. Kambal would be an human option, but it dies to Lightning Bolt and has only another application against Burn. Ethersworn Canonist seems to die to easy to Lightning Bolt too.

    I actually don't bother with Rest in Peace against Storm; it slows our clock down too much and they often win without touching the graveyard. I just apply pressure and take them off of their cost reducers and key cards with removal and disruption. I've played the matchup a few times and have yet to lose a round. In the MTGO league video playlist I posted on the last page, you can see an example there. I've only lost individual games where I've drawn poorly. Dying to Lightning Bolt isn't something we should be worrying about. They don't run many of those and a single Lord makes a lot of our creatures bolt proof. I'm totally ok with them wasting spell slots on Bolts.

    My sideboard against Storm is -1 Mayor of Avabruck +1 Kitesail Freebooter, -2 Anafenza, the Foremost +2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation. Could also take out the 2nd Mayor instead of the 2nd Anafenza if preferred, but the lord effect is nice against bolt.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    2. Burn
    Best cards main deck: 3 Freebooter, 3 Sin Collector, (to a lesser extent 2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar)
    Best sideboard cards: Burrenton Forge-Tender, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Auriok Champion, Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Arashin Cleric
    What they bring in: 3 Path to Exile, something Searing Blaze or Deflecting Palm
    What we can board out: 2 Anafenza, 1 Reflector Mage, 1-2 Mayor of Avabruck
    Thalia, Guardian of Thraben would be useful also against Storm, Valakut, GDS, but is a problem for our own Collected Company. Burrenton Forge-tender helps against Valakut (Anger of the Gods) and Jeskai decks. Auriok Champion helps against GDS, Elves, Merfolk and Dredge. Kambal, Consul of Allocation against Storm and Arashin Cleric against other creature decks.
    I am not sure which I would prefer, but I would like to dedicate 2 Slots which could be also used in other matchups.

    Thalia just provides a very minor speed bump, only useful if they're stuck on 1 land or something. We *NEED* lifegain against burn. In my opinion, Arashin Cleric, Auriok Champion and Kambal, Consul of Allocation are the only creature options here and Leyline of Sanctity being the main non-creature option, which is also useful against Valakut. My sideboard plan for burn is -2 Mayor of Avabruck +2 Arashin Cleric, -2 Anafenza, the Foremost +2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation, -1 Path to Exile +1 Kitesail Freebooter.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    3. Valakut
    Best cards main deck: 3 Freebooter, 3 Sin Collector, 2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
    Best sideboard options: Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Aven Mindcensor, Burrenton Forge-Tender, to a lesser extent Meddling Mage (because they have multiple key cards and it is hard to name the correct one.
    What we can board out: 2 Anafenza, 3-4 Reflector Mage, 2-3 Path to Exile
    Aven Mindcensor is not very good in other matchups (maybe only against control and to a lesser extent against Burn). Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a human and has the most applications in other matchups. We might need Forge-Tender to be safe from Anger of the Gods, however, we also have the disruption package to help us.

    My sideboard plan here is -2 Path to Exile -1 Reflector Mage, +1 Kitesail Freebooter +2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation. I would not take out Anafenza, the Foremost against an Anger of the Gods deck; that's one of the big reasons to run Anafenza. Don't forget that Meddling Mage gets better with the extra Freebooter.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    4. Affinity
    Best cards main deck: 2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar, 4 Reflector Mage, 4 Path to Exile
    Best sideboard options: Kataki, War's Wage, Stony Silence, Vithian Renegades, Izzet Staticaster
    What they board in: Ghirapur Aether Grid, Whipflare, Dispatch, Etched Champion
    What we can take out: 2 Anafenza, 1-2 Mayor, 3 Sin Collector
    I personally like Stony Silence over Kathaki, however it isn't a creature we can coco into, though, it might be too late for a Coco against Affinity sometimes. Both cards are also good against Lantern Control while Stony Silence is better against Eldrazi Tron.

    Not terribly worried about Eldrazi Tron since we can keep them off of their trump cards like Oblivion Stone and All is Dust, which are the only 2 cards we usually lose to against them. Stony vs Kataki is never an easy choice, but I prefer the one that puts a body on the board, can be found with Collected Company and requires very specific cards to answer. Stony Silence is easily beaten by just attacking with creatures. My sideboard here is -2 Mayor of Avabruck -2 Anafenza, the Foremost, +2 Kataki, War's Wage +2 Vithian Renegades.

    A couple of questions/comments:
    - Why Eidolon of Rhetoric over Ethersworn Canonist? You mentioned that Canonist dies to Bolt, but so does Eidolon. Canonist is a bigger body and a Human, so I'm not seeing any downsides. I guess you could bring Eidolon in against Affinity, but that doesn't seem like a good idea since they can just go off before we drop it, which then puts us way behind.

    - Only 1 (maybe) card that has lifegain is very risky against burn. I don't think Forge-Tender does enough and it can potentially make early mana awkward and potentially painful.

    - Mirran Crusader doesn't seem necessary if the GDS matchup continues to be very good.

    These would be my top sideboard considerations. The exact mix depends on mainboard configurations and biggest concerns -
    Rest in Peace - Generic graveyard hate for Dredge/Living End.
    Vithian Renegades - Aether Vial/Ensnaring Bridge sniper, extra removal for Affinity.
    Kambal, Consul of Allocation - Storm/Burn/Control/Lantern
    Leyline of Sanctity - Burn/Valakut. Would want at least 3 in the sideboard.
    Kitesail Freebooter - Burn/Valakut/Control/Lantern
    Sin Collector - Burn/Valakut/Control
    Abzan Falconer - ground stall creature matchups. Elves/Merfolk/GW-based CoCo
    Arashin Cleric - Burn/Various super fast aggro
    Izzet Staticaster - Dredge/Anything that relies heavily on X/1s (ie tokens, various goblin/aggro decks)
    Kataki, War's Wage - Affinity/Lantern
    Auriok Champion - Burn/GDS?

    My exact configuration right now is:
    2 Rest in Peace
    2 Vithian Renegades
    2 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
    1 Kitesail Freebooter
    2 Abzan Falconer
    3 Arashin Cleric
    1 Izzet Staticaster
    2 Kataki, War's Wage
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Wesste »
    Glad to see your list is brining in good results.

    Got a couple of queries about your sideboard:
    1. Is a single Staticaster really worth it?
    This means you need to add a land to your sideboard, which could possibly free up a better utility card? Could Orzhov Pontiff provide the solution? I appreciate that it only works when it enters the battlefield, but you already have the right colours maindeck and you're playing 4 CoCos. In theory, you could always drop Staticaster and Foundry and add 2 to the sideboard?

    The land is for both Staticaster and Vithian Renegades, the latter of which is very relevant against Aether Vial decks, since we can't get down our Freebooters in time to grab it. It is possible that the land isn't needed with all the mana fixing, but the jury is still out on that. Pontiff may be a worthwhile substitute for Staticaster, but if I'm already running a small red splash, I prefer Staticaster. If anything, I'd put in a 3rd Arashin Cleric in place of the land just for extra burn protection.

    Quote from Wesste »

    2. I see you've been a big advocate of arashin cleric, but with the amount of humans in the deck, would auriok champion be a better option? This way you're less likely to get caught out if an opponent has skullcrack, as you will likely be able to keep jamming creatures, rather than relying on a one-off.

    The problem with Auriok Champion is that it's harder to cast and can often be irrelevant if there aren't any follow up creatures on either side. It is awful when played later in a game, whereas Arashin Cleric will always provide value. Some burn decks also bring in stuff like Path to Exile for pro-red creatures, so I prioritize the ETB effect. I bring in my 4th Freebooter against them as well, which can be used to clear a path for Cleric. Also, having Kambal, Consul of Allocation as a secondary plan is big game here.

    As for Arashin Cleric specifically, the reasons I advocate for it are:
    A) Easy to cast
    B) 2 mana, so can come down T2 without relying on a dork
    C) 3 toughness, which means it can block Goblin Guide and a single prowess trigger on Monastery Swiftspear. Also means it is very burn resistant with any lord effect/+1 counter.
    D) Consistent value at any point in the game
    E) Aside from painful mana draws, landing the instant 3 lifegain can often put the game out of reach.

    And let me be clear - Arashin Cleric is NOT a good card. However, it does all the things we need it to do in a very specific, generally difficult matchup (while being conveniently on-gameplan), so it gets the nod from me.

    Before I forget...it's been a while since I came across this, but I'm pretty sure Skullcrack can be used before combat damage to kill an Auriok Champion, since damage can't be prevented. With that in mind, it makes the decision pretty easy for me. Cleric is less situational and more consistent value. Skullcrack will be back breaking regardless, so give me the easier to cast and more consistent card. What we really need is Kor Firewalker as a human.

    Quote from Wesste »

    3. Is Abzan falconer really worth it?
    What do you bring it in against? It seems a bit to situational for my liking.... I know this scenario is a little far fetched, but say you get your Thalia thoughtseize and then sugical extraction'd? You have no way of giving creatures +1/+1. This makes Falconer pretty redundant.

    I'm not sure if you checked out any of the videos I posted of my modern league, but my reasoning for Falconer is that the only time the deck struggled was when the opposing deck was able to clog up the board with 2/2 Knight tokens off of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Falconer would come in against decks that like to clog up the ground - Merfolk, Elves, many opposing GW based CoCo decks, planeswalker heavy decks etc (decks generally low on removal and with lots of ground creatures/tokens, and decks where Sin Collector is mostly irrelevant). It could also be useful against decks that try to attack us through the air like Affinity and Spirits. Not only would I never bring it in against a Thoughtseize/Surgical Extraction deck, but that would be a foolish gameplan for someone to try to take against us so I don't foresee anyone trying it; there's just too much redundancy in the deck for that to be worthwhile. If anything, they'd be much better off going after Collected Company or something along those lines. Also, those types of cards are very likely to get sniped by our disruption.

    Quote from Wesste »

    4. What's your plan vs sweepers?
    Seeing as we run so many creatures having some board protection might be worth while. Or have you found the combination of Freebooter and Meddling Mage to be enough hand disruption? Or is some recursion (i.e. eternal witness/renegade rallier) or board protection (I.e. selfless spirit) reasonable considerations?

    Kitesail Freebooter, Sin Collector and Meddling Mage are in the deck with sweeper protection being one of the biggest reasons. My beloved Bant Red list has always struggled against control, even with 3 Negate in the side (and other various things I have tried), and I just couldn't find a way to make the matchup favorable. It's one of the big reasons to play this new Bant Black deck over the others. However, if it is still a concern, I would recommend eternal witness or maybe even Xathrid Necromancer. But in my somewhat limited experience with this list, control players sometimes keep risky hands that heavily rely on a single sweeper in hand, which perfectly plays into our disruption package.

    Quote from Wesste »

    Would welcome your thoughts as it looks like the list is progressing well Smile

    It definitely is. I have very high hopes for this type of list. Smile Hope my answers are helpful!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Which Humans list are you testing?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »
    How often did you play the burn matchup with the list? I played it about 30 times losing about 16-20.

    I've only played against burn once with this list (won 2-0) but have played against it a lot with Bant Red. You have to be a little more selective than usual with the hands you keep. What you really want is painless mana and the ability to drop an Arashin Cleric without it getting hit by Skullcrack. Those two criteria greatly improve the matchup. With this list specifically, an early Kambal also goes a long way. It's still not a great matchup but certainly winnable. Sniping burn spells with Freebooter and Collector helps a lot, but you definitely need dedicated lifegain in the 75. I don't think forge tender does much for you since its main application is Anger of the Gods, which is easily sniped anyway.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I use Arashin Cleric and Kambal against burn. Between those and the extra Freebooter in the side, I've been able to stave burn off long enough to stabilize. I'm actually thinking about playing the deck at Charlotte next week as well, but I have conflicting plans at the moment. If I don't make it, all I ask for is a quick shoutout if you get a deck tech or something hahaha :p . My current list:

    My sideboard is tuned for a wide open meta since MTGO modern is basically the wild west for all sorts of rogue decks. I've yet to come across a deck I didn't have answers for.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Sounds good! I'm hoping to stream some more leagues with the deck over the weekend. I definitely feel like we're onto something with this list. The 1 round I lost in the friendly league (which was mostly due to my misplay) is so far my only round lost of the ~15-20 I have played so far. The matchups across the board seem to be, on average, the best and most versatile of all the Humans lists I have tried, even my beloved Bant Red. Some minor tweaking and tuning and we could have ourselves a legit contender.

    As a random sidenote, I do want to playtest Abzan Falconer in the sideboard. The only real struggle I had at times was pushing through damage during board stalls, as evidenced in the first round of the league I posted. It even has synergy with Anafenza's ability to spread counters, which is nice. We can use Freebooter/Meddling Mage to protect it from spot removal too.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »
    A couple of questions: What exactly was difficult about the Merfolk matchup? And how did the GDS matchup feel? Both are matchups I have yet to encounter with my list.

    --> In my opinion this matchup is a race in which it can be very important to tap their creatures and prevent them from blocking (that is why I like Thalia 2.0 or Abzan Falconer). Especially turns 4-5. I just think with your build you have a ton of dead cards against them 3 sin collector, 3 freebooter, 2 meddling mage and they just run over you. A mana dork into 3drop into two 2-drops makes the race much easier compared to a steady curve 1,2,3.

    Yeah I can see that. Though Meddling Mage and Freebooter can hit Spreading Seas, which is their scariest card imo, and using Renegades to take them off of Vial is big as well.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    I agree that Meddling Mage can be good. But even if you know the meta (which I do), it is almost useless if you have to play it before you play a freebooter or a sin collector and even then they have a turn to response and play the card. For example, what do you name blind against Valakut decks? Sure there are decks like Ad nauseam where MM is great ..but to be honest..who is still playing AD nauseam? I rather have stronger creatures compared to certain matchups that I don't face very often.

    Ad Nauseum is still pretty common on MTGO, so I gotta be prepared for it. Against Valakut, you could name a few things. Anger of the Gods, Through the Breach, Scapeshift, or even Sakura-Tribe Elder if you're on the play. Naming Search For Tomorrow could be hilarious if they suspend one on T1. It would be tough before knowing exactly which version you're up against, but would be very good once you figure it out.

    As for having stronger creatures, unfortunately there aren't many good options in Bant Black at 2 cmc, which is one of the reasons to play the Bant Red list. Duskwatch Recruiter would probably be the next best choice there. The only worthwhile adjustments to make would be what you did and add more 3 drops, but I'd be reluctant to make the deck too reliant on a T1 dork A) Being in your opener and B) living till turn 2. If neither of those criteria are met, you're stuck with an even slower deck than before. Consistently being able to start on turn 2 when needed is very important. Meddling Mage not only allows you to do that, but also gives you a chance to interact with your opponent's gameplan. You won't always hit their gameplan, but the chance of it is still worthwhile and better than other 2 cmc options that I'm aware of.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    I am not sure abouth Thalia 2.0 either but I think it is one of the best options without being too risky with the mana. Abzan Falconer was always great for me and won me a lot of games against creature decks (actually no one ever removed it), because these decks are often short on removal. I took it out after your removal argument, but I might take it back in. I just think it is less impressive compared to Thalia 2.0

    That's fair. Merfolk is pretty light on removal, so Falconer could be good there. I would probably sideboard it though. Thalia is definitely better maindeck if that's what you're wanting.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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