2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on U/x Living As Foretold
    Maybe. There're some issues with this archetype that need to be solved but I'm not sure crashing footfalls is the answer.

    I've recently played this list in an FNM to test some of the new cards from MH and was pretty pleased with the results and how it played out. One issue still remains, though, and that may or may not be solved by crashing footfalls. Anyway, this is my list:

    The sideboard is slightly random as I had no time to really update it, but things I would never cut are the angers and sprays as you need early interaction against aggro and/or additional boardwipes that exile. I also only play 1 cascade bluffs because I only have 1.

    Going into the FNM, my idea was that electrodominance is the weakest of the enablers in the majority of games and can be shaved to 3 MD with the 4th in the board for matchups where T2 end or instant speed end is needed. While I still stand by this decision, it doesn't mask the biggest issue this deck still has: not finding living end in time.

    In the FNM, I went 2-1-1 (the draw was a win but was 1 turn short to finish it. We (mostly he :P) were rather slow and later he told me he actually scooped but I didn't realize.. lol). What did I lose to? Well, myself. In 2 games, despite even angering his board in G2, I lost to actual RG Innistrad draft pile because I just couldn't find living end or anything to stabilize the board. I beat (budget) infect, UW stoneforge control and (practically) Amulet Titan.

    In all games I won, Force of Negation was insane. It stopped summoning pact and Karn against titan, 3feri against UW control and lethal pump against infect, as examples. This may be one of the best decks in the format for Force as you have so many blue cards to pitch and the cycling nature of the deck ensures you have spare cards to pitch and on top of that you can actually use it to protect your combo via electrodominance.

    While force helps tremendously against annoying stuff like 3feri and chalice on 0, so does nimble obstructionist. This is a very flexible cycler that I think is just a requirement in this deck as it gives you main deck outs to stuff like relic, tormod's crypt and chalice by simply cycling to counter the ability. Cryptic is another safety valve to be able to bounce troublesome permanents, which means this deck is quite resilient.

    The only hard matchups I had with U/x living as foretold so far were aggro and combo, and combo is more or less solved with electrodominance and force. Only aggro remains an issue because you just do nothing if you don't find living end. Maybe this is where crashing footfalls from the sideboard may help to increase the density of action spells, but it won't work against everything so I'm not sure that's the way to go. Alternatively you could simply stack the sideboard against various kinds of aggro (from burn to infect to zoo) as in my experience, the deck really doesn't need help against control (never lost this as far as I can tell) and is pretty decent against combo now.
    Bottle Gnomes is cute but it's mainly good when you also have living end to get it back and when you have living end you can already win anyway, most likely. I even had Dragon's Claw at some point but if you don't actually play all that many red spells yourself it's not that exciting.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Arcane Storm: Twiddle me this
    Well, not playing it all that well and having poor draws + poor matchup(s) didn't help. Since then it goldfished quite well and last night in a testing session I managed to beat Mardu Shadow through disruption, going 2-1. It felt pretty solid that they can only interact via discard and despite having tidehollow scullers in addition to the usual suspects, it didn't seem to be so bad. As usual, discard only works if you back it up with a clock. It's still a lot of fun to weasel yourself out of a sticky situation and comboing off against the odds like with JAC, but removing most of the angles of disruption available against JAC.

    Fair enough. It is indeed pretty strong to have a land serve 2 purposes and I might play 1 as my 21st land or even 2 if I also replace an island. Having it as 'the tutor' I think is an issue though, as mentioned before, because it requires so much land and is so slow. With spells like Shimmer, Ideas and Peer (or the cmc1 cantrips) you'd also love to be able to set up your combo turn on turn 2 so if you play a ton of taplands, that will be hard to do.

    Having played a sideboarded game with Thing in the Ice and thinking about it some more, I feel like I'd rather play Aria of Flame instead. This deck is not particularly good at flipping thing as it doesn't play manamorphose and doesn't want to just spew twiddles. Yes, if they board out all removal it's great but how many decks can really do that? Also, would a smart opponent not consider Thing and leave something in? Just not playing any creatures at all and having an enchantment, something that generally needs a more specific, less frequently played card to remove could be safer and thus more likely to succeed. Added bonus is that Aria can slowly kill a Narset or other annoying planeswalkers.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Arcane Storm: Twiddle me this
    Quote from megatog201 »

    To answer your question. These are the cards that add storm count-
    4 Shadow Of Doubt
    4 Dream's Grip
    4 Peer Through Depths
    4 Psychic Puppetry
    4 Reach Through Mists
    1 Twiddle
    4 Ideas Unbound
    2 Grapeshot
    1 Sylvan Scrying
    Also at the end of the combo if you need 1 or 2 more storm counts you can cast any of the cycling cards.
    The idea is to basically run through your deck. If you want you can start with the instants. Draw 1, look at the top 5, etc. Idea here is to build a hand with as many Shadow of Doubts as possible. Start cycling. Cast Shadow to get the cycled cards back and go back to arcane instants. Only Shadow and cycle when you begin to fizzle.
    Remember once you have a critical mass of mana you don't have to keep on the instant plan. At this point you can allow the field trigger to resolve. You don't need mana anymore.
    Alternatively, once you reach a critical mass of cards in hand you can just stop cycling and raise storm count by using strictly arcane spells.
    All 12 of the cycling creatures are at worst a redraw. 4 of them produce mana. When you get to a state where you have 2-4 Viziers and rotation and 2 or 3 Shadows thats somewhere between 6 and 12 extra mana and cards drawn.
    Lastly about my list, since you are drawing the vast majority of your deck, or the entire deck if you so choose, the need to actually have storm count >/= life total isn't nearly as needed. You can simply grapeshot then cast the second grapeshot. Storm of 8 or 9 would do the trick.
    I hope that clears up any confusion.

    As for your list. I like it. I would try to find a way to include 1 or more Depths though. Playing that and putting the card you want on top then cracking a fetch after you draw it is really strong. Good luck and I hope it goes well

    Ah, I see. I suppose that works but the question then becomes: "how does that play out when you don't combo"? As a Jeskai Ascendancy Combo player, to me it seems that as in JAC, the issue isn't comboing off successfully (though, more on that later), but rather getting to your combo. What makes JAC good (not saying it is actually good, but a good aspect of it) is that its combo is also the way to get there, as in, the cantrips. Tons of people in the JAC thread want to add cards that add infinite combos to the deck which is useless because fizzling is very rarely the issue, actually starting to combo is. Those cycling creatures and shadow don't seem to do all that much if you're not comboing, which makes me not want to go that route.

    After having played in an FNM, I'm afraid a 21st land is probably needed (lotus field itself doesn't count for turns 1 and 2) and a halimar depth or another lonely sandbar are the prime candidates. Another option I'm considering is the UG temple that scries 1.

    Quote from arcane7828 »

    Tolaria west via transmute fetches the lotus fields? Tho being green, sylvan scrying is nice

    True, but I expected that to be too slow and clunky as it doesn't naturally lead into T3 Lotus Field and, more importantly, requires you to have 3 lands in play before you can field, which, in my experience so far, is pretty ambitious in a deck with effectively 16-17 lands.

    Anyway, last Friday I played an FNM and went a spectacular 1-3. Before you stop reading, let me say that I hadn't goldfished much (maybe 1 or 2 hands the night before as I got the last cards I needed in the mail) and it was (obviously) at the end of a tiring work week. Anyway, this is how it all went down:

    Round 1, UW Control
    So, this was a nice start of the FNM with a matchup that has counterspells and potentially annoying stuff like Narset. On the other hand, this is where I have Defense Grid and Veil of Summer for in the SB.
    Game 1. I get fairly smoothly to lotus field and attempt to go off but fizzle after firing off 2 ideas unbound as I can't find a puppetry or other twiddles. I ditch 5 lands and a scrying or something ridiculous like that. Two turns later I finally find what I need but a Narset has come down since then, to compliment his JTMS, and I don't find echoing truth in time.
    Game 2 (mull to 6). I lotus field and try to go off but end up with 3 puppetry in hand and nothing else. I die to narset + new ashiok making everything impossible. Veil was nice as it potentially let me protect against a ravenous trap or counter while drawing a card but sadly it drew more puppetries rather than something to do with it.

    That game felt like the nut-unlucky, but as I have no recording of it I can't say for sure that I made the right decisions while comboing. Looking at what I've learned so far and in goldfishing much more with it, I think it's safe to say I valued card drawing too much over making mana and going for past in flames, which makes it much harder to combo off.

    Anyway, on to round 2, Mono-R prison:
    Game 1 I mull to 5 and he goes T3 Koth into T4 little Karn. Because he has koth and has 3 mountains in play, he can get lattice and play it next turn so I have to go for it here. After building storm 18 while resolving a peer through depth, I have the choice of getting grapeshot or another peer. This is funny because I can't make enough properly colored mana to be able to grapeshot for 20 so I have to take peer and continue. After generating well over 20 storm (this includes a PiF), I fizzle because I found/took so few twiddles that I can't continue. That was sad. Hilarious, but sad.
    Game 2 he goes T1 Eidolon of the great revel, T2 blood moon and I'm not even close to playing magic.

    Round 3, Budget GW Bogles
    Game 1 (mull to 5), he has no idea what I'm doing as I dig for field, but that doesn't really matter as he can't interact anyway. Because he goes all-in on a kor spirit dance, I technically can interact with him but I don't find my echoing truth. However, I just combo and it doesn't matter.. right? Except I fizzle and die, again. I'm not exactly sure what went wrong this time, but a fizzle nonetheless.
    Game 2 (mull to 6) I have a Thing in the Ice that slows him down a lot because he can't play anything into it. When I finally flip it because I can go off next turn if needed anyway, he condemns it on attack and then plays spirit dancer with a bunch of auras. Now I have to go off and I actually manage this time. Probably because I had lotus field already in play + 2 more lands when I did so I had plenty of mana.
    Game 3 I mull to 5 but T3 combo the first time this FNM. yay!

    Round 4, bant lords (mirror entity, lord of the unreal, phantasmal image, that kind of stuff).
    Game 1 (mull to 6). My opponent usually plays bant spirits so I put him on this and keep trying to play around spell queller. He doesn't have that (or any spirits, really) but assembles a crappy board with Knight of Autumn + a copy of it, collector ouphe and bird/noble. I go off but fizzle (yay!) and have to grapeshot his board away. This gave me enough time to go off a few turns later anyway so I win after all.
    Game 2 (mull to 5) I fail horribly. He has an eidolon of rhetoric and I form the plan to EoT bounce it into combo, but somehow trick myself into thinking I can spend my mana on merchant scroll, so cannot bounce it. Sadly, on his turn he plays mirror entity and lord of the unreal, though I don't quite realize how sad this is just yet. On my turn, thinking he messed up tapping out I try to bounce the eidolon and he activates entity for 0, pointing out that his eidolon is now a 1/1 hexproof and I scoop in shame.
    Game 3 he assembles entity + lords and wrecks my Thing in the Ice plan by making all his creatures horrors when I flip thing.. doh. Did I mention that playing Friday Night after a tiring work week is not optimal? Shortly after he plays eidolon again and I'm locked out.

    So. This FNM at least cured me from the idea of playing this in GP Ghent this week (much to the relief of my teammates), but it also taught me that this deck is much more complicated to play than Gift Storm or JAC. Goldfishing it since then I've been going off successfully T3 or 4 consistently, so there's clearly potential here and I'll be sure to play it more in upcoming FNMs or other events I don't care as much about in regard to results.
    What bugged me so far was that you need 2 land (realistically) before playing Lotus Field, but you only have 16 non-lotus field lands (or 17). Most of my mulligans that night were due to too few (non-lotus field) lands. It was amusing to mull away 2 lotus fields the first time, not so much the 3+ other times..
    Also, needing both the arcane package which depends on puppetry and the twiddles to actually make mana it seems like you need so much to actually go off that T3 is probably an optimistic scenario. Of course, as with any combo deck you should figure out when you have to go for it and when you can wait, but simply being able to twiddle your field T3 and having 1 draw spell is far from reliable enough. Fortunately, as long as you don't go nuts with Ideas Unbound, you can simply try again later, knowing your main combo piece is safe and can basically not be touched.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Arcane Storm: Twiddle me this
    @megatog201 How do you actually build enough storm, though? I've had a look at that shadow list and I think it's a bit of a nombo. The cycling creatures don't build storm and shadow can only return cycled/discarded stuff, none of the spells. So it's not in fact an instant speed past in flames.

    Also, being able to go off on T2 is nice and all, but that really requires you to find your 4-off Field in the top 10 cards or so because you only have time to cast 1 cantrip. I don't think the consistency is there to really bend over backwards for a more likely T2 kill.

    Anyway, tonight I'm going to play a UG version as I really dislike the dependency of a 4-off without tutors, so I'm playing 2 Sylvan Scrying main. I also like green sideboard options so I'm going to test the following list:

    An initial list I saw that played green for Scying didn't play the cycle lands which I think is a mistake. You have to be able to turn it into a cantrip when you have plenty of mana mid-combo. Merchant scroll and Shimmer were initially 2 Vizier of Tumbling Sands but I found them clunky. Yes, they're a cantrip ritual but outside of the combo it does little to nothing, doesn't work with PIF, doesn't build storm and I would rather have a 5th copy of puppetry, the engine twiddle, and another option to dig for Field or other relevant cards.

    In goldfishing I noticed that you need quite a few rituals (so actual 1 mana twiddles, not the spliced puppetry) to be able to use PiF or regular cantrips. Going peer + splice into peer + splice is basically just spinning your wheels and will make you fizzle if you don't somehow generate mana for PIF or other cantrips to find more stuff.

    Looking forward to play this tonight :). It looks much more like my favorite combo deck Jeskai Ascendancy Combo than regular Gifts Storm, so no matter my record tonight, I'm sure at I'll be having a good time ;).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Burn
    I've tested a lot against bant spirits before recent sets and it was a pretty easy matchup. They could only win if they had a fast Geist or really went back to back spell quellers with a lord thrown in.

    I don't like eidolon in the matchup because they easily block it or fly over it so with vial or coco it's just you who gets punished. Boarding in more searing effects and maybe a few paths is the way to go as it keeps their board clear while you kill them. In case of Bant spirits, make sure to kill the Noble to slow them down a lot and not allow a fast Geist or early queller.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    That SCG list without fetches seems unplayable. So few white sources, super awkward with searing blaze and only 2 GG, which is basically the best 1-drop in the deck. Apparently he won but that must have been more lucky than good.

    I haven't played against UW control with the new additions yet. Not being able to skullcrack their timely with Teferi out will definitely be annoying so maybe Teferi needs to die. Eidolon should still be great, though. Teferi is not really an answer to eidolon as you can just replay it immediately. Firecraft is always nice against UW so if you have trouble, just make sure to have 2 of those in the SB.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    8 is a bit much in the mirror and other damage races, but it's fine against matchups where your life total doesn't matter (UW control and Tron, for example). I recently played a European modern series qualifier with 5 in straight boros and it felt great, even in aggromatchups like zoo. I first tested 8 but realized that besides the damage it also just takes too much time to crack more than 1-2 in a game unless it goes long, in which case you'll see a higher % of the ones you're playing anyway. According to the hypergeometric distribution, playing 5 leads to 60%+ chance of 1 or more of them in 10 cards, which is a good number in my opinion. They were great for me in the tournament, exactly what burn needed, and will never play fewer than 4 for sure.

    I can see 8 being fine in mono red, but not playing fetches with searing blaze is just bad so there's possibly no room for all of them.

    As for the EMSQ, I made top 8 but lost in the semis to the same guy I lost to in the swiss. He played dredge and I woefully underprepared for that matchup with just 1 grafdigger's cage and 1 rest in peace. I manage to snag 1 game in the top 4 based on a mull to 5 with both pieces of hate but mulling to 3 g3 for land and rip didn't get there as he had the claim and was on the play.
    I beat Jund, Bant neoform toolbox, counters company and UR phoenix. It's funny how jund, in G2, went T1 IoK take my goblin guide, I topdeck GG and decide to play it, it reveals collective brutality on attack and he double escalates it T2. I won that game easily. No clock means brutality does nothing, but not many people seem to get that. Only if the brutality also enables your deck, like in mardu pyromancer or, better, hollow one, is it actually a big deal.

    Anyway, time to retool my sideboard a bit. I mean, he did go nuts against me with multiple t2 massive creature dumps and even hogaak (his 1-off..) with multiple creeping chills, which made it look completely hopeless, but having so little gy hate really cost me.

    @Huviam. Beating humans is basically based on how many searing blaze/blood you draw to disrupt their clock while beating down. Also make sure to not walk your rift bolts into meddling mage. If you manage their board such that you win the race, you should win. The trick is a) having enough blazes and b) not losing the 'killing them' aspect of the game out of sight by gunning down every single creature they play. By killing some essential creatures you can slow them down enough to kill them using plan A, so don't overboard with tons of removal that doesn't go to the face.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    Guess I'll see whether it does something. I just don't like it (or leylines in general) because it swings so much between great and utter crap.

    I don't think you can ever treat it as a 0 mana shock, however. There's a chance it is, but there's also a (bigger) chance that it's a 4-mana do nothing. So far I've seen you advocate for consistency and redundancy in Burn (which I agree with) so I'm a bit surprised you like it (even if it is in the SB maybe pile).

    I've recently played the mirror with straight Boros (common library) containing 8 canopylands and if this matchup is anything to go by, 8 is definitely too many. It takes too much time and mana to crack them for cards in such a tight race and if you can't crack more than 1 realistically even though you probably have 2+, you're taking quite a bit of extra damage. I plan to test it in an FNM upcoming Friday because the Burn mirror is of course on the extreme end of the spectrum. UW control is the other extreme (where I expect it's awesome and you'd happily play 20 of them), but I'm not so sure about all the less extreme matchups. The safe option is to simply run 4 inspired vantage instead of fiery islet but I've played Burn for years and got.. burned.. by flood often enough to really want to push things.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    The difference is that RIP doesn't need to be a 4-off to be useful. Also, 8rack is hardly a matchup to care about.

    I don't play deflecting palm even in straight Boros because it's very easy to play around, especially now it's such a known quantity.

    Maybe the leyline is great, but I think we should consider the worst case scenario in the best case (T0 leyline) in the various matchups and not simply consider it won if we do that. As I mentioned, storm and ad nauseam can just bounce it if necessary (which ad naus indeed doesn't due to grace/unlife) and similar answers should be thought of for other matchups. Jund will still happily IoK your GG T1 as it represents more dmg than 2 and how much do they 'have' to target you(r stuff) other than that? They can also just trophy it if they need/want to target a lot. On the other hand, it does nothing if they go T2 goyf into T3 lili discard, which doesn't target and puts a lot of pressure on.

    In that sense it's similar to ensnaring bridge which was great when unanswerable and unexpected but trash when it became a known quantity with multiple easy answers (trophy, knight, fx) played maindeck. Imho, Burn cannot afford to play cards that have a high chance of being a dead draw and I think leyline will be that.

    I'd love to be proven wrong and have it flip matchups around, but I haven't seen any examples yet.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    A 4 mana card that only does something in your opener seems really sketchy in Burn, is my main worry. If it doesn't turn a matchup around I'm not into it..

    Also, they can just bounce it first with echoing truth.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    I want to be proven wrong about having 8 canopies in my deck rather than the other way around so I'm playing all 8 in Boros. Haven't had the opportunity to test it in an FNM or so yet unfortunately. Pretty sure that in Boros (rather than with a splash for 3rd color) it's correct or at least close to it.

    As for the red leyline, I don't see how this is an improvement. I already don't play firewalker as searing blood and skullcrack suffice and have way more applications.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    I haven't posted here in a while (and I guess I almost can't anymore), so in regard to the current discussion I'd just like to add that 'they' used to say that Horizon Canopy is the only 'safe' version of the card because something like Burn would play 12 if it could. Well, now we can run 8 and I preordered 2 playsets because I will sure as hell play at least 4 and will try very hard to put in all 8 in straight Boros.

    I've recently played only Mardu Burn with 18 lands, first leaning more on black with Gonti's Machinations (laugh, if you will, but it won me a PPTQ :P. You could even argue that it became better with a consistent source of self-damage in the new canopies), then leaning more on white since Skewer the Critics got printed. Obviously, I can't fit in 8 canopies in Mardu and perhaps even in Boros 8 is too much when considering landfall for Searing Blaze, but if you don't start with at least the 4 R/W lands, I'm not sure you understand what one of the major issues with Burn is.. (flooding)

    If straight boros just can't work with 8 of those lands due to awkward mana or being low on landfall, it may well be a reason for mono red to be viable, with fetches just to fuel landfall (and Grim Lavamancer, if you run it).

    For now I'm just going to try to build Mardu with 4, though. I really like the low curve and sideboard cards like Crackling Doom. At first I thought I'd go up to 19 lands because I can sac a few for cards but screwing is rarely a problem with so many 1-drops and flooding always is, so might as well stay at 18. As calculated by someone in this topic before, the difference in % to get keepable hands between 18 en 20 lands is negligible and in that case I'd always choose to be on the screwy side with Burn.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    For all of you hyped up on Risk Factor, just realize that every time you say "in situation X, side Y of RF would be really good!", what we sceptics read is "in situation X, you're not going to get side Y".

    4 dmg for 3 mana is not good or even fine. It's super clunky and terrible in multiples and dead against fast archetypes so I have no idea how you can even consider this a main deck card.

    If all this card is (maybe) good against is control, you have to make a convincing case for it to be better than exquisite firecraft which will do exactly what you want every time.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    Thanks :).

    I agree that Gonti's is the worst cmc1 'spike', but not that you can't use it immediately. Sure, the first you can't (which is why you need it early, i.e. play 4), but that's not the case for 2-4. I would also play Helix in its spot if I would cut it (or perhaps skullcrack).

    Still, it has been just 1 mana sovereign bite for me so far with some incidental upside of people not attacking me to deprive me of energy. Obviously that's stupid in the vast majority of cases so not really something you can count on, but it's upside.

    My biggest gripe with it is how it can conflict with swiftspear in sequencing like when you need to either fetch another black or forego a prowess or energy trigger. Depending on the matchup you should do 1 or the other, though I default to getting the prowess because every dmg counts and you're not likely to die in 1 big hit on t2/3 where the lifegain would have mattered.

    In all matches I've played with this version so far, it has felt better than Boros so I recommend you give it a shot at an FNM or so.

    Indeed, DCteamup :). Gonti was fine, just another lava spike in most cases but sometimes, like in the semis, it was good to have the lifegain as well.
    No SB guide, it doesn't deviate much from Boros burn, though. I'm also not at the DOS, btw. No time :(.

    @Creevian, I disagree you need a high fetch count to play Gonti's. Eidolon also damages you and so does your opponent. You could argue that I need more fetches to increase my white sources, but not that I have too few for Gonti. Not killing yourself is still important. It's not like you have more life gain main deck than Boros burn.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    So I've been reading up on this topic for a while and still have multiple pages to go, but felt like posting as I won a PPTQ (47 players) with Burn last weekend. I've been playing Modern Burn since early 2015 (though not continuously), mainly Naya (Atarka's Command, no Nacatl). I did fairly well with it in the past, as in multiple PPTQ top 8s, but never won with it. Then Eldrazi Winter happened and I stopped playing burn for a while. Recently, I picked it up again, now playing Boros (splash G for Revelry) and it felt solid, but something annoyed me that already annoyed me before: the curve is too high. There are multiple spots in which I felt I got 'stuck' with all these 2 mana spells in hand and only 1-2 land, allowing me to play 0-1 spells a turn, which is just not good enough against the majority of Modern.

    The obvious answer to this problem is substituting for cmc 1 spells, which leads to playing black for Bump in the Night and, if you want to really go for it, Gonti's Machinations, as well as a land less. I do think it should be Mardu, because Boros Charm is 1 of the strongest cards in the deck due dealing 4 in 1 card, and it allows for white sideboard cards. After going 4-0 in an FNM with this list, I replaced the last Ensnaring Bridge with the 2nd Crackling Doom in the sideboard and took it to a PPTQ. I played rather poorly and scrubbed out, but took the same 75 to another PPTQ last Saturday and played reasonably well to a winning finish:

    The rationale here is that I want R/B on turn 1 most, because it allows me to cast almost everything in the deck and allows me to first cast Gonti's Machinations and then fetch and/or shock to get energy. Also, it's nice to not take infinite damage every game due to being 3 colors main.
    Beyond that I think that Grim Lavamancer is great (certainly now) and is the only card that I tolerate in the deck that never deals damage as a topdeck.

    The tournament itself went pretty smoothly and started out in a telling manner.
    Round 1 Hollow One
    He mulls and discards all the wrong cards which makes my bad hand good enough (I put him on another deck) to win G1. G2 the one choice I had was to attack into Gurmag Angler and bolt it or not and I decide to do it because he also has a flamewake to get back and doesn't have much else going. He blocks, I kill it and a few spells later he's dead without much pressure on me.

    Round 2 Elves
    She's not fast out of the gates with me on the play and even shocks in a temple garden for no reason giving me exactly lethal in an easy game. G2 I see no Searing effects, but control her board while attacking. I flood out horribly enough to not get her below 6 life despite her mulligan to 5. Oh well. G3 I again see no searing effect but enough burn to easily put her away. Don't think I've ever lost to Elves with Burn.

    Round 3 Bant Spirits
    This was pretty brutal. I open on swiftspear after he lays tapped Hallowed Fountain and that plants the idea of UW or Jeskai Control in my head. He then plays Botanical Sanctum but I don't add it up to Bant Spirits so I'm not sure what to do. I decide, with my hand of spike, 2 bolt, 2 rift bolt, to just play land and attack. He does nothing and takes 1, I suspend 2 rift bolts. He plays Rattlechains EoT which makes clear what he's playing so I assume he's on Spell Queller when he plays land 3 and passes after attacking. I rift bolt him twice and go for a spike. He quells, I bolt it and bolt his face for a turn 3 kill from 20 life with 1 overdamage.. 7 power swiftspear, not sure I've seen it that high ever before hehe.
    G2 I Sear him out of the game, basically. Think we were done in 10 mins tops.

    Round 4 Humans
    I'm on the play, which means that his Thalia's Lieutenant + double Phantasmal Image is a turn too slow. I played around Meddling Mage best I could (really don't want to suspend Rift Bolt into it) and can resolve all spells in hand for the win.
    G2 he keeps a reasonable 6 on the back of a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben but I have a bolt on t2 to keep attacking and playing spells so that I can double boros charm him to win the race.

    Round 5 ID with Jeskai Control
    I had a 50/50 on being paired with a fellow x-0 and got lucky. Even luckier that my bad matchup agreed to draw.

    Round 6 ID with Naya Burn
    I intended to play this round for seeding but due to the other x-0 losing the downpair in R5, IDing would guarantee 2nd or 3rd spot, which I'd take any day over a chance at 1st or maybe dropping out on breakers (mine weren't great).

    I get into top 8 as 2nd seed together with, in order, Bogles, me, Jeskai Control, Humans, Infect, Naya Burn, Jund and G Tron.

    Top 8 Jund
    He thinks it's a good idea to play Dark Confidant against me and is soon explained the error of his ways when he immediately takes 3 from flipping Liliana. He gets lucky enough to not hit a non-land for 2-3 turns after that, though, which would have made it a very easy win, but the fact that I rather discard Blaze to his Kolaghan's Command than hold it for a potential land draw should make it pretty obvious to him that I like him having confidant in play.
    Interestingly, I had a Gonti's in play with 1 energy and at first he doesn't even attack with Bob, but then, after having played Lili and dealing with my board, he decides it's time to attack and put me to 2 energy while he's at 4. Now he's dead to any non-land, non-lavamancer draw and promptly dies.
    G2 he has a Collective Brutality but he only escalates once and still doesn't do much. Double Gonti give me enough life to race him.

    Top 4 Naya Burn
    My R6 opponent and now we have to play, but I'm on the play so I'm feeling pretty good. He might play Kor Firewalker and will probably take less damage of his mana base, which would make it much worse, but in principle I'm faster (especially on the play) and only need to dodge his helices.
    G1 I have a good hand with 2 lands, haste creature, blaze and burn spells and flip a 2nd searing blaze to his GG. I Blaze and attack and he turns out to have a creature heavy hand, going GG Swift on T2. On my turn I play 3rd land and have to decide on which creature to kill. I choose his Spear as with GG he needs triple bolt exactly to kill me from 11 and with at least 2 spells, spear is bigger than guide. He tells me afterwards he would have had lethal if I killed his GG instead.
    G2 I have multiple Helix and Gonti and put him in a spot where he has to shoot first. He does and I burn him out in response.

    Top 2 G Tron
    As you can see, the Top8 has gone very well for me, and not just in my matches. Tron beat Bogles, Burn beat Jeskai Control, then Tron beat Humans. Fun fact: this exact (well, I played Boros Burn) finals happened before in a big Dutch tournament (Dutch Open Series) in May, which I won. That one was hardly a match, but this one was.
    G1 he has the absolute nuts with T3 Wurmcoil T4 wurmcoil. Could have beaten the first one if he didn't have a blocker (or removal for a creature) but sadly he did and I was down a game in a very good matchup.
    G2 he mulls to 5 like Tron should in such a matchup and only has T4 tron. He digs for a payoff which only appears on T5: double wurmcoil. Nice. Well, fortunately I got him down to 7 before and go Crackling Doom, untap, Crackling Doom, Skullcrack for the win. The hand was a bit awkward but it got the job done, while he could almost taste victory already. Sorry Dave ;).
    G3 I mull to 6, tossing a 3lander without creatures, for a solid 1-lander. He again mulls to 5 and has T4 tron or such. His payoff is a mere Worldbreaker, which I don't care about and as he's tapped out, I can burn him out with charm and crack.

    Over the tournament (and other games I played so far) I've really liked this version. Gonti hasn't been a dead topdeck yet (always farm energy) and now that Ensnaring Bridge is such a known quantity in Burn, I like Crackling Doom instead. I made the conscious decision to a) not play enchantment removal and b) include shattering spree to only deal with solvable problems (Chalice, affinity/lantern). I might play 18 land for the 4th Charm because the deck is so good at spitting out cmc1 spells, I really can operate on fewer lands than Boros Burn. The reason I haven't yet is because of having keepable opening hands and landfall for Searing Blaze, but maybe that's just mathematically incorrect. This is a side I like about the deck, by the way: it's very easy to objectively point out the correct play/composition of the deck because everything pretty much does the same thing and all you care about is efficiency. I like operating under such restrictive conditions, which gives the deck a lot more play than it appears to have on first glance.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.