A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
Exclusive: Sword of Truth and Justice
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    I've been playing with a Geist brew with the Electrodominance-AV "combo" and it's been decent.

    A few things:

    * Electrodominance-AV has been decent because when they connect it's really powerful, but even if they don't, both cards are decent individually. Electrodominance fits in the "burn to the face" plan which is, honestly, the way I win most games. It only gets more powerful as the game goes on. Additionally, there are at least two other cards that combine with Electrodominance to create a powerful play: Geist and Anger of the Gods. And also: it has helped me versus Blood Moon. AV for its part compensates the percentage points I lose vs midrange decks compared to regular Jeskai Control, so it feels like a nice addition on its own. Turn 1 suspended AV is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to Jund, Rock or Mardu.

    * The counter suite looks all over the place but there's actually logic behind it. All of these counterspells have pretty big downsides so I'd like not to draw more than one copy of each of them. Remand is the only one that I play a second copy of, because at least in all those MUs where counterspells are terrible it cycles itself. The weakest one is actually Mana Leak right now, that could become a second Negate, but not a second Knot. I've settled at exactly one copy of Knot in this deck and I don't want more with all of the graveyard hate running around.

    * I play only one Hallowed Fountain and 4 Spirebluff Canals because double red is important here for Anger of the Gods and Electrodominance. On the other hand, I deliberately avoided playing any double white card outside of a sideboard Angel to focus on getting Anger and Electrodominance online ASAP. Lack of Cryptics makes Canal better than Sulfur Falls. Canal is also good to cast Geist, Anger or even suspend a turn 1 AV without having to shock yourself.

    * I play only a singleton Spell Queller 'cause this isn't a Spell Queller deck, it's a Geist deck. I like to play exactly one Queller to have my opponents play around it. There's little downside to playing just one copy, as it's never an entirely terrible card as a one of.

    * I don't play Cryptic Command (nor Electrolyze). I've found Cryptic rather underwhelming recently in this midrange/tempo shell. And I like not to having to worry about getting triple blue or having three Islands available to fetch vs Blood Moon. It all helps me getting Anger online sooner and it's crucial in my plan vs Spirits, Humans, Dredge and Phoenix. Less islands, less chances not to have double red on turn 3.

    * 2 Purges because GDS is seing play and it's the only "midrange" deck where the AV-Electrodominance plan is bad. I feel like I need that extra help vs them post board, and Purge really is the best GDS hate card out there.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from Bearscape »
    I still like the angels; even though they're expected now, most aggro decks simply do not have many answers to it and cant possibly win as long as one stays on the table.

    Not sure about that. Spirits has Path. Vs Humans it's only a temporary solution as eventually they'll just grow their creatures bigger than the Angel. Also, Reflector Mage. The Angels also don't work well with mass removals.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Hey guys, I've been thinking about building a modern Sultai deck for years intermittently, but I always ended up convinced I was just playing a worse version of either Jund, Abzan, UW Control or Jeskai Control. Maybe, just maybe, Assassin's Trophy has changed that.

    I've been having good results with an extremely redundant midrange build that I put together. Compared to the other midrange decks (Jund, Rock, Mardu, Abzan) there are a couple things a deck like this has going for it. First, the ability to manipulate your draws. And that for me is huge. I'm someone who doesn't like to depend so much on the opening hand has it is with a deck like Jund. Second, well, Snapcaster Mage. And third, access to counterspells, which means, better big mana, combo and control MUs in general.

    Here is the list:

    So far my testing has given me the idea there's some potential here, as I never felt this good about a Sultai deck before. I haven't lost a single game to Tron, thanks to 16 Countersquall-Disdainful Stroke-Assassin's Trophy-Surgical Extraction, the MU feels decent in game 1, solidly positive in games 2 and 3. Midrange decks felt 50-50, but I haven't tested Mardu, which I suspect is the hardest for this deck. Burn is not a good MU per se for this archetype. However, with some rather "extreme" choices I made (fullsets of Brutality and Squall, two Kalitas, 0 Thoughtseize) it now DOES feel positive. The fullset of Surgicals, combined with other "incidental" hate (Kalitas) seems to do the trick vs graveyard decks. Aggressive decks on the other hand seem rather even MUs, worse compared to how good they are with Jund and Mardu (for them, aggro decks are the best MUs). And control, well...control has been the really good part. I think this deck is favored vs control. Countersquall and Disdainful Stroke are HUGE vs control.

    Well, just wanted to share this open project, let's see how it goes, but for now I would say...Sultai is becoming a good combination of colors for a midrange deck in modern, eventually.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from Bearscape »
    So how has playing against Assassin's Trophy fared for all of you? So far I still think we are heavily favoured against most BGx decks, although Jund has been impressive.

    What do you all think about bringing in Angels versus BGx? I'm not certain yet, as although an angel that sticks obviously ends the game, they have a lot of ways to remove them and trading down in mana without gaining any value from the card is just really bad. Against the aggro decks, an angel generally means they have to answer it immediately or the game ends, vs BGx, losing after an angel hit is still very much possible

    To be honest, I've been playing mostly Jund since the unban. The upgrade provided by Trophy has felt pretty amazing. But in terms of Jeskai, I haven't played a single game vs a Jeskai deck. I did play UW several times though and I still felt heavily unfavored. I don't expect things to be much different for the Jeskai MU (Jeskai still favored over BGx, albeit it's a bit more close).

    I don't think Angels are good vs BGx.

    I've been playing some Jeskai as well and I've currently settled on a long range build with Terminus, Sphinx's Revelation and Secure the Wastes. No Search for Azcanta, no Ancestral Vision. I've been doing pretty well in the games I played so far. The card I'm most unsure about is Spell Snare. I'm playing 2, but I keep wondering whether they're good enough.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    I don’t really have the same experience, to be honest. Thing in the Ice made the games against Affinity (HS is WAY better for us than the ‘usual’ Etched Champion version) a walk in the park, and it’s solidly positive according to my testing (70+%, testing against good pilots, cause all the good players in my surroundings went through Affinity). BridgeVine is way better for Ur than for Jeskai, given - once again - the power of TiTi, while Jeskai only has Path and Snap-Path to deal with recursive threats. Command into Thing win games. I would’ve agree if you were referring to Hollow One, though: this is certainly better for Jeskai than it is for Ur. Burn, well, I already admitted that it’s handled better by Lightning Helix decks. UW Spirits has been 50-50 in my testing, not nearly bad as you pictured it. Only tried against UW version, though. I don’t think it changes much.

    Funny thing: most of the deck that you pictured as ‘bad mu’ are also matchups were Moon isn’t good, or where - at least - you would prefer any other spell on its place. I remember some of your decklists, by the way, and I’m incline to think that you’re somehow light on removals. I would never jam this deck without my 8 cheap removals (4 Bolt + 2 Abrade + 2 Pyre/Roast) and a good number of Electrolyzes (3/4). That’s also something worth noticing.

    But, hey, not trying to convince anyone about my reasonings.

    You say that Hardened Scales Affinity and Bridgevine are positive or even "a walk in the park" simply because you have TiTi. Not only it doesn't match my own experience, but I also find it hard to rationalize. You say you're doing great vs decks that kill you super-fast thanks to a card you play 3 copies of and that needs at the very least 4 turns to do its job, assuming you have it in your opener or draw it right away. It seems to me like one of these classical reasonings that are flawed 'cause you only consider your best possible scenario. For the matter, I don't consider TiTi to be such a gamebreaker vs these decks. Bridgevine plays 4 copies of Greater Gargadon and draws at least as many cards as you do. Why would your 3 TiTi trump their 4 Gargadon then? All of this is not to mention that they kill you superfast and more ofen than not you won't have the time to do your trick with TiTi. Hardened Scales, for his part, doesn't simply die to a TiTi but once again, that's your best case scenario. Otherwise, your removals are pretty bad vs them (they often have */3+ creatures, they have creatures that do annoying things when you bolt them, they can move counters around etc).

    On Spirits, trust me, this deck is not 50/50 vs them. Bant Spirits (or even UW for the matter) is, IMHO, the most powerful aggro deck in the whole format right now and can go toe to toe with Jeskai, UW and Jund, which all have far better and more numerous removals. They really don't worry about an UR Pyromancer deck, they have so many tricks up their sleeve and your removals are so suboptimal and they have so many ways to render your removals ineffective. This is not a Humans decks where you shoot down their dudes and they can do nothing about it.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Timely is great in Jeskai mirrors indeed, but bad vs UW.

    Timely will be a very important tool to keep the new Jund decks at bay. Against a Bloodbraid Elf, Lightning Bolt, Liliana of the Veil deck that relies even more on 1-1 exchanges (I see Pulse kind of disappearing with Trophy), Timely is as good as it gets in terms of sideboard option. Incidentally, Burn is doing great right now. It's a good moment for Timely.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    I've been getting killed by Bant Spirits and UW Spirits alike with UR Pyro. And by "killed" I mean the MU feels solidly negative. With Jeskai the MU is slightly positive. Hardened Scales Affinity has been a pain to deal with while playing UR Pyro as well. With Jeskai I would call it one of the best MUs I have. These are the two most commonly played aggro decks right now, alongside Burn, if you consider Burn to be an "aggro" deck. So when you say UR deals "perfectly" with creature decks, it doesn't match my own experience. You mention things like Death and Taxes, Lantern, Chalice of the Void or Thopter Foundry, but these decks/cards are seeing very little play right now. Then, I don't know whether you want to call it aggro or not, but there's Bridgevine, which is yet another one where Jeskai is clearly better positioned. I left out Humans, which seems to be declining a little bit. It's the one where UR does best I think, but still, not as good as Jeskai.

    Then like you were mentioning yourself in the last pages we're probably going to see a shift in the meta with more BGx decks, which of course doesn't make things better for UR Thing/Pyro.

    I'm not trying to say the deck is terrible, it's a fun deck that rewards skill, I just don't buy the argument that having more basic lands and a less painful manabase is enough a reason to choose it over Jeskai, especially when you're not even playing Blood Moon. I actually usually have more life trouble with UR 'cause with Jeskai I can gain back my life points with Helix and Timely. So IMHO for UR to be the better choice the metagame has to be quite specific and surely big mana has to be way more prevalent than what it is right now and will be in the immediate future.

    On the comparison with Mardu, I agree the decks are different. I guess I can put it this way: Mardu is better at abusing YP compared to Izzet, IMHO.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    And yet, Jeskai has a vastly better MU vs aggro decks in general compared to Izzet decks. So for my part I don't buy that "painless manabase/lots of basics" argument. It's not enough a reason. By staying UR you're making your aggro MUs worse, some of them, by a lot. You're also making your midrange MUs worse, some of them, by a lot. So you want at least to gain something from it and the best way to do it is probably playing that "I win" card that is Blood Moon, that turns some MUs into byes and vastly improves control and big mana MUs, while also being more than decent vs midrange and several aggro decks.

    I tested the Young Pyromancer - Field of Ruin build again lately and I'm not convinced. I always feel like I'm playing a worse version of Mardu Pyromancer.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    I'm a fan of Counterflux, but I think generally it should be a 1of, not a 2of. It's not just good in control mirrors, it comes in vs most combo and big mana decks as well.

    Like other posters I also think that sideboard needs some work. Some cards I consider key are missing, including Alpine Moon, Damping Sphere, Celestial Purge, Timely Reinforcements and Wear//Tear.

    On the other hand the second copy of Counterflux and Stony Silence seems overkill to me, and I'm not a fan of the 2 sideboard AV.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Congrats on the finish!

    Like I said before I don't think you should try to beat UW at their own game (card advantage), but instead put them in a difficult spot with EOT plays (Snap-Clique-Burn), then you can either straight burn them out or in other cases resolve a Teferi if they try to fight you in their end step. I think Burn is great vs UW as long as you aren't overly aggressive (you shouldn't rush plays, usually you want to stay at 6-7 cards in hand while making plays in their end step and/or countering whatever they do.

    Cutting Knot is very wrong IMHO, regadless of RIP. You wan't all the counterspells you can have, the only one that might be reduced in number being Cryptic. I don't like bringing in Baneslayer and AV.

    This would be my plan with your decklist:

    -4 Path
    -3 Terminus
    -2 Azcanta

    +1 Geist
    +1 Clique
    +2 Dispel
    +1 Negate
    +2 Counterflux
    +2 AV

    Yes, with your configuration I would indeed bring in AV despite my dislike for this move, because I think you have 9 cards that are really bad for the MU and should be cut. Of course some people might say you want to keep a couple Path for things like Colonnade or their own Baneslayers, but I don't buy it. Colonnade can be Field of Ruin'd and Baneslayer can be countered or deal with otherwise with Burn and Cryptic, anyway if you find yourself being beaten down by a Baneslayer you're probably losing that game anyway. And I wouldn't even bring it in if I were the UW pilot. On the other hand, Path is terrible in almost any other scenario.

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from 0oSunnYo0 »
    I think I am still OK with trophy hitting Azcanta. It seems better that and get ramped into an early PW than play a PW on curve to get it trophied? Or, in other terms, presenting enough threats that their trophies are pressured. I may even be fine using Azcanta ad Trophy bait in that scenario.

    Just spitballing.

    Quote from th33l3x »
    i'm sure its quite a bit different with jeskai, but from a Grixis Control perspective, i can confidently say that getting my Azcanta trophied is a winning play for ME. if they get it early the tempo gain gives me a massive boost, getting online cryptic/snap-spell etc a turn early is a huge deal.

    if they get it late, well,its too late. Azcanta has scried me through about 3-5 cards as well as provided me with at least one opportunity to activate it (response to trophy). that's often a deficit GBxcannot come back from.

    I've tested the matchup quite a bit, and at least for my build, trophy is not a reason to skip on Azcanta.

    It's a bit more complex than that. Like I was saying, the point is they now have a NUMBER of answers to Azcanta, both game 1 and post board, which means you will rarely win a game with it. Trophy is just the last piece of the puzzle. Playing Azcanta as a Farseek doesn't seem impressive, this is not a ramp deck. Actually getting a planeswalker trophied is much better 'cause you get to activate an ability anyway and that can be huge already. As a Jeskai Control player I don't think you want to try and overload on targets for their removal, 'cause Jeskai Control has few targets per se as a deck. In the case of Jund, Bolt and Kolaghan hit planeswalkers as well, and Bloodbraid kills them. In the case of Rock, well, good luck with Azcanta vs Field of Ruin AND Trophy, and possibly even Decay and Malestrom Pulse.

    As Jeskai Control playing vs BGx, you really don't want to try and overload on targets for their removals, especially now that they are incredibly efficient and versatile. You want to do the exact opposite: win with cards that don't care at all about their removal such as Sphinx and Secure.

    Azcanta as Trophy bait to play a PW a couple turns later seems meh, they can still Bolt, Bloodbraid/manland attack the PW, not to mention they will be playing 4 copies of Trophy, so chances are you will get your PW blown up as well. I would rather keep my shields up and play reactive with counterspells and removal, making my land drops, then make huge plays in the late game they can't answer, or simply enter into Snap-Cryptic territory.

    Quote from chaos021 »
    Quote from TheAller »

    My approach for the new meta will be to go back to Secure the Wastes and Sphinx's Revelation. They are also way better vs UW Control compared to Azcanta. Paired with Jace and Teferi they should be enough to grind out even the new BGx decks.

    Would you not consider a return to Ancestral Vision instead of either of those?

    Nope, personally I think Ancestral Vision is clunkier than Secure and Sphinx and also narrower.

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from Bearscape »
    It's still a 2 for 1 in a grindy MU, if they want to kill SFA before it flips I will often gladly take the ramp, and if they do it after it flips I probably got an activation off first.

    Well it's not that simple. You need to consider the tempo loss. And also that's an ideal scenario.

    Against BGx now Azcanta will have to go through:

    * Discard
    * Assassin's Trophy
    * Field of Ruin (in the case of Rock)
    * Abrupt Decay or Maelstrom Pulse if they have them
    * Fulminator Mage post board

    This essentially means, you will rarely win games with Azcanta vs BGx now.

    Quote from chaos021 »
    (...) If they can regularly answer that card (before or after flipping), I really don't see that as a net positive. (...)

    Pretty much this.

    My approach for the new meta will be to go back to Secure the Wastes and Sphinx's Revelation. They are also way better vs UW Control compared to Azcanta. Paired with Jace and Teferi they should be enough to grind out even the new BGx decks.

    On another subject, I'm starting to test with Terminus eventually. I've always been a skeptic but it seems draw-go will be the best version of Jeskai in the immediate future and also it seems Terminus is the best shot at beating Bant Spirits, while also being good vs Bridgevine. So it's time I spend some time testing the card in a Jeskai Control build with Opt.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Yea Jeskai still very much favored vs BGx, like it has always been. But Search for Azcanta will get a lot worse. Because Assassin's Trophy. And because...The Rock (with 4x Field of Ruin).
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from gkourou »
    @Bearscape, how does your sideboard look like vs uw control? The truth is I really love Spell Queller and I enjoy playing the card, even as a sideboard slot, even on Jeskai. It's just that Geist closes up games really fast and lessens the chances of a draw in the control mirror.

    I wouldn't cut Helix vs UW Control. And Spell Queller is not great there, both Geist and Clique are better. I dislike sideboard Queller in general, either you maindeck it or you leave it out (IMHO). With the list you posted I would go +2 Dispel, +1 Negate, +1 Counterflux, +2 Geist, -4 Path to Exile, -2 Supreme Verdict.

    Quote from 0oSunnYo0 »
    4-0 last night at the City Weekly tournament.

    Back on main-deck bolts because I missed snap bolting people too much.

    2-1 Vs. Jeskai Aggro
    2-1 Vs. Ponza
    2-0 Vs. Martyr Proc
    2-0 Vs . Eldrazi Taxes

    Jeskai Miracle (U/W/R): Jeskai Miracle

    Shared via TopDecked MTG https://www.topdecked.me/decks/ad750b48-5273-4966-9d46-75f527686d58

    Nice list! Smile

    Quote from chaos021 »

    With reference to this build of Jeskai Kiki-Tempo? (no idea what to call this), would you consider 4 Restoration Angel necessary or would it be alright to cut down to 3 Angels? Also, is Teferi wanted or necessary in this build? It felt awkward to unless I went towards more control elements during sideboarding. As such, I kinda wanted to move it to the sideboard permanently. I wasn't sure if you had a good reason for keeping this in the main deck though.

    I haven't played with that configuration in the last couple weeks, and I'm not going back to it right now 'cause I think the meta is going to shift in a way that's not going to be good for either Spell Queller or Kiki-Jiki, and actually, even Resto might get worse. That being said, yes, I would consider 4x Resto necessary in such a build. Kiki-Jiki is a clunky card. So whenever I play a deck with Kiki I make sure it's worth it. That deck is, fort the matter, a Resto deck. The Angel is really the main wincon of the deck. I also think you can't go wrong with 1x Teferi. I was playing 2x before, I went down to 1x as a way to try and make the mana curve a bit better. But you want to be able to slam something that will get you ahead when you have an opportunity to do so. And if I were to play that deck again right now, with the meta getting fairer and fairer, I would actually go back to 2x Teferi, cut the Quellers and play something like Secure the Wastes. I would also consider trying to make room for Snare. Maybe something like -2 Queller, -1 Electrolyze, +1 Teferi, +2 Snare. But I actually remember Queller overperforming, so I would have to test again to be sure.

    In general with that deck you want to play a little bit of that game Twin used to play. Shift between different gameplans so that your opponent doesn't really know how to deal with your deck. You can threaten a combo, then win with flash creatures and burn. You can threaten a combo, then slam a Teferi and run away with the game. Or you can combo off when your opponent is busy playing a card advantage game with you. Etc.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    I think you want 4x Brutality. It's one of the reasons to splash (change the Burn MU). With 2x you won't change the Burn MU.

    I don't think 2x Watery Grave, 0x Blood Crypt is the way to go. You often will have Island in play, and will wish you could fetch a Blood Crypt.
    Posted in: Control
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.