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  • posted a message on Narset, Parter of Veils Combo Control, (AKA Pitch Blue ) Primer
    I played a basic list minus one Snapback and tested the new Kefnet. I’m not really sure why outside of just liking the idea of a creature that we could get back from removal. I also had two Misthollow Griffins in the sideboard instead of Relic of Progenitus (not sure the card is actually right for the deck, plus I have little graveyard shenanigans in my local meta). Tormod’s Crypt or Crypt Incursion may actually be better for us due to recursion with shuffle effects. I would also like to try out Guile in the deck (because I want that card to be great so badly). Deck is very fun, but I need to figure out what hands are keepable a little more precisely.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Narset, Parter of Veils Combo Control, (AKA Pitch Blue ) Primer
    Last Wednesday Night I played a small 3 round competitive event at my LGS, and really enjoyed the deck. I only dropped games to UW Control in the final round. I got my single Narset sucked up by a D. Sphere, and then in the second game only ever saw one land for ages. I probably should have mulliganed, but I had tons of ways to interact, and my plan (which was successful) was to Commandeer the Search for Azcanta and use it to filter to land. Unfortunately I had to flip it and let it eat a Field of Ruin just to get a land. I look-binned/drew no lands for 6 turns. Pretty bad. Friday Night Magic was less impressive. I met with two of what I feel may be our worst matchups, Burn and Humans. The second Burn game I always felt a topdeck away from closing it out, and in the second Humans game I landed Notion Thief/Day's Undoing into the wrong half of my deck, especially considering that he had Cavern of Souls. I also lost to the new Blue Moon with Ral, Storm's Conduit, but both of those games felt close. All in all, it felt super weird. I'm wondering if we have any ways to up the consistency. Also contemplating Boomerang for the deck.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Deck/Primer] Rack Pox (mono-black tempo)
    New to the deck and the thread - please let me know if I'm in the wrong place. Smile

    Played this deck for the first time at a Legacy 1K. I went 2-4. Unfamiliarity with the deck, and to some extent the metagame/format, punished me hard. I feel like had I made one or two different card choices (and remembered my stupid upkeep triggers), I definitely would have done much better.


    Match 1 - vs BGr Lands 0-2

    His deck was sweet. He had two Experimental Frenzy, and the standard other Lands stuff including Punishing Fire and Molten Vortex. Basically just out valued me in the first game; it wasn't even really a game. In game two, I play Chalice of the Void on 0 (mistake #1). I was able to Surgical Extraction his Thespian's Stage on turn 2/3, but I sideboarded poorly (mistake #2): I did not bring in my Leyline of the Void or my Ratchet Bomb. Very newb mistake. I feel like lands is a very good matchup, but please correct me if I'm wrong. He is basically able to resolve every Exploration effect he has and then proceed to Ghost Quarter lock me - it wasn't easy for him due to 10 Swamp main, and he got pretty low on resources having to Life from the Loam a lot and recur Punishing Fire. It ended up being close - his library had 6 cards in it in the end I think.

    Match 2 - vs Enchantress 2-1

    I solidly got there in round 1. They don't have much that lines up well with Sinkhole, Wasteland, and Ghost Quarter pre-board. He scooped at turn 4 or 5 to get to the next games. Game 2 was a grind fest. He was able to hard cast a Leyline of Sanctity, I resolved a Ratchet Bomb and started ticking it up. I ultimate Liliana, the Last Hope. He had 2-3 enchantress effects out and Solitary Confinement when I passed turn with a tapped Ratchet Bomb on 3. I'm sitting on 12 Zombois, ready to crack the bomb and win. He draws...Pithing Needle naming Ratchet Bomb. Proceed to scoop phase. Game 3 I forget all the stuff that happened, but it wasn't much as he mulligans and I just destroy his lands and tick up Liliana of the Veil.

    Match 3 vs. Red Prison 0-2

    Played against a guy that I played in the Standard RPTQ last summer during the worst format at an RPTQ ever, Team Unified Standard. He remembers me because the match was really grindy, and he topdecked lucky to beat me when he was dead the following turn. This match was a heartbreaker. I never saw Diabolic Edict or Smallpox in game one, so he goes the route of hardcasting two Simian Spirt Guides. Which I promptly lose to. Ugh. Game 2 I thoroughly lock him down on resources for a good amount of time. Some Liliana of the Veil happen, I kill Pia and Kiran Nilan in response to the trigger for thopters with a Diabolic Edict, resolve a couple Sinkhole. We are trading resources. He's in topdeck mode, and he draws Chalice of the Void, promptly casting it on 2. Gross. I lose to a resolved Hazoret the Fervent. I could have played a couple of things differently here, and probably would in future, but you can't beat the top of someone's deck sometimes.

    Match 4 vs. Lands 2-0

    After my disastrous misplaying and terrible sideboarding in the first Lands matchup, I turn it around to thoroughly stomp Lands in a second chance against a friend of mine from my local. He plays his deck much better than I do due to familiarity, so I feel pretty good about squeaking it out against him. We do a lot of resource trading in game 1, and this is the first time my spicy one-of shows up, and it's an all-star. Mastermind's Acquisition is SO good. I suggest testing it. Every time I used it, it was ultra relevant. Never felt dead. This time, it got Syphon Life to combat Punishing Fire after I had resolved Crucible of Worlds. Game 2 I sideboarded correctly (!) and life was good. I played my Hymn to Tourach and Bojuka Bog backwards (d'oh) and resolved a turn 4 Leyline of the Void. He still had three lands in his graveyard when resolved, so he got to Loam once. I'm able to resolve Bitterblossom and Nether Spirit, and it's lights out.

    Match 5 vs. UW Stoneblade 0-2

    This match was sad because my sideboard was ill-prepared for Jace, the Mind Sculptor, and I was bad at Magic again. TO be fair, I expected a ton more Death and Taxes and sideboarded accordingly. I have a great start, using Hymn twice in the first 3 turns of the game. He resolves True-Name Nemesis, and I proceed to take lots of beats. No big deal: 1 lightning bolt each turn is nothing to worry about yet. I'm able to resolve a Nether Spirit to attack, and Phyrexian Totem to block or attack later. I'm thinking ahead, and I start looking through my sideboard. He jokes, "We can go to game two and you can use those cards if you want." He passes turn, I resolve Mastermind's Acquisition, and say, "How about I just use them now?" I fetch out Night of Soul's Betrayal, and he says, "Well, that's mean." I say, "Yeah, but sometimes you have to be a little mean." I have to block a Stoneforge with my Totem as I am at 5 life, so it bites the dust. I resolve Toxic Deluge next turn, and totally forget about my Nether Spirit triggers FOR THE REST OF THE GAME. What a heel. He resolves Jace after I've resolved Liliana. I ultimate Liliana, he ultimates Jace, life is awful. Game two plays out similarly. I had Chalice of the Void on turn 1 if I wanted to. Instead, I sat there scared of Force of Will for about 30 seconds and then passed turn with just a Swamp. Lesson learned: BE BRAVE. FEAR NOTHING. I'm able to Hymn, he discards something irrelevant and True-Name Nemesis. I Extirpate the TNNs. This game I also get GOT by Jace. I think there was a Disenchant in there somewhere. I ultimate Liliana of the Veil again, he ultimates Jace again. I'm out of the tournament.

    There's one round left, and I'm a dad that doesn't get to play much. I stuck around. Should have left though, because...

    Match 6 vs. Eldrazi Post (little version?) 0-2

    This matchup seems terrible. Between Reality Smasher, Thought-Knot Seer, Eye of Ugin tutoring, and bad land one-for-ones, It's pretty hard. They topdeck live even when they topdeck dead due to the sheer volume of multi-mana use lands they have. I can't recall everything that happened, but it was a lot of Edict effects and Wastelands on stuff that didn't matter. He solidly stomped me after resolving multiple Walking Ballista and finally an Endbringer in Game 2.

    So, I really enjoyed the deck, even though my play was a workshop in sub-optimal plays and compounding punishment. I will play it again. The deck does not feel poorly positioned. I have two Helm of Obedience on order because I love spicy plays. Also Contamination, Engineered Plague, Massacre, and a some other stuff to test out. To the Slaughter is now a two-of in the board, and I have switched up the main to run two Mastermind's Acquisition, going down a Dark Ritual. I replaced a single Swamp with an Ifnir Deadlands to test, as indestructible creatures (like Hazoret) are a thing.

    Any suggestions are welcome!
    Posted in: Developing (Legacy)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    Quote from thnkr »
    So I just went through and started working a bit more on the spreadsheet, after figuring out some more stuff working on my Ux Tron version, and found an error in the function checking for when a Mox Opal is online immediately. After correcting the function, I found that my numbers were a bit off. Here's what I've got right now:

    We've won 1125 of 1627 games where Opal wasn't online immediately (69.15%).
    We've won 40 of 54 games where Opal was online immediately (74.07%).

    This seems to imply that having Opal online immediately, turn one, does correlate with about a 5% increase in win percentages. The previous erroneous function showed it at a decreased correlating effect.

    However, Mox Opal still correlated with a drop in win percentage - from a 70.13% (803 of 1145 games) win rate without one in the opener to 68.64% (324/472 games) with one to 59.38% (38/64) with two. So this made me wonder how this could be possible. If having an Opal online increased the win percentage in a deck full of 1-drop artifacts, how could having an Opal in the opener correlate with lower win percentage?

    So what I did was make two additional data points.

    The first data point I set was to check and compare games where Opal was a dead card at least until turn two (Opal in hand but not online on turn one). This shows a slight drop in win percentage, from 69.82% (879/1259 games) to 67.77% (286/422 games). That's not a heck of a drop, though.

    The second data point I set was to check and compare games where Opal isn't online on turn one, but should come online turn two (I didn't check to see if an opponent somehow prevented this with a discard spell, Chalice of the Void, etc.). For this data point, the win rate went up from 69.02% (1132/1640) to 80.49% (33/41). That's quite a jump, so I'm guessing that there weren't many of the 41 game sample size in which an opponent prevented the Opal from being online on turn two. I had it specifically ignore hands which were already counted for in the "Opal online on turn one" data point, so this is specifically only when it was drawn, not online turn one, but able to be turned on on turn two.

    So then I wondered, what if we compared the total number of games where Opal was online on either turn one or two? So I set it up to check that, and got 68.85% (1092/1586) when we didn't have an Opal online at all by turn two and an increase to 76.84% (73/95) when we had an Opal online by turn two, as soon as turn one, combined. EDIT: Fixed.

    So I recognize that we need to be careful how we interpret the data, but it's very interesting to me. It appears that overall, having an Opal in the opener correlates to a drop in win percentage over a larger sample size. However, in the relatively small sample size in which Opal is turned on in the first two turns, the win rate does increase a decent amount. I suppose that brings us to a good discussion.

    First, what's everyone's opinion on the reliability of that small sample size? I don't want to dismiss it entirely, as it does seem to show a trend, but I'm up for hearing everyone's reasoning and opinions on it.

    Second, if the small sample size is accurate, we see that there is a generally negative effect of having an Opal in the opening hand, as the instances where we do have it online by turn two is relatively rare (5.6% of games total). But in those 5.6% of games, our win rate increases by 8%.

    So, again, I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on this. I understand that typical stock lists seen on MTGGoldfish run four, and prominent recognized players default to four, but I'm looking for independent and rational discussion concerning the evidence, rather than any appeal to authority or bandwagon effect. I'm interested in what each of you, as individuals, think about this development and why.

    If anyone sees any more errors in the functions on the spreadsheet, please let me know! I just happened across this one, but having a few other sets of eyes might help.


    EDIT: Link to sheet

    EDIT 2: I think there's another error in the functions which count up the Turn 1, Turn 2, and Turn 1 or 2 Opal. I'm pretty sure there should be 95 games total (54 turn 1, 41 turn 2), but it's counting it up as 85 instead. Anyone see what might be wrong in the functions? I'm not seeing it (maybe I'm just tired). Fixed it.

    Is there value in looking at a date-based trend in your analysis? Could we go back to the data collected, for instance, from the start of the Whir days (or as soon as there is a solid list) and see if the first 40 or 80 or 200 games reflects the same or similar trend? It isn't causal (as nothing in statistics is), but could it provide some insight to see if the analysis is on the right track?

    I also noticed that back then you were running 3 Shredder, 2 Bell, 1 Pyxis. I'd love to see hear your experience with this and whether or not it is a trend that you have continued, thinkr. Cheers!
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    Damping Sphere will also likely be of help to you in the Jund matchup. Taking them off of BBE into a K-Command on curve is really big (you still cast the spell off cascade). I'll probably be dusting off the shiny deck for a run on Friday Night - we usually have 30+ modern players and it gets pretty competitive. I'll post a tourney report after as well.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Data Based Deckbuilding
    Great stuff - I've seen Kanister streaming live and I think he uses a piece of background software to pick the cards played data up while in matches or games. Maybe I'm mistaken. Do you have any thoughts or info on this?
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Hey folks - played a small competitive(ish) event last night to a 3-1 finish. Been on turns for a bit - love it and some other decks dearly.

    Round 1
    Played a friend of mine on Mono-Red Prison. He commences to turn one Blood Moon, but much to his chagrin, I have an all Island hand. He does some other stuff this game that gets him close, including Eidolon and Rabblemaster and Chandra, but I start taking turns and win with infect damage. Game two he runs over me with double Rabblemaster. There is a point at which I Exhaustion him, realize my mistake, and he misses his Rabblemaster triggers. I mini-turns, get to Collective Brutality twice on drain mode, kill both Rabblemasters, get back to 5 life and fizzle, but I'm holding up Cryptic Command. I've Snapback'd his Hazoret, excited that he draws a bunch of cards. With a bunch in hand, he plays Chandra, I cryptic on counter/tap, but he's drawn the way to empty his hand down to one card in Ritual, SSG exile, Hazoret, and Chalice on zero... Game three he encounters mana troubles long enough for me to resolve Jace. I start fatesealing him off of mana. The plan works, and I get to ultimate Jace FTW. Achievement unlocked! 2-1

    Round 2
    I'm playing against Tron. I have a deep and troubled history with Tron in whatever deck I play. It is probably my most hated matchup. But at least Turns is moderately favored. I'm able to exhaustion and gigadrowse him long enough to take turns to win in G1. G2 he has natural Tron, but opts to turn three Collective Brutality to clear the way. I wait for Karn to resolve (I'm on something abysmal like 2 lands), he goes target land with KL, I scoop. Game 3 I mull to 6 with 2 lands and Commandeer in hand. I hope he has natural Tron turn three. He does, I steal Karn, and commence to lock down his lands and exile them every turn I can, bouncing KL modes as I take turns to huge effect. Achievement #2 unlocked - steal Karn! 2-1

    Round 3
    I get paired down against a homebrew of Mono Red Madcap Creativity. It has burn and tokens and Platinum Angel/Emperion and is generally ultra fun but pretty jank-tastic. Basically the deck is awesome. I am able to close it out in two, second round siding in Chalices. Notable play in G1 was Commandeering a Tormenting Voice. Achievement unlocked? Also got to Snapback Emperion. It's hard to cast that card. 2-0

    Round 4
    Everything goes awry against BR Hollow One. We've already agreed to split, but I want to play. I made some errors in sideboarding, and chalk it up to a learning experience. Game 2 I had a solid hand, but he had turn 1 Duress(!) for my Chalice. I got super unlucky to draw all of my white sideboard cards and an uncastable Cryptic all in a row. My lands were Sunken Hollow, Island, Mikokoro, and I. Nexus. Such is life. 0-2

    Any thoughts on the deck or suggestions about Hollow One matchup are appreciated! Cheers!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
  • posted a message on [Primer] Lantern Control
    @Morimacil: I feel like perhaps you haven't read the entire forum. I know it is a lot of pages, but definitely do it. You'll see that a lot of the things you are talking about with alternate wincons have been tested - with match win percentages and detailed notes taken. If you can provide more information on any of your testing, everyone here would love to check it out.

    thinkr provided the best way to look at this deck. It is an engineered machine with one purpose: to break all other machines. The win condition of this deck, as such, is hopelessness. You don't worry about the game going long, you just do your job building the machine, then ride that machine to victory. You don't need another win condition.

    I hear everything you are saying about adding other wincons. I thoroughly tested Thopter/Sword. It was fun, but awkward in too many games. I used to run Ghirapur Aether Grid and Pyrite Spellbomb. I may go back to Spellbomb, but not Grid. I'm testing Cranes a bit late as I haven't played Modern in ages. I'm glad to see people saying that they aren't all that and a bag of chips. I will not, likely ever, think that the slot for Baubles is merited, but if a lot of evidence comes in showing that they win games, I'll consider it more seriously.

    The point is that a lot of community research has been done. Check it out. And good luck with the deck!
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Manaless Dredge
    One thing I like about Amalgam is the potential for faster or earlier Flayer kills. All that is needed with a play set of Amalgams and Ichorids and Shadows, assuming a DR on Flayer, is any combination of the following:

    4 of either Amalgams/Ichorids
    3 Amalgams/Ichorids and 2 Shadows/Narcomoebas
    DR on Phantasmagorian and (a) two Amalgams/Ichorids, (b) 1 Amalgam/Ichorid and 2 Shadows/Narcomoebas

    It gives you a fair bit more play from the graveyard and still allows you to be truly manaless. I think it has definite potential. I'm absolutely going to test in a "fearless" build in conjunction with testing RiverGhast.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Idea] Esper Tokens/Polymorph... need Modern insight
    I'm necroposting here, but maybe someone is still interested! I love this archetype, and just discovered the Polymorph cheat suite. Here are a few things that I've learned in my journey with this archetype:

    First and foremost, it's a blast to play! (okay, this isn't the most helpful thing, but it needed saying!)

    I run 21 lands. It may go down to 20. I treat this deck like a Burn deck. It wants to play stuff fast, not get mana flooded. To that end, you need fetch lands. I use Polluted Deltas and Flooded Strands. The beauty of that is that they are not particularly expensive since they were recently printed (and still standard playable for a few months!). I have two of each (14 other mana). I run two Plains and one Island to pull out against Path to Exile. The mana base is really important in this deck. I also have two Orzhov Basilicas and three Windbrisk Heights. This means I can bring in a Windbrisk Heights and send it back to my hand after I am done with it to Hideaway again! The Basilicas also provide WB. Bonus!

    To add to the Esperness, I have three Sleight of Hands in the mainboard. I think they are good for draw and for putting things you don't need away. Maybe Anticipate or something else would be better. Or not. Lots of people don't like it.

    A note about Thoughtseize. I don't like it in this deck. In modern, many threats hit the Inquisition sweet spot, and for those that don't we run the colors for something better: Castigate! For a paltry WB, we can do what Thoughtseize does WITHOUT (a) the $20+ price tag and (b) the 2 life loss, with a bigger upside. REMOVE FROM THE GAME. We take their biggest threat COMPLETELY out of the picture. No coming back from the dead, little fella. You have been exiled.

    Finally, I have a one-of Isochron Scepter. I have played with running two, but one is scary enough and game changing when it breaks loose. Never ending Path to Exile? Isochron Scepter. Reusable Counterspell? Isochron Scepter. Isochron Scepter a Celestial Purge to save you from being Blood Mooned! Or, just Scepter a Raise the Alarm. Go freaking nuts!

    Alright...now I want to go get my deck and do the deck list!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The MTG Salvation Tag Explanation Thread
    Thanks much! Just saw this as I've been on vacation.
    Posted in: Community Discussion
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] Dimir Scheming Lore
    Quote from Phreddish »
    about Worst Fears - it relies upon your opponent having a good deck. Could be clutch, but i'd rather have the Trespass

    Really? You don't think that even versus a bad deck this could be useful? At worst, you pass their turn doing nothing. At best you waste their hand on a bunch of crap choices, swing in with their creatures to no avail, tap them for whatever abilities affecting the most meager of permanents, whatever.

    Trespass is nice as one could hard cast it with relative ease. I need to get out and play some Standard with this!
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] Dimir Scheming Lore
    Quote from Phreddish »
    I posted a Sultai version of this a couple weeks back. Definitely need more whips. Also Temporal Trespass is pretty clutch too. Overall, fun but a lot of cards that are depending on Living Lore to use.

    I feel like the Whips take up valuable slots in the deck. I can search for a Whip by Scheming or Disciple for Clever Impersonator or even extra Living Lore. Maybe two would be nice, but I feel even that pushes it. One-of feels right. But I'll experiment with it, and I encourage you to do the same!

    You are definitely making me rethink Trespass. I don't like the exile if we decide to hard cast it, and I hate the UUU in the cost. I really don't like to tie up that mana... But, I'm going to play test it later! What were your thoughts on Worst Fears? Harder to hard cast, but it's Trespass with a gigantic upside.

    Send me a copy of your list! I'd love to see it.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] Dimir Scheming Lore
    maybe im crazy, but i dont see any sieges providing evasion. Not only that, but you have absolutely no evasion. I feel you need at least trample.

    Yep, you are right. I'm not thinking evasion as the keyword ability, but the ability to evade the opponent's spells. Perhaps 'target prevention' is better? I don't know - what is the wording for the Dragons ability of Monastery Siege?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [PRIMER] Dimir Scheming Lore
    Quote from HumbleKami »

    Playing cards you intend on never casting just seems like a bad plan. With Dead Drop you can at least pay the delve cost with all your graveyard interactions and play it, but having a Fated Return in your opener in this deck pretty much means you've basically mulliganed already, because you've got a useless card in hand. Why not just play Murderous Cut in its spot? Sure, it's 2 less mana, but you've already got Drops, Cruises and Digs, all of which are already bigger than the Return, and all of which are actually playable, and adding Cut gives you more removal as well as an additional OK target for your Lores, which you could then sac to kill something else. I just really, really don't like the idea of running a card you never intend on actually casting and, in fact, even believe you can't cast.

    I've played with the idea of Cut as well, though Return is the strategy around which this particular build is built. Return is slow; granted. But it gets in the yard fast, and having it right away isn't a snap mulligan as it is able to be discarded to Disciple and Siege. I'm not saying it isn't possible to hard cast it, but as I often don't cast the Dead Drops I run either, I don't worry too much about it. This isn't to say it isn't a possibility or an option, but it isn't the primary game plan. I feel like the deck is designed to be a play-your-own-game sort of deck, eschewing most interaction outside combat situations. The size of Return is relevant, but not as relevant as returning Lore as an indestructible 8/8 to 10/10.

    But hey, you don't have to run it. Wink Thanks as always for the input!
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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