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  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Ethrael »
    ...I've been thinking about picking up Eldrazi and Taxes... how vital is aether vial for the deck to work?... would Thraben inspector be a useable replacement?...
    If you take something like the most recently posted 'penips' WB-Eldrazi list on mtgGoldfish and just take out 4xVial and add 4xInspector, you're probably not going to have much fun with the effectiveness of that build.

    That said, something like the most recently posted 'SpiderSpace' MonoWhite Eldrazi/Stompy list on mtgGoldfish shows that running 4xVial isn't a requirement to win games (though the 4xChalice of the Void are even more expensive than Vial).

    However, if you look closely at how both those decks function you'll see that they've been heavily tweaked to run different gameplans.

    Trying to make a no-Vial no-Chalice build (i.e. a "budget" version) workable is going to take some brewing design/thought on your part to make a coherent gameplan. Can you rely on racing the opponent without that virtual mana available from Vial? Is Wisp still good enough without it? Does the deck need more card draw (Copter, Inspector, etc.) if it can't rely on Vial tricks? You might also want to look into the no-Vial 'Jason Simard' build from GP Vancouver to see if any of those ideas could help with what you're able to work with.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    ... Obviously Smasher would be pretty impactful on those matches (I wouldn't side them in otherwise). However, I couldn't cast them without giving up cycling my Silent Clearings into something that could make a difference faster.
    Did you already crack other Clearings before reaching that point?

    I ask because "4-lands out, but can't cast Smasher" is a situation that could happen even if those Silent Clearings were Concealed Courtyards. Having more options isn't a bad thing (unless you're driving yourself insane).

    That said, if you found you were cracking lands faster than normal in a typical game, and thus reaching 4cmc-5cmc is a couple turns slower in any given game, that's a different story. Going from ~4xGQ being the only consumable lands up to 7x-8x between GQ and SC might actually be a significant increase.

    Basically, I'm wondering if it's a playstyle thing, where you have to sandbag a bit more (instead of cycling) when you've sided in Smashers.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Bubble Hulk
    Quote from dos_rogue »
    Did the addition of carrion feeder add any new combos we can fetch?
    Carrion Feeder is basically the same as Viscera Seer; though I suppose it can swing for lethal if you hardcast it on a previous turn rather than digging it out with Hulk.

    Quote from dos_rogue »
    ... Yawgmoth, Thran Physician could be something young wolf + Essence Warden draw whole deck. Problem with this combo is i don't think the wolf can reanimate then have the -1/-1 counter applied, sacrificing to yawgmoth might disable the abilities target with nothing to put the counter on.
    I'm pretty sure you're right about the timing issues regarding putting -1/-1 counters the very Young Wolf that you sacrifice for the effect; however, Young Wolf and Essence Warden being 1cmc creatures also makes them easy to cast in an earlier turn. Hulk-fetching Yawg+Wolf+Wolf might be perfectly fine when Warden is already in play (or something more permanent like Ajani's Welcome).



    However, a different MH1 card that looks very good is Vesperlark. Being 3cmc compared to Reveillark's 5cmc (while still being able to revive Body Double) opens up a ton of new options for pulling win conditions out of the deck (Mogg and Death Cultist being the only 1cmc options that worked with Rlark for a kill loop). With 3cmc worth of cards to tutor, Zulaport Cuthroat becomes a very good target (and you can grab a backup Viscera Seer as well). Perhaps the biggest boon that Vlark has going for it is the very very attractive evoke cost of 2cmc; which is actually cheap enough to hardcast if you have the right combination of bodies in the graveyard.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Bubble Hulk
    An instant-speed Wheel that we can drop on an opponent's endstep like CoCo players get to do is definitely interesting.

    I think the current Surgical Extraction meta still makes it hard to really pull off that big shields-down play reliably, though; but it could be that I'm just underestimating our ability to play Sorcerous Spyglass, Damping Sphere, etc.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Modern Four Horsemen
    So, with the upcoming changeover to the London Mulligan, does the Leyline-Shaku gameplan get the strongest boost relative to all other options?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Just one quick question? What do you guys want to see forum the primer update and how would you like me to make contributions? PM if it’s something in great detail.
    I dunno if it'd be best posted somewhere on the front page Primer, in the Leonin Library, or stapled chronologically into the thread as quarterly updates... but I was a big fan of the "LSV Set Review"-esque thing that you did a couple times here highlighting D&T-relevant pickups. (Though I can't find an example to link to for the life of me.)

    They sort of made for neat old signposts like "Oh yeah, AKH/HOU had some neat stuff like GBI, GideonOTT, Shefet Dunes, and Dusk/Dawn." especially when there's some 20/20-hindsight followup somewhere with the "Dang. We were totally sleeping on Thraben Inspector, guys." type commentary.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] (WIP) The Crucible
    Does Assassin's Trophy steal any slots in the deck?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Four Horsemen
    So... any new builds now that Creeping Chill can deal up to 4x3=12 points of damage for zero mana?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Bubble Hulk
    Quote from Noctali7 »
    May I ask whether you could suggest a cheap(er) alternative manabase to build the deck on MTGO? The other cards are rather affordable, it's just the fetchlands (and shocklands, to a lesser extent) really...
    If you trim down to Rakdos (like ktkenshinx and Exatraz have done on the previous page) you can save yourself the cost of those Scalding Tarns.

    Their manabases each run some number of Fetches/Fastlands which are on the expensive end, but you can probably get by replacing them with a manabase centered around Shocks/Checklands.

    You should probably grab a few MTGO copies of Through the Breach with the savings; it's a useful card for dodging graveyard hate and is cheaper on MTGO right now than it has been in a long time.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from eebaf »
    Has anyone tried Eidolon of the Great Revel in RW DnT?
    I've tried it ages ago (pre-AER), and retried it recently with Militia Bugler.

    Initially, with nothing but once-per-turn topdeck draws it was very iffy getting the card in the games you needed it. So some games you drew Vial and Eidolon in that order and were golden, other games you got Eidolon without Vial and were screwed, and some games you're just wishing you'd draw the damn Eidolon. It was extremely high variance, but the goods never felt as great or as frequent as they needed to be.

    With Bugler I found I was much more able to dig into Eidolons when I needed them, or filter past them when I couldn't play around them myself. This really reduced the variance and made them much more survivable. I'm not sure how truly viable it makes them, but it definitely feels much better than before. (It was also nice playing them with 2xCopter as Eidolons do about as much combat as the average Tidehollow Sculler.)

    I don't have any sort of polished list, but will mention Scab-Clan Berserker works great as copies 5-X of Eidolon, and recommend heavily skewing the manabase toward red if you're considering this much double-red.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from ppkitty »
    Great job on the spread sheet.
    Thanks!

    Quote from ppkitty »
    ...So on T3 you would have about a 75-85% chance to hit with the standard mono white 14-18 hits (14 assumes you have a couple hits in hand when you cast it)...
    Sure, an oldschool "Classic" Monowhite build might run something like 4xWisp 4xResto and 2xBigFlex (e.g. 3/X bodies like Brimaz, Serra, BigSisThalia) and would have about 10-in-28 bodies unfindable by Bugler... but you're not really going to slot Bugler into a list like that by trimming Thalias, Arbiters, etc.

    If you trim about half the top-end to make room for Bugler, so that only 5-in-28 bodies whiff, then your T3 odds jump from 75-85% up to something more like 85-92% and it gets really hard to completely whiff with Bugler.

    However, the most important thing about Bugler isn't that he simply replaces himself like a Matter Reshaper or something; the important thing is that he digs like a beast for what you want. If you're on a solid opener like T1 Vial T2 Thalia and your opponent kills Thalia because they really want to combo off later, then T3 Bugler is going to dig into a replacement Thalia for you to vial-in about 23% of the time. Yeah, it's not a sure thing, but it's definitely better than waiting on a topdeck. If you break it down into different outcomes it's 23% get the replacement Thalia we'd want, another 18% to get a retry with a second Bugler, then another 45% chance to card-replace with anything else, and only 14% chance to completely whiff. That distribution skews pretty nicely in our favor.

    The other great thing about the card is how often it lets you see every part of your deck. Just landing one or two Buglers makes it really hard to "draw the wrong half of your deck" since you get to churn through so many more cards than usual, which really ups the consistency of the deck. In playtesting I've had 2x includes feel like 3x-4x includes I've been seeing them so often, which is just great for usually-decent-but-situationally-great maindeck cards (and phenomenal for sideboard tech). This actually opens up new deck-design considerations, as 2x includes of creatures like Vryn Wingmare or Aven Mindcensor (which can really put the screws to an opponent when we're ahead on a certain axis, but are quite lackluster when we're behind) can be more viable with Bugler there to filter to/through them.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    Militia Bugler Math

    GoogleDoc: Here

    Hey All! I know how much you nerds love seeing some data on the thread... Teach
    ...So here's a hit-percentage table I made for everyone's favorite new card: Militia Bugler. Take a look, leave a like, and DM me here on mtgSalvation if you find any mistakes or have any ideas for improvements.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from xElianx »
    No splash at all, and the list is...
    Any kind of advice or guide for sideboard/match ups is welcome
    It might feel pretty unsplashed since the manabase isn't splashing for any specific color, but there's actually a significant Eldrazi splash you have going on with the 4xDisplacer 3xTKS and 4xTemple.

    Part of your trouble with the posted list versus Affinity specifically is that you're so low on early 1-mana plays and fliers. Running Thraben Inspector can help you chump-clog the ground a bit earlier so you aren't dead as quickly due to lack of blockers. Some cheap fliers can also help in those instances where you don't have a Path/GQ ready versus a Ravager-pumped Inkmoth.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from agua_benta »
    What about it? Seems good to me


    Yeah, if Inspector and Copter taught us anything, it's that white getting more draw/filtering with a body is at least worth testing.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [deck]The Four Horsemen
    Hey, so I got the itch to look into Four Horsemen again after seeing some new cards out of the latest few sets, but nothing new seemed to improve things much.

    I did revisit the math on adding Viscera Seer to the deck, though, and I think it looks promising.
    If the deck has 1x each of Blasting Station, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Sharuum the Hegemon, and Viscera Seer and 2x of Dread Return, then there are 6!=720 possible ways that {BDdESV} can be ordered in a shuffled deck.
    • If Emmy is first: 120 fails, 0 successes. - The remaining five cards {BDdSV} have 5!=120 possible ways to be ordered, but none of it matters since Emmy was first.
    • If Emmy is second: 120 fails, 0 successes. - The other five cards can be split a bunch of ways {B}{DdSV} gives 1!4!=24 ways, {D}{BdSV} gives 1!4! too, {d}{BDSV}, {S}{BDdV}, and {V}{BDdS}. Together that's 5(1!4!)=120 failures, since there's no way to get both Dread Return and a target in front of Emrakul if Emmy is the second card flipped.
    • If Emmy is third: 96 fails, 24 successes. - Again, there are 120 ways to order the non-Emmy cards, and again most of those orders fail. However, Viscera Seer + Dread Return will succeed and can do so with only two cards; it can occur either as {VD}{BdS} or {Vd}{BDS} which can each occur 2!3!=12 ways.
    • If Emmy is fourth: 36 fails, 84 successes. - Again, there are 120 ways to order the non-Emmy cards, but this time most of those orders can succeed and in fact it'll be easier to count the failures than the successes. The only way that we can get 3/5 of our non-Emmy cards and not get either Viscera+Dread or Sharuum+Dread+Blasting is by not getting Dread Return or by getting two Dread Return without Viscera Seer. That's {BSV}{Dd} 3!2!=12 failures, {BDd}{SV} 3!2!=12 fails, and {DdS}{BV} 3!2!=12 failures.
    • If Emmy is fifth: 0 fails, 120 successes. - If you have a Viscera Seer in your top four, then you're guaranteed at least one of the two copies of Dread Return is above Emmy; if Viscera Seer is the only under-Emmy card, then you're guaranteed Sharumm with a Blasting Station and two Dread Returns above Emmy.
    • If Emmy is fifth: 0 fails, 120 successes. - If Emmy is the bottom card you can do whatever you want at sorcery speed.
    Grand total that's 348 successful stacks out of the total 720 possible stacks, for 48.3% odds of hitting a good stack from a randomized deck. It's not amazing, but it's definitely an improvement over the traditional 25% odds of stacking {BDS}E from {BDES}.

    Also important for the discussion of increasing dead cards:
    • BDES: 25% odds. - Playing the old combo without any additional pieces has the fewest dead cards but the lowest non-zero success odds.
    • BbDES: 30% odds. - Doubling up on any single combo piece adds a potential dead card to the deck but boosts the success rate by 5%.
    • BbDdES: 36.6% odds. - Doubling up on any two different combo pieces raises odds by 6.6% with two dead cards.
    • BbDdESs: 45.7% odds. - Doubling up on all three combo pieces raises the odds by a further ~9% but with a total three dead cards.
    • BDdESV: 48.3% odds. - Adding Viscera Seer and a second Dread Return does more with two dead cards than doubling up every combo piece does with three.
    tl;dr - Adding a second Dread Return to the deck along with a single Viscera Seer raises the odds of a randomized deck giving a successful stack of milled combo pieces from 25% to 48.3% for the cost of two "dead" cards. This is even better than the ~46% odds that running 2xSharuum+2xDread+2xBlasting would give.

    The low manacost on Viscera Seer also makes it fairly easy to hardcast, so it's not the worst spell to have in hand either.
    Posted in: Developing (Legacy)
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