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Treasure Cruisin' Gifts Storm
The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control

    Yikes! My bad. Thanks for pointing that out.


    1.) Witchbane Orb is sort of a meta call. It is excellent for locking the game up against burn and Scapeshift. I routinely use it to lock out planeswalker ultimates since most target a player. Witchbane Orb also keeps your opponent from bolting your planeswalkers.

    2.) I really like the 2 Ensnaring Bridge. With 3 copies of Whir of Invention it means we have 5 effective copies when we need it. Once you get beyond 4 effective copies there are diminishing returns. You never want to draw two but always want one.

    3.) It is mostly bringing the curve down. I typically ran 3 Tezzeret before the JTMS unban so I am plus one 4 mana planeswalker from where I use to be. I started with a 3/2 split but holding 2-3 four mana planeswalkers in your opening hand is really bad against most of the field.

    4.) I am of the opinion that the combo is overlooked. I win an absurd amount of games by sticking the combo in game 1 and I want to find it ASAP. I have even considered a 4/3 and a 4/2 split but much like my Ensnaring Bridge argument you never want to draw the second one.

    5.) Death’s Shadow, Gurmag Angler, Tasigur the Golden Fang, Kitesail Freebooter, Dark Confidant, Grim Flayer. If I am playing a kill spell in my deck it needs to be able to hit all of these guys and Executioner’s Capsule can’t.


    That is basically it when comes to the planeswalker choices. Drawing multiple Tezzerert’s is worse than Tezzerets and Jaces. Tezzeret is a much better proactive play but once the board is locked down JTMS is WAY better. You typically don’t have 10 artifacts when you play Tezzeret so you spend 3-5 turns digging into more artifacts before you ultimate. Meanwhile you are vulnerable to artifact hate coming off the top of the opponent’s deck. JTMS insulates you from those draws. He wins more cleanly than Tezzeret from a locked up board state, but more slowly.

    About the Padeem discussion. I am still early in testing this card. I never liked it costing 4 mana and being a creature but I thought I would try it given the meta is likely to become more grindy. I’m not sure about this card yet but the best part about it is that it eats a maelstrom pulse. It would be very good in the Jund matchup but when it is our only creature it is susceptible to lotv edict.


    Congrats on the great run!

    I play 3 sideboard sweepers almost entirely because of humans. I bring in all of my spot removal as well. It is a hard matchup for sure.

    How did sideboard CoV and Trinisphere perform for you? What about KCI?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control

    I also read that article. My playgroup and I talked a lot about that change in grixis control and how we think we could apply it to other decks for hours. Briefly about Tezzeret but mostly about Jeskai draw-go. We determined that Serum is actually better in Jeskai than opt and came to the same conclusion for Tezzeret shortly after. This is mostly because of the way Corey’s deck is built. It is a very velocity driven deck trying to use all of its mana every turn for any incremental advantage it can get all at instant speed. Our deck on the other hand is looking for specific cards most of the time. Corey mostly just wants any card, therefore instant is better than sorcery.

    Also LSV did an article a while back talking about the value of a scry and how scry becomes more powerful in the late game because you have more dead draws then you would have had on turn 1. Top decking Serum Visions when you are hellbent is one of the best feelings because it is basically free deck manipulation often going three cards deeper for your missing combo piece or a planeswalker. I agree Serum is less good than other cantrips but it is still the most powerful we have in modern. Given that we are part combo I think it is wrong to cut them from the list.

    Collective Brutality main deck was something I considered but being unable to take away planeswalkers was the deciding factor to move it to the sideboard. There are a fair number of matchups where it is not much more than a discard outlet and by trimming the top end away I am not sure if I really need that effect.


    1.) Yes. Having the ability to destroy stony silence, lantern lock pieces, blood moon, Lotv, Search for Azcanta, etc. out of the board is very valuable. I played the deck for a long time without the splash and can say that I have had a noticeable increase in post board win percentage with the Abrupt Decays in the sideboard. Also, having your 4th land come in to play tapped now can be a real cost when trying to cast multiple 4+ CMC cards. In addition to that you want to play more fetches now that we can Brainstorm in Modern.

    2.) Some play it, but I find it weak. You are likely not attacking with his ultimate and his plus doesn’t do anything. I would easily play 4x Whir first but I am only playing 3 copies of Whir now.

    3.) Initially I was with you on thinking the card was undeserving of a main deck slot. However we you get paired with storm and you whir for it in response to a Past in Flames you just win game one. It incidentally hates out Snapcaster Mages and Dredge. Now it is better than ever because it stops cascade on BBE. We don’t want them wheeling into more K commands and Maelstrom Pulses.


    It mostly comes down to a decision between hand disruption and CoV. Hand disruption seems to be better. If Modern were to get a new powerful cantrip, they may be a reason to play CoV over hand disruption but CoV is weak in modern for the same reason counterbalance will never see modern play. The CMC of cards vary too much.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    1st Tournament report since the unbannings. Undefeated. Decklist:

    1st Round: BBE Jund

    I don’t remember exactly how my Jund games played out. This game involved us getting hellbent while I had an Ensnaring Bridge and a Welding Jar while he had a Lotv of which I had a Pithing Needle locking down. I had an Inventor’s fair in play as well as a Thopter Foundry and planned to get Sword of the Meek on his end step but he played a scavenging ooze. Therefore I just grabbed a second Ensnaring Bridge. (As long as you have one untapped mana and a Thopter Foundry they can’t get both ensnaring bridges with a Maelstrom Pulse because you sacrifice whichever one they target.) More draw-go ensues until I find a JTMS and fate seal him out of the game.

    Game 2 he had both Lilliana’s in play and hit 3 BBE. I Pithing Needled Liliana of the veil and used thopter/Sword to beat down the other. I only got one turn with the combo before he untapped and killed the foundry and my pithing needle. Ticked up Lotv and the last card in my hand was a second Thopter Foundry. I stalled the game out with my remaining thopters by trading with his creatures and knocking down Lotv until I could use Inventor’s Fair to fetch my last Thopter foundry. However he still had a Scavaneging Ooze on the table. He tapped low for a BBE and on his end step I used my mana rocks as fodder to force through thopter/sword. Then untapped and created more thopters which eventually went on to win the game. Really grindy, but interactive and fun matches.

    2nd Round: BBE Jund

    I asked myself if this matchup was even good for me but decided this is Modern now and I will have to find a way to beat it.

    Game 1 was very unusual but I was able to take an interesting line. I had Ensnaring Bridge/Welding Jar/Witchbane Ord/Academy ruins all in play. He had Lotv/Liliana the Last Hope/Goysf and most importantly 2 Dark Confidants. He needed to fine two pieces of artifact removal and enough power to kill me in one turn before Dark Confidant killed him. He thought Lotv ultimate would save him until I pointed out that it targets me and he cannot do that. Dark Confidants brought him to 2 life and I used thopter foundry to make a bunch of thopters on his end step to finish him off.
    Game 2 he mulliganed to 5 but I eventually lost this game by drawing air while he drew threats. I played JTMS into an empty board but found nothing useful with brainstorm before I had to start bouncing goyfs.

    Game 3 was very similar to the other Jund game where I had to beat both planeswalkers. He was over confidant with his nihil spell bomb and tapped out while I had thopter/sword ready. Explained how I get around the exile by just triggering sword a second time and he conceded to the 9 thopters over 2 turns. Had he not misplayed I still should have one given that he was hellbent at the time.

    3rd Round: No-Lords Goblins

    He is on the play. I knew he beat Tron earlier in the night which told me he was likely playing a fast deck. Combine that with red sleeves and a Goblin Guide playmat I thought for sure he was on burn.

    He started out with turn 1 Foundry Street Denizen and I kept a hand that was very top heavy. Ensnaring Bridge, Tezzeret, JTMS, Whir, Talisman, 2 Lands. I drew serum for turn and used it find another land and a IOK. Turn 2 cast talisman and IOK. Turn 3 Welding Jar, Tezzeret, make Welding Jar a 5/5 to block. This halted attacks from my opponent and I played JTMS the next turn and bounced a token. Eventually I emptied my hand. Despite being unable to burn me, or attack me he made me play it out. I fate sealed him every turn until I ultimate Tezzeret for lethal.

    Game 2 I walled him off for a little bit again with Tezzeret 5/5’s until I got Thopter/Sword online. I almost punted this game by forgetting Legion Loyalist made it so that tokens couldn’t block but I was able to race in the air while gaining enough to life survive. Sideboard Spellskite was huge in this game walling off some early attackers before I could cast Tezzeret.

    4th Round: Intentional Draw against Mardu Pyromancer
    It was one of the guys in my play group and we agreed that match up was abysmal for him and drew. In testing I was close to an 85% favorite against his deck. Without multiple K commands I would accrue more value with planeswalkers and thopter/sword and overrun him.

    Overall the deck performed great and I was very happy with my list. Some changes to note since I started testing with JTMS:

    +3 Inquistion of Kozelik
    +3 Thoughtseize
    +3 Colored lands
    -1 Crucible of Worlds
    -1 Expedition Map
    -1 Ghost Quarter
    -1 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
    -1 Whir of Invention
    -1 Ensnaring Bridge
    -1 Pithing Needle
    -2 Search for Azcanta

    I found that a lot of decks would just run me over without more disruption. In addition to that I felt like I was not emptying my hand fast enough for Ensnaring Bridge. In addition to that the deck had very limited velocity and was casting only 1 relatively impactful spell a turn. Getting stuck with multiple 3+ CMC cards in your hand was frequent and terrible. All of the changes you see reflect that. Search for Azcanta was slow and we already had plenty of late game, same goes for the Crucible of Worlds package. The most suspect change is obviously the -1 Whir of Invention but I liked it a lot. Holding 2 Whir of Invention in your opening hand never feels good. I needed to cut more 3+cmc cards and I concluded that the 4th Whir was the least impactful card when our planeswalkers also dig deep. We also have Serum Visions, Mishra’s Baubles + Fetches, and Inventor’s Fair for selection.

    If the meta gets more “fair” as many think it will we are going to be very well positioned to take down some tournaments. This may very well be the best JTMS shell. Proactive disruption, opponents can’t attack it, they can’t bolt it, and we can ramp it out a turn early.

    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    Quote from headminerve »
    Btw, has Golden Demise been discussed in this thread ? Tendrils and Damnation have been playable SB options, and I guess Demise would fit well along with Thopterson our side. So ?

    I didn't notice this card during spoiler season. Certainly interesting to think about.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    I typed up a big reply to all of you but then I hit something and it vanished… so here it goes again.

    @radouf: I cut hand disruption from my list for a few reasons.

    I wanted to make room for the Crucible of Worlds/Expedition Map/Ghost Quarter/Inventor’s Fair/Academy Ruins package. I see magic becoming a lot fairer for the time being and having a main deck engine to chip away in the long games and interact favorably with tron is appealing to me.

    I also felt like hand disruption was a routine speed bump for me. T1 you almost always prefer to cast Serum Visions but now on turn 2 you regularly have to decide between being mana efficient and playing your combo piece or casting IOK. It is usually right to cast IOK and that seemed to slow me down almost an entire turn for a small amount of disruption. I’d rather use all my mana every turn so that we can empty out our hand for Ensnaring Bridge faster while still putting impactful cards on the table.

    @reedy26: It is not that 2 JTMS feels right but that 5 powerful planeswalkers feels right. I found Tezzeret to still be better than JTMS in our deck and therefore I am on the 3/2 split. However you could switch that around if you have a lower artifact count.

    Casting Whir without prisms is fine since I have so many cheap artifacts. I have 8 zeros and 5 ones in addition to 8 twos. That and 3 lands gets us to Ensnaring Bridge on T3 pretty consistently. The talismans are closer to being mana sources instead of mana accelerators when you have only 19 lands.

    Like I mentioned above, all the cheap artifacts help me empty my hand quickly for Ensnaring Bridge. Most games are play out my entire hand, then Ensnaring Bridge, Planeswalker. A turn 3 planeswalkers on the play can end the game on the spot in the grindy matchups. My Jund opponent had a great hand of discard/goyf/Liliana. I drew JTMS off the top for a T3 JTMS on the play, bounced his goyf and then ignored LOTV while I brainstormed into whatever I wanted. Ensnaring Bridge locks up with the game without the need for any removal but you could play some out of the sideboard if you find Ensnaring Bridge to be unreliable. My solution is just more Ensnaring Bridge protection with a Spellskite, Welding Jar and Duress.

    I had considered playing LOTV but I liked the utility lands to much to afford casting her. Triple blue on T3 and double black on T3 is daunting when you want to play 4+ colorless lands in your 19 land deck. In addition to that I would have to cut Search for Azcanta for them and I don’t feel like that is a big upgrade (or any upgrade) for the deck.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    JTMS is unbanned! Lucky for me Monday night is Modern night and I jammed a ton of games with it. First my list then some discussion about it and JTMS:

    So the quick Tldr: JTMS is strong but by no means busted. Putting JTMS behind an Ensnaring Bridge and using him to assemble a combo is a disgustingly powerful combination.

    Once I decided that I was going to be playing JTMS I wanted to understand why this card is better than Tezzeret 3-4. Spoiler, it isn't. Tezzeret is still the better planeswalker in our deck. However, it is not by a monumental difference. This allows us to play 5-6 4 mana planeswalkers that are game ending on their own. Now if that is our strategy how do we make it better?

    Play them ahead of the curve. This is why I am playing 6 mana rocks and 19 lands. We maintain a large number of mana sources but dedicate about 1/4 of them to speeding up the deck.

    My win rate against bloodbraid jund with 4 K Commands, 2 Maelstrom Pulse, 2 abrupt decay, was favorable. That is absurd. This version is so incredibly threat dense between the walkers, azcanta, the combo, and ensnaring bridge that they have a hard time keeping up and navigating their way through it.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    Quote from TugaTog »
    @Reedy26 One of the guys from my regular round said that it was banned in the new MTGO Beta Client.
    He has now confirmed that it turned out to be a false alarm.

    I would also have been quite surprised if they would ban the bridge... but you never know.

    This was proven false. Images were photoshopped. It was just someone trying to cause trouble. Just double confirming because I freaked out over it at first.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    @MastaHours: By "Lingering Souls Impression" I meant that just assembling thopter/sword is very similar to chaining together lingering souls but doesn't cost you a card. In grindy games two copies of lingering souls will just end a match. If we untap with thopter/sword we get the same effect of creating a bunch of flying 1/1's (and we get some life gain out of it) which typically ends the game even if the foundry were to die.

    Here is my current main deck:

    I have changed things up a little bit as of late and I like the results so far. The deck is like half lantern half tezzerator. The lantern lock can end games with 3-4 pieces EVENTUALLY but I figured I would play Thopter/Sword and end the game in a turn or two.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    @mastahours: KCI Still won't win you the game in extra turns. Just infinite life. You have to wait a turn before you can actually kill them. This is also a big boon for Time Seive. When you are trying to race someone by having a kill combo instead of a value combo you want to be doing just that, killing them. Karn still resets the game and Druid combo still kills you. KCI is better against the grindy decks but I don't think you need the 3rd piece against them anyway. The lingering souls impression is good enough and if that for some reason isn't Tezzeret as the third combo piece is fine.

    KCI has its benefits but I am still firmly against running the third piece. The games I lose because I can't instant win with thopter/sword are far fewer than the games where time seive or KCI are do nothing cards.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    @Systrill - Good Luck! I hope to see you on camera taking it down!
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    Stopping by to show off a new list I have been testing. Sideboard yet to to be determined.

    With the rise of Mardu Pyromancer and the sinking realization that Tron isn't going away anytime soon I started crafting a list that I felt had more game against big mana and k-command decks.

    I have been playing a TON of modern lately but I haven't been on Tezzeret. Throughout those games I played against a handful of UWx Field of Ruins decks and found the Field of Ruins strategy to be reasonably powerful. However you can't build an entire deck on the premise of strip mining your opponent out of the game because there are many decks where that just isn't going to work or they kill you before you get the engine online. As a Tezzeret deck we gain access to mana fixing and mana ramp in the form of mana rocks to help field of ruins come online quicker. In addition to that we get to run 5 effective copies of Crucible of Worlds main deck without having redundant draws or dead draws in certain matchups.

    I felt like the planeswalker heavy Tezzeret lists were doing something powerful yet inconsistent. The Whir lists were doing something very consistent but slow and under powered against artifact removal. This was an attempt to meet in the middle somewhere. I am very happy with my preliminary results and suggest some try out!

    Azor's Gateway - Card has been great in testing. I find myself using Whir to fetch this card when I have control of the board but not much else going on. Obviously you tutor out the combo when you already have one piece or Crucible of Worlds when you have the time to deny your opponent lands but Azor's Gateway helps you rip through the deck incredibly fast for the cards you want to see most mid to late game. It will almost never flip, and I think it may actually be worse if it flipped. Definitely try it.

    I would like to try 2 Search for Azcanta but the slots are really tight. I plan to cut dismember and collective brutality next time I play and see how it goes.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    1.) You should be fine. Pretend they are not mana sources. If you do that you squeak by with 90% confidence to cast Pentad Prism which is pretty good.
    2.) My go to anti-affinity tech is flaying tendrills and it has been fantastic for me. If you stick with red play pyroclasm.
    3.) I would recommend against it because I don't think it sways that match-up far enough in your favor while also hurting you everywhere else.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    Quote from Reedy26 »
    i think its been discussed before but how do people like tidehollow strix? yes it doesn't cantrip like baleful strix but other than that its effectively the same card, and we're most of us playing bauble at the moment anyway and some fatal push too, but playing a couple copies of strix means we can whir for removal, can hit removal of tezz +1 and block, kill a dude then sac to foundry to gain a life and a thopter. so yes it might not be the best card but neither are a lot of what we play, but the synergy those cards have in this deck makes it work, similar to affinity.

    i know this opens us up to creature removal no longer being dead cards for our opponent and without the cantrip we wouldnt see any value from tidehollow. buuuut we can regenerate with welding jar to prevent said removal or even to keep it in play to kill 2 creatures, and in some cases where we can only whir for 2 instead of 3 we can use strix to remove a problematic dude which might buy us enough time to slam bridge or the combo?

    I think you rationalized the reason we don't play it immediately. It needs to draw a card. Would you ever chord of calling for ambush viper? Probably not. Baleful Strix has very limited opportunity cost associated with it and is ALWAYS a 2-1 in creature matchups when uncountered. Tidehollow will always trade for your opponents worst card. It is almost like a punisher card in that respect. They can trade their worst creature or their worst answer for it. Most likely a card that otherwise wasn't doing anything for them in the matchup.

    In addition to that it is completely dead in the non=creature matchups like Storm or Tron where Baleful Strix can at least cycle himself.

    I would just play any kill spell before I played Tidehollow Strix. We want to avoid playing weak cards just for the sake of the artifact type line. That is going to be the fastest way to have a deck full of weak cards. In reality it reads "Sorcery - Target player sacrifices a creature." Versus "Sorcery - Target player sacrifices a creature. Draw a card." Clearly you wouldn't play the first but you would play the second.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    Quote from radouf »
    @evilford i think the shift in the metagame (more Tron, lots of Titanshift always; but even the GWx matchups) warrant running more Thoughtseize. Lantern has shifted towards this a couple months back already, and since I’ve done it it has felt wayyyy better. I advise going up to at least 3 MB TSs in your targeted discard slots. I run the fourth in the SB.

    In addition to this Cryptic Command is back in a big way and so isn't Gifts Ungiven. Both cards you can't strip with IOK that you will want to take with your discard.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on UBx Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Control
    Call me crazy, but I don't think we need more alternate win conditions. We just need either increased velocity to keep up with the fast decks or much better disruption for big mana. There are few cards I could imagine being printed that increase our velocity. I mean we already have a bunch of free cards and a Mox. We just need better lock pieces for the decks we have a hard time beating. Blood Sun was close but we really want something that can beat up on Tron and is preferably tutor-able by Whir of Invention.

    We have alternate win-cons a plenty between new cards, Aether Grid, 5-6 Planeswalkers, a beat down plan. We already have more alternate lines to victory than most modern decks.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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