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  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Midrange / Junk / BGw Souls/ BG Rock
    Quote from EYEKarus »


    would like to know your reasoning for:
    Elspeth, sun's champion
    Gideon jura
    shambling vents



    I wanted two cards for grindy matchups/mirror. The options are basically Bloodbaron/Baneslayer, BAtterskull, 2nd Gideon (or 4th Rhino), Painful Truths or a planeswalker. Ideally the card would be good against BGx, Grixis Variants, Twin (post board they ALWAYS grind) and Collected Company Zoo decks. The lifegain options are better against zoo, but not resilient enough vs BG, Grixis. So it came down to a planeswalker or second painful truths. Truths isn't very good vs Zoo and because of the reduced lifegain in my version drawing 2 can be a stress on your life total even in the control matchups (where I am keeping in thoughtseize and want to fetch shocks). The planeswalker I tried were Gideon, Sorin, Little Elspeth, Gideon New and Big Elspeth. Vs Path matchups (Junk, UWR, Zoo) big elspeth was just the best. Shes obviously the most powerful and you get pathed. Realistically Little Gideon/Elspeth might be better (sorin to fragile vs Bolt/Kcommand), but Big Elspeth is my pet card (won me a GP).

    Gideon Jura over 4th Rhino. Worse vs Burn. Better vs Affinity/Infect, *****ty creature decks (like GW HAtebears). Neutral vs most other matchups. Gideon Overperformed by a lot. Note Brian Liu (who tested with me) was so impressed he played 2 in the GP in his zoo deck and got 16th. Gideon is a powerful, resilient anti small creature effect. in particular the matchups that hes good in are very close game 1, so I like having a very powerful card.

    Shambling Vents. The most important part, is that it just makes your mana way better than something like treetop village. I build my manabases by focusing on color requirements first, because Junk wins games when it can deploy its cards. However, incidental lifegain was also important in my build (you could play + 1 stirring, +1 swamp, -1 forest , -1 shambling and have same mana). I had already shaved a rhino and a ooze. But your life total is under pressure from your own cards (mana base and painful truths/thoughtseize). I think generally speaking Stirring Wildwood/treetio is a better card in matchups where manlands are at their best. But those matchups are already all decent. Whereas in the other matchups Vents is better (mostly because it just makes your mana better).


    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Midrange / Junk / BGw Souls/ BG Rock
    I would either make no changes or:

    -3 mindcensor/mage +3 anti combo hate (something like 2nd moonlight, eidolon of rhetoric and a duress). Thats just gamble based on the meta you expect. In a world where decks like living end or ad Naus are more popular I like that plan better.


    I do not think Jund is advantaged against anything except maybe Hatebears/Melira Combo (if you have access to stuff like lavamancer/olivia). Which is why i dont understand why anyone plays it.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Midrange / Junk / BGw Souls/ BG Rock
    Went 12-3 at GP Pittsburgh. Deck was fantastic and almost perfect for the metagame.



    Anafenza the Foremost 1
    Tasigur, the Golden Fang 1
    Tarmogoyf 4
    Scavenging Ooze 2
    Siege Rhino 3
    Noble Hierarch 3
    Liliana of the Veil 3
    Thoughtseize 3
    Lingering Souls 4
    Maelstrom Pulse 2
    Path to Exile 3
    Abrupt Decay 3
    Inquisition of Kozilek 3
    Gideon Jura 1

    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth 1
    Gavony Township 1
    Marsh Flats 2
    Twilight Mire 1
    Overgrown Tomb 2
    Stirring Wildwood 1
    Verdant Catacombs 4
    Windswept Heath 3
    Temple Garden 1
    Godless Shrine 1
    Shambling Vents 2
    Basics 4
    Ghost Quarter 1
    SB: 15
    Painful Truths 1
    Damnation 1
    Stony Silence 2
    Timely Reinforcements 2
    Celestial Purge 1
    Zealous Persecution 1
    Fulminator Mage 1
    Duress 1
    Aven Mindcensor 2
    Engineered Explosives 1
    Elspeth Sun's Champion 1
    Hallowed Moonlight 1

    Edit: Deck tags didnt work.

    My matchups were basically perfect, BW Tokems (L), 2x Burn(WL), 2x Fast Zoo, 1 Big Zoo (L), 2x Affinity, Grixis Delver, Jund, Infect, GW Hatebears, UW Titan Control. Didn't have enough positive variance to carry me to X-2. In particular my losses to Zoo and Burn, they drew very well (whereas I drew very well in my victories vs affinity).

    In general:

    Good matchups:

    Zoo, Burn, Jund, Twin, Grixis Decks

    Close/Slightly Favored: Affinity/Bloom/Scapeshift/Infect

    Bad: fringe Combo (ad Naus/living end/Melira Company etc), merfolk, Tron.

    I think you are very wrong if you play Jund over Junk. If your meta is light on land decks you can make the combo matchups much better.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Deck] UW Control
    The only person I saw top who top 4ed the RPTQs with UWR had 4 think twice and 0 sphinx's revelations.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Merfolk (3/2012 - 11/2015)
    That is not going to work the way you want it to.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Aggro/Midrange
    There is a 50% chance I play this in GP this weekend.

    So I am not posting any full lists until after. Regarding Mana I haven't tried Kazukis, but I thought Pauls was very good (and an improvement over the original SCG one).

    I lost a few games to flooding. I lost 0 games to colors. I lost a few games to not hitting enough land drops.

    But in general I was always able to curve out assuming I drew enough lands, which i assume is much harder with Shambling vents.

    IMO Abzan Aggro is a nut draw deck. You don't want to plan on games going long. Of course you can sometimes win if they do (Warden is a hella of a drug), but efficient threats are much worse late in the game. Basically my feeling is that a hand with warden/hbw, anafenza and 4 drop, most commonly loses to not being able to cast them on time.



    TL;DR. I think the shambling vents mana base is definitely worth investigating. But flood protection is not worth it if it screws up your ability to curve out. Note SV only increases white sources by 2.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Aggro/Midrange
    Walker would not be exiled. But an animated land would. Anafenza sees what you are the moment you leave.

    FWiW, I played the same 75 as Paul at the PT and think the deck is good but not great (he obviously disagrees). More importantly I tested pretty much every idea in this thread, including some not here (like transformational sideboards).

    I am confident most of the changes just make the deck worse. Abzan aggro is going to lose a lot of games. And a lot of those games are going to feel out of your control. But instead of trying to constantly tweak here and there, its a lot better to just focus on optimizing your play and your sideboard. You have the 2nd best nut draw in the format, and are far more resilient to any form of hate.

    You have two great matchups (red and aristocrats) and bunch of close ones (control, GW, mirrors). The only truly bad one I have found is Finkel Jeskai (Tamada's is much better for you).

    These are my conclusions after weeks of testing and a PT:

    -Gideon is the best 4 by a long shot. Rhino, Archangel etc.. are all playable but Gideon is the best. It beats a lot of common answers and is unbeatable on the play.
    -Wingmate/Gideon on the play are almost unbeatable without Tragic Arrogance. Assuming both players draw equal number of spells.
    -Anafenza is currently MUCH MUCH better than any other 3. People are down on stance (because its blank against Jeskai). They are higher on price (because of Atarka Combo). And there are hangbacks (or dragonmasters) everywhere we want to exile.
    -Cut and Abzan charm are the best removal in the format. But more important is the ability to reliably cast 2 removal spells on 4/5. So DCommands and Silkwraps serve a very valuable role.
    -The control versions are better vs U decks, but significantly worse vs everything else.
    -The third delta is a lot better than the 4th heath. Infinite hours of testing to decide this.






    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Aggro/Midrange
    A couple of notes.

    I know that Pantheon genuinely thought that strokes were bad in the matchup. However, these segments are filmed before the matches take place in view of other top 8 competitors and their accompanying players (though no sound). So players are almost incentivized to just make ***** up in order to not give away their actual plan. I can't say whether thats what anyone actually did, but I wouldn't necessarily hold them to what they said on screen.
    -----
    I think holding the abzan charm is pretty reasonable in that spot. If his top card is a removal spell, he just wins the game immediately. However if the draw 2 finds only 1 removal spell he is basically in the same spot that he started. If he draws a rhino then holding it would of been slightly bad.

    Attacking with the knight is a mistake, since the only spell that makes sense is abzan charm in that spot (all other removal would be cast before blocks). So the double block (which severely punishes the attack) is almost always going to happen.

    I think the two options (after holding charm which I like). Is powering up gideon and attacking with everything (which basically loses to a dromoka's command, but can beat a lot of other things and makes abzan charm less obvious). Or attacking with just anafenza and thopter. Making a 2nd knight to double block warden.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Aggro/Midrange
    @lugger could you post a timestamp, by any chance?

    I was actually backstage preparing sideboard notes for Paul's potential finals opponent, so I didn't even really get to see him play.

    FWiW, I am fairly convinced that the Pantheon Jeskai deck is heavily favored vs all the abzan variants.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Mono-Red Aggro (Boss Sligh/Rabble Red/RDW)
    What are the white cards you would even want?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on B/x Demonic Pact
    Unless playing against counterspells we played it right away (sultai version).


    If you wait till turn 5 it gives you a little more safety since on turn 8 (your last chance to kill it) you will potentially be able to Ugin or Den Protector + Sultai Charm.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Zoo
    Completely different then what I found on MODO.


    Jund and Liliana decks were some of the worst matchups (along with burn and affinity).


    Lightning bolt was a very unexciting card. Its only good if you connected with creatures, but this deck struggles with that first step when its losing. It doesn't need cards which are good when you are already hitting. Bolt also doesn't answer the blockers that this deck most cares about (Tasigurs, Spellskites and Goyfs).


    Steppe Lynx is the worst creature by far and we should be looking for replacements. If you find some decent creature you would also create sideboard room, since siding out lynx for mandrills is so common.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Primer] Merfolk (3/2012 - 11/2015)
    Quote from Lil_Bolas »
    Can you share your thoughts on why you lost to affinity? I want to know what do you think you could have done differently to win. I have 6 affinity players at one of the stores I frequent so I can offer you some help with that matchup if you need it, but you sound like a pretty good player Link

    Also how was Monastery Siege?



    i lost to affinity the same way I always lose plating or ravager or overseer + I draw <2 pieces of interactive removal. I don't think its worth sideboarding cards for the matchup either since you need 4 narrow slots. I basically don't plan to beat affinity except when the deck craps on itself or I god draw them. Which I think is the correct approach for any major tournament (e.g. affinity <10% of meta).

    I only sided in siege once and didn't draw it so I cant report back. I have traditionally played Kira's in those spots and was very unhappy with them. I would be interested in trying Spellskites or Chalices (maybe a 2nd song) instead of the sieges. Not that they are bad necessarily, but they might be too narrow.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Primer] Merfolk (3/2012 - 11/2015)
    Hopefully its viewable now (I hate the formatting on this forum).


    I only drew the spellskite twice in game 1 and once it saved a lord shortening clock by one turn. THe other time I still lost to affinity though it was fine.
    I desperately wanted to draw it vs Poison and Boggles. While I like relic as a card it doesn't help your bad/close game 1 matchups. Spellskite can theoretically be dead/less valuable but those are in matchups where your g1 is much better.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on [Primer] Merfolk (3/2012 - 11/2015)


    Won a 50 person pptq with above. Got very lucky in the t8.

    Beat GR Titan, Esper Gifts, KikiChord and Infect in the Swiss while losing to Affinity.

    Harbinger was excellent. Maindeck Skite was fantastic. Loved the 5 counters.









    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
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