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  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    Interesting assessment. What I find is that even their slow clock (Maybe Maus Wanderer, or any 2 drop) is enough to keep the pressure up. If they have a vial on board they can hold up Queller mana and still deploy threats. I'll go have a scope of the twitch video!

    I had the idea for a UW list when I realized my only black spells were Glimpses, Crypt Incursion, Fatal Push and Collective Brutality, with Damnation and LLotVoid in the side, and white generally offered better stuff (Verdict and Settle, RiP, Path), and sideboard options. It definitely still needs tuning, I've probably only played about 12-15 matches with it. Also, I was mistaken - currently running no creatures. I'm still somewhat learning how to play control (I'm familiar with it since I've played MTG for 15 years) so advice on the control package would be good.

    The basic plan is to slow the game down with counterspells (Cryptic is so boss) and removal (Path, Verdict), and get some combination of Trap/Briefing/Orb/Fraying Sanity down and protect. It seems to work well, your opponent seems to settle into a grindier game and then you hit them with a Trap > Briefing for most of the rest of their deck. Also, spicy haymaker in Psychic Spiral, haha, but it's an instant which is key!



    Firstly, lands seem to be good colour wise, but with the prevalence of Field of Ruin around, I haven't had a Shelldock survive to activation in some time, so I'm considering cutting, or dropping to fewer than 3. Academy Ruins is great for recurring Orbs, but colourless mana (on top of the stuff from our own FoR) can sometimes be hard. I've just thought about an Ipnu Rivulet as an option too, but with no Crypt Incursion, lifegain is a little harder to come by so I'm cautious. I'm also thinking about going up to 23 or even 24, we really want to be making our first 3 (ideally 4) land drops.

    The only loss to milling from taking out black is Glimpse, and with Mission Briefing doing a decent job acting as a mill spell with Archive Trap in the yard, as a 4-of with 4 Field of Ruin, it fills Glimpses slot pretty nicely.

    For counterspells, I think 2 Logic Knot and 3 Cryptic give me pretty good all around coverage, and I think I should buff it out with 2 of the other options. Right now I'm testing Spell Snare (BGx was AssTrophy all over my orbs, Goyf is always a concern), but I can't decide what these 2 should be, or if I need more than 7 counterspells (up to 9?) My inclination would be mana leak or negate for these slots, perhaps 2 of each. Remand does a pretty good job at slowing them down while keeping our hand up.

    I've considered Crabs and Scribes but have found them to just be a lightning rod for removal. I had my most success with my UB deck around AER release (ie: Fatal Push) by having no creatures in the main, leaves a lot of removal stranded. I've effectively used these slots to put the control package in.

    One thing I've dropped is the Ensnaring Bridge - it doesn't play nicely with countermagic. Just had a thought that since I'm in white I could stick Ghostly Prison in to fill that role if need be.

    I'm unsure if I need 2 Supreme Verdict AND 2 Settle the Wreckage in the main. I see it as Path handling big threats, and this handling go-wide strategies, which would otherwise be a tough matchup. Perhaps could slot 2 out for 2 Ghostly Prisons as anti go-wide.

    Anyways, the list is not as out-there as you would think, it's still almost the same core mill package but with countermagic instead of creatures. White just complements the control strategy better than black does, in Modern at least. You could play similarly with a UB Control mill list, but UB control is more empty-handed, protect your threat on the board and tempo them down. But we're not really deploying a threat here, so it's not really ideal here. Being able to make your opponent tap mana into your Orbs, or holding up a Cryptic or Logic Knot (or Mission Briefing) to catch-all in the later game (where we are aiming to play to anyway) is a great place to be in my experience.

    My sideboard has more than 15 cards since I'm still testing it out. A couple not mentioned that I've also considered: Spellskie, Leyline of Sanctity, Detention Sphere, Spreading Seas, Wall of Denial, Vapor Snag, Timely Reinforcements, Set Adrift
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    It's been talked about before, but I've been having more success with a controlly UW build lately as opposed to my UB version. Mission Briefing and Archive Trap are awesome, and let you play at instant speed to hold up your control cards, and Surgical being Phyrexian is still 3x in the main. Logic Knot works really well for us, Cryptic Command is a house, Path to Exile is awesome against creatures, and Supreme Verdict + Settle the Wreckage gives you good diversity of board clears. Hedron Crab and Manic Scribe provide additional milling. RiP and Fragmentize in the board cover our bases for Artifact/Enchantment and graveyard strategies. My meta is just my friend group though, but has an interesting array of matchups (Hollow one, Bant Spirits, BW Tokens, BG Rock, UW Control, Superfriends (usually wrecks me), Ponza, Affinity + HS Affinity). I don't have an up to date deck list online yet, but will try and add one. It needs some more tuning but I've found it to be pretty reliable, just grindy (leaning on Orbs for the win a lot of the time).

    I've found Spirits to be a very tough matchup for my UB deck - Yamar, how do you do it? Spell Queller wrecks me so hard, stomping out my mill spells and Fatal pushes (or bridges when I try to land them), then flying over my head. It might just be that she knows how to play spirits vs UB Mill because of our regular matchups, but I feel it's tight but definitely unfavoured for me.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    1. In a similar manner, burn spells do not really do anything until the opponent has no life left then.

    2. Why are Mill spells any less legit of a win-con than damage from Colonnades? If anything, opponents are less prepared for it

    3. Responses in a UW Mill deck can be the same as the responses in a UW Control deck, which is a pretty good deck right now in case you hadn't noticed. You could choose to put tempo responses into your deck (Remand, Vapor Snag, Darkness, Spell Snare) or control responses in your deck (Cryptic, Path, Verdict, Logic Knot)

    There's multiple ways to build a Mill deck; Tempo, Control, Burn. For you to write off trying out a different archetype of Mill, without having tried it yourself, and that hasn't been fully explored by others is pretty short sighted. But I guess you must know best...

    Tested both UB and UW last night. My UB deck got toasted by Hardened Scales, turn 4 through interaction twice in a row. He was on the play G1, started by puking 4 cards out (Land, Opal, Welding Jar, Automaton), followed up by a Ravager on T2. I dropped a Crab on 1, Orb on 2 (had Fatal Push in hand, but Welding Jar...), then Field of Ruin > Double Archive Trap > Fatal push on 3 (a pretty huge line for us). I died T4 with 3 cards left in his library. G2 I kept Fragmentize, Surgical, Push, but 1 lander (Glimpse and Orb I think?). Nothing on T1 for me, double Jar and Hardened Scales on T1 for him. I fragmentize and Surgical his Scales, but he reveals a hand with Arcbound Worker and double Steel Overseer. I don't draw a land for the next 2 turns and die to an Overseer and Ravager working together to make a huge Inkmoth for an alpha strike. I think my only hope is Stony Silence (in my UW board but not UB board...). Path would've been nice to get around the Welding Jars both games though. I think it's gotta be one of our worst matchups though, Welding Jar is super useful for protecting threats.

    UW Mill destroyed UW miracle control 2-0 as I'd expect though (I think UB would do the same). Field of Ruin into Surgical on his Colonnade, then Mission Briefing to surgical his Jace (I know his deck and threats - not many) and he's left with single Teferi and Clique, and 3x Snapcasters as his win-cons. Game 1 he was stuck with 2 Terminus in hand at the end of the game too. Game 2 he tapped out end of my turn (like T11 or something) to use a flipped Azcanta, and opened up to Field of Ruin > Trap > Mission Briefing on the Trap that basically sealed it for me. Instant speed response for the win.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    Dang, Drowned Secrets would've been great as a 1-drop. 2 drop is too expensive I think, and fights with our other mill 2-drops (Glimpse, Orb, Scribe).

    As far as cutting Glimpse: Ya, I know it seems odd, I agree it's THE staple card. But I noticed the lack of black cards when re-evaluating my manabase and just want to see if it's possible. Plus, what's better than 10 cards for 2 mana? 13 cards for 2 mana. It also lets us play at instant speed as a control deck which can be pretty important. Path to Exile >> Fatal Push, Supreme Verdict > Damnation. Crypt Incursion is less important if we're controlling all their threats and landing a board wipe more reliably.

    I've also of course got my UB shell with Mission Briefings in there too, but I think going slow and leaning more on Mesmeric Orb and control strategy. Stats say that ~66% of the time you will have EITHER Archive Trap OR Mesmeric Orb in your opening hand, and once you have one of them your Mission Briefings become live (tapping out at EOT to mill yourself with the Orb will get you a Trap in the yard pretty quickly). I don't think it's as crazy as it sounds. I think cutting Crabs and Scribes might not be correct though, but we'll see.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Burn
    So a little bit weaker Browbeat, but at instant speed. Interesting! Note that it doesn't get around a Leyline like Browbeat does though.

    I run 2 Bedlam Reveler in my mainboard as late-game gas and have been pretty happy with them thus far, but realize it might not be where most burn pilots wanna be.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    With Mission Briefing, I almost think it might work to have a UW control shell now that we can flash back our Archive Traps on the cheap. My only black cards currently across main and board are 4 Glimpse, 3 Push, 2 Brutality, 2 Crypt Incursion, and 2 Damnation (SB). I'm counting Surgical (3x) as colourless here. That's not a huge incentive to go with black when white could provide a lot more.

    I'm thinking of:
    -2 Brutality
    -3 Ensnaring Bridge (Doesn't play nicely with control)
    +3 Thought Scour (cantrip plus instant speed mill)
    +2 Settle the Wreckage

    -8 Creatures (crabs and scribes)
    +7 Counterspells (right now thinking 3 Cryptic, 2 Logic Knot, 2 Negate but maybe Spell Snare for tempo?)
    +1 Psychic Spiral (reach after mesmeric orbing my graveyard down. Instant speed!)

    Straight (mostly) equivalent replacements
    -4 Glimpse; +4 Mission Briefing
    -2 Crypt Incursion; +2 Profane Memento (maybe Timely Reinforcements?)
    -3 Push; +3 Path
    -2 Damnation; +2 Supreme Verdict (but in the main instead of SB)

    With 4 Field of Ruin and 4 Path, it should be easy enough to get them to search to activate Trap/Briefing. With field of ruin forced search, even when they don't fetch for Path we can still get them. I'm thinking 22 lands should be enough (instead of 25 like regular control uses) because we're not aiming to resolve a 5 mana Planeswalker with protection up to win the game. More just a bunch of 0 or 2 mana spells (Trap, Orb, Briefing) and then just slow them down enough to make the Orbs hurt them, with Traps being a big burn.

    Anyway, I'm going to proxy up this UW list and try it tomorrow with my friends. Our meta includes Hardened Scales, Spirits, GB Eldrazi Rock, BW Tokens, UR Wizards, Burn, and UW Miracle Control. Notably no Humans (could be a bad matchup) and no Tron (UW struggles against them, but with Surgicals in my main board it's usually alright).
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    I totally dig it. I've loved Snapcaster in my deck, especially with Orbs. I think there's a lot of synergy with Orb, Snappy, Academy Ruins, and now this. Part of the benefit of the Snapcaster effect is also that if your opponent is hiding behind a Leyline, you can point Glimpse at your own library to hopefully hit your sideboard cards with a Snapcaster or Mission Briefing now.

    I think it fits in as a replacement for Snapcaster, I'm gonna start with 2 of, but wouldn't be surprised to end up with 4 or even 6 (4 Briefing, 2 snappy probly) of these types of effects. Casting Archive Trap for 0 as flashback is huge.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill


    So its a tempo card, the more your list tempo oriented the better is ET. For control lists, its disadvantages are big.


    This sums it up exactly. If you're just looking to stall out your opponent and don't mind if the permanent (you use only Leyline of Sanctity as an example) comes back, then ET is great. If it's something you need to remove permanently, thinking Jace, Teferi, Gideon of the Trials and such, then you need actual removal, which Set Adrift usually works for. Different cards for different styles. We're not a Draw-go deck playing at instant speed, but I do see your point about being able to bounce Leyline EoT and then have all your mana open to cast spells on your turn - in this scenario it's likely that you haven't done anything on your previous turn due to the Leyline, so would have mana open.

    I've been running 2x Void Snare and 1x Echoing Truth in my list lately, was hoping the one mana cheaper on Void Snare would leave me with a little bit more mana to cast spells after bouncing a problem permanent. I actually ran into double Leyline the other night against a friend, and I managed to have a Void Snare and a Set Adrift in my hand, with an Orb on the table. The plan was to bounce one, top of library the other, mill during his untap phase, and Surgical both of them away. Of course, a counterspell on the Set Adrift foiled my plans.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Zombies
    I like that new Lili as a 1 or 2-of at most. Her + ability is great! Putting more Zombies in the yard and draining our opponent for two seems good. Shame she's 4 CMC instead of 3, but it puts her top end for us, so max 2-of. I plan to test her out at some point.

    4 card combo with the new Lili Ult, Memnite/Ornithopter or other 0-drop, Ashes of the Fallen, and Blasting Station, not that we'd actually wanna try it, but I loved the Gravecrawler machine gun last time I played :p
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Zombies
    Thanks for the tips! Why Dismember over Path? I like that it pretty cleanly answers everything, but Dismember is also decent. Are you aware of any zombies that come in and either ping creatures or the like (-1/-1 counters, or -X/-X until end of turn type thing)? Dark Salvation is great but unless it's at least 3 mana, it's usually just a Disfigure early game.

    I also prefer Thoughtseize, but I had IoKs in my binder so they got thrown into my haphazard sideboard haha. I also chucked some little Thalias in there, which might also be good against burn. It seemed like a pretty painful matchup regardless, made me realize that we don't really have much play against them. Though his Eidolon damaged him way more than it damaged me, Aether Vial for the win there. I feel like we don't want to divert from our creature beats plan too much, not sure what the answer would be. Anything we can get directed at our board instead of our face seems to be the best option. Thoughts on Leyline of Sanctity?

    I'm going to try out a couple Smuggler's Copter in place of my Amalgams I think. Have you tried them out? Any thoughts?

    What matchups would you want to bring Liliana in for? It seems like we can grind pretty well, which is what Lili excels at. I'd almost rather have a Last Hope instead of the Veil to give us some threats back.

    What didn't you like about Worship? I'd guess maybe our guys aren't resilient enough to removal?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Zombies
    Quote from Dejadal »
    Thanks man! The deck is definitely a lot of fun.

    Heretical Healer could be worth testing. I don't think she's really where you want to be, but she could be a good tool for grindy games. Deaths Majesty has been tempting for the SB too but 5 mana is a lot and she's probably not necessary.

    I personally don't think Amalgam is worth it. Not a lot of good ways to abuse him and adding another color for a 3 mana 3/3 with no abilities doesn't seem great. You would for sure have to cut Mutavault if you went that route, and you'd need to be prepared to take more damage from your mana base. Yeah Binding Mummy is reeeeeally good against other creature decks. Can use it defensively to tap down attackers with Vial/Cryptbreaker, but he really gets nuts when paired with Diregraf Colossus to tap down blockers.

    Yeah my Vial counters usually depends on my hand, board state, and what I know or suspect about my opponent's hand. If I have a Plague Belcher in hand I'll almost always Vial up to 3, unless I have a line like: hard cast Belcher to kill Relentless Dead, pay B to return to hand, Vial Relentless back in. But even then sometimes it's better to Vial up to 3. Belcher is just so good off of Vial. The absolute dream is to have 2 vials so you don't have to pick 2 or 3, but that's rare obviously.

    Well some of the obvious ones are like Belcher to kill Gravecrawler post combat and re-cast, especially with Wayward Servant or Diregraf Colossus or something out. There's just sooo much synergy in this deck. I find new lines every time I bring it out.
    It's slow, but once you get the ball rolling you have so much inevitability. A lot of wins come from getting in a few early attacks with Gravecrawler and then grinding out board stalls. Stalls are very good for us, because our ETB/'dies' triggers will get the job done without having to open ourselves up.


    So I fired up my version of your list last night for the first time against some friends, went 1-2 which is fine - I'm still learning the deck.

    I have your exact manabase but -1 Swamp +1 Mutavault

    Mainboard I have your list but:
    +2 Prized Amalgam (was thinking recursion from yard, and Cavern also lets me cast it from hand)
    +1 Binding Mummy
    +1 Colossus
    +1 Path to Exile

    -1 Cryptbreaker
    -2 Death Baron (stoked he's getting a reprint - he's my only proxy at the moment til Core 19 comes out)
    -1 Wayward Servant
    -1 Altar's Reap

    I don't have my sideboard set up properly yet, it had a couple extra paths, Lili, Brutality, but missing Fragmentize, Worship, and Anguished Unmaking which I think will be essential. So post board games weren't as good as they could've been.

    I won against BW Tokens, it's grindy enough that we can get into our gameplan. It got to decently late game, and I landed a Blasting Station with a Wayward and Binding on board and 4 black mana, with Crawler in the yard. He had 4 tokens form Lingering Souls and Bitterblossom that were pumped with Sorin (+1/+0 and lifelink), and an Intangible Virtue (all +1/+1), with 9 life. Blasting stations to the face, tapping his blockers (lifelink being the relevant part) and threw down Gravecrawler machine gun to swing for the win - felt so good. He beat me game 2 with a T2 and T3 Bitterblossom which felt hard to deal with. He wouldn't bother chumping, just build up a board, drop Sorin or Intangible Virtue, and then swing at me hard in the air.

    I lost to Bant Spirits (1-2, very tight games, since it's tough for him to interact with us being mostly creatures instead of spells), but having flyers was once again a big advantage for him. I also lost to Burn, once again 1-2, which was a lot better than I thought I'd do. The game I won, he made a misplay Searing Blaze on my Belcher, not realizing it wouldn't die. He followed it up with a bold, but I won with 2 life left - game deciding mistake for him.

    I definitely agree with you about Amalgam, he's coming out. There was no reliable way to get him into the yard, and not enough recursion once he did. I was debating trying to jam some Bloodghasts in, but that dilutes our zombies and then the deck becomes more 1 and 2-ofs. There's better cards already in my deck that could use more copies instead of Amalgam. I had also contemplated a fun-of Mesmeric Orb (Mill is my main deck) to try and help this strategy - putting Crawlers and Amalgams in my yard, but I think then we just become a bad Dredge deck.

    Binding mummy was good on the offense, but not as good on the defense since you can't tap things down outside of Vial. I think I'll do like you with 1 in the main and maybe 1 or 2 more in the board.

    Cryptbreaker seemed good to have as a 1-drop, which is pretty essential here to have the right curve.

    I think we need something to slow down faster decks like burn. I put some IoK in my board which is good to slow the game down a bit, but maybe some more earlier game life gain - Timely Reinforcements perhaps? Any other thoughts for the aggro decks?

    Otherwise, I'm stoked on the deck and stoked to try it out. Your list definitely looks like you've tested and come to the same conclusions I have here! Thanks for the inspiration!!!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Zombies
    Dude, this list sounds and looks awesome. Inspired me to proxy it up and test it out! I've always wanted to rock some type of Zombies, and I think with the Vial saving you on mana, it keeps your mana open for other value like Gravecrawler and Relentless.

    My interest was drawn here when I was playing Liliana, Heretical Healer in another deck. Have you tried her out here? Vialling her in with opponent removal on the stack seems like a great play, to then recur someone else.

    Also, with creatures so often coming back from your graveyard, think it's worth running Prized Amalgam? Even if it was stuck in your hand, you can make blue mana with Caverns and cast it eventually, if you don't get a chance to discard it.

    I love the Binding Mummy, seems like just the kind of evasion you need as Zombies.

    I've never played a Vial deck before but have always loved the card, so many cool interactions, so thanks for those tips and situations! Got any more? Do you usually keep vial on 2? Or tick it up to 3 whenever you can? Perhaps dependent on your cards in hand?

    Also, have you tried Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx? Might be a bit slow?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    Has anyone done any testing with Vengeful Pharaoh in the main or the side as a form of creature control? I'm thinking it would be good against Hollow One, Tasigur, etc, that you can't Fatal Push. If you get one (or more) in your graveyard with a Mesmeric Orb out, it seems like it would decimate their army pretty quickly, and keep ending up back in the graveyard for you next turn.

    I think I might shave a couple Fatal Push and try to slot 3 Pharaohs in and see how it goes Smile
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    Just gotta say I'm loving the discussion in here. Keep it up!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Deck] UBx Mill
    Quote from Quartz »
    Not playing any removal is way too risky, there's many creatures that can kill you without attacking, and having a few creatures makes them easy prey for removal. Fatal Push or Dismember are a need I think, I wouldn't only rely on having Jace's Phantasm around for blocking.
    That's independent of playing Fraying Sanity or not I mean.

    My question remains, how do you guys prefer to play your deck? Let's make it multiple choice for those who don't want to type much, any further explanations are welcome.

    1. "Burn" style: You want to have as many mill cards as possible and cast a mill card every turn, and try to race the other deck. Your gameplay isn't really affected much by what the opponent's doing.
    2. "Control" style: You play a lot of answers to their threats and try to stabilize in order to finish the milling. Maybe it's more removal, or removal + discard, sweepers maindeck, bridge, etc....
    3. "Tempo" style: Similar to "Burn" style, but you have more cards in the maindeck to delay the opponent's kill. Profane Memento and Echoing Truth, Darkness, Remand for example.

    As I said, I favor the Tempo style, but would love to hear other people who like other approaches.


    I'm with you on the tempo style, with the combo aspect of Field of Ruin and Traps in there. I think you're definitely onto something. I previously played more of a control style (AER Release GP), but found I got wrecked by fast creature decks.

    What I don't particularly like is how there's just a few cards that absolutely hose us in the meta at the moment. Leyline, Blood Moon, and Emrakul all seem relatively abundant (ok, sure, not in the top deck, but in multiple other decks) and are pretty difficult to deal with on the whole. That's part of what I like about Fraying Sanity so much, is it gives us that one turn kill if we need it, or gives us the raw power to mill their deck twice in some cases (ie: Surgical on Emrakul, but shuffle trigger still goes). Without Fraying Sanity, that's basically an auto-loss. So the inevitability and speed it brings I think is really important, and I like 4 copies too. I think I'm about 8-1 when landing a Fraying Sanity in T3, 4, or 5.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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