2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on Spirits UW/x
    I'm relatively happy about the last banning cycle. My list featured 2 copters, but I can see from miles away my deck was one of the worse copter decks. Mono black was abusing that enormously and rg aggro and some other could use that efficiently to wall me, so eventually my plan after sideboard was to remove my copters to bring in a couple needles for their playset. Mono black was rough, copter was a big reason for it, I'll take benefits out of this ban. And so is true for the other two with special regard for Once Upon a Time. the less consistend Mono G is, the higher my win rate against them.

    Now, copter served the purpose of insulating me a little bit from wraths and stuff like liliana last hope. I have never relied on copter to fix my hand, sure it's happened but it wasn't there to patch a bug coming out of my deck building, this is to say I have never seen copter as a key piece or a necessary engine to keep building compromises together.
    I was on two of them, one gets replaced by one Favorable Winds which is good against the same deck copter was good against (control strategies), although it's not the same power level, and one flex card which at the moment is Essence Flux, just cause I love the card and wanna play with it a bit more until I find something convincing. I'm sure I dont want 3drops. It could be an Opt, it could be a bit of whatever, hope to find some ideas around. Siren stormtamer is an old idea, haven't find the courage to runa league with it yet, although it seems very good along with 4 Obsessions.

    Current list in the picture. It has just 5-0ed. I think there was an Apostle of purifying light in replacement of cerulean drake.
    Now mono black has been knocked, and mono green too, I'm dedicating an extra side slot to Mono red which I beat in the 5th round, very close game it has proved to be a very hard matchup... I'm respecting it as I believe it might be one of the emerging aggro strategies now.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Spirits UW/x
    I've been playing a bit, things i've noticed is that now people know what to do with their decks, some have emerged as tier1s so I'm no longer facing the amount of easy winds I was used to in the beginning of the month. As things stand, an average league is made of 3 easy/reasonably favorable matchups and 2 close ones where a mulligan can cost you the game. Close matchups are gainst monoG, monoR and monoB, worse matchup ever is UR Emerge because of the amount of removals and inevitability they ve got going on their side with rekindled phoenix and the elder deep fiend. All of the rest looks fine and takes a good tempo plan to be beated, you have to know what hands you want to keep , my games are often decided in my favor by a turn. Spirits is a great deck in this format but takes a lot of sequencing.

    My average results are 4-1s online, took my first pioneer fnm yesterday and it's been easy cause a lot of people there are players coming from standard or commander, they have no clue about of Spirits work in terms of synergies and game plan so you can really max out your results at your LGS.

    My current decklist is in the picture.

    Recent changes have been the 2x stroke in the side, i think this is a very good catch all counterspell. We struggle with big creatures like big ballistas, hydras, glorybringers and stuff. You want to deal with them tempo-efficiently, so a two mana counterspell has always been my choice. I started with Essence Scatter, but it's shown weaknesses against UW control(I'm not bringing that in for Lyra, but 'd gladly have a counter for jace architect of dig through time and such) and UG Reclamation where you want to have a negate effect. So stroke is the compromise. Maybe I won't be able to catch small ballistas, but when those are small they are 1/1 so they are not threatning.

    I have tested a Ram, it's there for mono black which has recursive small threats, we'll see how it works. It should be a house against red and walkers in general. If it fails, then Surge of Rightfulness should be my pick. Sky tether is also excellent, I value the 1cmc so so much, because you almost always find a way to curve out and keep pressuring/disrupting your opponent while playing the defensive spell.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Edit: wrong spirits thread
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Spirits UW/x
    I want to share this sort of prank, I ve started building jeskai spirits with 4 charms with no further changes, jumped later in a league thinking I was playing my stock UW, and I realized what was happening once the first game started so I had to continue playing trying to cash in. I 5-0ed in the end because the core of the deck is so solid it can sustain 4 dead cards mainboard every g1.

    Edit: speaking of serious things, I think Aethersphere Harvester can be a big 2 of in the sideboard to wall aggro and stick a veicle against contol and phoenix. gets bonuses from both eagle and fav winds, looks spicy enbough to test in replacement of Surge and Encase
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Spirits UW/x
    I'm collecting 5-0 , currently 8th times. Rally of wings has been critical to steal those games I wouldn't have won that one turn otherwise, rest of the list is gucci.

    15th sideboard card was an Encase in Ice but I'm not sold and I'm looking for somehting that I don't know yet. Could be another counterspell.

    Minor maindeck changes could be the 4th obsession. I still don't want the 4th eagle with 20 lands, I swapped executioner for the 4th herald which is insane in this format and the singleton glacial fortress still harms my curving out one game per league. I'm really thinking about mana confluence but 20$ online are too much tbh.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Spirits UW/x
    Yeah rally is game swinging both offensively and defensively, thanks for recommending it.

    Needle and Spyglass are superior to counters as much as a removals are superior to a counters for creatures, because needles can be played pro actively or later in the game, while the counter itself requires perfect timing.
    As for which is the right counter to play, I like veto, but I'm currently trying a counter package that allows me to deal with big creatures. The very first couple weeks I have seen plenty of big green creatures being played, so I ended up preferring Disallow over veto since PWs can be dealt via needles and combat damage, while krasis, ballistas and such are too much of a threat from my perspective.

    Sky tether is super efficient but it doesn't do much against overseers, stonecoil serpent, copters, lords. I ended up preferring other cards.

    Borrower is the card we want in place of Remand/ unsub. I won't lie, the creature itself is something I cast very few times, the bounce ability is so impactful that it provides me the tempo swing to finish the race with my creatures with no need for borrower to do anything. It's always sweet to have that option though and plays well with our draw- attack- go strategy.

    If I were to play anything like Bishop, I'd probably test Ephara God of the polis in the first place cause it requires no mana to draw extra cards and it sticks to the battlefield way better than bishop. Once you rebuild the board it turns sideways for a lot of damage. So far I ve never felt the need for this type of card though cause I tend to lose to big mana and hyper aggro strats more frequently than to midrange and controls
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Spirits UW/x
    Hi everybody, I'm currently on UW Spirits, no third color splashed and I've collected 5x 5-0 since the new format has been introduced. My most recent lists are here:



    My approach to the deck is the same as in Modern: synergies, all fliers and tempo, for this reason I'm always picking Nebelgast Herald over any other option (reflector , deputy, which end up being bricks on the floor with no benefits taken from lords, rattlechains and stuff). Herald is one of the best thempo cards we have with the single limitation of requiring to tap mana before their second main phase, so it demands some planning and sequencing decisions when you have both that and queller in your hand. One thing I've end up falling in love with, is how relevant the extra copies of spectral sailor get to be when Herald is part of your list. The 1cmc flasher really helps you curving and tempoing your opponent out even in absence of Rattlechains. Having 4x Sailors makes every spirit mirror and control matchup way more favorable, on the other hand.
    The slower the format, the better herald performs.
    Hanged Executioner is a one of I like to widen the board and act as a removal later. It comes in handy against mirrors and phoenix ( the game goes long and grindy. the token to block a flipped thing and the ability to exile a 7/8 can be game swinging).

    As for card draw, I think Obsession is the best engine: it's very good in modern, it's even better in pioneer where there's scarsity of efficient removals and many times it takes a selfless or a rattlechains to ensure a 3 turn extra card draw cycle before they can deal with the threat. The absence of bolts and revolted push make it so easy to keep connecting with the enchanted spirit. Because of the absence of Aether Vial we ideally want to hit a creature and a land in the early turns, and 2 creatures per turn later in the game, or a creature and a mana sinker (mutavault, spectral sailor) to give a sense to all of the extra lands.

    I think one important thing to keep in mind is that this tribe in pioneer takes the aggro role most of the times, so this is why I ended up not liking Teferi TR , maindeck deputy and such, because the play the control role: many times I can race my opponent by one turn, and this is just because of the extra damages that Nebelgast Herald and obsessions have provided.

    I'm not sold on the 4th Eagle because we have just rattlechains to flash that in , in the UW version. I can see the 4x in bant with 4 RC and 4 CoCo. I'm liking the 1st Fav Winds in replacement of the 4th copy of eagle because it sticks against control and midrange and it curves much better: there are matchups where you want the passive ability to be as permanent as possible rather than having a fragile +1 +1 provider that dies to verdicts and stuff. It's close, so far the 2cmc makes me want a copy of Winds. It's also very powerful against red decks cause they cant remove it.

    Speaking of lands: I've been fine with 20, I ve got my best results with this configuration, never missed the 21st. It s possible that the more copters you have the higher you can go on land counts, but I really see that as unnecessary. 8x 1cmc spirits and 14 2cmc drops allow you to operate well with 20 lands and do your stuff while waiting for the 3rd if it hasn't come yet. Spell Queller is the best counter in the format, but evidence says that wanderer into selfless into Phantom is back breaking for almost every opponent, casting the 3rd drop isn't a condition to win the game per sé.
    I ve been brewing with Port Towns and Glacial Fortresses aswell, I found them both to be disastrous for my curve and for the aggro plan in general. My take is: lands must enter the battlefield untapped. Period. I've been thinking of replacing the last fortress with 1x mana confluence, but testing so far revealed the one of is acceptable, the 2x has been noxious instead. I'm really not underestimating the impact of losing one turn because of a tapped land, I'm trying to max out the damage output by curving out and being mana efficient every single turn, so this is absolutely critical to me.
    The absence of both adakar wasted and seachrome coast is really punishing.

    Sideboard: this format is removal heavy, I want a well represented anti creature package in my side to deal with those who can go under me with their strategy. I like the 2 alliances for bogles and soulflayer primarily. It's very good vs red decks too, although it really shines when you get to escalate it. I'm also on the 1x essence scatter to have an extra bullet against creatures like ballistas which are a nightmare for me, to the point they force me to blind call them with pithing needle.

    Needle effects are the best you can ask for in absence of stony silence right now. they also disrupt planeswalkers, I sistematically bring them in against every Oko and Control deck. Spyglass is superior to needle, but there are games like those against G ramp where your task is to race and prevent them from using ballista, so I like the 1cmc efficiency in those spots, curving and pressuring is vital.

    Disallow is there as a catch all, the styfle effect is relevant at times, I wouldn't switch it with negate/veto because of big creatures, but I might be wrong here. I'm not sure, it has been ok so far, I know there are a variety of situations where D sphere or other removals in general might have served the purpose better.

    Things that could be useful are Eidolon of Rhetoric (althought here we have no vial to break the simmetry), spirit of the labyrinth to shut down card draw( most of the times you end up siding out obsessions against decks that draw a lot, cause they happen to be those with the higher number of removals too), teferi time ravelr for control (which is my best matchup anyways) and grindy games, and fancy stuff as return to the ranks

    Flex slots:
    -I ve been trying sky tether, Ended up trimming it cause when it's bad it's too bad. I'm the aggro and I wanna be able to curve and draw gas. I cant afford any dead card maindeck beyond extra lands, so in my latest list I came back to Azorius Charm which cycles at the very least. I found that decent but hard to cast because of my 7 colorless sources. Instead, I'm really interested in Rally of Wings, can't wait to test it for the reasons you have pointed out. 3 attacking cretures mean 6 extra damage, which is cutting your opponent off 2 or more turns, but I can see combat tricks happening and huge swings couming out of nothing. My pre testing impression is that that might be the right card for us.
    - I like Essence Flux as a card, but I don't find it superior to any other of the cards i have maindeck. Tested it and trimmed because of lack of utility.
    - Gave a chance to Thalia, heretic cathar, but I believe it can be all star when you ramp her t2, or just medium /low impact t3, as much as Geist of saint traft can be a house with hierarch in modern or a suspended boros charm when you don't get to ramp it

    -EDIT: had my first game with rally of wings and it's a house
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on UW Control
    Hey, is U tron such an unfavourable matchup?
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Should this be the place to discuss about Spirits in Pioneer since there's no forum for the format? And is anyone interested about this?

    Maybe we might mark the posts by writing in capitals PIONEER on the top of the post so that it's clear what we re talking about
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Pioneer Tread?
    Hoping that too
    Posted in: Other Formats
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    That's correct but I think rip is way more impactfull in the games you need it than this spell. I'd probably stick to a grindy plan against midrange and would bring in rip just against the gym centered decks. Speaking of non bant versions, I think there's a 2 or 3 cards gap between the pile of cards that pressure and disrupt the board and the pile that disrupt the stack. I have been using Brutality to bridge it in the past with decent results but this one might as well do the trick now. Upsides would be to have a tempo positive of neutral card whereas Brutality was most of the times tempo negative.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Drown in the loch looks like one of those flexible cards I was looking for to fight spells or creatures in Esper. Curious to see how impactful this is going to be in the format, I can see tron not being a good match for it, while it's going to be excellent against control, midrange, combo and red decks
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Imo yes, as long as thing in the ice goes down to lower percentages and mono red goes to jesus. I'm excited to pack up esper again to deal with the metagame shifting towards midrange (lingering souls hey there), of jeskai if big mana takes the lead (burn and alpine moon)
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    I might be ok with running some extra copy of call in the side, but I guess I'll start testing with 2x in the main at least, because it can incidentally sinergize extremely well with vial, and grabbing chains to provide hexproof at the right time is so appealing. It has got huge versatility, you just don't want to get clogged up with heavy drops. (not sure if you're advicing to go for a MB micro green splash for a couple shocks and that's it. I'd pick that as a secondary plan in case my playtests with MB call end up failing miserably but it still shows some potential. I believe the question to answer is when do I want to cast call? the earliest you wanna do it, the more green sources are required to support it (13-14). this whole experiment is relying on Call being VERY good at supporting the tempo plan)

    I like the idea of having some useful spirit in the main, but when i look up for interesting options, I end up a bit frustrated, because kataki, labyrinth, eidolon and some other are really specific and I'm not going as far as having them MB.
    With this said, I'll give permeating mass and nebelgast heral a try in the main, cause they can be either super good or good/medium ( a friend of mine, a very skilled player, told me of an episode where the faced Mass in modern and that wasn't that easy to navigate through it. this is all i know about the card), so this makes the cut for a couple flex slots, in my opinion. Not sure about executioner, I'm more into the single kira maindeck.

    As for GoST, I think eladamri's doens't solve the problem of the turn it starts attacking. you either hierarch into gost turn 2, or it's a slow walker. I see it as a side option at most against non creature decks, once again.

    Let me share my first idea, it's just something written on paper and side is just brainstorming, so take it for what it is:

    As a note, I never play givers, thalias nor mariners because of a personal choice. I normally go full fliers and flash, so you might want to jam in the current stuff that puts up results.

    Collector Ouphe could also be reasonable, but it shuts off vials which are really synergic with calls.

    Regarding curious obsessions, the more i play spirits (UW, esper, jeskai) the more I understand this tribe can only work under three lines of play: 1) card advantage and selection and tempo advantage ( 4 mana to put in play more than 4 mana total costs) through collected company 2) Tempoing out the opponent via thalias and deputies 3) having sources of card draw that provide extra resources at least once in two turns ( teferi time raveler draws once into 4 and it's absolutely insufficient as a draw engine). So whenever you are not going for the first two, you have to find an alternative way to draw repeatedly and Obsession has been the best for me so far ( better than any tool like visions, opt, light up the stage, teferi time raveler, hyerogliphic illumination)
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Yea, this is my concern indeed, finding the balance between the number of mana sources and the number of calls you want. Call can bee seen as a curve topper in this scenario, or an expensive way to get access to 1cmc drops, which at the moment are solely mausoleum wanderers ( since being strict on mana means you're not looking for sailor) or the singleton permeating mass if we wanna be spicy and we re facing creatures putting pressure that demand to be turned into 1/3s.
    The reason why I'm thinking of an alternative version for bant is that to avoid the drawback of late game hierarchs and dekbuilding compromises in general, to try not to fully run into wrenn and sixes, lavadarts and such we already suffer enough, and at least gaining that extra selectivity that collected company doesn't guarantee ( although the two for one can't be replaced as an effect). This also allows to turn-3-play the best possible creature you have brought in after sideboard.

    I have no idea if this thing has legs, I guess it's something worth exploring since so many times we ve been looking for selection with the ultimate goal of finding the right piece at the right time/right on time.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.