2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • 1

    posted a message on Mardu Pyromancer
    I am currently building into the deck(just need my Blackcleave Cliffs at this point. Right now, I have 58 cards in the main but the list isn't set in stone just yet. I love Young Pyromancer and Blood Moon, even if both are not always good. I scoured the net looking at just about every list for the deck I could and tried to compile a list that suits me. I will have explain some of my choices for some of my cards and have a few questions as well.

    I'm not really sure what the last two spots in the main should be. If I were to go to a large tournament, I would probably shore up the main with 2x Surgical Extraction just to be safe.

    The 2x Lightning Helix are there to help close games out and gain some life back. I know very few lists play them so if they are not good, I have no problem cutting them. Has anyone else ran them and had success with them?

    The 1x Nahiri, the Harbinger just seems like it could be good even if it is slow. It could help to be a answer for somethings, card filtering, and grabbing a Bedlam Reveler in a pinch seems good in theory. I have seen a lot of people say the four mana walkers have been to slow for them. Should I turn Nahiri into Kaya, Orzhov Usurper instead? Or are both just bad?

    I have seen some lists jam the Blood Moon plan into their board in exchange for some Path to Exile in the main? This, to me, seems like blasphemy for this deck. Has Moon become to slow now? I asked earlier and never got a answer back.

    I plan to grab some Leyline of the Void once they come down in price and slot them in over the Nihil Spellbomb. Right now, they are a little rich for my blood.

    Well... these are some of my thoughts:

    1 - I haven't played Lightning Helix on my deck to be honest, but I see little point on playing them. In my experience, I usually have much more trouble beating big creatures, like Gurmag Angler or Wurmcoil Engine, than small ones. The 4 Lightning Bolts + 2 Fatal Pushes seem usually enough to deal with small creatures. The W requirement is also not great if you're on the Blood Moon plan. Of course Lightning Helix brings lifegain and reach to the table, which could be reason enough to play them, specially considering we have an awful Burn match-up. However, I still feel like I'd rather just play some hard removals like Terminate, Dreadbore or Angrath's Rampage, or even a bunch of Collective Brutality, that are much more versatile, if I wanted some lifegain and reach. If you have a lot of Burn in your field, however, I think it could be reasonable to play Helixes, but in that case, you should still consider some Brutalities;

    2 - Nahiri, the Harbinger seems good on the deck. Every ability she has is useful. And PWs are nice in our deck (obviously in small numbers), because we usually flood the board with tokens, what gives our opponents a hard time attacking them. However, the 4 CMC is high, and she also demands W, what is not that great with Blood Moon. I do play a Chandra, Torch of Defiance on my deck, and I like her. She's clunky sometimes, but she has won me a lot of games by herself. Sometimes I feel like Nahiri would be better than Chandra. She exiles creatures of any size and enchantments, for example. But I stick with Chandra because her ult is more end-gaming if we're not playing Emrakul, and she doesn't require W. I'm probably cutting Chandra now to make room for Seasoned Pyromancer. So... I don't play Nahiri, I'm probably cutting Chandra, but I would never criticize someone who does play them. I would never use more than 1 PW with CMC 4, however, and never use more than 2 PWs on the main deck;

    3 - I see little point on playing Path to Exile in our deck. What exactly Path brings to the table? Of course, there are some creatures that we'd rather exile than destroy, but in most cases, Lightning Bolt, Fatal Push, Terminate and Dreadbore get the job done without ruining the Blood Moon plan, and I still think Moons are much more important to us because we pretty much can't beat Big Mana Decks without them. Along with that, Blood Moon is also great in pretty much any fair match, since most fair decks have greedy mana bases. I win a lot of games vs UW, Jeskai, Jund, Esper, GDS or BG just by playing Blood Moon. Is Path better than Terminate against Wurmcoil Engine? Of course. But if you're cutting Blood Moons in order to play Paths, you'd still be making your Tron match-up worse anyways. Voice of Resurgence? Kitchen Finks? Both aren't seeing much play for a while now. The only matches I see in which Path would be much better than Blood Moon, are Phoenix, Dredge and Bridgevine, and of all these decks, only against Phoenix I could see Path really making a difference. Against Dredge and Bridgevine, 1 or 2 Paths aren't going to swing the match in your favor anyway, so... I see a lot of drawbacks and almost no gain on making this change;

    4 - I play a Kaya, Orzhov Usurper on my sideboard, and I feel like she's really good there. But IMO she belongs to the sideboard. Obviously thinking of a post Hogaak meta. Can't see this Bridgevine deck messing around for long, but if for some miracle they don't ban anything, than Kaya would be pretty useless, and you'd rather just play a bunch of Leylines and Traps or maybe even just play other deck;

    5 - Leyline of the Void is a great hate card, but I don't think it's necessarily better than Nihil Spellbomb. Leyline is obviously better against Bridgevine and Dredge, but I would be really surprised if the ban hammer doesn't hit something of the Bridgevine deck really soon. If it does, than both Leyline and Spellbomb could be reasonable choices. Each being better at something. Leyline is better against graveyard decks, and Spellbomb is usually better against any deck that marginally use its graveyard (like Snapcaster decks or BGx) while also being good against greveyard decks, although less potent than Leyline. I also don't like the fact that we must commit with 4 sideboard slots if we want to play Leyline.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 1

    posted a message on Mardu Pyromancer
    To be honest, I didn't play this match-up a lot yet, but when I played it, I felt really unfavored. These were the reasons I felt unfavored:

    1 - Discard spells are pretty mediocre against them. You're very likely seeing a lot of cantrips on their hand, and nothing really good to target, so you end up discarding the best of the cantrips or a Bolt, and having close to no information about what they'll be doing on the following turns, since they'll probably cycle all their hand quickly. You need to be very lucky to snipe a Crackling Drake or a Thing in the Ice, and even if you do so, they're probably drawing a substitute fast;

    2 - Pyromancer felt underwhelming on the match-up. We can't chump Phoenix or Drake with the tokens, and Thing in the Ice just gets rid of him with all the tokens;

    3 - I just couldn't stop the Phoenixes. They fly, what makes them easily ignore our Pyromancers and tokens, and no removal we play are good against them. All I could do against them on Game 1 was chump with Lingering Souls tokens and try to race them with Pyros and Elemental tokens, but it didn't work, since they were just faster;

    4 - We also have no answer to Pyromancer Ascension, that have been seen a lot of play on this deck;

    5 - They now play Surgical main deck, so even Lingering Souls are not that reliable;

    On Games 2 and 3 it got much better. But Games 1 felt really bad.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 1

    posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from fncmtg »
    I've seen some lists that don't run Vials, but they usually play Simian Spirit Guides and sometimes, Chalice of the Void (which is not a well positioned card on this meta, IMO). Maybe it could work, but you'd probably better make a bunch of changes on the list. I'd probably take out the Flickerwisps, for example, as they are not nearly as good without Vials.

    I would totally disagree with you on the chalice of the void and it's position. This card is in a great place right night, it wrecks burn, bogles, living end, jund, 8 rack and storm.

    I play the colorless eldrazi deck with serum powders and the chalice on 1 destroys decks. I have been tearing it up lately with this deck and usually when a new set comes out aggro picks back up meaning chalice is huge.

    Well... of all these decks, the only ones that actually are major players on the current meta as far as I know are Jund, Storm and Burn. But I don't agree with your statement about how good Chalice is vs Jund. It seems really bad against them to me. At it's best, you're preventing them from disrupting your hand on turn 1. Even if you do so, you're probably applying a 1 for 2 on yourself with a SSG in the process, which is good for them, anyways. Along with that, their best drops are CMC 2 and 3, and if Chalice gives a Jund player any trouble, they can just destroy it super easily with Abrupt Decay, Maelstrom Pulse, Kolaghan's Command or Assassin's Trophy.

    The only powerful deck on the current meta that I see being severely hurt by Chalice is Izzet Phoenix. They play a lot of CMC 1 cantrips, and they don't have an answer for it on the mainboard. So, it can be a blowout against them.

    It could be good vs Tron or GDS, but it still depends on a bunch of other factors. Against GDS you need to be on the play, and need to have SSG along with it, otherwise it's probably being discarded. Some versions of GDS also play Kolaghan's Command, which might answer it if needed. Against Tron it can be good too, but again, being on the play is important to try to stop the classic play of Piece + Map, into second Piece + crack Map into turn 3 Karn. If you're able to play it before they assemble Tron, than it can be good.

    So... of the decks in the current meta, Chalice seems to me:

    Izzet Phoenix - Super Good;
    GDS - Medium (Good on the play, and along with SSG, otherwise, bad);
    Burn - Super Good;
    Humans - Super Bad;
    Dredge - Super Bad;
    Tron - Medium (Good before they assemble Tron);
    Storm - Super Good;
    Azusa Titan - Medium;
    UW Control - Super Bad;
    Jund - Super Bad;
    Bant Spirits - Super Bad;
    HS Affinity - Medium (Good on the play, and along with a SSG, otherwise, bad);
    Jeskai - Good;
    Vizier Company - Bad;
    Titanshift - Super Bad;
    Lantern - Super Good;
    Mardu - Bad;
    Hollow One - Medium;

    Along with that, I think it's really important to mention the build concessions you do to play Chalice. You're probably not playing optimal 1 drops, for example. I did play Sun and Moon for a while last year, and a lot of times I felt bad about having an Abrade, Blessed Alliance or Lightning Helix instead of a Bolt or Path, for example. So considering Chalice forces you to play worse cards, and is still not good against a lot of the current meta, I stick with my opinion: Chalice is not well positioned.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • 1

    posted a message on Kiki Chord / Kiki Company / Kiki Evolution
    Actually, Blood Moon is good vs Tron. Problem is it just slows them down, but it doesn't stop them. They'll eventually get rid of it, or just ignore it and hard cast their unbeatable threats anyways. So, just playing Blood Moon isn't enough. You need to beat them as fast as possible after deploying the Moon. It does buy you a reasonable time, however.
    Posted in: Combo
  • 1

    posted a message on UW Control
    How have you guys been doing trying to fight opposing Jaces? I feel like I needed to go back to Jeskai in order to have a better game against other Jace decks, but I'd rather stick to UW if I could.

    I feel like Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is really important now to try to fight opposing Jaces. If I stick to UW, I'm probably trying something like 2 Gideon of the Trials, 2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and 2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor, although it's probably too heavy on PWs.
    Posted in: Control
  • 1

    posted a message on UW Control
    Quote from Platon »
    Jace is two turns faster than Search when in top deck mode. The same logic applies to Cryptic Command. You get immediate value out of the card, and that's huge when being under pressure. Also, I have the feeling that people use Jace's Brainstorm ability not enough. The play "Jace, BS, he dies" is actually pretty good, not amazing, but still above average (I reiterate: above average!!); but if you Jace, fate seal and it dies anyway, yeah, that's just a wasted Jace TMS, and it happens quite frequently in a Lightning Bolt, Bloodbraid Elf, Reality Smasher metagame. Fatesealing in the dark in account of Lightning Bolt (and nothing else) is an overly risky play.

    This is where I'm right now:

    Looks unconventional, but I'm just throwing this out here, because I want to hear what you think about it, feel free to tear it apart, haha.

    A few comments on card choices:
    I think weak cantrips like Wall of Omens, Spreading Seas, Remand, and Shadow of Doubt are complete garbage compared to "real" cantrips like Anticipate, Serum Visions and Opt. These cards are actually getting there, there is no durdling around.

    8 Fetchlands is the norm for every 3 color deck, yet people refuse to play more than 4 Fetchlands in U/W control. With Jace TMS AND Logic Knot involved (maybe I should only run 3 Logic Knots, 4 is really pushing it), I see absolutely no reason to run less than 8. You can get Burn to above 50% very easily actually. Maybe the matchup is close, but you are in no way an underdog.

    Two of the best cards I decided to omit for the time being are probably Spell Snare and Detention Sphere. The price for running Detention Sphere is - of course - that we would have to make cuts in the permission/disruption department. I think this is not necessarily where we want to be. If there is a problematic permanent that we need to get rid of (like Jace, Blood Moon, Chalice, Lilliana) there is still the gamble that get there with the means that we have available in the main like Vendilion Clique, Cryptics, and generic counterspells. I think it's wiser to shore this weakness up with an appropriate SB.

    Spell Snare, I think, is highly dependent on the metagame. If Storm and Burn rises to the top again, then I'm definitely making the switch, but as long as Bloodbraid Elf and Jace decks are the top tier decks, I stick to two mana counterspells and a high cantrip count (six instead of just four)

    Well... I don't agree with most of your thoughts there. Just my opinions, of course, but there they go:

    Of course Jace and Cryptic Command have an immediate higher impact. I agree with you on that. That's why they cost more mana. We usually play them by the way. But in Modern it's much easier to cast a 1U spell than a 2UU or a 1UUU mana spell. We don't really know for sure where the format is going, but in the Modern we know now, there are a really high number of matches in which you just can't tap out for Jace. In others, Cryptic Command is just clunky and slow. SFA on the other hand is much easier to resolve in U mirrors, and reasonable to deploy vs fast opponents. Although we have to tap the same amount of lands to activate Azcanta, we can do it at Instant Speed, what allows us to generate Card Advantage in our opponent's end step, when they can no longer play some of their high impact spells (Primeval Titan, Past in Flames, Karn or JTMS to name a few). I think each one of these cards is better on the right circunstances. I like SFA enough to play them, and I think it's reasonable to cut them now with JTMS on the format. But SFA is better than JTMS or Cryptic in a really good amount of circunstances.

    I don't agree with your statement about the cantrips either. Yes, Opt, SV and Anticipate are better at finding specific cards, but Wall of Omens, Spreading Seas, Remand and Shadow of Doubt are cantrips that impact the board and/or disrupt your opponent. Wall protects you and your walkers (what is really valuable in UW that usually plays little spot removal count), Seas disrupts your opponent's manabase, Shadow of Doubt also disrupts your opponent's manabase and counters tutor effects, Remand delays your opponent's plays, while all of those cantrips you listed "do nothing" except drawing cards. They don't impact the board and don't disrupt your opponent. So they are essencially Tempo Loss. You're trying to find something on your deck while your opponent is just advancing his board, beating your face, and playing something that is already impacting the game.

    Along with that, your deck has too many 3 and 4 drops. You have 12 cards that cost 4 mana. Your Snapcasters plays will probably cost 4 mana too most of the times, since you have only 6 spells that cost 1 mana, and you're probably not planning to use the Ambush Viper mode that frequently (in which case, Snappy would be just worse than a Wall of Omens in most cases). Too many Cryptics, Verdicts, JTMS, Cliques and Snappys IMO. Results are: your decks seems really clunky to me. You're probably doing "nothing" turns 1 and 2, to maybe do something on turn 3 or 4. Doesn't seem like a good plan to me in Modern, unless you're planning to win on the spot on turns 3 or 4 (like Storm and Ad Nauseam do), or play something much scarier than a Verdict or a Jace (like Karn, Ugin or Ulamog). I believe you'll too oftenly have a hand like 2 JTMS, 1 Cryptic, 1 Verdict and some lands while your opponent is just crushing you with fast creatures for 3 turns.

    So... IMO, your deck can't reliably beat plays like turn 1 Aether Vial (specially with Cavern of Souls), Goblin Guide into Eidolon, discard spell into Bob, discard spell into Bitterblossom, turn 2 Blood Moon on the draw (specially with your higher number of fetch lands), Elves, Revolting Zoo, Hollow One and Dredge, to name a few.
    Posted in: Control
  • 2

    posted a message on UW Control
    Quote from Engsk »
    Without LotV, there are no XBB costed cards. That’s why the missing “maybe” is significant.

    On language:

    Even if the Oxford English Dictionary had an mtg section, it wouldn’t matter because dictionaries aren’t lexical rulebooks; they document popular uses of words(ex: widespread misuse of “literal” led to a new definition being added several years ago). It’s not like it’s publically-visible, but you’re talking down to someone about the game’s basics, who has been playing for over two decades. I know the terminology because I’ve been on the groundfloor of its development for quite some time. “Fish” used to mean a disruptive blue-based weenie deck exclusively; since Lorwyn, it’s most common use refers to “merfolk”(I could go on with examples).

    If you want “splash” to mean more than a small amount of another colour, that’s your business, but save the pedantry for private messages. Also,
    if I made a UWb list, this isn’t the thread where I’d share it.

    Well... I play this game for more than 15 years as well, and I haven't seen any different use of the term "splash" from jayjayhooks's definition. Ever. I watch streams, videos, read guides and never saw anyone call a deck that has more than 10 cards of some colour to be on a splash. My friends never said so as well, and some of them are as old on this game as I am. So... IMO, you're just wrong.

    For me, you're splashing a colour to a deck if you're adding one or two mana producers of the colour to the deck (usually fetchable Shocklands in Modern), and than adding a couple of cards of the given colour to the deck. Something around 6 or less cards, and maybe a couple of sideboard techs, and that's about it.

    If you're planning to add Fatal Pushes, Inquisition of Kozilek, Thoughtseizes, Lilianas, Anguished Unmaking and Lingering Souls, you can't call that a black splash. You're just playing straight Esper. Depending on the build, you could even be playing BW with a blue splash, or UB with a white splash. But a deck with that amount of black could never be on a black splash.

    Boros Burn, for example, plays much less white than you're planning to play black there, and everyone calls it Boros.
    Posted in: Control
  • 2

    posted a message on UW Control
    Ehr, @jayjayhooks didn't attack you. He was just stating that "a black splash for Push and Lingering" means having to rethink the whole manabase, and you'll end up playing actual Esper. If you want to go that route, I suggest to open a new thread, because it has nothing to do with UW anymore - most likely, you will cut colorless lands and some basics, and that's the main benefit from playing two colors. We'll be glad to contribute. But you're overreacting, man, so chill out and stop being an ass.

    About Miracles, I'm still unsure about it. I'm testing several decklists, and they are sometimes very powerful, other times just "fine", but worse than classic UW. I still have to figure out what is the best shell for Jace in UW. And I'm also re-considering Gideon of the Trials, because very aggressive decks seems to be kept in check by your usual Combo - UR Storm and a resurgence in G-Valakut - so that only Burn is a viable option, and Trials is good against Burn. While, with Settle in the deck, we can contain decently BBE. To be honest, what it really appeals to me in Miracles is playing lots of cantrips + some Entreats more than Terminus. Entreat is such a crazy card, even if you naturally cast it from the top in the midgame. If the metagame will focus more on Midrange strategies, Entreat just crush them.

    I’m also unsure about jamming Jace TMS in our “usual” UW shell. I liked that before the unbans, but when we cut things like Sphere & Snare from the maindeck to make space for Walls and Jace, well, I think we’re conceding too much against a part of the field. Same goes for the 2cc counterspells: if Jace will be prevalent, then we have to pack more. Dunno. I feel like this isn’t the right way.

    Well... I believe we won't know until we have a better clue about how the new metagame is going to look like. For now, what we expect is there'll be powerful Midranges and Controls based on BBE and Jace, there'll be decks trying to go under these decks (Burn, Dredge, Zoo, maybe Affinity), there'll be decks trying to go bigger (Valakut, Tron, Eldrazis) and linear combos (Storm, Ad Nauseam, Grishoalbrand). That's the first assumption. It could be right or wrong.

    If Jund becomes too powerful, for example, the combo decks are probably vanishing from the format (as they did the last year with the rise of Death's Shadow decks), because B based Midranges usually prey on combos with their hand disruptions and good clocks. If Controls become too powerful, they might crush the Midranges and than the fast combos might become relevant. If the fast Aggros become prevalent, than Tron and Valakut might vanish and the fight could be more polarized in Midranges/Controls vs Aggros.

    So... we can't know for sure. And since we don't know how the metagame is going to look like, we don't even know which Jace deck is gonna be the best, if there'll be a "best Jace deck" in the format. In a vacuum, I believe that UW Control's main force comes from the land disruption and more stable manabase, while Jeskai is probably the best vs Aggro decks, Grixis should be the best vs combos and maybe other Midranges, and Blue Moon is somewhere between UW's ability to fight Big Mana and Grixis's power vs Midranges. Some other decks could emerge too, like Esper, UB, Sultai, Bant, Temur, Big Naya, etc. If the metagame becomes perfectly balanced, there'll be room for all these decks, each one being better against something. In theory, all of these should be able to put a reasonable fight against everything, but some of them would excel against a different type of deck.

    For that reasons, I believe UW Control's place in the format depends on the Big Mana Decks's place and if Blood Moon will still be a thing on the format. If Moon is still a thing, than UW has an edge over the other possible Control decks, thanks to it's manabase. If Big Mana decks are still present, than UW could be good by having game against the other decks on the field and praying on the Big Manas. But if neither of these are still present, than UW'll probably be just worse than Jeskai or Grixis. Other possibility is UW becomes present by just attacking the best Control and/or Midrange. Let's say the best Jace deck is Jeskai. UW could be a solid choice if it beats Jeskai while having game against the rest of the meta. And still, our best weapon to beat Jeskai (or Grixis, or any other 3 colored Control deck) is still the land disruption package. So... I wouldn't shave our land disruption, at least for now. I believe that in almost any scenario where UW proves to be a solid choice on this new metagame, the land disruption will be one of the main reasons.
    Posted in: Control
  • 1

    posted a message on UW Control
    I dislike Halo main deck. It's really awkard in a good amount of matches and it doesn't protect our walkers. I'd much rather play Walls instead, or even more removal like Blessed Alliance or Condemn.
    Posted in: Control
  • 1

    posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from rickster_ »
    You guys know that Jeskai used to play three tectonic edges and 26 lands? It was mostly for jund man lands though, tron was still unwinnable.

    One field of ruin doesn't seem impactful enough, you definitely want to go 3 or 4 like what Burkhart did with his grixis build, and he upped the land count from 22 to 25. I found the singleton light house pretty strong though.

    I like Shaun Mclaren's version that played 4 Tec Edges, 4 Leaks and 2 Ajani Vengeants. He really commited to the mana denial plan.

    I think Lighthouse is bad when you're on the Azcanta plan. Because if you have both, Azcanta is just better, and they cost the same to activate. But if you're not playing Azcanta, I think Lighthouse is really good.
    Posted in: Control
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.