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  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from Knockk777 »
    I’m not very experienced with the current metagame in modern as I’ve been away from magic, but I’ve returned.

    That being said, I’m running two copies of Bile Blight in the 75. One main, one board.. it’s won me multiple games vs. Humans and I know given my experience I can’t possibly have been the one to come up with something that’s potentially groundbreaking.

    I guess my question is why is bile blight not played at all given the popularity of humans? It’s still a decent enough removal spell in the format right?


    Bile Blight is very cool. Seeing it mentioned takes me back to my Mono-Black Devotion days (which proved to be my gateway drug into BGx, lol), where I ran a similar split to what you’ve described above. It ticks a lot of the right boxes: instant speed, relatively cheap, multiple potential upsides compared to your typical Doom Blade.

    The major reason it doesn’t see play is the BB casting cost. Statistically, you need 20 B sources in your deck to reliably cast Bile Blight on curve. Golgari players should ideally be running 18 B sources in their deck for the purposes of having BB reliably by T3, but even so, most are playing just 17 B sources to squeeze a little more utility into the landbase (myself included), or even fewer (I don’t recommend this). In any case, not even the most reliable and conservative stock BG lists can cast T2 Blight consistently enough to make it a good inclusion IMO; and unlike something like Hymn to Tourach, it’s not worth warping the manabase for.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    ^ Yep, I agree that playing exactly two colors—no more, no less—is generally advisable if you’re trying to interact heavily in Modern. Golgari is very well positioned right now; in truth, it has been since the printing of Trophy, despite conventional wisdom insisting that BGx midrange is bad or unplayable right up until about a month ago!

    We’re certainly at a bit of an impasse. The prospect of Horizons is both a blessing and a curse, with the product itself (when considered in tandem with recent design trends) boding very well for the format, while at the same time its imminent arrival acts as a check on the corrective action that may or may not otherwise be taken more quickly.

    For me, it’s hard to see a future in which Looting impacts Modern positively on the whole. The graveyard is a crucial zone insofar as interesting gameplay and design is concerned; making all-in graveyard decks too strong and too consistent not only leads to binary matchups and games which devolve into hunts for sideboard hosers, it also lays heavy restrictions on potentially novel designs in future sets.

    I therefore lean toward preferring a Looting ban rather than a ban on payoffs like Phoenix, Chill, or Bloodghast...however, my stance on this is not set in stone, and as always my utmost preference is for new answers instead of bans!
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Grafdigger’s Cage should fit the bill nicely, giving you extra coverage against CoCo/Chord/Evo/Vannifar decks.

    Edit: Cry of the Carnarium is also reasonable in this context. I’m not particularly high on the card, but it does give you some extra anti-Dredge tech while pulling double duty against weenie strats.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Makes sense to me, kaster! Personally, I choose to dedicate just one slot to the four-mana sweepers, and I’ve been on the fence between the two for a while. Moving forward I’m very strongly considering increasing my Dark Confidant count from 3 to 4—I’ll actually be sitting down with my list today to see whether I can make that change without upsetting the balance of my list—and if the 4th Bob comes aboard, I think that’ll be my cue to finally pivot from Languish to Damnation. Such a close call!


    What are people’s impressions of the newly-spoiled Cabal Therapist? I suppose the “beginning of your precombat main phase” clause sorta kills the prospect of its applications for us as part of an effective, traditional curve. Regardless, it’s interesting design—just wish we weren’t waiting until May for more Horizons spoilers!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from kastermester »
    Damnation also gets around Welding Jar, it's written on the card Smile


    Well, this is what I get for trying to post during intermittent downtimes at work. May this forever stand as a monument to the parable: READ THE CARD, haha!

    I agree with the rest of your takes here. There are some real hosers against us that aren’t seeing a great deal of play at the moment, and Haz is certainly one of them ( Mirran Crusader also comes to mind).

    It’s really interesting how “unsolved” the BG wrath debate is. 0, 1, or 2 total copies in the 75 are all viable choices IMO. I do think that opting for the latter means you should probably split the difference with one of each, but it’s genuinely hard to say if there’s a decisively better call if you’re only dedicating one slot to these effects.

    Looking forward to tonight’s announcement, btw. Pernicious Deed direct-to-Modern special delivery? Stranger things have happened!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    ^ good advice above from pzbw7z. As far as Languish vs Damnation, I agree, but a point worth noting in favor of Languish is that it gets around Welding Jar. Regardless, both wrath effects are for sure worth bringing in vs Scales, but neither is foolproof, and IMO it’s a little hard to say which one is better positioned in the broad meta right now.

    Your siding looks fine, pikupstyks, especially if you’re utilizing those Fulminators, but I’d also consider bringing in your CoBru. Even as a simple early kill spell it can be worthwhile; and, like Languish, it bypasses Welding Jar. Not everyone’s 75 warrants Brutalities against Scales, but you’re a tad light on tech for the matchup so it may work.

    @ShockerNation: I expected 4x Kalitas to be a build-around (Slaughter Pact and/or 25 lands, for instance), but nope! Looks like they just more or less took a relatively stock list with 2 maindecked Kalitas, swapped two LoTV out for another pair of Kalitas, and called it good lol. I can’t imagine a world in which that’s optimal, but well done to the pilot for sure!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from Hert79 »
    Quote from Grim_Flayer »
    Quote from Wraithpk »
    So, does this GP result solidify for anyone else that GB Rock is the best build of the GBx Midrange decks? I know people have been trying to force Jund for the past year, but the consistency and power you get from the two color manabase seems to be where it's at.


    In my opinion, Golgari has been better positioned than Jund overall since the printing of Trophy, and this GP result sure doesn’t hurt the case!

    Conversations along these lines happens with great frequency:

    - What are the advantages to playing straight BG over Jund (or Abzan/Sultai)?
    - A relatively painless, more consistent, and utility-rich mana base, mostly.
    - Well yeah, but is a better mana base really worth giving up Bolt/BBE/K-Command/Ravine/Path/Souls/Stony Silence?
    - Yep, it sure is!

    The beneficial ripple effects of such a mana base are legion, especially in the context of a midrange deck. Being just two colors saves a significant number of life points against aggro decks. 3-4 Fields of Ruin grants all kinds of edges against big mana decks, manlands, 3c goodstuff decks, and decks which play few basics (and the printing of Trophy has made Field even better). You’re very unlikely to lose to your own mana base via color screw. You get to play Treetop Village, which is a game-winning card. You’ve got a higher density of G sources for Scavenging Ooze relative to other BGx decks. You’re quite resilient to Blood Moon relative to other BGx decks.

    I could go on, but woe to those who underestimate the importance of a clean and powerful mana base in a midrange deck. Grin

    BG was already better then the other gbx decks way before trophy was printed. Field of Ruin was the turning point imo,2 color decks can play it and dont suffer from it.


    I personally agree with you—Field was a massive, massive boost, and enough to put Golgari over the top, following the spate of great prints in 2016–but I think Trophy is what firmly cemented Golgari at the peak of the BGx hierarchy. Or, at least, it’s the printing that gave Rock the public perception of being there or thereabouts relative to Jund’s power level.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from Wraithpk »
    So, does this GP result solidify for anyone else that GB Rock is the best build of the GBx Midrange decks? I know people have been trying to force Jund for the past year, but the consistency and power you get from the two color manabase seems to be where it's at.


    In my opinion, Golgari has been better positioned than Jund overall since the printing of Trophy, and this GP result sure doesn’t hurt the case!

    Conversations along these lines happens with great frequency:

    - What are the advantages to playing straight BG over Jund (or Abzan/Sultai)?
    - A relatively painless, more consistent, and utility-rich mana base, mostly.
    - Well yeah, but is a better mana base really worth giving up Bolt/BBE/K-Command/Ravine/Path/Souls/Stony Silence?
    - Yep, it sure is!

    The beneficial ripple effects of such a mana base are legion, especially in the context of a midrange deck. Being just two colors saves a significant number of life points against aggro decks. 3-4 Fields of Ruin grants all kinds of edges against big mana decks, manlands, 3c goodstuff decks, and decks which play few basics (and the printing of Trophy has made Field even better). You’re very unlikely to lose to your own mana base via color screw. You get to play Treetop Village, which is a game-winning card. You’ve got a higher density of G sources for Scavenging Ooze relative to other BGx decks. You’re quite resilient to Blood Moon relative to other BGx decks.

    I could go on, but woe to those who underestimate the importance of a clean and powerful mana base in a midrange deck. Grin
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from yriel »
    @Grim_Flayer : well thanks for answer but don't board in Engineered Explosives against a deck with a bunch of 2-drop and master of waves token is strange.
    When my opponent have trickster AND harbinger of tides and graveyard hate ( i am quite surprised if merfolk players go play a tournament with 0 sb card against graveyard ) tarmogoyf power slow down a lot because attack is bad, block is harder so your goyf can make good attack and block only when you have manage the rest of your opponent deck, i don't see in which world BGX can race merfolk. I don't agree with your vision of "midrange merfolk", in top deck war BGX win very easily, you just need to reach that moment.


    Whoops, I missed EE from your list. You absolutely want that, no question!

    Merfolk don’t go entirely without grave hate, but Surgical Extraction has supplanted Relic to a notable degree, with Mistcaller also adding a few percentage points in some of those matchups. You’re just about as likely to see 3-4 Surgical and 0 Relic as you are 3-4 Relic and 0 Surgical these days, with a few decks playing 1-2 of each, and cards like Tormod’s Crypt and Grafdigger’s Cage making occasional appearances. Relic is the only card we care about from that group, so for the purposes of evaluating Goyf vs Merfolk, he’s on average a lot safer than he used to be.

    Harbinger is good against Goyf, but it’s even better against the rest of our threats: it can reset the counters on Scooze, Tracker, and Kalitas; it delays Bob’s trigger, which has the potential to become a liability the longer it’s delayed; and Goyf is as cheap or cheaper than any of our other threats in terms of how much tempo we lose by having to re-cast them. I also don’t believe we want to reduce our threat count overall in this matchup, especially with Harbinger in mind.

    Golgari can race Merfolk by interacting T1, sticking a T2 threat, and then going back to interacting. Even if they bounce or otherwise deal with that T2 threat, chunking their life total early on a couple times is very relevant—this stops them from being able to turn their board sideways for two big Islandwalking swings, for fear of dying on the crack back after the first one.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from yriel »
    One question :
    i think my SB plan against merfolk should be :
    -4 tarmogoyf, -3 LotV
    +1 disfigure +1 tracker +1 EE +1 maelstrom pulse
    +1 kitchen finks +1 damnation +1 languish
    Merfolk trickster + islandwalker + harbinger of the tides or to many ways to manage goyf i think. (and sometimes SB relic of progenitus)

    I will probably make an other sum-up after more leagues.
    Thanks for reading and any answers.


    I’ve got a pretty different take on the Merfolk matchup. While this is probably the only deck against which we’d even consider trimming Goyfs, I definitely don’t think you cut the playset, especially because Relics aren’t terribly common in their 75s anymore. Trickster is a beating, but even that is sometimes only a 3-of now.

    I also think you can leverage LoTV well enough to keep 2 in, and that trimming some number of discard spells is correct, because 1) they’re almost a midrange deck insofar as the importance of our topdecks and having answers to their board is concerned, and 2) Golgari doesn’t get wrecked by Spreading Seas anywhere near as hard as Jund and Abzan do.

    With your list, I’d make these changes:

    -2 Thoughtseize
    -1 Tarmogoyf
    -1 LoTV

    +1 Damnation
    +1 Languish
    +1 Pulse
    +1 Disfigure

    The Finks is potentially fine as well, so if you want that I’d cut an IoK (play) or Bob (draw).
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from Magicka »
    Hi all,

    New GB player here.

    I just bought the full playset of tarmo and lili but i dont have any Bob and i'm a little bit low on cash right now, what would be the best alternative?

    Creatures in my deck for the moment are:

    4 scavenging ooze
    4 tarmo
    2 tireless tracker
    1 kalithas
    1 tasigur
    4 gifted aetherborn

    Thank you in advance


    Welcome!

    GB is a deck that requires a hefty dose of card advantage in order to successfully execute our plan of interacting heavily and then pulling ahead on resources in the mid/late game. As you’ve identified, Confidant is the best way to incorporate this mechanic, but until you’re able to acquire some copies of him, you probably want to be running the full 4 Tireless Tracker. While she isn’t a like-for-like replacement, she’s clearly the second most effective card advantage engine on a stick in our colors.

    Building around Tracker means you probably want to play 25 lands. This higher land count, alongside the absence of Bob, incentivizes a second Tasigur (who can also serve as a card advantage engine).

    4 Goyf
    4 Tracker
    3-4 Scooze
    2 Tasigur
    0-1 Kalitas

    That’s what your maindeck creature configuration should probably look like. Gifted Aetherborn is a card that I love (it was central to my attempts to make both mono-Black Devotion and Vampire Tribal work in Modern when I was newer to the format), but it’s not the sort of card Rock is really in the market for. We want threats that can double as advantage engines and/or pieces of interaction. Tarmogoyf is the only exception to this rule, and that’s simply because his gigantic stats are too good to pass up in this shell that tends to grow him quickly, and also because we need to be proactive enough to end games in a hurry. Aetherborn is a well-rounded value creature, but does not generate card advantage or interact with the opponent’s strategy, nor does it put on a particularly fast clock.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from FlyingDelver »
    @Grim_Flayer First of all congrats to your live league, it is really enjoyable to watch you play, keep it up!

    Concerning the Amulet matchup, the thing to keep in mind is that they will and should board out Amulets against you after game 1. The reason is, that as we are not a very fast deck, they don't need to be fast either (as Amulet essentially only generates tempo and acceleration). So, I would personally not bother about Amulets after Game 1. However, this is not a complete clear thing to do also from the AMulet players perspective. Some people still might bring them in. In such as case I like to keep Decays if you run them. Decays are more reliable than Push to kill an Azusa, and Decay can also kill Scout and the Amulet if they really leave them in. I think from our deck the weakest cards are Push and Scooze. Push does kill Scout and Azusa, but I think most of the time those are not the realy problematic cards. The cards you loose to is the Titan itself or Hornet Queen. We want all our TS, Trophies, LoTV and ideally Damnation for potential killing of the endgame threats. The goal of Amulet is just to go bigger than we do in chaining titans. We want to disrupt them and drop a fast goyf before they can cast Hornet queen.

    I would probably keep CB, as you can kill Azusa, Scout and also take Pacts/Stirrings potentially.

    EE is only really appealing to clear up Hornet Queen Tokens imo. Other than that I think EE is not worth it.

    Push is rather weak, but not sure how many to cut. I think somewhere around 1-2 copies to cut is correct. I guess having access to a couple copies is nice.

    Yeah I would cut Kalitas and 1 Ooze also.

    The matchup is unfavourable for us though.

    Good luck!


    Thanks for the kind words my dude, and thanks even more for all the great work you’ve done and continue to do here! I’d probably still be struggling with the learning curve of this deck if it wasn’t for your primer and posts.

    Sounds like we’re on the same page with regard to how to approach the Amulet matchup. I’m definitely leaving in my Decay; I agree that it’s a high value card. Interesting insight about high level Amulet players siding out the namesake card; that affirms my decision to omit EE.

    Yeah, Push is a tricky one to evaluate. I can agree that cutting 1-2 seems correct, depending on what else you have to bring in (and also depending on how well you know the opponent’s exact build, for instance if you resolve a Surgical G2 and then play G3).

    Damnation makes sense. I don’t have one in my current 75, but I think I would have brought one in if I’d had access to it. I can also agree that the matchup is unfavorable, but I don’t think it’s all that bad post-Trophy. G1 we have our usual combination of clock and disruption that serves us well against most combo decks (although their big mana-style inevitability is a countervailing factor) and post-side we improve immensely with access to Fulminator and some other great tools.

    After Trophy, it feels like no matchup is consistently all that bad for us (except maybe Living End lol).
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from yriel »
    Well, if i have a high skill with death shadow i probably test seriously it but the deck is hard to play and i don't have time.
    I think death shadow is better against unfair deck and control and BGX is better against other.
    In US, there are a lot of KCI, hardened scales deck where death shadow is far better than rock, in Europe there is a lot of phoenix and spirits where Rock is better, i am not sure but it's my feedback. On MTGO the high number of phoenix make me happy to play Rock.


    I agree with everything here, and I too would probably try my hand at Shadow if I had more time to play...but with free time at a premium in my life, I’m very much content to be playing all Golgari, all the time. Grin

    @FlyingDelver (and others), I’d be curious as to your thoughts on how to sideboard against Amulet Titan. In one of my matches yesterday (see below), I faced down Titan and made the following changes:

    +3 Fulminator
    +1 Deathmark
    +1 Pulse
    +1 Surgical

    -2 Last Hope
    -1 Spellbomb
    -1 Kalitas
    -1 Scooze
    -1 Fatal Push

    Some murky areas include:

    - How good is Brutality? Medium, in my estimation, so I left the maindeck one in but didn’t bring in the second from the side.
    - How good is Engineered Explosives? I’d say better on the play than the draw, because it’s mostly good for cleaning up Amulets and Sakura-Tribe Scouts...but even on the play I’m not sure we want it.
    - Fatal Push? I trimmed one. It’s our best early answer to Scout, Azusa, and Ballista, but we don’t want to be staring at multiple Pushes in hand when they drop a Titan or other big haymaker.
    - I trimmed away Kalitas and a Scooze as far as dropping a couple threats went, rating Tireless Tracker more highly (Goyf and Bob obviously stay in). I think this is correct, but I’m willing to entertain other perspectives on this.

    Any thoughts? Another matchup to consider so far as sideboarding protocols are concerned is the monored Phoenix deck; I’d welcome any feedback there as well.

    Finally, for those who haven’t yet seen these games, I played my first ever live-recorded competitive league (in the past, I had only uploaded comp league games as replays), and it was a ton of fun! I’m having trouble formatting the links correctly from my phone, but they’re the five most recent vids on the channel linked in my signature (first match vs Storm, last match vs Titan). Good times!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    I'm no Shadow expert, but are they much better positioned against the graveyard decks of the format than Golgari?

    My understanding is that Shadow's super-high density of discard + Stubborn Denial + rapid clock puts them in pole position against linear combo decks, but their unique life mechanics and low threat density means they struggle against go-wide decks compared to us.

    Honestly, Grixis Shadow is probably a tad better positioned than Golgari overall at the moment, but I truly do not believe the difference is more than marginal. My vote is for the Rock, but honestly I really enjoy the concept of Shadow as well, and wouldn't fault you for taking an audible to that deck if your results have been strong.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    I’ve been away from the archetype for a bit now, and I don’t have any real experience on UR Turns, buuuuuttt...

    https://scryfall.com/card/rna/99/electrodominance

    This enables Ancestral Vision (which I’ve always felt is a reasonable card in Turns generally) at Instant speed and immediate resolution, and so far as using the card itself to keep the board clear or go upstairs, you could do worse. Intriguing!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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