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  • posted a message on Burn
    Hey everyone. I played my first game last week against neoform/allosaurus rider. I died game 1 and 3 on the draw turn 1. What's our strategy versus this deck? Obviously we can't win without any lands and not playing our first turn. My only thoughts are turn 1 pass and hold path to exile in response to griselbrand. On turn two, play two lands and hold skullcrack to prevent the lifegain from the draw engine? Leyline of punishment out of the board (gasp)? But then we don't do any damage or advance our game plan.

    I'm interested in your thoughts on this matter.


    Turn 1 wins = bad matchup for everyone. Just hope they’ll fizzle or don’t draw the combo. If they do, you can either Path to Exile or Skullcrack on Griselbrand when opponent activates the demon’s ability. Or maybe Deflecting Palm when they try to Combo and attack with a pumped Griselbrand. But if they draw their deck and play the dude that make them win when they’re milled out, there’s just nothing Burn or any other deck can do.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Stoneforge tricky play
    Say I have Stoneforge Mystic and Batterskull already both on the battlefield. Can I activate Mystic’s ability, and then wait and see if opponent doesn’t respond before bouncing Batterskull in my hand to put it back on the battlefield with a Germ token when Mystic’s ability finally resolve? Or do I have to resolve the ability right away (with Batterskull still in play) when opponent passes back priority after choosing not to respond?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    In case you didn’t know, there’s an excellent Primer for Humans on MTGNexus. It is very recent, so the cards and matchups notes are up to date. And it’s not much, but I at least got a reply when I posted there yesterday (while this forum remained silent).

    TLDR: content is very good, presentation is sweet, and activity seems no worse than here.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    About the Burn matchup... please correct me if I’m wrong, but Meddling Mage and Freebooter should be used to aggressively block Burn’s attackers. They’ll die to removals anyway, so better be they at least soak up some damage and probably trade for a creature (rather than trying to preserve them to maintain their disruptive effects).

    I’m pretty sure I could have won some games against Burn if I had applied the above rule, as well as realizing that hands with Freebooter and Meddling Mage are not what I should have been looking for. Also, Mulliganing aggressively to Auriok Champion is probably the way to go.

    Kambal isn’t as good as I though he could have been. Rather than punishing Control (a role Burn takes against Humans) with Kambal, we’re probably better fighting attrition with card advantage (thanks to Militia Bugler).

    And taking out Freebooter and Meddling Mage are probably what I should be doing (and keeping Image to copy Auriok Champion).

    After Hogaak ban (expected in 2 days), what should we be doing? I think Combo is here to stay for a while (like Urza Foundry, Storm and Kiki-Jiki), since a lot of players have fought the Hogaak’s metagame with these decks. If Foundry continues to thrive, I think we’ll have to stay with the Deputy plan.

    Should we start thinking about Tajic as a main deck solution in our few flex spots? Not only does this can deal with Burn and Jund, but it also has other applications, including the aggressive plan of the 3/2 Haste body that also adds +1/+1 to another creature (total of 4 power added to the battlefield).

    Other than that, I can see that we’ll probably have to swap Freebooters for Unsettled Mariners, except that this gives more room for Combo to thrive.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Lesson finally learned, the hard way. I went 4-4 into MCQ, with 3 of my 4 losses to Burn. Clearly, I didn’t know how to play the matchup.

    Round 1 : Rakdos Elementals, lost 0-2.
    Turn 2 Awakener, bringing back Skelemental from the GY (thanks to turn 1 Faithless Looting), is a play that is very hard to recover from. It was like that more or less both games. I tried to stabilize with Thalia (first Strike is good against these elementals), but fatal push took care of the problem, and I was out of solution very fast. Never saw Plague Engineer... If this deck becomes a thing, we’ll have to learn how to beat it.

    Round 2 : Bant Infect, win 2-1
    Game 1, Freebooter took out the win on turn 2, and I managed to beat him down.
    Game 2, even with Dismember and Reflector Mage, I couldn’t bypass Spellskite and Blossoming Defense, and he had an unblockable Agent.
    Game 3, he mulliganed to 5, played Glistener Elf, and I bounced it on turn 2, thanks to Hierarch. Then, a couple Mantis made sure I could win before he got lethal on me.

    Round 3 : Hogaak, win 2-1
    Game 1, I had a Meddling Mage on Hogaak, but it was removed. Hogaak then got exiled under a Deputy, and a second Meddling Mage naming Gravecrawler made sure opponent couldn’t chain creatures to get Vengevines in play.
    Game 2, I kept a hand with Image, and it copied the turn 2 Hogaak opponent managed to play. I jokingly said that his Hogaak was dead to Legendary rule, we both got a good laugh, and moved on. I probably should have blocked Hogaak with mine next turn, but I favored Vengevine, hoping I could kill both in two swipes. But Vengevine came back with its brothers. I blocked Hogaak on the next attack, but was dead soon after.
    Game 3, with only a Mantis Rider and a Noble Hierarch in play, I attacked for 4 to put opponent at 8 life. I had a Lieutenant and an Image in hand, so if only I could tap 4 mana next turn, I could cast both for lethal. Unfortunately, I only had 3 lands, and was relying on Hierarch to produce the 4th mana. I was myself at 12 life, but opponent had a good turn and managed to add two Vengevine and attacked with both along with a 4/4 Feeder. I blocked the Feeder with Hierarch, went down to 4, and prayed to get a land on the top deck. That, or I was dead next turn. I drew a Plains, and won!

    Round 4 : Burn, lost 0-1-2
    Yes, you read correctly. Game 1 was a draw. We both dealt lethal, thanks to main deck Deflecting Palm.
    Game 2, I managed to put opponent at 1 life, but lost the next turn. Kambal was super good, but Eidolon hurt me a lot (and no Vial to avoid it).
    Game 3, we got to time and I passed the turn after putting him down from 7 to 3, with two 2/x creatures, and still had the blocker I just summoned. Opponent removed it with Lightning Helix (back to 6) to clear the way for Goblin Guide. I let its ability resolve (revealing Champion) before removing it with a Vialed in Deputy. With Deputy I could only attack for 5 on my last turn, and top deck Champion was of no help. We timed out, and game 3 was a draw, with him at 1 life. Yes, 1-0-2 is something that can happen in Magic.
    These were absolutely great games of Magic, but it’s a bit frustrating knowing that the 3 games ended with opponent at 0, 1 and 1 life respectively, and I still got to lose the

    Round 5 : GW Hatebear, win 2-0
    Game 1, I started with Champion, then Lieutenant, then another Lieutenant. Opponent scooped to Image on my turn 4.
    Game 2, I had Mantis for 4 on turn 2, and double Image for 9 on turn 3.
    Very refreshing, to win 2-0 in under 12 minutes, after that 0-1-2 game to time against Burn.

    Round 6 : Burn, lost 2-0.
    I don’t recall all the details, except that Meddling Mage and Freebooter didn’t do their job well both games, that I didn’t got any Auriok Champion in game 2, and that Kambal died right away to Searing Blaze.

    Round 7 : Hogaak, win 2-0
    I kept a hand with Island, Ziggurat, Meddling Mage, Lieutenant, Image and whatever else good but that doesn’t cost 1. I didn’t know what my opponent was playing. I was on the play, and started with the basic Island, feeling that the less information I revealed, the better. Opponent fetched-shocked a Bloodcrypt, then discarded two Lightning Axe with Faithless Looting, literally saying « I doubt these will be good against you ». On turn 2, Ziggurat and Meddling Mage revealed to him what he was up against, very much regretting the Axes when I named Hogaak. Smile
    Game 2, I got an Auriok Champion in play on turn 2, copied it on turn 3, and attacked a few times with both to put him down to 12. He then stabilized with two Vengevine to block me, and we stalled there. I got a third Auriok Champion online, but couldn’t find my flyers. Thankfully, I had big Champion and Lieutenant to block Vengevine, and Auriok to block Feeder, no matter how large it was. Opponent conceded with me at 60 life when it became obvious that this was getting nowhere (he milled Plague Engineer, but by this time I had counters on my 3 Auriok), and that time would either give me Mantis Rider, or a Lieutenant, or a Deputy to take out his multiple Vengevine (and Hogaak couldn’t do much, with 3 x 2/2 Auriok).

    Round 8 : Burn, lost 0-2
    Game 1, I thought I had a lock, with 3 Meddling Mage naming Searing Blaze, Lightning Helix and Rift Bolt (there was already a Lightning Bolt in the graveyard, so I named the other cards that were more likely to get cast. Eventually, Skewer the Critics took out the one naming Searing Blaze, and my hours of cards fell apart.
    Game 2, kept a funky hand with Vial, Hierarch, 2 lands, and some 3 drops. Against any other deck that doesn’t play 20 removals, I would have played Hierarch first to play a 3-drops on turn 2. But I played Vial instead, failed to top deck a two drop, my EOT Hierarch died before I could untap with it, and then whatever I played got removed while I kept being beaten by his attackers.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Freebooter or Unsettled Mariner?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »
    Your main deck relies on having Vial or mana sources a bit more in the MUs where you want to land Big Thalia. Just be aware of this when you look at your opening hand. I don't think she's better than Crusader or Mantis VS Hogaak though.
    Big Thalia is good vs Tron, but often gets bounced by Titi or bolted before Phoenixes come back, so her power is very relative. It's a gamble that may pay off in your favour !

    Your SB is very diverse, and this is usually something you do either because you don't know the power of the cards and you want to test, or because you know exactly what you're doing after analysing the expected meta. If I were you I would narrow down a little. I'd probably play 2 Crusaders and cut Icon of Ancestry. This card is a 3-cmc noncreature spell. In my book it's a big no (only 19 sources to cast it). The max I wanna pay is 2 mana for a noncreature spell. Now you have a reason to play this card. Will it be stronger than a proactive Crusader ? Idk !

    Spyglass is suspicious too. It's a card that prevents from losing, but doesn't help you win. You already have a million cards vs Urza, and I bet a 2nd Cage over the 2nd Crypt would help more VS Copycat and Vizier if you really expect them. The more reactive cards you play, the longer the games will last, and that's how some combo decks take over Humans usually. Don't give those decks time, aim for the godlfish aggro start.

    These are just general suggestions, I may be a bit off about the power of certain fancy cards I haven't tested myself. Wink
    I’ve just decided to cut Big Thalia from the main, in favor of full playset of Image and Thalia. Both are extremely good against Hogaak (to copy it) or Phoenix (to tax it’s storm), and are way more easy to cast on curve.

    My SB is very diverse because in most matchups we don’t want to SB too heavily to maintain the core of the deck, and thus I felt compelled to pinpoint very specialized cards to help in difficult matchups.

    I’ve seen videos of Humans vs Hogaak, and the Human player only sided out 3 Thalia to bring in 2 Auriok Champion and 1 Deputy of Detention. No graveyard hate! And the Human player had wonderful results. Is Tormod’s Crypt really necessary? Is Yixlid Jailer better? It doesn’t prevent Delve, but it certainly screw Vengevine, Bloodghast, Gravecrawler, Faithless Looting... and Hogaak in the graveyard. It comes on a 2/1 body, and is a Wizard (so easier to cast because we often name Wizard on Cavern or Territory).

    I’m reluctant to abandon Icon of Ancestry in the SB. The Jund matchup is pretty hard as we always run out of gas, and because Plague Engineer is a real pain post SB. It seems to me that Icon solves these problems very elegantly (nullify Plague’s negative anthem, gives card advantage. I guess it will be good too against UW Control. Three mana for a non-creature is a lot, but it’s a nice anthem the moment it enters the battlefield, with an effect that lingers for future creatures (unlike Lieutenant).

    Spyglass has almost always been very good for me, naming Devoted Druid, Celestial Colonnade, Ballista, Karn/Ugin/Jace/Teferi/Liliana, etc. Plus, the extra information makes better Meddling Mage next turn.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Preparing for MCQ this weekend... here’s a first draft :

    Shared via TopDecked MTG

    A more standard list wouldn’t play Thalia, Heretic Cathar, and full playset of Phantasmal Image and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben instead. It has always seemed to me that the later two are awkward as 4 of in the list (Thalia because she’s Legendary and Image for lack of targets when in multiples). I admit I’m afraid this higher curve will hurt me during the tournament, but I also think that Big Thalia is very well positioned in the current metagame (Hogaak, Phoenix, Urza Thopter, Tron and Eldrazi Tron).

    For the SB, I don’t have Leyline of the Void and have no intention of buying it at this time due to the incoming ban on Hogaak. Tormod’s Crypt will hopefully do the job, at no cost or delay on my curve, along with a single copy of Grafdigger’s Cage.

    I only added a 3rd copy of Deputy of Detention in the SB, as I’m afraid too much might result in uncastable hands.

    Mirran Crusader can be very good against Hogaak and Jund, and I think it is worth a slot now.

    Only one copy of Damping Sphere in the SB for the Tron and Storm/Phoenix matchups, as multiples are awkward, and Big Thalia main deck should really help in these matchups.

    Sorcerous Spyglass has a lot of utility, against Vizier/Druid Combo, CopyCat, Jund, Urza Thopter, etc.

    Icon of Ancestry is a new addition, mainly for the UW Control and Jund matchups. Against Jund it can negate a Plague Engineer, and will screw Wren and Six. It will also give much needed card advantage in these two matchups that are rarely closed fast.

    I didn’t add Dismember to the SB, although I have 2 copies in my collection. I guess it’s mostly against the Vizier Combo that I’ll miss it, and Affinity. But for these, Deputy of Detention and Sorcerous Spyglass will hopefully cover me...

    Can you please comment on my main deck’s curve and choice of Big Thalia instead of Image and Baby Thalia? And about my SB mix? I’m afraid I may be forgetting something important, and the community’s help is always appreciated.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on RGx Midrange Werewolves
    Nothing so far, sadly. Best version is a worst Jund deck. Werewolves need a few more sets of very playable cards that will do something else than just flip on the dayside, à la Freebooter.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Deck] Modern Slivers
    Quote from Carcasanchez »

    This list looks super dope! Congrats for the, even if not perfect, good performance. I have some questions, though:
    -What took you to drop mana slivers? Combined with cloudshredder, they seem like a nice inclusion.
    -What's the meaning behind Hollowhead? It seems like there are a lot of better options.
    -Did you try Unsettled Mariner over/paired with Diffusion Sliver? Protection is worse, but it extends to lands, chalice and vial, and stats are better.
    -How well Horizon Lands performed to you?
    -Four Dregscape slivers is not a bit overkill? Card is great, but looks more like a 2-of
    -Will you continue to play with that exact list, or there are any change you would like to try?
    Again, congrats for the record and cool list.
    Like he said. The community can only benefit from your experience. After that event, would you change something in your deck?

    Tom Ross has written an article about Combo Slivers in Modern. Unfortunately, I don’t have Premium access to Starcity Games, and can’t read the whole article or even see the deck list. Can someone help?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    To answer a previous comment/question about Leyline of the Void vs Surgical Extraction : Humans are not as good as Jund to put opponent’s cards in the graveyard, and thus are pretty bad with this spell. It’s only really good if you see Hogaak or Bridgevine, but if you do, Tormod’s Crypt can take care of both with no cost in mana or life. Leyline is of course good, if you have it in your starting hand. I would never take that bet.

    Mirran Crusader seems a safe bet in the current metagame. I will try it.

    Currently, I’m testing a list with 2-3 Smugglers Copter (instead of 4th Thalia and Phantasmal Image, and maybe one of the flex spot). It’s pretty good at filtering out excess lands, extra Vials and futile cards in the current matchup. It also enables Meddling Mage, Freebooter and the likes (late game Champion?) to immediately do something relevant for victory the turn they enter the battlefield (crewing the Copter, and attacking for 3 *with evasion* + Looting). Post SB, it’s better than Militia Bugler to get to our hate cards that are not creatures. Hopefully, I won’t miss too much the extra Thalia and Image, and Copter will help find them for me when needed.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from HappyMTG »
    Hi more experience Human players. Now from what Ive been seeing with Humans it can be anywhere from a somewhat fast aggro to a mid range deck. I have a question about playing a more ramped up hyper type along the lines of Red Haste type speed stuff.

    Can a card like Tajic, Legion's Edge fit into a Humans deck to help go fast to race when needed and still be strong enough in the mid range game?
    I get there are so many good 2 and 3 man cards it will be hard to cut and add things.
    The way I understand it, Tajic would only be good against a Burn or R/x Prowess/Phoenix deck. But in these matchups, Auriok Champion is simply better than Tajic.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Soulfire removed while Bolt on the stack
    If my Soulfire Grand Master gets removed before my Lightning Bolt resolves, will I still gain life when it finally does? In other words, do my spells gain Lifelink when they get cast with SFGM on the battlefield, and retain this ability no matter what happens after? Or do they lose Lifelink even if they had the ability as they were first put on the stack?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on [Deck] Modern Slivers
    Throne of the God-Pharaoh? Icon of Ancestry? Could these be good for Slivers? Icon is like an Automaton without a body, but is a mana sink and eventual card advantage. Throne is special in the way that even when we tap out our team to chain Slivers into Slivers (thanks to Manaweft and Haste), we can still deal damage with them. I can see a deck more focused on mana dorks and Haste, with full playset of Throne to really pump damage to the dome, while bypassing Ensnaring Bridge and Hexproof (and probably creating lots of tokens with Sliver Hive). Telekinetic Sliver, Hollowhead Sliver and Quilled Sliver (paired with Venom Sliver) could well be used as tapping outlets.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Burn
    How do you guys beat UW Spirits with Burn?

    I played a variant of Burn yesterday, with 4 Seeker of the Way, 4 Soulfire Grand Master, 2 Exquisite Firecraft, 2 Anger of the Gods and 3 Deflecting Palm in the main deck, instead of Goblin Guide, Eidolon, Skewer the Critics and some Rift Bolt. I thought these cards would help in the current metagame, heavy with Dredge, Phoenix and UW Control. The deck is obviously slower, but the big life cushion is pseudo card advantage (as is, a lot more turns to top deck the final burn spell).

    I won 2-1 vs CoCo Vizier and Discard Combo, but lost 0-2 vs UW Spirit. This deck bugs me a lot, and there seems to be no way out of it. Between Mausoleum Wanderer, Rattlechains, Drogskol Captain, Selfless Spirit and Spell Queller, it’s pretty hard to interact with the board. Simply ignoring it and going to the face seems the best option. But even then, Wanderer and Queller can counter my spells (and Exquisite Firecraft isn’t even a safe bet against Queller, because it exiles), and it’s super hard to burn Queller and get the spell back.

    Is there any tricks in how to play or sequence the spells? Or special cards that would do the job from the SB?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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