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  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    Hey guys long time lurker but I love this deck. What do we do against deflecting palm when we trample through with a 20+/20+ knight and have it all redirected at our face?

    Offer your hand and accept the loss with grace. You just got beat by a card that no one anywhere plays.

    Or play the Negate/Stubborn Denial strategy people have been mentioning. I like the former, though, people need to learn how to lose with grace.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Death Cloud
    I tried so hard to break her. It just isn't happening. You need a lot of stuff to line up for her to flip and even then she doesn't have a lot of immediate board presence. Reanimating a Fulminator isn't that devastating unless you're playing against a land combo. Liliana of the Veil was almost always better, and costs the same.

    One of the main problems is not only do you need to wait a turn to sac your creature for its effect (kind of bad usually with Sakura to have to wait another turn and not chump block), but in response to the trigger she just eats a bolt/abrupt decay/terminate/ what have you. Then you had to set yourself back by not blowing up their land or getting a new one of your own. When she does flip you don't really have that much to do, it's nice her discard ability is a +2 and gets her to 5, but we generally don't have much to immediately reanimate for 3 or less that's worth it. Against most decks you just want other Lily's sac effect.

    I tried her in Smallpox decks, Death Cloud decks, Evolutionary Leap decks, and she's never been better than Liliana of the Veil. So I actually just went and got rid of mine, because as hard as I can try to break her she's not worth the current price tag, at least in Modern.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    I noticed Wargate is starting to be bought out of the market, but I don't see much talk of it in this deck and it seems like the only potential new fit for the card. Has anyone here considered/playtested with that card as an additional way to get out either piece?

    6 mana seems kind of steep, especially at sorcery speed, but it does find either piece for you. It's not too bad post sideboard either if you can stall long enough to grab Stony Silence or something like that.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Death Cloud
    Utopia Sprawl is interesting, though I've gotten my single Golgari Rot-Farm blown up by Ghost quarters enough times lately that I don't want to try that route. Also, I find Sakura chump blocks to be particularly useful, and sometimes even an attacker post Death Cloud.

    Here's the current list, I keep swapping some things in and out so I wouldn't say it's solidified, but I like the direction of it:

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Death Cloud
    I don't run Damnations right now, I haven't found it to be necessary compared to things like Golgari Charm or Night of Souls' Betrayal that I can pull out of my sideboard, and there aren't enough decks that I want Damnation against in my maindeck.

    For the record I absolutely love 2x NoSB sideboard. It is basically an insta-win against Twin, Affinity, infect, and Elves, assuming you can get it down while doing something to slow them down. You lose your Sakuras but by the time you have 4 mana they're less useful anyway. Obviously you have to side out Bitterblossoms if you side in NoSBs.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Death Cloud
    Waste Not seems entertaining but generally if you land a big Death Cloud you're supposed to be in a pretty much unrecoverable state for your opponent and you'd just be at win-more levels with it.

    It seems people here are going a different direction than I am with this deck. I really like Courser of Kruphix. He doesn't come back after a cloud like Kitchen Finks does, but he can be a great source of both card advantage and gives you the ability to keep finding your land drops well into midgame for the decks you want to either 1) wait for the hand-hate to clear counterspells for the big Death Cloud or 2) Super charge DC so that it hits almost all their lands. You generally don't want to DC on turn 4 anyway, so hitting Courser on Turn 3 or 4 can be a huge semi-ramp in that at least you won't be missing land drops if you're playing fetches/sakura sacrifices correctly.

    Two more cards I'm messing around with are Bitterblossom and Slaughter Pact. Bitterblossom gives you a great source of chump blocks until you land your DC and then gives you a pretty great threat after the board is clear. Life loss needs to be mitigated somehow, I'm doing it by running at least 3 creatures that give life and then moving more towards Duress/Inquisition over Thoughtseize. It's also a pretty good clock against blue decks that would normally be remanding your big cards, so it pushes them into action, usually allowing you to land one of those big threats.

    Slaughter Pact I'm using since sometimes we can't afford to wait until DC can do a full board wipe and you'll always have 3 lands left over afterwards (just be careful of Tec Edge when DC is on the stack). It's also quite good against Voice of Resurgence or Kitchen Finks or whatever recursion your opponent has, which normally completely wins against us. Nailing a Voice and then wiping the board with DC is pretty awesome, and like I said you'll always have 3 mana after the Cloud so you should be fine on that front. Usually the decks that have black creatures have very few of them so Death Cloud should be a full Damnation on them.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    I'm not a huge fan of Meddling Mage right now since every deck has at least 3 ways to kill it if necessary. Kolagan's Command + Lightning Bolt + Terminate or Abrupt Decay + Lightning Bolt + Maelstrom Pulse or Pyroclasm + Oblivion Stone + Karn + Ugin and so on. It usually plays out as a 2 mana discard spell for me, and the times I want to load him up with Steel he just eats a kill spell in response. There are a few games where you can get him loaded up with proper hand disruption ahead of time, but even then I've been underwhelmed.

    I am a huge fan of Spell Snare maindeck right now. This deck insta-loses to Affinity before sideboard, and Snare is really necessary to keep them from exploding your face so early. It's great against a ton of other decks as well, but I've specifically playtested the affinity matchup a lot and that was one of the main ways to slow them down long enough to win.

    I have a 1-of Tasigur in here. He's a human along with Zur and Meddling Mage, so it makes Cavern of Souls even better. I run 2 Caverns right now, it's the single biggest improvement in a long time for our deck in Modern. Remand on a 4 cost Zur is devastating, but being able to not even worry about that makes me run 3 total in my 75 (1 sideboard). Speaking of lands, I like Shizo, Death's Storehouse a lot more than Eiganjo Castle since it's a way to make Geist hit when you don't have the Steel. Eiganjo Castle is less good since double bolt would kill Zur either way and then it's only the interaction between Geist + Pyroclasm that will ever make EC better. But I've found myself liking Shizo better.

    I've been trying out Monastery Siege over Thassa. They're equally lackluster at times, but I think I like Monastery Siege's interaction against the burn matchup better, and draw/discard is much better than scry 1, especially with a tasigur to delve.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    I like Rest in Peace better than Leyline of the Void since it's easier to cast, fetchable with Zur, and not something you really need to mulligan into. There is some collateral damage with hitting our own Snapcaster Mages but generally that card can be sided out in these situations, as grinding out incremental card advantage isn't as necessary (Zur does this way better).

    Runed Halo I've tried many times but never really liked. The problem with answers like this is they aren't as good as other removal, generally. While they are preemptive counters to whatever you might want to hit, you never ever want to be relying on it since so many decks have some way of killing or bouncing it (Abrupt Decay or Cryptic Command for "fair" decks, bounce spells for storm). At least Detention Sphere stops stuff from killing you immediately when answered (because it's summoning sick). If you have 3 Tarmogoyfs staring you down and they suddenly bounce this card, you're dead.

    That and most decks have multiple ways of killing you, and naming any 1 isn't even going to slow them down as much as it slowed you down to play it.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    No but the mana rocks seem to go against what you want to do if you're playing Remand. I look at Remand as a way to stall the opponent's turn 2/3 which effectively gives you Zur a turn faster.

    The real issue is that this deck's gameplan isn't to accelerate Zur out as soon as possible. It's to put a protected Zur out as soon as possible, which rushing him out there early doesn't really do. Too many decks have ways to just blow him up if you throw him out there willy-nilly.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    Quote from rstevens416
    My only loss was Skred Red.

    This and other midrange red decks (the type that feature Koth) have been brutal. If they become popular we may need something like Nevermore in the sideboard since even CoP doesn't stop the mountains attacking or his ultimate.

    Quote from Titus0

    Edit: Thoughts on Threads of Disloyalty? I think it's a really nifty card, and I like it at 1 main and 1 side. Though, Idk how necessary it is, so I'm uncertain as to whether or not to use them at all. And their prices went up a good bit, so a part of me wants to unload them -- but only if I absolutely don't need them anymore.

    Don't sell all of them. I keep around 2 for swapping in and out of the main/side depending on metagame. These are great against the midrange zoo decks, which will most likely be coming out in full force. I will definitely put 1 main if that deck becomes popular.

    Quote from Rook1e
    How has this deck been affected by the DRS ban? Personally i thought that it would kill the deck, but i see that people are still holding on to it

    I don't think it hits us as hard as most people have been saying. I would sideboard it out against a few decks anyway when I was playing it, and my lists more recently (before the ban still) didn't even play them. I say it helps because now you don't have to worry about Jund decks abusing it better than we did (turn 2 Liliana on the play was the worst thing to play against ever). Zur decks can't abuse DRS as well as so many other true GBx decks could.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    I'm not a fan of the card because it's not even good against the deck you'd want it against.
    Decks it's bad against:
    Aggro of any kind
    UR combo

    Decks you would not sideboard it in/would sideboard it out against:
    2 color decks (BG, WB tokens, etc)
    Mono color decks (except maybe the Nykthos versions)

    Decks you'd marginally want it in against:
    control featuring manlands
    greedy manabases.

    Against Tron you have so much better things to be doing on turn 2 than slowing them down marginally. Remand, Meddling Mage, Thoughtseize + Serum Visions, maybe even bitterblossom depending on their land set up. Giving them a blue mana instead of colorless doesn't do much, and they have so many redundant ways to assemble Tron that you're generally just wasting your turn to slow them down a turn. That doesn't mean it's awful, it's like a turn for a turn usually, but it does 'water down' (hah, pun intended) your deck to have them in there. And if it's a "for tron" sideboard card there are so many better options.

    Against control it's fine, but not really an all star. Against greedy manabases (5-color Tribal Flames style decks) it's actually probably one of the best cards you have. But then again, that deck isn't commonly played.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    Quote from Deitel221

    What do you think of Tidehollow Sculler? Didn't you used to run some in your list? I know some of the most recent lists have been using them, and I've been running them as a 3-of. They're pretty nifty. Like the ability, and the body is alright -- sometimes good, sometimes a drawback.

    Good question, I have used Tidehollow Sculler in the past and in terms of him versus Meddling Mage (since that's generally the choice you have to make), I would tend to go with Tidehollow not considering everything else. The reason is that Meddling Mage only sometimes stops a deck from using a card whereas Tidehollow will always stop them from using a single card. The drawback of MM is that you need information to use him well. There's always something to be said about just knowing the decks you are playing against and what cards they have that you're afraid of, but seeing the opponent's hand makes MM far better than just naming a single card since Modern is full of similar cards with different names. With the added hand hate or Remands filling the hole that DRS banning left us, we have more information than before (with snapcaster able to reuse these as well), making Meddling Mage marginally better.

    All of that said, I would prefer Tidehollow even with the above paragraph being true. The reason is basically virtual card advantage vs real card advantage. If your entire goal is to just play Zur and ride him to victory, and you're playing against a deck with multiple kill spells, playing Meddling Mage is actually worse than Tidehollow. For the situation that the opponent has Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt in their hand, Tidehollow gives you the advantage of choosing either play depending on the situation. Here's why:

    Opponent + you are in turn 3/4 no one has a massive threat yet. You know they are playing UWR control, and are able to land your 2 drop Tidehollow/Meddling Mage. Your goal is to play and protect Zur. With Meddling Mage and imperfect information, you might name any of their 3 main removal spells Lightning Bolt, Lightning Helix, and Path to Exile. In this case I'd probably name Path to Exile, since playing Zur is your main goal and you're not sure what else they could do to kill Meddling Mage right now. If you had Tidehollow, you see their hand and get to remove one of their cards until they kill him. In this situation you could either take Path to Exile or their Lightning Bolt, taking Path just forces them to play the bolt on your Tidehollow and Path Zur later, whereas taking bolt may get them to use their path to exile (one of their only ways to deal with Zur) on your tidehollow, at least if they're in a situation where they can't deal with him. This gives you a way to outplay your opponent that just knowing their options with Meddling Mage didn't -- the ability to make them waste their good spell on Zur. It gives you the added information of knowing that they have a Path in their hand so that you don't waste Zur until you get another discard spell. The same exact scenario can be said with the opponent having Abrupt Decay + Maelstrom Pulse + Dark Blast (which hits MM but not Zur).

    So that added benefit is why I used to play Tidehollow, and I continue to think he's a great option, but with the changing metagame now I think Meddling Mage is slightly better. The first reason is that against a Bitterblossom deck, a Tidehollow can never attack (even with Steel on him). With Steel on Meddling Mage, you get the unblockable clause, which really helps. Another main reason is that I foresee a large increase in UR storm being played, where you can name one of their bounce spells or even win conditions depending on the situation, and they can't play it even from the graveyard (which Tidehollow can't stop). The more draw spells people play, the better Meddling Mage tends to be in comparison to Tidehollow, since discard can never stop someone from top decking.

    Lastly, without Disfigure being needed to kill opposing DRS and without us having our own DRSs to play, we can choose our first land to be Hallowed Fountain over Watery Grave, making our land light hands easier to play. That'll let you play Meddling Mage on low land hands far easier than Tidehollow.

    Sorry for the ridiculously long response, I just wanted to make sure I explained the subtlety as I see it.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    The first list in the primer is my current one. I'm waiting to tweak it until I play against at least 1 new faerie deck.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    I think everyones agreed on Thassa being bad here, although people do keep trying to justify it. Spirit of the Labyrinth is decent but its ability blanks against most of the decks in the format. Even blue/red decks get away with Slight of Hand due to the card wording. It's okay vs Tron, I guess, and being a 3/1 for 2 isn't bad, but most of the time you wouldn't fetch out a 3/1 creature with a Zur trigger.

    The being 3/1 for 2 does interest me, it's worth trying out.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Esper Zur
    Re: Abrupt Decay: I don't think that the axing of Deathrite means there will be more Abrupt Decay. Yes, BB is a thing now, but for the most part I see a decline of GBx in the near future. Either way, that matchup will play out about the same as it always has (protect yourself from being blown out by an Abrupt Decay and don't be 'surprised' by it). I don't think anything will be necessary to protect against it, since DRS is gone. Spellskite has always been a good sideboard card in the right situation, so I wouldn't discourage that yet.

    The new list has actually been one I've been playing since before DRS ban. I've shuffled a couple cards to get more Snapcasters and Bitterblossoms in, so I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but I do like it. DRS getting axed means we don't have as much use for Disfigure in the maindeck. Also, if Wild Nacatl becomes popular, Disfigure would be a poor removal choice.

    As you said I don't really have a solid sideboard as I foresee changes in the meta that I can't predict right now, and the cool part of Zur is that no matter what deck comes there's probably an enchantment for 3 or less that will help against it.

    Kitchen Finks should definitely make an inclusion now, as it won't be eaten on reentry as frequently and Zoo decks will be more popular. Something extra to fight tokens may be in order, but that may be as simple as adding more Detention Spheres. Ghostly Prison is quite good against this style of deck since they have to choose between a small amount of damage per turn or countering your spells.

    Tron is much more manageable with things like Mage and Aven Mindcensor. Much of the strategy behind beating Tron is to stop them with tiny annoyances at a time instead of something like Armageddon. Far/Away has the added bonus of taking out Emrakul (wishful thinking), but really is just helpful in many situations (against opposing Geists, saving your creature from a board wipe, resetting Snapcaster, etc.). Just making sure all of your cards have some relevance is a great way to stop them from going nuts on you.

    I don't think Bitterblossom is the go to search card at all. If you're in a position where you kept Zur on the table, you are most likely going to want to race your opponent. That means 1) remove their threat with D Sphere or 2) Equip a creature with Steel and keep swinging. Bitterblossom is such a slow clock that getting one out on turn 5 is rarely the right choice. It's the right choice against long grindy decks, probably, but that's situation dependent.

    I'll have to test more before I get a solid sideboard decided but if I had to say something right now I'd go with:

    2 Stony Silence
    2 Ghostly Prison
    3 Rest in Peace
    2 Kitchen Finks
    2 Spellskite
    2 Disfigure
    2 Negate

    A lot of 2-ofs since the format is in flux right now.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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