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  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Been playing Sultai Teachings a lot recently, but let a friend borrow it for a tourney this weekend out of town, so played Utron today at the LGS. Went 3-0 (6-0 in games). Drew with the other 3-0 guy.

    Match 1: Burn, 2-0 Chalice on one both games worked great for me. Game one I play turn one tron land, turn two Island (Condescend a burn spell), turn three tron land, turn four tron assembled (cast Platinum Angel), turn five cast Wurmcoil and Chalice on one. Game two I play turn one Map, turn two Chalice, hold up counters for a couple of turns, assemble Tron on turn five I think (cast Solemn Simulacrum and Filigree Familiar), and win easily from there.

    -3 Remand
    +3 Filigree Familiar

    Played an extra game since the match was over so quick, they wanted to try their Elves deck against me. Won that, too. Again, Chalice on one, then Spatial Contortion'd his guys, got firm control of the game with Ballista and he conceded.

    Match 2: Mono Green Tron, 2-0 Game one is insane. I am able to bluff counters when he assembles Tron on the play, Field of Ruin his Tower to keep him off tron for another turn, but then start to stall out as he casts Karn and starts exiling my lands and cards in hand, using Relic to cantrip through his deck and wiping my Mindslaver with O-Stone. Gets to a point where opp has Tron assembled (two Towers), Karn at 9 loyalty (Power Plant, Mine, Island, and something else under it), O-Stone in play. I have Power Plant, Mine, Academy Ruins, and three Island in play, Remand, O-Stone, Ugin in hand. Opp -3 Karn to take my Ruins, I use it to put Slaver back on top in response. I figure my only path to winning here is to Ruins the Slaver back, hope opp casts something so I can Remand and draw it, then hope to topdeck Tower to Slaver the opp and wipe his board, etc. He casts Ugin (sac's Sanctum to search for Ulamog), I Remand and draw Slaver. They pass turn. I topdeck Tower, Slaver opp. Cast his Ulamog, exile his Towers, -3 Karn to exile his Ulamog, have him pass turn. I untap, cast and blow O-Stone. Opp is now on 5 lands with Karn, Wurmcoil, Ugin in hand. I proceed to win easily from here.

    Game two I turn one Map (gets Nature's Claim'd), turn two Chalice on one, turn three hold up counters for O-Stone, turn four Spreading Seas a Tron land. From here I counter every spell that Chalice doesn't hit, draw more Seas (never have to cast them), until I build up six mana and Gearhulk on his turn (flashing back Anticipate, digging for another counter), and win easily with beats and a hand full of blue spells.

    -2 Spatial Contortion
    -1 Solemn Simulacrum
    -3 Repeal
    +3 Spreading Seas
    +3 Negate

    Round Three: UR Phoenix 2-0 Both games I get Chalice on one. Game one, after Chalice, I Repeal his Thing in the Ice, counter every other threat, and Mindslaver lock him. Game two, get Grafdigger's Cage, Chalice on one. He resolves a Blood Moon, which cuts us both to one blue mana. He tries to go for Snapcaster beats, but I build up mana to cast Silent Arbiter and hold up counter magic. He gets two Phoenix into play and starts to beat me for three damage a turn. I eventually Repeal his Moon, cast Platinum Angel with counter backup. I start wiping his Phoenix' with Ballista, swing in with Angel, eventually kill him with Angel beats and Ballista pings.

    -3 Remand
    -2 Spatial Contortion
    +3 Silent Arbiter
    +1 Grafdigger's Cage
    +1 Surgical Extraction

    Drew round four with my Humans opponent, my son was hungry and tired of playing by this point. Anyways, very happy with the list right now. I now have 1,223 games of data on the spreadsheet, and used the spreadsheet to build and tweak my list.

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BUG Wilderness Teachings Turns
    So, to add to the conversation:

    Concerning Wilderness Reclamation: Part of the core of the deck, in my opinion. Yes, you could try building a deck without it, but it's this card that allows for Mystical Teachings to be good, along with Blue Sun's Zenith, makes Creeping Tar Pit better, etc. Sure, the turn we cast Reclamation it doesn't normally do a whole lot, but it allows us to keep up counter mana that same turn and then doubles out mana every turn after that. I don't want or need four copies, because I want to see at least one but definitely don't get value out of two if I don't get a payoff spell (so it has diminishing returns if we don't have some use for all that mana).

    Concerning Mystical Teachings: This card isn't great without Reclamation, but is still good, allowing us to fetch out whatever card we need to get to the point where we turn the corner. I've found that if I resolve a Reclamation and a Teachings, a win is probably inevitable. As with Reclamation, there are diminishing returns with this card. I want to see at one, but there are diminishing returns with this card if we haven't stabilized the board with the first one or the other cards we've drawn.

    Opt: I truly feel that three Opt is incorrect. This card is necessary for us to dig to hit our land drops, removal, counters, etc. Drawing a random card doesn't get us there nearly as well. I've gone up to four copies, and haven't regretted it.

    Fatal Push: The weakness I've found with this deck is how it struggles against aggressive decks. Why not shore up this weakness with one of the best removal spells in our colors? Adding a third Push allows us to dig to one quickly when we need it, but not get stuck with too many copies in matchups where we don't. Snapcaster allows us to get double-use out of these, so if we need them, we actually have six copies.

    Devour Flesh: Isn't nearly as good as Push in most matchups, and is really a "magical-christmasland" card in the Grixis Shadow matchup. Sure, it's useful against Bogles, too, but tapping down their team with Cryptic/Snap/Cryptic is often enough to turn the corner versus them, and they can play around it easily with fetching for Dryad Arbor.

    Now, for cards that I've been personally testing:

    Supreme Will: I've tested with some number of these, and currently run one. This card has proven useful every single time. It allows me to have a decent counter in the early-to-midgame, but also have dig for the late game. Unlike Remand, it's more of a hard-counter, and unlike Cryptic, it costs less and isn't as demanding on the manabase. I'm still running a full playset of both Remand and Cryptic, and just using this one-of as a supplemental card.

    Whispers of the Muse: I'm running one of these instead of Hieroglyphic Illumination. I was on the fence about this, and just testing it, until I got into situations mentioned in previous posts by others, where we end up having tons of mana and nothing to do with it all. With Hiero, we draw two cards at best and hope they're good. With Whispers, we just keep drawing and drawing. I'm very impressed with how well this card's performed for me.

    Torrential Gearhulk: I've gone back and forth on this card, and I'm now back with running one main. In numerous games I've found that this card increases our clock greatly. Trying to rely off of Snapcaster and Tar Pit beats isn't always great, with how small and easily removed they are with Bolt (which is currently the most common removal spell in the format) or Field of Ruin (which is apparently everywhere). It usually takes three hits with this card and the opponent is just dead, making it so we don't need to worry about chaining too many turns or going infinite to win. It also blocks like a pro, takes out most planeswalkers in one swing, and can even shuffle a Blue Sun's Zenith back into our deck if the Zenith was countered or discarded earlier on.

    I've made some changes to my sideboard and manabase as well, but need to cut this short to go do stuffs. But with all this said, my current list is below. I've been collecting gameplay data on the deck, and still want a few hundred more games of data to make the data more reliable, but the spreadsheet can be found here for anyone interested in how it's looking so far.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BUG Wilderness Teachings Turns
    @JochemW, I have the same experiences, concerning Burn. I can almost turn the corner, but if they draw half-decent, they win game one. I have been doing much better in postboard games, with another Pulse of Murasa and two Life Goes On in the side, along with a fourth Fatal Push in the side (I play three in the main).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BUG Wilderness Teachings Turns
    Started playtesting this deck, seems cool (though not sure how competitive it can be). Here's the list I've started testing:



    I played the original list from MTGGoldfish a few rounds yesterday in paper at my LGS, against Burn and Mill. Was miserable the whole time. I won one single game. Probably just bad matchups, but wanted to get a feel for the deck. But with that experience, I decided that Fatal Push is probably worth running three. My reasoning is that it's the best removal for everything that Remand doesn't have good mana parity with. Devour Flesh seems neat, but not mainboard neat. Many of the other changes seem like stuff other people are already on board with (Crypt Incursion in the side, a second Life Goes On in the side). I did decide on one Torrential Gearhulk, only because it makes it so I only have to chain a couple of Cryptics or Nexus' to swing for wins, reducing the clock by quite a margin and reducing the setup for wins by a good deal. I'm not convinced on the Whispers of the Muse, as it seems almost like a win-more.

    I decided on using Supreme Will, after how well they performed for me in Mono Blue Tron. They seem to be doing well here so far as well, allowing me to dig for "combo pieces" (Wilderness Reclamation, assembling multiple Cryptics, etc.). They're pretty good on curve, after having a decent number of one-drop and two-drop plays in the deck.

    Notion Thief is just a testing thing for now, against those Storm/Faithless Looting/control decks.

    Played a few more games. I went to four Opt main, ditching the Whispers. I also went to three Snaps instead of the Gearhulk. Gearhulk did good work, but just for testing purposes, going back to 3 Snaps. Also, I was working from memory, so forgot about Decay and Trophy. I do feel like Will is great in that spot, but I do also worry about cards that get past Remand that Push can't hit (noncreature permanents, etc.). Also dropped the Notion Thief from the side, throwing in another Pulse of Murasa for the extra assistance on surviving early burn and whatnot, while still being good against grindy decks.

    EDIT 2: Played some more games. Had a few where I would just flood out. Adjusted my list, -1 Supreme Will, -1 Polluted Delta, +1 Search for Azcanta, +1 Hieroglyphic Illumination. The Burn/aggro matchups are doing much better now with the sideboard life gain and removal suite.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    I've been testing Tithe Taker in my build, and it's been great. My gameplan with the deck is to use the inevitability of eventually getting Emeria online, using the creatures and whatnot as just speedbumps and disruption against the opponent to live long enough to get Emeria online. Tithe Taker does just that, in forcing the opponent to play around being able to fetch and cast spells on my turn, and chumping twice. I'm still not particularly happy with the deck, and feel that more needs to be done in order to make it more efficient, but I do feel that Tithe Taker goes a long way towards achieving that goal.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Kind of surprised they didn't ban Scrap Trawler instead. Weakens KCI (but allows the deck to continue to exist), doesn't impact other decks, and solves the complicated rules/gamestates issue that they mention in their justification.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    So, been switching between BW and UW Eldrazi Taxes for a while now (BW, then UW, then BW), and just tried UW again with Deputy of Detention. I've been tracking gameplay data, finding correlations between cards in the opening hand and increased or decreased win rates. While we can all agree that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, it is somewhat more scientific than straight conjecture, and I've been using this method to great success with Lantern, Mono Blue Tron, and Skred.

    Anyways, one of the interesting things I found was that Path to Exile didn't seem to correlate well. Which kind of makes sense, really. It's pretty decent if we have an Arbiter in play, but otherwise we're helping the opponent find the mana to pay for our taxes, and it nonbo's with Thalia. Anyways, with Deputy combined with Reflector Mage, Eldrazi Displacer, and Flickerwisp, we have access to a ridiculous amount of removal. Deputy is also great for answering more than just creatures, which is one of the things that we absolutely need. It provides lines that were otherwise not very good for us (answering token armies, creatures with lots of counters of them, and maybe most important, noncreature permanents).

    Anyways, the list that I played with tonight is as follows:



    The deck can probably still use some work. The data showed that mini-Thalia was one of the best cards to have the opener, so four may be correct. It also showed that big-Thalia was also good, so I went up to two. The thoughts behind Skyspawner is that the deck is kind of weak on one- and two-drops, and it acts as a "two-drop" with an Eldrazi Temple, while helping to ramp or provide colorless mana for Displacer or Seer if need be, while swinging with evasion. I want to drop a Farmland for another Fountain, just don't have one.

    I want to change the sideboard a bit to include some amount of life gain. Probably don't need three Stony Silence, so may go down to two. Also probably don't need all three gods, and may not need Settle any more thanks to Reflector Mage and Deputy. Anyways, played it a bit tonight and it was a blast. Felt like I was always on a curve, applying pressure and forcing the opponent to play around all sorts of tricks.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Been a while, but figured I'd post real quick. Kept using the spreadsheet method for tweaking the deck, have had a decent amount of success with the deck. It's been a blast to play Grin So, first, here's my current list:



    Key things of note are the three Chalice of the Void main, two Anticipate main, three Filigree Familiar in the side and three Silent Arbiter in the side. Everything else is probably pretty expected. The Chalice are working great, and you can even see in Pierakor's videos how well they perform, though I don't know that we need four. I've been testing two Anticipate due to the data, and they've been great. We often don't have an end-step play on an opponent's turn when we have two mana open, unless we happen to have a Map in play. This allows for some early digging, when we don't have the mana to cast Thirst for Knowledge. I've been happy every time I've cast it, and I don't think that any more than two is correct.

    The Filigree Familiars and Silent Arbiters in the side have been great against grindy matchups and/or creature-heavy matchups. I always want an Arbiter against decks like Elves, Merfolk, Spirits, Humans, Dredge...and the toughness being five is very good. It's been great in stalling the board until I can just hit my land drops (or assemble Tron) to play a haymaker. Familiar's been very good against aggressive decks, like Burn, and decks where counters don't help a whole heck of a lot (Cavern of Souls decks, decks with lots of discard, etc.).
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Modern Esper Draw-Go
    Are there any pilots with lots of Youtube videos of this deck in action? I'd like to plug a ton of games into a spreadsheet to see how individual cards perform, to tweak and build accordingly.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Hypothesis comes before experimentation, not theory. Theory is what happens when a hypothesis has been proven. And the tests by which a hypothesis must pass to become a theory are set up in such a way as to attempt to prove the hypothesis wrong. Stating an opinion and then justifying it with supporting hand-picked supporting arguments and data does not a theory make.

    ...by your standard a claim that skullclamp is safe to unban and a claim that sfm is safe to unban merit the same response in discussions.


    EDIT: Yeah, pretty much. While one might get more agreement from the community, both are just opinions. One just might be more popular.

    @LeoTzu, you may be correct, it is a high bar to set. The way I see it, if someone wants to have their opinion taken seriously, it might serve that they do more work than select specific examples to support their opinion. Anybody can state an opinion and then spin some small sample size or selective evidence to support it. Without doing any sort of real work to check our opinions for validity before spouting our opinions is only going to serve as a call for those who would have agreed with the opinion in the first place to do so, to have those who would disagree to do state their disagreements (often with just as valid arguments: i.e. - not), and convince those who are unable or unwilling to question what the truth actually is to pick a side. In other words, they don't bring us closer to truth, they just make for endless arguments loaded with bias and an unwillingness to work together to try and actually find what is true.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    So....

    So, if all we have from people being upset is opinions and conjecture, then the work put into that opinion justifies no more than a response of, "Noted."
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    You could provide numbers, if you tested extensively. This is important for us to recognize because we can often understand a person's motives when we observe their methods. If someone wanted to know truth about whether something is safe to unban, they would take the steps to find that truth. If they wanted to just assume that their conjecture is reliable enough, that their opinion is valid without testing it for validity, they would feel safe in just finding supporting evidence rather than assembling some sort of test for it, to check their bias'.

    @Melkor, Is that the same case for every card that came off the ban list, or are we being selective with our samples to justify the argument?

    So, if all we have from people being upset is opinions and conjecture, then the work put into that opinion justifies no more than a response of, "Noted."
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Can you provide hard evidence, in numbers, rather than conjecture, on what the effect will be if the card is unbanned?

    EDIT: I'm not saying it's not safe, I just want to see an argument that is based on more than conjecture from random people in forums and reddit :p Even conjecture from pros aren't reliable. So far, the best and honest argument that I've seen is that people want cards unbanned because they want to play with them. To state a card is okay to be unbanned, even if we agree, without lots of hard evidence or data, is just random internet conjecture.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Seeing a disappointing amount of hyperbole and unbased conspiracy-talk in here Frown I would have hoped that, in a game that rewards critical thinking, we would see more of that.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on 8Rack
    I did, and continued compiling data from it. Unfortunately, the data shows a few things that don't look promising. It seems that the cards that correlate the best with increased win percentages are the same cards that are the core of other successful decks: Liliana of the Veil, Inquisition of Kozilek, Ensnaring Bridge...and the cards that correlate with decreased win percentages are the cards that make the deck 8rack: The Rack, Shrieking Affliction, Smallpox...

    This seems to imply that 8rack really just isn't a very good deck. I figured that no one would really care to hear that 8rack simply is not a very good deck, as shown via the data, so thought it best that I didn't post a follow up at all if all I was going to do was tell people something that they might not want to hear. Maybe a card will be printed in the future that could help the deck, but out of all of the decks that I've used the data approach on, this one stands out to me as the one where the data seems clear on the nature of the deck itself.
    Posted in: Control
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