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  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Quote from relesbao »
    Also how you guys beat merfolk?


    Merfolk is tough. Rough and tough. Choke helps, but only somewhat vs Vial. To me, it harkens back to the days where I used to mainboard Worship and play Sword of Body and Mind and play draw go until I either decked them or drew enough fliers to win.

    Nowadays, it's mostly about being faster than them, to disrupt them enough to get past them. You're playing the tempo deck here.

    I/r/t the Eldrazi matchup. It's not that bad. I've actually been +.500 against it (amongst multiple variations), which was better than I thought I was going to be. Playing Path into Reality Smasher isn't bad when you get to discard a Smiter or Liege into it, it's an ideal situation for tempo swings. In practice, Karma is usually better than it'd appear. I know I mentioned it last page, but, even with Urborg Symmetry, it's usually fine. Here's the thing, this is a matchup where you use all of your land destruction. You rely on your vials. You're going to have less lands than the Eldrazi deck. It doesn't hit you with the same parity that it does the eldrazi deck. If you put pressure on early (which you can), you can win by chump blocking your way to victory. It obviously doesn't work with the U/R variant, but the U/R variant is actually a better matchup than the Processor/Colorless lists.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    That said, when it comes to ridiculous sideboard tech. I wanted to try something out that I haven't vs Eldrazi Black.

    Karma. Lets just say, it's sometimes an instant auto win if you can stall the game long enough. I played a game last night against the heartless summoning variety of eldrazi black, and they're pretty low on actual threats. I just kept them off of being able to search for Ulamog for long enough, dropped Karma, and while I wasn't able to alpha strike through for a lot of damage, Karma got in for 8 damage two turns in a row with doing 3 damage through a few Oblivion Sower and let Karma clean up the rest.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Why is it worthless? We're not talking about the meta at large here, we're talking about a very specific LGS where there's a very specific meta and expectations around GW Hatebears when it's played. If you're talking about numbers, it's the same things as in poker if you play certain hands with in a certain way every time, you're able to exploit consistency and likely scenarios.

    With six anti-search cards, and Vial making at least all of them flash. There's an expectation of existence, and it goes to my original point (which I've made about this deck since 2011), is that part of it's charm is creating awkward board states where your opponent has to account for a lot of scenarios and possibilities.

    You're right there's an infinite decision loop with these levels. But as a player, you cannot just jam your best line for you every time in a vacuum. And that's what this deck punishes. If your deck says jam this fetchland on turn 2, and your opponent has a hierarch and 2 open lands. That's bad. Right? Especially if you've played against the deck many times, and they have shown that they play Mindcensor. Playing against it, as the level one thought, you're asking yourself: okay, before i do this, they may have Mindcensor. Can I play around that card? If yes, then do this, if not then do this. It's not just 'can I play around this', but can I afford to play around this card. The level 2 thought for the Hatebears player happens in deckbuilding. The idea is when people start playing level 1 thought in respect to your deck, it then becomes irrelevant on if you have it or not in a majority of cases. Because it implies that there's the possibility they will guess wrong. So, here: if it's some percent chance you have Mindcensor t3 availble on a sylvan scrying (I think it's like 15% chance, but it's also strongly tied to the concept of vial->arbiter, which probably raises it to about 30%), the level zero play has a 70% chance of getting it right. If you're using a level 1 play here, you're possibly playing around it as opposed to playing into it. It's not necessarily a 70-30 split here, because you're using more information available to you to infer what your opponent has based on what you have and can play around. What happens is, in practice, while you won't be blown out as much, you also will have a more conservative gameplan because you'll be playing around cards regardless on if they have it or not because of what you can and cannot play around. When you state you're possibly losing tempo by leaving up 3 mana, you're actually accomplishing just what I've been trying to explain all along here. If you can play around certain things, and you can't always, it doesn't matter if you have it or not as long as people think you can have it and they can or cannot play around it, we're just turning the tables here, where you have the decision to make, on if they'll crack that fetchland this turn or play sylvan scrying or chord or whatever, can you afford to play around it. It's risk reward about calling bluffs with the available knowledge that you have. The thing is is that knowledge isn't equal, and that's where the poker comparisons get a bit weirder because probabilities aren't a closed system with magic (the permutations are infinitely larger), and where bluffing becomes a bit more powerful than it does in higher level magic games because of it. The best line of play is based on available knowledge, but the knowledge or lack of knowledge create plays in and of itself for the deck if you're looking for it. That's the level 2 play, exploiting when they think they have the knowledge, but they really don't.

    It may not be suited for your meta, but if in the OP's meta, if they're playing around it, it's because they can be significantly affected by it, and have taken the level 1 play into consideration, and are playing around it. That's the key here. It's like if you play certain hands in poker a certain way, and people recognize that, you need to start playing them differently if you want a different reaction. Or you can start playing hands that aren't like that similarly if you can afford to, which is the much easier scenario. It's much more difficult to justify not playing it in situations you have 'it' like you can in poker because of the best of three format, there's just less action opportunity to take advantage of hands like it, that your best time to take action is usually the time that it presents itself and not later (which, amusingly is unlike hearthstone which rewards it a little differently because of interactions with minoins vindicates usually the person with the last follow up). I mean, a practical example is, while you may get better value out of pathing and ghost quartering something on the same turn, it's almost always better to use it at the first because the opportunity risk increases that that line won't be there when you're planning on using it (which is what separates HS from MTG in a lot of ways).

    Therefore, it doesn't matter if you have it or not because if they play around it, they're going to either play around it if you have it or if you don't have it. Whether or not you have it is irrelevant if they're going to play around it. If they play around it and you don't have it, it's better for you because you're gaining a sense of virtual card advantage, or cards that you have that you don't actually have that people are playing around and lose tempo because of playing around cards that they think you have.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Quote from Epsilonson »
    @tadiou, Relying on your opponent to make mistakes is not really any sort of metric to add merit to an argument on a cards inclusion in a deck. Going by a more obvious form of that logic our opponent will never play their best creatures because we play path to exile in our deck...


    Amusingly, you're not relying on your opponent to make mistakes. You're relying on your opponent to make the correct play which is to not walk into into getting blown out. If they're constantly playing around wrath does it matter if you actually have a wrath or not? That's the point I'm making. I'm basically at the 2nd level here, while you're looking at this as a 1st level exercise. You're playing as if your opponent is playing around the card you think they think you have, which, for the person who's questioning removing Mindcensor, sometimes not having it is just as good as having it.

    I think your last argument is also incorrect. People play around Path. They do. They want to make us use Path when it's least favorable to us, on a weaker target, and we want to save it to use it on their best targets, or at the most opportune time. They can choose to play around Path by not playing their best creature, forcing out Path by virtue of the board state, and then play their better creature knowing that we've played a path and the odds of having another path are less than likely.

    Example: playing against Abzan Midrange, they play a Goyf, and then another, we handle one with the board state, but you question on whether or not to use Path on the other one. It's a 3/4, you're at 10 life. You use path on it, they follow up with a Siege Rhino and then you don't have a Path for the Rhino. I'm sure they had the ability to play a Rhino the past 2 turns, but they didn't. Why? Because you'd have Pathed the Rhino and they were playing around with their higher value creatures baiting removal. It happens.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Quote from thebombzen »
    Am I the only one underwhelmed by Aven Mindcensor? Nobody at my LGS ever falls for it and it's a 3drop with mediocre stats.


    That's not the point. I mean, you could meta your LGS and have them play around it while taking it out. Having them have to play around it is almost as important as having it. I wouldn't go advertising whether or not you have it. The card is still absurdly powerful in Modern. The fact that they're playing around it means it works. It means they're not playing the optimal line. Just because they don't fall for it doesn't mean that it's not getting actual value. This is more of a problem with local and regional metas when you're a known commodity and people know your decklist.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    See, I actually think GW's really good vs most of the field.

    vs. Classic Junk - Meh. It's okay? It's not a gimme, but it's not terrible.
    vs. Azban GWBears - Better, but not great.
    vs. Twin - Good (did I mention how much I'm glad that valorous stance exists?)
    vs. Tron - Very good.
    vs. Amulet - Very very good.
    vs. Affinity - Good.
    vs. UW/x - Meh.
    vs. Scapeshift - Good
    vs. Martyr Proc - Basically depends on if you're playing vs mono white & do you have worship &/ torpor orb/chalice
    vs. Burn - Good
    vs. Infect - Mostly poor
    vs. Bogles - Good
    vs. Living End - Like martyr proc, depends on if you SB for it.

    Basically, against 70% of the meta, I feel that GW has a positive matchup. As you move up though, in larger events, Junk becomes a smaller part of the total percentage. Everyone knows it's a large part of the meta because, well, it's the tarmogoyf deck, and if you had them, you continue to play them. If you can win in the first few matches vs Junk, and then face a more diverse part of the meta as you go on, basically the junk killer decks, you then become the meta deck that wrecks all the other anti-junk decks. Which is basically the spot the deck is in right now. It's not necessarily powerful enough to go 50/50 vs Classic Junk, but against GWBears I feel it's a much better matchup, with greater threat density, and more answers to their deck. Basically the entire matchup, I feel vs both decks though is being able to beat lingering souls and having removal for the Rhino. The Rhino is basically the only reason I want to play Gavony Township, because it's almost impossible with 4 power creatures to wrestle through. I haven't found out how to improve the Junk matchup yet, but I have every other matchup pretty much feeling very winnable and good. Which is an awful place to be in, but promising right now.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Re: Swords

    I'd pick War and Peace/Body and Mind over the other three right now. Just because the pro-white/pro-green is very important. I'd still more likely go W&P x2 vs any other option, but it depends on the number of crusaders you run as well, imho.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] UW Tron
    I think it is a VERY bad idea to play anything less than 3 Remands. In a grand majority of cases remand is almost a hard counter with the prevalence of delve spells around. Especially when playing against snapcaster mage. I completely disagree that Remand is doesn't work with what the deck is trying to do. You're buying time to gain mana advantage to slam fatties on the table. Period. It's the exact same methodology that Twin uses Remand with. You buy time until you control the board and 'win the game'.

    Re: Playing Gifts/Remand turn 3. It's situational, as always. If it's just that you're using Remand for value, play gifts. If it's significantly more advantageous for you, then play it. That's the skill of the card. I just played a game vs Pod where I was on the play, T2, they play BoP before they make their land drop. Do you Remand there? If they don't have a land drop, it essentially buys you 2 turns. If they do, you draw a card, and that's only if they have an untapped green land in hand. But why would they keep a 1 lander without ramp? If you're not reading into it and merely using it for value, then Remand will seem significantly less valued.

    That said. I've missed Emrakul. I've been playing without Emrakul for the better part of 2 weeks, and I want Emrakul in my sideboard, without Eye of Ugin. Now, you're saying: BUT WHY?

    Two words: Dig Through Time (for answers). When you're in a position to use Emrakul, you'll be in a position to Dig for Emrakul (or in reality a 'third' answer after Mindslaver, Fatty X, and Emrakul). It's worked actually relatively well, with sub 30 cards in your deck, you have a 1/4 chance of finding Emrakul, and Gifting for Emrakul is still a thing when you need to rebuy spells/enchantments. It's another strong option without committing another land to the mix.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] UW Tron
    I gotta disagree. You don't need fetches/cheap cmc spells to be playing dig. You just need a crapload of mana. It's not like scapeshift plays that many more 1cmc spells than UW tron does. Right?

    What happens is, it's a serious threat on the order of Sphinx's Rev when you have 4 or 5 mana EOT, but unlike Sphinx. You're able to jam it earlier if things aren't going your way, you're more often able to get a better card selection, because the deck isn't filled with threats, you only net 2-3 good cards on a Rev for 7 or so. It's another way to be flexible (especially with gifts) in long games. Dig functions more as a late game card, and the fact that you seem to be missing that point as "we don't have the ability to cast it on t3/t4 ever for double blue basically", says: you don't respect the gameplan. We're a control deck. We're looking for finishers. Dig gives us options like Rev, like Gifts, to find what we need in a way that's meaningful.

    That said: the only thing in my list that I can come up with is I want 3 Timely Reinforcements MB right now without blinking.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Just a few notes:

    Delver's a completely different kind of tempo deck than Twin. Twin honestly belongs in the scapeshift in the 'control-combo axis of things', even the Temur version still plays more like a tempo-control-combo deck moreso than a tempo-aggro deck like Delver. This is just semantics, but, I think there's significant overlap in that because they use a lot of similar hate cards against us moreso than with delver which wouldn't use board sweepers in the same manner as Scapeshift/Twin.

    Sideboard Cards I like in matchups.

    Aggro: Burn, Affinity, Bogles, Delver
    Engineered Explosives, Auriok Champion, Fracturing Gust, Obstinate Baloth, Baneslayer Angel, Kitchen Finks, Sunlance, Kor Firewalker.


    Midrange:
    BGx
    Merfolk
    Pod

    Worship, Sunlance, Baneslayer Angel, Wilt-Leaf Liege, Sword of Body and Mind, Linvala, Keeper of Secrets, Mirran Crusader.

    Control:
    Scapeshift
    Jeskai
    Twin

    Worship, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Ethersworn Cannonist, Burrenton Forge-Tender, Kor Firewalker, Rest in Peace, Spellskite.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Here's the thing with Vials.

    When Vials are good. You have 3 Vials MB.

    When Vials are bad, you're usually sideboarding out vials for more creatures. In vial-less lists, you're always sideboarding out creatures for the same creatures you'd bring in with a Vial list. You're not necessarily losing creature density post-board when needed. And that's a relevant thing.

    Dorks are a little less good because of forked bolt. But dorks are still absolutely necessary because of how strong they're at accelerating onto the arbiter plan, which is a real thing.

    Vs. Scapeshift (aka the other other deck I'm playing these days). They do have a lot of powerful spells, but, when you bring up 2-3 Tec Edges + Spellskite + Arbiter + Mindcensor + Worship. It's not easy to beat a lot of things together. Vial helps in that regard. Dig helps them have more, but 'having it all' is really tough. You need to 1) be aggressive enough/have a clock. 2) Use your LD effectively. 3) Scavegining Ooze/Rest in Peace. 4) Remember: THEY WILL BRING IN CREATURES VS YOU. Don't cut all your paths. 5) Worship is still good. But in multiples + Spellskite.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    A 4th in the board is probably OK, especially vs decks that like Electrolyze or Forked Bolt.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Quote from jonnnny »
    I've found the opposite regarding Worship. All decks usually have an "out" to worship even pre-board. Affinity can win through inkmoth nexus, red/black burn can win with bump in the night, merfolk can win with vapor snag. Blue decks have cryptic command, and even some zoo lists run qasali pridemage. It's definitely a strong card when it sticks, but I've found that I would rather play a card to help me win faster than to help me lose slower.

    That said, I don't think UR delver actually has an out to thrun/worship in their 75.


    You have to understand what your gameplan is when you play it though. If you play worship, the only way you can lose is through inkmoth. You have more ghost quarters, tec edges, removal spells, pridmages than they have inkmoths. R/B Burn isn't really a thing though. It's either WR, WRU or RU. Never RB anymore. Merfolk can win with Vapor Snag, but you also play Scavenging Oozes & Path to Exile which you can gain life/path your own creature in response (or as I've done before, redirect to spellskite, in response kill it with Pridemage). Blue decks have Cryptic, but, not all blue decks. UWR doesn't run cryptic, Blue Moon does, and so does RUG Scapeshift. But Worship isn't your primary game plan vs either of those decks either.

    You have to think about positioning with it, with it's purpose. It's not a simply "but they have outs to it", but how many layers do they have to take in order for you to possibly deal with it.

    So, lets talk about the two 'I don't want to cast this card in the face of JesAsc & UR Burn'. Because, they're real things. What is this deck designed to do?

    Delay. Delay. Delay. Lock the game down. Force yourself into a better board position. Win the game. There's few games where you're actually the aggro deck. If you're thinking you're supposed to "win faster", I don't think you're in the right colors to do that. I don't think this is the right deck for that. It's been this decks bread and butter. There's few decks that you want to play the aggressive deck with, and few circumstances. Saying that the best way to beat decks is to be faster... How? There's only so many 3 drop 4/4's that have value in GW. Most 2 drop 3/3's aren't very good (Watchwolf/Fleecemane), you don't have efficient, reachy beaters like red does. You have to, more often than not, play the control game. If you're playing the control game. Play the control game. Don't try to beat the fast deck by being faster (aka, the aggro decks). You're going to win more games by being slower and controlling than the other way around I think. There's 3-4 decks that you're the aggro deck though pretty much 90% of the time. Uxx Control/Midrange. Tron. Scapeshift. Even against the combo decks, your primary goal is to delay, while applying pressure. It's a fine balance. If you said, on turn 2, with a dork in play already, do i: play another dork + Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, or a Loxodon Smiter, you'd always play the Thalia, right? Because it buys you turns.

    And that's the point of this deck. Buy you enough turns to turn enough creatures sideways to win you games.

    Back to UR Delver. It's not even Thrun. They don't have a realistic out to 2 creatures, one of which is a x/4 creature + Worship. You're not playing to x hexproof creature. I've actually found the matchup to be pretty winnable with Auriok Champion and Baneslayer (I know. I've never run Baneslayer in my list ever, you can check back all 100 some pages. Never once. I'm running it now because it's basically worship 2.0). They don't have a ton of counterspells, and they don't have a ton of hard threats. It's basically as 'threat dense' as UR delver in legacy, only without brainstorm or ponder. How do you beat it? Gain life. Save your ScOozes. Sunlance. I don't know. Zoo was a 'fast' deck, and it still pretty much scooped them up when you played Worship (unless they played a 2 of destructive revelry). There's just a ton of ways to interact with that deck. Just be judicious with your Oozes.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    I was playing vs Affinity. Got Worship out. I was ahead by 1 card because they searched off of Path. Played draw go for almost 15 turns. Found an Engineered explosives. It's not a lose less card, it's a 'you can't win' card. You'll eventually find some sort of hate card vs decks that they just can't beat. Creeping Corrosion. Kor Firewalker. SoX&Y. Thrun. Baneslayer.

    How does Boggles beat it? Affinity? Burn? Merfolk? Basically all of the 'better' aggro decks don't have a real out to it. Because we're not often the aggro deck, we're the control deck in aggro matchups, we go bigger than they do. We have a bunch of big butted creatures. It's hard to effectively attack into a board with a lot of creatures (and ScOoze). Some decks just can't beat it. They can't. If you wait until you get the right trump card, then there's nothing they can do to pressure you. You can sit at one life for a very long time, and with a threat density of 30-34 creatures, you're almost always going to draw a creature half of the time (and with creature lands it's almost possible to not even worry about board wipes).

    Like everything else in the deck, you're delaying their best plays. You're delaying your optimal plays, and forcing them into suboptimal plays. With Worship, their either going to hold back, or play cards, and have little effect on the board state. You're essentially turning the game into a 'wait until i get my card you can't deal with and your abrupt decay isn't going to do much here, so...'
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] GW Hatebears
    Never 4 Vials. I'm 100% convinced in these kinda lists, 4 vials is bad. 3's the only thing you should run. 3 or 0.

    I think 5 or 6 dorks are worthwhile even with vials in the list because you're looking for a bit of explosion. But Birds are just so bad in a list without any other cards to buff them (Swords, Rancor, Elspeth, etc.). It's a weird place.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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