8Rack - Control the Hand, Control the Game. [Video Primer]

  • #1
    8Rack

    Control the Hand. Control the Game.






    I. Introduction - Click the Spoiler below to get started with 8Rack

    Video Primer: http://youtu.be/-TAIG6-jMBo

    A. What is 8Rack?
    8Rack is a black based hand control deck. Hand control differs from board control decks in that it does not seek any kind of lasting control over the board. Instead, the aim of hand control decks is to proactively remove threats directly from the opponents hand. With the opponent's hand empty, your Shrieking Affliction and The Rack trigger and win the game for you. 8Rack is creatureless or nearly creatureless. Modern is a removal heavy format. By having no creatures in your deck you give the opponent a bunch of dead cards in his hand. These dead removal cards can be ignored at first allowing you to focus your discard on actual threats.

    Hand control strategies have been around for a long time, but they have been mysteriously absent from Modern. People seem to have forgotten the difference between hand control and board control+discard suite. The amazing part is, hand control is more powerful now than it ever has been in the past. We have an amazing array of discard spells to choose from, as well as Modern's best Planeswalker to lead the charge to victory. So in short, while hand control is an old school strategy, this primer will give you a modernized version of it. There is a lot of power and tech in this primer. I hope you all enjoy it.

    B. Why should I play 8Rack?
    Do you love control decks? Do you love making your opponent angry? Do you like proactive strategies? Do you love using Liliana - the most powerful Planeswalker in Modern? If you answered yes to any of those questions then I highly recommend that you explore this primer. Please start by taking a look at the Primer video, it goes into much more depth than the written guide does, in a way that I hope you guys find entertaining. This is a very fun deck to pilot, but I will state from the beginning that this is not an easy deck to play. It requires a solid knowledge of the Modern playing field to be successful. If that doesn't scare you off, then by all means keep reading and enjoy this control addicts dream.

    C. Whats the Difference between 8Rack and Mono Black Control?
    Ok here's the deal. Mono Black Control (of which Mono Black Infect is the currently most popular subset) is not the same thing as a pure discard strategy. To be sure, both deck classes are control oriented, and they may share many of the same cards, but they have a fundamentally different approach to deck creation.

    MBC first aims to nullify threats - not only through discard, but also through spot removal spells such Geth's Verdict, Go for the Throat and such. The next step for MBC is to gain card advantage through Dark Confidant Phyrexian Arena and Night's Whisper. Black has a lot of board sweepers to choose from as well, though you probably won't need more than Damnation. For finishers you have a lot to choose from in MBC. Phyrexian Crusader is one of the best choices, and he is one of the main reasons that the infect creatures are used in MBC. You dont HAVE to use the infect package, though it certainly is efficient and effective. There is a lot of room for personal preference here. But here is one very important point - MBC does not use The Rack.

    The reason behind why MBC does not use The Rack is the core difference between MBC decks and Discard. MBC is a board control strategy. Discard makes no attempt to directly control the board. Discard seeks to do one thing and one thing only: control the hand. Discard must be proactive where as MBC can be reactive. For the most part, Discard decks must be able to ignore the cards that make it to the board. In the lists I posted, Ensnaring Bridge gives me a lot of breathing room to do exactly that. Bridge may or may not be needed depending on what deck you are facing, but the end result is that your Discard list must be able to keep your opponent's hand empty of threats / completely empty. The Rack, and the new Shrieking Affliction are 1cc, hard to remove finishers for this strategy.

    But wait! I didn't exactly explain why you shouldn't use creatures. In Modern, every single deck you face will have main deck creature removal. That is a weakness that Discard can exploit. By employing a strategy that does not use creatures as finisher, you opponent is left with dead cards that can be ignored. By creating a deck without creatures you are neutralizing threats proactively - without casting a single spell.

    D. IMPORTANT information about Leyline of Sanctity and 8Rack
    Quote from ktkenshinx
    I looked through both the paper and MTGO top decks to find exactly how prevalent Leyline is. If the card is barely played, then we don't need to worry about it, and can stick with the Mono B or RB composition. But if the card is all over the place, then we won't have much of a choice in running White or Green.

    MTGO METAGAME - LEYLINE IN 10% OF DECKS
    Using decklists.net to look through the MTGO metagame, I found that there were only 38 decks since March 2013 that ran Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard. Of those 38 decks, 26% of them were Bogles, and another 16% of them were Reanimator. The rest were some combination of Tron, Storm, Twin, Eggs, and other random decks.

    By comparison, there were 366 total decks that were logged in the decklists.net database from MTGO events in the March-June 2013 time period. With 38 of those decks running Leyline of Sanctity, that brings the Leyline representation to only about 10% of total decks in the online metagame.

    PAPER METAGAME - LEYLINE IN <7% OF DECKS
    Using TCDecks.net as a source for the paper metagame, I conducted a similar analysis looking at all decks that ran Leyline of Sanctity in the board. During the same March through June 2013 time period, 51 decks that made Top 8 at any event had some number of LoS in their board. 20% of those decks were Eggs, 12% were Hatebears, 12% were WUR Midrange, and 10% were Zoo. The remaining 46% of Leyline decks were some combination of Storm, Twin, Pod, and a few others, but none in any serious capacity.

    What percentage of the total paper metagame did those Leyline decks make up? Using stats from TCDecks and MtG Decks Database, I found that there were at least 729 decks that made Top 8 during that period (it might be more and my query was incorrectly entered). Based on that low-end number, those 51 Leyline decks only constituted 7% of the paper metagame, a number that actually overestimates the actual representation.

    PAPER EVENTS w/ >100 PLAYERS - LEYLINE IN 9% OF DECKS
    I also wanted to see how Leyline was represented at big events with more than 100 players. Just looking at events from March through June, 15 Top 8 decks played Leyline of Sanctity in the sideboard. With 161 total decks in the top 8 of large events, the Leyline decks only made up 9% of that metagame.

    CONCLUSION
    Unless Leyline starts to really take off, we can probably hedge our bets and not worry about the card. It just doesn't show up enough to worry too much. This suggests that RB is a much more viable color combination than I and other had initially thought. The main reason to run Green or White, Leyline, just isn't played enough in the current metagame.

    Thanks a TON for doing that research for us Ktk!
    +Rep

    II. Two Styles of 8Rack - Proactive vs Reactive

    After nearly a year of development, I have seen 8Rack grow from a fledgling home brew to a deck capable of strong showings at tournaments both large and small. As development progressed one thing started to become clear: there are two distinctly different approaches to winning with 8Rack, I call them Proactive and Reactive. This section of the primer will explain the difference between the two approaches so newcomers can select the style they feel most comfortable with.

    A. Proactive 8Rack
    "Proactive" 8Rack is the style of deck I originally envisioned and submitted to the community. Not surprisingly this deck attempts to nullify threats proactively before they resolve. Discard is obviously a large part of this plan, but it is not the only way to proactively eliminate threats.

    Ensnaring Bridge will proactively make your opponent's creatures useless. If you hand is empty enough, it can also neutralize any existing threats on the board. Proactive decks are going to use Bridge a key part of their overall game plan. Proactive decks with Ensnaring Bridge would have to be considered strictly superior to decks if it weren't for one thing: the Bridge becomes the deck's Achillies heel.

    While the Bridge is in play it is perfect, but you can lose a game in one turn if it gets removed or bounced. The same thing applies to matches where you do not draw the Bridge. To use Bridge effectively means to develop a list that does not depend upon Bridge for everything, and to attack your opponent from multiple angles. It's a fine line to walk, but if you are able to, you get the best of both worlds. The following deck is an example of a proactive list.


    3-26-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    3-26-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Wrench Mind
    2 Doom Blade
    1 Slaughter Pact

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays
    3-26-14 Daily Round 1
    3-26-14 Daily Round 2
    3-26-14 Daily Round 3
    3-26-14 Daily Round 4

    See more decks like this in the Section III Spoiler!


    B. Reactive 8Rack

    Reactive 8Rack attempts to splice in a healthy amount of board control into the 8Rack hand control shell. Cards like Smallpox, Victim of Night and Dismember can deal with creatures that slip through your grasp and make it to the table. These decks do not run Ensnaring Bridge. The advantage to this is that they do not have to worry about Ensnaring Bridge getting removed while it was keeping an army at bay then getting overrun by said army. The downside is that you will have to prioritize removing creatures with your discard attacks since you will not have a catch all defense to protect you from them.

    In theory, Dark Confidant gives gas to this strategy. With no other creatures for your opponent to aim his removal spells at, I have personally found it difficult for Bob to stick around long enough to generate card advantage consistently. Do not let that stop you from running him, or from playing Reactive 8Rack though. There are a number of Tournament results that prove that Reactive is just as viable as Proactive.

    It really comes down to a matter of taste and style. Are you the type of person who likes to take care of problems ahead of time? Play Proactive. Are you the type of person who likes to destroy threats as they appear? Play Reactive. It's not clear at this time which one is superior. I am personally a Proactive player, and until Reactive is demonstrated to my satisfaction to be clearly better than Proactive, I will be staying in this camp. When Waste Not goes live with M15, everything could change. FOr now though, take a look at Jan Miller's reactive 8Rack list:

    Jan Miller
    GP Prague 87th placeMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    17 Swamp
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    23 lands

    4 Dark Confidant
    4 creatures

    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Raven's Crime
    1 Scepter of Fugue
    3 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Smallpox
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    3 Victim of Night
    4 Liliana of the Veil





    III. Updated 4-16-14 Tournament News, MTGO Daily Winning Deck Lists and Videos Replays

    Headline: Destroyermaker kicks ass in April

    4-16-14 While I have been trolling around my LGS's with a paper copy of 8Rack for the last couple weeks, thread contributor Destroymaker has been cleaning house on MTGO. Destroyer is an expert 8Rack pilot who runs a very clean list. Check out his list in the spoiler below. Long live 8Rack!

    3-26-14 Just finished my 7th daily win for the month. Despite some imperfect play on my part, 8Rack gets the job done again. Deck list is identical from last time. This list is tuned to perfection!

    3-23-14 Log: Just finished my 6th Daily win with 8Rack this month. Huzzah! This beats my previous record of 5, and there's still some time left in the Season. I think it's entirely possible for someone motivated enough to grind out 15 QP's in a month. Then you would get your free promo LIon's Eye Diamond or whatever the prize is for that month. I really wanted that Lion's Eye Diamond this month though. Guys make sure you are stayign up to date on current 8Rack lists by checking out the spoiler in this section! All of the Tournament winning results are in there.

    Important Spoiler Below - Click Here!

    4-15-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    4-15-14 Daily Prize Winner by DestroyermakerMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    3x Bitterblossom
    3x Buried Ruin
    1x Dakmor Salvage
    4x Ensnaring Bridge
    4x Inquisition of Kozilek
    4x Liliana of the Veil
    4x Raven's Crime
    4x Shrieking Affliction
    1x Slaughter Pact
    14x Swamp
    4x The Rack
    4x Thoughtseize
    4x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    2x Victim of Night
    4x Wrench Mind


    prize screenshot


    4-15-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    4-10-14 Daily Prize winner by DestroyermakerMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    3x Bitterblossom
    3x Buried Ruin
    1x Dakmor Salvage
    4x Ensnaring Bridge
    4x Inquisition of Kozilek
    4x Liliana of the Veil
    4x Raven's Crime
    4x Shrieking Affliction
    1x Slaughter Pact
    14x Swamp
    4x The Rack
    4x Thoughtseize
    4x Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    2x Victim of Night
    4x Wrench Mind


    prize screenshot
    3-26-14 Daily Tournament Winner
    3-26-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Wrench Mind
    2 Doom Blade
    1 Slaughter Pact

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays
    3-26-14 Daily Round 1
    3-26-14 Daily Round 2
    3-26-14 Daily Round 3
    3-26-14 Daily Round 4



    3-23-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    3-23-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Wrench Mind
    2 Doom Blade
    1 Slaughter Pact

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays
    3-23-13 Daily Round 1 vs Ad Nauseum
    3-23-13 Daily Round 2 vs UW Control
    3-23-13 Daily Round 3 vs Red Burn
    3-23-13 Daily Round 4 vs UWR Twin



    3-19-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    3-19-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Wrench Mind
    2 Doom Blade
    1 Slaughter Pact

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays
    3-19-14 Daily Round 1 vs Splinter Twin Classic
    3-19-14 Daily Round 2 vs Melira Pod
    3-19-14 Daily Round 3 vs RUG Twin
    3-19-14 Daily Round 4 vs Red Burn



    3-18-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    3-18-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Wrench Mind
    2 Doom Blade
    1 Slaughter Pact

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays
    3-18-14 Daily Round 1 vs Scapeshift
    3-18-14 Daily Round 2 vs Red Burn
    3-18-14 Daily Round 3 vs UW Gifts Tron
    3-18-14 Daily Round 4 vs UW Control



    3-7-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    3-7-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    2 Buried Ruin
    2 Desert
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Wrench Mind
    2 Doom Blade
    1 Slaughter Pact

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays:
    3-7-14 Daily Round 1 vs. Ad Nauseum
    3-7-14 Daily Round 2 vs. Storm
    3-7-14 Daily Round 3 vs. Ad Nauseum
    3-7-14 Daily Round 4 vs. Ad Nauseum



    3-3-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    3-3-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    3 Buried Ruin
    1 Leechridden Swamp
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Wrench Mind
    3 Doom Blade

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays:
    3-3-14 Daily Round 1 vs RG Tron...Really dude?
    3-3-14 Daily Round 2 vs. UWR
    3-3-14 Daily Round 3 vs. Storm
    3-3-14 Daily Round 4 vs. Assault Loam



    3-1-14 MTGO Premier Event Winner

    3-1-14 Premier Event 6th PlaceMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    // Gwaihir (4 - 2)
    // 6th Place Modern Premier #6800276 on 2014-03-01
    4 Buried Ruin
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    4 Bitterblossom
    3 Doom Blade
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    3 Wrench Mind

    4 Grafdigger's Cage
    2 Leyline of Sanctity
    4 Smallpox
    2 Smother
    3 Tormod's Crypt





    2-27-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    2-24-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Buried Ruin
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Wrench Mind
    3 Doom Blade

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays:
    2-27-14 Daily Round 1 vs UWR Control
    2-27-14 Daily Round 2 vs Storm
    2-27-14 Daily Round 3 vs Bogle Blouses
    2-27-14 Daily Round 4 vs UWR Control

    2-24-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    2-24-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Buried Ruin
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Wrench Mind
    3 Doom Blade

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays:
    2-24-14 Daily Rounds 1-2
    2-24-14 Daily Round 3
    2-24-14 Daily Round 4

    2-23-14 Daily Tournament Winner - Budget List Wins a Daily!

    2-23-14 Daily Prize Winner (3-1) by destroyermakerMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4x Thoughtseize
    3x Victim of Night
    4x Ensnaring Bridge
    3x Funeral Charm
    4x Inquisition of Kozilek
    4x Raven's Crime
    4x Shrieking Affliction
    4x Necrogen Mists
    22x Swamp
    4x The Rack
    4x Wrench Mind

    4x Nihil Spellbomb
    4x Torpor Orb
    3x Drown in Sorrow
    4x Delirium Skeins




    Round 1 vs UWR Twin

    Game 1 I don't remember much except it went smoothly for me. Game 2 he sided in Luminarch Ascension (which I got rid of) and Celestial Purge. He ended up beating me with Celestial Colonnade after I used up my removal on his combo pieces. Game 3 I was dropping Torpor Orb, Shrieking Affliction, and The Rack everywhere and grinding him with Raven's Crime, Wrench Mind, etc. He cast Wear // Tear on my Rack and Affliction but Crime and Affliction was enough to seal the deal. Topdecked Bridge which served as insurance against Restoration Angel.

    2-1

    Round 2 vs Domain Zoo

    Game 1 he mulls to 6 on the play. I empty his hand with Raven's Crime and grind him out with Necrogen Mists while draining him with The Rack and Shrieking Affliction. He gets 2x Kird Ape out but I kill one and lock the other down with Bridge.

    Game 2 I don't sideboard anything. I discard his Geist of St. Traft; he gets in with Lightning Helix, Kird Ape, Loam Lion. I kill the Ape with Victim; he plays Tarmogoyf for lethal next turn. I have a bunch of Racks and Afflictions in play and an Inquisition in hand; if I grab something with it, it's lethal for me, but he just has a Ghor-Clan Rampager.

    Game 3 I discard his Geist and Tribal Flames, leaving him with just a Kird Ape and Loam Lion on board and a hand full of land. I discard more, drop three Bridges, Necrogen Mists, and continue discarding. Eventually I drop 2x Affliction and win.

    2-1

    Round 3 vs UWR Twin

    He starts with Deceiver Exarch and Splinter Twin in hand, which I discard. I drop The Rack and turn it on with more discard. Eventually he gets another Exarch out and topdecks Twin for the win.

    Game 2 he has a handful of combo pieces and hate for Affliction and The Rack. It's a grindy game but I get rid of everything I need to and land my win cons. Pretty straightforward game.

    Game 3 I Wrench Mind his Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Lightning Bolt, drop win cons. He plays Wall of Omens, plays it on Twin out of desperation; next turn I Victim the first Omen. I drop Bridge and more win cons and wait it out until he's dead.

    Round 4 vs BG Rock

    I believe this was Reid Duke's PTBNG list with Phyrexian Obliterator. There's not much to say about it: I lose to an endless slew of Abrupt Decay and Maelstrom Pulse (you can see it here). Buried Ruin would really help here; pretty sure the budget versions suffers for the lack of it and Bitterblossom much more than Liliana.


    2-23-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    2-23-14 Daily Prize Winner by MemoryLapseMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Buried Ruin
    12 Swamp
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Wrench Mind
    3 Doom Blade

    Permanents
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Bitterblossom
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction



    Video Replays:[/u
    2-23-14 Daily Round 1 vs. Storm
    2-23-14 Daily Round 2 vs. Affinity
    2-23-14 Daily Round 3 vs. Shamanism
    2-23-14 Daily Round 4 vs. Blue Moon


    Round 1 vs Storm
    Game 1 he opens with 2 Gitaxian Probes, giving away his deck. I take apart his hand turn after turn and he just scoops after a while.
    Game 2 He gets a MIRACLE hand and dumps 10 golbin tokens on the board on Turn 2, putting me on a 2 turn clock. I use everything I have to completely empty my own hand except for 1 card: Ensnaring Bridge. To accomplish this, I had to discard all of my lands. My only out is to top deck a land. I missed it by 1 card. Still I was kind of proud of myself that I was able to even create a situation where I had an out.
    Game 3 I get a Leyline in play and use Liliana to edict his 2 Electromancers. He scoops.

    Round 2 vs. Affinity
    Game 1 he had a slow start and I crushed him.
    Games 2-3 he had a fast start and I lost. Not much to say here other than I wished for Infests / Drown in Sorrow to have been in the side.

    Round 3 vs. Shamanism
    Game 1 I mulligan to 5 cards and still only get 1 land. He executes his game plan with minimal disruption from me.
    Game 2 he has to mulligan and I have a decent hand. He cannot answer Ensnaring Bridge and he dies to racks and Fae tokens.
    Game 3 I get a decent hand and his hand is rather clogged with lands. I discard his burning Tree Shaman, and he top decks another one. The shaman takes Liliana with him when she edicts it away. Still, his hand is thin and I take over the game fairly easily.

    Round 4 vs. Blue Moon
    Game 1 - So this is the first time I have faced, or even seen the Blue Moon deck list. A turn 1 Thoughtseize makes me jump for joy - it's basically a mono blue control deck with Blood Moon. 8Rack is completely immune to Blood Moon. I discard some of his counterspells and land a bridge. Its basically game over with a resolved bridge. I drag the game out for a long time before finally establishing a Liliana lock.
    Game 2 starts out much like Game 1. He has minimal threats and I take out his coutnerspells. The game looks to be an easy win, then he gets a miracle rip at the very end, watch the video to see what happened.
    Game 3 - His deck cannot deal with discard and fae tokens. He has no removal for my permanents. This is an easy match for 8Rack. In real life he would have flipped the table.


    Pro Tour: Valencia Deck by Arjan Van Leeuwen

    PT Valencia 54th placeMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    19 Swamp
    3 Mutavault
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Wrench Mind
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    4 Dark Confidant
    2 Smallpox
    3 Ensnaring Bridge



    Livestream replay of featured match: http://www.twitch.tv/magic/b/505407037?t=477m14s
    Deck Tech Spotlight replay: http://twitch.tv/magic/b/505407037?t=536m46s

    2-1-14 Daily Tournament Winner
    2-1-14 Daily Tournament WinnerMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands - 22
    12 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Blinkmoth Nexus
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Permanents - 12
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 The Rack
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Spells - 26
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    3 Dismember
    3 Victim of Night
    4 Wrench Mind



    [U]Video Replays:


    2-1-14 Daily Round 1 8Rack vs Splinter Twin: http://youtu.be/mirOCZkNqiI
    2-1-14 Daily Round 2 8Rack vs Wafo Tapa Himself!: http://youtu.be/IqMxY2o3JbA
    2-1-14 Daily Round 3 8Rack vs Scapeshift: http://youtu.be/dtRnur1A1Tc
    2-1-14 Daily Round 4 8Rack vs Allies...Really? Allies?: http://youtu.be/3IVtSdoesE4

    1-25-14 Daily Tournament Winner
    1-25-14 Daily Prize WinnerMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands - 22
    12 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Blinkmoth Nexus
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Permanents - 15
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 The Rack
    3 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Spells - 23
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    3 Dismember
    4 Wrench Mind



    Video Replays:
    1-25-14 Daily Round 1 8Rack vs Tempo Twin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JQarcDtJHU
    1-25-14 Daily Round 2 8Rack vs Affinity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UagkyjwaoHw
    1-25-14 Daily Round 3 8Rack vs Tempo Twin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVG1cqkZbHo
    1-25-14 Daily Round 4 8Rack vs Scapeshift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEk3o94SGPY


    1-19-14 Daily Tournament Winner
    MemoryLapse's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    13 Swamp
    4 Mutavault
    3 Marsh Flats
    2 Godless Shrine

    4 Victim of Night
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 The Rack
    4 Smallpox
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Dark Confidant
    3 Lingering Souls
    2 Shrieking Affliction
    2 Raven's Crime
    2 Disfigure
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    1 Disfigure
    1 Lingering Souls
    1 Raven's Crime
    2 Damnation
    1 Dismember
    3 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Fulminator Mage
    2 Relic of Progenitus


    This is a very reactive list. It takes full advantage of Pox by using cards like Lingering Souls. Fulminator mage in the side looks like his answer to Tron.


    1-17-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    The List:

    8Rack Daily Prize Winner 1-17-14Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands 23
    13 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Mutavault

    Spells 37
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    2 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Dismember
    1 Victim of Night
    4 Wrench Mind
    3 Smallpox




    Round 1 vs White Death and Taxes

    1-17-14 8Rack Daily Round 1 vs White Death and Taxes: http://youtu.be/ltNZLgTcjwA
    I win this round 2-1. In Game 1 I crush him with massive discard, and 3 racks by the end. I am thinking this will be an easy round, but I make a large sideboarding error. I put in 4x Torpor Orbs and the 2 Bridges. He plays T1 Dryad Militant Followed up by a T2 Thalia. I am land screwed and the Orbs sit like dead weights in my hand. Thalia is a huge threat to this deck. It throws my ENTIRE curve off track and my top end spells cannot even be cast in most cases. I lose hardcore. Game 3 I open with an IoK and catch his Thalia thank God. It goes back and forth a bit but he starts accumulating creatures. I have a single Shrieking ticking away at him. He gets even more creatures. He is down to 6 with an empty hand and a huge army. I have nothing on the table except for 3 lands and no cards in hand. I will die next turn. Just when all hope is lost...Ensnaring Bridge! I ripped that sucker like a champ! It hits the deck with a thud, since he has no cards in his hand he only has 1 turn to rip an answer to it before Shrieking kills him. He cannot respond to Bridge and I win. Amazing game, felt really good. Watch the video.
    Round 2 vs Jund

    1-17-14 8Rack Daily Round 2 vs Jund: http://youtu.be/kxL4rPeqD0w
    I lose 0-2. I get two terrible hands, and this guy just crushed me. It was like a training video for how to win any match with Jund. Deathrites, Thoughtseizes, Bobs, Gofys - the whole gang came out at one time or another to take turns kicking me in the balls. Not good, moving on.
    Round 3 vs ??? Burn?
    1-17-14 8Rack Daily Round 3 vs ???: http://youtu.be/348cR-Se5Ds
    I win this round 2-0. This guy is playing some kind of Frankenstein's monster deck that consists of a lot of Red burn, Deathrite Shaman, Grim Lavamancer and who knows what else. I crush him both games. 8Rack has a great match against any kind of Res burn and this one was a pathetically slow burn. No contest at all.
    Round 4 vs UWR Midrange GP Prague Style

    1-17-14 8Rack Daily Round 4 vs UWR Midrange: http://youtu.be/G8qgFsW9kr8
    I win the final round 2-1 and take home my 4th 8Rack daily win in a month. My opponent was playing a UWR midrange list that included Blade Splicer, Vendillion Clique and Restoration Angel. I found this round quite easy, but again I had to side in all 4 Bridges. Basically I just discarded his counterspells then once Ensnaring Bridge resolved it was basically over for him. This deck is the bane of those UWR decks.



    1-13-14 Daily Winner - Jan Miller's GP Prague List

    MemoryLapse's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Main Deck
    60 cards

    1 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    17 Swamp
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    23 lands

    4 Dark Confidant
    4 creatures

    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Raven's Crime
    1 Scepter of Fugue
    3 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Smallpox
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    3 Victim of Night
    29 other spells

    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 planeswalkers



    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 1 vs BW Tokens: http://youtu.be/pAY1bZ4BHPg
    I crushed him. Game 1 I draw a mint hand filled with targeted discard, he tries to disrupt me with an IoK of his own and a Tidehollowsculler. Liliana hits the deck and wrecks his game. Game 2 I side in some stuff that never gets played. He keeps a hand with only land, 1 thoughtseize, 1 tidehollowsculler. He catches my Lili with the Thoughtsieze on Turn 1, I take his Tidehollow with an IoK. He only casts 1 more spell the whole game, a useless Honor of the Pure. Easy win. I want to stress one thing. I never drew Bob or Pox. I crushed him with the core of the deck - targeted discard, Raven's Crime and Liliana.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 2 vs RG Tron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrM9tTb7Rvg
    I lose 1-2. First game I was doing well until he ripped 2 Karns and Wurmcoil off the topdeck. Without Ensnaring Bridge, a resolved Wurm is GG. Game 2 I chose to play 2nd and it works well. He mulligans to 6 and I Pox on turn 2 and keep his hand empty while Lili builds to her Ult. After she ults its over, Bob does a TON of work in this game, the first time he has been useful so far. Game 3 I was doing well but again he rips a Wurmcoil after I discard one and without Bridge I am helpless. I make a huge misplay with Liliana but after doing the math I would have lost anyways because he rips 2 Nature's Claim and tutors in a 3rd wurmcoil. This is an awful match for this deck. It's not a whole lot better with my own list but at least I run Bridge and Pithing needle to try and fight off Tron. Jan's list basically gives up against Tron.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 3 vs Red Deck Wins (Red Burn): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rznb20mxBM
    I win a nail biter 2-1. He wins the toss and goes first after mulliganing to 6. Plays a mountain and exiles Rift bolt. I cast IoK and remove Lighning Bolt. Next Turn he plays Keldon Marauders, and I respond with Smallpox. I play a rack and start his clock. He dies before I do. GG. Game 2 he blows me out of the water with a made hand. Game I choose to go 2nd and draw a hand full of lands, IoK, rack and Raven's Crime. When I look at his hand with an ioK he only has Smash to Smithereens, Lightning Bolt and Flames of the Bloodhand. I choose Smash to protect my rack. Next turn he plays Keldon and passes. I cast Raven's Crime and Retrace it. I have enough lands to retrace all day long. The game continues and is extremely close. I recommend watching the video. I pull off a win at the end by a tiny margin.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 4 vs Splinter Twin: http://youtu.be/GbJvRvkuCmM

    Seriously you should watch the replay. It's a very close match.

    I win 2-1, taking home another prize and another victory for 8rack. The games were extremely close. I'm too drained right now to post the details. Watch the replay.

    http://i39.tinypic.com/2ebetmf.jpg
    ***Disclaimer*** I want it noted that even though Jan Miller piloted this deck at GP Prague, I do not feel as though this is an optimal list. If you agree or disagree post about it on the thread here.
    ***UPDATE*** In the interests of testing Jan Miller's list, I took the list verbatim into an MTGO daily event. Check out the Video Index tab for the replays and results.


    1-3-14 Daily Tournament Winner

    8Rack Daily Prize Winner 1-3-14Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    12 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Mutavault

    Board
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 The Rack

    Discard
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Wrench Mind
    3 Deathrite Shaman
    3 Dismember

    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    3 Pithing Needle
    4 Infest
    4 Illness in the Ranks




    12-19-13 Daily Tournament Winner

    Samout's Daily Prize Winner 12-19-13Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    1 Dakmor Salvage
    4 Mutavault
    18 Swamp
    23 lands

    4 Dark Confidant
    4 creatures

    2 Disfigure
    1 Dismember
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    2 Raven's Crime
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Smallpox
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Victim of Night
    33 other spells




    12-16-13 Daily Tournament Winner

    Masuko's Daily Prize Winner 12-16-13Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    2 Bojuka Bog
    1 Dakmor Salvage
    18 Swamp
    21 lands

    3 Augur of Skulls
    4 Chittering Rats
    3 Pack Rat
    10 creatures

    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    2 Raven's Crime
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Smallpox
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Victim of Night
    3 Wrench Mind
    29 other spells




    9-23-13 Daily Tournament Winner

    8Rack Daily Prize Winner 9-23-13Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    20 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage

    Discard
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    2 Necrogen Mists
    2 Infernal Tutor
    3 Despise

    Board Lock
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Victim of Night
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 The Rack

    3 Damnation
    4 Surgical Extraction
    4 Duress
    1 Victim of Night
    3 Darkblast




    IV. 8Rack Card Analysis

    A. Core Cards


    The Rack
    The deck's namesake. The rack has been a staple in discard based strategies since the beginning of Magic. The concept is simple: you empty your opponent's hand, it deals damage. One thing to note is that The Rack actually does deal damage as opposed to life loss, so you can redirect it to Planeswalkers if appropriate. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 4 copies.

    Shrieking Affliction
    A relatively new card in MTG, Affliction is essentially copies 5-8 of the Rack (thus the title 8Rack). Affliction has some advantages over Rack and some drawbacks as well. It activates it's full power at 1 card or less, but does nothing at 2+ cards. It is an enchantment, so red cannot remove it. It is also life loss as opposed to damage so while it cannot hurt Planeswalkers, it can get around cards like Worship. All in all, this card was a huge addition to the hand control strategy. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 3-4 copies.

    Liliana of the Veil
    Hands down, the most powerful Planeswalker in all of Modern. Liliana shines brighter in this strategy than anywhere else. Her +1 is completely one sided, in fact it may actually be quite beneficial for you to discard extra cards in order for you to remain safely under the bridge. With Lili on the table your opponent cannot amass cards and will die very fast with even just 1 or 2 racks on the table. Lili's -2 leaves her vulnerable but almost always results in a 2 for 1 scenario. Lili's ultimate can win the game for you as well if you haven't already won by that point. Note that budget decks can use Necrogen Mists as a temporary replacement. Liliana, will you marry me? Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 4 copies.



    Ensnaring Bridge
    Another underrated bomb in modern. Almost all Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks are using creature based win conditions. Ensnaring Bridge stops them from winning until they deal with it. Good luck dealing with it while we are tearing apart their hand from the first turn. We aren't using creatures to attack with so there is no drawback for us. It's a 1 card soft lock in a Proactive deck. reactive decks do not run Bridge and instead pack heavy amounts of board removal to deal with critters. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 0 copies.

    Bitterblossom
    The recent unbanning of Bitterblossom in conjunction with the DRS ban was like a shock wave that hit Modern full force. Overnight the price of this card quadrupled, with the expectation of UB Faeries becoming an overnight Tier 1 strategy. Well, the jury is still out on UB Fae, but no matter. 8Rack can make good use of Bitterblossom. Correctly using BB means not dropping it haphazardly on turn 2 without disarming threats from your opponents hand first. What you are trying to do is create a stable board THEN you drop BB and let it snowball. BB is yet another non creature threat. If played on time, it must be answered. The tokens can attack under a bridge easily. BB is an amazing way to finish the long grindy matches that this deck creates so often. That said, it's not all butterflies and rainbows. Wild Nacatl was also unbanned, and BB typically under performs in that match up. Side it out and side in Leyline of Sanctity against zoo. Here is the clock for using BB to kill an opponent at 20 life:

    The kill will take 7 turns, losing you a total of 7 life.
    The tokens will deal a total of 21 damage.
    It will take 4 turns to have dealt more damage to your opponent than you have lost to bitterblossom.
    On the last turn there will be a total of 7 faerie tokens in play, 6 that can attack and 1 with summoning sickness.

    Turn 1
    Tokens in play: 1
    Life lost: 1
    Damage done: 0

    Turn 2
    Tokens in play: 2
    Life lost: 2
    Damage done: 1

    Turn 3
    Tokens in play: 3
    Life lost: 3
    Damage done: 3

    Turn 4
    Tokens in play: 4
    Life lost: 4
    Damage done: 6

    Turn 5
    Tokens in play: 5
    Life lost: 5
    Damage done: 10

    Turn 6
    Tokens in play: 6
    Life lost: 6
    Damage done: 15

    Turn 7
    Tokens in play: 7
    Life lost: 7
    Damage done: 21
    Raven's Crime
    A one card soft lock that turns every useless land top deck into a game winning discard. Use this in combination with Dakmor Salvage to create an unbreakable discard engine. Raven's Crime is a huge workhorse in this deck. It's a high value card. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 4 copies.



    Thoughtseize
    Probably the best 1cc targeted discard in Modern, it's not without it's drawbacks. It can be painful against Red Burn and other fast decks, but even in these matches you can usually come out a bit ahead by casting it. Highly recommend using this but budget decks can use alternatives. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 4 copies.

    Inquisition of Kozilek
    Nearly as good as Thoughtseize, without the pain. Much better vs Red than Thoughtseize, but a lot worse against some combo and ramp decks. Do not be confused though, this is an amazing spell that is a no brainer auto include to any list. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 4 copies.

    Wrench Mind
    The closest thing this format has to Hymn to Tourach. Wrench Mind is an absolute back breaker against most decks. When cast, this card generates instant card advantage for you while simultaneously advancing your plan to empty your opponent's hand. Wrench Mind is what Proactive decks use instead of Bob. That said, Reactive decks can try and find room for this bomb as well. Side it out vs Affinity and Tron. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 0-2 copies.




    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    A very important land if you are using Manlands or utility lands, which you definitely should be unless you are on a budget build. Having access to :symb::symb: on Turn 2 is critical in many cases because we want to cast Wrench Mind, Smallpox, cast and retrace Raven's Crime, or cast IoK and Thoughtsieze. Urborg turns your colorless lands into black mana sources. If you are running fetchlands for a splash, you can also tap the fetchlands themselves for mana without paying the life. Urborg is indispensable, with the new Legendary rule there's very little drawback to it. Then when you consider the fact we run Raven's Crime, Smallpox and Liliana - I personally recommend running a full play set of these. As a rule of thumb, 1-2 colorless lands, 1 Urborg. 3-4 Colorless lands, use the same number of Urborgs. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 2-4 copies.

    Mutavault
    The first of two possible manlands that 8Rack can make use of. Mutavault is the most straightforward of the two. It activates for only 1 mana and swings for 2. It can block in a pinch to save your Lili or yourself. Using manlands are important because we need more avenues to deal damage. Your other manland option would be to use Blinkmoth Nexus. Mutavaults and Blinkmoths are great alternate win conditions. Proactive: 3-4 Copies. Reactive: 2-4 copies.

    Buried Ruin
    A relatively new addition to my lists, Buried Ruin feels completely natural here. Ruin provides resurrection for your fallen Ensnaring Bridge, Rack, Spellskite or other sideboard artifacts. This is a great utility land, but there certainly are others to choose from. Desert and Tectonic Edge are the first ones that come to mind. The choice of whether or not to use a set of utility lands or a set of manlands highly depends on whether or not you are running Bitterblossom. BB provides damage that is not tethered to the opponent's hand size. Having this effect in yoru deck is absolutely critical. So if you chose not to run Bitterblossom, run a manland of your choice (Muravault or Blinkmoth Nexus). Proactive: 3-4 Copies. Reactive: ?? copies.

    Blinkmoth Nexus
    Blinkmoth is another manland option. It has the same activation cost as Mutavault, but this one flies. At first glance it appears to be a simple 1/1, but it has some tricks up it's sleeve. You can block with it, then pay an extra mana and tap it to buff it up to a 2/2. So for blocking purposes, it can trade with all the same things as Mutavault plus it flies. That said, Mutavault has a distinct advantage over Blinkmoth in an open board. With a Bridgle-lock in play, Blinkmoth has the advantage. It's unclear which of these manlands is the "best". I've found both to be viable. Blinkmoth tends to lend itself a bit more to Proactive builds and Mutavault favors Reactive, but these conclusions are not set in stone. If you do choose to run Blinkmoths you should probably run a full playset of them because they get better in multiples. Proactive: 4 Copies. Reactive: 2-4 copies.

    Dakmor Salvage
    Most folks have never seen this card before. As far as I know it is not played anywhere else in Modern. It comes into play tapped and has Dredge 2 on it. Sound boring right? Well when you couple this with Raven's Crime you have yourself a repeatable discard engine. This soft lock works excellently with all of our other weapons. The fact that this utility land comes into play tapped is a rather large drawback however because our deck runs such a slim land count. After exhaustive testing 2 seems to be the perfect number. Proactive: 2 Copies. Reactive: 2 copies.
    Dark Confidant
    At first glance you might think this an auto-include into any version of 8Rack. This is not true however. Bob is hands down the best black creature in Modern, so why wouldn't all 8Rack decks want him? Reactive decks do want him. They depend upon him generating some card advantage to stay ahead of the opponents board. This means that Reactive decks need to potentially discard Bolts and other removal spells to protect Bob when he hits the table. Proactive decks need never worry about discarding such spells as they are already dead cards. Proactive decks can instead focus on other threats. Bob is a great card, and for for almost every deck that can play him, he is a superstar. But he has limitations. He needs a shell around him that can allow him to stick around to net some advantage. The Proactive game plan is not likely to create a such a scenario with any consistency. Reactive decks have a better chance at exploiting him. Proactive: 0 Copies. Reactive: 4 copies.
    Necrogen Mists
    This is a card you may have never seen played or even heard of before. Don't let that fool you. This card is a work horse in a strategy like this. This is your Liliana 5+ and it stacks with Lili and itself. We want the opponent's hand empty, this makes it happen. I can easily recommend a couple copies even with 4 Lili's in the deck. We do want to becareful about clogging our mana curve with too many 3cc spells however. This deck needs to be light and fast. Our 3cc spells are the top of the curve. Necrogen Mists can also be used as a budget replacement for Lili. Proactive: 0-2 Copies. Reactive: 0-2 copies.
    Smallpox
    A powerful card, it can be extremely one sided in a deck like this. Whether or not to include Pox is really a choice between Proactive and Reactive. Pox seems to lend itself much better to Reactive lists. Whichever style you decide, you don't want too many in your hand at once. The choice to use pox can make or break your list. I highly recommend posting your potential pox list in this thread for discussion. Proactive: 0-2 Copies. Reactive: 2-4 copies.
    Dismember
    This is the best black removal spell in Modern. It can be painful to cast, but it is a 1cc spell when we need it to be. Thankfully we aren't taking damage from our manabase like so many other decks do (Jund, UWR) so we can afford to spend some of our life total to run this amazing spell. Side it out versus Red Burn. The second best option for removal is Victim of Night. You can mix and match your removal slot with these and other spells if you want a diverse removal package. Proactive: 2-3 Copies. Reactive: 3-4 copies.


    B. Flex Cards and Sideboard Options

    Leyline of Sanctity
    Wait. How dare I run a white card in a deck with an all black manabase? Well Leyline of Sanctity on Turn 0 is well worth the risk. Leyline turns off a lot of decks' game plan. Red burn becomes a bye. UR TempoMancer becomes a bye. Jund loses it's burn and discard package. Enemy Liliana's can only +1 against you which is actually a great advantage for you. Feel free to check out some of my tournament videos if you doubt the power of this card in 8Rack.
    Infest
    Black's version of Pyroclasm is an amazing sweeper for 8Rack. This is a high value spell against nearly every deck running fast aggro. It is quite effective against most of the UWR Midrange creatures as well because they all have low toughness. Some of the relevant targets Infest hits: Deathrite Shaman, Geist, Vendilion Clique, Snapcaster Mage, Grim Lavamancer, Manadorks, White Weenies, Etched Champion, Steel overseer, Memnite, Signal Pest, Arcbound Ravager, Orinithopter...you get the idea. As All-In-Twin decks have transformed into Tempo-Twin, this card has become a bit better against them as well.
    Pithing Needle
    Pithing Needle is our best chance to deal with Tron. The first one that hits the board names Oblivion Stone. Hopefully you can discard the Karn in their hand. That will buy you enough time to get another Needle naming Karn. This will prevent them from winning IF you have an Ensnaring Bridge in play to turn off Wurmcoils and Emrakul. It's not easy to accomplish all of this, but it is a viable game plan against one of our most difficult match ups. Needle has splash hate against a lot of other decks as well. You can name Aether Vial against Merfolk. You can name Birthing Pod or Qasali Pridemage or Viscera Seer vs Pod. There are a lot of chances to play this card if you know the Modern field.
    Torpor Orb
    This is our best answer to Twin currently. It shuts off their infinite combo, and it turns all of their creatures into vanilla beaters, which can then be managed with Ensnaring Bridge and or Infest. In the past I have had difficulties with Twin in tournaments, but there has been a shift from All-In-Twin to Tempo-Twin. Combine this with the liberal use of Torpor Orb I am happy to report we now have a favorable match up against Twin. Not bad considering it's arguable the best deck in the format.
    Duress Personally I like this card quite a bit. Against creatureless decks like Storm this spell is a game winner. It's also amazing against anything Blue based. It's much better against Red burn than Thoughtseize. Obviously it's somewhat weak against fast aggro. Include this as a meta choice if you are facing a lot of control or combo.
    Surgical Extraction / Extirpate
    This deck has a better than average chance to abuse either of these cards. They can be especially nice against Tron. If you discard Tron's finisher, or Pox a Tron piece then Extirpate it, the deck slows to a crawl. Both cards are also particularly nasty against control decks that run limited amount of win conditions. Either card is a strong candidate for sideboard, and in certain metas, they can be a main deck option as well.
    Blackmail
    Before you dismiss Blackmail, let me tell you: try this card. On the surface is seems totally worse than all of the other 1cc discards, and taken on its own I would agree. The beauty of this card is when you play it AFTER softening up their hand a little with other discards. Very important to note that this is a targeted effect that can hit LAND cards. Try it out as a 2/2 split with Duress and watch the card grow on you. When Waste Not goes live with M15 this card get significantly better. If they show you 3 land cards they risk giving you accelerated mana to discard even more things. Expect to see a lot more of this card in conjunction with Waste Not.
    Despise
    If Blackmail doesn't suit your tastes try this card. It's creature removal in a discard shell. Useless against topdecks, this cannot be your ONLY creature removal, but it allows you to run fewer copies of dedicated board removal. This helps you to avoid diluting your deck with non discard spells. Consider Despise as a "bridging" spell between discard and removal.
    Victim of Night
    This card is currently the best of Black's 2cc spells. It kills basically everything that will see play in modern for 2. Double Black prevents more deck's from using this, but that is no obstacle here. The choice between using this over Dismember is really a matter of person taste. Reactive builds will likely use both of these as their primary removal spells.
    Darkblast
    Darkblast is a high value card against certain decks. It is very good against Affinity and Twin. In fact, Darkblast can kill everything in Tempo Twin which is currently not typically running any Deciever Exarchs. Against Affinity you can take down those pesky Signal Pests, Memites, Inkys and Blinkys, and Vault Skirges. If you use the Cast > Dredge > Cast technique you can take out any of their 2/2s as well. I normally consider this a sideboard option, but if you are in a meta heavy with Robots this can be considered main deck material.
    Waste Not
    This card will be released in June with M15. It's going to be a very important card for 8Rack and will likely give us a huge boost in overall power.


    V. Matchups and Tips
    Jund is the boogeyman of Modern currently. Our match against Jund is fair in Game 1 and gets better post sideboarding. The problem with Jund is they pack a lot of spot removal for our threats in the form of Abrupt Decay and Maelstrom Pulse. Reactive builds have a better time with Jund because they do not rely on Bridge and also pack a lot of creature hate. Either deck style you choose, we need to focus on killing Bob at all costs. Leyline of Sanctity turns off their Discard, Burn and Liliana, leaving you with only creatures to deal with. The good news is Jund will voluntarily empty its hand fairly early on in the game. They will also drain their own life pool to fetch shock lands. If you can keep Bob off the table and either remove or nullify their beaters, they die after only a few turns of rack damage. That said, I do not want to mislead anyone here into thinking this match is a breeze. Jund is a difficult match and the outcome is largely dependent on the draws. Again, Reactive builds are better positioned here.
    Splinter Twin is starting to rival Jund in terms of popularity. It's everywhere, and why shouldn't it be? It's an amazingly powerful that is simple to play. Recently, there has been a move from "All-In-Twin" to "Tempo-Twin" and 8Rack couldn't be happier. Our Game 1 is quite strong. Aim your discard for their combo pieces and or counterspells. Tempo Twin relies heavily upon their beat down plan with V. Clique, Snapcaster, Pestermite and Lavamancer. Bridge is an all-star here. Post board we have Torpor Orb which turns their entire deck into vanilla beaters. With some smart play and devoted sideboard space, this match is very good for us.
    One of our absolute best match ups. We destroy UWR control. Half of their deck is dead right out of the box. Our discard gets rid of the few threats that remain. In general you want to aim your discard at their counterspells. Snapcaster Mage is also a high priority target. You can ignore most of their board removal unless that's all the have. With the counterspells nullified, a resolved Liliana is game breaking. Ensnaring Bridge shuts down their Colonade, but it usually doesn't get to that point. With all the discarding their land count will probably be a lot lower than they are used to , but Sphinx's Revelation can still be a legitimate threat. The good news is decks that run it only run 2 copies at most, and you can sometimes catch those early on in the game without even trying. No sideboard is required here really, but Leyline of Sanctity can protect you from lists with heavy burn. Another route to go would be to use Leyline of the Void to shut down their graveyard flashbacks like Think Twice and Snapcaster.
    Another strong match for 8Rack. UWR Midrange is basically the same as UWR control, with more creatures. The creatures are high value to be sure, but they typically do not have an answer for Ensnaring Bridge. Proactive decks can basically consider this a Bye. Reactive builds might have their hands full dealing with Splicers, Geists and Restoration Angels without a bridge. Proactive decks should again aim their discard at counterspells first, creatures second. This will allow us to resolve a Bridge and or a Liliana and start snowballing. Torpor Orb might be a good choice to side in here. Infest is another top choice.
    TempoMancer is what I call the old UR Delver. This is another quite popular deck that we have a good match against. In case you haven't noticed the trend so far, 8Rack is very good against decks running Blue. In fact, that was the original meta I designed 8Rack to beat. In any case, this is a UR deck that uses Young Pyromancer, Grim Lavamancer and a metric ton of high value instant spells. The bad news here is that they can use the instants to burn your face while creating an army of tokens if you do not stop them. Ignore the burn at first, aim your discard at Young Pyromancer and Mr. Grim. Those two cards add a lot of gas into their tank and they are significantly slowed down without them. A lot of their game involves aiming burn spells at your face so keeping their hand empty isn't that hard. Put them in top deck mode and let your Liliana + Racks do their work. Ensnaring Bridge shuts off their beat down plan because they have very little in main or side to deal with it. Bob is completely useless in this match, and DRS is just an even trade. Infest and Leyline of Sanctity do a lot of work here. A lot of their deck is Flashback so graveyard hate is appropriate too.
    Affinity

    Calling this deck Affinity is kind of pointless these days. There aren't any more affinity cards in it. Anyways, Robots will be a completely one sided match. Whether or not it's one sided in your favor all depends on the draws. Ensnaring Bridge can hurt their plans quite a bit, but it is not infallible here the way it is in most matches. Signal pest + Ornithopters sneak under the bridge. Then they can equip Cranial Plating as an instant. The good news is they empty their hand voluntarily for free. Having a couple racks in your draw is usually an easy win. We get a lot of help from our sideboard. Pithing Needle and Infest lead the charge. Name Cranial Plating with needle, or Ravager or a pesky Inkmoth. Infest wipes most of their board. Liliana is less relevant here than normal but shes still good. I'd say this match is 50/50 or slightly in our favor. Regardless, it is mostly based on drawing the right cards. Affinity is an aggro/combo deck. The key for the deck is low costing threats that synergise to deal lots of damage quickly. This is the kind of deck that will consistently win races against Zoo, and has a bunch of combat tricks that can really play with your combat math - so be aware.

    Affinity generally runs Thoughtcast to try refuel after the initial burst damage and has Galvanic Blast for reach.

    Key cards:
    Cranial Plating, Arcbound Ravager, Steel Overseer. These are the affinity bombs, it is these cards that take affinity over the edge. Your targeted discard should focus on these. If you have instant speed removal - you can keep the Ravager, Ensnaring Bridge and Pithing Needle - keep the Overseer.

    Ensnaring Bridge - this can shut down Affinity as it has no answer to artifacts itself. Be wary of instant speed equipped Ornithoper's - especially if you've played an Urborg giving them access to double black mana. Also Arcbound Ravager can be sacked to provide one massive alpha-strike. Holding up removal for this will win you the game.

    Pithing Needle - Naming their bombs. Ravager and Plating need to be named proactively while Steel Overseer can be named after casting. Remember this when considering which bombs to discard.

    Instant speed removal - in response to Arcbound Ravager sacrifices. Alternatively focus on Ornithopter and Signal Pest as they can fly under you bridge.

    Strategy
    Turn 1 you want to be seeing their hand, and working out their plays. Affinity has to keep very aggressive hands and so can often be easily disrupted with the removal of 1 card - often removing a Springleaf Drum or Mox Opal can prevent them getting to a second mana source. You need to try play out their hand in your mind and then disrupt that - if they're good for mana take out a bomb. Your goal is to buy time until you can land an Ensnaring Bridge.

    Sideboard
    Wrench Mind is bad, Pithing Needle is good.
    Bitterblossom is too risky with the amount of damage they're able to push through. Additional removal/sweepers can come in.
    - 4 Wrench Mind, - 3 Bitterblossom
    + 4 Pithing Needle, +3 Bile Blight / Drown in Sorrow.
    Our worst match. Neither Reactive nor Proactive has a good game here. Reactive runs Smallpox which can help a bit, but Proactive runs Ensnaring Bridge which can block their Wurms and Emrakul for attacking. If you are going to try and win this, Pithing Needle is going to be the key. You need to drop a needle and name Oblivion Stone. Hopefully you can discard the Karn they have in their hand and buy yourself some time. If you can get another Pithing Needle out and name Karn, the only way they can kill you is with Wurmcoils and Emrakul, both of which will be stopped by Ensnaring Bridge. Its a tall order, but that is a viable game plan against our nemesis. Good luck.
    Merfolk or "Fish" decks are getting extremely popular. In GP Prague a ton of Merfolk decks made it to the top 100, though none of them made it into the top 8. This is a very good match for the Proactive build, and a challenging match for the Reactive. Merfolk has nothing to deal with a Resolved Ensnaring Bridge and that card will completely shut them down. They also run very few counterspells so our discard can mostly be aimed at their lords in order to slow them down long enough for us to get a Bridge lock in play. You can expect them to try and mess with your lands via Spreading Seas, but overall they are very weak to a discard strategy combined with Bridge. Reactive builds might be running Damnation in the sideboard, and that card will do a lot of work in this match. Smallpox hurts them quite a bit as well. Board in your sweepers obviously.
    Death and Taxes has a couple variants, but the one I see most often is pure white. They run minimal lands, Aether Vial and the good ones run full sets of Tectonic Edge and Ghost Quarter. Ghost Quarter acts like a Strip Mine with Leonin Arbiter or Aven Mindcensor in play. This Land destruction angle extends the early game long enough for their critters to overwhelm you. The good news is that this match up is heavily in our favor, especially for decks running Ensnaring Bridge. That said, they do have a few threats that we must take care of. Thalia is the biggest offender here. That little bitch completely screws up our mana curve and makes the deck unplayable. You must discard or kill her at all costs. Dryad Militant can screw up our Raven's Crime lock so get rid of that one too if it's convenient to do so. Infest works wonders in this match.
    This is another deck where we have a strong game. Scapeshift is a combo deck that relies upon blue counterspells to allow it to go off in peace. This is basically exactly the type of deck that 8Rack tears apart. That said, there are a few pitfalls we need to watch out for. You should expect them to side in Ravenous Baloth, so do not side out all of your critter protection. Leyline of Sanctity shuts off their combo, but they can still use Primeval Titan to beat you down. Cryptic Command can bounce Leyline or Bridge as well. Snapcaster can resurrect a fallen Scapeshift or Cryptic. All of that might sound a bit scary, but really that's about all they can do against us. I have never lost a tournament match against Scapeshift with 8Rack.
    You might not think so but Red Burn is one of our easiest matches, particularly if you use Leyline of Sanctity in your sideboard (which I highly recommend you do). We take no pain at all from our manabase - this alone gives us a huge edge against Burn. Burn is always on the brink of running out of gas, and when you discard their spells the deck falls apart fast. Thoughtseize is a poor performer here, but even that card can almost always trade favorably. It hits you for 2 but if you discard a Goblin Guide or a Flames of the Blood Hand you come out on top. IoK is an allstar here and so is Wrench Mind. The biggest danger we face is not finding a Rack in time. Games 2-3 you can ride Leyline of Sanctity for a free win.

    Living End

    Living End's plan A involves cycling Monstrous Carabid turn one, two more similar guys on turn two, and on turn three casting Violent Outburst, cascading into Living End and suddenly having around 12 power on the board out of nowhere. The deck is incredibly consistent if the opponent has no way to disrupt them, but it is also a very greedy deck that is entirely possible to disrupt if you know how to evaluate the cards.

    Strategy

    Almost every card in the Living End deck serves multiple purposes. The key is going to be to recognize what stage of the game the Living End player is in, what card effect the Living End player needs, and to discard whatever card is capable of serving that purpose.

    Going first or second doesn't matter in most games. If they keep a very very greedy hand, it's better to go first in order to more likely punish them. If you know your opponent is Living End in game one, always go first in case they don't know what you are playing. In game two or three only a bad player is going to keep a super greedy hand against a discard deck, so it likely doesn't matter. Still go first just in case you're playing someone that is willing to give you a free win. It never is a notable advantage to go second.

    Stage One - One Land

    Living End is a deck that can sometimes keep a one land hand under the right conditions. 8Rack is one of the few decks that can punish them for doing so. If they have only one land, they're banking off of cycling into a second land. Look for any of their cards that allow them to cycle for free (Street Wraith), or for only one mana (Deadshot Minotaur, Architects of Will, Monstrous Carabid). If they run out of castable cyclers and are still stuck on one land, you have essentially just stolen the game.

    Stage Two - Two Lands

    At two lands, a lot more opens up. They can just cycle one-mana cyclers twice, but what a competent player is going to be doing is to find their third land. At two mana, they can landcycle with things like Twisted Abomination or Pale Recluse. It's better to let them cycle more often and fill up their board than it is to let them easily find a third land. It's around here that I'd start taking things like Violent Outburst or Demonic Dread. Living End doesn't really have a good way to make two land drops, so for most lists this is where you have to start worrying about them getting in range.

    Stage Three - Three+ Lands

    They are within range to cast their win condition. Our priorities have switched again. Now all they want to do is fill their board and draw more cards to find their win condition. Remove the cheap cyclers. It fills up their yard, but denies them drawing cards.

    Game-Swinging Cards

    Extirpate/Surgical Extraction - If you exile all of their copies of Living End they have to switch to Plan B (hard casting their creatures). That plan is significantly easier for 8Rack to beat as it's slow and most of Living End's lands start coming into play tapped.

    Ingot Chewer - Most Living End players play at least one copy maindeck, and have all four in the 75 thanks to affinity, which is a matchup they fear greatly. Your bridges aren't necessarily safe even game one.

    Maelstrom Pulse - Many Living End players have a copy or two in the sideboard. This makes it a harder decision to run out multiple bridges, though it's still probably the right play since Ingot Chewer is far more likely to see than Pulse.

    Beast Within - An answer to any permanent and it gives them a creature to target with Demonic Dread.

    Simian Spirit Guide - This card is a contentious issue among Living End players. It allows them to go off a turn early against an unsuspecting opponent, but has no synergy with Living End itself. Keep your eye out for this card and always keep in mind that they can burst up one more mana if they feel like it. I've never played 8Rack against a SSG or played Living End with SSG in the deck. Not sure how aggressively to discard them.


    VI. Budget Lists, Other 8Rack Lists

    One really nice aspect of 8Rack is how friendly it is on the wallet. In fact, other than Liliana of the Veil there are no big money cards in the deck at all. Thoughtseize got reprinted in Theros, so the price on that is currently very reasonable. Ensnaring Bridge may cost a few bucks a copy, but other than that, most of the cards can be purchased for pocket change. Now I will be the first person to tell you that Liliana of the Veil really adds a lot to the deck. It can still be competitive without it though. If budget is a concern, Necrogen Mists does a pretty good impression of Lili, and Mists only costs a few pennies. Necrogen Mists has one minor advantage over Lili in that it can stack with itself. It stacks with Lili too for that matter. Thougthseize can be replaced by quite a few other options like Blackmail, Despise and Duress, or you can mix and match.

    Here are a couple very playable budget decks designed by Destroyermaker. You can purchase these lists for well under $80. That is probably one of the lowest price point you can find for a competitive Modern deck.

    **Update** For Budget lists and information please go to this thread.




    VII. Splashing with 8Rack

    When should I splash? What color should I splash

    When deciding whether or not to splash you must ask yourself. "How predictable is my meta?". For example, if you are planning on playing at your favorite FNM with a lot of buddies that you are familiar with, then you have fairly predictable meta. If you are planning on going to a GP or other PTQ type of event, online or paper, then you have a fairly unpredictable meta. If you think you have a fairly good grasp of your meta, and you want to give yourself an extra edge, this is the time to splash. Keep in mind, there is a risk to splashing. If you splash one way and you face a different meta than you were expecting, the results could end in disaster. The mono black approach will give you a very solid game against the entire modern field as of this writing. So feel free to splash if you want, but I counsel that you splash carefully, knowing full well the risks.

    If you are intent upon splashing, a White splash is the one I most often recommend. It only takes a very modest splash here to give us access to some cards that have extremely high value to 8Rack. Path to Exile basically has no downside when we cast it because we discard their threats big and small. We do not care if they accelerate. It is very worthwhile to use such an efficient and effective removal spell. Proactive and Reactive decks both love Path to Exile.

    Lingering Souls is another bomb for both Proactive and Reactive strategies. We don't worry about its steep casting cost too much. You can easily pitch this to a Liliana +1 and still get value out of it. The tokens glide easily past bridge, and they also provide some much needed chump blocking while we search for answers or bleed them to death with Racks. I wouldn't add too much more to the main deck other than those two cards, but even such a modest white splash can give your game a powerful edge. The draw back of having to run a painful mana base is mitigated somewhat by running Urborg, as well as the fact we only ever having to fetch 1 Godless Shrine..

    In the side board White gives us access to Enchantment / Artifact removal, so we need not fear Leyline of Sanctity. We can also hard cast our own Leylines if necessary. White really opens up our sideboard options. Cards like Ghostly Prison can make or break your game against fast aggro like affinity. Really, the White splash adds a lot to our plan without diluting our hand control significantly. If you are going to splash into an unknown meta, White is definitely the way to go.

    8Rack with White Splash 2-1-13Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    3 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    3 Blinkmoth Nexus
    4 Marsh Flats
    3 Godless Shrine
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Permanents:
    3 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 The Rack
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Spells
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Path to Exile
    3 Lingering Souls
    4 Wrench Mind



    The best reason to use a red splash is to combat an aggro heavy meta. Robots, Elves!, Goblins, Gruul, Tokens and most RDW lists employ tons of creatures and they hurl them at you fast. Red give us access to the immensely powerful Pyroclasm and of course good old fashioned Lightning Bolt. Pyroclasm acts like a 2cc Wrath of God for us in most games.

    Red also gives us access to several match up specific hate cards such as Blood Moon and Sowing Salt. A large advantage of splashing Red is that because it is an ally color. Our mana base is nearly painless, thanks to the amazing Scars land Blackcleave Cliffs, which performs like a true duel land here. A couple filter lands can be considered as well. While we are on the subject of lands, Lavaclaw Reach is a fantastic back up win condition here. By itself, it is a really good reason to choose red for your splash.

    8Rack with Red Splash 6-3Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Marsh Flats
    9 Swamp
    4 Blackcleave Cliffs
    1 Blood Crypt

    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Lightning Bolt
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Wrench Mind
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 The Rack
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Pyroclasm
    3 Thoughtseize

    I think that splashing Green is probably everyone's first instinct when they start playing this deck. Recently the green splash has fallen out of popularity in favor of White, but hte green splash is still good. After all there are so many amazing cards that a green splash gives us access to like Abrupt Decay and Deathrite Shaman. Green also gives us artifact and enchantment removal options like Nature's Claim and Naturalize to fight problem cards like Leyline of Sanctity and Chalice of the Void set to 1. So if you expect to face a meta that is heavy with silver bullets such as those, then a Green splash may be the way for you to go.

    A large drawback of the green splash is that Green Black is a painful mana base in Modern. Painful mana bases are a VERY risky proposition for our control strategy because many times we lock the game up at very low life levels. Paying a hefty amount of life just to add a splash could work against you and cause more harm than good. Fetching an Overgrown Tomb and playing Thoughtseize on turn 1 only to reveal your opponent's hand full of Lightning Bolts and other burn spells is not exactly a productive play. So while a green splash is certainly viable in some cases, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.


    8Rack with Green Splash by Lantern, 1st place FNM listMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands- 21
    10 Swamp
    2 Dakmor Salvage
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Marsh Flats

    No one makes me bleed my own blood- 11
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 The Rack
    3 Deathrite Shaman

    4 Thoughtseize
    2 Wrench Mind
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    3 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Smallpox

    Lock assists- 8
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Abrupt Decay



    8Rack with Green Splash by MemoryLapse 6-10-13Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    14 Swamp
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    3 Marsh Flats
    4 Verdant Catacombs

    Spells
    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    4 Duress
    4 The Rack
    4 Thoughtseize
    3 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Abrupt Decay
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    3 Deathrite Shaman

    3 Leyline of the Void
    4 Nature's Claim
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    4 Torpor Orb




    VIII. Video Index - Extensive Replays

    These videos feature detailed commentary and in depth strategy that will show you how to play this deck properly.

    8Rack Primer and Video Tutorial: http://youtu.be/-TAIG6-jMBo


    2-23-14 8rack vs Nykthos Green - Very Close
    2-23-14 8Rack vs Sun Titan Control
    2-20-14 8Rack vs Merfolk
    2-22-14 8Rack vs UB Fae
    2-22-14 8Rack vs Death and Taxes
    2 20 14 8Rack vs UW Midrange
    2-20-14 8Rack vs Splinter Twin

    Daily 1-13-14 Results - Jan Miller's GP Prague List

    Pre-Daily matches
    I'm pretty unimpressed with the preliminary matches. Scepter is a dud. Bob did little more than draw some removal, making him a 2cc discard 1 spell. Pox was hot and cold as predicted. Twin destroyed me. Tron destroyed me even harder, I felt helpless even with the sideboard. Please watch the videos and see if I misplayed anywhere. We shall see what happens in the Daily, but so far I am sticking to my initial assessment that this list is sub-optimal. It's not terrible, and it probably catches a lot of paper player off guard, but 8Rack is a known quantity online and sub optimal list are not advised.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 1 vs BW Tokens: http://youtu.be/pAY1bZ4BHPg
    I crushed him. Game 1 I draw a mint hand filled with targeted discard, he tries to disrupt me with an IoK of his own and a Tidehollowsculler. Liliana hits the deck and wrecks his game. Game 2 I side in some stuff that never gets played. He keeps a hand with only land, 1 thoughtseize, 1 tidehollowsculler. He catches my Lili with the Thoughtsieze on Turn 1, I take his Tidehollow with an IoK. He only casts 1 more spell the whole game, a useless Honor of the Pure. Easy win. I want to stress one thing. I never drew Bob or Pox. I crushed him with the core of the deck - targeted discard, Raven's Crime and Liliana.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 2 vs RG Tron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrM9tTb7Rvg
    I lose 1-2. First game I was doing well until he ripped 2 Karns and Wurmcoil off the topdeck. Without Ensnaring Bridge, a resolved Wurm is GG. Game 2 I chose to play 2nd and it works well. He mulligans to 6 and I Pox on turn 2 and keep his hand empty while Lili builds to her Ult. After she ults its over, Bob does a TON of work in this game, the first time he has been useful so far. Game 3 I was doing well but again he rips a Wurmcoil after I discard one and without Bridge I am helpless. I make a huge misplay with Liliana but after doing the math I would have lost anyways because he rips 2 Nature's Claim and tutors in a 3rd wurmcoil. This is an awful match for this deck. It's not a whole lot better with my own list but at least I run Bridge and Pithing needle to try and fight off Tron. Jan's list basically gives up against Tron.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 3 vs Red Deck Wins (Red Burn): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rznb20mxBM
    I win a nail biter 2-1. He wins the toss and goes first after mulliganing to 6. Plays a mountain and exiles Rift bolt. I cast IoK and remove Lighning Bolt. Next Turn he plays Keldon Marauders, and I respond with Smallpox. I play a rack and start his clock. He dies before I do. GG. Game 2 he blows me out of the water with a made hand. Game I choose to go 2nd and draw a hand full of lands, IoK, rack and Raven's Crime. When I look at his hand with an ioK he only has Smash to Smithereens, Lightning Bolt and Flames of the Bloodhand. I choose Smash to protect my rack. Next turn he plays Keldon and passes. I cast Raven's Crime and Retrace it. I have enough lands to retrace all day long. The game continues and is extremely close. I recommend watching the video. I pull off a win at the end by a tiny margin.

    8Rack GP Prague Daily Round 4 vs Splinter Twin: http://youtu.be/GbJvRvkuCmM

    Seriously you should watch the replay. It's a very close match.

    I win 2-1, taking home another prize and another victory for 8rack. The games were extremely close. I'm too drained right now to post the details. Watch the replay.

    http://i39.tinypic.com/2ebetmf.jpg

    Other 8Rack Replays



    *Requested* White Splash Videos
    11-7-13 8Rack White vs Jund: http://youtu.be/FhDp_vfRQfQ
    11-7-13 8Rack White vs Azorius Midrange: http://youtu.be/9cUE7QC3jxw
    11-7-13 8Rack White vs Jund Goodstuffs: http://youtu.be/-7t1TYblwoc
    11-7-13 8Rack White vs Jund Rager: http://youtu.be/h0sKNmZ8txY
    11-7-13 8Rack White vs Scapeshift: http://youtu.be/a9F9dgBYTt4

    Mono Black Videos:
    10-20-13 8Rack vs Splinter Twin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7ol-2_2J1w
    10-20-13 8Rack vs BUG Board Control: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=temunXlp7HQ
    10-20-13 8Rack vs Wildfire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzs7zhHUo9E
    10-20-13 8rack vs Storm - Do not make Misplays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GAeDSBpvBg
    10-20-13 8Rack vs Gifts Tron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk5BVWhO24k
    10-20-13 8Rack vs BW Tokens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNrN3PRVQKk
    9/20/13 8Rack vs Ad Nauseum Combo: http://youtu.be/_O9eM9wczhM
    9/20/13 8Rack vs 8Rack - Mirror Match! http://youtu.be/E0GB7i1Zxqo
    9/20/13 8Rack vs Hate Bears http://youtu.be/n6I4fSUMTYE
    8/28/13 8Rack vs Ad Nauseum Combo: http://youtu.be/KFRJVq8MlzE
    8/24/13 8Rack vs Young Pyromancer Tempo ***Key Match Up***
    6/17/13 8Rack vs Jund: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EszU56KjjeM
    6/15/13 8Rack vs Mono Black Control: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v00mlkYZUY8 ***Key Match Up***
    6/11/13 8Rack vs Random Combo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VTZnKjZQt0
    6/11/13 8Rack vs Living End http://youtu.be/jrFINwF7v5Y
    6/11/13 8Rack vs UW Midrangel: http://youtu.be/P0FPgL-e2Ts ***Key Match Up***
    6/10/13 8Rack vs Soul Sisters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqZm3xPtWg0
    6/9/13 8Rack vs UWR Tempo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVD6eKj_rKI ***Key Match Up***
    6/9/13 8Rack vs Tron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P46hftQ9T2M

    Red Splash Videos:
    6/13/13 8Rack Red Splash vs RDW: http://youtu.be/9KEF-TW49Mk


    Lantern's Videos:
    Lantern vs D&T, RDW, Goblins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QndiGSgrwyc&feature=youtu.be
    Lantern's 8Rack Review and demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L27YqwcSwok
    BR 8Rack vs Storm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B52Ny9eecDE&feature=youtu.be

    Rage Quit Section
    9/20/13 8Rack vs 8Rack - Mirror Match! http://youtu.be/E0GB7i1Zxqo
    9/1/13 8Rack vs BlueTron Rage Quit: http://youtu.be/_OHbUAsctc4
    8/28/13 8Rack vs. Genesis Wave Rage Quit: http://youtu.be/FW5LDkYKNZc
    6/20/13 8Rack Rage Quit Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJMXJlzo8Ls

    IX. Misc.
    Shrieking Affliction

    This little gem was quietly added to the card pool in RTR. Why is no one else abusing this? It's copies 5-8 of The Rack, and its arguably better.

    So that gives us 8 non-creature win cards in Black discard decks. In contrast to counterspells, discard strategies survived the transition to Modern completely unscathed.

    Traditional discard decks are basically non-existant in Modern. It's the perfect time to catch your meta by surprise! Here's a sample deck list that I have been rolling people with lately.

    8Rack Classic 6-1-13Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    22 Swamp

    4 Disfigure
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Wrench Mind
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Duress
    4 The Rack
    3 Raven's Crime
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Ensnaring Bridge



    Here is a link to a youtube video demonstrating the deck: http://youtu.be/vVD6eKj_rKI

    The video has a full voice over commentary for all 3 games of the match.

    Thoughts? Comments?
    Last edited by MemoryLapse: 4/16/2014 11:04:01 AM
  • #2
    Quest for the Nihil Stone could be good in here imo. It only needs two discards to activate and deals more damage/loss of life than rack or affliction. The only problem is if you topdeck it late-game, it might be tough to activate without a Liliana. It also doesn't deal the loss of life if they have even a single card in hand.
  • #3
    It's not played because it has zero impact when it hits the board, and can be easily played around when dropped on turn 1. The only time this is going to be good is if you can guarantee that your opponent is going to have 0-1 cards in hand every turn. Almost every other time, this is going to be a dead card.
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  • #4
    Quest actually seems better.

    I actually played against a discard deck in the tournament practice room the other day. It was running Inkmoths, Phyrexian Crusader and Vampire Nighthawk Main.
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  • #5
    I disagree that Quest is better, it's a horrible topdeck, and if your opponent already has no hand, you won't get the Quest online ever as he'll just play whatever he draws.

    The main problem I see with this strategy is that it might be too slow against aggro decks which can get their hand on board faster than you can disrupt them, or at least drop significant threats which you are not prepared to handle on the field (though I like ensnaring bridge a lot in your build). I theorize it might just fold to affinity without sweepers... (cranial plating/signal pest/ornithopter can all dodge bridge) plus there is the not-so-random lingering souls/obstinate baloth/loxodon smiter/wilt-leaf liege...

    I'd say that a heavy discard deck could be viable, but IMO it would need some sweepers at least in the sideboard, and more resilient ways to hold up against board prescence than bridges/liliana/disfigure
  • #6
    I think this deck could actually be a bit better with life from the loam and ghost quarter to better help out raven's crime. It is hard to pull off, but it's a proven strategy in legacy.
  • #7
    This thread wasn't meant to be about the sample list i posted exactly. It was the idea of the new card, and discard decks in general. Discard decks are not represented in Modern, and I cannot figure out why. They are certainly viable, that list I posted there can take on anything Tier 1-2 and put up respectable numbers. That said...

    Quote from DOLZero
    It's not played because it has zero impact when it hits the board, and can be easily played around when dropped on turn 1. The only time this is going to be good is if you can guarantee that your opponent is going to have 0-1 cards in hand every turn. Almost every other time, this is going to be a dead card.


    Sir no offense but you don't seem to understand anything about discard decks. You would not play Shrieking Affliction on turn 1. Or on turn 2. Or on turn 3 probably. Your first few turns are spent destroying their hand and stabilizing. Turns 3-4 Liliana keeps their hand destroyed and Ensnaring Bridge protects you from critters. You will sneak in a Rack or an Affliction whenever you can spare an extra mana to do so, but the main idea is to get the enemy's hand under control. Once that happens THEN you watch your Racks do their evil work. /Discard 101

    Quote from Lueseto
    I disagree that Quest is better, it's a horrible topdeck, and if your opponent already has no hand, you won't get the Quest online ever as he'll just play whatever he draws.

    The main problem I see with this strategy is that it might be too slow against aggro decks which can get their hand on board faster than you can disrupt them, or at least drop significant threats which you are not prepared to handle on the field (though I like ensnaring bridge a lot in your build). I theorize it might just fold to affinity without sweepers... (cranial plating/signal pest/ornithopter can all dodge bridge) plus there is the not-so-random lingering souls/obstinate baloth/loxodon smiter/wilt-leaf liege...

    I'd say that a heavy discard deck could be viable, but IMO it would need some sweepers at least in the sideboard, and more resilient ways to hold up against board prescence than bridges/liliana/disfigure


    Agreed, especially the part about Quest. Regarding sweepers let me first give you my aggro-meta list (see below). I have employed a red splash here for Pyroclasm x4 to sweep and Lightning Bolt x3 for spot removal. The original list I posted is made to destroy the MTGO meta - lots of (aggro)control and (aggro)combo.



    The point is - discard decks can exist and they can be tweaked to control your own personal meta.

    Traditional Discard with Red Splash 6-3Magic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Marsh Flats
    9 Swamp
    4 Blackcleave Cliffs
    1 Blood Crypt

    4 Ensnaring Bridge
    3 Lightning Bolt
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Wrench Mind
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 The Rack
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Pyroclasm
    3 Thoughtseize

    Last edited by MemoryLapse: 6/3/2013 7:29:43 PM
  • #8
    Believe me when I tell you that I know black discard a lot better than you think. I've tried to make Shrieking Affliction work in Block and Standard. The only thing that makes it playable is by running something like Sire of Insanity along with it. I know that you don't drop Affliction on your first turn. You wait a few turns so that they are comfortable with a decreased hand size. In the meantime, what do you do on turn 1 when the only card you can play is Affliction? Do you hold onto it and hope that you have extra mana to drop it when you want to later? If so, you aren't making efficient use of your mana, which means that your deck loses overall efficiency. I found this to be a bad route to go, and have eventually dropped it from every build where I tried to make it work. If you are hellbent on making this deck work, go for it and by all means, ignore my experienced opinion. I agree that discard can exist, but that doesn't mean it's going to be any good.
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    Not really too much to say about it. The guy is good, has a great deck and I played like the awful scrub I am.

  • #9
    @OP: You're aware that The Rack is damage that can be redirected at planeswalkers? Which along with the added damage at 2 cards makes it the better of the 2.
    Affliction is good as Rack 5 and 6.

    I do, unlike others, know that discard is a decent choice for Modern. You need to play it correctly though. Much akin to combo.
    In case I didn't tell you, I don't care about your opinion I just want your facts. And not the facts that make you seem smart. I want the ones that are actual facts.

    Cockatrice username: Blackcat77
  • #10
    Quote from DOLZero
    ...hilarity


    I'm calling BS on this guy. You say you understand discard strategy, then you make the audacious claim that the only way Shrieking Affliction is playable is with Sire of Insanity.

    Sorry sir, but that card goes beyond unplayable into trolling jokester territory.

    If what you actually meant to say is that Shrieking needs a card like Liliana of the Veil or Raven's Crime to support it, then yes I would agree. But isn't the idea of creating a deck to choose cards that support each other? That's what I done here and you are either unwilling or unable to see that. (I'm leaning towards the latter) Furthermore you could also say the same type of thing about The Rack, which has been pretty well proven to be a playable card by itself in discard decks over the years methinks.

    2000+ posts - shame on you.

    Quote from Poopingmypants
    @OP: You're aware that The Rack is damage that can be redirected at planeswalkers? Which along with the added damage at 2 cards makes it the better of the 2.
    Affliction is good as Rack 5 and 6.

    I do, unlike others, know that discard is a decent choice for Modern. You need to play it correctly though. Much akin to combo.


    It's arguable. Shrieking is an enchantment and cannot be removed by red, unlike the Rack. Shrieking also turns on its full power with 1 card in hand unlike the rack which deals 2 damage in that state. There are pro's and cons to both, but they are basically 8 copies of the same effect, this is a very important fact to note for modern Discard. Also Discard is a control strategy through and through. There's nothing "combo" about it.

    I am getting the feeling the average modern player doesn't really understand true discard decks. A primer is needed. If mods are amenable to a sticky in deck creation sub forum, I am up to the task.

    Keep it civil~ Pumpkin
    Last edited by Lantern: 6/3/2013 8:59:56 PM
  • #11
    I had a Rack deck a while back that was, uh, capable of winning games I guess.

    Nyktos's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land (22)
    5 Swamp
    4 Blood Crypt
    4 Blackcleave Cliffs
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Marsh Flats
    1 Overgrown Tomb

    Creatures (12)
    4 Grim Lavamancer
    4 Dark Confidant
    3 Nyxathid
    1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

    The Rest (27)
    4 The Rack
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Magma Jet
    4 Wrench Mind
    3 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Blightning



    This deck isn't terrible, but it's not great either. I don't really think more copies of The Rack are at all what it needs though. (Also I have no idea why the maindeck is 61 cards.)
  • #12
    I think I'd rather play liliana's caress with burning inquiry than try to force shrieking affliction to work. At least that kind of theme can work with runeflare trap and wheel of fate / reforge the soul.
  • #13
    Quote from Nyktos
    I had a Rack deck a while back that was, uh, capable of winning games I guess.

    MemoryLapse's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Land (22)
    5 Swamp
    4 Blood Crypt
    4 Blackcleave Cliffs
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Marsh Flats
    1 Overgrown Tomb

    Creatures (12)
    4 Grim Lavamancer
    4 Dark Confidant
    3 Nyxathid
    1 Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

    The Rest (27)
    4 The Rack
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Magma Jet
    4 Wrench Mind
    3 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Blightning



    This deck isn't terrible, but it's not great either. I don't really think more copies of The Rack are at all what it needs though. (Also I have no idea why the maindeck is 61 cards.)


    It's a decent first try but you've fallen into a trap that many would-be discard players fall into: creature based wins. If you are going that route you are better off using the infect creatures, and that class of decks is normally referred to as Mono Black Infect.

    I will explain more about why to avoid creatures in my primer.
  • #14
    I think Poopingmypants actually meant that discard decks make combo cry, not that the interaction itself is a combo

    Anyway, IMHO people who say that both the rack and shireking affliction aren't good is because they are judging them in a vacuum. They should only be regarded as very cheap, efficient, and difficult to deal with finishers in an extremely proactive control deck.

    Regarding the debate on the rack vs affliction, the 1 damage rack deals at 2 cards is kind of compensed by the 1 more life loss affliction provokes at 1 card, and, although I do think that damage being redirected to planeswalkers is almost always better, life loss gets around cards like worship (which could give the deck trouble if topdecked) and prevention, although I think that this last point is quite irrelevant... Also, in a deck as discard-intensive as MemoryLapse suggested, opponent will rarely have 2 cards in hand

    PS: if you are splashing red, you should seriously consider blightning. Take into account that wrench mind, although great against anything else, really sucks against affinity and tron


    EDIT: liliana's caress is horrible besides the rack and affliction. Just like quest, it is a very bad topdeck, and stops being relevant in the late game, as it needs discard to occur to do something. The rack and affliction, even if you have no cards in hand, will make your opponent think if he/she should play his cards and be slowly eaten away or try to save the most irrelevant ones to give his life total a breath. That's were liliana and raven's crime come into play, to mantain opponent hand size at 0. Saying that affliction is trying to be "forced" to work, is saying that you never played against it or the rack in a format with such a large quantity of excellent discard effects as modern has.
    Last edited by Lueseto: 6/3/2013 9:05:00 PM
  • #15
    Quote from Lueseto
    Anyway, IMHO people who say that both the rack and shireking affliction aren't good is because they are judging them in a vacuum. They should only be regarded as very cheap, efficient, and difficult to deal with finishers in an extremely proactive control deck.


    Well said. I'm pretty happy to find someone else who sees the whole picture. Thanks.


    Quote from Lueseto
    liliana's caress is horrible besides the rack and affliction. Just like quest, it is a very bad topdeck, and stops being relevant in the late game, as it needs discard to occur to do something. The rack and affliction, even if you have no cards in hand, will make your opponent think if he/she should play his cards and be slowly eaten away or try to save the most irrelevant ones to give his life total a breath. That's were liliana and raven's crime come into play, to mantain opponent hand size at 0. Saying that affliction is trying to be "forced" to work, is saying that you never played against it or the rack in a format with such a large quantity of excellent discard effects as modern has.


    Again, well said. The Liliana's Caress / Megrim approach to discard decks has never really worked. Why? Because those finishers require that you save your discard spells until they hit the table. This basically gives your opponents 2-3 free turns to play threats that you must deal with. If instead you use your discard first to control their hand, your finishers are ineffective. You are better off using The Rack and Shrieking affliction in this case.

    Discard has never had access to 8 Racks before. Discard has never had a bomb like Liliana before. Discard has never had access to the amazing 1cc discard choices that Modern has to offer.

    Necrogen Mists is another card hidden in the Modern card pool that can act as either a budget replacement for Liliana or copies 5-6 of her. The only notably missing card in Modern is Cabal Therapy. It is sorely missed to be sure, but we can certainly work without it.

    PS - I will test Blightning in my red splash. Thanks for the tip.
  • #16
    Quote from MemoryLapse
    It's a decent first try but you've fallen into a trap that many would-be discard players fall into: creature based wins. If you are going that route you are better off using the infect creatures, and that class of decks is normally referred to as Mono Black Infect.
    It is not a "first try"; I played the deck extensively for weeks, and as part of my general Modern deck roster for months. Why do you think I should be playing infect creatures? How does that synergize with The Rack?

    If you're going to make an extraordinary statement like "discard decks shouldn't play creatures", please back it up at the time you say it rather than claiming you'll explain later.
    Last edited by Nyktos: 6/3/2013 9:35:22 PM
  • #17
    Quote from MemoryLapse
    Necrogen Mists is another card hidden in the Modern card pool that can act as either a budget replacement for Liliana or copies 5-6 of her. The only notably missing card in Modern is Cabal Therapy. It is sorely missed to be sure, but we can certainly work without it.


    Don't forget hymn to tourach XD quite the sick card, can sometimes win games just on it's own... I'd love to see gerrard's verdict too, I mean I love wrench mind but it's too bad against two important decks... and having a non-conditional 2 CMC discard 2 would be a huge deal...

    As for Negrogen mists, it might work as a very poor budget replacement, but remember that your opponent will be playing anything he can pay for in the late game (save for counterspells, and other few exceptions) and the discard occurs in the upkeep, so I could only see it being good against blue-based control (perhaps a sideboard card if the matchup seems really bad? I don't think it does though...) or combo, which should be an extremely easy matchup. It does practically nothing against aggro and very little against midrange unless played very early (I'd ALWAYS prefer liliana or blightning as a 3-drop though...)
  • #18
    Quote from Nyktos
    It is not a "first try"; I played the deck extensively for like weeks, and as part of my general Modern deck roster for months. Why do you think I should be playing infect creatures? How does that synergize with The Rack?

    If you're going to make an extraordinary statement like "discard decks shouldn't play creatures", please back it up at the time you say it rather than claiming you'll explain later.


    Well I kind of wanted to put all of the critical deck creation theory into the primer but I suppose I can copy and paste it in there.

    Ok here's the deal. Mono Black Control (of which Mono Black Infect is the currently most popular subset) is not the same thing as a pure discard strategy. To be sure, both deck classes are control oriented, and they may share many of the same cards, but they have a fundamentally different approach to deck creation.

    MBC first aims to nullify threats - not only through discard, but also through spot removal spells such Geth's Verdict, Go for the Throat and such. The next step for MBC is to gain card advantage through Dark Confidant Phyrexian Arena and Night's Whisper. Black has a lot of board sweepers to choose from as well, though you probably won't need more than Damnation. For finishers you have a lot to choose from in MBC. Phyrexian Crusader is one of the best choices, and he is one of the main reasons that the infect creatures are used in MBC. You dont HAVE to use the infect package, though it certainly is efficient and effective. There is a lot of room for personal preference here. But here is one very important point - MBC does not use The Rack.

    The reason behind why MBC does not use The Rack is the core difference between MBC decks and Discard. MBC is a board control strategy. Discard makes no attempt to directly control the board. Discard seeks to do one thing and one thing only: control the hand.

    Discard must be proactive where as MBC can be reactive. For the most part, Discard decks must be able to ignore the cards that make it to the board. In the lists I posted, Ensnaring Bridge gives me a lot of breathing room to do exactly that. Bridge may or may not be needed depending on what deck you are facing, but the end result is that your Discard list must be able to keep your opponent's hand empty of threats / completely empty. The Rack, and the new Shrieking Affliction are 1cc, hard to remove finishers for this strategy.

    But wait! I didn't exactly explain why you shouldn't use creatures.

    In Modern, every single deck you face will have main deck creature removal. That is a weakness that Discard can exploit. By employing a strategy that does not use creatures as finisher, you opponent is left with dead cards that can be ignored. By creating a deck without creatures you are neutralizing threats proactively - without casting a single spell.

    I can elaborate further in the primer, but that should be enough to at least answer your question.

    Quote from Lueseto
    Don't forget hymn to tourach XD quite the sick card, can sometimes win games just on it's own... I'd love to see gerrard's verdict too, I mean I love wrench mind but it's too bad against two important decks... and having a non-conditional 2 CMC discard 2 would be a huge deal...)


    Yes I agree Wrench Mind is far from perfect. The only other alternative at 2cc is Rise//Fall. I used to run that over Wrench Mind in my red splash but it really annoyed me when my opponent would random 2 land cards. Even 1 land card makes it a bad exchange normally. I eventually stopped using it and just resigned myself to siding out Wrench Mind vs Affinity and Tron.
    Last edited by MemoryLapse: 6/3/2013 10:16:21 PM
  • #19
    I've only skimmed over the previous posts, but here is my educated and somewhat experienced opinion (mostly from playing against random mono black discard lists).

    1. Shrieking affliction is worse than The Rack. The Rack deals damage when they have 2 cards in hand, affliction does not. The rack also has some other random bonuses such as being a card you can fetch with Trinket Mage (if you're splashing blue), recurred with Academy Ruins, or whatnot. Being an artifact doesn't matter all that much, since most of the hate that would target affliction would also target the rack.

    2. It's a slower win-condition than simply attacking with Tarmogoyf. If you've discarded your opponent's hand... then what's the point of trying to win with an enchantment that can deal 2-3 damage to your opponent per turn starting on turn... 4-5?


    This thread wasn't meant to be about the sample list i posted exactly. It was the idea of the new card, and discard decks in general. Discard decks are not represented in Modern, and I cannot figure out why.


    Umm... discard decks have represented the tier 1-2 status of Modern for the greater part of the format's existence. Jund is a discard deck. Junk is a discard deck. "Discard" decks, as you put it, are usually casual mono black control decks that would are flat out inferior to more competent and versatile decks like Jund. There is a reason why people playing jund and other similar decks usually keep their discard to around 4-6 maindeck cards, with a few more in the sideboard.

    But, if you really want the real reasons why "discard" decks aren't competitive in modern, and never will be competitive, it's because discard is only good for the first 2-3 turns, and isn't an effective long-term answer or way to lock your opponent out of winning a game. There are a variety of decks that it's just flat out terrible against if you can't provide a clock.

    Discard gets compared to countermagic a lot because it acts as disruption towards your opponents strategies, and is a viable way to deal with combo decks. Unlike countermagic however, discard will typically get worse as a game progresses, whereas countermagic holds it's value much better than discard does since it can actually deal with opponents digging, tutoring, or topdecking new threats.

    1. Tron will Gain inevitability faster than any discard deck can disrupt them. Even if they rip a few pieces in the opening hand away, tron will still set up their lands and start ripping Karns which there is zero way for discard to stop.

    2. Burn / RDW will just keep sending bolts and lava spikes their way until they're dead. Discard may get rid of 1-2 bolt style cards, but you're eventually just going to die to topdecked burn.

    3. Affinity has half their hand on the table by turn 2, and topdecks kill you. Even if you have stuff like ensnaring bridge, competent affinity players can easily kill you with a swarm of 1/1's, 2/2's, or using combat tricks like instant-speed plating equip, or saccing their ravagers to amass a single alpha strike. Gruul Zoo is pretty similar, especially if they start out with an emissary or two. They can also just burn you off if you can't kill them quick enough.

    4. Lingering Souls and Loxodon Smiter destroy you. Even if you can answer them, you end up falling behind incredibly far just in trying to do so.

    5. A resolved birthing pod is game over.

    6. A Resolved Leyline of Sanctity is game over.

    7. A Resolved Gifts Ungiven is game over.

    8. Your entire gameplan is almost 100% dependent on drawing an ensaring bridge (which simply won't always happen), resolving it, and magically praying that your opponent can't deal with it. This almost never happens against any decent player. I've played quite a few blue black control decks with ensaring bridge (mostly tezzeret variety), and even with maindeck spellskites, discard, countermagic, and academy ruins, it's pretty darn tough to keep a bridge in play. This is also with way more protection for bridge than any discard deck normally plays, and was before the printing of abrupt decay.


    So I hope you get the idea. Discard might be decent at smashing tier 2/3 decks, and stealing an occasional win against a deck that randomly can't deal with it (which isn't many of the tier decks), but it's not consistent, and it's simply outclassed by true discard decks that don't get carried away by focusing too much on a mechanic just for the sake of it. Shrieking affliction is an alright finisher in any discard deck, but so is just about anything when your opponent doesn't have a hand. Also, drawing multiple afflictions / racks is really bad when you need to wittle your opponent's hand down to even remotely start progressing your gameplan.
    Last edited by Badd Business: 6/3/2013 10:50:34 PM
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #20
    Quote from Badd Business
    A bunch of stuff that strongly suggests he has little to no experience with Discard



    Allow me to tear your post apart, piece by laughable piece. Bolded blue text is mine.
    Quote from Badd Business

    1. Shrieking affliction is worse than The Rack. The Rack deals damage when they have 2 cards in hand, affliction does not. The rack also has some other random bonuses such as being a card you can fetch with Trinket Mage (if you're splashing blue), recurred with Academy Ruins, or whatnot. Being an artifact doesn't matter all that much, since most of the hate that would target affliction would also target the rack. It's arguable. There is no way to say one is strictly better than the other. The most true thing you can say about them is they are nearly identical when used in an actual discard deck.

    2. It's a slower win-condition than simply attacking with Tarmogoyf. If you've discarded your opponent's hand... then what's the point of trying to win with an enchantment that can deal 2-3 damage to your opponent per turn starting on turn... 4-5? Your opponent has more ways of dealing with Goyf; requires green; costs less mana than Goyf.




    Umm... discard decks have represented the tier 1-2 status of Modern for the greater part of the format's existence. Jund is a discard deck. Junk is a discard deck. Absurd. Those are board control decks. I could have stopped reading right here because you have just exposed yourself as an inexperienced deck builder / theorist.

    "Discard" decks, as you put it, are usually casual mono black control decks that would are flat out inferior to more competent and versatile decks like Jund. There is a reason why people playing jund and other similar decks usually keep their discard to around 4-6 maindeck cards, with a few more in the sideboard. You are comparing apples to oranges because you don't know any better. Board control and hand control are two different things. They seek to win by different methods.

    But, if you really want the real reasons why "discard" decks aren't competitive in modern, and never will be competitive, it's because discard is only good for the first 2-3 turns, and isn't an effective long-term answer or way to lock your opponent out of winning a game. Liliana of the Veil, Raven's Crime and Ensnaring Bridge disagree.

    Discard gets compared to countermagic a lot because it acts as disruption towards your opponents strategies, and is a viable way to deal with combo decks. Unlike countermagic however, discard will typically get worse as a game progresses, whereas countermagic holds it's value much better than discard does since it can actually deal with opponents digging, tutoring, or topdecking new threats. Discard is similar to countermagic in that both strategies seek to control threats before they hit the table. The similarities end there however, as most coutnermagic strategies simply support a mid-late game combo or board lock. Discard simply controls the hand and kills you.

    1. Tron will Gain inevitability faster than any discard deck can disrupt them. Even if they rip a few pieces in the opening hand away, tron will still set up their lands and start ripping Karns which there is zero way for discard to stop. Tron is challenging match, I won't dispute that. It's far from unwinnable even with a pure mono black list. That said in a Tron heavy meta you can splash red and add in some nasty tron hate. The red splash is excellent vs affinity and other fast aggro as well.

    2. Burn / RDW will just keep sending bolts and lava spikes their way until they're dead. Discard may get rid of 1-2 bolt style cards, but you're eventually just going to die to topdecked burn. IoK and Duress keep you from getting in lethal range. Raven's Crime and Liliana lock the game decently well. In game 2-3 Leyline of sanctity wins the game on it's own.

    3. Affinity has half their hand on the table by turn 2, and topdecks kill you. Even if you have stuff like ensnaring bridge, competent affinity players can easily kill you with a swarm of 1/1's, 2/2's, or using combat tricks like instant-speed plating equip, or saccing their ravagers to amass a single alpha strike. Gruul Zoo is pretty similar, especially if they start out with an emissary or two. They can also just burn you off if you can't kill them quick enough.
    Don't be fooled. Affinity has a very hard time dealing with Ensnaring Bridge. Especially after I have destroyed their cranial platings / signal pests with my discard suite. Not as bad a matchup as you are implying. If really scared - use red splash for pyroclasm and the match is a bye.

    4. Lingering Souls and Loxodon Smiter destroy you. Even if you can answer them, you end up falling behind incredibly far just in trying to do so.
    Coudl careless about either of those cards. Smiter sees little play, and isn't relevant in any case. 2 tokens from lingering souls makes me /yawn. Again, if aggro is really scaring your meta - splash for Pyroclasm and bolt.

    5. A resolved birthing pod is game over.
    It doesnt resolve expect in a top deck scenario where I already have the upper hand. Can be played around even then. Sideboard hate

    6. A Resolved Leyline of Sanctity is game over.
    An accurate statement. In this whole post I think this is your only real argument. Green or white must be splashed if you expect Leyline in your meta.

    7. A Resolved Gifts Ungiven is game over.
    See Birthing pod

    So I hope you get the idea. Discard might be decent at smashing tier 2/3 decks, and stealing an occasional win against a deck that randomly can't deal with it (which isn't many of the tier decks), but it's not consistent, and it's simply outclassed by true discard decks that don't get carried away by focusing too much on a mechanic just for the sake of it. Shrieking affliction is an alright finisher in any discard deck, but so is just about anything when your opponent doesn't have a hand. Also, drawing multiple afflictions / racks is really bad when you need to wittle your opponent's hand down to even remotely start progressing your gameplan. Again your are implying that a true discard deck is something like Jund - this is a derpy statement. Once you figure out the difference between board control and other forms of control, you will have taken the first step into understanding how to create a discard deck.
  • #21
    It might be a good idea to look at the legacy Pox Primer and build from there. They run alot of discard and The Rack/SA.

    After I finish my affinity deck I want to take a look at maybe throwing something together like this. I love me some discard.
    "We cannot join. We cannot rest. Our lives, our souls, endure. We have been returned."

    Casual
    RG Werewolves
    B Gravepact Zombies
    Standard
    RWGBU MAAAZES END!
    RB Control
    Modern
    RRobots/Metalcraft/Affinity
    (P/B) MBI
    Legacy
    RBURN
    0 Dredge (Soon!™)
  • #22
    Quote from MemoryLapse
    A very disrespectful response to a somewhat disrespectful post....


    I emphasize abrupt decay. Every BG deck plays it and the only target your sample deck provides for it are your win conditions. Have fun playing topdeck wars with no clock when your opponent is free to draw and then play the card before you can sorcery speed Raven's Crime/Liliana of the Veil it away.

    Please don't repeat your "Ill just discard it" argument. The point of nearly half of the examples you disingenuously countered was that discard CANT DO **** when the problem cards it wants to strip are top decks that run away with the game. His "you wont draw ensnaring bridge every game" point is just as in not more than valid as your Ill just discard every problem argument.
  • #23
    I feel like Junk would just destroy this style of deck.
  • #24
    Your opponent has more ways of dealing with Goyf; requires green; costs less mana than Goyf.


    You're already talking about splashing red and white, so what's so bad about splashing green? If you've discarded enough cards in your opponents hand to make affliction and the rack relevant, then it won't matter whether they can deal with Goyf or not. Goyf also can block, and kills your opponent much quicker than affliction or the rack.

    You are comparing apples to oranges because you don't know any better. Board control and hand control are two different things. They seek to win by different methods.


    I don't know any better!?!?!?!?

    Let me offer a better explanation then... (although I am apparently an amateur deckbuilder who knows nothing about this game)

    Jund and Junk play board control cards because mono black discard in any form flat out loses when their opponent resolves a difficult to kill threat. You attempt to mitigate this by magically drawing ensnaring bridge every game at just the right time. This is absurdly fragile and inconsistent for any competitive strategy. Instead, they aim for greater consistency and versatility by playing board control cards that are almost never dead after they've discarded the relevant cards that are difficult to deal with via removal. Any time after turn 2-3, abrupt decay and lightning bolt will be almost strictly superior to something such as Thoughtseize, Iok, or Duress.

    This is a very basic concept in competitive deckbuilding. Versatility and consistency = better decks, and better tournament results.

    Liliana of the Veil, Raven's Crime and Ensnaring Bridge disagree.


    None of these cards do crap to lock your opponent except *maybe* Ensnaring bridge against the rare all-creature modern deck that has no way to deal with artifacts. But once again, you're making some sweeping assumption based off magical christmasland that you will always be drawing these cards right when you need them, and that your opponent won't have any way to answer them.

    Don't be fooled. Affinity has a very hard time dealing with Ensnaring Bridge. Especially after I have destroyed their cranial platings / signal pests with my discard suite. Not as bad a matchup as you are implying. If really scared - use red splash for pyroclasm and the match is a bye.


    Once again, you're going into magical-christmasland where you have ensnaring bridge, and your opponent has no way to deal with it on turn 3. Even in the ideal scenario, you still have 2-3 cards in hand after casting bridge on that turn, in which most of affinity's creatures still can swing through a bridge.

    This isn't even accounting for game 2 and 3 where they board in their ancient grudges. Also, apparently you didn't read, but Affinity can get a lot of damage in via instant speed Cranial Plating equipping an Ornithopter or Signal pest, or saccing artifacts to put ravager counters on them via Arcbound ravager. By the way, this gets around ensnaring bridge as well. I know this because I've lost to this multiple times when trying to lock an opponent out with my own bridge. There is a big difference in theoretical magic where you always draw just what you need at just the right time, and actually learning stuff from testing and experience.

    It doesnt resolve expect in a top deck scenario where I already have the upper hand. Can be played around even then. Sideboard hate


    So once again... you're making sweeping assumptions that you somehow have the upper hand at this point. It's not like the only thing causing you problems here is going to be pod. They can tutor for just about any hate they need, their creatures can't be dealt with easily via removal, and they can combo out and kill you through a bridge quite easily (at least with melirapod).

    Coudl careless about either of those cards. Smiter sees little play, and isn't relevant in any case. 2 tokens from lingering souls makes me /yawn. Again, if aggro is really scaring your meta - splash for Pyroclasm and bolt.


    Smiter sees a ton of play in GW hatebears and Junk. Lighting bolt is awful against both of these cards, and pyroclasm only kills 1/2 of Lingering Souls. If aggro lost to pyroclasm and lightning bolt this easily, it wouldn't exist in the format.

    Quote from MemoryLapse
    Absurd. Those are board control decks. I could have stopped reading right here because you have just exposed yourself as an inexperienced deck builder / theorist.


    Look, all your posts are very cocky, and you always seem to assume you have some grand meta scheme figured out and your opponents never have any way to deal with an ensnaring bridge.

    You keep making threads like these as SCD's, but when anybody ever posts anything slightly disagreeing with what you post, you are here to refute them with stuff like "ensnaring bridge wins" or "leyline of sanctity beats x deck". Instead of title it SCD, why not just title it "this card is awesome and you should play it because I am always right"?

    Second, what is this glorious meta that you play in that players can't deal with enchantments or artifacts? Do you play in some meta where players don't use sideboards? You keep mentioning that you "if x and x" deck is giving your problems, you can sideboard cards for it. Well, incase you haven't noticed, most competitive decks bring in anti-hate to protect their own strategies, and since your deck is pretty slow, it will be pretty common for them to find an answer before you kill them.

    I'm not even saying Leyline or Bridge are bad cards. They aren't. But every time you refute a post, you simply say "x deck has a difficult time with ensnaring bridge", or "x deck loses to leyline of sanctity". Also, how do you magically draw bridge and leyline every game, and never get awkward hands in which you draw multiple bridges, or multiple leylines, or multiple shrieking afflictions. Splinter Twin has quite a few matches where it can't find it's combo pieces, and it runs 8-10 cantrips, and 7-8 copies of each relevant combo piece. That doesn't even account for the times where you draw multiple copies of cards like shrieking Affliction, the Rack, Ensnaring Bridge, or Leyline of Sanctity (all of which do nothing as multiples).


    Long story short, this isn't a new strategy, and you're not the first one who thought of bridge-rack control. It's a cool and unique strategy, but it has a ton of weaknesses. But based off your description, it should be the best deck in the meta with zero bad matchups except tron. Please be a little bit more reasonable with people on here. We're not all idiots who just migrated from standard and have no clue how to play competitive magic, or how to build a competitive deck.
    Last edited by Badd Business: 6/4/2013 12:27:09 AM
    Find me online - I'm on Cockatrice * Tag - Badd B - Or on MTGO - Tag - Cbus05
  • #25
    I would like to jump in for a second, MemoryLapse, and point out the [obvious] fact that you're being ridiculously stubborn and, frankly, ignorant. There is a reason Badd B won the first ever Best Modern Strategist award: he's an incredible strategist and theorist, and an incredible Modern player.

    Not trying to sound like a kissass here, but honestly, I'm ****ing sick and tired of your downright stupidity and refusal to look at the other side. Hell, I can't stand bocephus in the B&R thread, but once in a while he actually makes a fair point and I can't do anything but concede the truth in his argument.

    Badd B is among the most knowledgeable users on this forum when it comes to the Modern format. (I would include BlippytheSlug, Lectrys, and Rickster in this classification as well.) His points are well thought out and written in what seems to be a constant, patient tone, and he addresses every side of the issue, conceding where he may be wrong, and giving an overabundance of evidence when he is correct. He also has a nearly incomprehensible repertoire of decks and strategies that he has tested extensively, ranging between all archetypes in the format (though often focused on blue-based control [Thirst for Knowledge anyone?]).

    You reiterate your same points, most of which appear to be smoke-and-mirrors or Magical Christmasland claims which often turn out to be incorrect, or at least stated without evidence or testing to back them up.
    I will admit that I don't quite know what you have played, but I can guarantee it doesn't match up to Badd's wide variety and experience in this format. And, frankly, judging by the pile in the OP, I'd say there's proof in this very thread that I'm right.

    I'm done.

    (probably gonna get a flame warning or something.)

    Thanks to Rivenor for the signature and XenoNinja for the Avi!

    Quotes:

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    Quote from Mastodon
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