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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from DRay563 »
    Quote from hoser2 »
    At the last minute, my son decided that he wanted Ballistae in his version of Mardu Vehicles. I audibled into Sultai Midrange. While it worked out, with both of us going 3-1 and cashing, I am disappointed to not be able to report anything useful.

    One of the cards that I struggled most over was Rhonas, but included one to see how it played. I am concerned about 2 Rhonas with only two of his best enabler (Bristling Hydra). I would -1 Rhonas, +1 Bristling Hydra. Otherwise, I really like your version. FWIW, I would move a Hostage Taker to the side to get the fourth Bristling Hydra in (cutting one of the 3s) and replace a Harvester with a Shapers' Sanctuary before I played it myself.

    So, you might find this amusing. At SCG Dallas, I had one opponent who used Battle at the Bridge to kill Rhonas. It's unusual seeing him in the GY (as opposed to exile), but there he lay. A turn or two later, I topdeck the 2nd Rhonas and play it. My opponent's reaction? "Can I see your GY?" He was thinking I somehow flipped the Rhonas to the top of my library! He then commented that it was unusual to see two Rhonas in the deck. I dunno, to me, good card is good, amirite?

    Anyway, I agree that Bristling Hydra is the only direct enabler (Scarab God aside), as in, doesn't need any help when it hits the board to turn him on. But every other creature in the deck (excluding Ballista for X=1) is but a single activation away from him being live. There are plenty of games where I sit back with a handful of board presence and use my mana to turn on Rhonas. Swinging in for 9 on T4 is nothing to sneeze at, so my opponent has to deal with the board at hand, allowing me to be able to hold up cards rather than playing into their strategy (e.g. Settle the Wreckage, Fumigate, etc). Granted, this is mana inefficient if I could swing in with Rhonas and further develop my board. I get that. But against control, it's actually really strong. He's also really good against other strategies that develop a strong board presence (Temur, Ramunap, tokens), allowing me to stall their attacks (5/5 Deathtouch is fantastic) as well as push through damage with the trample effect.

    I'm curious your experience that made you struggle with him. Other than the games where Control was already winning and I couldn't keep a creature on board, he has been a powerhouse for me.

    Also, why Shapers' Sanctuary? My experience with it was not great at SCG Dallas. I've even cut Lifecrafter's Bestiary from my side, which is also a great card, but I just find I need better proactive/reactive cards in the Control match-up as opposed to the slow, grindy card.

    Honestly, the biggest thing I'm concerned about with the deck is cutting Gearhulk. There were games where I was losing that I flat out just won because of that card. Being able to activate Harvester, cast Gearhulk, and dump all the counters on it closes out a game fast and makes a huge difference in the race against aggro. It's why I've opted for so many life gain cards in the SB, since I cut Harvester from the main (which might also be a mistake). But to make room for Siphoners, Hostage Takers, and Defenses, something had to give.

    Too many good cards is a great problem, isn't it. My issue with Rhonas has been having him out there alone or with a <4 power guy. Activating Rhonas only to get the target removed is a bummer. You will notice my list has 4 Hydra, Gearhulk and Skysovereign to help a single Rhonas. I like that Refiner can crew to enable Rhonas or a Rishkar or Gearhulk counter on Refiner also works.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from DRay563 »
    I think this is going to be my next iteration of the deck. If I make it out to an FNM and can post results, I will, but our shop is hardly meta representative, lol.

    ...
    Thoughts?

    At the last minute, my son decided that he wanted Ballistae in his version of Mardu Vehicles. I audibled into Sultai Midrange. While it worked out, with both of us going 3-1 and cashing, I am disappointed to not be able to report anything useful.

    One of the cards that I struggled most over was Rhonas, but included one to see how it played. I am concerned about 2 Rhonas with only two of his best enabler (Bristling Hydra). I would -1 Rhonas, +1 Bristling Hydra. Otherwise, I really like your version. FWIW, I would move a Hostage Taker to the side to get the fourth Bristling Hydra in (cutting one of the 3s) and replace a Harvester with a Shapers' Sanctuary before I played it myself.

    Quote from Severance328 »
    does anyone else think that finding a place for Herald of the Secret Streams could be pretty gross
    I want to play that card so much! And Shapers of Nature! But aren't we already winning when they are good? The deck needs help in those games where we struggle to get to that point. When I'm playing Herald out onto an empty board, I think I would feel bad. Win more is the classic phrase, IMO.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    I added links for the Brazilian Nationals top 8 and the latest MTGO 5-0 to the OP.

    In the meantime, I am leaning towards doings some serious mouth-smashing next time out:

    And from US Nationals:
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    I've been playing a singleton Shaper's Sanctuary and siding it in against Ramunap Red. It's been great! I'm looking to move into a second.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from DRay563 »
    ...
    So here's the dilemma, as I see it. I feel like my particular build of the deck is competitive, at least in the meta that I played in on week 1. I didn't face any UB Control, but my experience against Control is 50/50 (bad against Approach, reasonable against other forms of Control). However, my two match-ups against the Hostage Taker iteration were horribly skewed in their favor. That's only 5 games, but 1/5 is not a great record. So if the Sultai energy build continues on its path without Hostage Taker, whatever that iteration looks like (with or without Blossoming Defense, with or without Bristling Hydra, 0 - 2 Rhonas, 0-2 Scarab God, etc), I think it's most likely vulnerable to Hostage Taker. That's because the tempo blow out is staggering, and our creatures play into the other deck's strategy, contributing to the tempo swing.

    FWIW, I think Rhonas is a must going forward. If we don't have some form of evasion, Tokens.dec can just wreck us. Sure, we can put up huge bodies, but if they never get through, the tokens will overrun us. Rhonas is also difficult for UB Control, as they have to have Vraska's Contempt if he resolves (or manage to keep every other creature off the board). Me personally, I'm thinking of running two Hostage Taker main and 2-3 Blossoming Defense. It gives us the opportunity for the tempo blow out with defense up, but it's not the strategy of the deck. It doesn't take up as many slots in the 75 overall. Defense is a good card regardless, gets better with Hostage Taker, and will help in a lot of match-ups.

    In terms of countermagic, I was originally running Jace's Defeat, but changed to Spell Pierce for SCG Dallas. I'm considering running Negate instead, but what about Supreme Will? I know it's not a hard counter, but it can stop everything we need it to stop (Fumigate, Settle the Wreckage, Torrential Gearhulk, etc.) and do double duty for card selection.
    I want to understand clearly what you're saying, as I think you have more reps than I do. Sam suggested and I posited that Hostage Taker is a midrange mirror breaker, very similarly to The Scarab God, but worse against control and Aggro. It is clearly not effective against Bristling Hydra and Carnage Tyrant, however.

    What I don't understand is whether Hostage Taker is good against Temur. People must be playing Hostage Taker in testing for Worlds and in Nationals. Are the Hostage Taker decks holding their own against Temur and falling to control and aggro? Or are Hostage Taker decks a dog to Temur, Aggro and Control?

    Temur is more of a Good stuff deck. We are more of a synergy deck. Every good stuff card we slot in makes Constrictor worse: The Scarab God, Hostage Taker, Vraska, Rhonas, Rhazzercom's Chandra and Glorybringer. Even Rogue Refiner is more good stuff and not terribly synergistic with Constrictor. We have two advantages versus Temur, IMO: Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, no filler Servants. Their advantages are the strong R cards, the extra mana and the flexibility that comes with not needing to maintain synergy.

    If we agree on that, then we can talk about solutions. I see the following:
    1. Maindeck the full four Hostage Taker. Nationals and Worlds suggest this is a bad idea
    2. Hedge on Hostage Taker with maybe some main and some in the sideboard. The question about the Temur matchup seems relevant
    3. If we expect Hostage Taker decks and want to fight them, sideboard against them.
    4. Let control, Aggro and maybe Temur knock out Hostage Taker decks
    5. Transformational sideboard: Constrictor synergy main and good stuff side. Would Constrictor get sided out? Could be vice versa, I suppose.
    I am currently on 2, but I don't know if it's correct.

    @DRay - I liked your week one deck and largely copied it. It didn't do as well as I would have liked for me either. I now believe that the card we both slept on was Siphoner. Did the Jessups getting ahead on cards early allow them to exploit Hostage Taker late? It will take a lot to pry the Siphoners out of my deck.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from SamAffandy »
    Thx Hoser. Starting to think that we don't need the full playset of takers..
    I don't like Hostage Taker against Ramunap Red (slow and vulnerable, worse than Bristling Hydra) or Control (no opposing targets). It's not great against tokens, although sniping tokens isn't terrible. Worlds and Nationals point to it not being fantastic either.

    So I am inclined to agree. I could even see an argument for it as a sideboard card against midrange decks. Even then, it kind of requires Blossoming Defense and the slots add up quickly.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Nice work, Sam! Congratulations!!

    Just for fun I took lajube's modular nonsense to a standard showdown. It was really fun! It was competitive too. I beat a Bant Tokens deck that used Growing Rites and Tishana and a brew before losing to Ramunap Red in two close games.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Disco Pirates (U/R with Jace)
    Given that the thread author has moved on and an abundance of overlapping threads, I am renaming this thread to clarify that it discusses UR decks and locking it. Please discuss all the Jace pirate decks here. Thanks - hoser2
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Standard Forum Discussion and Helpdesk
    Although "Standard Main Forum- What Belongs Here" calls for banlist discussions to take place in the designated thread, there is a new banlist thread. This thread incorporates an interesting poll, and a poll wouldn't work on a post at the end of the banlist, etc thread.

    My inclination would be to allow new banlist poll threads and revise the what belongs here rules to allow them.

    My interpretation of the intent of the Standard Main Forum rules is that it is supposed to remain relatively uncluttered and a plethora of banlist polls would be undesirable. My solution to this would be to allow only one banlist poll at a time.

    So I propose that I modify the guideline in "what belongs here" about what doesn't belong here from:
    Format Health, metagame, bannings, rotation threads (there's a thread for that too)

    to become
    Format Health, metagame, bannings, rotation threads except for a single banlist poll thread (there's a thread for that too)


    Community feedback here is solicited. In the absence of feedback within a week, I will make this change.
    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from SamAffandy »
    Hey guys, what do we board in against:

    1) UB Control
    2) Temur Energy
    3) UW Approachorlds
    4) GPG
    5) Ramunap Red

    It depends on your deck, of course, but the OP has is a link to a post-Worlds article by Andrew Jessup with sideboarding suggestions. The link is at the bottom in the Articles, Videos, Etc section.

    Quote from osteomancer »
    has anyone tried to remove the energy package in favor of new merfolks and river herald's boon ?
    the boon is insane with winding constrictor, 1G instant speed that give 4 +1/+1 counter? i think its the next big thing in standard.
    not to mention the green merfolk are pretty good on their own, merfolk branchwalker is a solid creature, vineshaper mystic can be considered a non legendary rishkar. also we got metallic mimic to boost the merfolks.

    this is just a thought as ixalan is just coming out, i am very sure that the next set will feature more merfolk and even black merfolk

    I've thought about it. I'd love to see what you come up with. Craig Wescoe did a thing with BG Explore and Constrictor that has some Merfolk that might have some ideas you could use. Also linked in the bottom of the OP of this thread. The Boon may seem good, but how much better is it than Lead by Example, which saw little to no play?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from TechnoWriter »
    So I am very recently on the Sultai energy plan. I was doing some goldfishing earlier today and ran into a sequencing conundrum. Here's the situation:

    Starting hand contains a couple lands, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, Longtusk Cub and some other stuff that doesn't use or generate energy.

    I played out Siphoner on turn 2 (1 energy), attacked with it on turn 3 (2 energy) and played Cub. I now have two creatures on board competing for the same resource.

    What would be the best decision on turn 4? Use the energy to draw off Siphoner, or hold it to pump Cub? (Still don't have another energy producer.)

    I'm sure there's a lot of situational considerations here, so I guess what I should ask is: what would be the best choice in this situation vs RR? Temur? U/x control? Or did I make a mistake earlier in the game with my choice of which creature to cast first and if I should have cast the second at all? (And if so, which should be the first play against the "big 3"?)

    It is complex and I can't provide a definitive answer. In general, I would play Cub first if I think there is a chance to get it snowballing. Once they are both out, I prefer to draw cards unless the counter is the difference between being able to attack and not. I try to avoid playing Siphoner when I won't be able to draw the next turn.

    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    I'm playing Sultai without Hostage Takers tonight. I'm a little hesitant about playing 3 colors. Any tips? Advice on which hands to mulligan in regards to mana and also a look at my mana base is especially wanted.

    I'm playing 23 lands with only 3 attune. Also, I only own 2 walking ballista. Thoughts on trying to fit in Rhonas the Indomitable here?

    It seems good. I might take out a Siphoner a Push or an Essence Scatter for a Rhonas.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Temur-based Energy Midrange
    Yeah, somebody must have done this already and I'm just not seeing it. But there is an excellent deck guide by Reid Duke and maybe this thread needs to exist.

    If I missed another thread somewhere, I'll drop the link as a post there and delete this. If someone else wants to start a Temur thread after this, likewise.

    Well, I guess not. I'll throw some more links in here in case people want to look over some decklists.

    Videos, Articles, Etc
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Rishkar gets better with more good 2 drops. Neither of us were rocking Siphoners two weeks ago. With Siphoners, I am happy with Rishkar, as I can usually get the extra counter and ramp myself.

    I think The Scarab God and Hostage Taker are more impactful mana sinks than Ballista, so that might be part of rationale for siding Ballistas out.

    Hostage Taker can take artifacts. I am running Vraska, who can deal with both artifacts and enchantments.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Joel Larsson deck guide on Channelfireball for Bant Red Reliquary Combo Humans. No recommendation, just sharing info.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Bant Growing of Tishana's Tokens Combo
    The other card that I've seen used with Growing Rites was Sram's Expertise. I love the Deckhand and wonder about the Vizier of the Menagerie. Overwhelming Splendor also intrigues me, probably from the sideboard. I am not the biggest Ornithopter fan but it does make the Spires better.
    I love the idea of doing a different kind of ramp deck with Growing Rites and I pulled a set, but I won't have any time for brewing before the weekend.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
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