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    posted a message on UW Control
    Hey guys, with the explosion of the deck, I decided to make a video series of it through a Modern Competitive League. Check it out if you have time!

    UW Control Modern Competitive League Video Series

    Let me know if you have any questions about anything. The decklist was personally pre-approved by Shaheen Soorani, so it's definitely something I feel could do well. While the decklist is strong, I, the pilot, didn't always make the optimal plays but we still got a positive record. Overall, definitely something you should all check out if you're new or thinking about trying out the deck competitively. Thanks!
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Agreed with Borzi, cutting the Plains seems pretty clear cut to me. Aside from that the manabase looks solid. I would add a Sulfur Falls in its place. I've really been enjoying the checklands in this manabase.

    I'm also not certain you want to cut Remand for Censor, but let us know how the testing goes! I'll definitely try to pick up a few of the Gideons online and make a video with those, but I'm not sure Censor will truly be strong enough to make the cut.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Spreading Seas really helps the early game and gives you stronger G1 against top tier decks. It's also another card that just gets value off Felidar Guardian. Would not play less than 3 in any build.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Mana denial is really strong right now. The new UW control variants rely heavily on Spreading Seas, Tectonic Edge, and Ghost Quarter to draw out the game. While we don't go all into that plan like them, we get to abuse Spreading Seas due to its natural synergy with Felidar Guardian. It also gives us much more game against Tron than we would normally have as any other Jeskai variant, which is great.

    Glad to see you had good playtesting against Ad Nauseam. I also played about 6 or so games last night against Ad Nauseam and lost nearly all the pre-boarded games, but then won nearly all the post-board games. To be fair, I kept some bad hands. But Phyrexian Unlife really puts a damper on our T4 combo plan unfortunately, and he had them on T3 every game. Sometimes I Remanded them, sometimes I went for my T3 Saheeli Rai, but at the end he always had them and I'm not sure if that's the consistency of the deck showing or just some variance. Either way, I don't feel the matchup will ever be favorable game 1, but it gets a little closer post-board.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Quote from Jayman21 »
    Quote from Paradox Omega »
    I've found the paper meta to be wildely more diverse than the online meta, at least locally. I'd prepare your SB to handle a wide array of decks, including tier 2, with more general sideboard cards than targetted hate.

    Sweepers, graveyard hate, Wear // Tear, Negate and Celestial Purge are all cards I would recommend in an open meta.

    EDIT: Yeah, my opponent was pretty salty haha. The game was definitely reminiscent of Splinter Twin, but it really makes you realize how soft people are to T4 combos these days and how the Copycat Combo takes advantage of that. There was much more hate for Twin when it was the top deck, but now we get to abuse the fact that we have less than 0.50% of the online meta shares and probably far less on paper.


    I think the deck is good even when people will be gunning for it. They try to hard to stop the combo they dilute their deck and lose to your other plan. That is how it was with twin the difference being that plan b was more tempo oriented while this deck has a more grindy plan.

    Yeah, you're absolutely right on that front. Twin definitely had the Plan B tempo plan when people were hating the combo. Our "grind" gameplan is similar to that, and maybe more well-positioned in a grindier format such as this one. I do feel that the removal in Modern at the moment is a little weak. Tron variants play very little instant-speed interaction, Affinity only has Galvanic Blast, people are trimming on Lightning Bolt everywhere, Fatal Push can be very inefficient against us, and even Path to Exile doesn't hurt us that much except during the combo turn.

    Our Plan B is very strong, with Pia and Kiran Nalaar as well as Sun Titan in some builds. I do think that in a different metagame, this deck would have to be configured differently. The amount of games where I can T4 combo without worry is pretty high and Twin got a lot more hate back in the day, hence the previous statement.

    This deck still hasn't picked up significant traction even though I feel it is one of the stronger Jeskai variants right now. As soon as I graduate, I'll try to grind some events over the summer. Until then, I'll try to keep grinding on MTGO.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I've found the paper meta to be wildely more diverse than the online meta, at least locally. I'd prepare your SB to handle a wide array of decks, including tier 2, with more general sideboard cards than targetted hate.

    Sweepers, graveyard hate, Wear // Tear, Negate and Celestial Purge are all cards I would recommend in an open meta.

    EDIT: Yeah, my opponent was pretty salty haha. The game was definitely reminiscent of Splinter Twin, but it really makes you realize how soft people are to T4 combos these days and how the Copycat Combo takes advantage of that. There was much more hate for Twin when it was the top deck, but now we get to abuse the fact that we have less than 0.50% of the online meta shares and probably far less on paper.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Quote from rothgar13 »
    Hi everyone, just wanted to share an article on control decks in Modern. I included Jeskai Saheeli, because I feel the combo gives it a lot of potential. Check it out here, and let me know what you think!

    Sweet article rothgar! Let us know if you ever need any material to write about Saheeli in the future. Thanks for recognizing this developing deck!

    In other news, I just went 4-1 in a Modern Competitive League on MTGO this morning with the deck and lost to arguably one of the deck's best matchups. I didn't record this time, but I think it is worth it to share the results.

    Round 1: Eldrazi-Tron (2-1)
    Game 1: I was able to T2 Spreading Seas into T3 Saheeli into T4 combo. They have very little interaction game 1, but it is definitely hand-dependent. I was also on the play, which helps.
    Game 2: They didn't assemble Tron due to Spreading Seas, but they had a Pithing Needle naming Saheeli Rai from pretty early on, forcing me to grind instead of combo and a Chalice of the Void on 1 kept me from removing their big threats with Path to Exile and I ended up losing the topdeck game/grind.
    Game 3: Hand was slow, but so was opponent's. I kept a hand with the combo assembled, but only 3 lands. T3 I slam Saheeli Rai and scry a land to the top, they go T3 Thought-Knot Seer revealing 3 Felidar Guardian. They proceed to curse me out and concede. Smile

    Round 2: Affinity (0-2)
    Game 1: Opponent had a T1 Arcbound Ravager on the play. Only removal in hand I had was a Lightning Bolt and I didn't have enough time to assemble the combo as my opponent beat me down.
    Game 2: I had to mull to 5 due to flood in 7-card hand and 0 land in 6-card hand. I kept a hand with 1 land and Stony Silence and never saw the 2nd land until T4.

    Round 3: Death's Shadow Abzan (2-1)
    Game 1: I don't remember much aside from getting my hand picked apart and getting beat down by Tarmogoyf, although I kept a rather slow hand that didn't have much interaction besides a Remand and a Spreading Seas.
    Game 2: Very grindy, but I was able to draw Relic of Progenitus the turn after my opponent Inquisition of Kozilek'd me, and then proceeded to grind the game out. Jace, Architect of Thought held back 8 Lingering Souls tokens for about 6 turns until I decided to ultimate, getting a Supreme Verdict from my deck and a Liliana of the Veil from my opponent's deck, and then they conceded.
    Game 3: My opener was incredibly redundant (combination of Wall of Omens, Serum Visions, and lands). My opponent led with 3 hand disruption spells the first few turns, but I was able to land a Saheeli Rai into a Jace, Architect of Thought while keeping up Path to Exile, and then exiled my opponent's GY with Relic of Progenitus. Opponent conceded early, but they had 1-2 cards in hand at the time and no board.

    Round 4: Death's Shadow Jund (2-0)
    Game 1: I was able to remove all of their threats (including a Liliana, the Last Hope) and combo'd out.
    Game 2: I was able to remove all of their threats and beat them down with a Celestial Colonnade the last few turns. Relic of Progenitus, once again, was a lifesaver.

    Round 5: Kiki Chord (2-1)
    Game 1: Very grindy affair, including an odd mainboard card from my opponent in the form of Fiery Justice along with Nahiri, the Harbinger (a little less odd). I disrupted my opponent's Kiki combo late in the game after fighting over a Nahiri, the Harbinger constantly hovering around 6-8 counters and then combo'd off when my opponent had no interaction.
    Game 2: My opponent had a pretty good start, including a Sin Collector to take away some of my interaction along with a Fiery Justice to answer my Saheeli Rai. I ended up drawing poorly and my opponent ran over me with Restoration Angel and Eternal Witness.
    Game 3: Grindy affair once more, but from what I recall, I was able to combo off pretty quick around T7 with EOT Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir protection.

    Overall record: 4-1
    Thoughts: Deck performed better than I expected and there will always be some variance in historically good matchups (Affinity). If the deck performs that well for me in some future tournaments, I'd be more than happy. I expected a slight uptick in control due to the Unified Modern results, but still no control matchup. Wondering if the Cavern of Souls and Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is worth it, but I really enjoy that angle of attack on control decks which we tend to struggle against G1.

    Decklist:
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on [Primer] UWr Midrange
    Any thoughts about the new Gideon of the Trials in Geist midrange? It seems like all the modes are relevant. +1 protects itself and helps Geist of Saint Traft attack. 0 can get the beats going, which synergizes with our aggro/burn out plan in some games. He can be hard to remove, with burn spells and Abrupt Decay being the most efficient answers. His last 0 also forces combo decks to answer him before going off, which can help us a lot in the Ad Nauseam matchup and other combo decks.

    What are your guys' thoughts?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Well, he naturally protects himself with the +1 and can be hard to remove while providing beats with his first 0. +1 can target all kinds of permanents (manlands, planeswalkers, enchantments, Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, even Eidolon of the Great Revel). 0 can beat face and lines up especially well against Liliana of the Veil.

    His "ult" is sick against Burn or combo decks. You can tick up once, then ult and he'll be out of range of most burn spells. Our deck does a pretty good job protecting him on the ground as it is (plenty of removal, Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Wall of Omens to block). He's not on the spot game-ending, but with Sun Titan he's recursive and can make the opponent force all of their interaction into him, allowing us to combo. If they don't interact with him, we will likely win. He might be better suited in a control shell, but damn me if I don't at least try to play an aggressively costed 3-mana walker with all-relevant modes.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Anyone excited for the new Gideon of the Trials? Seems like a headache for combo decks that we generally have difficulty dealing with like Ad Naus. All modes are relevant and it can be recurred with Sun Titan. I'm gonna start testing it as a 2-of in S-Titan lists and see how well it performs.

    It won't be perfect testing without knowing how the meta will change post-Amonkhet, but this is the list I plan on trying out for the next couple weeks until release:

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    While I won't pretend DSJ is a good matchup (very very few decks can say that and still be good against the rest of the field), it's not as abysmal as it seems. Yes, it's unfavorable. There will be games where they strip you of everything via hand removal, but that was also a problem with regular Jund lists and it just depends on the draw. There are a fair amount of games against DSJ where they take 1-2 pieces of interaction, land a threat, maybe follow it up, but we also draw cards like Snap and Path and have a fair amount of good topdecks as well. DSJ does have a lot of "air" in it sometimes, where if you can get to the grindy topdeck game, you can generally draw some pretty good cards (Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Felidar Guardian, Snapcaster Mage, etc). I think DSJ has a much worse mid-long game than regular Jund. Like I said, not favorable, but very few decks these days actually have a favorable DSJ matchup and we shouldn't stress too much about it.

    I've found Valakut to be close to 55-45 in our favor. There will be hands where we draw the wrong cards like Bolt and Path, but there's also hands where we just Remand them to death and land the combo. Or attack them with Vendilion Clique and then blink our Cliques. Not to mention the Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and/or Sun Titan lists have a strong end game too. If you can Spreading Seas them somewhere in there too, then you're also well-positioned. I've had hands with Bolt Snap Path and a bunch of lands against them and that's of course weak. But I've also Clique'd my opponent and seen them sitting on a ramp spell, a Bolt, and an Anger of the Gods. The matchup can be very draw dependent as our deck isn't as redundant as some.

    Tron can always have the nuts on you, but feels pretty favorable to me and much more winnable than with other Jeskai lists, even Jeskai Geist. The only problem in the Tron matchup is Oblivion Stone, as that can buy them so much time if we aren't clocking them and forcing them to blow it up. It also hits our Spreading Seas, potentially turning on their Tron lands at our EOT so they can use the mana. However, I've found that Remand, Spreading Seas, and Vendilion Clique really put the matchup in our favor, especially if we can draw out the game long enough to combo in one turn.

    Just my thoughts and experiences with the deck so far. It's not highly favored in a lot of matchups, but with tight play and a good sideboard, we usually have game against a majority of decks in the field.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Kefnet, the Blue God by Japanese Site
    While it seems underwhelming in terms of Modern playability, I think it'll be a solid 1-of in a Standard control deck. What's nice is that if some type of control deck does develop in the upcoming Standard meta (not Temur Tower, don't think this fits in that shell that well), that you can return cycle lands back to your hand late game to gain some more value. Also can save your manlands from removal, but that's an expensive play and I imagine there's much better things to do with 8+ mana.

    TL;DR: Overall underwhelming, but might see some fringe play in Standard if the meta isn't too hostile against classic control.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    You guys are awesome, thanks for the great feedback! I'll address all of your comments and concerns one at a time:

    @ThisBorzi: Thanks Borzi! Like I mentioned in the video, the Cavern of Souls + Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir package is 100% a meta call and can be regarded as flex spots, and I may be clouded in judgment due to my local meta (tons of Grixis Control/Delver and Nahiri around, which are difficult matchups). With that said, even in non-blue matchups, I like having cards that make it easier to combo Game 1 rather than sideboard to have cards that make it easier to combo Game 2/3, just because you're bound to see more hate post-sideboard and can fake people out G2/G3 by cutting some pieces of the combo. I've played a lot but I'm still tuning and learning the deck, so in a different meta, those slots may be given to other cards.

    @D90Dennis14: I've already addressed the Teferi comments above, so I'll skip to the next one. 1-of Lightning Helix is something I'm definitely interested in exploring, whether I cut a creature or a Lightning Bolt is something I'm not sure of yet. Personally it is hard for me to get away from the 4-of Bolt, 4-of Path removal package as its just so efficient and consistent. The 2 Vendilion Clique is respect for combo, control and big mana decks which we don't always T4 combo against. It helps disrupt. I find that Vendilion Clique is a generally consistent card whereas Pia and Kiran Nalaar is extremely strong against a smaller amount of decks. I've also never been a big fan of having to tap out on my main phase on T4 and up (unless it wins me the game or sweeps the board). Flash helps keeps your options open and create game states where you can freely resolve a 3-4 mana spell on your turn without too much fear that you will lose the next turn. Detention Sphere is a great card that I would love to have room for, but I think all the other pieces in the deck are just far more important. The sideboard is so packed as it is that I don't think I could find room for it, as it's a sorcery speed 1-for-1, and if its hitting tokens, I'd rather be playing Izzet Staticaster. Just my thoughts though and I'm happy to be proven wrong! Celestial Purge is definitely a card that I could find sideboard room for and I don't fault anyone for having it in there.

    @Continuousstream: Glad I could be of some help! Please let us know how it goes for you.

    VIPowL: I'm glad you enjoyed it! Damn dredge indeed haha, it's a matchup relatively dictated by the sideboard hate which you don't always draw, unfortunately. There are 3-4 Burn players in my local meta, so I've jammed about 5 games (or more) every Monday/Thursday against Burn for the past year or so, so I generally know how to play well against it. With that said, I definitely blundered that last turn because I didn't think of Lightning Helix and I thought keeping up mana open would be the best idea in case I needed to loot for the Dispel through some off-the-wall reason. I definitely didn't play it correctly, though, and I've learned from that. Against Sun&Moon, I generally think that if we're on the combo plan, which we are, that Dispel does a relatively good job handling cards like Lightning Helix. They do play Chalice of the Void, though, which may mean that trimming on 1CMC spells is probably the correct move because at the end of the day they usually do play at sorcery speed.

    I'm probably going to take a break from Saheeli for a week online and focus on some Grixis Delver/Shadow, but I'll let you all know when I have another series coming up! Thanks again for the support, you guys make it worth it!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Don't want to derail any discussion, but check out the link to see my latest Modern Competitive League results: Jeskai Saheeli 2.0.

    And for those of you who missed last week's iteration and want to see how the list evolved into a "2.0" version, here's the first playlist: Jeskai Saheeli 1.0.

    Deck is sweet and I'm enjoying it a bunch. I'm naturally a Jeskai Control player, so fitting the deck into a control shell came naturally to me. I don't doubt that the deck has some serious playability as a GWur deck, using Oath of Nissa and mana dorks like Noble Hierarch and Birds of Paradise.

    I think a tempo oriented version as discussed above is unrealistic in the Modern format, considering the wide range of decks. Reflector Mage is great when it works, but it's actually just a 2/3 for 3 mana against a lot of decks in the format. Bant Company can use it as an instant speed bounce or T2 bounce an opposing dork/1-mana play, but I think playing at sorcery speed is a mistake and playing a 3 mana creature for "tempo" is unrealistic in a cutthroat format. You want to be as unfair as possible while not being completely uninteractive. General counterspells like Remand do a great job against almost all matchups, and Lightning Bolt can always go upstairs. Thraben Inspector and Reflector Mage are (were) great in Standard, but having to pay to draw your cards will at the end of the day put you behind on tempo in a lot of matchups. In the grind, sure you might have time. But a lot of decks these days do not give you the time to do that. Wall of Omens gives you the card instantly and locks up the ground against most creatures. Spreading Seas hates 75% of the top tier decks' greedy manabases (Tron variants, Death's Shadow variants, and Burn). Snapcaster Mage and Vendilion Clique are some of the best reasons to be in blue.

    Not saying a creature-oriented version couldn't work, but I think the GW shell is much more explosive and grindier than the UWr tempo shell if you want to play the creature combat game. You could even play cards like Reflector Mage in that build as a 1 or 2 of due to Oath of Nissa and mana dorks to push it out T2. Just my thoughts, though, and I always encourage brewing up new and exciting ways to play Saheeli. I just think you'll find that the UWr creature tempo shell will be lackluster against the majority of the field at the end of the day.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I just went 4-1 in a Modern Competitive League (lost in the finals) with Jeskai Saheeli. I recorded it all, with a deck tech and closing statements for you that are still new to the deck or just want to see some experienced gameplay. I played the decklist I've been advocating for a while now, but if you stick around to the closing statements, I talk about ways to configure your decklist to an expected meta.

    I'll have the videos edited and uploaded soon, so stay tuned for that! Saheeli is good right now and people are not expecting it. Having a transformational sideboard plan has also really helped (in the form of Geist of Saint Traft and Jace, Architect of Thought).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I played a list very much like the one Paradox posted, minus the Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, simply because I don't have the card yet, and not really sure if I want it or not, we'll have to discuss that some more. I played 3 lightning bolts and 3 snaps, 3 Spreading Seas, and honestly it felt awful. Maybe I'm a bit too results oriented (spoilers for the tournament report, it didn't go well), but having access to closing out the game with bolt or snapping back a Remand,Path to Exile or serum visions to dig, is really good, and I'm going to go up to 4 bolt and Snaps. I played 2 Wall of Omens which felt pretty lackluster most of the time, but that is most likely due to the decks i faced.


    I managed to go a disappointing 1-3 yesterday, losing to Esper Mill (I know, right?), Grixis Control and Esper Control. Grixis felt awful, he mulled to 3 in game 1 and still managed to grind out value enough to win because I couldn't find the combo fast enough, next games he just tears me apart and lands Kalitas followed by Tasigur. Esper Mill was interesting to play against, as I, of course, didn't expect it at all. It is really difficult to combo off, so instead I tried beating with Snap and bolting, didn't end up working. Don't know what to take away from the game, really, not going to worry about it in any large tournament. Esper Control is rough also, but my I played against my good friend, so it didn't feel too terrible losing to him. The deck I beat was Infect, simply because I was able to remove all of his stuff. So, a rather disappointing evening, all said and done.

    I've found that the control matchups largely revolve around our key value cards rather than our removal or hate cards like Spreading Seas. You faced a tiny tiny part of the metagame, but of course local metagames are something you should be tuning for if you expect them.

    With that said, the control matchups aren't easy and they're not meant to be. During game 1, it'll help if you can resolve a Saheeli Rai against Esper Control, as they have no easy way to handle them. Cavern of Souls in the mainboard also helps. Overall, you just have to grind as you always do, but beating the blue mirrors isn't easy and takes practice, knowing when you time your spells, when to tap out, etc.

    I know finding room for Geist of Saint Traft isn't easy, but it goes a long way in a ton of different matchups, ESPECIALLY control matchups. That's why I recommend 2-3 in the sideboard. Trust me, they pay off. Cavern of Souls + Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir is also a back-breaking combo, although it's not as consistent as a T3 Geist of Saint Traft riding to victory.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Grixis Shadow is tough. It's my second deck on MTGO so I know how explosive the deck can be, but also resilient to topdecks with Stubborn Denial.

    I've found that the best way to beat them, and most Death's Shadow lists without Lingering Souls, is through the value/hard to kill creature angle, like Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Geist of Saint Traft, while cutting 3 copies of each combo piece because at that point they're just going to be value engines rather than combo pieces. You don't always get there, and the match is pretty close to 50/50 postboard. It really depends how fast they can get a delve creature or Death's Shadow out and how many Stubborn Denial they have, because if all they have is hand disruption, we can usually topdeck a Path to Exile or Snapcaster Mage somewhere down the road.

    As usual, the sideboard cards like Supreme Verdict, Blessed Alliance, and graveyard hate like Relic of Progenitus and Rest in Peace work overtime in this matchup and the post-board games can heavily depend on how much hate you draw. I'm currently a big advocate for Geist of Saint Traft as 2-3 copies in the sideboard, as it really helps attack a lot of different decks right now.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Quote from kelly032 »
    Anyone have thoughts on Shaun mclerans latest build on his stream this week that played 4 nahiri and 1 emrakul to have both combos in? It looked like too much for opponents to handle


    It was talked about a bit earlier in the thread. I tried it out and the biggest feel I got was that I was trading consistency for threat density. In an open, long tournament I'd rather have consistency than trying to "get" people with two combos in one deck. It's not bad, but it didn't feel optimal and had a lot of clunky hands.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Thanks! Yeah Blessed Alliance was an all-star that night. I was able to get an Etched Champion with it and gain 4 life. Ultimately I still lost to a Ghirapur Aether Grid that game, but it gave me a fighting chance in the race.

    I also played 12 or so games against Naya Burn (7 preboard, 5 postboard). I lost 5 preboarded games and won 2, but I won every single post board game. While I'm confident the postboard matchup is clearly pretty good, I still want to see if there's any way I can make the deck a little bit better in Game 1.

    EDIT - Here's the decklist I played:


    I'm considering cutting 1 Remand and 1 Lightning Bolt for 2 Lightning Helix, but I really like the playset of Remand in a lot of matchups and the list is already pretty counterspell-light so I don't know if those would be smart cuts.

    Skred Red: 2-0
    Game 1 I got the T4 combo because my opponent tapped out for a threat after I played Saheeli Rai. I imagine they didn't have a piece of interaction or else they wouldn't have done that, which is pretty rare. Also, Skred doesn't hit Felidar Guardian when you're on the play on curve which is nice. Game 2 was a little grindier, but I was able to force through the combo by Remanding all of my opponents spells until I could keep up a Dispel and go off with the combo all in one turn (7 mana total).

    Death's Shadow Jund: 2-0
    Game 1 was grindy, as my opponent took a bunch of my cards with hand disruption and played 2 Tarmogoyf and 2 Death's Shadow. I was able to land a Pia and Kiran Nalaar at a timely occasion, and my opponent was at 7. I made some smart blocks for a couple turns, with Saheeli Rai being able to net me a few more thopters for more blocks. My opponent shocked down to 7 due to Spreading Seas, and I was able to swing with a thopter and Bolt-Snap-Bolt. Game 2 was also grindy, but I was able to get Path to Exile later down the road to get rid of a singular Tarmogoyf threat, then follow up with Pia and Kiran Nalaar. My opponent used Kolaghan's Command to get rid of P&K and the last card in my hand, but I topdecked a Jace, Architect of Thought and drew about 6 cards total that game with it and was able to end the game with a Geist of Saint Traft a few turns later.

    Affinity: 2-1
    I was able to prolong the game long enough and get rid of my opponent's disruption with Vendilion Clique, and forced the combo after seeing well over half my deck. Game 2 I made significant misplays, forgetting that Etched Champion needed 3 artifacts to have protection (I'm just so used to it always being active). I had 2 opportunities to Path it and missed both and my Stony Silence got countered T2 by Spell Pierce. Eventually I crawled back into the game due to Blessed Alliance, but a resolved Ghirapur AEther Grid got me good, dealing me about 4 damage a turn and I couldn't race. Game 3 was ridiculously grindy and we were running low on time. I was able to remove a bunch of his threats via Supreme Verdict, then followed up with Snapcaster Mage into another Verdict to get rid of a topdecked Etched Champion. Then, the game got grindy and I threw a bunch of cats onto the board and eventually got some Snaps to beat him down as he drew dead cards due to my onboard Stony Silence.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Just 3-0'd my local Modern tournament.

    Beat Skred Red 2-0, Death's Shadow Jund 2-0, and Affinity 2-1 (misplayed heavily in game 2 resulting in a loss).

    Death's Shadow Jund didn't even feel that bad to be honest, and then I won 2 more "for fun" sideboarded games. Value cards like Pia and Kiran Nalaar do good work and the Bolt-Snap-Bolt plan is live towards the end game. Game 2 it becomes easier with Blessed Alliance, Supreme Verdict and I shave a few pieces of the combo for graveyard hate and 3 Geist of Saint Traft.

    I'll post my decklist soon, but didn't get a chance to see the power of Cavern of Souls yet.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    @rick90: I think that core is pretty solid, it is what I run as well minus 1 Snapcaster Mage, which is a decision based on my other 6 slots in the deck. I've tested over those 6 flex spots a lot. My recommendation would be to go to 23 lands as one of the flex spots as it just increases consistency. Colonnade is not as bad as it seems. Yes, it comes into play tapped but the amount of games it has won me against an opponent with a bunch of counters/decays/bolts in hand is insane. I would definitely reconsider running 1-2 (I play 2).

    Next, I play a more proactive creature-heavy build oriented around the combo. This means I decided not to dilute the deck with control-style counters, even if those counters are pretty generally powerful in effect (such as Cryptic Command or Spell Snare). This is largely the reason for shaving a Snapcaster Mage because when I had 4, I flooded on snappies quite often with no instants/sorceries to even use (I only have 17 total). This has been shown to be successful in some of the 5-0 lists on MTGO.

    In my 5 remaining slots I opted for 2 Wall of Omens, a card I was initially unimpressed by but it has helped in a lot of aggro matchups and adds more draw effects for Felidar Guardian. I added another Vendilion Clique and a Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir to be more proactive with the combo against reactive decks. Lastly, I added in a copy of Dispel to also protect the combo. You can see the full decklist linked in my signature below.

    Configuration has worked very well, only struggling occasionally against Death's Shadow with a heavy discard start or Burn/Revolt Zoo with explosive starts because it's very hard to stabilize if you don't have the combo ready by T4-T5.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I'm not a fan of Swan Song, because sometimes we fight over a bunch of Paths/Bolts/whatnot and when the dust settles and if the game is still going, we don't want to have to then answer a 2/2 creature as we try to rebuild.

    This just in: Cavern of Souls is indeed the nuts against blue decks, not that that's anything new. I don't think it hurts our manabase that much, although there was 1 game where I couldn't cast Supreme Verdict (post-board) on time. So I've cut -2 Spirebluff Canal and added +1 Arid Mesa and +1 Cavern of Souls and the switch has felt great. Naming Human or Wizard is great to push out a Snapcaster Mage, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Vendilion Clique, or Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir and there's great overlap between the two types. I've also named Cat a few times, then cast Felidar Guardian through counters, then blinked the Cavern of Souls to make way for the rest of the creatures in hand.

    Deck has been great, burn matchup is a little rough and I'm considering adding more sideboard slots but I don't want to over-sideboard. Currently just have 1 Dispel main, 2 sideboard, 2 Blessed Alliance sideboard, and 1 Timely Reinforcements sideboard. Wondering if I should find a slot for another Timely Reinforcements or a Lighting Helix, but my sideboard is stretched so thin these days its hard to find cuts.

    I also played a match a bit ago and someone recognized me from my YouTube videos. That was awesome!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Maindeck Dispel has been great so far, but I wouldn't play more than one. I'm also starting to test Cavern of Souls in the more creature heavy builds because my meta is pretty blue heavy. I'm also testing 1 Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir in place of one of the Pia and Kiran Nalaar.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I have also found that the Pia and Kiran Nalaar 2-of package generally draws a Bolt/Path/Terminate very quickly, leaving room for the combo. And if it doesn't get answered, we can accrue a ton of value off of Felidar Guardian and/or Saheeli Rai. The only time that this is not particularly strong is against completely non-interactive decks, which at that point Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir would be much better.

    However, I have found that my manabase is significantly more consistent without having to strain for triple blue by T4. Because I'm on the Pia and Kiran Nalaar package at the moment, having to hit double red by T4 would be extremely painful if I had to hit triple blue by T4/5, especially if I'm running Verdict (main or side) which means I also need to make sure to get double white.

    I have found that being cheap, efficient, and consistent wins a lot more games than "going big" in the form of Sun Titan, maindeck Supreme Verdict, or Cryptic Command. Those big, splashy effects are better left for the sideboard or in the mainboard in a heavily known field in a tournament.

    My list right now:
    I never got a chance to test Jeskai Naheeli due to an ER emergency the other night, but I do have more faith in a straight Saheeli list to be honest. Decklist above is consistent, streamlined, and can get the job done in an open (unknown) field.

    EDIT; @dorfadin29: I can't give an exact rules explanation for why this happens, but yes, similar to blinking creatures that blocked a creature without Trample, the creatures won't deal any damage once attacks are declared at Gideon Jura. I also think this is slightly different than blocking, because even if the creature has Trample, the damage is already going at a "player", so no damage rolls over to you even if Gideon Jura leaves the battlefield.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Did anybody see Shaun McLaren's stream yesterday? He was playing Jeskai Naheeli (4 Nahiri, the Harbinger, 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, 4 Felidar Guardian, 4 Saheeli Rai plus a bunch of Jeskai cards). At first I didn't really like it, but I tested it a bit and the high threat density is definitely nice. He also went 5-0 with it in a friendly league. There's also a lot of situations where your opponent has to pick which battle to fight (Nahiri or the combo), which really taxes the reactive decks. Against less reactive decks, the proactiveness of the deck due to the high threat density was nice, but the deck played far less value creatures such as Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Vendilion Clique, or Sun Titan.

    His deck last night played zero copies of Lightning Bolt, which instinctually feels very wrong. However, there is no denying that Lightning Bolt is a little lackluster against the top tier decks right now. We've also seen a lot of the regular Saheeli lists cut down 1 copy of Lightning Bolt and/or Path to Exile.

    With that in mind, I've brewed up this list and I'm taking it down to my Magic meet-up tonight for some testing against decks like Burn, Bant Spirits, Grixis Control/Delver, Skred Red, and maybe some other decks.



    Shaved down a copy of Path to Exile and Lightning Bolt to make room for Lightning Helix, as the lifegain is relevant in an aggressive meta. One copy of Supreme Verdict to make up for the fact that we lose a lot of tempo by tapping out on T2/T3 on cycle effects and planeswalkers. Two more Verdicts in the side to help in the creature heavy matchups. Lots of burn hate in the sideboard as well. Extra copy of Path to Exile to deal with DS-style decks. Elspeth, Sun's Champion is a powerful finisher against Jund/Junk. 4 sideboard counters to handle control/combo decks. Then some extra hate cards in the form of Stony Silence, Rest in Peace and Relic of Progenitus.

    Like I said before, the high threat density has felt really strong, especially backed up by sweepers against decks that pressure our planeswalkers via creatures. There's a lot of tapping out in this deck and a low amount of counters maindeck, so once opponents get up to Cryptic Command mana the games could be tough, but there's a lot of grinding potential.

    With how new the Saheeli archetype still is in Modern right now, I think it's important to test out all potential variations. I'll report back tonight on how it performs against some top tier decks.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Quote from Lejoon »
    Quote from ThisBorzi »
    Quote from Lejoon »

    I do like Jeskai Saheeli, I think it is a good deck that has just a few too many bad matchups currently to be truly good (Eldrazi, Burn, Death's Shadow, Dredge, BGx, Valakut). It is a matter of the meta changing to make it favourable for Jeskai. I play lots of decks and Jeskai Saheeli is one of them.

    Ugh...out of those 5 decks, I beat three of them pre board and I think my chances against dredge are decent once I get to board in relics (burn is also not impossible because you can just steal some games due to variance or via Timely Reinforcements). Valakut especially has been a walk in the park from my experience (the titan version, not RUG).


    The problem though is that this deck has the same problem as Jeskai Nahiri, it can be tuned to beat alot of its bad matchups but they all require different tools. Problem is that the combo is not naturally good against those decks so you can't build your sideboard to encompass all the above decks. You need to choose your fights and thus it's a difficult deck to take to a GP unless you get lucky with pairings.


    I have to respectfully disagree with that assertion. The beauty of Saheeli is that we can also play the relatively un-interactive, proactive game and win so that we don't actually have to answer all of our opponents plays, THEN win. Most Saheeli lists are playing cards that: draw more cards, counter spells (all decks play spells), have enchantments that target lands (all decks play lands), and then have a 7-8 card removal suite (similar to many many other decks). We don't have to acquire complete control of the game like other control decks because we can combo off as early as T4, and if we're not, with most draws, we're significatly disrupting our opponent to set up to combo. We do not need full control of the game state to win, unlike Nahiri (need to protect her for a 2 turns) or hard control (relies heavily on card advantage).

    Considering how little percentage this deck holds in the current meta (under 0.20% iirc) and how few people are playing it, this archetype has produced strong and promising results with a GP Top 32 (top 8 iirc but someone may correct me), lots of 5-0 in comp leagues, and a fair amount of Top 8s at the most recent TCGPlayer states events.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely re-work the sideboard a bit. It's something I've been going back and forth on. Regardless, loving the deck. I've been a Jeskai player for years now and this has been the best build by far (not including Jeskai Twin, RIP).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Yeah, I just started testing them on MTGO (also haven't dropped a game in a while). Been beating all kinds of control and Tron, loving the deck's feel in the current meta. Still haven't had many good games against the boogeyman, Death's Shadow.

    Here's where I'm at:



    Deck has felt just fine at 22 lands. We have so many cantrips. I'm pretty confident about the creature, planeswalker, and enchantment numbers in the above list. Only thing I've constantly been playing around with is the counterspells. I like having at least 1 Cryptic Command, even though it does strain the mana a little. I also don't feel comfortable going below 3 Remand because I feel that it really helps smooth out the early game and ensures the flow of lands/cards. So basically with the remaining spots, which there are 3 of, I'm playing 2 Spell Snare and 1 Dispel.

    I'd love all your thoughts on the above statements, because I want to tune the list a bit more before recording another 5 match comp league video.


    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I think one of the lists you mentioned was a Top 8 at a TCGPlayer States event, but regardless, the power of a control deck with a combo finish is indeed showing its strength with some good finishes, and that's pretty good considering how few people are playing it.

    Jeskai colors have always been very rewarding with proper metagaming. While it's good to analyze individual lists, it's important to remember that tournaments at local stores could be heavily metagamed (and the same could be said for MTGO, but less so). I personally think 4/4 Bolt/Path is the way to go, especially 4 Path to Exile with Death's Shadow Jund/Grixis being the top deck right now, with Eldrazi Tron not far behind.

    For those of you that play Wall of Omens, have you been impressed by it? I'm not sure I deem it worthy enough as a cantrip, but I haven't actually tested it for more than 1 night.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    EDIT: Woops didnt quote. This was in response to the Magic Card Market list and Paradoxically Omega.

    This def the type of list I think this deck operates best in. I've been playing something similar in concept to this list but not an exact 75.

    I really don't think we should be trying to jam Sun Titan into the deck unless you're playing a lot of walls or other solid targets for it (which current lists don't seem to be imo), but I really don't think (and this could straight up be a by product of my local meta) we need to be playing walls at all. Like it's good against burn and solid against like affinity and infect. But it's kinda garbage against the rest of the field right now. I understand the curve of like T2 Wall into T3 Saheeli have the wall keep Saheeli alive then T4 Cat. But I've been much happier just playing a control game and keeping the board cleared through removal and wipes. I rarely just wanna slam Saheeli on turn 3 anyway unless the board is clear or the opponent only has some dinky little creature.

    The combo is really easy to interact with as it's happening so I've been trying to keep my list less focused on keeping Saheeli alive over the course of multiple turns and more just focused on keeping her alive for the turn we go off or like one turn in advance. I've been playing one dispel main board and it has been straight up dope as hell. I'm considering upping it to two. Also running a one of Detention Sphere which has been pulling it's weight so much. Wouldn't ever want more than one of in the maindeck but it takes care of so many problem cards that are hard for us to deal with in game 1.

    Last thing I wanna say/ask before I wrap up this wall of text is: have any of you tried out Geist in the board? I'm running three in the board at the moment and it's been performing really well for me. Being able to shave down on some of the combo/whatever bad cards you have in the maindeck to bring in a really hard to kill proactive threat has been dope. After game 1 the jig is up and they'll be boarding mainly to try to stop your combo so attacking them on a different axis can really throw a wrench in their plan.

    I'm also not s fan of the Sun Titan and Wall of Omens lists. It's good in GBx style metas I guess, where you know you'll have time to make it to 6 mana and resolve it. But in a large tournament (100+ people), you're bound to face some completely non-interactive decks where those are completely dead cards. I like having general answers and a proactive combo plan game 1, then transitioning into a grindier game for Games 2 and 3 if the matchup calls for it.

    Geist of Saint Traft is exactly what the next step in evolving my sideboard was after my 3-2 in the league. I think that's the type of card we need in the sideboard to handle the hard control matchups that try to blank our combo via removal spells. I haven't been able to pick up any online yet, but on paper I have 2 Geist in the sideboard currently, and I'm trying to find space for a 3rd. Here's where I'm at for the sideboard at the moment:


    Wear // Tear is the only card I could consider cutting for a 3rd Geist of Saint Traft at the moment. But I like Wear // Tear's versatility in a wide array of matchups.

    I also like the idea of 2 Dispel maindeck, but it's hard for me to shake off the counterspell suite that worked best for Twin and feels like it handles the majority of metagames, which is this:


    Although I could easily see a swap between 1 Spell Snare and 1 Dispel, I just hate Dispel because if it's dead in a matchup like a creature oriented matchup or some off the wall sorcery-speed tier 2-3 combo deck, then it feels really poor. But the 2nd Dispel might be worth it.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Quote from ThisBorzi »
    Don't know if anyone has posted it, but Copycat made it into the Top-8 of an MKM Series!
    http://series.magiccardmarket.eu/2017/03/18/angelo-cadei-copycat/

    List is pretty interesting, contradicts some of the things we had been discussing regarding the value of cryptic and playing maindeck protection - this list plays both.

    While I personally wasn't on the Cryptic plan, this list is extremely reminiscent of Splinter Twin lists (and the list I played in my YouTube series). Maindeck protection is something that I'm incredibly all for. I think Game 1, the combo should be the #1 priority because most opponents will not be prepared for it and even if they have something like Lightning Bolt or Path to Exile, we can still combo out. Game 2 we can sideboard accordingly and become a more controlling deck, which can be seen in his list in the form of the Jace, Architect of Thought and Supreme Verdict.

    I like the list a lot. I'd make a few changes personally, because I don't like playing Wall of Omens without 1 Supreme Verdict to take advantage of our opponents over-extending with creatures, but I can also respect that all the cards in the maindeck are relatively versatile in all matchups. Maindeck sweepers can be a good meta call but can be poor in a less creature heavy, more control/combo oriented metagame.

    EDIT: The list also plays 21 lands which seems really aggressive/inconsistent. Even though there are 2 Wall of Omens, 4 Remand, 3 Spreading Seas, and 4 Serum Visions as cards that replace themselves and draw into lands, you still need to hit land 2 on time, and your opponent won't always play spells into Remand or have lands you can hit with Spreading Seas on T2 on the play, so I'm hesitant to ever go below 22 lands (prefer 23).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    Hey all, I ran the deck through a Modern Competitive League and went 3-2! I even got paired up against Todd Stevens from the SCG Tour and had a pretty back and forth game. You can catch the games here: All-In Jeskai Saheeli Copycat Playlist.

    The decklist is the same as the one I posted a bit back.



    We beat Affinity, Bant Company, and Dredge, and we lost to Grixis Control (1-2, close games), and BG Midrange (0-2, rough matchup). Watch it and let me know what you think of the gameplay, decklist, commentary, etc etc!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Copycat (Saheeli + Felidar)
    I've been piloting an "All-In" version with decent success on MTGO. Would love opinions on it. Although Splinter Twin was a different beast, I did try to slightly tune the list to behave similarly.



    Game 1 is all about combo. Sideboarded games allow for a more controlling/midrange strategy or more hate and counters for opposing combos/aggro decks.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I rev'd up one of the SCG Top 8 Decklists in a Modern Competitive League. Check it out here: Click me!

    Of course, for those that don't want to be spoiled, do not click the spoiler below. However, due to some recording issues, only 3/5 matches got recorded, so I added an extra that features a match of Death's Shadow Grixis, so stay tuned for that at the end!

    I wanted to test some of the lists that had shown success in actual tournaments. The list performed very well, with the only loss in the league chalked up to some flooding in the mirror. We were able to take down Lantern Control, Jeskai Saheeli, Abzan Midrange, and Abzan Evolution. The loss, again, was to Grixis Control (with a twist, which you will see if you watch the game)!

    Then, at the end, I included one of the matches from my testing with Death's Shadow Grixis. I think it's a cool list, but fragile and less powerful than Jund. I'm not sure counterspells, cantrips, and Delve threats are better than Tarmogoyf and Lili's.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from NotoriousATX »
    Went 5-0 tonight with cryptic delver, deck feels great in my meta and in general feels well rounded.

    2-0 Abzan Midrange

    2-1 GW Tron

    2-0 Jund

    2-1 Brain in the Jar / Expertises

    2-0 Esper Control


    Having delver and cryptic in the 75 together feels really good, 21 lands also felt fine

    Nice to see some good results! I'm also inclined to play 21 lands with the Cryptic Delver build. How come you don't play any K-Command in the 75?
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Death's Shadow Grixis is super spicy. I can probably sell off some stuff on MODO and pick up the pieces and test it out!

    Quote from rogue_LOVE »

    You probably cover this in your conclusion, but any thoughts on what worked, what didn't, changes you'd make, etc.?

    I do cover it in the final video, but I'll give the highlights:
    -The list didn't have enough early counters to protect or push the tempo advantage with Delver of Secrets.
    -Aggressive decks, with reach in the form of Burn, give us a lot of trouble. Less Cryptic Command, more early game counters.
    -3rd Fatal Push was unnecessary.
    -Still not sure whether the deck needs fastlands (Spirebluff Canal, Darkslick Shores) vs. checklands (Sulfur Falls, Drowned Catacomb).
    -I also talk quite a bit about the sideboard, so you should check it out in the video itself when you have time!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    New playlist is up showcasing the tuning and testing of the second iteration of Cryptic Delver after we 5-0'd last week. You can find it here: Cryptic Delver Playlist 2.

    We didn't do so hot this time around, but we learned a lot from our losses. Round 1 Naya Revolt Zoo had the nuts both games. Round 2 we grinded aggressively against Grixis Control and won. Round 3 we played well against Eldrazi-Tron but missed out on some important late-game draws in Game 3 that led to a loss. Round 4 we beat up on Fish. Round 5 we defeated UB Control in Game 1, but Game 2 and 3 our SB plan didn't go according to plan and we ran into some unexpected oddballs (Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Notion Thief) and we probably didn't play tightly enough to secure the win.

    Still have very high hopes for the deck moving forward now that I know what we need to tune the deck for, what MB and SB changes would help, and how we can just be generally well-prepared for future matchups. Thanks for continuing to tune in, folks! I'll try to pump out more content in the next week or so!
    I mention it in the video, but if you all would like to see the Ancestral Delver deck in action, let me know and I'll try to showcase it in maybe a short, 3-video set. If there's any other recommendations or requests for Delver builds that you'd like to be tested out, please let me know here or inbox me! Thanks!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I think you hit all the right notes about the decks that give us trouble. There's 2 routes the deck can and should take to handle these changes in the meta. The first is to be as aggressive as possible so that you can ignore the majority of what your opponent does. The issue with this choice (18-20 lands, 13-14 creatures) is that we are still a UBx deck, and these colors are extremely reactive in the form of removal spells and counterspells. It takes a fine mix of proactiveness and reactiveness in a wide meta, which can be difficult to pull off.

    What's great about the second approach, which is the slightly higher land count and Cryptic Command is that Cryptic lets us do something very interesting, which is largely ignore what our opponent is doing via the tap all creatures mode, bounce target permanent mode, or counter target spell mode. It's an extremely versatile card in an extremely open meta that has game against lots of decks. The issue is surviving to cast the card. We can do that vs. half of the meta, but the other half will give us trouble, which is why I think we need to tune the deck to handle the early game in order to take advantage of our cheap threats and powerful top ends (K-Command + Cryptic + Snapcaster). This may sound a lot like what Grixis Control is trying to do, but we can also play the tempo game in the form of Delver of Secrets against Eldrazi, Tron, combo, etc. We give up a few things running Cryptic in the list, but I think we gain much much more.

    I've been testing all day today this list:

    I played about 4 games back-to-back against Tron variants. It beat GR Tron, GW Tron, Eldrazi Tron (close games, not easy matchup), and lost to U-Tron in also a set of close games (really draw dependent, don't want to fall into the control role in this matchup).

    Then, played against Naya Bushwacker 3 times, losing twice and winning once. The sideboard plays a huge role in the success of the deck, as well as having a large quantity of cheap counters and removal spells in hand. It's important to mulligan aggressively in this matchup. You really need T1 Bolt/Push/Snare, T2 2 of these spells and T3 Snap into one of the spells. That is how I won most of the games. I lost most of the games by keeping land-heavy, low interaction hands. Also, every single life point matters. Minimize life loss with smart play as much as possible, no room for error, similar to Burn. TLDR: Against Bushwacker: MULLIGAN AGGRESSIVELY, CONSERVE LIFE TOTAL.



    Notes about the current list:
    -Haven't tested 1 Logic Knot in the place of 1 Mana Leak. Trying to get some more consistent results before adding spice.
    -Earlier builds had less Thought Scour, and I missed the 4th copy. Definitely enjoying going back to up to 4 (thanks 9tailz for the suggestion!)
    -Cut down to 21 lands. Don't miss the 22nd last whatsoever.
    -Cut down to 3 Cryptic Command. Don't miss the 4th copy too much. You tend to only really need 1-2 in the grindy games to close out a game.
    -Removed Surgical Extraction from the SB and haven't missed them at all. There were some win-more moments where I was able to discard an Ad Nauseam and then extract it, but I think playing the discard/counter game is much stronger against Ad Nauseam, Grishoalbrand, UR Storm, and other GY based decks. Dredge still is and will always be an issue, and I'd rather run more Anger of the Gods for that matchup rather than Surgical.
    -Considering removing 1 Engineered Explosives and adding a second Anger of the Gods, but I like how EE is really good in the Death's Shadow Jund matchup as well as hard to interact matchups like Boggles.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from rogue_LOVE »

    I've been on 3 Cryptic, 4 Leak, and 2-3 Snare maindeck (depending on if I'm going 2 or 3 Kommand) plus usually 3ish more in the board (Dispel, Squall, etc.) and it's been a huge help. I'm not the best at reading when it's right to hold up for counters vs. build my board vs. cantrip, but even so they've done a ton of work for me.

    I haven't tested it, but I like the sound of (3-3-3 Cryptic Command-Mana Leak-Spell Snare) as the counterspell suite, with 21-22 lands. I also have really been liking 3 Kolaghan's Command in almost all of my builds, but that's because the builds tend to lean towards being more controlling. Definitely need to play around with the numbers and see what feels good. I also have been liking 3 counters in the SB in the form of 2 Dispel/1 Negate (sometimes Countersquall, depends on if I'm worried about the double-black in 1 turn issues) so I think we're more or less on the same page.

    Quote from Sonnenrad »

    It's becoming really tough for Delver in a format in which the most powerful decks are those that are gaining the ability to go super wide as well as super high (Eldrazi Tron/Tron).

    I haven't seen a lot of the Bushwhacker deck locally but I expect to see more of it because it's extremely cheap compared to a lot of Modern decks. Hell, I already have a lot of the cards from drafts/packs so I really just need some of the lands and the Goblin Guides. Anger of the Gods or Engineered Explosives is the way to go. The deck has a lot of "nut" hands compared to most decks I've seen.

    The thing with the online meta is that it can sometimes be extremely different than the paper meta. There's a lot of decks that are really easy to test out in MODO than to gather the paper pieces and play it in person. But I've seen a big uptick in a lot of Eldrazi variants, Bushwacker, GB Snek, and Death's Shadow Jund going up in the MTGO meta, and that may translate into paper meta during the next few big events. I'm currently on Anger of the Gods + Damnation as my sweepers of choice, but I may move back to Engineered Explosives. It just feels too slow sometimes, but you could get the same issue with Damnation so I'm not sure which is currently better positioned. And yes, the deck does have a pretty consistent "nut" draw. You'll see a good amount of them in my upcoming video series, unfortunately!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from 9tailz »
    I feel it brotha. My preference is moving av to sb. Speaking of Bushwhacker.. my friend t1 land, exile ssg, manamorphose, manamorphose, burning tree, burning tree, burning tree, bushwhacker, swing, go. On my turn I played a land and thought scoured -_-


    The deck is pretty nuts and they go so wide that they really tax our single-target removal spells. The difference with Bushwacker vs Affinity is that Affinity has key powerhouses (Plating, Ravager, Overseer) where Bushwacker has a bunch of creatures that are all relatively equal in power and can go so wide. I'm having a hard time dealing with the deck and I don't know how to be prepared for it without taking away too much from other matchups (MB and SB). Probably need more early counters (Mana Leak, Spell Snare). After my next video series is out I'll need to do even more tuning to stay ahead of the meta.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    You'll see in my upcoming video how I talk about the fusion of AV + Delver in the same list and I personally didn't like it. I'm glad you had success, 9tailz, but I do like sticking to the more streamlined Delver + Cryptic list, and that's it.

    I feel AVs are currently stronger in the sideboard, but that's just my opinion and more of a statement to the overall meta rather than a hard fact. I've been having far more success without AV in the mainboard, as there are some matchups that are really very fast these days that AV is a huge liability. Naya Bushwacker is picking up lots of steam and they can go off as early as Turn 2 and if you don't have Spell Snare, it quickly becomes damage control where a T1 Ancestral is basically dead (whereas at least Delver can block).
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from 9tailz »
    Went 4-1 tonight taking 3rd... Losing to bant eldrazi g3 due to screw...

    I played the 3 scour 3 ancestral 3 delver list, and it was great.

    Beat taking turns, burn, eldrazi tron and goryo.

    I got a chance to test kalitas in burn. Casted him at 7 life, tapped out and opponent had one card in hand. Could have been boros and draw a burn spell, but he didn't and you can imagine kalitas took over. Pretty high risk high reward in that matchup. Unless they have the path then its just bad. lol.

    I had the complete opposite results haha. It was a small sample size, but I just wanted to test it in a Modern Competitive League, and while I will put some of the losses to variance and bad mulligans, I did only go 2-3. I also took the deck to my local tourney and went 1-1-1, losing to Grixis Delver, drawing against Jeskai Nahiri, and beating Lantern Control.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Both lists seem very solid, pretty stock lists. I like the 1st place decklist much more than the 3rd, big fan of no Spell Pierce in the main along with a Collective Brutality in the main as well. Also the 20th land is definitely a move in the right direction to consistently hit land drops. Probably more or less the list I'd play for a streamlined Grixis Delver list (a list without spice, aka AV or Cryptic).

    I imagine those Thoughtseize are most likely Thought Scour. I don't think the deck can function with 4 Delve threats without at least 3 Thought Scour.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from LeoTzu »
    Quote from deathstroke99 »
    What do you guys think about Spreading Seas for land hate?


    Spreading Seas, despite costing 1 less than all the other popular choice for land hate, is suboptimal. It draws you a card, but that’s rather irrelevant in most Tron matchups. It only hits one land and doesn’t put them behind on mana, like the other choices.

    Blood Moon – Shuts off all of their extra mana producing lands and slows them down by at least 2-3 turns. Also shuts off other random utility lands like Sanctum of Ugin and Cavern of Souls EldraziTron variants.
    Molten Rain – Can be recurred with Snapcaster Mage and it deals damage (important with Tron, because you need to finish the game fast).
    Fullminator Mage – Can be recurred with Kolaghan’s Command and has a body.

    Against Tron, you're living on borrowed time. Turning one of their lands into a "fair" land is often not good enough. Getting rid of one of their lands, or turn ALL of their lands into "fair" lands, sometimes is good enough.

    Another thing to note about Molten Rain is the fact that it's a sorcery, which increases the likelihood of flipping Delver of Secrets. The double-red in the casting cost kind of turns me off, though. Fulminator Mage can be cast more consistently on T3.

    @Sonnenrad, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet has been great so far in my early testing. Really shores up some of those heavy creature matchups like Company, Chord, Elves, and more. I haven't cast it against Burn yet, but I imagine it's pretty great there too.

    I'm constantly trying to innovate and stay ahead of the meta with Delver, and while there is a level of aggression that can't be matched with the 18-19 land straight Delver lists, I think the meta will favor decks that can be both aggressive and play the control game rather than one or the other. I have tried to tune the SB to handle the spike in Death's Shadow Zoo in the online meta. Below, you'll find where I'm at with Delver and what I'll showcase in my upcoming video series. I think Cryptic Delver still has a lot of room to be explored and seeing it place at GP Vancouver (32nd place) gives me some hope that we are on the right track.


    Let me know your thoughts, comments, suggestions, etc. I plan on starting to record sometime tomorrow or Friday so let me know of any ideas before then! Stay tuned Smile
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I imagine it was similar to the one that placed in the GP with 3 maindeck AV and 2 Delvers. I don't think there was an AV in the side and tbh the 4th AV seems like a wasted SB slot, unless I'm misinterpreting.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from NotoriousATX »
    Don't know if you guys already saw it but there was a list that placed 32nd at GP Van running delvers and cryptics main deck

    Thanks for the heads up!

    For reference, here is the decklist:


    Deck seems pretty spicy. Interesting that they go for a 3-2 split for Ancestral Vision/Delver of Secrets vs. all-in. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that, considering that Delver is often a T1-3 creature that pressures my opponent rather than a late-game finisher (which is what it feels like with only 2 copies). Looks like they also trim 1 Thought Scour, which I've seen some lists do, but I think it takes away from the potential explosiveness of the deck with powering out delve creatures. I'll definitely test out the list and see how it does. I'm liking the Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in the sideboard. It's a move that I've been thinking about for quite some time now. Boom // Bust + Goblin Dark-Dwellers is also an interesting choice instead of the classic Fulminator Mage plan, and I wonder how effect it actually was in the important matchups.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    @9tailz: Yeah, I'm a bit hesitant to going down to 21 lands. It could definitely be incorrect, I'm not 100% sure. Also, Creeping Tar Pit is pretty solid, I'm just not sure how good it is for our tempo. I'll keep testing, though.

    @hammer0S: The big reason why I don't choose 1 or the other, but rather a combination, is because Crumble to Dust is a long ways from resolving if you have it in your opener. Even if you had 2 or 3 to increase the odds of seeing it, it does not ensure that you'll maintain a handle on the board state to get a positive result from the resolution. Fulminator Mage being 3 mana helps us interact with the opponent while we craft our own gameplan and slow the game down enough to hopefully hit our 4th land drop on time and resolve Crumble to Dust.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I've found that Fish can be a pretty hit or miss matchup. If you're on the draw and can't destroy Aether Vial ASAP, then the match can be pretty tough. I find that racing with Delver and/or Delve creatures is better than playing the control game. Glad to see you've been doing well, 9tailz!

    Here's where I'm at with some more testing with Cryptic Delver.


    Some thoughts:

    1) I went down from 4 to 3 Cryptic, as well as trimmed one land. I replaced these two cards with more threats (Vendilion Clique and Gurmag Angler), because at the end of the day, especially in Game 1, we're the aggressors and we have to maintain that position.

    2) I replaced one of the Kolaghan's Command with Electrolyze. I like diversifying the 3-drop value cards and Electrolyze can be a decent Game 1 answer to Lingering Souls, something that gives our deck a real problem.

    3) The manabase has changed slightly. I removed the Creeping Tar Pits, as well as added fastlands back in. I feel that taplands really hurt our tempo in the early game, but I still like having Sulfur Falls. I haven't run into any awkward T1-T2 Checkland/Fastland problems, but I have to do more testing to see if it is significantly annoying.

    Sideboard Notes:

    1) Sideboard has had lots of adjusting. Because the maindeck is a little lighter on counterspells, I wanted to make up for that with a 2nd Dispel in the sideboard.

    2) I also tested Nihil Spellbomb (and Rakdos Charm), but I found that against the decks that you want to nuke an entire graveyard, we tend to play the racing game anyways, whereas Surgical Extraction being an instant (helps Delver) and being potentially 0 mana helps against quick T1/T2 combos.

    3) I added a 4th land-hate card in the form of Crumble to Dust. I was always hesitant to add it in the straight Grixis Delver lists, but with more mana, I think playing the 4-drop hate can be good.

    4) Because there's no Collective Brutality in the mainboard, I have 2 in the SB. It is versatile, good against aggro and combo, and just comes in during a lot of matchups.

    5) I trimmed down to 3 Ancestral Vision in the sideboard because I didn't feel like the 4th made a significant difference. I also tested a different grind package in the form of 1-ofs of: Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Painful Truths, and Keranos, God of Storms. I personally felt better off with Ancestral Vision and think it is the superior card advantage engine.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Hi all,

    After spending a year playing UW, Jesai, and Esper I'm back to playing Grixis Delver again! I'm planning on attending a decently large tournament tomorrow (~70 players), and I'm trying to settle on a few card choices. Here's the list I played at the last FNM:




    I thought it felt pretty good, but I was surprised at how few Pyromancer tokens I had generated that night. I feel like maybe I want a Vendilion Clique in either the main or side, but I'm unsure of what to cut. The prevalence of GW creature value decks also has me concerned, so I have been considering at least one Magma Spray in the side as well (or maybe Anger?). How happy have you all been with Collective Brutality in the main? It's great for burn, but it's not exactly super stellar in a lot of other matchups. Obviously I'll try to borrow some Tarns to sub in for the Strands if possible. Thanks in advance of any suggestions, the deck is a lot of fun!


    That maindeck is about what I would play for the Delver lists with Young Pyromancer. For the sideboard, I'd recommend more big-mana hate, as those are the matchups where we can stumble sometimes. I recommend finding another slot for the 3rd Fulminator Mage, probably in the place of Thoughtseize or Desolate Lighthouse.

    For your sideboard, I'd recommend Magma Spray over Anger of the Gods, just because you don't want to have to sweep up the tokens you've built up over an entire game.

    Collective Brutality has been stellar in my opinion, and I definitely support having the second in the sideboard.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on [Primer] UWr Midrange
    I haven't seen a Valakut deck in a long time. I probably will replace it with an extra Negate, useble in more matchups.

    How do you guys find the Burn matchup, lost today but othertimes it's always close.
    I board out the 2 Spell Queller and bring in Dispel and Negate. Remand feels bad but maybe it's worse than Spell Queller? Some list play Kor Firewalker but they seem so narrow.

    From my experience, hard counters like Dispel, Negate, Spell Snare, and Mana Leak are infinitely better against burn than Remand. I almost always side out Remand against Burn. How many Lightning Helix are you running? That card is pretty key into securing a victory, especially if you can Snapcaster Mage it back. I find that the burn matchup is not extremely lopsided in our favor, but it's pretty good where Burn is usually one of the matchups I hope to face.

    I haven't tested Spell Queller, but it feels like it's better than Remand in most cases. If they have to point a burn spell at it to get their spell back, that's better than burn going to your face. I imagine they side out Searing Blaze against us anyways.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from CreativeTheo »
    I'm loving your videos so far, no pyro in the newest set. How do you feel about them in the current list?

    I'm not sure Young Pyromancer synergizes very well with high-casting cards like Cryptic Command. Against un-interactive decks, sure. But I think Young Pyromancer is definitely stronger backed up by cheaper counterspells like Spell Snare, Spell Pierce, and a higher density of 2-mana counters like Mana Leak, Remand, or Countersquall. With that said, I was talking about cutting down on some Cryptic Command in future lists, and we could see the deck move towards a more tempo oriented shell than a control shell, which means we'd cut some Cryptics, cut some lands, and add more threats and cheaper counterspells in their place. Like I've said before, there are lots of directions to take the deck. The idea was mostly a thought experiment to see if Delver of Secrets and Cryptic Command actually work well together (and it seems like they do!).

    Quote from xenr3 »
    Very cool videos, that matches with Cryptic Delver against Living End were intense.

    Those games were definitely the most intense of the series for sure. Thanks for watching!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver


    There it is! Thanks for the link, hammer0S.

    @rogue_LOVE

    There's still a lot of work to be done to tuning the deck and I'm excited to try out different mainboard and sideboard configurations. Blood Moon is possible, as we run a high amount of basics and fetches for it to not hurt us too badly. The thing with Big Mana decks is that there's two ways to approach them. I feel that it's either apply pressure + counter back-up or disrupt their game plan and land a finisher (Tasigur, Delver, etc). Not sure which is the best approach, or some combination of both. I'm interested in cheap counters (Ceremonious Rejection) as well as big mana hate (Blood Moon, F-Mage, Molten Rain, Crumble to Dust). The issue I'm having the most is that Eldrazi and Tron require different approaches because Eldrazi can function relatively well against single-land destruction effects and can sometimes go way faster than you can land them. I'll go into the think tank the next few days to see how I can reconfigure our board to better handle the wide variety of big mana out there.

    Thanks for checking out the videos, though! I'm constantly trying to improve the content from week to week and I'm getting much more comfortable with the commentary. Hopefully it shows!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Control
    The sideboard is kind of something I threw together based on my experience with other Delver lists, but I do think I need to re-approach the sideboard not only to handle a certain meta, but to behave more like a control SB. Definitely some tweaks that I would like to make going forward. If you watched the final video with the closing statements, you'll see that I didn't actually expect to do so well, but the combination of Delver and Cryptic worked really well against a lot of decks that aren't classified as removal.dec AKA Jund, Junk, Grixis, or Jeskai variants. Looking forward to tweaking it in the future, so thanks for checking it out!
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Because I'm not sure when I'll have access to a computer again later today, I went ahead and made the Playlist public. You can find it here: Grixis Cryptic Delver Modern Competitive League Playlist.

    If you're interested in last week's videos:
    Grixis Delver Pyromancer Modern Competitive League Playlist
    Straight Modern Grixis Delver Playlist

    And, if you're COMPLETELY behind, I've compiled all of my current videos from start to finish in a 16-video long playlist:
    Complete Modern Grixis Playlist

    I hate to say this part because it feels like a shameless plug, but feel free to like/subscribe/comment so I can bring you some more Grixis content in the future. MTGO ain't free!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I recorded all the matches so I assure you it happened. I'm not sure what the process is for 5-0's getting posted, though. Everything is uploaded on YouTube so I'll post the link once I make it public.

    I enjoyed the Delvers a lot as they were an extra clock that helped in most of the matches. I didn't face any "hard" control decks though, and I imagine Delver is underwhelming in those matchups.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I chose 3 Tasigur, the Golden Fang over a 2-1 split with Gurmag Angler because yes, in the ideal world where you can get two delve creatures out on the board side by side, the 2-1 split is great. But for my first delve threat, and if it's the only one I see during the game, it has to be Tasigur. He generates so much value when we're playing the control game. There are a lot of matches where I only see 1 Delve threat, and if it had been Gurmag, I probably would have lost. Not saying it's wrong to have 2-1 split, but I'm hesitant to play a "beater" over a "control" threat. With that said, I would be interested in finding a 12th creature slot for 1 Gurmag, but I wouldn't want to cut the Tasigur for it. But like I said, deck is still in preliminary testing and there's a lot of tuning to be done. I'm very hopeful for this type of build!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    For the people that like gameplay videos to be a surprise in terms of results, I'll post my thoughts and decklist in the spoilers below. But for anyone wondering, the deck performed splendidly. Stay tuned in the next couple days as I edit and upload the next playlist.


    So, for those that want the WHOLE playlist to be spoiled, we went 5-0 in a Modern Competitive League with the following decklist:



    So the deck felt really smooth, consistent, and effective against the decks I faced. We beat Mono-White D&T, Bant Knightfall, RW Sun&Moon Prison, Living End, and Mono-U Tron. I'll let you watch the videos that will be uploaded soon to see how exactly the games went. Some were close and required tight play, and others were not! If anyone has any questions about some of the deck choices, feel free to ask but I also go over the decklist in the deck tech video (which, again, will all be uploaded soon).

    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Quote from 9tailz »
    Went 3-1 last night with my "bad" delver control build.
    Beating tron, Jeskai control, Jeskai geist and losing to b/w taxes.


    I've been in the process of testing and recording some games with the Grixis Delver Control build and I have to say I'm quite impressed. Its pretty solid in both the early game and the late game. I'll share my list when it comes closer to uploading the videos, but in my preliminary testing it feels much better than the "straight" Delver list as well as the Young Pyromancer Delver builds.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Hey fellow Grixis Delver players! I just published my Modern Competitive League playlist for my updated Grixis Delver list. Please don't hesitate to check it out here: Click Me! Also, if you're interested in last week's straight Grixis Delver list, Click Me!

    Each match is against a different deck, so watching them all will help veteran and new players alike understand how good/bad the deck is against some of the decks in the current meta. If you liked it, please let me know here or on the videos so I can produce more of these Grixis videos for you, hopefully updating the deck as I go along to try to tune the deck!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    I began recording another Modern Competitive League with Grixis Delver. I got through 2 games with commentary, but finished the league without recording the rest due to having some computer issues. Will get them fixed soon so that I can create more content for you guys. Ended up going 4-1 with the list below:



    2-0 Naya Zoo
    Beat Naya (Little) Zoo, pretty easy matchup. I imagine the matchup would be more difficult if they played more x/4's like Loxodon Smiter, Knight of the Reliquary, or even Scavenging Ooze but the combination of Fatal Push and Lightning Bolt shut down their entire offense.

    2-1 Grishoalbrand
    I stole a pretty close Game 1 off the back of 2 Delvers and a bunch of Bolts on T4. Collective Brutality was very clutch in G1. Game 2 I was able to draw 2 Surgical Extraction but they went off using Through the Breach. Game 3 was close as well, but I was very well insulated with T1 Delver into Dispel and Surgical Extraction backup.

    2-1 Naya Bushwacker
    Game 1 was close, but Spell Snare was pretty key here. Game 2 went down to the grind and I flooded into a loss. Game 3 the opponent was on 2 lands the whole game and I was able to take advantage with an early Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Mana Leak.

    2-0 GB Elves
    Games were not even close. G1 Collective Brutality took out their Elvish Archdruid and sniped a Collected Company from their hand. Young Pyromancer closed the game out shortly after. G2 followed similarly, with lots of removal, Collective Brutality, and a Gurmag Angler to pressure the opponent until we drew Izzet Staticaster which was basically lights out.

    1-2 Bant Eldrazi
    G1 I drew the wrong half of the deck and punted a Spell Snare into a Cavern of Souls naming Horror for Spellskite. Got Reality Smasher'd shortly after. Game 2 I was able to remove their Noble Hierarch, follow up with a T2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang and T3 Fulminator Mage and that was back-breaking enough for the opponent. Game 3 was grindy, but I did not draw the right half of the deck. Fatal Push felt pretty bad against Thought-Knot Seer without any fetches. Mana Leak felt pretty bad against Cavern of Souls. Overall Grixis PyroDelver has the tools to beat Bant Eldrazi, but its pretty draw dependent.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Hey everyone, I've recently been testing Grixis Delver on MTGO. I had a short playlist on YouTube with a bit of commentary that will hopefully be helpful to new and veteran players alike. Click to go to playlist here. You'll be able to see an Ad Nauseum, Jeskai Flash, and Grishoalbrand matchup along with a deck tech to explain some card choices.

    Because this was my first time doing something like this, two of the videos got corrupted so I wasn't able to share the entire Modern Competitive League. If anybody is interested in the Esper Control or Abzan Midrange matchup, I can talk about those through text.

    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Grixis Delver
    Played a local 3-round tourney the other day, deck tuned for meta but could still use general advice because I'm relatively new to Grixis Delver.



    Round 1: 2-1 vs. Skred
    Game 1 lost to an early Blood Moon. Game 2 and 3 jammed an early delve creature and kept up counterspells the rest of the game to an easy victory.

    Round 2: 2-0 vs. Burn
    Game 1 was close but the opponent was stuck on 1 land for a few turns, letting me develop my board while keeping up removal and counterspells. Game 2 both opponent and I mull'd to 6 to 1-landers. I played a T1 uncontested Delver and kept up Spell Pierce, Dispel, and some removal for the rest of the game to take advantage of my opponent's mana screw.

    Round 3: 2-0 vs. Jeskai Nahiri
    Game 1 was grindy but I got some hits in with Delvers and an Angler and was able to Bolt for the finish with 0 cards left in hand. Game 2 was even grindier, but I was able to win most counter wars over Nahiri and grinded out with Kolaghan's Command and Snapcaster (9 cards left in deck at end of game).

    Overall, I'd like opinions on sideboarding. My sideboard was horribly constructed (which is why I'm not posting it as it was largely irrelevant). I would also like help on constructing the manabase with Fatal Push in mind regarding black sources, as some games I was riding solely on Vents+Spirebluffs with a serious need for black mana. Thanks!
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Established
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    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    My friend was the one who got 3rd. You can blame SCG for those Rewinds that should very obviously be Remand.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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    posted a message on [Primer] UWr Midrange
    After a break from Geist (I was on Nahiri), I've decided to go back to a more aggressive game plan as the metagame shifts.


    I've had a lot of success with the above list. I'm off Restoration Angel for the time being, because it's a 4 mana play that dies to Fatal Push, a card I expect to see a lot more. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar dodges a lot of removal and can grind against GBx, but also provide a fast clock against combo.

    Been considering having Blessed Alliance over Timely Reinforcements as my anti-aggro/burn tech, but I'm not sure it's actually as good without the hyper aggressive decks like Death's Shadow or Infect being as rampant, but I guess time will tell. I do like that Timely is a turn 3 play as opposed to Blessed which is a turn 4 play (if you really want to maximize the value).

    Overall, I think being more aggressive is the way to go (max out on burn, less lands, cheaper spells, tempo counters like Remand). I plan on playing this list in the Richmond Modern Classic, and possibly for Team Constructed in Baltimore depending on how the metagame shifts. Might make minor changes before then (still tinkering with 24 land builds, the number of Serum Visions, and all that good stuff).
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    @Bearscape,

    I agree 100%. I feel that in a more aggressive meta, Mana Leak will be much stronger than Remand. I have not been fond of Remand recently. Most of the top 8 was pretty aggressive and Mana Leak is strong in all of those matchups (with the exclusion of Cavern of Souls situations against Bant Eldrazi as well as Remand flexibility in blue mirrors [countering your own spells and whatnot]).

    @Cody_X

    I think 24 lands is the place to be and where I've had most success. I think a combination of Spirebluff Canal and Sulfur Falls warrants some testing, but I am definitely leaning towards 3 Spirebluff and 0 Sulfur Falls right now, due to the fact that we want our mana early game online ASAP and do not want to fumble with weird T1 Colonnade T2 Sulfur Falls starts. I also really like 2x Cryptic right now, and am even testing out a more sweeper heavy version (2 Anger, 1 Verdict) in this aggressive meta.

    I think our sideboard should shift to deal with Dredge (if you're not packing at least 2 Rest in Peace, you're doing it wrong) and other aggressive decks, while trying to have game against the decks that like to go bigger than us (Tron, Valakut/Scapeshift). I really like going back to 2x Crumble to Dust in the sideboards, with some other type of incidental hate in our sideboards as well like 2x Stony Silence for Tron/Affinity/Lantern Control, a healthy amount of Negate, cards like Aven Mindcensor that are hard to deal with post-board from those decks, and possibly more aggressive and disruptive tools like more copies of Vendilion Clique and Geist of Saint Traft, and even cards like Molten Rain in more aggressive lists or in combination with Crumble to Dust to facilitate its resolution.

    I'm not sure we need to push our sideboard too hard to fight Tron (ideas above are not all necessary in one sideboard) because it could get hated out by opposing aggressive decks which we have a lot of game against already, but going into an open field without any hate feels like a mistake to me.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    Spirebluff Canal is indeed the nuts. I was on a playset the moment they came out and I would never go back. I think it honestly depends on how many 4 drops you run, but the amount of life you save will win you some percentage of games, especially against the more aggressive decks. Over the weekend, I was able to go Spirebluff into Ancestral T1, then T2 Spirebluff into Bolt a mana dork and keep up Spell Snare, all while taking 0 damage. They can be awkward if you have a fastland heavy hand and need white early, but I think they are honestly amazing and would never leave the house without 3, and leaning towards 4.

    @Ym1r

    1) I'll be honest that I'm not expert and I've only tested with a few configurations (2 Leak 2 Remand 2 Snare 1 Cryptic (24 lands), 2 Leak 3 Remand 2 Snare (23 lands), 2 Leak 1 Remand 2 Snare 1 Pierce 1 Cryptic (24 lands)) so I can't say for certain how I feel about changing the counterspells much. I know for a fact that I want another Cryptic, especially in a 24 land build. I think the meta is pretty aggressive for sure, but we usually make it to Turn 4 and it is such a versatile and powerful card that I always wanted to see more over the weekend. Over the next week or two I'll be testing a 2-2-2-2 and a 2-1-3-2 Snare-Remand-Leak-Cryptic build. I'm not sure Negate is where we want to be in such an open meta, but I do not underestimate its success.
    2) I do not think we need to be running more than 3 Ancestral Vision, ever. The card is great in a lot of matchups, but when I tested 4, all too often I drew into more Ancestrals rather than action off the draw 3. Arguably, the fact that we dug 3 cards deeper is still great, but I think 4 is overkill and you will end up drawing a lot of air if you run a playset of Serum Visions alongside it. I think Remand is not as bad as I thought it was, but I'm still not extremely happy with it in the current meta. I think 1-2 are the right numbers, as opposed to 3 as I had a while back. Even though I would have liked to see Remand more often in some matchups, I'm still inclined to go with 2-1-3-2 Snare-Remand-Leak-Cryptic builds for now with 24 lands.
    3) I deliberated with myself for a while on whether to have Supreme Verdict or Wrath of God in the sideboard over the weekend. I'm not sure either one is 100% correct, but I did notice that the uncounterable clause never came up in any matchup, while anti-regeneration would have been great against Golgari Grave-Troll (although at that point, your position is already pretty rough). With that said, I think its certainly a meta call. I am more worried about my Merfolk matchup than I am my Elves matchup for sure, and Thrun is a fringe sideboard card that I am not expecting to try to counter. Welding Jar can be annoying off Affinity, but from my experience, they never play more than 1-2 copies of them and our Affinity matchup is generally pretty solid, especially if we're siding in Stony Silence. If decks like Bant Spirits are also on the rise, that is more reason for me to go with Verdict. It can even come in against Grixis Delver variants, while Wrath of God can be a huge liability.
    4) On a 23 land list, I would run a more tempo-oriented list with cheaper counterspells (no Cryptics). I would go the Gerry T. style with 1-2 copies of Anger and 1-2 copies of Timely Reinforcements in the mainboard, with 3 copies of Ancestral and 4 copies of Serum Visions to enhance consistency. Also, probably only 2 Colonnades. That's just my thoughts on 23 land builds, but its entirely up for discussion still. I would play less of a control game and more of a try to resolve Nahiri ASAP and protect her with cheaper counters, while having Ancestral + Anger/Timely to gain card advantage while recouping tempo. With that said, I feel like the 24+ land builds with Cryptic may yield better results in the current metagame.

    Thanks for the congrats and reading the write-up!
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • 5

    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    Hey all, here's my SCG Baltimore Modern Classic Top 8 tournament report. You can find the decklist here.

    I basically finalized my decklist the night before, trying to tune for a meta of degenerate decks such as Infect and Dredge. Aside from that, it was your basic Nahiri list. I guess the only spice is the Spell Pierce and 4 copies of Spirebluff Canal which I will go into more detail at the end.

    Round 1: Zachary P. with Skred Red
    Game 1: I wasn't sure what I was up against but I kept a T1 Ancestral Vision hand with some removal/counter interaction and some lands. After seeing my opponent drop like 3 Mountains in a row I had a good idea of what I was up against. I took a turn to resolve a Vendilion Clique and saw that his hand was a Blood Moon and a bunch of removal. I don't think I took anything, and I ended up resolving a Nahiri, the Harbinger eventually. The game dragged out a little for a couple turns because he topdecked a Stormbreath Dragon but I had the end of turn Cryptic Command and the Snapcaster Mage into Cryptic Command for it on the way back. I did end up resolving 3 Ancestral Vision that game which was absolutely nuts.
    Game 2: It went similarly, except I had Nahiri shoot down a couple Moons with her -2 while dealing with several Thunderbreak Regent. My opponent did not know they could redirect the damage from Thunderbreak to Nahiri which made the game much easier to win. Ancestral Vision also helped me keep up because my removal did not line up well against Thunderbreak so I had to 2-for-1 myself several times.

    1-0

    Round 2: Ben with Jeskai Nahiri
    Game 1: They started with a T1 Ancestral Vision, but they missed on lands for a turn. I was able to get ahead on lands by the time Visions was about to resolve and I actually just Mana Leak'd it with Spell Pierce back-up. My opponent actually just let the Ancestral get countered, and from there I was basically in the lead because they didn't hit land 4 and they passed. I followed up with a Vendilion Clique on their end step, saw a hand with 3x Nahiri and other good cards, I ended up taking a Snapcaster Mage and kept up countermagic for the Nahiri. I was able to Pierce, Snap, Pierce their Nahiri and then draw into my own Nahiri and took over the game from there because they could not pressure my Nahiri.
    Game 2: I don't recall specific events, I just remember resolving 1 or 2 Ancestral Vision. My opponent tried to get aggressive with Bolts and Snaps but I was able to counter the right spells and resolved a Nahiri and went to town. It was a pretty quick mirror match.

    2-0

    Round 3: Zachary D. with Grixis Control / Blue Jund
    Game 1: I kept a 1-lander Ancestral and Serum visions hand in the blind, but I had a Snare and a Bolt in hand for interaction and I felt that was alright, considering I was on the play. My opponent ended up taking the aggressive role, dropping me down to 9 with Bolts and Snaps but I stabilized the board and landed an uncontested Nahiri and won shortly after. I did not get to see what my opponent's deck was really all about Game 1.
    Game 2: My opponent had a much better draw, and I kept a 5 lander with Bolt and Negate, which might have not been smart on my part. They lead with Inquisition of Kozilek into another one on T2 into a T3 Liliana, the Last Hope. The game dragged on a bit from there, but they were able to out-grind me with Kolaghan's Command looping with Snapcaster and I had no real interaction from there.
    Game 3: Extremely intense game with tons of interaction. Very back and forth. They ended up taking a lot of life loss from their own mana base and I was flooding hard. My opponent seemed to sit back and do nothing for a turn or two, which made me think they had nothing but countermagic in hand. The game ended up being very close, but I won with Celestial Colonnade beats a little before time was called. I was at 4 life before the game ended, so it was definitely a stressful game considering I was flooding very hard while my opponent was sitting on 4+ cards.

    3-0

    Round 4: Luke with Lantern Control
    Game 1: I had a hand with lots of burn and my opponent didn't have Ensnaring Bridge or Lantern of Insight for a while. I ended up flooding pretty hard while my opponent was gaining life every turn with Inventors' Fair. I got a hit or two with Colonnade but it just wasn't enough and eventually he got the lock and I conceded for time's sake.
    Game 2: He got the lock very early, but I was able to throw a lot of burn at his face. Ancestral Vision was critical in winning the game as I resolved either 2 or 3 of them. I ended up landing an Elspeth, Sun's Champion and just waited for the right turn to Cryptic Command to bounce the Ensnaring Bridge and deal lethal damage.
    Game 3: We had about 10 minutes left on the clock, and neither one of us was about to concede. We played our heart's out but Lantern Control is not a deck known for quick wins. We ended up going to time and drawing.

    3-0-1

    Round 5: Jeffrey with 4-Color Humans
    Game 1: I kept a 3 land hand with 4 1-mana removal spells. He had a good start with cards like Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, triple Mantis Rider, and even Collected Company, but I was able to stabilize at 9 life with all my removal spells plus an Anger of the Gods and won with Colonnade + Bolt because they took themselves down to about 7 life with their own manabase.
    Game 2: Went similarly to Game 1, but I was able to cast Supreme Verdict after they had about 4 or so creatures on board. They never got much going after that and I won with 2 Colonnade beats + 2 burn spells in the span of 2 turns. Definitely a good, easy match-up for us.

    4-0-1

    Round 6: Jacob Baugh (OMG!) with Dredge
    Game 1: I knew what Jacob was on before we started playing because one of my friends was watching them play. I also knew that he was a great player going into the match. Game 1 was very difficult. I didn't see an Anger of the Gods at all but I tried to fight through with Snapcasters and Path to Exile. He ended up just going wide and unearted Eternal Scourge to deal me 12 damage in one turn and I couldn't stabilize from there.
    Game 2: Game 2 went much better. It took my opponent a while to get dredging properly and an Anger of the Gods I had from my opening hand cleared the board and he was not able to get creatures into play in the following turn. Nahiri got going soon after and a Supreme Verdict actually bought me a lot of time because my opponent did not have open mana to regenerate their Golgari Grave-Troll. They ended up casting 1 or 2 other Grave-Trolls to try to pressure Nahiri but they all got path'd. The paths were lucky in some cases and if I didn't have them I may not have won.
    Game 3: I still didn't find any of my 2 Rest in Piece, but my opponent mull'd to 6 or maybe even 5 and didn't have a single dredge for the entirety of the game. They hard-cast some Bloodghast and Stinkweed Imps but I cleaned them up with removal and landed Nahiri for a quick win. Definitely unlucky for my opponent but degenerate decks like those have a tendency to lose to themselves every now and again.

    5-0-1

    Round 7: Ryan with Abzan Evolution
    Game 1: He had a mana-dork start but I bolted it T1. He landed a Voice of Resurgence after that, but got stuck on 2 lands. I decided to wait on Path'ing the Voice because I actually had Anger of the Gods in hand. He ended up hitting me for 3 after playing another Noble Hierarch. I proceeded to sweeping his board. He didn't draw another land for the rest of the game. Nahiri followed the Anger and it was basically game over.
    Game 2: My opponent had a much better start and was able to pull of a few Eldritch Evolution into cards like Siege Rhino and Sigarda, Host of Herons. I didn't find any of my sweepers and my spot removal was just not good enough and I lost tempo pretty quickly.
    Game 3: Opponent had a good start as well, but I was able to counter some spells and sweep the board with Supreme Verdict after he Evolution's into Sigarda. He had a weak 1-mana follow up the next turn and I proceeded to cast Nahiri. He was able to Evolution the dork into Anafenza, the Foremost but I had Path to deal with it and eventually ultimate for the win.

    6-0-1

    Round 8: Anneliese F. with Tron
    Intro: I knew what Anneliese was on because we actually were in the same playgroup coming into the tournament. I also knew it was a horrible match-up. A couple of her friends suggested I concede because getting 1 point against Tron is better than 0 points from a loss. I did the math and I actually had to win one more match and at least win or tie another match to make it into top 8. I knew it would be difficult, but I decided I had to play onward. We were the only two undefeated players left.
    Game 1: Tron did Tron and I had little ways of stopping it. I countered a Karn and an Ulamog and actually resolved a Nahiri, but my opponent had another Karn waiting and she exiled my Nahiri, then resolved an Ugin and I conceded shortly after.
    Game 2: Unfortunately, Anneliese mull'd to 4. I kept a hand with Crumble to Dust, Negate, Vendilion Clique, Nahiri, and 3 lands. She got stuck on 2 lands and I ended up resolving Crumble, into Snap-Crumble, into Nahiri, and eventually won. Surprisingly, Anneliese actually made it up to 4 mana and almost cast a Thragtusk.
    Game 3: Anneliese mull'd to 6 and kept a 1-lander. She kept a couple stars/spheres to cycle, but never drew a second land until about t4. I ended up repeating Game 2 where I Crumble'd, Snap-Crumble'd into Nahiri. I beat Tron the only way I thought I possibly could, by having them stumble and me drawing the exact cards I need to hate them out.

    7-0-1

    Round 9: James W. with Ad Nauseum
    We decided to intentional draw to ensure both of us made it into Top 8.

    7-0-2

    I went undefeated in the Swiss going into Top 8 as the #1 seed. I was paired up against the 8th seed, Jeff Hoogland on Kiki-Chord

    Quarterfinals: Jeff Hoogland with Kiki-Chord
    Game 1: I felt that this was actually a good match-up for me. I was able to get the game down to topdecks more or less with Jeff having a Restoration Angel and something else in play, while I was beating down with Colonnades as his life total was getting low. I had Clique'd the previous turn to see that he had nothing but a bolt. Unfortunately for me, I had interaction in hand but tapped out to attack with Colonnade thinking I was free. He topdeck'd a Chord of Calling and combo'd me out with Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker.
    Game 2: I had a perfect hand. 2 Spirebluff Canal, a fetch, a bolt, an ancestral, a spell snare and something else. I T1'd Ancestral, T2 Bolt dork and kept up Snare (and used it on a Voice). Game got a bit grindier from there but I picked my battles well and ended up resolving the AV and casting Nahiri and ended up winning.
    Game 3: I didn't have the best opener but it was a good enough 7. Jeff seemed to have a very explosive hand, even after I bolted the Bird. He clogged up the board a lot and I never drew any of my sweepers. He ended up resolving Scavenging Ooze and it locked me out of casting Snapcaster Mage for any value. I tried to grind it out as best as possible, playing towards one of my sweepers but it never came and eventually he combo'd me out with what I believe was 3 Chord's in hand and 1 Restoration Angel and a stacked board.

    7-1-2

    And that's the play by play for my Modern Classic experience! I honestly feel Jeskai was pretty well-positioned today with the right tuning. There were not as many aggressive decks as I had hoped (never sided in Timely Reinforcements once).

    Take-aways:
    1) Tune, tune, and then tune again for your meta. I felt that I had tuned my list to be pretty strong against what I expected to face.
    2) Spirebluff Canal are nuts. I would not run less than 3 in a 23/24 land list. Sulfur Falls may be better if you're a harder control-list.
    3) Spell Pierce did work in a few games, but I actually did not draw it often enough to know what it was all about. When it was dead in my hand, any of the replacement cards would also have been dead (Remand, Mana Leak, or Spell Snare). Definitely need to test more to see if its any good. My rational for playing it was that when the games goes long, I tend to win. But its the early game when the game tends to spin out of control from degenerate/explosive starts by my opponents. Being able to have T1 interaction rather than T2 interaction felt like a plus to me. It also plays nicely with Snapcaster Mage (4 mana to cast it and recast vs. 6 mana for 2-mana spell).
    4) I did feel light on countermagic, but it was the trade-off. The light countermagic helped in some matchups (Dredge, Humans) and hurt in others (Grixis Control, Tron, Kiki-Chord).
    5) 24 lands felt right with Cryptic Command in the deck. Having 4 sources ASAP is pretty important.
    6) Overall, Nahiri is positioned just fine I would say. It still and will always require tight play and lots of decisions because we are a very non-linear deck. Tuning the deck is half the battle and optimally piloting the deck is the other, even harder half.

    This was all that I could think to talk about, but if people have any specific questions on match-ups and sideboarding I can try to remember what I did.

    So that's my story on getting 5th place at a big Modern event! As a player, I always never had the most confidence in my skill (even though I play a ton). Getting that record to my name definitely makes me feel more confident knowing that I can win against a lot of high-level opponents in a big field of decks and players.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • 4

    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    I did it fam. Undefeated in the Swiss rounds (#1 seed) to get to Top 8 and lost to the Hoogly Boogly man the first match (1-2). Full write up will come tomorrow or the next day.

    Jeskai Nahiri Top 8 SCG Baltimore Modern Classic by Paradox Omega
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    I'll be at the SCG Classic tomorrow in Baltimore representing Nahiri. Going with the list below:



    Thoughts/opinions are appreciated, but I think this is what I have decided on for tomorrow.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on Jeskai Harbinger
    Testing out the new lands and a slightly different list than I normally run. Manabase seems sweet, taking a lot less damage from the 10 or so games I've played so far but I did cut out utility lands which may or may not be a mistake. I'll eventually cut something for a Ghost Quarter, probably.


    I'm taking the Jund approach in terms of manabase and it seems sweet so far, but if I was to add a Ghost Quarter, I would probably take out an Arid Mesa. Secondly, it seems that Tron is decreasing in usage but Valakut is on the rise, so as much as I want to cut Crumble to Dust, it seems useful for the time being. I used to run the 23 lands, low to the ground list before but I think the format is a little less hostile towards Cryptic Command so I'm dusting off a copy and seeing how it performs.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on RUG Midrange
    Yeah, Eldritch Evolution could also be abused in this shell, although I do think a 4 color shell is better with the addition of white creatures. But don't let me stop you from testing it.

    I've been refining the deck some more and found that dedicating the deck to the combo can be really bad as there is a lot of Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile in the format. Having an incidental combo when we can is good which is why I've dedicated minimal spots as possible while still being able to combo off consistently when necessary with the help of Traverse the Ulvenwald. I also found that creatures like Huntmaster of the Fells and Vendilion Clique just don't do enough when they enter the battlefield in terms of the creature toolbox. I decided to test out Bedlam Reveler in their place and it is fantastic. Not only do we fill up the graveyard relatively quickly anyways, in the grind which is where the deck stumbles the most, Traverse the Ulvenwald into Bedlam Reveler can often be a 3 mana 3/4 draw 3.

    At the speed with which we fill our graveyard, I wouldn't be opposed to running some amount of Hooting Mandrills, but that does kind of non-bo with Traverse the Ulvenwald. Could warrant testing in a more aggressive shell.

    Here is where I'm currently at:

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on RUG Midrange
    Is anybody still working on the RUG Kiki-Traverse toolbox list? I've been having a fair amount of success with it online after a bit of tweaking but would love to get some external help on it as I see some people have worked on above. Here's where I'm at:



    I've been playing around with the same base and this is what I've come up with. I think with 4 Bauble, 4 Serum and 4 Traverse, we can really cheat on lands a bit. 20 seems too light and 22 seems too much so I've landed on 21 and haven't had many issues. Traverse is great early game and late game making it a super sweet card to take advantage of.

    Split between Exarch and Krasis just gives us options for beatdown or combo oriented and removal resilient. I played around with Vendilion Clique but its too taxing on the manabase. 2 Kiki-Jiki ensures that if one gets path'd we at least have the option for another one although with a maindeck Eternal Witness we're pretty resilient to removal. Huntmaster is just a sweet card to grab late game that gets value as soon as it enters play and accrues more value as the game goes on.

    Manabase is actually pretty unrefined and I don't have much experience with a RUG based deck that also takes Traverse into account regarding enough basic lands so if anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it. I think it looks good but might be better?

    Sideboard is also unrefined. I'm trying to take advantage of the "toolbox" idea with a couple nice creatures I can tutor for, but not sure if thats the best approach. Opinions on a RUG sideboard for the metagame are really appreciated!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 0

    posted a message on [Primer] Jeskai Control / UWR Control
    Quote from Ivenl »
    Jim Davis went 9:0 @day1 with jeskai nahiri. Sadly the list isn't only yet, but I think it's something with anger/timely split main.


    I recall the commentators saying how he was playing 3 Lightning Helix main but I guess it's still entirely possible he's running Anger of the Gods and/or Timely Reinforcements. Looking forward to seeing his list though.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • 0

    posted a message on [Primer] Jeskai Control / UWR Control
    Quote from Bearscape »
    The reason I dislike running both AV and SV is because I don't like spending much mana on card selection in the early game. The early game is when you lose the match, even if you only actually hit 0 life on turn 12. Too many draw spells might eventually draw you into the cards you want but if you've lost ten life by the time you get to cast them it won't matter anymore

    AV also gives these not too uncommon horror scenarios where you have colonnade AV and a counterspell in hand and have to either not interact with your opponent for at least two turns or delay the value of your card all the way to turn seven. Now if the matchup does easily go to turn seven (and not turn seven dead-on-board, turn seven we-are-actually-still-playing-magic-turn-seven) AV is a powerhouse but that's the minority of the meta

    I think the "downfall" of AV is that it's an early game card when our early game already was really powerful; remand, mana leak, bolt and helix are all ridiculously powerful spells, and casting AV often ends up meaning not casting one of those. That's why it ended up not living up to the hype whilst Nahiri made such huge waves; even if you don't think she is that good, she's at least a new way for jeskai to close out the game that people wanted to try out


    Regarding your first point, the early game doesn't have to be when we lose the match. There are some matchups where that is true like Burn or Infect where T1 Bolt/Path into T2 Counter/More Removal is incredibly important, but even then that isn't always the case. You won't be dead if you play a T1 draw spell into T2 counterspell/removal. A lot of the decks that are running AV are using some sort of tool to regain the tempo they lost on Turn 1. With Grixis, it is the ability to drop a Turn 2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang or a Turn 4 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, while backing them up with removal. Blue Moon uses Anger of the Gods to secure the ground game or keep up removal/counterspells to get to resolve AV, as well as playing Blood Moon itself to disrupt the opponent for long enough. We, as Jeskai, also have tools to make the game go long enough in the form of Anger of the Gods, Timely Reinforcements which is a fantastic tool that none of the other non-white decks get to use, and Nahiri, which forces the opponent to go after her or lose the game. All of these extend the game and are played by Turn 3 and 4, all the while being backed up by cheap removal and counterspells that we already play.

    AV + T1 Blue Spell has always been a horror scenario, but even moreso now that we're running a lot of cantrips. The downside to running the cantrips is in fact that now the right number of Colonnades is somewhere around 2-3, meaning that we lose a little edge in the Colonande + Burn plan, which means we rely on Nahiri a lot which can get hated out from sideboard tools Games 2 and 3. These are very real issues, which is why versatile cards like Wear // Tear and Engineered Explosives can be pretty important from the sideboard. How can you say AV is a powerhouse in the minority of the meta when it is flat out game winning in: Jund (8.8%), Jeskai Control (6.6%), Grixis (3.6%), Abzan (2.1%), arguably Scapeshift (3.7%) and Tron (7.6%) and then perfectly viable against a lot of Tier 2 and 3 strategies as well as Tier 1 and 2 aggro strategies. (Source: ModernNexus)

    No, AV is not some sort of godsend, but it is very powerful and not taking advantage of it in the current metagame is a mistake IMO. With that said, there have been lists that have had good success either way (Source: mtgtop8) and I think there is still definitely some discussion to be had on how many AV/SV to run. Many times, I think it will become a question of metagaming. These cards don't exist in a vacuum.

    @Aaurra, on the topic of Serum Visions, I think it provides a lot of extra consistency to the deck. It allows us not only to just hit land drops, but keep more hands and get the right tools we need for the right matchups. I don't want to compare it too much to Legacy, but cantrips just increase overall consistency of the deck. You also don't have to cast it on T1, especially if you have no idea what the matchup is or what cards you're looking for. It's a common mistake that a lot of newer players make.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
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