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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
 
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
 
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    There is the option to drop the blue, bring back the green hulks as curve toppers and replace rogue refiners with more Rishkar and/or Raptors. I saw that such a deck was once again appearing on MTGO.

    I’m tempted mainly because it would presumably help reduce the volume of mulligans this deck faces.

    My last two PPTQs with Sultai Energy have been blighted by unkeepable draws and then land floods or draughts. Part of the game I know but one would hope greater consistency would accompany a return to two colours.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    I’m concerned about our matchup with vehicles decks. I played against one in a PPTQ last weekend and it was the only match in which I didn’t take a game.

    In the first he went Bomat, Heart of Kiran, motorist, motorist and easily outraced me, finishing off with glorybringer. In the second I mulled to five unable to find adequate mana.

    This raises two questions for me

    1 Do we need more answers for evasive creatures?

    2. Is 21 land and 4 x attune too greedy?

    I’m playing 4 x fatal push and 2 x contempt in the main board and recognise that on the ground our critters tend to outweigh the opposition, so we can overwhelm them in combat. However, with so few removal spells I feel vulnerable to fliers.

    On the upside, I’ve been very impressed with drowned catacombs. Probably going to add a third. Anyone else tempted to go to 22 land?
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Good to have you back Scasseden.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UW Spirits/Flash
    I agree that Revolutionary Rebuff is the more flexible main deck counter. I see that you have chosen to stick with UW rather than adopt a splash of black for Scrapheap Scrounger. Personally, I have found the scrounger wonderful. It fits the theme of the deck beautifully being able to attack with a 3/2 that trades with the likes of sylvan advocate and copter, then returns from graveyard to the battlefield for a couple of mana later in the game when you need it. Think I'd rather have them than rattlechains and my selfless spirits are in the side for when I expect sweepers.

    There was one game when black mana was slow to show up, but it arrived eventually. Three colours was otherwise not a problem.

    My only reservation about Esper Aggro at the moment is that it dies too often to RW vehicles.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UW Spirits/Flash
    Is this the right thread for discussion of the Esper Aggro deck that Jim Davis and Lee Stehl played to success at Atlanta?

    I went 4-0 with a similar deck at Saturday Showdown today. Great fun to play.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on BW Control
    Went 2-2 at FNM. Disappointed to lose 2-0 to UR and gutted to lose 1-0 in the final round to BW Vampire lifegain mid-range brew.

    Really finding 2 X Anguished Unmaking and 3 X Read the Bones to be a burden in the main deck in the opening game against these decks that chip away so quickly at my life total. They have the means to remove or counter my lifelink creatures so it feels like an uphill battle.

    I'm bringing in Orbs of Warding, Declaration in Stone and adding a Blessed Alliance.

    Also putting 4 X Gideon back into the main deck.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on BW Control
    Having made just two changes to TBuzzsaw's hybrid deck I took it to FNM and finished fourth in a 16 player 4-round event, going 3-1.

    The two changes are -1 grasp, -1 swamp, +1 Blighted Fen, +1 Oath of Liliana.

    Round one was against UB zombies. He couldn't keep a creature in play for long and could only answer the first flyer I dropped. Thalia's Lancers were awesome here. I could see his shoulders droop when I played Bruna, which in turn brought Lancers to the field from the graveyard, which in turn gave me Gisella from the library. He conceded quickly after that. I do find I tend to fetch Livana most often with Lancers - so good against aggro.

    Round two was against a three colour version of UG crush. For the first 35 minutes of the round we just cancelled each other's threats out, but mine had more depth and I gradually gained the upper hand. The turning point came when I exiled his one Emrakul with transgress and all his sylvan advocates with infinite obliteration. This left him cycling den protectors and pulses to keep his life total above zero. His mistake was not realising sooner that he could not win. So, when he did concede there was not enough time to finish a second game and I took it 1-0.

    Round three was against my own son playing Bant Coco. He overwhelmed me with double coco in the first round, but everything went right for me in the second as I caught him with coco in hand with a transgress and languished away an overcommitted battlefield before sticking Kalitas. In the third game he got all he needed and I had to mulligan to five to find more than one land in my opening hand. He finished me fairly quickly, 2-1.

    The fourth round was against WR humans. We should win this and I did, but only 2-1 as his second round draw was nuts. I started with a three land hand but didn't get the fourth until turn four. By then I was facing lethal damage from his next attack and even though I had languish in hand I could not play it as the land drawn was CITP tapped - shambling vents. Aargh!

    Going forward I have little desire to change the deck. Perhaps in the sideboard the dark petition could be a third Kalitas and I'd like to find a way for the fourth grasp of darkness to be in the 75. Otherwise all is good.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on BW Control
    I played in a small 8 person game day, using TBuzzsaw's Angel/PW hybrid all except for replacing a swamp with a blighted fen and replacing Emrakul in the sideboard with an Oath of Liliana.

    I won the Swiss going 2-0, 2-1 then ID into the top 4. Oddly, the top was entirely made up of B/W. So it came down to who saw the most of their removal and discard.

    I lost in the semi 2-1. In the first two games we each had a game of drawing multiple discard and thus managing to stick a threat. In the decider I kept a five lander. Don't ask me why - I can't explain. Of course he took it to bits with a duress and a transgress. I then drew more land while he got Gideon on line and finished me.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on BW Control
    TBuzzsaw am I miscounting? Looks like a 59 card main board. Perhaps you missed a land? Blighted Fen?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on GW Tokens
    Not sure from your original post whether you've clicked onto this point specifically but Oath also allows you to cast planeswalkers for any colour of magic, so Nissa costs 3, Gideon costs 4 and if you include her in your 75, Chandra costs 6 generic mana. You don't need GG, WW or RR respectively. Which is pretty handy.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on GW Tokens
    Took a version including Chandra to FNM last night. Finished second of fifteen going 3-1. Beat goggles, BG and UW humans but lost narrowly 2-1 to UW Dragons.

    Found myself wanting Chandra against both the aggro matches for sweeping and the goggles match for tempo. Only sided her out against UW and never had a problem finding oath so I could cast her.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on GW Tokens
    So Raphael Levy won GP Manchester by adding two Chandra and relying on Oath of Nissa as his only means of casting her. Inspired.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on BW Control
    I played in a small FNM last night and went 4-0 to win. My meta was 1 x white weenie, 1 mirror, 1 BR Dragons and 1 UBW control. The mirror was the final round.

    My creature suite is:
    4 x Hangarbacks
    2 x Ayli
    3 x Kalitas
    1 x Linvala

    I'm also running 2 x Archangel of Tithes in the SB and they were invaluable against Weenie onslaught.

    After this tournament I feel that the creature suite is about right. It means I have early threats against control that use up lots of resources and reduce the opponent's hand size. This helps me to feel more confident, when I have the wastes/planeswalker finish in hand, that I can push through the lethal damage. It also makes the deck more resilient to the fast aggro onslaught.

    Ayli in particular has been golden. People are reluctant to block her or attack into her. Kalitas on the other hand, while full of great abilities and value, is a total removal magnet. He gets shot on sight. Against the hangarbacks, opponents just seem resigned to having to whittle them down with multiple spells and all the while I'm getting the time to build up my mana for a huge secure the wastes.

    Another reason to use a number of non token creatures is virulent plague. People will get wise to an all token strategy, so some level of diversity of threat seems the way forward.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Aggro/Midrange
    Another FNM win with Abzan. After a poor performance at a PPTQ Sydney and absorbing the comments on this thread I simply dropped the blue. Out went 3 reflector mages and 3 stubborn denials. In came Den Protectors 3 and 4, Wingmate Roc 2, Gideons 1 and 2 and a Silkwrap.

    By taking out the blue mana I had room for 5 creature lands too. Suddenly, the mana felt far more consistent and the aggression more reliable.

    In a four round tournament, the deck went 2-1 (against Atarka Red), 2-0 (Thopters), 2-0 (B/R dragons), 2-0 (B/W control).

    That's my final tournament until the SOI pre-release. So, thank you and good night. The Siege Rhinos are off the form a wilt leaf modern deck.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on BW Control
    From everything I'm reading, there seems to be a strong chance. Predictions suggest that decks in the new standard will be two colour not three or four. White and black look likely to continue to have strong removal and disruption. We still have some powerful creatures and Gideon is still a decent Planeswalker. Just waiting for a couple of good Finishers to show up in the spoilers.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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