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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from ketoglutarate »
    i am really glad my suggestions of unclaimed territory and kitesail freebooter+meddling mage (but not the eldrazi displacer, lol!) was well received, and even improved by some of you! good job guys! the deck seems really fun and extremely competitive! I love its proactivity!


    Not to be a party pooper, but the idea was floating around a couple of weeks before you joined the thread Smile

    Quote from headminerve »

    The main test for [Kitesail Freebooter] is to figure out whether opponents will target that guy instead of the other faster clocks. Champ often eats Push, our 3-drops are the primary targets for spot removal then. Meddling Mage is also a maindeckable card...


    Quote from kingcars »
    Haha! Meddling Mage is quite hilarious alongside Freebooter (and Reflector Mage). Freebooter is most definitely a card worth testing since it fills a spot in the curve that the bant black deck desperately needed and may provide enough disruption to make up for its slower clock when compared to the bant red lists. It also provides evasion, which is something I was searching for in my previous testing of the bant black deck, as I have posted about on here. It's an exciting card, but it's not a for sure slam dunk. Too early to tell. I do think that the bant black deck will most certainly go in an almost hatebears-esque direction, using stuff like Freebooter, Meddling Mage, Reflector Mage and whichever Thalia(s) you want to run.


    Quote from kingcars »
    I really think there could be an awesome hatebears-esque Humans list using Reflector Mage, Kitesail Freebooter, Meddling Mage, Sin Collector, Thalia, Heretic Cathar etc. That is the build I'm going to be trying out when the set releases.


    Either way, I think the fact that so many of us were able to merge our ideas and generally agree on a shell after so many pages of back and forth means quite a bit.

    Also, has anyone been watching SCG Cinci? there's a 5 color Ancient Ziggurat Humans deck running Aether Vial. Reminds me a lot of the original 5 color list from last year with the obvious new improvements like Freebooter and Unclaimed Territory. No Paths or CoCo or anything of the sort. One thing to note is with only Vial as a non-creature spell, Thalia 1.0 is much better here.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Hey guys, just wanted to throw a quick "tournament" report in here while it's fresh on my mind. I just got back from a local FNM, which was my first time playing paper magic in about a year. It was a small turnout, but all of my opponents ended up being familiar local grinders who always run tiered decks, so there definitely wasn't a shortage of competition. The list I ran is the same list I've been championing in MTGO:



    Without further ado, here's the rundown:

    Match 1 - Grixis Control - WIN 2-0
    -----------------------------------------------
    Game 1 started off with a bang with me on the play. T1 Champion of the Parish into T2 Champion of the Parish / Noble Hierarch into T3 Anafenza, the Foremost. So yeah, the opponent got run over. The downside is that I didn't get any real info about what version of Grixis he was running, so I played it safe with -2 Path to Exile +2 Sin Collector as the sideboard plan (I assumed it was the control variant, but wasn't 100% certain). Game 2 was a bit slower, me on the draw. No T1 play. My opponent clearly represents Terminate on T2 so I play Meddling Mage naming it. I start building a board presence with Thalia's Lieutenant and Thalia, Heretic Cathar (he plays a Tasigur), so by the time he was able to draw out from under the Meddling Mage, I had done enough damage and had enough on-board that I was able to squeak through the last bit of damage before he could pull ahead with his Tasigur, the Golden Fang and card advantage. A timely Sin Collector in the midgame was able to nab a Cryptic Command as well, which was one of his few outs later in the game. G2 was a good example of what a good read with Meddling Mage can do.

    Match 2 - Sultai Death's Shadow - WIN 2-0
    -----------------------------------------------
    I was on the draw in Game 1. Kept a hand with some nice stuff like Noble, Lieutenant and Freebooter. My opponent snipes Freebooter with an early Inquisition of Kozilek. My next couple of turns consist of playing Meddling Mage on Fatal Push (which once again ended up being a good read) and Thalia's Lieutenant. My opponent plays a Tarmogoyf and suits it up with a fun-of Rancor while he's stuck on 2-3 lands. After a few turns of waiting on a Path to Exile or Reflector Mage, I cast a Thalia, Heretic Cathar that I drew, which made my Lieutenant big enough to at least trade with the monstrous 6/5 Goyf. I attack and he accepts the trade. Naturally, I draw Reflector Mage the following turn. Either way, that same turn Thalia, Heretic Cathar knocked him down to 2 life in a very interesting sequence where my opponent was unable to kill it with Snapcaster Mage/Fatal Push due to the fact that Snap had to enter tapped and couldn't trigger revolt. I play Reflector Mage post combat, awkwardly bouncing his Snapcaster, but he was still stuck on 3 mana and couldn't actually utilize it. We then went onto game 2, where I once again named Fatal Push with Meddling Mage, which helped open the door for me to produce more threats than he had answers (thanks to Freebooter later on as well) and cruise to victory. He did have a Death's Shadow towards the end, but Freebooter was pinging him in the air for 3 damage a turn. and his hand was just useless disruption spells.

    At this point, I was feeling great! Undefeated in both matches and all 4 games. Onto the finale...

    Match 3 - Affinity - WIN 2-1
    ------------------------------------------------
    I was on the draw once again for Game 1. I knew my opponent was on Affinity from hearing about the deck earlier. My opening hand was along the lines of Noble/Freebooter/Lieutenant/Path, which seemed quite reasonable. Unfortunately, he was able to pretty much dump his hand before Freebooter came out on T2, but that's to be expected sometimes. I was holding onto the path like it was pure gold, especially when my opponent was able to put out a pair of Arcbound Ravagers. We played a bit of a game of chicken, trying to see who would flinch first as we traded some damage back and forth. It all changed when I drew a Collected Company and was able to force his hand with double Reflector Mage targeting both Ravagers along with the Path to Exile sitting in my hand. He responds by putting a bunch of counters on a Vault Skirge, which I Path EOT. He was unable to recover as I was swinging for immense amounts of damage by that point. Game 2, I kept a slow hand on the draw and died to a suited up Inkmoth Nexus. I knew better than to keep that hand, so that was definitely on me. In game 3, we both mulled to 6 and I was on the play. I kept a hand with 2 lands, Champion of the Parish, Thalia's Lieutenant, Reflector Mage and Path to Exile. I see a 3rd land with my scry and happily keep it on top. This time it was my turn to be the aggro deck, so I started the beatdowns and had to do a little bit of early racing against a Vault Skirge before the pressure + Reflector Mage + Path to Exile + 2nd Path to Exile that I later drew proved to be too much. I main phased my final Path to Exile on his large Vault Skirge because I felt at that point, the main way I could lose was by getting too fancy and letting my Path get hit with a Stubborn Denial. After the game, my opponent confirmed that he did indeed have a Denial in hand. We played a fun match afterwards with him playing a Jeskai Control deck and the ol' Humans punched right through that as well.

    When all was said and done, I was incredibly happy with how the deck ran. It constantly attacked my opponents from multiple angles and taxed their draw steps, their mana, their blocks, you name it. I skipped over a few smaller details, like how Mayor of Avabruck was putting in some great work in multiple games tonight (had quite a few "hey can I read what his backside does? Oh...I should probably kill that) and how Anafenza, the Foremost was doing a great job of punching through damage and ending games, but I just wanted to hit the main points. I was also pleased with my own performance; I don't recall any noticeable punts, even with Meddling Mage and I was able to stay on top of all the various triggers/abilities like Mayor, Anafenza (both the counter and the exile effect) and the fact that Reflector Mage delays the re-casting of the card for a turn. The deck ran great, I played great and I was able to head home with a nice $40 in my wallet. Not a bad way to shake off the rust!
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »
    I think I have a pretty good manabase for a 5C variant :


    I miss Kessig Wolf Run though, maybe it has to force its slot instead of the 7th fetchland. I know this manabase can fairly support 5 colors anyway. The idea is there's no point playing only 4C because of the mana if 5C is stronger.


    Looks solid. If we can get it as stable as the 4C mana base, then yeah, 5C would be the way to go. I think that's easier said than done, but this looks promising. I'll test it out once I get my hands on some Arid Mesas on MTGO. Kessig Wolf Run is extremely risky in such a color-heavy deck and really doesn't seem necessary when we're running 8 flyers.

    Quote from headminerve »

    My feedback on Anafenza, the Foremost in a list with already 4 Mantis is that she doesn't represent a very astonishing option. I have even results with Sunscourge Champion or Lyev Skyknight for example (it's completely MU dependant), and I assume Knight of the Reliquary or Eternal Witness can have their good MUs as well. It means that at this point, she's a good filler but I hope for a future new 3-drop staple, which woud be good in any MU. Otherwise choosing the extra 3-drops is kind of a neverending story.


    I would argue that a 4/4 for 3 with relevant upside will always be good regardless of matchup whereas those other creatures you listed are much more situational and matchup dependent. But I do agree that access to Mantis Rider reduces the attractiveness of Anafenza.

    Quote from headminerve »

    Kitesail Freebooter is a staple. It steals so many G1s against so many decks, it strips most of the cards we lose to. The card is unbelievably well designed for the archetype without being flashy.


    Indeed. It's precisely the 2 drop we needed.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »
    I think it is hard to say if lieutenant turn two is the right play here. I drew additional humans afterwards and I think it is better to play a lieutenant later on a board full of humans (which I did in this game).


    It's debatable, but I often see people getting caught up with the need to get max value out of Lieutenant's ETB effect. I have found that, worst case scenario, a 2 mana Champion of the Parish is still good. Against decks that run Anger of the Gods, it's important to get at least 1 creature out of range. In other scenarios, it is often better to play Lieutenant before other humans that are less likely to attack (dorks, mayor, sometimes MM).

    Quote from polymorpher »

    In regards to naming with Meddling Mage, I think that you are correct about searing blaze but not about lightning bolt. Lightning Helix helps them in a race like against burn much more than lightning bolt. That was my reasoning. I still think that in this situation I was forced to play Meddling mage because I assumed that I have to race faster which I think is more likely if I play the lieutenant on a board full of creatures.


    That's fair, but I will say that I have never tried to race burn. In my experience, it's all about stabilizing then quickly turning the corner. We're very much the control deck in the matchup.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    Btw. Do you miss your Sin collectors main? Two weeks ago I went 5-0 with your list playing 4 Freebooter, 2 MM, 3 Sin Collector, 2 Anafenza.


    So far I haven't. I hated when it was a dead card in the main. Thalia helps in a lot of matchups and the 4th Freebooter has been fantastic (and offsets some of the loss of the mainboard Collectors).
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Interesting. In some of my more recent testing, Meddling Mage has gotten even better for me. There were several recent games I was able to blow wide open by keeping the opponent off a sweeper for an extra turn or naming a card I saw with Freebooter. I think MM is a very tricky card to play, but is great when utilized to its potential. I often find myself in situations where I have my opponent down to just 1 or maybe 2 outs and actually wishing I had more MMs to lock them out of such draws. You mentioned in your tournament report that you named Lightning Helix after seeing a basic mountain from your opponent, but no T1 play and no further info. I think that both playing Meddling Mage when there was another card you could play (Thalia's Lieutenant) and naming Lightning Helix were mistakes. Here's why:

    - Meddling Mage is best when you have information, so it's generally good practice to play it as late as possible when you know what you're wanting to hit at that specific point in the game. Lieutenant was the play to make on that turn, IMO. I know it's a feel-bad to play her early, but it's often not as bad as you'd think. She ends up growing quick and getting out of control, just like Champ. Next turn you would have seen their T2 play and been able to make a much more informed decision with MM.

    - Disregarding the first point, lets say the opponent was on burn and you had no other play. Lightning Helix was probably one of the worst cards to name. It is far more inefficient than both Lightning Bolt and Searing Blaze, either of which would have been better choices. I usually choose Searing Blaze because I'm totally ok with them wasting a burn spell on a creature that doesn't also hit me at the same time. If you don't choose Blaza and they kill your MM with Blaze, they haven't lost anything. If you name Blaze and they have to use a bolt or helix or whatever on it, they've lost the face damage of the card they used to kill it.

    My point being, Meddling Mage is a tricky card because you have to know what cards to name in what matchups. I can see why someone would dislike the card, but I think playing it optimally makes it a very powerful card. Just look back at my original Bant Black test videos. Multiple times I could have made the card much more powerful just by making better decisions with it (two specific instances were when I didn't realize I could lock out the 2-3 Lingering Souls in the op's graveyard and another game where I should have assumed that the UR deck was on Storm). There were other times in those videos where I was able to lock out key cards from the opponent, like Oketra's Monument and Hollow One (yes, those are fringe decks, but the general idea applies to any matchup).

    Anyways, MM aside, if you really want to grind people out, you could also look at Eternal Witness, Duskwatch Recruiter and Jace, Vryn's Prodigy. I've had some success with grindier builds using these cards.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »
    You should try tireless tracker.


    I've tried Tireless Tracker in the past and found him to be too slow and too situational (need to play early + draw lands + have mana that isn't already being utilized); I landed on Thalia, Heretic Cathar in that slot instead thanks to her ability to choke opponents on mana and blockers, which the deck is more in the market for. Thalia is much better against Tron decks, decks that clog the ground/produce chump blockers, hasty creature combos etc, all of which we need help fighting. Her first strike also makes her hard to block on her own. Tracker is great in grindy midrange / control matchups which we already have plenty of game against. We're looking to get under most decks, not grind them out, so Thalia is my preference there.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    What are your thoughts on 5c with freebooter and mantis rider?


    I honestly haven't tested it a bunch, but my current impression is that the marginal improvement isn't worth the extra mana restriction. Testing it helped me find ways to improve the Bant Black list, which to me feels like the more solid deck now that those improvements have been made. I plan to test more when I have some time, but currently I find myself really enjoying the Bant Black list. The 5C list is definitely more powerful, but I'm just on the fence about adding even more complexity to the mana. It works, it's just tough.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »

    Both games were T1 Nettle Sentinel, T2 two elves one of them Heritage Druid into Ezuri, which I pathed. But he followed with another Ezuri in G1 and with Elvish Archdruid in G2 followed by Card of Calling into Ezuri. Basically he had about 50 by T5 the latest in both games. I guess he just had the perfect draw.


    Yeah, definitely some nut draws for the Elves deck. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Lots of decks in modern have unbeatable draws. Sometimes they'll just have it.


    Quote from polymorpher »

    So I think I took out Mayor, because of their spot removal. He later told me that he cannot beat Rest in Peace. Therefore, I believe it is really good to stop their Snapcaster. In G3 he had 2 Snaps and 3 Bolts in their opener, followed by several additional removal. I drew only 1 Coco but that got a Negate.


    I hardly ever board in something like RIP unless it basically shuts down the opposing deck (ie dredge, living end). Otherwise, it just means we have fewer threats they need to answer and/or fewer answers for their threats.


    Quote from polymorpher »

    What is your current list? Would you mind also to share your RedBant List again?




    It doesn't have the disruption of the Bant Black list, but it is incredibly difficult to block. It's got menace, trample, flying, attacking tokens, bounce blockers, make blockers ETB tapped etc. If you want to get your aggro on, this is the list for you.

    My current Bant Black list:



    Not much has changed for the past few days. This is my current preferred list and it runs like a dream.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Thanks for the rundown! I have a few thoughts and questions:

    Quote from polymorpher »

    Round 3: Elves (Loss 0:2). This is a terrible matchup. They are just faster. I had 0 chance even with multiple Path to Exile. I think that Eidolon of the Rhetoric or Ethersworn Canonist could help in this matchup, but not a lot.


    Interesting. Usually the only card they win with is Ezuri, so I just save my paths for him. Other than that, our creatures completely outclass theirs. What exactly were you losing to in those games?

    Quote from polymorpher »

    Round 8: Grixis Delver (Loss 1:2). Very close games. I wasn't able to find Rest in Peace and I was outvalued by a ton of removal and Snapcaster Mage. He wins in the 5th extra turn by topdecking Bolt after Opt (scry down).


    What was taken out of the main for RIP? I have found Delver to be a matchup where we really don't want to lose any creature density. RIP isn't that necessary since we can just bounce or kill their delve creatures. And our creatures are too big for them unless they have the perfect flurry of removal in the first couple of turns.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    Overall, I think that the deck should go in all Tempo. That means I will test the 5-color version with Mantis Rider and 4 Freebooter main going forward. The sideboard should then have spells like Unified Will to play the tempo game. I also think I need 1-2 Stony Silence and 2 Eidolon of the Rhetoric in the board.
    I did not like the Meddling Mages main and I was not a fan of the Sin Collector sideboard plan.


    As someone who runs 3x Negate in my Bant Red list, I will say that feeling the need to hold open mana is very much a feel-bad and very much goes against what the deck wants to do. The reason the Sin Collector/Freebooter plan is so promising is the fact that we can be proactive about hitting the spells we care about without having to slow ourselves down to hold mana open. Counters also make it tough to maintain creature density in matchups where we can't side out all of our Paths. What kinds of spells are you looking to hit with counter spells that can't be hit otherwise?

    Also, I saw Stony Silence played on camera in a Bant Black humans lists (round 3, game 3) and it was awful for the same reasons I've been saying in this thread. I really don't think it's something I would want to run in one of these lists because the issues that happened in that game are the exact same issues I have seen pop up when other aggressive creature decks try running the card. It's too slow and grinds the deck to a halt and it wasn't even relevant for several turns (even in Affinity, they have plenty of draws that don't care about it). By the time it was relevant, the opponent should have been at least nearly dead if not completely dead. Instead, thanks to how slow the deck was due to the card, the opponent had plenty of time to draw their outs and take over the game. I think that, especially in modern, people get way too caught up in hating out other decks and not enough about keeping their own gameplan intact. As we see in that game, it turns out that just getting the opponent dead is a whole lot better than worrying about them hitting 12 mana and getting a 6/6 Walking Ballista.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I caught up to the new deck idea floated on here and took kingcars's Bant Black list to FNM and went 3-0.


    Glad to see the deck continuing to put up results. I definitely think we've got ourselves a contender here Smile .


    - Unclaimed Territory is great, definitely makes the four colours work better than before.


    Most definitely. I was skeptical of the card in CoCo lists, but testing has proven it to be a great addition to the mana base. It helps our Burn matchups quite a bit too.


    - Kitesail Freebooter merits more testing. There's space in lists for good 2 drops for sure. I only saw mine against Burn, which helped as you can try and plan around what they are going to do, as well as forcing them into using a spell to get their other one back (so it kind of worked like an Arashin Cleric). I imagine grabbing a key card from Scapeshift or Storm feels great with this guy.


    I think Freebooter is proving to be a premier card and the main reason to run Black over Red these days. Before him, you can see my old posts about how black was missing a proper 2 drop, whereas Red had Kari Zev and Brawler to go along with its hyper aggressive plan. Black has a disruptive plan and the combo of Freebooter, Sin Collector and Meddling Mage make black the go-to color now imo.


    - Anafenza is as I remembered her, something you're always happy to see, and your opponents definitely aren't. I played a friendly game vs. Dredge and it prompted a scoop.


    T2 Anafenza against something like Dredge or Living End is quite fun!


    - I put Meddling Mages in the side and ran Spell Quellers main. They're definitely a bit weaker in a list with Unclaimed Territory over other lands, but on paper they seem ideal as a disruptive creature in Modern, they form a great 1-2 with Reflector Mage and scare people once they are caught by the first one.


    Do you think Spell Queller is necessary when we can run Freebooters and Sin Collectors? What creatures are we trying to hit? I can't think of any that Reflector Mage and Path don't already take care of, outside of something like Etched Champion, but I'm always up for being proven wrong. Also, I think needing separate blue and white mana outside of our Caverns and Territories is potentially rough.



    Anyways, I'm not sure who all is watching SCG coverage, but Brandon Decandio was just playing Bant Black humans against Eldrazi Tron. Once again, Stony Silence is boarded in, grinds the deck to a halt without making any impact for several turns, then they falter in the late game. I continue to strongly dislike the card. I feel like this happens with almost every aggressive deck that sides it in. Humans need to get on the board quick and get the opponent dead. Unless the it wins the game on the spot, it's simply not worth it. And Stony Silence often does not win on the spot, even against Affinity. Anybody who wants to run Stony Silence over Kataki because of the Eldrazi Tron matchup, refer to that Game 3 as a perfect example as to why I'm constantly opposed to the idea.

    A few other choices were interesting (running only Thalia and Reflector Mage in the main at 3cmc, but adding Thraben Inspector at 1cmc) and I don't think I'm a fan. Zero Anafenza in the 75 from what I understand. There was a Necromancer and a Fiend Hunter in the side, but idk what else. With that and a 3rd Avacyn's Pilgrim, Collected Company becomes quite mediocre.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Thanks for the link! I'm glad to see him pointing out just how good Reflector Mage is. Aside from the core cards (Champ/Lieutenant/Noble), it is the next most important card in the deck. Maybe I'll try a list like his again at some point, but I wasn't having any luck with it the last time I tried. I'm not a fan of combos anyway, especially on MTGO.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Congrats on the results! Those matchups are where Thalia is at her best. She's a very polarizing card - either game breaking or useless haha.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    I think the version I want to go with is either 5C or the 4 Freebooter, 2 MM, 2 Anafanza, 2 Thalia V2.0 and hopefully somehow 1 Falconer package.


    Yeah, I think either one will serve you well. I think if I were playing Saturday, I'd be on the 4 Freebooter Bant Black list mainly for the slightly more stable mana.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I agree that the speed differences aren't major between the Bant Black lists. Whether or not one specific list is faster than the other is arguable; you had more chances at a T1 dork acceleration, which is great, but that also means more chances to "brick" on a Collected Company and/or simply get flooded with dork draws later in the game. None of the 3 drops apply nearly as much pressure as Anafenza either, with the exception being Abzan Falconer with a developed Lieutenant board.

    Quote from polymorpher »

    If you see a t3 coco coming you definitely won't play Thalia v1.0 turn two. If you do against certain decks they usually kill it immediately. Yes you can be unlucky and they don't.


    You just explained exactly why I don't like Thalia 1.0. The last thing I want is to feel forced to not put pressure on the board because a card I'm running in my own deck hinders my gameplan. Then against the decks where I would want Thalia, all they do is kill it immediately and move on, meaning all she did was provide a minor speed bump. Then in the games where you want it and they don't kill it, you're still often slowing yourself down just as much (if not more) because Company is our best way to finish off a game. I put her in the same bucket as Dark Confidant - looks great on paper, but not in practice. Other decks use them to great effect, but they just don't work here.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Looks solid. I will say that I quite liked the list I was testing last night with narrower stuff like Sin Collector in the sideboard and more generically applicable cards like a 4th Freebooter and Anafenza in the main. Sin Collector could be main deckable depending on the meta though. Anafenza is a much needed clock for the deck, as it can be pretty slow to finish games off games otherwise. I did try several games with a single Abzan Falconer in the main, but every time I drew it I wished it was something else, like a Meddling Mage or Anafenza, the Foremost. It's an awful card without the right board state, especially against decks that can keep the board clean. I plan to keep it relegated to the sideboard for removal-light ground creature matchups.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from MenderBUGRW »
    Quote from polymorpher »
    Quote from MenderBUGRW »
    I've tested just some draws and felt that the deck needs more pressure, maybe bad luck, I don't know, but was weird.

    Which version?


    Last one.

    I'm thinking about to test your SCG list with Unclaimed main and Freebooter board. Looks very solid and Mini Thalia always helped in my LGS.


    Are you referring to this? http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=116202 If you're worried about pressure, this is going to be slower than the Bant Black build (Sin Collector and Abzan Falconer) and 3x Mini Thalia is going to slow you down even more. With Freebooter and Sin Collector available, I don't see any reason to run her; in my testing, actually stealing a spell and having hand information has been much better than providing a small speed bump that slows down your own Companies and Paths. It's a solid list, don't get me wrong, but I don't think the reasoning lines up. I would recommend doing more than a few test draws before coming to conclusions; speed has not been a problem in my ~15-20 games with it so far. I'd be curious to know what exactly these types of draws are and why they're not applying enough pressure.

    My typical game plays out like:
    (note: this isn't including the Champ/Lieutenant/Mayor draws, as those are common to all builds)

    T1 Champ/Dork
    T2 A) Freebooter (steal their best spell) maybe with another 1 drop
    T2 B) 3 drop like Anafenza Thalia or Reflector Mage (bouncing their dork or early creature)
    T3 You name it. Collected Company or Meddling Mage whatever I saw in their hand etc etc. Unless I've been drawing blanks, this is where the opponent really gets tested. They lost their best spell early in the game (often a sweeper, removal spell or combo piece), meaning they need a removal for Freebooter which leaves our other big stuff alive that's beating them down for chunks of damage. And this is assuming we don't have another Freebooter or Meddling Mage (or Collector from the side) to protect it and require their draws to be even more specific.

    You can also have a play pattern where you use something like Anafenza, Thalia, lord etc to put board pressure down on T2 then use Freebooter on T3 to snipe any answers they may have drawn into.

    Aside from the very aggressive Bant Red Mantis Rider list, this deck puts on some of the fastest pressure of all the lists I've tested. The trick is that it isn't pressure from just a power on board perspective, it's pressure from multiple angles as we're able to interact with their hand and sculpt our gameplan around it. That is a very valuable form of pressure not to be overlooked.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from polymorpher »

    I like the Thalia's, however I don't know if I want Meddling Mage over Sin Collector against the field. I believe that if you cut disruption like Sin Collector you have to optimize for maximum speed, in which case I think Mantis Rider is the way to go. Anyway I would probably cut one Anafenza for a Abzan Falconer if you stick to that build.


    The point of this build is to try to keep mana requirements a little more sane, so Mantis Rider doesn't apply here. Anafenza is by far the best clock available in these colors, so I'd want to stick with it. As for Meddling Mage, I could see cutting one of those for an Abzan Falconer, but with a full playset of Kitesail Freebooter, Mage seems at its best here. There's certainly some flexibility in those slots, though. But as I said a few posts ago, it's really a power level vs mana stability tug of war. 5C is the best overall power level, but the most susceptible to mana issues. I think 4C might be the sweet spot since we're not giving up *that* much power, but we'll see. I'll be continuing to try both on MTGO Smile
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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