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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    I'm more and more unhappy with eternal witness. I find it way too slow in most matches. I think about rallier but as usual I'm facing unability to trigger revolt too many times. Currently I'm still testing rallier, coupled with voice of resurgence, and another version where it is coupled with wall of omens. Am I the only one having an issue with 4 witnesses in the deck?
    By playing things like Voice maindeck you are diluting your combo plan game 1. There are decks that don't even care about you playing a Voice so you have to ask yourself if it is better than only going for the combo which every deck cares about? 4 Witness is the place you want to be as seen by the majority placing lists over the history of the deck. They act as either grindy cards when we need it or extra combo pieces when we need it.

    Quote from Pokken »
    There are a lot of ideas that are so bad as to not be worth testing. The arbor elf angle is one of them. It has no place in a deck with collected company.
    Yet somehow we return to Simian Spirit Guide from time to time for similar reasons; does it all go back to Collected Company itself?

    I suppose it doesn't matter though. I'm not here to prove you wrong; I'm here to share my experiences with this community and learn how to be a better player and deckbuilder. And since I am not receiving any constructive argument against my position, I'll simply refrain from detracting from any constructive conversation.
    I explained it in my reply to your original post. There are far too many downsides of playing Elf+Sprawl compared to just playing traditional manadorks. Plan B of Gavony Township becomes worse, Company hits become worse, you lose out on chumpblockers, you are open to Ghost Quarter on more than just Township and the biggest of all is that you need both cards to really make it work otherwise you should just be playing a normal dork. Too many inconsistencies with the deck would be created by playing those cards.

    The same things go for people playing SSG. It does make a turn of the deck faster yes, but it also dilutes the deck at every other point of the game which overall makes it worse.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Best Answer For Infect?
    If you're playing a Chord/Company deck then you can always throw Melira, Sylvok Outcast into your sideboard if you are worried.

    Otherwise targeted removal is the key to the matchup. They do have access to 8 cards that stop targeted removal now, but they're not always going to have them so just constantly pointing removal a them will work eventually.

    Ghost Quarter is good at stopping Inkmoth Nexus.

    Everything else has been pretty much said.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Can you win tournaments with a budget deck around $100?
    Yeah as others have said, something that is only 3-4 rounds and not full of top-tier decks you can probably win if you know the field, what you're facing, and are very comfortable with your deck. Modern is a format of really knowing your deck and how to play it well.

    That said, stuff like Burn, WB Tokens, Goblins, Human Aggro, Mono G Stompy, 8 Rack (maybe), Seismic Swans, etc... are all the "go-to" budget decks. You can get pretty creative though and play other things like Grand Architect decks, Burning-Tree Emissary decks, Tempered Steel decks, Abzan Aristocrats, and other very fringe combo decks to take down events.
    Posted in: Budget (Modern)
  • posted a message on Bant Eldrazi
    Quote from whyjesse »
    Field of ruin seems like a pretty good utility land. It fixes our own mana! I may think about replacing the gavony township... hard to say. Township is so much late game power, but being able to take out opposing townships, tron lands, and colonnades while actually fixing our mana seems really powerful. I feel I have lost to opposing townships more often than I have won with my own.
    I cut township long ago. I've found games just don't get grindy enough to get to the point of needing it. Worship, although kind of a cheese card, helps in much more matchups from the sidebaord and stalls out the board in the same fashion that a Township would int he matchups that are looking at it. Cutting it and having a slightly better manabase has worked well for me.

    On a sidenote I played a Modern FNM last night and 4-0'd again. 2-0 vs 8 Rack/Monoblack Control. 2-1 vs 7 Land Belcher (Kept a 2 lander game 1 and never got a third). 2-0 vs Grishoalbrand. The finals were technically a split but we played it out and I 2-1's KCI Eggs. This deck is outdated in the overall meta for sure but still very powerful for sure. It's not hard to take down local events against any kind of deck.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    Quote from Arkaedrian »
    Since it seems better to play Rhonas over Ballista (which was my initial intuition), how should I tweak my current list?

    Do I remove the Ballista for a 4th E. Wit, or a 3rd Duskwatch Recruiter, or a second Seer? Or maybe something else entirely?

    Here's my list: Abzan Company
    I'd advocate for playing the 4th Ewit before anything else. It is basically an extension of every other card in your deck. Lets you out-grind midrange decks, and does work with Company. I always play 4.

    Quote from Dreadnaught33 »
    Hey all--- I'm a long time knightfall player who has been also messing with vizier builds, and I've been enjoying playing abzan as it's much more streamlined (Though I really miss my knights...).

    One deck that runs RAMPANT in my meta is the bane of my existence--- jeskai control/jeskai queller/geist decks. I feel pretty powerless against them. Do any of you have suggestions both on playing against them or in my deck construction? I've contemplated cards like voice to fight against them, but overall it feels terrible.

    Any suggestions are welcome!
    I have found you are going to have to play it as a midrange matchup vs UWR because they have so much removal flying around. You're not really going to get to combo off so try and run their resources dry with Finks while avoiding getting blown out by a Supreme Verdict. The midrange and Geist version run a bit less removal so you can usually squeak the combo off somewhere in there. Force them to play interaction on their turn with Company/Chord then when they're tapped out you can combo off. Basically get 2 pieces in your hand and bait them.

    So after making the biggest punt ever (tm) against RG Ponza, I've been inspired to take a different approach to mana acceleration.

    How do you all feel about using the Ponza package of Arbor Elf and Utopia Sprawl? The main advantage I see for this would be the possibility for Turn 2 Company while still retaining the mana for later (the sequence is turn 1 Arbor Elf into turn 2 Utopia Spawl for 4 mana off 1 Forest). Plus, the last thing I want to hit off CoCo is a mana dork, so the disadvantages are fairly minor.
    It makes the deck worse. Gavony Township is the backup plan and you can't put +1/+1 counters on Utopia Sprawl. And what would you rather? Hitting a manadork off of Company or nothing at all?? There should be no argument to playing those cards in the deck over the traditional 6-7 manadorks. We only need 1 manadork to be good where with those cards you have to play all 8 and need both to truly be great.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Dimir Fang-O-Rang: An exiciting new twist on Owling Mine (NO OWL , NO MINE)
    Most removal in Modern is 1 cmc. If you are just bouncing lands then they can replay it and remove your threats just like any turn. Sure they will be slowed down just a bit but the extra cards they are drawing will make up for it. Maybe if you had harder land destruction it could work, but that deck already exists as RG Ponza.

    You'd have to play a very very very tempo oriented deck and those just don't work with creatures more expensive than Delver of Secrets or cards that don't care about it like Geist Of Saint Traft.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Idea] Modern Miracles?
    Quote from korfits »
    Thats a pretty cool list! I would go 4 serum vision 4 opt. It's so powerful to serum into an opt in your opponents turn, then terminus or entreat in your opponents endstep.
    What about some of the green miracles card?
    I'll see if I can squeeze in Visions somewhere. As for green miracle cards, Revenge of the Hunted just gets blanked by a single removal spell and Blessings of Nature is kind of along the same lines. I just don't think it's completely worth it when Entreat and Terminus do more powerful things.

    Quote from Fgi_88 »
    @Torpf: why don't put some Monkhet's Nissa into your deck? It works well with counterbalance with her +2 ability
    That is a good thought but everything she does is at sorcery speed. Predicting what the opponent is going to play with scry's and hoping they will cast the same thing just won't cut it I feel.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Bant Eldrazi
    Won modern last night. First time playing in a while and it was a weird night. Round 1 was vs UW Enchantment Prison which the deck literally can't beat. I lost a very long game 1 by 1 turn (He won with Aetherling) then sniped him with several well timed EE's on 3 game 2 to take it and force the draw. I knew I couldn't win the match so I played to force a draw once I know I was going to lose game 1 since it was better than losing.

    Round 2 was against some RW Humans aggro brew. He got me down to 8 life game 1 rally fast and I misplayed and let him shoot me twice with Pia and Kirin Nalaar instead of blinking the tokens and just chumping some other attacks, putting me to 4. He seemed to have no follow up though and I got the Displacer/Drowner engine online and won. Game 2 [card]Reality Smasher[/cards] did what they do best and smashed. If we learned anything already it's that the Eldrazi beat the Humans so if anything this was a very flavorful match.

    Round 3 was against Lantern Control, which the guy seemed like he didn't know how to play. He was reading all my cards which was weird because if you're playing Lantern I really hope you know how every deck functions. I quickly got the Displacer/TKS lock on him after he didn't have the fastest start and began controlling his draws. It took him about 20 minutes to concede that game after he realized he was never going to draw a useful card and I had near infinite blinks from extra (Drowner) Scion tokens. Game 2 we didn't have a ton of time so I was going to play it out no matter what and win the match. Lucky for me he mulled to 4 cards, but played a Pithing Needle on T1 naming Displacer (of which I had 2 in hand and 1 on top of my library). I got the T2 Stony Silence and then got him down to 7 life before he topdecked a Bridge to stop me. We drew back and forth for a while before I got a card]Noble Hierarch[/card] and began hitting him down to 5 life. He drew and had to cast a Thoughtseize putting him to 3, but also played a Inventors' Fair and we were suddenly at a stalemate. The game eventually ended when he drew Blood Moon and had to play it to keep Bridge from letting my Scions attack. I won two turns later.

    The last round was against UW Geist-Flash and I just had great draws constantly dropping TKS's and Smasher's game 1 with removal at all the right times. Game 2 I had some more fast draws backed up by Cavern of Souls and Stubborn Denials. I took all his big threats and countered his Path to Exiles to run him out of cards. I played out a Drowner hoping to go for the win if he didn't have a wrath.. which he did. Next turn I played another one for it to be wrathed again. Luckily I just kept drawing gas and eventually won pretty handily.

    I was playing a pretty old more 'stock' list and honestly I wouldn't change anything. This deck has always been like a better Jund for me going 50/50 against everything and if you know how to pilot it really well you can outplay your opponents. I have tried some small tech cards like EWit and such and never done as well playing them.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on looking for a control card
    Any other card from the ulitmatium cycle could work (maybe not the Naya one), Enter the Infinite, Epic Experiment (to burn them out, Rise of the Dark Realms, Biorythm, Worldfire + Rift Bolt...?

    It's hard to suggest stuff if we don't know the deck. Are you looking for a card to build a deck around, or do you already have a deck and are looking for the finisher? If the latter then please post it so we can suggest better.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    Quote from Arkaedrian »
    Is there any point to playing both Rhonas the indomitable AND Walking Ballista main deck?

    Is it better to just play 1 over the other, or does this meta require 1 of each?
    They do different things to win the game, although very corner case it does come up some times. Ideally you just play one in your deck as once you have the combo you can draw Chord/Company/Duskwatch/Finisher giving a total of about 10 cards in your deck to just win on the spot. I have been playing both as it lets you get the uninterrupted turn 3 kill a little bit faster and in fast metagames it helps. If I went to something more wide open I'd probably only play Rhonas in the maindeck. It comes up sometimes that you can't attack with a creature but the times you put him into play with Company for later outweighs Ballista for me.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    Quote from kodieyost »
    I don't play this deck quite yet but I'm slowly acquiring the pieces for it. In that vein, kudos to you for a solid and insightful look into the deck.

    With storm and scapeshift taking larger portions of the metagame, what do you think the ideal move forward is for Vizier combo? Streamline or slow down?
    It has to be streamlined. You are not going to win longer games against those decks because we simply do not play enough disruption to combat them. I have always played the deck as a combo deck game 1, and if the matchup calls for it I can transition into a grindy deck game 2 and 3. Luckily for us, both of these decks don't play a ton of spot removal (but scapeshift plays a billion boardwipes and is horrible for us). With the printing of the Druid combo we can combo off turn 3 in games I'd say ~40-50% of the time if undisrupted and probably 80-90% on turn 4. Both of these decks play minimal disruption which is good for us. Its the same way we can race Tron these days where before you would lose 11 out of 10 games against them. If anything I've thought about starting to cut some numbers of Kitchen Finks to increase Druid the combo speed as the Finks are used as a stalling tactic or card advantage engine vs decks we don't want to race. This is also why I talked about Eldritch Evolution from the sideboard to speed up the combo games 2 and 3 if we require it some posts ago.

    Quote from purklefluff »
    May I request some feedback on this list please?
    In a lot of ways it's "stock", except for the inclusion of the following package:
    1x azusa
    1x knight of the reliquary
    1x ramunap excavator
    1x ghost quarter (maybe 2x)

    My hope is that these three creatures are all decent on their own, but any two of them on the board forms a powerful mana-denial package, and all three is kind of unbeatable.
    The cards have been put together before. Todd Stevens recently did well with a list maxing out on these pieces. My logic on only including one of each is that it only takes drawing one before it's viable to chord for another and start locking an opponent down. Knight is going to be worth including anyway, and having access to ghost quarter for tricky Big-mana matchups will be an extra angle of attack that I've not had with this deck so far.


    Couple of bits I may yet change:
    - Razorverge thicket vs. second ghost quarter (might drop a thicket to include one more quarter)
    - Selfless spirit vs. scavenging ooze (either could be maindeck. Meta dependant)
    - Number of fetches. Was running x8 but dropped a heath for an extra basic forest (wanted one more fetchable land). I feel like this is a fair swap based on my experiences with the deck so far. Any input on having 2x basic forest would be appreciated. I find I often want a second one.

    Constructive criticism please. The core doesn't diverge much from the sort of accepted "stock" version of course, but I've got an inkling that this package I'm including could be very good. Remains to be seen of course!
    So obviously I haven't played your list but one thing kept popping up in my head reading through your post.

    If you are playing those 1-of's and happen to get any 2 into play then they are very powerful; yes this is true. If you have one in play and have a Chord in hand and one in play then you can find the second one; yes this is true. What I am seeing is that the chances of having the a Devoted Druid or Vizier of remedies in play if going to be far far far far more common than any of these singletons (since you run 4 of each). In that case I'd want to Chord or Company for the other piece in hopes of comboing off. I think you may want a few more copies of the cards in order to make it a legitimate strategy. If you opponent realizes 1 isn't a huge threat but 2 in play at the same time are then they will just remove it. Most people playing against the deck make the mistake of removing suboptimal targets, but playing against a removal heavy deck who knows ours well is really hard to get the combo pushed through. I'm not saying the idea is bad, just that it is probably going to come up less often than you think and if it does then you probably could have worked to assemble the Druid combo instead.

    On the topic however, I have thought about incorporating hatebears into the deck. Imagine dropping Finks and the splash colour all together. This would let you play some more crazy things like Leonin Arbiter or Aven Mindcensor and a bunch of Ghost Quarters. You would simultaneously have a GW Hatebears land destruction deck and a Druid-Vizier combo deck which seems great on paper but in practice they're different strategies which don't really help each other to win. I'm always tinkering around with the idea though in hopes of something.

    Quote from AcademyRuins »
    Seems like the Devoted Remedies combo slots into a lot of different shells. Knightfall and the Finks combo are things a lot of us have tried I'm guessing, but have their shortcomings. Retreat to Coralhelm isn't tutorable and adds misses to Company. The Finks combo is really powerful in that it doesn't rely on untapping with a creature, but doesn't win the game and uses the graveyard. It slots in great with Elves, people have played 4x Druid in the deck before Vizier was even legal, and Ezuri is already a card you want to run four of in the first place.

    My question for you guys is, what less common combos have you played alongside Devoted Remedies? With Aggro and Big Mana being pillars of Modern, it's important to threaten fast and consistent goldfishes if you're not interacting. One combo I've come across that seemed sort of reasonable is Pili-Pala + Grand Architect. A tough pill to swallow when Vizier Druid does about the same thing with better pieces outside their combo, but CoCo-able combos that kill that turn and don't use the graveyard are hard to come by. At least the deck is already set up to find something to do with infinite mana, and I suppose it's nice that Grand Architect is kind of a hasty dork in that it pushes out a Pili-Pala or 1/1 Ballista that turn it comes in play. Still a little unimpressed with the combo.

    Any other ideas?
    Well I mean people have played Anglefeeder since it's been printed but it was always personal preference and not even that great compared to alternatives. Pili-Pala + Grand Architect is even more fragile with Pili-Pala being worse than Druid or Vizier and Grand Architect being an engine card is going to get targeted a lot. It has only seen success in Blue Steel and there is a reason why.

    Lately I've been brewing up three different Cream of the Crop decks and one of them is dabbling in Impromptu Raid. I thought about just shoving the combo in there as Druid helps ramp out Raid while the combo if it goes off lets you flip the entire deck into play. Its not a good deck by any means but I like brewing stuff and it could work there. Anything relevant that Druid-Vizier could already slot into has been discovered. Anything else is going to be jank.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    Quote from JohnBell »
    I thank you for your comprehensive answer.
    I play a different list, without Rhonas and with only Scavenging Ooze as silver bullet, but how do you side out vs Junk GWB?
    Pretty much the same as against Death's Shadow. You want to take out the cards that are going to be bad topdecks and just plan to play the long game and outvalue them.

    +1 Selfless Spirit, +1 Scavenging Ooze, +1 Courser of Kruphix, +1 Sin Collector, +1 Pharika, God of Affliction, +2 Path to Exile, +2 Abrupt Decay
    -3 Noble Hierarch, -4 Birds of Paradise, -1 Chord of Calling, -1 Vizier of Remedies

    They do often have Damnation as the only board clear so Selfless Spirit or Sin Collector are going to be your only outs to that. They also have Path to Exile (or some really weird Liliana of the Veil activation) to remove Pharika so be aware of that. Kitchen Finks is a bit worse because you're facing Path, but if they're removing them it will probably give you some room to assemble to combo and win. Don't be afraid to take the matcups a little slower, because you know you will outvalue them in the long game. Also make sure to win 100% of the time to really run home who the better GBW deck is.

    Against Jund I'd look to do pretty much the same but also bring in Burrenton Forge-Tender to combat Anger. Honestly Aven Mindcensor can be good too as they play a lot of fetches and can get caught by it.

    I'm also eyeing Shapers' Sanctuary as a sideboard card. It could absolutely wreck UWR, Jund, Junk, Grixis, etc... but I don't think there is a huge problem against those decks.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Idea] Modern Miracles?
    Quote from korfits »
    Hi. After opt got printed I wanted to give miracles ago. What do you guys think is best Eyes of the Watcher or crystal ball ?? They have did
    Different upsides. Eyes can dig you deeper but ball doesn't require a spell to trigger.
    Crystal Ball is probably going to be better in situations as you don't always have mana to scry eot and hold up mana for a counter or something. I'd play it over Eyes of the Watcher anytime you're not looking to get to the late game and have a ton of lands against other control decks... which is like every time.

    That said, I've never posted in this thread before. However I have been brewing a Cream of the Crop Miracles list for a while now. It's by no means complete and relies on flash creatures to stack the deck with CotC and defend yourself with Counterbalance. It's more of a tempo deck but can still go big with miracle cards. With the printing of Nimble Obstructionist and Opt I think the deck gets a little better so I'm looking to update it. It was never great, but is a fun thought experiment and does have some legs against decks if you are getting lucky with Counterbalance triggers.

    The deck works because Terminus not only clears the board but also puts all your cards back into your deck for near infinite usage once you get the Cream of the Crop + Counterbalance engine online. Cards at each relevant cmc are: 1cmc = 10, 2cmc = 9, 3cmc = 12, 4cmc = 3, then the bonus ones are 0cmc (for affinity) = 23, 6cmc (for Primetime and Tasigur) = 3. This should probably be more skewed towards 1cmc and 2cmc but all of the good flash creatures come in at 3cmc which is the biggest problem. The deck can work with just Counterbalance and tempo plays by Snapcaster and Opt, and Spell Queller but it isn't as outright potent.

    Other possible cards to include are Sage of Epityr, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Momentary Blink, Cloudshift, Temporal Mastery, Stonecloaker. These could all fine homes in the sideboard and help change the number of cmc cards in the deck for different matchups.

    It's not the most miracle focused deck, but they are there and are a potent gameplan when they come up. Any ideas on how to improve the deck?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Mono-Blue Human Aggro
    On the topic of Flying Men replacements you can also use Jace's Phantasm, Mausoleum Wanderer, [card]
    Judge's Familiar[/card], or even Siren Stormtamer would be really good as they protect your bigger threats like Delver.
    Posted in: Budget (Modern)
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    Quote from JohnBell »
    Distended mindbender isn't a silver bullet... You cannot CC or Chord it. Senseless IMHO.

    Quote from Torpf »
    Quote from Pathrogas »
    Collector doesn't take Walkers/Creatures but never gives the card back, exiles it and is slightly harder to kill. Sculler is a more reliable t2 play and can be a pretty nice tempo plan if you have a few of them. Not being able to freely chump-block with a discard creature is a pretty big drawback as well (more theoretical in nature tho, as it doesn't come up often). Also worth noting is that Collector makes boarding out dorks slightly worse. Personally I like Sculler mostly against classic Tron, everywhere else I prefer Collector.
    Pathrogas pretty much summed it up well. If I am playing Scullers in the board it is because I am anticipating having to interact with super linear removal-light decks such as Ad Naus, Tron, Storm, etc... Against those decks you can take key cards and not be super worried about them removing your sculler right away. Against decks like UWR Conrol, GBx, and others who pay sweepers (Verdict, Damnation, All is Dust, Pyroclasm, etc...) you want their haymaker card gone, and they play so much removal that Sculler isn't going to cut it. lately I've actually shaved the Scullers from my board in favour of just Sin Collector for this reason. I feel that I can adequately race decks now that before I would have to disrupt to keep up with. This also makes me want to try out to Eldritch Evolution plan in the sideboard for speeding up the combo when it really matters.
    Can you post your current CoCo list and your idea of side guidelines?
    Sorry for the late reply... Here is everything:

    Some notable things is that I have both Rhonas and Ballista right now. I do believe that Rhonas is better so I could cut the Ballista and play either another Rallier or Recruiter. I can also see an argument for going down to 3 Finks these days as that combo doesn't come up as often anymore. I play 22 land and 7 dorks. The Razorverge could be a third Canopy but I have everything foiled out that I can and so I gotta play the foil lands ya know.... I always want green sources for Chord as you can get some weird starts with Viziers and Godless Shrines, which is why I'm playing 2 Overgrown Tombs. The sideboard reasons are as follows:

    1 Burrenton Forge-Tender - Stops Anger of the Gods which is a blowout against us. Also good vs Burn, Pyroclasm, Whipflare, Lightning Storm, and others. Having the ability to chord for 1 in a pinch is necessary.
    1 Selfless Spirit - Postboard people bring in more boardwipes. This is necessary to beat Damnation, Supreme Verdict, and Anger of the Gods because Spellskite can't. Game 1 people play more targeted removal so Skite is going to be better. Spirit can also let you block with your team and win on the swing back.
    1 Scavenging Ooze - Game 1 I want to race decks, I have no time to try and hate out Dredge, Living End, Snapcaster, and the deck can already bury BGx in card advantage so it's not necessary. Bring it in vs. graveyard decks though.
    1 Qasali Pridemage - Kills artifacts and enchantments.
    1 Reclamation Sage - Same as above, but can be cast off of infinite green for when you need that to combo off.
    1 Eidolon of Rhetoric - Stops Storm, Ad Nauseum, Living End, Seismic Swans, etc...
    1 Aven Mindcensor - Messes up fetchalnds but also hates out Storm (gifts), Scapeshift and Primetime, and the odd homebrew combo deck.
    1 Courser of Kruphix - Comes in vs midrange decks when we side out our manadorks. Helps us keep up playing lands, and is good vs. Burn too.
    1 Sin Collector - Specifically for decks that play board wipes, but also comes in vs combo decks to disrupt them.
    1 Orzhov Pontiff - vs the mirror, Elves, Affinity, Tokens, Hatebears, and any other small creature decks. Gotta get it off early before creatures get pumped though.
    1 Pharika, God of Affliction - Grixis and Jund literally don't play a card that can remove this once in play. It makes a wall of snakes and wins the attrition game. Also good vs Junk but watch out for Path to Exile and Grixis control playing Cryptic.
    2 Path to Exile - For killing things that must be killed. Usually hits Eldrazi or Death's Shadow/Tasigur. Everything else can be relatively ignored.
    2 Abrupt Decay - For killing everything Path can't.

    As for a sideboard guide, using the tier 1 decks from the site right now:

    +1 Burrenton Forge-Tender, +1 Scavenging Ooze, +1 Courser of Kruphix, +1 Sin Collector
    -1 Viscera Seer, -1 Walking Ballista, -1 Rhonas the Indomitable, -1 Duskwatch Recruiter
    You don't need to combo in this matchup, just stabilize. Kitchen Finks is your key, and with Vizier of Remedies you can create a wall that they can't attack through. Pretty much the rest of your sideboard is good against them too, but you don't bring stuff in because it's too situational (like enchantment hate for Eidolons). You can bring in removal though for their creatures and that's fine.

    +1 Eidolon of Rhetoric, +1 Aven Mindcensor, +1 Sin Collector, +2 Path to Exile, +2 Abrupt Decay
    -1 Renegade Rallier, -1 Spellskite, -3 Kitchen Finks, -1 Collected Company, -1 Eternal Witness
    This matchup is all about speed, and they are faster. I take out the Finks because yes you can win through infinite life, but its going to be too slow 90% of the time. Shave a Company because you bring in 4 noncreature spells as Electromancer and Baral have to be killed on sight or you're probably going to lose the next turn. I don't care about Rallier and EWit as much because they won't be killing a ton of our things outside of Bolts or a defensive Grapeshot. (These are all general btw, like if I'm on the draw I'd maybe keep in a skite since I'll be a turn slower and things like that. I'm not doing play/draw for each right now)

    +1 Selfless Spirit, +1 Qasali Pridemage, +1 Reclamation Sage, +1 Orzhov Pontiff, +2 Abrupt Decay
    -4 Kitchen Finks, -1 Rhonas the Indomitable, -1 Viscera Seer
    Since they have infect you don't care about life much. They are so fast trying to pull off the infinite life combo to buy time is a bad idea. Instead look to gum up the ground until you can combo. Pridemange and RecSage are removal spells that also pay G for Chord of Calling so play those first then bring in more removal. Abrupt Decay is there to combat Cranial Plating among everything else, while you should bring in Path if you are more worried about their manlands.

    Eldrazi Tron:
    +1 Aven Mindcensor, +2 Path to Exile
    -3 Kitchen Finks
    This is a pretty rough matchup. You can bring in Mindcensor to slow them down getting Tron. Pharika slows down their huge creatures on the ground, but can still get exiled by Karn. She doesn't really cut it in the long run like against other decks. If they put a Chalice on X=2, or a Ratchet Bomb, then that blanks like half of your deck. All you can do is race them and get out the combo before they can do anything as you are much faster than them. You can bring in Selfless Spirit if you are really afraid of Ratchet Bomb, or Reclamation Sage if you see they are playing more removal than normal and think the game will go long enough to need to blow up a Chalice. I take out Finks because we can chump with other creatures and infinite life doesn't beat them. Seer is ok though as he scries for the combo and we need it as fast as possible. Try to win on T3/T4 if possible, after that you're going to have a hard time. You cna take the crazy person route and play this like its a Death's Shadow/Jund matchup but 9 times out of 10 you'll get overrun in the long game if you don't win by the early midgame.

    Grixis Death's Shadow:
    +1 Selfless Spirit, +1 Scavenging Ooze, +1 Courser of Kruphix, +1 Sin Collector, +1 Pharika, God of Affliction, +2 Path to Exile, +2 Abrupt Decay
    -3 Noble Hierarch, -4 Birds of Paradise, -1 Chord of Calling, -1 Vizier of Remedies
    Your hand is going to get ripped apart, your creatures are going to get removed, and there is very little you can do about it. I like to treat this matchup like Jund and just try to transition into a midrange deck and outvalue them while trying to combo only if it just seemingly happens. This may be a controversial way of doing it, but let me tell you that it works. The last thing you want to be doing is topecking manadorks so raising the overall card quality of our deck, coupled with the fact that we inherently have a bunch of 2-for-1's and Gavony Township to win the long game puts us in a pretty good spot. I cut a Chord instead of a Company even though the creature count is lowered because there isn't a huge need for silver-bullets in this matchup and the chance to get a 2-for-1 off of Company means you should play it. Watch out of people who tech Damantion though as it will wreck us.

    +1 Burrenton Forge-Tender, +1 Selfless Spirit, +1 Aven Mindcensor, +2 Path to Exile
    -4 Kitchen Finks, -1 Viscera Seer
    This is a bad matchup just because they have inevitability over us.... and Anger of the Gods... and Chalice of the Void.... and Engineered Explosives.... and Grafdigger’s Cage... yeah don't expect to last long. Have mana up for Burrenton Forge-Tender or Selfless Spirit whenever you can and just try to jam the combo while they are still ramping. +1 Aven Mindcensor messes up Prime Time, Summoner’s Pact, and Scapeshift so use it wisely. Path hits Primetime and for the love of god cast it before the ETB trigger resolves. Although the life combo does beat them I want to be fast as possible so I take it out. All you can do in this matchup is be faster because if you aren't then they're going to mop the floor with you.


    Hope that helps. If there is enough interest I can write some more sometime before the one in the primer is done. The difficult part though is the fact that everyones lists are slightly different. However it is always a good learning activity to hear peoples opinions on cards and choices.

    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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