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The Mysteries of Ixalan
 
Treasure Cruisin' with Miracle Grow
  • posted a message on PONZA CREW (expert-level dek)
    Lol at this deck.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Control
    They probably brought them in hedging against Relic.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    Took the same list as a few pages back with the sideboard tweaked to another 60+ person PPTQ, and I lose AGAIN in top 4. Round 1: Burn 2-1, Round 2: Burn 2-1, Round 3: BW Tokens 2-0, Round 4: Living End 2-0, Round 5: Eldrazi Tron ID, Round 6: Grixis DS 2-0, Top 8: Bring to Light Scapeshift 2-0, Top 4: Burn 0-2. I was the first seed going into the top 8 so I was on the play and against my last opponent I mulled to 5. Both my 6 and 5 both had double Living End in them. Unreal. The bad luck is palpable.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    Ya, cutting Monstrous Carabid seems pretty terrible. It's a hybrid cycler that doesn't die to bolt or push. Not having them will almost certainly cause you to lose games where the extra +1/+1 stat would have let you run away with it. Also, you're actively playing a full set of a card you can't actually hardcast. I feel you're doing yourself a disservice by playing architects instead of bugs.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    My list was as follows:



    The main is pretty stock and I was happy with it. The Blood Moons were all-stars all day. It is important to be cognizant of how you fetch, not only because of this enchantment, but because an astute player may notice you're fetching your basics early and could follow suit. Which obviously makes the bottle-necking your opponents mana plan sub par. I don't play Dreadshot Minotaurs because of the nonbo they have with Faerie Macabre. I have very seldom shot one of my opponents creatures. Not having an evasive threat has been relevant enough for me to not even run the risk of that scenario happening. I used to play a split of Desert Cerodon and Architects of Though because the library manipulation was fairly useful. But with the change of my manabase to accommodate Blood Moon, I'd like to be able to hardcast all my threats if need be.

    The sideboard was worse than I had hoped. I would have played 3 Leyline of the Void, but I couldn't find one, swapping the faerie out for it. I do realize the hypocrisy of saying I want to be able to hardcast all my threats and then turn right around and play a full set of Leyline of Sanctitys. I know that I was essentially playing with an 11 card sideboard, and it indeed felt like that through a good portion of the tournament. My thought on the sideboard cards, especially leylines, is if they are super important to improving your targeted matchup, than there's merit to running all 4. Leyline of Sanctity is the epitome of "high risk, high reward." I feel the burn matchup is so lopsided that playing any less is absolutely a waste of sideboard slots. Not to mention that it has other applications against other decks, combo, 8-rack, etc. Now in a large scale tournament like an Open or a GP, I would not play this card. I would just hope to dodge. But in a smaller scale tournament like a GPT or a PPTQ like that was, people are always trying to come out "hot" with Lightning Bolts. In my experience with these tournaments, I'm never lucky enough to dodge. I wanted to go into that matchup post board hoping to lucsack my way through it. There was at least 5-6 burn players that I knew of at that tournament, and I knew I'd run into one of them at least once. I was fortunate enough to dodge dedicated burn for this tournament, but I still boarded all the white leylines in for 6 games throughout, and I saw none in my openers. With the universe being one of my closest friends, who is always a jokester, made sure I did draw them within the first 1 or 2 drawsteps.

    It is possible that just maxing out 4 slots that are actually castable in the deck postboard could be a possibility. Something like Bristle Boar or Gnaw to the Bone, possibly even Pulse of Murasa may provide to be promising. But throughout my testing and numerous matches against burn, Boar was never enough, and I never got a sizable amount of life back from Gnaw. I don't even know if this should be a discussion considering we're probably not talking about smaller local tournaments where burn is more prevalent.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    Took the deck to a 70ish person PPTQ and made top 4, only to lose to a pretty favorable matchup. I'll probably tune the board up a little more, as I was pretty happy with the pseudo stock 60. I plan on taking the deck for the next couple of weekends to more PPTQs and seeing if I can spike one. Also, I feel that Blood Moon is where I want to be right now given the meta.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Aetherworks Marvel Decks
    This is a list I played to a Top 8 finish in a 30ish person local tournament. I only dropped 2 games until the top 8 where my luck seemed to run out when I died to some pretty aggressive draws from my Mardu Vehicles opponent while having double Liliana, Death's Majesty and only one black source. But that's Magic for you. Anyway, here's where I started.



    The deck was pretty good, even though I hadn't played a game with it beforehand. It was a list I threw together the night before the tournament. I built the board mainly targeting Control and Mardu. Though, I feel I misbuilt the sideboard. I knew the deck would struggle quite a bit against Control. Especially the two color versions, particularly UR Control. My game plan for almost all control matches is to jam threats until they run out of gas, all while playing around Censor if I can. I only played against Control once in the tournament, but as I predicted, it was strenuous. Every card I cast I felt had around a 25-30% chance of resolving. But eventually I ran the opponent out of resources and took over the game.

    Throughout the swiss, I faced two G/B (2-0, 2-1), one UR Control (2-1), and one Mardu (2-0), ID into Top 8 . I felt by far my deck was the sweetest thing that was played that day. As you can see, I had a bit of spice in the list. The card Heart-Piercer Manticore, in most cases pretty terrible card, and throughout the tournament I boarded it out almost every game. But it was a cute, and I thought it would provide me some reach in some aspect. I obviously regretted it being in my 75 most of the time. But in the Top 8 match, I did live the dream by attacking with an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger then Flinging it to OTW my opponent. But I would have much rather had a card like Manglehorn as a bullet instead of the auto-board out cute card.

    I have since removed that card, and have been testing Demon of Dark Schemes. The card has been pretty stellar. Being able to EOT reanimate an Ishkanah, Grafwidow, Noxious Gearhulk, or a Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger is insane for obvious reasons. I've had to add another black source to accommodate this change, but I think it's well worth it.

    As far as the board, I've been testing a few changes as well. I like Sweltering Suns, the cycling is beneficial, but double red is hard for this deck to get on time. I'm making a clean switch out to Radiant Flames. I may even go down to one copy, since I was really only boarding in one. It does the same thing early game, and late game when I have any combination of colors I can Radiant Flames for one to clear a majority of Mardu's team and still keep my spider tokens around. I also removed the walker from my board as well. She just wasn't really needed/relevant in Control matchups, which is where I planned to side her in. I know she's pretty good against other midrange decks, but I felt this deck just does the midrange game better with a game ending top end. Also, she's just another threat to get countered by the copious amounts of countermagic they have/bring in. Now I think the best way to beat them is attack their hand. That's why my board will be filled with hand disruption, probably 6-8 spells, but I need to make sure I don't dilute the deck too much. I think the matchup is definitely winnable post-board. I don't know if I'd go as far as playing a card like Prowling Serpopard. I don't play a ton of creatures, and I'd rather most of my noncreature spells resolve instead of my creature spells since I can reanimate them with Liliana, Death's Majesty. But it is an option if control becomes a tier one strategy, plus it's a 4/3 beater for 3 which isn't too shabby. I like my cards to interact with Mardu, so I don't think I need to change any of those numbers. That matchup really depends on how fast you resolve and spin marvel and/or how much removal you have.

    I'm sure the deck can be built better. But I think it was good attempt/starting point for this specific color scheme/build for Marvel.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Help with Control Sideboard
    I wrote about this deck in the AKH Control decks thread. I too enjoy playing it. This is the sideboard I'm currently testing.

    2x Sphinx of the Final Word
    3x Dispel
    1x Essence Scatter
    1x Engulf the Shore
    1x Forsake the Worldly
    3x Scarab Feast
    3x Renewed Faith
    1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets

    I added black to the deck for better options in the board since the splash is negligible. I'm looking to stay away from double colored cards that aren't blue, as well as trying to make most of them targets for Torrential Gearhulk. It's also a boon for Baral, Chief of Compliance to help you cast your sideboards cards for a discount. Most everything in the board is a flex spot and subject to change like most cards in the sideboards of control decks before there's somewhat of a meta for them to aim at. It's been doing quite well for me so far.

    I might try out Dovin Baan as a way to get the opponent to over-extend into a sweeper. But as far as real white wraths, I'd rather not have them in the 75 at all. It makes the deck play differently. Moreover, it makes Engulf the Shores worse because you'd need to change your manabase up to facilitate always having double white by turn 5 or 6. In this deck, that scenario isn't guaranteed. I'd rather not having any real white spot removal in the forms of Blessed Alliance, Immolating Glare, or Cast Out. Not saying these cards are bad, I like them. But this deck tries to prevent problematic spells from resolving. Having a Immolating Glare in my hand while I'm watching a walker resolve isn't where I want to be. I do realize this is the same thing as the needing the "right answer at the right time" type of argument and that this could happen with literally any card(s). Like having a Negate when they cast a Glorybringer, but I don't even what the chance for the aforementioned scenario to happen.

    Furthermore, I may test things that aren't blue, but aren't terrible cards against certain matchups even though they're not and instant (as long as they're single color). Cards like Authority of the Consuls or Trespasser's Curse.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks
    Yes, that is a line you could take.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks
    I'd firstly not play 8 Yahenni's Expertise, truthfully I might play only 2 in the entire 75. I also wouldn't want to play any creatures that die to the aforementioned expertise. Playing Vizier of Deferment seems like a liability due to the fact it's a temporary fix to a permanent problem, not to mention the how poorly it lines up against sweepers. Final Reward is an expensive removal spell that doesn't make much sense to have when there's so many other premium removal spells in the format. I do understand that it exiles and it is sometimes relevant, but the mana cost makes it slow and pseudo unplayable for what it does. I think you'd probably want to play a full set of Shambling Vents too. The card is good for pressuring walkers and stabilizing.

    I do like Regal Caracal though; I think the card is nuts and it'll see more play than people currently think. Oath of Liliana is an expensive Trial of Ambition with an upside. I can only expect that the format will be aggressive for the first few weeks as usual, and the oath may be too slow. It's possible that Succumb to Temptation may just be better than Painful Lesson. I know it's more strenuous on your manabase, and there'll be times where you wish you had the sorcery speed draw spell to kill your opponent. Even though the chances of that scenario coming up are greater than zero, I'd bet that telling your buddies the story about how you killed your opponent in the fashion won't be very often. This I see is a more tappout style control deck, but I think it'd be more beneficial to do as many things you can do on your opponents end step. That way you can leave mana up for removal and don't have to choose between drawing cards or playing a walker on your turn.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks
    You can cast the sorcery side of Commit with the Torrential Gearhulk flashback trigger. I don't think it's only for super fast decks or combo decks. If anything, I'd feel it's almost exclusively for grindy control decks. If a control deck has many pieces of permission, than being able to recycle all your counters is huge. The backside of Commit being cast and having so many lands that you have 4+ mana open afterwards puts the control player pretty far ahead. Most of the time you should hit a land drop every turn, your opponent most likely won't (archetype dependent) and they'll be bottle-necked on what they can play. You can just shoot down every spell you care about after that.

    A Torrential Gearhulk will eventually come down and they'll have less resources to work with than you. They'll have to start moving into chump block mode after taking 10 or so, and the game is pretty academic at that point.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks
    Seven draw spells may look like a lot, but there's a reason to play a relative high number of them. You want to see them often and in your opener if possible, obviously. Pull from Tomorrow is a card you don't want to see too frequently, though. It's a card I'd rather play for 4 or more as a payoff/refuel card and not as a worse Glimmer of Genius. The snake leopard isn't really on my radar or a concern. As you said, a card like that is less likely to bleed in the meta in larger tournaments or online unless control is a real tier 1 contender. If they do play it, it typically won't be game one. If you suspect they have it post board, you can always Engulf the Shore it/the team, or just flash in Torrential Gearhulk and block to remedy that problem. Then it's business as usual. This scenario is possible games one, two, and if you're unlucky, game three. Winning game one in a quick fashion is almost unimaginable. So worst case, you win game one and just have to not die game two. I play some number of Dynavolt Towers in the side, they're less for attacking their life total and more for board control. In the end, we all build sideboards to sure-up matchups or make a bad matchups better. So just do that if you're worried about Prowling Serpopard.

    I personally am not a fan of playing a control deck with that few of lands like you play (22? seems blasphemous). I feel if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. I always assume I'll get mana-screwed, so relying on Anticipates and Censors to reliably hit your land drops is not a route I'd consciously take. The dilemma with playing so few lands is that you'll have all this permission in your hand and you won't be able to deploy it. We need to get to a point where we can play two spells a turn. But if you have to Anticipate or cycle Censor just to try to keep up, it's possible you end up succumbing to those one or two creatures that snuck through while you were trying to stay on par with your opponent. The choice of digging for lands or countering a spell when you're already being pressured is sometimes a hard one. It's a bad feeling when you get knowingly baited, but have to counter whatever they play because you can't afford the clock increase or have very few outs to that spell once it resolves (at least in hand), all while missing land drops. If you've ever died to a Thraben Inspector you know what I'm talking about.

    Also , the inclusion of manlands in your list just makes me even more skeptical about playing a low land count like you have. I'd want to be able to animate and kill/counter something. I just don't see how often you'd be able to do something like that reliably. Just my thoughts.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks
    That's true, but it makes your Engulf the Shores worse. There's been plenty of times where if one of my lands were a non-island, a creature or two would stick. I don't think that's where I'd want to be with this style of deck.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks

    If a problematic permanent gets through the typical wall of counter magic you have, Commit can take care of it. Albeit not indefinitely, but it should be enough for you to have an answer to it next time it comes down. A card that has over-performed has been Baral, Chief of Compliance. With such an abundance of permission, this card lets you filter a ton of draws. Oftentimes pitching a newly drawn land, which is welcomed because at least you aren't wasting a real draw step and you're diving past the fluff. That's not even mentioning the discount that you get on every card in the deck that's not a land or creature.

    Another boon to this list is the nonbasic lands. The fact that they're actually islands is what I think makes this deck more viable than the past iterations of this particular control archetype. He doesn't provide a sideboard to this list, but in testing I've obviously created one. With these duals, it allows me to splash for "free" some pretty useful spells. Renewed Faith is a great inclusion that gives us more inevitability against the aggro decks. I also have given a slot to Forsake the Worldly which is a flexible tool to have against any troublesome enchantment or artifact. Since the white source count isn't that high, I feel it's wise to stay away from tempting double white spells like Fumigate.

    With zombies and delirium/reanimator lists running around, I think we can stretch the mana even a little further. By possibly taking out some basics to make room for some Sunken Hollows and Fetid Pools, and possibly trimming one or two Irrigated Farmland. By doing so, I think being able to have the access to some graveyard interaction like Scarab Feast could be helpful against creatures like Haunted Dead, Prized Amalgam, Dread Wanderer, and Relentless Dead as well as any targets for Torrential Gearhulk.

    Some points of observation:
    - Censor isn't as bad as I originally thought. If the opponent sees it game one, most people will play around it for the remainder of the match. So shaving one or two post board (p/d dependent) hasn't been punishing.
    - Baral, Chief of Compliance is insane. Casting Glimmer of Genius for 3 seems like cheating, and turning all your 3cmc counters into Failed Inspections is great for reasons I need not explain.
    - Pull from Tomorrow is also obviously very good in this deck, helping you refuel and dig for answers. The non-bo with Torrential Gearhulk hasn't been an issue. You can pitch a Commit to cast the back end on your turn to recycle your graveyard and hand if you dont have any targets for Commit or just want to leave up more mana after you've cast it for its aftermath cost. The deck draws so many cards and loots so much that it hasn't been uncommon for me to discard an extra copy of it.
    - Kefnet the Mindful is as good as one would assume. Not great, not horrible, just okay. It's a late game card that closes games quickly. You can use it's ability to bounce some cycle lands and cash them in for value, if you're into that sort of thing.
    - While playtesting, I felt I almost wanted more Disallows instead of Void Shatters because cards that allow certain graveyard synergies to thrive, like Haunted Dead, circumvent typical countermagic. I found Disallow to be more relevant in the late game when all they're trying to do is bin and resurrect Haunted Deads, Prized Amalgams, Dread Wanderers, and Scrapheap Scroungers. This opinion might change once I test out adding black to the mana base and implement graveyard hate.

    I apologize for the Great Wall of Text.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [AKH] Amonkhet Control decks
    Has anyone seen or tried out that Mono U Control list that Chapin posted in his SCG Taking Control article? I have been playing it the past couple of days and I've been thoroughly impressed. Given all the counter magic, control mirrors almost seem like a bye. Additionally, against aggressive strategies you just counter the things that matter and grind them out. The deck sort of plays out like the elixir control decks of old (obviously not as good) where you play a long game one and just try not to die before time runs out.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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