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A Reckoning on Kamigawa
 
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The Magic Market Index for Oct 13, 2017
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    The 22nd place in the challenge was me. Altho I'm very surprised to hear it called stock. I can do a brief recap if people are interested and would be happy to talk about deck choices.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from CarrotsMcGee »
    Quote from Rotax94 »
    Ehm, what is the plan vs Eldrazi Tron?

    He opened a hand with natural tron, smasher, balista, the equipment with deattouch and lifelink, i just scooped.

    EDIT: i'm playing E&T


    Mana disruption is key because you're not beating them if they 're casting a lot of spells. Ghost Quarter and Tec Edge are super important. Post-Board side in artifact hate and phyrexian revokers if you have them. Side out 1-toughness creatures like thalia and fickerwisp to avoid ballista blowouts.

    While you're correct about siding in artifact hate and that 1 toughness creatures such as thalia aren't great vs them, I think it's absolutely wrong to sb out fliers. Wisp can work as resource denial and can help us race when you vial out that attacking smasher. And it has evasion. I should also note that I like to keep in ~2 thalias on the play as her tax can be relevant in the earlier stages of the game and she beats reshapers in combat. She's much worse on the draw though.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Hey guys, I just ordered the pieces for Eldrazi and Taxes

    Is there a good resource for sideboard guides, or very good primers?

    I tried googling, checking channelfireball and whatnot, but didn't see anything too detailed

    I mainly want to see a resource guide so I can grasp what cards are good and bad against archetypes and what to sideboard in and out as reference points


    Yes. There are. Here is Craig Wescoe's take, here's Patxi Sanchez's guide, and for a more general SBing guide, here's something I wrote up. All except patxi's guide are in our primer (@DeathandCatmix we should add his guide to Leonin's Library).

    EDIT: I'd recommend going through the rest of the primer. There's a lot of good resources compiled there. If that's not enough, https://go.twitch.tv/kponcemtg streams BW E&T a lot. I also stream it occasionally, and Catmix also releases regular D&T content.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Rotax94 »
    Ehm, what is the plan vs Eldrazi Tron?

    He opened a hand with natural tron, smasher, balista, the equipment with deattouch and lifelink, i just scooped.

    EDIT: i'm playing E&T


    They have some god hands like that which are tough to beat. Our plan is essentially to keep them in an earlier stage of the game where we're favored via mana denial since their late game is so good. stony silence is fine vs them, but vial helps our plan vs them a lot. If you're looking for a good SB card, big game hunter is also excellent vs them.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    @Darkest_before_dawn Yes it's quite the powerful list. There's a whole forum for that sister deck here.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Fyrithil »
    Has anyone put in the work to compile a 'basics being played' list for every deck? Since this is usually the same number for the already established decks it might be a nice resource to have access to? I think it's important to know the number of basics every deck usually plays so we know when GQ / Field of Ruin are at their best Smile

    As far as I'm aware, the answer is no. Typically people check general lists on place like here. The problem with making such a resource is that decks update their land counts now and again, altho it's not a bad idea. For now, I'd just go ahead and use metagame sites like the aforementioned. As you get a feel for the format, you'll also have a good idea of how many basics the main decks run. I can start to compile something to that effect, although it may be a bit.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    "Wow! Really? How many?" This puzzled him as he now stared at a field with a tapped fetch land and a Valakut as his remaining mana sources on turn 5. A Field of Ruin and pair of Ghost Quarter just brought shear misery for him. It was a truly apathetic scene. Leonin arbiter, Aether Vial, And Thalia, Heretic Cathar were threatening to end the game in a mere two turns.

    "A Field In Ruin" by DeathandCatmix

    The Deck List
    What you need to know:
    Mono-White has proven to be very powerful! While I was not certain about how many field of ruin to run, I was certain that the card is good. I am perfectly confident that two makes a world of difference in the deck. It does require a reimagining of the mana base, though. I have not done that work yet.

    Where it matters:
    It has bene good against pretty much everything other than Grixis Death Shadow. On paper it should seem like that's the prime match up but the mana requirements in that match up are a bit hard to pull the trick off. Affinity, Scapeshift, Tron variants, and even Burn, struggle when you have at least 6 Ghost Quarter affects in your deck. With or without Arbiter, the affect has major upsides. Fixing mana for color is great and depriving mana is greater.

    Settle The Wreckage. Is it good?:
    Seems like a reasonable sideboard option. I am not certain that it is a balanced SB option yet. It helps against problematic match ups but could be a card opps learn to play through if it proves to be popular.

    Overall:
    I am happy to see the additions from Ixalan actually being useful. We still have to wait and see what decks adopt new tools and if the ban list changes. But I think we can continue pushing as a tier 1 deck for the next few months! That's it! Tell me what you experience you have had with Field of Ruin!

    -Catmix


    I similarly have been testing field of ruin as a 2x. The card isn't phenomenal (it's not better than tec edge or GQ), but it is an effect we like to have as many as we can of and it's the next best option after GQ and Tec edge. It also does have corner cases where it's actually better than our other LD (when we need to activate it and our opponent doesn't have 4 lands and or we don't want to fall behind on lands), but they are corner cases for a reason. Still, having 10 LD effects in our deck makes taking people off colors or troublesome lands quite doable (with or without leonin arbiter). The question on how many to run hinges on how many we can fit. Since it's not replacing our other LD and we still want 13 colored sources, I believe that number to be 2 (making for 10 colorless LD lands).

    The reality of the matter is that it's not going to revolutionize our deck. It's a slight change, but one that I believe does make our deck a better deck. It gives our LD element of our deck some more redundancy. Where I'll depart from catmix's mana is in our basic count. Since running field of ruin, I've noticed that having those extra basics to search out can matter. 8 plains seems to be the magic number (there's also the whole debate on 23 vs 22 lands and 4x canopy or not, but I'm not getting into that here as it's not the focus of the matter).

    I have successfully taken many decks off a color with my 10 LD lands. This does include DS MUs. It usually only happens in the grindier games, but many decks having only 2-3 basics means that even without arbiter, we can simply remove all of our opponents colored sources of a particular kind over the course of a longer game.

    Settle the Wreckage has been good in my testing. It seems that opponents expect resto when we have 4 mana up and have to attack either wide to go around her or attack with their better creatures. Even if they play around the card, it often results in a 2 for 1. After playing with catmix in the mirror, we saw that the card was still strong when we expected, albeit less strong than it would be if our opponents didn't know about the card.

    Ultimately between thalia, heretic cathar, ghost quarter, path to exile, and field of ruin (and the potential SB settle the wreckage) we can apply quite a bit of pressure on our opponents basics count. That's not even mentioning the added tectonic edge.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Spider, I'm just going to let this one go. Obviously, you're entitled to build your manabase however you want and I'm not going to stop you. I'm just trying to stop the lurkers from feeling obligated to run 23 lands with 4 Canopies in Mono-white D&T.

    Quote from Soladoc »
    There is an interesting article on Thraben university for mana bases with vial taken into consideration. There is also source code for a small programm. http://www.thrabenuniversity.com/?page_id=1288
    Maybe this will help settle your argument.
    Unfortunately, it won't. Both Spider and I have access to pretty comprehensive probability distribution tables for this deck, and I have additional access to a Monte Carlo simulator for figuring out everything else (e.g., "what are the odds I draw a Hierarch, Arbiter, Ghost Quarter, and WG source in my opening hand?"). Both Spider and I know the math, although I'm more of a purist about it (as you can probably tell).

    Either way, neither of us need additional resources on this topic. We've both played this game for a very long time. We both know this deck inside and out. We're arguing about performance information that's really on the margin of mainstream gameplay and not readily answerable using a goldfish simulator.[/quote]

    I very nearly said the same thing instead of my last tirade there Laughing . I know we're both making our arguments for the community here, altho there may have been a bit of pride involved there ;). You're right that it's not a hard and fast rule that people always need to follow. I was trying to stress that in our discussion. I do however, think that for people unfamiliar with he deck that 23 lands with 4 canopy is a good place to start. Obviously it's possible to do well without canopy. Catmix just had a good finish with a list with 22 lands and a number of canopy that was not 4. It's a well crafted list. My understanding is that you had a similar list and also did quite well.

    @Soladoc that is an excellent resource however that is worth putting into leonin's library.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    Obviously, the range of keepable hands varies by matchup. But given you have access to perfect mathematical information about probability distributions, the situation that you optimize for should be G1 in some reasonable approximation of the metagame.

    If you're not willing to use the perfect information that math gives you, that's fine. You don't have to. You can run 23 lands or 30 lands. But as far as I'm concerned, you've provided no evidence for why 23 lands is the right number.
    Since you refuse to present your own logical framework of what a keepbable hand is and instead chose to cherry pick my argument with your position being simply that of a contrarian with no logical explanation behind it, I suppose I'll have to send you to other magic players explanation of what a good 7 might mean. Here Reid Duke breaks down how different general archetypes mulligan. Of course, this isn't about our deck in particular, and we have to define our deck via one of his general deck types. D&T is often called a "aggro-control" deck, but that doesn't much clear things up. Based on the amount of turns the game tends to go, we'd likely be defined as a midrange deck, but we do this by often taxing our opponents and keeping the game in a approximation of the early game longer than it might otherwise go. Thus, while this is a useful tool, it can be challenging to fit our deck neatly into a category. However, according to his breakdown, I'd say that we most closely resemble a midrange deck what with having some cards that are very good in some MUs, but absolutely terrible in others. Then the question becomes, how many lands does a generic midrange deck want to typically see?
    To better understand what makes one mulligan, modern nexus breaks it down here
    . The mulligans we're talking about fall into their type #1, the inherent mulligan. That is, we're mulliganing because our hand is in some way not okay due to the land in or the lack of lands in the hand.
    Quote from CharonsObol »

    This is true, but I could spin this the exact opposite way. Given the percentage difference is small mathematically, why haven't you cut that 23rd land?

    (In practice, exactly how small of a difference depends on what constitutes a keepable opening hand. If keepable hands have 2-3 lands, then the difference between 22 and 23 land is only 0.62% in favor of 22. But if keepable hands have 3-4 lands, then the difference between 22 and 23 lands becomes 2.69% in favor of 23.)

    This is basically a direct contradiction of your previous sentiment. If you're mulliganing significantly more hands having only 22 land as opposed to 23, that's probably variance, because they're so probabilistically similar. You would have to play literal thousands of games before you would notice this, which again begs the question: why are you still playing that 23rd land?

    Unfortunately, we don't know what percentage of mulligans come specifically from "inherent mulligans," making this even harder to pin down.
    This was me offering you the olive branch in that unless you play thousands of games, as you said, it's going to be hard to see the difference between the two different land counts. HOWEVER, since you insist that we are able to find the ultimate truth of how many lands should we run, I'm going to have to throw my anecdotal evidence in the 23 land side of things as I have played literally thousands of games with this deck. You seem to assume that I never tried 22 lands. This couldn't be farther from the truth. In actuality, the difference between the two land counts likely comes down to preference, but that ~1% difference in mulligans, according to the program I've been using since the start of the year, agrees with the rest of the games I've played and my experience with it in that I get to mulligan less. While I have played MANY games, they're not all with the stock mono W list (with 22vs23 lands) verbatim, which makes this even harder to say is a certainty. Of course, most every top finish with the deck has 23 lands and 4 canopies, but you refuse to see those results. Now, just because everyone does something does not make it the truth, but it certainly makes us wonder if there is a reason behind their choices. We have the statistics, but can't seem to agree on how they should be interpreted. While the math represents the truth of the situation, how we interpret it introduces opinion and human error.

    Quote from CharonsObol »

    I would like to have a higher chance of having Canopy in my 4-land opener. But the cost is that I also have a higher chance of having Canopy in my 2-land opener, which feels much worse.

    Again, math can answer your question. Regardless of whether you have 22 or 23 lands, the chance of you having exactly 2 lands (30.02%, 28.56%) is higher than you having exactly 4 lands (15.98%, 17.82%). That means that you're more likely to have a 2-land opener with Canopy than a 4-land opener with Canopy. (That statement would still be true even if you only had one Canopy as opposed to four, but I digress.) My point is that the cost of making your 4-land openers better is making your 2-land openers significantly worse; not only are 2-land openers more likely, but the Canopies are probably costing you more life in the 2-land openers than the 4-land openers.

    I agree with you that Canopy should be played in mono-white. I just think the correct number is probably 2-3.


    Where does having canopy feel much worse? I reiterate, the only deck that can consistently punish us is burn. Where's the math behind the canopy numbers? I'd love to see the average damage taken from canopies over the course of the game with 2vs3vs4 of them. Currently, we're just saying why we like one or the other and explaining it via play theory.

    EDIT: I realize your issue with my initial statement may have been with the strength of the rhetoric I used; "I wouldn't be caught dead running 22 lands (and less than 4 canopies in mono W)."
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    You and I are talking about the same thing, except the math doesn't agree with you. The ideal number of lands in your deck to maximize your chances of having an opening 7 with 3 or 4 lands in hand, is 30 lands. I'm going to suggest to you that this really isn't the circumstance you want to optimize for.

    For comparison, if you wanted to run the same analysis except for 2 or 3 lands in your opening 7, the ideal number of lands in your deck would be 21. And if you wanted to run that same analysis again with 2, 3, or 4 lands in your opening 7, the ideal number of lands in your deck would be 25.

    It gets much, much more complicated when you start talking about color screw, because cards like Flickerwisp and Eldrazi Displacer are often only playable after the first few turns of the game anyway.

    I know that the range of acceptable opening hands is hard to pin down, but I would almost always prefer an opener with two lands rather than four. You don't mind the four because you're hoping that at least one of them is a Canopy, but that deckbuilding approach is likely to cost you life, tempo, or both while you're curving out.


    I can see why you took that to mean 3-4 lands are ideal in every opener, but that's still not quite what I meant. I was trying to clarify what a keepable seven looked like and while I'm sure we all keep many 1-2 land hands, it also totally depends on the scenario. Furthermore, I'm sure there are plenty of unkeepable 3-4 landers. I can envision a scenario where you have resto, resto, wisp or say 3x vial. But that's getting into to extremely specific scenarios, which really isn't the point. But yes, if you frame my argument as I must have 3-4 lands in every hand, obviously the math doesn't agree with me, because who runs 30 lands? Nobody. Perhaps the error is on my side in that the implications that 3-4 lands are always good might be seen in what I said, but I don't think it's very easy to clarify what exactly a good starting seven is. If you'd like to make your own/ expand on my definition of it, be my guest.

    As I stated earlier, the difference between 22 and 23 lands is small mathematically, so we're really arguing about that tiny percent difference.

    Going off your last sentiment, I'm assuming you do understand why I might prefer 23 over 22. Given that, I can tell you that I've had to mulligan more hands when my list was on 22 lands than when it was on 23. While yes, it may occasionally cost me life or tempo, I'd rather ensure a better start. While the joke on my twitch is that I'm the dean of "Luck Sack University," I also understand where to take my chances and if I can guarantee a safer start without too much of a late game drawback, I'm going to do so.

    It's worth noting that we're having two arguments in one here. We're arguing both about whether 22 or 23 lands is correct AS WELL AS whether running canopy is right or not and in what numbers. It might be helpful to separate those as if I were going to run 22 lands in mono W, I'd still have 4x canopy in my deck and I'm sure you wouldn't. This begs the question, why wouldn't you want to have a higher chance of having a canopy in that 4 land opener? Unless you're in a very burn heavy meta, you likely won't be punished for the canopies.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    Quote from SpiderSpace »
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    Quote from SpiderSpace »
    I wouldn't be caught dead running 22 lands in mono W, even with smuggler's copter (which I also hugely recommend).
    I didn't have a chance to respond to this earlier, but 22 lands is probably the right number. There's a little bit of room to debate it, but I suggest you make the switch and never look back.

    Smuggler's copter helps sift through lands (or find them), but the issue has more to do with upping my keepable openers. I've extensively tested both 22 and 23 in an assortment of builds, and I tend to prefer 23, altho it depends on the curve and build of course. But for mono W, I believe 23 to be the correct number if you're running something close to the stock build. Of course some of our land choices affect this decision as well. Having 4x horizon canopy for instance that flooding is reduced. In my opinion, such a list is able to both have the optimal amount of good starting hands while also not concerning itself too heavily with flooding.

    Of course, we're arguing over a fairly small percentage (I'm sure you have the numbers. I don't have them on hand.), but I do think that 23 (and 4x canopy) is correct for a list resembling the stock mono W list.

    I'm probably going to believe this sentiment even more so once we're trying to run a whopping 10x LD lands.
    The weirdest part about this discussion is that you and I have access to the same set of numbers. I can virtually guarantee that 23 lands with 4x Horizon Canopy is not the optimal way to build a mono-white manabase, and especially so if the deciding factor is keepable openers. Keepable openers are a function of probabilistic certainty; they're a set of numbers that you can't easily argue with.

    If you were optimizing for something like T3/T4 land destruction plays, it would be much harder to reach a consensus. But given the criteria you're using, your conclusion only makes sense if you're aggressively cracking utility lands, in which case you should probably be closer to 24 or 25 lands anyway.

    It's possible that you're simply piloting the deck to more grindy games than I am, but I tend to want to draw more gas than cantrips. If I can swap out a cantrip for more gas, I'm going to try to do it. That 4th Horizon Canopy for a 38th spell seems like an easy exchange given the difference in the probability of a keepable opener.

    Perhaps we're looking at this in a different way, but a keepable opener can mean a lot of different things. For instance if you know what you're playing against, you might try to mulligan to find good cards for the MUs, but I don't think that's what either of us mean as we're talking about land count. There are 2 scenarios in my mind that lands might not make your opener keepable.
    1) Too many lands. This would mean 5+ lands in the opener. if you have 2 cards that are good in the MU and some of your lands are utility in either the form of a man land, redraw, or LD, you might be able to keep a hand that has 4-5 lands, but I don't think any player would want to keep a hand that had 6-7 lands in it.
    2) Too few lands. This is where you simply can't keep the hand because you can't cast your cards. This is likely going to be 2 or fewer lands. While our deck has aether vial which obviously helps to mitigate this issue and let us keep otherwise poor 1 landers, generally you can't keep a hand that has 2 lands and mono 3-4 drops. Another possible scenario would involve color screw. For mono W, this might mean finding something like 2x tec edges and then a bunch of cards that require a colored source.

    Keeping all that in mind, I mulligan far more hands from issue #2 than issue #1. That's not to say that it never happens, but it happens much less. Specifically, I'll see hands that have 1 lands and no vial or hands with 0 lands.

    So, while you're right that that extra canopy could be spell and not a land which is obviously good in the late game, I'd much rather be able to play the game more often at the start than have the potential of flooding out later. Your opening 7 affects the course of the game more than most any other factor. Having 4 of lands that can be redraws to find gas thus makes sense in this context. In this way you get to have more keepable starts in seeing enough lands as well as being willing to keep those 4-5 landers given redraws. Similarly, in the late game, the canopy helps you get to gas.

    Play style may have something to do with this as well. I might be more willing to fire off GQs/crack canopies, but even so I think that doesn't have much to do with a "keepable 7."
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from CharonsObol »
    Quote from SpiderSpace »
    I wouldn't be caught dead running 22 lands in mono W, even with smuggler's copter (which I also hugely recommend).
    I didn't have a chance to respond to this earlier, but 22 lands is probably the right number. There's a little bit of room to debate it, but I suggest you make the switch and never look back.

    Smuggler's copter helps sift through lands (or find them), but the issue has more to do with upping my keepable openers. I've extensively tested both 22 and 23 in an assortment of builds, and I tend to prefer 23, altho it depends on the curve and build of course. But for mono W, I believe 23 to be the correct number if you're running something close to the stock build. Of course some of our land choices affect this decision as well. Having 4x horizon canopy for instance that flooding is reduced. In my opinion, such a list is able to both have the optimal amount of good starting hands while also not concerning itself too heavily with flooding.

    Of course, we're arguing over a fairly small percentage (I'm sure you have the numbers. I don't have them on hand.), but I do think that 23 (and 4x canopy) is correct for a list resembling the stock mono W list.

    I'm probably going to believe this sentiment even more so once we're trying to run a whopping 10x LD lands.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    @CharonsObol

    I appreciate the shout-out and am flattered, although I have to disagree with some of what you said. I'm gonna focus on the stuff I disagree with as I think the stuff we agree on that you said has already been explained.

    FOR WG:

    1) I would not play GW without 4 hierarch. It's the reason to splash for G followed by scavenging ooze and collected company. The only way I'd play G without it is if I was on a microsplash for gavony township. The card makes attacks better and makes the deck into the explosive force that it is and should be. If anything, I'd switch your hierarch and oath numbers.

    2) 4 horizon canopy is absolutely correct. 22 lands is right in GW and while those pings from it may make burn worse, you can still flood. So unless you expect a lot of burn, play it. There aren't many other decks to punish you and the grind is real right now. Mono W's thraben inspector gives it extra grind power that we just don't have here because we're trading that grindiness for extra power in the form of hierarch.

    3) 10 1 drops CAN be okay since 6 of them either help your combat get better or help you dig for another dude.

    Unrelated thing that I (kind of?) like:
    playing 2 fecthes with rallier is good. I like the synergy there, but the card ends up being a build around card that is often just ramping/LD. While those things are good, you have to ask yourself if doing that is better than just playing something like eternal witness or if you really want the LD, ramunap excavator.

    FOR MONO W:
    1) I wouldn't be caught dead running 22 lands in mono W, even with smuggler's copter (which I also hugely recommend).

    Unrelated recommendation:
    Try not to sacrifice the core elements of the deck. Gideon of the Trials seems great right now and I do love thalia, heretic cathar and a 1x aven mindcensor, but going down on thraben inspectors, restos, and splicers comes with consequences. In particular, Inspector is very good. Brian Coval said it's the best card in the deck, and while I'm not sure I 100% agree, I also don't disagree. The card is VERY good for us right now. Never forget that where mono W lacks the raw power, explosiveness, or trickness of the various splashes, it tries to make up for these things in consistency in the deck (both in mana and otherwise).
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @redtwister
    Yeah, the mana being better is huge. I'm really looking forward to updating this decks SB with a certain W card coming out soon that helps aggro MUs Wink

    But this is where I was at the last time I was on mono W. http://www.streamdecker.com/deck/rJ4O_t2q-
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @redtwister I find it somewhat surprising that you find GBx to be such a difficult MU. I find it to often be very close. The RW version has lots of nice value cards I've tested like Pia and Kiran Nalaar, nahiri, the harbinger, chandra, torch of defianceand hazoret the fervent, but even in mono W, just adding a few blinkable targets can go a long way. I was playing a 1x MD blade splicer. If it's GBx that you're scared of in particular, you could also try mirran crusader.

    Also, I feel that thalia, heretic cathar is one of the ways we beat those creature mirrors as she's formidable in combat, while slowing their role and pushing through damage. She doesn't fix those MUs entirely, but she does a lot vs a lot of the field.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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