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The Magic Market Index for Oct 20, 2017
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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from hoser2 »
    At the last minute, my son decided that he wanted Ballistae in his version of Mardu Vehicles. I audibled into Sultai Midrange. While it worked out, with both of us going 3-1 and cashing, I am disappointed to not be able to report anything useful.

    One of the cards that I struggled most over was Rhonas, but included one to see how it played. I am concerned about 2 Rhonas with only two of his best enabler (Bristling Hydra). I would -1 Rhonas, +1 Bristling Hydra. Otherwise, I really like your version. FWIW, I would move a Hostage Taker to the side to get the fourth Bristling Hydra in (cutting one of the 3s) and replace a Harvester with a Shapers' Sanctuary before I played it myself.

    So, you might find this amusing. At SCG Dallas, I had one opponent who used Battle at the Bridge to kill Rhonas. It's unusual seeing him in the GY (as opposed to exile), but there he lay. A turn or two later, I topdeck the 2nd Rhonas and play it. My opponent's reaction? "Can I see your GY?" He was thinking I somehow flipped the Rhonas to the top of my library! He then commented that it was unusual to see two Rhonas in the deck. I dunno, to me, good card is good, amirite?

    Anyway, I agree that Bristling Hydra is the only direct enabler (Scarab God aside), as in, doesn't need any help when it hits the board to turn him on. But every other creature in the deck (excluding Ballista for X=1) is but a single activation away from him being live. There are plenty of games where I sit back with a handful of board presence and use my mana to turn on Rhonas. Swinging in for 9 on T4 is nothing to sneeze at, so my opponent has to deal with the board at hand, allowing me to be able to hold up cards rather than playing into their strategy (e.g. Settle the Wreckage, Fumigate, etc). Granted, this is mana inefficient if I could swing in with Rhonas and further develop my board. I get that. But against control, it's actually really strong. He's also really good against other strategies that develop a strong board presence (Temur, Ramunap, tokens), allowing me to stall their attacks (5/5 Deathtouch is fantastic) as well as push through damage with the trample effect.

    I'm curious your experience that made you struggle with him. Other than the games where Control was already winning and I couldn't keep a creature on board, he has been a powerhouse for me.

    Also, why Shapers' Sanctuary? My experience with it was not great at SCG Dallas. I've even cut Lifecrafter's Bestiary from my side, which is also a great card, but I just find I need better proactive/reactive cards in the Control match-up as opposed to the slow, grindy card.

    Honestly, the biggest thing I'm concerned about with the deck is cutting Gearhulk. There were games where I was losing that I flat out just won because of that card. Being able to activate Harvester, cast Gearhulk, and dump all the counters on it closes out a game fast and makes a huge difference in the race against aggro. It's why I've opted for so many life gain cards in the SB, since I cut Harvester from the main (which might also be a mistake). But to make room for Siphoners, Hostage Takers, and Defenses, something had to give.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    I think this is going to be my next iteration of the deck. If I make it out to an FNM and can post results, I will, but our shop is hardly meta representative, lol.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Clever Impersonator
    Quote from blkh »
    When a player plays Clever Impersonator and comes into play copying Eternal Witness or any other creature with ETB effects, can the player return a card from graveyard to hand?

    My understanding is he does not because the Impersonator comes into play as Impersonator first then only copies the Eternal Witness.
    My opponent says the Impersonator comes into play as Eternal Witness straightaway and thus, he can return a card from graveyard to hand.

    Who is right?

    Refer to MadMageQc's post for the answer to your question. This is for additional clarification. Clever Impersonator is a 0/0 creature. State-based actions tell us that any creature with a toughness of 0 or less is moved to the graveyard. Therefore, if Clever Imeprsonator exists as itself for any period of time, unless there is a continuous buff effect (e.g. Glorious Anthem), it will immediately move to the graveyard. Logically, it therefore must be the copy of whatever it is copying when entering (and not after) to avoid being immediately dead.

    Note also that triggered abilities use words like "when," "whenever," and "at." Clever Impersonator does not use any of these words, so nothing "triggers" to make it a copy of the creature (a triggered ability would cause a delay between entering the battlefield and it becoming a copy). As MadMageQc said, its own wording states that it will enter the battlefield as the copy, meaning the change has taken place either before or in parallel with (and in this case, its in parallel with) entering the battlefield. As far as the game is concerned, an Eternal Witness enters the battlefield, not a Clever Impersonator.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Couple of questions...

    Is Prowling Serpopard worth including in the 75 with the uptick of UB Control? They run very little maindeck removal, relying heavily on the counters, and Serpopard wrecks that strategy. It's less effective against the other control decks, but if UB Control is considered the premiere control deck, it might be worthy of inclusion. Or is it too cornercase and we stick with Duress and Negate instead?

    Fetid Pools vs. Drowned Catacomb... and go!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from RHAZZERCOM »

    To anyone that plays the Sultai list, do you feel ok with only 4 removal spells? It feels extremely bad for me. Been brewing with JUND splashing blue for scarab god.

    No, which is why I run more than 4 removal spells. At SCG Dallas, I ran 3 Fatal Push, 2 Never // Return, and 2 Vraska's Contempt main with 1 Vraska's Contempt and 3 Doomfall in the side. However, Hostage Taker acts as removal if you can make it stick, which is why the Jessup brothers opted for only 4 Fatal Push main. Myself, I'm going down on the Nevers and adding the 4th Push back in, leaving me 6 maindeck removal spells and probably going with two Hostage Takers main as well.
    Quote from hoser2 »
    If we agree on that, then we can talk about solutions. I see the following:
    1. Maindeck the full four Hostage Taker. Nationals and Worlds suggest this is a bad idea
    2. Hedge on Hostage Taker with maybe some main and some in the sideboard. The question about the Temur matchup seems relevant
    3. If we expect Hostage Taker decks and want to fight them, sideboard against them.
    4. Let control, Aggro and maybe Temur knock out Hostage Taker decks
    5. Transformational sideboard: Constrictor synergy main and good stuff side. Would Constrictor get sided out? Could be vice versa, I suppose.

    I don't know how Hostage Taker lines up against Temur, but there was a lot of Temur Black at SCG Dallas. I beat it every time I played it and the Jessup brothers obviously did quite well against them too. I don't have the reps that the pros do, and Temur is obviously powerful and flexible, but I think Sultai Constrictor has a better than 50% match-up against it, with or without Hostage Taker. Their deck against our deck depends so heavily on Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance, it's not even funny. Their typical snowball threats (Longtusk Cub and Bristling Hydra) don't get as big as ours do. Add in the facts that we have access to better removal, have an overall low curve, and are now maindecking combat tricks/protection (i.e. Blossoming Defense) and I think the match-up slants even more in our favor.

    I agree with your assessment that #2 is the approach we should take. I like 2 main with some number of B. Defense and a reasonable sideboard plan against Control and maybe the mirror & token-style decks.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from hoser2 »
    Quote from SamAffandy »
    Thx Hoser. Starting to think that we don't need the full playset of takers..
    I don't like Hostage Taker against Ramunap Red (slow and vulnerable, worse than Bristling Hydra) or Control (no opposing targets). It's not great against tokens, although sniping tokens isn't terrible. Worlds and Nationals point to it not being fantastic either.

    So I am inclined to agree. I could even see an argument for it as a sideboard card against midrange decks. Even then, it kind of requires Blossoming Defense and the slots add up quickly.

    So here's the dilemma, as I see it. I feel like my particular build of the deck is competitive, at least in the meta that I played in on week 1. I didn't face any UB Control, but my experience against Control is 50/50 (bad against Approach, reasonable against other forms of Control). However, my two match-ups against the Hostage Taker iteration were horribly skewed in their favor. That's only 5 games, but 1/5 is not a great record. So if the Sultai energy build continues on its path without Hostage Taker, whatever that iteration looks like (with or without Blossoming Defense, with or without Bristling Hydra, 0 - 2 Rhonas, 0-2 Scarab God, etc), I think it's most likely vulnerable to Hostage Taker. That's because the tempo blow out is staggering, and our creatures play into the other deck's strategy, contributing to the tempo swing.

    FWIW, I think Rhonas is a must going forward. If we don't have some form of evasion, Tokens.dec can just wreck us. Sure, we can put up huge bodies, but if they never get through, the tokens will overrun us. Rhonas is also difficult for UB Control, as they have to have Vraska's Contempt if he resolves (or manage to keep every other creature off the board). Me personally, I'm thinking of running two Hostage Taker main and 2-3 Blossoming Defense. It gives us the opportunity for the tempo blow out with defense up, but it's not the strategy of the deck. It doesn't take up as many slots in the 75 overall. Defense is a good card regardless, gets better with Hostage Taker, and will help in a lot of match-ups.

    In terms of countermagic, I was originally running Jace's Defeat, but changed to Spell Pierce for SCG Dallas. I'm considering running Negate instead, but what about Supreme Will? I know it's not a hard counter, but it can stop everything we need it to stop (Fumigate, Settle the Wreckage, Torrential Gearhulk, etc.) and do double duty for card selection.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from TequilaFlavor »
    Quote from DRay563 »
    I read through Jessup's article, and I'm not sure in the sideboarding plan why Walking Ballista is removed in any of the match-ups. That card can single-handedly win the game long term and I consider it to be one of the strongest cards in the deck. Control hates the card so much they actively remove it every time it hits the table.

    Not true - or, at least, only true if a) the Control player is bad, b) the Control player has a really low life total or c) the Control player has more than enough removal.

    Control players actually love to see you play a Walking Ballista instead of a Winding Constrictor, Glint-Sleeve Siphoner or even Longtusk Cub.

    Grizzly Bears that can Shock the opponent when removed sounds great on paper, but in this Standard format, aganst these Control decks, it just isn't.

    You're very rarely winning against a Control deck by playing a big Walking Ballista and shocking them to death - unless you already have a Winding Constrictor on the board (which they should remove with Walking Ballista on the stack - if they don't have removal, you're already winning anyways) or you get to go off with some Verdurous Gearhulk shenanigans.

    Now, that is not to say that Walking Ballista is straight-up terrible against Control, but I'm still siding out all of my copies against Control decks not running Hostage Takers and at least 2 copies even against Control decks that run the overpowered pirate. The answers I have in my sideboard are just more potent than the "catch-all", "sometimes-you'll-combo-off" Walking Ballista - at least in the Control match-up.

    The Control player doesn't care so much about it T4 (which is when it's a Grizzly Bear that shocks then), but more late game when it comes down as a 3/3 or 4/4. At that point, we have the mana to make it grow (and probably little else in hand to do with our excess mana), and it becomes an extremely dangerous threat. In virtually every Control match-up I've played, I've watched them prioritize removal of Walking Ballista over other cards, even Winding Constrictor. I hear groans when I play it and they don't have a counterspell in hand. Ballista can not attack and win you the game, which can't be said of any other card in the deck. It represents points of damage if it resolves (like a burn spell) if they do have removal, which also can't be said of any other creature. That being said, it doesn't win the game near as quickly or overwhelm the opponent in card advantage as other threats in the deck do, so I usually side out 1-2 of them, but not all of them. And I'm not sure what my sideboarding plan will be going forward, as I've modified my sideboard since SCG Dallas. So who knows, maybe Ballista won't make the cut against Control!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Hour of Devastation Gods + Clone
    Here are the relevant Comp Rules on this:

    603.6. Trigger events that involve objects changing zones are called “zone-change triggers.” Many abilities with zone-change triggers attempt to do something to that object after it changes zones...

    603.6c Leaves-the-battlefield abilities trigger when a permanent moves from the battlefield to another zone, or when a phased-in permanent leaves the game because its owner leaves the game. These are written as, but aren’t limited to, “When [this object] leaves the battlefield, . . .” or “Whenever [something] is put into a graveyard from the battlefield, . . . .”...

    603.6d Normally, objects that exist immediately after an event are checked to see if the event matched any trigger conditions. Continuous effects that exist at that time are used to determine what the trigger conditions are and what the objects involved in the event look like. However, some triggered abilities must be treated specially. Leaves-the-battlefield abilities... [snip] will trigger based on their existence, and the appearance of objects, prior to the event rather than afterward. The game has to “look back in time” to determine if these abilities trigger.

    603.7. An effect may create a delayed triggered ability that can do something at a later time. A delayed triggered ability will contain “when,” “whenever,” or “at,” although that word won’t usually begin the ability.

    603.7c A delayed triggered ability that refers to a particular object still affects it even if the object changes characteristics...[Like your Clone no longer being The Scarab God]

    603.7e If an activated or triggered ability creates a delayed triggered ability, the source of that delayed triggered ability is the same as the source of that other ability [The source of the ability is the Clone and so, even though it's no longer The Scarab God, it is still the source of that ability]. The controller of that delayed triggered ability is the player who controlled that other ability as it resolved.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    I read through Jessup's article, and I'm not sure in the sideboarding plan why Walking Ballista is removed in any of the match-ups. That card can single-handedly win the game long term and I consider it to be one of the strongest cards in the deck. Control hates the card so much they actively remove it every time it hits the table. Temur hates it so much they Abrade it whenever possible. This is because every opponent recognizes it as a mana sink that will take over the game. So why board it out?

    Other thoughts on his version of the deck. I still don't like Rishkar. I mean, I understand that a T2 Constrictor into a T3 Rishkar is very strong, and the extra mana can make for additional broken plays, but I just think he's clunky. It's often just a 3/3 for 3 mana dork because the other creature got removed. I'm still a huge fan of Rhonas in the deck, as again, most other decks actively hate Rhonas. He's hard to remove and provides evasion to any other creature, which then turns him online as a huge beater. I also think it's a mistake to not have any Aethersphere Harvesters, as there are so many match-ups where that card was clutch. Blossoming Defense helps out, as it can save a creature from removal and/or stop the "can't block" effects that make the red match-up so rough. Deathgorge Scavenger also helps, but is only semi-repeatable (as it's dependent on the what's in the GY) and easier to remove. Lastly, there's no artifact/enchantment hate in the sideboard. Should there be, or is there insufficient meta evidence of artifact/enchantment relevant cards to have some kind of hate in the sideboard?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from TechnoWriter »
    Random question, primarily for those of us looking at 3+ colour builds. For the record, I am not in energy, which could be significant to the answer.

    I've been building with Hour of Glory instead of Vraska's Contempt. Converted cost is the same at 4 (3B vs 2BB). Hour can potentially be an X-for-1 depending on their hand. Contempt has a slightly wider target base and minor lifegain, but the double-black in its cost concerns me. I haven't seen any planeswalkers floating around aside from Chandra in RR, so it seems to me that it comes down to the 2 life. Is it really that significant? And am I over-fearing the mana?

    The potential for them to have 2+ Gods (one on board and more in hand) is pretty slim. I mean, it happens, but other than mono red, most people aren't running more than 2 of a type of God. Mono red typically pitches their extra Hazorets, so again, less likely for it to be a 2-for-1. And I would say that the extra life gain and the ability to hit PW is a pretty big upside. Chandra is a real threat and can be very hard to deal with. Vraska is popping up in some lists and is a solid finisher if unanswered. Tezzeret is somewhat of a nuisance in the Improvise decks, but IMO it's still worth having a direct answer for him. And the lifegain is more than incidental, as that's 10% of your starting life total and can make a huge difference in the mono red match-up. I would try to make your mana base BB capable if you can.

    Quote from lajube »
    I think you still misunderstand something. Hostage Taker+Panharmonicon exiles two creatures until Hostage Taker leaves. But when it leaves it will return those 2 creatures. If you have 2 Panharmonicons, you will exile 3 creatures until then. If you have 1 Panharmonicon and 2 Hostage Takers, I don't see anything special happening. 2 do not "slowly wipe all the board". The best you can do is remove 4 things. Which is still pretty good, but it took 3 cards to get there and is nothing crazy.

    You're missing the second half of Hostage Taker which allows you to cast their creature while it's in exile. That double removal with Taker can represent two extra bodies on your side of the board if Taker survives long enough for you to cast both and is the "slow board wipe" here.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Here's the decklist I played at the SCG Open:

    Round 1: Abzan Tokens/Stockpile
    Game 1 he got stuck on lands and it was over pretty quick. Game 2 he landed Legion's Landing early, and once he got Anointed Procession and Hidden Stockpile out, it got ugly quick. I scooped with about 10 minutes left on the clock and he had 63 life. Game 3 went to turns after I got him down really low. A timely Walking Ballista allowed me to control his board and swing for lethal on T2.

    Round 2: Bant Control
    I don't think his deck ever really performed. I asked him about his wincons because he sorta controlled the board, but I could always chip in for some damage here and there. He was a turbofog style control deck but I had too many threats.

    Round 3: UR Control
    He got stuck on one land game 1 and it was over very quickly. Game 2, he stalled he got controlled the board pretty well and was using Enigma Drake as his win con. He also was using Vizier of Many Faces to copy the Enigma Drake. His first his was for 8, then for 10 (technically swinging for 20, but I had revolt enabled and tried to fatal push both the Drake and the Vizier copy, but he countered one). He was down to 4 life and I topdecked a Walking Ballista with 8+ mana so...

    Round 4: Temur Black Energy
    I played Temur Black Energy several times the weekend and they all kinda blur together. I think my version of the deck is favored, because I won all the match-ups against it. I lost Game 2 due to land screw, but I won games 1 & 3 pretty handily.

    Round 5: UW Approach
    It's not even close. Settle the Wreckage is terrible to play against. My maindeck stands very little chance unless they just don't find the answers. My opponent sticks Search for Azcanta on T2 both games and I can never keep a large enough board presence to make a difference. I board in 3 Doomfall and 3 Spell Pierce to try to make a difference, but never draw the Doomfalls and Spell Pierce doesn't work when they have all the manas. For what it's worth, my opponent this round made 7th in the tourney.

    Round 6: Temur Black Energy
    See above about this match-up.

    Round 7: Ramunap Red
    The red match-up I think is slightly favored in our advantage. Game 1, Aethersphere Harvester was the MVP. He took me down to 3, but crewing Harvester and dropping all the Gearhulk counters on it to gain back a bunch of life works SUPER well in this matchup. I mean, sure, they can blow you out with Abrade, but if they don't have it right then, it's almost always game over. G2 I didn't put up much of a fight. G3 was close, as I got down to 4 before closing the game out.

    Round 8: Sultai Snek Hostage Taker - Dan Jessup
    Game 1 I managed to win. He didn't see a Hostage Taker, and without that card, my deck performs better than his. Game 2, he Hostage Taker's my Winding Constrictor on T5, holding up for Blossoming Defense. I attempt to Never on my turn, but Blossoming Defense eats my lunch. Snake into Rishkar and that's all she wrote. Game 3 followed a similar pattern. I would dominate turns 1-4, but turns 5-8 were all his after Hostage Taker with Defense turned the tide. It's a ugly two-card combo that's very hard to deal with.

    Round 9: Mono Black Aggro
    Game 1 goes to my opponent in a very weird way. He gets stuck on two lands - a swamp and an Aether Hub. He has a Glint-Sleeve Siphoner out. He beats face with Siphoner to gain an energy and then uses the energy to pay for a black to cast Walk the Plank. For 6 turns, he casts all four Planks and 2 Fatal Pushes. He 1-for-1s me and hits for 12 points without ever drawing another land. Finally he hits land three, I'm out of gas, and he lands another threat or two and closes the game. I easily take games 2 & 3 because the deck can weather early aggro, stabilize, and the crack back is really hard once that happens.
    2-1, finish Day 1 with a 7-2 record

    Round 10: Temur Black Energy
    See above. Worth noting that opponent's T3 Bristling Hydra into T4 Bristling Hydra while on the play is hard to answer...

    Round 11: Grixis Improvise
    I really enjoyed this match-up. He'd land early artifacts and servo makers to power out improvise creatures like Herald of Anguish. He used Battle at the Bridge to kill Rhonas. In the end, though, The Scarab God proved too much, as did timely removal for his threats.

    Round 12: Sultai Snek Hostage Taker - Andrew Jessup
    See notes from round 8, as it was almost exactly the same except I didn't win game 1. He slaughtered me both games with all the answers, Hostage Taker when needed, and Blossoming Defense to blank all my removal. It was frustrating to feel like his draws were the perfect counters against my draws, but that's how it works sometimes!

    Round 13: Ramunap Red
    I closed out Game 1 without much difficulty. I think he got stuck on lands. Game 2 was the opposite, where he closed it out pretty quickly and I barely put up a fight. Game 3 was a much closer game, despite his life total never changing. The game ended with me having two Winding Constrictors that were 5/6s, an 8/8 Gearhulk, and Rhonas with 6 mana. He had enough of a board that I couldn't swing in with anything because the crack back would be lethal. I had to try to build a critical mass of creatures and grant trample with Rhonas to make it where he was forced to block to survive and not be able to attack back. He got to six mana and was able to Eternalize a Khenra, and between that, two Crashers, Hazoret, and Kari Zev, it was game over. The turning point was about turn 7 when I crewed Harvester to block and gain some life and he played Lightning Strike on it. Not so big a deal, except I had two Constrictors out and he had a Soul-Scar Mage. Next turn, I was gonna drop Gearhulk and counter it up, but it would've been a worse blow out (Strike in response to the counters).

    Round 14: UW Approach
    See above for how bad this match-up is. Game 2 was actually really funny, as he played Regal Caracal into Regal Caracal and beat face. He got me down to 1 and was up to 46 life, then Fumigated to clear away everything. I managed to crawl back up to 7 life from various life gain effects while also dropping him to 35, but the second sun made its way to victory.

    Round 15: Mono Red Aggro
    It wasn't the standard build of Ramunap Red, using some newer cards like Rampaging Ferocidon. The games were close, but Walking Ballista, life gain from Harvester, and even incidental gain from Vraska's Contempt make this a win-able match-up.
    2-1, finishing Day 2 at 3-3 with a 10-5 record overall

    Main thing I would change is to add back in the 4th Fatal Push (I needed it so often the weekend), remove Shapers' Sanctuary (I never really wanted it and it rarely drew me cards because the opponent's would just play around it), and possibly switch out the Never // Return with more Vraska's Contempt. Sideboard, I'd probably pull the Tyrant, as I'm not sure it was really needed, probably add in another Harvester (it was a serious MVP in so many match-ups), replace the Spell Pierces with Negates, and consider switching out Doomfall with Duress like the Jessup brothers have. I think Duress will overall be better against Approach, which was by far the worst match-up, and Negate being a hard counter against both Approach and Settle is a big deal. How to deal with the Hostage Taker version? Not sure yet, but I may have to consider some amount of Defense myself as a counter to the ability. I wouldn't play Taker myself unless I use their style build, as the whole game plan is to make a massive tempo swing with Taker and protect it with Defense.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from hoser2 »
    Congratulations DRay! T64 at SCG Open Dallas!

    Thanks! I'll hopefully be able to give my report tonight or tomorrow. I didn't take notes, but I have all the sheets I used for life totals to provide insight into each match-up. I played both Jessup brothers, losing to both. Hostage Taker is such a huge tempo swing, and they treated it like a 5-drop (holding up Blossoming Defense). They also almost always had the right card at the right time, which was extremely frustrating. It's one thing to be a good player with a good deck. But to always have Fatal Push, Blossoming Defense, and Hostage Taker at the right time to maximize the advantage? That's some good luck too!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek

    This seems like a weird version of the deck. Kitesail Freebooter seems like a decent card, as it's evasion card advantage so long as it lives, and your opponent will feel bad using a removal spell on it... but I'm not convinced it's worth 4 main deck slots. I like the idea of swapping out Attunes with Ranging Raptors if you lose the energy package, but it seems a bad idea to drop energy due to its impressive synergy. I like Savage Stomp, but it's it's only good if you run enough dinos to get the discount. Otherwise, it's a bad pump/fight spell. Deathgorge Scavenger is not that good of a card IMO. If it added counters instead of temporary buffs, then it would be pretty good, especially in this deck. It's not horrible against Ramunap Red due to the life gain, but that's about it.

    Quote from hoser2 »
    Shapers Sanctuary vs Lifecrafter's Bestiary
    • SS cheaper and easier to resolve, better against removal and don't block effects (aggro, midrange). More durable, as enchantments don't have much hate.
    • LB better against counterspells and sweepers (control)

    Quote from AwokenHorror »
    As far as Shapers' Sanctuary versus Lifecrafter's Bestiary, having no experience with either, Sanctuary seems much better. Bestiary requires so much more mana for only a little situational upside and could get blown out by Abrade. I don't think trying to out card advantage Control will work, and you'll end up giving up too much tempo.

    Hoser, you've given me some better insight on Sanctuary, as I wasn't thinking about do not block effects and how it could help in the aggro/midrange matchup. That's definitely worth considering. The reason I like Bestiary is because even on an empty board, it does something (scry 1). Also, it puts you in control of the draw effects, since it's your trigger, as opposed to letting your opponent be the one in charge of it. I like that Sanctuary is more resilient than Bestiary, but Abrade will be seeing less play due to Lightning Strike being reprinted. I like that Sanctuary comes down on T1, but it could literally do nothing the entire game whereas Bestiary will always do something. The biggest drawback to Bestiary is that it doesn't come down until T3, which can represent a decent tempo swing that you have to come back from.

    So the next question becomes, is it worth having both in the SB? Maybe a 2/1 split or 1/1?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Snek
    Quote from lajube »
    Based on the notion that people will be going heavy Red, plus Temur, plus aggro dinos/pirates, and not running any new cards main (though I happen to have 4 Vraskas' Contempt):

    So basically very aggressive, plenty of removal for little stuff, and Coup to take care of big problem creatures.

    In the games where it matters, why Spell Pierce over Negate? How often will that 1 mana on your end make a difference, and how often will they "tap out" while you don't have the requisite mana open? If you're aggro, you don't hold up mana early game, so this is a later game counterspell. Or is the thought that this is a hold up against T4/T5 wrath where you can still have mana up for a creature post-combat?


    Random poll for the group. Shapers' Sanctuary or Lifecrafter's Bestiary? And why?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on BG/x Constrictor
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    You don't have enough early 4 power creatures, and/or Rishkar, Peema Renegade for 2 Rhonas the Indomitable. Having Rhonas as the only other 3 drop creature will mess with your curve if you want to go aggressive against someone. Having 2 of these mb is not a good idea unless you feel you can turn it on relatively consistently turn 4. I would trade out one Rhonas for 1 Rishkar or 1 Bristling Hydra.

    I'm curious about Aethersphere Harvester as a two of. In my experience, having 2 vehicles in the deck can really screw you against control (as having even one in play is usually bad against a good control deck.) It's also tempo negative in compared to having an actual 3 drop creature out. On the other hand, we've lost grasp of darkness to fight ramunap red, so having at least 1 seems like a good idea to gain some life.

    What is Sorcerous Spyglass good against? Just curious as to the reasoning behind it and if it should be included in my deck possibly.

    I agree with at least one The Scarab God. This card has beat me to be sure. It's good if it is destroyed, it's good if it survives. It is one of the main reasons to splash blue in my opinion. I am personally cosidering 2 of these mb. That may change if I get ahold of a carnage tyrant.

    Why don't more people play more mainboard Bristling Hydra? It seems strange to me as I run 4 of mb and am never disappointed, never side them out. This card begs to be at least a 3 of mb. Hydra wins games against aggro, midrange, and control. How can you ask for more? Confused We used to continually have this debate over on the temur energy thread when I last payed attention to it a couple of months ago. Hydra seems like a worthy 3 or 4 of in my opinion in the 75.

    Lifecrafter's Bestiary is a beast! I have been running 1-2 mainboard with good results pre-ixalan release.

    Doomfall has been good for me against control. As I mentioned above, possibly useful against Ramunap Red for hazoret?

    Why not Drowned Catacomb over Fetid Pools?

    I might save up for at least 1 Carnage Tyrant myself.

    The new Vraska Planeswalker looks possibly worthy as a 1 of in the 75. So does essence scatter paired with doomfall.

    I'm interested to hear how 3 attune with aether works out. Perhaps I can cut one of those in my own G/B/U deck if I run 22 lands. Cutting an attune makes me feel Drowned catacombs is the better choice over fetid pools btw.

    Never/Return looks like a solid 2 of. Been having success with 2 of mb.

    Confiscation Coup or Supreme will?

    I chose QTY 2 Rhonas because I want to see him more consistently on T3/T4. He is self-activating with any other creature due to his ability, synergizes well with Harvester (especially after a board wipe), and has been a beater almost every time I play him. Besides, Rogue Refiner is my other 3-drop, so I rarely lose time on the curve. I used to play 2-3 Rishkar, but I always felt he was lackluster without Snek on the board and I ended up boarding him out most games. I finally cut him from the list halfway through last season and haven't looked back.

    Harvester is great, especially in the Ramunap Red matchup. The life gain is incidental, but sometime relevant. I like that it's a creature I can activate after they've determined who can't block. I then use that creature to crew. It slows them down substantially.

    Spyglass is a hedge against a lot of decks. Depends on what you're most afraid of. In our deck, for example, it can shut down (in part or wholly)
    Bristling Hydra, Walking Ballista, Longtusk Cub, Rhonas the Indomitable, The Scarab God, and Aethersphere Harvester. In can turn Planeswalkers into duds. It can limit Hazoret's effectiveness. It can prevent the searching up of God-Pharaoh's Gift with Gate to the Afterlife. It's great against Electrostatic Pummeler (which this deck has lost to a few times in the past). I'm not sure if it deserves a sideboard slot, but I want to test it against a few decks this weekend. It also depends how many decks are running Abrade now that Lightning Strike is back in the pool.

    I don't like the idea of 2 Scarab God main. He's too slow to see that often IMO. Compare the immediate board effect of him vs. Verdurous Gearhulk. He's a grindy card that will win the game if not answered, and he's hard to answer, but Gearhulk stabilizes or dominates a board immediately after being landed, especially with Snek out.

    I don't hate Hydra. I just don't have room for 4 of them. I run 61 cards as it is, and so finding what to cut is tough. I don't want to cut the low end aggressive and synergistic cards or removal, so I have to find how to balance my high end cards.

    I prefer the cycling on Fetid Pools over the untapped potential of Drowned Catacomb. If I'm playing Fetid Pools, it's usually early in the game. Most other times, I cycle it because I don't need the extra mana.

    I'm not sold on Vraska. She's solid, for sure, but doesn't synergize with the deck. I would actually be more interested in Liliana for the recursion, but have currently opted for no walkers. As for Essence Scatter, the deck is more damaged by non-creature spells than creature spells IMO. Dinos may change that opinion, but I have no baseline for that yet.

    I went down to three Attune because I hated seeing Attune later game and because I needed to cut 1 card. Is it right statistically to guarantee the mana? Have no idea, but I've been on 3 Attune for weeks now and haven't had issues. I don't playtest a ton, though, so it's really hard to say for sure.

    I wouldn't play with Coup or Will. I understand your reasoning for Coup, as we do usually have a lot of energy, but UU will be tough to get. Supreme Will is a good card in the right deck, but that's not our deck IMO. This is an aggro/midrange deck. We're low to the ground and aggressive. We gain card advantage through value-cantrips, not through card selection cantrips like Anticipate or Supreme Will. They add nothing to board and only replace themselves. I would rather play a creature that replaces itself and builds our board presence, which is why Rogue Refiner is such a good card for this deck.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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