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The World of Kamigawa
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Angel is difficult to assess. It’s a little overcosted for its stats but it can always answer random hate cards like Worship, Pithing Needle etc that your opponent might bring in. In these situations siding in Reclamation Sage feels bad if you draw it but don’t see a hate piece but Angel is at least a flying 3/4 threat that can also cover creatures and Planeswalkers. Having a catch all at the top of your curve also feels better to Evolve into rather than Evoing for Pridemage and then paying 1 to take care of Worship, for instance.

    I’m starting to think that most of the utility options should be in the 3-5 CMC range while keeping my 2-drops devoted to setup of some kind.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Nice job, NateG. Thanks for the report!

    I agree that the manabase you tested was suboptimal (especially the 2nd Temple Garden over Sacred Foundry) but I think you might want fetches 9-10 if you're going to keep 2x Lotus Cobra and 3x Rallier (I am personally on 12 fetches / 5 basics).

    I'm still a little hesitant about shaving a Felidar... yes there are 3x copies of Evolution but I think I will continue to prioritize the combo in my list for now.

    What was your deck config G2/3 vs Jeskai?

    What is your plan for Eldrazi Tron in your list moving forwards?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Another ~20 person FNM reportI decided to try shaving 2x Lotus Cobra for the 3rd Hierarch and a Reflector Mage. I then substituted the 2x Wall of Omens with utility 2-drops, Scavenging Ooze and Selfless Spirit (didn’t have Spellskite), with the reasoning that perhaps the extra consistency of Wall wasn't as important if the ramp package was less manic bipolar sans Cobras and perhaps the blocking power wouldn't be as important if we could flicker/clone Reflector Mage.

    In the side I swapped Harmonic Sliver in over Reclamation Sage, and made the somewhat agonizing cuts of -1 Stony Silence and -1 Eidolon of Rhetoric (there's one Storm player that comes occasionally but we've never played and I'd never had any other reason to bring Eidolon in yet) in order to squeeze in two copies of Unified Will.

    Match 1: Naya 8-Whack (1-2)
    G1 I make a mistake and think I'm against a naya burn list and I choose to Path Nacatl T1 rather than shocking myself to play Hierarch. He ends up overwhelming me with a Whack wave and I have no blockers. G2 the opponent starts developing his board with BTE, Loyalist, and one of the Whacks but Bird into T2 Courser stabilizes, followed by T3 evolve Birds into Finks -> T4 Evolve Finks into Gearhulk naming Courser as my enchantment, Finks as creature, and Gearhulk as artifact. Opponent scoops. G3 I keep a hand with Engineered Explosives, Reflector Mage, and Staticaster with a Bird and 2 Fetches. He plays Nacatl, I play Birds into Reflector Mage on Nacatl. T3 he dumps ~4 creatures onto the board and Whacks me for a big chunk of life. Unfortunately none share the same name so Staticaster stays in my hand and I play Explosives on 1 and pass. He plays several more hastey whack'd creatures, I detonate explosives and take out 2-3 (and my own bird) but still take a bunch of damage. Unfortunately I hadn't drawn any more lands, so with my Bird fried I'm stuck on 2 lands and die to the remaining Whack squad.
    SB in: Explosives, Staticaster, Gearhulk || out: Eternal Witness, Rallier, Saheeli

    Match 2: Bant (Non-Vizier) Knightfall (0-2)
    G1 I play Wooded Foothills, fetching Forest into Birds and pass. My opponent plays Wooded Foothills, fetching forest into Hierarch and passes. We look at each other and laugh, each one wondering if we're playing the mirror. We start setting up and he reflects my Finks with Reflector Mage, and then when I try to cast Felidar to blink an Oath he exiles Felidar with Spell Queller. From there he responds to something with CoCo to Quell another one of my spells (forget which) and Vendillion Clique to strip my Evolution. He's got me way beat on the board. I topdeck Reflector Mage, bounce his Queller to resolve Felidar Guardian, play Saheeli, tick down targeting Felidar... and Felidar eats a Path. Almost! Next turn his hoard cleans up. G2 I keep a hand with Saheeli, Path, Evolution, and Voice. Voice sticks followed by a topdecked Gaddock Teeg to shut CoCo off completely. He plays Knight, which I Path. He then plays a second Knight, Selfless Spirit, and a Voice. I block with Voice, evolve Gaddock into Felidar, but then die with Saheeli in hand.
    SB in: 2 Gaddock, Linvala, Gearhulk || out: Ooze, E-Witness, ??? (can't remember, sorry)

    Match 3: WBu Polymorph Tokens (2-1)
    G1 I lead with Hierarch, and when I see him pass with just an Island I figure it's control and slam Saheeli T2. He passes again and I play Felidar to combo out. I didn't get to see any cards but from the UW I assume it's UW control (although in retrospect this was a weird assumption since I would've expected him to play Mana leak / Path / something on T2 last game. G2 I board in all my Ux control stuff and basically try to run back the same play: Dork into Saheeli. On the end of my Turn 2 he plays Raise the Alarm into Intangible Virtue on his turn, and kills Saheeli with 2x 2/2 Soldier Tokens. Well then. I play Finks into Felidar blinking Finks but he plays Spectral Procession into Smuggler's Copter and I can't keep up with his sky beats. G3 I sideboard against tokens, lol. I play Gaddock into Voice, and he gets some soldiers down and exiles Voice with Anguished Unmaking. I evolve Voice into Felidar, blinking an Oath to find Saheeli. Next turn I combo out.
    SB game 3 in: Explosives, 2 Gaddock, Staticaster, Glen Elendra, Lark, Gearhulk || out: 3 Path, Ooze, Reflector Mage, Huntmaster, Thragtusk

    Match 4: My opponent drops /shrug

    Overall 2-2

    Man! Spell Queller does a lot of work against this deck, disrupting the combo both on the stack and flying over blockers to snipe Saheeli, ensuring that you can pretty much only cast her the turn you're looking to combo out. The only answer I can think of (beyond running more spot removal ala NateG's Lightning Helix SB) might be to run an Angel of Sanctions to evolve into in order to exile Queller -- even if they kill Angel the Queller won't get to counter another spell. Otherwise we just have to hope we can get Linvala / Lark in the skies or get a Gearhulk wipe.

    In general I feel like most of my game losses (barring misplays) were because I failed to stabilize fast enough, got behind on tempo, with a couple games made worse by mana screw.

    This is the second night I've run Scavenging Ooze and Selfless Spirit and they are obviously great cards, especially against midrange and control, but I didn't really get to see either shine in these aggressive matchups. Wall feels better to me in the main for my meta, and I'm tempted to bring those back in since the cantrip effect means they at least cycle and provide Evo fodder even in matches where they can't block G1.

    I'm less sure of how I feel about 2x Cobra vs Hierarch / Reflector Mage. It's tempting to wonder whether an early Cobra could've helped me keep pace with 8-Whack or Knightfall better. I still think Reflector Mage is a solid card, though, and having another source of Exalted via the 3rd Hierarch is nice. The Reflector Mage might also become some other utility card like MB Angel of Sanctions or a second copy of one of the existing 3-drops for added consistency.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Good luck! Thanks for taking the time to test this list, I think it will make comparison between the lists much easier and move us along to something more optimal faster.

    I will also be playing tomorrow night, though I haven't finalized my 75 yet. I would try out your list but I don't have Kikki or the lands to run it at the moment. :p
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Quote from VenocStorm »
    For Blood Moon, I still believe that this isn't a Blood Moon deck because we aren't built to take advantage of it in the same way that Skred, Ponza, or even Blue Moon are.
    I agree that we don't take advantage of Blood Moon quite as well as the decks you listed, but I don't have a better plan against Titanshift / Eldrazi / Tron. Running Magus of the Moon and 1+ copy of Blood Moon in the side seems like a necessary evil against these decks, no?


    @e302: I agree with most of your post with a few minor exceptions:

    I would argue that the 2x Lotus Cobras, 2nd Rallier, 4th Path, Thragtusk, and Sun Titan can all be really excellent somewhere in the 75 but their inclusion
    in the MB is still somewhat of a meta call as we've seen successful lists without each of them. I would personally lump them into the flex slots.
    Quote from e032 »
    I didn't mind Reflector Mage when I tried it but it's not an effect I'd Evo for, even blink with Guardian isn't that exciting when we're backing up the tempo with 2/3 and 1/4 on the ground.
    When I was running Reflector Mage I didn't usually Evo for it. The exceptions were (1) when they had a creature such as Thalia, Heretic Cathar that prevented me from comboing and I had the combo ready to go, (2) when I knew or had reason to suspect that they had another copy of the reflected card in hand that would also get caught by the casting block, and (3) against Delve and other threats that I knew they wouldn't be able to recast easily. While I agree that our board pressure isn't always strong, I think the fact that we can suddenly combo out means that our overall Tempo (both real and "virtual") is perhaps better than you give it credit for. Furthermore, Saheeli alternating between cloning Reflector Mage and Scrying has bought me several turns against aggro before, enough to close out some close games.

    I do agree that the major draws to building around Saheeli are the potential to build a consistent, lower-pain manabase and the ability to more reliably threaten the opponent with an early combo or proactive value-beats. It's hard for me to say how much you gain vs lose when you start splashing in Kiki-Chord pieces and their requisite manabase... to what extent does it make the plan more resilient and flexible, and to what extent does it make it less consistent? I'm really glad that we have VenocStorm and NateG in here to offer some good perspective on both angles.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    In terms of consistency of mana sources, if you run 4x Hierarchs + 3x Pilgrims with that land list you get the following untapped sources:
    18x Green + 4x from Dorks
    19x White + 7x from Dorks
    16x Blue + 4x from Dorks
    16x Red
    16x Black

    That seems like it's probably consistent enough to me based upon the Karsten calculations. It would be nice to be base-green instead of base-white in your fetch-shock scheme to have a slightly higher chance of nabbing a basic forest to cast CoCo through Blood Moon but I think that would probably throw everything off too much in a 4-5c list.

    I've been less active in the thread for a while as I've waited for more reasonably priced Caverns... not sure when that will happen. =/

    Here's what I would like to test in paper if possible:
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Weird dude.

    Going for maximum value as Plan A with 9 (!) flicker effects and 17 ETB targets not including Saheeli and then making the combo more of an incidental Plan B? Probably good against slower fair decks, looks like it needs a lot of hate to shore up the unfair matchups.

    Coiling Oracle probably isn't doing much ramp with 18 lands (30% ramp rate) and I'm unsure of Vial in this list.

    If anyone watches the videos before I can get to it I'd be curious to read a summary of the matches.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    @Shelldell Spellskite for a long time was a usual MB 1 of for kiki, and its odd how card seems to have totally fallen out of favor everywhere. The good news is this deck can get more U mana consistently avoiding the life loss. Bad news is it is a card helped by running chord as its a solid 2CC to fetch in response to removal/pump. I'd say if you're at 3 walls then trying 1 out instead should be fine. I think it's fall out of favor also coincided with the fall of infect as that one one of the srongest cards against them.
    Right now I'm trying to decide on a MB utility 2-drop between Spellskite, Selfless Spirit, Duskwatch Recruiter, and Scavenging Ooze.

    +Can shave damage off Burn spells & Valakut triggers
    +Shuts down Modular schemes, steals Plating, blocks Etched Champion vs Affinity
    +Can take a bullet to insulate combo against any type of spot removal vs Midrange & Control
    +Works well with Rallier
    -Applies zero pressure

    Selfless Spirit
    +Aggressive, evasive damage promotes beatdown plan B, especially with 3rd Hierarch
    +Can answer all wraths except All is Dust
    +Can protect the combo against non-exiling removal
    +Works well with Rallier
    +Best copy target of the utility 2-drops?

    Duskwatch Recruiter
    +Mana sink
    +Dig for combo pieces / beaters as needed
    +Provides non-GY-dependent card advantage
    +Transform can be useful to cast curve toppers when mana constrained..
    -Transform can be inconvenient when you want to keep using its draw ability

    Scavenging Ooze
    +Mana sink
    +gives the deck some much-welcomed GY hate
    +Life gain & growing body is useful in almost all moderately-paced fair matches
    -Weak to bounce effects
    -Without extra mana & GY targets available can be a 2/2 bear
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Welcome back, Siefer.

    Your points about Lotus Cobra are fair. For most metas I agree that it makes sense to trade them out for something more consistent, I'm just clinging on to them to keep up with the disproportionate amount of linear aggro decks in my local meta. But I'll try a 3rd Hierarch and Duskwatch Recruiter as well. I was also thinking about running 1x Spellskite over one of my Walls.

    I like running the first copy of Courser of Kruphix a lot but I wasn't totally happy with the second one when I was running it since they don't synergize with Saheeli/Felidar/Evo very well and its filtering ability doesn't stack in multiples. With this in mind I'm personally reluctant to further build off of Courser with Domri, although I do appreciate you bringing the spice. One suggestion might be to give Lark another shot with Domri since his -2 is another way to favorably kamikaze your Lark into something for value (I was thinking about doing the same with Dromoka's Command).

    I agree with Maniospas that your number of good flicker targets seems to be dipping too low for my tastes, but you also have a lot of filtering so maybe you'll make up for the low number of targets by finding the good ones slightly more reliably... I don't know. Good luck! Eager to hear how more about how it handles.


    @Maniospas: ah, gotcha regarding Titan & Chord
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    It took me a minute to understand it, too: the copy of Harmonic Sliver has both its own ability and the ability given to it by the original Sliver, thus the double naturalize.

    How is Chord good with Titan? I'm not sure I follow there.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Welcome, bfitz88.

    Harmonic Sliver is interesting. 1GW isn't really any harder for the deck than 2G -- we can usually cast either through Blood Moon and it makes no difference for Evolution -- and I rarely attack with Rec Sage to keep it around for flickering/copying anyways. I will try this substitution, thanks.

    The other thing worth noting is that Harmonic Sliver's ability is not a "may" effect. I think it'd be pretty rare for this to backfire but worth mentioning.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Personally I'm happy for Nathan's success and glad the deck's putting up results but I can't tell if his list is expertly crafted to his expected meta or just unfocused between the singleton Chord, 3x Oath / Felidar / Saheeli and the fairly GY-intensive top-end Of Lark and Titan. I'd be curious to read a write-up on his deckbuilding choices and matches.

    Worship has come up here a few times and probably warrants further consideration.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Thanks VenocStorm. I'm working on what I'm taking out for each of those matchups, I will update my chart when I'm done this week. And yes the list of decks in my meta is relatively accurate AFAIK. I will try to find room for at least one copy of Unified Will... trying to decide between shaving Stony Silence #2, Gaddock Teeg #2, Blood Moon #2, and Linvala.

    A few comments on your updated list: pretty much every player here has settled on the full playset of Voices, trimming Wall if necessary. One my favorite plays is to tick Saheeli down to copy Voice, play Felidar to flicker Saheeli, then tick her down to copy Felidar. If your opponent tries to interact to stop the combo you get two free Elemental tokens which can help you to stall until you line up another combo attempt and sometimes even win the game themselves. The deck is also a little softer to Ux control than some other instant-speed Toolbox decks, so having the set of Voices is really helpful there as well. If you have a 4th copy available I'd really recommend it.

    I think you can replace your Fire-Lit Thicket with your 10th fetch. If you're not trying to cast Kiki anymore the red filtering seems unnecessary, whereas the 10th fetch will help to turn on Rallier more reliably and generally improve your mana / mull consistency.

    Might Sigarda be a more effective "Bx midrange can't beat this" card than Keranos with additional application to All is Dust and easier casting cost?

    How have you felt about Sun Titan?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Hi VenocStorm! Welcome to the thread, congrats on your matches so far, and thank you for sharing your detailed notes. Smile

    I had a few questions for you:

    1) Please forgive me for one instance of "why not X" -- Gaddock Teeg? He has been an important part of my plan against green CoCo/Chord decks, blue Cryptic/Verdict decks, and some problematic haymakers in Titanshift, Tron, and others. I also like that he's a proactive permanent in the deck's primary colors that can be rez'd with Rallier + Lark. I personally will run at least one copy even in an unknown global meta.

    It looks like you plan to handle many of the same problematic spells with Unified Will / Glen Elendra and bring in Thrun as your ace against Ux control? Myself and some other players have been struggling a bit on whether or not to include counterspells such as Unified Will. Its breadth of coverage is really unparalleled, and it's especially useful in some of our worst matchups. However it's also a reactive blue spell in a deck that's otherwise predominantly focused on fully utilizing (GW) mana to develop its board at sorcery speed. Any thoughts here?

    2) I've been uncertain about bringing in Blood Moon but leaving dorks vs tricolor midrange recently, so thank you for outlining things more clearly. I will probably still try bringing in Magus of the Moon against these decks just in case there is a scenario where I can safely Evo into Magus to set up a midgame lock without Dorks. What do you think about Moon vs Bant Eldrazi & Eldrazi Tron? These decks both grind very well so we want good topdecks but they have perhaps fewer ways to efficiently answer Dorks and are softer to Moon than midrange so I'm inclined to leave both the Dorks and the Moon package in unless you think this would be unwise.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    One last thing that I wanted to bring back up was the tension between Path to Exile and Blood Moon.

    For our most common midrange matches (Abzan, Eldrazi, Shadow) we're hoping to lean on a T2-T3 Blood Moon effect to lock them out of the game long enough for us to get a sizable lead, if not combo out. In these matchups I would love to have lots of hard spot removal to supplement the Moon plan but I find myself cutting down to ~2 Paths to at least make the nonbo less frequent..

    In a prior list I was running Unified Will in the board and brought those in over Paths -- this was a slight improvement but it was reliant on having a Dork stick around to supply U through Blood Moon, which creates its own (albeit lesser) tension.

    Is the efficiency of Path outside of midrange battles good enough to justify its awkwardness with Moon? If you guys think this is a problem, has anyone played around with an alternative interaction suite in the main? If you don't feel that it's a problem or is the best we can do, let me know why.

    I will try to amend this post with some ideas on interaction spells later.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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