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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
Word of Command: Un-believable
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Chalupacabra »
    That’s not how the Crew ability works. At most, you will lose two cards, which is just what Kolaghan’s Command does.


    Here are the oracle rulings for reference. Of particular relevance:

    “ Creatures that crew a Vehicle aren’t attached to it or related in any other way. Effects that affect the Vehicle, such as by destroying it or giving it a +1/+1 counter, don’t affect the creatures that crewed it.”
    I'm fully aware how crew works, what I meant is that you'll also tap down a creature to crew, thus it counts as a 3rd creature that can't block this turn. Very often it's not relevant, but might give opponent a window.

    I'm still not convinced it's an easy task to play Copter against commands. Obviously Flickerwisp and Resto neuter it, but there is going to be at least one situation each game where you'll either strand 1-2 copters at hand or play them and get brutally 2-for-1'd. A good opponent won't waste it.
    But yeah, Kolaghans generally doesn't seem to be played much at the moment, so I suppose it's just my local meta (lots of GDS, and BRx control variants). Online I'm still running copters.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Smuggler's Copter is generally better, but I'd like to point out that in a meta which is saturated with mainboard Kolaghan's Command (like mine), I think Serra Avenger is the better choice. Killing a creature + Copter in response to crew sets you back 3 creatures for a turn, which is backbreaking to say at least.

    Having a Vial destroyed on the other hand isn't that much of an issue since you've probably already made value out of it, or drew it as a bad late-game topdeck.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    I support Declaration in Stone, been playing 2 for a while taken quite a few storm players by surprise with it in sideboarded games. Mono-white taxes is still a hatebear deck, so they're much more likely to have success going for Empty rather than Grapeshot. I've discussed this with a potent storm player in my meta and he totally agrees, bringing in the additional 2 Empty post-board.

    I do wonder tho, if Settle the Wreckage is effective enough against Empty. Overall I'd like its utility against decks like humans, Elves, and cheeky techs like Blood Baron of Vizkopa (yes, a savvy 4c control player totally stomped me game 2/3 against me with this..)
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    I think 3 sweepers is all I would take with me against humans in the sideboard.
    Mainboard I already have one big Thalia and I'm always happy when I draw her.

    One final question to all of you: Why shefet dunes? I really don't see the upside to give my dudes +1/+1 with sorcery speed. Am I just a noob?^^
    I don't get Shefet Dunes either, played 2-3 alongside 1 Scavenger Grounds for a while before getting Canopies, but it didn't really add anything to the deck besides tapping for life or being more suspecible to Blood Moon. I suppose if you play eldrazis the colorless may seem nice, but I see people here playing Dunes without eldrazi too. I suppose it's a budget option? I'd rather just run more plains tbh.

    I'm a bit torn on Big Thalia. A lot of people here praise her effectiveness, but in my experience the only times I'm happy to draw her is when I'm already ahead. If my opponent got a board of big bodies she doesn't really do anything, and costs 3 at that. Now, if you can ram her turn 2 I suppose she could cripple manabases just as well as Arbiter, so a GW shell (or 5c humans) may have better use of her, but imo it's too slow in mono-white. The exception is eldrazi-tron. She wrecks eldrazi-tron.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from agua_benta »

    I wanted badly that beauty to work, but fatal push is a pain in (you know where) as Lightning Bolt always was. I never could unmorph it, but if you do, I guess you'd win hehe
    No doubt about that

    I tried 1 in sb for a while since some matchups have a really hard time dealing with it, but I think those situations are too niche to give it a stapled spot.

    I'm new here btw, hey all o/
    I've been following this thread and grinded Mono-White taxes on mtgo for a while, but recently got the list finished on paper so figured I'd join in at last.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    It's on par with Outpost Siege, with Moons I think the flipside will be rarely relevant as the cannons will be late-game material. Besides, it's very hard to flip if you're on the Ensnaring plan.

    Outpost Siege isn't played, so why is this any different? Chandra is still miles better for the flexibility and finishing potential.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Quote from okoSheep »
    How do you win?? Is that enough threats?? It looks really weird without any 5drops
    Yeah 10 threats is a bit on the lower side, but more dig power get me there. Most wins are through an emblem or thopter beats into throwing every artifact I see to the face, Pia and Kiran is truly remarkable as a finisher after the turn it comes down while also being able to protect the walkers.

    I've tried to fit both Stormbreath and Batterskull into this list, but I've eventually dropped them because they're rarely relevant. Stormbreath can steal some wins against decks with only path as removal, but I find these matchups to be great anyway and didn't even include him in the side. The problem is that a lot of decks these days are either too fast or have answers for our 5-drops, which is a HUGE tempo loss. Thus, I find the reliability to gain value from 4x Pia and Kiran more appreciated (besides it makes Stony Silence less awkward haha).
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Morcrux, that list is hot and spicy! How has it performed outside of being smooth? I found Sweltering Suns to be underwhelming, but I'm curious about what your analysis discovered.
    I also keep Mind Stones to keep curve less clunky, not just for the cycle. Turn 3 4-drop is never a bad thing to do, and of course I can crack early Relics/Bombs.

    About sweeps, as you can see I side them out quite a bit since there are several matchups where they do way too little for 3 mana. The cycles make the game 1 less clunky against these matchups, and also it's not too bad to have 4 against Storm or UWx (but drawing multiple Angers could be pointless if that Warrens/Geist never happened). There's not a lot of situations where I'd rather have a Anger, Dredge is almost dead and Company doesn't rely on their graveyard anymore except the rally dude (and both matchups are quite manageable without them anyway).
    Nowadays it does work against Matter Reshaper, but I don't think that would fix the matchup a lot. Could be more relevant than I realize tho.

    I played almost the same list in GP Birmingham but I didn't make it to day 2 because of several shameful misplays on my part. Otherwise I haven't played this list much outside of MTGO, where I finish 4-1 in ~70% of my friendly leagues (which doesn't matter much). The one loss is often far-too-consistent turn 2 Thought-Knots, or some unbeatable matchup like Ad-Naus or Solemnity. I believe the inability to adapt well to enchantment based strategies or disruptive decks with a fast clock like Eldrazi is the biggest reason Skred won't be Tier 1 anytime soon, which is a shame.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Interesting, I don't think I've ever sided out Mind Stones. I also try to keep in Relics and Spellbombs to go with it, because dropping one turn 1 and cycle it turn 2 with Mind Stone if not needed is such a good way for us to play out the early turns without losing pace. Relic do come out against some matchups tho, since removal is more important in some.

    My sideboard plan might be fairly easy since I play so many 4-ofs, here's my list for reference:
    I truly recommend this list btw, having 16 cyclers has made the deck smoother than ever (and even the Lantern matchup is great after siding in Sprees). Here's my quite different take on sideboarding for the most common matchups:

    Grixis Death's Shadow
    - 4 Sweltering Suns
    + 2 Spitebellows, 1 Eternal Scourge and Needle

    Storm (Keep 4 Sweltering Suns for Empty the Warrens. Drawing multiples is fine because of cycling!)
    - 4 Moon
    + 4 Dragon's Claw

    - 4 Sweltering Suns, 4 Bolt
    + 4 Molten Rain, 2 Spitebellows, Needle and Scourge

    - 4 Relic
    + 4 Dragon's Claw

    UWx control/midrange (Keeping 4 Sweltering Suns is also good here in case of Geist)
    - 4 Skred, 2 Pyrite Spellbomb
    + 4 Molten Rain, Needle and Scourge

    Eldrazi Tron (I hate this matchup. Too much to side out and still terrible post-board)
    - 4 Relic, 4 Pyrite Spellbomb, 3 Sweltering Suns
    + 4 Molten Rain, 3 Shattering Spree, 2 Spitebellows, Needle and Scourge

    "Normal" Tron
    - 4 Sweltering Suns, 4 Bolt
    + 4 Molten Rain, 3 Shattering Spree, Needle.

    - 4 Relic, 1 Moon
    + 3 Shattering Spree, Needle and Scourge

    Siding out bolts against Ramp might seem really weird, but really, it doesn't do much else than go face when they're near death due to a threat. I find it's better to keep in all Rocks instead to cycle for 2 Moons ASAP, which is far more important to actually get to the point you can start dropping threats and work on their life total. Skred is fine though because you can kill their lands with Koth with it to keep them from casting 6-drops, or outright kill the 6-drop if they managed to cast one.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    I tried running 4 Koth and 3 Chandra for a while, but in the end I feel like Chandra is too slow to be considered a finisher. Personally I prefer her as a 2-of to draw in grindy games where that extra card per turn wins games.
    It's a bit more interesting to discuss if that 3rd Chandra is a Pyromaster after the rule change takes effect ~
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    The fourth Moon ends up making you pretty reliant on having it. The biggest mistake a lot of players new to the deck make is expecting Blood Moon every game. What then happens is they get stomped in games without Moon because they don't know how to play against someone who can cast spells. If you want to learn how to play Skred, you have to understand how to play one of the world's clunkiest mana curves without expecting a free win all the time. I personally played four Moons for a few weeks and it never felt good. An experienced opponent will already fetch basics, which hurts the Blood Moon plan. Playing a fourth only makes your opponent's fetches more powerful by adding a weaker card that does not get more powerful with multiples. Moon has diminishing returns, and I found that three is the best amount. Because of these reasons, I think playing four copies is incorrect because it alters the fundamental plays of the deck.
    Weighting in again on the neverending BM-discussion!
    IMO, yet again I think it's plain wrong for any Blood Moon deck to run less than 4 Moons.

    Even if opponent got a few basics, Moon IS gonna hurt their manabase a lot. Double-symbols and lands with additional effects are out, and sometimes you get that free win (even more so post-board when you can blow up basics with Rain).
    Besides, Valakut is a big thing and the matchup hinges entirely on wether we can land a moon or two or not.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to see them every game, but I want the best possible chance. I'd rather draw multiples than none. In the end the extras I draw either get discarded, or first copy countered anyway. However I have learnt that SSG isn't neccessary to make them useful, and in the end I ended up with 4 moons in a Mind Stone build without regrets.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Quote from lord_darkview »
    Koth/Chandra into Obliterate was pretty nuts already. I think the possibility of getting a second Chandra on the table is strictly win-more.

    2nd this. I don't think the planeswalker legend rule is gonna change much at all, except for some added flexibility to 1-of walkers in sideboards.
    In our case a 1-of Pyromaster in the side (or main?) would maybe be a good call in a meta with lot of company, hatebears and such.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    I've been grinding a lot on MTGO lately, and I'm meeting quite a few on a UR control deck winning with Through the Breah -> Emrakul. Does anyone know if this is a rising archetype on paper? The matchup is horrendous. They got Izzet Charms and Electrolyzes in addition to bolt to deal with Rabble, so that's a no-go.

    Only games I've won is either them never finding breach/emrakul, or sideboard game with Bridge and Guttural Response backup
    (I run 1 against storm's Gifts and control in general which is on the rise). Needless to say, it's rare due to their cantrips and filters :|
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Agreed on Spitebellows, seems like a really good choice against BGx decks in general as it deals with Tasigur, Angler, and likely Goyf/D.Shadow all while dodging Stubborn Denial AND Inquisition of Kozilek. Even deals with hardcast Primeval in niche cases against Titanshift!
    Question is, how often will it costing 3 be a problem? Might not be quick enough against Eldrazi, althought truth to be told TKS probably strips eventual Roast/Mortars away anyway. Have w7west come up with a new sideboard gem? I'm intrigued, at least. Can't believe I've never seen Spitebellows even mentioned here.

    More comments to w7west:
    Regarding Magus, I think there's simply too much that kills it in modern to be worth wasting a turn to cast it. It's in the same boat as Rabblemaster in this regard, but the latter is against decks that packs little removal and is resilent to moon. Sulfur Elemental is swell against abzan decks packing Lingering Souls, but isn't too sexy against tokens once they get down an anthem. Thus I think it's too narrow, with extra sweeps being better.
    Fulminator Mage is a good alternative to Molten Rain against normal Tron and control, slighly less so against Eldrazi Tron and shift decks as you may want to hit basics. But with that in mind, I think it's a good sb card. I'd run it over Magus personally.

    Your mainboard is well set up to deal with affinity, but I still think I'd run a couple Shattering Spree in the sb to deal with some fringe decks like Lantern or Borderposts should they occur. These are horrendous without them. To make space I think I'd try to move the 4th moon and outpost siege to main, and make the outposts Chandra, Torch of Defiance. Trust me, it grind pretty well while having removal if needed. And to fit the main, I'll follow up on the advice to cut a couple 5-drops and a land and add 4th Mind Stone. List might steer more to "mainstream", but consistency is king, and "mainstream" lists try to follow this. Playing GDD and that sideboard will look spicy as hell anyway, love it!
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Thanks, I considered writing something in the same vein because it seems people are way too hung up on Death's Shadow. Listen to this man!

    Only include Jet or Roast as flex spots, there's usually 0-2 depending on your selection of threats. Definitely don't cut any Moon or Relics. Remember, having the sligh selection of scry 2 isn't brainstorming, and you'll still want 4 copies to consistently find your lock piece!
    However depending on meta, you can go down to 3 sweeps main.

    As for SSG and Rabble, again, it's mainly against combo decks we can't interact with because they win without creatures or graveyard. Ad Nauseam is a prime example, and also throw in Storm and Ramp decks (removal or Moon slow them, but we'll need a quick clock to finish before they assemble a win anyway). Rabble is by no means a neccicity, but rather a desperate measure to have a chance against our worse matchups.
    SSG on the other hand, is in my opinion, invaluable in today's fast meta.
    I play both SSG and Mind Stone main (!), and tbh it's been great!

    Edit: Actual reply instead of promoting own deck :|
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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