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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 Modern Humans

    Do you think Spell Queller is necessary when we can run Freebooters and Sin Collectors? What creatures are we trying to hit? I can't think of any that Reflector Mage and Path don't already take care of, outside of something like Etched Champion, but I'm always up for being proven wrong. Also, I think needing separate blue and white mana outside of our Caverns and Territories is potentially rough.


    I think you're probably right - the Quellers don't work with the Unclaimed Territory. In Knightfall lists with the higher number of fetches I like them better, but on reflection the mana doesn't support them in this version. If the mana did I like them as a catchall card, albeit a reactive one, and as a flyer, but your list has this in anyway.

    I'll have to catch up on the SCG Open, good to see Humans getting an airing at least. I saw in the comments posted after BBD played a HUmans list recently that he seemed relatively positive on including Thraben Inspector, but I don't know what I would cut for them - we need our critical mass of 3 drops for CoCo to be good, and the Champs and 6+ mana dorks are a given in the deck.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I caught up to the new deck idea floated on here and took kingcars's Bant Black list to FNM and went 3-0.

    I don't think I played the decks the deck is best against in Burn, Elves and Merfolk but it was interesting nonetheless.

    My brief thoughts:
    - Unclaimed Territory is great, definitely makes the four colours work better than before.
    - Kitesail Freebooter merits more testing. There's space in lists for good 2 drops for sure. I only saw mine against Burn, which helped as you can try and plan around what they are going to do, as well as forcing them into using a spell to get their other one back (so it kind of worked like an Arashin Cleric). I imagine grabbing a key card from Scapeshift or Storm feels great with this guy.
    - Anafenza is as I remembered her, something you're always happy to see, and your opponents definitely aren't. I played a friendly game vs. Dredge and it prompted a scoop. I ran 2 Anafenza to try and avoid CoCoing into the second one, and put a Mirran Crusader in, which tore Elves apart in the first game; Turn 1 Hierarch into Crusader, Turn 3 CoCo for Hierarch and Lieutenant, swing for 10 Rolleyes
    - I put Meddling Mages in the side and ran Spell Quellers main. They're definitely a bit weaker in a list with Unclaimed Territory over other lands, but on paper they seem ideal as a disruptive creature in Modern, they form a great 1-2 with Reflector Mage and scare people once they are caught by the first one.

    Overall it seems like a good list, I'll definitely play it again.

    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from hoser2 »
    Joel Larsson deck guide on Channelfireball for Bant Red Reliquary Combo Humans. No recommendation, just sharing info.


    This was pretty much the list I ran at the PPTQ. Nice writeup, particularly the sideboard discussion. Good to see Humans getting the recommendation over other Company decks!
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    So I've totally missed the 5 colour and Human Hatebears discussions over the past few days, and I ended up taking plain old Bant Red Knightfall Humans to a PPTQ yesterday. List was very similar to the one that top 8'd GP Birmingham and Joel Larsson was streaming with, although I cut a Pilgrim for a 3 mana Thalia and had a slightly different manabase in the main. Sideboard I had Negates, Spell Queller, War Priest of Thune and a Pithing Needle over Unified Will, Blessed Alliance and the second 2 Thalia and Ethersworn Canonist.

    Round 1 v. Grixis Death’s Shadow 0-2

    I normally don’t mind this matchup but this was very one-sided. Had my hand picked apart in both games and Kolaghan’s Command/Fatal Push just left me with no resources. Game two we both had nothing in hand but I was getting clocked by a Tar Pit. Drew Company and hit a Pilgrim… GG.
    In – Negates, Spell Quellers
    Out – Retreats, Mayors

    Round 2 v. Titanshift 2-0

    Ugh. Up there with Tron for my least favourite matches as they have such a strong linear plan and sometimes it can feel a bit futile doing what we do against it. Fortunately this didn’t seem to be the all-in solitaire version of the deck, and he wasn’t able to get ahead of me on the play. Prime-time came down but I was able to Reflector Mage it and swing in with my board. Game 2 I get a Forge-tender early to give me some confidence in developing my board. Again he seems a turn slower than I’d expect, and his Summoner’s Pact is Spell Quellered when he has 6 lands. Think I got lucky here as I’d expect this to be a tougher matchup normally.
    In – Negates, Spell Quellers, Forge-tenders
    Out – Paths, Reflector Mages

    Round 3 v. Storm 2-0

    Fortunately my friend plays Storm so I have a decent amount of experience against it. Not that that does you any favours sometimes but I at least feel comfortable playing against it. This is the first match where my opponent doesn’t seem to fully know my deck, and it probably costs him the first game. I have a 4/4 Champ, a 2/2 Lieutenant and a Knight of the Reliquary with 2 fetches in the graveyard. My opponent picks up the Knight and reads it. He then mini-storms to Grapeshot for 10, pointing 4 at the Champ, 2 at the Lieutenant, 2 at the Knight and 2 at me. He’s then surprised when I don’t bin my Knight. I feel sort of bad, but he later said that he didn’t properly read the card, so I figure that’s on him. Turn 4 I play a Retreat to Coralhelm and get no real reaction so I have to combo off. He realises what I’m doing when my Knight is at lethal size so I don’t have to risk fetching into a dead end.
    Game 2 my Thalia cancels out his Electromancer, but he goes for it Turn 4 with a Baral from Turn 3. It doesn’t seem like it’s a strong attempt, so when he uses his last 2 mana to Desperate Ritual about 6 spells in, I Negate it and then Reflector Mage his Electromancer to swing through for lethal.
    In – Negates, Quellers, Forge-Tender
    Out – Big Thalia, Witnesses, 2 Path

    Game 4 v. Elves 2-1

    Another matchup I’m more familiar with, but sometimes Elves do Elf things. He builds a huge board and CoCos for a solitary Elf. Maybe I have a chance here… oh a second CoCo for more Elves. GG.
    Game 2 my opponent leads off with a Heritage Druid on a 1 lander. I also kept a 1 lander, but mine was Champ and 2 Hierarchs. He scoops pretty quickly to a 5/5 Champ as the second land doesn’t come. Game 3 my opponent starts on a Heritage Druid. I start with Triple Hierarch and then a Knight which is a pretty absurd size and a Canonist which stops him catching up to me. My opponent concludes that Heritage Druid is nice, but it isn’t a mana dork by itself, which is what probably cost him games 2 and 3.
    In – Canonist, Staticasters
    Out – 2 mana Thalia,Witnesses

    Game 5 v. UW Gideons 2-1

    This appeared to be UW control featuring 3, 4 and 5 mana Gideon. The manabase for this deck is certainly weak to disruption, and Spreading Seas really punished this. Game 1 I was losing my manabase to Spreading Seas so I overcommitted into a Verdict and then the Gideon show took care of me.
    Games 2 and 3 I had good aggressive starts with Champ plus two one drops to get a clock going. I managed to Ghost Quarter myself out of triple Spreading Seas to cast a Collected Company to get past his Wall of Omens game 2, and Game 3 I had a large Knight that whittled my opponent down until he had to flash in a Snapcaster as a blocker, which I Quelled. He didn’t see a Path the entire game, which was definitely lucky on my part, and on another day he is probably able to stabilise against me.
    In – Negates, Quellers, Canonist
    Out – Big Thalia, 2 Mages, 2 Paths

    Round 6 v. Titanshift ID (0-2)

    We ID’d into Top 8 as my opponent was on 13 points so would likely be top 2 with the other 13 pointer. We played anyway and I got crushed. This was the more solitaire version and it was very quick, even with me building out a board at a good speed game 1 Scapeshift took care of me. Game 2 my hand didn’t really come together and I lost in quick fashion. Time to go see what the vendor has.

    Top 8 v. 8 Rack? 2-1

    I’m into Top 8 in 4th, so I play the 5th seed. He’s playing mono-black hand disruption rack stuff, so Game 1 I get Smallpoxed, Mindwrenched, Liliana – the works. Game 2 I develop a good board and decide to race the rack effects with a Thalia. He top decks Damnation but that gets Quellered and I make it to Game 3. 3rd game he takes the draw and I mull to 6, so I’m not in the best position. We get to turn 3 or so and I have a Knight and 3 lands on board with 2 lands in hand. My lands get Mind Wrenched and I draw CoCo. I pass and my opponent plays Thoughtseize, so I float a mana, sac the tapped land with Knight and cast CoCo. I get two hits and finish the game two turns later. My opponent then goes on a massive rant about my top deck CoCo and how lucky I was and how he had me if I hadn’t drawn it. Whilst it was the best card I could have drawn at that time most likely, I felt I was due one as it was my first of the match, and if he’d drawn a Damnation I lose. That’s how Magic is sometimes.
    In – Negates, Quellers, Canonist
    Out – Big Thalia, Paths

    Top 4 v. Titanshift 2-1

    Same guy as in Round 6. Game 1 I have him down to 1 and he Scapeshifts. Not quick enough on the draw.
    Game 2 I lead off with Hierarch into Champ and Forge-tender. He Bolts the Champ and I decide to let it resolve as I have him on Anger/Sweltering. Some exalted creatures get my opponent down to 11, and I CoCo in Lieutenant and Reflector, bouncing his Tribe Elder. He sac’s it in response triggering Valakut and pointing it at my Forge-tender. I have a Pilgrim and Lieutenant in hand to pump the team for exact lethal. He has the Sweltering Suns as his last card. Smile
    Game 3 is more like Game 1 with him largely going into solitaire mode and me trying to build a board. He goes for Hour of Promise Turn 4 and is on his way to his deck when I say “I’d like to Negate that”. He’s pretty stunned and his plan folds on the spot.
    Even when you win against this deck it’s always by the skin of your teeth it feels, but the left-field Negate felt pretty great.
    In – Negates, Quellers, Forge-tenders
    Out – Paths, 2 Reflector Mages

    Finals v. Bogles

    Not a match I have ever played (pretty new to Modern), but I knew how it can go. He is on the play and plays Bogle into Hyena Umbra into Coronet into one that gave it protection from creatures?! Done.
    Game 2 I have Hierarch into little Thalia for his Bogle into Hyena Umbra. I then play War Priest taking the Umbra into Canonist. This is enough pressure to slow him down, and 2 swings from the team is enough to force Game 3.
    Game 3 – see Game 1. I’m too slow on the draw, and a Bogle with everything on it ends me very quickly.
    In – War Priest, Canonist, Negates, Quellers
    Out – Witnesses, 2 Paths, 2 Reflector Mages

    Overall I’m really happy with the deck, Humans and Company is definitely what I want to be playing in Modern. It’s great that there are so many versions of the deck, and I definitely think there is something here. People don’t really have the deck on their radar like they do with the other known/tier decks, which is an advantage – my storm opponent not fully reading Knight, my 8 rack opponent getting tilted as my Knight gave me the chance to have 4 mana to cast my top decked CoCo rather than the three mana I had in lands, my Scapeshift opponent not expecting counterspells etc.
    If there is lots of removal to stop us early that can be hard to come from outside of a good CoCo or the combo, and I think we do need to adapt sideboards to force the more-combo orientated decks to interact with us rather than just letting them do their thing.

    Good cards

    - Negate – this could have been Unified Will and probably will be going forward, but I hadn’t played with it before the tournament. Stops combo players/boardwipes and is a big punish for people who don’t know the deck well and don’t respect a creature based deck having disruption.
    - Little Thalia – yes she can be a pain for us, particularly if we side into more spells, but she’s a good sideboard call at the very least. If they play non-creature spells this can really mess them up and give us that extra turn to win ahead of them. If they’re a creature based deck then you’ve got to just scrap it out and trust that you have the better creatures. She probably won me matches v 8 Rack and Storm single handedly by giving me an extra turn to keep swinging. I can totally see why she isn't liked, but I'll keep one floating around the 75 I think.
    - Knight – I got the combo twice, which probably helped me sneak a game or two which I might have not otherwise won, but on its own I think the Knight offers a big threat that can easily outgrow bolt/suns/anger etc and in a boardstall will happily sit back on defence and eventually find you Kessig Wolf Run to trample over. Mirran Crusader is your other heavy hitter option in more traditional Humans lists, but I don’t know if it is the better card, although Knight benefits from the extra fetches etc that are run in the Knightfall list. Also I had a Retreat out with no Knight a couple of times and it wasn't a disaster - tapping down blockers is perfectly fine at times.

    Not so good cards

    - Nothing majorly stands out in the main board. Big Thalia didn’t appear in the right matchups, but she would have been a welcome sight against Elves and might have made a difference against Titanshift to stop the Tribe Elders and Wood Elves chumping my big creatures.
    - Eternal Witness was probably the least impressive compared to its ceiling, although this is probably just a case of variance in a small tournament sample size. I know the lines where she can be helpful, and being an expensive Snapcaster Mage is no bad thing at times, but at others she is an understatted 3 drop if your graveyard isn’t full.
    - Pithing Needle only came in against UW Gideons, and I don’t think it was a great choice. I’d cut it.

    Ideas/Next Steps
    - I might try swapping the Witnesses for a couple of Quellers as I brought Queller in nearly every game. It gives me disruption against the more unfair decks Game 1, and some removal protection if they have it. Witness is good as a value Human card, but I find that game 1 I can end up on the beatdown plan quite often, and a Queller lets me commit onto a board and then hold up Queller to prevent removal and tempo swings. If the game is grindier then I’ll bring Witnesses in, but they’re much worse than Quellers game 1 versus Storm, Valakut, Elves and other non-interactive decks.
    - I want to try Kingcars’ disruptive Humans list to see how that feels as another option for the Humans company lists, and because I think black offers a lot to the theme with Anafenza, Sin Collector, Kambal and Freebooter. Currently a disruption heavy list with a solid creature base as a fail case seems like a good place to be in Modern.

    TLDR – Came second, deck is good, think Queller is worth a try as a non-Human. People don’t respect/know the deck fully, and countermagic is pretty great.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    I find myself trying to board it in in most matches and I run the Humans version! It just seems like a great piece of tempo and disruption, with a 2/3 flash flyer as a fail case. Even against very aggressive decks, being able to quell a lord or pump spell might buy you additional turns or make combat unfavourable , and Burn has to expend extra resources to get it off the board as the 3 toughness blocks their 2 power creatures.

    I run 3 in my sideboard, and think that the lack of synergy is worth it to have a tempo catch-all for unknown decks.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from ketoglutarate »
    a few questions about how to address certain hate:

    • how do we deal with lantern control? kataki + vithian renegades may be enough, but Ensnaring Bridge is always a bit concerning
    • how do we deal with a resolved Blood Moon? we're still a 5c deck.. maybe it's correct to still keep a rec sage, a war priest of thune or a fracturing gust? Obviously freebooter and meddling mage are already answers to that particular threat.
    • how to deal with bogles? i like kitesail freebooter/meddling mage for early hand disruption and champion of the parish to race, but the other cards are not that useful. Maybe Kambal, consul of allocation to tax all their spells? I'd also like something like runed halo but the WW cost is pretty harsh


    I think what I have learnt is that in Modern you cannot hope to answer every deck's best play, and you have to pick your battles. Obviously this is easier for paper magic as you can build up an idea of your local meta and sideboard accordingly, or consider the type of event you're playing in - FNM and online league will be more varied and people will play their pet decks more than in a GP or PPTQ where you might want to tweak in favour of 'the best' or the more established decks.

    I'm loathe to give up sideboard slots up to fight other 'fair' creature decks, as if we can't win those then we're playing the wrong deck. In an open tournament environment I think we need to sideboard against the more unfair/solitaire style decks and the decks that demand specific answers, and be aware that our opponent is usually reaching for their removal and boardwipes against us. Kingcar's new list is interesting because it appears to give us more disruption to take away our opponent's powerful cards, whilst putting bodies on the board, which is kind of what I find myself siding into most games anyway.

    There are obviously specific answers too all the above decks/cards, but I think Blood Moon would be the most common concern of the three, and the one I definitely agree with - we have a greedy mana base, and I think we should expect to play against a Blood Moon in a big tournament. People have pointed out how to alter your play to respect a possible Blood Moon, and most/all sideboards should pack Reclamation Sage/Qasali Pridemage/Vithian Renegades & War Priest to answer artifacts/enchantments. Some lists also run Negate/Unified Will, and I also run Spell Queller as my generic 'catch-all' for stuff I don't like/expect. Don't forget you can Path your creatures to get a basic land to untap with on your next turn, it hurts, but I pathed a Champion of the Parish to fetch basic Forest last week, untapped and played CoCo, hit 2 Noble Hierarchs and dug myself out from under a Blood Moon!

    An interesting card I've seen showing up in lists is Gideon's Intervention, sort of an expensive Runed Halo that I use in standard, but it does work against Valakut and whichever creature the Bogles player has put the most stuff onto. Possibly too slow versus Lantern control, but you could sneak it out Turn 3 with a mana dork and name Bridge, although that'd be a game where I'd be bringing in my Quellers and Negates.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    Serious question here for everybody. Do you feel that this deck is Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3? Now I know when it comes down to it, it really is semantics and (most) any solidly built deck on any given day can take down a Modern tournament. But how do you feel it ranks with the likes of Grixis Shadow, E Tron, Titanshift, and Affinity? I realize that it probably matters less now that WotC is giving less info, but it irks me a little bit for us to be listed here on MTGS as "Tier 3."

    Here's my opinion...
    I feel that it's Tier 2, but close to Tier 1. I think it's a very strong deck that is underestimated in the meta. I know. I underestimated it for the longest time until I decided to finally try it 6 months ago. I'm pretty sure many are the same way.


    I think part of the difficulty comes from the huge variety of decks that get lumped together under the Green/White+Company banner. Take this forum thread for example, you have Bant Knightfall, Humans Knightfall, Vizier Knightfall etc etc, and that's before you start to muddy the waters further with Abzan or straight G/W 'valuetown' builds.

    If there was a clearly more successful build than the others then I think consensus would start to solidify around it being a Tier 2 deck that has game against most other established decks (apart from Valakut based decks IMO), with a good creature base as a floor and a turn 3 combo to steal wins. As I currently see it, Knightfall lacks a clear identity due to Collected Company, which is such as powerful card that makes people think of Knightfall as "a CoCo deck that runs a combo", but not the new 'hotness combo' of the Vizier CoCo deck. The Knightfall combo is clearly powerful, but I don't think it's how people who don't run the deck would describe the lists, particularly the Humans versions.

    As it is, I think it gets lumped in with as 'GW CoCo stuff', and with no clear identity, it won't get the focus it needs to solidify as a Tier deck. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - I quite like having a powerful Humans deck that is sort of under the radar/underestimated, and I think that it shows how varied the GW CoCo lists can be, so there is lots of variation and tech/spice to try, maybe it shows that the deck isn't quite ready for the spotlight, as the consensus isn't there from multiple people posting results with very similar decks.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    Hello!

    I need some advice in playing the Knightfall combo Frown I always played aggro and this is my first try on a combo deck. I'm playing a similar human-list like Wangan Midnight. Only difference i run 2x Mayor of Avabruck and 4x Path to Exile. And my Sideboard is a bit different.


    I would agree that 4 Path and 2 Mayor is the correct choice normally, my local meta is a lot of non-creature decks so I keep the 4th in the sideboard. For the PPTQ I'm attending this week I'll run 4 Path main.

    If you're playing Human Knightfall, remember that you're a perfectly serviceable creature deck most of the time. I view the combo as a nice bonus, but I win more often off of a Turn 1 Champion of the Parish into more humans to present a clock that other Humans take on later in the game.

    I'm not expert with this deck, I came to it from straight 4 Colour Humans, but personally;

    1) You're right to force the combo early on, make them have something like Path early on or snatch a win.
    2) But you're right, it depends on the matchup. I think the Burn matchup is one where you have to try and avoid helping them reduce your life total. If you can get a Knight to a 6/6 or so then you're pretty much sorted for a wall that survives a Goblin Guide + Bolt type combo, but you can use your Retreats defensively - like cracking a fetch on your opponent's turn to tap down one of their creatures before combat. I personally board out the Retreats and bring in whatever anti-red card I have in my sideboard - Burrenton Forge Tender, Auriok Champion, Kor Firewalker etc. Bant Black lists get Sin Collector and Kambal, Consul of Allocation which I'd board into as well.
    3) Try and evaluate how important it is that you combo off there and then. If you are ahead then you might not need to, and your opponent might let you hit them for 4/5 damage for free. If you are really behind then you've just got to go for it. There is also the utility of trading life for thinning your deck of lands, so if you have your 4/5 lands then it might be helpful to thin a few lands out of your deck to help you draw more gas.
    4) In my experience it is your life total or getting yourself to a dead-end by not being able to sacrifice a forest or plains to the Knight's ability. If you are comboing off, make a mental note of what fetches you have left and the Plains/Forests you can fetch from them so you don't search up a fetch that can't fetch Shocked .
    5) If you have the disruption in your sideboard then you might be able to cut it, but I feel we gain an edge but having synergy in our deck versus traditional builds which may have more individual utility, but no overall synergy, so we can keep it in as a nice bonus, and in a straight fight I think we have the better creatures. You can catch up in the combo race with a Reflector Mage or Meddling Mage to disrupt them if needed.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from kingcars »
    [quote from="polymorpher »" url="http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/developing-competitive-modern/769652-modern-humans?comment=565"]What do you think about playing Mantis Rider instead of Anafenza or a one of Abzan Falconer?

    Anafenza, the Foremost is a fantastic magic card, just try it out!


    This! I ran Bant Black Humans at GP Birmingham, and everytime I played my singleton Anafenza, she got a reaction from my opponents, usually something like "Yeah, sure... wait, what does she do again? Oh, cool... and she's a 4/4?!". I was never unhappy to see her.

    Your deck looks interesting, I like the idea of a proactive disruption deck, speaking as someone who gets punished for risky keeps myself this seems like a great way to disrupt an opponent, whilst building a Humans beat down. I also like that it cleans up your sideboard into very clear options that support your gameplan or address specific matchups. Plus I just miss Kambal and Sin Collector in my current Bant Red Human Knightfall list!
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    Quote from Wesste »
    Thanks for your response. Sorry, should've specified: I'm running a Bant list with a single red splash for Kessig, as you suggested. I don't have a black splash, but thanks for the suggestions.

    How have you found staticaster working out? Any trouble casting it due to colours? I may look into it as a possible option. The meta is quite varied out my FNM but no Affinity and I'm the only one that runs Vizier Company....

    I may try a couple of Selfless Spirit too. Without a decent tutor (I.e Chord) I think the chances of hitting a single from the sideboard are pretty slim, and don't think it is worth having more than 1-2... thoughts?

    I'm hoping that Auriok Champion and Thalia can do enough to stall the burn match up, along with Blessed Alliance. But I might invest in some Spell Quellers.... would you favour these over Unified Will?

    Any other major problem match ups people are facing?

    Can you post your list and some match results please?



    Sorry, I'm a little confused - you're running Bant Red Humans with both the Knightfall and Vizier combos? If you read the thread a few pages back there was some discussion around having both combos in, and the dangers of drawing half of both combos etc. If you're playing both combos I definitely think you are better off in a non Humans shell, as that is three deckbuilding restraints you're imposing on yourself.

    I haven't played much with Staticaster, there's only one occasional Affinity player at FNM level at my LGS, so I board it in for larger scale tournaments where some of the people from the wider area bring Affinity. I do board it in when I know the Elves players are playing though ^^
    It's definitely not free to cast as it is the fourth colour in my deck, and Noble Hierarch doesn't help with it. I run 8 fetches that can get my red source and a couple of Cavern of Souls, so I consider it worth the risk.

    Whatever form of Knightfall/Humans/Combo you are running it is a very creature focused deck, with the value in all cases coming from being able to stick creatures on the board for Retreat/Human synergy/Infinite mana. Your opponent will be siding in removal wherever possible to stop your board development and avoid whichever combo you are running, so I feel you need to respect that and side in some protection, whether that is counterspells or protection type effects. Spell Queller and Selfless Spirit are preferable for me as they are creatures to hit off a Collected Company, whilst also adding to your clock, but in some matches they aren't enough. I have a lot of combo-style decks in my local meta, so Negate/Unified Will are great against Storm, Ad Nauseum, Mill, Scapeshift.

    I agree Thalia and Auriok Champ are fine cards against Burn, and if there is enough of it locally for you you can afford to have specific answers for it. Again, it varies for me locally, so I have Burrenton Forge Tender as I think it answers Valakut decks better, and I hate playing against Valakut decks.

    My current deck is something like this, which is an evolution from Bant Black Humans to Bant Black Knightfall to Bant Red Knightfall. The sideboard is incomplete as they're my current core of cards I wouldn't change. For a big tournament I would add 2 Burrenton Forge Tender, 1 War Priest of Thune and maybe a Mirran Crusader if I expected GB decks, or a Pithing Needle.


    I took the deck to FNM last Friday and went 3-0.

    Played Abzan Vizier Combo 1st Round. He interrupts my turn 3 Knightfall combo by sacrificing his Qasali Pridemage, so we settle into a long grindy match where I Path combo pieces and start to force chump blocks with 6/6 Knights. I eventually use a Knight to get my Kessig Wolf Run and trample through. Game 2 we end up going to time and draw, as I Quell and Path combo pieces, and Pithing Needle his Rhonas to stop any combat blowouts with all the mana he has accrued.
    In > Spell Quellers, Path, Pithing Needle - trying to disrupt the combo
    Out > Retreats, Mayor, E Witness - our combo is worse than theirs, they run little removal so Witness is less good

    Played Merfolk 2nd round. I mull to five, keep Champion of the Parish and Noble Hierarch plus 3 lands. Draw spells for the next 6 turns, eventually my things are quite big and a Reflector Mage plus Path to Exile really evens things up.
    Second game I have a quick start and my opponent does not. I play Humans every turn and he fails to find a lord to keep up.
    In > Path, Queller x2 - they're a creature based deck so the fourth Path is needed, Queller gobbles up Lords
    Out > Thalia, Retreat x2 - I didn't feel I needed the combo here, and on the draw Thalia is too late versus Aether Vial and Spreading Seas.

    Played Elves 3rd round. We build boards but a Knight of the Reliquary keeps his creatures at bay after my turn 2 Thalia into Turn 3 Thalia really slows him down. I misplay into Ezurri mana and trade more creatures than I'd have liked, but the Knights keep on growing and eventually one tramples through.
    Game 2 I focus on the Elvish Archdruids to prevent his payoff. Queller gets one early and Reflector Mage bounces another when he had his other two on board and a few mana dorks, which took him off 15 mana and his other card in hand - Emrakul EEK!
    In > Path, Queller x2,Crusader x2
    Out > Thalia, Retreat x2, Eternal Witness x2

    Then played a friend on Storm a few times and had some great matches, including coming out from under a Blood Moon by pathing my Champion of the Parish for a basic forest end of turn, to then hit double Hierarch off of a Collected Company for the Negate I had in hand! Negate and Spell Quellers are all stars in this matchup, as is the Canonist if it doesn't get bolted, which it always does.

    Great Cards
    Reflector Mage - A sort of Human Spell Queller. Stops creature combo/mana generation, removes blockers, disrupts your opponent's turn, and leaves behind a 2/3 Human body? Sign me up.
    Spell Queller - people don't expect it from the Humans list, and it matches up so well against high creature low removal decks like Merfolk, Vizier Combo and Elves.
    Knight of the Reliquary - with the right hands she just grows out of control. I don't feel the combo is always necessary here, especially as I have Lieutenants and Mayors to pump my Knights, and if you get into a ground stall they sit on defence happily and then power up end of your turn or get trample for your attack phase.

    I'm still not happy with my sideboard, as I miss the disruption of Kambal, Consul of Allocation and Sin Collector you get in Black, so any suggestions welcome. Mirran Crusader is one I always like to have in there, but does it help me all that much in the matchups I hate - Valakut and Eldrazi Tron?


    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    Quote from Wesste »
    Anyone who is playing the Bant humans list, can you post your sideboard please?

    I seem to struggle against a lot of removal. Is heroic intervention worth consideration? I also haven't played Dredge yet, but wondering whether Grafdigger's cage is a better call than bojuka bog?

    Mine is as follows:
    2 auriok champion
    1 dusk/dawn
    3 unified will
    2 blessed alliance
    1 qasali preidemage
    1 bojuka bog
    2 stony silence
    2 meddling Mage
    1 ehtersworn canonist

    Welcome everyone's feedback Smile


    Firstly are you straight Bant? I guess if you’re posting in the Knightfall forum you are Bant with a red splash for the Kessig Wolf Run finisher, but maybe not?

    If you have the red splash then the most commonly played red Humans are Izzet Staticaster to zap mana dorks, elves and affinity creatures and Vithian Renegades for artifact destruction you can hit off a Collected Company. If you splash black then you have Kambal and Sin Collector as your two sideboard options for disrupting combo decks or snatching key spells (such as removal). In straight Bant you don’t have those options, so maybe consider something like Selfless Spirit for removal, as you can play it early and hit it off a Collected Company.

    Personally I think it has to be a very powerful card or an obvious weakness to include a non-creature spell as it reduces the powerfulness of our Collected Company hits, and to a lesser degree if it is a non-human card for the synergies we run.

    Stony Silence is the obvious choice as a non-creature sideboard card, it’s the best effect against a well-established powerful deck like Affinity. Scape/Titanshift demands similar respect for me, so Negate/Flashfreeze/Unified Will are necessary for my sideboard.

    Burn can be a tricky match in my eyes, if they hit their Searing Blaze/Blood effects they can really slow your early turns down and leave you playing catchup, but a timely 2 mana Thalia into 3 mana Thalia or a Sin Collector or Kambal swings things back in our favour. Something like Auriok Champion is a fine sideboard card, but people also run Burrenton Forge Tender to provide broader utility in other matches where the lifegain is less important but preventing a key source of red damage is.

    As has been pointed out, any graveyard/non-cast creature hate has to be one sided as it neutralises our Knights and CoCos. I don’t run any as I find Path to Exile and Reflector Mage enough against Dredge, backed up by 2 and 3 mana Thalia to add a bit more disruption.

    My personal sideboard inclusion is 3x Spell Queller. So much of Modern, Tron aside, relies on spells that cost 4 mana or less, and Spell Queller is great disruption in this case. Combo pieces in Storm, Anger/Damnation/Push/Path, Vizier combo creatures, opponent’s CoCo, Merfolk lords etc etc etc. You can usually get the first one in for free as they assume you won’t be running them in Humans, and you can bluff it in the future alongside mana for a Path to Exile or Collected Company, which ensures you don’t waste turns hoping they play something you want to Queller. I really like it when you have a board out already but don’t want to commit your second wave of creatures into an Anger or Verdict. Plus in a ground stall a 2/3 flyer with an exalted trigger or 2 is pretty handy.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    The list seems clean, similar to the list that Top 8'd GP Birmingham.

    I haven't watched the streams yet, the only card I'm second guessing is Blessed Alliance - is it in for Burn? Death's Shadow?
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Xanis »

    Does this deck make sense and is sufficiently aggressive? Does sideboard help address the weaknesses of this deck?
    It makes sense as a white weenie aggro Humans deck. When I played a similar list, your main weaknesses are board wipes/sweepers, running out of cards and pushing through the last 2/3 points of damage at the end of a match. Your sideboard will also depend on how common decks like Affinity and Dredge are for you, and whether you'll need the appropriate hate in Stony Silence and Rest in Peace.

    Selfless Spirit helps with the first problem, I also think you should be running 4 Brave the Elements main deck, it lets you steal games by getting past blockers and protects your board at key times. Auriok Champion is similar to Kor Firewalker.

    For card draw, you have standard all-star Thraben Inspector for games where you might have to go longer. I also ran a mono-white Human Soldiers build with Mentor of the Meek for card draw. Your only non-soldier cards are Student of Warfare and Gather the Townsfolk, and you can run things like Field Marshal, Precinct Captain, Mentor and Veteran Armorsmith in a soliders build.

    As for reach to close out a game, there aren't great options in white compared to say Red's direct damage and haste. One option is evasion, so cards like Gryff's Boon for recursive flying evasion can help. Otherwise maybe something you can flash in end of turn like an Aven Mindcensor to steal the last few points.

    As a side point, a copy of Eiganjo Castle is free in this deck, and can protect Kytheon and Thalia in the right situation


    I've got also a few questions:
    - Can I level up Student of Warfare the same turn it's casted on the battlefield if I have enough mana?
    Yes, but at sorcery speed (so you cannot do it in response to a removal spell for example)
    - Does Gideon, Battle-Forged get +1/+1 from Honor of the Pure if he's a creature until end of turn?
    Yes, and if you make him a Human before you play a Thalia's Lieutenant, he will get a +1/+1 counter too
    - Does Elspeth's first ability trigger Champ and Thalia's lieutenant ETB effect? I don't think so, but I prefer to make sure about it.
    No, the creature type on the token is Soldier, but it will get a buff from Honor of the Pure as it is white
    - Do tokens from Gather the Townsfolk get +1/+1 from Metallic Mimic (as a human type) and Honor of the Pure?
    Yes and Yes

    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I think as others have pointed out it will boil down to how good being able to disrupt artifacts/enchantments/planeswalkers is over just instants and sorceries, and how important the temporary removal is versus exiling it (a definite difference versus Storm and Snapcaster Mage decks).

    The actual creature is less easy to evaluate, 1/2 with flying for 2 mana versus a 2/1 for 3 mana. The evasion is definitely needed if you reasonably expect to attack with the Freebooter without your opponent getting their card back, which ties into a discussion I had with kingcars a while back on this forum about cards such as Reflector Mage and Sin Collector that have ETB effects - if they resolve, then you've gained your advantage, and you are left with a relevant creature type that is helpful to you, but is annoying for your opponent as removing it doesn't gain back the card from Sin Collector or let them instantly replay a bounced creature with Reflector Mage.

    If there is lots of removal then cards like Freebooter seem worse, but they do then force your opponent to spend removal on an otherwise underpowered creature to get their card back, which may buy you enough time to get the win or grow your board out of Anger of the Gods range for example, but this again depends on whether your deck needs to remove instants and sorceries to win, or whether artifacts/enchantments/planeswalkers are worth the (potential) temporary nature of the disruption. First thoughts are that Tron is a matchup where the broader range of targets is helpful to grab O Stone, Planeswalkers and maybe an early Expedition Map.

    As GRP17 said, it's good to have more choices rather than fewer!

    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    The fact that it is a two turn process puts me off as a graveyard answer, as it will need to survive a turn unless you hit it off a CoCo. Against Dredge, Death's Shadow and Storm sometimes two cards isn't enough to fully disrupt them, I like the panic option of a RiP or Relic to shut down those decks. Definitely more synergy/utility than the other options though.
    Posted in: Tier 1 (Modern)
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