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Unstable Q&A with Mark Rosewater
The Dos and Don'ts of Silver-Border Commander
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Theau MERY »

    Second of all, i've keep testing since this event, and you should play 2 copies of Gideon Of the trials in the SB
    So my sideboard is the same as the list with theses changes : -1 milita's, -1 Aven SB +2 Gideons, and since Gideon is also good against burn, you might want to cut burrenton for another card. Not sure about which one, cause i really like my one off Burrenton.

    Hope this will help you guys!

    First of all thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, your performance in vegas and brian covals in the SCG invitational is what brought me to the deck and my new found love for modern.

    Definitly gonna try Gelid Shackels seems spicey. Did you also test smuggler´s copter and if, how did it work out for you? Quite a few guys here had success with the litte standart all star and cut the stony silence sb for more direct removal.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    Thank you for your time and expample ! Identifying the right sequencing for the given matchup feels really rewarding with the deck.

    Especially on turn 2 playing thalia or arbiter first is always a point that can lead to an easy victory or a lost game. Looking forward to your streams again.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    Some quick highlights:
    - Easy to cast
    - filter bad draws and loot non-relevant draws (late game vial and repeat Thalia)
    - survives wipes
    - safest turn to drop against removal heavy decks.
    - greeeat against affinity
    - great for digging for sb cards in grinch match ups.

    Those are some great points and you have convinced me to once again try out smugglers copter in the main board.

    My only fear is that copter opens up the deck against general affinity hate. Between copter, the golems vials and clues we run a lot of artifacts that fuel our deck. Obviously most deck have SB tec against artifacts and stony silence hits us really hard with copter, also
    Ancient Grudge or shattering pulse become REAL hosers.

    Also I feel sometimes copter makes for akward sequencing. For example against a spell based deck I really want thalia out on turn 2, but she taxes the copter and playing him on turn 3 attacking on 4 often feels a little bit slow. Any tips regarding those points would be really helpful.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from LekTek »
    Hey has anyone else toyed around with Solemn Recruit? I just dropped her in for a few games online and she's an absolute beater with all the revolt triggers in our deck!

    Seems like a really nice option in the crusader spot. Sadly it lacks the protection but it can get out of hand fast ...

    @ToshiUmezawa thanks for anwsering my questions and good luck ! DnT is a blast
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from ToshiUmezawa »
    After going 5-0-2 at the RPTQ yesterday I got my first Pro tour invite for Rivals of Ixalan.

    Hey man that is awsome congratulations !! Will you play DnT on the protour or do you consider switching?

    Also your list looks really interesting especially the sideboard. Cataclysmic Gearhulk? Thats spicey in what matchups did you bring him in, also how did mark of asylum work our for you? I am still not a fan of the revokers mainboard but they seem to have worked for you.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    PPTQ Report

    So today was the day, first big tournament for me with Mono White DnT. Warning wall of text ahead.

    Match 1 vs. Blue White Control 2 - 1

    Game 1: We both mulled to 5 but I had the combo of arbiter gq on the Play for a swift win. Beatdown via avenger and splicer/golems
    Game 2: He surised me with an early timely reinforcements getting him blockers and the time he needed to set up the board. I was to slow and a verdict into a sphinx revelation and geist sealed the deal
    Game 3: Again a timely reinforcements on turn 3 but this time I managed to drop an early selfless spirit and avenger via vial. He managed to remove the spirit and exile avanger leaving me with a few ground beaters. He was on 4 live and had enough blockers. On his end step I played big thalia via vial and in my turn activated shefet dunes swining for the win. He had a verdict in hand but did not account for the dunes.

    Star of the Match: The dunes and selfless spirit overperformed this match. Vs control the matches tend to go longer so the dunes become a relevant topdeck.

    Match 2 vs Jeskai control 2 - 1

    First game I managed to bring him down to 5 live but never was able to close the game. I made a huge mistake not tec edging his 4th Land, he wiped the board and won via geist beats. In the second game I dopped a turn 1 burrenton forge tender into turn 2 thalia and tender eating the bolt for her. Turn 3 Selfless spirit provided the (unnessesary) wipe protection, he never saw a 4th land and I won the game. Game 3 early forge tender again protected me and little into big thalia proved a big problem for him. My opponent misplayed on a cutial block, flashin in snapcaster and forgetting about thalia heretic cathars ability.

    Star of the Match: Forge tender by far. Not needing to worry about a untimley bold, helix or anger of the gods he let me commit to the board and close out the games.

    Match 3 vs Uw Geist 2 -0

    First Game was fast and dirty he never saw his 3 land trough a turn 2 arbiter on the play. Second game was really close with both of us beating in the air. He used spell queller to take a resto, I lucky top decked the path waited and pathed the queller in his turn. Resto targeted an on board flickerwhisp flickerwhisp tageted resto. In his end step the resto came back and flicker removed the secons spellqueller and I close out the game with a shefet dunes activation in my turn.

    Match 4 vs E Tron 2 - 1

    Game one was misarable with a mulligan down to 5 on the play into tron on turn 3 TKS , all is dust into smasher. Second game the reverse him never finding tron, flicker and resto closing the game. In the last game I kept a questionable mull to 6 and was punished. While I had land and removal I did not draw any early pressure. I managed to ceep his mana low for 4 or 5 turns by ghost quatering all his temples but he managed the natural 5-6 mana and locked me with a ballista and basilisk collar.

    At this point I was 3 - 1 overall and one more win would secure me my spot into the top 8.

    Match 5 vs Vizer/Druid Combo 2 - 0

    First game arbiter and Thalia slowed him down enough for mirrian crusader to get in the beats. Game ended when I responded to his Collected Companyin my attack step by vialing in big thalia, leading to his blockers entering tapped, losing him the game. Second match I had the early grafdigger's cage shutting down CoCo and Cord. Game was long and drawn out I managed to disrupt his combo 2 times via path to exile he kept using eternal witness on a path in his graveyard removing my threads. But without any real threads on his side of the table I chipped him down in the air ending the game in one big swing, again with a dunes activation and flickering a blocker.

    Match 6 Intentional Draw 0
    On this point I was really exhausted and being second place in standings agreed to a draw to make it save into the top 8 and giving me some time to eat and grab fresh air.

    TOP 8

    My first big tournament and my first big top 8 I was a little nervous. Many of the other guys seemed seasond experienced players, and I was really tired and exhausted. I never thought playing magic coud be exhausting :D. I played a little too fast, maybe due to being nervous, resulting in a warning because I forgot the shefet dunes liveloss. Anyway the matches:

    quarter final vs Affinity 2 - 0

    Game One we both mulled to 6 I was on the play. He had a not really explosive start and I was able to deploy a Blade Splicer flickering him 2 times and closing out the game through two etched champion.
    Second game started with me mulling to 5 ... but I had Stony silence 3 lands and a selfless spirit. I scryed a sunlance leaving it on top. He had a decent turn one playing 5 cards plus an steel overseer that I was able to remove with the lance dropping stony silence on my turn 2. From there on I had the most insane top decking of THREE blade splicer in succession winning the game.

    Star of the match: Blade splicer doing what he does best generating overwhelming board advantage and blocking champions

    Semi Final vs Affinity 0 - 2
    Affinity again, the other decks were the e tron player I lost to in round 4 and a storm player, both matchups I would have prefered. The first match was short and brutal I had no removal, he had the nuts killing me on turn 4 ... second game I sided in the 3 stony and 2 sunlances and hoped for the best. Yeahhh turn one hand dump with double mox into master of etherium ended the game quick, I chumped the master for a few turns but never found the path to remove him and losing the game.

    Overall 5 - 2 - 1

    Thoughts on the day: Mono white did DnT was again a blast to play and I had a lot of fun. The consistency of the deck made for a pleasant experience through the long day. I did not won the PTQ invite, but played the best I could, learning a lot and lost to some really strong hands in the end. The deck felt well positioned into the meta and even some of the decks worse MU with jeskai and uw control worked out. The changes to the deck in the last week overperformed with both thalia heretic cathar and selfless spirit. Both cards felt great in their respective slots. shefet dunes won me two games and I guess I will go with a 2/2 split after acquiring the canopys.

    Ps: Sorry for the grammatical and spelling errors, I will look over the post tomorrow, I just wanted to write everything down while it still was fresh.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    I'm playing in the german rptq so my meta might differ a bit, but scg regionals are a good indication anyway since people here also get their inspiration from those lists. The grafdigger's cages are interesting and certainly flexible enough, how did you split it with rest in peace in your sideboard?

    What a coincidence I also play in germany maybe we will run into each other, but first I need to win the PPTQ on saturday.

    I don´t run rest in peace at all instead I play a 3 / 2 Split of Relic of progenitus and Cage. Cage comes in vs Living end, dredge, CoCo and sometimes vs uw control but I am not sure about this one. Relic when I need to ceep the gy count low or for grindy matchups so GDS, Jund, Delve threads... I like relic more than RiP because of the relevant redraw in the matches that go longer + one mana less can be a huge deal

    If you go down the heavy removal road you can drop the stony silence to free up space, I still like stony because it is such a brutal hoser vs affinity and lantern control, but you are right more removal could provide an edge vs humans...
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    also people (me included) have tested d&t without arbiters in the past and it works in the right meta. for pretty much any card in our deck there is a meta where its better to replace it. the question is just if it will be the right meta this weekend.

    Interesting point there, for me arbiter was always perceived as the backbone of the deck maybe I need to reevaluate.

    Regarding the meta at the SCG regionals the most represented decks in the top 8 were: Jeskai control, affinity, counters/bant company, GDS, storm, E tron and humans.

    Other choices i'm debating are:
    • the mindcensors, they are quite bad overall but the best card vs titanshift and amulet titan
    • stony silence, my results vs affinity are solid especially with the green microsplash, i could put more spot removal in these slots to help with humans
    • ghostly prison in sideboard, just for humans basically so very very narrow
    • swap burrentons for selfless spirit, its worth it if nobody plays burn or titanshift
    • field of ruin vs mutavault, the vault somtimes helps to deal the last few points of damage or as a surprise first strike blocker
    • something vs storm in sideboard, like i have rest in peace and ee, but maybe more targeted hate, like canonist or eidolon
    • i pretty much have no focused plan vs eldrazi tron and need some help there
    • abzan company can be tough too but we dont really have a lot of options for hate there, have we?

    im thankful for any thoughts to any of my points Smile

    I like burrenton forge tender in the Jeskai matchup blanking an Anger of the Gods or a crucial bolt can win a game, with the upside of being a turn one play, leaving the turn 2 spot that selfless spirit would take for thalia. Also skimping on burn hate always is risky there were four burn decks in the top 8 of the scg regionals. Regarding the additional storm hate, I decided to play two grafdigger's cage in the SB this weekend. While rule of law type effects are certainly better, cage has the upside of hosing collected company a card that is strongly represented in the current meta.

    The most problematic matchups for me seem humans and Jeskai Control. I still have not found any good cards vs humans. As you already pointed out options like ghostly prison and the like are simply to narrow as answers, especially in such a wide meta where every sideboard slot counts. I really hope to doge the matchup this weekend...

    Anyway good luck to you in the RPTQ! Would be nice if you could post a tournament report of some sort Smile
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    And i'm also not satisfied with the Leonin Arbiters, thinking about just cutting them and playing Phyrexian Revokers instead.

    Seems like a terrible terrible idea. The deck is basically constructed around leonin arbiter and most of our "free" wins come from a tourn 2 arbiter play. The combination of GQ and the path upside are already huge and his ability to hinder fetches makes him truly shine.

    BUT I do not have much/any experience with the green splash so obviouly you could try. With RPTQ this sunday I would not make changes to the core of the deck and rather test in the time afterwards. I also worry because of the human matchup on sunday but honestly there ist not much we can do. Many decks have one or two very bad matchups we can hope for dodging the MU. Also it is not completley onesided they are still 5c an early attack on their mana base can get us there.

    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Colt47 »
    Any thoughts on Ethersworn Canonist vs Eidolon of Rhetoric? Working on sideboard for the deck and am figuring out what to put in.

    Between those two I would also take the Eidolon for the reasons stated by xotug.

    But in general I don´t like Eidolon or Canonist in the SB, the reason being they only truly shine vs. Storm. With the very diverse meta right now every SB spot counts and you need cards to pull double or triple duty. grafdigger's cage and Relic of Progenitus both slow down storm considerably, while also being very good in a lot of other matchups. If Storm continues to rise to power I would consider playing one of them in but not right now.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    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?^^

    Honestly it is just a budget option. I wait for the reprint of horizon canopys and will cut them afterwards. But I already have 11 Plains and blood moon is not huge in my local meta. Dunes are good in some very fringe cases, but they can win you games you had no buisness winning. If you activate them turn 5 and have 4 creatures out it can gain you that last one or two points of dmg you need to close out the game. If they were only instant speed ...

    Today I have further tested a little bit against 5c humans, but it feels like a very bad matchup. I hope humans don´t get to much popularity but I can abolutly see them becoming a new meta deck. I would love to hear about experiences in the matchup especially from the very experienced guys.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Tourament Report

    So yesterday was the last tournament before the regionals with quite a few players for the local meta so a total of five rounds.

    Match 1 vs. Sultai DS: 0 - 2

    First game on the draw needed to mulligan to 6 he kept a strong hand, dropped to 9 live by turn 3 into 2 DS to close out the game fast. I had a slow 6 with arbiter eating a push and vial getting discarded

    Second game on the play again vs a strong hand into 2 ds was able to remove one but could not stop the second

    Thoughts after the match: Bad hands should have mulled in the second game and never saw one of the crusaders. Normally a good matchup for the deck

    Match 2 vs. Training Grounds Combo: 2 - 0

    Some stange training grounds combo deck I never saw before. His plan was to equip a man land with umbral mantle for the combo kill, with a polymorph backup plan. Two quick dominant wins. Both games thalia on turn 2 slowing him down and killing his manland on the equip trigger with GQ and flickering training grounds on upkeep. Opponent finished tournament 3 - 1 - 1 so the deck was able to suprise a few guys.

    Match 3 vs Living End 2 - 1

    Game one on the play. Mulligan to 6 opponent to 5. I kept a one lander with vial and got rewarded by a land of the top into arbiter on turn 2 with his second land being a fetch. Quick win.

    Game two I sideboarded in all the relics but forgot the cages. Had a super quick start on curve and relic out he spent the first 3 turns cycling. I overextended my board eager for the win and forgot about living end being a board wipe on top of getting his guys. He cascaded I cracked the relic board got wiped. He had a nice follow up in the next turns and I had no gas left, bad mistake on my part

    Game three we both kept a hand of 6 but with a insanly lucky top deck sequence on my part I won the match. Turns out 3 Relics on board are to much to handlse for living end ...

    Star of the match: Besides the Relic suprisingly Thalia buying me the time I needed in matches 1 and 3

    Match 4 vs 5c Humans 0-2

    My first Matches vs the new dog on the block and it was utterly horrible.

    Game one on the draw, we both had the vial play on turn one but his 3 champion of the parish got too big to quick with meddling mage naming path. game ended on turn 4 even with a nice starting hand on my part

    Game two was more grindy I had sided in Dusk//Dawn as a out. He flooded the board pretty quick while I tried to defend with every flicker trick in the book with 3 whisps and one resto and splicer over a few turns but never drawing the wipe and breaking under the pressure of mantis rider.

    Thoughts after the game: This matchup felt bad. Really really bad, their big thalia messing up our blocks, no need for fetches on their part, freebooter and meddling mage stopping the outs. In both matches I had good hands with vial on turn one redraw of inspector and flicker tricks and still it felt hopless watching his board grow.

    Match 5 vs 5c Humans 1 - 2:
    Other guy same deck as in the match before, both of them playing the deck for the first time in a tournament.

    Game one on the draw, super quick start by him never saw land and lost game on turn 4 by a big attack with mayor

    Game two I had a strong hand with Arbiter and 2 GQ and Vial on the play. he dropped a land and vial but I was able to lock him out of lands till turn SIX. He vialed in a hirarch playing a second vial and build his board with no lands. I was able to bring his live total down with fliers and reset one of his vials via flicker but he managed to muster a strong ground army and started to bring my live total down. The game ended in him presenting a lethal board state but dying to his own dark confidant trigger on his upkeep

    Game three on the draw: roll over and die on my part ... big thalia messing up my blocks and combat tricks with flicker/resto and losing against massive ground beats again.

    Toughts on the day: I was quite unhappy with the overall finish of 2 - 3 but nothing I could have done diffrent. The human matchup is bad and I need to change some parts of the sideboard or deck any suggestions and ideas welcome the regionals are in two weeks and I expect a lot of 5c Humans decks. The plan so far: - 2 Crusader one of them to the sideboard + 2 big thalia mainboard. Reason being a drop of DS in the local meta after the initial wave of players trying the Deck.

    Regarding sideboard ideas vs Humans what are your guys take on the matchup. As I see it Dusk//Dawn is still a strong option favored over settle the wreckage, the reason being the deck often swings only with 2-3 of their big guys holding the rest back for blocks. Also they have no real way of removing your creatures so im considering one worship in the sideboard. The stock list has no way of dealing with enchantments and reflector mage and fiend hunter should not be able to remove all your dudes, hopfully giving you the time to draw into Dusk//Dawn...

    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    @TheLegionsArmory: You already have 4 Splicers and 8 flicker effects. You should be adding Copters in the maindeck and cutting Stony Silence in the board. If you're worried about the Affinity matchup, add some more spot removal (Sunlance, Journey to Nowhere, Shining Shoal) or some artifact removal (Fragmentize, Disenchant).

    Seems like an interesting approach gonna try it out and report back! I always thought stony was the number A take against affinity and the MU being one of the worse ones for DnT. But replacing it with specific hate and swapping the avengers for copters makes sense. Fragmentize seems like a good hate card vs affinity.

    @agua_benta: I always took out the vials vor sunlance when brining in stony silence also boarded them out vs dredge burn and storm
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    How could Smuggler's Copter make affinity a worse MU? If you're talking about Stony Silence, I look at this as another tool to fight against Signal Pest's/Vault Skirge, Nexuses and Ornithopter armories...

    Hm with Stony on board copter becomes a dead card doesn´t it? Not really something we need in this matchup. I would prefer avenger in this spot vs affinity, when sideboarding in stony seems like the sensible thing to do. Sure avenger can not block etched champion but we have the golems for that.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Jim_Prov »
    @TheLegionsArmory - great result! Could you post your deck list?

    Sure as I said it was a pretty standard list, haven´t got the canopies yet, waiting for the reprint. Wayfarer will most likley get the cut maybe in favor of revoker or one more avenger. Would like to test out Smuggler's Copter but I guess he makes the affinity matchup worse and there seem to be 2 affinity decks in my meta.

    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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