Staticaster can hit some small threats against Company but it doesn't hit Anafenza, Melira, Finks or Redcap who are the Combo pieces. Similarly it's pretty narrow vs. Souls because they always run Anthems which make 1 damage not enough. Infect could be useful but as it says target they could still save it with a Vines. It's not a bad option though, it's repeatable and they often run Twisted Image for Spellskite.
I know Affinities creatures stay in Bolt range but it's very difficult to Bolt Etched Champion as even outside of creatures Springleaf, Plating, Mox Opal, Darksteel etc. quickly give it Protection. Stony Silence is great for not allowing them to turn it into a much faster clock. I'm also a fan of running Wear / Tear on the sideboard for it's overall versatility, it's enough to kill Plating but it can also do work against a number of decks or sideboards.
Wheel of Sun and Moon mostly exists to deal with Thopter but it's a great answer to Living End which can be a shocking matchup. It's also really good against Company as it stops Persist and it's good against Kiki-Chord as it stops the Witness loop. It has a bunch of other odd applications as well but those are the main ones. It also doesn't effect your Snapcaster.
So I'm testing different answers to ThopterSword in my sideboard. It appears that Izzet Staticaster could be better than Stony Silence and RIP. The main reasons being it's instant speed and can save us even when tokens are already on the battlefield. Stony Silence and RIP seem more useful in other MUs at first glance, but actually: Affinity is a good MU anyway and Tron is marginal right now. So Stony...not really THAT useful. Not to mention Staticaster is also very strong vs Affinity. And as far as RIP...it hurts ourselves as well. It only makes sense vs decks like Grishoalbrand, but a simple Dispel is better there. So yea. Maybe Staticaster is the best answer to ThopterSword.
That's not a good option at all, it's a creature that they can easily deal with and all it does is clear the Thopters without the Sword attached which doesn't stop the Combo at all. They'll still keep gaining life on your turn after turn.
Stony Silence is INCREDIBLY useful. Affinity is the number one deck in the meta. If you can stop them re-equipping Cranial Plating you can deal with them easily as their stuff stays in Bolt range. If they can re-equip Cranial Plating you're in a lot of trouble, especially now that Etched Champion is becoming popular again with the Eldrazi ban. Not to mention Tron is one of our worst matchups and Stony Silence has a big impact on both their ramp and Oblivion Stone which can take care of Geist.
Static Caster may be okay against certain Affinity hands but not others. It does nothing against Ornithopter which is a very relevant thread with Cranial Plating. It also does nothing against Etched Champion.
R.I.P does hurt us as well with Snapcaster but that doesn't make Staticaster our best option. Our best option like every other deck that runs White right now is Wheel of Sun and Moon
I've played with and against Twin many times. Twin isn't this deck. It's wrong to compare them and say it's because of what Twin did. Twin had different needs. This isn't primarily a Control deck, it can just be a controlling deck against decks that run a large number of creatures. This deck isn't waiting to Combo or waiting to find a Grudge to deal with a Torpor Orb. This isn't playing full Control hoping to land a Keranos, tap+bounce or counter with Cryptic and watch them burn to death. This is a beatdown deck. It's a Tempo Midrange deck that can play the controlling gameplan via. removal against faster decks but aims to play faster than everything else otherwise relying on direct damage and evasion to set it apart. It's pretty much a goodstuff list in UWr. You're not looking for anything in particular and you shouldn't be approaching games passively like needing to play to their tune either.
Geist has actually been used in a lot of tournaments. If you look at the front page there were results at major events. No visions. Recently I won a grand prix trial. No visions. Martin Juza played Jeskai Geist on the Pro Tour and he wasn't running visions then either. His issue with the deck was that the meta at the time (Twin) was unkind to it as it relied a lot on winning the dice roll to go first to win quicker than they could combo. That was then though, this is now. This is a much better deck in a meta full of bolt targets that's not as combo heavy. Abzan Company is big. Infect is still Infect, Merfolk still exist. Zoo style decks are around again and Affinity is the most popular deck in the format. Jeskai Geist does well in that meta.
As good as Jund is if everyone was playing BW tokens it would be awful. That's just Magic. There is no one deck to beat them all. It's exactly the same with this. The reason it's developing is not that it doesn't work effectively, it's purely popularity. That's how tiers are based, they're based on how popular a deck is, not on how good a deck is. Decks get more popular when more people represent them, they go through fads. Right now that fad is Podless Pod, also known as Abzan Company which we do well against, especially with sideboard options like Linvala and Hallowed Moonlight.
We're 194 pages into a thread. You're not walking in here with some revelation about Serum Visions that will suddenly change the archetype.
Remand helps the deck with consistency and to get to 3-4 mana. It helps like you're suggesting with Visions but it does it while slowing them down. Remand also has countless other applications like stopping them counterspelling you by forcing them to recast it without the mana, making them waste a delve, making them waste a Snapcaster etc. Remand fits the tempo style of play perfectly.
Spell Snare would be a problem with how narrow it is if the meta wasn't so full of 2 drops. The meta is full of relevant threats at 2 though. There is room between tapped land and bolt for a couple of other turn 1 plays as well. You can also swing with the Colonnade and cast it in the same turn due to the fact it has vigilance and Spell Snare is instant, I've hit Terminate among other things doing that.
Tron is just a bad match in general. Every deck has those though, otherwise everyone would just play the one deck. Having Snare is helpful against Tron though as it stops Pyroclasm. Post-board there are a number of things that hurt Tron though and having Path helps vs. Wurmcoil. Bolts are never useless either, even against Tron, Bolts serve fine as damage to the face.
Twin used Vision as a staple for a very different reason. It wasn't consistency, it was assembling Twin. Twin wanted two specific cards. Twin and Exarch or Pestermite. Twin used Serum Visions to assemble those two cards together. That is what Visions is good for. Storm uses it for a similar reason which is that it wants to find Pyromancers Ascension. Those decks are Combo decks. We're not a Combo deck.
Look at the sample decks on the front page. Look at actual sanctioned tournament results. No Serum Visions.
I still can find no good reason not to run Visions.
"Can't find the right turn to cast it" is, as I said, a very poor reason not to run it.
The gameplan you're giving is simplistic and doesn't cover the majority of scenarios. For example against draw-go control decks you have nothing to remove or to counter in the first turns and Serum Visions is exactly what you want to be doing there. Another example, against combo decks you don't want to tap out for a Geist on turn 3 or for a bomb on turn 5 usually. Finding the right answer to their combo by casting a Visions is on the other hand a very good thing to be doing. I could go on and on.
This deck can certainly work without Visions, but it's hard to argue that the card is unplayable in the deck 'cause you can't find the right turn to cast it.
It's not a poor reason at all. If you don't have a turn in your gameplan where it's optimal, it doesn't fit the gameplan, it's just there.
It's a fairly simplistic deck. It's remove all the creatures they play and swing with Geist. If they don't play creatures or you don't see Geist you burn them in the face and rely on evasion from Clique/Angel/Manland. Remand helps delay the game to achieve this. That is how this deck plays. It's not Jeskai Control, it wants to actively win the game and put them on a clock. If you're playing slow you're better off playing Control.
The example you gave about Draw-Go Control is horrible as well. One that's a very, very small percentage of the meta. Secondly playing a cantrip is not the correct play there, the correct play would be either playing a manland where it wont hurt the rest of your curve or burn them. You want to race them and essentially aggro them down. It's the same vs. linear combo you're trying to play as fast as you can before they win.
Against Combo the priority is removal if they are a creature based combo like Abzan Company. If they are not, and they are a linear Combo like Storm/Tooth and Nail/Instant Reanimator you absolutely do want to tapout for Geist or play Clique to disrupt their hand. You need to race them. We're not Control, we don't run Mana Leak and Dispel and get into counterspell wars. We might have options for them post-board but mainboard the way you beat Linear Combo is go too fast for them and hope they don't have the instant win godhand. Digging for the answer you're giving up critical mana which gives them exactly what they want to go off, time.
Serum Visions might make you feel like it's doing a lot if your deck is built poorly or your opponents aren't good at executing their gameplans but it's not where this deck wants to be. Visions is delve fuel, Visions is for digging for combo pieces or controlling the top card of your library when you want a Delver to flip. Visions isn't Brainstorm, it can't be used at Instant speed, there is no Force of Will and you can't put cards from your hand onto your library and shuffle them away with a fetch. All it does is replace itself at a cost of mana, mana equals tempo. It replaces itself and it lets you scry which can be useful, but not more useful than answering a threat or executing your gameplan.
I'd like to see your results with the deck as well. If you go on MTG Top 8 under UWr Midrange you see my first place.
If you run more mana, the need to make your mana more consistent goes away. Don't keep 1 land hands is another. Don't crack fetches to thin the deck if you have another land you can play is another.
Serum Visions isn't something I ever want to be doing, it's something to do if there is nothing else to do and those sort of things are better when they're instant speed, particularly in a deck like this.
t1 I want to remove something they play, drop a tapped land (colonnade) or fetch an untapped shocked. If I'm on the draw Spell Snare is also great here. That gives me a lot of options for what I want to be doing t1.
t2 I want to remove something they play or Remand.
t3 I'm dropping a Geist or I'm hanging out for removal/clique/electrolyze.
t4 I generally aim to play Resto Angel, or I'm using Snapcasters.
t5 I drop bombs.
t6 I hopefully curve into Colonnade or offload any Burn left in my hand to kill them outright. I'm hoping to win around t6.
Against a non-creature based Combo or something like Tron instead of removal I'm burning them every turn on curve when I'm not playing creatures to try win as quickly as possible. Against a lot of decks there are also optimal plays based on sideboard options like Stony Silence. Cantrips are always just a "if things are not working out," play, you're wasting mana that could be doing something like Remand/Snare or Burn. Cantrips are better in decks that use Delve and decks that use Delver. They're better in decks that need to dig for a specific card as well. They don't actually fit the gameplan on this deck.
I've won a Grand Prix trial playing Jeskai Geist. I have won FNM multiple times playing Jeskai Geist against good players.
I run 2 Snares, 1 Pierce. With Snapcasters you can re-use Pierce and it hits a lot of things like Walkers etc. as well. I'd run more but it's not useful at all in certain matchups. Having it as a 1 of makes it easy to board out however.
On Ojutai being a 5 drop without Flash, Geist is a 3 drop without Flash. You treat it exactly the same as you'd treat Geist just when you have more land. It has Hexproof so it doesn't just die to Terminate after you cast it either. Ojutai doesn't need Minamo + Stronghold they just make it broken, even without them you can untap him with Resto Angel if they try remove him, he'll survive a turn due to Hexproof and his ability ends games as it lets you dig for burn spells to finish someone.
Minamo + Stronghold work outside of Ojutai as well. Minamo is a Blue land that doesn't get hit by Choke for one. Stronghold can let you pump something to win trades (lets a Clique kill a Resto Angel or Tasigur for example), it can also let you drop something and give it Haste. Even just having Stronghold turn Resto Angel into a 5/4 Vigilance flyer is impressive. I board them out for GQs when relevant and don't get stuck with Ghost Quarters when they're irrelevant.
Counterflux is a counterspell, which is fine but it's just that. You need to leave mana open to counterspell. Leyline you force them to deal with it while you execute your gameplan. It pretty much wins that matchup when you have it in your opening hand and it's invaluable against Jund/Junk as it stops Liliana forcing you to sac the Geist.
I've tried less lands, it's always awful, I always stick to 24 with 4 Remand, 2 Electrolyze. I don't run Visions, I hate that card in this deck as I've stated numerous times in this thread.
The deck has been improved since then. I dropped an Electrolyze for a second Clique. I dropped Sacred Foundry for a Sulfur Falls (useful vs. Choke) and my sideboard has completely changed. That SB was during the Eldrazi meta. My new SB is a lot better. One non-Eldrazi change was I just swapped out Crumble for 2 GQ. I find they help against Jund/Infect for stopping manlands, I just swap them 2 for 2 with Minamo/Slayers.
I'm not a fan of Cryptic in this deck at all. Cryptic Command is a great card but it's much better in Jeskai Control.
I really like Ojutai for finishing games, I'm actually digging 15 creatures right now. 4 Snappy, 4 Geist, 2 Clique, 3 Resto, 2 Ojutai. It packs good punch. I'm still at 24 land though. I'm not a big fan of the decks running 18-22 and packing cantrips. Outside of Remand/Electrolyze I tend to avoid Cantrips as while they give you some consistency, you lose tempo, I prefer to play fast.
Against Scapeshift I use Leyline of Sanctity which helps against Jund/Junk and Burn as well. I have a Spell Pierce maindeck as well which is pretty sweet, even if they try protect the Scapeshift cast Spell Pierce with your own Remand forcing them to recast their counterspell almost always stops it.
Maybe Archangel Avacyn has potential. I got one in a booster the other day and I've been wondering if she could fit in this deck.
She has some potential. The five drop slot is very competitive though and if they do kill a Snapcaster etc. she'll wipe the board. Thundermaw Hellkite and Dragonlord Ojutai are two cards I've been liking when I've gone up to five. Keranos is also an option at 5 and the fact he is unlikely to transform actually works in his favour as he's practically impossible to remove. He helps get you enough land to activate Colonnade while thinning the deck or aiding in a Burn kill.
Yeah I agree with that, we have the potential to deploy too many threats for Control, Geist in particular is awful for Control to face. AV doesn't really fit us and a meta that shifts more to Control isn't really bad for us either.
I don't run Cryptics at all in my build. I feel they're more of a Control card with a place in some Combo decks. My 3 - 4 - 5 slots at the moment look like 4 Geist, 2 Clique, 2 Electrolyze, 3 Resto Angel, 2 Ojutai. I'm still digging Ojutai and Snapcaster + Something is usually 3-5 mana as well.
I'm not a fan of Serum Visions because we're not exactly digging for anything in particular. I'd rather leave the mana open for a Spell Snare or Spell Pierce, I run 2 Snares and 1 Pierce in my build. I also like leaving mana open for Remand. If Brainstorm was legal I'd probably squeeze it in but I don't like Sorcery speed cards in the deck, the only time I want to tap out is to drop a Geist otherwise I flash everything.