To have a good matchup against multiple decks, we need answers that are very broad. Relic hits GY decks, but is also good against snapcaster/goyf decks. As I said, it's not a blowout card, not a hoser of some archetype that gives an instawin, but it snuggles in well against a lot of decks, on top of being a great plan vs. Living end, storm and dredge. Hoser cards is prolly not where you want to be in this format with this deck. You can only answers so many decks this way. This is also the reason why I don't play stony silence at the moment, I only sided it in against Tron/Affinity, although powerful it's very narrow.
Nice to see we are converging to the same ideas. You might be right about the rev, ill have a think about changing it (havent tested it yet).
Vjeren Horvat also played relic in gp Prague and was very satisfied with it. It's great to side in not only versus goyf/ooze/tasigur, but any deck with snapcaster, or gy based decks like storm, dredge or living end. The card is not mind blowing like a Bskull or a stony silence, but it gives a very slight and free advantage. It's basically free for one mana, and you can cycle it whenever you want. Having a 58 card deck means you'll be drawing your powerfull spells more often, this really matters. Against gy combo decks this also increases your win percentage by a lot!
I don't really like sowing salt atm. Tron is not that widely played and we already have threats + answers against their deck. Playing an extra counterspell is also very good against tron, and far more versatile.
timely is good, dispel is good. Kor firewalker is a bit narrow imo, timely is also good against zoo and affinity :).
Timely reinforcements was brilliant for me against burn. It's also great versus Affinity. I would play an extra EE if bogles is big.
I reckon supreme verdict is sideboard material in this deck, as it won't help you if you're beating down with geists/restos.
If you want spell snares, it's not bad to cut a mana leak, a remand and/or a 5drop for 1 or 2
I have a small write-up of my previous tournament a few pages back. It's not much, but hey...
Ajani from the sideboard was amazing for me against a GB rock deck, and against affinity. The three times I cast it in the post-sideboard games it completely took over and won me the game. Burn is also popular now, and it's very good against them. I swapped Ajani for a Cryptic as Cryptic kinda underperformed for me. I don't think you need the 4rd helix per se, it's quite bad against junk/jund type decks, and you have quite a lot of removal already with 4 paths/4 bolt/2electrolyze!
I was thinking of changing the rev slot to a stony silence or wrath effect for the affinity matchup. I changed stony silence to timely before, since it's also good against affinity and burn is so prevalent. I don't foresee myself taking relics out of the sideboard though, as they have been amazing for me in a lot of matchups and I side them in a lot. Vjeran Horvat (well-known UWR player), also frequently said that relic from the side was amazing!
I've been playing lists similar to this for quite some time, and it's performing quite well! You have a decent matchup against most decks, no real stinkers in there. Then again also no real easy matchups :). The sideboard plan is the most integral part of the whole deck. You can't just add some hate cards to the shell and expect to win, a lot of matchups stand or break depending on how many answers you have to reply to their gameplan. This is especially true because you are basically a worse aggro deck than affinity/zoo, you are a worse control deck than UWR, and you are a worse midrange deck than junk. Finding the proper role in each matchup, or even each turn, is really tricky!
If you play basically the same sideboard, can you put your sideboard plan against mine and suggest changes for me based on your experience?
Basically -1 Cryptic command as they underperformed during the previosu PPTQ. Added Ajani to the mainboard as it overperformed. Added a Sphinx's Revelation in the sideboard as a replacement for the matchups where cryptic is great (rock decks, twin, uwr control), mostly as a test because GreatNate likes it. After losing against affinity's etched champion two games in the PTQ it's quite possible this should be a supreme verdict or wrath of god though.
I'll be playing two local tournaments this week, and a few more rounds of PPTQs the following week.
Geist is come kind of weird. There are lots of decks where you want to slam a T3 geist and then go for the beats. Sadly, that the best answer to a T3 Geist, is a turn 3 Liliana of the Veil, and as long as she is there in that numbers, Geist is bad. And with that, the whole deck.
Nice write-up, thanks for that!
Did you ever feel like being constrained on mana? You have more 5 drops than my list, and a rev, and no remands to dig for mre. I felt 25 lands was too little, often I was stuck on 2 or 3 lands during my PPTQ.
Just came back from a modern PPTQ with 90 players (wasn't the change supposed to decrease PTQ sizes? Jeez).
Went 4-3, basically played very experienced players every round. Didn't feel unfavored in any of them. I 2-1 or 1-2'ed basically all games except for the RUG delver one which was 2-0.
Bit bummed because of the result, got mostly stuck on a few lands in a bunch of my losses. However, the deck felt good, and I'm happy with the way I played.
Round 1: All-in Twin 1-0
Only inexperienced player I played against. Geist mostly won me the game. Did get blown out by double pact of negation in game 2 and lost. Not a bad matchup at all
Round 2: Burn 2-0
Played against a former german pro. Timely reinforcements and the 3rd lightning helix change I made the day before the tournament: These were game-breaking, castint two timelies in one game and it was still close. Without them the matchup is horrible on the draw.
Round 3: Affinity 2-1
Lost game 1 to an unlucky land draw from my side, opponent was able to instant equip his cranial multiple times for the win and I didn't have the answers. Game 2 I won through 2 etched champions with EE and mana leak. Game 3 lost to etched champion with ravager counters on it while stuck on 2 lands... My opponent played 4 etched champions, of which 2 main (almost no list does this), and they really took the games. Didn't see my EE or wrath game 3. Sad I didn't have the stony silence :). Matchup feels fine really, game 2 was a complete steamroll with all the removal I had in the deck. Ajani did immense work too. Guy went top 8...
Round 4: Makeshift 2-2
Friend of mine (Ricardo) made this deck big, so I knew how to play against it. Won game 1 quite handily with a clique/angel/snap in play. I boarded in the 2x Wear//Tear against the defense grids I knew would come in. Sadly enough, defense grid was cast multiple time in one game, and once in the last game for a win. That was the real blowout, without defense Grid I would probably have won both games, and it's only a 2 off in the list ;(. Again, not an unfavorable matchup, but perhaps I shouldve kept in 2 spell snares since defense grid is such a blowout? Also counters farseek if needed (don't counter sakura tribe elder or you get summoning trapped!!!)
Round 5: RUG delver 3-2
Opponent was a tournament regular, strong player. Played a weird brew with delver, goyf and hooded mandrills. Lost game 1 due to the mandrills and being low on life, he disrupting shoaled me off all the removal spells on it. Won game 2 and 3 on the top of geist and plenty of removal. Matchup felt very favorable after sideboarding. Just boarded in 2 Negates, 2 Relic, Bskull, Wrath and timelies.
Round 6: Storm 4-2
Opponent was Thomas Hendriks, played in a modern GP top 8 before, and all around very good player. Stuck a geist twice, he couldn't combo off through remands and negates, I won. He was a bit unlucky fizzling on this draws though, he lost against himself. This matchup is not too great.
Round 7: GB 4-3
Opponent was another tournament regular here that always ends up top 16/top 8. Deck was GB rock. Game 1 I got trampeled over by too many goyf/tasigurs. Game 2 played out like I wanted, Although I was stuck on 2 mana for 6 turns, I had enough removal to take away all his threats (cast like 5 paths that game), and Ajani sealed the deal in the end. Game 3 I was stuck on only a few lands again, and fulminator got me. I was one land hehind casting Ajani on a crucial turn or EE for 2 to blow up a goyf and a confidant for several turns, otherwise I would have had a decent shot to win this.
I think I played quite tightly and the deck is good. Only thing that I would change for now is to remove a cryptic (they were somewhat underwhelming really), to play an extra land. Most of the games I was on 2/3 lands for a long time. Games felt really good after sideboarding. The sideboard and the plans in each mathcup are strong.
Geist: Happy I was playing these, won me a lot of games that any other card wouldn't have.
Resto: Didn't really see these much, were ok.
Hellkite: Only cast it once to kill lilly in game 7, would've stabilized me, but my opponent topdecked (had empty hand) another liliana to remove it :(. Never saw it besides that.
3rd Helix: It was good, especially against the burn opponent
Eletrolyze: Didn't play lingernig souls, it was great against affinity though
Spell Snare: Definately a card I'll keep 2 off in the deck. It was very good, and there's plenty of 2 drops in the meta you want to counter.
Cryptic: I used to love this in my playtestnig for GP Prague. Now however, they felt clunky, partially because of the mana problems I had every game. The one game against GB I had them they were amazing.
Remand/Mana Leak: The split is nice, Mana Leak is so much better in matchups like burn or affinity.
Timelies were great, keeping them.
Ajani: Simply amazing, might go mainboard. On an empty board he is the nuts. Kept a treetop village from attacking for ages and just ultied him for the win.
Relic: Thse were nuts, the times I resolved these against GB/RUG delver they did SO MUCH work. Kept opponent off of tasigurs for a while, shrank goyfs to 0 to bolt, and in the end they just cantripped and replaced themselves. These are defo staying in.
Why do you say that tron and scapeshift are bad matchups?
It depends on your build, true, but the more controlling version is fine against both IMHO.
For Tron, you have a clock and ways to deal with their threats. Path for wurmcoil, cryptics/remands for their ostones/wurmcoils/karns. Clique is also amazing. I wouldn't say this matchup is unfavorable. Every deck loses against a turn 3 Karn really, but turn 4 is quite winneable. You also do not give them enough time to emrakul.
There's quite a bit of burn/affinity/zoo. I didn't expect so much burn, and it'll have an effect tomorrow as it's a cheap deck. Removed a counterflux and stony silence for two timely reinforcements.
In the affinity matchup timely is also very good. Not as much as stony silence, but hey.
The tron matchup becomes a bit worse without counterflux and the stony silence, but there wasn't much tron (and I believe it's still a decent matchup).
Other control/twin matchups are a little bit worse, but I'd rather play the timely against burn and zoo, which seem like decently bad matchups for this geist deck
Was thinking of switching the hellkite from the main for a batterskull. Also thought of playing an extra helix over either a cryptic or an electrolyze. Decided against both since there's 30% abzan on the pro tour (although less problem with this for the PPTQ, as the deck is expensive!)
There's a strange bind for the deck having to be good against both junk and aggro decks (e.g. lightning helix sucks against junk, is amazing against burn. Or cryptic the other way around), while still having to play well against control.
Removed a single restoration angel for a lightning helix after a bunch of testing. I love restoration angel, but with hellkite, 3 cryptics and 3 resto, there was one expensive spell too much. I also found that it often just eats junks removal spells that do not hit the geists and get stuck in hands. Sad change for me, but I think it's better.