PPTQ first place with two maindeck Lilis. I'd be able to test a similar build two or three times a week... if I had any! Will try and get some within a month or two and let you guys know how well they work. I'm pretty hellbent on trying them out.
I dont think removing Mentor from the list completely is the answer.
If you are doing that, then Grixis is just the better deck.
I think the answer is having something in the sideboard that you transform into when Mentor is not at its strongest.
Before we remove Mentor from the list, ask yourself what is good about Mentor and why are you playing it in the first place? Mentor is really good against creature heavy, removal light decks; he is able to create blockers/attackers by casting spells making combat math hard for your opponent. Prowess makes this doubly hard, as every spell makes him and his tokens bigger. Where Mentor is poor, is where the deck you are playing against is running threat light but a lot of cheap removal. His 2/2 body and CMC 3 makes him hard to protect when they are playing cards like Bolt for 1 CMC.
I am on the Geist transformative sideboard, bc Geist plays well in situations that Mentor does not. The deck packs enough removal/counters to protect a Geist from creatures on board and most ppl will board in extra spot removal for the Mentors they saw game 1, which becomes useless against Geist.
The other option, would be to have a control sideboard; some planeswalkers and extra board wipes and just turn into a Esper tap-out control deck that wins on the back of Tasigur/Angler.
In my opinion, this deck (Esper midrange/control) is like Junk, while Grixis is like Jund. We both play a similar game of 'drop a delved creature backed up counters and hand disruption', but with Esper we get to attack from an entirely different angle through Lingering Souls. I'd go so far as to say Lingering Souls is the reason to be playing Esper right now. With so many decks opting to go for advantageous 1-for-1 or 2-for-1 trades, Lingering Souls generally represents a 1-for-1/4th or 1-for-1/2 trades. That's why I like this deck over Grixis, anyhow.
Maybe it's just me, but my metagame is HEAVILY red/blue slanted. Against the uninteractive decks, sure, Mentor is AMAZING. It can and does win the game alone. But I get maybe one of those games a week, if at all. That's the main reason I'm considering giving Mentor the axe. Why play with a card that I know, 4 matches out 5, will be practically useless. I just don't think Mentor is worth the mainboard slot with how strong and prevalent Grixis is.
If you are playing Esper mentor then you need to run 3-4 Mentors mainboard. It seems like you could just be playing the card at the wrong times. Monastery Mentor is like Pack Rat in that they both die to everything, but they are insane when our opponents have exhausted their resources.
I don't think more than two mentors is correct. Generally you hold onto one till you have 2 or 3 spells in hand where you can chain-cast them for value. Drawing more than one just feels terrible and it oftentimes sits dead in your hand, unless you want to run out an early copy to bait removal.
I've yet to try sideboarding in Geist (no copies) but I love the idea and will try it eventually. Seems pretty good vs Grixis currently, although I'm still very interested in Liliana or Bitterblossom.
More importantly, I wanted to talk about potential Mentor replacements. While he did work in some matches (gifts, tutelage), I'd rather have a card that I'm NOT sideboarding out every single game. I've come up a list with some potential replacements that I want to talk about.
- Comes out a turn earlier. On the play, you can slip under Remand and other two mana counters like Negate.
- Play and forget. Provides value for the whole game. Chump blockers and finishers.
- Hard for most decks to remove game 1 outside of cards like Abrupt Decay.
- Synergy with Solemn Sorin and Vault of the Archangel.
- Not very good against burn.
- Spell Snare
- Weak to token hate, which will inevitably be coming in g2 against us because of lingering souls/mentor.
- Tribal AND Enchantment. Buffs up Goyf a lot.
Geist of Saint Traft
- Arguably hard to remove in current meta.
- Fast clock, able to close out games quickly.
- Spell Snare proof/same cost as Mentor so we're not raising curve.
- Can be chumped, perhaps not the best in a heavy creature meta, although we do run a lot of removal.
- Snapcaster, ambush viper mode.
- Open to board wipe hate like Damnation and Supreme Verdict which could potentially be sided in against us.
- Gives all of our spells extra value.
- Can end a game very quickly with itself and a monk token or two.
- Synergy with Solemn Sorin and Vault of the Archangel
- Cannot be cast on turn 3 in most cases. It's generally a 4/5/6 drop.
- Weak to token hate/board wipes
Jace, Architect of Thought
- Amazing in grindy games, blanking 1/x cards and providing card advantage.
- Potentially game ending ultimate VS certain decks.
- 4 Drop, we could potentially be dead before then. Not always able to jam it t4 either. Raises curve slightly.
- Not super impact-ful when played.
Liliana of the Veil
- Synergy with our delve spells and Lingering Souls
- Discard ability game winning vs certain decks, ultimate wins against most others.
- Good against hexproof
- 3 drop, curve isn't raised
- Not the best against smite/liege/souls
- BB cost
- Every draw is now live. A top deck land on turn 10 is fuel for the pack rat fire.
- Can VERY quickly close out a game, as Mono B devotion players will remember.
- Synergy with lingering souls and our other Delve cards
- Spell snare
- Token hate/board wipes
- Especially weak to D-sphere
- Sometimes have to play it as a 5 drop, similar to Mentor.
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
- Ultimate VERY GOOD.
- Amazing vs creature decks with a slow start. Tons of removal to keep the board clean to protect Ashiok, plus Lingering Souls tokens.
- Meh against burn.
- Flipping a Tasigur or Angler feels bad.
- Can't protect self although it starts with high loyalty
- Shaheen Style
- Great against burn and other aggresive decks if we draw one of the copies. Timely -> Snapcaster Timely is backbreaking.
- Anti-synergy with lingering souls
- Does very little in control matchups or combo where life total isn't under duress starting t1.
- Token hate
Sorin, Solemn Visitor
- Potentially game winning ultimate
- Synergy with all our other creatures because lifelink is BOSS
- Protects self, provides a token
- 4 drop
- token hate
- bolt-able after making a token
These cards would be a 1-3 of the mainboard in place of Monastery Mentor.
This is all I can think of right now. What do you guys think? What have you tried? What works well? Anything not listed that's over-performing?
2-0, clean sweep. He drew very little relevant cards and my mountain of removal and discard just tore into him. I had an early Tasigur both games which quickly closed both games. I actually kept mentors in because g1 it helped to win within a turn of coming down. He ended up doing very well the rest of the night and went 3-1, taking 3rd, so it was kind of weird.
Round 2 VS Affinity
1-2. Lost the first game, mulliganned to a bunch of lands and Snapcasters. Drew nothing but lands. Game 3, I fetched poorly and kept myself off of white while holding a Disenchant and Stony Silence for many turns. Also Inquisitioned poorly and took a 2 drop instead of the Galv blast and ended up dying with a Spell Snare in hand.
Round 3 VS Abstract CoCo Junk
2-1. I call it abstract junk because he plays some... odd choices for cards. Judges familiar, Kytheon, etc. The game I lost, I misplayed by throwing two spirits into an attacking Kytheon with open mana. I knew he had two paths in hand and was expecting him to double path. Nope, he just made Kytheon indestructible. Woops! I lost to Goyf beats soon after.
Round 4 VS U/R Pyromancer
1-1-1. The deck that Shaun Mclaren is playing. I felt ok going into this since I knew what the deck was about. G1 he drops 3 (or 4?) pyromancers within a few turns and builds up and army of 15+ quickly. I manage to get a mentor, angler, snapcaster, and monk token out with the ability to activate vault of the archangel but I lose quickly after. G2 I land an early Angler and beat face. Easy game. He got stuck on 2 lands. G3 was the odded game of my life. I managed to beat face with an Angler for a bit but he managed to roast it, not after I gained 5 life with Vault. Now came the weird part. He had a lavamancer out and a izzet staticcaster. My hand is celestial purge, lingering souls, x2 snapcasters, and a path. I'm rapidly losing life each turn all the way down to 11 to like 7 and we go to turns. He keeps bricking on cards, either drawing counterspells or lands. His graveyard is empty by this point, expect for the few fetch lands he's finding. He wittles me down to 1 without finding a playable card, all while I'm draw-going. I know that if I play anything, it'll get countered as he's sitting on 3+ counterspells and more mana than me. And if he plays a counterspell, he can just drop all three of them and have fuel for the lavamancer. Ended up blocking the lethal lavamancer swing with my tar pit, earning myself a draw and 4th place while he took 1st.
Overall, 2-1-1 taking 4th. 7$ store credit and a Serum Visions random promo. Cha-ching.
Only changes I would like to make is maybe dropping negates for dispels but it's hard to say. Maybe 1 negate - 1 dispel split.
Is there any reason why people are running Mentors still? Literally every report I've seen sides them out G2. Anyways, here's the list I've been trying out.
I'm just not sure what I would take Mentors out for yet. When they're good, they're amazing. Unfortunately, they're not good very often. I'm considering dropping both for two bitterblossoms, but that just makes me weaker to token hate. Timely reinforcement as a 1-of could be ok, maybe, or possibly back to pack rat. It's just a tough call, but I'm not super happy with them... usually.
Went 3-0-2 at my LGS's Thursday Night Modern event. The biggest change to the deck was the addition of 3 Serum Visions and the removal of 1 Inquisition, Thoughtseize, and Pack Rat. Took 4th out of like 20~ or so.
Game 1: I'm on the play and I inquisition him, taking Heritage Druid. He drops a Dork, then a Leap, and then a Cloudstone Curio. He gets an Essence Warden into play and spend the next 35 minutes gaining 4-5 life a turn while I deal 4 damage a turn. Takes almost 40 minutes to find a combo through all of my disruption.
Game 2: He finds a leap and curio but no essence warden. I beat the poop out of him with lingering souls. Game ends with 1 minute left so we call it a draw.
Round 2 VS Goblins, 0-0-1
Awesome opponent, shame I forgot his name already, been a long day which is also why this report is so poo.
Game 1: He's on the play and drops a vial. Back to my turn, my hand is poor so I shock in a Watery Grave and pass. He vials in a guide, plays a guide, and plays a legion loyalist. I get two lands off the trigger and take 5, already down to 13. I manage to play a Tasigur I think which buys me a few turns as I eat his goblins every attack. Eventually he finds 3 attacks to my two blockers while I'm at 4 life.
IN: Celestial Purge x2,Timely Reinforcements x3, Flashfreeze x1, Languish x1 (I think).
Out: Remand x2, Mentor x2, Thoughtseize x1, Shadow of Doubt x1, Something else (I think).
Game 2: Can't remember much but I dropped a t2 Tasigur and got a few free lands of guide triggers. Eventually traded tasigur for a guide and a bolt and took over from there after slinging some removal spells and landing a timely reinforcements. Played a lot of basics to play around bloodmoon.
Game 3: Managed to play a timely reinforcements then snapped it back a few turns later. Also had a lot of removal. I had a really good draw that game, so it wasn't a surprise that he didn't manage to get me. The sideboard reinforcements are great.
Round 3 VS Esper Control, 1-0-1
Such long drawn out, boring games. I mean, they were fun, but... I'd rather just play against grixis since I know exactly what they'll be playing. This was more of a brew from my opponent who is usually on esper control.
Game 1: Lose to gideon? I think. Can't remember. I walked into a turn 2 shadow of doubt though, that hurt.
Game 2: Win somehow, IDK. Lingering souls and Tasigur.
Game 3: By this time, we've got 5 minutes left. I'm just looking for a draw but we play fast. Lots of sloppy mistakes. We eventually draw, me at 2 life because he forgets to use Gideon turn 2 of extra turns. Don't blame him, we were both playing extremely fast because everyone else in the store was done at 30~ minutes and we were only on game 2. Had quite a crowd. Was fun but very tiring and long.
Round 4 VS Dredgevine, 1-0-2
Pretty fun games, I'm already tired so I'm just gonna wrap this up as fast as possible.
Game 1: Keep 1 land+serum visions, see 1 other land over 6 turns. That was a bad idea. I lose quickly.
In: Celestial Purges, Jace, some other poop, can't remember
Out: Mentors as usual.
Game 2: I ult Jace and steal a vengevine while pulling out a blood baron. I had all the removal in the world this game so I took very few points of damage.
Game 3: His deck didn't do what it wants to do and I played many Anglers.
Round 5 VS Jund, 2-0-2
I'm not even gonna go into detail on this game, I can't remember most of it but it was insane. I had the perfect draws, the perfect topdecks. I had an answer to every single card he played as well as early lingering souls each game. Examples:
He thoughtseizes me t1, sees no counters, takes an inquisition. I draw a spell snare and pass back. Snare his 2 drop.
We're both at 0 cards, draw a Tasigur and kill him in 2 turns.
I have him at 11 life with 4 lingering souls and a tarpit in hand. I inquisition him, see Thundermaw Hellkite and abrupt decay and pass back and knocking him to 7. The card I drew for the turn was remand and his dragon doesn't even enter play. Activate pit next turn and kill him.
2 celestial purge for his t2 Bob.
We both kept 1 landers game 2. We stumble a few turns but I find lands before he does and begin the soul beat downs.
Like... IDK what to say. My deck was giving me every card I needed right at that time. The universe literally wanted me to win that game. Felt good.
IN: 2 Celestial Purge, Blood Baron, maybe some others.
OUT: Mentors, a path, idk.
Sloppy report, but I'm very pleased with the deck, especially with how the night started. As usual, I'm a bit disappointed in Mentor. Not sure what I'd replace it with so I'll continue jamming games with him till I'm either happy to have 2 or sick of it completely. Serum Visions was fun to play with, I think I like having it in the deck but I'm not 100% sure. Sideboard feels ok, might throw in 1 dispel somewhere though. Celestial Purge is an all-star, I'm boarding it in almost every matchup I play. Love the card.
Thanks for the tournament review, and congrats for the result, the most important thing is feel good playing a deck. Your build have some interesting things like vault of the archangel and creeping tar. But i feel 22 lands maybe are too much lands. Im running 19, but i will put 1 more, think that 20 lands is perfect. For sure, i will try pack rat, but i have only 2 snapcasters in my build and seems fine. The shadow of doubt in the main seems fine too, i played it in my esper control and works properly, but maybe i will put 1 in the sideboard.
I don't run Serum Visions (yet) so I think a higher land count is necessary. Tar Pit has been an MVP in many, many games and Vault has been... ok. When it's good, it's game winning. Any other time it's a colorless or a mountain. I like Shadow although most players at my LGS play around it without even knowing I have it so I usually just cantrip it- although it is nice vs amulet bloom!
The newest changes to the deck were: -1 Murderous Cut, +1 Pack rat in the mainboard and -1 Disenchant, -1 Supreme Verdict, +1 Languish +1 Blood Baron of Viskopa in the sideboard. I'm testing Rat and Baron, but I think Verdict is a straight upgrade in this deck. Verdicting away your Tasigur or Angler feels like a pretty bad nonbo when you have access to Languish.
Game 1 VS Traditional UR Twin
G1: On the play. This game was pretty long and grindy. I eventually landed a packrat and pitched two mentors. I had spent the earlier parts of the game beating down with lingering souls so I had him pretty low. My opponent kept chaining Crytpics to tap down my team but my Tar pits eventually won me the game. A minor misplay of not playing a land (intending to pitch it to a rat) kept me from winning the game a turn earlier. He had the combo in hand but not enough mana to Snap-cryptic-exarch during my combat phase.
IN: Thoughtseize, Jace, Negate,
OUT: Mentor x2, Shadow of Doubt
G2: This game is entirely my fault and I should have been able to win it. I had been thinking about Blood Moon the entire time I was sideboarding. For some stupid reason, I decide to drop souls on turn three instead of holding up Negate. Unfortunately, he had the Blood Moon. Fortunately, he mana screws himself and we spend the next smacking eachother with 1/x fliers. I leave 1 soul pack incase he decides to beat in with his pestermite and eat the 1 damage from his exarch. This goes on for about 6 turns before I find a second island for Jace. I tick Jace all the way up to 8 (by this time, his board state is Snap, Exarch, Pestermite) and consider what I could pull out with his ult. Presumably I can't grab anything that would allow me to combo out from either of our decks so I tick it up to 9 and pass. He finds twin without me having counter magic and he takes game 2. I had considered bringing in Languish and I think if I had, I would have won the match, being able to wipe his board, prevent his combo, and slowly take the game over with Jace. I'm sure he brought in Keranos too, so that would have been a useful steal.
G3: With about 3 minute left in the match we try to play as fast as possible. I keep a weak 6 and he keeps 7. I had fetched turn 1 for a basic. Ultimately I think this choice is what cost me the game. if I had fetched for a b/x shock I could have dropped an early Angler and put him on a clock. I grabbed a basic and played Souls. Blood Moon came down the next turn and we spent a few turns smacking each other with x/1s before he assembled combo and killed me.
I think had I been a better pilot I could have taken game 2, but it's hard to say with how little of our hands we could actually play. I'm not very upset with how the games went, just disappointed that I couldn't focus on a clear line of play my opponent could have been on.
Game 2 VS Grixis Control
Against an opponent from last week.
G1: Very unexciting game. I missplay by not dropping a land before going to flashback Souls and get Mana Leaked. I could have Spell Snared his leak and beat him down before he found any relevant cards. I got stuck with 2 mentors in hand on 3 lands for a bit too, which definitely did not help. Very glad I'm only playing two now. He landed a Tasigur and then a Angler and I couldn't find removal to deal with them before finally running out of chump blockers.
IN: Thoughtseize, 2x Negate, 1x Blood Baron
Out: 2x Mentor, Slaughter Pact, Pack Rat (I think, can't remember)
G2: I play an island and pass. He serum visions and leaves both on top. I thoughtscour him and he loses a Visions and another good card. I'm not very sure if I should ever be thoughtscouring my opponent if they're playing a deck that can utilize the delve, but it just feels right. I follow up with a discard spell, then another the following turn+lingering souls. I proceed to beat his face in with my tokens. I think I drop an Angler or Tasigur, Its a bit hazy, but souls did 90% of the work.
G3: Souls tokens. Really I have nothing to say besides that. I played souls, flashed back souls, and hit him for 2-4 every turn before he started throwing good removal at them. He drops a Tasigur and gets an activation (2 lands in an empty GY) before I path it. I think I played an Angler+Tasigur which both died, but by the time he was at low (5~) life, he had so few cards in hand and I was sitting on enough removal to just kill and push through all that was left. Blood Baron came down near the end and didn't accomplish anything besides being a nail in his coffin.
I think I discarded a Blood Moon from his hand one of the post-board games, can't remember.
Ultimately, I think we have to try REAL hard to lose this matchup. I'm 7-0 so far (5x control, 1x delver, 1x twin) vs this shard. I think it'd be fair to say we're 60-70% favored to win. Lingering Souls is such a key card for us here.
Match 3 vs Red Jank
I saw my opponent playing the previous round so I had a little idea of what he was on.
G1: I start the game on the play with a discard spell see one mountain, vexing devil, pyromancer, a bolt, a land destruction spell, avarice dragon, and moltensteel dragon. I take the devil because my hand is removal light and pass to him. He bolts me and passes back. Next turn he finds a second mountain and plays pyromancer. I'm forced to path it before it gets out of control and then his next turn he finds another mountain and blows up a land. I'm not worrying at all until he drops the Moltensteel Dragon- I haven't found any removal spells, counters, or lingering souls. I play a Tasigur and he crashes in for like 7. Next turn, I again fail to find removal and he pumps it up, going low to kill me.
IN: 2x Celestial Purge, 1x Flashfreeze, 3x Timely Reinforcements
OUT: 2x Thoughtseize, 2x Mentor, 1x Shadow of Doubt (no fetches on his side), 1x Pack Rat
G2: I mulligan to 5 and keep 3 lands, Tasigur, thought scour. He does nothing until turn 3 where he drops a Blood Moon. I have no one to blame but myself, I figured my opponent would not have access to that card so I did not play around it. It didn't matter though, as I drew 4-5 lands before he killed me. I managed to Snapcaster a timely reinforcements while he had a Moltensteel Dragon out but it was too little too late. He paid Phyrexian Mana till he was down to 2 life to kill me.
Not sure what to say about this game. I think it'd be an easy win if I drew removal spells or counters, game 1 was just unlucky. Game 2 was just a mess, I maybe should have mulled to 4 but I wasn't too happy with that idea. I should have played about Blood Moon better too, I was too arrogant thinking he wouldn't have it. I drew a few basics to work around it but flooding out guaranteed that I wasn't going to win this match. It was an interesting deck, I guess, it played similiar to burn but with pyromancers/BIG DARGONS for... some reason. Kind of glad he won though, he was an old vet getting back into Magic and it's always nice to see newer players. I'll be less sad about a loss if it means we get a new regular on modern night.
Game 4 VS Affinity
The boogeyman. From all the horror stories I've been reading for nearly a year and a half, I'm kind of worried. I've only played this matchup one other time, but that was a casual match. Anyways, I win dice roll and I'm on the play.
G1: Turn one I play an island, pass. He drops 6 cards onto the field. None of them cranial plating, though. My hand is insanely good. 2x Souls, 2x Path, a Thoughtscour and another land. I scour end of turn and we're off to the races. It takes him 3-4 turns for him to find a cranial plating, and by this time I've been building souls up. He attacked his 1/1 into my souls and I made a quick chump block. I pathed his other 1/1 and he was left with Ornithopters to equip to. Traded two souls into each of those and I had the game in a lock. Dropped a packrat and killed him two or three turns later.
G2: I keep a STRONG one lander. Stony Silence, multiple paths, multiple thoughtseizes. He spews out 3-4 cards turn 1. My turn 1, I fetch out a Godless Shrine and thoughtseize. I take an arcbound ravager I think. His t2 he plays a spellskite and passes. My t2 I miss land again and path one of his dudes which he redirects to the skite. t3 I finally find my land and quickly drop my Stony Silence. 6-7 turns later I take the match.
I think I sideboarded effectively this game. My reasoning is that remand... isn't good here. Most of their spells cost 0-1 mana. Mentor is too slow.
I'm satisfied with how tonight went. Pack Rat was pretty fun to play with and most players were ooo'ing and ah'ing about the inclusion, mentioning how they've been talking about either wanting to play pack rat themselves or have it see more modern play. I'm still not sure what match ups are best to include it in. Blood Baron, again, was cool but didn't do much. I'll keep him in for next week and if I don't see Grixis everywhere again, I'll drop him back out.
I'd like to test out 1x Stubborn Denial in the mainboard but I'm not sure over what. I think the force spike mode would be useful every now and then and ferocious should be live more often than not.
The problem with Pack Rat is , as with Liliana of the Veil, You do not really want to discard cards if you are playing Mentors... The only cards you could discard are lands if you really are flooded or a discard when the opponent has no card, but this looks really situational.
On my side, I was wondering if somebody tried Bob? card advantage is cool for delve and Mentors, and the we could consider playing cards like LotV and Rats
I don't know about you guys, but since switching to focus more on the delve creatures, I stopped valuing Mentor so high. Sure, the card is insane and can run away with the game on its own, but lately I just look at as adding "kicker 3, discard a card from your hand: if this spell was kicked, put a 1/1 monk token with prowess on the battlefield". When I was running 4 Mentors, I found it actually pretty hard to close a game unless I dropped a Mentor and spewed my hand out within a turn or two. I'm happy enough if I can get a token or two out of it, and maybe a removal spell or two so that my Tasigur or Angler is safe.
I dropped a Murderous Cut in favor of a Pack Rat in the mainboard and will be adding a Blood Baron of Viskopa to my sideboard. If my matches look like they did last week (4 grixis decks, 1 twin), I think it will be very useful.
Hi! congrats for your tournament, i hope you bring us more analysis
About the mentor, i play 2 in my deck, and feel so strong. Maybe, if you play 4 mentors and try to play around him, you can feel that its so weak to lightning and this stuff, but playing 2, you dont need him to win, but, if you cast it in turn 5 with counter backup or something, if the opponent doesnt kill him is sooo strong, and i dont recommend remove it for the main, although in a heavy grixis meta its too hard to keep him alive, i heavily recommend play 2.
In the serum visions business, i play 4 and feel great! And do a awesome job for the delver, but although you dont have delver, i think that you must run 4, removing maybe some removal.
Yeah, I think my main issue with wanting to cut mentor is that I've only (recently) played against removal heavy decks. I have had some great, grindy games where my opponent can't punch through and neither can I, and I end up sitting on 6+ monk tokens. I think I'll be keeping it at two. I'm considering dropping the cuts for Serum Visions, although I'm not 100% sure yet. Visions would be insanely useful, though. It'd make my mulligans feel less terrible and land-light openers less sketchy. 8 targeted removal+6 discard also feels like I might be going a bit overboard.
One thing I REALLY want to try is Pack Rat. Not sure if sideboard or mainboard, but I think it'd be a super useful card in the grindy matchups, although I think we're already in a good spot there, at least VS Grixis and Twin. I also don't want to make myself even weaker to Engineered Explosives but still... pack rat! That card is crazy.
Game 1, he's on the play. All I remember is that he missed his 2nd land drop for a few turns despite cantripping for it quite a bit. Tasigur and souls tokens tore him apart. Not much to say, there's only so little you can do on one or two lands, even if you're playing Delver.
Game 2, he's on the play. I get stuck on 2 lands. He plays 2 delvers, and I manage to path one but he leaks my 2nd path and I'm unable to do anything as a flying Delver and Tasigur beat me down. I find my 3rd land but it's too late, as he has a terminate and there's no way I can make enough blockers to buy another turn.
Game 3, on the play. I land a turn 2 Angler (either t2 or t3) and begin beatdowns immediately. He kills it near the end but by this time I have souls tokens on board and he's too far dead to be able to make a comeback.
Match 2 VS Grixis Control
Game 1, he's mana screwed and I play a t2 Angler. That's all, folks.
Game 2, he keeps a (I guess) good hand that's lacking blue mana. By the time he has blue mana, I've already nearly killed him.
Match 3 VS Grixis Control (noticing a theme?)
I won 2-1, but don't have much written down for notes. I lost game 1, won game 2 by beating down with tarpit for 5 turns, and won game 3. Or something like that. They were all extremely grindy, uneventful games.
Brought in Jace, Negate, Thoughtseize, and 2 Celestial Purge.
Out went Mentors, Shadow of Doubt... and something else, can't remember.
Match 4 VS Grixis Control
Again, very long and grindy games.
Game 1 ends up I'm beating down with a Tasigur and I get him down to 4 life. He has cryptic in hand and my graveyard is empty.
"Move to combat?"
"Before combat, cryptic command blahblah"
"In response, activate Tasigur ability"
At this point I tap my deck, say "c'mon remand", and flip over a remand. Onto game 2!
Game 2 ends up in a pecuilar spot. I have a snap, a path, and an inquistion in hand with a very anemic graveyard. I inquisition him and he reveals a Cruel Ultimatum. Well *****. He goes 2 turns without drawing the last land he needs but I don't find a counter in time.
Game 3 very, very grindy game where we end up with Anglers and Tasigurs staring at each other. This game particulary sucked because I lacked white mana the ENTIRE GAME up until the very end, all while sitting on Lingering Souls and a useless Vault of the Archangel in play. I end up taking the game at 1 life by swinging all out, knowing he only has a land and a Dispel from Tasigur in his hand. I got very lucky this game, though. I kept either a good 1 lander or 2 lander. I fetched poorly assuming he had a blood moon and I missed the next two or three land drops.
Jace, thoughtseize, negates and celestial purges came in. Out came the usual junk.
Match 5 VS UR Twin
Really not much to note here. I made an early Angler and went beat downs. Killed his creature when he attempted to combo out.
Game 2 I brought in Jace and the usual cards. Early Angler into turn 4 Jace brought me to a quick victory. I felt safe playing Jace on 4 even though he had an Exarch out- I just ticked Jace up with a handful of removal knowing his combo couldn't kill me.
Overall, very happy with how the deck ran tonight. Grixis decks COULD NOT handle souls at all. Nothing felt better than watching my opponent sigh, tap red mana, and bolt a lingering souls token. I used to run 1 more slaughter pact, 2 more mentors, and some various other junky cute cards like Solemn Sorin and Zealous Persecution. I think if we want this archetype to be good, we have to focus on delve creatures, tempo, and hand disruption. As much as I really love mentor, I'm considering cutting it entirely as I sided it out every single match. Maybe it's better in a not-so-heavily-Grixis meta. Any suggestions on better replacements? Someone suggested Ashiok (another card I love) but with all these fat delve monsters running around, I don't think I'd ever steal a creature that wasn't named Snapcaster Mage.
Saving up for some Serum Visions. Not sure what I'll take out, but I think they'll REALLY help. I think I'll also pick up some LotVs too, maybe in place of the Mentor spot.