Weird. In my experience, affinity doesnt seem like such a bad matchup. Just stick a flier up their ass, keep a wasali for their important spells or combo off, g2 go for stony turn 2 or a decent removal spell then start shining.
Why do I like it? Because its fetchable with coco, hits the 2 cmc spot, its colorless, doesnt deplete our graveyard and has an activation cost instead of an etb effect (I am a sucker for torpor orb effects as I think they destroy decks that we sometimes have problems like bant eldrazi, zoo and elves). What do you think?
I can't speak for everyone as we all have different experiences (and different builds which is one of the things that makes the deck beautiful). But to answer your questions.
1.- I've won many games by a birds attacking with kessig. I have also won a lot of games by just trampling over blockers. I even have won games comboing where my opponent was at 20+ life and I couldnt fetch as streamlined as I wanted. It is an essential card and if I were forced to remove a land from my deck it would be gavony before kessig.
2.- Yes, it is super slow and it competes with a lot of three drops we are currently playing. I love the three drops we are playing and even some less-used options like Courser. If I wanted to look up for cards to add I would be searching for cmc-2 cards.
I have some friends that play Abzan Company and they say that they dont even try to win against Tron. Its a 85-15 matchup for them. For Knightfall is hard, but not that hard as we have several threats that can help us stabilize. Now against a turn 3 natural Tron there's little we can do.
Blessed Alliance is ok, but it's generally not where you want to be as it doesn't really fit into the aggro plan. Our goal is essentially to overload their removal. I would never side out path, but killing their threats isn't the goal. We are not the control deck. You can bring one blessed alliance in for their stuff, but, past that, you'll end up with too much removal in hand and no board (personal experience).
I would say its quite useful. You wont always outlast them. However most of the times they attack with one creature late game and that's when the big swing comes. Taking out of their very few threats can make you win games. For me it has been awesome.
1.- I've tried Renegade Rallier and most of the times it just doesnt click. Getting back a fetchland (which happened ike 75%+ of the times) when we need to be proactive is just BAD.
2.- Secodnly I tried jace and he is decent, much better than what I thought he would be (I thought he would be really really bad). He still doesnt click right though (his -3 is not always useful), so if you are trying him instead of Vendillion or something else, I would stick with the latter.
3.- I tried Tracker. He is good. He eats removal like a champ and his clues are most of the times useful. I think that the discussion between him and Courser is just a matter of what is your plan and what's the meta. If you play in a heavy burn or aggro meta, I would stick with Courser. However if you need to be proactive and there are a lot of grixis and jund decks, then Tracker is the way to go. Still flavors for a highly customizable deck.
I am glad I was able to spark a conversation. Big mana is an issue and Bant Eldrazi doesn't feel too good either (although miles better than Titanshift). The thing is that we need some sort of response against them and Titan + infinitevalakut activation is bound to kill our field eventually. Unified Will sounds super spicy against that kind of matchup, but it feels lackluster against Eldrazi. Are there other land hate or heavy mana spells that we can use?
I have the same experience as the guys above. The fact that we have surprise flying blockers makes the affinity matchup much better than for other archetypes. I am just struggling with ghirapur aether grid, but besides that, it doesn't feel that bad.
I am struggling though with Titanshift and in a lesser degree Dredge and Tron. Titanshift is the dread of my existence and I dont know what to do against it. I swear I've played 10 matches against it and gone 1-9 (the victory was mainly because the guy was just drawing blanks). How do you guys play it?
Played a 26 man tourney on Sunday. Went 3-1-1 making it to top 8. Lost matches against Affinity (1-2 Ghirapur Aether Grid wrecked my board) and Abzan (1-2) in top 8 (mainly bad draws in the key turns). Beat Grixis Delver (2-1), U Tron (2-1) and Abzan (2-0). Overall great tourney, the deck felt great. Too bad the modern season is mostly over here. :(.
Eli Kassis was just featured in round 8 of the SCG Orlando Open beating Infect 2-0. He is 8-0 thus far. As far as I saw he is running some hybrid between his past build and guangzhou list. He didnt get much appreciation from the casters though.