I'm gonna say some pretty heretical things, so please at least hear me out.
The deck has 2 major flaws:
1: Too many weak creatures
2: Mana flooding is very real.
I haven't been playing with coralhelm for a while. I basically play a straight "bant value" deck, or bant company, or whatever you wanna call it. The reason I chose bant over any devoted/vizier combo is exactly because I think this combination gives us the strongest creatures. Voice, Reliquary, Tracker, Courser, Ooze, Queller, Jace, Clique, Reflector Mage, E. Witness, all of those are good value guys. We have most of GW company's value, with counter backup from SB, Jace, Nissa and a little main deck disruption (queller, meddling mage).
Also, I play 22 lands/8 dorks, and I suffer more from mana screw than mana flood.
It's not my first deck choice, but I believe it's the best Collected Company deck out there (or maybe elves?). It's simply not the best time for CoCo decks.
Anyone know list Kelvin Chew is playing these days?
This is what he sent me after GP Sydney where his personal record was 6-1-1 but I believe his team failed to Day 2. He'd also mentioned he'd gone 6-2 in Kyoto prior but not sure if this is the exact same list.
Interesting list. Some points I'd like to discuss:
1) Jace started as a 3-of, now it's just a 1-of. I never liked too many Jaces/Nissas, it felt like we were going off our route too much.
2) I'm not sure I'm ok with 3 lands that only generate colorless (Ghost Quarter, Field of Ruin and Gavony Township). I would probably play one of the land destruction spells on the sideboard and exchange it with something like gavony township when bringing it in. We need so much colored mana to cast voice/reliquary/queller/Jace, and some hands can be very awkward with all 3 lands main deck.
3) Is Eternal Witness better than Courser of Kruphix right now? Besides the obvious interaction with Knight of The Reliquary and Tireless Tracker, Courser is a lifegain source, a nice blocker and card advantage source. I really like Eternal Witness as a card (used to play 4 when playing abzan company), but i can't see her beeing as useful here.
4) No Qasali Pridemage. I'm quite reluctant on not playing Qasali Pridemage. I have one over the second Meddling Mage, and the reasons are the same: Both of them can be grizzly bears sometimes, but they also can be useful.
I don´t know if we are so soft against linear aggro, combo and midrange as it was said. Worship is a great card in a lot of those linear aggro matchups. Against storm, spell queller/unified will and bojuka bog are our tools. Regarding midrange we have a ton of value. I'm not saying they're all great matchups, but maybe not that bad.
I used to play Abzan Company. When I switched to counters company it became easier to combo on turn 3 for lethal, what improved my chances against tron (it was literraly unwinnable before) and some other decks, while the ability to combo on instant speed and the inclusion of some more "bad" creatures (vizier and druid) brought down some of the value we had before (anafenza is a better card in a vacuum than these two).
Today I'm not comfortable in running the druid/vizier combo. Too easily disrupted, and after disruption all we get is a couple of non-impactful guys on the table. I'm much more into having the midrange/value package of bant company.
Oh, right. I wasn't thinking about the natural stone activation. But I think I'm not too worried about O Stone because spell queller can counter those. And we also have pridemage and Stony silence. And nowadays no one is playing Valakut decks at my local game shop, so I guess it's just a matter of what I'm most afraid of.
On the countermagic subject, I'm currently playing 3 Unified Will + 1 Negate on my sideboard, those really do some nice work against Tron
I think mostly lists lately have been quite alike. And I really like brosterman's list, by the way. I'm playing a similar list, but I play more basics (lots of fields of ruin and blood moon around here) instead of 1 botanical sanctum and 1 stirring wildwood. And I also play Nissa over Jace (due to that awesome reason of not having Jace), but I'm thinking about trying the mind sculptor just to feel if makes that much of a difference.
And I also like having a second ghost quarter SB, Tron is quite hard to beat without quarter + stony silence =/
Unless Lantern Control had the lock set up, why didn't you try to play under the bridge with Exalted guys on game 2? Although Lantern matchup is tough, we actually have several ways to combat semi-lock situations with Exalted, card draw (Tireless Tracker, etc), shuffles (fetches, CoCo) which can negate a soft lock by shuffling away your top card, and you even play Stony Silence. Some decks even have Kessig Wolf Run. I wouldn't concede right away.
I actually conceded next turn when he whired for bridge. And he already had a lantern in play, played it on turn 1. It was a good friend of mine, and I just did not want to keep on playing that miserable game. But that made me wonder how hard that match up can be.
I used to play abzan/counters company, and as the deck is faster and does not need to attack to win the game, it was not that hard to win. Also have already won with infect. But my local meta shifted to a "fairer" environment, and the value in Bant Company lists is far superior. I'm actually quite happy I managed to defeat Tron with this deck, so i'm not giving that much ***** about losing that last round =)
I played another 4 round tournament yesterday, and once again ended up 3-1.
R1 - G Tron - 2x1
G1: Even though I had ghost quarter on turn 2 and path for his wurmcoil engine on turn 4, he played T5 karn, T6 o. stone + wurmcoil and T7 Ugin.
G2: My opener was Fetch, Fetch, Ghost Quarter, Noble Hierarch, Stony Silence, Unified Will, Meddling Mage, and my second draw was another GQ.
G3: Once again Stony Silence on turn 2 won the game.
R2 - Esper Control - 2x0
G1: Hierarch into Hierarch + Voice (got pathed) into Tracker + Fetch + Clique to take his Jace away = GG
G2: After trading a few spells, I played a Courser of Kruphix. He played EE on 3, but did not blow it. Courser hit him 2 or 3 times, until he attempted to play Gideon Jura, but I had negate. Next turn he played Collective Brutality to duress away my CoCo. Played CoCo in response, finding Queller and Ooze. Quellered the Brutality, and he popped the explosives. Chose duress mode again, and I had only creatures in hand. On The following turns I played a couple more creatures that ended the game.
R3 - UW Control - 2x0
G1: I had meddling mage on turn 2 to name Supreme Verdict. He had 2 verdicts in hand =) Couple of creatures and Spell Quellers were enough to close the game.
G2: He managed to handle my first turns and played an Elspeth, Sun's Champion on Turn 6, taking my Knight and Tracker. I played a queller on the end of turn to pressure Elspeth. He played Rest in Peace and made 9 soldier tokens overall, but basically had nothing else. I had 2 Knights + Tracker making millions of clues, and that's too much for him.
R4 - Lantern Control - 0x2
G1: I had meddling mage for Bridge, and that was my only hope. He played T1 Bauble + Shredder + Mox, T2 Lantern, T3 whir for Pyrite Spellbomb, T4 Bridge.
G2: I mulled to 6, kept fetch fetch birds queller queller negate and scryed stony silence to the top. He took my negate away on T2, I played T2 Silence and he had T2 seal of primordium. Conceded right there. How the hell do we beat this deck?
Idk if I would say she's not a win condition. The matchups she really shines in are the games that tend to go long (control, Midrange mirrors). I've won a lot of games where I topdeck her at 8 mana in a board stall and just win on the spot.
I guess I did not express myself well enough when I said she wasn't a kill condition. I meant like a "different kind" of kill condition, like Jace, that allows to ignore ensnaring bridge when we have him on the battlefield. But I agree with you, when the board is stalled she's a hell of a topdeck.
Overall it seems like Jace has been a good card, but not the best. Once again: would Nissa, Steward of Elements be better? Nissa can be played on turn 2 (with a dork) and +2, from turn 3 on her 0 ability with 3 counters seems awesome: you put a land or creature into play every turn, unless your top card is CoCo, path, or another Nissa (and SB cards on post board games). Her +2 can be somewhat compared to Jace's 0 if what we need is find sideboard cards.
- she's not a win condition
- does not bounce creatures
- dies to abrupt decay
I'm not a huge fan of having only one copy of Ghost Quarter. I play a second one on SB.
About Jace: I do not own any Jaces, and I would really like him to be worse than Nissa, Steward of Elements. But I simply cannot believe that will turn out to be true =(
The Brainstorm ability is better than Nissa's Scry 2, Fateseal may be relevant against Tron, bouncing is quite good too, and the ultimate is an awesome kill condition even through ensnaring bridge.
R1 - G Tron - 0x2
Pretty much nothing I could do. Mulled to 6 on the draw, kept a hand with a ghost quarter and no mana dork. The guy went T1 mine map, T2 power plant,i blew up one of his lands, he searched for the other with the map, and next turn played sylvan scrying with the forest he got from GQ. T4 Karn, killed with 2 creatures from CoCo, Turn 5 Ulamog exiling both creatures, Turn 6 Ugin and I conceded. The next game was pretty much the same, I had an Unified Will but he just got a lot of threats in hand.
R2 - Skred - 2x0
A friend of ours plays a quite unusual skred list, with Ensnaring Bridges and Chandra ToD in addition to Koth. G1 he played two bridges and got me 2 life. My courser recovered some of my life, and I had both my tireless trackers and a KotR making me draw cards every turn. Eventually I drew my qasali and my witness and blew both bridges. G2 he played t3 blood moon and I had turn 3 Rec Sage. Turns 4 and 5 I played two KotR. He popped a relic to make my knights 2/2 and tried anger of the gods on the following turn, but I had played a GQ and grew my knights to 4/4s. He showed 3 more angers in hand and conceded.
R3 - Eldrazi Tron - 2x0
He did not play any Smashers on these games. Two Thought-Knot Seers, but my voices are pretty nice blockers for those =)
Both games I won hitting with spell quellers, and the only thing that scared me was All is Dust, but I kept Unified Will in hand to counter that.
R4 - BG Midrange - 2x0
All the value my creatures give were too much for him to handle. Both grindy games, but not that hard.