It's a 2-for-1 that's a method of uncounterably putting either a Knight or a Retreat into play. It costs some mana, but with dorks getting to 5 mana doesn't seem difficult, and especially so with retreat+dorks, or knight as pseudo-ramp.
Anyone tried it? It's more mana efficient than wargate, potentially, but obviously not as precise, but also synergizes pretty well with Courser of Kruphix (providing a shuffle effect and a way to take advantage of knowledge of your top card).
Because it's a cast trigger it's not vulnerable to stuff that is normally a problem for us, like tempo counterspells and such. Having your Chord remanded feels pretty poor, but this guy does not want to interact--he just wants to spit out free cards.
Lol great minds think alike. I have been testing a knight retreat list in the devotion shell with hydra as the payoff card For a few weeks now for exactly the reasons you give. It's been pretty good so far. Hitting both halves, atarka, garruk, as well as every sideboard card seems like great value
. It might end up being a little better than 'janky'
The anti-synergy is that retreat reduces your chances of hitting a good creature to a borderline unacceptable level.
And it really isnt that hard to argue with scattered, weak results. They really dont give us anything we didnt know. It is nice to seeing retreat lists performing though.
I have been playing with the deck a lot. Chord has been amazing almost always, and is never poor-to-bad. The odds on company says it wont be at any level (in our deck) that it is in other decks that perform with it. You dont need to test with it to come to that conclusion-you can just run the math.
I think we can look at top finishing decklists for indications as to which builds are the "best". Best is contextual - so we should keep that in mind, but AFAIK the only lists that have placed in an event were Lantern's MTGO result, and the following in SCG states:
As far as I can tell, the only empirical evidence we have include Collected Company as a card in the deck. Perhaps the discussion should start to transition away from brewing like mad-men, and towards decklists with results.
Interesting to see that Abzan company can just kinda jam in a couple retreats.
But there is a pattern: all decklists with results run Collected Company - Blue Naya, Blue Abzan and Bant.
I think thats more a symptom that people are taking existing archetypes (abzan and naya company) and jamming retreats in, instead of building the deck from the ground up.
3 results total really isnt a pattern. Now If we saw 1st place lists left and right, maybe we would be on to something. Still-variance is a huge part of magic. You can have 100 people play the deck, and 3 people end up doing well, but we cant conclude that that then is the best list by seeing that 3 people did well. The average record of the deck couldve been 1-5 for all we know, these 3 just ran a little good or had favorable matchups/opponents (or not, maybe they just crushed people).
Now, it still doesnt rule out that these lists could be headed in the right direction. But it isnt a confirmation of that fact.
Company just clashes with retreat way too much, and bant colors dont provide enough good hits evenly dispersed throughout the curve. No paths in that one list? Not over my dead body.
Not going into CoCo lets you run a wider range of creatures and more non-creature spells overall. However, CoCo seems to add some non-combo explosiveness to the deck. I (and a few others) have been trying chord of calling--it is slower and less explosive, but more precise. Chord plus retreat gets you the combo, while CoCo plus retreat might get you the combo.
Another alternative with some legs is commune with the gods searches for either combo piece and turns on some graveyard tricks, including making goyf more useful in these builds.
That having been said, I think CoCo builds are currently favored.
Thanks for the info! I really am going to have to squeeze wolfrun in, aren't I?
I think running the math shows that bant coco builds just really aren't that good-its too inconsistent (as opposed to abzan) and if you want to push the consistency, then you ruin the curve.
I also think commune is too clunky/inconsistent for modern (at least, in a non-enchantress style deck, which currently doesnt exist).
Ad Nauseam and Amulet Bloom both maindeck 1 bullet Slaughter Pact. Ad Nauseam needs it to kill Spellskite mid-combo, so its resources are going to be stretched. Elves's creature removal is stuck in the board, though beware of instant-speed Reclamation Sage meaning that not even Sejiri Steppe can protect the combo.
Ah yes slaughter pact in those 2 (although ad nausem does not care about spellskite in the slightest [neither lightning storm or conflagrate cares about spellskite, and they run 1 of each]; I've played against it a few times and haven't seen a slaughter pact yet).
Enchantment removal does nothing to the combo if you have a fetchland in play (either as your land drop for the turn or if your opponent mistakenly lets you knight at least once) so I usually wouldn't be worried about rec sage. A nice thing about underplayed (in this case, new) combos is that people don't know how to beat it. People siding in enchantment removal will -usually- be disappointed.
On Sejiri Steppe:
The opponents that will get juked by Steppe the most often are opponents with few removal spells, such as Amulet Bloom, Ad Nauseam, Elves, Affinity, and Melira Company. Those opponents are the most likely to ignore KotR until they are sure you're on a combo deck (after all, they'd rather kill hate bears that stop them from winning like Meddling Mage, Scavenging Ooze, Aven Mindcensor, Kataki, and Izzet Staticaster).
...A ton of fair opponents will just kill KotR on sight, though.
What removal that kills knight would amulet, ad nauseam, and elves play? Mayyybe 1 dismember in their board?
Affinity has gav blast maybe, which usually wont kill knight anyways.
Yeah, midrange path decks (melira and the mirror) are the most likely to be blown out for holding on to their 1 path til the right moment. Still, its that 1/100.
An uncracked fetch usually works just fine for me. If you're not attacking, you're probably behind. Combo or not, as you said. But there's really no situation where having an uncracked fetch on the board doesn't protect the knight apart from the turn you drop her. I guess I just feel like running one Steppe makes more sense than dedicating 3-4 slots to protecting the combo when the combo is an oops I win, anyway. I run a coco list, so I'm not usually worried about finding another one or racing through removal.
If you reread my previous post, I addressed -exactly- the gameplay scenario you describe. It will not happen like you are saying in real gameplay against real opponents. Realize that I am not advocating running maindeck negates/dispels whatever to protect the combo. I am just saying sejeri steppe does NOT work as you describe in real tournaments.
And I am still of the opinion chord>>>coco in this deck. Coco messes up our curve way way too much to get any reasonable % of getting value and so is unreliable. We do NOT have 1-2 mana combo pieces that we can find, and our voices we find are worse than abzans because we can't 'turn them on' with a sack outlet. So we have to cram even more 3 drops in our already packed 3-drop deck in order to have enough good hits. This is a much worse coco deck than abzan. Just run the percentages. At absolute best we are about 50-60% to find 2 good hits (with a bad curve), which is still worse than hitting all parts of a combo. Abzan is like 85-90% because of the combo pieces it can hit.
I dunno, when I was actively testing I tended to untap with knights and no retreat pretty regularly, and using the knight to threaten allowed me to swing for gavony beats with the team. Eventually playing chicken leads to blanking removal.
It was really, really bad when you drew it had and had a tap-plains though. Really bad.
So, when you untap with knights and no retreats regularly, do you then proceed to never activate or attack with knight until you draw a retreat (because if you arent attacking then you wont win until you can combo simply because you arent attacking)? Because if you do either at any point, you then turn your opps removal back on, and steppe remains useless. If you are sitting there with any untapped knight while townshipping with multiple other creatures in play, then your opponents spot removal is already poor simply because you are townshipping with multiple creatures in play. So, usually a winmore scenario to 'protect' your useless (because you arent activating or attacking with it) knight while you township your opp to death.
So, basically taking it out makes the deck more forgiving on our opponents. If they don't realize they must kill the knight on the spot, then we are safe? But if we don't keep it in, they are free to kill our knight at any point?
I realize the interaction. However, you have to think what went on for the game to get to that state:
You have had to have knight in play for more than one turn. All removal heavy decks will kill it the turn you play knight if they have any removal (because they wouldn't want you to get any value out of knight, much less get potentially blown out by a possible sejeri steppe), and if they don't have a removal, then steppe doesn't matter.
If you have an untapped knight sitting on a board stall (or else 99% of the time its just better to attack than wait to combo), then you will have had to never use knight during end step for value, or your opponent would kill it in resp. So, your knight would have to sit there doing actual nothing, which is not what I signed up for when paying 3 mana in modern.
So, for this to actually ever be relevant, It would have to be a board stall against a removal heavy deck, where you never activate or attack with knight, then you draw the combo, and your opponent managed to draw a removal in the meantime, and has not cast it at any point on any card in play. In all other game states, you will have a tapped knight in play at some point, for your opponent to kill, and steppe will do nothing.
All I'm saying is, the scenario people are describing almost never comes up in real play against players that know whats up. I understand the interaction is nice, and was good in a slower format, but drawing a tapped, mono-white, non-plains will cost you more games than it will save you.
But when do u have an untapped knight? You attack with it or use its ability, and then they kill it.
So, if you have a kotr in play, have untapped with it (if they are smart the will kill it before you untap), and then you dont attack with it at any point, and dont use its ability to grow it/get value, then yeah, sejeri step is useful.
So, almost never.
However, it is very good value that we can 'threaten' steppe and make our opponents play awkwardly, but we don't have to register the card to actually do that.
I disagree. 1 mana is a lot less than 2 , and commune cant find path/chord. The main reason I cut walls for them is the mana reduction, and that's the biggest draw. 1 mana is a lot lot lot less mana than 2 (compare how much 1 mana filtering is played in modern to 2 mana filtering). I don't see any conflict with mana dorks-can you elaborate? It seems good with dorks since you are more likely to have an extra mana laying around to visions, though it does suck to draw a mana dork after turn 3. Also, scry is fantastic with courser. That being said...I will try out a commune or two. maybe.
I haven't played with the serum visions yet, but they seem ok. They were: +1 pridemage, +1 chord, +2 wall of omens. I might end up going down to 2 or 3 serum visions, but idk what creatures to replace them with. I also am not sure if I'm going greedy by only running 22 lands and 6 dorks, so I could cut 2 visions for a land/dork, but I then again am not totally happy with having 30 mana sources in the deck. The Sb chamco is also an untested experiment I just saw a few mins ago earlier in the sub, and could be a worthy anti jund/grixis big dude, though it isn't as good against uw control, and that's the grindy matchup where we need the most help.
Sorry for the big post I am noob-how do I hide text?
To the people saying flash creatures/manlands are giving them problems:
Flash creatures and manlands are just like any other creature-u just tap them down before they block. If you combo correctly then they do nothing special at all. They key is to complete your combo AFTER blockers have been declared, not during your mainphase.
Rogues passage is merely cute and it competes with ghost quarter and township, and you can only run so many colorless lands. Passage only matters in the affinity mu and boggles. Against affinity, the combo isnt that good anyways since we are life-sensitive and they may have spellskite, plus we have a lot of powerful sb options. And boggles i like 2% of the meta, and we cant combo them anyways if they have a lifelink enchantment.
Ghost quarter is the best colorless land imo because it is good-to-strong in about 70% of matchups in modern (as well as adding 2 more lands to the gy to help combo). Township is fine against jund and grixis sometimes, but can be a little superfluous. The games you lose u tend to get outclassed by a powerful creature (bob, jace, olivia, tasagur) and tapping 5 mana every turn doesnt always solve this problem. The tempo loss from townshipping 3 times can be just as bad (like Pokken said).
1) commune with the gods. Way to slow for modern. You can't get by in modern my spending 2 mana for a filtering effect without a huge upside (sylvan scrying).
2) 4x voice is absolutely a must for this deck. Yeah a grizzly bear sucks against about half the field, but against the other half, voice is the 2nd best card in our deck besides Path. It makes your opponent make weird plays, and you can punish them for it with chord. Its also the best 2 drop we can play (sorry goyf), and we need a good 2 drop for when we dont have the dork draw.
3) As a lot of people have said, I think company sucks in our deck.
4) A big one: I think sejeri steppe is godawful. Its a very 'magical christmasland' card, and is just too punishing for modern when drawn, and hurts our dmg output when we combo. Cut it, its real bad. If it ever has saved an attacking knight when you combo by holding a fetch, then it is only because your opponent misplayed. It will NOT work once people become savvy. Plus, bonus, our opponent may think we are (incorrectly) on sejeri steppe, so they will usually (correctly) play like we have one in our deck.
I've been passionately working on this deck for a few weeks now, and have had great results (though small sample size is hard to predict. Ive only played probably 20 irl tournament rounds total, though I am like 17-3). Lets keep up the tuning guys!