~55 people, top 4 split. I was undefeated in the swiss and got manascrewed, tilted, and made many misplays in my top 8 match against UW. T3 Inq seeing both Gideons of the Trials was tilting too. But my friend (with essentially my list) and I both were X-1 in matches, his only loss being to me in the swiss. Our car put 3 people in the top 8.
Blight Herder is a bomb, it makes Reality Smasher look like draft chaff. There are many spots where a Herder would win where a Smasher would not, and very few where a Smasher would do the job but a Herder wouldn't get there.
You don't need to cast sculler 90% on curve when an 85% castable sculler is vastly better than a 100% replacement, say mind stone. The GP winning deck does not have the sources to support Sculler with that level of consistency however, I would recommend (and actually play) 18 colored no problem. Also when doing your assumptions don't factor in the chance of drawing sculler and lands, what you need to find is the chance of drawing the lands in time given you've already drawn a sculler
You don't replace her, you construct a sb without her that still covers all of the matchups you want. Easier said than done, but elephanting out the deck and testing every matchup you consider likely to face is how you can go about doing that. Given that Lili is a stopgap against random bull*****, good against big mana decks, combo, and midrange, you want to cover all of those bases, though not necessarily with the same slots. For example run an extra fulminator (big mana), and anguished unmaking(bull*****, midrange and tron), and a Lili last hope(mindrange and affinity), and cut a stony silence, this way you really only weaken each matchup lili was good in by a bit, flat on slots for affinity, midrange, lose one on tron, and your already good combo matchup suffers the biggest loss. Not ideal, but very workable
Nothing from Amonkhet.
third GQ would have to be over a temple, if I did that swap I'd replace a Thought Knot with a Night's Whisper.
Thoughtknots are slightly worse on the draw, usually i board them out against terminate and LOTV decks too. Blight Herder rarely comes out, you always want the closing power, even against decks that you cant reliably process against like affinity. Sculler is something i trim on the draw against decks where the body doesnt matter like affinity, also cut them against kolaghans command decks. also its the only guy who dies to bolt and spell snare, so board them out if you think those cards will still be in after boarding. Strangler I sometimes trim one against control, if they dont have visions. Its good against stuff like tron cause its often a 3/2 for 2 which is very aggressive. Sorin I bring out against infect.
I will be cutting an aven from the board for a fragmentize for a big event this weekend, it is the only way to answer a leyline of sanctity on turn 1 and is flexible
nothing in the deck is weak or questionable in the main. the board aven wrath stony lotv and blessed are all cards i feel like are the best for their slots, but over time with meta shifts could all end up not in the 75 down the line
Against jund board out all your seizes and inqs, if you are familiar with jund mirrors youll know why
oh, most important thing with boarding...collective brutality. board it out in most matchups, it rarely stays in. it is so nice to have an easy cut to make room for sick sb stuff, and the card is so insane in certain matchups and never that bad in others that its absolutely great to play main
brutality and inq out. aven (if they have chord/knight), zealous, wrath in. I dont have a problem with these kinds of decks, we have relic, souls, paths, stranglers, herders. you may have been unlucky and it is also can be a tricky matchup, but test it out, get comfortable, and youll be fine
Aven just deals with big mana decks so much cleaner, its just way fewer hoops to jump through than surgical, especially when either will usually get there I want the one that is more convenient to use. Although the surgical combo is more powerful, it is wildly less consistent and also has very little residual value in other matchups, where Aven is nice to pressure walkers and in general is more flexible. However, if you want to cut cards for big mana matchups to make room to hedge against other decks, Aven is certainly one of the more cuttable cards from the SB
Lotv is actually great in this type of deck because she is useful in so many matchups. Essentially any deck that cant win by turn 3 and doesn't have lingering souls or wilt-leaf she comes in. She is a rare answer to certain hard to beat cards like ensnaring bridge, and she attacks from another axis, the diversity of threats is the strength of this deck. Last hope could be good too, but she is better against decks I don't need more cards against, and way less powerful against the Jund/Grixis/UWR midrange decks of the world. Another reason I play LOTV is her utility in combo matchups, discard into her is a game winning plan, she is just so good when you can force her through countermagic and then use her to finish off their hand. Bring her in against Tron, Scapeshift, Ad Nauseum, Jund, Grixis(non pyro version), UWR, Boggles(we need the help here), Bant Drazi, Death's Shadow(LLH is pretty bad here), etc. Bottom line is Edict is better than -2/-1 in this meta, you need hard removal.
Wrath is and isn't a budget choice, it is because I don't currently own Damnations, but isn't because even if I did I would still play Wrath. WW is something Id rather prioritize in aggro matchups because of Path, I fetch plains more than swamp. The only decks I bring in Wrath and Lotv (WW and BB) dont pressure my mana and give me plenty of time to find my colors, such as Bant Eldrazi and Jund, so in those cases it doesn't matter which spell it is.
Blessed Alliance was an upgrade to spellskite, and a large one against Burn and Death's Shadow. They come in for the same matchups such as boggles and infect. The card is very flexible and powerful where you need it, but its more of a silver bullet than most of the SB. Things like LOTV and Zealous Persecution come in against a wide array of matchups, while Blessed has its 4-5 matchups. I've pleyed without the card and really missed it, its really just earned its place. I have used the untap mode before against Grixis, both edicting away a snapcaster and untapping a blight herder and scion to double block a tasigur, but it comes up very infrequently. Just the first 2 modes are enough
I used to play grafdiggers cage for coco but have since found it completely unnecessary, as the matchup is insanely favored to begin with. I replaced the cage with Aven as it hits chord as well as a huge swath of the format, and doesnt have antisynergy with lingering souls. Zealous is a house, Relic main is a house, Wrath is amazing, we kinda just grind coco decks to dust and have ample ways to prevent them from a ninja combo. The deck has also dropped in marketshare, but this all may change with amonkhet. We will see the strongest version of combo-chord yet, and that may end up requiring some tweak to the board. Aether grid is a good card against up, its a reason to leave in IOK against affinity. I agree that an answer for it would be nice, I recommend Fragmentize or plain jane Disenchant. Or if you really want a card for affinity you could play fracturing gust, it stabilizes your life a cleans up their board of any creatures, grids, and Bitterblossoms.
1-2 vs affinity, missing my thrid land drop g1 and drawing 10 lands and 6 spells g3.
2-0 vs Burn, not close. Given that we were in the 0-1 bracket I gave my opponent the friendly advice not to overboard into situational cards like Deflecting Palm, but he does not heed my advice and dies g2 with 2 of them in hand.
2-0 vs Zoo, bad hands for the matchup but played with a cool head and wasn't afraid to trade my TKS for a narnarm renegade when it was necessary. Played around Atarka's command at all times, and never feared the top of his deck. I play that deck, I know what its capabilities and its limitations are.
2-0 vs burn, Won game 2 at one. Made sure to take lines that would end up with my life at 5 with lethal for the next turn through searing blaze. the most damage he could possibly draw is boros charm, and draw it he did. gotta make your own luck, against decks like burn you can find lines even if they require you to take more damage earlier. your life is a resource, use it, dont be afraid.
2-1 vs Abzan, game 1 mulliganned a hand with seize, 2 souls and 2 sorin. Felt it was too weak against anything but jundy decks, and mulled to nearly the same hand but without the souls. Even though I got punished, on the blind it was a fine mulligan, especially because of my strength in games 2 and 3 vs abzan. My opponent was tilted and misplayed in subsequent games, but the writing was already on the wall and it did little to affect the outcome.
2-0 vs Death's Shadow, this was a breeze. g2 I had the gq interaction I mentioned, and later on in that game I made attacks that were sure to present lethal on the next turn and keep his life just high enough that a topdecked street wraith cycled into another street wraith into a temur battle rage would leave me at 1
2-1 vs valakut. was dead game 1 to any cards off the top other than valakut, forest, and khalani heart expedition for 2 turns. He drew forest forest and I stole it. game 2 I got crushed by a courser into a fast primetime. once they get multiple valakuts going the game is over. G3 I curved sculler into sculler into fulminator and never cracked the fulm. if they have 7 lands and draw scapeshift, you can destroy a mountain (not valakut) and stop 15 of the 18 damage coming your way due to the intervening if clause on valaukut that checks your other mountain count both when the trigger goes on the stack and tries to resolve. Dont crack your fulminator unless they for example have 5 lands and you can keep them off primetime for a turn, the 2 damage clock is important. Hard matchup, you need to do a lot of math and cost/benefit analysis
Seed #1 going into the top 8, we almost split but one guy didnt want to (which saved me from having to make the hard choice, do I split and just go home or be the ******** who makes everyone play?)
Quarters against affinity. G1 I had a good draw against his medium draw, and was able to chump with lingering souls while beating down long enough to survive any crazy draws, like a second ravager or a master of etherium. he had glint nest crane, which I am glad to see on the other side of the table given the alternatives. I was also likely dead to a line he could have taken involving poisoning me over 2 turns and praying i dont draw path/push/gq/souls, but he took the low risk low reward line. He regretted it, and I agreed that he should have gone for it instead of waiting. g2 I drew both zealous, and although one was enough to put me way ahead, the second one saved us from having to do combat math. 2-0
Semi's Bant Eldratzi. this deck is very different than ours, we are the control player for sure. landing the first tks is big tho, and they have access to way more tricks. g1 was easy, I tore up his hand and board and easily raced a smasher. G2 I have the hardest sculler of the day, with a wrath in hand I know he will eventually get the card back. He has drowner, smasher, and worship, and 3 lands in play, one being a temple. I took the worship, knowing I would need to draw a second wrath and a shambling vents to be able to beat it waaay down the line. My hope was that he would whiff on land for turn and I would be able to pressure him enough to deprive him of the opportunity to ever play the worship profitably, or find a processor in time. he got the land i hoped to fade and curved smasher into drowner, which I was ready for with my wrath. my wrath puts the worship back into his hand, and with 2 path in hand i know my line is to kill him before he draws scion producers. he draws skyspawner of course and that plus an noble and worship means his fortress is impenatrable. I get him to one and have to draw a zealous before he draws a bigger than 1 toughness guy or outright kills me, and he finds a drowner. g3 I curve relic into strangler (kills his displacer) into souls into blight herder, which is way more than his "low energy" reality smashers can swing into while I assainate him with the spirit of Gene Wilder (courtesy of RK Post)in the air.
Finals. Bant Eldrazi again. It was late so we split the finals, taking home 600 bucks cash and an invite each. Given that I was top seed coming in I got top billing
So I went 8-1 in matches, 16-4 in games. Deck is great, I have changed nothing since the event, even though I've played in a couple fnm-type events since (2-1 and 4-0). Ask me anything, except why Smasher is so much worse than Herder, I've beaten that poor ghoulsteed to life by now.
Sure @makoy27, I'll run through those matchups you mentioned
Burn is easy, just take out the 2 Seize for the 2 Blessed Alliance. This matchup is why I play the Inq and Seize split I do, if I only had 1 card to bring in I'd play 4/1 Inq/Seize. If you get a chance look up the Elephant method by Zvi Mowshowitz.
Merfolk I bring in 2 Zealous and 2 Wrath. Take out the Inquisitions and either a Brutality or a TKS, depending if they have Vapor Snag and on your play/draw. Strangler is great here, even with nothing in exile he can target a Kira or a Phantasmal Image to trigger them.
Grixis is pretty fluid, depending on their threat suite (Young Pyro means Zealous does work)and the role you wish to assume in the game (you can go control with Wraths and board out your TKS, or try to play a jund game and protect your threats with timely discard). If they have Inquisition in their deck you want to take yours out, because you will get into a topdeck war. If they have manaleaks and such 1 mana discard can be great. Careful with Tidehallow Sculler, it empowers their kommands to an absurd rate. Liliana is strong against non pyro versions, and blessed alliance is too assuming they dont have discard to be able to play around it. Just make sure you have a cohesive plan, decide what role you would like to take and construct a deck that does that well. Careful not to be rigid locking in that plan in game, you have to be quick on your feet. Often I will adjust my plan drastically between games, especially with more info on not just their deck contents but how they try to strategically leverage their cards.
Affinity is rough but winnable, we have alot for the matchup. Bring in 2 Stony, 2 Zealous, 2 Wrath, and 1 Needle. Board out Seizes, 1-2 Relics, 2-3 Scullers, and 1-2 TKS.
Mardu control I would bring in Pithing needle and Zealous Persecution for Walkers and Lingering souls respectively. Aven could be good if they have walkers to pressure, especially on the play. Id take out inquisitions (seize hits nahiri/damnation/sorin) and ditch brutalities if they dont have Bob.
Best peice of advice sideboarding is to always have a plan and don't overboard, I've lost more games to overboading than anything else in my control
PS: had plains swamp gq in play, liliana, fatal push and useless temples in hand against a liliana and an opponent with a an inq and a deaths shadow in hand. He sees I only have 1 black source and takes my push, the playing the shadow. on my turn I float B and gq my own swamp to cast the lili, he didnt see it coming. I easily won the lili vs lili topdeck war due to the relative strength of my token based threats vs his single body topdeckables. GQ is amazing
Wrath is better than Damnation as usally you are prioritizing white mana for path in matchups where you board it in. Wrath never gets boarded in with Fulminator, but sometimes does with Lilina. However, I may cut 1 Wrath for a Fragmentize, in order to have an answer to some random stuff, but I am not certain. The second Wrath is better against Creature decks which we are already strong against, the Fragmentize would help in some harder matchups like Lantern, Ad Nauseum and Tron.
Otherwise I wouldn't change a card in the maindeck, and I still prefer BW Processors as the deck name if you are, and you should be, playing Blight Herder. The card is unreal, I can't remember the last time I drew it and wished it were a Smasher.
This decks bad hands win so many games it's unreal, I've won plenty games where I've drawn literally 5 spells and 10 lands. Mull to 5 keep something like: souls/strangler land temple herder relic? Sweet!
~Ride the iguana, it's what surfer's say in the Galapagos (probably)
SB no Surgicals, one less Fulm, one more Aven, one more Stony Silence, no Cage, Blessed Alliance instead of Skite, and 2 Lotv
Lost R1 to Bant Eldrazi (he got second) with on curve Disdainful Stroke, and R4 to Affinity keeping a g2 hand of Stony Vents, 5 more lands and drawing Pithing Needle then 4 lands in a row. Beat Tron twice, Grixis, Junk, Bantdrzai, Titanshift, and Affinity. Deck felt good. Didn't face Burn, Merfolk, or Eldrazi Tron
Tituba9, you have to be careful with antisynergy in your sideboard. You can't play Stony Silence and
Engineered Explosives and Ratchet bombs without having issues of them stepping on eachother's toes. They all come in in the same matchup, Affinity. You also have Mind Stone.
As for Smasher sticking to the board way better, I've found that not to be the case. Against counterspells Herder obviously is better. And against a Path to Exile I'd rather have 3 1/1s stick around than have my opponent discard a card.
Beatox, those changes sound good. I'd prefer the third Strangler over the 3rd Displacer, and the first Timely over the 3rd Blessed Alliance. I just put an Alliance in my Board I'm excited to try it out. It has such great utiliy against Burn, Infect, Death's Shadow, Boggles and even Scapeshift (Though Rest is better there). Nothing feels better than "take 18?" "Sure gain some life and live". Feed the clan does something similar out of Jund.
Deadmedix, I think that Lili/Displacer swap is fine, it's one I almost made right before the open. The Lili is definitely better, but it's close. And I stand by the full 4 Vents, especially because I usually want all of my fetches to get basics. But that swap should be fairly inconsequential, as would the IOK/Sieze. It's been a busy week so I've yet to try the Dec in Stone, but its a pretty obvious inclusion that I'm eager to test in the Dismember slot as you mentioned. Good luck at your next modern event!
Deaddrift, you keep bringing up me not having enough colored sources and linking an article which says I have more than enough for 2 drops (13, I have 15 and 16 White and Black respectively). Not considering every option available to you no matter how bad it feels gives up such a big edge in games of magic. Embrace counterintuitive plays, they come up and are the deciding factor in turning a loss into a win. Winning isn't always pretty. As for Ghost Quarter, I use it offensively almost every time, the utility is immense, and having the option to hit your own lands can't be bad. Don't do it to fix your mana willy nilly, but if it leads to you being able to cast a series of game winning cards which you otherwise could not without giving up enough tempo to keep you from winning, you'd be foolish to not.
Hey Beatox, list looks good. I've found Surgical Extraction, Disenchant, Ratchet Bomb, and Memoricide to be underperformers, and Zealous Persecution and Damnation to be overperformers of the cards you have in your board.
DCteamup, I worry your mana is being hurt by cards like Cavern of Souls, which look enticing but actually don't help cast much. Flaying Tendrils is not worth the sideboard slot, as Deadrift pointed out it is only good against Abzan Coco (driven out of thge meta by Dredge hate), 8 Whack (Budget Deck), and Elves (which though it won the invitational, is not all that popular, and Wrath of God and Zealous are way better in the matchup anyway). Also I'd like to hear your reasoning on Hallowed Moonlight, what problem cards/archetypes does that answer?