I've noticed and uptick in Blood moon myself as well as skred decks. Celestial purge is a great sideboard card now.
2 of my last 3 match losses on mtgo have been two storm decks that slowed me down immensely with a T2 blood moon. The first time I made the mistake of not pre-boarding for it, but the second time I did pre-board and it didn't matter. The other loss was to eldrazi tron, because they managed to get two Batterskulls on the field at the same time. Batterskull is incredibly difficult to deal with when we don't get an anguished Unmaking to remove it. Both of these things make me think of changing the path/push slot in the SB to a single disenchant. It fairly easily removes blood moon, and other problem enchantments like The Rack, the tokens one that gives white creatures +1/+1, and the one you sometimes see against Valakut decks that gets counters and fetches lands. It also hits b-skull, helps us in a pretty even affinity matchup, and hits tron artifacts (mostly referring to U tron here). I see all of these decks in my local meta, and because mtgo meta is so wide open, I think disenchant almost has to be a better decision than path/push number 7.
Im also going to cut a reshaper and put my own b-skull back in the main deck for a while (my current tappedout.net list has not been updated in a while, I haven't used it recently). It's pretty big that it can be cast through blood moon, and will definitey buy us time to get the lands/mind stones we need thanks to lifelink. It helps us against other Batterskulls because now the opponent won't be swinging away for lifegain and getting ahead because we can compete with them. I'm experiencing games that go well beyond 6 turns and getting a B skull on the field and being able to make it stick will tilt the game in our favor quickly. You guys have any thoughts on these two ideas?
I had a crazy game against 8-whack zoo earlier today, I had to mull to 4 and he kept a 7, but because of a Liliana that only survived until my opponent atarkas commanded it and then played a whack to finish it off on their turn right after I played it and removed a creature with her, and a vault to power my lone creature, a smasher, with lifelink, I out grinded them. Felt amazing to claw back into it from what felt like a very difficult situation at the start.
Edit: disenchant is also sick against merfolk, removing an aether vial is huge for us, as can be removing a spreading seas on an important land (or to prevent island walk AFTER they've declared attacks and catching them in a 'gotcha' moment).
I've only been playing this deck casually but really like some of the new suggestions on the past couple of pages (Lili, Endless One).
New Lili feels much better than Sorin. After playing Sorin I always feel like I need to leave something back to protect him, which conflicts with what you want to do for maximum lifegain. Lili can either protect herself or replace herself. Her ultimate is also much closer to a free win than Sorin's.
It's maybe kind of loose but I've been playing around with a one-of Whip of Erebos. Same CMC as Sorin, same lifelink anthem (that doesn't die on the crack-back) and the buyback ability is not irrelevant.
Why not both? If you look at my previous post I went 9-1 over two leagues on mtgo with one of each walker. It increased the consistency of games where I played a walker, and having both on the field at once is insane! Sorin does need protecting, but he can make a 2/2 flyer to help out with that and it is highly underrated. Lili needs protecting too, if there's already two creatures down when you play her and they both have more than 1 toughness, you're going to need some board presence very fast or she won't last more than a turn or two.
Way back in early 2015 there were a few of us using whip, myself included. It was pretty sweet. But there's to major reasons why it fell off. First is the non-bo with relic, where relic clears our own GY and also whip only brings the creature back for one combat, whereas Lili let's you keep it forever. Secondly, many many decks pack some sort of enchantment hate in the side or main for blood moon, or nature's claim for artifacts. These are the reasons cards like kalitas and Sorin took over the lifegain slot. Walkers are generally much harder for opponents to answer.
Hey guys, I've had a very busy first couple weeks of the semester, and haven't gotten to play much since aether Revolt released. I did play an FNM to a disappointing 1-2 record last Friday, where it felt I was always drawing the wrong half of my deck. However this weekend I played two friendly leagues on mtgo, and in the first one I got my first ever 5-0 in a league! The next league I lost the first round and won the next 4 to finish 4-1. Im at work so I can't look up my opponents right now. Fatal Push and new Lili were absolute all-stars, with push it makes using removal early in the game so much easier. Now I can push a dark confidant immediately once it's played without worrying about whether I'll have a path or something else ready for their larger threats. It was extremely nice to be able to throw my removal out there without thinking about whether or not to save it for a larger threat later on. Lili was an absolute house and even ulted once against a merfolk deck. The +1 clawed me back into games against merfolk and some white lifegain deck, the minus was only used once but it was a very strong play that got me a TKS back and I cast it to exile a batterskull. Sorin and Lili as one-ofs feel pretty damn good. I will also say that I advocate 4 paths main deck as I still see it as our primary removal; it is unconditional (don't need to play around revolt on top of the 4 CMC cap push has), exiles problem cards with death triggers/indestructible, powers processing, hits anything up to and including newlamog, and the only downside is it ramps the opponent. I don't put much weight into that because unless its T1 or T2 against infect or burn, im not the slightest bit worried about it because I've got my own ramp, tons of threats and removal to draw.
This is the list I used for the two leagues, I was only running two relics and I must say I did not run into a single game where I had a 'durdley' open with too many relics + mind stones, most of my inconsistencies with the deck occurred when I drew too many of these cards early on. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe 4 artifacts is the ideal number, whether it be a 2-2 split, 3 relics and 1 stone, or 4 relics and zero stone. Here is the list:
Note: I do not own caverns or EE online, if I owned caverns I would have 1-2 mainboard and Fetid Heath would be the first land to go. I would consider a 1-1 split of EE and ratchet in the side, however because of two Damnations maybe the need for a T3 CMC=2 boardwipe isn't as necessary and it's too narrow to have a sideboard slot for EE.
Yeah, I've actually moved the second CoBr to the main for 5 total discard, and gone down to 2 reshapers in my latest post-Revolt list. Also finally trimmed the Fetid Heath, the BW is really nice T3 or later, but it does not at all regularly provide B or W T1 or T2, which is when we need our B/W most often, especially with the addition of push. I took it out to get up to 3 main deck GQs, 2 caverns, and still be at 13B/13C/12W for lands. I've been messing around with the land base quite a bit, and was quite unhappy with any list having a wastes in the main as it felt it cut into our colorless providing Utility landslots; the latest build is 1 short on B and W, but it also allows me to main deck 3 GQs and only run 1 wastes for lands in the side. Im just not satisifed with 2 GQs in the 75 but i also want to keep 2 caverns. The move of CoBr to the main and third GQ to the main has allowed me to shore up the sideboard to allow 2 stonies and 2 surgicals. Even with the shortness of 1 B/W land, it's the list that im overall the most satisfied with.
Sorry Tituba9, didn't mean to overlook your post earlier. Your list there is almost identical to what I came up with, and like you I wish I had more room for Stony and Surgical in the side. I am very concerned about Tron and Valakut, and would rather have a better plan that just "hope to dodge." I can definitely see running two Caverns in a counter-heavy meta, and I think since the second one helps strengthen those matches, losing a Relic is less of an issue when facing off against Snapcaster and company. However we might also see Living End and Abzan Company come back to some extent, if Dredge takes a significant hit.
I'm interested in your Burn match; are 2x Brutality and 2x Alliance (plus Vent, Vault, and Sorin) enough? I am keeping Timely Reinforcements in my board for now.
Ghost Quarter + Surgical is the real deal against GX tron, and obviously valakut. I did a friendly league on mtgo after work last night, went 3-2, beating a budget burn list, losing to merfolk, and going an impressive 2-1 against GX tron. In two of the matches I pulled off surg + GQ, and in one game even followed it up with T3 Stony silence, and won those games and it wasn't even close. In the latter game, I literally did not draw a land in my first 9-11 draws, and was stuck on 2 lands for an insane amount of turns, putting on zero pressure until I was able to discard a souls and cast it for flashback, and STILL won the game handily. Even in the lost match against tron I took a game. Game 1 is pretty much impossible to win without bad top decks from them, but post-board I'm not really afraid of it as much. Just mull to a hand with 2 of these 3: surgical, Stony, GQ, and plan for that to slow them down quite a bit. It makes me feel even stronger that we must have two surgicals in the side (also to help interact with the GY now that we have 3 relics), and a second Stony does seem good with how much it shuts down multiple cards from tron and affinity in their hand and on the board.
The burn matchup hasn't been bad, most often I lose game 1 obviously, unless I pull off a double escalated CoBr, which seems to make game 1 incredibly winnable. I do think blessed, CoBr, and the main deck lifegain are enough to win post-board, especially when you factor in processing rift bolt with strangler or stealing a burn spell with TKS. Timely is just too narrow and too difficult to ensure you get the +6 lifegain, especially when it's Sorcery speed and they can skullcrack in response. That and it's not very effective in many other matchups. I've honestly been thinking of cutting the CoBr in the side to make room for surgical/stony, because CoBr is best against infect, burn, and UR prowess, and two of those decks took a hit with the probe ban. Thoughts on that?
Against both tron and burn I have no issues aggressively mulling for sideboard cards, down to 5 or 4, and many of my losses against burn involve them having 2-3 lands and top decking nothing but gas turn after turn, if they durdle for a turn or give me lifegain or interaction via discard, I'm feeling pretty good.
Is it too greedy to consider going down to 1 Swamp to make room for the wastes in the main? Obviously push puts more of an emphasis with needing a T1 black source, but perhaps we can hold off another turn and Thoughtseize or push on T2 instead since T2 is pretty open to plays with this deck. We'd be down to 13 B and 13 W, also wed have one less fetchable land from Marsh Flats. If I went this route I might end up cutting either Fetid Heath or shambling vent for a 3rd godless Shrine. Speaking of shambling vent, are we certain we still need two of them now that push can easily remove it? Maybe one is the way to go, to cut down on tap lands even more.
Is a second CoBr necessary in the side? Obviously it has good value, but other than burn are there many matchups where activating 2-3 modes regularly happens? Just trying to finish off that sideboard and figure out what can be cut.
Knowing a blood moon can be dropping is such a huge deal. Winning game 1 can be very difficult because we keep a bad blood moon hand or Crack a fetch too early, setting us back and giving them turns to get ahead. The quicker we can get board presence through a blood moon the better, and that's why a wastes in the side is needed, to have the maximum number of outs.
The two lands in the side, as deaddrift said, can be swapped for the two caverns, which is seamless to do and that's the main reason I'd even consider two lands in the side.
Lili, the Last Hope did underperform for me in two mtgo leaguess after I picked it up. I had times where I'd have it in hand on T3 but had better plays because there was no creature to -2/-1, I had it get inquisitioned away on T2 against jund before I dropped it T3 on the play, and I had it recur a creature one time before being bolted or something to kill her. I was winning without the card, and we have a plethora of removal that kills creatures larger than 1 toughness. It just doesn't fit than the curve of the deck nearly as well as Sorin, and T3 dropping a Planeswalker over a TKS or souls is way too durdley, she'll just get killedone because we have zero board presence to block attackers.
Edit: After checking with Frank's mana article, having 13B gives a 90% chance of casting seize or push on T2. I think this might be doable, playing a godless or shambling tapped on T1 to Thoughtseize on T2 feels just fine, and 2 swamps is basically just for T1 black spells. Also the article shows how difficult it is to cast a two color spell on T3 or T4, suggesting 18 or 19 sources to do it 90% of the time. The Fetid Heath helps that a bit.
I like this. I feel like that EE in the SB should be another Ratchet bomb, simply because our EE is maxed at two and is less versatile than the bomb for games vs Sun and Moon and other grindier matchups. I think I might also suggest cutting Fetid Heath and Running a Wastes in the main (Or the other Ghost Quarter), simply because there is no card in your maindeck that has double white or double black. I understand it can be nice to not have to ping yourself off of your land, but I dont think this outweighs the ability to play around Blood Moon and kill manlands in Game 1. I agree with 2 Caverns, I feel that that number is the sweet spot for caverns, especially with 4 Flats in the Main now, since we can fetch the colors we need relatively painlessly. I myself think having two mind Stones isn't a terrible idea, but I wonder how it will pan out on paper; sometimes we do durdle, and even the cantripping doesn't help that much.
3 Push in the main/side is the perfect number. I think this card slots out easily in the tron matchup for the necessary Exile removal and Pithing needles. Also, I understand our need to defend against blood moon, but I wonder if we aren't taking too many precautions. Usually ratchet bomb and Anguished are good enough for me to deal with Blood Moon, my real issue is dealing with Stormbreath Dragon out of those lists lol.
TL:DR; I think this shell is a good starting point, but I would try and put one of your lands from the Side into the Main to make room for more sideboard options
The EE can easily be another ratchet bomb, but EE also serves a different purpose, where it wipes CMC 0-2 on the turn I play it. The difference in speed is worth it for EE IMO, it's just personal preference.
The Fetid Heath cannot get cut for a colorless land, it would need to get replaced by either an Isolated Chapel or Concealed Courtyard. I choose Fetid Heath because I want as few taplands as possible, and Fetid Heath also produces colorless. In the main there is no BB or WW, but there is BW: Anguished, Sorin, Shambling, and Vault. In the side there is: Damnation, Anguished, EE. I would love to fit a third Ghost Quarter in the main, or the wastes in the main to make more room in the sideboard, but the only card I could cut for that is Cavern of Souls. Feels better to have my two caverns for G1, two GQ's as well, and be able to bring in the third and swap out an uneeded cavern for G2 and G3 against Tron and Valakut.
Blood moon should see a rise in being played as a result of greedy midrange and control decks seeing more play. With two mind stones, and ways to fetch a wastes, it shouldn't be that difficult to at the very least be able to get out some eldrazi for board presence and to put on a clock. Really the wastes is the only card in the 75 in there specifically for Blood Moon, ratchet bomb and anguished both have many other cards to remove. If you're reliably able to get a ratchet bomb to 3 or get a B/W for anguished with blood moon on the field you are either mulliganing incredibly well or getting lucky draws, it can take several turns to even draw into an answer to blood moon and by then they've run away with the game. Maybe the wastes isn't necessary, but it feels a lot better to have as many outs to blood moon as possible so we can keep playing magic and stop passing the turn. But you're right that there could/should be a couple more copies of cards in the side and room needs to be made somewhere.
This is the best list I can come up with with these B/R updates, but I'm just not quite satisfied with the sideboard. The maindeck looks pretty solid, I went up to 3 Reshapers because there should be less decks going over the top or ignoring it, more grindy games where it dies to combat or bolt or push,and matchups like tron and valakut where T2 reshaper is a great start to putting on a fast clock. 2 Cavern of souls and 2 Ghost quarters, I would like to play 3 GQ's maindeck a lot, but there is an insane amount of blue control in my area and the Cavern of Souls brings many tears. I need to maindeck two of them to be able to cast my eldrazi with no regard to counters, it changes the matchup against U tron and UW control immensly when you can jam your eldrazi. Without Caverns on mtgo it feels much less effective to bait counters or play around them. I was at a 2/2 split of Thoughtseize and CoBr, but definitely back up to 3 TS now with the probe ban. We need to disrupt the opponent's plan T1, we need to see their hand, we need to be able to take everything from ensnaring bridge to thought-knot to karn, and we don't give no ****s about paying 2 life and fetch-shocking down to 15 to do it because we cool like that. For some reason 3 relics and 2 mind stones just feels right. It feels like those durdley opens where you draw into 3 relics and a mind stone in the first 4 draws should happen way less, outside of these 5 cards every non-land card outside of a lategame thoughtseize is going to do something for us. 3 relics should be more than enough to power strangler, and the need to always have it against snapcaster decks isn't too high as we are already favored against those decks, same thing with Jund (which we should be feasting on as it rises once again). I honestly think I'd go down to even 2 relics maindeck before I'd cut any of the other cards out, especially since I want to keep 4 paths so I wouldn't be losing out on too much exiling early in the game. 2 mind stones feel necessary, think of it as a relic that gives us ramp rather than interacts with the graveyard at a cost of 1 more CMC to cast, seems good. It enables us to ramp and put the pressure on the -should be- slower meta, and it also enables T3 damnation which is the nuts against decks like elves and merfolk and zoo.
The sideboard feels like it should have 17 slots, hell 20. The 2-ofs as it stands I feel need to be 2-ofs, because of the need to have them early and because drawing both copies in 1 game isn't bad at all. I really want a second surgical and a second stony in there. Maybe a fatal push in the side isn't necessary? We keep it in against most of the field so why would we need a third to bring in when we can't take enough cards out to make room? Wastes feels needed unless you are all but certain you won't be seeing a blood moon opponent, ghost quarter to swap out for cavern when cavern isn't needed. EE/ratchet as sweepers, fish and elves are still very much a thing, and ratchet is a catch-all we need. I had a very hard time taking ratchet out of the maindeck because of how versatile it is, and the need to have a catch-all that isn't anguished so it can easily remove blood moon, but ultimately I need to think of game 1 as trying to execute my deck's plan rather than commit to per-emptively stopping the opponent's. Games 2 and 3 are still very winnable thanks to the sideboard. A second anguish to bring in against infect and tron, mostly tron. It's also quite fine againt jund as that matchup is all about topdecking more removal/threats and whoever draws more durdle loses. A second CoBr to bring in against burn and infect, with it's synergy with Lingering Souls we definitely want to be able to bring in a second copy for dat value. But a second stony silence and second surgical should be in there. Stony is a card we want in an opening hand against tron or affinity, is 1 enough to draw it when we need it? Is two too much because of all the artifacts we ourselves run? And the second surgical to pull off the combo-wombo against tron and valakut, but do we really need two surgicals against any other matchups (it is still very very good against dredge, which isn't entirely gone with the latest ban but I also have literally never seen anyone at any local stores play dredge in a paper tournament).
Let me know what you think of the maindeck, and how you'd fill out the cramped sideboard. It's hard to speculate on where the meta of modern will go, but I think it's safe to say it will get slower and grindier, Jund and Tron will be increasing, as will blood moon decks.
I'm super stoked about the git probe ban. Decks like infect and suicide zoo/bloo get a massive advantage against interactive decks when they look at their hand and dig for a card with zero mana on turn 1. It makes the match lopsided, where they have more answers and also know our answers, making it easier for them to sequence and get a quicker win. Even with git probe the infect matchup for us was very chess-like and skill intensive, now they get to play like we do, not being 100% confident of the removal in our hand just like we most often are not aware of their pumps/hexproof cards. With the probe loss and the addition of fatal push we should be pretty well matched against these decks.
I definitely agree that our biggest problems will now be living end, tron, and Valakut. Basically the decks that aren't midrange and aren't linear aggro. A sideboard with two surgicals, and 1-2 ghost quarters (depending on number of ghost quarters in the main, I can see 4 in the 75 as being a must), 2 pithings, 2 anguished (in the 75), 1-2 Stony silence, would be a good start to helping those matchups. Getting a land destroy into a surgical on a tron land or on Valakut helps us out a lot. What other cards are houses in these matchups?
I am all for going down to 3 relics, with strangler as the only need to use for processing, and with siding them all out in quite a few match ups, with the dredge ban, I definitely think we can get by with 3 relics now. We've got mind stones and reshaper for cantripping, and we need as many cards that are either a threat or an answer, we need to make room somewhere. I'm not sure about dropping to 3 paths, it hits almost everything and is important against wurmcoils, ulamog, in tron and tasigur and angler in grixis, along with killing the smaller creatures which push can also do. I guess I'm trying to reason it that I want more of the unconditional removal than three conditional one, more often I'm going to want path and I'd rather have the unconditional removal as well as give them a land.
What does push and the bans mean for batterskull in the main deck? It is an all star in games that go long enough for the to hit the field, could the meta be slow enough for this to make a comeback, or is 5 CMC with no ramp from eldrazi temple still too late?
I am quite pumped for these changes as it should favor both processors and my backup/tiered deck tron.
I went a disappointing 1-3 at FNM this week, in 2 of the 3 losses they were 2-1's that were very close and competitive, the topdecks just were very lackluster. Sometimes the deck does feel inconsistent and durdley, where you dig and dig and only see lands and cantrips.
Did a couple friendly leagues on mtgo after that, first one was 3-2 and the second was 4-1, finally getting a couple solid dredge wins in there (as well as at least 1 dredge loss). The exciting thing is in the 4-1 league I got 3 money cards out of my 4 prize chests and got 34 Tix, which I immediately used to get a Fetid Heath and Liliana, the Last Hope for some testing. Like a fool I had been evaluating the card as a 4 drop, (2)(B)(B), when it in fact a 3 drop. I'm way more excited to try it out and I get to play a lot more online as it is, meaning I get to test the card out before buying it in paper. I will report how effective it is, and the wide open meta of mtgo leagues should give lots of different looks.
Tituba9, I am wary of three and four drops that have two colored mana requirements in this deck. I think either Lili could be quite good, but I can also see them being dead-in-hand more often than I'd like, without a restructured mana base. Still, I haven't tried out either so I'm just theory crafting here. Also, I don't know what I would cut for a Lili.
Sorin has very rarely been a problem to cast on T4 for me, probably due to the fetid heath I run to make those cards easier to cast (as well as shambling activations, as that requires you to have two B/W sources other than the shambling). I'd cut a reshaper down to two, I haven't been as big on the card as I was a while ago. I still think its really good but I also have been experiencing opponents being able to deal with it through exile effects like Anger of the Gods or just ignoring it and winning before it gets the chance to die and trigger. I think we want to minimize the amount of cards/turns that we do nothing to impact the game, so for that reason I have no issues going down to 2 reshapers if it means adding a threat like Lili. I do like the Last Hope over Lili of the Veil in our deck though, we dont dump our hands like jund, we often hold cards in our hand for opportune casting value (strangler for example), and we also can't discard our extra land cards in hand like jund can do, we need lands to cast expensive cards.
Liliana, the Last Hope is something I've been thinking about recently. It has some good upside with adding a couple win-cons to the deck. One being recurring smashers, the other Lili's ultimate. Smasher is such a strong creature, chain casting them or getting multiple on the field at once closes out grindy or longer games very quickly. Lili's ult can win the game as well, and we have plenty of board presence to defend her while she upticks. There's a downside with the non-bo of relic clearing our GY of creatures to recur, and we don't run a lot of creatures so the two she mills won't even come close to reliably giving us something to bring back to hand. I think adding win cons to the deck is really good, especially on a planeswalker which is generally harder for opponents to deal with than creatures. To those of you who have played her in the deck, some questions: How effective has her (-2) been at recurring threats, and how consistent? Does she under perform against linear aggro and get sided out, and kept in for grindier games? How often has her ultimate sealed a game? Would love any and all feedback on the card.
I don't think 23 lands with no mind stones is where you want to be, this deck has a very high mana curve and you're basically short two lands (I would count two mind stones as 1 land). If you get stuck on two lands and miss even 1 land drop you're in trouble.
I also think CoBr replaced the need for inquisition, inquisition is such a dead draw late game and 8 discard is a lot, I feel like you'll find yourself top decking it mid to late game too often.
This is my first list post-Aether Revolt release. The sideboard is setup to help with tron, go-wide strategies, blood moon, and extra removal/discard. The main deck looks like it could maybe use Liliana, the Last Hope or maybe a revisit to Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet as some additional threats.