No problem, and I definitely think that any issue is worth discussion and we're both passionate about Emeria. It's been a long term deck for us that we've played off and on.
For Ranger-Captain of Eos, I was thinking we were talking about a strictly mono white build. Some of the biggest draws towards UW variant in Emeria are the inclusion of countermagic and Teferi, Time Raveler. I also agree with you, in the control matchup if I had to choose between the two TTR is the one I'd pick. However, I have to quasi disagree with you about Thraben Inspctor. The reason is because while you are right in that it is an annoyance that will get swept away by a wrath or a cryptic chain, I think that you are undervaluing the amount of that annoyance. I've played both on the side of stock UW control and W(x) Emeria. Control players don't like using a card to 1 for 1 with an annoyance that has already drawn a card, especially when said annoyance comes down early and has already chipped damage. A single Thraben Inspector can make up the bulk of my damage in a control matchup (7 - 8) before my opponents deal with it using a wrath effect. It got to the point where my friend at a local LGS who often piloted UW control would jokingly say they'd concede if I revealed a hand with three Thraben Inspector.
Anyway, sorry for the tangent and going back to RCoE. In control matchups card advantage matters, lets say I have a RCoE I play it and it gets me a Thraben Inspector. It has now cantripped and if my opponent removes this threat on a 1 for 1 basis they'll likely have 2 for 1 themselves because their spot removal won't draw a card. I play Thraben Inspector, if they remove this on a 1 for 1 basis as well they have now spent 2 cards to deal with my single RCoE, and I have a clue. If I crack that clue, I can safely say that my one card, RCoE, has drawn two cards if my opponent has spent 2 cards to deal with it that's a potential 4 card swing.
Obviously a good control opponent will likely not spend 2 pieces of spot removal and instead wait for a wrath effect. However if we're assuming competence we have apply it equally. In that we assume the Emeria player will also not play into a wrath effect and use RCoE to disrupt the opponent at key intervals. Those being utilizing it's ability to disrupt the opponent at the most opportune time, i.e. when the opponent is setting up to cast a Teferi, Hero of Domenaria or to play around countermagic. I think your undervaluing the importance of looping RCoE with Emeria, the Sky Ruin in those matchups too, because games often go so long we often see the majority of our deck in game one.
I'm not sure what point I made for you in regards to the dredge matchup, can you clarify? My point was that game one is pointless without RCoE because Conflagrate will eventually kill after you've established a strong board presence. The only way you don't die is to continually sacrifice a Ranger-Captain of Eos on upkeep via looping with a Sun Titan or Emeria, the Sky Ruin because their Conflagrate is sorcery speed. I have done this, and it's relatively easy to pull off, it turns a matchup were you in game one you're %0 into a roughly even one.
As for Tron your right, Hope of Ghirapur is a sideboard card. I was attempting to highlight the utility of RCoE, replace HoG with either an additional Field of Ruin or Ranger-Captain of Eos for game one. Tron is dance, we need to apply early pressure backed by disruption. You're right that they have still have trump creatures in World Breaker, or even Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, usually 1 - 2 of each but I have very rarely lost because my opponent cast a Wurmcoil Engine. This is because either 1) I'll have exile based removal, 2) I'll have flying creatures to attack over for lethal, or 3) I'll transition into a defensive role and focus on disruption, i.e. block and use FoR and RCoE until you can cast a Sun Titan to recur either. Or have just have an active Emeria to recur Ranger-Captain of Eos and cut them off of key threats like Oblivion Stone, Ugin, the Sprit Dragon, and Karn Liberated. All of those cards are harder to interact with and recover from than World Breaker or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and also make up around 9 - 10 cards as opposed to 3 - 4. To answer your question, yes I am happy when paired against an opponent playing Urza's Power Plant. That could be due in no small part because I have a high degree of familiarity and am comfortable in that matchup.
I have made my point with combo and you agree so there's no point debating that but I will concede that a good combo player will likely be able to take better lines and thus maintain a higher win percentage. This still means that by slowing them down and forcing them adapt to these line of play you are still buying yourself an extra .5 to 2 turns to kill them.
To answer your question regarding a Ghost Quarter or Field of Ruin lock, it is not a reasonable plan against storm in my experience. I have done it but it takes time because your opponent plays basic lands. Meaning you need a GQ specifically (which has seen consistently less play in our archetype since the printing of FoR, usually a 1 - 2 of). What I'm saying is that I often need too much to go right.
If we assume that my storm opponent plays 4 basic lands and consistently only has 1 - 2 non-basic lands in play when we begin our plan and makes no further land drops, this means that it will still take a total of 5 - 6 turns before we can start actually denying them recourses. You can half that if you take them off a single color specifically but remember that they still have accessManamorphose to color fix. The reason why this is a bad strategy against storm is because it needs a long time to set up and our opponents need so little mana in to go off b/c of their rituals.
The games where I have used this strategy to success are when I've already disrupted my opponent to the point where we've entered the late game and both of us have stagnated and are drawing air. I think you should still utilize this strategy because every percentage point matters but I don't rely on it as a primary game plan.
I don't find Storm to be a fun matchup, and I am not happy to see it but that's mainly because only one player taking game actions for the majority of our time with little to no interaction isn't fun for me. From what I remember RCoE helped a lot, in the sense that it turned one of our worst matchups into a much better one. If you look back in the thread archive date from when RCoE was released you may be able to find an unbiased write up comparing the before and after.
We don't agree with Ranger-Captain of Eos and that's okay, this will actually help a lot by forcing us to remain objective and not give in to complacency. It also means that with both of us adopting different play styles towards Emeria we'll be able to trail blaze into different lines of play, and hopefully post about it. Which is very useful when trying to discover new cards or strategies.
Thanks for all of your imput, I'm glad to see it and your dedication to this thread!
To answer your questions chronologically, I can see your hesitation with Flickerwisp as if it does not have a target to blink the card is bad. Three redeeming qualities in the unlikely eventuality that you have no targets of your own to blink, It is a 3/1 flying creature which ends games quickly, and you can blink troublesome permeants your opponents control. Things like Ensnaring Bridge, a blocker, or an opposing planeswalker about to ultimate. It can also be recurred with a Sun Titan to create a loop.
Your experience with a sample hand generator is subjective, but with my build running the numbers through a hypergeometric calculator their is a %89.5 chance of having a permanent to flicker by turn three on the play and a %92.5 of it on the play.
Population Size - 60 (cards in deck)
Sample Size - 8 to 9 (7 in the opener plus an additional 1 - 2 drawsteps)
Honestly, I would question any hand kept without a permanent played before turn three and likely mulligan that hand. In addition, even so you don't have to cast Flickerwisp on curve and have the option wait until draw into a permanent to blink. You're right though, it's not good on it's own and that's why I tend to sideboard all of them out in matches like GDS or Jund which involving copious amounts of hand disruption and removal.
I want to make it clear I have no problem with Brought Back, I've played it in the past and it's been good to me. The games I ran away with using it were when I had it early and was able to use Brought Back to recur double fetchland early in the game. That said the surprise factor of recurring a permeant your opponent thought was dealt with is also game breaking.
I think that we'll just have to disagree about Ranger-Captain of Eos, to answer what matchups it's essential in.
- Having it will allow you to not only provide pressure and accrue card advantage via Thraben Inspector but play around countermagic and allowing resolving an essential threat like Sun Titan which will take over the game.
- It's very difficult for them to kill us in combat after we've established a board presence and RCoE can tutor a Kami of False Hope but in game one you will die to a Conflagrate without it looping.
- This sequence has won me many games, turn 3 activate Field of Ruin, turn 4 cast RCoE and tutor for Hope of Ghirapur, Turn 6 cast Sun Titan. Essentially FoR into RCoE into Sun Titan, you only need 3 cards one of which is a land.
- I'm not sure if it's necessary for me to explain, in game one unless your opponent is extraordinarily unlucky and you have a fast clock you will die without Ranger-Captain of Eos.
It's also good but not essential against most aggressive or midrange styles.
In regards to the Heliod, Walking Ballista combo, I don't think I'd be prepared to play a card like Lumithread Field to facilitate it. I do like the idea of a backdoor combo but with two pieces that are individually powerful on their own. I was thinking 1 - 2 heliod and a ballista
That was quick, I skimmed through page 65 to look at your points on RCoE. I do disagree, I personally find RCoE irreplaceable in a lot of matches but not something I'd want to sideboard into.
I've played with 4 emeria before, but was often drawing multiple before I had the 7 plains required. Usually 1 active emeria is enough to take over games. I also despise tapped lands, nothing feels worse than drawing them when you need to curve into a wrath, or sun titan.
The ponza matchup was fine, I saw Utopia Sprawl, Arbor Elf, Pillage, Acid Moss, CToD, Tireless Tracker, and Inferno Titan. BoM and Flickerwisp beat them on it's own.
How is Brought Back working for you?
Has anyone tested the heliod ballista combo?If so what do you think of it?
Looks like this thread has been fairly active in my absence, I'm glad. I've been piloting my mono white variant myself and have been testing with the new Birth of Meletis. So far I've been testing three of them and have really liked it. Birth of Meletis has allowed me to keep otherwise skeptical hands and it has consistently been good in the early to mid game. One of my particular favourite lines so far has been to curve BoM into Flickerwisp to reset the counters. Major changes I've made to my list have included adding my two of Hour of Revelation into the maindeck and removing Brought Back=and the fetchlands entirely.
I've just started delving back into modern again so I'm still rusty but so far I've played against Burn, GDS, Ponza, Dredge x 2, and Soulherder. I won against one of each but lost against in my second dredge matchup. My suggestion if you're worried about winning that matchup and are playing RCoE would be to add a Burrenton Forge-Tender to the maindeck. The only way that dredge can win after you've established a Kami of False Hope lock is to burn you out with a big Conflagrate. Plus it'll hedge against burn, which is never a bad thing.
On another note my match with Soulherder was a lot of fun, we're both grindy decks with some graveyard synergies but I've found Emeria Control is favored. This is because while Emeria Control can't quite match their velocity early, their engine requires a good board presence and we play wrath effects.
So while I've mostly been playing Pioneer, I have still played a few modern games too. Has Oko-Snow been getting more popular recently? The last couple matches I've played it's been either that or e-tron. I've been piloting the mono white deck again and have made a couple changes.
I remember playing with Blade Splicer, it can be pretty potent against the right decks. Good luck!
Your logic is sound, I took your advice and removed a ghost quarter and remorseful cleric instead.
I went to a couple of tournaments as well, the Hamilton open was super close for me which was nice. The games often go long though, which leads to me becoming fatigued and playing sloppy in the later matches.
Anyway I played Bant SnOko, Dredge, UW Control, Paradoxical Outcome, Grixis Shadow, Affinity.
I lost the against PO and Affinity, I had a draw against Control and dropped at 3 - 2 - 1.
The affinity match was the last one and I played very sloppy. That said my opponent did have an active mystic forge with an eot galvanic blast with for kami both games.
The control match, my opponent pushed it to game 3 with 12 minutes left on clock and then refused to concede while dead on board after turns.
PO still felt terrible, I was buried under Emery game 1 and Oko game 2.
I think I may take a break from modern for a bit. As I have a couple of decks that I want to explore in pioneer.
I agree with a lot of your assessments, UW control is a weird matchup and in my experience on mtgo it often comes down to time. Unfortunately stacking all of our triggers usually means we get behind on clock, it's much different in paper magic.
How did the league go with your changes, did they feel okay?
Also, I have a question for you guys. What do you think of Lavinia, Azorius Renegade over Stony Silence in our current meta? I've noticed that outside of the actual thopter combo in Whirza none of their artifacts really do anything. They're really just there to provide an engine for PO, Emry or Urza. LAR would also be additional help vs Tron and could help slow down Amulet. It would also help the non-bo of having Thraben Inspector plus Stony Silence in the Ranger-Captain of Eos builds, thoughts?
I have similar opinions on Remorseful Cleric, it is still sneaky good in the maindeck. Although I would caution against revoker, my experience has been that it's way more vulnerable right now. Between W&6, Plague Engineer, and k-command. Plus the overall awareness of artifacts because of thopter sword and SFM.
One idea that KopiKopaBarcelona mentioned to me was tracking matchup results through a spreadsheet. This would help us create actual match win to loss data. I can imagine that it would also allow us to better evaluate any card changes as good or bad in future versions.
Right now my UW list is more a mono white list splashing U. I do this because I am more comfortable piloting a mono white list. I think D90Dennis14 has been an advocate of the classic Court Hussar, Flickerwisp, Spreading Seas route. I don't know which build if either could be considered better. However, I do think our skill when piloting a deck comes from our own familiarity and knowledge of our lists.
I think that sometimes this can blind us and help facilitate a confirmation bias. I'm thinking of Brought Back, myself when I go down this line of thought. A lot of other people who have tested this card have found it lacking. My bias, is that I think this card is really good in a mono white shell. So the question then becomes, is it more probable that I am such am good player / deckbuilder that Brought Back has always been amazing for me in every match I play. No, I think that it is much more likely that I have let a fraction of the great games I've won because of BB color my overall opinion of the card. I probably have more experience playing BB than any one other player in this thread. While that experience will undoubtedly help when indenifying correct lines of play, the cumulative experience of all players in this thread will largely eclipse my own.
Anyway, I'm rambling now basically I think that spreadsheets are a good idea and will help us check our bias in the future.
I think they do slightly different things, myself. If you do manage to get even one activation off of Oketra it's bonkers. Oketra also seems slightly more resilient to removal as well. Having the option to blank even the exile based removal is pretty neat.
That said Lyra offers an evasive clock that you're opponents will never race b/c of the lifelink. The first strike also makes it a very effective stonewall against small creature decks too. There are also synergies with resto angel.
I would be interested to hear how your games goes with Spell Queller now that T3feri's gone. I think that Resto is probably a must if you do like playing it.
As for your other points Ranger-Captain of Eos is both pressure and good disruption against both uw control and urza-tron. The games I win against both usually involves an early RCoE paired with a Sun Titan or Emeria to lock the opponent out.
I have played Geist of Saint Traft before but usually in the sideboard. It's not that good against other creature decks of the format. The pressure it brings is nice and it does play well with resto but just remember we are not playing aggro, tempo, or midrange. Our gameplan is focused on extending the game nine turns to reap our first activation of Emeria, the Sky Ruin.
To further that, if you can't afford fetchlands I would strongly recomend removing most or all of your islands and all glacial fortress for Prairie Stream, Field of Ruin and/or Irrigated Farmland. Having non-plains in your deck plays really poorly with emeria and the difference between having it come online on turn 9 or turn 12 is immense.
I think a discord was created in the past but no one from this thread really used it.
Long story short, I think that we have a real chance in this matchup and the blue splash gives us a lot of needed cards. If I had played a little faster or conceded a little earlier game two I may have won.
Ever since I went 5 - 0 in my league, I've started seeing more and more emeria lists pop up online. I just finished playing against a mono white emeria list, It's kinda awesome playing the mirror. In that particular game I was favored b/c I had more card advantage and utility lands than my opponent. That said, they put up a good fight and their Brought Back drew them a lot of cards post wrath.
I'm actually not sure which variant is favoured in the mirror, it's an interesting question to ask. If both players are on the Thraben Inspector and Wall of Omens card advantage plan it's probably the mono white player b/c they aren't playing counter-magic and therefore have a higher density of action cards to hit. However, if the UW player is on the Court Hussar, Spreading Seas plan I think they'd be favored instead.
I did post it, it's on the last page but I'll post the goldfish link too. I'm not sure definitively which is better yet. I think it's subjective as in it depends on your past experience and expected metagame. I will say that the uw list has impressed me.