Interesting! My main concern was the UWx matchups. I’ve never felt like they were close at all. I agree that upping the count of Liliana of the veil is an easy way to hedge against GDS, and it also helps quite a bit vs jund. If you didn’t have phyrexian arena for the uwx matchups what would you play in its place?
Nice work DeFish! You've convinced me to pick this deck up again, never really tried playing it Jund colors only but looking forward to trying it!
Regarding the midrange/control matchups - do you think Bloodbraid Elf as a sideboard card could be a viable here? I've always found the control matchups to be the hardest with the 4 color versions, and I think BBE could do a lot of work here. My only concern is if a mountain is needed to make sure we don't get field of ruined out of being able to cast BBE. What do you think? I'm planning on trying quite a few copies out in my local meta where there's usually quite a few control players.
My record is 6-1 (games) against Tron in completive REL. Two of those matches were a MM build and the most recent was without. I don't recall ever losing to Tron pick-up games either. But more importantly I've always played 3x Stubborn in my main deck. I also run 2x Dismember and never side it out against them. You can Dismember your own Shadow at their EOT to grow it. Also they run a lot of PW so it's very easy to get Tarmogoyf to 6/7 (or even 7/8 in Tarfire builds). I've always kept 1x Fulminator in the board, and my most recent competitive match against Tron I also had 3x Alpine Moon (which probably isn't necessary). It's crazy to me that you guys are even near 50/50 against them. Maybe I've just been lucky
I agree with Spooly, it sounds like your list has a lot of Tron hate. I think any decent hand from my list post board is pretty favored as well (however mulling can easily turn this around).
Personally I consider Stubborn a core piece of this deck. Aggro is big right now but in an open meta I just really appreciate having a few counterspells in starting 60. It absolutely dominates prison decks, Storm, Living End, Hollow one, even affinity has some critical non-creature spells. It's only truly a dead card against Humans. I've stubbed Coco game 1 against Spirits. I've stubbed Chord game 1 against Abzan Company. I've stubbed turn 1 game 1 AEther Vial against Merfolk.
I kinda agree here. I've actually considered moving my 2 Trophy's to the sideboard for 2 Stubborn Denials. I'm a bit weary of loading up my deck with too many situational cards (TBR, Stubborn Denial and Ghor-Clan) - but I find myself often enough wanting a small amount of counterspells in my deck.
Thanks again for the feedback, I'll try to report back once I have some more information. I know preparing for a Team Unified tournament is a bit of a different beast comapared to the general discussions going on here - and also given the decks I'm playing with on my team my situation is a bit unique. I still feel like it could be interesting to read and speculate about given that you really get a better feel for what the different cards in the deck is doing to the matchups in the wider meta. As I stated earlier - one of my stipulations is that GBx midrnage in general will be very underplayed at this tournament - I usually play this myself and besides the decks tending to take away all the great cards, they also usually suffer from poor matchups against Tron and Titanshift in these tournaments. I might be wrong about this, and if that is the case then I expect my deck choice to be quite horrible, we will see.
I know Languish appeared recently in a top8 list, but personally I can't get behind that card. The main matches where you want it are Humans and Spirits and both have very powerful protection (Thalia and Mausoleum Wanderer) that essentially this make cost 5.
I must admit I'm not sold on the card either, to be frank I wanted to try it out. I've been running 2 Radiant Flames before but having played a few matches with only a Radiant Flames in my hand against Supreme Phantom + Image on Phantom has made me a bit weary of that. I feel like I want 2 sweeper-ish effects (preferably stuff that doesn't have to kill my own guys) - but I'm not quite sure which ones it should be. EE feels like it might be too slow, but perhaps it is simply better? Any suggestions here would be greatly appreciated.
Also Assassin's Trophy is bad against Humans, Spirits, and also Storm so I would maybe suggest running a split with Decay or maybe Trophy in the sideboard. The main match where you want it is UWx and that's really it. It's useful against Tron but that match should be a slam dunk anyway.
I have also been contemplating moving the Trophy's to the sideboard. I do feel like having 3 cards in the deck that can deal with all sorts of weird permanents - and it is also such a huge deal breaker against tron (see Spooly's recent experiences against the deck) - especially paired with Surgical. I feel the tron match up is much closer than it seems on paper - if they ever get to stick something they should be in good shape. Last time I played against tron I either got smashed or smashed my opponent. If you have any tips/decklist that makes it a slam dunk I'm all ears
I think your land set-up is solid. Personally I'd prefer the 4th MM and 17 land but that's just me. Would you consider adding a Wooded Foothills? Maybe in place of a Marsh flats. Just something that can grab a basic Forest and also Breeding Pool.
I have been running with 4 Manamorphose and 17 lands for quite a while. For the most part I quite like it, only exceptions are when you want to kill a creature (with Tarfire / Bolt) and battlerage the same turn. Of course this is doable with Manamorphose, but I think getting all of these cards right when you need them is a long shot. Perhaps it is the double blue I should give up on instead - I've just often found the need to cast 2 counterspells within a single turn against the decks where I really want the counterspells. Any further thoughts here would be greatly appreciated? (This is one area where I really like the white sideboard - as playing anymore than 1 white land just seems weird to me).
I've previously tried running non black fetches - I might try a foothills again. I think I'll start by paying attention to when I'd want it over Marsh Flats and when it would be bad (bad in the sense that it cannot fetch basic swamp or Watery Grave). I'm not entirely convinced that it would be worth it - as I think being able to fetch those two are often more important than Breeding Pool and forest. But I really like the idea here and it is definitely worth exploring.
I know you mentioned Lightning bolt availability as a problem, but I seriously think you need a more reliable answer for X/3 threats such as Mantis Rider, Spell Queller, Supreme Phantom (maybe an additional Dismember?). Push is not always revolted and coupled with my aforementioned weakness to those archetypes, I would suggest preparing better for them.
I agree completely. Since posting I've come to realise that me playing Dismember is also out of the question. I might have to give in and maindeck some Decays it seems like. I just think in general 2 mana removal spells in this deck have to be really worth it.
Any anticipation of Affinity or Modular? I would at least one K-Command in the 75 would be helpful because it works against KCI and Lanternless. Abrade is also nice
I would expect quite a bit of Hardened Scales. I have played against it a few times (like 3 matches total I think) and there are some local guys playing it. So far I've had no issues against the deck (with the manamorphose build). The deck to me seems to be a mix of a combo deck with a great grind element mixed into it. The combo pieces we shred to pieces and the grind plan never becomes relevant. Usually the games have come down to them having 1 turn to topdeck a Ballista. With that said I'm also considering everything you just mentioned - including Ancient Grudge. Regular Affinity I'm sure some people will show up with but I think my plans here will simply be to race them (obviously bringing in all the removal in the world) and hope for the best.
I'm planning on playing something very close to the list without manamorphose tomorrow at FNM to give it a spin and see what it feels like. Thank you very much for replying to this.
In my experience running the 4x manamorphose + 2-3 Tarfires enables you, more often than not to have delerium on T2 or T3 the latest. Obviously there are some matches where this won't be the case, but I still think it could be nice.
Thought Scour for Traverse shadow seems weird to me. With Grixis you already have the weird issues with milling your shocks - but that issue is much much worse in Traverse shadow. We need to be 3 color only for that to work IMO.
I'm expecting to play Jund + Blue for GP Liverpool (Unified Modern). My expectations are that not a lot of midrange decks will show up - which is why I won't be running the White cards. Main deck on my team where there will be some issues wrt. card availability is Burn, in short this means the following cards are out for me:
I think I can manage to get this to work anyways. I'll have to accept that against UW, if I'm having a heavy advantage by turn 4 that I've probably lost. I have a couple of lists that I'm toying around with at the moment. First off I'm really unsure of whether I should go with Manamorphose and just be aggro maindeck - with the grindier cards in the sideboard, or if I should drop the Manamorphoses for some planeswalkers and possibly Kolaghan's Command maindeck. With an expected meta of Creature decks (Spirits, Humans, etc.), Combo (KCI, Storm, maybe Ad Nauseum) and Control (UW/Jeskai) + the last remaining random decks - where would you guy draw the line here?
I think I am settled on 18 lands, due to wanting 2x red and 2x blue sources, so I'd probably only play 3 Manamorphose if it comes to it. I'm also not sure if Assassin's Trophy should be some split between main and side or purely in the sideboard. There's lots of stuff to think about here. For reference here are the two different builds I'm considering (some cards in the board are missing as I'm unsure of what to fill them with, feedback welcome):
Having played Jund a lot I think the only way you fight them at somewhat even ground is Lingering Souls and Ranger of Eos in the board. I have not played the match up a ton (have played more against Grixis DS) - but if you don't go that route I can't imagine the matchup (between two good pilots) will be good for DS. With Lingering Souls and Ranger of Eos you improve the matchup by a lot, but I doubt that it makes it favorable or even 50/50.
Thanks for the report, I might see myself trying that list (or something similiar) at some point, although it seems a bit light on removal for my taste. I really do like the looks of the list however!
Do you value blue highly at the moment? (you can see I posted some lists only in Jund colors main and with white in the board a few posts back) I have felt most matchups to be quite good with the white only board - also it is nice not feeling like you have to keep blue mana open for Stubby D. I'm still refining my list with hopes of getting some positive control MU as well as making sure Humans and Spirits are good matchups. With my limited testing against Hardened Scales the matchup has felt extremely favored to me.
Once again, thank you for the writeup and the list, it looks good!
I think you should run either Watery Grave or Godless Shrine maindeck. It is not really a problem - keep the other one in the board. I would cut the 2nd Blood Crypt for one of them - this gives you one more sideboard slot, which I think you have to commit to the 3rd stubborn denial (also I don't think the 3rd Temur Battle Rage is needed - you could move either a Collective Brutality or 1 Liliana of the Veil maindeck for it, or simply play more removal - but this is just my personal opinion. I find the TBR good to get out of weird spots but I win most games just fine without ever drawing one).
I was tinkering with a list like this as well before I settled on the 4c lists above. I decided to stick with 4 colors in order to gain more room in the sideboard as you mentioned, but there might be some possibilities with a list like yours. I really value having tons of flexible cards in my sideboard though (in order to combat both resolved chalices, planeswalkers and just straight up more creature removal).
The jeskai matchup felt very rough. I kept a pretty good 6 on the draw game one, but I couldn’t shred his hands of all relevant spells - game one felt very bad due to having so many dead cards in the deck. I think sticking Liliana of the veil game one is the easiest path to victory, or if they’ve kept a slow hand it might work.
Game two I simply had too much stuff going on fast and took that game quite quick as far as I recall.
Game three i have lotv in hand and make my game plan to resolve it as my opponent has both burn and path in hand so I can’t reliably stick a shadow (have two in hand) I discard helix out of his hand leaving him with bolt and path and play shadow at 12 life on my turn 3 - hoping he will bolt the shadow. He does and I stick Liliana the next turn, discarding lingering souls (not sure if it is worth bringing in in the matchup but wanted to try it out). Next turn I discard shadow and flashback on souls. I manage to cast traverse for ranger and cast ranger next turn fetching the two remaining shadows, pass without uptick on Liliana and my opponent flashes in snap to bolt Liliana (now at 5 loyalty). The game continues for a while but in the end I feel like the ranger got me too much card advantage - I win off of goyf + 2 new lingering souls attacking.
I have yet to play humans, but creature beatdown decks have felt very favored - I am very scared of reflector mage though.
I only played spirits once and my opponent got super unlucky (and played a bit weird too though). One of the locals here went 8-0 day one with spirits at GP Prague so I’m looking forward to play against him. Humans seem to have taken a drop where I play so I’m not sure if I’ll get the chance to report back on that soon or not.
For most creature matchups with fliers that attack my plan so far has been to board out all street wraiths and board into lingering souls that allow me to attack and force chump blocks. Depending on the matchup other cards might get boarded out too (Liliana of the veil versus humans as an example). I’m not yet too sure of battle rage for these matchups but I tend to leave at least one copy post board.
I went 4-0 for Tuesday night magic locally with the list I posted without manamorphose tonight, playing against 8-whack, hardened scales, counters company and jeskai.
I agree that blue can make the matchup better (especially since they’ve gone down on verdict) but I’m not really at a point where I want to cut white. I really like the clean main deck manabase (and the fact that I only have tbr that requires a creature on the board to be good). It might turn out to be what is needed though, but then I’m not really sure how such a deck would look (with both white and blue in the board only)
I've been trying out Traverse Shadow again recently - having not played it since early this year. Having been back and forth between Jund and Grixis Death's Shadow I decided to go back to the roots of the deck from the initial winning list in Vancouver last year (ie. playing no blue, but white with lingering souls and ranger in the board).
Running only 3 colors maindeck have made the deck feel very smooth maindeck and I've been liking it quite a bit. I went to a PPTQ this weekend, I went 4-0-1 in the swiss (granted I met a mix of unlucky and unexperienced pilots, so nothing special) with this list:
The maindeck felt very good - extremely fast and able to race in many games. The sideboard was decent (I'm very much on the fence about the Alpine moon and the Gaddock Teeg).
I'm wondering what you're all doing tackling the UWx Matchups? I've been trying a build that drops the Manamorphoses for some more staying power, which feels a little slower but also has better ability to grind out games, even in the maindeck. I still do not feel that this deck can win games against UWx decks (I'm not going for a favorable matchup, but just wondering if it is possible to get to, say 40/60):