A Wish toolbox for Wargate into another toolbox however is something I do not quite see working in a broad field. Unfortunately, Wheel of Sun and Moon as a wish target also does not make the cut when it comes to GY hate, I tried running it in some matches with Gifts decks and it keeps being too slow, not exiling what's already in the GY really is an issue generally.
You'll notice I didn't include Wheel of Sun and Moon in that list's sideboard because I came to the same conclusion in addition to needing more versatile cards that can come in for any match when you take the combo out post-board. I also agree that the Wargate in the side is overkill.
Unfortunately, after testing wargate all morning I have to say that it's actually pretty bad, and so is field of Ruins. They both got my killed multiple times where if they were a colored source or Whir of Invention I would have won the game. The sad part about the field of ruins is that the match where it screwed me was Titanshift, one of the matches where it's supposed to be really good. I can't stress it enough, field does not belong in this deck. Between Cryptic, Spiral into interaction and Absorb you simply can't afford to take a turn off using field to fix your mana. Whir costing a mana less and being instant speed allows you to hold up interaction and countermagic and deploy EOT, which out like 5 matches with Whir and 10 matches with Wargate, I can safely say Whir is better. That is not to say that Whir belongs in this deck, but that it's better than wargate in this deck. Gifts also played out horribly - there just isn't enough time in a format as fast as modern to be tool-boxing around in your deck trying to set up, too much tire spinning and not enough action.
I think I'm going back to the Delver/Tempo list because despite looking the worse on paper, it actually has been playing out the best of all 3 variants so far (Miracles, Delver/Tempo, Thop/Sword). I will test out the Thop/Sword variant some more eventually, the one with 3 Sword of the Meek, no gifts, no snap and Whir over Wargate again.
Whir only costs a mana less if you have 1 piece of the combo already and are using it to find the other combo piece.
Being able to wargate for a field, for azcanta, or for something else does have value.
Gifts definitely seems too hopeful to me.
I think the days of "value gifts" in control decks is over, given that we have cards like jace and teferi that are better and have atleast a hope of interacting on the board.
I'll probably try a build of thopter sword tonight, and let you know how it goes.
Yea but in practice you're only casting Whir when you a piece of the combo already; you're not going to give yourself less outs by Whirring into one of the pieces when you don't have the other. So yea, in my experience it almost always costs 4. Even when it does cost 5 (IE you need to hold up interaction) it's still far better because you don't have to tap out.
I don't play azcanta because I want to minimized post-side GY cards and I also won't be playing field (I strongly recommend you don't either)so I won't consider that a reason for wargate going forward. Even if you do play those cards, I don't think you're going to actually being trying to fetch them out of your deck often enough to warrant the sorcery speed over Whir. Like I said, I was hyped for Wargate when you first mentioned, then I played like 10 matches with it and it was awful every time, and actually cost me the game on multiple occasions because I couldn't cast it because I needed to represent countermagic which did actually deter my opponents from going off or casting walkers. In those instances I could have Whirred on EOT, untapped and played the other half for 2 mana and still have like 4 activations up as well as countermagic/interaction.
I have been finding Wilderness Reclamation to be very good, but only in a list with Think Twice. The issue is that Think Twice is a pretty poor draw spell for this deck, seeing as it's 3 mana to TT+Terminus if you're conscious of a miracle, and otherwise is generally slow (tho not too bad, since we have ramp and lots of time). But it's very annoying to have to decide whether to cycle TT while you have the two mana up or to wait until you can cycle it with a W up. You really don't want to draw a Terminus by accident when you don't have mana for it, since we don't play a lot of removal and the TT list doesn't have room for Snapcasters for extra ground protection. And that's assuming the TT is in your hand! I've found the deck to be really wanting Snapcasters in the main anyways, especially with WRec. But, of course that shouldn't surprise anyone.
So, I'm trying out a list with Snaps and Opts over TT and WR. Rec is a no-go without TT, because otherwise you sit there with nothing to do with the mana. It's a shame, though, because I've actually found it to be really good when you have TTs and Spirals to go with it. Perhaps a list with 4 Hieroglyphic Illuminations and WR would be reasonable.
As for why I'm even splashing green in the first place, it's because have 8 (!!) cantrips that are honestly just good in general and also good for miracling Terminus on 2 is great, and so is playing a T3 Jace. Can't do that in straight UW.
Also, JayJay, perhaps the reason you're finding Field to be so bad is because you're playing so few lands. If you played a less Xerox-focused list, and went to 24/25 lands, you'd be able to consistently find your colors AND have Field available. But that would require a shift away from the tempo aspects, and more to the control side.
The issue I see with bant tempo is that you don't really need to ramp to 4 on T3, you'd really rather ramp to 3 on T2 (for cantrip+counter or Threat+counter or T2 Queller). I think you might be better off with Noble Hierarchs, since the only real payoffs at 4 mana are Restoration Angel, Cryptic, and Jace, and one I just thought of -- Advent of the Wurm. Noble also lets you T2 Spiral in to 2 mana interaction like Leak/Knot.
The way I see it, you have 2 choices -- more tempo or more flash with Resto/Cryptics:
Field isn't bad because I'm lack for lands, I'm still flooding more often then getting screwed on 23 lands. It's bad because you want to be able to cast multiple spells in a turn with heavy color requirements in a 3 color deck. Growth, Opt, Path. Growth, logic knot, condemn. Cryptic, Growth, Path. These are all line that are near impossible without multiple dual lands in play, let alone colorless sources. It's not the same as Jeskai where the cards that you are dipping into the 3rd color for are removal, they are just cantrips. Which means a lot of the time you're going to be choosing between ramping, and interaction. When you're forced to make that choice, the benefits that you get from Spiral on gone; ramping from 5-7 is nice, but it's not game winning.
Also, I disagree with wanting Heirarch over Spiral in the tempo versions. The deck isn't much different other than running Delver over Terminus essentially. You still win most of the time when you T2 Spiral into interaction into Jace. Except now you can also lay a threat on T1 some amount of the time, and you're softer to dredge.
On a more UWx generally topic, how do you guys feel about Terminus and sweepers in general right now?
Matchups were kinda rough, played against blue tron twice, which I'm pretty sure is a godawful matchup.
Played against jeskai and grixis as well.
Was unfortunately not a very diverse spread of decks, but I think I probably want a 25th land, and I definitely felt like I didn't have enough ways to start a fight at instant speed. Its possible whir would have been better, but casting wargate for azcanta or field of ruin, or another land came up a few times, so I'm not sold either way on that one yet.
I think without the miracles, I'm inclined to drop the opts. Hieros might be better. I felt like I wanted more digging for the combo pieces (couldn't find my sword of the meeks and the store only had 1, or I would have played atleast a second), but still wanted the instant speed over serum visions due to growth spiral, but I'm thinking hieros are probably still better for the raw card advantage.
A vendilion clique mainboard might also be good, but I'm not sure how much of this is just overreacting to playing against a bunch of control decks.
I was hoping to figure out if 1 verdict main + 4 wishes + thopter sword was enough anti-aggro, but that will have to wait until next time.
I think terminus is still good. Theres just so much thats hostile to traditional sweepers right now compared to terminus.
Sweepers in general aren't super good though. In a lot of matchups I'd prefer to just overload on spot removal, but I'm not sure if we actually really can without splashing red/black.
I don't know if you feel like you fill up the graveyard fast enough, but you might consider pteramander over delver in your tempo builds. Worse than an early, lucky, delver, but mid-late game you can potentially just slam it as a 5/5 and stabilize where a delver can't. Maybe thats a different deck though.
Rough luck getting paired against U Tron twice, it's on the shortlist for worst matchup for sure.
You don't think Condemn is good enough right now to just run the additional spot removal over the sweepers? It's good against everything except Bob and Teeg, and I think we're favored against Bob decks anyways. Something like 4 path, 2 Condemn 1 oust, with 3 snaps, something like that? Makes for some nice Spiral synergies as well due to the 1cmc cost.
And yea, thanks for the heads up on ptermander, I think it might be a close call. The fact that it can always block flyers might be enough to give it the edge since that version of the deck often wants to switch gears into a protect-the-walker strategy. The only downside would be when I want to bring in RIP I guess.
I don't think either condemn or oust are that good in general. They're functional, and they're the best we have without splashing red/black, but they're not especially good, and I don't think they're good enough to drop sweepers entirely for.
Condemn is back against a lot more than bob/teeg. Ravager, prime time, shadow, hell, even against thing in the ice it can be awkward. Its awkward vs spirits, since it doesn't play around hexproof-granters well. Its not good vs baral, kiki jiki, and plenty more besides.
It is kinda nice with spiral, but I don't think giving up sweepers is good enough without access to more good removal.
Condemn is just as good or better against all those cards you listed as Bolt or Push other than TiTi with push, but condemn still hits it before it kills you while being better against the other creatures in the TiTi decks. Also better against some like shadow (it's fantastic against shadow, you can kill multiple shadows for 1cmc) and titan when in Amulet titan.
I did miss a few creatures though now thinking about it, Pyromancer, Steel Overseer. But it's better vs a lot more in return like colonnade, titan, anything 5cmc with 4+ toughness (BSA, Tasigur, Gurmag, anything in Tron) as well as everything in dredge.
The only major downside I see is that it isn't flexible like bolt in killing walkers/going face.
I'm not sure about it though because I tried a bunch of games without terminus with extra condemns and oust and while they hit everything I needed to hit it wasn't enough to stabilize. Really needed to hit multiple creatures with terminus and still have spot removal for the left overs while setting up a walker. Maybe ptermander is the answer after all - it's not even that much worse against control strategies since it's replacing otherwise dead terminuses (termini?), it's just going to be another ramp spell vs paths i guess lol.
But maybe between worsening the removal vs Bob/Goyf decks as well as giving them more push targets will turn that matchup into a horror show. Would that balance out by being better against pretty much all else?
Man, I don't have enough time to test all this before GP Toronto lol
Compared to bolt or push, sure but compared to cast down or other hard removal, not necessarily.
Condemn is bad vs shadow decks because of discard, and bad vs amulet because of pacts. Its vaguely functional, but its not great.
If you trim sweepers for spot removal, you basically have to play more creatures to block or else protecting planeswalkers is really difficult if youre spending mana on cantrips that dont effect the board.
I played the following list to a 4-1 finish last night at FNM. Went 1-2 Spirits (very close games, Mausoleum Wanderer is a great card), 2-0 BG Elves (it was a budget list), 2-1 Traditional Affinity, 2-1 Grixis Shadow, 2-0 Tron. Deck felt great:
I definitely feel that Spiral is powreful enough to splash green for. It was especially good against Tron, helping me to keep ahead of their threats with Cryptics and powering up Logic Knots while allowing me to recover very quickly from cast triggers hitting my lands. I think this list might be better than the Think Twice/WR list, but I still want to test Hieroglyphic Illumination and WR together. Maybe even throw in a Torrential Gearhulk or 2.
I had some mana issues, but I generally just had too few lands in the opener. I actually mulliganed several times due to only having 1 land. I will say that the basic forest seemed like the worst land in the deck, nearly costing me several games singlehandedly. A Field could be cut to add another colored source, but I think it might be too necessary. If I added 2 lands, they'd probably be the 3rd and 4th Misty, since you really need some untapped lands but more checklands make each other worse and play poorly with Colonnade.
The plains and Forest have been really bad for me too but they are necessary evil so long as Field of Ruin is around.
I haven't had any issues with the checklands and in the control versions I've been running 3 hinterlands and 1-2 glacial. Karsten ran the numbers on how often they should come in untapped on t2 and beyond and didn't even bother calculating beyond 13 sources which was like 84% t2, 92% t3.....very surprised to see you having issues with 16 sources. I can't recall ever having one enter tapped t3 or later, and i'd say less than 5% of the time on t2.
I like to usually Serum t1 to make sure I have a Growth and the 3rd land for t3. Another reason why I'm not too fond of Colonnade in this deck either, but I think you need at least 3.
Finally got to play against Izzet Pheonix a few times with the deck (list very similar to Annihilator's last list, i'll post below), it feels very close went 2-2 against them in matches and 6-6 in games. RIP was clutch despite what I've been hearing more seasoned players saying - something along the lines of "you don't want RIP because access to Snap-Exile effects (path, purge) is one of your best lines". I think that might be true but it seems to me that you actually have more access to path/terminus when they can't surgical extraction on your exile effects. I don't think it's actually correct to try to play the surgical game against them (bring in your own surgical) because they run 3 copies of it and if you're going to try to hit their pheonix they will just surgical it on their own and only exile 1 copy. I'm fairly certain bringing in surgical against them is actually wrong and might not even be worth the sideboard slots right now.
I think I've got enough matches under my belt (around 75) with this deck (control like annhilators) now to make a statement about it's power level - On an absolute judgement - the deck is strong enough to play with the big boys. On a relative judgement - The difference between UW control and this deck is not substantial enough across matchups to warrant giving up points in the burn match (via a worse manabase). UW and Bant pretty much feel the same in most matchups outside of control mirrors where Bant feels miles better , and slightly better against tron but not enough to make it a favourable matchup.
My conclusion would be to keep an eye on the meta and new cards; if burn stops being such a huge force in the meta or if we get some new 1cmc toys then this deck could be a good option over UW miracles.
I'll keep checking in here with you guys but I think I'm going back to UW control for now and trying to figure out if 1 RIP and 2 Relic of Progenitus belong in the main.
I played it in a few variations as a 1-of, didn't draw it too often so can't really speak to it overall, but it seems good in theory. Getting back a snapcaster and gaining 6 life is going to put the game out of reach for most lightning bolt decks. Getting back a field of ruins could be clutch against some decks in specific scenarios too.
I am not quite sure where this belongs to, so I'll just try posting the list here. It is not entirely Bant but UGWb and not entirely Draw-Go as a strategy, but the overlap between card choices is probably the biggest within this archetype.
I could eventually see cutting the Wrath effects, going up to 3 JtMS and running Terminus as the main sweeper in this build, however with Growth Spiral I do feel that we should be fast enough, neglecting recurring threats like Phoenix for which Terminus is the best answer still. Another flex slot is probably Lingering Souls, it is a canonical inclusion with Gifts Ungiven but it might be better to run more counters and/or spot removal in this list, discard is out of reach regarding the mana. As always, feel free to comment.
Edit: Slightly adjusted the deck list, see comments in the posts below.
The list is definitely appealing to me, I love me some Gifts-Rites decks. My concern, as always, is the manabase; You're not reliably casting your 4cmc sweepers with only 5 white producing lands and 14 white sources total. With the 7 cantrips acting as around 1.75 more sources you need a minimum of 2 more, preferably 3.
My recommendation would be to make the black splash a little lighter by cutting the Abrupt Decay/Assassins trophy package plus an opt for 3 serum visions, cut the swamp for a glacial fortress would bring you right about where you need to be in terms of white sources to cast your sweepers and you'd still have access to black to flashback souls or hardcast unburial off grave/tomb in a pinch.
Another option could be just to switch to terminus since it's often just 1 white source, and you have enough sources to hardcast it by turn 5 or 6 already.
And my final suggestion for any gifts/rites list is 1-of Radical Idea so that you can pitch whichever half of the rites combo might get stuck in your hand. You can get nice additional value in gifts packages of like Idea, Iona, Unburial if you have the extra mana at EOT. Or you could even get Idea, Iona, Rites, lingering souls if you have the black source and enough mana to jump-start (maybe eot after you gifts) plus 5 to hardcast to rites.
***edit*** - can't help to think your missing Engineered Explosives in the main as an additional removal spell here as well
Since you count cantrips as a quarter of a mana source, I suppose you are referring to the recent article of Frank Karsten. I see that point, alongside with the issue of Dredge and Phoenix I think it is a wise decision to choose Terminus as the primary sweeper in the list, hence I went up a Jace and down a Teferi. Similarly I adjusted the mana base a little bit, accommodating more G sources for T2 Growth Spiral and consequently going down a couple of basics, the 3 Islands and 2 Plains were a relic from when I attempted to run Cryptics and the sorcery speed wrath package.
I thought about Radical Idea but simply forgot, hence I included it in the recent list as a 1-of. As far as EE is concerned, I am not sure if it is material for the main if there is no way of finding it via Gifts due to the Lack of the Loam/Ruins engine. It is a little durdly for sure, but does its job in grindy matchups. In this particular list however, it just is a 1-of with no chance of recurring contrary to the spot removal spells and Snapcaster Mage.
The list from the above post has been updated accordingly, so you might want to have a look again.
My thoughts on EE in the main are that it just acts as place holder for spot removal in a gifts pile. So if you need to take care of planeswalker you can get a pile of like Teferi, Snapcaster, EE, Trophy. I always liked having 1-ofs of Detention Sphere and EE for that reason, but I understand it's hard to make the space.
Another interesting thing that I tried (before Bant, and Growth Spiral) when using Terminus as the sweeper of choice was including Noxious Revival. It was the only way I could think of that would allow me to utilize gifts in the fashion that I was accustom to for getting sweepers. A pile of something like Terminus, Noxious Revival, snapcaster and either Radical Idea or Mission Briefing which is another card that I overlooked mentioning in my last response.