Quote from orkswubwub »Enemy Planeswalkers are a pain - ecsp. in the age of oko where even if you balance and they are on the play typically you will be facing an army of elks shortly...
Current list I am using has 4x finale of promise which feels better against control/discard matchups. Also I have izzet charm to help me pitch the awful 3x gargadon hand or if I have finale and need to pitch balance etc. I've tried pulling out the serum visions / opts for other control cards but then the list feels clunky.
The exclusion of simian spirit guide is back and forth - the extra speed can be ok but I find it is a bit 'all in' if the spell the guide was pitched for gets countered - also drawing these in multiples is pure pain...
Any thoughts on mystic sanctuary? I know we nuke our lands but as mystic sanctuary itself counts as an island(?) you should only need 2 in play beforehand(??) and it can be a nice way to recur balance / ancestral vision / footfalls depending on need. As noted not every game ends with the first balance. Also since it is an island being able to grab it with a fetchland can make it into a silver bullet... On the flip side we run low land counts typically and having it come into play tapped can be death in certain MU/draws...
SunTzu's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
3x Fiery Islet1x Island4x Mountain3x Scalding Tarn4x Spirebluff Canal4x Steam Vents4x As Foretold4x Greater Gargadon4x Ancestral Vision4x Crashing Footfalls4x Finale of Promise4x Restore Balance4x Serum Visions4x Electrodominance2x Izzet Charm2x Lightning Bolt4x OptSideBoard2x Abrade3x Anger of the Gods4x Blood Moon4x Force of Negation2x Pithing Needle
Quote from vikingtrader »What do you guys think of this list?
SunTzu's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
4x Restore Balance4x As Foretold4x Electrodominance3x Greater Gargadon2x Finale of Promise3x Fieldmist Borderpost3x Mistvein Borderpost3x Firewild Borderpost3x Veinfire Borderpost4x Remand3x Karn, the Great Creator2x Oko, Thief of Crowns1x Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas1x Ajani Vengeant5x Snow-covered Mountain5x Snow-covered Island4x Prismatic Vista2x Snow-covered Plains1x Tolaria West1x Snow-covered Forest1x Snow-covered SwampSideboard:4x Alpine Moon4x Leyline of Sanctity3x Anger of the Gods1x Pithing Needle1x Ensnaring Bridge1x Liquimetal Coating1x Grafdigger's Cage
I'm not sure 12 posts is the right number. Honestly I feel like 8-9 is best so artifact hate isn't a complete blowout. Also, 12 posts and 19 lands seems a bit much. Been so long though I forgot how many lands I need. I wanted to keep the artifact count somewhat high since they remove our lands, work with Tezz, and generally play well for the deck.
I have Remand in there for card draw and stall. The planeswalker package I carefully considered for a few reasons.
Karn - he's good against BUG artifacts/affinity/etc, also if you are able to tutor a Liquimetal Coating after a Balance it will ensure the opponent will never get to have more than 1 land, being able to tutor for a Pithing Needle, Bridge, or Cage helps specific matchups
Oko - the creature interactions, and Food tokens can be lifegain for matchups where a few life points is the difference between a win and a loss.
Tezzeret - ultimate is lifegain, also turns posts into blockers or potential beaters, typically it's a 'must counter' kind of card too
Ajani - lifegain, locks down permanents, removes Elk creatures from Oko if they're both out and ultimate helps make sure they don't rebuild after a Balance
I considered a great deal more walkers but had to keep the objective in mind. Balance away the board, then dominate with walkers. I feel like many opponents are going to concede if you Balance the board clean and then play a walker the next turn. If you have 2 walkers out after a Balance I feel like 90% of opponents are going to concede once the second one drops. Part of my thought process was thinking about how difficult it would be for an opponent after having any 2 of them on the board at once.
Quote from vikingtrader »@SunTzu - I'm not sure how to word my thoughts here without being too edgy. My hope is that I can show you to think more exponential and not lineal. If I come off as aggressive or diminishing that's not my intention at all. My intention is to help show you some valuable lessons I've learned playing the deck, and guide you to a better version.
That said, the problem with most of your lists is they only work on unsuspecting opponents. I get that you're 'all-in' on the Garg+Balance combo. It feels wonderful to 'full Balance' and attack with a Garg twice and just win. The problem is, you expect every game to go like this. The reality is, a good player playing a good deck is going to be able to stop/slow you down AND play their strategy, which is going to result in more losses than wins.
I'm going to highlight some potential weaknesses you'll have to overcome in order to win more games than lose.
- Burn - you have no methods of lifegain, 5 fetch lands, and no ways of protecting your life points other than Balancing
- Turn 1 Thoughtseize - taking your Garg/Call/Balance - if they remove even one of your combo pieces you rely on drawing lucky to survive, let alone win
- 7 ways to cast Balance - if one gets countered you have no backup plan
- Ghostly Prison - burn, combo decks (Ad Naus, Storm, infinite damage combos, etc) and control won't care about Prison
- Counterspells - What if I (opponent) counter just 1 Balance? Can you still put pressure on me before I win the game?
- Enemy Walkers - You have no way of removing a Liliana of the Veil. She can +1 all day against you and then ultimate and repeat.
- Only wincon of Garg/Karn critters - if someone plays Ghostly Prison/Ensnaring Bridge against you how do you win??
Next, I'll go over some anti-synergies in your own deck that you might not see.
- Jar - I know you like it, but it's bad. You HAVE to have a suspended Garg or your combo doesn't work. This is foolish. You can't guarantee that in 100% of games you can suspend Garg. It is VERY possible to go an entire match without seeing those 7 cards. Even if you bump up Call to 4x, there's still a good chance you never get the opportunity to find it. Even if you run Serum Powder there's a chance you won't see Garg.
- Karn - You only have 1 sideboard target which again requires that you must have Garg suspended. If you don't have Garg/Balance, Karn does nothing for you. You don't have any ways of protecting him. You're going to win with Signets and Talismans which would be 2/2's? You only have 7 in the deck too, so you're not going to have a little army.
- As Foretold - There's only 1 card in the deck getting value from this, and that is Balance. The true power of As Foretold comes from being able to wipe the board completely (with or without Garg) and still be able to cast spells with it. Playing trinkets which don't do anything, or tutoring for Garg is not what this card is for. If you're getting it up to 4 counters for Karn/FoF then you should have already won. Why not include more of the suspend cards? Ancestral Vision is still a draw 3 for 0. Crashing Footfalls makes 8 power for 0. Think about it. Those cards are very threatening for an opponent.
- Mishra's Bauble - Why is this here? You're not getting any card advantage from it. It's just replacing itself. You can't tell me that Bauble+Fetch is going to win you the game. Those 4 slots could be used for Lightning Bolt, Assassin's Trophy, or a threat which will actually win the game.
My advice for anyone wanting to play this deck, when building this deck you need to think about what an opponent is going to do in order to get around Balance. Nearly every deck in the format has answers for us, so we must have answers for them. We also need to take into account what is actually threatening in our lists. Having a clear board after a Balance isn't threatening at all, it just slows the game down. If I could recommend anything, try a list with many threats and basic Balance package. It's going to be awkward to play, but you'll see dependable threats will win you games even without Balance. Good cards win games.
A few cards that haven't been mentioned much which could be very good for us:
- Fulminator Mage - 2/2 body which can be removed at a moment's notice so it works well with Balance.
- Veil of Summer - Nobody has mentioned this as a way to combat counterspells. I'm thinking this has to be a staple sideboard choice for ED lists
- Huntmaster of the Fells - This card is a sleeper and I loved playing it in my cascade version. On a clean board I'd rather have Huntmaster than Garg. Flipped version is Ravager of the Fells.
- Indestructible God creatures - They work well with pre-Balance boards since they often won't be creatures until late game. Only work with posts though, but they are indestructible wincons otherwise. Klothys, Thassa, and Keranos are my best picks.
- Kitchen Finks - This one is really cool with Garg suspended. You can either just gain 4 and remove 2 counters or it's a 3/2 body. It's a really good chump blocker which does a fine job at stalling 2 turns until you can Balance.
P.S. For every Balance player - The rise of Wrenn and Six is going to make this deck REALLY hard to pilot. The deck HAS to have maindeck answers. His +1 insures they can rebuild at 1 land per turn. This must be addressed moving forward.
Quote from vikingtrader »@SunTzu - I have to ask, when you play MTG, are you playing competitively or just for fun? That makes a big difference. I understand your goal isn't to win against every list. No deck can win a majority of the time against a competitive field. When that happens, bans happen. What I'm trying to highlight is that your all-in combo isn't going to work against a majority of the decks present in Modern at the moment. I can give at least half a dozen examples if you like.
Lost Legacy/Bitterblossom aren't seeing play so we don't have to worry about them. We don't need to worry about cards until they start showing up. What we do have to worry about is surviving until we can actually Balance. In your case you must have tutors for Garg, Balance in hand, AND have a way to cast it, all before losing.
The problem with being so hyper focused is that you leave yourself vulnerable. Traditionally, decks that require 3 combo pieces in order to go off have a hard time. They're inconsistent, easy to disrupt, and can't adjust to changes in the meta. If you look back at all of the combo decks of the past they all have a few things in common. They make insane amounts of mana, they gain infinite life, deal infinite damage, draw infinite cards, or generate lots of tokens. This deck isn't doing that; it's doing the opposite.
You have many cards in your deck that aren't doing anything. Ghostly Prison isn't helping you gain consistency. Neither is your trinket/Karn package. Bauble is just replacing itself. I'd actually rather see you go back to Scheming + Codex than run Prison and Bauble. The mana trinkets aren't getting you anywhere. They give you 4 mana on turn 3, when you only need 3. Karn isn't doing anything other than being a chump blocker. Fact or Fiction is too slow.
You should add Serum Visions and Sleight of Hand to your list as 4 ofs. Storm needs both of them and so does Ad Nauseam. In order for a combo deck to work in Modern, they have to have draw fixing. Using Jar, you also have the advantage of not needing double red for ED. I think at some point you'll find that needing 4 colors to suspend Garg, play Call, and play cantrips/As Foretold is going to cost you. Not having Mox Opal really cramps your land selection and you've circumvented that by using trinkets and Glimmervoid. I would like to see you tweak the lands in a way that you're playing less fetches/shocks, and still be able to cast everything you need to, instead of relying on Bauble + Glimmervoid. The fetches are just making your burn matchup worse, but you do need some kind of color fixing. Pentad Prism wouldn't be a bad idea because you could pitch it to Garg after you've removed your counters. The drawback of changing your lands and removing the trinkets is that you'll be crushed by Blood Moon, but that's a risk you should take imo.
I still disagree on being a combo deck but I know that's what you really enjoy so I'm trying to help you improve that aspect of your deck.
Edit: Please find a way to add SSG to your list. That will give you the option of Balancing sooner.