Thx for Your opinion Alex
Mostly I'm a mono-U tron player (but in some 2015/2016 I used to run UW gifts-tron deck). Nowdays my local meta goes into the direction where playin tron lands is really hard (GW companys / a lot of GR ponza decks / uw control / blue moon even grixis control maindeck fulminator mages :P) I always liked UW gifts for its resilience against blood moon and land destroy effects.
I did some testings to clarify some things on my own:
1. I suppose that You have right about cutting signets/talisman ramp package - it's simply not enough even against matchups where Iona shut down a color or Elesh norn cannot be answered. Cutting them for smth like additional removal/counter spells is a must. That's what I realized after playin with "gift-combo-depend" list (with 5 and later 4 signets for fast ramp - it didn't worked like it used to be :P).
2. About Thought-knot seers, I think that this is the card what we really needed in the deck. He's proactive play against combo where we always had really tough matchup. The question is how to include them in mainboard to not lose the edge against aggro? The mass removal suite is really good here...maybe goin for more timely reinforcements is a clue here? (in the past some lists played 2/3 timely in place of mass removal suite)
3. Yea, the colonnade price is a bit high but I don't play them beacuse of sooooo much hate nowdays. IMO it's not that much necessary land as Many UW-tron players think - I agree that sometimes it's a nice finisher - but in the world of field of ruin and fatal push (where our colonnade is the only one push target along with snapcaster) it's just a waste of land slot. On the other hand we have temple of enlightenment, which is natural replacement for colonnade - and the scry1 effect is really strong here in the deck (we just don't want to draw certain cards).
4. I tried to get back to 12 tron lands version and I don't think that it's really better than "classic" 10 land list. In the grindy matchups we are already digging for value (and often these kind of decks have a lot of ponza effects so these 2 lands don't really matter). For aggro/combo decks We don't need tron too - and these 2 more colored lands does wonders for Our manabase.
At the moment my list looks something like this (but I already change it few times and I still cannot find the optimal bulid):
The list is a bit high on counterspells (as for UW gifts tron) and I use split for gifts purpose. Adarkar wastes is my dualland of choice (for casting thought-knot seers from SB). The thought-knot seers are mine "leyline of sanctity" (TBH I used to run 4 of them before and I never liked them - or better: I never know how to play with them :D).
I'm not sure about lack of some utility land like academy ruins or even haven of the spirit dragon. Have to say that I don't really like these lands here beacuse we already use graveyard a lot - and we will get gravehate in games 2/3.
I'm totally not sold on this list and I will appreciate Your ideas and help
EDIT: already made some changes:
-1 negate + 1 blessed alliance in the mainboard
and in SB
-1 dispel + 1 negate
-1 ghostly prison + 1 spell snare
-1 rule of law + 1 celestial purge
I'm also thinkin about removing mana leak from main, it's too often dead card (maybe remand should come back?)
-1 temple of enlightenment + 1 plains (too many field of ruins in my meta, I added 1 more plains to achive double white against aggro/midrange)
-1 mana leak +1 negate (I've got really nice removal package and I needed hard answer for cards like karn/all is dust/JTMS and other noncreature threats, we use to play long game if we can't combo and mana leak sux there)
-1 negate +1 spell snare (negate moves to main and I've got slot for another spell snare against fast decks/snapcasters/storm and many other jundish lists)
-1 pithing needle + 1 suppression field (I'm trying this card for the needle slot, I used to play it before and it was nice)
I agree the deck seems a little top heavy. It just has so many late game cards and I think it might have one or two too many. He shaved on Signets and Maps, plus went to the 10 Tron count to afford the manabase. Honestly, not sure how clunky it is, because Maps and Signets themselves are often as clunky.
Champion of Wits is really the only interesting card. I'm still not sure what I think about it, but it doesn't seem like the worst idea I've ever seen. The merit of it blocking has potential to offset the extra card. It is a bit awkward that you're trading card advantage for a small creature on board. On one hand, it does block, but it also does give your opponent opportunities to use otherwise dead removal spells. Eternalize is a nice mechanic though. I'm not convinced it is better, but it could end up like Wall of Omens, where it's better than Remand in some metas because it blocks. My gut tells me that the small size on this doesn't make it enough better than Thirst, but I've been wrong before.
I have warmed up a lot to Teferi having played with it/against it in various formats. The card untapping lands makes it so easy to play on 5 and leave up Remand / Path.
Can You share your last list Darksteel? I'm gonna get the "chumpion of wits" and try them. But TBH I'm not sure if creature is better than instant in this slot - eternalize is sweet - but when we can active this we are already in the good spot I think.
I'm confused with remands these days... I'm still tryin "hard answers", Well it seems that negate has really good time atm.
I haven't played the deck recently. As much as I love it, now that I have money to afford other decks, I've been playing a lot of stuff. As you can see from my sig I'm playing like basically everything now.
Curious if anyone has tried champion of wits - I was going to pull the trigger on them to test but I'm increasingly skeptical that paying 2U for a 2/1 with a faithless looting stapled to it is where I want to be. When thirst is at its worse, you still get faithless looting plus a (decent to good) card. It seems unlikely that a 2/1 body would ever be better than the average decent card in the deck - and digging one more deep to search out a missing tron land just seems way better. The eternalize is cool but seems a little win-more. I could more imagine playing one as part of a gifts package so that its value even if binned than playing a full set over TFK.
Similarly - is haven of the spirit dragon ever relevant? The guy on card knock life talks about chaining ugins, the odds they deal with ugin #1 are very low, but I could more imagine him getting countered or thoughtseized I guess, and maybe the crucible package makes it possible to tutor him late (crucible, ugin, haven and whatever).
Private Mod Note
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
* Esper Draw-Go
* Tezzeret Whir
* Blue Tron
Sometimes creatures are better than draw spells. The 2/1 body isn't appealing though. Like Wall of Omens is good sometimes because it blocks a lot of things, but Champion is only sometimes trading. It can probably trade a good amount, but like I said, it's also giving your opponent an outlet to use otherwise dead removal spells.
I also don't think Haven is that important. It's not the worst card I've ever seen or tested, but it's fine. I don't tend to need a second Ugin though, I can't tell you the last time I had to trade it. Now, I also don't know if I've gotten into situations where I've taken alternative lines because it would die. I would guess probably never. It's just almost always wrathing the board and then it's hard for opponents to come back. Even if it dies, killing everything is typically good enough to stabilize.
I may play the deck again sometime soon, but not enough to test Champion and make a decision about it. I took UWR for a spin last time.
I think this is a pretty niche card, but I think it has some small amount of potential in the sideboard. Modern has a surprising number of 1 CMC cards, especially things you normally can't interact with like Aether Vial and Map. I would need to do a full breakdown of the format to see if this is worth playing, but my inclination is that it's worth considering.
The first ability isn't fantastic, it just sort of slows down your opponent a little bit. Good against Burn or BGx types of decks with Thoughtseize and Liliana. But what I'm more concerned about is the secondary effect. Neutering tokens can be good, and I've played cards in other decks that do it. I'm not saying this is a slam dunk of a card, but in the right environment, this card might appear in a sideboard.
Particularly good against Collected Company decks. The fact it costs 1 means you can fit it on the board at any time, and since those decks are typically very light on removal, you don't care that much. Merfolk would probably like this card for sideboards, us probably not as much. Even still, I could see CoCo going on a rise and wanting to play this. There's a similar creature that I'm not remembering, a white flier from a couple years back. I haven't ever wanted to play that, but I'm not sure if 1cmc changes my opinion.
This is definitely the highlight card of the set. Basically paying 1 more for a modal wrath that offers the ability to kill artifacts/enchantments on the second mode. My gut reaction is to not want to play this in the main, but sideboard one copy.
With this card, you're effectively asking whether slowing wrath by a turn is made up for the fact that in some cases, it does what wrath cannot. Instinctively, Wrath often needs to be cast as soon as you can. I have lost games where if I had cast wrath a turn earlier, I would have been fine. Turn 5 on the draw seems really slow, and I feel like I want to have the 4cmc wrath effects main. I do like the idea of this in the sideboard. I like more expensive wraths there, especially since you can optionally board it in when you see an opponent with a deck where the second mode is good.
I think there just aren't enough decks where this is good enough. It's fine against Lantern, KCI, Bogles, Affinity (though regular wrath is fine). These decks just aren't popular enough to support this card the way some people might think. Sometimes it will be good, but on average, it will probably just be a slightly worse wrath.
I have long been searching for a second modern deck which I can enjoy nearly as much as my jeskai delver deck and came across the article posted at cardknocklife and am very interested in the deck. After playing a few games with the cardknocklife list I came to the conclusion that its a little all over the place with winconditions and a litte light on permission (counterspells and early interaction in general).
Maybe some of you more experienced players could help me with the archetype, what cards must not be changed what cards are flex spots and so on.
The infinite ugin combo with the haven of the spirit dragon felt to cute for me for instance.
And one more thing, what are the General opinions on Champion of wits vs thirst for Knowledge.
Guess I'll post my tournament report to keep things kinda going. This was my first time ever playing the deck. I'm not a semipro or a grinder, the highest MtG achievement I have to my name is top-8ing a PTQ. So with that context, here is the report:
I played the cardknock life list with 2 changes:
1 Snow covered-plains -> plains because I couldn't find the snow land in time. The difference never came up.
1 Ceremonious rejection -> Timely reinforcements because I was more afraid of burn. This was relevant in 1 matchup.
Round 1 - Ponza. Weirdly I won really easily even though he kept blowing up my lands. The first threat he played was inferno titan and by that time I had Elspeth on board. Game 2 he probably sided out removal and I just killed him with thought-knot seer. (1-0)
Round 2 - Bant spirits. I won game 1 by wrathing his board away and attacking with colonnade and champion of wits. Game 2 I keep a 1 lander on the draw and die. Game 3 I keep a hand with supreme verdict but no colored mana and come close to stabilizing. Close (1-1)
Round 3 - Infect. Game 1 I died so fast I don't even remember what my hand was. Game 2 I mulled to 5 looking for white mana + path and die a slightly slower death. I will probably make room in the board for 1 more spatial distortion with this matchup in mind. Also good against humans and etched champion. (1-2)
Round 4 - Titanshift. Game 1 I reanimate Iona turn 5 naming Green and he can't do anything. Game 2 I tap out for... something... and die to scapeshift. Game 3 I learn my lesson and just don't tap out until I counter his titan on turn 6. The next turn he has 1 card in hand which I know is garbage from TKS. On my next turn I reanimate Iona and lock him out. He said afterwards he had paths in the board but never drew them. TKS was stellar here. (2-2)
Round 5 - Janky green tron. He had the green tron engine but he was playing old Ulamog an old Kozilek. The ones that destroy 1 permanent and draw 4 cards. Game 1 I won with Iona + Colonnade attacks after he cheated a giant eldrazi into play with Quicksilver Amulet. Yeah. Game 2 I died to turn 3 tron online pass, turn 4 giant eldrazi with annihilator. I should have mulliganed my noninteractive hand. Game 3 I won with TKS beatdown. Fat Vendilion Clique was MVP again. (3-2)
Round 6 - UW control. Here is where my inexperience really showed. I now think that we should just be playing for the Batterskull + Academy ruins recursion strategy in the early/mid game and Emrakul in the late game, forgetting about Iona or our PWs because they are too easily answered. I also think that in this matchup we should board into a counterspell deck to absolutely try and keep Jace & Teferi from resolving without opposition. If we don't tap out and they somehow force PWs through our counters, they should be low enough on mana that we can kill the PW with Colonnade or Dsphere/Obring postboard. As it was, I kept tapping out and he just planeswalkered me to death. Also, keep 4 paths in postboard for their 4 colonnades. Just 2 paths + 2 Field of Ruin is not enough. Don't fetch for basics because they run 4 paths and 4 field or ruins. Crucible of worlds is amazing in this matchup. (3-3)
Overall, I liked the deck. I made some truly awful decisions, one trying to cast Timely Reinforcements as an instant, and twice thinking Champion of Wits eternalize had haste (I had only ever eternalized Earthshaker Khenra on MtG Arena prior to this tourney). A small percent of the time Iona will just lock your opponent out of the game.
Changes I would make to the cardknocklife list:
1 Champion of wits -> 1 Thirst for knowledge for gifts purposes. I drew Unburial/resurrect target more than once on the day
1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon out - irrelevant all day in every matchup
1 Field of ruin from the side into main replacing haven
1 Spatial distortion into sideboard
Guess I'm "Just Getting Started" again... the last time I posted on mtgsalvation was probably around 2010 and it looks like they deleted my account lol.
One last thing, I have read through some of the recent posts here and I disagree with cutting Colonnade. In fact I think Colonnade the most consistent way we win the game. I would not go below 3.
As UW Tron was my first ever Modern Deck it has a special place in my heart and while I nowadays rather prefer to play the "spike"-deck of the day I'm regularly coming back to UW-Tron to see what has happend. To this day i feel deckbuilding and developing with this deck to always be a challenge mostly due to the options that gift offer.
Coming from a PPTQ last weekend with Tron that I wasnt able to win I figured 2 things about MonoG Tron.
1) I really liked Tron mana in drawn out games vs. U/W
2) I felt the deck overall was not to well positioned
With Humans and U/W being the deck to beat around here and a continuing decrease in TRON i felt like revisiting UW as it combines waht i like about UW and Tron right now.
Long Story short I finished my 2nd Competiitve Modern Modo League with 4-1 in a row.
With my only loss coming from MonoG Tron in both Leagues. To get it out of the way i feel my list cant beat tron, period, you get lucky 1 game but its horrible beyond measure. U/W, Humans, Pyromancer, DS, Green creature felt rather easy in return.
The matchups were i really still miss a Hoser are: GY Decks to a point were i considered to play 4 leyline of the void despite the issue it brings, maybe anyone has a good idea?
SB Cards I wanna try: Rule of Law, Solemnity, Relic
Here is the list:
Deck definitly felt really well positioned altho Elesh Norn / Iona have lost a bit of his former impact it felt like.
Champion and Ballista were big MVPs.
Ballista as aggro stopper and finisher with Ruin, champion as lategamevalue and value gift target.
Went ahead and picked up a bunch of stuff for this deck. I don't have much of a sideboard yet (although I should be able to pick up some stuff for it in a couple weeks). Anyways, here's my first draft list:
I'm not entirely certain how good the maindeck ratios are, hopefully it will run smooth enough. Only 2 Colonnade because that's all I could afford without cutting costs elsewhere. My main question is whether or not I should try and fit in Crucible and Thought-Knots (which I've seen other lists running) and if so what to cut for them.
I have 4x Leyline of Sanctity and a Hurkyl's Recall laying around I could throw in the side, plus stuff like Disenchant and Timely Reinforcements should be cheap enough that I can pick them up. Stuff in the range of $20 or less like Wurmcoil, Batterskull and O-Stone should be manageable. Unfortunately it seems like picking up an engineered explosives is one of those things that I'll be putting on indefinite hold.
If there's anything glaringly wrong with the maindeck let me know so I can get it fixed up in the next few weeks!
So here is my Tournament report:
It was about 18 players, 5 rounds of Swiss. My list was that posted above, except for few small changes:
-Muddle the Mixture
Round 1 vs Boggles: 2-0
First game, I live long enough to cast a Gifts Ungiven. Somehow, my opponent gave me Ugin out of it.
+2 Timely Reinforcements
Second game, I have a wonderful opener:
T2 Signet, T3 EE on 1 and blow it up, T4 Cleansing Nova and Tron, then Elesh Norn, Ugin etc (I Still Had All These)
Round 2 vs Hollow One: 2-0
First game, I have T1 Path, T2 Signet and T3 Settle the Wreckage. Wonderful MB choice.
See Boggles, except for
Postboard, I mulliganed once, then I Still Had All These (See "tha Gathering" for reference) - 2 Timely Reinforcements, 2 Path to Exile, and again Settle the Wreckage.
Round 3 vs UW Control: 2-1
First Game, I delay his wincons with my counterspells, then get to Emrakul mana.
-1 Path to Exile
-Wrath of God
-Settle the Wreckage
+Crucible of Worlds
Second game, my opponent keeps me busy with Jace, Teferi, a well-timed Entreat the Angels Miracle and Colonnades. Nuff said.
Game three was the nuts. I had a Jace and fatesealed him to threaten the -12 finish, but just when I had it up, my opponent had an out (Cryptic Command and Teferi). I could replay the Jace, but that was all - I was far away from Tron mana, so the "Infinite Gifts Chain" with Emrakul, Sphinx's Revelation, another Gifts Ungiven and X (=VALUE) was also impossible.
Then my opponent had a Rest in Peace, and that exiled the Sphinx's, Ugin, Wurmcoil Engine and more - I cleared that with EE, but then that was gone, too.
So finally when the end of time was reached, I found the last Tron piece. My opponent had a hard-casted Entreat create him 3 Angels (one received a Path via my Snapcaster) and Clique'd me at end of draw. So I faced lethal (I was at 1 from the first attack) and could swing my life up to 7 with my Snapcaster and equipping it with Batterskull - but that wasn't enough.
Here is what I found: I had a Jace on 3, just Lands left in my hand and like 25-30 mana thanks to all 4 Towers in play.
Brainstorming with Jace found Gifts Ungiven, and that won me the game - I Love That Card.
The Pile was:
Path to Exile
My opponent had no Colonnades left, and was hellbent. So he neither could give me Supreme Verdict nor Emrakul - and there I had the IGC (=Infinite Gifts Chain). I Path'ed one token, Gift'ed for the same pile (still presenting Emrakul/Verdict mana), and thereby could remove all his wincons.
Round 4 vs RW Taxes: 0-2
First game, I was screwed by Thalia - Wrath of God in hand :/
-more, I don't remember
+everything except Hurkyl's Recall I think
Second game, I got screwed again because the Wrath effect I drew was Cleansing Nova. Bitter Lessons
Round 5 vs KCI: 0-2 (argh!)
First game, there was not much I could hope to do - my deck is slow and lacks real permission to his combo.
-Wrath of God
-Settle the Wreckage
+I don't remember
Second game, I mulliganed twice, and had just Remand and Hurkyl's to interact - Game Over
So I am really loving the Deck when it works, though my Sideboard will change now. Those many 1-offs are nice to have with Gifts Ungiven, but now I will probably try this:
Is Mindslaver still worth running (main or side)? I'm running it but kind of want to take it out for another Signet maybe.
If I do that I'll probably take out Academy Ruins for another colored source too since I don't have good targets (Engineered Explosives) for it anyways
@StayHappyThere , in general, I don't think so. It's a combo that requires a lot of set up and we often can't run multiple copies of the combo pieces to make it as consistent as it has been. Ii think in general, modern has gotten so fast that a hard lock on turn 5 or 6 isn't what it once was. Even two-card combos like thopter/sword are falling out of favour for things like Secure the Wastes.
What I'm always wondering about, and the part of magic that I have the most trouble with, is sideboard slots. What are people running in their sideboards that are more local meta calls, rather than the things we see show up in every list. For example, the last LGS I played, there was some lantern and grixis, so I ended up relying more on things like Leyline of Sanctity. What are some fun-of or hidden tech cards that you use in your local stores?
My personal favorites are:
-Sacred Ground: was wonderful against many LD effects. Does not help against Surgical Extraction, though
-Damping Matrix: I played it when Birthing Pod Decks were still around. Spirits and Hardened Scales makes it a worthy card again, I think.
-Pact of Negation: with Tolaria West to find it, this hard counter is nice to have in the lategame when you want to tap out for someting like Ugin, Elspeth or Iona, and then still have an out.
-Hibernation: self-explaining I guess.
-Trinket Mage: nice card to bring in vs. Aggro when you also board in Engineered Explosives and Pithing Needle. Also finds Expedition Map.
It's been a bit since I've chimed in here, haven't taken the deck out in a while. I've got like half the format built now, maybe more, and I've been playing less Magic lately. But I'll put a few comments
GRN unsurprisingly had nothing for us. Without gold cards in UW there wasn't really going to be anything. Maybe in the next set, but I never have high hopes for sets.
Teferi is actually quite good, been playing him in Jeskai Control. Being able to untap lands is much better than it sounds, especially when we might be able to untap 4 mana to EOT Gifts. I think Teferi is probably better in Jeskai because more interaction means more chances to keep him alive. Still, I think he does have some potential and I'd certainly play one copy until I was certain he wasn't good.
Mindslaver seems particularly bad right now because graveyard strategies are back. Storm is good again and Dredge has been putting up some impressive results since Creeping Chill got printed. So I'd be weary of dipping too far into the graveyard strategy. With people playing cards like Surgical, Cage, Relic, Leyline of the Void, Spellbomb, all of it's bad for that. Cut the combo, free up slots.
Would the unbanning of SFM do anything for the deck? Either as a SB plan or even in the main to buy some time or steal games?
As the graveyard decks just keep popping up, the gifts package gets worse and in match ups where we dont really want to rely on the combo or want to shift gears, SFM could do the trick in conjunction with thought knot seers. Drawing batterskulls isnt even that bad for us, as we can shuffle them back in with emrakul and with tron assembled playing and bouncing it over and over again isnt a problem.