I had the same experiance as you in the 4 color matchups and they felt really good to play against. With your Spreading Seas i bet they went even smoother. I usually don't take the land destruction route as eveytime i did it in other match ups it seems they have way more basics then what the deck was supposed to have. But in this match up it was absolutly insane. Taking their domain and key colors away is just a free win.
And while your matchups were indeed very favoured in my opinion, it's still a very strong showing of the deck and hope to hear more from you when you have more results to post! Good luck on your games!
1. 0 Path, 4 On Thin Ice: I'm certainly going to test this with reservations that I'm losing out with instant speed removal, the ability to path my own creature to ramp and requiring a basic snow plains to use. The upside of OTI not giving opponent an extra land may outweigh all the downsides I've listed.
2. 4 Flickerwisp, 3 Blade Splicer: Definitely helps with the closing speed of the deck and a feature of the deck since it also runs 4 Ephemerate. This is a more aggressive package that Emeria can pack. I've never been the biggest fan of Blade Splicer but I can see its worth with Yorion and Charming Prince.
3. 4 Solitudes and 4 Teferis: Might be the right numbers in the current meta tbh but can be adjusted
4. 4 Thraben Inspectors: One of the best blockers against Ragavan and I've really been a fan of the card in Emeria as a chump blocker and 'cycler'.
5. 4 Spreading Seas: Hard agree on this choice, people are playing really greedy mana bases / utility lands that make Spreading Seas very impactful.
Will be testing this or the Stoneforge package soon time and hope to come back with another report!
Hello Starstorm, Hello coffeeortea, and thank you Fluff.
Fluff and Starstorm, I feel happy enough with my results so far; I take the long view on things (in life, in deckbuilding, and in individual games) - this initial return to tournaments is not at all a significant enough set of results to start skewing my perceptions as of yet. There is no need to feel concern for my attitude, though I thank you both for your kind thoughts.
As to your question about specifics, Starstorm, Cavalier of Dawn is still the biggest question mark for me, and finding an adequate catch-all to replace Detention sphere in the maindeck remains a priority now that Prismatic Ending can release Teferi, Hero of Dominaria so easily in the all-important game 1 against Control matchups. I would also say that Prismatic Ending has been very good so far, and that Crucible of Worlds is a borderline liability at the moment, while only one maindeck Ghost Quarter may be wrong. Perhaps I will switch the Crucible and the sideboard Quarter next week, as I have lost several games to not making land drops on time or locking out a Basic colour while stabilizing recently. All else seems solid - which is what I am aiming for.
On to you, now, coffeeortea: thank you for the decklist, it is definitely interesting. Before I get into the specifics, however, did you get a chance to read my comments for you from paragraph two onward in the second post down from the top of this page? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.
I can report that it ran well enough and had very good game against Midrange, given the synergy between Yorion, Sky Nomad and On Thin Ice, Mortarpod, or Spreading Seas, but games 2 (or infrequently 3) against unfair and creature-light decks seemed to go from unfavourable game one to very, very poor post-board. Beyond the largely unmitigated oversaturation of terrible draws in these circumstances, extra chances at finding singleton sideboard bullets or two-ofs in an 80-card deck was horribly inconsistent even WITH Court Hussar to dig and Mistveil Plains to recycle spells, not to mention the fact that Yorion itself stole a slot outright from the available substitutions.
On the subject of sideboarding, I feel that theirs was only beginning to be tuned, with the presence of Flusterstorm, Dovin's Veto, Rest In Peace, and Elspeth, Sun's Champion indicating a possible lack of coherence and a definite tension in deciding whether to be Tempo or Control post-board. I am nearly positive, given that this was the case, that in their daily event Oreia was almost exclusively paired against five decks that they could interact with maindeck (with an outside chance that their quicker clock managed to punish a badly stumbling unfair opponent at some point). Though circumstantial, this may be telling, and is a good sign for our position in the metagame regardless.
Moving forward, I would caution everyone that results like these (and the presence of decks like Elementals more generally) may indicate a shift towards a heavier ETB metagame which would then lead to an uptick in the presence of Torpor Orb, Tocatli Honor Guard, Hushwing Gryff, Hushbringer, and/or Dress Down in opposing sideboards. Be prepared, specifically from decks like Zoo, Spirits, or Shadow that can fit these cards in without too much difficulty!
Hoping you are all enjoying the last days of summer (for those of you in the Northern hemisphere at least),
Hey Gerant thanks for the feedback, didn't get a chance to respond but here are my quick-takes:
1. Dovin's Veto vs. Jeskai Stoneblade - I think that in hindsight it was wrong to bring it in - its main use is for combo/counterspell heavy decks which Jeskai Stoneblade is neither. Got back into modern recently and learning what all the decks do :\
2. Domain opponent - yes indeed the card was Might of Alara! I didn't think Prismatic ending was great as he was very multi colored but looking back it hit Brushfire/Kavu so should have left it in
3. Flickerwisp - I actually love its utility for my list, it flickers my creatures for additional value (Sun Titan returning Flickerwisp was a common play until the printing of Charming Prince). It can flicker reset things like Chalice/EE (which aren't great against our deck but can be useful in a pinch). It kills Germ/Rhino/Blue Illusion from Skyclave immediately and can also move our Spreading Seas to a higher priority target land late game. It also flickers troublesome permanents temporarily like Ensnaring Bridge/Sphere of Safety (not very much played now) which adds to the utility. Lastly it can flicker our living weapons to reset them. I think the right number is 1-2 and adds to consistency.
4. Blast Zone has been great in killing one drops, and annoying permanents. It's not amazing but provides utility in times of need and I feel like its a free inclusion to the mana. I don't have Crucible in the mainboard but Sun Titan can return it if needed, which is quite rare. The extra utility land has not impacted my mana as I'm on 31 land in the Yorion build. If I was on 60 cards I would go with only the 4 Field of Ruin / 1 Ghost Quarter package.
5. Prismatic Vista is an extra fetch that allows me to get basic island but due to the lack of Blood Moon decks it's probably better to have a 6th white fetchland to get the Raugrin triome instead.
Agreed that the 80 card Yorion variation hedges even stronger against creature decks, which makes us softer against the likes of Tron/Combo/Mill. To strengthen the combo matchup I'd put the Ranger Captains back in. I'd also just pack more sideboard hate against Tron maybe like 6-7 slots (Damping Sphere, Void Mirror, Aven Mindcensor, Sorcerous Spyglass etc)
I don't think elementals is strong enough right now to warrant hostile sideboard options like Torpor Orb effects...but yeah Torpor orb is basically GG against us unless we have Teferi / Seal of Cleansing.
Prismatic Ending has indeed changed many of normal answers in modern so it's a double edge sword as it affects many of our answers but it is also one we can use quite effectively.
Cavalier of Dawn seems like a good answer more grindy matchups like control, specially being able to be recurred by Emeria if it gets countered the first time. I'll have to try it out eventually but for now i don't quite know what to take without disrupting the deck's balance.
About the Yorion and the 80 card build, I'm not the biggest fan. I do not have experiance with that build but i find that as a reactive deck, many of my wins come from having the right cards when i need them, be them from the mainboard or sideboard. I know that against Blitz if i don't have a Path to Exile or a Solitude the possibility of dying to a Stormwing becomes very big. Against Living End i know if i don't draw my sideboard hate I'm very likely dead. Of course this is offset by the cards you put in the deck by the dilution of those key cards i want is a bit too much for liking. That said, many Yorion decks have achieved great results like Death and Taxes so, despite not being the greatest fan, there's surely some power to be gained with this build.
Regarding the hate discussion, this is more a local meta problem that i have and not something that can be translated into MTGO or bigger tournements, but because of my good results in the past months, people are actively sideboarding against me, with Rest in Peace,Torpor Orb and even Manriki-Gusari starting to be prevalant. For now it hasn't been the biggest problem as i have managed to avoid some of this hate but there's gonna be a big tournment coming up, with 5 rounds and top 8 which I think it will be the perfect oportunitty to test the power of the deck in a hypercompetitive environment with people prepared for Emeria.
This last weekend manage to put some more games in with the deck over 3 days, going 7-1-2 in total, with some changes being made to the mainboard and sideboard, namely the return to 3 Supreme Verdict and a Shadowspear in the side as my only loss was against burn and i truly felt there was almost no way i could win that matchup with the build i had previously.
I'll write about the games as soon as i can can, and hope you guys keep the good results flowing!
I think that you may be much more vulnerable to Torpor Orb effects than I am, coffeeortea, so for the record I would be very happy to see its rise in the metagame as that would signify a more midrange direction. Dress Down, on the other hand, is a much better card when the cantrip is factored in, since it enables very efficient tempo plays. Sequencing is the key to beating both, however, so being aware of what ETB creatures you are curving into in gameplay and deck construction should help significantly reduce the damage these inflict during the current state where people will be very likely to be experimenting with their utility (which was essentially my point in bringing them all up). If you are filling things out with Flickerwisp, this makes the cards stronger which could explain your increased vulnerability to these effects, but if you have enjoyed your results with the 3/1 flier I will leave it at that. When it comes to your manabase, though, in Blast Zone I feel that far from being a "freeroll", as you put it, it is a huge liability when in the survival mode that Emeria is best suited to thrive in. With Prismatic Ending around, its utility has already been reduced [EDIT: SOME] amount, but the main arguments are still that it passively impedes what I consider to be my greatest positional asset whenever drawn and that if I am forced to use it in order to live I have essentially cast Time Walk for my opponent. In my version of the deck this is much more pronounced, and I do appreciate that it does fulfill some of the function of Detention Sphere, however the point is still that the card can NEVER help becoming a plains, and does not help to cast crucial blue spells as the lone basic Island does. Emeria, the Sky Ruin barely gets a pass for my money on not being a Plains itself by holding the actual effect I am trying to enable; everything else is - or can become - part of the count up to seven for upkeep recursion. In a related note, I think that the real freeroll is in Mistveil Plains. If you think you need more access to Raugrin Triome, that is for you to decide, but I was mostly trying to emphasize the fact that having a utility Plains that turns any fetchland into lategame value and provides a non-zero amount of free game 1 wins on its own (well over a dozen thus far for me, though admittedly in a sample size of hundreds) is a huge extra weapon to gain access to. Please consider it! The extra tapland may be too much for your more Tempo-oriented version, which is fair, but it is so easy to sequence otherwise that I flat-out think that anyone who has not tested it in this shell is doing themselves a great disservice.
Returning to your discussion then, Starstorm, let me begin by saying congratulations for what seem to be a set of very solid results. For my own list, I have stated that I need more information on Cavalier of Dawn, but the card is expensive enough (mana-wise) that I have upon reflection not been thrilled with the possibility of drawing it at multiple moments in these past few weeks. I am tempted to have it become the fourth Prismatic Ending or a single Solitude instead and to therefore give up on interacting directly with 4+ mana value noncreature plays in game ones, but this is a particularly bitter pill to swallow for me given my maindeck fail-case philosophy of "have a chance to convert any stable boardstate to a win by decking once Emeria and infinite recursion are established". This precept has led to a surprising amount of victories against seemingly impossible matchups, because I have an unusual avenue to victory every time I can drag out the game to a point where opponents with a less long-term vision begin to stumble into corner-case draws. Being technically covered in these instances is the major reward I see in investing this much time into the deck, and it feels awful when I let any extra deckbuilding opportunities of this kind go to waste since I have historically been able to make a crutch of this lategame bias to sharpen the focus of my plays whenever I was tempted to do anything other than what my deck was designed to do. Knowing that I can eventually deal with any single permanent is a huge contributor to the peace of mind I experience in making my decision to continue playing this deck.
I am hoping that I will be able to play another tournament again tomorrow, but it may conflict with a soccer final, so I will leave things there for now.
I felt that without a very explosive start (like turn 1 or 2 with 2 Hollow One in play and Vengevine and so on) the deck didn't really reperesent a threat and i could easily deal with their board tradind 1 for 1 or waiting for the right time for a Supreme Verdict. Dragon's Rage Channeler is quite strong in the deck not only fuelling Delirium but putting Vengevine and Ox of Agonas in the grave which give the deck a lot of reach for the late game, often playing Ox once every turn, drawing and discarding like madman. Our exile based removal is fantastic and with sideboard makes it even better.
I think we're very favoured in this match up, and asside from some Sigarda's Aid cheeses without us having instant speed removal, we can control the board quite well.
This was going to be a 2-1 win, but unfortunatly my opponent took quite a long time in his plays and i just couldn't finish game 3 in time because of all the blockers he was presenting. I had previously drawn against this opponent because of the same time issue, but this being FNM and being there just to have a good time, there was never a slow play warning and all i can hope is next time the game moves at a faster pace.
The game i lost was precisely because i didn't have a Path to Exile or a Solitude when one of his unblocked creatures got equipped at instant speed with 2 Colossus Hammer because of the Sigarda's Aid that was on the table. Got a bit unlucky as i also didn't draw the Prismatic Ending or Skyclave Apparition for the enchantment but overall felt that it was very winnable and just ended up not drawing any of those answers.
Post sideboard i think the matchup only get better and cards like Chalice of the Void and Sanctum Prelate on 1 are preety much gg barring some answer they could have.
Like I had said before, removed my Burn specific hate some time ago because the deck seemed to drop in popularity, and it was definitly felt durning the games.
Game one he didn't play any permanents at all, just burn spells and i had a hand full of removal that did absolutly nothing. Didn't draw Batterskull or Stoneforge Mystic and without any lifelink, a couple of spells were enough to kill me.
The only card i had that was actually kinda good was Gideon of the Trials, and the rest of the sideboarded cards were just what i considered to be some small upgrades over the mainboard but without that much impact.
Game 2 manage to put Batterskull in play with mana to bounce it in case he could kill it instantly, be he had 2 Wear // Tear in hand and that caught me way ofguard. Solitude at turn 5 wasn't enough to keep me alive with it's lifelink and while game 2 was closer, he just had to deal with my lifelink 5 drops and it was game over.
After this round, Shadowspear gained it's sideboard slot back and with the rise of artifact and some enchantress decks, made me order a Heliod's Intervention which i'll try to slot it in when it arrives.
Day 2 got 3 wins and 1 Draw (which unfortuantly, once again, should have been a win)
Round 1 won 2-1 against Izzet Murktide
The basically have 12 Creatures, and if we deal with them, we win. That's what our deck does, and with only 4 Counterspell, they can't avoid everything.
Game 1 lost because i was forced into an early Supreme Verdict to deal with 2 Dragon's Rage Channeler that had delirium and Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, and he just waited until the right time to play Murktide Regent, then countered my Path to Exile and i couldn't answer it in time.
Game 2 was easier with a board presence and Prismatic Ending, Mortarpod and Skyclave Apparition dealing very well with the 1 drops, and then saving Verdict and Instant removal for Murktide.
Game 3 was a turn 3 concession from my opponent as i play turn 2 Chalice of the Void on 1, he tries to play things just to fuel an early Murktide, and with a turn 3 Remorseful Cleric taking that option away, he just didn't have anyhting left.
I forgot to write my sideboard decisions in this match but i think this is what i would sideboard right now with the build i have. Honestly i Like the entire mainboard for this match up so even though i want to bring 5 cards in, the ones that are coming out are actually a bit difficult to me but this is what i would go with i think (feel free to leave your thoughts on it and help me make better decisions in the future ;p)
Round 2 won 2-0 against Hammertime.
This match went much more like what i thought it would happen in the last game i described. The only thing that can really ruin our lives is an unexpected Colossus Hammer at instant speed because of Sigarda's Aid. Specially deadly with Blinkmoth Nexus, which happened at turn 2 with a combo of turn one Blinkmoth, into Springleaf Drum, into Ornithopter, into Sigarda's Aid, and turn 2 swing with blinkmoth and put a hammer on it after blockers. Fortunatly i had a Path to Exile or it was just gg. I find Puresteel Paladin to be one of the most important cards because it allows them to draw with every equipment they play, giving them reach and being bale to freely pass equipements from a creature to another, and of course Sigarda's Aid because of the flash shenanigans they can pull of. Be mindfull of Shadowspear because of trample and the game should be favoured for us.
Round 3 was draw 1-1 against the BG Hell's Kitchen deck.
This game should have been a 2-1 and this was one of the only times i actually said to my opponent he had to play faster, as he sometimes had one card in hand, which i knew what it was because it had been bounced with Teferi, he had no other options, and he still took minutes on each turn. I also did this because he was an experianced player and it seemed borderline on purpose the loss of time...
This issue asside, i did not have experiance with this deck before so i only knew the basic Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar and Cauldron Familiar combos. Was unlucky on game 1 and had a hand with many 3 drops, most crucial of them Skycalve Apparition, but didn't manage to make the third land drop until turn 5. He had his engine going, had an Urza's Saga and i was just too far behind to catch up with his creatures hitting me, and getting hit by the cat oven combo.
I see this match up a bit like Hammertime, with low CMC permanents with a lot of value, that are juicy targets for Prismatic Ending, Skycalve Apparition, and Seal of Cleansing. Dealing with Witch's Oven is a must. Trail of Crumbs provides them with a lot of card advantage and The Underworld Cookbook fuels the whole food mechanics. Get rid of these key cards and remember Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar ability to remove our creatures and it shoudln't be a bad matchup.
This is a good matchup and i have discussed it previously many times. The game i lost was kinda my fault for an underwhelming keep with no removal but some blockers, but my opponent playing 3 creatures on turns one and two and then having a vapor snag really threw me of balance, putting my life total very low which later he was able to wiggle down to 0.
Blocking every time i had a chance, trying to always save a Path to Exile or a Solitude for Stormwing Entity are crucial and with sideboard it becomes even better.
Round 2 won 2-1 against Mono White Death and Taxes
It's a tempo creature based deck that doesn't put pressure on the board to fast and is extremely susceptible to Supreme Verdict. It's good for us. Taking Aether Vial out, be that with Prismtaic Ending, Skyclave Apparition or bouncing it with Teferi, Time Raveler is very brutal as it makes them play a super fair game of mostly one creature per turn. The game my opponent won was very well played by him, using Aether Vial and Flickerwisp to avoid removal and get 2 for ones or even 3 for ones. I think i was a bit overconfident and it lead to some bad plays on my part but i brushed it up on game 3 where it was just an avalanche of value and blowing up his board once he got something going.
Round 3 won 2-1 against Temur Crashing Footfalls
Game one was an absolute slaughter, with me going first and my opponent having Gemstone Caverns, suspending 2 Crashing Footfalls on turn one, making 2 cascade spells on turns 2 and 3, and just countering the 2 Teferi, Time Raveler i tried to play. It hurt me to my core.
Fortunatly i had already started changing my sideboard to ajust to cascade decks, and so i was more confident in my ability to win the game. Although they have a ton of answers for the sideboard ( all the 2 damage spells, Prismari Command to blow up artifacts, Brazen Borrower to bounce anything back, Force of Vigor from the side), having so many pieces of disruption forces to slow them down, and wait for the right moment to do a Supreme Verdict, that i believe is the best answer against this deck.
Couldn't get enough Emeria so I got a Manatraders subscription. Played through 11 leagues with a total record of 31-24; the first 9 leagues I did no better than 3-2 in any one league, having tried many variations such as 60/80 cards, Stoneforge package / Ranger Cap package, No Wall of Omens / No Charming Prince etc.
In my last two leagues I went 4-1 in both leagues so I feel there's a very minor breakthrough without looking into the results too much. My decklist is tightened up a bit further now and the consistency has helped. Thanks to Starstorm for the inspiration on his list, mine is basically the same besides running the Ranger Captain package instead.
1. I tested Starstorm's list a bit, maybe its just a preference thing but Stoneforge has been only OK for me. It makes the close out speed faster and has the utility of grabbing silver equipment bullets but I've been overly impressed with the Ranger-Cap / Teferi lockout. I feel very comfortable with the other numbers though.
2. For whatever reason my list that only runs 4 2-drops has not been a noticeable crutch for me ; it probably makes more sense to swap some Hussar's out for some Wall of Omens to better the curve.
3. Have gravitated more towards the 60 card version; not being able to draw sideboard answers with an 80 card deck has hurt me in more polarizing matchups where if I draw the wrong side of the deck its auto-GG. I can see having access to Yorion being more favorable in grindy Lurrus matchups where it often comes down to top decking / who gets the most value out of their companion. Gotta figure out the right numbers for redundancy but being able to draw sideboard cards is quite huge in modern...
The matchup can be tricky as they have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. One that kinda caught me of guard was a Kaldra Compleat out of the sideboard paired with Puresteel Paladin. Basically it forces us to have instant speed exile removal and it's always an awkward situation because we have to kill the paladin, but if we do so Kaldra and te creature it's equipping will remain and we will hav to deal with it eventually. It only happened to me once but i thought it's something worth mentioning. Dealing with Sigarda's Aid is the priority as this is their early wincon if we don't have instant based removal. One more thing is that Solitude, as good as it is, when it exiles something equipped with Colossus Hammer they actually gain a ton of life (at least 10, much more is it's like a karnstruct or something) which makes it harder to close the game fast (and that might be a reason for my slower games and some draws against this deck) but in the end we are still favoured, it might just take a bit longer.
About Hell's Kitchen, it is basically Standard Food on steroids Feasting Troll King and of course Cauldron Familiar are the win cons with all the food. Trail of Crumbs gives the deck a lot of reach and is a must kill card as the value is insane. Finale of Devastation can get them Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar for only 2 mana or Cauldron Familiar for 3 so they always have ways to get their threats. Urza's Saga is obviously very good but in general, it's just a matchup where if we get their key cards and with all our exile, we're still favoured in my opinion. I think Urza's Kitchen is the superior deck but this deck can be very grindy, and if it cathes you by surprise it can absolutly bury you in value!
if you like, I can put your Ranger build as another sample deck list in the primer. You will be credited of course. So we would have another variant of Emeria there.
quite informative. Info appreciated.
if have time, and can mention how you side boarded. Those things you said could actually be added to the primer sideboard guide section. So we would have fresh data on how to fight Hammer Time, and Hell's kitchen decks.
First of all, I'm glad my list and results were able to inspire your list and contributed to your build! Hope the matchup discussions also helped a bit for general gameplan and sideboarding!
Going through all those games is basically impossible one by one, but in general, looking at my reports about the different matchups do you find that they correlate with your experiance or did you find that the navigation of these matchups was very different?
Also what do you consider to be the worse matchups in all these games you played? Burn and Tron as you targeted it the most?
About the points you made:
1. I completly agree that it's a devaststing combo. I used to run that same combo when Ranger-Captain of Eos came out and it felt miserable for my opponents. I have a soft spot for it so i can totally see why you're running it and like it so much. I still think that Stoneforge being a 2 drop with threat and silver bullet potential still edges it out if i had to chose one or the other but it's just trades we make. Against combo and control Ranger is much better and with this meta i can see why it works.
2. Yhea that goes along the point that we had talked about previously in regards to the 3 drop slot being so competitive. Court Hussar is a great card in this deck, no doubt about it. But with your build maybe dropping one, or one and one Ranger for some 2 drops might not be a bad idea. Because Wall of Omens is a great card and i would run it above Charming Prince. I used to run him for a long time but eventually had to cut him as I felt it just didn't do enough in the faster meta, even if all 3 of his abilities are relevant. Still love him but a though choice had to be made and he was the one that got the boot.
3. Well that's a point where we can hard agree on. With our draw engines and value we churn through our deck and eventually find our answers. This is much easier in a 60 card deck than in an 80 one. Also for those matchups where we just need a piece of hate in the opening hand it also comes much easier. Ranger fetching a one drop can also be used as a silver bullet. You already have Burrenton Forge Tender and when i used it i actually used 2 instead of Kor Firewalker as the chances of getting it are higher with ranger in the mix even if Kor Firewalker is the better card. Another card I used wasHex Parasite for planeswalkers and hardened scales. Giant killer, Giver of Runes or even Realmwright for a faster Emeria activation are other options and i'm sure now there many more, it's just a matter of seeing what works.
Hope that now that you have a tighter list and something you feel confortable with games go even better and if you can share the results so we can learn form your experiences!
I have some significant changes to report from an unexpected last-minute tournament I was able to go to on the weekend, where I went 4 and 2 with a markedly different version of my deck. The results were somewhat relevant to the discussion you are having at the moment about the various Yorion, Sky Nomad builds, so I will post my new decklist and results after this, however I will take the time to emphasize that it is beginning to puzzle me a little why you have not yet mentioned Mistveil Plains. Have neither of you tested it yet over a Hallowed Fountain? Or, alternatively, have you found it to cost you games somewhere? In my experience it is a powerful tool to have access to for a very, very small price overall. If you have not yet tried, I urge you to switch in a copy to see how good it feels when your Ranger-Captain of Eos would otherwise run out of targets as you lock things up with Emeria and Tef3eri, I believe it helps a lot to win the grindy games we are trying to set up. (Could this Tef3ri plus recursion "soft-lock" endgame be shorthanded to Tef3ria for simplicity? Perhaps this is too "on-the-nose", or too rare to bother with overall.)
Leaving that aside, then, after missing last week's Wednesday night tournament I was able to test the following list in the Sunday event I mentioned:
As you can see, I have gone down to 60 cards by experimentally removing the Stoneforge Mystic plus harder-to cast Living Weapons for a Professor of Symbology-based Learn package and the sixth maindeck sweeper in Wrath of God, while the sideboard space for the Lessons was created by cutting the less well-tested cards, the speculative Equipment other than Shadowspear, and by moving the Crucible of Worlds and Ghost Quarter back to the maindeck where they do their best work. This felt as though it offered a real boost to synergy, and made me MUCH happier in my maindeck against Control (where the "hidden" mode of my new 2/1 was instrumental in Rummaging away dead sweepers while offering better outs to resolved Planeswalkers both directly and indirectly). The cost of losing Stoneforge Mystic may ultimately be too high, but as of this instant I think the results felt positive enough that I am willing to try this version again at tomorrow's Wednesday night three-round tournament. In six matches, I ended up 4-2, and a brief recap of these follows:
Round 1: 2-0 victory against u/g Infect (Record: 1-0) I never drew the Lesson synergies, but after winning game one off of the tried-and-true "blockers into sweepers" combination, I removed Crucible and an Emeria to put in my two Enchantments for Inkmoth Nexus, and locked up game two in similar fashion after a Mascot Exhibition got me my first Lesson-centric win.
Round 2: 1-2 loss against Grixis Ragavan Lurrus (Record: 1-1) This was a very tight match, with normal creature-based advantage taking over initially, then losing a game on the draw to a turn-one Legendary Monkey's boost in mana enabling a Drown in the Loch on my stabilizing Sun Titan, and the deciding blow coming from a simple timing trick on double Unholy Heat enabling Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger to connect through my on-board Sun Titan and Remorseful Cleric, leading to my loss in the final game when Lightning Bolt joined the Titan to hit me for exact lethal from 12 on its first attack. Lessons were fine here, with Environmental Sciences being instrumental in dragging me immediately and cheaply out of Bolt range in the one game that I had the luxury of fetching it.
Round 4: 2-0 victory against Esper Control (Record: 2-2) A nearly identical dynamic to the previous round's plays and sideboarding happened here, though with the notable difference of Kaya, Orzhov Usurper and Kaya's Guile teaming up with Vindicate to make Emeria, the Sky Ruin much less reliable. No matter! Mascot Exhibition came to the rescue after fighting through these game one to establish Strip Mine loops with Sun Titan on their aggressive manabase. The trio of tokens was then able to do a Kaldra Compleat impression by ignoring the Graveyard entirely after my opponent had to deal with Teferi, Time Raveler plus a stream of 2-for-1 creatures, running out of answers early because he had lost a card already with a turn 0 Leyline of the Void. This effect was too much respect for my recursion, in my opinion, and I was able to capitalize on the awkwardness. He did lose game one to repeated looping, however, so I cannot blame him.
Round 5: 2-0 victory against Eldrazi Tron (Record: 3-2) Another matchup where the maindeck Crucible paid huge dividends, and another opportunity for Reduce to Memory and Introduction to Annihilation to shine - this time against several copies of Karn, the Great Creator that I would otherwise have begun losing lands to via Liquimetal Coating. As this version is both much less likely to assemble Tron and much less frightening in their usage of its mana when they do, I feel that everything else is relatively positive here for Emeria control. Field of Ruin sufficed to lock him out of the highest-impact tutor targets after an early battle to stabilize left me with three or four cards still in hand. NOTE: Raugrin Triome is a liability to be aware of here, as they have few 3-mana plays Emeria should be concerned about while Sundering Titan is a real risk to manouevre around as much as possible. For game two I removed my three Tef3ri and my Settle the Wreckage (all somewhat poor against Thought-Knot Seer) to put in my two Enchantments and Heliod's Intervention plus Introduction to Annihilation in as ways to keep Urza's Saga, Chalice of the Void, and Torpor Orb from transforming into true locks, but the creature-control package and excellent topdecking of my list kept everything smooth sailing in both games whenever Karns of any form could be mitigated.
Round 6: 2-0 victory against Jeskai Control (Record: 4-2) One final test of my Learn mechanic made me very happy with the "terrible Pilgrim's Eye" version of Professor of Symbology, and gave me clean outs to Teferi, Hero of Dominaria once again. This match played out more or less exactly as my round 3 was supposed to go, with the Professor doing a creditable impression of Wall of Omens to discard first a dead Wrath of God, then a Supreme Verdict. When my opponent was forced to cast his own copy of the second, I began to feel truly advantaged, and never really felt threatened (probably due to the dead weight of extra spot removal which the Red control variants play). Post-board, on an identical switch to round 3, I was able to dig for more relevant answers with the card whenever I drew a redundant Prismatic Ending, and took the game with a cavalcade of tokens from Mascot Exhibition one final time after I recurred a Professor with Emeria.
On the whole, this felt much better for the 60-card version than I was expecting, though my sideboard is now lacking a Lone Missionary, which is perhaps the greatest sacrifice of this build. On a related note, though, I was also pleased enough with Professor of Symbology fetching lands that I could see putting a second copy of Environmental Sciences in the package. As it stands, however, I do not think I cost myself too badly in games I could have won via his presence, and definitely won games with the Learn cards that Stoneforge Mystic and friends might not have made sufficient impact in. I am eager to see how it goes: there are many more subtleties to look forward to uncovering as I familiarise myself with this shell.
well, that is all I have for today, and probably by the weekend I will be able to give you a more detailed report on this new list's performance from tomorrow evening's tournament.
I hope this finds you all well, and wish you all the best of luck in your continued testing.
hmm, so Professor of Symbology.. is actually good. This looks like the birth of a new variant of the deck. Would you like me to add Professor of Symbology to card choices section in the primer, or do you need to test it further?
Professor of Symbology is a fringe playable card with multiple relevant synergies on the face of things, but I am not certain that the single point of toughness will allow me to label it a valid candidate just yet. I intend to test it quite a lot more over the coming month, which I will continue to update you all on here as I am able, and if I make it to the next four tournaments with it I can commit to giving you a more definitive answer on or about the 29th of September.
Thanks for the offer, and I hope you have a very good day,
Hey everyone, fantastic news! I managed to win today's challange going 3-1-1 to make top 8 on 6th and then winning the rest of the games! The tournment will appear on MTGGoldfish so I will leave the link here when it's available. Before this i managed to do 2 other FNMs for practice, going 4-0 on one and 2-0-1 on another. So in total these last tournments I went 12-1-2 which given the decks i played against i would say it's a very nice result.
Speaking first of the FNMs. First one went 4-0 going as follows:
Round 1 won 2-1 against Living End.
Managed to win game one which i absolutly did not expect. Putting 2 Wall of Omens on the board before the Living End assured me I had something to return on the next one. If we survive the first one, the follow ups are usually very advantegeous to us. Evoking Solitude even without target in response to Living End ensures it comes back and we gain a blocker and exile the biggest threat on the spot. In this match up be careful about returning too much stuff from the grave both with Emeria and Sun Titan as it can backfire with a Living End, specially an instant speed one. After sideboarding, with all the hate it becomes a good matchup in my opinion (depending on draws of course).
Using Prismatic Ending and Skyclave Apparition on key enchantments is key for this match. Taking the Totem armor ones like Hyena Umbra and Spider Umbra to prep for a Supreme Verdict or my favourite, when they only have 2 auras on a creature an one of them is Daybreak Coronet, you exile the other one and Coronet will fall as it won't be enchanting a creature that is enchanted by an aura anymore. The life threathning auras are the ones that grand Flying or protection from creatures like Spirit Mantle. Kaldra also offers a fantastic blocker against big Boggles. Post sideboard depending on the amount of enchantment hate you have, once again is a match up that gets better.
This match took quite a long time. Grief + Ephemerate really hurts. The thing that got me the most bessides that busted combo was not remembering Ephemerate when i went for my removal, giving my opponent a ton of card advantage. Maindeck Kaya's Guile was also a blowout for my graveyard plays and Solitude exiling our good threats was also quite good at denying our recurssion. This said, our late game is still better, and if they don't have their Ephemerate combos, the deck is very fair and straightforward, so we can easily not only keep up the face, but outpace them with value.
I think this match up is very favoured given the answers we have to deal with The Rack and Shrieking Affliction. My loss came from a mulligan to 5 because i saw no lands and of course, given the match this was close to a death sentence. In this match up I prioritize lands and removal for the racks above all else. Most of our cards draw us cards so their card neutral which is great for this match up. the match can go long but if they don't have their win cons, we're preety safe. Watch out for Karnstructs from Urza's Saga and Mishra's Factory . Don't be afraid to path your own creatures to make the land drop that will ensure a faster Sun Titan or Batterskull.
The more i play this match the more favoured i feel. Haven't lost against it and been playing it basically every week. Hate pieces like Teferi, Time Ravaler and all the sideboard ones are great of course, but what really puts the nail in their coffin is a well timed Supreme Verdict. If you put enough defences and get 4 rhinos with one you are on your way for a good game. They have answers for basically all our hate, with 2 damage spells or Brazen Borrower or destroying artifacts with Prismari Command. So we can only delay the innevitable. And when it happens, spot removal or Supreme is our out.
Be wary of Blood Moon after sideboarding also!
Already spoke a lot about this match up in other posts and i still feel very favoured in the match. Beware of Sigarda's Aid for the potential of out of nowhere wins, Esper Sentinel and Puresteel Paladin for card advantage and the çlatter one for it's ability to equip anything for 0 mana. Always try to keep instant speed removal up for an unexpected attack. Teferi is amazing at stopping their instant speed shenanigans, but the sideboard has better cards so i reluctantly take it out to make room for other more targeted hate pieces, but i can understand the choice to leave him in depending on the list we're using.
This matchup still puzzles me a bit as I think in theory we have all the answers we need, but in practice they always seem to be sitting on a ton of counters and answers that throw me in for a loop. I also sideboarded wrongly, taking 2 of my Teferi, Time Raveler for the sideboard that i thought it would be better, but Teferi is just too good, preventing their counter game and bouncing Murktide Regent to hand is just too useful as it not only deals with it for a turn, but they have to exile part of their graveyard again which can be quite harmful to them. Instead after speaking with the pilot of the deck we agreed that it would be better to take Skyclave Apparition out, as he usually also takes the Ragavan's because of all my answers namely the feared Mortarpod which became a meme and a dreadful card in my LGS. With a little bit of tighter play i think i can start navigating through this matchup much better.
Also congrats on your experiences with Professor of Symbology Stéphane! i had seen you disccuss the card before but didn't think it would be on par with the rest of our choices, but you made it work so congrats. Great budgest choice for anyone who doesn't have the Stoneforge package and with more testing maybe it may even reveal itself as a legit contender for the 2 drop slot. The only thing that troubles me are the sideboard slots that it requires but of course, different versions of Emeria will place a different pressure on sideboard slots so good luck on your testings!
Tomorrow i will put the report from the actual big tournement so until there hope this provides more insight about how the deck is fairing.
Like i said before, managed to go 3-1-1 on rounds and then won the 3 matches in the top8. Feel free to check the exact decks I played against in the links.
First round lost 2-0 to Orzhov Stoneblade.
This was a very though game. Dauthi Voidwalker and Kaya's Guile in the mainboard really wrecked me, the latter one specially when I went for some risky value lines that would put me in a great spot, the exile the grave at instant speed was borderline brackbreaking. I had already spoken about the difficulties I felt in this match up in the last post which had already some of my thoughts about this loss in it. Ephemerate to save a value card usualy is a 3 for 1 which is a huge amount of value. For this reason I think Teferi, Time Raveler is a great card in this match just to prevent that instant speed interaction that shuts a lot of their combos down. Game one was close and i think I didn't play optimally, specially around Ephemerate, and game 2 I was just stuck on 3 lands until turn 8 which didn't allow me to put much of a fight.
Round 2 won 2-0 against Temur Crashing Footfalls
Altough I'm starting to feel favoured in this match up, this game was a non game. My opponent got mana screwed in both games, the first one without blue mana, and the second one with only one land. This was a very easy win and I'll talk a bit more in the half-finals matchup that was against the same archtype by a different pilot.
Round 3 won 2-1 against Amulet Titan
I'm finally starting to beat Amulet Titan on a consistent basis! Kaldra Compleat is the card that wins this game. An early Kaldra puts a clock on them that was something we didn't have before. It can also plat defence to shut down their Primeval Titan, leaving them with only one path to victory, that being Dryad of the Ilysian Grove and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Game one that's exactly what happened and a slower game from my opponent left my turn 3 Kaldra unchecked to beat them down fast. Prismatic Ending also did it's job by exiling their turn 1 Amulet of Vigor that could have given them the game. Game 2 was a slow, grindy game, where he threw everything at me and i just had all the answers, until eventually I didn't. He had turn one and turn 2 Amulet of Vigor, i had Prismatic Ending and Seal of Cleansing. He had 2 titans and 1 dryad. I had Solitude and Path to Exile. The difference was Tolaria West. Basically everytime he played a Primeval Titan, he brought a bounceland and Tolaria West, which would assure next turn he could transmute it for another Summoner's Pact and get any creature he saw fit. He did this twice and I ran out of answers for Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, that in conjunction with Valakut and a Bounceland, just bolted me to death. Game 3 was a faster game in which i managed to disrupt him a bit with Lavinia, Azorious Renegade, stopping Summoner's Pact, and bashed him with an early Kaldra again, which really seems to be a winning formula, and that's why they are forced to bring Dismember from the sideboard.
Round 4 was a draw, 1-1 against 4 color Elementals, which was also my opponent in the finals.
Never had played this match up so didn't exactly know what to expect. Round 1 I was basically foccused on killing his value engine, namely Risen Reef and Omnath, Locus of Creation. My thought was that if i focused their card advanatge engines, and tried to save instant speed removal to when he tried to Ephemerate something, it would be a massive blowout, and game one was basically that, with me outgrinding him with value. Game 2 was very different, where he actually got the better late game, which i honestly wasn't fully expecting. The 2 Endurance he brought from the sideboard were really felt. Just like in the first Orzhov match, instant speed graveyard removal was brutal for some blowouts, and keeping them looped with Ephemerate or bouncing him with his Teferi Time, Raveler lead to me having Emeria active for 8 turns and bringing nothing back. His Omnath also put him at 60 life giving him more than time to to whatever he wanted with the game. Eventually he uses Endurance on himself and starts the whole value cycle again. We go to turns and he wins game 2 on the 5th turn. I'll go more in deapth over what i did different on the finals matchup and what I learned from this game.
Round 5 won 2-0 against Affinity.
This was one of the quickest matches I've ever played and it was brutal for my opponent. Game 1 I had turn 1 Prismatic Ending, into turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic into turn 3 Kaldra Compleat and Path to Exile. Waited for him to fill the board up again while i was swinging with Kaldra to prep for a Supreme Verdict to which my opponent conceaded. Game 2 my oppening hand had Chalice of the Void, Seal of Cleansing and Fracturing Gust. He started and only played a land, and my turn i drop the Chalice on 0 locking a big part of his deck. From there it was just a game of waiting for my threats to come, which they eventually did and my opponent conceded.
Onto the Top 8!
It was actually ineresting as all the matchups i played in the top 8 i had played previously on rounds. 2 of my opponents were different but it followed the same pattern.
Quarterfinals won 2-0 against Amulet Titan.
I think my draws were quite good this game and I don't think the matchup should have been this easy. My opponent is an expert with the deck, an authority in Titan decks and i had played against him previsously (in the days of Field of the Dead) and had never beaten him. This time was different. As he was higher seed he started, with an Urza's Saga into Amulet of Vigor. I answered with Prismatic Ending turn one and Ghost Quarter turn 2 to stop him from fetching another amulet. Turn 3 played Stoneforge Mystic and from then on i started the beatdown. He didn't get more amulets, and with one less land his game was a lot clunkier which didn't allow him to put the defences he needed to survive Kaldra. Game 2 was all about one critical turn. On turn 3 I leave mana open for an Aven Mindcensor, to play it when he went to fetch with Expedition Map. He answers this with Summoner's Pact. I look at his mana and see he only has one green source, and was realying on his Dryad of the Ilysian Grove for the pact payment. Upon realizing this i evoke Solitude, which leaves him unable to pay for the pact and i win. He told me fe basically felt forced into that play as not casting pact there wpouldn't give him the tools to fight my game and would put him to far behinf. I only had 3 cards in hand and no mana vailable so he took the gamble, and in this case he lost.
In Semi-finals won 2-0 against Temur Crashing Footfalls
Like I said before and in previous posts, I'm starting to feel more confortable in this match up, even in game one with only Teferi, Time Raveler as a hate card. Having Wall of Omens is great to save us some life after the first cascade. The most important thing is having Supreme Verdict or 2 single removals to give us time to cast a bigger threat, preferably Sun Titan, which is usually the push we need to take control of the game. Game 2 be aware of Blood Moon out of the sideboard which can jank us out of the game if we're not paying attention.
Finally, in the finals won 2-1 against the same 4 color Elementals deck.
Started by losing game won being showered in value again. His Teferi, Time Raveler allowed him to basically do whatever he wanted with his Ephemerate without me having any ability to answer. Solitude and Endurance having Flash also allowed him to play many times at instant speed and that was the story of game one. Me not having the ability to interact as I didn't draw the answer for Teferi.
Games 2 and 3 were much more in my favour, applying early pressure with Kaldra, killing his Teferi as soon as i could and forcing him to evoke elementals without getting Ephemerate value out of them. Resolving my own Teferi, Time Raveler was also key to feeling safe to do whatever i wanted in my turn without any blowout, and that's the main reason why i brought the 4th out of the sidebaord. It was a fanatstic game, very enjoyable with 2 decks trying to out value each other and in the end, dealing with his key permanents faster and having more pressure with Kaldra was sufficient to win me the tournment!
Super proud of this tournment and how i navigated most matchups, including learning from one game to another. The results were also extremely positive as I didn't face any combo decks or Tron or other of our worse matchups which would have made my life much harded. Still, Played the meta decks as i've been doing for the last weeks and once again the results lead me to belive that this is a very favourable meta for Emeria.
Hope you're all having good games too and keep those wins coming!