Grats Starstorm well played! Any interest in some of the newer cards in Innistrad? Particular interested in your thoughts for:
1. Cathar Commando (Seal of cleansing replacement?)
2. Ambitious Farmhand (for those that play Pilgrims eye?)
3. Malevolent Hermit - harder on the mana, but I've been theorizing this card for a while and I feel like this could push us in the right direction
I actually haven't been paying very close atention to spoilers from the new edition but with prerelease weekend I'm definitly gonna catch up!
About the cards you mentioned.
1. Cathar Commando is a nice card indeed, specially for a common! The 3/1 body and flash are quite nice. The only thing holding it back is the 1 mana activtion on the ability. In the matchups I want to bring it in, Seal of cleansing is permanantly a threat that I can activate at any time, without having to chose if i want to activate it or play something. It's just super mana efficient. In hammertime or affinity we sometimes don't have the luxury of spending that extra mana and the 3/1 body isn't relevant enough for those match ups. It offers the versatility of a surprise blocker that can trade with something, but we already have so much removal that it's kinda redundant. I think it's biggest advantage is the flash speed interaction, and i can certainly see why you could chose this card. But mana efficiency is more important to me than the flash body in those match ups I want to bring my artifact and enchantment hate in.
2. Ambitious Farmhand is an amazing card in my opinion! drawing a plains for 2 mana, with the upside of eventually becoming a 3/3 lifelinker is seriously good! I haven't used Pilgrim's Eye in a long time, and it's advantage is the fact that it can get our island if we need it and it also has flying, to protect us mainly against Stormwing Entity and Murktide Regent. While i have personally fallen out of love with the card, Stéphane for example really likes it and this being one mana cheaper and not in direct competition with our stacked 3 mana drops,i think it's straight up better! I really like my build how it is right now as I don't put that much effort in getting an Emeria activation every game, but in slower builds that relly on it, i can definitly see it almost as an auto include.
3. This card is like a mini Glen Elendra Archmage which is a card that some previous builds have used before! While it lacks the persist and is a Mana Leak for noncreatures intead of a Negate, I can't deny the card feels good! And the disturb side is just a njce bonus for matchups where we want to resolve for example a Teferi, Time Raveler. I haven't given much thought to the card yet but against a meta filled with noncreature spells it seems very good. If combo or control rise in prominence i could see myself playing it.
What have you been theorizing with the card cofeeortea?
It has been a little while, and things are looking very good 1) for all of you - congratulations on the results! 2) for my non-Magic life - my defense went well and I will officially be convocating soon, wohoo! 3) for my Magic life - I now have more time to play and positive results to report, hooray!
I attended three tournaments since I last posted here, and am learning to play with the Professor of Symbology much more efficiently - it has a deceptive power level on the Rummage effect in the midgame as a combination with or setup for Crucible of Worlds and Sun Titan specifically - and its low toughness has not yet been completely abysmal except against decks running Fire // Ice and one random throwback Electrolyze, where its body has seemed less relevant than its ETB overall.
I went 1-2 in tournament #1, misplaying badly against a Rakdos Discard deck to lose a heavily favoured matchup, and following that up with a slightly less unlucky loss to UW Control that I think I might now have played differently with my current understanding of the Professor's value options, which I used to win the third match in more straightforward fashion against Jeskai Control in game three. I went 2-2 in tournament #2, beating Infect handily in round one and losing outright round two against UW Control (splashing 3 colours for Prismatic Ending value), and taking a very near-miss loss in game 3 against a B/R Ragavan player who had a single draw step to push through lethal damage. Since my major gameplan was working very well until that point, when I beat Esper Control cleanly in round 4 I considered the outing on the whole to be a success. I then went 3-0 in tournament #3, beating Enchantress's Presence combo solidly in round 1, squeaking out a very close-run game 3 on the back of extremely tight sequencing on the draw against Tron in round 2, and taking games two and three with authority after having been caught off-guard by an early Persist on an Archon of Cruelty in game 1 against Orzhov Unmarked Grave reanimator.
I ran all three tournaments with the same list in order to keep as many variables constant while I continued my adjustment to the various new Learn and Lesson dynamics, which were once again contained within the following 75 cards :
Since this sideboard dovetails quite nicely with the discussion of new cards being had above, I will note simply that the maindeck feels MUCH more smooth now without the Stoneforge Mystics other than a small question mark on the Prismatic Ending/Path to Exile split. In the sideboard, then, I am sadly losing the ability to maintain my support for the corner-case applications of Shadowspear and Sanctum Prelate within a reduced number of slots. I have also felt that I have enormous tension between wanting a second Environmental Sciences and being unwilling to give up any more sideboard space for Lessons. This being the case, I will probably play another three-round tournament with this list on Wednesday, then evaluate whether I can afford to cut the Mascot Exhibition as a win-more for a second "maindeck" lifegain + land drop spell in its place. Since this brings up the viability of Ambitious Farmhand naturally, I will turn now to the discussion of the new cards.
The Farmhand initially sent me into a deep cascade of thoughts, which culminated in the following logic : It is a good effect, but I cannot currently afford to play it in my list since its second ability would be unattainable because it would itself replace Professor of Symbology as the only creature in my list without 0 or 1 power (barring the Titans, which are taxed too much already by chump-blocking to survive to the six mana they require). I would love to squeeze in a copy on face value alone, however in the two-drop slot Wall of Omens is still irreplaceable, and the noncreature spells must remain plentiful because Mortarpod is no longer tutorable, and Prismatic Ending only counts as a turn-two sequence in rare instances. The Professor, on the other hand, is currently needed at maximum numbers to justify my sideboard losses by offering a streamlined answer to most any problem permanent in the maindeck, and the only glimmer of hope that I could find space then rests in the fact that I might someday conceive of reducing its numbers by a single copy. Since that day is not yet come, I will grab a playset of the Farmhand and hold them for a potential future where not being able to fetch an Island would be less of a determining factor.
Going back to the Professor, in addition to making certain I can cast Supreme Verdict on schedule and providing access to either removal or merely an extra spell in hand to discard to Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger, it also has a very powerful mode post-sideboard, where the Rummage effect becomes much more valuable in looking for critical interaction at the same time as it provides a token aggressive presence to pressure unfair decks, be it ever so slightly. It combines extremely well in this aspect by working in tandem with Remorseful Cleric to put a critical mass of 2/1 bodies on the table against decks which care about Exile effects at any point.
Speaking of bodies, I am much more excited by the possibility of Cathar Commando as an extraordinarily synergistic body to pair with Emeria, the Sky Ruin. It does not replace the Aura of Silence or the Seal of Cleansing in my list, but will probably take the place of Revoke Existence instead as a supplement to them. It also answers the current need for modal Enchantment removal against Burn very, very well in my opinion. Moving on to removal, then, I have not yet seen anyone discuss a potentially valuable card in the newly-spoiled Fateful Absence. This may be one of the cleanest pieces of removal White has access to in Modern on this side of Ending and Path, and has the versatility of hitting Planeswalkers as well. If I am seeking more coverage for larger things at Instant-speed, I believe this comes at a competitive rate.
When it comes to the final card that people have mentioned here, Malevolent Hermit, I believe that the card is not quite on the right side of playable for me due to an early requirement for UU, and the near-irrelevance of its back half in the long term. However, in lists that are more aggressive (and specifically as a tool to watch out for out of the sideboard or even maindeck of certain Combo decks) I think its body will be much more appreciated and its back half will be much easier to reward.
I think that is about all I have to say for the moment, so I will wish you all good luck, and a wonderful day !
First of all, congratulations on your defense, that's awesome!
Regarding your results, you're defenitly giving us good results with Professor of Symbology which i'll admit, it was a card i completly disregarded at first. Altough i don't like losing the sideboard slots, the lessons are indeed very good to solve some of the problems we have so i can see myself adapting to it. The truth is mot matchups have felt rather easy for me, hence my reluctance to change my list and the sideboard. But some of my sideboard cards have felt like "win more" sometimes so i think there's room for change. I definitly want to try it sometime, and I'm specially interested in the control matchups as it's what's giving me the most trouble now.
On that note, I went to another Modern Challange yesterday with 20 people, managing to once again make top8 but not managing to win this time, placing only in 3rd. Still a very good result and the Semi-finals game i think i could have won if i was better prepared. I'll talk more in depth in the next post about some of the games and some of things I'll be changing in the deck for future games.
About Fateful Absence, at first I really diregarded it as a Path effect with upside but for more mana and I wasn't really sold. After losing a game and barely surviving other against Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, I'm much higher on the card now Control is very prevalent in the meta now, so having 3 Solitude and 4 Prismatic Ending in the main, i'm thinking of cutting the 3 Path to Exile for Fateful Absence and see how it goes. I'll see if being one extra mana makes a huge difference in the aggro matchups, the not giving them a land advantage and most importantly, the usefulness against planeswalkers.
Hope you guys have a great day and I'll talk about the Challange and put the link to the top8 as soon as it is available
I have been off hiking the past week, but before I left got a chance to play two more tournaments (going 2-1 and 2-2 losing a game three on a lapse of concentration during the "wrap-it-up" sequencing against Control which I could have definitely tightened up to go 5-2 overall, but feeling very strong nonetheless against Enchantress, UR Ragavan, B/W Reanimator, and UMoon, feeling quite good against Esper and Jeskai, and feeling reasonable against Prowess. Burst lifegain is now in short supply, but I have continued to be impressed with the Professor of Symbology build, and was never blown out of the water in any games, as far as I can recall. I also accelerated my pace of play significantly, only going to time once. Long story short; I am feeling much more settled in my current list, and intend on sticking to my guns going forward!
Plichow - I am trying to figure out if I can get in on a carload of Saskatooners to Calgary, and it seems quite reasonable to assume that I will be able to do so if the pandemic does not shut us down. If not, then I will hope to see you there!
Starstorm - your list has now differed quite a lot from mine, so take this with somewhat more than a grain of Aggro/Tempo salt to compensate, but for what it is worth I would have [EDIT: BELATEDLY] wondered at the following decisions in sideboarding in your tournament breakdown from September 14th:
Match 1: I think that Lavinia, Azorius Renegade may not have given great value here, and I would have thought Prismatic Ending was one of the better "clean" answers to their 2-drops, so what would you think about only removing a pair Path to Exile instead? I dislike giving them lands to allow their Equipment more relevance, but maybe you needed the Instant-speed interaction more that I thought? Or was it perhaps for the curve?
Match 2: I really feel like your 4th sideboard Teferi, Time Raveler is pulling a lot of weight. I may have to take a leaf out of your book in the future - I am slightly less confident in the matchup if they get an 8-point Rhino swing in, since without Batterskull to trade cleanly with any single Crashing Footfalls attack step stabilization becomes much harder for me when they do, so the current 3-pack of Lavinia, Drannith Magistrate, and Sanctum Prelate is doing all right but is not feeling very solid as yet. It may be telling that the Magistrate has recently been the best of these for me, and I am beginning to think that the Prelate should just be the 4th Tef3ri, since it does not get hit by Bonecrusher Giant or Fire//Ice nearly as easily. While my trio of maindeck Tef3ri are feeling like a very good balance, they interact so strongly against a lot of unfair decks at the moment that they have a large target on their heads after sideboarding. Due to this fact, I am actively seeking to evaluate a post-board increase to the maximum number allowed in several matchups. Can I ask for your reasoning on what you trimmed here and why, to help me make my decisions?
Match 3: No comment, other than to say that I probably would have tried to trim a Supreme Verdict instead of a Skyclave Apparition for the Void Mirror swap you mentioned later - though the uncounterable sweeper is nice to draw once in the matchup, I think that your board presence and early clock are much more important for winning here. If you often win by enough otherwise, though, it is a great hedge.
Match 4: I think you were bang-on with bringing in Tef3ri to force Sorcery-speed play, but I think that this time Lavinia may have been overdoing it because sweepers are the best thing we have going here. They can have all the value of cards in hand they like, as far as I am concerned, so long as their next attack step is easier to deal with since they have no Haste threats other than largely telegraphed Flash plays. If she was a Void Mirror instead, you wouldn't have to dovetail as awkwardly out of the early game after wiping the board, and hardcasting Solitude is so much more preferred for dealing with their threats long-term (especially given the Endurance plan you mentioned). It is anecdotal, and largely of little relevance, but I have had opponents do a similar thing with their own graveyards to stay in the game a few more turns after I began to run them out of basic lands, so I have even been known to bring in a singleton Remorseful Cleric against an opponent who was also running Wrenn and Six.
Match 5: I think you probably would have been in reasonable shape if you drew your interaction early even if they had gotten their Affinity draws off the ground, but without Skyclave Apparition I had serious doubts about my ability to hang with their early turns. I may simply need more practice, but I am finding the lack of Path to Exile an enormous weakness against specifically Cranial Plating and sometimes Nettlecyst and Urza's Saga. For the latter of these, in testing a half-dozen games casually the frightening thing was that I was on low enough life totals from the Frogmite/Myr Enforcer starts that I was often facing lethal and had no time to crack a Field of Ruin on them before they could get value (usually in the form of a Wall of Omens-killing Shadowspear). The Constructs got very large very quickly as well, and I could not seem to stabilize as consistently, given that I used to trim my curve so much by bringing in a swarm of 3-5 Pithing Needle effects back when Mox Opal was still format-legal. Tef3ri was all right against the Enchantment Land, but was quite poor elsewise and so could not be relied upon. Settle the Wreckage and Heliod's Intervention were all-stars here, though, so I wasn't a completely lame duck overall. If this strategy increases in popularity, however, I will be keeping a close watch on my copies of Hurkyl's Recall and Steel Sabotage for the sideboard.
Quarterfinal: The loss of Field of the Dead has hurt Amulet Titan more than Dryad of the Ilysian Grove has helped them, however their Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle plan is now a much bigger concern. With a large amount of land-based interaction, I think the matchup has now improved as far as to be even to slightly favored for us, even if the losses seem much more deterministic on their side. Taking game one relieves a huge burden here, as far as I am concerned. Given all of this, good job on the win through heads-up play and pro-active interaction; my note is the same as for round 3 of the Swiss pairings.
Semifinal: Again, good job, and same questions as the Swiss.
Final: My matchup seems much easier than yours here, but six sweepers will do that to a creature matchup. Since this sideboarding has also been dealt with in the comments for the Swiss, I will simply say congratulations once again on the tournament.
All right, that is all for now everyone, but I hope to have more to share very soon.
Lands : seems quite classic, Idyllic Grange is the only surprise, it's not hard to say that everybody here regularly loose a match against planeswalkers cards like Teferi, hero of dominaria or Jace, the mind sculptor for example. I mean, this land cannot beat that planeswalkers alone but it still help very much when you are in a construction like me with a lot of creatures and except wall of omen they ALL attacks.
And sometimes it is just a surprise when somebody tries to ping out you're 1 toughness creatures or more generally to win a fight by a fetch land
About ephemerate this is my deck orientation and thanks to prismatic we do not concede because a torpor orb now ! I mean that card is veeeeeery powerful for one white mana spend. Combine at choice with Titan, Drifter, Solitude, Watcher, Wall, Prince, Yorion, Farmhand, deputy, Geist monk etc enjoy. Necessarily in the other hand it's abysmal if you draw just spells... but war is risky
About hour of revelation it's just to finish the work and complete the others spells ; even if it's not a good synergie with deputy of detention i admit. I play just two because this my new game plan : flood a lil bit more than usually the board with creatures to survive #geist-monk
about ambitious farmhand it's a revolution for us. Outperform pilgrim's eye. I transform it regularly and it makes easier the main plan, activating emeria <3
about geist-honored monk, the first time i see a gerrant dephare's list i was amaze by that creature totally out of my radars. I mean in a blink plan like my list it could be monstruous. The bad point is the mana cost sure but you can make a difference to chumpblok or attack with it, try it !
about mulldrifter, this is amazing if you combine on tour 4 with ephemerate. I let you imagine with another beautiful new gift from mtg creators team Solitude --> one plains untap could open a big situation… Flash solitude for free, ephemerate it… And you have exile two creatures and 3/2 lifelink on board… and maybe a third one next turn… Do you realize !
about Niambi, esteemed speaker this card is beautiful to save you creat and earn time, the possibility to dig in your deck discarding legend cards is not so bad but not always interesting in my opinion but could be "ok" with yorion
Am not very sure of every option I show here but I try to find a balance considering the metagame
About Cathar Commando Help beating cards like Shark typhoon ; Blood moon or in response to pay 3 ability of batterskull for example. The one mana to pay to sacrifice it is not too harsh but a lil bit annoying yes. On the other hand, as you can see it, my sideboard is a « hate bear nest » and hate bear plan is good against several decks so a 3/1 Flash could be very good. Play 2 or 3 copy side or main in my opinion
I will have to look into the details of your opinions later, I have a quick post to address here and then probably more to share after another tournament tomorrow. On Wednesday I went 2-1 with my list, which is finding a better and better balance every day as I spend time fine-tuning it. I lost game 3 against Lurrus Hammer Time when I chose to Ghost Quarter his Urza's Saga at one counter on my turn 7 when I had stabilized everything else but his Inkmoth Nexus. He untapped, cast Puresteel Paladin, and cracked both his Silent Clearing to find a Colossus Hammer which combined with his on-board Springleaf Drum to inflict on me eleven points of Infect damage. Since I was at 12 life at the time, I should have ignored his ability to make a Construct, which mattered much less than the potentially lethal threat on-board. Ah, well. The other two games were comfortable 2-0 wins over strong starts in all four games from first U/R Prowess, then Murktide Ragavan, though it was beings on the play against the Prowess player which may have been the telling factor in my game one there.
First of all, congratulations on all your endeavors Toshenko and welcome back!! Glad to know you still have time to give the deck a spin :b
Your list has a lot of cards that i haven't used for a long time so I'll try to give my thoughts on it as soon as i can as today i don't have that much time unfortunatly...
Stéphane, first of all congrats on another strong finish with the deck despite the blowout with hammertime. Happens to the best and in any other day could have been a 3-0.
About your sideboard changes in the professor package, altough I don't have experience with the build, I think it's nice and tight, and if for some reason you don't want any of the options, a looting effect is also good with the professor. The more free sideboard slots the better so I'm a fan of the change and hope it proves useful.
Regarding your comments on the matches:
Match 1: I completly agree with you, but at the time, not having remembered to make a plan for Orhov Stoneblade I went with my gut feeling. In hindsight I wouldn't have put Lavinia and just leave my removal as is. Right now i would maybe just put a Seal of Cleansing for their Sword of Fire and Ice and Batterskull value.
Match 2: Altough I was very high on our chances vs Crashing Footfalls i have lost my last 2 games against it and it made me rethink some of my options. T3feri is obviously great and due to the prevalance of this deck and UW control in my meta, is the reason i decided to put the 4th in the mainboard. All our hate is just buying time and Wraths are what actually win the game. Your list should be better than mine in that sense having access to more of those effects. Lost my last 2 game sagainst it 1-2 and both times were due to a big flood in game 3. I still think my previous wins over the deck were convincing enough to swtill think it's not a bad match up. The 8 life swing from the first rhinos are a heavy blow that starts making us susceptible to their Brazen Borrower and Fury. From talking to the pilots of the decks usually they bring Endurance and Klothys, God of Destiny, and if they don't know the deck they will bring Blood Moon, but my fellow players are already familiar with this build and they know Blood Moon doesn't affect it that much to be worth the slot. They might also take Force of Negation and put Mystical Dispute in and they usually take their Fury out. What I decided to take in my build was 3 Skyclave Apparition, as it doesn't target the rhinos, and 2 Prismatic Ending, leaving still 2 to deal with rhinos and the 3 drops.
Match 3: Once again, you were ahead of me on the curve and right now I tend to agree with that assessment, as Skyclave Apparition deals with everything except Titan. I think at the time my thought was just covering the scenario when they had a titan and a Dryad and i could clean them both in a turn. But overall with my new list I think I would manage to keep them both without much problem by taking the 4 Teferi, Time Raveler and 1 Mortarpod.
Match 4: After playing a bit more against elementals I opted not to bring Void Mirror because my Solitude dealing with their value engine early on or the evoke option in response to Ephemerate had just been to valueble. I totally understand where your coming from and I agree Wraths are the best way to deal with the board and that also takes Lavinia out. But in the midgame they already have the mana they want so they don't need to evoke anyhting and Lavinia loses her shine. Lavinia is a card I want early on to bridge me to the mid and late game, that's why I'm okay with her dying to a Wrath. With all this said, having a T3feri makes this a much easier matchup without them being able to play their instant speed tricks. Also Risen Reef just has to die. Made a mistake once to let one live. The proceeded to cast another Reef, into an evoke Mulldrifter... The amount of value was digusting... Don't be like me, kill your Reefs!
Match 5: Looking at your list I can see the troubles your having with only the 2 Path to Exile. Solitude and Skyclave Apparition makes the early game much smoother for me. I agree with your assessment of T3feri, it just doesn't do enough. I think Steel Sabotage is going a bit overboard, but if you have trouble with the deck, Hurkyl's Recall seems backbreaking to them also dealing with their lands.
Made top 8 once again going 3-1-1 and lost in the semi-finals against Jeskai Ascendancy.
Going very fast through the matchups but I am glad to talk more in deapth about any of them later
Round 1 won 2-0 against Temur Crashing Footfalls
Round 2 won 2-0 against Jeskai Ascendancy.
This is the same deck that beat me in the semi finals. I honestly didn't know much about how the deck worked and I kinda stumbled into a win by mana screwing them with Field of Ruin as they didn't run any basic mountains. Even when i thought they had no outs, they had 4 mana and no cards on board and they comboed, with me managing to stop the combo on time with a Prismatic Ending at instant speed with T3feri.
Round 3 was a draw 1-1 against UW control.
I had the upper hand in both games as this build didn't play Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and they didn't cast Shark Typhoon. ALtought they didn't cast it, they cycled it in game 2 for 8, making an 8/8 when I was at 8... Couldn't do much about it and that was the draw as we were already near turns.
Round 4 lost 0-2 against Jeskai Control.
Honestly this matchup felt much worse than I think it should be. They just had all the counterspells. They even countered 2 Wall of Omens back to back and played Teferi, Hero of Dominaria at turn 5 both games. It honestly felt like a horrible experiance but hopefully Fateful Absence might change my feeling in regard to this match up and build in specific.
Quarter final won 2-1 against Jeskai Control.
This was a different build from the one I lost to but with no concearns from time, we could take all the time in the world and eventually I outvalued him. Game 1 I was overwhelmed by Shark Typhoon but Seal of Cleansing solves that problem well post sideboard.
Semi Finals lost 0-2 against Jeskai Ascendancy.
Game 1 my draws didn't line up well with his gameplan and he managed to combo of without me having an answer. Game 2 I sideboarded very poorly in my oppinion, taking much of removal but leaving 3 Solitude. Of course he plays a turn 2 Hushbringer and I'm left there, just watching all my cards do nothing. I had no ideas of the Hushbringer and it just wrecked me. On a rematch I would do things very differently so I would very much like to see how that would go!
This is the list I went with. I tried Surgical Exctraction as I was concearned the new Esper Phoenix with Demilich made an appearance and it seemed like a good card oeverall, but I was less then impressed and I have already taken it out of the sideboard.
My logic on many of the changes has already been discussed elsewhere, so I will note that the maindeck Solitude over Settle the Wreckage is a provisionary switch which may stay at its current singleton status. It is, however, possible that a maximum of one more of the remaining Path to Exile may be threatened with joining it, at which point I am not certain whether I would keep the final copy or switch it to a fourth Prismatic Ending. These are hypotheticals, however, and I was happy enough with its performance that I would likely keep it at one for now, since pitch-casting the Evoke cost was often is highly undesireable for my version. The 5-mana Lifelinking Flash body was solid, and did provide early interaction in absolute desperation scenarios which also eventually allowed Emeria, the Sky Ruin a removal option, but I want to be certain that this is not coming at any other cost first. Path to Exile is much easier to hold up post-Wrath, and its acceleration is still very important.
On to the games, then: I comfortably defeated U/B/W Persist reanimator 2-1 in round one by essentially stress-testing the new Solitude to exile his Archon of Cruelty in our first game, forcing him to come up with more graveyard fodder while I slowly squeezed his mana for the win while doling out lifelinking attacks, then took a loss when the unexpected presence of Serra's Emissary in game two allowed their Snapcaster Mage to attack for lethal through multiple blockers (an almost ridiculously improbable sequence on the whole after my early stabilization with Tef3ri), and finally closed out the match with Remorseful Cleric beatdown tiding me over until Field of Ruin stressed his mana to the breaking point with Stonecloaker as insurance. On this card, I had brought it in specifically for this matchup, because all of my other interaction for graveyards is purely on-board. I was hoping to give them incentive to waste their reanimation spells, however my regular plan against creatures appears solid enough that it may not be necessary in the long-term. I like the Flash 3/2 flying body a great deal for generating value against Control and Combo when the sweepers come out post-board, but it may simply be pressured out due to the Lesson package cramping my sideboard space so much.
Afterwards, I lost a convincing 0-2 in round two to Temur Crashing Footfalls in my most important testing of the day. I now am convinced that I am firmly disadvantaged if I do not resolve Teferi, Time Raveler in game one, since Violent Outburst allows them too much choice at Instant-speed after my initial stabilization. Their deck is full of minor Tempo sequences which reward both representing and resolving it as well, so I was never comfortable in game one (even though Solitude and Supreme Verdict can be reliable answers to most difficult early spots). Shardless Agent being their best typical start, I eventually lost to rhinos 5 and 6 off of their their second copy of Outburst, having dealt with the two previous waves reasonably cleanly. Game two was a resounding loss where I kept a fair hand without sideboard cards, and had my only relevant interaction in Tef3ri countered by Mystical Dispute. More of the same sequences from game one followed for the loss, and I found myself wondering whether the Stonecloaker should instead now become more interaction in the matchup.
I then conceded to G/W Enchantress in round 3 after time was called at 1-1 after teaching a new player how to combo me out since I left myself open to the 15-point Emrakul, the Aeons Torn swing which stole what would have been a 2-0 victory, following an extremely protracted game one win by decking on my part (where Introduction to Annihilation was notably a critical out to the giant Eldrazi). The matchup is indeed favourable to my eyes, but as I could no longer 4-0 after round two I was more than happy to answer questions and give a leg up where necessary as they muddled through what may have been one of their first few tournaments - and was certainly their first with the deck in question.
Finally, I won 2-1 in round 4 after a hugely fun relentless grind against R/W Boom // Bust which used the new Rustvale Bridge to complement their split card and accelerate out Nahiri, the Harbinger and Chandra, Torch of Defiance by using Cleansing Wildfire and Flagstones of Trokair plus Cascading Cataracts. I had taken the play after winning the die roll in the dark, so game one was as simple as finding and resolving my maindeck Crucible of Worlds, which was exiled by a Prismatic Ending using a soft-splash Savai Triome, but had gotten me off the ground to resolving Pilgrim's Eye at will in order to allow my Professor of Symbology to go fetch my removal Lessons for his Planeswalkers. Game two was another slog where my lack of Celestial Purge was telling on the draw, even though I believe my deck improved by much more than his overall. He was able to present too many types of issues at once, in the early game, with Seasoned Pyromancer providing a follow-up threat after an accelerated start had his early Nahiri ticking up towards a quick Annihilator win. The extra awkwardness of his Boil catching two of my lands left him with too much remaining gas after I had to Introduction to Annihilation his Planeswalker, and my Sun Titan would have ignored his Rest in Peace for the win if I hadn't needed it to find another blue source to bounce my Professors with Tef3ri. As it was, I simply tried to stabilize the board and race with the 6/6 body, which came close but ultimately lost to extra chip damage from his subsequent Chandra. Game three was a convincing case for keeping the Shadowspear in the sideboard, where his indestructible Lands became targets for its activated ability while it contributed to offense as I put in an early board presence to start the clock, with Flash threats combining to punish [EDIT: THEArmageddonHALF OF] Boom // Bust by allowing me to dictate who was ahead on board at several important points. Another key interaction was returning his ETB tapped Artifact Land to his hand as a tempo play with Tef3ri, which allowed me extra turns of free development leading indirectly to a comfortable (though fiercely contested) win.
All in all, I was quite pleased with the outing, and will hope to be running the 75 back again at Wednesday's 3-round event, with the exception of the second Solitude and the Stonecloaker which I will have to mull over for a while. If I change the second, it will very likely be for the oddly relevant Drannith Magistrate, but the Magistrate has the drawback of being two mana to cast, whereas its main competition in Deafening Silence is only a single mana besides being harder to kill. I am therefore at the moment debating between the two, with an outside chance of Ratchet Bomb or Engineered Explosives being pressed into service instead if I decide that I need to deal with tokens directly instead. I would appreciate all your thoughts on any of these matters.
I believe that will be all for today, so have a very good evening everyone!
Following my previous message, I have need of outside opinions on which soft-lock piece is a better hate card to include in my 75, primarily as a hedge against Rhinos. Since the matchup is not guaranteed, however, I wish to discuss the relative merits of each. My intention is then to update this post with a running tally of the arguments for and against Drannith Magistrate and Deafening Silence. To set the stage, I will note the things I consider to be relevant to each card:
Deafening Silence has two primary advantages. The major one is its cheapness at one mana, making it possible to find and cast in the early turns off of a cantrip effect before combo has set up, smoother to sequence around taplands/fetchlands or Field activations, and easier to sneak into play around countermagic or interaction after testing the waters with a more expensive spell later on, though relevantly exposed to exile by Force of Negation. It is by the same token maximally susceptible to an opposing Prismatic Ending or the like, but makes up slightly for this with its other major advantage of being immune to most other common removal spells (including my own sweepers). It it a symmetrical effect, but in my list the main thing it would disrupt is Environmental Sciences into Supreme Verdict on turn six and above, with minimal other relevance due to my Creature density and the presence of Teferi, Time Raveler - not to mention the reduced likelihood of this being a concern post-board against such decks as it hates on.
Can any of you see other relevant factors here?
Drannith Magistrate, for its part, has two advantages as well. I will begin again with the major one in the fact that it is a creature. It can therefore be returned with Emeria, the Sky Ruin, but more importantly can block to keep me alive when losing on-board. This means that it does get hit by most of the common removal of the format as well as by Essence Scatter effects, but its secondary advantage is that it can a) attack opposing Planeswalkers, while also b) providing another body to carry a Shadowspear against Burn or the like in setting up a situationally impactful surprise "cast+Equip" on turn 3. On the positive end also, it affects exclusively opposing plays, among them abusive cost-avoiding mechanics such as Hideaway.
Is this breakdown missing any important dynamics?
The overlap between them includes the following cards - against many of which I would consider reaching my next draw step to be a significant accomplishment. Expanding this series is a vital part of the exercise here, for which information I would be very appreciative of any input, addition, or clarification:
sorry I've disappeared for awhile. My Windows 10 pc was a victim of srttrailerror.txt... cannot boot for days, and took awhile before I could restore things again. I'll catch up reading posts and updating the primer in the next few days.
I think these discussions of pros and cons of cards are great, specially with such inisght and detail. Thank you for bringing this discussion up Stéphane!
I think both are great cards and have slighlty differnt upsides for different matchups. Purely for the Temur Rhinos and Living End match ups, Drannith Magistrate might be better at first sight. They can't use Force of Negation to stop it, and the only way they have to deal with it is by spending 2 damage spells, Brazen Borrower or Fury. From my experience, our opponents usually take Force of Negation and Fury post sideboard. In that sense, it levels the playing field between Drannith Magistrate and Deafening Silence. Brazen Borrower becomes the only card to successfully intercat with both pieces of hate so no differences there. Being only 1 mana, Deafening Silence is of course more mana efficient which seems better to me. The fact Magistrate can block a Rhino is useful and can save our lives, but if we're trading our piece of hate away for a rhino, we are probably not in a great shape. Also like you mentioned, Deafening Silence doesn't die to wraths wich is great. The only concern is if they side Force of Vigor (which they usually don't) and blow the enchantment up. But asside from that, in this particular matchup I think I would go with Deafening Silence, altough they are really really close in what they do.
In a vaccum talking about both cards, I think Drannith Magistrate being an Emeria target doesn't offer much as if he dies, Before we get to Emeria they will probably already have spent their 4 Cascading Footfalls barring some rare games.
Altough Drannith Magistrate is good against Lurrus of the Dream-Den, I would only bring him against Lurrus matchups that didn't have much removal like Hammertime, and our game is already so favoured in that matchup that I don't think he would be good enough. In grixis versions I think he would just die and not do much. Killing Lurrus or exiling the grave would just be more effective in my oppinion. Agaisnt Burn I think it would just be a mild annoyance and altough it would be good to carry a Shadowspear or stop some lines, it wouldn't be nothing to backbreaking.
Deafening Silence worst charachetristic is being 2 sided. But we like the long game so, like you said I don't particularly think it's that much of a disadvantage.
I never used any of these cards but I will try Deafening Silence on my next few games. I will still keep Sanctum Prelate as I like it against Blitz, Hammertime, Izzet Tempo and some other match ups, and will instead take out my Damping Sphere. Amulet Titan is on the decline and I haven't seen Tron in my LGS for quite some time so time to lower some of those defenses and see how it goes.
Thanks once again for sparking up this discussion and hope this feedback was helpful!
I have two results to share. The first is a 2-1 in a small tournament, and the second is a 4-1 in the swiss of a mid-size tournament, whereafter I lost in the quarterfinals. In the second, following up from my previous post I decided to try out Drannith Magistrate, and it worked out reasonably well. A swift breakdown of my matchups and results follows:
TOURNAMENT #1 (15 people):
Won round 1 (2-0 against Jeskai Yorion Control). This round was tightly contested as I had to sequence very carefully, and I almost lost whne he was able to get a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria on the table in game 1, but I had gotten Reduce to Memory earlier to give me an out to it, and sequenced to play Teferi, Time Raveler as bait for his countermagic (which he had) then the Exile effect on the same turn. game two he was under time pressure to win the game since game one had been quite drawn out, and I was simply able to pressure him with small creatures for the clean match win. Despite the nervous moment in game 1, small Teferi and Emeria make me feel reaonably confident here.
Lost round 2 (0-2 against Jeskai Demilich Phoenix). I lost game one to a well-timed flock of phoenixes, and sideboarded to beat them, then lost an extremely close game 2 mainly to the card I had not seen in game 1 (Demilich). In point of fact, being unaware of its existence I had never seen the card before, and would have played differently had I known about it, but such is life. I will be better prepared next time, and I think that should make the difference, as their deck consists of many moving pieces - only a scant few of which can actually do anything to make stabilising any more difficult. Post-board I feel particularly strong, so I would call this matchup favoured if we win game one, and no worse than even if not.
Won round 3 (2-1 against Esper Reanimator. This is now the third time I have faced this strategy "in the wild", so to speak, and I am happy with both my configuration and my matchup against it. There are a few scary moments in the early turns, during which in game one he managed to sequence a Kaya, Orzhov Usurper on a turn where I could not develop my board because I had to respect his combo - which eventually sealed the win for him, however both sideboard games were very clean, and I am delighted with the combination of Remorseful Cleric pressure plus the Soul-Guide Lantern ETB effect, leaving me very happy with the pairing at the moment. The kicker is that Exile-based removal in game 1 can be easily accessed via Professor of Symbology, allowing a fair chance at the game 1 wins which make the matchup strongly favoured overall in my mind.
TOURNAMENT #2 (25-30 people):
Lost round 1 (1-2 against Temur Rhinos). I was on the play in the dark, and managed to take game 1 on the back of a turn 3 Teferi, Time Raveler which I refused to tick down even when missing land drops. I then lost a very close game 2 with no sideboard cards at all where I chose to spend double Prismatic Ending to deal with a pair of Rhinos on the draw, which left me waiting on an answer to his follow-up sideboarded Klothys, God of Destiny. I got rid of it a few turns later with a Lesson, but the life loss was too much and he drew well to eventually burn me out. I then lost game 3 after what felt like my best draw in the matchup of Drannith Magistrate into Teferi, Time Raveler. I failed to find enough manabase disruption or other interaction, however, and he was eventually able to cast a few burn spells into a pair of Fury which took down my board state when I had no Sun Titan or Emeria to recur either. The matchup still feels bad to me, especially game one, however I am more and more confident in the ability to find winning sequences, and I think it is no worse than around 60-40 for them if both players draw well.
Won Round 2 (2-1 against Abzan Reanimator). I lost game one to an unexpectedly Planeswalker-centric draw on their part of Grist, the Hunger Tide into Liliana of the Veil. I would have had the tools to interact in Prismatic Ending but my three opening lands included an unfortunate Ghost Quarter, and I was unlucky not to find any more lands in the next five draw steps as he made insects and Lingering Souls spirits to follow up until I perished in agony. Bah. I won the next two games hand ily, and felt much better about standing behind the comments I made above for the matchup in all configurations I have seen thus far.
Won round 3 (2-0 against Mono-black Prison). This was essentially a bye, since my opponent was quite new to competitive play, but a couple of oddball black Enchantments included Sanguine Bond, so I had to be certain not to expose myself to infinite lifeloss from Bloodchief Ascension and the like. Since Prismatic Ending and the Lessons meant that this never became an issue, there is not much more to say here.
Won round 4 (2-0 against Magda Dwarves). This was an interesting match, but my sweepers gave me the edge on a 3-for-1 in game one and a 2-for-1 after mutual Mulligans to 5 in game two. He never resolved a Pyre of Heroes, which might have made things very interesting indeed, but I believe that I am favoured even if the combo does resolve. All in all, this is in the end another creature-based matchup, so I will always be relatively confident.
Won round 5 (2-1 against Grixis Shadow Ragavan.) Having won my way all the way up the loser's bracket from round 1, I then faced the undefeated player who wanted to win for a chance to be on the play through the top 8. I was able to take game 1 on clean Endings for his Dragon's Rage Channeler and Death's Shadow on turns 1 and 2, then lost game 2 to Dress Down for my stabilising Sun Titan, and took down the match when I was able to thwart his attempted Dress Down plus Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger and follow-up Lurrus of the Dream-Den with Lessons to lock up top 8 for both of us now being at 4-1
Lost the Quarterfinals (0-2 against Jund Lurrus/Ragavan/Saga). Sadly, I was immediately and cleanly defeated here on poor draws, when a 6/7, then 7/8 Tarmogoyf went uncontested for three turns in game 1, then I stabilized behind a Wall of Omens for his Ragavan after resolving an Ending on his Lurrus, then failed to draw any spells. I ended the game with Emeria active and my Wall still in play, which I felt was sort of fair, since it had been holding back his monkey the whole time, but I rather feel that the matchup is better than I showed here. I am still not certain if I am favoured against the new Wrenn and Six builds with Urza's Saga, but if so I do not think it will be by much, and I now look forward to finding out over the next few weeks.
All in all, I have been very pleased with my deck's performances of late, and my piloting skills are becoming somewhat sharp again, so I will call this report a very solid positive set of data points as I look to get back into larger events.
That is all I have for now, and I will hope you are all doing well!