Outside of Horizon Canopy I can't think of any lands that draw you a card. Though in Blue you can play Oona's Grace to give all of your lands Cycle 2U. Which isn't fantastic but it isn't bad. I like having Jace Beleren as a way to get an extra draw each turn for free.
Also, Merfolk is one of our deck's worst match ups. Their creatures get out of burn range pretty quick and Aether Vial is very difficult to interact with profitably. The best tech I've seen against it is Haakon, Stromgald Scourge with Nameless Inversion as a way to make the target not a merfolk (so it loses its buffs) and then kills it off with +3/-3. Which is pretty interesting but not particularly useful in other match ups. Outside of that, Engineered Explosives at 2 does some decent work. Or upping the number of sac effects in your deck.
Having access to Black gives a lot of versatility in the Merfolk match up that other versions of the deck don't have. I don't run it in this deck but in my GB Zombie Aggro deck, I run a 1-of side board Damnation. People rarely expect that card and you can get some pretty sweet value out of it.
Jumping on the Pyroman bandwagon, though it grieves me slightly to lose Liliana. It feels necessary though, turn 3 playing Pyromancer/Raven's or something seems a little overpowered.
I feel light on removal as I had to cut lightning bolt to make room for the core. Is anyone playing Slaughter Pact in the sb? I feel like 2 is necessary to fight off Splintertwink. Who else is augmenting the 4 Abrupt Decay with more spot removal?
I have virtually 7 ways to get white mana. Is this too few? Are we even worried about hardcasting Souls?
I feel like there are many cards that would hose this deck: Zealous Persecution, Golgari Charm, Black Sun's Zenith, Illness in the Ranks, Night of Souls' Betrayal, etc. Granted, many of those aren't seeing too much play. I guess that's the charm of playing a rogue-ish deck.
Ace, what would you say your percentage is for wins-via-tokens and wins-via-seismic shocks? How much of the general gameplay changes with this core?
I'd say about 40% with tokens, 30% with assault and 30% with a combination of both assault, tokens and manlands.
EDIT: i play 8 white sources and it works for me, but i'm playing gavony township as well so maybe you can get away with 7. Smallpoxes and lootings make having a white source for souls less necessary. My 8th white source is horizon canopy, i strongly suggest you give it a try, it is quite powerful to be able to either double loam each turn or loam and still draw your card for the turn.
Is Bloodghast really necessary? I know it's sort of free value but in all the games I've played with it, it really doesn't do much. Now that you have Worm Harvest and Pyromancer MB, is Ghast really doing much for you?
In what MUs does Pyroman absolutely come out for games 2/3?
I think I agree with Bloodghast. I love the card, it does a good many tricks, but it seems like we could fill that slot with something better considering he doesn't block or really do any damage until the opponent is at >10 life.
I would imagine something like reusable removal would better fill that spot. Liliana, or another Seismic maybe. I'm considering going to 4 in my list.
Then again, mykat's list doesn't use Lingering Souls. Why is that? Perhaps Bloodghast fills that aggro role well enough.
In what MUs does Pyroman absolutely come out for games 2/3?
Basically never, i wouldn't side out a win condition, especially since we can expect gy hate game 2 and 3, pyro is less reliant on our graveyard, although he is obviously better with retrace spells. Relying solely on seismic assault for game 2 and 3 is a bad idea in my opinion.
I can see the value you get off of bloodghast but i don't like it, for reasons already mentionned by others. Also playing only one copy seems odd since they get better when you can dredge multiple.
Pyromancer comes out against skred. They have way too many board wipes to actually get value out of him. I still don't have ghast so I've been using syphon life in it's place and I've actually been happy with that. As far as lingering souls goes I have been theorizing a naya list that splashes black for souls flashback. Haven't tested it yet but I plan to this weekend. Still runs pyromancer but won't run smallpox or raven's crime. I've been avoiding it slightly because of the lack of raven's crime. I just love tearing apart my opponent's hand. I have an affinity to black.
You've totally sold me on Pyroman, I'm into it. Should Seismic count remain at 3 then? In the creatureless build 4 sounds best, but topdecking an enchantment with Pyroman on the field sounds kinda non ideal.
I'm also going to try mainboard Slaughter Pact, probably 1. ******* Twin is everywhere, and it will allow me to tap out for Pyroman + spell and still have tricks up my sleeve.
But you'll still have to pay 2B on your next turn. Which could be detrimental. I'd imagine if you want to improve your Twin match up just run Dismember as generic spot removal. But getting Assault online should generally keep you from ever losing that match up.
I run 3 assaults in each version of loam that I have tested. In creatureless I have extra dig and I've increased the number of anger of the gods in the mainboard to help against swarm strategies. I have also increased the number of abrupt decay in order to deal with splinter twin and rest in peace more efficiently and easily. I also have Liliana to help control the board and hand. Manlands are always an effective win condition.
I've been pretty happy with 4 decays, there are very few matchups where they aren't good. Also i've made a small change in my sideboard. After testing ray of revelation, i found it pretty bad and it leads to bad sideboard decisions. For instance i once sided them in vs a white deck anticipating rest in peace and leyline of sancity but instead my opponent sided in pithing needles and grafdigger's cage. At least grudge is always good vs affinity. So i'll try maelstrom pulse instead, it catches everything we are afraid of game 2 and 3 and kills extra copies.
EDIT: also getting white can be an issue sometimes, pulse's cost is easier.
Why Vault of the Archangel in the sideboard? What match up do you bring it in for? Why isn't it good enough main board? Seems odd. Surgical Extraction also seems lackluster. Jund Charm is probably just better graveyard hate.
Went 2-0-2 at my shop's Modern tournament. Went to time two rounds while playing against friends and we wasted a good 15 minutes just trash talking and having a good time. I was in dominant positions when we drew. I also played the mirror match for the first time ever. Jund vs my RUG list. Counter spells are awesome but so is Abrupt Decay. It was a lot of fun. Played against UW Tron(1-1-1), Burn (2-1), Affinity (2-0) and Jund Loam (1-1-1).
I think my thing with Ace's options and decisions are that he says that sometimes getting W can be an issue and he is putting a vault of the archangel in his board. Seems a little odd to run a card that requires a color, which can be tough to get, yet not running another card for that exact reason. I am sure Ace has his reasons for it though.
Well, i know it seems strange but since the deck is color intensive i really don't want to play more than 3 colorless lands and that is why i don't play vault main. I think ghost quarter is good in more matchups than vault is.
Sometimes GQ isn't good and that is when i bring my vault. Vault is here solely to remplace a GQ vs decks with lots of basics. I'll likely add another utility land in my board to remplace the second but i haven't found one that is worthy yet. I'm thinking maybe kessig wolf run, grim backwoods, something like that.
Having a land that recquires white to activate is less an issue than a spell because at least i can do something with the land, i.e. pitch it to retrace spells, produce mana colorless mana, sac it to pox, pitch it to assault, etc.
Surgical is pretty good actually. Free spells are good with young pyro. With all the discard you can often extract a key card. With ghost quarter you can extract a tron piece (just be careful if the opponent has relic) or a valakut. Also i often side in extraction along duress instead of removal vs creature light decks. Lastly snap is the most played creature in the format and you never know when your opponent will flash it, keeping 3 mana open for jund charm seems bad, with extraction you can tap out and play your game and still negate instant speed shenanigans such as snap or glass canon.
EDIT: alright i found a second land for my sideboard: