Hey, everyone! I'm back again with yet another successful tournament with this super amazing awesome should-be-tier-1 deck.
My mainboard is the same list from my above report, (the second one where I replaced the retreats with a courser and elspeth). My sideboard, for clarification was as follows: (in no particular order)
2 Kitchen Finks
2 Reflector Mage
2 Unified Will
2 Blessed Alliance
2 Stony Silence
2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Izzet Staticaster
I will post my opinions on each of these cards after my report if y'all are interested. (Especially for all you folks asking about Gaddock Teeg.)
This tourney was a monthly modern that a large shop about 2 hours from me runs, top prize is a future sight goyf, with store credit awarded to other top 8 finishes. The event had about 36 people and 6 Rounds. Please note I hardly ever remember my opening hands.
Round 1: Abzan Midrange
Game 1: this was the pretty normal game you'd expect, he thoughtseizes me turn 1 and is impressed by my hand of value creatures and ends up taking my elspeth. His first two land drops are a concealed courtyard and plains though so I don't immediately know what he on but just go with my normal plan of dork into knight. We trade my creatures with his kill spells and he gets a grim flayer down. After I get hit a couple times for 2, he has delirium online but I get a huge knight on the field to hold the flayer back while I draw cards with tracker and assemble a lethal field.
Game 2: I saw a lingering souls game 1 so the Staticaster was immediately brought in. I mull to 6 and keep a 1 lander with great three drops, a voice, and a Staticaster. (I keep a lot of risky hands especially when I mulligan) but my scry is another land. He IOKs me and takes the voice I believe. I hit my second land, he plays a flayer and starts beating. I find a 3rd land and drop a knight. I use the knight the next turn to find a stomping ground to cast the Staticaster to deal with some spirits. I find a scooze next turn which is great considering my low life total. My knight is tapped on a turn when he attacks with his flayer and a shambling vent. I block and eat his only creature in the yard which shrinks his flayer and kills it, while I Staticaster the vent that was blocked by a courser. This leads to a big enough advantage for me to steal the game. (Sorry, a lot happened that game, tried to give you the highlights but it's confusing to remember, pretty much everyone in the shop was watching us at this point too.)
Unified will is not great here cause of souls and reflector mage is lackluster with siege rhino but I would consider it in the future, it's just hard to board out my creatures.
Round 2: Esper Midrange
Game 1: long story short he answers all my threats with paths and pushes and plays lingering souls and Geist for the win.
Game 2: He gets stuck on 2 land and never finds a 3rd, couldn't lose that one.
Game 3: my hand is a little land heavy but has 2 trackers so I keep. He IOKs one of them away and surgicals it. I play some a voice and knight but they get pathed and pushed while he upticks a lili of the last hope to kill my dorks until he ultimates her, I scoop them up.
Even though unified will is lessened by souls, I need the interaction for his removal spells and hard to answer threats. He also runs 4 paths, 4 push I believe which is much more efficient than abzan's less than 4 split.
Round 3: Superfriends
Game 1: I recognize this opponent as an abzan player from a previous tourney so I settle in for a midrange game. Turn 1 he plays stomping ground into arbor elf. Wait what? I'm thinking it could be ponza, or devotion. His next play is a windswept Heath and an oath of nissa to get it. I ask if he's playing that 4 color walker deck that Todd Stevens made. He seems surprised I know what he is doing. I start attacking with the knight I dropped last turn, spell queller his Nahiri and that's pretty much game.
Game 2: I don't quite remember this one but not much happened again and I won.
Round 4: RUG? Tron
Game 1: he drops a misty into a basic forest into expedition map. I have no idea what is going on and just do my normal thing. He plays another forest and 2 maps. He cracks one to find a steam vents and another for a tron piece over the next couple turns but it's too late and my board has overwhelmed him.
Game 2: turn 1 he drops a tormod's crypt. I get a Gaddock Teeg out which slows him down, along with a knight. He gets tron online and plays a wurmcoil. I stare at the negate in my hand, wishing it was a unified will. The next turn he attacks with the wurmcoil. I read my opponent and determine he won't see his crypt still sitting in play so I block with my knight then activate his ability to grab a fetch to grab a land to make him a 6/6 to trade. My opponent lets it happen, gets his wurms and passes. I'm kinda dumbfounded and proceed to easily trade some creatures with his wurms and then kill him. He reveals a hand of 2 ugins and 2 Karns, uncastable cause of Gaddock Teeg.
Round 5: GR Tron
Game 1: my opponent mulls to four and I have a normal hand, but it has three paths. Even though I know he's on tron I keep it against my better judgement. It has lands, a dork and a courser soooo... Anyways she mulls to four, plays sanctum and passes. I draw for turn, yep it's the fourth path.... I play some midrange creatures and he starts to find his tron pieces. I think to myself damn I messed this up. He gets tron online, plays planar bridge. The next turn he uses it to find ugin to wipe my board putting ugin at four. I path two of my creatures, determining they're not getting any better, still holding two of them. I play a knight and pass with with several lands in play. He casts a sundering Titan, I float a white and he exiles three of my lands, ticks ugin up bolting me. I use the white to path the Titan which he blows up two more of my lands. I then attack with knight for lethal since he just out so many lands there. He should've minus 3ed the ugin so I got very lucky.
Game 2: I play some creatures, he gets natural tron but has no threats. He finds a ugin and triggers sanctum getting emrakul which is castable next turn, I negate the ugin. I play a Teeg on my turn, leaving me with eight permanents in play including a knight, dork, stony silence and lands, I'm at 20. He is low enough to die to the knight next turn but not the Teeg. He plays the emrakul and takes his extra turn, he attacks and I have to sac 6 permanents. I need the knight to swing for the win but he has 1 card in hand. I have to decide if I should keep the silence or the Teeg as my only other permanent. Silence best so stone, but Teeg beats karn or ugin. I decide to keep Teeg and he reveals the karn in his hand and that's game.
Top 8: Round 1: RW Burn. This is a friend i came here with, so it's a little awkward but it's happened before so we're cool with it.
Game 1: he beats to a bloody pulp with goblins and swiftspears while killing my mana dorks with blaze and helix. Then triple burns my face.
Game 2: he has a heavy creature draw and doesn't answer my dorks this time allowing me to get some sizable blockers in play and stabilize while attacking safely.
Game 3: this goes really long, he gets me down to five, I have many blockers out. but I slowly gain back life with courser and scooze. He knows I have a negate in hand from a guide trigger which makes things tense. Eventually my creatures get there.
Game 1: Wasn't much of a game, I play bird into knight into elspeth and he has no answers, dying to a flying 7/7.
Game 2: we trade resources for a while then he finds an Olvia Voldaren that I cannot answer.
Game 3: pretty much the same as game 2 down to the olivia.
Board: 2 kitchen finks, 2 reflector mage, 2 unified will, 2 blessed alliance.
So a top 4 finish is not too bad, got 50 in store credit and my deck was the talk of the tournament, every opponent loved playing against me and I had lots of spectators. This really is the best deck that no one is playing.
-2 Kitchen Finks: great against burn and aggressive zoo decks. Also great at 2for1ing rock opponents.
- 2 Reflector mage: great against goyf decks and creatures without ETB abilities including zoo. I haven't seen him really shine yet though and may replace him.
-2 unified will and 1 Negate: countermagic to help against our worst matchups (tron and scapeshift) and useful against blue based control. Seriously considering going up to 3 Wills and dropping negate altogether as there were many time a unified will would have been better against tron to counter wurmcoil or sundering Titan, even ulamog if I'd seen him. Negate also doesn't counter Primetime.
- 2 Blessed Alliance: Great against burn, zoo, and midrange decks. Early and mid-game it's normal modes are quite good. Late game all three modes are super relevant, making them lose a creature and you untapping the fatties you just attacked them with for surprise blocks. Also combos with knight's ability and Staticaster in corner situations. I would never remove this and am considering another copy.
-2 stony silence: for affinity, tron, and ad nauseam. It is okay against tron. But I have not tested against affinity or ad nauseam much (currently on my schedule for this week) so I am unsure if it is necessary here, but it will stay until i find out just in case.
-2 Izzet Staticaster: answers lingering souls, affinity's near entire creature base, and other random x/1s in various decks like abzan company, hatebears, or snapcaster decks. I urge anyone who plays this deck to never cut this card from their board as it is one of the rewards for playing this archetype.
-2 Gaddock Teeg: my personal pet sideboard card that has saved my butt time and time again. Comes in against tron, control (to stop wraths and cryptic or at least draw removal spells out), scapeshift, abzan company, and sun and moon. Sometimes he severely hoses our opponents, but at the very least he buys us time to beat down while our opponent deals with him. High ceiling. Our companies being uncastable is an unfortunate side-effect but if you have him out in those matches, you should already be winning. You should not cut company when bringing him in unless you have other reasons to do so as company is still your best cards and helps find Teeg. Besides, you'll still need company if you never see him to have a chance in some matchups.
1) I don't play skite because I want my creatures to be proactive and a 0/4 isn't doing that. I'm not playing the knightfall combo so his protection value goes down. I don't play clique because the double blue cost seems restrictive to me and would have lots of times when it's uncastable. I have 1 ghost quarter main.
2) I took out the elspeth because I couldn't think of a matchup besides maybe jund that I would actually need her and having other cards in my board, like the third counterspell seemed a lot more useful.
3) there are none of those in my meta actually, but if there were, I'd imagine the matchup leans a lot on spell queller and pathing their SRAM/paladin/baral/Electromancer.
Definitely not. There are good hands without acceleration.
@minun73 I would recommend testing vendilion at some point. Really good vs ad naus, tron or merfolk. I don't really like stony silence in this deck so I'm running this in its place.
I've played with elspeth too and she is super clunky at six mana and unsynergistic with the deck overall.
Question, how do you feel about the number of lands/dorks? I do feel like the curve has gone up (too many 3cmc creatures plus tracker clues) so more mana is a necessity. I'm currently testing with 22 lands and 8 dorks but don't know if it's correct yet... I'm sure that 22 lands and 7 dorks was not enough.
There are definitely keepable hands with no dork. Against midrange decks for instance dorks are at their worst. I'd also keep a hand with no dork but a high value card in the matchup, such as Stony Silence against affinity.
In general you can usually get away with a slow hand if you're on the play.
Where it becomes sketcky is on the draw against fast decks. In that circumstance any hand without a dork is suspect.
@RPD: I'll consider the cliques, I'm just not sure where I'd fit them in. I'm also working on scapeshift so I'm not really sure I wanna drop the 25 bucks for them. Just the double blue is what makes me nervous about it being castable. I feel like the mana is just right at this point. 8 dorks feels like a lot but opening hands get so much better when you can skip straight to three for a turn 2 knight or queller. 7 felt like too little and I wouldn't increase my land count either cause flooding is a concern. I honestly like how the 3-drop slot is so packed, I feel like that's the payoff for playing this deck.
@Bentobocx: to me, worship just feels win-more, it's not a bad card but using it effectively is difficult. It comes in aginst rock decks and burn but I feel our matchup is good enough there that we don't need a 4 mana enchantment that makes our companies worse. But, I wouldn't say don't play it either, I'm mostly basing my opinion on theory, there are definitely situations where you just instantly win the game.
Confirmed suspicions: Gaddock Teeg x 2, obligatory Stony Silence x 2, and Unified Will x 4, alongside the Qasali Pridemages and Spell Quellers in the main destroy almost ALL the big mana decks. Also, Ghost Quarter is probably the most useful utility land in modern so it helps to have at least one in the main board. These cards aren't as narrow and can apply to a WIDE variety of match-ups. Unified Will was designed for Bant I am 99% sure.
I'm trying to balance the Negate vs Unified Will slots in my sideboard. I've noticed that all the important targets get hit by Negate. Unified Will seems like it just fills in the corner cases. Has anyone felt an enormous need for Unified Will, other than hitting Wurmcoil Engine from the Tron decks?
I couldn't come up with a very big list, but Primeval Titan is a good one, and Thought-Knot, Smasher and Endbringer to a lesser extent. Is Disdainful Stroke a possibility? It stops basically every combo win condition I can think besides Living End and the like, while also hitting the big creatures without terms.
I've been pondering this. It seems to fulfill what we're looking for: hits the creatures we need to hit without being dead against non-creatures while also being more reliable than Unified Will. I think Disdainful Stroke needs some serious consideration.
I have doubts about Reflector Mage, but I'd like to have something relevant vs Eldrazi Aggro decks.
With Goblin Guide and Arid Mesa (being the most expensive parts of Burn) reprinted in MM3, I wonder if we should be hedging against an uptick in Burn decks and a downswing in decks that lose hard to Burn (Tron!).
I find myself rarely boarding in Alliance against midrange decks, but it's a hard call. You typically have four easy cuts in Retreat and Pridemage, and then you bring in your Reflector Mages and Finks. Staticaster is good against Abzan and some Grixis builds as well. Negate is also a consideration, but I find myself often not boarding it unless against a control-heavy Grixis list.
This makes it hard to find room for Alliance in some cases, as I think most of our creatures are better than it is. Trimming Quellers is an option, as pseudo-remand can often be mediocre in these MUs, but just having flash fliers is often great and they help a lot in closing out games.
Blessed Alliance is a highly versatile card. The most obvious uses are the +4 life or sacrifice an attacking creature vs aggro decks. The untap option is the least used but has insane blowout potential.
A line about blessed alliance from Kelvin Chew's article on the deck back in sep 2016:
Finally, the last card I would like to talk about is Blessed Alliance. The card was basically designed for Bant Knightfall, the only one deck which can utilize all three ability to its fullest. This frees up a lot of precious sideboard space because it acts as a sideboard card against Burn decks (gaining life), Bogles (sacrificing an attacker) and I've also used the untapping creature way more than I had expected.
Many times, I was able to untap Izzet Staticaster to take out bigger creatures. I also stole many wins from opponents who blocked Knight of the Reliquary wrongly, and I simply untapped it to find Kessig Wolf Run for lethal damage.
Guys please opinions on japanese cards. Lost a 3/3 creature against Japan celestial colonade. This guy played all creatures and spells in english cards, but some cards in his manabase was japanese. I dont registrated this really ( my brain say its all fine and all english to me lets attack his empty board)...and i am sure it is a Kind of legal cheating. It is not ok, but i know legal. I Hate such people. I never forget colonade normally, but with this Tricks it can happen one time in 3 years and such people take advantage of this
If I am a customer spending premium amount of dollars, I expect a premium service. Jund falls into the category of a premium deck costing more dollars than a majority of the rest of the format. I'm not getting the desired performance ratio per dollars spent out of the Jund deck because WOTC decided to make the format more diverse.