Reflector mage is the go-to tool for matchups where more removal is in order - such as eldrazi or death's shadow. In other matchups, we are playing a bigger ground game and only really need removal on the draw - which is where blessed alliance comes in over the retreat to coralhelm.
Tracker is infinitely better for coco than walkers since you are forced to bottom walkers you might hit when you cast coco, creating tension. A weakness of Knightfall is certainly the low amount of removal spells we play, but that weakness exists to make Coco stronger, a feature that will get worse if you play walkers. Note that this weakness is why the Nahiri, the Harbinger build came up - it had much better selection and removal at the cost of speed by eschewing Collected Company.
If you're looking for a value 3-drop: reflector mage for board tempo, Renegade Rallier as card advantage/mana ramp or vendilion clique for disruption are the best options imo. The lists are too tight to fit in any walkers as long as you are playing coco imo.
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Azorius Control UW
BTW I went 1-3 drop at the tour ey.
0-2 grixis shadow: he was excellent with the deck, and new lili crushes us.
2-0 vs affinity. Kataki turn 2 won game 2. He was REALLY new to the game. Had me dead on board game 1 but missed it.
0-2 vs burn. He knew i had life gain, so he held up his skull cracks and atarka's and I couldnt keep alive.
0-2 soul sisters: he have no chance game 1. Game 2 he honored of the pure turn 2, keeping me from izzet'ing the sisters.
Greetings fellow Knightfallers (?). I won a 71 person States tournament yesterday with the following deck. Below you can read about my card choices and tournament report. Feel free to pick my decision making apart. Many of the things I have learned that made me successful yesterday were from this thread.
One of the cooler parts about this deck, and this is true for Magic decks in general, is the ability to customize your deck to your play style. For instance, I love to play on my opponents turn, casting as many instants and creatures with flash as I can. Hence, you can see above I have eschewed R from my deck in favor of a heavier U splash. This may not be correct for your metagame or play style, but it fits me perfectly. In addition, and this has been referenced above many times, even though the combo is the reason I play this deck, it isn't the reason why this deck wins. And don't get me wrong, I have sleeved up Knightfall for tournaments with no Retreat to Coralhelms and did great but I felt so naked the whole time. With my bad match ups, the confidence I gain from knowing I can combo off and kill my opponent feels great. I say all this because dropping the R meant going to battle without Kessig Wolf Run. I have just felt from testing so many match ups that tapping down opponents and making my Knight of the Reliquary huge was enough. I hedged and included a Rogue's Passage to make sure I wouldn't be completely cut off from attacking. Note: I comboed to win 2 games during the tournament and neither time did I even come remotely close to needing Rogue's Passage.
In the previous pages the inclusion of Vendilion Clique has been questioned. Taking my love of flash creatures out of the equation, Clique was great for me all day. I love the how often it lives (removal is funneled to other "heavier" hitting threats), how much damage it hits with in the air (Exalted is busted), and how much disruption it adds (Good bye Reality Smasher, see below). The last card I need to discuss before the report is Ulvenwald Tracker. The card was legit insane for me during at least 3 specifics games during my run. I believe it is so much better then Izzet Staticaster and would 10/10 run it again.
Round 1 - 8 Rack (1-0), (2-1)
Highlights: My opponent offered to let me go first, commenting that he hasn't played in awhile (a lie) and its fine if I go first. A Mulligan, a Birds of Paradise and a Smallpox later I am almost hellbent. Smooth move from a guy who obviously knows his deck. Knight activation to get a Horizon Canopy to draw an extra card, to take less damage off of The Rack, and to insulate versus an edict effect wins me game 3.
Round 2 - Bant Eldrazi (2-0), (2-0)
Highlights: Game 2 opponent plays Rest in Peace and I smile. I think graveyard hate is way overrated against my specific build of the deck because I don't lean on Eternal Witness. Shutting off Voice and Knight is good, but I will take that trade any day. I win with Reflector Mage, a Vendilion Clique that bottoms a Reality Smasher, mana dorks, and a naturally drawn Gavony Township.
Round 3 - Jund (2-1), (1-2)
Highlights: Full disclosure, I want to play against Jund/Abzan every round. The fact that I did lose this round was easily the worst part of my day. I didn't let it tilt me cause I figured this guy had a good shot to get to the Top 8 (started 3-0) and I could beat him there. I win a game 1 grind fest which is to be assumed in this match up. I board out my Birds of Paradise and Retreat to Coralhelms and settle in to grind. I misplay in game 2 because of my inexperience with Ulvenwald Tracker. I did not attack with a Knight because I wanted to be able to Ghost Quarter his Raging Ravine the next turn. I could have just Prey Upon'd the Ravine with the Ulvenwald Tracker using the Knight the next turn; it was plenty big enough. As a result, that not attacking left me 5 damage short when my opponent cast Damnation. He then had enough to get us to Game 3. He won that game off of another Damnation. He only has 1 in the Sideboard, but that doesn't matter. When you sign up for a Magic Tournament you are signing up for variance, both good and bad beats.
Round 4 - Jeskai Control, (3-1), (2-1)
Highlights: People always snicker when they hear I am playing a Blue deck without Serum Visions. The common sentiment is, "What happens if you draw the wrong half of your deck?" The answer is "I attack you with it." My Jeskai control opponent drew the wrong half of his deck in both games 1 and 3 and died very quickly. I believe I ended game 3 with 3 or 4 unused Clue Tokens from Tireless Tracker.
Round 5 - Affinity, (4-1), (2-0)
Highlights: Game 1 Combo kill. Game 2, at 4 life my opponent had 7 artifacts included an Arcbound Ravager with 4 +1/+1 counters on hit. Luckily I had an Ulvenwald Tracker, a Knight, and a Spell Queller. Holding the Tracker's activation until end step for many turns I force my opponent to put all of his counters on a Blinkmoth Nexus which gets Ghost Quartered by my Knight.
Round 6 - Jund Death Shadow, (5-1),(2-1)
Highlights: Game 1 Combo kill. Game 2 keep 5 lands, a Path to Exile, and a Noble Hierarch. Die with 2 Collected Companys in hand because he Fatal Pushes my Noble. Game 3 use Blessed Alliance to kill my opponents 1st Death's Shadow having him gain 4 life to go to 16. End the game with a Knight, Scavenging Ooze, and a Voice token against a Liliana with 1 counter and Death's Shadow that has to chump block the Knight.
Round 7 - Burn ID (5-1-1)
I get the 4th seed.
Top 8 - Bant Knightfall (2-0)
Highlights: I play the mirror in the 1st round of the top 8. Spell Queller is the key card in game 1 as we only have 8 removal spells between the 2 of us. I have 2 in my opening hand and ride those to victory. Game 2 I get Reflector Maged on turn 2 and wow did that feel bad. Never had the card played against me before and it almost sets me too far back to win. Enter, Ulvenwald Tracker. In an unbelievably complex board state with Knights, Oozes, and Reflectors Mages on both sides, I navigate to kill his fliers which are the only things that can profitably attacked. After 4 or 5 Tracker activations my opponent can see the writing on the wall and concedes.
Top 4 - Grixis Delver (2-1)
Highlights: Nothing is worse than a Delver player who bemoans how his Delvers never flip. In Game 1 they don't flip, Path to Exile is good verses a turn 2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang, and Knights are bigger than everything else. Game 2, 3 Delvers flip by turn 3 and he wins off Bolt-Snapcaster Mage-Bolt. Game 3 Vendilion Clique on his end steps, eats a Lightning Bolt but allows me to resolve a Company on my turn which gets me a Knight and an Ooze. A few turns later and I am in the finals. My opponent was often stuck with Fatal Pushes in hand because he had to fetch to set up his delve spells, Thought Scour and creatures, Gurmag Angler and couldn't cast it against my CMC 3 creatures. Although the idea that Fatal Push has made creature decks like ours bad in the Black/Red meta, I see the move toward CMC 3 creatures as a way to get around and tax their Pushes/Gameplan to the limit.
Finals - Ad Nauseam (2-1)
Game 1 I mulligan to 6 and see 2 Courser of Kruphixes in my hand. I did not fully de-sideboard from the previous game. I call a Judge on myself and get a game loss penalty. Game 2 a Vendilion Clique and a Knight allow me to punish his triple Serum Visions draw. (How's the wrong side of your deck treating you now?) Game 3 I Collected Company twice hitting 2 Knights, a Selfless Spirit, and an Eidolon of Rhetoric. My opponent doesn't have enough mana on board to cast Ad Nauseam on his end step which would allow him to get around the Eidolon. He casts it on his turn, tanks while he figures out if he can win the game. The difference; a Selfless Spirit will keep my Eidolon alive through a Slaughter Pact. Those are the beats.
I had fun, I played well, I got lucky, I won a trophy and most importantly, I dodged Scapeshift.
And of course there is gonna be an answer in their deck for our creature. But now they are digging/adjusting their game plan to kill a creature instead of whatever degenerate thing their deck is supposed to do.
Later in the game any creature you have turns into the same list above which is great or a creature that affects the board, Reflector Mage and Vendilion Clique.
Rhonas the Indomitable is probably not a creature early or often enough to be played - especially if you are not running goyf. That being said, it's really good if its turned on.
Nissa, Steward of Elements is obviously not playable in this deck unless you're taking out coco and going the nahiri path. New cards to test for that buid are coming out in this set, although I think Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is likely better for a potential knightfall superfriends build.
To be clear, I would call all walkers unplayable in the coco build simply because there are great creature options that make the deck better, where walkers create tension with coco. That being said, the new nissa is less appealing than other options like Tamiyo, Field Researcher and especially Nahiri, the harbinger if it's grinding with walkers you're looking to do in the coco build.
I don't see how you can take out kessig with this. It would cut you off the combo without going all-in (where you lose to a single fatal push/path to exile until you get this creature in play. That turns your AB combo into a ABC combo, which is much worse.
Nope, still need the land to help finish the game so the knight can search it up. The whole reason kessig is good is because it can be searched. I doubt Rhonas will be played, but if it does get played here, it won't be in place of kessig.
edit: Hmm thinking this through... you can activate the ability on a 2/x creature to turn rhonas into a creature. Not sure what to cut for one, but the fact that it turns itself on with a voice/scooze/quasali makes it more consistent.
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.
I'm amazed you beat affinity without hate. That is a tough match up even with stony silence/ kataki.
With only 2 scooze in the main and no sideboard support, how do you find your graveyard matchups? I wanna move another clique main, but I'm scared that dropping a scooze will make those games way worse.
I would run kessig though, its just so good. I'm going to try ulvenwald tracker over staticaster myself.
Yes i agree with rhonas over courser as the slot it goes into. And honestly, with ooze, voice tokens, tracker (after one clue), and knight or of course any creature other than dorks that we have can get to 4 with his ability which is a nice mana sink later. I know we can't search it like you can with kessig, but honestly i don't find i need kessig too often anyways and dropping red would really help smooth out mana a bit more and allow us to cut red. I'm certainly going to test.
Personally I think the new Nissa can be tested as a one of as well, i think it can really be good for to start powering creatures out after the first scry as long as she doesn't die. Scrying is huge for our deck and i find most of the times when i lose is when i run out of gas/flood which she helps with. I like to think that scry 2 can be very powerful where we can draw something like a land or company or path or whatever and leave a creature on top for her 0. That being said, I can see arguments for no walkers or gideon/elspeth/tamiyo too, but Nissa is worth a try at the least, she's a little more impactful for our all in creature strategy in a very control/fatal push type meta where we are usually in building and rebuilding mode where tamiyo can be tough without creatures and gideon is susceptible to path/elspeth 6 drop is expensive and 4 drop really needs creatures on battlefield too. Nahiri feels greedy with like only birds and one red source occasionally, but obviously she's great too. I do tend to think creatures are just better though if we can do that most of the time.
@proximity13 Scooze is the least valuable card when it is performing at its floor: a 2/2/ for 2. Dredge is the only match up where I believe I need it asap or I will lose. At that point its just not worth running 3 for me in the main deck. Technically I have a third in the sideboard with Eldritch Evolution.
If you have enough fliers the Affinity match up isn't that hard. You just have to get to turn 4 or 5 without being dead for your card quality/advantage to take over. Stony Silence always seems like such a bad add to a deck with Collected Company.
There is a rare matchup that i really struggle (like i'm 2-8 gamewise 0 match win)
I normally sideboard in thalia finks and courser and adding a ghost quarter removing the path to exile and the retreat to coralhelm
But i just can't seem to survive as he strip all my card and smallpox the only thing i have managed to put on the battlefield
Is he just lucky or is it really a bad matchup?
Honestly I've found it to be an easy matchup. It can be tricky to get off a Collected Company if they Smallpox your dork, but if you do and if you hit 2 reasonable creatures, they just have no way to compete with the value. In general, we just have ways to deal with them. A lot of our creatures are good here: Knight beats down and tutors Quarters to kill Mutavaults, Pridemage kills Racks, Scooze can get huge thanks to all the discard, Voice makes Liliana and Smallpox look silly, Spell Queller stops almost anything and they don't play that much removal.
The Rack effects really change the dynamic of the game: you need to really evaluate whether playing that card you have in hand is worth it or it's better to keep it in hand to reduce the damage you take.
On a different note, the new green god is very interesting. I don't know that it belongs in the current stock shell, but I can't help but notice that it enables Stubborn Denial really well... I wonder if there's an idea there, maybe with 4 Knight 4 Goyf and 2-3 of this god? Who knows. Either way, the god is definitely a great Collected Company hit.
As for Nissa, I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss her. She is grindy as hell and she seems made for this deck. The +2 improves our draws, digging for answers and the combo, and at 3 loyalty the 0 hits about 85% of our deck. The synergy with Courser of Kruphix is real. Later on when we get mana-flooded, she scales very well, threatening to end the game with her ultimate (admittedly, a weak ultimate, but probably still sufficient to end the game in the later stages).
I've generally been critical of planeswalkers, but I'm excited to try this one out, albeit probably as a 1-of.
A fair amount of losses I have come from red mana inconsistency. I like rogues passage. The new nissa seems like a definite 1 of. Go down to 2 retreats or take out a courser. I am not a fan of the god though. I run 7 cards that can trigger it and that seems too inconsistent. Also, they can remove your thing that allows the god to be godly.
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