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  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Quote from Aetherbringer »
    Thanks for the great feedback!
    A couple more thoughts/questions:
    Should we still be playing Walking Ballista or other wincons when Ezuri almost always is just as effective and works far better with the ~11 tutors that put something onto the battlefield? I also don't see how giving Rhonas multiple creatures the ability to attack for infinite is very useful, and the possibility of a backup beatdown plan if your druids are removed seems pretty marginal to me in the context of Modern.
    In the same vein, Duskwatch Recruiter also seems pretty useless. Ezuri fills the role of the battlefield-tutorable creature that wins the game now and doesn't require Ballista as an actual kill condition. Not working with Neoform also shouldn't be a big concern as you can just sac the Vizier of Remedies to get it out.
    Going back to one of @AcademyRuins' previous lists, is Teferi, Time Raveler really better than having more tutors (likely Eladamri's Calls, which personally I have found a great supplement to the current suite as they allow t3 Druid and also dodge Cage)? I have not tested w/ him and are curious of yall's opinions on him.
    In general, I feel like we should basically refine the deck to combo backup pieces (Greaves, Stepmom, Lunge, EWit), tutors (Neoform, Evolution, Finale, Call), obviously the actual combo cards, and a wincon. Other interactive cards and bullets just take away from the t3-t4 potential of this deck, which I feel like with Stepmom is the best place for this deck to be in the Modern environment.
    Ballista beats Bridge. If you're going to play one win con, I'd advise Ballista for that reason.

    I'd encourage you to explore a decklist that suits your liking. There is endless depth to the Druid Vizier shell, to the point that differences in play style and plan preference can result in wildly different lists. If you think cards like Rhonas, Duskwatch, and Teferi are suboptimal, play with 4 to see them often, or play with 0 to see how much you miss them.

    As for thoughts on Teferi, I talk a bit about it here.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Eladamri's Call costing W is a pretty big problem when tutoring up Vizier. I personally prefer Evolution today for its ability to put Druid in play T2 and combo without white mana. I wouldn't be surprised to see these lists move to a different tutor than Call in the future, but hey I could be totally wrong. I will say 4 colors with Call is very ambitious since you need WW on T3 and T1 B. If I'm playing Call, I'd try to stay as close to 2 colors as possible.
    Quote from bellune »
    So, what do we think about this ?

    When you tap a creature for mana, add an additional G .
    6GG: Put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control.
    So this card is pretty neat in the context of Druid combo. This in the opener + T1 Dork generates 4 mana on turn 2, meaning you can Call or Finale for Druid. The reason Evolution and Neoform are so powerful in a vacuum is they allow one to kill turn 3 without naturally drawing Druid.

    Outside of that, it's an infinite mana sink, cheated out or not, although it does provide no evasion like Rhonas or Ezuri.

    I could see Call + Finale lists try this, or anything that already likes Arbor Elf + Utopia sprawl in order to drop 4 mana plays T2. Maybe Call + Finale lists could try it in the board for matchups they need to race? Not sure. I'll be interested to see what happens with that card.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Thanks for the great response to Aetherbringer. I'd be interested in testing out Giver of Runes more. Big thing with the card is finding 3-4 slots. I definitely like playing the set rather than 1 or 2 because it's fairly bad off the top and isn't a card you'll be tutoring too often (although you have more incentive without Ezuri). Looks like you accomplished that by shaving Duskwatch, no 9th dork, and cutting Dryad Arbor. I'll have to consider going to 1 to 2 Duskwatch in the future, but I do find myself getting scrappy wins with it often. I'm not huge on cutting Arbor personally, but if you'd like to forego it, I'd encourage you to play some fastlands over 2-3 fetches.

    I like your list for a removal heavy metagame for sure. Similar to BFT out of the side, T1 Stepmom, T2 Druid with Lunge in hand is a fantastic nut draw. You'll have to let us know what you think of your list.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Tenshi's Grinding Station Combo
    Mirrodin Besieged is a fun new card to try out. Seems great against removal heavy strategies, a good replacement for Sai.

    Might be worth playing some number of the new Two Drop Mage which tutors Sword, Foundry, and Station.

    The new Goblin Welder analog does similar things. Much better suited for the deck, but does demand red mana.

    Urza is also an infinite with Thopter Sword at least, probably does other good thing. A little expensive though at 4 mana.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Interesting new card spoiled today. Not sure if this beats out Spellskite, but it could end up being pretty useful against Burn. The fact that it's a changeling gives it some synergy with Ezuri.

    Anyone interested in giving this a try?

    Unsettled Mariner :symw::symu:

    Creature — Shapeshifter


    Whenever you or a permanent you control becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter that spell or ability unless its controller pays {1}.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Quote from mirrislegend »
    Eladamri's Call is getting reprinted in Modern Horizons. Does this deck care?
    The one issue with Eladamri's Call is significant: it requires white mana, meaning there will be games you lose because you do not have double white mana when going off with Vizier in hand. It will be interesting to see what wins out between the two with Finale having different pros and cons. I like how Call gets Ballista, allows you to tutor and cast over multiples turns (great with 4 drops in the deck), and dodges Cage. I like how Finale is great in grindy games when I can rebuy Druid from the yard when there are 2+, how I can rebuy one of sideboard cards like Pridgemage, and that it can be a ramp spell for GG. Losing out on Ballista and getting mostly shut out by Cage (Druid + Vizier + Finale is at least a W) is a noticable drawback.

    I ordered my Calls, so I'll be interested to give them a go. Perhaps a split is optimal, who knows.
    Quote from bellune »
    By the way, like AcademyRuins, I started running Neoform, and so far I'm really liking it.

    I was already convinced by the green Finale, but Neoform should definitely be included too. These two cards are a great addition.

    This week I've been running a list inspired by his, only with 8 fetches instead of 10 (for 2 Razorverge Thicket) and Shalai instead of Ezuri.
    So far, I've won somewhat consistently against my friends playing Tron, Humans, and Whir Prison.
    I'm still novice with the deck, but I'll run the list this weekend at MKM Series Paris, I'll let you know how it went.
    I'm glad you're liking Neoform. It really does make the list significantly more threatening. I would mention that without a three drop win con, you'll be without a win if you have the combo and no one drops. You may need a second Breeding Pool for Neoform -> Witness -> Shalai. That said, it doesn't come up a whole lot, just something to consider. I will say I may just like Ezuri better in the dark with the cheaper CMC, ability to protect Druid, ability to chump with Llanowar or Druid, and double Druid wins coming up often.

    It's sad to hear the news about MTGsalvation dying, but I'll be happy to jump to the new platform they mentioned. If that's a bust, I can look into a subreddit or Discord.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Quote from mirrislegend »
    Quote from AcademyRuins »
    For rival graveyard hate, I'm happy to either just ignore it and tutor into the pieces I need, or rely on Teferi or sideboard cards to deal with the problem card. There's really just Lunges and Witness that care about the yard, and a maindeckable answer like Teferi helps a lot.
    My primary issue with GY hate: Surgical Extraction is very popular. If Druid gets killed and extracted, you're stuck trying to win with weak beats or really low impact Ezuri activations.
    My secondary issue with GY hate: it impacts our card quality. Lunge and Eternal Witness become dead draws. We can't really avoid this by trimming on either card post-board because the opponent will obviously bring in extra removal.
    There's not a lot of great ways to deal with Surgical unfortunately. My plan vs black midrange allows me to shrug off Surgical and Forge Tender is my best way of working around Surgical out of Red decks. I suppose there's Riftsweeper?

    I'm happy with my list's answers to yard hate, if you'd like to be more conservative that's certainly achievable!

    There's been a couple of new cards in MH1 that seem like they could be worthy of play in Druid Evo. Step Mom not protecting herself makes me pass on her for now given BFT is better vs Red, I'm on pro-black dudes for Black, and the rest doesn't pack enough removal to make these effects necessary.

    I definitely plan to replace 1 of my 3 Canopies with the UG Canopy.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    I don't miss Shalai against midrange mainly because my primary plan is not to combo them. Landing a pro black creature against midrange has a much more profound impact than Shalai. The combo plan B does still mean we control much of how the game is played, so I can see why Shalai is valuable as it progresses both my plan A and B, but I personally do not like half-measure sort of cards (why I don't have Selfless Spirit or Scooze in my board anymore for example). Maybe this is a playstyle preference thing, I definitely wouldn't call running Shalai a mistake.

    For rival graveyard hate, I'm happy to either just ignore it and tutor into the pieces I need, or rely on Teferi or sideboard cards to deal with the problem card. There's really just Lunges and Witness that care about the yard, and a maindeckable answer like Teferi helps a lot.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    I think Rhonas would be a great add in a version with more focus on a beatdown back up plan in the main. Having a Renegade Rallier for instance would allow for great lines like Neoform'ing a two drop into a 4 power creature, then bring back the creature.

    I had considered Rhonas along with Mirror Entity, but overall I like the utility Ezuri adds with my list being especially combo focused. The ability to protect Druid and have another combo is more valuable to me. I'm not sure what wins in my book between Mirror Entity and Rhonas. Entity does lose points if you're trading Chords for Finale. A common line for me was EoT Chord for Entity, untap and kill them with a board of dorks.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    RE: 10 dorks, 4 Evo. I gave it a shot by cutting Incubations for the two slots, and found that while the increase in goldfish speed was nice--albeit difficult to really gauge in testing (IRRC it's something like ~5% more T2 Druids)--I am on 9 dorks and 3 Evo. Quite a few changes for me since my last post, so I'll give a list and give my thoughts.

    I will say my testing with Neoform in general has been all positive. Card is great. Playing zero is a mistake.

    9 dorks, 3 Evo vs 10, 4: I think this one for me comes down to sideboarding and evening up matchup wins percentages. In short, I suppose I view 10, 4 as as too win more for my taste. I want some mainboards slots dedicated to utility, and I'm wanting to sideboard out too many cards vs Midrange and Control. I'd say this decision is exacerbated if the London mull goes live since seeing a T2 Druid line in the opening 7 isn't as imperative with a stronger mull rule.

    Teferi, Time Raveler: I really started to seriously consider this card when looking for anti-Control sideboard cards. Creatures of all kind are pretty bad against Terminus, and Gideon AoZ is a glorified Retreat to Emeria that can get bolted with how bad it is vs Path. Going wide with 2/2s isn't as good as I'd hope it'd be, so I was exploring different options.

    Teferi is powerful vs Control as he allows us to cheese the matchup. We plus and win either that turn by Lunging, or casting an Evo effect on their end step and winning the next turn with no way for the opponent to interact due to the passive. What sells me on playing him the main is that this same play pattern is valuable against really any deck with removal, and that his minus hits everything that's threatening to me: runaway creatures like TitI, Bob, Steel Overseer; creatures that allow opponents to race such as Infect things, Baral, Sram, Titan; and lock pieces like Spyglass and Cage. It is also a stellar card vs Midrange, buying us time against T2 threats like Goyf, Gurmag, and DS.

    With 4 Teferi in the 75, I'm wondering if it's greedy to stay on 1 blue source. Hallowed Fountain is pretty abysmal in a deck with so many G one drops and double G spells, I suppose it would be a second Pool. With 10 fetches and Dryad Arbor in my deck, I find myself usually waiting to crack fetches, so that factor combined with 8 blue producing dorks has me okay with 1 for now.

    Ezuri vs Mirror Entity: This one for me came down to Mirror Entity being more cute than good against Phoenix, white mana being a problem when drawn, and me favoring the combo utility of Ezuri vs the beatdown potential of Entity. T1 Dork, T2 Ezuri, T3 Druid + Regen backup is great. The 2 Druid + Ezuri win has come up some. And I've even been able to win a few races with Llanowar chumping like a champ.

    3 Finale, 4 Lunge: This one mainly comes down Neoform pushing me to trim a tutor. Neoform mainly absorbs Incubation slots, meaning I'm more consistently seeing the creatures I need to compared to spinning the wheel. I'm comfortable trimming a tutor based on that. Lunge really should be a 4x when Neoform has great synergy with it, and it frees up a SB slot playing it main.

    PS: I've been considering buying into MTGO to play this deck a bit more and try streaming. Is that's something any of you would be interested in?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Anyone trying out the Neoform/Eldritch Evolution variant with WAR dropping this week? Looked pretty meme-y at first, but dodging graveyard hate while toting impressive T1/T2 win rates has a few people looking to this deck with the new set.

    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Quote from modern magic »
    Hi guys, so I'm a relatively new MTG player (been playing roughly 4 months) and I'm looking to become a bit more competitive. I just bought the deck yesterday to play on MTGO (except for the horizon canopies because those things are expensive!) and I'm having great fun because you have many options and lines of play compared to a more linear deck. Anyway, I'm playing this this list and I'm seeking advice on the following:

    - Is there a sideboard guide somewhere that explains which cards you should board in/out vs the T1 decks?
    - Because I don't have the horizon canopies, I've supplemented it for a forest, an extra razorverge thicket and a cavern of souls. Do you think the cavern of souls is worth it to get uncounterable humans or druids? If not, which lands should I put in?
    - What are the strongest and weakest matchups for this deck?

    We discussed some general sideboarding strategy a few pages back, see here. A few of us talked more about it in the following comments over a couple pages.

    With 10 fetches already, I'd recommend Razorverge for the rest of flex lands. That said, you have tested Cavern likely more than any of us, and can decide better if you like it or not. Mana in straight GW is extremely good, so you can probably afford one colorless land.

    I discuss matchups a little in the sideboard advice comment, but in general Druid Evolution beats up on slower decks with limited interaction, like Tron, Titanshift, Amulet. The hardest matchup preboard is any discard + removal deck, but I've found these matchups are fixable with a boardplan involving Chameleon Colossus/Mystic Enforcer. I would personally rate Jeskai Control or UR Phoenix as the most difficult. Decks that interact beyond removal with counters or discard are a struggle (Jeskai) and Phoenix is difficult due to the combination of Surgical, 6+ kill spells, and Thing in the Ice. Burrenton Forge Tender is the best sideboard card against these two.

    I would recommend looking at the primer for more tips, and looking at the past page or two to see updated lists.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Quote from mirrislegend »
    You make excellent points. In fact, I think you should be all-in on Neoform for preliminary testing: 0 Incubation, 4 neoform, 10 mana dorks.
    Sure, that's a good idea. I had considered that change before but agree it's best to start there even if I have my reservations.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution
    Quote from mirrislegend »
    I have zero interest in Neoform. The lack of "or less" makes this card very narrow: too narrow for us to rely upon. However, WAR has given us a new toy!
    Meet the new Green Sun's Zenith!
    No "or less" clause on Neoform is definitely a big issue. That said, I have been testing quite a bit with Neoform since it was spoiled and plan to play 3 in the main to start.

    Green Finale is a big winner in my book, Instant speed on Chord doesn't matter much outside counterspell decks or for tutoring Selfless Spirit, and all too often Convoke is flavor text given most of our creatures that we play to the board before combing simply generate mana already. Costing 1 less than Chord allows for T2 BFT and T2 Druid into Ws without a third mana. One last point is that green Finale over Chord could incentivize Simian Spirit Guide more as T1 Dork, T2 land, SSG, Finale is T2 Druid. My current list I am testing is below. Please remember this is still pretty rough so far and I'm unsure on exact numbers.

    Here's why I believe Neoform is worth trying. First, I'd reiterate what I mentioned in the primer: T2 Druid is the most threatening thing our deck can do. With 4 Druid, 8 Dorks, and 4 Evo we have a 66% chance of seeing Druid or Dork + Evo in our opening hand, and a 56% chance on 6 cards. With 4 Druid, 9 Dorks, and 7 Evo/Neo, we have an 82% chance of T2 Druid in our 7, and 70% in 6. Improving our best line by ~15% is a huge deal.

    Here is an explanation of why my numbers look how they do. A 9th dork is primarily there to better enable Neoform and Evolution. I have personally found Shalai to consistently underperform for me, which is why I'm happy to trade it for a 3 mana win con to allow Druid + Vizier + Neoform to be tombstones. Mirror Entity gets the pick over Ezuri or Rhonas for me because I find it is the best alt win con and it can be nice versus Thing in the Ice.

    I still like a couple Incubation for the ability to dig to an out against Cage, and Incongruity for outs to random creatures like Meddling Mage, and interaction against "kill or die" creatures. Cutting a Lunge doesn't feel great, especially since Lunge actually improves quite a bit with Neoform. I am not sure whether green Finale or Lunge should be my 4-of, but have settled on 4th Lunge in the board.

    No idea if I still want 10 fetches without Rallier, but fetching Dryad Arbor still happens a lot and I would like consistent access to Breeding Pool without playing a Hallowed Fountain or a second Pool. Do remember that a second blue source isn't super important for Neoform given 8/9 dorks produce blue. Fetching Breeding Pool doesn't happen as much as it might look game one. It's only really needed for Neo'ing a Llanowar Elf or winning from Druid + Vizier.

    Some will be unhappy with my testing list and label it as "making our good matchups better while making bad matchups even worse." I'd argue against this saying if we're so concerned with our poor matchups we should simply be playing Abzan Company instead, not to mention that ignores that consistently threatening T2 Druids just improves what our deck aims to do in general. A deck getting copies 5-8 of a key card has been a classic reason for a large boost in power level for any deck. And most of all there's zero reason not to at least test out a new idea.

    What are you risking? Maybe you're right and bolster your ego a bit. Or perhaps you're wrong and quietly hop on the train later. However, truly great players do not trust armchair assessments. They know the only way to be on the cutting edge is to playtest. Again I ask, what are you risking by trying? Maybe some hours testing or shame that an idea didn't work, but in this situation at worst you have learned that this idea is not worth it. I don't know that much is learned at all if we dismiss borderline cards, sideboard ideas, mulliganning strategy, etc.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Druid Evolution

    Neoform UG
    As an additional cost sacrifice a creature.
    Search your library for a creature card with converted mana cost equal to 1 plus the sacrificed creature's converted mana cost, put that card onto the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it, then shuffle your library.
    Wow, neat new card in WAR. I'm interested in trying out a 2:2 split with it and Incubation. Not as good as it might initially look because the only way to get a combo piece is with a dork (no "or less" clause). That said, cool how it doesn't exile--Eternal Witness--and it gives a +1/+1 counter, meaning Druid can make 3 mana in one turn, which means only two lands are needed to Chord for Vizier on T3.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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