Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
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  • posted a message on [Primer] UR Storm
    What are your thoughts on Caleb's latest list? I think taking out Noxious Revival is a mistake, although I admit I might be biased after not drawing bears and being unable to Gifts for them since I had no Revivals two times yesterday (I would've won the game on the spot both times if I had a way to ensure I ended up with a bear). I do agree that a maindeck Empty the Warrens is a solid choice since you can play 3-4 spells and end the game in two turns through maindeck graveyard hate. Here's the list I'm running:

    I'm not sold on his latest SB choices yet (subbing a Bolt for a Flame Slash to kill Spirits and Meddling Mage, and a Pieces for Spell Pierce), but I could be convinced on the Slash thing, if only because Spirits and Humans are probably our worst two matchups alongside Jund (which is practically nonexistant these days). I was playing the 4th Opt in place of Noxious Revival before the Gifts bear piles debacle yesterday. I still want to include the last Opt, but I'm unsure about what to cut, since Remand enables us to go for the kill with a really low Storm count, even more so when taking into account that people fetch aggressively against us, and through maindeck graveyard hate, while also protecting a bear from removal if we drop it with protection mana open against fairer decks.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Affinity
    So, the more I played Affinity the more I felt we were lagging behind. The power of Ancient Stirrings and Faithless Looting is both enormous and undeniable, and I strongly feel both of these are currently the best cards in Modern (along with Vial); if you're not playing any of those, you're simply a step behind. With that in mind, we're one of the decks that can afford to play Stirrings. Hardened Scales, although not the same deck / playstyle, is pretty similar to classic Affinity (same threats except switching Plating for HS itself), makes good enough use of the cantrip, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I've started with the following list:

    Haven't entered any serious tournament yet, but testing at FNM level has given me pretty good results. Currently I'm favoring maindeck Masters over Champions since the meta is pretty fast, and the ability to race is better than the resilience Champ offers, while it also protects the board against Dredge's Conflagrate. Maindeck Karn is still pretty good, and finding one turn 1 with Stirrings and dropping it turn 2 speeds the clock a lot against any unfair deck, while giving you the upper hand against anything remotely fair. I'm missing 2-3 Blasts though, as Storm, UR Phoenix and Spirits feel nigh unwinnable without going all in on a Inkmoth Nexus + Arcbound Ravager plan (which is easier to accomplish thanks to Stirrings itself) and even then Phoenix could just simply flip Thing in the Ice in your turn and Spirits can just flash in more blockers. 1-2 RiP in the side should be Grafdigger's Cage since it can be found with Stirrings, but I currently have none at my disposal yet.

    I'm totally at a loss at what to do about Spirits, seems like we simply can't win that matchup. The deck seems to be on the decline, and when someone asked me what decks I like to sit in front off, the only response I could muster was simply Tron. Any ideas?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Got Turn 3 killed by WRG Tethmos High Priest/Crown of Flames Combo
    What deck were you playing? A 3 color combo based around 4 combo pieces (3 of which are creatures) seems awfully slow and easy to disrupt, since removal to Priest in response (or Archer if you're running Disfigure) just breaks it apart.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on [Primer] UR Dragonaut - Eye Candy - Nivix Blitz
    So, the downgrade of Foil means great news for this deck. Since we now have a lot of free spells, ranging from card draw so good it's banned in Legacy to free permission and protection, I fully expect the deck to get a shot in the arm in the coming weeks, leaving Tribe Combo, which was in a similar niche, behind.
    There are a few reasons for this (like this deck having 8 combo threats instead of just 4), but the main one will be that they always want a full grip to go all in on Tribe, making it more awkward for them to make use of Foil, whereas we only care about casting spells for a bonus.

    Having such a bevy of free spells makes the good old Delver of Secrets + Lightning Bolt complementary plan not only better that the Augur of Bolas that people have been playing lately, but it also becomes a rock solid plan B since we will be able to apply a lot of pressure backed up by Tempo plays and have burn as reach to top it off. Here's the list I will be running once UMA enters the format:

    With the amount of free permission and protection we're running, all the cantrips ensuring our consistency and Burn + Delver pressuring life totals alongside the combo, our matchup against heavy interactive decks has vastly improved. From the board, a few Blasts to win counter wars and kill pesky permanents, Flaring Pain to counter Moment's Peace and Prismatic Strands, and Mogg War Marshal to eat edicts against Black decks, we shouldn't have that much trouble anymore. Having so many free spells and card draw also means we can shave a Temur Battle Rage since we usually only need one to close a game anyways.

    Kinda tempted to run more shuffle effects and turn those two Preordains into Brainstorms for that broken Legacy feel, but I feel that 4 "tapped" (since Barrens requires you to pay 1 for the Landcycling) lands is the absolute maximum the deck can afford to run. I'd want to run a 3rd Daze too, since the card plays really well with Foil.
    Posted in: Established
  • posted a message on [[Pauper]] The "Evaluate Everything" Project
    Anybody caring about giving a quick glance over my cube? I stopped updating it around AER since I was doing mainly constructed and GP prepping, and the few times I've done cube ever since were peasant so I've probably missed a lot. I have some vague archetypes here and there, but the cube could use a general overhaul in order to include the maximum amount of staples, archetypes be damned. I'm currently aiming for the strongest 360 with a healthy dose of aggro, midrange and control, and archetype cards should be strong on their own to warrant inclusion (think Rancor, Armadillo Cloak or Observant Alseid for GW Auras or Ingenious Skaab, Prescient Chimera or Archaeomancer for UR spells matter).
    Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
  • posted a message on [Primer] UGx Pauper Emerge
    This deck would be a lot better poised by eschewing almost all of the creature suite and going the Tron route with the Emergers as the main threats and Fierce Empath to tutor them up (and serve as emerge fodder). Furthermore, while I think that you're on the right track with Gryff, I'm not that sold on It of the Horrid Swarm. When compared to Maul Splicer, it comes out unfavorably: 6/6 worth of stats vs 7/7, no evasion and only one large body. It's strengths when compared to the Splicer are twofold: like the Gryff, it's on cast trigger makes it naturally resilient to counterspells, and Emerge means it can be cast for cheaper emerging from Empath.

    Gryff, however, is a creature I see very well suited to fight against the current meta:
    - 7CMC means it can be cast as soon as turn 3 from natural Tron and impact the table with it's huge, evasive body. It also plays a minor role in it being unable to be hit by CMC matters cards like Prohibit or Spellstutter Sprite.
    - It's huge stats coupled with flying means it can effectively survive combat against every flying creature in the format, while also getting into the red zone to steal the crown without being stonewalled by Monarch-granting cards like Thorn of the Black Rose or Palace Sentinels.
    - On cast trigger makes it resilient to countermagic, turning every attempt at Counterspell into a 2-for-1.
    - Colorless means that Kiln Fiend and Tireless Tribe combo decks can't rely on Apostle's Blessing to get through, and that Boros Monarch can't protect it's crown with Prismatic Strands.

    With these conclusions, I believe a Tron-style shell crafted around the three creatures could have a shot at the meta. I would start with this core:

    Those 44 cards leave 16 spots left, 7 of which should be used on 4 Khans gainlands, 2 utility lands and a basic of the splash color, thus leaving us with 9 spots of real estate. I don't believe the secondary color should necessarily be Blue, since Gryff can be easily hardcast via Tron or Emerged with mana from a Chromatic artifact. It of the Horrid Swarm isn't a very impactful creature except when holding the fort against Aggro decks or against black decks running Chainer's Edict, so I cut it to a minimum since it can still be fetched with Empath. Moment's Peace is a tried and true card that takes care of Aggro and Combo decks alike, while Pulse of Murasa keeps the life total high and rebuys dead threats, including Emerged Empaths. While I included Ulamog's Crusher both as a beefy endgame threat overall and against durdly Tron decks that lean on Moment's Peace and assemble a Dinrova Horror lock since Annihilator still eats up their permanents even if damage is prevented, I still think that the deck needs a way to interact directly with the Dinrova lock (or any other Ghostly Flicker loop basically) besides just turboing a Crusher. For this, we have two color options: Blue or Black. Here are the 16-card package I would run for either splash:

    This package would offer the posibility of tutoring both Relic of Progenitus as maindeck graveyard hate and Sylvok lifestaff as a way of keeping the life total high while emerging. Trinket Mage is also a nice Emerge target thanks to it's 3 CMC and etb effect that allows us a great deal of flexibility by tweaking our deck to include various silver bullets, and, alongside Empath and Stirrings (since both the artifacts and 6+ CMC creatures are colorless) gives us a level of consistency not all Pauper decks are able to achieve. Mage can also still fetch an Expedition Map to finish that Tron, or Seat of the Synod / Tree of Tales to fix your colors should you cast it from a Chromatic artifact. 4 copies of Condescend allow us to interact on the stack not only against the Dinrova loop, but against all sorts of decks while also digging us towards what we need.

    Here you rely on the good ol'Crop Rotation into Bojuka Bog in response to Mnemonic Wall targeting Ghostly Flicker, while also being able to complete your Tron should you need to. Being in black means you also get to round it up with Edicts of your own and instant speed removal to snipe Wall or Horror in response to being targeted by Flicker itself.
    Posted in: Developing
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from idSurge »
    The fact that people are arguing that Twin decks got completely neutered and turned into a pile of worthless trash despite still having Kiki-Jiki (as bad as he is, he's clearly not Twin and will never be) while also arguing that Infect is still top tier and functioning after the Probe ban or that Dredge did anything relevant before multiple broken printings in Standard sets is laughable.

    As I said before, Twinposting should be a banned topic again IMO. So sick of it already.

    Go ahead and ban Twin talk in this thread, I've asked for it many times. You are plainly wrong if you think post GGT-Dredge was on the same level as Kiki-Mite, or that Infect NOW is worse than Kiki-Mite.

    Like, not opinion based, you are simply WRONG.

    Oh, and Amulet is also better.

    No deck took as hard a hit as Twin. To claim otherwise is ignorant.

    Infect now is on par with Kiki-mite. Pre GGT Dredge was non-existent, and post GGT but before the Amalgam/Reunion debacle it was only a little bit above Kiki-Mite. Amulet Titan is as viable as Kiki-Mite in the sense that you can literally play it, but there are decks doing the same thing but better (Titanshift). Claiming otherwise is not only laughable, but highly opinionated, as is comparing Twin with MAYBE dropping 2-3 4/4 once in a blue moon with a god hand and without screwing myself in the process. Seriously, if you care about winning, UR Storm is your de facto combo deck. You have Jeskai if Bolt-Snap-Bolt is your jam. Miracles if you only care about the blue based control part. Grixis Shadow is a URx Tempo deck (although it straddles the line between Tempo and Midrange a bit). Hell even those new Phoenixes decks are putting up results. And if you don't care about winning or not playing above FNM level your options expand to Blue Moon / Breach, UR Wizards, and yes, Kiki-Mite.

    Everyone serious about Modern that has been playing for a long enough amount of time has lost a pet decks to bannings. Like everyone else, you guys have a lot of options, but the fact is that you don't want any of them, you just want to play Twin and only Twin and masquerade it with several meme arguments, so if the goal is to garner some kind of sympathy, I have no pity. If at least you guys brought new arguments to the table instead of the same old ones that have been debunked thread after thread after thread at least we could have some kind of meaningful discussion, but alas.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    The fact that people are arguing that Twin decks got completely neutered and turned into a pile of worthless trash despite still having Kiki-Jiki (as bad as he is, he's clearly not Twin and will never be) while also arguing that Infect is still top tier and functioning after the Probe ban or that Dredge did anything relevant before multiple broken printings in Standard sets is laughable.

    As I said before, Twinposting should be a banned topic again IMO. So sick of it already.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from Bearscape »
    You are answering me like I have always looked at modern myself before; you can beat these cards if you just sideboard versus them. If you have to rely on the 4-ish copies of relevant cards in your 60 card deck or INSTANTLY lose, that is not an entertaining game. Look at it from the other side; how does blood moon being a card in any way add something good to the modern format? You CAN play around it, but why should you? What gameplay does blood moon add other than just randomly ending games? I've had plenty of games with 2 or 1 color decks where I recognise my opponent plays a blood moon deck from their turn 1-2 plays, looked at my hand without answers and just have to hope they don't have it or instantly lose

    You don't have 4-ish relevant mainboard copies against Blood Moon, nor you should sideboard against it unless you're on Valakut or Tron. You just have to fetch a basic or two and you're golden. Furthermore, there are plenty of answers against a Moon: Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek, Logic Knot, Stubborn Denial, Abrupt Decay, Assassin's Trophy, Aether Vial, Kitesail Freebooter, Meddling Mage, Noble Hierarch, Spell Queller, playing less than three colors, plain old racing... As you see, there's no shortage of them. If you know as soon as turn 1-2 a Blood Moon coming and decide to either not play around it by fetching basics or keep an answer against it, then that's entirely on you. I don't know what kind of deck you're playing, but I just listed answers for every kind of deck archetype. The ones that don't run those (and some that do) either can fetch for basics or don't care about Moon. About what Moon adds to the format: it's a police card. It keeps the format from devolving into degenerate 4-5 color goodstuff. Since you're drawing comparisons to Standard: remember the Khans-Zendikar Standard full of the same 4 color decks? Because that's what would happen. Unless you're willing to bring Wasteland to Modern, I'd leave Blood Moon as is.

    Quote from Bearscape »
    Storm does not get beaten by creature removal, it can easily go off with your removal spell on the stack. Is it beatable, yes of course, it isn't a broken deck by modern standards, but why are you just accepting this is the game; I do my thing, you do yours, we have this one moment of crucial interaction and if I don't have it I instantly lose.

    Again, looks like you're playing some kind of linear deck yourself that so just happens to be slower than Storm. You don't have "one moment of crucial interaction". On top of every deck having removal spells (even Burn, which is the epitome of linear, can point Bolts towards the bears) you have discard spells like Seize, Inquisition, Freebooter, Thought-Knot Seer or Tidehollow Sculler, general purpose cards that happen to ***** on Storm like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Meddling Mage, Mausoleum Wanderer, Spell Queller or Meddling Mage or straight up counterspells. Again, these are all answers you're packing G1, and not exactly as singletons. If you lack any of those AND removal spells you have to ask yourself if you really want to interact with your opponent.

    Quote from Bearscape »
    Let me put it in another way; the way current modern works, it pushes the influence of variance in the game to the absolute maximum. You HAVE to accept you will have 80-20 matchups no matter what you play, and you HAVE to accept that plenty of games will end up revolving around maybe 8 out of your 75 cards and the entire game is decided around drawing those few cards. Of couse variance is always a factor in a card game, but modern ends games before they start with much fewer degrees of freedom on these luck factors.

    As ktkenshinx has stated multiple times and people seem to be hellbent on ignoring, if Modern were this meme format of 80-20 lopsided matchups and sideboard lotto, pros wouldn't have the roughly the same winrate on Modern than other formats.

    Quote from Bearscape »
    Finally, mind you that it is none of these single decks or cards that is the problem, it is the massive abundance of them. If there were one or two of these almost spanish inquisition-like decks it would be fine, but the absolute abundance of them is what has gotten on my nerves. Modern players have accepted that this matchup lottery factor is inherent to modern but it really doesnt have to be.

    Again, if sideboard lotto was real we wouldn't see the same players winning over and over again. While it's true that the linearity at the moment is a bit high, it's in no way a bad spot. Control just made a resurgence after years of sucking, and Jund now has Trophy and BBE. Dredge is being a big offender at the moment, but the meta is being really diverse.

    Quote from Bearscape »
    EDIT: hold on, you misinterpreted what I said. I almost exclusively play fair decks, I am conplaining about the subgame of playing stony or rip being the only thing that really matters, regardless on what side of the table I am sitting. This is not some plea to ban sideboard hosers dear god no, this is a plea that a meta in which they are the norm should not be

    Well, fair decks certainly have ways to compete against degeneracy. Humans, Spirits, Jund and Miracles are all top tier fair decks. Sideboard hosers exist in all formats except Standard, because there the card pool is a lot smaller and cards less powerful, and a stone-cold hoser like Moon where you can't fetch basics to play around it and only have Trophy and Conclave Tribunal as your outs would have a massive negative effect.

    About resolving the hoser being the only thing that matters, there's no subgame of playing the sideboard card. That's an overexaggeration. I know it's anecdotal, but I've beaten people through Stony Silence on Affinity. I've beaten Dredge before drawing my RiP. Hell, I've even beaten Storm before drawing either RiP or Sphere and that's a nigh unwinnable matchup for Affinity. And I'm pretty sure a lot of players have beaten people through their suppossedly game-winning sideboard hoser. And let's not be disingenuous, either: you have to keep applying pressure after deploying a hoser, because decks that get dunked on that hard by hosers have answers for them.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    Quote from Bearscape »
    It's funny to see modern in the light of an actually GOOD standard format for the first time in years, it really highlights how many decks in modern demand you to play obnoxious non-games of "stop the one thing I do".

    After a long time of being mostly happy with the state of modern I'd now want several cards banned even though not much has really changed for modern since then other than having a good standard to conpare it to. So many matchups in modern end up being "can you beat my sideboardcard" now, and I've really started to see these matches as a chore I have to finish before I actually get to go have fun and play the game I went to FNM for. I've been an exclusive modern player for so many years it is an odd realisation to look at a good standard and think "wait a minute, insta-losing to blood moon actually doesn't have to be 'just how it goes' at all!".

    I want WotC to return to the turn 4 rule with a vengeance. I would not mind seeing a large list of bans, just straight up ending storm, tron, dredge, KCI and the likes. There are so many decks and cards in modern that solely exist to create non-games where the pre-sideboard game is basically irrelevant. They are much, MUCH more obnoxious than twin ever was which, although powerful, at least was a matchup where both players got to play cards and interact with eachother without needing enchantments out of the sideboard.

    You don't "instalose" to Blood Moon unless you're not interacting yourself minding your own business or you aren't fetching basics.In fact, if you find yourself losing to "sideboard cards" like Ensnaring Bridge, Choke, Blood Moon, Rest in Peace or Stony Silence too often, it's probably because you're up to some fishy business yourself. And it's not like there aren't answers for these cards. If you're complaining about format safety valves for degenerate strategies, chances are you're playing a degenerate strategy yourself. Furthermore, if you have "non-games" with Storm (which solely asks you to run creature removal), Tron, Dredge and KCI, it's probably because you're not interacting with them due to playing a non-interactive deck yourself. In which case, their combo is either faster, more consistent or more impactful than yours, and that's a concession you make when you pick up a deck.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    I don't post in this thread much and merely read on it periodically without commentary, but the Twin talk should be banned again imo. Contributes literally nothing to the thread other than derailment and *****posting. Everyone and their mother already knows what Twin is and what it would and would not do to the format, and no one is changing anybody's mind. Thus, Twinposting is just a breeding ground for verbally loaded and very opinionated posts with the same old song and dance from a few folks who are on some kind of personal crusade, and stymies any kind of meaningful discussion about literally any other aspects of Modern. Which would be cool and good, I guess, if it was once in a while, not every 5 pages or so and at every B&R announcement. And it's always the same jaded fellas.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Just picking up the deck. Why aren't 4x Bedlam Reveler an integral part of the core instead of the Mandrills? Still turns on Stubborn Denial thanks to it's prowess and lets you refuel gas when you're out of cards. Also plays well with Delver of Secrets wanting Instants and Sorceries, and has synergy with Faithless Looting which is one of the best cards atm. It's also impervious to the same removal Mandrills are (Push, Bolt) while still sharing it's "weakness" to graveyard hate in that opponents have to nuke your yard before you get to cast it. One less power is trivial when it has prowess and you can beat a Tarmogoyf on combat with an instant or two. Is it because of the double Red requirement? Anyways, here's my inital list:

    Sideboard is hastily thrown. Haven't taken the deck to a tournament yet, but performed well in testing. Reveler does us something powerful to do and mitigates the card disadvantage from both Shoal and Looting. I'm down to 3 Shoal since the average CMC in modern has increased a lot thanks to Delve threats, powerful planeswalkers, miracles, Tron, or high CMC cards entering directly from the Graveyard.

    Kind of also want to try Traverse the Ulvenwald but can't fit it right now, and it would also require Baubles
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 01/10/2018)
    Quote from Wraithpk »

    You talk as if topdecking a Terminus when you're dead on board requires any amount of skill.
    So what, do you think control just shouldn't be able to win against explosive aggro decks? Like, if Hollow One flops out three H1s on turn 1, UW just shouldn't have any possible top deck that could save them, they should just lose the game on the spot? No man, that's bull*****. If your deck can do a busted thing in the first couple turns of the game, my deck should have a chance to do a busted thing to answer it.

    So give us a busted anti-Terminus tech.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 01/10/2018)
    Quote from DaveJacinto »
    Quote from The Fluff »
    Also, all aggro decks can and should be playing around sweepers by not overextending; all Modern aggro has potent enough creatures to exert pressure without building massive Terminus-vulnerable boards.

    That is a simple, yet effective way to do it. I've seen Elves slowly kill UW by constant beatdown of 1/1 and 2/2 elves.

    Terminus decks are good decks but plenty of things scarier than them in Modern. I don't understand why terminus is a problem.
    It's too hard to play around boardwipes. Since Modern's inception that you were free to just spam creatures to the board and turn them sideways. The only thing you had to worry about was just saving 1 mana for Path/Bolt to kill a Pestermite. Why would I want to worry about presenting a considerate clock to my opponent while saving resources in my hand?

    Finally we get a Control deck, that makes the overall gaming experience more complete and funnier (in my understanding), and everyone is hating it. They just prefer to do their own degenerate thing while the opponent does the same. In the end, the lucky one will win. We could just call that format flipping coins!

    You talk as if topdecking a Terminus when you're dead on board requires any amount of skill.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Full Gallery is up
    Warleader's Helix? Appetite for Brains? Sleight of Hand? No Path to Exile? No Gush? No Oubliette? Are you serious? And they even upshifted Sleight while they were at it.

    Well, I guess this means cancelling my preorders. Thanks for sparing my wallet again, WotC! You're the gift that keeps on giving!
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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