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  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Thanks for the candid feedback.

    I probably should have included at least one emoji to convey the exaggeration of my feelings. I was going for a bit of comedy, there. Wink

    You're both right; we should not make any deckbuilding decisions based on emotion, especially frustration. (Fun, on the other hand ... Grin )

    That said, I'm still very interested in Shadow of Doubt. It does provide a unique out to some fringe situations, but more importantly, it is relevant in a surprising number of matchups.

    Storm players will sometimes try an EOT Gifts Ungiven, especially if they think they'll draw out a Remand, and simply repeat on their own turn as part of the storm. We might even push them into it with Gigadrowse on the Upkeep.

    Scapeshift players have little choice -- except for Silence or Vexing Shusher, LOL -- but to try to jam the card and dare us to have the counterspell. Given the opportunity (perhaps we "only left two mana open" after a "desperate" Serum Visions), they will try to get under our Cryptic Command, again having seen Remand already.

    We're already so good against Tron, and Boomerang is essentially Time Walk, here, but they do employ at least eight "search spells" that are almost, if not quite, vital to their plans.

    A less common matchup, Eldritch Evolution decks are scary-good at abusing their namesake card, and I don't know, but I heard Gaddock Teeg is sort of a problem for us, especially when they play him by "sacrificing" a creature that comes back bigger than before. (OK, fine, I see why you like Lightning Bolt. Smile )

    A less likely fit, but still interesting, is the aggressive nature by which Death's Shadow decks activate their numerous fetch lands. Again, Sinkhole and draw a card looks so delicious that it has to at least be worth considering.

    All of these decks may acknowledge that we might sideboard in a Negate or two, but can they afford to try and play around it? They'll likely see a risky exchange as, at worst, a one-for-one that steals one of our counterspells and paves the way for their "real" plan. Adding a cantrip to that exchange helps us continue advancing our gameplan.

    Also, yes, local meta. But wouldn't you expect to face any of these decks at any given tournament?

    TL;DR: funny situations aside, I think this card is worth a serious look. It can set the opponent back a turn or two and hose some plans entirely, all while drawing a card, and at the very least cycle and take a chip off of Thing in the Ice. I'm going to try to get some testing in with it this week. Has anyone else tried it?
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Oh, I completely forgot to mention Shadow of Doubt in my notes! (And I'm surprised it didn't garner any comments. LOL)

    Two weeks ago, I was feeling great about the final matchup of the evening vs Scapeshift. My opponent is a very solid player, who at one time in his pre-offspring days was on the pro tour. The game went long, and I didn't have a mine effect out -- don't remember if I didn't find one, or if he destroyed it. I had just Gigadrowsed most of his G sources on his upkeep, so he could only cast Scapeshift once (I suspected he had two), and I still had four mana up with Remand and Cryptic in hand. He takes a deep breath, fetches a Temple Garden (I thought, "what is that for?") and plays Silence. No, not Stony Silence. Yeah. Just SILENCE. My only play was to Remand and hope to draw another one. I didn't. He won. Because of Silence. SILENCE. Yeah, it's a magic card. In Modern. I remember that now. Cute. Well done, Doug; a third-place finish well-deserved. Sometimes all you can do is shake your head, smile, and offer your hand.

    That's what led me to Shadow of Doubt. If I'd had that in hand, I could have one-upped his outside-the-box-tech with some of my own. It's one of those cards I often consider putting in my first 60, but somehow end up cutting completely. Think how often it's relevant. Nearly everyone runs 4-8 fetches, and Tron runs 8 search effects; Sinkhole and draw a card seems good. But how often would the timing line up? It seems at its best in a few matchups like Scapeshift and Eldritch Evolution, which are common enough in my meta to give it a try. I'll let you all know how it goes.

    And I sure as heck won't lose to effing Silence again!
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from zcowan »
    Wow lot of thought into this Charileguide! Awesome!
    ...
    So with Mission Briefing.. i think my biggest argument for it (or snapcaster) is that it allows for additional time warps specifically... it also allows for 5 exhaustion when you only run 3. These are the key cards and it smooths things out a lot. I don't think that snapcaster or mission briefing is 100% necessary, but I think over time playing either you notice that the progression of time warp into part the water veil into snap/mission briefing + time warp is a lot better then not having it...

    And the only reason I don't run snapcaster and go for the mission briefing is because it allows for a quicker flip of Thing in the Ice

    That being said, with timewalkinonsunshine's UR list, you can see how aggressive the bolt snap bolt was.. and in that one match he was able to bounce his snapcaster with jace to end the game.. so I think if you are running a second color splash of any sort, snapcaster becomes a lot better in that circumstance

    As for the sideboard, I think it would be better to run Dispel over spell pierce. Generally if you are playing against a control matchup, they'll have the 2 extra mana. And there aren't many matchups where spell pierce is that strong.. Same applies with storm/other matchups where spell pierce would be sided in - dispel is usually better... especially when it is dispel and negates being sided in together... other than that I like the sideboard tech! I really should make a spreadsheet like that! so organized haha
    ...
    OHHHH.... also,
    I just noticed that against some matchups since you aren't running Jace; without him and in cutting all 3x thing in the ice it makes your only win condition Part the Waterveil.. that seems risky given the rise in surgical extraction...
    It may be useful to keep at least 1 if not 2 and only trim on them. Generally most decks will remove their answers to creatures anyhow against us since they win more so by disrupting the extra turns then by killing the land/thing
    Thanks for the feedback, zcowan!

    It sounds like we both see Snapcaster Mage & Mission Briefing the same way, just have different preferences. I have considered that the latter might help transform Thing in the Ice faster, but on the other hand, if it was a Remand, you'd have already cast it, right? I'll give them a try in testing.

    Regarding Spell Pierce & Dispel, and I meant to address it above, my previous version ran both in the SB. I included the former because Ponza is a very common matchup in my meta, and I want to increase my odds of disrupting an early land-destruction spell, or even Utopia Sprawl. Similarly, vs Mardu and Rock variants, I'd like a chance to counter early hand-disruption spells. It's also solid against burn, where they'll likely tap out aggressively. Against Storm, I want the ability to counter whatever they do first, whether it's a ritual or a search/sift. I cut Dispel when the spreadsheet revealed it was one of the least-used cards overall, and while Spell Pierce isn't always better, it's more versatile. (Maybe my opinion was swayed when I died twice to red Sorceries while holding a Dispel in my hand.)

    Great point on the wincons, especially vs a deck like Grixis that runs Surgical Extraction. I'll take your advice on this, and either take out less Things or sneak another option into the sideboard.

    Grand Prix Atlanta tournament report is up on reddit!

    @charlieguide, thanks for the writeup, especially the sideboard guide! This is a pretty cool take on mono-U. I agree with @zcowan that the idea of sideboarding out all Thing in the Ice and leaving Part the Waterveil as the only wincon leaves me kind of uneasy. I also think that Thing is good against Storm because it lets you deal with Empty the Warrens tokens by bouncing them. Keep testing and let us know how your list evolves!

    I look forward to seeing that report, @timewalkinonsunshine!

    Thanks for reinforcing the wincon idea. I'll take a look.

    Excellent point about Storm, too. Sideboard for their sideboard ...

    Quote from Madcaplaughs »
    what are your thoughts about putting trickbind/disallow on sideboard for spirits matchup?
    I don't think that Trickbind or Disallow do much of anything against Spirits. You'd much rather kill something than just counter a Mausoleum Wanderer activation or a Spell Queller trigger, and counterspells are generally bad against low to the ground decks with Cavern of Souls and Aether Vial.
    I agree 100% with this response. Trickbind is one of my old favorites. If you're going to counter a trigger, though, it had better be game-breaking.

    Back when Time Spiral was in Standard ("everybody listen up, an old man is talking!"), we'd Trickbind Suspend triggers, but that mechanic isn't seen much in Modern; we'd Trickbind Storm triggers -- that was backbreaking -- but in Modern, they'll just Remand the Grapeshot, thank you for adding to the Storm count, and play it again; we even had our own version of Trickbinding a fetch land. The point is, even the best things you can do with Trickbind are probably not going to be good enough and/or come up often enough to warrant a place in the 75.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Wow, great ongoing conversation! I was going to multi-quote, but it would be a mess.

    @timewalkinonsunshine (love the name!) Congrats on the solid finish, and for having the guts to take this deck to a GP. Looking forward to seeing your report & tech, especially your thoughts on splashing R and maindeck Commandeer.

    @zcowan, Part the Waterveil, & spigushe, Great continued discussion on mono-U. I'm still on that plan, too. Please see my thoughts below.



    A few notes:

    Thing in the Ice -- zcowan is right, it's amazing. Props to whoever suggested it on this forum a few months ago. The most important point on this card: it's NOT just for aggro matchups. It adds a surprisingly fast clock to this deck, sometimes pulling off a win before we even start to combo. I lean heavily on it in matchups where I'm reluctant to let the match go long (i.e. Scapeshift, Storm, etc). I'll also play it more aggressively than some. If I suspect an end-of-turn Fatal Push or Dismember, I'll hold back; otherwise, I'll jam it early. If the OP spends resources dealing with it on his/her turn -- especially if I get to fetch a land -- they did that at the cost of developing their own plan, and I consider that a positive exchange. As good as this card is, I did recently cut the 4th copy to help fit the two pairs of Visions, and to reduce the chance of seeing early multiples.

    Serum Visions -- I reluctantly added two copies after reading all of your thoughts and occasionally finding myself not using my resources efficiently. The cantrip and draw-smoothing are nice, and the chip off the block trigger is great. Our first priority is slowing down the opponent, though, and I want to make sure I'm focused on curving out those sometimes-mana-intensive spells.

    Ancestral Vision -- I chose this over Howling Mine -- on the advice of Grim_Flayer, I think? -- and it's spectacular. This deck is designed to buy time, which works hand-in-hand with the Suspend mechanic. It also plays very well with frozen Horrors. Our favorite seven words are probably "end my turn, take the next one," but when you can follow that up with "transform Thing in the Ice, draw five," well, YOU try not to giggle.

    No Jace or Tiago -- Two of the best cards in Modern, but, in my opinion, too mana-intensive for spells that only indirectly advance our plan, and they don't (directly) help transform Thing in the Ice. Yes, Snapcaster lets us replay a spell ... but that's a four- or five- or seven- mana play (that relies on said spell being available in the Graveyard), so shouldn't it just be a Cryptic or a turn spell? Yes, Jace lets us dig, but at the cost of four mana, that's probably a full turn of no interaction, so again, shouldn't he just be a spell? I consider Thing in the Ice as taking up these slots, and I'm very happy with the results.

    No Mission Briefing -- Same logic as Snapcaster, above. I don't want to devote slots to replaying spells when those slots could just be spells themselves, thus costing less mana and relying less on the Graveyard.

    A bit on Search for Azcanta -- Our deck is designed to abuse what would normally be "symmetrical" options such as Howling Mine, so forget about the fact that the OP draws some cards. For two mana, would you like to Surveil 1, draw 1, and eventually transform into an extra land if needed; or would you prefer drawing BOTH of those cards every turn, which probably nets you more than one extra land over three turns and gets you more spells in hand, too? This is a very cool enchantment, but I don't think it's as good as Howling Mine in our deck. (Add that to the list of things I never thought I'd say. LOL)

    I've spent a lot of time on the sideboard plan. My approach is to look at what spells don't work well in each matchup, and then find cards that fill those voids while still advancing our overall plan. I don't want hosers, I want cards that are easy to cast and buy us time. Attached is what I have so far. Across the top, I've highlighted likely and highly-likely matchups in the local meta. In the sideboard section, I've highlighted good and very good cards for a given matchup. Numbers of course indicate cards I'd side out/in. I haven't found glaring weak points in some of the midrange matchups, yet. Any thoughts?

    Looking forward to seeing your feedback. Thanks!



    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Tournament idea: all-the-Ravinca Blocks
    Looking for some help with this brainstorm.

    Our LGS has been looking for fresh ideas, and this one hit me the other day. What if we celebrated the third trip to the plane of Ravnica by doing something that included ALL THREE Ravnica blocks?

    Ravinca's popularity is enormous, and the guild themes (Golgari's "graveyard matters," et al) are more or less consistent throughout the sets.

    My first thought is to do something like a Block Constructed tournament, but allow Block-Constructed-legal cards from all three Ravnica blocks. The card pool would be larger than the typical Standard, and with more synergy. The downside here is that people might not want to obtain cards just for one event ... but if they're not playable in other formats, they shouldn't cost much, anyway, right?

    My second thought was to make it some sort of Limited format, again including all three blocks. Drafting nine packs sounds like too much even for two-headed giant, but what about a nine-pack sealed pool? Would there be too much diversity? Would it be cost-prohibitive?

    I'd value any input you might have. Thanks!


    Posted in: Opinions & Polls
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Hey guys

    I have been away from game for about 2 years now. I was playing the original mono blue list before the unbanning of Jace. I was wondering what the best way to build mono blue turns is now. It seems like there are so many new resources and I have no idea where to begin.

    I would like to play mono-blue so only help with mono-blue please :D.

    I would also like to keep the list fairly streamlined, so any suggestions on the most optimal mono-blue list around!

    Thanks!
    Welcome back to the game (what is it about Ravnica blocks bringing people back? LOL)

    My first tip: read the three posts before yours. Wink The further back you read, the more you'll learn. There's been some great discussion that you'd do well to take in. Also, this being Modern, with an enormous card pool and a wide-open meta, there is no "optimal" build. A lot of us like this deck concept because there are a so many ways to reach the endgame.


    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from tweedls »
    Hello all!
    I've been interested in this archetype for a while and I'm finally going to build into it, could someone refer me to a good stock list that I could go off of?
    Thanks in advance!
    Scroll up a few posts ... or a page ... or a couple of pages. There's been a lot of good conversation here, and there isn't one "stock list" that's "right." Take a gander, give it some thought, and for the flex slots, run what you're comfortable with based on your meta.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from Grim_Flayer »

    Keep up the solid discussion, everyone, and just so you all know, I've got a decent amount of U Turns content up on my fledgling channel now:

    Deck Tech (lengthy and beginner-friendly, while hopefully offering insight to veterans as well)
    Match vs Ponza (audio's a little garbly here but nothing too bad)
    Match vs Abzan
    Match vs Titanshift

    Check 'em out, and me know if you have any suggestions. More matches to come! Smile


    Subscribed. Looking forward to checking it out!


    I play 3 Fields of Ruin in addition to Mikokoro, Inkmoth and Gemstone. The cost is that sometimes you don't have enough blue sources, but still 17 out of 23 lands Smile
    It helps against tron, colonnade, inkmoth nexus and so many other decks.

    I like all of these lands, but we need to consider the math. In case you haven't, check out the following from Frank Karsten:
    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/frank-analysis-how-many-colored-mana-sources-do-you-need-to-consistently-cast-your-spells/
    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/how-many-lands-do-you-need-to-consistently-hit-your-land-drops/
    These articles really cut to the core of mana-base math. I find them fascinating, and I look to them every time I build or evaluate a deck. It's must-read material for any magic player.

    I want to apply the math and conclusions from the first article to your build. Specifically, 17 out of 23 lands being blue sources.

    When does our ratio of blue sources count most? Two spells: Cryptic Command and Gigadrowse. The latter benefits from every land producing U, so it's tough to estimate how many sources we really want at any given time, except to say "all of them." Until they print a blue Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth, we're going to have to live with playing magic like everyone else.

    I think Cryptic Command gives us a clear-cut minimum: we want three blue sources by Turn 4. In other words, if I have Cryptic in my hand, I want to be able to cast it as soon as possible. Karsten tells us that if we have 22 blue-producing lands in our deck, we have a 90% chance of having UUU available to us on Turn 4 (on the play). Checking the math, you'll see that running five less sources cuts your odds by about 20%. That's a hell of a hit; 70% AFTER MULLIGANS is not overly-reliable.

    What helps your odds?

    First, Field of Ruin is, itself, a fetch land of sorts. The problem is, you have to invest mana to do it, and we're already counting on Dictate of Kruphix at the same mana slot, and we probably can't afford the opponent another "free turn." Have you found that disrupting their mana on T3 consistently buys you a turn?

    Second, Serum Visions helps a LOT. By my math, you can count every copy of SV as 3/4 of a land. It's a rough estimate, based on the idea of playing it a turn BEFORE you need the land, allowing you to take into account the Scry.

    Third, Remand, and our Mine effects. Each extra card drawn gives you about another 7% edge ... but you have to draw and play that card. Karsten suggests counting cantrip effects as 0.25 lands. (He doesn't mention Mine effects, because nobody is crazy enough to run those.)

    So, assuming you run four Serum Visions and 4 Remand, you could make an argument that you're effectively running 17 + 3 + 1 = 21 blue sources, plus a bit of a bump for the mines and Field of Ruin. I think it's quite a risk, though. Thoughtseize and Spell Pierce can put quite a damper on those plans.

    I'm curious, though. What led you to Field of Ruin? Which matchups do you like it, and why? What turn do you ideally find yourself activating it?
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from Grim_Flayer »
    Quote from charlieguide »
    2) I LOVE Thing in the Ice in this deck! At worst, it slows down the opponent's development when deployed early. If they Path to Exile it, it's like we just cast Rampant Growth and made them discard a card. Most often, it ends the game far more quickly than our other options.


    Thing is off-the-charts incredible here. I see that you're maindecking a full playset (@purklefluff also mentioned considering Thing in the main a little while back). AS a BGx player, I still can't quite get behind this. Assassin's Trophy will certainly be the cause of a big upswing in such decks--even if it's only temporary--and IMO, straight up BG Rock will gain and retain the most meta share when all it said and done. This is bad news for maindeck Thing, because Golgari decks want to play 4x Fatal Push and 4x Trophy (plus other removal like Maelstrom Pulse and Liliana of the Veil) for the most part. So while I don't think Thing in the main is strictly incorrect or anything, I will say that we gain a lot of percentage points by blanking opponents' G1 removal with them in the side instead.


    I'm not so sure we gain that much by blanking the opponent's removal game 1. If they play said removal, they aren't developing their own board, and depending on the removal, they may be giving us an extra land in the exchange. As I said above, if my Thing in the Ice becomes "Rampant Growth plus you tap land and discard a card," I'm all for it.

    3) Ancestral Vision might be better than Howling Mine as the fifth card-draw spell.


    I think it is, at least in the context of your build with the Things main. For more traditional builds, I have come to like a split of both. 4x Dictate supplemented by 1-2 each of JtMS, AV, and Mine seems like the stock recipe we want to be working from.


    Interesting. I had just cut that AV in favor of the Mine. Let the second-guessing commence.

    Thank you both @Grim_Flayer and @zcowan. That was a lot of very valuable feedback. All of your replies were very well thought out, and whether I replied to them or not, I'll give them serious consideration.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from zcowan »
    Alright guys! Since I always am here bouncing ideas around for the deck, I figured I should share my excitement here lol...
    I finally finished building my all time favorite deck - High Tide for Legacy!! It has a lot of similar components to this deck in that it is an off the radar combo but is a lot of fun to play (and it is the reason I got into Taking Turns)

    So with that being said, I have gotten all nostalgic and may go to a mono blue version of taking turns for a bit.. Was wondering the group's thoughts on As Foretold taking the place of Howling Mine and going for more cantrips and more Ancestral Vision?
    Also what is your views on Boomerang? Have you tried it @GrimFlayer? I used to run it a while back and it wasn't right for the meta but now im thinking it may be a bit better since decks like Jeskai/UW are trying to slam down a Teferi/Jace and run away with the game.. Seems like Boomerang into exhaustion would be perfect
    Congrats on building High Tide. Just watch out for the little dudes with 200-card decks. Grin

    I'm not a fan of As Foretold. We don't need more card disadvantage. It requires us to essentially take a turn off simply for the ability to play others cards for free. We need every card slot and every bit of mana devoted to either extra turns or slowing down the opponent.

    I have absolutely loved Boomerang; you may have seen I run 4 in my 75. I've considered Echoing Truth, but honestly can't get past the idea of bouncing the OP's land in the early turns. It completely hoses any Tron variant -- against E-Tron it may even be better to bounce an Eldrazi Temple. I consider it a Time Walk when played before their T3. Bouncing a land (early or not) can also be very effective in the control matchup. (Turns out, they like mana almost as much as we do, and will sometimes enter a counter-war over it.)

    Boomerang can also put Gurmag Angler or Hollow One back in the OP's hand for multiple turns.

    Compared to Echoing Truth, I prefer the ability to affect lands over the chance that there are multiple copies of the same high-priority threat on the field. (Gigadrowse, Exhaustion, and Cryptic Command cover that situation.)

    Quote from Spigushe »
    Hi everyone !

    When Jace, the Mind Sculptor was unbanned, I switched my win-condition to it because it helps a lot digging the deck and it gives some help to get the board in check. Recently, I added Nexus of Fate to the list and I haven't played much these days. I would like to hear what you have to say about my list as I do not have much time to playtest by now and I will attend a PPTQ soon with it.

    Here's the list I'm currently playing :

    I personally don't run Jace, The Mind Sculptor because I've crammed in 4 Thing in the Ice into my main, and need all the spells I can get. You're not going that route, so I'd take the advice of others here and run 1-2 of the 'walker. Be careful, though. I don't see him as a card that buys you any time; he's more of a setup/wincon, if I'm not mistaken. Three may be too many.

    I LOVE Nexus of Fate. I had been running two, but trimmed it to one due to the high mana cost. With 4 Temporal Mastery (if you want a miracle, you have to play the odds), I found myself stuck on mana a little too often, so I switched one Nexus to a third Part the Waterveil. That definitely helped the curve -- several games, I played a Part with exactly 6 land on the table, where I couldn't have played Nexus. I also had one game where that single Nexus showed up THREE TIMES! With Jace, maybe you want two of them for the shuffle.

    I can't emphasize this enough: DITCH THE FETCH LANDS. Your life is a precious resource, and there's no reason to waste it fetching basic islands, when the fetches could just be those islands. Thinning your deck isn't a viable strategy, here, since we need at least seven lands to truly roll. The shuffling after Jace's Brainstorm is neat, but how many dead cards do we really have? And we draw them all, anyway.

    Howling Mine may just be better than Search for Azcanta (draw both instead of 'yarding one). The latter is an OK interaction with Jace's Brainstorm, but as with the fetch lands, it's probably not worth it.

    I was going to say that 10 "Turn" spells may be too few, but Nexus of Fate really changes that math. It's fascinating, and I hadn't thought of it until just now. It might allow us to maintain the odds of chaining turns while reducing the chance of having too many in-hand before we have the mana. I can't wait to sit down and work out THAT math! (Anybody got Frank Karsten's number?)

    Personally, I don't like Snapcaster Mage in our deck. (Gonna catch a lot of flak here, I think.) What are we snapping? We're playing on the brink, trying to start a chain before the opponent simply wins because we haven't interacted enough. By the time we can snap something effective, like an Exhaustion, Gigadrowse, or Cryptic Command, we have enough mana that we'd rather he just be another turn spell, or one of those spells. I'd rather your Snaps be a 4th Gigadrowse and a 4th Remand. The early turns are so vital, and if you're spending one of them casting Serum Visions and another casting Jace, I think you need to maximize the chances of delaying the oppoonent on Turns 2 and 3.

    Good luck, and let us know how you do!



    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from zcowan »
    So couple side notes @charlieguide; not sure if cost is a factor
    But since you are running mono blue you can afford some leniency in your mana base.. I would recommend trying to run: Geier Reach Sanitarium, Mikokoro Center of the Sea, and Gemstone Caverns/Inkmoth Nexus possibly over time.. They all do a really good job at smoothing out areas in the deck while not digging into spots reserved for key spells

    Also, I would probably cut a cryptic for another draw engine.. Ancestral Vision alone isn't reliable unless you are chaining turns since they will most likely outpace you.. I would recommend at least one Howling Mine.. even though im not a fan of it since it dies to SOOOO much artifact hate, it does do the job efficiently when it resolves and your opponent passes back even once. Plus cryptic is late game interaction honestly so running more than 2 in a deck like this throws off the curve

    Other than that, everything looks right on! Glad our discussions have helped in a way! I honestly love this deck to the point where even losses are fun. Its just such a niche combo that people are never expecting and when you win you feel unbeatable. It reminds me of High Tide in legacy in that sense


    Thanks for the feedback.

    No, budget is not a factor. I was trying to keep it a clean plan and not get too cute. I thought Part the Waterveil and Thing in the Ice made Inkmoth Nexus unnecessary, but you're the second person to mention it in as many days. I'll give it a shot. Gemstone Caverns and the draw-lands have been on my radar, too. That would mean cutting Radiant Fountains; what is your experience in the burn matchup? Can we afford not to have them, there?

    I'm not sure I agree on cutting a Cryptic Command, though. I've relied on it heavily; Turn 4 is almost always either that or Gigadrowse.

    If I put the Howling Mine back in, would you suggest cutting an AV or Search for Azcanta?

    Are you comfortable with the absence of Serum Visions?

    Funny anecdote re: High Tide. Back in the late 90's when it was in Standard, I had a friend who loved running that deck. He once sat down next to a first-timer who had a huge deck of unsleeved cards. My friend went off and demonstrated the combo (Palinchron, I think?), then arbitrarily picked a number, "mill ... 100 cards." The kid started COUNTING OFF CARDS and when he got to 100, he looked at my friend and shrugged, because he STILL HAD 20 CARDS IN HIS DECK! Grin My friend lost because he was unable to restart the combo! Grin
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Guys, kudos for keeping up a very intelligent and productive conversation. I've been curious about this deck for over a year, now, and giving it serious thought for a few months thanks in large part to the discussion here.

    Here's what I've gleaned from the comments on this forum, and my own brainstorming. I'd really value your feedback.

    1) I like the Mono-U version. We're not trying to control the board forever, just buy time until we "go off," and Blue is VERY good at delay tactics. When considering our life as a resource, I don't want to spend it on getting W sources.

    2) I LOVE Thing in the Ice in this deck! At worst, it slows down the opponent's development when deployed early. If they Path to Exile it, it's like we just cast Rampant Growth and made them discard a card. Most often, it ends the game far more quickly than our other options.

    3) Ancestral Vision might be better than Howling Mine as the fifth card-draw spell.

    4) Because Modern decks can usually win unopposed by turn 4 or earlier, I think we need to be able to count on two "disruptive" spells in our first four turns. Run the math, and you'll see if we have 16 of those spells, we have an 82% chance of drawing two of them by the time we've drawn 10 cards. Every additional disruption card in the deck adds about 3%. Every additional card we draw (or filter) adds 4%. The problem is, card draw spells only work if we draw and cast them, so when building the deck, cantrip spells like Remand count as about 1/4 of a card drawn. (Serum Visions, by my math, counts as a full card drawn due to the number of cards it exposes you to.)

    Here's the list I ran this weekend.



    In all my playtesting and two FNM's, I've beaten Humans (when they didn't draw many Kitesail Freebooters), Affinity, Scapeshift, Tron, E-Tron, UW Control, and some other brews. Favorite moments: 1) vs UW Control when the OP tapped out at the end of my turn and mumbled 'I don't think there's an instant turn spell' and I smiled and cast Nexus of Fate and never gave him another untap step. 2) vs E-Tron on Turn 5 after going to turns ... and taking ALL FIVE OF THEM! Grin

    I've lost, though, to Jeskai Pyromancer (I guess it's still a thing) Humans (when they draw lots of Kitesail Freebooters), Grixis Death's Shadow, and UG Emerge. I could attribute at least some of each loss to mana screw/flood, but the common thread was they all had very disruptive gameplans. I also imagine having trouble with the speed of Bogles and Infect, thus the sideboard choices.

    I'm considering dropping the Boomerangs for a second Ancestral Vision and a Search for Azcanta.

    So ... any thoughts or suggestions?
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Huh. Thanks to you both for clearing that up. I've been playing way too long to have missed that.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Taking Turns
    Quote from Grim_Flayer »
    ... If I responded to the Mage with Snap->Truth on some beaters, I could stay alive for a turn, but would then have two draws to find exactly my other Truth to bounce the Teeg and then go off. My other line was to let the Mage resolve, hope he named Truth instead of Gigadrowse, and then Gigadrowse his board down, giving me a better chance to topdeck one of my other three Gigadrowses to stay alive. (I had no other castable instants or sorceries in hand, so either way I wasn’t likely to flip Thing next turn). I went with what I think was the correct line—letting the Mage resolve—and the dude promptly named Gigadrowse. GG WP...

    How about letting the Meddling Mage resolve, and playing Snapcaster Mage- Echoing Truth on Gaddock with Meddling Mage's ability on the stack? Would the blocking snap keep you alive? Would it even have to block? In desperation mode, you could always Gigadrowse for 1-2.

    That's one or two chips off the ol'block of ice.

    If he still names Gigadrowse, your Cryptic Command and any turn spells are now castable. Next turn is probably Cryptic to tap his team and bounce the Mage that says Gigadrowse, then play GD to transform Thing in the Ice FTW. If he names Cryptic and you kept Gigadrowse, you still just need one more spell to do the flippy thing.

    TL;DR: I think you had an out. Wink
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] UB/x Faeries
    Quote from Sumthang »
    The only times Secluded Glen is basically free, is when you're playing it on turn 2, revealing a Bitterblossom and immediately playing it. I think one of two can be fine, but not a full playset. I personally think Darkslick Shores is our best land, though.


    Why do you think Darkslick Shores is our best land? I've made my case, and I'd genuinely like to hear yours.

    How many copies of Cryptic Command, Mistbind Clique, and Snapcaster Mage do you run?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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