There are a handful of creatures that have proven useful in our deck over time but there is a pretty high bar for them to be useful in most matchups.
The issue is that you need the creature to provide both a threat and utility at the same time, otherwise that utility has to be extremely worth it (eg protection against enemy creatures to block all day).
Examples like Auriok Champion, Mirran Crusader, Kor Firewalker have all proven themselves against certain decks as threat and protection and utility creatures like Kataki and Selfless Spirit have all earned some spots in many of our decks.
You have to think about what they are replacing. One of the most common ways of sneaking some creatures in our deck is against matchups where we can side out a lot of our removal package. In these cases adding in extra threats that also provide some other utility increases the quality of our draws immensely.
A good boundary example for the high bar that creatures need to reach to be good for us is Mentor of the Meek; mentor seems like the ideal card for our deck, giving us the extra card draw we sorely lack and triggering off of every creature we create, but he’s just too slow and clunky to make the cut.
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Jul 4, 2018The issue with the manabases comes up time and time again and many experienced players are constantly having to guide newer players into investing in what the new players perceive to be the ‘boring bit’ of deck building, when really the whole structure builds from that foundation.Posted in: Midrange
I think the main frustration stems from the fact that the kind of ‘mid way’ manabase when you’re on your way to fetches really isn’t great. Having to play godless shrine into thoughtseize into caves of koilos is basically doing half the work for your opponent of killing you. This is compounded by the fact you’re running thoughtseize instead of a swamp fetchland and duress (similar value).
If you’re not running fetches I would stick to painless lands as much as possible and just accept that you’ll be less consistent, have fewer card options or weaker to blood moon than a £300 manabase will be.
For example, I see no reason why you can’t run two vents, four concealed courtyard and two-three isolated chapel as your dual lands and fill the rest of the slots with basics (you’ll have to forego all or almost all the colourless lands too to really make chapel work ok); save the godless shrines for when you have fetches for them.
As far as the tribal matchups I’ve found that the typical control setup struggles a little against these and is generally not favoured (although not by a huge margin). A more aggressive version of our deck running Raise the Alarm, Zealous Persecution, Legion’s Landing and yes, wraths, can stabilise a lot more easily. Even humans as the most competitive of the three can’t kill you through LL, RtA, Lingering, Settle or IV&ZP.
Jul 4, 2018Looking good so far Daegamus. Your list is fairly similar to one I was running for a while until recently; you might find that the number of threats you have is a little low, you need to turn up the number of token generators a little, maybe 2 more.Posted in: Midrange
I found that I had too many games where I was only throwing out hand disruption and removal and an enemy with a little bit of removal for tokens could keep me under the critical mass of tokens more often than I’d like. You may also find that only having Virtue to buff your toughness on your tokens will make things tough against the world of -1s that people can throw at you. Gideon AoZ and Zealous Persecution can help you with this.
The night’s whisper are obviously a personal card for you (not many of us run them) and those 4 slots are definitely flexible. Although it might feel like you want some card draw the power of our deck comes from the individual quality of the cards we have, synergy from force multipliers and our ability to top deck well later in the game. All of which means that we don’t really need it, so don’t feel bad swapping them out if necessary.
Jul 3, 2018It kind of depends on the tuning of the deck... The short summary is this:Posted in: Midrange
Good pairings: Jund and any other Green or Black based midrange, Death Shadow, Blue-based control, Rogue Combo decks (that are soft to hand disruption), other types of BW control/Midrange (Eldrazi), Mill, Stompy, DnT
Matchups that can be tuned for: Burn, Affinity, Tribal Go-wides (Humans, Elves, Merfolk), other Aggro
Bad Matchups: Consistent and Fixed Clock Combos (Scapeshift etc), Titanshift, Dredge, Tron, GW Value/Company (people might fight me on this one!)
Overall we have a reasonable game against the field. The deck has good answers to basically every strategy, the issue is squeezing many of them in is impossible. For this reason, tokens tends to do very well in a known meta (like if you tune it for your LGS) and not so well in an open one.
Jul 2, 2018You can’t really compare them of course. I would say though that if you had to pick and choose, Gideon will offer a bigger power level increase in your deck compared to CB.Posted in: Midrange
CB is essentially a luxury card that tops off your hand disruption and removal suite once you have the core in place. As a rule I run 6-8 of both hand disruption and removal, with aggressive lists running on the lower end (6); using this standard I count CB as a 0.5 against each (due to the conditional nature of the relevant modes).
Jun 25, 2018I’m wondering what proportion of their success is down to the main board wrath’s, to be honest. Our decks only differ by about 10-14 cards, with them essentially taking virtue, Bitterblossom and whatever other token generators we have chosen and replacing them with planeswalkers.Posted in: Midrange
I don’t necessarily see this game plan as being any more resilient or powerful than what we’re doing but I might be wrong. I suspect that their easier access to wraths gives them more Game1 power against many decks at the moment (provided they don’t lose before 4mana!).
Jun 18, 2018I actually only use Gideon's emblem when I can swing for lethal in the air. Gideon, for me, works best when he can pop out a couple of tokens and then start smashing as a 5/5 indestructible. We're fortunate enough to be easily able to flood the board, meaning that over the course of a couple of turns your opponent is going to have fewer and fewer options for chump blocking as you outgrind them, especially with Virtue in play.Posted in: Midrange
Quote from ocelot2 »Hello,
I took this deck to SCG Modern Regionals Chicago, and I did pretty bad.
There is nothing glaringly wrong with your deck at all; you have to remember that we're not doing particularly broken things so we always have to work for our wins, leaving room for regular losses, even in favourable matchups (this is true of most decks these days). You're correct insofar as my experience against Mardu, I find that I am often able to deal with them, aside from the odd awkward lands starting hand into Blood Moon.
I've also personally always found Jeskai fairly easy to win, even if I didn't play particularly well. The D&T matchup is a bit more interesting because the game can go in many directions depending on how you and your opponent's draws line up (e.g if we have a slow threat hand into their Thalia, or we slam a Bitterblossom turn 2 and they have no way of stopping it).
Overall, I think you need to give us more details about how you played the matches to get some advice. As far as your decklist goes, there are only two questions to ask; firstly, about the inclusion of the Rootborn Defenses; Are they there for a specific reason? Secondly, is it a conscious decision to go without land destruction lands (Ghost Quarter Field of Ruin)? They are very useful in many matchups, dealing with man-lands and utility lands as well as giving you extra game against stuff like Tron.
I do see you're running the full playset of spectrals which makes using colourless lands quite awkward... many of us have made the switch from Spectral to Start // Finish to allow us more flexibility with colourless lands. These have a lower threat level than Spectral but gives us a lot more flexibility both in play (Start is instant speed) and deck construction (for colourless lands).
Also, if you're planning on playing the control game (which I think you are, despite the two Raise the Alarm) it's worth thinking about your top-end. Sorin is a great card, and our main planeswalker, but only running 3 of him and nothing else at the top is a missed opportunity. It's unlikely that anyone here is going to agree on what that top-end should look like, but I think we'd all agree that you should be running at least one more planeswalker , potentially 2. Some people like Liliana, some of us like Gideon, but I know for a fact that a lot of our wins happen with a planeswalker in play.
May 31, 2018It's awesome to see more people coming around to Start // Finish. I originally didn't value the card highly either until I started playing it and now I'm 100% glad I made the switch from Spectral. You might find though (as I have recently) that you're a bit overloaded on removal after you make this switch; after swapping in 3 of them I've gone lower on Paths and Pushes, especially since I run two Collective Brutality maindeck too. Obviously the 'Finish' half isn't as powerful as our 1 mana removal spells but bringing in 3 of them is definitely an excuse to shave one other removal, I feel.Posted in: Midrange
Overall, this definitely seems to be the main 'shape' of our deck these days, although I seem to be alone in running higher on the Gideons, I just love that card so much. I seem to win basically every game where I play him, not so much with Sorin unless the lifelink is super relevant. I'm considering going up to 3 Gideons, think I'm gonna buy the third copy tomorrow and try it out for a bit.
It's a shame that DOM didn't really bring any new toys for us to play with. Looking forward to the Orzhov set when we visit Ravnica again though!
In other news, I've been testing a Mardu build online and it's been very interesting. If we cut some specific things to include red with Faithless Looting, Boros Charm, Mardu Charm and Goblin Rabblemaster we seem to retain our overall effectiveness and resilience but gain quite a bit of power; Rabblemaster is a lot of fun with Virtue in play and a Zealous Persecution in your hand
May 30, 2018I’m not sure that many (if any) of us have been trying out HoB. The problem is that most ‘Knight’ token generators don’t quite fit the bill for our deck (they’re usually quite high CMC).Posted in: Midrange
I can see a version of the deck with it in that also has other knights in the sideboard maybe? But other than that I think you might have to test it for yourself.
May 21, 2018I run a list very similar to theirs except I don’t run Liliana. Those two slots are currently flexed between extra Legion’s Landing or Zealous Persecution.Posted in: Midrange
If I were going to a competitive event where I’m expecting the meta to mirror more of what we see on the competitive scene then I’d completely rewrite the list. My local meta has almost 0 aggro, with not a single humans, hollow one or affinity match in my last 40-50 games there; it is very combo, midrange and control heavy. I therefore try to outgrind all the slower decks and lean into more hand disruption for the combo decks.
I don’t have much experience against the competitive scene but my natural instinct would be to transfer over into a more aggressive build like I used to run, with more LL, RtA and more Gideons.
As it stands though, those types of lists are generally the accepted builds that people are playing with a few options flexed dependening on personal taste.
May 18, 2018Posted in: Midrange
Exactly the same experience for me. I can’t recall last time I activated vault at all, let alone used it for a win.
I want to go to four land destruction lands as well but it just feels wrong to cut vault. Would be interested to hear what others say.
May 2, 2018We don’t typically run 4 because you generally don’t need duplicates of him in a single game. You should only run 4-ofs of stuff you don’t mind drawing multiple copies of in a game.Posted in: Midrange
I’m a big fan of Gideon but I’m also finding him less impactful since switching from aggro to control. You’re right about having to be careful with using him as a creature and he’s underpowered as a 4 mana anthem. I’m still on a 2-2 split but I think I’m ether going to go 3-1 or more likely tweak the numbers to include Sorin, Lord of Innistrad instead.
Apr 30, 2018Posted in: MidrangeQuote from tarotplz »The reason why we can't play creatures always remains the same. It turns on our opponents removal. In this case we even give them a bunch of tokens for free. Like a gift-basket really.
Yep! We sacrifice a bunch of tokens and package them all up into one creature that be gotten rid of with a single removal spell.
The thing is, the creature doesn’t even offer more threat than what three tokens with IV would offer us anyway (7 power Vs. 6 flying vigilant power).
(Word vomit incoming)
There is something to be said for potentially using some creatures in our deck, for sure. I don’t buy into this rhetoric that putting creatures into our deck ‘turns on’ removal (whatever that means?) and suddenly makes our deck weak. One removal spell will always get rid of one creature, and yes we do gain a lot of value by making that trade a net card gain for us by creating multiple creatures from one card.
However, If we do play certain creatures and our opponent gets a 1 for 1 from it, then that’s fine, we’re no worse off than any other deck that plays creatures would be. We just need to make sure that any creatures we do play are worth it considering they don’t get the benefit of Intangible Virtue.
More so than resilience to spot removal, I personally believe the main strength of our deck is our resilience to board wipes. We can regenerate a decent board presence from just a few cards after a board wipe, in a way that typical creature decks can’t (Bitterblossom in play and a lingering souls in the graveyard is a decent board presence next turn for just 1 life and 2 mana) Any creatures we include have to make sure they don’t dilute this too much either. (Creatures with undying or other similar mechanics???).
Despite all this... Personally I’ve not found many, if any (Auriok Champion I guess?) creatures that are worth guaranteed spots in the deck but I’m welcome to be proven wrong.
Apr 28, 2018So, I’m gonna be THAT guy...Posted in: Midrange
Do we now run Karn, Scion of Urza as our second/third walker in a control shell?
Yea, he’s not going to flip any of our bad matchups but having a card draw engine will definitely improve any even, grindy matchups where card draw is one of the only things we’re missing.
We are one of the best decks for having chump blockers to protect walkers and I feel like having a Bitterblossom and intangible virtue in play will only be made even more stable by having him as well.
Apr 27, 2018During the declare blockers step after blockers are declared.Posted in: Midrange
Once all the blocks are declared the active player gains priority and when they pass the non-active player gains priority. Depending on which one you are, this is your last chance to active it before damage is dealt, the damage is dealt at the start of the damage step with neither player gaining priority again before the damage goes through.
So you do get to see the pattern of blocks before you trigger it. This is part of the power of Vault. Sometimes just the threat of it being activated is enough to force your opponent to make difficult attacking/blocking decisions, then you can just decide not to use it anyway and have your mana free for other things.
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