On JtmS - the main concern is whether or not blue moon becomes the best home for it. If so, we have trouble. If not, it is likely ok but not stunning. It'll put some stress on amulets, since you will be landing a titan the turn after Jace hits the deck. You need to then give it haste to kill Jace, or you'll likely loose. Also, there's an issue that if the opp just doesn't tap out, we've got to try and land a titan through countermagic, and if it resolves, a Jace -1 mode will set us back some more (I know you get value from the lands, but the opps deck is designed to slow you) - so it puts more stress on Amulet again. Only time will tell which deck is the best Jace deck, I'm hoping its not a moon deck.
Also - I think JtmS might actually be worth forcing into our deck in some of the flex slots. The mana would need a slight rework, but brainstorm seems good in our deck. The planeswalker is just powerful especially if cast ahead of curve. I can see jamming it on t3 then -1, untap with it, brainstorm and land titan... that'd be pretty reasonable!
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Feb 12, 2018Edgar plays with Jake quite a bit, pops on the stream from time to time. He's part of the trio with Bobby!!Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
The list looks good. I have to say, I tested 4 forests before settling on 3 way back when, and didn't like the 4th. It meant I drew 2 in my opener or in the early game a little too often. I guess that's not bad vs blood moon, but it certainly felt bad vs path / field of ruin / GQ decks. I don't feel like the 4th forest actually helps vs the path decks a great deal (since you get value off the first 2-3 anyway), but I do see the benefit vs Blood Moon.
Good to see a result. I was starting to feel like titan was poorly placed atm, with all the moons around. Edgar proving me wrong!
Feb 9, 2018@ xenatic - echo fpawlulz thoughts but would like to counter some of his suggestions!Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
First, he's right about the positives on seal. But there's a few positives on claim too. First it's playable against burn since it kills eidolon AND can target amulet in response to destructive revelry, whereas seal doesn't. Second, I really hate the pacing of seal bs moon. If they go t2 pass and u go t2 seal - they remand and slam moon - u just lost. But there's very few modern players with the patience to hold moon in hand to play around claim. PERSONALLY I prefer claim but realise I'm the minority. I think it comes down to what you're looking to beat. Seal is more flexible but I feel less powerful (seal tags chalice on 1 which is a big deal). Pick your weapon with full info though!!
Also - I've never run dice and never will. If you forget your dice, same deal, right?! Add in that you might get pathed in opps turn causing a shuffle and an extra chance to miss dice... and I think it's better to just practice without. However, I'm the minority again so do what works for you!
Feb 8, 2018Hey xenatic, welcome. Your first list is very close to what I'd run. I think you should cut the 2nd aether Hub for a ghost quarter. It turns tron g1 from 30% to 70% (not quite but it's a hell of a shift). You also have worse case of GQing yourself for green or for forest vs moon. I've even GQed myself for a clue to find an out. Add it! The rest of your list I like but agree selesnya is unnecessary. I'd prefer another gruul over vestige tho.Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
Don't run serum visions blind. It's not that commonly played right now and I'd struggle to provide a "best list" with it. Therefore you need to test it before running it!
Feb 7, 2018@ maniospas - your last post hits the spot quite nicely. I hadn't thought about the "build your deck from 3-5 or 2-4" before. I literally just went along the lines of "do I have a good 4 drop and a good 5 drop". I need to start thinking about that some more.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
My question for you is... how would you build if you had a single Sun Titan? Its a card I had mixed feelings on, but felt that 1 copy was totally fine. Also, the UK meta in general is a touch slower than the rest of the world (people here seem to think playing control is the most skill-defining thing you could ever do). Sun Titan probably needs to be in my list, so I'll probably run a 2-4 set-up, since that allows a 4-6 evo should it ever come up.
I guess my question to you is - what sort of curve do you hvae for your creatures in a 2-4 setup, and same question in 3-5 setup. As an example, do you say "i should have at least this many 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 drops" for each? If so, do you mind sharing your views?!
Feb 7, 2018@ KelliTelb - thanks for your input. I think I like the fetch/shock manabase. Occasionally I get to fetch for a tapped land on T1, play Caryatid on T2 off a gemstone, and then combo on Turn 3 from a higher life total. I really like Abundant Growth with Gemstone, but I guess that can be put in any list.Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
I'm not sure if people have looked a Hooglands latest list, but he ran just 2 fatestitcher. He dropped the silences altogether, and added a noxious revival and 2 hierarchs. It sort of worked for me. I hated seeing Silence in my opener, as I wasn't sure if it was going to be good. It could be a timewalk, or I could be facing affinity or a deck based on flash and it'd be rubbish. Or, I could be facing the flash deck and it'd allow the combo to happen. Really hit and miss, and hard to evaluate in the opener. Also, if my opener was Caryatid as a dork (or fatestitcher), and G-wish as my copy of Ascendancy - it's quite hard to mulligan that hand, but nothing actually happens until turn 4 at the earliest. On the draw, thats very often too slow. So, by upping the number of 1-drops, AND adding another phrexian mana spell, it increases the number of quick hands, and the number of acceptable G-wish hands. The noxious revivals are decent vs discard too (although not stunning since you're down 1 card).
Anyway, I decided to run a similar list with a few budget tweaks (can't afford hierarchs, on windswepts and different shocks instead of mistys). My sideboard was a good bit different. I've been running the list in leagues on MODO for a few weeks now, and have consistently pulled 3-2s. I've never scrubbed at 2-3, and never spiked a 4-1 or 5-0.
Last night I got my first 4-1. I just wanted to mention some of the cards I've been liking and disliking.
1. Young Pyromancer in the board - I could talk about this card for days, but I just don't feel like it works. Here's why. I want it vs grindy decks as an "alt kill", but most people are keeping all their creature kill in. Also, the tempo of the card is awful. If we're on the draw and the opp goes T1 Discard, they can take our best card and then hold up Push/Bolt. If we're on the play, there's half a chance of making it work by going T1 Bop - they kill it. Then Turn 2 Pyro and hoping it lives. But, it's not a good spot to be in. The other issue is that you can't realistically sand-bad it until you make land drops because a) they can have more discard and b) you don't have enough lands to pull that plan off. All in all, I really didn't like pyromancer. I won 1 game because my opponent used their removal on it and my fatestitcher resolved. Other than that, it was just an awkward 2-mana eat a bolt. A simple duress would be better than that imo. Need a new sideboard plan for these discard decks, which should probably just be leyline. But i don't own them or have the tix for them atm.
2. Abundant Growth - I know I mentioned this above, but it's been really nice with gemstone mine, or even just strapping it to a fetchland so I can save 3 life. It has some nice utility but it does clash with my sideboard Young Pyromancers and it's not good in multiples. 2 is probably the sweet spot imo.
3. Fatestitcher numbers - I quite like 3. Often its the card I'm looking for mid-combo, and its also 1 of the strongest cards for fighting removal (since you can combo from an empty board). However, I don't think its great in the opener, and it isn't particularly great in a race. Perhaps 2 is the sweet spot, but as long as the card is performing at 3, I'm leaving it there.
4. Nagging Thoughts - this card is awkward. It's poor in the opener, and not always feasible mid-combo (when you're low on mana, you sometimes have to loot to a card like Celereum Wisps and have to discard this). However, sometimes you're low on actual cards and it's 1 of your best cards in that situation. I feel like 2 is probably 1 too many, and find myself trimming copies in post-board games semi regularly. I think 1 copy is definitely correct, I'm unsure on the 2nd.
5. Abrupt Decay - Hooglands latest list runs 4 sideboard decays without a single black shock. There are 2 Abundant Growth, 8 dorks and 4 gemstones, along with 4 manamorphose. However, I don't really see too many match-ups where the wear//tear + fiery justice doesn't deal with the problem cards. The decays seem to be boarded in vs agro decks quite frequently. I wonder if a split of 2 decay and 2 path is just going to be better. Path is better mid combo, and more mana efficient when your on the defensive. Ramping your opponent doesn't seem to be a big problem if you're not going past turn 4 too often anyway.
Final point (I'm sure everyone already knows this) - Mana Confluence carries Abundant Growth better than City of Brass, which I found out the hard way!
With all that in mind, if I were to go to an event tomorrow, here's the list I'd run (this manabase has worked completely fine for me, contrary to hooglands view of "must run misty"):
Feb 2, 2018@ maniospas - thanks for the response. I certainly wasn't targetting my response to you originally, because I know you've contributed a lot and I enjoyed seeing you on my stream I dont mind a negative response about tested cards that failed (that was quite common when I came in with 4 lotus cobra and others believed it to be wrong), but G-wish doesn't seem overly tested. Lets give it a shotPosted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
I've talked about consistency quite a lot with the deck, and positioning. I dont want to be a worse creature-combo deck than devoted druid, which I think the 4 cobra / 4 rallier deck is. I don't really want to be a worse kiki-chord deck either (considering that's a poor deck). Can I just say why I think it might be a slightly worse kiki-chord deck in its "stock" form.
Kiki-chord only dedicates 4 slots to the combo (3 resto, 1 kiki), whereas Saheeli tends to run 4 Saheeli and 4 Felidar (and potentially 1 Thalias Lancer). What that means is that you're left with less slots for either a) tutors or b) tutor targets. That makes the midrange plan slightly weaker for us here (since you can't cover every base). Also, Resto Angel is just a stronger creature when you are on the beatdown compared to felidar, which is basically a blank.
What this leaves is a deck sat somewhere in the middle, its not quite the best creature combo deck, and its not quite the best creature toolbox deck. But its 2nd place at each. Perhaps thats ok. But, I do feel like we suffer from consistency issues as a result. It's hard to put into words, but as an example, in Kiki-chord I know I'm the control deck against infect. With Saheeli, it depends on my draw. I might just be trying to combo, or I might be control. That flexibility is good BUT it makes sideboard plans and mulligan decisions quite difficult, since you don't know what you'll draw off the top. If you only draw 1 piece of interaction and 1 combo piece, you're actually not really achieving either plan.
And that's why I think Glittering Wish MIGHT be a good improvement. It gives you the ability to combo from another angle, so IF you are the combo deck in a match-up, its easier to do (though you may be a turn slower at it). If you are the control deck, there might be a singleton that hoses the opponent, that you can fetch up even in Game 1. I am pretty sold on the card being a 3-of rather than a 4-of, since it's not actually key to our game plan. But, I think it has potential.
Outside of G-wish, I did look at the sideboard Bring to Light that's pretending to be a Felidar - and wondered if Bring to Light is actually main-deckable in high numbers (not along side G-wish, but perhaps instead of). It doesnt find Saheeli, but it does find almost everything else, including Thalia's Lancers. There as an old deck from my memory bank that leaned on it quite heavily and featured a good number of synergies our deck could potentially lean on. I've found an old article about the deck here (just a point to make - the guy made a tonne of finishes with a tonne of differing BtL lists, including Kiki-Jiki, Gifts Ungiven, even G-wish. So it wasnt just a flash in the pan).
Just another idea, though I haven't sketched up a list. It obviously increases our curve, but that COULD improve our ability to toolbox. Its just a shame it can't get both halves of the combo.
Feb 2, 2018@ Shelldell - The only thing about cutting black (which I realised after) is that it makes it fairly tricky to Bring to Light for Thalia's Lancers or Keranos should you side it in. I doubt that scenario comes up much, and you may have BoP or Cobra to help out anyway - but just worth thinking about. In my head, I'd like to run Auriok Champion in this build (since it is another mini combo and its good in 2 pretty popular match-ups). And my thought is that the mana probably can't support it AND black. I am someone who is pretty conservative with manabases though. I just hate not being able to cast my spells (you may have noticed this in my old list, where I cut pia and kiran and coiling oracle etc so it was just GW with Saheeli splash), so I lean towards cutting colours rather than adding. Again, not necessarily correct, but its my preference.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Anyway, cut your targets as low as you dare for G-wish, and have a functional sideboard. Another thing I wanted to mention ShellDell, is that Izzet Staticaster and new Sigarda were both in my non G-wish sideboard, so they seem perfect here.
This is a tiny bit off topic, but whenever anyone is brewing or coming up with suggestions, I find that there's quite a lot of negativity to begin with (this isn't aimed at anyone in particular, and is just an observation). Although the question "what is this fixing" is 100% the right thing to ask, often people don't consider the fact that bad match-ups exist. As an example, saying "G-wish is too slow vs tron" is probably true. But, we're a dog in that match-up anyway. So, if there are gains elsewhere (big IF) and we continue to have a bad tron match-up, that's still a gain. On that point, simply casting G-wish on Turn 2 and a Gaddock on Turn 3 (no dorks) is probably good enough vs storm on the play. At least, you're likely ot see a turn 4. Not guarenteed, since they'll gifts before gaddock resolves, but you're better than you were without it. Kambal on 3 is actually good enough.
Feb 2, 2018Dang, just wrote a full response to ShellDell and then clicked the link which ruined it all!Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Anyway, @ShellDell (attempt No.2)...
I love what you've come up with there. I really like the G-wish, and although it may be slightly clunky, it certainly adds something to the deck. However, I wanted to discuss your wishboard a little bit. I've played a tonne of Wish decks, and love the card. There's a trap people fall into, and i think you may have done too! Basically, you don't want too many wish targets. There's a lot of "wish targets" that you won't ever realistically be in a position to wish for. From your list above, here's the cards I think are unnecessary:
Kitchen Finks / Siege Rhino - it may be that you just consider these the strongest lifegain / value cards available, but I doubt they'll ever be wish targets. As a result, I'd go for the very strongest card in that slot, whether its Tracker, Baloth, Thragtusk or still Siege Rhino / Finks. That's a personal call, but I wouldn't worry too much about them being multi-coloured. You're just going to board them in the majority of the time.
Countersquall - 4-mana to counter a spell isn't going to develop our plan enough. There's half a chance you want Gutteral Response, which is much kinder on the mana, but Countersquall isn't what you want to use when looking to beat other combo decks. You'd be better off with Slaughter Games.
Meddling Mage - basically, read Countersquall. It doesn't hose hard enough.
Gaddock Teeg + Kembal - you're never going to be able to tutor both of these up. If you are desperate to beat storm, then slide 1 of these into the main as an evo target. If not, cut 1 entirelly (imo).
Nissa - I dont think this is ever a target you want. You're either looking to combo, or looking to stop the opponent on their gameplan. If you want a grindy card, I think Keranos is by the far the best target. You can board it in and have it as an evo target - then if you draw wish, just get Bring to Light and fish it out of your deck. It's also just an absolute beast! Nissa isn't.
I really like the rest. They either help you combo or totally hose the opponent. So I'd say I'd want these to start with:
1 Fracturing Gust, 1 Bring to Light, 1 Saheeli, 1 Fiery Justice, 1 Abrupt Decay, 1 Teeg, 1 Keranos, 1 Slaughter Games
For what it's worth, I personally would cut black, not bother with slaughter games or decay, and perhaps run fulminator or wear//tear if you are desperate for catch-alls. I personally wouldn't bother, and just have riders / rec sage for post board games. You can't beat everything, and g-wish on T2 for Fulminator on T3 is taxing on mana, possibly too slow on the draw, and means you haven't developed your own board at all - e.g. your loosing anyway.
The rest of the sideboard should just fix issues you have. Likely big mana decks (so unified will or spell pierce, avalanche riders etc) and maybe something extra for grinding (trackers are my fav)! It may be that you want a hatebear for burn, which I'd probably use Auriok Champion if the mana can support it. It allows an alt-combo "kill" with double felidar flickers, and pulls its weight as a blocker vs grixis shadow.
Anyway, I like what you've come up with a lot. Just try and cut down the wish targets and keep a powerful sideboard. It may be that you only want 3 G-wish, since drawing 2 copies is likely bad for you (since its clunky and you realistically only want to search up 1 card per match-up).
Feb 2, 2018Hey JacetotheFace - I had a very similar experience to you - infact, indentical! I hated both Explore and Tracker in small numbers. Tracker isn't a summoner's pact target at all. Courser can be, as you say.Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
However - once you get to 2, 3 or even 4 copies (postboard) of Tracker, it shifts the deck in a different direction. Along with Explore, it allows you to land a tracker + make a clue on turn 3, semi consistently. It allows you to fight through fulminators and makes opposing Paths and Ghost Quarters much worse (if they path a tracker after you got a clue, you're usually pretty happy with the exchange). The problem with tracker is that you need to run it in higher numbers and almost base your deck around it (by which I mean, run Explore) to get the most out of the card. I would not recommend it as a 1-of, to the point where I'd probably just run a courser and a ballista and a spirit guide instead. I'd also be more tempted to run serum visions over explore in a non-tracker list.
Also - at the guys testing an eternal witness - I wonder if you should run a primal command or 2? Sometimes the deck gets stuck on 5 mana, and primal command is basically relevant vs every deck in the format. If you have a witness in your deck, it actually gives you another top-end threat, whilst also being useful at 3 mana and 5 mana. Primal Command can even go get a titan if you want!
Jan 30, 2018@ JacetotheFace - Having played the lotus bloom version briefly, there's a significant difference in the feel of the deck. There's a lot more cards dedicated to comboing. The list did have double hive mind (and I actually think the deck still should have 2 main), and had an extra pact of negation to protect the combo turn. In addition, it often runs more cantrips and better mana - which results in less utility lands, less of a midrange plan and more consistency in finding your combo pieces. On top of all that, the sideboard plan for the bloom list doesn't really allow it to trim ramp and go big and grindy, so the post-board games don't play slower either. All those points put together mean that Sunhome is just the right card for the Bloom list. Its less that there's "a few scouts" to make kessig better, and more about the gameplans of the 2 decks.Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
So if you are on Bloom, don't run kessig.
If you're not - kessig gets better, but it's not (in my mind at least) categorically better. I tend to run Kessig if I trim Ballista, and Sunhome if I have ballista as a mana sink. I'm not sure which I prefer, it tends to come down to the other cards I want in my main (if I'm running relic, I tend to cut ballista etc).
And on Kozilek's Return vs Pyroclasm - although this is likely the wrong approach, I don't like being cold to certain archetypes. I'm pretty much 10% against Devoted Druid / Vizier on the draw, but that improves significantly if I can 'clasm earlier. I also think 'Clasm can tag some of the humans before they get out of range (champion of the parish less than thalia's luitenant). I'll almost always prefer 'Clasm for making me feel like I can beat decks I would usually fail against. And for the record, I still feel favoured vs Affinity without K-return. If infect got an uptick, I'm sure i'd be on k-return though!
Jan 30, 2018@ maniospas - I couldn't put it better myself. When I was testing pretty frequently, I came to the conclusion that the cobra + rallier version was just really inconsistent. The wins felt great, the losses felt awful. I then went to the drawing board to say "is this a weaker x" and I came to the conclusion that it was. It wasn't as good as Coco Druid Vizier (whatever we call that these days), since its not always a turn 3 deck, and the ridiculously powerful turns require so many pieces that the Coco deck would just kill you instead.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
So for me, it's a case of finding Saheeli's niche. It wants to be a combo deck, but it wants to have a better Plan B to the Druid deck, or you might as well just play that list. To do that, I think you have to trim combo pieces, which is probably 3rd / 4th Rallier, and a couple of cobras. Then, you can add more value and some interaction, and have a combo deck that pretends to be a midrange deck some of the time. Rallier's value isn't strong enough to out-value a Bob as an example, so you need to make space for cards like tracker or witness + path. I am basically advocating what ShellDell just said, which is 6x 1 drop, 2x Cobra, 2x Rallier.
For teh record (mainly @ brulander) - I was a big advocate for 4 Cobras, and I am still a fan of the card in conjuction with Rallier. But, I don't believe you'll get consistent results with it. It's easy to go 5-0, but I doubt you'll ever go 13-2 in a GP.
Jan 30, 2018@ Emzed - I have recently started to question the usefulness of Cobra, because there are scenarios where he's not that good (it dies to a 1-mana removal spell, or you dont have a 3rd land)... but, I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate the argument of "the 2/1 isn't that good". If you drop cobra, you replace it with a 0/1 with exalted. That's not any better.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
There's plenty of arguments against Cobra, but the body isn't 1 of them!
Jan 30, 2018@ Dizdo - I think fpawlusz has covered the bases pretty well, but here's where I sit on Kessig vs Sunhome.Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
First - Sunhome is 100% better in the lotus bloom lists. No questions asked.
Second - if you decide to play scouts, it then depends on your deck built. The more midrange the build, the better kessig becomes. So for example, a list with 4 Explores and 2 trackers main will like Kessig more than a list running serum visions and hive mind (as an example).
1 last point - I did a test of about 300 games on MODO about a year ago now (so it's not entirely accurate, since lists have changed a bit, meta changes etc), but it came out about even for kessig vs sunhome. 8 games out of 10, both either are irrelevant or both kill the opponent. In the other 20% of games, I found 10% favoured Kessig and 10% favoured sunhome. It was a decent sized data set, but I'm only 1 man. I then tried the same method again (a few pages back) and came to a similar conclusion. Sunhome is better vs quicker decks, kessig is better vs slower decks. I play Kessig because the UK is well known for having a grindy meta, and I just enjoy the card in a way that I don't with Sunhome. It also has the added benefit of allowing me to cut Selesnya Sanctuary for an extra Gruul Turf, which makes my post-board pyroclasms easier to cast.
Jan 29, 2018@ jpw234 - list sounds good to me, you've made some solid changes which I like in theory at least.Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
The only 1-of that can just auto-win a game that I might consider is Chameleon Colossus. The awkward part of it is that it isn't good in your opener since they can thoughtseize it - and it isn't necessarily good as a pact target, because they have stubborn denial. However, I dont think I've lost a game where it's resolved. Once in play, they can't really remove it (grixis shadow obv), bar snapcaster + bolt or something similar. I tend to resolve it, and then slow-role the attack until I have the mana to pump it up (if i'm paying a pact the following turn, i'm not attacking basically). Its a great card, Im just not sure if you want a slot for the match-up?
With GQ vs Bog. I'm not sure we're favoured G1 vs Storm even if we do have Bog main (but it helps), and Bog isn't particularly great vs Tasigur/Angler decks. It shines vs Goyf though, and those are on the rise (5c Shadow). However, I've found Ghost Quarter really impactful vs Tron (obviously) but also it acts as a semi-green source should you need it. It comes up more than you'd expect. Therefore, I prefer it main to Bog but there's not much in it.
Also JPW234 - if you are loving Kiki-chord, position 20th in that modern challenge played it
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