Due to BBE and the rise of Jund I went to a grindier list:
Went down to 3 Vizier, cut Fiend Hunter and one Witness and added 3 Voices to the main. They do a lot! Also I went back to 22 lands and 6 one mana dorks. Relying on lands instead of dorks seems to be safer in a world of grind. The Rallier is a nice tempo swing, works good with Canopies and gets back combo pieces. Liked him so far. Sometimes I wish he were a Witness, but more often I like his edge.
Concerning the SB:
For me, 4 Path are still a thing. I want cheap and efficient removal. I tried more Pulses but they are just clunky. The Wilt-Leaf Lieges work great against Jund, random Kolaghans Command decks, Hollow One and grind decks in general. I also board them against Eldrazi, obv. Having 5/4 Finks and 4/4 Voices seems legit and sometimes you can live the dream by Pathing a Smasher and discard Liege.
Sigarda is the mvp, imo. She is just such a perfect threat. Always wins the games when she hits the board.
The two Mindbenders are against Tron, Scapeshift, Eldrazi and that stuff. On the play I sometimes also board them against Storm which is not the best MU anyways.
I like this appraoch a lot. Honestly, I nearly never play against Jace. Concerning all that hype it really feels weird... Seems like he is not a big thing until now in Modern. More often I see BBE but that's ok. I feel like we can keep up with the value thanks to CoCo and sticky creatures.
At my lgs I beat:
Jeskai Geist Queller (including Jace, but never saw him)
@Str1fe5: I try to answer your questions briefly (for every question one could write pages, so I just write what comes to my mind in this moment):
What types of decks are our strongest match ups?
- Non-interactive decks like Mervolk, Bogles*, Humans, Elves, ... (exluding Storm) We are just 1 Turn faster
- Burn is good (yet, Canopies hurt and the Searing Blaze opener is still hard to beat)
- Against grind decks I feel slightly favored due to CoCo, Witness, Voice and Finks
- Stuff like Hatebears is very good
- Shadow decks are 50/50 preboard, slightly favored after boarding due to Path
- Eldrazi Tron is probably slightly favored (depending on how fasst their opening is)
- Affinity usually is also a good MU
*fun fact: These days I usually board 2 Pathes against Bogles as I often lose against Gaddock Teeg. Also, this card draw dude is dangerous for us, as they draw into removal. It works fine! Path already won me 2 games through Teeg which would have been lost otherwise.
Which ones are our weakest?
- Definitely Shift decks (Anger + relatively fast finish)
- UB Mill (lol, always lose to that one)
- Classic Tron is hard (Ugin, OStone)
- Storm is often 1 Turn faster. This MU depends really on who is on the play very often
Which ones seem to depend the most on the specific configuration of the flex slots?
- Storm: Eidolon
- Token decks: Pontiff
- Shadow decks and grind piles: Pathes
- Tron: Some kind of discard effect (Sculler, Mindbender, ...)
Which match ups change the most after sideboard?
Against grind decks, it changes most as the combo usually is weak. So, I very often board out 4 Chords, 2 Vizier, 1-2 Nobles, 1 Witness to get my deck less affected to hate like Cage and getting more space for stuff like Lieges, Removal, Sigarda, ... to surprise the opponent as we are more like a hatebears deck after boarding. But still with an occasionally combo finish.
How does the amount of Reclaim effects impact our tactical decisionmaking? A poster who has had some strong recent finishes has advocated for the full playset of Witnesses, and to aggressively use them to buy back fetch lands to make land drops rather than just including more mana sources. Have others mimicked this play pattern? Has it been effective? This certainly would help with top decks later in the game.
Maybe you mean my post some pages earlier. I went away from the 4 Vizier, 4 Witness, 21 lands plan. In a goldfish world it gives you more chances to assemble the combo, imo. It is however, more a glasscanon plan. The current meta feels more like some Voice are pretty good.
What are the advantages of running a 2nd Ballista vs. Rhonas? How vulnerable are we to permanently losing the Ballista in Game and/or better off are we by having a redundant win condition?
Imo a second win con is a waste. Ballista always wins. Don't think about these rare scenarios when a Thought Know takes you Ballista or it gets eaten by an Ooze. This nearly never happens. And if it does, just play your decks and put every green creature on the board. This should win you the game, too.
I recommend to play 3 Recruiter instead. The creature does a lot. It just generates value.
What are people doing with their mana? Going up to 33 sources or keeping it lean? How are people rounding out the 21st and 22nd lands, and how many are running the third Hierarch?
Well, you can not generalize that. I think 7 dorks + 21 lands is nearly the same as 6 dorks and 22 lands. However, I would not play 7 dorks + 22 lands or 6 dorks + 21 lands. I like to keep it 28 in total + 4 Druids.