The Limited Archetypes of Guilds of Ravnica
 
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  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Quote from FuneralofGod »
    LOTV is not that great in the meta right now but she's good against Tarmogoyf decks so with the printing of Trophy I predict Tarmogoyf will grow in metagame presence and thus she should be useful again. Just my presumptions..

    I think the 4th Tarmogoyf is more important than the 1st Grim Flayer. That being said, if you've got flayers and Traverse, maybe Tombstalker is too much?
    Though Thought Scour does help with this. If we take the route of Become Immense, then we can certainly drop Tombstalker and possibly go up on Thought Scour? Maybe something like:
    ...
    We're basically losing Inquisition and Liliana in order to make room though so it's probably not worth it.

    If only there was a burst-esque pump evasion spell that we could fetch with Mausoleum Secrets. THEN it would be worth building around.

    i mean i presumed the same thing. i originally had a single tasigur to act as the 4th goyf, because i figured fatal push was going to be everywhere. i was already set on 2 snapcasters, and added the flayers on top to be a bit more threat dense; not to mention i wanted to see if the trample helped at all.

    yeah that is so many pump spells, and one of them has to be predators strike? no thanks to that lol

    i did some searching on the gatherer database for anything cheap in GB colors that offered trample, fear, menace, etc. the results were depressing. id rather just suit up a death's shadow with a Rancor. of course blue has some options for evasion, but i dismissed that option quickly. forcing some block action against our guys is generally a good thing, and all the better if we can blow them out with pump/removal/whatever. i was even eyeballing profane command, but casting it for a reasonable X is asking a lot.

    i do think a copy of become immense is viable main board tech, even without trample. im gonna try 1 or 2 in the side first as a knockout punch to combo decks.

    simic charm is close to being plausible. though its still the same problem
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/08/2018)
    well at least you are upfront about your bias.

    'just' mana. black lotus is just mana!

    imo mox opal will forever be on the watch list, merely because its a piece of fast mana and its power level is an outlier in the format for the decks that can use it. is it explicitly crossing any lines and worthy of a ban? probably not, at least right now.

    tbh though its one of those cards that i wouldnt bat an eyelash for if it got the axe. if it was facilitating some grindhouse artifact deck thats one thing, but all we see it do for the most part is facilitate early kills. being the centerpiece for those infrequent turn 2/3 nut draws that no deck has a chance against.

    none of the decks that are playing it though are dominating meta percentages or in win rate (afaik). for me that stonewalls most arguments to get rid of it.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    yeah my first draft of pure sultai ds looks quite a bit different than yours. for one i opted to just use traverse, but im still open to trying out secrets. i posted it in the sultai midrange thread, probably best not to derail this one.

    tbh the deck looks fine, its so hard to tell without playing out games. an easy swap would be -1 fatal push +1 dismember; it just hits more stuff.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Quote from FuneralofGod »
    I like Abrade more than Trophy against Spirits TBH. Maybe against humans it's better but against Spirits I really don't want to be ramping them into a Coco.

    That being said, the ability to cut the 4th color is very interesting and I'd love to start working on something. I was trying out Noble Hierarch in the deck as well but I'm not sure that she's worth it. Let's discuss what the core of a Sultai DS mid-range list would be:
    ...
    This leaves us with about 4-6 slots to play with, depending on what numbers you choose on my variables here. Another spicy card this Sultai DS player used was Predator's Strike which seems underwhelming on its own but maybe paired with Become Immense it could be the answer?

    Another thing is missing out on red sweepers out of the SB. I really like Languish in this metagame but I don't know if we can support cmc 4 with all the Thalia's running around. Even some Spirits lists run her.

    yeah ramping a coco deck doesnt sound great.

    yeah your template looks more streamlined. im not a good brewer/deckbuilder by any stretch, and id rather tune. here is the draft i came up with since i couldnt find anything else:


    at first i entertained the idea of including 1 or 2 copies of Mausoleum Secrets, which increased my interest in architects of will; i put the idea on the backburner though. i decided to keep it around as a delirium enabler if im playing a few flayers; also i initially had a tasigur in tombstalkers slot. i swapped it out for a 3rd traverse, but now its just tombstalker as a placeholder so i dont forget about it (lol). also i figured id be trying become immense out of the side, and architect lets you more easily delve without losing delirium (being 2 types and all). the 2 scours just help tie the room together.

    the 1-3 lotv is surprising. my only experience with DS decks is GDS, and that was only for a while when i briefly borrowed the deck from a friend. maybe ill get one for the side, but tbh my opinion of lotv has been waning. it lets us leverage excess lands kinda, but the edict effect doesnt seem very good right now. at least the last hope has a chance of sniping something, ticking up, and staying alive.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    i did my best to highlight the differences between jund and jeskai, the only similarity i was drawing was that both are 3 color decks with strict color requirements. the fact that it would be played differently in different decks means the net benefit would be different. i know it isnt quantifiable, and an assumption, but given the gameplay considerations i brought up (which you agreed on) it has more basis than believing 2 decks would get the same out of a card despite using it in separate ways.

    the proactive element, that primarily takes place at sorcery speed, is precisely what makes field better in a deck like jeskai. that isnt the same as saying jund would get zero use, or that they are unable to leverage it at all; rather the notion of taking a turn off to destroy a land that may just inconvenience most decks sequencing doesnt justify running multiple colorless lands.

    when you arent precisely planning out your turn because you are waiting for your opponent to act, prompting your response, the tempo swings create 'wasted' or spare mana. therefore playing at instant speed offers more opportunities to use an instant speed mana sink.

    i dunno, are you primarily thinking about matchups where taking care of a problematic land is paramount? in those cases dealing with a threat like tron being assembled or an inkmoth nexus supersede pretty much anything else you are doing, because you will likely lose otherwise; therefore any deck that had access to field would get good use out of it. however field is only used that way a fraction of the time. in those other cases you have a colorless land staring you in the face, and 2 mana isnt easy to find for the majority of decks out there. jeskai, and similarly UW, have more opportunities to fire it off and get that basic; meaning its less cumbersome, and you gain small edges in restricting your opponents colors - hence extra benefit.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/08/2018)
    thatd be my guess. rip is like backdoor sidedoor hate against growbots. i think boarding in a single copy is probably correct. however bant spirits isnt exactly throwing a bunch of terminates around, and the creature suite doesnt always lend itself to kill opposing creatures through blocks. just bringing in the stonys and flying over as best you can seems like an alright strat.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Prices Discussion
    scg might be faking scarcity by relisting, but that theory is a little too tin foil hat for my tastes.

    i predict assassin's trophy's price will stay afloat for longer than a week. perhaps 2 or 3 weeks, or even a month. the cards power is at face value, people dont need to speculate if a 2 mana instant speed vindicate is playable. so there is going to be a large surge of demand from multiple formats.

    i doubt people are still speccing on it at this point. even a hardcore long-term spec is risky at 30 bucks. a cards power doesnt always determine how much it sees play. like legacy for instance, BGx is already on shaky ground to begin with - maybe sultai 'whatever' decks never take off. i have zero doubt it will be a feature of standard, but as pointed out the context of the format could make the downside too punishing; or maybe GB decks dont have the support to surround the card.

    long story short. if you open one, and dont need copies yourself to play right away, dump em as fast as you can; even if you have to undercut other sellers/traders by 15-20%.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Planeswalker Masterpieces
    wizards is worried about there being a long-term in the first place. the whole 'throw everything at the board and see what sticks' campaign speaks of desperation more than flat out incompetence (im sure there is some of that too).

    it may seem like they are snubbing the older generation of players in favor of the new; but that implies that the importance of each is remotely even. they need to be pushing for growth in the 15-35 yr old age bracket as hard as possible if they want to keep the ship afloat.

    regardless, colt47 pointed it out earlier, but instead of it being some indicator of the direction of their business philosophy; it was likely an order from on high to pad the bottom line. considering this continuous pattern of kicking themselves in the nuts, they need a win however they can get it.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on UW Control
    yeah jace fatesealing is particularly effective against decks where all the cards functionally do the same thing. an even distribution of power among their cards raises the worst cases and lowers the best cases. excluding the few exceptions post-board, burn is effectively 'lands' and 'non-lands'. bottoming a non-land card could end up with them having another on top, however its the difference between zero chance and some nonzero chance; which is infinitely large.

    granted that is a simplification, since UW players obviously care about some cards from burn more than others. just not to the same extent.

    whenever i land a jace against burn, unless there is a creature i absolutely need to deal with, or i have to dig for a specific piece of interaction (ie they are salivating to untap with multiple cards in hand, and i lose unless i find dispel); then im always fatesealing right away. straight upstairs to the ultimate. stocking up your hand while they stock up theirs is a losing proposition unless you have a wide mana advantage.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern edition
    i mean they have to pull that trigger some time. there is this looming threat that most anything can be reprinted if its not on the reserved list. choosing never to do standard reprints if a card is over some arbitrary threshold just emboldens speculators and hoarders. masters, and these other specialty/premium products just dont instill the same level of fear; because the nature of the product is a source of scarcity in itself.

    the real obstacle is the power of the cards. they most likely cost what they do for a reason, and creating a standard environment that can contain such cards isnt an easy feat. to put it frankly though, wizards needs to try harder. following this false assumption that lower power equates to more entertaining gameplay is obviously taking them in a direction they dont/shouldnt want to go.

    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Jeskai Control
    Quote from chaos021 »
    Quote from tronix »
    Quote from chaos021 »
    Quote from tronix »
    the only saving grace, and why we can run field when jund cant, is that we operate at instant speed (mostly); meaning we can find more spare mana for activations.


    Why do people think this matters so much?


    yeah im not understanding what you are getting at. instant speed effects work well together?

    im proposing that field of ruin is better when you dont have to commit to a play on your main phase. that doesnt seem unreasonable. how much it matters pretty much stops there.


    It doesn't matter. If you were going to make the play anyway, all your doing is allowing your opponent a card and more available mana to deal with whatever comes down the pipe. I've been running into this mentality a lot lately. Jund doesn't run Field of Ruin because they have Fulminator Mage so there's no need to jack up the mana base. It's just better for Jund's purposes. The speed at which it resolves has very little to do with it.


    i mean your delving directly into the topic of why instants are more powerful than sorceries, and i know you know the reasons why they are. unless you truly want to debate that they arent.

    sure you might activate field on your turn if the context of the game dictates that. that isnt the point though, its about information and more decision points. sorcery speed plays are an upfront choice, and being able to play that game requires more risk/reward analysis which in turn requires accurately discerning hidden information. even still, decks that make more plays on their main phase are bound to working with more unknowns and maximize their mana usage (ie curving out) on their turn. having multiple instant speed effects means you wait, and simply choose the best response; hence more options are open for a longer period of time and more information has been gathered (their play happens, meaning the accumulated information in the gamestate increases).

    field is an instant speed effect, it plays better with more instants opposed to shackling it to a restriction from another source. i posited that is why jeskai, as a 3 color deck with similar colored requirements to jund, has been able to use 3 fields effectively while jund hasnt.

    consider what jund is doing on turn 3, or turn 4. they are deciding what threat to deploy, possibly using discard. they might weigh that decision against not progressing their board and holding up a piece of removal instead. no matter what they choose, they are forced to decide then and there. fulminator works well in that scenario. do you think UW control would play fulminators over fields if they could? of course not, because it invalidates their other instants; namely counter magic. it isnt a mindset, its a description of reality lol.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Quote from FuneralofGod »
    I've been messing around with Sultai DS but I still feel like you need red for TBR main and Abrade SB. Those cards are so important for humans and Spirits (DS worst match-ups IMO) that I don't think I could drop red entirely until the metagame shifts away from those go-wide green decks. I love what blue offers to DS, mostly Stubborn and Snapcaster but there other great options as well. Delay has been the second best addition from blue for me, after Stubborn denial.

    A guy I've played against a couple PPTQs runs full Sultai DS (no red) and plays a single Tombstalker as his only delve creature. It seems pretty sexy but I Dismembered it before it could ever attack me. Traverse is the main reason delve doesn't work in the BGx DS decks, but only having one delve card seems not so bad. The flying would be super relevant in a lot of matches


    yeah ive been really thinking of how to get around the problem of the ground getting gummed up by chump blockers. the first obvious solution is to have a red shock somewhere in the 75, and play TBR in the matchups you need it. losing abrade is whatever, we get to play with a 2 mana vindicate

    i next thought of leaning harder on grim flayer's trample and just use some generic pump spell. if you can delve for become immense, and still somehow keep delirium; thats a nice 10-ball to the opponent.

    lastly there are quite a few 'less than optimal' spells and enchantments to punch through blockers. rancor is probably the highest power level of the options ive seen, but even that seems...poor.

    the more indirect solution is to just kill everything on the other side of the table lol. the cheap black sweepers arent that great though. the ones that would leave our creatures alive anyways.

    even with all that, you are only really getting half the utility of TBR; which also just burst kills opponents regardless of a clear board. double strike is overpowered!

    i hadnt thought of tombstalker (forgot it was even modern legal). i could see running it as a 1-of.

    as for the delve vs. traverse/delirium problem, im thinking a split of thought scours and architects of will could help with that. i know BGx DS has always had access to architects, but thoughtscour is something only for sultai. pity none of the surveil cards from GRN look very useful.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    i think its worth considering a 1-1 tasigur/angler split. i know you want a good clock, but you are low on delve enablers; which sort of defeats the purpose of deploying them early to pressure a non-interactive opponent. also, since you are going bigger you can realistically expect to activate the ability occasionally.

    3 jaces seems like a bit much imo. ive played with him a good bit in both jeskai and UW, and even in UW miracles where terminus is a large feature; the 3rd jace is a point of division between top performing lists. not sure what you would use that slot for, but i just wanted to bring it up.

    as for the sideboard, i think you can swap out the 2nd ceremonious rejection for another piece of generic counter magic (another c-squall, negate, d-stroke, etc). i think that would give you a pinch more ammo against more decks without sacrificing much (other counterspells can counter colorless/artifacts just fine).

    lastly i think your list is particularly well situated for jace, vryn's prodigy. not to replace snaps outright(blasphemy!), but maybe as a 1-2 of if you can find space. you are already presenting a sizeable creature suite, so he wouldnt be a pitiful removal magnet like he is in control lists.

    edit: oh yeah. i know you take pride in meticulously crafting your mana base, but is the twilight mire really needed? looks like a holdover from all your junding lol
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan / The Rock
    i think bgx players are just deathly scared of putting cards into the deck that are poor topdecks, which mana dorks have usually been classified as.

    i was actually reading a piece by SaintDoom on reddit, who is a known aficionado of abzan traverse (he did a real nice write-up about it less than a week ago found here), and he is currently testing sultai with noble hierarch. the sultai writeup can be found here.

    one point that he makes, that i think is important to emphasize, is that the deck needs to be tailored to maximize 3 mana plays; because that is the major benefit of the acceleration after all. be it a 3 drop, or impactful double-spelling. i see that as being more important than jamming a bunch of 4 drops and trying to ramp to them.

    personally im still deciding between trying out abzan or sultai post-GRN. im heavily leaning towards traverse, or DS variants of either. my gut tells me abzan is better, but its hard for me to ever pass up playing snapcaster mage.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    i remember seeing a sultai DS/delirium deck a few months back that used whispers of emrakul to some small level of success. personally i think it clashes with the inherently aggressive stance of a DS deck. dont get me wrong, hymn to tourach-ing your opponent is great; however i think its best when your deck is packing a little more power at the top end.

    i was actually looking for that sultai list, or anything similar. i wanna try a sultai DS deck post GRN, but my deckbuilding skills are pretty garbage. so i was hoping i could find something to build off of.

    funnily enough my first draft uses architect of wills, and can actually enable secrets pretty easily. maybe ill try it over traverse, or do a split or something.
    Posted in: Midrange
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