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  • 2

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from gkourou »
    Maybe we can unban Mental Misstep to help blue Evil Lol

    Good joke man Wink

    (Funny enough MM is not "that" big of an player in Modern NBL, which is quite surprising, when you think about how broken that card is).


    Regarding DTT and what influence it will have:

    There are three primary winners, and a lot of secondary ones. Primary ones are obvious Jeskai Ascendency (the UWR Tempo/Combo version), RUG Scapeshift (the secretly "best" deck in the TC/DTT area, since it had both a good Delver as Pod match-up) and Control (especially Esper Control would love that card). For the secondary ones only Delver decks have to get noticed, since it would allow the deck to be a solid Tier 2 deck, even though it struggles with a lot of things.

    Jeskai Ascendency was a good deck, especially since it was not an all in combo deck + played a relative high amount of interaction (6-8 removal spells and 4-6 counters). The earliest win was on turn 3 thanks to Probe, which is now no longer possible. Hence, the earliest kill would be a turn 4 kill which is more than okay (Modern is a turn 4 format), especially since you can interact quite easily with the combo elements (Bolt/Path vs Fatesticher, Decay/Remand vs Ascendency). Would develop into a solid Tier 2 deck, sometimes dipping into the Tier 1 scene, when the Meta is soft to it, sometimes going down to Tier 3.

    RUG Scapeshift would be the real winner. Everybody who followed the deck back in the DTT times knew, how good it was. However, the main reason, why it was so good was mainly of how the interaction from the deck aligned with the current meta. Anger was MVP (both against Delver as Pod), especially when you were able to cast it on turn 3 with counter back up. It still had a decent clock and the goldfish with a perfect draw was at turn 4 (needs a perfect hand and you cannot play anything else but ramp spells basically). Again, no problem with the Turn 4 rule. However, what the deck CAN do is, that when correctly build it can offer a decent choice against both big mana decks (as long as they do not sling Caverns and Ulamogs at you) due to the counter suite and have a decent match-up vs midrange esque decks. However, on the other side the control (lots of air) and aggro (again lots of air) match-ups are not great, this is especially true in the current RUG version. Hence, would establish as a solid Tier 1.5, sometimes dipping down to Tier 2 when there is more aggro and control and being at Tier 1 when there are more targets for multifunctional interaction spells (like Anger back in the days).

    Last but not least Control. I can only speak from my personal experience with UW Control back with DTT, have not played Jeskai or Esper Control with that card, so if somebody, who has played with DTT in the respective deck, can correct me if I'm wrong, please go ahead.

    In UW Control Dig was a okay-ish card. The problem was, that filling up the Graveyard was an actual problem. Due to the nature of the deck of playing more board based interaction spells (Wall of Omens, Detention Sphere, Vedillion Clique, Runed Halo,...) and the low number of Fetchlands (5 is the max you usually want to run) you had problems to get a "early" Dig off. Most of the times Turn 4 was a realistic Dig for 4 mana turn, which was nice but not close to game breaking. Hence, you had to build the UW Control deck still with the early game in mind hand had the Digs as a late game tutor for the silver win con bullets (be it WSZ or Rev in the more draw and go version or the Planeswalkers in the more tapout version).

    However, Dig would improve both Esper and Jeskai a great deal and would give them a real shot of beating things like the ramp decks or something like Cavern of Souls.


    Overall, while Dig is a broken good card (as most of the modern powerhouses) it would be INTERESTING to have it in the current Modern format and look, how it would develop from there. I honestly doubt, it would result into huge problems, it would just force a shift in the comfort levels from the players.

    Greetings,
    Kathal

    PS: And totally agree, MM3 is absolutely bonkers ^^
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, reprints, new cards, and more!
    Quote from Barachai »
    Quote from Wraithpk »

    GBx below 10%. I can't remember the last time GBx was below 10%. Granted, this is just 2 top 32s, but I would still expect more. My guess is Death Shadow leached some Jund players since the decks share so many cards.

    Is Death's Shadow not a GBx deck? At least, it's a lot more like one than previous iterations.

    It's actually a pretty interesting question, come to think of it.


    Personally I would rate it as a Aggro Midrange deck. It employs early interaction in form of, most of the times multiple, discard spells and can slam "protected" high value beaters afterwards. Due to the nature of the deck however, it is more in the Aggro department, since it can actually take the Aggro role quite good with an early big Goyf or Death Shadow. The trade of for this better aggro is of course the late game. Jund and Junk can grind way better due to the access to both Manlands as high impact CMC cards like Huntmaster and Rhino. DSJ can trick a little bit by using Traverse to grab more copies of their good creatures but in general it will still lose the mid to late game vs those "pure" Midrange decks.

    In general, those articles are a great tool to actually rate decks properly (4 article series, this is the 4th part): http://modernnexus.com/wheel-of-fortune-riding-the-archetype-spectrum/

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    ad 1) Manamorphose is just garbage. The only reason, why you want to run that card is to filter red mana into black to have a Goryo's Borbor line, when you do not have an untapped land (that is the only reason, why I'm still running one copy). This is not Storm, where it is both a Ritual as a card draw nor Suicide Bloo, where it pumps your team for free (+ a free cantrip).

    ad 2) No, I would even tend to play 3 Desperate Rituals (third one would be the last Manamorphose btw) currently, since it allows more possible power plays on turn 2, especially post board (Blood Moon, Shatter Storm on turn 3,...)

    ad 3) I'm running 3 Collective Brutality for example, since I value the interaction a little bit higher than the potential addition in speed. However, I also run only 2 Hugs, since I do not like that card so much. In general, you want at least 10 cantrips (which your list does), if you are playing than Brutality over Night's Whisper or Hugs is a pure metagame choice (I have way to much Hatebears in my area, hence I really need and want them).

    ad 4) Yes, it is the right number and no, do not cut additional lands. It both makes TTB worse (hitting 4 lands with only 18 lands from which are 4-6 fetchlands is nigh impossible in a somewhat reasonable time) as Borbor and SB cards (Quicksilver Amulet e.g.)

    ad 5) Nothing we can do here, but Borbor is strictly better than Wurm, cause he allows us to win at instant speed.


    Regarding the suggestions, I personally would say nope, since it makes the deck worse by a far margin.

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Combo
  • 2

    posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Quote from xBattleSpawnx »
    Quote from Tanukimo »
    How are people casting Laboratory Maniac with a BR manabase?

    Either using Manamorphose or using Through the Breach. I don't think Lab maniac is necessary by any means, but if you expect a rise in abzan company (which had a second place showing the week prior at the SCG Columbus Classic), then it is perfectly serviceable. It is certainly better than trying to mill them out with Emrakul beats like I've attempted before EEK!

    The other option, instead of Lab Man is Tainted Strike, which is also a win con vs Abzan CoCo and Ad Nauseam (even a better one, since they need to win right there or they would die to the Infect damage). However, it needs B mana and thus you really want to play 2 Morphose MD (or 1 in the Side to board in with the Strike) since you will often just cylce your Morphose in the early game if you have it in hand or pitch it to a Looting.

    However, both are way better than trying to do some beats by Emrakul Wink

    I understand some of you are nervous about a potential ban after the recent SCG win. Please remember that banlist talk should be kept in the State of the Meta thread. On here, focus on making the deck better or stronger. We don't want to distract conversation from the deck, and while being afraid of a ban is related to this deck, this isn't the place for that debate. Carry on ladies and gents! - CavalryWolfPack


    I mean, the question is very valid and most people who know how the deck works (and play it themself) do not read the State of Modern (or w/e it is called) thread, since it is normally just a big pile of *you know what I mean*. Hence, asking the question right here, where the actual players of the decks can read it + make a good argumentation on which card is a potential ban target is more useful for close to everyone but the Mod team cause of the Modern forum rules.

    Sure, the discussion in this thread should be around the different Griselbanned versions but sadly, cause of that stupid ban mania in Modern, we also have to deal with things like this. However, as you said, the main focus should be about developing the deck and not the ban talks (for this, there is thread you mentioned).

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Combo
  • 1

    posted a message on What INSTANT Modern combos exist?
    The different Project X concepts (be it Melira, Anafenza or co) can win with instant speed by using Chord/CoCo, however, they are vulnerable to removal.

    Basically, PURE instant speed win cons are:
    - Ad Nauseam
    - Griselbanned (Shoal version)
    - Bubble Hulk
    - Project X (due to Chord/CoCo)
    - Specific Necrotic Ooze builds

    The first three are basically removal proof while the other two are very redundant and thus would qualify for the stated desire.

    Otherwise, just following two of the three desired effects:
    - Enduring Ideal (hardlcok)
    - Restore Balance ("semi" combo deck)
    - Possible Storm (Emrakul says hi)
    - Amulet Titan (not the Cobra Titan version, since that one is weaker vs removal)
    - Ritual Gifts (basically a Gifts Ungiven based Storm deck, which can win without a need of permanents (version dependant though))
    - Breaking//Entering

    Every other combo deck I can think about fails through more than two requirements, which makes them meh.

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on [Primer] UR Storm
    Which version are we talking about?

    When we are talking about the URw version with MD Mentor, in the games I win, it is roughly 60% the combo and 40% non combo (aka Creature beatdown). In the 60% combo pile is another 5% which are natural storm wins (casting Rituals with a Mancer effect in play, PiF, cast some Bolts and a Grapeshot).

    There were many games, where I won without ever casting or even seeing a single Gifts. Yes, Gifts is a very powerful card but not always necessary for the winning line nor even something you want to do that turn (or in that game even).

    Though, when we are talking about the UR version, it has a harder time winning without Gifts, since the creatures are not fit for the beatdown plan (Mancer + Baral beatdown is laughable). There, you have to hope to draw enough business to coble a normal Storm chain together with PiF. That is also a reason, why that specific version runs more Storm cards + an Empty MD.

    The other versions I have made so far (but not tested) fall under the same category as the URw version, they all have a very solid plan B in there.

    Greetings,
    Kathal

    Posted in: Combo
  • 1

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Quote from lvl40cleric »
    Hey Kathal, thanks for your input. One goal of my list is to determine whether increased speed and consistency of 8 2 mana Mancer effects allows you to not need to interact as much as your proposed build - though having said that I am starting with 4 Remand as interactive/tempo effects.

    I do like Sanctum for the GBx matchups but it is going to be a brick some amount of the time so I will have it in SB to start.

    I am planning to get some live games in next Wednesday/Thursday once Aether Revolt is released so I will update the thread with the relevant data.

    Run Sanctum as a one off main, before you move it in the SB, where it doesn't belong (to low impact). Also, running 4 Remands is to much, even the more controlling shells only run 3 copies. I would even go down to 2 copies in the UR shell (as I suggested) and run more one mana counters, which give you access way better sequencing. Also, you really need removal, there was a reason, why the classic Storm list sucked nowadays.
    Quote from Lord Hazanko »
    Jace's Sanctum needs to be played to understand how good it is.

    I scoffed at Sanctum for a long time, till I finally said "F-it" and gave it a shot.

    It's really incredibly surprising how many games that card has won me.

    That being said, It may just be better in a more midrangey/control shell, than an all-in UR mancer shell.

    I can still remember, when you basically rolled your eyes about this card and just because I run it (and reported it) you had to test it :p

    The reason, why I would play Sanctum even in the UR All-in version:
    - Yes, it is clunky (that is also a reason, why you should only play with 3 Gifts, if you want to play more, run Scrolls) but 90% of the decks cannot handle it. This is even more important now, with the print of Fatal Push, which makes the two mana Mancer effects more vulnerable.

    - It allows natural "storming" without Gifts. The amount of games I just won by chaining spells together, scrying to the cards I need is just ridiculous. Heck, today again I won a game solely because of the lack of removal for that card while I went through my library to find that PiF/Gifts to win on the spot.


    Mini report:

    Played three rounds today (had to leave early, cause I have to prep stuff for tomorrow) with the same list as usual (still with Probes). SB was different, was running a one off Geist and Clique cause 5 drops suck and a filled the rest with random good stuff (counters, 4th Path, Extraction, Wear/Tear, Disenchant, Echoing Truth,...).

    Round 1 vs Affinity 2-0:

    Game 1 he mulled to 4 and had a decent hand. However, I had the turn 5 kill of an Mentor. Game 2 was harsh one, since he played something along two Signal Pest, 3 0 drops, and a Overseer. Since I had 2 Paths, a Snappy and a Bolt I was able to deal with the biggest threats. I went with an upkeep Gifts into grabbing the standard pile (had Homunculus + Sanctum in play). He gave me Ritual + Morphose. Than, before the draw step be Galvanic Blasted me, I was on 4 life. I went Ritual, scry 1, land, and bot. Morphose, scry 1, Mentor, nope, don't need you. Draw of Morphose: Blessed Alliance.

    One of Blessed Alliance saved my butt here and I won the next turn with a flashbacked PiF.

    Round 2 vs Mono U Tron 1-2:

    Game 1 I kept a 7 card hand with one land (Sacred Foundry) and two Probes on the draw but failed to draw a land over 4 consecutive turns. When I found it, the Tron player was able to Mindslaver me out. Game 2 was a steamroll from my side. Turn 2 Homunculus, he couldn't handle him into a turn 4 win, since he tapped out on his turn 3 for a Wurmcoil Engine. Game 3 I mulled down to 5, kept a mediocre hand with only one land and no cantrips but was able to draw gas from the top. My opponent played Treasure Mage into Solemn into another Solemn and went for beatdown. He got me down to 1 life with his last attack (trading with Clique) and was tapped out. I started to combo without a Gifts but with a PiF, but failed to find anything useful with the flashback cantrips. Was a close one (would have needed to dig like 4 more cards to find the Grapeshot to win that turn).

    Round 3 vs Griselbanned (Shoal version) 2-0

    Game 1 he mulled down to 5, failed to find a land for 4 turns, even though he casted two Lootings of SSGs. I sticked a Mentor and he closed the game out within 3 turns. Game 2 was short: Looting, pitch Borbor and TTB. I went Surgical TTB into Snap Surgical on Borbor to land a turn 3 Mentor to beat him down. Won on turn 5.

    Some games vs Affinity (all preboard):

    He had a god draw with a boatload of artefacts into a Plating + Etched Champion. I was able to establish a board through this, cause of the sheer amount of removal I had access too. In the end the board looked like this: Opp: Tapped out, tapped Etched Champ with Plating, Vault Skirge and Thopter untapped and ready to block, my side was 2 Homunculus, 1 Mentor Token, Mentor, he was at 18, I was at 3.

    What happened is, I went Revival on Sleight (digs one deeper and a "free" prowess trigger), went down to 1 life, draw Sleight, cast Sleight see Ritual and Bolt. Take Bolt, bolt a blocker and attack for how much? Right, 15. One spell off to kill him :/

    Died to Etched champion next turn.

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 1

    posted a message on Banlist change for 1/9/2017
    Btw, just to correct something. Storm COULD be faster than the UR Twin version (not the URg All in version with Birds) but realistically it was a consistent Turn 4.5 deck. Winning on Turn 3 requires basically the nut hand with Mancer + not a single interaction from the opponent.

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 2

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Mini Primer time ^^

    My current version (or rather the version I want to start testing after the Bannings):



    As you can see, the deck can be split upon several categories, the most important one be the win cons (including both Creatures as the combo), the interaction elements and the cantrips.

    Lets start with the cantrip set-up or rather: why not play 2 mana cantrips


    We all know the pain of bad cantrips in Modern, the best one - Serum Visions - is barely playable and everything beyond that can be rated as "garbage". However, since we are playing a deck, which needs to find crucial pieces (Mancer effects + win cons) in a rather timely fashion + there is a limit on how many copies we can play of those said spells, we need to play with those cantrips.

    Serum Vision is self explaining, the best one we have access too. Sleight of Hands is now the obvious go too choice, after the Probe ban. The big question now is, how many Cantrips we want to play. I personally think, that it should be between 7-9 "cantrip" spells (not including Remand) in the Mancer version. If you are running the Channel version, than 4-6 are sufficient (you both need more time and thus more interaction, so you can hardly afford to do a cantrip chain (casting one Cantrip after the other)).

    I personally like the instant speed nature of Peek, hence I want to test it out for the time being. The instant speed part is especially relevant, when you are thinking about the amount of instant speed stuff we have access too. It allows you to both keep up removal/counter mana as be able to cast a Cantrip EOT (at least, this is the theory).

    Otherwise, I would go straight with 4 Visions + 4 Sleight, since they are the best cantrips available.

    Now a few words, why I would advise against playing relative low power two mana cantrips (looking at you Anticipate). Most of them have a nice upside, with a Mancer effect in play they get utterly ridiculous (for Modern levels), however, the drawback is, when you do not have a Mancer effect in play, they start to get clunky, a lot.

    This is especially a problem, when you need some amount of Instant and Sorcs in your graveyard for your Homunculus to flip (comes later). They are also very awkward to sequence with, since turn 1 you do not have much stuff to do, while on turn 2 and onward you usually cannot afford to tap 2 mana for a cantrip.


    The interaction

    Every deck needs some form of interaction, even hyper aggro decks or combo decks. This is especially true, when the deck we are playing is slower and more "fair" than the other combo/hyperaggro decks. The interaction can be split up into two categories, Removal and Counters. Generally speaking you want to run between 9-14 interaction spells (depends on how fast your list exactly is). The correct split is meta dependant, when there is a lot of aggro you will skip on the counters, but when there are the big mana and rather slow decks you want more counter spells.

    Lets start with Removal first. Since we are already in the UR colours (+ whatever splash colour we might want to splash) Lightning Bolt is the obvious go to answer. However, as we all know way to well, Bolt is not universal good. Bolt has problems dealing with Goyf (one of the most annoying threats for us to deal with) and is also meh against recurring creatures (like Dredge). Even though Bolt has flaws, it is still our go to removal. The question is now, what secondary removal spells you want to play. If you are going into white or black you have access to either Path to Exile (+ more good removal like Blessed Alliance, Condemn,...) or Fatal Push/Terminate. The actual splash is also dependant on how you want to build the deck (regarding secondary win cons). However, if you decide to not splash a colour (cause you want to run Moon) or want to go with green (Channel version or for Goyf), than the lack of good removal spells starts to hurt.

    Vapor Snag, Echoing Truth, Roast and similar spells are decent enough spells to buy you time. Please do not forget, when you have not access to universal hard removal your main plan will always be the combo, since pushing damage through with creatures will be a harder task.

    Regarding the counters, Remand is the go to choice, regardless of what splash/version you are running. It does three things at once:
    a) It buys us time. Since we are not the fastest deck we can use something like a time walk very well.
    b) It is a cantrip, which is very important.
    c) Combo piece (for more infos, look down)

    The other counters should be chosen for your metagame. If you have a lot of BGx you might want to run more Spell Snares, if you are in a more linear metgame, go for Spell Pierce/more removal spells.


    The win cons

    At least the URw version I'm running has two different lines of winning the game:
    a) Beatdown with Mentor, Flipped Homunculus and other threats
    b) The Combo plan.

    Plan a) is very obvious. Since the URw version runs a lot of Prowess creatures you want to be able to chain spells together (also a reason, why 2 mana cantrips are worse in the URw shell). Even chaining 3-4 spells together means already a lot of damage, especially when Monastery Mentor is involved. The nice part is, that a part from our creatures (Homunculus + Baral) are also used in the combo plan. This way we are able to shift between different roles very fast and especially fluid without hurting either plan.

    Plan b) is more complicated. The basic run down looks like this:

    Requirement: EoT you have 4 lands in play, Gifts in hand and a Mancer effect in play for next turn. A Mancer effect is an effect, which reduces the casting cost of Instant and Sorceries by 1 or more

    • Cast Gifts Ungiven, grab: Desperate Ritual, Pyretic Ritual, Mana Morphose, PiF (Past in Flames)
    • 99% of the opponents will give you Morphose + PiF, since it is the worst combination.
    • Untap, go to mainphase. Now you have 4 initial Mana. Cast Morphose (1U, 4R, Storm 1), cast PiF (1U, 1R, Storm 2)
    • Flashback both Rituals (1U, 5R, Storm 4)
    • Flashback Gifts (0U, 3R, Storm 5) and grab Ritual, Revival, Grapeshot, Remand
    • Now there are 6 options:
      Grapeshot + Remand - cast Morphose (2U, 3R) Storm 6, Cast Grapeshot hold priority cast Remand targeting Grapeshot, recast Grapeshot (15 damage without any other spell, 2 mana floating)
      Revival + Grapeshot - Revival Remand for life + Morphose, Storm 7, same lines as before than (17 damage)
      Revival + Remand - see the one above, just replace Remand with Grapeshot (17 damage)

      Note: you could go flashback PiF here to increase the stormcount by 2, but most of the times it is not necessary.

      Ritual + Revival - cast Ritual, cast Revival putting Grapeshot on the top of your bib, cast Morphose (1U, 5R, Storm 8), flashback PiF (1U, 1R, Storm 9), recast Ritual and do the Grapeshot + Remand line again (23 damage)
      Ritual + Grapeshot - Ritual, flashback PiF (0U, 1R, Storm 7), Revival Ritual, Morphose, Ritual (1U, 3R, Storm 9) followed by standard Grapeshot line (21 damage)
      Ritual + Remand - Ritual, flashback PiF (0U, 1R, Storm 7), Revival Grapeshot, Morphose, Ritual (1U, 3R, Storm 9) followed by standard Grapeshot line (21 damage)

    If the opponent gives you any other combination with the first pile you just get more mana and instead of the Ritual in the second Gifts you grab a PiF instead.

    Also, if you are playing with more Rituals and he put PiF in your hand, you can do a 2x Ritual, Morphose + Gifts storm pile, which just adds up the Storm count (mana neutral but you need 1 more initial mana).

    An alternative second pile is with Manamorphose instead of the Ritual. It does basically the same thing as Ritual but generates more Storm usually. It has some small drawbacks on the other hand.

    Part 2 will come tomorrow, need to do some stuff today ^^

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 1

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Yes, check the last couple of pages for a original list before I did my "magic" Wink

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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