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Ravnica: The Broken Guildpact
  • 1

    posted a message on [AER] - Spoiler Discussion for Modern
    Only problem I have with Fatal Push is: crappy Artwork Frown

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Just my personal opinion, since I have played Solar Flare for quite some time in Modern (Esper Gifts with the reanimate package):

    I would rather have access to a Gifts based combo, which just closes the game for me out.

    Yes, a Gifts into Unburial Rites for Norn is great vs Infect, Affinity and co, but why not win on the spot instead? Why not grab the 4 combo cards and go the Mana Seism route? Furthermore, Removal, especially Path to Exile, Terminate, Lilliana of the Veil or other random cards (Cryptic Command, Vapor Snag, Blessed Alliance, Edict effects,...) are pretty darn good vs the Reanimator package.

    That is the reason, why I stopped playing Solar Flare, it is a great and cool deck, but the actual Unburial Rites combo is rather meh. The best creature you can grab is Elesh Norn vs Aggro and Griselbrand vs everything else, since he at least draws you cards before he dies.


    As for methods for brewing (in general) I'm doing this:

    a) What is my goal (so do I want to play card X and try to enable it (Gifts, Possible Storm, Griselbrand,...), do I want to create a specific Archetype, do I want to have access to a transformal SB, which colours do I want to run,...)

    b) After you got your goal roughly down (like Gifts list with Unburial Rites package + maybe a transformal SB) you have to think, in what colours does it fit (if you have not chosen the colour based route). In this step, you have to think, what kind of deck exactly you want to run. For example, Gifts + Rites pushes you kinda already in the Uwb colours. Hence, it would fit nicely in a Esper deck. However, since you realistically only need UW you can also "splash" the Rites package in a RUg deck for example. This is especially important, since it defines what kind of deck it will be. A RUG Control deck will hardly work, but if you replace G with B or W than you have suddenly access to some great control cards.

    c) When you got that one down, you can start to build your deck with the package which you want to run in it's core.


    It helps a lot, if you have access to a rough list before hand (as I had with the UR Mancer version). Some ideas, like the Mentor MD came from testing and some discussions with other non Combo players since I realised on how slim you can hold the combo package.

    And than you have to do a lot of try and error to get to a somewhat working list. This is especially true, when you are brewing at combo or tempo decks. There, slight changes to the deck can change everything.

    Hope, I could help you.

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 2

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Re-re-re-re-report time Wink

    For the list, see above. SB was:



    I didn't think, that the store would have those Researchs, but since he had, I just went ahead and slammed those ^^

    Round 1 vs Grixis Delver

    Game 1: I had a good start with cantrips into Mentor with Protection. However, since he had Delver (only Path as removal, which I was forced to use) into removal + Tasigur into triple Bolt I was kinda dead before I was able to set-up a Gifts chain ftw

    Game 2: I got stuck on mana + he had a really nice draw again. When I had 4 lands in play + a Homunculus (not able to flip) he went EoT Kolaghans, return Snappy, let me discard. I went Gifts in response, he went counter, I went Spell Pierce. I was able to grab 4 cards, however, he untapped, played Collective Brutality (discard, kill Homunculus) and Tasigur. Since I drew all 3 Arid Mesa I was low on life again and a Bolt into Snap Bolt into Tasigur activation sealed the deal before I was able to utilise the Gifts I resolved earlier.


    Round 2 vs Mono Red Lantern Control ft. 4 Bolts, 4 Galvanic Bolts and more burn

    Game 1 was a nightmare. He had surgical in hand (saw it from a Probe) and since he had so much removal I was unable to stick any beater. It didn't help, that I was stuck on 4 lands for a rather long time, so Mentor into a single spell was the best thing I could do.

    However, he let me draw lands and through a really weird turn I was able to both draw and cast a Gifts, setting up another Gifts into kill within 3 turns. The only problem was, he drew 12 points of burn within 2 turns, which forced me to Gifts for a counter pile (was at 11 but need that Noxious Revival to win) and hope, that he misplays. He did, since he both gave me the false pile and sequenced his burn in a wrong fashion, which bought me enough time to win that game. Totally not deserved.

    Game 2 I was able to stick a Homunculus, flip him, attack once, play a second one and start to chain Gifts (after he went mill -> fetch, reveal another Gifts -> crack Lantern -> draw Gifts) for the win.

    By the way, did I mention, that casting a Gifts for 2 mana is kinda broken?


    Round 3 vs Infect

    Game 1 was a slugfest. The amount of interaction from both sides were insane. On one turn I went PiF into flashback Bolts/Paths/Spell Pierce cause otherwise he would have killed me next turn. However, after this "value" PiF I was able to close the game out with a Jace's Sanctum cantripping another Gifts into my hand and than go off by casting 3 Bolts + Grapeshot.

    Game 2 was a, yeah, what was it?

    My hand was: Mountain, Glacial Fortress, Homunculus, 2 Bolts, 1 Path, 1 Spell Pierce

    You see the problem?

    He drew more mana than me and thus was able to kill me with an Inkmoth Nexus (best card vs that hand, since I do not have two turns to interact with it but only one).

    Game 3 was a classic Homunculus game. Turn 2 Humunculus, turn 4 flip into Gifts for removal and do some beatdowns. Since he forgot about the Mana reduction ability from the flipped Homunculus he went all in with a Inkmoth, going Pendalhaven, attack (trigger Exalted), in response Bolt, he in response Become Immense, I Remand for 1 mana, he Spell Pierce but I had 2 mana left.

    Yes, that Bolt was tricky, but since I knew, that I would die to a Become Immense + Dispel either way, I went for it.


    Round 4 vs Meerfolk

    Game 1 I had the turn 4 kill through two counters (Spell Pierce, the 1 mana creature) Dancing Banana

    If you want to do the brain exercise on how I did it, go ahead ^^

    Game 2 was an interesting one. He had a Vial into a boatload of Meerfolk. I had the removal to match but he got he down to 6 life in that process also because of a Deprive + Dispel on the two Gifts I attempted to cast (second one was a Snapcaster attempt).

    On one turn I went for the Docent of Perfection fully aware, that either a Lord or Master of Wave from the Vial would kill me. He had the Master and so I died.

    I made a mistake on turn 1 with the Serum Visions. I should have kept the PiF on top and draw it, since it would have allowed me to do a removal PiF later in the game.

    Game 3 was not that interesting, since he was stuck on 1 land for several turns and I had a double Homunculus draw.



    Thoughts about the list: Homunculus was the second best card in the whole deck (besides Gifts of course). What the card offers is insane, especially when you go untap, tap for mana, transform, cast Gifts with the 1 floating. Also, the 3/4 body with Prowess is just huge. One spell a turn is nothing unusual at all, so he becomes Goyf stats, two are the norm (but in the post board games) which results into 5 damage already.

    Besides this, at least the main deck was solid. I do not know, how the transformational board is, since I only did it once (vs Grixis Delver) but even there I think, that sticking to the combo plan is better.

    So, moar testing required, but the list makes a ton of fun and the brute strength is from time to time pretty surprising.

    Thoughts?

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 2

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Moar brainstorming (+ actual testing):



    No Sideboard, since this was just put together to see, if it even works. The thought process was, since I was killing opponents quite a lot with flipped Homunculus, I wanted to see, if I could build something similar compared to the old RUG Twin lists, which had with Goyf a good secondary win con (or rather the primary one when you look at the boarding plans).

    I played 8 rounds vs Jund ft 4 Rise//Fall and 3 Snapcaster Mage and 4 rounds vs Grixis Delver.

    Vs Blue Jund:

    His 5 targeted Discard spells + 4 Rise/Falls were quite annoying, but most of the times I was able to recover using either Jace's Sanctum, casting value PiFs (thus drawing a couple of cards or even randomly killing him thanks to a Jace's Snactum), simply going Gifts -> stuff -> win or attacking with Mentor + couple of tokens + Homunculus.

    Won 6, lost 2, in one loss I flooded out pretty badly (had an active Mentor + Homunculus vs 1 Flayer, 1 Goyf, 1 Kalitas (pumped once) and 2 EE @4/0). Was not able to find a PiF, Gifts or cantrips to win through that board. The other loss was, because I was mana screwed (drew only 3 lands over the whole game, while I had 2 Gifts + 1 PiF in hand). On the other hand, thanks to Gifts I was able to recover from some really bad positions, I just kinda want another Path like card, so that I can tutor for: Bolt, Path, Revial, Path like card. Sadly, there is no card like this in Modern (Deceleration in Stone would be the next best, but without Instant speed it is crappy).


    Vs Grixis Delver:

    Won 3 lost 1, the loss was a Delver, into flip + Delver + Thoughtseize, into flip + K-Command (discard, shoot damage), into lethal. Wasn't able to draw a Bolt or Path, after he got rid of the one Bolt in my hand with the Seize (drew it from the cantrip).


    Deck looks fun and also quite good.

    I want to point out, that you can still kill people on turn 4 with that line (only works, if you have one of the following in the hand: Revival, Morphose, Ritual)

    Turn 1 + 2: do stuff and cast spells
    Turn 3: cast Homunculus (he needs to survive)
    Turn 4: float mana from Homunculus, transform him, cast Gifts with the flooting mana (1 land untapped) for the standard pile (2 Rituals, Morphose, PiF)
    If you have the Ritual or Morphose in your hand, you can just win now. If you have the Revival, you go Revival a Ritual (from the Gifts pile IF the opp gave you Morphose + PiF), which results into the same. If you have drew the one off Pyretic Ritual, than you have to change the pile into: Ritual, Morphose, Revival, PiF to get the kill.

    Now, you can do the standard combo execution (cast Rituals into PiF, cast them again, cast Gifts, search for the second combo half, kill the opp).

    Note: You still need the landdrop (as any other turn 4 kill but the turn 2 Mancer into turn 3 Gifts one).


    As for sideboard, I had a "interesting" idea (based on the comments earlier):

    - 2 Desperate Ritual
    - 1 Pyretic Ritual
    - 1 Grapeshot
    - 2 Past in Flames
    + 2 Keranos, God of Storms
    + 2 Research/Development
    + 2 interaction elements (+ the normal sideboarding elements).

    This way you can grab the combo from the sideboard, if necessary. It makes the combo turn 2 mana more expensive and you need another U source, which can be problematic. So basically, you would do the following:

    - cast research, grab 2 Rituals, 1 PiF, 1 Grapeshot (plays around a Surgical on something btw, if you do not want to play around it, go for 3 Rituals, 1 Pif)
    - Gifts for 2 Rituals, 1 PiF, 1 Morphose (you will get PiF + Morphose usually, if the opp gives you another combination, it makes the whole combo turn easier)

    untap now, 5 lands in play, Mancer effect in play
    - Morphose into PiF (3 mana left - storm 2)
    - 2 Rituals (7 mana - storm 4)
    - Research for second half of the combo (5 mana - storm 5)
    - Gifts for Revival, Ritual, Grapeshot, Morphose (2 mana - storm 6)

    Here is the problem at the second Gifts (and why you need +2 mana in the worst case): This pile only works, if you have a Remand in the graveyard and thus you only need +1 mana compared to the normal combo line. However, if you do not have a Remand, since you trade the Morphose in for the Remand. You need +2 mana since the flashback cost on PiF costs 4 mana with a Mancer effect in play. However, at the same time, you could already have the Revival in hand (or the second Morphose) which would nullify this problem (you go Revival a Ritual, Morphose into it, cast Ritual and than cast Pif or in the case of the Morphose you get the required +1 mana)

    However, if you have a Probe in the grave and the opponent gives you the revival, you can get back the Ritual with the Revival, go Morphose (that one chilling in your graveyard from the first PiF), grab that Ritual, cast it and than go Pif into Ritual, Revival the Grapeshot, Morphose it (from the second Gifts) and go Grapeshot into Remand Grapeshot.

    Than again, if the opponent is low enough (and you have a Bolt in the graveyard) you do not even need to do the Grapeshot + Remand trick, which spares you the U mana you would need.


    Bottom line is: If you use Research to grab the pieces, you need +1 mana most of the times, +2 mana if you have nothing in the grave/hand compared to a normal Gifts chain.


    The only reason I would consider this is, that Development is not that bad per se, drawing 3 for 5 at Instant speed is okay-ish or getting the tokens, when you have enough removal in the deck to clean the way for them (Bolt/Path).


    Changes I would do to the maindeck:

    -1 Island, +1 Lighthouse (want to test it)

    Sideboard would be something along this line:
    2 Keranos, God of Storms,
    2 Research//Development
    2 Surgical Extraction
    1 Path to Exile
    1 Wear//Tear
    1 Disenchant
    1 Negate
    1 Spell Pierce
    1 Dispel
    1 Pyroclasm
    1 Hyrcals Recall
    1 Docent of Perfection

    Will play again this evening (small tournament again), will report probably tomorrow ^^

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

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Another small tournament:



    Small change: -2 Anticipate, +2 Sleight of Hands (are better with Mentor, that's why).

    Round 1 vs Mono Red Burn 2-0

    Game 1 I had Bolt + Remand + Morphose into Hommunculus, flip into combo (Turn 4 kill). Played the Morphose because of getting 3 Sorcs/Instants in the grave + to keep up Spell Pierce

    Game 2 strange game. I stabilised at 7 life, he finds two Bolts, puts me down to 1 after playing draw and go forever. In the meantime I beat down with a flipped Hommunculus (while keeping up Bolt). He drew a blank for 3 turns while I drew 5 lands in a row (also unlucky) but in the end, I was able to Gifts him out with PiF into 4 Bolts.


    Round 2 vs Infect 1-2

    Cool match vs a full Japo Infect deck + a very good player

    Game 1 he gets stuck on 3 lands with a lot of gas. I draw 2 Bolts to handle both Agents, Grapeshot a Hierarch + Arbor and comboed off after landing a Jace's Sanctum through a Spell Pierce

    Game 2 I was on the receiving end of the mana problems. I kept: Polluted, Path, Remand, Sleight, Serum Visions, Gifts, Spell Pierce

    I didn't find a land in the first 4 turns and died to a pumped up Infecter with three protection spells vs Path (Vines + 2x Defence)

    Game 3 was very interesting. I shot down his board with Bolts/Grapehots/Path but cannot keep up with his threat density (he found 4 threats that game). So instead of trying to clean the board again, I went for Mancer instead of keeping Gifts mana open (6 mana which would have gotten me a Removal spell). Of course, he drew the Become Immense from the top Frown

    I was thinking it through, but there was no pile which could have handled that scenario IF I play the Mancer. I had not enough R and especially W mana available, especially how I tapped my mana :/


    Round 3 vs BW Death and Eldrazies

    Game 1 he gets stuck on 1 land + Vial, I bounce the Vial with Echoing Truth (felt dirty as heck) and killed him with 2 Hommunculus (didn't want to show him the combo).

    SB: - random stuff (most of them were counters), +1 Wear/Tear, +2 Mentor, +1 Anger, +2 Paths, +1 Empty

    Game 2 went pretty long and the board ended in this situation:

    He: 2 cards in hand, 2 TKS + Displacer + Cage in play, 3 untapped mana
    Me: Jace's Sanctum and unflipped non sum sic Hommunculus in play (forgot the trigger last turn), 2 Gifts, 1 Ritual, 1 Pif, 1 Bolt, 6 lands untapped + stacked graveyard.

    Question: What is the line to win now?

    I give you an tip, it is easy, you just need to play around the one blink, be it a discard or a blink on the flip from the Hommunculus.




    I found it and failed horrible GrrrAAAAAH

    You go Gifts (4 mana in pool, use the Hommunculus mana), grab Wear/Tear, Echoing Truth, Morphose, Revival. He gives you Morphose + Revival, you go Revival, get the Truth back, untap. If he blinks TKS now, you can let it resolve, since you have the win either way (if he takes Gifts, you can go PiF into win, cause you draw the Echoing Truth, same is true, if he takes the PiF and puts the other one in the graveyard, since the Revival is already in the grave and thus you do not need the second flashback (even than, I would have been able to Bolt him to death)).

    If he blinks the Hommunculus, you go Morphose, into Echoing Truth into Gifts (tap Hommunculus for mana) and combo him out. This is able, cause of the Ritual in your hand (+ the PiF which makes the whole pile 1 mana less).

    But what did I do?

    I went for the first Gifts (4 mana remaining), go Revival + Morphose and than Gifts again GrrrAAAAAH

    As you see, no mana left to cast that echoing truth and he snapped it with his TKS.

    Me so dumb right here.

    I untap, casted a couple of spells to get maybe to Mentor or Empty (both would have been outs here) but fail so and die horrible to my own punt.


    Game 3 he had the nuts.

    With nuts I MEAN nuts. Turn 1 Vial, turn 2 Thalia (Remand), Turn 3 Cage + RiP + Thalia (from Vial), I bolt her in my turn, he wents Leonin Arbiter into TKS into Arbiter into double Ghost Quarter.

    Exactly nothing I can do here. I would need to draw a Path, than Wear/Tear and than removal spells for the two Arbiters to have a shot of winning, but since he attacks for 8 per turn, screw that.



    Round 4 vs Bant Spirits

    Game 1 Hommunculus beat down again + PiF into Bolts were enough to kill him

    Game 2 I got again stuck on mana + he went Hierarch into Gheist into Queller for the Anger into Queller for the Bolt on Queller into Steel of the Godhand for the Gheist.

    #welcome to standard magic

    Game 3 we played draw and go for like forever. I played a Mancer, he a Wanderer + Hierarch and attacked each others for a couple of turns. Since he played turn 1 untapped Hallowed Fountain I knew, he had a Path in hand (or a Spell Pierce). In the meantime, I have two Angers in my hand not willing to cast them. I was able to counter a RiP with a Spell Pierce, which was great.

    However, than I made a misplay, which costed me the game. He went CoCo, I went Spell Pierce, missing that he was able to pay for it. So I had to Remand it too, but I lost the value from Spell Pierce later on. Why? Cause when he recasted CoCo the next EoT from me, he only hit Queller, untapped and went Steel of the God hand on the Queller. If I would have had the Spell Pierce, which I wasted earlier, I would have been able to counter this (he played something already this turn) Frown

    So yeah, I went for Mentor, he Pathed it, I bounce it with Echoing Truth (that was the turn before the Spell Queller into Steel of the God hands btw) to establish some board threads.

    My next turn was funny to say it this way. I went Gifts (capable to win this turn, if it resolves), he wents Spell Queller, grab that Gifts, I went Anger, he goes another Queller (third one btw), I go Bolt on the Queller with the Anger, clear the board but the Queller with the Steel of the God hands.

    I was btw 1 red short for double Anger here.

    The gifts grabbed the standard 3 Rituals + PiF pile.

    I was at 6 at this point, the Queller was a 4/5. I would just need to dodge a pump for 2 (coco into 2 Lords or Hierarchs would work, as a Hierarch + pump from Township, he had 1 card in hand at that point).

    Guess what he had in his hand? Right, another Steel of the Godhand GrrrAAAAAH

    I lost that game because of two reasons:
    a) I wasted that Spell Pierce
    b) I fetched wrong so many turns ago (fetched basic Island instead of Steam Vents)



    Thoughts:

    Deck makes a ton of fun, though I noticed, that I enjoy the controlling route more than the Mancer route. Hence, I will likely play the 4c madness again, instead of the URw Mancer version EVEN THOUGH the Mancer effects are just broken in this deck.

    Mentor was better than last time, especially since I played him more careful (kept a counter/bounce up or was able to generate at least some number of tokens at any given time). So, thumps up for him for now.

    The Fastlands are garbage, I need the Sulfur Falls instead (had the problem already a couple of times, sucks big time), a Disenchant instead of a Wear/Tear in the SB (to have a RiP proof pile with bounce, wear/tear, disenchant) and some other smaller changes (I want a Desolated Lighthouse in my manabase for sure). 3 Gifts seem like the correct number for me, especially, when you are running the Scroll (though, I boarded it out in the fast match-ups, since it did nothing for me).

    Feedback?

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

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    There is no stock list, as simple as it is, since max a couple of people are playing it at any given time.

    So, the closest to a list, which sees regular play is this one: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/deck-creation-modern/554956-ritual-gifts?comment=237 (there are some updates after that post, so read those too).

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 2

    posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Metagame Discussion Thread (Updated 6/12/2016)
    Guys, please, for heaven sakes, no do not things like the mtgtop8 and goldfish metagame list for any discussion. Both of them are super flawed, since they lack a ton of paper events (if they included Paper events at all like MTGGoldfish), even some bigger ones (thinking about the MKM series for example). Hence, ALWAYS use the Modern Nexus Top Page for this. It includes both online results as paper tournaments and is by far the most accurate one.

    Current top 12 decks:

    Tier 1:
    Bant Eldrazi - 9,2%
    Burn - 8,1%
    Infect - 7,6%
    Jund - 6,5%
    Affinity - 7,5%
    Dredge - 4,2%
    Abzan - 4,0%

    Tier 2:
    Jeskai Control - 3,0%
    RG Valakut/Titan Breach - combined 4,6%, seperated 1,6/3,0
    Ad Nauseam - 2,1%
    Death and Taxes - 1,5%


    So, if I group everything the "fair" and "unfair" together, it looks like this:
    "fair": BGx, Jeskai, Eldrazi, DnT - 24,2%
    "unfair": rest - 34,1%

    The MTG Goldfish metagame shows this:
    "fair": (including Lantern Control and WR Prison Control) - 17,82%
    "unfair": rest - 40,86%

    Look at the differences and think about it and than both of you will hopefully realise, that using a flawed statistic for argumentation is just a brainfart.

    Greetings,
    Kathal

    PS: I have been doing this since a while (so comparing different data sets) and the one from Modern Nexus is by far the most accurate and trustworthy one. I also do those "fair" vs "unfair" check ups quite frequently (combining Tier 1 and 2 basically) and we had way worse times, were we had roughly 52% of "unfair" decks in Tier 1/2. However, since the amount of DIFFERENT "unfair" decks increased (be it Suicide Bloo, Zooicide, Dredge or w/e other deck you are thinking about) the whole issue got noticed, since you cannot have those universal good SB cards vs most of the unfair decks anymore but you need to include silverbullets of some form in the MD/SB.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • 1

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    The reason, why I currently like Jace's Sanctum is, that it is a 4 drop Mancer effect with some upside.

    Why is that so important? IoK and Decay does not hit that card in the BGx match-up, so when it lands, it sticks (but when they find that 1 off Pulse (if they are even running it currently)). Also, it helps to find the combo too, since the amount of scrys you are doing is pretty insane (see my report, when I scried through 3/4 of my deck just to whiff, cause both Storm cards were at the bottom of the deck (would have needed to scry/draw 39 cards to get there)

    The reason, why it is so good (or in general, why Mancer effects are so good in this shell), is because of this:

    4 lands in play, 1 Ritual in hand, 1 Gifts, EOT from your opp

    You go Gifts, grab 2 Rituals, Morphose, PiF (he gives you Morphose + PiF, cause everything else is a mistake ^^ )

    Untap.

    Go Ritual (1, 3R), Morphose (2, 3R 1U)
    PiF (3, 0R, 1U) Note: you still have 3 untapped lands
    3x Ritual (6, 6R, 1U) Note: two untapped lands
    Gifts (7, 4R, 0U) - grab Grapeshot, Revival, Morphose, Remand

    If he gives you Morphos + Remand (worst pile he can give you), you go cast Mophose (8, 4R, 1U), Flashback PiF (9, 0R, 1U), Flashback Revival (put Grapeshot on top of the bib) (9, 0R, 1U) flashback both Morphose (11, 2R, 1U), 1 land untapped, cast Grapehsot (12, 1R,1U) cast remand, targeting Grapeshot, cast Grapeshot again - deal 25 damage


    As you can see, a Mancer effect makes the whole combo turn way easier to execute and also to play around hate (we have always at least 1 mana spare, if you draw another ritual even more). Furthermore, a Gifts with 2 Rituals + Morphose + PiF is exactly mana neutral, since you generate 6 mana and you need 6 mana for both Gifts + PiF. Hence, you can basically add this step before the last one to add 6 storm, which ups the damage to 37 damage. If you have two Mancer effects out, it gets even more absurd, since you are actually generating Mana with this "loop".

    That is the reason, why I want to test more with the Mancer version, since it allows you to not play crappy cards like Channel the Suns (my poor japo foil copy Frown ), Mana Seism and co. Yes, the Rituals are also rather bad on their own, but they can still be used to power out a turn 3 Gifts or Sanctum (if you are running Sanctum) into a possible turn 4 kill (had this so far once, where I went turn 1 cantrip, turn 2 Mancer, turn 3 Mancer + Remand, turn 4 combo off (paying 2 Mana for Gifts is more than dirty feeling)).


    Regarding RUG, if you want to play a RUG deck, I suggest, that you are playing either RUG Delver or RUG Ruse, both good decks but sadly no "combo" decks (RUG Ruse can build a "hardlock" with Eternal Witness + Cryptic Command/Familiar's Ruse + Aether Vial and has a tutor package cause of Traverse). I feel, that those two decks are better than the so far developed RUG Ritual Gifts decks. Than again, if somebody comes up with something new, than this can change pretty fast ^^


    Regarding the URw version, I tested a little bit more. While Mentor is bonkers, he is not as good, when people do not board out their removal, cause they have seen Electromancer and Homunculus. Hence, I'm thinking to try Thing in the Ice out, since it survives Bolt, which is the most important removal spell currently. Than again, this allows me to run a better cantrip set-up, which is always nice ^^

    Greetings,
    Kathal

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 1

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    The reason, why the Ramp version got "invented" was, to make the classic RUG Ritual Gifts version a turn faster (you can go turn 3 gifts into turn 4 win).

    If you want to play a more control game with the Combo as one of the win cons, than look at the 4c version (UWrg), see here: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/deck-creation-modern/554956-ritual-gifts?comment=218

    Regarding the second Revival, you can run it, but it is always the worst card in the deck (cause it does nothing on its own and need other cards to function properly). Though, I see the merits of running a second copy, but than you have to cut something else, which is the problem. Instead I would rather play an IV (Increasing Vengeance), since the copy + flashback interaction is highly relevant (the amount of Gifts I forced through with an IV are pretty absurd).

    The Remand vs Steve problem is as big as Logic Knot vs Steve (or any other two mana spell you actually want to cast on turn 2). However, since we want in general a tempo based game, Remand is a lot better in this regard, even though if we have to cast it on turn 3 (or go turn 2 Remand, turn 3 Steve + Bolt, turn 4 Gifts with Counter backup). Just test the deck with Remand, you will understand what nonsense I'm talking here (second best card in the deck besides Gift) ^^

    I just want to mention, that Bant Eldrazi runs between 3 and 4 Cavern of Souls, which makes Rejection a lot worse (still a good cards vs Tron, but Tron is not a problematic match-up imo).

    In general, I want to test some different builds over the holidays, first and foremost the straight UR Mancer version, than the more UR Sanctum version (cause the Mance effect is just so bonkers) and than the 4c version, probably with Sanctum as a two off (still need to build a list for it though).

    IMO, the Mancer effects are just to good to not play them. It reduces the cost for the combo turn by a lot and you can avoid running stuff like Mana Seism. However, Jace's Sanctum (the most resilient one) costs 4 mana, so you kinda want more of those 3 mana sweepers to clear the board before landing a "do nothing" card.

    So, happy brewing and testing ^^

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

    posted a message on [Primer] Ritual Gifts
    Hey man!

    If you want to read infos about how the deck evolved and how it works, read this blog: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/userblogs/musings-of-the-false-god

    Regarding Metagame, use the Moder Nexus Rating which composes close to every Modern tournament, which gets published (which are a ton). It is also way more accurate than any other statistic I have found so far. Furthermore, the forum update is done by that table, which is also an indicator, that it is the best available. Besides this, it is also a nice site for a ton of useful modern exclusive articles ^^


    Regarding Counters (general stuff):

    The difference between this deck and something like UW Control and Esper Draw & Go is, that it is not a Control deck. Sure, I played a Control-ish version back with Seething Song, but the aim was still to win at turn 5 on average and if necessary on turn 4.

    Especially the Channel+IV version plays more like UR Twin than something like "traditional" control. You have some numbers of removal and interaction elements and normally 1-3 Snappies (depends on the exact list and how you want to play it). It tries to generate Tempo in the early game, so that you can set-up a turn 4 Gifts into Turn 5 win.

    However, running cards like Logic Knot here, is not really an option. Especially since you are running the Ramp Package with Steve instead of Search you cannot hold up Logic Knot on turn 2 (where you really want it). Furthermore, while Logic Knot is a card, which handles stuff, it does not help you find stuff. Hence, I would always run Condescend over it, since the Scry 2 is just huge, when you are trying to find 1 specific card.

    Hence, for your list I would trade those two Logic Knots in for 1 Condescend and 1 Spell Pierce (see below for the reason)

    Cantrip set-up:
    What I have learned over the time I played this deck (now again and back at Seething Song times) was, that running less than 5 ways to find a Gifts makes you extremely clunky and slow. This is the reason, why @Lord Hazanko played 4 Scrolls AND 1 Dig (best card ever for the deck, so sad it is gone) along the other "cycling" effects (Izzet Charm, Remand, Electrolyze).

    For me, I'm currently only 3 Gifts, since drawing more than 1 is most of the times just a waste of a card, since it is to clunky. At the same time, I added a low costed Cantip in there (be it a Sleight of Hands, Faithless Looting or something like Anticipate) which helps me to find the few MD silverbullets I have (Anger, Electrolyze, Negate and Echoing Truth in the URx Mancer version, or something like Verdict, Martial Coup, Colonnade, Storage Lands, Path and Helix in the 4c Version).

    Also, not running 4 Serum Visions is something strange, especially since we are already in U and it is the best available Cantrip to find non colourless, non U instant stuff (Stirrings, Scroll) is strange. Finding those silverbullets, which is especially important currently, when you want those Angers asap in some match-ups, is just to important to skip something like Serum Visions.

    Furthermore, as somebody who plays close to only Combo and Tempo in Modern it feels really wrong to not play 8+ Turn 1 plays, since the tempo loss most of the times makes just a to big impact (it basically turns your on the play into a on the draw and an on the draw into a Timewalk for the opp).


    Board wipes:
    Even though, the Gifts pile of the three board wipes + value card is something nice to have, it is not good. Why? Both Firespout and Pyroclams are currently strictly worse than Anger. Heck, they are so bad, that I wouldn't even run them in the SB currently. Hence, instead of playing a 2/1/1 split, run the full playset (or at least 3 and add a Cantrip) since you are always able to build a Revival, Anger, Snappy, land pile to get your anger back in your hand (there is no combination, where you are not able to cast Anger).

    Which brings me to the next point, spot removal.

    The current Tier 1 decks are (from most common to least common): Bant Eldrazi, Burn, Infect, Affinity, Jund, Dredge, Junk

    The match-ups, where you really want Bolt are everything but Junk (as long as they do not run a Flayer version, where it is good again) and Dredge (even there it can buy you time and is better than something like Roast).

    You want that Bolt vs all those linear decks, especially vs Infect, Affinity and Burn (Eidolon is a pain in the ass to deal with otherwise). Furthermore, you generally want a good interaction suite vs them, so you also want some cheap counter spells like Spell Pierce (awesome vs Burn and Infect, okey-ish vs Affinity). Than again, Spell Pierce also deals with other problematic cards, like a turn 1 discard spell, when you are on the play, or turn 3 Lilli, so the card is also useful vs other decks.

    To get back to the removal suite.

    I would just try to race Bant Eldrazi game 1, since we are the combo deck and they only have 4 TKS which can interact with us. Hence, I would skip on the Roasts and play instead more Bolts, which are also slowing them down (they run 5-7 Bird effects as another Temple basically). In close to every other match-up Bolt is just way better, including the Tier 2 decks where you just want to burn somebodies face from time to time (makes a natural Storm kill also easier (been there, done that)).

    Hence, kick those two Roast and add 2 Lightning Bolts.


    Regarding the Sideboard, I cannot give you a proper suggestion, but I just want to point out, that Sudden Shock is kinda useless vs Suicide Bloo (that UR aggro deck), since their main thread is Thing in the Ice.

    Disrupting Shoal is garbage in this deck, just trust me on this one. Not enough U cards with a bad curve too and you cannot pitch some cards (like Gifts). Otherwise, the card is also pretty crappy, which does not make it better to run the card.

    As for deck name, Ritual Gifts is the "official" name, when the deck had some good results at GPs.

    Greetings,
    Kathal
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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