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May 16, 2019I know I've been mostly absent over the last 18 months. I have a two week block of leave scheduled in June; for one of those weeks I'll be at a scout camp, but for the other I'll be mostly free so I intend to overhaul the primer, which last had a good cleanup in 2016.Posted in: Control
Zach Allen's list and the phoenix/dredge meta
Jan 30, 2019So IDK why this primer was listed as unclaimed but I'm still around if people want to work on a primer update.Posted in: Control
Most of the discussion seems to have moved to the #controlfreaks discord, for better or for worse.
Pimpdonny and moondrius still stream regularly but neither does video content.
Esper has been in a poor place for a few months with the fall of midrange; I personally switched to miracles in november and it appears I will be stuck there until terminus is no longer a must-play over verdict.
Aug 29, 2018This particular event for me didn't feel like a case of the deck being bad. I lost two rounds to opponent having exactly what they needed at the exact correct time--once to opponent who was dead on board drawing their 2-of out, and one of the humans player having a champion/double lieutenant draw into my sweeper, and them having exactly mantis rider/double phantasmal image as their leftovers. IT happens. That's two rounds that were literally "opponent just had perfects. Oh well, it's magic/modern". I wasn't in particular danger at either of those spots. I had cryptic up and baneslayers on the table vs bridgevine. I had 8 life after sweeping humans. their three cards in hand turned into 9 hasty damage. oh well. The matchup that felt the most helpeless was tron, and that's because we really do have a wrong-half-of-deck problem there.Posted in: Control
Like, bridgevine felt favorable in the best of 3. Mardu felt very favorable. I think we're heavily favored against random tier three decks and brews because our sideboard is so robust. Humans admittedly is a weaker matchup for my build, but that was a conscious choice, and I'm OK with how that match turned out.
The loss to tron is the kind of loss that's just going to happen--it might be a 60-40 best of three, but that means we still lose almost half our matches there. It is what it is.
Aug 26, 2018I played in the open yesterday in Baltimore, and I dropped at 4-4 (3-4 in matches, one opponent no-show in round four at X-1).Posted in: Control
I played this 75:
I played against bridgevine twice, humans, mardu pyromancer, jeskai "cheese", green tron, and a mono black vehicles shell (deck was sweet, heard the dude lost his win and in for day 2).
I split the matches against bridgevine, but I won one 2-0 and lost the other 1-2, to the bridgevine player's literal only out being greater gargadon as an uncounterable sack outlet, and he ripped it off the top. This matchup felt very favorable overall, which is good because it was a deck I had specifically in mind for this tournament.
Mardu pyromancer was a clean win--I lost g1 to a blood moon, but otherwise completely smashed him. He took a lot of lines that I think were objectively terrible, and he could have mounted a much better defense, but I still don't think I would've lost either of the SB games even if he had played better.
Green tron did tron things. I got karned out of the game G1, and in G3 I thoughtseized his hand, saw it was a pile of trash with an ancient stirrings, took ancient stirrings, and he ripped stirrings off the top. If he hadn't had that stirrings to dig for the 2nd tron piece, I would've had time to get to cryptic mana for my double cryptic hand before he could get to karn/ugin mana. Such is life. Ban ancient stirrings (or unban preordain).
The jeskai player was super cheesy. G1 he had 2 jace, 2 teferi, a gideon of the trials in his mainboard, with like two cryptics and no other countermagic that I saw. He won a super long and drawn out game one on the back of gideon being a super house against creeping tar pit, so I wasn't able to beat down his teferi after he'd discarded or played all 4 bolts, 3 paths, and 2 helices. game two, he brought in FOUR geist of saint traft, 2 dispels and a negate. he kept in all the burn, and cheesed the g2 win--i had verdicts still in the deck because I expected something like that, but didn't have it in the opener and couldn't find it soon enough. I don't know how this joker was planning to win against the decks that are actually popular, but whatever.
Mono black vehicles was pretty sweet. Dude took game one off of me pretty handily. Unfortunately for him, my sideboard was fairly well suited to turning that around in sideboarded games, and between smashing him g2 and his flood g3 he never really had a chance in the sideboarded games.
The humans matchup was rough. I got game one pretty handily. Game two, I got punished for playing blessed alliance over fatal push, as an uncounterable gaddock teeg blocked my sweepers and I never had a chance to take it off the board. G3, I had a pretty clean sweep turn 4 on the draw, and his turn 5 was to vial in mantis rider and cast two phantasmal images... It's gotta be nice to have perfects every time right? That's how you win in modern apparently.
Overall, I was reasonably happy with how the deck performed. I went 3-4 in matches played, but it could super easily have been 5-2 if a couple of topdecks or hands had broken in my favor the other way. The only wins I had that felt like close calls were against bridgevine, and I think that's a quality of our archetype--when we win, it's almost always very very clean and commanding. I made the right call on mainboard timely reinforcements, and there was a good amount of burn, bridgevine, kci and hollow one at the top tables, but despite my 3-1 start to the day, I just ran into awkward matchups--my 2nd loss was to humans in the x-1 bracket, which was fine, but then I got paired with the jeskai cheese deck to fall to 4-3, with tron to round out my misery for the day.
Having seen the room, I was pretty happy with the list and I probably would've run pretty close to this list if I'd known the meta beforehand. Modern is modern and it's better to be lucky than good.
Jul 4, 2018Posted in: ControlQuote from RafiqEDH »I vastly preferred having only a single zenith as my wincon, plus colonnades.
I would say not only is it possible, but its actually better.
Generally speaking, A graph of number of wincons on the Y and effectiveness of winning on the X is going to be U shaped, assuming the wincons in question fit the deck.
Building your deck to have only 1 wincon (being WSZ, or comparable) is frequently very effective. Your entire deck is streamlined to use it, and you won't get clogged down drawing random cards in the midgame when you need more answers. You need the wraths and the logic knots first to even get to the point where having a wincon matters.
Another deck to look at would be storm: 90% of storm decks play 3 or fewer wincons. The effectiveness of grapeshot (or tendrils or empty), and the deck as a whole, decreases the more wincons you add. You need a critical mass of rituals and cantrips in order for the deck to function at all first and foremost.
Then decks like burn or affinity or humans are on the other end of the scale. Everything in their deck is a threat, and while some things are bigger threats than others, it all adds up. They do require synergy/raw numbers though. Playing burn with some random card instead of the lava spikes and the boros charms is going to make the deck much worse, because it relies on having a critical mass of these wincons.
Now the obvious counterpoint to this would be something like jund, that has only ~15 creatures. It seems reasonable to say that adding or removing a significant amount of creatures to jund is unlikely to improve it, and that is somewhat true.
The major difference here is that jund's discard takes answers to your threats. If you push a champion of the parish, humans just plays another one. They need 2 threats here. Jund is more interested in just taking the push so the first goyf sticks. Fundamentally, the discard spell could just be another goyf here.
Don't play DLO. I do like the card, but it just doesn't belong here. We rely far too much on sweepers for him to really shine.
I'm still playing a rev. I think its fine. I wouldn't play a second, but I've not been terribly disappointed with the singleton.
I think some form of mainboard lifegain is required, whether its as much as amalek has or not.
I think before jace/teferi/search, think twice was straight uncuttable, but I no longer believe that to be the case.
It may or may not still be good enough to play, but the primer is written the way it is because it assumes that there is no playable alternative. Even glimmer/hieroglyphic were not printed when it was written.
Most of the teferi talk in modern is about jeskai. Just because teferi may be better there doesn't mean he's better here.
I've been playing a few different splits of planeswalkers, but I do think the first jace is better than the first teferi. Bouncing creatures is obviously not as nice as tucking anything, and it is nice that teferi gains loyalty while drawing cards, but brainstorm is really good, and untapping lands doesn't matter as much as it does in jeskai. On top of that, having a decently stocked hand (which is far more common here than jeskai), coupled with mind rotting our opponent, makes fatesealing really strong.
We're no longer as instant speed as we used to be. Playing these planeswalkers, search, wraths, etc, means we will be tapping mana on our own turn more often than we have in the past. On top of that, timely is real strong right before a sweeper. If we know we're wrathing turn 4, gaining 6 + 3 chumps worth of life often totally closes the door on our opponent, not to mention timely chumping to keep our walkers on the table.
For the logic knot/negate/mana leak, I'm still on 3 knot, 0 negate, 0 leak main. Occasionally not having more turn 2-3 interaction is awkward, but its not too bad. Tarpit + teferi gives more play against planeswalkers than we've had in the past, but we still have cryptic to bounce. I think negate and mana leak are way too problematic to play (main) in esper.
Wow, where do i begin to respond to all of this knowledge. I guess from the top.
- White Sun's Zenith, I love this card and believe it generates more of a threat vs Secure the Wastes. My problem is back when i first built this deck it almost never resolved. It was either countered or i was locked out of W land from our UW control player using Spreading Seas, Ghost Quarter and the artifact to let him bring his GQ back from the GY (As you can see this was before Field of Ruin was printed). I lost many games because of this, since it got countered i no longer had a win con in my deck to continue and obviously the GQ and seas took care of colonnade. Maybe this was inexperience or maybe not? All i know is it was terrible having to rely on just 1 way to win the game.
- Ojutai i completely see where he is of less value as we are primarily creature less and the more we keep our win cons to non-creatures the easier it is to have our game plan.
- I agree the primer is fairly old and was written prior to TT, but i've watched some games more recently for Draw-Go on Youtube by someone names "Sky Lagger MTG" and his list ran 4 opt and 1 TT and while he won, he had significant problems with keeping his hand full. His list was 4 Opt, 1 TT, 1 Rev, 4 Charm, 2 JTMS and i just felt that while the deck functioned it wasnt to it's highest potential. Couple this with reading Amalek0's post on the previous page where he stated "Think Twice is just the truth" i just feel like Think Twice is still what we want, this deck wants to gain card advantage not cantrip.. I think if you want to play cantrips Serum > Opt and UW > Esper... but Esper IMO is so much more fun to play. Maybe i am wrong though, most of you have played this deck alot more then i have. Also, i might be wrong here too, but i;ve always been of the belief that you should have enough basics to cast any spell through Blood Moon so in this particular case then running WSZ, Cryptic, Supreme, ***, Jace and Sphinx I would need to be run 3x Island, 3x Plains and 1x Swamp.. thats alot of basics.
- Yes alot of Teferi here has been about Jeskai but there was one post specifically that had take aways from Barcelona that stated Teferi was the real deal. I know Amalek0 is not a huge fan of him but i do believe he is good for us.. of course testing would tell. I am also a fan of the lock with JTMS once we have destroyed their hand so i also feel he fits but its a matter of where does he fit in the list? Could do 2/1 split and cut the Elspeth so it's not overloaded.
- As for Timely i guess your right we are slowly adding more sorcery speed stuff maybe it's worth trying out.. If i do though i think i would cut my 1of Remand since it has been my biggest debated spot in order to add the main deck Timely.
- Logic Knot #3 i actually traded off while i was not playing control anymore and honestly never thought Esper would be the one i picked back up when i did so oops :). However like i said before i did find in the past that i didn't always have a GY for my Logic Knots and so they sometimes became dead cards, maybe thats less of an issue now thanks to SFA fueling the GY? then again my previous list ran 12 counters in it so i had alot of cards that did nothing if my opponent did nothing.
You have some stuff wrong. I'm on no think twice and i am playing teferi.
Jul 2, 2018amalek0 posted a message on [[Official]] Legacy Ban List Discussion Thread (Read OP before Posting)Idk. Jund might get a kick overall. Your discard and removal probably let you continue to beat up on fair decks, and unfair decks lost some speed/stability without probe. I would think you just consider some scavaging oozes and otherwise business as usual.Posted in: Legacy (Type 1.5)
Jul 2, 2018Paradoxically, the format is faster now without twin so remand is worse. Remand is also worse without think twice as an efficient value use for the rest of your mana.Posted in: Control
I've been on a MB timely for a good while now and it's been excellent; it's an alternative to leyline as far as getting chip shotted out and it timewalks hollow one pretty hard.
Grave titan isn't the best finisher, but in original builds in 2014-early 2016 it was the best "training wheels" for people learning the deck and having trouble with the clock. At the time, we didn't have secure the wastes as an option and night of souls' betrayal was a mainstay so elspeth wasn't a good option for the speed aspect.
Jul 1, 2018Barcelona results takeaways:Posted in: Control
1. Mainboard timely tech was the truth
2. Baneslayer postboard is an open secret
3. Sweepers are good again
4. Teferi is confirmed the real deal
Personally, I'm starting to think about whether running just jace and teferi as win cons is good enough. I might give it a try when I eventually grab another foil teferi. It's good enough for standard right?
Jun 23, 2018With respect to jeskai, be VERY cognizant of the clock. We're much more favored postboard than we are preboard. If you end up in a position where you're down a couple manlands or you're making plays that compromise your ability to win the game just to stay alive, scoop game one. It's so much harder for them to win SB games through discard and walkers.Posted in: Control
May 27, 2018Posted in: Control
This was my feeling with jace for the most part as well. However, with Teferi, I'm not sure that we actually want that effect (or multiples of it) anymore. I haven't gotten my teferi foils yet, but more and more I'm thinking about going "back" to a more flash-based build with think twice and giving secure + teferi x2 + jace a try. Search for Azcanta finding walkers is in my opinion a huge thing for control in modern--it makes it much more reasonable to play 1-3 walkers in your deck and just depend on hitting them in the mid-game, because search makes it that much easier to find your tools. I think my GWP when I get azcanta online for more than one turn is probably over 80%. The card is super good at fixing the biggest problem modern control has--consistency.
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