I'd like to start a discussion about our removal package and see what everyone's running right now. Most UB lists are running 4-6 and maybe a value vapor snag or into the roil as half of a removal spell. Right now I'm running 5 and can't ever see myself going lower. Right now I think our best choice for a "generic" removal spell is smother. It hits manlands, bob, all of zoo, and is very easy on the mana. Another option I've been liking is victim of night for the larger creatures like resto, dragons, wurmcoils, but hitting double black on 2 is not something we can reliably do. What is everyone's current removal suite? If you're playing a 3 color version, you don't really need to add much other than color and we can probably assume that it's 4 AD or 4 bolt, but if you're using anything sweet please feel free to speak up.
Right now I'm trying 3 victim of night + 2 smother while running an urborg, tomb of yawgmoth instead of a basic swamp. If the mana is too sketchy I'll go to 3 smother and probably 2 doom blade. I don't mind doom blade not hitting bob because our list is stuffed to the gills with ways to answer it on turn two, weather we're on the play or the draw.
How are you raising the body count?
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Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from Valanarch...and it still has problems with Pod. But against everything else, it seems strong.
This is the puzzle I'm still trying to solve. And no I will not shut up about it until either we collectively give up on the match up and hope we get lucky or they make a mistake, or we get a solid game plan and/or board strategy. So far all I have is a pair of cages, a fist full of wrath effects, and death marks to take the tried and true UWR control approach and just KILL ALL THE THINGS! I don't mind having a bad match up or two, but I do mind having a bad match with one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, deck in the format.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Show me a list that makes me into a believer. I want to believe, trust me. I am not a zoo player. I have a vested interest in seein UB Fae become a significant part of the meta. Thus far, I don't see it happening. Switch gears.
Well here's two example lists. One is an untuned pile that won't beat anything, and one that I've been having success with lately.
3 inquisition of kozilek
4 spell snare
3 mana leak
1 snapcaster mage
4 spellstutter sprite
3 vendilion clique
2 sword of feast and famine
4 cryptic command
19 colored lands
6 colorless lands
4 cryptic command
2 spell snare
3 mana leak
2 inquisition of kozilek
4 spellstutter sprite
4 mistbind clique
2 vendilion clique
1 sword of fire and ice
1 sword of light and shadow
2 doom blade
1 agony warp
20 colored lands
5 colorless lands
If you play a handful of games with the first list you'll agree that faeries is unplayable garbage and never look back. It is also why I strongly believe that any results we have right now should only be considered "first impressions" and not a true representation of how the deck can preform because of people playing a very underwhelming list and losing with it. We need a more agreed upon list before we can start to even assume that our collective results are worth paying attention to. Even my own list, while it has been doing well, I don't count my own results as representative because I'm admittedly bad at playing against pod so I have no idea if the match is bad or if I'm bad.
On the flip side, somebody could just as easily be playing a terrible list and saying that every match up is awesome and that they even had LSV run the numbers. Twice.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from DrtuccMy current list is learning more towards control with heavy discard, counters, with swords and no scions.
I do agree, so u were thinking about 2x swords? (2xSoLaS? or just one and 1 of FaF/FaI?)
I'm running one yin/yang and one sofi. I tried feast and famine first but was rarely able to take advantage of the untap effect, and the discard isn't that great against a decent number of decks because of the speed of the format. By the time I manage to get a sword online each player is either empty handed or close to it just holding onto a few burn spells so the discard tends to not be too relevent. I prefer the extra draw and faster clock from sofi and the life gain from yin/yang is precious. Also the black white sword lets you live the dream of looping vendillions for eternity (and apparently eternity lasts approximately 2 turns + concession) or rebuy counter spells.
As for people saying that UR faeries is a legitimate deck and a tier 1 player, UR faeries and UB faeries are completely different decks doing completely different things so comparing them in the first place is a big mistake and there is no point arguing about it. They both have fae in the name and play basic island, but that's where the similarities end. Personally I think that UR faeries is just a worse version of tempo twin and delver pyro.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Ok forget about statistics, just tell me what decks UB Fae is supposed to be winning and losing against. Far as I can tell right now, it doesn't have many (any) favorable relevant match ups. If I am way off please let me know.
My current list is learning more towards control with heavy discard, counters, with swords and no scions. With that in mind I've had very favorable matches with twin (both versions), UWR control, affinity, living end, and r/g tron when they don't get you au naturale (but then again who is favored against that). All of those decks are very favorable if you give them the proper respect that they deserve. The match ups which are about even for me are BG goyf/liliana decks as anytime you have two attrition-y decks facing off a large portion of the match is based on top decks. UWR geist/dragon midrange builds are maybe a little unfavorable for us because they have so many good cards in their main and we can't stop them all. The matches which I think we are actively bad against are 1 drop zoo, burn, and pod varients.
Some people might think the pod matches are fairly close instead of being very unfavorable but I have to disagree. Against melira pod we have to play EXTREMELY tight to get a win and requiring that much effort to have an even match up translates to being a bad match up in my opinion. Kiki pod is entirely different as they're far easier to disrupt and aren't able to "kill you with pure value" as much as melira, but can easily combo off from an empty board when you thought you were safe and didn't have to kill them asap. Regardless I still think both versions of pod isn't good to see across from you, and am still trying to think of things that will give us an edge.
Admittedly I have never actually played pod once in my life, I've only played against it and watched it on stream/GP coverage so I am not nearly as familiar with the different lines of play and pod chains they're capable of as a seasoned pod pilot would be. So I could easily be a terrible player in the match and be dead wrong on every play I make. So it's possible that the pod match isn't as bad as I've been saying it is for a while and I'm just a total noob with the match up and play especially poor as a result.
For the love of god, those who claim to have a good pod match up (which ever flavor you prefer) can you tell me how a typical winning game goes or give me a play by play of a test game? If you think the match is even or good I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong, but I just can't see it and have to rely heavily on the board to save me.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from alus84
Finally someone who's thinking beyond posting lists.
In the previous page I was asking about matchups, and everybody answered me like the MU were obviously in favour of Fae.
Unless we have statistics, we cannot state nothing, but every reply I've received wasn't demonstrated by numbers.
Match up numbers and win percentages and strategies are fairly useless with the first list you spit out onto paper which is why we're focusing a lot on the "most correct" version of a deck before any results hold water. Mt initial list was abysmal against UWR because it was completely untuned and untested, but after a lot of thinking and reading debates on how worthwhile a card is it has gone from terri-bad to great. That being said, I don't think any of my testing results are worth being taken into account when deciding if the deck is tier 1 or not. All we know for sure as far as viability is concerned is that you can play UB faeries and not be sad about it. Weather or not faeries is tier 1 or if we should give up and just play the pro tour winning melira list isn't up for debate yet until we have a decent faeries list to base our thoughts on.
For example watch the video series on channel fireball with zoo vs melira pod. Zoo was convincingly DESTROYED by one of the most popular decks, does that mean the deck isn't viable? Or does it mean that the particular build of it is just terrible? Until we can agree on a sorta, kinda, maybe "stock" list to start fine tuning, any results we have tell us nothing other than a certain card/package is good or bad and a VERY rudimentary feel for a match up. It gives us very little to go on for the deck archetype in and of itself.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from fatboyrule
I don't know how big Electrolyze is going to be with Nacatl being in every green deck. The fact that you have hand disruption, counter magic, and your creatures are all instant speed means that you are actually able to play AROUND particular removal spells. Bolt can be Spellstuttered very easily, and Electrolyze costs 3 mana.
I like a lot of the points that PV made in his article from 2011 and think that they're very relevant in the Modern metagame. You can't catch everything with the perfect removal suite or the perfect counter magic package, at some point you have to turn some guys sideways and win the game. Scion does a great job of that.
UWR control used to run a set of 4 but will be trimming them I agree, but with pod/twin/fae existing I doubt they'll go under two as it's still great. While you can always SSS a bolt, that means you're going to spend 5 mana to resolve a scion and a sprite while your opponent only has to spend 1 for a bolt and 1 for a path/second bolt or two to three mana for their other removal. It's a lot easier to resolve a sword on 3 after just one IoK/seize to take a mana leak and late game you only have to worry about cryptics as hard counters. Of your opponent has to spend 4 mana for a snap or cryptic you can easily protect the sword and you have a stream of warm bodies to suit up. Scions are awesome and very powerful but are very fragile, but swords will always get the job done even if it takes a bit longer. Right now I want the reliability with swords always being able to take me home. But if no snap caster, electrolyze, bolt decks top 8 the pro tour I'll gladly say I'm a complete idiot that is bad at this game and should feel bad. And I promise that I even will feel bad =P
As for PV and Ari's articles on playing faeries, you have to take it with a grain of salt as far as building the deck goes. The play style is still the same (aggro control) and you can learn a ton from them, but they didn't have to contend with nearly as much residual hate as we do now. Most of the things we have to handle today weren't even in development at that time so we have to adjust our initial list accordingly. They also had different priorities like killing fauna shaman, so disfigure was awesome. They also had the option to play jace the mind sculpter, but didn't have to worry about bolt, snapcaster, bolt.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from fatboyruleI don't know about a lot of you, but a lot of the "problems" people are stating in specific matchups seem to be easily mitigated by running Scion of Oonas and just flat out racing. I could care less about Pod winning on turn 6 or whatever if I land BB with Scion in hand. Not to mention, they have to do this through a plethora of Thoughtseize, Mana Leak, Vendilion Clique, Cryptic, Spellstutter, etc.
In short, run more Scions. This deck has amazing Tribal synergy, we should all be taking advantage of that, not turning it into some bastardized mono-control durdle.dec.
The main reason I don't like scions is for two reasons: lightning bolt and electrolyze. The whole dies to removal argument is trite, but it's true. The problem is that bolt is the most played card in modern and can often be seen next to snap casters, casting a scion and having it actually stick on turn 3/4 is VERY difficult. Bolt, snap caster, bolt is why merfolk isn't that great of a deck and why there won't be 31 wild nacatl's in every every modern top 8 for the next decade. I like scion a lot, don't get me wrong, but basing your strategy on a 3/1 not getting killed is a little too ambitious I think. I loved living the dream with my initial list of going EoT scion, untap, scion, attack for 16 but that was very rare and didn't happen nearly as fast as needed against some decks. Granted if scion gave itself shroud there would be no debate on the subject at all. I expect UWR control, zoo, and the Pod-dejour to be the dominant decks and scion is great in one match and embarrassing in the others.
What IS a good point for us to debate is if we should have scions main with a 4 spot equipment package in the side or swords in the main along with some generic removal/discard and pack 4 scions in the board. That way we can choose our bias for game 1 based on what we expect the field to be, and then pull a miniature transformation post-board. I think this is a pretty interesting idea that I don't think anybody has really talked much about yet that should be explored. I mean we're already wanting some amount of swords in the SB so why not just go deep with it. Thoughts?
Quote from BrianbgrpAnd I agree about mistbind. One of the biggest reasons bitterblossom makes faeries actually viable is because it allows us to run mistbind. Mistbind is prolly one of our swingiest tempo plays. Theoretically it reads:time walk target opponent, put an evasive clock in play. And misty with a sword is basically the best way to lock up a game I think. I went up to the full four after a day of testing at 3 and refuse to look back lol
I couldn't agree more. If we ever get max value out of a mistbind clique (which is not hard at all) then it's pretty hard to lose. It is definitely the best card in our deck, but only because awesome blossom enables it. Against zoo it's a 2 for 1 at worst, at best it instantly puts them on the defensive as they just lost a guy, lost their turn, and are suddenly on a short clock. Against twin/control landing one, even if it dies immediately allows us to safely drop a sword and connect which is plenty enough to get far in the lead. Mana short is good against control I've been told.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from nilgounOf course you would side in Spellskite, why shouldn't you? They are playing at least 12 + 4 Snapcaster Burn spells and if you don't manage to stick a Bitterblossom a resolved Spellskite is your best friend. Especially because Spellskite + SoFaI is game against them.
I'm glad somebody mentioned this because a lot of people tend to forget that the old 0/4 actually does NOT have defender. I remember a few standard seasons ago seeing an infect player beat the snot out of somebody with a skite with a rancor or three on it teehee.
As for our different match ups, A lot of people have covered the big ones. Zoo depends on their build, if they're 1 drop centric we are not favored at all in game 1, our G1 against turbo 1 drop zoo is so bad it's laughable imo. However it does improve drastically after board with EE, damnation, deathmark, skites, and so forth. But the version that goes up to 3-4 drops our match up is the opposite and is painfully easy as it is with any other dorky mid range deck.
With merfolk if you're playing at a GP just win the first 3 rounds and forget it exists. You beat it by letting tron, uwr, twin, rock, pod, etc all beat it for you. But if you're just in a local tournament treat it as any other slow aggro deck. If they have vial out you'll have to race, which makes the match mindless since nobody can block anything. If they don't have vial on 1 or get choked with them you'll beat them so bad they'll need new sleeves. Slow aggro decks without counter magic or burn just aren't that good and aside from the odd spell pierce/snare I've never seen much of any counters from merfolk. If it's a more aggressive version with burn and soft counters, it'll be a fun match but in our favor, but requiring tight play rather than just facerolling.
Against GB/x liliana and goyf decks they can stop our BB with ease but can't interact with much else. AD can't hit our tar pits which will slaughter any walkers they land and none of their removal aside from a single pulse can kill mistbind, which they shouldn't have left in hand for that matter once we cast it. With as much as these decks have lost I don't think they're strong enough to compete anymore, which is a little sad imo even though I never ran any of those lists personally.
Against delver variants, BB is leagues better than pyromaster and our tempo swings are infinitely larger than theirs so don't worry too much about them honestly. For affinity just land a blossom and chump away, lingering souls was already a hard card for them to beat. Also pray etched champion plus plating never comes online, just like literally every other deck in the format.
The matches we should really be concerned with are pod variants, 1 drop zoo, UWR mid-range (geist, dragon, resto version), twin. The rest are greatly in our favor while these matches are much closer to 60% for us or for them. I'm mostly afraid of the pod decks as they can easily out value us and mana dorks make our best card much less impressive. The UWR decks just need a lot of tight play and solid decision making with discard and cliques.
Feb 12, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from Hammer-headIf you have so much problem with burn decks (basic faeries weakness) run chalice of the void or leyline of sanctity, or more spellskites.
It's not burn decks, but decks with burn AND counter magic. Against burn you can just slam a mistbind and stomp them, but that doesn't work so easy against UWR control or twin. I'd like to run chalice, but any deck I've ever run it in, it seems like a 4 or 0 type of card and SB slots are very precious. Granted I only really played it in legacy so I'm totally willing to admit I'm completely off base on that. But aside from zoo, what decks are extremely 1 drop centric and would still hurt if you didn't drop a chalice for 1 until like turn 9? It seems like chalice on 1 would be awesome against tron if you land it on turn 2 for the same reason stony silence is great, but casting it on turn 5+ makes it seem a little iffy. Am I wrong here?
Feb 12, 2014Hmm I've thought about sword of war and peace a few times but haven't tested it myself as it just doesn't seem that good in our deck. By the time we actually have the space to connect with it, nobody will have many cards, if any, in hand at that point as we're riding BB and tar pits to victory. The main reason I'm interested in is it's more residual life gain which we can definitely use with U/R/x decks. Between electrolyze helix and bolt we're in legitimate danger of being burned out.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Does anybody know of any worthwhile life gain cards we might run? I'd run a pair of pharika's cure, but I don't like it for the same reasons a lot of people don't like disfigure right now. Loxodon war hammer is nice, but insanely expensive, same with batterskull in a lot of matches. Tribute to hunger is nice, but rarely will give you more than 2 life. I'm very unfamiliar with most of the legal sets in modern outside of what shows up in tier 1-2 decks over the past year or two. I'm really trying to think of more cards that might squeak their way into our precious few flex slots.
Dear god what I wouldn't give to be able to play force spike. Talk about insanity with a scion build...
Feb 11, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from ThatStoryTeller120
you know i was just thinking this was pretty spot on myself. Im just not sure which of scion/swords Id actually play better personally
Well thank you. I spoke on scions vs swords earlier and decided that it's very meta dependent and weather we need to slide towards control or aggro in the current meta. With zoo being a thing and our ability to smash a number of control/combo decks we don't need to be too agressive atm, so I think that scions aren't where we want to be SPECIFICALLY right now. This can easily change a month from now or whenever the next modern GP is and then we'll dump the swords and just jam 4 scions.
As for my "formula" for my current fae list, here's a bit of a more specific listing.
do not touch!
do not touch!
4 vaults and 3 tar pits
You can include 1 colorless value land if running 25, 2 colorless lands if running 26 total lands. Any more and you'll have too many mana problems for the deck to function.
After deciding on them add in colored sources based on personal preference and blood moon fear level.
Start with 3 thoughtseize before adding the first IoK. Taking pods, cryptics, and everything from Tron is too important in those matches to miss with IoK. If you aren't running fetches/shocks you can afford to pay the life for thoughtseize without too much trouble. That being said you don't want to run all 4.
5 spot removal
Entirely based on the current meta. I'm currently using 2 smother, 2 GFtT, 1 agony warp.
4-5 cheap counter spells
4 mana leaks or 3 leaks and 2 spell snare. If you want more you can look into remands, but the fourth mana leak should be put in before the first remand.
The bare minimum faerie package. 4 mist bind, 4 spell stutter, 2 vendillion. If adding in snaps, you can afford to cut a discard spell for one and maybe a counter spell if you really, really want a second. Remember, snap casters are either a 3 mana sorcery speed spell for discard, or a 4 mana instant with a packed 4 drop slot. A 2/1 body isn't overly relevant when you're running 4 bitterblossom and no blinks.
This is an aggro control deck and this section determines where you're biased to. 2 swords and 2 other pieces of interaction if you want to be more controlling, or 4 scions if you want to be more aggro. Both sides have their merit and depends on what you're expecting. Currently I think a control bias is better, but again, this can change monthly. When running scions, I've added 2 from this slot and cut 1 counter and 1 discard spell.
Feb 11, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from UdrewWell we run disruption and counters as like as the other common tempo decks, a turn 3 karn can randomly met mana leak remand and spell pierce negate at least, comparing to the Twin plan where it commoly sides in blood moon or molten rain there's no substantial difference. The Tron MU is something to be more explored surely. Damnation in Pod MU can run into situation where voice and finks will still beating you down and eot exarch while you are tapping 4 for it can mean facing the combo off...
Yeah we have a hefty amount of disruption sure, I was just explaining why I like spreading seas over 3 mana LD spells. They both have very clear pros and cons so it is definitely hard to say which one is better than the other. This is of course assuming that there even IS a better or worse between the two for that matter. Cheaper + cantrip makes me want the seas, but I'm willing to admit that is incorrect.
I've tried snapcasters before and I typically have to count them as a 4 mana spell since snapping back a discard spell is a 3 mana sorcery discard which we usually won't want or even need. That combined with a lower-ish spell count makes me not want too many. However in the games I tried with them as a 1 of I was always happy to see it on like turn 7 but would always wish it was a basic mountain before then. So it's tough to say weather or not they belong in the current lists that have been floating around. I wouldn't be surprised either way, but at the moment I'm leaning towards 1 or 0.
I've taken to following a basic formula for the lists that I've been messing with that seems to be in the ballpark of ideal. Here's the design constraints I've been working with:
25 lands (4 vaults and 3 tar pits)
5 spot removal
4-5 cheap counter spells
Feb 11, 2014Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from Udrew
yes I agree with that I run 3 fulminator mage in sideboard cause you can board it in more situations compared spreading seas (but still an option) and additional discard (the duress split between md and sb is growing up). I'm not into the damnation idea, at least in the main deck, while it can be a sideboard option in a heavy creature based decks meta (right now everybody seems to be resilient vs mass removals) in that case black sun zenith is great vs pod; but generally what you want is gaining tempo. You are lucky, I plaied Pod a lot before and it should be the real ban in my mind, you shouldn't be worried too by Pod itself but by voice of resurgence and kitchen finks restoration angel board while you are busy dealing with pod, steel sabotage is a flexible card in this situatin. There are few other good cards like damping matrix, shadow of doubt... Since Pod has so different angles, dedicating slots for the match up doesn't ensure you to increase the percentage, the best option is just to tempo race it out (hibernation bounces manadrops and sometime they have fyling, voice of resurgence and eventual tokens, pod)
I've taken to liking spreading seas mostly because it's a mana cheaper which, when you're on the draw, is the difference between interaction and just getting rofl-karned. For the pod match I've been using a pair of cages in the board and bring in them along with damnation. Yes voice is obscenely good against us, but we can usually keep their board under control so the left over token doesn't get crazy. But yeah if we're caught with our pants down and can't answer it right away it's an uphill battle indeed. I also have to agree that if anything was banned it should be pod as it's better than GSZ imo, but that's a discussion for another thread.
Because of all the uber value dudes (especially resto) they have is why I'm really wanting some kind of card advantage in the deck somewhere. I'm not down with damnation MD entirely, but is totally worth look into because of how easily we can rebuild.
Feb 11, 2014Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
I've been thinking about bile blight as well, but the few times I tried it, the double black was pretty awkward to come up with at times. Meanwhile agony warp is VERY easy to cast and acts as a pseudo lightning helix as it kills a 3 toughness dude and prevents 3 damage from another attacker which is very similar. What I've found myself wanting more than anything though is a source of card draw, but it's so hard to squeeze in. I've tried baby jace and compulsive research, but 3 mana sorceries are tough to cast and stick to our game plan.
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