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  • posted a message on Mardu/RW Dwarf+Vehicle aggro
    Swapping the full set of Gideons opens up the four slot, and I've been toying with thought knot here. Moving to a set of both colorless/rainbow lands gives 8 sources (although I think we need 11?), trading push/shock for harnessed lightning can help feed the hubs. I propose cutting the 2 Thalia, a shock or push, and sticking to 2 avacyns to open up the TKS slot.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Cutthroat Aristocrats
    My sideboard had a mini rally package of 2 rally, 2 fleshbag marauders, 2 felidar cubs, 1 minister of pain and 2 arashin clerics as well as 3 anafenzas for red decks and the mirror. I played 2 transgresses and a duress because Starcity ran out of arashin clerics and I wanted to have enough cards to bring in for dead bone splinters against control. Bone splinters almost never had problems being turned on, and it proved very useful in efficiently flipping liliana. In a match against U/W control, I dug out a game facing a jace emblem by killing my own creature with bone splinters to flip liliana.

    Charm is great against abzan aggro/anafenza, but the matchup is so bad that it feels like you're just wasting sideboard space.

    I was impressed with the rally sideboard package and fleshbag/liliana interaction enough to start brewing up entirely rally-based lists.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Cutthroat Aristocrats
    I was the guy from Indy. Hit 68th on breakers, meaning I now have to type out my list since it's not up there. I'm going to preface this by letting you know that my list is very rough and that the archetype may be unplayable in the face of abzan aggro.

    23 Creatures
    3 blisterpod
    4 bloodsoaked champion
    4 hangarback walker
    4 zulaport cutthroat
    2 liliana, heretical healer
    4 nantuko husk
    2 smothering abomination

    13 Spells
    4 bone splinters
    3 evolutionary leap
    4 abzan ascendancy
    2 sorin, lord of innistrad

    24 lands
    4 swamp
    2 forest
    1 plains
    4 llanowar wastes
    3 caves of koilos
    2 windswept heath
    2 wooded foothills
    1 canopy vista
    1 smoldering marsh
    4 sandsteppe citadel

    Bloodsoaked champs are the most controversial card I'm sure. They have a real tension between being decent on t1 and a great way to use all your mana every turn versus being mediocre in multiples. The raid ability being instant speed has gotten me some husk blowouts/free wins with ascendancy. It can't block which is very important to the deck and can't attack into hangarbacks, mantis riders, rhinos, anything but jace really. I would recommend a cut to 1 copy. Maaaybe 2.

    Abomination was a win-more card that can't be slammed onto an empty board. More good 0-1 of material. He survived an ugin minus which was cool, but so did blisterpod.

    The games played out in one of 3 ways:
    1. Dork beatdown: This was very rare but there were times where you can just make a million little dudes, pump them with ascendancies and sorin, and run people over. Still, 2/1s and 1/1s are not super great attackers.

    2. Husk "combo": People don't seem to realize how husk can kill you out of nowhere, especially with ascendancy. One failure to block him was lethal a decent amount of times. It can also just abyss them. Watch out for valorous stances though, they have few other good targets.

    3. The grind: This was the most common way to win by far. You combine leap and ascendancy and aggressively chump your way to an overwhelming board presence. This is why I've never lost to a blue control deck in testing or at the event. Liliana really shines here, and you can eventually cutthroat them out.

    Overall, the deck is pretty fun and powerful, but abzan aggro is an absolute foil to this deck. Their own hangarbacks, dromoka's command (the enchantment lock isn't even safe), rhino's trample, and anafenza attack from all the right angles. You just can't beat an anafenza. Your deck does literal nothing with it in play. Even if you should bone splinters the first one, they play 4 plus den protector and valorous stance.

    In the right metagame, a perfectly tuned list could be a real contender,
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Abzan Aggro/Midrange
    I'm not sure why we're deviating so far from last season's "consensus" aggro list so early. Here's my thoughts on the swaps:

    Out: 4x fleecemane lion
    In: 4x avatar of the resolute
    Avatar might be an UPGRADE to lion, especially since this manabase is so good at casting it. At worst, we lose a point of toughness on lion, exposing it to wild slash (this also happens to deathdealer and heir, so don't feel too bad]. In return, we get a 2 drop that can easily be a 4/3 or 5/4 on a regular basis. Between hangarback, den protector, drana, anafenza, command, charm, awaken, and other copies of himself, he will find ways to grow. He's the only other trampler (take that gideon tokens & thopters) besides rhino AND has reach for some reason.

    Out: 2x hero's downfall
    In: 2x ruinous path
    It's a downgrade. No need to fool ourselves here.

    Out: 26th land(?)
    In: 1x drana, liberator of malakir
    This chick is tough to cast and clogs the 3 spot all while being legendary. I think the anthem-counters synergy is powerful enough to try out the 1st copy regardless since I've been considering cutting a land. Not sure on this one.

    Out: temples, some amount of pain lands
    In: 4x wooded foothills, 2x shambling vents, 2x canopy vista, 1x smoldering marsh
    Playing the 8 fetch manabase will be sweet, as forests and canopy vistas will be super accessible. The foothills is actually a better fetchland here because it can grab a "swamp" (instead of a basic plains). 2 shambling vents has been the right number in testing so far, and I can see it playing a major role in punishing people who down-tick their planeswalkers.

    This is my week 1 list going into Indy, unless I cut Drana for a land...

    23 Creatures
    4x avatar of the resolute
    4x hangarback walker
    4x anafenza the foremost
    1x drana, liberator of malakir
    4x den protector
    4x siege rhino
    2x wingwate roc

    12 Spells
    3x dromoka's command
    1x ultimate price
    2x ruinous path
    4x abzan charm
    2x sorin, solemn visitor

    25 Lands
    4x sandsteppe citadel
    4x wooded foothills
    4x windswept heath
    2x shambling vents
    3x llanowar wastes
    1x caves of koilos
    2x canopy vista
    1x smoldering marsh
    3x forest
    1x plains

    Gideon, ally of zendikar
    This guy is super bad when you're behind on board, and worse than Sorin when you're ahead. If people who are good at having 2WW on turn 4 put up results with him, I'll look into it.

    Warden of the first tree
    This card always felt like a trap to me because it's ONLY good if you dump a million mana into it. Activation costs should be icing on the cake, not a requirement.

    ob-nixilis reignited
    I like this card, but not as much as wingmate roc (Plus it's bad against wingmate roc). I can see a potential sideboard slot for him to play the 1 for 1 game against midrange/bigger abzan strategies.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    Haven't seen this mentioned yet, but we could replace black for lingering souls with blue for retreat to coralhelm in the GW summoning trap lists. The mana dorks and knight of the reliquary seem most at home here, plus comboing off with knight can let you hardcast any drawn emrakuls. I also think garruk wildspeaker has a place in the deck, but haven't seen much, if any, of him. Finally, it makes taking a knight off of trap that much better when you "miss". P.S. Retreat can work with any instant-speed landfall (knight, trap into titan, fetchland, etc.) to stop splinter twin.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Turbo Tutelage
    Yes, it triggers for each card drawn. I have to do the math, but if you have a waste not and a tutelage on board when you dark deal, there's a good chance you're going to chain them and win the game on the spot. I wish there was another suitable target for dragon's mantle besides Jace in our own deck so you don't have to rely on the opponent playing out a target. I do like that flipping Jace or angering will knock the dragon mantle into the grave for delving away. If there was ever a deck for dark petition, this would probably be the one.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Turbo Tutelage
    I've seen a few people, notably Tom Ross, toying with sphinx's tutelage as a win condition. After watching the games play out, I realized that this card is powerful enough to race people. Origins gave us a few pieces that can work overtime with this card and help form a legitimate combo deck. magmatic insight and jace, vryn's prodigy can team up with old favorites dragon mantle and tormenting voice to pump out some absurdly fast treasure cruises. The enabler that really excites me is dark deal. Not only because it's great with the tutelage, but because it allows the deck to play another win condition - waste not. Discard like thoughtseize is both disruption and gas with waste not. So I present you with the shell of a creature-less combo deck in standard. Look at that sweet curve, and let me know what you think it would take to get this thing playable.

    4 thoughtseize
    4 dragon mantle
    4 magmatic insight
    4 waste not
    4 tormenting voice
    4 jace, vryn's prodigy
    4 dark deal
    4 sphinx's tutelage
    4 treasure cruise
    2 anger of the gods

    4 bloodstained mire
    4 polluted delta
    2 mana confluence
    4 temple of malady
    4 shivan reef
    1 swamp
    2 mountain
    1 island

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The Aristocrats
    While everyone has been drooling over dragons, the pieces and parts of an old archetype have been reassembling themselves quietly in the background. We're only a blood artist or cartel aristocrat away from a competitive build. Let's look at some pieces that we have so far and a decklist or two to see the big picture.

    bloodsoaked champion is an recurring, aggressive 2 power 1 drop that helps define the decks's aggressive nature. zurgo bellringer and tormented hero are two other candidates to fill the 1 slot. While Zurgo is more powerful, we cannot afford to draw multiples. At the 2 slot, we have an old gem from the dollar bin, Tymaret, the Murder King, who is more than willing to cash in dudes for shocks. His recurring ability is both a great mana sink and a good form of inevitability. Although not optimal, there is also the new doomed traveler, sultai emissary. The manifests have a bit more bite behind them due to the high creature count. If we decide to go the mardu route, chief of the edge is a synergistic anthem. There's three options that stand out at the 3 slot. Alesha, who smiles at death is an interesting first striker that can rebuy lots of creatures in the deck, although for 2 mana. There's not too many first strikers running around, so hopefully it's enough to help this legend that doesn't do anything when it enters the battlefield. Then there's good old goblin rabblemaster. There's not going to be enough removal to support him, so there's a very real chance he just sits there and poops out a value goblin every turn. Finally, we have bloodchin fanatic. Now go ahead and read the creature types of every card thus far - they're all warriors. This could be one of the missing pieces to make this deck coherent, although the activation cost is certainly a factor here. Just as the original aristocrats deck had a human sub-theme, I can see this guy and maybe chief of the edge being enough if a payout to stick to a warrior subtheme. If you do decide to go to 4 drops, I have 3 in mind. brutal hordechief plays into the "burnout" theme of the deck. His activated ability is game-breaking against the attrition-based creature decks looking to gum up the ground. In the mardu version, we have the closest thing to falkenrath aristocrat, butcher of the horde. This huge warrior is a FREE sac outlet and could really be the synergistic, hard-hitting top end that this deck is looking for. Finally, there's outpost siege. Unlike most red decks these days, this deck can take full advantage of the goblin bombardment mode as well as the grindy mode.

    Some problems that I forsee with this archetype include:
    There's too many synergy pieces that are bad on their own.
    There's very little room for quality removal.
    The most popular creatures these days ALL outclass our ground guys, gain life, and/or fly.
    Many of the deck's best creatures are legendary, creating deckbuilding tensions.

    That being said, let's experiment with a straight r/b list.

    Edit: with a critical mass of free sac effects, it's possible to play traitorous blood effects as removal
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Deck] LED Dredge
    Okay, so I played my first ever (paper) legacy event at an SCG open this past weekend. I had a decent 3-1 start but had to strangely drop because our group had to head home. Anyways, I swear that people are still building this deck in an old-fashioned way and nobody bothers to make major changes. I have a new list with some key inclusions to add consistency and speed and I've been loving it, but I still want some imput on it.

    1. 4 lotus petals: We want to be fast. These make it harder to grind, but help you go off on t1 or 2 very very consistently. I cut the land count down a bit, so they are going to be counted as "lands" for now.

    2. Fetchland package: If we mill over our fetch targets, then we're already winning. This cuts down on the life loss from ping lands and gives some thinning before you dredge, which helps. Mostly, it has synergy with our next major inclusion.

    3. 4 brainstorm: Why is nobody playing this card?? Not only does it fix our slew of poor openers, but it has crazy synergy with dredge. It lets you put awkward bridges, narcos, etc on top of your library and is an instant, letting you stack it on top of another spell before you crack led. I'm baffled as to why this was never a thing.

    4. No DR package. Flame-kin, elesh norn, griselbrand, etc are all win-more. The hard part about dredge is getting off the ground, not winning when you're already ahead, except for a few niche cases (iona for burn, elesh for elves)

    Here's where I've got my list currently, I'd love some feedback. Take some openers with it, it feels good.

    4x brainstorm
    4x breakthrough
    4x bridge from below
    4x cabal therapy
    3x careful study
    4x cephalid coliseum
    4x faithless looting
    4x golgari grave-troll
    3x golgari thug
    3x ichorid
    4x lion's eye diamond
    4x lotus petal
    1x misty rainforest
    4x narcomoeba
    4x scalding tarn
    4x stinkweed imp
    1x underground sea
    1x volcanic island
    Posted in: Legacy Archives
  • posted a message on Control At SCG Tournament, or its total lack
    Here's what I was rolling with. Again, I dropped at a second loss because my group was leaving, but I could see this deck tearing it's way to money if I stayed:

    4x ashiok, nightmare weaver
    1x caves of koilos
    2x despise
    3x divination
    3x elspeth, sun's champion
    3x end hostilities
    4x flooded strand
    4x hero's downfall
    2x island
    2x jace's ingenuity
    4x last breath
    1x liliana vess
    1x murderous cut
    1x negate
    2x plains
    4x polluted delta
    3x swamp
    2x temple of deceit
    3x temple of enlightenment
    4x temple of silence
    2x thoughtseize
    1x urborg, tomb of yawgmoth
    2x utter end

    3x nyx-fleece ram
    2x typhoid rats (take THAT knuckle-blade!)
    3x drown in sorrow
    2x negate
    3x spicy secret tech
    2x thoughtseize

    The deck's main problem was not having enough straight 2-for-1s. There were a few games where I got ground out by opponents after 1-for-1-ing the first 10-ish turns. I recommend cutting some amount of removal for prognostic sphinx, divination, jace's ingenuity, etc.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Control At SCG Tournament, or its total lack
    I played esper in Indy today - green devotion decks were SUPER popular and packing 4 ashiok and end hostilities was the place to be. Didn't drop a game against them on the way to the top tables, but took a second loss off of a horrible gaffe where I accidentally took a plains instead of a game-winning hero's downfall off of my dig through time. People are building with no fear of sweepers, so it was just really effective. I think the glut of green decks is actually muscle-ing the aggressive decks out of the format early.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Mono-Blue Turbo Bounce...Devotion...thing? (Competitive!)
    Here's a preliminary list. The problem still seems that the deck cannot function without the howling mine effects and it's probably enough to hold this back from getting off the ground.

    4x aetherspouts
    4x clever impersonator
    1x cranial archive
    4x dakra mystic
    4x dictate of kruphix
    3x disdainful stroke
    1x force away
    2x dissolve
    21x island
    4x mnemonic wall
    4x nykthos, shrine to nyx
    4x omenspeaker
    4x whelming wave

    I will tag the cards soon - work and school are making me sloppy and taking my time.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Mono-Blue Turbo Bounce...Devotion...thing? (Competitive!)
    For some reason, nobody else has made more waves about the howling mine dictate of kruphix.

    We can let them draw as many cards as they want:

    whelming wave
    scourge of fleets
    clever impersonator
    mnemonic wall
    dakra mystic dies too easily :C
    cranial archive

    Fueled by nykthos, shrine to nyx

    The shell only needs some early plays that will be good in any boardstate, another mass draw effect, and a way to deal with hasters.

    quiet contemplation?
    icy blast?

    Give me some imput and initial lists

    Have fun locking opponents with wall/wave, and happy brewing.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Deck] UW Control
    Okay, so I am working on a HARD U/W control deck and need help polishing it off. I don't feel comfortable posting a list because it's the brainchild of our whole testing group, but the gist is that I'm rocking 4 spell snares, 4 cryptic commands, and 4 think twices. The only creatures are a set of snapcasters. The niche that needs to be filled is a 3-ish mana vindicate effect. An example of a similar effect is abrupt decay, beast within, bant charm and the like. The only thing I can think of is a detention sphere type of card, but an instant/sorcery to go with snapcasters and the mystical tutor package would be the best.

    If anyone could throw me a few ideas, I'd really appreciate it.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    The original PT list has 0 electrolyzes in the 75, yet it's great against delver, pod, and affinity. Is it too clunky for this deck or something? I feel like it deserves at least some sideboard space.
    Posted in: Control
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