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  • posted a message on Changing how the forums are structured - Looking for community feedback
    My only issue with the above is that the two main death's shadow decks should be classified as "midrange" not "aggro/tempo." As a JDS player myself, I think this miss-classification is a big deal because it hampers the understanding of players who don't understand the deck. To elaborate: the original death's shadow deck, before the probe ban and the printing of fatal push - 2015 and before - was an all in tempo/aggro deck. It played cards like savanna lions, mutagenic growth, and become immense, which were designed to increase the threat density and average kill speed of the deck. It did not play grindy midrange cards like K command, or lily planeswalkers. After the git probe ban, the fans of the deck went back to the drawing board and developed 95% of the current JDS shell, which broke out with aplomb after fatal push was printed. This deck was not an all in kill you deck, almost entirely dropped the pump spells (barring a few TBR), and brought in grindier cards like K Command and LotV. Part of the massive initial success of the deck, and still helps me to this day, is that people do not understand the archetype shift from aggro to midrange deck. Lifegain is great against an aggro deck, and terrible against a modern DS deck. You should board against JDS/GDS like you would against Jund or Control, not like you would against burn or affinity. My opponents make this mistake all the time, which is why I believe it's harmful to include them in the aggro category.

    1. DS decks play a grindy, long form midrange plan like Jund or Abzan. TBR and larger threats give them the option of adopting a faster, more aggressive plan B, which is a strength of the deck, but doesn't characterize it.
    2. The decks cannot be considered tempo decks, IMO, because they run 6+ copies of thoughtseize, which is a known tempo negative play.
    3. Here's a link to Reid Duke's most recent article on the JDS deck, in his Bxxx midrange series he did in December. He refers to the JDS and GDS as "black midrange" several times in the article, and I'm willing to take his word on that.

    In any case, thanks mods for trying to make the modern forum as user-friendly as it can be given WOTC's recent removal of more data from the sample!
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Changing how the forums are structured - Looking for community feedback
    We could do option 2, and instead of trying to cull the "established" decks to <= 25, we could group them by greater archetype in a kind of tree. So you could have Established -> Tron Decks -> Eldrazi Tron, Gx Tron, Mono U Tron; Established -> B(G)x Rock Decks -> Jund, Abzan, GB Rock, Jund Death Shadow, Grixis Death Shadow; Established -> UWx -> UW Control, UWR Control, UWR Midrange, Esper Control; etc. With a little creativity you could probably get the number of established "nodes" to 25 or less. And some decks like burn or whatever will just be threads in the established section itself, and that's fine.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Here's the decklist I'm working with at the moment. I've only taken it to one event so far, so it's pretty untested:

    In addition to the black splash, there's a lot of unconventional choices here based on the lists I've seen on the last few pages of the thread. The high number of treasure mages, spell bursts, talismans, and snapcaster mages seem pretty rare? Conversely, I'm not running chalice of the void, trinket mage, or solemn simulacrum.

    My take on Mono-U tron is that the core of the deck - high end artifacts, stack interaction, and deck velocity - will beat nearly any fair deck. The losses come to fast decks like affinity and burn, hyper efficient decks like death's shadow, or decks whose top end nears ours like eldrazi tron. I'd imagine the scapeshift MU is pretty rough? It's hard to counter lands.

    This list is an attempt to fix those bad MU's with strong early interaction on the board, while keeping that core that makes our late game good. This also helps the problem with a lot of our cards being bad on the draw. I'm playing talismans because they fix the mana, and they're very good with the 1 CMC interaction. T1 play map, T2 talisman pass with fatal push or spell snare up feels very strong.

    The downside is that the deck velocity is noticeably lower. I felt like I had fewer cards in my hand than I was used to, and was losing more counter-wars. The deck I was playing at the event was +1 dispel,+1 talisman/-1 repeal,-1 Platinum Angel compared to the above list. TBH I put the angel back in because I remembered I have a FTV foil version, but it should probably be another repeal...
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    I'm working on a UB version of the deck to run a few fatal pushes in the MB. The decks worst MU's are fast aggro - burn, affinity, etc. - and I think getting stronger and cheaper interaction with the board helps the deck a lot. The downside is I'm running out of space in the MB thanks to the extra cards. How critical do people consider the Platinum Angel these days? Does it win a lot of games, or does it hit the SB most matches?
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Play advantage in modern is one of its worst aspects
    Quote from Thursdayisgod »
    Hmm interesting, I'll propose it to some of the guys and see what they say, generally a group of magic players are pretty equipped to handle math and programming easily

    I play at Mox Mania in Madison, WI

    Sweet! I also play at Mox. Keep missing the 1k's though lol. We might be able to push for a test tournament of this system, but they probably wouldn't be able to run it as a sanctioned event, though. So we would need to convince the store to run it as a separate tournament. I can volunteer to write some software that can run the event.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on UWx Miracles
    Great work on the primer!

    How important would you say Unexpectedly Absent is for the Entreat version of the deck? I see you're running three in yours.

    I've been on two blood moon main, so I'm only running one UA because it's a bit difficult to cast.
    Posted in: Developing (Legacy)
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    What do people think of cutting a fetchland for a 2'nd blood crypt in the mana base? It looks like there's a lot of dredge and a lot of company running around right now, so I really want to run 2 angers in my SB.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Aladdin's Ring in storm?
    Oh it's really good. You can put it back with brainstorm to allow you to keep a good card, or you can discard it to lion's eye diamond. Plus they never think to chalice for 8, so you get an alternate win con.


    OK, seriously, I think it's a mistake. I don't know what Brian DeMars is smoking. I pulled up the coverage from the event (http://series.magiccardmarket.eu/2017/04/30/robert-swiecki-storm/) and there's no ring. It looks like it should've been ad nauseum.
    Posted in: Legacy Archives
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    As a big proponent of 3x tarfire, one thing I like about Grim Flayer is that it helps enable delerium without also being garbage. It probably slows the average traverse turn down a little bit, but in a meta that's shifting towards grindier decks that's probably a worthwhile tradeoff. How has going down to 3 IoK been? I've been really liking the 8 hand disruption so far, but I guess that normal Jund never ran more than 6, and they did fine. I guess that a large role of the hand disruption is to protect our admittedly sparse threats, and going up on threats should help offset the fewer discard.

    The spicy tech I've been testing is 1xInfernal Tutor. It's probably wrong for consistency reasons, but it's pretty amazing when you topdeck it late game.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Push is definitely a good card. But we have a lot of hand disruption to get rid of threats, and our threats are usually bigger than theirs, so IMO we don't need 4. Push is also a somewhat mediocre SB card if you have the white splash.

    3/2 push/decay MB, 0/0 SB seems totally fine. And push doesn't sound very good in the meta you described anyway.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Do you need the 4'th fatal push in the SB? When are you bringing it in, and how impactful is it? The primer's "stock" decklist doesn't have the push in the SB in the white splash version, and I agree that you don't need it when you have the more impactful white cards instead.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    Wasn't Kolaghan's Command also designed for modern? I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere, but I'm not sure.

    Going back to the discussion on the last page about whether or not Merfolk, Grixis Shadow, etc. should be considered a "blue" deck, this is completely missing the point. IMO we should stop saying things like "blue is weak" or "white is only a splash color" because it's not really capturing what people are thinking. It's not the lack of certain colors that we don't like, it's the lack of certain styles of play. I want Counterspell reprinted for modern equally the same if merfolk is a 1% deck, or a 25% deck, because merfolk being viable doesn't allow me to play the kinds of decks that I want to play. If we start talking about archetypes, and stop talking about colors, the discussion becomes a lot clearer.

    I also don't think it's fair to tell people "modern is a proactive format, stop trying to play control." We know modern is a "be proactive or lose" format. We're saying it shouldn't be. All archetypes should be represented at least decently in the top tiers, because that gives you the healthiest metagame and the most player choice.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Satchmoyo »
    Real talk, every time I take on UW Control (which is often because it is everywhere on MTGO), it feels like an impossible match-up. Has anyone seen success in devoting SB cards to the match-up? If so, which cards have helped? I usually go with the following.

    -1 Terminate
    -1 Abrupt Decay
    +2 Lingering Souls

    I've actually yet to lose a game against UW control (admittedly, I'm not playing against the best players/lists, but still). I also played control almost exclusively in modern, which IMO gives you an enormous advantage playing against it.

    For sideboarding, remember that at heart, we are a jund deck. In the traditional jund mirror, the best players would sideboard out all of their hand disruption. The basic theory is that if the game is going to go long, the most important thing is gaining card advantage. It doesn't matter as much if you can't protect your threats as well, per se, since you're guaranteed to just draw more. We want to take a similar approach - turn our deck into a card advantage machine.

    So with that said, the first thing I would take out is temur battle rage, because this card is always card disadvantage. Then go down to 1 tarfire, because the only way this card isn't card disadvantage against them is killing snapcaster mage or v clique. Leaving in one for the goyf is probably fine. Then I would cut terminate, since push can kill all of their creatures. I only run 3 pushes, so I would leave in those three plus the abrupt decay, personally. Next, start cutting hand disruption. Thoughtseize is better than IoK here, so the rest of the cards that you need to cut should be IoK.

    Bringing stuff in, you want to bring in everything that could be a 2-1 that you can. All three lingering souls, and the ranger of eos. The ranger is undoubtedly the best card in this MU. It's a 3-1! If you run Nihil spellbomb, bring those in too. Your goyf will be big enough with just your yard, it's worth it. Collective brutality is a tough one. You can get virtual card advantage by pitching lands to it, but I usually want my lands in this MU. Plus if it gets countered, you fall way behind. Personally I don't bring it in.

    Even if you boarded perfectly, you'll still lose if you don't play against it correctly. I suggest sleeving up a proxy (or real, if you can) version of the UW deck and playing it against a friend, who is playing your death shadow deck. Just jam a bunch of games, then try switching.

    The key here is to always deny them the 2-1. (1) Never have more than 1 threat on board, because board wipes. (2) Always try to overload their countermagic. Thought experiment. They have a hand full of cancels, you have a hand full of goyfs, and you each have four lands in play. If you play 1 goyf per turn for the rest of the game, you will draw. But if you play two goyfs per turn, and they always cancel the first one, you'll win. A common play that I make in this MU is cast traverse, grab a threat, then pass the turn with plenty of open mana. If they let the traverse resolve, they're just going to counter the threat. I want to wait until I can play two threats per turn to overload their cryptic commands. (3) Never run out of gas. If they have a cryptic in hand, and you only have one threat in hand, just don't play it. You'll draw a thoughtseize or other threat eventually. (4) Be mindful of thinning your deck of threats with traverse. This actually comes up. If you've drawn two threats already, then you only have 6 left. If you traverse twice, you've now reduced your number of threats by 33%. By nature of the decks, this game is going to go long, and we run 8+ cantrips. You will draw enough cards that the %'s add up. Wait to cast traverse until the situation demands it, not just willy nilly.

    I hope that helps some!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Control
    BladeMasta, I'd watch some of Corey Burkhart's streams on his youtube channel. One of the most important thing with this deck is to make sure you know how to use Cryptic Command/Snapcaster Mage/Kolaghan's Command together, and he's a master at playing those cards. I almost never used the discard mode in K-Command before I watched some of his games. Turns out it's the second best mode in the meta right now.

    Also, what sort of decks are you seeing? Control decks have to be tuned very tightly to do well. It's certainly useful to know how to play a list that is turned towards the tournament meta against jank, since that's a scenario you're likely to face in rounds 1/2 of a large tournament. But that won't be the list that will perform best in that meta. If your meta is full of U-Tron, 8-Rack, and Dredgevine for some reason I wouldn't expect the Burkhart list to do well.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on State of Modern Thread: bans, format health, metagame, and more! (3/13 update)
    I think that we should start moving away from the word "fair" in these discussions. IMO legacy is the most balanced format archetype wise - regardless of what kind of deck you like to play, you'll find something good in legacy that will let you play that strategy. This certainly hasn't been true in modern or standard in quite a while. The most "fair" cards played in legacy are some of the most broken cards in the history of magic. So it's pretty clear to me that fairness does not translate to format health.

    Besides this, the term is hopelessly subjective. For example, I believe thoughtseize is a fair magic card. Varyag clearly does not. I don't think that one of us could possibly convince the other on this point. And quite frankly, if it is an unfair card, I don't care. Does the card promote a diversity of strategies in Tier 2+ decks? If it does, I want it in modern. I feel the same way about the tronlands, through the breach, and mox opal. Maybe some of them violate that qualification, but IMO that is the standard against which these borderline cards should be evaluated. Unlike how "fair" something might be, or how much you personally tilt playing against it (there's a tenth circle of hell set aside for Eidolon of the Great Revel), this metric directly leads to more players being able to enjoy the game and, through theory crafting, can be discussed in more objective terms.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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