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All Sets Are Good: Saviors of Kamigawa
Dominaria Spoiler Digest - Who's Who and What's What from the Release Notes
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Kizzel »
    Hey guys. How would you say mono white humans are compared to 5c? I’ve been looking at mono white for some time now and was interested in putting it together, but then didn’t want to waste my time if it won’t be any good.

    You may want to include Field Marshal if you go mono white. Lieutenant and Champion are both Soldiers, and I think Thalia is also a Soldier.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Phelan93 »
    Hi guys needing a bit of help with an issue due to a modern unified modern event, currently the team is using two decks with seachrome coast wondering if there is an effective way to pivot this out of humans without disrupting the mana to much ? ive seen the use of Reflecting Pool and just cant agree with it, is going up on basics doable with a deck like this ?

    I play 1 Reflecting Pool and 1 Seachrome Coast. RefPool worked well for me as a singleton. We've seen Jonathan Rossum and Collins Mullen play 2 copies of RefPool to support Pia and Kiran Nalaar recently. I would trust their professional judgment that at least one is fine. The other can be Hallowed Fountain or Mana Confluence, if you can't play Fountain because of team restrictions.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I'm still not convinced about Bodyguard...

    Top deck Bodyguard and play it on a field with 3/3 Lieutenant, MedMage and Freebooter. Which one do you protect? You can be sure opponent will remove the others, and not care about the Bodyguard. Because with Bodyguard, you're essentially giving opponent the choice of ignoring it.

    But Saffi can't be ignored. Play her, and you can protect them all from the next removal. Lieutenant will lose its counters, but will trigger again and put counters on MedMage and Freebooter. You'll get to reset MedMage and Freebooter and, of course, that can be bad (but not necessarily). But I prefer having the opportunity of giving *less* choices to my opponent.

    And what's the big deal protecting your turn 2 creature with Bodyguard from Vial if it can't protect the more important pieces you'll play in the next 2-3 turns? MedMage is more precious to protect than Freebooter, IMHO. But Freebooter often precedes MedMage to get informations. Turn 2 Bodyguard from Vial will only protect the less important Freebooter, while a turn 3 Saffi will protect MedMage (or Freebooter, if that's what you want).

    Play Bodyguard to protect your only creature. It gets removed while Bodyguard is on the stack. Bodyguard does nothing. Saffi will not save a creature removed while she's on the stack, but she's a 2/2 that can attack into Snapcaster if pumped with a Lieutenant (2/1 can't do that) and will protect the next important creature you'll play.

    The more I think about Bodyguard, the more I think it gives too much choices to opponent, and will too often be very frustrating to play.

    I've already ordered a pair of Saffi. If I can have them by tomorrow, I'll test her in the main deck, along with Kytheon. I appreciate having 10 one-drops, and beleive it's sound in the metagame to have certain protection from removals. I'll try her instead of 2 Image.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from kineticstasis »
    You can find the lists for the IQ Mullen played in here:[T2]=28&start_date=2018-03-10&end_date=2018-03-10&state=NC&city=Cary&order_1=finish&order_2=last_name&limit=8&t_num=1&action=Show+Decks. Side note, if anyone can show me the proper way to create a [url]-tag for that link I'd appreciate it.

    Not that I know of. The brackets in the URL corrupt the tag.

    Quote from kineticstasis »
    Regarding both Thraben Inspector vs. Dark Confidant and Dauntless Bodyguard vs. Saffi Eriksdotter let's not undersell the difference between 1 and 2 mana. Too many times I've played a turn 1 Aether Vial and not activated it until turn 3. We have our disruptive elements and our grindy elements but at the end of the day we're in the Aggro/Tempo section of the forum for a reason, and I want to curve out as consistently as possible.

    The stock list with 19 lands and 4 Vials follows an 8-20-9 curve :
    • 8 x 1-drops : 4 Champion, 4 Hierarch
    • 20 x 2-drops : 4 Lieutenant, 4 Thalia, 4 Freebooter, 4 MedMage, 4 Image
    • 9 x 3-drops : 4 Rider, 4 RefMage, 1 Malcontents
    My own list (with 2 Big Thalia instead 1 RefMage and 1 Malcontents) has a slightly lower curve, at 10-18-9 (with 2 Kytheon instead of 1 Thalia and 1 MedMage, mainly because I don't feel I know the meta well enough to play 4 MedMage and because I'm anxious to play 4 copies of the same legendary). So we agree already that a lower curve is a reasonable goal for the deck. I'm not entirely sure my call on Kytheon was the right one, however. Is Thraben Inspector the right call for this slot? Could these two 1-drop slots be replaced with Dauntless Bodyguard, or Saffi Eriksdotter?

    Bodyguard is better than Saffi at 3 things :
    It costs less (W vs GW). BUT, Bodyguard is a vanilla 2/1 on an empty board, and this means it's a pretty bad turn 1 play. AND costing only 1 mana is a drawback when Vial is better and more often at 2 counters (rather than 1). On the mana cost axis, I feel it fails at properly lowering our curve.
    It can protect Phantasmal Image. BUT, this advantage is mitigated by the fact that the illusion is still in the flex spot (and that it's already down to 2 copies in Pros' lists).
    It's better protecting +1/+1 counters (invulnerable = don’t lose counters). BUT this is of no use if Bodyguard isn't protecting the fat creature. AND most probably having another trigger through Saffi is better than saving a few counters.

    It seems to me Bodyguard will be much more awkward than Saffi. She can be played anytime during the game (main phase or with Vial) to protect a creature already on the battlefield, or that will later enter the battlefield. Dauntless Bodyguard is much more narrow. We can play Saffi with 2 mana and activate Vial to play a 2/3-drop that is already protected (either Saffi is a removal magnet while activation is on the stack and opponent doesn’t yet know the creature Vial will reveal, or Saffi can sacrifice herself to protect Vial's creature when you pass priority later). But the same is not true for Bodyguard. It's hard to play with Vial, and it cannot protect future creatures.

    About the addition of Pia and Kiran Nalaar... I strongly doubt playing two RR 4-drops is something a 19 lands deck can afford in the main deck. Isn't Pia Nalaar strictly better for us? One less Thopter token for a more reasonable mana cost, and her abilities are a bit easier to use (including late game sac Vial to prevent a creature from blocking). And like someone else said, I think Big Thalia is better than any Nalaar cards in this metagame.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from patbou »
    BTW, if Dauntless Bodyguard is eventually good for Humans, why don’t we play Saffi Eriksdotter instead? She has a better body, and doesn’t have to choose a creature to protect. She can be played on an empty board on turn 2, and still protect Mantis Rider on turn 3. Saving a Human with Saffi will also trigger ETB effects, and she’s easier to play with Vial, since we’re more likely to have it at 2 counters than 1.

    I don’t know her interaction with Phantasmal Image, however. Her ability will probably fizzle. I’ll ask on the rulings forum...

    Saffi can’t save Phantasmal Image ( So that’s bad for her. But I still think she would be more useful and fit the deck better than Dauntless Bodyguard in a removals heavy meta. No?

    Quote from kineticstasis »
    Looks like this past weekend Jonathon Rosum and Collins Mullen top 8'd a SCG Classic and IQ respectively with this list, which offers an interesting take on the new meta:

    I can’t find Collins Mullen’s list. Can you please provide the URL to the event and Top 8?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Saffi vs Image
    What happens when I sacrifice Saffi Eriksdotter to protect a Phantasmal Image (whatever the Image is currently copying)?

    When Image goes into the graveyard because it was targeted with Saffi’s ability, will it return to the battlefield? I guess not, but I want to know if that trick could be used to « reset » Image (and copy another creature). Thanks!
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Two other Humans deck did Top 16 with relatively stock lists :[C1]=28&start_date=03/10/2018&end_date=03/11/2018&start=1&finish=16&event_ID=36&city=Dallas&order_1=finish&order_2=last_name

    BTW, if Dauntless Bodyguard is eventually good for Humans, why don’t we play Saffi Eriksdotter instead? She has a better body, and doesn’t have to choose a creature to protect. She can be played on an empty board on turn 2, and still protect Mantis Rider on turn 3. Saving a Human with Saffi will also trigger ETB effects, and she’s easier to play with Vial, since we’re more likely to have it at 2 counters than 1.

    I don’t know her interaction with Phantasmal Image, however. Her ability will probably fizzle. I’ll ask on the rulings forum...
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Wittel »
    Hey everyone, new poster on the thread, I've been playing the deck for a little bit more than a month now.

    I understand that the deck was quite strong before the unbans because it could prey on lots of linear uninteractive decks, but with the recents unbans I have some trouble dealing with either Jund, Mardu pyromancer, or removal-heavy Jace lists (Sultai or Grixis). Mainly because of all the spot removals Bolt/Push/Decay/Collective Brutality and so on.

    I'm planning on playing the deck at GP Madrid this weekend, do you have any insight or sideboard techs that could improve those matchups significantly ? I've been toying with Dire Fleet Daredevil, Auriok Champion and Mirran Crusader, but none of these seem to be impactful enough.

    Thanks for your help !
    Welcome to the thread! Smile

    I don't have experience vs Jund since Bloodbraid Elf is legal. I've fought the Elf, but only in the Zoo Tribal Flames shell. So my advices are pure theory...

    Be careful with Freebooter. Most of the time, you should take Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push first, instead of Kolaghan’s Command or Maelstrom Pulse. This will force opponent to spend their best spell and more mana to get their card back. And if you have Thalia, you'll gain an extra turn doing so. Of course, if you have Vial and Freebooter in play, it will hurt when they'll cast Kolaghan’s Command. But I think it's better to force this play than leaving them with a cheap removal that will get them back their spell very fast. And if you're on the play, maybe you can even play Meddling Mage or another Freebooter to take care of it before they can cast it. And, of course, you'll be careful before playing a duplicate if you've seen Maelstrom Pulse in their hand.

    With Meddling Mage, if you cast it uninformed (because it doesn’t follow a Freebooter), it may be tempting to name Kolaghan’s Command or Maelstrom Pulse, because these are the spells that hurt us the most. But Jund don't play more than 1-2 of these spells, so I think that's a very bad call. Bolt and Push could be good, but they don't play more than 3 copies of each, so even that could be the wrong call. However, they play 4 copies of Bloodbraid Elf, Liliana of the Veil, Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant. I would name Liliana of the Veil before they can cast it in the early game, or if Meddling Mage is the only creature you control. But once they have 3 lands, I would name Bloodbraid Elf before they can play their fourth land (still be careful if Meddling Mage is alone on the battlefield, because Liliana of the Veil can force the sacrifice).

    Remember that with 2 counters on Vial, you can play Thalia while Bloodbraid Elf is on the stack, before Cascade resolves. This will tax the cascaded spell, and if they can’t pay the tax, it will fizzle. And a 3/2 Haste can't attack into a 2/1 First Strike. Smile

    I think Thalia, Heretic Cathar is better than Kessig Malcontents in a meta with Jund. They play 1 basic out of 25 lands, so she'll hurt their curve a lot if not answered right away. Tapping Bloodbraid Elf kills Haste, and tapping Tarmogoyf removes a big blocker for a turn. This gives us an edge that a Malcontents no longer have (it won't generate a lot of damage if all your other creatures got removed).

    Finally, it may be a good thing to side out Vial to bring in more creatures. Goal is to overload their removals and win a longer game. Dire Fleet Daredevil is a sound choice for the matchup. Auriok Champion resists Bolt, but is only a 1/1. Mirran Crusader dies to Bolt but resists all other removals, and can attack/block vs Elf, Goyf and Ooze. I thus prefer Crusader over Auriok Champion.

    If we can tweek the manabase to manage Descendants' Path, I would try it out vs Jund.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from r497 »
    Shana seems neat. She's legendary and hard to kill, so maybe 1 or 2 maindeck only?

    I like how we can turn into a full aggro deck with some of these cards if we want (and the meta forces us to do so). We bring back Mayor, use that 3 drop lord and let the disruptive humans for the sideboard. Don't know if that would be better, but it sure seems fun
    Shanna can't be the target of abilities, but she can be the target of spells. I guess that immunes her from planeswalkers 's abilities (Chandra, Nahiri, Karn, Jace, etc.) and from Lavamancer's activition, but there doesn’t seem to be much more usefulness to this protection in Modern.

    I don't think she'll make the cut. Creatures with */* are easy to trick. You'll attack with her as a 3/3 into a 2/2, get blocked, and then some removals will change the math and she'll die.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Da_Trauko »
    Dauntless Bodyguard
    Creature — Human Knight
    As Dauntless Bodyguard enters the battlefield, choose another creature you control.
    Sacrifice Dauntless Bodyguard: The chosen creature gains indestructible until end of turn.

    Very good. An aggressive 1-drop that you won't be mad top decking in the later stage of the game. I'm not sure we'll be able to fit 4 in the main deck, but we should have at least 2 in the 75. Will help a lot against Jund.

    Benalish Marshal
    Creature — Human Knight
    Other creatures you control get +1/+1

    Not sure we want another lord, but it's there to consider.

    Knight of Grace
    Creature — Human Knight
    First strike
    Hexproof from black (This creature can't be the target of black spells or abilities your opponents control.)
    Knight of Grace gets +1/+0 as long as any player controls a black permanent.
    Knight of Malice
    Creature — Human Knight
    First strike
    Hexproof from white (This creature can't be the target of white spells or abilities your opponents control.)
    Knight of Malice gets +1/+0 as long as any player controls a white permanent
    Sideboard material?

    Kwende, Pride of Femeref
    Legendary Creature — Human Knight
    Double strike
    Creatures you control with first strike have double strike
    Costs a lot, but some synergy with both Thalias and Daredevil.

    Shanna, Sisay's Legacy
    Legendary Creature — Human Warrior
    Shanna, Sisay's Legacy can't be the target of abilities your opponents control.
    Shanna gets +1/+1 for each creature you control
    I don't think she's good enough to kick a card out of the deck, but she seems like a better top deck than a Champion in the late game.

    There will certainly be more Humans in Dominaria. I can't wait to see all the spoilers!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Won 3-0 tonight with this list:

    2-1 vs Elves (on the draw) : I won game 1 with turn 2 RefMage and 2 Images copying RefMage soon after. We stared at each other for a very long time on game 2, but 2 Shaman of the Pack for 15+ damage total got me really hard. Game 3, he conceded when I played Izzet Staticaster on turn 3. Grin (BTW, I also sided in 2 Gut Shot, hoping to kill mana dorks before they ramp and get too fat, but I never saw the card).

    2-0 vs Dredge (on the draw) : I won game 1 to a one-lander. Game 2, he refilled his hand twice with Loam and followed next turn with Conflagrate for 7, discarding his hand completely. I was expecting this, and kept an Illusion in my hand to copy Lieutenant (with Vial). This saved 2 of the 3 targets of Conflagrate, and even though Freebooter died, giving back Lightning Axe to the opponent, he was tapped out then and couldn't cast it before another Freebooter on my turn took care of it, and I rolled over him.

    2-0 vs 4/5c Bloodbraid Flames (on the play) : Same guy, same deck to which I've lost 0-2 last week. Mulliganed to 6*, kept a one lander with Vial, 2 Riders and 2 Reflector Mage. It was a very slow start, but I eventually reached 3 counters on Vial. RefMage took care of opposing Mantis Rider. Next turn, Big Thalia did the job of killing Haste and removing a blocker for a turn (Rider). RefMage #2 again bounced Rider in his hand, and I played my 3rd land to hit with another Rider. Some removals helped him a lot, killing Big Thalia before he played Mantis Rider, again (the same one I bounced twice). On the stack, another Big Thalia from Vial before he conceded.
    Game 2, I sided out 2 Kytheon and 2 Vial, to add Hostage Taker, Heron's Grace Champion and 2 Anafenza (because she can resist Bolt and Helix). This game was quite long, because Kitchen Finks and Scavenging Ooze gained him some life. Opponent managed to kill the first Freeboter and Meddling Mage, but another pair (exiling Path to Exile and naming Tribal Flames) took care of his last Burn spells. Heron's Grace Champion and Phantasmal Image (copying HerPion) put me out of reach of lethal, and I grinded the rest in the air. Smile

    * About Mulligans:
    I did a lot of research and data crunching last week, aiming to be better at recognizing Mulligan situations. I wanted to be better at making this decision, because it was very clear to me that last week's bad results were my own fault, of not taking Mulligans when I should have. To that end, I ran 10.000 simulations of completely random hands (thank you, Excel), and considered keepable hands those with 1 to 5 lands that could play 2+ creatures by turn 3 (considering Vial, but assuming Hierarch would never survive to tap for mana on turn 2). Results under this protocole :
    • 75-80% = odds of 7 keepable cards, with most Mulligans coming from 0-6-7 lands, or 1 land, no Vial and less than 2 one-drops.
    • 45-50% = odds of 6 keepable cards.
    • 30-35% = odds of 5 keepable cards.
    • 56% = odds of top decking 1 land out of 2 cards (scry + draw), when there's 18 lands left in a library of 54 cards (with a hand of 6 cards including 1 land).
    • What this tells me is that Mulliganing down to 5 cards is EXTEMELY risky for Humans. Thus, with 6 cards, one-landers should be considered keepable more often than what the 7 cards protocole suggests. I have no formula for that but, basically, just be less picky.
    • A good example of this is the 6 cards hand I kept on game 1 of MU #3 (see above). With one land and Vial, even though I couldn't play a creature until turn 4, I kept this hand with 2 RefMage and 2 Riders. I figured that the odds were in my favor, of drawing a one/two-drops that would allow me to play something on turn 2 or 3 while powering up Vial, or of drawing lands that would allow me to play 2 three-drops on turn 4+. Really, there were no really bad top decks for this hand, and it was a very safe bet to put 3 counters on Vial. I thus kept the hand, and won the matchup. Was I lucky? Maybe, but I think not. I made the most logical decision, based on pure mathematics.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from TribalElfMage »
    Main take away is that I feel like CoCo is a little better than Vial at this point in the meta. Or at least, for the meta I saw in Worcester.

    Why do you think CoCo is better than Vial in this meta?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »
    I believe a Vial on turn 1 with only 1 other 1-drop is very keepable. Vial on turn 1, Champ/Noble on turn 2 (hardcast or vialed in), then you have one more drawstep to draw a land, and you have a 2-drop vialed in by turn 3 anyway. The one way this hand is bad is if your opponent plays TS / Inqui and you're left with no Vial. I will always take the bet here, until Inqui decks are a dominant part of the metagame.
    I somewhat agree with you. Ideally, we'll play 3 creatures in 3 turns. But as I found out with the above mentioned spreadsheet, if we Mulligan all hands that can't play 3 creatures in 3 turns, we'll be Mulliganing about 70% of the time. Playing 2 creatures in 3 turns becomes what can be considered acceptable. But this means we can't keep a hand with 1-2 lands and Vial if it doesn’t have at least 2 one-drops (in which case we play nothing on turn 3), or a one-drop + a non-Image two-drop to play with Vial on turn 3 (or is Image fine to copy our one-drop?).
    I believe you would keep a white land if the rest of your hand was castable with it, right ? You have 16 cards (12 lands + 4 Vials) that can fix all your colors against 7 lands that can't. You can topdeck Champ and creatures you can vial in. Noble can't help cast FreeB and Mantis here. Your second land isn't enough to cast a 3-drop anyway. So if your hand has Vial, Canopy and any combination of Thalias and Lieutenants, wouldn't you keep ?
    I would. Like I said, keep a one-lander with an Aetherland, being defined as a Cavern, Territories or Canopy.
    Only Cavern of Souls and Unclaimed Territories can assure you to cast both Hierarch or Vial

    Technically, Canopy also can. Wink
    Yes, but top deck a Hierarch, and you're still color screwed. We now have 4 more cards in the bad top deck pool, and good top decks are down from 26 to 22 (18 lands and 4 Vials). Lookup Chapin's Equation. These are not numbers we're looking for.
    For hands with 2+ lands, I think we have to Mulligan any hand that doesn’t have at least 1 one-drop, 1 non-Image two-drop and 1 other two/three-drop. Key here is to have something to play every turn for the first 3 turns, always.
    I think a hand with only 2 castable spells by turn 3 is a keep. If your hand has Champ into Lieut, or 2 Lieuts, it's already a nice hand. With 2 lands and say, 3 two-drops, you're assured to cast a spell by turn 4 anyway, letting you draw 4-5 cards off the top, so I think you should have your 3rd land by then. If not, those are simply the odds, not the proof you should've mulliganed. If you go back to only 2 two-drops, well even though you don't draw your 3rd land by turn 4, you may draw another 1-drop or 2-drop, so the odds are you ahve a high chance to play something on turn 4 anyway.
    As said in the other post, I now think we should keep hands that can cast 2 creatures in the first 3 turns. Two lands and 2 two-drops should thus be kept. But I'd be a little nervous if the 3 other cards are all three-drops. These are at risk of being dead cards for long if we don't top deck a land. Top decking a Hierarch could help, but it's slow and fragile. Vial is a more resilient top deck, but slower than Hierarch. I wouldn't be happy to keep this hand, but Mulligan down to 6 to the same cards but one less three-drops would be worse. So I guess I would keep.
    Quote from Da_Trauko »
    How the fart you guys deal with jeskai control? So much removal, my opp was at 4 lifes and still they casted Emrakul after x2 +20 min games...
    You need the disruptive package in this matchup : Thalia, Freebooter and/or Meddling Mage. Post SB, Dire Fleet Daredevil is a nice response to Snapcaster, and Notion Thief screws Opt, Serum Vision, Cryptic Command, Electrolyze, Jace and Nahiri. Gaddock Teeg prevents Cryptic Command, Jace, Nahiri, Chandra and Through the Breach.

    BTW, Notion Thief is not only good because it prevents opponent from drawing cards, but because it draws you cards too! And because it has Flash, it plays very well in the Control Matchups.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I'll reply to your comments a bit later, in a different post, for sake of clarity. For now, I have a little question myself to ask you and the community : Keep or Mulligan this hand ?
    Would your answer be different on the play or on the draw? Let's assume here that we don't know what our opponent is playing. But what if we do and it's game 2? Against what kind of matchups is this keepable, or just terrible? And what if Ancient Ziggurat is Horizon Canopy instead? Or if Reflector Mage instead of Thalia, Heretic Cathar?

    I'm developing a spreadsheet with RNG to simulate a very high number of 7 cards samples (aiming at 1000 hands, and I'll repeat the scenarios 10 times for very reliable statistics). Under the current protocole, this hand is a Mulligan, for the only reason it has no « Non-Image Two-drops ». It has 2 lands, including a rainbowland, and 3+ creatures, including 2+ that I can cast in the first 3 turns.

    But I think my criterias for what's a Keep and what's a Mulligan are too stricts, because the number of Mulligans the program shows up is way too high. I thought the protocole was reasonable to have playable hands that can win a game, but it seems not and I tried to observe what kind of hands are being rejected. The above one appeared first, and I was immediately struck by it, unable to even look at another rejected sample.

    After reading many articles about Mulligans, it seems pro players always assume they have very bad top decks when considering their starting hands. Can these cards win this particular matchup, considering I’m on the play/draw? If not they'll Mulligan.

    Bad draws for this hand would be another land or a Vial (21 cards). I'm not sure if another Big Thalia is a bad draw, because a backup is probably not so bad. Even if Image can't copy Baby Thalia or Kytheon, they are probably fine draws because I can at least cast them and they'll do something. Another Hierarch or Image is bad but not disastrous, because they'll add more Exalted triggers to the battlefield. According to the Chapin's Equation, next top deck will be good 60% of the time (or 84% of 1+ good card in the next two).

    This hand of 7 cards can cast Big Thalia on turn 2. On the play, this is a very strong disruption against most decks, tapping their lands and creatures. If not removed and I have bad top decks (land and Vial), she can attack for 7 on turn 3 (with the 2 other Hierarch, and Image copying a Hierarch), most probably unblocked because of her abilities. Opponent only has 2 untap steps to kill her before I win on turn 5.

    If Big Thalia is removed, Hierarch can attack as a 3/4 on turn 3, and a 4/5 on turns 4+. That's not a very good clock, but it can still win a game attacking 5 times (plus a fetch for the last damage), even against Lantern Control (0/1 can attack under Bridge)... but not against Gurmag Angler, a fat Tarmogoyf/Shadow or Tasigur.

    So this hand seems to be able to win a game on the play, even with bad top decks. I would probably have kept it on the play against most opponents. It's not as good on the draw, because Thalia's abilities are less relevant. But any non-bad top deck is an amazing top deck because of Image, so I would probably have kept this hand too on the draw.

    If we know our matchup, then it's a bad hand against red sweepers because we have to overextend to win and Thalia can't delay the sweeper long enough unless opponent misses a land drop on turn 2 or 3. It's bad too against Wrath, Verdict and Damnation if we're on the draw. Against removal/discard-heavy decks, it's also probably a bad hand (no Thalia to attack or even play, and Hierarch is increasingly worse the less you have). Bad too against non-creatures and land-light Combo decks, like Storm.

    I guess my final answer would be KEEP this hand most of the time, except against Storm or on the draw in certain matchups.

    And if Ancient Ziggurat is Horizon Canopy instead? Canopy can still cast all the cards in my hand, with a tax on my life total. But it turns Kitesail Freebooter and Mantis Rider (and Kessig Malcontents, if you play it) into pretty bad draws (like many SB cards), downgrading good top decks from 60% to 45%. Is that reason enough to Mulligan, because we're at risk of being color-screwed (but not certain we'll be)? We can obviously try our luck with a Mulligan and draw better 6 cards, but these can also be worse...

    And if Thalia, Heretic Cathar is Reflector Mage instead? Mage is less aggressive than Big Thalia, more reactive (thus better on the draw than the play). Its disruptive ability is conditional compared to her's, and not as generally useful, but its effect lingers for a full turn even if it's removed. Mage is also a potential target to copy with Image, which makes this card better in the right matchup. I think I'd Mulligan this hand more often than with Big Thalia, but I'm not sure...

    TL/DR : Shame on you, it's well written. :p
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    After a lot of thinking, here are my guidelines for mulligans :

    ONE LAND :
    + Hierarch : Mulligan unless it's a Rainbowland* and you have at least another one-drop, 1+ non-Image two-drop and no more than 2 three-drops (if Hierarch is removed, they may stay dead cards for long). *Cavern of Souls, Unclaimed Territories and Ancient Ziggurat can all cast Hierarch and tap for R and B to support Hierarch and cast all our spells.
    + Vial : Mulligan unless it's an Aetherland* and you have at least 2 one-drops and 1+ non-Image two-drop. *Cavern of Souls, Unclaimed Territories and Horizon Canopy can all cast Vial and all our one-drops (in hand or top deck) and any land on the top deck will fix our needs. Even if Vial by itself fixes all our colors, I doubt it's reasonable to keep Plains or Seachrome Coast as our only land (and Ziggurat is useless for T1 Vial).
    + 3 Weenies (0-1 Kytheon and 2-3 Champions) : Mulligan unless it's a Humanland*. Only Cavern of Souls and Unclaimed Territories can assure you to cast both Hierarch or Vial (if you top deck one or the other), and make sure any land on the top deck will be a good draw (top decking a Plains, Coast or Canopy is really bad if you’re stuck on Bant, but very good if your colors are already fixed). The odds of top decking 1+ land in the next 2 cards are only 56%. That's why I believe more than two Weenies are required to keep a one lander.

    For hands with 2+ lands, I think we have to Mulligan any hand that doesn’t have at least 1 one-drop, 1 non-Image two-drop and 1 other two/three-drop. Key here is to have something to play every turn for the first 3 turns, always. I don't think Humans can ever afford to stumble on these precious turns, and I will Mulligan more aggressively in the future. I know I can win with 5 cards, I've done so the other night.

    Edit : Also, I think we should never keep hands with less than 3 Humans. Ideally, we'll have 4...
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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