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Mar 14, 2018Generally I agree but I never liked Flayer in any games I saw him. He died too easily or couldn't get through the board. He was mana restrictive and I just felt there were better options. I could see running him if you go all the way to Traverse but as you can see from my list, I did not. I like BBE as a pure value threat and the access to some sideboard cards that I feel help in a few matchups that RBw doesn't quite cut it. Like Golgari Charm is great, unique and versatile. Ancient Grudge is good against Lantern and I have liked having it's flashback as an option in other artifact driven matchups. If you are not playing Moon, the splash has been extremely easy and I haven't been hampered by it and again the speed and consistency of getting threats into play is huge.Posted in: Midrange
Mar 14, 2018So I have been testing out Decandio's 4c version of the deck and while it certainly has a higher power ceiling, I'm not sure if I like sacrificing the consistency we have enjoyed with straight Mardu. While Traverse and BBE were amazing IMO, playing cards like Bauble and Architects of Will hampered the gameplan too much at times leaving you with fewer instants and sorceries in yard. This led to worse Pyromancers and Revelers as well. I also feel that 18 lands was pure lunacy to try to actively cast 4 drops. So last night I decided to do a bit of combining of the two. This is ofcourse a non-blood moon version of the deck because you are splashing for 2 colors (green and white). White is literally just Lingering Souls and sideboard cards and Green is just Bloodbraid Elf and sideboard cards. It worked extremely well last night. BBE was good as advertised. The only time I was a little sad to see it was the more niche situations where you are empty handed and cascade into a faithless looting. Maybe it's right to just looting anyway on the off chance of binning more lootings and souls but I opted not to last night, maybe that's wrong. Gonna need some more testing. It's the same Mardu we know and love but I ran into very few games where I ran out of threats. The burn matchup is hurt a little by not running fast lands and instead relying on fetches and shocks but it did not feel that much worse than usual because BBE did help close out games in a quicker fashion than normal Mardu does consistently. I will admit I only played burn 3 times last night in my limited jamming and the players I played were... not the best (one had double skullcrack with Kambul out and decided to cast the 2nd one with the first on the stack after the Kambul trigger had already resolved. Thanks guy.) but none of the games where there was an obvious misplay seemed to actually cost them games. One game in particular (the one with the skullcrack play mentioned above) he was probably a <10% out but that play made it 0.Posted in: Midrange
Mar 12, 2018I think it's a metagame dependent decision. If you are looking to beat Midrange/Control and creature decks all day you go with the 4c version. If you suspect more burn, big mana and other such decks, you go with the classic build. I'm in the process of trying to determine which one I am taking to GP Phx. Been playing a pretty stock Gerry T style list and it's been great so far but the lack of threats does come back to bite you sometimes.Posted in: Midrange
Dec 18, 2017Posted in: Modern ArchivesQuote from gkourou »@Exatraz, did you even read my latest post? The numbers literally prove you wrong. Tron is fine. If you want to win it there are ways. Even if you are a Control player, you can go UW Control with Spreading Seas and Field Of Ruins all playsets. If you want to smash them, add 1-2 Ceremonious Rejection and 1-2 Disdainful Stroke in your sideboard. The first card is also great vs other popular colourless or artifact decks like Lantern, Affinity, Eldrazis and the second one is great vs Scapeshift or Titanshift decks, great in the UW Walker mirrors, Storm, Ad Nauseam.
I did read your comments but you are also wrong. It does warp the format. The fact the death shadow decks have moved to running Temur Battle Rage and cutting IoK is further examples of them having to warp to adjust to Tron. Titanshift is far less of a problem but Tron has warped the format. You could play UWx with Seas and Field of Ruins hoping to beat Tron but you lose to most of the other decks in the field. That is the problem.
Dec 18, 2017Sweet! All these are good options. I forgot about adding Thragtusk to my list I also like Regisaur Alpha because while he doesn't pad your life total, he does help in the aggro matchup and his main body dodges bolt/helix. Essentially I do like the option of a 5 drop or something like Thrun, the Last Troll. Something awkward to counter and/or hard to remove. Thrun is sort of like that, being weak to Queller is the lone exception. I'm mainly worried about the Tempo Variants (queller/burn) because that is primarily what I expect to see at GP Santa Clara (of the 3 variants).Posted in: Midrange
Bow seems awkward. It gets countered by everything, it doesn't kill quellers, gaining 3 life is relevant but not how i feel like we are winning the matchup and the deathtouch seems irrelevant since our creatures are bigger than theirs anyway. I'm just not convinced it's the right tool for the job.
Dec 18, 2017Posted in: Modern Archives
This is not true as I posted before. It's done well ALL year (2nd most top 8's at GPs this year). Yes OKC was the first time it's put up insane numbers but Tron has been consistent throughout the year at putting up numbers.
It has been talked about by Pros as well. One of the primary reason I've seen people back off is because it's a beatable deck that people had to get used to playing against (Tron isn't like that, you either win quick or lose horribly), and it's a symptom of the problem with the format. Big mana is forcing people that want to try to play interactive decks to be able to also be an aggro deck. This is why the most popular versions of Jeskai are the Queller variants which can essentially transition to be a burn deck if needed.
These exact same things were said about Twin before it was axed. "If they ban anything, it'll just be Exarch", "they'd never kill twin". It's not just 2 events, it's been all year and it's not just about the numbers but what it does to deck construction for the entire format.
Dec 18, 2017I played in 2 more events over the weekend, a 1k in which I got 16th (losing 2 win and in's yet again) and my team placed 6th in a Team Trios event (though it was a cut to top 4 and we ended up at 2-2 overall) as I prep for Santa Clara. I didn't take notes this weekend as I forgot my notepad at home so I don't have a full tournament report but I will say, I got flooded a TON. Many many of my losses were games where I drew 3 lands in a row. The strange thing is on MTGO I'm having the opposite problem on the exact same 75. Many many 1 land unkeepable openers that I have to throw back. Oddly enough I think I am going to trim back to 23 lands in paper to either go to 7 MB Discard or 7 MB spot removal spells (kinda feel like adding the 4th Push).Posted in: Midrange
All in all I felt great on both days playing the deck. The 1k Meta was extremely weird as there were 0 Traditional Tron decks in the room and only 2 E. Tron and 2 Scapeshift. Outside of that, there was a ton of Uxx type decks. This is pretty par the course for my meta anyway (people love their u based control decks) and people really can't/don't shift drastically in paper when decks start performing well at GPs. It's just too costly for most.
I am still planning to run Jund at GP Santa Clara but I've also added GB Tron, Humans and Jeskai to my testing radar for the event. I really really don't want to play Tron but I'm falling into that reasoning, "If you think it's doing the most busted broken things in the format, you should be playing it at competitive events". It would have been really really good this weekend too *puts gun in mouth*.
Still, if I end up going with Jund, I am totally happy with that. It's a deck I play well and I love my overall list. Rabblemaster is insane as usual and I'm even in my losses, I never regretted sleeving up Jund for both events. I would like to figure out a better SB plan for Jeskai however. It's a bit tough as it feels like there are 40 million iterations of the deck which all function slightly differently. Currently the 1 flex slot in my sideboard that I haven't been needing is my 1x Kalitas. He's a great card but I think I am moving on to something else. I'm not sure what that thing will be but I do think I want something that puts a hamper on Jeskai. If I got a choice, I'd love it to be something that dodges Queller, bolt/helix and doesn't feel awful getting pathed. I think it'd also be nice to have it be an aggressive card so I can bring it in during matchups I wanted to be the beatdown anyway and while maybe it's not as back breaking, it still be pretty good. Here is a short list of random options for that slot (notably these don't answer all these criterias but usually meet 2/3) [warning: some of these go pretty deep]:
Chandra, Torch of Defiance - Honestly, the card has been pretty meh for me overall. It gets hit by spell queller and rarely did i ever enjoy using it's minus. I don't think it's good enough but it's a popular choice among others.
Ishkanah, Grafwidow - So I played this MB in a more delirium heavy version of Abzan a while back and it was better than Seige Rhino. Delirium isn't insanely hard to turn on in my experience and if this thing gets to resolve it creates an army of dudes that block and kill Spell Quellers nicely. It also benefits by being great against Lingering Souls and Affinity (like we need help there though) My problem with the card is it isn't agressive and 5 cmc is a lot. If you don't have delirium it's also not great either.
Stormbreath Dragon - I am giving this card serious consideration. The most common variants of Jeskai I have been seeing would really really struggle to fight this card if it resolves. A good portion are running zero sweepers and it only dies to bolt snap bolt (or bolt and occasional Clique block), god forbid this card becomes monstrous, it probably just kills them. This fits the aggressive plan well because while 5cmc is a lot, in matchups where you want to be the aggressor, dropping a big threat every turn you can is important and the haste would be nice. I think if I had this in my SB and it was proving to be good enough I wouldn't be dropping the 24th land, instead I'd just deal with the flooding knowing I had a good payoff should I draw it.
Vance's Blasting Cannons - This is the effect we want most of the time out of Chandra but without the vulnerability of being attacked. Enchantment removal is also far less likely. This card isn't great when we are the aggressor but in the Jeskai mirror I like the option of not just getting a free card a turn but also flipping this into a bolt land if we need to. In those matchups it's kind of nice to stockpile spells (so you don't run into the "they counter everything you play" plan and instead get to drop multiple threats in a turn where 1 is going to resolve in the end) so getting to 3 spells isn't unheard of. Even when you are not flipping this, it's getting you value in a way that Jeskai likely won't be bringing in to deal with (Jeskai isn't bringing in Wear//Tear for game 2 and even if they see it and bring it in for game 3, that card is dead against the rest of the deck). The Jeskai variants also have a lot less land hate than their UW cousins so once it's flipped, they'll have to bounce it with Cryptic or it can cause serious problems for them. Now I don't necessarily think this card is at it's best with the way our deck is currently configured. If we had more "2 spells for 1 card for cheap" than I'd feel better about it. Examples of that are Claim//Fame and Traverse. Both cards give you the option of casting 2 spells for 3 mana so getting to storm 3 is pretty reasonable. Unfortunately our deck doesn't really do that. This card is "digging pretty deep" when considering the slot to fill but it's at least worth the thought exercise IMO.
Boil/Choke: I could just go the hate route and try to bone my opponent out of the game. I think these options are fine but way too narrow. I'd rather have something that I can use in other matches as well.
Shaper's Sanctuary: With the removal of sweepers and reliance on spot removal, this can come in under hate cards and really make life awkward for Jeskai. We don't get as much use out of it as a deck like Elves does but again, I'm just going over options as they come off the top of my head.
Anathemancer: I have long loved this card and it is an option. Unearth means that even if it's bolted or helixed, we can bring it back later. When I've played with it before it did an average of 2-5 damage when it entered which is not unreasonable and can potentially really put the hurt to Jeskai. While this card isn't very versatile, it does give us another card to bring in and be aggressive which I like.
There are probably lots more options out there, I expect to see a lot more Jeskai moving forward as it seems to have a great "against the field" type matchups with only a few bad ones (like Tron). It'd be nice to not feel like such a dog in that fight.
Dec 18, 2017Posted in: Modern ArchivesQuote from Billiondegree »Urza's Tower is the Mishra's Workshop of modern.
It enables so many cards to see play which would otherwise not even be considered playable in this format: Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Mine, Expedition Map, Karn Liberated, Ugin, Ulamog, Oblivion Stone, Wurmcoil Engine, Walking Ballista...
I cannot think of a single other card in the format on which the playability of so many other cards rests. Is this not format warping?
For me it's not just that it impacts the format. Cards like Thoughtseize, Push and Bolt all impact the format as well but it's the fact we do not have good answers to Tron. None of the tools we have are really good enough because they are either too slow/expensive, not good enough or it costs Tron less to recover than it did to set them back. The problem also lies that the kind of answer we'd need aren't things that would be printed in a Standard set and without any products that print direct to Modern, I think it leaves us with no choice for the time being.
One of the biggest reasons Tron was acceptable before was that while it could prey on the midrange and fair decks on the format, it wasn't putting up any real results at large events due to the high variants of it's matchups. That has changed because of all the reasons I wrote about above and in previous posts. I'd also agree that I think all fast mana isn't healthy for Modern but without a giant sweep where you get it all, I think addressing the biggest offender has become a necessity. Modern is in a great place deck diversity-wise but it needs better archetype diversity. The last piece of the Rock/Paper/Scissors that was Pod/Twin/Tron needs to go.
Dec 18, 2017Posted in: Modern Archives
To be clear, a bad PT would definitely prompt action. But we're not there yet. I think some vocal players, specifically those who prefer a certain decktype, just hate Tron. They wait month after month for any evidence to vindicate and support their dislike of the deck. We just happen to be coming off a heavy Tron GP T8 so the complaints are eapecially loud.
I agree with you that I don't think anything is happening until post-PT but I've heard several pros wanting a Tron ban then as well. While yes, Tron did put only 1 top 8 result per GP before OKC I still see that as kind of alarming that it's put up so many. For a deck that is supposed to have extremely polarizing results, it's managed to go undefeated or X-1 at a extremely consistent clip at GPs over the last year (Bear in mind of the 4 non-OKC top 8's, only 1 was E.Tron and the rest were Traditional). I think part of that is the inherent "bustedness" of the Tron lands themselves, the tuning of their lists and cards they've gotten to make their bad matchups better while keeping their good matchups extremely lopsided, but the other part is that I think there are other decks that have come up that are also suppressing their bad matchups. Like these Jeskai decks (while I agree they have to be group together, I do dislike how inconsistent the lists are. It really makes them hard to figure out), they are really good against Storm, Affinity, Humans and Death Shadow. They seem to be good in a lot of matchups that might have stopped Trons performance. While it's nice to think "yeah people will just adjust to decks that beat Tron" but if those decks aren't well positioned against the rest of the field, Tron will continue to stay on top. I'm not super optimistic about this.
Dec 15, 2017Death Shadow: 9Posted in: Modern Archives
Counter Company: 5
Death and Taxes: 3
Living End: 3
WR Sun and Moon: 1
BW Eldrazi (actual midrange, no taxes): 1
Ad Nauseum: 1
Turns(Quad sleeved power): 1
Now before you get to clickity clack responding about Death Shadow, here is the breakdown by GP in the order they happened:
GP Vancouver: 3
GP Brisbane: 0 (notably this is the same weekend of GP Vancouver and the birth of what we now call Death Shadow)
GP Kobe: 1
GP Copenhagen: 2
GP Las Vegas: 0
GP Sao Paulo: 2
GP Birmingham: 1
GP OKC: 0
Let's prempt the question "bUT wHaT AbOUt DeAtH sHaDOw?!". Yeah, those are some pretty big numbers. Yes, we could talk about how good GDS is overall. I will say that Death Shadow burst onto the scene with a flurry of power and then saw diminishing results as people found ways to deal with and beat it. That's because inherently it is a fair deck and there are fair ways to beat it (one of my big issues against Tron). Trons numbers stayed pretty consistent over the year even though they were bouncing from one variant to the next. Why? Because it doesn't matter what variant they are on. Tron lands add an inherent power to the deck that pushes it over the top. Sure maybe Death Shadow is too good but I see far fewer games where people are frustrated because they played against Death Shadow. Additionally, I feel that Death Shadow is just a symptom of the problem. Death Shadow came about because black based midrange players got tired of losing to big mana decks and tried to find a faster way to beat them. They developed a combo of their own through their own life resources and cards and managed to piece together one hell of a deck. We can talk about it as well as far as things putting up too many results over the year but I think Death Shadow is far less format warping than Tron.
Dec 15, 2017Posted in: Modern ArchivesQuote from acc95 »I mean, of course we should worry about these last results. WotC focuses on GP/PT Top8 diversity for Modern bans after all. But come on guys, I come back to the thread after months and knee-jerk reactions still abound. Did someone at least run all the 2017 GP Top8 numbers? More level headed discussion and informed opinions would be nice, just saying.
Quick glances at the numbers for top 8's:
GP Vancouver: 0
GP Brisbane: 1
GP Kobe: 1
GP Copenhagen: 0
GP Las Vegas: 1
GP San Paulo: 1
GP Brimmingham: 0
GP OKC: 3
Total: 7/64 - 10.9375%
That's a lot considering Eldrazi Tron was barely a deck a year ago and GR Tron was replaced with GB tron only recently. As lists get more and more tuned it's putting up results. Only 3/8 GPs without Tron lands in the top 8. For a deck that is supposed to have high variance matchups... that is a lot of top 8 results IMO.
Edit: So I see the site I was using didn't filter out the team events since that meta is inherently wonky. So the number is updated based on non team events. I am doing a calculation of the other archetypes in a second but my point still stands from above
Edit #2: removed team events completely from the list and put the GPs in chronological order like I did for Death Shadow below.
Edit #3: Not to derail this into an awful rehashed topic but just as a frame of reference. Twin was 17.86% of the top 8's in its last year in the format. We all know that the "too much" number is arbitrary and changes at WotC's discretion but that is what it was at when it was cited for bans for similar reasons we are discussing here.
Dec 15, 2017Posted in: Modern ArchivesQuote from Spsiegel1987 »Quote from StubbsMcAwesome »I don't know why I'm still surprised by this, but the hyperbole and quick overreaction to a single top 8 (which contained a diverse and interactive top 32) is astounding. The top 8 was bad, sure, but let's not rewrite history and pretend tron has been unbeatable for the past 6 months and has 50/50 mu's across the field. That's insane and disingenuous.
Sometimes people bring 6 cards in from the sb for you. It's fairly easy when you make sure your sideboard cards are broadly effective enough to help in other bad mu's. It's not like relic of progenitus has subtext reading *note: only bring for storm*
This was a single event. Let's look at at least one more before we get into our bomb shelters.
As someone who is almost solely a midrange player, I feel like I'm losing my mind reading this thread. Nearly every deck I enjoy playing in modern has a medium to awful matchup against Tron and I don't find myself freaking out.
Tron has been a quiet, underperforming deck in 2017 in major tournaments, Tom Ross was mainly the only one getting good results earlier in the year, and then it disappeared for months. One awful tournaments and we lose our minds? Come on, man, it's really difficult to take this thread seriously, it's actually very toxic. If not for Sheridan and GK's awesome stats and findings I think this thread would lack some serious dialogue.
As someone who despises playing against the Tron archetype, stop...The deck has almost never over-performed for long periods of times. Yes, I hate that midrange decks can't just have a bunch of 50/50s but it does keep those decks honest, even if that's frustrating.
Of course I want an improved answer(s) to big ramp---but the sky is falling attitude is awful.
And people calling for Tron bans while they play Storm? Am I losing my mind here?
The only scenario that had me worried was when Tron received Ugin while Eye was legal.
Maps/stirrings/Tron lands is not ban worthy, not until it's results are consistent. If we get a protour and a GP coupled with it, then we can start freaking out.
I've hated Tron for a long while but this is the year when I have started talking about it being band. Gx Tron saw diminished play in the middle part of the year but Eldrazi Tron ramped up and put up serious numbers and results. While yes, Gx Tron and Eldrazi Tron have functionally different gameplans, they both abuse the hard to interact with and busted fast mana that Tron lands enable. We don't see Bant Eldrazi anymore, we barely see Eldrazi and Taxes anymore and why? Because Tron lands make the deck better. IMO the breaking point was Walking Ballista. The card has added another great payoff for Tron land decks that can aid them in bad matchups early by plinking creatures or combo pieces and it is an engine that can help them win the game late. Now it's the breaking point not because Walking Ballista itself is too good. It's the breaking point because over the last several years Tron has gotten better and better pieces to fight it's bad matchups while it's good matchups didn't get any worse. It's time Tron be shown the door. It had its stay and I for one am sick and tired of it. It promotes boring non-interactive lopsided games of magic and warps the format into a race it or lose to it mentality. Even with the loss of Eye of Ugin, Tron decks have barely missed stride as Sanctum of Ugin mixed with Newlamog have just jumped into prime poll position as a "late game" way to close things out. Did I say late? I mean turn 4 or 5....
Dec 15, 2017Posted in: MidrangeQuote from chaos021 »Someone asked whether they should play Jund or stick with Abzan. I told them I'd rather go with Abzan, which prompted a question as to why. I answered that question and now you're mad we're talking about that? Sometimes I really why I bother.
It just derailed the entire thread into a comparison between Abzan and Jund which IMO is not what this particular thread should be about. We've now gone on 2 pages that essentially ends up in preference territory. Answering the question is fine but it doesn't need 2 pages of card by card comparison between the 2 decks. That should be done in another thread altogether.
Dec 15, 2017Even outside of arguing semantics and comparing sideboards and card selection, we shouldn't really even be debating which is better Abzan or Jund. That's not what this thread is supposed to be about. This thread should be how we can tune and tailor Jund to be the best it can be. Essentially it feels like you come into a thread to try and say, "You guys aren't playing my preferred variant of the GBx deck and therefore you guys are wrong and should just stop playing this deck altogether." In the end, none of that is helpful or contributes to a discussion of what we should be doing in Jund. I know it's impossible but I almost wish there were 3 threads. A Jund thread, an Abzan thread and a GBx thread. We could then relegate all comparison of the 2 decks and debates on why play one or the other to that third thread. The 2 specific threads should really be about tuning that desired variant.Posted in: Midrange
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