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The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
 
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on Dinosaur Tribal General Discussion
    Hey all, took some time off to focus on limited. GP Houston came and went and I'm back on this deck. Played a league and went 3-2, after that league I did a bunch of tournament practice matches on mtgo and am 8-0 against various brews. That alone doesn't mean much except that I think I got the shell right. The SB is beginning to sing a much more refined tune, updated list:



    Things we are still good against:
    Grixis Anything (Tyrant is a HUGE problem for them to answer), Reckless Rage is fantastic at shooting down GB's and Pheonix's.
    Mardu Vehicles, we incidentally have good removal that lines up with their entire G1 plan. G2-3 they better but so do we, we can:
    +1 Abrade, +3 Brontodon, +2 Chandra, Torch of Defiance all come in. We can grind too, and if they go into the PW route, 2 Hour of Devastation isn't a bad include.
    UB Control, 7/6 Trample Hexproof attacks past The Scarab God just fine.
    Merfolk Fish tend to make good meals for our Dinos :p

    Bad:
    BW Vamps, hence my 4 sweepers in the SB. However you can win G1, and most of the time it feels like 50/50. It depends on how many sweepers they actually bring in.
    Mono Red, yeah...well...
    UW/x Approach You can beat it and I did beat bant Approach in my league but that had a lot to do with me T6 hitting me opponent for 18 in 1 turn.
    GB Explore You must get on board fast and remove sneks on sight. They can actually get bigger if you are unable to keep things in check. Ghalta is excellent here.

    Fumigate.decs If Fumigate is a card that gets heavily played, then dinos is just poorly positioned, but due to the fact that other decks are playing cards to hedge against it, that opens the door for Dinos to become a good tier 2 deck. There are metas where dinos will be great and this leads to believe that the deck has legs.

    On Fatal Push, you have to respect this card, and it's one of the reasons I dropped Otepec Huntmaster and am a huge advocate of Thunderherd Migration. Getting to 4 mana and accelerating on the draw really helps the deck regain the initiative. If you have the read that your opponent has Push + revolt, play out the Drover after ramping with Migration. Most players will push the dork (T4 Tyrant is lights out for a ton of decks and T4 Reggie is also a problem), this allows you play Reckless Rage on your own dork and remove one of their threats IE: Gifted Aetherborn.

    Hope ya'lls testing has also yielded good results!

    lastly: cards i have been least un-impressed by savage stomp, it may get cut, but it has a high ceiling. mtgo is littered with deathtouch blockers so it brings it’s usefullness down. This may not be true in paper metas but i do find myself boarding 1-2 out on the draw in favor of abrade and chandras.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Dinosaur Tribal General Discussion
    Thnx so much! I think I'm the only one on my team jamming the deck day and night. I bring in Suns against every single aggro deck after board. Putting Sweltering Suns in the MD seems a bit excessive but there is a meta where that may be necessary.

    Updated list:
    -2 Samut
    1- Stomp

    +3 Blossming Defense

    I don't want to say this is the solution but boy is it huge plus. Saving a Ripjaw/Reggie is so good. All we need to do is prevent 1 removal spell from resolving and the deck usually cracks back for so much damage that it becomes hard to race.

    My board plan against Merfolk (am 4-0 against in ques and leagues)
    Draw:
    Out: -2 Huntmaster, -1 Reggie, -3 Deathgorge -1 Abrade, -1 Tyrant, -1 Ripjaw
    In: +3 Sweltering Suns (just cast it, don't worry about your mana dork, cast it and clean up the board), + 2 Magma Spray, +3 Thrashing Brontodon <---- 4 butt, blocks well and shoots down the hexproof enchantment if they run it.

    ***Dislclaimer, please note my Sb ideas reflect how I think the match up plays out on the draw. Ripjaw is great. but having my 4 drop Unsummon'd on the draw is bad. Having my 2cmc or 3cmc drop bounced is fine. if you find better plans I'm really open to suggestions and better ideas.

    The B based decks are a grind, it's one of the reasons I like Tyrant so much. They can't target it and if you can get gifted aetherborn off the board things swing in your favor quickly. Again one of the reasons I like Abrade right now.

    Life Crafter's Bestiary has been on my mind for a few days but the approach decks aren't that prevalent atm (they are being tested but aggro is literllay everywhere), I think the B based decks are actually doing a good job of keeping it in check. It would be great against control, but control isn't that hot right now. Aggro makes up about 75% of my match ups.

    Banner seems okay if we enter a meta where Midrange becomes the norm, and blasting canons is a card I haven't tried.

    The U/W control match up is bad and I think we need to accept that, we can board in Brontodon's and pressure ( I have beaten approach but you need to just jam every threat, and prevent them from going up on cards. As a control player and one who knows how to pilot approach, it is important to pressure and not let them glimmer. even if it means getting your chandra countered, jam it on T4 unless you have another 4cmc or 3cmc play that impacts the board)

    The W splash, yeah, I wanted to try naya but the format is so fast and punishing that I wanted Magma Spray over any W at the moment. That said, yes there is a deck there and no one has actually brewed it for RIX standard. I have the cards but first, deal with aggro.

    Glorybringer isn't bad, it's great and there may be a GR monsters deck. I really think there is, a la Khans/Theros, but I haven't looked into it. My initial concept is that it would be a jund deck, I think that deck wants 4 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner as it's 2 drop and 4 Ripjaw.

    Nissa, Vital Force is on my mind, a lot lately, but the question is how does she help; My mind says "regrow Carnage Tyrant. I think this card merits testing. That ULT is the control hoser...

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Dinosaur Tribal General Discussion
    well boyz and girlz, I like being wrong..here is an mtgo RG list with 4...YES 4 Ghaltas and 4 Tyrants..
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/897554#paper
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Dinosaur Tribal General Discussion
    I've been testing a ton with the Dino deck on mtgo (many hours, different lists) and I have come around to excepting that Dinos needs to have:

    1) Good Early Interaction that is not reliant on a creature being on the battlefield. I favor Abrade over Reckless Rage even though that card is really good and has a high ceiling in a dino deck.
    2) Be aggressive. The T3 Ripjaw with Haste is actually a huge +, we gain back tempo and start racing the other aggro decks (and believe me we need to able to race BW Vamps and Merfolk).
    3) The meta on mtgo is Aggro, GPG/Scarab God variants and control. Lots and lots of approach deck being tested. While I love Ranging Raptors it is not something I want on T3 as of this week. I have another variation of dinos that does have it and it does work. Deathgorge Scavenger has been very good at fighting the GY decks and with this plus 4x Abrade in the main the GPG match becomes favorable. Out of the SB I bring in x3 Thrashing Brontodon plus my desert plan to hose them more.
    4) Without MD graveyard hate the deck cannot consistently beat GPG or Scarab God decks.
    5) The UB decks are not good match ups, you need to pressure them and sadly my lil buddies Ranging Raptors don't crunch in hard enough.

    The format is aggressive, it's always like that week 1 so, I've had decent success with what could be considered a stock list:




    If control sees a ton of play (probably will) this arch type will need to splash another color, I think B gives the deck some interesting angles of Disruption. I have seen a Temur version, but mostly GR versions. Ghalta feels very win more, but I'm trying it out, she/he? it? Goes way over the top of the new GB snek decks. The explore decks cannot answer it outside of Vraska's Contempt.

    The ramp core is:
    4 Ranging Raptors
    4 Thunderherd Migration
    4 Drover of the Mighty

    I'm not sure whether splashing is good yet, but the hardest match ups are BW vamps ( they bring in Dusk//Dawn 4x). I have beaten vamps but and the version I was using wasn't tuned to beat aggro, I was still testing the best shell. Oh and we are favored against Merfolk, it's close but I have had good success against the decks on mtgo.

    *** samut, shoots down tokens, gives Tyrant Double Strike, and can win the game in quick fashion. It's a flex slot but I have missed her in my testing.

    Decks we are incedently just good against?
    Mardu/ Artifact based decks
    Straight GPG variations
    GB (we go over the top of them)
    Pirates
    Merfolk is close

    What are we bad against?
    Approach based Control? Say a few prayers before SB
    The-Scarab God, yeah...if this lands on curve and we are on the draw we mostly likely auto loose. Umm, I'm not joking.
    UB/x based midrange, just...more terrible things lol Flea infested Dogs that hose our 4-5 drops without question. Gonti is a hell of card against big dumb creatures...they sometimes just cast out own Carnage Tyrant's against us. Yeah not a nice exp.
    BW Vamps is 50/50 G1, after Board is it very very very hard. We get better and my board is geared towards beating it.
    Mono Red is still alive, and it's still not great. However if you slant to beat aggro you can have a better shoot at beating it now.

    Oh right, the mirror:
    The player who gets out Ripjaw Raptor first usually wins. The player who gets a dork out first is usually favored. If you get the first Tyrant you usually win.
    Ranging Raptors are excellent in the mirror since you can chump and thin the deck.

    One last thing:
    I think, we should test Blossoming Defense, in the flex slots. That may go a long way in shoring up the UB match up. Protecting your threats from being eaten by dogs and taken hostage might be the correct route. I haven't tried it yet but if any of you have, how has that effected gameplay?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on State of Standard Thread: bans, format health, metagame, rotation, etc!
    My LGS's (Austin TX) have issues firing standard on a daily basis. There is one event that fires on Thursday nights for sure (8 people usually). The other stores rarely fire. This has a lot to do with Energy being considered the "Best Deck" of the format and the overall sentiment that standard is just "boring and unfun". The Energy mirror is very skill testing, and yes there is good magic to be played. Be at what cost? Energy decks push every other potentially decent midrange deck right out of the format. After SB Temur caa become a tempo deck that protects it's cub against control and flips the % pts on what is supposed to be a "bad" match up (only g1). Drawing 1 Negate is usually enough, the 2nd is a blowout.

    I really want the Dino deck to have a shot and am jamming it on mtgo. Temur/ any energy variant is such a hard match up, that it gets frustrating to even try anymore. Sure, I play Temur in the leagues, go 4-1, play some great mirrors and learn a ton, but again, I' supposed to do this for a 9 more months? It's been a while since we had various midrange decks with different angles to attack the meta. Remember Mardu Midrange, Abzan (many flavors), GR Monsters, Esper Dragons, even Jeskai! All of those deck had a chance to really shine. RIX's tribal support won't get a chance to to do a thing if Energy stays intact. It doesn't matter that there are midrange powers houses, Temur has Hydra which outgrows 99& of dinos, and cub just grows into a 5/5.




    Posted in: Standard (Type 2)
  • posted a message on Dinosaur Tribal General Discussion
    Hey all, just finished a friendly league with my version of Dinos and went 4-1. I know this deck has it's issues but it also has some raw power that I underestimated. Now yeah it's juts a friendly league but I think the deck proved that it's got some game and will most likely improve with the release of Rivals.

    Matches:
    Vs GR Energy 2-0 Win
    Vs Temur Energy 2-1 Win
    Vs UW Gift 2-1 Win (Dinos is actually a heavy favorite here)
    Vs UW Cycling 2-1 Win
    Vs Ramunap Red 1-2 Loss (the is the decks worst match up, even worse then energy)

    So, my list draws from a Corbin's vids/minig standard column (TCG player writer and streamer), but I changed a few things to fit the meta, my list:



    I am looking forward to brewing Dinos for the first week of Rivals!
    link to deck list and overview:
    http://www.mtgsalvation.com/decks/706-jurassic-park-vol-1
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    I haven't been on this deck but I put a ton of time into this season. 4 PPTQ top 8'd 3 with straight UW, 1 with Jeskai. Glimmer is essential, no, Necessary! Whether you or run 3 and a 2 of hieroglyphic illumination, (I liked this a lot, my meta was and is heavy on aggro decks a la mono black and red so the extra 1 mana cycler is relevant) comes down to deck building and what you are trying to have your curve be. I really like censor being censor on T1-3. disallow was a card I included after realizing that Supreme Will didn't stop late game top decks.

    I like using enchantment based removal over real spot removal, my version kept a lock on the board and made my Fumigates that much better. I see a lot of Approach players lean on this win con too much in the mtgo leagues. It becomes easy to disrupt and early pressure backed by cards like Spell Pierce are devastating. This is one of the reasons I used sub par cards like Aethermelt down to mitigate tempo loss and effect the board. Jeskai was the last variation I played and it was a blast. Like SLAM DUNK energy match ups and mono black but that deck has a really hard time against the wave of Gift decks that came after the PT.

    Esper was a deck I wanted to try but I jumped on energy (I just wanted to learn the "hated" deck, so that I would know how to attack it).

    On Opt I like this card in Jeskai, and in some UW Builds. I think Esper has much better things to T1-T3, it has Push and Censor to help it there so Opt isn't that essential to that build.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Temur-based Energy Midrange
    I feel like UW Gift is a very hard match up. I'm 2-2 in leagues? One opponent had triple Refurbish Uhh I answered the first 2 but the 3rd one (right after another) was not possible to fully beat. I even had River's Rebuke but he had Settle the Wreckage for protection.

    I recently cut Spell Pierce and it feels weird. I liked access to 6 counters against Approach and Gift. 4 Negate's seem fine against Approach but not nearly enough against Gift. The mono red match up has improved after heeding the advice offered to me in an earlier post. I'm constantly going 3-2 in leagues...so frustrating to go 3-0 and lose the last 2 matches.

    What's the best Sb plan against Gift variants? I know how to beat Red and Approach, also, I hear so many different players say "cut cubs" in the mirror but it always seems like players keep at least 2. I need to read some more articles, but the deck always helps me go 3-2 and with better piloting I think it's 4-1 most of the time.
    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on Temur-based Energy Midrange
    Busy work week for me, I did jump into 2 friendly leagues to get my bearings (and mining play points Smile ). Both leagues went 3-2, with 3 of those losses being mono red. Sand Strangler is MEAN card lol.

    Here's my list and it's not exactly "updated", I just really like my 6 counterspells out of the SB:



    Now that I've racked up enough play points I'll jump into the competitive league. What did I beat?:
    UW Gift 2-0
    Temur Mirror 2-0
    BR Midrange 2-0
    2 Mono Black Aggro both 2-0
    1 Sultai Pummeler 2-0

    What did I lose this week?
    Ramunap Red x3 YEAH... I might need a little advice on SB'ing against this, the Strangler version is not a fun experience
    1) 0-2
    2) 1-2
    3) 0-2

    All three found a ferocidon to screw with my Whirler's. Being on the draw G1 is so...BLAH!!
    Temur 1x in 3.
    G1 Win, G2 I flooded and died, G3 he stuck an early chandra and I couldn't beat it.
    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on Temur-based Energy Midrange
    Have started jamming this deck both in paper and mtgo. The more experience I get with it, the more I see why it's considered the "best deck" in the format. The options are crazy good in this deck. Went 2-1 last night in a paper tournament and tested this week on mtgo with strong results. I'll jump into a competitive league and start getting my teeth kicked soon. The decisions trees are complex and you get rewarded for tight play.

    I lost to 4c energy last night. G1 I outplayed him and won with a single thopter :p. G2 and G3 he resolved Scarab God and I didn't have the answers (plus I flooded supa hard in G2-3). I don't like the black splash, a lot of players in my area on still on ramunap red and you get punished hard when lose 4x glorybringers and mana consistency. The same 4c energy player got rolled by red 2-0 and afterwards we laughed about it but it wasn't pretty.

    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    That's a good question. It has to do my views on UW approach and how it handles the board state in my version. I view my deck as prison oriented variant, these cards act as "lock down" pieces rather than full on removal spells:
    Desert's Hold
    Aether Meltdown
    Cast Out This one is an actual O ring effect

    By keeping the threat on board it makes my sweepers better. Example:
    R1) against Ram red, my opponent goes: T1) Bomat, T2) Kherna. I respond by casting Meltdown on Kherna and forever blanking that card until the moment that I play a sweeper. Most opponents will jam their "melted down" threat in my Settle the Wreckage's. That also means these threats get exiled and never comeback.

    Against all energy opponents in that league, I targeted cubs and whiler's. This card has an interesting effect in that match up. They either
    A) Use their energy Thopters
    B) Put energy towards another pay off card thus over extending into 1 of my 5 sweepers (up to 7 is we include how often gearhulk recasts my settles).

    You can expect energy players to dump energy into another threats to get their pay off. In other words they have too, and that is a form of interacting with their energy. By forcing them to use it, you are actually finding a way to mess with this resource. Every % point counts against engery, if I can outplay them by forcing them into using energy in way that they don't want, then I have successfully found a method of interacting with a resource that can't be interacted with (it's a pseudo effect btw). I wish I coud upload the vids of me playing against all 3 energy decks. You'd see that this is exactly how Meltdown interacts with them.

    Essence Scatter is fine, but it can't deal with a resolved threat, and is worse on the draw. I'd rather use a lock down spell that hits creatures and vehicles (Hey! making a heart of kiran into an 0/4 threats or shutting down a scrounger for good is purdy good).

    Hope this answers your question Kpal.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Esper Approach seems to be the way to go. Jeskai approach is not great against the field, but great against Temur (As in they can't beat that version). I'm going to sleeve up Esper (I have all the cards), and see how it feels. It seems clunky, but maybe the trade off is that. You have great early interaction at the expense of your mana not being fully untapped all the time.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    4-1 tonight with Straight UW approach on mtgo. League went as follows:

    Ram Red 2-0
    UG Pummeler 2-1
    Temur Energy 2-1
    Temur Energy 2-0
    UW Gift 0-2 ( didn't draw a single counterspell and fell behind on mana)

    List:


    my win rate with approach decks has been very high recently. I'm looking forward to more PPTQ before the season's done.

    Aggro SB: OUT (11)
    -2 Search for Azcanta
    -1 Disallow
    -1 Cast Out
    -2 Glimmer of Genius
    -1 Pull from Tomorrow
    -2 Censor
    -2 Approach of the Second Sun (yeah on the draw don't try winning with this, just rely on gearuhulks and cats).


    IN: (11)
    +4 Regal Caracal
    +2 Ixalan's Binding
    +2 Negate
    +3 Authority of the Consuls
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Bant Eldrazi
    Started team testing this week, on the docket were matches against Grixis Deathshadow and UW Control (w/ Azcanta).

    Results:
    Grixis DS, Favorbale, VERY favorable. We knew this, only I didn't realize how good the match up actually was until I played it about a dozen times pre SB and then 20 SB.

    UW Control, aye ya yai, this is rough. If we were to try and improve against this deck after SB I assume it would need to be something with Cast Triggers. Cards like World Breaker and even the big daddy himself Utamog came to mind but that deviates from what our deck wants to do. Maybe a card like Eternal Scourge is worth testing, but I just feel like we need to curve out and disrupt via TKS.

    More to follow.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Bant Eldrazi
    this is one of the reasons I was leaning towards 4x Cavern of Souls in my main. This is the card that hoses them in the match up. Do you think going to 4 is correct for the GP?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
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