All users will need to merge their MTGSalvation account with a new or existing Twitch account starting Sept 25th. You can merge your accounts by clicking here. Have questions? Learn more here.
Dismiss
 
Treasure Cruisin' Gifts Storm
 
The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
 
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Gearing up for FNM tomorrow at my LGS. People the last few weeks have been hunting hard for Rekindling Phoenix, which leads me to expect various Monster builds as well as RBx Midrange builds showcasing the bird.

    On a removal front, I am considering splashing white (GBw) to add in Cast Out and/or Ixalan's Binding for more flexible removal. The mana base doesn't look terrible thanks to the GW dual lands and WB fast land. Anybody have thoughts on or experience with this?

    No experience, but if you're adding white, you should consider Siegehorn Ceratops. In a Constrictor deck, he has some serous upside potential. Only downside is that without fight mechanisms, most opponents will play around it. Walking Ballista can help us get there, but that's leveraging one resource for another, so the payout is not as good.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Quote from Simto »
    Went terrible as usual.
    Lost to Grixis control, never stood a chance. Lost to mono black 1-2, he got mana screwed in the round I won and I had a perfect start so it was over quick. Barely won 2-1 over Esper control. I won round three because he got mana screwed. And then finally lost to red/black pirates.

    Two things on my mind after last night (other than I suck)
    1: I feel like I need 4 blossoming defense because everybody has 10 removal spells or something in the deck.
    2: I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hate Foul Orchard.... **** that card seriously.... It's so ******* slow I can't take it.
    (3: Gonti is pure value)

    Getting pretty damn tired of losing all the time. Three fnm's where I've done nothing but get my ass handed to me. I think I'm going to play Grixis midrange next week. I'm going to need a break from fnm if that goes bad too, I have enough defeats in my life as it is, don't need to add to it hehe.

    Sorry to hear to hear about your frustrations. Let us know if we can help with any feedback! I went back looking for you decklist, and you posted this several weeks back:

    Is this the deck you are playing (with some minor tweaks, since you mentioned you dropped one Ranger)? Would you like any feedback on your deck construction specifically for your meta? Not saying I have the answers, but it's always good to go back and review deck construction choices IMO.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    I sleeved up some Standard at GP Houston (dropped from the main event after a horrible 0-3 sealed performance), and the deck varied as the weekend went on. I started with no Jadelight Rangers, which was just awful, but picked up some at the event. Here's the list I played last with some thoughts on individual cards and how the deck performed.


    • The Explore creatures are very good in the deck. They synergize well with Winding Constrictor, get lands off the top of the deck, and/or help fix draws. I think this is a viable alternative to the Energy package, but I'm not sure how it compares in power level to the Energy package.
    • I liked Dusk Legion Zealot. The deck obviously has lost some draw power, between Rogue Refiner banning and dropping Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, but the Explore creatures in addition to the Elvish Visionary wanna-be helps out a lot.
    • Wildgrowth Walker was a hedge in case I ran into mono red. Never saw it early game, so I'm not sure yet how it will play out. Has potential though.
    • The top end of the deck is really good. Between Rhonas and all the 5-drops, the power level is there. Nissa also provides a lot of inevitability if they don't have a good answer to her.
    • I have mixed feelings about Hadana's Climb and Journey to Eternity. There were several games where I had a flipped Climb and an empty board. There were other games I had Journey in hand, creature on board, and reasonable suspicion that my opponent could remove the creature in response. When they performed, they both performed pretty well. They help out a ton in the mirror. But when they don't, it's just a dead card in hand/on board. I had one of each to test them out, but the jury is still out which is better for the deck.
    • Deathgorge Scavenger and Thrashing Brontodon were MVPs in the God-Pharaoh's Gift match-up. Strongly recommend having both in the 75 somewhere. Also, Brontodon with a flipped Journey to Eternity is just funny against Mardu Vehicles...
    • Not sold on Scrounger in the board, but one of the games I lost was to UB Control, and it will help (in theory). I never saw the little engine that could in the post-board game, so I don't now if it would have made a difference.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Decklists from the SCG Dallas Team Construction Open that plays Constrictor in the top 32 (except for Jessup, who is straight Sultai, no Constrictor):

    2nd place
    3rd place
    20th place
    24th place

    Don't know the individual performance of each deck, but their teams overall did well! It seems Siphoner performs even outside a dedicated energy shell.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    I'm not convinced about Ripjaw Raptor. I tested the card when it first came out, and it was lackluster. Opponents could just play around it. It's the trouble with having a card where you opponent can control how much advantage it brings you. The deck really needs some kind of way to cause damage (Ballista is the only one, but then you're just leveraging one resource against another instead of using something like Savage Stomp) to utilize the card best, but that would dilute the focus of the deck.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Losing the energy synergy of Aether Hub and Rogue Refiner, as well as the mana fixing, is really going to hurt the consistency of this deck. The payoff cards, which were less important to this deck than to Temur Energy, will be less impactful overall. If we are keeping the energy package, there are a few cards we could consider:
    • Greenbelt Rampager - brings the curve down, and while it's a vanilla 3/4, it can easily be a repeatable source of energy for Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and a later game 3/4 creature to help close out the game.
    • Decoction Module - turns everything creature card into an energy source, even better with snek, and allows us to bounce cards in response to removal or to play into our own deck's synergies (Gearhulk anyone?!).
    • Die Young - not the worst removal, and can deal with threats like Hazoret.
    • Sage of Shaila's Claim - not good card is not good, but it does give us energy with a body.
    • Servant of the Conduit - if we stick with blue, adds energy and color fixing.
    • Woodweaver's Puzzleknot - are we that desperate for energy? It does pad the life total, though.
    • Live Fast - it's like a bad proxy of Rogue Refiner without the blue... or the body...
    • Glimmer of Genius - a slightly better proxy or Rogue Refiner, but more expensive... and still no body...
    At some point, we have to ask ourselves if the Energy package is worth it anymore. Siphoner is good, as is Cub, but they'll be only half good now. My concern regarding the deck is that we are trying to maintain the viability of the basic shell, but in doing so, we could be overlooking different builds that will be stronger (now) than the Energy build. Because to be honest, other than Decoction Module having some fun potential, I'm not seeing any good Energy glue. Which means the deck will be synergistically weak, meaning it just won't be a strong contender as is.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    I'm solidly in the camp of B/G splashing U instead of heavily vested in blue now Refiner is gone. I may also forego the snek altogether, as I'm mulling around a Sultai reanimator strategy that seems sweet. The splash for U would be for Scarab God and counterspell shenanigans out of the board. We won't need T3 blue mana, which allows us to invest more heavily in BB and GG spells from a manabase standpoint without hurting our blue synergies.

    At this point, it may also be worth looking into other colors. Scarab God is still a really strong reason to go blue, but white and red have both also been fringe contenders.

    I will be brewing and post a few deck ideas, hopefully by this weekend.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Quote from A_E_I_Own_U »
    Quote from DRay563 »
    ...They've been dumbing the game down for years now, "simplifying" some rules and designing out complexity. I am not calling for a return of interrupt windows, but the whole you-can-play-anything-you-want-as-long-as-you-play-monsters is intellectually boring.

    I haven't been playing near as long (2014 here), but I don't see complexity going down. Maro has stated on several occasions that the complexity of recent sets has been way higher than normal. There are few vanilla creatures, an abundance of mechanics, and some recent mechanics are not as grokkable as other older mechanics (not counting stuff like flanking, lol). Draft becomes more complicated because there are more cards to read often with longer text boxes. How does that translate into "designing out complexity"?

    I, personally, like playing creature-based decks. Midrange like Abzan in the Siege Rhino days and this deck here resonate with me. Creatures represent the most repeatable way to win a game because they are forms of repeatable damage and protection, so naturally, the best decks will thrive around the best creatures. Even decks like Caw Blade centered around creatures (e.g. Stoneforge Mystic) and the synergy of cards (powerful artifacts that could make your creatures better), much like we play powerful creatures that get better because of the Energy mechanic. WOTC can't just print stupid powerful spells, because decks like Marvel will come around and dominate the meta.

    When I started playing, it was RTR/Theros standard, and there were several legitimate strategies. Black devotion was the best, but UW Sphinx Rev Control was a viable option, as was UB devotion and I think 2-3 more were competitive but maybe 1.5 tier. Now, we have Temur energy, Temur black energy, and Sultai energy all vying for the top spot. But trailing, and still reasonably competitive, there's Ramunap Red (aggro), Drake Haven (combo control), Approach (control), and several others. Energy is like black devotion in this Standard. I heard so many complaints about Pack Rat dominating Standard it was ridiculous. It's a wonder I didn't quit playing right then! So isn't this just an old hat argument? How is it really any different?


    To call cawblade a creature deck is just wrong. It was a control deck.

    Pack rat didn’t dominate ever. Was good, but never dominant. Nothing has been this oppressive since affinity. I don’t think the mechanic is broken, just lacks any real answers in the format.

    Red is the next closest competitor and it just looses to temur. There is one t1 deck and the rest are leagues behind.

    I have to agree with hoser. I prefer snake to temur. I consistently beat temur. But it’s still energy that focuses on hub and attune to function.

    It’s a boring format now and that will do more damage to any LGS than banning will.

    I meant that a deck like Caw Blade used a powerful creature as part of its main strategy, so I wrote that erroneously. Some Control decks use creatures to win (Torrential Gearhulk, Dragonlord Ojutai) while others use non-creature means (Lantern Control, Dynavolt Tower).

    Nothing has been as oppressive as Energy decks since Affinity? That's funny, because I seem to remember Cat Combo being waaaaay more oppressive. And Emrakul before that. And Smuggler's Copter before that. I remember oppressive, and Energy isn't oppressive. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it's not oppressive. Besides, they did print an answer in the form of Solemnity. It's no different than the other hoser cards people play in Modern. Sometimes you have to put something like that in your sideboard to deal with your bad match ups. The problem is that the energy cards are often really good, even when you turn off the energy knob. Rogue Refiner is still a 3/2 for 3 that cantrips. Glorybringer doesn't even use energy. The hoser card isn't like Stony Silence or Leyline of Sanctity, where the deck just dies when the opponent plays it. Just becomes less powerful and synergistic.

    The LGS can play a hand in spicing it up. They can reward players who bring brews. It could be "pauper Standard" or "block constructed" or something not normal Standard to make it more fun. I don't like the mentality that if WOTC doesn't do something, all the LGSs will suffer. It makes it sound like the LGS owners have no hand in their own fate, can do nothing to motivate their local players to diversify or enjoy the game.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    ...They've been dumbing the game down for years now, "simplifying" some rules and designing out complexity. I am not calling for a return of interrupt windows, but the whole you-can-play-anything-you-want-as-long-as-you-play-monsters is intellectually boring.

    I haven't been playing near as long (2014 here), but I don't see complexity going down. Maro has stated on several occasions that the complexity of recent sets has been way higher than normal. There are few vanilla creatures, an abundance of mechanics, and some recent mechanics are not as grokkable as other older mechanics (not counting stuff like flanking, lol). Draft becomes more complicated because there are more cards to read often with longer text boxes. How does that translate into "designing out complexity"?

    I, personally, like playing creature-based decks. Midrange like Abzan in the Siege Rhino days and this deck here resonate with me. Creatures represent the most repeatable way to win a game because they are forms of repeatable damage and protection, so naturally, the best decks will thrive around the best creatures. Even decks like Caw Blade centered around creatures (e.g. Stoneforge Mystic) and the synergy of cards (powerful artifacts that could make your creatures better), much like we play powerful creatures that get better because of the Energy mechanic. WOTC can't just print stupid powerful spells, because decks like Marvel will come around and dominate the meta.

    When I started playing, it was RTR/Theros standard, and there were several legitimate strategies. Black devotion was the best, but UW Sphinx Rev Control was a viable option, as was UB devotion and I think 2-3 more were competitive but maybe 1.5 tier. Now, we have Temur energy, Temur black energy, and Sultai energy all vying for the top spot. But trailing, and still reasonably competitive, there's Ramunap Red (aggro), Drake Haven (combo control), Approach (control), and several others. Energy is like black devotion in this Standard. I heard so many complaints about Pack Rat dominating Standard it was ridiculous. It's a wonder I didn't quit playing right then! So isn't this just an old hat argument? How is it really any different?
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Quote from headminerve »
    I turned my Snek Vampires list into a BW version, and I think it's better that way.

    Besides, I was working on the Explore mechanic and wasn't super satisfied with white. With Sultai though, I keep the same cards and come back to the Snek, and here I am :



    What I experience with Explore is that I don't hesitate to dig for land drops. It's counter-intuitive to drop a creature, but this is where the Scarab God plays its part. In the white version, I like Adorned Pouncer coming back, but in Sultai there's no good Eternalize card to play. It's still very good to reanimate a 4/4 creature and let it attack as an 8/8 flyer !

    Anybody's taking this path ?

    Best Eternalize card in blue is Champion of Wits, which incidentally also works at filling the yard for The Scarab God and filtering our unneeded cards (similar to Explore, but no +1/+1 counter synergy). Only one in black is Dreamstealer, who is decent but underwhelming.

    Without Hostage Taker, Blossoming Defense is not needed, or at least, is not near as effective a card. This deck seems cute, but any disruption to the synergy and its a goner. Sultai Snek works because almost all the creatures are individually powerful. Longtusk Cub and Bristling Hydra can run away with the game by themselves via repeatable activations. None of the Merfolk have that type of power. Relying solely on the Explore mechanic for one (maybe two via Enter the Unknown) opportunities to put counters on the creatures is a weak plan. Wildgrowth Walker is anemic by itself. I think the Explore mechanic is good for Limited, but not push enough for Standard with Energy around. It's the problem with the Energy mechanic - it's so easy to make and has powerful payouts, so there's very little that can compete with it.

    I'm not trying to be a downer on the deck. It looks very fun to play, but it's not going to be Tier 1 at this time just due to the raw power of Energy. Out of curiosity, though, why didn't you play any of the below listed creatures?

    Forerunner of the Heralds - higher CMC, but gets bigger as you play more merfolks
    Deeproot Elite - low CMC and good merfolk/+1/+1 counter synergy
    Swift Warden - 3/3 for 3 with Flash is already good, but it gives temporary Hexproof and plays into Merfolk synergies?!?
    Silvergill Adept - a great merfolk in a merfolk synergy deck
    Merfolk Mistbinder - lords are good, but you may not have enough merfolk to merit it
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor

    I'm surprised this is considered a Constrictor-Merfolk deck. There's hardly any synergy with Constrictor, and I saw several other +1/+1 Merfolk in the set that fit way better than what he's got.

    Anyway, cards I'm interested in trying:
    • Hadana's Climb | Winged Temple of Orazca- Easy to flip and hard to remove once flipped, this is a finisher card and allows us to block Glorybringer.
    • Journey to Eternity | Atzal, Cave of Eternity- Also easy for our deck to flip (heck, just put it on a Ballista, even though it doesn't return), and provides so much late game reach. Might be more of a SB card against control. One could even argue that it gives Scarab God-esque effects to the straight BG decks.
    • Ghalta, Primal Hunger - Maybe as a fun-of. He's good at breaking a stalled board. GG for a 12/12 trampler? Yes please! Seriously though, Attune into Cub into Constrictor into T4 Ghalta is possible. Then they have an 8/8 Cub and a 12/12 Ghalta to deal with!
    • Twilight Prophet - Has to survive a turn to start getting value, but this is another finisher / major source of card advantage. A card a turn + upside is nothing to sneeze at.
    • Admiral's Order - This is a strong answer to Settle the Wreckage. Also answers a multiple of other threats for U and can serve as a Cancel in a pinch.
    • Vona's Hunger - Early game removal for pesky creatures like opposing Bristling Hydra and late game board breaker.
    • Ravenous Chupacabra - You might snicker at this one, but it reads "on color Glorybringer removal on a stick." And potentially abuseable in these colors, if you decide to go for blink tricks.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on 4 spoilers from wizards twitter
    Ramp and card draw in red?!? What is this madness. Of course its over costed but its a start ^.^

    It's like a 4 mana Tormenting Voice that gives you back 2 mana in the bank. The 2 mana in the bank are akin to cards like Generator Servant, except a lot more flexible. I don't think either of these are outside the normal realm of Red. There's also cards like Trove of Temptation that already show Red getting slow ramp. Nothing like the rituals though...
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Quote from Sprotbran »
    I note that Gonti is appearing in deck lists as a one-of. Recognising the legendary nature of the card, has anyone got a view about whether 2 copies is viable?

    In my esteem, Gonti is best used in a recursion deck. You really want to land him, get the value, block with him to save life points and kill a creature, recur him, wash/rinse/repeat. He can be a 3-for-1 pretty easily by himself, but since there's no synergy with our deck, he doesn't make the top tier cut. In a recursion deck, though, he shines.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GBx Constrictor
    Store Championships coming up next week. Any new sweet tech that being been testing? I haven't been able to play for a few weeks, so I feel behind on the times.

    Zitrone, good report and thanks for sharing! Don't let the silence fool you. It's been quiet on the Standard front, so there's been little activity here. Feel free to jump into the discussion when this thread can freely discuss Rivals of Ixalan (after all spoilers are revealed) and how it will influence the deck and meta.

    Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.