That is a sweet list! Congrats on winning your PPTQ; much more than I could do this time.
Every time someone says that UB Control is viable in Modern, I am very unconvinced (being a super skeptical UB mage). Hopefully this and Guilds of Ravnica makes it a reality (cuz Mill is pretty played out and not really what I'm interested in playing).
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Sep 18, 2018You don't have to beat KCI with only White SB cards. You can also play decks that are quicker than KCI - Infect, Grishoalbrand, GW Company, Storm, and probably some that I'm forgetting are all quicker than KCI. Besides, WHITE sideboard cards have always had a huge impact in Modern, namely Stony Silence and Rest in Peace.Posted in: Modern
I personally played a lot of Jeskai vs. KCI and I felt favored in that matchup. I beat my teammate something like 25 out of 35 matches in a 2 Thursday in 2 week testing period. You have to interact and then put a clock before you get buried in Buried Ruin/Inventor Fair activations. I don't know how UW does against them, but I assume it's somewhat fine. Sometimes you don't have Logic Knot and you lose, but often you have Logic Knot and a Cryptic or 2 and you get there after drawing into more permission.
KCI cannot be compared to Bloom because even I have to admit that Bloom killed earlier. The deck was way more explosive, even if technically KCI does "infinite" damage. It is somewhat annoying that they have infinite Engineered Explosives activations AND Pyrite Spellbomb activations. I guess honestly I've been mostly on the playing side of KCI or playing a quicker Combo deck, so I have a different experience. (I did get clobbered when I ran Bogles (barely) and Titanshift, but those decks don't hold a candle to KCI)
Sep 18, 2018Congratulations on your finish! Looks like we both were the bridesmaids in these tournaments, not the brides.Posted in: Combo
There were a lot of things I was curious about.
Tireless Tracker - I love the card! It is my favorite Modern legal creature. I could see going up to 2, but any more than that seems really clunky. The current meta is filled with decks that just don't care if you make 2 clues on turns 3 or 4 (mana dork for 3) because they kill you the next turn or are about to. I do see how good it is vs. Control though and haven't seen that big of an impact of UW Control locally. (probably underplayed)
Rhonas vs. Ballista. I actually think that Ballista is a better card because it kills X/1s on the play if you turn 2 it. Then to combo off, you just get E Witness and then kill them. I would hate to play Rhonas when my opponent plays turn 1 mana dork, Glistener Elf, Champion of the Parish, Steel Overseer, and a few more.
I tried Shalai for 2 weeks, but didn't side it in once, so I ditched it. I still think there's potential.
Field of Ruins - This is an interesting one. I play 2 Gavony Township, but this is definitely a possibility and purely a meta choice. I wonder which is better in the current "global" meta, not that it matters since people care about what they play against locally.
I like the extra burn hedging in BfT, Kambal, and Auriok Champion. I wish I had those when I lost to Burn in the finals!
I don't run Leyline. I run 2 extra Scavenging Ooze in the SB. I do realize that it is WAY worse graveyard hate, but it does most other things a lot better and is a monster in some matchups. Kill my combo pieces and watch an Ooze grow to mythic proportions while nuking your graveyard, lol.
It's interesting to cut mana dorks. This is always something I have wondered. It's tough cutting them because you want mana acceleration, but then they are pretty "meh" in some matchups. I don't think I've ever cut more than 2-3 mana dorks before and I'm not sure ever if I relied on a 3 drop more than a 2 drop vs. an opponent. I still to this day don't know what is the right decision. I am assuming that the right decision depends on how you want to face the matchup?
Sep 18, 2018I have been testing KCI non stop for the past month now. I would say it's 50% of my play testing time overall. I agree with you completely that it is NOT a rule violator. It does occasionally win on turn 3 with help from Mox Opal or Mind Stone. But it is suuuuuper consistent at going off on turn 4, mostly because there are something like 20 "eggs" in the deck, so it is essentially a 40 card or less deck. Engineered Explosives helps slow down decks that are faster than KCI. I would say it's even more consistent at the turn 4 than Storm in my own opinion of course. (I haven't played or tested Gifts Storm with Baral all that much though, so I definitely could be wrong.)Posted in: Modern
I personally don't think that the turns even take that long once you establish a loop. If there is a mistake made during the set up for the loop, then yes, it can take a bit longer than usual. If there are 15 neck beards breathing down your neck while a Judge is watching disgustingly at you, yes, turns can take a long time. I will admit that they can also take a long time when fighting through on board hate OR instant speed hate. But there is also a point where the opponent should concede in my opinion; maybe ask, "did you leave in Pyrite Spellbomb or have Sai for infinite ducks if you don't have a way to deal with them." Maybe I just haven't seen terrible KCI players? (at the last PPTQ, there was a kid on KCI and he did have some warnings from what I heard) This was the worst I heard all season.
All of what I said above makes it seem that KCI is much stronger than Storm, which it is, and other Combo decks. Why should it NOT be banned then? Because it also has a really rough time with a lot of hate. Have you ever felt the feel of a Stony Silence in play while your opponent kills you when you have sided in 4 Nature's Claim and 2 Natural State? Those things happen. Stony Silence, Rest in Peace, Gaddock Teeg, and other cards to a lesser extent all put a big damper in KCI's plan. This makes it not as resilient as some other Combo decks because you simply can't do anything. (If I can't cast a 100/100 Walking Ballista in Company, I can still Gavony Township 2 turns and kill you with creatures. Not so with KCI, although I did see that SCG vid where the KCI player won with a Scrap Trawler and Myr Retriever when the Jund opponent had no creatures, but all hate.
*Sorry, I just realized. I think that's the SB for Scales, not KCI. No Natural State in teh SB of KCI; got mixed up because I've been testing Scales too the past 2 weeks.
Sep 18, 2018In my opinion, people are always going to think of excuses to hate on Combo decks. Combo decks need some resilience or else they just fold too easily and are not worth playing by any stretch of the imagination.Posted in: Modern
Skred Red does terribly good vs. Humans. I have a friend who runs it and claims to nearly beat Humans every time, which I feel is a bit of an exaggeration.
*Looks like my Combo side came out in that first comment, lol.
Sep 17, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from GotSK »
Same for me. On GW Company, I have not lost a single match to humans yet in a tournament setting (about 6? matches) and during testing my record is about 13 - 4 in matches, despite me playing the knights version and not abzan with finks which should have an even better game. Sure, it is a very small and probably biased N, but if it helps I also never felt as if those games were especially close or tough. In my experience, for humans to win that matchup they have to draw the perfect ratio of aggro and disruption. Too much aggro -> they lose to combo, too much disruption -> they fail to put you on the clock and lose to value over time. Whereas for GW most solid draws with an early mana dork are pretty much ok.
The 49.9% for humans is very surprising and I am asking myself the same questions as to where my assessment of the matchup might be wrong.
I should also clarify that my matches AND testing have both been with GW Knight Company and Abzan Company as well. I just lumped them together because it seems that "Company" has been lumped together, at least the Druid/Vizzy versions.
Tronix had it right in the post above; Humans is just a really strong deck, maybe even the best deck by a small fraction. It's not a problem. In my opinion, I have it like this:
2. UW Control
4. Hardened Scales
5. Counters Company/Bant Spirits
4 and 5 are interchangeable... (just my opinion of course) (I did also fail in 8 PPTQs this season, so I saw a lot!)
*In my opinion, the only perceived problem is that KCI is #1. A Combo deck cannot be allowed to be the best deck in Modern, even if by a small margin. (I do realize that 1 survived for quite a long time, but outside of that...)
Sep 17, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from Aazadan »Quote from ktkenshinx »
Don't remember the KCI matchup, but can confirm in the large MWP dataset, Humans is very unfavored against Tron. It's at least 45-55 and probably 40-60.
In the data I had from when it first got posted (I think you've updated it since then?) it was 45.2% against Tron and KCI was 43.3%. Other under 50% matchups in that data were Counters Company at 49.9%, Hollow One at 48.2%, Titanshift at 49.5%, and UWx Control at 48.8%
That's pretty embarrassing that Counters Company and Titanshift only beat Humans a little more than 50% of the time. Although my dataset is not super high (probably 20 matches for Titanshift and 10 for Company), I have absolutely CRUSHED these matchups. Titanshift games themselves are a bit closer, but the Company ones are usually not close at all. For what it's worth, outside of playing those matches, I have also tested the matchups enough to be all right with how I view the matchup. If someone showed me something new about the matchup(s), I'd take it into consideration.
Sep 17, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from idSurge »What do you play?
He's my local buddy. He plays whatever deck he believes gives him the best chance at PPTQs. He's borrowed Tron recently and gave up on Lantern. He also has played Titanshift, Burn, and more recently, Affinity in the past. I don't think he's played Titanshift or Burn for nearly a year or more.
Quote from The Fluff »
Looks like Burn is having a fun time.
Perhaps the decks that are bad match ups for Burn are somehow being kept down?
I'm assuming it's mostly because people forgot about Burn. Just a few weeks ago, Burn was not well positioned. Players like myself picked up on this and "forgot" the deck (set up our deck as if we won't see it in the Swiss).
Quote from BlueTronFTW »Been playing burn all year, and if you look at metagame data, it is fairly well positioned. Tron is a good matchup now that mono green is almost universally played over a white or black splash. UW is about even. Humans is a slight disadvantage but not enough to make that a reason to not pick up the deck. I don't know much about the spirits matchup, this past weekend was my first experience against it and got the win.
KCI is rough, and KCI is being pushed out right now as people look for ways to not lose to it.
I really don't know the KCI matchup, but I'd assume that Eidolon of the Great Revel would be damn good here. It has to be at least nearly as good as against Storm. I do realize that Nature's Claim and burn out of the KCI sideboard do kill it, but still. Fairly similar clock for Burn with a hoser in Eidolon.
You know I really do hate that card, right? (I don't know if you remember me saying this 1,000 times before.)
Sep 17, 2018Played in a 34 person PPTQ today for 6 rounds.Posted in: Combo
Round 1 vs. Bogles The more I play this matchup from either side, the more I am convinced that the matchup is even worse for Bogles than I originally thought. Dating back to Birthing Pod, I was over 60% win ratio vs. Pod decks. Then it got banned and Company came out. I felt like the matchup was 40/60 for Bogles. More recently, I've believed it to be 30/70. After today, I am convinced it's even worse than that for Bogles. I combo on turn 3 after he puts a fairly serious clock on me in Game 1. In the next game, he mulls to 5 and it's a slow grind, as I cannot find something to go with infinite mana. I get there with some Finks and a Tracker, as he can't get his dude big enough in time and then I go wide on him, also drawing Gavony Township to make it easier. Better lucky than good. 2-0.
Round 2 vs. Infect. This guy lost in a PPTQ finals the previous day, so he's out for blood. Lost in the first game to the turn 1 Noble Hierarch, turn 2 Blighted Agent with probably protection, and turn 3 kill. Won the next game on turn 3 before he would kill me on turn 3 with the same type of kill. In the last game, he mulliganed to 6 and I comboed out pretty quickly again after I did Path to Exile and Abrupt Decay on dudes. 2-1.
Round 3 vs. UW Control. This guy had some super nutty draws the last time I played him; 4 months ago with a similar deck and me on GW CoCo. I think he used up his luck then because he cast 0 Terminus this match. Had a really gassy hand in game 1, getting Tireless Tracker to draw 6 extra cards this one. He couldn't find Terminus in time and Gavony Township on the final turn made sure it's lethal. I find some hate in the next one with Voice and Sin Collector. He can't find Terminus again and I get there. Semi-long game, but I'm pretty tired right now to discuss or even remember every play. You get the gist of it. :X 2-0.
Round 4 vs. Infect. This play is just a very common play. Turn 1 Noble Hierarch into turn 2 Blighted Agent with mana up, turn 3 kill you all on the play. I'm not sure if this happens to YOU 50% of the time, but it happens to ME 50% of the time. But it was not to be in this match. I play Path to Exile on turn 1 Glistener Elf in game 2 right away, then Devoted Druid into turn 3 E Witness Path to Exile on Blighted Agent all while he was tapped out. Then I got Sin Collector and he drew a late Noble Hierarch, which almost got him there with a bunch of pump spells, but me knowing what he had from Sin Collector was big. In the final game, he mulls to 5 and plays Inkmoth Nexus turn 1. He misses his 2nd land drop and it gives me time to set up the combo a little slower than usual. No Dismember BABY! I dodged Dismember in 4 games vs. Infect today. The nuts. Got there with a huge Ballista. 2-1.
Round 5 vs. Burn. We ID because double ID gets us there and this locks us for Top 8. 0-0-3.
Round 6 vs. UR Breach. I play it out because I have a friend at X-2 that wants to try to make it in. I win, but the Breach player still gets 6th place (three 4-2s made the top 8, but NOT my friend; he got 11th). The Breach player is also a former teammate and cool guy, so it was a tough decision that I had to make, drawing or playing it out. The first game is really drawn out with me putting a lot of pressure early, but he kept burning and Snapcaster Maging to stay alive. I get a late game Collected Company, which gets me Devoted Druid AND Vizier of Remedies and I win next turn. He was close to lethal anyway, but I could not get those last points. It was hell from 9 life on. He also discarded 2 Through the Breach, so I knew he had at least 1 in hand and was looking for Emrakul, the Aeon's Torn and I was only at 17 life. But he was pretty much drawing off the top and doing Desolate Lighthouse late game. In the next game, I just pushed the combo too much and he did not have enough burn early to stop me. Since I took out Walking Ballista during the SBed games, I had no win-con, but I got Viscera Seer and every Green creature in my deck in play so that if he drew Anger of the Gods, I sacrifice every creature and pump 3 Scavenging Oozes for lethal next turn since he didn't have enough mana to Anger of the Gods AND Cryptic Command. It was an odd game, me having the Druid, Vizier, Recruiter Combo, but not winning on the spot. 2-0.
Top 8 vs. 4 Color Shadow. I drew and had too much gas in land light hands while he made me discard some cards. He played very well, especially saying it was his first PPTQ top 8 ever, but took a Chord of Calling instead of Collected Company (only mistake in 4-5 discard spells) and I won with that very Company next turn effectively. I did not attack for a while because I wanted to play around removal, which I'm assuming he didn't have anyway since Scavenging Ooze was causing havoc. I just had no reason to rush since I have more inevitability, but the Judge did tell us to speed up our play, which mostly was fine. I just played suuuper safe. In the next game, he had a lot of 1 for 1 removal, but Sin Collector nabbed one and I just gummed up the board too much. I had way too much gas against him, including 3 Birds of Paradise, lol. 2-0.
Top 4 vs. Jeskai Queller. In the first game, it takes forever, but I eventually get there with some by comboing out after he put pressure with Queller and Obstructionist. I had too much gas, something like 3 Companies and 2 Chords in hand with an E Witness at 1 time. Just needed time to play all that around Mana Leak, Remand, and Dispel. Got there eventually. In the next game, he mulled to 6 and seemed unsure if he should keep. My hand was combo centric, so this bode well for me. I do in fact get the combo on turn 5 or 6 and he is out of plays, having only 1 more card in hand. Whew! I hate playing against Jeskai with this deck because I usually draw terribly, but I drew the nuts on him. Turn 2 Voice of Resurgence, he eventually killed it with Electrolyze on his turn because I WOULD NOT attack with it, but after he tapped out for ScM/Electrolyze, I did Chord for E Witness for Voice of Resurgence and replayed him all on the very next turn. Had some mana dorks. 2-0.
Finals vs. Burn. The same player from Round 5 who I ID'd with at 4-0. He got out double Eidolon of the Great Revel and I could not draw Collected Company. I did get a Finks and a Chord of Calling, but got stuck on 4 lands with mana dork after mana dork in hand after he played the 2nd Eidolon. The next game, he comes out blazing with Monastery Swiftspear. He Searing Blazed my Birds and I missed some 2nd land drops, but eventually peeled lands to get triple Kitchen Finks while I was at 5 life at one point. He just had all lands in hand and I had to play like that or else he would have already killed me. He drew 2 more Monastery Swiftspear and only 1 burn spell and I got there. In the final game, it is super close, but he ended up playing 3 Searing Blazes on me and had an active Grim Lavamancer. If he had drawn Searing Blood, I probably would have won because I had Viscera Seer out, which makes Searing Blood not do damage if I don't want it to. I did have the infinite life combo in my opener and a mana dork with enough mana to do stuff. I died with 2 Scavenging Ooze in hand when he did exact lethal on the final turn with Searing Blaze after fetch, then draw a card for turn and play Lava Spike and Lightning Helix with his last card when I was at 9 before the Searing Blaze. I responded to the Searing Blaze on my Viscera Seer with sacrifice Kitchen Finks to go to 9, but it was enough. 3 + 3 + 3. Damn, next turn I would untap with Scavenging Ooze and a BoP in play. The reason I didn't play Scooze that turn was because I'd have to tap Horizon Canopy and I had just played Temple Garden tapped. This was a mull to 6 because my 7 just didn't do enough against him - 5 lands too. 1-2.
It freaking sucks losing in the finals of a PPTQ. Still, I can't help but realize that I drew better than 7 of my 8 opponents today, so there's that. Lost 5 die rolls today, but got to be on the play throughout the top 8. 5-0-1 does that!
P.S. - Also realized that I have yet to draw Kor Firewalker, have a Chord available for 2, or Company into it in my last 3 SBed games vs. Burn. Well, scratch the last one - I've cast 1 Company in these games, as well as teh other 2 non SBed games. I don't get to cast Company much. I just know that the first time I get Firewalker against Burn, my opponent is going to be pretttttty pissed though.
Sep 17, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from Jonny_Tempel »Quote from Shmanka »
Issues such as archetype and color diversity need to be solved with new product, not the banned list. The banned list should be used for the grievous errors, and tournament disruptors. We need to stop viewing the banned list as a nerf to the metagame list.
I know I'm late because I just got back from losing in the finals of a PPTQ, but I 100% agree too. The ban list should definitely be more lenient.
*After seeing some mention of Burn here on this page, I should also say that what I lost to in the finals was Burn. It was my only match loss in this tournament in 3 nail biter games, 1-2.
Sep 15, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from idSurge »Amulet and Infect are still decks...
Ban the actual amulet, or Prime Time and we can talk.
No lie, I actually pray they ban one of my favorite cards of all times and one that's brought me a ton of $ until now, so I can move on and play 5 decks instead of 8. It makes my choices limited, which in my opinion, is good. Not everyone likes lowering the choices of decks to play in Mdoern though.
Sep 15, 2018It definitely can be frustrating. Others have lost their decks as well. I lost Bloom Titan, although people will convince you of 75% win rates on turns 0, 1, or 2 across the board because every Bloom player palms their opening 7 like Stephen Speck does. Others have lost Birthing Pod. That one right there actually pissed ME off more than any of the bans they've done, although admittedly Twin was a close 2nd. Basically Wizards was saying that "we are going to print creatures much, much better than Siege Rhino, Restoration Angel, and Thragtusk, so we are banning the card because it can only get better." That and Siege Rhino broke it open.Posted in: Modern
Players have lost Infect, although I know a guy who has ******* killed it with Infect recently. He beat me in the top 4 of a PPTQ, but then he won that PPTQ, then nearly beat Hall of Famer Mark Herberholtz in the finals of a PTQ at the Grand Prix Las Vegas (Hall of Famers tend to play 3 Path to Exile and a Terminus by turn 3, then Field of Ruins X 2 for Inkmoth Nexii; that's part of why they're Hall of Famers). I don't become fans of players who beat me in the top 8 of PPTQs because I am actually trying to win them, but he has swayed me.
Players lost Dredge. Heck, Sam Black lost Mono Blue Infect with Ponder, Preordain, Blazing Shoal, and Probe.
I will admit that Twin was the most surprising ban that has ever happened in Modern. There's no denying that. But we have to move on from there. If Wizards does intend to unban it, it is only going to be because they want to, not because we bullied them to do so. That has never worked.
Sep 15, 2018Posted in: ModernQuote from ktkenshinx »Re: Twin
I will never bring up Twin and I haven't in years. But when Twin defenders try to justify the unban with any other argument other than "Twin will increase format diversity: here's why-", I will always push back. Same goes whenever Twin defenders misrepresent some element of Twin in 2015.
I still think the card is a net benefit to format diversity even with UW at the top. It gives added incentive to play grindier decks that arent currently in vogue at the expense of a few percentage points on very aggressive decks. Those decks would still be viable and would still appear at events. You'd just see More stuff like Abzan, D&T, Valuetown, UWx Midrange, and others stealing those percentage points back.
Re: Ponder and Preordain
Unlike SFM, these are just direct bonuses to tiered decks and they don't so much as increase diversity as they make existing top-tier decks better. Yes, they would help flagging strategies like Delver, but they would be a far bigger boon to things like Storm and UWx that don't need the help.
This one is interesting. I THINK it's a net diversity gain in that there aren't a lot of Gx toolbox decks at all. Let alone those that might use GSZ. Elves is a big winner here, as is Titanshift and maybe Amulet, but Traverse decks still want delirium and Shadow, Counters Company and BGx want non-green creatures, and stuff like Valuetown is really underplayed. This suggests to me that GSZ just helps a few struggling decks while also giving more regular access to powerful answers. I doubt it homogenizes green decks, as lots of green decks are already doing powerful, distinct things that dont synergize with GSZ at all.
EDIT: Actually, BG Rock with GSZ sounds very good. Your pick of Arbor, Goyf, Ooze, Tracker, and Flayer sounds very strong. I don't love Bob in BG Rock to begin with because of Tracker/Field, so I'm happy to trade in slots for that toolbox. You could also go a very light BGw, ditching Souls entirely and just running white for some SB bullets and Rhino, Teeg, Guilds' new Knight, and others on top. Not sure if that'd be too strong but it's definitely strong and might definitely be the homgenizing force that Wizards is worried about.
I feel you on all of those...except I do in fact think that Preordain won't help Tier 1 decks too much. I think the difference in minimal, especially if you consider that Sleight of Hand sees play only in Storm and Ad Nauseam, where the Sleight of Hand to Preordain change is a bit more optimal. Serum Visions vs. Preordain...they are much, much closer than people think and I don't think I've heard 1 single player ever complain about Serum Visions in Modern. I hear a lot more disdain about Ancient Stirrings and I am starting to lean toward their side. Even with new cards printed, which certainly is good, Ancient Stirrings still may need a ban, considering freaking Preordain isn't currently legal.
I never lump Ponder with Preordain. I personally would love to see the card, but then I'd like to try Dig Through Time and some other stuff as well. But I digress. We can start with a Preordain unban. If the fears of a million people that UW Control becomes 15% of the meta, winning 50% of its matches, then Wizards can always retract the unban and ban. It's not like they haven't done that before. I do NOT think Preordain is that much a risk where it's not worth trying it in Modern (I mean without the Git Probe, Ponder, Rite of Flame, Seething Song, and the other 5 cards that were legal at that time). Let's try it now!
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