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  • posted a message on Magic: Origins Spoilers - Modern Discussion
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Ho-ly *****:
    103.4. Each player draws a number of cards equal to his or her starting hand size, which is normally seven. (Some effects can modify a player’s starting hand size.) A player who is dissatisfied with his or her initial hand may take a mulligan. First, the starting player declares whether or not he or she will take a mulligan. Then each other player in turn order does the same. Once each player has made a declaration, all players who decided to take mulligans do so at the same time. To take a mulligan, a player shuffles his or her hand back into his or her library, then draws a new hand of one fewer cards than he or she had before. If a player kept his or her hand of cards, those cards become the player’s opening hand, and that player may not take any further mulligans. This process is then repeated until no player takes a mulligan. (Note that if a player’s hand size reaches zero cards, that player must keep that hand.) Then, beginning with the starting player and proceeding in turn order, any player whose opening hand has fewer cards than his or her starting hand size may scry 1.

    EDIT: Just in case you don't read the whole article-
    "This rule will make its debut at Pro Tour Magic Origins, which takes place July 31–August 2. This is the only tournament during which this rule will be in effect for now. After the Pro Tour, we will have more information regarding when this rule will be implemented everywhere else."

    Good God. I don't even.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Howdy all, played in a small PPTQ on Saturday (~20 person/5 rounds) and managed to do alright with Esper Mentor. The list was pretty stock, but I will edit it in later. I've fooled around on Cockatrice with the deck but haven't played it seriously at all before this. I was intending to play Jund but the cards I needed hadn't arrived. As a result I sleeved this up 2 hours before the event.

    R1: 2-1 Tribal Zoo
    G1 opp mulled to 5, played forest, scooped to Thoughtseize. G2 his draw was too quick for me to beat. Repeatedly time walked his attacks with Souls but couldn't stabilize. G3 I fended off his beats with Souls and eventually set up a huge swing back with 2 monk tokens and 4 spirits with Zealous wombo.

    R2: 2-1 Jund
    Having trouble rembering this match well except for a salty opponent.

    R3: 1-2 Jund
    G1 I got run over. G2 I had a close tight match and eventually turned the corner with a few mentor triggers from untapping and double Soulsing. G3 was super tight and I eventually stabilize and turned the corner at 9 with 6 souls in play. Then he goes Bonfire from hand for 3. I draw Souls and double cast it. He untaps and double bolts me.

    R4: 2-1 Abzan
    Having trouble remembering this match but it was tight and Zealous was huge in both games that I won.

    R5: ID UR Twin (Teammate)

    Qrts: 2-1 Jund (R3 opp)
    The match was tight as before with him on the play G1. I had almost taken over the game but timely top decks got him G1. G2 and G3 I drew enough sideboard cards along with lots of Souls and took over the game.

    Semis: 0-2 UR Twin (R5 Teammate)
    G1 I couldn't find any good interaction and he eventually Twin'd on T5. G2 I opted to play too aggressively and got Moon'd.

    Deck played solid overall. Going in I expected to 0-2 drop. I thought the Goyf decks were bad matchups but I either got lucky or am just wrong? Thanks for reading and any thoughts are appreciated.

    I found most Goyf match-ups to be pretty good. Just show a Goyf player some Lingering Souls. Jund I haven't had the pleasure of facing often (just 3 matches under my belt) but I have plenty against Abzan and Zoo. While Zoo is a rough one game 1, EE helps so very much postboard. Junk is pretty stellar, I've found. We can go 1-1 on removal of their major threats, but they don't have the same luxury. I've ran into many situations where we trade removal on Goyf and Mentor, but I'm left with a monk token that makes their souls draw quite awkward. Combine that with our more aggressive Tasigur (I've slotted in 2 thought scours), and Zealous Perseuction, I've found it to be a somewhat favorable matchup.

    RE: Twin. It is a great matchup for us, but oh boy if we don't find any interaction are we one dead deck. No Mentor draw in the world will save you if you don't find removal/discard.

    I can't get get my head around Liliana. I'm not sure if I don't care about her (edict me all day bby), or despise her for stripping my hand of gas.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from TheNoob »

    That argument is much more thought out and useful than "Stop reading at ...."

    This deck is different than Mentor though on a few different axises.

    1) Geist is hexproof and a serious clock all by itself. The removal/discard/counters provide a good way to protect him.
    2) Geist is great in a format that relies on a lot of targeted removal, which is what Grixis Delver/Jund/Abzan do; they play almost no sweepers relying on effective cheap removal.
    3) Decks like Grixis Delver and Jund play on the lighter side of threats, relying on their cost efficiency to make up for it, disrupting that slows them down, which combined with a great clock can be extremely effective.

    I am not saying this is the next greatest deck, but i think it is an interesting take on the meta and i am sleeving it up for the next few weeks to put it through its paces

    Not that this the place to discuss it, but I'd like to point out that Jund is meant to be threat-dense. Most decks run 3x Scooze, 4x Goyf, 3-4x Lili, and they're coming back around to Confidant as a 4-of. Not to mention the flex threat slot of Thundermaw, Huntmaster, Tasigur, or (maybe) Stormbreath. That's 15-18 threats. Not something I'd call threat-light.

    Per the list: I still don't see the advantage of Esper geist over UWR Geist. Even more, what's interesting about it? It attacks along the same axis of UWR Geist, just replacing the reach that burn gives with hand discard. I mean, the hard removal gives you more play against decks like Jund and Junk but man, Bolt and Electrolyze are great against Delver and affinity. And you can't dome people in this list like UWR Geist can.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from thelfb »
    Ive been looking into this archetype, does anyone have experience with lists that dont run Tasigur or Gurmag Angler in favor of Dark Confidant? He has indirect synergy with Monastery Mentor in that more card draw results in more cards for Mentor triggers and if your highest CMC is 4 for a Sorin (and if its Solemn Visitor youll be gaining life anyway) he seems like a card that might deserve some consideration.

    I've been fancying 2 or so Bobs in the 75, somewhere, but not over Tasigur. Tasigur is, oddly, a portion of the aggro draw as slamming a T2 Tasigur is mean. He's also a portion of your long game whether that be self-mill to victory or reloading your board after a wipe. I can't see replacing him with Bob as they only share one archetype and Tasigur is almost as good even there. Not to mention, blocking 4/5 Goyfs and Rhinos can be very relevant in grinds against Junk.

    The thing is, you'd probably take out Snapcasters out if you want to bring in Bob. Same CMC, same(ish) card in that both are interested in eeking out value. But Tiago is pretty darn amazing with all of the 1 and 2cmc spells running around in our deck. Not to mention he'll directly enable prowess triggers and, really, sometimes that's all you need. Bob provides more card advantage (providing he survives) but Snapcaster fits better with the deck.

    I'd like to fit 2 in the sideboard, but that's a pet thing, I don't see the need for them there.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from TheNoob »

    You are actually running 9 discard, plus 6 removal, plus 5 counters and 3 Meddling Mages all of which protect your Geist. Also Elspeth acts as both a win-con and a pump spell for your Geist. Restoration can save it from bad combat as well still letting you for 4 points of damage.

    I think the deck has a lot of layers that are not immediately apparent by just looking at the cards in general.

    Finally, the Thread is called BUW Aggro, not Mentor aggro.

    Never once did I write that this deck didn't belong here. Its midrange/aggro. Thing.

    However, I was expressing doubt that this take on Esper Geist is an alternative to UWR Geist. What does B in replacement of R bring to the table that makes the swap worthwhile? Tasigur is certainly a big one, but this list only runs 1. Discard? Proactive threat removal certainly does seem like a good idea, but is it good enough over the utility that R-burn brings? These are the things that this deck has to answer and, frankly, I don't see it.

    Quote from TheNoob »

    I think the deck has a lot of layers that are not immediately apparent by just looking at the cards in general.

    Does it? It seems like a Geist-centered list that has threats along the same axis as UWR but has replaced burn with discard and 2 B removal. While you certainly have to play a deck to get the "feel" for it, the cards that are in a deck list are, quite literally, in the deck. Synergy, threat-axis, all of that is fairly apparent in just looking at the deck list.

    But, as always, I could certainly be wrong.

    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from TheNoob »
    So this deck is being discussed over on the Modern Meta facebook group


    The deck looks kinda of interesting, i think Kor Firewalkers would be better suited in the sideboard but the deck looks rather interesting. Thought I would bring it to the thread to get some more discussion going.

    I am going to be testing it myself.

    PS - it was NOT my creation, I am posting it on behalf the original creator Franceso.

    Seems a bit closer to Esper Control than Esper Mentor. I question two things in the deck; Elspeth and Meddling Mage.

    Combo really isn't that prevalent in the meta right now besides Bloom, so many times you're getting a 2/2 bear that might eat a bolt or chump a goyf. I can see it in the sideboard if bloom gets to the larger meta share that it used to have. As for Elspeth, I could just be biased. She always seemed a win-more card that hardly does much to help you if you're behind on board, and only somewhat helps if you're at board parity. I understand that you can't run Sad Sorin in a deck that is less token heavy, but maybe there's a better card for that slot?

    Can you properly protect a Geist without bolt? This deck only runs 6 removal spells and 2 (maybe 3) counterspells, whereas most UWR Geist decks run at least 8 removal and 5 or so counter magic. I understand that sometimes you'll draw Shizo which protects Geist from almost everything, but as only a 1-of, I don't see that occurring often. Maybe Discard + Tidehollow can get there, but I don't think so, not reliably.

    As a final point, I really, honestly, think that not running Lingering Souls is a mistake in a BW deck. Even without the added support from Mentor, Souls can take over games quite easily.

    Seems like a take an Esper attempt at UWR Geist.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from Rinin »
    Zealous seems bad in the match-up in my opinion, sense their tokens are beyond its reach if they have any of their anthems or a Zealous of their own. I only say this because I was a BW tokens player first, I merely adopted the blue to try this build very recently.

    EDIT: I'm not doubting the power of the card itself, I LOVE it my BW token build, however it just seems much weaker in this variant.

    Zealous is very, very potent in this deck. Perhaps not against BW tokens, but against a field overall, I'm quite comfortable fielding 2 in the main deck. In terms of raw power, I actually think Zealous does more in our deck than straight BW tokens. It doubles the power of spirit tokens and triples the power of our monk tokens. Going from a field of a couple 1/1s and maybe mentor, and then casting Zealous to create a field of a couple 3/3s and 2/2s and maybe a 4/4 mentor is very strong. Given the anthems in BW Tokens, the +1/+1 is less of an unique, and strong ability in the deck imo.

    Its a very strong finisher in the build. Given an uncontested Mentor, the card can end a game as early as turn 5.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from Rinin »
    Playtested with a hyper Aggresive version of BW tokens and got stomped. Never did any damage, his tokens were better than mine. Early aggression kept me on thr backfoot the entire game. Sideboard options for that deck?

    EE, Disenchant (maybe). But the spellsnares are very relevant in this matchup and I see that you don't currently have them. Tasigur also really useful in this matchup, although you do have to rely on disrupting their anthem effects in some way.


    Tron is just going to be a rough matchup. It's true for any midrange thoughtseize deck, our more aggressive starts nonwithstanding. Board for hand discard, hope they stymie themselves or you get an early kill and they lack any meaningful interaction. I could maybe see going Ghost Quarter (Tec Edge is less relevant here IMO since the magic number is often 3). But that's a lot of slots for a matchup that you just have to hope you get lucky in. I'd scratch it off as a "loss unless lucky" and move on.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from shanebeeps »
    I just played this vs. Elves and have no idea how it would win... I don't see sweepers in the sideboard basically ever, either.

    Hand disruption, removal on their anthem guys, zealous persecution (maybe), and EE. Those are kinda your only hope in the matchup, seems somewhat annoying if you can't get Collected Company out of their hand or can't kill their key components. Maybe if it gets more popular you can swap out some SB slots for ***? Not super ideal in a deck that uses creatures as the major threats but if you clear the board, and strip the hand, you got time to rebuild.

    I just don't see how that deck beats Twin, a key player in most modern metas. Maybe if it starts going golgari for the hand disruption/removal?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange

    Separate question, I am just getting into Modern and I'm not sure whether it's correct to just T1 Creeping Tar Pit or to fetch and/or shock myself for a T1 Thoughtseize/Inquisition of Kozilek, assuming an unknown opponent. It seems like a huge hit to take if you're against Burn or Affinity.

    It ought to be fairly safe to go turn 1 Tar Pit and adjust as needed. I'd wager the decks for which its risky to forgo a T1 thoughtseize are far less common than decks where there's little difference between T1 and T2. Really only two spring to my mind; just Bloom and Tron. And storm if you're on the draw.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange

    You should probably play 4 Serum Vision and 4 Thought Scour, as well as possibly a couple Probes. Not sure why you can't find room for the full set of Visions in your deck, it's the best cantrip in Modern and still very much sets up your Delve creatures as well as your draws. Is it actually that hard to fit in the full 8 (or more) cantrips? I've seen the OP lists, but it still seems like you would want to start with more cantrips in any list that's focusing on Tasigur and other Delve spells. Perhaps I'm wrong though.

    I'm only running two Tasigurs, most lists with thought scour are running three. 4 TS should be more than enough cantrip to fuel the delves, especially with 8 fetches and a plethora of other 1cmc spells, so I don't really see a need for Git probe. As for Serum and TS, what would you take out? Part of the deck's advantage over say BW Tokens is the veritable army of removal and a decent splash of counter magic. To find room for 4 SV, you're likely removing some number of Remands(or leaks)/snares, leaving our "protect the mentor" threat axis weaker and more vulnerable to combo. Maybe tone down the discard? Most are running 6 main, with a 2/2 split of thoughtseizes main/board. I'm not a huge fan of that since any midrange deck really wants the hand discard.

    I wouldn't want to go less than 3 snapcasters, at any cost. You could, maybe, go 2/3 split of SV/TS removing a mentor, but I feel like that's a compromise in mediocrity at the price of removing a major threat. Maybe there's room, but I'm not seeing it.

    Quote from Hert79 »

    I play 4 scours and 2 Serum Visions. IMO scour is more important in this deck. This is where it has made a difference in my games:
    - fuels delve and snappies (gives you better selection) and especially enables turn 2 Tasigur, it's not common but when it happens it's a big play.
    - instant speed token producer. You have 4 mana, cast mentor with U open, if they bolt you cast the scour and get a token. This is a pretty common play in my experience. And yes, a mini swiftspear token often is very relevant.
    - instant speed combat trick, doesn't happen often but sometimes it helps.
    - extra card advantage with lingering souls: doesn't happen often but when you scour a lingering souls that's a 'free' extra spell to trigger prowess and generate tokens.

    IMO tought scour is an auto 4-of. Ok, sometimes you mul a one-lander on the play. It usually doesn't matter that much though, the deck muls pretty good. I've won 4-handers by landing T2 Tasigur.

    I mean, sure, its a better explosive card. Not debating that. T2 Tasigur is real. But I just think its a very mediocre card outside of that play.

    Regarding your 4 mana mentor play; You still retain priority so if you smell a bolt, you can serum visions before they even get the chance. TS here could be more relevant if you want to keep up another 1cmc instant, but if they're bolting your mentor then they're bolting your mentor that turn. Meaning its tying up your mana anyway.

    TS is a niche card, that can be very good in this deck. But you've all brought up some ideas that have merit. I should probably find some time to swap out visions and play with TS instead.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    Quote from Lectrys »

    Careful with that analysis of Serum Visions--another benefit of Thought Scour over Serum Visions is that Thought Scour can mill copies of Lingering Souls. Milling Souls has saved my butt quite a few times.

    It's also nice to have an instant-speed cantrip to pump Monastery Mentor and Prowess Monks, to Flashback with Tiago when times are sleepy, and to cast on Twin's EOT after leaving up 1 mana to hold up/bluff removal. Serum Visions is a slow sorcery in comparison.

    Whelp, just had a my reply eaten by MTGS. So I'll just go over the synopsis. Thoughtscour has a ~15% to mill at least one souls T2/T3 in any given game where you've seen none, not something that I'd put into its favor. It also only increases your chance to see souls (over Visions, disregarding Scry) is ~10%. And if you do hit the 15% mill chance, its reward is a 1 mana reduction but only one usage; its useful, certainly but not something that would make me pick it over visions.

    The mana efficency against combo/control isn't something that, again, would make me want it over Visions. Consider that Twin will typically only place Twin on a creature if it can protect it from our removal and/or counter magic. That means that you'll generally want to remove the flasher on your EoT, where their mana is most constrained. This is, of course, disregarding the common event where Twin takes out the combo in favor of grind-cards like Jace/Keranos and board sweeps.

    The combat trick, to me, is the most useless "perk" of thoughtscour. In my opinion, any competent opponent won't block a prowess creature where a single instant makes the combat math terrible for them. So I don't see much of a difference between an in-combat thought scour and a first main Vision. It could, perhaps, protect an already buffed mentor from a bolt but your opponent would have had to let the first prowess trigger resolve (or you have another instant in hand) for that to matter.

    My major thing about visions is that it allows for more hands to be kept. A 1-land hand, with mostly our 1 cmc instants, is eminently keepable with visions, probably not so much with thought scour.

    But I could be wrong. Maybe 4 5/6cmc delve spells necessitates the thought scours in order to cast them comfortably. As I said, I'm only a few matches into this deck, there remains much to be seen.

    Quote from Khayvan »
    Hey guys, I'm currently playing Merfolk, UwTron, RWNorin and Deadguy Ale in Modern. I'm thinking about going from Ale to this deck, as it seems close (midrange with BW...) but maybe better as it gets more results.
    I've got few questions so, and I apologize if they were already answered two thousand times^^
    1) I see some list playing a playset of Snapcaster and some others just 1 or 2. How much is he mandatory in this deck? (as I don't own them and don't plan to buy them soon, already too much stuff to get with MM2015 and fetches^^). Could he be replaced by Bob, as Snapcaster work a bit like card draw on a stick too?
    2)What's happening with the delver lists? I don't see them having results. Are they simply less strong or just getting less love?

    Thank you guys for you answers.

    PS: Sorry my English isn't really good, not my first language^^

    Snapcaster is nuts in this deck. Most lists are typically running 28 instants and sorceries, with roughly half being 1cmc. If the standard of Mister Tiago is bolt snapbolt, then path snap-path is nearly as good. Against control decks, flashing back your cantrip or discard is also fantastic. He could, maybe, be replaced by Bob but Bob runs afoul of bolt, where Tiago does not.

    Delver has moved onto Grixis Delver, which is more roboust on the threats. Attacking on 2 threat axis (Delver/Pyro and Tasigur) can be a nightmare for certain decks. Scapeshift has a miserable time attempting to deal with Pyro tokens, Delver flips, and Tasigur. Not to mention all of its run on what seems to be a fairly efficient engine.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BUW Aggro/Control - Esper Midrange
    I've only just picked up the deck but I wonder how useful thought scour really is. I understand that it powers out a turn 2 Tasigur at times, and helps fuel cut, but its a highly mediocre card outside of T2 Banana-Prince.

    With that in mind, here's the list I'm running with:

    I've only had 4 matches with the deck, but its been performing quite admirably; especially against Twin. Zealous Persecution is the nuts. Serum Visions churns out Tasigur slower, but with the swap to dismember from Cut, I think its fine. Especially considering that Serum Visions is so much better than Thought Scour except for Bananas and combat tricks.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] RUG Scapeshift
    I'm not a fan of any bounce cards as slots against grindy decks. Remand and the like were so good against cruise/dig because many of the decks running them were not attrition decks. Remanding a cruise that delved 7 meant they had to spend 2-3 more turns rebuilding their graveyard in order to do another 1 mana cruise.

    This simply isn't the case with Grixis/BUG decks that are running tasigur and/or gurmag. Their game-plan is to position themselves in a grindy match-up where they'll often have a quite large graveyard, especially if they had a few turns of Liliana beforehand. Bouncing a Tasigur just means they might have to tap 3 lands to cast it again that same turn. If your intent is to shore up your match-up against these types of decks, I'd look at another wincon that can beat 4/5s and 5/5s. Good wincons like this are Wurmcoil Engine/etc.

    I wouldn't probably even consider boarding Aetherspouts in against Twin. Simply put, it costs far too much. You're better off boarding in another, cheaper counterspell because there will be some furious counter-wars between our two decks.

    I'd probably bring out Aetherspouts, bring in Wurmcoil or your preferred alt wincon (I'm testing Sarkhan, Unbroken atm). I'd even consider dropping a nature's claim and bringing in Rending Volley, its another "Last Word" card against Twin.

    Cyclonic Rift is fine. But fine isn't what I want in my sideboard. It has fringe applications in most matchups, but nothing stellar.

    Bolts or Serum Visions. I still can't see the right answer. But I think I still prefer visions at this moment.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] RUG Scapeshift

    Thanks a lot for the writeup.

    I've been waffling on the bolts. They make Affinity a much easier MU, as well as any rogue aggro like Merfolk. You didn't face any aggro decks but I believe you boarded out at least 2 bolts each match. I think we might have enough play against the MUs where bolts are bad to where its fine, but I don't quite know.

    I'm not quite sure how Aetherspouts helps against Grixis Delver. The owner gets to choose whether to place Tasi/Gurmag on the top or bottom of the library. Most times its a Whisk Away. You can't even be cute by doing it in response to tasi activation/thought scour. Perhaps another card is good in this slot?

    I agree with Feed the Clan over Thrag. Allows us to better position ourselves rather than sorcery speed 4/5 drop. Have found them to be quite useful.

    Posted in: Combo
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