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Treasure Cruisin' Gifts Storm
 
The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
 
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on Mardu Vehicles
    I'd be bringing in Walking Ballista against Aggro if I had it, but not against Control. Against Midrange, likely not, but it would really depend on the specific deck. I don't see a ton of lists playing Ballista though, and it's probably more of a mainboard card over Motorist than a sideboard option. The trouble with the Ballista build is that it is a lot less consistent, since you don't benefit from the Scry 2 filtering of Motorist, and a lot less aggressive. Ballista was popular when we still had Gideon.

    Duress definitely comes in against control and combo. Usually those would be the only two decks you want it for. More or less, you are swapping creature removal for hand disruption. Against Midrange, your Disintegrations are very good so you want to keep them in. Abrade can be good and can be lacklustre depending. Sometimes Fatal Push might come in over Abrade depending on the creatures you are fighting against. Rarely would you want Duress.

    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Mardu Vehicles
    I don't have a sideboard guide per se. Personally I try to stay flexible. For example, depending on what my opponent's decks first 3 turns are likely to look like, I might be inclined to side out Exemplars on the Draw and side them back in on the Play. As in the latter case, there is a good chance to get the tempo initiative and ride that to victory.

    In general, red aggro you want to be control pretty much Play or Draw. Side in your removal and Sweepers. Side out some of your more awkward blockers.

    Midrange can be tricky, but we are in general the aggro deck. However, Fumigate is actually still pretty good here, since our threats will wear it much better than theirs and we can setup a big blowout.

    Control, we are pretty much always the aggro deck. Some of our removal comes out and Duress, other disruption, and special control killer type threats come in. Just be mindful of a classic control sideboard strategy of bringing in threats like Regal Caracal.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Mardu Vehicles
    Sideboarding vs RDW: yes, Fumigate or Settle as sweepers. Cast Out or Ixalan's Binding for opposing Hazorets. Any extra Harvesters helps. I would side out of Exemplar and some number or Hearts and Scrounger. Maybe shave a Disintegrate or two if you also have cheaper removal available like Magma Spray.

    Scarab God: We are relatively fast, so the game has to drag out for the god to be relevant. That being said, we have access to Cast Out or Ixalan Binding, as mentioned. Both good options to answer Scarab too.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Mardu Vehicles
    Bad matchup is mainly Red Deck Wins. Game 1 in particular. Barring our best starts, we are a bit slower and have a lot of awkward creatures that can’t block, need us to tap a creature, or are 1/1 during our opponent’s turn. Saving grace is Harvester, but Abrade can spoil this trump card for us. After board things get better.

    The trade off for this is having good matchups against midrange and control. Our threats are more diverse, require more specific answers, and are recursive. We have unconditional removal that simultaneously advances our Aggro game plan. We also have access to Duress in the sideboard.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Burn
    Yeah, Eidolon and Pillar are your main goto's for Storm style combos. It also works pretty well for Elves. Eidolon though is pretty much good against everything, but Storm in particular nearly folds to a resolved one.

    For stuff like Reanimator and Dredge combos you need dedicated graveyard hate in the sideboard and hope that they don't get the nut draw. They tend to be a bit faster than us, and we otherwise have no other way to interact. Game 1 we have to get a bit lucky. 2 and 3 we have to mulligan aggressively.

    Their are other combos that are difficult for us to interact with, like Sneak & Show, and outside of hoping to have an Ensnaring Bridge ready to reveal off their Show and Tell, our main weapon is just speed and luck. They tend to be a bit slower, so our consistency is not a bad thing to rely on here.

    Then there are hopeless "combo" matchups like Enchantress which just cannot really be handled with the normal sorts of tools. You have to go quite out of your way to have an answer and in general its not worth the sideboard space to worry about.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    I've come up against Phoenix once or twice. It was surprisingly frustrating to deal with. Seems like it's perfect at combating opposing Glorybringers in particular actually. I think it could be a good card in the sideboard against the slower matchups where they are trying to remove everything. Perhaps even in the Mirror as a way to "level" your opponent, who is likely bringing in Dragons.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    The deck differs substantially from competitive shells. It only overlaps with 3 cards. It would likely get better feedback in its own Big Red Dino thread.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Mardu Vehicles


    Mardu Vehicles






    Overview


    Aggressive deck that uses powerful synergies with artifacts and vehicles in particular. It has the potential for extremely quick starts with Toolcraft Exemplar, while also having tenacious threats like Scrapheap Scrounger in longer games. Its premier card is Heart of Kiran which dodges the traditional type of sorcery speed removal and board sweepers. It's top end boasts a Hazoret the Fervent as a hard hitting, nigh unkillable threat, whose activation presents a form of inevitability. Often it draws on other powerful threats like Chandra and Glorybringer postboard. Overall the deck, while an aggrodeck, boasts a flexible gameplan with several angles of attack.


    Strategy


    The game plan with this deck is to apply pressure quickly just like any other aggro deck. Game 1, hands with an Exemplar and a follow-up artifact on T2 are premium. You will want to deploy your Hearts quickly as well, as they will essentially give many of your creatures virtual haste, allowing you to pilot the heart with a summoning sick creature, while your other creatures attack along side it. The mid game will often devolve into a tempo game where you look to put yourself in a position where you can Disintegrate a key blocker and perhaps activate Pia to make another creature not be able to block before swinging for lethal. Post board, the deck has the ability to turtle up and become more of a control deck, calling on more spot removal like Fatal Push, board sweepers like Fumigate, card advantage like Chandra, and big threats like Glorybringer to look to control the board before resolving a big threat that you ride to victory.





    Sample Decklists









    Threats


    1-Drops



    One of the core aggressive threats of the deck, as the best turn 1 play that the deck can produce. Some of the decks most aggressive starts involve an early Exemplar putting on immediate pressure. It can be used to power up Heart of Kiran by resolving its beginning of combat trigger and then activating the vehicle before moving to attacks. It requires a critical mass of 1 and 2 mana artifacts for it to be worthwhile and so is often sided out when the deck shifts to a more controlling build postboard.

    An unassuming creature that plays a few roles in the deck. On it's own, it's a mildly aggressive threat that can represent a lot of card advantage if it is able to attack uncontested for a few turns. It otherwise provides an early artifact to power up Exemplars, enable Spires, and upgrade Disintegrations. It also can pilot Aethersphere Harvestor quite readily. In a pinch, it can be used to clear your hand to allow Hazoret to attack. Generally worst case if drawn in top deck mode, it essentially cycles for 2 mana.

    A third but less commonly used 1-drop. It featured heavily in earlier versions of the deck. It synergizes well with the heavy artifact presence in the deck and becomes an excellent aggressive threat. It is a good option if you want to go a bit more aggressive with the build.


    2-Drops



    This is essentially the card around which the entire deck is built. It is very aggressive evasive threat that is difficult to deal with with many forms of removal. It does require that the deck play enough 3+ power early creatures to be worthwhile. Keep in mind that Exemplar can pilot it if you allow the Exemplar's trigger to resolve before moving to declare attackers. Hazoret can also pilot Heart regardles of whether or not the god can attack. Don't forget that planeswalkers like Chandra can activate Heart, and can do this on both your turn and your opponent's. Despite the drawback of being legendary, this card is an automatch 4-of in a vehicles deck purely due to its power level.

    Another core threat. It is an aggressively costed 3/2 for 2. So at its base level is passable. Due to being an artifact, it activates Exemplar, Spire, and Disintegration. It can also pilot Heart. It's recursive ability is where it really becomes good. This ability can be activated at instant speed, so you are able to reanimate Scrounger at the end of the opponents turn and then untap to attack immediately. The instant aspect of the ability also opens up some interesting lines using it to ambush attacking creatures with Heart of Kiran. It unfortunately cannot block, so sometimes should be sided out in the more aggressive matchups. Just be mindful that your artifact count is being reduced.

    Featured heavily in the early versions of the the deck, this aggressive synergistic creature fell out of favour before coming back to become one of the core cards. As a 3 power 2 drop it is aggressive. It's scry 2 is surprisingly useful at keeping the deck consistent and digging for sideboard cards. His pump also makes the other vehicles in the deck trump opposing vehicles in the mirror. Keep in mind that the +1/+1 adjustment occurs before the vehicle even turns into a creature, which can sometimes be relevant on damage based removal.

    Another option, this sudo 2-drop has a lot of late game potential when games drag out. It has fallen out of favour more recently, but it still a more than valid option if you are building a more controlling midrange version of the deck.


    3-Drops



    Just a pure value card, which has a lot of play to it due to its activated abilities. On it's own, it's 3 power for 3 mana which is reasonable, and allows you to pilot Hearts between the two. Split between two bodies makes it resilient to removal. One of it's halves has a form of evasion. Pia herself has activations which allow you to push damage on Hearts, Scroungers, Couriers, Thopters, and Harvesters. In particular the last one is relevant as it amplifies your ability to blunt opposing aggressive decks with its lifegain. The second ability gives you the option of alpha striking through a large blocker or two. All in all, she's a great threat at 3 mana.

    An powerful vehicle that excells at facing down opposing aggressive decks. Both its difficult to deal with toughness and ability to gain life make it a must have if you expect to see many other aggro decks. If not mainboard, this card is very often found in the sideboard as one of the best cards in aggro matchups.

    A further 3-drop option, that is not as commonly used as the two above. Depala excells against midrange decks where her ability can pull you ahead in the card advantage war. Her passive ability to size up your Exemplars, Hearts, Motorists, and Harvesters helps fight against the larger creatures. Certainly a good option if you expect a lot of green based midrange decks, though 1-2 copies is likely the most you will need.


    4-Drops



    A hard hitting, hard to kill, hasty threat for the top end of the curve. It's discard ability gives the deck inevitability. With Hazoret in the deck, it is important to keep the curve of the deck low so that you can clear out your hand quickly and allow Hazoret to attack quickly as possible. It is also reasonable to consider going to 23-24 lands in order to cast her on curve.

    One of the most versatile planeswalkers recently printed. She has 4 printed abilities, but in reality she is packing 5. Chandra can provide tempo, ramp, removal, burn, card advantage. And that is without really considering her ultimate which generally wins the game either immediaely or on untap. She is a bit fragile, given that her protective ability of removing a mid sized creature leaves her a 1 loyalty, but often the removal plus virtual life gain is plenty. Keep in mind that you cannot play lands off her exile, so best practice is to play any land in hand before activating that mode. Also understand that you must make the decision to cast the card revealed immediately, otherwise she does her damage. You cannot leave it exiled untl end of turn to cast it at a more opportune time. Chandra often hangs out in the sideboard as a good card advantage engine when shifting to a more controlling gameplan.


    5-Drops



    A very strong top end. This is often going to be in the sideboard for when the deck decides to go a bit bigger. This dragon is strong enough for the mainboard. Just make sure to be running enough lands main or side to bring your count up to around 24-25 so that you can cast it on time. Don't be afraid to just attack without exerting. Racing can be better than the removal. Though, most often the Dragon will represent a 2 for 1, serving as both a question (threat requiring removal) and an answer (removal taking out a threat).




    Spells



    This is another core card of the deck, and automatic 4-of, and rivals Heart as the reason to play the deck. Given the rest of the deck is mainly Red and White, you need to be mindful that you have a sufficient amount of Black mana sources in your manabase (12-13). After that this card becomes one of the best possible spells you could run, providing unconditional removal and reach at instant speed. Keep in mind that even if the creature survives, e.g. it is indestructable, as long as Disintegration resolves properly (is not countered due to invalid target) it will still deal it's artifact enabled player damage to your opponent.

    Versatile removal that can kill small creatures as well as opposing Vehicles along with some of the larger artifact creatures like the Gearhulks. It is also important to be able to deal with problematic permanents like God Pharaoh's Gift. In a vacuum, the deck would prefer to play regular burn spells, to give it reach, but Abrade in certain metas will outperform those cards in its versatility.

    A very efficient removal option if you need to kill early creatures with an otherwise difficult to deal with toughness. Targets are often opposing Winding Constrictors, and Longtusk Cubs which can get out of hand if you let them stay in play for too long. Push also takes care of opposing Hearts and other annoying but otherwise hard to kill threats. The main disadvantage to it in a deck like this is that it requires a significant adjustment of the manabase to support being able to reliably cast it, as otherwise this deck is mainly a Red White deck with a splash of Black.

    At instant speed and 1 mana, the only thing to complain about is that it isn't Lightning Bolt. Shock is a solid burn spell that is efficient and can hit the player if needed. This spell might preferred over the likes of Abrade in unknown metas where its ability to go to the dome prevents it from being a deadcard in unusual matchups. Shock leans on the efficient side, helping to get Hazoret attacking sooner and answering an opponent's aggressive creatures quicker.

    It deals 3, costs 2, and is instant speed. Most importantly it hits the opponent. Efficient Burn is great in this deck, as the game plan often revolves around dealing early damage and then using the reach of Burn to get the last points of damage in. Similar to Shock, valid option for more open metas where Abrade may or may not be a good card. You may choose this card over shock if you expect larger creatures in a slower meta where the artifact destruction of Abrade is less necessary, whereas going to the dome is.




    Lands



    The backbone of this decks manabase, allowing the player to operate a 3 colour aggro deck that doesn't suffer a lot from clunky slow starts due to tap lands. Unfortunately, Spire can be a little unstable in producing coloured mana, as it requires a critical mass of artifacts. So keep this in mind when sideboarding out any artifact spells.

    This land is worth noting not so much in it's role as a manafixer for the deck, but for it's synergy for one of the mainstay Vehicles, Aethersphere Harvester. It's worthwhile to consider a couple of Hubs in any deck mainboarding that Vehicle purely because it will allow you to potentially get an additional lifegain activation. Likely 2 is about the maximum, otherwise you risk some very awkward starting hands.




    Other/Sideboard

    Duress - Great sideboard card that comes in against control & combo decks, where Duress can either punch a hole in their defenses or disrupt their gameplan.

    Chandra, Torch of Defiance - As above, a versatile threat. Often sided in when you want to go for a longer game, where her card advantage matters more.

    Fumigate - Normally you would not expect for an aggro deck to pack sweepers in its sideboard. However, with Vehicles, your main threats are able to dodge the effect. Furthermore, post-board threats like Chandra also make the sweeper more appealing. The main matchups for this card would be against midrange decks where their creatures will eventually outclass your own.

    Glorybringer - As above, a very powerful top end threat. You will want to make sure that your deck either has 24 lands, or extras in the sideboard. This features in a go-big post sideboard strategy where the idea is to load up on removal and make the deck more of a control deck.

    Magma Spray - While this does not hit players, it does have the relevant exiling text and is instant speed. It is excellent at removing opposing Scroungers as well as other recursive threats that would otherwise present a problem.

    Cast Out - A catch-all answer that hits anything you need it to, while also having the fall back option of cycling for a card if it is not relevant

    Lost Legacy - Fairly narrow but powerful hate card against combo centric strategies. You might consider this if you are facing down a of Approach matchups where this effectively removes their primary win-con.




    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on Burn
    A lot of the more general sequencing is mainly the same. If you are familiar with the format and meta decks then that’s probably the biggest hurdle.

    Some tips of the top of my head.
    • Deathrite and Stoneforge are generally must kill early. Lifegain activations or an early Batterskull can ruin you plans.
    • Delver also sometimes needs to be bolted. It’s more of a race math thing, but keep in mind they have counters.
    • Be careful of Daze. This one can easily catch you out being new to Legacy. Playing Rift Bolt T1 is better than Guide in these scenarios. Sometimes better to slow down to play around it.
    • Similarly, be careful of Stifle on T1 targeting your fetch. Best to play basics first when possible.
    • Make sure you float mana before sacrificing mountains to Fireblast. Daze and Spell Pierce are pretty annoying if you could have paid.
    • Don’t crack your fetches if you don’t need to. None of your lands hurt to come in untapped so better to hold for Blaze and other fringe interactions.
    • Be careful when you cast Chain Lightning against a deck with Red mana. It’s easy to think of it as a sorcery speed Bolt but there is more text than that.
    • Against decks like Elves and Infect, Grim is your best T1 play. These are the creature combo type matchups where you become a control deck.
    • Against decks like Storm and Elves, Eidolon is your best T2. You want to put the brakes on them going off ASAP.
    • Against decks like Dredge and Reanimator, having a relevant sideboard graveyard hate card probably matters more than a well stocked hand.
    • Against the mirror, plan is to have the last creature on board. Learn how to use Eidolon properly to lock them. Also I have a hunch being on the draw is better.
    • Basic plan against Counterbalance is to build up mana and cards in hand and hit them with a big end of turn flurry, followed by an untap your turn follow up. Overwhelm their resources with staggered CMC sequences.
    • Lots more little edges depending on the matchup, but just general rule is to really pay attention to your timing. You have to keep track of what your opponent’s deck is going almost more than your own.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    Some SCG results from the weekend. Varying shades of Black Splash using Scrounger. I did not see any White splashes for Path.







    EDIT: 3rd place, 11th, and 12th place MTGO PTQ lists for reference.





    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    I tend to agree that the Dunes seems unnecessary if not a bit harmful because of the damage. Though I'd probably still want more white sources in your list. Hubs or just straight Plains.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    Going low is probably the best way. Though, Path of Mettle does look pretty interesting. Being able to cut the colorless deserts makes it a bit easier to get the white source count where it would need to be. I'm thinking along the lines of the below:



    Everything has Haste or First Strike or in the case of Soul-Scar enough toughness to survive the Path of Mettle damage. In fact, Soul-Scar gives the otherwise marginal trigger a bit more lasting effects, turning the damage into -1/-1 counters.

    Manabase might be a bit shaky with Aether Hub, but I remember the Red Black Copter decks would run a somewhat similar setup.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    11x others gives you 90% once you accomodate for a draw step, but it probably is too few.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on R/x Aggro
    Ferocidon would be in the sideboard for that list. You could cut the Abrades and a Shock to include 3 main board if you think necessary.

    Main thing to enable Buccaneer is to keep the Pirate Count high. The inclusion of Rigging Runner then further requires a bunch of other 1-drops to turn it on early.

    I’m not as high on Firebrand. It’s not quite as good as it’s Goblin cousin, and I’m not so sure that the Goblin would see play these days either.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
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