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Ravnica: The Broken Guildpact
Magic Market Index for May 18th, 2018
A Brief History of Dominaria's Thallids
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    I went 3-1 at an 18 person FNM tonight:

    *The third Justice was supposed to be an Abrade but I didn't receive it yet. Next time!
    Instead of typing out all of my SB swaps I'll just share my sideboarding spreadsheet.

    R1 Mono-W Eldrazi & Taxes
    G1 My opponent lead with inspector after a mull to ~5, and I curve Bird into Cobra. T3 Opponent plays Displacer, and I play Acidic Slime to blow up his only white source. Next turn I chip in with Slime and Cobra, then play Kiki copying Slime. Opponent scoops.
    G2 Was fuzzy but I mull down to a slower hand leaning on Worship. My opponent hits Flickerwisp and Displacer, essentially invalidating Worship and I die a few turns later. We discussed this later and still feel that it's worth bringing at least one Worship in since he has only 4 outs.
    G3 I toss the match with a keep of Bird, Cobra, Fiery Justice, Stomping Grounds, and two Fetches. My logic was that I'd be ready to cast essentially anything I drew T4, that Justice can just decimate a lot of Taxes board states, and the extra lands might help if he set up his LD plan... T3 I hit his Inspector and Displacer with Justice (feels good!). On his T4 he plays Reality Smasher and I have meanwhile proceeded to draw two Birds and two more lands (feels bad!). Ded. Lesson learned, in a build with 10x dorks you can't afford to keep a fast hand without a win con.
    (1-2 in games, 0-1 in matches)

    R2 Mono-U Merfolk
    G1 My opponent has a slow start with no T1 play. I lead with Birds into T2 Reflector Mage to bounce his T2 Lord. T3 I play Saheeli and Reflector Mage, bouncing his 3-drop. T4 I draw another Reflector Mage and by T5 I copy Reflector with Saheeli and swing in with two Cobras and three Reflectors for lethal.
    G2 My opponent mulls to 4 and I combo out T3 >.<
    (2-0 in games, 1-1 in matches)

    R3 Skred Red
    G1 & G2 go pretty similarly, he Skreds my dorks and plays Blood Moon but I ignore it with more Dorks/Oaths and combo out T4-T5.
    (2-0 in games, 2-1 matches)

    R4 Lantern Control
    G1 My oppponent leads with T1 Inquisition into T2 Pithing Needle naming Saheeli. I have a hand with Wall and Reflector Mage. I proceed to draw three more Saheelis and another Reflector Mage over the course of the game. I take him to 6 life but eventually scoop once he has 4 mill rocks + Cage + double Bridge.
    G2 I combo out T3 or T4.
    G3 I keep an amazing hand with Tracker, Shalai, Oath, Cobra, Rec Sage, and two lands. He dismantles a lot of it with triple discard but I draw and stick Saheeli and Oath my way into Gaddock and Slime. He scoops a few turns later.
    (2-1 in games, 3-1 in matches)
    Thoughts & Takeaways

    • After months of trying to attack an aggro-heavy meta with a 50:50 midrange-combo plan going all-in on combo with 10x Dorks, Walls over Voices, 4x Felidars, 4x Evo, and Kiki has been transformative. Despite some of the oddball decks I played tonight my LGS is converging with the global trend of people playing silly linear decks -- also present tonight were 2 Boggles players, Burn, Affinity, Cheeri0s, Mill, Infect, and more. As much as I miss Siege Rhino (<3) having a consistent, fast, proactive combo plan is the way to go right now.
    • I was pleasantly surprised with Slime and continue to like it as a land-hate card over Magus of the Moon.
    • Tireless Tracker was solid and I recommend it over cards like Sigarda due to its better CMC vs Control and application against Prison decks.
    • After talking with Emzed we agreed that Shalai is an awesome role player but we both found ourselves tutoring her up less than expected and moved her to the side.
    • Overall the deck performed really well and seemed well-positioned!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    After playing some more I think that 3x Felidars is the most awkward number of Felidars. If you want to run a value midrange list (which it looks like you do) I think 1-2 Felidars (with 2-3 Evo) makes sense. If you want to push the combo then 4 Felidars with 4 Evos and Kiki is the way to go, IMO.

    With that said I would vote P&K and Lark, swap Thragtusk for Wingmate Roc, and swap the 3rd Felidar for Glorybringer. Shalai gets better (and unfortunately Geahulk gets worse) the wider you make your board, and Roc + P&K + Splicer all support going wide. At that point Gavony starts to look like a more attractive utility Land than Ghost Quarter. Glorybringer can help add a bit of interaction while keeping your mana centered on Naya.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Mardu (Dega/BWR) Midrange
    Hi guys, I'm looking for help filling out my MB flex slots in a way that prepares for a local meta exceptionally heavy on aggro, with a bit of Bx Midrange + Tron, and then a smattering of control, prison, and combo. Full meta below:
    2-3 Humans
    2-3 GW Elves
    2 Affinity
    2 Taxes
    2 Merfolk
    2 Death's Shadow
    2 Jund
    2 Gx Tron
    2 Lantern
    1 Storm
    1 Mardu
    1 Burn
    1 Ux Control
    1 Titanshift
    1 Hollow One
    1 Abzan Company
    • Blood Moon seems good against Humans, Tron, Titanshift, and Ux decks that lean on Colonnade... but that's only ~20% of this meta. Is 20% enough to run Moon in the main? Split one main, one side? Or leave them all in the side?
    • Main-boarded sweepers seem good here. I could imagine moving the usual SB 2x Explosives into the main. Or Anger / Sweltering Suns?
    • Alternatively I could run more point removal that excels vs aggro such as Forked Bolt, Abrade, or Liliana TLH.
    • Another way to speed up the deck to handle fast aggro and Tron matchups might be to use some of the flex slots to go up to 4x Manamorphose. This could backfire against Thalias, though.
    Right now I'm leaning towards 2x Manamorphose, 2x EE, and 1x Abrade main, with Moons in the side. Any other ideas?

    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    I think everyone gets frustrated with CoCo if they play the card long enough. Those game (or match) losing whiffs get seared into your memory.

    Uncage the Menagerie looks ok (although slow) but Growing Rites doesn't dig especially well for the cost and isn't great when you're behind, so I'm less impressed by that.

    If I were going to cut CoCo I would probably abandon the value plan and start by experimenting with a Turbo Vizier list, like the one recently demo'd here.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Quote from neckfire1 »
    Using the version from hotshot can people clue me into how to sb properly with this combo deck?
    In general against fast matchups you want to shave your unessential top end -- Titan, Slime, Shalai (exceptions for Burn, Storm, Mill, etc), maybe Lancers -- but keep Kiki. If the fast match involves attacking on the ground then keep Voice/Oracle to block (Humans), otherwise these can be shaved (Merfolk, Elves, Affinity, Storm). Renegade Rallier is also somewhat flexible if your opponent isn't interacting with you much to put stuff in your graveyard. However, Rallier retains more value in fast matchups where you're trying to get a 2 CMC hate permanent to stick (Stony vs Tron).

    Against grindy decks I often shave 2-4x 1-CMC dorks (less if the grindy matchup involves Blood Moons, like Mardu, or if you need to out-tempo them, like Ux control), 1-4x Evo (higher vs Cage decks and especially counterspell decks), and 0-2x Felidar Guardian if you still need room.

    As you're taking cards out try to replace them in a way that keeps your deck composition similar enough to still function: in general you don't want to go below ~21 creatures if possible, with 4+ 2-CMC creatures and ~4 3-CMC creatures if Evoing into Kiki quickly is important to the matchup. What you bring in should be fairly straightforward, but if you have questions about specific matchups let us know.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    As Emzed pointed out Gearhulk runs the risk of failing to stabilize when your opponent is running artifact creatures (Hollow One, Affinity), tall / evasive creatures (moderate sized Champion or Mantis Rider in Humans, various flyers in Taxes, most midrange threats), or recursive creatures (Hollow One, Dredge). It's usually too slow to be effective against fast creature-combo decks (GW Elves, Devoted Company, Infect) so it's competing for SB space with Path/Bolt and even Reflector Mage/Fiery Justice there. On the plus side it's decent against Merfolk and Mardu and it can still randomly win games vs most Aggro decks. Gearhulk is a creature so we can find it with Oath/Evo, or if we hardcast it from hand it can't get blocked by Thalia/Freebooter/Negate.

    Running Gearhulk in the side still makes sense for certain builds, but I think the current all-in combo build is less interested in a 5 CMC Evo target for fighting fair against aggro decks and is more interested in 3 CMC creatures that stabilize early before being Evolved into Kiki or Felidar to combo out. For this reason I've swapped Gearhulk to another Reflector Mage in my SB.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Yeah, I think our card quality is just slightly higher. One of the biggest improvements is that our combo pieces can work in both fast and grindy matchups, which really helps during a blind game 1. A Company hand with Druid, Vizier, and Ballista is perfect against a linear deck but it’s a bad keep against a grindy one.

    Further comparing the Devoted Druid combo to the Copycat combo I've found that the summoning sickness on Druid and the need for a 3rd card (infinite mana outlet) are bigger deals than I originally expected. The summoning sickness means you pretty much *have* to play Druid T2 against fast decks, and if it gets removed that sets you back a couple turns. As for the third combo card, in ~10% of my (Bant) Counters Company games I've had infinite mana but died before finding an outlet. The fact that the Copycat combo requires only two cards that can be played in any order and are ready to go immediately shouldn't be underestimated. As mapccu pointed out, untapping and playing both combo pieces on the same turn for the win can be really powerful.

    Counters Company sorta makes up for its lower average card quality by leaning on CoCo, and recycling CoCo with E-Wit. Unfortunately this means the deck has significantly more trouble with Grafdigger's Cage (Humans, Jund, Affinity, Tron, GR Eldrazi) since it shuts down CoCo, Chord, parts of E-Wit, Finks and therefore Finks combo, hitting both their combo plan A and value plan B. This leaves the Abzan player durdling until they top deck the Druid combo or an Abrupt Decay. But even without Cage around CoCo is high variance and losing a game to a total whiff is really disheartening. In terms of troublesome cards Collective Brutality also gives Druid lists more problems since its -2/-2 mode actually kills Druid’s combo pieces and they have more Instants to get hit by the discard mode. While Brutality can still kill our dorks and strip our Evos, it can’t do anything to keep us from curving Saheeli into Felidar.

    Eldritch Evolution gives Copycat much faster access to silver bullet creatures relative to Chord and CoCo. Conversely, Abzan makes up for this somewhat by jamming two T3 combos. Copycat also has access to some incredible SB cards like Gaddock Teeg, sweepers, Stony Silence, RIP, and can be built around a Blood Moon / Magus of the Moon mana denial plan if that's effective in the meta. Oath and Evo are also less restrictive on your creature count than CoCo is, so you can board more non-creature spells without diluting your engine quite as much.

    When you trade Druid, Witness, and Finks for Cobras, Ralliers, and Voice Evolved into Rallier/P&K/Shalai it means your early beat pressure is generally better, although still a little flimsy. Late game both decks can eventually set up some silly board states with Rallier/Voice loops + Sun Titan or CoCo + Gavony.

    The last advantage is that Copycat is still a lesser known deck with wildly varying flex slots, so you can keep your opponents on their toes a bit more.

    Company's biggest advantages are the two redundant combos and its ability to play more at instant speed. Having two different combos is a double edged sword -- it's harder to completely hate out the combo plan and increase the odds of going off T3. However, other than Vizier being in both combos the pieces don't interact or synergize with many other pieces of the deck so a starting hand with Druid, Finks, and E-wit is awkward, for instance. Having CoCo, Chord, Recruiter's activated ability, plus other SB instants (and in the Bant version Queller/Clique) to use at instant speed can sometimes make it a little easier to out-tempo blue decks with counterspells, but more importantly not having to worry about Evo getting blown out by a counter is really nice.

    Overall I think the two decks are close in terms of raw power but they each have unique weaknesses and slightly different matchup spreads. Right now for me blue decks are low and Cage is high so I'm here playing Copycat.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Quote from hotshot162 »
    Round 1 : Storm 2-1
    Round 2 : Counters company 2-0
    Round 3 : Storm 0-2 (dead turn 3 both games with a turn 2 Shalai or Eidolon)
    Round 4 : No show Grin
    Round 5 : Merfolk 2-0
    Round 6 : Affinity 2-0
    Round 7 : Abzan 2-0 (finalist of this challenge)
    Quarter : Human 1-2 (dead turn 4 after casting worship Frown )

    I think all my wins were combo, 50% Saheeli - 50 % Kiki-Jiki
    Great job and thanks for sharing.

    What was your plan for the Counters Company matchup / how did the games go? Mull for a T3 combo on the play or T2 Fiery Justice?

    Round 3 vs Storm sounds tilt-inducing :(. How do you feel about the Storm matchup overall?

    It looks like you're not planning on boarding much in vs Tron. Were you expecting less Tron for the event, or is the all-in ramp + combo plan enough to reliably get you there against Tron?

    Any thoughts on the list overall after playing the event? I'd imagine everyone's curious about your choices compared to stock lists, such as Coiling Oracle vs Voice, running both Lancers and Kiki, and the enchantment-heavy board. Also, how did Shalai do beyond the Storm game?

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Quote from Evil69dot »
    I'm having a hard time winning against Jund. What's your plan on beating them? Best card mainboard & sideboard. What do you board out and why? Will really appreciate if you give some tips or tricks
    Your MB looks really solid against Jund -- pretty much all of your payoff cards are good against BGx from your 3-drops all the way up to Sun Titan.

    My best advice vs Jund is to mostly ignore the combo and keep value hands that can survive T1 discard. A good Jund hand will disrupt you with a couple pieces of discard or removal early and then back it up with a T2-T3 Goyf for pressure. These starts are really hard to come back from unless you draw especially well or can recover some of the lost tempo with Rallier (Rallier + Voice wins games) -- don't get too beat up about your list or play choices if you get run over by one of these starts, that's just what a good Jund hand does against most decks. Also, the haste on Saheeli's -2 can also help you win games with a big crack back. Be careful to play around Engineered Explosives and/or Anger of the Gods game 2 if possible.

    Quote from Evil69dot »
    Does the deck really needs non-creature removal? Path to Exile Fiery Temper,etc., Why do you think so? Are there creatures we're having a hard time with?
    1 CMC Spot removal is best vs opposing combo decks like Storm and Devoted Druid lists. However we've seen that you can build your list without 1 CMC spot removal *if* you run enough 1 CMC Dorks, 3-4x Evos, and SB hate creatures, like Eidolon and Phyrexian Revoker (which is probably better against Devoted Druid decks if you're not running spot removal to get you to 4 mana for Linvala). I think you want some kind of answer against any aggressive deck that's also evasive -- Worship covers some of these matchups but not all. What you choose depends on your meta... Path is best for midrange while also hitting combo and aggro (though it accelerates these decks), Justice and Engineered Explosives are best against wide aggro and midrange (though midrange threats can sometimes out-grow Justice), and Abrade is a comfy middle ground vs aggro and combo with some neat extra utility as well. My personal choice right now would be 1x Fiery Justice / 1x Engineered Explosives if possible, but as I said it depends on what you expect to play against.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Right, I agree that shaving some dorks, Kiki, 2-3x Felidars, Sun Titan, and going for a more consistent grindy midrange plan is definitely a good way to go in the right meta, and that trying to walk the middle line waters down both strategies too much.

    Returning to Magus of the Moon, let's theorycraft a bit.

    On the surface, a T2 Magus of the Moon during G1 vs Tron or Humans seems like a lockout, and I think this is more likely to be true if we play T2 Magus out of hand and get to keep our dork.

    But we have 4x copies of Evo and one Magus, so the more likely line is T1 fetch for Forest + Bird -> T2 Evolve Bird into Magus. Best case we get to fetch for Plains T2, but having two fetches or a fetch + Plains is less likely.

    In this scenario we've lost out accelerant and we're back to GR (maybe GW) mana and a 2/2 Magus. We can't cast Saheeli until we play another Dork or Oath. If we were relying on that Evo to grab Felidar Guardian it's gone now. We've slowed the opponent down several turns but we may also need to spend several turns getting our combo back on track.

    Our fastest routes to victory after a T2 Evo'd Magus:

    T3 (2nd) Bird, T4 Saheeli, T5 Felidar
    T3 Oath, T4 Saheeli, T5 Felidar
    T3 ???, T4 Felidar Guardian, T5 Kiki or (2nd) Evo Magus into Kiki
    T3 Cobra, T4 Saheeli copy Cobra, play 4th land, (2nd) Evo Cobra copy into Felidar
    Most of these lines rely on hitting our 4th (or even 5th) land drop on time and/or drawing second copies of Birds and/or Evo, so I expect these to be a few turns slower in practice.

    T3 Cobra, T4 Rallier -> -> -> Lethal T6
    T3 Rallier, T4 Shalai -> -> -> Lethal T6

    Against Humans a start with either T1 Vial or T1 Hierarch (~70% of opening hands) is going to stumble a bit, but I'm not sure that we've slowed them down significantly more than we've slowed ourselves down. With that said in the ~30% of games where they start without Vial or Hierarch an Evo'd Magus might provide a "free" win.

    Against Tron a T2 Magus puts them off of Tron, obviously. If we can find the extra combo pieces and hit our land drops we might combo out T4-T6, or beat them down T6-T7. This puts them within reach of O-stone, and possibly Wurmcoil / Karn.

    How do those lines look? Are they reliable, fast, and effective enough against what the opposing decks are doing to the point that it validates Magus in the MB? Or am I thinking about Magus incorrectly in this build -- perhaps he's less of a T2 Evo target and more of something you just try to mull into, or an opportunistic mid game Evo target?

    I think we’ve seen enough evidence to know that Magus can steal random games and there’s definitely value to that, I’m just trying to mentally balance that against all the other games where we draw him and he either does nothing to the opponent while also failing to synergize with our core (in a build with 4x Felidars and Kiki we want as much ETB synergy as possible) or -- worse -- even makes our deck more awkward by turning off Fetches to hurt Cobra, Rallier, and generally make it harder to power out our top end.

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    My experience so far with the all-in lists is that it's important to just embrace the explosive boom-bust nature of the build as there are a lot of interwoven synergies that don't get to shine when you cut down on the dorks and the top end. 4x Lotus Cobra + 3x Rallier + 4x Evo make casting an early Kiki a realistic plan. 4x Felidar Guardian + 4x Evo makes evolving into Sun Titan more feasible. Rallier + Kiki + Sun Titan make for some nutty turns that are at least as strong as the infinite combo in that they often effectively win the game that turn but don't leave you as blown out if something gets removed.

    I'm a little torn on Magus of the Moon in the side vs main. It's probably the most broadly effective as a T2 "gotcha" game 1. But outside of those moments Magus doesn't seem that well positioned right now... It's a little squishy vs Jund and very ineffective vs Mardu, the two dominant tri-color midrange decks. It doesn't do much to Hollow One and Humans can sometimes ignore it with a Vial and/or Hierarch (although this is much less likely game 1). It doesn't do very much vs Burn and Storm. The only matchups where I really want Magus are Tron, Scapeshift, and maybe Bogles.

    If I can get my copy of Shalai in on time I'll take this list on Friday:
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Given two SB slots for non-creature sweepers I think the correct answer might be 1 Justice + 1 Explosives to make it harder for Humans to tie you up with Meddling Mage.

    Qasali Ambusher is still intriguing. I think I'd like Ambusher more in aggro matchups if I could Evo it into a timely Gearhulk, which Gobern's list is missing... but maybe just having free Evo fodder for Felidar / Kiki is enough. Hard to say.

    @Emzed: I would feel naked without some kind of disenchant effect in the 75.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    GW Vizier with Knights, Trackers, and Land Destruction looks ideally positioned against midrange and Tron, as you say.

    However, it looks to me like it would lose some significant points to unfair linear decks since it lacks Black's secondary combo + hand disruption and Blue's counterspells + disruptive flash flyers. I think I'd prefer to have a Black or Blue splash if I were facing the GP Hartford meta, for instance, but if the meta swings back to stabilize on Jund + Tron then GW makes sense. What do you think?
    Posted in: Combo
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