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  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Cherry_Punch »


    Thank you, and I am also wondering about having 27 lands. It would be nice to keep all 8 cycling lands in that build, as it helps mitigate mana flooding. There were some builds I saw playing only 6 cycling lands, but still 27 so that could also be correct.

    To comment on boarding out Search for Azcanta I just felt that, while card filtering would be valuable, it would be punishing on the draw against particularly Mono-Red. The tempo loss from a resolved Pia Nalaar, or worse a double spell, is what I was worried about so I kept my mana open on those turns. Our threats are greater than theirs so it's just about surviving, because once their hand is empty or full of lands we can win any way we want. That was my plan in the Red matches, but more valuable is just having a plan. If a strategy works for you, like Moment of Craving to catch up, just go with it.

    Pull from Tomorrow is a shadow of one of my favourite cards Sphinx's Revelation. I like the idea of casting a huge Pull/Rev and demonstrate to my opponent that I have it all. My issue is it feels as if the spell goes against my deck's overall strategy. It doesn't fix my weaknesses early game and lends strength to a late game I already have. It's like having a redundant threat in my hand; if I could cast Pull x=4-7 then I could likely win the game with my other threats. If I am forced to cast Pull x=1-2 and can't stabilize, then I have likely lost. Where I did like Pull was in a cycling based Drake Haven deck I played where it added to the threat count. UW plays the spell because their answers are highly efficient, and threat count is light, but mana base is solid so their early game has fewer weaknesses. I want to love Pull from Tomorrow to death, but every time I draw the spell it feels counter-intuitive or not strong enough in my preference for this control build.



    Thanks! Happy that my list is helping. I think there are many weak spots to build off of, even though I managed to win. I am thinking of changing the mana base a bit to include more basics and tilt the colour balance toward black, but still enough that I can cast Settle the Wreckage and Lyra Dawnbringer by Turn 5 or 6. The issue may be that I could lose pressure by not being able to represent Settle, which seemed to have my opponents on guard or attack conservatively every time I had WW. What changes are you thinking?

    I like the Grixis list above with the concern for Hour of Devastation not being able to clear out Karn, Scion of Urza after a plus on curve. Sorcery speed wraths also miss on haste creatures, vehicles, and incremental cards like History of Benalia. I also wonder if some copies of Abrade are worth it to help with artifacts, and if main deck Negate could be good since the deck has many answers for creatures.


    To be clear, I NEVER cast Search on T2 unless: 1. I'm on the play, the board is empty, and I have no Essence Sacatter. or 2. I have zero other action. I usually cast on T4 with a two mana spell.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Cherry_Punch »
    Hey all, I participated in a 21 person PPTQ with Esper Control and came in first! It's not my first Top 8, but it was my first time winning an event of this caliber.

    This was the list I worked with:


    The meta seemed heavily skewed to either UW control or RB vehicles, with some Mono-Red. My matches were 3 against RB vehicles, 2 Mono-Red, 1 GB constrictor, and 1 UW control.

    My overall record was 6-1-1, with one ID into Top 8.


    My opponent was very friendly, but played tight on a more mid-range version of vehicles.

    Game 1 was a careful exchange of resources, with my opponent playing around Settle the Wreckage as soon as I presented 4 mana with double white. The problem with this was I was able to pick off his creatures and other threats one by one slowly. Interesting was his maindeck copy of The Scorpion God, which received a Vraska's Contempt. Fatal Push was very good against Heart of Kiran, and I was able to take the game with The Scarab God getting Goblin Chainwhirler to clear out a Thopter token from Pia Nalaar that was pressuring my life total and responding to a Scrapheap Scrounger activation with one from the Scarab God.

    Out

    In

    I like to cut 1 Syncopate on the draw, and take out some inefficient spells for strong threats and cheap answers. I also don't like Fumigate against vehicles.

    Game 2 was very good to my opponent on the play, he curved out Scrounger into Chainwhirler and had a Glorybringer to seal the deal. I struggled on lands and did not have enough interaction at the correct times.

    Game 3 Sorcerous Spyglass on Heart of Kiran is insane, allowing me perfect information early and blanking his T2 threat. I felt in control after Syncopate catches a Chandra on curve. Torrential Gearhulk and Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin keep me ahead and I win hitting for 5 every turn after spending all three Negate to protect my threat. 1-0


    I was a little confused with my seating, as my brother was also playing the event and I went to the wrong opponent. After getting seated I won the die roll.

    Game 1 I played tapped land, and he led with a Bomat Courier. I really thought I was in the weeds after he got a few cards under it, with a few other haste threats like Ahn-Crop Crasher and Earthshaker Khenra, but he overextended into a Settle the Wreckage and didn't draw well after his Bomat activation. Gearhulk casting the Settle again finishes the game in short order.

    Out
    In
    The thought here is that he'll board into planeswalkers, but I don't want to over board with all my Negates. Lyra is a good threat if unanswered, and Authority is to slow them down and reduce haste pressure. Blink is bad since their creatures have haste without Authority on the field.

    Game 2 he has a little bit of a slow start after his turn one Bomat Courier, missing his 2 drop. I land a turn two Authority of the Consuls, which slows him further. Fatal push got rid of Courier, but I still had to contend with two creatures in Soul-Scar Mage and Kari Zev, Skyship Raider. I play Lyra Dawnbringer and halt his aggression entirely while my life total is 7. He plays another creature and we take turns passing until I draw a Contempt, so I attack and pick off a creature on his attack. He casts Abade targeting Lyra, and I let it resolve not remembering Soul-Scar Mage gives her 3 -1/-1 counters. It is a slow grind now until I eventually win. Even a 2/2 flying lifelink creature is crazy against aggro strategies. 2-0


    Interesting match, just stock RB vehicles. In Game 2 there's a weird rules thing that cost my opponent the game.

    Game 1 felt similar to the first round, opponent playing around Settle the Wreckage but leaning on Heart of Kiran for a clock. Fatal Push feels good. I let Goblin Chainwhirlers resolve and handle them with removal, allowing my counter-magic to get the Chandras and Pias. I recall Sorcerous Spyglass resolving, revealing a hand with Abrade in it. I call Bomat Courier, since he had one on the field, he Abrades it and cracks the Courier. He gets lands, I get Scarab God, the game ends.

    Out

    In

    Same as above. I wondered if Duress would be good, but I didn't want dead draws later on and it might miss too often.

    Game 2 was actually going to be my loss provided my opponent played correctly. Early game has an Arguel's Blood Fast for my opponent, but no real black lands so he has to take 3 off a Spire of Industry to draw any cards. He draws multiple copies of threats I answered after taking some damage and two Rekindling Phoenix and I stabilize, sort of, with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria tucking one. I then Doomfall the remaining copy in his hand and give myself some time. I get to plus once with him, counter his Phoenix on the way down but he sneaks in a Soul-Scar Mage. I'm currently at 2. Opponent casts Chandra, Torch of Defiance, which I counter with a Negate. He doesn't say anything about the prowess trigger, and he's not obligated to as it doesn't affect the board state, so I prepare to scoop it up since I have no answer. He attacks Teferi (????) and when I ask how much damage he says 1. I wasn't sure if I should have called a judge but the game proceeds as he passes priority. I Push the Mage after my draw step. Teferi remains and I am able to draw into Gideon of the Trials on the same turn and emblem so I am not dead to Chandra or any random burn. A Chainwhirler resolves putting me to 1 life now, and I Blink of an Eye it allowing me to attack for lethal with Gideon since he is low from Blood Fast. 3-0


    This was a weird one, since we were both 3-0 we could have drawn our next two rounds and then got into Top 8. He insisted on playing because it was "too risky", even though the point math worked out.

    Game 1 I have a slow hand and I am worried about Blossoming Defense so I take damage and then remove the creatures at end of turn. Turns out he wasn't playing any, that I saw at least, but two well timed Vraska's Contempt take down my defending Scarab God and Gearhulk find me dead to a large Jadelight Ranger pumped by Winding Constrictor.

    Out

    In

    Wasn't sure what to board in, so I went bare minimum on the midrange package. I felt favoured in the match up even though I lost, so I didn't want to change too much.

    Game 2 I don't keep my seven, even though it had a bunch of lands with an Illumination and a Contempt. I figure I can do better with Fatal Pushes in my opener, but my six is bad. I keep scrying a land to the top, since I have an out with Settle in hand. Unfortunately it's a little too late as I miss a land drop and my fourth land comes in tapped, allowing him to draw the Duress necessary to clear the way for lethal. 3-1

    My next opponent agrees to draw, since we are guaranteed a spot in the Top 8. I am seeded 3rd and get to choose order of play in most of my games.


    Thank god these rounds were not timed, as my opponent and I played a long Game 1. Apparently the judge already knew the type of deck my opponent was playing and just sort of rolled his eyes when we got matched up.

    Game 1 was very long, as I said, with a lot of interesting interactions. Most of the main fights were picked over my Search for Azcanta instead of his, since I had a Field of Ruin and he did not, and my Sorcerous Spyglass which called Teferi. My opponent was unhappy about not playing his Teferi's since he was on the "No-Win-Con" version of the deck. There was a lot of bouncing of permanents, fights over my creatures, and a Commit//Memory resolved aftermath. I took too long to be the aggressor, trying to figure out a way to fight through his counter magic so I could get him to counter my Gearhulks and then resolve Scarab God to reanimate them. However, I got my own Memory countered and milled out first as I had less mainboard counters than he did. My mistake here was milling myself with my second copy of Search for Azcanta when I saw dead removal spells, so I decked first.

    Out
    In

    Took out most of my spot removal and all my wraths. The no-win-con versions don't play that many creatures post-board, so I was not concerned. I wanted to have discard, obviously, and I have found success with Nezahal, Primal Tide. Gideon was to make sure I didn't die to mill out.

    Game 2 I kept a decent hand with a turn 2 Blood Fast. He plays Knight of Grace. I was now concerned since my removal in hand is only Vraska's Contempt. He attacks me a couple times and ends up targeting my Blood Fast with Invoke the Divine, and I respond by drawing a card. I feel like he should have left the enchantment there for the extra damage. I draw Nezahal and play it on turn 7, with him stuck on 4 lands, checking his knight. He attempts to remove it and I pitch three cards to make sure it's safe. Game was elementary from there.

    I actually side back in Seal Away and present 61 cards.

    Game 3 finishes rather quickly as I get to 6 lands, cast a Gearhulk end step as bait for counter magic, then resolve Teferi afterwards on my turn. I tick to 8 to threaten ultimate and he scoops after I counter his Cast Out. Advance to Semi-Finals.


    My opponent went from friendly to salty as I won in short order. He got to play Game 1.

    Game 1 wasn't really close as I just plodded through my game plan of countering or removing his creatures. I punished his turn 3 Goblin Chainwhirler with Syncopate. Hazoret the Fervent went on the stack 2 times, 1 being countered with Syncopate and the second resolving but eating a Contempt. Most of his damage was from a Soul-Scar Mage that attacked for 1 for 6 turns. I land a Scarab God and start taking over his graveyard until he concedes.

    Out
    In
    Game 2 was also not close and one-sided in my favour. I keep a slow hand land wise, having many check-lands but no actual land types in hand. I can, however, produce black by turn 2 and had 2 Fatal Push in hand. Opponent leads on Soul-Scar Mage, which gets Pushed. He plays another, but no second land. I draw a 3rd Push, and lay into the creatures he plays. After he gets 2 lands for a Kari Zev, I Gearhulk for a Push and Disallow a follow-up threat in which he concedes. Advance to Finals.


    The final match was against the same opponent as Round 3. I declared I was not interested in the RPTQ invite, since I am busy with work. He offered to split the credit in my favour and take the invite, but the judge was eyeing us so we just decided to play it out. Since I took the match anyway, we decided on the same outcome.

    Game 1 was a scary one, since he played a turn 1 Bomat Courier and shoved about 6 cards under it until I responded with a Fumigate to clear his board. Apparently he put 5 lands into his hand. With him out of gas I took over the game with Teferi.

    Out

    In

    I was considering siding in Forsake the Worldly since Blood Fast was quite good, but I was having trouble cutting cards and the sideboard plan worked out last time so I stuck with it.

    Game 2 was a tense match, with my life total dropping to 1 (again) by the end of the game. I don't remember the specifics but I was getting hit by Scrapheap Scrounger for a while until I dealt with it casting Settle, having named it earlier with a Spyglass. In hindsight I could have just named Chandra, Torch of Defiance and saved myself some trouble. Somewhere in here I have a Teferi to tuck a creature and Negate a The Eldest Reborn and Push something and Teferi gets dead by a creature. A Chandra resolved afterwards, adding mana to double-spell into a Pia Nalaar. I pushed the token end of turn. I had a Scarab God on board, and he had Pia and a Phoenix to block. I attack Chandra, forcing him to choose between giving me creatures to make copies of with Scarab God or losing Chandra. He chooses to lose Chandra and cracks back while I'm out of blockers and casts a second Phoenix. I Field of Ruin one of his lands so I can revolt Push one Phoenix and reanimate it. He attacks in the air, and I block immediately. Eventually The Scarab God overwhelms him and I win the match at 1 life. 1st Place finish!

    Overall the deck performed really well and I felt comfortable with the match ups. I was happy to not see WB Vehicles, as I was dreading the match up. Red based decks seem fine as long as the play is tight, and black cards such as Fatal Push, The Scarab God, and Vraska's Contempt really carried their weight. Cast Down was a good one-of, and I think I'd like the Seal Away be another copy. I also wasn't terribly impressed with Commit // Memory and I wonder if I want a fourth Disallow or a second Blink of an Eye. Forsake the Worldly seemed a little redundant, but maybe I should have brought it in more often. Sorcerous Spyglass was quite good in almost every situation, locking down hard to deal with permanents and getting hand information in game 1. I also wonder if Gideon of the Trials should go to the main, since he came in almost every game.

    My only loss felt as though the deck was too slow, but it could be due to bad draws and poor mana base. The mana base seems kinda bad to be honest, with many tapped lands and too many check lands. I saw some lists online that essentially just splashed Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in their UB plan for more solid mana. I just like wraths, as they add a 2-or-more-for-1 dimension I like in my control decks. Maybe there's a way to make it really work, but I doubt it.

    Glad to have performed for you guys! It's nice to report a resounding win with our deck.

    EDIT: Game 2 of the Finals went a bit differently than I remember, according to my brother. I had Search for Azcanta early, getting pressured by the Scrounger which I had called with Spyglass. I had a Contempt in hand, but no double black, an example of my poor mana base. I actually milled another copy of Contempt to find my colours, which I did and after Contempting the Scrounger I had a Gearhulk to flash the spell back on another card. My Spyglass had seen an Hour of Glory in my opponent's hand, which he used on Gearhulk allowing me to resolve my The Scarab God to take over the game as described. I did Negate The Eldest Reborn to protect my God as well, having Fatal Push up as well in order to clear the way for the Chandra play.


    Congratulations on your win. I agree on the mana base being the worst part of Esper. Right now, I'm on 27 lands, and it seems to be working well. I am on Pull From Tomorrow, but I think I'm going back to Illumination for the cycling. I may try to keep one, as Pull for 5+ ends most games. Also, it may sound odd, but I never side out my Searches, as it is a manaless way to filter and find lands early. I'm contemplating going to 3. I had once before, and it helped with the mana issues. the Moment Of Cravings help me stay alive while taking a turn off for Search and/or digging.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Yuzenn84 »


    Contempt is a good card but it is often sitting in my hand not being used even only running 2 copies. The creatures either 1) get dealt with through seal away/settle/push or outright countered and the only time I HAVE to use vraska's or lose is against Teferi or Chandra, both of which can just be countered. I do agree that Vraska's gives us some reach but I feel like more than 3 is just redundant unless your meta is super aggressive. To each their own though.

    I'm currently through a league and i'll give Lyra a chance in the next league I run, right now i'm running double Gonti, and am 3-1 thusfar. Gonti is just so good, and has turned the tide of the game every time I play him.


    I see your point, but I look at it as the "emergency reset button". It keeps them honest, and cleans up almost all of the accidental things that resolve, as well as life gain. Every time I cut some, it ends up back in. It also lets you save counters by removing planeswalkers and things like gods that don't get easily removed by anything else.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from corranhorn01 »


    Thanks Yuz.

    1. I'll definitely give that a shot!

    2. I can see where you're coming from. I'll give the 4th Disallow a test in that spot.

    3. I can try it, it just feels weird not running a full set in the 75. Does that make sense (re: cutting sb contempt)? Also, I get what you're saying about Lyra, but it is a must kill threat. I'm currently with Gonti and 4th Duress in that spot. I personally don't like Caracal as a 1 of.

    4. I do mean Teferi:Scarab. Already running 3 Hulks. I would like to fit a 3rd Tef in, but gotta find room.

    5. That is true, but currently, hardly anyone is running Censor. I could try -3 Censor +1 Tef +2 Synco. See how that goes. I'm jst worried I'm a little low of counter/removal early on.


    @chaos, you definitely can. But if everyone is prepared for Lyra, wouldn't it just eat removal? I'll put it into my consideration pile :).


    I can't endorse not running 4 Contempt, I feel it's the main reason to run black besides The Scarab God.

    I would also fill out the Disallows before adding any Syncopates.

    I had the same doubts about Lyra, but it has been great. Several decks have to have the removal (as well as resolve it) or, they just lose. Mono green, mono red, W/B, Vehicles. Also, it stomps down planeswalkers very quickly, as well as profitably. Even a 4/4 reanimated Lyra from the Scarab God beats about 85% of the creatures you'll encounter in this metagame.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from corranhorn01 »
    Here's where I'm at with my build currently. I've been talking with a few players that I trust and had a limited amount of testing (due to work and standard being a small thing where I'm currently living).

    Thoughts:
    1. I think my manabase needs work, but unsure how to fix it.
    2. Seal Away or Cast Out? Everyone I've talked to say one or the other in about a 50:50 ratio. I'm currently leaning on Cast Out due to it's ability to hit everything. But then is my 4 drop spot too big?..
    3. 2 SB spots. I'm currently going with 4th Duress and 1 Gonti, but am also tossing up with 2 Lyra.
    4. 2:2 or 3:1 with Teferi:Scarab? Again people are 50:50. The person I trust most said there's no real point only running 1 Scarab in his mind, so...
    5. I've liked Censor so far. It's nuts vs curve outs, which is what seems to be happening in a lot of the games I've played recently.




    1. Not sure. I'm running the mana base from this deck posted earlier, with good results: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1095607#paper . Went 3-3 at a PPTQ Saturday, every game loss besides one was mana screw, so I'm considering a 27th land. No color problems, but my only MD white cards are Settle, Fumigate and Teferi.

    2. I play neither, but if forced to choose, I'd take Cast Out. Versatility, and cycling is a plus.

    3. All of the options sound good. I wasn't a Lyra believer at first, but it's very good. No answer, lose the game. Races extremely well.

    4. I'm on 3/2 right now. I tried one God, but it was too hard to find in a timely fashion, as well as not having the "ressurrect God to save God" trick.

    5. I don't like Censor right now. Llanowar Elves makes it bad fast. I feel like it's too much air right now.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from corranhorn01 »
    Thanks NSC. There's a good amount to think about in there. The cast out/binding would be as a md answer to aritfacts/enchants.


    I just found this from Gab Nassif from May 16th. Nice 2hr league of him playing Esper, with a really different build from what we are running here. (1 settle, 3 censors, 2 cast out, that sort of thing). Granted he only played one 'meta deck', but it was still a good watch.
    https://www.channelfireball.com/videos/esper-control-standard-channel-nassif/

    EDIT: I went through my folder today looking at possible cards and saw profane procession. If the format goes more midrange, could it be looked at?


    Checking this out now. Interesting.

    I've considered Procession before. Solid removal, that becomes a win con, that is searchable with Azcanta. Need to get around to testing it.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Yuzenn84 »


    I still like Seal Away better than Craving because it a) takes care of some persistent threats like scroungers permanently and b) hits pretty much every threat in the format outside of Kiran. Craving's lifegain is inconsequential for me cause I rarely am worried about my life total. One of the most important lessons i've learned playing magic is that the only point of life that matters is your last one and very often I will win games with sub 5 life. Sure there might be times where the lifegain matters but I feel like lifegain is only important in formats where burn is a real thing. Outside of ballista, every deck but 1 wins by turning creatures sideways and attacking and we have answers for that. Also, Vraska's contempt is often more than enough lifegain to keep me afloat if need be. I don't find Brontodons to be as much of a problem as a turn 2 Steel-Leaf so I need the reassurance of seal away if I can't enable a bigger Push at the moment.


    We'll have to agree to disagree here, Moment Of Craving has been great. You mention HOK, but what about tokens from History Of Benalia? They have vigilance. The life gain is very relevant, as mono red is still a thing (somehow...) and Vehicles is a tough match. There is also The W/B Knight deck, with the knight that sacs to give another one indestructible. Also, T2 Steel Leaf with a Push with no revolt is a blank. I don't accept being in those situations. This is a great bridge from the early game to the mid-late game where Settle comes online and shuts down their attacking options.

    Quote from Yuzenn84 »
    Push is a mandatory main deck card, a lot of the 1 and 2 drops in the format are super consequential and it fills in perfectly in our optimal curve. Turn 1 push turn 2 seal turn 3 disallow turn 4 settle turn 5 teferi/fumigate turn 6 torrential. Without the 1 drop removal option you've got a bunch of stuff fighting for the same mana slot and then it becomes clunky decisions you have to make instead of a smooth curve. Don't worry about always having revolt, almost every deck in the format has something important you need to push and things from your deck WILl get removed and that's where Push will shine. You can always activate Field of Ruin to get the revolt too, don't be afraid to be aggressive to keep the board clean (not to mention that a 1 mana answer to Heart of Kiran is super efficient considering they a) have to cast it and then b) tap another creature and all you have to do is have one black mana to deal with that). I also like Cast Down as a 1 of, as it hits a lot of stuff too. I might go to a 3 push 1 cast down split when I make my final esper build.


    Of course, I disagree here, Cast Down has been insane. Even with 3 or 4 revolt enablers, it misses too much for my tastes.

    Quote from Yuzenn84 »
    For the mana base you have to decide if you want more revolt triggers or not and then you can build from there. You need to make sure you have enough basics to turn on your checklands and also to not get field of ruin'd off an entire color or double of a color when you need it most. DO NOT get rid of Settle, it is the best card in the entire deck and even if you don't have it in your hand at the time people think that you do and play around it if you have 2WW open and that's a huge chunk of life you save just off fear of a blowout alone. You need to make sure you have double white and double black pretty consistently on turn 4 or you will struggle. I'm no math guy so I'm not sure what actual distribution you would need but the decks I posted earlier both play smoothly and i've only been screwed out of a color I needed maybe two games out of a hundred.


    Settle is too good to go, I agree there. I added 2 Fumigate main, and feel great about it. I don't think I can lose to any of the green decks anymore. This is another place Moment shines, as it buys time to find WW after turn 4 if needed.

    Quote from Yuzenn84 »
    I'm not a huge fan of essence scatter because our deck is really optimized to take care of creatures once they hit the board, I don't need extra slots that are redundant to what my deck is already accomplishing. Maybe a 1 of or a max 2 of but honestly it's been a dead card in hand a lot more than I've really needed it. Outside of things that are devastating ETB like Gonti, I really don't have a problem with most creatures resolving and I'll disallow or syncopate the remainder.


    I wholeheartedly disagree here. Scatter is your protection against things like Shalai, that turn off Settle (best card in the deck according to you), and other nasty ETB triggers. Also things like Hazoret and The Scab God, that never have to attack to beat you. It is also another cheap bridge to the mid-late game while you get your mana together. On the play, this is your best T2 play, as HOK and Gideon are the only non-creature threats that matter at all before T4.

    Quote from Yuzenn84 »
    Even without working with Gearhulk Pull is still a great card, since I'm more than willing to throw that card away at the end of turn to eat a counter so I can stick Teferi the next turn against the control counter. I've drawn up to 11 cards with it and anytime X > 3 it's pretty much a game ender on the spot if it resolves.


    I agree. I'm looking to fit at least one in. I think I'll try one in place of a Hieroglyphic Illumination tonight as a test. It's ridiculous against anything but control.

    Quote from corranhorn01 »
    Thanks Yuz for the lists. I'll hopefully have my starting build ready this weekend and will be posting it for critiques :D.

    And thanks to everyone for all the great discussion! It helps a lot.

    How are people finding Syncopate? I liked it when I first started to play (in Theros RTR standard), but as time went on, I found I don't like it as much.


    I like it in general, but I'm waiting until rotation to possibly run it. Disallow does too much, and Essence Scatter is too efficient.

    Quote from corranhorn01 »
    EDIT: Here's my list.

    Notes:
    1. I suck with manabases, but I think this one seems ok.
    2. Up in the air about only running 4 counters MB.
    3. Invoke the Divine or Forsake the Worldly are interchangeable, unsure which one.
    4. I would love a Ixalan's Binding or Cast Out somewhere in the MB but unsure where. Is it worth it?
    5. My sideboard building is also a bit weak. Thoughts there?



    I really love Essence Scatter for the reasons I stated above, but if you only run 4, I'd choose Disallow.

    Invoke against Green and Vehicles, Forsake against Gift. What do you face more, and what do you feel you need the help for more? Go from there. I went to 3 Invoke since Vehicles is tough for my build.

    Binding or Cast out: What permanents do you need help against? Also, how much green/Brontodon in your meta? Are you prepared to do the dance against the UW decks? I like not having to worry about it, but that's me. Same with Seal Away.

    As far as your SB, I feel it should be 4/3 Duress/Negate instead of the other way around, as getting the T3 Gideon or History out of the opponents' hand can be HUGE. Also, pure UW has Azcanta advantage (more Field Of Ruin), and Arch Of Orazca, and runs more counters, so Duress is big game. You will have an easier time dismantling their hand then fighting the straight up counter war.

    As I said earlier, I went to 2 Fumigate MD, and it went great. I like it MD. A good player whose opinion I trust on mono green told me after I beat him that green can't beat both because it's impossible to play around both and be efficient.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from corranhorn01 »
    @NSC

    I like the look of that list, as a base. Need to get my lands together for esper.

    A few thoughts:
    1. Fumigate with it over the 4th settle? One more mana, but it's 'unconditional'.
    2. With the expected rise in uw, is Blood Fast worth looking at in the board?
    3. Commit/memory? As a one of. Seeing Hulk can instant speed it and it with teferi...
    4. I get why the wilds is there, but could it be a 2nd ruin?

    @all
    On a different note, Shaheen put up an interesting article about uw today.
    http://www.starcitygames.com/articles/37101_The-Flaws-Of-UW-Control.html

    EDIT: to fix an autocorrect


    1. I'm considering Fumigate due to requiring WW a turn later, as well as Shalai being good against Settle (lost an otherwise unlosable game due to this). I wanted to stay all instants, but Fumigate may be worth it.
    2. I'm on 4 Duress, 3 Negate now. Was considering ABF, but unsure if I want less Duress, as it's great for catching Gideons and Karns before they can drop them. Probably about 75% it will find it's way in there.
    3. I love Commit, just didn't have room. It's always in the back of my mind also. Memory could be good with my large amount of exile effects.
    4. It was originally. I really want more Fields, but vs. mono red or green, there were games where there were no non-basic lands to blow up, which prevented me from mana fixing. The Wilds was a concession to that.

    Quote from Yuzenn84 »


    I'm not a huge fan of Karn in the Esper Control shell, we have way more important plays on turn 4 and he doesn't effect the board without being able to - on his loyalty.

    I also agree on Seal Away over Craving, especially if your concern is enchantment removal. Only G/B runs dedicated MD enchantment removal and seal away deals with almost every threat in the format. I'd rather play fatal push, as it can grab Elves/Couriers on turn 1. I like keeping two mana up for seal away or syncopate and then the curve goes perfectly into disallow/settle or glimpse, teferi/scarab god and then gearhulk.

    You havn't played any vehicles yet but after it's huge showing at the last event you are going to need a lot of MD ways of dealing with heart, so give fatal push another consideration.



    I think NSC's landbase needs some work, especially with the ruin and wild's numbers.

    To answer your questions

    1) Fumigate has become a SB card, because without tokens being around and settle taking care of most threats it's just not killing a lot of creatures most board states
    2) Blood Fast is an auto add in the sideboard, it's amazing against opposing control decks
    3) Commit/Memory has fallen out of my 75 but I might bring it back as a 1 of, it just has so much range and is an amazing card
    4) I'd run more ruins personally and if you want to enable bigger fatal pushes i'd run more wilds too. There needs to be more basics in the deck too, otherwise you are going to have more games where you are going to have turn 1 and two taplands and that is no good.


    I agree, I'm liking Karn less and less the more I play it. Thinking they will become a 3rd Teferi (Control MVP) and something else. Commit, Gearhulk, 4th Settle, 4th Essence Scatter, Fumigate, something.

    Not doing Seal Away, there are a LOT of Brontodons in my local meta. Mono green, GB Snake, Ramp. It also doesn't help the Heart Of Kiran issue. The life gain of Craving it still good, too. Mono red GPG, Vehicles, W/B Knights, all aggro decks I've faced lately where Moment shined.

    I am considering Push in the SB for Vehicles, I played against it and lost, due to not drawing Settle or Vraska's Contempt, the only answers for HOK main. I switched from Forsake to Invoke The Divine SB for Vehicles, but didn't draw any Mad That's variance, but I feel I need to shore that match up some. The reason I don't like Push is I only have 2 Revolt outlets, and as I said earlier, my meta has a good amount of Steel Leafs. Cast Down has still been excellent otherwise. I am also thinking Invoke #3, as the life gain is great there also. Just have to draw them...

    As far as the manabase, I'm open to suggestions. I admit that's not my strong suit. I was considering dumping Settle, so I could drop W sources, and be more like old UB with just Teferi, and the SB cards, but Settle solves SO MANY issues right now, including the ridiculous amount of Carnage Tyrants I have to see. I was thinking cutting like 2 Glacial Fortress and 2 Irrigated Farmland and adding like 1 Plains, 1 Island 1 Field, 1 Wilds so I can search for the W sources, but I would have to test it. The way it is now is greedy, but 1 cycle land, and all my check lands come into play untapped, and it works pretty well. Extra cycle lands just become draw. Between them and Illumination, I can usually dig out of an iffy starting hand easily. This is somewhere I would want the 4th Scatter, as it's great with T5 Teferi, and keeping the board from getting out of control while digging.

    @corranhorn01 - I also considered Pull From Tomorrow, another favorite of mine, but 1. I want to stay on Gearhulk, and that's a non-bo. and 2. It's not good in the control mirror. Post board, It's basically a high priced, instant speed Duress. It is the truth against midrange though...maybe sub an Illumination for one as a mid-late game bomb?
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Cherry_Punch »
    Glad to know the deck has game against multiple decks in the format.

    When you brought in Karn did you have trouble protecting him? Or was the high loyalty enough? Also why Moment of Craving instead of Seal Away? Seems decent against the likes of Steel Leaf Champion and other creatures above 2 toughness. Against Mono-Green was Llanowar Elves a concern without Fatal Push?


    I've only brought in Karn a few times, but he wasn't hard to protect due to the high loyalty. I never fought over him for like, Cast Out vs. Approach. That was a strategic decision, as I already got value out of him, and had nothing but lands stranded. BTW, one of my LGSs got a foil Karn, so I picked it up yesterday, going to try 2 MD. I think that will be better, and mitigate good cards being stranded.

    I'm playing Moment Of Craving to keep the "life-gain removal" advantage that I had with UB. It kills almost every T1 and T2 (and several T3) creature, and is still great against aggro. Also, no weakness to enchantment removal (no enchantment removal is 100% intentional, I like things dead for good) or vigilance. The minus toughness effect is useful sometimes. I have double Momented Hazoret several times, for instance. Another thing I don't like about Seal Away, it and Settle look REALLY bad against Scarab God plus anything draining you every turn, while fixing my draws to protect it. Been doing that already.

    Stuff like Steel Leaf is why I insist on Cast Down. I'm thinking of going back to 4. I love it more the more I play it.

    Llanowar Elves never really concerned me. I may have taken a couple chip hits from them until I Settled, or had free mana and cards to kill them. Cast Down let me kill everything they ramped to, which was more important. I don't miss Fatal Push at all, though I concede I haven't played any Vehicles yet, and Heart Of Kiran may be problematic (Seal Away doesn't work here, either though...Moment on the enabler does buy back 2 of the 4 life. I can double Moment in a pinch). On the play, I often "wasted" a Moment on them, as it was a "free" 2 life and a virtual land destruction spell. Worked out great, actually.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    I ran this to 3-3 at the SCG Baltimore Standard Classic:



    Deck Design:

    TBH, this is version 1.1 of the deck. I had a bad arm injury, so I spent the past 3 weeks goldfishing, and played 2 FNMs (4-0, 3-1). No real testing, as I was one-armed.

    Mana Base - Greed, and lack of testing. Was 2 Field, but made it a 2nd Swamp. I miss having 3-4 Field , but it doesn't seem too bad. The mana has only failed me once, as you'll see below.

    Cast Down, No Fatal Push - As I said in earlier discussions, I don't want to lose to Steel Leaf, and there's not many Kari Zevs around. I've still beaten mono Red, so I don't regret it. Cast Down is amazing.

    SB Karn - I play an all foil deck, I got the foil Karn at the FNM before the SCG event, and hadn't tested it. I wasn't sure, but it seemed solid. I had Approach Of The Second Sun in the board, and chucked it for Karn. Version 1.0 strat was to side in Approach, and go all defense and draw against decks with no way to stop it. Still unsure how I feel about it. I rate Teferi a 10, Karn feels like a 7 so far.

    Sunscourge Champion: Was unsure about Lyra, as I expected Puncturing Blow and Unlicensed Disintegration and didn't want to spend $100 on two foils untested. (I won a box over two FNMs, and it was trash, so I was operating on cash, as I opened only 2 +10 dollar cards, History and Mox, and trash foils... Mad )

    I beat GW Angel Midrange (grindy, but I was never in too much trouble. Scarab Godding his Shalai was just WRONG), Mono Red (one sided), and Mono Green (one-sided). Lost to:

    - Mono Green (No Settle Game 3 despite drawing several extra cards, vs. several cheap 3+ power creatures, got chipped away)
    - U/W Control (He won the die roll, he stuck his 1 Gideon Of The Trials on T3 and protected it Rolleyes . Game 2, I draw only 1 Essence Scatter as countermagic until turn T13 or so, despite T2 Search For Azcanta, and several cycles/draws. No Duress either. I land Karn, but he whiffs, then he bounces it. He sticks Teferi, draws incredibly, and I never resolve another spell for the rest of the game. He came in 10th.
    - Mono Red God-Pharoah's Gift (Game 2, he goes off T4, I can't kill enough, no Disallow. Game 3, I have double Settle in hand, and don't get the second W source. He came in 11th.

    This deck is really powerful, I feel like I just need to refine the deck to the new metagame. My 3 wins, and all my FNM wins were pretty easy and mostly one-sided. Rumors of Scarab God's demise were greatly exaggerated. It still flat out wins games. I love Settle, but I would play white just for Teferi. It's easily my new favorite card, and is busted. It's really absurd, especially with the deck being all instants, and with high powered 2s and 3s.

    Changes I've made so far:

    MD:

    -1 Search
    +1 Karn

    SB

    -1 Karn
    -2 Sunscourge Champion
    +2 Lyra Dawnbringer (All of my aggro opponents asked why I didn't have it, but only 1 or 2 had any real plan for it. Oh well, got two for 90, so that's that.) Also, I can bring it back with Scarab God.
    +1 Doomfall - Good vs. midrange and control. Wanted another Negate or Duress, but I feel this is a good middle ground. Still unsure about this slot. Might just end up a 4th Settle, to avoid the "no Settle" crap against green decks, which was my one loss at FNM over the past 2 weeks. I hate punk-a$$ Carnage Tyrant.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Cherry_Punch »
    I realize this isn't the place for UW control discussion, but after watching TCG Player's Corey Baumeister play this Esper list where cards like The Scarab God and Vraska's Contempt were sometimes cards he cut and added in more Lyra Dawnbringer, wishing there were more Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Maybe pure UW is the way to go?

    That being said the list performed very well as Esper, though the mana woes were real. 26 lands is likely where we want to be, and perhaps some attention paid to the colour fixing as well if this list is a real shell going forward.


    After SCG ATL, I think Lyra Dawnbringer's usefulness will be diminished. Besides the finals, those things were eating Unlicenced Disintegrations all day. Red players are finally starting to play Puncturing Blow, also. I wouldn't lean on it as a main strategy. I still feel it's a SB card.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from siregar0511 »
    Doomfall seems like a very good main deck card especially against midrange/control decks that plays a lot of threats. I don't think just 4 vraska's contempt is enough against decks playing lyra, karn and teferi. It's pretty good to snag annoying saga too. What do you guys think?

    I also still think that staying U/B is better than Esper since we now get phyrexian scriptures. A combination of scriptures with yahenni's expertise/golden demise is pretty good for U/B to handle any go-wide decks.


    We discussed these issues a page or two ago.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    These lists are interesting. IDK if I can get behind Esper with no Teferi, Hero Of Dominaria, though. The card is SO STRONG. I also agree on Lyra Dawnbringer not being a MD card.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Torrysan »


    I can see how Contraband Kingpin would work better in some situations, but it's not really a reactive play. You cast it and give your opponent options. Fungal Infection is better in that regard, but I will agree that realistically it'd be the only matchup you want to bring them in for. Is that enough to justify SB space?

    Exactly, I don't see a problem with enabling removal they would use on your good creatures afterwards. They're spending mana and being inefficient. The only real problem I would see, which is a legit one, is enabling Unlicensed Disintegration and helping them race.

    I just don't think there is enough room to play removal THAT narrow. Also, what match is it decent against beside red and maybe tokens? Seems mediocre to terrible against everything else. It may kill Ballista for 1 and Siphoner, but do you really want to hinge a match on that chance? Kingpin is at least a relevant speed bump in every aggro/midrange match, great against red, and is insane resurrected by The Scarab God.

    It's dead to me. Cycling doesn't sell the card like it does with Hieroglyphic Illumination.

    Agreed

    It looks a bit weak, but usable. Would you see yourself taking any of your counterspells out to put this card in? I guess you could cut your removal count (depending on how fond you are of Fatal Push) if you really wanted to include it, definitely could see use. Even Liliana, Death's Majesty loops look pretty sick. Hell, you're kinda selling me on it.

    I think I'd still play Commit over it, but this fall, it looks like good money. Into The Roil was really good in it's Standard.





    EDIT: From the U/W Approach thread:

    Quote from pumpmonkey »

    Ok, Domanaira, I think the new set is going to make standard into a very fast format. The guys at my LGS has been brewing UG Monsters and now drop Carnage Tyrant on turn 3 pretty consistently. Our old way of thinking about games, play land go until turn 4-5 then board wipe, I don't think is going to work.


    Respect the Carnage Tyrant...and all of the other pushed, high priced stuff that will be coming out really fast now. Playing no sort of hard answer to it may lead to some ugly losses...
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UB(x) control
    Quote from Torrysan »


    Hmmm, so you'd rather go for a 2 Fatal Push 2 Cast Down 2 Moment of Craving split? I can see the merit, but I'd argue versatility over efficiency G1. Do you see your local meta as a place where you'll be forced to specialize for R/X Aggro? If so, no argument there. I'll concede your argument in favor of Cast Down, but I don't see myself ever replacing a Fatal Push with a Moment of Craving in my main. It's not as hard to turn on as people think, even without a playset of Evolving Wilds.


    I'm testing 4 Cast Down, 3 Moment Of Craving, and it is looking really good right now, but I am Esper, so I have Settle to clean up. These are just to keep me alive until the mid game. I think UB has to be even more selective since your sweepers are much less versatile.

    Quote from Torrysan »

    Really go-wide matchups where an extra chump block shines, making the card 2 for 1; midrange matchups where you can still use the block later on; as a combat trick in situations where Fatal Push can't be used; and as a way to reduce 2 damage in situations where Fatal Push would do nothing.

    It ties with Fatal Push on all x/2 creatures, but gives you advantage vs most x/1s (and therefore, their corresponding decks) in the format:
    Bomat Courier
    Earthshaker Khenra
    Direfleet Daredevil
    Toolcraft Exemplar
    Combat Celebrant (rose in popularity, apparently?)
    Warkite Marauder
    Glint-Sleeve Siphoner
    Llanowar Elves (soon)

    Like I said before, I probably won't be making room in my main 60 for it, but I think it covers enough creatures with good upside to prove relevant. It loses to Push hard post 3 CMC provided you can turn Push on, so it's probably not main material. At least not in mine.


    Respectfully, I don't think it's realistic to expect this to work very often. You may get a guy or two in the red matchup, but, again, you're turning on their removal (Abrade at least stays in for Gearhulk, Maybe Magma Spray for Scarab God), and there is a significant number of things this does not kill. It also kills very little in the other aggro matches, and is completely trumped by any Anthem effect. If you need red hate that bad, I'd still go for Contraband Kingpin over this, 10/10 times.

    Quote from Torrysan »
    Seems like you've been in trouble vs this deck several times, what specific line of play are you having issues with? I don't expect to mainboard vs everything, and if I'm building the way I'm building (I'll probably need 2 Doomfall main regardless, need the miandeck response vs Tyrant) you expect to have an unfavorable MU against Dinos in exchange of a better MU against Constrictor. Post SB, you got Vizier of Many Faces, Gifted Aetherborn, and Gonti, Lord of Luxury to deal.

    You do make a lot of valid points tho, not in the form of lifegain but in the form of lifeloss, if that makes sense. As such, I'm adjusting some things and probably passing on Dark Bargain for the time being:



    How's that look? May cut 1 Champion of Wits for another Hieroglyphic Illumination if the cycling proves to be vital.

    Also thinking of cutting 1 Torrential Gearhulk for a third Ravenous Chupacabra.


    Honestly, I've only lost to a Carnage Tyrant once or twice. I still feel the need to have a real plan for them, they are seeing more and more play where I am. People are tired of losing to me and my friend who plays Esper Cycling (possibly the most annoying, grindy deck on Earth lol).

    Quote from Cherry_Punch »


    I feel like the deck has some tension between tapping out and leaving up permission. Champion of Wits and Doomfall are fine cards, but it makes it much harder to represent Disallow, Syncopate, and Supreme Will. If you would like to field more creatures I think a tap-out midrange style such as the UB Midrange lists seeing tournament success would be better. The deck is very trim on permission with most of their reactive spells on CMC 4 to defend the threats they tapped out for, or get ahead on board with removal. Glint-Sleeve Siphoner is also a great card, sometimes winning the game on its own if an opponent stumbles or is removal light. There would be plenty of room in the mana base for 4 Aether Hub.

    I like the reanimation theme and Memorial to Folly in a creature heavy build. I would prefer more Field of Ruin since the colour base is consistent to combat enemy utility lands. Ipnu Rivulet could be good to fill up your graveyard with threats or act as an out to a control stalemate. I also like Doomfall in a tap out build since it is so flexible.

    Since it has been debated I will reiterate on Fungal Infection; I think it will be a great sideboard card against all the x/1s mentioned by Torrysan. Others could include:


    It's just so tempo positive on many of our opponent's plays while also creating difficult combat situations and saving us some life. In game 2 one would expect most removal to come out against a control player, making the token the spell creates a nice speed bump without contest in most occasions. If the opponent would like to leave in Fatal Push against us to dump on the incidental creature, they are welcome.

    What are people's thoughts on Censor in the coming format? Feels great that it can get anything early, especially when others are trying to advance their mana with Llanowar Elves. But would we just rather more removal instead of the cycling late?


    Personally, I think Llanowar Elves make Censor almost unplayable. That T1 boost will render it obsolete even faster in games.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
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