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  • posted a message on What's the best deck for a Huntmaster of the Fells shell?
    I don't play a Huntmaster deck. I play RUG Delver, but 2-4 Huntmasters have been in my sideboard for a long time, and I can confirm how much value this thing can accrue in a shell set up to abuse it. My deck isn't exactly set up for it, in that I have only 18 lands, but I think it'd be pretty easy to build a 22-land deck with 4 Goyf, 4 Huntmaster, 4 Snapcaster, 2 Vendillion Clique, and then stuff like Opt, Bolt, maybe a Tarfire or something, and then Dispel / Stubborn Denial / Spell Pierce / Mana Leak / whatever as a counter suite to protect Huntmaster. That's basically my postboard plan against the grindy decks of the format, and it's really good, even though getting to 4 mana in an 18 land Delver list is a little rough.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Quote from ashtonkutcher »

    Of note is that neither of those decks plays heavy-duty grave hate. Nihil Spellbomb a possibility for Shadow, but not a common include as far as I know. And Beacon is way too slow against faster creature decks. All that combines to make me wonder if Spite of Mogis isn't worthwhile again. The decks that ruin it with Rest in Peace are not likely to call for extra creature removal anyway. The only MU I can think of where we want all the removal possible but also may get hit with RIP is Spirits, which I think is already pretty good for us (and again, Beacon is a huge liability there because of Wanderer and Queller).


    I had the same wonderings about Beacon Bolt and Spite of Mogis, too. Spite feels pretty good, but after getting Leylined by the local BG player when I had boarded it in, I'm pretty reluctant. Beacon Bolt is slow, but as you say, is mostly for decks that aren't beating us super quickly anyway. My worry is Spirits, and I've had very different results playing against Spirits than you have, apparently. I consider Spirits, Humans, and Merfolk among this deck's worst matchups, whereas to me, BGx just isn't too awful much of a worry. Part of that may be experience, as BGx has shown up at my local places pretty much every week I've been on this deck, whereas Humans was limited to one player locally, and the few Spirits players we have are flakey and seldom show up. When I started playing this deck online a few months ago, I got assaulted by Humans and Spirits, and it's never really turned around. I seem to remember your older articles writing about Merfolk like it was a major player for you locally a few years back, so I imagine you have tons of reps against it. What's your general plan against Aether Vial decks?

    Quote from ObnixilisNate »
    Now that's exciting talk! I'm curious how long until chalice wheels back around with shadow, Phoenix, and burn all doing well


    I think Chalice is probably a house right now. I imagine Colorless Eldrazi is pretty well positioned, which almost makes me regret selling the deck, but I just didn't have that much fun playing games with it.

    Quote from RikutheWizard »
    Congratulations to @MikePemulis, as he is the winner of the Temur sweepstakes! He will be the proud owner of a shiny new card of his choosing of the previously mentioned pile of foil Temur cards.

    The only card that he/she cannot choose is the Expedition Engineered Explosives, as that card has been gifted to ashtonkutcher.

    I will be in contact mikepemulis, and I'll be shipping both cards out after the GP. Congrats!


    Sweet! Thanks so much for running the giveaway.



    Any thoughts on how the proposed mulligan rule changes things? One thought is that it makes combo decks better, which could move the meta into a position where Shoal/Denial/Leak are great again. I don't like the proposed change, myself, but as someone who's had to go to 5 all too often lately, maybe I'm just wrong on this.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on MYTHIC CHAMPIONSHIP London new mulligan rule test in Modern & Limited
    Level zero: combo decks get better.
    Level one: decks that beat combo if they draw their sideboard bullets get better.
    Level two: decks that beat combo and have game against the level one decks get better.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Cat: I've played both the Traverse / Bauble / Looting build and the Shoal / tons of 'bad' blue cards build, and I much prefer and have had more success with the latter. After a while, the Traverse build felt a little bit like a midrange deck that played Traverse mostly to hit land drops, and it just didn't work for me. In the Shoal build, I'm only running 6-7 sorceries, so I get to hold up removal and counters much more easily. I also think it has a better game 1 in general, especially against things like big mana, combo, and Burn.

    The Traverse builds certainly have more late game power, but I also found that by casting Traverse game 1, you all but ensured your opponent would bring in the heavy duty grave hate. I like to cut two Mandrills and fill in with Huntmasters in those grindy sideboard games, making myself less and more susceptible to Rest in Peace and pals. I board out some number of Shoals, Thought Scours, and Mandrills in the grindy matchups, but I generally feel okay in them. I know back when Jordan was playing the deck regularly, he struggled mightily with BGx and especially Abzan. I haven't played against Abzan in forever, but I feel okay about my Jund matchup and pretty good about the matchup against Rock. Those are ostensibly the matchups where Traverse helps, but to me, it's losing too much tempo in the early game compared to dropping a threat and protecting it on turn 1 or 2. The games are tense, and the card disadvantage is real, but Snapcaster recoups some of that, and like I said, you tend to cut some Shoals in the matchups that go long.

    And as far as burn spells in the main deck: I play 4 Bolts and 2 Tarfires. I've tried other things in the second Tarfire slot, including a Flame Slash today, but after losing a game where Tarfire could've gone to the face for lethal and Slash sat in my hand as I died, I keep wanting the advantages of instant speed, any target, and Goyf-growing Tarfire.

    Ob: I agree that we're a spell or two away from world domination. After playing a bunch of games tonight, I think I've settled on Dismember in the board as the heavy-duty removal spell, because as you note, we need to be able to deal with x/5s, and Simic Charm isn't always enough. Flame Slash is fine but misses standard Goyfs, one of the reasons for wanting the spell in the first place, and Gurmag Angler. Roast misses the entirety of Spirits, Mantis Rider and Freebooter in Humans, and Colonnade / the angels in UWx decks.* Forked Bolt, another card I've liked in the past, is good in some metagames, but pretty redundant unless Abzan Collected Company and Elves take over the meta. I've even thought about Lightning Axe out of the board, but it seems so bad, especially when in many of these games, you're topdecking. Two mana, instant speed, 5 damage to target creature. Please. A firmer late game counter would be nice, like actual Counterspell would earn a spot in my board for sure. Preordain would be lovely, but it's not as pressing as the other needs, I don't think.


    * Dismember against UWx seems loose and I'm not sure it's worth the space. I run Blood Moons against Jeskai and UW to shut off Colonnade, give them another must-answer permanent to deal with, and choke the greedy "want UUU and WW by turn 4 or 5" keeps they have.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    I actually find the UR Phoenix matchup quite good with this deck. Shoal and Simic Charm are great against them, though a resolved Thing is an issue.

    I played against Phoenix tonight, going 2-1, and lost the game where I was able to Extract the birds because I got stormed out by two active Pyromancer Ascensions with Bolt and Gut Shot. Pretty ugly game, but games 1 and 3 were more orderly: Pierce hits a Looting, Shoal Shoals a Thing, and Goyf beats in.

    Lost 1-2 to Dredge tonight. Lost game one, which is pretty standard I think, and game two I Shoaled their Looting and they didn't do much. Game three I was in good position but got triple (!) Creeping Chilled, giving the Bloodghasts haste and putting it way out of reach for me. I hate Creeping Chill.

    I also had a bye and our turnout sucked tonight, so I went 2-1. Played a pickup game with the local Thoughtseize specialist playing BG, and came to the conclusion that 3 Huntmasters might be one too many. All the Jeskai players have either migrated to different decks or aren't coming anymore, so relying on Path to ramp isn't reliable. And Mandrills, the card I often trim for Huntmaster, is great against BGx anyway. So I thought that I'd tear a page form your book and replace one of my Huntmasters with a Flame Slash, a card I don't love, but that has game against a ton of the current field. It's odd, because the backbone of my standard "grindy package" has been 3 Huntmasters and 3 Moons for months now, so it's weird to only see 5 cards there. I thought about trimming a Moon, but that card is a little easier to cast, is game over against Amulet, Titan Shift, and GDS, plus it helps with Tron and control. Plus mine are ancient ones from The Dark and I'm loathe to cut beautiful cards like those.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Alright, I'll try Pyroclasm out tonight. Also trying Hurkyl's Recall because I don't have a Shatterstorm, apparently.

    Board is kind of a mess right now. EE and Delay are the catchalls. Dispel is probably never leaving my board because there is a ton of Jeskai and Burn that comes through my local, plus it's got game against stuff like Through the Breach. Huntmaster and Blood Moon take up lots of real estate, but I bring all 6 in with regularity. The Surgical is a hedge against Phoenix, which is an okay matchup, though Thing is a tough one to beat.

    Of note, I was playing singles of Curious Obsession and Chart a Course, but have from time to time found them clunky. I hate drawing Obsession on a clear board, or seeing it on a Delver trigger, so that's been gone for a while. Chart took longer, but 2 mana is quite a bit. So I went with a second Tarfire and a Spell Pierce, although I've also thought about the fourth Thought Scour, or a third Sleight of Hand, or maybe a Spell Snare.

    Jordan, have you been playing your UR Salamander list? How's that going? I've considered switching over since it seems like it's the perfect Shoal shell, but I think I would miss the green beef too much.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    I can squeeze a Mandrills or two in, I'm sure. Denial is pretty bad in this matchup, especially when trimming on Hoots anyway.

    My problem with Pyroclasm is that outside of Affinity, Elves, and Pyromancer, it's useless. There is Dredge, Spirits, and Humans floating around here, and Pyroclasm is dead against those decks. So while I may gain a bit against Affinity with Pyroclasm, I lose another sweeper spot against a bunch of decks I want sweepers for.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    There are now two Affinity players at my local place, which usually has 12 players on Mondays, so I can count on seeing one of them most nights. One is an excellent player who's been on the deck for the duration of Modern, and the other is pretty good. I'm having trouble with the matchup.

    My standard board plan is to cut all 4 Mandrills, all 3 Thought Scour, and 2 Stubborn Denial to bring in 3 Huntmasters, 2 Anger of the Gods, 2 Destructive Revelry, 1 Engineered Explosives, and 1 card that's rotated a ton. I used to run Abrade as a catch-all, but it's not great removal for the matches where we want extra removal. My standard inclusion is Ancient Grudge, which is good against Affinity, but both of the locals are running Rest in Peace out of their boards, so sometimes I only get the front half of Grudge. Moreover, none of these options help against Etched Champion, which card has been the bane of my existence.

    With 2/12 players on it, I feel like I can devote one spot in the board to a narrow hoser. My first thought was Shatterstorm, since it sets them back to the stone age, but it's sorcery speed and 4 mana is quite a bit, especially when I'm already bringing in 3 Huntmasters. So my thought was, since I'm playing a deck from 2015, maybe I grab some 2015-era sideboard tech that no one has cast in a long while: Hurkyl's Recall. It's way easier to cast, it's an instant so you can blow them out on the end of their turn, and against the Experimental Frenzy version these guys are running, they might not even be able to recast the cards. I've done some reading and understand that I have to wait until the last possible second to cast it, and build up a board ahead of time so I can win or come awfully close on the crackback.

    Another thought is that it wrecks the Whir of Invention and mono-red prison decks that pop up from time to time. I often have trouble beating Bridge + Welding Jar, and this gets around that, just as Shatterstorm does, but is half the cost and pitches to Shoal if necessary.

    Thoughts on Hurkyl's Recall in 2019?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Bummer to see you go, mate. I hope you get a bucket of money from your buylisting to do with whatever you please. And when you come back, and they always do, hopefully we'll be better positioned again.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Red 4 Drops And A General Discussion About Curating Curve vs. Power Level
    I'm at 400 and play Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Koth of the Hammer, Hellrider, Hazoret, FTK, Pia and Kiran, Fiery Confluence, Purphoros, Sneak Attack, and Experimental Frenzy. I almost don't even count Sneak Attack and Purphoros in the conversation with the others, since they're archetype support. So is Pia and Kiran, to an extent. I used to play Daretti but cut it because the artifact deck got to be a little too on-rails for my tastes. I could cut Hazoret and not be too worse for the wear, but it's a fun card. Frenzy is new and I like to test out newer cards for a while, especially when they kick my teeth in in other formats.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Quote from user-20994600 »
    tonight i'll try this deck for the first time Smile


    So how did it go?

    I finished a league 2-3. Lost to Burn, Affinity, and Merfolk, and best UR Phoenix and UB Mill. Affinity and Merfolk gave been nemesis matchups for me. Not sure how I list the Burn matchup, but it's the second time in a week.

    I lost G3 to Merfolk after keeping a 1 lander with Sleight of Hand and not finding a land until T3. I've got to get more aggressive about mulliganing in those situations.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    1. I've thought about Ral and will be curious to hear how it goes for you. But 5 mana seems like a lot, and 4 only comes really easily against the Path to Exile and Assassin's Trophy decks. I will say that whatever you end up with for your grindy matchup haymaker, you'll need a few. I've tried 2-4 of them in various configurations and have settled on 3 Huntmasters. I've tried 4cmc Chandra and hated it, Hazoret to middling success, though the antisynergy with having counters in the deck killed it for me. Whatever it is, you want it not graveyard reliant, and if it gains you points against other matchups, as Huntmaster can against creature based aggro, so much the better. I wish we had a sweet planeswalker that fit well, but I haven't found it yet.

    2. Drake may be good, but Huntmaster provides a ton of value. You may be right, though, and I'm anticipating hearing about your experiences.

    3. Blood Moon wins plenty of games on its own. I can't picture running fewer than 2 in this deck, and I've run 3 for quite a while due to how much it wrecks not only big mana, but midrange too. This deck is really well set up to abuse it, too, since we have the clocks to go along with it.

    Always happy to see others on this deck. It's lots of fun, if a little underpowered. In 2019, my match win percentage in paid matches is hovering around 61%, but I'm not a great player and there's never as many Tron, Valakut, or Amulet decks as there ought to be. I will say that although BGx is a big bogeyman for this deck, I've found Affinity and Humans to be the toughest.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Sweet list. I love Blood Moon, Lightning Bolt, and Huntmaster too much to quit R, but I'm playing Premodern with a UG list, and can appreciate the gameplay. Personally, I think you probably give up too much without R for the sideboard, at least, as most of my board plans involve damage-based sweepers, Blood Moon, or stickier threats. I suppose you'll want a Thrun or two out of your board. You must also want a basic Forest somewhere in your 75.

    What are you countering with Shoal pitching Psionic Blast? Kolaghan's Command and Liliana are about the only relevant 3s I can think of.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    What's your list looking like? I've played a Mountain main when I was playing Traverse the Ulvenwald, but since going to Shoal, I've been so heavy on the blue cards that I feel I don't want a Mountain.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Monkey Grow (RUG/Temur Delver)
    Quote from Savari94 »
    Thanks for posting. Have you tried the new Cindervines yet?

    I haven't, but I'll pick up a few to put in my RUG box. I'm rarely casting Revelry T2 anyway, and the extra type for Goyf is good, as is the random hate on Storm, Control, etc. I love Destrctive Revelry, but maybe I'll love this more.

    I've played with Looting before and like it well enough. The card disadvantage doesn't bother me, but it not being blue is an issue when you're playing Shoal. I float between versions, but have come to prefer the interaction heavy Shoal build over a more tap out style Traverse / Looting build. That's a style thing, though, and when you're playing a tier 19 Dr k like this one, you can make those decisions and not feel bad about it.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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