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  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    So, with less than a month to go before MTGS is shut down, I wanted to take this opportunity to share what a pleasure and honor it has been to operate this primer for the past 6 years. They say “time flies when you’re having fun,” and it certainly does not feel like it was a full 6 years ago that I started updating the OP with all the neat Tron innovations that have taken place since July of 2013. We used to be a green red deck with Eye of Ugin, then a green red deck without Eye of Ugin, then a green white deck, then a green black deck, then a mono-green deck, and now finally a mono-green deck with an optional wishboard package.

    For both those of you who are new, as well as those of you who have been around for years, I’ve had a lot of fun discussing all the changes to tron that have happened over this timeframe, and I’m sad when I realize that MTGS has reached the end of its life. I first registered my account here in 2006 (back in RAV/TSP Standard), and after 13 years I’m sad to see it go.

    This doesn’t have to be the end though; k0no posted about it a couple pages back, but we have a Discord server that is going to serve as the new “base” for competitive tron discussion. Here’s a link if you need one: https://discord.gg/cjctgkg

    This primer (and the posts associated with it) will be put in “read-only mode.” While we won’t be able to post or edit, you’ll still be able to read all the great content that’s been posted here. Also, MTGS staff have indicated that they’re working on a replacement forum, and I’ll definitely be looking to migrate the primer there (perhaps with a new KGC section) if and when that takes place.

    So I hope that you’ll join me in discussing more great Tron content going forward. If not, it’s been a pleasure talking with you, and I wish you the best of luck going forward. Thanks for helping to make this thread and primer truly great!

    Sincerely,
    Slivortal
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from Melkor »
    I like the single Blast Zone, it has done work for me

    As for Force of Vigor, I am interested. one of our green cards is a big ask, but it's not for the games where one of them is what we need. it's for the games like the Affinity match i lost tonight, where we stumble even a little bit and they have too much going and our only chance is to blow a big hole in what they are doing and we don't have the resources for the other options. I beat a prison deck in a very long and challenging match tonight, if I had been able to blow up two artifacts with one card and just give up a copy of Scrying after I was already flooded, that would have been really nice instead of using Karn activations. this is not for when we have other outs. Legacy players don't use FoW proper when Negate will get the job done, this is for the games where we expect that we will have two solid targets, because if there are two things on the field in Modern that you wouldn't feel like it was a waste to Claim, you're in a rough spot.
    If you’re comparing this new Force to Force in Legacy, it’s worth pointing out that the vast majority of Legacy players will suggest running 20-24 blue cards to support Force, and even the most “greedy” proponents will suggest running a bare minimum of 16.

    By comparison, we run 8. While I agree that the logic of “We don’t want to pitch our green cards” is somewhat flawed, our odds of having a green card to pitch is really small.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on So SICK of planeswalkers already
    Quote from Dusk707 »
    From WAR:


    This does not include any counters, discard spells, or other means to deal with walkers from previous sets (Bedevil comes to mind, along with Shock, Lightning Strike, and Vraska's Contempt). In short, there are a lot of ways to deal with walkers. The only color that can't on it's own is Green. Red and Black have the easiest time, but that's understandable as well.
    The bigger problem is that most walkers "get their card back" (and sometimes +1 CA) after resolving, and all of these answers are -1s under that view (and some are actually -2s). So you're bleeding cards by answering them.

    The best way to answer walkers is just by having enough pressure to take them out immediately without having to spend cards (or by countering them, or killing their controller). But if your opponent untaps with them once or twice, the advantage can often be insurmountable.
    Posted in: MTG Arena
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    They still have titans to beat face with so its not quite a beat down.
    If you get bridge (or just kill all the titans the turns after they play them) they still die. Hoping to attack with titans is kind of living on a prayer.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    In my opinion, the current "locks" are Bridge, Cage, Lattice, and 3Ball (some lists run Chalice over 3Ball, but 3Ball is far more popular). Almost every list that's been posted so far runs these 4 cards.
    After that, extremely common cards I've seen have been Witchbane, Defense Grid, Spyglass, Crucible, and Ballista. I think over half the lists that have been posted run some number of these cards.
    Minority picks that come up once in a while but aren't overly common are O-Stone, Wurmcoil, Skite, Tormod's, Needle, and Coating. Coating seems a lot more popular in the Mono-Red Prison lists, as those lists have a better chance of going all-in on an early Karn.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from racerxen »
    Well here have a top 4 finish of Wish Board Tron at the lastest SCG Classic, and it keeps elements of the previous SB:

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1879166#paper
    I like the list a lot, it feels very "clean" (for lack of a better word). It maintains 2 Ballista and 3 Wurmcoil, while only really cutting an Ulamog, a Breaker and 2 O-Stone. It also has a pretty minimal wishboard, as the SB still contains 2 Thrags, 2 TKS, 2 Claim, a Deglamer, and a Relic that I imagine comes in the MD a non-zero number of games.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from sicsmoo »
    Quote from racerxen »
    man you said what i was thinking. losing removal like “contortion” and wail hurts a bit but im also camp that we are just scratching the surface of an ideal 75 with karn. It’s very possible we keep the wish board to 4-6 slots. Lattice is really good, i cant stress how quick that ends a game. if you look at the recent 5-0 list it ran 3 tks, maybe we should do the same? its refreshing though to have something to try and innovate with
    I guess you mean this list: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1871207#online

    The problem with that one is there's no Thragtusks.

    What do you do against Grixis Shadow with no Thragtusks (and no Dismembers!)? You're relying so heavily on going GC into Bridge and hoping they don't have counters or artifact destruction, of which they have plenty post-board.

    You have a similar problem against Burn. You have the ability to steal game 1's with your wishboard if you can get on the board fast enough (not a given by any means), but relying on that in post-board games is extremely shaky considering how much artifact destruction they bring in.

    Thragtusk is an important card against Dredge as well, plus most GC lists (that one included) are shaving graveyard hate to fit everything in so this matchup almost always gets worse.

    I wonder about the BG matchup as well. Thragtusk is our best sideboard card there. I guess you could argue that Great Creator makes up for the loss of Tusk because it's a low-curve card but the problem is it doesn't impact the board the turn it comes down. A lot of the time it's going to draw you a card (probably a good one, to be fair) and then just get eaten by one of their beaters. Maybe this one is close to a wash; I'd need to test it more.

    I could go on but I wanna stress again that I don't think it matters which cards you take out to accommodate the wishboard. I think you lose some percentage points no matter what. There's a reason why this deck has looked the same for 2+ years - because it already has everything it needs against the field, and the wishboard doesn't improve on that.
    I largely agree with this. KGC has shifted MU points around, but overall my winrate doesn't feel that much different. It just feels like a threat, and just like sometimes a 4th Wurmcoil, a 4th O-Stone, a 3rd Ulamog, a 3rd Ugin, or 1 World Breaker feels good, sometimes KGC feels good. It doesn't feel like I'm suddenly winning a bunch of unfavored matchups, but some unfavored matchups are less unfavored, some favored matchups are more favored, some unfavored matchups are more unfavored, and some favored matchups are less favored. It's a neat tool to have access to depending on how the meta shapes up, but it doesn't feel that different.
    In terms of vs. BGx specifically, I like KGC. A lot of games postboard you'll just never get to 5 mana thanks to multiple Fulminators, and at least you can cast KGC and fetch up a Crucible or Bridge or something and soak up some damage. I'd obviously rather have both KGC and Thrag, but I've found more than a couple games where I just never have a chance to cast Thragtusk until like turn 7 (or have trouble hitting my 7th land drop to cast him), and I think KGC being a little lower to the ground is helpful here.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Maybe it's just new toy syndrome, but the 5-0 Tron list from this round of Comp Modern lists was extremely spicy - containing not only the full 4 copies of KGC, but 2 copies of Ugin, the Ineffable:
    Also, 5 Blast Zone decks, but none of them Gx Tron, lol.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from sicsmoo »
    Yeah I'm not really seeing the appeal of Bond.

    This is where I'm at currently with the deck. The key card that I glossed over initially was Ensnaring Bridge. Not intuitively good for us but actually stops a lot of relevant things - Awoken Horror, Primeval Titan and Death's Shadow in particular. And I've also even been able to stop smaller creatures as well. Emptying our hand is not as difficult as you might think, especially when you consider London allows us better 6 and 5 card hands. Mull to a 5 of t3 Tron and Great Creator, fetch Bridge. Not bad at all.

    This list seems pretty reasonable against the field, though further testing and tweaking of numbers/slots is certainly required.
    I know I said it stops Awoken Horror sarcastically in a post a couple pages back, but when you put it that way, I guess it makes sense.
    Quote from Lectrys »
    Quote from SaltySips »
    Uh... how come we end up with Bond of Flourishing all of a sudden? The 3 life don‘t seem good enough to me - did I miss something?

    To me, the 3 life and the ability to get any permanent with a Dig 3 are what pushes Bond of Flourishing to playability in Gx Tron for me. Oath of Nissa didn't look playable in Gx Tron to me because it cannot get artifacts.

    In the meantime, the life gain from Bond of Flourishing has granted me an extra turn exactly once so far. The dig is a bit to the disappointing side in terms of getting me precisely what I want, but it does feel nice to dig further than a 1-deep cantrip after my opponent strips the tutors and Ancient Stirrings from my hand. I think it also got me an Ugin 1.0 in testing once when a regular cantrip rock would not have dug far enough, so maybe it does boost consistency noticeably enough after all. I definitely don't want 4 of it, though; I think that would demand green mana too much.
    Idk, a sorcery-speed restricted Anticipate is something I have trouble getting behind, with or without lifegain. I know I've been eating my words here and there, but I really don't feel like a 2-mana sorcery speed dig 3 is really where we want to be.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from sicsmoo »
    Hayne's list is interesting. Tons of respect for the mirror there with 3 GQ in the 75 along with the 3 Surgicals.
    Yeah, I found that interesting as well. Zhu's list seemed really poised to prey on Humans, with the MD Tusk being better than Wurmcoil vs. Reflector and Detention, Breaker being more easy to cast vs. fast decks in general, as well as being different names for Meddling. It's interesting to see how the two lists took different approaches in the decks they expected to play against.

    EDIT: Other than Zhu, the only other player to go 24 points or better was Shahar Shenhar
    Again, fairly standard list choosing to cut 1 Forest (18 lands) for 1 MD copy of Dismember and a 3rd copy of Ulamog.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from Slivortal »
    2 Trons in MC London T8 - pretty standard builds - 3 Relic, 4 O-Stone, 2 Ugin, 19 lands (5 Forests). One build ran 4 Wurmcoil and the standard 2 Ulamog (Hayne), the other ran 3 Wurmcoil/1 MD Thragtusk and 1 Ulamog/1 World Breaker (Zhu). It looks like both players went 8-1-1 in the Swiss, so there shouldn't be much inflation for draft performance.

    I'll post the lists once we have the full 75 (right now we don't have numbers on SB cards). Overall, Tron performed relatively average given its meta share - 12.5% in T8 vs 14.8% in field. So this should hopefully alleviate some banlist/mulligan doomsaying. Humans had 3 appearances in T8 though, which is pretty positive for our chances going forward (vs. like 10% of the field going in). Highest ranked in Swiss is Titanshift with multiple copies of MD Acid-Moss - ugh.
    Did my math wrong, Hayne went 7-2-1 (Zhu went 8-1-1).


    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    2 Trons in MC London T8 - pretty standard builds - 3 Relic, 4 O-Stone, 2 Ugin, 19 lands (5 Forests). One build ran 4 Wurmcoil and the standard 2 Ulamog (Hayne), the other ran 3 Wurmcoil/1 MD Thragtusk and 1 Ulamog/1 World Breaker (Zhu). It looks like both players went 8-1-1 in the Swiss, so there shouldn't be much inflation for draft performance.

    I'll post the lists once we have the full 75 (right now we don't have numbers on SB cards). Overall, Tron performed relatively average given its meta share - 12.5% in T8 vs 14.8% in field. So this should hopefully alleviate some banlist/mulligan doomsaying. Humans had 3 appearances in T8 though, which is pretty positive for our chances going forward (vs. like 10% of the field going in). Highest ranked in Swiss is Titanshift with multiple copies of MD Acid-Moss - ugh.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from sicsmoo »
    Alright, I wasn't planning on testing Great Creator after my initial assessment of the card but community interest has been so strong that I thought I should give it a spin to be sure.

    I played this list for 2 leagues - 8 card wishboard which is all I could justify without cutting into essential sideboard cards too much. It felt fine. Some matchups felt better, but more felt worse. I'm gonna go through the top 10 decks in the format and look at how the matchups change with this configuration.

    Dredge first of all gets significantly worse because you're shaving grave-hate cards overall and mostly relying on Great Creator to tutor one up, on turn 3 at the earliest. This is not going to be good enough most of the time.

    Grixis Shadow - the Great Creators looked pretty silly here, especially when I had to cut my 2nd and 3rd Dismembers, 3rd Relic and 3rd and 4th Thragtusks to make room for the package.

    Phoenix - losing grave-hate and Dismembers, gaining...?

    Amulet - worse because you shave TKS and cut Surgicals.

    UWx and BGx - I think you improve a bit against UW but not much against BGx because they can pressure him so easily, compared to the 3rd and 4th Thragtusks which impact the board immediately and in a big way.

    Burn - probably a minor improvement because fetching up something like Witchbane Orb game 1 is great, but you also might just die first/anyway, plus again, cutting Thragtusks hurts.

    Humans - maybe a minor improvement because you effectively have 6 O-Stones, but this matchup is already great.

    There are only 2 matchups where I would say Great Creator offers a significant improvement - the Tron mirror and Hardened Scales. Not coincidentally, these are the only 2 matchups where GC's static ability matters on its own. In the mirror, it becomes our second best turn-3 Tron play after Karn Liberated with the ability to fetch a Spyglass to shut off their potential Karn Liberated, and obviously why the static ability is good requires no explanation.

    For Scales, again, 1-sided Stony Silence is strong, especially when you consider it shuts down their Darksteel Citadels as well, but it can be slow and they can still just attack and kill Karn.

    I will mention decks like Titan Shift, Boggles, and Infect - yeah, getting Witchbane or Spellskite game 1 against these decks is great, but they're also each less than 2% of the metagame.

    Now of course, this anaylsis is just based on the list I posted, and certainly you could play different cards and improve a particular matchup - having access to Torpor Orb against Amulet for example. But then you have to cut something and lose that edge in a different matchup.

    People may suggest playing fewer copies of Great Creator. I'm skeptical about this as well because as you decrease his numbers, obviously you're less likely to draw him and so that makes it even harder to justify having all those narrow 1-ofs in your sideboard.

    A note on Mycosynth Lattice - our deck does not need this card. It's a fun alternate win-con (that I actually found pretty hard to protect), but we already have plenty of things to end the game with that don't require putting 2 pieces together.

    So in summary, I think Karn, the Great Creator is a very interesting card, a very versatile card and a very fun card. But does it improve Mono Green Tron against the field? I'm standing by my initial assessment with an emphatic no.
    Thanks for the great work as always, sicsmoo! How's Blast Zone been treating you?
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    I think that Blast Zone is extremely powerful, and most lists should be making room for it. Of the top decks, it immediately (X=1) presents a huge problem for GDS, Scales, Affinity, Mono-Red Phoenix, Infect, Spirits, Hollowed One, Bogles, and Humans. That's really huge for a card that we have 8 ways of searching up, and smooths out our clunky "no payoff" hands. Against decks other than the ones I listed, it quickly charges up to become a threat against as well, while also dodging counters, hand disruption, and taxing effects. I honestly think that it's a better "utility" land than Sanctum, as it's a lot easier to use both quickly and effectively. I'm also not sure how much I like Field; I get that Crucible+Field is a lot stronger than Crucible+GQ (since we have access to MD Crucible via Karn), but GQ is really important for making sure we don't die in the first 2 or 3 turns against Infect, Affinity, and the mirror. It's also worth pointing out that the MUs that Crucible+Field is good against (grindy decks) are decks that both run a lot of basics and really pressure our basic count (UW Control and BG Midrange). To run Sanctum + Zone + LD land we're also down to 4 Forests, which makes running Fields of our own kind of greedy. Finally, if KGC becomes a mainstay and our threat density is naturally higher, I could even see eventually shaving the Sanctum for a 2nd copy of Zone. I get that Sanctum is good for increasing threat density vs Control and Midrange decks, but Blast Zone destroys a nonland permanent of our choice in those MUs if it survives for a turn, without needing a 2nd threat to trigger it. It can be a little soft if they have the Field/Trophy, but we're already pressuring those cards via the rest of our manabase and our threat suite. It also dodges hand disruption and counters.

    I also agree with Lectrys's sentiment of not going "all-in" on KGC's wishboard. Even if KGC is good enough to see play, I think that it needs to be taken in perspective, and I think that abandoning the postboard Thragtusk/TKS/Claim plan is a mistake (4-6 slots is also "plenty" of space for a toolbox). I also agree that Mycosynth Lattice is very much a necessity when playing with KGC though, as it allows Karn to function as a win condition, which is really important. The only other really strong proactive card that KGC can grab is Ballista, and Ballista can be underwhelming in certain matchups, and is weak to traditional removal spells. While I agree that Karn many times will be a stabilizing agent against aggressive strategies, I think that you need the capability of being a proactive threat against decks that really attack our threat density (Control, Midrange). We've been bleeding MU% against these decks after Field and Trophy, and KGC needs to be able to be a threat that these decks need to answer immediately.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] Gx Tron
    Quote from Caedes_PH »
    Hi guys, looking for suggestions on a good sideboard guide for most of the tier 1 decks currently out there right now and what do you guys think of the list and sideboard guide by Jim Davis posted at coolstuffinc? or maybe anyone has a link for sicsmoo's updated guide if there is a new one? I've been going back and forth from G-Tron and RG/Bant/Tron Eldrazi decks for years now and i simply want to focus on G-Tron right now and get a refresher. My last 5 weeks of play was pretty bad starting from 2-3, 2-2-1, 2-3, 2-2-1 and 2-3 respectively each week. I feel i need to review some stuff again as the articles i've focused on reading before was from the time of RG, BG and GW Tron. Thanks in advance mates.
    sicsmoo's current SB guide is in the primer on the front page (under the Matchup and Sideboard Guide section). I think Davis does a pretty good job in his articles; he's played Tron pretty consistently for a while now, so I think he has generally good insight. As for doing better with the deck, the biggest and most common piece of general advice is to mulligan aggressively.
    Posted in: Big Mana
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