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Treasure Cruisin' Shalai Brawl
Ravnica: The Broken Guildpact
  • posted a message on [deck]The Four Horsemen
    Hey, so I got the itch to look into Four Horsemen again after seeing some new cards out of the latest few sets, but nothing new seemed to improve things much.

    I did revisit the math on adding Viscera Seer to the deck, though, and I think it looks promising.
    If the deck has 1x each of Blasting Station, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Sharuum the Hegemon, and Viscera Seer and 2x of Dread Return, then there are 6!=720 possible ways that {BDdESV} can be ordered in a shuffled deck.
    • If Emmy is first: 120 fails, 0 successes. - The remaining five cards {BDdSV} have 5!=120 possible ways to be ordered, but none of it matters since Emmy was first.
    • If Emmy is second: 120 fails, 0 successes. - The other five cards can be split a bunch of ways {B}{DdSV} gives 1!4!=24 ways, {D}{BdSV} gives 1!4! too, {d}{BDSV}, {S}{BDdV}, and {V}{BDdS}. Together that's 5(1!4!)=120 failures, since there's no way to get both Dread Return and a target in front of Emrakul if Emmy is the second card flipped.
    • If Emmy is third: 96 fails, 24 successes. - Again, there are 120 ways to order the non-Emmy cards, and again most of those orders fail. However, Viscera Seer + Dread Return will succeed and can do so with only two cards; it can occur either as {VD}{BdS} or {Vd}{BDS} which can each occur 2!3!=12 ways.
    • If Emmy is fourth: 36 fails, 84 successes. - Again, there are 120 ways to order the non-Emmy cards, but this time most of those orders can succeed and in fact it'll be easier to count the failures than the successes. The only way that we can get 3/5 of our non-Emmy cards and not get either Viscera+Dread or Sharuum+Dread+Blasting is by not getting Dread Return or by getting two Dread Return without Viscera Seer. That's {BSV}{Dd} 3!2!=12 failures, {BDd}{SV} 3!2!=12 fails, and {DdS}{BV} 3!2!=12 failures.
    • If Emmy is fifth: 0 fails, 120 successes. - If you have a Viscera Seer in your top four, then you're guaranteed at least one of the two copies of Dread Return is above Emmy; if Viscera Seer is the only under-Emmy card, then you're guaranteed Sharumm with a Blasting Station and two Dread Returns above Emmy.
    • If Emmy is fifth: 0 fails, 120 successes. - If Emmy is the bottom card you can do whatever you want at sorcery speed.
    Grand total that's 348 successful stacks out of the total 720 possible stacks, for 48.3% odds of hitting a good stack from a randomized deck. It's not amazing, but it's definitely an improvement over the traditional 25% odds of stacking {BDS}E from {BDES}.

    Also important for the discussion of increasing dead cards:
    • BDES: 25% odds. - Playing the old combo without any additional pieces has the fewest dead cards but the lowest non-zero success odds.
    • BbDES: 30% odds. - Doubling up on any single combo piece adds a potential dead card to the deck but boosts the success rate by 5%.
    • BbDdES: 36.6% odds. - Doubling up on any two different combo pieces raises odds by 6.6% with two dead cards.
    • BbDdESs: 45.7% odds. - Doubling up on all three combo pieces raises the odds by a further ~9% but with a total three dead cards.
    • BDdESV: 48.3% odds. - Adding Viscera Seer and a second Dread Return does more with two dead cards than doubling up every combo piece does with three.
    tl;dr - Adding a second Dread Return to the deck along with a single Viscera Seer raises the odds of a randomized deck giving a successful stack of milled combo pieces from 25% to 48.3% for the cost of two "dead" cards. This is even better than the ~46% odds that running 2xSharuum+2xDread+2xBlasting would give.

    The low manacost on Viscera Seer also makes it fairly easy to hardcast, so it's not the worst spell to have in hand either.
    Posted in: Developing (Legacy)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    So here's something mildly interesting, a new Vial-less decklist just 5-0'd a Comp League using Mox Amber in place of Vial.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Four Horsemen
    Traxos, Scourge of Kroog+Banishing Knack

    Hi all! It looks like there's a new tap/untap engine available for testing once DOM releases. All you need are the above two cards and a 0cmc artifact to cast, bounce, and recast as needed.

    Pros include the fact that Banishing Knack/Retraction Helix offer redundancy for one combo piece; you can generate infinite mana with the combo if you make your loop of cast, tap, bounce Mox Opal; with infinite mana you can easily cast Mesmeric Orb from hand to get the mill plan rolling after your mana plan is in effect.

    Cons include the fact that you have to play the smaller combo piece *after* casting the larger; summoning sickness; and the fact that the tap/untap loop occurs at sorcery speed so you can't mill past Emrakul (without adding more cards to make the combo instant speed).

    Looks like it'll be a fun one to test. The infinite-mana engine being easier than the infinite-mill engine might skew these builds from the deck's roots, but maybe it's too early to say that with certainty.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes

    After seeing some of Catmix's success (shuffler be damned!) with Baby-Batterskull I thought I'd give the card a spin. I'm really liking it so far in my testing of a low-curve BW list.

    I've been having some luck in the tourney practice room. It feels real grindy since their removal is stretched thin between GBI being a house and all the Scullers stealing cards. Lot of fun so far. Sideboard help would be appreciated; right now it's basically empty with just the 4th GBI and Freebooters 3-4 in there.

    Also, man am I wishing I bought more Kytheon before the DOM spoilers came out; the MTGO cost has doubled since Mox Amber, etc. and all the "legendary matters" news came out.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Has anyone ever tried using creatures with Ghostly Prison effects? ... It seems to me that if any of those were 3 CMC that would be perfect.
    Archangel of Tithes shows up every now and then as a 1-of, but if you include sideboards then non-creature Ghostly Prison itself shows up about 10x as often on mtgTop8.

    I haven't heard of anyone using Muse despite it's less white-strict mana cost (I assume because it's a 4cmc "dies to Bolt" creature). The new creature you mention is at least Bolt proof so there's a chance it might get tested, but the Angel is probably still better due to evasion and the blockers-tax effect (unless there's a new way to bank on some sort of humans, soldiers, or legends tribal synergy).
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Walk »
    Could this deck be ran without Aether Vial?
    Yes and no. There was a Vial-less list that managed to Top8 at GP Toronto last year, but very few people play with that kind of list and therefore tailored advice for Vial-less decklists is hard to come by.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    If we could guarantee at least trading 2-for-2 like that (with us getting to Vindicate our choice of on-board permanents) then Mangara would be amazing, but he usually dies before summoning sickness wears off and allows him to tap for his ability (i.e. he usually only trades 1-for-1 for removal).

    Fiend Hunter is a bit different because (although he can't steal a game as strongly as a multi-recycled Mangara) it is flexible enough to generally a better card even when we don't get to pull off the double-exile trick with it. Fiend Hunter can slow the bleeding by temporarily holding a Goyf in exile, it can facilitate combat tricks by removing attackers/blockers, and a 1/3 isn't a completely useless fighter on the battlefield compared to Mangara being a 1/1.

    Long story short, the ceiling is higher on Mangara (compared to Fiend Hunter) but the floor is also much lower.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from roguetacticss »
    3) Mangara of corondor x2 main board not many shells run him at all why is that? (i know the combo is not as good as the legacy version but man this combo has closed out games for me so far and is fairly unexpected when you attack their manabase. The availability of 2 eldrazi displacers and 4 flicker/4 angels is pretty good.)
    There's an idea bounced around this thread that we call the "The Mangara Problem" (which I believe CharonsObal coined).

    Basically, the card can do some great tricks and run away with games if you're well positioned and/or a little lucky, however there are far too many instances where your opponent will simply target removal at the guy before he gets to generate any value (beyond the 1-for-1 value as a removal-magnet).

    Your list (with 4xWisp, 2xDisp, and 4xResto) definitely has enough flicker effects to minimize your chance of drawing Mangara without lining up a flicker trick, but most people still don't run the guy because removal is so prevalent in most metas.

    Fingers definitely crossed on a Karakas reprint in DOM, though. Or hopefully at least a nerfed "target legendary creature you control" version.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Hey duigha,

    Welcome to the forum. Picking up a stock 5-0 list (with maybe a budget replacement or two) to start playing is good advice. I think consensus in this forum is that a classic style Monowhite build is an especially great place to learn the ins and outs of the deck (though BW Eldrazi is a fine deck too if you already own those cards).

    For Monowhite, Justin Prigel's recent decklist is a good stock list to start with. If you're on a bit of a budget you can definitely replace Horizon Canopy with Shefet Dunes and basic Plains without changing the feel of the deck. However, if you're on an extreme budget and can't afford some combination of Thalia/Path/Vial then it'll be very hard for us to give sound advice on a starter list.

    Good luck and happy taxing.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    Quote from Chalupacabra »
    The lack of 2-drops is by design to make the best use of Vial possible.
    Isn't that phrasing a bit cart-before-the-horse? That makes it sound like we park Vial at 3cmc specifically because we get the most virtual-mana-per-Vial-activation that way.

    The curve clumps heavily around 3cmc because Wisp has historically been pretty great and there have been far better threats available at 3cmc than 2cmc, the combination of which (heavily?) incentivizes us to keep parking Vial at 3cmc.

    If we get a critical mass of more powerful creatures in the 2cmc slot I could definitely see some curves lowering in the way some Merfolk lists (especially the Tropical Fish varieties) have lowered their curve to recenter around Vial-on-2.

    We don't just willfully ignore 2-drops to maximize virtual-Vial-mana, right?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Four Horsemen
    Any ideas on how to abuse Whir of Invention in the Shaku lists? Lantern uses it to great effect in putting together their winning boardstate while shaving the numbers of cards they rarely want in multiples.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    I've been thinking about a green micro-splash for Shapers' Sanctuary but don't own any Canopies... Frown Anyone have any thoughts on it in this targeted-removal-heavy meta?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    Any love for Blood Sun, new from RIX? It doesn't jive well with the GQ/Arbiter plan, but fetch-screwing as early as turn-2 seems pretty decent.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death And Taxes
    @Tsunamii: RIX's Induced Amnesia an interesting effect, but even with the potential for flicker-abuse I'm not sure it lines up well with any D&T builds right now. It plays nicely with Spirit of the Labyrinth and that's about it; forcing the iffy 2-card combo isn't ideal either with this thing being 3cmc+tax (and non-Vialable). If you're asking about it in other decks/brews, it probably has a better chance somewhere else but I don't see it being a huge thorn in our sides or anything; I'd be more worried about Admiral's Order becoming the Stubborn Denial of Delver/Infect decks.

    I'm more interested in Bishop of Binding, but 4cmc is a bit rough for a Banisher Priest with conditional upside (tucking a delve fatty or DS on endstep could be pretty good if there's room to swing, no evasion is unfortunate though).

    World Shaper is a neat card; but death-trigger rather than ETB-trigger really nerfs our potential for this Splendid Reclamation on legs.

    Jadelight Ranger is another possible tool in green. It digs pretty hard and can flicker nicely for value, but Essence Warden's ability to recycle your best graveyard cards is probably still better for consistency.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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