So, here's how it breaks down of damage from threats. If we assume no blocking, here's what it looks like.
Hexdrinker (assuming level up to second-tier ASAP):
Delver of Secrets (assuming blind flip):
Really, Hexdrinker is NOT a faster clock than Goyf or Mandrills. Without outside factors, the extra attack phase you get for 2 isn't actually doing anything to speed the clock up. Of course, when you add things like incidental life loss from fetches and bolts, that could account for shaving off a single turn on the clock when comparing it to Mandrills/Goyf.
However, to make it as fast as a Goyf/Mandrills (T7 kill), you need to invest a total of 4 mana into it, effectively eating 2.5 turns worth of mana. That's 2 turns of not interacting with your opponent's spells. 2 turns of not using spells to maintain board superiority. Hexdinker's potential upside, is that it turns some cards in your opponent's hand into dead cards.
I'm still not convinced on Hexdrinker. He seems like too much of a mana sink for not enough benefit on his own. He's not really actually a faster clock than the other threats (aside from Delver who's a lower mana investment and has evasion). I'd need to see some concrete numbers and results to become a believer.
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May 30, 2019Agree with CatParty.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
I'm not sold on Hexdrinker at all. A 2/1 is a "meh" body at best and provides a 10 turn clock. He gets walled by too many things and loses/trades in combat against most threats. He really only becomes a beefy threat after you've invested 3 subsequent mana into him… at sorcery speed. Even then, he basically gets "Protection from Path to Exile and Fatal Push". To really figure out how good he is, you need to ask yourself how often your threats are being picked off by those two spells.
Part of the reason Temur is an attractive option is because the threats just don't much in the way or resources or babysitting. And RUG Delver is all about precise usage of each of your resources. You need to get the best bang for your buck at each turn and every single mana. Tarmogoyf is usually a 4/5 without really having to try, so he wins combat against most things, he turns on Stubborn Denial and he comes down as a 5 turn clock. Just drop him and keep turning him sideways. Hooting Mandrills requires playing Thought Scour… which is sort of lackluster, but it's a roleplayer.
The only way I see Hexdrinker being decent is if you go all in on the free countermagic. Even then, I'm just not confident that Force of Negation is enough… and I think there definitely is a limit to how much card disadvantage this deck can facilitate with free counterspell effects.
I don't think Hexdrinker is what we want. I don't even think it's particularly good in the scope of Modern. I'm certainly ready to eat my words if results prove otherwise!
May 28, 2019The main reason to go RUG over Grixis is the threat suite and sideboard cards. Green just has more options overall and most of them are easier to setup than the black threats. Black has Gurmag Angler and Shadow. Shadow requires a little more setup to be a great threat and makes you play a dangerous game with your life total. Gurmag requires more setup to reliably land on turn 2 (which GDS can do because it plays Baubles/Street Wraith/Thought Scour).Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Goyf just requires you to play Magic and hit 2 mana and he's generally a 3/4 or bigger. Hooting Mandrills is an easier to use Gurmag that has trample. The 4/4 instead of being a 5/5 can be a real hindrance sometimes though.
I feel like if we went Grixis... we might as well just be switching to a GDS strategy.
May 21, 2019Steam Vents is by far our worst shockland. I'd almost even say it's our worst land period (Basic Swamp is certainly better than it... Island might be a toss up). I'd cut it if there weren't situations where one is absolutely necessary. In our current iteration, I just don't think we want it… even though I want a reason to play the UR Canopy Land soooo bad.Posted in: Midrange
It lets you control your life total AND you can ditch it to draw a card. Too bad they didn't print a UB one.
May 21, 2019Posted in: MidrangeQuote from DaveJacinto »It only kills if they cast it that turn... It's somewhat a direct counter for Collected Company but for that I'd rather have a Dispel...
I'm on the fence. There has to be a real incentive to play a card disadvantage card for me and I'm not actually seeing it, right now. It's true that the card isn't too expensive on the regular mode, but is it an effect that we are in need of? Would it be better than Anger of the Gods? I wouldn't trade it, personally... The exile effect is way too good on both Dredge and Phoenix matchups.
This is sort of how I'm feeling on this one currently. Anger of the Gods gets rid of recurring threats forever, while also giving you at least a 2 for 1. In most situations that I rack my brain about, I'd usually rather have Anger of the Gods or even Flaying Tendrils. It really all comes down to whether or the mana advantage makes it desirable.
And technically, it's not card disadvantage if you hit at least 2 creatures with the Force. You're trading 2 cards for 2 cards... you're just turning a, let's say, Street Wraith, into a removal spell at that point.
May 21, 2019I'm not so sure on Mongoose. He gets hurt by the random grave hate in the format worse than Mandrills and he doesn't turn on ferocious. Even his powered up state is only a 3/3 Shroud, which loses combat to about half of the threats on the ground.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
He's worth testing for sure, but I'm not hopeful. On a personal not, the fact that you can't boost him with Simic Charm also makes a little sad inside.
May 21, 2019I like it, but I don't love it. The fact that it ONLY kills creatures that entered the battlefield on the turn you cast it. It also doesn't exile.Posted in: Midrange
So, that means that although you might clean house for a single combat phase against Dredge/Phoenix, they still head back to the graveyard, ready to come at you again next turn. It also means that decks that build their board more incrementally, like Humans and Spirits, are less affected. Humans usually build their board 1-2 creatures at a time, meaning at best you're going to get a 2 for 2. Really, what I want in a sweeper against that matchup is something that gives me at least a 2 for 1.
Despite these potential downsides, I'd like to test it. There's still a decent case that a 2 for 2 without paying mana is good enough.
May 20, 2019Force of Vigor is interesting.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Edit: on further consideration, we'd probably have to play more green cards in order for this to be viable, but I'm curious to see what other UG goodies could be in the mix.
May 3, 2019Ended up playing Modern at the LGS this week. Went 2-2. My list is mostly just modified from old lists I played and I tossed it together with a few additions of newer cards I had laying around. The sideboard was hastily thrown together.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Round 1 vs GW Tokens 1-0
This games was an easy win. It looked like the guy had grabbed a Selesnya Guild kit and added a few cards, so I handily won both games without much problem.
Round 2 vs UW Control 1-1
These were close games. I won the first game by dropping an early threat and slinging counters to get the win. Chart a Course was pretty great in this game. Games 2 and 3, I decided to double down on the aggro plan. I only boarded in one Disdainful Stroke and took out a Bolt. In hindsight, I should have added some cards that help me keep pace with card advantage. Both games played out pretty much the same. I went on the aggressive, but ran out of tricks by the time late game hit and got outvalued. I'm considering the possibility of adding more Chart a Course either in the side or in the main because the card felt really great in this matchup.
Round 3 vs UW Control 2-1
Went to 3 games. Game one I scrapped a victory by sneaking in a bolt-snap-bolt for the kill after a Supreme Verdict cleared out my board. After the last round against UW, I tried to switch to a more midrange gameplan. Game 2, Supreme Verdict, followed by a Teferi I had no answer for lead me to scoop after it was clear that I wasn't going to pull back into the game. We went to time and ended up having a messy judge call after I tried to Simic Charm an unblocked wolf token for the win. Judges ultimately ruled in my favor, but I didn't feel great about the win because of it. Swapping in the grindy cards and getting rid of Shoal seemed to be the right call. Crackling Drake is a house. He's a sweet top deck that can the turn the game around in a single combat phase.
Round 4 vs Humans 2-2
First game was close. I landed a Tarmogoyf which was beating down pretty hard, but he couldn't outrace the double Mantis Rider beatdown. Game 2, I went on a full midrange plan. I did a good job of keeping the board under control, landed a Huntmaster and began flipping him, but a well-timed Meddling Mage via Aether Vial stopped me from Snapping a bolt from the grave. I had the means to turn the game around in my hand, but I needed to use that bolt to get rid of a Mantis Rider to not die from lethal.
All in all, I'm rather surprised how strong the deck felt. With some tinkering, I can probably tool it the meta a little better for some better results. There are definitely some holes in the list I played (no grave hate and no hard removal for bigger threats), so when I break this deck out again, I'll definitely be making some adjustments. The main deck felt okay, but I need some more reps in with it to really adjust numbers and cut the fat, so to speak.
Apr 25, 2019I've played against him a few times while on GDS. From the limited experience I had playing against it, I notice that the deck moves through cards fast. With 8 turn one plays, the chances of landing a turn 1 threat is pretty high. That means he's almost always on the attack by turn 2.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
Seeing the counterspells in exile from a Light Up the Stage actually gained him a little tempo, since it forced me to hold back cards because I knew they would get met with a Mana Leak. The downside to that is that the "card advantage" generated by LutS goes away after the next turn… so, sometimes you can just wait out the cards in exile. It also forced him to make some tough/strange decisions when cards like Lightning Bolt and Serum Visions were revealed from a LutS.
So far, I've won all the games against him, primarily because Fatal Push/Snap Push wrecked his creatures and Shadow turns a game around real fast… especially with a TBR.
Ultimately, I think LutS can give extra gas, but the tradeoff is that you end up having to make some suboptimal plays to accommodate it, which is why I don't like it. RUG Delver has generally been about squeezing out every drop of efficiency you can get out of every single card. I think there's definitely something there… but I just don't think it pairs with the "protect the queen" style tempo that RUG does.
Apr 24, 2019Ha, yeah. I even heard a Phoenix player at my LGS go on about how K-Command was the whole reason to play GDS and that normal lists are running 2-3 right now. My LGS is generally pretty tapped into the over meta trends so I found those comments pretty strange.Posted in: Midrange
Apr 24, 2019Yeah, the best part about Hooting Mandrills is just how little you have to babysit him. Pteramander seems like a better threat once you can Adapt, but the big problem is that I can't see that happening feasibly until turn 4 or later. So, he's a "1 drop," but having Flying Men out for 4 turns before it turns into a Tombstalker seems kind of 'meh'.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
There's a guy at my LGS who's been rocking RUG Delver. He runs a playset of Pteramander and Light up the Stage, along with a couple copies of Curious Obsession swears by it. It makes sense to me, since he's trying to keep Spectacle active every turn, but I'm not sure whether it's the best way to go in RUG.
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