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  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 20/05/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    2. Modern is currently healthy in Wizards' eyes. So take a snapshot of Modern for the past few months: that's healthy. If you don't like that, you are probably out of sync with Wizards' views on format health.

    WOTC things an abundance of high variance graveyard abuse is healthy. I guess it's time to sell out of the format? I have heard many people compare the past few months to how awful the GGT/Probe meta was, and I agree with them. I'm curious how many at WOTC actually play competitive Modern, instead of simply look at excel spreadsheets of deck labels and card names.

    You've posted this same sentiment about every meta since the Twin ban. I honestly do not understand why you continue to play Modern when you've seemingly hated the format for the entirety of the last 3.5 years. Modern is in a healthy spot right now, with a generally self-policing meta and the ability for multiple strategies to cycle through Tier 1 status as new printings have created new decks or updated old ones.

    I've also been playing Modern since before the Twin ban, and to say that the current format is anything like the GGT/Probe one is just absurd. That meta was problematic because the undisputed best decks either killed you on turn 2/3 (Infect and DS Zoo) with perfect information, or presented unbeatable inevitability that required a minimum of 4-6 sideboard cards to overcome (Dredge). The closest thing to that level of degeneracy currently seeing play is Neoform, which is still struggling to put up consistent results and is not even close to the meta share that those three decks occupied at that time.

    If you knew, for certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Twin was never being unbanned, would you actually still be playing the format? It really just seems like you're always just hoping for a Twin unban, and literally nothing else is worth considering.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Oh, did you play in the IQ at the Comic Book Store yesterday? I've hardly ever seen big mana there, which has always been surprising. I guess enough people figured out how fair the store was and decided to capitalize on it.

    What was your 75? And did you play against "normal" Affinity or Hardened Scales?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Quote from yriel »
    @defish : vraska is good against 2 decks, not impressive ^^

    This is wildly disingenuous when that post was making the argument that Vraska comes in against the same decks as Nissa, as well as a few more:
    Quote from DeFish »
    I was always kind of underwhelmed by 5-mana Nissa, I think Vraska comes in for the same matchups but also has way more utility elsewhere.

    At SCG Philly, I brought Vraska in against:
    - U/R Phoenix
    - Pyro Prison
    - Mono W Eldrazi Taxes
    - Affinity (Experimental Frenzy, not Hardened Scales
    - U/W Control
    - Whir Prison

    The only decks I would have brought Nissa in against would have been U/W. Honestly, if you're not convinced to try Vraska at this point then I don't think you're going to be, she really does exactly what she looks like she'll do.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    I've been extremely happy to have 1 Vraska in my 75. She hasn't graduated from the sideboard to the main deck yet, but I find myself boarding her in pretty regularly. A repeatable Abrupt Decay is no joke, and I second everything Tempest said about her helping to mitigate flood. I've found her -3 to be particularly good against Whir and in the mirror. I was always kind of underwhelmed by 5-mana Nissa, I think Vraska comes in for the same matchups but also has way more utility elsewhere.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    My gut says 1-2, basically replacing any main deck copies of Collective Brutality. It really is great how diverse the 2 CMC removal spot has become, between Assassin's Trophy, Abrupt Decay, Collective Brutality, and Triumph you can really round out your removal nicely.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Storrev's effect is certainly powerful, but the lack of immediate value and need to actually deal damage is probably going to hold...is it a her?...back. Notably, the 5/4 body does not line up very well against Tarmogoyf in the average B/Gx mirror, and is also typically outclassed by Death's Shadow and only trades with Angler for no value. In general I'm just not sure that this is really better than the options we already have available for grindy matchups.

    Liliana's Triumph seems fantastic and main-deckable to me. Given that a number of lists already play 5 Lilianas, I think your chances of getting the discard clause are pretty decent, and its general synergy with both of our Lilanas is very strong. Last Hope clears out small creatures and makes the edict more likely to tag something big. LotV is even better as she forces your opponent to play out their hand and be more vulnerable to being hit with discard in their draw step. This also provides an instant speed answer to Primeval Titan that doesn't ramp, and can be played in response to Khalni Garden or before Amulet Titan can even tutor it. The additional hand pressure is also super relevant against decks like Izzet Phoenix and GDS, and I think in general the ability to curve something like LotV -> Liliana's Triump + 2-drop is incredibly powerful. I'm extremely high on this card in the current builds of BG right now.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from 2InTheBoard »
    Thank you! I forgot to mention my losses which were humans and tron. The humans match was real close i lost to a top decked Kessig Malcontents (?) I think that is the card. I have to give kudos to Ben Friedman for making that Spellskite interaction public. Here is how my matches went.
    Rd 1 - Monored Phoenix 2-1
    This deck can be ridiculous, one game he had 3 phoenixes on turn 2. Collective Brutality is way better in this match than its Izzet cousin as it kills all the "swiftspears". Always use ALL THREE MODES given the chance. Barely got there.
    Rd 2 - BG Rock 2-0
    I feel like my opponent had tough draws and mana issues, either flooding or pinched. That is magic, and in this match I cut a land postboard to lessen our chances of flood even more, as that is the most likely way to win. Also, always take the draw.
    Rd 3 - Skred Dragons 2-1
    This match was a riot, although I never felt threatened. I lost to turn 1 Blood Moon off 2 SSGs, and hilariously top decked my only swamp on my turn 1. Lol, still lost that one. Do not know how to play around turn 1 moon...
    Rd 4 - Monored Phoenix 2-1
    Just as close as the match before, Scooze was the entire match. Grafdigger's Cage saved me bc it stopped my opp from flashing back a looting which would have killed me. Don't forget about that when you play cage, which I think is in a great spot right now.
    Rd 5 - Humans - 0-2
    This matchup is very difficult but I also feel like our opponents feel the same way about us. I think I made a mistake boarding out my Lilis because the games tend to go so long postboard.
    Rd 6 - Grixis Shadow - 2-1
    Very tough, another matchup where we take the draw. In the end scooze bested his flip-jace, and Liliana is also great obviously.
    Rd 7 - Dredge - 2-0
    I was pretty lucky to have good openers, scooze in opener game one. As much as it feels great to gain a life and pump yer boy, always hit a dredger first, cut off the engine and it's smooth sailin.
    Rd 8 - Tron - 0-2
    And there goes my dreams. Game one I kept an opener with 2 push 1 dismember. The rest is history.

    Drew with my last opp so we could both get out $$ back, super fun tournament. All the players were super cool, Chicago mtg is a good scene.

    That's a great run, on paper I'm surprised that your list was able to beat BG, I've generally found that to be the hardest matchup with this deck because of the holy trifecta of playsets of Push/Trophy/Veil. BG has weird mana issues sometimes for a 2 color deck, I've definitely been on the receiving end of that when I've played it in the past. How did you feel about the K-Command main? I've flirted with the idea but keep convincing myself that I'd rather play Abrupt Decay.

    My plan against turn 1 Blood Moon is usually to appeal to my opponent's humanity, which has not been successful so far.

    I've become increasingly convinced that we're even if not slightly advantaged against the current builds of Grixis Shadow, how did you end up sideboarding there?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Congratulations on the finish! What did you play against? Redirecting Welding Jar with Spellskite is something I hadn’t considered before, that’s hilarious.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from FuneralofGod »
    What is your SB strategy with the updated list Defish? With so much Anger and also Stub, I'm curious how you're landing ask your colors early enough to matter. Also, I've been shaving Fatal Push after g1 but maybe this is a mistake. And as big of a blowout as I'm nailing sometimes with Spellbomb, it's still usually not enough.

    My list is too in-flux to give a specific answer, but in general I like bringing in the obvious cards like Anger of the Gods, Surgical, and Stubborn Denial if its in the sideboard. Mana wise, I try to fetch for Blood Crypt, Stomping Ground, and Watery Grave, which lets you cast both Anger and Stub. The downside is that you can't Traverse and play a Goyf on the same turn. My cut hierarchy is typically Lilianas > 2 Street Wraiths > 2 Assassin's Trophies > 1 Thoughtseize > 1 Fatal Push. It's important to have some number of ways to remove Stinkweed Imp as a blocker, because if you start to put them behind they'll start hard casting them. The Lilianas get cut because they're just terrible, I cut 2 Wraiths as a hedge against getting randomly blown out by Creeping Chill, and the Trophies go because I don't want to help them reanimate Bloodghast.

    I've also been having some trouble with getting my t2 creatures to stick, and have been gradually upping the number so I can just keep running them out. I'm currently considering a list with the 3 Stub in the main, no Rampager, and 2 Grim Flayers, so that I can more consistently get a creature down to start clocking on turn 2. I've been really impressed with Grim Flayer in the current meta, it seems like most decks either don't want to block or just want to chump with x/1 tokens, so he connects a lot. I read an article a while back about a list that won a PPTQ with 18 lands, 3 Faithless Looting, 2 Traverse, and 2 Grim Flayer, which has always been really intriguing. There's real power in the synergy between Looting and Flayer, but I don't know if there's room in the 75 for that engine and the Stubs.

    I'll echo the sentiment that Snapcaster is probably not the way to go unless you lean deeper into blue, and in general I'm not sure that he's really solving many problems.

    Quote from k0no »
    I still like this jund-ish version of death's shadow, I think it's my favourite version.

    There are dozens of us!
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Do you enjoy modern right now?
    The Shadow decks both reward and punish making a lot of correct micro-decisions that often revolve around managing your mana and life total. It's entirely possible to lose a game based entirely on having fetched the wrong land on turn 1/2, to say nothing of the balancing act that closing games out often ends up being. Because GDS plays so many cantrips, a lot of the time you have to make decisions about your mana and life total based on future possibilities and what you might draw, instead of working with all known information. Comparatively, and for BG specifically, you have far less micro-decisions to make, while still getting to enjoy some of the general gameplay of discard -> big idiot beater. This comes at the cost of the sheer aggression that Shadow can sometimes put out, and less cantrips means you're more dependent on the top of your deck and general deckbuilding to give you what you need.

    As a long time Shadow player I have also occasionally switched to BG when I felt like I just needed a break from the micro-management.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I'm finally coming around to the blue splash right now. I ran this list in the MTGO Challenge this past Saturday to a 4-4 finish:

    My matches were:
    Grixis Shadow (2-0)
    Hardened Scales (0-2) - I had the chance to win both games, but it required me to take very aggressive lines and I'm a coward.
    G/W Taxes (2-0)
    Humans (2-1)
    Grixis Shadow (2-1) - Dylan Hovey, a known GDS streamer. The video of this should go up at some point this week on his Youtube channel.
    Suicide Zoo (0-2)
    Burn (0-2) - Game 1 was close, and largely came down to play/draw. Game 2 I kept a 5 of 4 lands and LotV, then drew lands for literally the next 6 turns. In retrospect I think it would have been correct to go down to 4, but I also think that draw was statistically almost impossible.
    Jund (1-2)

    In general, the matches I lost felt like they were due to errors in either sequencing (Hardened Scales, Jund) or sideboarding (Suicide Zoo), with the Burn loss being somewhat decided by weird variance in game 2. That being said, I've really been struggling to feel comfortable about my Burn matchup, and Ad Nauseam has seen a very real uptick on MTGO. Taking into account what both of you had to say about your lists, I'm interested in starting with something like this:

    This is still a rough sketch, and I'm debating if I want to move the Watery Grave to the sideboard (replacing the 4th Stub) for a second Blood Crypt, which would allow me to have triple black while fetching double red for Anger of the Gods. The lack of triple black in that scenario almost cost me a match against Humans last night, where I couldn't deploy my removal spells alongside my Shadows properly. I'm also interested in going down a Surgical and up an Anger because Humans is seeing an uptick in both play and discussion online, and with Stub I can better answer Conflagrate from Dredge, which puts more of a burden on their creatures. A single well-timed Anger can also just be such a blowout against decks like Humans, Dredge, and Hardened Scales/Frenzied Affinity that I've been debating the third copy for a while now.

    I genuinely forgot how absurdly good Grim Flayer is in this archetype, @Whocansay are you also running Rampager alongside the 2 of them? I played a list similar to the above in a league last night with 2 Flayer and no Rampager, but I really found myself missing Rampager.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    To chime in on 17 vs 18 lands, I've been trying a 17 land list and have consistently run into issues hitting my third land, which it always feels like this deck needs to do. At this point I think it's better to run 18 lands and a Faithless Looting or two to mitigate flooding than to try going down to 17. In particular, I've really liked the 3/2 split of Traverse and Looting.

    The Prowess Shadow list is really interesting, but I'm not sure what matchups its solving vs a more traditional Traverse list.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I could not be more sold on Tarire over Bolt in Traverse, it's just so effective at greasing the wheels while also being a removal spell. It's funny that you're less enthusiastic about Stubborn Denial, because I think it's better now than it's been in the last several months.

    I was only able to play two matches last night, and ended up beating the Enduring Ideal deck and Titanshift. I drew both Surgicals against Enduring Ideal and they were better than the removal spells they replaced. Moreso than the actual card's effect, it was super helpful to be able to look through my opponent's deck so that I could be better informed about how to sideboard, given that it's a more unusual strategy. Against Titanshift I would have Surgicaled a Valakut in game 1 if I wasn't winning on that turn, which was pretty exciting. I ended up modifying my cantrip suite a bit, and have been pretty happy with it so far:

    I lifted the cantrip/land configuration from a guy named Stephen Snelson, who consistently puts up results in SCG Classics with a similar build. I have no expectation that Font of Agonies will turn out to be amazing, but with the extra Phyrexian spells I thought if there was ever going to be a time, this would be it. I'm also more willing to run narrow cards like that because of the presence of Faithless Looting and Liliana.

    This is all still an incredibly small sample size, but so far my optimism is high!

    Edit - Finished the league 3-2 overall. My last three matches were against Tron (2-1), BG Rock (1-2), and a neat Jund (0-2) list running Bedlam Reveler and Grim Flayer instead of BBE and Dark Confidant. Font of Agonies was amusing, but ultimately I'm just going to drop it for a 4th Fatal Push. Both fair matchups were close enough that I feel like they're at least even, and I likely would have won game 3 against BG but I was stuck on 2 lands with only 33 cards left in the deck. I'm interested in replacing my third Anger of the Gods with a Liliana, the Last Hope, which will probably make my fair matchups about as good as they can reasonably be.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I remember that list, I'm pretty sure the lack of a basic Forest did come up a couple times and cost him a few games, but I don't know that it was the deciding factor in any of his matches.

    I had some success a couple months ago on Grixis Shadow playing Surgical Extractions in the main deck when Dredge first rose to prominence, and I've been brainstorming some Jund lists doing the same. This is what I'm interested in trying as a starting point:

    My hope was to maintain the matchups where I think we're definitely favored (Tron, Valakut, Amulet Titan, Izzet Phoenix) while teasing up some of the more even matchups to be favored (Humans, Spirits, Mono R Phoenix, Burn, Hardened Scales). My last couple cards are aimed specifically at improving the Grixis Shadow matchup, which has gotten more challenging as they've adjusted to better compensate for the mirror. I'm also hedging a bit against artifacts as a concession to some of the things people are experimenting with, namely 4c Whir, the new eggs-style deck running Grinding Station, and the return of traditional Affinity with Experimental Frenzy.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Cindervines was already just a "maybe" with KCI in the format, without it I think there are several other options that line up better against the format.

    How have you guys been adjusting to the new configurations of Burn? My initial reaction was just to add a third Brutality in the sideboard, but that's really only good against Burn. I've been considering changing the third Brutality to either a super-aggressive hate card like Life Goes On or Feed the Clan that really hamstrings them, or something less powerful but more widely applicable like Duress. I haven't had much time to actually playtest lately, so I'm not sure how necessary the third anti-Burn card is.
    Posted in: Midrange
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