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  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Hey all, another GP Copenhagen report here. I’ve played infect for about 2 years, and it’s the only deck I’ve ever played in modern, so I figured I’d be better off playing this rather than trying to learn a new deck. I finished 9-6 with U/G Infect. Here’s my list, for reference.

    Round 1 & 2 – Byes

    Round 3 – Boggles, 2-0 – (3-0)
    My opponent starts with a turn 1 Boggle and I joke about how we’re about to have some interactive games of Magic. Infect is usually a turn or two faster, and having a Blighted Agent is usually game over.

    Round 4 – 8-Rack, 2-1 – (4-0)
    My opponent wins the die roll and chooses to draw first, which is a huge tell, but I lose game 1 anyway to 2 racks after having my hand picked apart by Thoughtseize and LoTV. Game 2 & 3 (where my opp puts me on the play again), I’m more careful with my resources. I managed to ‘counter’ a Wrench Mind by never playing a Spellskite, and win before he can fully set up.

    Round 5 – Mardu Midrange, 0-2 – (4-1)
    This was a bit a a brew, but it tore me to pieces. It had Monastery Swiftspear and Young Pyromancer for early pressure back up with hand disruption, removal, burn spells and Lingering Souls. I sideboarded like I would for Death’s Shadow (bringing in Finks, mainly), but I’m not sure if that was correct.

    Round 6 – Naya Scapeshift, 2-0 – (5-1)
    A classic good matchup. In game 1 my opponent goes for a lethal Scapeshift but scoops after I counter it with Spell Pierce. Game 2 his hand is very reliant on Anger of the Gods, but fortunately I have a hand based around Inkmoth Nexus. Turns out he still had Sudden Shock in his board, fortunately he didn’t draw them!

    Round 7 – Death’s Shadow Jund, 0-2 – (5-2)
    I playtested this matchup a lot before the tournament. It definitely isn’t a good matchup, but it isn’t hopeless either. Basically any hand with creatures in it is a keep, they’re all effectively the same in this matchup. The amount of hand disruption they play is very unforgiving to mulligans though, which is what happened here. I’ve often found things were safer on the battlefield than in your hand in this matchup, with Inkmoth being the best card by miles.

    Round 8 – Dredge, 1-2 – (5-3)
    This was a good matchup before the bans, and I still think it is now. Game 1 was a classic T1 Hierarch, T2 Agent, T3 double MoOK win. Game 2 I have to decide between Noble, Elf or Grafdigger’s Cage as my T1 play. I choose Cage, but it immediately meets an Ancient Grudge and I fall too far behind. Game 3 I mull to 3 without seeing a green source and concede with no permanents in play *sigh*.

    Round 9 – U/B Mill, 2-0 – (6-3)
    I prayed to the Magic gods for a favourable matchup and boy was I rewarded. He had very limited interaction and fuelled my Become Immenses for me. Not much more to say here, the games were not close.

    Round 10 –, Naya Zoo, 2-0 – (7-3)
    I hadn’t played against this deck in a long time. Elf is really poor in this matchup because it’s just so hard to connect. I win both games with an Agent. In game 2 I’m under a Blood Moon with 1 basic and no dork. All I can do is attack for 1 each turn while holding up a Vines and chump blocking with elves, fortunately it’s enough to get there.

    Round 11 – Eldrazi Tron, 2-1 – (8-3)
    I also tested this matchup a lot, as someone I travelled to the GP with was playing it. I don’t think this matchup is great, which can be hard to adjust to after years of beating up on old Tron. I lose game 1 to a massive Walking Ballista. Game 2 is looking bleak with no creatures in play and a Pithing Needle naming Inkmoth, but a miracle topdecked Seal of Primordium lets me steal it. Game 3 hinged on my opponent using 2 Ghost Quarters trying (and failing) to destroy an Inkmoth, leaving him too short on lands to do anything.

    Round 12 – Death’s Shadow Jund, 1-2 –(8-4)
    My opponent is Andreas Ganz of Team Lingering Souls. My first game against a pro!
    Game 1 I’m reduced to a Hierarch and some pump spells. I choose to declare no blocks rather than chump a Tarmogoyf and lose to Temur Battle Rage. Game 2 is an incredibly grindy resource battle which I eventually win with an Inkmoth Nexus. Game 3 I deal no poison damage, but at 2 life and facing down lethal next turn, I fetch a Dryad Arbor knowing if draw a Distortion Strike I can steal a normal damage win with Become Immense, as my opp had no cards left in hand. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

    Round 13 – Affinity, 1-2 – (8-5)
    Not too much to say here, the deck on the play in each game outraced the other, neither of us seemed to draw any sideboard hate, so we effectively played 3 game 1s.

    Round 14 – Eldrazi Taxes, 0-2 – (8-6)
    I’m also inexperienced against taxes, so I don’t think I played this too well. Game 1 I have 3 Elves but they can’t break through Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Game 2 I keep a solid 6, but it doesn’t have an infect creature, and I never draw one.

    Round 15 – Bant Spirits, 2-1 – (9-6)
    Game 1 I lose the race to a T2 Geist of Saint Traft. Game 2 & 3 the fatigue of 2 days play really begins to show and my play starts to get really sloppy. I declare combat too early, miss points of damage from Pendelhaven and even forget a Distortion Strike rebound. Fortunately I have Spell Pierces for his Collected Company both games, which is always a back-breaking tempo swing.

    If anyone has any questions I’m happy to give any help I can! The deck definitely still felt powerful & competitive, and I really liked the list I played, even if my record wasn't the best. I’ll almost certainly be running infect again at GP Brimingham in August.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    Hi all. I've been playing U/G Infect for almost 2 years, though I've always been intrigued by the G/B version. After the banning of probe I figured this was as good a time as any to give it a go. So I played the following list at a local Monday Modern and then a GPT this weekend:

    I went 8-2-1 in matches, finishing top of the swiss in the GPT before losing in the top-4. My matchups were:

    Monday Modern:
    Round 1 v Titanshift - W 2-1
    Round 2 v Jund - L 1-2
    Round 3 v U/G Infect - W 2-0
    Round 4 v G/R Tron - W 2-0

    Round 1 v Abzan Company - W 2-1
    Round 2 v Ad Nauseum - W 2-1
    Round 3 v Bant Spirits - W 2-0
    Round 4 v Ironworks Combo - W 2-0
    Round 5 v Titanshift - ID
    Top-8 v Ad Nauseum - W 2-0
    Top-4 v Titanshift - L 0-2

    If anyone wants a more detailed description of any of the matchups let me know, but I'll just go over some conclusions I came to.

    The results were very good, but the GPT especially was a field weak to Infect, lots of combo floating around, which I don't think is overly representative of the metagame. The non-interactive matchups (Ad Nauseum, Titanshift etc.) still felt favourable, but less so than with U/G. Having access to counterspells and Mutagenic Growth is so useful against these decks. This deck also can never get a turn 2 kill, and often felt a turn too slow at times. This lost me several games (and the match) v Titanshift. The more midrange decks (Jund, Abzan, Bant Spirits) felt better to play against than with U/G. Crusader single-handedly giving me the win over Bant Spirits.

    Fatal Push felt like an upgrade over Dismember as most of the creatures you care about (Skite, Melira etc.) can be killed even without the Revolt trigger. Not costing 4 life was actually relevant against decks like Jund and Abzan Coco, where your life total can come under threat surprisingly quickly.

    Abrupt Decay was the worst card in the deck by a large margin. I would have rather had Fatal Push in almost every situation, and having 2 Decay in my opening hand felt like a mulligan. I boarded them out A LOT.

    Rancor was excellent. Allowing Plague Stinger to push through Spirits and Lingering Souls tokens was so useful, as was having the permanent +2 power. Inquisition was also great. I managed to nab several hate cards like Melira v Coco and Sudden Shock v Titanshift, which swung the games hugely in my favour.

    The landbase was pretty stable. I was manascrewed in a few games, but was never really colour screwed. I can definitely say this deck would have an incredibly hard time against a Blood Moon though.

    I'll definitely be shuffling this up again for my next modern event. Next time I'd move the Abrupt Decays to the sideboard, dropping Collective Brutality and possibly Viridian Corrupter, and add 2 Mutagenic Growths to the main deck to speed it up a little. I'd also play a Creeping Corrosion over the Unravel the AEther, I just couldn't find one in time for this weekend.

    Thanks for reading!

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    I think it’s worth having an edict available to us. I agree with DOLZero that we would only board it in against decks that play a couple of high impact creatures or planeswalkers, such as Esper Dragons, rather than decks that flood the board. I definitely wouldn't want it against humans or Coco, as Self-Inflicted Wound basically does the same thing cheaper.

    Given that we’d likely be the aggressor in matches we bring it in, I think the possibility of achieving the To The Slaughter delirium trigger would be more useful than 4 life.

    In response to a much earlier comment, I have considered Goldnight Castigator, but didn't think I’d play against enough control & ramp to justify it. It doesn't seem good against most of the current metagame.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    Hi all, I decided to put this deck together from the remnants of my pre-rotation list to tide me over until the meta settles itself down after the pro tour. I went to a ~100 player standard tournament today, and I thought I’d share my thoughts. Here’s the list I played to a respectable 4-3 finish:

    A couple of notes on my choices. I played Hangarback as my 2-drop over Heir of Falkenwrath. This was mainly because I wanted a turn 2 play, but expected to play against a lot of Reflector Mages, and discarding a card to Heir just to have it bounced can be back-breaking. Without Heir as free discard, I chose to play Impulse over Temper to give me more cheap interaction against Humans. Mindwrack is here as another big flying beater that pairs well with Olivia. While achieving delirium with this list isn't trivial, it’s not too hard (Hangarback helps). I didn’t take any damage from it all day.

    Here’s what I played against:

    v Jund Midrange – W 2-1
    v U/W Humans – L 1-2
    v U/W Humans – W 2-0
    v Esper Dragons – L 1-2
    v Jund Cryptolith Rite – L 1-2
    v Bant Company – W 2-1
    v U/W Humans – W 2-0

    I think the Humans match up is quite good for the deck, as we just have so much removal. Always Watching is a pain, but can be powered through. The format as a whole is definitely seems a little soft to fliers.

    2 of my losses today came single-handedly to Dragonlord Ojutai. When the U/W humans decks gave it +1/+1 and Vigilance, there was almost nothing I could do. I’m very open to suggestions for trying to fix this.

    Dragonlord Kolaghan was excellent. I was never sad to draw him, and was regularly hoping to topdeck him. There’s almost no instant speed removal that hits him, so often gets in for at least 6. I also won a game today with a lose 10 trigger, which was nice.

    Draconic Roar was good, though, I did have to cast it without the dragon trigger more than I would have liked (maybe 40ish% without trigger), so maybe it'd be worth finding a 7th Dragon to put in the deck. I barely ever had a turn 1 Fiery Impulse available, and it was very poor at any point afterwards. Grasp of Drakness was excellent, it mainly read “kill target Avacyn”. Finally, Ruinous Path was fine as a catch all removal spell, and is notably the only clean maindeck answer to Archangel of Tithes.

    The games I lost were mainly because I was too slow out of the gates. This was in part due to me keeping borderline game 1 hands that would be good against aggro, but not much else. I'm going to try Heir over Hangarback to see if that helps. I rarely had the Olivia into Thunderbreak curve, often because I needed to remove a creature on 3 instead of playing Olivia. Turn 3 was usually spent playing a 2 mana removal spell and ticking up Hangarback. However, the games where I did ended very, very quickly. Olivia, while not amazing, definitely justified a spot in the deck.

    The manabase was fine, though I could definitely see adding a 26th land to ensure you make land drops all the way up to 6.

    The list is rough around the edges, but it definitely has some raw power. I would definitely add a 2nd Kalitas to the side. Kozilek’s return was underwhelming, 2 damage often wasn’t enough, I’d likely cut them for Languish in future. I’ll also be testing changing Hangarback & Fiery Impulse to Heir of Falkenrath and Fiery Temper to try and up the deck’s aggression.

    Thanks if you've stuck with me for this long! I'm happy to answer any questions about the deck!
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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