I'm not saying snapcaster isn't a powerful card, lol. It's one of the strongest cards in modern and that's obvious. But it's not the card that defines the archetype - just look at Traverse shadow, which has the option to play snapcaster but doesn't, in lieu of cards that synergize with the strategy better such as kommand. We don't reliably get to 3 mana by turn 3, we don't always have a target to snap back, we don't have "big" spells like cryptic or even kommand nowadays to really take advantage of a card like snap in the same way jeskai or UW control does.
If you don't question the default assumptions of everyone else you're just not going to innovate in the deck. For the longest time temur battle rage and dismember were eschewed. And JVP not seeing modern play is not a good argument - it did see modern play and no one could figure out a shell for him because he belongs in a disruptive tap-out blue jund style deck... which fits the description of GDS.
Lightning bolt is a necessary card nowadays and that should be obvious with humans, jtms, and bbe in the format. I think 2 in the 75 is necessary.
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Feb 21, 2018I mean, it might be better to run 2 jvp 2 snap, who knows. But they nonbo with each other, and running more jvp opens up the 3 drop slot to allow you to to run more kommand.Posted in: Midrange
Snap is also not "immense value" when it mostly just snaps back push or stubborn denial. Snap is way better in a deck running multiple kommands, cryptics, or bolt.
Feb 20, 2018I have been testing JVP and he isn't bad. He has singlehandedly won games by buying lots of time or by simply outgrinding an opponent. He has some characteristics he has that fit the deck better than snapcaster:Posted in: Midrange
1) As a creature, he fuels delve
2) As a creature, he draws removal
3) As a creature, he filters for threats and lets us discard the cards that aren't relevant in a particular matchup
4) As a planeswalker, he is a lot better defensively than snapcaster
5) As a planeswalker, he has a higher ceiling than snapcaster
6) He is less mana intensive, meaning he has an easier time flashing back kolaghan's command (Kommand back a shadow, play a shadow is only 4 mana instead of 6 with snapcaster) or double casting a spell (e.g. push flashback push, or even better battlerage flashback battlerage for your second threat)
7) He is a threat that can accrue advantage over time, unlike snapcaster whose body is usually too small to gain any advantage off. Because of this, he contributes to a lot more keepable hands (a hand with JVP is much more keepable than one with snapcaster to apply pressure early).
8) He is GREAT against phantasmal image.
He has some downsides compared to snapcaster:
1) He can't beat down
2) He can't flash back at instant speed
3) He is a worse topdeck
4) He is worse at recovering losing board states
5) He does not always provide true card advantage
6) He is bad in multiples
I think he is worth testing. He fits a similar grindy role as snapcaster but is much more proactive, which I think is in line with what the deck wants to be doing - getting ahead on board and pushing that advantage.
I could see going from 4 snaps / 1 Kommand to 3 JVP / 3 Kommand.
Feb 1, 2018You're playing an entirely different deck with faithless looting...Posted in: Midrange
Tested opt/visions split and going back to 4 opt. It's just so much smoother. The problem is I don't think 1 Landers with opt are keepable so either I need another cantrip or a 19th land.
Also beem testing a remand main board. Very impressive against big mana and control. Terrible against low to the ground creature decks.
Jan 28, 2018Regarding Serum Visions vs Opt - I think it's actually reasonable to have both in the deck as a split. Both have their uses. I feel like 18 lands and 4 opt leads to a lot of unkeepable openers (for example, 2 lands + opt + thought scour + slow spells (e.g. TBR/Kolaghans) - is that keepable? what about 1 lander with just opt?). The power of serum visions to dig 4 over 2 turns instead of opt's digging 2 over 1 turn is very relevant when you need a land or a threat. However, opt is definitely smoother and has less negative interactions with the rest of the deck i.e. thought scour and fetching.Posted in: Midrange
4 visions is definitely wrong in a world with opt, because visions has diminishing returns. Any hand with 1 opt 1 visions is going to be stronger than a hand with 2 visions.
I am currently testing 3 opt and 2 visions.
Jan 16, 2018I would not say gds is the most consistent deck. any deck with only 8 wincons and card heterogeneity is going to have variance. Burn and valakut are much more consistent because every single card has the same purpose. Gds is, however, the most consistent in its matchups in that most are close to 50/50 and they often just leverage player skill.Posted in: Midrange
Jan 4, 2018In my recent testing I have been increasingly impressed with TBR. I think it is more consistent with the deck's true identity as a disruptive tempo deck than a grindy fair grixis deck. I feel like there's just as much reason to include TBR in the deck as there is street wraith. Both of them are, by themselves, "bad" cards whose main purpose is to add velocity to the deck.Posted in: Midrange
I am also a proponent for cutting terminate entirely and relying on dismember instead. Dismember is just so much more consistent with the overall gameplan of the deck and has a much higher ceiling than terminate. Being forced to fetch red is also not ideal. We really really want our first two lands to be watery graves and the third to be our red source, and terminate asks for our red source second.
I am currently looking towards a list that has something like 3 Street wraith / 2 dismember / 2 TBR / 1 Kolaghan's. Street wraith and TBR fit similar purposes and cutting the 4th street wraith gives us the little bit of extra life to work with to make 2 dismembers possible.
Dec 16, 2017Opt is almost certainly better. The main reason is that we need our cantrips to have a high chance of finding lands on the turn we use it, which opt is much better at since the scry is before the draw. Also since it's instant speed, you can do it on upkeep. That's huge because it gives you the sequence of playing your disruption first, then casting opt on next turn's upkeep, rather than being forced to serum visions first and then losing value on your disruption.Posted in: Midrange
The scry 2 is also not a true scry 2 since we fetch so so much in this deck. It's almost like comparing draw-scry1.5 vs scry-draw.
Dec 16, 2017Except the decklist isnt fully completed yet. Serum visions vs opt has not been solved, the mana base has not been solved, and kolaghans and terminate got cut from 2 of each to 1 of each. GDS isn't my main deck but I've had the deck built since its inception. I have never seriously played it because I have always thought the burn matchup was unacceptably bad against good burn players, and UB was the only way I could fix that.Posted in: Midrange
Why not something like this:
- 1 Kolaghan's
- 0 Terminate
- 1 Dismember
- 2 Deprive
- 1 Steam vents
- 0 Blood Crypt
- 1 Blood Crypt
- Whatever red spells you want
This allows you to get away with fetching Watery Grave - Watery Grave the vast majority of the time, which is the most important benefit of being mainly UB instead of "Grixis".
Dec 15, 2017It's not the pain that matters, it's the mana efficiency. With grixis you're forced to fetch blood crypt or steam vents second. This means you can't cast any U twice in a turn if you fetch blood crypt or B twice in a turn if you fetch steam vents which drastically reduces your ability to cast all of your 1 mana spells whenever you want. UB also opens up deprive like I said.Posted in: Midrange
It also allows you better control of your life total and avoids awkward shocking to try to get red online.
Tendrils is still available in B.
Dec 14, 2017With red spells getting cut more and more, I think it's worth it to reconsider UB instead of Grixis.Posted in: Midrange
Having smooth pure UB mana feels absolutely great. It greatly increases mana efficiency and prevents awkward situations where you can't EOT opt or stubborn denial because you only have blood crypt up.
It also allows us to reconsider Deprive. I have been very impressed with this card, and it fits the deck's persona as a disruptive tempo deck rather than a control deck. The issue with the card has mainly been its awkward UU cost; the Daze effect is only really relevant when trying to snap-deprive. However with UB instead of Grixis, that is no longer a problem.
The question is what our sideboard would look like without red. But then if you really need red, perhaps consider one sideboard red shock.
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