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  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    24 lands is definitely too much. In paper. In arena, it's probably the right number. I did drop back down to 23 because I felt like the flood was unbearable. But back down at 23, I'm getting screwed again. Stupid algorithm lol.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    With that BO1 algorithm, I really think you need 24 lands. If you're running too few, you just get screwed so hard. Which sucks, because having 24 will ensure you'll get plenty of floods. And you're right, finishing off the mana base will definitely help a lot. Sadly, Arena is stingy with those Rare WCs (because they know we needz them!)

    So, I have considered the Jeskai list. In my head, I know it's better against aggro decks than Grixis, but wholly worse than Grixis against control and midrange. In my BO3s, I still run into more control and midrange than aggro, so I'm sticking with Grixis.

    Also, I wouldn't mind discussing Jeskai Drakes, but I think it deserves its own thread. Start one, and I will definitely come over and ruin it with some crappy builds lol
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    So, I tried Kitesail Freebooter and he was disappointing. 1 reason is he's fairly fragile and they get their card back. the other is when I'm bringing sweepers out of the sideboard. He gets swept up too. I think he works great in the Grixis Midrange, non-Drake shell. However, I really think our deck is better than that deck. Whenever I run into that deck, I crush it. I also crush the matches that it crushes. I really feel like this is the better match up.

    Watching those matches, however, did give some great suggestions. Carnival // Carnage and Angrath, the Flame-Chained. Adding those in have definitely given a boost to the deck. I normally run shock so I can take out turn 1 Llanowar Elves, mono-red, mono-blue, and white weenie plays. Carnival takes care of all of those too! It also takes out PWs that have minused. And it the games where I don't need the cheap removal, Carnage eviscerates the hand. What a great card! I'm upset with myself for overlooking it.

    Angrath? Man what a great fit! Destroying the hand of midrange, control and combo matches, stealing and sacrificing creatures in the aggro matches. Another perfect edition. I'm still bouncing around Diamond since I haven't been playing much, but I'm ok with that. Mythic would be nice but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I didn't make it.

    At any rate, here's the updated list I'm playing.

    So, I think the most important thing to note is I'm running 24 Lands. I don't think the deck requires 24 Lands. In reality 23 is probably the right amount. 22 is probably doable since there's so much card draw to get you into your lands. However, with Arena's algorithm, those numbers just don't work. 22 and 23 lands just gives so many land screws. Sadly, Arena 'thinks' 24 is the right amount and if you don't run that many, you get screwed. Doubly sadly, 24 is definitely too many, and I get flooded so much because of it. The saving grace is the same cantrips that allow you to run 22 lands in real life allow you to make it through the flood pretty easily at 24 on Arena. I scry, surveil and discard a lot of lands away, but the deck is working.

    Also to note, even though I think Enigma Drake is a better card than Pteramander, but having the turn 1 speed bump makes a huge difference. It's a meta call.

    If I had those extra 2 cards currently occupied by lands, I'd likely go up to the 4th Chart a Course and get a 3rd Enigma. If I was running 23, just the 4th Chart.

    Also, I really love Nicky B. He's a great blocker, a great threat. He does a great job of continuing with the hand destruction plan. While, I can understand him not flipping often, the reason for that is when he does, the game is over. He's a must answer. If they don't, then that's the end. I'm LOVING having him in the deck. That said, he's very expensive $$-wise, so if you want to save some coin, he's an easy place to cut.

    I almost forgot to mention. You don't want to cut out all the Shocks. It still has its place. That place is killing Kraul Harpooner with the fight trigger on the stack lol.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    I wonder if he streamed it. Maybe I'll go check it out.

    I like Thief, but he's so fragile. I think I would prefer to keep in Drake over him. I might like him more than Pteramander though. It takes so long for Pteramander to be good. I do like he's a turn 1 speed bump though.

    Freebooter is an idea, though. Discard just seems SO GOOD right now.

    I know I'm not gonna try the Thief out. Not because I don't like him, but because I have only 1 on Arena. And he's rare, so I'm not gonna get him anytime soon. My rare Wildcards have been going towards lands (not for this deck, but for others). I might check out Freebooter, though. I could see him being good in a lot of matches.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    @kysg - The decks look good. I like the mana base in the first deck you posted more than the 2nd. I really think you're going to want more red sources than you have. I don't play BO1 anymore, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

    I personally like Shock over Moment of Craving, because it gets that turn 1 creature, which is big against Green decks, Blue decks, and to a slightly lesser extent, red decks. It just feels so important in those match ups. Now, I also realize that Moment of Craving is better against red decks, and to my understanding they're much more prevalent in BO1, whereas they're almost non-existent in BO3. So maybe how good MoC is against red outweighs missing it against Green and Blue.

    Other than those 2 things, I don't see anything particularly odd about your build.

    @Narvuntien - If you're having problem with Esper, this deck CRUSHES them. G1, you crush. Then sideboarding, I add 2 Duress, 1 Contempt, and 1 Negate (my sideboard has changed since my original post). I go down the Pteramanders. I know it seems like Shock would be the better cut, but Shock serves 2 purposes. First, it's good for finishing off Teferi after a minus. Also, Post board some Esper lists like to bring in Thief of Sanity expecting you to take all your removal out. I also leave in my single Beacon Bolt. It doesn't happen often, but OCCASSIONALLY they bring Lyra in. Having that 1 dead card isn't a big deal since Chart a Course just gets rid of it if there's nothing for it.

    That's it. That's all it takes. This deck crushes Esper. Last month, I had such a hard time breaking into Platinum because Esper decks kept crushing my Temur Drakes, and this month, today actually, I'm Diamond because I've cruised through Esper decks. This deck is great against control and midrange decks, and great against Mono-blue. Weenie and burn decks take more sideboard slots, but they don't give too much trouble.

    The hardest match up lately for me is Nexus decks. I had to change my sideboard and add more counterspells, and that helped a ton. But if Esper is your issue, this is the deck for crushing them.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    oh, it's definitely a BO3 deck.

    The only real issue with splashing black for Thought Erasure is it takes a lot of black sources to get the the black mana on an early turn when you're want to use it the most. Using Karsten's guide it's 13 sources to guarantee it on turn 2 and 12 for turn 3. With that many, you might as well just call it Grixis and draw on more black cards. I think best among those is Moment of Craving. The lifegain is invaluable in the weenie and burn match ups just to keep you out of range of being cheesed out with burn or something like a Heroic Reinforcements. You'll also want to play some Duress too. The discard is just so good against control and other midrange decks.

    Finally, I've gotta say. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager is so good and so fun. He makes the full tilt to Grixis totally worth it!

    Also, I did end up cutting the Lightning Bolt and filling up on Chart a Course. Even after a small amount of play, it's clear it was the right move.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Grixis Drakes
    Hello all. I don't see a Grixis Drakes thread, so let's start one.

    It's actually been quite the journey to get to Grixis. I started off in Izzet, and that worked really well, but it had issues against Gates and Mono Red. Mono red was still favorable, but many games came down to the wire with me uncomfortably sitting in burn range. After that I switched to Temur. That actually worked really well. I liked having Growth Spiral and Hydroid Krasis in the deck, and they definitely made those tougher matches more favorable.

    However, moving up the ranked ladder, slightly, moved me out those decks, and into a new nemesis, Esper Control. Sure, the planeswalkers, removal and counterspells are annoying, but those are all things Drakes can deal with. You just cantrip into cards to replace the ones you've lost. But the real back-breaker in that match up is Thought Erasure. Having them rip apart an early hand, killing the card draw or keeping the big nasties from ever hitting the board is nearly unwinnable. And then post board, if they're smart, they bring in Duress to help. Yikes!

    So, if you can't beat 'em, join em'! Out went the Growth Spirals and Krasises (Krasi? lol), and in came the Thought Erasures and big daddy Nicol Bolas, the Ravager! Now, I eviscerate Esper Control, and I've had no issues against the decks that were giving me trouble before Temur. This feels like the best iteration of Drakes.

    ***Disclaimer - I haven't played Jeskai Drakes yet. I might throw a build together just to see how it works and if it's better, but honestly, aside from Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, I'm not sure what cards are better than Erasure, Niv, and the removal package black has.

    ***disclaimer 2! - This deck is built in Arena. Mana base isn't optimal, because I've run out of Rare Wildcards, sadly. Also, Diamond Mare is a hold over from previous versions of the deck. Since Moment of Craving exists, it's likely I don't need them anymore.

    It's a work in progress, but it really gets the job done. I'm not sure the right mix of Shock to Lightning Bolt to Chart a Course. I'm leaning towards bringing Chart a Course up to 4, moving Lightning Bolt to the sideboard. I don't know. More playing and more testing is ahead.

    What I really want to know is, who else is running Grixis Drakes? What's working for you? Do you have a silver bullet I've totally overlooked? It's definitely a fun list!

    **Edit - put the correct number for the 'spells' count. Good looking out, kysg
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on URw Enigma Drake
    I've been messing around with Drakes quite a bit recently. Started with straight Izzet, and it was good, but like you mentioned, I got wrecked by Gates. Mono Red was no picnic either. Like it wasn't unfavorable, but they are able to get me down low enough that I had to worried about being finished off with Burn. I moved into Temur Drakes, and that was really good. The ramp from Growth Spiral got me to my Crackling Drakes faster, my Niv's faster, and being in green allowed me to run Hydroid Krasis for late game gas/mid game life gain.

    But then I ran into Esper Control, and they relentlessly, wrecked me. Discard was just too good. Drawing a Niv or a Ral before I could cast them just meant I was SOL.

    So I pivoted once more to Grixis Drakes. This has been, by far, the best iteration of drakes I've played. I haven't played Jeskai, but I'm not sure what Jeskai offers, aside from Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, that's better than Thought Erasure and Nicol Bolas, the Ravager. I can say, though, that since switching to Grixis, I haven't lost to any of the matchups I was beating before in Izzet and Temur, but now I crush Esper Control too. It feels significantly stronger.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Izzet Drakes or Izzet Wizards?
    Drakes are better than Wizards. While both are rather slow, Wizards doesn't scale well in the end game like Drakes do. In drakes, I also like Enigma Drake over Goblin Electromancer. IMO, having 8 Drakes is better than cutting 1 off the casting cost of instants and sorceries. The spells in Drake are already so cheap.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
  • posted a message on Izzet Spells
    there's already a UR Drake thread
    Posted in: Deck Creation
  • posted a message on B/R Browbeat
    When I imagined this deck, I originally wanted to go Wizards. But since Wizards is lacking in the 1 and 2 drop slots, I switched to Pirates. It's a rough draft, but it's been performing better than wizards has. Still seems a little lacking though. I'll post more when/if I tune it more.

    From my early and very rough playtesting, I can say I'm unimpressed with Sovereign's Bite. These 4 slots could/should probably be 4 more Pirates. I'm leaning towards Fathom Fleet Captain, but I'm kind of feeling risky too, and Wanted Scoundrels could be fun.
    Posted in: Deck Creation
  • posted a message on Tropical Fish - Budget
    I know that lots of people don't think much of Metallic Mimic in Merfolk, but I like it. If you have any, I'd add them in. If not, I wouldn't bother since they'll rotate soon.
    Posted in: Budget (Standard)
  • posted a message on RWU Angelfire M19 Standard
    It looks like Blue is completely unnecessary in your list. Red has plenty of ways to draw through your deck, and you can use white cards to save your creatures from removal or wipes, essentially defacto counterspells.

    Also, I think your deck is tuned wrong for the meta. Your main is set up very heavily to do well against creature decks, when in reality, your lifelink angels (especially with Lyra), do well to passively beat those decks. I think you should flip that to give yourself a stronger control game in the main and then have a few agro cards in the side. Out of curiosity, what match ups are you needing a board wipe? I struggle to think of decks that see regular play where Lyra + spot removal wouldn't be enough.

    I really don't think I'm in love with Red either. For the most part, it's just more removal. White has plenty of removal. IF, and that's a big if, I was going to add a second color to the deck, I'd likely go with Green over anything else. Having some ramp to get angels down a little faster plus having access to Blossoming Defense and Heroic Intervention and being able to pump extra mana into Shalai makes it seem like the best choice for a 2nd color. Honestly, though, I'd likely just run mono-white.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on 20 Land U/R Auras Deck Tech
    Nice video. Deck seems very vulnerable to removal though. Like in the 3 or 4 for 1s range. Especially when there's so much cheap removal running around the format. Is there a good reason to play UR over UW Auras?
    Posted in: Budget (Standard)
  • posted a message on Not Meow, Me-Wow....Kittens in standard
    TL;DR - Go with BLUE instead of GREEN

    So, my experience with Cats was very similar to yours. When I first started playing them, I played GW and while they deck performed well, decks with lots of sweepers killed me, especially Approach. I couldn't afford to commit enough to the board to get them dead. The sweepers kept me just slow enough for them to get their Approaches and win. I tried adding Heroic Intervention and Gideon of the Trials and Gideon's Intervention, and it made a difference. I went from losing every game, to occasionally winning a game, but dropping every match. The problem was, as decent of a "counterspell" Heroic Intervention was, the 2 I was running, wasn't enough to save me against a deck running 4 Fumigate and 4 Settle the Wreckage (which it does nothing against). They just had more answers than I had answers to answers.

    On a whim, I decided to go Bant. Adding blue gave counterspells and made the deck MUCH better than before. Instead of running Heroic Intervention, Gideon of the Trials, and Gideon's Intervention to try to combat their sweepers and win cons, Negate handled all of those situations all by itself. The deck was miles better than before. I still kept Gideon and Gideon's Intervention just because they're good sideboard cards, but Negate was doing the heavy lifting.

    Then they banned Attune with Aether making my 3 colors of mana much harder and, consequently, making my Longtusk Cub worse. I quickly realized blue was doing much more in the deck than green was, and blue became the secondary color of choice. If you're wanting to be better in those heavy removal and especially those heavy sweeper matches, blue is a much stronger color. You lose very little cat power by dropping green and gain a ton more protection picking up blue.

    In my UW Cats list, which I'm sorry hasn't been updated with new M19 cards (I've been focusing on other decks), when I discovered adding Anointed Procession to cats, the deck really became a mash-up of Cats + Embalm/Eternalize. All those double Cat tokens, double Adorned Pouncer tokens and double Champion of Wits tokens (yeah, not a cat, but when you're looking for card draw to add and you're running Procession, it's by far the best card draw you can get) are very hard to beat. It's definitely not the only way to build UW Cats, but it's certainly a fun and powerful way to do it.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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