Quote from Steak »I went 2-2 with a list close to one of Ray's that had 2 chalices main board (link). Lost to Affinity and grixis death shadow, won against affinity and some weird (bad) valakut/through the breach deck. Some random thoughts:
I thought Commit // memory was just ok. Putting stuff second from the top is nice but 4 mana is a lot. Every time I had the ability to play the second half of the card I opted not to because it would let my Opp draw 7 as well. Still needs testing.
Torrential Gearhulk is pretty good when you have something to hit in the graveyard and a 5/6 body is always nice. It really sucks having repeal/condescend in the yard with Gearhulk in hand.
I hadn't played affinity in literal months at my shop so I took out the hurkyl's recalls, naturally I played it twice. The match I lost I don't think the recalls would have saved me any way, he had really fast starts both games. The match I won the player was really new with the deck and made some bad choices. That might just be one matchup I don't pack hate for and try to dodge. Anyone have tips for playing against it?
I didn't cast Gifts Ungiven all night, which is fine because I don't really know what to do with it. I threw it in to try it out on the fly. Also, anyone have tips for it?
3 Spatial Contortion seems like too many.
I ran that same list @ an 18-person paper modern event, going 3-1 (Loss- Amulet Titan, Wins- Traverse Shadow, Jund, G Tron). I don't like packing hate for Affinity. Hurkyl's Recall just feels too narrow to run as more than a 1-of in the sideboard and they can just re-barf out their hand so it just buys a turn. It's hard to know when to get max value from it (usually when Cranial Plating comes down) and when you just need to rip it off early to survive. I disagree on 3 Spatial Contortion being too much. I sometimes run 4...unlike Hurkyl's it doesn't have blow-out potential but it's much less narrow and answers all sorts of stuff in our bad matchups. Goblin Guides (be careful about using it on Monastery Swiftspear), Steel Overseer, Arbor Elf etc. Against Affinity I side in all my Spatials and save Repeal for Arcbound Ravager. Unfortunately our deck can't do much about an Affinity nut draw, but every deck has a menace. I prefer to dodge.
Gifts Ungiven was a card I was scared to use for the longest time because it's difficult to use outside of a deck like Storm where it's almost always obvious what the correct choices are to trap an opponent. In U Tron it takes more intimate knowledge about your deck, your outs, future turns etc. The last situation I can remember was against Traverse Shadow. I was staring down a huge Death's Shadow and Tarmogoyf and just needed to buy time. Sundering Titan in hand but playing it would not leave enough blockers to stay alive. I was able to Gift out Engineered Explosives, Platinum Angel, Wurmcoil Engine and Walking Ballista meaning he had to topdeck some form of artifact destruction to kill me next turn no matter what combination of cards he gave me. He gave me the Ballista and Explosives. Explosives blew up his Shadow and Ballista chumped a Goyf. He dropped another Shadow. Next turn I was able to drop a Trinket Mage to block and tutored up Expedition Map, used it to find Buried Ruin, return Explosives to deal with the new Shadow. Eventually I found the opening I needed to drop Titan and lock him out of the game.
Long anecdotal story and he still had outs on the topdeck, but Gifts can single-handedly pull you out of near-death situations once you become comfortable with it. Add in a Crucible of Worlds package and I just can't see not using it anymore. I've watched Shok blatantly half-ass Gifts choices after a few beers and still get massive value out of it.