Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
 
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  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Couldn't agree more with your last paragraph and congrats to the result.

    Played a similar event yesterday in Europe with Grixis Shadow and made Top 8 as well (we decided to split the prices).

    Can't talk about Jund Shadow specifically, but totally agree with your points on the 4-color version. Grixis DS feels amazing in the current format but I probably love Stubborn Denial too much in order to try a nonblue version.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    To me it seems like one of the biggest reasons why you play red is Anger of the Gods, K-Command and Bolt. Well Anger is of course strong against Elves, but how many people actually play that deck? I love Anger as well and would definitely play 1-2 in any current Jund sb, but there is no way I would add red just for a sweeper. And yes, I still think that 3 damage is very often not enough versus Humans and Spirits. Push is strictly the better against creature-based decks and against control you board out both anyways so I don't really get your argument here.
    K-Command was an excellent card against Affinity of old, but have you ever played the card against KCI? It is maybe borderline playable against one of the best artifact decks in the current meta which says a lot about the card. I would actually say K-Command is more of a value card than an artifact hate. Leyline does a better job stopping artifact decks nowadays.

    About the manabase:
    It is a fact that you have to fetch-shock yourself more often in a 3-colored deck than in a 2-colored deck, so I don't know where your "1hp" comes from. It is simply way easier to preserve your life total in the Rock than in Jund because I can fetch a basic on each turn and still curve out if I would like to compared to Jund.

    Regarding BBE:
    I wanted to say that the biggest argument for Jund against control is always BBE. Yes, BBE is strong against PW's, but Rock does also have ways to deal with PW's. In the end it mostly comes down to Colonnade attacks and that is where Rock's manabase shines, because Jund cant't easily destroy manlands. A resolved Tracker followed by a fetchland is often more powerful than a random card off BBE.

    "nothing replace anger of the gods and it's very good SB card now, imo."
    I agree, but I am happy with Damnation and I think the card is even better in some matchups (Humans/Spirits) while being of course worse in others, Dredge for example.

    "you can't play more than 4 good 1-cmc removals."
    No, but why should I. I am happy with 4 and play 1 Deathmark in the sideboard.

    "you can't play alpine moon the best SB card ever print to win against Tron and Valakut."
    Alpine Moon is far far away from being that. I prefer Fulminator, Sphere and mainboard landhate all day over Alpine Moon.

    "k.cmd is the best artifact hate because you can just play it MD and don't need any grudge in SB."
    As I already said, K-Command is not enough artifact hate, especially not against the new breed of Mox Opal decks. You want Leyline and in Jund you would actually want additional Grudges in the board.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Jund as much as you do, but I have the feeling that you feel personally attacked when I say something against the deck. I was just pointing out why for me currently the deck feels worse than Rock. In some months Junk or Jund might again be the better choices but for now I personally believe that BG is in a better spot than BGR.


    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    I used to play Jund for quite some time (mainly before the unbanning of Bloodbraid Elf):
    Obviously the unbanning got everyone excited (me included), but after some extensive testing I realized that I didn't like the card. At all. In theory BBE is strong against Jace but I don't think Jund is favoured against control anymore since the printing of Teferi. Bloodbraid Elf is strong against Shadow and the BGx mirror and is decent in matchups where you need a clock. But more often than not (especially against the mass of hyper-aggressive decks of modern) I wished that BBE would be a Huntmaster. I just don't like the idea behind the card. Yes, Cascade is a powerful ability with raw power, but you cannot control it, and that is my biggest problem with it. I don't want to tap out against Humans in t4 for a 3/2 body only to reveal a useless Thoughtseize (just one of many scenarios).

    So why would I play red? The answer is Raging Ravine, Ancient Grudge, Bolt and Anger of the Gods.
    All four of them are amazing cards but none are particulary shining currently.
    There are not enough artifact decks around to play red for Grudge, Bolt is a worse push in the current meta and Anger is very good against Dredge but can be awkward against Spirits and Humans (remember you will probably loose quite some life to have double red in t3 and 3 damage might not even be good enough against Spirits and Humans, especially on the draw).

    So I decided to try out The Rock.
    Rock is by far not the best deck in modern, but it does some things very well.
    First you play your typical BGx midrange deck, but on the same time you have a very painless manabase. Not only is it painless but you are also not vulnerable to Blood Moon (even though the card doesn't see much play currently). Next the Rock got some very important Prints in the last few years that culminated in the printing of Assassin's Trophy (Blooming Marsh, Liliana, the Last Hope, Brutality, Push, Field of Ruin and the new PW-Rule). Now the deck can deal with basically any permanent and/or spell in your opponent's hand.
    Besides that, you are able to maindeck landhate in the form of GQ/FoR which is a huge boon against Control decks and imo even a stronger tool than Bloodbraid Elf is. With Jund, you most often than not loose because you can not handle a Celestial Colonnade.
    Next, you have several flex-slots in your typical Rock list which not only let you adapt the deck to any given meta, but most importantly let you include maindeck Nihil Spellbomb and Collective Brutality.
    Besides that, Tracker is your card advantage engine in the lategame, and while being slower than BBE, it is "controlled" card advantage which is imo more important than the one random card of BBE which is sometimes completely useless.

    Disadvantages of the Rock?
    Slightly awkward manabase if you try to play both Treetop and FoR/GQ. I would never register a Quagmire in my 75 which means I can play max. 2 of the Strip mine effects because I always want 3 Treetops. Quagmire is just a bad card and I don't like bad cards in a midrange deck. Next your sideboard is not as versatile as in Jund/Abzan because of your colours (no good artifact hate for example), but you nevertheless have some sweet options against most archetypes.

    Since switching to Rock from Jund/Abzan I don't miss the splash for Red apart from Raging Ravine. Assassin's Trophy is a good new tool (I like a 2/2 mix with Decay) and the deck is a ton of fun to play. Just my opinion, but I highly recommend you trying it out.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Mister MtGSalvation himself with yet another primer. How many more will follow? Grin
    Good job as always btw.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    I feel you. For years I have been playing BGx, but more often than not I decide to play one version of Shadow instead of traditional BG midrange. The 2 biggest differences for me are the following: Grixis Shadow plays 17 lands, a typical Jund deck 24/25, which means your topdecks are simply way better. 2nd reason for me is that Shadow can have it's nutdraw where your opponent isn't able to do anything because you have 1 mana discard, 1 mana threat, 1 mana removal and 1 mana counter. Shadow decks can kill from nowhere because of Battlerage, which gives the deck an "unfair" aspect where your opponent often doesn't even know whether he can make an attack. For me Shadow decks are the evolution of Blak Green Midrange decks in modern.
    Now to answer some of your questions:

    Just Jund? I don't like it, Stubborn Denial is a messed up magic card.

    Why Grixis? 3 Reasons for me: Way better manabase than 4c Shadow, better grindy options thanks to Snapcaster Mage and K-Command and the ability to go the control route postboard against decks like Humans or Spirits. Traverse Shadow is best in an unfair meta full of combodecks though because the deck finds it's threats easier than Grixis does and plays the full 8 discard spells.

    Not everybody plays Looting (max 2). I personally don't like it a lot because it means card disadvantage. If you decide playing Leyline in your board I would definitely go for Looting though. You need to get a feeling for the card, some love it in GDS others dont't like it. Bauble is excellent though and really helps in casting turn 2 Angler (has many other synergies as well, eg with Fetches, Thought Scour or Discard spells).

    Sideboard(GDS)nowaday usually contains 1-2 Lavamancer, 2 K-Commands, 2 Liliana the Last Hope, 3 Counterspells, 2 Anger of the Gods, Leylines or Surgical and some more spot removal or Explosives. Some people are trying out Jace in the board against fair decks.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    Since Frank Karsten has posted his article about the manabase I am thinking much more about my land-configuration than before. This is what I am currently working on (stock Reid Duke list):



    My biggest problem with The Rock has always been the manland. I hate playing Hissing Quagmire, and after watching Reid playing the deck I decided to cut it as well. But I believe playing 23 lands in The Rock might be too greedy and because I play 2 Trackers I don't think going up one land compared to Reid's landbase will hurt the deck. I also don't like playing 4 Treetop Villages so I decided to add 1 Ghost Quarter in order to have at least one disruptive land in the deck, while still having 18 black and 18 green sources in order to cast my spells on curve.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    Reid Duke playing a league with The Rock:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V-NiWCRo1U
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    I think Reid's list looks something like this (very different from Sol's take on the archetype):



    I don't think you can play the full playset of Treetop Village and GQ/FoR in the deck. I am currently trying 3 Villages and 1 GQ.
    He might play 3 Trophies and 1 Decay, we only saw 2 Trophies on camera if I remember correctly. Not sure whether he played 3 Grim Flayers, no Last Hope or Kalitas instead of Tracker. It is also possible that he only played 1 Spellbomb. It is of course just speculation but this is my guess on Reid's list. Smile
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jund
    It's funny because usually it's the other way around, first online, then paper.
    But yeah, 3 Ooze main , 2 Spellbomb, 1 Surgical and 2 Anger in the side and we should be fine. Remember Chill can be removed by Scooze on the stack.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jund
    I am fine having 1 slot in my sideboard dedicated to grindy matchups only.
    Dredge is definitely the flavour of the month and is likely to stay given the power of Creeping Chill. People will probably include even more gravehate and combo will most likely also rise in order to fight Dredge so be prepared for that scenario.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jund
    Even though it might worse our aggro matchup and improve our outs against Field of Ruin, I strongly believe that Mountain is not what this deck needs. I am currently on 4 basics and in order to improve my aggro matchup I decided to include 1 Collective Brutelity in the mainboard (alongside 2 in the side). The card is amazing against Spirits, Burn and other aggro matchups, and does a decent job against combo, control and midrange. I see many people play with 1 Push or 1 Decay as their Flex slot, but with a playset of Trophy (I might be the only person on earth to play 4 in Jund), i diminsih not only my chances of a bad cascade target, but also have a very versatile 2 drop in my maindeck.

    Edit: I also play Nissa in the sideboard and can confirm that she is excellent against control/other grindy matchups.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    @ Flying Delver, have you thought about Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth as land 25? I really like the card in Rock's manabase.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    I am unsure what the best creature configuration in BG currently is.
    Has the 4 Tracker/2 Tasigur configuration become mainstream or are people still toying around with Kalitas?
    I am currently leaning towards 3 Ooze, 4 Goyf, 4 Tracker, 1 Kalitas, 1 Tasigur, mainly because I really like Kalitas in the current meta, but then again, I haven't been playing with Rock for several months.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    Fair enough. I think the Traverse list is also harder to learn than regular Bgx decks because it plays slightly different. You are correct that gravehate is probably a reason to play regular BGx lists but with Trophy the deck basically has an answer against most of the common hate pieces. My starting point with a list will probably be -1 LotV +1 Last Hope and I would add 1 Knight of Autumn to the Sideboard.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Abzan
    @Ayiluss, did you play your own list of Abzan Traverse or did you try out Falleaf's latest iteration? I am very interested in hearing how that particular deck plays out because I can see myself playing that list for some upcoming events.
    Posted in: Midrange
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