So I've totally missed the 5 colour and Human Hatebears discussions over the past few days, and I ended up taking plain old Bant Red Knightfall Humans to a PPTQ yesterday. List was very similar to the one that top 8'd GP Birmingham and Joel Larsson was streaming with, although I cut a Pilgrim for a 3 mana Thalia and had a slightly different manabase in the main. Sideboard I had Negates, Spell Queller, War Priest of Thune and a Pithing Needle over Unified Will, Blessed Alliance and the second 2 Thalia and Ethersworn Canonist.
Round 1 v. Grixis Death’s Shadow 0-2
I normally don’t mind this matchup but this was very one-sided. Had my hand picked apart in both games and Kolaghan’s Command/Fatal Push just left me with no resources. Game two we both had nothing in hand but I was getting clocked by a Tar Pit. Drew Company and hit a Pilgrim… GG.
In – Negates, Spell Quellers
Out – Retreats, Mayors
Round 2 v. Titanshift 2-0
Ugh. Up there with Tron for my least favourite matches as they have such a strong linear plan and sometimes it can feel a bit futile doing what we do against it. Fortunately this didn’t seem to be the all-in solitaire version of the deck, and he wasn’t able to get ahead of me on the play. Prime-time came down but I was able to Reflector Mage it and swing in with my board. Game 2 I get a Forge-tender early to give me some confidence in developing my board. Again he seems a turn slower than I’d expect, and his Summoner’s Pact is Spell Quellered when he has 6 lands. Think I got lucky here as I’d expect this to be a tougher matchup normally.
In – Negates, Spell Quellers, Forge-tenders
Out – Paths, Reflector Mages
Round 3 v. Storm 2-0
Fortunately my friend plays Storm so I have a decent amount of experience against it. Not that that does you any favours sometimes but I at least feel comfortable playing against it. This is the first match where my opponent doesn’t seem to fully know my deck, and it probably costs him the first game. I have a 4/4 Champ, a 2/2 Lieutenant and a Knight of the Reliquary with 2 fetches in the graveyard. My opponent picks up the Knight and reads it. He then mini-storms to Grapeshot for 10, pointing 4 at the Champ, 2 at the Lieutenant, 2 at the Knight and 2 at me. He’s then surprised when I don’t bin my Knight. I feel sort of bad, but he later said that he didn’t properly read the card, so I figure that’s on him. Turn 4 I play a Retreat to Coralhelm and get no real reaction so I have to combo off. He realises what I’m doing when my Knight is at lethal size so I don’t have to risk fetching into a dead end.
Game 2 my Thalia cancels out his Electromancer, but he goes for it Turn 4 with a Baral from Turn 3. It doesn’t seem like it’s a strong attempt, so when he uses his last 2 mana to Desperate Ritual about 6 spells in, I Negate it and then Reflector Mage his Electromancer to swing through for lethal.
In – Negates, Quellers, Forge-Tender
Out – Big Thalia, Witnesses, 2 Path
Game 4 v. Elves 2-1
Another matchup I’m more familiar with, but sometimes Elves do Elf things. He builds a huge board and CoCos for a solitary Elf. Maybe I have a chance here… oh a second CoCo for more Elves. GG.
Game 2 my opponent leads off with a Heritage Druid on a 1 lander. I also kept a 1 lander, but mine was Champ and 2 Hierarchs. He scoops pretty quickly to a 5/5 Champ as the second land doesn’t come. Game 3 my opponent starts on a Heritage Druid. I start with Triple Hierarch and then a Knight which is a pretty absurd size and a Canonist which stops him catching up to me. My opponent concludes that Heritage Druid is nice, but it isn’t a mana dork by itself, which is what probably cost him games 2 and 3.
In – Canonist, Staticasters
Out – 2 mana Thalia,Witnesses
Game 5 v. UW Gideons 2-1
This appeared to be UW control featuring 3, 4 and 5 mana Gideon. The manabase for this deck is certainly weak to disruption, and Spreading Seas really punished this. Game 1 I was losing my manabase to Spreading Seas so I overcommitted into a Verdict and then the Gideon show took care of me.
Games 2 and 3 I had good aggressive starts with Champ plus two one drops to get a clock going. I managed to Ghost Quarter myself out of triple Spreading Seas to cast a Collected Company to get past his Wall of Omens game 2, and Game 3 I had a large Knight that whittled my opponent down until he had to flash in a Snapcaster as a blocker, which I Quelled. He didn’t see a Path the entire game, which was definitely lucky on my part, and on another day he is probably able to stabilise against me.
In – Negates, Quellers, Canonist
Out – Big Thalia, 2 Mages, 2 Paths
Round 6 v. Titanshift ID (0-2)
We ID’d into Top 8 as my opponent was on 13 points so would likely be top 2 with the other 13 pointer. We played anyway and I got crushed. This was the more solitaire version and it was very quick, even with me building out a board at a good speed game 1 Scapeshift took care of me. Game 2 my hand didn’t really come together and I lost in quick fashion. Time to go see what the vendor has.
Top 8 v. 8 Rack? 2-1
I’m into Top 8 in 4th, so I play the 5th seed. He’s playing mono-black hand disruption rack stuff, so Game 1 I get Smallpoxed, Mindwrenched, Liliana – the works. Game 2 I develop a good board and decide to race the rack effects with a Thalia. He top decks Damnation but that gets Quellered and I make it to Game 3. 3rd game he takes the draw and I mull to 6, so I’m not in the best position. We get to turn 3 or so and I have a Knight and 3 lands on board with 2 lands in hand. My lands get Mind Wrenched and I draw CoCo. I pass and my opponent plays Thoughtseize, so I float a mana, sac the tapped land with Knight and cast CoCo. I get two hits and finish the game two turns later. My opponent then goes on a massive rant about my top deck CoCo and how lucky I was and how he had me if I hadn’t drawn it. Whilst it was the best card I could have drawn at that time most likely, I felt I was due one as it was my first of the match, and if he’d drawn a Damnation I lose. That’s how Magic is sometimes.
In – Negates, Quellers, Canonist
Out – Big Thalia, Paths
Top 4 v. Titanshift 2-1
Same guy as in Round 6. Game 1 I have him down to 1 and he Scapeshifts. Not quick enough on the draw.
Game 2 I lead off with Hierarch into Champ and Forge-tender. He Bolts the Champ and I decide to let it resolve as I have him on Anger/Sweltering. Some exalted creatures get my opponent down to 11, and I CoCo in Lieutenant and Reflector, bouncing his Tribe Elder. He sac’s it in response triggering Valakut and pointing it at my Forge-tender. I have a Pilgrim and Lieutenant in hand to pump the team for exact lethal. He has the Sweltering Suns as his last card.
Game 3 is more like Game 1 with him largely going into solitaire mode and me trying to build a board. He goes for Hour of Promise Turn 4 and is on his way to his deck when I say “I’d like to Negate that”. He’s pretty stunned and his plan folds on the spot.
Even when you win against this deck it’s always by the skin of your teeth it feels, but the left-field Negate felt pretty great.
In – Negates, Quellers, Forge-tenders
Out – Paths, 2 Reflector Mages
Finals v. Bogles
Not a match I have ever played (pretty new to Modern), but I knew how it can go. He is on the play and plays Bogle into Hyena Umbra into Coronet into one that gave it protection from creatures?! Done.
Game 2 I have Hierarch into little Thalia for his Bogle into Hyena Umbra. I then play War Priest taking the Umbra into Canonist. This is enough pressure to slow him down, and 2 swings from the team is enough to force Game 3.
Game 3 – see Game 1. I’m too slow on the draw, and a Bogle with everything on it ends me very quickly.
In – War Priest, Canonist, Negates, Quellers
Out – Witnesses, 2 Paths, 2 Reflector Mages
Overall I’m really happy with the deck, Humans and Company is definitely what I want to be playing in Modern. It’s great that there are so many versions of the deck, and I definitely think there is something here. People don’t really have the deck on their radar like they do with the other known/tier decks, which is an advantage – my storm opponent not fully reading Knight, my 8 rack opponent getting tilted as my Knight gave me the chance to have 4 mana to cast my top decked CoCo rather than the three mana I had in lands, my Scapeshift opponent not expecting counterspells etc.
If there is lots of removal to stop us early that can be hard to come from outside of a good CoCo or the combo, and I think we do need to adapt sideboards to force the more-combo orientated decks to interact with us rather than just letting them do their thing.
- Negate – this could have been Unified Will and probably will be going forward, but I hadn’t played with it before the tournament. Stops combo players/boardwipes and is a big punish for people who don’t know the deck well and don’t respect a creature based deck having disruption.
- Little Thalia – yes she can be a pain for us, particularly if we side into more spells, but she’s a good sideboard call at the very least. If they play non-creature spells this can really mess them up and give us that extra turn to win ahead of them. If they’re a creature based deck then you’ve got to just scrap it out and trust that you have the better creatures. She probably won me matches v 8 Rack and Storm single handedly by giving me an extra turn to keep swinging. I can totally see why she isn't liked, but I'll keep one floating around the 75 I think.
- Knight – I got the combo twice, which probably helped me sneak a game or two which I might have not otherwise won, but on its own I think the Knight offers a big threat that can easily outgrow bolt/suns/anger etc and in a boardstall will happily sit back on defence and eventually find you Kessig Wolf Run to trample over. Mirran Crusader is your other heavy hitter option in more traditional Humans lists, but I don’t know if it is the better card, although Knight benefits from the extra fetches etc that are run in the Knightfall list. Also I had a Retreat out with no Knight a couple of times and it wasn't a disaster - tapping down blockers is perfectly fine at times.
Not so good cards
- Nothing majorly stands out in the main board. Big Thalia didn’t appear in the right matchups, but she would have been a welcome sight against Elves and might have made a difference against Titanshift to stop the Tribe Elders and Wood Elves chumping my big creatures.
- Eternal Witness was probably the least impressive compared to its ceiling, although this is probably just a case of variance in a small tournament sample size. I know the lines where she can be helpful, and being an expensive Snapcaster Mage is no bad thing at times, but at others she is an understatted 3 drop if your graveyard isn’t full.
- Pithing Needle only came in against UW Gideons, and I don’t think it was a great choice. I’d cut it.
- I might try swapping the Witnesses for a couple of Quellers as I brought Queller in nearly every game. It gives me disruption against the more unfair decks Game 1, and some removal protection if they have it. Witness is good as a value Human card, but I find that game 1 I can end up on the beatdown plan quite often, and a Queller lets me commit onto a board and then hold up Queller to prevent removal and tempo swings. If the game is grindier then I’ll bring Witnesses in, but they’re much worse than Quellers game 1 versus Storm, Valakut, Elves and other non-interactive decks.
- I want to try Kingcars’ disruptive Humans list to see how that feels as another option for the Humans company lists, and because I think black offers a lot to the theme with Anafenza, Sin Collector, Kambal and Freebooter. Currently a disruption heavy list with a solid creature base as a fail case seems like a good place to be in Modern.
TLDR – Came second, deck is good, think Queller is worth a try as a non-Human. People don’t respect/know the deck fully, and countermagic is pretty great.
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Sep 11, 2017Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from Xanis »
Does this deck make sense and is sufficiently aggressive? Does sideboard help address the weaknesses of this deck?
It makes sense as a white weenie aggro Humans deck. When I played a similar list, your main weaknesses are board wipes/sweepers, running out of cards and pushing through the last 2/3 points of damage at the end of a match. Your sideboard will also depend on how common decks like Affinity and Dredge are for you, and whether you'll need the appropriate hate in Stony Silence and Rest in Peace.
Selfless Spirit helps with the first problem, I also think you should be running 4 Brave the Elements main deck, it lets you steal games by getting past blockers and protects your board at key times. Auriok Champion is similar to Kor Firewalker.
For card draw, you have standard all-star Thraben Inspector for games where you might have to go longer. I also ran a mono-white Human Soldiers build with Mentor of the Meek for card draw. Your only non-soldier cards are Student of Warfare and Gather the Townsfolk, and you can run things like Field Marshal, Precinct Captain, Mentor and Veteran Armorsmith in a soliders build.
As for reach to close out a game, there aren't great options in white compared to say Red's direct damage and haste. One option is evasion, so cards like Gryff's Boon for recursive flying evasion can help. Otherwise maybe something you can flash in end of turn like an Aven Mindcensor to steal the last few points.
As a side point, a copy of Eiganjo Castle is free in this deck, and can protect Kytheon and Thalia in the right situation
I've got also a few questions:
- Can I level up Student of Warfare the same turn it's casted on the battlefield if I have enough mana?
Yes, but at sorcery speed (so you cannot do it in response to a removal spell for example)
- Does Gideon, Battle-Forged get +1/+1 from Honor of the Pure if he's a creature until end of turn?
Yes, and if you make him a Human before you play a Thalia's Lieutenant, he will get a +1/+1 counter too
- Does Elspeth's first ability trigger Champ and Thalia's lieutenant ETB effect? I don't think so, but I prefer to make sure about it.
No, the creature type on the token is Soldier, but it will get a buff from Honor of the Pure as it is white
- Do tokens from Gather the Townsfolk get +1/+1 from Metallic Mimic (as a human type) and Honor of the Pure?
Yes and Yes
Aug 21, 2017Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from BartHenryksson »Hey Humans!
Yeah, the lack of Noble Hierarch and Cavern of Souls. I know the cards are crazy good but i am to stingy to pay so much for 7 cards. I convinced myself to buy a Cavern of Souls each month. Maybe I will do the same with the Noble Hierarch. I replace them for now with Birds of Paradise. I like the colorfixing a lot wich allows to play either Reflector Mage or Anafenza, the Foremost. What else should I change in the Main?
Agreed, they are great cards but expensive. I still need to buy my last two Caverns instead of borrowing them. Hierarch is just a great card unfortunately, Pilgrim is a necessary in the lists but not nearly as good.
Now some questions:
In some situations I don't know if it is better to play Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or a 3-Drop (mostly Anafenza, the Foremost). What do you recommend? I am aware that it's always situationally but maybe there is a norm.
Depends on the matchup and if you have a Collected Company you are hoping to cast turn 3. If you have a hand of creatures then an early Thalia, especially game 1 if you don't know what are playing is probably better to try and trip them up. If they are playing red then Anafenza is great as they will find her hard to remove. Turn 2 Reflector Mage on their mana creature is a very strong play.
What do you think about Meddling Mage? I am not sure with this card. In wich match-ups is it good and what cards i want to name?
I name combo pieces - Living End, Ad Nauseum, Ironworks. It's a narrow card that is great for some metas, and poor in others.
Sin Collector? If yes, how many in the main? Or in the board? In my testing it was one of the worst cards...
Yes for me, but 2 in the sideboard currently. I had it in my main board over Eternal Witness for GP Birmingham, mainly to try and get extra information about my opponents game 1. Some matches it is worth the mainboard inclusion, especially the 'unfair' combo type decks, but versus creature decks you might miss.
Is Thalia, Guardian of Thraben that good? Don't get me wrong... I love this card! Sometime she hits super hard but sometimes she does nothing.
She is not a guaranteed include on the lists here, but I run 2. She can mess up your small amount of spells, but tends to restrict our opponents more I find. Again, maybe dependent on the decks you run into - the more non-creature spells played the better she is. Definitely Bant Black's weakness is a lack of a good 2 drop and evasion compared to Kari Zev, Harsh Mentor, Mantis Rider etc.
What is your opinion on the Mana Dorks? I saw lists running 6 other 8. Would you run 4x Avacyn's Pilgrim and 2x Birds of Paradise in favor of two more 3-Drops? If so, wich 3-Drops? Please let me know.
I run 7 - 4 Hierarch and 3 Pilgrim. I'm currently trying 11 1CMC creatures, 10 2CMC and 10 3CMC creatures to have a smoother curve, as I find sometimes that having fewer 2 drops can make your curve out awkward if they remove your mana dork.
What do you think on "Naya"? I saw this girl playing Naya at the GP in Birmingham. She played Magus of the Moon over Reflector Mage to mess with the opponents manabase. Also another sideboard plan. Is an aggro build like the Blitz version viable in the current meta (with some major tweaks of course)?
I don't run red in my list, other people here do and the lists look interesting. Reflector Mage is very strong right now though, so I wouldn't want to cut that unless I had good reason.
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Oct 5, 2017Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from SmauG »Dropping blue has made my deck far more reliable in the Blood Moon matches. I have made a few tweaks top the manabase to make this happen, Verdant Catacombs instead of Windswept Heath.
Fetching my three basics and trying to get rid of Blood Moon as early as possible with hand disruption is the best way. If it does resolve, it's only a minor annoiance, and usually a loss of turn three for the opponent.
The issue I have with dropping blue is that creature matchups get considerably worse and sideboarding gets tougher since you can't lean on Reflector Mage and cut Path to Exile. Reflector Mage is what I consider to be the most important non-core creature (Champ/Lieutenant/Noble) in any CoCo Humans list. I'm ok taking a slightly higher risk against Blood Moon in order to have far better matchups and sideboarding across pretty much everything else.
Also, just as a heads up, I streamed some Modern Friendly League matches on twitch last night with the new Bant Black deck (twitch.tv/kingcars - should be available in the Videos section). I made a couple of egregious punts, one of which cost me a round, but both were due to interactions I wasn't thinking about or fully aware of, so it was a great learning experience for me and hopefully a good lesson for those watching as well. I also probably shouldn't have been playing so late at night, but oh well haha. But after 3 matches, the deck is 2-1 and I'm hoping to finish off strong tonight. I apologize for the low volume audio and the subpar video quality - both should be fixed for tonight's stream. Once the league is over, I'll be sure to clip out each round and post them to my Youtube channel, which is under the same name. I also may be streaming the Bant Red list as well so we can get some good side by side comparisons.
Oct 4, 2017Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from WanganMidnight »Quote from kingcars »[quote from="polymorpher »" url="http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/developing-competitive-modern/769652-modern-humans?comment=565"]What do you think about playing Mantis Rider instead of Anafenza or a one of Abzan Falconer?
Anafenza, the Foremost is a fantastic magic card, just try it out!
This! I ran Bant Black Humans at GP Birmingham, and everytime I played my singleton Anafenza, she got a reaction from my opponents, usually something like "Yeah, sure... wait, what does she do again? Oh, cool... and she's a 4/4?!". I was never unhappy to see her.
Yeah, I have been a big Anafenza fan since I first started playing with Abzan based Humans lists. She is everything the humans deck wants: above-the-curve body, grows other creatures when attacking and even has some relevant graveyard hate tacked on. It's never a bad card in any matchup and at its best is a game ender. My personal opinion is that it's a mistake to not run at least 2 in a list that easily supports her colors. The Legendary downside is the only part I dislike.
Quote from WanganMidnight »
Your deck looks interesting, I like the idea of a proactive disruption deck, speaking as someone who gets punished for risky keeps myself this seems like a great way to disrupt an opponent, whilst building a Humans beat down. I also like that it cleans up your sideboard into very clear options that support your gameplan or address specific matchups. Plus I just miss Kambal and Sin Collector in my current Bant Red Human Knightfall list!
The thing I have been finding is that, in a lot of our tougher matchups, they will often keep a hand that is almost zero action aside from the 1 card that kills us (ie Supreme Verdict). A well timed Freebooter or Sin Collector can destroy that hope quickly.
Also, even though I have not yet had a situation where I couldn't hit anything with Freebooter or Collector, I find the hand information to be very relevant. Again I'll use UW control as an example, but knowing when I do and don't have to play around sweepers and removal is huge. That same information makes Meddling Mage very good.
Quote from polymorpher »
I will give your configuration a try. However, I think we don't need the red in the sideboard (including the land). Since your maindeck is very disruptive already I think the focus of your sideboard should go a little bit more towards the very small aggressive creature decks. Therefore, I think you should play 2 Orzhov Pontiff and cutting the Izzet staticaster and the land. Even though no human, I would prefer Reclamation Sage over Vithian Renegades but if you want them I think you can still keep them without adding the additional stomping ground in the side. I personally also prefer Stony Silence instead of Kathaki because it is acceptable to good in the Eldrazi tron matchup.
It's possible that the red isn't needed, but I felt that the small splash was mostly a drop in the bucket with the addition of Unclaimed Territory in the mana base, and those two creatures in particular were proving to be very good in my Bant Red build. A few other things to note:
Small creature decks have not been a problem for me with any version of CoCo Humans. Our creatures quickly get too big for them to bust through, and Path to Exile and Reflector Mage keep the board in check. Post board, we have Arashin Cleric as a solid early blocker and lifegain if needed. The only "small creature deck" that is a problem is burn, but this version of the deck has way more tools to fight it and it seems much more winnable. Izzet Staticaster is great since it has flash and its ability is reusable for as long as it's alive, which is why I prefer it over Pontiff.
As for Vithian Renegades vs Reclamation Sage, there are a few things to talk about. Sage is harder to cast in a 4x Cavern of Souls, 4x Unclaimed Territory deck. It's a 2/1 body that doesn't grow vs a 3/2 body that does grow (not counting Anafenza triggers). It also doesn't grow any existing Champs of Lieutenants. There really aren't many enchantments we need to hit; those that we can hit can also be taken care of with Kitesail Freebooter, which I added a 4th of in the sideboard since yesterday, or Meddling Mage. Vithian Renegades is mostly used for sniping Aether Vial, since that usually comes down before we can grab it with a Freebooter or Mage. It's also used for Affinity, which is a matchup where enchantment removal is not necessary. So at this moment, enchantments aren't a concern, so I'll take the bigger body and all the synergies.
Stony Silence vs Kataki, War's Wage is always an interesting discussion. In the case of this deck, the only matchup I need Kataki for is Affinity. If Kataki sticks, it's nearly impossible to lose. Meanwhile, I have seen plenty of games where Affinity wins through Stony Silence without much issue. Yes, Kataki can be killed, but we can at least find a 2nd one with CoCo and we have other artifact removal to hit, so it's not the end of the world. As for Eldrazi Tron, there isn't much in that deck I'm afraid of. The main things I want to stop are Oblivion Stone and All is Dust, which the built in disruption package easily takes care of. I don't have much interest in vastly slowing down my on-board pressure by playing an enchantment on T2.
In summary, to WanganMidnight's point, the disrution package of this deck allows us to be very specific with our sideboard cards, so we can focus on silver bullets for specific matchups and play less flexible cards with more synergy. These are obviously just my opinions and some food for thought on a few subjects. The best way to find out is to test it all out for yourself and see what you like!
Sep 20, 2017Posted in: Aggro & Tempothe only card I'm second guessing is Blessed Alliance - is it in for Burn? Death's Shadow?
Burn, Infect, Bogles. DS is a fine MU and that card isn't as efficient as PtE. It can be an ok filler if he cuts too many weak cards from his main.
Aug 20, 2017A couple of weeks ago I put together Bant Human Knightfall. It was only a few cards different from Ivan de Castro Sanchez's GP Birmingham top 8 list, so I feel like I was on the right track at least. I have taken his list as a baseline, some of the advice Ari Lax gave in his video set, and my own experience to arrive at my current list. I went 4-0 at FNM, beating Seismic Swans (I know, right?!? If you are unfamiliar, look it up, it's hilarious), G/r Ponza, Burn, and Counters Company.Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
This deck feels really sweet, especially the sideboard. I made a couple of notable changes from Sanchez's list. I removed Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and moved a copy of Retreat to Coralhelm to the sideboard. I added one Gavony Township because there are few cards better when going wide in modern. The third Eternal Witness was added because I wanted another three-drop and she is likely better than any of the alternatives.
On Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: The decks she's best against are in a downswing currently. There is also the ever-present friction with our own cards, Path to Exile and Collected Company. This sideboard is better against the 'unfair' decks than what I had been running, so the disruption provided by her just wasn't needed as much.
On Retreat to Coralhelm: This card can win games out of nowhere but takes quite a bit of life to combo off. That makes it somewhat of a liability against any kind of aggressive strategy. It is a card that gets sided out fairly often because of this. Bring the second copy in against decks that don't threaten life totals quickly or when you need to combo off faster than an opponent. If your local metagame doesn't have many aggro decks then feel free to run the second copy main over the third Eternal Witness. I did get to combo off turn three on the play against Ponza. That felt good.
On Reflector Mage: The last time I tried this card I didn't like it. Right now, I think it's busted. The format has become a bit more creature-dense and as a result there are few better tempo plays. I also have to admit that board interaction with Collected Company is pretty ruthless.
The Burrenton-Forge Tenders won me at least two games, one against Ponza and one against Burn. I don't know why I didn't have them before.
Izzet Staticaster is ridiculous against Counters Company. Just remember that it will kill every Noble Hierarch on the battlefield, not just theirs - unless Thalia's Lieutenant has boosted your own Nobles. My opponent was kind of salty about that one. The body count Staticaster racked up in one game was pretty ridiculous. First activation, two Vizier of Remedies died. Second was three Birds of Paradise. Finally found Lieutenant and got two Nobles with the third activation, which prompted a concession.
Negate is one of the best cards we can have against pretty much any of the combo decks and any deck with non-Supreme Verdict sweepers. If we have pressure on board, open mana, and one of these in hand, it often reads "you win the game". Unified Will is a card that I have been warming up to the more often I run into Primeval Titan. Obviously, you only want to board this card in when your opponent isn't running many creatures or removal. When it's good, though, it is a hard counter and is rarely seen coming.
Overall, my initial take on this list is that it feels more powerful and harder to beat than any of the other humans lists I have sleeved up, enough so that I am planning on tuning this for a SCG Modern Classic next month.
Aug 15, 2017Posted in: Aggro & TempoQuote from SilentSentinel »Hello, everyone! The concept of a Humans deck has peaked my interest ever since I've started playing MtG, but I never got around to building and playing it. I have a question before I begin building (and I'm sorry if anyone has brought it up recently), but is it really that hard to go straight 5C for the deck? From what I've gathered, the main reason for going Black Bant is Anafenza, The Foremost, while Red Bant has more interesting choices (I honestly would love to play Kari Zev, Skyship Raider in a deck, finally!). What are the main differences in card choices between Black and Red that make them so different (aside from the already mentioned Anafenza and Kari Zev, and Mantis Rider)? I could totally see using Sacred Foundry/Overgrown Tomb in tandem, or Godless Shrine/Stomping Ground.
Obviously you will get some varying opinions on these things, but I've run all of the above: 5 color, "red bant" and "black bant" so hopefully I can help shed some light on the differences.
First of all, as Shelldell mentioned, the real core of the archetype is available in Bant colors, so there isn't enough reason to go 5 color due to how awful the mana gets. From there, it comes down to whether you want to splash black or splash red.
The key creatures you get are Anafenza, the Foremost, Sin Collector, Kambal, Consul of Allocation, Orzhov Pontiff and Xathrid Necromancer.
Of these, Anafenze and Necromancer are the least situational cards, and therefore the most suitable black-specific maindeck choices, aside from meta-specific variables. Anafenza is a beast and really puts on the pressure quickly while being resistant to most damage based removal. The counter ability is perfectly in line with the general Human theme and gameplan. You can even get incremental value by tapping mana dorks pre-combat so that Anafenza can add counters to them if she has to attack alone. Many people, including myself, are tempted by Dark Confidant, but it just doesn't work out very well. Games get grindy and the opponent lets your own Bob kill you. Or you get into a damage race and lose. Etc. The 3 drops are the draw here. The Black splash is great if you want to beat Living End/Dredge (graveyard-centric creature decks) using Anafenza and sweeper decks using Necromancer and Sin Collector. Kambal out of the side is great against Storm. Pontiff performs mostly the same job that Izzet Staticaster does in the "red bant" sideboard with shooting down x/1s. Compared to the red list, you sacrifice some speed but gain some resilience and hand disruption. The weakest point of the black deck to be is the lack of top notch stand alone 2 drops. Skyship Plunderer is a card I've been currently running in my black list, which works really well with Anafenza. But it's not quite at the level of the 2 drops you get from red. The other issue with the black version is that it has a harder time dealing with planeswalkers due to the lack of evasion and haste.
My current "black bant" list, as an example:
The key creatures you get are Mantis Rider, Kari Zev, Skyship Raider, Voltaic Brawler Izzet Staticaster. There are other various sideboard cards like Vithian Renegades to note as well.
In the games I have played over the last few months, I continue to be impressed with Mantis Rider. It doesn't have the Legendary downside that Anafenza has in the black list, which is great, and it is very aggressive and evasive. So many decks are weak to this card, with their only hope being that they have or quickly draw a removal spell that can deal with it. I honestly have not had any issues running it with Avacyn's Pilgrim as my mana base is mostly fetch/shock based, meaning that I can set up the correct mana quite easily. Kari Zev and Brawler are more recent additions to my red list, but I have been very happy with them. They are both hard to block, and the curve of turn 1 Champion of the Parish into turn 2 Brawler/Kari Zev into turn 3 Mantis Rider is absolutely brutal. It's a very aggressive, hard to block onslaught that a lot of decks cannot deal with. Even "just" a turn 2 Mantis Rider is brutal, especially off a Noble Hierarch where you get the exalted trigger. The red bant list has the ability to put the opponent under a LOT of pressure very quickly, making it much better at getting under decks at the expense of some of the resilience of cards like Anafenza and Necromancer out of the black deck. Without the hand disruption from Sin Collector, you'll want to run some counter spells like Negate or Mana Leak in the sideboard to help fight pesky non-creature strategies.
My current "red bant" list, as an example (note: sideboard is very experimental right now):
I hope that breakdown helps!
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