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  • 3

    posted a message on Modern Humans
    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. Smile
    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.

    Good cards

    - 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.

    Ideas/Next Steps
    - 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.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • 1

    posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote 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

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • 1

    posted a message on Modern Humans
    Hey Humans!

    Main problems:
    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.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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