Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
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  • 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
  • posted a message on Modern Humans

    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.

    Thanks for the post, I'm looking to take my Bant Black list and try the Knightfall package.

    In terms of your list, how has running 8 mana dorks and fewer two drops felt? I'm always wary of having to make the jump from one to three mana in the face of removal, but I think most Humans lists suffer from too many options at 3CMC and not enough at 2. Thalia is the card that comes up in these discussions, as she can mess up our CoCos, which is frustrating, but in my limited experience our opponent is less happy to see her. I can see why you would take her out, but I'd be interested as to how you find your curve.

    Thoughts on Eternal Witness? I agree that she is useful, and in my view better than Rallier in your list as CoCo and the 3 drops are what you probably want back most of the time rather than Lieutenant, which she can get anyway. Wondering how 3 copies has worked for you as statswise she doesn't offer much in terms of damage, so you rely a bit more on Knight to do the heavy lifting. Thalia, Heretic Cathar has always put in work for me.

    It's also probably difficult to quantify, but have you noticed anything moving from 21 to 22 lands?

    Interesting sideboard too, I agree hard counters like Negate are what I think the deck needs against our bad matchups to stop a combo or removal piece. I like the idea of being flexible with the two copies of Retreat, as I've been playing with two in main, but have also boarded them out for aggressive matches.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from Wesste »
    Although not Knightfall, I experimented with a Devoted Vizier Human (Naya) build a few months back (if you were interested, scroll back a few pages in this thread) I had mixed success, but being able to constantly threaten a infinite mana combo was pretty good. It also meant that my Champions didn't see as much spot removal because this was reserved for devoted druid. This also applied to knight of the reliquary which gave me a really good beater.

    The list that I was developing definitely needed some work (I.e. Dropping lightning mauler etc) but I liked the overall concept.

    Would be interested to hear how you get on with the Human Knightfall list. I'm working on an Abzan Human list so will feedback results when I get to test it Wink

    Will do. Early thoughts seem to be that it retains a lot of the Bant Humans style, but is slanted more towards an aggressive turning sideways plan rather than the disruption of Bant Black, but in the main deck it's not a major difference. I was running Mirran Crusader main, so you get plus points against certain decks there, but having a Knight of the Reliquary enter as a 4/4 oftentimes is helpful to avoid Bolt. Plus once you have a Knight or two out you can threaten a Kessig Wolf Run end of turn to trample over any blocker.

    Although having to learn how the Retreat combo sequencing works is a bit of a headache for me starting out.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Agree with the thoughts here. Humans seems to be Green and White, with Blue a natural third colour due to Noble Hierarch and the current strength of Reflector Mage. Black for disruption/grind, red for aggression/evasion.

    I was browsing the GP Birmingham lists after seeing 4 Colour Humans made it onto camera for Round 5, and then noticed that someone Top 8'd with Bant Human Knightfall. Any thoughts on adding the Knightfall package to a humans deck? Seems like an option to me, you lose black's grind/disruption and red's damage/evasion (although you could maybe up the red mana and go 4 colour?), but you do get a Human that can be a 4/4 on turn 2, as well as an 'oops I win' combo, which could allow you to steal some games, as well as a searchable source of trample late game.

    List here: http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/gpbir17/first-days-9-0-decks-grand-prix-birmingham-2017-08-13

    My Starting List based on the above link

    Kari Zev is a sort of placeholder in the deck, I don't know if the manabase as it stands is reliable enough for her turn 2, as it has a high fetch count, but fetching for red/white turn 2 might mess up future turns where we need green/blue. Skyship Plunderer or Jhessian Infiltrator maybe, or the 4th Path from the sideboard?

    Given that losing black removes the disruptive elements that colour brings, I think you're looking to just smash face as a plan B, with Reflector Mage and 3 Mana Thalia messing up your opponent's blockers and givnig you big tempo swings. You could easily drop the Retreats and 2 Knights for the Mirran Crusaders and Eternal Witnesses if you expect a lot of hate in games 2 and 3 and just focus on the beatdown.

    This might belong over on the Knightfall thread, but given that this is a Humans list at heart that splashes a combo, I've put it here. Thoughts?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Quote from headminerve »

    Your impressions are accurate, SavageGaul and Kingcars brought trustful advice.
    I would add the 2-drop slot is also a matter of meta at this point. Most options players propose here (along with a great personal feedback) are playable and can make the cut. So either a bomb is printed and everybody will play 4 copies (2-3 for a Legend), or each meta we expect will drive our choices.

    Burn consistency is its numero uno strength in the format. While Humans need to draw good SB cards, Burn players just have to draw average. Path in the opening hand is the best start to have. If you deal with their only beater, then you don't have to play creatures in curve, so you can fetch tapped lands and curve your creatures one turn late.
    The one card that may break them in half is Leyline of Sanctity, all the other cards just help but don't steal the game on their own. Auriok Champion on T2 is probably the best play you can make, as it's a X-for-1 they can't compensate easily: it blocks their first attacker, punishes them for playing creatures, and can't prevent all the lifegain since there's more creatures than Skullcrack effects in the game.

    Valakut isn't a bad MU if your deck is built to fight combo decks. Kambal is over-estimated, so even though it seems to fight combos well, it doesn't combat them all equally well. Counterspells do. Collective Brutality would be a fine option for Burn, creatureless combos and control. The obvious and brainless human/creature options aren't necessarily the better SB options, which leads back to my comment about Disenchant...

    Some interesting points here, which I agree with. The two drop slot could do with a standout card alongside the pump and Thalia options.

    Auriok Champion is on my radar as an anti-red card. As you said, Burn just needs an average draw and they feel like they are favoured, they definitely punish weak or slow keeps. She's not quite Ondu Cleric for Allies, but might be worth a try for red matchups.

    I think you might be right, for Valakut countermagic is the answer. Kambal, Sin Collector and Negate/Mana Leak/Unified Will should be enough disruption to slow them down.

    As for Disenchant, it's a great single card answer, albeit one that does not come attached to a creature. Meta call I guess if you really need single target removal over broader artifact hate like Stony and Kataki, and narrower options like Qasali, Rec Sage, War Priest and Renegades don't fit your deck.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Thanks everyone for the feedback and discussion. Definitely lots to think about and try!

    Agree that my curve was a little off, which probably led to some weak keeps. I think that a strong 2-drop could make a big difference, maybe a pirate from Ixalan will help this slot? I do like the idea of Skyship Plunderer, I had a WU Humans deck in standard which I was trialling when Marvel was legal, and Plunderer was an good card there.

    Some good points made about evasion, which Bant Black lacks. I'll try Silverblade Paladin, but might need to try something else to get the damage through. My trawl through Gatherer threw up some weird and wonderful humans - Captain of the Mists, Bant Battlemage and Skinshifter, which offer evasion for mana. Maulfist Revolutionary is certainly strong in standard WG Humans, and trample is helpful.

    Also Jhessian Infiltrator is all about evasion.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    I attended GP Birmingham last weekend – my first GP – and ended up going 5-4 with Bant Black Humans, losing Round 9 for my chance to make Day 2. I learnt a lot about playing Modern in general, and made some bad decisions that I’ll learn from (City of Brass is not an okay 1 land keep against Burn!). I think it was really helpful to play the deck in a big tournament, to get a feel of how the deck plays out and which cards you want to see and which you’re not as keen on.

    General thoughts/comments
    • The Humans deck can be “fast”, which was a comment several of my opponents made. In some games having the Champion, Mana dork, Lieutenant, Mayor, 3 land opening hand felt pretty unbeatable on the play.
    • The Humans deck can also disrupt and stall. I played Grixis Death’s Shadow Round 8, and fought through Kolaghan’s Command, Fatal Push, Thoughtseize, both three drop Lili’s, Gurmag Angler and Death’s Shadows. Even with all of this, I was able to keep the pressure up with Reflector Mages bouncing things, making big threats, and then landing Mirran Crusader, which is the trump card. A high creature count definitely helps to keep topdecking something to put on the board until you hit a Collected Company.
    • Thalia and Thalia are great. Thalia Guardian of Thraben is sometimes a pain for us, but I feel she definitely messes up things for our opponents more often than for us. They really slow our opponent down, and help us press home a quick start and keep the pressure on.

    Matchups I’d like thoughts/help on
    • Valakut/Scapeshift.
    This feels like a terrible matchup. I was 1-2 against it, but my win came from my opponent having 8-9 ands and no payoff in either game. The other two games I couldn’t do anything, they just gathered their lands, played a Sakura Tribe Elder and then boom 18 damage pointed at my head (you’re almost certainly taking 2 damage from lands in this deck every game, and usually more). As Canuckistan1 posted, I’m in need of ideas for this matchup. Specific hate through a Meddling Mage is no good as they have so many ways to ramp (Khalni Heart, Sakura Tribe, Hour of Promise, Scapeshift, Primetime, Farseek, Search for Tomorrow), and you probably need to save the hate for Anger of the Gods. I can’t see a creature that fits what we need, Kambal and Sin Collector are helpful along with the Thalia’s, but it just doesn’t feel enough. Do we have to go for a non-creature spell like Negate or Unified Will to give us the catch-all answer we need in this matchup, or a Repel the Abominable or two?
    • Burn.
    With our land base I think we help them quite a bit, and we need a quick start to keep up. My opponent played the match well I thought as he went after my creatures early to stop me developing any kind of threat, and then went after my face in the later turns. He also had mainboard Searing Blood which did good work against me. I didn’t bring much in the sideboard for Burn – Kambal was my hope, but I didn’t see him. I know people have talked about life-gaining Humans on here as a sideboard option, maybe something in that as our mana base typically leaves us at 18 if not 15 some games. What do people bring in for Burn?

    The other matchups I had felt okay.
    • Affinity is a race, being on the play is huge to develop a board or get disruption down before they dump their hand.
    • UR Tron was interesting, but felt too slow against us if they don’t Tron – I got caught out with Kozilek’s Return as I wasn’t familiar with the matchup, and Ugin is game over, but it seemed to take a while to get itself setup, which we can take advantage of.
    • Dredge was fine, lose game 1, bring in hate, and draw your disruptive creatures. Again, Thalia put in work here, making creatures enter tapped and then bouncing them back to my opponent’s hand with a Reflector Mage.
    • Death’s Shadow is a grindfest, Rest in Peace did a lot of work, as did Eternal Witness bringing back a Thoughtseized 2mana Thalia to slow him down. Reflector Mage is great here too, and Mirran Crusader forces them to be running Bolt or a sweeper.

    Moving Forward
    • The 2 drop slot is a bit of an issue for Bant Black. Red has some good choices here – Harsh Mentor, Kari Zev, Voltaic Brawler all have merit, and I’d consider any of them if they were Bant colours. Of the available options, Dark Confidant interests me because card draw is fantastic, but my main concern is that he is black, which is our 4th colour (mainly due to Noble Hierarch not tapping for black), which could be awkward if we want him out turn 2. Anyone have any spicy tech at 2CMC? On my shortlist are Grand Abolisher, Knight of the Holy Nimbus and Skyship Plunderer.
    • Some draws can feel a little awkward as our curve takes a dip at 2CMC. The hands where you have a mana dork, 2 lands and three drops feel awful if they have removal for your dork. Not sure what the answer is here, I think it’s a result of the colours and deck. Functional reprint of Thalia’s Lieutenant in Ixalan would be nice!
    • Mayor of Avabruck. I guess he kind of sums up the previous two points. I feel for some people he is just in as the 59th and 60th cards because he is a two drop and offers an anthem. I do like him, and played three in my list. He is pretty bad on his own, but also won me several games due to his extra pump.
    • Changes to mainboard – I want to try something more aggressive. Until someone finds a good idea for Valakut/Scapeshift I think the best way forward is to get under some of these problematic decks, and as Kingcars said be more proactive. I’m going to go up to 4 Mayors, and add in a couple of Silverblade Paladins. Giving double strike to a big Champion or Lieutenant seems ideal for speeding up the clock, and 3 Mana Thalia and Anafenza are more than happy to have double strike. Drop an Avacyn’s Pilgrim and move the Mirran Crusaders to the side, as they are good against Death's Shadow and Dredge, but worse against other decks that don't run heavy green or black.
    Ramble over, I’ll try and tidy this up later.

    Also - thoughts on 3 or 4 Path to Exile main deck? I think we want the 4 copies in the 75, but is a good idea to put the 4th in the sideboard so we have another slot for control/non-interactive matchups?

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Maybe something weird with lands in Naya CoCo, borrowing ideas from the GW Company lists with both Thalias, Magus of the Moon, Ghost Quarter, Knight of the Reliquary, Tracker, Eternal Witness, Renegade Rallier.

    Magus of the Moon is a little bit of a problem for a 3 colour deck as you could turn off your own lands, but the rest of the cards above give you a recursive land tax effect with Witness and Rallier to bring your Ghost Quarters back, then using Trackers and Knights to take advantage of land drops and fetches. Maybe a few Harsh Mentors to add some more ability hate. Probably too many 3 drops in my list, but an interesting idea!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    It's an interesting discussion to have, given that the Humans Company deck revolves around having a critical mass of creatures, ideally Humans, to go wide and tall, whilst disrupting our opponent's plans. I guess it's finding a balance between having the right answer/effect on a Human/creature, that isn't significantly worse/more expensive than a similar effect on a non-creature card, and accepting that putting effects on creatures opens them up to creature removal.

    Playing Collected Company gives us the chance to play some of these answers at instant speed if we need to, and if they are Humans, they also further our plan of pumping Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant. Another interesting point is that creatures such as Sin Collector Reflector Mage and War Priest of Thune are one time effects, so the opponent is maybe less incentivised to remove them if they resolve as 'the damage is done'. None of them have the stats of say an Anafenza, but leaving bodies on the battlefield to be pumped is a nice bonus.

    I've found myself building more towards your line of thinking, being proactive is what this deck wants to be, so not diluting your creature count unless you have to seems sensible. That said, I do have 2 Rest in Peace (with a Qasali Pridemage) and 2 Stony Silence (alongside a Kataki, War's Wage), as I feel they are more powerful than creature equivalents and are persistent effects, and do force your opponent to side in their enchantment removal rather than doubling down on creature removal and sweepers, which I assume most decks would like to board in more of against us (and against decks that run them, is probably our main priority to navigate a turn 3 Anger or turn 4 Verdict).

    Follow up 'new to Modern' question - are there enough enchantments in Modern for War Priest of Thune to be a general sideboard option, or is he more for certain metas?
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    It's definitely unexpected, and you can't really outpump it like an Anger of the Gods.

    At least them having to take a turn off gives us a really good chance to rebuild. If it comes down turn 3 we can CoCo next turn and then play another Human or two after, maybe hit a Sin Collector or Meddling Mage to prevent the second one.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Little Thalia into Big Thalia is an interesting line against combo decks, had a scoop in response to it once!

    Think Big Thalia has some good general utility, be it stopping land drops (tapped fetches are pretty brutal), or blockers coming in tapped she seems pretty useful. 2 toughness isn't great as she won't grow out of anger/bolt range easily, but 3 first strike power makes her good in combat. Talking myself into cutting the line Falconer for a 2nd Big Thalia.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Thanks for the reply - the extra fetches make sense to try and thin the deck for Collected Company, as do the Thickets for the early land drops. Will try cutting some Temple Gardens for Flooded Strands.

    I guess Eldrazi is about having a wide aggressive start or a utility start into CoCo - I meant 3CMC Thalia, Heretic Cathar on turn 2 off a mana dork, particularly on the play.

    Anything you think is majorly missing from my sideboard - I appreciate that you can't cover every deck in 15 cards, but any recommendations for the more 'unfair' matchups would be appreciated.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Humans
    Hi all,

    Really glad I found this forum and this thread in particular, it has been great reading through so many decklists and ideas for Humans.

    I started Modern a few months ago with a budget mono White Humans list, as I had a good chunk of it from playing Humans in Origins and current standard. It is fun but lacking in staying power and closers. I decided to make the investment in Humans Company and am currently running the following list;

    As I'm new to the deck and format I had a couple of questions I was hoping someone could answer;
    1. Mana base - Green White duals.
    I've just switched from 2 Sunpetal Grove to 2 Razorverge Thicket. I switched from Sunpetal Groves to avoid problematic opening hands with a Grove and a Cavern of Souls alongside a mana dork and a 3 drop, but Thicket is worse off the top as land number 4, particularly when you want to Collected Company. Is it just a case of picking your drawback, and that an untapped land early is better than the turn 4 CoCo?

    1b. Mana Base - Shocks.
    Am I running too many? I know most other lists are running Mana Confluence when they move towards 4 colours, but I feel that the 1 Anafenza main and 2 Kambal in the side are manageable with a single black source and the 4 Caverns. The only obvious missing land is a Gavony Township, which I haven't gone for as I was concerned about a colourless land in such a colour intensive deck, particularly on a mulligan. Should one or two of the Temple Gardens be non-shock duals, with the drawbacks I listed above?

    2. Sideboard
    This is the biggest stumbling block for me due to my lack of experience in Modern. I feel fine playing against 'fair' decks, but I'm finding certain matchups very difficult. What do Humans have access to to help us versus;

    Thanks and sorry for the long post!
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
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