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  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Quote from Frznblu »
    As much as I love this deck, I feel like it's very medium and am surprised it won.especially compared to decks like Temur and 4 color energy. Props for the pilot for being able to take it all the way.


    Yeah, it always seems like the underdog going up against Temur and some other decks. I wish Seth had played against some temur on screen so we could have seen how he beat it and how he sideboarded stuff.
    I just hope everybody won't jump on sultai now hehe. I went back to the constrictor deck because I didn't want to be on the band wagon, so I hope it doesn't turn into one now hehe. But I'm glad to see it won.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Seth Manfield got in the Ixalan Pro Tour top 8 with a Sultai Energy deck. Some pretty interesting sideboarding. I was talking to some of the other guys last time I played in a store and said I really liked having the Amonkhet Nissa in my Temur deck's sideboard and they all went "nah she sucks, why would you want that" and now the top 8 Sultai deck has two of her in the sideboard and a lot of the other temur decks used her too, hehe.

    Here's a link to the top 8 lists including Seth's Sultai deck.
    https://magic.wizards.com/en/events/coverage/ptxln/top-8-decklists-2017-11-04

    I'm so glad to see he's using Die Young. The two cards, Live fast and Die Young have some of my favourite artwork. I really hope they film him in the feature match area today so we can get a look at how he plays against Temur. That's really the one I've been wanting to see the most this pro tour.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Anybody see the deck spotlight at the pro tour for a sultai energy deck with the Electro Static Pummeler combo? It look really fun, but I can't find the list anywhere yet.
    Only thing was it looked like he didn't use any removal at all in the main deck.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Quote from TechnoWriter »
    Crappy deal. Nights like that are always disappointing.

    What did you play against?

    Aside from not drawing Scarab God (BTW can I be your friend's friend too??), can you report on any other cards as being standouts or duds? Sad but true the losses tend to offer more insights than the wins...


    I made a long detailed reply, but I miss clicked a button and lost the reply... so I'll just keep it short.

    Not a whole lot to learn really. It was such an off night that I don't think there's a lot to take away from it. It literally couldn't have gone any worse hehe (maybe if I also got a parking ticket) Everything the entire evening was just off.

    Played against Temur match 1, had to sit 2nd match over because we were an uneven number, 3rd match was pseudo mardu vehicles and 4th match was pseudo temur without blue. Got annihilated in all matches.

    Biggest thing to take away was this deck is very vulnerable against flying, but I think everybody's figured that out by now hehe.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    I like that people have pointed out cartouche of ambition. This card looks great against Ramunap Red and the mirror matchup. It's also possibly temur energy, where we just want to grow our creatures larger than the opponent's. I will fit one into my sideboard.

    Another note somewhat related to the massive discussion below, but also a new topic. Who else is playing Rhonas the Indomitable? This card is a god send, pun intended, a lot of the time. We can't underestimate the power of a mana sink like this in a creature based deck. I swear Rhonas has won me more games than is reasonable as a one of. Perhaps the split lies in that I play Bristling Hydra over Hostage Taker since I don't have any copies of the latter. The reason this ties into the discussion below is that having 4 hydras, 1 gearhulk, 1 Rishkar and 2 the scarab god allows you to play Rhonas with confidence. I've been playing a higher cmc, higher land count and lower attune count than most in order to include the aforementioned threats.

    Quote from DRay563 »
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    Quote from hoser2 »
    I know I don't want less than 21 land because of Mulligans. 22 seems reasonable. We can simulate 21.5 with 22 land in a 61 card deck, fwiw. I don't think I have flooded lately and screw is painful.

    I have been toying around with the number of attunes and land. My feeling is that we're better off playing fewer attunes and more lands. More land with fewer attunes can allow you to play a higher curve and keep more hands. I run 4 hyrda, 2 vraska's contempt, 1 verdurous gearhulk and 2 The scarab God. I'm not sure why more people don't run 2 the scarab god in their deck. (Perhaps it's because they feel the mana base can't support it when playing only 21 actual lands?)

    Attune was just flooding me out late game. I've tried 22 land/4 attune, 22 land/3 attune and my newest incarnation is 23 land/1 attune/2 opt/1 fetid pools. I like a copy of fetid pools instead of more attune with aether (on paper.) Pools can still help us search for a land, and allow the 3 drowned catacombs to come into play untapped. Having lands that come into play untapped turn 4/5 has been a huge boon for this deck. Opt is also a much better top deck than attune, it can also be better early game!

    The thing I find with the deck is that with 23 lands, we don't need to have access to all 3 colors to keep an opening hand. With 4 glint-sleeve siphoner, 4 rogue refiner, and now 2 opt and 1 censor, the deck will eventually draw you the mana you need to keep playing while still being able to play spells out of your hand. It seems better than playing attune to me, as attune becomes a "wasted" card slot in my opinion. When playing 3 colors, having to rely on a 1 cost card to help fix the colors can be a real setback.

    This 23 land/ 1 attune/1 opt list needs more goldfishing to see if it works. I believe the 23 land with a higher curve and 1 attune is probably right. The question I'm trying to answer is if I need to fit an evolving wild into the land base somewhere, or if I should put a ranging raptor, servant of the conduit or another opt into the mb for mana fixing.

    I'm considering censor as a 1-2 copy card mb. It can help us dig for mana, give us a great turn 2-3 play against Ramunap red and help fight control. The plan would be to switch out censor for a hard counter like negate or essence scatter games 2-3. As a bonus, an opponent who sees censor may decide to play around it the rest of the match even though we don't really rely on the card.

    Last note, Deathgorge scavenger is going into the mb in place of Rishkar, Peema renegade. Rishkar is great, but scavenger answers RR and anything playing the scarab god. I also like that it has the potential to turn on Rhonas by itself the turn it enters, but Peema cannot.

    The deck will probably be undergoing more changes soon, but here's the list right now.

    If you only think of Attune as a land grabber, then you're probably right. But in an energy deck, it's the best possible play T1. With Constrictor out, it nets us enough energy for an additional Hydra activation. This deck is built around Energy synergy, and Attune is a strong enabler. It makes the Cub a 3/3 2-drop on T2 (important for Magma Spray). It allows for a T3 card off Siphoner. It keeps Aether Hub a multi-color land for 3 turns instead of 1. It gives more lifelink potential to Harvester. It also thins the deck. By increasing the land count and dropping Attunes, you're making it more likely to flood out, less likely to have energy when desired, and diluting the focus of the deck with non-synergistic cards. Opt does not play into the strategy of the deck and neither does Censor. Your counts are also off, as you're playing 25 creatures and 12 non-creature, which is a minor discrepancy, but shows that you've dropped your creature count to accommodate weaker cards.

    As an example, you said that Opt is a better topdeck than Attune. I think that's extremely board-state dependent. If you are in a Control match-up, digging two cards deep for the right card is definitely a good thing to do. Attune does seem a little anemic at that point. But what if you are 1 point away from lethal on board with no energy in the bank and a Cub on the field? All of a sudden, Attune wins you the game that turn, instead of letting your opponent topdeck the Fumigate that you know they will get because they do every time, amirite? What if the board is stalled and the extra energy allows you to push Cub or Hydra through for damage? What if it allows you to gain much needed life from Harvester? Allows you to play more aggressive because you know you have double hexproof activation on Hydra?

    If you go back and watch Temur match-ups, you will see how Attune helps them get a jump start on the energy race so that when their energy sinks are online, they have plenty to work with. We're not different, although we don't have Virtuoso as an additional sink.
    You make some very good points on how the energy of attune with aether is extremely important. I have been taking that energy for granted.

    My 23 land/1 attune may have been a bit over the top. The idea I'm trying to get across is that having over 21 land and less than 4 attune seems optimal. It may just be a meta call as I haven't played against much mardu vehicles and temur energy. I have found that having 2 the scarab god is KEY in having a chance against control and the mirror matchup.

    I simply feel mana screwed with only 21 land/4 attune and 3 5 drops. Also playing only 1 vraska's contempt mb wasn't working out for me. 2 mb is right for my meta, which leads to a higher cmc. (Can we get away with less than 2 vraska's contempt with all of the scarab gods and Hazoret's running around? I think not.) I usually draw a ton of cards off glint-sleeve and rogue refiner, which leads to me getting all the mana I need without relying heavily on attune.

    Here's a new list that's 22 land/3 attune/1 chart a course. I stand by my argument that less than 4 attune with aether is optimal (depending on meta and the need for speed of course.) Chart a course is a much better top deck than attune even if it's not turned on. It's always better than a Tormenting Voice, and can be as good as a Divination for only 2 mana! As a bonus, we can sometimes discard a creature card that can be resurrected with The scarab god. How about this set up?

    I have no idea about how to factor in Opt. I've been on 21 land/4 Attune. I've seen 22/3, but I don't think it's correct. I think they just didn't test enough. With Siphoner, 2 energy can be a card.

    This weekend, I was playing against Temur. I got to 4 mana and slammed Hydra. Opponent followed suit. I dropped Constrictor and they couldn't block because I had extra energy from before. That game ended quickly. Yeah, anecdotal and small sample size, but still. We want to build our decks so that we max the chances that things combine well. Energy is generally a good resource for us. Yeah, we flood and screw sometimes. The Scarab God is particularly awkward as we ususlly don't want to wait until we have 9 mana to drop it.

    I am still happy with my one Rishkar in the main. It's not always good, but sometimes it's good and sometimes it's great. When I am stuck on 3 land and use Rishkar to cast The Scarab God and then start eternalizing stuff, I don't wish for Scavenger. When I drop Rishkar while throwing a counter on a non-summoning sick creature and don't attack with it, forcing my opponent to play around Blossoming Defense, I don't wish for Scavenger.

    I generally like your creature suite, but I don't get 1 Attune. Rishkar is more complicated, but I think the option to use it for ramp or aggression is more general than Scavenger lifegain. With Constrictor, Rishkar can make 2 4 power creatures to activate Rhonas. Rogue Refiner + Rishkar likewise. You might want to give Rishkar another shot.
    Why would we wait until 9 mana to drop the scarab god? My goal is to play it turn 5 if I don't suspect a counterspell or exile effect. Turn 6 untap, upkeep, the scarab god's trigger is on the stack. In response to the trigger, activate the god's ability to get a zombie, then let the trigger resolve draining your opponent one life. Unless an opponent can exile the scarab god, there is no need to wait until 9 mana to play it.

    You're probably right about Rishkar. Cutting him for a censor wasn't the right move. What about 1 censor in the sideboard to play against... basically anything?


    Rhonas is awesome! Such a good card, especially if you have a big cub or a hydra
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Not much to report hehe, lost everything 0-2. Just one of those days where everything goes bad hehe. Even lost every dice roll.... I also had to sit one match out because we were an uneven number of players. I should have know it was going to be a bad night when they played Toto - "Africa" on the stereo before the first match which is the worst song in the universe hehe... not my night.

    One of my friends gave me a Scarab God as an early birthday present, and I haven't drawn him once. Oh well.

    I really miss Nissa and Grasp.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Quote from DRay563 »
    Quote from Simto »
    Ok, I made a few tweaks for tonight.

    I swapped the Lost Legacy out for Yahenni's Expertise in the sideboard. I feel it's more capable with a boardwipe now.

    Pulled 1 Rishkar and one Hostage Taker for 2 Bristling Hydras. Not sure if removing the Rishkar was smart. He's a catalyst for explosive turns with his counters, especially if you have one or two snakes on the board.
    I'd still really like to have a third Hydra, but I don't want to remove the last Rishkar, and I really really don't want to remove a Blossoming Defense. Andrew Jessup says he'd pull one of the Defenses if he were to use Hydras in the deck. It just feels wrong to me removing even one of them. It's just such a good card, but I need firepower against temur and this deck grows big hydras.

    Still have most of the day to consider if I should put the third Hydra in... I'll report back after I've played.

    I know you said you like Gonti, but I consider him anemic in this deck. He is really powerful in a recursion deck where you can benefit from his card-stealing ability again and again, but in this deck, he's a non-synergistic card that will (most often) net you another non-synergistic card. You're often relying on the strength of your opponent's deck, which is not a great strategy. Compare him to having another Hydra, which would allow you to more often draw the Hydra... and is Gonti really worth the slot? Just my two cents for your consideration.


    I've decided, at the last minute, to swap the two hydras out for the 2nd rishkar and a Skysovereign. Glorybringers are a bigger threat to this deck than hydras, so I'm thinking having a skysovereign (which has always given me a lot of value)to block Glorybringers (and shoot stuff) and a rishakar to pump stuff up is good too.

    Still have some time before I leave. My biggest concern is still, having three hydras would be sick because they could potentially be a huge energy sink. But non of the sultai energy decks that top 8 use hydras.

    I'll see how Gonti fares tonight. He may be non synergistic to the deck, but he can kill hydras and potentially steal a glorybringer or something.

    I'm just not really going into the game night with a lot of confidence like last time when I used my temur deck hehe. I have absolutely no chance of testing it out properly before actually playing there, so i may theorise and overthink a lot because I can't test it.
    I feel very confident against control, ramunap and tokens though but temur is just another thing. My best bet is to kill hydras by blocking and saving my blossoming defense to keep hostage takers alive long enough to cast whatever I exile (whirlers or glorybringers hopefully)
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Ok, I made a few tweaks for tonight.

    I swapped the Lost Legacy out for Yahenni's Expertise in the sideboard. I feel it's more capable with a boardwipe now.

    Pulled 1 Rishkar and one Hostage Taker for 2 Bristling Hydras. Not sure if removing the Rishkar was smart. He's a catalyst for explosive turns with his counters, especially if you have one or two snakes on the board.
    I'd still really like to have a third Hydra, but I don't want to remove the last Rishkar, and I really really don't want to remove a Blossoming Defense. Andrew Jessup says he'd pull one of the Defenses if he were to use Hydras in the deck. It just feels wrong to me removing even one of them. It's just such a good card, but I need firepower against temur and this deck grows big hydras.

    Still have most of the day to consider if I should put the third Hydra in... I'll report back after I've played.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Quote from TechnoWriter »

    I can't really speak to your metagame sideboard choices as those are really dependent. I will say tho that I'm not a fan of Lost Legacy. In my experience, taking a turn off from applying pressure isn't where this deck wants to be. Also if you're bringing it in vs Approach, I think now those pilots are conditioned to board out that wincon against any deck playing black. So yeah, turning it into a YExpertise wouldn't be bad if tokens is a problem for you. Everything else looks solid enough.

    As far as your maindeck goes / options to swap for Hydra, personally I've gone off the Rishkar plan as it felt like it whiffed too many times for my comfort level. You could prolly easily drop a Hostage Taker too. That's 3 slots for Hydra there. I wouldn't remove Gonti as that is a nice unexpected game 1 play.


    Thanks for the reply dude

    I think Approach has been falling out of favour a bit, I've just never beaten it before even though I had all the tools to do it. I always come down to having them at one life or something, and then they find the second card in a hail Mary attempt... I just want to be sure I can annihilate that deck, but I think it's fallen out of my local meta, so I'm definitely switching to Yahenni's Expertise.
    Not sure if Tokens is that big of a threat yet, but I've just been missing boardwipes a lot and I've always gotten good value from that card.

    Not sure if I want to remove Rishkar. I would remove one at best. The whole turn 2 snake and turn 3 Rishkar is pretty brutal. I'm just thinking adding room for the Hydras would really make the deck more difficult to deal with.
    At the same time, the article Andrew Jessup wrote after he won and what changes he'd make. He said that the deck doesn't really need the Hydras.

    Yeah, I'm really liking Gonti a lot. He just has so much potential of snagging good stuff no matter what deck you're up against and the deathtouch is great.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Quote from TechnoWriter »
    3-0 today at a small Saturday Showdown with some slight modifications to the list I posted earlier this week:


    Round 1 vs RG Pummeler (2-1). Game 1 I mull to 6. He started fast with Servant into Voltaic Brawler. Got bashed to 12 thanks to Invigorated Rampage. I stabilized by trading away a Hydra and Refiner for his two guys, then ripped & stuck a Longtusk Cub while he drew lands. Sided in 2 Appetite and Negate, removing three random cards (no notes, sorry!). Game 2 I mull to 5, draw no action, and die to Electrostatic Pummeler on turn 4. Whatcha gon' do? No board changes. Game 3 I got off to a quick start and he wasn't able to find his bombs in time. He told me after the match that he'd sided out Pummelers in favour of Glorybringers. He also brought in a truckload of burn.

    Round 2 vs UB Scarab God (2-1). Game 1 I started with a pair of Constrictors into Hydra, but he stalled me out on the ground with a wall of Gifted Aetherborns, Hostage Taker on a Cub, and an active The Scarab God. I couldn't profitably attack or block and got chipped down by Aetherborn swings. Sideboard out all 4 Constrictors, bringing in 2 Deathgorge, Negate and Nissa (I wasn't sure what should come out but snakes seemed least useful). Game 2 I pushed his second turn Aetherborn and dropped Nissa on turn 3. A few turns later (after my Hydras got Lost Legacy'd and Doomfalls ate some dudes) Nissa made some angry lands, and with a couple dorks swing for 15. It's over next turn. Same board going into game 3. Again with LL taking out my Hydras, but it didn't matter as I got there with a couple of Refiners and Rhonas. He saw no basically action at all in game 3 aside from Legacy.

    Round 3 vs B/r aggro (2-0). His Bomat Courier matched up poorly with my larger creatures. Even Hazoret was walled thanks to Constrictor and Hydra, and eventually I got Rhonas onboard and trampled over. Sided out 3 Glint-Sleeve Siphoner in favour of Cartouche and 2 Deathgorge (he had Dread Wanderer + Yahenni, Undying Partisan shenanigans). I prolly could/should have brought in the 2 Appetites as he had played Aethersphere Harvester game 1, but opted to just rely on large dudes to smash through if it came down. Game 2 started fast for him with Night Market Lookouts coming down turns 1 and 2, followed by Harvester turn 3. I stabilized with Rogue Refiner wearing Cartouche of Ambition, plus a couple of Blossoming Defense to just smash his stuff. A few turns later Rhonas was onboard as well and that was it.

    So sadly, no Temur or RR matchups this week (unlike 3 energy matches last week), but still valuable experience. This list is really weak to Scarab God, with only the two Contempts and a Coup to deal with it. Board stalls, especially of the deathtouch-y variety, are also bad. My pet project Nimble Obstructionists didn't show up as I would have liked (tho I did draw one the turn after I traded with a Scarab God - he never attacked with him again). Those cards might end up becoming more removal. Aside from that I don't have any beefs with the main deck. Sideboard didn't see full use as I never got to play against control or RR, but the cards I did bring in were excellent. I don't think I have any changes there, assuming I up main deck removal.

    Hope this is helpful!


    Pretty cool list, I love Rhonas and the fact that you sideboarded Nissa Steward of Elements. I sideboarded her in my Temur deck. The other guys gave me a lot of ***** for doing it, but I've gotten a ton of value from getting her on the board early or late. I really like those two cards!

    I'm tweaking my deck a bit for this Wednesday (that's where my local store has standard FNM) but I'm really having trouble thinking if I should take take out 1 Gonti, 1 Hostage Taker and 1 Blossoming Defense in favour or three Hydras.
    My problem is just, Blossoming Defense is a REALLY good card. I know I can hexproof hydras, but Blossoming Defense is just stupid good.

    This is what my list looks like



    My thoughts around the sideboard are maybe swapping the Lost Legacy out for a Yahenni's expertise against tokens, maybe adding one of my two Nissa (vital force or Steward) and maybe finding room for a Vizier of Many Faces, because it was really good in my temur deck.
    I wanted two Lost Legacies because I REALLY REALLY hate approach decks, but it seems like tokens are coming up, and I've always gotten great value with Yahenni's. I'm thinking a Yahenni's expertise makes more sense since I've got 3 Duress and 3 Negate already for control and I've really missed having a boardwipe in my temur deck.

    Temur and control decks are the top decks at my local store, so I just need to be prepared for them. And maybe have a boardwipe or two ready.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    I've only played against sultai energy once with my temur and he more of less just had a copy of Andrew Jessup's list, so no hydras.
    I can see most people who put hydras in use them instead of hostage takers.

    Pretty cool to see people in this thread use Rhonas and Skysovereign. I use both in my Temur deck. Skysovereign is just crazy if it resolves and doesn't get abraded.

    I'd like to find a way to fit in both hydras and hostage takers in the deck. gifted aetherborns are awesome too.

    I guess my biggest problem is having too many good cards, but damn I miss having three Nissa in the deck... She was the best.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    Yeah, I figured something with deathtouch. I really like Gonti vs most things actually. He's always good value. So much I'm thinking it may be good to main board one of him.
    Most of the sultai lists I've seen don't run hydras though, but I can see them being a huge threat in the deck along with the snake.

    I have a temur deck that I like playing with because it's fun, but I don't like feeling like I'm on the band wagon, and to be honest. The Sultai energy deck is way more "me"
    Kinda sad about temur actually, because it's really fun to play.

    I LOVED the golgari snake deck pre rotation and I was happy to see sultai make a big impact in week one. I'm really determined to make it work.

    Think sideboarding two vizier of many faces would be good? I have two in my temur's sideboard and I had a lot of success using it in the mirror matches.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on The thread formerly known as GBX Constrictor
    What do you guys think is the best answer to a Bristling Hydra with a sultai energy deck?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] U/G Merfolk
    I'd like to try a Merfolk deck. Seems very fun, but not strong enough to me.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Standard)
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