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Magic Market Index for April 20th, 2018
 
Pauper Review: Dominaria
 
The Limited Archetypes of Dominaria
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Wow, 7-0 is impressive, and with Qasali Ambusher in the side again. Looking over the list, the plan vs Bogles apparently is to either race or Moon lock them, since there are no Disenchant effects in the 75. Do you guys think that's good enough?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Welcome plunkey! There are some very different approaches to the deck here, so I don't think there are any clear cut answers to your questions. Nevertheless, I'll give you some of my thoughts.
    Most lists have a sum of 7-9 Birds + Hiearchs + Cobras. If you choose to play lots of turn 1 accelerators and no Cobras, you can get away with a list leaning more on 3-drops. However, 2-drops are excellent in the deck because they enable Evolution really well. Sacrificing 1-drops doesn't allow you to find Felidar Guardian, and waiting for a 3-drop to sacrifice can be a little slow occasionally. (For example, you can go turn 1 Bird, turn 2 Saheeli, turn 3 cast a 2-drop, copy Bird with Saheeli to get an extra mana, then sac the 2-drop to Evolution into Felidar for the combo win.) Cobra-heavy builds usually include lots of Renegade Ralliers and a higher number of 5-drop creatures (often 3-4).
    Blood Moon might seem crazy in a 4-colored deck, but in practice most versions are actually mostly GW decks with ~8 mana creatures, ~5 basics and ~10 fetchlands to find basics. Casting Saheeli is often trivial thanks to Oath of Nissa, which makes it surprisingly easy to operate under Blood Moon. It can hurt us a little, but with something like 1 Forest and 1 Bird we should be fine most of the time, and it helps us in tough matchups like Titanshift.
    On the topic of Felidar Guardian, there are three points to balance: Firstly, Felidar Guardian is a underpowered card by itself. Even with the whole deck built around it, it's often low impact for a 4-drop, and drawing multiples isn't great. If your opponent has a lot of interaction, you might have nothing relevant to flicker, and the 1/4 body is neither a good attacker nor does it stop Goyfs, Hollow Ones or Eldrazi. Secondly, you obviously want access to the combo, and some builds lean heavily on that aspect of the deck (for example by adding Kiki), so they need to maximize their chances to actually draw the combo pieces by playing a high number of them. And finally, if you run only 1-2 Felidar Guardians, Evolution gets worse since Feldiar can be stuck in your hand or get removed by Path to Exile, which takes away one of the most important tutor targets. There isn't a clear consensus here on the number of Felidars, though most lists run at least 2. All in all, it depends on the direction you want to take.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    So, my attempt with the 8th dork went very well. I played 3-1, with my only loss to Titanshift, a matchup that I knew was unfavorable. I literally had a dork every single game I played, which obviously is the natural consequence of changing a single card in my maindeck (just to make it clear, sarcasm at work). But honestly, that was exactly what I wanted: Always having the turn 1 dork, so I can maximize my potential to cast a 3-drop on turn 2.

    Quote from maniospas »
    Intriguing to try more dorks, to say the least. I agree that games with acceleration are the games we have easier time curving, so running more dorks indeed sounds appealing (I'm also currently on 7 1CMC Dorks).

    Given that we run 22 lands only, I'd add the 23rd land before the 9th dork (maybe even before the 8th dork).

    Some concerns (just to keep in mind while testing with more dorks):
    - we don't entirely skip over the 2-drop slot (we must always run at least 5x 2-drops as Evo fodders) so running too many dorks is redundant. Essentially, we want to guarantee a turn 2 play and between 7 dorks + 4 Oaths + 5 2-drops we can get very good mana optimizations
    - dork dilution is very real in hurting our lategame and they force us to play hard card advantage engines (namely Tracker - Courser feels very bad about topdecked dorks)
    - we don't draw that many evolutions and we often want to evolution into powerful 4CMCs (I do occasionally evolve for KoTR/Courser/Tracker/Finks in my builds, whichever I'm running at the time and best serves as hate, but often this is more of a desperation move than an actual gameplan - it's not like we can guarantee two consecutive Evos to play pod-style)


    That's all true and I'm aware of it, but my motivation was the following: With the extra dork, I want to make my starts better and I'm okay with giving up a little late game power for that. With my recent experiences and the Hartford top8 in mind, focusing on the early game seemed right to me. I've won many games after landing turn 2 Saheeli, Blade Splicer or Vengeful Rebel (or Evo for a sideboard card) and maybe even following that up with a 4-drop, and the only way to achieve that is with acceleration on turn 1 (Cobra and Oath are great, but they don't help me getting to to 3 mana on turn 2). With 7 dorks it didn't work as often as I wanted, so now (after Nassif's stream gave me the idea) I'm trying more than 7 and we'll see where that leads me.
    Yesterday's tournament delivered exactly that: I won 2 games vs Amulet Titan because of my fast starts, once via damage, and once via combo. There is a very good chance I would have lost both games if I didn't have 3 mana on turn 2. And in my other matches it was similar: Getting on the board quickly mattered a lot, and even if 4 matches is no basis to draw any real conclusions yet, it just feels like the exact thing I want to be doing right now.
    Also, I currently run 3 Horizon Canopy. I noticed myself sacrificing them quite early several times yesterday, which helped whenever I drew a lot of dorks + lands. This way I got both my explosive starts and could then cash in a mana source for a fresh card.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    I recently saw Gab Nassif testing a version of his GW Value Company deck on Twitch with 4 Birds, 4 Hierarchs, 1 Avacyn's Pilgrim and 1 Llanowar Elves for a toral of 10 accelerators on turn 1. He hadn't decided if it was good this way after playing a couple of games (obviously not easy to judge), but after playing with 9 elves for a time, he seemed to think the 10th was worth a try. While the deck is quite different from Saheeli, it shares a similar mana curve with lots of 3-drops and a handful of 4-drops. After seeing that, and since I really dislike opening hands without acceleration, I started thinking about playing more accelerators myself. Currently I run 7 (no Cobras), but if Nassif has 9-10 in a similar deck, one of us is probably wrong.
    I'm going to test the 8th accelerator in a small tournament tonight and see how I like it. Not a huge change by any means, but it should improve my average opening hand a bit. And, who knows, maybe I'll try out a 9th one at some point.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Utopia Sprawl has a couple of problems: Unlike mana creatures, we can't hit it with Oath, sac it to Evolution, or copy it with Saheeli. It doesn't grow our Voice tokens and can't help us in combat. Also, many decks run Ghost Quarter, Field of Ruin, Stone Rain, Blood Moon or Karn, which can all interact with the enchanted land. Creatures are obviously more vulnerable in general, but at least the opponent usually has to invest a full card into killing our turn 1 Bird. Utopia Sprawl on the other hand can create real blowouts if they have land destruction. I think the best way to play Utopia Sprawl is in combination with Blood Moon like the Ponza deck does it, since that shuts off many of the cards that interact with Utopia Sprawl. But since that plan requires to always have a turn 1 basic Forest, it's not a good fit for us.

    If I didn't have Hierarchs, I would probably go with 4 Birds, 2 Avacyn's Pilgrims, 1 Llanowar Elves and stick to mostly GW cards. A handful of offcolor spells like Reflector Mage should not be hard to cast, but I would stay away from double red / blue or black mana costs.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    I had the idea of Qasali Ambusher before, but never actually tested it. It's a cheap and often unexpected way to kill attackers like Goblin Guide, Vault Skirge or Meddling Mage, and also a cmc3 creature that you can cheat into play as early as turn 1, enabling some crazy Evolution plays. Essentially, it's a "removal" that can be found via Oath. As long as the 2/3 reach body is relevant in enough matchups (currently Humans, Affinity, Burn, Hollow One), the card seems quite powerful.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    I am still nowhere near convinced regarding Primeval Titan, but great if it works for you, and good luck tonight! Smile

    On another topic, can you guys imagine the new Orcish Vandal in our deck? Saheeli's copies are artifacts (sacrificing a copied Voice of Resurgence would even give us an Elemental token), and if we ran 2-3 Tireless Tracker, we might have a reasonable amount of fuel for the Orc. (Actually, we most likely need a few more than that. Ideas?) Probably the card is neither powerful nor reliable enough for us, but it caught my eye somehow, and I might give it a try.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Quote from Rhavoreth »
    I've found primeval titan is a really big presence that demands an answer or it will end games. Works well with Cobra as it gives you 2 mana back on the turn you cast it. Often burns through their removal if nothing else to pave the way for the combo.

    That's true, but most of what you describe could be achieved by other cards, and in an even more powerful way (Sun Titan, Inferno Titan, Wurmcoil Engine) or for less mana (Sigarda, Wingmate Roc, Glorybringer). Why Primeval Titan specifically? In combination with Cobra and Wolf Run it deals a lot of damage quickly, but that's all it does. It will often not be enough when your opponent has you on the back foot, and you might just lose to cards like Mantis Rider, Cranial Plating, Scapeshift or Wurmcoil Engine anyway. It's certainly a good card, no question, but for 6 mana I expect even more.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    @Rhavoreth: Primeval Titan seems like an odd choice, since the card has no synergy with your deck. It's a big dude that gets you Kessig Wolf Run, which seems underwhelming for so much mana. Also, with 4 Cobras and multiple 6-drops, I think 21 lands are probably not quite enough. Can you explain what the Knightfall combo in your sideboard is for? When do you bring that in, and how has that plan performed so far?

    @LumpyFishstick: Nice results! For which matchups is the Mirran Crusader in your sideboard? Jund probably has too much red removal (Bolt, Anger, Grim Lavamancer) for it to really shine, right?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    I'll just link you to one of my previous posts about Wingmate Roc. Basically, if you build and play your deck accordingly, triggering Raid is not hard at all. I've had games where I had to cast Roc without Raid, but they are rare and in my experience (definitely >100 matches with Roc at this point) it is more reliable than Renegade Rallier, to give you a comparison. It's a very powerful and versatile card that has won me a lot of games, and I search it up with Evolution frequently. For example, if you start with mana elf into turn 2 Rallier / Blade Splicer, and there is no combo in sight, attacking and getting Roc with Evolution on the following turn is a great play. It represents a ton of pressure, outsizes basically every other flier in the format, flies over all the other big creatures, is hard to answer with removal spells, and the life gain can ensure you don't get raced. On top of that, it synergizes with both Saheeli and Felidar Guardian.
    As you can see, I'm a really big fan of the card, and I recommend it if you are interested in a creature that helps you win fair games.

    As for your second question, we certainly are a little slower than Druid Company. Cobra can help us get close to the same speed, but they are still more consistent at finding their combo quickly, and Cobra doesn't improve us in that regard. Rhino is not a big help in this matchup, we need spot removal or hate cards like Gaddock Teeg, Linvala or Damping Matrix. Basically the same can be said about decks like Storm or Infect.

    Edit: Great finish Siefer, congrats!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Just came back from a local tournament, played 4-0 with my 5c list. Beat Eldrazi Tron, Druid Company, BW Control and Jund. All the matches went to 3 games and felt close. The Felidar combo was responsible for 3 of my 8 game wins. My current list for reference:

    The most memorable game happened against Eldrazi Tron: He was on the play, had Warping Wail for my Bird and turn 3 Tron plus Wurmcoil Engine. At this point I mentally gave up any hopes of racing and knew I would have to combo. Thanks to Voice, Lingering Souls and a few Bladesplicers, I was able to stabilize the board against Wurmcoil plus a few Eldrazi, with him now at 38 life and me at ~5. I eventually drew a Saheeli, and dug through my deck with her Scry plus a couple of Oaths, but found neither Felidar nor Evolution. However, Wingmate Roc gained me some life back and suddenly Elspeth showed up to send a 12/12 Voice token into the air - my opponent took a lethal 24 flying damage swing that turn. I never would have predicted a few turns earlier that I would win the game at all, and especially not in this fashion. But Wingmate Roc and Elspeth are in my deck exactly for board stall situations like this one, and they both did their job excellently. (Though I have to admit that I got pretty lucky that my opponent drew a mostly blanks over several turns. Something like Walking Ballista, All is Dust or Ulamog would have killed me easily.)
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Welcome LumpyFishstick, and congrats on the good finishes!
    Your list has slightly more mana producers than most people play, with a combination of six Birds plus Hierarchs as well as the full four Cobras and Ralliers. Have you had had any problems with flooding out so far?
    Since my current list is similar except for the Cobra+Rallier package, I would be interested in your percentage of game wins via combo. I achieve somewhere around 25% of my wins with a succesful combo, and the rest by just regular attacks. Has it been similar for you?
    I noticed you have no creatures in your main deck that you could tutor up to remove a threat like Devoted Druid or Dark Confidant. Having the option to turn Eldritch Evolution into a removal spell is very powerful. I've been playing Vengeful Rebel for a while now, and been quite happy with it, but you could also consider Reflector Mage, Hostage Taker or Glorybringer.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    Hello and welcome, Memories_of_the_Time!
    There isn't really a consensus best list at the moment, everybody has their own preferences and their own metagame specific problem solvers. The lists with 4 of each Lotus Cobra and Renegade Rallier are usually the most explosive ones and lean more towards combo, whereas I personally prefer to focus my deck more on a fair game first, and combo second. Currently I've had some success with a 5 colored list, see here. In practice it's actually mostly an Abzan midrange deck that splashes Saheeli, which is more reasonable than it looks thanks to Oath of Nissa.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    I agree, Shalai is a good candidate for the maindeck. There are matchups where she won't really have a high impact (UW Control, Hollow One, Merfolk, Infect, Krark Clan Ironworks, Druid Company, Amulet Titan), but at least she doesn't cost 5 like Sigarda, has a decent body and a useful activated ability. Combining her with Selfless Spirit seems pretty powerful too, since they nicely protect eachother and cover a lot of sweeper effects (both Supreme Verdict and Settle Wreckage).
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Saheeli Evolution/Chord
    @ADarkAndStormyFeeder: I think in a grindy meta, Evolution itself isn't at its best. Sometimes your creatures all get discarded, countered or removed, or they just counter Evolution itself. In some cases the creatures you have can't really be sacrificed (e.g. Voice against decks with countermagic and sweepers). I prefer only having 2-3 Evos for those reasons. Having access to the full 4 Evolutions is better suited if you expect to face non-interactive decks.

    Also, as you said, your mana base could use some adjustments. 7 shocklands is too much for my taste, you will take a lot of damage from those, I think you should try to go down to 5. I also don't like the Grove of the Burnwillows much. I would try and replace those with a few more fetches (important for Cobra, Rallier and Tracker) and basics.

    Muldrotha can do amazing things, sure, but it's also very slow. At least Sun Titan has the potential to win the turn it comes into play, and even that is a card you basically never want in your opening hand.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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