All users will need to merge their MTGSalvation account with a new or existing Twitch account starting Sept 25th. You can merge your accounts by clicking here. Have questions? Learn more here.
Dismiss
 
Pauper Review: Dominaria
 
The Limited Archetypes of Dominaria
 
Magic Market Index: Inventions Buyout
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    Yeah, if you can stay alive long enough to resolve a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria or Gideon of the Trials and an Oath of Teferi, you're in pretty good shape. Look forward to seeing your list.

    Ever since I mentioned stupid Inspiring Statuary, I've been tinkering with a Bant Approach deck that uses Treasure Map, Thaumatic Compass, and Pacification Array (and/or Edifice of Authority) along with Hour of Promise to ramp up into double Approach pretty quickly (once as early as T5).

    Testing is ongoing, and I am waiting for access to DOM cards to bring those into the mix: Karn was the main reason I thought of it, Seal Away and Syncopate would be good upgrades to the removal/counters, and there could be some good Historic synergies. So far, it has great game against UR GPG: the Pacification Array shuts down the infinite Combat Celebrant finish, and the artifact subtheme makes running 3 Crook of Condemnation in the SB no problem, and in fact very desirable. With the Arrays and flipped compasses, there's a point at which you can achieve lockdown control of the board with an absurd amount of mana to access, and wins often come through Ipnu rivulets (running 9 deserts).

    I need to work on the ratio of counterspells, removal, and sweepers to address weaknesses to creatures, PWs, and go-wide (token) decks, but it's been a fun deck to play for sure. I'll keep testing and if it gets anywhere near competitive, will report back...


    The sounds like a really interesting build! I've played with Mono White Approach and White-Black Control and both utilize Thaumatic Compass. I think the WB build had four even. That card really does so much.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from pumpmonkey »
    @kPal - I do a lot of my testing on xMage, was really glad to see it get updated yesterday with the new stuff.

    I am all over the place right now with my list but here are my thoughts so far:
    Teferi, Hero of Dominaria - Super strong card. Does not win the game but will keep you from losing it (hope that makes sense). All 3 modes are very relevant. The combination of him and Gideon makes a very nice pair. Right now running 2-3 main.
    Seal Away - the 2 mana spot removal we have been missing. This with Settle means your opponent does not have a good move to make if you have 4 mana open. Pretty much an automatic 4 set.
    Syncopate - This has replaced Censor in my deck. I do miss the cycling ability but the Exile effect is worth it. 3-4 in main, 1-2 in the sideboard.
    Unwind - Cost one more than Negate but if it resolves it is free. Currently trying 2 main and 2 Sideboard. Also, have 2-3 negates in the side.
    Oath of Teferi - This card makes Teferi stupid. No, really it is stupid. Draw 2, untap 4 lands each turn. If you have a flipped Search, now draw a 4th card for your turn. Then untapped them and do it again on their turn. Plus Gideon twice each turn? Ok, maybe I am getting a little to excited but so far it has been very strong. 2 main board.

    Let me know what you guys think, I will post my updated list later this weekend. I can already see my deck making players rage quit.


    Hey there PM;

    I'm looking forward to Teferi, Hero of Dominaria! Hard to see how all of these cards fit into one deck but I'm feeling optimistic about UW Control at the moment. I'm a little bit surprised at Unwind over Negate main since Teferi frees up two mana it seemed natural to protect him with Negate.

    I am looking forward to seeing your list! Still Esper?!? Smile
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Playing my first game with some of the new cards on MTGO. I just Seal Away'd two Glorybringers in two straight turns. It felt so good! Smile

    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    I was looking again at some of the DOM spoilers, and I think Jaya Ballard may be worth a look in a Jeskai Approach shell. Both of her +1s are great to cast or dig for approach (or other answers you may need), and her -8 has great synergy with all the instants and sorcerers we play. I dabbled in UW Drake for a while, and Abandoned Sarcophagus is no joke. Her emblem does the same for all of your counterspells and sweepers, which is huge.

    It’s too bad she doesn’t protect herself: that and her high CMC (and RRR cost) might be reasons she won’t work, but as with all other walkers, she’ll be a lightning rod for attacks which can keep life total afloat.


    Haven't seen that card before. That would be pretty sweet with a The Locust God on the board.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    I wonder if we are going to see more main-board enchantment hate with all of the sagas in Dom. If so, that may hurt White more than the other colors. . .
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from pumpmonkey »
    First off, @the_codaddy, congratulations on making day 2. The is very awesome. Several friends told me after Memphis that the first one is the hardest. So from here on we expect day 2 at every GP.

    Seriously, nice job.

    Ok, Domanaira, I think the new set is going to make standard into a very fast format. The guys at my LGS has been brewing UG Monsters and now drop Carnage Tyrant on turn 3 pretty consistently. Our old way of thinking about games, play land go until turn 4-5 then board wipe, I don't think is going to work. We are going to have to speed up our deck as well. As much as I like UW and how smooth it is, I am going to go back and try Esper again. Fatal Push is just so strong right now. Having that and Seal Away is going to be fun. Also, I am thinking about changing up my numbers. Previously I ran 6 draws, glimmer/search, 12 counters, 4-5 removal, 7 wipes, 5-6 Win-con, 25-26 lands. Now I am playing with 25-26 lands, 4 Draw, Glimmer, 12 spot removal, Push/Seal/Cast Out/Vraskas's, 6 counter, 4 Settle and 6 Win-con. That leaves about 3 flex spots. Right now those are 3 Censor but pretty sure that will change as I do more testing.

    As far as win-con's, right now still using my same old ones. I really like Teferi, just need to play with him more. Lyra Dawnbriger seems really good, the only issue with her is that mainboard, we only have 1-3 creatures and by the time she hits the board, there is a pretty good chance they have drawn some of their removal. So we will usually have to fight over her. Not a bad thing, just something to keep in mind.

    Again, this is nowhere near my final list, just where I am at right now. Let me know what you think.



    Hey there pumpmonkey!

    Would you mind elaborating on why you are leaning Esper? Fatal Push won't help with a Steel Leaf Champion on turn 2 where Baffling End or Seal Away will. Are you thinking Push is essential to eliminate the Llanowar Elves immediately?

    Just wondering if you can share your thought process a little bit. . .

    thank you!

    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    Good afternoon all! Made it back from Seattle with a 9-6 final record, which I can't be at all disappointed with given that I went 3-6 at my last GP!

    The TL;DR summary: I loved this UW build, I thought it performed very well, I made a couple of mistakes (and took a couple suboptimal lines that cost me), but overall I think it was a great choice for the event and am looking forward to continuing to evolve it when DOM hits!

    If you want more details, read on. Unfortunately, my memory of these matches (particularly day 1) is a bit sketchy because playing so many matches in such a short timespan really taxes your brain, but I will do the best I can to remember any nuggets from the matches...

    First, here's the list I was jamming:


    I had experimented with deleting Disallow, but I ended up including 2 copies so I could hard counter noncreature spells and/or activated/triggered abilities. 2 copies seemed fine.

    Day One
    Match one: Sultai Snek/GPG
    The first of my 6 (!) Snek matchups for the weekend. This was a somewhat spicy brew that included God-Pharaoh's Gift and Gates to the Afterlife. I took round 1 with double approach, no problemo (he could have won this one though...he managed to resolve a GPG after I had Approached once, but instead of bringing back a Walking Ballista, adding a counter and pinging me for 1 for the kill, he brought back Kitesail Freebooter.

    The next two matches were tougher, and I don't think I sideboarded or played this matchup correctly. Frankly, I didn't really know how to sideboard against it: I usually bring Regal Caracal in for the Snek matchups (mostly to throw in front of Bristling Hydras until I can fumigate), but not for GPG matchups, and I bring in Forsake the Worldly against GPG but not snek...so I ended up with some janky mix of the two plans that didn't go well. He rolled me G2, and I lost G3 by taking a very suboptimal line that involved me casting Torrential Gearhulk to flash back something (seem to recall it was Essence Scatter to keep some creature or other from resolving), which ended up putting a 6th creature in the yard, allowing him to cast Gate to the Afterlife, activate, and GPG me to death. I was at 2 life at the point, so likely wasn't winning, but it was a rocky start. (0-1)

    Match 2: Jeskai Approach
    Took this one easy 2-0. UW is just house against this G1 with all their dead cards. I had a great hand to start G2 (couple negate and disallow), which allowed me to counter both of the Gideons he tried to resolve. Opponent didn't seem super focused either, but I'll take a W when I get one. (1-1).

    Match 3: Sultai Snek (with Scarab God)
    This was an interesting matchup in which the win came from a mega-punt by my opponent.

    Game 1, double approach. Easy peasy.

    Game 2: he won with Scarab God and a ton of dudes, BUT there was a key judge call that I think may have tilted my opponent a bit. He had a Nissa, Steward of Elements on the field and did her +2. Opponent was a super-manic card riffler, and when I looked carefully, I saw that he had three cards he was looking at—I guess he had scryed 3 instead of 2. JUDGE! The resolution was a warning to my opponent, and I was allowed to look at the three cards and decide which one was not part of the scry (third one was shuffled back in to his deck before resolving the scry). Ridiculous part was that the 3 cards were Fetid Pools, Aether Hub, Aether Hub, so I didn't even get to bin something worthwhile.

    Game 3: opponent mega punt time. First off, he had The Scarab God on the field (I believe with a counter from Hadana's Climb on it, making it a 6/6). I had 9 mana up. He attacks. I flash in Torrential Gearhulk, targeting Slash of Talons and block with TG so they trade. At end step, I disallowed the SG return card to hand trigger, leaving SG in the yard. He takes his next turn, and at end step starts going through his graveyard. I asked what he was looking for, and he said he was returning the Scarab God to his hand. I said "nope, that got disallowed, so he stays in the yard," and he didn't believe me, so he called a judge (who confirmed that SG was dead-zo).

    I don't know if it was the 2 judge calls or what, but opponent was definitely tilted. I got an Approach in. I think my hand was Cast Out, Irrigated Farmland, with a couple Ipnu Rivulets on the field and plenty of lands. Approach was 6 down at this point. He duresses with Scarab God on the battlefield. In response, I cycle Cast Out (5 deep) and gain a Glimmer. He takes the Glimmer. My end step, I activate Ipnu Rivulet, revealing card, card, card, Torrential Gearhulk (Approach now on top). He has a negate in the yard, but for some reason, he got super excited by the Gearhulk, and at end step, he activates TSG to snag him. In response, I cycle Irrigated Farmland to pick up the Approach, and slam it on my turn. Whew. (2-1)

    Match 4: BG Snek
    Lost game 1, which was really unfortunate because G1 is where we shine. But had only 3 lands turn 6 while he had all the sneks and siphoners. GG.

    Game 2 and 3 went much better. Another interesting judge call in this one. I had double caracal on the board with 3 cats. He had an 8/7 Jadelight Ranger, a Bristling Hydra, and a Ripjaw Raptor on the board. He swings with the Raptor and the Ranger. I chump the Ranger and throw 2 caracals and 2 cats in front of the Ripjaw Raptor (I had fumigate in hand so basically just looking to max out my life gain…sorry kitties…). He orders blockers, and we go to damage. I say "Caracal and chumping cat die, Raptor dies, I gain 17, you draw a card from Enrage." And he says, "don't I draw 4 because you blocked with 4?" I told him I'm pretty sure that combat damage is dealt simultaneously, so it would only be one enrage trigger. Judge was called, and he said, "no, it's four different things damaging it, so it's four." I asked him to please look it up (and dude at the next table was like, "yeah, I don't think that's right…"). Judge looked it up and confirmed that it's just one enrage trigger. Next turn, I swing with Caracal and remaining cats then wipe the board. At this point, I'm at 30+ life and in complete control. (3-1)

    Match 5: UW Drake
    I played this deck for a while on MTGO but gave it up when XLN/RIX didn't add much to it. The keys are (1) keep Drake Haven and Abandoned Sarcophagus off the board and (2) exile graveyards before the second approach because their only mainboard counter is usually 4x countervailing winds. I did just that G1 and double approached.

    G2 was a bunch of draw/go/cycle. He was burning through a ton of his deck without finding what he was looking for, and whenever he managed to resolve a Drake Haven, I promptly got rid of it through Cast Out/Forsake the Worldly. Ended up decking him with Ipnu Rivulets. (4-1)

    At this point, I've achieved my goal of improving my performance from the last GP, so the rest is gravy…

    Match 6: UB Midrange (Atsuki Kihara, Hareruya "God of Standard")
    I looked up this opponent afterward and wasn't surprised to see that he's had some high-level success. I got rolled both games this matchup, which is a tough one for us to begin with, but made tougher by having a great pilot who drew all the right things. One suboptimal play I made G1 was to Cast Out his Liliana on T5…he cast Scarab God the next turn and I didn't have an answer, and the God is much more impactful than Lili (although both can be a pain). The language barrier made it tough to chat, but he was very kind and humble in his thrashing of me! (4-2).

    Match 7: BW Vampires
    I wish, wish, wish that I had seen more of this deck. Cakewalk. 4x Field of Ruin makes Adanto no big deal, plenty of board wipes, and he has no way to interact with Approach game 1.

    Game 2 he brought in Kitesail Freebooter, and hit one T2. Sadly, I had my spicy SB tech in hand at the time (Hour of Revelation), so the cat was out of the bag. Kept his Radiant Destinys from getting out of hand, managed the board, and got there with Gearhulk beatdowns. (5-2).

    Match 8: Sultai Snek
    We're both win-and-in, and I'm disappointed to see Sneks again, but so be it.

    G1, I resolved a T3 Gideon, which is always great for me because he typically gains me 6-8 life before dying. He's a threat, so opponents need to deal with him, but he's just a sacrificial lamb for this deck. He attempts to Vraska's Contempt him T5 (negate), then tries to resolve Skysovereign, Consul Flagship (disallow). Got him with double Approach.

    G2 was just about the same. Board wipes showing up right when needed. I think opponent was pretty mentally tired at this point—at one point, he missed his Jadelight Ranger explore triggers (he cast the Ranger, then said "Combat?"…don't think he ever realized he missed the trigger). Likely didn't matter because I had 2x Settle in hand, but it just shows how important the mental game is. (6-2, made day 2!).

    Grabbed an awesome dinner at Blue C Sushi with my son (who went 4-3-1…not shabby!) and a buddy from Portland who was also playing. Got a good night's sleep without letting thoughts of cardboard interfere too much.

    Day Two
    Match 9: UW GPG (Yuuki Ichikawa)
    I didn't know my opponent by name before the match, but figured he was someone legit when I saw his 2017 World Championship hoodie! About the nicest, most humble, enjoyable opponent you could ask for. Gerry Thompson was playing right next to us, which was kind of cool too.

    G1: we both mull to 6 and miss our third land drops (which makes us both laugh quite a bit). I Spell Swindled his God-Pharoah's Gift, which made him laugh and say, "Double Approach?"—I joked that I didn't know if I brought enough treasure tokens, but I had exactly 7. Didn't manage the same-turn double-approach, but got there.

    G2: I think I could have won this game if I'd played a bit differently. I kept the board clean enough—kept him off GPG with Forsake the Worldly and used my boardwipes strategically (and used my life total as a resource), while he was just digging deeper and deeper with Champions of Wits, eternalized Champions of Wits, Chart a Course, and Strategic Planning. I Scavenger Grounds our yards away. After a field of ruin, I count his library and he's at 20 cards, and I have 2 Ipnus on the board. I end up cracking the Ipnus too soon, and he resolves a GPG, which may have given him the creatures needed to bring back for the win. Think he got down to 1 card in library.

    G3: I didn't really have the answers in this one. I managed to resolve Approach, and I had ipnu and cycler in hand, but he had ipnu as well. I might have been able to get the Approach back in my hand, but as it turned out, he had a negate in hand anyway, so I don't think I was going to win that one. In hindsight, I really needed to put away that G2, and I think I probably could have if I had taken a more optimal line than I did.

    After the match, Yuuki was chatting with Shouta Yasooka (who had been watching), and I was de-boarding. I show Yuuki the Crook of Condemnation that I didn't see the entire match, and we both laugh. Then I showed him the Spell Swindle and he laughed again and told Shouta about how his GPG got swindled. Just a fun GP moment that I'll remember. Can't say enough nice things about this guy. (6-3)

    Match 10: Sultai Snek (Corey Baumeister)
    After losing to a pro, I just laughed when I got paired with another one! Mike Sigrist was playing next to us for this one, which again, was kind of cool.

    G1: Got there with double approach. No worries.

    G2: He looks at his opening hand and goes, "ehh….I'll try to make it work." To which I reply, "I think that probably means that you have the nuts…" Sure enough, T1 Duress, T2 Siphoner, T3 Snek, T4 Rishkar. Lolz.

    G3: He mulls to 6 and gets stuck on lands for a while. I resolve Caracals, he resolves a Carnage Tyrant with a Hydra on board. My turn, I swing with all (the good ol' sacrificial-cats-before-fumigate play). Sure enough, I wipe the board after. At this point, I'm in pretty firm control and manage to get 2 gearhulks on the board, then another caracal, and he scoops it up. Super nice guy, and really enjoyable match. (7-3)

    Match 11: Red Aggro
    First Bomat Courier I faced all day. Really not a lot to say about this match—kept a bad hand G1 (it was serviceable against any deck but his). Didn't see sweepers G2. Lost with about 40 minutes left in round! (7-4)

    Match 12: Grixis Midrange
    G1, got there with an easy double approach.

    G2, he resolved siphoners T2 and T3, and just drowned in card advantage. I also missed a Search for Azcanta trigger here (I drew the card before remembering to flip). Don't know if it would have changed things, but my only missed trigger of the day…

    G3, he stuck a Chandra and a Lili, and I couldn't get rid of Chandra before she emblemed. Just the way it goes, I guess. (7-5).

    Match 13: Sultai Snek
    G1, got there with an easy double approach.

    G2, he got there with Hadana's climb and ballistas.

    G3, I think Gideon and Gearhulks got me there, but can't really remember…really mentally tired at this point, but I now know I'll leave with a record that's better than .500, so pretty stoked. (8-5).

    Match 14: UB Midrange (or maybe Grixis?)
    I played too timid G1 and let my mind play tricks on me and got punished. Started the game with double approach in hand. He managed to double Gonti me, and I really don't know what he has, although his eyes got a little big the first one, which for some reason made me certain that he had taken Spell Swindle. I approach once, and he's built up a good board with TSG and a bunch of zombos. I had the opportunity to Approach again, but I didn't have mana for countermagic, and I was paranoid about the swindle. Turns out it was a fumigate and I would have been totally clear. Instead, he reanimates all the things and kills me before I can try again. Some regret over this one, but I really can't be too disappointed.

    G2, I just couldn't get anything going, and he stuck an early Arguel and Search for Azcanta, so he out-carded me like crazy. (8-6). No pro point for me, but it's all good.

    Match 15: RG Dinos
    Cakewalk. All the sweepers, all the essence scatters, he can't interact with Approach. He brought in Prowling Serpopard G2, but I easily cast that out (and countered the Naturalize). Easy, easy matchup for this deck, and wish I'd seen RG more than just the final match. (9-6).

    Takeaways
    I loved the deck this weekend, and would not hesitate to rock it in another standard event. I think it's only going to get better after DOM drops (although exploring a splash of B might be worth it given the improvement in the mana base). The weaknesses are what we've discussed for a while: missing land drops and iffy early-game interaction. But the strengths are strong: extremely favored G1, access to reasonable creature finishers post-board (Caracal, Torrential, Nezzie), good ways to interact with enchantments, good answers to resilient threats (Carnage Tyrant, Phoenix).

    In retrospect, I should have found room for at least one, if not two, Farm // Market to handle the proliferation of Sneks. Seriously, they were everywhere. Maybe instead of Crook of Condemnation, although Crook did some work for me. And if UR GPG continues to be a thing, I think the case for a Crook in the main gets even better. Slash was great for the siphoners, but Sneks were a problem.

    I also think I got burned by a couple of suboptimal plays (although I reaped the benefit of a couple suboptimal plays/errors by opponents, so they wash out). I think that my game has improved 100% since my last GP, and this one made it very clear to me that deck selection has only so much to do with success—minimizing/eliminating play mistakes, carefully evaluating lines of play before making a decision, and staying mentally focused is just as important, and why I think the pros do as well as they do consistently. I definitely have room for improvement, and hope to keep the upward trend.

    Overall, the GP was a blast. For the most part, my opponents were fun to play against (only a couple less-than-friendly folks), and having the opportunity to play against a couple pros was definitely something I'll remember for a while!

    Next goal: getting that 10th win for the pro point.


    Hi codaddy;

    Thank you for posting the summary and congratulations on the great result - super impressive! Smile

    I don't have any great results to share but my son and I both improved from our previous GP - had a blast and met a ton of nice people. Next time we should arrange a face to face hello!

    I see Combat Celebrant has increased in price 500% as a result of UR Gift's great showing in Seattle!


    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Another interesting Approach build - this one WB: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1017425#paper. I'm surprised how strong this looks considering it features 4 Arch of Orazca and 4 Thaumatic Compass. I imagine late game card draw isn't a problem.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from kpal »
    The combination of duress / negate / doomfall is hard for UW control to overcome


    And Gonti, Lord of Luxury. That jerk looks at four of you cards and takes the very best one.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    Quote from Hobbits73 »

    Hi codaddy;

    You've made some great posts recently, thank you! Here are my thoughts . . . I'll have to say I am not nearly as optimistic as you . . .

    I'm not sure how well UW Approach is positioned in this meta. I agree game 1 is often favorable but even that is changing with recent Sultai builds mainboarding 2 Negate and creature builds getting lower to the ground. I agree with Eric from CFB and kpal on this thread that post-board can be a nightmare. UW Approach is barely a part of the mtggoldfish metagame now, if it was in a great place it would be producing better results IMHO. The community will eventually figure out what works. Mono-White Approach wasn't a thing a month or so ago but now it is the best Approach deck in the meta (as defined by % in metagame). . .

    I think because that deck has so many removal options. Yes, it is all sorcery speed but it's effective and consistent. And there really isn't a lot of enchantment removal in the game. What little there is will quickly get overloaded with 4 Baffling End, 4 Cast Out, 4Ixalan's Binding, and 2 Thopter Arrest plus 2-3 The Immortal Sun. Ironically, I think Mono-White Approach is the easiest deck in this meta for UW Approach.

    I'm also going to GP Seattle so this has been on my mind lately. Reliance on counter-magic, while extremely mana-efficient, is also very narrow. I get that one opportunity, if I don't have the mana or Essence Scatter gets countered I'm out of luck. I have to wait to Settle the Wreckage. If Thopter Arrest gets countered the opportunity is there to follow-up with Cast Out next turn.

    UB Control, has some reliance on counter-magic but has the best direct removal in the game with Fatal Push and Vraska's Contempt . Which they can cast again when the Torrential Gearhulks come to the party. . .

    UW Approach has Cast Out I guess, but that often gets cycled and while you and pumpmonkey have enjoyed some success with it, I've heard no one say Farm // Market is really a great magic card.

    I'm reluctant to make big changes to my deck so close to the GP but I may look at a uW option with minimal counters and heavy enchantment removal.

    Best wishes for a fun and successful GP!


    Hey @Hobbits 73! I completely agree that post-board games are tricky, and they really always have been with the Approach deck. My hypothesis (which can never really be tested) is that the post-board matchups, and articles from EFro and others saying the deck isn't a great option because of the post-board matchups, turn people away from the deck, which leads to fewer people playing the deck, which leads to fewer tournament results primarily due to the small share of the meta. If so many people were turned off of UW Approach that 10 people out of 1500 play the deck at a GP, chances are it's not going to be represented in the Top 8 (or Top 32). If 50% of the players showed up with it, the story would be different.

    I think the other flavors of Approach have found a bit of success because they are unexpected and opponents aren't sure how to attack them. I totally agree with you that W Approach (and BW Approach) is a cakewalk for UW Approach. They might sneak in G1, but they can't win 2 or 3 because Negate and Torrential Gearhulk. Forsake the Worldly does a ton of work in that matchup too. Go ahead and Binding my Caracal/Gearhulk...I'll just get rid of Binding on your end step and get a couple extra Cats/Flash back another spell. The Bant version can be tough for me G1 because I lack a ton of countermagic and they can ramp so dang fast, but G2 and G3 are usually favored for us too (if you can manage to counter their Hour of Promises).

    The fact is that there's a ton of luck that goes into any tournament, regardless of what deck you play. I fully believe that if I'd faced RG Monsters/Red Aggro for the first 5 matches of my PPTQ, I wouldn't have made Top 8, let alone won. The thing I don't get about EFro's article is that at my PPTQ, my UW Approach was the deck that nobody in the Top 8 wanted to play against. If my deck is so bad post-board, why don't you want to play against it?? Smile

    I'm curious what your current build looks like. I'm going to keep testing this week to fine tune what I register this weekend. Good luck to you as well!


    I'm not sure what I am going to run. Right now, I'm feeling a bit discouraged to be honest. Two recent trends I have noticed. The first is UW cycling has become Approach of the Second Sun rather than Drake Haven:
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1011008#paper
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1017402#paper

    I have also noticed that deck as well as Mono White Approach go all in on creatures post-board:
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1017423#online

    I think some players have decided that Approach is great G1 but G2 is better to go all-in on creatures. I'll think about this a bit more. . .
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    Along the lines of "know yourself/know your enemy," thought this grixis energy article on CFB was worth a read: https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/grixis-energy-deck-guide/

    Just another data point for the theory that Approach decks are currently well-positioned because they are not expected. This deck has only 2 1/2 maindeck answers to Approach (1 Supreme Will, 1 Commit // Memory, and a Torrential Gearhulk to potentially flash one of those back), and only dedicates a couple SB slots for answers (2x Negate, an additional Commit // Memory, 2 Duress, 1 Doomfall).


    Hi codaddy;

    You've made some great posts recently, thank you! Here are my thoughts . . . I'll have to say I am not nearly as optimistic as you . . .

    I'm not sure how well UW Approach is positioned in this meta. I agree game 1 is often favorable but even that is changing with recent Sultai builds mainboarding 2 Negate and creature builds getting lower to the ground. I agree with Eric from CFB and kpal on this thread that post-board can be a nightmare. UW Approach is barely a part of the mtggoldfish metagame now, if it was in a great place it would be producing better results IMHO. The community will eventually figure out what works. Mono-White Approach wasn't a thing a month or so ago but now it is the best Approach deck in the meta (as defined by % in metagame). . .

    I think because that deck has so many removal options. Yes, it is all sorcery speed but it's effective and consistent. And there really isn't a lot of enchantment removal in the game. What little there is will quickly get overloaded with 4 Baffling End, 4 Cast Out, 4Ixalan's Binding, and 2 Thopter Arrest plus 2-3 The Immortal Sun. Ironically, I think Mono-White Approach is the easiest deck in this meta for UW Approach.

    I'm also going to GP Seattle so this has been on my mind lately. Reliance on counter-magic, while extremely mana-efficient, is also very narrow. I get that one opportunity, if I don't have the mana or Essence Scatter gets countered I'm out of luck. I have to wait to Settle the Wreckage. If Thopter Arrest gets countered the opportunity is there to follow-up with Cast Out next turn.

    UB Control, has some reliance on counter-magic but has the best direct removal in the game with Fatal Push and Vraska's Contempt . Which they can cast again when the Torrential Gearhulks come to the party. . .

    UW Approach has Cast Out I guess, but that often gets cycled and while you and pumpmonkey have enjoyed some success with it, I've heard no one say Farm // Market is really a great magic card.

    I'm reluctant to make big changes to my deck so close to the GP but I may look at a uW option with minimal counters and heavy enchantment removal.

    Best wishes for a fun and successful GP!
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from pumpmonkey »
    I feel like Esper is really strong, but with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Seal Away coming, not sure if it is needed. And those are just the ones that I have noticed, sure there are more.


    I've not looked at Dominaria much yet; those cards are fantastic! Baffling End still sees play on the top UW lists from time to time. . . Seal Away looks so much better.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from pumpmonkey »
    The Esper Approach list that top 8'ed at the SCG Cincinnati was pretty spicy. 2 counters main and 10 draw spells. I guess it was trying to flip Search as fast as possible. I will have to jam a few games with it online to see, what can I say, I like spicy. And after Domanaria comes out in a few weeks, we get to add Isolated Chapel which will make the mana base pretty smooth.

    SCG Classic Standard - Cincinnati - 3/25/2018


    That one caught my eye as well! I will be interested to hear how your testing goes. Essentially 0 counters because I'm sure Supreme Will is mainly there for impulse mode. Draw, Sweep, Rinse, Repeat. . .
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    Quote from the_codaddy »

    I think that a UW Approach build that's tuned to address the T1-3 creatures that can give us a tough time (Siphoner is really the biggest one as far as I'm concerned) is in a pretty good spot in this meta. My BR opponent in the semis made a comment about how he didn't really have sideboard hate against UW Approach (I'm guessing duress/doomfall/lost legacy?) because he just hasn't seen it that frequently. That seems pretty consistent with the MTG Goldfish metagame stats, which puts UW Approach at 1.41% of the metagame. I'm guessing that will shift after Dominaria drops with all the goodies for UW Control (not mentioning here because I don't think we're allowed to discuss spoilers here?). For now though, it seems to be a very under-the-radar deck to play. And in what I see as a very midrange meta, (1) having a ton of the right answers (slash, settle, fumigate, cast out) and (2) having no creatures (making their cards dead) is a good place to be.


    I realize I'm quoting myself here, but I just read a Seth Manfield article on TCGPlayer.com for the "Top 10 Decks in Standard," and Approach isn't one of the ones he lists. Article is here: http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/article.asp?ID=14496&writer=Seth Manfield&articledate=3-9-2018

    I hope it's not too off-topic, but there is a ton of literature about cognitive biases (Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow is the one most have heard of or read), and it's interesting to see how it plays out in competitive MTG. For example, here: UW Approach doesn't put up a ton of top-10 results, doesn't show up on the Pro Tour, and doesn't feature in articles from pros about the top decks. The competitive MTG community understands that to mean it's not a good deck for competitive events, and thus it is underrepresented at those events because people gravitate to the decks that have been putting up results (Grixis energy, UB control, UB midrange, RG monsters) thinking they are the "stronger" or "better" deck. But by the very nature of more people playing those "stronger" decks, there is a higher likelihood that those decks will put up results, and a lower likelihood that UW Approach will put up results. Taken to one extreme, in a field comprising 100% decks playing mono-W vanilla creatures, a mono-W vanilla creature deck will be the top deck (8 spots in top-8 and the tournament winner). Pre-ban, when the field was 25% Temur Energy and 25% RamRed, there is a very high likelihood that those decks would be the top-performing decks just by virtue of the vast number of people playing them.

    This is a longwinded way of saying that I (obviously) think UW Approach is a great deck, I think it has great game against just about every deck in the meta, and it only helps that it's underrepresented at tournaments because other players aren't ready for it.


    I tend to think the community will eventually figure out what the stronger decks are and those will get the most play. As a result, the best decks will ultimately be reflected in the meta-game percentages. I think UW Approach has two fundamental weaknesses: lack of ability to interact with resolved creature(s) early and post-board UB hate in the form of Duress, Gonti, Lord of Luxury, Doomfall, and Negate. I think Eric Froehlich referred to this as a "post-board horror show." Maybe over-stated but funny.

    The two weaknesses reinforce each other; the lack of early interaction can leave the board in a sub-optimal state and we need a wrath to clean it up. If that gets negated or discarded at a key time it's a pretty big blow. UB Control is less sensitive to this because their board is in a better state because of Fatal Push and Moment of Craving.

    The last major event win for Approach that I can remember is November's Atlanta GP with Alex Lloyd's Esper Approach. He went Esper to help with the early interaction problem. I think Black might help with the discard hate as well because those cards become available to us. I hope to test that on MTGO this week.

    That said, you and pumpmonkey have gotten great results with UW Approach and it has consistently posted periodic 5-0 results on Competitive MTGO.

    I'll take UW or Esper Approach to the Seattle GP next month! Smile




    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on UW Approach
    Quote from the_codaddy »
    I played in a 34-person PPTQ yesterday, and I'm super stoked to report that I took it down with my current UW Approach build. I'd been testing quite a bit in MTGO leagues (consistently getting 3-2 or 4-1 with one 5-0), and after a number of tweaks, settled on the following list:



    There were 6 rounds of swiss, and here is my (admittedly pretty poor) recap of those matchups:

    Round 1: GW Tokens
    There's something really nice about playing a matchup where you don't worry about opposing counterspells, and just have a legion of 1/1 vamps, kitty cats (Sacred Cat, Adorned Pounder, Pride Sovereign, Regal Caracal), and horses (Crested Sunmare) that you get to Settle/Fumigate at will.

    Game 1 was a bit of a grind--he got up to 37+ life, but double approach got me there. The Gidfather did a ton of work here keeping his pouncers at bay and distracting his attackers from me.

    I scooped G2 pretty early (turn 6 or so). I was stuck on 3 lands and he had an incredible board and landed a Sunmare after gaining life.

    Game 3 he was able to build the board up again, but I had a key Glimmer that netted me a Settle and a Fumigate, and it was a hard lock after that. Win from double approach. Opponent shared with me that he had boarded in a few Gideon's Intervention but he just never saw them--that's pretty much the only way to stop the approach, but it's also manageable (counterspells, Cast Out).

    Also, the all-star award goes to Field of Ruin, which took out Adanto's First Fort, Second Fort, and Third Fort (and got one of his duals to help my fixing as well).

    One interesting play here: he had a Caracal and a 1/1 Vamp token out and I had Gideon on 3 holding down the fort with Farm//Market in hand. I chose to +1 to neutralize the vamp instead of the Caracal hoping that it would bait him into attacking with the Caracal and it totally worked. 1-0.

    Round 2: UB Control
    This was a super frustrating matchup, which is too bad because I usually feel pretty favored G1 against UB Control with all their dead cards. I was missing my land drops, he was countering my efforts to hit said land drops through Supreme Will and Glimmer, and he ran away with card advantage via Glint-Sleeve Siphoner and Arguel's Blood Fast. 1-1.

    Round 3: UB Control (again)
    Redemption time. This time, the matchup fell my way.

    G1, I got there with a pretty straightforward double approach.

    G2, I got there with a not-at-all-straightfoward double approach with an incredible clutch topdeck. I had 2 approach in hand, and he negated my first with The Scarab God on the battlefield. He's on 2 or 3 cards and I put him on no counterspells, so I go for it. He calmly activates The Scarab God to bring back a Torrential Gearhulk that I had forgotten was in his graveyard, and he negated my approach. This was my only substantial punt of the day (not to say that I didn't have other punts and missed triggers, including several Azcanta scries, but this one almost cost me big).

    Well lo and behold, what did I topdeck the very next turn? My third Approach. Sometimes the cards just fall your way. 2-1.

    Round 4: UB Midrange
    This was a matchup against a friend from my LGS who I consider to be a really really really (really) good player. He won a grindy game 1 that I can't really remember much about. In game 2, he landed a T2 Blood Fast, and I managed to stick a T3 Gideon, which makes Blood Fast way less good. I got a gearhulk down later on and he scooped, moving to G3.

    By this point, we had about 9 minutes on the clock, and we played quickly, but he didn't have a ton of creatures and I stuck a Nezahal, which meant that neither of us could get the W. A good battle. 2-1-1.

    Round 5: BG Azor's Mastermind
    My countermagic doesn't line up well against this deck G1. Essence Scatter is dead, and I rely on Supreme Will to counter some number of spells (although my first choice is impulse mode), but this deck gets a bunch of lands out (Hour of Promise), which makes it much less effective.

    G1 he had an Azor's Gateway out and we each had a field of ruin. He attempted to FoR my FoR, and I responded by destroying his only desert--this turned out to be correct because he played Hour of Promise the next turn and wasn't able to get any Zombies from it. But what it meant was that I didn't have a FoR to kill his flipped gateway. He resolved a Vraska, Relic Seeker, and then a couple turns later, tapped his gate for 27 black mana to Mastermind's Acquisition a Torment of Hailfire. I had 2 cards in hand, 1 nonland card in play, and (shockingly) I did not have the 57 life required to survive.

    G2 and G3 were much better with Negates, a pair of Forsake the Worldly, and some Caracals in from the board. G2 was pretty straightforward double approach. G3 he had some mana troubles and didn't have the second green to resolve his Carnage Tyrant. He had a Blood Fast going, and I had my legion of kittehs on the board. I had had a Forsake the Worldly in hand for a number of turns, but I was kind of saving it for the gateway, and I was happy to let him continue to Blood Fast himself. When he got down to 8, he activated the Blood Fast, and I forsaked in response. Now he's at 6 and I have 7 damage on board from the cats. 3-1-1.

    Round 6: Grixis
    I'm sitting at 10 points, which isn't enough for an ID, so my opponent and I are both win-and-in.

    For the life of me, I can't remember this matchup very well. I feel favored against Grixis with my counter and removal suite. He played his siphoners and Whirler Virtuosos and Rekindling Phoenixes, but I was able to manage them all with my countermagic and removal. Highlight was when he landed a T2 siphoner and I slash-of-talonsed it the next turn. He said something like, "Huh...didn't know this was even seeing play." And he's right: it's not. But I think it really should be (which is why I played 2 in the main).

    Anyway, managed threats, stayed patient until I had 2 approaches in hand, cast one, make him try to take advantage of what he sees as his "opening" to cast The Scarab God and other miscellaneous dudes who will never have a chance to attack, and then approach the next turn. 4-1-1, which is good enough for 7th seed.

    Quarterfinals: Grixis
    This guy had dropped only one game all day, which was pretty impressive, but I had just come from Grixis so I was in that mindset. He admitted to me beforehand that I was the matchup that he didn't want to face.

    This was a matchup that was all about managing my life total and timing out my wraths. He was a very careful player that did not overextend his attacks, which made my settles functionally 1-for-1s, but it's more than that: by not attacking with the squad (in fact, he had a phoenix out that never turned sideways), I'm gaining life each turn even if I don't have the settle.

    Minor punt of the day (runner-up punt?): I had scavenger grounds in play and should have activated it on my end step before he could eternalize a Champion of Wits. I eventually did activate it to prevent him from flashing back a spell with Torrential Gearhulk, but doing it earlier would have been better and saved me dealing with a 4/4 and giving him 2 cards.

    Double approach G1 and G2, on to the semis.

    Semifinals: BR Aggro
    And this is the matchup that I didn't want to face. Amazingly, I had avoided aggro decks just about all day, with the exception of GW tokens which is somewhat aggressive.

    G1 was a doozy. Bomat, Khenra, Scrapheap Scrounger, the 2/1 that comes in tapped and can recur (can't remember its name)...the works. Farm was good, Slash of Talons was good, wraths were good, Approach was good. He had me down to 1, and after the match, his buddy indicated that he could have won the game (I didn't overhear how). I had approached with Search out, and my scry was to my second approach, so I snuck in the win.

    G2 was textbook aggro death by T5. Life total went 20, 19, 18, 12, 6, dead.

    G3 he had a really slow start. Land, pass. Land, pass. Land, Crook of Condemnation. These are the aggro matchups we dream about. He resolved a siphoner, I had a slash of talons. He had 2 Phoenixes and a Chandra: I had 2 Cast Out and a Spell Swindle. The answers just lined up perfectly, exactly how a control deck should work. This was like Rocky 4 where Drago seems totally invincible until Rocky draws blood, and then it's all Rocky. G3 I stuck a gearhulk and swung in for 5. This was the first time his life total had changed all game. Got him with beats. On to the finals.

    Finals: BG Counters?
    This is just my guess what this deck was from sitting next to the guy during the semis. I think he was on the snek, rishkar, ballista deck (which I think I have a good matchup against, but can definitely lead to a blowout on his side). Turns out, he isn't really interested in going to the RPTQ, and that's the reason I signed up. He let me have 9 packs and the invite, and he took home a couple booster boxes.

    Parting thoughts
    • I really liked Gideon as a 1-of. He helps your life total and he can pressure their life total, which is something that can help when you're digging for your Approaches.
    • Against control, you really want to hold off making your move until you have both approaches in hand. In draw-go, they're waiting for you to tap out to make their move, and that's when to drop the hammer.
    • I had been playing 3 Field of Ruin and 1 Arch of Orazca, but at the last minute, put in the 4th Field. I think this is correct for a deck that needs double colors to do good stuff (Disallow, Gideon, wraths) and in a meta that includes so many powerful lands.
    • There are mixed opinions on Opt and Censor. I've used both in various quantities and think there are good things about both. Someone on some board I read called Opt "deck lube" and it's totally right. I love seeing this card in my opening hand and really don't mind it later on when I'm looking for an answer. Also, I think it's strictly better than Hieroglyphic Illumination--if you look to cycle illumination most of the time, you should run Opt because of the scry. If you look to cast illumination, you should run Glimmer for the scry 2.
    • Slash of Talons is the truth against this meta. So many siphoners and champions of wits have met their grisly end from the talons. Siphoners are a truly powerful card against us--you cannot underestimate the card advantage it provides.
    • Hour of Revelation wasn't boarded in once. I have it in there for stockpile/drake decks (which I still see occasionally online). I like having it in there.
    • Spell Swindle is gold. Spell Swindle played off a Gearhulk is even better. I think pumpmonkey pointed this out in an earlier post.

    As a side note: I had played UW Approach in 2 PPTQs and a GP last fall and went 2-4, 3-3-1, and 3-x respectively. This was before I decided to plunge into MTGO and do some deliberate practice with the deck. I've concluded that there's really no substitute for getting a ton of reps with a deck (and against other decks so you know the meta) and making small tweaks to see how it makes the deck better/worse.



    codaddy; Congrats on the great result! Thanks for taking the time to make that excellent summary. An interesting build! All the familiar cards are there but the counts are a bit unique. 3 Glimmer of Genius, 2 Slash of Talons!?

    Well done!
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.