Quote from Raver »MTGGoldfish keeps a pretty accurate spread of the current meta, it's not perfect but it is very useful to see what decks you should be expecting, especially those on the first page.
Currently the big hitters are: Dredge, burn, phoenix, and grixis death shadow. Obviously modern is a very open meta and is the one where people are most likely to jam pet decks no matter what meta but given the above 4, it's safe to say that we're being pulled in many directions and looking at some less than favorable matches.
My personal opinion is that modern the format post KCI is still simply too fast and operating on too many different axis for living end to deal with without making concessions in our 75 that pulls the deck in many different areas.
Against the top 4, shaving some LD actually has some benefits, the only deck that LD can (not guaranteed) to hit hard is GDS, the other decks either don't care, can recover, or are resilient. The problem is that UW/x and tron are evergreen decks so the need for LD is always present and shaving these pieces opens you up to losing percentage points against the two aforementioned decks.
I think if the plan is to jam living end into this meta, that the key has to be in the SB. Looking at the current top tier decks, a 8 leyline plan (white and black) is very much something to consider. 8 leylines alone covers the top 4 decks pretty well and can hit a smattering of others in the process.
I understand the thought behind having the Leylines. The white Leyline is really good against burn and the Thoughtseize -> Surgical Extraction plan. But I am not a fan of having a 4 of in your deck that is completely useless unless in your opening hand. That might be my personal preference not to take that risk. The Black leyline is good, no question. I still prefere the faerie Macabre (3 in the main) because the opponent may not see it coming and plays like he would normally do. And against the decks that don't really care for about the graveyard, it is still OK to get a 2/2 Flyer on the field.
I agree that our winning route is through "sideboard" cards but here is a thought for you: What if you play 1-2 Shriekmaws and or 1-2 Ingot Chewers in the mainboard. When did you need more than one Archfiend and had the time to cycle them both? When was the Monstrous Carabid ever an answer to anything?
Right now I play only 2 Archfiends and 2 Carabids, simply because the games we have good matchups, we don't need that many cyclers. The bad Matchups we lose because they have problematic cards we don't have an answer to or that are too hard to handle. The Evoke creatures come back, so they not only grant you meanngful interaction and hate, they also come back which is why they are so damn good in this deck.
My Experience with UWx Control:
You have to be faster and attack their lands. You have at least 3 Fulminator Mages to get rid of the Colonades / Hllowed FOuntains. The opponent may recognize that and will try to search for basic lands. The basic lands can be destroyed with Beast Within. These two cards, fastened up by a Simian Spirit guide, are our best winning route in my opinion. You will need a target when you cast Demonic Dread and these are your best choices. If you can manage to prohibit the double U, many counterspells can not be cast (Cryptc Command, Logic Knot, Snapcaster + something.) After LE getting rid of the double W prevents Supreme Verdict and Settle the Wreckage. You can Use Ricochet Trap on the last one mentioned but you need 4 Mana to do so.
My plan would be:
3-4 Fulminator Mage
2 Beast Within
3 Faerie Macabre
3-4 Simian Spirit Guide
1-2 Krosan Grip
2-3 Ricochet Trap
Cards that will most likely do nothing or not enough
Shriekmaw - no real targets
Archfiend of Ifnir - to slow and eats a Path anyway
Ingot Chewer - their graveyard hate is enchantment based (if they bring any)
And to back up my point from before: Playing Hate cards in the mainboard can have massive benefits. Usually the downside is, they do nothing if the opponents deck doeas not care about these cards. But in Living End you still get a creature out of it, even if there was no interaction. I am only concerned about playing 2 Shriekmaws in the mainboard because you have to hit one of your creatures eventually. But Fearie Macabre and Ingot chewer never completely fail.
Notable card in my 75 right now include:
2 Anger of the Gods - against Dredge, Humans , Vizier COmbo
2 Brindleboar - against Burn , Skred, 8Whack, 8Rack
2 Shriekmaw (May go up to 3) - against Burn, Humans, Spirits, Vizier Combo
3 Ricochet Trap (May go down to 2) - against UWx-control, Jeskai Control, Grixis Death's Shadow
3 Ingot Chewer - against both affinity versions, Tron, the graveyard hate
3 Faerie Macabre (may go up to 4) - against Dredge, UWx-control, Jeskai Control, Arclight Phoenix, any Death's Shadow, Jund, Surgical Extraction plan
4 Fulminator Mage - against UWx-control, Jeskai Control, Tron, Titan Shift, Amulet Titan
2 Krosan Grip (May go down to 1 or be replaced completely) against Leyline (i hate that card) and other enchantments.
2 Dead // Gone - against Burn, Humans, Elves, Vizier Combo, Affinity