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  • posted a message on Jund
    It is an outstanding performance, and a great job! Smile However, this is not FlyingDelver - it is a tournament report from Peter Bui. It says so in the byline - which granted is a bit hard to spot unless you're looking for it.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    I think a better / different substitute in Dimir colors for TBR would be ]Distortion Strike. While the double strike aspect of TBR is nice - I feel like the most important piece is getting past the go wide strategies. Also the split focus of poison/regular damage by bringing in an infect card is a bit annoying.

    I think in general you should settle in for the longer games playing dimir, and look to outgrind your opponents with the full set of snapcaster mage - tons of black spot removal cards - and some way to sweep the board of small creatures (at the very least post board). Good luck! Smile
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    I think the most important thing to remember against both tron and amulet titan is that you cannot afford to simply "trade landdrops". Against tron specifically you really need to land a threat on turn 2. Ideally discard turn 1, into bob or goyf turn two - then on turn 3 you can disrupt their mana with Ass trophy, Field of Ruin or Fulminator mage (post board). Also, worth to note that fulminator mage is still (IMO) the best card we have against them. The game is likely to go for 6+ turns - which means that without actual land destruction it is too easy for them to simply cast a wurmcoil engine, even without tron. We've gained way more ways to disrupt them than in the past, but we just need to be sure to kill them while disrupting them.

    Amulet titan is a weird beast - I've won many games against them by landing fulminator turn 3 on the play killing a double land (effectively setting them back 2 turns). The main recipe here is still the same though - except you need to get the dorks and amulets off the table, and your fields and ass trophies get better here as killing a bounce land is not "just" trading land drops but are actually setting them back a turn.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Thanks for the input jokerstyle00.

    Having looked at the decklists (and metagame) that did well at GP LA - I've come up with the following list that, thus far, I'm planning on taking to GP Bilbao:

    Comparing it with the last list I've dropped the Choke and Languish from the sideboard in exchange for 2 Surgical Extractions. I figure this way I should have a good amount of graveyard hate against various strategies - and still have a decent shot at beating both spirits and humans + control.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    I'm currently preparing for GP Bilbao - where I'm either gonna play Rock or Grixis Shadow, currently leaning towards Rock.

    I've been playing the following list at my local meta to quite a bit of success (going 3-1, 4-0 and 3-1) - I am however a bit worried about Dredge, Phoenix and Scales. Because of this I've contemplated cutting the 2 Tireless Trakcers for 2 Wheel of Sun and Moon (or just play it safe and use surgical or more spellbombs). As I've not yet had the chance to properly test against these decks I'd love to get experiences from the rest of you, how hard are the matchups, which things are key - and which graveyard hate would you prefer in each matchup? The reason I'm considering Wheel of Sun and Moon is simply that it should help against both Dredge, Phoenix (nice interaction with crackling drake here) and Scales.

    For reference here's my list:

    Cheers! Smile
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    @Grim_Flayer: I've been playing 1 Damnation and 1 Languish for quite a while - which has worked nicely for me. If I were to stick with one or the other however - right now I think that would be Damnation. I like the applications against spirits with Languish - but it is mostly due to them not expecting it, I think most players have adjusted by now and also the chance that you get to "get them" with this are extremely slim. If Languish is good (as in better than damnation) chances are you are already dead.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on The Rock
    Damnation also gets around Welding Jar, it's written on the card Smile

    Anyway, I think the main arguments for Languish is that it gets around selfless spirit and also there's the upside that it might leave some of your own creatures left on the battlefield. Also Languish kan kill stuff like Hazoret (though it does not seem to be played that much anymore). Damnation is for sure the better sweeper against scales specifically I'd say - languish (when it gets to resolve) is real good against spirits however.

    I have really been liking 2 Kalitas main. I can't imagine going higher than that for a legandary creature, though it must be said that if you have one on the battlefield already and you avoid casting the second one due to the legendary rule - you're probably in great shape already.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    So I played in the tournament this Saturday. After some more testing I ended up on this list:

    After testing a bit - with the last list - I found out two things:

    1. Fulminator mage was too slow for the matchups I wanted it in. I played a game against Titanshift, on the play, where turn 3 fulminator mage did next to nothing. So I swapped them for Disdainful Strokes.
    2. I need more practice against the hardened scales matchup. Because of this, and the fact I had a feeling of at least 3-5 great players showing up with the deck, I dropped the Snapcaster from the sideboard + 1 the lightning bolt to make room for the 3rd ceremonious + the staticaster, both are cards I would value greatly in that matchup.

    I ended up in 2. place after swiss of 6 rounds (4-0 into double ID). Rounds as follows:

    1. Grixis Control (2-0)
    I was very scared when I cast TS on turn 1 - he has a hand that looked very strong. I get my set up going, flashback TS on turn 3 and see a hand that I know will burn me out over time. This is followed up by angler turn 4 - with my hand now being bolt, denial and tbr. Opponent is at 13 life. I bolt him end of turn, he uses his last remaining mana to try and burn me out, which i cast stubby d on. Then untap into tbr for lethal. Game 2 I cast multiple discards into an uncontested Liliana of the Veil. Opponent uses too many cards to deal with her and is left with no removal in hand - few attacks later it is game.

    2. Some Black/white midrange much abrew deck (2-1)
    All the games here goes as you would expect. I'm having trouble beating lingering souls tokens - game 1 i topdeck TBR at the last possible turn. Game 2 I don't see much removal and looses to smuggler's copter. Game 3 opponent has land heavy draw and, despite top decking liliana of the veil, never really gets going.

    3. Burn (2-0)
    I have great draws against burn both g1 and g2. Game 1 I drop 2 2/2s with a Street Wraith in hand - opponent goes crazy and puts me to 5 life (while at 17 with no blockers), easy win. Game 2 he's much more careful, but so am I - and most of his hand is stuck with Deflecting Palm. I take my time discarding all his burn and the deflecting palms and swing in for lethal.

    4. UW Spirits (2-0)
    Again I'm a bit lucky and get to TBR for lethal game 1. The way game 1 went down was a bit interesting. Opponent had vial + wanderer on the field with rattlechains and phantasmal image in hand (that I know of). He flashes in the Rattlechains - I punt and let it resolve as I know I need the wanderer off the field but now I have no option to. Game comes down to me dismembering the wanderer a few turns later - in order for him to flash in the image copying rattlechains and giving wanderer hexproof. Wanderer is now 2 power - with no more cards in his hand. I need to topdeck a non-shock land to swing for lethal and I do. Game 2 he mulls and keeps a 3-4 drop heavy hand - and never get more than 1 creature on the board at a time.

    5-6 ID

    Quarters: Hardened Scales (2-1)
    I finally meet a deck that my sideboard is well set up to beat. Game 1 I loose to a top decked ravager beefing up a thopter token. I get a bit blown out by the funky interactions of Animation Module (I thought I could remove the ravager after opponent has decided to pay for the servo token - before it comes into play). I'm probably dead here either way. Game 2 I have the nut draw of T1: Cycle, Cycle, fetch+shock, TS. T2 Play 2x death's shadow. T2 untap with 2x ceremonious rejections in hand + fetch land + another street wraith. I counter his ravager (he has a 2/2 hangarback walker in play) and it's game. Game 3 I tank over my opening 7. It's 2x street wraith, k command, dismember and lands. I end up keeping as the hand is sort of OK if I find T1 TS or a shadow off the 2 wraiths. I find the TS and take his animation module - from there his hand is all creatures my hand can answer. We trade cards 1 for 1 - until i thought scour a shadow into my grave - untap t4 to destroy his only dude, return shadow, play shadow. He never gets going and i take g3.

    Semis: UW Spirits (0-2)
    This is the same dude as my round 4 opponent - I get worse hands and he is playing much better. I can't remember the specifics here other than his vials are great - and a selfless spirit lets him block out of TBR range while keeping his board. Both games felt close while playing them, but they required mistakes from my opponent for me to win - and he played very well.

    All in all - deck felt great, would run it back any time. Going forward I'd love to get more reps in against hardened scales to be able to drop down a bit of my hate in the SB.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    If you are to run off color fetches I would put a priority on being able to fetch watery grave. It is the best land in the deck by miles, and your basics are in those 2 colors. Back in 2017 the winner of GP Copenhagen did just this, I believe he was using flooded strands, marsh flats would probably be my go to however, as I think blood crypt is a better land than steam vents.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    I'm playing in a local modern tournament this weekend, planning to take GDS to the tournament. It's been a while since I played the deck extensively, but I played it when it was the deck to beat. I'm posting the list here as I have not yet had the luxury to test some of the newer matchups since then, and thus does not really know if I've got all my bases covered to some extent by the sideboard. I'm quite nervous about the burn matchup given that I have no Collective Brutality - I guess part of me is hoping that people try to go for the busted burn decks with all one drops that I can then foil by discard etc. to make some of their cards cost 3 when they should've been at 1 - but I'm not sure how viable this plan is.

    Also I'm sort of unclear/scared about Hardened Scales and Dredge. I'm hedging more towards beating scales (and tron, and the random eldrazi decks) - as usually there's no dredge players in my meta, so I'm expecting 1 or at most 2 dredge decks to show up.

    I'm choosing not to play baubles as I like the ability to grind a bit more. I value the full set of serum visions to be able to keep weird 1 land hands with serum visions - and also to facilitate the 2 maindeck Kolaghan's commands. Please consider this playstyle if you are going to try to convince me running baubles - I have them, and I have played that configuration as well. I see the strengths of that build, but also some of the weaknesses (more awkward opening hands, snapcaster gets worse). The Tasigur is there instead of the 4th angler specifically because I'm not running baubles. I do get to activate him at times, but rarely get good cards back. I'm also playing 2 fulminators in the sideboard to help against the control and big mana decks - which I'm strongly suspecting will be a somewhat large part of the meta. I've always hated the usual configuration of this deck inability to deal with problematic lands - so I've found adding this card to the sideboard does quite a bit for me.

    Expected decks to show up (in no particular order):
    Hardened Scales
    UW/UWx Control
    Some midrange decks (mirror or GBx)
    Some combo (storm / ad nauseum)
    Amulet Titan

    What have people's experience been with the new burn decks? Should a list without collective brutality be fine, or do I need some other kind of weird counterspell (ie. delay? - can also be helpful against other decks i suppose). Would I be able to make minor adjustments to make dredge a better matchup or should I just go with the cards already here and accept that it is quite a bad matchup - that I might not even face? Any suggestions / comments here would be greatly appreciated Smile
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jund
    Having quickly gone through the list here's what I'd go for at a first glance.

    I've done a few things here:

    1. I value Bloodbraid elf quite a bit for your expected meta, you have quite a few matchups where you need to turn the corner quick - a 3/2 haste that might bring a bolt or hate piece along with it is IMO one of the best ways of doing that. So I'd play all 4 copies. For the same reason I'd go to 25 lands - to prepare a bit extra for the control matchups this is the treetop village - which also helps in turning the corner quick.
    2. I swapped a wooded foothills for a twilight mire to make scooze as good as he can be. I can see an argument to swap one of the forests to basic mountain, but it'll mostly come up against control or burn. Against control make sure to fetch up your red sources when you can and you should be fine. Hopefully you can draw some cliffs against burn, otherwise you need to put a priority on getting red in a painless way.
    3. Confidant is great in the matches where you need to find your disruption fast (tron, scapeshift, goryos) - and one of the best cards against uw - so I upped the count to 4 and dropped the kalitas as I don't think you need him that bad against the expected meta. I dropped the 4th assassin's trophy to make room for the creature changes as well as the land changes - it is a good card, but not one I'd usually want to start with multiples of in my opening hand - akin to scooze, so 3 seems a better number IMO. I also went down to 2 fatal pushes in the main - which is the change I'm the least confidant about - I readded it to the sideboard as there's a few matches where it'll be great.

    I like the surgicals against arclight, ad naus and goryos. I dropped nihil spellbomb as I don't think it does enough for the matches you listed, except goryos - I hope you can make due with scooze, fulminator and brutality here. I upped to all 4 fulminators, they seem great against titan, scapeshift, jeskai/uw, tron, ad naus - and can come in as fillers against burn for the thoughtseizes and confidants that you need to remove. I dropped to 1 anger as I'm hoping you won't need it for the creature aggro matchups and I only find it mediocre against phoenix where you also have 2 surgicals, 2 damping sphere as well as ishkanah and 1 fatal push in the board. I dropped the alpine moons as the fulminators + damping spheres should be enough disruption against lands I think.

    I might have made a few more changes there, but not quite sure. Anyways - this is the list I ended up at looking at the expected meta and trying to hedge against that.

    EDIT: I forgot to add - I'm not confident on the affinity/scales matchups with this list. So might need some shaving of some of the hate pieces to make room for some impactful stuff for that matchup. Not that you cannot beat it with this list, but I'd probably test this list against those decks and see if you need to do something about it or not. Also some guesses around whether you expect those decks to hit the top tables might be worth it.

    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Interesting! My main concern was the UWx matchups. I’ve never felt like they were close at all. I agree that upping the count of Liliana of the veil is an easy way to hedge against GDS, and it also helps quite a bit vs jund. If you didn’t have phyrexian arena for the uwx matchups what would you play in its place?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Nice work DeFish! You've convinced me to pick this deck up again, never really tried playing it Jund colors only but looking forward to trying it!

    Regarding the midrange/control matchups - do you think Bloodbraid Elf as a sideboard card could be a viable here? I've always found the control matchups to be the hardest with the 4 color versions, and I think BBE could do a lot of work here. My only concern is if a mountain is needed to make sure we don't get field of ruined out of being able to cast BBE. What do you think? I'm planning on trying quite a few copies out in my local meta where there's usually quite a few control players.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jund
    I also keep in a healthy amount of discard against GDS - sometimes cut 1 or 2 IOK. I like Scooze in the matchup as it can take over on its own in the late game, but can see going down to 2.

    My list is obviously different from yours, but I like to play 2 push, 1 bolt postboard (I don't have decay maindeck no more, just 3 trophies, no pulses) - and then add any card that can kill Angler (I board in 1 Damnation, not happy about it but it feels needed), as many spellbombs and Llth that I have. This leaves me with around this configuration of kill spells post board:

    2 Push
    1 Bolt
    3 Trophy
    1 Damnation
    2 Kolaghan's Command (more of a kill spell in the sense that it can deal two to face, but usually is discard + bring back threat).

    Liliana of the Veil is the most important card either player potentially has access to - so you need to value it very highly. She can win games on her own if she sticks.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Jund
    Quote from MajorRiot »

    I think the biggest thing I am missing right now, the missing link I suppose, is how to mulligan correctly. How many lands is normal to keep? Am I supposed to keep 4-5 lands and try to win off a single Bob/Goyf in my starting hand?

    The "problem" with this deck is that the answers here aren't so clear cut. The hardest part is most definitely what to keep against an unknown opponent - for the most part I like to keep hands that I can envision winning a game of magic with against *some* part of the field. That is don't keep a hand thinking "If I'm against Cheerios I'll win, otherwise I'll likely loose". Besides the fact that almost any hand you have wins against the deck, it is barely played. But if you keep a hand thinking "This will win against aggro, but likely loose in the mirror or against control" - I think that is a fine keep in the dark. In the dark I want a hand of at least 2 lands that can play a 2 mana spell on turn 2. I'd much rather keep 3 lands into LotV - but you can't always have you what wish for.

    TL;DR - you need to build up an idea of what constitutes a hand that have the possibility of winning games, and which opponents it wins against. In GP Atlanta this year, in Round 2 I believe, Reid Duke plays Abzan vs Abzan (unknown opponent) - keeps a hand full of creature lands (5 lands), IoK into Muderous Cut on the play. This can easily look like a horrible hand, but he keeps - and takes down the game no question. I can't imagine he was happy about that keep - but rather I envision that he keeps the hand thinking - I got discard and a removal spell and a bunch of "creatures". I win the grindy games and likely loose against combo and aggro.
    Posted in: Midrange
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