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  • posted a message on BW Tokens
    Stony Silence is our best card against them if you can get it down turn 2.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BW Tokens
    My deck struggles a lot with Planeswalkers (espeically Liliana, the Last Hope) / Blood Moon / Ensnaring Bridge. So having an out to all three is really nice. I would prefer some split of Disenchant and Celestial Purge though since both are much better cards being 2 cmc and they don't cost life.

    The trade off is that I want at least two ways to beat each of my "problem cards" and I only need 3 sideboard slots if I run 1 of each of my hate cards. I would prefer 2 Disenchant / 2 Purge but then I have to cut something else... Unmaking is fine against Tron too which is a pretty close match up.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    The most popular board wipe is Terminus which unfortunately hits Ormendahl.

    I played Kaya for one night Friday and boarded her out in 3/4 matches so that wasn't fun. I'll try her again this week but I'm starting to get pretty skeptical. She will probably just end up in my "if the meta goes crazy" box haha. I could see her working in a very specific meta but right now my local meta is more midrange.

    Someone mentioned that she could be a sideboard card but I'm not a fan of her there. What is she realistically replacing? She doesn't outright win any match ups (Think RIP / Stony / Surgical type cards) so I don't think she fits in the sideboard. She reminds me a lot of Liliana, the Last Hope. She could fit in the right meta but probably won't be a staple.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    I totally agree, based on your threat base you can skew your deck to beat any match up. My meta must look much different from yours since there is almost no aggro around here right now.

    Bitterblossom is amazing against control and it's much harder to be blown out where Ormendahl, Profane Prince can be pathed. I could also see Gideons in the sideboard to replace your bridges with in slow games. even against Path decks where he is a little worse than average you can still make gideon a token producer or an anthem.

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    I think a bridge build can work but there should be a way to turn the corner quickly. I'm not suggesting we need to goldfish a win on turn X, that's not the point of the deck. But once you've discarded your opponent's hand and dealt with their board you want to win quickly before they top deck well. I would argue we sit between Midrange and Control. Blue based control decks can wait forever to win but we need to win quickly since we can't interact with the top of the deck.

    Myth Realized + Liliana of the veil is great because you can force them to discard their fatal push, etc. Raven's Crime is an interesting card. I'll have to add it to the primer and try it out.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    Bridge is a powerful card but it actively hurts you in a lot of match ups. In my opinion Gideon is the most powerful card in the deck and you can't play him because of the bridges. Sorin is also on the top of the list of powerful cards. I haven't been able to test Kaya yet (they just arrived yesterday) but I'm not convinced she can replace Sorin / Gideon. Her ultimate provides a bit of reach but on an empty board Gideon can win in three turns which just can't be matched by Kaya unless you heavily build around her.

    I just want to add - I think building around Kaya is a trap. You need 20 cards in exile to win the game and that's completely on your opponent to get that many cards unless you start milling. But at that point it's a different deck. Some decks (like BW Smallpox for example!) only draw one card a turn and have no (or very little) card advantage. You'll never get to 20 cards against those decks before turn 20 (accounting for lands) and very few modern games last that long.

    I think Bridge is more of a sideboard card for when you know it locks up the game. There are too many match ups where Bridge is just meaningless (Storm / Burn / Tron / UWx) and a few where it's easily dealt with (BGx). That way you can still play Gideon and Sorin and you can always board them out. I think token strategies have to have anthems to be viable in an open meta. Otherwise they are just too slow.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    Without Gideon or Sorin the tokens strategy isn't very powerful. the real draw to Bitterblossom is that you can give your tokens a boost with Gideon emblem / Sorin +1. Otherwise I think Bitterblossom on its own is too weak. I often end up losing if BB is my only threat.

    I think it's correct to use only 3 drops when playing bridge like you're doing. Maybe Kaya is enough to regain health from BB.

    Why do you want to use wrench mind? It feels like our deck is already really well positioned against control - or any deck that wants to keep a full hand. So Wrench mind doesn't seem too necessary.

    Thanks for posting your list! It's definitely different.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Idea for a U/B Control deck
    No problem man, happy to help.

    From my experience Jund and the Rock are good match ups. Assassin's trophy / Blood braid elf / Liliana of the veil are the cards you want to stop if you can. BBE is why thoughtseize is important for the deck. You can't counter both the BBE and the cascade spell.

    Humans is tough, especially if you're new to blue control decks. They will probably have an answer for your Damnation so don't rely on them to win the game for you.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Idea for a U/B Control deck
    Liliana, the Last Hope is a card I was thinking is worth testing. She plays a lot of roles: she can get back creatures or if you protect her long enough she can just win the game with her ultimate. Her +1 is pretty good too.
    Another card that I really enjoyed when playing UB was Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver. I won't tell you she's amazing but I had a lot of fun, and she's pretty cheap too.

    A budget build might look something like this:



    Cards I cut are 1 snapcaster / Clique / Search for Azcanta / Polluted Delta / 1 Cryptic / Thoughtseize / Liliana / SB: Explosives / SB: Surgical

    Expensive cards that are still in the deck are: Snapcaster / Cryptic / Damnation / Jace (but it sounds like you already have Jace).
    I think at minimum the deck needs a couple of each of the cards in this list. These are your main sources of card advantage (Glimmer of Genius is a pretty bad card). The deck could potentially survive without Snapcaster Mage but you would want more Cryptics / Damnations to supplement that. After you have this list Polluted Delta and Search for Azcanta are probably the most important upgrades to get.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    Thanks for more ideas. I will add most of these though I'm not going to add any new cards like Angel of Grace just because I feel that a primer shouldn't speculate on new cards. We can discuss those in the comments.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    Thanks, this is my first primer so I don't know all the tricks yet. I'll add some spoiler tags.

    I tried to reserve the primer for tested cards and keep comments for speculation on new cards.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    And here is my current deck list to start the discussion: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1601513#paper
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on BW Smallpox Control
    BW Smallpox



    Introduction:

    BW Smallpox is a Black based control deck that is built around the card Smallpox for early disruption. We play lands like Flagstones of Trokair that reward us for sacrificing it and we play cards like Lingering Souls to discard to break the symmetry of Smallpox. Smallpox punishes early starts and can set our opponent back a turn while keeping us ahead.


    Decklists:

    OG decklist that placed in a GP: https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=15927&d=298107
    Tom Ross's List: http://www.starcitygames.com/decks/115634
    MTGO Modern Challenge decklist: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/archetype/modern-white-black-smallpox-59590#paper
    My personal decklist that placed in a PPTQ: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1334554#paper


    Overview:

    The general game plan of BW Smallpox is to disrupt our opponent early and win through small advantages over a long game often back up by a big planeswalker. The most exciting play the deck has is casting Smallpox on turn 2 with a Flagstones of Trokair in play and a card like Lingering Souls in hand. Smallpox will destroy an opponent's creature, land, and a card in hand, while we get a land back from Flagstones and put Lingering Souls in the graveyard.

    Similar to BGx decks and 8rack, we play a lot of removal and hand disruption. Since we can only play 4 Smallpox we supplement it with the usual black disruption cards. Our primary win conditions are meant to dodge the drawbacks of Smallpox: Planeswalkers and Tokens. Since we are focused on slowing the game down powerful white sideboard cards are key to winning a lot of match ups.

    The core of the deck usually looks something like:

    4 Smallpox
    4 Liliana of the Veil
    6+ Targeted Discard (Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek)
    4+ Targeted Removal (Fatal Push)

    These cards are the backbone of our disruption.

    4 Lingering Souls
    4 Other Planeswalkers (Sorin, Solemn Visitor, Gideon, Ally of Zendikar)

    These cards are our primary win conditions.


    Common Card Choices:

    Typically we run 24-25 lands. This is to support our expensive 4 mana cards as well as having extra lands to sacrifice to Smallpox when we can't pull off the combo with Flagstones. We have plenty of discard outlets to discard extra lands so it's suggest to play a lot of lands.

    Flagstones of Trokair: the graveyard trigger is the most important part of this card. The legend rule doesn't matter too much here since we get to search for a plains when it's destroyed.
    Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth: This card makes Flagstones into a swamp, enabling a turn 2 Smallpox. We should not play 4 because we need to hit four lands.
    Fetid Heath: This lets us produce double black on turn 2 with a Flagstones, enabling turn 2 Smallpox. I've seen decks with anywhere from 2-4 copies. The more you play the more you risk having a clunky land base just like with Urborg.
    Shambling Vent / Mutavault: These are our "man lands" that give us threats when we draw too many lands. Shambling Vents fixes our colors but Mutavault can attack sooner and more often.
    Godless Shrine: Our usual fetch target with both Flagstones and Marsh Flats. We need more shock lands than the average 2 color deck because we sort of run 8 "fetch lands" if you include Flagstones. 3 is the usual number to run.
    Plains: Another fetch target. Works great with Urborg. Most lists play just 1.
    Marsh Flats: Triggers revolt and fetches basics against Blood Moon decks. We don't auto include all 4 because sometimes we want the land density when we are liberally sacrificing and discarding our lands. Usually 3-4 are played.
    Swamp: Most of our deck is black so we want a good number of basic swamps.
    This is the most common way for us to take over the game after a smallpox. Planeswalkers generate long term value and help grind the game out.

    Liliana of the Veil: the most important walker in our deck, kills things and discards cards.
    Gideon, Ally of Zendikar: Gideon is a great way to close out games. He can also make tokens and can pump our tokens.
    Sorin, Solemn Visitor: Very strong with lots of tokens and can create a Vampire in a pinch. Sorin is pretty bad by himself but when we have a few tokens he is almost always game winning.
    Sorin, Lord of Innistrad: Can make more tokens than Solemn Visitor but doesn't give lifelink when pumping our team so it's played less. Still a very powerful option.
    Inquisition of Kozelik / Thoughtseize: Our most common turn 1 play. These cards let us slow our opponent down and help us time our other spells against counters / creatures / etc.
    Smallpox: the cornerstone of the deck. We have ways to negate the symmetry of each effect on this card.
    Collective Brutality: This is the closest to Smallpox 5-8 we have access to. It lets us discard cards that want to be in the graveyard for extra effects.
    Lingering Souls: Our first choice when discarding cards to Liliana / Smallpox / Brutality.
    Damnation: Board Sweeper that we can use when we are falling behind. We don't want to overload on this since we end up with a lot of tokens but it's a good tool to have.
    Never // Return: This is a card that, like Lingering Souls, has value in the graveyard. It is very slow and Return is very weak so it is not a common choice.
    Fatal Push: The most efficient Black removal spell. We usually play 3-4 of these.
    Mana Tithe: Major blow outs are possible with this card. It fills a similar role as our targeted discard does so it fights for slots there. Our smallpoxes keep this relevant for longer than the average deck can but we can't hold it forever. There are many people that play 4 to great success. Other people play 0 Mana Tithe so it's a pretty contentious card. It's a difficult card to evaluate but basically it's a high risk / high reward card.
    Dismember: This is a removal spell for certain metas. It's most useful for delve threats like Gurmag Angler.
    Cast Down: This is a removal spell for certain metas. This is useful against big creatures like Primeval Titan.
    Murderous Cut: Another removal spell that can be useful in certain metas.
    Anguished Unmaking: This is a painful catch-all that's usually a sideboard card. It's good for planeswalkers / artifacts / enchantments.
    Path to Exile: I want to mention this card here because it seems like an auto include in any white deck. This card is pretty bad in our deck because smallpox is meant to get rid of lands. Giving your opponent a land is a real cost that shouldn't be ignored like it is in some other white decks. It is suggested to NOT play this card without a good reason.
    Bloodghast: This is a great card to discard to Liliana / Pox / Brutality. Recently many decks have moved away from Bloodghast because of its low impact. It's a very easy card to block and many decks have a plan to take care of it.
    Dark Confidant: This is one of our few ways to generate card advantage but it does not play nicely with Smallpox.
    Bitterblossom: It's a great way to make a bunch of tokens. A common replacement for Bloodghast in recent decks.
    The primary match ups we are concerned about with our sideboard are Graveyard decks and decks that don't play many creatures. The few cards in this section are recommended for most metas. More sideboard cards can be found in the Budget and Alternate Card Choices section.

    Leyline of the Void / Rest in Peace / Nihil Spellbomb: Graveyard hate is a must currently in the meta and our discard and removal spells sometimes aren't very effective at slowing these decks down. Different metas require different answers. Rest in Peace is often a fine sideboard choice because our graveyard interaction is often incidental while our opponent's is mandatory. Nihil Spellbomb can also be a good mainboard card if the meta calls for it.
    Stony Silence: Great against Affinity and Artifact combos. Also very powerful against Tron.
    Fulminator Mage: supports our land destruction plan and helps against UWx control and Tron.
    Surgical Extraction: More graveyard hate and also helps against combos.
    Zealous Persecution: Great against tokens where our edicts are bad. We can also win combat with tokens against aggro decks or just use it as an anthem. Very versatile card.
    Damnation: Good against go-wide decks. Can be mainboard or sideboard.
    Anguished Unmaking / Disenchant / Celestial Purge: These cards helps us beat problem permanents like Blood Moon, Ensnaring Bridge, and Liliana, the Last Hope.

    Budget and Alternate Card Choices:

    Concealed Courtyard: Produces colored mana turn 1 but means we probably aren't running fetchlands. The main drawback is that it can't be untapped on turn 4 which is still an important turn to have untapped mana. This is usually a budget replacement for our fetches but it can work in non-budget lists.
    Caves of Koilos: Another budget replacement for fetchlands.
    Ghost Quarter / Field of Ruin: More land destruction is always good. The deck is very color hungry so it's tough to put many of these in.
    Vault of the Archangel: Usually a good card in token decks but it costs too much to make me want to play it.
    Myth Realized: This is a great turn 1 play but gets much worse as the game progresses. It's fine in slower metas but can sometimes be a difficult tempo loss when played turn 1 against aggro. Be wary of cards like Cryptic Command that can bounce it and remove all of your progress. Without card advantage I fear this card is too weak.
    Smuggler's Copter: good with tokens, helps filter past top decking lands. A bit awkward if we don't have tokens.
    Heart of Kiran: This card works well with our planeswalkers providing a great attacker and blocker. This is a pretty awkward card when we don't have planeswalkers since it would be hard to crew with tokens.
    Tombstalker: Having one or two delve creatures can give us a powerful late game threat as we tend to fill our graveyard. We can't get these out as quickly as other decks so playing Tombstalker is almost free since it's just one extra mana. Flying is very relevant in the meta too.
    Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet: One of our best sideboard creature threats. There are other options such as Baneslayer Angel and other similar creatures.
    Gideon of the Trials: Gideon is cheap and a good threat. His other abilities are quite niche though.
    Elspeth, Knight-Errant: Very similar to Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Sorin, Solemn Visitor but it could be useful in certain builds.
    Gideon Jura / Ob Nixilis Reignited: Potentially useful in certain metas but they are quite expensive so they shouldn't be used in the average build.
    Start // Finish: a bit slow but it combos nicely with our self discard. This could be used as Lingering Souls #5.
    Condemn / Oust: We can't play Path to Exile for the most part because we play Smallpox to disrupt our opponent's lands. Non-graveyard removal is good and the life gain generally isn't terrible but both cards have major draw backs as well.
    Wrath of God / Day of Judgment / Bontu's Last Reckoning: These cards are budget replacements for Damnation.
    Rain of Tears: Budget Fulminator Mage.
    Aven Mindcensor: Some builds include this and Fulminator Mage mainboard to disrupt greedy mana bases.
    Timely Reinforcements: Another great white sideboard card that can be useful in aggro metas.
    Blessed Alliance: This is another white sideboard staple. It can come up in various match ups. Most of its effects are found on other cards but sometimes putting those cards together is useful.
    Night's Whisper: The deck lacks card advantage / selection for the most part so any option is worth considering. The life loss is very relevant and only getting two cards is very fair for modern.
    Phyrexian Arena: Another source of card advantage. Very effective against slow decks but most of modern is very fast currently.

    Match ups and Sideboarding:

    In general BW Smallpox is good against decks that have a few "puzzle pieces" they try to fit together because of the resource denial aspect of the deck. Decks that play a pile of "good cards" are generally more difficult to deal with. Decks that gain a lot of advantage out of the graveyard are also difficult to deal with game 1.

    This deck has some very explosive draws that just can't be beat but we have enough disruption to make this a close match up. Mainboard we are able to deal with their low threat count fairly easily. We can keep their hand under pressure with all of our hand disruption spells keeping [/card]Arclight Pheonix[/card] at bay. Most graveyard hate is good in the match up. Surgical Extraction is great because of their low threat count. There aren't many bad cards in our mainboard in the match up but cutting a big planeswalker or two may be beneficial because of how fast the game moves.
    This is a good match up. Again, the deck has a very low threat count so our edicts are great. The games we lose are usually because of a timely Temur Battle Rage. After sideboarding they bring in Liliana, the Last Hope so you should bring in Anguished Unmaking. A little bit of graveyard hate can be useful.
    Another good match up. Inquisition of Kozilek and Collective Brutality put us very far ahead plus we have a lot of incidental life gain from things like Shambling Vent. Be sure to side out Thoughtseize and Bitterblossom for anything meaningful in the match up.
    This match up is very draw dependent and is close to even. Game 1 it's important (and quite difficult) to keep pace with your opponent's threats. The tempo game plan of cards like Spell Queller are very effective against us so timing is critical. After sideboarding we should have more board sweepers which help a lot. You will want to board out hand disruption as they tend to dump their hand quickly.
    This is a bad match up. Game 1 We help them discard their hand and most of our disruption is weak against them. Be sure to take out most or all of your Smallpox and Liliana of the Veil because they give our opponent a choice of which card to discard. Keep in your Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize. These will take your opponent's acceleration and sideboard cards. Board in any graveyard hate you have. Be aware that your opponent will have cards like Assassin's Trophy to destroy your Rest in Peace or Leyline of the Void. Do not mulligan too low in this match up. Sometimes your opponent just has to keep a bad hand. Dredge tends to "lose to itself" once in a while.
    This match up is very similar to the Spirits match up: pretty even. They have less card advantage so it's easier as long as your have a good amount of removal. Again, board in sweepers and take out some hand disruption.
    This is a good match up. Usually a Thoughtseize or two will buy you a lot of time. Be sure to take their Primeval Titan and tutors as you can. Try to time your smallpox so it hits a karoo land such as Simic Growth Chamber. This puts our opponent way back on mana. Bring in as much targeted removal for Titans as you can. Surgical Extraction is also very good.
    This is a pretty even match up. Our deck is very similar to theirs with a little more disruption and more planeswalkers. The planeswalkers are the key to this match up: any incremental advantage puts us very far ahead. Smallpox is also very useful as it can cripple risky hands and slow down our opponent's 4 drops. Your opponent will have Liliana, the Last Hope so you will want Anguished Unmaking. You want to board out some amount of hand disruption but keep the Thoughtseize for cards like Bloodbraid Elf.
    This is a good match up. Like UR Pheonix there are hands we can't keep up with but a few bits of hand disruption and removal and your opponent will slow way down. Graveyard hate is very good in this match up. Bring in board sweepers because of Empty the Warrens.
    This is a good match up with the right hands. Being able to keep our opponent low on lands is vital because they can't cast their important spells. Fulminator Mage makes this match up favorable after sideboarding. Jeskai keeps our planeswalkers at bay so it's a bit harder to close games but tokens are very powerful in the match up.
    This is a slightly bad match up. Smallpox isn't quite enough land disruption to slow them down enough. After sideboards the match up is quite even when you include Stony Silence and Fulminator Mage. Be sure to keep some hand disruption to take Nature's Claim.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Idea for a U/B Control deck
    Looks like you've made some adjustments recently so I'll post your list and suggest some changes.



    Looking at the creatures 3 snapcaster is good but the other guys are probably not the best in your build. Scarab God and Titan are only good in the grindy match ups. I'm not sure about your meta but over all you won't run into too many of those decks. Gurmag is an option but I think tasigur is better.

    Looking at the lands I think you want 2 more field of ruin and more basics. I would cut Catacombs and Darkslick Shores for the most part. Darkslick isn't great in a slow deck like this and Catacomb gets worse the more you have.

    I'm not a fan of Mind Stone because I'm going to suggest you cut all the expensive cards in your deck.

    The instants look pretty good but Remand is a bit strange. You'll want at least 3 Cryptic.

    You should cut Beacon and Army of the Damned. Neither are modern playable. They are just way too expensive.

    Ob is also quite expensive but he can be good in the right match ups.

    For the sideboard, these are all good cards. I would play the Damnations mainboard. It's tough to know what sideboard cards you should run without knowing your meta better though.

    So after the changes I would play something like this:



    I had to fill in some slots so let me know if you have any questions on my choices.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Idea for a U/B Control deck
    There's a UB control thread here you could look at: https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/deck-creation-modern/791959-ub-control

    Seems like you have a good start but there are some weird cards (Doomfall / bauble / tormod's crypt) that you should probably cut.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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