Magic Market Index for March 15th, 2019
 
Magic Market Index for Feb 8th, 2018
 
Magic Market Index for Feb 1st, 2019
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    Quote from alanyuan0408 »
    I need to rely mostly on Nahiri to carry that matchup. The matchup isn't good. The DragonLord Silumgar gives you a somewhat feasible path to victory -> As long as your topdeck is stronger than your opponent and they are using their resources to slow down your land drop but not applying relevant pressure, you're not in a bad position.

    90% of the time I clique myself. Clique is relevant as a card draw and to apply pressure on their walkers.

    The Worm Harvest is a tutor target where you go Gifts into 3 Fetches + Worm Harvest. Then you use Worm Harvest every turn to retrace 5-10 worms every turn. This is my package against control decks. Its also a second gifts "bullet" in case for some reason your first bullet was removed by some odd way.

    The problem was against Control decks like UW, Abzan etc. You cannot name them off a color and they got too many sweepers and removal to make reanimating something like Grave Titan a reasonable plan.

    You can also go something like Liliana/ Jace Discard - Hold Priority -> Gifts for Worm, Unburial, Iona. Then discard what they give you.

    The deck replaces the Inquisitions with 4 Brutalities.


    Well, if they drop a Blood Moon and get either your Swamp or Island, there is no way of casting the Dragon. And there is no way you can discard their Blood Moon apart from Clique (since Brutality does not hit Enchantments), which forces you to fetch for a nonbasic. Same story with the Plains as far as Unburial Rites is concerned, at this point it pretty much does not matter anymore if they apply pressure because essentially your whole deck is uncastable, all but (at best) a few topdecks become dead draws.

    True that, the planeswalker issue is solved by Abrupt Decay and Assassin's Trophy in the lists with G, one of the reasons to consider this instead of R.

    True, against UWx and other control archetypes we need something to close out the game with, the fatties don't do it reliably enough. Sometimes Elesh + Lingering Souls is a fast enough clock, but the tokens (and somewhat Norn herself) are rather fragile when it comes to removal. I rely on manlands + Loam if they should get disrupted in any way, recently going for 2 Tar Pits instead of a 1/1 split with Colonnades because they can be activated much earlier and provide a B source (I have 17 currently). Still, triple-B seems like a stretch for the manabase, for casting it on curve (that is, after a T4 Gifts) you need 18 black sources (just as for LotV) without a single one being disrupted along the way. Since you don't run G you can't use the hybrid mana either and Remand or any counter is a huge tempo loss with this kind of play, but this gets us in many cases I guess...

    As said, Brutalities don't get creatures, enchantments or planeswalkers and are a full turn slower. Imo, Brutalities can supplement the discard suite (hence I run it as a 1-of, maybe exchanging it with Bridge going to the sideboard) but not replace it. Of course, I do not run Clique, but that's two turns slower, where games are sometimes effectively (or actually) over.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    The list definitely looks spicy, I am always inclined to point out the lack of turn 1 interaction and counters though. Sounds rough if you start on the draw against an opponent on Dredge, Hollow One or Phoenix without being able to disrupt their plan until turn 3, Path to Exile excluded of course, but that's not quite the most powerful thing to do early on. Do you have some experience to share against those archetypes? Also, what's up with Worm Harvest? This doesn't sound overwhelming without Loam, especially when you need to cast it for 2BBB due to the lack of G.

    Your statement about the Ponza matchup makes me curious, how does Dragonlord Silumgar matter at all? I was not able to reach 4 lands until turn 6 eventually, but at this time I was facing either Stormbreath Dragon, Inferno Titan or just both, maybe paired with Scavenging Ooze. There is not much one can do at this point, even Damnation is a stretch at 2BB with only one basic Swamp. Same story with Liliana of the Veil and Vendilion Clique in your list, basically uncastable under a Moon. When the Ponza player goes after you Plains, Nahiri is also out of the equation. I don't know how many LD spells current lists play, but the one I tested against runs 8 of them + 4 Blood Moon + recursion in the form of Eternal Witness, that's just miserable.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    Did you playtest the sideboard plan with Madcap/Emperion yet? At least on paper and since you are in Red anyway, this sounds viable.

    Needless to say, I tested around 10 matches against Ponza and was able to win a single one where they stumbled on their mana and/or draws, respectively. Not a single game was won by casting Gifts Ungiven, almost everything that mattered was done on the back of an early LotV paired with even earlier discard and enough outs for Blood Moon. Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet was the single best creature one can imagine, as soon as the opponents needs to chump this guy, things get pretty ugly. Occasionally Trophy snipes a Stormbreath Dragon, but it overall feels pretty much like Abrupt Decay in the matchup. Ensnaring Bridge was mediocre, I managed to stabilize for several turns without finding anything that matters while having enough basics under a resolved Blood Moon (WUB basically, so enough for Gifts/Rites). Initially, keeping the number of cards low worked pretty fine until Stone Rains, Acid-Moss and Beast Within started hitting my basics, which led to my hand piling up, rendering Bridge utterly useless. Do you have any experience in running against Ponza? I think I have never had a matchup this bad so far (I'd estimate 10:90, obviously), although Tron sometimes felt pretty similar without Terastodon in the pile, maybe Trophy helps a bit.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    Initially I would think the same, maybe I'll just playtest the new mulligan rule and see how it goes. On the other hand, especially post board we might face hate more consistently while also finding disruption ourselves on a more regular basis. The Tron matchup will stay abysmal regardless, I think.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    Today I had a testing session with 4C Gifts Rock (so the B-heavy build) against GDS and Sultai Control (with and without Mystical Teachings, essentially Jeff Hoogland's list with minor tweaks). Maybe you all know how the matchups play out, I'll state my experiences anyway: GDS seems to be about even, it strongly depends on how good they draw (that is, how fast their draw is) and how many Stubborn Denials there are, heck is this card annoying at time. Lingering Souls are great in this matchup, although they don't help much against a Temur Battle Rage, however getting through some damage is enough at times. This is a potential matchup where Abrupt Decay might have an upside as compared to Trophy, the uncounterability clause does wonders, whereas Decay does neither hit Angler nor Tasigur though.

    Against Sultai Control without Teachings (so roughly 59 out of 60 cards of Hoogland's list basically) it played out quite nicely. Early discard clears the way for Lingering Souls, Liliana or even Gifts Ungiven which usually goes for the Loam/Crime engine together with a Tectonic Edge to shut them off of Cryptic mana. From there on it's a steady grind until we eventually find Lingering Souls, another Gifts or simply Kalitas to close out the game as their capability of removing our threats are greatly diminished. A different story it is when Mystical Teachings come into the equation, that is quite the annoyance. As soon as we stumble with our discard or don't have a play every turn to pressure their hand or threaten to cast Gifts, they can EoT Teachings for Cryptic or another Teachings given they already have counters in hand, all backed up by growth spiral. Another huge liability is a main board Surgical Extraction that can be found with Cryptic Command and cast immediately, which can only be delayed by discard due to the relatively high flashback cost of Teachings, but it is nevertheless going to happen. Going for one of the fatties isn't really an issue, as Rites is usually just countered or the creature is bounced or destroyed with Trophy, maybe even disposed of via Devour Flesh. The upshot is, it is quite a liability if the opponent's deck is close to full instant speed when we have quite a bunch (around 11-13, depending on the build) of sorceries, the only real out is again the Loam/Crime package but even when drawn naturally, Sultai Teachings did put up quite a fight.

    Needless to say, Ensnaring Bridge (and EE for the Sultai matchup) weren't great at all. I got some Death Shadows with EE and got an additional turn with Bridge, but I guess these are not the matchups those are in for. I think cutting them from the main board and getting rid of Academy Ruins as a recursion engine is still not correct, but I very well might be wrong and it is plain side board material (maybe for an extra Brutality). Any thoughts? In the upcoming days I might get to some testing against Ponza, where I expect Ensnaring Bridge to shine against their Baloths, Stormbreath Dragons and Inferno Titans, but these guys are of course not the final issue in this particular matchup, although I haven't played it since the release of Trophy, those might go a long way.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    I might join you in this regard and run a couple of Peer Through Depths to see how they work out. The Burn matchup is incredibly bad in my experience, unless you can mostly search basics or at least do it as painlessly as possible to T4 Gifts into Iona. A nicely placed T2 Brutality helps a lot, but generally we are on the loosing side. Dredge I can't really comment on as I haven't played the matchup a ton, Elesh seems to do quite a good job though and pseudo sweepers like Flaying Tendrils or Cry of the Carnarium do help. And Kalitas, of course.

    Yes, my go-to Gifts list plays 11 discard outlets, 5 of the are reusable. Vendillion Clique did not quite make the cut due to mana requirements up to now, UU and BB on turn 3 together with G for Decay/Trophy/Loam seem to be quite a stretch. I tried Grave Titan a while ago, but the lack of evasion and immediate impact (apart from a 2/2 zombie) wasn't enough to keep him in the board so far. Gifts as mainly a land tutor sounds a little odd to be honest, there are sure situations where it is the correct play, but generally I wouldn't want to run a playset of Realms Uncharted.

    Regarding tournament results, it (that is, Esper Gifts) put up some 5-0s in competitive leagues on MtGO last summer. Here are some of the lists: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/1220849#paper
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    Quote from alanyuan0408 »

    I personally think gifts decks need to move away from the idea of 1 offs tutor for gifts piles:

    1) Gifts decks, especially the Green version without any card draw cannot consistently draw their gifts ungivens. Even with with cards like Jace VP, you're at best 60% to draw your gifts in the matchup by turn 4.

    2) You need to assume your graveyard is under attack post board. Especially post board, I think gifts deck needs to move away from their graveyard and move above ground with grindy cards or ways to protect their combo.

    3) This Gifts into Radical Idea, Lingering Souls etc isn't really a "winning" line of play.

    I'm a strong proponent of gifts decks maxing out on discard outlets such as Brualities, Cliques, Liliana, Nahiri etc and essentially allowing you to play a much higher curve than other archetypes given your combo and your discard outlets and winning that way. I'm also a proponent that 4c gifts lists need a sideboard option of something like Peer through depths or Merchant scroll to help belcher out the combo against non-interactive matchups.


    While your first point holds some truth indeed, I think that Gifts isn't always needed in certain matchups. Most of the lists, especially the ones leaning more heavily on B and consequently on more discard as well can outgrind an opponent without seeing Gifts only once. Lingering Souls does a great job in this regard, but yes, sometimes one just can't find it in time and ends up a turn short, as one does with other combo decks as well. The more recent iteration holds a number of cantrips in Growth Spiral which might help speed up the deck and see 1 or 2 cards in addition, so we'll see. I considered running Merchant Scroll already, but I fear that it is just too slow or too low impact. On turn 2 or 3 one needs to have some form of disruption/removal available, so I don't think there is time for Scroll. Peer Through Depths could be worth a try, Gifts Storm often uses this post board to reduce the reliance on the GY, so maybe it is a valid strategy here, but we are on a pretty different strategy alltogether.

    Moving away from the GY in a Gifts deck is a tough task. As said, R has the opportunity of Nahiri/Emrakul or simply Madcap/Emperion but I don't see how the BGUw lists should operate fully 'above ground' as you say, the GY is intrinsically woven into the strategy. You can't ask Dredge to play without their GY post board, although that admittedly is a little more drastic than with Gifts. And sure, Gifts into Souls/Radical Idea/Rites/X does not win the game on the spot but is a (deterministic!) possibility for discarding a reanimation target in hand without leaning too heavily on B.

    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    The different style of the deck was more or less on purpose, as I think we can't hold up to the mostly B 4C mana base while running Growth Spiral and T1 discard effects. You can't ask the deck to produce T1: B, T2: UG, T3: 1BB and T4: 3W for Rites without getting messed with I think. But yes, it will play a little Miracle-ish for sure, which might be a viable option in the current meta where LotV has a little fallen out of favour I feel. And if 4C Gifts Rock isn't something, then that is streamlined. I always experienced it as incredibly durdly, setting aside purposefully streamlined lists with e.g. more Delve threats and Thought Scour instead if the heavy attrition package. Just think of grinding with Loam/Crime/Tec Edge, sure it feels like a well-oiled machinery at times, but the solutions it provides are sometimes really slow, although I will admit the deck has solutions for almost anything.

    Regarding your question with the fatties in hand: First and foremost we have JtMS, he cares about things we not want in our hand, be it Terminus or one of the bigger dudes. Apart from this you might notice the 1-of Radical Idea, which can be easily included in a pile with Rites and things like Lingering Souls and Snapcaster/Pulse of Murasa to discard the creature wer can't currently cast and generate incidental value along the way.

    As said, I haven't playtested the list so far, it is really just 'theory crafting' if you like. In any case I will let you know how it went.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Bant Draw-Go Control
    Since you count cantrips as a quarter of a mana source, I suppose you are referring to the recent article of Frank Karsten. I see that point, alongside with the issue of Dredge and Phoenix I think it is a wise decision to choose Terminus as the primary sweeper in the list, hence I went up a Jace and down a Teferi. Similarly I adjusted the mana base a little bit, accommodating more G sources for T2 Growth Spiral and consequently going down a couple of basics, the 3 Islands and 2 Plains were a relic from when I attempted to run Cryptics and the sorcery speed wrath package.

    I thought about Radical Idea but simply forgot, hence I included it in the recent list as a 1-of. As far as EE is concerned, I am not sure if it is material for the main if there is no way of finding it via Gifts due to the Lack of the Loam/Ruins engine. It is a little durdly for sure, but does its job in grindy matchups. In this particular list however, it just is a 1-of with no chance of recurring contrary to the spot removal spells and Snapcaster Mage.

    The list from the above post has been updated accordingly, so you might want to have a look again.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    I might as well share with you my latest attempt of coming up with a new iteration of 4C Gifts, this time leaning more heavily on UW than my usual builds and a bit more streamlined, sacrificing a little of the grind potential that came along with e.g. the Loam/Crime engine which is just not suitable for the mana base here. Let's get going:



    First things first, the sweeper package isn't set in stone, with an additional Jace these could as well be Terminus, essentially depending on the meta (looking at Phoenix and Dredge, especially). Instead of Lingering Souls I could also see more counters and/or spot removal, I feel this list is a little light on either of the two due to the sheer amount of air in the form of Opt and Growth Spiral. I decided against utility lands so far as I have been experiencing some awkward draws with the usual version running Academy Ruins/Tectonic Edge with 25 lands and no cantrips. There isn't much benefit in either of the two without Loam/Crime and an artifact package, which is missing in this list. Needless to say, I don't think one can consider running Cryptic Command but feel free to try and report of course.

    Edit: Slight changes to the list, transition to Terminus in the sweeper package.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Bant Draw-Go Control
    I am not quite sure where this belongs to, so I'll just try posting the list here. It is not entirely Bant but UGWb and not entirely Draw-Go as a strategy, but the overlap between card choices is probably the biggest within this archetype.



    I could eventually see cutting the Wrath effects, going up to 3 JtMS and running Terminus as the main sweeper in this build, however with Growth Spiral I do feel that we should be fast enough, neglecting recurring threats like Phoenix for which Terminus is the best answer still. Another flex slot is probably Lingering Souls, it is a canonical inclusion with Gifts Ungiven but it might be better to run more counters and/or spot removal in this list, discard is out of reach regarding the mana. As always, feel free to comment.

    Edit: Slightly adjusted the deck list, see comments in the posts below.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    I basically agree, the list looks rather robust. The only thing that comes to mind regarding the mana base is the lack of a second manland (i.e. Celestial Colonnade) and the inclusion of Darkslick Shores instead of additional fetchlands and possibly a single Temple Garden to grant multiple ways to get each colour if needed, but all of this might be a matter of taste.

    So far I liked the inclusion of Ensnaring Bridge and EE together with the Academy/Loam package, it is just in some matchups that Bridge does not do anything, but those are mostly favoured I'd say. Have you seen more lists with this inclusion already? Also, it won me a game against an ambush of Colonnades against UW Control some time ago until I could start grinding with Loam/Tec Edge. This said, adding Raven's Crime in the main has felt quite good in the recent past, I did have it in the board for over a year now but that is a meta call. Sometimes you might want to search up the package game 1 because it just is the best thing to do right now, and even if not, Crime gives another discard outlet for your big dudes or can make use of additional lands drawn later in the game, just to make sure your Rites doesn't get countered for example. At this point I'd also strongly opt for the third LotV, she is key in many situations although she lost some of her impact in the current meta. I was not quite sold on Serum Visions, I would rather cast discard T1 and go from there, trying to answer things that stick to the board with Decay/Trophy (which I found pretty good so far to be honest), but I can see the appeal probably. Same is true for Azcanta, I tried it in a more midrange style list with Thought Scour and Tasigur recently, this is pretty nice as well.

    I need to disagree with the point on Snapcaster though, I always felt it is one of the key pieces in fast-paced matches against aggro and incredibly valuable if one can flashback Thoughtseize against control or combo opponents. It also allows for piles that effectively grant 2 removal spells and a blocker which can be key for survival in some situations, heck I've even flashbacked Gifts itself with this guy after bringing him back with Rites against UW which in the end made it possible to grind him down with Loam and manlands. I think 2 is the correct number currently.

    Edit: I don't like mana dorks at the moment. BoP gets killed by so many things atm. and with Phoenix around it feels so incredibly bad to have a Gut Shot kill a bird tempo neutral as well. As far as Caryatid are concerned, I tried them several times and always felt a little underwhelmed, I'd rather have interaction available or cast Brutality/more disruption on turn 2. The fact that they ramp from 2-4 mana is relevant as well, T2 LotV isn't possible which was one of the nicest things you could to with DRS (and BoP later on). Regarding maindeck sweepers I opted for only 5 creatures, including 2 Snapcaster Mage, 1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet (great for grinding out people if the game goes long) and the two usual guys.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Bant Draw-Go Control
    Quote from rickster_ »

    I also posted about growth spiral in the 4c gifts thread. But people in that thread are stuck on trying to play lilianas. Trying to craft a more instant speed version, didn't really impress me just by looking at the list, as I think the mana is slightly too bad. And I also got a recent reminder why deathrite is still banned.


    Indeed, but this is because I feel that LotV is one of the major components of the deck, doing multiple things 4C Gifts needs at the same time. Maybe if one drops the heavy requirement on B and skips on the turn 1 discard one could make Growth Spiral kinda work. Instead I would lean towards more counter magic (that is, counter magic at all) in Logic Knot and possibly Negate/Mana Leak. Together with Gifts and the package one would however need another discard outlet, such as Radical Idea which makes a decent impression in a Gifts Pile as well. But all that strictly belongs to another thread...

    The last list that was posted here kinda drew my attention, Thopter/Sword together with Glittering Wish, Gifts Ungiven and most of the UW package indeed looks pretty nice on paper, definitely something I will try in the future. A Wish toolbox for Wargate into another toolbox however is something I do not quite see working in a broad field. Unfortunately, Wheel of Sun and Moon as a wish target also does not make the cut when it comes to GY hate, I tried running it in some matches with Gifts decks and it keeps being too slow, not exiling what's already in the GY really is an issue generally.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    Well this was a list I pretty rapidly put together, I considered cutting Loam but it just is an awesome engine in many situations, especially in very grindy matchups which I have mostly played (that is, tested) recently. Sometimes it is just enough to recur a couple of fetch lands to secure land drops, occasionally a Tectonic Edge isn't bad either to keep UWx from reaching Cryptic Command mana and of course it establishes a loop together with Academy Ruins and Engineered Explosives. My 'standard' list I'd carry to an FNM currently has Crime/Loam in the main together. Also, I would agree that -2/-2 might be not enough currently, although it permanently gets Phoenix and Bloodghast. Would you rather run a Languish on the side?

    Humans is a tough one indeed (therefore I got 2 Torpor Orbs in the board). But the list plays 9 removal spells + 4 Liliana + Damnation + Engineered Explosives + 2 Snapcaster Mage, that is 17 ways to get rid of stuff. How high would you like to go with your removal slots? Against decks like Infect (or Izzet Fiend if you like) the matchup is incredibly favorable due to the sheer abundance of removal. Then do not forget the 5 discard slots for turn 1, I feel that this is one of the stronger things this deck does, being proactive feels quite good against a number of decks.

    To come back to the idea regarding Growth Spiral: I'm not sold on it yet. As mentioned, it does put additional strain on the mana base, which is something we can't really afford as you probably agree. One possibility could be to skip the heavy lean towards B and consequently cut LotV, the early discard and possibly Damnation in favour of a package of counterspells, different sweepers (maybe Terminus in conjunction with more JTMS and Teferi?). Effectively it would be something like UWGb Control with the option of sweet Gifts piles, given the opportunity one can even keep Raven's Crime together with the single Urborg. I have not come as far as putting together a list, but it may be worth a try. What do you think?

    Edit: The stock list could eventually replace Tectonic Edge with Bojuka Bog for main GY hate and an additional B source, since Trophy can now take on lands if necessary? Draws including Edge are sometimes a little awkward and B is by far the main colour of my build, another EtB-tapped land sucks though...
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] 4C Gifts
    As you know, it has made some (apparent) impact on UWx Miracles recently. In the Gifts shell I have some concerns however, the nice thing with Deathrite (or Birds, which I used as a replacement) was a potential turn 2 Liliana of the Veil, which was (and probably is) devastating for many decks. This is of course not possible with Growth Spiral, which additionally puts another constraint on the mana, since we want B on turn 1 and UG on turn 2 into BB turn 3 again, whereas turn 4 there is also a need for W for the flashback costs of Unburial Rites.

    Nevertheless it is worth a try, one can potentially streamline the list a little bit to give it a little tempo boost. I am not sure whether you have seen the list I was running recently, based on this I would make the following suggestion:



    I used to run 25 lands without dorks and removed a Temple Garden and a Marsh Flats to reduce to 23 lands in this list, which should be fine based on the experiences I have heard of from the Bant Draw-Go Control thread. I also used to run an Ensnaring Bridge in the main artifact package, having another natural synergy with Raven's Crime and Lingering Souls. This makes it possible to stall the board state for a couple of turns such that Gifts can take over. Maybe this isn't necessary anymore due to the gain in tempo. In no circumstance I would cut one of the LotV or the Jace, they have shown to be crucial, especially in grindy matchups. As always, feel free to comment on both main- and sideboard.
    Posted in: Combo
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.