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  • posted a message on 4C Gifts
    I guess I was curious if you feel like you want more copies or if 1 is all you need. I have about 2-3 flexible spots that I am interested in trying some new things.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on 4C Gifts
    I am curious how Kaya's Guile is working for you as a 1-of card.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on 4C Gifts
    I will first iterate that I am just sharing my own list for those interested. I have little interest in making it uniform to recent shared lists, especially some of the more stable iterations, as those the the ones I was working with prior to working with ones more in-line with my current iteration.

    The way that decks come to be is important, no matter how counter-intuitive that seems. The process of building a deck is vital because it shows why certain cards were added/shaved, what interactions and matchups specific things are for, and the way the deck handles in dynamic situations.

    In life, we don’t learn lessons by studying nonstop. We figure something out, discuss life strategies, discover a pattern, then we ponder them. We consider them and think about them and time passes. We mature and the lesson assimilates itself into our being through that very passage of time.

    Deck building is no different, and anyone who tells you that decks don’t have inherent knowledge that is comprised within it through its development and maturation is either lying to you or ignorant. You need to be privy to that knowledge if you want to truly access a deck instead of just using it. It is the difference between playing a deck and piloting it.

    Much Like AJ, I begin to digress.

    The list feels very retro at the first glance, mainly due to the 3 copies of Path to Exile and Noxious Revival. Spell Snare is also an uncommon inclusion nowadays, I always felt that it was in conflict with the turn 1 hand disruption plan the deck tries to execute, which is why Serum Visions is a little awkward as well.


    3 Path to Exile has been fine. I don't recall any games where them getting a land has really made any difference when playing a deck that one-trick ponies out a win condition like Gifts often does. In a game of attrition, if you grind them down on answers and threats, how many lands they have essentially becomes somewhat moot in my experience. They could have 5 more lands than me, if they cannot answer an Iona or Titan, then what does it matter? I think this is a big lesson I learned when messing with the number of Assassin's Trophy. The decks that are going over you are going over you regardless if you give them a land or not and if they are going under you, you can come over the top with Gifts in the mid and we are back to the land not really being of much consequence.

    As for Spell Snare, as a 2-of, it does not really compete much with discard. If I wanted it in openers, I would run more than 2. It is really there as just an opportunistic play for snagging various things at various times. You are not looking to counter cards like Temur Battle Rage, Snapcaster Mage, Drown in the Loch, Thassa's Oracle, Assassin's Trophy or a myriad of other cards in the format, on turn 1 or 2. So while I understand that it is a 1 drop similar to cards like Inquisition of Kozilek, and Serum Visions, it has a different play cadence entirely. Sometimes you open with it and it snags an early Tarmogoyf or something, but as a 2-of card, that really isn't the intention.

    Sultai Charm feels a little clunky at times as it has the very real cost of 3 mana (colour mostly not being an issue) for the effect. Reducing dead draws is LotV's second name while simultaneously pressuring the opponent's resources. Have you tried her as a 3-of already? I'd never go back in most matchups.

    I think people sleeep pretty hard on Sultai Charm. I have never wished this card to be anything other than what it is. I talked about it reducing dead draws, but the reality is that the reason I run it isn't even the draw factor. It is hitting artifacts and enchantments and the attrition game it plays on decks trying to attack you in ways that Liliana cannot address. You cannot throw Trophy's at everything when the deck is trying to put a boot on your face with artifacts, lands, and planes-walkers. Tron and Titan are great matches where Liliana can sometimes just be utterly terrible and Charm snags things while letting you keep Trophies for everything else so they don't just go over you. So while I always loved Liliana, I think the deck is pretty efficient at answering things that Liliana can address - without her and that is where something like Charm comes in and shines. I used to run her a lot and I think since Fatal Push has arrived on the scene along with other great early removal options, she has taken a back seat so the deck can focus on having answers to decks trying to beat you by less traditional means while still helping you smooth out draws here and there.

    Arcum's Astrolabe works wonders with only 6 snow basics and provides a welcome cantrip while a single copy on the field is enough to fix the mana almost perfectly fine, and it's more painless (or faster) than going for shockland after shockland. I have thought about switching the 2nd Trophy for a Maelstrom Pulse, T3feri can speed it up for the opponent's turn and I kinda want to be able to get rid off any nonland permanent with a Gifts pile if needed.


    I was pretty hot on Arcum's Astrolabe with Oko, Thief of Crowns. But with the banning, I don't have much interest in it anymore. A big part about it was that Oko helped make up for the ground game you lose to fast decks by running Astrolabe. Without Oko, I don't really want to give up the ground game as much as I have to in order to do it. I think the mana base can just use some number tuning more than anything and you can gover your basis with a single flex slot if you need to. With 3 path and 2 Push, I am comfortable enough with the ground game to get Iona into the mainboard over something like Elesh Norn and I think that says a lot about Astrolabe in the deck without Oko. Overall, I don't have many mana issues outside of sometimess just wanting another basic for the sake of having one. With the iteration posted above, it really has not been that bad and I think it is a numbers thing not necessarily cards straining it by cost alone.

    The play patterns you mentioned are generally fine, but for 2016 I fear. A single Grave Titan doesn't outgrind some (or even most) decks in Modern and immediately gets removed, having paid 3U + 3W for two 2/2 tokens, which isn't great


    I am not sure what Modern you are playing, but it is probably pretty different than mine. Titan and Tron decks are not removing Grave Titan. Urza decks might bounce him here and there, but I could cast him all day here. Fatal Push, Dismember, Lightning Bolt, modern is incredibly greedy with their removal options right now and it has let me get away with things that the format shouldn't, because I agree, Grave Titan really isn't good in the format if decks are more conservative... but they are not. In the past 2 weeks and over 30 games, I recall 1 instance where my Grave Titan was actually removed. Most decks in the format do not currently run broad spectrum spot removal. But this really brings me back to why I am enjoying Path to Exile right now. Amulet Titan isn't just a good deck right now, it is a good deck preying on a format that isn't running adequate removal for cards like Titans right now.

    Iona does nothing against UWx, she either gets path'd or bounced and isn't a fast enough clock on her own. Rites/Titan doesn't do it either, as they can very easily interact with a sorcery spell for 3W, wheres a Gifts can be cast at instant speed and hence sneak through their defence, it's irrelevant which cards are in the yard from there on, the above-mentioned package keeps coming for them after this. That said, against opponents with less interaction, Rites/Titan can power out a myriad of zombie tokens within 2 turns, Rites/Elesh Norn is a nice option against opposing Fields and beefs up our own zombies immensely, the choice of reanimation target is heavily dependent on the opponent's deck and currently I think the trio of Titan, Elesh and Iona is the way to go.


    I am not sure what you are getting at with your comments about UW followed by your proposal of finisher selection. Elesh Norn doesn't change the UW match at all and Grave Titan and Iona shouldn't be your game plan vs UW anyways. Creeping Tar Pit is king and you can ratio their spot removal for it (and technically out ratio it) with hand disruption and Teferi.

    As for your comments about Loam and Crime package main, I left that a long time ago. It is pretty painful when you draw into these cards in anything other than a control match. I don't want it against Tron in games 1 if I am also running things like Fatal Push, Iona, and Snare in the main and I don't think Titan is really all that rough of a match. I like the Loam/Crime package, just not in the MB. I feel like a lot of these trivial interactions cost the deck a lot of footing across a series of games vs unknown decks in game 1 for an event.

    I will conclude that you mention 2016 play patterns, but seem to think about these matches in a way that is a complete 180 from my experience and approach with the list, so I am not entirely sure where that is coming from other than the list does look like more of a throwback. I don't think the part that is off about it, is the year, but the pilot approach. Which brings me full circle to the quote above by AJ Sacher, which I don't quote with ill intentions. I appreciate you chiming in, I have played this deck since 2014 and it is hands down my favorite deck in Modern and I am excited that people are still talking about it. You mentioned LoTV and how much you like her, and that tells me that she still has some play and while she does not currently fill the shoe I am looking to fill, she is still a good option for me to revisit over perhaps other cards. That is important to me, that people are still liking some things I have cooled off on over the years.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on World Championship Weekend promo Crucible of Worlds
    I actually love this art and would love to get my hands on a copy.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on 4C Gifts


    MY CURRENT ITERATION
    This is the current iteration of my 4 Color Gifts list. A bit of a throwback to more control oriented lists. I think cards like Tarmogoyf are just too fair these days and can leave you having to claw back from really oppressive board states, which can be difficult. I am really curious to see how something like Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath plays out. I was running 2 copies of Oko, Thief of Crowns, but we all know how that played out. If Uro does not pan out, I may just shove another meat piece in or another Rites.

    On the topic of MB Loam Locks, I think if you are running it as a 1-off engine, you are probably just better gifting for the Iona, Shield of Emeria lock and focusing on grinding out the game with Grave Titan. The Loam lock requires you to generally use a Gifts Ungiven to set up, in my experience, and at that point you should probably just go for the gold. But take that with a grain of salt, because I don't play Knight of the Reliquary so I still have to find win conditions unlike you.

    As for reducing dead draws, I think Sultai Charm is pretty underrated to be honest. It is not really all that demanding to play and it filters through cards and sets you up if you have early draws into a Unburial Rites target. I would even go as far as to say that these days, it is probably a bit safer to dive into the graveyard a bit deeper with a 2nd copy of Unburial Rites and Snapcaster Mage. Speaking of Snapcaster, he also really helps give you flexibility in the mid and late game without constituting a dead draw. So in the games where you have not just gone ham with Gifts, you have the opportunity to just rebuy relevant spells be it a discard spell or gifts vs Control or a removal spell and blocker vs aggro decks.

    I am back and forth on the split between Assassin's Trophy and Abrupt Decay. I like them both, but I recently swapped a 3rd Fatal Push for a 3rd Path to Exile and because of that, I kind of want to shift away from favoring Assassin's Trophy. I think ultimately this is a marginal change and that is why I don't particularly favor one or the other.

    I will admit, while my manabase does not feel terrible, I think it could use some slight tweaking. Sometimes it can lead to puzzling turns just because of how the drops line up, and I think I can streamline it a bit more. But that is what I like about 4C Gifts, even with mana not always lining up perfectly, you generally are good if you just play smart.

    I would also probably work on some SB changes in the next week or so, I think a single Wrath of God would be nice to get into the SB. This change would be at the expense of Spell Pierce, which I think is fine. Collector Ouphe can also probably come out, but I don't currently have a card I feel like swapping it for, outside of possible a Surgical Extraction.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Judge Promos starting in 2020
    That looks absolutely heinous.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on [CN2] Arcane Savant
    We have had this guy in the Cube for a while, and he always offers a lot of value. But tonight, was probably the juiciest I have ever seen:

    Player A: Turn 1 Eureka
    Player B: Land
    Player A: Land
    Player B: Nothing
    Player A: Arcane Savant casting Armageddon
    Player A: Craterhoof Behemoth

    It was a pretty sweet deck and a pretty sweet play.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [SCD] Protean Hulk
    Quote from steve_man »
    Quote from JuiceBOX »
    Does Flash not work with cards like Angel of Serenity, Fiend Hunter, and Sundering Titan as well?


    Yes, but those are still narrow scenarios that are not exactly game winning combos. Flash / Hulk / Angel of Serenity / Fiend Hunter aren't exactly the most commonly cubed cards, and eating up 4 slots just for those types of narrow non-game winning combos isn't worth the real estate, IMO.


    I mean, is that any worse than the 2 cards currently already eating up slots and not being played?

    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [SCD] Protean Hulk
    Does Flash not work with cards like Angel of Serenity, Fiend Hunter, and Sundering Titan as well?
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [SCD] Protean Hulk
    I have really been wanting to fit more shenanigans into my Powered Cube at the 450 level, and have been wanting to introduce Flash + Protean Hulk to fit alongside the usual enablers of Sneak Attack, Show and Tell, and Natural Order. Is anyone in this threat running Flash and/or Protean Hulk? How has it shaped up over the years?
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Sideboard Tech
    What? There are 3 dumps in a card pool for 30 sets. This isn't Standard where your limited pool size gives credence to data dumps of this size... Relative to the card pool size and the depth of the format, these data dumps are a pretty small sample of what the potential floor and ceiling of the format are...
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Sideboard Tech
    I am not sure in what world "the meta is starting to shape up" holds weight just over a week into the format.

    This format has a lot of things in flux right now and the initial overlap in dumps from decks does not necessarily equate to a format shaping up.

    Maybe I am just being a jerk though.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on A whole bunch of commander products coming.
    It has been a long time since I have been excited enough to consider diving into buying a large amount of sealed Product. The Masters sets were great, but I often resorted to just picking up singles. I bought a box of MM 2017, and a couple commander decks, and that is really about it in the last 8 years.

    I have a hard time buying sealed product because really I only ever look at the new sets to find commander sets and start brewing for other formats. But they are not really products where I am interested in a large portion of the product. 2-6 singles max, is about what I get out of a new product.

    Commander products are generally exceptions for me because generally something that is good enough for Commander, is good enough to let sit, unused in a collection.

    Really glad to see 5 new decks and the release date moved up to April. I think seeing decks with new sets is also pretty exciting. Keeps the hype up for Commander players in a new way.

    I would love to see some fresh art for Worldly Tutor. Crossing my fingers.

    Last but not least, I think this is an interesting way to go about introducing powerful commander cards into the format without disrupting Standard or creating a barrier of entry with something like a buy a box promo.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Pioneer Format
    How does MTGS not have a Pioneer forum yet?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on The Pioneer Format
    Then what is the point of any 'eternal' format?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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