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  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    No problem, and I definitely think that any issue is worth discussion and we're both passionate about Emeria. It's been a long term deck for us that we've played off and on.

    For Ranger-Captain of Eos, I was thinking we were talking about a strictly mono white build. Some of the biggest draws towards UW variant in Emeria are the inclusion of countermagic and Teferi, Time Raveler. I also agree with you, in the control matchup if I had to choose between the two TTR is the one I'd pick. However, I have to quasi disagree with you about Thraben Inspctor. The reason is because while you are right in that it is an annoyance that will get swept away by a wrath or a cryptic chain, I think that you are undervaluing the amount of that annoyance. I've played both on the side of stock UW control and W(x) Emeria. Control players don't like using a card to 1 for 1 with an annoyance that has already drawn a card, especially when said annoyance comes down early and has already chipped damage. A single Thraben Inspector can make up the bulk of my damage in a control matchup (7 - 8) before my opponents deal with it using a wrath effect. It got to the point where my friend at a local LGS who often piloted UW control would jokingly say they'd concede if I revealed a hand with three Thraben Inspector.

    Anyway, sorry for the tangent and going back to RCoE. In control matchups card advantage matters, lets say I have a RCoE I play it and it gets me a Thraben Inspector. It has now cantripped and if my opponent removes this threat on a 1 for 1 basis they'll likely have 2 for 1 themselves because their spot removal won't draw a card. I play Thraben Inspector, if they remove this on a 1 for 1 basis as well they have now spent 2 cards to deal with my single RCoE, and I have a clue. If I crack that clue, I can safely say that my one card, RCoE, has drawn two cards if my opponent has spent 2 cards to deal with it that's a potential 4 card swing.

    Obviously a good control opponent will likely not spend 2 pieces of spot removal and instead wait for a wrath effect. However if we're assuming competence we have apply it equally. In that we assume the Emeria player will also not play into a wrath effect and use RCoE to disrupt the opponent at key intervals. Those being utilizing it's ability to disrupt the opponent at the most opportune time, i.e. when the opponent is setting up to cast a Teferi, Hero of Domenaria or to play around countermagic. I think your undervaluing the importance of looping RCoE with Emeria, the Sky Ruin in those matchups too, because games often go so long we often see the majority of our deck in game one.

    Moving on,

    I'm not sure what point I made for you in regards to the dredge matchup, can you clarify? My point was that game one is pointless without RCoE because Conflagrate will eventually kill after you've established a strong board presence. The only way you don't die is to continually sacrifice a Ranger-Captain of Eos on upkeep via looping with a Sun Titan or Emeria, the Sky Ruin because their Conflagrate is sorcery speed. I have done this, and it's relatively easy to pull off, it turns a matchup were you in game one you're %0 into a roughly even one.

    As for Tron your right, Hope of Ghirapur is a sideboard card. I was attempting to highlight the utility of RCoE, replace HoG with either an additional Field of Ruin or Ranger-Captain of Eos for game one. Tron is dance, we need to apply early pressure backed by disruption. You're right that they have still have trump creatures in World Breaker, or even Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, usually 1 - 2 of each but I have very rarely lost because my opponent cast a Wurmcoil Engine. This is because either 1) I'll have exile based removal, 2) I'll have flying creatures to attack over for lethal, or 3) I'll transition into a defensive role and focus on disruption, i.e. block and use FoR and RCoE until you can cast a Sun Titan to recur either. Or have just have an active Emeria to recur Ranger-Captain of Eos and cut them off of key threats like Oblivion Stone, Ugin, the Sprit Dragon, and Karn Liberated. All of those cards are harder to interact with and recover from than World Breaker or Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and also make up around 9 - 10 cards as opposed to 3 - 4. To answer your question, yes I am happy when paired against an opponent playing Urza's Power Plant. That could be due in no small part because I have a high degree of familiarity and am comfortable in that matchup.

    I have made my point with combo and you agree so there's no point debating that but I will concede that a good combo player will likely be able to take better lines and thus maintain a higher win percentage. This still means that by slowing them down and forcing them adapt to these line of play you are still buying yourself an extra .5 to 2 turns to kill them.

    To answer your question regarding a Ghost Quarter or Field of Ruin lock, it is not a reasonable plan against storm in my experience. I have done it but it takes time because your opponent plays basic lands. Meaning you need a GQ specifically (which has seen consistently less play in our archetype since the printing of FoR, usually a 1 - 2 of). What I'm saying is that I often need too much to go right.

    If we assume that my storm opponent plays 4 basic lands and consistently only has 1 - 2 non-basic lands in play when we begin our plan and makes no further land drops, this means that it will still take a total of 5 - 6 turns before we can start actually denying them recourses. You can half that if you take them off a single color specifically but remember that they still have accessManamorphose to color fix. The reason why this is a bad strategy against storm is because it needs a long time to set up and our opponents need so little mana in to go off b/c of their rituals.

    The games where I have used this strategy to success are when I've already disrupted my opponent to the point where we've entered the late game and both of us have stagnated and are drawing air. I think you should still utilize this strategy because every percentage point matters but I don't rely on it as a primary game plan.

    I don't find Storm to be a fun matchup, and I am not happy to see it but that's mainly because only one player taking game actions for the majority of our time with little to no interaction isn't fun for me. From what I remember RCoE helped a lot, in the sense that it turned one of our worst matchups into a much better one. If you look back in the thread archive date from when RCoE was released you may be able to find an unbiased write up comparing the before and after.

    We don't agree with Ranger-Captain of Eos and that's okay, this will actually help a lot by forcing us to remain objective and not give in to complacency. It also means that with both of us adopting different play styles towards Emeria we'll be able to trail blaze into different lines of play, and hopefully post about it. Which is very useful when trying to discover new cards or strategies.

    Thanks for all of your imput, I'm glad to see it and your dedication to this thread!

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    Good to hear from you,

    To answer your questions chronologically, I can see your hesitation with Flickerwisp as if it does not have a target to blink the card is bad. Three redeeming qualities in the unlikely eventuality that you have no targets of your own to blink, It is a 3/1 flying creature which ends games quickly, and you can blink troublesome permeants your opponents control. Things like Ensnaring Bridge, a blocker, or an opposing planeswalker about to ultimate. It can also be recurred with a Sun Titan to create a loop.

    Your experience with a sample hand generator is subjective, but with my build running the numbers through a hypergeometric calculator their is a %89.5 chance of having a permanent to flicker by turn three on the play and a %92.5 of it on the play.

    Population Size - 60 (cards in deck)

    Sample Size - 8 to 9 (7 in the opener plus an additional 1 - 2 drawsteps)

    Successes in Population - 14 (4 Thraben Inspector, 3 Birth of Meletis, 3 Charming Prince, 4 Wall of Omens)

    Successes in Sample - 1

    Honestly, I would question any hand kept without a permanent played before turn three and likely mulligan that hand. In addition, even so you don't have to cast Flickerwisp on curve and have the option wait until draw into a permanent to blink. You're right though, it's not good on it's own and that's why I tend to sideboard all of them out in matches like GDS or Jund which involving copious amounts of hand disruption and removal.

    To answer your suggestion regarding Chained to the Rocks, or what I'm assuming you meant On Thin Ice I like the card and have played it in the past. However I wouldn't want to play On Thin Ice and Hour of Revelation in the same 60, I tested with On Thin Ice and have played them both in the 75. I feel like it's good in specific scenario's in specific matchups and can act as a fifth Path to exile effect. For example I liked it in the on turn two on the draw against a Dark Confidant or Goblin Electromancer as it denied them the additional resources Path to Exile would have given but dealt with a must kill threat.

    As for Arcum's Astrolabe I'm not sure if anyone in the community has really tested it before and I can't deny it usefulness. I would need to test it but would personally rather max out on another synergistic permeant like Charming Prince or Birth of Meletis before I played the first Arcum's Astrolabe.

    I want to make it clear I have no problem with Brought Back, I've played it in the past and it's been good to me. The games I ran away with using it were when I had it early and was able to use Brought Back to recur double fetchland early in the game. That said the surprise factor of recurring a permeant your opponent thought was dealt with is also game breaking.

    I think that we'll just have to disagree about Ranger-Captain of Eos, to answer what matchups it's essential in.

    UW Control
    - Having it will allow you to not only provide pressure and accrue card advantage via Thraben Inspector but play around countermagic and allowing resolving an essential threat like Sun Titan which will take over the game.

    - It's very difficult for them to kill us in combat after we've established a board presence and RCoE can tutor a Kami of False Hope but in game one you will die to a Conflagrate without it looping.

    - This sequence has won me many games, turn 3 activate Field of Ruin, turn 4 cast RCoE and tutor for Hope of Ghirapur, Turn 6 cast Sun Titan. Essentially FoR into RCoE into Sun Titan, you only need 3 cards one of which is a land.

    - I'm not sure if it's necessary for me to explain, in game one unless your opponent is extraordinarily unlucky and you have a fast clock you will die without Ranger-Captain of Eos.

    It's also good but not essential against most aggressive or midrange styles.

    In regards to the Heliod, Walking Ballista combo, I don't think I'd be prepared to play a card like Lumithread Field to facilitate it. I do like the idea of a backdoor combo but with two pieces that are individually powerful on their own. I was thinking 1 - 2 heliod and a ballista

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    That was quick, I skimmed through page 65 to look at your points on RCoE. I do disagree, I personally find RCoE irreplaceable in a lot of matches but not something I'd want to sideboard into.

    I've played with 4 emeria before, but was often drawing multiple before I had the 7 plains required. Usually 1 active emeria is enough to take over games. I also despise tapped lands, nothing feels worse than drawing them when you need to curve into a wrath, or sun titan.

    The ponza matchup was fine, I saw Utopia Sprawl, Arbor Elf, Pillage, Acid Moss, CToD, Tireless Tracker, and Inferno Titan. BoM and Flickerwisp beat them on it's own.

    How is Brought Back working for you?

    Has anyone tested the heliod ballista combo?If so what do you think of it?
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    Looks like this thread has been fairly active in my absence, I'm glad. I've been piloting my mono white variant myself and have been testing with the new Birth of Meletis. So far I've been testing three of them and have really liked it. Birth of Meletis has allowed me to keep otherwise skeptical hands and it has consistently been good in the early to mid game. One of my particular favourite lines so far has been to curve BoM into Flickerwisp to reset the counters. Major changes I've made to my list have included adding my two of Hour of Revelation into the maindeck and removing Brought Back=and the fetchlands entirely.

    Here it is so far
    Maindeck: 60
    Creature: 23
    1 Kami of False Hope
    4 Thraben Inspector
    3 Charming Prince
    4 Wall of Omens
    4 Flickerwisp
    4 Ranger-Captain of Eos
    3 Sun Titan

    Instant // Sorcery: 10
    4 Path to Exile
    2 Winds of Abandon
    2 Wrath of God
    2 Hour of Revelation

    Enchantment: 3
    3 Birth of Meletis

    Manabase: 24
    2 Blast Zone
    3 Emeria, the Sky Ruin
    4 Field of Ruin
    15 Snow-Covered Plains

    Sideboard: 15
    1 Ghost Quarter
    1 Burrenton Forge-Tender
    1 Hope of Ghirapur
    4 Remorseful Cleric
    2 Stony Silence
    2 Damping Sphere
    1 Sorcerous Spyglass
    2 Generous Gift
    1 Crucible of Worlds

    I've just started delving back into modern again so I'm still rusty but so far I've played against Burn, GDS, Ponza, Dredge x 2, and Soulherder. I won against one of each but lost against in my second dredge matchup. My suggestion if you're worried about winning that matchup and are playing RCoE would be to add a Burrenton Forge-Tender to the maindeck. The only way that dredge can win after you've established a Kami of False Hope lock is to burn you out with a big Conflagrate. Plus it'll hedge against burn, which is never a bad thing.

    On another note my match with Soulherder was a lot of fun, we're both grindy decks with some graveyard synergies but I've found Emeria Control is favored. This is because while Emeria Control can't quite match their velocity early, their engine requires a good board presence and we play wrath effects.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    So while I've mostly been playing Pioneer, I have still played a few modern games too. Has Oko-Snow been getting more popular recently? The last couple matches I've played it's been either that or e-tron. I've been piloting the mono white deck again and have made a couple changes.

    - 1 Ghost Quarter
    + 1 Hope of Ghirapur

    - 2 Cleansing Nova
    + 2 Hour of Revelation

    I've actually been fairly impressed by HoR as I'm usually casting it for WWW and am considering sneaking one into the maindeck, it always feels super powerful vs oko, artifacts, and e-tron.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Seasons Past Pioneer
    Yeah, I watched a video of that on YouTube, it seemed great. The deck was piloted by Ali Aintrazi, ended up 3 - 2 I believe. Some notable includes were traverse the ulvenwald, which helped hit your land drops early and could tutor murderous rider / walking ballista late. It was also playing Ugin the Spirit Dragon, which came in clutch in a couple matches.

    I think when I build this I'll start there first. This deck is going to miss veil of summer, having your seasons past countered feels brutal. Discard will have to be enough.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Seasons Past Pioneer
    Vraska seems good to end games quickly. Get your opponent into an unwinnable gamestate, ultimate her and then attack with a man land. I don't really like the idea of sacrificing lands early because the decks so mana hungry. Still it seems like a powerful late game walker, at a good cmc.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Seasons Past Pioneer
    Yeah, Thoughtseize and Fatal Push likely, I also feel like flip nissa is secretly one of the better cards too.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Mono White Devotion
    Being able to tutor for planeswalkers and removal is kinda nice too.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Seasons Past Pioneer
    That's understandable, just having a 2/3 lifelink is great vs aggro. I guess my only qualm with it would be that against most other archetypes you're usually casting the spell half first. In those matches if you were to you cast the creature it would most likely die because you've been blanking the majority of your opponents removal the entire game. In essance you've traded 2 life for a dead card in your opponents hand.

    I can see it connecting in the post sideboard games when your opponent takes out most removal. I guess it's still technically 2 for 1 if your opponent removes it, which is good.
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Seasons Past Pioneer
    This is one of the decks I am looking into playing in pioneer. I think I'll rent a list on modo and give it a spin before making a decision.

    One question though, why murderous rider over hero's downfall. The 2 life should be relivant because your trying to extend the game so long. Plus it doesn't synergize with seasons past?
    Posted in: Pioneer
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    I remember playing with Blade Splicer, it can be pretty potent against the right decks. Good luck!

    Your logic is sound, I took your advice and removed a ghost quarter and remorseful cleric instead.

    I went to a couple of tournaments as well, the Hamilton open was super close for me which was nice. The games often go long though, which leads to me becoming fatigued and playing sloppy in the later matches.

    Anyway I played Bant SnOko, Dredge, UW Control, Paradoxical Outcome, Grixis Shadow, Affinity.

    I lost the against PO and Affinity, I had a draw against Control and dropped at 3 - 2 - 1.

    The affinity match was the last one and I played very sloppy. That said my opponent did have an active mystic forge with an eot galvanic blast with for kami both games.

    The control match, my opponent pushed it to game 3 with 12 minutes left on clock and then refused to concede while dead on board after turns.

    PO still felt terrible, I was buried under Emery game 1 and Oko game 2.

    I think I may take a break from modern for a bit. As I have a couple of decks that I want to explore in pioneer.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    I agree with a lot of your assessments, UW control is a weird matchup and in my experience on mtgo it often comes down to time. Unfortunately stacking all of our triggers usually means we get behind on clock, it's much different in paper magic.

    How did the league go with your changes, did they feel okay?

    Also, I have a question for you guys. What do you think of Lavinia, Azorius Renegade over Stony Silence in our current meta? I've noticed that outside of the actual thopter combo in Whirza none of their artifacts really do anything. They're really just there to provide an engine for PO, Emry or Urza. LAR would also be additional help vs Tron and could help slow down Amulet. It would also help the non-bo of having Thraben Inspector plus Stony Silence in the Ranger-Captain of Eos builds, thoughts?
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    I have similar opinions on Remorseful Cleric, it is still sneaky good in the maindeck. Although I would caution against revoker, my experience has been that it's way more vulnerable right now. Between W&6, Plague Engineer, and k-command. Plus the overall awareness of artifacts because of thopter sword and SFM.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Azorius Titan/Emeria Control
    One idea that KopiKopaBarcelona mentioned to me was tracking matchup results through a spreadsheet. This would help us create actual match win to loss data. I can imagine that it would also allow us to better evaluate any card changes as good or bad in future versions.

    Right now my UW list is more a mono white list splashing U. I do this because I am more comfortable piloting a mono white list. I think D90Dennis14 has been an advocate of the classic Court Hussar, Flickerwisp, Spreading Seas route. I don't know which build if either could be considered better. However, I do think our skill when piloting a deck comes from our own familiarity and knowledge of our lists.

    I think that sometimes this can blind us and help facilitate a confirmation bias. I'm thinking of Brought Back, myself when I go down this line of thought. A lot of other people who have tested this card have found it lacking. My bias, is that I think this card is really good in a mono white shell. So the question then becomes, is it more probable that I am such am good player / deckbuilder that Brought Back has always been amazing for me in every match I play. No, I think that it is much more likely that I have let a fraction of the great games I've won because of BB color my overall opinion of the card. I probably have more experience playing BB than any one other player in this thread. While that experience will undoubtedly help when indenifying correct lines of play, the cumulative experience of all players in this thread will largely eclipse my own.

    Anyway, I'm rambling now basically I think that spreadsheets are a good idea and will help us check our bias in the future.
    Posted in: Control
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