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  • posted a message on Living End
    You're putting yourself at a disadvantage by playing reactive answer cards specifically for a proactive threat when you could also play the proactive threat yourself that also functions as the answer too.

    Resolving a black leyline against dredge means their entire gameplan is shut down, even if they have a leyline of their own, you're heavily advantaged with 3 unconditional wrath of god effects that may be instant speed.
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  • posted a message on Living End
    I'm not against hate cards in the MB, i've been on shriekmaws, faeries, and even an anger in the MB since the summer of last year. Though I don't see the need for ingot chewers in the main, not enough decks are playing key mainboard artifacts we care about (especially after KCI ban) that justify playing mainboarding an answer that while plays with our general strategy, is vastly inferior in power/toughness and the ability to replace itself at instant speed.

    But the issue we're facing is still one of a general metagame one that's inherent to modern for a while now. The variety of decks faced simply operate on too many different axis that requires specific responses that unless said answers inherently plays extremely well into our general strategy, is going to handicap the decks that have to go out of their way to fit those cards (i.e. dead cards in certain matchups).

    For instance in my personal experience, the LD package is currently in weird spot because we either really need it, or really don't and there's no healthy in-between. UW/x, tron, scapeshift, amulet are decks that specifically demand LD but the moment we hit burn, dredge, even phoenix, they are some of the last cards you want to see. There's not enough of those "midrange-y" decks like pyromaner, jund, valuetown decks in the meta that would make the call for LD to be a solid one instead of a 50/50 gamble depending on what people brought for the day.
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  • posted a message on Living End
    MTGGoldfish keeps a pretty accurate spread of the current meta, it's not perfect but it is very useful to see what decks you should be expecting, especially those on the first page.

    Currently the big hitters are: Dredge, burn, phoenix, and grixis death shadow. Obviously modern is a very open meta and is the one where people are most likely to jam pet decks no matter what meta but given the above 4, it's safe to say that we're being pulled in many directions and looking at some less than favorable matches.

    My personal opinion is that modern the format post KCI is still simply too fast and operating on too many different axis for living end to deal with without making concessions in our 75 that pulls the deck in many different areas.

    Against the top 4, shaving some LD actually has some benefits, the only deck that LD can (not guaranteed) to hit hard is GDS, the other decks either don't care, can recover, or are resilient. The problem is that UW/x and tron are evergreen decks so the need for LD is always present and shaving these pieces opens you up to losing percentage points against the two aforementioned decks.

    I think if the plan is to jam living end into this meta, that the key has to be in the SB. Looking at the current top tier decks, a 8 leyline plan (white and black) is very much something to consider. 8 leylines alone covers the top 4 decks pretty well and can hit a smattering of others in the process.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Quote from Huviam »

    What i think it's great though, it's the 3 Deathgorge Scavenger on the Sideboard. They help with the Graveyard decks and with the burn matchups, the latter has spiked in popularity and it's our worst deck to play against.

    WHat do you think?

    Scavenger feels like Bow of Nylea, as in decent choice against a variety of decks but not necessarily a slam dunk for any. It's also a creature so bringing it against burn is running into pre-planned SB cards on their end (path) as well as the other normal burn cards that can target creatures.

    Against burn, we need high impact cards that drastically affect the board state and demand a specific answer on their end. We have to become the proactive deck in this case and that's why i've been on white leylines because they basically say "did you side in revelry and if yes, did you draw it?" because if the answer is no to either, we win a vast majority of the time unless our hand was garbage, which it shouldn't be because we can sculpt our hand very easily.

    I actually would like to test scavenger against the likes of UW/x control where it has more impact because of the grinding aspect of the card that can limit snapcaster and logic knot while applying pressure and forcing a response, giving a window to force living ends through.

    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    The dredge matchup is side board dependent, packing black leylines neuters their deck hard but without it, it's not a cakewalk and requires a handful of luck. Creeping chill also matches up better against us due to being burn-esque, so a combination of that and conflagrate means a lot of damage going to the face.

    I'l continue to play black leylines for the time being but at the same time, i'm not a fan of running living end into a bunch of graveyard hate either. It's a tough line to straddle.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Quote from FSNeZ »
    Raver, thank you for your advice. You're awesome.

    I guess this means I now have to buy 4 white and 4 black leylines...

    NP Smile

    And funnily enough, i've been meaning to test out the 8 leyline sb package that I used to joke about with another fellow living end player. With GB/x decks potentially coming back into the meta with Asstrophy, there could be an upswing in discard spells that follow. Not to mention burn as an evergreen archetype.

    Quote from Odross01 »

    I agree with Raver. Decks like hollow one/bridgevine, pyromancer, humans, spirits, etc... go wide and can sometimes recover really fast post LE, so there your 1 cycler + 1 archifiend + turn 3 LE can get them most, since these decks also lack ways to deal with him. And all cyclers you have kept in hand make sure you win.

    The new hardened scales deck was probably the biggest impetus to move to 3 archfiends, that deck has almost no answers to archfiend (except a really really big ballista which requires a lot of set up). I've never played against it before Syracuse so it was mostly theoretical on my end but after having played against it 3 times in Syracuse, I probably didn't even need 3 archfiends, 2 or even 1 would've been sufficient, that deck simply gets rolled by us.

    In addition what Raver said, I would never run fewer than 4 Chewers because of random Chalice's, ensnaring bridges, relics, spellbombs...so many SB cards that really hurt us are easily solved with this.

    How could I forget bridge and chalice XD
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  • posted a message on Living End
    Lot to unpack, i'l try to answer everything to the best of my ability

    Quote from Mallwan »
    Can someone please enlighten me on the usage of Archfiend of Ifnir. I do not understand why you mainboard or even play that creature anyway. If they Graveyard hate you or deal with your general strategy it IS the bast creature you have. But even then you need cyclers to take advantage of him really and that requires even more mana in most cases. I like the idea of having more interactive evokers in the mainboard more but maybe some of you can educate me on why this archfiend is worth being played. Thank you Smile

    This meta in particular does favor archfiend slightly more. I'm still not hot on it and I certainly think it shouldn't be anything more than a 3 of but there is merit in a 2 mana 5/4 flying even discounting the ability. That being said, the ability is a bit tricky and requires a bit of set up and pre-planning, but can be rewarding in the right situations.

    As of now, there actually is quite a few decks that fold or take a massive hit to just a single trigger of archfiend which is actually not a bad deal. If the meta shifts to requiring more than one trigger to pay off, it is a knock on the card but one card needed to make a significant impact is a reasonable deal worth playing around.

    Though I wholeheartedly agree on playing it in conjunction with evokers. I had a 3/2/1 split in the MB between archfiend, shriekmaw, and anger which allows for interaction pre-living end as well as finishing power.

    Quote from FSNeZ »
    I lost to burn 2 times in my last PPTQ. Sadly, I only had Bow of Nylea for the burn matchup in my sideboard. I drew it one game against burn and I thought I had the game stabilized (I was at 3 life, opponent had no cards in hand, I had bow on field), but he topdecked Lightning Bolt (and apologized).

    Do you think Bow of Nylea deserves a place in our sideboard? It can recycle Living Ends against UW Control, shoots down spirits like a champ and it can be boarded in against Burn.

    That said, I will definitely add 1-2 Kitchen Finks to my sideboard - my LGS meta is pretty heavy on aggro. We even have a Goblin player.

    Bow is cute with three relevant albeit "eh" effects against 3 different archetypes but the fact that they aren't slam dunks is what turns me off. I prefer my SB slots to be impactful and efficient and bow just doesn't have that going for it, certainly could chalk it up to philosophical differences in SB approach but that's just my take.

    If you're facing a lot of aggro, I do suggest upping the amount of SSGs and shriekmaws (depending on the type of aggro), even add anger of the gods. They all have a very significant impact when played early

    That's my biggest problem right now. Even though my opponents rarely had much experience against Living End, I often make sequence mistakes, focus on the wrong things or keep the wrong hands.

    This is a lot harder to answer than it seems at first glance. This gets more into general meta knowledge, threat assessment, and understanding where your deck (living end) is positioned relative to the opponents. Things to consider are how much pressure is generated, what types of answers are normally played, etc. For instance, it may not always be correct to jam through a living end, sometimes it's worth waiting against the likes of UW/x control to tap out while you hold up beast within or fulminator on the battlefield to generate a good window to pop off.

    So, can you help me with mulligans? What about a hand like Beath Within, Cerodon, Horror, Archfiend, 2 fetch lands, SSG? Would you keep that? What do look for in a hand without a cascade spell?

    During the PPTQ, I lost games where I drew ~15 cards and died without ever finding a cascade spell, do you even keep hands without a cascade spell?

    In terms of mulliganing, there's a difference between blind and known deck. On the blind it's pretty fine to keep a hand such as the one you described, it has a good mix of cyclers, answers, and even a bit of speed with SSG. I wouldn't be upset to see that hand at all, especially in this meta.

    Even on games 2/3 I feel like it's a good keep, maybe if I was against burn and i'm just aggressively looking for white leyline but that's about it.

    As for not drawing a cascade spell, you just have to accept that magic is a game of variance and that there will be times, especially in a combo deck, where you don't get your combo piece. It will happen, but that's just the nature of the game and you can't think of it in terms of one time results but rather results over thousands of matches.

    Quote from Mallwan »
    I really like the dead // gone for Thalia, Meddling Mage and Eidolon <3

    Thing is, shriekmaw does the job just as well if not better (against eidolon you don't lose life). The only time i'd want dead//gone is to supplement shriekmaws against humans where they might try to name all your answers so you need to diversify.

    I got a question concerning the 3 Beast Within and 4 Ingot Chewer. What made you choose these hard commitments against artifacts alone in the sideboard and also 3 Beast Withins in the main? I personally like 2 Beat Withins (in the main) and 3 Ingot Chewers and 2 Krosan Grips in the sideboard. What is the Pro argument for your split?

    The way I see it, Ingot chewer is one of the cleanest and most efficient answers we have. With the likes of hardened scales affinity, vial decks, tron floating around, having just a single mana flip the game on its head is worth the inclusion, especially as it lines up great with our gameplan of binning creatures to the yard.

    Beast within itself is just a very versatile card, it's a great catch all answer swiss army knife type card and i've used it so many different ways so it's not the worst thing in the world to play them in the main as a 3 of. Together with fulminator, they represent a great low key land destruction package that keeps control and big mana decks in check while still being able to answer creatures, key artifacts/enchantments, provide an instant blocker, etc.

    The other question is what do you think of playing Brindle Boar in the side board. Is it worth to try and beat Burn or is all hope lost against that deck?

    I've given up on brindle board/gnaw to the bone/spike weaver as answers to burn. There's several reasons. First off is that in terms of sideboarding theory, these cards are one for one against one specific archetype, it's unlikely that i'l bring these in against other decks that aren't burn so it's taking up room for other more versatile cards. Contrast that with a card like ingot chewer that has diverse applications and answers common hate against us (relic/spellbomb) means it has much more value over many matches.

    Second is that these three cards are all 3 mana, in my experience against burn, turn 3 is critical where we need to start pressuring and none of the cards really pressure, at most they delay with gnaw having the ability to delay the most. I want to be casting a living end on turn 3, not turn 4 when it may be too late.

    Finally is the anti-life gain burn plays that just hoses those cards so it's not a guarantee that playing them will even help.

    The above is why i've since moved to white leyline when I think they're worthwhile to play. In regards to the first point, I can play leyline against a variety of decks like bg/x, lantern, scapeshift, burn, storm, mardu pyro and have a very significant impact in those matchups. For the second point is that leyline is free if in the opener, seeing as how winning the burn matchup is already next to impossible unless the stars align, I might as well aggressively mull to it, some guy did the math, it's not that bad. Finally, there is the surprise factor in that white leyline is not a frequently played card so you can often steal a game as the opponent may not have sided in enchantment hate.

    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Quote from Odross01 »

    It would´ve never occured to me to shave cyclers. With this tournament, did you ever feel like you have too few cyclers? (like that last game with only 2 wraiths? Smile ) or do yours 15+2 shriekmwaws feel just fine?

    For the most part, it was fine. That final game was really the only time I wished I had more cyclers but every other time, I felt adequately covered. In hindsight, I probably should've mulliganed that hand but still not quite sure as double dead//gone does represent a solid, efficient, and instant speed answer to the key humans threats.

    As for sideboard, here in Europe, there are not that many burn players (lucky) so I dont feel a need for white leylines. Shriekmaws + dead/gone are usually enough to stem the bleeding from creatures to stabilize soon enough to win.

    Damn, wish the states was this burn light Frown

    Also apparently from what i've heard that the New England area contains more burn than average, that perhaps could explain the large share in day 2. It wouldn't be surprising to see regional preferences as the meta in my local region disproportionally favors UW/x

    PS: the way you dismantled that control in quarterfinals was just amazing! Grin

    I got pretty lucky in drawing LD both games and having them exactly when I need them as well as some misfortune on my opponent's part. But credit due, it was another LE player that had taught me the method and value of mana constraining and denial over a series of phases and turns to give me a clear window to force a living end through counterspells.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Quote from simplexic »

    So, going forward, what would you change if anything with your list? If you expect some graveyard shennanigans black leylines, and combo/burn, white leylines? Also do you have a brief way of how you sideboard? Alot of the things in the deck do the same thing so im wondering what do you usually cut first, etc. Most of it is straight forward, but im wondering where your numbers are at.

    Thanks and congrats!

    Not sure if I have any changes i'd make in the immediate, a lot of it is just trying to take a stab at the meta of the day and hoping to god you made the right bets. I think that's really the key thing here because at 15 slots for the SB only, you can only answer so many decks. For me, it was a matter of going to MTGgoldfish's and basically making a note of all the decks in the first page or so, trying to cover as many of those as possible with emphasis on the top row is what I recommend.

    But as for the card choices to answer specific decks should they arise, I think i'm pretty set on it until they print something new.

    White leyline
    Black leyline
    shriekmaw (the remaining number)
    Faerie macabre (the remaining number)
    Anger of the gods
    Ingot chewer
    slaughter games
    ricochet traps

    As for an SB guide, I think my general rule of thumb outside of easy dead cards is to figure out if fulminators need to stay. With the likes of tron or UW/x control, they absolutely do but it's easier to shave them against the likes of humans or hardened scales affinity where it's not a matter of denying lands but key artifacts at a much better cost with ingot chewer.

    So really my decision tree goes > check for dead cards (faeries, shriekmaw, anger, etc) > check for need for fulminators > check for speed (play/draw) for SSGs, angers, archfiend

    Which should be a decent philosophy that covers the SB portion of the deck for most configurations of the deck for this current meta.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Quote from Odross01 »

    Lot of burn in the US Grin


    But I love that list! It has everything i want in and even finds space for dead/gone. That will be my base list now for sure!

    Glad you liked my list Smile

    In hindsight I was just "okay" with it, I wasn't particularly happy with dead//gone but felt that I had to pick a direction to hedge in as oppose to spreading myself too thin. The decision was between that or slaughter games, so in a sense, I was okay with dead//gone even though it felt like the weakest card in my 75.

    The biggest issue though was the amount of burn floating around. The black leylines were new this weekend and I was previously on white leylines before (taking the exact spots as the black ones this week), I could've been mightily punished by facing just even one more burn deck or facing one of the two in the top 8. Unless burn had an absurd day 2 conversion rate (meaning a very small pool of burn total in all 800+ players), I felt not having white leylines was the incorrect read.

    That being said, still happy with the tournament overall. The only mistakes I made were on camera (embarrassing, I know) but I played cleanly for the other rounds. The benefits of being essentially a one trick pony is that i've pretty much seen it all and from the technical rules to the match up specifics and even mulliganing is like muscle memory at this point whereas my opponents were constantly second guessing themselves and were somewhat unsure of how to approach the match up.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Quote from jcrsw30 »
    Watched a few of this guys matches on camera. He played really well and had a few main deck inclusions that probably was a good call for the meta for this SCG. Cool to see him win for sure.


    Thank you Smile
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Yeah, gonna echo Badger. Our combo is definitely the slower one because we also need to attack as well on top of their deck not losing life to fetches and shocks. We need some element of disruption and even that isn't a guarantee as seen in the finals of Vegas where Matt Nass navigated to a win through Karn exiles.

    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    KCI requires the holy grail of hate from us. Graveyard/artifact/lands/surgical to combat it's efficiency, durability, and redundancy.

    The first three is to buy time at the very least so they have to spend time to rebuild hopefully as we pressure with a resolved living end. If they do have the tools to rebuild, hopefully we can land a slaughter games naming KCI.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Living End
    Just a small note, Ad Naus typically doesn't care about white leyline. They have lab man as a back up wincon that they rarely side out.

    I've had success bringing in white leylines against any decks with targeted discarded (so basically every b/x/x decks) with major players being jund, mardu pryo, grixis shadow, abzan.

    It absolutely hoses storm and lantern control and both decks need to really luck out to draw their 1-2 answers to even proceed with their gameplan if they even sided some in to begin with.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    Temur living end probably won't be a thing until they either print a new UG/RG/RU cascade spell or reprint shardless agent in a standard set. Relying on As Foretold as our second LE enable simply isn't as strong as having two different cascade spells to work with.

    Though it's still iffy, i'm not a fan of losing shriekmaw first and foremost but we do get access to traditional counterspells or counterspells on creatures (so we can recur them with living end) like glen elendra archmage, daring apprentice, spiketail drakeling and my favorite: silumgar sorcerer

    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
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