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Magic Market Index for April 20th, 2018
Pauper Review: Dominaria
The Limited Archetypes of Dominaria
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    I haven't played the shoal version enough to know which is better.

    The main reason I play it is because, until now, it's unexplored territory. So there's a chance to find a broken shell. Not that I think that it's likely, but there still feels like there's a fair amount of potential here. The biggest strike against it (and against all Griselbrand shells, I expect), is that Humans is an atrocious matchup.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    If you're talking about the Nourishing Shoal lists, I'm sure there are videos around. There's probably some older ones on Channel Fireball.

    If you're talking about the newer lists we're discussing in this thread, I don't think they exist. As far as I know, I'm the only one really playing the Fateful Showdown build and I haven't recorded any vids, and the Torgaar build so far is just a twinkle in Gerry Thompson's eye.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Quote from finalnub »
    Glad you have been finding success. White seems interesting, although I'm a bit skeptical I'd like to try it. Splashing a third color is something I've always been hesitant to do because a big strength of BR Grishoalbrand was a very clean mana base. Children seems a bit too nichey with it having no relevant text without Griselbrand unless you're dying by a thousand cut. Would love to hear how you find it. I plan on testing more Griselbrand nonsense like these and maybe stream it after the pt

    The manabase is only a little less clean, give how light the splash is, but you're right that it's a concern. I think what puts it over the top is getting to play more scrylands. They're so good.

    Children would have to serve the same or a similar role to Infernal Plunge and possibly replace it --- a crucial piece for the Griselbrand combo turn to get through the "must hit 2 spirit guides or have untapped mana" bottleneck. The big problem with Children is that it requires white mana, and typically only red mana is readily available that turn. A solution is to work Manamorphose into the deck, but but you still need to hit 2 mana on the combo turn for that to work, which is what Plunge is supposed to help fix. So short of a better idea than Manamorphose, replacing Plunge with Children doesn't seem like a good idea. But I'm considering trying both, which best case scenario would make the Griselbrand combo as consistent as possible in this shell, and worst case won't be worth the slots.

    By the way, a neat trick with the white build is that Timely gives you tokens to sacrifice to Plunge, e.g. if you're trying to get up to breach mana. Haven't had the opportunity to do that yet though.

    speaking of which, Gerry Thompson suggested a new deck idea that foregoes the borby package and jams soul spikes and Torgaar. Idea is cool in theory, but I see a few problems with it, such as not being able to win at instant speed, Torgaar being a ground attacker, not being able to beat Bridge nearly as easily, etc. Cool concept though so I'll probably try it out at some time.

    Yeah, I saw Torgaar and immediately tried to figure out how to fit him into one of these shells. But being a ground pounder is a real problem. I'm not optimistic, but I'll definitely be paying attention to what people try.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Quote from finalnub »
    alright spooly that's another 5-0. give it to us straight - how good is the deck actually?!


    It can't be tier 1 right now because humans is an awful matchup, and none of the aggro matchups are good. But many aggro matchups aren't bad either - BR Hollow One and Affinity feel pretty close to me. It crushes all the big mana decks. Tron, Valakut, Amulet, you name it. And fair decks without countermagic tend to be decent matchups. Seems like it should be one of the tier 2 decks bubbling under the surface of the modern metagame, waiting for its week to be well positioned.

    Your advice was very helpful, btw. Defense Grid and Grave Titan have both been very good.

    The deck's worst matchup is humans, which is not a good place to be right now. And its second worse matchup is itself.

    The white splash seemed good though. Timely Reinforcements and Wear/Tear impressed (killing Leyline of the Void against Hollow One is very relevant), and more scrylands helps a bit too.

    Next on the docket to try: Children of Korlis.

    Edit: decklist

    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Quote from finalnub »
    i was feeling degenerate so i impulse bought my fateful showdowns. i found that the combo was pretty embarrassing sometimes. i turn 2 and turn 3d a griselbrand and led to me drawing 21 blanks. i forgot how much shoal helps this deck. there were a few times where ssgs were the bottleneck so i guess plunges may be a necessary evil even though the card looks mopey.

    loved the neonates over the hugs as a blocker and a pinger. i think i would play a few md interactions as additional discard outlets.

    the deck feels fun but I'm not sure if i can handle what i think is a meaningfully higher fail rate than grishoalbrand

    Yeah, Plunge is definitely a necessary evil in the shell. It's really important for making sure you hit enough mana. I had a turn 2 kill fizzle against humans at a weekly last night because I didn't hit a Spirit guide in 21 cards :/. It happens. Sometimes you can mitigate the fail rate by waiting a turn so that you have one more land, but obviously sometimes your opponents aren't so cooperative. (Waiting until turn 3 to try to kill him did not seem like a good idea, given the two drops in that deck).

    The Griselbrand fail rate will always be higher in this build than in the Shoal build, so for it to be worth it, having Emrakul over Wurm as the secondary fatty has to make it worth it - both in terms of just being a better fatty (which isn't always true, since those bodies Wurm leaves behind are real!), and because Goryo's can target Emrakul, making it a little easier to assemble a combo.

    I'm with you on some interaction over Cathartics MD.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from DeFish »
    What's more consistent about the Traverse build vs Grixis? I thought that consistency (via blue cantrips) was one of the reasons people migrated to Grixis in the first place?

    I think Traverse is a little more consistent about putting a fatty into play early, but that's about it. Grixis is more consistent in most other ways.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    I actually feel not too bad against the shadow decks. It's still bad, but sometimes you can just kill them with Fateful Showdown for a moderate amount if they get too aggro on their life total. I've stolen more than one game that way.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Yeah, Morphose is probably worth making it fit. Especially since Cathartic is so unimpressive. I plan on trying the extra Grave Titans. I tried the Neonates just now, and they allowed for some nice trickery with holding reanimation targets in hand until the last moment, and, like you said, chip shot damage pre-emrakul. (3-2 in that league) I liked having access to them. Defense Grid is definitely worth trying too.

    I suspect you're probably right about which build is better, mainly because the life gain is really good right now. I feel about 50/50 against Hollow One and Affinity, a little worse against Burn, and can almost never beat Humans (I'm like 1-8 against them so far). But I think there's some promise here if the issues can be fixed, if only because it's a little more consistent about putting a fatty into play since Goryo's can target Emrakul, and unlike older Grisebrand/Emrakul builds it has a fairly consistent combo-kill off Griselbrand once it's in play. Though probably not as consistent as Grishoalbrand's combo-kill.

    Maybe the secret is to pick the right tertiary color. Blue seems natural due to the card selection, but we could play stuff like Lingering Souls, or even Angel's Grace + Ad Nauseum --- Fateful Showdown is a kill for that combo too.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    A one of Lavaclaw Reaches actually sounds kinda interesting...

    I considered Defense Grid, but EOT Goryo's/Emrakul + untap try again is a common line against blue decks, often splicing onto a ritual in order to get multiple uses. But maybe it's worth giving up those lines to really put the hurt on countermagic. I really wish Field of Ruin wasn't everywhere in the blue decks so that the land which grants uncounterable was better.

    More Grave Titans does sound pretty sweet. I'd really like a haymaker that the countermagic decks can't deal with. Something like Dromoka, but castable.

    Wanting manamorphose to filter the mana for Griselbrand hasn't come up much in my experience, but shrinking the deck size is interesting. I'm not entirely sure how to fit it in though. Shaving a Cathartic is easy, but after that I dunno.

    Someone on reddit suggested trying 1-2 Insolent Neonate instead of Cathartics, since it sometimes will be great with Infernal Plunge to help power out Breach those T2/3 breaches. I think it's worth trying.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Basically, I think you can think about this deck as the BR Griselbrand/Emrakul Fury of the Horde build, except it has a more consistent combo kill with Griselbrand that doesn't _have_ to use the combat step, though it typically does, and is better at putting the opponent away after getting a nonlethal Emrakul hit in, since Fateful Showdown for 3 or whatever is not hard to assemble.

    Attempts to combo kill with Griselbrand have two fail cases: 1) you don't draw Fateful Showdown. This happens sometimes, and is a reason to consider not drawing the last 7 cards if going that low will be dangerous. 2) Not drawing enough mana to cast Showdown. This is usually only a problem when you're going for it on turn 2/3 and don't have the luxury of leaving untapped lands up. But Plunge REALLY helps you pull this one off. Also, sometimes you can just put a hasty Emrakul into play before the combat step instead of hitting with Griselbrand for 7 and trying to find the last pieces to Showdown them. This is obviously preferable to taking a chance on missing the needed pieces. Note also that if you have excess mana, you can use Looting and Cathartic to dig further to find the showdown. Just make sure you don't deck yourself with Showdown (see below)!

    I'm not entirely sure how strong the deck is. I do think it's better than the Fury of the Horde builds, but I don't know about Grishoalbrand just because I have so little experience with that archetype. I do like being able to Goryo's Emrakul, which is a thing you can't do with Worldspine Wurm. I'm still bitter about learning that the hard way.

    I also played it in an IQ over the weekend, and went 3-3. Perhaps with some absurd variance. For example round 1 I played against BR Hollow One, and had a turn 3 "kill" (i.e. put a fatty into play) in my opener all three games. Game 1 I Griselbrand + Showdowned him. Game 2 he killed me on turn 3 (he was on the play). Game 3 he had turn 0 Leyline, and my turn 3 kill would have used Goryo's. Similarly, in round 6 I had a turn 3 kill in my opener against Bushwhacker Zoo all three games. Game 1 I Emrakulled him to death. Game 2 he killed me on turn 3 (again, he was on the play). Game 3 I had the turn 3 kill, but he was clearly representing Deflecting Palm. So I passed, put Griselbrand into play at the end of his turn 3, then on my turn 4 added Emrakul and attacked. I went to 4 after he Palmed because of lifelink, but put him on no permanents and at something like 8 life. He found a fetch and went to 5, then killed me before I could power up my Fateful Showdown for lethal. Dems da breaks.

    Some useful notes:
    • Pact of Negation felt awful, since we can't usually win at instant speed, and in many matchups where you want Pact, Emrakul isn't typically lethal. After the IQ, I've replaced it with Guttural Response, and it's felt a lot better.
    • If you have more cards in hand than in your library when you cast a lethal Fateful Showdown, you will draw the game. Even if you discard an Emrakul this way. But if you have a spare mana and can Faithless Looting away an Emrakul before you cast Showdown, that's usually enough to keep Showdown from also killing you.
    • Fateful Showdown is also secretly interaction and card selection. A common line is to kill something like a Scavenging Ooze while cycling 4+ cards in your hand, possibly putting a Griselbrand into the graveyard.
    • Note that if you need to be sure you hit Showdown to win with Griselbrand and you've had to filter several away, you can always discard an Emrakul to shuffle them back in.
    • This deck really wants better card selection more than anything else you might try to improve. Not that I think better options exist.
    • I don't know how much this shows up in other builds, but I've hardcast a lot of Griselbrands with this shell. There's just so much fast mana.
    • IRL I have an EE over the Lightning Axe.
    • People on MTGO seem to get upset when you finish them off with Showdown after a nonlethal Emrakul.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I think if Damping Sphere is good for us, you've perfectly explained why. I'm just worried about whether things will consistently play out like that. For example, it's a lot easier for them to interact with Sphere than with a Fulminator.

    If you're already moving all of the countermagic to the SB, I think finding room for Flayer shouldn't be too difficult. Consider this MD:

    Where manabase is probably standard with Stomping Ground over Breeding Pool and 2 basics. I'm pretty tempted to try this tbh.

    I would not mulligan that 6 in the dark, but if I knew that I was playing against e.g. burn or storm, I would snap mull. Against other fast decks, it depends on how fast I really need a threat and how good the interaction is against them. E.g. against humans I'd keep that hand if it had a pile of removal or even a mix of removal and discard, but I'd be more inclined to mulligan against Hollow One with that same hand because Bloodghast and Phoenix make trading removal for threats much weaker.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from whocansay »
    Came in second at a 24-player MKM trial in a very close last game against Affinity. Needed 1 more point of life for the win. Matches:

    Abzan Coco 2-1
    Mardu Pyro 2-1
    RG Eldrazi 2-0
    Zoo 2-0
    Affinity 1-2

    Not much to say here, Manamorphose is so good I can't even describe it. The deck feels like a freight train. Not impressed with Liliana TLH or Fulminators at all today, wish I had more sweepers. Onwards and upwards.

    Quote from whocansay »
    Yeah, same list I posted the other day, full playsets of all the business cards, 2 each of Stub, Dismember, Decay and 3 Push.

    If you're gonna run Manamorphose in your build then I really don't see the point in running fewer than 4 copies. Maybe you can get away with 3 but it's there for consistency so you want to draw it consistently as well in my opinion.

    The RG Eldrazi matchup seemed very bad to me but I got a bit lucky as he didn't see any Groves in both games. Discard was key here. Remember that you need Dismember + another card to deal with Smasher. Yes it seems obvious but we're so used to just dumping our hand that these things can really come back to bite you in the ass. TBR pulled me through in the end.

    Mardu Pyro - there was no way I could win this but somehow things lined up correctly. Double Nihil Spellbomb kept his yard empty and Revelers stranded in his hand. Shadow for pressure + topdecked Hazoret for exactly lethal.

    As for Liliana, I'm not sure what to replace her with. I love her -2 in the grindy matchups but there's just so much aggro right now that her +1 seems awfully anemic sometimes. The Fulminators have been very underwhelming for me but I'm taking Spooly's word for it and keeping them in for now - maybe I haven't hit the correct matchups yet.

    I don't think you can run Anger in our deck at all. If you don't have Manamorphose in hand it's a dead card, and you don't want Anger to be a dead card ever. Radiant Flames seems like a decent option right now. Of course I wish I'd had Kozilek's Return against Affinity yesterday but it's not great against the rest of the field. Same goes for Pyroclasm, you need to be able to deal 3 damage with your sweeper.

    That said, with 2 red sources Anger might be fine but I don't know if you want to fetch red so aggressively. Depends on your manabase really. I was talking to one of our better players about the deck briefly yesterday and he said that having a second red source post-board is pretty crucial with the current sideboard configuration I'm running. Normally I might not have agreed but throughout the final game I found myself praying for a Manamorphose as I couldn't activate Grim Lavamancer and Abrade in the same turn off of just one Crypt. This cost me a precious few points of damage that would have swiftly locked up the game in my favor. We bring in quite a few red cards in these aggro matchups and if we lose our Crypt it's done. Then again, Manamorphose mitigates this somewhat, but I'm still curious to hear people's thoughts on this.

    Give this version a shot, I think it's much better positioned than the ones trying to run Flayer and Liliana of the Veil right now. Manamorphose fixes so many of our problems and speeds things up immensely. Hope this helped somewhat.

    Nice Job! I'm glad the Manamorphoses are catching on. They've seemed insane to me.

    RG Eldrazi has felt very winnable to me. Even favorable. I may have just been getting lucky against them, but it feels like the combination of piles of discard and larger creatures than theirs makes it difficult to them. You just have to pick your spots to play around stuff like Reality Smasher. I know you've said you haven't been impressed with the Fulminators, but this is a matchup where just one Fulminator can often devastate them, since unlike Tron their haymakers often can't really catch them back up when they're far behind.

    I think Mardu Pyro is a rough matchup, but it's much more winnable than Jund. Spellbomb is a big reason why.

    As far as sweepers, I think you're right - Radiant Flames is the way to go, unless for some reason you expect a pile of Affinity. Even if we could cast Anger, I'm not sure we would want it - the exiling only really matters against BR Hollow One these days, and I'd much rather have the consistency of only needing one red source to cast my sweeper than that upside in a single matchup.

    The original reason for 2 blue sources was that Tron, E Tron, and even Control would sometimes be able to steal wins by taking away the one blue source in your deck while you had a pile of countermagic in your hands. But given the metagame right now, it probably is better to have 2 red sources, so turn the Breeding Pool into a Stomping Ground. I'm a little less excited about cutting the Forest for the Stomping Ground just because there's still so much random stuff with piles of Ghost Quarters and Field of Ruins (Fields of Ruin?), and also Blood Moon. But it still might be right.

    Quote from DeFish »
    I rearranged my manabase to have 2 red sources and 1 blue after running into the same issues you outlined. I find myself wanting to cast multiple red spells more often than multiple blue spells in most matchups right now, and I'm not currently playing Snapcaster. That also prompted me to run Terminate over Dismember, which is less mana efficient but a little safer against Humans and Hollow One. I think the argument could also be made to swap the basic forest for a Stomping Ground, with Field of Ruin at a relative low point right now.

    For those of you running Fulminator Mage right now, do you expect to swap him for Damping Sphere after Dominaria releases?

    I've really been digging Manamorphose, but felt like I still wasn't drawing threats often enough. Adding a single Grim Flayer has helped that, but have the rest of you not felt like you've had this issue?

    Damping Sphere also hurts us a fair bit --- we generate gobs of tempo by casting multiple spells per turn. Maybe it's still good and we should probably test it, by my knee jerk reaction is 'no'.

    I've had a single Flayer in place of the 4th IoK before, but my preference is to stick with 8 threats + 4 traverse just because there isn't much room for interaction after that. Also, it's mostly fine to not find your threat until turn 3, but you really want the discard spells to start on turn 1, so in that sense the pile of cantrips does a better job of finding threats on time than they do interaction. I'm not sure what else you could cut instead of an IoK either - cutting a removal spell or TBR can't be right given what the top tables look like, so that leaves us with a Stub. I could see it, but I'm skeptical.

    Alternatively, if you aren't aggressively mulliganing hands that are unlikely to make a threat in the first few turns of the game, that might solve some of the problem.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from DeFish »
    I've been leaning towards playing 5 colors again, largely on the back of how well positioned Lingering Souls is right now. It's a solid card against Humans and Hollow One, while also being good against decks running a lot of single-target removal to try to beat them. I think that it was worse when the other midrange decks were also running Lingering Souls (Abzan, in particular), but it's still a card that Jund struggles with and it allows you to attack into Humans and Hollow One without being afraid of dying on the back swing. Hype_rion, your list is very close to what I've been eyeing up for 5 colors, with one notable exception.

    I do not like Liliana of the Veil in the main board of this deck. Because we run so few lands and no way to draw additional cards, I've often found her to just be awkward. You don't want to slam her against control decks because you'll often be discarding spells while they discard lands, she's not good against the go-wide creature decks, and tapping out for her on turn 3 against something like Storm can be a big risk. I think she's a generally fine grindy sideboard option if you don't want to splash for Lingering Souls, but I think that she lines up poorly against the other midrange decks right now. She's hard to defend (and just not good) against Mardu Pyromancer, and with Jund playing BBE and Treetop Village, in addition to more copies of Lightning Bolt, I think she's hard to keep alive in that matchup unless you hold cards in hand.

    I pretty much agree about LotV. I liked her a lot better when the midrange decks we were fighting were mostly other Shadow decks.

    Quote from Hype_rion »
    I played a lot against Humans recently and I started not boarding in Souls against them because all they do is buying you time. The long game Humans will always end up winning against Shadow because of their persistant flood of threats. MVP against Humans are removal and TBR, and from the board any kind of sweeper alongside Abrade or Bolt.
    I learned it when playing Jund that discard is not bad against Humans postboard (especially IOK), therefore I would always leave in discard against them. I don't like Lilianas against Humans because new Lili doesn't kill their threats while old Lili only gets the worst of many threats in most cases.

    Agree completely.

    Right now, against basically all of the control decks and many of the midrange decks, I would rather Stub + TBR them than try to grind. We can't play a long game against most control decks because they'll either bolt us out or Field of Ruin / Ghost Quarter / Tec Edge us to pieces, or sometimes Bolt + Blood Moon. But we can punch a hole in their hand with discard to stick + protect a threat with Stub/Delay, and close faster with TBR (though I often shave 1 postboard). Against Mardu Pyromancer, LotV is bad, and boarding into Souls is just doing what they're doing but worse, and in the long game they have Blood Moon. I'd rather get under them, use Spellbomb to keep them off Bedlam Reveler, and use TBR to beat the chump blockers. The other main midrange deck of the format is Jund, and unfortunately, getting under them doesn't work. To beat Jund, specifically, we need Lingering Souls, and there Liliana does a lot of work. But that's the only major archetype where I want either of those cards, so it just doesn't seem worth it to me.

    If you think Grixis Shadow is becoming more of a player, that's another point in LotV + Souls favor, and LotV is also good against the Bogles menace, but I'm still pretty skeptical. It's so much easier to pick up percentage points in other matchups, in particular against Humans and Hollow one with cheap, targeted removal, and against big mana decks with a couple of ways to interact with lands, that I have trouble committing so many MD/SB slots to 1-2.5 decks that are barely in the top 10 of the format. Maybe there's a way to make Souls work as a reasonable SB card in some of the aggro matchups, but it's not good against Humans and seems only OK against Hollow One, which are pretty big strikes against it.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Hype_rion »

    Not playing Liliana and an additional threat like Flayer or Snap hurts the deck especially in attrition-based matchups.

    Manamorphose makes the deck effectively 48 cards instead of 52 cards, and makes the Traverses more consistent. If anything, the threat density feels higher than in previous builds without Manamorphose and with 1-2 extra threats (I had 2 Grim Flayer in those builds).

    You don't have to concede to midrange decks if you don't want to. Liliana is still good, and Lingering Souls out of the SB is still great. You could cut the blue MD for LotVs, and stick the Lingering Souls in the SB and be pretty good against most midrange decks. I just don't think that's the best way to be positioned right now. But if you disagree, feel free to experiment! This is still a 4-5 color deck with access to most of the best cards in the format. Build the deck to beat the metagame you want to beat. Playing Manamorphose doesn't stop you from doing that - if anything, it helps, since it fixes the mana and makes the plan A that much better.
    Posted in: Midrange
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