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  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Jund_Em_In »
    Quote from Spooly »
    I'm back to writing about Death's Shadow again for Dead on Board. Reddit link to the article: https://www.reddit.com/r/ModernMagic/comments/9wtvdn/deaths_shadow_has_a_pest_control_problem/

    I basically expanded on one or two of my comments in this thread Smile


    Hi spooly, i read your article and reddit post. It all comes off a bit grim regarding the deck. Do you think its time to give up on the deck for the time being?


    Only if all you care about is winning. But if you don't want to drop the $$ for a different deck, or just like playing it, it's still one of the infinitely many tier 2ish decks in modern.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I'm back to writing about Death's Shadow again for Dead on Board. Reddit link to the article: https://www.reddit.com/r/ModernMagic/comments/9wtvdn/deaths_shadow_has_a_pest_control_problem/

    I basically expanded on one or two of my comments in this thread Smile
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from lugger »
    I like cards like Gut Shot (kills dorks and smaller idiots) -- although my list are closer to OG DS Zoo lists.

    Something dumb like a Pyroclasm or Kozilek's Return (kills etched champ too) are reasonable cards.

    Rending Volley is a card if you want to get super narrow but it has cross-applicability in that it hits almost all of humans too.


    I think Pyroclasm and Kozilek's Return are just worse than other sweepers right now. You really need to deal 3 damage to clear things like Mantis Rider, creatures with Thalia's Lietenant counters on them, or double Drokskol Captain. Radiant Flames, or Anger if you can support the RR, are superior IMO.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    So, what should these lists be looking like?
    Quote from Spooly »
    Humans and Spirits are definitely easier to gain percentage points against than BGx, but it's still pretty rough. I think Reflector Mage is probably the single most annoying card in this respect, but the whole package (of both decks) contains lots of annoying elements. But these matchups are still the best place to look to try to bust Shadow wide open, IMO. It probably involves keeping Ghor-Clan Rampager around.

    What is best to bring in against Humans and Spirits?


    That's the $1,000,000 question. Against humans, red removal helps (Lightning Bolt, Radiant Flames, Grim Lavamancer), but isn't a cure-all. And you still have to find a way to beat Auriok Champion. Languish is interesting in that respect, but 4 mana is a million. The right play may be to bring in protection for Reflector Mage (Apostle' Blessing, Mizzium Skins, etc), and increase the chance of cheesing them out. When it comes to spirits, I'm even less sure because I haven't tried building my SB specifically with them in mind. I don't know what the answer is. I just know the right question to ask.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Humans and Spirits are definitely easier to gain percentage points against than BGx, but it's still pretty rough. I think Reflector Mage is probably the single most annoying card in this respect, but the whole package (of both decks) contains lots of annoying elements. But these matchups are still the best place to look to try to bust Shadow wide open, IMO. It probably involves keeping Ghor-Clan Rampager around.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    Looking at where MTGO is heading, Shadow's matchups look well if you can position it towards aggro and combo and accept that UW is just god awful.

    I don't know, based of the trajectory I think it's actually about to look up for Shadow, depending on if the GY hate isn't absolutely absurd.

    And yeah, outside of UW it's looking pretty hard for a fair deck to be tier 1 right now. UW is too mentally fatiguing and seems to brush up too close to matches going to time for me to pick it up and become good with it.


    Honestly, of the fair decks (UW, UWR, Jund, Abzan, BG, Mardu), UW is probably the best matchup for us. We can rip their hand apart early and kill them before they draw out of it, and supplement with a timely counterspell. Not so much in the other matchups. Not that UW is a _good_ matchup, but less bad.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Spsiegel1987 »
    So are you basically saying 4c is bad right now and grixis shadow should he played at the moment?


    I don't think Grixis is any better. The fundamental analysis above changes little - Grixis is a little better at dealing with grindy decks because of snapcaster, but it is a little worse at presenting a fast clock against big mana because of the setup cost for Angler and Snapcaster isn't a threat. They're both tier 2ish. They're both in a better spot right now than they were a couple weeks ago anyway.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Jund Shadow naturally preys on the spell based combo decks and most graveyard decks. What it's missing is another set of good matchups without sacrificing too much elsewhere. You can divide the rest of the format into 1) grindy matchups (BGx, UWx, and Mardu), 2) big mana (Tron, Valakut, Amulet), and 3) non-gy aggro, (Humans, Spirits, Burn). The big problem is that it's hard to gain % points in one place without sacrificing a lot in another, either because you need a lot of deck/sb slots, or because the few slots you do use end up being terrible in other matchups.

    For example, Lingering Souls is the single best SB card to bring in against Jund and maybe BGx generally, but it takes a major commitment to SB slots, and Souls doesn't really do much in any other matchup. A heavy commitment to countermagic in the 75 helps turn the big mana matchups a lot, especially with e.g. Delay or Disdainful Stroke in the SB, and some light mana denial to complement (Trophy and maybe a Fulminator Mage to Traverse for). But, again, it requires a lot of SB slots, and every piece of countermagic you have MD is yet another dead card against Humans. To beat the aggro decks, you can again spend a ton of SB slots, but it's really hard to get a good Humans or Spirits matchup. Luckily Burn isn't so hard: just play countermagic. But the Vial/Cavern tribal aggro decks make Stubborn Denial look really bad, and Reflector Mage + fliers is difficult to beat no matter how we construct our deck.

    Realistically, I don't think we can expect to beat the grindier decks. They go just over the top of us, and will naturally be advantage. We can beat the big mana decks if we try really hard, or settle for a 50/50ish matchup and be ok with it (i.e. with a bit of countermagic in the 75 but not a ton). The problem is the aggro decks. Theoretically, we should be able to beat up on aggro decks by taking advantage of our creature sizing, Stub to protect our threats, and TBR to close. And this happens in a lot of aggro matchups honestly: e.g. Hollow One feels pretty easy. But Humans and Spirits happen to be very resilient to that plan because we can't Stub Reflector Mage (or much of anything), fliers ignore our blockers, and they can get very wide very quickly to take advantage of our low life total.

    So what do we need? I'd say some way to gain major ground against Humans and/or Spirits. Or somehow removing them from the metagame, but without super grindy decks taking their place. For a hot minute we had that when Dredge was taking over the matagame, but that didn't last. Plus the resulting increase in GY hate in everyone's SBs was also bad for us.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from Spooly »
    But the best nonwhite grindy option is Hazoret, though it's weak to path.

    So how many copies are generally run in he SB? Just one?


    1 or 2. But I'd say 1 these days, unless you play against a whole lot of BGx. It's not the best against Mardu either since they go so wide.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from FuneralofGod »
    Neither is a great option against Scapeshift though so I guess it's probably too narrow, as you said.

    I've only played one match against Amulet Titan (that I recall) and it really took me by surprise game 1. I was surprised how few main deck answers I had for it. But in retrospect, any deck that virtually doesn't interact at all for the first 3-4 turns should be easy for us with TBR.


    I think the big mana decks are tougher than that, whether Valakut, Tron, or Amulet. We aren't consistently fast enough to flat out race them, even if we get a bit of disruption in there with discard spells. Light permission (a couple Stubs) helps, but isn't enough to turn the matchup. You can't Stub Primeval Titan, or Wurmcoil Engine, and both of those typically are game over. You can stub the setup spells sometimes, but not always (natty tron, creature enablers, or they pre-emptively get their ramp / amulet going). A bit of mana denial on top helps too, but isn't always good enough. Assassin's Trophy is basically irrelevant against Valakut, and typically just slows down Tron and Amulet a bit. Fulminator is better, but still pretty weak against Valakut, and pretty slow. Though if you're surgicalling, LD effects get better. Combined with a few stubs the LD probably makes the matchups about 50/50, give or take depending on what they have for us. To push it into slightly favorable territory, you can either go hard on surgical + LD, or hard on countermagic (Delay, Disdainful Stroke, even Mana Leak if you want a MD card). Or both, but then we're talking a lot of MD + SB slots, so that's hard to justify.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Quote from FuneralofGod »

    @Spooly - I expect you're slam-dunking on the Arclight decks as well as lanternless whir decks? Personally I'm really excited for the meta to shift away from UW and Jund because those are the only consistently impossible match-ups for us. I finally got a new laptop so I'll be able to start grinding out MTGO reps again, and checking out the shifting meta game


    I've been beating up on the Arclight decks, yeah. The dredge decks disappeared and Arclight took its place (at least in my leagues), but I'm crushing either way for the most part. The Whir matchup has been more even. I've also been doing pretty well against UW too, just ripping their hand apart, dumping all my threats, and forcing them to find more Terminus than I have counterspells. It hasn't been good, but it hasn't been bad either.

    Quote from Jund_Em_In »
    @Spooly and @whocansay

    Im currently trying to cut white out of my side board in order to have better mana and open up sb spaces. However i dont want to lose the grindy aspect lingering souls can offer. Apart from hazoret is there any other options to make the grindy matchups better? Im considering maybe a pair of young pyromancers and a kcommand or two. Any thoughts?


    Nothing really can replace Lingering Souls, but I don't think it's worth it anyway. It's only OK against the control decks, which have lots of wraths, and isn't that good against Mardu, who have way more token generators than we do. It is pretty great against BGx decks specifically though. But it's so hard to gain percentage points in grindy matchups and so much easier to gain percentage points in other matchups. If there's that much grindy stuff running around, the best thing to do is switch to a different deck, honestly. It's too hard to improve those matchups.

    But the best nonwhite grindy option is Hazoret, though it's weak to path. As far as the other options: P&K is decent if you can make RR work (probably not worth it), Bedlam Reveler seems like it would be better, but it's actually a bit tough for us to enable even with 4 Manamorphose, Bloodbraid Elf is decent but sometimes it finds you trash (non-delirium Traverse, Bauble, Thoughtseize when you're at a super low life total), K Command is a nice 2 for 1... but not against decks which don't put your creatures in your GY (UWx), planeswalkers can be great but are highly matchup dependent, and so on. I'm inclined to just have 1-2 Hazoret, and try to kill them fast, but really just hope to dodge.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    The decision to play 0 Ghor-Clan in that list is for a couple reasons. First, it's minimizing red mana, so fewer red spells makes that easier. Second, it's still a 4 color list in more matchups, which means the mana is more fragile, which makes Manamorphose more attractive, which means you need to find space. And third, the countermagic makes you better at winning longer games since you can better answer arbitrary things, which makes the appeal of Ghor-Clan smaller.

    That said, I could certainly still see finding room for Ghor-Clan, because it's that good in some matchups. But I don't think it's necessary for dredge in this shell. The countermagic does a lot to prevent them from closing. Though obviously Ghor-Clan would improve the deck's win percentage against dredge. Where it would really shine is vs. Humans and Spirits, but that's just not the alternate reality I'm living in Grin . Maybe it's a SB card.

    Interestingly, dredge seems to have dropped off the map on MTGO. I've played against it 0 times in my last 3-4 leagues (over the last 4ish days). But I'm running into a ton of R(U) Arclight Phoenix decks, and a decent amount of Grixis Whir, where the countermagic is great and Ghor-Clan is mopey. It could easily just be random noise though.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I've been toying around with an alternate reality list lately that is pretty fun. But beware, I don't think it's actually good. It might be good in the alternate reality where Cavern of Souls doesn't exist (or isn't widely played), but that isn't our reality.



    You could easily shave an IOK for another removal spell or a Grim Flayer, I think. Or play with the SB slots. But this is the sort of Shadow shell I *want* to be good. Because Mana Leak feels GREAT here. Just absolutely incredible. It's such a great catch all. But then you get paired against Humans or Spirits and die. Not a tenable position to be in, unless you just REALLY want to beat the big mana decks. But boy do you crush randomness.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I don't think Maelstrom Pulse is worth it since Assassin's Trophy has been printed. Radiant Flames is the best generic sweeper, Anger is better if you want to hit dredge/hollow one/bridgevine harder, but setting up for it is more painful, Kozilek's Return is better if you want to kill pro-red/black stuff (Etched Champion, Auriok Champion), but don't mind not killing the bigger humans/spirits, and Languish is better if you want to kill pro-red/black stuff and the bigger humans/spirits, but don't mind having to pay a million mana. IMO K Return doesn't kill enough in the current meta and Languish is just too expensive, so I can't see playing either. I like Radiant Flames the best, but I could see Anger instead, or a mix if you play 2+ - a mix is especially nice against Humans. Grim Lavamancer is also an insane traverse target against many of the decks you want a sweeper against.

    The best "grindy" card non-blue has access to is probably Hazoret. Yes, it just gets pathed against the control decks. But how likely were you to bring something back against them with K Command anyway? At least Hazoret is a major headache for any of the grindy decks not running path. Pia and Kiran Nalaar is, in theory, a great grindy card, but with so much incidental LD running around it's hard to assemble RR. Even if you play an extra red producing land.

    My current 75 on mtgo is this:



    The Bloodbraid is an experiment, and if I weren't cheap it would be a Liliana, the Last Hope.
    Posted in: Midrange
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