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  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    I haven't tried Karn in this shell, but my gut feeling is that he doesn't do enough for us. I'm willing to be proven wrong tho, and will add him to my "maybe" pile. Perhaps with some Treasure Maps for added artifacts to buff his tokens?

    I was unimpressed by little Vraska for the couple weeks I ran her, though others have had more success with her. I'd like her more in a recursion-based GBx (blue for Muldrotha is interesting) than in the "goodstuff" flavour it seems like most of us are gravitating toward.

    Of the two, I'd prolly lean to Karn > Vraska simply because as a turn 4 play, he actually does something with his +1, where Vraska has to set you back to get value from her +2.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    Gonna try slotting in some number of Adventurous Impulse. On the face of it, I think it's a solid turn 1 play (barring etb tapped of course) and isn't dead later on either. Dunno how much I'll be playing in the next week because life happens, but I'll report results as/when I have them.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    Gratz on that T2 finish!

    Going forward would you make any changes? Aside from CarnyT are there any other “all star” cards that you’d promote?

    Re: Arch of Orazca, I have found it immensely valuable. It drew me out of a couple massive land gluts against one of the red decks, and is an outstanding source of CA for the control matches. I don’t know that the 23 land/4 elf lists could get away with it, but for me on 25 it’s easy to find room for it.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    3-0-1 at FNM tonight with mostly the list I had from earlier in the week. Sideboard is kinda wonky because some requested cards weren't brought and I had to make do what was on-hand.
    Yeah, there are a couple cards missing from the board - I had the full 15 but don't remember what the last 2 were (so clearly I didn't use them!)

    Beat up on the bye and a pair of mono red decks (1 running Flame of Keld, the other on burn + Rekindling Phoenix, and apparently Experimental Frenzy but I only saw those post-match). Draw was vs Esper control, and this was where I really missed the Duresses that I'd planned on having in the board.

    Ripjaws were stupid good against the red decks (those and Wx are the reason I had them in my original list, and was actually glad that I "had" to run them tonight). Both matches were kinda uneventful. The FoK guy bricked hard in game 1 despite back to back FoKs, drawing only a Shock when I was at 5 (which he had to use on one of my dudes), and I valued him out in game 2 with a curve of Moment of Craving > dude > Contempt > Doomy > Carnage Tyrant. The other guy ran into mana issues in both games, and I was never really threatened. I will say that the maindeck Deathgorge was a beating. I cast it 4 times during the first game, eating a couple of Phoenixes along the way and keeping me at a very healthy life total.

    The Esper match was really well played, aside from game 1, which was just silly: I cast exactly two spells: AssTrophy on T3 on a Search, and Carny T on T6 which swung 3 times for the win. He took the second game with all the removal and eventually got there with Chromium. Game 3 ended in a draw and it honestly was a toss up as to who could have won it - when it ended he had Teferi on board at low loyalty and a reasonable handful of cards, while I played Doom Whisperer on my final turn with Carnage Tyrant in hand (because whatever).

    Takeaways really are that the sideboard hand disruption is definitely necessary for the control matches, and despite me taking it out earlier in the week I think the Ripjaws stay in. I didn't miss the Deadeye Trackers that I'd wanted as much as I thought, though there is still a case for them I think. More to brew of course but I'm feeling good about where my pile is going!
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    Quote from JaishivaJai »
    Can anyone else think of decent graveyard filling cards in the 1-4 cmc range? Please leave suggestions if you do. I'm going to start testing my more graveyard based build again.

    Searching for "graveyard" and "discard", limiting to 4cc and below (with one exception), yields this list:
    No comments on how good or bad they might be, but it's a smaller set to test from at least.
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    I've been on 3 Moment of Craving in my board for a bit, and I bring them in all the time. I'll have to try Fungal Infection to see how they do if U tempo really starts showing up in force (I faced 2 of them last week, so prolly?).

    Re:
    Also, should I be running harpooner at all?

    I'm up to the full 4 main in my test build right now. It's amazing against WW, U tempo and drakes/phoenix out of the box, and by the time decks start dropping Lyras and Doom Whisperers, it's almost always ready for them too. And even on an empty board, 3 power on turn 2 (with reach, which I keep forgetting about) is a solid rate.

    Still working on a decent sideboard plan for control. Currently I have 3 Duress and 1 each Plaguecrafter and Vraska, Relic Seeker. I take out a Cast Down, 3 Ravenous Chupacabra and a Doom Whisperer. Dropping DW may be incorrect but I don't want to lose my early pressure so that seems like the best option. (Feel free to tell me I'm totally off base there!)

    Based on feedback from this thread, here's my current build for reference:

    Sideboard is incomplete, still tuning there while I figure out how to do my swaps. My current thoughts on boarding:

    vs Red / Wx
    -2 Reaper, -1 Doom, -1 Journey
    +1 Demise, +3 Moment

    vs Drakes
    -4 Squire
    +2 Deadeye, +1 Plague, +1 Moment

    vs Jeskai
    -1 Cast, -3 Chupadoop, -1 Doom
    +3 Duress, +1 Plague, +1 Vraska

    vs mirror
    -4 Harpoon
    +2 Deadeye, +1 Vraska, +1 Duress

    Stuff I considered but don't know if it's good enough and/or I can make space when I'm boarding:
    • Adventurous Impulse
    • Twilight Prophet
    • Mausoleum Secrets
    • Wildgrowth Walker
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    So what do we do (if anything) about W/x Weenie? I know that the top 8 was not truly representative of the standard meta, but clearly those decks have something going for them. I'm really not a fan of trying to lower our curve to match them (won't happen anyway), and I don't know how I feel about running maindeck removal like Golden Demise / Ritual of Soot (mostly because when we need to play them -- early -- they crush us too).

    I'm already on a pair of Kraul Harpooners main, and I might bring that up to 3 or even 4. I'm also considering dumping Merfolk Branchwalker in favour of the full set of Seekers' Squire as a better blocker (that an explore'd Squire can also survive a Finality is gravy). I'm also considering making room for some Druid of the Cowl and make bigger 4-drops such as Ripjaw Raptor to clog the ground.

    That said, I'm sure doing all that would just wreck our other matchups. So I'm wondering, what maindeck changes (if any) are going to have the biggest bang in the weenie match while not costing us significant percentages elsewhere?
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    Hey, thanks for taking the time to comment. Really appreciate it.

    Find // Finality is a card I've not actually evaluated since plugging them into the deck. I'll put them on my watchlist as I do more testing. You're right, I do tend to use the front half much more often, and don't have a lot of early drops to really make the back half shine. Hmmm...

    A single Duress is interesting. My first iteration of this list featured 3 Kitesail Freebooters main as they filled a similar role, as my past experience with Rock lists (back in the days of the O.G. Rock) was that mainddeck discard was an essential tool. Again, hmmm...

    As far as the 1-ofs goes, yeah it's sketchy without reliable tutoring (I miss my Vampiric Tutors!). More testing is needed to tell me if I'm on the right track here or just got lucky with some of my draws. It almost feels like the graveyard-based Stitcher's Supplier etc. lists are the ones that have the better tutoring options, just in a slightly different form. I'm not convinced enough to switch my focus (yet), but I'll noodle around with it.

    On the Elves plan... I find it difficult to justify slots for a card that really only has an impact on T1/2, and is a progressively worse topdeck as the game goes on. I'd rather run cards that have value in more stages of the game. Willing to admit I'm wrong and/or undervaluing their potential, but my first list ran them and they just felt so bad.

    I definitely think I need to reevaluate my curve. Trying not to go overboard in light of this weekend's PT Top 8 (that's a ton and a half of weenies).
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GB/x Midrange
    1 part tourney report, 17 parts looking for feedback on this list...

    Just came back from a 3-0-1 finish at 17-person FNM. (Technically I went 4-0 but we split in advance as the only undefeated players going into the last round.) I beat Mono-U 2-1 and 2-0; Izzet Phoenix/Drakes 2-1; and Boros Angels (feat. blue) 2-1. Mana stumbles were prevalent on both sides quite often, so I can't say that I'm confident in taking my results at full face value.

    That out of the way, I'll post the list, some of my thoughts, and then let better players than I have a go at telling me where it can be improved.


    So yeah, there are a lot of 2- and 3-ofs. That's deliberate at this point as I'm trying to evaluate a lot of cards with not a lot of free time to do it. Plus, I've always favoured toolbox style decks (just wish I had some reliable tutoring!) The main feels really close to correct for my play style, but I know it can be improved.

    Cards I like:
    • The Harpooners are outstanding with the flyer-based decks out there (and they are an easy cut otherwise).
    • I'm really high on the Reapers for card advantage, and find Journey to be outstanding if it can get going.
    • Arch only got played once, but 3-4 extra cards there made a huge difference.
    • The singleton Deathgorge and Bronto are pretty random but I think they have justified places.

    Cards I don't like / have questions about:
    • I'm not on board with making room for Lawnmower Elves at all.
    • Should I make room for 1-2 more Folly? I prefer to limit my ETB tapped lands but maybe I'm overly cautious in only running 2 (plus a guildgate)?
    • Consistent explore guys vs. silver bullets?
    • Not totally sold on baby Vraska.

    As far as the board is concerned:
    • My big question marks are Izoni (for the mirror?) and the Raptors (against red).
    • Deadeyes look really sketchy (and prolly they are), but they single-handedly gave me the win against Izzet so for now they've earned a repeat appearance.
    • I considered some number of Wild Growth Walkers, but with only 8 explore guys main and the Trackers not being a board-in option for decks where I'd want WGW, I don't feel like they would be reliable enough.

    I've always done best with midrange (particularly The Rock flavour) decks, so I want to do what I can to make this work better. Thanks in advance for all advice!
    Posted in: Proven (Standard)
  • posted a message on GX(x) Midrange
    Those are interesting lists. I'm surprised by zero Knight of Malice in that Abzan list. But I could definitely see some good things coming from knights. That Bant list seems more accurately described as G(uw), considering the only blue cards are Climb and some sideboard Negates. I'd rather Sultai my Climb for max Constrictor value but that's just me.

    As far as my list goes, you're absolutely correct about Groves being better for the duals. I'll give them a shot and run checks instead of fastlands where I can. The early game speed is of most concern to me so I'll be keeping a close eye on how that plays out with an altered mana base.

    I also discovered that Ajani really wasn't necessary. I've tended to win games on the back of Constrictor synergy alone. Can't cut the white completely tho; Shalai is just too good, and I like having access to white answers in the board. I ran it last Friday to a 3-1 finish, with a loss to Mardu and wins against 2 R/b and Jeskai Turns. Journey to Eternity is an outstanding singleton, especially against red once you stabilize, and I encourage others to give it a shot.
    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on GX(x) Midrange
    Ajani with snek is kinda fun. Dunno how actually good it is mind you...

    I've been working on a list on and off for a bit. Right off the hop you'll notice the glaring lack of Glint-Sleeves and Hubs, which is due to one collection fueling multiple decks. I've no way around it unless someone else decides to scrap their list and I can steal GSS back. Anyhoo, feel free to take this as a starting point of sorts and make it better!


    Posted in: Established (Standard)
  • posted a message on 4C Bolas Deserts Ramp
    Vraska and Banefire both seem like solid options. (Torment would be excellent but as you say the mana base doesn't support it well enough.) I wouldn't cut Nissa tho. Better option IMO would be removing the Brontos and Azcanta for a 2/1 split going either way. You could possibly swap a FWF for Banefire too.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Sagageddon!
    So I haven't been here in a while, but seeing recent activity I'm compelled to weigh in...

    Scriptures is, bar none, the best way to enable a clean one-sided Armageddon while also taking off pressure, which is one of the major draws of taking this build in a more control-y direction. (It's where I started very early on in this thread, after all...) I think Remorseful Cleric is a reasonable backup to that plan, but I wouldn't play Cleric on its own in hopes that I'll get the graveyard wipe before it dies to everything that sneezes in its direction.

    That said, if you aren't looking for and/or don't value the graveyard flush, and intend to win with on-board presence before each player can rebuild, I would push far more strongly for targeted removal and a lot more dudes.

    I still don't know (yet) that there is a "best" direction to go. I do know that building errors (my own very much included) come from not having a plan and/or not following the plan. Control wants boardwipes and mass removal with Fall+Scrip as the turning point. Aggro wants overwhelming pressure with Fall as the nail in the coffin play. They don't mix and match well at all.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on (Barely) Esper Midrange
    Thanks for your feedback! You're about right in your assessment of the deck's personality, tho in practice I've found it tends more to aggro-midrange on the back of a slightly higher number of Knight+History draws. I have won my share of games off the walkers (to nobody's surprise, the longer grindy ones), but it's turning guys sideways and managing board presence that gets me there most of the time.

    So far the mana has been acceptable - I count 18W, 16B, 8U (as opposed to the deck you linked which shows 17W, 16B, 13U with one more land). I built this off a WB list I found elsewhere that had made T64 at a recent event, and I kept the W and B source numbers the same while adding the extra blue for my tweaks.

    I'm deliberately much lighter on blue sources because I have no expectations of needing it early, and except on very rare occasions I only need to see 1 at any given time. I would like to make room for one more, I'll admit, but at the same time I'm trying to limit my ETB tapped lands so I have a reliably playable early curve.

    As far as your card choice concerns go, so far I've been happy with the WBs. They're an extra piece of removal and a mana sink in the late game when I'm more likely to be on the walker plan. As for the random Gideon, he's been fine when I draw him, tho I don't necessarily miss him when I don't. More testing vs M19 lists will tell me if he still deserves a spot or not.

    Once I get more reps in and see how much things have changed, if at all, I'll post more concrete data. For now I'm just looking for viability suggestions. I will definitely be filing away your advice on blue sources and give more consideration to the Gideon slot. Thanks again!
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on (Barely) Esper Midrange
    I started working on this build a couple weeks ago, and with a couple good FNMs & some positive testing I think it's got legs going into post-M19 Standard.

    Right now the maindeck's weakest Game 1 is vs control, but I've got a solid sideboard plan where I get to take out dead removal for more interaction which makes those games better. Looking for critique and suggestions for improvement. Particularly M19 additions - My first look through the spoiler yielded only a few cards that feel good enough to maybe play. Not saying what cause I don't want to influence ideas!
    Posted in: Standard Archives
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