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  • posted a message on Updating Breya to have a 50/50 match-up with an existing deck
    I have purchased the Breya package as my second Commander deck, and am looking for advice on how to update it. I am willing to spend money on upgrades, but would prefer not to break the bank. The tricky part is that I want to use my decks to introduce others to the format, in addition to playing them myself. This means Breya should aim to have as close to a 50/50 match-up with my current deck (Teneb) as possible. My Teneb list can be found here:

    My rough goals for Breya are:
    * The two main themes are value recursion and infinite combos
    * Fine to play in 4-player games, but also fine dueling with my Teneb deck
    * Can grind out wins in the late game with value recursion
    * Able to combo-kill quickly but not streamlined solely to do this every game

    My preliminary ideas are to cut:

    I am leaning towards adding:

    I am also considering:

    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Standard Abzan Company
    Display of Dominance looks like a great idea! I'd love to find room in the board for one copy. Killing Liliana for one mana less than she costs sounds like something I'd like to do, and it can protect a creature from Ruinous Path or something in a pinch.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Standard Abzan Company
    Between Tracker and Bishop the deck can draw a lot of cards and while BB on turn three is unlikely it's easy to achieve by turn six. I am fine with that because Emrakul typically does not get played until turn seven. When I go up to 26 lands I will definitely add at least one more Shambling Vent, which should only make BB easier to achieve. Shambling Vent was just so much better than Lumbering Falls that I would play 4 if I could. Might slow down the deck too much though.

    Some other things I noted:
    * I was wrong about Sifter being mediocre. I wouldn't say it's as good as the Reflector Mage it replaced from Bant but it allows plays like turn three Sifter into turn four Tracker then play a land to get a clue. If you have no more lands in hand you can block with the token then sac for a mana combined with the land you played to crack the clue. This gives you the top three cards of your deck to find a fifth land if you count the scry. Actually the scry is just really good in general for a deck like this with so many lands. It helps you find mana when you need it or put lands on the bottom when you need gas. When you only draw three lands you can still CoCo on turn 4 with mana from the token. Sometimes opponents forget this and you blow them out.

    * Bygone Bishop was the replacement for Spell Queller. On game one it's quite a bit worse than Queller, but at least gives you some way to block 2/1 flyers. If the game goes long it can be incredible. Combined with Tracker it basically turns all of your lands and creatures into cantrips. You end up drawing 2-3 cards every turn going long. On sideboarded games I feel fine siding out Collected Company against decks with Mindbender (it's the only 4-cost or higher card), Dispel or Hallowed Moonlight because I know the Investigation engine will give me the card advantage I need. It's slow and mana hungry, but sideboarded games tend to go longer anyway because both players streamline their removal/discard/counters.

    * Ulvenwald Mysteries was a card I had in the board even when I was running Bant. I just really like it. It's basically an enchantment that reads "whenever a non-token creature you control dies, you draw an Elvish Visionary". In many cases the tokens can make a mediocre board with 2 creatures into one where the opponent has to play his sweeper.

    * Reviewing my notes, I realized that I had trouble killing planeswalkers. My Jund opponent had Liliana in play for a long time and she really prevented me from alpha-striking. Makes me want to run Anguished Unmaking.

    * Dromoka's Command is a lot worse nowadays. So many midrange creatures like Ishkanah, Mindbender or Deep Fiend can't be fought by my guys. It's still great against aggro and Bant.

    * I got rid of Avacyn because she couldn't attack through Ishkanah and I watched a lot of games where Delirium players would use her to sweep the boards of Bant players then kill the flipped version with Ultimate Price. There's also a lot more Languish and Grasp floating around nowadays. Maybe Dragonlord Dromoka can be my replacement for Avacyn. It attacks through Ishkanah and survives Grasp, Price and Languish. It also gains life which can help me with life loss from Anguished Unmaking. Forcing the opponent to play at sorcery speed is great. It's worse against Reflector Mage though.

    A speculative update might look like this:
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Standard Abzan Company
    So I tried this deck out at FNM last night and did OK. At the last minute I cut the Nissa and a Displacer for two Thalias. I tied for first, beating White Weenie and Temur Emerge then getting an unintentional draw with Jund Delirium.

    Round 1: White Weenie is fast out of the gates but Catacomb Sifter is really well-positioned against it because the 1/1 token trades for their 2/1 attackers. They basically have to play Always Watching before attacking, and hope I don't have Dromoka's Command. In game 1 I play out a Pacifist into two Sifters and those hold the ground until my investigation engine buries my opponent in card advantage. In game 2 I only have Recruiter into Sifter. The other guy had a nice curve of small guys into Always Watching but my Dromoka's Command made one of his attacking turns really bad for him and he never recovered.

    Overall I thought the deck did fine. It wasn't any worse than the Bant Company I used to play that I could see, and in many cases it was much better. One thing though is that Thalia really under-performed and Displacer over-performed. I also never had a problem with flooding but frequently wanted to draw more land. I might go to two Displacers and put in a 26th land. I might also go with a fatty instead of the displacers. Or maybe a utility card like Anguished Unmaking.

    Round 2: Game 1 against Temur Emerge I get a good draw and end up with two Trackers out of reach for his Kozilek's return very quickly. In game 2 I Transgress his Kozilek's Return, Obliterate his Elder Deep Fiends, then kill him before he can Emrakul.

    Round 3: Game 1 against Jund Delirium I get an aggressive draw with a Pacifist that flips right away (he had no turn two play) and good follow-ups. He's forced to play out a Mindwrack Demon without Delirium at 8 life to stay alive. It deals 4 to him and I alpha strike next turn for the win. Game 2 I mulligan into a 2-lander and don't draw a third land until turn six or so. I die to Pilgrim's Eye and Mindbender beats. Game 3 I play out a few creatures followed by an Ulvenwald Mysteries. He ramps and plays Mindbender, rebuying a Kozilek's return to clear my board. Basically the game goes long because I never run out of resources from investigating, but he boarded in a lot of sweepers. The game ended on turns with both of us at low life, me with 4 cards in hand and trying to amass enough creatures to alpha strike. My opponent was hellbent but had two Mindbenders in play and a Liliana floating around 3-5 counters. His Emrakul and Ishkanah had already been Obliterated. Honestly anyone could have still won that game.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Standard Abzan Company
    I actually am looking to increase my black sources, but while I am happy to play Infinite Obliteration by turn 5 or 6 I really would want to play Drana by turn three if I played her. The deck would really need to be reworked to support Drana. She's very strong though so it might be worthwhile.

    I could run Avacyn and/or Gideon. I used to have them in Bant, but they could wreck me whenever I get hit with Emrakul. I guess the strategy should be to dodge Emrakul via Transgress and Oblit, but if possible I would like to avoid things like Husk, Avacyn or Planeswalkers that could backfire in an Emrakul turn. It's also the reason I don't run Ayli.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Standard Abzan Company
    For the past couple of months I have been running Bant Company, but recently my local meta has gotten a lot of Emrakul/Emerge decks which made it a lot less favorable to the cards Reflector Mage and Negate. Since those two cards were really the only reason I was running blue, I decided to try and brew up an Abzan version to upgrade my man-land to Shambling Vent and access Infinite Obliteration in the board. Here is what I have so far:

    Mainly I am wondering if there is a better option than Catacomb Sifter (the token is the only thing Liliana can kill in the deck), or if Displacer is still worth it without Reflector Mage. If I cut the Displacers I could maybe run two Thalia instead and the Wastes could just be a third Shambling Vent. Displacer still messes with Spell Queller though, and displacing Sifter is not the worst. Also I am wondering if Pitiless Horde is good against Emrakul/Emerge. It was a great card against Ramp before but it's vulnerable to getting tapped by Elder Deep Fiend. Stasis Snare could be Anguished Unmaking but Snare kills Emrakul and can't remove your own guys if you do get Emrakuled.

    If there are any additional ideas I would love to hear them.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Bant Company
    Wow, you're right! Displacer is looking more and more like a powerful option in this meta.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Bant Company
    The interaction between Queller and displacement is as follows:
    * You play a spell, and your opponent exiles it with Queller
    * You blink the opponent's Queller
    * After the blink, two abilities must be put on the stack ("exile a spell" and "cast without paying")
    * "Cast without paying" goes on the stack without issues, but "Exile a spell" cannot be put onto the stack because it has no spell to target
    * At the end of it all the opponent has a tapped Queller and you can play your spell for free

    If you have a Queller that has countered an opponent's spell, and then the opponent plays another spell that you want to counter, you can blink your own Queller. You exile their new spell in exchange for letting the opponent play the previously exiled spell for free. This can be great value if, for example, the previous spell was a Negate and has nothing to target anymore.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Primer] Bant Company
    Quote from KLT »
    I find it very curious that most have turned away from the Eldrazi Displacer builds. Not sure if that's just the thrill of trying new stuff from EMN and freeing slots for it or if the meta is not suitable for flicker shenanigans.

    I think that the meta should, if anything, be more susceptible to Displacer. One activation negates Spell Queller's ability, and can change the target of your own Spell Quellers in a pinch.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Anyone else find this Standard incredibly boring?
    I play in Tokyo. The store I go to used to get 16-30 people for Standard during INN/RAV. Then it started to get 8-12 people for RAV/THS. Things improved to about 12-16 people in THS/KTK until KTK/BFZ. Since SOI released we had one week of 16 players followed by steady 2-4 players only. We just play casuals because FNM never fires anymore.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on U/W Eldrazi
    I have been working on a list with basically the same idea. I went with Whirler Rogue over Thoughtnot though. Here's what I have so far:

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Wu Midrange
    Eldrazi Displacer is one of my favorite cards from OGW. This is a deck that tries to exploit it in a grindy midrange shell.

    DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Thraben Inspector
    4 Stratus Dancer (Other options include Anafenza and Knight of the White Orchid)
    4 Eldrazi Displacer
    4 Reflector Mage
    4 Silumgar Sorcerer (maybe Eldrazi Skyspawner is better?)
    4 Whirler Rogue
    4 Silk Wrap
    4 Angelic Purge
    4 Thopter Spy Network (do we have enough artifacts to enable this?)
    4 Port Town
    4 Prairie Stream
    2 Evolving Wilds
    2 Warped Landscape
    4 Foundry of the Consuls
    6 Plains
    2 Island

    Basically the idea is to use different strategies depending on the opponent:
    1. Against aggro we want to stall with early blockers and bounce until Displacer or Spy Network come online
    2. Against control we want to use our early creatures to force them to tap out for sweepers so we can play out resilient threats like Thopter Spy Network
    3. Against midrange we want to get some flying attackers into play and chip away at the opponent while we counter, bounce or remove their key threats

    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Current Modern Banlist Discussion (9/28/2015 update - No changes!)
    Modern just shifted from a format I like to a format I love.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on PT Milwaukee -- Battle for Zendikar -- 10/16-18
    If you want the tech so badly, figure it out yourself and stop relying on the pro-tour to dictate how you play magic. If you don't like the metagame, build something that beats the metagame.

    I think you missed the point of his post entirely. Those are not the words of someone relying on pros for tech. Those are the words of someone who was saying there is no tech to be found, and then being responded to by others to wait for the pros to prove him wrong. Now he feels vindicated because the PT meta was pretty much the same as the SCG Open meta.

    Quote from ActionJunkie »
    I do agree many of the Pros got lazy this PT from most of the interviews but we'll just have to see what shakes out tomorrow.

    While it's possible that multiple pro teams simultaneously dropped the ball at the same time, I think it's more likely that they worked as hard as they ever did and just didn't find anything.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Responding to Polukranos
    I see, that clarifies things. I didn't realize that the damage from Polukranos worked differently from other "Fight" mechanics.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
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