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Treasure Cruisin' Gifts Storm
The Role of Ecosystems in Fantasy Worldbuilding
Life's Legacy: Delving into Delver
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Thanks for the feedback! I played a few matches using the last updated list, shifting Frost Titan out to the SB for Oblivion Sower. It was fun, with an on-cast effect even if it didn't make it to the board or got removed quickly. It gives an interesting advantage in that if we leave up at least 1 blue mana up, it potentially gives us extra lands to cast responses with. Whether that's worth it over doing something else is questionable. That's the same spot that another large threat (Kozilek? Gearhulk?) would occupy, and I think I'm starting to get convinced to try Walking Ballista in that spot.

    Quote from JaceToTheFace »
    Spatials are still bad. Don't listen to the people telling you to run them over Dismember. Maybe as a 5th removal spell in the SB, but even then there are probably better cards. If you do decide on Spatials, you probably want 2x Yavimaya Coast because you will get into situations without colorless mana fairly often. Any reason for Verdant Catacomb over Misty? Noxious Revival is also a thing for these Gifts decks.

    I'll address the Dismember vs Spatial below. Catacombs over Misty for pure economical reasons: I got them for Living End before I had UG Tron, and when I was building this Mistys were ~70 and if I was grabbing Breeding Pool most of the time anyway, I went with what I had.

    Noxious Revival is an interesting thought - even outside of Gifts, it can emergency-save something in the grave from exile. What would you cut?

    Quote from mtgnorin »
    Grixis and eldrazi are everywhere and its 1 mana only. Dismember over spatial

    Of the maybe 5 matches I played with the updated list, the one I lost to was WB Gideons. Contortion doesn't kill Gideon of the Trials. Dismember does.

    As an aside, I've also been thinking of dropping 1 or both fetches for more Islands for less painful mana, and for more Solemn targets.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Thanks for answering, guys!

    Quote from TKOS7 »
    Mainboard looks ok. Even with UG I would never cut the fourth Thirst. It's a borderline broken magic card in our deck.

    Dismember mainbard should probably be Spatials, but each to their own.

    Spatials weren't a thing the last time the deck saw the light of day, so I can get behind it.
    -2 Dismember
    +2 Spatial Contortion

    Sideboard has some odd choices - Artisan probably isn't worth 9 mana in Modern. If you want to play a big Eldrazi threat I highly recommend new Kozilek. He's the fun-of in my deck and I've never lost after tapping out for him. He refills your hand and suddenly everything is a force of will.

    Correct! Some of the really weird choices like Jin and Artisan I can probably get rid of - they're from a time when I was paranoid about control, and Artisan actually did seal a few games by reanimating a countered Sundering Titan. Artisan was also once part of an end-game Gifts pile with other creatures, but became less and less useful as the deck changed. Can definitely see cutting him and Jin.
    Now I'm curious about your use of Kozilek. What other threats/finishers do you use?
    -2 SB (Jin, Artisan)

    Solemn Simulacrum would probably be very useful here, as would whichever Talisman is UG. You're essentially a 3 colour deck and you need more mana fixing I would say. Especially if you want to play UU spells like Frosty and Jin.

    Can definitely get behind the Solemn, and it was one of the thoughts I had walking away from the tourney. I definitely want to fit one in.
    There is no U/G Talisman as far as I know, but I wonder if Simic Signet will do the trick as a 2-mana accelerant? Can't tap on turn 2, but if that's a problem, then Mind Stone can step in.

    Hi there,

    I'm long time reader but almost never reply to the post. I have build UG and is great but i could not find the "balance" because the U list is pretty tight.

    We have the following good G stuff to consider:

    Sylvan Scrying
    Ancient Stirrings
    World Breaker

    The problem is what to replace? Sylvan Scrying/Ancient Stirrings are cards to add consistency and make sure we can get tron asap, but for they to be functioning at full potential you will need to have more G sources and there are 2 approaches to this problem: 1 Get more "dual" lands like Yavimaya Coast or run Chromatic Star/Chromatic Sphere. The problem is that doing so will dilute the "control" part of the deck and sooner or later you will realize that if you are going for fast tron then GR/GW/GB tron is better at doing so and they usually run Karn Liberated to take advantage of turn 3 tron.

    Correct. But U-based tron also doesn't rush to assemble Tron ASAP. In one of the early iterations of the deck, I did try out Ancient Stirrings, and was disappointed - it spends a colored source to try and grab something which may or may not be relevant and which may not find what is needed. Between the two, I think Sylvan Scrying is the stronger option as it at least allows to always grab the land that's needed, Tron or Academy Ruins or another color source.

    Re: other lands, I've tried Yavimaya Coasts before, and my problem with them is that taking basics out of the equation makes the deck softer to things like Blood Moon and Ghost Quarter, as well as making Paths "free" (which isn't MUCH of a downside given how few creatures this plays, but still). I wonder if the fetches would rather be Islands instead, since Life from the Loam is more of a combo piece than an engine here and I likely won't be spending turns looping fetches.

    Then you have World Breaker/Thragtusk that are game finishers, but they don't do nothing that Wurmcoil Engine/Sundering Titan don't.

    Agreed. I'm even skeptical of mainboard Thragtusk now, since its inclusion was originally a response to my old Affinity/Burn/Zoo-heavy meta and I needed its immediate life and extra blocker. It did a lot of work at the tourney, but I'm not sure if Solemn Simulacrum wouldn't have a better job, between ramping/blocking/drawing.
    -1 Thragtusk -> SB?
    +1 Solemn Simulacrum?

    In conclusion if you are adding G I recommend to go full Gx tron and replace the 4 to 6 slots of that are not part of the "engine"/"win condition" for Remand or Condescend because if you pay attention to the Gx Tron archetype you will see that 53 to 54 cards are the same no matter if they play Gr, Gb, or Gw, and probably going Gb with Collective Brutality/Fatal Push or Gr with Pyroclasm is better idea because those cards answer aggro better than any counter spell ever will.

    I disagree. I think UG works better as a Ux than as Gx. The U wants to be reactive, which clashes with the Gx primary gameplan of tapping out for threats as soon as possible. The green here is smaller, and more for support than for speed.

    Quote from bradstone »
    Grats Nekros, that list is super cool looking ! I love seeing tech from the past. You definitely have some new options that can replace some of your threats and I think TKOS' advice was pretty on point.

    Personally, I think that life from the loam and gifts ungiven is the best argument for the green splash, it reminds me a lot of the lands.deck tech with intuition. I'm tempted to give it a shot at some point, but as mentioned above the manabase also looks reallyyyy fragile.

    Thank you for the kind words!

    So given the suggestions, here's a tentative update:

    I agree that the fourth Thirst would be strong, -1 Sylvan Scrying?
    Also, I don't know how I feel about Frost Titan. Yes, he slows the enemy. Yes, he is difficult to remove due to his protection clause, but I can't help but feel it should be something else. Maybe even that Kozilek.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] MonoU Tron - "The well-oiled machine"
    Hello, friends. After ~2 years of being out of the game, my friend convinced me to go to a small shop tourney, so I grabbed my (extremely outdated) Ux Tron and 3-1'd it. As-is, with the old sideboard and everything. I was going to pick up a Spatial Contortion on the way in, but I completely forgot about it until midway through. Still, I think I did okay with a deck (and mind) from before Battle for Zendikar. And that was enough to make me want to play more, though it would likely be primarily xmage (or MODO if I get around to building a slightly budgety version than what I have on paper), so here I am.

    Full disclosure: I know this is technically not U-Tron, but this was based on and plays more like Ux than Gx. I come to you as I think you Tron Masters (you-Tron pun very much intended) are more likely to give me good advice than randoms that would visit a new thread. That said, I'm more than willing to go away to my own thread if non-mono-U discussion is unwelcome.

    I'm sure some of those choices raise eyebrows. This list is from a different time and a different meta where Burn and Affinity and Infect and Twin forced me to make some unorthodox inclusions for lifegain and anti-aggro. I am definitely more than willing to cut/replace some of the weird choices (though they have definitely done their work, once upon a time - even Frosty).

    The main interaction that I decided to adopt green for was Gifts and Life from the Loam. Early game, it allows to fetch any missing Tron pieces and get them back very quickly. Late game, Gifts for Loam, Ruins, Mindslaver, and a fourth card puts the opponent on a clock. Loam helps recover lost lands throughout the match, too.

    Alright, go ahead, tear this list to shreds and help me oil the machine a little more.


    Minor tourney report:
    Round 1 vs Abzan (2-1): G1 is won by Mindslaver, G2 is lost to my deck disagreeing with me and not saving me vs double-Goyf, G3 we go to turns, but the guy says that at this rate there is no way he could win and is kind enough to concede. 1-0

    Round 2 vs Knightfall Bant (1-2): G1 Mindslaver, G2 I am slowed too much by Stony Silence, G3 Knightfall combos turn 3 and blows me out of the water. Ouch. 1-1

    Round 3 vs Bogles (2-0): Game 1 I use Repeal to slow down his auras, and Thragtusk rides a Batterskull to victory. Game 2 his board is reset with an Aetherize, and this time Sundering Titan rides the 'Skull. (or maybe Titan was G1 and Tusk was G2. Doesn't matter) 2-1

    Round 4 vs Jund (2-1): He wasn't familiar with this one, and I taught him about Mindslaver Game 1. Game 2 he has a clutch Fulminator Mage and it's downhill from there. Game 3 he taps out after a Cyclonic Rift, and with no mana for his Scavenging Ooze, I'm open to 'slave him again. 3-1, receive some store credit back in case I have time between dodging assignments for school.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Help needed with archetypes for Unpowered Artifact Cube
    Hey guys! First time Cube poster working on my very first cube, so apologies if this thread should really be somewhere else.

    So I got (back) into the game at around the time when Scars of Mirrodin happened, and made the fiscally irresponsible decision to crack (many) packs instead of drafting. While cracking packs is super fun, it has also left me with too many random jank things that I really can't use in Constructed. Recently, this made me want to try to build an unpowered artifact theme cube, where the vast majority of things either are artifacts or interact with them.

    Now, as I've done my research, I realize that there are too many other nifty artifacts that are outside Scars block, so I'm definitely expanding my source pool, but I'd like to stay on "theme" with unpowered and artifacts.

    This leads me to archetypes and things I'd like to include (pet cards excluded) that I need some help with. That said, I'm totally for using slots in a color as generic good cards if some archetypes end up not pulling their weight on synergy and power alone.

    My current ideas for Archetypes:
    White - Equipment, supplemented by Red. Metalcraft: Major
    Blue - Counters, Proliferate, supplemented by Black. Metalcraft: Minor
    Black - Sacrifice supplemented by Red. Metalcraft: Minor
    Red- Sacrifice supplemented by Black, minor Equipment theme. Hate deck when supplemented by Green. Metalcraft: Minor to Medium
    Green - Hate deck with Red, Metalcraft: Minor to Mid
    "Colorless" - Sunburst

    The one glaring "something aint right here" is Green, which I'm kind of drawing a blank on apart from "it kills artifacts with Red well" and doesn't really seem to have an interesting archetype to itself. I'd also like to include some of the Esper-colored things (like Filigree Angel and Sphinx of the Steel Wind) but I'm not sure whether it should be its own Archetype as a sort of artifact-based control or just stick them in as generic toolbox cards that could give blue some actual firepower and not just a fun semi-durdly mechanic in Proliferate and Charge counters.

    Many apologies if this should be somewhere else like in general Cube discussion, but I appreciate any and all words of advice.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    Tournament report time!

    I took this list to a small shop tourney and placed 2-2, which has prompted some interesting thoughts on the followup:

    I finally took Emrakul out when I found out my buddy who runs UB Mill was going with RG Tron instead, and he/she/it became a second Dismember.

    Round 1 - UWR Control

    My Tron buddy showed up to the venue 15 minutes before I did, and scouted out the meta. One of his points was that there was a UWR player, and I really hoped I'd get to face him. Lo and behold!

    Game 1 went pretty smooth, Tron got assembled, lands went kaboom when Titan came down, and game 1 went to the Slaver Lock.
    Board for Game 2 - I'm favored in this matchup, so my only real switch is Wurmcoil Engine -> Gaia's Revenge (because PtE is a thing)
    Game 2 went to time, I set up a dumb Gifts package with both Titans, Artisan and Revenge, which prompted a "Are you actually serious?" and a scoop. 2-0

    1-0 Round 2 - Tempered Steel Affinity

    I've seen this kid play before, and I've beaten him before, so we're both familiar with each other's deck. Funny story - last time we faced off, he was so used to Etched Champion effectively being unblockable that he accidentally ran it into my Wurmcoil Engine, costing him the game.

    Game 1 he gets the nut draw and goes down to 1 or 2 cards in hand on turn 1 after a snapkeep of 7. I resist, but the mainboard isn't enough and I die a quick mechanical death.
    Board for Game 2: oh my God so much. He was actually worried when he saw that I was boarding like SEVEN cards against him: 2 Claim, 1 Corrosion, 2 Aetherize, 2 Dismember (can't recall if Angel went in as well), replacing a Gifts, an Artisan, the Titan, 2 Condescend, and some other stuff.
    Game 2 goes long and grindy, he keeps a much slower hand that I can actually interact timely with, I start turning the game around, and he scoops when I point out he doesn't have metalcraft on his Opal to cast the Tempered Steel last turn. I tell him he could still do it if he takes back the 3 damage from an attacking Blinkmoth, but he shrugs and says he didn't have much game beyond that anyway.
    Game 3 also goes long and time gets called. I assemble Tron after resolving Creeping Corrosion and the lock happens turn 2 after time, "drawing" the game - but the nice lad concedes and says that was a really fun and well-played match and I deserve the win.
    Powerplay of the match was in response to a near-lethal attack with a Plated Ornithopter, Gifts for Repeal, Claim, PowerPlant, Oblivion Stone with Breeding Pool open and PowerPlant missing from the Tron. He gives me Repeal and Nature's Claim, not knowing that I'm holding Loam and Cyclonic Rift (but draw into CC). 2-1

    2-0 Round 3 - Traditional Affinity
    I don't think I've been this salty since my loss at GP Toronto (when it was Modern and Deathrite Shaman was all the rage). The admitted worst matchup, and I get to see it two rounds in a row. Beautiful.

    Game 1 I die. Not much to be said there, except for when the guy attempted to Spellskite a Repeal targeting an Ornithopter, and we have some laughs.
    Board plan similar to last round
    Game 2 I die. Way too quick for me to be able to deal. 0-2

    2-1 Round 4 - Kid Junk
    This is also an awkward one, because Smiters are uncounterable and Voices make me sad. If I were to replay the matchup, I think I'd do considerably better since that was my first time facing it myself, but here ... disappointment everywhere. Both games over quick, Game 2 Tron refuses to cooperate, and I die once to Liege-powered Smiter, once to Rhino. So bad. I feel like we should have a lot more game here, but... 0-2

    Finish was 2-2. Cutoff for credit is 3-1, so I go home a sad panda.

    -With the balance of control, between bounce and counterspells, we can dominate midrange (short of disruption after disruption)
    -With counterspells, we have a means of defense against combo
    -With the threat density and threat quality, we have a strong game against control.

    Two things missing here: RG Tron, and hyper-aggro
    RG Tron, as I mentioned before, is a horrid match for us because they do the same thing we do except faster and more consistently. They near-blank our main control methods (Repeal and Condescend) by having their own threats that cost a lot of mana and force us to tap out and not even deal with things permanently. Our one leg up on them is if we can disrupt them early (Repeal a Map or Chromatic they were hoping to use, Ghost Quarter lock with Loam, etc) and hope that they stumble hard enough for us to assemble and take over. It's doable, but it's tough and requires tricky play to catch them with their figurative pants down.

    Hyper-aggro decks (Zoo, Affinity, even the Kid Junk deck) are terrible for us because they kill us before we can set up, and we cannot deal with their things fast enough. Zoo is more or less okay, we can Repeal their Cats, Condescend their Goyfs, etc. Affinity is .. special. Hard to counter when their hand is empty as you lay your first land.

    Yes, these are popular decks. Yes, "but what about Affinity?" is a question that Modern deckbuilders need to concern themselves with.

    I think that what it means for this deck is that, if your meta is plagued with hyper-aggressive decks, the sideboard becomes the most powerful tool we can have. Sure, single bullets are okay, but what we need to deal with is a broad archetype (and thankfully, we only really have issues with ONE archetype).

    Yes, this could very well mean that boarding seven or more cards could very well be an option. But if it keeps us alive...

    I think the next iteration of my sideboard will keep specific key things, like Tormod's Crypt vs grave decks, or Gaia's Revenge as a difficult-to-deal-with threat for control, and Platinum Angel/Emperion vs combo. But the rest of it will be tools for decks that play faster than we do, so that we can interact with them:

    Spell Snare
    Spell Pierce
    Echoing Truth
    Nature's Claim

    These are all cards that we don't want to play because if we can survive and drag the game on longer, we prefer to get value out of our delaying stuff. If they're faster than we can delay them, then we need to become faster. I think that's the key to playing this side of UG Tron, and I think this has serious potential if we can figure out how to counter this problem (pun intended).

    Until next time, and good luck

    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    So I'm intending to go to a small shop tourney this Saturday. Here's what I'm intending to bring:

    Notable changes in the SB:
    Platinum Emperion -> Platinum Angel
    Inkwell Leviathan -> Dismember

    These changes are due to a fear of dying to infect and having little to board into. Unlike other aggro archetypes, I can't wall them with Wurmcoil Engine or gain life with Batterskull/Thragtusk and call it a day. Platinum Emperion, the theoretical "be all, end all" to anything that wants to hit the life total is irrelevant in the matchup as well. I want to try to find room for a second Dismember, but I'm not sure what it should replace. My gut wants me to replace Emrakul, but one of my buddies might show up with Esper mill, and while Loam enables a near-absolute win with Academy Ruins, I'm afraid I'll be punished for removing the death squid.

    In other news, watching shoktroopa play lately has inspired me to experiment with the Spell Burst "soft-lock", despite my initial reservations against it in its narrow abilities pre-Tron. Does anyone have any experience with S-Burst?

    Re: Borkster's last question
    The tap ability on Relic does not force it to exile itself. It's the "pay 1 to nuke all graves" that exiles itself. So if the contents of your graveyard are only Gifts, Card X and Loam, here's how the stack might resolve.

    1. Tap ability from relic
    2. Thirst for Knowledge (or anything instant-speed that can allow you to draw)

    Since Dredge is a replacement effect, the option is chosen as it is supposed to happen and does not use the stack. So if the opponent wants to get rid of your Loam, they *must* use the nuke ability of the Relic then and there. If they do not and allow Thirst to start resolving, then you declare the replacement and you know what happens next. Their next opportunity to crack the Relic to exile all graves will be after Loam has already been dredged.

    Granted, of course, that if he just taps the Relic, your Loam is in no immediate danger, as it's your choice what to exile, so get rid of Gifts or something. If the second ability is used, that's where you have to emergency dredge if you want to save it.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Staff Belcher
    I, sadly, don't have a lot to say right now, but I'm really intrigued by this idea. I've definitely considered Proteus into Emrakul before, but I totally didn't realize that Belcher was a thing too.

    I definitely think Belcher is a strong alternative, but I think I'll be brewing up a UR list, eventually, for occasional "Belcher hits 7 before Mountain, hit you for lethal" wins. Red also gives us some amount of reach with Burn, which may be an avenue worth exploring.

    Thank you for this thread, will definitely be checking up here for updates.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    You say things like monoG Claiming your Colossus and then Artisaning him back, but neither of those two is actually possible - he's indestructible to Claim and shuffles back instead of hitting the grave. Because of the latter, you can also never Ruin him back for the same reason.

    Hmm. But that did get me thinking, and I may reinstall Blightsteel somewhere in my 75.

    I also intend on attending my shop's Modern tourney next Saturday, so I'll post an updated list that I'll be taking later in the week to come.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    Quote from Borkster »
    I think U/G tron suffers from pacing. I play tested several of these decks post here and while they are all pretty consistent near 'mid-late game'.

    However, U/G seems to be really shaking between turn 1-4 (maybe 5).
    Against Affinity and even RG tron, I find it more likely that they have near control of the board(obviously in g1) and it becomes increasingly difficult to take control back unless you pull gifts for removals.

    The huge downside is that if you draw islands and did not finish tron by turn 4, Karn will and is a huge problem. Even without Karn, RG tron that i play tested against almost always was able to Eye of Ugin into Emrakul or Ulamog. And if the odd time they dont draw a land fetch, Wurmcoils definitely become a huge issue by turn 5-6. Even with mana for counters and repeals, or any other removal, they fetch up new threats just 1 turn faster (at least).

    Against affinity, I experience the same issues that UW tron has. If I get the O stone everything is okay, (also the sideboard Creeping Corrosion). But if I don't, its incredibly hard. If I can Gifts into trying to complete Tron, they can still end the game. Post sideboard, I still experience the same issues, if I Gifts into artifact removals, Hurkyls recall (honestly not too great if they have 2 mana), creeping corrosion (which always gets graveyarded),O stone and Natures claim, they still have board presence, sure Im in much better control but I still have very little threats. (see LSV using UW tron vs Affinity)

    A friend of mine who plays Mono-green stompy commented on the lack of strong removal. Aside from O-stone, if they had 5 forests, new threats come out, and I find myself pretty low on life

    That being said, past turn 6, I win probably 65% of the games (but not the RG tron games lol). Putting my threats out and stopping theirs becomes so easy. Early batterskull has saved me more times thank I can think of, same with wurm.

    On the contrary, I find its pacing to be more or less fine. Yes, we have a hard time against hyper-aggressive decks if we don't hit our disruption in time, but so does any control deck. What kind of hands are you keeping? It's worth noting that different variants on UG will want to keep different hands - G-based will want Tron assembly as fast as they can, while U-based are fine keeping a Tron piece, Island, Expedition Map, Remand, Condescend hand almost regardless of what else is in the hand.

    As for the particular matchups you mentioned:
    Affinity - you definitely want to see your Repeals here, and there are plenty of low-cost targets. Once you get into wipe-mana (O-Stone, Rift, Evacuation, Whelming Wave even) you should be able to stabilize, unless you're just that far behind. Out of the board, you have Aetherize, Aetherspouts and other aggro-specific cards, not to mention specific hate like Nature's Claim, Hurkyl's Recall, or Creeping Corrosion. Granted, I haven't played against Affinity TOO much lately, but if we resolve any number of Repeals or Remands against them, I'd definitely give us at least a 50/50 since there's still just as much room for everything to go room just like there's room for stabilizing and getting there.

    RG Tron is the real nightmare here. They play a similar strategy we do, except faster - our threats don't outclass theirs, and if they assemble Tron they can start paying for Condescends. We also have no real out to a resolved Karn, short of a super-meta placement of Beast Within. Our colors give us access to super-narrow cards like Shadow of Doubt or Mindlock Orb to hurt their searching since we don't REALLY need it. The one leg up on them that we have is if we run Life from the Loam or Crucible of Worlds with Ghost Quarter, but all of these options are probably too slow to handle them. They aren't as prevalent in my area, so I run a single Commandeer and a Negate in the board to try and catch that turn 3 Karn. Otherwise, we just pray that the RNG Gods aren't on their side but on ours. It's a real tough one.

    For mono-green stompy, refer to Affinity. I feel like we should at least be able to survive to a wipe/Wurmcoil/Batterskull between our counters and Repeals. It's not that they have control of the board, they just operate slightly faster than we do.

    You see what I mean with the midrange threats, yes? Getting some timely reinforcements (pun intended) in the form of a resolved Batterskull, Wurm, or Thragtusk gives us back some life, some walling potential, and maybe even a threat that can start whacking away at their life.

    I removed ancient stirrings, for chalice mostly to play it for 1. Which helps considerably at faster matchups.

    For creatures I changed a few of them around. I try now to sway away from eldrazi for some other threats. Which also means removing Eye of Ugin as a tutor which is fine because Im not running any eldrazi too far from a reasonable mana requirement.

    1 Blightsteel colossus
    1 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Batterskull
    1 Sundering Titan
    1 Artisan of Kozilek
    1 Platinum Angel

    Non-creature threats:
    2 Mindslavers

    Im on the fence about Treasure mage replaced by Gifts, only because sometimes you really need a body (like against infect). Im still going to keep him as a 1 or 2 of.

    I definitely see the merit in T-Mage, but I opted to run Fabricate over him because Fabricate can fetch O-Stone or Batterskull, or even a Map if desperate, all of which T-Mage misses.

    How's the Colossus been going for you? I took him out originally because Path was running rampant, but UWR kind of disappeared since then (though now we have an Abzan monstrosity that runs them), so I'm not sure if paying 12 for a basic is worth it. Granted, it IS something that needs dealing with ASAP and isn't dealt with easily outside of Path or Liliana or Cryptic, so if it works, it works!

    In the end Im not sure how far I can push this deck. Fundamentally it sound great, but it lacks hard removal that Red brings to RG tron. But occasionally with the right blue spells in hand, Affinity and Infect dont get to win by turn 4 most of the time, giving me time to start gifts combos.

    Primeval titan is also a new consideration after seen mono G tron variants, but might clash with the idea of control the the UG tron.

    Prime Titan is definitely worth consideration. It doesn't necessarily clash with U-based control (short of demanding the ability to pay GG, which could change your land choices) - it's a midrange blocker, a high-power threat with trample, and either completes Tron or fetches Ruins on entry, which is definitely strong when stapled onto a big body. I'm testing out his blue brother, but that's partially because I don't own the Green Giant.

    Don't give up! I think the deck has potential, it just has a lot of opportunities for decisions (and that means both mistakes AND room for learning!). It may not be obvious what to grab with Gifts, what to counter, what to bounce, but I think it comes with playing and getting used to it. I love this deck to pieces, and definitely feel that it is viable, just needs some tweaking and maybe some undiscovered secret tech to get there.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    Quote from Borkster »
    Here's a deck I made quite recently

    Any suggestions?

    I would like to probably play Gifts more consistently. Or have additional threats to throw out, but it feels like a bad decision because then you become much more vulnerable to beat down.
    Sideboard/Maybe board is changed quite often for meta in my area.

    If you want to play Gifts more often.. play more Gifts?

    Alright, time for some actual suggestions.

    1)I don't like Stirrings here. A solid quarter of your deck is control, and the rest of your sorceries ups it to a little over a third in terms of non-permanent spells. A third of your deck you won't hit with Ancient Stirrings. I, personally, believe that if you choose to go with the Blue-based builds (as your near-full suite of Remand/Repeal/Condescend suggests), Stirrings becomes a bad card - sure, it only costs 1, but it misses a good chunk of your deck, and every piece of that chunk you hit reduces the choice you can make. In contrast, look at Gr Tron, where the only things Stirrings misses is itself and Scrying and sometimes Pyroclasm - making it 10ish cards. Well, okay, maybe saying Stirrings is bad in U-based Tron is harsh, but it's a lot less powerful than elsewhere. I'd recommend that become either extra copies of Scrying to fetch lands, some amount of Fabricate to fetch artifacts, or Thirst for Knowledge for general dig.

    But of course, if you have experience to prove otherwise and really enjoy the Stirrings, then by all means.

    2) How has Emrakul been working for you? Yes, I'm about to suggest that you consider removing him, so please hold the harsh words and hear out the reason in my madness.

    Yes, Emrakul is the fatty of all fatties. Yes, he's a near-literal "I win" button. But the question is, how often to do you ACTUALLY get to 15/13 mana? I've been having some trouble with him in the sense that if he's drawn before you're ready to hit the button, he is quite literally a dead card in the hand. Maybe it's just me personally, but since U-based lists prefer to drag the game into the mid/lategame and overwhelm the enemy with giant threats they cannot handle (as opposed to get the Tron out ASAP), I feel like these lists need more mid-game survivability than "I win", which is why I removed Emrakul from my own list. The rest of your threats are definite monsters, but I feel like our best threats are those we can use to wreak havoc and protect ourselves with in the midgame, *in addition to* being powerful enough to win the game if unchecked. Wurmcoil and Titan come out at reasonable time points in the game, and are must-answers. Mindslaver is a win at 13 with Ruins, but can very reasonably be run out and cracked in the mid-game just to mess with the opponent's hand, and so isn't as dead as Emrakul. Even Ulamog is more reasonably costed, slows the opponent down, and is difficult to deal with.

    3) Lands. The lands look fine, for the most part, there are just two I don't like. Flooded Grove and Hinterland Harbor. I assume you were probably looking into non-basics to mitigate the damage you take from landing your own Sundering Titan, but I really would rather run Breeding Pool or even more Yavimaya Coasts over these two. The Harbor might be okay, but I have a definite issue with the Grove, because it doesn't make color without existing color, and having a hand of control/dig while sitting on no colors makes us a sad panda. Harbor only really stings on the turn it comes down, but I really think that Grove needs to go.


    In other news, I have made a few edits to my list:

    -1 Inkwell Leviathan
    -1 Emrakul
    -4 Explore

    +1 Thragtusk
    +1 Frost Titan
    +2 Thirst for Knowledge
    +2 Sylvan Scrying

    -1 Sundering Titan
    -1 Thragtusk

    +1 Emrakul
    +1 Inkwell

    Comments: I definitely feel like the Explore replacements were the correct call. TfK digs deeper and can reach more relevant answers, and at instant-speed, while Scrying gets me the land I need, and not one I topdeck. I'm also pretty confident in the Emrakul and Inkwell cuts, but I'm not 100% sure yet if the increased survivability helps. Also, if you guys run an increased amount of threats and Gifts, you should really try Artisan. He can be really obscene if part of a Gifts pile with other threats, or if threats are in the grave. Artisan reanimating Thragtusk feels super-dirty. In the good way.

    Since Infect is cool and hip again, I'm considering (at least temporarily) replacing the SB Emperion with Platinum Angel.

    What do y'all think?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    So I was speaking with one of the nice folks over at Shoktroopa's stream who also runs UG Tron, and they told me of a particularly nasty combo with Loam:

    Possessed Portal replaces your draw with nothing. Loam replaces your draw with Dredge. With both out, you choose which one happens, so while they can't draw anything new and lose permanents every turn, we're happily dredging away and discarding or sacrificing lands to fuel Loam.

    I have no idea if this belongs here, or whether a more BG, Stax/lock/DeathCloud-oriented list would want to use this, but it's an interesting and original idea to consider. I almost want to go up to 61 main just to see if Portal and Loam are as hilarious in game as they are in my head.

    In more serious news, the more I play and the more I think about it, the less I enjoy the 4 Explores. Yes, they allow for the nut turn 3 Titan, but they don't exactly do a whole lot in the mid/late-game (except this one time, when the extra land got me to Mindslaver mana). To try and make this more consistent and have powerful plays at each stage of the game, I'm considering cutting at least 2 Explores, and replacing them with 2 Thirst for Knowledge and potentially the others will become Sylvan Scrying to always get the land we need.

    Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Rakdos Hand control
    Rakdos Charm does not contribute to your discard plan (short of emptying the grave?), and you probably want some amount of Waste Not in there.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on What's the most competitive Gifts Ungiven deck?
    A friend of mine plays 4C Gifts and it can be an absolute monster if built and tailored to the meta correctly. I highly recommend the deck if you're not afraid of decision trees and control.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on [Primer] UG Tron
    Here's the current version of what I've been running:

    Brief breakdown and explanation:

    -I should not have to explain Tron
    -4 Breeding Pool and 2 Yavimaya Coast: Breeding Pools hurt us once for 2 (or not at all if coming down turn 1), while Coasts hurt us as we need them. Coasts do not have basic land types so they're safe from Sundering Titan, but I have lost a game at 1 life because I did not have a second (third?) blue source to cast Evacuation, so your mileage may vary. I like the 4-2 split, but if you're going heavier on artifacts similar to G-base Tron, I could see 3-3 or even 2-4.
    -2 Islands and 1 Forest: because opposing Ghost Quarters and Path to Exiles are most definitely a thing, also helps if you need colors and don't want to pay life for them God forbid you need to Map for a basic in dire circumstances. Also ramped by Solemn Simulacrum.
    -1 Ghost Quarter: was originally Eye of Ugin, but I got tired of needing a land and drawing an Eye... GQ helps in any variant of the Tron mirror, and can potentially lead to interesting situations with Loam
    -1 Academy Ruins: Mindslaver aside, this can recur Maps to assemble Tron, most of our fatties to replay, and soft-lock with Oblivion Stone.

    -Repeal and Condescend are U-Tron control staples. I run a set of each because they help us interact with the opponent and slow them down while giving us a bit of an advantage
    -Remands are excellent for any deck that wants to assemble specific cards, delay the opponent, and/or push into the lategame. Oh, and it draws us a card, too.
    -Explores are in because I wanted to use some sort of land acceleration from G, and it felt odd if the only reason the deck is green is for Loam and some cards in the side. While I'm a fan of them in theory, I could see myself dropping 1 in favor of something else, as they use a color and aren't guaranteed to get you anything useful - though they DO enable a turn 3 Sundering Titan, so that's something to keep in mind.
    -I feel like I've said enough about Gifts in my earlier post, so I don't want to sound like a total fanboy (even though I probably am)
    -Loam already discussed above
    -Cyclonic Rift and Evacuation are there primarily for the "Gifts into 3 wipes" scenario so I always get one should I need one, but they are ever so slightly different: Rift will bounce everything but not manlands (!) while Evac bounces manlands but not the rest of their board which may include Blood Moon or Cranial Plating or planeswalkers or etc. Rift can also be used as emergency single-target bounce, while Evac cannot
    -Fabricate is one that used to be in the board, and then crawled into the main and never left. It's a shame I didn't realize it sooner, but just about everything in the deck revolves around artifacts for it to fetch: Need a land? Expedition Map. Need a wipe? Oblivion Stone. Need a threat? Take your pick (except the Eldrazi). As mentioned in my previous comment, a turn 4 Tron + blue source Fabricates and plays Batterskull, which is often a powerplay.

    -Flying death squid is flying death squid.
    -Flying death squid's little cousin is primarily here because (A) we can cast him a good chunk of the time, and (B) because he reanimates through countermagic and (C) in a Gifts package of at least one other creature threat, it becomes a difficult choice for the enemy.
    -Giant Metal Worm is also pretty self-explanatory at this point
    -Batterskull, while on the slightly smaller end, is there for the purposes of staving off aggro and gaining us some life, but also because it is notoriously difficult to deal with (provided we have mana open) through its self-bouncing. If the Germ dies, just stick it onto something else and enjoy.
    -Sundering Titan has the ability to win games by himself, or be nigh-irrelevant. The more shocks your opponents play, the better he gets, and best of all, he triggers again when the opponent decides they can't handle the 7/10 to take more of their lands away. I definitely would not leave home without one main, but he is generally the first thing to be sided out vs monocolor or Affinity.
    -Inkwell Leviathan has the magic number 7 colorless in his mana cost, has two forms of evasion, and SHROUD. For the opponent, that brings a world of pain. For us, we're sad that we can't equip Batterskull to it.

    -Aetherize against heavy aggro, like zoo or Affinity and Twin
    -Squelch.. hurts just about anything. Stops a 'walker for a turn, stops fetches, stops manlands, stops Twin. And it draws us a card.
    -Nature's Claim deals with hate cards of all colors. Blood Moon, Spreading Seas, Stony Silence, Choke are all valid targets, and bonus points vs Affinity
    -Creeping Corrosion ... have you noticed I want to be prepared vs Affinity?
    -Sundering Titans I've been a huge, huge fan of since I started the deck, and his ability to single-handedly end games just by hitting the board is undeniable. But 3 in the 75 can feel like a lot, even for a really good hitter, so I could see going down to 1 main 1 SB if you need to open some room.
    -Tormod's Crypt is Fabricateable and gives us some level of protection against the occasional graveyard deck
    -Platinum Emperion is my personal choice over Platinum Angel. They do have their differences, but what turns me off the Angel is the "bring you down to negative life, kill Angel" plan, while the Emperion keeps you alive and needs to be dealt with before anything else can hurt you. Having said that, Angel is probably the better choice in an Infect meta, but Emperion is definitely an alternative if Infect is not a concern for you.
    -Thragtusk: yadda yadda, aggro, lifegain, leaves a body when dies.
    -Gaea's Revenge is our universal answer to control. It can't be countered, can't be target-bounced, can't be Pathed, Bolted, and so on. It also has haste and kills them in 2-3 hits. For bonus points, you could try Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur in this spot, but I find Revenge to be much more threatening (pun intended)
    -Negate is an afterthought because I had one spot left, I used to run 2 in here but 1 got removed for something else. Has its relevant matchups, but is totally removable for some secret tech
    -Speaking of secret tech, my newest addition is Commandeer, primarily to deal with Gr Tron that assembles a lot quicker than this one does and doesn't really care about Condescends. Commandeer is to steal their Karn, or their Ugin, or their Oblivion Stone, or even a clutch Ancient Stirrings or Sylvan Scrying. Has yet to be tested, but I will report as soon as I have info on it.

    Ta-da! I can answer any and all questions now.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on UR Bomb Control

    Hello, and welcome to my latest Modern brainchild. This'll start off just as an idea but will hopefully develop into a deck and maybe even a Feature! God forbid, this will actually pick up somewhere and actually move up a forum, which might just make me cry with joy. This is an idea based on an existing draft of a deck I had, just trying to give a nifty card a home and maybe it'll do better in a UR control shell. This is by no means a comprehensive list (unless a list of ideas counts?) so any and all constructive criticism is requested and welcome. Ideally, there would be a "slightly budgety" and a "bank account 0" version where you folks and your fancy Scalding Tarns and Snapcaster Mages can pick this up and double the dollar value of the deck and maybe actually win tournaments with this or something. I'm just a brewer, doing this for fun and trying to make something new and interesting to contribute to the community, the format, and the game.

    Less talk, more magic! Welcome to Bomb Control!

    At its core, this would play as a UR Control list, which means we can start with a core of

    Those of you with Tarns, Snaps, Cryptics and Cliques already have extra lines to this deck built, but for those of us that do not, we can start with this. Yes, Rune Snag is slightly more difficult to find than Leaks, but I feel like it is better for those of us without Snaps, as beyond the first they scale with the game and aren't "dead" in the late game. Technically Leaks aren't dead either, but lategame "Pay 3" is easier to punch a spell through than "Pay 4" or "Pay 6". Those with Snaps probably want the Leaks so you can flash them back without fear. This may also want some amount of Izzet Charm, but this is just me getting ideas out there for you guys to help add to.


    We now have an early game, and control needs a way to win. You know what's fun? Big things that have a lot of the number 6 on them.


    At this point you're probably thinking, "but so far this just looks like a terrible Twin deck. Where's the fun in making a good deck bad?" You've noticed the Sentinel, yes? Confused as to why he's even being considered, yes? Well, let me drop a few more to confuse you even more.


    Ral? HONDEN? What is this madness? What connects these two to Darksteel Sentinel? They don't die to "The Bomb".

    Wait, you were thinking the Titans were the bombs I had in mind?

    You think too small, my friend.

    Putting it all together, we get a pile of jank that looks something like:

    This puts us at 54 cards. Six away from blowing up Tolaria at your LGS. I will be adding more about rationale and why Obliterate, but I just wanted to get this out there before I forget and hopefully this piques someone's interest to embark on a creative collaboration with myself on this.

    Cheers, hope you enjoyed my half-sleeping rambling, and I will hopefully come back to this tomorrow morning and make this slightly more coherent.


    Q: Is this viable?
    A: I have no idea. I got the idea for this about an hour ago, and the list was made literally while I was typing this

    Q: Ugh, you're terrible at control - you are totally missing [insert card/combo/synergy here]!
    A: Yes, I haven't played UR control in Modern since ever. I fully expect that there are numerous issues with this list as it stands, but that's where I'm hoping some of you guys will see the reason in my madness and help me make this ever so slightly more playable. You get to play Obliterate!

    Q: Damnit, you're terrible at building! What about how about replacing [Card X] with [completely superior Card Y]?
    A: Building is exactly what the name suggests - you take something small and gradually put effort into it to turn it into something cute and adorable that explodes and can't be countered. There are some cards I'd be interested in testing out on purpose (Sentinel), some cards I'm aware of that auto-fill into the deck (Cryptic, Snapcaster, Tarn) that I'm not considering for the "base" list, and some that are personal pet cards (Obliterate).

    Q: Obliterate? Really?
    A: Yes, really.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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