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  • posted a message on [[Official]] Modern Metagame Discussion Thread (Updated 6/12/2016)
    Has anyone been keeping track of the meta since EMN has been released? I'm looking at going to GP Indy, but haven't had time to play and do research in the last couple of months. Having some statistics to reference would help out a lot.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on Goblin Dark-Dwellers and Escalate mechanic
    I've asked Judges about the Draconic Roar GDD interactions specifically in the past. They told me I couldn't reveal a dragon. That might have changed the outcome of some games in competitive events. :/
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Goblin Dark-Dwellers and Escalate mechanic
    I was under the impression that I could not utilize functions that had to be fulfilled as part of the casting cost if I was playing a spell without paying it's cost.

    For example, if I used Goblin Dark-Dwellers to cast Draconic Roar, I could not reveal a dragon card from my hand since it's in addition to the casting cost, and I was casting the card without paying it's cost.

    However, Escalate spells usually have extra modes that you can target when casting, and then there is an extra cost for each additional mode. So I could cast Collective Brutality with GDD, target a creature with the -2/-2 mode, a player with the lose 2 life mode, and then I would have to discard a card?

    I'm sorry if I'm being ignorant in some way. I just want to make sure I understand exactly how all of these mechanics work.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Goblin Dark-Dwellers and Escalate mechanic
    Can I Escalate spells that I cast from my grave with Goblin Dark-Dwellers?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    I hadn't played this deck in a few weeks. Spent a little bit of time testing out another deck that didn't pan out so well, so thought I would bring this out for a tournament. I've wanted to get a manland into the deck, and decided to play blue for Dragonlord Silumgar. I also wanted to add in some counter magic for the sideboard. Tonight I went 3-0, taking first place. Round 1 was RG Ramp. Round 2 was Jeskai Control. Round 3 was Naya Friends. I won all of the matches in 2 games. I did play a third game against the control player, which I lost. Still a pretty good night.


    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    Playing Abbot of Keral Keep should be sequencing that is best for you. Losing out on the card advantage isn't the worst thing ever. If you have a game plan for turns 3-4, you still run it out on turn 2. The part that makes it valuable is that it's a 2 drop that's still good to draw in the late game. I'm not looking at how good this is on turn 2. I'm looking at how good is this on turn 7, and it looks pretty good to me. I still haven't had a chance to test it out, but I'm hoping to find some time to give it some games.

    Ob Nix and Chandra are both good cards. You could run them, but then I think you're moving away from Dragons, and more into BR control. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as those types of lists have been putting up results. I've seen lists where the only creatures were Kalitas, Hangarback Walker, and Goblin Dark-Dwellers. Some are even playing Languish, which kills all of those cards. However, Hangarback leaves tokens, and Kalitas makes zombies for all of the non-token creatures on your opponent's board that die.

    I took 4th place at Game Day yesterday. I went 2-1-1 in Swiss, and then lost in the semi-finals. There has been a lot of Languish running around lately, and the white weenie decks have basically disappeared from my meta completely. I tweaked my list from States to adjust for that. Here is what I played:



    Round 1: Naya Superfriends. This was an interesting brew. It played Gideon, Nissa, Arlin, and Chandra. Tireless Tracker. Oath of Nissa. Oath of Gideon. The first game was epic. We had a lot of back and forth. One turn, he would be ahead. The next turn, I would come back. The next turn, I would have to trade off my threats to stay alive. I was low for a while, but in the end I was doing stupid things like playing GDD, hitting K Command, bringing back and playing Hangarback for 4. I won it with 15 minutes left in the round. Game 2 was much more one sided in my favor, and I take it in 2. 1-0.

    Round 2: BG Sacrifice. I don't see Kalitas in game 1, and my opponent overwhelms me after I bring them down to 3. I bring in Kalitas, Kozilek's Return, Dead Weight, Fiery Impulse. After a mulligan down to 6, I see no Kalitas, or any other cards that I boarded in. I get crushed. 1-1.

    Round 3: BG Sacrifice. I have a t3 Olivia, followed by turn 4 Kalitas + discard. The life link and grave hate was enough. My opponent attempted to sac for Westvale Abbey with a Cutthroat on board. Didn't realize that Kalitas hoses that whole strategy. Game 2 I don't see more than 1 land in any of my opening hands. I mull to 5, keep a 1 land hand, and then don't draw another land. My opponent played Transgress the Mind on turn 4, and I concede in response. Game 3 came down to a race. I had Olivia in play, 4 lands, and I was sandbagging a 5th land in the event that I draw a creature. Topdecked Thunderbreak Regent, played and smashed for 8 with my opponent at 5. I take it in 3. 2-1.

    Round 4: BG Season's Past. We're both 2-1, and ID to lock our spots in the top 8. 2-1-1.

    Quarterfinals: Same opponent as round 1 - Naya Planeswalkers. I hit him with a Duress, and see Oath of Nissa, Gideon, and Chandra. I have Ruinous Path and GDD in hand, and take his Oath to slow him down. The his hand plays out slow. I kill off Gideon with Ruinous Path. Goblin Dark-Dwellers into Duress to take Chandra. It was pretty gross. The second game was just as much of a blow out. I win in 2. 3-1-1.

    Semifinals: Round 4 Opponent - Seasons Past. I feel like I'm off to a good start in game 1, but Grasp of Darkness into Languish into Seasons Past can really catch up a deck that's falling behind. He wins game 1. Game 2 is better for me. I've got a better start with some hand disruption, and I wear him down a bit. I hit my 6th land, and come down with Dragonlord Kolaghan. I've got a second copy in hand, and bring him down to 2. He plays Clip Wings on his main phase. I draw into Dark-Dwellers, and have K Command in my graveyard. Seeing that the K Command is the safer of the two plays, as I don't lose to removal, I decide to go that route instead. I start game 3 with 3 land in hand. I only have 1 red source, and proceed to miss my 5th land drop for 2 turns in a row with 2x Goblin Dark-Dwellers in hand. He hits me with Infinite Obliteration naming GDD, and then again naming Kolaghan, and then again naming Thunderbreak Regent. I'm still stuck on 4 land, and concede. 3-2-1.

    The deck played pretty well. The only loss I had in the swiss I felt was winnable, but I just didn't hit the cards I needed. I also felt like I could have won the semi-finals if I had that second red source by turn 5. But sometimes that's how it goes. You can't win them all.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    I'm going to give some testing among the various 2 drops and see which ones I like best. I've given Relentless Dead a few games tonight. The BB cmc hasn't been an issue in the four games I've played with it, but so far it hasn't felt like it was generating a lot of value in this deck. I like the idea of feeding it into Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, but thus far that has not been a game state that I've ran into. I'll likely give it a few more tries before I move on to testing Abbot of Keral Keep. There was one more card that I think might be good, and that's Kessig Forgemaster. I know it looks kind of bad at face value, but I think it might be a hidden gem.

    I'm also giving some consideration to 3 drops. Olivia, Mobilized for War has been mentioned earlier in the thread. I'm giving it a couple slots, and liked playing with it thus far. Olivia can dodge Fiery Impulse in the early game. The discard ability is card disadvantage, but pumping Goblin Dark-Dwellers, Thunderbreak Regent, and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet out of Languish and Grasp of Darkness range is a possible benefit. Sin Prodder is a card I tried out. It's been bittersweet so far. I'm currently giving it a try without Hangarback Walker in the deck to see how it goes. Prodder is really one of the main reasons I'm looking into other 2 drops, but I may end up cutting it.

    I also like Drana, Liberator of Malakir, but this doesn't feel like the deck for it. Scab-Clan Berserker also caught my eye. It seems particularly good vs the control decks, but is probably bad elsewhere. There was also some discussion of Thopter Engineer in the thread. I like it with Hangarback Walker, and Pia and Kiran Nalaar. Hopefully I can find enough time to give all of these cards some testing. I'm going to try to make some extra time to work on this deck over the next week or so.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    With GB sac deck being so popular right now, I'm leaning towards playing Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet maindeck. I'm also looking at other 2 drops, and find Abbot of Keral Keep and Relentless Dead both appealing.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    I finished 4-2 in States today, taking 12th place overall after Swiss. It was heart breaking, as I was 3-0 after 3 rounds. Just needed to win 1 of the next 2 matches, and failed to do so in both rounds despite winning game 1 in both. My losses were to BW Control and Bant Company. I won vs White Weenie, Pyromancer Goggles, BW Control and Bant Company. The list I played was adjusted based on what I saw being played at the Pro Tour. Expecting WW and Bant Company, I brought in a couple of Fiery Impulse from the board to main. I also made the snap decision to put Sin Prodder into my deck to help generate CA, pressure, and Delirium. Here's the list:



    Round 1: White Weenie. He wins the roll, and proceeds to crush me in game 1. The turn 4 Archangel of Tithes ensured I was unable to block when he swung for lethal the following turn. I brought in Kozilek's Return, Fiery Impulse, and Ultimate Price. Took out Kolaghan, Transgress the Mind, and 1x Read the Bones. Games 2 and 3 went something like removal, removal, removal, Goblin Dark-Dwellers -> removal, GDD -> Removal. GG. 1-0

    Round 2: Pyromancer Goggles. He wins the roll, and we trade off creatures for removal. I transgress him before he can drop Chandra, but unfortunately he has Goggles on board. Eventually he has me at 6, and I have him at 11 with no cards in hand and I have GDD on board. Luckily he does not draw a burn spell in his next 3 turns, and I'm able to grind him out. I bring out all of my creature removal, and bring in Ruinous Path, Duress, Transgress the Mind and To the Slaughter. I curve out with Duress -> Hangarback -> Sin Prodder -> Thunderbreak Regent -> Transgress the Mind + K Command. My opponent can't keep up and I close out the game with relative ease. 2-0

    Round 3: BW Control. I remember winning the dice roll, but not too much beyond that. I won game 1 without taking a point of damage. I lost game 2 to a swarm of Secure the Wastes tokens (he played two copies). Game 3 I won. Boarding was identical to Round 2. 3-0

    Round 4: BW Control. I win the dice roll again, and game 1 after grinding my opponent out of cards and he struggles to keep up with GDD and Pia and Kiran Nalaar. Boarding was the same as above. I stumble on land in game 2, and can't get my 3 Thunderbreak Regents out quick enough. The game ends with him grinding me out with Sorin, Grim Nemesis, and Linvala, the Preserver. In game 3 he lands a Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, and proceeds to deal with my creatures via 1 for 1 removal while generating Zombies. I can't find Ruinous Path, or any other way to deal with Kalitas, and lose. 3-1

    Round 5: Bant Company. My opponent wins the dice roll. We both mulligan to 6. I come out strong, and reduce his threat/hand count with K Command and GDD. Eventually he's down to 0 cards, and I grind him out. I board in more spot removal, but not Kozilek's Return, as I saw Bounding Krasis, Sylvan Advocate, and Reflector Mage. Games 2 and 3 were a flurry of Reflector Mages, Declaration in Stone, and Collected Company. Every time I thought I was stabilizing, he was able to pull ahead of me. I lose in 3. 3-2

    Round 6: Bant Company. My opponent wins the dice roll. I mulligan to 6, but come out strong. The first game, my opponent has some interaction and is able to slow me down. But my removal and card advantage is too much for him. GDD crushes his late game by flashing back my removal on his strongest creatures. Boarding was the same as round 5. Game 2 is just a blowout. The only life I lost was from my turn 3 Read the Bones, hoping to hit land for my Thunderbreak Regent and GDD in hand. I hit 2 lands and am happy to keep them. My t4 Thunderbreak Regent goes unanswered. I follow the next turn with K Command and Ultimate Price, removing his only threats. I land another Thunderbreak the following turn and my opponent has no answers. 4-2

    Overall, I am pretty happy with how the deck played. Sin Prodder was an interesting addition. There were a couple times where I was sad to see a Hangarback Walker go to the grave, but there were games where it kept drawing me extra cards, or helped me filter past lands that I didn't want to draw anyway. The games where I curved out were incredibly difficult for my opponents to overcome. My two losses were both in 3, and I felt were winnable. I actually feel favored in those match ups, and beat both decks in other rounds. It's sad that I was a game win away from the top 8 in back to back rounds, and just couldn't seal the deal. You can't win them all though.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    Adam Jansen is playing a BR Control list in the Pro Tour. They did a deck tech on his deck, which I think is worth checking out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NayBQdsgcbE
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    I probably wouldn't bring in To the Slaughter or Foul-Tongue Invocation against Humans or CoCo, since they have such a plethora of creatures. It's more for the decks that want to win with Chandra, Avacyn, Ojutai, Gideon, and Sorin. I'm kind of leaning more towards To the Slaughter, actually.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    It's pretty obvious that there is not synergy there, but I don't think it's a reason to not play good cards. Transgress the Mind is our best option for hand disruption. It's conditional, as is Duress (which can hit Planeswalkers for Dragonlord Kolaghan Wink ), but the fact that it can hit any spell that costs 3 or more is pretty substantial. I'm actually considering changing the ratio between those cards because I think it's that good.

    Dragonlord Kolaghan is also pretty good, and has synergy with other cards. That's just fine by me.

    On a side note: I've been seeing quite a few White Weenie decks running around today. It seems pretty even, and dependent on draws and who plays first. I'm inclined to add more Fiery Impulse to my board. Kozilek's Return is pretty sweet in that match up too.

    I've also been giving To the Slaughter a try in my board. I've been liking it so far, since it has a couple of different applications. I don't find myself with Delirium very often, but being able to remove a Chandra, Flamecaller in response to her +1 was pretty sweet. How do you guys feel about it vs Foul-Tongue Invocation?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    I've been playing mostly on Cockatrice, and with some people at my LGS. There have been a small variety of things I've played against. Bant decks with Collected Company. RG decks that ramp into Eldrazi, among other fatties. BW Control with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Sorin, Grim Nemesis, sometimes splashing blue for Dragonlord Ojutai. There's always the Rx aggro decks running around at this phase of a new meta too.

    I find the CC decks do have some good cards. As you stated, Reflector Mage can be pretty nasty. I haven't seen any running Eldrazi Displacer, but I definitely see why those two cards are strong together. The main thing I found is that their best card advantage is Collected Company, which makes it usually the main target of Duress and Transgress the Mind. Reflector Mage can slow you down, but isn't great against most of our creatures. Thunderbreak Regent deals damage when they target it. Pia and Kiran Nalaar leaves their tokens behind, and produces more Thopters when they eventually come back into play. Goblin Dark-Dwellers lets you cast another spell from your grave. Even Hangarback Walker is flexible enough to fit back into your curve at a reasonable point, and can become bigger in some cases.

    Not only that, but this deck has more card advantage built into it. I can slow them down with the disruption, and trade off my creatures for theirs knowing I can get mine back later with Kolaghan's Command. Then there is the part where most of their creatures don't fly, so there is little they can do when we are on the offensive with Dragons and Thopters. The match up has seemed pretty favorable in the games I've played so far.

    The RG Ramp decks are pretty good. They play maindeck Kozilek's Return, which doesn't seem so nasty until they cast World Breaker and wipe my board. Their early game doesn't effect me much, so the best route is to try to win as quickly as possible. The best cards against them are Transgress the Mind and Ruinous Path, but I only run two in the main. Even when I bring in the other copies post board, they still usually draw into more threats than I can deal with. This is admittedly one of the toughest match ups.

    The Control decks really aren't that bad. As you stated, the white based removal is the scariest thing for me to deal with. I don't like my creatures getting Exiled. It's one of the reasons I run 4 Duress main. Hangarback Walker and Kolaghan's Command don't mind Wrath effects. Descend Upon the Sinful seems really bad for me, but I haven't been seeing people play that card for some reason. A down side is that Draconic Roar is dead outside of hitting Gideon in creature form to deal damage to your opponent. Despite that, this deck produces more pressure than the Control decks can seem to deal with. In most of the games, I eventually grind them out. The match up seems favorable.

    Rx Aggro decks can sometimes get there if they have an aggressive hand, and I don't have enough early game cards to interact with them. Slowing them down enough to get into a mid game can bring things into my favor. At that point, the card advantage can really take a game over. Landing a Goblin Dark-Dwellers into most removal spells can do a great job of stabilizing the board. From there you can build up and work out an offensive. Be wary of waiting too long, just in case they are sandbagging burn spells. This match up seems pretty even, if not slightly in my favor.

    Tonight I lost against a guy playing a WU Flyers list. Always Watching and Archangel of Tithes was pretty nasty. He also played Archangel Avacyn and Meddling Mage. I'm not sure if he played Dragonlord Ojutai. I didn't see it, but I suggested it to him after the match. I dominated the first game, and felt like I should have won the second game as well. I kept an iffy hand, but it worked out. I just miscounted some damage, and blew myself out with a huge misplay. There was a major flood in game 3, and I just couldn't put any pressure on him. It felt winnable, but it was a good learning experience.

    Admittedly, this is from a small sample base of around 40 or so games (roughly 18 matches) while I've developed the deck. I've also been pretty lazy about keeping notes. After playing today, I feel like the deck wants to have more threats. You're kind of echoing that with the Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury statement, so I think I'm going to bring that up to 3. Maybe 4 down the road, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. I'm probably fine on burn based removal, and cards like Grasp of Darkness. If anything, I would want to add more hard removal. Ruinous Path has been pretty good.

    One thing I will say is that I am looking forward to taking this deck to States this weekend.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    It often plays out like this:

    First 1-3 turns is focused on sequencing of lands, and disrupting opponents. You want to play your lands out so that you're going into turns 3-4 with lands that don't EtB tapped. You play your hand disruption to look at what your opponent is trying to do. You sequence the next few turns based on that knowledge. You can also play removal as necessary. I'm not usually worried about a 1-2 drop from my opponent, as Draconic Roar and Kolaghan's Command can usually answer those threats effectively. You can also jam down a Hangarback Walker if there is nothing else to do. Lastly, I have Read the Bones to help ensure that I hit my 4th land drop.

    Turn 4 usually results in my jamming down Thunderbreak Regent, or the occasional Pia and Kiran Nalaar. I want to take a moment here to say how awesome this card has been. I don't particularly like playing Hangarback Walker without a way to kill him off. Pia and Kiran offer a sac outlet for Artifacts, in addition to giving me three bodies in one card. There is very good synergy here, and I recommend playing Pia and Kiran with Hangarback.

    Turn 5 is typically a pivotal turn. Usually at this point I have played some removal, disruption, or preferably Kolaghan's Command. My favorite thing in Standard right now is Goblin Dark-Dwellers into K Command. I'm killing something, making my opponent discard, or bringing back my Hangarback or Thunderbreak from my grave to hand, all while getting a 4/4 Menace. Sometimes I am just replaying Duress or Transgress the Mind, giving me another look at my opponent's hand. I think Goblin Dark-Dwellers is the MVP of the deck, as it can be absolutely backbreaking for my opponent. That is specifically why I maxed out on K Command. I've never found it to be a problem. Even late game, I just bring back the most threatening creature in my grave and hit them for 2, or something. It's very good.

    Usually at this point, I've gotten the game wrapped up for the most part. If not, Dragonlord Kolaghan can do some pretty nasty things. Even if the board is stalled, it makes playing more threats easier because your opponent can take 10 damage for anything they play that you've already killed.

    On a side note: I'm currently running 6 dragons, and am not sure if that's quite enough. When I had 7, I found that Draconic Roar was hitting for max damage about 80% of the time. I'm not sure where that percentage is at with 6, but it's certainly lower. I do like having Twin Bolt though, as it's a 5th card that can answer Jace on turn 2. So I'm somewhat torn between these two.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on R/B Dragons (possible Vampire splash) .
    This is the closest thread to what I'm currently playing. TBH, this deck kicks ass! The deck is all about card advantage. Most cards in the deck either provide more value than typical of a single card (Draconic Roar, Thunderbreak Regent), or provide actual card advantage (Kolaghan's Command, Goblin Dark-Dwellers). The hand disruption cards are the only cards that I consider 1 for 1, but I find them essential to formatting your game plan while also disrupting your opponent.

    The main deck is pretty set at this point. I've considered dropping the singleton Twin Bolt for a 3rd Dragonlord Kolaghan, but that's pretty much the only change I would consider making at this point. Perhaps I'm overlooking something in the manabase, but I can't think of anything new to add. The sideboard is still a work in progress, and will likely become more defined as the format defines itself.

    Posted in: Standard Archives
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