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  • posted a message on 3x aggro/control (UG infect, UR, UW) - vote/develop the best!
    Quote from veritoanimus
    BOOOOOOOOOO JANKY!!!!! I'll take what works any day of the week. This deck has no other way of dealing with a resolved Titan than Pyre and Dismember is just solid removal that you tend to need. I'd run more dismember in the board too.


    Pyre still isn't guaranteed to toast a titan, plus you've still got the zombies, lands, or cheap perms going against you. This deck's best strategy against a resolved titan, imo, is to avoid letting it happen in the first place. Race to kill them before it ever happens, or at least leave counter mana open when they're getting into that much mana. If they've got 8 mana open for a titan with counter backup, you've probably already lost anyway. Also titans aren't much good at air defense, so you're guaranteed at least a turn or 2 of air and burn to kill them before the titan kills you. Should be enough unless you've already lost. Finally, you can swing and dismember after blockers, if they block with the titan.

    Anyway, pyre doesn't stop a wurmcoil effectively, which is worse anyway since lifelink wrecks aggro. Play your creatures early, keep counter mana open late, if it comes to that. Once they're dropping titans successfully and they're mattering (i.e. you can't finish them next turn), the game's over.

    dismember is definitely rockin' though. Clears out anything worrisome pretty effectively for very little mana. 3x volley is definitely too many, it should be used against players most of the time anyway.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on 3x aggro/control (UG infect, UR, UW) - vote/develop the best!
    I think waif could be reduced to 3-of for the deck, but it's an excellent drop against control imo. I think you need a certain critical mass of creatures to break through cheap enemy drops and finish the game fast enough against control, and being able to drop 3 creatures by turn 2 seems like a solid way to do that. Especially if you're facing cheap burny removal, you could easily stall out early and not get enough damage in early to finish them. Also, it allows you to run ruinator as a finisher, which is pretty sick, and feels like ruinator's best possible place. Phoenix is decent, but doesn't have nearly the damage that ruinator does, plus ruinator can be a solid blocker by the time you need one. Chandra also seems too slow for the deck imo, and too much to tap out at sorcery speed.

    Ultimately I think your deck is made for a somewhat slower game...I saw RU's mass of great 1-drops and figured it would be ideal against control by dropping most of your beaters right away, and then being able to stall out the game with counters for turns 3-5, hopefully killing them before they get a chance to get into high gear. I think you're lasting long enough to face down kessig's or solar flare's bombs, then you're probably in trouble...chandra especially seems like a waste of space and a bad reason to tap out on the turn DoJ could be wrecking you. Phoenix is cool, but I don't think the deck strategy can support creatures that cost 3+ and don't end games quickly.

    arc trail is probably a good idea vs aggro, though, and it's a great response to emissary and snapcaster as blockers. I think harvest pyre is too slow to be effective, but incinerate could be playable as removal/finisher. Think twice I think is a mistake - it's an eot move for control decks, paying 5 mana just to get +1 cards is a terrible trade for aggro, and even playing it EOT you're leaving your creatures open to doom blades/dismembers/gofer/etc. I did try a more controlly counterburn route with chandras and phoenixes and whatnot, but my general opinion was that it didn't capitalize enough on the turns when the enemy is weakest, and got steam rolled in the later turns when it ran out of gas. One resolved titan or wurmcoil or reanimation and you're toast. Delver is definitely rock solid, but without more critters I worry that you won't get in enough damage fast enough. You've only really got 8 cheap creatures, snapcaster is a bad turn 2 and phoenix isn't really rocking a ton of damage on turn 3.

    So...I dunno. I haven't done any playtesting yet, so it's all basically theorycraft. My gut tells me that the deck needs a really rad turn 1-2, because turns 3-4 you're bound to be fighting enemy removal and counters, so anything you can get stuck to the board by then will be beating face for those turns. If you're focused more on turns 3-4, your stuff will get countered, or you'll get some lousy trades off wipes.

    Anyway, it's still a work in progress, obviously, so I appreciate the different opinion.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on 3x aggro/control (UG infect, UR, UW) - vote/develop the best!
    Adding to this thread my RU version. It's slightly slower, but has more reach in the form of ruinator, snapcaster, souleater, and image, and brimstone volley. The other perk is that your opponent doesn't get free dismembers, gut shots, and other phyrexian spells like they do vs infect.



    RU has a loooot of really excellent 1-2 drops, it was actually pretty hard to narrow it down. The downside is that gut shots and geistflame pretty much wreck the deck, but most of the popular decks aren't maindecking them, and you can max out on missteps for round 2 if necessary.

    Alternately, there's UW:



    Pretty much the same setup, champion of the parish is pretty sweet although it doesn't have as good of backup dancers as RU. Lawkeeper is pretty cool although it does hog some mana. Probably need to toss in some rally the peasants and maybe splash red...although that's somewhat difficult with the crappy selection of RW or RU lands.

    Not sure which is better between WU and UR. Both have perks.

    Which of the three seems most viable in the current meta?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on U/R Curse of Stalked Prey
    I'd replace the invisible stalker first. hexproof gets increasingly pointless the more creatures you have. without the enchantment it's terrible too...i'd replace it with the noble. obviously you need noble, that should be creature #1. marauders could also probably go...i'd replace it with some dismembers to clear a path for your beats.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on 3x aggro/control (UG infect, UR, UW) - vote/develop the best!
    (I saw there was another UG infect thread in the table of contents, but it's in archives. Also, straight aggro, no control. So no closey, por favor)

    With the most popular and powerful decks in the format relying on relatively slow wincons (flare and kessig) and aggro on the wane, this is my attempt to go counter-format. this version of aggro/control relies on landing crucial creatures quickly, then extending the tempo advantage with counterspells long enough to land some powerful buffs on your infectors (with counter backup, obviously) and finish the game quickly. counterspells also help protect you from the dangers of overextending.

    here's the initial version.



    I noticed some versions used livewire lash - my opinion is that, while cool, it's too slow for a fast deck like this (notice nothing has cmc > 2). by it's nature, you're paying for the reusability of equipment, which doesn't pay off well in the fast game you're looking for. spectral flight and wrath of geists have potential, though.

    UB infect I think lacks the surprise factor of green's pumps. Titanic growth is devastating when landed successfully, and ranger's guile is pretty techy. black's selection of infectors is solid, but a bit on the more expensive end. Mana-base is easier, but I think it's more suited to a slightly slower deck than this. Still, has potential.

    If this fails, I'm thinking UR non-infect. having two potential 3/2 one-drops is pretty sick too, although it does make life gain viable against you.

    You thoughts?
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [[Official]] [Competitive] Mono Black Control
    I've got a sort of aggro control build I'm working on:



    vs control, it drops weenies and goes for the wipes/bombs with its discard, getting through for early damage with 1/1s. Then it goes for either liliana lockdown, high priest demon machine, or obliterator...obliteration, using the targeted discard to keep answers out of the picture long enough to hopefully get through.

    vs aggro, it can try to keep things stable with removal, plague spitters, skeletons etc while stripping enemy answers, then going down a similar path for the kill.

    vs combo, discard strips pieces, or removal removes them...pretty straightforward.

    Alternately, this is my more midrangey/control one:


    not technically MONO black, but the red splash is pretty tiny...i just like olivia. lashwrithe might make a better replacement, i dunno.

    I'm pretty fresh to standard, been doing a lot of drafts recently...so I guess my decks are probably based more on what's been successful for me in drafts than the current T2 meta (with the exception of lili...worst I've done in a draft recently was when i pulled a lili and went 2-2, but I still love her...)\

    what's been people's feelings about mbc in the current meta, though? competitive potentially? How does it fare against wolf run and solar flare? I'm really trying to put together a deck that can be competitive without being netdeck bollocks.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Developing] B/x Liliana virtual-CA Control (in 4(!) versions).
    Quote from liminaluser
    Well, then you just saw the non-PW lists (Except for Enoch's old one).

    BR smashes aggro. And I mean absolutely smashes.

    A little green spash for Ancient Grudge helps the Sword heavy matchups.

    It seems to be okay against other control decks.

    But it really struggles against Solar Flare decks, particularly those chaining Rune-Scared Demon/Phantasmal Image/Phyrexian Metamorph and Sun Titan/Phantasmal Image. Even with 8 slots decidated to the Solar Flare match up post board it is rough.


    Hmm, have you considered sever the bloodline? Seems like that'd be pretty harsh against that sort of thing. Alternately, use blue. I'm still tinkering on my BU lilly.

    I'm also working on a RU version of a similar thing, with chandra instead of liliana of course. counters handle fatties, burn handles weenies, chandra makes everything better, a little instant draw to grease the wheels, and her pheonix replaces the skeletons. burn isn't as good as some of the black removal, but with blue to take out the bombs it's at least equal or better at killing weenies, plus it can more easily burn enemy planeswalkers.

    Decklist looks like this...I won't put it in the OP since it doesn't use liliana.



    Surgical extraction might deserve a spot too, but I don't know where.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Developing] B/x Liliana virtual-CA Control (in 4(!) versions).
    I think that's true for most of my builds, I could see going higher for BU since I can more easily mill him back to the grave with alchemy or drownyard.

    I looked at the OP but I didn't read the whole thread, it's definitely more aggro than mine, but I think mine has the edge in the way it uses VCA.

    Right now I'm really leaning UB or UBR over BR, because I don't think straight BR covers enough problem areas.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Developing] B/x Liliana virtual-CA Control (in 4(!) versions).
    Looked up solar flare right after posting this, at first I assumed it was some card I forgot. Name makes no sense to me but w/e.

    (Side note: I should mention that currently I'm playing mostly limited, and before that, EDH. So my evaluation of cards might be colored by that, I'm not used to the highly-tuned, netdecky world of type 2)

    Haven't gotten to test any of these much yet, I like reassembling skeleton simply because he's an easy eot move and can force people to overextend to get damage in, he synergizes with lily and alchemy, and he can sometimes get some beats in or trade in combat. The problem with lantern spirit is that lily doesn't like it, and it costs 4 mana to recast instead of 2. plus it can't fight anything and come back to life, and he's easier to kill than skeleton imo...you have to leave that mana open, and he still can't block until your next turn, same as skele...he's got flying and more damage, but the tradeoff is that it's twice as expensive, synergizes badly, and can't really fight without perma-dying. If skele doesn't pan out, I'll probably cut the slot for more of something else.

    interesting tip on mass removal, I'll have to tune to my meta I suppose.

    Pharaoh needs some testing, but he does fit well into the theme of the deck. With the amount of removal I'm packing I should be able to control when he's activated. Admittedly he's way cooler with gideon (hence why he's cut to 1 slot in my most recent version, UBR), but he's still a solid blocker, a beatstick to kill enemy pws, and repeatable removal. Running the mill land is an interesting suggestion, though, I might try a BU version that goes more graveyard recursive to take advantage of that, with lots of pharaohs and skeles and flashback in place of red.

    chandra's phoenix is cool, but probably for a different deck, I don't have enough direct damage, and can't afford to run enough, to make it work. Kuldotha, same deal except with artifacts instead of damage.

    skite probably won't help lily vs bramblecrush :p Also, if they have beast within, they'll just hit skite with creature/artifact removal (which would otherwise be useless/near useless) and then use beast within on lily. Not much gained. Counters seem more reliable.

    garruk's ok, others are too removable (much as I owe bloodline keeper my victory at the prerelease). still, doesn't seem like enough reason to run green, especially since saccing skeles (or nothing, most of the time) is even better.

    sorin's ok, I could maybe see one, but he's expensive and just feels underwhelming for the cost. He's solid against enemy pws, but karn's a lot better for 1 more.

    If I do aggro, it'll probably be BR, but that's a completely different discussion. For now, I want to make this concept work.

    green for ancient grudge is an interesting suggestion. Right now I'm focused on UB/x?, though.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Developing] B/x Liliana virtual-CA Control (in 4(!) versions).
    What's solar flare?

    I am starting to think UB might be the strongest option, simply because counters give me the most coverage, and although black isn't the BEST at mass removal, using another color just to handle mass removal might be inefficient. And I definitely agree that I could use some draw power, the BU was the most recently, and most hastily, cobbled together of the three.

    That said, I really don't like jace as my secondary planeswalker, he doesn't have any immediate impact on the board and he costs a lot of mana compared to lily or chandra. He costs the same as Gideon, but at least gideon comes with lots of counters and he can waste something immediately, or at least buy you some time.

    So I've put together a UBR version that uses some of blue's draw and counter ability, with a taste of red's sweepers and chandra, with black being the backbone as usual. I've added it to the OP, tell me what you think.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Developing] B/x Liliana virtual-CA Control (in 4(!) versions).
    I thought about GB (simply because I've made a version with all the other colors) but I can't think of any specific cards that really work very well. The pws are decent, but there's no much removal that does me much good. If you've got any particular cards I haven't considered, though, go for it.

    I just started building decks for T2 so I'm really not familiar with the common archetypes. Tbh I'm pretty unimpressed with the current post-INN selection of counters, so I wouldn't predict a lot of counter-heavy decks, but I could be wrong. My general modus operandi if they're waiting me out with counters is to wait until their play their wincon, then drop my pw and kill whatever they played (not necessarily in that order). But how I'd respond to a particular low/no-creature deck depends on how they're planning to win. You'd really have to give me some decklists.

    Bump in the night isn't good for these decks, by the time they're dealing damage they should have the game locked down anyway.

    As far as 3-color combos, I'm thinking UBR might be solid. The deck's biggest weakness feels like it's against enemy PWs. UBR gives me counters for problem dogs and some of the cheap pyroclasm-type wipes and chandra, and both U and R and pretty splashable.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on [Developing] B/x Liliana virtual-CA Control (in 4(!) versions).
    The Longish Intro:

    I'm thinking of getting into T2 for the first time since Ravnica (incidentally the first time since I entered college) and as usual, I'll be damned before I use some bland netdeck. Budget isn't really an issue for me now that there aren't any jace-level expensive cards in T2, but I want something original and competitive, and preferrably control.

    My favorite idea thus far is a virtual-CA-focused control deck that uses its unusual decklist to make big segments of enemy decks worthless. It has zero un-recurrable creatures, making enemy removal nearly worthless, and packs tons of removal to make any enemy cards that work with their creatures (i.e. equipment, auras, etc) worthless, and sweepers to get 2+-for-1 trades. Keeping the field squeeky clean ensures the deck's planeswalkers stick around to suppress the field and eventually get their ultimates off. Liliana is the real focal piece here, as she can force discard to lock people out and prevent annoying recursion engines and bouncers like batterskull, her sac ability makes it easy to keep the field clear if they aren't drawing tons of creatures, and her ultimate can be pretty bonecrushing if done right. She's just a lockdown machine at every level.

    Black really has some amazing removal in T2 now, but the second color is sort of a toss up. White gives you artifact/enchantment removal options, sweeper(s...sort of but mostly just DoJ) and gideon, who synergizes amazingly with liliana and pharaoh. Red gives you cheap pseduo-sweepers like slagstorm, burn for killing enemy PWs and creatures for cheap, and chandra, who doubles removal spells and kills weenies, plus finishes well. Blue gives you counterspells, a little draw, and Jace, who isn't really my favorite planeswalker but does give nice CA and a potential wincon.

    The sideboard can be all sorts of clever. After round 1, odds are your opponent realizes they should sub out all their removal since it's pretty worthless. So, you sideboard in the most fragile yet problematic creatures available, like royal assassin. Of course, if they don't sideboard, you don't sideboard and their removal stays useless. And if they don't have any mainboarded removal for some reason, you can feel free to toss in your assassins and such too, of course.

    I'm planning to try out all 3 via proxy and building the best, if it seems competitive. I'm not planning on changing the entire strategy of the deck, so don't bother recommend adding removable creatures (after all, whatever I play will definitely get removed, since their removal can't do much of anything else, so even great creatures like baneslayer angel make the deck weaker by making their removal useful and losing crucial virtual CA). If this deck style proves to not be worthwhile, I'll probably try an entirely different strategy, not try to add creatures to one of these. But improvements on card choice to get a better curve, hit more important targets or get more CA, ideas for mixing colors, subthemes, sideboard suggestions (still working on that), etc are all welcome of course, as long as they keep the same basic strategy at the core. And of course I'm always happy to explain my reasoning on card choices.

    The decks!





    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on BW control "Lilideon" - My first foray into standard in 5 years
    Yes, I'm working on the name. =/

    Basically this is a deck around a few cards that I thought seemed interesting and have some nasty tech together. It aims to get massive virtual card advantage by having no artifacts, enchantments, or creatures it cares about losing. Then it's packed with removal to keep the field clear and the field locked down, so it can get its PWs to ultimate for the kill.

    Anyway, the deck:



    EDIT: besides the one-shot removal, the engines of the deck were chosen to work together, namely gideon, liliana, and pharaoh. Gideon activates pharoah while pharoah protects him, gideon protects liliana while she clears the field/hands to protect gideon, and liliana pitches pharaoh while he protects her. So any 2 of those seems pretty nasty.
    Posted in: Standard Archives
  • posted a message on Odyssey filters
    For 2 color, they're definitely not as good as the new filters, since you can't produce 2 of the same color. But for 5 color, and for some 3 color decks, they can be really sweet since you probably aren't packing a lot of cards that need 2+ of the same color, especially in 5 color.

    Definitely not as good as fetches/duals, but they can let utility lands like strip/waste/bowl/path or other colorless producers basically produce colors. They're not my first pick for 5-color manabases, but they're definitely some of the best budget options for 5color bases.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on [EDH] Top 5 Generals of all time
    edric and nin might have a chance. everything else...nah.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
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