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  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @yriel
    RE: RiP
    - I do think Dredge is nearly unwinnable without it.
    - Living End, we basically have Chalice, but if we have RiP, we also disrupt them very effectively along a second line of attack.
    - Whir Prison, what you noted effectively stops their wincons. This gives us an alternate wincon of milling them out, with Displacer-TKS comobo, to force them to draw out faster than us, while we pick apart their relevant cards inside the draw step. I've beaten Lantern and Whir this way. Also, many Whir play Thopter-Sword combo, which is best beaten with RiP.
    - Storm and Hollow One, it just gives us another prison piece, and they are the aggro deck in those matches, so our job is to lock out their game plan, then beat them.

    Humans are ~6% of the meta, graveyard decks in total are about 18% of the meta. Dredge and The Rock are as popular as Humans by itself. But you are correct, I would absolutely want enough answers to Humans and Spirits, which is why 3 Tocatli is probably correct right now.

    RE: Tocatli vs Torpor Orb
    Test it out. I'm just trying to share with you why we moved from Orb to Tocatli when it was released.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @yriel
    Yeah, I don't know that we need Stony for if it doesn't help a very bad match. I'm really moving towards your Crackdowns, especially if Scales is in fact already at least even.

    RiP is our only fast out to Dredge, and it helps against a wide variety of decks (I don't think it comes in against Phoenix). I know a lot of people don't like it against BG Midrange, but Kalitas, Goyf, Scooze all need the graveyard. Also good against Scales, Storm, Hollow One, Living End and even Whir Prison to stop them recycling lands and artifacts.

    I think Tocatli is there primarily for two reasons: it is a creature that blocks and attacks if needed, and as a creature it can be protected by Displacer.

    RE: Spirits: they have moved to 3 Damping Sphere for Tron and combo, and Hurkyl's Recall is better against Whir and Scales.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    We've been having a conversation on the Spirits thread that Stony Silence isn't that great right now. It is valuable for Affinity, but that deck is much less present, and Hardened Scales, which is actually increasing in play, and Artifact Prison Control, where Whir is much less impacted by Stony than Lantern was. It is also good against Tron (they have a number of important activated artifacts, but it doesn't stop natural Tron or impact Wurmcoil), but maybe the play there is shutting down searching (I like Aven Mindcensor, as it also hits Titan decks pretty hard), and using land destruction.

    I don't mind Consulate Crackdown, but Spirits can run Hurkyl's Recall as the much better card in those matches, since it returns them to their hand at instant speed for 2 mana. Crackdown does exile your opponent's artifacts, so that is quite good, its just that 5 mana is so much and I wish it was a Sorcery and not an Enchantment. Then again, that is just fine against Whir Prison and Lantern, it just is quite slow versus Hardened Scales and mostly worthless against Tron.

    Maybe the key is to rethink boarding for Affinity/Scales, and make more use of Declaration in Stone, Settle the Wreckage, and Ratchet Bomb (Affinity/Scales, Whir) for those matches, with Crackdown added in (for Affinity/Scales, Whir) for the mid to late game blowout.

    Thoughts?

    Current sideboard 10 staples:
    3 Rest in Peace
    2 Declaration in Stone
    2 Tocatli Honor Guard
    1 Worship
    1 Settle the Wreckage
    1 Ratchet Bomb

    Possible additional sideboard cards:
    +1 Worship
    +1 Tocatli Honor Guard
    1 Karn, Scion of Urza
    1 Endbringer
    2 Stony Silence
    1-2 Crackdown
    1 Cast Out
    1-2 Damping Sphere (Tron, but also becomes another Thalia.)
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    Yeah, Dredge is close to an auto-loss Game 1.

    The deck is definitely decision-intensive and you are right, the correct Turn 1-2 play is complex, as often there are multiple good options, so which one is best remains.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Colorless Eldrazi Stompy
    Explosion Zone is interesting, but it is going to eat up a lot of mana to get there. You'll need 5 lands out, including itself, to pump it for 2 (not including SSG), which is not insignificant and not fast. On the other hand, against Humans, Elves, Spirits and the like, 1 or 2 is probably what we want anyway, if we are still alive. I don't know, I think it needs testing, but it is definitely worth testing.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    How did it go?
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    Any insights into the Phoenix match-up based on your experience? Was this a significant reason for the build you chose?

    Also, yes, Hurkyl seems pretty great, actually.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    I would also expect 3 Damping Sphere and 2 Disdainful Stroke in SpookyGoose's deck to make it solid against Tron, as much as we can be, and the card I think I fear the most in Whir Prison is Bridge and/or Whir into Bridge or EE, and Stony only stops EE. Sideboard, they can bring in Torpor Orb, which also ignored Stony.

    Disdainful Stroke is probably okay against Whir, but mostly because removal is bad, but a deck with 4 Thalia + 4 Deputy should do pretty well against Whir.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    @SpookyGoose
    Results from GP Bilbao also interesting, and I don't know the lists of those Spirit decks, but I'm betting they ran 2-3 Stony and if they did, it didn't seem to matter much...

    "Spirits went:
    5-0 versus Mill (100%)
    3-10 versus Hardened Scales (23.1%)
    2-9 versus Affinity (18.2%)"
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    @SpookyGoose
    That all makes sense, and I found the build quite refreshingly tuned to the moment.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Modern Spirits
    I like Alan Swan's deck for Cleveland.

    It makes good use of Thalia and Deputy, recognizes that Kira is important for protecting them. I'm not wholly sure on 3 Captain\1 Copter, but it is understandable, as it makes all the weaker creatures better and does filter. It loses the boom of CoCo and the draw engine of Obsession, but it has huge threat density, excellent removal, and the most important non-Spirits.

    I am amazed he got away with ZERO Stony Silence, but maybe that was a reasonable call in this meta, especially just going with 3 Damping Sphere for Tron, Combo, but also Phoenix.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @yriel
    Think less about the approach as simple, than as the first thing you need to understand in any match. Misunderstand your role, and you are already at a disadvantage.

    After that, it is helpful to understand the 5 archetypes in Magic (Aggro, Tempo or Aggro-Control, Midrange Aggro, Midrange Control, Control and Hybrid Control) and the two types of finishes (progressive and combo), in order to get a deeper understanding of how your deck relates to other decks, and the weaknesses in each match. Adrian Sullivan, one of the foremost theorists of MTG has a very interesting article recently that talks about this, and he has links to defining metatheory articles written by himself and others.

    Then one has to consider deck-building: what kind of cards work together (e.g. Why Ponder in one deck, but Preordain in another?), manabases, synergy (and non-synergy), etc.

    Finally, there is no replacement for knowledge of the meta (Crackdown is a perfect example, as if Affinity was the only really artifact deck, it isn't good, but if multiple artifact decks are strong, e.g. now there is Hardened Scales and Whir Prison in Tier 1, Affinity and Lantern in Tier 2, it is certainly much better) and practice (sequencing, a skill that even linear aggro deck players have to master; when to take a hit and when not, when to cast draw spells, when to fetch, when to counter, when to play on one's turn and when to play reactively, etc.)

    All of which, in the end, feeds back into how well you understand your role in the match. I presented the simplest form of the idea, but the full content of "knowing your role" or "Who is the beatdown" involves a great deal of learning and application. Not that the best players are theory people, but they have at least intuitively absorbed all of these elements into their play.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @yriel
    In thinking about the SB, my first question is always "Who is the beatdown?" or, what is our role in the match. I'm not so much justifying my points, as helping you see how I think about the matches as I have played these a lot with this deck. Someone like SpiderSpace might have a different view and he is much better and more experienced with the deck as a streamer/heavy MTGO player.

    With Tron, they are control and we are the beatdown. Turn 2 3/3 is better than a removal spell, especially as it functions as a de facto removal spell by making them unable to attack. If Thragtusk is their only out, we are in good shape.

    With Burn, they are the beatdown and we are control, at least in the first few turns, but their creatures don't size well against ours, so Chalice + creatures is our best solution to them, and somewhere around turn 3-4, we should become the beatdown. I will say, I have lost 1 match, and only 1 match, to Burn in some 30+ matches. As long as you take Dismember out, you are doing it right.

    Against Scales, they are the beatdown and we are control, at least early. Stony is the absolutely most important card, but Chalice is also super strong. Crackdown does seem like GG for them and if that is prominent in your meta, it seems like a fine inclusion.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    @yriel
    Most of it looks fine. I'm not a fan of Consulate Crackdown, but hey, test it out.

    The three I see issues with are:
    Tron :
    + 1 cast out, 1 declaration in stone, 2 stony silence, 1 aven mindcensor, 1 consulate crackdown
    - 3 dismember, 3 eldrazi displacer

    You need aggression and Displacer deals with Wurmcoil Engine just fine, whereas Dec in Stone is meh. I also don't think Consulate Crackdown is good enough here. Cast Out is also only so-so.

    Burn :
    + 1 kitchen finks, 2 worship, 1 declaration in stone, 1 cast out, 1 ratchet bomb
    - 3 dismember, 3 eldrazi displacer

    Displacer + Finks is Winsville. Dec and Cast Out are still meh here. Ratchet is ok, maybe worth a single Displacer.

    Scales :
    + 1 cast out, 1 declaration in stone, 2 stony silence, 1 kitchen finks, 1 ratchet bomb, 1 consulate crackdown, 2 rest in peace
    - 4 thalia v1, 4 leonin arbiter, 1 thalia v2

    This and Robots seems like the match for Crackdown, but 3WW is a long way off. I also think that Thalia GoT is really good here, especially if you can do that or Chalice turn 1. Finks is ok and Ratchet Bomb is a bit of a non-bo with Stony.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death and Staxes
    yriel, this will help us next time, just list the cards all in a column, highlight the list and click the Deck icon. Can you put +x number in, -x number out for your SB listing? That would also be helpful, as I would not assume you mean +all, -all in each case.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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