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  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Quote from Kathal »
    Tested a hybrid build of Narset + Griselbrand yesterday evening (build it and played 20+ goldfish games). Thoughts:

    It does not really work. Narset adds so many "bad" cards to the deck (to be able to get actually benefits of her) that it is not really worth it. However, what I noticed was, that Pull from Eternity combined with both Serum Powder and Gemstone Caverns led to some very interesting turn 2 kills via Griselbrand. How it works: You are on the draw, use Powder or Gemstone Cavern (ideally) to exile Griselbrand, so you can go for Pull into Vengeance on turn 2. Increased the speed (and also the consisntency) by quite a noticeable margin.

    So, next version I will try is a Powder version, something I wanted to do since quite a while.

    Greetings,
    Kathal


    No, Narset is far too janky. The problem I'm looking to address by turning back towards fury of the horde is the extremely awkward 4Grisel/8Enablers and the 4Wurm/4Enablers inconsistency. Borborygmos doesn't count because Breach/Goryos him doesn't actually do anything without Griselbrand already. I want 8 fatties and 8 things that work on both fatties. Emrakul seems to be the best bet. If I'm already going to be putting 4 Emrakul in my deck then the most logical thing to cut is the Wurm and without the Wurm you don't need Shoal and without Shoal you don't need Borborygmos. I was just curious if anyone had a deck or has seen a deck recently that has gone this route as well. I think it's safe to say that Griselbrand and Shoal, while fun, has reached the best deck in can be in modern for the time being (which is, the results say, not a very good one.) So my thought process is to up the consistency by retooling it a little. Having an 8/8 ratio of combo pieces is better than a 4/8 or a 4/4 ratio and would potentially solve the issue of not having exactly Griselbrand in your top 15 or so cards. Fury of the Horde is a one card combo that makes Griselbrand lethal, which makes a lot more sense when you are cutting Wurms and Shoals. Just a thought.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from ktkenshinx »
    Quote from Earthbound21 »
    Xerox decks remain the problem, despite players loving to play them. There is very little counter play in existence to them. It's no surprise Chalice, Tron, and Amulet decks are rising.

    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/decks-like-deaths-shadow-will-always-become-the-best-deck/

    http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/1360/turbo-xerox-and-monastery-mentor


    That channel fireball article is interesting and I'll finish it later. But I disagree with preordain being unfit for modern play.
    I feel like it is the line that would ensure control decks can hit their land drops while also lowering overall land count, stopping them control decks missing their land drops so they just die.

    You could say but it also allows them to dig for combo pieces but I feel like the gain for decks that beat combo/xerox would be better than for the xerox (faithless looting is probably more powerful than preordain in the current meta).

    On the one hand, I agree that for the most part, non-rotating format metagames will gravitate towards cantrip-heavy Xerox decks. They provide more options and consistency, which generally makes for a stronger deck. This is doubly noticeable in high-level events with top players, who personally want to play the kind of high consistency, low variance, high selection decks enabled by cantrips. I fully expect the MC to be overrun with Phoenix due to this pro preference and the fact that IP is a clear Tier 1 deck, if not the clear best deck.

    On the other hand, this gravitation doesn't fully explain IP's current dominance. GDS never came close to these numbers in the past. Indeed, peak 2017 GDS performance never really exceeded peak Tron or Humans performance in 2018, and only one of those decks (Tron) has any resemblance to a Xerox deck: Stirrings, Sphere, and Star provide a LOT of velocity and selection. Even there, however, it's clearly not true Driver-Deck Xerox. Other factors are driving IP's run aside from simple Xerox gravitation and success.

    I fully believe part of that drive is an echo chamber effect that trumpets IP as a best deck, with many players seeing no reason to disagree and picking it up blindly. They aren't wrong that it's a best deck, but they also are probably overselling the degree that it's the best. Another driving factor hss got to be Arena and Standard, which have pulled many away from Modern. When they return to the format after spending hours/days in Arena land, it's easy to audible to a deck that has such proven success. Add in the deck's inherent power/resilience/consistency, and the Magic community's penchant for alarmism instead of adaptation, and you have a perfect storm of factors leading to a 20%+ deck. This makes IP a different metagame force than GDS, which did not have all these factors at play to the same extent.


    The point is not whether UR Phoenix is or is not the best deck. The point is that you have a Xerox deck showing up in wildly large numbers. You can argue that it's because its professional players say it is great, or because people like to play xerox decks, or because a flying vengevine pushed it over the top, or there are too many cantrips, or its threat diversity isn't hosed by any one line of counterplay, whatever. What makes it powerful and prevalent is not important. It's powerful because its a Xerox deck. It's prevalent because it is. The important questions are "Why is it dominating?"and "How can we fight it?"

    For the first, I will repost the articles I linked originally, explaining how and why Xerox decks are powerful.

    http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/1360/turbo-xerox-and-monastery-mentor

    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/decks-like-deaths-shadow-will-always-become-the-best-deck/

    For the second, the answer is that there are no real good anti-Xerox decks in modern except, just like in vintage, Dredge. I posted the article explaining this. The three methods to overcome Xerox are to go under it, over it, or attack the cantrips directly. Modern has so few decks that can get under it, and the ones that can are pretty jank. The best of them is probably Affinity, but other's include Goryo's Vengeance, 8 Whack, Infect, and maybe Death's Shadow with the nut Street Wraith/Berserk hand.

    Going over it is fine, but the Xerox deck hedges against that with Pyro Ascension, Thing in the Ice, and Crackling. This is why Tron (also a pseudo Xerox deck) and Primeval Titan are on the rise. Valakut is just hard to interact with, Amulet can kill you with a resolved Titan immediately, and Tron can swing the free tempo gained by Phoenixs back in their favor by playing a bomb on turn three. While these three decks are good against Phoenix, it isn't a stomp, and they can still fold to a few of the Phoenix plan Bs.

    Attacking Xerox directly is also pretty unfeasible in Modern. There are only four playable cards in existence that punish Xerox players: Sphere of Resistance, Thorn of Ameythest, Thalia Guardian of Tharben, and Chalice of the Void. I know there are a few others but they cost too much to really be playable, like Trinisphere or Vryn Wingmare. Of three modern legal answers, Thalia lacks her supporting cast of Rishadan Port and Wasteland and Thalia decks are typically weak to Thing in the Ice, Thorn of Ameythest sees no play, and Chalice has none of its supporting cards (Ancient Tomb, Workshop) and while there are few Tezzerator/Whir of Invention/Thopter Sword Chalice decks that can go toe to toe with Phoenix, they are still susceptible to Pyro Ascension and Surgical Extraction and Shatterstorm and such. It's not a stomp, but you can squeak out a win there.

    That leaves Modern with just Dredge to combat Phoenix, same as it is/was in Vintage, and the results show it. We are in a Xerox/Dredge/Shops metagame without the shops, and with less scary dredge/ramp strategies. The same thing happened when Death's Shadow was the top deck. Eldrazi Tron (Chalice) rose to fight it.

    The issue at hand is that Modern will almost always be weak to Xerox decks because Modern's current answers to Xerox are not particularly good. What is interesting, what what should be the topics of discussion are:

    "Are there new or not-yet-discovered ways to combat Xerox decks?"

    and

    "Why did WOTC choose to restrict Mentor over cantrips and how can that affect Izzet Phoenix?"

    Edit: Preemptive Counter Argument - 'But my BGx!'

    While Green Black Rock has shown some strength in the Phoenix match, Rock is naturally at a disadvantage because they have to have everything line up correctly to win. Are they on the Phoenix plan? Need to have Surgical/Nihil Spellbomb/Scavenging Ooze/Kalitas (all of which cost more mana than a Phoenix). Are they on the Thing in the Ice plan? Hope you drew Fatal Push. Are they on the Ascension plan? Hope you have Pulse or Trophy. And while it can line up in Rock's favor, they have to get a little lucky to get there while the Xerox deck is leveraging its better average draw step every turn. If BG decks were better at fighting Phoenix, we'd see more of them. The whole internet is biased towards Midrange strategies, so you'd think they'd show up at tournaments and show how good their deck is against the Xerox deck. Thus far, that hasn't happened en masse, and Rock decks remain a small percent of the field while Phoenix grows.

    Edit 2: I will not be replying to rebuttals that are not at least as fleshed out as my assertion. If you're grown up enough to use the internet, you are grown up enough to understand that posturing, nit picking, and corner cases are not enough to constitute a rebuttal to an argument. You will attack my argument in full or you will not be getting a response from me.

    @whoever was disagree with the CFB article - The point isn't that X cantrip is too good or not good enough, the point is that a critical mass of cantrips regardless of goodness will always rise to the top. Reading things in full before commenting on them makes you seem less silly.

    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Xerox decks remain the problem, despite players loving to play them. There is very little counter play in existence to them. It's no surprise Chalice, Tron, and Amulet decks are rising.

    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/decks-like-deaths-shadow-will-always-become-the-best-deck/

    http://www.themanadrain.com/topic/1360/turbo-xerox-and-monastery-mentor
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    I've recently had a renewed interest in Fury of the Horde versions. Something about having 8 fatties and 8 enablers is making more sense to me right now than the weird 4/8 and 4/4 split that puts us in between Sneak Attack and Reanimator. With the Shoal version, if you don't have a Griselbrand in your top 10-15 cards, you just lose. Adding Big Spaghetti back into the mix somewhat alleviates this issue. Does anyone have any Fury lists kicking around?
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Blue hasn't had good card selection since the last time ponder got printed in 2012. Card selection cantrips are not something they design in blue anymore. Green has gotten a bunch (Oath of Nissa, Various Commune effects), Red has gotten a bunch (Carthartic, Tormenting, Magmatic Insight). Blue has gotten zero. Calm down there with your color bias.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    MTGS Forums: "Modern needs card selection! Give us Preordain or riot!"

    Also MTGS Forums: "Faithless Looting is in ~20% of decks! Card selection is busted!"


    This forum continues to be blue/midranged biased useless garbage.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Meanwhile Burn, Affinity, Amulet, and flavors of Lantern are all on the rise. Do you ever not speak entirely in hyperbole?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    You aren't likely to see legacy powerhouses reprinted, including things like Force of Will, Sneak Attack, Show and Tell, Lion's Eye Diamond, Daze, Brainstorm, Wasteland, Entomb, and Hymn to Tourach, etc., because then there is no point to legacy. You also aren't likely to see any really powerful fast mana, such as Dark/Cabal Ritual or Ancient Tomb or Exploration. Further, you aren't likely to see non-interactive cards get reprinted, things like True Name Nemesis or Back to Basics or Leovold. Further, you aren't going to see any cards with Conspiracy mechanics on them, such as Will of the Council or Palace Jailer. You are also unlikely to see any particularly powerful humans, such as Sanctum Prelate. You should also not expect to see cards that have archaic mechanics on them, such as threshold, or shroud.

    What you should expect is cards from bygone archetypes that don't have a home in Legacy, such as Astral Slide, Riptide Laboratory, Goblin Ringleader, Slivers, Madness cards, Psychatog, along with some more niche but powerful spells like cycling lands, Force Spike, Wirewood Symbiote, Sulfuric Vortex, Vindicate, Innocent Blood, and Impulse. Things that are strong, but not strong enough for legacy and mostly forgotten. Worse case scenario is that they take some good spells and put them on sticks.

    You also have to remember that the set is built to be drafted, and as such will contain a good amount of chaff.

    The people who are spouting about Force of Will are crazy and the people who think True Name Nemesis is an okay card are absolutely off their rocker.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    I agree that 4 Sleight of Hand is correct in the Phoenix deck. It mostly plays at sorcery speed anyway.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Wizards literally just posted that Stirrings (and Opal) as they are right now, today, are fine. The snide, unproductive, comments need to stop.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    Quote from idSurge »
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from DeFish »
    People are also still playing slow, durdly midrange decks like traditional Jund. I've spent the last few months on straight Jund Shadow and it feels as powerful in this metagame as Jund did in 2015.
    Modern is a format in which players play what they own and play what they like, regardless of how well positioned the deck actually is. This leads to lots of wide, wonky matchups, and a complete inability to metagame effectively in any kind of event outside of a predictable LGS.


    I'm playing freaking Wilderness Reclamation Bant Control. This is the truth, the eternal truth of Modern, outside something stupid like Eldrazi Winter.


    I literally just played against this deck on <not official MTG program>. It wasn't too shabby, honestly.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 21/01/2019)
    The take on Ancient Stirrings should be this:

    It enables more archetypal decks than probably any other card in the format between Combo (KCI previously, Amulet), Ramp (Tron), Aggro (Scales), Stompy (Eldrazi variants) and Prison (Lantern). It's promotion of archetypes is great. More decks is more better. Wizards has said so. The prevalence of Ancient Stirrings as it is right now today is perfectly acceptable as deemed by Wizards and people who are still insisting despite yesterday's write up that it is in some way offensive are blatantly wrong. It says in the first post of this thread that is not a place to air grievances, so can we please have a mod crackdown on all of those snide comments that assailed the last thread regarding this card?
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 26/11/2018)
    "As Modern stands, our metagame data does not indicate a need to impact the other Ancient Stirrings or Mox Opal decks."



    Source: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-21-2019-banned-and-restricted-announcement



    I don't want to hear anymore about either of these two cards for a very long time.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on What do you do?
    Often times on streams, effects that involve tokens are signaled or noted or mentioned verbally and the game will continue while the judge or table spotter fetches the appropriate token from a binder or whatever.
    Posted in: Modern
  • posted a message on Grishoalbrand / Griselbrand Reanimator
    Quote from blaudemon »
    Hey all, I was thinking in matches against artifacts, why don't we use dispossess in the SB? It's faster that slaughter games and get the job done.


    I don't see why an extraction effect is necessary and/or better than Shattering Spree in the deck with red fast mana. If you want to extract something from like KCI specifically, don't waste your sideboard slots and just mull to a faster hand. If you're talking about Affinity, whats the point of extracting anything when they kill you with whats on the board in their first 10 cards or so. Also, any extraction effect that isn't Surgical or perhaps Extirpate is likely too slow, too narrow, or too clunky. Or all three.
    Posted in: Combo
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