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  • 1

    posted a message on UR Phoenix
    In terms of this deck translating to Legacy, I've also seen a UR Legacy list on MTGO with Careful Study as the discard outlet.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • 1

    posted a message on BUG Wilderness Teachings Turns
    The Jan. 29, 2019 MTGO Modern League had some delightfully loony 5-0 decks in it, including this one:

    So I decided to try it out on Cockatrice and figure out how consistently it can 5-0. I couldn't resist a couple of tweaks, though:

    My previous testing with Wilderness Reclamation in a Bant Midrange-Control shell resulted in WR being a do-nothing card too often, so that's when I sadly figured that WR needs to enable an insane endgame if it is to find a slot in Modern. Does WR enable an insane endgame in this deck? Read further!

    The soul of this deck's late-game is spamming Mystical Teachings for Nexus of Fate once you have a Wilderness Reclamation out, chaining extra turn after extra turn. Bonus points if you can plink them with Snapcaster Mage and/or Creeping Tar Pit in those chained turns. I've found that starting a turn chain without any creatures is generally worth it, though.

    In order to get to that point, this deck loads up on full playsets of cards that famously resemble Time Walk: Remand, Explore Growth Spiral, and Cryptic Command.

    I already figured that 3 Wilderness Reclamations were probably not necessary, and being able to tutor for one with Mystical Teachings would be pretty sweet. I haven't regretted swapping out a WR for Clutch of the Undercity (which can tutor for WR, and which Teachings can tutor for): I've transmuted it into both WR and Teachings several times each.

    Despite the Tiagos, Teachings, Blue Sun's Zenith, and Hieroglyphic Illumination, I found that this deck still had too little CA and had trouble coming back into the game at that point, so I swapped out an Opt for Whispers of the Muse. This has got to be one of the best decks for Whispers of the Muse: worst-case scenario, it's a cycled Hieroglyphic Illumination, and it's not that hard to draw a card a turn with it (especially with Wilderness Reclamation). Two cards a turn isn't even out of the question.

    Of course, it's quite possible that Search for Azcanta would be a better use for either slot. (That card made Wilderness Reclamation worth it in my Bant testing.) Luring opposing enchantment removal may be a good thing. Then again, Whispers of the Muse doesn't get hosed by enchantment removal...

    Most of the singletons--except for maybe the Spell Snare--earn their keep. Logic Knot is a cheap, nigh-hard counter and is one of the most-often tutored cards in the deck. Pulse of Murasa gets your life total out of the danger zone fast and recurs Tiagos, Tar Pits, and Field of Ruin in style. Devour Flesh can eliminate a Hexproof bugger, but its true worth is against Death's Shadow decks. The Abrupt Decay-Assassin's Trophy split is fine: while Trophy is the better removal spell overall because it hits anything, Decay is markedly better against Spirits because Mausoleum Wanderer cannot counter it. Hieroglyphic Illumination is one of the best cards to flash back with Tiago and is a nice middle ground between Opt and Whispers of the Muse. Blue Sun's Zenith is a great way to end a turn chain, as it can draw scads of cards. It's a pretty poor win con, though: even with 2 WRs out, the only opposing deck you can deck out with the ~24 mana you have access to is Dredge. Spell Snare protects WR from opposing Trophy pretty well and still counters the usual 2-drops, but it feels fairly low-impact. Part of me isn't so hot on 2 Fatal Push and wants a second Trophy instead of a Push. In a controlling deck with as little removal as this--and sometimes I want to maindeck a board wipe!--needing Revolt to kill a 3-drop with Push stings quite often.

    The checkland-heavy mana base is actually constructed like that for a reason. The checklands are pain-free, often ETB untapped starting on Turns 2-3, are great to drop with Growth Spiral as a result, and keep ETB-ing untapped in the late-game: and this is a very mana-hungry deck.

    I'm not sure whether I should swap out another card for a closer Teachings can tutor for, especially since this deck often cannot win the game outright by the end of the turn chain. This deck often does accrue a considerable number of answers in hand by the end of the turn chain, though, and I've been having increasing success ending turn chains with USZ, Pulse of Murasa, Tiago, or simply one more Nexus of Fate. The turn chain often results in an eventual win, anyway. Not to mention the very endgame of this deck: casting Nexus of Fate every turn and getting infinite turns that way. (I've only achieved this once so far, though.)

    This deck has a bad time against Burn and Humans in my testing, but several other match-ups seem winnable, including Grixis Death's Shadow (they need early fatties, preferably with Stubborn Denial backup), Spirits (they're disruptive AF, but their clock can be on the slow side), Dredge (you may be surprised--the turn chain can get going fast enough, and USZ is a legitimate finisher against them--Remand as many spells as possible, though), and Hardened Scales Robots (they have no maindeck spell disruption, and this deck generally has an easier time against those types of aggro decks). This deck's Gx Tron match-up isn't completely shabby, but you need to play aggressively against them, to the point that you may want to aim Cryptic at Tron lands fairly early.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 1

    posted a message on Prime Speaker Vannifar - Birthing Pod Reborn?
    It's quite possible that Wizards dropped the ball the other way with Prime Speaker Vannifar - assuming she survives long enough, she can turn a mere 1-drop into a creature-based combo in one turn. With enough deck-warping and other resources, she can also turn singleton 2-5-drops and even a fetchland for Dryad Arbor into the same win. While she's more expensive, more restrictive colours-wise, and slower than Birthing Pod, she's more powerful.

    I've been having reasonable success with a 4-Vannifar deck, loads of creatures, plenty of "Pod" chains leading to Deceiver Exarch + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and a relatively minimal creature toolkit. The deck is very capable of comboing off on Turn 4, and my current build can even combo off on Turn 3 (awww thanks, Torch Courier).

    However, from my further testing, it's quite possible that a build that loads up on Vannifar, Saheeli Rai, and Felidar Guardian may end up becoming the best Vannifar deck. Saheeli Rai can effectively grant a fresh Vannifar Haste (at the grave cost of losing Vannifar after that turn), Felidar Guardian is part of the "Pod" chain leading to Exarch & Kiki-Jiki, and both plans love 1-cmc mana dorks so they can go off on Turn 3 more often.

    Vannifar herself may never be better positioned: this Modern meta has an unprecedentedly high number of decks with only burn spells and Collective Brutality as maindeck removal (Arclight Phoenix decks, Burn, maybe BR Hollow One except the latest builds have 2 Fatal Push each, arguably UR Storm). Thus, Vannifar gets to survive a turn against surprisingly many decks (unless they bust 2 burn spells on her).
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on Dovin, Grand Arbiter (The Mana Source preview)
    Quote from urweak »
    I am very surprised no one has mention Shape Anew here.

    We in Modern haven't been able to get Shape Anew to a competitive level in years, not even when we got Clue tokens at instant speed for cheap. No wonder we'd forget that Shape Anew is a card.

    (The only competitive way to cheat in expensive artifacts in Modern right now is Madcap Experiment.)
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 3

    posted a message on The People's Pod
    Your mana base looks fine for the most part, especially since you have a lesser emphasis on Vannifar than I do (and therefore a reduced need for Forests through Scryb Ranger mid-combo abuse). I'm using a similar mana base myself, although I need to caution that mana bases like ours are rough against aggro decks.

    I'm not a great fan of Rhythm of the Wild in this deck, mainly because it's not a creature and it therefore cannot be tutored for, tapped for Convoke, or fed to Vannifar. Unlike Domri, Chaos Bringer, it cannot dig for threats (but, also unlike Domri 2.0, it can enable a Turn 3 Vannifar-fueled combo).

    Unlike with the slower-to-assemble-combos Kiki Actual Pre-Ban Pod, I'm no longer convinced Murderous Redcap or Zealous Conscripts are necessary; while I may give Redcap a pass if you keep Rhythm of the Wild, Conscripts only enables 4-drop Persist and double 4-drop chains along with comboing with Kiki-Jiki and kidnapping the occasional hate permanent for a hefty 5 cmc. I ditched Conscripts and Redcap early into developing my heavy Vannifar build to enable cheaper chains instead, and I haven't wanted these guys back.

    I do like Magus of the Moon, though, and I've been trying to find room for that guy in my build. (I just keep enabling more combo chains and trying to increase the speed of my deck instead.)

    Quote from thErgonomic »
    Quote from Shwivle »
    Here`s a very good post a user named Lectrys made in the "Ravnica Allegiance Previews: Modern Discussion" Thread which probably interests you.

    A user named Lectrys, the very same Lectrys who was a staple member of the Kiki-Pod thread... I'm really glad he is brewing with Vannifar

    Aw, thanks! I remember working out Kiki Pod decks when that deck type was just born, and that deck was a pretty fun ride. Birthing Pod feels faster and more resilient but less powerful than Vannifar. Being faster and more resilient are enough reasons to eat a ban, though.

    By the way, I'm female.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 1

    posted a message on Spirit of the Spires
    Why does this card look like a floating, living human wizard instead of a spirit?
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 1

    posted a message on Drill Bit
    The problem with this card in Modern is that, by Turn 3, Thoughtseize is often vaguely useless. So, even if you get Spectacle with this, it's kinda too late against aggro and some midrange.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 1

    posted a message on U/x Living As Foretold
    The red splash for Electrodominance is going to be large enough that we may as well play that lovely exiling sweeper, Anger of the Gods. Red's other exiling removal is nice, as is access to Blood Moon.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • 5

    posted a message on Electrodominance
    Quote from DeLocke »
    As much as I love everything about this card, I'm gonna drop two rulings that'll unfortunatly kill a lot of the hype :/

    1) Spells with a blank in the cost space have no cost, this isn't the same as a 0 (See Memnite). they cannot be cast and so cannot be used with this spell.
    2) Casting a spell must obey all its timing restrictions, so you can only use this with instants and cards with flash. If it let you play a spell, you could throw anything out but unfortunatly it must be cast as per the rules, just ignoring the cost.

    The rulings for Yahenni's Expertise and Cascade in general would disagree with you hard. In particular, every Bloodbraid Elf player remembers casting free sorcery-speed spells while BBE is on the stack (i.e. totally not following the timing restrictions).

    With that being said, I bet you still have to pay the additional cost for Lightning Axe.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • 4

    posted a message on [RNA] Ravnica Allegiance Previews: Modern Discussion
    Personally I am more excited for Wilderness Reclamation then any other card in this set. I think it has the potential to have a major impact in both Modern and Standard.

    Yeah, a (midrange-)control deck being able to play sorcery-speed stuff and still hold up answers has to be useful somewhere. I'm just not quite sure where.

    In the meantime, I've found out that, as long as you have enough Forests (have only one Forest? Don't use your land drop for the turn yet!), Prime Speaker Vannifar & arbitrary 1-drop kills:

    Turn 1-drop into Scryb Ranger, untap Vannifar
    Turn Scryb Ranger into Renegade Rallier, recur Scryb Ranger, untap Vannifar
    Turn Scryb Ranger into Deceiver Exarch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Renegade Rallier into Restoration Angel, blink Exarch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Resto into Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, combo off

    A corollary is that both Vannifar & Scryb Ranger and Vannifar & Chord of Calling also kill.
    Heck, Vannifar & 3-drop also kill--turn 3-drop into Ranger of Eos tutoring for 1-drop and Teardrop Kami, cast both 1-drops, sac Kami to untap Vannifar, then proceed as above. Man, 2 more slots eats up quite a lot, though. (I guess waiting a turn and turning the 3-drop into Murderous Redcap, then turning the Redcap into Zealous Conscripts (untapping Vannifar) and Kiki-Jiki uses up just as many deck slots, though.)
    Eternal Witness recurring Scryb Ranger and hardcasting the Ranger again can do in a pinch.
    For better ability to kill through Rakdos Charm, stick Breaching Hippocamp in your deck and add more steps.

    If you have 2GW to spare, Vannifar & Forest fetch also kills:

    Fetch for Dryad Arbor
    Turn Dryad Arbor into Seedcradle Witch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Seedcradle Witch into Scryb Ranger, proceed as above

    So does Vannifar & Voice of Resurgence if you have that mana:

    Turn Voice of Resurgence into Exarch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Voice token into Seedcradle Witch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Seedcradle Witch into Phantasmal Image copying Exarch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Image into Resto, blink Exarch, untap Vannifar
    Turn Resto into Kiki-Jiki, combo off

    Man, where's my Quirion Ranger?

    Interesting possibilities come up if you have Captivating Crew and you can steal opposing creatures with it.
    Posted in: Modern
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