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Feb 2, 2019The Jan. 29, 2019 MTGO Modern League had some delightfully loony 5-0 decks in it, including this one:Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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,
ExploreGrowth 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.
Jan 18, 2019It'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.Posted in: Modern
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).
Jan 12, 2019Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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.)
Jan 11, 2019Your 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.Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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.
Jan 4, 2019Posted in: The Rumor MillQuote 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.
Jan 3, 2019Lectrys posted a message on [RNA] Ravnica Allegiance Previews: Modern DiscussionPosted in: Modern
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.
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Feb 4, 2019Someone PM'd me this thread, so I figured I'd link this here:Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
Jan 15, 2019Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
That would be a sick option if it were modern legal would highly likely singlehandedly make the Devoted Druid decks tier 1.
Jan 3, 2019The chain would look more like this:Posted in: The Rumor Mill
T1 land, birds.
T3 land, Vannifar
T4 (with counter mana available) pod away birds for scryb ranger, untap Vannifar, pod ranger for renegade rallier get back ranger untap Vannifar, pod ranger for exarch untap Vannifar, pod rallier for angel blink exarch untap Vannifar, pod angel for Kiki
You could even kill on turn 3 if you had something that could grant haste to vannifar that you could cast turn 2 like goblin motivator, I'm sure there's better options though.
Sep 10, 2018Lord Seth posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern editionPosted in: Modern
Given that they've been on such a "the opponent searches for a basic land and puts it into play" kick lately (Field of Ruin, Old-Growth Dryad, and now this) I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the near future they print a 2-mana unconditional counterspell that has the opponent search out a basic land.Quote from AUTUMNTWILIGHT »Well that is some power hopefully other guilds get some good stuff as well lol.
I find it funny though that this is just fine for GB...but a 2 CMC unconditional counter is simply too good and just isn't fair.
Sep 10, 2018idSurge posted a message on [GRN] Guilds of Ravnica previews and spoilers: Modern editionPosted in: ModernQuote from AUTUMNTWILIGHT »Lol its doesn't even say nonland permanents apparently the rules don't apply for Golgari lol.
Thats what pushed it to 'omg what' levels.
Jun 18, 2018This is actually kind of interesting as it's not "bad" in multiples. Shuts off Tron, Valakut, Creature lands, Eldrazi lands, Fetch lands (but i can't see how you'd want to name fetch lands with this). This may also be a safety valve for something that's coming into standard in the near future. Maybe some functional reprints of cards like Lotus Vale/Scorched Ruins.Posted in: The Rumor Mill
Edit: Flavor text by Tamiyo. Hey, look at that.
Jun 17, 2018Would you really play Bolas over another copy of Kolaghan's Command in a Grixis deck? Command has the same discard mode, but is cheaper and more flexible. If you use it to bring back and cast a Tasigur, the Golden Fang, you've spent 4 mana for a discard and a 4/5 mana sink. That's pretty close to 4 mana for a discard and a 4/4 flying mana sink.Posted in: Modern
I think the floor on Bolas is about the same as Command, but the ceiling on Command is a lot higher due to its multiple modes.
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