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Ultimate Masters: MMI Review
  • posted a message on New to competitive modern, need help with Bant Flicker Control
    Getting down to 60 cards should probably just be a matter of cutting a Venser. 5 mana is so much for a card that doesn't just win, unfortunately. Card is sweet, though.

    You can definitely get away with less Kitchen Finks main once you upgrade the Rec Sage to Knight of Autumn.

    As far as Vials go, it doesn't seem correct to only run 3. Spirits gets away with it because CoCo is more important and the deck also has a number of solid one drops to play other than Vial. Which leads me to think you might do well with more turn 1 plays. Modern is so fast and if you're going to be able to survive long enough to get these value engines going, you probably need to be doing more on the early turns to get rolling. Mana dorks like Birds of Paradise or Noble Hierarch are obviously strong, but Thraben Inspector is a possible option. She gives you card advantage, things to do on turn 1 and 2 if you need, and can get some additional value from your blink effects.

    If you do end up cutting the Quellers, I'd take a hard look at adding some counters to the side like Dispel, Negate, Ceremonious Rejection, and Disdainful Stroke. Otherwise, I don't see how you're better fast combo decks. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is another strong card for similar purposes.

    Moving Stonehorns to the side is probably a good call, they'll be dead cards in certain matchups. That opens up a couple slots that you could fill with Voice of Resurgence to lower your curve and make tokens when you blink him. Now, it wouldn't help your clogged up 3 drop spot, but Renegade Rallier seems like it could do crazy things since blinking him triggers his own Revolt trigger when he returns to play. You might need more fetches and some more creatures that can be returned by his ability, but with a little work I feel like he could be bonkers.

    Those are just some thoughts off the cuff. Overall, the deck looks sweet and I hope it works out well for you!
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Pyro Prison || Goblinized Mono-Red Control : The Sideboard Deck
    Anyone wanna see something strange and likely very bad?

    I've always been a fan of prison decks and really enjoy the Moon Stompy decks that have been rampaging around Legacy (especially the Goblin versions, love those little idiots). However, I'm not willing to shell out for the City of Traitors and the like for a format that I won't even be able to regularly play. I knew about Pyro Prison here, but hadn't really spent much time delving into it. But I was sitting around today and had a strange urge to make Goblin things happen. With the Dominaria reprints, people started talking about how they interacted with Modern Goblins. Then Deathrite Shaman got banned in Legacy and people started talking about Goblins being setup to potentially make a return. Obviously Modern Goblins and Legacy Goblins are two ENTIRELY different decks, but it got Gobbos on my mind. Goblin Stompy is also a Legacy deck and one that, while lacking much of the ramp used in Legacy, has a number of cards that play well in Modern. Which got me thinking...can I get the goblins to stomp in Modern?

    I tinkered and typed and threw some truly moronic ideas around before finally tightening things to a quasi-playable pile of 75 cards. The idea was rushing out various prison pieces as fast as possible then turning the corner in the mid-game by dropping various goblins that start pooping out more goblins to go wide and swarm the opponent before they can recover from the prison-yard beating of the early game.

    Then I started checking out various Pyro Prison lists to see what smarter, better, more attractive Magic players than myself had been playing with. I read the last dozen or so pages of the forums here. A lot of the ideas I put down seemed to be reflected in the Pyro lists I was seeing (I loved reading through the pages here and actually seeing people digging into Chainwhirler). I tightened some of my crap up and came up with this list. It's very likely that this is just an almost strict downgrade from what you guys have been refining around here, but between my love of Goblins and all the time I've spent fiddling with it this morning, I'm somewhat reluctant to let go of the idea without a fight lol.

    So what do you guys think of my pile? Is there a method to my madness or am I just another lunatic hoping to turn a little-understood deck into something not quite as good?

    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Quote from Gen0syde86 »

    Your mana is a mess. Let's see if we can fix it. Your Sunken Ruins should probably me a Twilight Mire and your fast lands should probably change to a mix of Darkslick Shores and Blooming Marsh. You need to have black on turn 1 for you hand disruption, blue on turn 2 for Spreading seas (I think this should be cut for better spells), and you need multiple green for Scavenging Ooze.
    Quote from smoresnbacon »
    Quote from 3mag5num7 »
    So what do you fine folks think? As soon as I have the time to take it out for a spin at my LGS, I'm going to, but in the mean time, what looks good and what doesn't?
    If you're going to run Grim Flayer, is there a way you could fit a second Spellbomb into the main? I think you could also add another Thoughtseize in place of an Inquisition – there's a lot of juicy targets for it to hit at the moment.

    I'm also a fan of what Gen0syde86 is saying, in terms of swapping out the Botanical Sanctum for Darkslick Shores.

    A Search for Azcanta or two could fit well with Flayer to help turn on Delirium.

    I also think you'd benefit from a Liliana, the Last Hope somewhere in the 75.

    What's the reasoning behind the Grafdigger's Cage in the sideboard? Shutting off your own Snaps is a little bit counterintuitive, unless you're siding them out for the match you're bringing it in.

    And regarding Natural State, I've swapped mine to Nature's Claim for Hollow One decks, to see if that helps shore up the matchup. I don't believe the 4 life is that much of a downside.


    So would something along the lines of this sound better?
    -1 Sunken Ruins, +1 Twilight Mire
    -1 Botanical Sanctum, +1 Darkslick Shores
    -1 Inquisition of Kozilek, +1 Thoughtseize
    -4 Spreading Seas, +2 Search for Azcanta, +1 Nihil Spellbomb, +1 Murderous Cut
    -1 Grafdigger's Cage, -1 Nihil Spellbomb, +2 Feed the Clan (sideboard)
    -1 Tireless Tracker, +1 Liliana, the Last Hope (sideboard)



    Or do you think replacing the Spreading Seas with just straight 4x Serum Visions is better than a smattering of other cute cards?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Hello one and all, there's a little bandwagon going on around here that I'd like to hop on. Like so many other people right now, I wanna do some brewing with Jace. I brew up nonsense all the time, but I rarely follow through with it past the "putting ideas down on paper stage". This seems like as good a time as any to break that streak. I don't have a ton of time to play, unfortunately (work, class, etc), but I've already got most, if not all, of the cards I'd need to go Sultai. GBx decks are cool. Jace is cool. So obviously they need to be combined. Here's my thought:



    Couple specific points I'm not sure about:

    1) The sideboard. There's stuff and there's things and it hits some points I need to worry about in my local meta (having plan for the folks who always show up rocking midrange and control and some graveyard hate), but I'm definitely missing some things. I can probably pull the Natural State since I don't see any Affinity around in exchange for some needed Burn hate, but yeah. It's mostly just a bunch of good cards for various match-ups.

    2) The mana. BUG seems to have tough mana requirements in general (Turn 1 B, Turn 2 1G/BG/1U, Turn 3 1BB/1G+B/GB+B are all possibles), but this deck seems especially all over the place. It's a GBx deck at heart, but the blue splash is there primarily for Jace, a double blue spell that I wanna be able to cast on time whenever the need arises.

    3) Spreading Seas. I love the card, it's fantastic in Merfolk, I love that it sees play in UW (shoring up Tron and just being soltrong utility), but is it what the deck wants? I'm really trying to follow the GBx philosophy of winning topdeck wars. When the world goes hellbent, I want to be able to rip the highest quality cards the highest number of times. Spreading Seas is likely to be pretty low impact at that point, but it does give you a re-draw. Early game it's possibly disruption with a cantrip on top, but sometimes you play it on their only Black source only to see them untap, draw, and drop another and you basically did nothing but Think Twice, ya know? Is this slot better used as 2x Search for Azcanta, 1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, and another piece of interaction like Abrupt Decay, Murderous Cut, or Collective Brutality?

    So what do you fine folks think? As soon as I have the time to take it out for a spin at my LGS, I'm going to, but in the mean time, what looks good and what doesn't?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Knightfall/Bant Company
    So I'm looking into picking up the missing pieces for this deck (one version or another), but one of the changes I've noticed from awhile ago is that no one is running Sejiri Steppe anymore. Now I understand that as a land that you put into play and tap for mana it is pretty terrible, but how does its absence affect the deck's ability to combo off against removal heavy decks like Jund or Jeskai or Grixis? Is the plan to just try running them out of removal before going for the combo? Holding up Spell Queller and/or Unified Will? Bolt shouldn't be much of a problem and Push can be played around to a degree by watching their fetchlands, but Path and Terminate just dump all over Knight all day no matter what.

    I assume that you who have been playing this deck for awhile are obviously smarter than me and got rid of Steppe for a good reason, I'm just curious about what the deal is.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Eternal Command
    Quote from aMat »
    Alright so I'm experimenting with some things, bare with me:



    I think I'm really pushing for some experimentation here, but I can't be sure if I'm getting any really good results. So far T1 seems SUPER important. And I'm basically cantripping my way through the game. It doesn't feel too right with the deck, but what do you guys think?

    Sideboard stretched too thin? Main decklist stretched too thin? I figured I could get away with 20 lands because of Baral, Chief of Compliance as well as extra digging (2 Opt, 3 Serum Visions, 1 Thirst + potential from Baral)


    2 copies of Flooded Grove seems ambitious, especially considering you yourself talk about turn 1 being so important. Those guys do nothing on turn 1. Thassa seems a little cute here. The upkeep scry doesn't seem entirely worth 3 mana and you're not heavy enough into devotion to reliably get her rumbling into the redzone. The idea of making a Goyf unblockable does have its appeal, but I'm not sure that's worth the card and all the mana it takes to activate it, ya know?

    Is Thirst for Knowledge with only 4 artifacts the best thing to be doing with 3 mana? Discarding an excess Vial with Baral on the battlefield seems absolutely ludicrous, but it also seems somewhat Christmas Landy. Chart a Course might be a better way to draw cards, especially if you get to do it for 1 mana from time-to-time.

    That said, I love the 1-of Baral. Cryptic, Electrolyze, Remand, and Mana Leak all make him look real good. Remand puts the card back in their hand, draws you two cards, discards 1 card, and does it all for 1 blue mana. Pretty sweet.

    I love Fulminator Mage as a card, but I'm not sure this is the deck for him. It's an extra colored mana in a greedy mana base and it can't be recurred unlike Stone Rain. Spreading Seas is also something to look into. It costs 1 less, draws you a card, and is easier to cast, at the cost of not permanently getting rid of the land.

    All that said, I'm really intrigued by the idea of a really draw-heavy build like this. Let us know how testing goes.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Eternal Command
    Quote from aMat »
    I love seeing variations of this deck splashing black instead of red, but I don't think this list is strong enough. Namely the fact that Lightning bolt is pretty much the most versatile card that also functions as a win condition. Bolt -> EWit -> bolt -> snap -> bolt is 9 damage from 1 bolt alone. Replacing red removal with black removal leaves you with no other win conditions other than board state.

    The second drawback is the side boarding. Huntmaster of the fells is such a ridiculously, ridiculously good card in this deck, because it helps your life total (which usually is an issue with this deck) + board state. You can control it's triggers so much more easily with vial. In comparison, black's side board is kind of lacking. You need cards that can potentially "make up" for the holes in this deck, which are:
    1) Its slow start
    2) Its aggressive use of life total being a resource (for land fetching and taking free hits early game).

    Huntmaster fixes this problem so nicely that it's even being main boarded now.

    In comparison, damnation is the closest fix, however it doesn't stick, AND its symmetrical board wipe. Maelstrom Pulse can situationally be efficient. Thoughtseize is great, at the cost of exacerbating your life total. One suggestion for sure is to sideboard fulminator mage (tron is one of the hardest matchups vs vial). That being said, I really like your balance of spells here, and am very curious how your results fair !



    Yeah, I really like all the great removal in BUG, but losing the reach is a very real deal. That said, the allure of Hostage Taker is going to guarantee I play this list at least once or twice at the FLGS before going to a more traditional RUG list lol.

    Quote from rayo »
    Personally I think the RUG version is the better one, but both have it's merits. I would definitely advise you to give it a run on cockatrice/proxy it up before you buy pricy pieces.
    All that said the list looks pretty solid from what I can tell. I'd probably be greedy and try to cut a land for another SV. And cut the Rain of Tears for Spreading Seas in the SB. You will not always have doube black on turn 3 and SS costing 1 mana less can be pretty relevant.


    Thankfully budget isn't a big concern for me since I already have all the money cards in paper. From my initial goldfishing, I don't think I wanna cut a land. The mana is already greedy and it really sucks to hold onto a Cryptic and 3 lands or have to play a naked Snapcaster with a Remand in your yard because you're shy on lands. I'm definitely on board with turning Tears to Seas. I kept the Rain of Tears because I wanted to get some more value out of the Surgicals in matchups like Tron and TitanShift, but that's probably getting pretty greedy. Plus, I already love Spreading Seas from playing Merfolk.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Eternal Command
    Hey, all. I love AEther Vial. Merfolk is my primary deck in Modern and I've dipped my toe into Eldrazi and Taxes as well, but what I haven't done is play the sweetest Vial deck in Modern. So here I am, throwing together a build to bring to my LGS. The choice between RUG and BUG was a tough one. I like RUG's burn a lot, but I like BUG's removal much better. Plus...BUG gets Hostage Taker, which I've been wanting to play in Modern since the day it was spoiled, going so far as to brew up an abominable lovechild between a Death and Taxes and Esper Flicker build.

    So, here's the list I came up with. It's based on Todd Steven's list from above, but adding some of the stuff from more traditional RUG builds that he eschewed (Remands and Scooze and Opt) as well as trimming down on the Eternal Command package. What do you guys think? The sideboard still needs work, but it's a suitable placeholder until I get my 60 worked out a bit.

    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on RGx Titanshift
    Quote from drakeavril »
    Curious, how does this deck not die to mana leak and some counter spells?


    1) Jam threats. Most builds have 12-13 haymakers maindeck which is more than most control decks have counters. Post-board you can bring in more threats including uncounterable beasts like Thrun or Carnage Tyrant. Sure, you trade down on mana, but you can just keep playing them out until they run out of answers.

    2) Play lands. Your main win condition is burning the world down with Valakut. Doing so with Scapeshift or Primeval Titan tomfoolery is the flashiest way to go about this, but sometimes you just drop a Valakut or two and grind them out with an unending stream of bolts. They can't counter land drops and there's only so much room for land hate in most control decks.
    Posted in: Big Mana
  • posted a message on [Primer] RG Ponza / Modern Land Destruction
    Has anyone given any thought to running Regisaur Alpha in some of the more go-wide Ponza builds? Five mana is very doable for this deck and it buys a 4/4 and a 3/3 with Haste and Trample. Combine that with Nissa, Voice of Zendikar's -2 and that becomes a 5/5 and a Hasty Trampling 4/4. It's a big, hard to handle threat that plays nicely with what the rest of the deck's doing. I picked one up the other day to round out a trade because it seemed like something I might try out in Monster Ponza. Especially for those people who seem a little lukewarm on Huntmaster right now, might this be better than the second Wolf Man?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on [Primer] Living End
    Quote from reltastic »
    Putting together a Living End deck, and I'm fairly green to Modern. I've got a question about Dimir House Guard.

    His transmute ability allows us to tutor up Architects of Will, and any sideboard cards you might really need access to (Slaughter Games, for instance). Then, when he's brought back with Living End, he offers a nice, free sac outlet, which can be used if we need to blow the board again and we get to keep our board state, and add anything else that might have been pitched since the last reset.

    There's probably a reason the card normally isn't run, but I'm curious if this is a terrible idea or not.


    I'm not the most experience pilot of the deck, but it seems to me that it's slow and it does very little in Game 1. Paying three mana to set yourself up to do something later without actually doing anything now isn't great in slower matches, but is downright deadly in quicker ones. And in Game 1, you're not even tutoring up a good card. You're basically spending 4 mana to find a cycle that Architects or, if you're running a LD Heavy build, you're using it to fetch up an Avalanche Riders. Plus, what are you taking out for it? Can't really remove a cycler for something that serves a similar purpose, but is so much slower and more mana intensive. Maybe you swap out one of the two mana cyclers, but this is still slower.

    Now, Games 2 and 3, Dimir House Guard starts grabbing some more versatile cards (Slaughter Games, Ricochet Trap, Boil, and Leyline of the Void), but it's still extremely slow and mana intensive. You're spending a whole turn to do nothing now so you can do something else later, which you are also broadcasting to your opponent a full turn beforehand.

    I love the card, it's one of my favorites in EDH, but it's just too clunky for Modern. That said, I always enjoy when people try thinking out of the box a little. This is a peculiar deck with some curious deckbuilding restrictions, it wasn't created by thinking of all the normal things that can be done within the format.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Zoo


    LSV top 32'd with a similar build. Both running 4 Manamorphose to help Traverse the Ulvenwald (seems a little all-in on Delirium, especially considering Utter-Leyton is running Steppe Lynx over Groot even if the card is kinda free) and neither of them running a single copy of Become Immense. Inner-Flame Acolyte seems pretty sweet for Delirium as well. Losing the "combo" makes me curious. Yeah, it can be clunky, but it's never seemed THAT inconvenient for me, especially compared to the games it blows up. Then again, I'm still fairly new to the deck, so what do I know?

    Definitely like some of the sideboard stuff though. Ingot Chewer and Nihil Spellbomb are both reasonable cards that also fuel Delirium.
    Posted in: Modern Archives - Proven
  • posted a message on Kresh the Loanshark/Groupslug
    Really cool deck. I've wanted to build something along these lines for awhile, but could never quite put together a list I liked.

    If you really wanna add a mean card to the Group Slug side of the deck, Death Cloud could do a lot of work for you. With Magus of the Vineyard and the like along with a slightly higher focus on mana rocks could be pretty backbreaking. It's also a card a lot of playgroups and people frown upon abusing, so take that for what you will.

    Pharika, God of Affliction would probably fit nicely. It straddles the line between hug and slug and gives good utility. It gives a creature, but it also eats their yard.

    Tombstone Stairwell is a pet card of mine that seems like it could do some work in a deck like this.

    Something like Backlash could do a good job of protecting yourself should someone get a little uppity and try to kill you with something big and nasty. Probably too cute, but I've always enjoyed the card.

    Painful Quandary is another card that can really turn the screws once you're deck shifts from hug to slug.

    Keep us posted on how the deck does. It's a really cool concept. =)
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    Quote from Redvader »
    Benjamin Nikolich made 24th place with Blue Moon, one of the only blue based control decks in the top 32. The other was UW control in 28th piloted by Daniel McNamara(ACTUAL CONTROL, not eldrazi) Here is Benjamin's 75 http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=98914


    Quote from 3mag5num7 »
    What do you guys think of running a copy of Chandra, Flamecaller at the top end? I'm waiting for the final pieces of Temur Moon to come in the mail (my god, do I love the cut of its jib) and I see some people running Batterskulls, somebody ran Surrak Dragonclaw--which is the hotness--, and some lists run a 5cmc dragon or two in the top spot. This deck wants to slow everybody down while it beats them to death later on, right? Would Chandra pull that off? Six damage a turn is not an insignificant clock (though the tokens can't play defense which makes her worse against aggro and burn) and in late game stalls she can break things open with a 0 loyalty draw 1, 2, or 3 cards ability. Her "ultimate" isn't particularly good since the decks that get hit by it are probably gonna be disinclined to allow you to drop a six mana planeswalker unless you've been hounding them with Bolts and Leaks and Electrolyzes left, right, and center.

    Both Thundermaw Hellkite and Stormbreath Dragon roll Lingering Souls. Stormbreath dodges Path to Exile and can burn 'em out lategame if you build up some mana. Thundermaw kills Cliques and Thopters and gets into the Red Zone ASAP.

    Batterskull is backbreaking against non-Infect aggro decks if you get it on-board. It's also pretty good against grindy decks that lead to stalled boards because it's big on it's own and just enormous when you slap it on a Snapcaster Mage, Vendilion Clique, or Tarmogoyf.

    Surrak Dragonclaw is a five mana 6/6 with pseudo-haste who makes Goyfs trample and Cliques uncounterable. If you see lots of Blue decks running around, he's gonna be a troublemaker. Flash also lets you hold up counter mana more easily, particularly Cryptic Command.

    Chandra, Flamecaller is versatile. She gives you 6 hasty power over two bodies while going up in loyalty to a difficult to kill 5 right off the bat. Her zero is just straight up "Draw a card" if you're hellbent and can ship away excess lands, Blood Moons, Mana Leaks, and the like to turn bad late game top decks into another chance at gas. She can sweep the board against aggro decks to really stabilize with her minus. She also lets you go a bit wider if you're running her alongside Ma and Pa--though that might be getting greedy.

    That she costs six is a pretty hefty downside, I'll admit. In a deck with 22-ish lands, the difference between 5 and 6 is considerable, but her power level seems high and her versatility seems pretty good in a deck that wants to slow the game down.

    So, whadya think? Rose-colored glasses or cool new curve-topper?


    Not a big fan of patting myself on the back, but I so rarely try to introduce new tech on the forums that I feel a little pleased with this. Chandra has been solid the few times I've drawn her, but I just haven't had enough time to play lately to come to any definite conclusions. Hopefully this finish will get a couple more people testing to see if Chandra is real or just a fluke.

    And while I'm talking about testing cards, has anyone given Logic Knot a try? I'm thinking about picking up a couple copies from my LGS next time I'm there. Might be worth trying out over a Mana Leak or two. We have to be careful about eating too much of our yard and starving future Snapcaster Mages, but fetches, Batterskulls, creatures, Moons, planeswalkers, and the like can easily be fodder for a more or less hard counter. Double blue can be a pain from time-to-time, but we run a ton of basic Islands. It can't completely replace Leak, but the first Logic Knot seems like a good replacement for the third Leak, right? Seems terrible in Temur Moon, but I'm currently giving a U/R list a run and Knot seems pretty good.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on [Primer] Blue Moon: UR Blood Moon/Shackles Control
    Quote from gordon_fr »
    I am not sure whether less counterspells is the way to improve the new Eldrazi matchups (I am referring to the updated Chung list). I rather try adding two Essence Scatter to the board. For those testing Vedalken Shackles against Eldrazi, please let us know your results. This card is so slow. When can you expect to get control over something relevant? I rather would try Threads of Disloyalty to get control over a massive Endless One, which seems pretty relevant in particular after playing a blood moon.



    I played a couple of games against UR Eldrazi with Shackles and it performed exactly as you would expect. When I managed to slow the game down a bit and fend off the initial onslaught, it was golden. Stealing their top decked Reality Smasher on a mostly empty board is lights out. However, tapping out for it in the early game can leave you vulnerable and a smart player might be able to play around it so that no matter what you do, you're gonna get beat up. I felt pretty bad seeing it in my opening hand, but it was nice to topdeck later in the game when I could either cast and activate it on the same turn or activate it and hold up a counter. My initial RUG list ran two copies and after two nights of playing, I shaved it down to one and the U/R list I'm going to test out also has it as a one-of. My meta isn't infested with fast, linear decks so it can still be a useful card, but I can't really see going up past the one copy.

    To me, it's basically the quintessential one-of: when it's good, it's great; but when it's bad, it just rots in your hand all game long. Plus, it's just a card that I love lol.
    Posted in: Control
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