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  • posted a message on [Primer] Infect
    I don't think scale up is even close to being bannable. The current iterations of infect already have a very high turn 2/3 kill rate if the the opponent does not interact at all. The reason infect does not dominate modern is that it is vulnerable to every single type of interaction in the format. A single removal spell, discard spell, blocker, or counter spell can be enough to buy several turns against infect. Scale up helps infect race a bit faster, but I don't think it fundamentally changes anything about the power level of our deck.

    To answer the question about why infect has fallen out of favor, my opinion is the following:
    *Walking ballista is almost unbeatable
    *Izzet phoenix is a really bad match-up for us with bolt and thing in the ice in their main-deck
    *Various decks (especially control) playing field of ruin made inkmoth nexus a weaker threat
    *Humans and Death's Shadow decks are both top tier decks right now and feel like awful match-ups from the infect side
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    Unearth seems pretty good in this deck. It can bring back shadows and snap-casters from the graveyard for 1 mana, and the worst case cycle mode isn't a terrible floor. If we are playing 4Xthought scour a couple unearth could increase our threat density without having to resort to inferior threat options.

    What do you guys think?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    I'm all for playable 1 drops in this deck. I think giver of runes plays exceptionally well with devoted druid based on the way that they naturally curve together. Turn 1 giver of runes followed by turn 2 druid puts us in a great position where two removal spells are needed to prevent us from un-tapping with a druid. It is yet another must kill creature that will help to strain opponents removal which I think is a net positive for the deck. I may drop all of my black cards and the finks combo and try to build a G/W deck focused on the devoted combo with gavony township and knight of the reliquary as the back-up plan.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    BloodyRabbit_01 - Nice report and deck-list, thanks for sharing. I've got a few questions:
    • Did you have issues ading the 5th delve creature? It can be tough to cast multiples, but I see you have 2 looting to possibly mitigate the 2nd and/or 3rd copy and there are no snaps to eat GY resources.
    • Why terminate over dismember? Costing 1 less mana and having the option to aggressively lower our life total has made dismember quite good in this deck, the only time I would prefer terminate is if primeval titans are everywhere.
    • Have you considered snapcaster in the side-board instead of pyro? It can be brought in for gindy match-ups, but it also plays well when we need to become the control deck. For example, against humans you could side out all your stubborn denials and bring in more removal spells and snapcaster. Seems like a better plan than pyro in some cases.

    Overall, I really like your list and I think you are going in the right direction. I think making this deck as lean and efficient as possible is the best thing we can be doing. I'd like to add the 4th bauble to your list above, possibly in the place of a fatal push and would consider some minor changes based on my short list above.

    Thanks for sharing, and let me know what you think about my ideas.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    It feels like counters company is in a similar place as infect in the format right now. Both decks will get some free wins since they can end the game as early as turn 3, but they rely on creatures to get there so we are vulnerable to every single type of interaction. Discard takes the combo pieces we need, counters stop us on the stack, and removal kills our creatures before we can win. All of the best decks in the format push on a unique axis that invalidates some amount of interaction present in the format. For example, tron doesn't care about your fatal pushes and bolts, humans is basically immune to counter-spells thanks to vial and cavern. And other decks like dredge require such a specific form of interaction that that often can't be interacted with until after side-boarding. Long story short, I feel like decks like coco and infect are decent tier 2 options since they present their strong proactive game-plans, but just aren't as resilient as the tier 1 decks in the format. I think we need to innovate to either go faster through the combo or present a more resilient game-plan that can't be disrupted by all of the commonly played interaction in the format.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on UW Control
    I'm not too excited about any of the three mana planeswalkers. I've spent a lot of time trying to make gideon of the trials good, but it was always very hit or miss. The emblem he makes can just beat certain strategies that can't remove him, but sadly even that wasn't good enough. Ironically, the best thing I used him for was smacking for 4 the same turn I cast supreme verdict. I've moved off of Gideon and have replaced his 2 slots with 2 wall of omens. The card is very average, but having the text "Draw a Card" on it tends to make it passable against most opponents. Against something like humans or burn, wall is beastly often gaining between 4 and 12 life throughout the game and drawing a card all for 2 mana.

    I'm also considering moving off of opt and back to serum visions now that I'm down to a single terminus. I've found myself casting opts in the main-phase more than 50% of time, so I'm wondering if I should just go with the more powerful sorcery and play the visions.

    I'm really dying for a counterspell reprint in modern horizons as the counters we are priced into playing are all terrible and I'd love a solid catch-all that doesn't die in the late game like mana leak does, cross your fingers we get this one!
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on UW Control
    With humans on the upswing, diversifying our removal and wraths starts to look more attractive. I've got 1 terminus, 1 settle, 1 wrath, and 1 verdict in my build currently. Having the split also makes it harder for our opponents to play around them since they don't know how many of each we are playing. I'm also running a condemn and a D-sphere in the main to really have a spread of singletons. Counting on 4 path and 4 terminus is a recipe for disaster against meddling mages.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on GWx Vizier Company
    Has anyone tried a list including 4 copies of militia bugler recently? I'm considering putting something together with tidehollow sculler and knight of the reliquary in place of the kitchen finks and viscera seer slots. I've been seeing a lot of U/W control and tron recently and the fink combo just doesn't seem to be good enough against these decks since they have win conditions to defeat infinite life. I've always thought of knight as a slow clunky card without considering how good of a mana creature it can be. Turn 1 dork into turn 2 knight sets us up to have 5 mana on turn 3 if we can hit our first 3 land drops. It obviously is a late game house with it's ability to draw cards horizon canopy, go wide gavony township, or just get huge and thin the deck by grabbing fetches. Militia bugler just lets us grind in an insane way. Any combination or bugler, eternal witness, and collected company let's us go nuts with card advantage and start chains where we can get ahead by 3 or more cards. Tidehollow Sculler is a card that I've found to be great disruption and yet another must kill threat (basically every creature we play at this point). It can either grab removal or counters to secure our combo or can grab opponents combo pieces to buy us some time when needed. This card really strains the mana-base though and that has been my worst complaint about it.

    My list is probably bad, but I'm just tossing some ideas around to see if anyone has tried something similar recently. Thing in the ice has been a real problem recently so I'm also curious if anyone has found an effective way to fight phoenix decks other than the 1 of mirror entity which is a card I've been playing for years since it just goldfishes turn 4 or 5 kills through combat pumps.
    Posted in: Combo
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from gkourou »
    Matt Nass and LSV talk about Modern unbannings: https://youtu.be/BieLpUJOHPI

    They talk about:
    Splinter Twin: They say it's the safest unbanning of them all and it would improve the format. LSV is quite confident it can come back, because it's a 10 cards package(+2 mites), and because it's highly interactable and disruptable(they mention dismember and other spot removals), thus it would mean there is another blue deck and make the field more diverse. Matt Nass is also confident about Twin, but says there could be some risks.

    This line of reasoning sounds strikingly familiar! Wink Wholeheartedly agree.


    This is actually interesting to consider, because in the past I recall a few people insisting that the twin package just slots into all blue decks with minimal deck-building costs. LSV argues that the deck-building cost is high enough through a 10 card commitment (6 tappers + 4 twin) and the need for double red mana in twin's cost requires real considerations for the mana base that come with a cost. I think there is a valid case to be made that the twin package has reasonable deck building constraints and would not kill the diversity that exists among blue decks right now. (which was the stated reason for banning right?)

    I also think a strong point that was missed in the video is the presence of death's shadow decks in the modern meta. This deck had not been discovered when twin was last legal, and my opinion is that shadow would have an extremely high win percentage against twin. It has all the right kinds of disruption with discard and removal and it can clock twin quickly with threats that are immune to bolt and most red removal.

    Based on the current state of the modern meta-game now could finally be the right time to bring back twin. Going back to the diversity consideration, izzet phoenix is a tier one U/R deck with a serious meta share. If twin is able to steal some of the meta-game percentage from izzet phoenix we could even say that unbanning twin would improve diversity among blue decks right?!
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on UW Control
    I completely agree that the game 1 decisions are not as favorable for us since we don't know what cards are duds or must-haves if we don't know our opponent's plan. However, I think there is more to it than that. Regardless of what we are playing against cards like terminus, teferi, cryptic command, and JTMS tend to clog up our opening hands and getting 2 or more of any of these can be equivalent to starting on a mull to 5 against faster decks. Another factor is our high land count, when we have 25 land in the deck it is pretty common to have 4 or more in the opener. If we open an example hand with 4 land, 2x spells that cost 4 or more, and say 1 interactive spell that costs 1 or 2 mana, this hand can just get run over if we don't draw another relevant interactive piece in the top 3 cards but we are normally priced into keeping something like that game 1. Going forward I will be much more likely to mull that 7 card opener and look for a 6 with a better balance of cards to get through the first few turns.

    It's hard to describe, but I just feel like we need a very specific ratio of all of our cards to succeed in any given game. By design, our deck will run more expensive spells than most other decks since our goal is to have a better late game than everyone else. The new mulligan rule will remove some of the pain that we deal with when drawing too many of our opening hand brick cards. Most lists have 2 teferi, 3 JTMS, 3 Cryptics, and 4 Terminus which is 12 cards we really don't want to see in our opener. I'm excited to have the option to draw 7 and then put back any of these cards to consistently improve mulligan quality. It's just such a big difference to have 6 strong opening cards versus the current mulligan rule where you draw 1 brick on your mull to 6 and suddenly you have a virtual 5 card hand and winning becomes extremely difficult.

    Time will tell which decks gain the most from the new rule (looking at dredge and eldrazi), but I'm really looking forward to how this will impact U/W control.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on UW Control
    I'll add that I'm excited for the London mulligan in U/W control. I think the new rule does a lot to make terminus better. Now when we mulligan to 6 and start with a terminus in hand we are basically starting with a mull to 5. With the new rule we will draw 7 and put back the terminus we don't want in our opener giving us a stronger 6 card hand as well as more terminus in our deck to increase the chance of a miracle trigger. Our deck also has a relatively clunky, high costing mana curve with many 4 and 5 mana spells, the London mulligan seems beneficial here too by helping our opening hand to have a better curve that doesn't do nothing until turn 4. In games 2 and 3 (or against a know opponent in game 1) we also have the ability to hit the relevant answers or hate cards with a higher frequency.

    I realize the new mulligan helps other proactive decks be more consistent in enacting their game-plans and in finding 2 card combos, but I really think that current builds of U/W miracles have more to gain from the implementation of this rule.
    Posted in: Control
  • posted a message on Esper Delve
    You're probably right that current shadow builds are just better than esper delve without probes since shadow can so consistently end the game around turn 5 while disrupting the opponent's plan. Perhaps this deck could be built to be slightly less low to the ground and aim to have a strong mid-range plan based around sequences like discard+cantrips --> Monastery Mentor --> Hold up Snapcaster mage to re-use discard or removal to close the game out? Path to Exile is a very potent tool against phoenix, shadow, and humans so having access to it in our main-deck is also one of our edges right now.

    Ironically, we don't get to really play the best white sideboard cards rest in peace and stony silence. Our graveyard is too important to exile and mishra's bauble feels like one of our most important pieces to enable fast delve threats, trigger mentor, and just increase card velocity to consistently dig to the cards we need.

    The games where you clear the way for monastery mentor using discard and then cast it on 3 feel great. If you can untap with him in play I find myself often generating 3+ monks immediately due to the cantrip density (4 serums, opts, baubles, and scours) in the deck. Mentor can single-handedly take over the board in ways that the tall threats in shadow cannot do. A turn 3 mentor often leads to a turn 5 kill if not removed immediately which signifies a powerful card to me.

    The deck can also be built using lingering souls which plays very well with thought scour and can be good in certain metagames. My impression is that not many opponents care about grinding for value these days, so souls is often just 5 mana for 4 power across 4 bodies which can't really race any of the top tier decks right now. If decks like U/W control and BGx become more popular souls could be used as an effective sideboard card which is always a nice option to have.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Esper Delve
    This thread has been quiet for a few years, but I have been brewing an esper deck based around the delve creatures and monastery mentor. The deck plays very similar to grixis shadow with a few key difference. Some of the differences between my deck and shadow include:
    • I don't need to pay 10+ life to enable my gameplan which helps in match-ups where I am racing and life totals are relevant
    • Mentor lets the deck go wide in a way that traditional shadow cannot
    • I'm only running 4 delve threats, so there is no stubborn denial in my list as it doesn't feel reliable enough with the shadows to also enable it. This card is really good, so its loss hurts.
    • Without being priced into the shadow package (4 street wraith, 2 Temur Battle Rage, 2 Dismember) I can run some different (better?) options like 3 path to exile, 4 serum visions, 4 opts

    I'm not sure that what I'm working on is better than a shadow deck (it probably isn't!), but I'd like to see if anyone else is working on anything similar. I have a lot of ideas and a working list, but wanted to see if anyone was interested or working on something similar before starting a discussion here.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Quote from cfusionpm »
    Quote from wolffman »
    Not sure if anyone posted this yet, but CFB has a very good modern win % analysis posted at:
    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/bilbao-braggings-the-full-story-of-who-beats-whom-in-modern/

    There is a really big sample size used for the analysis and I think it clearly demonstrates what the best and worst decks are in modern right now.

    So the takeaway is that Whir Prison has no bad matchups, but may need more data points. Interactive decks mostly have 0 good matchups (and multiple bad matchups) and proactive/fast/linear decks have large numbers of good matchups. Sounds about right.


    At a high level, this is mostly correct. The U/W and Jeskai decks posted positive win rates at 52.0% and 50.8%, and are the only traditional interactive decks to have positive win rates. Overall, this data clearly suggests that playing deck with a strong proactive plan like whir prison, dredge, phoenix, or affinity is the correct choice. Folks who registered thoughtseize seemed to get beat up pretty badly.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
  • posted a message on The State of Modern Thread (B&R 11/03/2019)
    Not sure if anyone posted this yet, but CFB has a very good modern win % analysis posted at:
    https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/bilbao-braggings-the-full-story-of-who-beats-whom-in-modern/

    There is a really big sample size used for the analysis and I think it clearly demonstrates what the best and worst decks are in modern right now.
    Posted in: Modern Archives
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