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The Magic Market Index for Oct 13, 2017
 
The World of Kamigawa
 
Treasure Cruisin' - Manaless Dredge
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    So there will be at least 3 of us.

    I'm debating one of the SB slots between 3 cards: Blasphemous Act (good against wide decks, Eldrazi, utility versus Death's Shadow, occassional Reckoner blowouts), Spitebellows (kills most Eldrazi, Tarmogoyf, Sc.Ooze, Angler, and Titan, adds another threat against creature-light opponents), and Abrade (redundant inexpensive removal that also helps the match against things like Lantern Control, which is otherwise almost unwinnable).

    Any opinions on this one?
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    That list is interesting, but I'm not crazy about it. Gardens are an obvious nod to how impossible Growing Rites may be to activate. Another good approach would be Treetop Villages, as those could also be hit with Titan. Finally, I think Cradle should be played with Nylea VoZ. It just seems a natural pairing.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Yeah, I decided I'll go with a build I'm more familiar with. That either means Devotion list A, or Skred.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    Sudden Shock is fantastic against Infect, but I'm not convinced it's actually needed against Druid-Vizier. As someone who runs the combo (albeit in an unconventional deck, which is the main competitor with Skred for what I'm playing), any burn spell tends to be effective. You kill the Druid either while it has summoning sickness, or Vizier is on the stack. The only advantage is that Sudden Shock can interrupt mid-combo, which only matters in the odd case you were gambling and hoping that Chord or CoCo wouldn't yield a Vizier and it turns up.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Burn
    You might be able to get away with one less land, but I see your logic. The deck looks fine.

    As for Flame Rift, that tech predates the advent of Eidolon. Regardless, it was bad then, and it is bad now.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    That would be the one, so I may see you there.

    My build is going to be a bit primitive, since I don't run Chandra ToD (don't have them). But I'm not convinced they're necessary to do what Skred does best: devour most control decks and blow-out creatures.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from CurdBros »
    ...

    Let me know if there's anything you want my assistance with, organization- or writing-wise.

    Quote from Rendroc »
    ...

    I hadn't really considered Magus of the Moon. It's an interesting choice: easier for you to remove if needed, tutorable so you don't need as many, assists overruns. I was already considering some copies of Blood Moon in my SB. The problem with it is that it is fairly easy to remove for the opponent; and also if you're relying on Command to find it, you may not cast it until turn 4 or even 5 (well past a functioning Tron).

    Regarding Terastodon, it's been in and out of my SB. It's really strong against non-blue control deck, like Sun and Moon. However, I hadn't actually needed it much, which is why I pulled it. I may throw a singleton back in, if I can find room. Once we splash, we go from an anemic sideboard to an embarrassment of riches.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Skred Red
    There's definitely something to that. I've recently started to reduce my threats to 3x copies to avoid having 1/3 my offense disappear to a badly timed Surgical Extraction. Hazoret seems like a great swap for the 4th Stormbreath. It's also just slightly less invincible than Stormbreath (surviving Damnation and Verdict, but not PtE).

    I don't see much hope to outrace Eldrazi Tron with Rabblemaster, but against PW Tron it can certainly work. I'm running Berserkers instead. They don't fight Eldrazi, but they give Storm and most control deck fits, and really improve the Burn matchup (effectively, it's a 1-sided Eidolon).

    -----

    On another question, how do people feel we're positioned right now? This is one of two decks I'm thinking of taking to a large tourney in a few days.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Burn
    There's some debate over the number of Price and Fireblast to play.

    The first Fireblast is almost indispensable to the deck's speed. There is no substitute for an instant-speed burst of 4 damage while tapped out. That said, a second copy has the potential to be a dead draw (especially if you're on 18-19 land, the majority of which are fetches). You can judge for yourself if it's worth the risk. For me, not playing fetches but having Lavamancer in the MD means I play the full four.

    Price is almost always good for 4 or 6 unless you face a few very specific opponents (like the mirror). When it does 6, it just wins. When it does 4, it's not bad at all. When it does 0 or 2, it's awful. Choosing how many to play is a metagame call of "how often will this be dead, versus awesome." That's how I ended up with 3 MD and 1 SB. The dogma is to run 4 MD. I could see 2 MD, 2 SB being successful as well.

    YMMV.
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    Quote from jaccjacc »
    With a 20 Land Deck Oath makes it possible to decrease the amount of mulligans significantly.
    However there seems to be a cut off, depending on how many non-targets you play.
    It the traditional Devotion I played for a long time, I needed to trim them down because of Primal Commands. This is also the case when I side in Relic of Progenitus, Creeping Corrosion, etc I will cut oaths, since the deck gets filled with cards i cannot hit of oath.
    However if the SB card can be hit by oath i'm leaving them in, since they increase the chance of hitting them.

    This is exactly the situation I'm in. This is what convinced me to try a non-Oath build. It also leaves me free to experiment with Pact.

    Quote from CurdBros »
    Blast from the WAY past...Ross Merriam wrote an article about my very first deck in Devotion (Elf Devotion). I don't mean to suggest his article has anything to do with my past lists, etc. it doesn’t. I was just saying it was fun to see him mention the power of Nykthos in an Elf build as that is how I got my start in Devotion when it was first released(I.e. when Nykthos was spoiled).

    I quit Elf Devotion because it didn’t seem any better (or terribly different outside of Wave) from the “regular” elves lists. To be honest, Merriams List is EXTREMELY similar to other Wlves lists (and less like my “Devoted Elves” lists of the past; but he does discuss Nykthos so I thought it was worth posting.

    Maybe now there is more too it (with Devoted Druid being a Combo with Ezuri too...I mentioned it last week that I was fooling around with Elves; but in all honesty I’ve spent the last two weeks really focused on my Chord list. It is gong GREAT! I will play around with Elf Devotion again; but it likely will just look a ton like my current Chord list.

    I’m currently 41-17 in matches with my Chord list (although there were small changes within this spread to the board and my 3-drop slot). I have a big write up outlining choices and match ups I’ll post tonight. I wasn’t going to post until then; but Ross Merriam’s article was exciting to read and I thought I should let everyone know about it.

    http://www.starcitygames.com/article/36015_My-Three-Options-For-SCG-Cincinnati.html

    Lead the stampeded is such a cool card...if I played a list with less Walkers and Enchantments(or 30+ creatures) I would consider it.

    ______

    Quote from Rendroc »
    I run have only 2 Pacts in my Garruk Green deck, but Oath hits everything else. Oath is fantastic. Adds mana with Nykthos, finds a key land, or or spell, reveals a new top card for Courser, and it's effect is strictly better than Sleight of Hand in the deck.


    This is true. It is great in decks with high Walker/Creature/Land counts. As I said, it was a HUGE boon to the walker decks I had played prior to Oath's printing (made them viable). I tried to play Garruk Green BEFORE the rule because I loved Oath so much Smile

    Having said that, I don't think it is for every Devotion deck. More importantly, or at least more common is the fact that some Devotion decks just shouldn't play more than 2 copies of Oath. I would have said that was blasphemy 6 months ago...but I do think that some decks just don't get the same "bang for the buck" that other Devotion decks do.

    In my years with devotion, I've found that Devotion decks are VERY fickle. What works in one is not guaranteed to work in another.

    Put the rest in a Spoiler because it gets deep into "philosophy" of Devotion deck:

    The main components I've found that effect the "nature" and/or success of a devotion deck are:

    1. The amount of card draw/digging is available in the deck. (i.e. Card Draw)
    2. The curve of the deck (especially in the 2-4 drop portion of the deck) (i.e. Curve)
    3. The Chosen Win-conditions (i.e. Win-Con Choice)

    All devotion decks in one way or another are "big mana" decks. The decks are generally broken into "Ramp", "Support", and "Win-Conditions". Ramp cards (generally 1-2 drops) are what we play first, "Support" cards (generally 2-4) often play dual roles; but really "bridge" the deck between the early ramp and big-mana win-cons. The support cards tend to smooth out the deck; because every game isn't going to be as easy as playing a few ramp cards and then immediately casting 8-drops. The Win-Conditions are the cards that end the game and often tend to be our big mana cards. The amount and style of each of the above cards, however, is dependent on the above three elements (card draw, curve, and win-con choice).

    1. The more cards you draw and the faster/further you dig through your deck; the greater the likelihood you will have a Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in play. Of course, certain cards will not "hit" a Nykthos, but in general the faster you "draw" through the deck, the greater the chance to hit a specific card. This changes the "average" math you factor in to turns 3-6.

    2. As far as the curve is concerned...I tend to play decks with a lot of 1-2 drops and far less 3-drops (with a few more variable cards). This isn't necessarily "better" (in some match ups it is, in others it is not); but it does change a few important factors. The most important of these is that the deck can generally (on average) play well on only 1 Land between turns 1-3 and less lands in general. Of course it is ideal to hit 1 and exactly 1 land drop each turn; but the deck can function on very few lands. Decks with a heavy focus on 3-5 drops will often really need to hit their first two land drops on turns one and two (and three to some extent). I think Oath of Nissa performs very will in such decks as it can really help ensure land drops are hit.

    3. The choice of win-con greatly effects the way the ramp and support cards are chosen. Tooth and Nail Decks often will want to hit 7-9 mana quickly. Other devotion decks may not need to hit quite that high a number, hit the Devoted Druid combo, etc. Also, some utilize means of reduction to more quickly get to their "high drops" and/or utilize more mana-sinks. This changes whether you choose Courser of Overgrowth at 3-CMC.

    I generally start with the win-conditions and build the deck from there...but the above gets into stuff we could write literal pages and pages about (and is what the Primer needs to partially do)...but the above is just a long-winded way of saying that Oath doesn't necessarily fit in every single devotion deck. Smile




    I was thinking it might be time for a primer update. I remember I did a lot of the early Oath math, and my perspective has matured a bit. We also have Druid and other splashes that are receiving serious consideration.

    Quote from Worldsaverinc »
    Looks like he is just relying on being faster or more resilant than burn ie. forcing burn to react to him than the other way around.

    Burn was always somewhat favorable (though never a guarantee). This is especially true if you play some number of Command and Courser. If they don't have a Skullcrack for Command, they lose. If Courser lands, they likely lose unless they can remove it economically (eg: you block Swiftspear, and they have a Searing Blaze/Blood. In your SB, you have life gain cards that are incidentally good versus everyone else.



    Looking back to these classic builds does have me missing my Coursers. Helping ensure land drops, adding devotion, a life trickle, and land drops was nice all in one card. Unfortunately, I don't think it's a sufficient blocker anymore: Affinity flies, Elves trample, Merfolk islandwalk, and Eldrazi are just too big.


    -----


    I'm looking at two builds for the tourney, and would appreciate some comments and thoughts.

    The A build is much closer to what I'm playing now, and is very classic in a lot of ways. It has the few elements that red adds, at a cost of taking potentially a bunch more pain damage (which is not irrelevant). Cards are singlehandedly powerful to the point of overwhelming, but more mana-intensive. The only cards that I'd need to pick up beforehand are the Bonfires in the SB.

    The B build is something that I threw together in reaction to the amount of pain I was taking from lands, and a few occasions where my mana producers got killed and I stalled out below the Titan threshold. The costs mostly cap out at 4 mana, but the inclusion of Wolfbriars, Gods, and Polukranos gives a lot of upside for excess. I lack Bonfire for the SB, and could probably use something better to deal with other green decks. I'd need to pick up the 2nd Thrun, 2x Wolfbriar, Nylea, and Rhonas.





    Any suggestion as to which way I should lean, and any tweaks you'd advise?



    Edit: Added missing Thrun in Variant A's SB.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on [Primer] Green Nykthos Devotion (includes Tooth & Nail)
    The real questions for Oath are: (1) what is the ratio of things you can find with it, and (2) what is the thing that would replace it.

    In my case, the deck is finally getting tight. 20 land is as low as I can get, and I'd really like that additional Forest. 10 Elf/Sprawl/Bird, though the 11th helps. 4 Druid. 1 Vizier. 4 Command. 4 Ballista. And so on. There really isn't much to budge, so it's not "filling space and shrinking the deck," so much as "displacing something else."

    In terms of what it can find, after turn 2, I pretty much always want it to be a big creature. There aren't a lot of those in the deck, and finding Command does not count. Since mana tends to be fine but threats aren't, I'm making the flip to Pact. If I didn't rely on Command and played more big creatures instead of the extended set of mana producers, it would make more sense to run 2x Oath.

    It always surprises me when an ostensibly very good, mainstay card (especially a cantrip) finally reaches a tipping point where it is forced out. I actually expected 2x Oath to be a component forever.



    Running 2-3 Pacts has been pretty good, thus far. Getting the balance right is not easy between mana and threats. Sadly, Oath is no longer capable of assisting on both sides.

    I am debating between dropping to 2 Birds or 20 lands. The additional Bird is a 4% increase in the number of turn-1 accelerator drops. However, I have occasionally had that dreaded colorless-land opener. Having Druid makes me a bit more comfortable with the idea of playing a turn 1 Treetop Village or tapped Shockland and saying "go."

    I'm pulling one Polukranos for a Thrun. I've only run into an issue with the legend rule once, but there are enough games where Thrun is a big enough wall to buy time. He's also really good versus control, and the ability to Pact him up is often game-winning. Finally, he's another source of Devotion that's tough to remove. Since there are few regenerators in the format outside of Elves but lots of countermagic, Supreme Verdict is replacing Wrath of God in many places. The only spell that is left to remove Thrun is Damnation. I could still see fitting a Carnage Tyrant as well, but I'm not sure if it's really better than Titan or Ruric Thar.



    My record isn't spotless anymore, but it's well better than 3:1. I'm debating taking this to my first big tourney. The problem is that it's a deck with lots of decision-making, and I'm concerned that I might make more play errors later in the day as a result. I have two much simpler alternatives, but they don't perform quite as well, and are far more meta-dependent.
    Posted in: Developing Competitive (Modern)
  • posted a message on Burn
    Even so, most Lords wouldn't survive Fallout except in multiples, and you have multiple spells that can remove one anyway (L. Bolt, Chain L., R. Bolt, S. Blaze, etc.).
    Posted in: Aggro & Tempo
  • posted a message on Merfolk
    I'm pretty convinced that Storm is degenerate at this point, and Past in Flames will see a banning at some point. It's basically Yawgmoth's Will. Until then, neither Cursecatcher nor creature removal is really sufficient against that. I'm not sure of a single other deck that MDs the cards to beat them on a regular basis, with the possible exception of certain decks that use black. Chill, or maybe Arcane Laboratory would have worked, but they're not in the format. White has the best SB options, between Thalia, Rule of Law effects, and Rest in Peace. Plus, that gives Path to Exile, for the creature-removal slot.

    I feel like if what you're worried about is combo, you should probably be splashing White.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Merfolk
    I'm still unsure of the appeal of the two-color approach. Speaker seems pretty marginal; it's a 1-mana 2/2, but blue has Cosi's Trickster which usually gets bigger on opposing fetches alone, and Triton Shorestalker which is simply unblockable if needed. People seem resolved that CoCo is inferior to Vial. If that's the case, this is about Branchwalker. I don't think Branchwalker is good enough to justify taking a bunch of fetch/shock damage in matchups with other aggro decks (and a newfound susceptibility to Blood Moon). I'll be interested to see what new technology comes out to further validate the approach.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
  • posted a message on Merfolk
    The question is: is it worth paying an additional 1 to gain one Devotion and potentially color-screw an opponent, disable Urza-Tron, or disable a man-land? In my book, the answer is yes. YMMV, and it depends on the meta.
    Posted in: Tier 2 (Modern)
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