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Treasure Cruisin' Amulet's End
Magic Market Index for April 19, 2019
  • 1

    posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    We also run only 1-2 Liliana Planeswalkers as opposed to 4-5 like BG rock, so it's way less likely you'll get the discard effect. I'll update my claim that, in addition to Grishoalbrand, it would be great against boggles too because they have Leyline. But this is so narrow.

    Looking at all 5 lists that have placed top 8 in the last few weeks, seems like Faithless Looting (albeit as a singleton) is staking its claim as a staple just like in GDS. I've been trying it again in my jund list, but I don't know if I'd run it in 4C just because I hate being pulled in too many directions with color.

    I've been living the new mulligan rule on MTGO. Been toying with a more combo oriented list but not quite all-in like Shadow Zoo.

    Keeping in my Tron, Affinity, and Dredge - since those seem to be the decks on the rise due to the mulligan change. I like how it feels against Tron, haven't played the other two yet. Won two matches against Phoenix also
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 2

    posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    What are we using Liliana Triumph against exactly? Boggles is not a prevalent enough deck in an open meta game to warrant this valuable Sideboard space. It's not good in the mirror because they can flash in a Snapcaster to sacrifice for it. Against Jund it's usable but I would rather just have a spot removal spell. The "if you control" clause is virtually irrelevant for us because we only play max 1-2 Liliana in the entire 75. I'd rather play Cast Down or Terminate
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 2

    posted a message on Nissa, Steward of Elements
    I use her in Sultai Midrange where your threats are low cost so she's likely to get them into the battlefield even at low loyalty. Also where you have Mishra's Bauble and Serum Visions to see if you're good to zero her. In a grindfest match up though, simply having the ability to scry 2 every turn is paramount. He ultimate creature-lands are flying too so its very threatening. My list is something like

    I wish I could run more Nissa in this deck because she really complements everything quite well. Even Grim Flayer can set up a nice Zero for her.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 1

    posted a message on Grixis Death's Shadow
    Quote from BourbonFox »
    That looks really good. I didn't know about them. How does priority work with Traps? I mean, you normally wouldn't be passed priority after he pitched a card. So when does priority go back to you to cast this instant? let's say he faithless looting into Gut shot...three cards hit the bin, well 4, but at what point is priority mine?

    You wait to cast the trap in response to one of their triggers. For example, they dredge three cards with Life from the Loam, hitting a Creeping chill. With the chill trigger on the stack you cast ravenous and exile the whole graveyard. Now they can't choose to use the chill trigger.

    Similar for Phoenix. You let them looting and play a bunch of other spells. Then when they attempt to move to combat, they place the Phoenix triggers on the stack, you respond with ravenous trap, exiling the whole graveyard including the Phoenix.

    I will add that Ravenous Trap works great with Jace VP also because his ability allows you to cast it for free from your graveyard although not at instant speed which kinda hurts the trap aspect. Snapcaster however does not allow the trap to be cast for 0 as flashback
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 1

    posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Regarding Stubborn Denial: The way I see, it all depends on what you want to be prepared for. Do you want to prepare for your worst match-ups, where it's difficult to gain percentage points no matter how you cut it (though a smoother mana base helps) or do you want to be prepared for the decks that are most popular? I'll assess the value of Stubborn Denial, and the opportunity cost of running the 4th color, against some of the biggest contenders.

    • Izzet Phoenix (8.5% meta share) - Stub is a house, one of your best cards for the match. Easily worth the splash mana
    • Grixis Shadow (6.75% meets share) - Stub is useful but not always live, but good as a force Spike because they play a low and on curve. Not much effort to run the 4th color since they don't attack our mana. Red mana isn't important in this match so blue is arguably the next third color here (if let's say you have Snapcaster or Delay)
    • Burn (5.75% meta share) - Stub is once again your best card for the match-up. It's worth packing a 4th copy in SB if your meta is burn heavy. No contest that blue is a necessary color for a considerable win % increase here, even at risk of mana base life loss.
    • Affinity (including Scales) (4.5% meta share) - this match-up I am most on the fence about which is better to play. While they're both creature-based aggro, they both have crucial targets for Stub. The mama base pain should be considered. And personally I don't feel either traverse shadow variant should struggle in this match.
    • Dredge (4.25% meta share) - Extremely versatile card that stops all their key enablers. Not essential to maintain a positive win % for this match-up but also little to no risk by running a 4th color.
    • Bant Spirits (3.75% meta share) - Stub is mediocre here but has a few key targets that can swing the tide of the game. Overall I would estimate that Jund Shadow probably has a better win % however, due to less damage from your mana base. In my 4C list, I keep 1x Stub post SB.
    • Straight Jund (3.75 meta share) - Our worst (or close 2nd) match-up. Stub isn't going to help much as they are heavily interactive and always have extra mana to pay the force Spike. 3C Shadow clearly has a better win rate (though still not great by any standards)
    • Jeskai (3.5% meta share) - IMO our worst match-up. While stub is slightly more useful here than against Jund, the 4th color isn't free because they are both a burn deck and a control deck. Either version of our deck is going to have a tough time gaining % points no matter how you Sideboard.
    • Humans (2.9% meta share) - Stub is awful and you're clearly better off playing Jund Shadow if you're preparing for a Humans meta game.
    • Amulet Titan (2.9% meta share) - While it doesn't help with their key threat, it stops crucial combo pieces such as Amulet or Summoning Pact. Since they don't attack our mana and they're not aggro, there's virtually no cost to running the 4th color and increasing your win % here.
    • 4C Whir (2.75% meta share) - Stub is a house and dominates the match-up. Though Shadow is heavily favored here regardless.
    • G/x Tron (2.5% meta share) - same as above. Very useful for the match-up but we're favored either way.
    • UW control (2.5% meta share) - stub is more useful here than against jeskai because of Terminus, but UW also leans heavily on the mana Denial plan so the 4th color is a big liability. Jund Shadow is far from favored in this match, however slightly more favored than GDS or 4C.
    So how do we assimilate this information? Do we take the scariest, most difficult to win matches, and build based on what works best there? Humans, UWx, and BGx are certainly the most difficult to win, and Jund colors will prove more consistent and useful, but to what degree? And what share of the meta are you really prepared for here? Or do we prepare for the considerably larger share of the meta against which Stubborn Denial will add win % at little to no cost regarding mana base? Humans is the only deck where stub is completely dead, and it's dropped to a pathetic 3% meta share.

    Personally, in an open meta like GP LA which I'll be attending, I'd like to be prepared for the 29% of the meta (Tron, Whir, Dredge, Affinity, Burn, Phoenix, Storm, Infect) against whom I want stub and don't mind the 4th color, rather than be worried about the 13% of the meta (UWx, BGx, Humans) where stub and 4th color are a big opportunity cost that will cost you percentage points against opponents that are near impossible to beat anyway. I did not include in these cuts the 12.5% meta share from GDS, Amulet Titan, and Spirits because I feel that stub and the 4th color are not a huge hindrance but are likely only slightly helpful. Personally I strongly recommend blue for these matches but because of Delay which has been great for me.

    To attack this from an angle relative to Defish's point: what matches are you undoubtedly worse off against without stub? I'm not taking about Tron, Affinity, Spirits, or Amulet because while stub is applicable in those matches, Jund Shadow can be tuned to be highly favored. But my primary concerns are Phoenix, Dredge, and Burn which occupy a considerable meta share and our win % is definitely higher with stub than without.

    Personally, I'm keeping my stubs. No qualms about Jund Shadow players or the results they put up. All of my analysis really shows that there's a valid argument for both sides. I just like Stub. I feel that the best cards in the deck are Death's Shadow, Traverse the Ulvenwald, Stubborn Denial and Temur Battle Rage. And they're each the respective reason why I play each color
    Posted in: Midrange
  • 1

    posted a message on [RNA] Ravnica Allegiance Previews: Modern Discussion
    My speculation is that Incubation will push the Eldritch / Chord deck to be good. The Vizier combo doesnt need black anyway, and they already play Noble, so you just splash blue instead. The deck already plays Commune with Nature but typically has no maindeck removal. My thoughts

    A mainboard answer that exiles with no target restrictions? Sign me up!
    Posted in: Modern
  • 2

    posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Why assume that the Canopy cycle, if ever finished, would result in each color pair drawing a card when sacrificed? What if the cycle had different functions when sacrificed? Examples

    Murky Depths
    T, pay 1 life: add U or B.
    1, T, Sac: target player discards a card.

    Hillside Beacon
    T, pay 1 life: add R or G.
    1, T, Sac: Create a 2/2 red and green warrior token.

    Each one could create a solid +1 card advantage in one form or another, but requiring sacrificing the land.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Alright, so I ordered everything I need except for the Polluted Deltas. Unfortunately the list I was looking at when I said all I was missing was the DS’s and the U Shocklands was THIS ONE that didn’t play any Deltas (and played 4x Verdants, 4x Mires, and 3x Foothills instead), I’m assuming as a budget decision. I didn’t realize it at the time.

    I could order the Deltas now, but I kinda already pushed my budget limits. I bought a second Liliana, the Last Hope, the fourth Leyline of the Void (I needed that one anyway, I thought I could get by with three because the Hollow One decks were only running three back when I purchased those), and a fourth Lorwyn Thoughtseize (I only ever needed three at most for Jund. I have Theros TS’s, but there’s no way I’m running mismatched cards or even newer printings of cards in a deck I care about). Those cards, plus the DS’s and old U Shocklands, kinda maxed me out $$$wise.

    So, with that said, I’m going to try both Jund DS and 4c DS, and if I find that the Wooded Foothills are just too bad in 4c, I may trade some stuff into my LGS for 4x Khans Polluted Deltas as a placeholder until I can spring for the Onslaught Deltas. Do you think the Foothills will be a big setback to my manabase? I can’t stand playing suboptimal lists.

    I can’t lie, I watched some videos last night (Holy s*** Hoogland is almost unbearable to listen to sometimes) and Stubborn Denial seems really strong (and like you said, fetching for U really just forwards our plan of getting below 13 life, so there’s really not a downside). I’m motivated to play 4c based on what I saw and per your suggestion, Siegel. BUT... straight Jund Shadow would make me feel a little closer to home like I was just playing an Aggro-oriented classic Jund list. And between that familiarity, not needing Deltas, and because of DeFish’s suggestion, I’m also inclined to play that version. So I will try both, and do more research in the meantime.

    I do really want to know though, so give it to me straight, how bad is Wooded Foothills in 4c? Is it going to give me a skewed impression of the deck? Here is that list again that I was initially going off of, for reference.

    And I really appreciate the input, by the way. Both of y’all.

    While the choice between 4c and Jund is basically dependent on how important stubborn denial is for your expected meta game, I think that Wooded Foothills are generally ok considering a couple factors. As a die-hard 4c player myself, I find that watery grave is typically the first shock I fetch. Now of course this depends on my opening hand and what I know about the opponent so far, but consider that my only main deck blue cards are 3x Stubborn. My value for blue may be accentuated by the blue sideboard options. Burn and Tron are very popular and they are both match-ups that are easy to push to 60% or better with some sideboard tech.

    Here's why I consider all 4 colors to be critical.
    Blue is crucial for beating burn and KCI (counter spells), and still very good against Tron, Storm, Dredge and Primeval Titan.
    Red is crucial for beating Humans and Spirits (removal, sweepers, TBR) but also helps against Affinity, Scales, KCI, and Storm.

    And while BGx midrange and UWx control are near impossible to win, I feel that my counter spells are one of the few edges I have in the match ups. For reference, here's my current list

    Posted in: Midrange
  • 3

    posted a message on Shaman of the Great Hunt
    I think the problem is bloodbraid elf. There is no deck I can think of where Shaman OTGH is a better choice at 4 CMC than the classic BBE. Both have haste, both vulnerable to literally all the same removal. But one gets guaranteed value (even through a counter spell) and another takes considerable effort to create value.
    Posted in: Modern
  • 2

    posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    He explains why in an earlier post at the top of this page. Trophy gets very awkward when you draw multiples early game when it's likely they still have basics left. Ramping them (with an untapped land!) hurts worse thn you'd think during turn 1-3 or even later if they happen to be stuck on lands.

    IMO you want Trophy as a late game catch-all against UWx, or early game against H1 and Tron. Otherwise most circumstances and match-ups I believe Abrupt decay is superior. Against Storm, Burn, Humans, Spirits - Trophy is actively bad so I certainly wouldn't want 4x in my main deck. And TBH I wouldn't play more than 3 in my 75 and I wouldn't run less than 2 Abrupt decay (in the 75)


    To point out something people keep overlooking:

    Decay is not bad against UW or Tron. It is actively good against UW because it destroys SFA, Detention Sphere, Vendilion, Rest in Peace, little Gideon (if they use him) and it can't be countered. Trophy helps mid-to-late game against Planeswalker, flipped Azcanta, and a lethal Colonnade. Both are important and useful, but you don't want either of them in copious amounts.

    Decay kills Oblivion Stone AND kills their turn 1 Map if you're on the play. Both of these applications have been relevant in my competitive play experience. I don't even board out decay against Tron because it kills chalice, and also kills (or forces them to pop) Relic of Progenitus.
    Posted in: Midrange
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