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  • posted a message on Sultai Midrange
    Quote from Scissors x »
    Hey everyone Smile Little local fnm report with my take on sultai midrange. Went 4-0 (8W-2L) and played againts MonoR phoenix, Abzan rock, UW control and Bant spirits.

    The deck :



    Some card choices :
    Mishra's Bauble : The main reason why this card is in the deck is to grow Tarmogoyf some and to activate Grim Flayer more consistently. It also randomly helps "scrying" for Nissa's 0 activation and acts as a pseudo-opt most times. Im not too happy about this card, but it is not too bad.

    Grim Flayer : This card also seemed underwhelming when I was building the deck, thus why only 2 copies. In reality, the fact that this is a 2 drop is relevant. It also felt way more oppressive seeing how my opponents always wanted this card off the battlefield. I could see switching these and dropping the baubles with them, but they've been good beaters and the surveil 3 is the real star here.

    Ancestral vision : AV was good when it came up. This is my way of getting card advantage without big money planeswalkers like Liliana OTV or Jace TMS. I've had this on turn 1 maybe 3 out of 10 games, mostly because I've sided it out against some faster decks. It was great against Abzan and UW and, according to my opponents, the reason why I won those matches. More on that later.

    Yahenni's Expertise : Guys, read this card. This is like a worse version of what we sometimes want in this kind of deck. I feel like this deck has trouble once it's a little behind againts aggro decks, so this card helps alot. It also tags along a 3 mana card which can be awkward sometimes, because of how tapout empty handed most games end up to be. The big deal here, though, is the fact that it can cast Ancestral Vision! It has helped me a few times and merits its spot in the deck especially playing AV, but it also restricts the creatures that see play; there are no Scavenging Ooze in the main and only 2 Tireless Tracker in the deck for that reason. Those 2 creatures are really powerful against most matchups so I'm still unsure of the numbers.

    Creeping Tar Pit & Field of ruin : I want more of these, they were great. Tar pit was great against Liliana, since she's mostly always obligated to tick down. Field triggered tracker a few times and was very useful in the grindy matchups killing Celestial Colonnade and Treetop Village., very nice! Not having to use removal on lands against another rock deck is very precious. I'm not sure the manabase can handle more Field of ruin though, considering the amount of double colour cards this deck plays (the removal, flayer...).

    Nissa, Steward of Elements : This card is in where Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor would be. This is mainly a budget reason, but the card did do some work. The scry is really nice and putting a creature in for free with some scry and baubles is really good as well. But then again, this card is very little immediate impact. I'm not sure if it would be better just as Tireless tracker #3 and 4 or maybe some Scavenging oozes.

    The sideboard is a mess, please send help.
    #----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Tournament report :
    Round 1 vs MonoR phoenix
    Game 1 I kept a standard hand with inquisition, Tarmogoyf and a mostly painless land suite. My opponent quickly sends me to only 4 life dealing with my Goyf. The game ends a few turns after I cast Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and kill their Monastery Swiftspear.

    Game 2 I kept a hand with 2 Goyfs, Feed the clan, some discard and a Mishra's Bauble. My opponent played Soul-Scar Mage, bolted and Gut Shotted my goyf to oblivion. I played the second goyf followed by gain 10 in response to another deal 3 to my goyf. My opponent was never able to catch back up, ever after dealing with my creatures and swinging with 2 prowess creatures. The bauble was key in this game for ferocious.

    The manabase was great both games, 5 basic lands really helped and I drew the right half of my deck for the matchup.


    Round 2 vs Abzan rock
    Game 1 went as most Abzan matches go : we trade resources for the first few turns of the game. Eventually we trade blows with manlands; their Shambling Vents meant that they were winning the race (I was at 5 at some point with them at ~10). I eventually find Nissa, Steward of Elements and start scrying for cards. The shambling vents was never able to really put pressure on my planeswalker and I end up scrying over 20 cards of my deck, with occasional 0 activation to put a goyf and some other creatures with the help of bauble. My opponent somehow deals with my Nissa, but I drop the 2nd one to seal the deal.

    Game 2 : I don't remember what happened this game, but I got run over I think.

    Game 3 I have Ancestral Vision on 1. My opponent played Liliana of the Veil and Liliana the Last Hope which were both dealt with by Creeping Tar Pit. Eventually, I resolve the Ancestral Vision which finds me another AV and Yahenni's expertise. Another AV off of the Expertise next turn gets me the game.

    After this game, I felt pretty medium about Nissa and very highly about Tar pits. Nissa did scry me 20 and occasionnaly put some creatures into play, but a JTMS or LOTV in her stead would've just won me the game in a few turns.


    Round 3 vs UW control
    Game 1 : I have a good hand with 3 discard spells and lands. I tag most things in my opponent's hand and deploy some creatures. My opponent played 2 Search for Azcantas which were met with abrupt decays. The game goes on for a little while with them killing my stuff and eventually deploying Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I deal with the planeswalker with some form Tar pit attack I think? I then resolve AV and drop a goyf with both of us on topdeck mode for a while. The goyf was a 7/8 due to them playing planeswalker and enchantment. Celestial Colonnades were also not a problem here thanks to Field of Ruin

    Game2 : I think I went AV on 1 followed by discard + AV on 2 with my opponnent on a mulligan to 5. I also cast Unmoored Ego to name JTMS. Through discard, I know they have Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in hand, which they decide not to play on 5. Great move, since I have negate in hand. They're eventually forced to do it when I Thoughtseize their Cryptic Command.

    After the games, my opponent tells me they don't think they can win with my version of the deck playing AV and how their deck was built. They were not playing the big card drawing spells so could not keep up with the card advantage AV provided.


    Round 4 vs Bant spirits
    Game 1 : I keep a great hand with discard, Fatal push, tarmogoyf and a mostly painless lands. My opponent plays Mausoleum Wanderer on 1 followed by Selfless Spirit on 2. I push the Wanderer in response to try and stay on par with them as much as possible. I decide to kill the wanderer here to preserve life but also to be able to play my spells when things matter more in the later turns. One could argue that killing the Selfless Spirit and letting them sac their Wanderer is the right play, but I would rather not let them choose which spell I get to cast. The game goes my way with a 4/5 goyf and a Kalitas in play and a lot of removal for their spirits. They play Collected company as a last ditch effort with lethal on my side of the board and them at 1 point from lethal. They don't find anything particularly relevant and we go to game 2.

    Game 2 : I keep an ok hand with 2 tarmogoyfs and some removal. They play Mausoleum Wanderer, Selfless Spirit and Drogskol Captain. I deploy goyf and some removal. They then play Rest in Peace and I never am able to catch up with my baby tarmogoyf. Creeping tar Pit did get them to ~5 life but their Collected Company beat my already dead sultai deck.

    Game 3 : This game was interesting. The game goes as usual : spirits into removal. I Collective brutality twice on 2 different Drogskol Captains. They get to hit me a few times with a Rattlechains (if I remember right...) for 3 off the back of a Noble Hierarch and deploy a Rest in Peace once again. This game though, I saw no goyfs and deployed my Grim Flayer and a Tireless Tracker. We trade resources with my still at a low life total, but tireless tracker draws me some sweet sweet gas and I get there.
    #------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Final thoughts :
    This deck was real sweet. The Ancestral Visions we're super sweet and the creature package also felt reasonable. I think I got to play against a good spread of decks and the deck showed that it can grind properly as well as deploy a lot of disruption against creature strategies. I think going on, I would test more Assassin's Trophy if the Tron matchup is miserable (which it certainly might be) or if more planeswalkers and Gurmag anglers show up. I don't think this deck plays well when behind, so overloading on answers is very necessary with how I play the deck.

    I would also try to find the correct threat suite. Some have talked about Dark Confidant instead of Grim flayer and I see how that can be a good idea; most matches came down to a grind in topdeck mode and I think bob serves the same role in those games - it is a 2drop must answer threat that draws me gas if it "connects". The difference is the power/toughness and the fact that it randomly loses life. I was really happy with the lowpain manabase so I don't think shelling $$ for Dark confidant is a good idea. Especially since JTMS would be a better upgrade path for the deck I feel.

    I would maybe also go up to 24 lands if I drop Grim Flayer and bauble, but for now it felt reasonable.

    Thanks everyone Smile
    Congrats on the 4-0! Nice job.. Interesting take with the Ancestral Vision. It's a card I would've thought to try in this archetype. I've been brewing sultai again recently and I've really liked Nissa actually, even alongside the more traditional PWs


    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on RG Super Vengevine
    I'm back with a spicy brew for RG Vengevine


    Evoke still counts as a creature being cast so it works with Vengevine. Also Faerie Macabre out of the SB works with H1 discard requirement. The Artifact creatures make it super easy to hit delirium to Traverse is usually turned on no problem.

    So far I've beaten UW Control and Mardu Pyro, still testing and tweaking. There are a lot of tricky lines of play and I've by no means mastered the deck yet.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Goryo's Shadow
    I think you're into something here but you have a couple nonbos here. Gurmag is awful since you typically need your graveyard for mausoleum secrets, Snapcaster and also Goryo's itself. You miss out considerably on the discard effects. I would start somewhere like this


    Lazav seems really awkward for your list also. What is he copying besides Shadow? Doesn't seem worth. I've opted for no red in my main deck because I don't think it's worth the trouble. I used to play a similar deck with Smallpox also since it's a great way to cut your opponent off from resources but humans is not as popular as it used to be so I'm not sure about that now.
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Sultai Death's Shadow - BUG Shadow
    You should take a more GDS approach. You can cut 10 cards to add 4 Mausoleum secrets for consistency... And still be able to find instants or sorceries instead of lands. You can change bauble's into architects.

    You can trade 4 goyf's for 3 casters. Which makes it easy to double down an anything in your black or multi-colored black toolbox.

    Wanna astro a Tron land and then surgical it? Sure. Wanna Mausoleum a shadow when yours gets pushed? Sure. Want to double down with snap on just about anything? Sure, you can do that too! While still having a large toolbox to deal with anything.

    I threw in unmoored ego just for fun as an 8th tutorable answer. It's not even necessary. I'm having success on the 2nd draft of a deck as an okay player with slotS open, without even using a sideboard... and you guys are still making enormous changes because a 1 cmc sorcery find a creature/land that requires 4 types in your yard IS NOT better than a 2 cmc instant find anything in your deck besides snap or a land that requires 1 type in your yard.

    Struggling with decisions on cuts? Why... Because traverse is bad. You probably have 20 cards devoted to your yard. I have 7. God forbid you play a deck that can drain your yard, repeatedly, and discard your denial.

    Try it. At least do that. You might have then gone through the same process I did.

    Why run 4 goyf's at all when your tutor can clear a threat, protect your shadow, and Still tutor a shadow. Not to mention, less copies of great strong OR versatile cards finding consistency, and much less restrictive deck construction.

    I can tutor for countersquall when ahead. I can tutor an answer when behind. I don't depend on 8 copies of discard so topdecks aren't an issue. I can TS to find out if it's safe for shadow. You guys are trading too much versatility for consistency. I'm actually cutting cards to make my tutor twice as strong and easier to activate. I can even tutor a Lili if need be.


    Would you mind sharing a list? I'm very interested in the Mausoleum Secrets plan, but I think it's wrong to cut Tarmogoyf. If you look a page back in this thread, I was heavily brewing some Mausoleum Secrets variations. Hopefully we can work together on this via constructive criticism
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I definitely did. I ended up still running the blue splash for GP LA which was also a mistake. The amount of times Stub was in my hand but I needed a removal spell was pretty frequent. Granted I didn't play against any of the opponents I was lacking the stubs for anyhow. I went 3-3 and dropped, playing against :

    Izzet Phoenix 2-1
    Izzet Phoenix 0-2
    Storm 2-0
    Infect 2-1
    Izzet Phoenix 1-2
    Prowess Shadow 0-2

    I have a history of losing to mana flood with this deck during some pretty high stakes matches at PPTQs and IQs in the past, I really try to play only 17 lands if I can get away with it. But it definitely cost me a few games this weekend. Three individual game losses took place with only one land on my side of the table. Lost game 2 to Phoenix #2 when I keep a one-lander and fetch Stomping Ground first to Tarfire his t1 Swiftspear (I wanted green mana because I was holding a Tarmogoyf and praying for my second land drop. I drew a basic forest and no other land for the game. Thing makes clean work of my Tarmogoyf and kills me with a drake. All three of the Phoenix matches I played against didn't see much Phoenix action at all. In online leagues I've always been able to deal with the deck via graveyard hate for Phoenix and pushes for Thing. The Drake is interesting third angle of attack that makes me more interested in Trophy main deck. I've traditionally liked Trophy SB but Decay main because I don't like giving them a land in the dark and Decay hits most everything anyways.

    I feel there were only two critical missplays I made during the whole event. Mostly I had terrible variance with my draws, seeing red cards after I fetch Watery Grave, or drawing my basics when I needed to hurt myself. I think it's usually safe to keep one-landers with this deck as long as you have a cantrip or two but almost every single opener for me this weekend had only one land and at least half those games I missed my turn 2 land drop. I think I'm retiring the 4th color for now, at least until spell-based decks are back on top. Right now I just want more removal.

    I'll say again that I feel the Prowess Zoo Jund Shadow abomination definitely outclassed me. I might have to start testing that version. Against heavily interactive decks it might be worse off, but I think it's better against most of the top decks right now.

    I'll also add that there were a lot of storm players in the GP. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was some playing against our piloting storm. I saw more than 15 players easily. Anyone have a link to the results for the finals?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Here is my shot at a blueless list. The problem I've noticed with blue lately is that against burn I can't really be aggressive with my fetches so I can't get the mana I need in a reasonable amount of time. I haven't tested without blue against Scapeshift or Amulet, and those match-ups worry me too.



    I've beat burn twice in two recent leagues without drawing a single stub or Brutality, so I'm feeling confident. But I played another league this morning and lost horribly to Burn, Affinity, and GDS. Beating another Affinity player and also beating Phoenix.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I don't think Threads is particularly scary for us, because Shadow is only useless for them if their life is low. Targeting a Tarmogoyf with threads is awful for us, but like whocansay mentioned - we have plenty of outs.

    I'd like to share some interesting results I've had over the last two leagues.

    Burn 2-1
    Lanternless 0-2
    Spirits 1-2
    Humans 2-1
    Merfolk 2-1

    The only puzzling thing is the loss to Whir decks. I've also played against it a few times during pick-up games and literally haven't won a single game against them in the last 3 matches. I'm considering adding trophy to my Sideboard just so I have more outs for ensnaring Bridge. What are other's experiences playing against the deck? I used to beat up on Lantern control all the time, but this new version just seems more consistent at jamming bridges and protecting them with welding jars. I really feel I should be beating this deck. I also made a bone head play during g3 against spirits which likely cost me the game. So then i ran through another league

    Affinity 2-0
    Prowess Shadow 0-2
    Prowess Shadow 1-2 (same opponent)
    Grixis Shadow 2-0
    G Tron 2-1

    I was much happier with these results, even though still went 3-2. Fulminator was awesome against GDS, keeping them on only two lands effectively shut down Snapcaster they were holding. But this other Shadow deck was so strange. I wouldn't call it Shadow Zoo because he had no white or Wild Nacatl. I'm guessing the list was something like:


    Admittedly I have zero experience playing against the deck so maybe I'd do better with more practice. But I felt seriously outclassed. I'm convinced I didn't make any misplays. He had just enough interaction to hamstring me and take over the game by turn 4 or 5..it was brutal. Very interesting list to say the least.

    Any thoughts?
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    Looting has definitely been used in a few successful lists. It's sort of 1 or 2 thing, certainly not more than that. It's useful to pitch discard spells in the late game, or pitch an early stub against Humans or the like. It's also an easy choice to side out in a lot of match - ups because you're also sodding out the useless cards for that particular opponent.

    I've been having some really great success on the back of GCR lately. Gotta say I'm happy to have him around. I'm gonna run through another league or two tonight and report back with my results
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Scapeshift and Fulminator Mage
    Great, thank you all very much.
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Scapeshift and Fulminator Mage
    Alternatively, could I respond in between triggers? For example, in the above scenario, the stomping ground's Valakut trigger must resolve, but let's say I've got a Death's Shadow on board and I'd like to take more than 3 damage. Can I let two of the triggers resolve, hit me (assuming they're targeting me) and then intervene with the Fulminator Mage to negate the remaining four Valakut triggers by ensuring there are not 5 other mountains by the time they try to resolve?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Scapeshift and Fulminator Mage
    Scapeshift & Fulminator Mage

    If my opponent casts Scapeshift sacrificing all their lands (7x) and then finds Valakut and 6 mountains, but let's say one of them is nonbasic (i.e. Stomping Ground) can I respond to the Valakut trigger by destroying the nonbasic mountain with Fulminator Mage? Then there will be less than five "other mountains" when the triggers try to resolve, ultimately negating the pile of lightning bolt effects on the stack?

    Please advise me on this interaction. Thank you
    Posted in: Magic Rulings
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    So I ran through the strangest league this morning.

    Ad Naseum 0-2
    Dredge 1-2
    Burn 2-1
    Jund 2-1
    Jund 2-0

    First I must clarify that the Dredge match was not a legitimate loss. I had him dead on board next turn, and his final draw step he dredges into a Creeping chill AND Conflagrate. Responding to the chill trigger, I discard Faerie Macabre but misclick and exile the chill and a Loam. He wins during main phase with Conflagrate X=4. I was at 2 life with Shadow on board and TBR up. Needless to say, I missed my stubs in this match but I should've won anyway.

    The AN match is definitely where I needed the stub the most. I durdled a bit in game one but had lethal on board the turn before he killed me with the Lightning combo. Next game he has turn 0 Leyline of Sanctity and even then I beat through to get him low. I stupidly waste my Reclamation Sage on his Leyline then he follows up next turn with an Unlife. I would have killed him that turn if I just saved my Sage. No idea how game 3 would've gone but I definitely longed for counter magic. I anticipate Amulet would be a similar opponent.

    I also played a few pick up matches the night before.

    BG Rock 2-1
    Bogles 1-2
    Dredge 2-0

    The bogles deck is something I couldn't have been less prepared for. No LOTV, no EE, nothing. But being an aggro deck it's only a matter of sequencing the turns. It's entirely possible to just Shadow-TBR them out, so long as they don't stick a life link.

    For reference, here is the list I've been using:


    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    In the Hovey streams he doesn't play against any GDS opponents which is the biggest factor in the videos feeling out-of-touch with the current meta game. The lines of play are pretty relevant still and he doesn't play against any decks that are now obsolete or non-existent. I like watching these game play videos because of the misplays he makes. It helps me learn from them. And also the deck construction issues, like watching how he flops because of no basic forest, or how often Tarfire helps. It's inspired me to try 3x in my main deck, and certainly never play without the basic forest.

    One thing I feel is that it's hard to go all-in on Tarfire when you're also running 3x stub in the main deck. I know I've ranted quite a bit these last few pages about the value of stub but I'm currently trying 3x Tarfire and no stubs, with 2x Grim Flayer. Really trying to go all in on the aggro plan. I haven't had a chance to test against burn with my new configuration yet. I am happy to report that I won two matches last night, Jund 2-0 and UW 2-0

    -EDIT-

    Defish, I'm super interested in your main board surgical. Please report back with how it goes
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Death's Shadow Jund
    I don't think the Shadow Zoo list is better positioned against even the linear decks (such Tron, Infect, or Storm) than we are as Traverse players. While Zoo is faster than us, they lack interaction so there's the chance a linear deck will just out-goldfish them. Whereas I personally feel like I'm currently piloting the absolute best deck in the format against fully linear opponents. The games I play against Ad Naseum, Amulet Titan, or even Hollow One & Dredge..are hilarious. Even Phoenix, Affinity & Scales are usually a blowout in my favor.

    Then you have mid-range creature decks like Vizier Combo, Humans, Spirits - all of which I'd say are medium if not slightly unfavorable.

    And lastly we have the highly interactive decks; our cryptonite. If we had just a bit more ways to protect our threats we could potentially shore up these matches and consider ourselves tier 1.

    I've been watching a few of the recent Dylan Hovey streams lately and he plays a mean traverse shadow list with 3x Tarfire. I personally don't agree with running only 1 basic (he has no forest) but the rest of his list has some serious gas.
    Posted in: Midrange
  • posted a message on Sultai Death's Shadow - BUG Shadow
    Yes, thank you for asking. My thoughts on a week of playtesting the deck:
    • 4x on Flayer, Incubate, Traverse - too many consistency tools.
    • 17x land is too few, we still need 18
    • 17x creatures has caused the occasional whiff on incubation so I think I want 18
    • even with Incubate, the deck still wants more cards which double down on delirium. Having no Tarfire really hurts
    • I almost want a basic island to traverse for. Might consider one in the SB for the BGx and UWx matches since they attack our mana base
    Refined deck list:

    My top concern is go-wide creature decks like Coco, chord, and Vial decks. Graveyard decks are a walk in the park. I need to text more against UWx and BGx though
    Posted in: Deck Creation (Modern)
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