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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:50 am 
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Standard Showdown 1 report:
Decklist I took:

1 win (2-1): against RDW (nothing can block)
1 loss (1-2): against RDW (nothing can block, this had a better pilot)
1 draw (1-1-1): against GB Constrictor

Takeaways: My deck needs to be closer to the ground so as not to roll over and die in game one to the "nothing can block" decks.
It's terrifying that the red aggro/burn deck can plow through all my lifelink even in it's current configuration.
Also, Metallic Mimics have a huuuuuuuge target on them. They have the problem of always wanting to be the first cat I play (though I won't hold a T1 Sacred Cat for them if I have it available) so they come down and my opponent still has all of their removal spells. I feel like I can't really count of Mimics to actually pump my team, more like they just draw removal spells out of my opponents' hands. Which isn't a bad thing, but if I don't have the pumps my creatures are a little under the curve compared to real decks.

The format (or at least the decks I faced) is (are) fast enough that I never really had a window to resolve or activate Lifecrafter's Bestiary. Additionally with all my Embalm, Eternalize, and activated abilities I had plenty of other things to spend my mana on to get card advantage.

The other cards that sadly kept coming out were my Overcomes. They may be sideboard cards. I even took them out against GB tokens. :/ That may have been an overreaction, but when he nutted out his draw and I couldn't do anything relevant I felt like I wanted more early interaction. In the end, in game 3, we went to turns and we were in the kind of board stall that Overcome was designed to break. Against Constrictor should I just have kept the Overcomes in and hope he doesn't have his nut draw?

Against both Mono-R decks I sideboarded as (5):
-2 Overcome
-3 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
+1 Watchers of the Dead
+2 Felidar Cub
+1 Declaration in Stone
+1 Fumigate

Against GB (5):
-2 Overcome
-3 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
+1 Declaration in Stone
+1 Dusk // Dawn
+1 Fumigate
+1 Forsake the Worldly
+1 Manglehorn

Another thing I noticed is that for as efficient as Prowling Serpopard is, I don't know how much I like it in the mono-red matchup. 3 toughness is a little too easy to kill when they're playing Ahn-Crop Crashers, Bloodrage Brawlers, and Incendiary Flows. That said, at least it trades with Brawler all on it's own without any help which is more than I can say about pretty much every other creature in my deck.


Updated idea for decklist:
Main Deck Changes (8):
-1 Oath of Ajani I have other pump spells in mind
-3 Lifecrafter's Bestiary too slow
-2 Overcome too slow and I have other pump spells and ways to force through damage in mind
-1 Cast Out too expensive
-1 Geier Reach Sanitarium I'd rather not give my opponent selection too
+2 Declaration in Stone cheap
+2 Collective Effort versatile
+2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar stupid
+1 Scattered Groves replaces sanitarium, can also draw a card in the late game but is color fixing if I need it.
+1 Hashep Oasis I want to go up a land in the main and a pump desert seems nice

Sideboard Changes (9):
-2 Heaven // Earth the u/w spirits deck blanks this with both avacyn and selfless spirit anyway, it's basically just a conditional wrath that's not really any better than a regular wrath for my purposes
-1 Declaration in Stone in the main
-2 Heroic Intervention Hour of Devastation the card makes this really unappealing
-1 Forsake the Worldly covered by Cast Out and partly by Collective Effort and Felidar Cub
-1 Felidar Cub covered by Cast out and Collective Effort
-1 Manglehorn covered by cast out
-1 Dusk // Dawn I'd rather my wraths not miss the red weenies and I can rebuild from my own wraths just fine. As cute as dawn is I'd rather the utility of hitting everything and I still have 8 creatures that can revive themselves
+2 Blossoming Defense against decks with lots of spot removal this can really be a blowout
+1 Stasis Snare for if I need instant speed interaction
+3 Fumigate solid wrath
+1 Watchers of the Dead cheap body and graveyard hate
+2 Longtusk Cub for when I just want to go underneath the control deck

Creatures (24)
4 x Sacred Cat
4 x Adorned Pouncer
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Pride Sovereign
4 x Prowling Serpopard
4 x Regal Caracal

Non-Creatures (11)
4 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Collective Effort
2 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 x Cast Out
2 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Lands (25)
4 x Canopy Vista
4 x Fortified Village
3 x Scattered Groves
2 x Hashep Oasis
1 x Scavenger Grounds
1 x Endless Sands
6 x Plains
4 x Forest

Sideboard (15)
2 x Blossoming Defense
2 x Stasis Snare
2 x Cast Out
4 x Fumigate
1 x Felidar Cub
2 x Watchers of the Dead
2 x Longtusk Cub


Main deck avg cmc: 2.74

Aside: Craig Wescoe also put together a gw cat deck for his tcgplayer channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSgjdbtbEKo
I'm definitely taking some of his suggestions for this version of the decklist here, though I still can't bring myself to put longtusk cub in the main.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:05 am 
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Standard Showdown 2 report:
Decklist I took:

2 wins (2-0, 2-1): against Grixis control and W/U Flash.
1 loss (1-2): against Mardu Vehicles

Takeaways: I like this version of the deck a lot. I think moving forward I'll only make minor tweaks. The planeswalkers all came out against Flash and Vehicles, but against Grixis Gideon just absolutely dumpstered my opponent. I can't really call that Grixis win one for the cats, that was mostly Gideon doing Gideon things for two games.

As for the modifications against what I have in the previous post:
-1 Hashep Oasis
+1 Scavenger Grounds I felt that graveyard hate might be more important than another pump spell since I have so much pump already. Also with 12 duals my mana base can afford another colorless only source.

-2 Fumigate
+2 Authority of the Consuls My thinking, that I didn't get to test out this week, is that against RDW I won't necessarily make it to 5 mana before I die or get to a critical juncture so I decided that I wanted a cheaper answer. I still want the other 2 fumigates because they're useful in plenty of other creature matchups too

-2 Longtusk Cub
+2 Forsake the Worldly Honestly I had the Cubs in above as kind of a place holder because at the time I couldn't think of anything better, but on reevaluation I decided I needed more artifact removal that was cheaper to cast than just my cast outs as there are some truly nasty artifacts running around (like Heart of Kiran...seriously it's hard to beat a HoK start from Mardu Vehicles)


Against Grixis I think this was all I sideboarded (2):
-2 Collective Effort
+2 Cast Out He had a planeswalker suite

Against Mardu (8):
-2 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
-2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
-2 Collective Effort
-1 Sacred Cat I made a mistake here, this should have been another serpopard coming out because those match up poorly against his 3 power 2 drops
-1 Prowling Serpopard
+2 Fumigate
+2 Forsake the Worldly
+2 Cast Out
+2 Stasis Snare

Against Flash (6):
-2 Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
-2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
-2 Collective Effort
+2 Fumigate
+2 Cast Out
+2 Stasis Snare


I noticed when I played against the Flash Player that he boarded in a LOT of cheap counter magic, most of which targeted creatures and some of that exiled. I wonder if I should have gone back and re-added the walkers back in? I'm not honestly sure. I don't know if I can properly evaluate that kind of "next level" play without shooting myself in the foot.

For as much as Gideon ran away with the Grixis games I'm kind of considering swapping up the 2 Nissas to 2 more Gideons, but I don't want to break my curve. Even though I never saw Nissa this weekend I don't want my deck to lean too hard on higher up cards in my curve. That said my 4 drop slot currently consists of only 2 Gideons and 1 Cast Out and I am running 25 lands to help support my 4 caracals and 4 eternalize costs on adorned pouncers so maybe I can support it.

One other utility I'm kind of missing from my old decklist is the ability to recur dead creatures. I know I have Sacred Cats and Adorned Pouncers, but bringing back stuff like Mimics and Pride Sovereigns with Dusk // Dawn is ridiculous and if I could find a way to bring back Caracals it would be freaking sweet. Seasons Past? Or is that getting too cute/greedy/gimmicky? It's better than taking off turn 3 to try to land the pokedex in this format (at least in my meta), but it's still taking a whole turn off to do nothing that affects the board and I'm not sure that's where this deck wants to be.
I wonder...if I hadn't been so focused on killing HoK in the Mardu matchup would it have made sense for me to bring in my Blossoming defenses to defend against Pushes and Disintegrations (so as to save those sovereigns, mimics, and caracals as opposed to wanting to revive them)? Something to consider.

Something else I'm pondering is if I want to cut one of the Collective Efforts for a main deck Stasis Snare just so I have some more instant speed interaction in the main. Now granted I don't think I ever drew the Collective Efforts (not helped by the fact that I boarded them out in every matchup), but a 3 mana one time anthem that doesn't hit the aggressive creatures in the format and doesn't generally have an enchantment to hit (at least in my experience) feels a little underwhelming.

With all my talk of card changes here I want to make sure I don't forget that the deck really does want a critical mass of anthem effects, preferably cheap ones, to make my slightly undersized creatures worthwhile (on curve).


Updated idea for decklist:
Main Deck Changes (0):
Nothing that I'm certain I want to change right now

Sideboard Changes (0):
Nothing that I'm certain I want to change right now

Edit: I play against so much aggro I wonder if Authority of the Consuls should just be in the main deck?
Edit 2: sideboard changes I want to make (but might not yet have the cards for, will have to dig through my collection): -1 Felidar cub -1 Watchers of the dead +2 Authority of the Consuls I don't think I actually want to make the decision put Authority in the main until I get the chance to play the deck again, which won't happen until this weekend.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Hour of Devastation Game Day report (Saturday 8/5):

Ho.
Lee.
Hiss.

This deck has TEETH!
Pun ever so much intended.

GW Cats decklist


We had 24 people: 5 rounds of swiss followed by a cut to the top 8.
Final result for me: Officially 5-1-1, unofficially 6-1.
I went undefeated the first four rounds of the tournament so my round 5 opponent offered the intentional draw because we were already guaranteed to be the top 2 seeds and so there wouldn't be any pressure on us. I accepted the draw, but asked if we could play anyway because I was curious how the matchup would go. He said sure, so we played for fun and I pretty much crushed him. Thus the official tie in the record, but the unofficial additional win.
Backing up here is the round by round match report.

Round 1 (vs. BG midrange; Win 2-0):
My opponent this round was an adorable little girl, couldn't have been more than 8 years old. Her deck was just a home brew of some cool green and black creatures like Ammit Eternal and...actually that's the only card I remember from the deck, but I do know that it was BG. She was quite good for her age and while she didn't know all the rules she had a pretty good handle on the basics. She mostly just needs experience and for her brain to be able to hold on to information for longer (you know how little kids are). I summarily smooshed her.

Round 2 (vs. WU Flash/Spirits; Win 2-0):
This is the same guy who has been giving me trouble in weeks past, but today he didn't draw his low cost spells fast enough and one game he even stumbled on his land sequencing so I got stuff in underneath his countermagic and just ran him over.

Round 2.5 (vs. Pants; Loss @-@):
My pants ripped when I bent down to grab my bag between rounds. XD Fortunately there was a second hand clothing store downstairs where I picked up a pair of emergency pants for $5 between rounds. :rofl:

Round 3(vs. RB Control; Win 2-0):
My deck is just a nightmare for control decks. They don't apply much pressure to me, I get in fast and my threats are so resilient that they simply don't have enough removal. I don't think I even sideboarded in this matchup.

Round 4(vs. RW Humans; Win 2-1):
She managed to win one game where both I stumbled and she found her glorybringer, but the other two games, one of them I ran her over, and the second one I fought through her threats, including a glorybringer.

Round 5(vs. 21 land Ramunap Red; Officially Tie 1-1-1, Unofficially Win 2-1):
I actually managed to steal the first game because he got stuck on one land and I curved out like my deck likes to do. Second game I made a silly mistake. So for this matchup I brought in 4 Authority of the Consuls. I mulled to 6 and opened a hand of 4 lands, a Caracal and a 1 drop white spell. Since the entire rest of the day the only other 1 drop white spell in my deck was Sacred Cat I assumed that's what it was so I kept it. My scry, which I actually looked at, was an Authority, so here I am thinking to myself: "Sweet opener, T1 Cat, T2 Authority, rip his face off, here we go. It isn't until I actually draw my card for my turn and actually look at my hand that I realize that what I thought was a Cat in my hand was actually a 2nd copy of Authority...XD As good as Authority is, with absolutely zero pressure from me he still rolled me over. Game 3 I opened on an Authority again, but this time I had plenty of pressure to back it up. He never stood a chance. After the game I discussed my sideboarding with him and brought up another card I had brought in: Blossoming Defense. He actually didn't like it much for me in this matchup because the way my deck wants to play is by matching his curve out, never leaving mana up to defend my creatures. Looking back, that's exactly what it felt like to me when I drew it once so I am tempted to agree with him.

Cut to Top 8

Quarter Finals: Round 6 (vs. Mono-B Zombies; Win 2-0):
My opponent this round was actually the father of the little girl I played in round 1. Needless to say he was a much better pilot. Game 1 he got stuck on 2 lands and I managed to get my cats big enough to run him over in short order. Game 2 turned into a grind fest because I found...maybe it was 1, but I'm thinking none of my removal. He got stuck on 4 lands this time, but nonetheless his deck mostly ran fine. His zombies just sat there getting larger and larger, and my cats sat there getting larger and larger (courtesy of a Nissa) and we just stared at eachother. Eventually I stuck a Gideon and a Pride Sovereign that went unanswered and overwhelmed my opponent with indestructible beefslab and a cat the size of an Eldrazi. Turns out my opponent was extra salty that last game because while most of his deck ran on 4 lands he was stuck with a pair of Liliana's Masterys in his hand.

Semi Finals: Round 7 (vs. Temur Energy; Loss 1-2):
I managed to steal game 1, but in games 2 and 3 I found out that I just can't beat a Bristling Hydra combined with my opponent's efficient removal to keep my cats from getting large enough to keep it in check on the battlefield.


An Aside:
Finals: Round 8 (Temur Energy vs. 21 land Ramunap Red; 1-2 Ramunap Red won):
Since I made it this far I decided to stick around to watch the finals. Game 1 went to Ramunap Red in what looks like typical fashion for the deck, curving out and slamming the opponent to death. Game 2 went to Temur Energy as he had boarded in all his Radiant Flames and Sweltering Suns and just kept the opponent off the board until he built up large energy laden critters (an aside: Radiant Flames also wrecked me a couple of times in my matchup against Temur energy, turns out it's pretty good at getting rid of Caracals and Sovereigns that don't have actual +1/+1 counters on them). Game three was awesome. For most of the game RR would get out a small hasty creature or two and chip in on Temur who would subsequently remove them from the board. This went on for several turns getting Temur down into the single digits before Temur dropped a hydra and made it large enough to halt any further attacks. A hydra hit, followed up by a hit with the hydra and a subsequent glorybringer dropped RR down to 8 with it staring down 9 damage between Temur's two creatures. Meanwhile Temur was down to 3. RR entered his draw step...and slammed an Ahn-Crop Crasher to take the match.


In review, I had honestly only come in to today's tournament to see if I could squeak into the top 8 so I could get a promo Adorned Pouncer. As the day went on and I kept going undefeated I started to get a glimmer of hope that I had all but dismissed long ago: maybe I could win the whole thing and take the playmat too?? In the end it was not to be, but I still did FAAAAAR better than I ever expected. And even beyond my top 8, I also managed to trade for two more copies of the promo from among the top 4 competitors. Temur is actually a friend/rival of mine and he ended up giving it to me out of respect for how far I had brought a cat deck, and I also got the promo off of 4th place (I don't know for certain, but I think I heard he was playing WU God-Pharaoh's Gift; he got knocked out in the semis by RR) by trading him an Hour of Devastation. I also got a...what was the other card I got in that trade? I honestly don't remember. It wasn't worth much and I'm aware I got the worse end of that trade financially, but I honestly don't care. I wasn't going to play that Hour of Devastation card and I REALLY WANTED THAT CAT PROMO. XD Oh and 3rd place was good enough for 6 packs too. =P


After thinking about how I lost and reviewing my decklist and the discussions I had with the RR player I actually have a few changes I want to make to the deck that I think will help give me better game against Temur Energy.

Sideboard:
-2 Blossoming Defense
+2 Fumigate

Upon further review of my deck, I realized that my desire to always be curving out wasn't just true of my matchup with RR, but in all my matchups. That makes Blossoming Defense a dead card for my deck, because I absolutely cannot afford to wait a turn to make an extra land drop then play my creature off curve just so I can hold up a mana for a removal spell that might not even be coming. And then having to leave an extra mana up every turn of the game? That's just not something my deck wants to do. Ever.
Meanwhile Fumigate is a kill spell that kills Bristling Hydra dead no matter how much energy he has.
Incidentally, that game 2 against zombies could have gone horribly wrong for me if my opponent had been able to land his two Liliana's Masterys. My main issue in that game was that I found basically no removal at all so adding more relevant removal can remedy that. While a board wipe would also have hit my own side, I know that my deck is very capable of recovering from a board wipe thanks to my embalm and eternalize creatures as well as the fact that I can just hold a single Pride Sovereign or Regal Caracal in my hand and simply reset a massive army with a single card. My threat density is just that high.

-1 Watchers of the Dead
+1Dusk // Dawn

I'm really scared of Bristling Hydra. If I could find a way to add a second copy of Dusk // Dawn I would, but I don't have any other cuts I'm comfortable with. As for losing Watchers, there are five things making me think I don't necessarily need it. 1)Most decks that abuse the graveyard use it as inevitability. My deck is so low to the ground and so fast that I plan to make that inevitability moot by killing them before they can get setup. 2)All of my spot removal exiles. Anything I hit with my targetted removal can't be brought back. 3)I have two main deck copies of Scavenger Grounds if it really becomes relevant. 4)Most graveyard strategies that I've heard about revolve around having a permanent like God-Pharaoh's Gift or New Perspectives in play to abuse their graveyard. I have 1 copy of Cast Out in the main, 2 more in the board, and 2 copies of Forsake the Worldly in my board too. 5)Watchers lets them keep their 3 best things so I'm honestly not certain how useful it would be. Another bonus to getting this back in the deck is that I get to add back in that recusion ability with the Dawn half that I was so disappointed to lose in previous iterations of the deck! :D

Main Deck:
-1 Endless Sands
+1 Scattered Groves
You'd think that 11 dual lands would be enough. But I actually occasionally had color stumbles because I had one of my colorless sources in my opening hand. It's not just color issues though, if Endless Sands was actually providing relevant work, I'd just deal with the occasional color stumbles, but the truth of the matter is that it has the same issue that Blossoming Defense had, but about 10 times worse. For one I need to keep up 3 mana to "save" something. For two I need to find ANOTHER turn where I'm doing absolutely nothing to spend 5 mana and losing a land to play however many creatures I have already spend numerous turns off to save. It just doesn't happen. And finally another vote for Scattered Groves is that it cycles. If I draw it late in the game and I don't need it, I can cycle it away (I did this several times at game day). Yes I lose a desert, but that's only relevant as far as Scavenger Grounds or Hashep Oasis are concerned and those can always just sac themselves. I'm a little sad sentimentally to lose Endless Sands as I've taken to calling it "the litter box" when I play it. XD But I'm not attached to it enough to keep the card when it could be so much better.

Everything else I think is running pretty smoothly. :)

Post Game Day List Goal:
Creatures (24)
4 x Sacred Cat
4 x Adorned Pouncer
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Pride Sovereign
4 x Prowling Serpopard
4 x Regal Caracal

Non-Creatures (11)
4 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Collective Effort
2 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 x Cast Out
2 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Lands (25)
4 x Canopy Vista
4 x Fortified Village
4 x Scattered Groves
1 x Hashep Oasis
2 x Scavenger Grounds
6 x Plains
4 x Forest

Sideboard (15)
4 x Authority of the Consuls
2 x Forsake the Worldly
2 x Stasis Snare
2 x Cast Out
1 x Dusk // Dawn
4 x Fumigate


I have the Scattered Groves and Dusk // Dawn already, but I'll need to find the Fumigates. Shouldn't be that big a deal. Worst comes to worst I'll buy them. They're only $2 each at my favorite online retailer (they're not in stock at my LGS, I already checked).

Side Note: In addition to riding high on this awesome result, on Friday night my dad and I attended our LGS's monthly 2HG sealed FNM and went 3-0. We've never taken down a 2HG together before and it's been a few months since I even did so solo in our usual FNM drafts. He had a solid BW zombie deck that topped out on Angels and a Razaketh and I had a Temur desert tribal deck with 2 Ramunap Ruins and 7 other deserts. Games were sweeeeeeet! ^_^


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:18 am 
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I salute your dedication to the catte. ;-;7


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:03 am 
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Yeah, the mono-white version my wife played at Game Day did about average; coming in at 2-2 for the day, with both of her losses centering around land troubles.

I think we will be switching over to something like this version but it will depend on what rotation brings. Losing BFZ and SOI blocks does leave some weird holes that I hope Ixalan can fill well.

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You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:48 pm 
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In an unusual turn of events for me I got the opportunity to play this deck competititvely again this past weekend. I say unusual, because in the past I haven't played my standard deck really after game day. I went to GPDC and played in lots of side events. Two of them were Standard and they actually opened my eyes to a glaring flaw in my deck: It's weak to any removal heavy midrange deck. In particular I found myself outmatched against both Temur energy and Golgari Constrictor.

My deck is good against aggro, because I have cheap and/or lifelinking threats in addition to a rather absurd natural threat density between my 8 cats that come back from the dead and my 8 other cats that make more cats.
My deck is good against control because it's easily able to get in low and fast and my threats are either very durable or provide multiple targets.

My problem against removal heavy midrange is that their creatures are bigger than most of mine, so they can run over my little kittens and only spend their removal on the creatures I do have that would get bigger than theirs.
On the plus side, my ridiculously removal heavy sideboard plan actually gives me a fighting chance.

With that experience under my belt I'm thinking back to my sideboard patterns. Usually when I sideboard, in basically every matchup my planeswalkers and my collective efforts come out for some form of removal. It's making me rethink the value of those walkers and collective efforts. They're in there to pump my creatures, to make them more combat relevant sizes compared to what other decks pay for the same mana. However, if I can't get my creatures to stick they're dead cards, and if my opponent is making bigger creatures anyway I'm spending two effects (one cat plus one pump effect) just to equal their threats. Yes pump is doubly effective for some of my cats in that they provide additional lifegain via lifelink or additional damage via double strike, but extra effective still does not mean effective enough. Even if I'm not spending two full cards to get one cat and one pump effect, the tempo loss is enough to leave me reeling and scrambling to keep up whenever a creature of mine bites it to removal while there is a large threat on the board. And with removal heavy opponents I'm basically losing a creature every turn. Keeping the larger picture in mind, the downside to focusing too much on removal is if my opponent isn't playing creatures I've got dead cards, which the planeswalkers and pump spells never are so long as I'm proactive with my game plan and have creatures out. But on the other hand lacking removal makes game 1 pretty much impossible for me to win against removal heavy midrange.

In addition to improper card selection in the main deck I realized that I've been sideboarding incorrectly against these removal heavy midrange decks up until now. I actually came to the realization just as I started game 2 of my last match of the weekend. When I side in all of my removal I need to cut more than the 6 cards I normally do, so I have to choose some creatures to get rid of. Before this point I had been thinking primarily of making sure my curve doesn't get destroyed since I'm bringing in a bunch of 5 drops and 4 drops mostly. To that end I had been cutting some of my higher cost creatures like Caracals and Serpopards to make up the curve difference. What I failed to consider against these removal heavy midrange opponents is that their decks really aren't all that fast. So going into this last game instead of siding out caracals and serpopards to make room for the rest of my removal, I instead pulled out Metallic Mimics. The difference it made in that last game was night and day. I felt sooooo much more productive in that game when every card I drew was either a real threat or kept my life total going up instead of down. My curve was not crushed as badly as I might have feared, I still had my sacred cats, which are basically 8 one-drops, then I still have the pouncers and dec in stones at two, and I have serpopards and sovereigns at three. I still ended up not winning that game (and thusly lost the match) but I did force my opponent into a top deck war of attrition, which is a state I'd always died well before in previous games.

With that in mind I'm thinking of ditching those six cards I mentioned that I always take out and pulling in some of my removal from the board into the main deck. This gives me some slots to fill and I'd like to dedicate them to more cards that make my midrange matchup better. Perhaps some form of cardflow...like the Lifecrafter's Bestiarys I used to have in a previous version of the deck?

Amusingly, removing those six cards actually almost makes my deck rotation proof too. I only lose some of my dual lands from my mana base, which is going to be basically replaced anyway in Ixalan and my Stasis Snares. Losing cmc<4 instant speed creature removal hurts, but maybe Ixalan will have something for me. At the moment Skywhaler's Shot appears to be my best bet for replacing the snares with rotation proof options. Farm // Market is something I also considered, but it's worse against glorybringer and anything with power 2 or less is generally something I can deal with using my creatures. Wait...I also lose Declaration in Stone, dummy. That's a bit harder to replace.

Hm...on yet another thought it's possible that it was incorrect to be cutting Gideon in those games. He is a difficult to deal with threat. I should probably be thinking of him less as an anthem and more as an indestructible 5/5. Although, of course, AoZ is going away on rotation. =p

I was talking to a judge between rounds who also has a g/w cat deck. He says his version ignores the planeswalkers and pumps spells, even Metallic Mimic, altogether. Instead he runs a pair of each of Oketra's Monument and Rhonas's Monument and tops out on Majestic Myriarch (alongside Regal Caracal). 24 creatures overall in his deck and he said he also runs some fight and one-sided fight spells in his deck to take advantage of the synergy with lifelink, particularly with a titanic Myriarch. I didn't get to ask him how he fared against removal heavy midrange decks, but I thought his take on the deck was interesting to note. The monuments certainly provide another form of resource and tempo advantage respectively, and they reduce the cost of his spells to boot.

Options for me to consider:
Lifecrafter's Bestiary
Skywhaler's Shot
Oketra's Monument
Rhonas's Monument
Majestic Myriarch
Ajani Unyielding <- Yeah I was talking about taking out planeswalkers, but this guy draws cards and is removal. Something the other two didn't do (well...not consistently, ultimating Nissa, VoZ is not exactly practical)
Gideon's Intervention <-Walking Ballista and Glorybringer are both decidedly scary cards against my deck.
Grapple with the Past <-Not rotation proof, but is card flow.
Honored Hydra <-It's big, it tramples, it comes back...?
Nissa, Vital Force <- Much more reasonable to ult this one and it comes with a 5/5 beater mode if I want it, though not indestructible. Recurring Caracals is also a thing to consider.
Tireless Tracker <-Not rotation proof, but is card flow.
Vizier of the Menagerie <-I'm iffy on this though b/c it still dies to push, grasp, and harnessed lightning.
Anointed Procession <-I'm interested, but not certain how useful it is.
Crested Sunmare <-I'd have to be careful with the timing of casting it but it is out of range of both push and grasp. Actually I think this may be a viable replacement for Gideon, AoZ post rotation. No it's not the same, it's not nearly as busted or hard to deal with, but still. The tokens also brick wall Bristling Hydra if the original is out. I'm really talking myself into this one.
Edifice of Authority also as a contender for the spot of instant speed creature removal? It chews up Bristling Hydra activations or forces it to not be as aggressive, either one of which I'm ok with. Also stops glorybringer activations
Mirage Mirror <- probably too cute and mana intensive for the deck, but it's worth noting the synergies of copying my rare cats or my horses.
Narnam Renegade <- easily removed, but otherwise walls or trades with fat ground critters.
Overwhelming Splendor <- admittedly less useful against decks with +1/+1 counters, but removing abilities is BIG game. Yes 8 mana is a LOT, but that last game I had against Temur Energy in gpdc went looooooooong. And I'm also admittedly looking to trump/shut down their threats, this does that.
Sandwurm Convergence <-Similar end result as Overwhelming Splendor. Probably not as good, but still worth noting. Still stops glorybringer cold.
Solemnity <- OH. I forgot this was a card. Shuts down both energy and counters. Now admittedly it doesn't stop glorybringer or any naturally large threats. Nor does it deal with anything that's already come down, but for 3 mana that's understandable. Now I haven't run into any other removal heavy midrange decks besides energy or constrictor, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. That said it really hammers on those strategies and only moderately annoys me in that it shanks Mimic, but that generally comes out in those matchups anyway...
Appeal // Authority <- doesn't explicitly replace any rotating effect, but it still might be worth the slot of Dec in stone
Prepare // Fight <-"
Nature's Way <-2 mana removal replacement??? My creatures aren't that big though...
Compulsory Rest <- 2 mana removal replacement? Still allows ability activations though
Desert's Hold <-it isn't 2 mana, but it stops ability activations...
Impeccable Timing <- 2 mana removal replacement? doesn't hit big things...
Prey Upon <- removal replacment? But my creatures aren't that big so...also it's likely to 2-for-1 myself

Tranquil Expanse May go into the deck in some number post rotation, just to keep up the dual land count. Ixalan probably has one set of allied duals (strictly speaking from a mathematical perspective and how WotC tends to balance colors in Standard), but I'm losing two sets so...yeah.

Why does Uncage the Menagerie have to be so bad? It's like they looked at genesis wave, decided any permanent was too much, decided X or less was too much, decided anything with the same name was too much, decided entering the battlefield was too much...but then looked at it and thought maybe they'd give us a little bone with tutoring and shaving a green symbol off. Like we didn't just spend our entire turn and all of our available mana casting that spell anyway, having no impact on the board whatsoever. -_- I really just want it to at least say X or less.

Now of course I am actually losing pump spells. Granted I still have 8 left in my creature base. However I think maybe I can afford to let my mana base take a tiny little hit in consistency to swap a forest for another copy of Hashep Oasis. Card has proven useful in long, drawn out games. And if I end up going with either of those 8 drops I should probably put an extra land in my side so this doesn't necessarily actually have to replace a maindeck forest. It could just be additional.

Because it's very relevant to my sideboard selection: Besides Constrictor and Temur Energy does anyone know if there are any other removal heavy midrange decks in standard right now?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:25 am 
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If this is to be a post rotation list I may as well wait until Ixalan completely spoils to update this. On the other hand my hope is to actually retire this deck and pick up dinosaurs. In that preferred scenario I'd like to leave this deck in it's best pre-rotation state possible as a testament to the power it wielded.
If dinosaurs turn out to be heinously unplayable I'll make a post rotation version of this deck, but for right now I think that addressing this deck's weaknesses in the current environment is how I want to approach things.
I'm deciding to keep one Gids in the deck because when he's backed up by prevalent spot removal he should prove to be a serious threat, however I don't want him in the main deck because I don't think he's necessary in game 1 and I'm really really trying to shore up my game against removal heavy midrange. He probably does wonders in control matchups is my guess, I'd probably bring him in over a piece of removal.

Out:
2 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
2 x Collective Effort
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Moving to sideboard from main deck
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Moving to main deck from sideboard:
2 x Stasis Snare
2 x Cast Out
2 x Fumigate

Adding to Sideboard
1 x Hashep Oasis
1 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
2 x Crested Sunmare
1 x Overwhelming Splendor


sideboard plan vs removal heavy midrange becomes
+1 Hashep Oasis
+1 Lifecrafter's Bestiary
+1 Dusk // Dawn
+2 Fumigate
+2 Crested Sunmare
+1 Overwhelming Splendor

-4 Metallic Mimic
-4 Pride Sovereign

As much as it stinks to go down on Sovereigns when I'm going up on Sunmares I think it's the right call because the floor on Sovereign is just too low and too prevalent when all my threats get removed on the spot before I have the chance to even activate the sovereign once. Nor is the irony lost on me that in cutting mimics and sovereigns and putting in dusk // dawn I'm removing all of the relevant recursion targets for dawn. Oh well. It still kills Bristling Hydra dead.
It could be that this plan is over-sideboarding, but given my track record against temur energy and gb constrictor I'm not so sure it is.

Deck is now:
Creatures (24)
4 x Sacred Cat
4 x Adorned Pouncer
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Pride Sovereign
4 x Prowling Serpopard
4 x Regal Caracal

Non-Creatures (11)
4 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Stasis Snare
3 x Cast Out
2 x Fumigate

Lands (25)
4 x Canopy Vista
4 x Fortified Village
4 x Scattered Groves
1 x Hashep Oasis
2 x Scavenger Grounds
6 x Plains
4 x Forest

Sideboard (15)
1 x Hashep Oasis
4 x Authority of the Consuls
2 x Forsake the Worldly
1 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Dusk // Dawn
2 x Fumigate
2 x Crested Sunmare
1 x Overwhelming Splendor


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