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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:22 am 
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Hello Duels enthusiasts!

I have had another fun week of testing, brewing and battling and I am here to share my results. I'll open with a thank you to for the comments, messages and deck ideas I received. It makes this whole adventure more fun for me, and I always love hearing your opinions, so keep them coming.

This week I learned I am incapable of sticking to the format I tried to establish last week. What I wanted to do was pick ten decks, a few from the community and comments and the decks with the best record from the week before, and just play those ten decks and share the results. Yeah, that isn't happening. I enjoy winning too much, and when I learn that a deck isn't good in the meta I can't stomach playing it out to a some 50/50 record. Also, it stifles my creativity. When I have a new idea for a deck I want to brew it up and test drive it NOW, and I want to tell you guys about it in my next entry, so that format went out the window. Instead, I am going to test all the decks I can, but I am only going to keep testing and write about the successes. I may make an "also ran" post about my failures as well.

Another change to my format is the removal of average rank. I enjoyed this little bit of data, and I think it had it's place, but I realized after last week that I control what ranks I play against. So in the interest of only testing and reporting on decent games, I am just not recording any results from games against ranks under 30. I have also taken to maligning 3 times and leaving any time I am matched against a zero, have some easy gold kid! The matchmaker rarely pits me against a zero any more so this doesn't happen often, maybe once or twice a day. I feel like a fisherman throwing a guppy back into the ocean, and I say in a cryptic tone "train hard, and come find me when you're ready". So yeah, no more average rank, but know that the only wins I count are from battles with players ranked over 30. And please know I am not overly fixated on rank, I understand that bad players get good ranks just by playing a lot, but at least they are more experienced and have more cards unlocked.

Also, there is nothing as lame as playing your Sphinx's Tutelage/Rise from the Grave deck against a zero rank who doesn't have any creatures in his whole deck bigger then a vanilla 3/5. LAME!

Let me ask a question and I will answer it myself - What do you want from your Duels deck?

This seems a very basic question, but the answers have huge consequences in how you build your deck. It is common to want to make the best green deck, to build a good Jund list, to make a deck around Willbreaker, to build the fastest red deck, to build a deck around the gold cards, and so on. But what do you really want that deck to do? Win? That makes sense, winning is more fun then losing, and winning with a brewed up strategy, a card you really like, or your favorite color scheme can add to the pleasure. But how much do you want to win? I want to win as much as possible. Some of the things I do with a deck, particularly with regards to tweaking a mana base, are to shave percentages of a point of the chance I will not be able to cast my spells. If I need to play a four drop on turn four as a core part of my strategy, I want a 25th land to ensure this happens in at least 80% of my games. This increases the odds by only a couple percentage points, and to cash in on those points, I have to play well over fifty games with the deck for those one or two games to matter.

If I build a good deck, I will play that many games, and I have made building good mana bases something of a habit. Maybe I will write a post about that one day. In the meantime, I won't trash you guys for playing 24 lands, or for submitting deck lists with "24 lands" at the bottom, but I will have to work on it, I will mention your mana base needs work, but I don't want that to discourage you. Remember, 24 lands will be good enough almost all of the time, you will have to play well over twenty-five duels to get the rewards from your 25th and 26th lands, but I play that much, and I play to win that often.

So, what do you want from your Duels deck? I want to win as much as possible. My expectations are to win 90% of my games. This is based on history with other Duels games. 90% got me into the top 20 of most leaderboards and kept me there most of the season. This may need to be tweaked to 80% with my new "only Duel 30+ ranks" policy, but we shall see. If a deck goes 50/50 in six games, I'll drop it pretty fast. If a deck wins 3/5 but doesn't feel like I should have, I'll drop it. When a deck is really clicking it just feels right, and sometimes I'll press on despite multiple losses, but it depends.

So remember, when you want me to test a mono green list, or another take on Animist's Awakening, or something you have never played yourself, remember that I want to win. A half-baked concept won't make it very far in my testing. So please bring me decks you have had a lot of success with or you would expect to do above average, but please keep bringing me decks! Send me your top performers so I can put them through the Covert Boot Camp! On to the results -

Survivors - The decks that put up great records that I will write about more below and continue playing into next week.

Rakdos Aggro - 7-3
Gruul Midrange - 8-0
Golgari Control - 6-0
White Aggro - 12-2
Boros Midrange - 7-0
Megabeast Azorius Aggro - 6-1
Jund Ramp - 8-1
Dimir Reanimator - 7-2
Shadow Elves - 7-1

Also rans - decks I tested and drops due to poor results - This gives you an idea of how much Magic I play which makes me feel sort of naked and embarrassed right now :takei:

Jeskai creatureless control, Golgari midrange elves, Rakdos control, Dimir Willbreaker control, Sultai turbo fog, Dimir zombie control, Anuuj Jund Contorl, Bant Control, Izzet Prowess Aggro, Izzet Thopter Aggro, G/W hexproof, Black/green almost all black control, Red aggro, Temur ramp, 4 color ramp, Simic aggro, Azorius thopters, Rakdos Midrange.

If you want comments on a specific deck and why it didn't make the cut, leave me a comment or send me a message, I can't promise a satisfactory answer but I try. A few things worth mentioning -

Jeskai creatureless control had a great previous week at 10-1. It promptly lost two games to open the week, and lost two more a couple days later. I think this deck is strong against inexperienced players and less tuned decks, it didn't have that luxury this week and it felt very lacking. Also, people have realized how important enchantments are, and now I see Reclamation Sage, Conclave Naturalist and Solemn Offering all the time. That is bad for a deck with only two Sphinx's Tutelage as ways to win.

Speaking of Tutelage as a weakness, I had to let my beloved Sultai Turbo Fog list go. It is a good deck, with some great matchups, but sometimes you just lose because you are playing Turbo Fog and you should be playing Golgari Control.

I still haven't found the right build of Izzet Thopters. If someone has a list that is out-performing please send it to me. I see this deck online a lot, I beat it most of the time, I lose to it sometimes, but I can't seem to create a list that meets the 80% threshold.

So let's talk about the survivors -

Rakdos Aggro - 7-3, overall 20-6, example - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10295&start=40#p330862

Rakdos wants to beat down. I haven't found the perfect build, perhaps some kind of midrange take is right, but I am convinced this deck can't just grind forever. Like Jeskai control, Rakdos control was good against untuned decks, but against other well-made decks there are holes in the plan that get exploited. The worst of these are Shadows of the Past, Evolutionary Leap, and Sphinx's Tutelage. These enchantments are unremovable for Rakdos and win the long game for the opponent. All the endlessly recurred Fleshbags and Gravediggers don't matter against these enchantments, so if you play Rakdos you want to shut down the early game but be ready to beatdown in the mid and late game. I still haven't found the right list, but this is what I am working from. If you have a hot Rakdos list that does what I just mentioned, send it!

Rakdos is at it's best against aggro decks. Most aggro decks run into some amount of Arsonist, Myr, Twinbolt, and Bone Splinters and they want to go cry in the corner. In fact, the strength and prevalence of Rakdos keeps most aggro decks from being good. Because of that, I have to keep this deck around, even as it has a below par 20-6 record, because I need to understand how to build, play, and play against this deck.

Gruul Midrange/Monsters - 8-0, 24-2 overall. Example decklist - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10296#p323486

Pun intended, this deck is indeed a monster. The results it puts up and the raw power level when playing it are exciting. Is it the best deck available? Maybe. It is hard to beat, and it can play it's way out of a lot of situations. I thought the Rakdos and red aggro decks packing Act of Treason would be able to beat this deck, but that hasn't been the case obviously. There are enough early burn spells and defensive plays that can absorb an Act of Treason without losing you the game. I need to pause for a moment to defend a certain card - Ravaging Blaze. I watch a lot of Youtube Duels content. In the last week I have heard some very popular Youtubers put down Ravaging Blaze. They make a typical logical error. They assume all the ways the card isn't good and ignore what happens when the card is good. They say the card isn't good because it is expensive. Well, this is a ramp deck with a lot of land and Nissa's Pilgrimage, so expensive isn't as bad. They say spell mastery is hard to achieve. My version plays 18 spells, so spell mastery is no problem. I have learned how good Blaze is so that effects my deck building choice. No myrs, all the Twinbolts and Fiery Impulses. They say "what if they sac the creature in response". Then you killed the creature, and probably paved the say for your big monster to attack and either win the game or offer lethal next turn. Now how about if it does work? Ravaging Blaze for six, seven or eight removes the opponent's best creature that isn't Gaea's Revenge AT INSTANT SPEED and clears the road for your big monsters to finish the game. Downside vs Upside guys. I like winning, and the results are above.

Golgari Control - 6-0, 20-2 overall. example - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10299&p=330737#p330737

Another pillar of the format. I have tried to tweak this deck, but I usually end up back where I started. Another shout-out to my Youtube friends who I love, but they seem to agree that you only run one Evolutionary Leap because the second is a "dead draw". For a moment I'll forget what I said earlier about the Reclamation Sages, Conclave Naturalists and Solemn Offerings that are showing up, and just defend the claim as is. Evo Leap is a game changer. Games with Leap play out so differently from games without it that there are few other things that matter. In the golgari mirror, it isn't often about who has the most elves, it is about who played Evo Leap first. Against Rakdos the Leap is unbeatable. Against Gruul the leap keeps the Gravedigger/Fleshbag engine running so they never get to Gaea's Revenge your face. Against Dimir, Leap is again unbeatable. The only time you don't want Leap is against hardcore aggro, and nearly every other card in this deck can battle aggro to give you time to get Leap going. Why wouldn't you want to double your chances of drawing this card? I would get that the third copy may or may not be right, but you only have two, and by running two instead of one you DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES of having the card. MATH NERD ALERT - One copy of a card gives you a 16% chance of seeing the card by turn three on the draw. Two copies gives you a 30% chance. Nearly double your chances. Did you see the part up there where some decks just LOSE to this card? Wouldn't you want to increase your chances of winning by double? And for a little more SALT in the wound, the chances of you drawing both Leaps in your opening hard are just 1.19%. One in one hundred games you draw both leaps, you have a dead draw in your opening seven, and I still might not mulligan that hand. OK, tangent over, Golgari is awesome, play it.

White Aggro - 12-2, overall 31-4 - example - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10291#p323491

I am currently testing two White Aggro builds, one with Auras and Sigil of the Empty Throne and one that goes wide with a ton of one and two drops and Kytheon's Tactics. Both went 6-1 this week. My gut says that Auras is stronger because of Languish and Twinbolt, but the "spread offense" just keeps winning despite these cards being in the format. Luck? No, more like redundancy. Even if the opponent plays these cards, they have to play them right, and on time, or this deck steamrolls you. I'm still not an aggro fan, but if you are into running twenty basic lands then White Aggro is your horse in this race.

Boros Midrange - 8-0, first week out

This deck came from some brewing and dramatically outperformed. It's so midrange - not quite aggro, not quite control, but capable of winning games in all kinds of ways. I don't think it will do well against Golgari Control, but I'd love to be wrong. Here is a quick list, if anyone wants to post it and make it pretty just link back to this post. Kytheon, 4 Fiery Impulse, 2 Knight of White Orchid, 2 Celestial Flare, 3 Ravaging Blaze, 4 Twinbolt, 2 Heliod's Pilgrim, 3 Iroas's Champion, 2 Exquisite Firecraft, 2 Kytheon's Irregulars, 1 Avaricious Dragon, 1 Pia and Kiran, 2 Suppression Bonds, 1 Hixus, 2 Embermaw Hellion, 2 Tragic Arrogance, 1 Chandra's Ignition, 7 Plains, 7 Mountain, 2 Clifftop Retreat, 1 Rogue's Passage, 4 Boros Guildgate, 4 Evolving Wilds.

Megabeast Azorius Aggro - 6-1 - first week out - original list - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10292#p336948

If you followed my other post you saw that megabeast showed up with a u/w aggro deck that he wanted put through its paces. The deck had some elements I hadn't seen yet, most U/W decks go for the fliers instinctively or try to control everything, also instinctively. This deck reminds me of Freezing Winds, the base blue/white deck from last year's game. It is surprisingly effective. I had to adjust the mana base, because getting two white on turn two (Knights) and two blue on turn three (Claustrophobia) was a big challenge. Eventually I cut Claustrophobia and ran Anchor to the Aether instead. I also added Harbinger of the Tides because getting two blue sources on turn four was more realistic (14 deck sources of blue). I also added Evolving Wilds to the mana base because I had multiple games without an Island for Dauntless River Marshall. Beast thinks this may be tier 1, I am not sold yet, but I will bring it back next week for sure.

Since I am sure Beast is interested, the game I lost was to a Primal Huntbeast with Divine Favor on it (some might say, a MEGA BEAST!!!). It's possible I should have won the game. I blew a Disperse early on a Herald of the Pantheon for tempo. I could have set up a block on the beast with Irregulars later, if I had the Disperse I could have dispersed the Divine Favor and traded. Instead, I overextended into a Tragic Arrogance and things went south fast.

Note to readers - these are the types of decks I really want to try. He clearly had a different take from the average builder, and he had great results. If you can find me a deck like that, I would love to play and write about it.

Jund Ramp - 8-1, first week out.

I have been trying the samish Jund lists for weeks, most recently Anuuj's build. They can't decide if they are midrange or control, but they seem to have a consensus on putting up subpar results. So in my efforts to find a Jund list that does better, I looked for something Jund can do better than Gruul and Rakdos, and the answer I found was GOING BIG. Here's the list. It would be awesome if someone could take it to the deck building forum and make it pretty.
4 Gatecreeper Vine, 3 Ravaging Blaze, 4 Twinbolt, Nissa, 4 Nissa's Pilgrimage, 3 Zendikar Incarnite, 2 Languish, 3 Acid Moss, 2 Outland Colossus, 3 Meteorite,2 Chandra's Ignition, 2 Kothophed, 2 Gaea's Revenge, 2 Nissa's Revelation, 2 Swamp, 2 Mountain, 8 Forest, 6 check lands, 1 Rakdos Guildgate, 4 Evolving Wilds.

Dimir Reanimator - 7-2, 15-5 overall, example viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10294&start=20#p324262

I haven't nailed the list yet, but I am getting warmer. Dimir struggles with enchantments, a lack of good counter magic, and a lack of good early drops compared to green and red. What it does have is Murk Lurker, Tutelage which is good if people don't expect it, and the only counterspells in the format. I think that makes it tier 2 at best, but I am not giving up.

Shadow Elves - 7-1, first week out, example list viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10299#p323502, but add three Shadows of the Past.

My midrange Elves started losing, my aggro elves kept losing, but I found a neat solution. I added Shadows of the Past to a mostly aggro elf deck, and got great results. The scrying gets you to your elves that really matter. The drain/gain is easy to achieve in a creature deck and lets you burn the opponent out if they happen to Languish your board. Still in testing, but good so far.

I have to but it off here this week because it is time to go to the movies, but I hope you guys enjoy the content and please post comments, questions, and lists I should be testing. Thanks!

Will the newcomers (Boros, Jund, Azorius) challenge the dominance of the old guard (Golgari, Rakdos, Gruul, Dimir, White aggro)? Can Nissa's Revelation actually be part of a winning deck? Is megabeast's UW deck that good? Tune in next week for another entry into my Duals Diaries :)

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:40 pm 
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Nice post again, are you still playing on iOS? Because on the steam version I've noticed that while people are playing solemn offering/reclamation sage etc. Turbofog still works very well, I'm currently 5-1 with a sultai turbofog deck. That said I've been playing almost control only and while it is my favorite style of play I'd like a good aggro deck too and I don't really get the same feeling from rakdos aggro as you seem to do. I might try the azorius aggro, see if it works out for me.
Thanks for the diaries Covert, they're very entertaining to read and very helpful as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:49 pm 
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What do I want from my duels deck? I thought about that recently and came up: I want a deck that can win as much as possible, and that wins quickly. This is because I'm grinding so this would be my ideal deck.

Sorry to hear that the Jeskai Creatureless didn't pan out. It hasn't for me either, but I was missing cards.

Would love to hear about your Boros Midrange build! When you do put up an example decklist, is that because it's your list, or a list that you think is really strong? Or are you just randomly putting one that matches the type of deck you were playing?

boy that MEGA BEAST joke is getting a lot of traction this week in the threads.

Which movie did you go see?

Can't wait to hear if Boros continues the flawless victory streak. That deck sounds really cool.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:32 pm 
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Thank you for taking the time to test the Azorious Aggro deck. I may back off of the 'tier 1' statement.. the deck wrecked face for 2-3 days straight, but I'm starting to see more hardcore control decks and it's not a great matchup. Without God's Willing or something like that.. it's gonna be hard for the slightly slower, evasive aggro lists to truely be top-tier. Did you ever get to Willbreaker someone's board away? I think the card is appropriately named..

Primal Huntbeast is always a pain in the ass.. even moreso with that list.

Also.. thanks.for yet another stellar read.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Love these posts, I look forward to the weekly installment. As far as Thopters go, I was really unimpressed by the card quality in red so I decided to go mono-blue with it and it tested well. Megabeast eventually convinced me to splash for Thopter Engineer and he was correct, so I also added Twin Bolt because it's awesome. Check out this list and let me know how it runs for you, it has been running great for me so far. Also, any manabase tweaks you would make would be appreciated.

http://forum.nogoblinsallowed.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10301&start=100#p337447

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:40 pm 
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I just came back to the thread to write about that Thopter deck. Hopefully it'll be as good for Covert as it was for us. I'm still not sold on max copies of Twin Bolt.. but the core is strong, only about 4-5 debatable slots.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:44 pm 
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He'll probably add a mountain, and maybe he's right.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:46 pm 
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I hope he goes 0-5 with that deck and renames it, "made by idiots"


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:46 pm 
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Hakeem928 wrote:
He'll probably add a mountain, and maybe he's right.


If he adds in Bonded Construct I'm driving my truck off a bridge.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:48 pm 
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Having completed the grind (on iOS I am all for looking at good decks and seeing what does or does not work. Having played so much versus AI I use that partly as a reference and wether they are generated in the fly or pre-generated who knows but anyone who has complete or is working solidly on the grind knows that AI can be tough at times. It's as much as it always has access to a full pool, want a deck with 2 Chandra's ignitions? No problem. After the same for languish? Ditto.

The skill however in creative and good deck building (and not from first hand knowledge, but standing on the shoulders of others), is a range of things. You have to survive and you have to find a way to bring the others life total to zero (unless you are trying to mill the win).

This is an example of a Boros deck the AI runs. In playing against it time after time it was frustrating or maybe just luck that game after game it hit a land turn after turn and would often have the plays to go with it. It would often come up with the right answers at the right time. Also I do not know if the AI knows in a way the type of deck you are running and appears to play the perfect counter. If it's true that magic can be likened to rock, paper, scissors with aggro, mid range and control being the equivalents. It must be true then that no one deck type can ever dominate but you are playing averages and want to be ahead, above average.

If this example deck is tricky to beat and performs well does that mean it's good? Of course even with the best decks it comes down to the player also as there are decisions at every point and potentially making the wrong choice can lead to defeat. There is also the magic equivalent of the blunder in chess, the misplays or what no one ever likes being pointed out "do you know you missed a lethal".

Anyway to the deck, maybe it can help if you explain the good, bad and indifferent in this example or is it more a feel for what you need to adjust or at the end of the day the years of experience.

AI Boros example

1 x Goblin Glory Chaser
1 x Fiery Impulse
1 x Knight of the White Orchid
1 x Abbot of Keral Keep
1 x Subterranean Scout
1 x Sigil of Valor
1 x Ravaging Blaze
1 x Fiery Conclusion
1 x Dragon Fodder
1 x Knight of the Pilgrim's Road
1 x Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh
1 x Iroas's Champion
1 x Exquisite Firecraft
1 x Act of Treason
4 x Ampryn Tactician
2 x RazorFoot Griffin
1 x Avaricious Dragon
2 x Pia and Kiran Nalaar
3 x Enthralling Victor
2 x Hixus,Prison Warden
1 x Embermaw Hellion
3 x Meteorite
1 x Knightly Valor
2 x Chandra's Ignition

5 x Plains
5 x Mountain
2 x Clifftop Retreat
3 x Foundry of the Consuls
1 x Rogue's Passage
4 x Boros Guildgate
4 x Evolving Wilds

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:50 pm 
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I hope he goes 0-5 with that deck and renames it, "made by idiots"


One day, when you grow up.. you'll brew decks just like your idol LVD.. maybe even surpassing him. Ohh wait.. you've been playing MtG for like 20 years and you're still netdecking. :evil:

#shotsfired

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:52 pm 
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xoxo

Yeah, across all CCGs I've played I've always been a better player than deckbuilder.

I don't think I've been playing for 20 years though. I played for a year non-stop around Revised/The Dark/Fallen Empires, and then took 20 years off and started up again digitally in 2009, been playing ever since

is there a NASCAR bumper sticker on your truck?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:00 pm 
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xoxo

Yeah, across all CCGs I've played I've always been a better player than deckbuilder.

I don't think I've been playing for 20 years though. I played for a year non-stop around Revised/The Dark/Fallen Empires, and then took 20 years off and started up again digitally in 2009, been playing ever since

is there a NASCAR bumper sticker on your truck?


Are you making fun of my panty-dropping southern draw? There's a Jaguars Season Ticket Holder sticker on my truck.. and a shark sticker with the red dive flag design on it. On my dashboard I have a Darth Vader bobble head my kid got me for Father's Day that says, "I love you Sith much!" That's it for my vehicle's decor.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:17 pm 
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It's "drawl"

What the heck are the Jaguars? Lacrosse team?

I want to see that shark sticker, it sounds totally badass.

#thisisathreadhijack


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:23 pm 
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Why don't you cheer for a real team? I'm wearing a Buccaneers tee right now.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:34 pm 
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Cool. I haven't finished reading the entirety of your post yet as there is a lot of information to absorb but I did find the white aggro section interesting as I was just thinking how good Kytheon's Tactics has been for me in a G/W Renown deck I use to grind against the AI. I am happy to see aggro remains a viable option. I was starting to become discouraged with all of the slower decks I have seen on Steam. It seems like everyone on there opens with Perilous Myr into Bone Splinters which spells out trouble for any aggro deck -- especially those without good card draw to find more threats. Anyway, thanks again your contributions. Back to reading...

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:20 pm 
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This is another model post by Covertgo.

Lets jump straight to my hobby horse, Jeskai control. I thought we were going steady? And now I hear you dumped me for another girl?

In all honesty I was very surprised that my rough, untested list went 10-1 the first week. I am sure it needs to adapt to the meta. I am sorry to hear it did not do so well this week. I think control lists need a lot of tweaking and attention. I would be interested in hearing what changes, if any you made after the first game and what you attribute your losses to.

Re: win conditions: tutelage is there only for a few specific matchups. You don't need it against 80% of the field. Lets do some math about mill
3 telling time will draw you 3 cards(scry doesn't count)
4 bone to ash will draw you 4 cards
4 inspiration will draw you 8 cards
Thats a total of 15 cards drawn.
Meanwhile 4 countermands will mill your opponent for a total of 16. Even if you are on the draw, your opponent will run out of cards first, as long as you are able to counter their spells and they don't mill you.

So this deck has win conditions, plural. I think that is pretty robust when many control decks just use 1. Ivan Floch won some fancy magic tournament with Elixir of Immortality as his "win" condition.

So I think the issue isn't the win condition but the other 95% of the deck: the answers (card draw finds more answers). I am interested about what decks you lost to, what cards were dead most frequently, etc. It will be another week before I finish unlocking. Ultimately this deck archetype may prove unworkable, but there are other color combinations that may be better suited for the meta (e.g. Esper). Thanks again for all your posts.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:27 pm 
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Telling time doesn't let you draw a card it lets you put a card in your hand, so it doesn't proc the tutelage.
Edit: I think I missed some of your post forget I said anything xD.
Edit2: Ah you meant all the cards drawn in total with total copies :D.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:57 pm 
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A more precise way of saying it would be "cards removed from library." Draw, mill, and telling timeish effects all count the same.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:02 pm 
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Hi, I'm back to answer questions and drop opinionated type-bombs -

"Nice post again, are you still playing on iOS?"

Yep, all iOS, all the time. For those of you who haven't played on iOS, there are some oddities that are platform specific. My least favorite is the amount of "replaced by Ai" you get, often only seconds after joining a match. It seems if someone is playing on iPad or iPhone they are likely to drop off the planet at any time. Or perhaps they just realized they had been playing Magic on the toilet for far too long and the next person in line needs a turn...

All in all, the iOS player base is good. It took some time to adjust in 2015, I came over from Xbox 360, and I thought I was hot stuff because of the Xbox leaderboards, but if I played between 6 and 9 pm EST I would lose about 50% of my games to really good players and decks. It forced me to up my game, and I am grateful. All I know about Steam is what I see on Youtube, but I am confident iOS has a great player base compared to XB360 based on my experience.

"Turbofog still works very well, I'm currently 5-1 with a sultai turbofog deck."

I love the Turbo-fog deck, I love winning with it, I love the drama of being at 1 life but finding the way to empty the opponent's library...but it isn't better than other control decks, and it suffers from inconsistency. If we get another fog effect from Battle for Zendikar, this deck will benefit and be back in the mix. For now, it holds a place in my heart but not in my gauntlet.

"What do I want from my duels deck? I thought about that recently and came up: I want a deck that can win as much as possible, and that wins quickly. This is because I'm grinding so this would be my ideal deck. "

White aggro then, the swarm version. I keep thinking the deck will fail because of Twinbolt and Languish, but it keeps winning. Take it for a spin. Here is my current 60. 1 Kytheon, 3 Annointer, 3 Vanguard, 4 Jailer (yeah, really, but perhaps this should be suntails, your pick), 2 Knight o White Orchid, 3 Lieutenant, 4 Topan, 4 Kinsbaile, 2 Wingmare, 3 Skirmisher, 4 Tactics, 4 Tactician, 23 plains. Nothing tricky at all, just a big, white, punch to the face.

"When you do put up an example decklist, is that because it's your list, or a list that you think is really strong? Or are you just randomly putting one that matches the type of deck you were playing?'

Great question. I change my decks a lot. Not tremendously, but enough that posting a build is like a weather report that is only accurate for the next 10 minutes. My list to an example isn't necessarily an endorsement, but a sample that is similar to what my deck is trying to do. Don't get it twisted, I might think the list is strong, but for the purposes of creating a post without creating 10+ deck lists to go with it, I am just looking for a similar idea to link a reader to so they can get more information on a deck archetype if they need it.

"Which movie did you go see?"

Fantastic Four. It reminded me of The Hulk, mostly a sci-fi movie with a long intro and set up, and one climactic battle. More Sci-drama, less action. And don't bother waiting for a bonus scene after the credits, there is none. I'd still go see it, but know in advance you are not going to see an Avengers flick, you have to be patient with this movie.

"Can't wait to hear if Boros continues the flawless victory streak. That deck sounds really cool."

So there is a curse on undefeated decks. It never seems to fail, they lose the very next game. But in this case, I was all the way down to one against a Rakdos deck that had already played plenty of burn/myrs/act o treason, opponent was at 20 and we were both top decking. On a crucial turn I top decked Chandra's Ignition with Embermaw on the battlefield, and I pulled out the win with exactness. I WIN, I WIN ONE TO NOTHIN'! There's a Tenacious D reference for anybody in tha' know. So Boros rolls on, still undefeated and waiting to see what tonight has in store.

"Did you ever get to Willbreaker someone's board away?"

Not yet. Most games you don't need it, but I know it's power from my Dimir experiments. Yes, the card is appropriately named.

"As far as Thopters go, I was really unimpressed by the card quality in red so I decided to go mono-blue with it and it tested well. Megabeast eventually convinced me to splash for Thopter Engineer and he was correct, so I also added Twin Bolt because it's awesome. Check out this list and let me know how it runs for you, it has been running great for me so far. Also, any manabase tweaks you would make would be appreciated.

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10301&start=100#p337447"

It's in the gauntlet, I do like the light red splash. I actually cut back on red sources and haven't had mana trouble so far, I just seem to have thopter trouble in general. I will give this at least ten games (if I can stand it) and tell the world about the results.

"I hope he goes 0-5 with that deck and renames it, "made by idiots""

I'm open to this....but the results will do the final speaking.

"If he adds in Bonded Construct I'm driving my truck off a bridge."

I won't add it to the beast/hakeem list, but it is funny you mention this because the build I have right now is running this card...you seem to have strong feelings about it Beast, tell us how you really feel....

SquiderDragon - Thanks for the Ai sample deck. I don't bother trying to metagame the Ai because the decks appear to be randomly generated, so all I know is I will play against a lot of 5 drops and higher that are bomb rates in limited. Want to beat that? Play white aggro. I can consistently kill them on turn 4 before they even make a proactive play. If you want to go gold mining, that is how I would do it.

Hakeem/Beast/barney - LOL

"Lets jump straight to my hobby horse, Jeskai control. I thought we were going steady? And now I hear you dumped me for another girl?"

Ha, yeah Henwen, I wanted someone who didn't make me take all night, tapping every available card, to be satisfied. What can I say? We don't all have the patience for creatureless control. And you are talking to someone who's first major tournament win was with a u/w creatureless millstone deck in 1996! But I will keep the Jeskai list in my rotation. The success did inspire me to try other creatureless control or almost creatureless control decks in several color combos - Esper and Grixis for example. Right now, nothing compares to Jeskai, and I'll take it out for a spin now and then and see if I can improve the answers. I think you've got me on the mill plan, but I do see issues with Countermanding them out. What if they Countermand your Countermand? Something I didn't think I'd say in this game, but I am convinced from testing that if you are going to run a counterspell than it should probably be Countermand. Leaving up 4 mana for Bone of Ash and having them cast an enchantment is really devastating. I would give anything for an Elixir in this deck. Hell, I would give anything to be Ivan Floch for that one day. His Pro Tour win was awesome, and a total throwback to old-school control magic. I geeked out watching it.

Sidenote, I have been obsessed with making U/R Thopters and Mono Red Burn work, and it is because I watched those decks CRUSH Pro Tour Origins all last weekend. When I see the Pros rocking certain decks or cards, I want to do the same very badly, even with a super limited card pool like Duels. If anyone can make those work, let me know, you will be my hero.

Questions and comments are welcome, keep them coming.

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