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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:03 pm 
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Hi Duelers,

I want to open by sharing my regret that I didn't respond to the many comments I had last week. When I started doing this I said I would always make responding to comments a priority, and in that sense I let my readers and myself down. I give credit where it is due, the community took that thread in all manner of directions. If interested, (viewtopic.php?f=38&t=11190#p342951)

The truth is this - I was offered a job by Lockhammer at Lockhammer News Network. I haven't been offered a job since I wore my Boy Scouts uniform into a McDonalds at the age of 14, so I got excited, and I Googled every incarnation of LNN and Lockhammer News Network to study up for my interview...and well...is that not a thing? Was this made up? How depressing, I guess I'll return that new suit I bought to Kohls now .... wah.

One of my more vocal fans (shout out Black Barney!) called last week's post "uninteresting" and some experienced posters whose work and ideas I greatly admire agreed. I read this at the end of a long day when my whole world seemed to be crashing down around me, and at first it made me sad. A few hours later I was able to become grateful, because I do put work into these posts, and I want them to be interesting, but I don't want to post "good" content and then spend the week convincing myself people liked it, I want to post awesome content and have people really, actually like it. I may not always succeed at this, but I will strive for greatness, settle for mere excellence, and learn from moments of mediocrity. Dear readers, thanks for keeping me in check. Now I would appreciate a gentle ego massage at the end of this post even if you hate it! Just kidding...kind of...no really, I might be kidding...

So let's talk about Magic Duels. I found time in the last week to play plenty of games. I joined the 10k gold club, currently sitting at 11480 gold. Anyone else in the 10k gold club? I can't wait to unwrap all that Battle for Zendikar.

The last time I posted with game results was two weeks ago, and I saw a very defined meta with Rakdos and Thopters showing up way too much. The meta I experienced last week was very different. I saw very few Rakdos decks and fewer Thopter decks. What I saw instead was a very large variety, but two types of decks stood out - EvoLeap decks and Goblin Glory Chaser decks.

EvoLeap decks - Twenty-five percent of the decks I played could be labeled as EvoLeap decks. They came in all kinds of colors - Gruul, Golgari, Sultai, Simic, Abzan and more. The weird thing about Leap is that you don't build your deck around it, you usually just build a deck full of value creatures with Enters the Battlefield and Death benefits, and if you don't draw Leap you just play a value game. Oh, but if you do draw Leap, it feels like the deck just starts seeping card advantage and it becomes hard to lose.

Goblin Glory Chaser decks - I didn't even run this card in my red deck for a while, opting for more burn, but the meta has spoken. I got turn one Glory Chased a ridiculous amount of times last week. I wish I had kept stats on that! The stat I do have is that Mr Glory showed up in 10% of my opponent's decks. We had Izzet Prowess and Gruul Aura Aggro, but mostly Red Red Red goblins-and-then-I-burn-you Red Aggro. I have spent most of this version of Duels thinking RDW-type decks (Red Deck Wins for the newcomers) had no place in this meta once it developed. I was, and often am, wrong about that. Every time a meta settles down, red decks find ways to keep slow, grindy decks honest.

Here are the six decks I ended the week with. For updates on other lists I mentioned two weeks ago, keep reading. Decks that survive the week do so because they are putting up great results and I think they are well positioned to beat the common decks I play against. Decks that get cut or shelved for a week get that treatment because either (a) they put up some bad results against decks I expect to see plenty of, or (b) I expect them to put up bad results against decks I expect to see plenty of. I try to go with (a) more then (b), because (b) is more theoretical, but you have to trust your intuition in Magic when picking a deck.

My week eight Super Six -

Shadow Elves - 10-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10299&p=345528#p345528

The Elves came back! I don't see elf decks nearly as much on iOS as I did in the early weeks of the game. As a result, I felt like they were due for a comeback. For all my time playing with or against Elves, I never felt like I built the perfect elf deck. Anytime a format features a really solid "tribe" of synergistic creature types, you should take time and try to find the best way to use them. This list features the core Elf creatures and combines them with some great removal to create a tough combination to beat. Anyone who hopes to race you or block you will be in trouble. Your small creatures will often create more value then theirs, your medium-range creatures will create tons of value if unchecked, and their large mid and late game creatures meet up with efficient removal.

I am convinced that pump spells are unnecessary. Shaman of the Pack is better than any pump spell. With this deck I almost never play Leap on turn two. This isn't a Leap deck really, Leap is there to provide an easy with against decks that overload on removal and to refill your hand with quality Elves in the late game. I usually play it on turn six or seven, preferably with some elf tokens on the field that I can sac right away and reload my hand.

Fleshbag is no Elf, but I think he is needed. He isn't great in the mirror, but you can usually get something big removed against Gruul, which is a tough matchup. Oh, and I named this deck Shadow Elves but in the weeks since I have completely cut Shadows of the Past. I don't need another way to make the opponent's Reclamation Sages good, what I need is more removal and more Elves. The deck's only loss on the week was to a Gruul Monsters deck that lived the dream, Zendikar Incarnate into Chandra's Ignition while I held 2 Reave Soul.

Red Aggro - 10-0 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10290&p=345538#p345538

As I typed up this deck list, I remain amazed that it wins at all. I think it looks horrible on digital paper! That said, it finds ways to win. Subterranean Scout does better than I ever could have expected. Molten Vortex is a great card. When I was trying to decide if it was good, I read a comment that paying 2 mana for 2 damage and discarding a card was not very appealing. I agreed, and I ignored the card for a long time. It wasn't until I played against it that I changed my mind. Then I played with it...oh my...what a beautiful feeling to turn your land flood into a burn plan! You have to play with the card to understand and love it.

I can't decided on one slot - 4 Infectious Bloodlust, or 4 Mage-Ring Bully, or 4 Goblin Fodder. I might even consider Inferno Fist. Right now is Bloodlust, but I reconsider this 4-of two-drop slot every day, and I haven't been able to decide. I'd love some help from the NGA community on this, sound off in the comments!

Golgari Zombie Control - 10-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10299&p=345544#p345544

I played a lot of Green/Black control this week. My numbers have records on 40 games with G/B control archetypes. Easily the best performing deck was the deck with the zombie control package (Fleshbag, Gravedigs, Cruel Revival). If you look at the list and try to work on it, you would likely do a few things - add Bitter Revelation and/or Read the Bones, add Gaea's Revenge, add more big dudes like Priest of the Blood Rite and Kothophed and Erebos's Titan. I have tested all these cards. The list that relies on the zombie package and plays all the Shadows of the Past always outperformed the deck with large creatures and Pay 2 Life card draw spells.

A choice that deserves some attention - 4x Bone Splinters. Most of my black decks ran one or two, four seems over-the-top. We've all had those hands with two or three Bone Splinters in the hand and no creatures to sacrifice. It sucks. With this deck, I often hold a value creature (Gatecreeper, Myr, Rec Sage) and I don't play it unless I also have a creature to Bone Splinter. This isn't a hard rule, but be aware of casting all the creatures in your hand if you have Bone Splinters or if you haven't drawn one yet ...there are 4 in the deck, you will draw one eventually, be prepared to draw it. Bone Splinters is also a big reason for 3 Foundry of the Consuls since we only have 19 creature spells.

This deck has no problem winning once it takes control of the game. Gravediggers and planeswalkers get work done. Revenge and other big dudes has honestly turned out to be "win more" instead of being needed to win. Oh, and Elvish Visionary isn't needed either. You have enough value, this is a control deck, so I focus on the removal. I stress again, 40 games, I played all kinds of versions of this deck, this is the winner.

Sultai Mill - 10-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10308&p=345555#p345555

I have loved Sultai Mill since second Duels Diaries entry. I teased it in my first entry! I set it down because I thought mono-blue mill and Izzet mill were better, and it isn't that I think those mill options are bad, but I think now is a good time for Sultai Mill. I wrote a while back that I thought Sultai Mill was great against established decks like Golgari Control, but had a tougher time against curve-out-creature decks that are trying to unlock cards. I put Sultai Mill away, I think now is a good time to bring it back. I have really enjoyed seeing mobius (https://youtu.be/UWN3iJL1C-Y) and Hakeem (https://youtu.be/iIW2OIWVa_E) playing this archetype, and credit to Gegliosch for being all over it.

I think we all need to play more Disperse in this deck. I started testing with one, I ended with all four. It can "fog" a big creature by itself, it breaks up an aura deck's Voltron, it saves Tutelage from removal if that is necessary, and late-game it can save Nissa from death or bounce a Possessed Skaab and keep the Fog machine running.

I like the discussion about using finishers and/or alternate win conditions in this deck, so I am throwing in my opinion at risk of being mocked - I agree that the deck doesn't need Disciple of the Ring, but I think you should keep Nissa. While I have won multiple games with Nissa ultimate, that isn't the real reason I keep her in the deck - I want the Howling Mine effect of getting an extra card every turn. I mean, who doesn't? One of the core components of Turbo Fog strategies has been drawing extra cards, and the only Howling Mine we have in this version of Duels is Nissa. I feel strongly that she needs to stay.

The two Read the Bones haven't cost me a game yet. I am keeping a close eye on that, but so far I have been able to preserve my life total. Bones is significantly better than Inspiration, a card I really dislike, and I don't want to spend one more mana for a less good effect. If I lose two games to "them Bones" I'll replace them, but for now I like where I am at. It is possible Telling Time is better, I like Bones because I want more Tutelage triggers, but perhaps that is being narrow minded.

This deck doesn't want to see Red Aggro, but it is far from an auto-loss since Tutelage can deck them very fast. It is just really, really, REALLY important to have turn three Tutelage. I still mulligan my first seven EVERY TIME if it doesn't have one.

Izzet Aggro Thopters - 8-1 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10301&p=340552#p340552

This is one of the only decks that hasn't really changed. The only alteration in the last two weeks is the addition of a 26th land and the removal of a Disperse. It is one small change, but it is worth discussing. 26 lands seems crazy in an aggro deck with two five-drops as the top-end. If any of you have been watching much pro Magic lately, there has been a trend developing with the popular Abzan aggro deck. The deck is fast, and full of awesome cards, but it runs 26 lands even though it has a curve very similar to Blue/Red Thopters. It is so essential to play a Pia/Kiran Nalaar or Whirler Rogue on turn four, that you have to make sure the mana is there. These are cards that get you way, WAY ahead on the board, like no other 4 drop can, and they are the real power of the deck. Going up to 26 lands isn't fun, if you are like me you have enough trouble cutting cards down to sixty, but I am convinced in this case it is right.

I am very comfortable with this build of Thopters right now, and I don't think Esperzoa or Alchemist Vial are the right cards for the deck at this time. If you play Thopters, I'd play this list. The one loss is marked as a "variance" loss. You know, those hands that you would keep every time and then something highly unlikely happens with your draw? In this case, it was an awesome hand with three lands, exactly what you want, and I lived seventeen turns and never, EVER drew land number four. I guess I needed a 27th land for that game. Magic is crazy. I once had a game where I had 24 lands in the deck, I lived long enough to draw all but 22 cards in my library, and I only drew four land that game. So yeah, the bottom 22 cards of my deck had 20 lands. That seems so unlikely it is insane, yet when you play enough Magic you will eventually see the seemingly impossible.

Gruul Monsters - 10-0 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10296&p=340556#p340556

While I don't believe in messing with a good thing, I did make some significant changes to this deck, and the performance has held up.

+3 Rhox Maulers, - 1 Woodland Bellower, 2 Gaea's Revenge.

I have been experimenting with the thought that Gaea's Revenge is a Win More card as opposed to a Win card. Not being able to target Revenge with Ignition or Passage has come up, and it is an issue. Also, what I need against the EvoLeap decks is more TRAMPLE. This makes a BIG difference in that matchup.

-1 Reclamation Sage, - 4 Gatecreeper Vine, -2 Ravaging Blaze, + 2 Abbot of Keral Keep, + 4 Elvish Visionary, +1 Kird Chieftain

Forget about killing enchantments with Rec Sage, just run them over with Kird Chieftain's ability instead. I still won't call Ravaging Blaze bad, but it may also be win more, and it is a fact that it is worse with a lot of EvoLeaps around, especially if you take out Sage/Bellower to remove them. Elvish Visionary and Abbots do an important job in supporting your big monsters - they take one for the team when Fleshbag and Celestial Flare come calling. Gatecreeper could jump in front of a Fleshbag, but it can't eat a Celestial Flare when your monsters attack. It is a narrow case, but I think it is worth it. I never, ever trade my Visionaries or Abbots early against white and black unless I am really, really, REALLY under aggro siege and without removal, because I expect to use them as Fleshbag/Celestial Flare protection. Against red, they also are great chump blockers should your monsters commit Acts of Treason.

So the deck goes 10-0 without Gaea's Revenge, so maybe it really is Win More instead of just Win. What do you guys think? Rhox Maulers instead of Revenge...stupid? Genius?

So those are my six high-performers for the week - 58 wins and 4 losses combined. My results are starting to cluster into a win-loss ratio I can be proud of, so I think my handle on the format is getting strong. That said, I bet I lose a lot next week....the game has a way of humbling the proud.

Here are decks that got shelved this week -

Izzet Mill and Blue Mill - Still strong, but I think Sultai Mill has the best position right now. Blue is best against control, Izzet is best against aggro, Sultai is decent against all and WRECKS midrange, which I would qualify many of the decks I see as.

Dimir Reanimator - I am avoiding this because it can't beat a resolved Leap easily. I tried a lot of ideas on this, such as using 4 Disperse and trying to reanimate an Alhammarret on turn five, but even if you live that dream it guarantees little. I also can't find a great matchup for Dimir against the better decks. I beat a Dimir control list with Gruul Monsters when I thought I would be in trouble. I defeated a Dimir Control list with Izzet Thopters despite the fact that he got a Liliana emblem and had it out for about eight turns before I managed to beat him with airborne tokens. I just don't see the reason to play U/B against the current top tier decks.

Jeskai Control - I can only stomach this almost-permanentless control deck every now and then, and I don't get the feeling it is dominant. More enchantment hate makes the creatureless aspect less appealing. There is probably a more traditional PURE control deck out there, and I am trying to find it, you awesome NGAers will be among the first to know if I find it.

White Aggro - I don't see this deck much anymore. I think it was the grinder deck of choice, and now that era is ending. I just don't like the deck, and I think the red deck is better at aggro, but in a pure goldfish test White aggro is faster, so I would still grind with it if I had to.

Jund, Abzanchantments, Sultai Control - Different EvoLeap decks with different colors, but I think G/B is the best, so I keep working on that. Nothing wrong with playing these.

RW Midrange - I don't want to run this into EvoLeap or Fogs, so this deck is shelved.

Rakdos - See RW Midrange's comment. It applies even more to Rakdos.

Megabeast UW - I like this deck because it gets around the little value dorks (Myr, Vine, Visionary) effectively. I just don't like it against red decks (Gruul, Izzet, RDW) because the red removal spells are more efficient than your creatures and it can blow out your auras. I also don't like running into Languish, shattered dreams every time. It's not the deck for me.

I feel like the best decks have become very clear. The meta stays diverse because we are playing for fun. If you have unlocked all the cards, and you have a good head-start on gold for Zendikar (10k gold club $$$), you don't need to win. I would really appreciate it if the rank cap be raised from 40 (how about 400?) just to keep some of us competitive types motivated. Right now, I try to build and play the winningest of winning decks because (a) I like it, and (b) to have stuff to write about for you! I may be greedy, but I want another extra carrot.

I think you should play decks that have good plan against Evolutionary Leap and value dorks (Fleshbag, Myr, Visionary, Vine).

If you plan to play a long game, you need ways to get Leap off the table. Since it comes down on turn two potentially, and since it is only half the cost of a Countermand, planning to counter it isn't a plan. So any long-game deck needs green for sage (never totally dead, just bad if they don't have enchantments) or white for Solemn Offering (can be horribly dead) or Suppression Bonds (more versatile, but it can also die to Reclamation Sage). This limits your options for control considerably.

If you don't want to remove the leap, make a plan to race it. Trampling over it is a great plan, just ask Kird Chieftain and Rhox Maulers. Milling it is a good plan, as long as you can dodge Reclamation Sages. Unblockability and Flying are good plans, and you can get both from our brown lands, Foundry and Passage.

EvoLeap isn't unbeatable by any means, I am just saying that you should have a plan. I don't think decks like Dimir or R/W have good plans, but maybe you can build a version that solves the problems. If you do, please tell me all about it. I hope you enjoyed this week's entry, tune in next week for more.

On a side note, the Magic World Championship is live on Youtube this weekend, do yourself a favor and watch some high level Magic. Even if you only leave it on in the background while you play Duels, maybe you'll hear or see some amazing play or Magic theory that will rub off on you. https://youtu.be/DdK3BZWL5cQ

As always, I am danno029 on iOS game center. Friend me, message me, leave comments, I'll reply this time, come challenge me to a duel.

Will anything shake up this metagame? Should I really be cutting Gaea's Revenge? Am I the only one running 26 lands in my Izzet Thopters deck? Who will win the Magic World Championship? When will freakin' Battle for Zendikar shake this game up? Okay, I don't have the answer to that, but you should still tune in next week for more Duels Diaries.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:16 pm 
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The truth is this - I was offered a job by Lockhammer at Lockhammer News Network. I haven't been offered a job since I wore my Boy Scouts uniform into a McDonalds at the age of 14, so I got excited, and I Googled every incarnation of LNN and Lockhammer News Network to study up for my interview...and well...is that not a thing? Was this made up? How depressing, I guess I'll return that new suit I bought to Kohls now .... wah.


I laughed my butt off at this. Cheers broski! Offer still stands. :P

Also, it's Evolpea, not Evoleap!

I am on the fence a bit with Golgari Control. I agree 100% that the Zombie Package is the best removal in the current format. If you don't mind, I'll send you my list and maybe we can brainstorm a bit? I really think Summons has a home there, even as a singleton. Same with Erebo and GR.

Overall, great blog man. I am running a few of these changes to see what they are myself.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:57 pm 
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I think one of the other reasons Vortex is good is that it turns all of your excess lands into Shocks, which is actually an efficient enough card by itself. It's just as efficient as any other card you'd play, and it turns your lands into a split card. I've been playing with a similar red deck (minus cards I don't own), and have gotten decent results. It's about a turn or two slower then Boros Auras, but more consistent and less prone to mulligans.

I've found on 20 land, I simply stop playing lands after the 3rd (or 4th for Abbot or Infectious Bloodlust combos), and stockpile them for Vortex. Once you have a few stocked in hand, it's almost card advantage when you draw a Vortex and have enough open mana to unload your hand, especially if you're me and therefore always flooded.

Edit: I think Mage-Ring Bully deserves a shot - it's often a 3/3 for two with no real drawback, benefits from Dragon Fodder, and is easy to trigger at instant speed while creating a favorable block.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:54 pm 
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Red Aggro - 10-0 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10290&p=345538#p345538

As I typed up this deck list, I remain amazed that it wins at all. I think it looks horrible on digital paper! That said, it finds ways to win. Subterranean Scout does better than I ever could have expected. Molten Vortex is a great card. When I was trying to decide if it was good, I read a comment that paying 2 mana for 2 damage and discarding a card was not very appealing. I agreed, and I ignored the card for a long time. It wasn't until I played against it that I changed my mind. Then I played with it...oh my...what a beautiful feeling to turn your land flood into a burn plan! You have to play with the card to understand and love it.

I can't decided on one slot - 4 Infectious Bloodlust, or 4 Mage-Ring Bully, or 4 Goblin Fodder. I might even consider Inferno Fist. Right now is Bloodlust, but I reconsider this 4-of two-drop slot every day, and I haven't been able to decide. I'd love some help from the NGA community on this, sound off in the comments!



I haven't used it much in 1v1, but my RDW deck that I've been using for grinding gold runs both Mage-Ring Bully and Goblin Fodder. I found that the Goblin Fodder, while not that great at face value, has great synergy in that it triggers both the Mage-Ring and Foundry Street Denizen. Even when I don't have a Goblin Glory Chaser for turn one, it's pretty solid when I can drop a Foundry Street, then turn 2 Mage-Ring, then turn 3 Goblin Fodder + either Fiery Impulse or Titan's Strength depending on the board state. A 3/1 and 4/4 (or 7/5 with Titan's Strength!) attacking an empty board plus two 1/1 tokens out isn't a bad start.

Before I unlocked enough cards to tune it, I played Subterranean Scout but I was finding that was the card that under performed the most for me. That might change if I were to play 1v1, but the AI tends to run pretty slow decks, and rarely has anything out by turn 4 that I can't burn. In fact, I'm willing to take a pretty terrible hand because I can pretty reliably beat the AI. I once got flooded with nothing but Chandra and Molten Vortex, and never drew another spell. Kept the Vortex in my hand and waited until turn 4 to attack with Chandra, play the Vortex to flip her, and then just burned creatures with Vortex as they came out after that. Pretty easy win, even if I had hoped for a few spells to support those two!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:16 pm 
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Although I don't have much time to play lately, I've been toying with a mardu control deck with nice results. Did you try Playing Mardu? What I'm playing is rakados control with all the removal + celestial flare and angelic edict in white. Chandra and Ravaging Blaze act as win conditions.

I do prefer Jund Control though.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:53 pm 
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Thanks for another good report Covert.
Especially for the deck lists.

I've noticed a couple other things about the ios meta that are affecting it:
- No one accepts a loss. If I won 10-12 ranked matches this week, my opponent only stayed around to lose in one of them. It has me questioning my own decision to stay and lose rather than escape out of the app.
- Because of the point above, the quality of rank 30+ opponents is sinking. The most common deck I faced this week was GB/other control. After that I'd categorize the next most common deck type as 'crap'. Awful decks weren't this common a couple weeks ago.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:22 am 
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BadWally wrote:
Thanks for another good report Covert.
Especially for the deck lists.

I've noticed a couple other things about the ios meta that are affecting it:
- No one accepts a loss. If I won 10-12 ranked matches this week, my opponent only stayed around to lose in one of them. It has me questioning my own decision to stay and lose rather than escape out of the app.
- Because of the point above, the quality of rank 30+ opponents is sinking. The most common deck I faced this week was GB/other control. After that I'd categorize the next most common deck type as 'crap'. Awful decks weren't this common a couple weeks ago.


It's odd as at the other end of the ladder I have players sticking around and a high quality of decks usually.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:18 am 
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Great post Blue

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:54 am 
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Welcome back from the trip. Great post again this week. It's been interesting to see the list of decks evolve over time.

I haven't played with elves much yet so I'll have to give that a shot. Shaman of the pack does seem pretty amazing.

I'm glad there is a speedy red deck around to keep control honest, but it's not my style to play.

The golgari control is probably my favorite deck right now. I didn't see much talk about adding more gravediggers, most seem to want to add the fatties as more win cons. Reanimating fleshbag over and over, or getting back a planeswalker does seem pretty sweet.

Mill is probably my 2nd favorite deck I've been playing. Sultai is definitely great, but I feel like when your draws don't line up perfectly grixis has better control.

Interesting comment about 26 lands. You've mentioned lands before, and it seemed like good logic to me. I'm not super familiar with paper magic atm, but don't they run more sac land options? More than our 4 anyway. I'm not sure the comparison is good enough. I also laughed at the 20 lands in the bottom 22. I've seen games on youtube where they drew 10+ lands in the top 15 so I'm not even surprised.

I think you are missing the point of Gaia's Revenge. Yes it's a nonbo with Rogue's Passage and Chandra's Ignition, but it is super hard to remove. They need very specific removal, or enough chump blockers to get past it. With that said I do run wildsize in my list to get around those situations. Maybe rhox maulers is the answer? Your stats will show over time. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:14 am 
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Covert, just to mention from the week 7 post what I took from that the most was the reference to the "next level deck building" and treated myself to getting it. It is very good isn't it and there is a lot to consider.

I have read some time back on a site somewhere re the arguement around the 60 card deck and it was also interesting to read and understand the odds of drawing. I am still reading through it and the point about starting with the mana curve and then building to it now makes more sense.

I have never thought about it that way, more put the deck together and think of the mana after and I now know why that is not necessarily best.

So I got that from week 7! I know the analysis was not your usual treat but it was good to see you did put something out. I still haven't caught you online but at least playing more versus but still experimenting with builds and trying my own and testing versus Hard AI.

I did my own update to week 6 and what I came across with the Azbanchants. I did not get great success and partly due to some misplays but there is no substitute for trying and recognising what's causing most issues and trying to tweak it. Fun in itself.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:35 am 
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SquiderDragon - You purchased the book! That's awesome, I sort-of sold a book! I am sure you'll get your money's worth, I try to read that book before every new Duels release to get ready, I really like it and I am sure you will as well. I still learn a lot every time I read it. Enjoy!

Homarid - Thanks for the comments. I like Gravediggers in Golgari to get back walkers and answers. A big creature is often just a threat. A Gravedigger can be a threat, and answer, and card advantage in a long game. There are plenty of ways to win without bombs, but I know that pointing that out wont stop people from playing them. Bombs are fun :) I promise that I am not missing the point on Revenge, the Passage and Ignition issues are minor points, the major point is that an 8/5 untargetable haster isn't needed to win, all you need is a few more beasties of reasonable size which I think Rhox Maulers are, an 8/5 super-plant WINS HARDER. Winning is winning, no complaints.

BadWally - I don't see any honor or take anything personal if someone leaves the game. I think this is a carryover from Paper Magic. In the world of actual cards, when you are beaten you scoop up your cards and concede. It saves time and isn't frowned upon. Not every player concedes of course, but it is a common practice. I think it struggles to make the transition to gaming where the culture of gamers seems to favor "playing it out" and finishing the game. OF course, there are exceptions like trying to get to rank 40 or rage quitting, I don't debate that those things happen, but I always leave a game when I know I am beaten and move on and it isn't because I'm pissed. I'd rather players concede every time as opposed to players who try to wait you out, pause the timer over and over, and generally become jerks in the game.

I don't have a poor opinion of the iOS players or meta, I have played against many good players, good decks and competent strategists. I still believe it is one of the better metas to participate in. This could vary a lot by what time you are online, and who you get paired against, but it could also be perspective. My wife likes to remind me that I am no Polyanna, so my fondness for iOS meta must come from somewhere.

Auunj - I really don't see the appeal of a Mardu control deck, my mental Magic deckbuilder screams NO, but I'll give it another look.


mvantosh, Veto111 - Thanks for the opinions on red.

The Lockhammer - You laugh it up, I'm still without an awesome Newsroom job! But apparently I don't know how to spell/say EvoLeap so I am sure I'd get fired for committing such offenses on air.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:09 am 
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The Lockhammer - You laugh it up, I'm still without an awesome Newsroom job! But apparently I don't know how to spell/say EvoLeap so I am sure I'd get fired for committing such offenses on air.


It's Evol-Pea. Evil Pea! Scariest creature in the format.

I think it might be iOS vs Xbox Live as to our stances on Biggins in Golgari Control. I usually want those "Win Mores" as it gives answers when another deck gets out of control. Dropping even one Biggin on the board can swing the battle from against you to winning.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:29 pm 
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Gah! I didn't want to make you sad! You're on a very short list of most interesting posters here for crying out loud :). That's the tough part about setting your own bar so high.

Fun post this week, thanks. Are you not maintaining historical W/L records for your decks anymore ? Would love to know how red aggro and gruul monsters are doing overall. For gruul, did u update your decklist or is this the only place to see your changes ?

Keep up the great posts, loving it

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:37 pm 
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Gah! I didn't want to make you sad! You're on a very short list of most interesting posters here for crying out loud :). That's the tough part about setting your own bar so high.

Fun post this week, thanks. Are you not maintaining historical W/L records for your decks anymore ? Would love to know how red aggro and gruul monsters are doing overall. For gruul, did u update your decklist or is this the only place to see your changes ?

Keep up the great posts, loving it

Xo


He did, and Trample is beastly!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:01 am 
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Gruul Monsters - 10-0 - viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10296&p=340556#p340556

While I don't believe in messing with a good thing, I did make some significant changes to this deck, and the performance has held up.

+3 Rhox Maulers, - 1 Woodland Bellower, 2 Gaea's Revenge.

I have been experimenting with the thought that Gaea's Revenge is a Win More card as opposed to a Win card. Not being able to target Revenge with Ignition or Passage has come up, and it is an issue. Also, what I need against the EvoLeap decks is more TRAMPLE. This makes a BIG difference in that matchup.

-1 Reclamation Sage, - 4 Gatecreeper Vine, -2 Ravaging Blaze, + 2 Abbot of Keral Keep, + 4 Elvish Visionary, +1 Kird Chieftain

Forget about killing enchantments with Rec Sage, just run them over with Kird Chieftain's ability instead. I still won't call Ravaging Blaze bad, but it may also be win more, and it is a fact that it is worse with a lot of EvoLeaps around, especially if you take out Sage/Bellower to remove them. Elvish Visionary and Abbots do an important job in supporting your big monsters - they take one for the team when Fleshbag and Celestial Flare come calling. Gatecreeper could jump in front of a Fleshbag, but it can't eat a Celestial Flare when your monsters attack. It is a narrow case, but I think it is worth it. I never, ever trade my Visionaries or Abbots early against white and black unless I am really, really, REALLY under aggro siege and without removal, because I expect to use them as Fleshbag/Celestial Flare protection. Against red, they also are great chump blockers should your monsters commit Acts of Treason.

So the deck goes 10-0 without Gaea's Revenge, so maybe it really is Win More instead of just Win. What do you guys think? Rhox Maulers instead of Revenge...stupid? Genius?

Not stupid. I've been hating Gaea's Revenge in this deck too. Too many games lost to having one on the board, an Ignition in hand, and no target. I swapped out both Gaea's for Rhox Maulers. It also allowed me to dump Flameshadow Conjuring, which I was running as a one-of. Without Gaea's Revenge, it wasn't doing enough anymore. Double Gaea's did pull some games out of nowhere though. I will miss that.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:52 pm 
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Blue,

Good job on your weekly post. However, having tried it for 15 games today, I think you overestimate your Golgari deck from this week. It does a great job once it establishes control, but it has a hard time getting to that point. The deck needs some hard hitting creatures, something to put the opponent on a clock. Also, I had serious mana issues with the deck in 11 of those games, which is odd since I use the same amount in my Golgari Control.

Maybe it is a meta difference?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Kryder wrote:
Blue,

Good job on your weekly post. However, having tried it for 15 games today, I think you overestimate your Golgari deck from this week. It does a great job once it establishes control, but it has a hard time getting to that point. The deck needs some hard hitting creatures, something to put the opponent on a clock. Also, I had serious mana issues with the deck in 11 of those games, which is odd since I use the same amount in my Golgari Control.

Maybe it is a meta difference?


The different platforms supporting different Metas is interesting. Though I simply find it implausible to put up records of 60-4 (or whatever it is) just due to the occasional land screw/flood and or opponent having a perfect hand. But, I'm sure many players are simply that much better than I am, that much better than the field? Well kudos to those who can do it.

Be nice if they were able to let different platforms play against each other though, like MMDoC, though they just dropped support for ios, but meh, that's probably a good decision considering how poorly their devs are handling things :(


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:58 pm 
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Kryder wrote:
Blue,

Good job on your weekly post. However, having tried it for 15 games today, I think you overestimate your Golgari deck from this week. It does a great job once it establishes control, but it has a hard time getting to that point. The deck needs some hard hitting creatures, something to put the opponent on a clock. Also, I had serious mana issues with the deck in 11 of those games, which is odd since I use the same amount in my Golgari Control.

Maybe it is a meta difference?


I'm getting the same issues personally. The Biggins help close games.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:32 pm 
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I can't get Gruel Monsters to win a single match on Xbox one


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:36 pm 
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I can't get Gruel Monsters to win a single match on Xbox one


Huh? I've rocking the Trample when I'm not rocking Golgari.

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