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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:33 am 
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Hello Duelers!

Yes, CovertGoBlue is back again with my weekly content outpouring where I discuss decks I love and insights I've gained from my hundred-or-so games in just the past week. This last week was a great one for me as I really got to immerse into the game we all love so much! I watched every round of the World Championships (http://tinyurl.com/nzne8gb), I checked out the Battle For Zendikar preview cards, and I played a ton of Duels.

I can't say enough about what YouTube has done for this game. Before YouTube it was so hard to watch Magic, and I don't think I have learned more from any other source as I have from watching Magic. If I could never play the game again, I would still watch with the intensity and passion of the craziest football fans you meet. I love that even our corner of the Magic Universe, where Magic Duels isn't just some gateway for noobs but a format all it's own, has Youtubers who share the next level of the game. It is just awesome, and getting all sentimental about it leaves me warm and fuzzy, but I'll get on with the Duels talk now...

This week I'll discuss my holdover decks from previous weeks briefly, especially where there are no changes, and bring you a new deck from a community member who really knocked it out of the park with his Jund build. We'll get into several of the decks I don't write about much but still play a fair amount, and what I think is holding them back. I'll go on an angry rant about how the Michigan Wolverines, my (American) football team of choice and the source of the "Go Blue" in my name, lost their season opener to Utah. I'll probably sob my eyes out just reliving the trauma...OK maybe I can resist going there. Read on to find out.

The field I played this week was very, very diverse. I saw more Gruul than usual, and turn one Glory Chaser still showed up, but for the most part I couldn't plan or metagame against any particular deck. This lead to some small changes to some decks to add more variety to the removal package and remove some cards that only serve niche rolls.

Shadow Elves - 8-1 - http://tinyurl.com/qhteutw

Changes for this week: - 2 Reclamation Sage, +1 Forest, +1 Swamp.

Upping the lands to reduce the stress from Foundry/Passage and to hit land drop 4 over 80% of the time (if math matters). I finally got past my fear of cards like Thopter Spy Network and Evolutionary Leap, and I'm delighted to report that this deck can still beat those cards if they resolve. You'll see this trend in my other lists also, cutting Reclamation Sage or other narrow cards completely. When the meta is wide open, as it was this week, playing mediocre answer cards in your aggro or midrange deck is a bad choice.

My one loss with Shadow Elves has the dread asterisk next to it, meaning I lost because I misplayed. Elf fans could have seen another undefeated week, sorry!

Red Aggro - 2-3 - http://tinyurl.com/ouaq9rj

From 10-0 to 2-3 and then I stopped playing it. What a stumble! I think the red deck has it's good matchups, particularly Golgari Control. The removal mix has to be great, and if they deck can play around Reave Soul or Fleshbag, it takes out a big chunk of the removal suite. I like the red deck in an Evo Leap meta. In a wide open meta it isn't very good. When you have a higher chance of running into big G/W creatures, Elves and Gruul Monsters the deck isn't nearly as appealing. Mid week I switched over to Red Aura Aggro and saw better results, more to come on that deck.

G/B Control - 10-3 - http://tinyurl.com/pfme6r4

Changes: -2 Gatecreeper Vine, -3 Shadows of the Past, -3 Reclamation Sage, -3 Gravedigger, -1 Forest / +4 Elvish Visionary, +4 Read the Bones, +3 Necromantic Summons, +1 Swamp

I took some losses this week and I made a good amount of changes. One of my losses came to a deck I will discuss more in a bit, and that deck inspired some of the changes. The other two where to Red Aura Aggro and Boros Auras, and in each case they had a great sequence of threats that I didn't answer properly. I have taken some criticism on the boards about my lack of fatties in Golgari Control, and I welcome that, but I am still waiting for the day when my lack of beef costs me a game. It didn't cost me those two losses, those where just great draws of threats vs mediocre draws of answers, and the loss the the yet-to-come deck wasn't for a lack of monsters. In a way I acquiesced by turning Gravediggers into Necro Summons, now I can kill my opponents fatty and use it, and make it fatter in the process. This also made cutting Reclamation Sage easy. Most decks that run Evo Leap also run Reclamation Sage and/or Conclave Naturalists, and several times last week I made the play of "kill your Reclamation Sage, Summons your Sage, kill your Evo Leap". I want to get Read the Bones back into my life. I don't know if it will last, because I love Shadows, by the card advantage off Read the Bones is SO GOOD. The key will be finding a way to manage the deck in such a way that the life loss doesn't cost me the game, especially against Red Aggro which is already a tough matchup.


Sultai Fog Machine - 5-5 - http://tinyurl.com/o7beaey

Changes: -1 Jace, -2 Read the Bones / +3 Telling Time

I said I'd take out Bones when I lost a game to it, well that didn't take too long. I think my competition has figured out how to play against Fog. The deck performed pretty poorly and lost games I don't feel it should lose. It really should have a good edge on control and midrange, but it lost to both this week. I think the build is great, and it isn't far off from what other players have had a lot of success with. I feel like the deck suffers from a wide open meta, it prefers to go against Evo Leap and similar midrange and control decks. It hates burn spells.

Thopters - 7-1 - http://tinyurl.com/qg8tjwf

Changes: -2 Fiery Impulse, -1 Sigil of Valor, -1 Reclusive Artificer, -1 Willbreaker / +1 Ravaging Blaze, +2 Twin Bolt, +2 Exquisite Firecraft, mana base tweaks.

Thopters just keeps being thopters. It is a good and consistent deck. I changed up my answers and situational cards for a more diverse meta. The original build was built to combat other Thopter decks because once upon a time I saw a crazy amount of those. I am happy to get Firecraft back into the deck. I am unsure about the 1-of Ravaging Blaze but I think it is worth a try.

Gruul Monsters - 8-0 - http://tinyurl.com/prk4n3b

Changes: -1 Rogue's Passage, +1 Mountain.

Not messin' with a good thing. When I hear that some players have trouble winning with R/G or think it is easy to beat I am stunned. I think if a deck should be tier one in this current game, it is Gruul Monsters. With nearly every deck I play, I watch my opponent's turn one with an inner monologue going that is similar to "I really want them to be playing X, I really really hope they aren't playing Y". With Gruul Monsters, I don't care at all! There is no deck I am afraid of, I know if I play my cards like a smart person I can beat anything Duels: Origins can throw at me. I commented recently on Duels Diaries Week 8 about the importance of your mindset in Magic, and maybe I win a lot with this deck partly because I feel invincible when I play it.

I also tried a R/G Ramp/Land Destruction deck this week, and it went 4-1. It isn't bad, and you get some lop-sided wins with double Acid Moss into Gaea's Revenge, but I'll stick to my outperforming monsters list for next week.

Time for the new kid on the block.

Sometime last weekend I got a chance to duel with NGA regular Auunj. I always enjoy these opportunities to play NGA readers, and if you want to play me just friend me on iOS, my ID is danno029. NGA members are regularly above-the-curve in Duels ability, so I always count the matches in my results. I knew Auunj was a Jund fan from reading his posts, and when I saw him drop some Jund lands in our first game I was secretly giddy. You see, I never made the Jund control deck work, and after three weeks of failures I decided to stick to Golgari and forget about Jund. But all my Jund lists where Evo Leap decks, and what I was about to face was not an Evo Leap list at all.

I proceeded to get my butt handed to me for the next hour. Auunj easily dispatched Sultai Fog twice, Golgari Control once, and won an intense nail-biter against Thopters where I played around the wrong card and left myself at 4 on the crucial turn, only to be Firecrafted. My initial reaction honestly was "WHAT A LUCKY ##$%%$!!!!". Once I got my polite writer persona back into place, I sent Auunj the following email -

"...your deck loves you. Can you send me a list? I want to know if it loves anyone else."

The deck loves me too.

Auunj Jund - 16-1 - http://tinyurl.com/ousf5sf

The only loss shouldn't even be counted. It was to a G/W enchantments deck that played 2x Zendikar's Roil, 3x Valor of Akros, 1x Sigil of the Empty Throne. It was the hardest "hard counter" to borrow a term mobius uses. I tested the GW deck a lot afterwards and found it to be a pile of garbage against any other deck in the format, but it was the perfect foil to this Jund list. Anyway, back to the Jund deck.

I only changed two cards from the list I received. I took out Chandra and added one Reave Soul. I tried a lot of cards in that spot and for now I have settled on one more removal spell. I also removed one Forest and added a Rakdos Guildgate, because I felt the mana sources were off. I don't like 24 lands in a deck that goes up to seven drops, but I can't argue with results, I have played 17 games and Auunj crushed me in four games, and I haven't seen the deck die because of failing to find land.

This deck forgoes the Evo Leap value package completely and just kills the opponent. The only green cards are Nissa and Gaea's Revenge. This is probably the closest thing to pure control I can actually vouch for, because it plays the old-school control game of kill all your stuff, and I mean ALL YOUR STUFF, and beat you with one big, bad threat (Revenge) that you can't deal with. This deck also has a lot in common with Dodge and Burn in how it turns into a burn deck when faced with a tough card like Thopter Spy Network or Evo Leap. It doesn't even run Reclamation Sage, so when you are faced with a card you can't remove like a powerful enchantment just start going for the burn kill.

This deck is a ton of fun to pilot. It can dig out of situations where you are confident you will lose, and it has some really close games so tight play is rewarded. Calling all YouTubers, I would love to see this on channel Hakeem, mobius, or Legend soon. It is a very good control deck, it is a lot of fun, it wins out-of-nowhere, it rewards good play. All the props in the world to Auunj, thanks for the list and the games. Now let's see if it starts popping up everywhere!

For fun, and since I just now got my caffeine to kick in, I'll share some other decks I am working on. You may get the impression that I only play with 6-10 decks a week from my posts. Come on, I have way less of a life than that! I play 20 - 30 decks every week and only write about the big winners. This week alone I have results from 119 games in my notebook, and I have 13450 gold with nothing to spend it on (come on Zendikar!!!!). If I write that I don't think a deck-type is good, believe me, it isn't because I haven't tried it. Anyway, here are some other decks and results -

Rakdos Midrange - 3-0, if it keeps this up I'll write about it soon. All about the powerful cards, no steal-sac stuff

R/G Moss - 4-1, basically a land destruction/ramp deck that can have some really lopsided games

White Aggro - 3-1, still great for grinding, still not what I want to play in 1v1

Simic Monsters - 2-1, Think of this list as Gruul Monsters with bounce instead of burn.

GW Aggro - 6-4, I feel like playing G/W aggro is like playing a very good draft deck in standard. It really doesn't have the right power level, renown is just not that great. Maybe if renown creatures gained hexproof when they went renown it would be good. Wizards, make that card!

Dimir Reanimator - 4-2 - Even turn 5 10/7 Gaea's Revenge is no guarantee of victory, what a shame.

Red Aura Aggro - 7-1 - It's on track to dethrone my Red Aggro deck, you may read about this one next week. There appears to be a weakness in the format to turn one dork, turn two aura in red.

Jund Elves/Elvish Bonds - 7-2. Trying different takes on Elves, including burn-based and card-advantage based approaches. I still find Shadow Elves to be more consistent.

Dimir Control - 6-1 - I think I have a list that is more competitive and more proactive, we'll see how it does next week.

UW Control - 6-0 - I'm optimistic about bringing back one of my favorite deck types, UW control. If the results hold up I'll bring you a list next week.

Just for Lockhammer and my other Golgari advisors, I'll be testing the Lockhammer approved Golgari Control and comparing the results to my own list next week. Look forward to that!

OK, I've spit all my content out of my notebook, through my brain, out my fingers, into the keyboard, over the internets to all of you fine folks, and I'm spent.

Take the Jund deck out if you like control decks, it is awesome. And as always, leave comments, send me lists, challenge me on iOS, play (and watch) more Magic. Have a great week!

<3 CovertGo Blue aka danno029 on iOS Gamecenter

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:57 am 
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Glad you finally found a Jund list you like, I've been surprised that you weren't on board, because I've thought Jund control was excellent for a long time.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:59 am 
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Fascinating stuff! Thank you, as always.

I'm personally relieved to hear you hit a rough patch with the RDW deck, because I copied your 10-0 list from last week a few days ago, went 2-4, and briefly considered quitting Magic. Oddly, I was going to mention that I seemed to do better with an aura heavy RDW deck in the thread for your post last week, but then decided not to.

A bit surprised to see that you've dropped Shadows of the Past from your Golgari Control deck - you really seemed to be a champion of that card.

If you think it looks interesting, I'd be very curious for your opinion of the deck I've had the best success with, an Izzet Prowess mid-range-ish thing, viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10301&start=160#p348761 . It's 13-1 so far, but I'm not sure if that's a fluke or if it's actually decent. It does seem to have a lot of scope for interesting play - it's unusually common to be unsure what line of play is correct in my experience.

P.S. Harbaugh will get them turned around. I just hope he does so in time to beat OSU - I'll be happy if they win that, even if they lose every other game this season!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:07 pm 
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great write up!

Love the Gruel Monsters write up especially. So happy to see that deck being so consistent and I love how you recognize that you fear no decks with it. Awesome.

thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:31 pm 
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great write up!

Love the Gruel Monsters write up especially. So happy to see that deck being so consistent and I love how you recognize that you fear no decks with it. Awesome.

thanks!


stahp you'll give hakeem ideas about midrange again D:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:33 pm 
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shaddap

i got bored at this fantasy football draft thing on wednesday evening and I borrowed my buddy's iPad to play me some Magic 2015. Built a Jund Midrange and went to town. Midrange is a blast to play :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:43 pm 
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No wait no one should play jund control it's terrible!

Blue, ixnay undjay. Shhhhh!
But seriously, good read man like always I'll see around the ios circuit

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:44 pm 
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great write up!

Love the Gruel Monsters write up especially. So happy to see that deck being so consistent and I love how you recognize that you fear no decks with it. Awesome.

thanks!


stahp you'll give hakeem ideas about midrange again D:


BGx midrange was king last year. Naya was certainly good after Thoctar got added, but the black decks were better.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:54 pm 
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shaddap

i got bored at this fantasy football draft thing on wednesday evening and I borrowed my buddy's iPad to play me some Magic 2015. Built a Jund Midrange and went to town. Midrange is a blast to play :)

honestly I can't enjoy playing midrange and ramp decks

I enjoy being the tempo setter way to much to ever just play big fat dudes and hope the opponent can't remove them

but I also like the durdly control decks that just finish using uncounterable burn.

Maybe I just really like the aspects of red (must be the hair color; thnks grandmas)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:58 pm 
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you got irish in your family?! That's why me likes ya

You're thinking like Mobius. I prefer red myself too though. I love midrange, I hate control decks.

I made a control deck yesterday and it took me 21 minutes to lose a game. NO THANKS


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:01 pm 
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My son has red hair, but that's to be expected over here.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:04 pm 
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maybe irish... we don't exactly know where it's from on my dads side (you know the whole armed forces doing what they please in foreign nations thing) and my maternal grandmother is a Scottish-german


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:41 pm 
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Love the write-ups! Every Friday afternoon I'm spamming f5. Can we get a sneak preview of U/W control? That sounds like a lot of fun. I'm glad to see you cut some reclamation sages from your elves. Every game I started I had a sage in-hand and thought 'I don't really need this right now.'


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:43 pm 
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all reclamation sages can be replaced by anything with trample


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:10 pm 
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Fascinating read as usual, thank you. Also, I'm jealous at your lack of a life, wish I could play that much :D

Considering that Jund list is a control deck at heart, shouldn't you consider enchantment removal for those EvoLeaps, Thopter Networks, Sigil of the Empty Throne or Zendikar's Roil? How confident are you about the deck's ability to burn them out, when they negate your removal with EvoLeap or start spawning tokens?
Maybe the burn works and it can transition well enough, I don't know.

I'd like to see a return of the enchantments deck, possibly Abzan, Selesnya or Azorius.

I'm also interested in the midrange Rakdos deck without sac/steal shenanigans.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:49 pm 
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Magic is life, it is we who have no lives.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:05 pm 
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i got bored at this fantasy football draft thing on wednesday evening and I borrowed my buddy's iPad to play me some Magic 2015. Built a Jund Midrange and went to town. Midrange is a blast to play :)


Barney, you should've told me you were playing 2015 recently.We could've got a few games in with the graveyard deck. Spider + Craterhoof and/or Lab Maniac. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:07 pm 
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That sounds awful


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:14 pm 
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maybe irish... we don't exactly know where it's from on my dads side (you know the whole armed forces doing what they please in foreign nations thing) and my maternal grandmother is a Scottish-german


Key word there: Scottish.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:24 pm 
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Alright Blue, I want that Jund Deck to work. I love Golgari, so anything GBX is great! I am really looking forward to your result with my Deck. The biggins matter. It closes a game faster and gives you bodies to do terrible things. I am running on an 30+ Winning Streak vs hard AI as I keep hording my coin pile faster than Smaug coked out on gold dust. Might take a small bit to adjust, but it constant ramps into the fatties, with and without Evolpea. Biggest thing is getting 3 Swamps and 2 Forest in any combo. And land after mana fixing is icing on the cake. My Vines I am almost always pulling gates you can drop with a Visionary, Myr, or Vine on turn three. Lately I am getting Erebos down by turn 4 and get to work. He is a beast once we get going with alot of removal to back him up. Just a few tips and tricks on my play style. I have found great success with Lockedown by doing this.

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