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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:29 pm 
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I am actually surprised how the metagame seems to diversify a bit again; there might just be one or two more viable strategies that I haven't given credit to in this thread. Expect an update to mono-Black as well as a GB Delirium and a Mardu Control list.

In the meantime, let's take a look at a basic concept that hasn't gotten much attention:

Shifting Gears: How to adapt decks to your liking. (Example: Mardu Vehicles)

Let's say you have a deck that you like, but that you want to optimize so it works better. Or you found a decklist online that seems sweet, but you really want to fit your own card into that deck. How do you do that?

The easiest way would be to just slam the card into your deck and call it a day. This is bad, since you exceed the minimal deck size, making it less likely to draw your best cards/hands. Thus, we have to find an appropriate cut for the card(s) we would like to add.
Furthermore, you will sometimes need to adapt the manabase in order to cast your new addition to the deck reliably.
And finally, when you have changed the manabase, make sure to adapt your deck to the new manabase.

Sounds fine and dandy? Let's take this for a spin on a real decklist, like the Mardu Vehicles decklist I've posted in the OP.

Creatures (21)
1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
2 x Toolcraft Exemplar
3 x Inventor's Apprentice

2 x Sram, Senior Edificer
2 x Selfless Spirit
3 x Veteran Motorist
2 x Scrapheap Scrounger

2 x Thalia, Heretic Cathar
2 x Pia Nalaar
2 x Depala, Pilot Exemplar

Vehicles (7):
2 x Smuggler's Copter
1 x Heart of Kiran

2 x Aethersphere Harvester
2 x Cultivator's Caravan

Planeswalkers (2):
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Instants (7):
4 x Shock
3 x Unlicensed Disintegration

Lands (23):
6 x Plains
4 x Mountain
2 x Needle Spires
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Clifftop Retreat
2 x Dragonskull Summit
2 x Isolated Chapel
3 x Aether Hub


We might want to make some additions to the list. Fatal Push seems like a great early-game removal spell as it hits more targets (for example opposing Copters). Skysovereign, Consul Flagship is a great curve-topper that this list is lacking; and if we bump the curve up to 5, we might as well include Archangel Avacyn as a nice way to protect our creatures/vehicles from removal. And finally, Walking Ballista is a flexible artifact creature that can turn on our artifact synergies, trigger Revolt for Fatal Push and provide an instant body for our Scrapheap Scrounger to re-enter play.

So, what are our cuts?
Fatal Push will go over the Shocks, which would otherwise be our removal options. We don't quite know what to do with the fourth Shock slot yet; maybe we'll use that slot to add a 24th land.
Skysovereign would be an additional Vehicle, which doesn't seem amazing. 7 Vehicles already are plenty, so we should probably cut the weakest one of them. Given that we need Cultivator's Caravan for manafixing, that weakest Vehicles is probably Aethersphere Harvester. Avacyn could be included in the second of these slots.
Finally, Walking Ballista will enter the deck instead of Sram. Sram has been a filler card anyways; and it has just gotten worse considering we've cut down to 6 vehicles.
Thus, our maindeck currently looks like this:

Creatures (22)
2 x Walking Ballista

1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
2 x Toolcraft Exemplar
3 x Inventor's Apprentice

2 x Selfless Spirit
3 x Veteran Motorist
2 x Scrapheap Scrounger

2 x Thalia, Heretic Cathar
2 x Pia Nalaar
2 x Depala, Pilot Exemplar

1 x Archangel Avacyn

Vehicles (6):
2 x Smuggler's Copter
1 x Heart of Kiran

2 x Cultivator's Caravan

1 x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

Planeswalkers (2):
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Instants (6):
3 x Fatal Push
3 x Unlicensed Disintegration


Let us now look at the manabase. We currently have 11 Black sources to cast Unlicensed Disintegration and activate Scrapheap Scrounger's ability. Two of these come online turn 3 at the earliest (Caravans), three of them are volatile sources (Aether Hubs). That is not enough Black sources.
By adding two Shambling Vents, we add two Black sources for a total of 11 sources turn 2. That would not be enough; and since we don't want our manabase to slow down even more by using other taplands or Evolving Wilds, we will begrudgingly add 2 more Swamps to the base. These also help activating Vents reliably lategame, so it's not all bad news; and with a Boros dual land and a Swamp we can still cast every card that costs 2 or less except for Veteran Motorist.
With 2 Vents and 2 Swamps, we now have 27 lands. That is too many, we want to go down to 24. Furthermore; cutting any of the dual lands seems bad; we actively need all the mana sources they provide and most of them can come into play untapped later. Thus, we have to cut three Basics.
Thanks to us adding in Shambling Vents, we added two White sources putting us at a total of 19, so cutting one Plains seems to not be too bad. Cutting more Plains seems horrendous, though; as this further decreases our chances of playing our best 1-drop, which is Toolcraft Exemplar. Thus, we'd have to cut two Mountains, leaving us with this manabase:

Lands (24):
5 x Plains
2 x Swamp
2 x Mountain
2 x Shambling Vent
2 x Needle Spires
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Clifftop Retreat
2 x Dragonskull Summit
2 x Isolated Chapel
3 x Aether Hub


This leaves us with 15 Red sources, 2 of which we only get late, 3 of which are volatile. That is not enough sources to reliably cast Chandra, and it makes our Inventor's Apprentice look a lot worse as we no longer can reliably play Apprentice plus another red card (for example, Pia Nalaar).

There are two solutions to this problem. One would be cutting our manlands for Evolving Wilds. This would add two Red and two Black sources to the deck, meaning we can cut one of the Swamps to re-add a Mountain. This leaves us at 18 sources for Chandra while hitting the important thresholds for Black; also this accelerates our manabase slightly as our other duals come into play untapped more often (benefitting Veteran Motorist).
However, the manlands are one of the few manasinks in the deck and the deck is prone to flooding. Also, neither Chandra nor Inventor's Apprentice are the best cards in the deck anyways. So, why not keep our eye out for cards to replace them as well?

For example, Anguished Unmaking is another great removal spell that hits basically anything we want. We're still aggressive enough that the lifeloss doesn't matter to us that much; and we appreciate its ability to deal with problematic cards.
The loss of Inventor's Apprentice as a 1-drop can be made up for by including Bomat Courier, a nice and aggressive little critter that can run away with card advantage given the chance; and can be cast off 12 lands turn 1. However, we have also gone a bit more mid-rangey and might add more cards to represent that. For example, we could add more Walkers like Nahiri, the Harbinger and Sorin, Grim Nemesis.
Or, we could utilize a novelty card. Sram's Expertise has never really found a home; but here it can rebuild after a sweeper, cast 85% of our nonland cards off its secondary clause and crew any of our Vehicles on its lonesome (2 of them if you trigger its secondary clause).

This list still needs to be tested, but that would be how it looks:

Creatures (19)
2 x Walking Ballista

1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
2 x Toolcraft Exemplar

2 x Selfless Spirit
3 x Veteran Motorist
2 x Scrapheap Scrounger

2 x Thalia, Heretic Cathar
2 x Pia Nalaar
2 x Depala, Pilot Exemplar

1 x Archangel Avacyn

Vehicles (6):
2 x Smuggler's Copter
1 x Heart of Kiran

2 x Cultivator's Caravan

1 x Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

Planeswalkers (1):
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Instants and Sorceries (10):
3 x Fatal Push

2 x Anguished Unmaking
3 x Unlicensed Disintegration

2 x Sram's Expertise

Lands (24):
5 x Plains
2 x Mountain
2 x Swamp
2 x Shambling Vent
2 x Needle Spires
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Clifftop Retreat
2 x Dragonskull Summit
2 x Isolated Chapel
3 x Aether Hub



I hope this little article could give you a slight idea on how to adapt decklists.


The discussion on how to turn Mardu Vehicles into a more mid-rangey deck as well as the recent changes to Standard Mardu made me rethink the list, I figured I might as well formulate my thoughts into this small article here.
As stated, the decklist posted is not tested yet (mainly Sram's Expertise), so I'd like to hear your input on that matter.
Also; do you think the article would be helpful if posted outside of here, or do you think it's too specific/basic/whatever to be useful in a more generic context?

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Last edited by Modulo on Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:50 pm 
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anytime you want to write an article, you should get in touch with Felbatista or any of the mods to get it posted to the Duels article on the front page. I think stuff like this is great. Nicely done.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:20 am 
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I have always been baffled on how anyone knows how many lands or colors are needed. It's like so many here spout numbers as facts and I have never seen any of these rules in duels or any other duels content sites. How can you know what is the best ratio?

I love posts like this that explain the reasoning of making changes and the logic behind it.

I decided to google the statisitical analysis of mana in magic the gathering. After googling for a little while I came across this little gem: http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/frank-analysis-how-many-colored-mana-sources-do-you-need-to-consistently-cast-your-spells/

My eyes have been opened! I have always wondered what the math was behind these numbers that are spouted in posts so often. Now I have seen it, and I can see what I need in any deck I build for whatever turn I need to cast it. This will help sooo much, I never understood it so I could only mimic/guess what I felt was right and while sometimes I was close other times I was off a fair bit.

When you can expect to cast your splash cards.
Image

Knowing double color requirements is the big one for me.
Image

We do have a few triple color required cards.
Image

I am now wondering those that speak about mana numbers are they aware of these equations? If so they have been sitting on it and leaving me and other duels only players wondering "what are you talking about?" when you spout how dumb we are for only running 14 color sources for that turn 3 Liliana.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge Modulo.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:05 am 
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@Sleep: No need to thank me here; especially since you found the article on your own (for some reason I keep thinking people know it already9

Yes, that is exactly the resource I've been basing my manabases on for the last year or so; after Zerris (who I believe is inactive, unfortunately) pointed it out to me.
In the beginning I used to link the article whenever I explained a manabase; after some time I felt like most people would know about it and I didn't want to sound like reiterating a mantra everytime.
That being said, I should probably link the resource in my starting post.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:26 am 
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It was very frustrating not knowing these things I promise you. :lol:
Especially when someone posts negative remarks about your deck because of source numbers like it's common knowledge. I'm telling you this is not common knowledge if you play duels and haven't had someone point out or teach you these things.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:41 am 
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You can also just do the good ole trial and error method. Image

Run some games agaisnt the AI and see how your draws come together; and you and both know how the shuffler can be at times.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:41 am 
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Another good read for vehicle decks, http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/magic-math-kaladesh-smugglers-copter-glint-nest-crane-and-inventors-apprentice/

From the same writer for colored mana sources, he talks about calculating the balance between the number of creatures and vehicles, and the number of artifacts you need for Toolcraft Exemplar/Inventor's Apprentice.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:46 am 
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Thanks for pointing out this article. It is indeed a good resource for some numbers regarding Vehicle decks specifically. Let's check the numbers here.

One thing I want to mention here is that the article a priori only looks at the creature-vehicle ratio. What you really should do is do one general check, and them a check for every single crew cost.
For example: The decklist above runs 6 Vehicles with 22 creatures (counting Gideon and Sram's Expertise as creatures) - check. However, not all of these cards can do a crew 3 by themselves, which is needed for 4 Vehicles. Do we have the 18 cards needed for that? Not quite - we have 17 cards to do that (counting Ballista as 1/1). The reason I think this is fine is that the first Caravan doubles down as a manasource at first, and Skysovereign comes online a tad later as well. Also, our 2-power creatures like Kytheon and Selfless Spirit can be counted as half a crew for them, which would put us at 18.5.

As for the artifact count we barely run the 14 needed, and arguably have less (because Sram's Expertise and Skysovereign come online later than turn 3). I might still be fine with this as this only affects the 2 Toolcrafts (Unlicensed is amazing even without the artifact-matters Text), and there is no other artifact I really want in the deck.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:15 am 
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Looking at your Mardu vehicles list on page 1 and I'll say I don't like it. Problems:

1) You have five 1-drops that really want an artifact on turn 2, and only five 2-mana artifacts to trigger them.
2) You have no easy way to get past a big blocker. A 5/5 Woodland Wanderer for example is "the end" of almost all of your attacks, unless you manage to find an Unlicensed Disintegration. Aethersphere Harvester should be a big issue as well - it gains six life and blocks all your non-Caravan non-Gideon attacks.
3) Your curve tops out at three, with two 4-mana planeswalkers. This is very aggressive. If your opponent stabilizes you have almost no way to go wide or to force through damage. It can't even be that hard to stabilize against you. A couple of early-removals into a Kalitas or Gisela on turn 4 for example is a brick wall you can't break unless you have Unlicensed Disintegration. You can't even remove them easily, and they have the crucial keyword "lifelink".

To be honest it looks to me like you've made a deck strongly inspired by Standard's Mardu vehicles, but without considering the unique Duels card pool. Without the ability to play 4x Heart of Kiran, not only is Toolcraft Exemplar's trigger less powerful, it's also less important (since Toolcraft Exemplar is a 1-drop that could have crewed the Heart).

For suggestions I'd cut some Shocks for Declaration in Stone. I'd drop all the 1-drops save Kytheon for bigger and better 2- or 3- drops. One obvious card I'd use (probably over Sram) is Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, which has more than pulled its weight in my Eldrazi tests. At three mana you could run cards like Always Watching or maybe even Lathnu Hellion. I'd also raise the curve high enough to bring in quality 4-drops. Fleetwheel Cruiser in particular is hugely powerful, and I'd probably include it over either Aethersphere Harvester or Cultivator's Caravan. I would also consider Harnessed Lightning over Shock, especially if you run Glint-Sleeve Siphoner.

My first impressions.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:54 am 
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Hey,

I agree the list on Page 1 is not ideal, my take on optimizing it is found atop of this Page.
Basically, I've cut Shocks for Pushes and a 24th land, Harvesters for Avacyn and Skyboat, Srams for Ballistae (I know you might not agree to that change ;) ) and Apprentice and Chandra for Unmakings and Sram's Expertises.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:33 am 
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I think the list at the top of this page is significantly better, yes. A few comments on it though:

1) You have eight reactive cards. As an aggressive deck, this is too many for my tastes. I would cut the Anguished Unmakings for more threats (where's that Fleetwheel Cruiser?), or cards that buff threats (like Always Watching).
2) I'd use 1-2 Fatal Push and swap the rest to Harnessed Lightning, unless your games resolve into either a win or loss by turn 4. I doubt the deck is that fast, though.
3) I don't understand why you're not running Chandra. The card is too powerful to not run. Even if you're not being overly conservative with your mana like I think you usually are, I would still tweak the mana to make Chandra viable, not otherwise. If anything the weakest colour should be black, since you probably won't need the removal in the earliest turns, and bringing back Scrounger is unnecessary till later as well.
4) Walking Ballista isn't too bad I guess, since you did keep in Toolcraft Exemplar and it's a 2-mana artifact. But it's still not a good card. You'll never be using it as a mana sink because you have so many other mana sinks already (manlands, Pia, Depala). Surely you have better options. Key to the City springs to mind if you desperately need the artifact, although I doubt you do (supporting just two Toolcraft Exemplars also would be unusual) so I'd use Glint-Sleeve Siphoner here.
5) I would cut Sram's. The 1/1s are too small to be effective or relevant (your big problem is likely to be a single big blocker), and your other cards aren't really go-wide options.

Btw I'll say from first impressions I think the Eldrazi deck is better than this one. The curve is simply stronger. The six colourless cards at 3-5 mana are all tremendous, especially TKS who not only stops most ground offense from this deck, but also exiles removal that can kill it. This deck also has giant holes at 4- and 5-mana. If the Eldrazi deck doesn't get tempoed out too hard (it has high-quality low drops + cheap removal to compete too), it should be advantaged. Only danger perhaps might be, ironically, the Walking Ballista. The list I currently have has one too many 1-health creatures for comfort.

I'll update the other thread when I get the chance; the latest version cut all the haste creatures for more value, and I think it's become significantly better as a result.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:39 am 
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Banedon wrote:
I think the list at the top of this page is significantly better, yes. A few comments on it though:

1) You have eight reactive cards. As an aggressive deck, this is too many for my tastes. I would cut the Anguished Unmakings for more threats (where's that Fleetwheel Cruiser?), or cards that buff threats (like Always Watching).
2) I'd use 1-2 Fatal Push and swap the rest to Harnessed Lightning, unless your games resolve into either a win or loss by turn 4. I doubt the deck is that fast, though.
3) I don't understand why you're not running Chandra. The card is too powerful to not run. Even if you're not being overly conservative with your mana like I think you usually are, I would still tweak the mana to make Chandra viable, not otherwise. If anything the weakest colour should be black, since you probably won't need the removal in the earliest turns, and bringing back Scrounger is unnecessary till later as well.
4) Walking Ballista isn't too bad I guess, since you did keep in Toolcraft Exemplar and it's a 2-mana artifact. But it's still not a good card. You'll never be using it as a mana sink because you have so many other mana sinks already (manlands, Pia, Depala). Surely you have better options. Key to the City springs to mind if you desperately need the artifact, although I doubt you do (supporting just two Toolcraft Exemplars also would be unusual) so I'd use Glint-Sleeve Siphoner here.
5) I would cut Sram's. The 1/1s are too small to be effective or relevant (your big problem is likely to be a single big blocker), and your other cards aren't really go-wide options.


1) The deck ran 7 reactive cards before; since we are going slightly less aggressive than the list before I think 8 is fine.
Fleetwheel Cruisers aren't bad, my problem here is that I just think the other 6 Vehicles are better for this deck. 8 Vehicles would definitely be too many I think; 7 might still be okay but I have found that even with 7 you sometimes run out of pilots for them, which is just the worst for the deck.
If I really wanted a buff effect aside from Depala/Motorist, I'd lean towards Chief of the Foundry, as he can crew Vehicles in a cinch; not really sold on him though as I really want my pilots to have 3 power.

2) Push costs 1 mana; Lightning costs 2. I don't really have much use for the energy besides an occasional Aether Hub activation. Why exactly would you think Lightning is better?

3) Tweaking the manabase for Chandra is possible; that would be running 4 Wilds over the manlands and another Mountain over a Swamp. That would also make the manabase a bit faster. Also, while Chandra is not overly synergistic with the deck, I get your argument that she is more powerful than, say, Sram's Expertise.
In that case you could reintroduce Inventor's Apprentice to the deck; over the second Expertise and maybe Anguished Unmaking (Or you could add a Cruiser over the second Expertise and two other threats over Unmaking). I believe I mentioned this possibility in the article above; not easy to say which direction is objectively better.

4) I actually like Ballista as a roleplayer and a checkmark to many boxes it needs to tick. It may not be the most exciting card in the deck, but the deck likes what it offers.
I do like me a Glint-Sleeve Siphoner, but it's not at its best in this deck for three reasons: 1) It wants to attack itself rather than crew Vehicles; 2) Having only 2 power means it can't crew most of my vehicles by itself; 3) the deck runs very little energy support for it (it doesn't need it, but it's still appreciated).
Key to the City is a card I ran in KLD versions of the deck that also utilized Fiery Temper. Without the Temper, it's loot effect is too expensive in general and the ability to make something unblockable is not a high priority as many threats are evasive already.

5) Sram's is a card I wanted to experiment with as I think it fits an interesting roleplayer niche, similar to Walking Ballista. Getting three 1/1 artifact creatures to pilot your Vehicles for effectively 1 mana seems pretty deece. That being said, the card is still in the experimental phase and I could see it being cut (see 3).


Banedon wrote:
Btw I'll say from first impressions I think the Eldrazi deck is better than this one. The curve is simply stronger. The six colourless cards at 3-5 mana are all tremendous, especially TKS who not only stops most ground offense from this deck, but also exiles removal that can kill it. This deck also has giant holes at 4- and 5-mana. If the Eldrazi deck doesn't get tempoed out too hard (it has high-quality low drops + cheap removal to compete too), it should be advantaged. Only danger perhaps might be, ironically, the Walking Ballista. The list I currently have has one too many 1-health creatures for comfort.


I believe this deck's 3-mana plays are a lot better than the 3-mana drazi (Caravan leaving up Push, Thalia, Pia Nalaar), Gideon as well as Sram's into any 3- as well as some 2-drops are better turn 4 plays than TKS (Chandra would be as well), and Skysovereign/Avacyn are stronger plays turn 5 than Smasher. Also, dropping two things turn 4 is generally better for this deck than dropping turn 4 TKS.

Also: "If the Eldrazi deck doesn't get tempoed out too hard [...]" - Push virtually always gives you a tempo advantage, any removal spell against TKS gives you an advantage, Caravan can give you an advantage, Thalia... Tempo is one of Vehicle's strong points IMO.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:16 am 
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Very quick responses -

1) Fleetwheel Cruiser is only half a vehicle; its primary purpose is to provide five trampling haste damage (with the threat to animate later of course).
2) You are not much less aggressive than the previous build - your curve still tops out at five, very few 5-drops even. I'd not run more than 7 reactive cards, although I admit, the Eldrazi list currently has too many threats and too little removal.
3) Tweaking mana base for Chandra (also related to your comments on this vs. the Eldrazi list) - read this: http://www.channelfireball.com/home/sid ... ter-aggro/ I quote:

"In aggro versus aggro, you generally want to increase your curve a little bit and to have some late-game trumps, much like one of the options in the control mirrors."

You are an aggro deck, that should be obvious. However the Eldrazi deck is also an aggro deck. Since it CAN match you in early drops and removal, it is likely to be the last one standing. It's very hard for you to beat a resolved TKS taking your removal for example. It can be at 10 life vs. your 20 life, but it will still win. The way to avoid this is either to go really low to the ground and overrun your opponent, or increase your curve to have some resiliency. With the first option that begs the question, why are you playing this deck? That kind of deck with 18-20 lands really needs haste creatures and burn spells, and you have neither in Mardu vehicles. With the other option, you want 4- and 5-mana cards. Just having 1-3 won't cut it. You've already improved the deck compared to the original in the sense that you now have Skysovereign and Avacyn, but it's not enough; you have one 4-mana card of relevance and only two 5-mana cards (and no burn spells or haste creatures). By turn 4 you'll be doing things like cast Depala while "holding up" Fatal Push while your opponent is doing things like play Gisela or Pia & Kiran Nalaar, which overpowers you. You'll also get to turn 4, because the deck is not fast enough to effectively end games before then. This really looks like half-and-half to me.

tl; dr: I strongly believe you should run Fleetwheel Cruiser, it provides burn spells and is of a significantly stronger threat than your 1-3 mana cards. It does add more vehicles and you already only have 19 creatures, so shave some removal and add more threats, preferably high-power creatures at 3-4 mana.

PS, this is the biggest reason I think the Eldrazi list is better. Colorless provides six cards at 3-4-5 mana. That's tremendous. This isn't a big deal in standard since in that format you can run 4 Heart of Kiran and 4 Toolcraft Exemplars and Mardu vehicles suddenly gets better. But in this format, there's a large vacuum left by the card restrictions, and Eldrazi fills it the best. It doesn't even hurt your mana that much, you are also playing 24 lands and have 2 Cultivator's Caravan to boot ...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:50 am 
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Banedon wrote:
1) Fleetwheel Cruiser is only half a vehicle; its primary purpose is to provide five trampling haste damage (with the threat to animate later of course).
2) You are not much less aggressive than the previous build - your curve still tops out at five, very few 5-drops even. I'd not run more than 7 reactive cards, although I admit, the Eldrazi list currently has too many threats and too little removal.
3) Tweaking mana base for Chandra (also related to your comments on this vs. the Eldrazi list) - read this: http://www.channelfireball.com/home/sid ... ter-aggro/ I quote:

"In aggro versus aggro, you generally want to increase your curve a little bit and to have some late-game trumps, much like one of the options in the control mirrors."


I think the deck is remarkably less aggressive than before. I've cut half of the 1-drops, upped the curve to 5 (whereas it topped at the same number of 4s before) and took out potential burn spells for more reliable removal.
In that vein, I believe the deck wants Fleetwheel Cruiser less than other builds; and Cruiser should be considered as a full Vehicle. The deck is not interested in a 1 mana cheaper Lava Axe that can be interacted with a bit easier, it is interested in things that are threats repeatedly. While Cruiser is that, it needs the same resources that the other Vehicles need, and is a better fit for the more aggressive, burn-oriented shells of Vehicles (which, remember, you propose to move away from).

The article you quoted mostly talks about sideboarding, which has little relevance for Duels except for how to tune your deck against Aggro/Control/whatever. The one passage you took from it basically reiterates the old magic phrase that in a mirror match, the slightly slower deck usually wins. What you don't factor in here is that you are not playing against Aggro all the time; and that by going more mid-range, I will miss out on some of the explosive starts and matchup percentages against slower decks.

Banedon wrote:
You are an aggro deck, that should be obvious. However the Eldrazi deck is also an aggro deck. Since it CAN match you in early drops and removal, it is likely to be the last one standing. It's very hard for you to beat a resolved TKS taking your removal for example. It can be at 10 life vs. your 20 life, but it will still win. The way to avoid this is either to go really low to the ground and overrun your opponent, or increase your curve to have some resiliency. With the first option that begs the question, why are you playing this deck? That kind of deck with 18-20 lands really needs haste creatures and burn spells, and you have neither in Mardu vehicles. With the other option, you want 4- and 5-mana cards. Just having 1-3 won't cut it. You've already improved the deck compared to the original in the sense that you now have Skysovereign and Avacyn, but it's not enough; you have one 4-mana card of relevance and only two 5-mana cards (and no burn spells or haste creatures). By turn 4 you'll be doing things like cast Depala while "holding up" Fatal Push while your opponent is doing things like play Gisela or Pia & Kiran Nalaar, which overpowers you. You'll also get to turn 4, because the deck is not fast enough to effectively end games before then. This really looks like half-and-half to me.


Eldrazi is a midrange deck. The curve you are running bears more similarity to B/G Constrictor than it does to Mardu Vehicles; and B/G Constrictor is very much a midrange deck (no 1-drops, some more 4-and 5-drops).
Being a midrange deck, Eldrazi should have good match-ups against Aggro; for pretty much the reasons you mentioned. I think the conclusion you are drawing is wrong, though. In terms of deck match-ups, Magic is much like Rock-Paper-Scissors. While Midrange may beat Aggro, Aggro has a much better match-up against Combo and Control. And while the metagame currently is slanted towards Aggro, it doesn't mean we don't see the other decks at all.

In this particular case btw I doubt Eldrazi have too great of a match-up against the current version of Vehicles. Beating a resolved TKS is surprisingly easy for Vehicles; just direct one of your 8 removal spells at it (maybe even in response to the cast to get around it taking the removal spell). Also all of the Vehicles can attack despite it being on the battlefield (Skysovereign even enables smaller attackers by shooting 3 damage to TKS). Even Thalia having it enter tapped or Pia making it unable to block are huge nuisances to the TKS plan. Similar thoughts apply to Gisela, though dealing with her is even easier as she doesn't Thoughtseize you. P+K creating chumpblockers is a tad annoying, but nothing the deck can't beat. Smasher is probably your most dangerous card to the deck, but again; that's by virtue of Smasher being a midrange card against an aggro deck.

Banedon wrote:
PS, this is the biggest reason I think the Eldrazi list is better. Colorless provides six cards at 3-4-5 mana. That's tremendous. This isn't a big deal in standard since in that format you can run 4 Heart of Kiran and 4 Toolcraft Exemplars and Mardu vehicles suddenly gets better. But in this format, there's a large vacuum left by the card restrictions, and Eldrazi fills it the best. It doesn't even hurt your mana that much, you are also playing 24 lands and have 2 Cultivator's Caravan to boot ...


Caravans cannot tap for colourless mana. If they did, splashing Colourless off 4 Evolving Wilds and Wastes for TKS and Smasher might be on the table. As it sits, I don't think the manabase can afford to run 3 colourless lands for them, and all of the other colours provide more utility than Colourless.
What you can do is cut Red entirely and move into a midrange deck that just so happens to play Vehicles. And yes, that deck would have a good matchup against Vehicles, by virtue of being a midrange deck which feast on Aggro. This is an entirely different deck from Vehicles though; and since you lose out on the explosive starts (which win games against control) I'm not sure whether this is worth it overall.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Testing for the current version of Mardu has ended.

I found that the deck wants the faster manabase more than the possible manasinks lategame; therefore Evolving Wilds are going to replace the manlands.
Sram's Expertise was okay, but it hasn't convinced me; and surprisingly Skysovereign seemed too clunky in quite some hands.
Thus, these cards will be cut for Chandra, Torch of Defiance (another reason to cut the manlands; the manabase is accustomed well to cast her now) as well as Fleetwheel Cruisers. I don't feel too comfortable going up to 7 Vehicles again, but I didn't see a different 4 mana card I liked and didn't want to lower the curve too far (Also, Cruiser>Harvester since we have enough answers to Copter).

Overall current list:

Creatures + Planeswalkers (21):
2 x Walking Ballista

1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
2 x Toolcraft Exemplar

2 x Selfless Spirit
3 x Veteran Motorist
2 x Scrapheap Scrounger

2 x Thalia, Heretic Cathar
2 x Pia Nalaar
2 x Depala, Pilot Exemplar

1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Chandra, Torch of Defiance

1 x Archangel Avacyn

Vehicles (7):
1 x Heart of Kiran
2 x Smuggler's Copter

2 x Cultivator's Caravan

2 x Fleetwheel Cruiser

Instants (8):
3 x Fatal Push

2 x Anguished Unmaking
3 x Unlicensed Disintegration

Lands (24):
5 x Plains
1 x Swamp
3 x Mountain
2 x Smoldering Marsh
2 x Dragonskull Summit
2 x Isolated Chapel
2 x Clifftop Retreat
3 x Aether Hub
4 x Evolving Wilds

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Huh. So I still have this thread lying around.

Given that we're in the final iteration I should probably use the starting post to just include the decks I'm playing (if I'm playing).

Will move the archive version of the first post here to have a fresh starting post.

Edit: Old post in the spoiler.
Spoiler

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:26 pm 
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hey was that Raggros deck yours from the dimir artifact contest? I forget who build that.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:17 pm 
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hey was that Raggros deck yours from the dimir artifact contest? I forget who build that.


You're getting two contests mixed up here; but the answer is yes.

I did win the Dimir Artifact contest with my submission (named Aggro-facts).
Raggros was my entry to the Rakdos Aggro contest; that contest was win by DJ but you were surprised I didn't get more votes.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:42 pm 
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oh right. one of those decks I have going with a 20 game winsteak right now on the ladder, but I forget which.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:15 am 
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I really enjoyed building those Dimir artifacts decks.

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