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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 1:12 am 
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Since I now have a few decklists posted on here, I figured I'd group together the ones I think are playable so that if people enjoy one of them, they can find the others. Common themes include a very careful attention to mana base details, a preference for proactive threats over reactive answers, and a hatred for aggro decks that can't beat a sweeper. My decks are built for Rank 40 competitive from a complete card pool.


Kaladesh

Naya Superfriends (Midrange)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10305&p=511336#p511336

Superfriends returns! Mana fixing, sweepers, some big bodies, and a pile of Walkers. With the move towards vehicles and haste, most of the sorcery speed removal has been dropped in favor of more creature interaction. Small vehicle subtheme, on the back of a playset of Veteran Motorists to fix your draws. Very reminiscent of my SoI 6/6 Walkers deck.


Gruul 'Em Out (Midrange)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10296&p=507154#p507837

A midrange deck running the quintessential midrange plan: play individually bigger and better permanents than your opponent on curve, and beat them down before they can burn you out or stabilize the board. Key features include a variety of haste, trample, and flying threats, most of which are resistant to either single target or mass removal. This deck has one of the smoothest mana bases in the format; losing to your own lands is a very rare occurrence. Combined with the lack of synergy requirements, this means that almost every hand with lands and spells is a keep.


Abzan Delirium (Midrange-Control)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10311&p=510974#p510237

Trying to maximize the value of Grapple with the Past and Filigree Familiar. Gets a lot of its power from Distended Mindbender, and does get to play some of the best removal in the format. Unfortunately, it's a little light on pressure, which can make opposing walkers difficult to handle, and burn difficult to race.


Jeskai Creatureless Control (Control)
viewtopic.php?p=502424#p502424

A shell built around the wonder that is Harnessed Lightning, Glimmer of Genius, and Aether Hub. Hold up counterspells, never tap out. Beats up on a lot of things, gets destroyed by Aggro. I hate playing counterspells unless I'm forced to, though, so I haven't played this deck since I built it.



Eldritch Moon

Jund "Delirium" (Midrange-Control)
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=15624&start=20#p481193

A very powerful graveyard enabling deck. Styled after some of the best decks from Pro Tour EMN. Benefits from having a lot of ways to search for and recur individual cards, giving it a mini-toolbox of creatures alongside some efficient removal and powerful end-game plays.


Abzan Control (Control)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10311&p=481060#p475626

The evolution of 4-Color Walkers for a new format. Tons of powerful threats and targeted removal; sometimes struggles against tempo decks because it has trouble casting two spells a turn.


Angel Delirium (Ramp-Control)
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=15624&start=140#p486568

An attempt to go over the top of everybody, once and for all. Bruna, the Fading Light and Emeria Shepherd can each return the other, at which point Emeria can return the rest of the graveyard, including a number of Walkers and other troublesome creatures. Delirium supports Gnarlwood Dryad and Ishkanah, Grafwidow who are both fantastic defensive plays.


Flash Tempo (Aggro-Control)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10298&p=477900#p477900

An update to the SoI Flash Wolves deck, tuning it to be much more aggressive and instant speed. Very good against decks casting one big spell a turn. Excels at tapping down blockers and countering payoffs.


Mono-White Humans (Aggro)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10291&p=475847#p475721

The most aggressive deck you can play in this card pool, I think. Folds to sweepers sometimes, but brings the beats incredibly hard and fast.


Shadows over Innistrad

6/6 Walkers (Midrange)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10505&p=448641#p448641

I think this is one of the strongest decks right now, it just runs over anybody doing anything off the beaten path. Every threat is enormous and above the curve, it has unconditional sweepers, and it can reliably chump-block into wraths to kill mono-W humans while taking minimal damage. Weak to counterspell control.


Walkers.dec (Midrange-Control)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10312&p=450928#p450928

Even more Planeswalkers, with a lower curve and a focus on protecting the walkers for massive value. The creature base is literally Bant Aggro from Standard. Tons of card selection and only 25 lands makes the deck feel pretty consistent for five colors.


Counter-Wolves (Control)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10298&p=448548#p446730

A deck reasonably tuned to fight many versions of 4-CC Walkers/Ramp, and one of the higher quality counterspell decks around. Very good introductory control deck; does nothing fancy, but does it well.


Flash Creatures (Midrange)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10289&p=446490#p446490

Enjoy the tempo of my Counter-Wolves deck, but prefer not to play counterspells? Colorless offers a similarly effective disruption package alongside the same efficient green threats and flash creatures. Not sure which deck is better - probably the Counter-Wolves deck - but some of us aren't very good at playing control.


Fireball Ramp (Ramp)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10296&p=445920#p445048

Tuned as a ramp deck specifically to fight the Rank 40 meta, it does well against Bant, Abzan, 4-CC Walkers, and Mill. A little soft to the most aggressive decks, but otherwise solid. Feels better in general than Colorless Ramp or Geist Ramp, although those might be favored in the mirror.


Pump Spells (Aggro)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10289&p=453186#p453186

My attempt to build a fast aggro deck that can play around (and over) blockers. Goes wide as cheaply as possible before throwing down one of it's seven Become Immense impersonations, with the ability to gain trample at instant speed if needed.


All Spells (Control)
viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10294&p=448588#p446907

A work in progress; counter everything with a few removal spells to catch the few threats that slip through, then Rise from the Tides at instant speed to crack back for lethal out of nowhere. Not (yet) as competitive as my other decks, but it will win games.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:06 pm, edited 27 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 3:00 pm 
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We were talking about tireless tracker and advocate in the stream last night, in the context of Bellower. As bonkers as advocate is for two, I really prefer Tracker for its ability to improve topdecks. That card commands respect from opponent even more than Bygone Bishop does.

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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:34 pm 
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Oh, I agree completely; my 6/6 Walkers deck can invalidate Sylvan Advocate, but I don't think any deck in the game right now can invalidate Tireless Tracker. If it doesn't die, it wins the game just by being there. It's the single biggest source of card advantage in Duels, while also being a strong threat, for the cost of three mana and playing lands in your deck. Without any prison decks or (reasonably constructed) degenerate combo decks in the format, card advantage wins games. Even the cheap removal of this format hits creatures with 3 or less power, creatures with 2 or less toughness, and creatures that enter combat - all of which tracker can easily avoid.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:10 am 
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Updated with GW aggro deck.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:01 pm 
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As I plan to play a lot of Overwatch today, I don't have time to fully test / tweak the deck concept I had. But I think the core is interesting enough that I'll leave it here for others to improve.

Thought of the day: Esper Control is a strong deck because it blanks so many cards from the opponent. If your opponent plays small creatures / removal / ramp / pump spells / auras, you simply don't care. This enables you to counter most "real" threats with a few choice counterspells, and strand the rest of their hand. But what if - rather than being tricky with flash creatures or counters of our own - we just played a deck where every single non-land card was a threat that needed to be countered?

Now, you'll immediately notice a few problems. Problem one: Esper doesn't take *forever* to win. If my threats are all 6-10 mana, I'm probably not going to get them all out in time. Problem two: Esper is not the only deck in the meta. I'll need a stable enough creature base to tussle with other midrange decks, ramp decks, etc. Problem three: I just said no non-threat cards. That means no removal. Aggro will be a touch troublesome.

Here's my attempt to solve those problems in a coherent strategy:

Bant Eldrazi ()
"My Mana Base is a Trash Fire"
(Midrange)

Threats
2x Sylvan Advocate
3x Duskwatch Recruiter/Krallenhorde Howler
2x Eldrazi Displacer
4x Eldrazi Skyspawner
1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist
2x Tireless Tracker
3x Reflector Mage
2x Thought-Knot Seer
1x Conclave Naturalists
2x Reality Smasher
2x Drowner of Hope
1x Greenwarden of Murasa
1x Oblivion Sower
1x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

Non-Threats
2x Oath of Nissa
3x Pulse of Murasa
1x Angelic Purge
2x From Beyond

Lands (25)
4x Forest
1x Plains
1x Island
1x Wastes
4x Evolving Wilds
2x Warped Landscape
1x Westvale Abbey/Ormendahl, Profane Prince
3x Blighted Steppe
2x Prairie Stream
2x Hinterland Harbor
2x Glacial Fortress
2x Sunpetal Grove


Notes:

First, as you can tell by the subtitle, the mana base is a trash fire. Your lands come into play tapped, sometimes you miss colors... it's not pretty. Most of your mulligans will be mana based. But with that cost comes some benefit.

I said no non-threat cards. Okay, couldn't do that - but I did come close. Only one card in the deck - a singleton Angelic Purge - neither is a threat nor tutors for a threat. Also, the three Reflector Mages aren't super threatening. Still, 31-34 out of 35 isn't bad. We're also playing all the hits minus Avacyn in the creature slot, and get to play with Displacer, who wrecks creature combat and blanks any removal spell not aimed at it. Even our "small" threats like Duskwatch gain us card advantage.

Midrange matchup looks okay. Our answer to board stalls is Displacer / Drowner of Hope / Ulamog - any of the three will do - and we can tutor them all with From Beyond as well as find them off Oath, Duskwatch, Pulse of Murasa, and Greenwarden. Against ramp, we have almost as good a top end, with a lot less fluff; we top deck incredibly better than they do and they can't punish our early mana stumbles. We can also tutor Ulamog more reliably if it comes to that.

What about aggro? How do we beat them without removal? Simple: this deck has six (!?) sources of massive lifegain (Pulse x3, Blighted Steppe x3). Pulse can even return the Blighted Steppe itself. We're also playing a creature base that's very effective at blocking and stalling.

So, if somebody can fix up that mana base, I think there's something good going on here. Early testing looked positive. Might also need another way to clear out enchantments/artifacts - currently we only have two pre-Ulamog (Angelic Purge and Conclave Naturalists) and only the Naturalists are reliably tutor-able with our card selection.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:42 am 
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To me it seems like the deck would hate having no green mana in the starting hand. On the other I feel like the fixing on Warped Landscape is too expensive to be worth it and you do have some additional colorless sources for a t4 Thought-Knot Seer or Reality Smasher in the Skyspawners.
So, my idea would be to cut the Warped Landscapes for Lumbering Falls, Canopy Vista or one of each, depending on what you think the deck needs more.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:33 am 
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In response to some questions, here's a rough outline for how I'd build a 75 card Walkers deck.

Five Color Super Friends ()
(Midrange-Control)

Creatures
2x Sylvan Advocate
2x Tireless Tracker
1x Reclamation Sage
3x Reflector Mage
1x Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn, the Purifier
1x Woodland Bellower

Planeswalkers
1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy/Jace, Telepath Unbound
1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist
1x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1x Nahiri, the Harbinger
1x Arlinn Kord/Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon
1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets
1x Ob Nixilis Reignited
1x Chandra, Flamecaller
1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis

Removal
2x Anguished Unmaking
2x Planar Outburst

Mana Fixing/Utility
2x Oath of Nissa
4x Sylvan Ranger
3x Telling Time
2x Oath of Gideon

Lands (25)
3x Plains
2x Island
2x Swamp
2x Mountain
5x Forest
4x Evolving Wilds

1x Rootbound Crag
2x Hinterland Harbor
2x Sunpetal Grove

1x Sunken Hollow
1x Prairie Stream


Sideboard
2x Lumbering Falls
3x Dispel
1x Pulse of Murasa
1x Angelic Purge
2x Radiant Flames
2x Woodland Wanderer
2x Tragic Arrogance
2x Gaea's Revenge



Esper Control
Out: 1x Plains, 1x Reclamation Sage, 3x Reflector Mage, 2x Oath of Gideon, 2x Planar Outburst
In: 2x Lumbering Falls, 3x Dispel, 2x Woodland Wanderer, 2x Gaea’s Revenge

Aggro
Out: 1x Swamp, 1x Sunken Hollow, 3x Telling Time, 1x Reclamation Sage, 2x Anguished Unmaking, 1x Ob Nixilis Reignited, 1x Woodland Bellower
In: 2x Lumbering Falls, 1x Pulse of Murasa, 1x Angelic Purge, 2x Radiant Flames, 2x Woodland Wanderer, 2x Tragic Arrogance

Walkers
Out: 1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, 2x Reflector Mage, 2x Planar Outburst
In: 1x Angelic Purge, 2x Woodland Wanderer, 2x Tragic Arrogance

Mill
Out: 1x Sunken Hollow, 1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, 3x Reflector Mage, 1x Oath of Gideon, 1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, 1x Ob Nixilis, Reignited, 2x Planar Outburst
In: 2x Lumbering Falls, 3x Dispel, 1x Angelic Purge, 2x Woodland Wanderer, 2x Gaea’s Revenge

Abzan
Out: 1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, 2x Oath of Gideon
In: 1x Pulse of Murasa, 2x Tragic Arrogance

UG/GC Counter Flash
Out: 1x Swamp, 1x Sunken Hollow, 1x Reclamation Sage, 2x Oath of Gideon, 1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, 1x Ob Nixilis, Reignited
In: 2x Lumbering Falls, 3x Dispel, 1x Pulse of Murasa, 1x Tragic Arrogance

UW Counter Flash / UW Fliers
Out: 1x Swamp, 1x Sunken Hollow, 1x Reclamation Sage, 2x Oath of Gideon, 1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, 1x Ob Nixilis, Reignited, 1x Woodland Bellower
In: 2x Lumbering Falls, 2x Dispel, 1x Pulse of Murasa, 2x Radiant Flames, 1x Tragic Arrogance

Ramp
Out: 1x Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, 2x Oath of Gideon, 1x Jace, Unraveler of Secrets, 1x Planar Outburst
In: 1x Angelic Purge, 2x Woodland Wanderer, 2x Tragic Arrogance

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:12 pm 
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Out: 15 cards

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:40 am 
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Zerris wrote:
In response to some questions, here's a rough outline for how I'd build a 75 card Walkers deck.


Attachments:
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:13 am 
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I'll just assume you're all trolls as opposed to people who can't read the word "sideboard" and count to 60+15.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:34 am 
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I just assumed that word was a mistake because why would you waste time making a sideboard and sideboarding guide for Duels?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:53 am 
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The new Xbox tournament will allow sideboarding.

When you assume, you make an "ass" of "u" and "me."


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:02 am 
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HenWen wrote:
The new Xbox tournament will allow sideboarding.

When you assume, you make an "ass" of "u" and "me."


You are assuming, HenWen...right now, no the "no sideboard" camp is winning by a vote.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:29 am 
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You will at least allow that Zerris' post was predicated on the assumption that the tournament might allow sideboarding.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:14 am 
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Well I appreciate it Zerris!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:35 pm 
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He said "here's how I would build a 75 card deck". We took him at his word.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:02 pm 
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And now for something completely different! Two-Headed Giant.

I like going bigger than my opponents, which is part of why I enjoy midrange. But THG is a format for extremes and silliness - so let's go as big as possible. It's time to ramp!

Two-Headed Ramp ()
(Ramp, THG)

Creatures
3x Duskwatch Recruiter
2x Eldrazi Displacer
1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer/Nissa, Sage Animist
2x Tireless Tracker
1x Reclamation Sage
1x Archangel Avacyn/Avacyn, the Purifier
3x Conclave Naturalists
1x Linvala, the Preserver
1x Greenwarden of Murasa
1x Woodland Bellower
1x Ulvenwald Hydra
1x Oblivion Sower
1x Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger
1x Kozilek, the Great Distortion
2x Desolation Twin

Ramp
2x Nissa's Pilgrimage
4x Explosive Vegetation
2x Nissa's Renewal

Utility
2x From Beyond
2x Tragic Arrogance

Lands (26)
8x Forest
6x Plains
3x Wastes
4x Evolving Wilds
2x Sunpetal Grove
2x Canopy Vista
1x Rogue's Passage


Concept
The goal is to have the maximum possible number of cards that fulfill two conditions:

1) Even if the opponent has instant speed removal, the card still trades 2-for-1
2) If the opponent doesn't remove it, it generates enough power or card advantage to be a threat on it's own.

Or, phrased another way: every threat should require removal while simultaneously making the removal inefficient.

The tradeoff is that this deck does relatively little before it gets 10+ lands out. As a result, we're obligated to play some amount of ramp, and a few sweepers. But mostly, we're relying on our ally not being as crazy as us, and bringing some interaction. In the early game, our ally fights a losing 1-v-2 and hopefully dies slowly. Once we hit 10 lands, hopefully just before our ally is out of resources, we come out the gates swinging. We then proceed to win the rest of the game even if they never cast another spell.

The only decks that can hang with us in the late game are decks with sources of very high recurring value - basically, enchantments and walkers. This is the reason we have eight sources of enchantment removal (and multiple ways to tutor/recur them). For walkers, we can just attack them down, with the assistance of fliers and Rogue's Passage (tutorable off Ulvenwald Hydra). Counterspells can also be annoying, but every card in this deck is must-counter and all the curve-toppers have effects even if they get countered, which is usually enough.

This also explains some of the odder card choices. Sylvan Advocate is very powerful... but just trades 1-for-1 with removal. By comparison, a Duskwatch Recruiter played on 11 mana draws ~ 2 threats at instant speed before our opponent even gets to react. We also have a bunch of fun interactions with Eldrazi Displacer - Greenwarden is one card from the graveyard per activation, Avacyn gives your team repeated Indestructible at instant speed, Linvala prevents you from losing life, Sage/Concalve gives you repeated removal, and Bellower floods the board. Desolation Twin doesn't see a lot of play, but if you're certain you'll hit 10 mana... it's not a bad card, though clearly the worst of the 10-drops.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:22 pm 
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Updated with EMN deck links.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:06 pm 
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Zerris, Mind share your "very good reason" not playing Tireless Tracker in GW Angel Delirium :P?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:45 pm 
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Didn't have one; it's been added in my latest version of the build - I'll update the link! :p

It now doesn't have Sylvan Advocate, but I have reasons for that; the deck runs no creature lands because it needs untapped mana and basic plains / basic forests. As a result, Sylvan Advocate is just "sometimes big", and Gnarlwood Dryad fulfills that role a lot better on defense. I've also got none of the supporting cast for Sylvan Advocate; there's no Woodland Bellower to fetch it, I don't need elves or allies (but I *do* need humans and angels), and we don't care about attacking early against anything other than T3 Liliana (which Sylvan Advocate is terrible at attacking through anyway) and Mill, for which we have enough answers in a graveyard recursion deck. We don't have his best friend, Shambling Vent.

If you switch the splash to a splash, the Sylvan Advocates should come back, along with 2x Shambling Vent, 2x Hissing Quagmire, 1x Sorin, Grim Nemesis, 2x Anguished Unmaking, and 1x Woodland Bellower. And maybe 2x Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim? Basically, Abzan Control supports the Sylvan Advocate package a lot better than Bant Control does. Bant Aggro/Midrange can still make good use of the vigilance, but that's not my deck.

Is or better? Unsure. I think Tamiyo, Field Researcher is honestly stronger than Sorin, and Reflector Mage is amazing with Bruna. Kiora, Master of the Depths is - for once - fantastic in a deck, with her black equivalent (Liliana, the Last Hope) unplayable for mana reasons. We're also a bit too mana hungry to make good use of the creature land package; this deck can tap out every turn of the game for meaningful board interaction even with 15 lands in play. But it's worth consideration; they're both very good. The splash is probably a no-no; it gets you Nahiri, the Harbinger and basically nothing else.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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