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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:43 am 
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This is my current version of Golgari Midrange I'm playing (mostly Bo3):

Creatures (24):
4 Llanowar Elves
2 Wildgrowth Walker
2 Seekers' Squire
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
4 Jadelight Ranger
2 Midnight Reaper
2 Ravenous Chupacabra
1 Golgari Findbroker
3 Carnage Tyrant

Instant/sorcery (8):
3 Find // Finality
2 Assassin's Trophy
3 Vraska's Contempt

Planeswalker (5):
3 Vivien Reid
2 Karn, Scion of Urza

Land (24):
4 Swamp
8 Forest
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Woodland Cemetery
3 Memorial to Folly

Sideboard:
4 Duress
2 Cast Down
3 Golden Demise
3 Moment of Craving
2 Wildgrowth Walker
1 Assassin's Trophy

Some explanation of choices:
- The explore package has been optimized pre-sideboard to be able to gain some life if needed, but it's not the main intention. You want to smoothen your draws, drop stuff in the graveyard you don't like, and be sure to play a land and a creature to block (or attack) each turn early game. Wildgrowth Walker is nice, but playing it T2 it nearly always dies when it matters most (like against red aggro). 2 more are in she SB if needed.
- 2 Midnight Reaper because it's a very good 3cc creature and we lack those beside Jadelight Ranger. It's more or less a protection against sweepers, and the 3 power can also matter. I may add 1 more if I find room.
- Only 1 Findbroker because I have 3 Memorial to Folly.
- 3 Find // Finality, because 4 is overkill when you start with 2-3 in your opening hand.
- 2 Trophy, it's not a card for the early game, you don't want to give them more early land.
- 3 Vraska's Contempt, because of all those pesky Arclight Phoenix and Rekindling Phoenix. Also makes sure enemy Planeswalkers stay dead.
- 3 Carnage Tyrant because ramping into it is generally just very good, and it's still a very good card vs. midrange and Control.
- 3 Vivian because she is the most powerful Planeswalker for this deck.
- 2 Karn, I like this for the early/mid game card drawing, it's high loyalty count also makes it hard to remove quickly.
- 3 Memorial to Folly since it's very nice to grab some creatures back mid-late game, haven't had an issue yet with the "comes tapped into play"-side when running 3.

Any comments/suggestions are always welcome!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:10 pm 
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I'm running a very similar list; here's some of my thoughts:

-ATM I'm running the very same Explore package like you; I'm considering to cut Seeker's Squire, move Wildgrowth Walker to the SB (and maybe cut their number to 3 total) and add 4 Druid of the Cowl. Casting Vivien or Carnage Tyrant ahead of the curve might just be worth it, and I ended up wanting Walker in basically no match-up besides mono-Red.

-I'm also aboard the Midnight Reaper train, but if I were to run a 7th 3-drop I think it'd be a Thrashing Brontodon. 1 might be enough due to the toolbox-type approach of the deck and generally having a decent amount of answers against artifacts/enchantments, but recurrable hate (plus being another out vs. The Immortal Sun) might be worth it.

- I can see why you'd only run 1 Findbroker, but IMO 3 Folly is too slow. In my experience there's just too many matchups where I want to curve Llanowar Elves -> Jadelight -> Chupacabra, and in that hand I desperately need two untapped B sources. I'm currently on 1 Memorial and strongly think you should never run more than 2.
Also, Findbroker's biggest plus IMO is to recur PWs as well as The Eldest Reborn after sideboard (in addition to Carnage Tyrant, obviously).

-Fully on-board with 3 Find//Finality mainboard.

-My current removal suite is 3 Chupa/1 Cast Down/1 Trophy/2 Contempt; think your split is defensible though. Don't think I'd want to run more than 2 Trophys in my deck in any matchup, though (would replace the SB copy with another Contempt).

-My threats are still very diverse (partly due to not having the cards). That said, I do like 3 Carnage Tyrant (and could see number 4 in the board). Not sure about 3 Vivien; while I agree she is the most powerful Walker, drawing two of her is somewhat awkward in quite some matchups. I'm on 2 copies and it's been good to me.
No experience with Karn (running both Vraskas instead of him; fairly confident 1 Vraska, Golgari Queen is correct, not exactly sure about Vraska, Relic Seeker but favoring 1-2 ATM); how good has he been? Definitely considering him for at least SB purposes.


Your SB looks good; personally I'm higher on Ritual of Soot than Golden Demise (it's close though) and don't like Moment of Craving at all (I see its appeal in some matchups, but at this point I think you're giving up the grindied match-ups too much).
Curious on your stance on sideboarded Doom Whisperer, The Eldest Reborn and Plaguecrafter?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Modulo wrote:
Curious on your stance on sideboarded Doom Whisperer ?
Against what matchup you bring him in?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Hey Modulo thanks for your lengthy reply!

About the explore package: there are a few other fast creature decks besides mono R where a big Wildgrowth Walker + the lifegain can be relevant to reach the mid-game in a better position (Boros, Djin, maybe others). I also tried Druid of the Cowl: I did not like it as much, because it does not allow filtering (no explore), and with the Llanowar Elves I already have some early game acceleration. T5 Carny is still a very difficult situation for many opponents (and even T6 is nice!). Exploring also helps to draw quickly through clumps of land, which seems to happen every so often in Arena. That said if mono R stops appearing completely, we have more room to think of other cards in those slots. I would probably try to go for 4 Seekers Squire first in that case (drop 2 Walkers), more explore = nice.

I can also see the choice for Trashing Brontodon, if not in the main, it could definitely be in the SB, but it heavily depends on the meta: are there worthy targets that need to be removed asap? Experimental Frenzy comes to mind, also the Immortal Sun, possibly other targets. Right now I deal with those by either ignoring them (dangerous, but it does not happen too often) or using a Trophy, but I can see that change.

My 3 Memorial to Folly have never caused me problems yet. I figured I'd go for the max amount and cut some if I'm unhappy, which so far did not happen. If I would get stuck with a tapped land too often I would surely remove 1 or 2. This is also the reason I play just 1 Findbroker, since I already have 3 other ways to bring creatures back (+ 3 F // F). That gave me an opening to try out Karn, which I have to test further to be able to say more about it, but so far it feels like a solid choice. It's hard to remove with creatures due to high loyalty, and we also have creatures to defend it. In a very aggressive meta I think 4 cc Vraska would definitely be better, but in Bo3 you meet more midrange and control (this might change though).

For removal I just love 3 Vraska Contempt, because I ran into unremovable Phoenixes way too often. I guess you could also opt to put some in the SB though.

About the 3 Vivian; she is definitely very very good in this deck in this meta (kills flyers, enchantments, artifacts, lets you draw, then her ultimate = good game). She also gets removed with Contempt and Trophy quite often, hence I included 3 of her, and I have never had an issue with drawing multiples yet. A few of the top lists from GP Lille also took this approach with good result (which is where I got the idea from to run 3 in the 1st place). I don't as yet have my 4th Carny, but once I do I will try out how it runs with 4. So far I have been very happy 95% of the time with it as the end threat of this deck.

About the SB; I'm going to test out Golden Demise after running Soot for some weeks. It's just something to try out, Soot kills all of our small creatures, perhaps with Demise some more can survive? I saw some of the top decks also run Demise, hence I wanted to try it out. Moment of Craving I may replace, it's just a filler for now.

I'm not a fan of The Eldest Reborn anymore: too slow, does not hit a creature of our choice, the mid game discard is often a land, and the 3rd chapter is nice but we already have plenty of ways to get stuff back if needed. Doom Whisperer could be possible, but in what matchups is that better than Carny? Plaguecrafter is also a decent option, I'd have to try it out, I guess against control it would be decent?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:38 pm 
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tmp_tmp wrote:
Modulo wrote:
Curious on your stance on sideboarded Doom Whisperer ?
Against what matchup you bring him in?


I mostly bring him in against mono-Red where a 6/6 flier helps the deck race and most of the typical gameplan (Findbroker and PWs like Karn or Vraska, Relic Seeker) is too slow. Having a guaranteed 6 damage in the air while coming down a turn earlier than Carny is deece against a deck that struggles with killing it efficiently (needs 2 Wizard's Lightning/Lightning Strike to do so; these don't go to the dome if they kill Doom Whisperer).
The other match-up he's great in is Selesnya; flying over a horde of Lifelink tokens is much better than trading for 6 of them (3 if they're buffed).
There's some other match-ups he's doing okay in (mono-Blue, Boros Angels), but mono-R and Selesnya are the big ones for me.

Turbo wrote:
I can also see the choice for Trashing Brontodon, if not in the main, it could definitely be in the SB, but it heavily depends on the meta: are there worthy targets that need to be removed asap? Experimental Frenzy comes to mind, also the Immortal Sun, possibly other targets. Right now I deal with those by either ignoring them (dangerous, but it does not happen too often) or using a Trophy, but I can see that change.


Frenzy, Immortal Sun, Search for Azcanta, Curious Obsession as well as sometimes Ixalan's Binding, Seal Away and Conclave Tribunal are the targets coming to my mind; there's a couple other ones to consider as well (some Golgari decks run Journey to Eternity or The Eldest Reborn sideboard, which is dangerous if it goes off). Another thing to consider is the decent statline - 3/4 is annoying to deal with especially for Red decks (survives Clarion and Lightning Strike). It's definitely niche and competes with other 3-drops, but it's an option.

Reborn is an absolute house in the mirror; killing opposing Carnage Tyrant after they Finalitied your board and denying opposing GY recursion cards the chance to get their good alker/Carnage Tyrant. Like Plaguecrafter I also bring it in against Control (killing a Teferi/Ral with value certainly feels good). That said, that SB slot could easily go to another Carnage Tyrant.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:35 am 
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You make some valid points. I removed the Moment of Craving from my SB to make room for 2x Bronto and a Reborn. Will see in testing how that works out!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:20 pm 
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This thread has been rather dead, but Golgari is very much alive for me (still my main deck in various iterations).

Currently I'm running Bobby Fortanely's list from GP Milwaukee to good success (here is a pretty great article about his stance on the archetype; after my experiences in the past few weeks I agree with basically everything of it).

For convenience, here's the list:
Creatures (23)
4 x Llanowar Elves

2 x Druid of the Cowl
4 x Merfolk Branchwalker

1 x Midnight Reaper
1 x Plaguecrafter
1 x District Guide
4 x Jadelight Ranger

3 x Ravenous Chupacabra

3 x Carnage Tyrant

Spells (14)
2 x Cast Down
1 x Assassin's Trophy

3 x Vraska's Contempt
1 x Karn, Scion of Urza
1 x Vraska, Golgari Queen

3 x Vivien Reid

3 x Find // Finality

Lands (23)
5 x Swamp
8 x Forest
2 x Memorial to Folly
4 x Overgrown Tomb
4 x Woodland Cemetery


Sideboard (15):
4 x Duress
2 x Wildgrowth Walker
1 x Assassin's Trophy
1 x Plaguecrafter
2 x Thrashing Brontodon
2 x Golden Demise
1 x Vraska's Contempt
1 x Carnage Tyrant
1 x Vraska, Golgari Queen



Key points for me:

-Only 2 Wildgrowth Walker in the sideboard: I have had a similar idea a few weeks ago already by sideboarding them only and cut their number down, but was too afraid to make a change as drastic as this. Really happy with it so far, though.

-0 Seeker's Squire: Squire is so much worse than Branchwalker and was mainly in the deck to have critical explore mass to feed up to 4 Wildgrowth Walker. With Walker playing a much smaller role, Squire can take a hike.

-2 Druid of the Cowl: I did run 4 and didn't hate it, but the 8 manadorks I experimented with were too much for the deck, so I rolled back to only 4. 6 seems like a very good compromise.
-More removal: The deck seriously operates off removal, especially with even control decks running creature-based threats like Crackling Drake, Niv-Mizzet, Chromium or Nicol Bolas - and in the matchups vs. red and white it's good anyways.

-1 Vraska, Golgari Queen; 1 Karn: I have basically always felt like 1 Vraska is correct for the deck as a clean answer to History of Benalia, Benalish Marshal, Search for Azcanta and others; not running more than 1 because the +2 is very hard to take advantage of. Karn I have been (and still kind of am) on the fence about; he provides a ton of value but also is very passive; that said he has been good to me.

-3 Vivien: Another jump to make for me; Vivien is obviously good but also tended to get clunky in multiples in my experience, so I ended up running 2 Vivien 1 Vraska, Relic Seeker for most of the time. However, in almost all matchups Vivien is just so much better than Vraska, and with the additional space in the SB for Relic Seeker (because I want access to her in the MUs she's good in) this paved the way for the 3rd copy of my new favourite green Walker.

-0 Golgari Findbroker: I started really high on the card, but gradually came down on it. It ends up being a hard-to-cast, glorified Gravedigger, and that is too slow, especially in a deck where 2 Memorial to Folly and 3 Find // Finality already do the job.

-3 (+1 SB) Carnage Tyrant, 0 Doom Whisperer: Being uncounterable and hexproof is too much better than flying and just hard to kill; and the Surveil is less relevant due to less recursion in the deck.

SB:
-2 Golden Demise, 0 Ritual of Soot: Not killing Druid of the Cowl as well as 3-power Jadelight Ranger has merit.

-0 The Eldest Reborn: This was the cut that pained me the most, and in fact I tried running it instead of the sideboarded Plaguecrafter in the beginning. However, Plaguecrafter ended up just being more consistent and less clunky; and the deck has enough recursion without Reborn.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Am I the only one running Demon of Catastrophe???
I understand it requires a sac that I guess no one wants to do but a 6/6 flyer with trample for 4cmc...
All-star in my deck.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:32 pm 
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A 5 mana 6/6 flying trampler with upside is not good enough for the deck because it gets killed too easily. A 4 mana 6/6 flyiing trampler that requires prior investment is not better.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:12 pm 
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LoL. Ok.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:40 pm 
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Modulo wrote:
This thread has been rather dead, but Golgari is very much alive for me (still my main deck in various iterations).

Currently I'm running Bobby Fortanely's list from GP Milwaukee to good success (here is a pretty great article about his stance on the archetype; after my experiences in the past few weeks I agree with basically everything of it).

For convenience, here's the list:
Creatures (23)
4 x Llanowar Elves

2 x Druid of the Cowl
4 x Merfolk Branchwalker

1 x Midnight Reaper
1 x Plaguecrafter
1 x District Guide
4 x Jadelight Ranger

3 x Ravenous Chupacabra

3 x Carnage Tyrant

Spells (14)
2 x Cast Down
1 x Assassin's Trophy

3 x Vraska's Contempt
1 x Karn, Scion of Urza
1 x Vraska, Golgari Queen

3 x Vivien Reid

3 x Find // Finality

Lands (23)
5 x Swamp
8 x Forest
2 x Memorial to Folly
4 x Overgrown Tomb
4 x Woodland Cemetery


Sideboard (15):
4 x Duress
2 x Wildgrowth Walker
1 x Assassin's Trophy
1 x Plaguecrafter
2 x Thrashing Brontodon
2 x Golden Demise
1 x Vraska's Contempt
1 x Carnage Tyrant
1 x Vraska, Golgari Queen



Key points for me:

-Only 2 Wildgrowth Walker in the sideboard: I have had a similar idea a few weeks ago already by sideboarding them only and cut their number down, but was too afraid to make a change as drastic as this. Really happy with it so far, though.

-0 Seeker's Squire: Squire is so much worse than Branchwalker and was mainly in the deck to have critical explore mass to feed up to 4 Wildgrowth Walker. With Walker playing a much smaller role, Squire can take a hike.

-2 Druid of the Cowl: I did run 4 and didn't hate it, but the 8 manadorks I experimented with were too much for the deck, so I rolled back to only 4. 6 seems like a very good compromise.
-More removal: The deck seriously operates off removal, especially with even control decks running creature-based threats like Crackling Drake, Niv-Mizzet, Chromium or Nicol Bolas - and in the matchups vs. red and white it's good anyways.

-1 Vraska, Golgari Queen; 1 Karn: I have basically always felt like 1 Vraska is correct for the deck as a clean answer to History of Benalia, Benalish Marshal, Search for Azcanta and others; not running more than 1 because the +2 is very hard to take advantage of. Karn I have been (and still kind of am) on the fence about; he provides a ton of value but also is very passive; that said he has been good to me.

-3 Vivien: Another jump to make for me; Vivien is obviously good but also tended to get clunky in multiples in my experience, so I ended up running 2 Vivien 1 Vraska, Relic Seeker for most of the time. However, in almost all matchups Vivien is just so much better than Vraska, and with the additional space in the SB for Relic Seeker (because I want access to her in the MUs she's good in) this paved the way for the 3rd copy of my new favourite green Walker.

-0 Golgari Findbroker: I started really high on the card, but gradually came down on it. It ends up being a hard-to-cast, glorified Gravedigger, and that is too slow, especially in a deck where 2 Memorial to Folly and 3 Find // Finality already do the job.

-3 (+1 SB) Carnage Tyrant, 0 Doom Whisperer: Being uncounterable and hexproof is too much better than flying and just hard to kill; and the Surveil is less relevant due to less recursion in the deck.

SB:
-2 Golden Demise, 0 Ritual of Soot: Not killing Druid of the Cowl as well as 3-power Jadelight Ranger has merit.

-0 The Eldest Reborn: This was the cut that pained me the most, and in fact I tried running it instead of the sideboarded Plaguecrafter in the beginning. However, Plaguecrafter ended up just being more consistent and less clunky; and the deck has enough recursion without Reborn.


Other than Ritual of Soot, I'm running this exact same list. Haven't run into and RDW or heavy control, but I haven't lost yet. About 7 BO3s. Have never subbed in the Walkers or Duress though. I'm sure I'll find a chance for the Duress. Not so sure about Walkers. What to sub in for walkers?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:55 am 
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I'm bringing in Walkers against mono-R, mono-w/Boros Aggro, Phoenix and some other, rare aggressive decks (mono-U Tempo, Merfolk). Not a ton of matchups, but it makes these a lot better.

There's some controversy when to board in Duress; I board them in fairly frequently though (basically everytime I see an Island except for Phoenix/Merfolk; also coming in against GW Tokens and sometimes I board in one or two against the mirror).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:42 pm 
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I think Phyrexian Scriptures is necessary in the SB for Phoenix decks. I only have one though. Usually too slow to stop them if needed, but I don't know what else to do to exile their grave.

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