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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:03 am 
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Hey,

I joined the club yesterday after spending multiple wildcards. Didn't buy every card, but I'm close to most 60-card-lists.

Spoiler


Only got one run in and though it was successful at 7-2 I'm with you on disliking Migration. Somehow it's the poster child but somehow it's also the least impressive card. Also I'm kind of sick of losing to RDW all the time, so the switch to Thorn Lieutenant sounds good - only have 2 though, same as the Elephant.

However, regarding nut draws. For that you really can't argue with Migration:

t1 Flower / Legion's Landing
t2 Migration
t3 Migration! and Legion's Landing (if not already there) -> Elephant using 5 bodies

The point is that Migration is mana-neutral for Convoke purposes.

So for me with only 2 Elephants, Migration is even weaker than in your deck.

On another point if you wonder why I opted for 1 The Immortal Sun and 1 Carnage Tyrant, that's just for testing purposes to figure out which I like better. When I reach a decision, I'll run 2 of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:39 am 
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Migration into Migration doesn't count, that's requiring such a nut draw it's not a nut draw anymore :D Being convoke neutral is a selling point but as mentioned, even with an anthem, they're still just 2/2's. Yes, 2/2s can have an impact, but they're still just 2/2s. Which deck's creatures do 2/2s tangle well with? At best it's monored & Boros, and but against those a 3/4 Thorn Lieutenant is just as good if not even better (Migration is also an active liability vs. monored if you don't have an anthem). That's it.

Game 1 I don't think Carnage Tyrant is a good idea - you just want to do your thing as much as possible. How's The Immortal Sun working for you though? It is decently uncommon for my game 1s to reach 6 mana; one side is often quite close to being run over by that point.

I also cut the Migrations for Thorn Lieutenants and am not regretting it. Ajani vs. Shalai ... I've only cast Shalai once, and she walked over a monored deck. She's really devastating in that matchup, since opponent can't even burn you anymore. There's an argument that one should run Shalai because control is a bad matchup that's really hard to make good, but monored is a good matchup that can easily go bad. I'm still running one of each right now, but can certainly see going to 2x Shalai with massive anti-control package in sideboard instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:33 am 
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Well, regarding the nut draw, might as well go Legion's Landing into 2-drop (pref Emmara) into t3 Migration + Elephant if you don't want two of the same card :)

Regarding Ajani vs Shalai.. I simply have zero Ajanis. I might have preferred her anyway though. RDW is what I want to beat these days and I'm not yet happy with the matchup.

About the 6-drops, well I only have game 1s, but neither has played a role yet. Not playing much these days ;)

26-13 record in CE as of now (including 4-5 RDW) ..


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:53 am 
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In best-of-1 constructed queues, I think I hit 7 wins more often than not :) Not regretting cutting Saproling Migration. It's the first card out after sideboard in almost all games, and it's deadly weak against monored while Thorn Lieutenant is very good.

I've been siding in Nullhide Ferox vs. almost every deck, but now I'm skeptical about bringing it in against monored and possibly Golgari. The good thing about Ferox is that opponent cannot easily answer it. The bad thing is, they don't have to answer it. They can afford to take several hits while they cast more creatures, and I had one game where the Ferox stopped me from casting Vivien to kill Experimental Frenzy. That didn't end well. Golgari is similar but less clear, since Ferox at least survives Find//Finality and Golden Demise, and they don't have a must-answer threat that can't be attacked with Ferox. Feel things make me feel more stupid though than paying the tax so I can cast other spells, and opponent plays Cast Down.

My 11-card sideboard plan against control has been doing decently, at least vs. Dimir; still need more samples against Jeskai. I might've skimped too much on hate vs other decks though, in particular Drakes since if I can't get enough lifelink going it can kill me in only a few attack steps, and I only have so many removal spells against their fliers. Seriously considering a plan with fewer planeswalkers and more The Immortal Sun, without which I almost auto-lose against Turbofog. My main concern is that TIS can be countered, and without Vivien I don't have as much removal for fliers. I can compensate for less removal for enchantments by playing more Knight of Autumn, but not against the likes of Niv Mizzet and Lyra. I have still only played TIS once and although I won shortly afterwards, I would've won if TIS were Vivien as well. How has TIS worked for you?

Also considering Lyra Dawnbringer somewhere, without this then monored can still be a problem if it sticks a Phoenix while I don't have Conclave Tribunal. Shalai could beat Phoenix in a fight if it's activated once, but it's a somewhat big ask for her to survive and to have six mana. Hmm.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:25 am 
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Sorry I'm not much help yet. Given my record I think I played 5 runs of CE featuring 2 7-2s and 3 runs with an overall 12-9 record.

I can tell you that the Immortal Sun is great from Singleton experience, but I didn't get to resolve it yet in this deck. I have some losses that it could have saved though. Some matches (mirror and similar decks) have been decided by "who draws an anthem first". And since Immortal Sun is on that list, it would have won those games - something that's not true for Carnage Tyrant.

For their actual purpose, the Control matchup I simply lack data.

Oh and Lyra and Vivien avoid me. Last time I saw them were in Momir and Closed beta, respectively.

edit: We need to consider Thrashing Brontodon and Kraul Harpooner as meta-calls for Arena.

Bronto should be better than it's hyped sister Knight of Autumn in most situations. Yes it is worse when the Frenzy you want to hit is already there (higher manacost and no collateral 2/1 body). However it is a great body before Frenzy hits the board that blocks almost every RDW or WW creature and survives any 3-damage-card. You can play him proactively instead of waiting for an opposing enchantment. Only his GG casting cost makes me a bit skeptical.

Harpooner isn't that big a guy, but I suppose I'll try him over my 2 remaining Migrations for it survives 1-damage **** and can snipe some flier every now and then.

Next question: With Migrations gone.. do we keep Elephants? They have some "win more"-stigma. When do they actually win a game?


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Update for me..

Cut the remaining 2 Migrations and 2 Elephants for 2 Brontos and 2 Harpooners. Went 15-5 in 3 events. Yes, that includes a 1-3 where 3 games in a row went south badly ;)

Played Immortal Sun once and it was great. Carnage Tyrant was a no-show.

I almost lost to a WW that played 2 Marshals and 3 Elephants.. almost! Not missing the poor Loxodon so far ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
In best-of-1 constructed queues, I think I hit 7 wins more often than not :) Not regretting cutting Saproling Migration. It's the first card out after sideboard in almost all games, and it's deadly weak against monored while Thorn Lieutenant is very good.

I've been siding in Nullhide Ferox vs. almost every deck, but now I'm skeptical about bringing it in against monored and possibly Golgari. The good thing about Ferox is that opponent cannot easily answer it. The bad thing is, they don't have to answer it. They can afford to take several hits while they cast more creatures, and I had one game where the Ferox stopped me from casting Vivien to kill Experimental Frenzy. That didn't end well. Golgari is similar but less clear, since Ferox at least survives Find//Finality and Golden Demise, and they don't have a must-answer threat that can't be attacked with Ferox. Feel things make me feel more stupid though than paying the tax so I can cast other spells, and opponent plays Cast Down.

My 11-card sideboard plan against control has been doing decently, at least vs. Dimir; still need more samples against Jeskai. I might've skimped too much on hate vs other decks though, in particular Drakes since if I can't get enough lifelink going it can kill me in only a few attack steps, and I only have so many removal spells against their fliers. Seriously considering a plan with fewer planeswalkers and more The Immortal Sun, without which I almost auto-lose against Turbofog. My main concern is that TIS can be countered, and without Vivien I don't have as much removal for fliers. I can compensate for less removal for enchantments by playing more Knight of Autumn, but not against the likes of Niv Mizzet and Lyra. I have still only played TIS once and although I won shortly afterwards, I would've won if TIS were Vivien as well. How has TIS worked for you?

Also considering Lyra Dawnbringer somewhere, without this then monored can still be a problem if it sticks a Phoenix while I don't have Conclave Tribunal. Shalai could beat Phoenix in a fight if it's activated once, but it's a somewhat big ask for her to survive and to have six mana. Hmm.

Since it's a token deck and you're considering Lyra, Resplendent would be a possible must. All depends on what you like, but pooping 5/5 Angel tokens always brightens up my day.

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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:55 am 
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Since it's a token deck and you're considering Lyra, Resplendent would be a possible must. All depends on what you like, but pooping 5/5 Angel tokens always brightens up my day.

I'm afraid that's too cute, just like my pre-release favorite Divine Visitation.

Lyra ends and turns games all by herself. She enters the battlefield and all of a sudden the designated winner can't finish the game anymore. Resplendent Angel is mediocre (by Constructed standards) t3 and doesn't really do her thing until you either have 6 mana or Lyra.

I'm not really familiar with Angel decks, but I suppose that's her place.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:33 am 
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Not a fan of Resplendent Angel either, because it has no synergy with the rest of the deck.

So far my sideboard plan has proven to be very strong vs. control (no surprises there, given I'm sideboarding 11 cards). It might even be enough to swing the matchup to even. However, I lose a lot of mileage vs. other decks, especially the mirror. The positive part of the mirror is that I've yet to meet opponents with real sideboard cards against me (like Settle the Wreckage, Lyra Dawnbringer) but having fewer Knight of Autumn than the opponent is a disadvantage, and besides without a real sideboard plan it's just a crapshoot as to who has the better goldfish draw.

The B/G matchup is also somewhat painful right now. Their best cards are Golden Demise/Ritual of Soot, Find//Finality, and the fact that I need good cards to line up against their threats. For example if they have Doom Whisperer, then my answers are going to be Conclave Tribunal & Vivien Reid. However the former can be killed by their Vivien Reid, while the latter after an immediate minus is vulnerable to dying quickly as well, especially since they're the ones with the sweeper and can overextend without fear while I can't. Even if they can't kill Vivien, they have Vraska's Contempt. Meanwhile I can't easily force my way through their ground creatures to kill their Vivien.

I'm strongly considering TIS again, since it's good in both these matchups. The real question is how badly the control matchup will be impacted. Yeah I still have Nullhide Ferox and Carnage Tyrant, but Vivien & Karn really are some of the best possible threats vs. control. I'm also iffy about cutting Viviens because it'd mean I need more Knight of Autumns as enchantment hate, not to mention I'd have a bigger weakness vs. flyers like Lyra and Doom Whisperer.

Maybe I'll try this sideboard:

4 Nullhide Ferox
2 Carnage Tyrant
3 Vivien Reid - I'm greedy
2 The Immortal Sun
1 Knight of Autumn - Vivien substitutes a little for the enchantment removal
2 Baffling End
1 land

Running Vivien and TIS because as long as one sticks on the battlefield I should be in good shape. +1 land in sideboard, since all these 6-mana cards are not easy to cast. Besides, I find my standard sideboard plan is to cut 2-drops, Loxodon and Legion's Landing, which means a higher curve overall.

By the way, great resource by GP NJ top 8 player Zac Turgeon if anyone's interested: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ARb ... OoESi4WEF4

EDIT: Meh, I only have one TIS, would need to burn a mythic wildcard.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:17 am 
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Selesyna tokens primer, work in progress.

Quote:
1-drops
Legion's Landing - not the best imaginable card but an important role-player. The token has lifelink which can help, it acts as "ramp" for your convoke cards, and if you flip it it becomes a mana sink late-game. Run 3-4. I favour 3 because after turn 1 the value of this card drops quite a lot (don't forget you can still play it before attacking to flip it however), and if you draw two, the second copy is just a Sacred Cat without the embalm.

Flower//Flourish - an important card. Run 4. It's part of your manabase. It's why you can get away with 25 lands and still not flood out late-game. Do remember it's effectively a comes-into-play-tapped land in the early game, i.e. it's free. You can e.g. cast Emmara and still make your land drop with 2 lands in play + a Flower in hand. The only other thing to say is that it's not really a land just like it's not really a spell: if you play Flower to get a land, the number of real lands in your deck goes down. You can't just say your total land count is 25 and run lots of 6-mana sideboard cards for this reason. Otherwise, end-of-turn March into Flourish is one way your games can end out of nowhere.

2-drops
Your 2-drops take some serious consideration outside of the 3x Emmara. In the standard list, you pick two of the first three options below and run 4 of each.

Adanto Vanguard - One of the best cards around against control. Many Jeskai lists don't even have a way to deal with it aside from countering it or with Teferi's -3. Since against these decks your lifetotal barely matters, you can happily pay 4 to make it survive Cleansing Nova, Ritual of Soot, etc. The downside of this card is that it's absurdly bad on defense. In the best case scenario you can trade against a Boros aggro 2/1, in which you still come out behind on tempo. In the medium case, you can chump block the likes of History of Benalia tokens, Ghitu Lavarunner or Seeker's Squire. In the worst case it just dies to Goblin Chainwhirler.

Thorn Lieutenant - This doesn't just block everything mentioned in the previous section, it blocks them advantageously. It's also a late-game mana sink. It's true that with this deck you rarely run out of things with 6 mana, but being able to attack as a 6/7 - big enough to rumble against Lyra, Carnage Tyrant and Doom Whisperer - is still a nice option to have. It's also a great card against monored, since it blocks many of its small creatures and creates 1/1s that block Viashino Pyromancer even if removed. The downside of the card is, it just outright folds to sweepers. With the single exception of Golden Demise, the commonly-played sweepers all kill it.

Saproling Migration - This usually isn't a good card. If you compare to the things that Thorn Lieutenant blocks profitably, an unkicked Saproling Migration barely compares. However, it's convoke neutral - if you're intending to cast Venerated Loxodon for example you can simply play this for free. It's how you surge onto the board before the opponent does. Against that, when it's bad, it's really bad, dying to Goblin Chainwhirler + all the sweepers, fails to block Seeker's Squire, etc.

Emmara, Soul of the Accord - standard convoke card. Run 3 because it's legendary. Don't be too afraid to attack with it - you still make a token (i.e. you can still convoke), and if you e.g. trade this for a Merfolk Trickster you still come out ahead with the token.

Song of Freyalise - this isn't a card I've played with. It seems potentially busted to me, but also potentially very awkward. If you have no creatures then it literally does nothing. On the other hand, if you are able to surge onto the board, it can be one of your best token payoffs - the 3rd chapter even grants temporary indestructibility. If you do run this card, make sure to run lots of 2-drops so you can play out your hand really quickly.

Shanna, Sisay's Legacy - this isn't a card I've played with either, but in theory I'm unimpressed. Sure it can get really big, but it's still dying to most sweepers, including damage-based ones like Golden Demise, Find//Finality and Deafening Clarion.

3-drops
This tends to be less congested simply because there aren't that many good 3-drops.

History of Benalia - 4x of this card is non-negotiable. It's just a very good card: it generates power, bodies, and lots of damage in the third chapter. For you it's even better than normal because 1) you get 2 bodies = 2 convoke mana, and 2) since they have vigilance, you get to attack and then convoke.

Knight of Autumn - standard sideboard card for aggressive matchups where the lifegain matters, or as enchantment removal. It's a great card when it comes in. Notably it's a knight so it's affected by History's 3rd chapter.

Benalish Marshal - another card I've not played with. It's a weaker Trostani Discordant but that's comparing a 5-mana card to a 3-mana card. A downside with Marshal is that everything comes in one body, which is bad not just for convoke but also for attacking (Trostani for example can usually be kept back and still present 4 points of damage; Marshal cannot). Another problem is that requiring WWW is not cheap: you still need at least one green mana to operate.

4-drops
Standard lists pick one of the four-drops and play 2 of them.

Shalai, Voice of Plenty - this isn't a great card, but it's decent. Being a flyer is good since otherwise you have no way to block flyers. However it's not big enough to rumble against the 4-toughness flyers (Tempest Djinn, Drakes) or Lyra. At 6 mana, the mana sink also very rarely comes up, same with Thorn Lieutenant's active. Where Shalai really shines is against monored. Not only are they usually unable to kill it in one spell (beware Fight with Fire, Lava Coil, and Lightning Strike + Goblin Chainwhirler though), it makes you immune to burn. Even Viashino Pyromancer has to nuke themselves.

Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants - the more anti-control option, its main selling point is that it's a planeswalker that survives board clears. The +1 ability is useful not just because you often have creatures on the board; it's also because you make lots of lifelink tokens so +1/+1 counters are more useful than normal. Unfortunately the -2 ability is weaker than normal because you don't have many 2-drops (you run many, but Saproling Migration isn't actually a creature, and Adanto Vanguard tends to stay on the battlefield). The ultimate isn't very relevant but every now and then the board will stall or you'll be able to make enough chump blockers to reach it. You have anthems to pump the tokens from the ultimate, and March of the Multitudes loves it, but it's not game-winning on its own (compared to, say, Jace TMS's ultimate).

Conclave Tribunal - convoke removal that answers everything except flipped lands. Standard lists run all four. Being able to e.g. play Saproling Migration, then boost the tokens with Venerated Loxodon, and then tap Loxodon to cast Conclave Tribunal is very powerful.

5-drops

Vivien Reid - it's rare to see this card maindeck since it doesn't work with your strategy; however it's one of your most potent threats against control. It also removes enchantments.

Trostani Discordant - standard lists run 3. It's a great anthem and makes 3 bodies as well, some of which even have lifelink. The triggered ability isn't usually relevant but occasionally does work against Hostage Taker (you regain the creature if opponent casts it - admittedly savvy opponents will not make that mistake).

March of the Multitudes - your best token maker. Run 4. March into March is disgustingly powerful, and since the tokens even have lifelink you might be able to chump block your way to cast a game-winning Flourish. This combination can easily result in an attack for more than 30 damage. Even a March for 3 tokens isn't terrible since it's instant speed.

6-drops

The Immortal Sun - the only real maindeckable 6-drop. It's great if it resolves and will likely win the game for you eventually. Problem with the card though is that 6 mana is a lot - empirically, you hit 5 mana quite often but 6 is significantly rarer. It's also not that good at advancing your gameplan since it doesn't make creatures. Standard lists run 0. If you run any at all, I'd run one maximum, since drawing two or more copies would be very awkward.

Lands
Your lands are self-explanatory. You have enough colored sources to afford to run Arch. It's not great - I find I seldom have the mana to activate it, the same as other mana sinks - but it's almost free so why not.

Tips & tricks
- You can gang block a creature with all your lifelinkers to get extra life. For example if opponent attacks with a 2/2 and you have 10 lifelink tokens out, you can put all of them in front of the 2/2 and gain 10 life.
- Your total available mana for convoke cards is all your lands + all your creatures.
- Look for opportunities to maximize your mana each turn. A summoning sick creature can still convoke. Plays like Emmara into tap Emmara for convoke and still leave a 1/1 to chump block with are very possible, but you must look out for them. Example: your board is Emmara, Adanto Vanguard, 1/1 lifelink token (from Emmara), 1 Plains, 2 Forests. Opponent's board is empty. Your hand is March of the Multitude x2, Legion's Landing, Venerated Loxodon. Notice that you can cast Legion's Landing, attack with all three creatures (makes another 1/1), flip Legion's Landing, and still have five mana to convoke Loxodon. It's not obvious. You must do the math.
- For the same reason, you might not want to trade even if given the opportunity. This is especially the case if you have an anthem effect or March of the Multitudes in hand.
- Similar to the above, pay close attention to how to maximize your cards. One not-very-obvious sequence for example is if the opponent has a 2/2 out while you have Shalai, a 1/1 Legion's Landing token and Adanto Vanguard, as well as March in hand. In this case you should attack with all three because even though you lose the 1/1 token, you flip Legion's Landing, and that +1 mana means you get the token back when you cast March anyway.
- You might want to conserve History knight tokens for the 3rd chapter instead of trade them off (besides they convoke well).
- If you're running Ajani, you can use it to get your creatures out of range of damage-based sweepers (Deafening Clarion, Golden Demise, Find//Finality).
- It might sound good to March into March on the same turn (your newly-created creatures can convoke), but you almost never want to do it because you might as well just March on your the next turn for a lot more tokens.

Sideboarding
Some cards you can consider for the sideboard are:

Knight of Autumn - covered above.
Vivien Reid - also covered above.
Karn, Scion of Urza - for when you want to grind. It's at its best vs. control, but is also a way to get card advantage against e.g. monored, because of his high starting loyalty. It's not often you -2 with him though, since you don't have artifacts.
Treasure Map - an even cheaper version of Karn. It's not bad but it's quite mana intensive. After you flip it though, you have plenty of ways to use the excess mana. A small combo with Karn's -2.
Kraul Harpooner - shores up your weakness to fliers somewhat. However you may not have creatures in the graveyard to pump it. It's at its best against white aggro with Healer's Hawk and monoblue tempo with Siren Stormtamer. Still worth bringing in against Drakes.
Carnage Tyrant - a vital card, since control is your worst matchup. Unfortunately you can't play too many of this since it's 6 mana.
Nullhide Ferox - somewhat counterintuitive in a deck with so many noncreature spells, but an important one nonetheless. The point is that it's hard to remove - Cast Down is about the only thing that kills it on equal mana - and it survives all the common sweepers. The gameplan with this card is to put some small creatures on the board and then play Nullhide Ferox. Now your board can't be easily answered by a single card. It stops opponents from sandbagging a sweeper against you, and it's also big enough to be a quick clock and / or block well. Yes it does stop all your noncreature spells, but if it stays on the board you're often in good shape. It also has the random side-effect of crushing Dimir and Grixis control. I like the card but your mileage may vary.
Ixalan's Binding - more removal if you need it. If you're able to, e.g., Binding your GW opponent's Conclave Tribunal they might not be able to interact with your board anymore.
Baffling End - you don't have cheap removal. The most important cards this answers are Wildgrowth Walker, Goblin Electromancer and Runaway Steam-Kin; it's still useful against other small creature decks.
Lyra Dawnbringer - the single best card against aggressive decks. If you ever untap with her (and some decks can't easily answer her) it's probably game over. Also shores up weakness to fliers, and is a small combo with Shalai.
The Immortal Sun - covered above. It's a generically powerful card you can bring in against a variety of strategies to improve your late-game threats. However as an anti-control card being counter-able is a large drawback, and it's also a nonbo with Karn / Vivien which are your other main tools vs. control. Nonetheless, some decks literally cannot answer TIS once it resolves - it's not vulnerable to Vivien or Teferi -3 for example.
Tocatli Honor Guard - specifically targeting Golgari.
Deathgorge Scavenger or Citywide Bust - specifically targeting Drakes.

When sideboarding the cards you can consider cutting are:

Adanto Vanguard - when it's bad, it's really bad. It's also less good on the draw since you're less likely to be on the offensive.
Saproling Migration - see above. When it's bad, it's really bad. Take this out against all decks from which you expect a sweeper.
Legion's Landing - same as above. If you run out of things to board in however you can still keep one copy. It wouldn't be for the 1/1 body, but for the possibility of flipping it.
Thorn Lieutenant - against control decks. It's not terrible when it's bad, but it's still a threat that folds against Deafening Clarion and Ritual of Soot.
Venerated Loxodon - if you've boarded out a lot of your small creatures, then this gets lets powerful as well.
Ajani - against aggro. He's embarrassingly bad if you have no board.
March of the Multitudes - it's strong, but also quite slow. If you don't have the time to cast this (e.g. vs. monored), or if you don't expect to be able to build a big board (e.g. vs. multiple sweepers), then board out a few copies.
Trostani - if you're bringing in lots of high-mana cards, this is the card to cut to keep your curve reasonable.

vs. Golgari:
Board in The Immortal Sun, Vivien Reid (even more so if they have Doom Whisperer), Tocatli Honor Guard. I'm uncertain about Baffling End: it kills Wildgrowth Walker, but it does die to their Viviens and Brontodons however, which is a massive tempo swing. If you have Nullhide Ferox and Carnage Tyrant you can bring those in as well since it's awkward for them to answer these cards. Expect Golden Demise, Ritual of Soot, and Find//Finality; take out Adanto Vanguard & Saproling Migration for this reason (and Venerated Loxodon).

It depends on the build but overall I like this matchup. Cards like The Eldest Reborn and Golgari Findbroker are very far from at their best against you. Still, Doom Whisperer is a strong threat that can surveil to their sweepers, and if they dedicate enough sideboard slots against you it can be terrible.

vs. Monoblue:
The key here is to focus on developing your board. Don't bother trying to remove their creatures while they have mana up. It's not cheap for them to keep up mana, and they only have so many instant-speed ways to develop their board if you don't play a removal spell. I've yet to play against this deck post-board, but I'd sideboard lightly. Board in Knight of Autumn (they can't protect Curious Obsession well, only the enchanted creature), Baffling End, Kraul Harpooner. Take out Ajani since it's too slow, Adanto Vanguard since it's embarrassing vs. Merfolk Trickster, and possibly a few copies of March as well.

I like this matchup but you can easily lose if they draw well (some of monoblue's draws are pretty unbeatable), and Tempest Djinn represents a fast clock if you can't answer it.

vs. Monored:
By far their most dangerous threat is Experimental Frenzy. The rest you can mostly ignore, with the exception of Rekindling Phoenix, but you have Conclave Tribunal to answer that. Take out everything that dies to Goblin Chainwhirler - Adanto Vanguard & Saproling Migration are at the top of the list, Legion's Landing not far behind, and since you're sideboarding all those stuff out Loxodon is also worse. Bring in all the Knight of Autumn you have, Lyra Dawnbringer, Vivien Reid, and Baffling End. You can also consider Nullhide Ferox if you have the space. It's not great, but it's big enough to block all their creatures.

Surprisingly against the Goblin Chainwhirler deck, I find this matchup quite good. However this can easily tilt from good to bad if you build your deck to be vulnerable to it - in particular, by running Adanto Vanguard + Saproling Migration maindeck, or by not running Shalai.

vs. Drakes:
Once again you focus on doing your thing. They don't interact, you don't interact. You must maximize your mana every turn. If you're able to build a large army of lifelinking tokens they're suddenly unable to kill you. Board in Vivien, Kraul Harpooner, Baffling End (they have Enigma Drake & Goblin Electromancer), Deathgorge Scavenger, Lyra, Nullhide Ferox (it'll at worst trade with their drakes). Expect Fiery Cannonade post-board; take out Saproling Migration and Legion's Landing as a result. Ajani is also less good - you can't chump block drakes since they fly.

I find this to be a poor matchup, but it's winnable.

vs. Jeskai:
With sweepers maindeck, this is a bad matchup, especially if you're not running Adanto Vanguard. You need a good sideboard plan for this or the odds will be heavily against you. Board in all your planeswalkers, Treasure Maps, Carnage Tyrants, Nullhide Feroxes, The Immortal Sun. Take out your weaker 2-drops, Loxodon, some Legion's Landing. You can also consider taking out Trostani because getting your 5-drop countered is a massive tempo loss. March is worth keeping because it's a great mana sink if you get Settled, and it's an instant speed threat as well.

The plan is to develop enough of a board that they're forced to sweep, and then resolving a planeswalker while they're tapped out. One great example is having Emmara. If you've played that on turn 2 and it lives, you don't have to play History of Benalia next turn because an unchecked Emmara is a fine clock. Another important tip is, you don't have to do anything if the opponent is also doing nothing. You can save your spells to play multiples in a turn and make them unable to counter them all.

vs. Dimir/Grixis:
See Jeskai. This isn't a good matchup, but you improve dramatically post-board. They literally cannot beat Carnage Tyrant unless they have The Eldest Reborn (against which you usually have tokens to sacrifice) or if they trade using a Doom Whisperer. It's even more embarrassing if they "discard" Nullhide Ferox with Disinformation Campaign or Nicol Bolas.

vs. White aggro:
You can match their go-wide strategy and your 1/1s are great against their 2/1s. However they can deploy their cards so quickly it's still possible to be overwhelmed. Take out your Adanto Vanguards (you're the control deck and you'll never block with this anyway) and Ajani. You can trim Loxodons as well especially on the draw. Bring in Knights of Autumn to kill Experimental Frenzy, Baffling End, Lyra. Vivien is less good since she's slow if opponent doesn't have Experimental Frenzy. However even if no Frenzy, you can still kill their enchantment-based removal. I'd board in Vivien depending on how many Knights of Autumn I have. Kraul Harpooner is a shoo-in as well if opponent has Healer's Hawk.

vs. mirror:
Focus on doing your thing. You want to trade if you're not holding convoke cards, but avoid trades if you are. Bring in Knights of Autumn to kill History & Conclave Tribunal, Vivien for the same reason, The Immortal Sun. Take out Adanto Vanguard since it's bad against 1/1s, Legion's Landing since the 1/1 body is irrelevant except for convoke.


Last edited by Banedon on Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:55 am 
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Banedon, can you do a primer on my Abzan deck? I'm trying to write it, but it takes to much work :D

Great job on the primers!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Thanks :) I can't write a primer on Abzan though since I need to play with the deck a lot before I can say anything intelligent about it.

Also reached 5-0 in competitive constructed for the first time after writing this, beating three Grixis/Dimir control decks along the way 2-0, 2-0, 2-0. I might have been wrong the matchup. I did get great draws, but still. Either they don't have maindeck sweepers (Adanto Vanguard generally survives anyway) or they didn't draw it. Post-board, they are very weak to resolved planeswalkers and even weaker to Carnage Tyrant. The fact that Nullhide Ferox ownz their Disinformation Campaign & Nicol Bolas is a big deal, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:28 am 
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Trying this sideboard right now:

2 Carnage Tyrant
2 Lyra Dawnbringer
3 Vivien Reid
2 Karn, Scion of Urza
2 Knight of Autumn
2 Baffling End
1 The Immortal Sun
1 Ixalan's Binding

This sounds reasonable and has plenty of cards to board in against Drakes & control, which are two of the worst matchups, but seems a bit loose against Golgari. It's got cards to bring in, but Find//Finality should be more devastating than normal without Nullhide Ferox. Will need to try it more and see.

Also I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Saproling Migration now. When it's bad, it's really, really bad. On the other hand, it is the perfect curve: unlike the Legion's Landing -> two drop -> Loxodon 3-card combo, Saproling Migration + Loxodon is already a 2-card combo that can be deployed by turn three for 8 power on the board. That's strong. I just wonder how many games are won by that combo, versus how many games are lost because of Goblin Chainwhirler, because I don't have nearly as good blocks against History of Benalia tokens, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:03 am 
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Have you tried Selesnya with the Explore package and Path of Discovery?


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:54 am 
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No, I have not. It hasn't been performing well, has it? In that case I'd rather concentrate on my tokens deck.

As for the sideboard plan: I took it for a spin in competitive constructed and went 4-2, going 1-2 against three drake decks. I only cast Lyra once, and she ate two Lava Coils and died; granted that was still a 2-for-1 so it's not a bad result. Not having Nullhide Ferox turned out to be a huge deal since I couldn't attack very well. Later in the run I had begun to think that since I cannot beat them late-game, I might as well stay low-to-the-ground and try to overwhelm them, and hopefully a turn-4 Conclave Tribunal for his drake would be enough to get there. This led to one win actually (3x Adanto Vanguard massacred his life total). However other games went badly. Shalai barely helped against the deck - she dies to Lava Coil, and unboosted she's not big enough to fend off the drakes. Other times the board stalled with 4+ creatures on my side against one drake on his side, and then eventually he draws more drakes and kills me.

I also played against a version with Niv Mizzet & Dive Down + Spell Pierce which you might be interested in. That didn't go well. On the bright side, this run I also played against a Jeskai control deck, which I won. I was quite surprised actually after getting hit by Deafening Clarion, Cleansing Nova, Settle the Wreckage and Star of Extinction at various points. Karn did his job, so did Carnage Tyrant. TIS on the other hand sat in my hand as I had Karn on the field, never having the chance to play it, plus opponent was never tapped out and if TIS got cancelled it'd be a big tempo loss.

I'll need to think about the sideboard again; the Feroxes seem too good to give up. Murmuring Mystic is the #1 enemy of Ferox coming from the Drakes deck, but it's not like every Drake deck plays Mystic, and even if they do there's usually only a few copies. Kraul Harpooner might be good since against drakes I do get one creature in the graveyard decently often. Another option is to go Abzan because Duress looks like the single best sideboard card against Drakes; however the stress on the mana is going to be substantial (Flower//Flourish cannot get Swamp either), and besides even if I run all eight dual lands it's only 8 black sources, not enough to have a high chance of drawing one soon enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:15 am 
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I'll run some standard tokens to have a comparison. Although I'm still sticking with Huatli in place of Ajani. Just had a game where mono-red got me to 1 life, but I had some tokens due to multitudes end of step. Huatli enters, -1 on a lifelink token to make it 12/12. Welcome back life :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:34 am 
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God, how can you play this deck? A resolved Niv is pretty much gg. Any sweeper sets you back to the stone age. I finished the run at 6-3. 2 losses to mono red which chainwhirled my board (and I have to get something on board, don't I?), 1 to jeskai with 3 clarions and resolved Niv...
I'm back to my GB :P


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:56 am 
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Well resolved Niv Mizzet isn't gg because you have Conclave Tribunal. Postboard you also have Vivien's 2nd ability & Ixalan's Binding. Pre-board, any deck running Niv Mizzet is likely to be a bad matchup. I think that's what happened to you, unfortunately.

Also: am I crazy for wanting to cut Carnage Tyrant? It's good and all but it costs 6 mana, and the deck is already capable of putting pressure early until control decks are forced to sweep. Once they do, resolving a card advantage planeswalker should be a fine way to win. Besides, I'm already running 4x Adanto Vanguard. Sideboarding so many cards makes the matchup good, but perhaps the postboard matchup is already good enough and I'm just giving up mileage elsewhere.

Thinking of trying this next -

4 Nullhide Ferox
2 Lyra Dawnbringer
3 Vivien Reid
2 Knight of Autumn
2 Baffling End
1 The Immortal Sun
1 Ixalan's Binding

With Ajani instead of Shalai maindeck. That's sideboarding 10 cards vs. Drakes and 9 vs. control. Not having Shalai would weaken the matchup vs. monored but there's still 2x Lyra and 2x Knight of Autumn there, not to mention Thorn Lieutenant, and Nullhide Ferox is also good against monored. Could be a bit loose vs. Golgari though, idk.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:49 am 
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Yeah, I didn't draw any of the 4 Tribunals...

From my games - Huatli creates a token the next turn she comes down and it's gg from that point as every token draws you a card. But you need some board presence and after sweeper it's a do-nothing PW.
What about Ghalta? With the power on board you could cast it for GG reliably and it doesn't die to sweepers :-) Of course, Tyrant is hexproof, but sometimes I had problems getting to 6 mana.
Immortal Sun is awesome if you manage to have any board presence. But again it's 6 CMC, you probably want something at 4 CMC.


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 Post subject: Re: Selesnya tokens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:02 am 
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Preferred Pronoun Set: Xhir/xhim, depending on Moon phase
Divine Visitation really does it for me, both in Selesnya and Boros tokens...turbo charge the deck if you happen to go late game, which happens a lot and resolves the fliers problem. And makes Golden Demise, Chainwhilrler & like embarrassing

March, Trostani, Leonin, Migration...even Dawn of Hope or Adanto can repoblate really fasts after a sweeper, and 2-4 x 4/4 vigilant flyers is waaaay more impressive than 2-4 x 1/1...have you playtested enough the card? Imho, it's the card that sends the strategy to a new level


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