New Event Straw Poll + Multi Mayhem + This Week in MPDC

What Format Do You Want to Play When I Host Events on Sundays for SPDC #strawpoll?

StrawPoll

Multicolor Mayhem – Week #3

After testing the format some, here is v2.0 for my Mono-Control, 4-Color Brew.  I know I’m not allowed to use it in the event, but I wish I could!

Mono Control v2.0

I am already favored against aggro, so I changed the maindeck to help deal with control.  Psychic Strike is easier to cast than Cancel, but milling them is often a drawback since there are tons of ways to get value from the graveyard – Unearth and artifacts to recur with Sanctum Gargoyle being the most relevant.

Adding Dispel was a nice find since so many instants are very powerful and counter-wars will always be over 3 or 4 mana counterspells, so slipping a dispel into the mix is like bringing a gun to a knife fight.

More Shattering Blows are there to stop other recursion decks.  The dream is to remove a Courier’s Capsule before they get a chance to pop it.  That way we don’t care if the Sanctum Garygoyle resolves – if it didn’t get any value from it we will be fine.  Also targeting the Gargoyle itself is quite relevant since if you kill it any other way that doesn’t exile it they can just loop with other Gargoyles.

So in Round 3 of the event I squared off against DrDemento and his Grixis Control deck in the 2-0 bracket.  I lost game 1 as he landed 3 Nivix Cyclopi and 2 Frostburn Weirds where my response was only Executioner’s Capsule and Devour Flesh twice, leaving him with 2 defenders in play.  Blightnings and Inspirations inspired the Izzet defenders to charge, and we were off to game 2.

Sideboarding

We both had no real X/2s to speak of, so we both boarded out our Ubul Sar Gatekeepers.  I brought in my Soul Manipulation, Purge the Profane, and 2 Hindering Light.

Game 2

I play land + go for as long as possible, drawing cards from Courier’s Capsule along the way.  It gets to a point where he is cycling Resounding Scream to Hymn to Torach me.   Things we looking grim, but he didn’t have enough counters to deal with the 5 Gatekeepers I had stockpiled in hand.  The Sunspires, Knights, and Sarulis got there.

Game 3

Anticipating a game without Ubul Sar Gatekeepers to worry about, I brought in the 3 Vedalken Outlanders.  Pro-red means we can block and attack past Nivix Cyclops and Frostburn Weird all day, and it dodges Terminate and Augur Spree.

As it turns out, the aggro plan was a good call.  DrD was missing blue mana for the entire early game and I played out all my 2/2s and 2/4s that make more 2/2s and stole a win against a tough matchup.

MPDC Lately

Coming off back-to-back Top 4 finishes, here and here, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the format right now.

The Bw Control deck is just the nut.  It crushes EVERY match up except the Dimir deck, which has tons of creature removal, card draw, and counterspells.  Here is my update if I were to play it this week.

Bw BeatDown

Bw BeatDown

Take out some of the removal spells that are complete blanks against Dimir.  Add in a few lifegain bestows in Hopeful Eidolon to combat the fact we can’t kill as many creatures, but we can gain life to give us time put the game out of reach with Merchants.  Sideboard plan to go full aggro and really flood the board against control.  Still crushing black devotion but a little softer to white heroic decks since we have access to less removal.  I’ll definitely we toying with this one more this week.

MPDC Today

Dimir was not popular lately.  All of a sudden it’s all over the place this week.  I lost to Kriss and his Dimir Control build in the 2-1 bracket for the win-and-in today.  It was the worst pairing I could possibly get.  I didn’t know it at the time, but after seeing his list, there was close to no way I could win.  Four main deck Tome Scour!  Please.  That card is a blank against so many decks and it even enables graveyard recursion.  The first one is completely necessary so that we don’t deck ourselves if our opponent decides not to cast a spell, but 4 is gratuitous. I did get him game 2 with my 1-of Benthic Giant, though.  If only I had won game 1 😛  Game 3 he was able to put some Devour Flesh back in and the new sexy hexxy was not a reliable route to victory.

I beat a more sane Dimir build and stomped on my Bw build in round 2 and 3.  In round 1 I faced off against Godzo, to which I promptly replied, “sweet pairing bro.”  We’ve been talking and testing a lot together lately, sharing our love of the World Cup, and overall trying to get better.  To get this match in round 1 is always annoying since I would prefer to meet him in the 3-0 bracket and I bet he feels the same way.

I think he chose to play Wg mainly since it has Leafcrown Dryad, which does really well at blocking all the flyers in Azorius Aggro.  Against control decks his Gladecover Scout + bestows is a good plan that forces them to have Devour Flesh.  The Auramancer engine is card advantage and allows the 1 for 1 removal to get exhausted while he slowly keeps bringin’ the beats.

ROUND1 – GODZO – FIGHT!

I chatted with my friends PieTime and 7rip about this already.  It seems that MODO bugged and it very well cost me game 1.

Godzo has 4 lands and a Keening Apparition in play.  I have 5 lands in play and my play is to Pharika’s Cure his 2/2 in his upkeep with Psychic Strike backup.  I knew he had Gods Willing since he always had a white open the whole game and it’s strictly better to make him tap mana on his own turn before he draws another card, just in case he doesn’t actually have it.

Anyway, he responds to my Cure with Gods Willing.  I receive priority and tap 3 lands for Psychic Strike.  Before I get to cast it, Godzo is choosing Protection from Black.  Somehow he regained priority.  I have no clue how it happened.  Apparently the exact same sequence happened to 7rip in the past, who was playing a near identical deck as me this week.

The bug means I take some more damage, I don’t gain life, or that if he had a second copy of Gods Willing I don’t get it out of his hand and he gets to land another threat while I’m tapped out.  Our the next few turns I kill some dudes and I stabilize the board by gaining 15 life with Crypt Incursion while he has 0 creatures in play.  Despite MODO’s attempt to ruin me, I feel good about this game.  From that point on my draw steps are Crypt Incursion, 4 land.  Godzo’s draw steps are Seller of Songbirds, 3 Auramancer, and Centaur Healer.  #gg

MPDC Next Week

Your deck choice should have a plan to beat White/X aggro, Black/X Devotion Control with Merchants, and Dimir Control with mill and Counterspells.  For this reason I like Auramancer-based aggro decks.  While GodZo likes Wg this week (he liked Boros last week), I prefer the update to my Bw Control deck (more beatdown now), or Boros or Azorius.

In reality, I prefer Boros AND Azorius.  The mana is just a little tricky.

Channeling My Inner Greg Hatch @hatchingplans – UWR Crouching Cipher, Hidden Strings (post Journey Into Nyx)

CCHS post Journy

This deck is a thing of beauty.  When you have the right mix of creatures/spells + Hidden Strings (you always want Hidden Strings) it is fun and unstoppable!  The problem is that it lacks aggressive tempo because of the Guildgate manabase required to play all 3 colors.  That makes it easy for decks to race us or deal with our threats before we have time and resources to protect them all.

Common Dual Lands

What is it going to take to get a common dual land that enters the battlefield untapped?  What drawback is needed to make this happen?  It can’t be lifeloss, since that would be a Shock-land and aggro decks don’t care about their life-total anyway, so it’s just not harsh enough of a drawback. Here are some of my ideas for common duals.

1) When [cardname] etb, reveal your hand or [cardname] etb tapped.

2) When [cardname] etb, discard a card or [cardname] etb tapped.

3) When [cardname] etb, target opponent draws a card or [cardname] etb tapped.

4) When [cardname] is tapped for color #1 or color #2, it does not untap during your next untap step.  (no option to tap for colorless)

5) Tap [cardname]:  add color #1 or color #2 to your mana pool, then return [cardname] to your hand.

6) [cardname] has Fading 3 (or Vanishing 4)

7) When [cardname] etb, return another land you control to owner’s hand or [cardname] etb tapped.

8) Target opponent may play an additional land during his or her next turn

9) Skip your next draw step

10) At the end of your turn, if you do not control a creature, sacrifice [cardname]

11) Your maximum hand size is reduced by 1 (multiple effect of this stack)

12) The next land that etb under your control etb tapped

13) Tap [cardname]:  add 1 colorless mana.  Cycling (Color 1 + Color 2): You may discard this card for it’s cycling cost.  If you do, draw a card and play this land as an additional land for turn.

14) Cardname both colors // Cardname one color.  Transform (at the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, flip [cardname]  At the beginning of each upkeep, if a player cast 2 or more spells in one turn, transform [cardname]

Side 1:  Dual land

Side 2:  Target opponent chooses one color that Side 1 can produce.  Side 2 produces only that color.

15) When [cardname] etb, target opponent puts a 1/1 artifact with defender into play

 

 

Do you have any other cool ideas for common dual lands?  Post em in the comments or tweet ’em at me @DrChrisBakerDC

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The Gauntlet (Round 6), MultiColor Mayhem, and Post-Journey Brews

Loyal Boros Round 6

Loyal Boros

 

Dimir Mill Round 6

Dimir Mill

Alas, congrats to Rakdos Regenerations for winning the Gauntlet.

Multicolor Mayhem – Week 1

I squared off against Beatnik Bobby from Sweden in Round 1.  He was playing the colors of the best deck in the format IMO – Rakdos.  His strategy was based on aggression and tokens to make one-for-one removal less good.  Dragon Fodder and Katari Bomber aren’t threatening on their own, but combined with Dynacharge they pack quite the punch.  Multiple 3 power 2-drops were included, which is par for the course now-a-days.  The true power comes from the back of Madcaps Skills – that card gets in so much extra damage.  His use of it made me reevaluate it for Standard Pauper where I have brewed two aggro decks that are pretty relentless.  I’ll include those for Mono-Red Heroic and Boros Heroic, but first, let my Multicolor Mayhem deck take a selfie #thechainsmokers.

Rakdos - Shards + RTR

Skull Rend beat me up during the Special event – it’s good against control.  Being able to kill every creature and deal with the Sanctum Gargoyle engine with Annihilating Fire and Shattering Blow is a good sideboard plan.  This deck is super fast and resilient – I only wish that I chose to play it!  Instead I chose to fix my Esper Control List to actually have game against Rakdos.

Mono-Control – the best control deck in the format

Mono Control - Shards + RTR

I have kept the durdling to a minimum by cutting Pilfered Plans.  Enabling Unearth was not smart, nor was not influencing the board on turn 3 (sometimes turn 4 due from guildgate delay).  The gatekeepers are all gas and the artifact recursion engine means we will always have ways to kill non-black creatures and draw cards, keeping us ahead as games progress to the late-game.  The extort and blocking stature from Basilica Guards is what really keeps us alive and then eventually puts the game out of reach.  Speaking of putting the game out of reach – Saruli Gatekeepers begged me to play him somehow and all it took was configuring the mana-base for the one Forest, 2 Bant Panorama, 2 guildgate splash.  While green doesn’t offer anything else for us, Saruli is worth his weight in lives (all 7 of them).

Post-Journey MPDC + Standard Pauper Brews

My Junk Control deck from MPDC 25.01 needed to mulligan almost every hand, drew awful, and never had the right answers at the right time.  The deck was hot garbage despite it looking just dandy to me going into the tournament.

The following are post-Journey updates of decks I actually have been liking a lot over the last week.  My previous attempts at Mono-Green, Simic, and UWR Crouching Cipher Hidden Strings just couldn’t compete like these, which is why I’m not going to bother mentioning them.

Mono-Red Heroic

Mono-Red Heroic

Showcasing the power of 16 lands, this beauty operates fully on 2 mana.  Madcap skills never looked so good.  Hopeful Eidolon, Ethereal Armor, Pharika’s Cure, and Grey Merchant of Asphodel all scare me, though.  Right now I’m considering adding Minotaur Skullcleaver but I don’t know what to cut.  I don’t want to increase the land count and I like being “functional” off only two.  Dragon Mantle and Frostburn-Weird are the only mana-sinks, which is usually pretty bad for us if we have that much excess montania.  Frostburn Weird doesn’t hit very hard in this deck but we need some non-X/1s so we don’t get blown out by Shrivel/Electrickery post-board.

Esper Mill

Esper Mill

 

This is basically Dimir Mill splash Revoke Existence to combat Font of Return and Auramancer decks.  Basically the same concept as adding white to Mono-Black to deal with the new metagame of enchantment-centric decks.

Bw Control

Bw Control Post - Journey

Well well, speak of the devil.  A similar deck to what I used for the Worlds event for season 24, except I have included the repeatable removal suite of 4x Quag Sickness + Stab Wound with Auramancer.  This is just a ‘better than mono-black, mono-black deck.

If you aren’t splashing white in your decks right now, you aren’t trying. #DrChrisBakerDC2014

Boros Heroic

Boros Heroic

When you were looking at the mono-red heroic list, you were like, “this looks fine, but why doesn’t he jam some white in there?!”  Ask and you shall receive.  This deck is actually base white, making bountiful use of heroic, restricted to single color mana-symbols (sorry Wingsteed Rider), 16 lands, and Ajani’s Presence – my current ‘blow-out of choice’ in the format.  While the mana-base is a little more dicey than in the Mono-Red heroic deck – this one plays white.  If you haven’t figured out that white is the best color right now then all hope is lost.

Thanks for watching/reading.  I’ll keep up with reports for Multicolor Mayhem and new brews for Standard Pauper as they come to me.  I’m almost all moved into my new place so I’m hoping to have time to learn Gatherling soon and start hosting some Sunday events in as early as two weeks 😀

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