Battle at the Bridge
Improvise (Your artifacts can help cast this spell. Each artifact you tap after you're done activating mana abilities pays for .)
Target creature gets -X/-X until end of turn. You gain X life.
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Battle at the Bridge Discussion
2 weeks ago
I assume you're aware, but I just wanted to check you know this: temporary -X effects like Battle at the Bridge don't work with things triggering off of -1 counters.
2 weeks ago
Also I got some more ideas here for you, Liliana's Influence, Tree of Perdition (I'm sure it's easy to figure out why. I know you are against infect for this deck, but you could use this alongside something like Glistening Oil). Besides that however, you could try things like Battle at the Bridge, Profane Command etc on it.
I hope some of these are of some use, too me like 30 minutes to either think of/find these in gatherer lol. I know I gave a bunch of suggestions here worth consideration, and so feel free to ask if your having trouble finding something to swap out for some of these potentially later on.
2 weeks ago
Fourth Bridge Prowler, Grasp of Darkness, Battle at the Bridge, and Dark Salvation all give -1/-1 until end of turn as an effect. A -1/-1 counter is permanent and lasts through turns. These are two different things. Nest of Scarabs specifically states COUNTERS, as well as Winding Constrictor.
3 weeks ago
Thanks, appreciate it!
I could probably cut one of them, I had just been using Battle at the Bridge a lot on Magic Duels and liked it. But Death Grasp costing 2 mana plus the X cost will probably make it not near as good. Plus I have a lot more Life Gain to flip Lone Rider Flip than I do in duels.
3 weeks ago
I like the idea of Dramatic Reversal with Battle at the Bridge maybe hitting for 6 - 10 damage/life on turn 3 and I might try that out, but Tezzeret, Master of Metal is just too expensive in this deck, it's a good long term plan but I'm not trying to go long term, thanks for the comment tho and the card.
3 weeks ago
The control match-up has a lot of subtleties that are important. While it's definitely a positive match-up, there's a lot of small decisions to be made. Because I don't know your background as a magic player, I'm going to start with basic concepts for the match-up, some of which you may very well already know, and go from there.
Our game plan basically remains the same.
Drop Artifacts turns 1-3
Play Improvise cards turns 3 on.
Being on the play or on the draw is going to significantly change the pace of the game due to the cost of the control opponents counter spells. For example, on the play, playing a turn 3 Maverick Thopterist is a great play. On the draw, however, it's just asking to get countered by Disallow/Void Shatter. On the draw, I usually will wait until turn 4 to play a Thopterist, even if I had the opportunity to play it turn 3, taking turn 3 to play something that is insignificant or not cast anything at all. This is because of your control opponents game plan. Ideally, they would counter our turn 3 play and then cast Glimmer of Genius turn 4. By declining to cast anything turn 3 it makes them have to decide on turn 4 between countering our play and using their mana inefficiently or letting our threat resolve and casting their Glimmer. This is just one example of how to make the game more awkward for your control opponent. Every time you cast something, it needs to be deliberate. You need to figure out your turns ahead of time and make a game plan. Don't feel too pressured to make the first move, and if they are countering your artifacts, that's a counter spell out of their hand that isn't hitting a Bastion Inventor.
Speaking of Inventor, he is your absolute best chance of winning, and the entire game revolves around resolving him. Not only will Inventor win you games, but the threat of casting him will. What I mean by this is that because of how powerful he is, your opponent must respect that they could lose the game if they are caught without a counter spell in their hand, or by tapping out. This means that as long as you have any amount of pressure, it will be risky for them to remove your creatures in your combat phase, because of the threat of playing an Inventor in your second main phase. For example, even after turn 6 when they have Torrential Gearhulk mana. You can make really "bad" attacks with servos or Thopterists without caring if they drop a Gearhulk to block, because if they do it means they tapped out and you can land an Inventor.
These are your best cards in the match-up, in order of least to most impactful:
Whir of Invention is probably the sixth best card, but you could make an argument for some other cards too. Being able to do this at the end of their turn is great. Never Whir for a vehicle in this match-up, they are not even close to being more valuable than the other artifacts in the above list. Prioritize Key to the City, then Pacification Array, then Inventor's Goggles. The first copy of each of those cards is worth more than a duplicate of any of them, unless you suspect artifact removal from your opponent, then it just depends on the game.
A quick explanation of why these artifacts are so good:
Key to the City is a work horse in this match-up. Once you have one in play, your improvise cards no longer cost a card and you can grind your opponent out of counter spells. As if that wasn't enough, it provides unblockable to Inventors.
Pacification Array makes it very hard for your opponent to touch you. With only Gearhulks (and Dynavolt Tower) as their win condition it's extremely hard to get damage in. And if you run out of improvise cards to tap your Key, Array can do that with it's ability too.
Inventor's Goggles makes all your threats hit harder and make Inventors the size of Gearhulks.
This is my general plan against control:
It depends on what your sideboard looks like and if you suspect they are bringing in more threats after board and if they are playing Dynavolt Tower. But hopefully that should give you a good idea to start with.
I've played against a lot of different control decks with this deck, ranging from rogue Jeskai Fog to Temur Dynavolt Tower and I can assure you that the control match-up is very winnable. I like the idea of Elder Deep-Fiend and I had a few copies in my sideboard at one point too, but too often there just aren't enough targets to emerge with. Dispel is absolutely fantastic and I'd make room for those if you want more to bring in (I used to run 3 side).
I hope you found this information useful, feel free to shoot any more questions my way!
4 weeks ago
Ceremonious Rejection does sound great at one copy!
The reason I don't like Ballista is because it turns on a lot of removal from our opponents that normally doesn't line up very well (grasp, fatal push, shock). I could see siding in creatures like this for game 2 when they side out their removal though.
Great to hear you like the deck! I actually used to play with Gearseeker Serpent in the early versions of the deck. It was mono blue and looked something like this: Mono Blue Improvise. After that, the deck went through a bunch of changes. I didn't give up on Gearseeker Serpent though. I still played with it in an FNM and a Game Day. One of the biggest problems with it though is that it's pretty terrible to have in your opening hand and overall makes hands that include it harder to keep. With improvise decks, consistency is one of your biggest issues. Cards like Pia Nalaar are mainly in the deck to help consistency, giving you a semblance of battlefield presence and an artifact in one card.
That's a lot of jumbled info to take in, so I'll narrow it down to a few points on why the Serpent doesn't make the cut in my list.
Is it better than any of the payoffs in the current list? I believe that 10 payoffs is the right number in an improvise list, so assuming that's correct, we'd have to shave one or more of them to make room for the Serpent(s), otherwise, our draws get unbalanced and clunky. In this list, the payoffs are 4 Maverick Thopterist, 4 Bastion Inventor, and 2 Whir of Invention. IMO, Serpent is far worse than these. Thopterist provides ramp, pilots, and blockers. Inventor is already a 5/6 most of the time thanks to Inventor's Goggles and has hexproof. And Whir is a centerpiece of the deck.
Could we make room for it by taking out a piece of interaction (i.e. Metallic Rebuke or Battle at the Bridge)? Unlikely. I've liked 6 pieces of interaction, especially with the best deck (Mardu Vehicles) being so aggressive.
This deck is excellent against spot removal. Serpent is not. Think about Unlicensed Disintegration.
We already have access to unblockable with Key to the City, and you'd be surprised how few times the Serpent's ability actually feels good to use. 6-mana is a real cost.
With that said, Serpent can be awesome when it lets you double spell with an improvise card, especially with Metallic Rebuke and Battle at the Bridge. If you really want to play it, I say go for it. I would take out a Whir of Invention or the third copy of Battle at the Bridge/1st copy of Unlicensed Disintegration depending on what your list looks like.
I hope this helps! All in all, I like to play cards that I have fun playing. If you have fun with Gearseeker Serpent I definitely think it could earn a spot in your list.
1 month ago
i'd add: 2x Ornithopter, 2x Contraband Kingpin, 3x Foundry Inspector, 4x Scrapheap Scrounger, 1x Herald of Anguish, 1x Inspiring Statuary, 1x Reverse Engineer, 1x Pacification Array, 4x Fatal Push, 2x Battle at the Bridge, 2x Metalspinner's Puzzleknot, 2x Yahenni's Expertise, 1x Scrap Trawler
& take out: 4x Dhund Operative, 1x Pendulum of Patterns, 1x Walking Ballista, 2x Treasure Keeper, 4x Tezzeret's Simulacrum, 1x Essence Extraction & cut the land down to 22 or 23. the curve might not be perfect, but it's a start at least lol