|Commander / EDH||Legal|
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|Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations (AKHMPS)||None|
|Eighth Edition (8ED)||Uncommon|
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|Have (8)||ibraJG84 , sonnet666 , richardmv , mziter501 , rockleemyhero , tragic_slip , TehDelta , jtaddeo|
|Want (2)||MouseyWolf , Vergil_Redgrail|
1 week ago
Sorry for the double-post, but I forgot to mention: I rarely include Choke in my sideboard, but it's great tech for many match-ups, and I ALWAYS consider it.
1 week ago
Hello! You commented on my deck RG Ponza, PPTQ WINNER!! the other day asking for advise, so here it goes!
Firstly, Ponza is a great deck, mostly because you can customize it to handle just about anything between good RG creatures and SB cards. Often you can use a variety of threats to win as long as your opponent can't develop their game plan in a timely manner due to your LD spells. That being said, I'm going to explain why certain builds and card choices have helped me be more competitive with the deck, and offer suggestions on how you can change your deck for a larger open meta.
The first thing I noticed in your list are the 2 MD Surgical Extractions. These slots are better as almost anything else. I know your idea is probably to use them as pseudo LD by exiling all of a certain type of fetchland from an opposing deck, but here it isn't worth the slots. Most people think that Ponza is a dedicated Land Destruction (LD) deck, but it really isn't. The LD is there simply to keep an opponent off-balance enough for you to land a large monster and beat down for the win. This is why all competitive lists run Blood Moon. Against an opponent that isn't mono-colored, Blood Moon will often slow them down enough that your huge threats can attack with impunity. So I'd look to replace the surgicals and a number of Molten Rains with a playset of Blood Moons as the first upgrade to the deck.
Once you do that, your mana needs to change. More basic forests and only 1 basic mountain along with your 8 fetches is the ideal for a Blood Moon deck. Almost every game you want a forest on turn 1 to play a mana dork or Utopia Sprawl. If you have blood moon, you want to always put your sprawl on a basic forest so it won't fall off if you play a moon and had a sprawl on a stomping ground for instance (since it wouldn't be a forest any longer). My list reflects a typical mana base for reference (although many people prefer to use 3 stomping grounds instead of 2 grounds and 1 Cinder Glade).
Now let's talk about your threats. You acknowledged that you see most lists run Stormbreath Dragon and Inferno Titan, and there is good reason for that. You want to make sure that your threats have an immediate impact on the board when you play them, or are otherwise incredibly hard to remove. Your choice of Predator Dragon isn't great since you really don't want to hamstring yourself by killing off your own mana dorks just for your opponent then Path your dragon and you've effectively 2-for-1'd or even 3-for-1'd yourself. Stormbreath Dragon's protection from white means that there are only a few commonly played removal spells in modern that are able to deal with it, and often they're not run as 4-ofs in the decks that use them (pretty much just Terminate and Dismember). A resolved Inferno Titan kills one or more of your opponent's creatures just for hitting the battlefield, or at the very least Lightning Bolts their face. I've won a few games just by getting my opponent low enough that the etb damage finished them off, or won under an Ensnaring Bridge thanks to that damage. Since you get that damage every time the titan attacks, he essentially swings in as a 9/6, with the ability to pump his attack so that often he gets in for 12 damage per attack if your opponent doesn't block. The titan is one of the fastest clocks to win the game, and affects the board in some way even if he gets removed. Other commonly good creatures in Ponza are Thragtusk and Obstinate Baloth since they gain life, have good bodies/abilities, and help shore up burn and other agro matchups.
Part 2 of your creature selection, is that you should include more big creatures to use. Right now your list only has 6 big threats to win with, and I think that number should be 10 or more. One of the ways this deck loses is by drawing too many LD spells and not finding a threat to close out the game with. Eventually your opponent will stick something and if you still haven't found a threat you'll have a tough time. I count Planeswalkers as threats, so if you look at my list I'm running 11 solid must-answer threats, with 2 Courser of Kruphix as support/card advantage slots. Some lists run Tireless Tracker in those slots, but I like how courser blocks better and gains life against agro and burn, and is naturally resistant to bolt. I also like how you don't need to sink additional mana into it to get the card advantage. To make space for the additional threats, I'd cut the remaining Molten Rains and the Boom/Busts. You don't need as high of a quantity of LD spells when you have Blood Moon, since moon often disables multiple lands at once. I recommend using a variety of threats from 3-6 converted mana cost so that you have options in games where you have trouble getting your 4th land or if your opponent kills your early mana creature. I'm testing out Carnage Tyrant myself, so that is a good one to keep in your 75 for now. If you do get the moons and make the changes to your LD spells that I suggested, then Goblin Dark-Dwellers becomes less good due to having fewer targets in most games and should be replaced with other threats.
Finally, on to your SB. You mentioned on my deck that you're still in the process of making it, which leads me to believe you may not be as familiar with what the good/bad matchups are. Affinity is a tough matchup, as is lantern control. For that reason, I would use Ancient Grudges over Destructive Revelrys. Since you're not a burn deck, the 2 damage from revelry doesn't matter as much, and being able to remove 2 artifacts with one card is great against the decks we want to beat. Mono-colored decks are also tough, with the worst being Merfolk since they present a fast clock and can disrupt our mana by putting Spreading Seas on whichever land we enchant with Utopia Sprawl. I run a single Choke in the SB just for them. Storm is also a tough matchup, so you'll need grave-hate on turns 1-2 to deal with them. Cage is good, but I like a split of both cage and Relic of Progenitus since relic is also good against Living End, which happens to be another bad matchup. Cage doesn't stop Living End decks, so I lean towards more relics for that reason. I also use a Scavenging Ooze in the SB for added utility/grave hate when I just want something for Snapcaster mage decks. Carnage Tyrant and more often Thrun, the Last Troll are used against control decks. Many people use Kitchen Finks against attrition decks like Jund or Death's Shadow, but I like Obstinate Baloth and Chameleon Colossus better since they are good main-deckable threats. I personally like Acidic Slime in the SB as a way to deal with enchantments, artifacts, and opposing large creatures (deathtouch). Any other SB slots are up to your discretion as to what you want to beat.
Well, I know I wrote a book here, but hopefully I explained some of the reasons why many lists look the way that they do. One way you could go with your list here is to make the Blood Moon change last, keeping the Molten Rains in place of them to allow you to use the dark-dwellers as threats until you make the change (since Moon just wins many games by itself). This is only if the list you currently have here is what you have irl. If you're buying cards for it, just start with the blood moon version since it's more viable in larger events. Good luck with Ponza!
1 week ago
2 weeks ago
Yeah, you definitely need more 4-ofs, especially mana ramp. 4 Lightning Bolts is probably the most obvious thing to add in after that.
You might also want to lower the mana costs on your mana ramp. Llanowar Elves is good, and you have that. Search for Tomorrow, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and Arbor Elf + Utopia Sprawl/Fertile Ground/Overgrowth can go a long way as well. Arbor Elf also works in conjunction with Cinder Glade and Stomping Ground.
I've been thinking about R/G Dragons for a while now, just been waiting on the prices of some cards to come down. I think if you're on an unlimited budget, the list to play is something like:
4x Anger of the Gods
4x Search for Tomorrow
3x Blood Moon
4x Utopia Sprawl
1x Chandra, Flamecaller
1x Garruk, Primal Hunter / green planeswalker
4x Lightning Bolt
25 Other Spells
1x Blood Moon
1x Crumble to Dust
3x Destructive Revelry
1x Molten Rain
3x Obstinate Baloth
1x Thrun, the Last Troll
15 Sideboard Cards
You spend the first couple of turns ramping up and board wiping your opponents' threats, then finish them off with hasty dragons that are hard to remove.
2 weeks ago
@EventuallyClassy: Glad to hear it! Hmmm...that card seems a little meta-dependent. The inclusion of Teferi's Protection looks to be based upon how much the other decks at the table are looking to interact with your board state as opposed outright winning. That worries me. I'll probably add it as an alternative option to Choke in the advertised build along with Nevermore. Thanks for the suggestion.
3 weeks ago
You can't counter everything. Eventually you'll Choke. Like a forest wrapped in Autumn's Veil, Green is ineffable and incorruptable. When Seedtime comes, you will feel Nature's Wrath. You may try to Bolt our Birds, but we will have our revenge. Your casters will snap and we will Prey Upon their weaknesses. Your Bitterblossom is caught in a spider's web, and your Doom Blades will break against our Blossoming Defense. If you Live Fast you will Die Young, and while you Brainstorm and practice Sleight of Hand alone we Attune with Aether and Commune with Dinosaurs. We will clip the wings of your God-Pharaoh, and any other dragons you bring will feel our Stinging Shots. When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we do not fear, because Life Goes On. Our strength is unparalleled; we punch bears just for fun. You will be the Eternal Witness to our victory, for we have Gaea's Blessing.
3 weeks ago
Aggro, hands down. You aren't going to out midrange traditional Rock variants...you're just playing a worse version of the deck at that point.
Build around Collected Company. Flipping over Captivating Vampire, Stromkirk Captain, Drana, Liberator of Malakir, or Olivia, Mobilized for War is scary. Even flipping over Blood Artists can represent lethal.
One of my buddies at my LGS plays CoCo Vampires (hilariously dubbed "Count Chocula") and has a lot of success with it. Bloodghasts are really hard to get rid of, while Collected Company floods the board. It makes it really hard for your opponent to boardwipe. I think he's strictly in due to budget, however.
I'm not sure on his exact list. I think it's something like:
4x Blood Artist
2x Captivating Vampire
1x Drana, Liberator of Malakir
2x Gatekeeper of Malakir
4x Gifted Aetherborn
2x Guul Draz Vampire
4x Kalastria Highborn
1x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
4x Vampire Lacerator
2x Vampire Nighthawk
2x Viscera Seer
I'm not 100% sure this is his exact list, only from what I can recall playing against it.
3 weeks ago
I've been playing Ponza for a while and sorry for the spam if you already know all this. But here are a few thoughts from the other side of the table:
- My Turn 2 is probably the most important turn of the game. Your odds improve dramatically if you can disrupt my T2 Blood Moon/Stone Rain (~65% of the time) or Mwonvuli Acid-Moss/Chandra, Torch of Defiance/Chameleon Colossus (~10% of the time). Techniques incl 'bolt the bird' (i.e., Bolt, Push, or even Terminate vs. my Elf or Bird), your counterspell of choice (especially if followed up with Surgical Extraction), and simply not cracking a Fetch.
- My next big turn is trying to land my 5- or 6-drop.
- If Game 1 looks hopeless, it may be worthwhile to pretend you're on Grixis Death's Shadow for a while before scooping. The advantage there is that if I'm not sure yet what your deck is, I'm going to board for GDS rather than Control. Plus, I will almost always keep a meh hand in Game 2 vs. GDS, because a meh 7 is better than a great 6 or 5 that gets hand-distrupted into a horrible 5 or 4.
- We of course don't have any two-drops in the main, so sorry about those Spell Snares stuck in your hand Game 1. Not actually sorry :-)
- Because I'm expecting Engineered Explosives from your side, I always think about bringing in Ancient Grudge ... but I don't think I ever have, since there just aren't that many targets for it. Plus it's (hopefully) going to be hard for you to get the 3 colors you need to kill Blood Moon or Magus of the Moon.
- Collective Brutality is really good against me. Fulminator Mage is only OK, because I expect it ... though it's great if I stumble and you can keep me off double-red.
- You should expect to see Chameleon Colossus (mine are in the main, but almost all of us have 2x somewhere in the 75).
- Idk if it's any good in other match-ups, but you might consider Damnation in the side. It's a great way to kill our fatties and usually some dorks too. It's especially good after you have to tap out for something, as I will generally dump a fatty at that point (even if I think you may have it, because I generally can't afford to not take advantage of the opportunity). And even if you're not running it, you might consider pretending like you are (e.g., making a comment of some sort when you finally get double-black).
- If you've kept me off Blood Moon, watch out Kessig Wolf Run + any mana dork.
- In Control-heavy metas, expect Thrun, the Last Troll from the side for sure. Also expect to see some folks trying out Carnage Tyrant in the next few weeks. And Choke in a SUPER-heavy Control meta.
Hope this was helpful, and sorry again for the spam if it wasn't!