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Search your library for up to four cards with different names and reveal them. Target opponent chooses two of those cards. Put the chosen cards into your graveyard and the rest into your hand. Then shuffle your library.
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Gifts Ungiven Discussion
2 hours ago
There's also the "Tron" deck (short for Voltron from the 80's cartoons because you have to assemble parts to make a big thing like the lion robots), it uses big mana to cast Karn Liberated and Wurmcoil Engine. That's called "tap out control".
It probably helps to focus less on the overall archetype and focus on cards and strategies that speak to you. You can add control elements to a midrange or aggro deck, like the version of Burn that uses Scrying Sheets for some late game card filtering. Storm decks often have Remand and a modicum of other counterspells to get them to turn 3 or 4 so they can combo off. There are Blue Black fairy decks out there, a sort of midrange control that uses cards like Bitterblossom, Vendilion Clique, and Spellstutter Sprite. That's probably the closest thing you'll find to a "big bad blue" deck in Modern, or "blue tron" which takes the Tron deck and adds blue for counterspells and Gifts Ungiven.
Certain archetypes can become unviable for long periods of time in Modern and Legacy. For awhile in Legacy, Blue-White turtle control was the best deck because of a unique confluence of powerful cards, specifically Sensei's Divining Top, Counterbalance, and Terminus. They had to ban Sensei's Divining Top because the deck was becoming too oppressive and stopping a number of other popular archetypes from being competitive. So now blue-white control is gone for awhile. But it will be back, as soon as something good enough to replace Sensei's Divining Top is printed or until people figure out how to make it work without the Top (believe me, they're already trying).
Think of it this way: Trying to force your own preferred archetype in a format where it's clearly not viable is like trying to swim against the current of the ocean. Better to "go with the flow" as it is. It's the same basic principle in Judo or Kung Fu. Don't fight against force, channel the force of your opponent, flow with it, and use it against them. That being said of course, if you think you have an idea that works, go for it. Somebody somewhere had to be the first guy to sleeve up Sensei's Divining Top and Counterbalance, and you never know unless you experiment and try. Better to experiment and fail than to have never tried at all.
1 day ago
Yeah, sure is!
Well, I'm a great fan of Gifts Ungiven, this is certainly one of my favorite blue cards ever, so I'm really more into this list than the one with Pieces of the Puzzle. Even Seth himself acknowledged that this version is probably more consistent.
Anyway, I'm always happy to see a good Esper list. Keep it up! :)
1 day ago
ej133 it is a terrific piece of cinema history :) Glad you enjoy it.
And me too! I dug the pieces of the puzzle package, but I'm toying around the idea of Gifts Ungiven, and other reanimate targets in the MD. As a result some of the more controlling aspects like Inquisition and Thoughtseize have been cut, but I'm sure over time I'll figure out what might need to go in place of them.
2 days ago
Geralf's Messenger states that target opponent loses 2 life, it does not state that Geralf deals damage to a creature, it doesn't sync well with the token plan because of this, plus undying is +1/+1 not -1/-1. I would run something like Plague Belcher or to get the same effect just with -1/-1 counters on the second time round, Murderous Redcap.
As for the sideboard help. Mono-blue control tends to rely on Snapcaster Mage for recursion and as such graveyard hate is great (Something like Dryad Militant could work but Relic of Progenitus works just as well). Mono-blue generally has a problem with winning which gives you an upper hand, they aim to kind of beat down with snapcaster or Vendilion Clique half the time (or mill) so if you can out value them then you are in a good place. If counters are getting annoying Prowling Serpopard can shut down control pretty easily. Red-blue is a bit different as they have a dew different ways to win depending on the deck. The Kiln Fiend varient can be stopped with Fatal Push, same goes for Delver of Secrets Flip (in my opinion the best build with Monastery Swiftspear as well). Storm is annoying, and I don't know any card outside white that can stop storm in an instant without a huge caveat. The burn-control build means you need to go very aggressive, for this matchup have something like Tireless Tracker in the side so you can side in the threat and take out some expensive things, basically force your opponent to burn your creatures instead of you thereby wasting precious burn spells. Gifts Ungiven just kinda wins and there isn't much you can do about it. Abrupt Decay is another card you may want to include in your sideboard, it is versatile removal. Staples against control in the side for black are Duress, Collective Brutality, Liliana of the Veil (should be main for Lili).
2 days ago
It is weird to hear someone say "To much card Draw", but I think you have a point.. lol. I honestly think Rhystic Study provides the best draw in my deck. Maybe it is just my playgroup, but I will draw at least 2-4 extra cards a rotation off this. Also, Skullclamp is good, but all the Zombie Lords make me not want to sac as much, thus the Clamp is not as good. I am making the following changes:
what are your thoughts on these changes??? I could really use the feedback haha
2 days ago
Your deck looks pretty sweet, and I've spent quite a while figuring out what you could cut. I would probably take out Rhystic Study mainly due to the fact that you already have a good amount of card draw thanks to Necropotence, Phyrexian Arena, Graveborn Muse, and Skullclamp. In all honesty I would probably remove most of the card draw except for Skullclamp, and Graveborn Muse, because The Scarab God does a really good job at manipulating the deck. I would also remove Coalition Relic, and replace it with Winding Canyons, mainly due to the fact that you already have some mana ramp effects. Maybe replace Mind Grind for Psychic Strike. Other than that I'm not sure what else I could recommend you cut or add.I also have a question about one of the cards in your sideboard which is Gifts Ungiven. I'm pretty sure it's banned in commander, but does your playgroup allow it like one of mine does?
4 days ago
I'd say keep out the entire reanimation package if you are not running Gifts Ungiven, Collective Brutality or similar cards to dump your creatures and Unburial Rites into the graveyard (Animate Dead is also not Modern legal). It's also a bit counterintuitive with Heartless Summoning, as that only works if you cast the creatures themselves. Odric, Lunarch Marshal is a win-more card. If you have 2-3 creatures on the battlefield to really take advantage of him, you should pretty much have won the game by that point anyways, since all of them are really powerful. Lone Rider Flip is a bit unreliable also, it doesn't really align with the rest of your gameplan too much. Angelic Purge has better alternatives and you want to keep your permanents, since all of them are very valuable. Oblivion Ring for example, is already way better. The Sorin planeswalkers are a bit outclassed by Liliana and Gideon walkers outside of token decks, but it should be allright.
Now as to what you should add instead: You need a way to keep the enemy under control until you have enough mana to cast your big creatures. Therefore, you need boardwipes like Wrath of God or Damnation, probably 3 or 4 even. Fatal Push and Path to Exile are also important in keeping you alive early, or you will get run over by aggressive creatures like Death's Shadow. Blessed Alliance is good because it kills something and can gain you an additional turn through Lifegain. What you also want is some copies of Inquisition of Kozilek in the mainboard so you can do something about your opponent's strategy and removal spells. Phyrexian Metamorph is generally a strong card in Heartless Summoning decks, it effectively costs you 1 mana to copy any of your big creatures, which is a great deal. Myr Superion is also often seen in such decks, but can a bit unreliable. If it all comes together you get a really powerful creature on Turn 2 though.