Target creature you control gains protection from the color of your choice until end of turn.
Scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
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Ok, so if you want to compete in modern, you're going to need something a lot less fragile. Heroic decks tend to be very weak to removal, of which there is a lot in the modern format. If you want to play the "Play little dudes and buff em up" strategy, I would either recommend going with a Hexproof build, or a Tokens strategy.
No offense to you of course, but this deck would probably just get demolished at any sort of competitive modern event. You are relying far too heavily on your three drop slot, and that just isn't going to do very well when your opponents are trying to win on turn 3 or 4. Modern is very fast, and you either need to be able to defend yourself until you can establish a board presence, or be able to race right along side the other decks.
So, with this in mind, Here's the composition that I would recommend:
4-6 One Drop creatures, 4-6 Two Drop creatures, and up to 4 copies of one Three Drop creature. Then for your buff spells, most of them should be again 1 drops, perhaps some twos if you can find any good ones, then your playset of Unflinching Courage is fine. Hardened Scales, Ajani, Reap What Is Sown, Feat of Resistance, Defiant Strike, Abzan Falconer, Dawnbringer Charioteers, and settessan oathsworn are your bad cards in the deck. They're either too expensive, don't impact the board enough, or both. If you're adamant about playing a heroic strategy, I would recommend a build that loos something like:
4x Akroan Skyguard, 4x Favored Hoplite and maybe 2x Hero of Iroas. That's it for your creatures. Your buffs should be in the form of Enchantments, for the most part, because they hold a greater effect on the game. 4x Rancor, 4x Ethereal Armor, 4x Keen Sense, 4x Hyena Umbra, and maybe 2x Spider Umbra, along with your 4x Unflinching Courage, and 4x Gods Willing / Brave the Elements.
With this as your starting point, you'll be much more likely to be able to race everyone else. You'll also have a much better base if you want to move to a hexproof build later down the road.
Moving on to your mana base, I will recommend the best mana base possible, followed by budget alternatives.
So of course, the best chance you have at getting the mana you need when you need it would be to run 4x Windswept Heath, 2x Verdant Catacombs, 1x Marsh Flats, 4x Temple Garden, 4x Razorverge Thicket, 4x Sunpetal Grove, 2-4x Stirring Wildwood, and some basic lands. If fetches are out of the question, the Temple Gardens are still a must, Wooded Bastion as a 1 or 2 of would work wonders as well, followed by the rest of that list. You never want comes into play tapped lands in modern, because you're basically just wasting that whole turn, so even basics are better than those, but I would highly recommend at least getting the Razorverge Thickets and the Sunpetal Groves.
So that's about it for suggestions on this build for a competitive modern deck, just let me know how you feel about it, or if there's anything else you'd like to be doing in modern. I don't mean to come off as "Your deck sucks and you need to do things my way", but rather i'm just trying to help you understand what it takes to get anywhere in a competitive modern environment. Hope I was able to do that!
Testing your deck for a single two games, with each deck alternating between first play then I'll give input to how I believe some changes can be made. It looks like a solid list and I honestly have nothing better to do.
[BM] Bloodsoaked Marauding vs. [HA] Heroic Ascension
[HA] has the draw, and mulligans a hand of 1 Battlefield Forge, 2 Jeskai Ascendancy, 1 Seeker of the Way, 1 Monastery Swiftspear, 1 Defiant Strike and 1 Dragon Mantle. Don't want to get caught with one mana regardless of the draw or not. Forced to keep second-hand 1 Mystic Monastery, 1 Jeskai Charm, 1 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer. 2 Temple of Triumph and 1 Dragon Mantle with the draw hopefully into something nice.
[BM] plays Swamp and Thoughtseize revealing the hand and making [HA] discarding Lagonna. I honestly think this'd be obvious because without that creature it becomes a weak keep on the draw, hoping now for a creature. ([BM] 18 - 20 [HA])
[HA] draws Mana Confluence. Damn, I really wished with this mana-fixing that some statistics would work for a creature spell on the draw. Plays Temple of Triumph and bottoms a Springleaf Drum. We need to draw into threats to stop any spells coming from [BM]. Still not knowing what they have, not to be sure yet I think a logical bottom. ([BM] 18 - 20 [HA])
[BM] draws Polluted Delta. With no creatures on the field I'll go with a double creature play in MP2. Swings for four, from the double Tormented Hero - capitilizes by playing Polluted Delta, sacrificing to play a Swamp and casts Gnarled Scarhide and Spiteful Returned. Go. ([BM] 17 - 16 [HA])
[HA] needs this draw. Draws a Favored Hoplite really? First with the Springleaf Drum and now the Hoplite. Actually considering scooping. Favored Hoplite is cast, then immediately play Mana Confluence and paying life for red, casting Dragon Mantle on Hoplite drawing a card & heroic trigger. Draws Akroan Crusader. Solid card. We need chump blockers. Plays the Crusader and ends turn. ([BM] 17 - 15 [HA])
[BM] draws Pain Seer. Swing with all four creatures, two life lost from Spiteful Returned, blocks from [HA] would be Crusader to Returned, Hoplite onto a Hero. Four damage & two life lost. Getting a bit low here for [HA]. Cast a Pain Seer and ends turn. ([BM] 17 - 10 [HA])
[BM] draws Swamp, plays it. Now is a pivotable moment of attackers, personally my playerstyle would still swing with all which I shall do, and presumably Pain Seer would be blocked for what I'd think be a smash. But given the situation, blocks will be Hoplite on Hero, Damage Step Springleaf Drum onto Hoplite for Blue and pay one life for White from Mana Confluence, Jeskai Charm the Pain Seer back ontop of the deck. Probably the better play afterall. Two damage and one life lost. Getting closer. Just for payback, casts Herald of Torment and says go. I still think it was honestly the right move but right now you're hating that you don't have the charm for Herald. ([BM] 17 - 7 [HA])
[HA] draws Monastery Swiftspear. Another chump. Will be good to block a creature on the ground with Prowess from Gods Willing but I don't think it'll be enough. Casts Monastery Swiftspear and will end turn. ([BM] 17 - 7 [HA])
[BM] loses one life during upkeep. Draws the Pain Seer. Honestly without knowing the Prowess I don't think the [BM] player would swing with anything other than Herald of Torment and does so. 3 damage. Casts Pain Seer and ends turn. ([BM] 16 - 4 [HA])
[HA] draws Retraction Helix. I think I'll need to pop in two turns. Ends turn immediately, won't attack to deter ground swingers. ([BM] 16 - 4 [HA])
[BM] loses one life during upkeep. Draws Polluted Delta, bluff card. Swings with everything. Blocks are Swiftspear on Hero, Hoplite on Pain Seer. Damage Step target by Helix, Heroic Trigger and returned Herald back to the hand. Prowess trigger lets Swiftspear survive. Two damage. ([BM] 16 - 2 [HA])
[HA] draws Mystic Monastery. Horrendous draw. Is played. Ends turn. ([BM] 16 - 2 [HA])
[BM] reveals Bile Blight via Pain Seer inspired and loses two life. Draws Spiteful Returned. Plays and sacrifices Polluted Delta for a play of Swamp, bestows Herald of Torment onto Pain Seer and swings for flying lethal. ([BM] 14 - 0 [HA])
As I said both games will be single with no-siding to work onto your mainboard. Let's delve into a second game.
[HA] has the play, mulligans a hand of 7 to 6, with 2 land, 3 instants, 1 enchantment and no creatures. No first turn play. Mulligans to a more conservative yet still slow hand. 1 Monastery Swiftspear, 1 Mystic Monastery, 1 Springleaf Drum, 1 Favored Hoplite, 1 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer, 1 Defiant Strike.
[BM] has the draw, mulligans a hand of 5 land, 1 Mogis's Marauder and 1 Spiteful Returned. Mulligans a hand of 6 spells. Down to 5, keeps the hand of 2 land, Pain Seer, Mardu Skullhunter, Spiteful Returned.
[HA] plays Mystic Monastery and passes. ([HA] 20 - 20 [BA])
[BM] draws Tormented Hero and swings with both creatures immediately. Trade a Hoplite for a Champion, two damage. Cast Skullhunter for the Raid trigger, [HA] discards Jeskai Charm. ([HA] 18 - 19 [BM])
[HA] draws Mystic Monastery. Really, really rough draw. Casts Springleaf which'll target Trailblazer for Red, casting Monastery Swiftspear. Plays an additional Mystic Monastery for the game and passes. ([HA] 18 - 19 [BM])
When you get flooded like that in example there's not a lot to discuss. I wasn't able to get into your decks rhythm now had to the time to with the moderate aggressiveness of Bloodsoaked Marauding. However to my fullest extent would be a rehaul of your mana-fixing. Basic lands and fetch lands will prove with pace of other aggressive decks and is pretty much a necessity anyway. I'm sure you've not drawn like that before, especially with 18 land in the list to be flooded like that. I would suggest also having more creatures than you do already. Heroic is inconsisant statistically when built like you've because 50/50 it's either a creature or a spell that targets the creature. Happy deck-building.
Ok so the following is only if you want a real control deck. Right now this looks like it has some synergy, but is basically jeskai Aggro plus a log of spells minus a lot of creatures. Here is my control changes.
The only issue I see at a first glance is that your creature base isn't very control based. It looks like jeskai Aggro to me. In this deck, you would want way more control (Banishing Light etc.)
So I would replace all your current creatures except Keranos, God of Storms, with the following:
Then in addition to those cuts, I would cut the following:
And there you have it. U/W control splash red for your pleasure.
This will make you wanna completely rethink your mana base, which I am too lazy to do so...
Hope this helps!
Butcher of the Horde is amazing as long as you have something on the battlefield to sacrifice to him, giving him haste the turn he's cast. Otherwise, most of the time he gets removed on the next turn, before you get to attack with him. Therefore, cheap creature spells like Bloodsoaked Champion are really important. In my opinion token creators like Goblin Rabblemaster and Brimaz, King of Oreskos are essential if you want to get the maximal potential out of the butcher, but even if you don't run them he's still a very good card on its own - lifelink is awesome when you are running an aggressive deck like Mardu.
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker is really good if you want to go in the midrange. However, he is not that good if you want to be more aggressive, in which case Sorin, Solemn Visitor will be more useful. Nevertheless, getting a hasted indestructible dragon on turn 5 can be a very strong finisher, and you get the ability to remove blockers such as Courser of Kruphix, but beware that due to the fact that he is a planeswalker and that you are most likely going to attack with all the rest of the creatures, he is very vulnerable to attacks and burn spells the next turn. Therefore, if you are only looking for a strong flier, I'd suggest running Stormbreath Dragons instead, as Sarkhan's other abilities are rarely used. In my deck I mainly use him as Stormbreath Dragon 5 and 6.
On fliers in general: the fact that Mardu has Black in its colours gives you a couple of great fliers if you want to go very aggro:
Herald of Torment is very good, and its bestow thing can win you games with ease.
Master of the Feast - a 5/5 flier on turn 3. Nothing else needs to be said here. You are giving up card advantage, but if you are going super-aggro, you really shouldn't care much about that. In my first attempts at Marduing, I ran a very fast deck with Master and Butcher in it, and was very successful at several local tournaments. A 5/5 flier on turn 3 + a 5/4 hasted flier on turn 4 = gg very often.
If you are going to use any of the two listed above, I'd suggest also playing 3-4x Gods Willing to protect them as they (the Master especially) will be very high priority targets of all sorts of spells.
You Should put the lions in your sideboard, and if they are playing something that wants to get rid of your creatures, try some other creatures with different advantages. Aegis of the Gods, Sylvan Caryatid, Bassara Tower Archer, Mistcutter Hydra (which would activate Hardened Scales as it enters), Hushwing Gryff, and of course, Fleecemane Lion. But since they don't have anything to do with lifegain really, they will only protect you really. Or you could try some other spells that help your creatures out Gift of Immortality, Spectra Ward, Ranger's Guile, Gods Willing, there are probably a lot that I missed. Anyways, you get my point, have backups of other creatures/spells that will be a bit more resistant, but still will not trigger your other cards, spells that will help your creatures, and removal. Also, now that you have taken stuff out, and added more stuff, you could try and fix your mana percentages there.
Feel free to check our my lifegain deck, The Exponential Wurm Of Life.
If you want to profit from lifelink and the whole lifegain idea, you would need much more spells that actually give you life or activate Seeker of the Way's Prowess ability. At least add 1 more Seeker. Butcher of the Horde and/or Master of the Feast will also fit in nicely, as you will a need stronger finisher, as you want to end the game as soon as possible.
A month or so ago, while I was still acquiring all the cards for my deck, I ran 4x Master of the Feast and 4x Butcher of the Horde as core creatures (even if that means splashing red). Pulling off a turn 3 5/5 flier and turn 4 5/4 flier with haste can easily win you the game, if you have not done the needed early amounts of damage with the warriors.
I feel other cards that you should consider are:- Despise- Spear of Heliod- Sorin, Solemn Visitor / Whip of Erebos- Caves of Koilos is very cheap now...- Murderous Cut - because a lot of your creatures will die early on, providing the fuel to cast it early- Molting Snakeskin and Gods Willing to activate Prowess or keep a creature on the battlefield for longer and protect it against burn/removal.
I've been playing Jeskai Tempo for a few weeks now: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/08-11-14-jeskai-std/
The past two weeks I've gone to the final Round undefeated and ended up Drawing to split the winning with the other undefeated person.
My sideboard is for our local meta. Basically, the first thing I do when I SB is pull Goblin Rabblemaster for more burn or removal, Erase, Magma Spray, Disdainful Stroke, End Hostilities etc. The second thing I pull is Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker.
Everything else stays in the Mainboard. Normally when I'm having to Sideboard it's because I just need more burn to the face. Once my opponent sees Rabblemaster or Sarkhan, I know they are Sideboarding to counter those two cards. That's why they come out first.
I like the idea of running Spellheart Chimera. It's cheap and effective. I run the typical Stormbreath Dragon, because it's Pro-White. Tonight I beat a white weanie deck that was SUPER strong. Stormbreath Dragon + Burn won the game for me. Same thing against an Abzan Deck.
It really just boils down to your local meta, but I want my games to be the same every time. I want to be able to expect things to happen. Probabilities, etc. That's why I'm against "One-Of's".
My two cents. Deck looks good overall. Hope my suggestions help with your Sideboard.
|0.08 TIX||0.18 TIX|
|Avg. draft pick||9.92|
|Avg. cube pick||12.53|
|Commander / EDH||Legal|