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Grafdigger's Cage Discussion
19 hours ago
Hey, cutting Company I think is a mistake as it's more powerful than BBE in Elves especially if playing Shaman. You get to choose what two Elves to pick from that Company finds. BBE you don't get a choice meaning you could hit Llanowar or Mystic which is not very good.
Company is also only green letting you cast it early sometimes from a single activation of Heritage or Archdruid. BBE will require adding red mana producing lands to the manabase. Cavern of Souls helps a lot, but you'll need more than just Cavern. Other than BBE and Blood Moon what else does red provide that Elves want?
Consider playing all of them? 4x Company, 2x Chord, 2x BBE with maybe more BBE in the sideboard. If BBE can replace something main deck than I think some Chord or all of Lead can be cut because these cards can't interact with Company either, but BBE is an actual Elf has more overall synergy.
BBE could also be a fine sideboard card for Control matchups because you can cast it uncountable with Cavern. BBE also has other uses it gets around Grafdigger's Cage since you first exile the card you cascade into and then cast it, you don't play it directly from the library. Cage is a sideboard card that an opponent can use to stop Company.
2 days ago
frogkill45, I'm not sure how competitive your beatdown plan is without playtesting, but usually you don't drastically dilute a combo in order to play around one hate card. Dredge doesn't play a single card to play around RIP, so why should we? And we're actually better than Dredge against Grafdigger's Cage and one-shot grave hate, so it certainly seems fine to give up the 25% (average of game 2/3 that they draw it) of games vs. 17% of decks playing RIP. 25%*17% = 4%. We're only giving up 4% of games to drastically improve the deck in 96% of games!
The Thrun, Hazoret, Samut beatdown plan is cute, but let's evaluate how powerful the combo is with this change. With only 3 Samut and 4 Nighthawk, you're only going to assemble the combo half of games now. And your "combo" now usually only makes a 4/4 hexproof, double striker OR 4/4 hexproof, flying, lifelinker (unless you're lucky enough to draw one of each of 3 cards). So it's pretty much a midrange deck at this point? I don't know...this deck isn't particularly competitive so maybe it's just better to play a bunch of Thruns (which is pretty much what Soulflayer becomes)?
2 days ago
Secondly, I'm still on the fence if Blood Moon should be in the main or in the side. Personally, I like it side because you would like your colors even after Blood Moon is out, which forces you to have at least 1-2 Swamp and one Forest, which restricts your early game, but hey... let's work with this!
As for the mana-base, I would say:
2x Bloodstained Mire (possibly flip numbers with Foothills depending on cuts)
3x Forest (possibly lower depending on cuts)
1x Overgrown Tomb (2 if you move moon to the side)
1x Blood Crypt
so that is 24, which, with 4x 4-drops, is right around where you want to be.. Even though you are playing Blood Moon, you are going to want a decent amount of Man-Lands as, with typical Jund fashion, you will probably be top-decking later in the game, and will want to push damage if you don't hit the Blood Moon. With that said, we need to cut 2 from the main going form 22 -> 24.
Now let's talk about Noble Hierarch. Personally, I say cut it, as it seems underwhelming if not in your opener, and cascading into it is meh (it does give Exalted though...), but if you do keep it (because a T2 Lilly into T3 BBE is BROKEN), make it a 4-of and possibly cut a land to 23. If you cut it, maybe add another Grim Flayer or another Liliana of the Veil to make up for the one extra cut.
Let me say, Grim Flayer is ridiculous with Bloodbraid Elf, so maybe make that a 4-of and move Tireless Tracker to the board. I get it is color intensive, so the decision is, as always, ultimately up to you.
Let me also say that discard and conditional removal seems to be going down in priority with Bloodbraid Elf, so I wouldn't be opposed to going to 4x discard and maybe 2x Fatal Push for another Terminate or Dreadbore or Abrupt Decay (ehhhhh). Plus, that frees up your reliance on Swamp so earlier Forest doesn't seem that bad (to get there with BBE through a Blood Moon).
The sideboard - SPICY. Personally, i say cut the white and have more sideboard slots for what you really want to do, but I cannot say the BBE into Lingering Souls isn't tempting. Id remove the Surgical Extraction and add another Nihil Spellbomb and one Grafdigger's Cage because I feel that combo is low in priority right now, but that depends on your meta. Anger of the Gods also feels outclassed by Damnation, but I cannot argue against the Exile part - once again, meta dependent.
All in all, this seems to be fun! if you want to check out my BBE deck for some explenations, feel free... Junding Them w/ BBE... Good Luck!
3 days ago
Hello I_has_a_Leg, I'd be happy to take a look! It looks like you got all the usual suspects minus 1 or 2 cards. Personally Dont think Sovereign or Commander are worth the spot and would rather see 1 Kopala, 1 Kira, and some Harbingers. Harbingers are great because they keep your opponent from being able to be aggressive. Dont really like Mana Leak here either since its a very reactive spell and you want to be aggressive tapping out each turn to add to your board. I would say Dismember is better for that slot if you are looking for interaction.
For the SB to start, you have 2 Spreading Seas and 3 in the main meaning you have 5 and obviously cant. I would find room for that fourth in the main and remove the 5th. If you want extra land hate in the SB add a couple Sea's Claim. Other cards you may not have considered-
Another thing you can consider overall is moving to U/W with Wanderwine Hub and Seachrome Coast. Not only does this make you better against fringe cards like Choke or Boil but make your removal alot better with Path to Exile and gives you some of the best SB hate in modern with stuff like Rest in Peace and Stony Silence.
Hope this helps you and gives you some ideas to brew with!
3 days ago
With Jace and Bloodbraid in the format, I figured Ponza could be better with the elf. I also added a copy of Thrun to fight Jace, as he can't be bounced. Thoughts?4xArbor Elf 2xBirds of Paradise 3xBloodbraid Elf 3xInferno Titan 4xStormbreath Dragon 1xCourser of Kruphix 1xThrun, the Last Troll 2xChandra, Torch of Defiance4xBlood Moon 4xUtopia Sprawl 2xBeast Within4xMwonvuli Acid-Moss1xPrimal Command 4xStone Rain
5 days ago
Firstly, I like your deck a lot, and I love what Esper colors have to offer. When looking at your list, I was comparing this deck to GDS lists, as they are very similar in colors and in cards.
using both delve threats and flashback is a very gentle balance. While cards like Liliana of the Veil and Thought Scour help you get there, up-ing your fetchland count to 8 would provide even more consistence.
I would suggest removing a Tasigur, the Golden Fang. While the card is good, its easily made bad with sideboarding, and one slot dedicated to him frees up room for more useful things.5
Elesh Norn is quite the spicy card to play, but I feel Iona is a bit far out of reach. Some decks run graveyard removal mainboard for dredge and Tarmogoyf based matchups, and the game will likely be over before you are able to get there.
Also, while Hedron Crab is one of the useful engines for making the deck work, id like to see more interaction turn 1-3. cutting this would make room for Thoughtseize / Inquisition of Kozilek, helping you to not just flatout lose to combo decks. but as you add more fetchlands, the value of hedron crab increases b/c of double landfall triggers.
while path of exile is amazing, it does ramp your opponent, making it strictly bad on turns 1-3 except against combo and dredge. Fatal Push should be bumped up to 3 of and Path of Exile should be moved down to 2 of. B/c of revolt trigger, Push gets better as you add more fetches, which I already suggested above. Also, I'd borrow the idea from GDS of running 1-3 Stubborn Denial since your running G-Angler and Tasigur.
Ceremonious Rejection for tron is SB helps as well.
I would plan to have some artifact/enchantment removal since things like Rest in Peace and Grafdigger's Cage are not in short supply. Pithing Needle stops Relic of Progenitus and Nihil Spellbomb, and has added value of dealing with pesky walkers. Spellbomb would also be quite playable in your SB as well
your 4 drop slot is completely empty, and in any deck running esper should consider at least 2 Cryptic Command, and [Jace, the Mind Sculptor] since it's unbanned next week.
Adds - (2-3) Thoughtseize, (2-3) Inquisition of Kozilek, (+1) Push, (1-2) Stubborn Denial, (2) Nihil Spellbomb (in SB), (1) Pithing Needle (in SB)
Big Ticket Adds:
Cryptic Command and Jace, the Mind Sculptor.
Drops - (1) Tasigur, the Golden Fang, (1) Iona, Shield of Emeria, (1) Path of Exile, (3) Hedron Crab
6 days ago
for sideboard i like Shapers' Sanctuary in the side board for cheap semi-anti removal.
Display of Dominance is really good for liliana and the newly unbanned jace.
6 days ago
i like Shapers' Sanctuary in the side board for cheap semi-anti removal.
Display of Dominance is really good for liliana and the bewly unabnned jace.