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Gurmag Angler Discussion
5 days ago
To start, I played the list with Thought Scour in a few tournaments with only okay results. I found that my opening hand oftentimes had a lot of cards that didn't do anything. Kalitas isn't useful until turn 4, Bloodghast doesn't interact with my opponent, and my cantrips don't interact either. A single piece of removal or a single discard spell plus a few cards that don't interact is a miserable hand in this meta, where pretty much every deck, especially Death's Shadow, requires constant pressure to beat. Basically in this meta I am not a proactive deck, I am the reactive control deck that needs to be interacting with the opponent pretty much constantly. Thought Scour was not useful in accomplishing this goal. So, I cut Thought Scour and the 3rd Tasigur.
After that I tweaked my interaction suite a bit. I'm back up to 2 Thoughtseize and 2 Inquisition of Kozilek instead of just 2 Thoughtseize. Discard I think is really good right now. Next I adjusted the removal to have 1 Fatal Push. Push is really good, but I want to be on 4 Lightning Bolt right now and since there are quite a few Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Gurmag Anglers running around, I don't want more than 2 Push tops, but for now I'm sticking to 1.
The last weird change I made was to add 2 Dispel to the mainboard. Dispel is amazing against every deck except Eldrazitron, which is a lost cause game 1 anyway. It counters Stubborn Denial, Path to Exile, and Collected Company, which is everything I care about. It's only a 1 mana investment and playing it so far, it has been amazing. The little bit of permission it brings is just enough to be super useful.
For the sideboard, it's mostly the same, but talking to people at my LGS, I should be playing Ceremonious Rejection instead of Blood Moon because I have Snapcaster Mage. Also a second Nihil Spellbomb over Rakdos Charm because spellbomb is so much better right now.
1 week ago
Sedraxis Specter was in the original Bloody Singleminded (Competitive), but cut because the discard tended to come down too late and didn't do enough. It was also too proactive - with Bloodghast already being pretty proactive, it just didn't really work to have other proactive cards too and still keep the control aspects of the deck. This would be even more true in this meta where we need to have a Terminate for Death's Shadow almost every game.
Fatal Push I don't have because $9 for a standard-legal uncommon is kinda ridiculous. Decks are also starting to respond to Push by playing cards that it doesn't hit, so I think it's actually a good time to not be playing it and play a deck that can support a bunch of Terminate instead. I would probably only play 1 or maybe 2 if I had them. Lightning Bolt + Snapcaster Mage just seems so much stronger in this meta because no one else is doing it. I've taken so many games against shadow because I can control turns 1-4 and then explode with aggro on turns 4-5 when they get low on life.
Not many modern decks tend to tap out for Censor to be effective, and I cut Thought Scour because I was tired of so many cards in my opening hand that didn't do anything immediately. Dispel answers Path to Exile, Stubborn Denial, and Collected Company - pretty much everything I care about. This deck is otherwise sorcery-speed most of the time so counterspells tend to be awkward in game 1.
Cut / Ribbons is interesting. I haven't seen that card yet. It still misses Tasigur, the Golden Fang and Gurmag Angler and most Tarmogoyf, but it hits a lot of other things. I never really get more than 5 mana in any game, but that's a card I'll have to keep in mind.
Smuggler's Copter is an interesting one. I've never considered it here, but it's more damage than Snapcaster Mage or Bloodghast and it has evasion. I'm thinking turn 1 Thoughtseize, turn 2 Copter, turn 3 snap-thoughtseize and crew Copter. That would be a devastating line against Eldrazitron. I might not have enough creatures to make it worth it and a hand of multiple Copter would really suck, but it could give the deck the aggression it needs against Eldrazi.
Thanks for all the suggestions though! You've given me some stuff to think about.
1 week ago
You should probably have 4 Eidolon of the Great Revel, though they are expensive. Soul-Scar Mage has also proven to be quite good in Legacy UR delver, so it almost certainly be played here too (fire a Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning at a Gurmag Angler or Tarmogoyf). Harsh Mentor is also seeing Legacy burn play. It's very good against Umezawa's Jitte and Deathrite Shaman, 2 of you biggest problem cards. Finally, 1-2 Sulfuric Vortex is a very good idea.
1 week ago
@Kezvin Yeah, I have thought a lot about it since it would be nice to deny them the land and revolt is so easy to trigger. Not to mention the Path Artist Non-bo. However, I really think it is more important to have the catch all available. Aside from Path and Grave Pact we literally have nothing to kill things like Gurmag Angler, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Reality Smasher, Drowner of Hope, Endbringer, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Wurmcoil Engine, Platinum Angel, Sundering Titan, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, World Breaker, Primeval Titan, anything from a Living End or reanimator deck, or any other big baddies that cost more than four that I can't think of.
Also worth mentioning are any instances of indestructible, undying, persist, or regenerate.
And then there are creatures with graveyard abilities or the in dredge.
As much as I love Push, Path just feels like a necessary evil.
1 week ago
I've been playing mono black and g/b in modern for about 4 years. Despite anything you say or possible could fact is mono black Control, Midrange, Aggro, Devotion is not a competitive deck in modern. There is only 2 viable black decks in the format, Eldrazitron and 8Rack everything else is casual. So you need not bring that nonsense of casual or competitive into discussion.
Now I sympathize with you, when I started playing I said I want to be that person who makes mono black competitive. I've built about every mono black deck there is, from Aether Vialing Death's Shadow, to Rite of Consumptioning, Abyssal Persecutor, from Deathrite Shaman 8Rack to Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Painful Truths Smallpox and even Obliterator Devotion. My first deck was ramping Crypt Ghast into Sheoldred, Whispering One and honestly that deck has a better track record then most of the stuff listed above. The fact of the matter is that without access to artifact and enchantment mono black no matter how it's built will not be competitive.
You say Fatal Push struggles against decks with three drops. No it doesn't. You just need to build your deck with more fetches. And before you argue about cost or anything like that, we're talking "competitive" remember? Basically the only thing that Fatal Push struggles against is Gurmag Angler and Primeval Titan. Victim of Night can't hit Gurmag Angler either for that matter.
Now I'm not saying Phyrexian Arena or Victim of Night are bad cards, they're both great. I'm saying Phyrexian Arena shouldn't be a 3 of in any "competitive" build. You're not going to cast it over Liliana of the Veil turn 3 and multiple copies will clog your hand while you find an opportunity to cast it. I'm not saying Victim of Night isn't worth running. I'm saying Fatal Push is the best removal mono black has. It's easy to trigger without a significant drawback with the same cost and more reach than Lightning Bolt.
1 week ago
Exactly! I was playing Gurmag Angler and I felt it didn't do nearly as much work for only 1 less black. For all the work needed for you to get a angler it just doesn't have the same game changing power as Tombstalker.
1 week ago
Well the issue I see is you aren't running enough creatures. Midrange normally runs about 12-13, then 3-4 decent walkers to back up those threats as must answer cards. Which you are lacking. They also have access to man-lands to help apply pressure.
Drop all the Vexing Devil and Bump in the Night. For creatures you've got stuff like Thundermaw Hellkite, Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Gurmag Angler, For walkers, Liliana of the Veil, Liliana, the Last Hope, Chandra, Pyromaster and Chandra, Torch of Defiance.
For removal, you can probably drop Doom Blade due to the prevalence of DS and Go for the Throat, instead play Fatal Push. Kolaghan's Command is also pretty sweet for recursion, mainboard artifact hate, damage and discard.