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Creature — Rhino
When Siege Rhino enters the battlefield, each opponent loses 3 life and you gain 3 life.
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Siege Rhino Discussion
1 day ago
Wauw. What conclusion: thinning one card from your deck in the early turns aren't worth it, therefore fetchlands are bad.
Along the way, they fix your mana. A lot of decks, at least in modern, have 2 main colors and then splash a third, and it's the splash color that's hard to do, if you don't have fetches. Apart from this, there's regular manafixing - hard to play triplecolor cost cards, if you don't have fetches to get exactly the right lands for that (as long as you play 2+ colors, no problem for monocolored decks, obviously). You want that Siege Rhino on turn 4? It's not impossible out of dual colored lands and basics, but it's fetches that makes it reliable.
Incidental advantages: Shuffling after playing Brainstorm or activating Jace, the Mind Sculptor. As far as I know (and I'm no legacy player at all), this is one of the strongest things to do in that format. Brainstorming without reshuffling is nowhere near the strength of brainstorming and reshuffling.
Triggering landfall (already mentioned). Not something you see that often, but in modern both burn (because Searing Blaze - try and get a basic land to enable landfall in your opponents turn) and decks with Tireless Tracker use this a lot.
Another reshuffle: Anything dealing with the topcard on your library, like Courser of Kruphix or as a play against lantern-control. Useful enough on its own - enough fetches can actually be the only way to play against lanterncontrol before sideboard.
Fetches go the graveyard, which is also an advantage to many decks - anything with Tarmogoyf, or cards that use delirium like Traverse the Ulvenwald and Grim Flayer, or cards that replay from the graveyard like Sun Titan, Ramunap Excavator or Renegade Rallier. Or anything so classic it uses threshold (speaking of classics; fetches can fetch the original ABUR dual lands - they've been able to do that since the first fetches from onslaught). Just count the advantage on this - a card in the graveyard, the land you really wanted for whatever hand you have, and a little bit of late-game thinning.
And only THEN, after you've gotten a good way into the game, the thinning becomes relevant. Is there seriously anybody thinking that removing one card in 52 (opening hand + 1 drawn in your first turn) is anything but microscopically relevant for your turn 2 draw on its own, or is that perhaps a strawman who has learned playing mtg? How often have a deck that didn't really need fetches played them? Are there any examples that could be linked? Monoblue merfolk with fetches whether legacy or modern? Monogreen stompy (without any revolt or landfall)?
2 days ago
Oops! I saw "Blood Moon" and my eyes glazed over the next line, lol. Love the deck!
My favorite sideboard advice comes from a recent episode of Magic: the Amateuring. Maria (or maybe Meghan) said that you should always ask the question, "Am I sideboarding against their main deck, or their sideboard?" In other words, is your maindeck doing more powerful things than theirs (so they'll be sideboarding heavily against you) or vice versa?
In this case, I think tribal in general is doing weaker things than Tron, Breach, Storm, etc. Even "fair" decks like Jund/Abzan can out-value you with Bloodbraid Elf or Siege Rhino, etc (though CapVamp gives you advantage in the long game). Therefore, I would sideboard heavily against those decks. Eidolon of Rhetoric, Silence against Storm; land hate against big mana (you've got that covered, though Field of Ruin in the main might help); and so forth. In light of that, it seems like you're on the right track! Best of luck.
2 days ago
Oh I guess you mostly need to cut cards:
Ageless Entity is just a big fat boy, no evasion, no +1/+1 counter synergy. He doesn't do enough for 5 mana. Baneslayer Angel is kinda in the same boat. Gains some life, but not super resilient, and not a super fast clock. Exalted Angel falls under the same category of medium beaters. Probably Gisela, the Broken Blade too?
All 3 soul sisters should go, they're pure dedicated life gain with no other upside in a deck that already gains plenty of life. They might be good enough for Karlov that gets immediate value off of repeated small incremental life gain, but not for you.
Sangromancer is pure dedicated life gain on a medium body. I don't think much of it but it can situationally gain crazy life. I'd cut it but I can see the argument for it.
Siege Rhino maaaaaaaybe? If you intend to go full on tempo agro? Doesn't feel like an amazing strategy tho, and the deck feels more grindy than agro.
Quiet Disrepair this is a comically bad way to get rid of a problem artifact or enchantment, and some of those faster, more certain methods gain life anyway.
Leyline of Vitality is basically just a soul sister.
Maybe trim a few pieces of your more mediocre spot removal? Molder sticks out as pretty bad.
6 field sweeps seems a little high considering you kind of want your field to stick, and your recursion isn't super strong. Day of Judgment at least seems like it could go.
You got like 10 ways to kill artifacts/enchantments, so Fracturing Gust might be overkill.
3 days ago
Have you thought about adding Siege Rhino its a 6 point life swing and they are fairly cheap. Can also be used as a finisher late game
1 week ago
APPLE01DOJ - I don't know. Yesterday, I could have written you an essay; today, I'm facing down Jace, the Mind Sculptor. I know nothing until further testing. I have rushed to bring back two copies of Liliana of the Veil to the list since the unbans, a card I had eschewed very quickly in my original construction of the deck, since it hardly favours the player drawing an extra card a turn; however, with the advent of Bloodbraid Elf and Jace TMS, opponents are now likely to be able to keep up with the CA of Phyrexian Arena, and as such, Liliana of the Veil is likely to be good again (even if the format is being overrun by lots of Bloodghast, Hollow One, and Faithless Looting).
However, I can offer a breakdown of how the creatures function in non-blue matchups:
a. Pack Rat:
The deck started with the set of Pack Rat. But that all in-strategy was soon found to be suboptimal - drawing multiple Pack Rats was unnecessary and rarely served any purpose; not to mention the speed of Modern means turn 2 Pack Rat is often too slow. As sweepers, Detention Sphere, and Maelstrom Pulse became common, and as Hollow One and Death's Shadow and Tasigur, the Golden Fang started to surface, Pack Rat lost some of its luster.
The natural question, then, if Pack Rat is slow and vulnerable, why play him at all? The answer: Pack Rat is ten cards in one card. Backed up with any kind of disruption and removal, he takes over the board and ends the game, quickly and unstoppably. Two activations are more than enough to put away games, and trading spot removal for Rats is a losing proposition. So in this list, he's gone from being a windmill early slam, to a lategame engine that turns dead land drops and discard spells into an army of creatures. Barring Path to Exile before a single activation is possible, Liliana, the Last Hope can always buy him back - one copy of the Rat, therefore, is ample.
I've covered the virtues of this card in a post above - essentially, he's my Tarmogoyf, but he flies. Whether he functions as The Abyss or as a 6/6 unblockable, he ends games very quickly, and many a game against combo/Tron has been put away by disruption into disruption into Demon. Of the quick clocks available to black, he's one of the better ones. I believe the added utility to be well worth the extra two mana over Goyf (besides, far be it from me to argue against 6 6 fliers for four - speaking of which, Demon is almost always a strictly superior option to Abyssal Persecutor, since Persecutor requiring us to find an additional kill spell for our own demon while Phyrexian Arena ticks down/the burn opponent is topdecking is not a good feeling).
I cannot praise this card enough in any mono black midrange list. He exiles creatures, he gains life consistently, and he makes every removal spell in our deck a 2 for 1. Traditionally, efficient mono black removal has been weak to graveyard recursion such as Flamewake Phoenix, Bloodghast, Geralf's Messenger, Kitchen Finks, and so forth, since all these cards must be killed more than once, at no additional expense to the opponent. Thoughtseize and Phyrexian Arena is a painful combination, especially in a world of Lightning Bolt and Kolaghan's Command. Kalitas solves all of these issues beautifully, and with any removal spell stalls the board incredibly easily and well.
Okay, have you seen the art? If Drana were real, she'd totally be my Valentine.
Jokes aside, one of the issues I was frequently running into with the deck was the amount of time it took me to close out once I had stabilised. While all of my creature threats (Gray Merchant of Asphodel is basically a Corrupt, he doesn't count) end the game quite quickly, I just wasn't drawing them fast enough - my opponent would get the opportunity to find that Cryptic Command or Sphinx's Revelation, or get those last 2 Boros Charm. There is a delicate balance between disruption and pressure that must be maintained in all decks that are not pure control, and maintaining that balance required me to find another fast game-ending threat.
I considered running the fourth Desecration Demon, but the idea of another big dumb beater was not appealing. I wanted a powerful threat with intrinsic value attached to its kit, that could help deal with the board even when I was not drawing multiple cards a turn, and hopefully one that was either resilient, or dodged some of the common removal in the format (Lightning Bolt, Abrupt Decay, Fatal Push - although I was open to playing four drops, since consistently having revolt to deal with a whole myriad of four drop threats is difficult). While black has plenty of value three drops, none of them offered this game ending power, or were too easily killed - Nightveil Specter and Lifebane Zombie, for instance, offer great card advantage in specific situations, but don't really pack the same punch as something like a Desecration Demon or Pack Rat army.
Finally, I settled on Drana. There are a lot of powerful five drops in black with value built in (Bloodgift Demon, for instance), but Drana does something none of the others do - she kills things, turn after turn, while being able to attack in the air for huge chunks. In a meta with Lingering Souls, Dark Confidant and Young Pyromancer, Drana seemed like an elegant solution, and so far, she has far exceeded my expectations. I do not think I should consider running multiples of her, since she is quite expensive and can be killed for no value the turn she comes into play, but untapping with her can feel a bit like untapping after a Supreme Verdict to an empty board.
No Geralf's Messenger, no Phyrexian Obliterator; only 2 Gray Merchant. I do not believe the all in devotion plan is likely to ever become Modern competitive, for sheer want of interactive capability and card advantage - if you are playing a midrange list in Modern, you need lots of early interaction in the form of hand disruption and removal, a proactive plan to end the game with efficient threats, and ways to pull ahead on cards after both players have been stripped down to limited resources. Gray Merchant is an extremely powerful card, as good as or better than Siege Rhino if it drains for upwards of five; it swings races, it ends games, it doesn't care about board stalls, and for all intents and purposes is basically a Modern legal Tendrils of Corruption (not my quote - blame LSV. Then again, that man also calls Disciple of Phenax Mind Twist, so take these statements with several grains of salt).
But despite his inherent power level, Gray Merchant of Asphodel is a very high variance card, and can sometimes be Highway Robber. Removal in Modern is aplenty, and curving out into enough devotion for Gray Merchant to be good is not a reliable plan. Even when the traditional mono black lists do manage to implement their plan - Geralf's Messenger into Gray Merchant, for instance, after having gotten two or more of their creatures removed, despite being an overall drain for seven to nine, just lacks the power/speed to push through opposing Tarmogoyf, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet, Grim Flayer, Death's Shadow - not to mention blue decks with their Cryptic Command and board sweepers and Sphinx's Revelation.
Gray Merchant of Asphodel in my list is therefore a card I'll often be discarding to the various discard outlets in the early game; using either the second copy or Liliana, the Last Hope's minus two to drain the opponent out if necessary later on. His being a zombie means he can be sacrificed to Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet either to simply grow the great vampire, or to be recursed with Liliana, as the situation calls.
I do not think running more than two of the card is likely to be feasible for Modern given the uncertainty of whether Merchant will be Corrupt or Highway Robber, and also given Merchant's relatively high mana cost; while it is possible that one is the correct number (and indeed, often in post board games, I do go down to one or no Merchant) at least in game 1, the proactive plan of discard, kill, kill, flier, smack, Merchant win is a very strong one. Having access to the second copy in case the first gets exiled and therefore cannot be returned with a future Liliana is also quite relevant against decks with Path to Exile and Pyxis of Pandemonium.
Despite Merchant's variance, I believe his power level and his ability to end the game on the spot through cards like Ensnaring Bridge and Witchbane Orb is not to be undervalued. In a deck with Phyrexian Arena and Ob Nixilis Reignited, every life point represents an extra card; while Highway Robber may be terrible, a five mana 2 4 that draws 4 cards on etb and drains the opponent for four is an absolutely phenomenal Magic card.
I would also like to point out the maindeck inclusion of incidental lifegain like Collective Brutality and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in conjunction with Gary makes most burn and aggro matchups extremely favourable.
While the creature suite has been carefully picked, and is constantly being chosen and rechosen and tweaked, the engine that enables this deck is Phyrexian Arena. Any interactive deck with reactive spells always runs the risk of its reactive measures not lining up well against the threats being deployed on the other side; Arena churning through the deck presents the critical mass of answers and threats to overwhelm the opponent, ensures land drops are made, and essentially in every regard dots the deck's i's and crosses its t's. With discard outlets like Collective Brutality and Liliana of the Veil to trade potentially dead cards for relevant spells early on, irksome draws with too many high cmc cards can still function smoothly and well.
1 week ago
Toolbox decks play Chord of Calling and sometimes Collected Company Avacyn is a good toolbox card because she she does something unique and situational. Toolbox decks are also more creature focused. they play alot of one of things like Qasali Pridemage Selfless Spirit Spellskite. This why people are confused about what you want. Toolbox decks don't play stuff like Liliana of the Veil Thoughtseize and Siege Rhino
1 week ago
2 weeks ago
Reclamation Sage is a good shout too for the sideboard!
Thanks for your input