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Counter target spell with converted mana cost 2.
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Spell Snare Discussion
2 days ago
How are Electrolyze and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar working in this deck? I understand that Gideon is able to provide a new 2/2 each turn, breaking a stall, but Electrolyze is inefficient removal and draw. Also, Jeskai Charm seems like a dud - heavy on the mana base, and you'll probably only use it as another Boros Charm.
Here are some recommendations for replacements - you don't have to take my advice, though.Instead of Electrolyze, use Spell Snare, Thing in the Ice Flip, Young Pyromancer, Swan Song, Chained to the Rocks, or Kataki, War's Wage. If none of these appeal, try Spellskite.
3 days ago
Your reasoning seems sound on all accounts. The interaction (counterspells and removal) looks like it needs tuning, but I have no idea what's right to play. Just keep testing and it'll become apparent. One thing I can offer is that Spell Snare is the best 1-mana counter to play in the mainboard. So if you find you want to reduce the mana curve, then spell snare will be your friend.
You need to hit 3-5 lands every game. On 2 lands you won't have mana to play a counter and a cantrip, or to play spell queller. Death and taxes, which has to hit 3 lands every game, plays 23 lands with no exceptions. You have cantrips, so you can get away with less, but I think 21 or 22 lands is the right number. Certainly 20 is too few and 23 is too many.
As for you colors, I'd say turns 1 and 2 you want play duals, then turn 3 you can start fetching basics. I think you need UU, BB, and W by turn 3. Additionally, basic plains is not the basic you want to fetch. Thus, there are 2 optimal land combinations for turn 3: UB land, a BW land, and an island; OR UB land, UW land, and a swamp.
In all cases, you want to have a UB land. I think your optimal mana looks like:
4x polluted Delta
4x flooded strand
2x hallowed fountain
1x watery grave
1x godless shrine
2x field of ruin
2x Darkslick shores
1x creeping tar pit
That's 21 lands, add another Darkslick or tar pit to get to 22. Since you're trying to grind and likely won't be keeping 1 land hands, I think tar pit is okay. The non-fetchable lands are UB because you can always draw them. But then it's balanced by 2 hallowed fountain, which helps make sure you can always get W, even if you mill one away with thought scour.
This, of course, is an unreasonably expensive mana base. Darkslick, tar pit, and the 2nd fountain are the easy cuts. I guess buddy lands are okay substitutes, but I'd try to upgrade those first, if possible.
5 days ago
So with these midrange type lists I tend to drop the 4th Delver of Secrets Flip, delver is a solid turn 1 play but I hate seeing it late game. I also don't feel that is quite as vital with this set up
I have to agree that this deck is having am identity crisis. I have this unorthodox desire to play both tempo and midrange at the same time....... I love the early pressure of tempo and the grindy long game of midange and I'm trying to find that ballance. I'm not sure if it's possible but I hope I can.
I have to agree about Lingering Souls and Spell Queller. If I continue to try and find that middle ground I think I need to go with queller. I'm not sure what to fill that spot with? maybe 2 Secure the Wastes and possible Nimble Obstructionist? It probably eventually needs to be Vendilion Clique
I actually started testing today and I'm pretty comfortably with running 5 discard in Inquisition of Kozilek and Esper Charm along with sum number of removal and counter package. I think that I am to counter heavy but I don't think that I could bring myself to pull them all out.
I honestly haven't put much thought into the side, I wanted to buy it in paper and play a few matches at my lgs before making it
I'll test from here see how it feels!
Thanks for the input!
6 days ago
Lingering Souls and Spell Queller are a bit of a non-bo, as Lingering Souls is a sorcery and Spell Queller needs to be held up at all times, if possible. Given that, I don't think you should play both, especially when there are so many strong 3-drop options in Esper. Actually this is a common theme in this deck - you're playing midrange cards and tempo cards and because of that there will be clunky draws where your cards are just trying to do different things.
Inquisition of Kozilek and counterspells in the same deck is a very awkward dynamic. Legacy decks manage to do it, much to my amazement, but I've never seen it work in modern, aside from the 2-of Dispel I used to play just to answer problematic Path to Exiles. Discard spells are really bad topdecks, as well as they don't tempo. Discard spells you pay mana and you and your opponent each lose a card. Hence, discard spells are tempo-negative. With counterspells your opponent has put mana into the card you are countering, so they're tempo-neutral or tempo-positive. If you're ripping a Path to Exile out of their hand, then the discard spell is worth it despite the tempo loss. But I can also tell you that you will see hands in which you don't have the mana to cast Inquisition of Kozilek and hold up Spell Queller, and by the time you do have that mana their hand is empty and now you have a dead card in hand.
This isn't to say discard + counters can't work, but be honest with yourself in testing. Discard and counterspells are both card types that stand out when they work, but pay attention to when they don't work as well. I'd recommend try it out and see what happens.
For the cantrips, play 4 Thought Scour and 4 Serum Visions and then add however many Opts you can fit around the rest of the deck. When Opt came out I tried playing 4x in place of Serum Visions for awhile, and it felt amazing, but then I went back and realized how important the scry 2 is. The draw-go decks in the format are playing 4x Visions before any Opts, and they don't play Delver. Serum Visions sets up Delver to flip, which is too powerful to not have.
There is definitely too much graveyard pressure at the moment. 4 delve creatures, plus 3 delve spells is way too many. You also have 7 counterspells that cost 2 mana. That's a lot.
Fatal Push is nice, but Path to Exile is the only thing I wish I had every time I sleeve up grixis. Tron and Eldrazitron have things like Wurmcoil Engine, Reality Smasher, Endbringer, and post-board Tron will have Thragtusk. Jund decks typically sideboard some grindy 5-drop, be it Hazoret the Fervent or Thundermaw Hellkite, or something similar. Ponza is a pile of nightmare cards that you can't deal with. Path still doesn't deal with Stormbreath Dragon, but if you expect games to turn 5 or later, then Path to Exile becomes amazing. Ramping them doesn't feel good, but unless you're really aggressive I don't think Fatal Push is enough.
Just my immediate thoughts. The deck looks like fun!
EDIT: Oh yeah, with 21 lands and in Esper, I think you can mainboard 2x Field of Ruin. It'll help the matchups with Tron lands and manlands.
Have you thought about a sideboard yet?
1 week ago
1 week ago
I don't know if I missed it before but I do like how having 25 lands allows you to run Ghost Quarter, it looks like you already put in Jace but if you do want more early game counters I think you could cut Blessed Alliance or one copy of Logic Knot for additional copies of Spell Snare and/or Mana Leak. Personally I'd cut the Blessed Alliance first and run the second copy of Spell Snare before the second Leak. I think you could move Alliance to your sideboard and take out Elspeth, you already have 5 planeswalkers mainboard plus 4 Colonnades so that should be enough wincons. Then you can board in Alliance against match ups like Death's Shadow and Jund. I also think Search for Azcanta Flip could be a two of in your deck, in longer grindy match ups or control mirrors it is super helpful and you can use it to grab your planeswalkers since you have more of them now. Personally I've found that in the control mirror Azcanta and Colonnade are the biggest predictors of who is going to win.
1 week ago
Serum Visions is too important because it can set up Delver of Secrets flips. Things I'm considering as far as tuning goes:
- 3 Tasigur and 1 Angler vs a 2-2 split
- 4 Disrupting Shoal vs 3 and another castable counter, such as a 2nd Spell Snare
- 1-1-1 split of Terminate, Dreadbore, Fatal Push vs some other combination
- Possible inclusion of Spirebluff Canal, in place of 1 Darkslick Shores
There are other things for tuning, but those are at the front of my mind at the moment.
2 weeks ago
I feel like 7 pieces of spot removal is a little much when your running 3x Supreme Verdict