If you have less life than an opponent, you gain 6 life. If you control fewer creatures than an opponent, put 3 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens onto the battlefield.
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Timely Reinforcements Discussion
1 week ago
I've always kinda liked the Thopter combo, and I like Esper Gifts, but I agree that combining them is a bit of a problem. The only list I've seen that looks like what you're talking about is this, which looks really fun, to be fair. The big weakness there is that to get the Thopter combo going usually relies on drawing it naturally. If you were to try and grab the combo with Gifts, you rely on Academy Ruins, where you have to wait to draw, plus it costs you , and you have to tap the Academy itself - so it's not an awesome combo to use Gifts on. You'll also note that while that deck has some cool stuff going on, it doesn't really have as much countermagic and removal or discard as you'd ideally want.
So in most Gift control decks, Gifts is usually used to grab a creature plus Unburial Rites or something like Wrath of God, Supreme Verdict, Day of Judgment and Snapcaster Mage, depending on the situation. However, one of the most popular creatures to grab with Rites is Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, where you get a huge extra benefit by having some flying tokens in play. That said, it's not clear that Thopter/Sword is any better than running some Lingering Souls or even Bitterblossom (though note BB can be bad against certain decks, and in some control shells), plus maybe Timely Reinforcements on the sideboard to get the most out of Elesh.
1 week ago
aeonstoremyliver, unfortunately, they do give me a hard time. There isn't much to do, though, as I can't seem to find a way to improve the match up. Surely, something like Aven Mindcensor would be nice, but I think it's too narrow... There is Ceremonious Rejection, to consider, too.
I've seen people splashing Crumble to Dust as a way to try and help themselves, but honestely I don't think it is worth it, as it is most likely coming down after they've assembled Tron.
2 weeks ago
Quick caveat: I haven't played or kept up with MTG for 2 years, and just decided to start poking around this site again like 2 days ago. That said, I like janky Modern builds that can pull off some surprise wins, and I used to run some budget Polymorph builds. I think there are a few obvious improvements you can start with.
Don't play any lands that come in tapped. You don't really need that many Plains either, just 1 plus fetches to get around Blood Moon - and even then, remember you'll often be trying to produce on turn 4.
Edited out this point when I realized Simian Spirit Guide doesn't work. I think you should dump the rituals and Manamorphose for disruption effects, though. I'm not familiar with all the Eldrazi Spawn-producing cards - but one might be good because they produce tokens that can also be sac'd to give you 1 mana.
You need some one-drops to make better use of turn 1, and to maximize efficiency on later turns. I think Faithless Looting belongs in the deck.
I also think you want to more consistently be able to produce tokens in early turns - you might think about 1-2 Gather the Townsfolk or Krenko's Command. An outside idea would be Beckon Apparition - yeah, it's a bad card - but it gives you a token at Instant speed and costs 1 mana. It will probably be reliable because you have some fetchlands.
Timely Reinforcements and maybe Intangible Virtue should go in the sideboard - they will buy you some time against aggro decks, and give you an alternative wincon (you could also board in Elesh Norn). Against control decks, I would run Ricochet Trap, Defense Grid or Hope of Ghirapur.
Hope this was useful - good luck.
2 weeks ago
I run an esper ungiven deck too. Here's some thoughts that may help-
Academy Ruins is a must for your deck since you have mb brain in the jar and for you EE/nihil in the side.
Countersquall is the same as a negate but the shock is a nice plus that our manabase can handle pretty easy.
Timely Reinforcements is pretty good since the gain 6 life is great for aggro/burn.
Runed Halo is a great way to deal with combo decks and can blank certain attackers.
if you add a Tectonic Edge and a Crucible of Worlds you can gifts (crucible, gq, academy, noxious) for land destruction.
I'm a big proponent of running snow-covered anytime you run more than one of the same basic. It doesn't cost you a slot and lets you gift for basics if needed.(fulminator mage and tectonic edge can't hit them and they work under a blood moon)
If you want to check out my list here's the link: A Rose By Any Other Name (Esper Gifts)
3 weeks ago
I have a suggestion for testing. In an aggro heavy meta would you change ___?
Reason: 90%+ you will gain 6 life and put 3 1/1 Soldiers into play. I like gain six life and force your opponent to find two more burn spells or creatures to kill you over a security policy to fight infect or bogles. Timely Reinforcements also can be snapped back and trigger the myth realized.
3 weeks ago
Hmmm, looking at the deck a bit more I certainly agree with you on the Court Hussar vs. Courser of Kruphix choice. Given the presence and strength of Flickerwisp in the deck, is really requires a larger structural chance (and likely a change to some of the manabase numbers) to include Courser. But I will say that I've seen Rallier-Courser shells with stuff like Horizon Canopy and Ghost Quarter be extremely hard to grind against as a Grixis Delver player.
As for the sideboard, it's very tricky. I'm alsways a proponent of the Elephant method of sideboard construction (which in summary is basically determining a wide set of "best 60"s for every popular matchup, and then determining the common 60 between all of those and building the extra 15 from the leftovers, look it up if you have the time). Other than that, I'd turn to knowledge of what the worst post-board matchups are and starting there.
For an Emeria deck, my first thoughts are that fast disruption+clock decks are likely tough matchups, since a lot of early turns are spent "setting up shop". The Ghostly Prison seems really solid or this, but additionally I'd recommend Blessed Alliance for decks that go all-in on once creature like Death's Shadow and Infect decks. Wall of Omens and Lone Missionary contribute positively there though, so I feel like you might not need so many slots for those matchups.
I for sure agree that Dispel is unecessary. I really dislike running it in any deck that doesn't have Snapcaster Mage and that doesn't have a SUPER hard time against Burn (which you already have Wall of Omens and Lone Missionary for). Against discard, Leyline of Sanctity could be good but I'm unsure how powerful it is, since your Plan A from my understanding doesn't involve spells but rather hitting land drops and surviving. Against discard, if you can just scrape by to an active Emeria, I imagine you're good. So any deck with discard will only be threatening if it ALSO has a clock, meaning maybe Timely Reinforcements is good? I'm unsure how quickly you can assembly active Emeria, but I imagine it's decent given Sakura-Tribe Elder.
Just some thoughts to maybe guide your deckbuilding! At a glance it seems like you have the lategame locked up, with very powerful inevitability, so your worst matchups will be ones where the opponent can establish a strong clock backed up by disruption. I'd focus the sideboard on those, keeping in mind what the opponent's deck will look like post-board rather than game 1.
1 month ago
Tasigur, the Golden Fang seems like it could be good here, especially with your Thought Scours. Telling Time just seems like a worse Serum Visions. Path to Exile is a removal spell that i don't see why you aren't running it.
For the sideboard, i would recommend some Stony Silence, to help you against tron, affinity and lantern, wich all seems like bad matchups. Blessed Alliance is a card that's way better than Timely Reinforcements, since timely really is only good against burn, where Blessed Alliance, is good against burn, infect, affinity, Death's Shadow and midrange decks to deal with Tarmogoyf and Grim Flayer.
1 month ago
I'm just wondering which decks actually gain life past turn 4 against burn, some white decks will be going for Timely Reinforcements but all the other lifegain you'll encounter is cheap stuff, Feed the Clan and the Soul Sisters deck. If you're playing smart you'll have Atarka's Command ready for them, I run 2 Skullcrack in my sideboard too to play against lifegain sideboards. Even in the burn mirror you're only stopping a bit of lifegain from Kor Firewalker and the like, and by turn 4 stopping their sideboard is not what you need to be doing, you need to be ending the game.
So I disagree on that choice heavily but if you say it works for you then by all means, not every meta is the same and if there's a deck you play against frequently that I never see, Leyline could be strong for you.