Nahiri seems like the weakest card. I would probably go up to 4 Lilly and down to 1 Nahiri.
Dark Confidant seems like the right creature for this build.
May 3, 2016 12:59 a.m.
You could skip the creatures apart from 1 emrakul, run 2 Day of Judgment mainboard and be done with it XD throw some ghostly prisons in there and kaboom
May 3, 2016 1:53 a.m.
Sorry for the late response. I've been a little busy and there's been a ton of stuff happening on tappedout today.
I've been playing Ajani, Nahiri and Kiki walk into a bar... copy on untap a lot over the past week, and Nahiri has easily been the best card in the deck, maybe only second to Phyrexian Arena. The deck has been putting up impressive results and most games I've lost have been due to my own misplays or due to the deck being somewhat untuned still.
As for Nahiri, she has overperformed and many times over in the combo build, but perhaps she's not quite as good without a combo to fetch, although she definitely deserves at least 2 spots. I've been very surprised with her performance.
Dark Confidant is very common in a lot of the 'popular lists' for Mardu, which isn't saying much since there aren't many Mardu decks running around. However, I just don't like it. It's very awkward in Mardu because Mardu has extremely evasive creatures otherwise (like Lingering Souls), so 1-for-1 removal, especially burn spells, tend to be pretty bad against it. Playing Bob gives your opponent an easy target to hit with their removal since it dies to everything and is really painful in a deck playing a lot of 4-drops. Additionally, Jund doesn't much mind if you bolt their Bob since they can follow it with Scavenging Ooze, Liliana of the Veil, or some other threat that's just as potent, making losing Bob a setback, but not much of one. In Mardu, we just don't have the additional threat to drop after Bob. Phyrexian Arena fixes this problem. Playing it turn 3 is fine since all our removal costs 1 and 2 mana, and it's much harder to remove. The inevitability against Grixis turns the matchup (one of our worse) around completely, filling in the gap perfectly. Oh, and flipping an Ajani off of Arena is so much less painful. Just my current thoughts; if there is something about Dark Confidant which I am overlooking as for why it is the better choice, please let me know since I am still pretty new to Mardu.
The thing about Mardu that I think I've found is that building it like BGx isn't going to work. Liliana of the Veil turns out to be somewhat mediocre. I don't really know why, and there's a good chance I'm totally wrong, but it's just what I've observed and, interestingly, it's the same conclusion VampireArmy came to back when he still played Mardu decks.
TheAlexGnan The problem with the Emrakul plan is that if you lose Nahiri, you just lose. This build isn't meant to be a combo build. The list I linked above is the combo variant, and it's good, but I want to fix its problems. Damnation would be a better choice than Day of Judgment since this lest already gets BB much more easily for Lili and Phyrexian Arena, but I think that's best left for the sideboard. The combo variant playes 2 Damnation mainboard at the time of writing this, but it feels really iffy to me.
The biggest problem I'm noticing in the combo variant is that oftentimes, when it finally assembles the combo (when it doesn't draw into it), the opponent is oftentimes at 8ish life anyway, so 2 swings with an Restoration Angel + 1 swing with a manland would get there anyway, meaning that I'm making a lot of progress in killing them, but without it meaning anything. Mardu is pretty good at chipping away at life, so I'd like this list to be designed to take advantage of that.
Obzedat, Ghost Council might be a 2-of creature of choice in here. It's fine when drawn (we can get to 5 mana just fine) and it's very effective closer. Alternatively, a 1-of Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite seems pretty okay. 7 mana is a little more tricky, but not uncommon in this deck with all the removal. Nahiri ult into Elesh Norn to pump our Spirit tokens seems good to me.
So maybe for the last 6 slots I add 1 Elesh Norn, 2 Obzedat, 2 more removal spells (probably those Damnations), and 1 other card. 1 Grim Lavamancer could be nice in the go-wide matchups, but 1 more Lightning Helix, 1 Terminate, or 1 more Thoughtseize to simply add more mass to the removal is another option. I'll miss playing Wall of Omens, but this version might work out. Thanks guys!
May 4, 2016 12:25 a.m.
Follow-up comment. I know I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to card suggestions, even when I'm new to the colors or archetype. I really do appreciate the comments and suggestions, even if I tend to disagree a lot of the time. As a deckbuilder, I just need to understand why a certain card works in a given deck and why it is the better card choice. When I don't know, I use my judgment, which oftentimes leads to incomplete reasoning about whether a card belongs.
This is why my comments tend to be very long-winded. By writing it out, I work through my own assessment of the card and put my own thinking down in words.
So thank you for the help. I really do appreciate it.
May 4, 2016 12:46 a.m.
so i just faced mardu midrange and i narrowly beat it in game 3, attacking with a Creeping Tar Pit through his 4 4/4 packrats and RIP on the field since turn 2. YEEEEEHAAAAA.
These drawnout matches really show you whats good (against grixis at least) and whats not.
your removal suite in bolt, helix, path and terminate is stellar.
Run Kolaghan's Command. 2 or 3-of, i'd say.
Run Painful Truths instead of arena. That card nearly killed me. 2-of, probably. Its 1) harder to interact with (cause you cant kill it later), gives you 3 cards immediately which is a very big deal (the whole AV discussion is about if you get the cards fast enough or not). And you keep the pain in check.
He also ran bob and young pyromancer. I dont know about other matchups, but here i was very happy to see them and 2-for1 them with Kolaghan's Command. you might want to not run vulnerable 2/1s, but you're not, so its fine.
Damnation is probably not worth 2 mainboard slots. its dead or too slow against too many decks.
To sum up I would do:
-1 Damnation, put it in the side.
-2 Phyrexian Arena,
+1 Ajani or Lily
and some other stuff, more later ;)
May 4, 2016 9:39 a.m.
Thanks for the account!
From the sound of it, they were playing the much more aggressive version with Bob and Pyromancers. I don't care for that list because it's too forced; it's not what Mardu wants to be doing.
If this were Grixis, I'd agree that Painful Truths is better than Phyrexian Arena, however, this is really an incremental advantage deck rather than a card-advantage-all-at-once deck like Grixis. More often than not, the 3 cards we get off of Truths won't be enough to close a grindy game, but the extra card each turn off of Phyrexian Arena is perfect.
Wall of Omens is amazing in the other build because it cantrips early (keeping our hand full) and blocks all day long, which is a lot more relevant than it seems.
Well, crap. Archangel Avacyn Flip. That's the creature this deck wants to be playing. I really hate the new Avacyn as a card (a lot like baby Jace, to be honest), but she undeniably fits as a 2-of in here. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite doesn't need to be in here.
I think this deck can manage running Avacyn and Obzedaddy, but probably in a 2-1 split, respectively. Having 1-2 more cmc<5 creatures would be great. Maybe 2 Wall of Omens? Or something else?
May 4, 2016 2:21 p.m.
I am actually off the Baby-Jace-Hate-Train. I still dont run it because I LOVE the pure instant speed at which my deck functions (countering and counter punching, making genius plays, keeping up all options until their EOT, I just LOVE it). I recognize his power, especially when you go flip into flashback things like Inquisition of Kozilek and stuff. His filtering ability is also better than i expected, makes draws more consistant fuels delve creatures and if you do run TiTi, it also helps flip it.
(I am babbeling because I piloted a deck that ran TiTi, jace and snappy as 4ofs, AV and a ton of cheap spells, just to see what the competing grixis-players are working with. Its really good).
If you run Avacyn, you NEEd Lingering Souls tokens to trigger and flip it thought. I am not convinced you get to do that consistently enough. Like, drawing Avacyn and no other creatures is super akward. I'm unsold on that one.
Wall of Omens seems pretty perfect. survives Elsh and Avacyn, cantrips. Test it.
May 4, 2016 2:36 p.m.
Closing thoughts: It's a great deck, I love the adaptation and I believe that we can get it to go places, but, it's got a long way to go to taking down a GP or large tournament. I'm going to continue my own testing and keep in touch to let you know what I've been thinking and what develops.
May 5, 2016 10:15 a.m.
I've built decks like this before and you need to be aware that low tempo midrange decks are a struggle to play. In this deck, for example, you are committing nothing to board until turn 3, and even at that point it's either a planeswalker that will be tough to protect (also can't aggro!) or lingering souls, which isn't very good without creature backup.
My point is this - your deck has a lot of 1 and 2 mana removal options. And some decent 3 mana control pieces as well. The win conditions are, for the most part, 4 or 5 mana. This basically means that in almost every game you play you're forcing yourself to A) be the slow deck, and B) have almost no repeatable blockers. Remember that blockers are more efficient at discouraging aggro than 1-for-1 removal. A removal spell gets rid of a creature. A 4/5 Tarmogoyf stops an entire zoo deck unless they use combat tricks to kill it. So your tempo is poor and you're liable to run out of gas. And what's the upside? What do you do in the late game? 3 creatures that are easy to block or remove and a handful of planeswalkers? It's not worth it, in my opinion.
Think about the following two examples - Tron adopts the slow deck role almost every game due to it doing nothing until it has assembled the 3 lands. It's upside is a creature that is almost impossible to 1-for-1 and that has lifelink, and a planeswalker that denies the opponent resources as a + ability, or another that has a repeatable board clear. That's upside. OR, BGx has payoff cards at the 3 or 4 mana slots in Lingering Souls, Kitchen Finks and Siege Rhino. It'll use these to stabilise against aggressive decks before turning the game around. But it also plays Tarmogoyf and Scavenging Ooze so that it can commit to the board on T2 and in some cases just stop the opponent from swinging entirely.
Slower decks either need a way to present a threat earlier to bother things like Zoo that are otherwise hard to 1-for-1 in a timely fashion (especially now with Collected Company around), OR they need to play something that just negates all aggro and 1-for-1ing. You sort of do neither here. You have a bit of lifegain which, to be fair, is definitely something but perhaps not enough to discourage Burn or something, but your threats just aren't really worth waiting for. You are playing a 5 mana 5/5 that gains you a bit of life each turn and still dies to instant speed removal. Honestly? Just play Angler.
May 6, 2016 4:39 a.m.
I had forgotten that Angler was a card. That's just fantastic. It's not uncastable and it shrinks 'Goyf when that's relevant. Thank you!
May 6, 2016 6:54 a.m.
I play grixis and I frequently forget i can shrink the goyf until i actually cast delve creatures. Sometimes i even forget after that and only remember when my opponent shrinks him down. Its especially good if they cast goyf turn 2 as 3/4 and you in turn cast Tasigur/angler and go, well your goyf becomes a 1/2 now :D.
Also, being able to cast 2 spells a turn in the early turns is very important against aggro. Angler enables you to go t1 removal/dig, turn 2 removal, turn 3 removal+big blocker.
No idea how viable it actually is in here, but since youre not doing anything else with your grave apart from souls and Kolaghan's Command, it sure is worth testing.
May 6, 2016 8:41 a.m.
Yeah. Midrange wants to be able to switch between aggro and control in a seamless fashion. If your curve is too high and you can't you will encounter at least some problems against various decks. The answer to that is to either take the curve higher and play a threat that almost insta-wins games like Wurmcoil Engine or take the creature suite lower so you have some T2 options.
May 6, 2016 8:44 a.m.
Hmmmmm. Can I call this control then?
Either way, you bring up some good points Chief. Not sure what changes to make yet.
I have noticed that this deck does struggle against counterspells because of the high curve and lack of aggressiveness. Tron is also as bad of a matchup as it looks.
I've found that this deck doesn't struggle to close games that much. In the midrange matchups, where they have the ability to kill Obzedat or Avacyn, our planeswalkers are grindy enough and our manlands are tough to deal with. Yes, BGx is definitely the better grinder, but it's not super dismal.
Wall of Omens solves a lot of the problems that you listed for defending, but not for attacking. I had a 3rd copy in here, but cut it for the 3rd Lightning Helix. I might switch back or try to find room for both. Perhaps cut both Lili to play 1 more Phyrexian Arena and to include both the 3rd Wall of Omens and the 3rd Lightning Helix? Liliana of the Veil has been a little disappointing, to be honest. Without the creatures to support her, she doesn't perform optimally.
I don't think the way to fix the problems with Mardu is to imitate BGx. Without Tarmogoyf or Scavenging Ooze, that will never work. Maybe Mardu just has to be some sort of removal control deck rather than a flexible midrange deck. Hand disruption and our plethora of burn should help us to be able to do okay against combo, but some additional combo hate like Slaughter Games in the sideboard would be good. The one problem with playing Gurmag Angler is that it dies easily to removal, especially since we need out creature that we play to win the game. Obzedat, Ghost Council may be killable, but it's surprisingly effective if they're not ready for it, and by the time I get it online, they shouldn't have much of a hand left.
May 6, 2016 10:46 a.m.
I'm not necessarily saying you should imitate BGx. Play to the strengths of your deck. Do you have a solid build-around 2-drop creature that can let you be aggressive or defensive? No? Then don't play midrange. Play control.
The problem I have is that you are sort of playing a control deck that has to tap out for Obzedat and stuff. That is perhaps not a very good idea. Though given that you only have removal, not counterspells it doesn't matter to the same extent as it would in say, Grixis.
May 6, 2016 10:56 a.m.
Ilike this a lot but I need to know if Young Pyromancer has been on your radar for a build like this
May 7, 2016 11:16 p.m.
Thanks! I've considered Young Pyromancer, but it falls into the same category as Dark Confidant for me. It's a good card and Mardu doesn't have many good early drops, so it's a natural consideration, however I don't think it belongs in Mardu. To me, it seems a bit fragile, as well as fairly easy to make obsolete. Without cantrips, it's hard to make more than 2-3 tokens, and that's just usually not enough to justify his use. Also, he dies easily, which is not really what you want when playing him next to ultra evasive cards like Lingering Souls.
However, he is a popular pick in a lot of modern Mardu decks, so maybe I need to reconsider him.
Thanks for the comment and upvote!
May 8, 2016 1:37 a.m.
May 8, 2016 12:10 p.m.
Running an Erebos in place of an Arena doesn't seem awful and works better with Lili than Arena on an empty hand.
May 8, 2016 12:22 p.m.
Interesting. I think Wall of Omens is better than all of those because of the cantrip, although the thing Tarmogoyf has over the walls when blocking is that because Goyf has power and toughness, rather than just toughness, he can kill the creatures he blocks rather than just stop their attack.
We have enough removal to keep up with most decks, but even things like Merfolk and Zoo can be a bit problematic pre-board, although Podless Pod and mono-U counterspell jank take the prize as most annoying matchups.
May 8, 2016 12:23 p.m.
The only problem with Erebos is that it's a 4-drop and we already have a lot of those. Interestingly, I actually don't uptick lili every possible turn. For me, Lili serves a few specific purposes. The first is as an edict to deal with things like Bogles, or just to be additional removal against something like Merfolk. The second is as mass removal to interact with decks like burn, tron, and control which need a certain number of cards in order to win. Finally, she can be repeatable removal in a grindy endgame to help pull ahead when I'm in topdeck mode. If I'm playing, say, BGx and I have Arena and Lili, I'll discard extra lands to Lili, but otherwise keep her at 2-3 loyalty so I can -2 to kill a Goyf off the top, but if they get an Abrupt Decay and kill her, I can still keep a lot of card advantage from Arena. When I have Lili and Arena in play together, I uptick Lili to discard Lingering Souls, lands, and hand disruption spells; if I don't have any of those, I'll just not uptick her and save the Path to Exile in my hand for another time.
May 8, 2016 1:54 p.m.
I'm not saying any of the blockers are good, just what I found in our colors here. Lili in this deck is either underwhelming or fantastic. There is no game where she's between that.
May 8, 2016 3:13 p.m.
+1 for the name alone, I'm sure those suger-less oreo's leave a bad taste in the mouth.
I'm terribad at removing things so I can only suggest additions. Tax usually hurts control, so what about Mana Tithe? Wish I had more, but looks pretty decent.
May 9, 2016 11:14 p.m.
On a side note, are you by chance posting based on my post on the advertise your deck forum? I got a website offline error when I tried to post there and my comment isn't showing up, yet I was also requesting help with my control matchup.
May 9, 2016 11:26 p.m.
Yes, it does that... I think because there are so many posts it craps out. It still posts it though, just gives you an error.
May 9, 2016 11:28 p.m.
Aah. I didn't realize it was on the next page. I knew that it usually still posts after crapping out, but what I didn't realize is that I didn't see it because the page that I was looking on was already full.
Thanks again! I added Mana Tithe to my maybeboard.
May 9, 2016 11:38 p.m.
I would add 1 Gideon Jura. It helps preserve your life total by absorbing attacks by any creatures you haven't removed/had them discard, then can quickly shift onto removal, or offense to close out game fast. You can replace Terminate as you seem to have enough other removal, and Gideon is removal too. By forcing opponent's creatures to attack him, it lets Nahiri, the Harbinger pick off a threat of choice and survive as she isn't being attacked. And keeps attacks off Liliana of the Veil
May 11, 2016 9:55 a.m.
Hmmm. I just might give Gideon a try. The tapped restriction on 4 of my planeswalkers is a pain, although Gideon has a built-in way around that.
May 11, 2016 10:55 p.m.
over the past few days, i have come to apreciate the power of nahiri. I saw her at SCG something finals in jeskai control, where she turned out to be an inevitable, fast, wincondition. Faced her myself where it soaked up a ton recources because of her high loyalty. You just cant ignore her, she's too fast and by the time you kill her, you will have sunk 2-3 cards/swings into her and she will have looted away 2 lands for useful cards.
Or she just kills you.
People now call her the best card of the set. And I'm inclined to agree.
May 17, 2016 4:16 p.m.
i just read the first comment by APPLE01DOJ and lol-ed :D
May 17, 2016 4:19 p.m.
Clawed6 So I've been testing Gideon, and unfortunately it hasn't been working. This deck has an unhealthy high curve already, so in games on untap.in, I've found that every time I drew Gideon, I wished it was a Terminate instead, so I switched back, and have not had problems closing out games or drawing enough finishers, telling me that Gideon doesn't belong.
TheAlexGnan Right when Nahiri was spoiled, I started telling my friends how good it would be in modern. I'm out of money after getting Snapcaster Mages, so I wasn't able to buy any for myself, but after enough convincing he got 3 of them for $12 each. Now my friend is getting Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Flip for his Gifts deck and is still going to have a Nahiri to spare. Nahiri is such a powerhouse. From my testing, easily better than Liliana of the Veil in this particular deck, although I haven't had the chance to play against much control where I'm expecting Lili to shine.
In other news, I've added a bunch of alters to this deck. Take a look! I only wish I could build this deck in real life since it is fun.
May 17, 2016 6:11 p.m.
Yeah I have Gideon Jura in a U/W control deck, because of the blue card draw and filtering it is easier to hit all your land drops to hit 5 mana on turn 5.
May 18, 2016 11:22 a.m.
November 25, 2016 2:37 a.m.
My main thoughts on building the maindeck:
25 lands. Four Shambling Vent, at most 2 colorless lands.
Removal suite something like 4 Bolt, 4 Path, 2-3 Helix, 1-2 Terminate. 6 discard spells.
November 25, 2016 10:29 a.m.
Sweet deck and some really sick alters. Looks like it took a lot of effort to put this together, +1 from me!
December 23, 2016 6:12 a.m.
Thanks! Adding alters is super fun.
Actually I think it really should be Rest in Peace and 3 or 4 of them. This deck was built for a different meta and it was real effective when I first built it, but these days it's just not tuned for the meta at all. I'll do an overhaul of it someday, but I don't have time yet, and want to keep it unchanged until then.
December 23, 2016 10:02 a.m.
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|Date added||1 year|
|Last updated||1 year|
This deck is Modern legal.
|Tokens||2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Spirit|
|Folders||Favorite Decks, Spank Bank, Modern, neat ideas, Modern Inspirations|
|Top rank||#13 on 2016-05-16|