Would Steppe Lynx be strong in Hollow One decks?

Modern forum

Posted on Aug. 9, 2018, 3:07 a.m. by StopShot

Card: Steppe Lynx

Given fetch-lands exist and a deck can run many of them Steppe Lynx is effectively another 4/5 for one mana which can also help recur Flamewake Phoenixes. I've heard primers talk about how good Flameblade Adept is and it sounds like having more copies of it is something to be desired. Would a Hollow One deck find any value splashing white just to run Steppe Lynx as another low-cost beater?

GhostChieftain says... #2

This is an outsider's perspective as I don't really play the modern format, but I would say it is not worth it to splash white for the hollow one deck. Part of what makes the Flameblade Adept stong is the fact that the deck is discarding regardless and it is in the colors of the deck already. Splashing white for this one card basically just gives you a decent card for the trade off of a slightly less stable mana base.

August 9, 2018 7:51 a.m.

Ryjo says... #3

Hollow One decks currently have around 18 lands, 8 of which are fetches. Given that a game of modern can usually be decided by turn 4, you're unlikely get Steppe Lynx to a 4/5 more than a couple times. It would also be a target that easily dies to things like Lightning Bolt, Anger of the Gods, and Fatal Push. Steppe Lynx just isn't as resilient (Bloodghast/Flamewake Phoenix), or powerful (Gurmag Angler/Hollow One/Tasigur, the Golden Fang), or synergistic (Flameblade Adept/Street Wraith) enough to warrant the deck branching into white for it.

August 9, 2018 8:59 a.m.

StopShot says... #4

@Ryjo I figured it wouldn't be resilient to removal which is why I compared it to Flameblade Adept and while it doesn't follow the same mechanic as the Flameblade 8 fetches is the equivalent of 4 Goblin Lore and 4 Burning Inquiry meaning they'd increase in equal power at about the same frequency. Even non-fetches will give it 2 power whereas flameblade without any discard fuel is 1 power, so it's not entirely useless when a non-fetch is used. While Hollow One decks should at least run 4 Flameblade Adepts before including the Lynx I'm wondering if the Lynx could count as a 5th or 6th Flameblade in similar function since they're both susceptible to the same removal while still being turn one plays.

August 9, 2018 2:23 p.m.

Th3El3x says... #5

adepts menace ability is actually quite important

August 9, 2018 2:37 p.m.

GhostChieftain says... #6

I think what one of ryjo's biggest points is... what are you taking out of the deck that is worse in the deck than steppe lynx?

(Forgive me if I am misinterpreting you ryjo)

August 9, 2018 2:57 p.m.

Ryjo says... #7

@StopShot, it's true that Steppe Lynx would occasionally be more powerful than Flameblade Adept, but (going along with what TheAlexGnan said) the floor on the Adept as a 1/2 Menace attacker is higher than that of a 0/1.

That is correct luther, assuming the manabase could be made in such a way that the third color did not negatively affect the deck's performance, what cards would be cut for Steppe Lynx? From the lists I've seen, I can't find anything that I could replace with Lynx and think the deck was better than before.

August 9, 2018 3:04 p.m.

lukas96 says... #8

The deck already has plenty of threats. You dont want to make your mana worse and the lynx doesnt really synergizes with what the deck wants to do.

So no thats certainly not the way to go.

Also there are way more cards that less you discard in the deck than 8. They play 4 faithless looting and street wraith and also some copies of collective brutality.

There is really nothing that could be cutted as others have already mentioned.

August 9, 2018 6:31 p.m.

StopShot says... #9

{{Summarry of this post}}: 1st paragraph compares rate of land drops to discard effects. Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 talk about what to cut and why for the Lynx. The last three paragraphs I question the necessity of running play-sets of certain cards and by reducing those cards to 3-ofs you could easily fit the Lynx in the deck while reducing scenarios of bad hands due to redundant cards.

1.) As for there being more discard effects such as Faithless Looting and Street Wraith it should be noted that the wraith only powers up the Flamebalde Adept by one power much the same way a non-fetch would for the Lynx. Faithless Looting does offer more power however, but it costs one mana whereas playing lands are for free and you'll be running much more lands in total. Again this is not to say Lynx is better, since it lacks synergy with other card effects, but that it naturally has a lot more bang for your buck without needing to compromise the strategy of your deck to make it work. Also who is not to say a deck has to be limited to just 8 fetchlands, there can certainly be more but that off course begs the question how many more fetchlands can be added to balance the trade-off?

2.) Another point I've heard is what exactly to cut. I do concede the Hollow One deck archetype is packed with many must-include staples that deviating card selection isn't really as flexible as it would be for other deck archetypes. That said I don't think any one card should be axed entirely, rather I question if the deck really needs to be running full play-sets of certain cards. My point is there seems to be a lot of redundancy that can run amok and some variance could be the remedy to otherwise trash hands and repeatable mulligans. Take the 3 Gurmag Angler and 1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang, while certainly they're really strong and can be cast for cheap if you wind up with 3 or all of them in hand you're not going to be able to reasonably delve away all of them in a speedy manner nor can you always trust your 4 Burning Inquiry and 4 Goblin Lore to discard the extras for value. Furthermore graveyard hate such as Rest in Peace and Leyline of the Void as well as bounce spells can further put a lot of strain on playing these cards whereas the Lynx does not suffer the same problems and can be put on field much earlier in the game if a Flameblade Adept is not available in hand. Now I'm not disregarding the Lynx's faults or the success of the delve creatures, I'm just questioning if only one could be taken out in it's place. This will cut on consistency but reduce the odds of horrible redundancy mind you.

3.) Another 4-of I'd look at reducing to 3 is Flamewake Phoenix. Now I do know the Phoenix is easily recurred from graveyard which is straight up card value whereas the Lynx is not, (however; the phoenix is rather clunky to hard-cast if ever stuck in hand with it especially if you're stuck with multiples unlike the Lynx.) It should be noted when Phoenix is at it's best case scenario that being in the graveyard it will cost one mana to recur whereas the Lynx also costs one mana to cast without need of a discard effect. If cost is the same we must compare stats - that being the Phoenix is a 2/2 with relevant evasion and haste whereas the Lynx is a 0/1, 2/3, or preferably a 4/5 at any given time. If we take the best case scenario for both of them the Lynx does more damage over time especially if you factor in the fact the Lynx can be set on the field much earlier in the game which in a way counts as haste in of itself. While in the worst case scenario Lynx either got discarded off the top of the deck by a random discard effect or you don't have any lands to play leaving it as a 0/1, which for the record getting mana screwed is a pretty low bar to set considering it's a universal issue that would cripple most cars anyway. The Phoenix worst case scenario would either be stuck in hand or whatever is giving it the ferocious trigger always gets removed before combat. Do keep in mind your opponents get a sizeable window frame to respond and remove your big fatty before combat starts meaning the Bolted Flameblade Adept or K-Commanded Hollow One isn't going to bring back your phoenixes especially if all your eggs are in that basket or in this case your graveyard. Furthermore this says nothing of graveyard hate which is another issue the phoenix has to come to terms with that the Lynx doesn't need to. Again Phoenix has a lot of value in it's own right most certainly, but I question if 4 is the appropriate number. Adding more variance makes a deck harder to disrupt especially when you cut down chances of over-redundancy. I suggest cutting one phoenix for a Lynx or possibly 2 in rarer circumstances depending on how serious graveyard hate comes up in your meta.

4.) The last card I'd consider cutting down to 3 is Faithless Looting. Granted discard cards is the defining point of the deck and the looting is the only non-random discard effect besides Collective Brutality I don't think the cut to 3 is as devastating as some might think. First off Looting itself is not enough to allow you yo free-cast all the Hollow Ones in your hand and if you're unable to cast all of them after a looting that can bite pretty hard. Yes a Street Wraith does solve the problem but you can't always count every Looting to come with Wraith 100% of the time. Another key factor to note is even if you have one less looting it's not like your deck loses the capability of it's effects given that already casted Faithless Lootings have flashback. While paying two more can be clunky it should be noted that sometimes it's just better to cast from graveyard than from hand and the option to discard when needed will remain present unlike with other cuts. Faithless Looting is also card disadvantage and it can't disrupt your opponent's hand much like Burning Inquiry would which is where too many of them can become a problem. While one or two lootings in an opening hand can be fine I think having 3 or 4 in hand would end up a little distasteful hence why I feel having a Lynx would be better than that of a third or fourth looting in hand.

I know the Hollow One Archetype is pretty inflexible to deck-list improvements, but this seems only due to a limited card pool. I believe it's this card pool that makes taking stuff out to be difficult but by the same token it raises problems with redundancy. I think the question that should be asked when improving the list shouldn't be what set of cards we should remove for another, but what cards should we run as 3-ofs and what more can we use to fill in that space made?

August 9, 2018 9:42 p.m.

You seem very set on it. Just do it. Try it in a few games and try it without in a few. We are basically just speculating, so you go ahead and get the raw data on whether it works or not

August 9, 2018 10:20 p.m.

lukas96 says... #11

You cant cut cards that make the deck work and put in a card that adds a color and doesnt have any synnergy with the deck whatsoever

August 10, 2018 7 a.m.

lukas96 says... #12

Besides that. Hollow one runs 18 lands. Lynx will not be able to attack for a lot of damage any ways. This is not the deck for lynx

August 10, 2018 7:04 a.m.

Hollow one seems like the wrong shell for this. But I could see it working in like RWG zoo with maybe a U splash for the reliquary combo. Then at least you would have some synergy around land based aggro. If it where good enough to be in any deck playing fetches then we'd see it in another archetype

August 10, 2018 4:37 p.m.

lukas96 says... #14

Yeah absolutely. In a "landfall" shell this might do wonders but absolutely not in this deck

August 10, 2018 5:14 p.m.

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