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This is the godfather of all UW control lists. Sure, it was Standard, but it has a style, a concept, and a power level that can easily be translated to Modern. He often didn't actually have to win the game - his opponents scooped after the second Rev for 13 into Elixir.
April 26, 2017 11:13 p.m.
In the absence of Cryptic Command, consider Logic Knot as a catch all counterspell. With regard to card draw, is Sphinx's Revelation too far off budget? If not, then you can do away with even needing Snapcaster Mage, and instead win by chaining Elixir of Immortality into Sphinx's Revelation. Consider also Shadow of Doubt as another cheap cantrip - it helps against Expedition Map, Chord of Calling, Scapeshift, Sanctum of Ugin, and turns Ghost Quarter into Strip Mine. Most importantly, though, sniping an opposing fetchland early is game-ending.
Think Twice and Shadow of Doubt do fit this list better than Serum Visions, either providing card advantage or allowing you to keep up countermagic. Consider Elspeth, Sun's Champion over Narset Transcendent as a better win condition that dominates the board and has a built in wrath effect.
April 26, 2017 1:40 p.m.
Sideboard slots with this deck are definitely flexible, so feel free to try out any cards you think have good synergy. I personally haven't included it because it's quite narrow - I would rather have Damnation. But if you can find a slot for it, and it performs well for you, let me know!
April 18, 2017 7:56 a.m.
April 17, 2017 2:01 p.m.
I think Pithing Needle is quite good. Every card in this list is definitely not set in stone, even though the core is well-established; it's definitely possible for anyone to take out certain cards and replace them with others and the deck will still function just fine.
I heavily dislike Chalice of the Void in this deck; in fact, Chalice can be quite good against it. Five one mana discard spells, Fatal Push; at 2, Pack Rat, Collective Brutality, Shadow of Doubt, and other cards from the sideboard. It hurts our own game plan too much. Chalice belongs in decks that either only have high costing cast spells (Eldrazi and Tron, for instance), or decks that are just trying to lock the opponent out using whatever shortcut is possible (these decks would also presumably have Blood Moon and other such nonsense). In fair decks with a range of cheap and expensive cards, Chalice has no place.
April 12, 2017 10:23 p.m.
I agree about Fulminator Mage being too slow against t3 Tron when we're on the draw, but it's fine if they don't have it t3, and if they do have it t3, there are not many sequences of cards that win us that game anyway.
Now, to mitigate weakness to Tron, we can find space in the sideboard for perhaps another land destruction spell and a Stony Silence (which also helps the Lantern matchup), which I might eventually do if I get annoyed by Tron enough, but I think I'm more likely to accept that Tron is a slightly unfavourable matchup, even post board, and be happy with one 40-60 matchup given that most of my other matchups are at least 60-40 post board.
With regards to Lantern, I've never been too scared of it. Game 1 just comes down to the draw. Their plan is more or less quite intact, whereas we draw Fatal Push and Murderous Cut and Hero's Downfall; our only path to victory is to get in before Ensnaring Bridge, and Merchant for the last few points before he gets a hard lock going. That said, drawing extra cards a turn is quite good against a deck that's trying to manipulate the top card. Games 2 and 3, we get artifact destruction, combined with Extirpate, and that heavily swings the matchup. So overall, I'd say it's 50/50, with post boarded games slightly favouring us, as the deck with both discard and answers.
April 11, 2017 6:41 p.m.
Also, with regard to Elves, game 1 is likely simply draw dependent, but I do believe we are quite favoured games 2 and 3, with our only losses being to bad draws/running Collected Company with multiple Shaman of the Pack and such.
April 11, 2017 4:53 a.m.
Necroplasm is bad with our own Pack Rats, and seems a touch too slow, but I haven't actually played with it, so my initial assessment may be incorrect.
And yeah, Shadow of Doubt is great!
April 11, 2017 4:23 a.m.
I tried going all in on Demon and cut down on Fulminator Mage as well, but on the whole, I did not like that strategy as much as being able to destroy lands against Tron and Valakut.
Elves has not been an issue for me so far simply because I have enough removal in the early turns of the game to not have to go all in on t4 Damnation (indeed, it may even be incorrect to do so, given that they are probably just going to recover immediately with a CoCo). Flaying Tendrils is definitely an option, but it is not one I have liked much in the past; unless you want to dedicate specific sideboard slots to a meta of Abzan Company, affinity, and Elves, I would not recommend it. Tendrils just doesn't do enough in other matchups - Merfolk are too big with Lords being vialed in to count on Damnation; Zoo is full of x/3's; Death's Shadow and Tarmogoyf obviously laugh at it.
With regard to fighting t2 TKS - unless you have a Fatal Push ready to go, the only way you're beating that is if your opponent doesn't have a follow-up, or if you draw a Damnation. Cutting Hero's Downfall against a deck with Seers and Smashers and Drowners is simply not correct, since Brutality kills nothing except dorks. And if you do want to keep in Brutality, you might even want to take out a Gray Merchant/Liliana/Erebos before you take out Hero's Downfall. Unconditional removal against that deck is king.
April 9, 2017 10:32 p.m.
I'm not sure what you mean by +1 Desecration Demon since I don't have one in the sideboard; perhaps you're on an earlier version of the list? I used to have one a week or two ago.
Also, I would not cut a land, since one of the easiest ways to lose is to get mana-screwed. It's super important to be hitting those land drops until almost turn 5, so I have yet to cut a land.
April 9, 2017 5:33 a.m.
UBQRLQL Eldrazi was a difficult matchup since the beginning because their threats are both big and disruptive. Matter Reshaper is card advantage for them, while Thought-Knot Seer, Reality Smasher and Endbringer/Drowner of Hope are all must answer threats. This is one of the prime reasons I went up to three Damnation in the sideboard. And of course, Eldrazi Displacer makes trying to defend almost impossible.
In this matchup, I usually take out all my Pack Rat. Eldrazi Displacer, Engineered Explosives and All Is Dust all make Pack Rat quite bad and slow. You become the control deck against Drazi, killing things with Geth's Verdict, drawing extra cards with Phyrexian Arena, and finishing the game with planeswalkers/Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet/Desecration Demon. Taking out Pack Rat also helps with our own Damnation plan. Against Bant, I'd keep in all the Fatal Push; against colourless Tron, I might cut one or two.
Demon, by the way, is quite good against them since it is bigger than all their guys and will usually eat multiple creatures/kill them straight up. Kalitas exiling their creatures and making a zombie army is also one way for us to match their board state. Ob Nixilis Reignited is quite a star in this matchup; card advantage + removal again and again is just so good against them.
If you feel as though you do not have enough disruption against them, I could see bringing in one or two Extirpate, even, to cut off the threat you're most scared of at the time, or that you know they have in hand from having previously cast a disruption spell.
Shadow of Doubt in response to Expedition Map or a fetchland or with Ghost Quarter is very very good here. I agree Ghost Quarter is not the best in this matchup, but with Shadow, it becomes Strip Mine, and that's quite good.
April 8, 2017 6:35 p.m.
I've been testing the deck for over two months now, and suffice to say changes have been made. :D
With regard to the Shadow of Doubt, it's a format concession, for the most part. Tron and EldraTron were my primary difficulties - they were the only matchups where I felt unfavoured/unable to do much when the opposing gameplan went off. My initial response was to overload on Fulminator Mage, but that was not only a bad topdeck but also too inefficient against EldraTron, given that they have an abundance of Sol lands.
Another problem I had was missing early land drops (a reason I love Think Twice so much in my blue decks), one of the easiest ways for this deck with its quite strong lategame to lose. I became desperate enough to overcome this variance to try out draw spells as clunky as Read the Bones.
Those two issues ran around in my hand until Shadow of Doubt came to mind again as something that might help against both of those things (Expedition Map, Sylvan Scrying); I was not initially sure of whether or not I wanted to make the inclusion, but the fact that this turned my Ghost Quarter into Strip Mine finally pushed me to try it out. I did, and I loved it. I discovered it was quite good also against Scapeshift, Summoner's Pact, Chord of Calling, and some other specific cards like that - but most ubiquitously, against fetchlands. Sniping a fetch or playing Strip Mine proved quite backbreaking in the early turns of a game, and the cycling definitely improved consistency. And as much as I love Collective Brutality, it did not shine particularly against Death's Shadow/Jund.
I hope this answers your question! Let me know if you have more queries.
April 8, 2017 12:18 p.m.
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