Slycne - Beginner Grinder

Who I Am

My name is Justin, and I work for Escapist Magazine.

History With Magic

Like most folks I've played Magic on and off over the years. It's only been recently that a more competitive fire has been stirring. Moving past routinely getting prizes at FNM, I've Top 8'ed some PTQs and made into money at a few smaller events, it's been a slow climb but I'm enjoying seeing myself progress. I doubt I'll ever see myself on the Pro Tour, but I still like the environment of competitive magic.

Decks I'm Playing

Recently I've been trying to branch out from my aggro roots, see what it's like on the other sides and learn how they tick more fully. Playing control, tempo and combo in various formats.

MTG Decks

Delver of Progress Playtest

Legacy* Slycne


Elspeth & Gideon Best Friends UW Control Playtest

Modern Slycne


*Insert Firebat Quote Here* Playtest

Legacy Slycne


Patriot Geist Flash Playtest

Modern* Slycne


UWR Flash Control Playtest

Modern Slycne


BUG Control Playtest

Standard Slycne


Rabble Jeskai Burn Playtest

Standard* Slycne


Rhino Midrange Playtest

Standard Slycne


Delver on a Cruise Playtest

Modern* Slycne


Stoneforged Rock and Roll Playtest

Commander / EDH Slycne


Sky Blue Heroes Playtest

Standard Slycne


Stoneforged Rock & Roll Playtest

Legacy* Slycne


Diggin' Jeskai Twin Playtest

Modern Slycne


Oath Sworn To Black Darkness That's Dark Playtest

Commander / EDH Slycne

Finished Decks 46
Prototype Decks 30
Drafts 0
Playing since Zendikar
Points 19180
Avg. deck rating 5.20
T/O Rank 60
Favorite formats Standard, Commander / EDH, Modern
Venues Atomic Empire, Gaming Underground, Event Horizon Games, Game Theory
Last activity 1 day
Joined 3 years
MTGO Username Slycne

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Said on Thrift Store Pants...


SaSSolino8 Spirit Mantle has a bunch of little interaction that make it worth while. Granted this list is tuned from the last Modern season, even before Treasure Cruise, but it's still probably worth running some number of them.

  • While you do get trample from Rancor and Unflinching Courage, it's nice to bring the evasion up past 6 sources. Games that bogles loses tend to hinge on not finding lifelink and a proper application of chump blocking. See also Inkmoth Nexus killing you regardless.

  • As a 2 CMC card, it helps to insulate you from Engineered Explosives a little. While you can stack an umbra to save your bogle, having nothing left on them and getting Daybreak Coronet knocked off is still basically game over.

  • It also breaks the mirror match.

January 23, 2015 1:55 p.m.

The obvious answer is Gladecover Scout and Slippery Bogle, of course then the question becomes why are you not already playing them? Both of these are way better than Aura Gnarlid. You're guys are going to get way bigger than any other creature deck already, protecting them is way more important than making them unnecessary large and opening yourself up for blow outs.

January 23, 2015 11:22 a.m.

Said on Morph...


Yes, you can flip up a morph in response to a spell once you receive priority. Note that it's still the same permanent, so the spell won't fizzle. So you'd end up with a Monastery Flock with 2 damage marked on it.

702.36d If you have priority, you may turn a face-down permanent you control face up. This is a special action; it doesnt use the stack (see rule 115). To do this, show all players what the permanents morph cost would be if it were face up, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up. (If the permanent wouldnt have a morph cost if it were face up, it cant be turned face up this way.) The morph effect on it ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. Any abilities relating to the permanent entering the battlefield dont trigger when its turned face up and dont have any effect, because the permanent has already entered the battlefield.

January 19, 2015 1:36 p.m.

You are correct, defender only means that the creature can't be declared as an attacker. So an creature gaining defender mid combat won't suddenly remove it from combat.

January 19, 2015 1:33 p.m.

No you still can't flip it over, part of the manifest rulings is that you have to reveal it to be a creature card. Even if your manifested spell is now permanently a creature because of the Mycosynth Lattice and Ensoul Artifact, it's still not a creature card.

701.31b Any time you have priority, you may turn a manifested permanent you control face up. This is a special action that doesn't use the stack (see rule 115.2b). To do this, show all players that the card representing that permanent is a creature card and what its mana cost is, pay that cost, then turn the permanent face up. The effect defining its characteristics while it was face down ends, and it regains its normal characteristics. If the card representing that permanent isn't a creature card or doesn't have a mana cost, it can't be turned face up this way.

In fact if at any time you would be required to flip over a manifested instant or sorcery you reveal it and put it back.

701.31e A face-down permanent represented by an instant or sorcery card can't be turned face up. If an effect instructs a player to turn one face up, its controller reveals it and leaves it face down. Abilities that trigger whenever a permanent is turned face up won't trigger.

January 18, 2015 2:13 a.m.

Perhaps the better question I should have phrased from the start is what match-up do you like it against in testing?

From my own experience I've found it to be lackluster against the other creature decks, it takes 13 mana to attack through Courser of Kruphix - the most played creature in the format - let alone Siege Rhino and such. While it does get to threaten its way through Sylvan Caryatid it's only one damage. It's too slow to race UW Heroic and gets overpowered by whip decks.

And it similarly struggles against removal/control because until the same 13 mana it dies to every piece of removal besides Magma Jet - and that still has a window to kill it. That you can invest 7 mana and it still dies to Lightning Strike or Bile Blight is pretty bad, and it's a big blowout if they respond to you putting counters on it. Even if you get to play this stare down game of holding up the activation, it's not like the deck has that much else to do at instant speed. Either your developing your board, holding up activation, or using removal.

I think this style of Abzan is all about getting a good rate on its creatures. It plays 3/3s for 2, 4/4s for 3, 4/5s for 4 and 6/8 flyers for 5. It uses its removal to tempo out the opponent while bashing in with these super efficient creatures. 8/8s for 13 are not efficient, even if you get to pay it in installments. This is why I think if Warden of the First Tree does have a home it's in the more low to the ground aggro decks, where it gets to play as a safety value to dump extra mana if you start to flood. Just my 2 cents.

January 16, 2015 12:19 p.m.

How have you found Warden of the First Tree in actual testing? A 3 mana 3/3 isn't all that hot and it doesn't even tangle with the majority of the creature being played until you've dumped an huge amount of mana into it. Figure of Destiny was much better in its day because it lined up against the removal and creatures.

I think this version of Abzan Aggro is more inclined to top out with Wingmate Roc, while maybe a version that wants Warden of the First Tree is a 12+ one drop. Soldier of the Pantheon, Bloodsoaked Champion, Mardu Woe-Reaper, etc.

January 14, 2015 10:08 p.m.

Said on how to unmorph ......


You have to pay a cost before the ability can occur. So no, you can't use the mana generated when Rattleclaw Mystic flips up to flip it up.

January 14, 2015 9:48 p.m.

Said on unbanning specs?...


Ohthenoises: Sword of the Meek may come off the list. Without infinite mana a Thopter Foundry doesn't do a ton.

That's a bit of an understatement. Sword of the Meek/Thopter Foundry will absolutely take over basically any fair match-ups. You don't need infinite mana to grind them out when they can't win through combat or damage any more.

January 14, 2015 12:10 a.m.

How competitive are you looking to be? Truly competitive or as competitive as you can get with the Waste Not/discard shell? Honestly, if you want to do well, I just can't recommend playing something like this. You have almost no chance beating burn or UR aggro. Discard decks look really bad when Treasure Cruise is around in droves. That's even on top of the normal clunky nature that often causes you to lose to your own deck since if you draw the wrong mix of spells or in the wrong order you're kind of boned.

If you're willing to accept that. A few thoughts -

I'm not a huge fan of your creature selection. They don't really mesh with what the deck is trying to do. If you are interested in just running some creatures for value I would look at something like Phyrexian Crusader. It's immune to the most of the popular removal spells in the format and can basically win games by itself if you're stripping their hand of cards. Or something like Pack Rat which allows you to discard useless discard spells once your opponent is top decking.

Liliana's Caress is very slow to get online and sort of works against you. Unless you draw one of your cards to force them into more cards, which is not always a good thing even if it's the plan, it just sits there being a wasted card. Everything is so cheap in Modern that once you've got them top decking you're just no going to get them to discard anything any more. I think you'd be much better off running the 8-rack, The Rack and Shrieking Affliction instead, which continue to trigger if you keep their hand size small.

January 14, 2015 12:03 a.m.