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.

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  • I was thinking doing 1 or 2 Ancient Grudge and 1 Unravel the Aether thoughts?

I think 2 Ancient Grudge is plenty. The primary match-up they are for is affinity, and that's another deck that can fold sometimes to bolt snap bolt and tends to have little combo interaction. Sometimes they run a one-of Welding Jar but that's not terribly worth warping sideboarding over.

  • Do you think it's worth running 2 Anger of the Gods regardless just to buy me some time to beat them and stop the pressure and that going bigger?

It really depends on what you expect to see. Of course if you knew you were going to play against Wild Nacatl decks all day you'd certainly want something in the sideboard. But I'd be willing to lean on the mainboard bolts and gofys and use those slots elsewhere.

November 27, 2015 12:41 p.m.

@Ashy Any time. I've played a fair amount of Twin, though not a ton of the Tarmo version.

  • I feel like Crumble to Dust is a little slow, but you're right, having something is good. I wish I had 2 Blood Moon to shove in it!

I would try and borrow Blood Moons if you can. It's very good right now, even if folks expect it. Crumble to Dust is ok when combined with on a bunch of counterspells postbord for Tron/Bloom since like you mentioned it can be too slow. You can actually lock GR Tron out of the game very quickly though with Crumble to Dust since there's only 20 actual lands in the deck.

  • Which would you suggest? I do own both. I'd imagine Shatterstorm is better, as it is a turn faster. But Vandalblast has its own benefit of having the targeted removal.

Shatterstorm is fine if you have Ancient Grudges already.

  • I'll definitely think about that, I can't imagine graveyard decks are huge. I know my buddy is playing storm, but I think that's not too impactful of a card anyways, or easily enough to get around. Are you sure? from what I've seen the reason you play Pyroclasm is because it does still halt pressure, but opens your turn 3 to making them fear the combo. Or do you think that's not as beneficial as stopping Zoo and such? Which I know 1 zoo player will be at.

My approach to sideboarding, especially in Modern, is that I want to target problematic match-up with silver bullets. Drawing a sideboard card should all but win you the game. Pyroclasm is nice for little zoo or fish, but even then they can be on the right draw and they still don't tend to fight the combo as hard as other decks - so it's not as important to have it. Those decks can also still fold to bolt snap bolt easily enough, further making them less a priority. So if you're on sideboard gameplan for a sweeper, I would go bigger to hit more cards in a wider number of match-up.

November 26, 2015 1:43 p.m.

Your biggest sideboard hole is the lack of land hate for the Bloom and Tron decks, usually Blood Moon - which usually splashes in against BGx decks - or Crumble to Dust. All those decks are quite popular right now.

Speaking of, while Tarmogoyf helps you be a bit more threat dense, I would still want one other big top deck card for the BGx decks - either the second Keranos, God of Storms or Jace, Architect of Thought

I'd also consider an artifact sweeper, Vandalblast or Shatterstorm, given the good showings of affinity and lantern control lately to supplement the Ancient Grudge.

Getting up to at least 3 Dispel in the 75 would be worth it as that card is very well positioned right now.

The stuff I would cut is the situational or low impact cards. Graveyard strategies are pretty low right now, and many are fine match-up for Twin any ways so cut the Relic of Progenitus. Rending Volley is a nice trump, but it's not necessarily winning the game either nor is it a huge upgrade to other cards already in the 75. If you want a sweeper Anger of the Gods would be better than Pyroclasm, but there's just not a ton of decks that it's good against right now nor decks that are bad match-ups either. It's nice to have a good catch-all with Engineered Explosives, but it's usually not game breaking.

November 25, 2015 2:25 a.m.

Said on Flip cards and ......


A transformed creature is still the same permanent when it flips. So a Ravenous Demon  Flip enchanted with a Unhallowed Pact continues to be enchanted when it flips.

  • 711.11. When a double-faced permanent transforms, it doesnt become a new object. Any effects that applied to that permanent will continue to apply to it after it transforms.

Unhallowed Pact triggers when the creature dies, ie is removed from the battlefield into the graveyard. Whenever a double-faced card is not on the battlefield it's always in the front face. So it will always return as Ravenous Demon  Flip whether it was flipped or not when it died.

  • 711.4a While a double-faced card is outside the game, in a zone other than the battlefield, or on the battlefield with its front face up, it has only the characteristics of its front face.
November 24, 2015 5:56 p.m.

Said on playing vs. casting...


Yes, in general activating the ability of a hideaway land lets you get around normal timing restrictions. However there are a few corner cases, like you can't ever play a land during an opponents turn or spells that say they can only be played during a certain time which hideaway can't get around.

November 19, 2015 11:49 p.m.

Said on Grixis twin help...


With a big and varied format like Modern, there's not a ton of tips to give in the blind. Playing Twin, like playing any Modern deck, is about knowing your match-ups. Which decks do you need to jam the combo against, and which hands to pitch back in another match-up. In generally, a lot of the success of the current Twin decks is wrapped around the representation of the combo - though the average deck only run a 4/6 split on the combo pieces. You get to play this tempo-y control game that threatens to win from an empty board and your opponent needs to respect that or you try to manipulate the game in such a way that you can punish them.

Against GBx, pre-board you typically want to force them to have the disruption, even going so far as jamming the combo into open mana. They are very well set-up to strip or stop the combo with removal and discard and can play a much grindier game. Post-board you're usually removing basically all of the combo and converting into a more controlling deck. You usually want some number of hard to answer threats and ways to stop or shutdown their manlands, often what ends up killing you as you both grind each other out.

November 19, 2015 11:37 p.m.

Said on Pile Shuffling...


While many players will still pile shuffle at least once in order to confirm card count, there are two reason you'll want to avoid it as your primary shuffle method.

For starters, it's just not a very good shuffle. You make relatively few card movements in the time it takes meaning is takes much longer to randomize the deck. The other issues is that it's not true randomization, you technically still know the location of every card since it's a predicable movement. Many methods of cheating are based on this.

If you're having trouble riffle or mash shuffling, the best thing to do is practice at home. Just sit and watch TV with the deck and keep trying, eventually it will become muscle memory. You can always ask a judge as well to assist you when you're at an event.

November 19, 2015 11:25 p.m.

It's mostly a number of small interactions. It's not hugely important if you're just playing FNMs, but it's the kind of percentage points that might matter at say a 15 round GP.

  • As mentioned, Stomping Ground gives your fetches an additional land beyond Mountain in case of Choke.

  • The main reason is sequencing of your Turn 1 fetches and plays, like getting an untapped red for Lightning Bolt. It's nice to have both side of Ancient Grudge covered no matter what other lands you draw.

November 13, 2015 4:08 a.m.

Be sure to link the cards in question for those that are not familiar. Rot Shambler, Zulaport Cutthroat.

Yes, each scion would trigger either creature individually. "Dies" with regards to Magic rules simply means "is put into a graveyard from the battlefield". While tokens do disappear as a state-based action when they enter another zone, they still hit the graveyard briefly, and will as such trigger any effect on dying.

Note that Rot Shambler wouldn't get +4/+4, it gets 4 +1/+1 counters. Just to be clear because it matter at times.

November 11, 2015 6:32 p.m.

You would get the Ape/Frog Lizard. Willbreaker triggers when you cast and target the creature, so the creature will be under your control before the spell resolves. The Pongify or Rapid Hybridization would then resolve destroying the creature and giving the token to its controller, which is you at the time.

November 11, 2015 12:46 p.m.

Said on do you control ......


A spell on the stack has a controller. See for instance, Commandeer for this in use. But Monastery Siege wouldn't apply since it doesn't specify spells only permanents on the field that you control and when they target you.

  • Dragons Spells your opponents cast that target you or a permanent you control cost 2 more to cast.
November 10, 2015 3:03 p.m.


Stoneforged Rock and Roll

Commander / EDH Slycne


Stoneforged Rock & Roll

Legacy* Slycne


Oath Sworn To Black Darkness That's Dark

Commander / EDH Slycne


Atarka's Goblins: Once You Pop The Fun Don't Stop

Standard* Slycne


Finished Decks 85
Prototype Decks 40
Drafts 0
Playing since Zendikar
Points 1410
Avg. deck rating 5.20
T/O Rank 332
Favorite formats Standard, Commander / EDH, Modern
Venues Atomic Empire, Gaming Underground, Event Horizon Games, Game Theory
Last activity 10 hours
Joined 4 years
MTGO Username Slycne