My name is Justin, and I work for Escapist Magazine.
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.
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.
|Avg. deck rating||5.53|
|Favorite formats||Standard,Commander / EDH,Modern|
|Venues||Atomic Empire, Gaming Underground, Event Horizon Games, Game Theory|
|Last activity||1 day|
I actually think mono-black aggro isn't a great fit for it. With all the bestow mono-black is Incentivized to go big on a smaller number of creatures not board where anthem effects shine. If dropping Hall of Triumph is only boosting the power of your boardstate by ~2 then it's probably not worth it.
26 lands is way too many, 20 is much closer to where you want to be. Also, if you're already jamming expensive lands like Horizon Canopy you really need to get the rest of a mana up to snuff. Nearly every card is a colored mana symbol, which means the deck sometimes wants to curve T1 Slippery Bogle into T2 Rancor + Keen Sense into T3 Daybreak Coronet while on only 2 lands. That means nearly every land needs to produce GW. Razorverge Thicket , Temple Garden , Brushland , etc.
Dryad Arbor is really only effective with fetchlands. The only reason the bogle lists play it is because you can fetch in response something like Liliana of the Veil -2 or in desperation you can fetch Dryad Arbor end of turn and suit it up while someone is tapped out.
Ethereal Armor is one of the most powerful cards in the deck, it's the only route to a T3 win and is usually what puts the deck on a solid Turn 4. This should absolutely be a 4-of.
Hyena Umbra a lot of the time it's better to have Spider Umbra first. There's already a lot of redunent first strike from Daybreak Coronet and Ethereal Armor . Generally you're running a mix of both though.
I'm not a huge fan of Eidolon of Countless Battles here. As a creature it's big, but it's not going to be bigger than a suited Kor Spiritdancer and it doesn't come with nearly the same upside for an unprotected creature in the deck. As an aura it looks even worse, it's a Ethereal Armor that's 4 times as expensive. It gives you a little wrath protection, but I'd rather just run more umbras.
Some additional cards to consider. Spirit Link can be very strong since it doubles up on lifelink essentially. Unflinching Courage boosts power, gives evasion and lifelink. It's a little on the expensive side for the deck but 2-3 usually make the deck. Spirit Mantle can be very useful as another source of evasion. Sometimes bogles can loose to the ground just getting clogged up with chump blocks. Suppression Field is sometimes a great mainboard hate card. It stops, or slows down, a number of problematic cards long enough for you to run them over with a big suited creature.
Pyrostatic Pillar on a 2/2 body is in fact a card worth running. The better way to think about it is that Eidolon of the Great Revel is a psuedo-Ash Zealot that can't be completely stonewalled by blockers or killed before damage. In a deck of 12+ Lava Spike s, your opponent is always dying faster than you are.
On the deck, I'd recommend trying to squeeze a pair of Grim Lavamancer s into the 75. That card can easily do 4-6 damage in a number of match-ups, making it even more efficient card for card than any of the Lava Spike -types. It's obviously a little slower than a straight burn plan, but the flexibility and potential to have one card go unanswered and deal 6+ damage is something I don't think can be ignored. It's a nice little bit of flood insurance in that way as well.
jjdiddy65 byepolarbear Honestly, Leyline of Sanctity isn't really a card you care about as Storm. It doesn't interact with your ability to start going off so you just flip your deck and find Echoing Truth and then Grapeshot them.
Where Empty the Warrens really holds its weight is that most of the sideboard hate against Storm is some way of shutting the graveyard down. Instead of needing to combo off completely, dumping a few rituals and cantrips into a Empty the Warrens puts a whole bunch of goblins in play without the need to use your graveyard. Most decks can't deal with 10-20 1/1 goblins and you kill them in 2-3 turns.
Exiling for Whip of Erebos , Chandra's Phoenix and the few dredge decks hanging around are not of greater relevance than the Scry currently, especially when the current control shells are more tap out control than draw-go. You need to find your hay makers quickly. Also, Syncopate is still a spell for a few more months. It gets a little awkward late game, but it's a little too important to be able to interact on T2 sometimes. That 1 or 2 of Syncopate has saved me from T2 Domri Rade a lot. Until that balance shifts I don't see any reason to run Dissipate yet.
trentfaris242 Ok, so you've used your premium common removal on their promo, but I think your overstating how "devastating" that is. It sucks and you're up a bit on mana efficiency, but it's hardly game breaking. That's why the good removal is in the deck in the first place.
White - an overly expensive 4/4 flyer. It will be popular because folks like the life cushion, but I'd honestly take a Serra Angel over it any day.
Black - will likely be the most popular and for good reason. Dies to Lightning Strike isn't a good argument. This isn't like Eater of Hope were it was awkward to loose your big bomb to basically every removal spell in the format, it's 5 power in the air on Turn 5. You either have the removal right away or you die. That it even has additional upside is absurd.
Blue - will probably get overlooked a lot, but Clone is always a viable card and this one gets to do a free tricky thinks. Rebuying ETBs or even just upgrading to a bigger threat.
Red - a 5/5 flyer with a bunch of largely irrelevant text. Your big flyer doesn't really care about walls, and anything dying to the firebreath ability was probably already pretty irrelevant that late in the game.
Green - it's good, though deceptively not as powerful as some might think. Sure, it never goes away permanently, but it's also psuedo not there 1/2 the time since it comes back tapped. So if you say block with it, it won't be until the your second turn after that that you get to untap with it.
My thoughts on standard rotation: no offense, but people think about standard too early.
Mirroring some of the other comments already, knowing what's leaving and what's in M15 still tells us very little about what the format will look like when Khans cycles in. I think the best you can really do is look at what cards are currently strong by themselves and make predictions on what's going to continue to see play or what might see play as a stronger card in the same slots rotates out.
If you look at something like the Theros block constructed Pro-Tour, you can begin to make some deductions that the future of Standard will likely contain a heavy amount of Courser of Kruphix , Hero's Downfall , Thoughtseize and Elspeth, Sun's Champion .
nayaftw Sure, but just cause a card is good in a match-up, specific boardstate or in another deck doesn't mean you should upset the balance disproportionately. For instance, your friend's Junk deck is likely much more capable of supporting 4 Scavenging Ooze s because it's killing more creatures. And sure, exalted is really nice with Mirran Crusader , but that's still leaving yourself open to let Lightning Bolt get a ton of extra value and Time Walk you out of an attack step.
Modern is a huge sea of decks, and I'd be wary about flooding the numbers and tipping yourself too out of favor for some other match-up. For instance, there are plenty of decks where Scavenging Ooze is just a 2/2 with no relevant text. And frankly, while Qasali Pridemage and Scavenging Ooze are indeed good, they are hardly Dark Confidant or Tarmogoyf levels of good. I think there's just too many other good pieces in the GW hatebears shell to support them both at 4-of.
3 is more or less the upper end of Scavenging Ooze I ever feel like running. They fight for the same resources and are much less exciting in multiples when ones of them becomes straight up Grizzly Bears .
I would probably put Qasali Pridemage on a similar level. The MB hate/insurance certainly helps edge a few percentages in your favor in some match-ups, but there are still some where it's just a 2/2 exalted and I don't love exalted that much in a spot removal heavy format like Modern.