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Scavenging Ooze is better if expect to face burn, while Shriekmaw is better in meta that lacks burn in favour of RDW decks (like prowess) and other creature based aggro.
Pluse, Deadeye Tracker already does a minor Scavenging Ooze impersonation on graveyard front.
And if you are able control the board, there is no need to have extreme large creatures to win.
Trying to use Scavenging Ooze as tarmogoyf is a terrible idea. It can sometimes accidentally end up as a big creature in ceratin non-interactive matchups, or in extreme late games. However basing your deck on growing it big is asking for trouble as it simply needs too much mana.
You would be better off with Hexdrinker as it at least protects itself once its big, as opposed to Scavenging Ooze.
In regards to cutting removal, i wouldnt touch push as "bolt the bird" is always relevant, not to mention killing manlands.
And would leave some number of assassin's trophy, as a catch all.
In general as long as you have 12-16 creatures & spells you are golden.
March 24, 2020 7:54 a.m.
Obliterator is great when Path to Exile usage is low to non-existent and counterspells are few and far between.
Thus the card is far from its greatest in today's meta.
(However - contrary to the common misconception - getting to BBBB is easy if you manage to have 4 lands by turn 4, twhen you play a 2 colored eck)
I recommended Shriekmaw as it does something early game, and its absolutely broken with all the "return creature from graveyard to hand" spells in your deck, cards like Liliana, the Last Hope.
Sure, its far less flashy than something than Verdurous Gearhulk, and wins slower - however it keeps the field clear, and gives you time to win.
While you can VERY easily die with a gearhulk in hand before you could ever use it.
Obstinate Baloth is a great hate card against discard decks, for any deck that plays combo, and a "passable" card in the burn matchup.
Sadly hardcasting it is asking a lot.
In the sense that it does too little for its cost, UNLESS you want to simply stall a little to win with something like a lethal scapeshift.
In the era where Gurmag Angler, Thing in the Ice Flip & Bedlam Reveler are running around the card is surprisingly squishy, to win the game.
And does too little at helping you achieve that goal, beside being a body.
Unless you run something like elves, i owuld stay away from God-Eternal Rhonas. Its a great improvement there as a recurrable pump effect in face of all the counterspells and discard.
However in this deck, its only good when you are already winning anyways, and does little to nothing in any other case.
March 24, 2020 6:18 a.m.
Well i would pass on hydra.
Its "just" a big dumb beatstick, and a very overpriced one at that.
There are more resilient hydras if you want to stick to the theme. However i would probably advise something like shriekmaw, a creature that does something on ETB for that price.
(Stonecoil Serpent is terrible in modern, it dies to push, path, often to bolt, all of which cost 1 mana, while you likely spent far more mana on it. Not to mention that monocolored creatures are a very rare minority, and not really a thing your snake will interact with during the combat step)
March 23, 2020 1:46 p.m.
Don't play cards, when something that is very close to "strictly better" is available. Winding Constrictor is leagues better than Corpsejack Menace.
The likely comes down the turn after you explored, thus not doing much, while the former comes before, and as such gains you value when you play your explore creatures.
In general i would urge you to make the deck "do more" than "only" being a +1/+1 counter deck, as the hardened scales will likely be a better +1/+1 counter deck. Or if you wanna stick to it, while being midrange-ish, then play some good payoff like Give / Take
In general i would advise staying away from mana dorks, or building around them in general - unless you have some game winning thing on turn 3.
In GB you will be far better of by playing 6-10 targetd discard spells in your deck, so that you have a t1 discard followed up by explore to either ramp, or "scry".
And since you are "ramping" with the explore mechanic anyways, i would advise you to get some sort of good mana sink that either creates a large card advantage, is extremely resilient, or wins on resolution (preferrably all 3).
And as far as creatures featuring the mechanic go i would strongly advise playing at least 2x Deadeye Tracker as the "dumbed down Deathrite Shaman" is still pretty decent.
Stealing cards out from under snapcaster mage is very relevant, so is graveyard hate, and scrying/drawing for 2 mana is great - especially on a permanent that costs as muc or less than the removal that is needed unmake it.
March 23, 2020 6:35 a.m.
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