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July 19, 2017 9:50 p.m.
Oops overlooked your Visions, sorry. In that case I'd suggest maindeck Mana Leak, Gossamer just doesn't look Modern playable to me. And if it has to be a creature, I'd still take Labyrinth Guardian over it. Illusory Angel is playable, but only with Aether Vial backup which is crazy expensive as you know. It's difficult to satisfy the summoning condition in your list
The top Modern Merfolk lists that win tournaments all run between 2-3 Dismember even if they take 4, and that deck has been in revision and development for many years. I would just take the risk to be honest, there has to be something they are doing right with that.
July 19, 2017 9:45 p.m.
July 19, 2017 9:19 p.m.
Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the effort. When it comes to curves and manabases I'm still learning a lot, this kind of feedback was exactly what I was looking for.
I agree on your assessment of the discard spells, it's only something I want out of the sideboard. If I side those in for relevant matchups, I can have up to 11 discard effects in my deck, which should be more than enough to turn the tides if I get outpaced by combos in game 1.
Collective Brutality is very tempting here, it might even push me to consider Relentless Dead as 1 mana to recur a discard Cryptbreaker is very affordable, while Gravecrawler is always a free discard. My burn matchup is a bit of a mixed bag, an unchecked Wayward Servant can often slowly drain 3-5 Life or eat a Bolt for me, Tidehollow Sculler can eat a spell and Cryptbreaker can create blockers for days without triggering Eidolons. If I don't get to stick those though, Gravecrawler, Dread Wanderer and Geralf's Messenger don't exactly make for amazing blockers. It depends on which half of my deck I draw into. Collective Brutality could tip that into my favor.
On the other hand, Fatal Push is really nice to knock down a Thought-Knot Seer, Gavony Township pumps or Scavenging Ooze in addition to the Goyfs and Shadows. It's a tough decision to get right and depends on what I run into. For now, I think I'll keep the Brutality in the sideboard as a silver bullet for matches where it really shines. But I will definitely try them in the maindeck to get a feel for it. If I ever maindeck Relentless Dead, I'll probably make the switch as I'll have a better chance to get more value out of the discard.
Don't play sideboard cards because they're good, but rather play them because they replace cards that you remove.
That was a real eye-opener to be honest, I was struggling a bit with keeping my company hits high. I'll try moving some of the hate over to sticks like Kataki, War's Wage to not dilute my Company hits too often. I took some inspiration from Abzan Company and Counters Company in that regard, Selfless Spirit against boardwipes and Qasali Pridemage for Bridge, Chalice and Blood Moon. I will have to spend more time on that topic in general as I tend to just slam cards that hose stuff without considering how they play with my deck, I guess sideboards are things you spend more time with the more you play and learn the Modern format.
As for graveyard hate, I'm not too worried. It only really hurts my Gravecrawler and Geralf's Messenger, Dread Wanderer only becomes relevant in grindy matches and even then a late 2/1 is nothing esciting. I do definitely want ways to exile Past in Flames, Delve creatures, Goyfs, Snap targets and the usual Dredge suspects. Nihil Spellbomb is good enough for that and I like the cantrip function. A CoCo deck can reasonably operate even with 24 creatures, the minimum that people have calculated for CoCo to be still acceptable is 22. So I can take a bit of a hit on creatures after sideboarding, though not too much.
I think 4 Thoughtseize might be too high, my manabase can be a bit tricky (painful) and many of my creatures come tapped or can't block, so I have to be more careful than others. The edge it has over Inquisition of Kozilek is pretty substantial though, so I have gone up to 3 of them and an Inquisition for Burn or Affinity.
I'm still pretty weak at building sideboards so you made some great points.
As for the manabase, I totally agree with everything you have said. I was maybe too afraid of Blood Moon and Ghost Quarter and neglected the complications that would arise. I'm still a bit afraid of playing just 1 fetchable White source though, if that gets Spreading Seas or anything else happens to it, I suddenly lose 9 White sources at once and only have 4 lands to cast my Path to Exile. I might go 3-2 on Courtyard/Shrine but I'll have to see how it plays out. Definitely taking over all the other changes though!
That was some great feedback and I really appreciate the time it took you to think about and write it. The deck is a lot of fun and with the current diversity in the game it can really have a couple of good games, even though it is such an underplayed tribe. It might not be the best tribe around, but it is enjoyable and has its strong points.
July 17, 2017 3:30 a.m.
Hey Toolmaster, thanks a lot for your comment, very insightful.
I was wrecking my mind a lot about the curve and that was a very helpful example. I've gone down to to 10 1-drops, 10 because I run 1 or 2 more creatures in total than Big Zoo because of the CoCo deckbuilding restrictions, I also miss out on mana dorks unfortunately. Finding good 2-drops in Zombie is a bit tricky unfortunately, the power level is not great at that cost. I basically can choose from Relentless Dead, Putrid Leech, Wayward Servant and Tidehollow Sculler. Now the Tidehollow is obviously a clear winner here, but the others are tricky, as they are not that powerful as Thalia & Arbiter are or Ooze, Voice and Goyf, and they all have full colored mana cost to complicate my mana situation. The 3-drop spot however is pretty amazing all around, all of them are very impactful plays. Considering I'm running CoCo, I've gone heavier on the 3-drop here with 10 creatures while making a cut at 2 CMC for 8 creatures total. So far I haven't had many problems curving out, and my CoCompanies are almost always fire. So my final split (for now) is 10-8-10. Do you think that's a good place to be or does something like 9-9-10 or 9-10-9 make more sense to you?
I'm on 3 Push 3 Path at the moment and have to admit I haven't given it too much thought. I'm basically a bit worried about Death Shadow and Goyf ruining my day, with my limited space I wanted spells that can kill those 2 reliably. I will change it to 4 Path 2 Push now to have more game against Reality Smasher and Tasigur. What's your rationale for mainbord Brutality? I have it in my sideboard for Burn, Combo and Control primarily, since I don't expect to see them as often as Eldrazi Tron and Death's Shadow.
Thanks again for your tips, it was really helpful.
July 16, 2017 11:58 p.m.
I don't know man, maybe I just don't have the luck but I rarely get more than 1 Chancellor, rarely 2, even with the Serum Powder and Mulligans when drawing sample hands. Either you are lucky and it works or it is a complete disaster and your teammate can just resign with you. Just not my cup of tea I suppose, I would like to see more cards to actually play, even if it is just Black stuff to make Soul Spike more consistent. That way, you don't have to overly rely on rare magical Christmas draws to win. But you already said that you don't want to bring more consistency so you get the gambling and wow effect and I guess that is it then.
July 16, 2017 3:04 p.m.
Well, if your meta is full of aggro it certainly makes more sense. In that case I would highly recommend you to go for the full 4 Supreme Verdicts, as you probably want to see them every game to stabilize. Could go down the Essence Scatter, with so much removal on hand you probably won't really need them all that often
July 15, 2017 9:33 a.m.
July 14, 2017 11:25 p.m.
Prized Amalgam seems to be pretty decent here. You don't need Black mana, you'll never want to cast it anyways. It can bring a lot of power when you cast a milled Ruinator. Narcomoeba is also decent, triggering Amalgams on the way. It's better to diversify your threats a bit than going all-in on the Ruinator. Visions of Beyond seems like good card draw. Could also think about Jace's Phantasm, it is basically a small Ruinator (in the way that it only gets going when you got stuff in your yard), just much cheaper.
July 14, 2017 11:21 p.m.
Also, I couldn't help but notice your lack of Think Twice. The power level of the card isn't really obvious sometimes, but there are good reasons as to why it shows up in pretty much all Esper Control decks with strong tournament and league finishes. If you play Draw-Go, there are pretty much 2 golden rules for me:
You want to use your mana
You really want to use your mana
Think Twice is pretty much spot on in this regard. Early game it helps you cycle to your lands and answers, lategame it is card-advantage at instant speed. Card draw at instant speed is really powerful because it is always useful at any stage, often your counters or removal just don't add up to the situation at hand. Having a Think Twice on hand / in the graveyard in situations like this is really valuable. Here is relatively recent discussion about the usefulness of Think Twice:
July 14, 2017 6:41 p.m.
in the board for mirror matches
Mirror matches? I doubt you'll ever have a mirror match with this :D
The problem I'm seeing here is that you play in multiplayer, the Eidolon will hurt your ally unless his deck is made with that in mind as well. Even if it that is the case, you need a ton of pieces and a lot of mana to maintain the lock against 2 opponents, furthermore you need a lot of fairies on board so the taxation from Sprite is high enough. It is a bit unrealistic, I think you are shooting for way too much at once. Solemnity and Glen Elendra Archmage for example would be much easier to assemble, but also more expensive (as in the card price of Archmage) and only restricts the opponent to play nothing but creature spells. It can block forever though and is very realistic to achieve.
I think your combo is just too hard to assemble and you would be better off with a U/W Control deck with a softer lock that is not as demanding.
July 14, 2017 12:43 p.m.
Is there any specific reason as to why you use so many lands? Why not include a couple of Bump in the Night just to be safe?
July 14, 2017 12:25 p.m.
Your deck is also at 40 lands + 15 artifacts that produce mana/fetch lands, meaning that your deck consists of 55% mana. Which is waaaaaaaaaay too much.
July 14, 2017 9:16 a.m.
Spinx's Tutelage seems really bad here, not nearly close to enough card draw here. I'd rather have 4 Visions of Beyond to prevent you from running out of gas before you can mill them out. Hedron Crab is much better if you have Evolving Wilds around. You should really try to get at least some cheap dual lands in general, the probability of having Black mana on Turn 2 for Glimpse the Unthinkable is very, very low here. Mesmeric Orb is also really good, I'd prefer it over Memory Sluice.
You are going pretty much all-in on mill, a lot of decks can punish you for not having any protection for yourself. ~2-3 Crypt Incursion can buy you a ton of time. Ensnaring Bridge is awesome, but expensive. If you usually play against opponents that can afford fetch lands, Archive Trap is becomes the best mill spell ever printed. Ghost Quarter can force them to use their library or accept getting Strip Mined, buying you time again. I would recommend Fatal Push, but it is only half as good without fetchlands. You do want some form of removal at the very least in the sideboard though. Your deck in it's current form has 0 ways of beating Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as that keeps on resetting their library, so you should definitely take the Crypt Incursion in the maindeck and maybe some Tormod's Crypt from the sideboard to exile it at instant speed and prevent that from happening.
To get some space for those suggestions, here are the least powerful cards in your deck in descending order (worst first)
Sphinx's Tutelage (no synergy)
Memory Sluice (low powerlevel, you also don't have enough creatures)
Tome Scour (low powerlevel)
Traumatize (4 is too much, you have a high risk of drawing more than 1 per game, which is bad because you only want to see 1 per game and it is bad in your opening hand)
July 14, 2017 7:52 a.m.
I can't really give you suggestions on which cards to use, as going through their pictures would be really time-consuming. Rakdos colors seem like a natural fit, but I think you should stretch that BDSM thing a bit further. After all, there is no point in having her try a BDSM deck if there are no fun mechanics and a exciting gameplan to let her stay invested into the game. To ensure she has fun, the deck has to be well built and simple in addition to being somewhat on theme. As for Rakdos colors? I would take an established Rakdos archetype and just add a couple of the more useful BDSM-themed cards to meet her requirement. As for established decks that can be played in Rakdos we have:
Vampire Tribal (could be a very good fit, has a LOT of BDSM-esque clothing and themed cards, reasonably powerful)
Living End (boring/unsuited for a new player)
8-Rack (The Rack is pretty BDSM)
Midrange (Low-cost removal & discard, card draw like Sign in Blood, powerful creatures 3-5 CMC, maybe a Planeswalker? Those are usually exciting for new players)
Control (could be a bit difficult to play)
Burn (very easy to play, but might also be a downside if she thinks it is too straightforward)
From what I have gathered there I would recommend you to go into a Vampire Tribal direction and back those up with some BDSM equipment like your Whip of Erebos and whatever you can find that fits your theme. Tribals are simple to play, flavorful, look good and have a lot neat interactions, so I would recommend them as beginner decks. And if she doesn't like it, you still have a decent deck to play for yourself :)
July 13, 2017 9:29 p.m.
W/U is probably one of the worst possible colors a Zombie deck can play to be honest. Almost all the creatures have the powerlevel of draft leftovers. I don't want to discredit your deckbuilding or anything. It's just that U/W Zombie creatures hardly have the punch for even casual matches. You are doing your best to make them work somehow but the ceiling of power you can achieve in these colors is really low. Just wanted to make sure that is clear, leaving out Black Mana hurts the entire tribe on a massive scale, it's like Merfolk without Blue or Goblins without Red.
If you are really bent on doing this, I would definitely remove In Oketra's Name and at least 2 Unconventional Tactics. They aren't impactful enough overall and are card disadvantage that make the opponent's removal better. Outside of Infect, Elves or Double Strike, pump spells just don't have the necessary punch. I'd play the full 4 Path to Exile and Serum Visions. If you want to go further down the Tribal Road, there is Metallic Mimic, Always Watching and Obelisk of Urd. Binding Mummy is also the best pure white Zombie there is, the Eternal of Harsh Truths will just get blocked for days or removed, it does way too little for 3 mana. Dusk / Dawn is also okay here (not with Obelisk/Always Watching), there is not that big of chance that you get to cast Skaab Ruinator anyways. Definitely not before Turn 4, where Dusk could strike. Snapcaster Mage could get some recycling done for card advantage, some Mana Leak and 1-2 Logic Knot are also OK additions.
July 13, 2017 7 p.m.
That said, a Zombie drain deck would make for amazingly janky and fun fringe deck, so why not go for it? While I don't believe it has the edge over a combat-oriented build against most of the metagame, it certainly has more than enough power to steal a couple of wins on its own.
July 5, 2017 6:23 p.m.
Draining is a way, but leads to a significantly slower kill on average. The reasons I don't go further down the drain route start with Collected Company. For Diregraf Captain, which is a perfectly fine card on its own, I have to go into Blue, which puts even more strain on an already very strained manabase (Geralf's Messenger). I could move away from White, but losing Path and Tidehollow really hurts the deck a lot. Furthermore, even in a CoCo deck, you'd want a maximum of maybe ~10 3-drops, we don't have Zombie manadorks to accelerate. The 3-drop slot is already a nightmare to fill in a Mono Black Zombie deck, there are just way too many strong options. The drain plan kind of requires Diregraf Captain and Plague Belcher, which I don't think is that great of a card without everything coming together at the right time. He just doesn't have the raw power and blowout potential of Death Baron, and if you are not lucky, is just a 3/2 Menace for 3, which is bad.
As for Diregraf Colossus, he is just not good enough in a CoCo deck, we miss on a lot of cast triggers. He is also a removal magnet and does nothing when he comes down, I fear he is just too slow in a format full of Fatal Push and Path to Exile. Geralf's Messenger almost always deals 4 and can come back, Death Baron can lead to huge blowouts with Collected Company. When I commit 3 Mana in Modern, I kind of want to see at least some benefits immediately. That's also why Wayward Servant is probably the worst card in the deck, which hurts to say, because I really love the design itself. You want to play the thing on Turn 2, but Tidehollow Sculler is just so much stronger. The good thing is that most people undererstimate or even ignore the card, so over the course of a game you can speed up your clock with maybe 3-6 additional damage, which is good enough.
I think Drain leads to good supplemental damage in the deck, but the cards we have don't feel impactful enough to build around it I believe. We'd need a decent 2-drop Blood Artist-style Zombie that can bash and drain to get towards a critical mass of drain creatures. With all the good stuff happening at 3 Mana, it's just too slow to keep up I believe. While Wayward Servant and Diregraf Captain are somewhat good enough to splash in regular Zombie decks, Plague Belcher and Diregraf Colossus just don't make the cut for me in Modern. When they are good, they can be really good, but they are also just not very reliable.
July 5, 2017 6:12 p.m.
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