sylvannos Deckspert

Hello, planeswalker!

I learned how to play MTG from Portal before I moved into Mirage and 5th. Edition. I've been playing ever since. My favorite decks (in order, follow the links for explanations of the decks' history):

1) Goblins
2) Academy
3) Dredge-a-Tog
4) Prosperous Bloom
5) Necro
6) Workshop/MUD
7) Ghost Husk
8) Ghazi Glare
9) Zombies

My favorite Magic cards are (in order):

1) Tolarian Academy
2) Psychatog
3) Goblin Lackey
4) Goblin Welder
5) Necropotence
6) Mind Over Matter
7) Sundering Titan
8) Braingeyser
9) Squandered Resources
10) Metalworker.

Here's a read that will change your life and the way you play games: Playing to Win by David Sirlin (one of the designers behind Street Fighter).

Also, be sure to check out my folders page for information regarding older decks. I've been working on creating an extensive archive of decks from various Pro Tour Top 8s and explanations for certain cards.

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My go-to budget Tron list I recommend to help grind FNMs is:

2x Forest
3+ Fungal Reaches OR Pinecrest Ridge
1x Ghost Quarter1x Inventors' Fair
1x Urza's Factory OR Sanctum of Ugin
4x Urza's Mine
4x Urza's Power Plant
4x Urza's Tower

This gives several utility lands, while also having a good balance of colored mana. The important thing to remember: you absolutely cannot have lands come into play tapped and you will lose games to decks like Burn and Death's Shadow if you have to pay life. The obvious choice is Grove of the Burnwillows for this very reason. However, that obviously will eat your entire budget.

Pinecrest Ridge is probably the best replacement. Not only does it have the option to just tap for colorless and come into play untapped, you can get the or you need to search for Tron pieces or cast Pyroclasm.

4x Sylvan Scrying
4x Ancient Stirrings
4x Expedition Map
2x Talisman of Impulse
4x Chromatic Sphere
4x Chromatic Star

This is pretty standard for a Tron list, the exception being Talisman of Impulse. While you don't want to be paying the life against faster decks, having the ability to tap for colored mana and still get Tron on turn 3 is more helpful when you're on a budget. It means you can play multiple World Breakers, add Inferno Titans, or use whatever budget options you have lying around when some of the more expensive fat cards (like Karn Liberated or Kozilek, Butcher of Truth) aren't available. That way, you're not relying a whole lot on cards like Myr Battlesphere or Steel Hellkite.

4x Ratchet Bomb / Oblivion Stone
4x Pyroclasm
1x All Is Dust

You need boardwipes. Pyroclasm is especially important because you will lose to a turn one Slippery Bogle is you do not kill it immediately. They will untap on their turn two and toss an umbra on it. By the time you can use another piece of removal, you'll be so low on life that they can simply play another one or get you with Dryad Arbor. The same is true against turn one Glistener Elf. They will use something like Apostle's Blessing to deal with whatever you have once they untap.

You can skip on red and go straight mono-green, but then you just have to accept that you lose to Infect, Bogles, and Burn. If these aren't in your meta, replace Talisman of Impulse with Mind Stone or Relic of Progenitus and the lands with basic Forests and a 2nd. Ghost Quarter.

The All Is Dust is probably the only non-budget card I'd recommend you have because of how much 3+ color decks get BTFO'd on turn three when you slam it. If it's still out of your budget, replace it with a Platinum Angel.

That's 50 cards total. Your last 10 cards should be:

  • Huge
  • OR win conditions
  • OR removal

Basically, choose a combination of the following that fits into your budget (I put them in order of importance):

Based on what you've posted, I'd recommend something like:

2x Wurmcoil Engine
2x Sundering Titan (you can power this out on turn 3 via Talisman of Impulse and laugh at some Jund player's $2,000 mana base as they concede)
1x Worldbreaker
4x Relic of Progenitus
1x Spatial Contortion

All that's left is your sideboard. Based on the above, I'd go with:

2x Ancient Grudge
1x Defense Grid
1x Ghost Quarter
1x Grafdigger's Cage
3x Nature's Claim
1x Orbs of Warding
1x Spatial Contortion
3x Thragtusk
1x Torpor Orb
1x Warping Wail

February 21, 2018 3:54 p.m.

The problem with the article (and this has been pointed out all over the place over the years every time it gets posted) is that it assumes everything in a vacuum. It ignores that life is a resource.

For example, suppose I lose next turn to my opponent's infinite combo and the only way I can win is if I do so on my current turn. In that case, paying all but 1 of my life total to gain a even a 1% chance of drawing the card I need to execute my own combo is worth it. If I'm playing Storm and sitting at 4 life, paying 3 of that life to go grab a Steam Vents before I try to draw a card is worth it.

This is done at multiple instances throughout the game because I can only play one land a turn. So with the example of Storm in Modern, if I'm going up against another fast deck like Death's Shadow, Burn, or another combo deck, I can map out the number of cards my opponent can play.

So let's continue by taking a look at Burn. It can do 4 damage with Boros Charm. 2 damage a turn with Goblin Guide is one of its more efficient means of damage. Monastery Swiftspear does a lot of damage but is limited by the mana available. Atarka's Command likely does the most damage. A resolved Eidolon of the Great Revel is enough to kill me on its own. What's the fastest way that a burn deck can kill me, as a Storm player?

Hitting a land drop each turn is ideal for the Burn player. If they hit 4 lands and nothing but spells, they should be able to do 20 damage by turn 4.

So with 7 starting cards and then 4 turns being on the draw, they have 11 cards total. 4 of those are lands, meaning they get 7 of their burn spells. The absolute nuts is if they get multiple Goblin Guides and Atarka's Command. So:

Turn one: Goblin Guide, attack for 2 (18 life remaining).
Turn two: Cast another Goblin Guide, attack for 4 (14 life remaining). Cast Lightning Bolt (11 life remaining).
Turn three: Monastery Swiftspear -> Atarka's Command for 3 to the face (8 life remaining), pump the team, attack for 9 (0 life remaining).

That's 21 damage by turn 3, with the Burn player getting a strong draw. So if I'm on the play, and I know I take 21 damage by the Burn player's turn 3, that means the most life I can pay of my own is 10. That's because it's what keeps me alive at the end of turn 2. If I pay even 1 life, I'm dead on turn 3 regardless of what else I play. Because of this, any life I pay by turn 3 is irrelevant.

So if my opening hand has only 2 Misty Rainforest, but I need , then I'm going to pay at least 2 life to fetch a pair of Steam Vents. If I have to fetch and shock twice, I go to 14. I'm dead when my opponent gets their turn three, so I decide to combo off. Part way through my combo, I draw Scalding Tarn and Island. I can still play a land and I only need to get , so I can play the Island. However, since I know I'm dead the following turn, I may as well pay the life to use Scalding Tarn, even if it only improves my draw by 0.000000000000001%.

This is a long, convoluted example, but I hope it illustrates my point. Life is a resource. Games more often that not depend on certain life total breakpoints (in our Burn example, it goes 18 -> 13 -> 1). Using a fetch to thin out your deck in those cases makes the smallest percent worth it.

The times where the article is correct is when looking at a meta that does random amounts of damage each turn and you're playing Mono-Red Burn. It's better off to play nothing but basic Mountains, even if the option of fetches is there. That's because you'll never be in a situation where paying life to improve your chances will be relevant.

Even then, sometimes the shuffling itself becomes a relevant resource. Or you want to fill your graveyard (Grim Lavamancer being the go to example). But most of the time, it comes down to mana fixing. Because fetchlands can grab dual lands, they open up all 5 colors without any issues. If you rely just on dual lands, you may draw all of your spells, but only your lands. If those lands were Verdant Catacombs? It's no longer an issue because you can go get your Taiga or Badlands.

This becomes even more obvious against decks with few actual win conditions. Sneak and Show is going to attack me with either Griselbrand, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Ashen Rider, or all of the above. Scapeshift is going to kill me with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. Once you know the threshold for when these decks can kill you, crossing that threshold means any life you pay from fetchlands makes the deck thinning worth it.

Edit: I should mention, my point is that "Fetches are good for thinning your deck" is a correct statement. This is only clear if you take the time to think about why. But once you do, it's obvious and becomes second nature to most players.

February 20, 2018 9:20 a.m.

Said on Help with a ......


BUG Superfriends built around Deathrite Shaman and Pernicious Deed is pretty spicy. I'm not sure if you want Shardless Agent or not. However, sitting across from a Liliana of the Veil and Jace, the Mind Sculptor when they're backed up by a boardwipe will end just about any game.

February 19, 2018 6:15 a.m.

Said on BBE in modern ......


The problem with Bloodbraid Elf in Elves is that you don't really cascade into anything exciting. Best case scenario? You hit Elvish Archdruid or Shaman of the Pack. What's more likely to happen? You cascade into Llanowar Elves/Nettle Sentinel or some other mana dork.

I'd rather use Summoner's Pact, Collected Company, Chord of Calling, Lead the Stampede, a strong artifact (Staff of Domination for instance), or a planeswalker.

February 18, 2018 6:06 a.m.

I think I'd rather have Daze and Misdirection over Counterspell in Modern. Neither card would be oppressive in the right Standard format, and both would help slow down the format so we could unban more cards.

February 16, 2018 5:45 p.m.

From the MtG Comprehensive Rules:

  • 106.2. Mana is represented by mana symbols (see rule 107.4). Mana symbols also represent mana costs (see rule 202).
  • 106.3. Mana is produced by the effects of mana abilities (see rule 605). It may also be produced by the effects of spells, as well as by the effects of abilities that arent mana abilities.
  • 106.4. When an effect produces mana, that mana goes into a players mana pool. From there, it can be used to pay costs immediately, or it can stay in the players mana pool. Each players mana pool empties at the end of each step and phase.

There's also faster and more consistent combo decks than trying to use Door to Nothingness, namely 1-Land Belcher. If you're still interested in Door to Nothingness, people have been trying to make a Modern brew for a while that relies on using Tooth and Nail to power out 2 Composite Golems.

February 16, 2018 12:14 a.m.

@RicketyEng: Ah ok. For some reason I thought Teferi was involved like he was in Time Spiral block.

February 15, 2018 5:40 p.m.

@RicketyEng: I thought he helped send Sarkhan Vol back in time to help Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, no? Then Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker became Sarkhan Unbroken? Or am I thinking of someone else?

February 14, 2018 8:38 a.m.

@Cragon18: Oh I definitely think U/W Control gets a lot better, I just don't know if we'll see something with Counterbalance and/or miracle spells. We already have Telling Time and Serum Visions, so I'm not sure a another 4-drop competing with Cryptic Command will do the trick. I could be wrong, I'm sure, but Legacy is even having issues setting up Counterbalance despite having Ponder, Preordain, Brainstorm, and Portent.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor's +0 doesn't do well with Ensnaring Bridge. However, I was thinking his +2 and -1 help lock everything down even further for Lantern.

@WizardOfTheNorthernCoast: ...and Bloodbraid Elf into Tarmogoyf mwahahahahaa!

I really want to play a RUG deck with Bloodbraid Elf into Kari Zev's Expertise into Ancestral Vision.

Also, this never gets old lol:

February 12, 2018 3:20 p.m.

Incoming Jace, the Mind Sculptor vs. Jace, the Mind Sculptor mirrors all day, erry day. I'm not worried about Miracles because the deck still doesn't have Brainstorm or Sensei's Divining Top. I'm worried about the already good Grixis Control and Lantern decks being pushed over the top.

Jace, the Mind Sculptor isn't something you just jam into play on turn 4 by tapping out. You want him to come down on an empty board or with some type of backup in your hand to protect him.

I'm not sure Bloodbraid Elf should have been banned to begin with. Nice to see it coming off.

I would have liked to see some other cards unbanned. I think the format has sped up so much that unbanning Birthing Pod or artifact lands would have been reasonable. I'm glad they didn't add anything to the list, though.

February 12, 2018 1:35 p.m.

The Raven Man is speculated to be a reincarnated Urza. He somehow survived being beheaded. There's also an interesting dynamic since Karn has Urza's spark, so if he did come back, he may not have any of his powers.

I could see a story line where Liliana uses her own abilities to help reignite Urza's spark, especially as we find out more regarding The Chain Veil, the curse on Liliana, as well as whatever happened to Garruk Relentless  Flip.

I'm also hoping we see Teferi, Temporal Archmage, since Dominaria is also his home plane. AFAIK, however, he died in Khans block.

February 11, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Said on 3 drops in ......


I didn't even see you were missing Tarmogoyfs when I made my earlier comment. I assumed they were in there when I saw you had Grim Flayer and Mishra's Bauble lol...

In that case, have you considered playing something like G/B 8-Rack or Death Cloud? Trying to play Abzan Midrange without Tarmogoyf is going to be a lost cause because Abzan is top heavy on its mana curve. You really do need that 5/6 to protect yourself on turn 2, while offering a threat.

February 8, 2018 7:49 a.m.

Said on 3 drops in ......


I like Kitchen Finks with a singleton Anafenza, the Foremost. It gives you lifegain against aggro decks and some maindeck graveyard hate to go with Scavenging Ooze.

February 7, 2018 6:40 p.m.

I have to agree with the comments on your deck's comment page: Where in God's name are your Avatar of the Resolute? Mono-Green Stompy is built around Avatar of the Resolute and relies on it for getting things done. It makes your Experiment Ones, Scavenging Oozes, and Strangleroot Geists do even more work. It even makes Young Wolf viable.

Champion of Lambholt is cute but as you say, it's a pet card. The problem is that it's taking up room.

I'm also not a fan of Overwhelming Stampede and so many Blossoming Defense. The only pump spells that I would use besides Aspect of Hydra are Mutagenic Growth or Vines of Vastwood.

Cutting this excess fat makes room for Avatar of the Resolute, Groundbreaker, Hardened Scales, Narnam Renegade, Dungrove Elders, and so on.

I also don't think you're getting much benefit from your mana base. Nephalia Academy and Field of Ruin are kind of ho-hum in this deck. You can board in Acidic Slime, Beast Within, or Mwonvuli Acid-Moss. You don't care about counterspells because you can board in Thrun, the Last Troll, Skylasher, Great Sable Stag, and Choke. I'd drop down to 19 lands and play a 3rd. Treetop Village. Everything else should be Forests.

The other utility land that's viable instead of the 3rd. Treetop Village is Oran-Rief, the Vastwood.

February 6, 2018 11:48 p.m.

Have you thought about making an EDH deck with Sen Triplets or Sharuum the Hegemon as your general?

The only other suggestion I have is to build a Gifts Ungiven deck, but as others have pointed out, the mana base is going to put you way over $100.

February 5, 2018 5:49 p.m.

Said on help with slivers...


Your deck seems like it'd be better for Modern. Trying to play Legacy Slivers without Force of Will, Daze, blue dual lands, and so on means you're just playing a worse version of Fish. You end up with a less consistent mana base and no removal or Counterspells.

February 4, 2018 8:17 p.m.

Said on Is Settle the ......


I like it in Abzan. If you're in U/W/x, you already have AEtherize. While AEtherize doesn't have exile, it also doesn't have .

Otherwise, I agree with others that Wrath of God (and even Day of Judgment/Supreme Verdict) are better.

February 4, 2018 6:23 p.m.

Said on Can Thorn of ......


It's really hard to do because you don't have Cloudpost, City of Traitors, Mishra's Workshop, and so on. Part of the reason artifact Prison is possible in older formats is because you have a "symmetrical" effect that isn't symmetrical because one side has more mana than the other.

We also don't have anything close to Wasteland (or even Rishadan Port) in Modern. The closest thing is Ghost Quarter'ing your opponent and them failing to find after you've done it to them over and over via something like Crucible of Worlds or Life from the Loam.

Maybe we'll have a prison deck viable if WotC goes nuts and unbans Cloudpost or prints something that makes turn 2 Tron consistent. Or if we get some sort of new mox/Lotus Petal-style card that allows for a turn 1 Trinisphere.

February 2, 2018 6:29 p.m.


The Man Show

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Goato: Gifting Skulls all the way to Value Town

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Dark Wish Naya

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The Tronemur Frontier

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Killing People with Bad Cards is Awesome!

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Legend of the Ten Guilds

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sylvannos — 4 years ago


Finished Decks 370
Prototype Decks 308
Drafts 0
Playing since Portal
Cube Drafts 24
Points 1200
Avg. deck rating 8.92
T/O Rank 95
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Favorite formats Vintage
Good Card Suggestions 3
Last activity 4 hours
Joined 5 years