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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Said on 5-Color Tribal Zoo...


@flintshadowrider: It's basic land types, not basic lands. So if you have a Steam Vents and a Forest, Tribal Flames deals 3 damage (since you have Island, Mountain, and Forest as your types). If you have Steam Vents, Temple Garden, and Overgrown Tomb, Tribal Flames deals a whopping 5 damage to something for !

Basically, Tribal Flames does 4 damage on turn 2 since you just fetch up shock lands. Then, from turn 3 onward it deals 5. A lot of wins come from getting your opponent down to 10 life by turn 4 (for instance, with a Noble Hierarch into Geist of Saint Traft, attacking them for 7 on turn 3), then shooting them in the face with double Tribal Flames or Boros Charm if they've used a fetchland.

April 29, 2017 9:16 p.m.

Mercadia, Dominaria, and Lorwyn would be my votes.

I'd like to see Lorwyn with better design this time around. I think a lot of the backlash for Lorwyn/Shadowmoor was because of how clunky the mechanics of both mini-blocks were.

Dominaria because it's MtG's home. The whole plane is basically in ruins, but I'd love to see a block centered around the post-apocalypse. It would be awesome for the Gatewatch era planeswalkers go through what remains of the Tolarian Academy or visit the various locations (Jamuraa, Urborg, and so on). This is also Liliana Vess' home plane, if I remember right.

Mercadia because intelligent, bureaucratic goblins.

April 29, 2017 11:18 a.m.

I'm not sure but if I had to guess it'd be True-Name Nemesis being better positioned in a format where it doesn't have to worry about Terminus.

The other thing I can think of is Miracles players switching over to Stoneblade variants since something like 90% of their cards overlap.

April 28, 2017 8:34 p.m.

Said on The Man Show...


@Spazik007: Staff of Domination creates infinite mana with Metalworker once you have 3 artifacts in your hand. You tap Metalworker, reveal the 3 cards, add to your pool, then use to untap Metalworker with Staff of Domination, then untap Staff of Domination. This nets you each time. You then rinse and repeat until you've added an arbitrarily large amount of mana to your pool. With that mana, you use Staff of Domination to draw infinite cards, gain infinite life, and tap down/untap infinite creatures.

You can also use Staff of Domination by itself to just durdle and mess with your opponent. Tapping down Griselbrand each combat step against Show and Tell, drawing cards, untapping your Wurmcoil Engine to play defense, etc. make Staff of Domination strong even when you don't have Metalworkers out.

Staff of Nin is mostly there for value in grindy matches. A lot of the midrange and control decks can't keep up with the extra card each turn on top of having their life total and planeswalkers pinged. It also kills off cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Dark Confidant, Ichorid, etc.

You can also go infinite with Staff of Nin using the mentioned infinite mana combo. What you do is draw your library with Staff of Domination, play Karn, Silver Golem, then use Karn, Silver Golem to animate Staff of Nin. Then, you just tap and untap Staff of Nin infinite times just like you would Metalworker using Staff of Domination.

April 26, 2017 7:23 p.m.

@Dhominus: One of the more common tactics used by scumbag Miracles players was to win game one, then use Sensei's Divining Top at every opportunity to stall the second game and go to time.

Sensei's Divining Top doesn't add a lot of time to the game, but rather can be used to intentionally stall in a way that is impossible to enforce against.

April 26, 2017 7:14 p.m.

@Icbrgr: Good luck with this deck! It sounds like fun!

I was brewing 4C Land Destruction for a while and really liked playing it, but then they banned Deathrite Shaman.

That reminds me, does your deck benefit much if you added mana acceleration, like Golgari Signet, Mind Stone, Solemn Simulacrum, or Talisman of Dominance?

The only other suggestion I can think of is adding Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoths to the deck so that you can tap your Ghost Quarters and Tectonic Edges for . It also lets you play cards like Mutavault or Stalking Stones more efficiently. It also makes Mutilate and Corrupt insane. I think even with a limited budget, Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is the one card definitely worth investing in.

April 26, 2017 7:10 p.m.

Hmmm...$100 is pretty low. That means no Life from the Loam, Fulminator Mage, or even dual lands.

Are you set on keeping this mono-black? There's a lot to be gained from adding red or green, not just because of expensive cards. Green gives you ramp so you can turn 2 Rain of Tears and work your way up to a Death Cloud. Red gives you more land destruction (specifically Molten Rain and Avalanche Riders), plus the absolutely insane Goblin Dark-Dwellers.

If you're staying mono-black, I'd suggest building around Smallpox. You can get your opponent low with Abyssal Persecutor, then finish out the game when it gets sacrificed. It also creates a lot of value when your opponent has to sacrifice a creature.

Smallpox gets even more value when you couple it with Solemn Simulacrum and Filigree Familiar.

Some other cards to consider:

Also check out Budget Magic over at MtG Goldfish. Here is a deck built around Death Cloud that's actually pretty good from what I've seen at my local shop. And here is R/G Land Destruction to give you some more ideas.

April 26, 2017 2:14 a.m.

What's your budget for this?

April 25, 2017 7:52 p.m.

Ehhhh I kinda wish Sensei's Divining Top stayed in the format, but the ban isn't really surprising. It's kinda the same feeling I had when Birthing Pod was banned in Modern. I like the card and wish there was another way, but I completely understand why the ban. This is especially considering the shitty slow play used to go 1-0-1 every round.

My main concern is Miracles was basically the last truly competitive control deck left in the format. Legacy has really shifted to having a large saturation of midrange. I dunno, we'll see if something else steps in. U/W Control has basically been a thing before Counterbalance was even printed. It's probably the oldest archetype in the format (going all the way back to Weissman's "The Deck").

On another note, I'm really surprised Gitaxian Probe got restricted in Vintage. Gush was a long time coming because of how well Monastery Mentor was positioned in the format. Gush has repeatedly been problematic every time it gets unrestricted. Hopefully, we see more variety between Thirst for Knowledge, Gifts Ungiven, and other blue draw engines. Gush really pushed those out of the format to where everyone has been playing UWxcontrol-midrangegoodstuff.dec because of how much value you get out of it.

But Gitaxian Probe? I guess they're really trying to nerf the shit out of Monastery Mentor and Delver of Secrets  Flip. I'm not really sure that's necessary considering how diverse the format is. Swedish Nationals just ended with 5 compeltely different archetypes in the top 8. The 3 decks that were the same were Monastery Mentor lists, and only 2 of them shared colors.

For those unfamiliar with what the difference is, Esper Mentor gives you Cabal Therapy (double prowess triggers for daaaaaaaaaaaaays!), along with the option of playing Demonic Tutor and Yawgmoth's Will. This means Esper allows for more combo finishes where you make a bunch of tokens and get tons of prowess triggers.

Jeskai, on the other hand, gives you far more control options. The main cards are Dack Fayden (who steals Tinker targets) and Pyroblast (which stops Time Walk and Ancestral Recall, while also blowing up Jace, the Mind Sculptor).

I'm not sure what restricting Gitaxian Probe accomplishes, despite the DCI's reasoning. Gush is the main culprit in Mentor, besides Monastery Mentor itself. I feel like this just hurts Delver and Noble Fish strategies. If they're so concerned over Monastery Mentor, I don't see why they don't just restrict the damn thing.

April 24, 2017 3:52 p.m.

Golgari Brownscale will shit all over decks that try to race your life total.

For your draw step, dredge back Golgari Brownscale -> main phase, cast Faithless Looting -> dredge back Golgari Brownscale -> discard Golgari Brownscale -> flashback Faithless Looting -> dredge back Golgari Brownscale -> discard Golgari Brownscale

You just gained 6 life, dredge up 6 cards, and you still have the ability to gain life in turns down the road. God forbid if you have 2+ Golgari Brownscales and proceed to gain 4 to 10 life each turn from Magmatic Insights, Goblin Lore, Cathartic Reunion, or Tormenting Voice.

Not to mention, you can just cast the stupid thing.

Guerrilla Tactics is good against a field of Liliana of the Veil. However, it's really narrow in that regard so playing Obstinate Baloth is going to be better.

Ray of Revelation is also a nice piece of tech because of the value of casting it after you've pitched it to something, similar to plays done with Ancient Grudge.

Really the strongest play against Boggles is Smallpox. But since you're on a budget, adding another color isn't feasible. Pyroclasm is going to be the next best thing, but you also have to worry about their creature getting out of range before you can immediately nuke their guy.

I think in your situation, it's Pyroclasm on turn 2 or be forced to race. That's about all you can do once they have a creature with 3+ toughness.

Lastly, do you have any Conflagrates available? The card is pretty stupid. I found it to be the strongest thing for when you don't have Seismic Assault out. Mostly, it enables all of your graveyard stuff.

April 21, 2017 11:48 a.m.

Said on Elves...


@Wyrmweird: What's your sideboard look like? I stuck 2 Overgrown Tombs in mine, with some Abrupt Decays and Dismembers. That helped a lot when dealing with not just flying, but also a wider variety of threats.

I've also thought about using Hurricane. Not only can you wipe the entire field of fliers, you can also use it as a finisher on your opponent. Corrosive Gale/Firespout/Skyreaping/Windstorm are the other wrath effects. There's also the Hurricane effects on things like Tornado Elemental.

Bow of Nylea is another option, especially since it does so much stuff.

Otherwise, you can go with Plummet, Leaf Arrow, Take Down, Wing Puncture, or Aerial Volley.

I'm partial to using a creature, though. It means you can get it by using Summoner's Pact, Lead the Stampede, etc. Silklash Spider, Arashi, the Sky Asunder, Cloudthresher, and Tornado Elemental are what exist in Modern to my knowledge.

Jagged-Scar Archers is also bonkers, but it needs to tap in order to do its thing. Probably best if you're using Thousand-Year Elixir.

April 18, 2017 6:14 p.m.

Jeskai Humans

Sorry for the double post, link was broken. Here's the Jeskai version.

April 17, 2017 8:05 p.m.

I've played a few different versions of Humans in the past. I came to the following conclusions:

  • 1 mana beaters aren't as good in Modern as they are in Standard when it comes to Humans. Because they don't have haste (like Goblin Guide) or because they don't get large quickly (Arcbound Ravager), they end up being slow and cumbersome once your opponent slams down a Tarmogoyf. Against a defenseless opponent, you absolutely will kill them on turn 5. This is still too slow for Modern.
  • Hatebears is where the deck eventually goes. Since you can't kill your opponent as quickly as Burn or Affinity, why not just stop them from winning? Reflector Mage, Meddling Mage, Orzhov Pontiff, and Knight of the Reliquary are just some examples in addition to what you already have.
  • This means you need a 2nd. or even 3rd. color. Mono-white Humans ends up being just a bad version of Death & Taxes. Either go full D&T or splash another color.

Here are the decks I've toyed with:

My Friends Bob and Chris Think You're Awful

Modern* sylvannos


Bant Humans

Modern* sylvannos


Please note I haven't had a chance to play the Jeskai build at a competitive event yet. The Bant version was eventually turned into Bant CoCo.

I do think the Jeskai build would be the most robust. The addition of Lightning Bolt gives the deck more reach. Not to mention, there's some powerful red hatebears coming out in Amonkhet soon.

April 17, 2017 8:03 p.m.

Said on Elves...


Combo Elves is really fun and will just shit all over non-interactive decks. Like you can just flip the top half of your library onto the table on turn 3.

The issue is you lose to Lightning Bolt, Pyroclasm, and Anger of the Gods. You pretty much just have to concede those matches against decks that run 4+ cards in any combination of the above.

April 17, 2017 7:11 a.m.

The change feels really weird for me because they've made split cards that are both instants and sorceries. So since the cards share a combined CMC, do they share card types as well?

Obviously, we can look up the answer, but it seems like split cards are already counter-intuitive and this isn't really tidying up the rules. It's just changing 5 sentences into a different 5 sentences, while not making anything more intuitive.

This is Games Workshop (tm) levels of "clarification."

April 16, 2017 6:28 a.m.

You need Serum Visions to set up your draws so you always have the maximum number of options available. The thing with Grixis is you're trying to 2-for-1 your opponent out of the game. You have to grind them down on cards, then capitalize on your more efficient spells to close the win. Part of that is hitting them early with Inquisition of Kozilek to ruin their early game, part of that is setting your draws up with Serum Visions. The best part about Serum Visions is it lets you play a lower land count for a control deck and never miss land drops. Serum Visions is actually stronger than Thought Scour in this deck.

Your lands look good. I'd toss in a singleton Desolate Lighthouse and single Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. Shizo, Death's Storehouse and the other lands in that cycle I've also found put in a lot of work once your deck has 2 or more legendary creatures. I also think you need some manlands, especially Creeping Tar Pit. That way, you don't need so many win conditions and can use those extra spell slots on more utility and removal. You optimally need more fetch lands, but Scalding Tarns are expensive.

As for a sideboard, I would use this:

1x Anger of the Gods
1x Counterflux
1x Crumble to Dust/Blood Moon
1x Dispel
1x Engineered Explosives
1x Hibernation
1x Keranos, God of Storms
1x Damnation/Languish
1x Lost Legacy
1x Negate
1x Slaughter Pact/Spell Snare/Grim Lavamancer
1x Olivia Voldaren
1x Rakdos Charm
1x Spellskite
1x Vendilion Clique/Thoughtseize

April 14, 2017 7:26 p.m.

@Sunbrosoulaire: I'm still working on tweaking it before I take it to FNM. The main thing is goldfishing it well enough that I can go through the combo and not go to time each round. Similar to 4 Horsemen in Legacy, it's an infinite combo that requires you to actually go through the motions.

I think the better version might be one where I use Fist of Suns, especially with the new 5-color land coming out. I just don't wanna drop cash on the deck when I have other stuff I should complete first.

Still, it might be one of the fastest ways to cheat an Omniscience into play that doesn't rely on creatures that die to Lightning Bolt. Or playing basically a shitty version of Tooth and Nail or Scapeshift.

April 14, 2017 7:11 a.m.

I agree with EmblemMan's post. You need Serum Visions to help fuel the graveyard and set up your draws.

That's also too many delve critters, especially in a format without Gitaxian Probe. Personally, I only run a singleton Tasigur, the Golden Fang in my list. I use Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Goblin Dark-Dwellers as my other beaters. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy  Flip is another good creature to have since it basically becomes Snapcaster Mage copies 5 through 8. Pia and Kiran Nalaar, Keranos, God of Storms, Vendilion Clique, and Spellskite are also good options. You can even use these slots for planeswalkers, depending on your meta. Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver, Jace, Architect of Thought, and Liliana, the Last Hope are all good here.

I think you want to go with a lot of removal, but you should still have some countermagic. I've found Remand, Cryptic Command, and low-mana hard Counterspells (Dispel, Spell Snare, etc.) are what I prefer.

April 13, 2017 7:16 p.m.

Said on Grixis or Esper?...


I also vote Grixis. Terminate, Lightning Bolt, and Kolaghan's Command are all way too good not to play in Control, especially with how fast aggro decks have gotten in Modern. It's easier to just nuke things after they've resolved than try to hold up countermagic at all times.

The only "Esper" deck I've ever liked playing was Gifts Ungiven, and that needs a 4th. color anyway because you lack removal otherwise.

April 12, 2017 6:55 p.m.

I've been brewing this deck for a while:

U/R Omni Reweave

Modern* sylvannos


I haven't gotten the deck to speed up. Mostly, it's play durdly control until you can cast Reweave.

The other version I've found to be decent is using Prismatic Omen with Fist of Suns. That version is more impacted by removal, since they can Disenchant your combo.

April 12, 2017 6:51 p.m.


The Storm Counts...ALL OF THE STORM COUNTS!!!

Modern sylvannos


The Man Show

Legacy sylvannos


U/G C-c-c-combo Elves!

Modern sylvannos


Greedy Grixis Control

Modern sylvannos


The Tronemur Frontier

Modern* sylvannos


Killing People with Bad Cards is Awesome!

Legacy sylvannos


5-Color Tribal Zoo

Modern sylvannos


Mono-Green Superfriends

Modern* sylvannos



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Legend of the Ten Guilds

sylvannos — 2 years ago


cube chart

Portal Cube

sylvannos — 3 years ago


Finished Decks 120
Prototype Decks 60
Drafts 0
Playing since Portal
Cube Drafts 24
Points 590
Avg. deck rating 7.68
T/O Rank 372
Helper Rank None yet
Favorite formats Vintage
Good Card Suggestions 3
Last activity 7 hours
Joined 4 years