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I have not played mono-red prison decks before, so I don't have any good suggestions to be honest. I have played against a R/W Prison deck before, though it is quite different from your list. Maybe one suggestion would be to cut Kari Zev's Expertise from the sideboard? I'm not sure what matchups it would be good in, and the only 2-CMC spells you can cast in your deck are the Rituals and Bolt.
May 23, 2017 5:44 a.m.
Try to play against blue-based control decks that run counterspells and Snapcaster Mage. I expect that will be a difficult matchup for you as well. Then from there you can make adjustments to your sideboard?
May 23, 2017 3:54 a.m.
This is a nice, clean list. It takes time to close out the game even after establishing the lock but hopefully the opponent concedes before that happens. G2 and G3 might be much harder for you once they play around Blood Moon or bring in artifact/enchantment hate. You don't have any enchantment removal yourself in the sideboard.
18 lands also seem quite low, although that is mitigated with 8 rituals and 4 SSGs. I goldfished the deck several times and 1-2 land hands are more frequent than those with more than 2 lands. It must be a bad feeling to cast a ritual or discard a SSG and then have the spell you are casting countered. Still, the possibility of casting a turn 1 Blood Moon is always fun?
Have you actually tested with the list yet?
May 22, 2017 10:29 p.m.
I have been tweaking a B/W Smallpox list (similar to https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/deck-of-the-day-bw-smallpox-modern/) for the past few weeks, and now it has basically become a B/W Superfriends deck after the printing of Gideon of the Trials, which is an absolute beast. Some decks just auto scoop to it because they have trouble getting rid of a planeswalker even after sideboarding.
I have tried Squadron Hawks and Pack Rats before, but that was a while ago. It was quite close to how I described it above. I had fun playing some copies of Batterskull, Sword of Light and Shadow and Sword of Fire and Ice too, trying to replicate the success of old Caw-Blade decks.
May 20, 2017 10:53 a.m.
The Pack Rat/Squadron Hawk synergy's been around for some time. (One example - http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=102344) I'm not the first person to discover it or anything, just wanted to pass on some info. But it seems to have met with hostility on your part even though I'm pretty sure you have not tested the card yet. Even on its own, it nets you 3 cards and a small thinning effect immediately upon cast, which can be better than a Dark Confidant that dies right after being cast. Yes, in the late game you can pitch extra lands or useless spells to your discard outlets. But the more likely scenario is that you might have mulliganed, or the opponent might have discarded some of your cards with their own discard spells, and then you're left with 3 or fewer cards in your hand after you cast Liliana on turn 3 and then, in your own words, you are discarding good cards from your hand.
I don't think I'm fixated on discarding cards for value if you're the one who built a deck with 10 discard outlets in 4 Pack Rats, 4 Lilianas, 2 Brutality and 2 Smuggler's Copter. Do you think you will always have a copy of Lingering Souls in your hand whenever you want to discard something? Sorin, Solemn Visitor and Vault of the Archangel are no brainers and are definite upgrades to Elspeth (which nobody plays) and a full FOUR Shambling Vents. I mean, maybe full on control decks play that many manlands, and you're not even control. Manlands have gotten worse with Fatal Push out, and even blue-based control are finding other win-cons than Celestial Colonnade. The lifegain from Sorin and Vault gives you a nice swing, and the deathtouch from Vault makes combat trickier.
Yes, the problem with Squadron Hawks is that you either play 4 or you play none. And sometimes playing 4 means a big change to the deck. If you don't want to go that way, sure. But it is not as bad as you think. You can even establish an infinite supply of Hawks with a Mistveil Plains.
May 20, 2017 12:16 a.m.
Yes, I explicitly said that Squadron Hawks are not for casting, they are for discard shenanigans. Not sure why you repeated that. Of course none of the discard shenanigans are good on turn 2, that's the turn you cast the Squadron Hawks to get more cards. Then on turn 3 you can ditch them to Liliana of the Veil at lower cost to yourself than your opponent. Or you could ditch two immediately to Collective Brutality to wreck Burn or Naya Zoo or other aggro decks.
'Modern is a fast format' - says the guy who designed a midrange deck that can only win through Pack Rat tokens, Lingering Souls, and MANLANDS.
As for Dark Confidant vs Asylum Visitor, you're right, the former is objectively better. Asylum Visitor is only better if you go more discard outlet heavy. 4 Lili, 4 Brutality and 4 Rats is probably enough to make a 1-of Visitor better.
As for the last comment about lands, don't take it from me. Most pros endorse this. If you are playing against a Blood Moon deck, good luck casting your WW spells. You can't even fetch for basics early in G2 to play around a Blood Moon because you only have the one. If you're so worried about not being able to cast a discard spell Turn 1, play some Urborgs or something, jeez. You have to play at least enough basic lands for the cards in your deck. That's like a really basic concept. Maybe you haven't played against Blood Moon enough. I have never seen someone thinking that basic lands are the best way to fix colour on curve.
But hey, if you're not open to suggestions, no problem man. Good luck with the deck. Test with it and let us know how it goes! I have been testing B/W midrange a lot myself to moderate success so I don't think I'm as misguided as you say I am.
May 19, 2017 11:15 p.m.
I'd not play more than 1 Timely Reinforcements in the main. Isn't this deck meant to have more creatures than the opponent in the long run? It means the only good time to cast Timely Reinforcements is within the first 4-5 turns. Beyond that, it is likely useless.
Selfless Spirit is probably the most likely board wipe protection that sees play in Modern, I have literally not seen Rootborn Defenses or Make a Stand in any competitive B/W Tokens decklists before. Play one more copy each of Bitterblossom and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and you can easily rebuild after a boardwipe.
May 19, 2017 10:09 a.m.
Bloodthrone Vampire can do in a pinch but it gets killed more easily since there are more removal for creatures than artifacts. Also, it does not provide you an alternate (outside of combat) and instant speed way to win the game.
May 19, 2017 9:57 a.m.
One problem with my suggestions, I've realised, is that they are all 1 toughness and thus really fragile. But I might go with something like this:
- 2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
- 2 Smuggler's Copter
- 1 Inquisition of Kozilek
- 1 Dark Confidant
- 1 Asylum Visitor
- 1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
- 4 Squadron Hawk
I might be too optimistic with the Squadron Hawks, since they are only really useful when you already have Pack Rat or Collective Brutality in hand. But in theory it works?
I'd do 2 Swamps and 2 Plains instead of 1 Plains and 3 Swamps too. The reason is you'll need at least enough basic lands to be able to cast all the cards in your deck (in case of Blood Moon). Maybe squeeze in 1 Vault of the Archangel as well?
May 18, 2017 10:50 p.m.
In a deck with Lingering Souls and Pack Rat I would prefer to play Sorin, Solemn Visitor over Elspeth, Knight-Errant. Also, Squadron Hawk is a nice source of card advantage to fuel more Rats and maybe Collective Brutality as well. Asylum Visitor could work too, since it has Madness, you can pitch it to either Pack Rat or Collective Brutality and still be able to cast it.
May 18, 2017 11:50 a.m.
Bloodsoaked Champion and Reassembling Skeleton are quite expensive to get back, what about Bloodghast instead? Or some creatures with Undying? I agree with recursion - Immortal Servitude could be good for the deck. Also, you might need more than just Viscera Seer as a sac outlet. Maybe Blasting Station or something?
May 18, 2017 11:44 a.m.
Where does the red mana (for the sideboard cards) come from?
May 17, 2017 1:32 a.m.
Maybe if you are worried about getting mana flooded you can play fetch lands such as Arid Mesa? I was going to comment on your other land choices as well - Battlefield Forge is quite painful for you since only 18 out of 42 nonland cards in your deck has a colorless mana symbol; Temple of Triumph comes into play tapped unconditionally and Temples usually only see play in decks that need to search for a particular card (combo), or control decks.
And yeah sure, you are definitely right in saying that the combo in a self labelled combo deck is not the only way you can win. You only play 2 of each card, it's more like a gotcha! if you happen to draw them.
You sound like you place more stock in going down the aggro route hitting with weenies, maybe you'd want to try Champion of the Parish? He should grow pretty fast with the majority of your deck being Humans and with the Norin triggers. He can be Pridemate 5-8. Otherwise, the rest of your deck are 1/1s who are probably not getting through in combat. Wall of Omens seems odd in this deck - I'd imagine you can gain enough life without having to chump with it. Manamorphose is redundant if you can fix your colours through fetches - it is only a card draw since it replaces itself.
May 14, 2017 10:15 p.m.
I play RW Norin Sisters too, with 21 lands (although with 4-5 fetchlands) and over many rounds of testing I sometimes find myself unable to cast my 4-drops on time. 'On time' doesn't necessarily mean I HAVE to cast it on turn 4; it means if I'm passing the turn with 3 lands in play, and a 4-drop in my hand that I could have cast but can't, then that's a problem. You have even more 4-drops than I do in my deck, and you described them as your win-cons. So I'm not sure why you said above that you only need 2-3 lands for the deck to work consistently. Sure, you can go regular beatdown with the weenies, but I'm not sure they are going to win you many games.
I did a quick meta-search of Modern decks and only the hyper-aggro decks run anything fewer than 20 lands (and this is usually with a liberal number of fetches). Specifically, some Zoo lists, Affinity (which has multiple other ways to generate mana), and some versions of Jund Death Shadow. Even Infect and Burn run 20 lands to make sure they hit their lands on time, and your deck isn't even as aggro as those decks.
Just curious to know how many games you have tested with this deck so far?
May 14, 2017 9:41 p.m.
May 14, 2017 12:36 p.m.
I see what you mean on your reasons for Lord of the Accursed over Diregraf Colossus, but you'd have to decide whether you are going all in on the Blasting Station combo, or if you want to hedge your bets on winning through combat as a Plan B. Then you'll have to look at your creatures - they are mostly X/1s and they are not going to punch through combat anytime soon.
As for your curve, it looks pretty rough: 26 one-drops, 4 two-drops and 9 three-drops.
If you can, please share your testing results against the decks you have faced so far? I've been piloting Zombie tribal too, constantly tweaking and testing. It's a B/W version though.
May 14, 2017 1:32 a.m.
Plague Belcher combos with Geralf's Messenger, which is itself a good zombie with slight evasion (2 to face) and provides whopping devotion. And if you're playing a devotion deck, you should run some number of Gray Merchant of Asphodel for the drain. Stromgald Crusader is just not very good, unfortunately. Not sure why you are playing 4 Leyline of the Void in the maindeck either.
May 12, 2017 12:25 a.m.
Good to hear that. I did goldfish with this list a couple of times, actually. It was why I wrote my comment in the end. I have never seen a control deck with only 20 lands, and a whopping 12 prevent combat damage spells is all I'm saying. I get that this deck sometimes gets opponents who have no way of removing a planeswalker, and you win, but that is also true of typical U/W Control shells where you can throw a playset of the new Gideon in and call it a day.
That being said, what were the results of your testing - what's the win-rate, the favoured matchups and the kinds of decks that you fold to?
May 10, 2017 6:33 p.m.
This looks like a Turbo Fog deck meets a typical Control deck. I think you should decide which you want and focus on that. Typical control decks run Supreme Verdict and Path to Exile over 'prevent combat damage' spells. You also need more card draw? And probably a bit more than 20 lands.
May 10, 2017 9:42 a.m.
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