Saturday, January 12, 2013

MTG: Modern, Evil Twin v3

This is the evolution of my deck from GP Toronto. The report and break down can be found here. The Jund mirror has also improved since then; I still consider the match up unfavorable, but it's not as abysmal as it once was. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the list, and I prefer it over the tempo variants that have been doing well though that's more of a personal choice. I'll have a report after Sunday detailing my preformance in Sunday’s Magic Online Pro Tour Qualifier.

Modern – Evil Twin v3
Lands (23)
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Arid Mesa
2 Steam Vents
1 Watery Grave
1 Blood Crypt
1 Stomping Ground
4 Island
2 Mountain
2 Cascade Bluffs
1 Desolate Lighthouse

Creatures (15)
3 Grim Lavamancer
1 Snapcaster Mage
4 Deceiver Exarch
4 Pestermite
3 Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

Spells (22)
4 Splinter Twin
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
1 Sleight of Hand
4 Serum Visions
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Mizzium Skin
2 Izzet Charm
2 Spell Pierce

Sideboard (15)
2 Blood Moon
2 Negate
2 Engineered Explosives
3 Spellskite
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Echoing Truth

New additions to the list:

Grim Lavamancer: This is the bee’s knees in the format right now, in my opinion. Once things get going, an active Lavamancer can completely decimate Jund's offence (Deathrite Shaman, Dark Confidant, Bloodbraid Elf, even shrinking Tarmgoyf). It’s also a fantastic method for stretching out Jund’s precious removal spells.  This is the main reason the Jund match up has improved.

Snapcaster Mage: Better known as the “9th combo piece blue creature”. Though not as strong in this list as it is in UR Twin – due to a relative low instant/sorcery density – it remains an all around solid value creature. It still manages to catch players off-guard every now and then.

Lightning Bolt: Bolts in this deck are largely experimental for me, in place of the tried and true Flame Slash from my older lists. I want to see for myself how beneficial instant speed and the ability to fry Liliana is over blowing up troublesome cards like Spellskite. Right now, I'd say that they're relatively even and the optimal choice is entirely metagame dependant.

Sadly, I had to cut the Izzet Boilerworks due to a rise in land destruction from many of the prominent decks. Over the past week or two I have had to contend with Boom//Bust, Tectonic Edge, Molten Rain, and even Avalanche Riders (it’s becoming more popular in the Kiki-Pod lists).

Spellskites: Lately, Ive been finding them lackluster against Jund. It just gives them more opportunities to space out their removal properly against you in addition to playing very poorly into Liliana. Frankly, I’m at a loss right now as to how to fit them back in the maindeck, anyway. Mizzium Skins are a potential cut, but I don't want to go too low as I don't want to have my resistance to Abrupt Decay be public information.

Blood Moon: Still works just fine in the 4-color variant since all you really need in play is a single Island. It's stolen many games from UW Control, as I’ve noticed that the vast majority of their white sources come from nonbasics. I'll occasionally bring them in against Jund as well, but it depends on how the match up is feeling.

I've also been pondering about a few cards lately, for your consideration...

Ignorant Bliss: You lose a lot of games to Jund from a volley of discard spells, this trades at value with a Inquistion or Thoughtseize. The only problem is that you're losing tempo (maybe a variant could be built that simply ignores this).

Noxious Revival: Another tool against discard, and it's the best Revive variant that can function with the nature of this deck. I think it's best in Snapcaster-heavy builds, ideally with Thought Scour so you can access it more easily. However, this card just might be too slow and costly for its effect.

Pulse of the Grid: A very sick and stable instant speed card draw option. If you can empty your hand onto the board, profitably rebuying this seems potentially insane.

Shrine of Piercing Vision: The amount of cards this can look at is crazy. Obviusly it's a litlte inconsistent, but if you can draw out the game with some of the controlling cards (Lavamancer and Spellskite, for example) it’s totally worth the wait.

With these two cards I might be able to brew up a variant that tries to empty its hand on the board early without folding to what the opponent can do. Perhaps something like Remand, Repeal, or even Into the Roil might be viable. These would fuel your Pulse of the Grid, and create some really tough decisions for your opponent.

Does the opponent tap out?
1 – Combo win
2 – Draw cards if you don't have it (roughly equal transaction)

Does the opponent keep removal mana open and say go?
1 – Draw cards (again, advantage for you)
2 – Attempt a combo kill (with or without protection)

Might be worth some testing some time after the PTQ. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them here or email me at Wish me luck!

Edited by Andrew Boa

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