Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Modern League with Naya Burn part 2

Last week I started my very first league with a solid 2-0 result taking down Hate Bears and Affinity. You can check it out here:

This week I played another two matches.

The first was against Abzan CoCo.

I don't feel this is a super good matchup for burn. I did get an interesting comment I wanted to share with you here in the everlasting discussion about playing Wild Nacatl or not in Naya Burn.

Taylor said: "Great job!! I'm starting to see through your games (and my own small play testing) that Nacatyl might not deserve a place in the current meta, so thank you for letting me see how a Nacatyl-less build plays out. "

Match #4 was against Bant Eldrazi. Here is where my inexperience got the best of me. I had not even seen this deck before and I was unsure of what to do against it.

Next week I will share the last match with you. Overall the experience of playing a Constructed League for the first time has been a good one. There will be more.

Here is my deck list:

ML Bot 11.42 'gentle login' tested on the field

Last Wednesday, despite the extended downtime, ML Bots sat idle during the downtime and did not try to constantly connect to the WOTC server.  There were no reported bannings and everything went fine as expected. We want to inform the community that the fix has been tested on the field and it worked flawlessly.  It is now safe to leave your bots on during downtime.

If you have multiple virtual machines, your virtual machines may have also benefited from the client sitting idle during downtime instead of constantly reloading the mtgo client and taking up memory resources.  As a result, you should experience less freezing of virtual machines after downtime.

Happy botting!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dredge in Modern

Dredge has steadily gained in popularity since the unbanning of Golgari Grave-Troll. Additionally, a release of card Prized Amalgam turned Dredge from tier2 deck into competetive one. What is more, it is seen quite regulary in top8 of big tournaments lately. Let's look deeper what stands behind its successes.

The strategy of this deck is simple. You put cards with dredge ability into a graveyard and dredge them back to fill the graveyard with as many other cards from your library as it is possible. In meantime you utilize the synergies between cards. When you dredge Narcomoeba into the graveyard it is put into battlefield. This triggers all copies of Prized Amalgam to return on the next end step. If you play a land, all your Bloodghasts will return from your graverad, which also triggers Prized Amalgam. The final piece to the puzzle is Greater Gargadon and Bridge from Below. This combination allows the deck to make dozens of Zombie Tokens in a single turn, even off just one Bridge from Below, since the deck has so many expendable creatures to sacrifice that come right back.

As far as, we know how it works we may tell how to defend against it. This deck is vunerable to graveyard hate. Likewise in Vintage format, those who don't have room for graveyard hate cards are properly punished by Dredge deck whenever they are paired with it during the tournament. Players have to adapt their sideboard to the new enviroment, because Dredge is on a wave now and I expect more and more Dredge decks soon. More graveyard hate around means worse times for decks like Living End and Goryo's Vengeance.

Thursday, August 25, 2016 moved to a new server!

As you already probably noticed, is today a bit faster. During yesterday downtime, in fact, we migrated the codebase to a new server. Not just that: we took our code written in Ruby on Rails 3.0 and updated it to Ruby on Rails 4.2. This means that the same code is executed faster and thus the overall server is faster. If you are keen on Ruby on Rails, you will be happy to know that we also moved from Ruby 2.1.0 to Ruby 2.3.1 .

If you don't know what Ruby on Rails (or Ruby is) don't worry - you just have to know that the server is faster and that the codebase is written in a language that allows fast development. We have some great features that will be introduced in the next couple of months and this code update makes them possible!

Happy botting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Playing a Modern League with Naya Burn

I am still playing Naya Burn in Modern. The deck list is in my old article here:

I have not changed a single card. After 22-5 in practice I felt that the time had come to play my first constructed league on MTGO with the list.

For my first constructed match with my new deck I faced a BW Hate Bears deck. I did not even know that was a thing. I was fairly sure I would win the first duel but I also expected some heavy Burn hate in his sideboard.

In my second match I faced Affinity. This is a tough matchup as both decks are lightning fast. It is fairly hard to know when to play for the win or when to defend myself.

My sideboarding was: -4 Boros Charm, -4 Eidolon, +1 Smash to Smithereens, +4 Destructive Revelry, +1 Lightinng Helix, +1 Searing Blaze, + 1 Path to Exile

I will finish the league and report on the final result here.

Overall I feel I am quite inexperienced with the deck and don't know enough about the meta. Naya Burn still seems to be a solid choice, As of today it is 3.65% of the winning decks on MTGO.

And for all of you wondering, I will probably write a Modern Bible of Naya Burn eventually. I definitely want to get in 100 matches with the deck first and do some serious studying. Somebody already wrote an article named The Modern Burn Bible but it is nowhere near as comprehensive as my study on RG Tron last year which you can find here:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rock, paper and scissors in the August 2016 Pauper metagame

In the Pauper metagame on MTGO, Mono Red Burn has long been a deck with a very small metagame presence. This was due to the fact that Burn has a very bad matchup against Mono Blue Delver.

Here is a sample Burn list from the current meta.

Burn (Rock)

Creatures (8)
4Keldon Marauders
Spells (33)
4Chain Lightningr0.16
4Lava Spiker2.16
4Lightning Boltr2.16
4Needle Dropr0.24
4Curse of the Pierced Heart1r0.20
4Searing Blazerr2.92
3Rift Bolt2r0.54
Lands (19)
2Forgotten Cave0.08
Sideboard (15)
2Gorilla Shamanr32.50
2Martyr of Ashesr0.50
4Smash to Smithereens1r0.04
4Molten Rain1rr5.12
1Goblin Heelcutter3r0.05
75 Cards Total

The reason Delver wins against Burn is the tempo control game. While the crucial last Burn spells can be countered, Delver is beating down hard. If you durdle around against Burn your control spells do not really help you, but if you present an active clock and defend yourself at the same time, Burn is not in a good place.

Delver (Paper)

Creatures (20)
4Delver of Secrets
4Faerie Miscreantu0.04
4Spellstutter Sprite1u0.28
4Ninja of the Deep Hours3u8.20
4Spire Golem62.44
Spells (23)
2Mutagenic Growthgp1.62
2Vapor Snagu0.24
Lands (17)
Sideboard (15)
3Coral Netu1.47
2Relic of Progenitus10.60
2Stormbound Geist1uu0.10
2Serrated Arrows45.04
75 Cards Total

Yet, Burn is back today with a respectable 4,52% of the metagame while Delver has fallen from the 25% range down to 11.06%. Why is that? Well, there is a third part in the equation.

The new Izzet Drake combo deck is resilient enough to survive the tempo control plan - apparently, even though Fish style tempo control decks such as Delver is a traditional good foil to combo - and overtake Delver as the #1 deck in the format.

The downside, of course, is that Izzet Drake is not fast enough to be able to handle Burn. There is no early threat. You can have as many hydroblasts and main deck counters as you like. Without the early threats, Burn has the time to find enough damage to kill you. The Burn player is not scared when you are beating down with Sea Gate Oracles and Mulldrifters.

Izzet Drake (Scissors)

Creatures (14)
4Sea Gate Oracle2u1.52
4Peregrine Drake4u3.20
Spells (25)
4Flame Slashr1.48
4Lightning Boltr2.16
3Compulsive Research2u0.15
3Ghostly Flicker2u0.12
Lands (21)
1Forgotten Cave0.04
4Izzet Boilerworks0.24
1Izzet Guildgate0.03
4Swiftwater Cliffs0.12
Sideboard (15)
2Gorilla Shamanr32.50
75 Cards Total

Yes, there are other relevant actors in the format such as Stompy, Affinity and Bogles, but I thought this was a quite clear example of the rock-paper-scissors thing that often happens in a magic metagame.