Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Burning-Tree Naya in Pauper

Dan Gelinas has worked further on his Naya Burning-Tree Emissary deck and I have played it.

Deck list
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Kird Ape
3 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Kor Skyfisher
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Manamorphose
4 Abundant Growth
4 Nylea's Presence
4 Tribal Flames
15 Forest
4 Ash Barrens
2 Mountain
1 Plains

3 Pyroblast
2 Hydroblast
2 Electrickery
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Standard Bearer
1 Circle of Protection: Green
2 Relic of Progenitus?

Sideboard plan
Murasa Tron: no changes
Kuldotha Boros: -3 Bushwhackers +2 Electrickery +1 Hydroblast
Angler Delver: -1 Bushwhacker +1 Relic
Burn: -3 Bushwhacker -1 Tribal Flames +2 Hydroblasts +2 Standard Bearers
Affinity: -3 Bushwhackers -1 Tribal Flames +1 Hydroblast +3 Ancient Grudge
Bogles: -3 Bushwhackers +2 Standard Bearers +1 COP: Green
Elves: -2 Bushwhackers +2 Electrickery
Mono Blue Delver: -3 Bushwhackers -2 Tribal Flames +2 Pyroblasts +2 Electrickery +1 Ancient Grudge
Stompy: -3 Bushwhackers +2 Standard Bearers +1 COP: Green
Dimir Control: -2 Bushwhackers +2 Relics
UR Delver: -3 Bushwhackers -2 Tribal Flames +2 Pyroblasts +2 Hydroblasts +1 Electrickery
UR Puzzle Control: -4 Tribal Flames +2 Pyroblasts +2 Hydroblasts
Izzet Blitz: -3 Bushwhackers -1 Tribal Flames +2 Standard Bearers +2 Hydroblasts
Mono Black Control: -2 Bushwhackers +2 Relics?

Some tips from Dan

Normal Domain Zoo typically plays islands, swamps, 5/5s, Bolts and sometimes Brainstorms whereas I run more forests, Manamorphose and Bushwhackers. In testing I have found the average consistency much higher without the normal Domain cards. The Naya build more reliably has the mana it needs to cast 2-3 good spells T2-3 than normal Domain. Normal Domain may perform better in the late game (turn ~7 on) so that's an easy advantage for the more conventional build. Personally I wanted to maximize explosive starts with BTE. Cutting the 5/5s is bad when you need to hold the ground against affinity or to trade with Anglers. They may still have a place in the deck but were cut for lands and for Manamorphose both of which give the deck much needed consistency in the early game when it is supposed to shine. The general plan against affinity is to get them low and burn them on turn 4-5 with a couple of Tribal Flames. We can use Ancient Grudge and Hydroblast to counter combo kills and slow them down enough to maybe accomplish this, however I can agree that it's not a great plan and maybe that the 5/5s are worth it. I would probably cut Bushwhackers for 5/5/s if further testing bears this out. Bushwhackers can be more effective at capitalizing on BTE than the 5/5/s in matchups against opponents like MBC or Teachings that can just kill your 5/5 with one spell but the cost/benefits in this case are not clear to me so I still like Bushwhacker for now.

Favourable Matchups: Murasa Tron, Kuldotha Boros, Angler Delver, Burn Bad Matchups: Affinity, Bogles, Elves So-so Matchups: Mono Blue Delver, Stompy, Dimir Control, UR Delver, UR Control, Izzet Blitz, Mono Black Control

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Burning-Tree Emissary in Pauper

A couple of weeks back I looked at MM3 downshifted cards for Pauper. I found only two to my liking; Augur of Bolas and Burning-Tree Emissary. Burning-Tree has shown up in three 5-0 decks so far, Magma Jet in two and Augur of Bolas is missing in action.

Well, maybe its still too early? Lets be positive and make this work.

I gave two of the three 5-0 lists with Burning-Tree Emissary a go.

Dan Gelinas, a viewer on my youtube channel, had this input as well:

4 Wild Nacatl 4 Kird Ape 3 Goblin Bushwhacker 4 Squadron Hawk 3 Kor Skyfisher 4 Burning-Tree Emissary 4 Manamorphose 4 Abundant Growth 4 Nylea's Presence 4 Tribal Flames 19 Forest 2 Mountain 1 Plains 3 Pyroblast 2 Hydroblast 2 Electrickery 3 Ancient Grudge 2 Standard Bearer 1 Circle of Protection: Green 2 Relic of Progenitus

Notice how he has no come-into-play-tapped lands, which I think is a really good idea if you wan't to make Burning-Tree work.

The original article:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Emergency adding

Not long ago a Smuggler's Copter and company got the axe, because they dominated a Standard format. However, the bannings didn't fix the problem. Standard is just as stale or “solved” as it was at this time three months ago. That's why Craig Wescoe suggested an interesting alternative to bannings in Standard format. Instead of emergency bannings let's do emergency adding. Cards that give other archetypes ways to engage. He recommended adding Pithing Needle, Tormod's Crypt, Windstorm, Propaganda, Runed Halo, Duress, Rending Volley, Prophetic Bolt to the format. Wizards has already allowed using cards that can't be found in booster packs in Standard format, for instance cards from learn to play packs from core sets. It has been done before, so nothing unusual.

In my opinion, a few extra cards added into Standard to fix specific problems and promote metagame diversity is a great idea.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Renting MtGO cards

I came across a new website, where you might rent digital MtGO cards you need. There is nothing stopping you even from renting full decks. So, if you are not keen on spending hundreds of dollars on cards or you play from time to time it is a solution for you. Of course, in longterm perspective it is more reasonable to buy deck. However, I found one very useful application of this website. I'm thinking of time before rotation. There are many Rares or Mythics which are worth much, but they are seeing play only in Standard format. After rotation their's value is near 0. It may be a smart move to sell your rotation vonurable staples, when the prices are still decent. Then, rent the same cards from ManaTraders to keep on playing Standard format until the very end. Additionally, you save yourself a stressful moments observing how prices plummet before rotation.

How does it work?
First, visit There are three subscription plans to choose from. A subscription for 34.95 USD gives you 25000 ManaHours and you could rent cards up to 350 Event Tickets. One ManaHour is one ticket in value per hours, So for example if you have a 1 tix card rented out for 1 hour then you have used 1 ManaHour, if you have a deck that is worth 350 tixs and you rented for 5 hours, then you used 1750 ManaHours. ManaHours.

*I'm neither affiliated with nor paid by them. Treat it as a curiosity. A new business model that appeared in MtGO.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Modern Masters 2017 archetypes

Five draft archetypes you may build in Modern Masters 2017. I'm focusing on commons and uncommons, but you will find some rare card suggestiones that fits well to these archetypes. So, which cards should you pick?

White-Blue Blink
Blink effect enablers: Momentary Blink, Vanish into Memory, Mistmeadow Witch, Deputy Acquittals. Flickerwisp, Ghostly Flicker, Kor Skyfisher.
Creatues to blink: Mist Raven, Sea Gate Oracle, Lone Misionary, Master Splicer, Sensor Splicer, Urbis Protector, Augur of Bolas, Attended Knight, Kor Hookmaster, Wing Splicer.
Rares: Restoration Angel, Aethermage's Touch, Blade Splicer, Deadeye Navigator

Black-Red Unearth
Kathari Bomber, Torrent of Souls, Scourge Devil, Corpse Connoisseur, Dragescape Zombie, Vithian Stinger, Grixis Slavedriver,
Sacrificing effects: Bone Splinters, Vampire Aristocrat, Mortician Beetle, Gnawing Zombie, Scorched Rusalka, Skirsdag Cultist, Traitorous Instinct,
Rare: Extractor Demon

Blue-Black Control
Dinvora Horror, Agony Warp, Soul Manipulaton, Mystical Teaching, Forbidden Alchemy, Familiar's Ruse, Crippling Chill, Seal of Doom, Wall of Frost, Rewind, Mist Raven, Bone Splinters, Gristly Spectacle, Grasp of Phantoms, Azure Mage, Augur of Bolas, Recover, Compulsive Research, Tandem Lookout, Serum Visions, Opportunity, Soul Ransom, Sea Gate Oracle, Moroii, Spire Monitor, Wing Splicer, Abyssal Specter.

Red-Green Tokens
Tokens: Giantbaiting, Dragon Fodder, Fist of Ironwood, Goblin Assault, Vital Splicer
Pump: Gruul War Chant, Tattermunge Witch, Gaea's Anthem, Dynacharge, Scourge Devil
Rares: Hellrider, Call of the Herd, Wort, the Raidmother

Green-White Populate
Populating: Wafaring Temple, Eyes of the Skies, Rootborn Defenses, Wake the Reflections, Sundering Growth, Druid's Deliverence.
Tokens: Call of the Conclave, Slime Molding, Baloth Cage Trap, Fists of Ironwood, Penumbra Spider, Vital Splicer, Sensor Splicer, Attended Knight, Lingering Souls, Master Splicer, Urbis Protector.
Other: Bronzebeak Boa, Soul Warder, Gaea's Anthem, Intangible Virtue.
Rares: Call of the Herd, Thragtusk, Blade Splicer, Advent of the Wurm.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

New commons for Pauper in Modern Masters 2017

I found only two downshifted commons in Modern Masters 2017 that I am somewhat excited about.

Augur of Bolas seems to me like the strongest new common in the set. It slots right into existing decks and is a candidate to replace Sea Gate Oracle. Of course, the Augur can miss but costing one mana less (giving a critical round of blocking) probably outweighs that fact. I think Augur of Bolas will see plenty of play in the format.

Burning-Tree Emissary has no RG home in Pauper. It is a Modern-playable card and a powerful one at that. I think we will have an exciting experimentation time but that RG in itself is too weak to make an impact in Pauper. There is a slight possibility that this enables some sort of combo shenanigans. Of course the card can prove useful in mono-green decks, possibly Stompy.

I am not particularly excited about Magma Jet or Thunderous Wrath. Pauper has much better burn. Call of the Conclave seems too weak as well, being very narrow and you really want a 4/4 for 2 mana in Pauper.

Any cards you think will see play?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Modern Masters 2017

Wizards of the Coast revealed the full Modern Masters 2017 spoiler. A set filled with some of the most desirable cards in the prohibitively expensive Modern format. Just about every archetype and deck received some attention in this set - even the Legacy format got a little love. What is more, it will be an unlimited print run, so it will outsell any previous Masters set. As a result, cards will drop in value even stronger. However, it is not a time for a evaluation of the set in terms of Limited format play or the impact on the market. We can take a look at something immediately noticeable instead. The high amount of rarity downshifts compared to rarity upshifts. Downshifts are particulaty intresting due to affect on Pauper format.  The most significant downgrades for Pauper format: Magma Jet, Burning-Tree Emissary, Mortician Beetle, Thunderous Wrath and Augur of Bolas. Will be a metagame redefined? We will find out soon.