Sphinx’s Tutelage; aka only a Matter of Time until my Son Asks for a Mill Deck. part 23

Last night i had a most disturbing dream that kept me awake a lot of the night, in my half asleep daze my mind drifted to Magic as it often has done lately and deck lists floated past my eyes.

SphinxsTutelage

Sphinx’s Tutelage i think is a sleeping powerhouse. This guy might just the Magic version of the second coming. Lets look at a standard list that came to be last night as well as how i can use it to tweak one of my modern decks.

In standard there is actually a lot of directions we can go to abuse this card. Two that game to mind straight away are an enchantment themed Herald of the Pantheon/Eidolon of Blossoms and Secret Plans/Morph decks. I think that the Herald of the Pantheon/Eidolon of Blossoms is a little stronger. However, if you look at some of my past Morph decks you can see just how many cards they can draw almost at will. This could just become a sideboard option for those style of decks.

4 Herald of the Pantheon
Courser of Kruphix
Eidolon of Blossoms
Font of Fertility
4 Nylea’s Presence
4 Font of Fortunes
Font of Vigor

4 Banishing Light
4 Sphinx’s Tutelage
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Starfield of Nyx

22 lands
4 white/blue fetch
4 white/green fetch
6 forests
4 islands
3 plains

Kruphix’s Insight is another card you could add here. I am hoping that the raw card draw is good enough. everything thing says draw a card more or less.

While i was looking for the links for cards another idea came to mind, Evolutionary Leap with Elvish Visionary/Jeskai Sage/Palace Familiar/Wall of Mulch/Fate Foretold and Military Intelligence…. This one could be amazing also. I am just not sold on its ability to win with out the Tutelage. Where i think that the above list could win with out its named card.

In Modern, i play a Swan’s Skred deck, it is not bad just lots of counters and burn spells relying on Swans of Bryn Argoll and things like seismic assault or isochron scepter + a burn spell to finish the game. This deck might have just got a new win con. Painter’s Servant + Sphinx’s Tutelage ….

Painter's Servant

Yes, i am modern legal!

Sure it is a multi card combo to win on the spot. But adding a few to a dedicated control/draw list should be easy. Now i don’t have an exact list of what i am currently playing i can get close.

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Skred
4 Anger of the Gods or Pyroclasm (do you feel like you need it cheap or to exile?)

4 Serum Visions/gitaxian probe

4 Remand
4 Mana leak
3 Cryptic Command

4 isochron scepter – Snapcaster Mage if you got them

4 Swans of Bryn Argoll
2 Painter’s Servant
4 Sphinx’s Tutelage

Snow lands and fetches.

Before i would run 6 bounce spells and plan to grind people out with card advantage. But now i could just combo them out. Skred my Swans for 6, i draw 6, mill you for 12…. Untap, play painter… skred for 7, 1 draw 7 you mill 14 did you flip lands? No? repeat….

Seems good.

<3s

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Monastery Mentor for Modern

I have been asked for a deck list or two for Modern that is focused around the card Monastery Mentor. Guess some people have them, i don’t at the moment but i plan to get some. Personally, i just feel like they are amazing in all formats. The fact there there isn’t already a ton of modern lists online floating around is a testament to how focused everyone is on other formats.

My head goes right to a red/white token list with a heavy burn sub theme.

 

4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Young Pyromancer
4 Monastery Mentor

4 Path to Exile
4 Lava Spike
4 Collateral Damage
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix
4 Boros Charm

You could go a little more control like me i like Mardu control.

4 Young Pyromancer
4 Dark Confidant
4 Monastery Mentor

4 Bitterblossom

4 Thoughtseize
4 Path to Exile
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lightning Helix

4 Lingering Souls

Even something a little more out of the box now that i have learned that one of my favorite cards “Disciple of the Vault” is legal. And attack from a few angles.

4 Memnite
4 Disciple of the Vault
4 Arcbound Ravager
4 Monastery Mentor
3 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

4 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Conjurer’s Bauble
4 Chromatic Star
2 Krark-Clan Ironworks
2 Trading Post

3 Bitterblossom

If it was me i would lean more towards the first deck at least until i knew that people were main decking a lot of token hate and even then i might just start to main deck more cards like Intangible Virtue and other anthem effects that are one sided.

Okay need to bounce, food before spring fling over on the twitch channel.

<3s

Magical Monday 1.26.2015

Welcome once again to my Magical Monday. For those in the know this last weekend was my LGS’s first Modern TCGplayer tournament, which was both my brain child and my first real opportunity to show off my deck design skills by winning a large event.

Unfortunately, i both failed to win which hurts. But the event was not the large event i was hoping it would be, which REALLY hurts. Release events for us are not big turnout events, but i guess they are large for our surrounding game shops as we only had 2-4 out of towners and a lot of our normal people decided that they would rather work then help make us the place to be for magic tournaments. Sigh…

* note, I have received some feedback letting me know that my word choice left something to be desired by those that had to work vs make it to the event. I want to be clear, i totally understand. Obligations are just so for a reason. I did not mean to make anyone feel like they are not supporting the LGS if they had prior obligations to attend work or whatever. I just wanted to say that people had to work and that that took away from the expected turnout.

I was able to draw into the top 4 being one of the two undefeated players. So that was nice.  But i made a deck registration error giving me my first game lost of the day and then in the simi finals to boot. Where i mulled to a solid 6, stumbled on lands for too long and just got beat to death by a 3/4 flyer. Thankfully, the gentleman that defeated me was able to win out so i can’t feel too bad, i did only drop one game it just happened to be a 2 for 1.

Let me be a lesson to you all kids. Someone will loose to mis-registering their deck. Don’t let it be you.

Okay now that the main event i was planing for is over i want to share my list and see if you all have suggestions.

A few quick notes, i felt that the best deck was delver so i wanted to beat that and i feel the best cards in the format are Thoughtsieze, Young Pyro, Lighting Bolt and Lingering Souls. With the best card draw being Bobs.  Yep see how Delever is the best deck… I know i often make no sense even to myself.

Mardu Delver…

4 Thoughtsieze
4 Lighting Bolt
2 Darkblast
4 Lighting Helix
2 Lingering Souls (This was my deck reg error, thought i cut 1 for Liliana but guess i didn’t and had 3 in my deck)
2 Crackling Doom

1 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Dark Confident
4 Young Pyromaster
3 Pack Rat
2 Butcher of the Horde

2 Seismic Assault
4 Liliana of the veil

Lands including 1 Mutavault 8 fetches 3 basics and a lot of shock lands. Other then the one game where i only had a fetch and a Mutavault my lands were not an issue.

Overall the deck ran like a charm. Each card won me a game and were nuts at different time. Sure Seismic Assault was a bit of a hedge for decks running Blood Moon or those games were i want to flood out or vs a deck with as much removal as i had. Crackling Doom was for Boggles and Affinity. Nothing says “F you too” as when they go all in and you Doom them.

If the tournament was tomorrow would i change anything? Well anything other then that registration error?

Not really. The deck just ran well until i was due to lose one, it is not the decks fault that i had to win both games and couldn’t. You can’t win every game.

Personally i feel that this deck gives you the best option to out play any deck. Has game one hedges vs every deck i could thing of other then Jeski combo. To win that you have to get lucky and Thoughtsieze the right card at the right time. Although Darkblast can catch a Jeski player with their pants down as well as Crackling Dooms. But it is a hard match up. If the deck lives though the loss of Cruse.

Well that was it. Next week i hope to have some new Standard lists ready for you all.

<3s

Magical Monday 9.22.14

Wow, Khans prerelease was nuts right? Not going to lie, i was not super pumped for Khans before Saturday. But now, i am ready to get my agro on. I went Mardu and was super pleased with my pool. Ended up in second “i think”, i ended up taking one round loss. Games 1 and 2 were not even close, i curved out into a flooded opponent, game 2 i had 4 solid removal spells and mana to cast them when my opponent was able to cast a big trample hexprof guy and was able to protect it the only turn i had enough power to block and take it down. Game 3 was one of those games where karma got me and i got stuck on 2 mana until turn 9 and that was a come into play tapped land even and was just too far behind at that point. Had i gotten that 3rd land anywhere near time think i would have won handily but that is Magic.

Then i got to dust off my old EMT skills in round 4, i had just finished winning the match when a the match next to me says “think he is having a seizure, what do i do?” And i was able to jump to action. Thankfully, Gabe is doing fine.

Okay lets jump to some deck thoughts and see what is rattling around in my noggin now that i have gotten to play with some of the cards.

In Modern:


Yeah think there is a deck here. Work in blue for some counters and card draw/selection and some other burn and just wow.

The other thoughts rolling around focuses around:

Here is the deal, Friday’s FNM was a M14 draft where i picked this guy up early in pack 2 after drafting 2 Juggernauts, 2 Ajani’s Pridemates, and a Staff or two. Have to say i really liked how this deck played and the engineer was always good. And do you know what beats a turn 3 Juggernaut in limited? Not a lot.

I also had a lot of games won on t1, soul mender, t2 Engineer, t3, Pridemate Staff+land drop gain 2 life, t4 attack with a 5/5 followed up with some sick equipment like Brawler’s Plate or  Hot Soup. Made for a some sweet blow outs and i will be exploring busted things to do with the Engineer in the future.

Okay, lunch time see you all next week.

<3s

Magical Monday 8.4.14

Do i need to tell you that Modern/multicolor is still rolling around in my brain?  I would hope not as Glittering Wish is just super in my eyes right now.

 

Just look at last weeks list with a few things moved to the sideboard and wishes added.

9
2 Ajani Vengeant
3 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
2 Ral Zarek
1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
1 Xenagos, the Reveler

20

4 Lighting Helix
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Jund Charm
2 Electrolyze
2 Counterflux
2 Voilslime
1 Mystic Snake
4 Glittering Wish

6

1 Geist of Saint Traft
2 Kitchen Finks
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice

22
4 Mana Confluence
4 Pillar of the Paruns
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Reflecting Pool
2 Forbidden Orchard
2 Forest
1 Island/Swamp/Plains
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Side
1 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
1 Venser, the Sojourner
1 Geist of Saint Traft
1 Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius
Just with those changes the deck takes a real twist. If we flush out the rest of our tool box some, trying to be careful not to go toooo tool boxy i have the following short list.

Meddling Mage
Qasali Pridemage
Fleecemane Lion / Doran, the Siege Tower
Dreadbore
Harmonic Sliver
Fulminator Mage
Firespout
Detention Sphere
Treasured Find
Terminate
Supreme Verdict
Rakdos’s Return
And a mix of all the different cards with the word charm in them.
Here is a link if you want to see all the gold + modern charms

The downsides of Wish is it is a sorcery and they get to know what you are bringing in but the pure power level is off the chart right now. But can this deck beat the big decks right now?

I don’t know.

But i have another list in the works in the back of my brain, also using our going gold mana base with wish and charms but this one is much more Control/combo like.

I plan to use things like
Dreadbore
Abrupt Decay
Maelstrom Pulse
Firespout
Supreme Verdict
to keep the board clean

Lighting Helix
Blightning
Electrolyze
to disrupt

Glittering Wish
Treasured Find
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Breaking // Entering
Nyx Weaver

To self mill/tutor for
Flesh // Blood
and
Spellheart Chimera

to kill with.

Is it good? I don’t know. It is fast? not as fast as some of the decks out there. But it could really lock things up until you decide to win.

<3s

Magical Monday 7.28.14

Secrets, we all have them. And odds are you have some in your deck but how guarded are you really? Right now on my kitchen table are 3 decks, both standard and not that i have been playing or working on for a while now. Never played them out side of the house. Never talked with anyone about them other then my family.

But why?

It is not like i can play any thing other then draft locally any more. Last FNM i tried to play in the standard to get to use some of the cards before they rotated out but that pod wasn’t going to fill and if i wanted to play i needed to move to draft. Which i did. And it couldn’t go much better with the boy and i drawing in the finals for a nice pile of packs.

See draft is a good example of secrets, or at least for me. Once the draft is over i start building right in my seat. I will answer questions and whatnot but more or less anyone that has wondering eyes could see how i am start my deck. But once i have it laid out it gets turned over and i wont talk about it.

Weird, right?

But then i tend to make changes both during the tournament and right before round 1  starts. I have always thought of this as more as my conscious brain catching up to something my subconscious mind wants me to change. But how much of that is just me wanting to throw people off my game plan? See, Secrets….

Well i am not going to talk about my Secret decks i am still hoping to hit up a few games before the rotation for some value. However, i want to share some things i think are real in the modern meta and what i am working on to feel good about playing in that format.

  • 4 1/1 fliers for 5 mana over 1 to 2 turns is good
  • Manlands are still good
  • Lighting bolt is a still a real magic card
  • “Twin” is still a bull shit deck
  • Discard is still a thing
  • Other then a few lands that eat other lands and blood moon there is no real LD right now.

 

So i already have my one modern deck, which is kinda one of those Secret decks so i wont get in to it other then saying it could use some cards and it is really a meta game deck. Once people see it and prepare for it, it will not be as good. So i need another better all the time deck.

Also i need to own or be able to trade for those cards fairly easily.

So i am back to my gold deck mana base/deck.

Last week i had this:

4 City of Brass
4 Mana Confluence
4 Pillar of the Paruns
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Reflectiong Pool
2 Forest
1 Miren, the Moaning Well (For decks with lots of mans)
x Vesuva/Forbidden Orchard??

And it is good but i have been thinking more and more about how i like to play and i can cut some things and add some things for my personal mana so i will look at that after i have my deck list.

More i play these gold planeswalkers and the more coverage i watch and more i learn of the modern meta the better i like them.

Kiora, and Ral Zarek are insane cards.  Ashiok and Xenagos are almost as good but just a hair under. Ajani Vengeant has been an allstar in more then 1 or 2 of my older decks.  And i just know that Sorin is a house. I just know it.

14

1 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
2 Ajani Vengeant
3 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
2 Ral Zarek
1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
1 Xenagos, the Reveler
1 Venser, the Sojourner

16

4 Lighting Helix
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Jund Charm
2 Electrolyze
2 Counterflux
2 Voilslime
1 Mystic Snake

8

2 Geist of Saint Traft
2 Kitchen Finks
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Trostani, Selesnya’s Voice
1 Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius

22
4 Mana Confluence
4 Pillar of the Paruns
4 Gemstone Mine
4 Reflecting Pool
2 Forbidden Orchard
2 Forest
1 Island/Swamp/Plains
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

Okay so here is the deal, we use the one Urborg to help with life loss from Mana Confluence when we can help it as well as keeping counters on Gemstone mines. I just feel like we have to run some number of basics the 2 forests are a hedge against Blood Moon decks as i am sure will will have some kind of Dispel effect in the sideboard… Golgari Charm/Qasali Pridemage?

I would like to fit 4 Fleecemane Lion in the build. I really love that card right now. Sure Liliana can still get to it. But hopefully you can deal with her before things get carried away.

Olivia/Trostani/Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius are cards i don’t have any experience with myself. But they feel super good to me. Trostani might be too cute. But i like the idea of landing almost any planeswalker along side her and sooner or later having a nasty life gain engine running.

This is what i would run if i had a modern event today plus picking up like 5 cards. Olivia/Trostani/Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius/Sorin, Lord of Innistrad/2 Geist of Saint Traft