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RB Control/midrange



 
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ErraticMage



Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:39 am    Post subject: RB Control/midrange Reply with quote

Well, basically jund without the green.

// Lands

2 [M14] Mutavault - I could run more but I'm only running 2 so that my mana base is more consistent. They've always been insanely good when I got them. Lots of synergy with the deck seeing as it's a creature that survives anger of the gods.

4 [DGM] Blood Crypt - Herp a derp.

4 [RTR] Rakdos Guildgate - I'm running both lifebane zombie and anger of the gods so I need the extra fixing. It doesn't seem (too?) bad so far. The deck seems to be able to work around it.

6 [RAV] Mountain (3) - I know I could be running more with both dragon and anger in but my deck just folds if it doesn't get black mana. So I'm opting to run more swamps than mountains. Ideally though I should be able to get enough of both. I could possibly up the amount of mountains here.

9 [M14] Swamp (4) - Re previous statement.

// Creatures

4 [THS] Stormbreath Dragon - Completely unbeatable vs UW control, not that we have any trouble with that match up anyway. It's the best red finisher in the format and the monstrous is actually used a lot more than I would have ever thought. I end up activating it every second game I play the dragon. It's no thundermaw but hey we can't always have thundermaw.

3 [M14] Lifebane Zombie - Snatches things from so many decks. It exiling instead of discarding is really relevant, seeing as how you can get smiters with it this way around, where it would be painful the other way around. (Also scooze is a thing.) It's a weaker play in the late game and I ideally want to draw into a single copy of it so I'm only running 3 rather than the full playset. I could definitely justify running a playset because it's just so much value. (Just a final note, but this isn't that much better against gw than other decks because a] Gw empties it's hand asap and b] Advent of the wurm isn't a creature. I don't enjoy drawing this turn 6-7 against that deck.)

4 [RTR] Desecration Demon - Anger of the gods usually takes care of all the annoying things they usually sac to it. This card is absolutely terrible at getting you out of a hole but it's a really effective beater if the games fair or if you're winning. It's a beast against control because they just about never have anything to sac to it. (And yes, I know omen speaker exists but it just isn't augur. I'm really not scared of that card.) Against aggro it's usually basically an enchantment that reads 'At the beginning of the opponents combat step, they sacrifice a creature.' Which is fiiiine as far as I'm concerned. It's more of a late game card but it definitely works in the deck.

// Spells

3 [THS] Magma Jet - It's decent against control and it's good against aggro decks toboot. I've never been sad to have this card in my hand. I'm only running three because I want to fill the rest of the slots with more potent removal, scry 2 on shock is all good and everything but it just isn't doom blade. (Anyone who's been playing since fifth dawn knows this card is stupidly good anyway but I thought I needed to explain this regardless.)

4 [THS] Anger of the Gods - Centerpiece of the deck. I could possibly run 3 main deck and 1 sb, but I think my choice to run all four main is appropriate considering aggro decks are just about always the first decks to fully establish themselves. I know aggro decks can play around this but that doesn't stop it being 2 for 1 at the very worst. I keep it in against rg ramp because it kills mystic and caryatid, along with xenagos spawn. Terrible and auto side out vs control but like I said earlier I'm not really worried about my control matchup.

2 [THS] Hero's Downfall - Hits just about anything I could ever want to hit. Blood baron of Vizkopa is just about the only target it misses and it really can't be blamed for that. (Caryatid too but casting this on caryatid seems like a waste.) The premium removal for the deck and I think the 3cc doesn't detract from it enough to stop it being incredible; but it does stop me running 4 copies. The double black isn't really a problem to cast with my mana base.

2 [RTR] Mizzium Mortars - Only removal in my deck that kills blood baron without it being a 2 for 1. This card is basically awesome early game and an allstar later on. Just about completely dead vs control but you can't get everthing. It definitely supports it's place in the deck well enough. Reaper of the wilds, ember swallower (Which is actually pretty decent in standard) and other creatures that have toughness more than 4 exist though and mortars is sorcery speed toboot. I'm very happy with my 2 copies maindeck but I definitely wouldn't advise running any more.

4 [THS] Thoughtseize - Let's face it; it really isn't easy to lose a game you thoughtseized your opponent turn 1. Not only do you know most of the cards in their hands that you have to play around but you get to snipe their best card. (If their best card's a land card then you're probably going to win anyway, so I didn't mention that possibility.) The damage it does to you is usually not a large enough drawback to stop this being a godlike card. Running less than 4 copies would be tantamount to crime in this sort of deck. The fact that it's a dead card late game in decks that auto empty their hands isn't usually relevant; if you've got to that point in this deck you're almost definitely going to win anyway.

2 [RTR] Rakdos's Return - This card is simply incredible against everything that's not superfast aggro. The amount of time I can look at the opponents hand with this deck means I -should- be able to play around smiter in gw decks. This card is usually synonymous with 'dead card' against aggro decks, if you get to the point where the damage is relevant then you've probably already won. The exception is white aggro using brave the elements, which I usually keep the two copies in against. It more demands it's position in the deck than just takes it. It's one of the more effective cards in this colour combination, It can literally turn a game around just by itself. Running less than 2 maindeck would be pretty dumb in my opinion.

3 [THS] Read the Bones - Read this card as 'Get two cards that you want' and you'll be reading it correctly. 80% of the time that's what's going to happen. In the event that you scry two cards off the top and draw into two other cards you just got rid of four cards you didn't want off the top of the deck. If you're short on lands you should get lands with it. If you're short on removal you should get removal with it. If you're short of beaters you should get a beater with it. It's the best draw card in the current format and not including it would be dumb. As with thoughtseize, the drawback isn't big enough to stop this card being the best at what it does. (I'm only running 3 because drawing into multiples against aggro decks isn't good.)

1 [RTR] Dreadbore - Singleton dreadbore keeps my opponent on their toes. I'm inclined to say dreadbore is better than heroes downfall against aggro decks but I could be wrong. Instant speed is pretty awesome. I could definitely justify running 1-2 more of these in main or sideboard but I'm perfectly happy with the amount that I have right now. Shocks seem better than dreadbore vs aggro and heroes downfall seems better against midrange, so running an inbetween card doesn't really appeal to me.

2 [M14] Doom Blade - This card is just straight out awesome. Of the current aggro decks in the forming meta the only card this misses is rakdos cackler, and I'm sure that's not that big of a drawback. Missing blood baron doesn't stop this card still being godlike against midrange and aggro. Doesn't kill xenagos though. I could run another in maindeck/sb but coming up against a random mono black deck with too many copies of this just seems painful. I'm very happy with the number I've got and have no intention of changing it. I wouldn't call you stupid if you ran 3 or even 4 though.

1 [M14] Shock - Seems bad against everything but aggro. Sniping an elvish mystic or damaging a planeswalker doesn't make this card playable against rg ramp. I don't want to draw into more than 1 EVER against anything but aggro so I've left the rest in the sideboard. That being said, against aggro this is just about the best removal card in the format. I hits burning tree, chainwalker, young pyromancer and can even fairly reliably kill of ex1. (I needn't point out that most 1 drops are killed by it.)

// Sideboard

SB: 1 [THS] Whip of Erebos - I'm sure it's going to be relevant against something. Until recently I had it in maindeck for the lifelink. I just always felt terrible having this card in hand against aggro and the lifelink is just about irrelevant against everything else. It's probably going to vanish from my sideboard as well sooner or later.

SB: 2 [THS] Hero's Downfall - Already explained.

SB: 1 [RTR] Mizzium Mortars - Already explained.

SB: 1 [RTR] Dreadbore - Already explained.

SB: 1 [THS] Erebos, God of the Dead - Draw engine vs. control. Yeah, I'm playing him as an overpriced greed, doesn't seem too shabby either. It's a decent draw against rg ramp as well. I wouldn't suggest ever playing more than one of him. And if he becomes a creature you've probably already won. Never, never play this card against aggro.

SB: 4 [M14] Duress - Switch these/anger of the gods against control match ups. The full 8 hand disruption spells screw that sort of deck over so heavily they fail to properly function. I'm happy siding in 1 or 2 against decks like rg ramp or even rdw. (Rdw has quite the burn package.) This card has been my best sideboard card to date.

SB: 2 [M14] Shock - Already explained.

SB: 2 [THS] Lightning Strike - Filling extra unused sb slots. I have sided them in several times and wasn't ever really unhappy with them. I'm sure there's a better use of these slots though, I just have yet to find it.

SB: 1 [THS] Rakdos's Return - Already explained.

Cards that you probably think could/should be in there that I've missed:

Slaughter Games - This is probably the first card you noticed wasn't in my sideboard. I didn't see any good reason to play it when my matchup against control is already so stupidly good that I don't need to remove their revelations/aetherlings/assemble the legions etc. Besides the fact that most of that should be duressed/thoughtseized out by that point, so the extra value just isn't there. I just don't think it makes the cut against rg ramp. They've almost always ramped out whatever you wanted to get rid of by that point anyway. And if you can slow them down and get board presence you've won anyway. So I think aiming at that is more important. I could be wrong but I just think this card is win-more in this deck.

Exava, Rakdos blood witch - The lack of the ability to block makes this card too narrow and the lack of evasion just stops it having any merit. None of the cards in this deck benefit from it's final ability and the first strike is almost never relevant. Dies to ember swallower, dies to reaper. And on top of that it's LEGENDARY so you can only have 1 in play at a time. It's pretty terrible all together so don't suggest it. (And no, playing it 'leashed' is just terrible and pointless.)

Ash zealot - I can't regularly cast it turn 2 with my mana base and as a third turn play it just doesn't make the cut. Most of the time I want it to play defence against aggro or speed out early against slower decks. It can do neither reliably and thus isn't even in consideration for the deck anymore.

Reckoner + godless shrines - I've considered this package and it does have it's own merits but I think it clogs down the deck too much to make it viable. Lifebane zombie is holding up the 3 drop slot just fine on his own and I don't see a good reason to push this guy in here and take extra damage from my lands. I could use a 8sb package with the number of iffy sideboard slots I have right now but that's something to look into later. -Currently testing-

Dark betrayal - Way too narrow and it doesn't even kill blood baron. The card is terrible and using a sideboard slot for mono black decks just seems stupid. I don't advise ever considering this card for constructed play.

Peak eruption - I considered it but most decks playing chained to the rocks aren't a problem for this deck. If a boros aggro deck jumps out of the woodwork then there's still nothing stopping them siding them out and making me look like a complete idiot. I just don't think the allure of this card as a stone rain that deals damage is what this deck wants to do. Especially since the decks that that's going to be relevant against are ones that this deck has a fine matchup against. Maybe I could use it against rg ramp but I'd need to test it first. I definitely considered it as a stone rain with an upside against red decks but I just don't think it's going to be that awesome. (This is the one I'm most likely to be wrong about.)

Ember swallower - I'm sort of iffy on this one. It's currently getting playtested but I don't think this is the shell that it's meant to go in. Most of the time it's going to be a 4/5 for 4 with a restrictive mana cost, which isn't the crown jewels. I could be wrong though. It could be epic. We'll see. Not sold on this card.

And with that out of the way, comment! All feedback is appreciated.


Last edited by ErraticMage on Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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GreenBear



Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 900

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well constructed deck. I see a few problems the first and what I suspect will be the biggest in the amount of life the deck loses to cast its own spells. See 4 thoughtseize, 3 read the bones, 4 blood crypt. Obviously this is a non issue ve control but vs aggro playing this amount of spells that cost you life will lose you games.

I'm not sold on 4 thoughtseize tbh I get you want game vs aggro and control and this card is always good against control and has the potential to be reasonable against aggro. Clearly no one expects you to have the numbers perfect this early on in a format but experience tells me its hard to get away with this many life loss spells in a format with a decent aggro% I suspect a few of these may be long in the sideboard for an extra magma yet or something.


Desecration Demon I've never been a fan of this card. I see that it is strong vs control, but woulld ember swallower not be a possible option instead. It still provides a solid body vs aggro and is not weak to swarms of shits. Plus its still strong vs control as the long game ability to denie them mana in a world where sphinx revelation is a card is very relevant. I get your mana can just about support him as is and might need some adjusting to around 16 red sources. I agree your deck is black hungry but 17 black sources seems enough to me and cutting the muta vault's. It warrant's some fiddling around with I think as if you can play ember shallower in that spot I think it is a slightly stronger card.

The curve is a little top heavy for me, now do not get me wrong I'm not saying you have a bad curve because you clearly do not. I just feel the format is aggressive at the moment, so it pays to have a cheap curve. I'd like to see an extra magma jet possibly a dreadbore also, as Pw's are pretty common at the moment turn 2 domri is a thing, naylea can follow short after then its pretty hard to win. Jace Elspeth both seeing plenty of play also.

I think you want some artifact removal sb. The hammer and the spear are both cards that will cause this deck problems.
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ErraticMage



Joined: 12 Jan 2013
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenBear wrote:
Well constructed deck. I see a few problems the first and what I suspect will be the biggest in the amount of life the deck loses to cast its own spells. See 4 thoughtseize, 3 read the bones, 4 blood crypt. Obviously this is a non issue ve control but vs aggro playing this amount of spells that cost you life will lose you games.

I'm not sold on 4 thoughtseize tbh I get you want game vs aggro and control and this card is always good against control and has the potential to be reasonable against aggro. Clearly no one expects you to have the numbers perfect this early on in a format but experience tells me its hard to get away with this many life loss spells in a format with a decent aggro% I suspect a few of these may be long in the sideboard for an extra magma yet or something.


Desecration Demon I've never been a fan of this card. I see that it is strong vs control, but woulld ember swallower not be a possible option instead. It still provides a solid body vs aggro and is not weak to swarms of shits. Plus its still strong vs control as the long game ability to denie them mana in a world where sphinx revelation is a card is very relevant. I get your mana can just about support him as is and might need some adjusting to around 16 red sources. I agree your deck is black hungry but 17 black sources seems enough to me and cutting the muta vault's. It warrant's some fiddling around with I think as if you can play ember shallower in that spot I think it is a slightly stronger card.

The curve is a little top heavy for me, now do not get me wrong I'm not saying you have a bad curve because you clearly do not. I just feel the format is aggressive at the moment, so it pays to have a cheap curve. I'd like to see an extra magma jet possibly a dreadbore also, as Pw's are pretty common at the moment turn 2 domri is a thing, naylea can follow short after then its pretty hard to win. Jace Elspeth both seeing plenty of play also.

I think you want some artifact removal sb. The hammer and the spear are both cards that will cause this deck problems.


As far as thoughtseize goes I was never unhappy to lose that 2 life against an aggro deck because I was interrupting their curve. Read the bones was almost always a dead card though and I agree that I should either have less in main or just sideboard the lot out against aggro. I should probably gear my maindeck around to be much more effective against aggro. I should probably go down to 3 thoughtseizes against aggro after boarding but I don't see a reason not to run all 4 maindeck when it's mediocre at the very worst and brilliant at the best against all the match ups. (Read the bones to sb? I need to test this more.)

I don't know why I didn't think of using ember swallower in the deck. I'll definitely give it some playtesting. It's probably slightly better against aggro and way worse against control. That's just my personal opinion though. By the point I monstrous ember swallower the ld is probably isn't going to be relevant, but the power boost will. (Sphinx's is a thing, and I get that. But if you've got to that point against a control deck with this deck then it's probably win-more anyway.)

I'm not too scared of nylea as without creatures to back her up she's a dead card. Anger of the gods should prevent me from getting rushed too hard. I lost a game earlier today to the hammer though so I might need to put some artifact removal in sb. I don't know any in rb that's that good though; the first that comes to mind is rakdos charm and I really really don't want to play that against the matchups with hammer/spear. Stormbreath dragon gets around spear nicely though so I'm less worried about that.

I think since survival is the key with this deck I definitely need to drop the average cmc of my deck, I just wasn't approaching it from that angle.

Oh, and thanks for the feedback. Smile

(I'll be testing out reckoner package and ember swallower over the next few days.)
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moscowdemon
Level 4 Judge


Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to say: Thank you very, very much for the amount of effort and detail you provided in this post.
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