HOU URx Control

Okay, I once again forgot to update this blog, but I’ve been really excited by a URx control list I’ve been testing and wanted to share it. I have stayed away from UR control in AMK because I wanted to play UW so I could cast Approach of the Second Sun. It’s the most effective (although boring) alternative win cons I’ve seen in years and I had a lot of fun top 8-ing PPTQs with the deck (even if I didn’t win any of them).

However, I’ve moved to URx in a way that reliably lets me play both Nicol Bolas, God-Pharoh and Approach of the Second Sun. I haven’t finalized the 75 (in fact, I’ve not even figured out a sideboard because when I test with friends we allow ourselves to have virtually infinite sideboards at first and then whittle them down).

So here’s the list…

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AMK Plans

So my plans for this AMK Standard format have changed once again with the new emergency ban announcement from WotC (Felidar Guardian is gone). I feel bad for two friends I have who only bought into the 4-color Saheeli combo deck because this past Monday’s announcement indicated that the deck was safe “for now.” Those friends dropped somewhere over $100 on the deck with the knowledge that it would likely be banned within the next 5 weeks at the next ban announcement but they wanted to play in some events with the deck. Then two days later an “emergency ban” happens and now they are out the money they spent.

Luckily for me, I mostly play Tier 1.5/2/complete jank decks so I’m generally safe from bannings. Let me tell you about the card that I am, unsurprisingly, most excited about…

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Amonkhet Prerelease

So I wanted to offer some thoughts about my experiences this prerelease weekend. Unfortunately, I did not save any of my pools for further analysis and I’m at work at the moment so I don’t have exact decklists with me but I’ll sum up my overall experience and thoughts about the Amonket prerelease. I had terrible luck with most of my card pools (at least in terms of opening cool/exciting rares) so my opinions may sound a bit salty at times. Fair warning!

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The Dangers of Point Estimation

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long. I sort of ran out of time to play Magic for a while over this past Standard. Part of that was a lack of motivation to set aside time for a format in which I wasn’t having as much fun as I did previously. Another part was a number of real-life issues cropping up in my PhD program that required more attention from me. But now I’m back as Amonkhet (AMK) is about to release.

In fact, my LGS holds a final “Top 8” tournament right before tonight’s midnight prerelease in which the top “point earners” compete for the title of “Store Champion” for the current Standard season. Somehow I’m still locked in for Top 8 in this mostly-for-fun tournament (the main prize is getting to choose where you sit for FNM games for all of next Standard and getting your name on a trophy :D) despite missing almost 5 weeks of FNMs. The way you earn points is by getting good records during our four-round FNMs each week. A 4-0 record is worth 5 points, a 3-1 record is worth 3 points, and a 2-2 record is worth 1 point.

Anyways, as I was idling at work today during my office hours I spotted a thread on Reddit discussing deck testing, and it reminded me that I’ve wanted to talk about the danger of blindly comparing win percentages between variants of a deck. Read on to learn more.

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Hedron Alignment

I know what you’re thinking – this is going to be a garbage post… well, you’re likely right. A long time obsession of mine has been Hedron Alignment and I actually played a UB Hedron Alignment to moderate success (self-defined) back in OGW Standard because Delve was still legal. You could sometimes steal games by winning out of nowhere by Delve-casting a Dig Through Time on your opponent’s end step and getting the last Hedron Alignment into exile at instant speed.

Today I’m going to review the many (but inefficient) ways to get Hedron Alignment into exile in Standard. I’m not doing this because I believe a Hedron Alignment deck can be competitive at the moment, but because I really want to play the deck again at some FNM in the next few months and want to see what color combination is required to realistically have any chance of winning.

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Sultree Deck

It’s a play on the word sultry, okay? I couldn’t help myself. I’m here to talk a little bit more about the oddity that is my Sultai Seasons Past deck modification attempt. I love weird combos and was a huge fan of Hedron Alignment when the Delve mechanic was still standard legal. Now that it’s not in standard, however, it’s way too much work to get a Hedron Alignment into exile so I’ve (sadly) moved on.

Instead, I’ve been jamming the old Sultai Seasons Past lists with some odd changes: -4 Jace, VP and -2 Nissa, Vastwood Seer / +3/4 Tree of Perdition, +2 Tainted Remedy)

If you’d like to learn more then read on… Continue reading