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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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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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

EMN Game Day

So our local store runs two game day events each new set. The one on Saturday is a full rounds tournament with a cut to Top 8 and has the usual play mat, promos, and payouts based on attendance. The Sunday event is free and only pays out the playmat and promos typical of game day. On Saturday I played GW Tokens and did well but did not secure the play mat. I decided to have fun with the Sunday event and not worry about winning, so here’s what I played:

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[SOI] BW Control Deck List Updates (Again)

So I never finished the last BW Control post, sorry about that. I ended up losing my notes about that night’s worth of games. But I have stayed on the BW Control path for now, as I’ve been absolutely loving the deck. After Seth Manfield’s finish at GP NY, I was even more excited about my list (even though it’s substantially different from Seth’s). Let me share my most recent changes with you and compare what I think are the relevant differences between mine and Manfield’s lists and why I think they’re acceptable. Continue reading

Trisk: A Deck, A Phobia

I’ll have some updates on my BW Control list and how it has performed lately in a post sometime this week, but first we need to talk about something important. In just under two weeks FNM will occur on Friday the 13th. I think it is critically important to play a Triskaidekaphobia-based deck on that night. This post will address my “all in on flavor” attempt at a decklist. Read on if you’re brave enough (and don’t actually suffer from Triskaidekaphobia). Continue reading