Highlander Magic

MagicPlayer Highlander => General Discussion => Topic started by: SirGalahad on 17-11-2014, 06:19:43 PM

Title: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: SirGalahad on 17-11-2014, 06:19:43 PM
Hey guys,
with the Highlander Cup just a couple of weeks away, what decks would you suggest for a competitive testing gauntlet?
Currently i'm including 4cBlood, UWx Control, UR Midrange, PatternRector, MonoR, maybe Eggs.
Am i missing something crucial? And is there a deck you would dismiss immediatly?
Thx for any advice.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: tonytahiti on 17-11-2014, 08:19:52 PM
UR Midrange, Eggs and Pattern Rector are currently not Tier 1 imo. I wouldnt bother testing those matchups.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: GoblinPiledriver on 17-11-2014, 08:42:25 PM
UR Midrange
is not Tier 1? Is UR Control Tier 1?

This is the meta which I expect:
Aggro-Decks:     31%
4c-Blood         15%
RDW               6%
RG-Beats          3%
Naya              3%
Jund              2%
Maverick          1%
Elves             1%

Midrange:        32%
Izzet            13%
Captain America  11%
Scapeshift        4%
Bant              2%
UG-Aggrocontrol   1%
Mono G Ramp       1%

Control:         28%
BUG               9%
Esper             8%
UW-Control        5%  
Oath              3%
Staxx             2%
MBC               1%

Combo:            9%
Pattern Rector    3%
Reanimator        3%
High Tide         1%
TPS               1%
Cephalid Breakfast1%

So I would consider 4C-Blood, UR, Captain America, BUG and Esper for a competitve test.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: tonytahiti on 17-11-2014, 08:55:43 PM
since i got immediately minus karma for my comment (aka my opinion, aka WTF), here an explanation:

UR has two very severe weaknesses in my opinion: it has no universal answers and has huge problems with 4 toughness (especially loxodon smiter), additionaly thrun and nemesis are an absolute nightmare for the deck.

creatures get better and more and more 3 mana guys have 4 toughness (lately anafenza and knuckleblade). UR has to deal with them on the stack (flame slash being the exception). sure they can play vapor snag but that is a tempo play on UR tempo really can buffer since its -1 card and you need to have a clock. UR Midrange is terrible at defending and blocking (rabblemaster, magus etc) and not nearly as aggressive enough to ensure to be and stay ahead. i just dont think UR has the tools to win a grand prix at this point or even go top4 or something.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: Vazdru on 17-11-2014, 10:18:18 PM
just my personal view on the current meta:

tier 1: 4C Blood / UWR / Oath / Artifact-Control / UW(b) + Esper / Izzet
btw. Izzet must be tier 1 imo because it can perfectly play all the best non-basic-hate-spells (PoP, Mystical as second copy, B2B, Bloodmoon) which hurts all the other tier-1-decks (except UW) - it's simply the "couterpart" to them which makes it always a good choice imo (most annoying for Izzet-players is imo playing vs RDW but that's a different story...)

tier 1.5: Reanimator / Combos like Pattern-Rector, Eggs, High Tide, TPS, Hermit, Buried Alive and Scapeshift / RDW / WW / BUG + RUG / Bant / some other multi-colour-aggro or -control-themes

i probably missed the one or the other ...

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: Ball.Lightning on 18-11-2014, 01:19:34 AM
Supplement to above:

I would consider definetely testing against Burn. In Prague it is heavily played (15-20% of the field) and there is at least one burn in T4.

Next i would try to test against abzan midrange and naya (which is my favourite deck this year).

But as for trying to figure out what your test gauntlet will be, it largely depends on the type of the deck, you are going to play. Since you can merge different decks to one category.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: SirGalahad on 18-11-2014, 02:06:10 AM
Thx so far guys!

@Tony: Like Vazdru said, i think you have to expect some amount of Izzet, because it is so good against the best decks in the format.

@GoblinPiledriver: Quite the percentages. Can you explain the numbers? I.e. where did you get them from?

@Vazdru: I don't think, all decks are Tier 1 or 1.5, but your Tier 1 decks seem like a really good selection except Artifacts.

@Ball.Lightning: I don't think a gauntlet should depend on your deck. You want to try to picture the expected metagame as good as possible.

@all: I think you need a "benchmark deck" in every gauntlet. For me this is MonoR in Highlander.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: tonytahiti on 18-11-2014, 09:21:07 AM
i am not going to call a deck "tier1" because it has 2 in 100 cards (b2b,bloomoon), that cant even be tutored for, that are very good vs 3+color decks but are basically mulligans vs rdw,ww and not very good vs uw,gruul beats and in the mirror etc. imo those hate enchantments are upon the most overrated cards in the history of this format, cause they aways used as this strong argument for izzet (it is an argument, but not a strong one) and overshadow the weaknesses that izzet has (which are far more severe in my opinion.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: Maqi on 18-11-2014, 10:14:59 AM
If Izzet is a tier 1 or tier 1.5 deck doesn't actually matter that much when constructing a gauntlet. The deck has put up very respectable results and will be played by a good number of players.

My gauntlet would be:

RDW, Izzet, UWR, UW(b)-Control, 4c Blood (tier 1)
Oath, Staxx, Reanimator (these decks will be played and are important to your testing because they demand very specific answers)
Naya Aggro, White Weenie (will always be played at GPs regardless of their strength)

@GoblinPiledriver: Quite the percentages. Can you explain the numbers? I.e. where did you get them from?
Ah, goblinpiledriver alwas has those numbers! Look at his set reviews, too. That precision! :D

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: SirGalahad on 18-11-2014, 03:08:13 PM
@tony: You don't need to call the deck tier1, i'm completely ok with that assesment. But i think you need to include an Izzet-Deck in your gauntlet because it beats two of the best decks in the format and will therefor be a force at the HL-Cup. I'm with Maqi here. If you can't beat UR, 4cBlood and RDW, don't choose that deck imho.

@Maqi: I think to simplify things, you can exclude WW and Naya, although i see your point here. Staxx and Reanimator i'm not sure about, as these decks tend to beat themselves occasionally. So i don't know if i want to include the in a meta-gauntlet. But thanks anyway for the advice. ;)

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: Maqi on 18-11-2014, 03:38:44 PM

I included Stax, Oath and Reanimator because, although those decks might beat themselves over the course of a long tournament more often than not, you might very well face one of those archetypes on your road to hopefully t8.

And then you have to be prepared. In the case of 4c-Blood for example, without Scavenging Ooze (Reanimator) and Reclamation Sage (Oath and Staxx) those matchups become very hard. I mentioned those decks because you need to build your deck with them in mind, not because I think you will play a lot against them.

White Weenie and Naya are always there. But I guess you can sum those decks up under "Aggro". So, at least make sure that your deck doesn't fold to 1-drop, 2-drop, 3-drop most of the time.

Also, this is still Highlander and people often play their pet decks. You could very easily run into something like, round 1 Mono Blue Control, round 2 RG-Land Destruction, round 3 Oath-Staxx. Better be prepared with a strong proactive gameplan.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: Tabris on 18-11-2014, 03:58:29 PM
What Maqi said + its Highlander. Even decks which are not considered T1 will be difficult to beat. Variance is always a huge factor and you will run into the MBC or treefolk tribal deck which can have good starts and could ruin your day.

In some aspects we have the same problem like legacy where you can face manaless dredge, combo elves, show&tell, death&taxes, Leylines and still have to beat the generic UR-delver lists. All need very specific answers which we dont have (lack of SB) so we need to assemble as much consistency as we can get in our own deck. (Btw. I dont see that as a problem but more of a healthy meta were any weird/fringe deck can have a shot if build correctly)

Considering the tier-status of certain decks. We simply dont have the long and painfull process of 16 rounds forging and testing the "best" deck over and over again by thousands of players all over the world so the best thing we can do is looking for decks which are always on the top and try to have a plan for that matchup. I mean no one here suggested TPS which is my eyes a brutal and fast deck which blanks most of your cards and we already saw this deck winning a HLCup.

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: SirGalahad on 18-11-2014, 04:11:04 PM
@Maqi & Tabris: My goal is not to have an accurate picture of the whole meta, i just want to build a gauntlet to test for the Cup. ;)
So i certainly know i have to be prepared for Staxx and Reanimator, i have to expect the fringe and pet decks and i have to build a consistent deck. But that i already know, what i don't know is what other people expect to be the most played/best decks at the cup. Thx for all the advice on variance anyways. ;)

@Tabris: I didn't mention TPS becaus a) you need a very good pilot (3-4 people in the whole HL-scene) and b) you can test vs. Burn and have similar results (a little simplified for the simple gauntlet).

Title: Re: Testing Gauntlet
Post by: ZeSword on 22-11-2014, 11:21:25 AM
If you want, I can add on mtgtop8 a "Decks To Beat" section on Highlander, just as it exists in other formats. I'm a total newbie so you'll have to tell me which decks to put in what Tiers (and giving me links to the "best" decklist of that archetype), but maybe it could help people to you HL GP XIV (unfortunately I won't be able to come, it's in the middle of the winter holidays...)