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14907 Posts in 1109 Topics- by 460 Members - Latest Member: robinho1986
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1  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: UR Combo-Control on: 15-02-2012, 04:07:17 PM
I always considered playing Drift of Phantasms, Vedalken Æthermage and Swans combo in my izzet deck. Do you like those cards there?
Anyway your list looks fine, maybe with a bit higher curve, I would cut following cards:
Izzet Chronarch+Time Warp "combo" (too slow and clunky imo)
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir (I guess it protects combo, but other than that its fairly uninpressive in today's standards)
Crystal Shard (too few creatures to abuse)
Tezzeret the Seeker (too few artifacts to fetch)
Comet Storm (again too slow/big mana investment to make it interesting and then it gets so easily Spell Pierced...)
Flusterstorm (seems too narrow/conditional - only guessing as I never really tested this)
Sage's Dousing (is it some part of o toolbox - Æthermage tech? Unless I miss something like this its pretty awful)
Blue Sun's Zenith/Stroke of Genius (again I hope i don't miss any infinite mana engine, but otherwise its too slow/expensive again)
Desertion (too expensive)
Dismiss (too expensive)
Mystical Teachings (only two black manasources)
Suggestions/replacements:
Grim Lavamancer (I always liked utility creatures and Mancer is so good against almost any deck)
Inferno Titan (I copied Titans - I am playing both red and blue - with either Kiki or Twin and its been always gg)
Mulldrifter (I admit I am not 100% sure about this, but again its a critter with very good EtB ability...)
Phyrexian Metamorph (just too good/versatile to pass)
Solemn Simulacrum (See Muldriter)
Sower of Temptation (see Mulldrifter #2)
Spellskite (can be a reason to include Tezzeret, combo protection obv.)
Trinket Mage (SDT #2)
Vendilion Clique (hand disruption is good when playing combo)
Gitaxian Probe (I LOVE this card... I admit I'm a bit biased, but its good to know what to expect befrore trying to cast Twin)
Engineered Explosives (this is so good even in two color deck, also its another good Trinket Mage target)
2  MagicPlayer Highlander / Banned List & Rules / Re: Community Poll - Sensei's Divining Top on: 18-07-2011, 03:41:05 PM
BAN or UNBAN that's a question...

BAN!
nuff said... well maybe not, so:
lets summarize proBAN comments: annoying, unfun, timeconsuming, easily tutorable, colorless, hard to remove, autoinclude, SDT+fetches creates too much advantage/insight against a SDT-less opponent
UNBAN comments: short banlist, not autoinclude, skill rewarding, not that powerful, time issues exaggerated

Most BAN comments make sense and I agree with them although I do love playing with SDT myself. Control decks will surely miss it but on the other hand - control match with Top on both sides is a something I will never miss Smiley.
3  MagicPlayer Highlander / New Editions / Re: Green Sun's Zenith on: 24-01-2011, 10:21:18 AM
I agree it's pretty powerful tutor, but not really broken, since it is limited to green creature cards... so pretty much powerful in elves and maybe U/G aggro/control
4  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: Crosis control (budget?) on: 06-12-2010, 08:43:40 PM
The Tournament was very good, It took place in a small cozy teahouse, I finished somewhere in the middle with 3 wins and 2 loses. Now onto the report through my grixis eyes Smiley
All 14 preregistered players showed up and after some organizational issues we could start. As I already mentioned we start at more life (25 life this time) and LD is permitted only on utility lands such as Cabal Coffers, Treetop Village, Volrath Stronghold, Kor Haven, etc.

1st round I was paired against tourney winner (5-0) who played pretty sick MBC with lots of mass discard (Head Games, Mind Sludge, Mind Shatter) and Helm-Line combo:
 - 1st game: I won as I played T3 Jace and overdrawn him, I nearly managed to assemble Thopter+Meek combo, but he kept me in check with Leyline. After he failed to draw one of his countless tutors to get Helm of Obedience I killed him with my Lavaclaw Reaches which was immune to most of his removal (The Abyss, Damnation, Disk, Ratchet Bomb)
 - 2nd game: I had again very nice start with early Liliana -> tutor for Tezz, so next turn I played Tezz who fetched Sword of the Meek and than I performed brilliant brainfart as I forgot to use Liliana. Next turn he killed Tezz with some hasty critter reanimated with Corpse Dance and then I finally tried to tutor for foundry, but it was too late as he dumped my hand with Mind Sludge and got rid of foundry via Dystopia or something
 - 3rd game: I got slow start with manascrew and that led to my hasty concede -> 0-1

2nd round I was playing against Jund renimator and while the first round was sluggish this round we finished among the first
 - 1st game: had arguable opening hand but I was happy to see some lands in it, so I kept and I shouldn't as he pulled threat after threat and while I managed to counter most of those creatures, one of them was unfortunately Genesis. After my hopeless attempt to get rid of his graveyard (I Gifted for Sword of the Meek, Nihil Spellbomb, Bojuka Bog and Muddle the Mixture - should have replaced Bojuka with Tolaria West Roll Eyes) he won on the back of Kiki-Jiki+Wurmcoil Engine even though I had Meek+Foundry online, it was just not enough - Putrefying Foundry stopped my futile resistance
 - 2nd game: this time my hand was quite solid (after some usual mulliganing action) but soon I faced Genesis again and while his grave was double-exiled thanks to my twice played Bojuka, I failed to find another graveyard fighting tool to stabilize -> 0-2

// after two loses I took some time to watch other people and realized that there were actually 3 MBC decks, two UW controls, some reanimators and then some midrange / aggro-control decks like UG, or Bant, not really diverse meta (mostly control decks) and I decided to play my other budget deck on the next tourney which is monored Goblinses Smiley

3rd round I was paired against a friend of mine for whom I actually built a deck he played - MBC revolving around Necropotence+Coffers+Drain Life, you know the drill...
 - 1st game took some time as he sticked Phyrexian Arena early and that helped him to equal my blue drawing skills, but after he played Liliana and tutored for O-stone he made mistake: instead of blowingup the board (I had Mimic Vat with his Drana imprinted) he put fate counter on his Venser's Journal. Next turn I destroyed O-Stone with Crosis Charm and won with hasty Drana token copy
 - 2nd game: after my usual mulligan from 7cards to another 7cards as I had just one land in the opening 7 (we are still playing by old Mulligan rule) I mulliganed again and again and again into a 4-card hand with Tectonic Edge as my only land (obviously), somehow I managed to draw more lands and played Facts for even more lands to finally be able to participate in the game but he played Necropotence + Venser's Journal combo and I conceded shortly after
 - 3rd game: again almost mulliganed my opening 7 with stupidly low land count (2x rav duals) but I had a closer look and found Meek+Foundry combo there so I kept. To celebrate manascrew-day my opponent was screwed too and I won my 1st match of the day around 7th turn with 4 lands on the table -> 1-2

4th round was against deck that was quite similar to my 2nd round opponent, except Red was replaced with White, so it was some Doran rock variant
 - 1st game: mulliganed into 6card hand (yawn) but this time I managed to draw and play some lands too, after some early action and my board sweeping I sticked Liliana and started to disrupt his hand with her and countered remaining spells and after using Liliana's ultimate it was over
 - 2nd game: one of the few games that I actually won very easily - imprinting Vendilion Clique to Mimic Vat was a little unfair but fun (at least for me Wink) -> 2-2

finally my 5th round opponent was piloting quite nice bant deck but let's say I was a little more lucky
 - 1st game: after first few usual draw-go turns I sneaked in Tezzeret and after we exchanged our Sphinxes (of Jwar Isle) in combat I fetched combo with Tezz and we moved onto another game
 - 2nd game: this time my opponent was flooded and even though he had around 3-4 cards in hand he was virtually in topdeck mode as I saw his all-lands hand with Duress, then I countered all the thing he found on top of his library and killed him with combo again -> 3-2

I did two changes to the deck right before tourney. First was I took out Redirect and put Firespout in as I feared that the boardsweeping abilities of the deck are lacking. It was funny because I had Firespout in all three games against my first opponent - imagine it would be the Redirect for his Mind Sludge Smiley
Other change was that I removed Coalition Relic and put Mimic Vat in. Mimic Vat was incredibly awesome almost every time I played it. The deck has quite an arsenal in removal suite so you basically choose the best critter on board and then its almost autowin. Really fantastic. Need more time to think what to take out for it as the Coalition Relic would surely helped from many manascrews I had the whole day. Overall I was not very much successful but at least I ended up in positive numbers and what was more important: it was fun and we all enjoyed it!
5  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: Crosis control (budget?) on: 30-11-2010, 09:29:31 AM
Definitely get Demonic Tutor. It makes playing black decks much nicer <3
Merchant Scroll is ace as well.
Yes you are right Demonic Tutor should be in, once I get it, will probably take out some spot removal for it. Merchant Scroll is probably playable too - can fetch Muddle for missing Thopter/Meek combo piece, I'll consider it.

Trinket Mage. Seriously. You have Top, Needle, Spellbomb, EE... It's a no-brainer.
Trinket Mage is in the list, I just forgot to write it down.

Vampire Nighthawk. Seriously, try it. It's been amazing for me in pretty much any deck ever.
I'm not sure if I want to play it - it's quite a decent defensive creature, but I might rather prefer something bigger to increase the number of finishers in the deck - I have currently Wurmcoil Engine on the watchlist. It has lifelink too and it is somewhat reluctant to die easily Smiley. In some superrare occasions it can be tutored with Tezz.

Diabolic Edict over Chainer's definitely.
Yes you are probably right about this one - I can't remember when I flashbacked Chainer's and the fact it is sorcery doesn't help either. Will swap it soon.

No Doom Blade?
Doom Blade was there originally, but got replaced with Ghastly Demise and since then I never looked back :]

You seem to have noticed it yourself as well, but you seem strangely light on (mass) removal.
I'm not an expert on BR mass removal, but I'd try experimenting with Sulfurous Blast and Barter in Blood.
Yes this might be true as well, though as a matter of fact I haven't faced many aggro decks yet to improve deck in this way. Recently I am experimenting with Arc Trail and I swapped out Inquisition of Kozilek for Firebolt. Both changes should help against aggro hopefully...

I'm not too keen on the familiar myself (at least on paper), but I haven't played with the buggers too much so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt.
Familiar is okay, yet its far from awesome. It might get replaced, but so far I haven't found a decent defensive creature to fill his slot. (Maybe Epochrasite?)

I'm hesitant about cutting IoK/Duress from the list - I feel that the main strength black brings to control decks - apart from Demonic Tutor and removal - is discard. While it's not glorious against aggro, having some discard gives opposing control players fits.
In our small HL meta there is majority of control decks yet I often found Duress/IoK somewhat unnecessary. Duress will get replaced with Thoughtseize one day.

Thanks for your input Dreamer.

I made these changes recently:
Inquisition of Kozilek out // Firebolt in
Smother out // Arc Trail in
Exclude out // Miscalculation in

Anyway this saturday we're gonna have HL tourney - around 14 players are expected to show up. I will try to write some report on how it goes Smiley
6  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: RUG Control on: 25-11-2010, 06:57:20 PM
Since you're playing a bunch of ramp spells - have you considered running Scapeshift? I would cut Wildfire since it doesn't work with 7+lands Scapeshift plan. Might be necessary to increase Mountain count since you're playing just three duals. Anyway nice deck - I suppose its made from some of your remaining cards, which makes it almost a budget deck and I am always interested in those :]
7  MagicPlayer Highlander / Off-Topic / 100c Singleton B&R update Nov 19, 2010 on: 24-11-2010, 11:06:13 AM
I'm sure most of you noticed that Banned and Restricted list on modo's highlander variant - 100-card singleton changed recently. Some bannings are unsurprising as they come from the release of Master's Edition IV, other cards that got the axe are Mind Twist and Surival - both of which are banned in highlander too. I would like to hear your opinion on ban of Regrowth and Sensei's Divining Top. In my opinion - Regrowth ban is just very harsh and irrational and I will skip it. What interests me though is banning of the Top. Have you considered banning it too? Although I don't think the Top is banworthy, truth is, that it can prolong games in real life (which is quite irrelevant on online, where we have chess clock, but whatever...) and provides substantial advantage and in-depth look to a library for player with Top (combined with fetchlands and other shuffling effects of course). Other pro-ban reasonings can be in its low manacost, the fact it is very difficult to get rid of it and also the fact that it is almost autoinclude in vast majority of the decks (maybe except in some pure aggro builds like goblins etc.), therefore making it virtually 99-cards singleton. Almost forgot to append original annoucement, it is here.
8  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: Crosis control (budget?) on: 15-11-2010, 02:22:50 PM
Another update as promised. I made some big changes to the deck and I believe that this is the best version so far. Decklist first, then comments...

::Version 3.0::
Lands(39):
5x Island
2x Swamp
1x Mountain
Arid Mesa
Marsh Flats
Verdant Catacombs
Evolving Wilds
Terramorphic Expanse
Dimir Aqueduct
Izzet Boilerworks
Rakdos Carnarium
Blood Crypt
Steam Vents
Watery Grave
Dragonskull Summit
Drowned Catacomb
Blackcleave Cliffs
Darkslick Shores
Great Furnace
Seat of the Synod
Vault of Whispers
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh
Graven Cairns
Shivan Reef
Bojuka Bog
Tolaria West
Ghost Quarter
Tectonic Edge
Crumbling Necropolis
Reflecting Pool
Creeping Tar Pit
Lavaclaw Reaches

Artifacts(9):
Coalition Relic
Engineered Explosives
Nihil Spellbomb
Pithing Needle
Sensei's Divining Top
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Indulgence
Thopter Foundry
Sword of the Meek

Creatures(10):
Mulldrifter
Murderous Redcap
Nightscape Familiar
Psychatog
Shriekmaw
Skinrender
Sphinx of Jwar Isle
Trinket Mage
Vendilion Clique
Venser, Shaper Savant

Planeswalkers(3):
Jace Beleren
Liliana Vess
Tezzeret the Seeker

Enchantments(1):
Treachery

Instants(29)
Brainstorm
Careful Consideration
Condescend
Counterspell
Crosis's Charm
Dismiss
Electrolyze
Essence Scatter
Exclude
Fact or Fiction
Fire/Ice
Ghastly Demise
Gifts Ungiven
Impulse
Lightning Bolt
Magma Jet
Mana Leak
Memory Lapse
Muddle the Mixture
Mystical Teachings
Negate
Pact of Negation
Redirect
Remand
Remove Soul
Repeal
Smother
Terminate
Thirst for Knowledge

Sorceries(10)
Ancestral Vision
Compulsive Research
Cruel Ultimatum
Damnation
Deep Analysis
Duress
Chainer's Edict
Inquisition of Kozilek
Ponder
Preordain

101 cards, avg. manacost 2.61

The biggest change is Thopter/Meek combo inclusion. Deck now plays less finishers (aside from combo its Sphinx, Tog and manlands/ultimatum) but thanks to a lot of cheap spells that manipulate library it is quite consistent. More tutors would probably help, as now only Tezz and transmuting Mixture fetches combo parts, I am even considering Tainted Pact (with so many nonbasic lands) as a budget Demonic Tutor variant. I would probably removed Duress or Inquisition of Kozilek for it. The deck is now really much better - lower manacost, I added one land and removed some signets to prevent suicidal Explosives (deck is obviously very manahungry as any other heavy control decks) with cheap removal against early threats, then it tries to outdraw opponent and overwhelm with card advantage or by fetching the combo. One more thing about the combo - Sword of the Meek is obviously a dead card but Foundry is actually quite playable on its own and saved my butt few times (sacrificing artifact land or talisman to it). I also changed counter department - currently testing Negate, Essence Scatter, Remove Soul and even Exclude. So far it proved quite useful but might get replaced by FoW or other better counters once I get them. Another card I am considering is Phyrexian Furnace over Nihil Spellbomb, I might return back to Furnace. I had to do some painful cuts (ie. Rise/Fall, Recoil, Solemn Simulacrum) but this deck is definitely the best and I am really satisfied with it.
Further development:
Thoughtseize over Inquisition of Kozilek
Diabolic Edict over Chainer's Edict (not sure about this, but I got killed by my own Sphinx quite often - nasty Bribery, Diabolic Edict is tutorable with Teachings so maybe it will replace Chainer's)
Demonic Tutor over Duress (I might try mentioned Tainted Pact, not sure if I can play all nonbasics though)
Chrome Mox over Coalition Relic (although Coalition is quite superb acceleration, turn4 Ultimatum is nice...)
Ratchet Bomb over some spot removal (Ratchet Bomb would be very good for this deck as I think I would definitely use more mass removal)
Cryptic Command over Dismiss
6 fetchlands - these would help most, since they make Top and Brainstorm so much better - highest priority atm :]
9  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: Crosis control (budget?) on: 30-08-2010, 12:30:55 PM
Based on this discussion I made some crucial changes to the deck, I will discuss card swaps first, then post current decklist.

weakest spot first - lands:
Halimar Depths out / Ghost Quarter in (realized that tapped lands are really very painful, Ghost Quarter is budget replacement for Dust Bowl/Wasteland, sometimes it helps me to "fix" my mana by destroying my own land)
Island out / Talisman of Dominance/Indulgence in (Talismans proved very good, I'm not sure if I want to play more manastones, I think 6 is enough)
Izzet Boilerworks out / Steam Vents in
Mountain out / Arid Mesa in (Arid Mesa isn't ideal but it's the only fetchland I have that finds Steam Vents)
Swap+Mountain+Island out / Vault of Whisper+Great Furnace+Seat of Synod in (artifact lands come handy as desperate trinket mage tutor when screwed or they can be pitched to Thirst for Knowledge)

artifacts:
Relic of Progenitus out / Phyrexian Furnace in

critters: (I went with "accelerate through manastones into fatty"-plan)
Dimir Guildmage out, Ingot Chewer out, Solemn Simulacrum out (planned on playing with Solemn, but it is currently unavailable in my favourite cardshop, so it had to go...)
Duplicant, Nightscape Familiar, Sphinx of Jwar Isle, Frost Titan, Aeon Chronicler, Wrexial the Risen Deep in (maybe too much "finishers" but so far it works :] - other cards that I'm currently considering: Thraximundar, Meloku, Keiga and Grave Titan)

planeswalkers:
Sarkhan and Sorin both got axe (Bolas still too expensive for me)

enchantments:
Vapor Snare out / Treachery in
Control Magic out / Redirect in (technically these two cards are very different but they can function in somewhat similar ways and Redirect already proved very useful for me)

instants:
Bituminous Blast out / Agony Warp (went for cheaper removal and besides I already have 5 mana removal in Prophetic Bolt which is superior to Bituminous Blast)
Brainstorm out / Thirst for Knowledge in
Delay out / Miscalculation in
Doom Blade out / Ghastly Demise in
Into the Roil out / Careful Consideration in (Consideration is in fact sorcery speed in this deck, it might get replaced with Concentrate or Tidings)
Repulse out / Opportunity in (really want instant card draw, haven't decided yet if I won't replace Opportunity with Jace's Ingenuity)

sorceries: (most discard spells got removed and were substituted with card draw...)
Blightning / Consult the Necrosages / Probe and Stupor out
Ancestral Vision / Chainer's Edict / Deep Analysis in

::Version 2.0::
Lands(38):
10x Island
1x Mountain
5x Swamp
Arid Mesa
Bojuka Bog
Creeping Tar Pit
Crumbling Necropolis
Dimir Aqueduct
Evolving Wilds
Ghost Quarter
Graven Cairns
Great Furnace
Lavaclaw Reaches
Rakdos Carnarium
Reflecting Pool
Seat of the Synod
Shivan Reef
Steam Vents
Tectonic Edge
Terramorphic Expanse
Tolaria West
Vault of Whispers
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh

Artifacts(9):
Coalition Relic
Dimir Signet
Expedition Map
Izzet Signet
Phyrexian Furnace
Rakdos Signet
Sensei's Divining Top
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Indulgence

Creatures(17):
Aeon Chronicler
Duplicant
Flametongue Kavu
Frost Titan
Man-o'-War
Mulldrifter
Murderous Redcap
Nekrataal
Nightscape Familiar
Psychatog
Sea Gate Oracle
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Shriekmaw
Sphinx of Jwar Isle
Trinket Mage
Venser, Shaper Savant
Wrexial, the Risen Deep

Planeswalkers(1):
Liliana Vess

Enchantments(1):
Treachery

Instants(24):
Agony Warp
Careful Consideration
Condescend
Counterspell
Crosis's Charm
Deprive
Dismiss
Electrolyze
Fact or Fiction
Ghastly Demise
Lightning Bolt
Magma Jet
Mana Leak
Memory Lapse
Miscalculation
Mystical Teachings
Opportunity
Prophetic Bolt
Recoil
Redirect
Remand
Smother
Terminate
Thirst for Knowledge

Sorceries(11):
Ancestral Vision
Chainer's Edict
Compulsive Research
Cruel Ultimatum
Damnation
Deep Analysis
Duress
Firebolt
Hymn to Tourach
Inquisition of Kozilek
Rise/Fall

Avg. mana cost increased to 3.03 but it's quite manageable thanks to 38 lands and a lot of artifact sources.
Sidenote - we play with "old" big deck mulligan rule and with 101 cards minimum, therefore I think 38 lands is minimum for this deck.
Overall I am quite happy with the deck right now, the list is definitely not final but it is performing well and actually wins from time to time :]
Will report with further upgrades/swaps, for now - thanks for help!
10  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: Crosis control (budget?) on: 20-08-2010, 02:57:44 PM
It is, but I would add more big and dumb finishers. You could try to make the curve so that you drop an artifact accelerant on turn two, card draw/utility creature on turn three, and start dropping game winners once you reach six mana. Artifact accelerants can fix your mana as well. I would add the following:

- Talisman of Dominance
- Talisman of Indulgence
- Coldsteel Heart

I think you can cut two lands if you add these. 39 is too much, even if you are playing control.
Sounds like a plan! Will definitely add both Talisman and some fatties (Thraximundar, Wrexial, Duplicant, maybe even try that Nucklavee again...).

You don't have too many card draw spells with Compulsive and Fact or Fiction (in fact, I think you have way too few of those), control decks should try to find card advantage where ever they can, and drawing cards is the easiest way to do that.
Yes you are right, I should strengthen this part of the deck, I am considering playing Thirst for Knowledge with all those artifacts, and maybe Jace's Ingenuity or Opportunity?
11  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Re: Crosis control (budget?) on: 20-08-2010, 10:44:13 AM
Thank you both for your inputs! I will try to reply to some of your thoughts....
First of all, the discard theme. I also found it too unrealiable and not very good (even more horrible to topdeck in the lategame), yet I think I would stick to the "better" discards and will remove following cards: Blightning, Consult the Necrosages, Probe and Stupor.
Then there is the abandon one color idea. Sure I considered this too, but in the end there's so much Timmy in me, and nothing compares to the feeling when I cast Cruel Ultimaum :]. So I know it's probably the weakest point of the deck (mana base), but I really want to stay in grixis colors.

Now onto your specific advices:
I would suggest following changes:
+ Volrath's Stronghold        -Basic Land
+ Wasteland                        - Tectonic Edge
+ Maze of Ith                        - Basic Land
All three lands are great and (what I believe) staples for control decks, they are unfortunately out because of my budget constrains. Mystifying Maze comes to my mind as a budget alternative to Ith, don't know if it is any good though.

+ Engineered Explosives   - Recoil ( not a card which kills)
I was considering Explosives, but I think they are primarily good against aggro which is very scarce in our meta, Recoil stays in, saved me more than once (it can actually "kill" when the opponent's out of cards...)

+ Enclave Cryptologist    - Expedition Map( too less targets)
I tried Cryptologist, but he never performed very well, he requires loads of mana and dies too often, I might consider putting it back though. Expedition Map is there mainly for Bojuka, since our meta is plagued with graveyard abuse, but I admit it sometimes happen to be a dead card...

+ Redirect                       - Rise // Fall
+ chainer's edict            - Repulse
+ Fire Imp                        - Probe
+ Inferno Titan                  - Liliana Vess (only good with Combos, or in a Staxx)
+ Flameblast Dragon      - Ingot Chewer (don't necessary)
Redirect is fine I will consider it, will not swap it for Rise // Fall, since this is my pet card and one of the reasons why I am in these colors :]
Repulse should go when the discards spells are gone and I agree on some Edict (not sure if it's Chainer's or Diabolic though)
Fire Imp - never seen this little guy, its interesting, but I think Kavu+Redcap should cover this section (along with Nekrataal and Maw).
Probe is out
Inferno Titan - might fit, will definitely try it if I get my hands on it, Vess stays in, as Tiggupiru notes she is quite versatile and very often it sticks long enough to use her ultimate...
Flameblast Dragon - I think I have already finisher in Psychatog or I can put the blue Titan in, Ingot Chewer will probably go as I can get rid of artifacts quite easily through some bounce/discard/counters.

I would add Dust Bowl in the deck, which would also make the Expedition Map better.
Do you really think that Tectonic Edge is that much worse? We are allowed to destroy only utility lands such as Stronghold/Karakas/Maze and for that Tectonic Edge works quite good. I think adding second colorless producing land can worse the mana base even more, but I will definitely consider it as it is not that expensive card.

Nightscape Familiar is better. It blocks anything, and cheapens many of your other spells.
Thanks for the tip, Familiar is very good, don't know how I missed it, will definitely try it.

Shackles is probably too expensive for a budget deck, but Teachings is a really good card against control. I would not take it out, but would add Shackels.
Exactly - Shackles are too expensive, the card itself is quite ok (in terms of price), but I am afraid it is unplayable with my current manabase (nearly half of my lands are nonbasics) once I will get at least Ravnica shock lands I will consider it though. I am agonizing around Teachings a bit, it doesn't have enough targets (add Consume the Meek perhaps?), yet it stays in so far for further testing.

There are way better finishers than Flameblast Dragon, like Sphinx of Jwar Isle, which I think you should play.
Will try the Sphinx, it is probably better than blue Titan.

BTW, if you cascade into counterspells with the Bituminous Blast, you could just play it in a response of a spell you want to counter. Wink
I did try this and actually manage to counter something relevant - fun times :]

You might even want to change your Relic of Progenitus to Phyrexian Furnace to avoid messing with your own Tog.
Yep, Furnace or Scrabbling Claws goes in.

You need like 8 shuffle-effects for Brainstorm to be good.
Brainstorm's out.

Cards I would consider adding:
- Ancestral Vision
- Gifts Ungiven
- Ghastly Demise
- Agony Warp
- Deep Analysis
- Careful Consideration
Ancestral Vision should be there (Tolaria West target), I am not sure about Gifts (I know its absurdly powerful, I just think this is not right deck for it - would probably need some graveyard recursion? It is true that at least it feeds Psyhatog and Logic Knot - if I will add this counter...), Ghastly Demise is another "nonblack" removal - I think I have enough already with Doom Blade, and both Nekrataal and Maw, will probably put some Edict on this spot. I love Agony Warp, but I am very greedy too and I think this deck doesn't have enough critters to use this as "2 for 1", will probably try it though. Deep Analysis should go in. Careful Consideration is somewhat random Gifts Ungiven, which is why I don't think it belong here - besides I already play Facts and Compulsive Research...

Tonight I am gonna do some testing with the new deck and I will report the "final" decklist along with some comments. Thanks again.
12  MagicPlayer Highlander / Deck Lists / Crosis control (budget?) on: 17-08-2010, 12:35:29 PM
I have been trying to put together playable (if not tourney-viable, then at least casual/kitchen table-viable) Crosis/Grixis control deck. Problem is I am missing many key (read expensive) cards and my budget is tight. First I have to describe our meta, which is unfortunately quite different from "standard highlander". We have home rules such as players start at 30 life and almost all LD and mana denial cards are forbidden. These facts discourage playing aggro decks (still I managed to get to 6th place in our last tourney with WW-deck :]). This time I decided to play control instead, since 30 life cushion is just too high (and no-LD on top of it...). 
The list I present here is what I am playing with on Magic Online and in fact it is absolutely terrible. Obviously I have very hard time against fast aggro decks, but what bothers me more is that against control/midrange decks I manage to win quite small percentage of games too... I am wondering if the whole concept of the deck is just wrong or if it is possible to tune this up (perhaps abandon discard theme and substitute it with some combo?). What I see here as the biggest problem is manabase (no fancy duals/fetches in paper cards), therefore I tried to revamp the manabase online (where I have almost all duals and other expensive land cards), yet it didn't help that much and the deck just doesn't work. It is slow, clunky, just bad :]

Anyway, onto the list itself...

Lands(39): (too much ETB-tapped lands, but as will mostly face another control deck I don't think it is a big problem)
11x Island
7x Swamp
3x Mountain
Bojuka Bog
Creeping Tar Pit
Crumbling Necropolis
Dimir Aqueduct
Evolving Wilds
Graven Cairns
Halimar Depths
Izzet Boilerworks
Lavaclaw Reaches
Rakdos Carnarium
Reflecting Pool
Shivan Reef
Tectonic Edge
Terramorphic Expanse
Tolaria West
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Vivid Marsh

Artifacts(7):
Coalition Relic
Dimir Signet
Expedition Map (Trinket Mage package, mostly tutoring for Bojuka, sometimes for manland)
Izzet Signet
Rakdos Signet
Relic of Progenitus (Trinket Mage package)
Sensei's Divining Top (Trinket Mage package)

Creatures(14):
Dimir Guildmage   (too slow?)
Flametongue Kavu
Ingot Chewer      (considering Manic Vandal instead, not sure though)
Man-o'-War        (should I remove this guy?)
Mulldrifter
Murderous Redcap
Nekrataal         (there used to be Gatekeeper Malakir, but BBB was just too taxing)
Psychatog         (I am considering Frost Titan instead of this, but I am afraid the mana curve is crazy enough even without Titan)
Sea Gate Oracle   (there was Raven Familiar on this spot, but it was too expensive to keep it alive, not sure if this is good substitute though)
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Shriekmaw
Solemn Simulacrum
Trinket Mage
Venser, Shaper Savant

Planeswalkers(3):
Liliana Vess
Sarkhan, the Mad  (I should exchange this for Nicol Bolas once I get him)
Sorin Markov      (manacost is ugly but he won many games for me)

Enchantments(2):
Control Magic     (Treachery would be better but...)
Vapor Snare       (Bojuka Bog + Halimar Depths tech :])

Instants(23):
Bituminous Blast  (probably can be removed as it cascaded many times into counter, not sure yet)
Brainstorm        (not that good without fetches?)           
Condescend
Counterspell
Crosis's Charm
Delay             (Miscalculation instead?)
Deprive           (Bojuka Bog + Halimar Depths tech :])
Dismiss           (budget Cryptic Command?)
Doom Blade        (need cheap removal)
Electrolyze
Fact or Fiction
Into the Roil
Lightning Bolt
Magma Jet
Mana Leak
Memory Lapse
Mystical Teachings
Prophetic Bolt    (too expensive?)
Recoil
Remand
Repulse
Smother
Terminate

Sorceries(12):
Blightning
Compulsive Research
Consult the Necrosages
Cruel Ultimatum
Damnation
Duress
Firebolt
Hymn to Tourach
Inquisition of Kozilek
Probe
Rise // Fall
Stupor

==
Average converted manacost of the deck: 2.95 (uh oh..)

The concept, I had in mind when I built this, was, that I would disrupt opponent's hand in early turns, then ideally exile his/her graveyard and beat him with some finisher (Cruel Ultimatum, Psychatog or any of the PW). Unfortunately this happens in one of 10 games :]

Cards that would be good in my opinion, but didn't make it as I don't own them:
- better lands (Rev duals, Rav duals, Shm filter lands, fetches...)
- Nicol Bolas the PW
- Demonic Tutor
- Thoughtseize
- Treachery
- Cryptic Command
- Force of Will
- Mana Drain
- Jace the Cashsculptor
- Misdirection
- Bribery
etc. the list would be probably too long...

Other notable cards that I own but got removed somewhere in the process:
- Duplicant  (slow)
- Nucklavee  (not enough targets, at least for Red part...)
- Void (was actually quite good with all those Duresses and the like)
- Consuming Vapors (tried some lifegain, but this is not the right way)
- Future Sight (UUU too taxing for my budget lands)
- Phyrexian Arena + Graveborn Muse (life loss proved fatal in many games)
- Decree of Pain (too slow)
- Exclude/Negate/Countersquall/Spell Pierce/Spell Snare/ (I hate conditional counters)
- Opportunity/Jace's Ingenuity
- Draining Whelk (too slow)

I would be very obliged to recieve any comment on this abomination of a deck or suggestion how to make it little more competitive.
Thanks in advance!
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