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Mad Zur
08-09-2006, 10:01 PM
Note: This thread is for the discussion and further development of Blue/Green/Red Threshold only. Discussions on the other color splashes can be found elsewhere. As this thread is in the LMF, it will be heavily moderated to keep the discussion relevant and on-topic.



"Legacy Blue/Green/Red Gro/Threshold"

History / Overview

In 1997, Alan Comer demonstrated that one could run an absurdly low quantity of lands in a control deck and yet operate comfortably into the late-game thanks to cheap cantrips and library manipulation. His innovation was known as Turbo Xerox (http://www.classicdojo.org/deck/dk.970627ac.txt), a mono-blue control deck with an amazingly light land count of 17. While potentially losing some late game power in comparison to similar decks of the time, it made up for it in consistency. Comerís draw spells could be lands in the early-game, counters in the mid-game, and win conditions in the late-game, giving his deck far more flexibility than contemporary control decks.

This concept remained strong throughout the years, and in 2001 Comer created Miracle Grow, a blue/green Extended aggro-control deck based on efficient creatures, free counters, a low land count, and cheap library manipulation to tie it together. The deck went through a good deal of development after that (you can find decklists and history here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=sideboard/strategy/sb20020124b)), but the basic principles remained the same.

Legacy Gro began as a port of this archetype (or its later versions), but metagame pressures and the lack of Gush forced it towards a slightly more defensive strategy. Because Legacy has been dominated by aggro (particularly Vial Goblins) for most of its existence, access to early answers (in addition to library manipulation) is essential. This conflicts with Quirion Dryad, which is most effective when played early, so threshold creatures are preferred. It also requires the sort of efficient removal that can only be found in a third splash color (though three colors had been done before with Super Gro and Vintage GAT).

Red Gro, despite some early success predating the ďBig Arse 2Ē that brought the archetype in its various color combinations to mainstream attention, was not widely popularized until GP Philly, where Pat McGregor (SARCASTO) made it to the top eight with a list that can be found here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgevent/gpphi05/welcome#1). Nicholas Labarre took it to another top eight (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=mtgevent/gplill05/t8decks) finish at GP Lille the following month, where it made up nearly 15% of day two. Since these events, red Gro has been less successful and seemingly less prevalent at larger events than white, but is still held as a competitive route for the deck to take.

The advantages and disadvantages to running red Gro over the other options depend somewhat on build, and as of yet there is no standard build of red Gro, and no standard build of any other color combination for comparison. However, there are a few general points to be made.

The primary difference between red and the other potential splash colors is removal. Unlike white and black, redís removal is damage-based, creating a weakness to large creatures but providing for a slightly quicker clock when turned to the opponent, as well as never being completely dead. White doesnít have access to such a deep pool of removal as red does, and blackís is rarely versatile enough to justify running more than necessary. However, since red removal is never dead, it is possible to run considerably more, which stresses the advantages and the disadvantages of the color, or to run only the minimum, which makes the deck play nearly identically to the other versions.

If you choose to run the minimum of removal spells, the differences between red and the other color combinations will be subtle, and you will have to make the decision based on specific cards (especially sideboard cards). If you choose to run more, you will have an advantage against decks based on relatively vulnerable creatures (Goblins, Deadguy Ale), but a disadvantage against those with larger or less vulnerable ones (the mirror match, Angel Stompy). Your control and combo matchups will be only slightly affected in the former case, but if you find yourself cutting draw and counters for burn, they will likely become weaker.

Card Choices

Decklists are still quite varied within the archetype, and Groís draw engine allows it to take situational cards better than most decks, so there are a host of options I wonít be covering here. I can only explain some general guidelines, which may not always be correct. Feel free to suggest lists contrary to these suggestions if appropriate.

Draw

Brainstorm is the only universally agreed upon draw spell, though Serum Visions is in most lists youíll find. Visions digs deep into your library, but it takes either a full turn or another draw spell to get any use out of the card selection. This makes it excellent on turn one, but it becomes worse as you run out of cantrips in the mid/late-game. Portent is similar, but unlike Serum Visions, canít get you any card on the turn you play it. However, Portent can draw you any of the top three on the opponentís turn, making it faster at finding instants. Portent and Serum Visions have the distinction of being powerful enough to allow you to keep a one land hand with one of them almost every time, an area where they are even better than Brainstorm.

Mental Note is helpful at building threshold, but doesnít offer any library manipulation without a Brainstorm or Portent. It can make for a quick recovery from Tormodís Crypt and may be necessary if you play a low number of cantrips, but the lack of manipulation can hurt your mid/late game draws.

Predict is often included as a card advantage engine (working with Brainstorm, Serum Visions, Portent, and/or Magma Jet), but whether or not it is necessary is a matter of contention. It makes attrition wars such as those with board control and the mirror match much easier to fight, but is not very efficient at finding answers in the first few turns. Accumulated Knowledge has seen some play but has not shown up much recently.

At least 12 draw spells are necessary for the deck to run smoothly, and there is no real maximum, since they are nearly always useful. More draw spells improve your flexibility because they make it easier to find outs in any particular situation.

Removal

The deck needs at least 4 Lightning Bolt, and can run more if desired. Fire // Ice and Magma Jet are preferred for their versatility, but you have access to more efficient cards like Chain Lightning if efficiency is required.

More burn spells cut into the room for your draw engine, so theyíll generally weaken the deck against anything with non-creature threats or difficult to remove creatures. They do, however, give you a good amount of reach, keeping them from being dead in any matchup (in contrast to the removal options of the other colors). Fire // Ice and Magma Jet in particular offer other uses, but are still generally worse than most of the other cards in the deck in those matchups.

Counters / Disruption

The necessary counters are 4 Force of Will, 3-4 Daze, and some number of Counterspell. More hard counters help you against combo but arenít great against fast aggro and can be difficult to use in multiples early. Some builds run the full 4 Counterspells, especially those with fewer draw spells (and thus less ability to dig for counters when necessary), while many run less (and perhaps none). Disrupting Shoal sometimes shows up as a one-of.

As for additional answers, Pithing Needle is commonly run in the maindeck, though this may be metagame-dependent. It is useful against most decks, great against Goblins (shutting down Aether Vial) and a few other competitive decks, but poor in the mirror match and against Solidarity.

Any other more narrow answers usually found in the sideboard can be good for the maindeck in the right metagame, but none are very popular at the moment. This deck can deal with having a few dead cards in any given matchup thanks to the draw engine, so metagaming with a few slots is generally acceptable.

Creatures

Full sets of Werebear and Nimble Mongoose are mandatory, but whether or not to run any beyond that is a matter of some debate. A third creature helps you in your attrition wars against control decks and the mirror match, in addition to any other benefits it might have. However, since you only need one threat to have a clock, they only get in the way of your ability to find answers against combo, and since they tend to be slow, they are not great against Goblins.

Fledgling Dragon is usually the third creature of choice, being great in the mirror (trading with Enforcer and generally flying over bears) and against slower creature-based decks like Angel Stompy and RGSA (where it dodges FTK). Its cost makes it suicidal to play against Solidarity, and itís quite slow against Goblins.

Sea Drake is easier on the manabase than Dragon, as well as immune to graveyard removal, but worse in the mirror (not trading with Enforcer) and more vulnerable. Flametongue Kavu is great in some matchups but generally too narrow for the maindeck. Other options include Serendib Efreet, Burning Tree Shaman, and Quirion Dryad (notable for being in Labbareís 3rd place list at GP Lille).

Lands

The manabase is dependent on the rest of the deck, but there are a few general guidelines. A total of 17-18 lands with at least 15 blue sources is the accepted standard, with more helping your consistency. Since most if not all of your threats are green, a basic Forest will be very helpful against heavy or recurring disruption. If you run Fledgling Dragon, youíll probably want either a Mountain or a full set of Volcanic Islands to be more resilient to Wasteland (depending on the quantity of red spells in the deck and the prevalence of mana denial). Fetchlands are good for threshold and good with Brainstorm, but too many can make Predict difficult to use consistently. 6-8 is the typical range.

Sideboard

Here are a few of the more common or generally useful sideboard cards, although not nearly all of the possible choices. Note that anything discussed in the previous section but omitted (Fledgling Dragon, Pithing Needle, etc.) can be a good sideboard card.

Pyroclasm Ė Arguably the best anti-Goblin card for the archetype of any color. More generic than Tivadarís Crusade (useful against RGSA, Affinity, and various other aggro decks) as well as far easier to cast. Since you only need one colored mana to play it, you donít have to be vulnerable at all to mana denial if youíre holding a Volcanic Island.

Red Elemental Blast / Pyroblast Ė Great against Solidarity and any blue-based control deck. Youíll rarely want to bring it in in the mirror because itís so narrow, but if you donít have anything else to replace any maindecked dead (or near dead) cards, it can come in.

Flametongue Kavu Ė For midgame creature-based decks like RGSA as well as the mirror match (though it is situational there). Probably too slow against a dedicated aggro deck, but awesome in the right matchups.

Naturalize Ė Gives you an out to threats you otherwise have no way to remove. Crucial against Rifter to deal with a resolved Humility, and great against equipment-based decks.

Stifle Ė A decent card against Goblins (hitting primarily Ringleader and Matron), Rifter (Decree of Justice), and any combo deck, as well as an answer to Crypt.

Blue Elemental Blast / Hydroblast Ė Decent against Goblins and Burn, but less powerful than Pyroclasm. In an average metagame, Pyroclasm is still necessary, but if burn were the primary concern, BEB could replace it (or a few copies of it).

Tormodís Crypt Ė The best graveyard hate available for the mirror match, though Pithing Needle (both yours and your opponentsí) can make running Furnace or a mix of the two more reliable. Graveyard hate is also good against a few more obscure decks, such as Iggy Pop and Salvagers Game.

Phyrexian Furnace Ė Less powerful than Crypt, but more widely applicable. Better in a few other matchups because it cycles Ė anywhere that graveyard hate is useful but not always necessary, and you donít need to remove many cards (Rifter in particular). Comes in against Solidarity because it cycles and has a marginal effect. However, it tends to be worse in the mirror because it may not have an effect after the first few turns.

Winter Orb - A little less powerful than Armageddon, but used in essentially the same way (though there are a few matchups where Geddon comes in and Orb does not). Very good against Rifter or any of the other control decks that see play, but you'll need to protect it.

Matchups

I canít give you any percentages due to the large potential for variation between decklists (in both Gro and the other decks), but Iíll try to touch on the important points and bring up relevant sideboard options. Of course, I can only offer analysis of those matchups I'm familiar with, so this is not a comprehensive guide.

Goblins

This matchup is very close, and whether or not it is favorable may depend on your build. Your best tools for stabilizing are huge creatures, so staving off death until you can get some of those in play is your first concern. Lackey shouldnít be difficult to stop, but Vial can be problematic. Needle helps tremendously here, and thankfully Vial gives you a little bit of time to find the answer before it can drop any must-counters. Once you do establish a stalemate between their guys and yours, youíll eventually need to be able to start swinging with enough fat on defense to prevent any alpha strikes, and youíll be at a noticably reduced life total. This means you need to find at least two creatures and that you need have answers to an immediate threat the opponent could play. Taking care of Warchief is a priority for your burn, but youíll want to save counters for Ringleader and Siege-Gang if you can (this is where Vial can really kill you). If all goes well (which isnít easy because you need the correct balance of creatures, removal, and counters), they should be unable to attack without losing guys while you are free to swing in with something that they canít kill without throwing away multiple creatures. Gempalm can be problematic in this situation; extra Needles can name it and youíll want Mongooses on defense to be safe.

Sideboarding is difficult in this match; I favor taking out Dragon because it takes a while to come online. Furthermore, because youíll be bringing in Pyroclasm, evasion is less necessary. Taking out draw is an option, but dangerous. Being able to chain cantrips is even more important in game two, not only because you have Pyroclasm to dig for, but also because youíre likely to see Crypt and you want to be able to recover quickly.

Your basic strategy is the same, but Pyroclasm can either stabilize by itself or turn a creature stalemate into a dominant board position. The opponent may try to cut you off of red mana, but since you only need one, it should not be difficult to play around. If youíre worried, you can often hold a Volcanic Island in hand until you need it. Once again, make sure to keep the draw engine running; dig for those Pyroclasms and donít lose to Crypt.

Solidarity

Note: ďCountersĒ does not include Daze unless specified.

This should be your best matchup of the upper tier. Your general strategy should be to get one or two creatures out early and then concentrate your resources on finding more blue cards (draw and counters). Pay very close attention to your hand and your mana, as well as the mana you would have with a resolved High Tide. Try to maximize the ability you have to play counters at any given time, and if playing a draw spell would cut down on this number, you may want to reconsider, especially later in the game. It is obviously more difficult for the opponent to win at the end of his turn, so you have more room with instants, but he might be able to if you walk into it. As a general rule, never play Fledgling Dragon.

When the opponent does actually make an attempt to combo, you need to decide on something to counter and be consistent. You have three major options:
A) High Tide Ė Generally the best choice if you can afford it because the opponent only has four in the deck, and it will be very difficult for them to carry on a counter war without it. The biggest reason not to counter Tide is that you may be able to play more counters if you let it resolve. Sometimes itís still correct to counter it even if you end up playing one less counter overall, but often its okay to let it resolve if it helps you out.
B) Untap effects (Reset/Turnabout) Ė A common strategy because youíll have access to as many counters as possible, yet the opponent will still probably not have enough mana to play all his spells. The advantages are similar to countering Tide but it is slightly less effective. However, it allows you to abuse Tide fully.
C) Draw (Meditate, possibly Flash of Insight) Ė Sometimes this is the best option if the opponent has too many lands in play to expect to cut him off of his threats. The biggest problem is that giving them their mana lets them play multiple Freezes. However, if you will have lethal damage before drawing a card (or if you have Stifle), it is a viable option. Be aware that they may be able to play more threats this way (particularly the expensive ones like Wish->Meditate or Remanding their own spell).

Things you should be comfortable boarding out are Fledgling Dragon, Pithing Needle, any burn, and possibly even an off-color basic. Things to consider bringing in are red blasts, Stifle, anything that draws cards, and anything that can be pitched to FoW. Your strategy doesnít change much post-board but the opponent may have more Freezes, so be wary of letting Tide and untap spells resolve.

Gro (the mirror)

Draw spells should chain into more draw spells whenever possible so you donít fall behind in card quality. Finding creatures should be your second priority. Any counters you end up with should hit creatures, particularly Mystic Enforcer or Fledgling Dragon because you canít remove them easily once they resolve. This is especially important for Enforcer, because a white build will have an easier time removing your Dragons so you canít set up a trade. Bolts should hopefully get shuffled back into the deck along with the excess lands and Pithing Needles. Dazeís usefulness varies. If your opponent ever taps out for a creature, you should probably Daze it. (On a related note, avoid tapping out for creatures.) It will more likely be used during a counter war or possibly on an early cantrip.

Against white Gro youíll probably be at a slight disadvantage because they have Swords to Plowshares, but the matchup is still very close. Against black, your removal can hit Confidant, and should do so immediately or you risk being overwhelmed. Needle and burn are good to board out, and graveyard hate and anything that is a creature or kills a creature is a good candidate for coming in. Crypt is the most common hate to expect, and is just another reason your first priority when resolving cantrips is to find more cantrips. Black Gro may board Diabolic Edict and white Worship or Nantuko Monastery. Your general strategy wonít change.

Rifter

This matchup is difficult, and possibly unfavorable, but given the variation between Rifter lists itís difficult to be sure. The amount of removal (especially mass removal) they have for your threats is generally the key factor. If you donít know anything about their build, itís usually best to play cautiously, dropping one threat at a time and focusing on keeping your draw engine running. You want your creatures to run them out of cards, but save your counters for Humility (and Abeyance protecting Humility). Eventually, if this plan works, you can ride one threat to victory, burn him out, or play multiple creatures and counter the rest of his removal (if you know you have enough counters). If you know he doesn't play much mass removal, you can try a more aggressive strategy - play multiple threats early and try to counter the little he does have.

Your biggest obstacles in depleting him of answers are Decree of Justice first and Eternal Dragon second (because it is slower and does not directly impact the board until very late in the game). Fortunately, both can be answered with Pithing Needle, though the opponent is likely to have a maindeck answer for it, which forces you to make some tough decisions Ė what to do with extra Needles and whether to counter Disenchant. Lightning Rift isnít much of a problem unless it comes down very early or with Dragon online. You will also invariably lose some games because you couldnít stop a Humility (though if the opponent is in burn range you still have a shot).

Removal and Daze are the best things to board out. Boarding out draw is once again a poor option because the game is likely to go long and you need to keep up with his removal. Things to board in include creatures, answers to Humility, Stifle, Phyrexian Furnace, and anything that can attack his lands (Winter Orb, Flashfires). Thereís not much of a standard for what to expect from Rifter post-board, but Boil, Red Elemental Blast, and Tormodís Crypt have all seen play. Your strategy doesnít generally change except that you are more able to let Humility resolve if you have Naturalize.

_____

Note that the above is largely based on my experience with the deck, and is not necessarily correct in all cases. This thread exists for the discussion of these topics, so please feel free to add to or debate any of the things I've said here.

The old Gro thread can be found here (http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=626). Many of these subjects have been discussed at length there.

Here's a sample decklist for reference and discussion, which I would recommend for a modern North American tournament (like those referenced here (http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/12455.html)):

4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Fledgling Dragon

4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Predict

4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
3 Daze

4 Lightning Bolt
3 Pithing Needle

4 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
3 Flooded Strand
3 Wooded Foothills
3 Island
1 Forest

The burn is kept to a minimum to avoid significantly weakening non-aggro matchups, while sixteen draw spells generally let you find removal when you need it. Fore a more aggro-heavy field, extra burn may be a good idea, and Pithing Needle could be cut in some metagames. I favor Fledgling Dragon as the tertiary creature; in most situations where it is difficult to cast, you should be boarding out the third creature anyway.

The main advantage this deck would have over a similar white list is the ability to sideboard Pyroclasm, which is not only the cheapest answer to Goblins, but a fairly versatile one (a very important quality right now in the largely unpredictable Legacy field). The most notable disadvantage would be the loss of Swords to Plowshares, which will be relevant primarily in the mirror but also against less prevalent decks like Angel Stompy and RGSA. I would play this list in an environment where Goblins is very popular but the other DTBs (particularly Gro and Solidarity) make a strong showing.

Lukas Preuss
08-11-2006, 05:24 AM
Good job... this is a very thorough analysation of one of the best decks in the format (and yet it's still underplayed in comparision to its white brother).

I think Burning-Tree Shaman deserves a lot more attention. In my opinion, it is one of the strongest creatures that you can run in this deck... Its mana cost is much easier to support than Fledgind Dragon's, it has a great 3/4 for just three mana, and it's ability can single-handedly cripple some decks in this format.

What do you think?

URABAHN
08-11-2006, 08:11 AM
Good job... this is a very thorough analysation of one of the best decks in the format (and yet it's still underplayed in comparision to its white brother).

I think Burning-Tree Shaman deserves a lot more attention. In my opinion, it is one of the strongest creatures that you can run in this deck... Its mana cost is much easier to support than Fledgind Dragon's, it has a great 3/4 for just three mana, and it's ability can single-handedly cripple some decks in this format.

What do you think?

It's all about cheap threats. If you were to Burning-Tree Shaman, then you'd have to cut Fledgling Dragon or Werebear. Seriously, what would you cut? Also, Pithing Needle and Burning Tree Shaman work against each other.

Furthermore, your fetchlands + Burning Tree Shaman work against each other. Not to beat a dead horse, but Fledgling Dragon + Burning Tree Shaman work against each other! Having a couple of 4-cost 5/5 fliers in the form of Fledgling Dragon is much better than having a 3/4 body for 3 mana. Even Werebear and Nimble Mongoose are better threats. Werebear because it's a 4/4 and Mongoose because it can't be the target of spells or abilities.

BoardinCharlie
08-11-2006, 09:20 AM
Recently spending a whole evening testing out BTS I have come to find it's uses in the following matchups compared to Fledgling dragon spot*feel free to add if you have done any testing*:

Gobblin: Finds itslef running into chumpers consistantly, its lack of evasion makes him much less of a threat. Best attribute had to be when the board gets to a ground stall Opponents will be vialing, fetching, porting, and wastelanding you adding up pings to their face placing them in a much better range to just burn them out. In overall testing he is becoming better with the new versions of Gobbos main decking Swords/Geddons.

Rifter: Tends to be a positive choice in this match up. Even though it takes one less lightning rift activation to kill him they are taking points each time they do so *for the cylcing not the triggering of rift*. Lack of evasion doesn't matter as much unless DoJ goes off. The only set back I have found is multiple games previously I found myself tossing out a Dragon then swinging in and firebreathing for the win.

Solidarity: Positive overall. It costs less so not as much of a stress to tap out in early turns. Makes them take extra dmg from fetches.

Mirror White or Red: Negative. Only takes down Mongoose, both use same amount of fetches. Has a hard time pushing through any dmg since no evasion.

Fairie Stompy: Negative. Even though they run an Equipment arsenal it only takes one equip to stop games due to their evasion. Many of their creatures either trades or survives *besides cloud and trinket mage*.

Pikula/ BW Confidant: Positive. His low casting cost and lack of requiring double red really pushes this creature into the plus side. Larger than all but one of their creatures which are nice to see against him *shade = hatred pretty much*. Especially if they are running scroll in the main lets you kind of keep up with the race. Fetches and Wastes cost them more and you find yourself being able to burn them out in top deck mode. Since they pack swords a big body is a big body and he does the job.

The biggest problem with him is I find that most of the time you board into Needle in problem matches which contradicts most of BTS's gameplan. But as a mainboard slot I'm finding him more useful.

kicks_422
08-11-2006, 09:58 PM
It's funny that the white splash is played more often, but in matchup analysis for lots of decks, they keep on saying that the red splash is a harder match... And since Legacy is right now a very wide-open format, UGR Thresh should be seeing lots more play...

As for the BTS discussion, I too don't think that it's needed... I'd rather have a flying beater that swings for 7 than a 3/4 with no evasion that pings for once or twice a turn...

Lego
08-12-2006, 12:56 AM
The reason that UGw Thresh has been picking up in popularity is that the combo matchup is much better. It does better versus Solidarity, Nausea, Iggy Pop, Salvager Game, basically every combo. It also has a better matchup versus Angel Stompy.

The question then becomes a metagame call. If you expect more random aggro and Goblins, red Thresh is a better choice. If there's more Solidarity and other combo, the white splash is better.

On another note, whatever happened to the Magma Jet versions? Along with Brainstorm and Serum Visions, it makes Predict awesome, without having to run 16 cantrips. I never had a problem with 12 cantrips, 8 burn, 10 counters, 10 creatures, 17 lands. That leaves 3 open spots, which I used to fill with Fire/Ice, but could be Pithing Needle. It makes your curve a little bit higher, so I sometimes ran another land as well.

Is anybody running the red splash, and if so, what's your cantrip/burn/counter base looking like? With 8 or 10 burn spells, is it even necessary to run the Dragon?

Bongo
08-12-2006, 07:42 PM
With 8 or 10 burn spells, is it even necessary to run the Dragon?

I'm also wondering whether it is best to drop the Dragon. 4 mana is already tough to get, even more so when you're under Wasteland attack.

What are your experiences with an 8-creature version?

kicks_422
08-12-2006, 08:17 PM
I have been using an 8-creature version, and it has been doing well... You only need one threat on the board anyway, and all the draw and library manipulation make sure that you get it... Burn also helps with reach, so I believe that the red splash has the viability of running only 8 creatures...

Citrus-God
08-13-2006, 03:30 AM
The reason that UGw Thresh has been picking up in popularity is that the combo matchup is much better. It does better versus Solidarity, Nausea, Iggy Pop, Salvager Game, basically every combo. It also has a better matchup versus Angel Stompy.

The question then becomes a metagame call. If you expect more random aggro and Goblins, red Thresh is a better choice. If there's more Solidarity and other combo, the white splash is better.

On another note, whatever happened to the Magma Jet versions? Along with Brainstorm and Serum Visions, it makes Predict awesome, without having to run 16 cantrips. I never had a problem with 12 cantrips, 8 burn, 10 counters, 10 creatures, 17 lands. That leaves 3 open spots, which I used to fill with Fire/Ice, but could be Pithing Needle. It makes your curve a little bit higher, so I sometimes ran another land as well.

Is anybody running the red splash, and if so, what's your cantrip/burn/counter base looking like? With 8 or 10 burn spells, is it even necessary to run the Dragon?


I still run wastedlife's old version of UGr ThreshGro. I just ran it because it ran a lot of burn and doesnt really run out on fuel around midgame.

noobslayer
08-13-2006, 08:59 AM
If you wanted to keep a flying beater, Serendib Efreet is still an option. His mana is much easier to acquire than dragon's, he comes down earlier, and can be pitched to FoW.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-13-2006, 10:44 AM
Ok, although Fledgling Dragon might not seem all that hot due to it's high cc and the fact that often times your mana base is attacked, it is still crucial to the deck in my mind. Just running 8 creatures seems way to risky, and the deck is just asking for trouble with that low of a creature count with no bombs. Dragon can end a game, literally. With threshold, this thing is a bomb. I definetely believe that this card is very necessary in this deck. And if your mana base is under fire, with so many cantrips and such, finding land shouldn't be an impossible task. If you use Dragon correctly, it can be huge.

Firebrothers
08-13-2006, 01:22 PM
I agree that using a late game beater is better than only 8 creatures, I ran a pretty basic list last night in a tournement and all too often in the late game I struggled to get those last points of damage in because I was only running 8 creatures. I'm not sure if the Dragon or Quirion Dryad is the right choice, but this deck definatly needs a late game creature.

Please read the Forum Rules (http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=624) before posting in the LMF. Use of punctuation and the Shift Key are not optional.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-13-2006, 05:49 PM
... In my opinion, Dragon is far superior to Dryad.. it's almost a no brainer. Would you like a big flyer with firebreathing or some tiny 1/1 that grows when you play spells?? I mean come on, especially if you are talking about late game beats, Fledgling dragon is far superior to Dryad.

rsaunder
08-13-2006, 07:40 PM
... In my opinion, Dragon is far superior to Dryad.. it's almost a no brainer. Would you like a big flyer with firebreathing or some tiny 1/1 that grows when you play spells?? I mean come on, especially if you are talking about late game beats, Fledgling dragon is far superior to Dryad.
Wait...was this in the debate? I thought dryad had been ditched some time ago for dragon, sea drake, or my personal favorite--Serendeb efritti.

MadZur: In the last dual land draft (in 'cuse), were you running the 8 creature version, or the 10 version? I remember playing you first round and seeing nothing in 3 games but mongeese and bears.

FallenOmnipotent
08-13-2006, 09:07 PM
There is also the option of Isochron Scepter. It's not that popular right now, but if you look on the first post of this thread, it has posted results. I brought such a build (2x Scepters in my "9-10x Creature slot") and went 4-0. It was a smaller tourney... ~15 people(?) I ended up playing a newb and 3 Goblins. As you guys know, R splash thresh beats gobs. With scepter, OWNS gobs.

It makes you even more vunerable to Pernicious deed, but you don't see too much of that anymore. It makes people SB in some Pithing Needles which a pretty dead. I had 2x Dragons in my SB, but never SBed them in. But then again, I got pretty lucky parings.

Just my 2 cents.

Lego
08-13-2006, 09:18 PM
Even running 10 creatures, it's quite common to rarely play the finisher. With all the of selection inherent in the cantrip base run, it's farely easy to avoid the finisher if he would simply be overkill. I would certainly not say that Fledgling Dragon is useless, and there are some games that he pulls you out of the same way that Enforcer does in the white splash, but I wonder if he is not simply a crutch. Would the spot be better for cards like Fire/Ice that serve a purpose early game, and go to the head later on? I don't know how many situations arise wherein Fledgling Dragon is crucial and you couldn't have avoided the situation with better play earlier in the match.

As for Quirion Dryad, the main reason for me not to run her is that she made me do things with the deck that I shouldn't have done. Whenever she's out, you naturally want to grow her just for the sake of growing her, when sometimes it is a much better idea to hold back your spells, and I found that I made a lot more play mistakes unwittingly while she was in play. I feel like this is because she doesn't fit the plan of the deck as well as it may at first seem. She seems more aggro than I wanted to be most of the time, and Werebear was usually just better. Then again, I've only ever tested her in that spot.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-13-2006, 10:04 PM
As for Quirion Dryad, the main reason for me not to run her is that she made me do things with the deck that I shouldn't have done. Whenever she's out, you naturally want to grow her just for the sake of growing her, when sometimes it is a much better idea to hold back your spells, and I found that I made a lot more play mistakes unwittingly while she was in play. I feel like this is because she doesn't fit the plan of the deck as well as it may at first seem. She seems more aggro than I wanted to be most of the time, and Werebear was usually just better. Then again, I've only ever tested her in that spot.


QFT. You hit the nail on the head Lego, If I were running Dryad in this build, I too would play spells just for the sake of pumping the Dryad. On to the topic of Isochron Scepter. I have always loved scepter, being a former Scepter Chant player myself, but I'm not sure if it belongs in this deck. Yeah it would be sweet to have Scepter out in alot of matchups, but is it really worth the slots over those 2 finishing creatures?? I myself am not a Threshold player, but I would be interested to see what people think.

The Marco
08-14-2006, 12:43 PM
Hey Guys,
This is my first post on the source, so hi to everyone.
I have been lurking on this forum for the past two years but never posted.
I have been a UGR thresh player for the past year or so. I've always played the Dragon in the finisher slots but recently decided to try the Scepter. I tried it at the Canadian Legacy Championship and it was a bomb. Against heavy control you imprint a counterspell, Ice can help you deal with a large creature and give you card advantage, Fire...duh...I guess it's pretty good for just about any situation... Anyways you get the idea. Don't get me wrong the dragon is ok, but rather easy to deal with, the Scepter surpises many players and forces them to board in artifact hate.
I came in 10th at the Canadian Champ. with this deck not making top 8 on bad tie breaker.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-14-2006, 01:17 PM
Welcome to the source The Marco, congrats on your near finish in T8 at the Canadian Championships. I'm still in a toss-up over which is better, Fledgling Dragon or Isochron Scepter.. both are just soo juicy in the deck.... I see your success with scepter, yet in any of your matchups, did you wish those sticks were big fat Flegdling Dragons???

The Marco
08-14-2006, 01:43 PM
Thanks Shady,

First off,
Let me start with the decklist I used for the tournament :

3- Flooded Strand
4- Wooded Foothills
4- Volcanic
4- Tropical
1- ISland
1- Mountain
1- Forest

4- Werebear
4- Mongoose
4- Fire/Ice
4- Lightning Bolt
2- Magma Jet
4- Predict
4- Brainstorm
4- Serum
4- FOW
3- Daze
3- Counterspell
2- Isochron

SB:
3- Pyroblast
2- Pyroclasm
2- Rolling Earthquake
3- Pithing Needle
2- Tromod Crypt
3- Naturalize

To answer your question, it did not happen during the tournament that I drew a Scepter and i wished it was a Dragon but I can see your point, since it did happen in testing a few times. I used to play only one copy of the scepter and one dragon... that might be the way to go. If they don't see your scepter game 1 they do not bring in hate. The only problems I had with the Scepter was drawing it late and not casting right it away for lack of good spells to imprint. But every time I casted it people jaws hit the floor for lack of answer to it.
And yes I do realize that my sideboard needs some tuning after the recent pick up in popularity of combo decks.

The Marco
08-15-2006, 02:55 PM
Anyone tested Book Burning? I know it does not cantrip, but it gives you Threshold with a single card or your opponent takes 6 damages. It's probably not that good but if anyone tested it I'd be interested to know if they liked it!

quicksilver
08-15-2006, 03:04 PM
Anyone tested Book Burning? I know it does not cantrip, but it gives you Threshold with a single card or your opponent takes 6 damages. It's probably not that good but if anyone tested it I'd be interested to know if they liked it!

oh my God, I can't belive I have never thought of book burning before. So unless they have Book Burning, you do 6 damage to them. Then you also get instant threshold. Also if you are trying to deck them to win, omg, better than breaking your own standstill! And you can be like "Do you have Book Burning?" and they are all like "what?", and you say "Do you have Book Burning?" and they don't obviously so they take 6 and you get threshold.

[/sarcasm]

Reminds me of the time way back when, when an opponent played a thrid turn Barbarian Bully. He then discarded 5 cards at random to it and said "You don't have Barbarian Bully so you take 4 damage 5 times and you die". He also didn't notice the once per turn clause. It's funny how those cards, if you inserted some punctuation in just the right place, could become rather broken. Barbarian Bully would be insane if it said:
"Discard a card at random from your hand: Barbarian Bully gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Unless a player has Barbarian Bully, deal 4 damage to him or her"


Ok, no book burning is an aweful terrible card. The deck doesn't need to get threshold that bad that it will just throw away a card to do so (and two mana sorcery that uses an off color too).

The Marco
08-15-2006, 04:07 PM
oh my God, I can't belive I have never thought of book burning before. So unless they have Book Burning, you do 6 damage to them. Then you also get instant threshold. Also if you are trying to deck them to win, omg, better than breaking your own standstill! And you can be like "Do you have Book Burning?" and they are all like "what?", and you say "Do you have Book Burning?" and they don't obviously so they take 6 and you get threshold.

[/sarcasm]

Reminds me of the time way back when, when an opponent played a thrid turn Barbarian Bully. He then discarded 5 cards at random to it and said "You don't have Barbarian Bully so you take 4 damage 5 times and you die". He also didn't notice the once per turn clause. It's funny how those cards, if you inserted some punctuation in just the right place, could become rather broken. Barbarian Bully would be insane if it said:
"Discard a card at random from your hand: Barbarian Bully gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Unless a player has Barbarian Bully, deal 4 damage to him or her"


Ok, no book burning is an aweful terrible card. The deck doesn't need to get threshold that bad that it will just throw away a card to do so (and two mana sorcery that uses an off color too).

Any actual testing with the card?

quicksilver
08-15-2006, 04:11 PM
Any actual testing with the card?

No, it's just a really bad card. I would probably test mountain goat before I tested book burning.

The Marco
08-15-2006, 04:14 PM
No, it's just a really bad card. I would probably test mountain goat before I tested book burning.

Right... I'm sure you would

Firebrothers
08-15-2006, 06:35 PM
i tested with it before and i figures that mental note was strickly better, book burning does give you thresh in one turn but is often an overcommitment in your first few turns because it is a sorcery, if it was an instant it may be viable imo but for now i think thresh is fine without it

Proper use of capitalization and punctuation is required on these boards. Please use them. - Zilla

The Marco
08-15-2006, 09:58 PM
i tested with it before and i figures that mental note was strickly better, book burning does give you thresh in one turn but is often an overcommitment in your first few turns because it is a sorcery, if it was an instant it may be viable imo but for now i think thresh is fine without it

Thanks man, that is the kind of intelligent comment backed by experience that is was looking for. I'm just trying to shake things up a little!

AnwarA101
08-15-2006, 10:17 PM
No, it's just a really bad card. I would probably test mountain goat before I tested book burning.

Well isn't that a bit harsh. I think he meant to say that Book Burning doesn't do much to develop your early game. You might do 6 points of damage to your opponent, but that really won't matter against an aggro deck that is killing you right now. The real problem is that Book Burning doesn't replace itself like Mental Note and just like Mental Note it gives you no card selection. Though I really think that Mental Note is a misassignment role as well. This deck plays its early turns as a control deck and builds threshold while finding relevant spells for the current matchup. If you build threshold naturally (ie via good cantrips) you have a better hand and better control over what cards end up in your hand. If you do this threshold becomes an afterthought and not the main reason for a specific card like Mental Note or Book Burning.

noobslayer
08-15-2006, 10:25 PM
I share Anwar's sentiments. While yes, having thresh quick in some match-ups can be an advantage, I think overall card quality provided by more powerful spells like Predict will you see safely through more games.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-16-2006, 01:21 AM
I also have to agree with Anwar... you don't want to focus on JUST getting theshold. That's when you start to run into problems and you begin making play mistakes just because you want seven cards in your graveyard. With overall smooth play and early well played cantrips, threshold will indeed come easier than you may think. Don't over extend with cards such as Book Burning, they are actually not as useful as they may appear to be.

The Marco
08-16-2006, 02:06 AM
Good point Anwar,

Like I said, the card is probably not that great, but at the very least can be discussed (hopefully in a mature and polite way).

Just to stir things up a little any of you tested Strategic Planning.
I'm currently testing it in the draw 13 and 14 spot, with surprising results!
I'm pretty sure that card is better than Mountain Goat...

Any thoughts or actual testing of the card.

Lego
08-16-2006, 04:03 AM
Just to stir things up a little any of you tested Strategic Planning.

Any thoughts or actual testing of the card.

I tested it for a little bit back when they first announced that Portal would be legal. It has two major drawbacks in my opinion:

1) It costs two
2) It's a sorcery

If a cantrip costs two in this deck, it better be drawing you more than one, or doing something else significant (which this arguably does, by adding to Threshold.) The big problem is that it's a sorcery, which is a rather large deal. For one less mana you get Mental Note at instant speed, which adds exactly as many cards to your graveyard and nets you exactly as many cards. After only a small amount of testing I decided that paying one more and attaching the drawback of Sorcery speed was not worth the one-time Sensei's Divining Top effect.

AnwarA101
08-16-2006, 01:05 PM
I tested it for a little bit back when they first announced that Portal would be legal. It has two major drawbacks in my opinion:

1) It costs two
2) It's a sorcery

If a cantrip costs two in this deck, it better be drawing you more than one, or doing something else significant (which this arguably does, by adding to Threshold.) The big problem is that it's a sorcery, which is a rather large deal. For one less mana you get Mental Note at instant speed, which adds exactly as many cards to your graveyard and nets you exactly as many cards. After only a small amount of testing I decided that paying one more and attaching the drawback of Sorcery speed was not worth the one-time Sensei's Divining Top effect.


Yes Strategic Planning does cost 2 and that is a big drawback to the card, but I still think its better than Mental Note. At least Strategic Planning allows both card selection as well as building threshold. Mental Note provides no card selection at all. Strategic Planning should be more likely compared to Predict which puts 2 cards in the yard and with setup can draw you 2 cards as well. Strategic Planning puts 3 in the yard, but only 1 in your hand. I haven't tested with Strategic Planning, but I would be more inclined to test it rather than Mental Note.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-16-2006, 01:32 PM
Althought Strategic Planning is a sorcery, it obviousely does allow for better card selection than Mental Note, which provides none. I believe that it is purely a judgement call in the sense that you need to determine which you would rather have, an EOT 1cc cantrip that tosses two into the graveyard, or a 2cc sorcery that lets you dig through three cards, BUT leave you susceptible while tapping out on turn two unless you have Daze or FOW. I haven't been a fan of sorcerys in the deck with the exception of Serum Visions, but then again, I don't play this deck. It just seems like a turn 2 sorcery could have too many drawbacks.

Sea R Hill
08-16-2006, 01:54 PM
Strategic planning sucks.

Why?

Because it is 2cc. You can't afford that in a ******** deck. Mental Note is quicker.

You still have brainstorm to choose cards. And if you have 2 mana during your turn play brainstorm then Mental Note and get rid of 2 dead cards (often lands...).

Bryant Cook
08-16-2006, 01:59 PM
Strategic planning sucks.

Why?

Because it is 2cc. You can't afford that in a ******** deck. Mental Note is quicker.

You still have brainstorm to choose cards. And if you have 2 mana during your turn play brainstorm then Mental Note and get rid of 2 dead cards (often lands...).
You're often looking for lands when you cast cantrips. Mental note mills them away, hense why it doesn't belong. Just play predict and be good players.

iOWN
08-16-2006, 03:10 PM
You're often looking for lands when you cast cantrips. Mental note mills them away, hense why it doesn't belong. Just play predict and be good players.

In order to not mill lands away with Predict (even though players often Predict them) you have to first use Visions/Brainstorm to stack first, right? So in the same situation, you can Brainstorm, put back two cards you don't want, and then Mental Note. Predict holds nothing above Mental Note.

Mental Note - One Mana - 0 Card Advantage - +3 Thresh - Instant
Predict - Two Mana - 0 to +1 Card Advantage - +2 Thresh - Instant

It really isn't that different.

I actually run both in the same deck sometimes. (4 Brainstorm, 4 Visions, 4 Note, 2 Predict.)

As far as cantrips go, I've been considering even Opt. It doesn't do much in the way of Threshold, but it provides choice at instant speed (a tad bit less than Serum Visions, but instant speed nonetheless).

Bryant Cook
08-16-2006, 04:11 PM
In order to not mill lands away with Predict (even though players often Predict them) you have to first use Visions/Brainstorm to stack first, right? So in the same situation, you can Brainstorm, put back two cards you don't want, and then Mental Note. Predict holds nothing above Mental Note.

Mental Note - One Mana - 0 Card Advantage - +3 Thresh - Instant
Predict - Two Mana - 0 to +1 Card Advantage - +2 Thresh - Instant

It really isn't that different.

I actually run both in the same deck sometimes. (4 Brainstorm, 4 Visions, 4 Note, 2 Predict.)

As far as cantrips go, I've been considering even Opt. It doesn't do much in the way of Threshold, but it provides choice at instant speed (a tad bit less than Serum Visions, but instant speed nonetheless).

Sorry, but cards in hand>cards in graveyard. Card quality is everything, and mental note doesn't help the least bit. It's random, and it'll never change, unless you're playing portent with it. Then you'll have to cast mental note the same turn to draw that 1 card you wanted. Then you'll get a random card off of portent. The fact of the matter is mental note doesn't belong here.

iOWN
08-16-2006, 04:35 PM
Sorry, but cards in hand>cards in graveyard. Card quality is everything, and mental note doesn't help the least bit. It's random, and it'll never change, unless you're playing portent with it. Then you'll have to cast mental note the same turn to draw that 1 card you wanted. Then you'll get a random card off of portent. The fact of the matter is mental note doesn't belong here.

Predict is just as random as Mental Note is. In order to have it be any better (in fact, it's worse without it) you have to have stacked the deck. Well, if you stacked the deck, you can Mental Note away the cards you don't want and draw one. At instant speed for one mana.

Like it says in the original post, Gro was an archetype based off of the idea that control can function on a low land count if it uses cantrips and free counters. Any cantrips casting two are pretty much situational, since the deck wants to run without needing lands.

Predict eats up your mana. With a casting cost of two, you're going to need at least have three lands out anyways before you can even make full use of it. The difference with Mental Note is that it can be cast any time during the game, quickly gets Thresh, and will still leave you open mana. Predict interferes with playing any win conditions, and takes another cantrip to stack before use. I'd say I would rather see a Note most of the time.

Obfuscate Freely
08-16-2006, 04:49 PM
Predict is just as random as Mental Note is. In order to have it be any better (in fact, it's worse without it) you have to have stacked the deck. Well, if you stacked the deck, you can Mental Note away the cards you don't want and draw one. At instant speed for one mana.
What's important is that Predict is much better with setup, because drawing 2 cards is better than drawing 1. Without setup, Predict might be worse, but the number of times you actually have to cast a blind Predict is very low.


Like it says in the original post, Gro was an archetype based off of the idea that control can function on a low land count if it uses cantrips and free counters. Any cantrips casting two are pretty much situational, since the deck wants to run without needing lands.

Predict eats up your mana. With a casting cost of two, you're going to need at least have three lands out anyways before you can even make full use of it.
Since it costs two, you only need two lands to play it. Gro really wants to make the second-turn land drop, anyway, so that isn't an issue.


The difference with Mental Note is that it can be cast any time during the game, quickly gets Thresh, and will still leave you open mana. Predict interferes with playing any win conditions, and takes another cantrip to stack before use. I'd say I would rather see a Note most of the time.
The difference with Predict is that it is actually decent throughout the game, instead of being better than marginal only in the first few turns. It's also pretty absurd to claim that a 2cc instant "interferes with playing any win conditions," and I can say from experience that I would hardly ever rather see Mental Note than Predict (or Brainstorm, Portent, or Serum Visions, for that matter).

The Marco
08-16-2006, 04:59 PM
Here is the built that I am currently testing, like I said I'm testing Strategic in the draw slot 13 and 14 (after Brainstorm, Serum and Predict). So far the card quality resulting from Strategic planning and Predict as been excellent...Don't get me wrong Mental note is quite good to but does not generate card advantage the way Predict does... Also here do not forget that red enables you to play Magma jet in order to set up your predict to further reduce the risk of randomness and generate card advantage. I know I'm currently not playing them because of the testing of SP in their usual spot. I also upped the number of daze to 4 to support SP.


3- Flooded Strand
4- Wooded Foothills
4- Volcanic
4- Tropical
1- ISland
1- Mountain
1- Forest

4- Werebear
4- Mongoose
4- Fire/Ice
4- Lightning Bolt
2- Strategic Planning
4- Predict
4- Brainstorm
4- Serum
4- FOW
4- Daze
2- Counterspell
1- Isochron
1- Fledgling

SB:
3- Pyroblast
2- Pyroclasm
2- Rolling Earthquake
3- Pithing Needle
2- Tromod Crypt
3- Naturalize

Lego
08-17-2006, 02:28 AM
@The Marco: I like your build a lot (although I still question Stategic Planning, but I wouldn't ever tell you to play Mental Note. I just have a hard time with a 2CC Sorcery) but I've never played 4 Fire/Ice. Are they just super in your meta, or do you like them in general? I swear by Magma Jet in my Red thresh, and I feel like even a 2/2 split could make your Predicts a lot better.

The Marco
08-17-2006, 02:58 AM
Hum... Interesting... a 2/2 split, you know what I never thought about (no sarcasm), I've always thought that Fire/Ice were so good that I never tried cutting them (card versatility and advantage). But Magma Jet on a Scepter is not too shaby either especially when playing predict... I'm gonna have to try that. As far as the SP, I'm gonna test some more this weekend but so far (about 20 games against a variety of decks) I've been extremely pleased, especially when on the play and casting them turn 2 with counter back up (it does happen quite often). If on the draw I usually cut them if playing against fast deck.

Remember that the red version has 8 or more ways to deal with creatures so its not always that bad to tap out turn 2 for SP (you have 4 Daze and 4 Force of Will also to back you up if anything crazy comes up).

Bryant Cook
08-18-2006, 01:06 PM
What are you going to do when something important hits? Ice it? Survival of the fittest, Sword of fire/ice, Jitte, and others wreck you on turn 2. Relying on Daze and Force just isn't enough.

dre4m
08-18-2006, 01:19 PM
What are you going to do when something important hits? Ice it? Survival of the fittest, Sword of fire/ice, Jitte, and others wreck you on turn 2. Relying on Daze and Force just isn't enough.



2- Counterspell

I guess he missed that part.

That and all of the card drawing and quality in the world that helps you find the counters, so ten should be plenty.

The Marco
08-18-2006, 11:28 PM
What are you going to do when something important hits? Ice it? Survival of the fittest, Sword of fire/ice, Jitte, and others wreck you on turn 2. Relying on Daze and Force just isn't enough.

I get your point but I do play 2 counterspell and post side all the cards you named can be stopped by needle. I mean people play portent and serum turn 1 or 2 often.

Bryant Cook
08-19-2006, 12:26 AM
I get your point but I do play 2 counterspell and post side all the cards you named can be stopped by needle. I mean people play portent and serum turn 1 or 2 often.

Yes, but those cards find Force of Will/Daze. Fire/ice and Magma jet do not. I'm a gro player myself, I know the SB has needle. But 2cc sorcerys that force you to tap out on a fundamental turn are bad. Also drop scepter, one bonus Gro/Threshold has is it has nothing to needle. Scepter is often a 2 for 1 for you're opponent, not to mention the card in Gro/Threshold is a win-more.

NANTUKO_SHADY
08-19-2006, 01:08 AM
Also drop scepter, one bonus Gro/Threshold has is it has nothing to needle. Scepter is often a 2 for 1 for you're opponent, not to mention the card in Gro/Threshold is a win-more.

Baaah but having a Scepter resolved with no Needle is soo much fun!!!:laugh: But Bryant does have a point, Needle is for the most part a 2 for 1 and it's a straight kick to the balls. Having no relevant needle targets is a definite plus, as it limits sideboarding resources against threshold. I don't play Threshold, but some solid testing and results would aid in figuring out the true usefulness of Isochron Scepter.

The Marco
08-19-2006, 02:54 AM
Yes, but those cards find Force of Will/Daze. Fire/ice and Magma jet do not. I'm a gro player myself, I know the SB has needle. But 2cc sorcerys that force you to tap out on a fundamental turn are bad. Also drop scepter, one bonus Gro/Threshold has is it has nothing to needle. Scepter is often a 2 for 1 for you're opponent, not to mention the card in Gro/Threshold is a win-more.


Ok, ok I know all that about the scepter, the fact is very few deck play needle main deck and they won't board them in if they did not see my single copy of the Scepter. If I played it game one, then I usually side it out (they'll bring in their needles, which become pretty much dead cards).

As far as SP is concerned it's not a definitive, but I gotta tell you its been working wonders for me. Very rarely have I been screwed but playing it, I'm not saying everyone should play 4, but with 2 copies and by playing them carefully they make a nice addition to the deck, at least in my opinion.

Bryant Cook
08-19-2006, 10:29 AM
Ok, ok I know all that about the scepter, the fact is very few deck play needle main deck and they won't board them in if they did not see my single copy of the Scepter. If I played it game one, then I usually side it out (they'll bring in their needles, which become pretty much dead cards).

As far as SP is concerned it's not a definitive, but I gotta tell you its been working wonders for me. Very rarely have I been screwed but playing it, I'm not saying everyone should play 4, but with 2 copies and by playing them carefully they make a nice addition to the deck, at least in my opinion.

A 1 of that doesn't dramatically effect the game doesn't belong in gro. Not to mention it's mana intensive, the sooner you realize this the better. What is specter better agaisnt that a 5/5, firebreather? Why have it in the deck if you're just going to SB it out? Stratigic Planning is a cantrip, correct? Can we all agree on this? Why wait until it's "Safe" or "Carefully play" a cantrip? Cantrips are meant for the eary turns in the game, to build/sculpt you're hand. If you're waiting to cast a cantrip is it really worth it when you cast it? If it was an instant it'd be better. But you should never have to wait, that is my point. A 2cc sorcery that only draws 1 card, doesn't belong in gro, neither does Scepter.

The Marco
08-19-2006, 12:55 PM
[QUOTE=wastedlife;85196]A 1 of that doesn't dramatically effect the game doesn't belong in gro. QUOTE]

Hum... Have you tried Scepter before??? How does a recurring source of damage for 2, or tapping any permanent and drawing or... you get the idea...does not affect the game dramatically. The dragon is good but easily killed (please here don't give me the so does the scepter answer...People still play more creature removal than artifact hate). If your opponent manages to resolve a large creature, Ice every turn can save your butt.

FireAndIce
08-20-2006, 12:49 AM
What kind of an effect do you think counterbalance will have on this deck? Maybe magma jet and portent can be added to help better deck stacking for counterbalance? Right now im testing it in the sideboard and it is a BOMB against combo. This seems especially good because we don't have mage like the white verstion. As such we obviously have a worse match against combo. So, any thoughts on the effect that counterbalance will have?

troopatroop
08-20-2006, 04:50 PM
Marco, scepter is a nubbish card. It really is that simple. Bad players will see scepter as an unlimited source of amazingness and that simply isn't true. Maybe in a pure control deck like Keeper or U/w Control it's golden, but in Aggro Control? Maybe in a Zoo-esque deck, but with Counters? We've all tried scepter before. We've all played it and gotten rid of it. You would be wise to do the same.

FallenOmnipotent
08-20-2006, 05:14 PM
I disagree. Scepter is pretty solid. Dragon is a beat stick, but it often means your in race mode. Scepter allows you to control smaller aggro decks (Gobs, Angel Stompy, RB) alot better. It does make you scoop that much harder vs. Pern. Deed though. Scepter is a 2x (replacing the 9th and 10th creature slot). So when people SB in Pithing needles, it becomes a pretty narrow card. Yes, the can still name your fetchlands with their extras, but them SBing it in does significantly delude their decks. Worse comes to worse, you can always Brainstorm back your scepters. I use to play 2 scepter MD and 2 Dragons SB so that I keep peopleing guessing. I just never, ever SBed in the Dragons though...
Scepter makes your gobs, Angel stompy, and slower combo match-ups alot better (imo).

Counterbalance? A friend told me it fits well in thresh. In his testing, it didn't do enough though. I never tested it... I'm interested in seeing any results anyone else might have had with the card.

The Marco
08-20-2006, 05:54 PM
Marco, scepter is a nubbish card. It really is that simple. Bad players will see scepter as an unlimited source of amazingness and that simply isn't true. Maybe in a pure control deck like Keeper or U/w Control it's golden, but in Aggro Control? Maybe in a Zoo-esque deck, but with Counters? We've all tried scepter before. We've all played it and gotten rid of it. You would be wise to do the same.
Thanks "master" for your detailled explanations (sarcasm) as to why the Scepter is such a bad card. (Very subtle way of you telling me you think I'm a bad player... it hurts so much (sarcasm again)...)!

Ok some of you dislike the Scepter others think its a bomb, I'm not saying that everyone who plays Thresh should play 4 copies fo this. If you've notice, I play a single copy of the Scepter and one copy of the dragon. I'm just not that impressed with the dragon and I'm looking for alternatives. Bardo on a different forum shared its concerns with the dragon as well... My point is that the scepter is a card that not that many decks can handle pre-board, especially if backed by counters, while the dragon even if very powerfull can be dealt with with more ease. What alternatives are there to the Dragon?

Citrus-God
08-22-2006, 12:05 AM
Trygon Predator, Burning-Tree Shaman, Serendib Efeet, Sea Drake, or Troll Ascetic.

Those are perfect alternatives to Dragon, it just depends on your metagame. Theres probably more, but I cant seem to remember then at the moment...

Shriekmaw
08-26-2006, 01:14 PM
Trygon Predator, Burning-Tree Shaman, Serendib Efeet, Sea Drake, or Troll Ascetic.

Those are perfect alternatives to Dragon, it just depends on your metagame. Theres probably more, but I carnt seem to remember then at the moment...

I don't think those alternatives are that good. First, Trygon Predator is a 2/3 flyer which in a lot of situations don't trade with a lot of creatures in the format. I do see it as maybe a sideboard card in the deck, but can't justify playing it in the main deck. Second, Burning-Tree Shaman is a nice body in a 3/4 for 3 mana, but I feel is ability is going to be hurting you also throughout the match.

Third, Serendib Efreet is probably the best choice listed about, but I'm not a fan of a 3/4 flyer in an aggro control deck which clock is not that fast. Taking a point of damage every turn can sometimes cost you a game if you can't finish your opponent off in time. Fourth, Sea Drake is a very good creature for 3 mana, but its setback is bad news for Gro since you want lands in play in order to control the game. The other worry with the creature is at his toughness at 3 which can be easily killed by a lot of removal spells in the format.

The last choice of Troll Ascetic is decent, but I feel that the double green in its casting cost and regeneration ability is very mana instensive for the deck. I rather be playing spells rather than regenerating him every turn.

If you really dislike Fledging Dragon that much, I would remcommend just playing some more draw or library manipulation effects. 10 creatures is ideal, but 8 creatures with 12 burn spells seems like it would also work. That also puts a lot of decks on a quick clock.

FallenOmnipotent
08-26-2006, 11:03 PM
I top 2 split a big Minnesota tournament today. I was debating between scepter vs. Dragon prior. I ended up playing scepter b/c it wouldn't be expected. By the end of this tournement, I realized why scepter is good. It makes the deck less vunerable to the hate cards (i.e. Crypt).

Lego
08-27-2006, 03:43 PM
All of these reasons are why I feel like Scepter would be a better board card than maindeck. Scepter maindeck gives decks a chance to use their random maindeck hate like Pithing Needle or Disenchant, which will randomly show up in maindecks. In the White thresh mirror, you'll give them a good use for their Pithing Needles, which are otherwise mostly dead.

After game 1, people will have boarded out their artifact hate/pithing needle and/or not boarded them in. They'll bring in a lot of graveyard hate, and Scepter will give you an out against overwhelming hate. It sucks to see a sideboarded Leyline of the Void hit the board turn zero, but swinging with 1/1s, unloading a bit of burn, and finishing them off with an unexpected Scepter could be a good strategy. *Shrug*

jazzykat
08-28-2006, 02:52 AM
SBing in general: I play against LftL and Slide decks and my favorite SB tech is winter orb. I dropped a winter orb on a WG LftL/Slide deck today and he just picked up his cards (there was a werebear, and a goose out though :B).

I am not sure if this version of thresh is supposed to beat those type of decks without anything special or not but I saw the match as being less than an easy win and chucked two in my SB.

Scepter debate: I keep trying to decide about scepter myself, but why aren't we just boarding in pithing needles vs. crypt,furnace, scrabbling claws, witherered wretch(there is also between 8 and 12 ways for him to die so he is a non issue) and not worrying.

I just find needle to be an answer to almost everyting that makes my life difficult (except blood moon and back to basics) so why bother with scepters when we can bring in needles and keep our game plan exactly the same. Unless they have a lot of creature kill.

BTW: I also find that reccuring wasteland is mildly problematic because I could not hit a delta or my basic island (I was brainstorming, and serum visioning away but to no avail).

The Marco
09-01-2006, 12:05 PM
I am one of the people that like the Scepter in the deck (you can look at my old list previously posted) but after much testing I found that 2 scepter are to many. I am currently playing 1/1 split between Scepter and the Dragon.
I like the idea of bringing in the Scepter from the side but don't know what to replace it with main deck...so for now i'll keep it main. Scepter is just such a bad topdeck in late game when you have no significant instants to imprint.
Also I do not agree with the argument that a one of does not have any impact, especially in Threshold, you draw so many cards that you'll see it about 50% of the games.

But I must admit that the dragon is just a better topdeck in most situations and a 5/5 flyer with counter backup is usually game.
So to me a 1/1 split is the way to go!

shteev
09-09-2006, 10:41 AM
Hi, I've started playing this deck fairly recently, and I have a question: Why does the deck need 4 Lightning Bolt? Why not main deck Pyroclasm instead? Pyroclasm can kill Meddling Mages, Dark Confidants and Xantid Swarms; it sorts out Goblins and RGSA far better than Bolt; and it's better against Rifter, killing all Decree of Justice tokens.

Ok, Lightning bolt is a little better for the mirror because it's instant speed (at least until your opponent has threshold)... and it can burn to the head against any creatureless Combo. But that doesn't seem like a MASSIVE benefit to me.

Pyroclasm may be a dead card against some match ups but at least this deck gives you plenty of opportunity to shuffle it away or dump it in the graveyard.

Is there some important reason I'm missing why Lightning Bolt is a definate 4-of in this deck?

SillyMetalGAT
09-09-2006, 11:03 AM
Hi, I've started playing this deck fairly recently, and I have a question: Why does the deck need 4 Lightning Bolt? Why not main deck Pyroclasm instead? Pyroclasm can kill Meddling Mages, Dark Confidants and Xantid Swarms; it sorts out Goblins and RGSA far better than Bolt; and it's better against Rifter, killing all Decree of Justice tokens.

Ok, Lightning bolt is a little better for the mirror because it's instant speed (at least until your opponent has threshold)... and it can burn to the head against any creatureless Combo. But that doesn't seem like a MASSIVE benefit to me.

Pyroclasm may be a dead card against some match ups but at least this deck gives you plenty of opportunity to shuffle it away or dump it in the graveyard.

Is there some important reason I'm missing why Lightning Bolt is a definate 4-of in this deck?


Because Pyroclasm kills all your own men pre-thresh, which is really bad for you. If you could afford to kill your own men, then I would agree. You mentioned the other benefits of Bolt already.

Welcome to the Source!

Obfuscate Freely
09-09-2006, 11:24 AM
Because Pyroclasm kills all your own men pre-thresh, which is really bad for you. If you could afford to kill your own men, then I would agree. You mentioned the other benefits of Bolt already.

What the fuck? This is flat-out incorrect. It is rarely a good idea to play guys before you have threshold, but even if you do, you should never find it necessary to cast 'clasm while they are still small.

It isn't as if Pyroclasm isn't an absolutely amazing card in this deck. Just on its own, the card is almost enough of a reason to splash red over the other colors.

Shteev, you already hit on the reasons most people maindeck Bolt over 'clasm. Basically, it's just more generally useful, and yes, being able to Bolt folks to the head is pretty nice.

In my experience, Pyroclasm only gets sideboarded in against Goblins and other random weenie aggro decks, and then it will only supplement the Bolts, not outright replace them.

The Marco
09-10-2006, 09:58 PM
What the fuck? This is flat-out incorrect. It is rarely a good idea to play guys before you have threshold, but even if you do, you should never find it necessary to cast 'clasm while they are still small.

It isn't as if Pyroclasm isn't an absolutely amazing card in this deck. Just on its own, the card is almost enough of a reason to splash red over the other colors.

Shteev, you already hit on the reasons most people maindeck Bolt over 'clasm. Basically, it's just more generally useful, and yes, being able to Bolt folks to the head is pretty nice.

In my experience, Pyroclasm only gets sideboarded in against Goblins and other random weenie aggro decks, and then it will only supplement the Bolts, not outright replace them.
Quoted for truth! Pyroclasm is quite amazing but too situational in Legacy to grant its addition main over bolt...with that being said if most people in your meta play gobo then clasm might be the way to go... Also do not forget that bolt is an answer to turn one Lackey (not that it matters that much but its still needs to be considered).

troopatroop
09-10-2006, 11:28 PM
Well it's actually better than Bolt against lackey in most situations, excluding the ones where they drop a Ringleader. They drop a threat off lackey and you wrath them BOTH, gaining CA.

The Marco
09-11-2006, 01:07 AM
Well it's actually better than Bolt against lackey in most situations, excluding the ones where they drop a Ringleader. They drop a threat off lackey and you wrath them BOTH, gaining CA.

True but around here they drop ringleader about 60% of the time... Both are quite good one, is just more situational and should be in the SB rather then main deck unless the meta requires its main deck addition.

jazzykat
09-11-2006, 01:45 AM
Personally if I had a chance I would just bolt the lackey. It slows them down a little more and makes them play out there beaters more linearly allowing you to have a little better control over the clasm, and you can probably do it a turn or 2 later that if lackey was on the board. I have found that vs. goblins once you have a couple of threshed dudes out, they are going to have an awful shitty time against you. You just burn the siege gang, sharpshooter, and pile drivers and counter the ringleader and you basically can just hang back and let your dudes munch on gobbos (i.e. lackeys, matrons, fanatics, warchiefs, tokens ... whatever)

cRUMMYdUMMY
09-11-2006, 05:49 AM
So how do you guys deal with Tormod's Crypt. I generally find that I'm screwed Games 2 and 3. Do you always try to save Force and Counterspell for it?

Lukas Preuss
09-11-2006, 08:06 AM
If you expect Tormod's Crypt, just bring in Pithing Needle from the sideboard. I played UGr Gro to a T8 finish a week ago and didn't have much problems with Crypt in any game I played. I ran Serendib Efreet, as well, so even if they got Crypt online, I wasn't too worried. Sure, it's a pain in the ass, but you have plenty of answers and ways to play around it...

Obfuscate Freely
09-11-2006, 10:18 AM
Against Goblins specifically, you should have Pithing Needle in anyway, although if they have a Vial you have to name that with your first copy.

I've recently been finding room for Stifle in my board. Not only is it one of the best answers to Crypt (since it can still be effective if you draw it after the Crypt is played), but it's also a great card to have access to, anyway. Stifle is particularly useful against Goblins and Tendrils combo decks.

Stifle can even come in against another Gro deck if you suspect they have Crypt; it being able to hit fetchlands and pitch to Force makes it much better than Needle if it turns out they boarded something else.

All that said, you can often simply play through a Crypt by using your draw spells intelligently and maintaining the cantrip engine through the midgame. If they manage to catch you without a counterspell, you do have to figure out how to make them use the Crypt, and then you have to figure out how to survive not having threshold in the short-term, but you should be able to regain threshold by chaining draw spells within a turn or two.

Evil Roopey
09-11-2006, 10:42 AM
Against Goblins specifically, you should have Pithing Needle in anyway, although if they have a Vial you have to name that with your first copy.

I've recently been finding room for Stifle in my board. Not only is it one of the best answers to Crypt (since it can still be effective if you draw it after the Crypt is played), but it's also a great card to have access to, anyway. Stifle is particularly useful against Goblins and Tendrils combo decks.

Stifle can even come in against another Gro deck if you suspect they have Crypt; it being able to hit fetchlands and pitch to Force makes it much better than Needle if it turns out they boarded something else.

All that said, you can often simply play through a Crypt by using your draw spells intelligently and maintaining the cantrip engine through the midgame. If they manage to catch you without a counterspell, you do have to figure out how to make them use the Crypt, and then you have to figure out how to survive not having threshold in the short-term, but you should be able to regain threshold by chaining draw spells within a turn or two.

But it doesn't answer a Grunt across the table, which seems to be the way people are leaning these days. I won't be suprised if Goblins starts SBing it soon.

Nightmare
09-11-2006, 10:54 AM
But it doesn't answer a Grunt across the table, which seems to be the way people are leaning these days. I won't be suprised if Goblins starts SBing it soon.QFT. Red Thresh really needs to start considering a way to answer Jotun Grunt. In my eyes, Grunt pushes White waaaay into the forefront as the best color to splash in Gro. It's double purpose (making you have to 2-for-1 it, and keeping you off thresh) is unmatched in a card from Red, and it's extremely difficult for you to race it or remove it outside of combat (and after 1-2 turns, in combat, too).

Lukas Preuss
09-11-2006, 11:14 AM
There's always Lightning Dart if the Grunt becomes too popular. ;)

Engineered Explosives takes care of him, as well... and is also useful in other matchups. In my opinion, the Explosives should be run in the sideboard anyways (didn't your TML Open build of UGw Thresh run them in the side @Nightmare? How useful were they?).

Nightmare
09-11-2006, 11:21 AM
There's always Lightning Dart if the Grunt becomes too popular. ;)

Engineered Explosives takes care of him, as well... and is also useful in other matchups. In my opinion, the Explosives should be run in the sideboard anyways (didn't your TML Open build of UGw Thresh run them in the side @Nightmare? How useful were they?).I ran 1 MD, none boarded. Actually, they were pretty good in the mirror, doing just that: Blowing up 2cc dudes and letting Geese get in there. It's not a bad call, but generally Red Gro has less room for metagame cards in the main (needles, explosives, etc.) than white does, since it needs more slots for removal.

Lukas Preuss
09-11-2006, 01:22 PM
Yeah, but you could run a few in the side to deal with cc2 dudes (Bears and Grunts) in the mirror... especially since you're not only running Mongeese, but also Efreets or some other cc3 or cc4 creature.

In Germany, Hidden Gibbons have been a popular sideboard card for UGr for quite some time now, as well. It is used against the mirror (as well as against Solidarity). With the Gibbons, you can easily side out Werebears, making Engineered Explosives at two really good against White Gro.

Geeba
09-26-2006, 10:27 AM
Hello everybody,

I couldn't watch this thread being stagnant for so long, so I decided to register:smile:

I was wondering why flametongue kavu didn't show up here, especially now the discussion focusses on the post-board Ugw threshold matchup. Here, this card seems awesome because it can burn a j.grunt and kill thresh'ed werebears in combat. It also has uses in other matchups, like RGSA and aggro stax (if you ever get 4 mana).

I'd say a nice 2-off in the SB.

jazzykat
09-26-2006, 11:03 AM
I run 2 FTKs in my SB. They are good at killing too many random and not so random creatures. Loxodon Hierarchs, Grunts, Arrogant Wurms, Baloths, ther FTK's, mongrels (usually), and the occaisional Aquamoeba.

Geeba
10-02-2006, 03:55 AM
For Lukas Preuss and those who run Efreet and no dragons: Doesn't this create a big problem vs Ugw thres if they cast an enforcer with counterbackup? If you have a dragon, you can always drop your own fatty. Do you take this into account, by increasing the number of burn spells for example, so you can race easier?

I ran a (very small) tournament yesterday and I didn't perform really well, I became 3rd out of 8 people. (Loosing the Ugw mirror and being obliterated by raffinity.) I had 2 dragons MB but 2 is overkill or just dead in your hand, I'd run 1 at most the next time. However I get the impression that only 9 creatures is too few, so I may drop dragon altogether and try 2-3 efreet.

Another thing: serum visions vs sleight of hand
I understand that serum visions is better if you're digging for something in particular, but I think that if you have no other draw spells in hand, you'd rather play sleight. This becomes particularly relevant if you're under pressure and you need to do things NOW. What about a split between visions and sleight, like the old extended GAT builds?

Lukas Preuss
10-02-2006, 09:12 AM
Actually, when I ran the Efreet, I didn't worry too much about the UGw Gro matchup, since white Thresh is very rare in my metagame, whereas red Gro is pretty prelevant.

But yes, racing them is always an option, as well as blocking the Enforcer with your Efreet and casting a Lightning Bolt for the last points of damage. Still, Efreet might be weaker than Dragon in this particular matchup. It's a lot better against Goblins or any other deck that can cut you of RR easily, though.

Bongo
10-02-2006, 08:21 PM
I'd like to ask what the optimal play is in the following situation:

I have 2 Trops, 1 Flooded Strand and 1 Volcanic Island on the board. My opponent is going to win next turn and has 3 life left.
My hand is Portent, Serum Visions and Brainstorm. How can I maximize my chances to dig into Lightning Bolt?

tivadar
10-02-2006, 09:11 PM
So, I'm going to guess BS, fetch, serum, portent. This looks at 3 cards, shuffles, looks at an additional 3 cards, putting two on bottom, then looks at the next three, if it's not there, you get a shot at one more after shuffle, that's 10 cars, 3 of which while you've got 2 bad ones on the bottom.

Playing serum first, then BS, then fetch also has the same net result, except now your deck is larger when you BS, so you don't take as much advantage of having two known cards on the bottom.

The most cards you can look at with any of these is 10, 3 from serum, 3 from bs, 4 from portent. You can only keep those two extra cards on the bottom for either 3 from bs or 3 from portent, and have to shuffle afterwards.

Bongo
10-02-2006, 10:07 PM
Imagine the same situation, but with the option to play an Island instead of the Fetchland.

Is the shuffle effect an advantage in a digging situation? What about using Portent's shuffle effect instead of the Fetchland shuffle, would that be better?

Citrus-God
10-03-2006, 12:51 AM
The shuffle effect... I dont think so. I think what makes Strand good in this situation is to thin out a land just so you can find that Lightning Bolt for the kill. So that's one card less that's thinned out. Now your cantrips are maximized for a much more stronger digging.

Geeba
10-03-2006, 02:37 AM
More importantly, of the 10 cards you dig into, you'll see 2 cards twice in this scenario: You've put 2 cards back with BS, so portent only shows you only one additional "unknown" card before you decide to shuffle. It's better to fetch if it's possible, then portent shows you 3 new "unknown" cards plus the one after shuffling.

Bongo
10-03-2006, 06:52 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I'm not completely sure in the second scenario (without the Fetchland). Which path is correct?

1) Serum Visions, Portent, Brainstorm
or
2) Portent (shuffle), Serum Visions, Brainstorm
or
3) Serum Visions, Brainstorm, Portent (shuffle)
or
4) Brainstorm, Serum Visions, Portent (shuffle if necessary)


I didn't list the options with Serum Visions at the end, because I need to win this turn (or in the opponents upkeep the latest).

Geeba
10-03-2006, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the replies.

I'm not completely sure in the second scenario (without the Fetchland). Which path is correct?

1) Serum Visions, Portent, Brainstorm
or
2) Portent (shuffle), Serum Visions, Brainstorm
or
3) Serum Visions, Brainstorm, Portent (shuffle)
or
4) Brainstorm, Serum Visions, Portent (shuffle if necessary)


I didn't list the options with Serum Visions at the end, because I need to win this turn (or in the opponents upkeep the latest).

Let's go through these scenario's one by one and find out how much cards you see.

1) You see 3 unknown cards of the serum visions, 3 unknown ones during your turn from the portent and 3 unknown ones of the brainstorm. During your opponent's upkeep you draw a "known" card. You see 9 unknown cards in total. I assume you use the shuffle option of portent. However, if you play the brainstorm after the upkeep draw of portent, the upkeep draw of portent nets you an unknown card as well. Instead of 9, you'd see 10 unknown cards.

2) You see 3 unknown cards during your turn from the portent, 3 unknown cards of the serum visions and 3 unknown ones of the brainstorm. During your opponent's upkeep you draw a "known" card. You see 9 unknown cards in total. However, if you play the brainstorm after the upkeep draw of portent, the upkeep draw of portent nets you an unknown card as well. Instead of 9, you'd see 10 unknown cards.

3) You see 3 unknown cards from the visions, 3 unknown ones from your brainstorm, but you put 2 cards back so you see only 1 unknown card from your portent this turn. During your opponent's upkeep you draw an unknown card, for a total of 8 unknown cards.

4) You see 3 unknown cards and put 2 back on top from brainstorm, so you see only 1 unknown card from your serum visions. You see 3 unknown cards this turn from portent and another unknown one during your opponent's upkeep. For a total of 8 unknown cards.

In scenario 1&2 you see the most "unknown" cards. I'd prefer scenario 2, because the upkeep-portent draw and the brainstorm draws are from a smaller "population" of unknown cards, because you still have some unwanted cards on the bottom of your library. Therefore the chance of drawing what you want is slightly bigger.

Obfuscate Freely
10-03-2006, 02:26 PM
So after thinking about it, I thought that this was the right sequence:

1. Play Brainstorm
2. Crack fetchland
3. Play Serum Visions
4. Play Portent

Brainstorm will pull 3 cards out of your library, but it puts 2 back. Assuming none of them are Bolts, that still means your library has one less non-Bolt card in it.

Fetching pulls another non-Bolt out of the deck, as well as clearing the top for the subsequent draw spells.

Serum Visions draws you another card, either finding Bolt or pulling out another non-Bolt card. You then get to Scry, which puts two more non-Bolt cards on the bottom of the deck, essentially shrinking the library even more.

At this point, if you haven't found the Bolt, at least your library is 5 cards smaller than it was before, which makes it significantly more likely to hit a Bolt with the Portent, which shows you 3 new cards. If you still don't see the Bolt, and you have to shuffle, the 2 cards you Scryed to the bottom get put back into the mix, but at least you've got one more shot on the next turn's upkeep.

In total, you see 10 cards, which is the most important figure, but the reason this is better than the other options is that you maximize the deckthinning effects of the cantrips and the fetchland.

However, one thing I missed in this analysis is the possibility of finding both another 1cc draw spell and the land to play it. Taking this into account, I believe this may be the correct sequence, instead:

1. Play Serum Visions
2. Play Brainstorm
3. Crack fetchland
4. Play Portent

This sequence gives you a better chance of playing a 4th draw spell because it lets you utilize the Serum Visions' Scry cards to assemble the little "combo" of land + draw spell. If Serum Visions shows you either a draw spell or a land, either in the drawn card or one of the Scry cards, you can decide to keep it and hope for Brainstorm to find you the other. If Serum Visions shows you both, than you will definitely want to Brainstorm into them.

Imagine that Serum Visions draws you a blank card, but one of the cards you see with the Scry is a Portent. You can leave it there and put the other card on the bottom of the deck, and then play the Brainstorm. Now, if you don't see a land, you've reduced the number of new cards you'll see this turn, but if you do hit a land, you've got a 2nd Portent to play, which gets you a look a 3 new cards after you play the 1st Portent (and shuffle).

The only downside to this sequence, relative to the one I posted above, is that you have to play both the Brainstorm and the Serum Visions before fetching, which means that there is an extra land still in the deck while you resolve the Serum Visions. That land may make it easier to manage a 4th draw spell, but it is certainly not a Lightning Bolt.

In most situations, I'm pretty sure this 2nd option is better, but there might be exceptions. The size of your deck, the number of lands left in it, and the number of draw spells left in it each need to be taken into account when you decide whether or not the slight probability advantage of the 1st option is outweighed by the slight chance of playing a 4th draw spell that the 2nd option gives you.

Now, the scenario changes if you don't have a fetchland. Mad Zur and I will work on it (he helped a lot with this post), and we'll get back to the thread later.

Bongo
10-03-2006, 07:25 PM
To recap, the first scenario:

Turn 9, you have 2 Trops, 1 Fetchland and 1 Volcanic in play.
No land played yet. Opponent is on 3 life, kill with Bolt.
Your hand: Portent, Serum Visions, Brainstorm


I would go:

1) Serum Visions
2) Brainstorm
3) crack Fetch
4) Portent

The same as in ObFreely's excellent analysis. The effect of the additional land in the library while resolving SV is marginal, and the payoff by an additional cantrip is worth it.

-------------

The second scenario, once again:

Turn 9, you have 2 Trops and 2 Volcs in play.
No land played yet. Find Bolt to win the game.
Your hand: Portent, Serum Visions, Brainstorm.


I would do the following play:

1) Portent (looking for cantrip or land to put on top)
2) Serum Visions (draw cantrip or land)
3) Brainstorm (dig into the missing piece)
4) Land, cantrip

Portent gives you greater control and selection over the Serum Visions draw (optimally drawing either land, cantrip or bolt), hence I started with that. If there is a land or cantrip, you can draw it with SV and put the unneeded cards on the bottom.
Now you're digging into 3 fresh cards with the Brainstorm, hopefully giving you the Bolt or the missing piece to continue the cantrip chain.

The downside on this scenario is even if you manage to pull of the 4th cantrip, is that there are two non-Bolt cards already on top of the library. You also have to put two known cards on the bottom of your library with the SV if you don't shuffle with Portent. I don't know if the added control over the SV draw is worth those drawbacks.

Thus, it might be feasible to go:

1) Serum Visions
2) Portent (shuffle)
3) Brainstorm
4) land, cantrip


Please correct me if I'm wrong, like I said, I'm not completely sure what the best play is.

To all writers out there: this is very good material for an in-depth Threshold strategy article.

Geeba
10-04-2006, 03:39 AM
OK, so you play the brainstorm on your turn and you find a land and a cantrip. But what if the land is not a fetchland? A short overview for all of the 3 cantrips.

If it's a serum visions, you'll see an additional card this turn (digging though brainstorm). The first portent-draw nets you another "new" card. So this nets you +2 unknown cards.

If it's a brainstorm, you'll see an additional card this turn (digging though brainstorm). The first portent-draw is a known card you put back with the drawn brainstorm. This only shows you +1 unknown card.

If it's a portent, you'll see an additional card this turn (digging though brainstorm). You'll see 2 additional random cards during your opponent's upkeep. This shows you +3 new cards.

So even if you find a "normal" land and a brainstorm, you'll see at least as much cards as you'd see if you play the brainstorm after the upkeep trigger of the portent. So this approach seems better.

If you start to include cards in your analysis you still have to draw however, you should think about probabilities you'd draw them. If you have the choice to make the cantrip chain a little longer, you'll have to make a decision: Is the chance I'd draw Bolt AND draw AND land bigger in the number of cards I'll see in this scenario then the chance I'll just find bolt in the other scenario, even though I'll see less cards.

In short, you'll need a probability calculator if you use this approach to find the "probably optimal" play :wink: .

Bardo
10-08-2006, 01:13 PM
I have 2 Trops, 1 Flooded Strand and 1 Volcanic Island on the board. My opponent is going to win next turn and has 3 life left.
My hand is Portent, Serum Visions and Brainstorm. How can I maximize my chances to dig into Lightning Bolt?

I just skimmed the discussion below, so I'll just give my answer and see what other people wrote after I post this.

After some thought, I don't think there's a heck of a lot of difference when looking at the top play combinations. But here's what I'd do:

I'd lead with the Serum Visions first--hoping to immediately draw into another card drawer or the Bolt, though neither of those are terribly likely. If I drew into a land or a useless counter, that'd be one of the cards I'll shuffle back with Brainstorm. Off the scry, I'd move anything that isn't a card drawer or the bolt to the bottom of the library--but keep the card drawers on top. The only thing I don't like about this play is not having any control of the card I drew off SV--that's one way to make this sequence of spells better, but there are trade-offs, as noted below.

Next I'd play Brainstorm and hope to draw into more card drawers. By this time I've likely seen at least 2 useless cards (land, counter, etc.), which I'd shuffle back with the Flooded Strand, which I'd activate now. Then I'd tap another Trop to cast Portent. If I saw the Bolt, great, if I saw another Brainstorm, I'd move that to the top of my Library--otherwise I'd shuffle these cards away. But note that drawing into any Sorcery speed drawers with Portent at this point is really bad--which is one of the reasons I don't care for the card. It sucks when you're under this kind of pressure and is best when the game state is neutral of you're already winning.

Anyway, this sequence of plays lets you see at least ten new cards--and probably more, depending on what we drew off SV and Brainstorm (plus another Brainstorm off Portent during our opponent's upkeep). But that's the problem with this kind of analysis in the abstract. The deck is really interactive and all of our plays, after the first one, can be radically different depending on what we draw once we start.

But, that's my answer:

1) Serum Visions
2) Brainstorm
3) Crack Strand
4) Portent

Now let me see what other people said...

Edit - Looking back, I agree with Ob Freely's Option B but nothing I read has me doing anything differently.

Incidentally, the right answer is the one that has you drawing the most amount of cards with the least amount of randomness. But it's hard to gain one without sacrificing the other (consistency vs. raw card drawing). Being a gambler, I'd rather see more cards with a greater amount of unpredictability than the alternative. :)

Bongo
10-11-2006, 08:34 PM
What's the best answer to the UGW mirror?

I've been trying FTK, but it feels a little slow (especially when you want to take care of Jotun Grunt earlier). Enforcer is also a big problem.

Obfuscate Freely
10-11-2006, 08:58 PM
Loaming Shaman is amazing, since it gives you a Tormod's Crypt-like effect with a 3/2 body attached to it.

Now that Grunt is going around, FTK looks pretty good (there are more than just Werebears for it to target, now).

Control Magic might be even better, though, since it can deal with Enforcers as well, and stealing a Grunt or Enforcer should be gamebreaking. Along this same vein, Mind Harness might be worth looking at, although it can't take Grunts.

FallenOmnipotent
10-11-2006, 09:29 PM
That's a pretty cool idea. Having the ability to answer Grunt seems critiqual. So I think control magic would be a better option than Mind Harness.

Vs. what other decks would control magic also be good against though? Seems weak vs. Angel stompy (with thier mothers and Parallex Wave.) I haven't tested, but FTK seems like it would help in the match-up.

Also, how has Loaming Shaman been? Is it better than crypt? It loses the turn 1 by pass discard/counter factor and it's instant speed (important vs. Iggy Pop). 3/2 boddy seems nice though, trades with the mongrel and mages.

Other thoughts?

Citrus-God
10-12-2006, 09:42 AM
Let me try this again...

I say we put Vedalken Shackles in the Sideboard?

It's Control Magic, but they side in Needles on game 3... we side out Shackles on Game 3. So what do ya say?

kicks_422
10-17-2006, 09:27 AM
Can I see the lists that everyone is using right now?... I'm making a major move to the deck by adding 4 Stifles MD... To shore the combo match-up that we have a bit weaker game against than UGW because of the loss of Meddling Mage, as well as for its overall utility... I'm only running 8 creatures MD though, which might rpove to be a liability, though I haven't felt it during my (pretty limited) testing so far...

Solpugid
10-17-2006, 10:12 AM
The problem I've found with running only 8 creatures in this deck (bears and gooses, I presume) is that your late game becomes shaky. If you haven't dealt very much damage early game, and the ground becomes bogged down, your burn becomes rather weak. It's often impractical to try to burn the other person out, and as removal it becomes obsolete late game vs some decks. Fledgling dragon, even as a 1-of, allows you to break these stalemates, or just swing once and put your opponent into burn range. He's also your answer to enforcer from the pseudo-mirror.

I think because of the nature of the removal this deck runs, you need to play a tad more aggressively than with the white splash. In short: try running a dragon or two.

Angel of Despair
10-21-2006, 02:06 PM
Are people still running BTS? I was running 1 Dragon, and one Shaman, I run 4 mental notes, and I noted Fledgling Dragon away 3 too many times, so I decided to take him out. I play 2 BTS now. I have 2 reasons why I took him out. Burning Tree Shaman costs less and I only have one Dragon. I am definately going to try loaming shaman in the sideboard though. Where would you put Control Magic? maindeck or sideboard? Forgive me if that has already been answered, but I just quickly skimmed through the thread.

Tobias Moeller
10-30-2006, 11:53 AM
Are people still running BTS?
Yes, they are. I can just talk about the German players and most of them are playing the BTS. In my opinion it is a very powerful creature against nearly every deck (e.g. Salvager, VG, Landstill...). The idea of Vedalken Shackles seems to be very interesting, but I think that you will have problems to take over an Enforcer or a Grunt, because you are just playing 17 lands. And from these 17 lands, how much are Islands?

Citrus-God
10-30-2006, 03:41 PM
Yes, they are. I can just talk about the German players and most of them are playing the BTS. In my opinion it is a very powerful creature against nearly every deck (e.g. Salvager, VG, Landstill...). The idea of Vedalken Shackles seems to be very interesting, but I think that you will have problems to take over an Enforcer or a Grunt, because you are just playing 17 lands. And from these 17 lands, how much are Islands?

You only play 17 lands if you run at least 11-12 Cantrips with Library Manipulation. People usually run 18 if they run only 8 Cantrips with Library Manipulation, and 4 Mental Notes. So getting the opposing creature is rather easy, if you run at least 16 Islands.

BTS is a powerful creature, but sometimes I really dislike the fact that it's not evasive like Dragon, and getting 2 Red mana is easy if you dont crack your fetchlands early like most people.

FallenOmnipotent
10-30-2006, 04:16 PM
I agree with Anti~American4621. Getting double colors at one point of the game has rarly been a problem for me. I will concede that it can be and often is very difficult vs. Various versions of Deadguy (Sinkhole, Vindicate, Wasteland, discard and now possibly small pox.) But Short from that one match-up, it is relativly easy to obtain double colors. You might have some trouble vs. Gobs (with 8x Ports/wates) but usually that just slows you down a couple turns . . . and you have such a great match-up vs. them anyways.

On the point of fetchlands, you really should save at least 1 (of the extra ones) for your brainstorms (as a shuffle effect). You can keep them in your hand as well as a bluff or cards to throw back with brainstorm.

Citrus-God
10-30-2006, 05:53 PM
I agree with Anti~American4621. Getting double colors at one point of the game has rarly been a problem for me. I will concede that it can be and often is very difficult vs. Various versions of Deadguy (Sinkhole, Vindicate, Wasteland, discard and not possibly small pox.) But Short from that one match-up, it is relativly easy to obtain double colors. You might have some trouble vs. Gobs (with 8x Ports/wates) but usually that just slows you down a couple turns . . . and you have such a great match-up vs. them anyways.

On the point of fetchlands, you really should save at least 1 (of the extra ones) for your brainstorms (as a shuffle effect). You can keep them in your hand as well as a bluff or cards to throw back with brainstorm.

What have we learned today? If you save your lands in your hand, and you draw a Brainstorm, your ensured better card quality.

Bongo
11-16-2006, 03:33 PM
I've been testing a new version. First, the decklist:

4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Wee Dragonauts

4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Predict

4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
3 Daze

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet

4 Volcanic Island
4 Tropical Island
3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
2 Island

SB:
3 Control Magic
3 Naturalize
3 Stifle
3 Pyroclasm
3 REB/FTK/Needle/etc.


This version has been doing very well for me. In a Goblin/Gro/Solidarity meta, I even dare to say it is the best deck.

The Dragonauts may need some explanations. Although they might seem junky, they can grow very quickly because 34 cards in the deck are sorceries or instants. 7 to 11 point swings are not uncommon. They have nice synergy with the cantrips and direct damage and a very manageable cost at 1UR (they can also be pitched to Force, unlike BTS or Dragon).

The big advantage that UGR Gro has over its UGW cousin is the ability to quickly switch between control and aggro, and the Dragonauts really assist that strategy.
Another reason why I like this particular UGR version better is its improved cantrip base. With Magma Jet, you have 20 spells that can manipulate your library. Not only is this important for ensuring better card quality, but also card quantity because you have a very high chance of drawing 2 with Predict.

The versatility of the sideboard is another major selling point.
Control Magic is the hidden gem here, as it gives you a way to deal with big creatures, which are difficult to handle. It also trumps the mirror because it can steal Enforcers, Grunts and Werebears.
Stifle is useful in a lot of situations. Together with Pyroclasm, the post-board Goblin matchup should be favorable. The rest of the board should be obvious.
The last 3 slots can change depending on the meta.

I'm really interested in some good feedback!

lukatron2
11-16-2006, 06:34 PM
Ive noticed for a long time that people say UGR thresh has a way weaker match-up against combo than UGW does due to ugw running mage. However, Ive ALSO noticed that there is a number of UGW thresh decks that haven't been running meddling mage at all. Just check out jesse hatfields' deck at the last duel for duals day one. He took second place and wasn't running any meddling mages main or side. I don't know if he got paired up against any combo that day but he must have felt confidant enough about his combo match ups not to run them. My main question is...do you think that ugr thresh has THAT much worse of a combo match up than ugw does or do you think regardless of ugw or ugr, the combo match can be won easily if you play the right counters at the right times?...I'm not saying I agree with one or the other but i'm just throwing the thought out there..what do you guys think?

FallenOmnipotent
11-16-2006, 07:01 PM
Well, take this as you will, but Anti~American4621 says he finds the GUr Thresh vs. Solidarity match-up quite favorable. I, on the other hand, feel that if it's a good solidarity player, it's quite unfavorable. A big differance is that Anti~American4621 has played vs. Solidarity an uncountable amount of times (might be slightly exagerated); I have played against solidarity (with competant players) less than 10 times my whole life. (There aren't very many big profile 1.5 tournements over here in MN.) I've lost the majority of those times. However, let it be noted that I didn't play REBs back then (was trying out Hidden Mongoose).

I believe that the statement claiming UGr's Thresh's combo match-up to be A LOT worse than UGw is rather injust. It most likly incorporates less expiranced players (like me -- I'm not [necesserily] a bad player, but I have had very little encounters with combo...however, I am a bad speller).

Medling mage undoubtably helps vs. combo. But I guess it is being questioned as to whether it's needed or not (over kill? Too narrow? etc.) In the end, I think that R Thresh's combo match-up is worse than W's, but not way weaker.

In my opinion, Red's burn is a significantly weaker form of applying preasure. White potentially has mage which is both a defensive and offensive play. How ever, it's StPs become a dead card (but this should be too much of a problem. More often than not, you'll be able to shuffle it away with one of the cantrips/fetchlands.)

Edit: By Bongo's post above, apperantly he is having a relativly good time vs. solidarity too.

kicks_422
11-16-2006, 07:14 PM
I have a good winning percentage against combo because I pack 4 Stifles MD... Might not be too much of an addition, but with all the counterspells in the deck, it really tightens up the storm combo MU.

I also find it very valuable in the Goblins MU, especially knowing that they're not expecting it. :tongue:

lukatron2
11-16-2006, 09:25 PM
i like the idea of md stifle...I would probably play 3 if I did...one thing I was thinking about though was...Would I rather run 3 md stifle, or 3 md pithing needle? although pithing needle seems like the definate choice, stifle can stop combo and is also an instant speed spell (you can stop fetchlands, waste,etc and has the element of surprise) while needle is perminant, and stops cards, the opponent can play around it more...personally I think that running both would be way too much...what do you guys think is better? stifle vs needle?

Citrus-God
11-16-2006, 09:52 PM
non. Run 11 burn cards. Wanna see this deck's success? Ask Wastedlife, he won a Mox and Top 8ed a lotus tourney with the deck. It's still the same, agressive and hardly rusn out of fuel. Red Thresh isnt menat to be more aggressive, but rather a stronger efficientcy for aggro-metagames. In fact. it can also take down Solidarity if you know how to play it right. You can so easily win against a ton of decks without the help of Mage.

Anyways. Needle. Needles stop Vial from pumping guys out under the counter radar and abuse rediculous amounts of mana.

Stifle is good too. It beats Goblins, and whips IGG and some other stuff. It can also stop SoFI and Jitte triggers.

Heres his deck before he retired from UGR...


// Lands 17
4 Wooded Foothills
3 Flooded Strand
4 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain
1 Island


// Creatures 10
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Fledgling Dragon


// Spells 33
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Predict
3 Daze
3 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet
3 Fire // Ice


// Sideboard 15
4 Pyroclasm
3 Flametongue Kavu
3 Krosan Grip/Naturalize
5 Open Slots.

12 Red Sources. You have more Burn + Dragon than Men.

Bongo
11-17-2006, 05:03 AM
To get that thing out of the way once and for all, UGR's combo matchup isn't significantly worse than UGW's. What it lacks in Meddling Mages, it makes up in its quicker clock, better card selection to get counters and the Stifles/REBs in the board.


Now, I'd really like some intelligent conversation about my new version posted above.
What's your opinion on Wee Dragonauts?
Any suggestions?

To heat this thing up, I will make a broad statement: Right now, UGR Thresh is better than UGW.

Obfuscate Freely
11-17-2006, 10:40 AM
To heat this thing up, I will make a broad statement: Right now, UGR Thresh is better than UGW.
This statement might be controversial, but that doesn't make it meaningful. Can you back it up with some elaboration?


The big advantage that UGR Gro has over its UGW cousin is the ability to quickly switch between control and aggro, and the Dragonauts really assist that strategy.
This is the closest thing to a point you've made for UGR being better than UGW, and it also needs a lot more elaboration.

Please understand that I am not disagreeing with you, but that may change if you clarify your argument a little. I can certainly say I'm skeptical, since having no removal pretty much necessarily puts UGR in the hole against other Gro decks. Is UGR's Goblin matchup better enough to outweigh its UGW Gro matchup?

troopatroop
11-17-2006, 01:00 PM
White has better sideboard options, more relevant removal, and Jotun Grunt. Grunt alone makes White better in my opinion.

Citrus-God
11-17-2006, 01:44 PM
White has better sideboard options, more relevant removal, and Jotun Grunt. Grunt alone makes White better in my opinion.
I agree with him. White has more metagame answers and stronger win conditions, such as Mystic Enforcer, Jotun Grunt, Nantuko Monastery, and much more. It also has answers to certain aggro decks, like Tivadar's Crusade, Worship, Condemn, and Reprisal. Control answers are also quite revelent, such as Armageddon. Ray of Revelation is also quite good in this deck.

Red is only a metagame concern, but according to Wastedlife, Red has the exact momentum as White Pre-Board, but it's reach and velocity is much better. As for the deck Pre-Board, it's probably going to side in something like Stifles or something.

Citrus-God
11-17-2006, 02:00 PM
Well, take this as you will, but Anti~American4621 says he finds the GUr Thresh vs. Solidarity match-up quite favorable. I, on the other hand, feel that if it's a good solidarity player, it's quite unfavorable. A big differance is that Anti~American4621 has played vs. Solidarity an uncountable amount of times (might be slightly exagerated); I have played against solidarity (with competant players) less than 10 times my whole life. (There aren't very many big profile 1.5 tournements over here in MN.) I've lost the majority of those times. However, let it be noted that I didn't play REBs back then (was trying out Hidden Mongoose).


Need to double post.

This is how you play against Solidarity.

1. Keep your mana open, and dont tap yourself out.
2. Predict on EOT, always. If your opponent is Remanding it, let it be.
3. Play men. You only need at most 2-3 men on the board. Exclude Dragon.
4. EOT, Cantrip, Burn, and/or set-up Predict.
5. Analyze their board position when they decide to go off,

i. If they have 5 or less lands, counter the first untap effect and counter eveything else. You dont want them having enough mana to do tricks with the stack.

ii. If they have a lot of Lands, just Counter their meditates or something. Even their untap effect wouldn't be a bad play. Make sure they cant Turnabout you, or else your screwed. If they do, hopefully you can Burn them in resp to that with some last few points of damage before your opponent goes off, but that's rare.


But one problem I do have is that with the lack of Portent, it's much harder for me to find counters, and Burn is more of a give/take situation on how you want to use your cantrips.

Solpugid
11-17-2006, 04:13 PM
Just as a note, I saw a post a few back discussing control magic. While I'm not entirely sure I like that card in this deck, if other people like it, wouldn't treachery be worth a look? Five is more than four, yes, but you get to untap and have counter/burn backup after you steal their best creature. Thoughts?

Bane of the Living
11-17-2006, 08:09 PM
This is how you play against Solidarity.

Keep your mana open.

Play Men.

..counter the first untap effect and counter eveything else.

..just Counter their meditates or something.



I summed that up for you. Kinda funny.

I think Stifle would best be used as LD, your best chance is to race them. Get a turn one or two critter, get it thresh and dig for burn burn burn.

I know some germans have been playing Hidden Gibbons in the sideboard to help out.

Citrus-God
11-17-2006, 11:53 PM
I summed that up for you. Kinda funny.

I think Stifle would best be used as LD, your best chance is to race them. Get a turn one or two critter, get it thresh and dig for burn burn burn.

I know some germans have been playing Hidden Gibbons in the sideboard to help out.

And Stifle would disable them from a Shuffle effect, meaning that they will draw squat from their Brainstorms. Also, it would make the first two cards from their Meditates horrid.

Citrus-God
11-17-2006, 11:56 PM
I summed that up for you. Kinda funny.

I think Stifle would best be used as LD, your best chance is to race them. Get a turn one or two critter, get it thresh and dig for burn burn burn.

I know some germans have been playing Hidden Gibbons in the sideboard to help out.

And Stifle would disable them from a Shuffle effect, meaning that they will draw squat from their Brainstorms. Also, it would make the first two cards from their Meditates horrid. That wouldn't be a bad idea, but you have a favorable match-up against them already, however, Needle is very good against Salvagers, Goblins, Angel Stompy, decent versus Faerie Stompy, and some more random decks.

Bongo
11-18-2006, 06:48 AM
This is the closest thing to a point you've made for UGR being better than UGW, and it also needs a lot more elaboration.


1) UGR is stronger than UGW against Goblins and aggro. This is huge because the metagame right now (or at least the metagame as I see it) is still aggro-based.

I've played with UGW against Goblins, and I don't think it is favorable. The Tivadar's Crusade's in the board prove this. In game 1, UGR has a better chance, and in sideboarded games it is favorable (3 Pyroclasm and 3 Stifle).
UGW only has Swords for in-game removal, which I often found to be not enough.
There is also an interesting tactical twist in sideboarded games with UGR - aggro tends to slowplay because they don't want to trade Xfor1 into a Pyroclasm. Against UGW, I usually put out as much threats as possible, since I only have to worry about Swords and there is no mass removal.


2) UGR has the better cantrip base.
Assuming one doesn't use Mental Note (which I think is subpar), you have:

4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Predict
4 Magma Jet

to manipulate your library, which is more than any other Gro list I know of. Library manipulation is the heart and soul of this deck, ensuring better card quality. With my cantrip base, you almost always name the right card with Predict, ensuring card quantity to keep up the pressure.


3) UGR can switch better between roles.
Because the white options in general are very defensive, UGW has to rely on its creatures for offense.
Now, UGR is a lot more flexible, since burn can be used defensively and offensively.
Burn offers a way to win outside of combat damage. This is very important in a stalemate on the board and against control decks when you need to get through those last points.
Wee Dragonauts also helps in this regard, as it is cheap and synergistic with the cantrip and burn spells. It's also a threat with flying that is not affected by graveyard hate and can be pitched to Force.
Not only does Burn offer more flexibility, it also speeds up the clock.



These are the 3 main reasons why I think UGR is better than UGW in the current metagame.

The only "weakness" which is often criticized is the pseudo-mirror against UGW. If that is the only bad matchup for UGR, I'll accept that, because right now, UGW has more bad matchups, of which the Goblin matchup is the most significant. I'd like to go more in-depth, though:

Game 1, UGR is the underdog because of Swords. The proper role here is aggro, because you don't want UGW to draw into Swords. Force them into the defensive with beats & burn and refill with Predict.
Actually, I like my chances against Mental Note builds, since it is very likely that I end up with better card quality (and quantity in case they don't run Predict), which can help to negate the impact of Swords.

Now, the sideboarded games get more interesting. White often sides in additional copies of Enforcer and Jotun Grunts. I side in Control Magic and FTK, which trump those UGW's board plan because they're essentially 2for1 that deal with the opponents sideboard strategy, too.
The only card in UGW that is hard to answer is Monastery. Because sideboards vary wildly, this is hard to predict. But so far, I've had good results with the Control Magic/FTK plan.


I hope this explains why I think UGR is better than UGW right now.

Mad Zur
11-18-2006, 11:47 AM
1) UGR is stronger than UGW against Goblins and aggro. This is huge because the metagame right now (or at least the metagame as I see it) is still aggro-based.
I don't think it's fair to say red is stronger against aggro in general. What aggro are you talking about specifically? I'd much rather have white against Angel Stompy, for example. And without Pithing Needle, I'm not even sure your build would be better against Goblins.

2) UGR has the better cantrip base.
Assuming one doesn't use Mental Note (which I think is subpar), you have:

4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Predict
4 Magma Jet

to manipulate your library, which is more than any other Gro list I know of. This has very little to do with the deck being red. One could easily play

4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Predict

...or something like that.


3) UGR can switch better between roles.
Because the white options in general are very defensive, UGW has to rely on its creatures for offense.This point is debatable, and if it's true, I don't think it makes enough of an impact to be a major issue. The vast majority of times burn goes to the head are when there are no creatures on the board it can kill. That means either an empty board (in which case you were free to go on the offensive anyway and I doubt the 2-3 damage helped significantly) or a board with creatures you can't kill (in which case you may in fact have to leave creatures back to block, rather than attack with them). There are actually some situations where having StP would make it easier for you to switch roles by removing a potential blocker that burn wouldn't kill.

The only "weakness" which is often criticized is the pseudo-mirror against UGW.No, the weakness is generally worse removal, which manifests itself primarily in the mirror but in other matchups as well. There are a good amount of creatures in this format that don't die to red removal. None of them are as popular as the mirror, of course, but they can add up.

Bane of the Living
11-18-2006, 02:54 PM
This has very little to do with the deck being red. One could easily play

4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Predict

...or something like that.

Well Sleight of Hand doesnt deal 2 damage. And it sucks. Bongo have you considered Lavadart for its Dragonaut awsomeness?

Solpugid
11-18-2006, 03:14 PM
But without dragonauts, lava dart is very sub-par. Are you thinking in addition to 4 bolts and 4 magma jets?

cRUMMYdUMMY
11-18-2006, 05:47 PM
Why not run 2 Gelectrodes instead of Dragonauts? Gelectrodes increase your removal capability by turning a Bolt into 5 damage, a Magma Jet into 4 damage, or a standard cantrip or counter into 2 damage. This gives you far greater removal and reach options as you can now remove Enforcers and Werebears easily and burn someone from less than 10 health down to zero. One of the problems would be that he only has 1 toughness so is easily removed by almost anything. On the other hand, the turn after he hits play, you should be able to zealously remove most of the creatures on the opponent's board. There is also the distinct lack of card advantage with Pyroclasm, but in that case, you can simply Pyroclasm first and then play Gelectrode since most creatures that would be killed by Gelectrode would be killed by Pyroclasm in the first place.

FallenOmnipotent
11-18-2006, 06:49 PM
Isochron Scepter > Gelectrodes

cRUMMYdUMMY
11-19-2006, 06:51 AM
I think so too, but isn't Scepter better than Dragonauts too?

troopatroop
11-19-2006, 01:29 PM
What does this deck do to Jotun Grunt? Double Burn is a pretty bad strategy, seeing as if they're protecting grunt at all (which they should be), A failed double burn attempt will probably be fatal. Do you sideboard for it, or just take the loss?

Bongo
11-19-2006, 01:52 PM
... wouldn't Treachery be worth a look?

The untapping effect of Treachery is not important enough to justify the 5cc (even 4cc is pushing it). All your counters except Counterspell work when you're tapped out.


Bongo have you considered Lavadart for its Dragonaut awsomeness?

Lava Dart's power level is too weak to justify its inclusion. As it is, the decklist is very tight. Actually, the cantrips are the awesomeness with Dragonauts, since you can "chain" them for massive damage (e.g. Portent, Serum, Bstorm swing - 7 damage) and dig for the lethal Burn at the same time.


Why not run 2 Gelectrodes instead of Dragonauts?

While the effect is interesting, the 1-toughness is a real bummer. I don't want threats that die to Mogg Fanatic. Dragonauts have 3 toughness, which is really handy to block Goblins or other 2/2s. Dragonauts also survive Pyroclasm.


@Mad Zur:
Angel Stompy is harder for UGR, I'll give you that. To be fair, UGW also doesn't have a favorable matchup against AS (it's 50/50 at best). With the addition of Jotun Grunt, it becomes worse for both variants.

With the broad term "aggro" I meant stuff like Goblins, Zoo, Fish variants, Red Death, Deadguy, Affinity and the like. Not all of these are strictly aggro, but I hope you get my point. You want more than just 4 Swords for removal. You really feel the difference between 4 Swords and 8 Lighting Bolt/Magma Jet in those matchups.

My UGR build definitely has a better Goblin matchup than UGW, especially after boarding. Needle is already working overtime, and the 4 Tinkerer/Hooligan version (like Machinus ran) can handle it quite easily.
Pyroclasm clears their board, and Stifle makes sure they don't refill with Ringleaders.


4 Brainstorm
4 Portent
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Predict


Either you are joking, or you're underestimating Magma Jet. Hoping that it's the latter, I'll try to explain.
Basically, because Jet fulfills multiple functions like instant speed-library manipulation/removal/damage, I think it is a lot better than Sleight. I already have 12 U-cantrips, which are sufficient.

I get the feeling that you're underestimating Burn in general. The additional damage quickly adds up, especially if your opponent uses Fetchlands. Those additional points of damage are the reason why UGR is faster than UGW. Because Thresh doesn't have a strong late-game, I think it is imperative to make things clear in the mid-game. UGR is better in this regard.

While Burn is worse than Swords against pro-red and fatties, it has the big advantage of being useful against control and combo (or deck without creatures in general), unlike Swords. Against control packing counters, Bolts and Jets become must-counter spells if their life-total is low. Against control without counters (Loam deck, Rock, Survival), I often won games I wasn't supposed to win because of direct damage. Against combo, at least you improve your clock.
Also, if you see that you can't handle your opponents threat, you can simply "chain" Burn at your opponents dome. Dragonauts really help to assist this Plan B. This flexibility I think is an important advantage of UGR.

I admit that pro-red creatures and fatties pose problems, hence Control Magic and FTK are in the sideboard.
Try out my list and tell me what you think!

-----


What does this deck do to Jotun Grunt? Double Burn is a pretty bad strategy, seeing as if they're protecting grunt at all (which they should be), A failed double burn attempt will probably be fatal. Do you sideboard for it, or just take the loss?

My solutions are Control Magic and FTK. Especially Control Magic is mean against UGW with Grunts.

FallenOmnipotent
11-19-2006, 01:59 PM
Grunt is not a friendly sight. You can do some combination of block and burn. You SB flametounge kavu. Some people have tried Control magic and control magic effects. You can counter... in short, Grunt hurts but you do have answers.

Citrus-God
11-20-2006, 03:52 AM
Grunt is not a friendly sight. You can do some combination of block and burn. You SB flametounge kavu. Some people have tried Control magic and control magic effects. You can counter... in short, Grunt hurts but you do have answers.

Once again, Vedalken Shackles is also another option. But Sbing Flametongue Kavu isnt a bad move either. Since it's both card quality and card advantage, it's also quite safe to start a counter war for this guy's resolution. Fighting over Vedalken Shackles resolution is somewhat decent, but it can easily be Needled.

I also realized this deck's mana base could easily help if play Anarchy, what are your thoughts? It hits both Grunts and Angel Stompy's men.

Bongo
11-20-2006, 04:47 PM
I also realized this deck's mana base could easily help if play Anarchy, what are your thoughts? It hits both Grunts and Angel Stompy's men.

If there is a lot of Angel Stompy or decks packing white in general, feel free to use it (although personally I haven't seen such a metagame). The sideboard can be customized easily, and the cantrips help a lot in finding those sb answers.

FallenOmnipotent
11-20-2006, 06:00 PM
i don't think anarchy would be a plan vs. all Jotan Grunts. It's more specificly if the deck is playing mages, enforcers, etc. If it's just the grunts that I'd bevery happy with the FTKs. But yeah, I can see Anarchy doing pretty well. Worth testing at the very least. I already run 2 in my SB for Angel Stompy. I don't feel you can win otherwise.

Bane of the Living
11-20-2006, 06:29 PM
My solutions are Control Magic and FTK. Especially Control Magic is mean against UGW with Grunts.

Try Threads of Disloyalty. The mana difference makes it a sideboard option against Gobs and Black disruption too since they play ld.

Obfuscate Freely
11-20-2006, 07:59 PM
Try Threads of Disloyalty. The mana difference makes it a sideboard option against Gobs and Black disruption too since they play ld.
The text difference makes it unplayable against Goblins, so the fact that Threads can't take Enforcers or Dragons in the mirror probably makes Control Magic better.

Bongo
11-20-2006, 08:29 PM
Try Threads of Disloyalty. The mana difference makes it a sideboard option against Gobs and Black disruption too since they play ld.

Against Goblins, I'd rather have Pyroclasm and Stifle. Threads also don't address the one of the main problems this deck has, which are fat creatures.
Control Magic is really good.


What does everybody think about my Dragonaut list?
What are your thoughts about the UGR vs UGW debate?

Solpugid
11-20-2006, 09:55 PM
I actually really like the dragonauts, but I worry that putting your "fatty" into bolt range could be detrimental. I will try him out in my UGR build.

As for which splash is better, I keep wanting to play red every time I lose to goblins or zoo, but then I play against stuff like salvager game and angel stompy and remember why I love swords so much. Grunt and monastery seal the deal for me.

But honestly, if I was playing in a meta with a large population of aggro decks, I would switch to red in a heartbeat. Until I stop seeing mid-range aggro-control decks, though, I'll stick with white.

lukatron2
11-21-2006, 11:45 PM
although I'm not saying its a bad Idea, I really don't like the dragonauts. yes the ability is sweet, but with a body of 3, a bolt wrecks them, and they arent a good blocker if your opponent resolves a creature with power 3 or greater. dragon is better because he is already a 5/5 flyer, and you can pump him up with r (usually can swing in with 5-8 damage regularly) and if needed you can block.

Citrus-God
11-25-2006, 03:31 PM
Dragonauts are awful. Your tapping yourself out on your turn to make him Gro. Even in the late game, his awful because your card advantage is synthetic, it's not meant to last that long. Also, the body dies to Bolt, and can be targeted. It no way is that card able to swing the game around like a Fledgling Dragon, and in no way is it disruptive.

Also, UGr > UGw. I made up my mind today. UGr can deal with Combo much better UGw can, and can win the most rediculous games with some burn cards aimed at the head.

So how are you going to solve Grunt now?

In the entire course of the game, your only using your counters for Geese and Fliers, and the Geese and fliers resolution. So what do you do? Use a couple Burn Cards to hit the Grunt. If he counters, counter back. Now you both ran out of counters. Take advantage of this opportunity to play your Geese and fliers and go all out.

cRUMMYdUMMY
11-26-2006, 12:33 AM
I'm sure theres a good reason, but why does no one run Kird Ape? Its pretty much 1 for a 2/3 most of the time. Is it because its not big enough, has no evasion, can't be pitched to FoW, and doesn't contribute to attaining thresh? Despite this, it seems like it would be a pretty good beater early game and blocker late game, since its not dependent on thresh.

lukatron2
11-26-2006, 06:41 PM
one reason...no taiga...this means that its never going to be a 2/3 turn 1...also, it CAN be targeted..its not dependent/big enough...basically, it doesn't have good psynergy w/the deck.

Bongo
11-27-2006, 07:18 AM
Dragonauts are awful. Your tapping yourself out on your turn to make him Gro. Even in the late game, his awful because your card advantage is synthetic, it's not meant to last that long. Also, the body dies to Bolt, and can be targeted. It no way is that card able to swing the game around like a Fledgling Dragon, and in no way is it disruptive.

From the above statements, it's evident that you haven't played with Dragonauts yourself.
Dragonauts sure as hell can swing a game around.

First, tapping out when you're having Dragonauts out is not a bad thing, since it is mostly for cantrips, which dig for free counters and more cantrips. If your opponent decides to destroy them, you can counter the removal spell and pump Dragonauts even more.
I also don't get what you mean by "synthetic", but I can assure you that Predict draws you enough cards to fuel the cantrip engine and Dragonauts.

As for Bolt, aside from the UGR mirror, there isn't a consistently performing deck that runs Bolt. Even then, you can counter it.
Unlike Fledgling, Dragonauts are infinitely easier to cast and can be pitched to Force if you don't need them. Dragonauts also get their bonus from something you'd be doing anyway (cantrip chain), but Fledgling simply eats the mana for pump.

Citrus-God
11-27-2006, 09:44 AM
From the above statements, it's evident that you haven't played with Dragonauts yourself.
Dragonauts sure as hell can swing a game around.

First, tapping out when you're having Dragonauts out is not a bad thing, since it is mostly for cantrips, which dig for free counters and more cantrips. If your opponent decides to destroy them, you can counter the removal spell and pump Dragonauts even more.
I also don't get what you mean by "synthetic", but I can assure you that Predict draws you enough cards to fuel the cantrip engine and Dragonauts.

As for Bolt, aside from the UGR mirror, there isn't a consistently performing deck that runs Bolt. Even then, you can counter it.
Unlike Fledgling, Dragonauts are infinitely easier to cast and can be pitched to Force if you don't need them. Dragonauts also get their bonus from something you'd be doing anyway (cantrip chain), but Fledgling simply eats the mana for pump.

Heres what I mean by synthetic, and this is also coming from a player playing with the Hatfield Configuration of Cantrips.

This deck doesnt ensure card advantage, just quality. The whole reason why Predict was good in the first place was due to the fact that it cuts the dead card on top and nets you two. It thins your deck by three cards technically, but sadly, it's based off of reliability.

The card still requires set-up, and making an attempt to pump a the Dragonnauts are a poor move because FoWs and Counterspells always get hardcasted mid-late game. Pitching it to other counters and cantrips is just a way to set you off your Midgame state, forcing you to make poor plays. I have never had any pleasure pitching Cantrips to FoW mid-late game, as Cantrips find me even more answers, and Counters are just general answers.

As for the cantrip chain philosophy, it sadly ends, as Portent is a slowtrip. You wont be pumping your Dragonauts until your next turn. Predicts arent always reliable to have around as well.

Happy Gilmore
11-28-2006, 09:28 AM
Having to deal with grunt is a new problem I don't see UGR overcoming easily. Before that card was printed I was using 4x Loaming shaman 2-3x stifle as my board strategy (against UGW). But now....FTK is probably still your best bet overall.

Citrus-God
11-28-2006, 09:37 AM
I suppose the best build to deal with a card like that for now is probably one of Wastedlife's variants of ThreshGro. 4c has good removal if your open enough for a 4th color for Confidant, Ghastly Demise, and Duress in the SB. 3c ThreshGro with 11 Burn cards can also deal with it easily, as your not burning every creature out, except for the fatty fliers, as it's just reach. Jotun Grunt can easily be an exception to this rule. The only variants I know cant do it at this moment is SARCASTO's version he used to Top 8 the GP Philly, and the Hatfield version which nobody plays anymore because White has better removal and better Sideboard options.

Bongo
11-28-2006, 01:42 PM
Having to deal with grunt is a new problem I don't see UGR overcoming easily. Before that card was printed I was using 4x Loaming shaman 2-3x stifle as my board strategy (against UGW). But now....FTK is probably still your best bet overall.

Actually, against UGW, your best bet is Control Magic. Together with FTK, I say you have the edge against UGW boarding Grunts, since your sideboard strategy trumps theirs.



...White has better removal and better Sideboard options.

I don't think this is true. While Swords is stronger when comparing it directly to Lightning Bolt, UGR has *more* removal spells, which double as additional reach. Against anything that isn't pro-red or has a toughness of 4 or higher, it doesn't matter if you cast Bolt or Swords. Actually, Bolt is slightly better in this case since your opponent doesn't gain life.
I also think that the sideboarding options like Pyroclasm, FTK and REB are vastly underrated. There is also Ancient Grudge against Affinity and Angel Stompy.


This deck doesnt ensure card advantage, just quality. The whole reason why Predict was good in the first place was due to the fact that it cuts the dead card on top and nets you two. It thins your deck by three cards technically, but sadly, it's based off of reliability.

?
Predict is a 2for1. With 16 manipulation spells in my version, you almost always draw 2.


The card still requires set-up, and making an attempt to pump a the Dragonnauts are a poor move because FoWs and Counterspells always get hardcasted mid-late game. Pitching it to other counters and cantrips is just a way to set you off your Midgame state, forcing you to make poor plays. I have never had any pleasure pitching Cantrips to FoW mid-late game, as Cantrips find me even more answers, and Counters are just general answers.

Do you mean Predict or Dragonauts with "the card"?
I don't get what exactly you want to say with this paragraph (no offense).


As for the cantrip chain philosophy, it sadly ends, as Portent is a slowtrip. You wont be pumping your Dragonauts until your next turn. Predicts arent always reliable to have around as well.

That's why you end your cantrip chain with Portent. Incidentally, this is also the correct play if you're digging for Burn, as discussed a few pages ago.

I don't get why you're thinking Dragonauts are so awful. I'm not saying Fledgling is bad, but his casting cost is really hard, especially when there are Wastelands involved.

Often, you Predict at opponents eot step, untap, play a combination of cantrips and burn, counter removal if there is any, and proceed to swing for a massive amount of damage.
Example: Serum Visions, Brainstorm, Bolt, attack, counter removal with FoW - that's 12 damage total.

lukatron2
11-28-2006, 04:10 PM
Quote by bongo:
Example: Serum Visions, Brainstorm, Bolt, attack, counter removal with FoW - that's 12 damage total.

do you always want to brainstorm on your turn? bolt on your turn? it the turn you just described wasn't lethal, than you basically just opened yourself up anything the opponent has to throw at you. you're basically giving up the control element. you're tapped out, have no more mana/cantrips/counters in hand..then what? dragon allows you to swing for 5-9 (you don't have to use up all your red sources) AND still leave mana open so you can respond to the opponents goblin piledriver with a brainstorm followed by a bolt or a counter. I guess it just depends on if you're trying to go all out aggro. thats what dragnoughts seems to be doing.

Citrus-God
11-28-2006, 09:20 PM
@Bongo: I do not think Dragonauts are awful now. Debates are there for a reason ya know.

I believe Dragon is still better because he can break the ground war and he is a bit harder to deal with, and you dont have to leave youself to anything stupid the turn after you play him. But I will test Dragonauts, and I will get back to you with some results.

SpatulaOfTheAges
11-29-2006, 01:16 PM
The text difference makes it unplayable against Goblins, so the fact that Threads can't take Enforcers or Dragons in the mirror probably makes Control Magic better.

Why not Mind Harness?

Bongo
11-29-2006, 01:23 PM
Why not Mind Harness?

Because Mind Harness can't take Jotun Grunt. Stealing Serendib Efreets and Exalted Angels also comes in handy. Also, sometimes you want to keep the creature for more than a few turns (which then costs about the same amount of mana as Control Magic). Rarely do you want to take control of a creature in the first 3 turns, so Control Magic is sufficient.
Nice idea though.

SpatulaOfTheAges
11-29-2006, 02:10 PM
Because Mind Harness can't take Jotun Grunt. Stealing Serendib Efreets and Exalted Angels also comes in handy. Also, sometimes you want to keep the creature for more than a few turns (which then costs about the same amount of mana as Control Magic). Rarely do you want to take control of a creature in the first 3 turns, so Control Magic is sufficient.
Nice idea though.

You can play Mind Harness more easily in the mid-late game than Control Magic, with the ability to also use it in the early game. Granted it can't steal Grunt or Angel, but I'm not sure the huge cost difference isn't worth it. Someone should probably test it, at any rate.

Phantom
11-29-2006, 02:18 PM
You can play Mind Harness more easily in the mid-late game than Control Magic, with the ability to also use it in the early game. Granted it can't steal Grunt or Angel, but I'm not sure the huge cost difference isn't worth it. Someone should probably test it, at any rate.

I tested it a bit in Faerie Stompy and found that I liked the more expensive, but broader solution better (in FS, Binding Grasp, in Thresh Control Magic). As a general rule in sideboards, broader, slighlty crappier cards are generally better than their more specific but less boarded cousins (see Crypt vs. Grunt).

Control Magic just has too many matchups where it is great (Reanimator, Affinity, AS, Fish) where Mind Harness is complete crap.

Solpugid
11-29-2006, 05:03 PM
(Off-topic side question)

When I used to play this splash over the white one, and ran 8 burn spells (bolt and jet), I remember occasionally having problems with not having enough blue cards for FoW. Have any of you had problems with this?

I do understand that replacing magma jet with fire/ice would solve this, but I'm not really willing to lose the power of burn+scry.

Citrus-God
11-29-2006, 07:35 PM
(Off-topic side question)

When I used to play this splash over the white one, and ran 8 burn spells (bolt and jet), I remember occasionally having problems with not having enough blue cards for FoW. Have any of you had problems with this?

I do understand that replacing magma jet with fire/ice would solve this, but I'm not really willing to lose the power of burn+scry.

This deck needs 25-26 Blue Cards in order to play properly. I doubt it's Magma Jet's fault, as it can ensure you card quality. Ask anyone who plays this deck a lot in this thread, they run Magma Jet.

Solpugid
11-30-2006, 12:14 AM
I was running 25 blue cards, but again, I had issues quite a few times. It really made me want to find a blue replacement for dragon, but I doubt that's the way to go. Dragon has been just too awesome for me.

Citrus-God
11-30-2006, 01:34 AM
The only viable replacements for Fledgling Dragon are Wee Dragonauts, Serendib Efreet, Sea Drake, and FtK. Those are all perfectly viable, and are really good. If you want to run Winter Orbs in the SB, run Sea Drakes. If you want something evasive, fast, and cheap, run Serendib Efreet.

lukatron2
11-30-2006, 11:11 AM
I played this deck in a tournament yesterday and I wen't 3-1 only loosing to the rock because I called wooded foothills (he plays 4 of them) instead of Pernicious Deed (yea I know it was stupid...I usually call deed, but I wanted to slow him down to win the early game) big mistake...but I beat affinity (hard match-up) soldiarity (a really good player) and I got a stupid bye first round...this is what I played

4 wooded foothills
1 flooded strand
1 poluted delta
1 forest
1 mountain
1 island
4 tropical island
4 volcanic island

2 fledgling dragon
4 mongoose
4 wearbear

4 mental note
4 accumulated knowledge
4 brainstorm
4 force of will
3 daze
3 counterspell
4 lightning bolt
4 fire/ice
3 pithing needle

sb:
2 control magic
3 red elemental blast
3 loaming shaman
3 pyroclasm
3 krosan grip
1 counterspell

It's a little different from the builds we've been discussing. I tried the version with magma jets and there were too many times early game where I had 2 or more 2cc spells, and I was like CRAP thats too much mana right now. its nice to have 1cc spells the first couple of turns so you can play multiple spells or to better develope your early game. It was wierd but 17 mana seemed like too much yesterday! I kept hitting land and I kept siding out a forest. I forgot the FTK's in the sb and i'm sure they would have helped me out. and I left out winter orb as a meta call (a lot of affinity lately for some reason)...mental note with AK is pretty sweet. gives me thresh and lets me draw more cards. I think I want to cut the needles for stifles or for 1 more daze, 1 more counterspell and something else...

gustoh
11-30-2006, 05:09 PM
I played this deck in a tournament yesterday and I wen't 3-1 only loosing to the rock because I called wooded foothills (he plays 4 of them) instead of Pernicious Deed (yea I know it was stupid...I usually call deed, but I wanted to slow him down to win the early game) big mistake...but I beat affinity (hard match-up) soldiarity (a really good player) and I got a stupid bye first round...this is what I played

4 wooded foothills
1 flooded strand
1 poluted delta
1 forest
1 mountain
1 island
4 tropical island
4 volcanic island

2 fledgling dragon
4 mongoose
4 wearbear

4 mental note
4 accumulated knowledge
4 brainstorm
4 force of will
3 daze
3 counterspell
4 lightning bolt
4 fire/ice
3 pithing needle

sb:
2 control magic
3 red elemental blast
3 loaming shaman
3 pyroclasm
3 krosan grip
1 counterspell

It's a little different from the builds we've been discussing. I tried the version with magma jets and there were too many times early game where I had 2 or more 2cc spells, and I was like CRAP thats too much mana right now. its nice to have 1cc spells the first couple of turns so you can play multiple spells or to better develope your early game. It was wierd but 17 mana seemed like too much yesterday! I kept hitting land and I kept siding out a forest. I forgot the FTK's in the sb and i'm sure they would have helped me out. and I left out winter orb as a meta call (a lot of affinity lately for some reason)...mental note with AK is pretty sweet. gives me thresh and lets me draw more cards. I think I want to cut the needles for stifles or for 1 more daze, 1 more counterspell and something else...

Your list is terrible...

oh wait... there are mental notes in there... you should thank the guy who gave you that advice... also you should thank him because he let you use his volcanic islands...

Also don't run Magma Jet if you're not running Predict

Decks that run AK without Intuition make me sad...

LT...

Citrus-God
11-30-2006, 09:21 PM
Luke, keep running Magma Jets. Fire // Ice draws you shit, and Magma Jet makes your draws gold. Predicts are good, but I think it's because I'm more of a player who plays decks from the east coast. Magma Jet is slow, so you may go back to Fire // Ice.

@Luke, drop AK. Your making yourself more vaunerable to Tormod's Crypt. Mental Note is good versus Solidarity. Also, did you play against Josh or Jeremy for the Solidarity match? Also, wtf isnt Serum Visions in there? It's friggin' Turbo Xerox, that cantrip is important. You not only draw business spells, but you set-up your mana base for the next turn. It also kills off dead draws. Luke, this deck is about Card Quality, run it, if you know the history of this deck, and the reason why I run 12 cantrips, you'll understand the Turbo Xerox philosophy. Dont cut Needles, it gives you a decent edge versus decks like Affinity and Faerie Stompy which is rampant in the meta. Also, a list you should run, which I showed you a thousand times. PM for the list, or just talk to me on Wednesday, Wastedlife won a Mox tournament, and top 8ed a Lotus Tournament.

lillelassie
12-01-2006, 03:04 AM
IF you want a cheap answer to jotun grunt I suggest Lightning Dart

1R
Instant
deal one damage to a creature, if its blue/white, deal four.

This is also exellent against FS.

Solpugid
12-15-2006, 05:23 PM
Ok, I'm just about ready to drop dragon. Who's with me?

In all seriousness, I want to try something with this deck. I've realized that more often than not I brainstorm/predict dragon away, or don't cast him because a) I don't need another beater, and b)I want counter mana up.

Most of the games I lose with this deck are due to being unable to handle a big play by an opponent. Now, counters are obviously the answer to this. But that's just the problem: If I dont have counters in hand, or don't have the mana for them, I can just scoop to worship, solitary confinement, etc.

When I played the white splash I actually had room for a maindeck echoing truth for such scenarios. This deck, on the other hand, is much more tight. The bounce doesn't fit in any slot except...dragon's. Now, I'm not proposing that we replace our flying beatstick with echoing truth. Instead, I want to ask a question: can anyone thing of a card that could go into that 2-of slot that could allow us to handle random permaments that slip through the counter wall? How about on a creature, so that the beats can continue?

All I've come up with is trygon predator and repeal as candidates, and I'm unhappy with both. You can go ahead and call me crazy for trying to bastardize the deck like this, but I simply see a weakness and I want to solve it. Ideas?

Citrus-God
12-15-2006, 08:16 PM
I like Repeal.... but I dont like Trygon Predator in this deck unless your meta is infested with Faerie Stompy, Angel Stompy, and Stax. If you want to answer them early, just run more cantrips and counters.

Solpugid
12-16-2006, 03:43 PM
Well its actually the purely reactive answers that annoy me, so more counters doesn't solve that. But, I don't think this is such a big deal. In my search to replace dragon, however, I did stumble across a possible candidate: eternal witness. The double -G cost and small body at first turned me off the idea. But double green is much easier than double red due to werebear. Plus, when it comes into play I not only have a 2/1, I also have a force of will/bolt/brainstorm/predict/fetchland/mongoose from my grave. Its versatility in giving me back what I need makes it kind of appealing. I'll test it, and I'm pretty sure I'll be unsatisfied, but I think it's worth a try.

Vimes
12-16-2006, 07:59 PM
Trygon Predator would probably have to be the best candidate, but you'd probably want to run extra miror match hate in the sideboard to balance it out. It seems to me the best answer would be to run more counters so that these problem cards never resolve and just give up on dealing with them once they resolve, as all other plans have drawbacks too significant.

If you really want to be able to answer these cards, I'd play UGbw Gro with Vindicate. Obviously the mana would be difficult, so you'd have to run a few maindeck Pithing Needles.

The bottom line: Counters are the only answers to these problem cards that are not inefficient or narrow, so the best solution is to run more counters and/or cantrips.

mikekelley
01-17-2007, 09:53 PM
I have been trying this deck for awhile now, and just having tons of trouble in many matchups. I'm running 4 bolt and 2 fledgling dragon, and the rest is pretty much the basic threshold list, cantrips, bears and mongeese with a typical mana base. I just eat it to everything, I've been playing the deck for awhile now on MWS (2-3 months) and have just not been having any success at all. Decks like Zoo and Faerie Stompy, Fish and some Pikula variants have all wrecked me. Any loam-based decks preboard, etc. Am I lacking sufficient removal? I want to try Fire/Ice and Magma Jet, but the lack of success thus far is discouraging. What is keeping me from replicating the sucess i've seen in the thread thusfar?

Citrus-God
01-17-2007, 11:46 PM
You played the deck wrong then. You lost against Bw Pikula (which has a better match up than White because it has more removal), and this usually has a better Fish match-up than White thresh because it can consistently answer troublesome guys (Mage, Confidant, Mom) at the beginning of the game.

1. Were you playing Predict in your build along with the 8 Cantrips and 4 Magma Jets? Is so, how do you lose those match-ups.

2. Zoo and Faerie Stompy is meant to wreck Thresh. Dont feel bad, this deck loses to 9 Land Stompy, because it's meant to be. Luckily, you can do better against 9 Land Stompy than White. Zoo is just Stompy with better and bigger creatures. yikes!

3. Dont play the Red Hatfield version of Thresh, if you want to play a Hatfield variant, play the Black or White one. If your gonna play Red, run Wastedlife's build. Nobody ever listens to me, that build wins a lot. I slapped Angel Stompy around 2-1 and sometimes 2-0. I slapped the mirror around 2-0 with that deck. I slapped Hanni Fish 2-0 with that deck. I slapped Goblins around game 2-0. I even do better against Faerie Stompy because I was able to overwhelm them with Magma Jets and Fire // Ice to draw me into counters to counter their fat/Equipment and guys to overwhelm them.

Heres a Maindeck....


// Lands 17
3 Wooded Foothills
3 Flooded Strand
4 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain
2 Island


// Creatures 10
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Fledgling Dragon


// Spells 33
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Predict
3 Daze
3 Counterspell
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet
3 Fire // Ice


// Sideboard 15
3 Pithing Needle
3 Stifle
2 Engineered Explosives
4 Pyroclasm
3 Flametongue Kavu


Heres the thing.... that decklist wins (exclude the SB, the MD is important right now). It's Burn heavy, and it's still aggresive, and your opponent sill has to play slightly more differently because you have Burn. You making them crash into more decisions. Even a bluff of a couple lands in your hand can tell them you have Burn.

mikekelley
01-18-2007, 12:01 AM
Yes, I was playing 4 predict and 4 portent. I just felt like I was always overwhelmed with threats from my opponent, and a lot of times felt like my one goose or bear just wasn't enough to deal with what they were throwing at me. I will try the build with more fire/ice and magma jet, however.

Citrus-God
01-18-2007, 06:44 PM
You can run Portents over Fire // Ice if your meta warrents it. Honestly, Portent is a much better cantrip than Fire // Ice, but against Aggro and Fish, you would much rather have Fire // Ice.

Also, how did you lose to Deadguy with Hatfield Thresh? I was wondering because I have always beaten Deadguy with Hatfield Thresh (it's my religion basically). Did you get early Needles on Wasteland? How efficiently did you answer their early creatures? If you feel that you have to continue running Red Hatfield Thresh, make sure you run Needles main. That's how you win. It's not the lack of removal you probably lost with Hatfield, it's the quality of those removal cards. Needles answer stupid random things too. 16 Cantrips should give you a good feel of how to use this deck to find answer consistently.

Hanni
01-19-2007, 12:45 AM
U/G/r Threshold

Lands (17)
4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Wooded Foothills
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain

Creatures (11)
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
3 Serendib Efreet

Spells (32)
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Fire//Ice
2 Magma Jet
3 Stifle
3 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt

That's what I would run maindeck with Needles sideboard. Stifle generates alot more tempo, which this deck wants because it wants to play the beatdown. It also answers Goblins well by stopping Ringleader... Needle stops Vial, and while Vial may fuel Goblins well, that mana is wasted mana if they don't refuel their hand constantly. Threshold runs no card draw so making sure they don't allow Goblins to win by card advantage is crucial. It's better than Pithing Needle against Solidarity too, since it can pop Fetchlands for an even larger increase in tempo. If nothing else, it can try to stop Brain Freeze. In the mirror, both Needle and Stifle aren't very good but Stifle is much better here since it can hit fetchlands or pitch to FoW. An exception may be against builds with Scepter but I haven't seen those in a while.

The Mental Notes allow the deck to become the beatdown much faster, with a path cleared by burn. Predict may be good in UGw but I definitely think Mental Note is the way to go in UGr. It is important to Portent, but Fire//Ice is alot more versatile. I love Fire//Ice and I would gladly run it instead of the rediculous amounts of pure cantrip that traditional Threshold uses. Magma Jet isn't bad either, since it's instant speed Serum Visions removal without the draw. Scry is a busted mechanic and having Scry #6 is pretty cool.

I don't think Counterspell is right for UGr. It's good in UGw, since the deck more often plays the control role against most decks. UGr wants to beat quickly and UU spells in hand are a little slow. If the deck could fit it, it would run it, but I think FoW/Daze/Stifle fit the role enough. A 4th Daze could be good but I think the redundancy of cantrip and the untargetability of Mongoose reduces the need for it.

I think Serendib is a much better option than Fledgling Dragon since it comes down a turn faster, isn't Threshold dependant, and it doesn't strain the manabase. The difference in speed between Dragon and Efreet is important for a deck that wants to play the beatdown.

That's all I have for now. I like UGr Threshold better than UGw Threshold.

noobslayer
01-19-2007, 02:02 AM
I'd rather run 4 magma jet than 4 fire/ice. I suppose a 3/3 split could work too, so you still have more fodder for Force of Will pitches.

Citrus-God
01-20-2007, 02:16 PM
U/G/r Threshold

Lands (17)
4 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Wooded Foothills
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain

Creatures (11)
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
3 Serendib Efreet

Spells (32)
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Fire//Ice
2 Magma Jet
3 Stifle
3 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt

That's what I would run maindeck with Needles sideboard. Stifle generates alot more tempo, which this deck wants because it wants to play the beatdown. It also answers Goblins well by stopping Ringleader... Needle stops Vial, and while Vial may fuel Goblins well, that mana is wasted mana if they don't refuel their hand constantly. Threshold runs no card draw so making sure they don't allow Goblins to win by card advantage is crucial. It's better than Pithing Needle against Solidarity too, since it can pop Fetchlands for an even larger increase in tempo. If nothing else, it can try to stop Brain Freeze. In the mirror, both Needle and Stifle aren't very good but Stifle is much better here since it can hit fetchlands or pitch to FoW. An exception may be against builds with Scepter but I haven't seen those in a while.

The Mental Notes allow the deck to become the beatdown much faster, with a path cleared by burn. Predict may be good in UGw but I definitely think Mental Note is the way to go in UGr. It is important to Portent, but Fire//Ice is alot more versatile. I love Fire//Ice and I would gladly run it instead of the rediculous amounts of pure cantrip that traditional Threshold uses. Magma Jet isn't bad either, since it's instant speed Serum Visions removal without the draw. Scry is a busted mechanic and having Scry #6 is pretty cool.

I don't think Counterspell is right for UGr. It's good in UGw, since the deck more often plays the control role against most decks. UGr wants to beat quickly and UU spells in hand are a little slow. If the deck could fit it, it would run it, but I think FoW/Daze/Stifle fit the role enough. A 4th Daze could be good but I think the redundancy of cantrip and the untargetability of Mongoose reduces the need for it.

I think Serendib is a much better option than Fledgling Dragon since it comes down a turn faster, isn't Threshold dependant, and it doesn't strain the manabase. The difference in speed between Dragon and Efreet is important for a deck that wants to play the beatdown.

That's all I have for now. I like UGr Threshold better than UGw Threshold.

Have you seen Pat McGregor's list? the importance and and verstality of Counterspell. You need Counterspell because of Solidarity. When they play High Tide, that's when ou know you need it. Also, your quite wrong about UGw Threshold. They play the Tempo role. they play Mental Note, they play beatdown. Meddling Mage is a creature, and creatures dont last long in this format. Mental Note exploits Mages power and helps the deck win before Mage can be ignored or answered. It's all about tempo; Meddling Mage slows your opponent down, while your men go for the throat.
Just because this deck runs Burn doesnt make it more aggressive. Burn is just flexible reach/control. If you want to deal with Goblins, run 12 burn cards or run 3 Needles maindecked. This deck can easily deal with Goblins with more hard counters. Stifles are good, but only in a certain number alongside with Counterspell.

Solpugid
01-21-2007, 02:18 PM
Mental note equals NO in UGr thresh, at least from my testing. Your burn and cantrips get you threshold fast enough when combined with predict. The extra cards and card selection thus gives you better mid to late game and more chance of burning an opponent out. Also, magma jet> fire/ice almost always.

As for my UGw version...I run predict in place of note there too, but don't tell anyone.

mikekelley
01-31-2007, 12:03 AM
Ancient Grudge is TECH in the SB. Don't know if it has been mentioned yet, but it's fairly obvious.

Citrus-God
01-31-2007, 02:38 AM
Ancient Grudge will be considered when the metagame shifts into a more Chalice/Faerie Stompy/Aggro-Control Equipment/Stax/5/3 oriented metagame. Right now, I dont see that card being better than Engineered Explosives.

Happy Gilmore
01-31-2007, 11:44 AM
Goblins in my meta SB's Chalice very consistently. The last couple weeks I have tested this sideboarding strategy in a couple ten game sets vs. a crypt chalice setup for goblins.

-2 Dragon
-1 Counterspell
-3 Pithing needle
-4 Predict

+3 Stifle
+4 Clasm
+3 Naturalize

I found that Naturalize was very comparible to Pithing Needle, and was even better if the opponent was splashing a color for (Naturalize, Disenchant, Grip).

I feel like such a noob not thinking of Grudge....that would make my FS matchup so so much better. :smile:

Citrus-God
01-31-2007, 01:14 PM
I cant think of many troublesome enchantments right now.... probably Worship, Moat, and probably Sacred Ground. Rifter is kinda obsolete right now, so Lightning Rift and Humility is kinda crap. Ancient Grudge should be better.

@Happy Gilmore: What build of Threshold are you running right now? UGr Hatfield? Isnt UGw better though? Also, why do you side out Needle? I find myself Neddling Wasteland too much to ever side it out... even if you use it to deal with Chalice. Wouldnt this be better? Have you thought about siding out 3 Cantrips, or is Pyroclasm too valuable in this match up to cut Cantrips?

Happy Gilmore
01-31-2007, 02:21 PM
I guess you could call it "Hatfield Grow." And I would say your problem with wasteland stems from the fact you are too reliant on drawing into your lands naturally in the early game. I wonder, are you searching for the basic islands? I have never named Wasteland against goblins with my Pithing Needles as far as I can remember.

Here is a tip as far as boarding naturalize:

"Watch how many cards they sideboard, it will probably tell you if you need to worry about Chalice or not." (Deep6er)

I rarely watch sideboarding but I'm trying to get into the habit. It is amazing how much information you can gather from your opponent this way.

nitewolf9
01-31-2007, 03:16 PM
Which is why you should probably (at least at a major event) be boarding by shuffling your entire sideboard into your deck, then taking out 15 cards. Now that's pretty annoying if someone is trying to watch you board...

But yeah, I think naturalize over needle is a good idea in most cases. Tinkerer becomes useless and it seems like too much of a liability with even the possibility that they board chalice.

Citrus-God
02-01-2007, 10:05 AM
I guess you could call it "Hatfield Grow." And I would say your problem with wasteland stems from the fact you are too reliant on drawing into your lands naturally in the early game. I wonder, are you searching for the basic islands? I have never named Wasteland against goblins with my Pithing Needles as far as I can remember.

Here is a tip as far as boarding naturalize:

"Watch how many cards they sideboard, it will probably tell you if you need to worry about Chalice or not." (Deep6er)

I rarely watch sideboarding but I'm trying to get into the habit. It is amazing how much information you can gather from your opponent this way.

I fetch Basics really often to tell the truth. My problems are the Port. They keep from double UU, and they make attempts to keep me off Green. If I'm running Red, I dont think I ever need to fetch out Red unless I need to play Clasm' that turn, so I tend to just sit back with Mountains in my hand.
And but searching for my own lands, did you mean the cantrip power this deck provides?

Yes, I in fact do, but the fact I'm wasting my card quality for mana seems kind of a terrible theory, even though I have won games like that, since I dedicated most of my time finding clasms and being able to cast them and swinging with my men, whereas, the UGw version of this deck seems to slowly try and deplete Goblins from the beginning before it becomes a liability mid-late game.


When I played the UGw Hatfield Gro, I found myself not worrying so much about my mana base since it takes 1 Basic Island to function off of, since I side in 3 Hydroblasts and 3 Stifles. I dont fetch my duals as much as I need to, but I'm just more interested in your game plan, since I kinda played like that when I picked up Red.

@nitewolf9: I kinda think that making Tinkerer dead is probably the best plan I've heard of in ages. Now I have to cut Krosan Grip because of you.:wink:

I have done that before... you know, sidein my entire SB. I did it game 3 and I made my opponent re-do his SB. At the end of the game, I won, and he realized I didnt make any changes to my SB plan.

Happy Gilmore
02-01-2007, 10:43 AM
I fetch Basics really often to tell the truth. My problems are the Port. They keep from double UU, and they make attempts to keep me off Green. If I'm running Red, I dont think I ever need to fetch out Red unless I need to play Clasm' that turn, so I tend to just sit back with Mountains in my hand.
And but searching for my own lands, did you mean the cantrip power this deck provides?

Yes, I in fact do, but the fact I'm wasting my card quality for mana seems kind of a terrible theory, even though I have won games like that, since I dedicated most of my time finding clasms and being able to cast them and swinging with my men, whereas, the UGw version of this deck seems to slowly try and deplete Goblins from the beginning before it becomes a liability mid-late game.


When I played the UGw Hatfield Gro, I found myself not worrying so much about my mana base since it takes 1 Basic Island to function off of, since I side in 3 Hydroblasts and 3 Stifles. I dont fetch my duals as much as I need to, but I'm just more interested in your game plan, since I kinda played like that when I picked up Red.

@nitewolf9: I kinda think that making Tinkerer dead is probably the best plan I've heard of in ages. Now I have to cut Krosan Grip because of you.:wink:

I have done that before... you know, sidein my entire SB. I did it game 3 and I made my opponent re-do his SB. At the end of the game, I won, and he realized I didnt make any changes to my SB plan.

Thats a sweet trick, I've done that before when I realize my opponent is watching me. As for the way I play....I can only tell you that it is different from how I play the white version. I fetch alot less game two and three, keeping my fetches on the board. If I go for a non-basic early I normally go for a trop because I always have a Forest later on. I play no creatures before I have thresh unless I need to block lacky with Mongoose. In the mid and late game I normally ship the counterspells for burn, stifles, and creatures. I try to always have an answer for crypt and SGC if possible. Once I start putting on the beats I never go back on defense (never had to). I lose when I can't get to that point in the game.

I might also mention that the testing I did with Naturalize over Needle was done with the white version. And what I found was if my opponent was boarding Chalice that I had only 6 answers to it (all counters). If I loose game one it is going to be very hard to win game 2 unless I take a chance on boarding Naturalize. I think its a neccessary evil, but you will find its really not that bad. And now that I am using Grudge it might be even better, maybe. There is something to be said for needing your red sources earlier in the game.

Citrus-God
02-02-2007, 12:57 AM
Thats a sweet trick, I've done that before when I realize my opponent is watching me. As for the way I play....I can only tell you that it is different from how I play the white version. I fetch alot less game two and three, keeping my fetches on the board. If I go for a non-basic early I normally go for a trop because I always have a Forest later on. I play no creatures before I have thresh unless I need to block lacky with Mongoose. In the mid and late game I normally ship the counterspells for burn, stifles, and creatures. I try to always have an answer for crypt and SGC if possible. Once I start putting on the beats I never go back on defense (never had to). I lose when I can't get to that point in the game.

I might also mention that the testing I did with Naturalize over Needle was done with the white version. And what I found was if my opponent was boarding Chalice that I had only 6 answers to it (all counters). If I loose game one it is going to be very hard to win game 2 unless I take a chance on boarding Naturalize. I think its a neccessary evil, but you will find its really not that bad. And now that I am using Grudge it might be even better, maybe. There is something to be said for needing your red sources earlier in the game.

I dont like the idea of Grudge against Goblins. Keeping Red on the table is very hard, even if Grudge is an instant, but I guess it should be tested since most of the disruption they'll throw at you will be Ports. I suppose using Ancient Grude on upkeep is a very exceptional thing to do.

Against Goblins, I tend to keep Counterspells in my hand. Goblins topdecks are craziest topecks ever, so I need to answer them.

Early Game I try to get an answer to Lackey, and maybe Vial. After that, I try and get as many answers as possible to answer Matrons, Ringleaders, and SCG. Late game, I still thrive for Counterspells, and I tend to also aime for my win conditions as well, since they can also double as blockers.

I will test the Naturalize plan. I have had a problem with Tinkerer, but it hanst become a liability in my metagame yet.

Adan
02-03-2007, 05:03 AM
Why does nobody play Burning Tree Shaman? That guy just fits into this deck even more than Sea Drake or Serendib Efreet and it a thousan times better than Flegling Dragon.

BTS does a lot of damage in the Landstill and Rift matchup and is independable from Theshold, but got a solid body though. Well, you will also receive damage from your own Fetchlands, but that's not that important, because you got 11 Burnspells (4 Bolt and a 3/4 split of Magma Jet and F/I).

I think he gives the deck the possibility to be more straight-foward than even now.

Happy Gilmore
02-03-2007, 09:56 AM
Why does nobody play Burning Tree Shaman? That guy just fits into this deck even more than Sea Drake or Serendib Efreet and it a thousan times better than Flegling Dragon.

BTS does a lot of damage in the Landstill and Rift matchup and is independable from Theshold, but got a solid body though. Well, you will also receive damage from your own Fetchlands, but that's not that important, because you got 11 Burnspells (4 Bolt and a 3/4 split of Magma Jet and F/I).

I think he gives the deck the possibility to be more straight-foward than even now.

A thousand times better? So he is a three turn clock on his own, kills Werebears, doesn't do damage to yourself, doesn't die to Dystopia, has evasion, and trades with Mystic Enforcer? I don't mean to be sarcastic but justifying a creature because you have 11 burn spells to negate his major drawback (evasion), does not make him many times better than Dragon. However, I have seen the list that T8ed in Europe with Burning Tree Shaman and if you get an chance to test a build with him against Goblins and the mirror I would be very interested in the results. The only issue I have with Dragon is his double R mana requirement. Besides that he is easily the best option for a 2 of finisher in UGR. And because of that I can see why everyone is exploring other options. I myself have been testing Fathom Sear instead but he seems weak most of the time. The protection from wasteland is neet but once you hit three mana you don't normally have to worry about waste anyway. No, the card that replaces Dragon has to be evasive and fat or its no dice.

URABAHN
02-04-2007, 09:09 AM
Why does nobody play Burning Tree Shaman? That guy just fits into this deck even more than Sea Drake or Serendib Efreet and it a thousan times better than Flegling Dragon.

BTS does a lot of damage in the Landstill and Rift matchup and is independable from Theshold, but got a solid body though. Well, you will also receive damage from your own Fetchlands, but that's not that important, because you got 11 Burnspells (4 Bolt and a 3/4 split of Magma Jet and F/I).

I think he gives the deck the possibility to be more straight-foward than even now.

You really should've searched the thread before posting this nonsense about Burning Tree Shaman, because it's already been discussed and it's awful (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=83467&postcount=3). Just to recap, Fetchlands + Burning Tree Shaman = NOT a combo!

Drathro
02-16-2007, 12:55 PM
No, the card that replaces Dragon has to be evasive and fat or its no dice.
... and non-Green, if you have any significant number of Swamps in your meta (Perish, Dystopia).

Edit: whoo, I should pay attention to datestamps on messages....

Mad Zur
03-06-2007, 07:24 PM
This is my decklist from The Mana Leak Open, which took me to T8 on day two (as well as T16 on day one).

4 Predict
4 Brainstorm
3 Portent
3 Serum Visions
2 Sensei's Divining Top

4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
3 Daze

4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Fledgling Dragon

4 Lightning Bolt
3 Pithing Needle

4 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Island
1 Forest

Sideboard:
4 Pyroclasm
3 Counterbalance
3 Control Magic
2 Naturalize
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Sensei's Divining Top

I don't really remember enough to write a report, but I'd like to talk about the build.

The reason I'm currently running red instead of white is, as always, for Pyroclasm against Goblins. I felt losing Swords to Plowshares was acceptable because the matchups that significantly impacts are less important than the Goblin matchup, particularly if the disadvantage in the mirror match can be tempered with the sideboard.

I decided that I would need to sideboard at least seven cards for the mirror match so that I wasn't at too much of a disadvantage (I want to board out Lightning Bolt and Pithing Needle), and dropping white means no Nantuko Monastery or Jotun Grunt. After considering several red, blue, and green options, I decided on Counterbalance, which others around here had tested in the mirror to some success, and which doubles as an answer to combo (where I previously had Stifle).

I believe Counterbalance is strong on its own, but incorporating Top into the draw engine makes it much stronger. I was initially worried about Top being too slow against Goblins, but in my limited testing and tournament experience, this has not been significant. I think two is the correct number for the maindeck, because they are redundant and less efficient than other draw spells, but that a third should be boarded because you definitely want to see it against control decks or the mirror. I also think it needs to replace draw spells, but I don't know which ones. As you can see, I've cut down to 3 Portent and 3 Serum Visions right now, but running a 4/2 split or cutting a Predict might be better (Top and Predict serve similar roles, but Top makes drawing multiple Predicts very good).

Control Magic is there because I was worried about having no answer to Jotun Grunt on the board, as well as no answer to Enforcer except a two-of Dragon. Flametongue is not there because it stops the former but not the latter, and at the same price. I wanted to run Loaming Shaman as well, but could not find a way to fit it in along with the other cards I wanted.

I've always considered at least 2 Naturalize necessary, and I've been running 3 for some time. However, considering that artifacts are much more prevalent than enchantments, I have cut to 2 Naturalize and added Ancient Grudge. Grudge is mainly for the Goblin matchup, where I want to board at least one extra answer to Vial, particularly one that can answer Chalice as well. Naturalize and Grudge are both inefficient for this, but Grudge can generate card advantage to make up for it.

This list is still relatively new, and I'm not absolutely sure about these changes, but after playing it in the Running GAGG and both days at TML Open 2, I am very optimistic. Compared to my previous white build, I believe that the matchup against Goblins and any control deck is significantly improved, and the matchup against combo is either improved or unchanged. It still needs to be tested against the mirror, but even if it is at a disadvantage against white, the improved Goblin matchup may be worth it.

Citrus-God
03-06-2007, 07:49 PM
I was amazed with the results this deck gave me. I got around to test it, and I might play it at my next big tournament. Goblins has become a much bigger concern in my meta, Threshold is growing weak, and Combo is on the rise to answer Goblins. I know for a fact that

1. Goblins and Combo are rampant now.
2. The only card from the mirror that truely worries you will always be Mystic Enforcer. Since your Lightning Bolts are somewhat dead, you may as well hold 2 of them in your hand just to answer Enforcer around midgame (assuming this happens).
3. Top can easily help you outdraw the Gro mirror. It really shouldnt matter.


Congratz on making Top 8. I really look forward to this deck doing well. Also, have you considered Loaming Shaman instead of Control Magic, or has Control Mage been too powerful to cut due to effectiveness of this in the Midgame mirror? Estimated, how long do you think it could take to assemble the Counterbalance/Top combo with all the cantrips in this deck?

Zach Tartell
03-25-2007, 11:59 PM
Could we get some boarding plans, too? And why such a small red package? I have, in place of your ridiculous amount of portents and tops (which I'd like to fit in) 4 magma jet 4 fire//ice. I'm at 61 cards, but I like it anyway.

Citrus-God
03-26-2007, 09:51 AM
Could we get some boarding plans, too? And why such a small red package? I have, in place of your ridiculous amount of portents and tops (which I'd like to fit in) 4 magma jet 4 fire//ice. I'm at 61 cards, but I like it anyway.

Wastedlife's deck? Different mana base I assume as well, probably

3 Wooded Foothills
3 Flooded Strand
4 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
1 Mountain
1 Forest
1 Island


Awhile ago, Wastedlife cut a Fire // Ice from his list due to the fact that 61 cards isnt optimal. It's not so bad, but your Goblins MU is weakened without Needle. This deck plays so much more aggressively than the NoVA version that the only differences are that the NoVA version plays Control more often than the Wastedlife version, but in return, the NoVA version can keep more hands while it's forcing you to mulligan more. I had so many moments where I cant keep 1-land hands because Magam Jets arent Portents.

Happy Gilmore
03-26-2007, 12:11 PM
Could we get some boarding plans, too? And why such a small red package? I have, in place of your ridiculous amount of portents and tops (which I'd like to fit in) 4 magma jet 4 fire//ice. I'm at 61 cards, but I like it anyway.

What are Jets and fire/ices for? What exactly is their purpose? DD to the dome? Not to mention the fact that by replacing 1cc cantrips for 2cc burn spells you are putting a huge strain on your mana base. I find that Pithing Needle in many ways plays the role that I would want out of extra burn, so I feel that anything more than Bolt is un-necessary. I just don't understand what extra burn spells give you. Removal? Not for most decks. I would play 1-2 Pyroclasms main (and I have) before I try Jet or Fire/Ice again. 2cc burn spells are inefficient in this meta game.

Boarding Strategies (this varies at times)

Solidarity:
-3 Pithing Needle
-2 Fledgling Dragon

+1 Top
+3 Counterbalance
+1 Control Magic

Dragons come out because they are a instant loss if you attempt to play them, no matter what stage of the game. Counterbalance is the card that makes it a nightmare for them. As for Control Magic, after discussing it with Madzur he says that bringing in Control Magic gives you another card to pitch to Force as well as a card that counters Turnabout when on top of your deck.

Iggy Pop

-3 Needle
-2 Dragon
-1 Forest
(You can take out one bolt as well if you feel the need to add another Naturalize effect)

+3 Counterbalance
+1 Top
+2-3 (combination of Naturalize and Ancient Grudge)

You leave in the bolts because of Swarm and the fact that you can recur them each time an opponent casts an ill-gotten Gains.

The counterbalance + top engine is solid here.

The Naturalize effects answer Layline, Defense Grid, and can blow up key artifact mana sources (LED) at the right times.

Goblins:

-2 Dragon
-4 (some combination of card drawing effects. I Still do not know what is correct to take out in this match up)

+4 Pyroclasm
+2 Ancient Grudge/ Naturalize

Ancient grudge gives you another answer to vial as well as dealing with Chalice of the Void if they are boarding it. A very solid addition to the boarding strategy imo.

Mirror (UGW)

-4 Bolt
-3 Needle

+3 Control Magic
+3 Counterbalance
+1 Top

Control Magic is so good it can't be repeated enough. It compliments the top/balance plan perfectly, both countering and stealing Mystic Enforces. And more importantly it deals with Jotun Grunt very well.

TES

- 3 Needle
- 2 Dragon
- 3 Bolt
- 1 Forest

+ 3 Counterbalance
+ 4 Pyroclasm
+ 2 Ancient Grudge


This is what I would go with initially, although I need alot more testing.

Red Death...

I really Don't know what comes in this matchup... (Anwar or Madzur, a little help here?)

I def think some # of Control Magics, Some # of Pyroclasm, and possibly some # of Naturalizes.

I have no idea what to take out especially since Needles help with both Jitte and Shade.


Thats a start on matchups, plz feel free to add or critique my choices since my testing in certain matchups is not as thourough as I would like.

Cheers.

noobslayer
03-26-2007, 12:13 PM
Jet was around to make predict a draw two every time. Also, I think 7-8 burn slots are right for this deck, as it gives it a little more reach than the current 4.

Happy Gilmore
03-26-2007, 12:49 PM
Jet was around to make predict a draw two every time. Also, I think 7-8 burn slots are right for this deck, as it gives it a little more reach than the current 4.

I know it seams like extra burn is needed but its not. But give both a try and see for yourself. By drawing better cards through more cantrips you get into situations where reach is crucial less often. I have never found Fire/Ice or Magma Jet an efficient use of my mana. I would rather run a Pyroclasm in the main which can, at times, circumvent the need for reach in the first place.

Adan
03-26-2007, 01:48 PM
You really should've searched the thread before posting this nonsense about Burning Tree Shaman, because it's already been discussed and it's awful (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=83467&postcount=3). Just to recap, Fetchlands + Burning Tree Shaman = NOT a combo!

You never played him, didn't you? And who the fuck said to play him along with Fledgling Dragon???

Then give me an example in which Matchup Fledgling Dragon is better than BTS.
Tell me.
And maindeck Needles are, in my opinion, only a Metachoice. With BTS you often don't need Needle anymore (except against Wasteland/Pernicious Deed/Disk maybe).

And he IS superior to Fledgling Dragon. Test it!

Happy Gilmore
03-26-2007, 02:19 PM
You never played him, didn't you? And who the fuck said to play him along with Fledgling Dragon???

Then give me an example in which Matchup Fledgling Dragon is better than BTS.
Tell me.

And he IS superior to Fledgling Dragon. Test it!

Even though the post you were referring to was over 2 weeks old I'll bite.

Dragon is better than BTS in:

Any match up where evasion is relevant, any match up where a quick clock is needed (3 turns with Dragon alone), any match up where being green is a liability (against Dystopia/Perish), any match up where your opponent has creatures greater than x/3, and any match up where life totals are highly relevant (taking 2 from Fetching is a problem).


Enough with the BTS shenanigans ok? As you said, test it. Itís been shown to be highly suboptimal in every match up that has been tested thus far. And I donít consider its ability to stop horrible combo decks as enough of a bonus to outweigh its short comings.

Zach Tartell
03-26-2007, 02:44 PM
Wastedlife's deck? Different mana base I assume as well, probably

Pretty much. I even traded for his french trops. I just don't know what to cut for the tops main. Maybe cut the fire//ice's altogether? Counterbalance is pretty sweet tech. But I'm not sure I like control magic. I mean, to be fair, I havent' tried it. I guess I'll have to get around to that.

And, thanks for the boarding. Helped tons.

mikekelley
03-26-2007, 02:44 PM
Jet was around to make predict a draw two every time. Also, I think 7-8 burn slots are right for this deck, as it gives it a little more reach than the current 4.

I wouldn't (and don't) bother playing this deck with only 4 lightning bolts and the dragons.

I would, however, definatley condone +4 magma jet and +3 fire/ice. Four bolts just isn't enough in most cases. The burn can come in great handy, from finishing off control opponents who stabilize around 4-8 life, dealing with son of a bitch creatures like meddling mage, and so on.

Citrus-God
03-26-2007, 05:15 PM
Pretty much. I even traded for his french trops. I just don't know what to cut for the tops main. Maybe cut the fire//ice's altogether? Counterbalance is pretty sweet tech. But I'm not sure I like control magic. I mean, to be fair, I havent' tried it. I guess I'll have to get around to that.

And, thanks for the boarding. Helped tons.

Another option to board in against Threshold is Vedalken Shackles. If they do side in Needles against you, that's one Needle down, and 2 more for your Shackles. Problem is, they're under pressure. expect them to dismantle their general card quality just to make poor attempts to shut Shackles down. But if you dont like Control Magic, it's cool. Other alternatives are Loaming Shaman, Tormod's Crypt, and/or Flametongue Kavu. I would say Crypt is the best since you have an awful SoTF MU, and Crypt does much more than FtK.

I'd cut the Fire // Ice for 2 Portents and 1 Top. 2 Tops can go in the SB for Counterbalance MUs.

BTW, Counterbalance is awesome. I won against Rifter because of Counterbalance.


@Happy Gilmore:

This is how I board for each MU...


Goblins:

-2 Fledgling Dragon
-1 Pithing Needle/Counterspell
-2 Sensei's Divining Top/1 Serum Vision, 1 SDT
-1 Predict


+4 Pyroclasm
+2 Ancient Grudge


Between boarding out Counterspell or Needle, I might say Needle. Here's why; Post-Board you already have 4 answers to Vial, two of which answer Crypt. I may keep the 3rd Needle in if I find out they boarded in a playset of Crypts against me, otherwise if they board in 3 of less, I'll board one out. Counterspell may be more important, since it stops them from restocking from broken Goblins, as well as keeping them in check.


Solidarity:

-4 Lightning Bolt
-2 Fledgling Drago
-1 Forest

+3 Counterbalance
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+3 Control Magic


Mirror:

-4 Lightning Bolt
-3 Pithing Needle

+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+3 Counterbalance
+3 Control Magic


IGGy-Pop:

-3 Pithing Needle
-2 Fledgling Dragon
-1 Forest

+3 Counterbalance
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+2 Control Magic/Ancient Grudge

I'm more likely to board in Ancient Grudge, but they generally crack their LEDs unless they've gotten a Chant or Swarm to resolve. I havent tested this MU much, but I do know for a fact that it's very hard for them to get Chant or Swarm to resolve.

TES:

-3 Pithing Needle
-1 Forest
-2 Fledgling Dragon
-1 Werebear
-1 Nimble Mongoose

+4 Pyroclasm
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+3 Counterbalance


Clasms get boarded in to deal with troublesome creatures like Swarms, as well as the dreaded Confidant which get's boarded in against you. Empty the Warrens is also troublesome; expect Clasm' to actually be good against a Combo deck...


RGSA and Red Death:

What Happy Gilmore asked, but add in RGSA as well...

Anarky87
03-26-2007, 05:35 PM
Red Death...

I really Don't know what comes in this matchup... (Anwar or Madzur, a little help here?)

I def think some # of Control Magics, Some # of Pyroclasm, and possibly some # of Naturalizes.

I have no idea what to take out especially since Needles help with both Jitte and Shade.


I asked MadZur the same question and I'll just repost what he told me in the PM:


I haven't played it against Red Death either. So I'm not too sure about things regarding those matchups (though I have done a fair bit of testing against Red Death with similar builds), but this is how I think I boarded against Anwar (I'm not 100% sure):

-3 Pithing Needle (I might have kept these in, because I knew he was boarding Crypt, but I don't think so.)
-2 Fledgling Dragon (Essentially, I replaced them with Control Magic. Adding Control Magic without taking out Dragon could be risky.)
-1 Counterspell (I think I like this, particularly because I was on the draw, but I'd probably do it on the play as well.)

+2 Control Magic (Answers all his threats, easier to play than Dragon, and I knew I didn't have to worry about Bolt after game one.)
+2 Naturalize (Mostly for Dystopia, but it could hit Crypt every once in a while.)
+2 Pyroclasm (Kind of unreliable; can generate card advantage, but is only guaranteed to kill one of his creatures.)

I was, of course, not completely sure what to do, hence all the two-ofs. The third Control Magic could come in, but it's expensive. I haven't tried Counterbalance here, but it seems like it would be too slow. I could definitely see bringing in the third Top, but it's a little slow too. More or less Pyroclasms could be correct.

I think what I boarded out was probably correct, unless Dragon is better than Control Magic. I definitely don't want to take out any draw against a black deck if I can avoid it, since recovering from disruption is key. I was happy with what I did there; Naturalize killed Dystopia and Control Magic stole Hypnotic Specter (if I drew Pyroclasm, I must not have played it). If I played the matchup in a tournament tomorrow, without getting the chance to test it first, I would probably board the same way.

So what you guys were getting at was exactly what he said. He also mentioned that against Deadguy you might want to bring the rest of your Pyroclasms, being that most of their creature base is in the x/1 or x/2 category.


If I played against Deadguy in a tournament, and didn't see good Naturalize or Needle targets, I would probably board similarly to the way I did against Red Death, but bring in the extra Pyroclasms instead of Naturalize, and maybe try to find room for the last Control Magic.

With his solid performances, I definitely think this version of the deck should get some more attention as so far it's showed itself able to put up good results.

Bardo
03-26-2007, 05:59 PM
Just for the sake of efficiency, would Threads of Disloyalty be better than Control Magic? Threads is 25% or so cheaper, so does the off-chance of nabbing an opposing Enforcer/Dragon make up for the cost, especially if a fair amount of the field is running LD and where 2UU is not always going to be given?

Citrus-God
03-26-2007, 06:01 PM
I think how he won most of his games was because of Counterbalance/Top, otherwise it would've been the same MUs being unchanged, and having to dedicate important SB slots just to fight something stupid and random. Counterbalance/Top is basically Armageddon, but much better. He tied against RGbSA. That is very suprising, considering the fact that that Midgame mirrors are very tough Match-Ups. I can also see Counterbalance/Top being very dangerous against another bad MU like Aluren, and perhaps Rifter (if played as a metagame deck in certain areas) as well.

White can easily do this as well, but the only differences is that White can win the Gro mirror Game 1 usually, but Post-Board agaisnt Goblins becomes weaker. I think Red is a better option since Pyroclasm can fight so much in the format.

Anarky87
03-26-2007, 06:04 PM
Just for the sake of efficiency, would Threads of Disloyalty be better than Control Magic? Threads is 25% or so cheaper, so does the off-chance of nabbing an opposing Enforcer/Dragon make up for the cost, especially if a fair amount of the field is running LD and where 2UU is not always going to be given?

I don't like the fact of it only hitting 2 or less creatures. For 1 mana more, you can steal any creature with Control Magic, which is great for stealing their Enforcers or Dragons or Grunts or what have you in any other match you might feel it necessary. They're excellent for the mirror and fish match where LD isn't a problem.

Tao
03-26-2007, 06:45 PM
Solidarity:
-4 Lightning Bolt
-2 Fledgling Drago
-1 Forest

+3 Counterbalance
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+3 Control Magic


Nothing personal when I criticize your SB plan again:

But I don't think Solidarity will be overly impressed by Control Magic.

Happy Gilmore
03-26-2007, 07:00 PM
Just for the sake of efficiency, would Threads of Disloyalty be better than Control Magic? Threads is 25% or so cheaper, so does the off-chance of nabbing an opposing Enforcer/Dragon make up for the cost, especially if a fair amount of the field is running LD and where 2UU is not always going to be given?

A situation came up in the last tournament at The Frog where Control Magic was able to take a Darksteel Colosus, something neither Shackles or Threads can do. Threads of Disloyalty can't take Negator/Hypnotic Spectre/Akroma, and so on. I still think Control magic is still better than Shacles in the mirror since you need 4 blue sources to take a Bear or Grunt in the first place. It is not affected by Needle as mentioned, and it pitches to FoW.

At Anti~American4621:

Your board for goblins is probably about right, but the things you seem to take out against Solidarity and TES seem horrible. You go down to 6 threats and expect to put pressure on them? And you take out Bolt before Pithing Needle against Solidarity????? The reason for 1x Control Magic is as a filler, designed to counter Turnabout on the off chance and to pitch to FoW. I would never suggest boarding in all three.

And btw, if your boarding strategy is the same for a particular match up just say so. There is no need to post it multiple times and clog up the thread.

Citrus-God
03-26-2007, 09:19 PM
Nothing personal when I criticize your SB plan again:

But I don't think Solidarity will be overly impressed by Control Magic.

It's like Bardo boarding in Hydroblasts against Solidarity; your pitching something to FoW...

@Happy Gilmore: Again, I'm more concerned about using my FoWs than anything else at the moment against IGGy Pop. Against Solidarity, I will be honest; I dont value my Burn as much as I'm suppose to. When I see Burn, I am more likely to cantrip it away. I remember you told me that they have to go fo sooner with fear of Lightning Bolt killing them. I dont like Lightning Bolt early nor midgame because throwing at their head is more likely to make them think I have a Bolt in my hand rather than a Counter. I havent tested Bolts in this MU yet, but form what I've seen, Counterbalance is enough.

As for TES, I'd rather have an answer to fight Swarm of all things. Empty the Warrens is a pain to handle, considering the fact that... well, it's stupid Goblin tokens! They throw 6 at you, and you need to answer them before they start the stupid, "let's win-small since that's the best way to fight through control!" At least Clasm kills confidant too, making sure that they cant win-small against you. I dont like boarding out 2 threats, but against them, I dont think you need more than 1 threat out. I mean, your the control in this MU. Keep them from resolving a "win-now" card, the more likely you'll win. Pressure them to go off on you doesnt make much of a difference, since they'll be going beatdown on you anyways through small battles of attrition. If you can think of something better to board out, I would like to hear. From what I have experienced, I need my Bolts, as they love to win on turn 2 with Swarm being their trump card. I have lost on turn 2 numerous times because of Swarm. Better off answering it, and then answer Confidant later...

Mad Zur
03-26-2007, 11:50 PM
My opinions on sideboarding:

Against Goblins, I generally want to go to 4 answers to Vial post-board, as Anti~American said, but which ones to go with can change depending on the situation. Needle is the most efficient answer to Vial, and it can answer Crypt and Gempalm as well, but it can be removed. Grudge and Naturalize can answer things like Chalice, with Naturalize obviously being weaker unless they're playing enchantments (Pillar is the only one that comes to mind). Without knowing anything specific about the Goblin build or sideboard, I go with 2 Needle and 2 Grudge. I obviously want to board in 4 Pyroclasm, so that means I need 5 slots.

I take out Dragon here for the same reasons I take out Enforcer if I'm playing white - it's situational and often win-more, even more so than Enforcer because it's a little harder to cast and evasion is even less necessary when you have Pyroclasm. I also take out a Counterspell and then a combination of draw spells - usually a Serum Visions and a Predict, but it's possible that taking out Top would be better.

To summarize:
-2 Fledgling Dragon
-1 Counterspell
-2 Serum Visions/Predict/Sensei's Divining Top
-1 Pithing Needle

+4 Pyroclasm
+2 Ancient Grudge

Solidarity is much easier to board against because there's a lot to take out and only so much to bring in. I'd like to take out (roughly in order) Dragon, Needle, Forest, and Bolt. Counterbalance and Top are obviously good to bring in, and any blue card to pitch to FoW is nice. I'd probably do this:

-2 Fledgling Dragon
-3 Pithing Needle
-1 Forest
-1 Lightning Bolt

+3 Counterbalance
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+3 Control Magic

I'm not absolutely sure that blue cards are better than Bolt, but it really isn't that important. We're just debating cards that are very close to useless and trying to decide which ones are furthest from completely useless. Whichever one it is, you'll be trying to shuffle it away. Just make sure to board in Counterbalance and the Top.

Boarding for the mirror is pretty straightforward. I would do (and have done) exactly what Anti~American said. It's kind of unfortunate that there's nothing to replace Forest with, though.

Anarky posted my thoughts on the Red Death matchup. I've since played against it a couple more times in tournaments and boarded the same way. However, with them potentially boarding Crypt and Jitte, it might be better to have Needle. I think it might be correct to keep two Needles in place of the Pyroclasms. Again, it could use some testing.

Against TES, you'll want to board out Dragon, Forest, and Needle, and you'll want to bring in Counterbalance and Top, but you'll also want answers to Xantid Swarm, Empty the Warrens, and maybe Defense Grid. Literally every card in the sideboard is a consideration - even Control Magic can take Confidant or Urami in addition to pitching to FoW. I have not done post-board testing against TES, so I'm not going to make a suggestion here. I'd like to point out that Pyroclasm can answer Xantid Swarm on the play, though, so you may not need all four Bolts unless you're on the draw.

Against Iggy Pop, it's going to depend on their build. If they're playing Leyline, you want Naturalize, if they're playing Swarm, you want Bolt, and if they're playing Empty the Warrens, you'll want Pyroclasm. If you don't know what hate they're running, you'll want to end up with a mixture (as well as the Counterbalances and extra Top). Again, you'll want to take out Dragon, Needle, and Forest.

Survival is always very difficult to board against, because no card is actually dead, and mot of the sideboard is useful. You can take out Forest and almost always Bolt, and you want to add Control Magic, Top, and almost always Pyroclasm. That still means you need to find 3 more slots, and you might want to bring in Naturalize as well. I'll often board out Daze, and possibly Counterspell on the draw (it isn't great if it can't answer Survival). Taking out a couple draw spells is going to be necessary. Maybe something like:

-4 Lightning Bolt
-1 Forest
-5 Daze/Serum Visions/Predict (possibly -1 Counterspell on the draw)

+3 Control Magic
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+4 Pyroclasm
+2 Naturalize

This is, again, going to depend on the opponent's build. This matchup is sort of strange because you want to be able to treat it like a control deck (boarding out Daze, going up to three Tops), but you always have to be ready to stop a Survival. Pyroclasm might not be great against all Survival decks, and Naturalize is sort of borderline since it isn't an answer if they have mana open (though a lot of Survival decks seem to be running artifacts now, which make it nice to have).

I guess I'll stop there, since these are the only decks people have mentioned. Since I haven't been playing this build very long, I don't have a bunch of boarding plans set in stone, but if there are any other matchups anyone wants to discuss, I'll offer my opinion.

I have not tested Threads of Disloyalty, but I believe answering Enforcer in the mirror match is more significant than the difference in cost. Threads is more likely to be dead because the opponent could potentially have only four targets in his deck. I also like the utility Control Magic has in other matchups, such as Survival, where it can kill Baloth in addition to taking their Werebears.

The reason I don't play Fire // Ice or Magma Jet is that they are very situational. In all the above matchups in which I board out Bolt, having already cut draw spells for more burn would leave me in a very bad position. I don't want to spend slots on a worse removal spell that's going to be suboptimal in a lot of situations if I could be running a draw spell that can find me my good removal spell when I want it or find me creatures/lands/counters the rest of the time. This deck works because it can balance lands, creatures, and several different control elements, and I believe the current balance is correct for this format. In situations where you want more removal, you can use the manipulation to find it. In situations where removal isn't very good, you can still run smoothly.

Citrus-God
03-27-2007, 12:20 AM
Survival is always very difficult to board against, because no card is actually dead, and mot of the sideboard is useful. You can take out Forest and almost always Bolt, and you want to add Control Magic, Top, and almost always Pyroclasm. That still means you need to find 3 more slots, and you might want to bring in Naturalize as well. I'll often board out Daze, and possibly Counterspell on the draw (it isn't great if it can't answer Survival). Taking out a couple draw spells is going to be necessary. Maybe something like:

-4 Lightning Bolt
-1 Forest
-5 Daze/Serum Visions/Predict (possibly -1 Counterspell on the draw)

+3 Control Magic
+1 Sensei's Divining Top
+4 Pyroclasm
+2 Naturalize

This is, again, going to depend on the opponent's build. This matchup is sort of strange because you want to be able to treat it like a control deck (boarding out Daze, going up to three Tops), but you always have to be ready to stop a Survival. Pyroclasm might not be great against all Survival decks, and Naturalize is sort of borderline since it isn't an answer if they have mana open (though a lot of Survival decks seem to be running artifacts now, which make it nice to have).



What do you think of Counterbalance against Survival? It seems that Counterbalance can counter Burning Wish, Werebear, Survival, BoP, Tin Street, Cabal Therpy, Duress, and Mesmeric Fiend. And if you have Dragon or Control Magic on Top, it can counter Baloth, and FtK. Just an idea, i really havent tested Counterbalance against Survival yet, but I did test it against Burning Rock.

Happy Gilmore
03-27-2007, 02:59 PM
What do you think of Counterbalance against Survival? It seems that Counterbalance can counter Burning Wish, Werebear, Survival, BoP, Tin Street, Cabal Therpy, Duress, and Mesmeric Fiend. And if you have Dragon or Control Magic on Top, it can counter Baloth, and FtK. Just an idea, i really havent tested Counterbalance against Survival yet, but I did test it against Burning Rock.

All that is true, but as Madzur stated nearly all of your SB is affective in some way against them. Counterbalance just happens to be slightly worse than the other options available and you already have a large number of cards to bring in. You could however cut the remaining counterspells for a pair of them. That might be the correct call but without testing I can not say much more about it.

Anarky87
03-27-2007, 04:49 PM
Has 2 Dragons ever been a problem for anyone else? I've been playing with 1 Dragon, with the other Dragon spot occupied by Top and then I run the 4th Vision. I just feel like I wouldn't want to see Dragon as much as I would like seeing Enforcer. When I play white thresh, I usually don't mind seeing an Enforcer, but I don't have that same disposition towards Fledgling Dragon, so I've cut him to 1. I understand his evasion breaks ground stalemates, it's just his RR cost always gets to me.

I like this versions game against Goblins, but I kinda miss having StP and Enforcer, even with the Goblins game sucking pretty bad. I guess I'm still on the fence about which version to run.

Citrus-God
03-27-2007, 05:58 PM
Has 2 Dragons ever been a problem for anyone else? I've been playing with 1 Dragon, with the other Dragon spot occupied by Top and then I run the 4th Vision. I just feel like I wouldn't want to see Dragon as much as I would like seeing Enforcer. When I play white thresh, I usually don't mind seeing an Enforcer, but I don't have that same disposition towards Fledgling Dragon, so I've cut him to 1. I understand his evasion breaks ground stalemates, it's just his RR cost always gets to me.

I like this versions game against Goblins, but I kinda miss having StP and Enforcer, even with the Goblins game sucking pretty bad. I guess I'm still on the fence about which version to run.

It's better to choose between UGw and UGr as a metagame choice. Run UGw, only if Threshold and Combo are big in your area, and Goblins is still in small numbers. Run UGr if Goblins and Combo are in huge numbers, but the mirror is in low numbers, considering the fact that Goblins is overrunning them. Basically, theres gonna be all 3 decks there, but bring one of the variants only if you know that one build will overtake another. Personally, I'd run UGr since I'll crash into Goblins more often than the Threshold mirror.

Fledgling Dragon is awesome, sadly you only want him against Midgame and Control decks. He serves as a 3 turn clock, and that my friend is simple amazing....

@Happy Gilmore: I should test it against RGSA at some point. It looks promising against them. Considering the fact RGSA can be somewhat slow, I might side out a number of cantrips just to board out a cantrip or two just for Counterbalances.

Shriekmaw
03-30-2007, 10:18 PM
I really like the version of U/G/r Threshold that Mad Zur has been running at recent tournaments. The board seems to be very solid with a lot of positive matchups for the deck. I have been wondering if the 4 pyroclasm and 2 ancient grudge is usually enough to beat goblins? I was looking into possibly running rough/tumble as a 2 of in the board. Maybe this isn't needed at all since goblins is favorable after board. Also, how important is it to by missing red/blue elemental blast in the board?

What do you guys think?

Citrus-God
03-31-2007, 12:08 AM
Pyroclasm is enough to fight Goblins before somethine revelent happens, but you have to capitalize on Clasm right after with your win conditions.

REB is only sided in against Thresh, Blue-Based Control, and High Tide combo decks. It's unesessary now that Counterbalance does everything you want REB to do. Also, I dont think you need BEB if Clasm is in the picture. BEB is a little narrow to side in against...

Anarky87
03-31-2007, 10:43 AM
I did a little post-board testing against UWb Fish (about 6-7 games) and I've yet to lose one. Counterbalance is MVP in that match, but there are games where I've just stolen their Avenger and beat for the rest of the game, countering their StP's and such. Of course their whole deck being around the 1cc and 2cc makes Counterbalances job easier. I'm really digging the new SB.

Shriekmaw
03-31-2007, 11:54 AM
Pyroclasm is enough to fight Goblins before somethine revelent happens, but you have to capitalize on Clasm right after with your win conditions.

REB is only sided in against Thresh, Blue-Based Control, and High Tide combo decks. It's unesessary now that Counterbalance does everything you want REB to do. Also, I dont think you need BEB if Clasm is in the picture. BEB is a little narrow to side in against...


I do admit that Counterbalance is very good. I saw how good the card is in Trinket-Tog during extended season. The only difference in my board is that I run 3 threads of disloyalty instead of control magic. I just like the 1 less casting cost, even though it is a lot narrower in terms of targets.

Is counterbalance enough to beat the mirror or should we think about other sb cards if you expect to play mirror matches?

The main reason why I do like the red splash in Gro, is because it has better game against aggro decks in general than the white splash. I don't think your combo matchup really goes down with the red splash b/c of top and counterbalance.

Citrus-God
03-31-2007, 09:47 PM
Any compotent Thresh player can beat Combo, no matter what deck they're playing unless it's something stupid, like Pitch Long, then you may have to go back to mage if you decide to play T1 without Power, and with this deck.... in short, practice how to play against Solidarity; you can beat it without MM if you have the skills to play Threshold right against Combo.

FYI, think of Control Magic as a Flametongue Kavu.... would you even consider siding in Threads of Disloyalty against a deck like RGSA?

LrdMcCaffrey
04-01-2007, 10:52 AM
It's too early to call the power level without seeing the P/T, CC, and other abilities, but it looks pretty certain that there will be a Magus of the Future (Future Sight) released in Future Sight, given that they released a piece of art with that name. If he has decent beating stats, that could be an excellent option for the finisher spot, as with Brainstorm, Visions, Magma Jet, a pile of fetches, and in some builds a Top or 2, if he ever hits an untap step alive your opponent will be completely out of the game.
The other critter I'm surprised noone has mentioned as a finisher is Morphling. Oldschool and inefficient as heck? yes. However, he dodges StP and burn, flies over ground stalls, could care less about your GY, and trumps every creature played besides Enforcer and Nantuko Shade. He's a turn slower than Dragon under most conditions, but he also has a non-horrific mana cost, colorwise, and require blue and colorless for activations instead of red.

Zach Tartell
04-01-2007, 12:38 PM
morphling...

Morphling is really only impressive if you have like eight or ten lands on table. By that time you should have won, 'specially in the red version. With all of the burn (at least in teh wastedlife build) you honestly could have just stalled with creatures, and burned their dome down.

The problem with morphling is that you'll want to wait until like 6 or 7 land to play him, so that you can make him untargetable twice, or have counter mana open. Granted, it's kind of nice that he can pitch to force too, but I don't think that he's important enough to play only for that reason. He comes down (at earliest) a turn later than either of the other two afformentioned beaters, can't trade with a flier turn 5, and is just plain too mana intensive.

"Not it" for morphling.

aTn
04-06-2007, 02:18 AM
As I'm relatively new to UGr-Thresh, I'd like to know what is your SB plan and overall strategy against Deadguy. Counterbalance seems decent here, but again, thats not based on testing so I might be wrong.

Happy Gilmore
04-06-2007, 09:44 AM
As I'm relatively new to UGr-Thresh, I'd like to know what is your SB plan and overall strategy against Deadguy. Counterbalance seems decent here, but again, thats not based on testing so I might be wrong.

Yes counterbalance is solid but you have to understand that it will never be able to counter the 3cc spells. I would suggest something like this...


-1 Pithing Needle
-2 Dragon
-4 Force of Will (yes I am serious)

+4 Pyroclasm
+3 Counterbalance

Needle is very good against waste and especially shade. Clasm is probably as good against dead guy as it is against goblins.

I know taking out FoW seems suspect but I assure you that it is never good when you have both counterbalance and 8 answers to creatures that hit the board. My recent testing against Red Death has shown the potential of this strategy, I can't recall anything I would force that I can't effectively deal with using a red spell. Counterbalance even counters crypt which is just icing on the cake.

And I am very iffy about taking out the Dragons but Dead Guy has even more LD than Red Death and I donít think you will be able to get 2 red sources active long enough to matter. If you can keep 2 red sources on the board for longer than two turns you will probably win that game.

Make sure you refrain from popping fetch lands needlessly; it is one of your best ways to protect your red sources.

aTn
04-06-2007, 12:58 PM
Pyroclasm is great against Red Death. To my knowledge, Deadguy usually (see Anusien's and etc's lists) has a creature base that looks like:

4 Dark Confidant
3-4 Jotun Grunt
4 Descendant of Kiyomaro
0-4 Hyptnotic Specter

which is very different from Red Death's creature base. Therefore, I don't think Pyroclasm is that great here, at least not as a 4-of.

A problem match-up for UGw-Thresh that I can see being better with UGr-Thresh is Affinity. I'd probably side-in 4 Pyroclasm and 2 Ancient Grudge. Any thoughts on this ? From experience, at what value do you estimate the win percentage of UGr-Thresh in that match-up ?

The latest (TML02) list of Ugr-Thresh I have seen here plays 14 Cantrips + 2 Tops; has this high number ever been a problem ? I know some would rather play cantrips instead of burn (Fire/Ice, Magma Jet), but I'm not yet convinced. Especially since I play in meta where aggro and aggro-control are very present and where combo makes up for only 10% of the field).

All in all, I'm wondering what I'll play at GPT next week; UGr-Thresh (with a lot of testing to do :)) or Goblins ? I expect a decent amount of Goblins and aggro(-control) (I'd say about 55 %), more combo than I'm used to (about 25% of Solidarity, TES and maybe some Spirit Guide Belcher contraption) and 20% random (good and bad) stuff.

Anyhow, I'd think UGr-Thresh would be the better choice for that meta, but I still have to convince myself ;) In particular, I'm having a hard time choosing which build to play: the 'counterbalance build' or an old school Bardoesque build (with 12 Cantrips, 7-8 Burn or 4 Bolt + 3 Stifle) and a metagamed sideboard.

Citrus-God
04-06-2007, 07:56 PM
A problem match-up for UGw-Thresh that I can see being better with UGr-Thresh is Affinity. I'd probably side-in 4 Pyroclasm and 2 Ancient Grudge. Any thoughts on this ? From experience, at what value do you estimate the win percentage of UGr-Thresh in that match-up?

Probably 50/50. It's hard to Bolt a Myr Enforcer, and it also depends on the build...


The latest (TML02) list of Ugr-Thresh I have seen here plays 14 Cantrips + 2 Tops; has this high number ever been a problem ? I know some would rather play cantrips instead of burn (Fire/Ice, Magma Jet), but I'm not yet convinced. Especially since I play in meta where aggro and aggro-control are very present and where combo makes up for only 10% of the field).


Well, having a high density of cantrips ensures that you have an edge against Combo. The high cantrip amounts are suppose to replace dead creature and find removal for you, so I wouldn't say it's that bad. You could run Magma Jet, but then you have to replace Needle which can weaken your Goblins Match-Up. I'd rather have Needle over Jet since it can also deal with randomness like Vedalken Shackles or Umezawa's Jitte. You should defintely dominate the board by outdrawing them and playing guy after guy.


All in all, I'm wondering what I'll play at GPT next week; UGr-Thresh (with a lot of testing to do :)) or Goblins ? I expect a decent amount of Goblins and aggro(-control) (I'd say about 55 %), more combo than I'm used to (about 25% of Solidarity, TES and maybe some Spirit Guide Belcher contraption) and 20% random (good and bad) stuff.

Vial Goblins should be in your favor. The one thing I have to say about this is it takes patience to beat them. You have to be on your heels and leave blockers when your at a low life total.

Aggro-Control you can beat. I've beaten Hanni Fish and Threshold mirrors before just because of my high amount of cantrips. It takes practice to play against those decks right with the lack of much more powerful removal.



Anyhow, I'd think UGr-Thresh would be the better choice for that meta, but I still have to convince myself ;) In particular, I'm having a hard time choosing which build to play: the 'counterbalance build' or an old school Bardoesque build (with 12 Cantrips, 7-8 Burn or 4 Bolt + 3 Stifle) and a metagamed sideboard.

You can easily run Counterbalance and Top in the Mental Note version. However, the one problem I have with this is that you will have much more trouble trying to set it up since your cutting down on cantrips. I tend to like the 14 Cantrips + 2 Tops configuration because I tend to accept the philosophy much better than Mental Note.

Also, the UGr Thresh isnt really a "Counterbalance" build, it's a modified UGr Gro deck from Virginia. The Tops and Counterbalances were thrown in later as a new solution to cut some room in the Sideboard, and ensure that it get's a more flexible card to board in from Match-Up to Match-Up. I cant remember how often I've boarded Counterbalance in, since I only board it in against every deck but Affinity and Vial Goblins. Yes, it's that strong.

Shriekmaw
04-06-2007, 08:10 PM
[QUOTE=Anti~American4621;121786]Probably 50/50. It's hard to Bolt a Myr Enforcer, and it also depends on the build...



I don't believe the Affinity matchup with UGr Thresh is close to 50/50. I do admit the red version has a better game then the white version, but its in affinity favor and by a good margin. I have never lost to Threshold with Affinity, and I put the matchup more like 65/35 being optimistic. It may improve after sideboard, but it depends on which affinity version you are playing. It becomes a lot tougher if they splash green for sb krosan grip.

Citrus-God
04-06-2007, 08:33 PM
I don't believe the Affinity matchup with UGr Thresh is close to 50/50. I do admit the red version has a better game then the white version, but its in affinity favor and by a good margin. I have never lost to Threshold with Affinity, and I put the matchup more like 65/35 being optimistic. It may improve after sideboard, but it depends on which affinity version you are playing. It becomes a lot tougher if they splash green for sb krosan grip.

I said it also depends on the build. I've won many games against Affinity because they didnt run Myr Enforcer, and I happened have UGr Thresh at the time. I'm still sticking to 50/50, and I cant blame myself for siding in 4 Engineered Explosives.

Shriekmaw
04-06-2007, 08:42 PM
I said it also depends on the build. I've won many games against Affinity because they didnt run Myr Enforcer, and I happened have UGr Thresh at the time. I'm still sticking to 50/50, and I cant blame myself for siding in 4 Engineered Explosives.


I was just pointing out my experiences when playing the matchup. I am no expert on what the exact percentages should be, but I'm very happy to see threshold on the other side of the table when I'm playing affinity.

Who sideboards 4 engineered explosives? It seems very odd. It can also be quite good, but I would prefer other cards in the board than 4 explosives.

aTn
04-06-2007, 09:17 PM
Here's what I have been testing for a couple of days. I won't comment on the match-ups yet because I need to do a lot more testing. All in all, I like the build and I have to say Top is absolutely great (even with Mental Note).

Cantrip (14)
4 Brainstorm
3 Serum Visions
3 Mental Note
2 Predict
2 Sensei's Divining Top

Difference with MadZur's list: -3 Portent, -2 Predict, + 3 Mental note.

Control (9)
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
2 Counterspell

Difference with MadZur's list: -1 Counterspell.

Creatures (10)
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
2 Fledgling Dragon

Burn (6)
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Fire/Ice, Magma Jet or something else

Utility (3)
3 Pithing Needle

Mana (18)
3 Volcanic Island
4 Tropical Island
3 Wooded Foothills
2 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
2 Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain

I put the basic mountain because its hard to have two red sources when playing against Deadguy, RedDeath; maybe I'm being paranoid here and will revert to -1 Mountain, +1 Tropical or Volcanic Island.

Sideboard (15) (The same as MadZur' SB)
4 Pyroclasm
3 Counterbalance
3 Control Magic
2 Naturalize
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Sensei's Divining Top

Any thoughts ? Again, thanks guys for your comments, they help(ed) a lot.

EDIT: Added 4th Tropical Island.

Citrus-God
04-06-2007, 10:28 PM
You need to leave the Portents in. That is the card that gives you the edge against other creature decks. I think the question between the mix of Predicts and Mental Notes is actually the two cards themselves. You could go for a 2/2 mix, but then you will lose some midgame drawing power. Also the fact that your turn 1 depends on Cantrips, I think you need to leave them in. I had some mulligan problems because of Top, but sometimes it doesnt hurt me as much as it should.

The reason to stik to Zur's list is because it can set up Counterbalance/Top the fastest and most consistently because of the high cantrip count. I hink your better off cutting Predicts for Mental Notes rather than cut Portents for Mental Notes.

Magma Jets are okay, but the fact it's 2cc cost can lead to tons of mulligans. Same goes for the basic Mountain. You want at least 16 Blue Sources. If you want to add in the Mountain, just add it in as an 18th Land.

aTn
04-06-2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the advice; I forgot to put the 4th Tropical Island in my list, to make the land count 18. I'm ambivalent concerning Portent. Excuse my newbiness, but why is it good in aggro match-ups ? I find Mental Note great vs. aggro since it helps getting threshold fast and occasionnaly makes for combat trics against unexperienced players.

On another note, I was thinking of testing 2 Serendib Efreet instead of 2 Dragons. Sure its not as heavy a beater, but it doesn't rely on ******** or the ever annnoying RR. It has the added bonus of giving you access to 3cc when playing with counterbalance.

Citrus-God
04-07-2007, 12:10 AM
Because Portent finds you more guys, more counters, more removal, and more cantrips. Portent's there to replace itself, but improve your topdecks as well. Every draw you make is something worth investing in for the future. It makes marginal effects effective.

As for combat tricks, here's one with Dragon. Make them force themselves into exhaust by fighting 1-for-1 attrition wars with you. They lack decent answers and strong creatures against you, and you just lay down a Dragon. That's how I won against Hanni Fish....

Happy Gilmore
04-07-2007, 09:25 AM
Here's what I have been testing for a couple of days. I won't comment on the match-ups yet because I need to do a lot more testing. All in all, I like the build and I have to say Top is absolutely great (even with Mental Note).


Burn (6)
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Fire/Ice, Magma Jet or something else



If your going to run a 2cc removal spell bring in 1-2 Pyroclams from the board rather than add Jet or Fire/Ice. It both frees up your SB somewhat, and gives you another source of card advantage in the MD.



Pyroclasm is great against Red Death. To my knowledge, Deadguy usually (see Anusien's and etc's lists) has a creature base that looks like:

4 Dark Confidant
3-4 Jotun Grunt
4 Descendant of Kiyomaro
0-4 Hyptnotic Specter


hmm, I was not aware that the list had changed so drastically. In that case:

-3 Pithing Needle
-4 Force of Will

+3 Counterbalance
+3 Control Magic
+1 Top

I think Bolt is still neccessary in order to take out bob, Spectre, and the 2/3 Descendant. This is one situation that I wish I had more Control Magic's in the board.

Citrus-God
04-12-2007, 03:25 AM
I came back with some playtesting. What I really want to discuss is the 3/3 between Serum Visions and Portent split in the UGR Gro's cantrip congiuration. There can be a potential 4/2 Split, but I wnt others' opinions on this as well. I'm going to lay out what I think of the two cantrips.

Serum Visions:

Pros:
Removes chaff, and gives this deck great digging power. Controlling the Scry'd cards, and making sure your next draws is what your interested in seeing, and Scrying away what your not interested in seeing.

You can invest in playing Predict 1-2 turns after playing Serum Visions.

Very strong in numbers, and can allow you to see more cards in multiples because of Scry.

Synergizes with Top by Scrying away useless cards, and digging.

Cons:
Including the draw step, it only allows you to see 4 cards. This is bad when since your land light. Portents allows you to see 5 cards incluing he draw step.

Playing Serum Visions early game makes Dazes and FoWs slightly weaker due to the fact you cant draw those cards being Scry'd.


Portent:

Pros:
Makes a very strong early game by finding Removal, Lands, and Counters. Being able to do this, and choosing what instant you draw on your opponent's upkeep is a very big deal, as that card you draw is either a FoW, Daze, or a Bolt to deal with that Lackey. Serum Visions only let's you use that one card you drew, while Portent gives you three cards to potentially work with on your opponent's turn, and can easly give you the 4th card if needed.

It is much better at setting up Predict. You can to Predict away the worst card off the three cards, and usually gives you more selection that way.
Many times Serum Visions forces you to sometimes Predict away one of the two Scry cards rather than the drawn card off Serum Visions, however, this is negated when you are chaining cantrips.

Synergizes with Top late game when you start seeing 3 card deads.

Cons:
At times forces you to draw dead if there's only one card your interested in at that moment around later in the game. This can be avoided with a fetchland after drawing the card you're interested in.

Cant be chained very well in one massive turn unless you choose to shuffle with each Portent being played.

Slowtrip, hence you cant chain them very well as your seeing the same 3 cards unless you decide to shuffle, however, this shoudnt matter of you play them well early game to get a edge over your opponent.


My opinion thus far is that Sensei's Divining Top fills Serum Vision's role much better, and Portent is much better at helping you gain an edge in the early game. I havent tested 4 Portents and 2 Serum Visions yet, but I expect great results from this. I'm constantly happy with seeing Portents in my opening hand, and allowing me to use Daze off the 2nd-3rd, or even 4th Card to counter whatever my opponent is doing.

TheInfamousBearAssassin
04-12-2007, 04:45 AM
Top is really mana hungry and doesn't add to Threshold, or even card parity (something that the deck already struggles for). Is there any reason why, between Portent, Serum Visions, Brainstorm and Magma Jet, you really need Top to make Counterbalance work?

Tao
04-12-2007, 10:49 AM
Top is really mana hungry and doesn't add to Threshold, or even card parity (something that the deck already struggles for). Is there any reason why, between Portent, Serum Visions, Brainstorm and Magma Jet, you really need Top to make Counterbalance work?

You don't play Top right, then. If it disturbs your early game, you can just "cycle" it away with Fetchlands, Predict or Portent/Note/Visions.

Citrus-God
04-12-2007, 08:30 PM
You don't play Top right, then. If it disturbs your early game, you can just "cycle" it away with Fetchlands, Predict or Portent/Note/Visions.

I actually play it early game to set up my Midgame, and I use it as many times as I can when I get the chance. But it's quite true, you can cycle it away, but I dont recommend doing so in a deck like this, unless your up against a deck like Vial Goblins within the early stages of the game.

Of course, that's just me. If you feel that Top is weak early game, then Tao's reasoning is very much true in a deck that doest really draw dead until midgame. If you feel Top is weak midgame, you will eventually draw into it Midgame, so Predicting it away, or Cantripping it away is always a strong option.



Top is really mana hungry and doesn't add to Threshold, or even card parity (something that the deck already struggles for). Is there any reason why, between Portent, Serum Visions, Brainstorm and Magma Jet, you really need Top to make Counterbalance work?


Becuase it gives you a late game, and a strong edge around midgame. Top doesnt provide card parity, but it does provide you with a constant stream of good cards and lands. Remember, this deck is all about 1-for-1 attrition wars - you will be topdecking midgame and draw into crap if you dont draw into a cantrip, but Top allows you to keep a stream of more control and threats coming. It works very well with the Hatfield philosophy of Gro in general.

I PMed Mad Zur a week prior to the Tournament at Monster Den in MN, and I made Top 16 because he suggested I run 2 Tops (I had one instead in place of a Portent), and I won most of my rounds with Top. In fact, I was one round away from Top 8, but I played against a bad match up (43 Land) on my 6th round and lost. I beat Hanni Fish, The Rock, and Monoblack Resource Denial, all because of Top. See how I won against two bad MUs right there?

As for Counterbalance and Top, in some match ups that require(s) a specific curve such as 2, 4, or 5, you may want to keep Top in. Against Rifter, I had to set up my Top at 2 (Abeyance), and 4 (4 counters WoG, Humility, and Boil), while the 1 is from Top, I pretty much had a good lock on his game. If you must understand, Top and Counterbalance is a strong example of power in this format. It's overwhelming card quality, card advantage, and tempo (countering a stupid card at a specific curve for the low cost of 1 mana is very much a tempo advantage on Threshold's part).

NQN
04-13-2007, 09:10 AM
Hi,
i play UGR ***** too and i wanted to show you my decklist:
17 lands
4 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain
3 Wooded Foothills
4 Flooded Strand

11 creatures
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Werebear
3 Serendib Efreet

11 Cantrips/Drawspells
4 Predict
3 Serum Visions
4 Brainstorm

8 Counter
4 Force of Will
4 Daze

6 Support
3 Counterbalance
3 Senseis Divining Top << most powerful card ever^^ If i draw this, i normaly win.

8 Burnspells
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet

SB:
4 Pyroclasm
3 Loaming Shaman
3 Pithing Needle
5 slots aren`t filled yet, maybe you could help me?

So far...Not Quite Noob:wink:

Tao
04-13-2007, 01:21 PM
List


The list looks really similar to the list that I have been running.

- 4 Magma Jet
+ 4 Fire/Ice

- 3 Efreet (I run only 8 creatures)
- 1 Counterbalance (I play 1 in the SB because it sucks against Goblins)
+ 2 Needle
+ 1 I play only 60 cards
+ 1 Serum Visions

But I see a reason behing all your choices so I suggest that you keep the maindeck as it is. But I'd cut the 3rd Efreet to go down to 60 cards.

In the SB I have always been very satisfied with Winter Orbs against all Control decks. Furthermore REB/BEB (IA) are always solid just like Krosan Grip.

NQN
04-14-2007, 05:06 AM
Well, i never had problems with 61 cards but sometimes i`m screwed so i`ll test 60 cards in the next tournament.

Tao
04-14-2007, 05:16 AM
You want to draw FoW as early as possible. And to draw as many Brainstorms and Mongeese as possible. And early, too.

But before a discussion starts: Check out this thread ;)

http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4928&highlight=61+cards

Citrus-God
04-15-2007, 06:12 AM
You want to draw FoW as early as possible. And to draw as many Brainstorms and Mongeese as possible. And early, too.

But before a discussion starts: Check out this thread ;)

http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4928&highlight=61+cards


Agreed. You want to draw much many answers as you can in certain match-ups as possible. Versus Goblins, you need one of your 3 Needles early, as well as Bolt and Geese. Versus Combo, you always want to draw that FoW.

jschram84
04-18-2007, 07:29 AM
Has sudden shock been considered instead of Fire//Ice or Lightning Bolt? I think it's a viable card in every format and deserves a look. I've been reading through here and haven't seen anyone talk about it, but maybe I have overlooked it.

Citrus-God
04-18-2007, 08:10 AM
Tog is awful in our format, since our format is all about reach and efficiency. The think the best way to see it's viability is in Solidarity, since it's uncounterable and kills Meddling Mage. In this deck, I think a Bolt should do, if not, then just outclassing Mage works better, since it has such a high cantrip density, you will usually find more Geese and Werebears than your opponent.

noobslayer
04-30-2007, 06:41 PM
So wow. In my limited testing versus goblins, it seems pretty much every game where I could answer a turn 1 play and drop Tarmogoyf turn 2, the game swung immensely in my favor. Especially post board with Pyroclasm backing it up so it can get into the red zone every game. Half the time I was going in without threshold. It makes me glad I ordered my set off of start city games yesterday.

Citrus-God
04-30-2007, 07:14 PM
So wow. In my limited testing versus goblins, it seems pretty much every game where I could answer a turn 1 play and drop Tarmogoyf turn 2, the game swung immensely in my favor. Especially post board with Pyroclasm backing it up so it can get into the red zone every game. Half the time I was going in without threshold. It makes me glad I ordered my set off of start city games yesterday.

And when you go in early on them, it makes you the aggressor earlier in the game. Now imagine a Werebear on Turn 2-3 against them, and then adding 1-2 more guys to the mix. Tarmogoyf is good against Goblins because it makes more Incenerator proof for your other guys as Goyf breaks their defenses.

kicks_422
05-10-2007, 08:17 PM
I've never been fond of the Counterbalance engine, so I've stuck with a build that doesn't utilize it. Here's where I'm at.

4 Flooded Strand
4 Wooded Foothills
3 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Mountain

4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Trygon Predator

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet

4 Brainstorm
3 Serum Visions
3 Portent
4 Predict

4 Force of Will
3 Counterspell
3 Daze

Sideboard
4 Pyroclasm
4 Stifle
3 Krosan Grip
2 Tormod's Crypt
2 Control Magic

I've been back and forth on the flyer slot. I've been fond of the randomness that Trygon Predator can help against (i.e. Chalices, 3Spheres, Vials, and Jittes, most often). The card that it's competing against is Wee Dragonauts, whcih just really ends the game quick before the opponent can recover from all the countermagic. The 2 power of Predator is kinda weak though, while Dragonauts sometimes just keeps on attacking for 1 when my hand is full of countermagic. Fledgling Dragon hasn't really been good for me because I want to rely less on the graveyard, and needing 2 red to cast it sometimes takes too long.

8 slots for removal has really helped in an aggro-infested metagame, as well as against control for reach. Magma Jet also teams up with 4 Brainstorm, 3 Visions and 3 Portent to make Predict draw 2. Predict also dumps a Mystical Tutor'd Flash into the graveyard... Just sayin'. :tongue:

The only card that has a Threshold ability is Nimble Mongoose, so I don't know if this can still be called UGR Thresh.

Anarky87
05-10-2007, 08:35 PM
The only thing I've done in my list is trade the Stifles for the MD Counterspells for combo. I run 1 less Dragon than the standard builds because I kept seeing it way too damn much and it's trickier to cast. I also cut 1 Needle (which I might make 2 E.E. for combo/Fish when Flash gets banned) to fit in the 2 Tops. So -1 Dragon, -1 Needle, +2 Tops. I haven't really been that into the Top/Counterbalance, but it does its job and that's what the deck needs against combo.

4 Goose
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Dragon

That's the creature base I'd use post FS.

4 FoW
3 Daze
3 Stifle

Counterbase I'm using currently

4 Visions
4 Portent
4 Brainstorm
4 Predict

Draw/cantrip/whatever

2 Top
2 Needle

Everything else. Really considering E.E. over Needle because it can answer goblin tokens from a certain Storm card.

4 Pyroclasm
3 Counterbalance
3 Control Magic
2 Winter Orb
2 Naturalize
1 Top

Current board.

If the meta was different, I might consider fitting some Jets in there. But with this much combo, I'll just have to pass.

Hanni
05-10-2007, 09:39 PM
U/R/g New Age Gro
Dragon Gro

Lands (18)
3 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
3 Wooded Foothills
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
2 Island
1 Mountain
1 Forest

Creatures (11)
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Tarmgoyf
3 Wee Dragonauts

Spells (31)
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
3 Portent
2 Predict
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
3 Stifle
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet

Sideboard (15)
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Stifle
4 Pyroclasm
2 Shattering Spree
2 Krosan Grip
2 Pithing Needle

I think Wee Dragonauts is amazing in red Thresh. Basically, it gives the deck a combo-esque finish sorta like Tog, except it has tremendous synergy with the deck. The abundance of cantirp buffs the Dragonaut alot and the addition of burn also increases the clock. In this deck, Dragonauts will almost always swing for 5+, usually you'll swing for more. Dragonauts can get really large, like 11/3, and swing in ftw (if you've attacked with other creatures). Against combo, the deck goldfishes pretty fast... the early beats of Mongoose and Tarmgoyf lower the opponent's life total and then burn + Dragonauts finish them off quickly. When I used to run Dryad, I had turn 5 goldfishes. This is an extremely fast clock when you consider the deck is built inside an aggro/control frame. I find Tarmgoyf to be superior to Dryad since it can come down larger than 1/1 and grows extremely fast. It may not grow as large as Dryad, but it's definitely a better creature. Dragonauts is amazing in red Thresh.

The Leylines can be dropped for Loaming Shaman's once Flash gets banned.

Citrus-God
05-10-2007, 11:47 PM
It's nice to see you're running Portent.... but with Dragonauts man.... I know this is weird of me to say this, but replace the Portents with Sleight of Hand, and the Predicts with Think Twice.

Out of curiosity, why did you consider Portent again anyway?

Hanni
05-11-2007, 06:24 AM
I just threw the list together and didn't really tweak the cantrip base. I'm actually considering these changes:

-3 Portent
-2 Predict
+4 Mental Note
+1 Engineered Explosives

Mental Note helps fuel into the aggressive strategy by achieving Threshold faster for my Mongooses, while Mental Note can also help me get an extra creature into the graveyard to strengthen Tormgoyf. It's not really that bad with Dragonauts, considering the deck runs 12 1cc cantrip and 4 Magma Jet anyway. The additional Engineered Explosives gives me 1 MD out to Chalice (with additionals postboard), and can also remove randomness. At only 1, I probably won't see it often, but it still adds to my overall removal. It's an artifact so it's solid with Tormgoyf. I was considering a 1-of on Scepter, but I don't think I have enough targets to abuse it well enough. I'll still test it when I get the time though.

Citrus-God
05-11-2007, 09:39 AM
I just threw the list together and didn't really tweak the cantrip base. I'm actually considering these changes:

-3 Portent
-2 Predict
+4 Mental Note
+1 Engineered Explosives

Mental Note helps fuel into the aggressive strategy by achieving Threshold faster for my Mongooses, while Mental Note can also help me get an extra creature into the graveyard to strengthen Tormgoyf. It's not really that bad with Dragonauts, considering the deck runs 12 1cc cantrip and 4 Magma Jet anyway. The additional Engineered Explosives gives me 1 MD out to Chalice (with additionals postboard), and can also remove randomness. At only 1, I probably won't see it often, but it still adds to my overall removal. It's an artifact so it's solid with Tormgoyf. I was considering a 1-of on Scepter, but I don't think I have enough targets to abuse it well enough. I'll still test it when I get the time though.

Personally, I think you should have a couple copies of Think Twice in here. Synergy with Dragonauts and Mental Note.

I know people who ran Scepter, but they had Fire // Ice in their deck though. Personally, I wouldnt run it, but I ahve friends who had tons of success in their build of UGR Gro.

Hanni
05-11-2007, 01:34 PM
Well I'll try the Scepter out when I get the time. As far as my cantrip base goes, I'm gonna test out a few more configurations first before I settle on one.

aTn
05-11-2007, 02:20 PM
If you're considering Wee Dragonauts, maybe Misdirection would be nice to ensure he doesn't get sworded (etc.) before his big final attack. I think Eldariel ran Misdirection in a Gro build running Dryads (for, I guess, similar reasons) and it seemed to work well.

kicks_422
05-12-2007, 07:11 AM
I don't think Misdirections are needed to protect the Dragonauts, because when I've started to "combo out" with Dragonauts when I had them in my build, the game has been fully controlled with my opponent depleted, or I have lots of counters in my hand.

I'm not sold on cutting Predict though, because the reliable draw 2 it provides is just golden.

Hanni
05-12-2007, 08:06 AM
My current list, which isn't really Thresh but more like Gro:

U/R/g Dragon Gro

Lands (17)
3 Flooded Strand
2 Polluted Delta
3 Wooded Foothills
3 Volcanic Island
3 Tropical Island
2 Island
1 Mountain

Creatures (11)
4 Nimble Mongoose
4 Tarmgoyf
3 Wee Dragonauts

Spells (32)
4 Brainstorm
4 Serum Visions
4 Mental Note
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
3 Stifle
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Magma Jet
2 Rolling Earthquake

Sideboard (15)
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Stifle
2 Pyroclasm
2 Shattering Spree
2 Krosan Grip
2 Pithing Needle
2 Winter Orb

So far I've been liking the Mental Notes... they fuel Threshold faster for my Mongooses, which assists with the aggressive gameplan of the deck, and they are good with Tarmgoyf. The deck has 12 cantrip and 4 Magma Jet, so the card quality level of the deck is fine. I dropped a Forest because I don't really feel the deck needed it and I needed the extra spot. I also dropped the EE and replaced it with 2 Rolling Earthquake... I wanted more maindeck reach and more creature removal, where EE blows up my own guys more often than Earthquake does. This allowed me to drop 2 Pyroclasms from my sideboard for 2 Winter Orb to improve my control matchups.

Citrus-God
05-12-2007, 11:05 AM
I really like the list. I might suggest you run Dryads over Geese, but then no more Mental Note. I know Goyf is strong without Mental Note, so that means you can concentrate more on your Card Quality. Instead of Mental Note, you can run Accumulated Knowledge, and a Merchant Scroll or two to chain cantrips (since you have a lot), and find FoWs and Stifles against combo via Scroll.

The Scroll toolbox can be

FoF, Echoing Truth (probably Wipe Away), Fire // Ice, and more random cards. Think fo this deck as a more aggressive version of Trix.

It's just a suggestion, I havent put deep thought into it yet.

Hanni
05-12-2007, 03:37 PM
Well, that definitely sounds like an interested suggestions. It would change the dynamics of the deck around greatly, so it wouldn't really be the same deck anymore, but the concept of the deck could be good. If you're going to run Merchant Scrolls, though, you might as well fit Flash, Hulk, and the KJ combo in the sideboard.

As far as Dryad over Mongoose in the current build though, untargetability is important in quite a few matchups. Between Goyf and Dragonauts, I haven't really found myself needing additional larger-than-Goose threats to be honest, and I like how Mongoose fits the early game curve alot better.