Taking it to the Next Level; Top 4 in Edison SCG 5K with Next Level Thresh
By Eric English
Man oh man have I been waiting for this moment for a long time.
After playing UG based tempo decks for the last year straight in legacy (deviating a bit when survival was the obvious most insane deck in the format), I had settled on playing NLT for the past few months. After top 8’ing events at Jupiter Games in the last two events hosted there, I’ve still ended up losing in the quarterfinals to decks I thought were either good or even matchups at worst, but instead ran into some bad luck. Determined to prove to the world that NLT is actually insane in this current metagame, I went out to D.C. last weekend to try and top 8 the SCG 5k hosted there. Unfortunately, I ended up drawing 3 times in the first 6 rounds, knocking myself out of top 8 contention and then dropping after I lost in round 7. After doing so poorly, I went back to the drawing board and tried to think of ways to improve the deck in the current metagame. A friend of mine (morbid) noticed that in a lot of matchups he really wanted a basic mountain, like countertop lists run, so that against decks with wasteland (especially merfolk) you can still cast bolt and REB easily and not get screwed on your mana. The change was implemented along with a shift away from Mishra’s factories and adding in a fourth wasteland. This meant crucible had to be cut, but that was fine since it hadn’t been doing much anyways. Another source member (Chikenbok), suggested a list very similar to what I was thinking, except adding grim lavamancer and fire/ice for extra burn and taking out firespout. The change seemed good, and in testing it worked out really well, so the change was made. The real sweet tech for the tournament came from yet another sourcer (kikoo) who suggested basilisk collar along with trinket mage to make your grim lavamancers into little machine guns that could take down almost anything, even Emrakul! (not that this side note is foreshadowing or anything like that……) The deck could even support a tutorable EE to help deal with random troublesome permanents, especially something like a resolved counterbalance. This was the last awesome change to the deck, as it tied everything together superbly. So without further ado, the decklist;
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Grim Lavamancer
2 Trinket Mage
3 Fire / Ice
4 Force of Will
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Spell Snare
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tropical Island
3 Volcanic Island
1 Null Rod
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Gilded Drake
1 Mind Harness
2 Krosan Grip
1 Red Elemental Blast
3 Spell Pierce
I can also say that the maindeck was unquestionably right for this current metagame. Fire//ice was unreal throughout the day. With the increased popularity of NOShow, fire just acts as a 2 for 1 that happens to always kill two mana sources. It also was awesome in the one tribal matchup I played, and even when it couldn’t kill something, I was able to cantrip it away while getting value by tapping something. The fact that it combines with grim lavamancer to take down most things also made it much better. But the real hero was basilisk collar. I had some of my friends say to me before the tournament that it was too cute, and that it wouldn’t do much. Well, I’m glad I can say that I proved them wrong. The little equipment saved me in several matches where I either needed to gain life, like in my quarterfinals matchup, or I could use it to make things like trinket mage battle very well against Knight of the Reliquary, which is the most hard card for this deck to deal with in just about all of legacy. Before, the deck could not deal with a large Knight, and eventually would roll over to it. With the collar, it doesn’t matter what creature I have, Knight can’t attack into it. And if I get a lavamancer down, well it’s pretty much over.
So after playing 6 excellent rounds of standard on Saturday and starting 6-0, I have a feature match against AJ Sacher were I epic punt into another epic punt into yet another epic punt and lose a game 3 that was mine to be had. After losing I got on tilt and end up losing the next two rounds as well, dropping at 6-3. I end up getting to my friend’s house still upset over how poorly I played and how my opportunity was squandered away. I sleep off the frustration and get ready to battle on Sunday in the format where I actually know what I’m doing. A bowl of fruitloops gets my day started, we head off to to the convention center, and I head off to round 1 to begin my quest for top 8.
Round 1 vs Stephen Carpenter with NOShow
Game 1 starts off with a trop, heirarch from him, so I put him on the NOShow deck that AJ Sacher had popularized recently. I lead with grim lavamancer, and then get down a goyf. Unfortunately, he plays a show and tell while I have no force. However, I have a plan, a very sneaky plan. I let the show and tell resolve, he goes for Emrakul while I put in a trinket mage. This goes and gets basilisk collar, much to my opponents bemusement. I only have 3 lands in play though, so I need to rip a land off the top to play and equip collar, then kill his Emrakul. Sadly, he has a force to keep collar off my lavamancer, so I’m forced to brainstorm for my own force, leaving me a mana short. However, I get lucky and find force + blue card in my top 3, so I force back and have collar resolve, putting a fetchland on top from brainstorm. I then equip collar and pass. He annihilates me down to just the lavamancer and the collar, sacking my goyf, trinket mage, and four lands, going to 3. I then play the land I had brainstormed away, get a volcanic island, and then kill him Emrakul with lavamancer!!!! So yeah that was pretty much the most awesome play I was able to make all day long. Sadly, however, I draw literally no creatures and the one ponder I find nets me only a shuffle and most dead cards, while I give him 10 or so turns to find another show and tell, and then put in progenitus to get the job done. Game 2 I start to find out that how good fire//ice is against this deck. I keep him off random mana dorks, and counter the show and tell he tries to resolve. It wasn’t very close. Sadly, however, game 3 he keeps the nut hand on the draw where he goes turn 1 noble off of a basic forest, I play a land and pass, he goes ancient tomb + natural order, and even has the force for my counterspell. Sometimes the nuts can just get you.
Round 2 vs Peter Ingram with 4c Countertop
After losing round 1 I was pretty pissed since I knew I’d probably have to win out in order to have a shot at top 8ing since my breakers would be abysmal. After finding out my opponent was on counterbalance game 1, I played with the goal of resolving a jace and having it carry me to victory. I started by getting in with grim lavamancer slowly but surely, and eventually got to a point where I could resolve jace. After that the game didn’t take very long. Game two I board in all my sweet 1 mana counters plus enchantment hate, and they all play a part in me quickly demolishing him. The key in this matchup is that you play very similar spells, except that NLT can easily out-tempo them with stifle and wasteland. When you have mana to cast your spells and then don’t, it’s usually pretty easy to win.
Round 3 vs Joe Viola with NOShow
It sucks I had to play Joe this round, since we were staying at the same friend’s house for the weekend, but I couldn’t let that stand in my way. Game’s 1 and 2 were very similar, and it’s hard to tell them apart from the limited notes I took. Effectively it came down to me having a cheap burn spell to keep him off natural order fodder, while providing a quick clock via tarmogoyf. From the way the match played out, it seems that if NOShow doesn’t win game 1, they’re in serious trouble since you get to take out spell snare, which can only hit zenith for 1 and that’s in, and bring in spell pierce and REB which are both insane. Combine all the different parts of the deck and NOShow has a pretty rough time getting their different combos to resolve.
Round 4 vs Joel Paradee with Goyf Sligh (Fast Zoo)
If fire//ice had started to prove itself earlier, this is the match where basilisk collar started to show its worth in earnest. Game 1 he is stuck on 1 land after I waste, and all he has is a figure of destiny for pressure. I eventually get a goyf down, and then suit it up with collar. All of the sudden I go from 5 to 9 after burning his one creature out of the way, and he can’t stop my lifelink goyf from killing him. Game two I’m the sad recipient of the good old t1 nacatl, t2 double goblin guide swing for 8. Even after bolting the cat and casting firespout two turns latter, I’m just at too low life and he uses price of progress to finish me off. Game three is a grind where he doesn’t know I have stifle and doesn’t really play around it. This allows me to keep him off green mana for a time and the play trinket mage into collar. After suiting up, I gain a bit of life before he grips the collar. He does rip a few burn spells though, and eventually I go down to 3 after I have to force a lethal price of progress. However, he only has 1 turn to rip a 1 mana burn spell or fireblast before he dies (I have a spell snare for anything else). When he just draws land I get the game and the match.
Round 4 vs Joe Pagano with Enchantress
Didn’t really want to play against this match after drawing with it in D.C., but I had confidence in my deck given how well it had been running. After getting deck checked we start game two and I come out of the gates with double lavamancer and a goyf. Soon I have resolve a jace and I’m working libraries top card every turn. After gets out a mirri’s guile I start fatesealing myself looking for more gas. Eventually he gets down a presence, and then mistakenly tutors for confinement during his turn. This means he has to draw it by playing an enchantment, and he’s open to any kind of attack. The next turn I brainstorm, see two bolts, and then realize that he’s dead to my attack plus double bolt. Game two I counter each enchantress effect he tried to resolve, while I beat him down with a sweet lavamancer, aka “The little clock that could.” With no enchantress effects in play, he has to tutor for a confinement just to survive an extra turn. After sacking confinement and finding nothing in his draw step, I take down the match.
Round 5 vs Justin Parent with Merfolk
Now I could finally see how the changes I made stacked up against a tribal deck. Game 1 is awkward where we fight over a vial resolving where I win the counter war, but at severe cost to my hand. I top deck grim lavamancer like a champ though and play it with my basic mountain. The whole game he tries to get creatures to stick, but each time I burn them away with ease. Eventually I find a goyf that goes to town on his life total and he’s way dead. Game two he tries to resolve some spells, only for me to counter them with REB and spell snare. Again goyf comes down and does quick work on his life total while my burn keeps his creatures at bay, giving me the match.
Round 7 vs Chris Gilley with Junk
Oh boy, not the matchup I wanted to run it after my breakers were already so abysmal. Game 1 he does what junk usually does game 1, where he plays a few good spells that I counter, then resolves a knight which takes me down easily. At least my sideboard can offer me some help. Game two I spell snare a few things, and then steal a knight with mind harness. It’s even bigger with the number of lands in my graveyard, so it doesn’t take long to finish him off. Game three he starts out again with some two mana spells, which I counter with spell snare. He then runs out a knight, which I steal with mind harness. I then make a good play on my turn where I pay the cumulative upkeep, then sac my trop for a wasteland and waste the maze of ith he had in play so that next turn I could start actually attacking. He has the vindicate to take back his knight, but I come right over the top with a gilded drake I had been sandbagging. He topdecks well though a gets another knight. I however do him one better and get trinket mage. After a knight attack from me kills the drake, I trinket mage for collar. His turn comes down to dark confidant, pass. On my turn I suit up the mage, and swing with the team since my knight will be bigger than his, even if he uses his knight. He decides not to block, which I find really strange since time is about to be called and if both hit him he goes all the way to three. I latter learn that he had forgotten that I had already destroyed his one maze, so he was using his knight to search for it, only to find that it was no longer in his deck. Time is called, and he tries to find something relevant but only hits lands. On my turn I ponder and find myself a sweet fire//ice, which I use to deal one to his confidant and one to him, putting him to two. With only one creature in play, he can’t make a block that saves him and he’s dead.
Round 7 vs AJ Sacher with NOShow
After punting so horrifically in the standard event the previous day, I didn’t want to have a gruesome encore of that result. Thankfully the matchup was in my favor and I felt confident about my chances, even knowing how good of a player AJ is. Game 1 he waits for a good time to try and resolve something, while I take the time to fire a dryad arbor and a noble, getting the good old two for one deal. He eventually tries to cast show and tell, and I clique in response. He shows me a hand of spell pierce and 3 fatties, no of which I can really afford to let enter play. I ship the spell pierce, and then force his show and tell. The clique did not deliver him a counterspell, and I won the game in short order. Game two was very similar, with me burning every creature that came into play, keeping him off his mana and preventing any natural order shenanigans. Even when he does go for natural order, I have the force to ruin his plans. A goyf comes down to mop up his life total and with that I’ve secured victory and gotten revenge for my massive misplays the day before.
Round 9 vs David Gearhart with Enlightened Tutor Control
Going into the final round, I knew my breakers were by far the worst of the x-1’s at 52%. I think I might of even been a full 10 percentage points below the next person on tie breaks. That meant the last round was win and in or lose and only top 32. And to make things worse I end up playing against David who I know though playing with him in Jupiter Games legacy events. Game one I run out grim lavamancer turn 1, and he ends up doing a bunch of damage over the course of the next 7 turns. While he’s using top every turn, I use three wastelands to try and keep him off of certain colors of mana. Eventually he runs out the academy ruins he had been sandbagging, and I start hoping he doesn’t have the thopter foundry. At this point though I have a jace that is almost at ultimate, and I just need two more turns in order to ultimate him. However, he gets the foundry before I can get him with the ultimate. At this point I shift to brainstorming with jace looking for some action. I eventually find some when I get EE to get rid of his foundry, and then my last wasteland to get rid of his academy ruins. However, he gets some thopter tokens before I can kill the foundry, and jace starts to lose loyalty. However, at this point I have some many more cards then he does, and I eventually get enough the deal him lethal damage. Game two was a non-game since he started with a mull to six, then ruins into top. His upkeep top the next turn got no lands and he had to ship the turn back. This meant my wasteland in hand was insane, so I wasted him and he had two turn of draw go. This gave me lots of time to resolve two goyfs and start beating in. He eventually finds some lands, but by then I have down three goyfs with the fourth in hand. A desperation oblivion ring is met with force, and goyfs grow big enough the end the game in very short order. It was a shame the match had to end that way, but something land light draws can just get punished by wasteland.
8-1, 17-4 with over 80% game win percentage (side note: I was the only player in the entire tournament to have a higher than 80% PGW tiebreaker.)
Quarterfinals vs Mike Eisenhauer with Affinity
So after losing round 1, I find myself in the top 8 by winning out the rest of the tournament. After getting my share of congratulatory high fives, I sit down under the camera to battle against affinity. It’s a deck I don’t really think is well suited for legacy, since decks are way faster and better equipped to fight it that when it was the best deck in standard. Game one I keep a mediocre hand while he goes ornithopter, memnite, signal pest, frogmite. I brainstorm trying to find some gas, but I get nothing. One three land I cast a desperation clique to try and buy some time, but he just galvanic blasts it before I can block. At that point I’m at too low life and have no outs. Game two is all about my plentiful removal, as I use a combination of bolt, fire//ice, and firespout to keep his creatures off the board. Even with me forgetting that I have no green for firespout that lets an ornithopter live, he is too tilted by all my removal to want to play further and prematurely scoops up his cards. Game three I keep him off early dorks with fire//ice, and eventually get a goyf. He lands a myr enforcer though, so I can’t really attack him, since I’m at 7 and he’s at 18. However, I eventually get a jace down and try to figure out what to do with him. I decide that since he’s been mana light and has not cast anything for a few turns, that I’d fateseal him and keep him off mana. He helps me out by attacking me instead of my jace. Putting him on galvanic blast or the like, I keep fatesealing him to make sure he doesn’t draw something that loses me the game. I also get down a grim lavamancer to help keep his creatures under control. However, at this point he gets enough artifacts to lay down double enforcer and I need to brainstorm to find some answers. Luckily I do when I find collar and suit up my lavamancer. At this point he points a galvanic blast at my face, which I find very strange since my lavamancer is about to wipe out his team. Even though I have force in my hand, I let it resolve and continue to machine gun down his crew. Even though he had etched champion to keep my goyf from attacking, every turn I would kill a dude of his and gain two life. My jace was also providing me with plenty of disruption, so eventually I was able to waste both all of his lands and then kill all of his creatures, keeping my life total way above galvanic blast range. The last straw is when I bounce his champion, leaving him with only a springleaf drum on board, and dead to two turns of goyf swings and lavamancer burns to the face. He was visibly upset that I didn’t use jace to brainstorm earlier or use lavamancer to just kill the champion, but at that stage I knew he was dead in two turns if I bounced and three if I killed it with lavamancer. Basically I wanted to give him as few turns as possible to draw some kind of out, and that’s the route I came up with. The jace fateseal plan was probably worse than fatesealing once or twice to get out of blast range, and then brainstorming to pull ahead. However, at the end of the match it didn’t matter, as my deck’s plentiful removal and countermagic bested his robots.
Semifinals vs Alix Hatfield with High Tide
And this is where I finally met my match. Game one was pretty atrocious, since I only have force to really interact with him, since spell snare can only hit merchant scroll in this matchup. Eventually he sculpts a hand with force backup and my one force is not good enough to stop him. Game two is much better, as I get to board out all the removal and bring in more counterspells and null rod to keep candelabra from doing anything. I start out with a grim lavamancer, the little clock that could, and get in for one a turn. I use a stifle to keep him off a land, and he ends up getting stuck on two lands after brainstorm finds nothing. I get a trinket mage down after that, and then play a clique which is REB through and kill him with my attack the next turn. Game three I keep a sketchy hand, but end up getting double force and then playing out two goyfs. The problem is that he has been tutoring for pact of negations, so I know that my two forces are not good enough to stop him. At this point I get very greedy dude to the pressure of knowing my countermagic in hand isn’t going to stop him. So I play Jace, looking for a land and another counterspell in my top three to try and stay ahead of his countermagic. Sadly, I don’t get there, and as I’m pretty much tapped out he time spirals, and this leads to more mana making and eventual death by blue sun’s zenith. If I had not played jace, I would have had a force and REB in my hand to interact, and I would have been able to counter two things. Sadly, after the match he told me two counterspells wouldn’t have been enough, since he had an extra time spiral to be able to keep going off. At that point I would have had to pray for the miracle triple force triple blue card spiral hand, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. The correct play would have been to not play jace, but inexperience crippled me in this instance. At least the next time I play against it I’ll have a better idea about how to battle the deck.
Final Standing – 3rd
All things told this was by far the best tournament I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve done well at multiple tournaments before, but this is the first time that I’ve top 8’d an event this large or made this much of a profit (a cool 850 clams). The way the current maindeck is set up was perfect on the day. I was happy with all the numbers that I was running. Every card was relevant over the course of the day, so right now I wouldn’t change the maindeck. The sideboard, on the other hand, could be tweaked a little bit to adapt to any shifts in the metagame. For example, if junk gets more played based on how well it did at this tournament, then something could come out to make room for another gilded drake (by far the best card you have against junk, especially when you can get it going with jace). The weakest card was tormod’s crypt, but that was mostly since I didn’t run into any of the dredge players that were doing well. If I had, I’m sure it would have been really good for me. For any other question about the deck or suggestions on cards you think should make their way into the 75, head over to the next level thresh thread and post your ideas. People’s posts from the last week are part of the reason I top 4’d this weekend, so make sure you voice your opinion if you have any good ideas.
And to wrap things up;
- Will Fisher and Jon Barber – Gave me a ride to Edison and back to Ithaca, respectively. If I didn’t have you guys I wouldn’t of been able to make it to the tournament
- Tony Carestia – Thanks for letting me crash at your house. The fruitloops were especially clutch.
- Alex Bertoncini – Always willing to cube draft. Always.
- Morbid, Chikenbok, Kikoo – Your suggestions helped morph the deck into the monster that crushed people left and right. Especially the sweet collar tech
- All the upstate players who stuck around to the end – Getting congratulations from everyone I knew for top 8ing was quite gratifying
- My deck – For being a boss in general
- The convention center – Had a café, but no restaurants close by to go get food. Didn’t help when I was hunting for food after the top 8
- Sleep – Not getting nearly enough any night this weekend
- NY weather – The night of the top 8 and entire foot and a half of snow dropped over the entire upstate area, keeping me in a hotel for the night and missing class on Monday. Not cool New York.
- My deck – For not being a boss against high tide
Thanks for reading.
Last edited by chinEsE girl; 03-07-2011 at 11:53 PM.
You can't pull out the RUG from under me, CUZ I AM THE RUG!
Congrats on the finish!
DCI Rule Advisor
San Francisco Eternal Group
Congrats. I like how your list turned out. Shame about the seminfinals. Your hand for game 3 sadly didn't seem strong enough, maybe it should have been thrown back. I couldn't see exactly what it had, though :<
Good job! Glad to see you and your list do so well. Any chance of a brief sideboarding guide?
Congrats on the finish! Nice to see Collar getting more love in Legacy.
Congratulations, Eric. Unfortunately I could not make it out to Edison, but I heard you were close to the top when the dust was settling, and made it in time to catch the Top 8.
I'm glad our extra gameplay/comments allowed you to make some insane changes to the deck, I'll definitely be sporting NLT at some future events.
Delver enthusiast and avid practitioner of blind flipsmanship.
Follow me on Twitter: @AllSunsDawn
Represent on the shoutouts. One of these days we'll have to go head to head ; )
Lavamancer is a really good addition with all these creature decks. How would you improve the combo matchup? Would Counterspell be too far off? How did Dispel work out?
First off, thanks for all the congrats, the win means a lot after calling my own shot a few weeks ago (go look on the NLT thread if you don't know what I'm talking about).
As for some of the questions, I'll answer em in order.
I can put up a general sideboarding guide in a while, I just have to figure out exactly how I want to board from now on. With daze gone from the deck, my usual card to cut is gone, so all tournament long I had to do some improvising with some of the sideboarding. Once I figure out something more concrete I'll let you guys know.
Combo matchup would get better by adding a third clique and more countermagic. Taking out removal like fire/ice would allow for more countermagic if you felt it necessary.
Counterspell could possibly fit into the deck at some point, maybe as a one or two of instead of the of the fire/ices or something else. Right now I don't think it's needed, but that's just me.
I don't know where you saw dispel, I never ran it in my 75. It's been suggested as an answer to swords, but the way I play puts little emphasis on protecting dudes from swords, I tend to play with much different priorities. As for answers to blue instants, which is what you really care about (along with plenty of blue permanents) REB is just much better.
You can't pull out the RUG from under me, CUZ I AM THE RUG!
This deck is looking and (apparently) playing more and more like the stock Canadian Threshold lists of 2008, except instead of weak manabases it's exploiting greedily expensive spells. With cbtop so bad right now, it seems like a great time to play this deck. Assuming your bad matchups (such as Junk, but also more creature-heavy midrange types) get more popular, how would you adapt the list?
After reading your claim in the NLT-thread to top8 either DC or Edison, I was looking forward to this a great deal. Huge respect for your confidence and your actual play skills. Congrats!
Apart from Merfolk and Goblins, how have your remaining Aether Vial matchups been, if you've had the chance to test them? I'm thinking of DnT, DnT with Green and/or black and Maverick in particular.
I'm assuming Vial always is a neussiance with the loss of functional counterspells, but does lavamancer and firespout make up for it?
You knew the deck was good, and you proved it was good. Nice read and grats! Lavamancer is one of the best one-drops in the format right now along with Lackey, Hierarch, Nacatl (sometimes PImp/TTribe, Mongoose)
Thanks for the report!
Now for the questions. Lavamancer seems really important to the deck, and pretty easy to kill, why not run 4? From reading the report, it seems like the Spell Snares were not too good most of the time, would you rather have had something else? If I were to replace the Spell Snares, would I need more counters like Daze or Spell Pierce, or regular Counterspell or would you consider adding the 4th Lavamancer and more Ponders, or say one Pithing Needle and one more Trinket Mage?
Hope those questions are not redundant and that it's not too much time for you to answer!
You did an amazing job getting to the last 4
The deck is just about right and Collar is particularly nice with Trinket Mage, generally in blue builds that have problems with KotR and more big, nasty creatures (midrange). Yesterday, before I heard about your results, I already converted my 4C Countertop build into a UGR build, also with Collar, Mages, Lavamancers and Cliques; the biggest bonus of this change is that the manabase is no longer weak like in 4C Countertop builds; in fact I can't imagine it any more solid for Countertop. Trinket Mage is the key to this. People who say here that Countertop is weak these days, haven't read this thread. I posted my list in the Countertop Intuition thread for reference (last page). It also contains Lavamancers (3), Mages (3), Cliques (2) and Collar (1), next to CB/Top.
Anyway, great deck, great performance, great result.
Countertop /Eva Green
Alrighty then, more questions to answer.
About the non tribal aether vial matchups, they can be a bit more annoying than the tribal ones, but they still aren't that bad. The white based vial decks have a lot of creatures that die to your removal, so often you can let aether vial resolve, then just kill all their creatures while their jaw drops and they don't get how their turn 1 resolved vial didn't win them the game. The key card in these situations is stilfe. Nowadays white based vial decks are using stoneforge mystic to get their card advantage on, but you can answer that easily with a timely stifle, or using clique to take out their equipment before they "vial" it in with the mystic. Overall I only find any vial deck with green to be a problem. Once again, KotR is the main offender, but the way the deck is set up currently even green and taxes would have a rough time fighting NLT. Alot of our removal is live, so long as you kill mom before she untaps, and collar can still be awesome again them since they're mostly a creature deck. Plus they can only get rid of things like Jace with creatures, and you can handle a rush pretty well. Overall I'd say vial decks are very favorable to even against NLT, with the only even matchup being G&T even though you still have so many good cards against em.
As for the question about removing spell snare, I'll start out with a quick guide to the "Cards that should never leave NLT ever." It includes 4 goyf, 4 force, 4 brainstorm, 4 bolt, 3 spell snare, 2 jace, 2 clique, 4 stifle, 4 wasteland, appropriate number of duals and fetches. The list might be missing a few things, but at the very least these cards should NEVER leave NLT. The rest of the deck is malleable and right now removal plus lavamancer is pretty sweet, so that's why I ran the 75 at Edison. The be specific about spell snare, it's the one card that lets you never fall too far behind. Ever. It's been said all over the interwebs, but the 2 drop spot in legacy is filled with an unbelievably large number of powerful cards. The ability to counter those cards, especially on the draw, for just a single mana is far too strong to ever get cut. There was even a time I considered adding a 4th in place of a daze, but since daze has been cut I'm still at three and it's always been the right number. You always have spell snare when you need to use it, and it's always fantastic. Sure, there are a few fringe cases where you board it out (like against NOShow), but against so many things it's fantastic. Sorry to go on a bit of a rant about spell snare, but the card is amazing and needs to be kept in the deck against two drops are no longer played in legacy, so in other words never.
And since I have free time I'll even patch together a quick sideboarding guide for usual matchups. Just one sidenote, this is just what I did for the tournament, and I might change my mind about some of this sideboarding in the near future.
+2 Firespout +1 Mind Harness
-2 Clique -1 Ponder
+3 REB +2 Firespout
-4 Stifle -1 Ponder
-4 Bolt - 4 Force -2 Fire/Ice
+3 REB +3 Spell Pierce +2 Grip +1 Mind Harness +1 Gilded Drake
-4 Bolt - 3 Fire/Ice -1 Force
+3 REB +3 Spell Pierce +2 Grip +1 Null Rod
+1 Mind Harness +1 Gilded Drake +1 Relic
-4 Bolt -2 Fire/Ice -1 Collar
+3 Reb +3 Spell Pierce +1 Null Rod
If they run empty the warrens,
-1 Fire/Ice -1 Jace
-2 Jace - 3 Spell Snare -2 Ponder
+3 REB +3 Spell Pierce +1 Gilded Drake
Green and Taxes
+2 Grip +1 Mind Harness +1 Gilded Drake
-4 ???? (probably ponder and something else)
+1 Crypt +1 Relic +2 Firespout
-4 ???? (maybe stifle, idk if it actually does anything in this matchup)
+1 Relic +1 Crypt +2 Grip
-4 ????? (depends on what in your deck is worst)
+2 Grip +1 Gilded Drake +1 Null Rod
-3 Fire/Ice -1 Ponder
+1 Mind Harness +1 Gilded Drake +3 REB +3 Spell Pierce
-4 Force -4 Bolt
+2 Grip +1 Null Rod +2 Firespout
-2 Clique -2 Ponder -1 Stifle
+1 Mind Harness +1 Gilded Drake +1 Relic
That should cover all the usual suspects. Again, these aren't definite, I could certainly come up with better boarding plans within the next week or two before I play at Jupiter Games on the 19th.
You can't pull out the RUG from under me, CUZ I AM THE RUG!
Great deck, great result! Huge Props and congratulations! I'm sold on Fire/Ice in the No-Show and tribal Mus. I still find the 4th Lavamancer extremely important and will cut down to 2 Fire/Ice for the 4th Mancer. I've also found the Spell Snares to be one of the suboptimal cards in the Deck. Maybe Trimming 1 Spell Snare for the 3rd Clique is ok? I've found that spell snare has been underperforming for me recently as the major bombs in legacy now center @ 3 like Show and Tell, KOTR, Clique etc etc. Spell Snare seems too conditional. I've felt that I often have to choose between Cliqueing during draw step or leaving mana open for Snare and Cliqueing is usually the better play. Cheers!
Stifle does some tricky things in the MU, namely stopping Narcs or Ichorids in the yard or shutting off the draw from Cephalid Coliseum. Collar and Jace seem rather suspect, depending on if they have Iona or not.
Against Lands, board out Collar and Bolts, I think. Fire//Ice is good at stopping Dark Confidant, and can also be used to mana screw Lands off Green or push through damage with a Maze on the field.
Getting Spell Pierce in the deck seems good, as it's probably better than Spell Snare (which only stops Bob and tempo-loams)
+1 Relic, +1 Crypt, +2 Grip, +3 Spell Pierce
-1 Basilisk Collar, -1 Lavamancer, -3 Spell Snare, -2 Lightning Bolt
I'll test the matchup at some point, if you want. I've played your deck a little bit, and against it slightly more, but don't really know what I'm talking about.
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Owner, Tales of Adventure Comics and Games, Coopersburg, PA
great report, thx!
against Dredge obv sideout is Spell Snare, and maybe Collar as 4th card
I felt really suprised you board out force in 4cb control matchup. Could you explain your reasoning?
Grats on the finish!
Thanks for the help with sideboarding tip, the advice sounds solid to me. So yeah, add the advice about lands and dredge to the sideboarding tips I said earlier and that's a good start to understanding the game 2 & 3 plan against the metagame.
As for forces coming out against countertop, you have to understand that the NLT countertop matchup is usually a long match of attrition. You really can't afford to spend two cards to answer one of theirs when all your countermagic is so good in the first place. Instead of play a 2 for 1 counter you can play a bunch of one mana counters that are usually just as good. The combination of REB, spell pierce, and spell snare come together to deal with just about everything 4c countertop can throw at you. Start the game with some disruption, keep them on the back foot, and then land something like a clique or a jace that can take em down.
You can't pull out the RUG from under me, CUZ I AM THE RUG!
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