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Thread: [Deck] Death & Taxes

  1. #1
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    [Deck] Death & Taxes

    There are couple of broad directions to go in building this deck. I'm giving one example; I'll be emphasizing anti-search (and, don't worry about the Steelshaper, it plays just fine) because it does a lot of damage to fetch mana-bases, certain combos, and it gives us PtE and Ghost Quarter.

    Despite lacking SFM, the equipment package is worth having. It has serious game with the beat down cards, gives serious flexibility to the deck, and gives it effective ways to spend the mana it has in the mid-game.

    // Lands - 23
    15 Plains
    4 Tectonic Edge
    4 Ghost Quarter

    //Tempo - 8
    4 AEther Vial
    4 Path to Exile

    // Anti-Search - 7
    3 Aven Mindcensor
    4 Leonin Arbiter

    // Additional Taxation - 10
    3 Mangara of Corondor
    3 Leonin Relic-Warder
    4 Phyrexian Revoker

    // Beats - 7
    3 Mirran Crusader
    4 Serra Avenger

    // Equipment Package - 5
    2 Steelshaper's Gift
    1 Sword of Light and Shadow
    1 Batterskull
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice

    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 Sword of Feast and Famine
    SB: 2 Ethersworn Canonist
    SB: 2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
    SB: 3 Oblivion Ring
    SB: 4 Mana Tithe
    SB: 3 Hokori, Dust Drinker

    I've found that Death and Taxes (a variant of WW/Equip in this case) has a pretty decent game against Zoo. Likewise, I think the 12-post matchup is hurt by DnT's land-destruction and anti-search with a clock behind it.



    peace,
    4eak

  2. #2

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    Why not Feast and Famine? Best Sword is best.

  3. #3
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    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    I have it in the SB. I don't think it is the best, but I'm not sure what the proper Sword configuration would be. It seems easy enough to change the main to:

    -1 Sword of Light and Shadow
    +1 Sword of Feast and Famine

    Pro Green is pretty sweet.



    peace,
    4eak

  4. #4

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    I've been having a lot of success with a different approach. My list is mainboarded to beat Zoo, 12-Post, and any other 3-color deck with a fragile mana base (Jund, RUG-Gifts, Esper Control, Bant). It doesn't focus on the equipment package since I've found it too inconsistent/slow, personally. In Modern Mangara can't be abused as well as Legacy, but I still feel that eight blink effects are worth it for tricks with the other creatures instead, namely Kitchen Finks. Don't expect to aggro out Turn 5, just play the hate and soon you'll have enough fliers to take them out in a couple swings.

    My List:
    4x Leonin Arbiter
    3x Aven Mindcensor
    3x Mangara of Corondor
    4x Flickerwisp
    4x Stonecloaker
    4x Kitchen Finks
    4x Serra Avenger

    4x Aether Vial
    4x Path to Exile
    3x Oblivion Ring

    15x Plains
    4x Ghost Quarter
    4x Tectonic Edge

    Sideboard:
    4x Ghostly Prison
    2x Wrath of God
    4x Ethersworn Canonist
    2x Tormod's Crypt
    3x Pithing Needle

  5. #5
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    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    This is, I feel, the best use of Aether Vial in modern that I've seen so far. Mindcensor and Arbiter are sick tech vs. fetchlands, Gifts, and Eye of Ugin. How crazy is it to be playing Wasteland (well, GQ and Mindcensor/Arbiter) in modern? The stinker is Path to Exile giving them land...bummer. I imagine it will be too late for a basic land to matter when you play Path, but sometimes your hand may dictate that you kill early dudes.

    I'm curious about Spectral Procession and Windbrisk Heights in this deck...but it doesn't fly with Vial very much.
    I am counted amongst legions of the unrighteous
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  6. #6

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    Spectral Procession and Timely Reinforcements have been suggested as sideboard cards, but never with Windbrisk Heights... interesting. I'm not sure that the card is necessary, and it slows our tempo down coming into play tapped and all. I won't even run a single Flagstones because it can be destroyed on our upkeep, costing up tempo. The mana base is fragile enough, and our mana curve is costly.

    Path to Exile has been great for me. Saving it to use with a hate bear is optional, and there's a reason why everyone else in Modern uses this card even without the slightest hint of a hate bear in their deck. It's good regardless. Also, with luck, Ghost Quarter can act as a Strip Mine, let alone Wasteland.

  7. #7

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    @ daugarten

    Ah... good old Mono White Control. It seems that your deck is a bit top heavy on three drops. I'm not sold Oblivion Ring. It seems like you're better off playing Leonin Relic-Warder or Dismember depending on meta.

    Have you thought about Jotun Grunt in the sideboard? It's great against any deck that relies on Tarmogoyfs or KotR. Granted, the issue may be that you don't run enough fetches to feed it.

  8. #8

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    The deck IS rather heavy on 3-drops. Aether Vial helps tremendously, but regardless I feel that going heavy on the curve at 3 is a necessary evil. Also, I wouldn't consider this list to be Mono-W control. It provides a clock that a true W Control list can't and the control version typically runs Emeria, the Sky Ruin, Martyr of Sands, Sun Titan, Wall of Omens, Gideon Jura, Sacred Mesa, and board wipes. It's a fairly different archetype.

    Oblivion Ring serves a different purpose than Leonin Relic-Warder or Dismember. It can be abused with Flickerwisp+Vial to remove two permanents... or take out a Primeval Titan when Dismember can't. O-Ring is just another answer for Emrakul if it's cheated into play or for Planeswalkers (though they haven't exactly caught on yet as far as I can tell). Relic-Warder can also be burned out with the all-too-popular Punishing Groves trick to gain their card back. I would definitely consider Leonin Relic-Warder once I get a better handle on my local meta, but for now I prefer the safer O-Ring. I'll actually test it out a bit online to be double sure :)

    I ran Jotun Grunt back when SFM was legal and liked it, didn't love it. Kitchen Finks has since took his spot because he provides a decent clock, can trade with most Zoo creatures, persists, gains life, and can be abused with my other creatures easily... Finks simply has no drawback other than casting cost. I also preferred more anti-search cards for mainboard hate once SFM was banned, and this deck just doesn't put enough in the yard to sustain Grunt itself. I considered it as a sideboard card to deal with GY decks but decided on different hate cards instead for those GY match ups (Living End) since the same cards (Ethersworn Canonist) could be used against other non-GY decks as well (Storm).

  9. #9

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    @ daugarten

    By strict definition its aggro-control, but it feels much more controllish because I don't think you can out aggro ~80% of the decks in the format. Not that that's a bad thing.

    The interaction between Flickerwisp+Vial is neat. I suppose it works. I hadn't thought of it in that context before. It seems by the way you describe it you might be better off playing Journey to Nowhere. Though I understand if you want to stick with O-Ring in an unknown meta.

    Agreed. Kitchen Finks is pretty awesome. He's steadily been increasing in price ever since Modern was announced.

  10. #10
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    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    I've played against a similar deck yesterday with my 12-post deck. Let's say I didn't have a chance. It looks to me that it's the only relevant control deck I've seen until now. Still, some adjustments might be necessary, but it definitely has some potential in a metagame that does not win before turn 4 and without any other control deck. I'm not sure about Serra Avenger though, it does not block anything and you already have efficient evasive beaters, namely Stonecloaker and Flickerwisp. Also Tectonic Edge seems quite underwhelming in a format where the decks win when they have 4 lands in play.

    You say that the deck is built to beat zoo, but I don"t get exactly how. You can't block most of their beaters (tarmo/knight/exalted nacatl) and you have no life gain (besides Finks) to fight their burn spells. Also Grim Lavamancer is really a pain for this deck.

  11. #11
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    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

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  12. #12

    Re: [Deck] Death & Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Maveric78f View Post
    I've played against a similar deck yesterday with my 12-post deck. Let's say I didn't have a chance. It looks to me that it's the only relevant control deck I've seen until now. Still, some adjustments might be necessary, but it definitely has some potential in a metagame that does not win before turn 4 and without any other control deck. I'm not sure about Serra Avenger though, it does not block anything and you already have efficient evasive beaters, namely Stonecloaker and Flickerwisp. Also Tectonic Edge seems quite underwhelming in a format where the decks win when they have 4 lands in play.

    You say that the deck is built to beat zoo, but I don"t get exactly how. You can't block most of their beaters (tarmo/knight/exalted nacatl) and you have no life gain (besides Finks) to fight their burn spells. Also Grim Lavamancer is really a pain for this deck.
    Thanks for taking a look at my list. My current list has changed only slightly, and it's posted below. I've been having a lot of success with this deck online and testing against friends. It's certainly well positioned in the meta right now, and if you can predict your meta accurately I'd imagine it'll be quite a house. A local store will be running Modern FNM soon and I plan to post more results when I have them.

    Serra Avenger is a very powerful creature in her own right. She isn't killed off as easily, and she really adds to the threat density of the deck. Sure, she can't block most beaters in the format, but she is still a very central park of the deck regardless. Most opponents will sneak in those Hierarchs, Apes, Hawks, and Bobs when the opposing Goyfs and Knights are tapped out, but they can't do so with an Avenger on the field. I would still consider testing a replacement since white has so much to offer though.

    Zoo was a great match up at the beginning, but since it has added blue and Elspeth it's been a bit tougher. The deck beats Zoo with Ghostly Prisons, aggressively attacking their (fragile and painful) mana base, carefully executed removal, and controlling the skies. It's very winnable actually, but by no means is it an easy match. I think you'd be surprised what a play set of Finks can provide.

    1 Kitchen Finks = +4 life, kills a Nacatl, chumps a Goyf (negating roughly 10 damage Zoo would otherwise inflict)
    1 Kitchen Finks + 1 Flickerwisp/Stonecloaker = +8 life, kills 2 Nacatls, chumps 2 Goyfs (negating roughly 20 damage)

    Of course, that's a best-case scenario and assumes that the Finks isn't immediately Pathed. It's still a very powerful interaction and buys time while you swing in the air.

    Also, a Lavamancer can be a pain for this deck, but it hasn't really caught on quite yet. Stonecloaker is surprisingly effective at stripping a graveyard. The ability doesn't look all that powerful but you can cast and bounce a single Stonecloaker all day as long as you have the mana/vials to back it up.

    Tectonic Edge is very good for this deck. Most decks do NOT win when they get 4 lands, at least not against D&T. They are especially useful against 12-Post. With 8 Stripmine/Wasteland effects you can easily bring an opponent from 4 lands to 1 or 2, and at the very least ruin their colors. So many decks are playing 2/3 colors and don't expect to come up against Leonin Arbiter+Ghost Quarter right now.

    My current list:
    4x Mangara of Corondor
    4x Flickerwisp
    3x Stonecloaker
    4x Leonin Arbiter
    4x Aven Mindcensor
    4x Serra Avenger
    4x Kitchen Finks

    4x Aethervial
    4x Path to Exile
    2x Oblivion Ring

    15x Plains
    4x Ghost Quarter
    4x Tectonic Edge

    Sideboard:
    4x Thorn of Amethyst
    4x Ghostly Prison
    3x Pithing Needle
    2x Ethersworn Canonist
    2x Wrath of God

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