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Thread: Grand Architect

  1. #1

    Grand Architect

    4 Grand Architect
    4 Pili-Pala
    4 Myr Superion
    2 Wurmcoil Engine
    4 Treasure Mage
    3 Spellskite
    3 Vedalken Engineer

    1 Lightning Greaves
    4 AEther Vial
    4 Thirst for Knowledge
    1 Mindslaver
    1 Viridian Longbow
    1 Planar Portal
    2 Vedalken Shackles

    21 Island
    1 Academy Ruins

    Grand Architect does a lot of things. The most important thing here is the combo with Pili-Pala. Use Grand Architect to make Pili-Pala blue. Tap the Pili-Pala for mana using the Architect's ability then untap it for mana using the Pili-Pala ability. Repeat until you have infinite mana. This allows you to go off as early as turn 3:

    Turn 2: Pili Pala
    Turn 3: Attack with Pili-Pala. Cast Grand Architect. Tap Architect to untap Pili-Pala, making a blue mana. Spend the blue mana to make Pili-Pala blue. Infinite mana.

    This combo is comparable to Splinter Twin, which is interesting

    Pros compared to twin:
    -You can go off a turn earlier (because the pieces cost 2/3 mana instead of 3/4)
    -You can't get 2-for-1ed by removal (you never have to put an aura on anything)

    Cons compared to twin:
    -Infinite mana doesn't actually win you the game on its own, you need something else to go with it.
    -None of the pieces have flash so passing the turn with untapped mana isn't as threatening.

    (There are other more marginal things like interaction with opposing Spellskites and Stony Silence / Torpor Orb)

    The Pili-Pala combo has been known since Grand Architect got spoiled but a lot of the decks trying to win with it have been really dedicated, trying to assemble the combo as quickly as possible using transmute cards and cantrips. This basically makes the deck just a worse version of twin due to the additional wincon card required. My build is more about making better use of Grand Architect because its ability is really strong (Almost metalworker-esque) even if you aren't using it to just combo off and win immediately.

    The rest of the creatures:

    Treasure Mage: Treasure Mage has great synergy with Grand Architect, ramping your mana and finding stuff to spend it on.

    Wurmcoil: Resolving a wurmcoil usually just puts the nail in the coffin for anything midrange/zoo (watch out for Path to Exile).

    Spellskite: 2 mana artifacts are perfect to drop into play with Architect. Spellskite protects the combo, protects Wurms from Path, blocks early rushes, redirects Ravager triggers, redirects burn from your face, is good against auras (twin/bogle) and you can make it blue with Architect to ramp into other things.

    Myr Superion: The artifact Tarmogoyf. Usually bigger than actual Tarmogoyf. Making it blue with Architect makes it a 6/7 at which point it is almost certainly bigger than actual Tarmogoyf. It can easily win games on its own and at worst it's a removal magnet to protect your higher-utility things.

    Vedalken Engineer: Unfortunately you can only play 4 Grand Architects so this is Architect 5-7. Unfortunately with an Architect in play this is strictly worse than Merfolk of the Pearl Trident but you need a certain density of stuff that helps you cast your Myr Superions and Wurmcoils even when you don't draw into your Architects. (Otherwise I would play something like Etherium Sculptor in this slot)


    The Spells:

    Planar Portal / Longbow: This is how you win with the Pili-Pala combo. I wanted a 6+ mana way to utilize the combo (because of Treasure Mage) and the only thing I could find was Hair-Strung-Koto, which unfortunately doesn't kill anybody with an Emrakul in their deck. But then I realised that I have infinite mana (durr) so I can just play Planar Portal and win with anything. Longbow looks weird (you have infinite mana so you can keep untapping Pili-Pala with its own ability and ping them over and over) but it's a semi-reasonable card to draw on its own, unlike Banefire or something. Planar Portal also looks crap but the deck can make a lot of mana through Architect so it isn't the worst card to just naturally draw into.

    Mindslaver/Greaves: Niche 1-ofs that aren't terrible, maybe they shouldn't be in the deck but I thought I should give them a try.

    AEther Vial: Allows you to flash in Pili-Pala and Grand Architect and combo people from nowhere. It's another way to get Myr Superion onto the battlefield, which is important. And you have a lot of creatures in the deck so it's a good way to play out your Treasure Mages and such without getting bottlenecked on mana. In dire manascrew situations you can tick it up to 6 in order to put Wurmcoil Engines into play.

    TFK: Good card advantage spell. Lategame you can pitch multiples of Pili-Pala or Vials that aren't doing anything. Some form of card draw is also useful after you combo off in order to dig through your deck and find a wincon.

    Shackles: Just a really good card. Castable off Architects, gives you a way to remove your opponents creatures (against Twin/Pod this is obviously very important, randomly stealing something like a Goblin Electromancer is also what you need to do sometimes), and against any sort of creature deck you just take their biggest guy and go to town on their smaller ones

    Lands
    1 Academy because why not (Mindslaver? Hurr) and lots of Islands because Shackles


    Things to consider:
    -Do you even want to play 4 Pili Palas? You could take the deck in quite a different direction, cutting them down to 1 or 2 and adding Kuldotha Forgemaster or something. There are also a lot of other interesting things you can build around with Architect, like Trinket Mage packages or some sort of Esperzoa etb value build

    It's fun and doesn't seem completely awful but I was just wondering if you guys had any suggestions

  2. #2
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    Re: Grand Architect

    Blue sun's zenith seems to be a really good card for this deck. Fabricate seems fairly powerful too.

    Also, 'large peepee' would be a hilarious name for this. Super schlong, big dick, massive member, colossal cock, or big brass baloney would be acceptable as well.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Grand Architect

    I really like Grand Architect and have been looking at brewing a Modern list incorporating it. The combo with Pili-Pala is cute, but I think it might be a trap, as Pili-Pala is pretty terrible on it's own. Focusing on the combo seems to bleed a lot of the power from the Architect itself. I played a U/b Architect deck during Scars/Innistrad Standard to good effect which played much more like a MUD deck (i.e. powering out huge, hard to answer threats). The other key card for such a strategy is Heartless Summoning. Unfortunately, you can't merge the two strategies (Pili-Pala + Heartless) very effectively, as Heartless kills off Pili-Pala. Here's a tentative list and a card-by-card analysis of things I've considered.

    Heartless Architect
    CREATURES
    4 Grand Architect
    4 Myr Superion
    4 Phyrexian Metamorph
    2 Solemn Simulacrum
    2 Spellskite
    1 Steel Hellkite
    1 Sundering Titan
    4 Treasure Mage
    3 Wurmcoil Engine
    SPELLS
    4 Heartless Summoning
    1 Mindslaver
    2 Serum Visions
    1 Spine of Ish Sah
    4 Thoughtseize
    LAND
    1 Academy Ruins
    4 Darkslick Shores
    6 Island
    2 Phyrexia's Core
    4 Underground River
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    1 Swamp
    4 Watery Grave

    Grand Architect - The cornerstone of the deck, allows for ramping into absurdly powerful things and can mess with combat by allowing you to turn your colorless robots into blue creatures and get +1/+1 (possibly multiple pumps, if more than one Architect is involved).

    Myr Superion - I'm a bit on the fence about this guy. In Standard, he was a beating. You can cast him by tapping a creature to generate mana via Architect or just play him for free under Heartless Summoning. While it's infrequent, there are the games where you play Heartless Summoning on turn two and just drop 2-3 Superions, which is hard for any fair deck to keep up with.

    Phyrexian Metamorph - This cards is so powerful in this type of deck, as it gives you multiple, powerful lines of play. You can just copy Wurmcoil Engine and beat down, copy Grand Architect and start amassing an army of "lords" all pumping each other, or copy Spine and blow up a permanent. This last option is particularly good, because if you then sacrifice the Metamorph copying Spine, it will return to your hand per Spine's triggered ability, thereby allowing you to copy something more proactive. When playing this deck in Standard, I often set up board states that were stalemates until I was able to recur Metamorph copying Spine then copy a random creature and start beating down.

    Solemn Simulacrum - A decent value creature. You can accelerate him out, accelerate your mana production, and throw him in the way of something to draw a card. He might be a bit slow for Modern and requires you to play a significant number of basic lands, which may or may not be an issue.

    Spellskite - A solid piece of protection for your more important creatures/artifacts that can be cast for "free" with Architect/Heartless Summoning and can be used to ramp your mana with Architect as well.

    Steel Hellkite - A more situational monster, but completely capable of destroying opposing boards. Hellkite also represents a very fast clock when you're able to use Architect to generate a ton of mana with which to pump the dragon.

    Sundering Titan - While a little harder to ramp to, Titan's effect is potentially game winning. I'd probably just play a single copy, as you have Treasure Mage to find it.

    Treasure Mage - The third "combo" card, in a sense. Treasure Mage plays double roles; it tutors for your bombs and acts as a mana source with Architect in play. A powerful line with the deck can be turn 2 Heartless Summoning into turn 3 Grand Architect (paying UU), Treasure Mage (paying U), find and play Wurmcoil/Steel Hellkite (paying 4 by tapping Architect and Mage).

    Wurmcoil Engine - Your general super solid artifact beatstick. Under a Heartless Summoning it's still a 5/5 Deathtouch with Lifelink. It allows you to race and oftentimes outright crush aggro. It is vulnerable to Path to Exile, but we have some tools at our disposal to help with that.

    Heartless Summoning - The other "combo" card. It's quite powerful on it's own in the right deck, but when combined with Architect, you can do some truly powerful things.

    Mindslaver - A powerful effect that potentially wins the game with a singles us, but can be combined with Academy Ruins for a game winning lock.

    Serum Visions - This is mostly just to have some action of turn one, but it also helps dig for Architect/Heartless.

    Spine of Ish Sah - While fairly expensive for the effect, the power of Spine lies in the ability to recur and reuse it's ability through various means, such as Metamorph or Phyrexia's Core.

    Thoughtseize - Disruption to fight against the faster combo decks. Also, the deck doesn't really have anything else to do on turn one.

    Academy Ruins - At best, you can achieve Mindslaver lock, but outside of that, recurring just about anything can be useful.

    Phyrexia's Core - A sacrifice outlet that enables the above mentioned Metamorph/Spine shenanigans without taking up a spell slot. It also provide a means to extract value from a Wurmcoil in response to a Path to Exile.

    Food for thought:

    If there is some reasonable way to bounce/sacrifice/destroy Heartless Summoning at instant speed, it could be potentially useful as a combat trick or as means of facilitating an alpha strike. Also, there are times when you've played to a board state than can produce ample mana and removing the -1/-1 from Heartless would simply be of more value than the mana discount. So far, the only thing I can think of that fulfills this role to any degree while still providing synergy with the rest of deck is Spine of Ish Sah (not instant speed and fairly expensive).

    Concerning the sideboard:

    I don't think it pays to worry about the sideboard too much until the maindeck is formed, but one thing to consider would be a Trinket Mage package, as it works in a similar way to Treasure Mage and can provide additional virtual copies of sideboard cards, such as Relic of Progenitus, Tormod's Crypt, Nihil Spellbomb (probably the best of the 3 graveyard removal artifacts for this deck), and Pithing Needle.

    Additional sideboard options might include:

    Staff of Nin - Card draw engine for grindy matchups and the utility of a "ping" effect.
    Duplicant - Emrakul got you down? Duplicant is your man. Probably a sideboard option.
    Contagion Engine - Works as a sweeper against swarm strategies. The value increases significantly if you have something worth proliferating (Tezzeret? Liliana?). Probably best in the sideboard.
    Dismember - Sometimes, you just need removal.
    Last edited by CaptainTwiddle; 03-23-2014 at 01:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Grand Architect

    shouldn't lodestone be an auto include in this list?
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    Re: Grand Architect

    Quote Originally Posted by apple713 View Post
    shouldn't lodestone be an auto include in this list?
    That's a good question; one that I've asked myself repeatedly. There are a few strikes against Lodestone Golem.

    1) Lightning Bolt is the most commonly played card in Modern. Unlike Legacy MUD, these Architect decks don't play Chalice of the Void, so Lodestone Golem seems pretty fragile.

    2) Grand Architect and Treasure Mage aren't artifacts, and making them cost more (especially the Mage) makes them much less appealing.

    Be that as it may, the Golem might be nuts, especially in combination with Phyrexian Metamorph. I do think Lodestone might be really solid in the Pili-Pala build, where it provides your combo some added protection.

  6. #6
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    Re: Grand Architect

    This is a quick port over from my Standard build.
    I've cut the Mana Leaks and Ponders for Visions and Sleights, and thrown in a Sundering Titan. I've cut out some of the weaker Spells like Solemn Simulacrum for Thoughtseizes. I really loved this deck, so here goes:

    Creatures: 19
    2 Spellskite
    4 Grand Architect
    4 Treasure Mage
    4 Phyrexian Metamorph
    4 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Sundering Titan

    Other Spells: 19
    4 Serum Visions
    4 Sleight of Hand
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Heartless Summoning
    3 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas

    Lands:
    5 Island
    1 Swamp
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Misty Rainforest
    1 Academy Ruins
    3 Creeping Tar Pit
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Watery Grave
    1 Sunken Ruin
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  7. #7
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    Re: Grand Architect

    Looks similar to my GrandMaster list: http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/t...23-grandmaster
    I really liked the Master of Etheriums for additional aggro. Also, Thassa has been amazing at getting past ground-stalls and smoothing draws.
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    Re: Grand Architect

    I've been contemplating yet another Architect build. After debating about whether or not Lodestone Golem deserved a slot in the deck, I thought about the idea of making more of a prison build. I also thought about going mono blue and eschewing Heartless Summoning for Etherium Sculptor. Here's a tentative list for what I'm calling Prison Architect.

    Prison Architect
    CREATURES
    4 Etherium Sculptor
    4 Grand Architect
    4 Lodestone Golem
    4 Master of Etherium
    4 Phyrexian Metamorph
    ? Pili-Pala
    3 Solemn Simulacrum
    2 Spellskite
    2 Steel Hellkite
    2 Wurmcoil Engine
    SPELLS
    4 Thorn of Amethyst
    LAND
    (23 or so, mostly Islands)

    Thoughts/Concerns - The core of the deck's strategy is using Lodestone Golem, Thorn of Amethyst, and Phyrexian Metamorph (copying either) to simply make your opponent unable to efficiently cast their spells, while you overrun them with large robots. Note that there is room in the list for Pili-Pala, allowing the combo with Grand Architect. However, finding a use for the infinite mana is the hard part. Steel Hellkite can serve as a mana sink, allowing you to win by giving an infinite +X/+0, but it definitely makes the combo more frail, as it requires the attack step. The problem with any other options was that they typically weren't very good on their own.

  9. #9

    Re: Grand Architect

    Heartless Summoning seems okay but the cost of splashing black is real and I'm not convinced that you can cast a bunch of stuff in one turn so regularly that it's better than Vedalken Engineer

    I don't like Golem because it's difficult to put it into play early enough to be really effective, and there are enough decks in the format that Thorn doesn't affect that it just seems not very good.

    I sort of understand the appeal of Master of Etherium (It's blue! It's an artifact! It pumps your other artifacts!) but Architect and Master seem pull the deck in very different directions. When your master is like a 7/7 and it's pumping a stack of memnites, then great. When it's like a 4/4 and all it's doing is giving Wurmcoil +1/+1, seems meh (especially in the last list which cut Treasure Mage)

    -I like the idea of Metamorph and Solemn
    -Steel Hellkite seems decent

  10. #10

    Re: Grand Architect

    Was directed here in another thread, so I'll post some of my developments. First, here's the list I've done some testing with.

    // Creatures - 17
    4 Grand Architect
    4 Etherium Sculptor
    4 Pili-Pala
    3 Steel Hellkite
    2 Wurmcoil Engine

    // Spells - 17
    3 Batterskull
    4 Blue Sun's Zenith
    4 Mana Leak
    4 Remand
    4 Spell Snare

    // Land - 26
    26 Island


    For some notes on my list compared to the OP's. I think OP's wincon is a bit to clunky and is pretty dead if drawn without the combo. Blue Sun's Zenith, while the cc is a little pricey, is useful even if you don't have the combo up, can kill Emrakul decks as you're not actually milling them, and can get around Leyline of Sanctity by allowing you to draw into a Steel Hellkite or something similar.


    One major addition to the deck I've been considering is Painter's Servant. If you call red, Veldalken Outcast, and Sphinx of the Steel Wind all become incredibly hard to deal with and Akroma's Memorial makes your other creatures awesome. I think Sphinx of the Steel Wind becomes a star here as it'll attack and block without worrying about removal, all while bumping up your life total.

  11. #11
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    Re: Grand Architect

    I just tried this out and I don't think the list is good enough yet. Pili-Pala and Blue Sun's Zenith are both pretty bad if you don't have "the combo" going with GA. I had games with PP out and BSZ in my hand where you don't get the GA and just sit there not being able to do anything. Without running 4x of each of those I don't think you'll see them often enough, but at the same time having 8 pretty dead cards (paying 4 to draw a card is soooo not what you want to do) without hitting Grand Architect is awful, and pair that with the fact that not only do they have to live through the opponent's instant speed removal spells AND that you need PP to not have summoning sickness still, and I think the odds are stacked against this ever working.

    That said, some things you could do are run Vedalken Shackles, as GA's mana does work for casting that with it's ability, and it shuts some decks down hard. Etherium Sculptor is probably the first thing I'd cut, as even though making stuff cheap is good, him alone still doesn't do enough. I think you really want Thirst for Knowledge in here, as instant speed draw 3 for 3 mana can really help you find your combo pieces.
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    Re: Grand Architect

    I'm becoming more solidified in my opinion that the Pili-Pala combo is NOT what you want to be doing. The card is just so terrible outside of the combo and trying to force the combo just makes your deck a much worse combo deck than anything else in Modern. I think either the Heartless Summoning or prison (e.g. Lodestone Golem) builds are the route to go.

  13. #13

    Re: Grand Architect

    If you did go the combo deck (or even not), you can protect yourself with a bunch of 2cc resistors:

    Thorn of Amethyst
    Defense Grid
    Phyrexian Revoker
    Spellskite


    If you're not playing combo but just profit, the resistors seem pretty good too, Revoker and Thorn and Lodestone Golem for sure.

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    Re: Grand Architect

    My original "Heartless Architect" list for reference:

    I'm thinking of making the following changes:

    -1 Sundering Titan - while potentially game-winning, I feel that there are enough non-shocklands in the format that he isn't guaranteed to to shine. I want to avoid dead draws.
    -2 Solemn Simulacrum - He was better in Standard where you were assured to get into creature fights.
    -1 Phyrexian Metamorph - I don't want to cut this, but it's the only cut that doesn't really remove an effect from the deck.
    +4 Lodestone Golem - He can be played turn 3 (T2 Heartless Summoning, T3 Architect, tap Architect, play Lodestone, pay U to make Lodestone blue, tap for 2 and play another Lodestone...BOOM!)

    I've also considered trying to fit in Vedalken Shackles, but I think it would require fitting more Islands into the mana base. For the time being, I think that Lodestone Golem fills a similar role, as you can theoretically just prevent opposing creatures from being played.

    My biggest issue with the deck remains the lack of a relevant turn one play. Thoughtseize seems like the best option, as you're not guaranteed a fast start, and Thoughtseize can buy you a turn or two. Serum Visions seems like the next best play, but it's pretty blah after turn one, especially i've you've got Lodestone(s) in play.

    I keep thinking about Etherium Sculptor, but it sits awkwardly on the curve. It seems like a perfect pairing with Grant Architect, by being a blue artifact creature that reduces the cost of your other artifacts by 1. The issue is that it doesn't reduce the cost of Architect, so even if you curve into T2 Sculptor, T3 Architect, all you can really do is cast a nonexistent 5 drop. Now, if Lodestone Golem is in the list, you can play it turn 3 off of Sculptor alone or after playing an Architect. So, that's nice, but it's pretty narrow, and I'm not sure how much value the -1 to costs really is, as Architect + Heartless provides more than enough casting power.

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    Re: Grand Architect

    I like your new list a lot more than the mono blue one I just tried out, and I'll buy it online to test it out if nothing is ludicrously overpriced.

    Just first thoughts though is you still should be playing Vedalken Shackles. It wins games by itself and the only concessions you have to make to play it are to change your manabase up a bit. I'd consider something like this instead of what you have right now (yeah, it sucks losing some tech like Mirrodin's Core but it is totally worth it for VS).

    23 lands:
    7 Blue Fetches
    6 Islands
    1 Swamp
    4 Watery Grave
    1 Urborg, Tomb of yawgmoth
    1 Academy Ruins
    3 Tectonic Edge (you're playing Lodestone Golems, make them worth it!)

    You have a decent amount of colorless casting costs so I'm not too worried about having Tec Edges and Academy Ruins in there.

    This manabase would allow you to capitalize on both Lodestone and Vedalken Shackles.

    From there I'd add 2-3 Shackles, as it slows down most opponents immensely while you get to your late game bombs. Probably cut solemns all together but I won't say for sure until I test it.

    EDIT: No need for Urborg Tomb, you never need 2 black mana.
    Last edited by Phoenix Ignition; 03-23-2014 at 05:36 PM.
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    Re: Grand Architect

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    I like your new list a lot more than the mono blue one I just tried out, and I'll buy it online to test it out if nothing is ludicrously overpriced.

    Just first thoughts though is you still should be playing Vedalken Shackles. It wins games by itself and the only concessions you have to make to play it are to change your manabase up a bit. I'd consider something like this instead of what you have right now (yeah, it sucks losing some tech like Mirrodin's Core but it is totally worth it for VS).

    23 lands:
    7 Blue Fetches
    6 Islands
    1 Swamp
    4 Watery Grave
    1 Urborg, Tomb of yawgmoth
    1 Academy Ruins
    3 Tectonic Edge (you're playing Lodestone Golems, make them worth it!)

    You have a decent amount of colorless casting costs so I'm not too worried about having Tec Edges and Academy Ruins in there.

    This manabase would allow you to capitalize on both Lodestone and Vedalken Shackles.

    From there I'd add 2-3 Shackles, as it slows down most opponents immensely while you get to your late game bombs. Probably cut solemns all together but I won't say for sure until I test it.

    EDIT: No need for Urborg Tomb, you never need 2 black mana.
    The Urborg was mostly to avoid taking pain from Underground River and to possibly facilitate some sideboard cards, but it's probably not needed. The reason I included so many black sources despite there only being 8 black cards in the maindeck (each only needing a single B to cast) is because your ideal turn one play is Thoughtseize and turn two is Heartless Summoning.

    I think a mono-blue version could be viable as well, where Shackles would obviously shine. I'd probably run Thorn of Amethyst in that list.

    Let us know how your testing goes. I don't get a chance to play as much Modern as I'd like and my online collection is super small, so Modern hasn't been part of my MTGO gambit thus far.

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    Re: Grand Architect

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainTwiddle View Post
    The Urborg was mostly to avoid taking pain from Underground River and to possibly facilitate some sideboard cards, but it's probably not needed. The reason I included so many black sources despite there only being 8 black cards in the maindeck (each only needing a single B to cast) is because your ideal turn one play is Thoughtseize and turn two is Heartless Summoning.
    In that case it'd be just as good to have a Swamp in that place, right? I never saw myself needing to cast 2 of the up to 8 black spells on the same turn.

    So my testing has made it clear to me that Myr is completely underwhelming. If you live the dream and drop him on turn 2 with Heartless, you get a 4/5. That's not that great considering a 5 turn clock starting on turn 3 will hardly win you the game against most decks. I like Treasure mage, and am thinking of even grabbing some Trinket Mages for a bit of tech and another mostly free creature that gives you value. Myr sounds good on paper, but when you run him into the following decks:
    Tron: probably your best matchup to have him, but killing them on turn 7 isn't likely without them killing you.
    Splinter twin: Again, not a fast enough clock
    Storm: pretty good here, since it's a decently fast clock and we can use stuff like Lodestone to slow them down
    BGx: Bad, Goyfs are going to be 5-6 power with their hand hate and our artifacts + enchantments
    Pod: Bad, a million Chump blockers

    The main reason I don't like him is you do need to hit one of your 8 enablers and waiting to do that without enough card sifting/drawing means you likely won't have him out very early. The later the game goes on the worse he gets, and unless you get multiples early (really living the dream) you won't win with him. If his starting power/toughness was 6/7 then I think we might be a little better off with goyf battling and racing stuff, but as is I'm taking him out completely.

    Vedalken Shackles has been an amazing card, as I'm running enough lands to steal people's Wurmcoils (got lucky it took that long to cast it, but still awesome). It's something that almost every deck needs an immediate answer for or you just chump their creatures into the ground, and I think it's a mistake to overlook it for whatever reason. Even if by turn 6 you only have 3 islands out, that's most of the creatures in the format that you can steal (or at least steal to chump block with).

    Still testing though, I'll post a list in progress sometime when I get a better idea of where i'm going with this deck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick "Tasteless" Plott
    It's a trend on the internet, the internet has just become more and more of an unpleasant place. It's become more and more of bitching on forums, and I'm from that really early internet generation where it's just small communities giving each other advice and reasonable dialogue, and it's kind of just devolved into this ugly, ugly thing. I mean, it's too bad you can't be paid to be, you know, a chicken shit fuckin' whiny bitch on the internet or we'd have a lot of rich community members

  18. #18
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    Re: Grand Architect

    Alright I've given it my best.

    Myr Superion isn't playable without a major reworking. With multiples and a Heartless Summoning, it's deceptively good, but with only 8 ways to play it you can't count on getting it out early -- and that's the only time a vanilla 4/5 (or 5/6, but at least one turn later) is useful. Late game it's outpaced by fair deck's creatures or doesn't throw a wrench into combo's gears. I would only play him if there were more than 8 ways of playing him. 8 isn't reliable enough, and I'm wondering if something like Muddle the Mixture would make it more playable. Only problem with that is it costs 3 to transmute and that means we still run into the turn 4 drop. For now I'm giving up on it, and I realize that's going to remap what niche this deck fits in.

    Heartless Summoning still feels very powerful, as it turns Treasure Mages into powerhouse card advantage. It doesn't quite make up for the fact that we're playing 6 cost creatures, but without it the deck runs clunky. Multiples are awful, so something like Thirst for Knowledge may hold some added bonuses to this deck. It's a great way to get cheaper creatures, and almost better than landing a Grand Architect.

    With HS, I feel like the Treasure Mage is so powerful I want to add in Trinket Mages as well. The package for them that I've run in tezzeret decks is actually quite good against the random assortment of Modern decks. I'd add these cards: Chalice of the Void, Executioner's Capsule, Relic of Progenitus, and possibly a Pithing Needle. With these you also get some awesome sideboard cards in Elixir of Immortality against burn, easier access to Pithing Needles against many decks, Nihil Spellbomb for storm/living end, and Grafdigger's Cages for Pod decks. With Trinket Mages your ability to withstand games where you don't get a fast combo out in Heartless Summoning or Grand Architect goes way up. You can actually grind out the slow game against some of the more common decks out there.

    Speaking of grinding out games where you don't get your 8 gas cards going, Vedalken Shackles is an absolute must have. Like seriously, this card is just nuts, and the opponent will spend so many resources fighting it that you'll just be able to stumble into your higher cost cards.

    Here's my current list. It's not polished by any means, but the addition of the cards I just mentioned lets you have some game against decks that can discard or kill your 8 speed cards.


    1 Chalice of the void
    4 Serum Visions
    4 Thoughtseize
    1 Executioner's Capsule
    1 Relic of Progenitus

    4 Heartless Summoning
    2 Spellskite

    4 Treasure Mage
    2 Trinket Mage
    4 Grand Architect
    2 Vedalken Shackles

    3 Lodestone Golem
    1 Phyrexian Metamorph

    2 Steel Hellkite
    1 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Spine of Ish Sah

    23 lands
    1 Academy Ruins
    6 Islands
    2 Marsh Flats
    3 Misty Rainforest
    3 Scalding Tarn
    1 Seamp
    3 Tectonic Edge
    4 Watery Grave

    Spine of Ish Sah hasn't been good for me, I will probably remove it for something more relevant since a 7 cost kill spell isn't worth it. I didn't have Mindslaver's on MTGO so I expect that to be better for the slot, and maybe we can even live the dream with recurring it on 1 Academy Ruins.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick "Tasteless" Plott
    It's a trend on the internet, the internet has just become more and more of an unpleasant place. It's become more and more of bitching on forums, and I'm from that really early internet generation where it's just small communities giving each other advice and reasonable dialogue, and it's kind of just devolved into this ugly, ugly thing. I mean, it's too bad you can't be paid to be, you know, a chicken shit fuckin' whiny bitch on the internet or we'd have a lot of rich community members

  19. #19
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    Re: Grand Architect

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    Myr Superion isn't playable without a major reworking...
    I agree. Myr was good in Standard, but Tarmogoyf and friends make Modern a much more hostile world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    With HS, I feel like the Treasure Mage is so powerful I want to add in Trinket Mages as well...
    I had considered Trinket Mage, but didn't really want to run any trinkets in the main. So, I had been running x2 Trinkets in the sideboard, basically acting as extra copies of other boarded trinkets (similar to how Legacy Death and Taxes decks will run x2 Enlightened Tutor in their board), which allows you to effectively play more cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    Speaking of grinding out games where you don't get your 8 gas cards going, Vedalken Shackles is an absolute must have. Like seriously, this card is just nuts, and the opponent will spend so many resources fighting it that you'll just be able to stumble into your higher cost cards.
    Yeah, I'll definitely be including 1-2 Shackles the next time I sleeve this deck up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    Spine of Ish Sah hasn't been good for me, I will probably remove it for something more relevant since a 7 cost kill spell isn't worth it. I didn't have Mindslaver's on MTGO so I expect that to be better for the slot, and maybe we can even live the dream with recurring it on 1 Academy Ruins.
    I may have been clinging to to Spine as a pet card. If we eliminate it, then there isn't much reason to play Phyrexia's Core, so I'd probably trim down to one (I still like having one to sac Wurmcoil in response to a Path to Exile). This allows us to play one more Island, thereby improving Shackles' efficacy. Now, this might be way too cute to consider, but maybe this deck could afford to run a single copy of Memnarch. With Grand Architect powering up your mana production, it basically turns into "UUU, tap 2 creatures: Gain control of target permanent."

  20. #20
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    Re: Grand Architect

    I finally built a version of Heartless Architect on MTGO and have been running it through a bunch of matches in the practice room. Here's my current list:

    Heartless Architect
    CREATURES
    1 Duplicant
    2 Etherium Sculptor
    4 Grand Architect
    4 Lodestone Golem
    1 Molten-Tail Masticore
    3 Phyrexian Metamorph
    2 Solemn Simulacrum
    2 Spellskite
    1 Steel Hellkite
    4 Treasure Mage
    2 Wurmcoil Engine
    SPELLS
    4 Heartless Summoning
    4 Serum Visions
    1 Staff of Nin
    2 Thoughtseize
    LAND
    1 Academy Ruins
    4 Darkslick Shores
    8 Island
    2 Phyrexia's Core
    4 Underground River
    4 Watery Grave


    Not a whole lot of changes from my original list (third post in thread), but the ones made are significant.

    Duplicant was added as a Treasure Mage target. I've been very pleased with it. It's amazing with Phyrexian Metamorph as a way to dismantle an opposing team. That being said, make sure you know exactly how the power/toughness of imprinted creatures is figured (e.g. Tarmogoyf's stats flux even while it's imprinted) and remember to factor in the -1/-1 from your Heartless Summoning.

    Etherium Sculptor has been added. I tried it as a x4 and that was far too much. It basically functions as a weaker version of Heartless Summoning, but without the sometimes relevant -1/-1 attached. Turn 2 Sculptor is another way to play a turn 3 Lodestone Golem (ideally after first playing a Grand Architect). Dropping Lodestone on turn 3 is very good for keeping a number of decks from going off on their critical turn. It's also nice to lead with Sculptor as many opponents will burn a removal spell on it because of their fear of the unknown, which increases the odds that an Architect resolved afterwards will stick.

    Molten-Tail Masticore is a fine singleton. It's an MVP in matchups against fair decks. It also provides an answer, though somewhat conditionally, to planeswalkers.

    Solemn Simulacrum seemed like it'd be too slow for Modern at first thought, but I was wrong. It's an excellent speedbump against opposing creatures. Sometimes it will hold of an attack as your opponent fears you drawing additional cards, which is awesome, because the added time can allow you to drop an Architect, make the Solemn blue, and power out a Wurmcoil/Hellkite.

    Phyrexia's Core started as x1 in my first online build and I ended up adding another in place of the basic Swamp, as the Swamp was basically a colorless land after turn 2 anyway. After several dozen matches I realized I really wanted another Core as a way to save my Wurmcoils from Path to Exile, to sac my Solemns on demand, to avoid losing multiple copies of things to Detention Sphere, and to avoid the damage from Smash to Smithereens, as well as a bunch of other corner cases.

    Things that I tried and didn't care for:

    Mindslaver - As cute as the idea of Slaver-locking someone was, it was just too hard to pull off. It's really mana intensive, even for this deck, and I didn't like any of the options available to tutor for Academy Ruins.

    Sundering Titan started in my maindeck, moved to my sideboard, and then got cut altogether. It's just not as powerful in Modern as it is in Legacy, as people are playing lands that don't have basic types, and you really don't want to blow up your own lands...ever.

    Spine of Ish Sah - Another card I started with MD, moved to the board, then cut. It just didn't seem high impact enough. With the exception of planeswalkers, most of the permanents I'd be destroying were creatures, so Duplicant just seemed to be a better option.

    My current sideboard:

    1 Contagion Engine
    2 Defense Grid
    1 Engineered Explosives
    1 Executioner's Capsule
    1 Grafdigger's Cage
    1 Memnarch
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Pithing Needle
    2 Thorn of Amethyst
    2 Thoughtseize
    2 Trinket Mage


    I borrowed a little wisdom from Legacy Death and Taxes for the board. Similar to their use of Enlightened Tutor, by including x2 Trinket Mage I have access to additional virtual copies of several other cards, which allows me to save on the total number of slots devoted to those effects. Trinket Mage also has added use after he's searched up a goody, as he can be tapped for mana with Grand Architect.

    The only cards that are sort of iffy for me in the board are Contagion Engine and Memnarch. The engine doesn't come in all that often, and might be better as another Engineered Explosives or possibly a Ratchet Bomb (though I think Explosives is the better of the two). That being said, Contagion Engine is probably the most situationally powerful card in the 75. For example, against a Junk deck (running Aether Vial and "good" creatures), I was stone dead to a board of Blade Splicers, Golems, Thalia, and a Restoration Angel, but a topdecked Contagion Engine, which I was then able to immediately activate, left my opponent with only a 0/1 Resto Angel, allowing my lifelink wurm tokens to start swinging, and ultimately the game was mine.

    Memnarch probably is not worth the slot, but he has won me a few games against Blue Tron decks, coming down out of nowhere and stealing a Platinum Angel.

    As far as decks I've played against multiple times, Storm (UR Pyromancer Ascension) and Burn are among some of the more difficult matchups. Storm always feels very lopsided. Game one, either they combo off on turn 3-4 or you quickly deploy/copy multiple Lodestone Golems and prevent them from casting much at all. Post board you have Thorn of Amethyst and a graveyard hate/Trinket Mage package to help. The problem card they present is Goblin Electromancer, as it negates the effect of a Thorn/Lodestone. I also typically bring in Engineered Explosives as a way to potentially blow up an Electromancer and Pyromancer Ascension or possibly a bunch of goblin tokens from Empty the Warrens. As for Burn, they're often just too fast and Skullcrack hoses Wurmcoil Engine's lifelink with surprising regularity. Post-board, Smash to Smithereens really hurts. My thought to improve both of these matchups is to put 1-2 Chalice of the Void in the board. Chalice on X=1 shuts down the majority of both decks, but they do have answers at two mana (Smash to Smithereens from Burn and Echoing Truth from Storm). That's probably OK though, as it's really just a matter of buying time to play out Lodestones and put the game out of reach. Alternatively, I could up the number of Thorns in the board as well (these typically come in in place of Thoughtseize).

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