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Thread: Eight Rack

  1. #1
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    Eight Rack

    Tom Ross piloted this list to a win at an SCG Super IQ:

    Instants (6)
    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Dismember

    Sorceries (18)
    3 Raven's Crime
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Smallpox
    4 Wrench Mind

    Enchantments (4)
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts (4)
    4 The Rack

    Lands (24)
    4 Mutavault
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    16 Swamp

    Sideboard (15)
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    2 Nyxathid
    1 Leyline of the Void
    2 Waste Not
    3 Disfigure
    2 Night of Souls' Betrayal
    2 Deathmark
    2 Drown in Sorrow


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


    I recently finished building the deck, have yet to take it to a local tournament, but tested it against Infect and Twin yesterday. Both felt like extremely positive matchups.

    Here's my list:

    Instants (4)
    4 Murderous Cut

    Sorceries (20)
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Smallpox
    4 Wrench Mind

    Enchantments (4)
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts (8)
    4 The Rack
    4 Ensnaring Bridge

    Lands (20)
    3 Blinkmoth Nexus
    2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    15 Swamp

    Sideboard (13)
    4 Funeral Charm
    4 Surgical Extraction
    3 Dismember
    2 Drown in Sorrow

    My sideboard is short 2 cards, but I haven't really had much practice with Modern so it wasn't a huge priority to get the sideboard right.

    After my testing, I realized 4 Murderous Cut is too many. If your deck is functioning correctly (drawing enough lands) then the spell is easy to cast because your graveyard fills up quickly. But if you miss on lands, the spell is uncastable due to a high mana cost. I'm going to swap some Dismembers in for Cuts.

    An immediately noticeable difference between the lists is the number of lands used. I'm going to assume the Magic Pro has it correct, and my list should have a few additional lands. In testing, I was only ever punished if I kept a 1 land hand. That should probably be mulliganned anyway, but a 4 land difference is too large to ignore.

  2. #2

    Re: Eight Rack

    4 Cuts is always too many. 2-3 is correct. You don't want to draw 2. You can replace the others with Dismembers.

    I think your deck runs too few lands. With Raven's Crime, topdecking late lands is not a concern, so there's basically no drawback to running 24 lands even with a low curve. However, drawing too few lands can manascrew you (which also makes Bridge and manlands awkward). Also, the 4th Raven's Crime is usually functionally worse than a basic swamp. Basically, there are reasons for Tom's card choices.

    Also, beware relying too heavily on Bridge as your aggro interaction. I saw a 4-Bridge player take some hilarious losses to CoCo decks and Amulet decks using Noble Hierarch+pump (Kessig Wolf Run, other exalted, etc.) to attack through Bridge@0. Also, having Bridge bounced is super awkward.

    There's a good thread on this archetype on MTGSalvation

  3. #3
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    Re: Eight Rack

    Thanks FTW! I read through the Salvation primer and the most recent 10 pages or so of the thread.
    Right now it is mostly people complaining about Ross' list, like Bridge is some sort of sacred cow.
    Still... content > no content.

    Unfortunately Tom Ross' article on SCG sits behind a pay wall. ktkenshinx provided a nice summary though. Thanks man!

    I sleeved up this pile to try out:

    Instants (6)
    2 Funeral Charm
    2 Dismember
    2 Murderous Cut

    Sorceries (18)
    3 Raven's Crime
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Smallpox
    4 Wrench Mind

    Enchantments (4)
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts (4)
    4 The Rack

    Lands (24)
    4 Blinkmoth Nexus
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    16 Swamp


    I need to pick up Mutavaults, then I'll swap them for the Nexuses... Nexum... Nexi?
    I had to proxy a lot of the sideboard, but I'll be picking up those pieces as well.

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Just theorizing here, as I have not played with 8-Rack personally, but I think Ensnaring Bridge creates some awkward deck building tension. It's a really powerful card and the type of thing that can just steal games (especially if in the maindeck), but dedicating 4 slots to it may impede the matchups where it's not as useful of a tool. What makes the analysis harder is that you are playing Liliana of the Veil, so you can make the "I can just discard it" argument. I do think that running Bridge in the main increases the likelihood that your opponent brings in artifact hate, which also answers The Rack. If I were playing some aggro deck and only saw The Rack, I probably wouldn't bring in much, if any, artifact hate, but I'd be sure to bring in any answers available for Bridge. I also think Bridge has lost some value with the introduction of Kolaghan's Command.

    As for Murderous Cut, I think 1 is the correct number. You'll almost always be able to get the full delve for it. While a second copy is probably fine, you will occasionally be priced into paying more and Dismember is generally better in that scenario.

  5. #5
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    Re: Eight Rack

    The article Tom Ross wrote about Eight Rack is now free to view.
    Those interested in the deck should read it here.
    It was helpful for sideboarding plans and Tom also explains why we should always be on the draw. The reasoning is that the extra card helps you to deplete their resources more reliably, plus players are more likely to mulligan on the play.

    I updated my list to as close to the one he recommended at the end of his article as I could manage.

    Instants (6)
    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Dismember

    Sorceries (18)
    4 Raven's Crime
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Smallpox
    3 Wrench Mind

    Enchantments (4)
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts (4)
    4 The Rack

    Lands (24)
    4 Blinkmoth Nexus
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    16 Swamp

    Sideboard
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Leyline of the Void
    3 Disfigure
    2 Deathmark
    2 Night of Souls' Betrayal
    1 Drown in Sorrow
    2 Nyxathid
    2 Waste Not
    1 Bile Blight


    The differences to Tom's recommended list are 4 Blinkmoth Nexus in the main instead of 4 Mutavault. This is just an availability/price issue for the time being. The intention is to use 4 Mutavaults eventually.

    In the sideboard the Relic of Progenitus and 1 Disfigure should be 2 Nihil Spellbomb. That has been updated, but when I was testing last night I had not yet acquired the Spellbombs. Drown in Sorrow should be Damnation, but it's DiS for now due to price/availability issues.



    I got a ton of games in against GrisShoalbrand (or whatever it's being called) and Amulet Bloom. Those matches feel impossible to lose to. GrisShoalbrand can sneak a win in occasionally because our 'discard' plan feeds into their 'reanimate Griselbrand' plan, but not if your turn 1 play is IoK or Thoughtseize. Grave-hate from the board really shuts them down and Waste Not turns Faithless Looting into free cards or zombies for us.
    Amulet Bloom gets hit real hard by turn 2 Smallpox after they invested in a Ravnica Karoo land.

    I also got a handful of games in against Jund and a 4C Restoration Angel/Kiki-Chord deck. Not enough to draw meaningful conclusions or develop a game plan for the match.

  6. #6
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    Re: Eight Rack

    If you're looking for a heavy duty wiper maybe Mutilate over Drown in Sorrow? Its definitely affordable and with 4 urborgsgit should work at a Languish level or better.
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    Re: Eight Rack

    Why mutilate over Damnation?

    EDIT:
    Oh, I'm dumb, I didn't read all of the previous post. Budget.
    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

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    Re: Eight Rack

    I can't really complain about affording a single Damnation when there are four Liliana of the Veil main deck.

    Eventually I'll pick it up, but the playset of Mutavault is my first priority right now. It's not even that I'm upset with Drown in Sorrow; at 3 mana I have a better chance of casting it in a deck with 4 Small Pox. It's more that I'm unashamedly net decking and if a pro can win an Invitational Qualifer with a list, I should be able to take down my local FNM as long as I play his identical list... Right?

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace/Homebrew View Post
    Eventually I'll pick it up, but the playset of Mutavault is my first priority right now. It's not even that I'm upset with Drown in Sorrow; at 3 mana I have a better chance of casting it in a deck with 4 Small Pox. It's more that I'm unashamedly net decking and if a pro can win an Invitational Qualifer with a list, I should be able to take down my local FNM as long as I play his identical list... Right?
    Smallpox is extremely swingy and can be very dependent on winning the die roll. I played a GB smallpox, read the first 2 match reports: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...l=1#post903240 . I have no doubt I would have won the first game of the night had I won the die roll, but Smallpox is all about getting lucky.
    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

  10. #10
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    Re: Eight Rack

    I woke up this morning committed to winning a box of Modern Masters. At 5:30, I left the Historical Society with my box and continued home to hand out Halloween candy.

    I completed my playset of Mutavault a little while ago. On Thursday I got the Damnation I needed to complete the list Tom Ross recommended in his SCG article linked in a prior post.

    Event Info. Unfortunately only 16 people showed. Still it was a fun event and my first Modern event since the format was initally created.

    Instants (6)
    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Dismember

    Sorceries (18)
    4 Raven's Crime
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Smallpox
    3 Wrench Mind

    Enchantments (4)
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts (4)
    4 The Rack

    Lands (24)
    4 Mutavault
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    16 Swamp

    Sideboard
    2 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Leyline of the Void
    2 Disfigure
    2 Deathmark
    2 Night of Souls' Betrayal
    1 Damnation
    2 Nyxathid
    2 Waste Not
    1 Bile Blight

    Round 1, 2-0
    Ryon - Jund
    Game one I mull to 6 and he starts. I get him to 4 life with only a Lili and Mutavault to apply pressure (although I'm still at 20 life). He's hellbent and has a Raging Ravine and 4 other lands. Rather than playing defensively, he attacks me for two turns leaving himself open to my Mutavault.
    Game 2 he doesn't have a chance.

    Round 2, 2-0
    Nathan - Grixis Twin
    He's on the play both games. Game two I mull to 6. Two card combos are bad against discard. Easy wins.

    Round 3, 1-2
    Chris - CoCo Elves
    I know Chris from Legacy. I also know he frequently wins the local weekly Modern events with his Elf deck. Pretty sure this match-up is in his favor... He's on the play and wins the turn before he was going to die in his upkeep. Game 2 I land a Night of Soul's Betrayal and shit in his Cheerios. Game 3 is long and grindy. I resolve an early Damnation and shit in his Cheerios again with NoSB. He lands a Scooze which kills both of my Mutavaults until I get my Lili high enough to make him sac it. Before that it gains him 5 life. I get him to 4 life with Affliction doing 3 damage to him next turn. He CoCo's for a lord and a 2/2 that comes into play with a token... No big deal, he's dead on his next turn. He Chord's for the 3/2 that causes life-loss equal to the number of elves he has which puts me into kill range from the threats already on board.

    Round 4, 1-1 then decided to ID
    Ryan - Scapeshift
    The math says we can draw in, but I'm a dick and a dream crusher so I say we're playing it out.
    I start and get game 1 without much trouble. Game 2 he boards in Obstinate Baloth. They cause me some grief since I boarded out Dismembers. He gets game 2 and shakes my confidence enough that I take the ID when he offers it again before game 3.

    I end up 4th after swiss.

    Top 8, 2-0
    Billy - Esper Gifts
    I start and take game 1 without trouble. Game two is another story... The game ends with 3 cards in my library thanks to Jace the tweenager's emblem. I happened to land a Leyline of the Void to keep him from killing me. An Afflicition off the top got in the last few points of damage!

    Top 4, 2-0
    Alex - Grixis Delver
    Neither game was particularly close, but game 1 was more of a fight than game 2.

    Finals 2-0
    Ryan - Scapeshift
    Rematch! For keeps this time. I get game 1 easily as expected. Game 2 he scoops after I Smallpox with Lili on board.

    I'm amazed this deck isn't more popular. Granted I avoided bad matchups, but most of the games I played weren't even close. I think I'm going to hang on to the box because the contents really have no value to me... I'll probably try to sell it in a year or two.
    Last edited by Ace/Homebrew; 11-01-2015 at 11:05 AM.

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Nice work! A buddy of mine played this deck for ages but always had a hard time with affinity (which is very popular.) I would suggest one tiny change: add a dakmor salvage. Ravens crime synergy aside, you're playing a full set of smallpox. Sometimes you just need a land drop.

    I've always wondered what crucible of worlds + ghost quarter/tec edge could do for the deck in the sideboard. Its counterproductive with the discard plan but is another angle of attack in some matchups.
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    Re: Eight Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Nice work! A buddy of mine played this deck for ages but always had a hard time with affinity (which is very popular.) I would suggest one tiny change: add a dakmor salvage. Ravens crime synergy aside, you're playing a full set of smallpox. Sometimes you just need a land drop.

    I've always wondered what crucible of worlds + ghost quarter/tec edge could do for the deck in the sideboard. Its counterproductive with the discard plan but is another angle of attack in some matchups.
    It works, Don't rely too heavily on it but in the right meta (A lot of decks running a small amount of basics in my meta), and it can help win the games, Crucible also works for Raven's crime, Discard for retrace, play the land from the yard. Piloted an Attrition heavy version of this to a win in a local tournament a bit back, and Ghost quarter, Crucible of worlds, and Ensnaring bridge meant I was able to lock people out no issue, only had one loss that day in 5/6 rounds and T8.

    Don't have the report anymore unfortunately. I was running Spawning Pool (Enters tapped, but turns into a 1/1 with self regen), instead of mutavaults, and Ghost quarter + the urborgs

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Congrats on the win, Ace.

    Is there a reason why Dismember over Victim of Night? Is being able to pay only 1 relevant that often that it's worth potentially missing big Goyfs, especially since our deck alone makes goyf a 5/6? I understand that Splinter Twin exists, but we don't want to tap out if they have 3 mana and a card in hand either way.

  14. #14
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    Re: Eight Rack

    Thanks guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by maharis View Post
    Is there a reason why Dismember over Victim of Night?
    It's mostly this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace/Homebrew View Post
    I'm unashamedly net decking and if a pro can win an Invitational Qualifer with a list, I should be able to take down my local FNM as long as I play his identical list... Right?
    But the flexibility in casting cost is huge (not only in amount of mana paid, but in color as well). I never really feared the damage from Phyrexian mana, my life total was only really a factor against Elves. Games 2 and 3 Dismember is swapped out for more match specific removal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I would suggest one tiny change: add a dakmor salvage.
    I plan to pick up a copy! I had one before, but must have traded it away when I stopped using it in Commander.
    The lock with Raven's Crime is appealing, but actually using it as a land to mitigate Small Pox issues is less so. Small Pox is by far the most thought-inducing card in the deck in terms of 'when to play'. I never once even considered boarding it out though...

    Edit: The more I consider Salvage, the more I see your point Mr. S.
    Sacking it as the land when playing Small Pox is pretty good synergy. It coming into play tapped is a really big down-side though.

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Tom Ross does it again!
    He took 7th an SCG Modern Open.


    Here's his list:

    Lands (24)
    16 Swamp
    4 Mutavault
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Spells (32)
    4 The Rack
    4 Shrieking Affliction
    4 Dismember
    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Raven's Crime
    4 Smallpox
    3 Thoughtseize
    3 Wrench Mind

    Sideboard (15)
    2 Relic of Progenitus
    2 Asylum Visitor
    2 Death's Shadow
    1 Leyline of the Void
    2 Waste Not
    2 Disfigure
    1 Night of Souls' Betrayal
    2 Deathmark
    1 Flaying Tendrils

    Tom has a premium article on SCG with his thoughts and sideboarding strategy.
    Premium means paywall... but here's the link:
    http://www.starcitygames.com/article...To-8-Rack.html

    He stresses drawing first in almost all situations as the deck is full on attrition.
    He says the deck is a meta-call and the room has to be just right to take it down. Tom was expecting to face Jund, Infect, and Bant Eldrazi.

    Due to the popularity of Dredge and Burn, and the deck's inherent weaknesses against those strategies, Tom has a revised list (well... sideboard):

    Sideboard (15)
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    4 Death's Shadow
    4 Leyline of the Void
    1 Bile Blight
    3 Disfigure
    1 Night of Souls' Betrayal
    1 Flaying Tendrils

  16. #16
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    Re: Eight Rack

    4-0'd the Modern FNM. I think it ended up being 24 people.

    Instants (6)
    2 Funeral Charm
    4 Dismember

    Sorceries (18)
    4 Raven's Crime
    3 Thoughtseize
    4 Inquisition of Kozilek
    4 Smallpox
    3 Wrench Mind

    Enchantments (4)
    4 Shrieking Affliction

    Planeswalkers (4)
    4 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts (4)
    4 The Rack

    Lands (24)
    4 Mutavault
    4 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    16 Swamp

    Sideboard (15)
    4 Leyline of the Void
    2 Surgical Extraction
    4 Death's Shadow
    3 Bontu's Last Reckoning
    2 Flaying Tendrils

    Wanted to test out Bontu's Last Reckoning. Got to cast it once in the only game I lost.

    R1 - Affinity, 2-1. We both know what each other are playing going into the game.
    I keep The Rack, 3x Affliction, Swamp, Mutavault, Inquisition on the play. I draw Swamp, Swamp and play all the Afflictions my third turn, with The Rack already on the board. He untaps and takes 11.
    I board in Reckonings. He leads game 2 and establishes a faster clock than me.
    Game 3 is a drag out grind that I eventually establish control over after playing 3 Smallpox over the course of 4 turns.

    R2 - Titan Scapeshift, 2-0. This matchup is pretty lop-sided.
    Game 2 I board in two Surgicals for two Dismembers. She takes 3 to the dome each upkeep while threatening to combo-win off the top of her library, but can't find it.

    R3 - Elves, 2-0.
    He leads with a mana elf. I Inquisition and he's surprised I pick Visionary over Archdruid. I have removal when I need it and my Racks get there.
    I board out The Rack and board in Death's Shadow; I also find room for a Flaying Tendrils. He mulls to 6 and keeps a 1 land hand. I punish him with Smallpox.

    R4 - Abzan Midrange, 2-0.
    I'm on the play and keep a land-heavy Raven's Crime hand. I play it out aggressively, discarding two of my own lands the 2nd turn. The game begins to go in my favor after a Smallpox. He cannot recover.
    I board in 4 Leyline. Keep a hand that is good enough without the hate. He Surgical's after I Raven's Crime. I establish my win-cons of Affliction and Rack early and he struggles from keeping a hand without the ability to generate green mana. Liliana shows up and helps me attack his hand so that Affliction/Rack damage get him.


    The sideboard felt pretty good. I'll probably drop the Bontu's down to 2. The card's downside feels pretty negligible if it soaks up 3 or more creatures.
    Definitely had some good luck in rounds 3 and 4 when my opponent's decks decided not to be helpful.

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Seems so weird to see zero copies of Fatal Push, but I guess Dismember is just better. Now if you could only splash white (j/k...)
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    Re: Eight Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Seems so weird to see zero copies of Fatal Push, but I guess Dismember is just better. Now if you could only splash white (j/k...)
    It does seem weird! I had a few copies in the sideboard until I picked up Bontu's Last Reckoning.

    My reasoning was:
    - I cannot trigger Revolt whenever I want
    - I can play Dismember off any land in play

    The only card I'm worried about where Push is better is Death's Shadow.

    Maybe I'll splash white just to throw Push into the main deck.

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    Re: Eight Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace/Homebrew View Post
    It does seem weird! I had a few copies in the sideboard until I picked up Bontu's Last Reckoning.

    My reasoning was:
    - I cannot trigger Revolt whenever I want
    - I can play Dismember off any land in play

    The only card I'm worried about where Push is better is Death's Shadow.

    Maybe I'll splash white just to throw Push into the main deck.
    I think even without revolt it's a solid removal spell. The biggest reason is Death's Shadow. If you get your racks going, Shadow will be HUGE, big enough that Dismember won't kill them.

    Besides, the best splash color is green *cough*tarmogoyf*cough*
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    Re: Eight Rack

    Speaking of... an 'un-revolted' Push also takes care of Goyf 100% of the time, whereas Dismember only usually takes care of Goyf.
    But another reason I choose Dismember over push is that it dodges Chalice of the Void on 1 despite having the option to spend 1 mana on it. CotV really destroys this deck, but usually they have to topdeck it in order for it to stick.

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