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Thread: [DTB] Death and Taxes

  1. #10101

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    New article up! This week is an interview with Allen Wu (PT25A winner) and then some closing thoughts from me on D&T moving forward. http://www.thrabenuniversity.com/?p=1936

  2. #10102

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Awesome interview with good questions.

    I think the whole world wanted him to equip bskull on the crusader.

    He had SFM at the time so he wasn't actually dead to an edict. Had to be edict + Dread3 which was still very possible. He won though, so eff me.

    I was cheering for him the whole time. games were good!

  3. #10103

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    So I read the interview with Wu. Here are my takes:

    1. While I disagree with his valuation of Brightling, his assessment of its liabilities is sound. He merely underrates its assets and flexibility. I have to wonder if he's looking at it with the idea that one would have to choose to not play Crusader, which is a false choice.

    2. I don't think he's quite looking at Cleric the right way either. The point isn't to be a tutor target, but a flex flyer and hate card.

    3. I called that he pinned this metagame. Everything else should be viewed through that lens. His deck was the best for that meta, but this says nothing of its overall quality absent that meta which was not terribly heterogeneous.

    4. I think his deck construction strategy (focus your MB on your least encountered decks, focus your SB for your most encountered decks) is interesting. It reverses the usual logic. This probably gets you much more favorable game 2s and 3s, but you more often have to win both. I'm not sure I agree with this. There are also edge cases where things like Recruiter make it preferential to bias your deck a certain way absent this logic.

    5. I really respect his selection of a Ballista. He pointed out a use or two I missed. I'll have to try it out.

    6. I think he might not be too far off on running more lands as Canopy's. I've thought that's a good hedge for a while. Having extra lands getting Wastelanded isn't a big deal, though it does make Blood Moon rougher. Someone may want to test to see if the tempo cost of needing to cycle to see the card is a deal-breaker for our curve.

    7. I still think he should have gone for the equip, but I understand why he didn't.



    I've also been doing some thinking about how both DnT and DSD (what I've finally settled on as a title: Death's Shadow Delver) are seen as powerful decks and what that means for the likely metagame trends.

    1. The two decks seem fairly even against each other, with DnT having a strong edge pre-sideboarding and a much worse time post-sideboarding. Particulars of the builds matter.

    2. DSD preys on spell-based and big-creature based combo, and is also really harsh on many big-mana decks. This will likely decrease the popularity of those decks. Since those were harder for DnT, this is probably a good thing.

    3. Miracles and Grixis Delver may see an uptick since there's a perception that these decks are good against DSD, but DSD pilots I've spoken to are less convinced. I agree with them. Likewise, neither of these matchups is as hard for DnT as it used to be: Brightling makes Miracles much more even and mana denial can make a lot of non-games versus Grixis Control. These aren't easy, but are nothing like the analagous matches back before Brightling and the bannings. I don't know that they'll see much movement.

    4. Expect most aggro decks to get kicked around by DSD. The deck is really good at beating the hell out of them.

    5. Burn and Elves may see upticks. Burn destroys DSD, has respectable games against most fair blue decks, and isn't too bad versus DnT (close to even, depending on configurations). Elves is a nightmare for us, and sometimes just outraces the DSD control effects.

    6. Lands, Aggro-Loam, and Maverick may see upticks, since these have good DnT matchups, are very strong versus DSD, and will see DSD force out many of their combo-based predators.

    7. Turbo Depths and Red Prison are in an interesting spot. While they both are very unfavored versus DnT, they have exceptionally strong games against DSD and may benefit from the direction the format is headed.

    8. DSD may rise in popularity extremely quickly since it is one of the least expensive decks in the format, rivaling DnT in this regard.

    The upshot is: we'll probably see the format swing even more towards fair decks, but some of those fair decks may be harder for us than the unfair stuff they replace. We may also see some specifically favorable matches re-emerge. SB choices ought to be made accordingly.

  4. #10104

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Medea_ View Post
    New article up! This week is an interview with Allen Wu (PT25A winner) and then some closing thoughts from me on D&T moving forward. http://www.thrabenuniversity.com/?p=1936
    Disagree with Wu on some points like playing 24 lands; he still won the Pro Tour so whatever works for him. Remorseful Cleric has been pretty good for me. It's perfectly fine as a one of in the main especially with Snapcaster being so stupid right now.

    I like his justification for Walking Ballista and I'll have to try it out before Richmond. Definitely agree with him on cutting the 4th Revoker for an Avenger. With fewer Elves in the meta and a lot more K. Command's, I think having an extra threat that doesn't die that sort of nonsense is good to have.

    I think I agree with Wu on Brightling? It's been okay for me. Good against Aggro Loam, Miracles, and the other obvious matchups, but never completely insane. I could easily cut it for a 2nd Crusader or 2nd Avenger in my list.

    Moving forward, this is what I'm going to try:

    4 Mother of Runes
    3 Phyrexian Revoker
    1 Remorseful Cleric
    1 Serra Avenger
    4 Stoneforge Mystic
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    4 Flickerwisp
    2 Mirran Crusader
    2 Recruiter of the Guard
    1 Sanctum Prelate
    Spells (4)
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    Artifacts (7)
    4 Aether Vial
    1 Umezawa's Jitte
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Batterskull
    Lands (23)
    1 Horizon Canopy
    3 Karakas
    1 Mishra's Factory
    10 Plains
    4 Rishadan Port
    4 Wasteland

    Sideboard:
    1 Walking Ballista
    2 Path to Exile
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Blessed Alliance OR Leonin Relic-Warder
    1 Containment Priest
    1 Ethersworn Canonist
    2 Rest in Peace
    2 Council's Judgment
    1 Faerie Macabre
    1 Sword of War and Peace OR Elspeth, Knight-Errant
    2 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

    If people are going to be cutting combo sideboard cards like Wu was doing with his list, I'd be prepared for a resurgence of combo by the time Richmond comes around. List could easily change by then.

  5. #10105
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    24 lands has generally worked great for me, though I also play pretty ambitious curves. Going hard on Horizon Canopy is a very interesting idea. The current meta is probably more forgiving of the few points of life you lose to HC than the Grixis Delver meta was. I think the only widely played deck that's going to really punish HC at the moment is RUG Delver, and eventually people are gonna accept that that deck is terrible.

    I'm less convinced on Walking Ballista - access to direct damage is great but I feel like without Sol Lands, it's pretty hard to pump enough mana into that guy. The only matchup where I feel like it's a slam dunk is the mirror. I feel like you most want the effect in fast matchups (Infect, Elves, Delver) and for all those matchups he's not better than Icatian Javelineers until you hit your 4th land drop.

    I think the Crusader/Skull decision was close, but what should have pushed him to Vial+equip immediately was that that also frees up his mana the turn after.

  6. #10106

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I have given a fair bit of thought to Allen Wu's proposal to run 27-land. If you're interested, take a look.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

  7. #10107

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Isn't it interesting that if you include vials as "Mana producers" it gets you to that 27 card mark? Also, I am sure I do not want to play a death and taxes list with only 22 creature slots, even if there are multiple Mishra's factory.

  8. #10108
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    While we are on the topic of more lands, has anyone else tried out or thought about Field of Ruin in some additional land slots? I am completely in favor of "just play more lands" especially if you are in on Brightlings, so I have 23 normal lands + 2 fields as my manabase right now, but don't have enough data to be an evangelist. The card feels powerful (it eats opposing Wastelands at about the same rate as Port in my limited experience), is really really really good against decks with limited basics, and has a surprising number of weird edge cases that are interesting since it causes a forced shuffle and gives you a land back after it is activated. I have also enjoyed having another card that interacts with Dark Depths but never liked Ghost Quarter.

    I hate paying 1 life for my mana.

  9. #10109

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisCunningham View Post
    While we are on the topic of more lands, has anyone else tried out or thought about Field of Ruin in some additional land slots? I am completely in favor of "just play more lands" especially if you are in on Brightlings, so I have 23 normal lands + 2 fields as my manabase right now, but don't have enough data to be an evangelist. The card feels powerful (it eats opposing Wastelands at about the same rate as Port in my limited experience), is really really really good against decks with limited basics, and has a surprising number of weird edge cases that are interesting since it causes a forced shuffle and gives you a land back after it is activated. I have also enjoyed having another card that interacts with Dark Depths but never liked Ghost Quarter.

    I hate paying 1 life for my mana.
    Have you tried the Flagstones + Dust Bowl combo as well? I'd be curious how they compare. I imagine FoR has some slight edges against a few cases (a bit faster and good against decks with no basics), but is less capable of outright crippling the opponent.

  10. #10110

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Allen Wu wrote a slightly longer blog post that elaborates on the interview, if people are interested.

  11. #10111

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Hi everybody! First time post here, but I've played d&t several years. I have 2 questions right now:

    1) how do you fell about grixis control mu? I've tested this mu but I didn't find a strategy to win both main deck and sided.

    2) what do you think about a blue splash? We can add something like tnn and stifle and aslo meddling mage, vendilion and queller maybe in side.

    Sent from my BND-L21 using Tapatalk

  12. #10112

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    How insane is it that I want to add Inkmoth Nexus as a 24th land? It would be pretty good equipped, and be difficult for Miracles, which is not uncommon in my meta. I envision that, with Mother of Runes, it could even be a vicious blocker.

  13. #10113
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    How insane is it that I want to add Inkmoth Nexus as a 24th land? It would be pretty good equipped, and be difficult for Miracles, which is not uncommon in my meta. I envision that, with Mother of Runes, it could even be a vicious blocker.
    No, that doesn't really make sense; it is a little like adding a Hedron Crab to the deck because Mom can protect it. The rest of our deck wins by attacking life total, so you want other cards in the deck to contribute toward that winning plan.

    Flagstones + Dust Bowl
    I haven't really considered it. It sounds way too slow though; Field of Ruin activation costs you 2 mana (it is like a Serra-Avenger-Wasteland where it only costs 2 but you can't do it on turn 2)

  14. #10114
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Brightling's price crashed online so I played the most Brightling build I could come up with: Maindeck 25 lands, 3 Brightlings in the challenge today.

    Round 1 W 2-1 vs UR control with 4x TNN. Is it a well-held secret that we are not afraid of TNN? People always seem surprised to lose the race.
    Round 2 W 2-0 vs UB Shadow (got 32nd). This matchup feels so good for us.
    Round 3 L 0-2 vs Eldrazi (got 3rd). Opponent had unbelievably good draws and top8d. Field of Ruin was great and the matchup is favorable.
    Round 4 W 2-0 vs Omni Show (got 29th). Not close.
    Round 5 L 1-2 vs Infect (got 27th). Close games but lost to a flurry of Inkmoths and Crop Rotations G3. Field of Ruin felt great as just another way to interact with Inkmoth.
    Round 6 L 0-2 vs Maverick (got 23rd) with full equipment package. I punted both games but it seems mostly unwinnable anyway.
    Round 7 L 0-2 vs Living End -- the modern deck with 4 FoW and Shardless Agent instead of Demonic Dread. Not close. I can't beat either the combo or the draft commons part of this deck.

    Finished 3-4.

    * Overall 25 lands felt amazing and it will be hard to ever go back. In almost every match I am *still* at some point saying "I hope we draw a land this turn."
    * Field of Ruin didn't feel like jank but didn't wow me either. I'll probably keep them for now -- they interact on an axis that we like interacting on.
    * Brightling was fine but not good. A good clock when I needed a clock, but so are any number of things.
    * Nothing survives legacy staple Archfiend of Ifnir triggers anyway.
    Last edited by ChrisCunningham; 08-13-2018 at 01:32 PM.

  15. #10115

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Do people bring Rest in Peace in against Grixis Control? If Accumulated Knowledge Miracles becomes the de-facto build, is Rest in Peace something we bring in against them too?

    Snapcaster is such a dumb card.

  16. #10116

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by NeckBird View Post
    Do people bring Rest in Peace in against Grixis Control? If Accumulated Knowledge Miracles becomes the de-facto build, is Rest in Peace something we bring in against them too?

    Snapcaster is such a dumb card.
    I havenít gotten a firm answer yet. Obviously itís good turn 2. Shuts off Gurmag and snapcaster. But if they land a Gurmag or get a few snaps off, I donít really think itís worth it. It was better vs 4c cause it was always applicable versus DRS. I would lean toward no currently.

    As for the AK Miracles deck... it will never be the de facto. Predict is just better. Everyone needs to stop convincing themselves that card isnít great. AK is a flash in the pan. I agree though that snap is real annoying for us.

  17. #10117

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Marungo View Post
    I havenít gotten a firm answer yet. Obviously itís good turn 2. Shuts off Gurmag and snapcaster. But if they land a Gurmag or get a few snaps off, I donít really think itís worth it. It was better vs 4c cause it was always applicable versus DRS. I would lean toward no currently.

    As for the AK Miracles deck... it will never be the de facto. Predict is just better. Everyone needs to stop convincing themselves that card isnít great. AK is a flash in the pan. I agree though that snap is real annoying for us.
    I'm asking cause my win percentage against Miracles has cratered ever since Top was banned and Grixis Control is already a poor matchup. To me, Snapcaster is the main issue in each of the matchups. Swords - Snap - Swords and K. Command - Snap - K. Command are such stupid interactions that are difficult to beat if we don't bring in this narrow sideboard card. I've been on Remorseful Cleric just because of how common Snapcaster is right now.

  18. #10118

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    Quote Originally Posted by NeckBird View Post
    I'm asking cause my win percentage against Miracles has cratered ever since Top was banned and Grixis Control is already a poor matchup. To me, Snapcaster is the main issue in each of the matchups. Swords - Snap - Swords and K. Command - Snap - K. Command are such stupid interactions that are difficult to beat if we don't bring in this narrow sideboard card. I've been on Remorseful Cleric just because of how common Snapcaster is right now.
    I feel you. Miracles has been terrible since the ban for us and I agree Grixis is poor too. I feel like the answer is play more hard to answer or card advantage threats and be the aggressor posing them questions. Trying to react to what theyíre doing is a losing battle.

  19. #10119

    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I think the AK build of Miracles is straight garbage. I wouldn't pay it too much attention as of now.

    I lean towards bringing in RiP vs Grixis Control. It's unquestionably worse than it was against Czech Pile (as DRS is no longer in the deck), but it still shuts off the recursion of K. Command, which is what I was the most afraid of anyway. Most of my sideboards I've played since the bannings were also constructed in a way where it made sense to still bring it in, as far as in/out numbers go.

  20. #10120
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    Re: [Deck] Death and Taxes

    I'm also still bringing in Rest in Peaces against Grixis Control without doubt. It's great making them going worse in terms of card advantage and it's irremovable for them except by random EE.

    Card advantage is the fact that deck does best and at the same time is terrifying for us and untenable in long term. It's also a deck much much slower than in the DRS era in terms of win the game, so with RiP you're gaining time to recover from their card advantage and invalidating the best threat in terms of a real clock that is Gurmag Angler. Also they play their cantrips with other objects like shuffle away useless cards instead of the usual use of them... Overall, I feel pretty safe if I see a Rest in Peace early vs Grixis Control because it's a card that allows me to base the game on its effect.

    On the other hand I don't understand how are you worrying about the Miracles matchup guys. I think nowadays is one of our best ones, or at least in my experience is the best one in relation of "win rate - deck that sees a lot of play". I'm 30-11 in MTGO rounds since SDT ban and specifically 8-2 since DRS ban.

    I wouldn't bring in Rest in Peace here, I think it is a bad card because it does nothing quite impactful once you drop it and it's gonna depend on your opponent to get some kind of value of it, and that's quite bad.

    And for the Death's Shadow thread I wouldn't worry about it so much given that's an excellent matchup no matter the specific cards they're dedicating for D&T. Same for specific hate cards that we could eat in other matchups... D&T is a deck easily hateable. I think it's better to assume that and live with it. It's hard to be a deck that defines the format for so long because of that. So if you obsess countering those hateful effects you're gonna lose effectiveness by doing what has made you good, and definitely you become worse also by your deckbuilding merits IMO. Generally speaking obviously, not referring to close LGS metagames or so.
    In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except DEATH & TAXES

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  1. FFreak