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Thread: Dwarf Bugs

  1. #61

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    I'm the guy that posted the original Legacy list on Reddit. This seems like the best spot I've found to keep working on this deck to make it better, so I wanted to weigh in. Off the bat I want to say that the excitement around the list has been amazing. Is it a deck that is built for fun? Yes. Is it a deck that is some how better than it seems like it should be? Also yes. Does that make it top tier? Not currently, but the potential card pool for this is huge, so I'm not ruling it out with future printings, discovered cards, etc. At the moment could this be a good FNM deck, keep you at about even in leagues or potentially spike a 5-0? Yes. I'm basically about 50%, but I don't track things super intensely. I'm hoping you all can keep brewing and helping to develop this. My goal currently is to optimize it for winning, and that's what some of this post is about. But I think it's paramount to remember that this deck is for fun, so please remember that if you want to try something I suggest against, just try it anyway. Have the fun. And learn with me. It's part of the journey.

    Content
    If you want to see some content, I'm trying to aggregate it a little and cross post it here and on reddit.

    Anzid's VOD here: https://www.twitch.tv/anzidmtg/v/1144859495?sr=a&t=57s

    AnziD posted one on Channelfireball: https://strategy.channelfireball.com...g-anuraag-das/

    He posted another one to his youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LeY...annel=anzidmtg

    Thraben U has also featured the deck twice: First one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMt3...annel=ThrabenU

    Second one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgmD...annel=ThrabenU


    Current list
    My current list that I just went 5-5 with over two leagues.

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/4322396#paper

    I have been going a similar direction to what you all have been suggesting independently. The Recruiter + Grist plan is slow, and while absolutely awesome, can be hard to cast off of our mana. I am keeping it in the list to make sure that win is available for long grindy games or instances of having to face an ensnaring bridge, moat, etc. This deck has gone more toolbox against fair matchups, and that allows me to free the sideboard up for combo. I'm doing a lot better against combo, like I've pulled some matches against doomsday, and the EPIC Storm feels like it went from bad to slightly unfavorable (maybe even). But I do think I over did the tool box here.

    Cards that Underperformed

    The plague engineers do so little against many of the decks I bump into routinely, and sometimes they are too slow or not quite impactful enough against elves, which is really where I want them to shine. I think they are still good enough for the sideboard or something, but 2 in the main was too much.

    Karrthus was also a little dissappointing for me. Was it awesome to turn 3 someone out of no where? Absolutely. I got an excellent raging from opponent when I pulled it off. Was I almost always wanting coat of arms instead, yes sadly. This really came up the most against a delver player that was running Urza's saga for some reason, and they found cage. This shut down my Magda outright. Plus the ability to flash coat in as a combat trick is sweet. Having said that, I don't love coat either. The pool of cards is so big here as the second magda target that I feel like something better must be out there.

    Cards that Overperformed
    One card that has been overperforming has been brainstorm. Of course that card is amazing in legacy, so it shouldn't be surpring. With the revamped manabase I think I would play more. I like having two spellstutters. Those guys have been great, but you don't want too many because they are weak bodies and while you're going up on card advantage, it's hard to capitialize beyond the tempo gain often. Imperial recruiter was great for me, but I think I'd keep him at 1 copy. He effectively allows you to pyre a 2 drop changeling into an immediate Magda, which is great. Two in the main would be reasonable if you wanted to go with like a wizards/dwarfs approach as I do out of the sideboard here. Karakas was great too for obvious reasons.

    Some things I've learned along the way

    I have gotten a lot of requests to try various things, and I've done my best to try to incorporate a lot of them. Here's some stuff I've tried.

    1. Thalia over Valiant - This was an interesting exercise, because it taught me two things. First, Thalia is cool, but when you add her to this list you are really increasing the X/1 count. This makes us really vulerable to a lot of pyroclasm type effects. Second, this got me really thinking about Valiant Changeling and while I do not love the card, I have a lot of respect for it. It does a surprisng amount of work. He hits super hard, he dodges deathtouching birds and snakes, he evades CMC related removal ( like abrupt decay, prismatic ending, or fatal push), it means that if they pyroclasm our team we still crunch in, and he sets up emperions/other 8 drops off the pyre. So I guess where I'm getting at is that it's a tough cut, and I wouldn't recommend going below 3.

    2. The 1 drops - I will on occassion shave the 1 drops down to 7, but it's so brutal having an opener without a 1. I've seen some folks here going up to more than 8 and that might ultimately be right. I like the automotons over the outcasts. Being able to block is huge, and so is the colorless manacost. But also I'll mention I've seen people try time sieve as the second Magda target and autmotons let you do this. Second, if you have a Canonist out you can cast two spells.

    3. Scourge of Valkus / Reaper King - So these guys are awesome as magda targets, and I actually tried a dragon chain with Pyres so I could get the Scourge one time. Both of these are reasonable, but the issue is often that it takes a lot of effort to get magda's first hit and often we want to spam the board when we can. A mothdust into magda, often lets us deploy another changeling that turn, or maybe two. We want to do this when we can because if they untap they may kill our magda and we want to be ahead on tempo. But if magda survives and we can search up one of these guys, we are suddenly in a spot where we have no more guys to trigger our Scourge or Reaper King. Having said that, this deck is about doing sweet things, so I wouldn't fault anyone for going this way.

    4. Utvara Hellkite - Another sweet Magda target. This one I think is a bit of a victim of awkward timing from games I've played. Usually magda turns require tapping out before the combat step via mothdust or by attacking. So this guy often comes in and sits for a turn before we get activations out of him. At 6 toughness that means that he's double boltable or unholy heatable, so we might not even get a chance to make summoning sick dragons.

    5. Dwarf Wizards and the Value of Realmwalker - So I did take a totally different approach and go with a dwarf wizards deck https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/4322455#paper. The idea was to make things better against combo and to make the manabase better. I've seen some suggestions of similar takes here. This went 1-4, beating combo, and it otherwise did not feel very good, but I did learn some things. First, what I learned is that a lot of those cards can beat combo, which was hopefully the case, and so many are now in the sideboard. But I also learned about dwarf bugs by trying to do dwarf wizards. Part of what dwarf bugs does is synergizes well. Our pieces all work together in surprising ways. Dwarf Wizards did not. I ended up having a lot of dead air. I've seen some people critique the Dwarf Bugs list because they feel it's too magda heavy. Well this verison truly is too magda heavy. Dwarf Bugs does 4 things, which is kind of crazy to think about. It beats, it magda/pyres cheats emperions, it recuiter + realmwalker cannons, and it does the grist recuiter combo. Somehow the strength of the deck is the diversity of the angles of attack even though conventional wisdom is to do one or two things really well. When we go in a lot of different directions, it's hard for opponents to know what to swords, and as long as we're doing it smoothly, we can get away with it. This dwarf wizards verison, and I think Thraben U's second video, show me the necessity of realmwalker and recruiter. Without it, people just kill the magda's and the valiant changelings and we lose, because all we have left are 1/1s.

    6. Pyre is a necessary evil - I've seen a lot of people critique the speed of pyre, and I think that's fair. Having 2 in hand feels pretty bad, and I do think that 4 is incorrect for sure. But I also don't hate having the first pyre. It's not just get emperion on turn 4, but it's also get Canonist on 3, which can be the difference maker. It lets us play some bullets, but if we go down too far on them, then our bullets have no way to be gotten. So I'm leaning towards 3.


    Matchups in my experience

    It's getting late as I write this so I'll keep this brief. Posting from the Goldfish website, I'll take some of the top decks. Feel free to ask for details if you have quesitons.

    Delver - I find this matchup fun, and I think it's pretty even, but might be slighly unfavorable. I do bring in the spell stutters and I will bring in leylines if they seem heavy on the DRCs and Murktides.

    Death and Taxes - I think this might be slightly unfavorable at the moment, but I think I'm 2-3 against them or so. I think this matchup could be hedged against if it became a problem.

    Lands - I like this matchup. I would say it's slightly favorable. Leylines turn off loam and punishing fire. So if you can stop the 20/20 from killing you, you can usually get there. I find these matches really fun too.

    Snow Miracles/AnziD's 4 color midrange/Control - I like this matchup and feel it is favorable. I think I am about 4-2 against it. Our vials and caverns are hard for them to navigate, and they have a lot of 1-for-1 removal. So dwarven recruiter does work here. If we get terminused, we can recruiter + Realmwalker again. It often feels like the only thing I care about is uro, which I think could be fixable by adding surgicals to the board.

    Elves - Slightly unfavorable. They can go fast. I'm probably about 3-5 against them with the various versions over time. I think if I wanted to beat them regularly we'd need a few copies of something like electrickery.

    Doomsday - A horrendous matchup is now slightly unfavorable I would guess, but I don't have a ton of matches since revamping the sideboard.

    Reanimator - Even. They can get there, but leyline does work. If we get emperion out, they really don't have much to get out from there.

    Jeskai Ragavan - Even. I enjoy this matchup. If they end up murktiding we are in trouble, but magus of the moon can just crush them before that happens.

    Knight of the Reliquary Decks - A commentor once mentioned that he felt this matchup was unwinable. I disagree. I would say it is slightly favorable. Again, it is how can we counteract a 20/20. But between mothdusts, emperion, and now karakas, it's not that difficult to do. Leylines out of the board turn the rest of their gameplan off. I think the big thing here is that they have to commit a lot of resources to assemble a 20/20, and so if we can foil their plan we are up big on card advantage.

    Epic Storm / Storm - So I haven't seen ANT in a while, but that matchup was good from the get go. Mariners just shut them down as they have no way to stop him in game 1. That's not really the case for Epic Storm, as they can get Peer and sometimes even pay for the mariner or Veil the triggers away. The new sideboard has really helped though. Put your meddling mage on Burning Wish and they have a tough time from there given the other hatebears or Force of Wills that you'll find. I'd say we're still probably slightly unfavored since they will likely take game one. But this particular matchup was pretty bad for a while, so I'm glad I'm picking some wins up.

    Other things I feel we are favorable against that I bump into: 1) Maddness (3-0); 2)Crashing Footfalls (3-0) 3) Oops all Spells 4) BUG or UG Zenith or CoCo Decks 5) Red Prison (I haven't played the version that has more creatures though, which looks tougher).

    Other things I feel we are not favorable against that I bump into: 1) Karn Echoes (though we can beat the 4xSai verisons without Karn) 2) Burn (holy moly this felt bad) 3) Sneak and Show (but Aphetto Grifter has helped a surprsing amount).

    Other things I feel are about even against that I bump into: 1) Aluren 2) Food Chain 3) Slivers 4) Hogaak

  2. #62
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    Barook's Avatar
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    @The_Dream_Stalker Nice to see you around here. Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    In a 3 color shell, Force+Daze is easier to support than Thorn + sol lands. Sol Lands + 3-color manabase is a mess.

    Also I think if you're going to cut durdly things from the deck, Pyre is one of those cuts. It's card disadvantage and slow, especially without the Sol Land mana.

    Maybe you can play Grixis Dwarf Ninjas instead


    //Creatures: 22
    4 Mothdust Changeling
    4 Changeling Outcast
    2 Universal Automaton
    3 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
    4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw
    2 Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
    2 Ingenious Infiltrator
    1 Platinum Emperion

    //Spells: 16
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Daze
    2 Fatal Push
    2 Snuff Out

    //Artifacts: 4
    4 Retrofitter Foundry

    //Lands: 18
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn
    3 Underground Sea
    3 Volcanic Island
    1 Badlands
    1 Island
    1 Swamp
    1 Mountain

    //Sideboard:
    2 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    1 Coat of Arms
    3 Sudden Edict
    2 Plague Engineer
    2 Surgical Extraction
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Force of Negation
    1 Flusterstorm


    You can still cheese Magda into Platinum Emperion, but changelings can also be turned into 4/4s or draw cards as Ninjas.

    Small combo with Yuriko trigger + Brainstorm back Emperion

    Edit: +3 Ragavan, because it would be nutty not to play it in an aggressive deck with Volcanic+Daze and treasure payoffs

    Edit: Dolmen Gate might be a card with Magda.
    After looking further into it, Ninjas probably have the best tribal draw engine (Yuriko/Infiltrator). I wonder if it's worth exploring the Grixis version more or if it would only result in a bad Ninja deck.

    Another interesting tribal card I've found is Cover of Darkness. Against the right decks, it makes a good chunk of your creatures unblockable.

  3. #63
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Does Coveted price work with changelings?

    Edit:
    Got too excited :(

    From the wiki:

    A player's party consists of up to one each of creatures with four creature classes: Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard. A player controls a full party if that player fills all "party roles" with four different creatures of the appropriate types.[3] Each creature in a player's party only fills one role, so, for example, a creature with Changeling will only count as one creature in the party, not four.

  4. #64

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    I was wondering about the Ninjas application too. If what ultimately comes from the Dwarf Bugs project is somehow ninjas gets better by adding mothdust + magda and removing ornithopers and whatnot, I think that was a success. I personally don't really want to quite pivot at the moment, mostly because I don't want to spend the money on a lot of the cards I don't have, but this could be a good thing to explore with folks that are doing the ninja thing. If I was going to go Ninjas, then we are off Pyre, which means we can find any artifact or dragon as the magda target. So I'd probably go for a gigantic Ur dragon, other blue dragon or inkwell to make sure our fatty can pitch to force and crush face, or I'd go with a Draco / Scion of Draco kind of thing so that your high CMC works well with Yuriko hits + Brainstorm. Emperion is a great guy for Dwarf Bugs because we often start aggressive in the early turns, get slowed somehow, and then pivot into Emperion to stablize until we can find some way to get around whatever the opponent has done. It works well with the Dwarf bugs game plan, but I think Ninjas is hoping to never be on the backfoot from what I can tell, so big bashers seem good to me in the Emperion's place.

  5. #65
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    For what it's worth, Reaper King has a CMC of 10, so that could qualify as heavy hitter for Yuriko as well.

  6. #66

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Reaper does seem better in the ninjas I think, because you'd be bouncing and recasting a lot of guys. It does pitch to FOW. So I would try it here. I mean I'd try it anywhere, but definitely try it here.

  7. #67
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Dream_Stalker View Post
    I'm the guy that posted the original Legacy list on Reddit. This seems like the best spot I've found to keep working on this deck to make it better, so I wanted to weigh in.
    Thanks for posting here with your experiences, feedback and content!


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Dream_Stalker View Post
    My goal currently is to optimize it for winning, and that's what some of this post is about. But I think it's paramount to remember that this deck is for fun, so please remember that if you want to try something I suggest against, just try it anyway. Have the fun. And learn with me. It's part of the journey.

    Current list
    My current list that I just went 5-5 with over two leagues.

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/4322396#paper
    What matchups are you losing the most in that configuration? What were you losing the most before the changes? Do you feel the MD "SB cards" (Canonist, Magus, Plague Engineer) are worth it?

    I like dropping the Grist+Recruiter combo to a 1-of. Theoretically accessible in stalled games, but not clogging up the main lines.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Dream_Stalker View Post
    Cards that Overperformed
    One card that has been overperforming has been brainstorm. Of course that card is amazing in legacy, so it shouldn't be surpring. With the revamped manabase I think I would play more. I like having two spellstutters. Those guys have been great, but you don't want too many because they are weak bodies and while you're going up on card advantage, it's hard to capitialize beyond the tempo gain often. Imperial recruiter was great for me, but I think I'd keep him at 1 copy. He effectively allows you to pyre a 2 drop changeling into an immediate Magda, which is great. Two in the main would be reasonable if you wanted to go with like a wizards/dwarfs approach as I do out of the sideboard here. Karakas was great too for obvious reasons.
    How do you feel about going up to 4 Brainstorms? Seems very good at reducing draw variance and need for 2nd Magda target. Also improves access to SB cards and improves FoW.

    The first places I'd look at for cuts are the MD Plague Engineers and Magus. How good are they? They seem slow/dead in many matchups, perhaps better in the SB?


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Dream_Stalker View Post
    5. Dwarf Wizards and the Value of Realmwalker - So I did take a totally different approach and go with a dwarf wizards deck https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/4322455#paper. The idea was to make things better against combo and to make the manabase better. I've seen some suggestions of similar takes here. This went 1-4, beating combo, and it otherwise did not feel very good, but I did learn some things. First, what I learned is that a lot of those cards can beat combo, which was hopefully the case, and so many are now in the sideboard. But I also learned about dwarf bugs by trying to do dwarf wizards. Part of what dwarf bugs does is synergizes well. Our pieces all work together in surprising ways. Dwarf Wizards did not. I ended up having a lot of dead air.
    Thanks for posting this too. Good to see this tested. So it does fix the combo problem, but then struggles to actually win the game with a bunch of durdly hatebears and relying too much on Magda.

    ThrabenU's 2nd video gave up free wins if he had Realmwalker. He had to cast Recruiter for 1-of targets because there was no way to 1-card combo it.

  8. #68
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Dream_Stalker View Post
    I was wondering about the Ninjas application too. If what ultimately comes from the Dwarf Bugs project is somehow ninjas gets better by adding mothdust + magda and removing ornithopers and whatnot, I think that was a success. I personally don't really want to quite pivot at the moment, mostly because I don't want to spend the money on a lot of the cards I don't have, but this could be a good thing to explore with folks that are doing the ninja thing. If I was going to go Ninjas, then we are off Pyre, which means we can find any artifact or dragon as the magda target. So I'd probably go for a gigantic Ur dragon, other blue dragon or inkwell to make sure our fatty can pitch to force and crush face, or I'd go with a Draco / Scion of Draco kind of thing so that your high CMC works well with Yuriko hits + Brainstorm. Emperion is a great guy for Dwarf Bugs because we often start aggressive in the early turns, get slowed somehow, and then pivot into Emperion to stablize until we can find some way to get around whatever the opponent has done. It works well with the Dwarf bugs game plan, but I think Ninjas is hoping to never be on the backfoot from what I can tell, so big bashers seem good to me in the Emperion's place.
    I was driven to Ninjas idea after seeking changeling payoffs that could cheaply generate CA. I tried a few configurations of Dwarf-Wizards but found the durdly hatebears thing lacked ways to pull head in card advantage or board state. Dwarf-Bugs lack CA too (making the aggressive mulligans and card-disadvantage tutors even more punishing). So I was looking for cheap CA and another 2-mana payoff for changelings to be less dependent on Magda, ideally in a blue manabase that allowed FoW+Daze+Brainstorm (vs fast decks). Yuriko does all of that well.

    With Ninja-Dwarves, the goal is to have multiple different payoffs for 1/1 changelings (Magda treasures, Ninja card draw, Retrofitter 4/4 beatdown). Then you can go all-out with more than 8 copies and not worry about flooding on vanilla 1/1s or scooping to Electrickery. It also has a lot of 0-mana interaction (FoW, Daze, Snuff Out) so that you can curve out T1 changeling T2 payoff while still interacting with the opponent's game plan. It prioritizes better tempo over slower engines like Vial and Pyre.

    That 3-of Ragavan is probably too cute. Should be 4 Universal Automaton (-3 Ragavan, +2 Automaton, +1 Yuriko).

    You make a good point that Emperion is too defensive for the Ninjas plan, and it already has the FoW+Daze to stop early combo. Reaper King looks good. Pitches to FoW. Maindeck Lord effect. Ninjitsu + card draw will put more cheap changelings in hand too.

    Cover of Darkness could be good SB tech to force the Ninjas/Magda through.

    Edit: Would change it to this

    //Creatures: 22
    4 Mothdust Changeling
    4 Changeling Outcast
    4 Universal Automaton
    4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw
    3 Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow
    2 Ingenious Infiltrator
    1 Reaper King

    //Spells: 16
    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze
    4 Brainstorm
    2 Fatal Push
    2 Snuff Out

    //Artifacts: 4
    4 Retrofitter Foundry

    //Lands: 18
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn
    3 Underground Sea
    3 Volcanic Island
    1 Badlands
    1 Island
    1 Swamp
    1 Mountain

    //Sideboard: 15
    1 Platinum Angel
    2 Cover of Darkness
    3 Sudden Edict
    2 Plague Engineer
    2 Surgical Extraction
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    2 Pyroblast
    1 Red Elemental Blast
    1 Flusterstorm


    Instead of Platinum, a 2nd Magda target could be Bident of Thassa (card draw), Time Sieve (extra turns), God-Pharaoh's Statue (taxes), or maybe Dragonlord Silumgar (steal fatty).

    I wonder if there's a way to make hybrid Dwarves-Ninjas that still has Dwarven Recruiter + 1-of Realmwalker for the pile. Chaining out 1/1s is so strong with Reaper King. It also avoids that whole "pass the turn" vulnerability, because you can destroy all their lands.

  9. #69

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Congratulations to The_Dream_Stalker and the rest of you for making Legacy better.

    I have a foil Reaper King that has probably never once come out of its card sleeve. I’m rooting for this to be good.

    Your Orcs matchup looks iffy, maybe try Dwarven Soldier in the SB.

  10. #70

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    I've been tinkering with this deck for a couple weeks now, here's my list:

    Main

    4 Aether Vial
    2 Retrofitter Foundry
    1 Aether Spellbomb
    4 Mothdust Changeling
    3 Universal Automaton
    3 Changeling Outcast

    4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw
    4 Unsettled Mariner
    4 Valiant Changeling
    3 Once Upon a Time
    1 Masked Vandal

    3 Grist, the Hunger Tide
    1 Mirror Entity

    1 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

    4 Urza's Saga
    4 Mana Confluence
    2 City of Brass
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Unclaimed Territory
    2 Reflecting Pool
    1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
    1 Karakas

    Sideboard

    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Pithing Needle
    3 Leyline of the Void
    2 Ethersworn Canonist
    2 Torpor Orb
    2 Plague Engineer
    1 Masked Vandal
    1 Surgical Extraction
    2 Containment Priest

    Some notes on card choices:

    Once Upon A Time: This card has impressed me a ton, helps with the consistency of opening hands a lot. It's very easy to open a hand with a bunch of 1/1 changelings with no payoff, and OUaT cuts down on those a lot.

    Urza's Saga/Retrofitter Foundry: Of course Foundry synergizes with Changelings, and Saga synergizes with Foundry. But Saga constructs also just get big from Vial/Automaton/Treasure Tokens. The Saga/Foundry B plan works pretty well imo.

    Aether Spellbomb: Probably the best maindeck utility target to get off Saga. Can help get a Kaldra germ off your back, and also protect you from certain combo kills as well (e.g., Painter/Grindstone, Depths/Stage). I've found Spellbomb to be excellent given we have no other removal.

    Korvold, Fae-Cursed King: I've liked this best as a Magda target. It being actually castable has mattered a bunch, and it gets real big, real fast given all the sacrifice outlets in the deck (Foundry, Saga, Grist, Magda).

    Mirror Entity: Your quickest goldfishes usually involve getting this card off Magda. But also good in a ground-stall situation – can turn all of your Constructs/Servos/Insects into Dwarves for Magda purposes, and also synergizes well with Urza's Saga constructs (they go from base 0/0 to base X/X and still get the +1/+1 for each artifact on top of that).

    I've been pretty happy with the maindeck overall, I think the sideboard might need some adjustment though. You can see here if you're interested in seeing me play through an MTGO league with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR_5...nnel=bwangeroo

  11. #71

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by bwangeroo View Post
    I've been tinkering with this deck for a couple weeks now, here's my list:

    Main

    4 Aether Vial
    2 Retrofitter Foundry
    1 Aether Spellbomb
    4 Mothdust Changeling
    3 Universal Automaton
    3 Changeling Outcast

    4 Magda, Brazen Outlaw
    4 Unsettled Mariner
    4 Valiant Changeling
    3 Once Upon a Time
    1 Masked Vandal

    3 Grist, the Hunger Tide
    1 Mirror Entity

    1 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

    4 Urza's Saga
    4 Mana Confluence
    2 City of Brass
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Unclaimed Territory
    2 Reflecting Pool
    1 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
    1 Karakas

    Sideboard

    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Pithing Needle
    3 Leyline of the Void
    2 Ethersworn Canonist
    2 Torpor Orb
    2 Plague Engineer
    1 Masked Vandal
    1 Surgical Extraction
    2 Containment Priest
    What is the point of Grist if you don't play Dwarven Recruiter?

    While this version seems more stable, it seems also less explosive and less threatening since you have basically no way of creating card advantage while playing a bunch of 1/1 changelings.

  12. #72

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoid View Post
    What is the point of Grist if you don't play Dwarven Recruiter?

    While this version seems more stable, it seems also less explosive and less threatening since you have basically no way of creating card advantage while playing a bunch of 1/1 changelings.
    Grist is just a generically very good card even without Recruiter. You can still blind-flip into multiple insects, and it's your only source of real removal in the maindeck, which is pretty important to have against certain threats (looking at you, Murktide Regent). It generally helps you grind if your first wave of Changeling beatdowns has been disrupted. It also has some microsynergies with the rest of the deck (can turn on Masked Vandal if not already, provides extra stuff for Mirror Entity, provides sacrifice triggers for Korvold). I've tried Yuriko in this slot as well but Grist is much better in my experience.

    I agree that this build is overall less powerful – you have no "oops I win" situations that the Pyre/Recruiter shenanigans provided you. But it is more consistent and less clunky. Others in the thread seem to have questioned the slowness of Pyre and the badness of Recruiter sans Grist – this list takes those criticisms seriously and takes the alternative tack of "play efficient, generically good cards that ask less of you synergy-wise" (Retrofitter Foundry + Saga).

  13. #73

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    So some updates...

    First
    someone started a discord if people are interested. It has Modern and Legacy decks in it. https://discord.gg/wfpwTjncYx Please feel free to join.

    Second, recently Kanister took the list for a test drive in Modern. He nearly 5-0ed, barely losing the last match. It was a pretty great stream. But it got me thinking about Modern. So I've been trying it there, and it's been going well. I'm logging my matches and once I get a respectable number of leagues in I'll post the spreadsheet. I'm not off of Legacy btw, just trying something new. I will admit that I do love not playing around Daze and Force.

    Some general thoughts on Modern vs. Legacy. Starting with the bads... What do we lose when we go to Modern? Well Recruiter of course. It's our only card that's not modern legal. Recruiter is a sneaky good card in the deck, as it does a lot. It gets more Magdas, does the Realmwalker cannon and pairs well with grist. It really enables us to be a deck that doesn't just care about sticking Magda. Once we start to be a deck that cares only about sticking Magda opponents can focus on killing Magda and we fall apart pretty easily. So we have to consider this with the rest of the build. We also have to run into [[Wren and Six]], which is super annoying, given that our best draw is Mothdust into Magda. People are also playing more 1-for-1 cheap removal, and [[Fury]] is maindecked in some lists. There are a few decks that don't feel great either, like Amulet, Jund or Indomitable Creativity, but those decks are a relatively small portion of the metagame. Also we need to run a basic land due to Paths and such.

    But on the whole I like Modern for this deck quite a bit. There are some big payoffs in the format. The primary one is that we get to avoid things, like whole decks. The biggest thing we get to skip is Turn 1 combo decks. No more dying to Doomsday, Storm or Sneak and Show! But we also get to dodge Monkey + Daze, which while not necessarily game ending, is an annoying thing we no longer have to engage with. We also don't have to worry about Punishing Fire, quick 20/20s, Tabernacles, Opposition Agent, Wasteland or playing around Force of Will.

    There are also some good matchups we pick up by going to Modern too. While I've only played it twice Tron feels great (I had someone turn 3 a Karn and they couldn't do anything meaningful because of my Mariner, and I killed them shortly thereafter), and I quite like the HammerTime matchup (I'm 3-0 so far). Burn feels pretty good too as they no longer have access to [[Price of Progress]], [[Fireblast]] or [[Chain Lightning]]. Conversely, there aren't a lot of Legacy matchups that I actively like playing against. There are some that feel slightly favorable in Legacy, but in Modern - at least with my limited testing - there are some that feel slightly favorable to good. I also feel that the random brews we run into in Modern are generally better matchups than the random decks I saw in Legacy, given the diversity of ways people are trying to attack the Legacy metagame.

    So I think the Modern meta is generally much friendlier to the deck in concept. The challenge then is how do we replace the versatility and mid-game benefit of Dwarven recruiter? Do we want to go more aggressive? Go more combo? Or replace the effect with something similarly midrangy? I've seen people go in all three directions and to varying degrees of success. I think the cardpool is so deep, it's hard to really know the right answer, but I've been going down the last option first, mostly because it requires the least changes and it suits my playstyle.

    My current Modern list is here https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/4358016#paper I started with Kanister's modern version, which was IPlayBadDeck's version with more Imperial Recruiters, more Ancient Ziggurat's, slightly different top end guys and drum's instead of Vials. I don't totally agree with his numbers or his top end guys, but I do think the Imerpial Recruiters, drums and Ziggurats are all great. I like Imperial Recruiter a bit, as it let's us tool box and shave a Pyre, but it is a little slow and getting more copies of Magda is only one of the three things that Dwarven Recruiter does. So I'm still trying some things to find that midrange value. The cards I've tried in the Dwarven recruiter spot are [[Kaalia, Zenith Seeker]] who I love but is hard to cast, [[Tovolar, The Dire Overlord]] who I was sadly not impressed with, I've also tried a midrange dragon element, and now I am trying 1) [[Lurrus, the Dream-den]] plus 2) [[Kraul Harpooner]] and 3) I'm putting the Swarmyard back in, as this allows us to fight with harpooner and regen, plus since people are leaning more on bolts and unholy heats instead of Daze and Force. This Lurrus package has probably been the best for me of these options. What is weird about Lurrus though is the naming lands, so you do have to be careful. That's also why I looked to Harpooner. I tend to name Insect first, and then Cat, if I have a blend of naming lands and other colored lands, and Harpooner works there.

    Lurrus actually brings me to the point discussed above too about Grist. I see Grist in lots of lists (not just Changelings) even though he is just making a 1/1. Our deck is the best Grist deck even without recruiter, as we have some instances where he naturally makes many insects. He's also our only source of removal, I've ultimated him many times for lethal, and sacrificing a guy can be useful. He's a nightmare for the UW decks, and you can bring him in around countermagic with Cavern. Everytime I have tried to move away from Grist, I've regretted it in both formats. So the Lurrus build embraces that, and adds insects and ways to manipulate the yard. I have been boarding out the Harpoonists a lot, but they have decent game against DRC, Delver, Ornithoper, Small Murktides, Brazen Borrower, Mulldrifter, Archon of Emeria, and Flickerwisp, so I like them main given their floor as being just a 3/2 body. The value of potentially Harpooning multiple times with Lurrus or keeping a solid blocker with Swarmyard is worth tying I think, especially with the mild grist synergy.

    Another maindeck inclusion I added that I think is gold is the [[Apostle's Blessing]]. It's rarely bad and often great. It allows us to turn one mothdust turn two magda and keep protection up. It pairs well with Mariner too, because then our protection spell is half the price of their bolt. These situations can result in a huge tempo swing. Blessing is easily castable with our weird manabase, stops the occassional artifact removal, and can even protect our Pyre, if necessary. I even used it to swing in for leathal against a GW deck the other day, by setting up a situation where I got them to swing in with a Germ token and keep a mono-white board of defenders. I think people could try [[Shelter]] or something like that to really go for the blow out, but I love being able to reliably cast blessing.

    The sideboard is a work in progress as I'm still learning Modern's metagame. Several of the cards are pretty standard. But the ones that probably warrant some explanation are Redcap Melee (primarily there to kill Wren and Six, but has splash damage against monkey, DRC, Goblin Guide, etc.), [[Bishop of Wings]] has unperformed sadly at being a life gainer against tempo and burn and as a wrath protector against UW. [[Heroic Intervention]] is a must I think in a format with [[Supereme Verdict]] as a card in the most played deck. I love me some [[Feline Sovereign]] against any deck that might have Plauge Engineers or [[Urza's Saga]]. [[Magus of the Moon]] may seem weird with our manabase. But since Magda is red, we have a lot of Pyre activations, recruiter is red, drums are often out and we're usually ahead, I've found Magus to be great. Lastly, I'll mention that I happened to scour Gatherer the other day, as I so often do with this deck, and I came across [[Nix]]. I plan to put this in my board soon, as it seems amazing in modern right now, especially for what we're doing. It counters (and 2-for-1s) all evoked elementals and force of negation, while also being great against cascaded or suspended Living Ends and Rhinos. Often times these decks need their evoked spell or caseded one to resolve to regain tempo and for a single mana we can go up on card advantage and retain tempo. Seems like a deal. So I want to try it.

    Anyway, that's all for this thought dump update.

  14. #74
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Just sharing an experiment, seeing if anyone has critical feedback on it:

    (Theoretical Critical Feedback is fine as I won't be able to test it again for a number of days)

    Full Deck List:

    4 - Mothdust Changline
    4 - Universal Automaton
    4 - Magda, Brazen Outlaw
    4 - Reyav, Master Smith
    4 - Stoneforge Mystic
    4 - Valiant Changeling
    1 - Sundering Titan

    4 - Thoughtseize
    4 - Rancor
    2 - Cabal Therapy
    1 - Kaldra, Compleat
    1 - Batterskull
    1 - Crafted Wargear

    4 - Cavern of Souls
    4 - City of Brass
    4 - Mana Confluence
    3 - Unclaimed Territory
    2 - Reflecting Pool
    1 - Windswept Heath
    1 - Verdant Catacombs
    1 - Scrubland
    1 - Savannah
    1 - Gemstone Mine

    I’ve really been liking the Magda and Valiant Changeling payoffs of the deck, but having played the deck a bit I’ve found that I wasn’t that hot on the Recruiter + Grist combo (and I'm not surprised to find other people here having already dropped it) so I decided to focus on the elements that felt stronger and were delivering me a much higher number of wins.

    The major issue I wanted to address was the individual card quality of the deck; Mothdust Changeling and Universal Automaton aren’t the greatest cards to be running when your other threats have been answered so low card quality translates to low-threat density, and I wanted more cards that could work as individual threats. Cards like Mariner and Aether Vial only exacerbated this issue, and I neither taxing their mana to leverage Mariner or wasn’t filling up my hand with recruited creatures like the other decks that leverage Aether Vial optimally.

    This led me to Stoneforge Mystic and Reyav, Master Smith (who is a Dwarf). Stoneforge is a proven individual threat, and I was able to tweak the manabase to 15 “natural” white sources. Reyav, as the replacement for Mariner, plays very well with Kaldra/Batterskull as well as Magda (as he’s not only a Dwarf he allows you to Madga-summon a double striking Kaldra on Turn 3), and becomes a major lynchpin for the rest of the deck.

    With Reyav, Rancor becomes better than a permanent Berserk for 1 mana. It essentially doubles a creature’s existing power, then adds another 4 power on top of that, and then gives it trample, all permanently . For example, simply putting a Rancor on Reyav allows him to start swinging for 8 points of Trample o turn 3, or 10 if Magda is in play. Rancor is not a legacy-playable card in isolation, but it becomes fantastic with Reyav and is already fantastic with Valiant Changeling (since it’s +4 effective power + trample there as well) and that success rate has made me more than happy with how it plays out here. Also, importantly, Rancor and the 1 Crafted Wargear allow you to get more value out of your 1 drops as recuring buffs.

    Of course this package is just leaning even further into vulnerability to instant speed removal, which was already the major interaction point for the opponent. To both combat this removal, and also provide some game against combo, the rest of the deck is made up of the discard package (including 2 cabal therapy to squeeze yet a bit more value out of those superfluous 1-drop bodies).

    The only other thing to mention here is that the Steely Resolves are a critical juke of sorts from the sideboard. As a creature-based aggro/combo deck with Cavern of Souls and enablers like Mothdust Changeling, the deck is screaming pretty loudly that the way to interact with it is just with an abundance of 1-for-1 removal (or Karakas, which the main-deck is pretty cold to). This means that when your opponent is willing and able to lean into removal, playing a 2-drop enchantment that blanks it is great virtual card-advantage (it also can protect hatebears and name “Phyrexian” vs. Infect).

    PERCEIVED PROS:
    Higher Card Quality
    More Aggressive, Higher Threat Density
    Leaning Dwarves more towards proven Legacy technology and Staples, but incorporated synergistically with what I would argue is the best part of the Dwarf Shell

    PERCEIVED CONS:
    Worse against Karakas
    Worse against Wasteland
    Worse against Bloodmoon
    Worse against resolved permanents that negate a fair gameplan (Humility, Ensnaring Bridge)
    Compared to Bwangeroos build no Spellbomb means Depths is far less winnable, I would wager

    I have not had as much success with this build as I had playing a more "stock" version of the deck, but I haven't had much opportunity to test it much and even though I lost the matches I have played I liked how the deck felt better enough to continue experimenting in this direction rather than reverting towards the stock build. Any critical feedback would be appreciated.

  15. #75
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    I like that you can use either Stoneforge or Magda to make Kaldra.

    What's the reason for Sundering Titan over the stock Platinum Angel or Platinum Emperion? Your deck can't really leverage the mana denial (even cut Mariner). Would you get some increase in win % just by having the Platinum option instead (important against combo)?

    Most builds are bad against Blood Moon and Wasteland, that's fine.

    Does 4 Rancor increase draw variance? How often do you draw Rancors with no creatures out? Would some cheap equipment work better instead? For example Bonesplitter and Shadowspear are cards and also put less demand on your fragile colored mana.

  16. #76
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    I like that you can use either Stoneforge or Magda to make Kaldra.

    What's the reason for Sundering Titan over the stock Platinum Angel or Platinum Emperion? Your deck can't really leverage the mana denial (even cut Mariner). Would you get some increase in win % just by having the Platinum option instead (important against combo)?

    Most builds are bad against Blood Moon and Wasteland, that's fine.

    Does 4 Rancor increase draw variance? How often do you draw Rancors with no creatures out? Would some cheap equipment work better instead? For example Bonesplitter and Shadowspear are cards and also put less demand on your fragile colored mana.
    I found that Platinum Emperion was too easy to just remove against a lot of what I was running up against, while Sundering Titan provides value immediately and can get multiple lands at once. I could easily be wrong on that selection though. (One of the major reasons I'm looking for feedback here is that I haven't had enough time to test this sufficiently yet to figure those details out myself with much confidence.)

    I haven't yet run into any situations where I'm drawing Rancors with no targets as the deck more often has some superfluous bodies, so so far it doesn't feel like its reasonably increasing variance, but that's a valid point to bring up. The only feel bad they've engendered is I did walk into the 2-for-1 against Swords once. They've been + card advantage more often than they've been - card advantage so far.

    I can't think of any cheap equipment that can compare with +4 Effective Power plus trample, and both the evasion and the fact that you get it back when the creates dies is important.

    Getting G didn't seem that demanding, as I have 14 function green sources plus treasures. I don't think I would trade them out for Bonesplitter (which doesn't give trample). Shadowspear is more interesting, but that's just so slow and mana intensive at 3 mana + 2 for each subsequent, compared to 1 mana + 1 for each subsequent, and it's also less aggressive even if it was the same mana (meaning it's only real upside is the lifelink and insulation against Swords). I don't feel like that's worth being slower, weaker, and more mana intensive, but it's definitely something I'll keep in mind if I become desperate for either the lifelink of the Swords insulation, sure.

    Thanks for the feedback; let me know if at any point you have any other thoughts.

  17. #77

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    While the build seems more streamlined, It has no ways of creating card advantage and always needs at least 3 specific cards to work.
    Your only plan seems to flood the board and hope your opponent runs out of removal before you run out of creatures.
    No option to win MD vs anything unfair.

  18. #78
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoid View Post
    While the build seems more streamlined, It has no ways of creating card advantage and always needs at least 3 specific cards to work.
    Your only plan seems to flood the board and hope your opponent runs out of removal before you run out of creatures.
    No option to win MD vs anything unfair.
    I agree with the first criticism, it has no way of creating card advantage.

    I don't agree and/or understand the second criticism though. What 3 specific cards does it need to work?

    Also, it's hard for me to see how I've decreased the deck's unfair matchup by adding 6 discard and increasing the clock.

    Not being defensive, I'm actively wanting the criticism - I just don't understand it. Maybe that's my failing, if you're willing to explain it.

  19. #79
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    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    It makes the deck Jeskai but I think Depala, Pilot Exemplar could be a great addition to Mothdust/Magda.
    Maybe taking it a little too far but Intruder Alarm could make for an insane combo.

  20. #80

    Re: Dwarf Bugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rationalist View Post
    I agree with the first criticism, it has no way of creating card advantage.

    I don't agree and/or understand the second criticism though. What 3 specific cards does it need to work?

    Also, it's hard for me to see how I've decreased the deck's unfair matchup by adding 6 discard and increasing the clock.
    My point was more that you always need like Magda + Changelings, Reyav + equipment + Rancor, etc.
    There is the Magda plan and the equipment plan which is a different deck which seems just better to me.
    If you draw the wrong combination of cards, you still only have changelings.

    It is common misconception that discard wins vs unfair decks.
    At most it slows them down.
    Your clock is still slow and if you don't draw the right cards it's even slower.
    6 cards is also not that much and Therapy is not reliable, at least the first time you cast it.

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