Mountain (Standard)UWR Midrange

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UWR Midrange

Post #1 by Whole » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:30 am

Edit: Here is an updated decklist:

[deck]Creatures (17)
4x Seeker of the Way
4x Mantis Rider
4x Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2x Ashcloud Phoenix
3x Stormbreath Dragon

Instants (14)
3x Magma Jet
4x Lightning Strike
3x Jeskai Charm
2x Stoke the Flames
1x Steam Augury
1x Dig Through Time

Enchantments (3)
3x Banishing Light

Planeswalkers (2)
1x Chandra, Pyromaster
1x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

Lands (24)
4x Battlefield Forge
3x Shivan Reef
4x Flooded Strand
1x Island
3x Plains
1x Temple of Enlightenment
2x Temple of Epiphany
4x Temple of Triumph
2x Mystic Monastery

Sideboard (15)
1x Keranos, God of Storms
1x Hushwing Gryff
3x Disdainful Stroke
3x Magma Spray
2x Nyx-Fleece Ram
1x Pillar of Light
1x Reprisal
3x Suspension Field[/deck]

Here are some changes that I made to the original draft. Also, I'd just like to say I was spot on about Seeker of the Way!

-1 Steam Augury, +1 Jeskai Charm: I noticed I was siding out 1 Steam Augury for most matchups, even the ones I bring Keranos in. 2 is just too many, but the one of is great. Especially since I don't think my deck can support two Dig Through Times. Also I needed more life gain against other Jeskai "Tempo" decks and heavy burn strategies. Jeskai Charm is the perfect, maindeckable option for this.

-1 Keranos, +1 Lightning Strike: Keranos is amazing and game ending in some matchups, but bad and almost uncastable in others. So I had to put him to the sideboard. I didn't really want more card advantage, I actually wanted something more aggressive, and going up to 4 Lightning Strikes seems versatile while making me aggro. I also dropped the Chandra in the board for the Keranos. There were very few matchups that I'd board in the second Chandra, so Keranos fills the same role while being overall more playable.

-1 Island, -1 Mountain, -1 U/W Scryland, +2 Mystic Monastery, +1 Shivan Reef: I just wanted to make my mana a little better, and since aggro has not been performing well, I could also afford to add another tapped land.

Sideboarding Changes: I took out Narset & Prophetic Flamespeaker and just boosted the numbers of what I already had. Narset isn't as good in my deck because instead of running a critical mass of burn, I'm running Dragons. So it is a lot less likely to flip. Prophetic Flamespeaker, while really good against aggro, is not what I needed. I already have Brimaz, Seeker, and Mantis Rider to hold the fort, so I just opted for more Magma Sprays. I also added a Hushwing Gryff for Siege Rhinos and Green Devotion decks.

Results:

So far, I've split the finals of a playset tournament (so I netted 2x of each card in Khans & $100 cash) with a slightly different version of the deck. It ran really well for 7 rounds and through the top 8, so that's why I'm committed to continue this archetype.

I scrubbed out in TCG States though. But it wasn't because of the deck. I was 3-1, and I made a game ending misplay. I didn't see the guy had enough mana to monstrous Stormbreath (I think I miscounted or something), so instead of Stoking it on my turn, I Stoked it into 7 open mana. FML. Still ended the game with 2 draw steps to draw 6 outs, but him being -1 Stormbreath on board would've won me the game outright. No question about it. And that took me out of top 8 contention. I feel that if I don't make that misplay, I get into top 8 because I felt favored against everyone at the top tables (durdle green midrange) However, I split the finals of a win a box right after!

Old Post
Sup guys, this is a UWR midrange list I've been playing around with. I'm going to play it for a local tournament the day after KTK drops, and I plan on playing against mostly Rabble Red & Green-something midrange. Through my testing, I think it has real potential. I posted this on reddit/spikes but didn't get much feedback. I tuned the list from there, and really I was waiting to tune and test some more before posting it here.

[deck]Creatures (17)
4x Seeker of the Way
4x Mantis Rider
4x Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2x Ashcloud Phoenix
3x Stormbreath Dragon

Instants (13)
3x Magma Jet
3x Lightning Strike
2x Jeskai Charm
2x Stoke the Flames
2x Steam Augury
1x Dig Through Time

Enchantments (4)
3x Banishing Light
1x Keranos, God of Storms

Planeswalkers (2)
1x Chandra, Pyromaster
1x Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

Lands (24)
4x Battlefield Forge
2x Shivan Reef
4x Flooded Strand
2x Island
3x Plains
1x Mountain
2x Temple of Enlightenment
2x Temple of Epiphany
4x Temple of Triumph

Sideboard (15)
1x Chandra, Pyromaster
2x Disdainful Stroke
2x Magma Spray
1x Narset, Enlightened Master
2x Nyx-Fleece Ram
1x Pillar of Light
2x Prophetic Flamespeaker
2x Reprisal
2x Suspension Field[/deck]

Card Choices

Unfortunately, Caryatid/Courser & RabbleRed are worlds apart, so the deck is definitely a "Jack of all trades." But I feel that it has enough deck manipulation (8 scrylands, 3 Magma Jets) to consistently filter out subpar cards. Let's talk about specific card choices to see what I mean.

Seeker of the Way: This card is a sweet two drop. If you have one Magma Jet or Lightning Strike, it can trade with Polukranos or straight up beat Courser in combat. I like that it makes my burn spells in my opening hand live versus Midrange. Against aggro, it is just bonkers.

Jeskai Charm: Not my favorite
charm, but it is a fine 2 of to round the deck out. Against aggro, it can gain some life (very good with Brimaz) or griptide something. Against midrange, it can kill most planewalkers or griptide something (which is a lot better vs midrange). If you get lucky, you can shuffle something into their library. And of course, if you're racing, your opponent is -4 life, or you're +4-6 life. The effects aren't strong enough that you want to draw more than 1 in the developing stages of the game, but it is just a solid trick.

Ashcloud Phoenix: I dismissed this card at first, but LP mentioned that it was legit. I tested with it, and he is right, this card is sweet. A 4/1 flier is good against midrange, a 4/1 that "blocks twice" is amazing against aggro, and a 4/1 that turns into a 2/2 (and threatens to turn into a 4/1 again) is also amazing against control. Just a solid card in all matchups, but I don't think I want to draw too many in this deck...or maybe I do and should up
the number.

Steam Augury: I've replaced Jace with this. Still testing for these final two slots, but Steam Augury has been fine so far. It'll always net you at least +1 card. Jace was too hard to cast, but I wanted to replace him with a card that "refills" you. Honestly, this card gets a lot of hate, but I think it is fine. The only problem is that you cannot dig for an answer, but when cast early just for pure card advantage, it does a great job.

8 Scrylands: I feel that the deck's mana curve allows it to support 8 scrylands without a severe lost of tempo. I started with 6 scrylands and felt like I often played a 4th or 5th land, but then cast a 3 or 4 drop. So I swapped 2 pain lands for 2 scrylands, and it has been running fine. Also, because of how this deck is built, the scry is really important to scry down ineffective burn vs midrange or useless expensive spells vs aggro. Just think of how RTR-THS Boros Burn can run 6 scrylands
because it has so many 2 drops. This deck's meat comes in the 3 drop slot, so turn 1, 2, 4, and 5 scrylands are all fine with most hands.

As for the sideboard, I haven't tested with sideboard yet, but I think most of the choice are self explanatory. These are my reasoning for some more obscure choices though:

Narset: This is mainly to combat pure planeswalkers decks and the possible pure control deck I might face. Even though it gets blocked by Courser, I typically leave in all my burn against the decks I bring this in against, so it shouldn't be hard to beat the Coursers in combat. The one of Chandra in the board serves a very similar role as Narset.

Prophetic Flamespeaker: This is anti-aggro tech. It is a good blocker early, but will also close out the game as a topdeck or if it survives. Basically I swap out Keranos for this against aggro decks so I can still have a form of card advantage while also having more early plays and early blockers.

Everything else is just midrange or aggro hate as I expect them to be the most popular builds for my upcoming tournament. If you're curious about any other card choices, ask. I think the rest is mostly self-explanatory.

Testing

My testing is fairly limited to what I'm used to, but this is what I got. Unfortunately most of these results are preboard.

I played two 3 or 4 game series versus RUG monsters, and I was x-1 versus in both series. Builds with Rattleclaw Mystic are much better for me because using Magma Jet & Lightning Strike on mana dorks is very effective. The average game played out very favorably for me. Being able to freely attack into Courser because of burn is nice too. While I don't think I'm favored 3/4 or 4/5 games, the matchup isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I played about 3 games each versus a solid Junk midrange and BUG walkers that my friend built. These games were in between FNM rounds, so they were a little rushed. I don't want to
make definitive conclusions because of that. Overall the games were very close and often came down to topdeck removal or topdeck hasted threat or burn. Based on how tense all of the games were (asides from flukes like mana screw or nut draws from each of us), I think it will reward super tight play, especially coming from my deck.

My friend brewed a Junk aggro list (think of G/W, but splash black for Anafeza and Siege Rhino), and I have a very good record with it. I believe last time we played I was 5-1 or 4-2 against him. Playing a removal spell on turn 2 and dropping a Brimaz turn 3 is hard for aggro decks to deal with. Seeker of the Way is also really good. I actually held off a board of two 2 drops and three 1 drops with 2 Seeker of the Way and open mana. If he attacks, I burn 1 guy, then completely trump his guys in combat while gaining 6 life.

4-1 against RabbleRed. 4-2 against MBA. (All pre board) Aggro is as easy as I expected. You end up playing multiple spells a turn or going 2 drop (whether
it be Seeker or removal) into Brimaz is just backbreaking for them. I think post board it gets way better for me though, so I'm not worried.

1-3 preboard, 2-1 postboard against BUG midrange. The BUG matchup is very close. One game I believe I threw away, but it was a weird and grinding one. Most of the games end up coming down to the BUG player needing to topdeck removal or me having a few turns to topdeck a haste creature or burn spell. I believe the matchup comes down to who is the most skilled, but my sideboard is prepared to deal with midrange



Thanks for reading guys, and I appreciate any and all constructive feedback and criticisms on this deck.
Last edited by Whole on Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:21 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Post #2 by Toddington » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:25 pm

Hey guys, thought I'd hijack this thread to tell you about my brew. I've been playing around with Jeskai until some more "stock" Tempo/Burn lists are developed. I really summoned the spirit of Skyknight Legionaire Pyroskies with this one, to mixed results...

[deck=Jeskai Skies V.1]
Land (25)
4x Evolving Wilds
3x Flooded Strand
2x Island
2x Mana Confluence
8x Mountain
4x Mystic Monastery
2x Plains

Enchantment (4)
4x Chained to the Rocks




Creature (19)
4x Ashcloud Phoenix
4x Mantis Rider
3x Stormbreath Dragon
4x Vaporkin
4x Welkin Tern

Instant (12)
4x Jeskai Charm
4x Lightning Strike
4x Stoke the Flames

Sideboard (15)
2x Chandra, Pyromaster
3x Disdainful Stroke
1x End Hostilities
2x Keranos, God of Storms
4x Magma Spray
3x Revoke Existence[/deck]
So this was my first draft. I really wanted to see if these 3 colour decks could support Chained to the Rocks. Turns out Mountains are pretty bad at casting Mantis Riders and Jeskai Charms. If you are all in on Chained, I think you want at least 11 Mountains (/Evolving Wilds). No one else seems to be bothering with Chained, so I guess I missed the memo on that one.

I had anticipated the ground getting quite clogged in the world of Courser of Kruphix/Sylvan Caryatid, and it turns out Siege Rhino hasn't helped... Goblin Rabblemaster seemed like it wouldn't get there a lot of the time, so I wanted to see if you could play all fliers and go over the top. I built around the redundancy of Welkin Tern and Vaporkin as cheap, aggressive, evasive beaters, adding other powerful fliers up the curve. Mantis Rider is an amazing magic card, and I've been impressed with Ashcloud Phoenix.

All I want to do is race, so the removal doubles as burn. I feel like Chained is what this deck wants as a cheap spell that you can use while deploying more dudes, but it might just be too greedy. Against aggro decks you take out all the guys that can't block. I like the sideboard options available in these colours.

Anyway, this deck wasn't great (not sure it ever will be...). Stormbreath Dragon was lacklustre, and 25 lands felt like too many. Mana Confluence was a pain, and I was jealous about not getting scrys out of my tapped lands.

[deck=Jeskai Skies V.2]
Land (24)
3x Battlefield Forge
4x Evolving Wilds
1x Island
7x Mountain
1x Plains
4x Shivan Reef
4x Temple of Enlightenment


Enchantment (4)
4x Chained to the Rocks





Creature (20)
4x Ashcloud Phoenix
3x Hushwing Gryff
4x Mantis Rider
1x Stormbreath Dragon
4x Vaporkin
4x Welkin Tern

Instant (12)
4x Jeskai Charm
4x Lightning Strike
4x Stoke the Flames

Sideboard (15)
1x Chandra, Pyromaster
3x End Hostilities
3x Erase
1x Hushwing Gryff
1x Keranos, God of Storms
3x Magma Spray
2x Negate
1x Treasure Cruise[/deck]
Hushwing Gryff seems like quite a gem, so I'm looking forward to testing it. I'm not super happy about the End Hostilities in the board, don't know what it should be.

TL:DR, Chained makes your mana awkward, playing with draft chaff commons is fun.

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Post #3 by Whole » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Couldn't you just drop the Chained for something like Banishing Light and make your mana so much better? Also, have Vaporkin and Welkin Tern been good?

edit: Also updated the OP with my new version of the deck.
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Post #4 by Toddington » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:04 pm

Yeah totally, I was just trying to keep the curve low. I'm not sure Chained is worth the hoops you have to jump through.

Vk and WT are fine when you are curving out, but bad topdecks, just like any early drop aggro creature. Apart from the mirror, it seems to me that not a lot of decks are utilising fliers. They don't have trouble getting in. The power level is a tad low, I'm not in denial or anything.

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Post #5 by Pedros » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:12 pm

It is something we were talking about with MDU. Format seems really cold to flyers, and there is total of 8 possible 2/1 flyers for 2, along with awsome 3 drop (Mantis Rider) and 4 drop (Phoenix) along with 5 drops (Sarkhan, Stormbreath and Prognostic Sphinx).

Imo only thing this deck needs is a way to get those 2 drops past opposing Mantis Rider. You dont want to play 2/x in a world of x/3, if a mantis rider would stay as a best flyer. I could think only about Spear of Heliod or Hall of Triumph, those however have obvious flaws in themselves (one makes mana almost impossible, other doesnt work on all creatures). It could be fixed by stuff like Ajani.
If only Favourable Winds was format legal ... ;)

Dont forget this colors gives access to both Bident of Thassa and Millitary Intelligence as a nice way to get card advantage, as well as Illusory Angel (dont know if it can work however).

Also we had a guy that played in every top 8 in our WMCQs this year, featuring this deck:

[deck]Lands (20)
3 Shivan Reef
3 Battlefield Forge
3 Steam Vents
3 Hallowed Fountain
2 Temple of Epiphany
2 Mutavault
2 Darksteel Citadel
2 Mana Confluence
Creatures (10)
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Ornithopter
2 Judge's Familiar
Other Spells (30)
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Shrapnel Blast
4 Boros Charm
4 Stoke the Flames
2 Military Intelligence
1 Gods Willing
3 Ensoul Artifact
3 Springleaf Drum
3 Shock
2 Negate
Sideboard (15)
1 Hour of Need
1 Chandra, Pyromaster
2 Skullcrack
2 Wear // Tear
2 Spark Trooper
2 Dispel
2 Flames of the Firebrand
3 Hushwing Gryff[/deck]

He obviously had some tweeks between 3 times he made to top 8.
He was really fond of boh Shrapnel Blast and Ensoul Artifact. Notice he didnt went crazy on artifacts, he only played 4 Ornithopters, 3 drums, 2 darksteel citadels and later 2 mana filter mana artifact that draws you a card on etb (forgot a name). We have quite nice artifact now in Ghostfire Blade (1 mana +2/2 equip 3/1), maybe it can work?
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Post #6 by Toddington » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:50 pm

Cool, nice to know someone else was thinking about it too! I wasn't too worried about mantis rider, because it gets hit with lightning strike as well as all the other removal. Pump spells a la Jadine's list?

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Post #7 by Toddington » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:17 pm

The best cheap (CMC) replacements for Chained appear to be Singing Bell Strike and Suspension Field, along with Banishing Light. Strike stands out in particular, as it is still a tempo play even if they enchantment removal, and it won't trigger ETB blow outs.

It would also allow the mana base to be slanted more towards blue. On second thought, maybe that's not what we want, casting Strike + Bird-dude on T4 might be difficult.

EDIT: Void Snare might be good enough

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Post #8 by Whole » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:34 pm

Singing Bell Strike is actually pretty sweet tech that I haven't thought of. Well I knew the card could be constructed playable, but I didn't think of it in Jeskai for some reason. I think you might need to be slightly more blue focused to be able to have UU for things like Bell Strike into Mantis Rider.
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Post #9 by magicdownunder » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:12 am

Is 1x Hushwing enough for Rhino.deck?
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Post #10 by Toddington » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:25 am

Doubt it. I think it's good enough to maindeck, so you don't have to spend all your sideboard slots on it. I guess that's meta dependent ultimately.

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Post #11 by Whole » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:29 am

I've been looking for room for 1 or 2 more, but my meta doesn't really call for it. If you have an aggro lite meta, dropping some number of rams or sprays for more Hushwing Gryffs is probably correct (I personally need to dedicate anti aggro slots locally). I'm not sure how I feel about maindeck Hushwing. The "Mantis Rider mirror" will likely become extremely popular and Hushwing feels really really bad in that.

Dropping a Reprisal, Suspension Field, or Pillar of Light is probably another place to find room for 1 more, but I'm really attached to my removal suite post board...it might just be irrational though. Curious, what would y'all cut? I think I'd cut Pillar of Light because playing a 3 drop + holding up Reprisal or playing Suspension field is a pretty big deal even though the exile is a little relevant versus Whip.
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Post #12 by Whole » Sun Oct 12, 2014 8:05 am

http://magic.wizards.com/en/events/cove ... 2014-10-11

ONDREJ STRASKY's list is similar to mine, but runs 4 Hushwing maindeck. That could be a consideration, but again, I think Hushwing is awful in the mirror. It is at least an alternative if you don't have Brimaz.
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Post #13 by Toddington » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:10 am

I like the list a lot, I feel it's where I would have ended up once I stopped messing around with bad creatures and Evolving Wilds...


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