Thank you for your response. Please note that I don't have any facts of being right or wrong, my responses only reflect my own experience in playing allies. This tribe is not considered a tiered deck for the most part so I don't really consider there to be a right or wrong card to run in this deck. I might have gotten a little carried away in my responses so sorry about that.
Patbou wrote: ↑
4 months ago
Champion, Ooze and Thalia : 6 cards that will never trigger Rally. You should at least replace Thalia by Unsettled Mariner
, Changeling = Ally = trigger Rally ; also, multiples stack), and find some ways to trigger Rally at instant speed (like Aether Vial
I really don't like Eldritch Evolution
in Modern Ally. It needs a board (and right CMC) to sacrifice a creature, quite slow at sorcery speed and only replaces a creature by another, without adding board presence (and is thus pure card disadvantage, which is really bad in a metagame where both Jund and Burn are prevalent with their removals). The toolbox in Ally is not good enough (unlike some other combo decks that benefit more from the Evolution). Collected Company
works on an empty board, at instant speed (trigger Rally anytime), and should add two creatures to the board. It's a no brainer, IMHO.
It seems you feel the need to gain life with Ooze and Cleric because your deck is not fast enough. Cleric is only ever good in the SB, unless you have a slow combo and need the life gain to survive until you pull the trick (as could be the case with Halimar Excavator
and Rally the Ancestors
vs Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
- Mariner "CAN" serve similar purpose as Thalia but its also a lot more narrow if you want to focus on disrupting spot removal. Thalia slows down a lot more things and on curve can essentially invalidate opponents next turn. Its most often used against combo and control but I like Thalia's effect a lot more against more decks. Its true that the Mariner is a changeling but spot removal protection is far from my concern as if a deck has tons of that, we are probably screwed either way. The Mariner also takes blue which means that it takes one of 8 lands I am running to cast it. It makes the landbase harder especially if you are going to run 3-4 of them. I added both thalia and Champion to my list because I think they help the deck curve better. Having 8 one drops isn't always enough and while Champion isn't as good, we just don't have other options for one drops. Thalia can disrupt and let us get in for damage and her primary place that she tends to be poor against is creature based decks (tends to be one of our better matchups with allies).
- My issue with vial is that you do this instead of a one drop. Its also a terrible topdeck beyond turn one as it becomes a turn three or later play if you draw it on turn two. With allies we tend to have a lot less interaction than a lot of the other decks that run this card in modern. I have been designing allies on the premise that we need to win, or stop our opponent from winning by turn 3 for some time now and Vial seems to have no valid purpose if that is your goal. Its too slow and we lack the natural interaction on our tribe for doing anything by turn three which is part of why I bailed on it. I actually bailed on Collected Company
as well in part because I can't even tell you how many of my losses were before I had mana to cast it. Being one less mana with Evolution
means maybe we can cast it and our sideboard will give us a lot more consistency against the kind of decks that will kill you by turn three. I have not had the pleasure of playing evolution yet but its part of why I am brewing here.
vs Collected Company
- If you plan to play against a lot of 1 for 1 removal decks, its true that company will get you further. My plan here is improving my combo matchup. I will be honest that I usually feel I have a fairly good burn matchup. I have a heavy count of creatures that they have to remove to get through and a lot of lifegain. If I feel like I am having any issue with burn I will just drop a Horizon Canopy for another basic. Personally, I don't think that we are ever going to have a good jund / UW control matchup. Allies really don't have card advantage attached. What allies tend to be good against are decks that do non infinite amounts of damage to win. Its true that swapping to evolution is worse against attrition based decks but against those decks I am probably going to trim evolution and add Return to the Ranks
. Lots of my own experience in modern with allies so far have put my losses to combo and tron though rather than an abundance of jund / UW control. I could see logic assuming you see a lot of those decks to try a different plan but its not really where my overall problems have been. The idea of Evolution here is essentially to have a diverse and deep sideboard to slow down or disable a select few type of decks rather than play a value type of game.
Speed (Ooze and Cleric) - It is my opinion that allies aren't faster than the fastest decks of modern. I can god hand a T3 kill with allies assuming I got to pick every card I would have but allies realistically lack enough good one drops to consistently be able to really try this. It literally requires 3x Hada Freeblade
, 1 Akoum Battlesinger
, and another one drop ally. Savanah Lion
is not a modern power card and while I would love another great one drop like Hada Freeblade
, the truth is as of right now allies tend to lack interaction AND speed to compete in modern. Scavenging Ooze
is slow for the format, but its also a playable mainboard card. I do have some fear about having enough green mana to pull it off as well as I want but I also think that having mainboard Evolutions it made sense to allow for a single copy of ooze. Its something I think I could easily sideboard out for other things but I think as far as a mainboard tutor option its reasonable. Ondu Cleric
I have found to be ok in the main and it frees up some space for me to run a few in the main. Its not great all the time but I have also found that just having a few doesn't slow me down too much and there are plenty of game one games where I do want them. In a nutshell, I do believe that allies is slower than the combo decks and lack natural interaction within the tribe.
Patbou wrote: ↑
4 months ago
Stay focus on your aggro plan, and play more Battlesingers and Jwari Shapeshifter
to copy it. Kabira Evangel
should be 4 of, because it grants evasion to your tribe, as well as protecting it if you can trigger Rally at instant speed (CoCo and Vial). Also helps on the block, if you ever are not tapped out during opponent's attack step.
- I have gone through a lot of iterations of company allies. My opinion is that allies lacks sufficient one drops to make it really shine. Its also an incredibly weak two drop on curve against a lot of decks unless they don't plan to interact with you or have blockers themselves. It does pair well with multiple copies of itself and it does pair well with Kabira Evangel
but it gets worse as opponents interact with your game state. Its still decent, but my experience is that running less of it generally does more against most decks. Some of my few exceptions have been opponents like Tron who tend to do nothing until they do everything.
- Its only good assuming you have good creatures in play. You also can't play it out against decks filled with 1 for 1 spot removal because you probably never have a target or they kill your targets as you go to cast it. Beyond that, its essentially a three drop in that circling back again, we don't have sufficient good one drop allies. Where it does shine I guess is assuming you bring in sideboard allies and want more copies of them assuming those allies live more than a turn. I have found it to be largely inconsistent though and I have seen many a hand that block up and stop working because I have 2+ shapeshifters in the face of removal.
- Its a good card, but it also does nothing in a lot of matchups and is HORRIBLE in duplicate (assuming you don't just get them murdered turn after turn). Allies are incredibly good against decks that this card is good against generally speaking but I really don't think I would ever run more than three of it now after having played allies as long as I have. Play it against almost any combo deck and it almost always entirely comes out against them. Also, with Evolution in my deck its like I have extra access to them assuming they are what I need.
Patbou wrote: ↑
4 months agoWhen I played Allies in Modern
, I found that Harabaz Druid
was one of the most important card in the deck. With it, I could produce a ton of mana, enough to chain 2-3 Allies in play and get enough triggers on Freeblade, Blademaster and Battlesinger to win in one big attack (Evangel's evasion helped there). Gee, there's even a T3 win with Allies :
T1 Land + Envoy or Freeblade
T2 Land + Druid + attack for 2
T3 Land + Battlesinger + either a) another Battlesinger or Shapeshifter + any other Ally (to trigger Rally) or b) Collected Company to put these two in play. Attack for 18 (or 21 if Freeblade instead of Envoy on turn 1), for a total of 20 (or 23).
Druid's fun fact : The 0/1 body can attack against Ensnaring Bridge. With Vial and/or CoCo, you could then get multiple instant speed triggers on Battlesinger to reach lethal. Based on a true story (happened to me).
In the current metagame, you could use Druid's acceleration to hard cast Bala Ged Thief
or Tuktuk Scrapper
as soon as turn 3. Both cards are very interesting, and I was tempted to insert them in my list last time I checked. They don't fit well with Collected Company, however, and would fit better in the SB when you side CoCo out.
- My issue with the Druid is that generally it just felt too slow. Most of the good allies in modern are two drops unfortunately which puts a LOT of stress on a two drop. The druid has many issues in my opinion in that it is taking up one of our most important mana drops on an all or nothing sort of return idea. Assuming you don't have company on the following turn or a hand full of Akoum Battlesinger
vs a completely open board, it just doesn't do enough. In a nutshell I got the feeling that we didn't have enough mana dumps to make the druid all that valuable. I did consider the idea of making a deck with more draw such as running Lead the Stampede
with it but in the end I felt like that build was far too all in on having a T2 Harabaz Druid
. So I am stuck with Harabaz Druid
feeling like I either can't make enough use out of the mana it produces or I am too reliant on it.
Really where the druid shines is when you want to move from 2 mana to 4+ mana. If you break down the loss of damage output for stopping on the druid though its easy to do the math on a 2 drop that grows instead and the ability to just curve attack instead means that you have to have fairly optimal specific hands for the druid to pan out in a lot of cases. Its possible if we got some solid cheap allies with good mana dumps that this could change but with the ally pool we have right now I am left feeling I either over commit to the Harabaz Druid
or I slow myself down hoping for too specific of hands. What you outlined there was a very specific hand in a one drop (only 8 decent allies that are one drops) into Druid, into 2+ copies of a specific two drop or company. My issue is that this is the optimal and average expected returns will vary from that.
Icon of Ancestry
Patbou wrote: ↑
4 months agoIcon of Ancestry
is very tempting for Allies, to at least shut off Plague Engineer
and provide some more punch and card advantage.
Personnally, I won't touch Allies until the release of Zendikar Rising in Fall 2020. The name of the extansion suggests that Allies should be more important, and hopefully there will be one or two cheap Allies (no more that 3cmc) that will be playable in Modern (with ETB abilities that can either disrupt opponent's hand or remove/bounce a non-land permanent, or a lord with Flash that grants Flash and some kind of card advantage).
- it probably does play better into your plan of Harabaz Druid
. I haven't had much time to play against Plague Engineer
but at the very least its useful that a lot of our allies don't die that were already in play before him. He does kind of completely shut down new allies but several of the decks I have seen playing this card also already have a lot of creature threats that I am keeping my spot removal in for as is. Icon of Ancestry
is an interesting card but it is terribly slow and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
might just be a superior sideboard card. In the past I tried running both Gideon and Return to the Ranks
both in sideboard but I tended to prefer Return to the Ranks
just slightly but with the introduction of Plague Engineer
its possible that might have changed some. I will be honest in saying that I hung my head and just avoided modern for the Hogaak experience.
Hopefully we get another one drop that is more viable than Savanah Lion
. In my opinion Expedition Envoy
is already REALLY weak and beyond it we don't really have a third playable one drop. Interaction would also be nice but I think another playable one drop would actually be the biggest bonus we could get. Beyond that, yea a 3 or less drop that adds some sort of interaction would be great.