UWx Stoneblade

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Wraithpk
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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

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ubr Grixis Shadow ubr
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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

If I'd go straight UW, I'd do it purely to be able to run 4x Field of Ruin. I think a lot can be gained from a third color, either Jeskai for burn or Esper for discard and Lingering Souls.

Was the first draft I've been thinking about today. T1 IOK, T2 SFM, T3 souls, T4 put sword into play and attach to a spirit is a really strong proactive and disruptive curve.

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Post by pokken » 1 month ago

Esper with lingering souls is really where I think this should go. You're gonna have a hard time beating Jund with an equipment deck and no lingering souls.

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

I was thinking about third colors, and I'll probably try both red and black, but there are already so many UW cards I want to play that I don't even know what I'd cut to make room for another color.

@Bearscape, I think it's worth it to play Thoughtseize over Inquisition. Batterskull lets you recoup some of your lost life. Might want to consider Bob too.
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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 month ago
I was thinking about third colors, and I'll probably try both red and black, but there are already so many UW cards I want to play that I don't even know what I'd cut to make room for another color.

Bearscape, I think it's worth it to play Thoughtseize over Inquisition. Batterskull lets you recoup some of your lost life. Might want to consider Bob too.
Yeah, the discard package needs work. I wouldn't play all 4 Thoughtseize mainboard though, and I really like Collective Brutality, so there's a lot of fitting to be done. JtMS probably also should be in there to brainstorm away discard spells lategame and for the synergy with SFM.

Mat Nass and LSV talked about how busted Sword of Feast and Famine is if you can tap out, untap your lands and hold up countermagic. They also talked about Force of Negation being very busted when protecting SFM. For FoN however, my proposed Esper draft obviously needs a much higher blue count.


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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 month ago

I don't know how anyone isn't going to jam the full set of Force of Negation in the maindeck, honestly.

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Post by VicariousOne » 1 month ago

Hi all,
ever since the BnR I have been testing a lot with my straight UW Stoneblade build.

List: Some notes:
- Why straight up UW?
I like starting with the most vanilla version of a deck until I am given a problem that I cannot solve without an aditional color, that way I better understand why to splash and what I am looking for from my splash. So far UW has been running very well since everyone that isn't brewing with Stoneforge, is playing big mana decks.

- Why 2 Logic Knot over the more common Mana Leak?
As you can see there are 3 Spell Snares in my list and so far every other blue deck I faced also went for the same adaptation. Makes Logic Knot a whole lot better. It's also much more useful vs big mana decks as they invalidate Mana Leak very fast. Lastly, I haven't had any issues supporting two of them with my 6 fetchies.

- Just 10 creatures?
I am also testing a more "creature heavy" list (if you want to call it that) with 3 Queller and 1 Clique in addition to Snap and SFM but so far I have been liking this list more. I haven't encountered issues with not being able to equip anything yet so 10 creatures feels about right for now.

- Why Clique as the cmc3 Creature?
So far I have tested Spell Queller and Geist of Saint Traft in it's place. Geist quickly showed to be too clunky and ineffective in board centric matchups to warrent a mainboard inclusion. I also like that outside of SFM and the Walkers, the entire deck functions at instant speed.
Spell Queller on the other hand is a very interesting consideration as it dosn't die to W&6 or trades with lingering souls etc. The reason why Clique gets the nod for now is that it's better against the big mana decks, especially if you are facing KGC and I also like it more in control pseudo mirrors (though Queller is very good there too). Killing Jace in one hit is a nice bonus.

Overall what I found when building UWx Stoneblade Decks is that StoneForge LOVES Force of Negation (as most pros have already beaten to death in articles and podcasts since the BnR ^^) so when I start trying splashes it will need to accomodate at least 2, ideally 3 copies.
I also feel that people are next-leveling themselves a lot in building their SFM decks right now (not necessarily UWx but SFM decks in general) by looking to be the SFM deck that beats all the other SFM decks when in fact I would bet money that come the first big modern tournament (7th/8th SCG i belive) 90% of those will get crushed by tron & friends because they started cutting the interaction that really matters in those matchups for ones that lines up slightly better in the SFM mirror.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
1 month ago
I don't know how anyone isn't going to jam the full set of Force of Negation in the maindeck, honestly.
Why would you? Most of these lists function almost entirely at instant speed, so I don't see why you need 4 MB FoN. I'll definitely run some, but I think the full playset is extreme. The card disadvantage isn't free.

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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 month ago

Because:

a) most decklists are tap-out shells, not draw-go, and free counterspell is exactly what you need to make them work. Turn two is a crucial turn, btw.
b) lots of CA sources in the deck (Mystic is only the newcomer) make up for the card disadvantage, and FoN is a powerful card on its own past turn three/four, you can just hardcast it (way easier compared to the actual FoW).
c) A shell full of equipments (where often the opponent will kill your Mystic asap) and planeswalkers requires free counterspells, simply put.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

A Jeskai or UW shell is mostly instant speed if you run enough creatures to carry equipment with (I also loathe Geist of Saint Traft), And killing equipping creatures is generally done in response to paying the equip cost, i.e. on your turn when you can't pitch for FoN.

I'd definitely run 2 FoN or so, but with 4 Negate effects main you might find yourself with a whole lot of dead cards in hand. At least FoN pitching to FoN mediates that a bit, ironically.

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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 month ago

We have a VERY different idea of 'istant speed'. Stoneforge, Narset, Teferi, Jace, equipments + equip cost, Sphere, possibly Geist. No, that's definitely a tap-out strategy.

When someone is killing your creature in response to the equipping, it doesn't matter that you can't force the removal. You probably won't anyway. It does matter that they can untap and cast their bomb, though. That's why FoN is required. Grixis Shadow usually play 4 Stubs maindeck because they have a similar role (I cast bomb, usually spending one mana, and I'm still protected from your bombs) for the same reason, even if they are dead vs several strategies.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

Don't edit your post to pretend you were right all along, you were talking about protection from removal. I want to discuss a brand new archetype, not have an internet slap fight about who is right.

Anyways,

In an UW or Jeskai shell, you're gonna need creatures to carry your swords. This'll be Spell Queller, Vendilion Clique, Restoration Angel, that kind of stuff, Creature count should go up and I am not sure Narset still goes in that shell. Esper is another story, where Lingering Souls seems like an excellent sword carrier, but there the blue count for FoN becomes troublesome. As for Geist, I personally hate the card, but perhaps with protection giving it evasion it might be worthwhile. Looking at the Legacy Stoneblade lists for inspiration, they run True Name Nemesis as their equipment carrier, where Geist is probably the closest Modern equivalent of.

Stating 4 FoN is going to be the standard is much too reactionary, perhaps if the meta switches in such a direction but there are too many matchups where 4 Negate effects is going to be way too clunky and the card disadvantage matters a lot. If the plan it to hardcast it most of the time anyways, then splitting for some cmc2 counterspells mediates both these issues.

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Post by BloodyRabbit » 1 month ago

Lol? There are ZERO edits in my post. Why the hell are you dissing me for something I never said? Check it yourself, man, and chill before speaking. I stated what you read.

My points stand still. Usually you'll have at least 4 Stoneforge, 2-3 Jace, 3 Equipments, 2-3 Teferi, some number of sorcery speed removals such as Detention Sphere or Winds of Abandon. If you're in black, some number of discard spells and Souls, in UW we'll see (most likely) Geist in some lists (even though I also hate that card, it does seem great with Swords).

I also reiterate the fact that Force of Negation is also a 1UU Negate, which makes it better than Negate effects without alternative cost.

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Post by VicariousOne » 1 month ago

fwiw, most of the atricles and statements from pros on the topic of SFM also point out that they believe Force of Negation to be a key card in maximizing SFM's utility.
Mosts of their lists were either at 3 or 4.

I also agree though that the SFM lists are already very instant speed, especially compared to the 2 Omens lists with 8 walkers, 2 Sweepers and an Oust, however you don't need to be tap out in order to make full use of Force.
For one, some of your instant speed cards are 3-4 mana, making it useful to have a potentially 0 mana counter to protect them or force them through. Force also gains a lot of value if more people are playing blue based counterspell decks.
But the key argument of many is that there are a bunch of matchups where, if you protect your T2 SFM in the turn after you play it, you are so far ahead that going a card down to pitch to force stops mattering.

I am on 3 right now but I am closer to 4 than I am to 2 for sure (list above if anyone wants to see)

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

What are people's opinions on Restoration Angel? I feel like you can't really play Resto, Jace, and Cryptic, you've kinda gotta choose two. I've been trying Jace and Cryptic, but I'm seeing a lot of people cutting one of those for a couple Restos, and I'm just not sure I like it. Cryptic can be clunky, but when it's good it's the best card in your deck, and saves you from situations that no other card could save you from. Jace, I feel, is so important in the fair matchups, and he can even shuffle away stranded equipment if your SFM dies, or extra SFMs if you already have your equipment. Resto just seems like the lowest upside between the three, and I'm not so sure it's floor is all that much higher than Jace or Cryptic either.
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Post by VicariousOne » 1 month ago

I'm with you on Resto not being able to fit with cryptic and jace and I also agree that he is much less important than the other two.
I tested 2 Restos in my list and dropped them again after a while, they just were too clunky and it came up sometimes where I needed to draw a creature and equip it right away in order to stabilize, drew resto but didn't have the 6th land.
It also dosn't really do much outside of being a largeish flyer.

A lot of lists from Pros and Grinders started out with 2+ Restos but most of them dropped Resto after initial testing claiming the same things.

It's probably different if you are playing a more creature heavy midrange build, I am going of something with 10-12 Creatures

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

I don't like Resto either, getting her killed is alrady a poor mana trade, adding the 2 equip cost to that trade makes it even worse. I feel the deck needs some kind of target to equip that is either hard to kill (Geist) or irrelevant if it dies (Lingering Souls). Finding the balance between enough good equip targets and enough interaction has been very tough; on top of that, the equipments are a big mana investment making the decks prone to being too top heavy. Maybe it is right to go deep, and play stuff like Spellstutter Sprite so there's something to equip to that isn't just entirely proactive

I've been mostly trying 4 SFM with 3 equips, but maybe it is an idea to just not play the full playset and go 3 SFM 2 equips.

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Post by VicariousOne » 1 month ago

I started out with 4 SFM 2 Equip but moved up to 3 for a bit because yeah, you tend to run out too fast. I think the games where you have SFM on Turn 2 though are so much easier than the ones you don't that you really want to be running the full 4.
Looking at a lot of decklists by pros posted today though I see 4 SFM 2 Equip so maybe I need to give it some more testing like that.

I also want to try out Sprite as I have seen a few of the Japanese Pros posting lists with them but haven't gotten to it yet

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

So far I haven't found a stoneblade style deck that has clicked. Finding the right balance between good interactive spells, good sword carriers and a high enough blue count for Force of Negation is very tough. My Esper shell using discard and foregoing FoN has actually felt the best, but is also just kind of a poor man's Jund and the "Deadguy Ale" version might be better. Another wringing point is that in many of the matchups where the swords would be great because a fast clock is needed, I also want Stony Silence.

My eye is currently on Monastery Mentor, hoping the slower meta makes me able to play a larger amount of cantrips and having a very low creature count with the plan of controlling first and then ending the game in two turns when I can get guaranteed Mentor value. Another plan is splitting a SFM package between the main and side of UW control (say 1 Batterskull 2 SFM main, 1 SFM 1 sword 2 mentor side) to shift more proactive when needed.

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

I brought this pile to FNM yesterday night. I ended up going 3-0-1, with the draw being because of a misplay of me using Winds of Abandon instead of Path to Exile. If I would've had the opportunity to overload Winds on turn 6 I would've won right there. I beat Hardened Scales, Burn and Merfolk and drew against monoblack Zombies.

Honestly, SFM severely overperformed. Often the Turn 2 play was just SFM searching Batterskull, demanding my opponent to kill SFM on their turn. Mentor really ended up not being necessary, and games often turned into UW control, eventually stabilizing and just hardcasting Batterskull or equipping a sword to whatever creature I had lying around.

Although I originally dismissed adapting the full package of SFM into UW, I could see it working pretty well.
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Post by Erian Ignis » 1 month ago

Sweet list. How did you find your plays using only 22 Lands? Did you find yourself mana screwed? I guess that is the reason why you dropped Cryptic Command altogether.

A small comment. You list 4 Opt twice. I guess it is a simple mistake as the deck goes over 60 with it, but just as confirmation, was that typed instead of something else? Probably thinking of something else?

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

Erian Ignis wrote:
1 month ago
Sweet list. How did you find your plays using only 22 Lands? Did you find yourself mana screwed? I guess that is the reason why you dropped Cryptic Command altogether.

A small comment. You list 4 Opt twice. I guess it is a simple mistake as the deck goes over 60 with it, but just as confirmation, was that typed instead of something else? Probably thinking of something else?
Ah yes, copypaste error. With 4 Opt instead of 8 you end up at 60 I believe. Also, considering I had 4 SV 4 Opt and a curve ending at 3, lands were no issue at all; in general, with a slower modern I feel running more cantrips seems like a great plan.

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Post by Erian Ignis » 1 month ago

Yeah, I figured as much.

So you think 4 SV is better than 2 Lands + 2 Cryptic Command? Didn't you miss Crytic at all?

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Post by Bearscape » 1 month ago

In that list I wouldn't want Cryptics; with Mentor the idea was to be more proactive and then I want a high count of low cost spells. However, Mentor honestly didn't seem that necessary and I could see scaling back up again. Nevertheless, trying to fit more cantrips into your deck seems like a great idea now.

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