Splinter Twin vs. Modern gauntlet testing discussion

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Post by Wraithpk » 2 weeks ago

Note: This thread is for discussing Twin decklists and testing results, not debating the validity of the ban or an unban.
-ktkenshinx
Ok, moving the discussion here. So far, we're at this for the manabase:
That feels pretty good to me, and it's about what the Blue Moon players are doing these days. Unfortunately, I don't think Twin can play Mystic Sanctuary because of the risk of it coming in tapped as the 4th land.

For the spell list, I think we should start by looking at Blue Moon lists. Here's a build from thepensword on MTGO:
We have to cut 11 cards from this, or 10 if we go down a land, which might be doable if we're running more cantrips. I also think I want a Clique, it's so good against control and just as a beater for the fair plan. Here's what I came up with:

What does everyone think of this 60 for the maindeck?
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 weeks ago

Some preliminary thoughts:

Is there a reason to run Force of Negation main deck? Without the benefit of finding, protecting, or threatening the combo (which should be the priority game 1), it seems like that slot might be better filled with Remand and Serum #4.

I think not playing 4 Remand is a mistake.

I don't know how necessary Clique is Game 1.

I don't know how I feel about Opt. One one hand, it is objectively worse at digging for pieces than Serum or even Sleight of Hand. On the other, it's something you can do at instant speed if you're holding up a counter and they do nothing, or you're bluffing a tapper and want to use your mana on their end step.

Not sure how I feel about Fiery Islet either. The games Twin often lost were to fast aggro decks that got under the counters and we couldn't combo quick enough (remember, under perfect ideal conditions, you're still only looking at ~23% of the time). Dealing damage to one's self to every time we cast super blue-intensive spells can add up.

I don't know how much I like Archmage's Charm over Cryptic. I don't like a 2/2 split, but mostly because I don't like how few Cryptics that is. If I had to cut something for a 3rd Cryptic, it would be a Charm. 3/1 doesn't seem bad.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

now, this is much better. discussion can be focused instead of mixed up with other discussions in the other thread.

the manabase looks ok at 22 land. I like the single desolate lighthouse.

maybe one keranos, god of storms in the sideboard for grindy match-ups?
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 weeks ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 weeks ago
maybe one keranos, god of storms in the sideboard for grindy match-ups?
I mean, pick your poison. There are a million cards you could slot in for grindy matches. Most of them are Planeswalkers these days, but of the 1-2 SB slots usually reserved for that, you could have:

Keranos
Ral Izzet Viceroy
Jace TMS
Jace AoT
Chandra ToD
Chandra Awakened Inferno
Pia & Kiran
etc.

None of these stand held and shoulders above any other and each have their benefits and drawbacks, other than P&K maybe being the weakest. Going into a third color adds a lot of options, but it's already cluttered in just UR!
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Post by gkourou » 2 weeks ago

On FoN: It is a card you want at your 75. For sure at sideboard. Not sure about the maindeck. It's a metacall though. At combo heavy meta, you could maindeck it, but then again, if you play against Dredge, that's the power of Twin, you just try to combo out at turn 4 or bolt them/snare them until then, then try to cc them, and win a little bit later.
Also, FoN is very bad vs BGx, which was hard game 1.
Also, 2 Snare, 2 Cryptic, 2 FoN, 3 Remand, 2 Charm? Too many counterspells, I feel like.

On Remand: Again, agree with @cfusionpm . I could see cutting remand down to 3, but I could see that with looting legal. With looting banned, 4 is just the right number. I think it's a no brainer, just my opinion.
Also, 4 remand, 6 cantrips, 2 charms, let's you safer play 22 lands. We don't want to cut any from those.

On Clique: It's a 1-off in the maindeck at all metas, and it's a card you never want to cut from Twin. It can even deprive the opponent's Pte/Abrupt Decay and mini peek them. Also helps the beatdown backup plan. Would be wrong not to be played at least 1 in the maindeck.

On Opt: Opt is a great card in flash decks, and it's a great addition to Twin. I would say playing less than 2 Opt is wrong, and depending at the meta, 3 feels like the right number, but there are other considerations there. Also, Opt lets you turn 3 eot Deceiver Exarch and if there is not something else to tap, you untap a land of yours, then opt. Great tempo advantage.
Also, 3 opt lets you play 22 lands, which is with what @Wraithpk went here.

On Fiery Islet: I felt 2 were too many. I have played extensively with the card at my UR Phoenix deck, and the card is obviously gas. 1 copy could sometimes hurt at the 18 lands deck, it's going to be better here for sure. Not playing it at all, feels also wrong.

On Jace, the mind sculptor: Are we serious? We should be playing 2 JTMS for sure in the main. It's that easy. I have played a lot of UR Kiki Exarch and it's one of your best cards there. On the other hand, JTMS makes FoN a little bit better, soo..

That said, my list would be

PS: If we don't play 2 JTMS in the main, we will hinder our chances to better prove Twin would be fine(if that's the case), I feel like.

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Post by Wraithpk » 2 weeks ago

cfusionpm wrote:
2 weeks ago
Some preliminary thoughts:

Is there a reason to run Force of Negation main deck? Without the benefit of finding, protecting, or threatening the combo (which should be the priority game 1), it seems like that slot might be better filled with Remand and Serum #4.
The thought was to play it as a defensive card like the control decks do. I agree with you that it's rarely going to be used to protect the combo, it only works for that purpose if you flash in a creature and try to tap them off removal mana, forcing them to use their removal on their turn. Besides that, I think I have to at least try the card, because I know if we don't the anti-Twin people will criticize us for it.
I think not playing 4 Remand is a mistake.

I don't know how necessary Clique is Game 1.
Ok, I suppose we can make that swap.
I don't know how I feel about Opt. One one hand, it is objectively worse at digging for pieces than Serum or even Sleight of Hand. On the other, it's something you can do at instant speed if you're holding up a counter and they do nothing, or you're bluffing a tapper and want to use your mana on their end step.
It doesn't dig as well as SV for sure, but as you said, it works so much better with the flash game plan. I really wanted to play 4 of both, but i just couldn't find room.
Not sure how I feel about Fiery Islet either. The games Twin often lost were to fast aggro decks that got under the counters and we couldn't combo quick enough (remember, under perfect ideal conditions, you're still only looking at ~23% of the time). Dealing damage to one's self to every time we cast super blue-intensive spells can add up.
What would you want to replace it with? Cascade Bluffs? Another basic Island?
I don't know how much I like Archmage's Charm over Cryptic. I don't like a 2/2 split, but mostly because I don't like how few Cryptics that is. If I had to cut something for a 3rd Cryptic, it would be a Charm. 3/1 doesn't seem bad.
2 Cryptics was pretty stock in 2015. If I was going to cut the Charms I think I would want main deck Jaces before more Cryptics.
The Fluff wrote:
2 weeks ago
now, this is much better. discussion can be focused instead of mixed up with other discussions in the other thread.

the manabase looks ok at 22 land. I like the single desolate lighthouse.

maybe one keranos, god of storms in the sideboard for grindy match-ups?
There is roughly a 100% chance I have a Keranos in the board, that's my second favorite card after Snap. I really just wanted to iron out the main deck before we move on to the sideboard.
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Post by Wraithpk » 2 weeks ago

So swap Jace into the main and FoN to the sideboard? Ok, I like your list, gkourou
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 weeks ago

Wraithpk wrote:
2 weeks ago
2 Cryptics was pretty stock in 2015. If I was going to cut the Charms I think I would want main deck Jaces before more Cryptics.
Cryptic seems sooooo versatile and helpful in stabilizing and not dying. Tapping the team, bouncing something, or countering something to buy another turn is often enough to turn the corner and win. Piggybacking off of the Fiery Islet remark, I would highly consider Mystic Sanctuary as replacement. It also gels nicely with Cryptics.

I don't ever want to tap lands on my turn. For the last year or so, I have spent a lot of times playing decks with both Jace and Cryptic. Almost every time I had a Jace instead of a Cryptic in hand, I did not have an opportune time to tap out/low for it, and I was just wishing it was another Crypric. Jace has been exceedingly underwhelming overall and I am not excited for the card whatsoever. He is just another option in a long list of possible options for grindy matches. He is not special or considerably better than any other option.
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Post by Wraithpk » 2 weeks ago

I don't think we can play Mystic Sanctuary because there will be times where you'll lose because it's the 4th land you draw and you have a Sulfur Falls on board, so it comes in tapped.

As for Cryptic, is there a reason we would need more Cryptics today than we did in 2015? I know the card is really good, but 2 was always fine.
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Post by cfusionpm » 2 weeks ago

You didn't need as many broad/versatile answers in 2015. Cryptic hits a ton of relevant things that keep us from winning or keep us alive. At least one that comes to mind are decks which main deck Ensnaring Bridge, or decks which requite a Primeval Titan to resolve and attack. Cryptic is too good and does too many things for me not to play at least 3 copies in any deck that wants to play it.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 2 weeks ago

I like several of the thoughts here and am glad someone set this up. I have a few points I would like to stress.

- I like 2 force of negation main. Free counterspells = good IMO.
- I don't like archmage's charm, I would remove it entirely.
- I'm a believer in blood moon, I would run 2 instead of the charm.
- maybe try 1 mystic sanctuary, could be good to return a counter.

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Post by Wraithpk » 2 weeks ago

We're definitely going to have FoN and Blood Moon in the 75. I think Blood Moon is still a sideboard card, though. I think I want 2 in the board. I could really go either way with Force.

I really want to try the Archmage's Charms in the deck. It's become a staple in Blue Moon decks today, and I like what it does for Twin. When you get to 3 mana, your opponent is really going to be guessing, not knowing if you're holding up a combo creature, a Charm, or a Snap Bolt/Opt. All of its modes are relevant too, additional hard counters to go along with the Cryptics help the control plan, the draw 2 digs you to combo pieces, and the mind control mode can be relevant in certain matchups.

I really don't think we want Mystic Sanctuary. We want deck velocity, digging through our deck, not putting spells back on top. Plus, it will absolutely cause you to lose games when you need to draw a 4th land to combo and it's the land you draw. I don't want anything that could come in play tapped as my 4th land.
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Post by idSurge » 2 weeks ago

Jace is not main deck material. Its simply not that good for UR, and that is fact proven out by how many months of Blue Moon being 'meh'.

UR would not be as good at keeping a board clear, is not nearly as good at protection of its own assets as UW, and its strengths are Tempo (Bolt/Snap/Clique/Remand) and cheating out wins via Moon effects. None of this screams 'Jace' to me.

I'd keep it clean to start with.

EDIT: I wish there was a way to put in Mystic Sanctuary, but those games where it is the land you need to play Turn 4 and you cannot twin out? Soul crushing.

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Post by metalmusic_4 » 2 weeks ago

My first list might be something like:

I know blood moon creates some nonbos with mystic sanctuary and cryptic command, but in the matches where it is good it is VERY good.

Also, I know we are just getting started and we have to begin where we left off with the winning deck lists from when it was legal, but these are very traditional looking lists. Alot has changed it we have many new toys. There may be value in brainstorming wilder new ideas involving something like as foretold with ancestrial vision, lonely sandbar, or a really crazy idea like mono red prison using combat celebrant as the combo creature with blood moon, chalice and such. Most of these new ideas will fail, but some could be playable to very good. Ashiok can mill us for snapcaster targets while shutting down the opponents graveyard and fetch lands. We just have SO MANY new things to look at.

We are starting with playable deck lists, but the best build could be very different from what it was. I just don't want us to get limited by the older deck lists. Inspired by....yes, limited by....no.

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Post by Wraithpk » 2 weeks ago

I'm not really convinced that we want Blood Moon in the main deck. I definitely want 2 in the board, but it was always a sideboard plan for Twin. The main deck needs to be configured to maximize your combo potential.
There may be value in brainstorming wilder new ideas involving something like as foretold with ancestrial vision, lonely sandbar, or a really crazy idea like mono red prison using combat celebrant as the combo creature with blood moon, chalice and such. Most of these new ideas will fail, but some could be playable to very good.
It's possible, but there's not really any way to know. I think it's most likely that the best Twin deck would still be Izzet, or a 3 color build similar to the 2015 builds but with new cards. So, I think the best thing to do is to test the obvious things we would see if Twin was unbanned, which are the 2015-style builds.

We can also play some games with whatever list we end up on, and tweak some cards if things don't feel right. That said, I think I want to go ahead with Gkourou's 60 as a first draft. For reminders, it was this:

So, let's talk sideboard. I'm thinking:
This is 21 cards, so obviously we need to cut 6. Also, open to suggestions for cards I didn't think of.
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Post by BloodyRabbit » 2 weeks ago

This deck would want to operate exclusively on the opponent's turn.

Not running more than one Clique, the full set of Opt and some copies of Archmage's Charm seems just WRONG.



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Post by gkourou » 2 weeks ago

I do get @@BloodyRabbit's point. That's why we run 3 opt(which is a big number). I suppose we could make 2 serum/4 opt, instead of 3 + 3, but don't forget we are going with a greedy manabase here of 22 lands, since we get to play 6 cantrips, 4 remand, etc.
I think I prefer 4 SV + 2 Opt, if we go down with the 4-2 plan, because serum helps with hitting our land drops at all times.
Also, serum visions is our best turn 1 play, even if we tap out for it. And it helps us also, because we went with 22 lands. We can't have less than 3 copies with 22 lands, I feel like.
For example, Bloodyrabbit's list is clean and all, and I like it, but 22 lands, with just 4 cantrips(and those 4 not being serum), probably never going to work as we want it. :(

About JTMS, I get that some people don't like it, but it's the best grinding tool we have. This card is a monster, and has helped me win I had no business winning, with nearly every deck I was running it into. Now, I get that we have 2 4-cmc sorcery walkers in a deck that never wants to tap out, but look at Esper Draw-Go(Waffo-Tappa style). It's a deck that doesn't want to ever tap out, but still runs 3(!!!) copies of him, most lists.
If we were to go lower in copies, I could see us going with 1 main + 1 side, putting 1 Dispel in the mainboard. If you guys like this more, sure.

2 V. Clique seems interesting indeed. Just don't know how we can free up slots for it, sadly.

That said, my final list would be something like that:

- Ceremonious Rejection gets the easy cut from sideboard. Since we get to run 2 FoN in it's place.
- Dragon's Claw is nice and all, but our sideboard plan vs Burn is to go with 2 Dispel, 2 FoN, 2 abrade, and one anger or EE + 1 Blood Moon on the play. Seems good enough already, although I don't expect to be more than 45% of winning from our side, to be honest.
I am sure it was always a bad matchup, ktkenshinx gave me the number to probe me it was even, but let's get real. It was not. It was tough.
- Fact or fiction, get's the cut from the sideboard also.
Our sideboard plan vs Jund is to side in: 1 EE, 1 Keranos, 1 Ral, 1-2 Blood Moon (assuming we have no FoF). Darn, we need one more sideboard tech for grindy matchups. FoF would be nice indeed, but our sideboard is cluttered already.
I guess, I keep forgetting that we have 2 JTMS in the board. This looks solid. That said,


Update: I already drawn 150 different hands with the deck. The manabase looks tight, I am telling you that. 2 lander openers were the norm. Can someone do the math in there? If that's the case, we could drop an opt and play the 23th land(not sure, just a consideration). Manabase looks tight in most games. Another consideration is to go with 4 serum + 2 opt, because t1 SV ensures us hitting our land drops easier.
It seems like there are many occasions where you are looking to hit both land drops and important spells with your cantrips. That's not what you want. Then, there are the 4 remands, which obv are interactive spells and can't be evaluated with goldfish, and it helps with that aspect.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

Wraithpk wrote:
2 weeks ago
The Fluff wrote:
2 weeks ago
now, this is much better. discussion can be focused instead of mixed up with other discussions in the other thread.

the manabase looks ok at 22 land. I like the single desolate lighthouse.

maybe one keranos, god of storms in the sideboard for grindy match-ups?
There is roughly a 100% chance I have a Keranos in the board, that's my second favorite card after Snap. I really just wanted to iron out the main deck before we move on to the sideboard.
I like the card years ago because Keranos is uncounterable by spell pierce, which many decks used when twin was legal. Also, once he's on the board he's hard to get rid of - he's almost never a creature in our deck so cannot be pathed, and cannot be attacked because he's not a walker.

about the main. Several ideas floating around on the thread. I still feel blood moon belongs in the side, not the main. As there are match-ups where it's not good.
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Post by BloodyRabbit » 2 weeks ago

I was used to play UR Twin with 22 lands, 4 Remands and 4 Visions. For years. It means having a huge possibility of going straight for three lands in a row without having to using cantrips, and Charms help digging for other mana sources if necessary. I wouldn't touch it.

If you also add Jace (2 other 4cc mana drop) it's obvious that you need a different manabase, though.

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Post by Tzoulis » 2 weeks ago

If you want instant speed grindy cards you should look a couple of Into the Story, it seems perfect for the playstyle of the deck, both pre- and post-board.

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Post by gkourou » 2 weeks ago

Ok, BloodyRabbit. I hear you. I used to play the same, but with 23 lands.
So, four 4-drops, but 3 opt 3 SV 4 remand, have to be working right, yes?

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Post by BloodyRabbit » 2 weeks ago

So, four 4-drops, but 3 opt 3 SV 4 remand, have to be working right, yes?
And 22 lands? No way it isn't working.

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Post by gkourou » 2 weeks ago

I did draw some more hands. Too many 4 drops to be working. Bloodyrabbit is right. I think we should cut a SV for a land.
What about my last list, but with that change?
Also, we could go, 1 JTMS main + 1 side. But 0 main, I think we make jund a bad matchup all over again. We didnt have the tools to beat them game 1 back then; we do have them now.
What do people think?

Synopsis: My last list
-1 SV +1 land.
And possibly swap one mainboard jtms for a sideboard dispel.

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Post by idSurge » 2 weeks ago

BloodyRabbit wrote:
2 weeks ago
I was used to play UR Twin with 22 lands, 4 Remands and 4 Visions. For years. It means having a huge possibility of going straight for three lands in a row without having to using cantrips, and Charms help digging for other mana sources if necessary. I wouldn't touch it.

If you also add Jace (2 other 4cc mana drop) it's obvious that you need a different manabase, though.
Something else is, didnt people start shaving off a Twin? 6 Tappers and 3 Twins? I dont know if that was just something my local group started doing, but if people are loading up on Opts and Charms, do you NEED 4 Twin?
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Post by BloodyRabbit » 2 weeks ago

Something else is, didnt people start shaving off a Twin? 6 Tappers and 3 Twins?
I played 3 Twin when running Jeskai Twin and Tempo Twin with Young Pyromancer (basically the same shell as TarmoTwin).

I do think the fourth one is correct when you don't have enough power to reliably close a game. Either you run more beaters (Seasoned Pyromancer may be one, I invite you to look at my Jeskai Copycat lists in the old forum - in The Jeskai Way thread) or you go for the full set.

What I always found important was splitting the tappers. 3-3 is perfect, cause Exarch is damn BAD at racing people, while Fatal Push and Path to Exile are as popular as Lightning Bolt. Except in a field filled with Burn, I would never go 4-2.

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