[Deck] Thopter Sword / Urza Thopter

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Systrill
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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

Urza Thopter Sword

Last Updated: July 29th, 2019

Introduction

Urza Thopter Sword is a combo deck with elements of midrange and prison. Enabled primarily by the new Modern Horizon's card Urza, Lord High Artificer, the deck has gained the ability to threaten to kill opponent's with giant Construct tokens, bury them under card advantage, or combo off with Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek to kill on the spot. The deck has roots in older formats, as well as modern prison strategies, however has evolved to become primarily a combo deck that can grind with the best of them.

The Combo

The combo of the 3 key cards in the deck allow you to gain infinite 1/1 blue flying thopters, infinite life, as well as infinite blue mana. This blue mana can then be spent on Urza's 5 mana ability to exile as many cards from your deck as you wish to find whatever 4th card you've included as a wincon to win on the spot, or you can simply pass turn with infinite thopters and infinite life with the goal of attacking for lethal on your following turn. The first part of understanding how the combo works is the interaction between Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek. With these 2 cards on the battlefield, you can pay to activate Thopter Foundry, sacrificing Sword of the Meek as the cost. This will yield 1 life and a 1/1 flying blue thopter token. This token will then trigger Sword of the Meek from the graveyard, returning it to the battlefield equipped to the token. You may then repeat the process for as much mana as you have. Now if you include Urza, Lord High Artificer, you may use Urza's first activated ability to tap the Sword of the Meek for to pay the cost of Thopter Foundry, sacrificing Sword, getting your token and an untapped Sword back to the battlefield. Repeat this process an arbitrarily large amount of times, and you may then also use Urza's ability to tap as many of the thopter tokens as needed for blue mana to activate Urza's 5 mana ability. Eventually you can find an instant wincon in the form of something like Ghirapur Aether Grid to win the game on the spot.

Strategy and Playstyle

Urza Thopter Sword combines a solid combo, with the ability to moderately adapt into a prison or midrange deck as required. Cards such as Goblin Engineer and Whir of Invention allow for the ability to easily include artifact toolbox cards to fit customize the deck to your preferred playstyle. Everything from all-in combo, to a more prison oriented build is possible. No matter which direction you go, the combo can always threaten to win the game on the spot, while either Urza, or the Thopter Sword combo can each threaten to end the game fairly quickly without comboing

The Core Cards

Urza, Lord High Artificer - Urza is the most important and probably best card in the deck. Every ability Urza has is excellent.
He enables the combo, as well as brings an often giant Construct token onto the battlefield with him, and acts as both a mana and card advantage engine. The token is a legitimate threat on it's own given the number of artifacts we run, as well as providing a beefy blocker. Between Urza's 4 toughness and the Construct token, Urza provides a lot of defense against aggro strategies all on his own. His second key ability is his ability to tap any artifact you control for blue mana. Importantly this still works under Stony Silence because it's an ability of Urza, not the artifacts, and it also operates while Urza is being named by Pithing Needle since it is also a Mana Ability. This allows Urza to generate a ton of mana fast, which leads right into his final ability. His final ability is likewise great and allows Urza to effectively draw many extra card every turn even without the combo. Always play 4 copies.

Thopter Foundry - Probably the second best card in the deck. Enables the combo and can also be a relevant threat on it's own. Even without Sword of the Meek, sacrificing artifacts to gain life and make flying 1/1s can provide a viable clock in longer matches, especially against control. Foundry is often your preferred turn 2 play most of the time, and you should probably play 3-4 copies

Sword of the Meek - Easily one of the worst cards in the deck in a vacuum, it is necessary for the combo. It does very little on it's own, but it's important to remember it does have an equip cost that you can pay to pump up a construct, or an Urza, even if you'll very rarely actually use it. Really nice that this generally does not even need to resolve, as if it is countered and ends up into the graveyard, the combo can begin just as easily by sacrificing another artifact to make a token and return the sword. Only 1 or 2 copies are usually required in the deck.

Mox Opal - Obvious inclusion in any artifact based deck to speed up the deck. Our deck is not so heavy on cheap artifact that you can expect to be casting 2 drops on turn 1 very often, as the Opal is often not turned on until turns 2 or 3, however it's still a very good card for the deck. You should probably play 4 copies, or 3 at the minimum.

Mishra's Bauble - 0 drop card that cantrips (though delayed by a turn), which helps enable Mox Opal, Whir of Invention, etc. You can also bauble yourself with a fetchland in play, then based on if you want the top card or not, shuffle it away with the fetchland before your next draw. When to sacrifice Bauble and when to keep it in play for Opal or Whir is rarely a clearcut answer. You need to analyze your hand, and your opponent to determine if the extra card on your following turn is worth it, or if it's better to keep it in play to either enable an extra improvise on Whir of Invention, or if it's needed for Mox Opal's metalcraft. Play 4 copies

Arcum's Astrolabe - Astrolabe is a card that is easily overlooked or dismissed, however is it has become a major core of the deck since it's printing. Astrolabe is the only 1 cmc artifact in modern than can draw a card when it enters, which alone pretty much makes it worth an inclusion, however the additional ability to filter mana to any colour without having to sacrifice itself makes it excellent at fixing mana, enabling whir, or generating additional mana with Urza. The only downside is that it requires a very snow basic heavy manabase to enable it on turn 1 consistently, however given the nature of the colour requirements in the deck, this is generally very easy to justify. Play 4 copies

Whir of Invention - Whir enables the toolbox of the deck, as well as acts as an instant speed tutor for our combo pieces of Foundry and Sword. The fact that you can't reduce the coloured mana cost does make it a little slow at times, but still well worth it. Whir's triple blue cost also means you have very little room for lands that don't produce blue mana in the deck. Generally you will want 2-4 copies.

Colour Combinations

There are several options for colour choices with the deck, but given the blue cost of Urza, Whir, and Thopter Foundry, blue will always form the core of the manabase. The hybrid cost of Thopter Foundry will also force you into black or white as a secondary colour. Occassionally you will end at a 2 colour deck, however the printing of Goblin Engineer that can put a Sword of the Meek into the graveyard for you, or act as a value engine, has often made red a key part of the archetype. This means the most common colour combinations for the deck will typical be Grixis or Jeskai, however straight Dimir, Esper, or even 4 colour decks are possible. Arcum's Astrolabe and Mox Opal do an excellent job of fixing whatever colours may be needed. Green is splashed the least often of all the colours, as it's only real options tend be more reactive cards like Abrupt Decay or Assassin's Trophy, it however does remain a consideration.

Combo Wincons

Since the Urza + Foundry + Sword combo doesn't actually let you win the turn you go off, but the infinite mana lets you dig through your whole deck, most people choose to play a single copy of a card that lets them win on the spot. Here I'll outline the most common options and their pros and cons.

Spine of Ish Sah - Doesn't actually win on the spot, but you can sac it to Foundry, putting it back into hand, and using your "infinite" blue mana to recast it, repeating until you've blown up every permenant they have, including lands. I can't think of any decks that would still be able to win from that spot. It's also able to be fetched with Whir of Invention, and can potentially answer a single hard hate card like Leyline of the Void, or Stony Silence. Downsides are that it is expensive, so casting it without an Urza can be tough, it also doesn't work against multiple hate cards.

Ghirapur Aether Grid - Great at pinging off small creatures, pressuring walkers, and acting as a wincon against even a Stony Silence. Does require red mana, and can be shut off with Pithing Needle effects, also can't be Whir'd for.

Scrap Trawler - Works with Pyrite Spellbomb to burn them out. Sac the spellbomb for 2 damage, then sac a Mox Opal to make a thoper, then sac sword to get back Spellbomb, and then sac sword again to get back Opal to pay the red to activate spellbomb again. Also can be tutor'd with Whir, and works as a great value engine when sacrificing artifacts for value with engineer or foundry. Scrap Trawler additionally has an infinite combo without Urza. If you have Scrap Trawler, Thopter Foundry, Sword of the Meek, and 2 Mox Opals, you can pay Foundry's activation cost with Mox Opal, then Sacrifice Sword, returning the 2nd Mox Opal from the graveyard with the Scrap Trawler trigger, as well as returning the sword. Repeat as many times as you wish as each time you return 1 Opal, the other will die due to the Legendary Rule. Weak to creature removal and graveyard hate.

Grinding Station - Mills the opponent out, since each Foundry activation yields 2 triggers (for sword and the token) and you can sac the token each time to mill your opponent. Also works as a small mana engine with Urza, allowing you to tap it for mana, then untap it if you cast an artifact, tapping it again for mana. Interestingly also triggers off opponent's artifacts entering, so possible extra utility in the mirror

Time Sieve - Can allow you to take infinite turns. Also works as an infinite combo without Urza, with just Thopter Foundry, Sword of the Meek, Time Sieve, and at least 5 mana. Allowing you to make 5 tokens, sac them to take an extra turn, and eventually net more and more leftover tokens as you play more lands.

Mirrodin Beseiged - Mirrodin option can make tokens for value, while the Phyrexia option can win the game for you on your end step. Not vulnerable to artifact hate, however the Mirrodin side is worse than Sai, Master Thopterist and the Phyrexian side is poor against graveyard hate.

The Rest of the Deck

Here I'll outline other commonly played or considered cards and group them by colour. I will include multicolour cards that are partly blue with the card of the 2nd colour (ie: UW cards with the White cards)
Artifacts
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All of these artifacts have the advantage of working with Whir of Invention, and most also work with Goblin Engineer, so the cost of including them in the deck as even 1 ofs is pretty low

Grafdigger's Cage - Commonly played maindeck graveyard hate. 1 mana artifacts are good, graveyard hate is good in this graveyard heavy format. Usually only play 1 max in the main

Nihil Spellbomb - Similar to Cage above. One shot effect, but can also cycle in matchups where the graveyard hate is relevant, so it's a decent maindeck card.

Tormod's Crypt - Can't cycle when it's bad, but costs 0.

Pithing Needle - Also a commonly played 1 or 2 of in the main. There are few matchups where it's dead, and it's great against planeswalkers.

Pyrite Spellbomb - Artifact based removal spell that can also cycle when not needed. Pretty solid option overall

Ichor Wellspring - Cantripping artifact. Works great with Goblin Engineer or even a nice option to sac to Thopter Foundry. Most lists only run 1 for when Engineer needs to grab a value option in the face of potential graveyard hate, but anywhere from 1 to 4 copies are seen in various lists.

Mind Stone - Helps you ramp into Urza, while also cycling for a card late game

Pentad Prism - Also helps you ramp into Urza. Slightly faster than Mind Stone, at the cost of being a terrible top deck late game

Ensnaring Bridge - Great against a lot of creature decks. Some decks can't beat it in game 1. 1 copy is the most commonly played number, as the effect isn't needed as much with the combo, but still often an excellent option to have access to in a deck with Whir

Chromatic Star - Fixes colours, can cantrip. Downside is that it only cantrips when you sac it, which means Leyline of the Void/RiP shut it off, and it's not reusable. Definitely much worse than Arcum's Astrolabe, but it's another option for a 1 mana artifact that can draw you a card

Terrarion - Same deal as star, but entering tapped and costing 2 to activate makes it a worse version of star.
Blue
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Serum Visions - Solid draw card, can help consistency, but takes slots away from artifacts. If you're going to play it, you probably want 3-4 copies

Sai, Master Thopterist - 1/4 blocker than makes flying tokens and can help draw you extra cards. It's extra silly with Urza as the new thopters will net mana. Sacrificing a Sword of the Meek to his ability is often good, as if you draw and cast an artifact, it will make a token, returning Sword to the field. Excels against midrange/control decks and can win games almost by himself. He also makes it sometimes worthwhile to sandbag 0 mana artifact in hand until you've cast a Sai, if you don't need them sooner, so you can get immediate value.

Ceremonious Rejection - Sideboard card that is fairly commonly played as primarily an answer to Karn, the Great Creator

Counterspells - Always an option, though don't always play nicely with cards like ensnaring bridge, or the more tapout nature of the deck.
Black
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These will mostly slot into just sideboard cards, but depending on metas could move into the main

Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas - Probably one of the best alternate wincons. His +1 can dig you for answer, as well as quickly threaten a lethal ultimate. His -1 can also put a lot of pressure on the opponent quickly, as targeting an artifact that doesn't have summoning sickness will effectively give you a hasty 5/5.

Dead of Winter - Really effective wrath effect that is enabled by our manabase and Astrolabes

Fatal Push - Solid removal, is there more to say?

Discard - Effective vs control and combo decks

Leyline of the Void - While technically playable without black, Leyline always feels terrible if you can't cast a topdecked one late, even if at that point its effectiveness is lower. Possibly the most effective, but narrow, graveyard hate card we have.

Collective Brutality - Discard, removal, and damage all in one. Works well with Ensnaring Bridge, and amazing against Burn.

Battle at the Bridge - Solid removal that can hit even large creatures and indestructible creatures. Incidently lifegain is also often relevant, especially against burn. Main downside is sorcery speed, and that it is bad against Gaddock Teeg
White
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Path to Exile - Best removal in the format

Teferi, Time Raveler - Excellent planeswalker. Can protect your combo while also dealing with hate cards and providing card advantage with his -3.

Wear // Tear - Obviously need to also be in red, but great removal against opposing hate cards, which are often enchantments or artifacts.

Deputy of Detention - Creature based removal for hate cards. Being a creature it can often avoid the Negate type effects people play, or the artifact/enchantment removal, however is vulnerable to creature removal. Also not exiling your own cards can be helpful in the mirror

Detention Sphere - Similar to above, but vulnerable to different removal

Tempest of Light - For when you really just hate enchantments
Red
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Goblin Engineer - The primary reason to dive into red. A powerhouse 2 drop. Tutors a Sword of the Meek into the graveyard for us, can become a value card draw engine by swapping Astrolabes and/or Ichor Wellsprings

Lightning Bolt - Solid removal spell that can hit players and pressure walkers

Galvanic Blast - Same as Bolt, however with metalcraft it's slightly better than bolt, and slightly worse without metalcraft. Blast is more commonly played than bolt, but Bolt is more consistent if you're worried you may not always have metalcraft. Especially against Infect, casting Blast with metalcraft is not super reliable on turn 1, and a Mutagenic Growth will make you wish it was a bolt.

Magmatic Sinkhole - Can sometimes be better than even galvanic blast, as our heavy fetchlands fuel delve, but probably can't afford more than 1 in the 75.
Green
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Abrupt Decay - Solid removal that can hit most of our most feared hate cards, though can't hit Leyline of the Void. Uncounterable is very relevant against UW Control

Assassin's Trophy - Similar to Decay, but counterable against UW, but hits Leyline of the Void.

Maelstrom Pulse - Hits everything, includes multiple copies, but 3 mana and sorcery speed.

Back to Nature - For when you really just hate enchantments

Decklists

Vycan's Deck Repo
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Here is a deck repository managed by someone else that can compare certain top decks

Matchup Analysis

Coming Soon...

Tips & Interactions to be aware of

Coming Soon...
Last edited by Systrill 2 years ago, edited 16 times in total.

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

I went 2-2 at a 20 person FNM. Rough day.

Round 1 vs. Mono Red Phoenix. He didn't have the 1/2 dudes for at least the first 2 turns of the game each game. This gave me time to get my combo going. He essentially used a bunch of Lava Darts and Gut Shots to stop the Sword of the Meek from attaching to anything, but I kept getting it out. Then I went infinite. His hands were super slow and it just gave me too much time. The last time I played against this deck, I lost on turn 3 twice (me as Hogaak with Bridge). 2-0.

Round 2 vs. Jund. In the first game, he does Thoughtseize, etc. I kill a Bob with a Spellbomb. He plays a Scavenging Ooze, but I get a big Urza "Construct" token after he Abrupt Decays the first one. I get enough with some Sai Thopters as well to get past him. He also took damage down to 13 on his own on turns 1-2. In the next game, I tried to play too cute. I didn't do Magmatic Sinkhole on a Scavenging Ooze and it ended up killing me when I got stuck on 3 mana. He literally played something to deal with each turn (yes, after I Bolted Dark Confidant). I was waiting for him to attack me with Raging Ravine, then kill Scooze so he is tapped out. Then I wanted to go for the combo, but I always lacked the Sword. I felt that if I Magmatic Sinkhole the first Scooze, he would play another. Bad reasoning. In the next game, I play 3 lands, then finally draw a 4th land after drawing 2 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and 2 Urza, High Lord Artificer. Not the best time for three 4 drops in a row (I had Urza in my opener already). Game 2 punt hurt! 1-2.

Round 3 vs. Jund. I drew a bit better this game. Got the combo on him after he turn 1 Thoughtseize, then killed my combo a few times. Not that many Abrupt Decays left and he didn't find the other ones before I did Whir of Invention. Goblin Engineer is good when not killed, lol. He even got a Wrenn and Six Emblem, which I could care less about at my board state and him with nearly an empty hand. A similar thing happens in the next game. A similar thing happens in the next game, but I kill some creatures, then stabilize with the Construct token and then Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. I do the ultimate next turn after drawing an artifact, so with Sai it makes 2 artifacts in case the last card in his hand removes 1-2 of them. (Ancient Grudge). 2-0.

Round 4 vs. Tron. In game 1, Map into Tron into Walking Ballista, forcing me to Pithing Needle that or it kills my Goblin Engineer and can keep pumping. Then he does Karn Liberated and then Karn, the Great Creator. In the next game after a mull, I Ceremonious Rejection his Map, but he does turn 2 Sylvan Scrying into Map/Tron into Walking Ballista into Karn Liberated into Karn, the Great Creator. Sucks having to use all my Mishra's Baubles just to miss a 4th land drop. For some reason, he does Ghost Quarter on my Inventor's Fair, the only thing keeping me from Whir of Invention. I am 1 mana short of using my Astrolabe to Whir for 2. I never find another artifact in time because I have to sacrifice 3 Bauble to hit my first 3 land drops. I lose with 2 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, which Karn, TGC shuts off Astrolabe so I don't have Black and Karn Liberated makes it impossible for me to come back. I draw ... a 4th land and it is my 2nd copy (only 2 in the deck) of Spirebluff Canal, so it's tapped. Sweeeeet! I scoop since he has Lattice in hand and most likely draws a 2nd Karn Liberated with the last card in hand being Tower I'm assuming to play both. Fun times. 0-2.

2-2. Hopefully if I play the deck some time soon, I won't punt like in Game 2 of round 2. I just didn't know the matchup at all, so I assumed I'd draw something good and/or he wouldn't make some crucial play each turn. I died when he attacked with Scooze, I did not block with Urza, and he Bolted me for the last 1 damage needed. I could have just assumed the card he draws is Bolt or K Command (#2 of the game) since I have open double Thopter Foundry next turn. With 1 Foundry untapped, tapping it for Blue and sacrificing only gives me 1 Thopter. Yeah, I probably should have just done that and blocked the Scooze or the Thopter eats a Bolt and I untap with a chance to win. The thing about the Magmatic Sinkhole is that I used it later to kill a Plague Engineer on Thopter. That's freaking annoying.

I don't think the deck beats Tron if they draw the nuts and our deck fumbles around. I guess if we combo turn 3 or 4, we're fine, but otherwise, missing land drops against a deck that Tron, Tron, Tron, Walking Ballista into the Karns is going to be tough for us. I kind of wished I had 4 Pithing Needle main. :(
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

St3ncil
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Post by St3ncil » 2 years ago

Which list were you running?
Do you think you could run Galvanic Blast instead of Magmatic Sinkhole?

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

St3ncil wrote:
2 years ago
Which list were you running?
Do you think you could run Galvanic Blast instead of Magmatic Sinkhole?
I was running mostly Justin Porchas's Grand Prix Top 8 list with a few changes based Bridge from Below being banned. I should have probably also took into consideration Brian Coval's CFB list. Justin is a local player who I know pretty well, so I trust him quite a bit.

I had both of those in the SB. I sided in 2 Lightning Bolt, 1 Magmatic Sinkhole, 1 Galvanic Blast (all of the SB copies for each of those), and 2 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas and took out Grafdigger's Cage, Nihil Spellbomb (yes I know it's good against Wren, but I literally don't think I care about that card), 2 Whir of Invention, 1 Ichor Wellspring, and Sword of the Meek. I probably shouldn't have sided out 1 of the 2 Sword of the Meek, but I did not think that 2-3 Scavenging Ooze would be that big a problem with the removal that I sided in mixed with all of the deck's cantrips.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

Systrill
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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

So I've taken over the job of making a Primer for the deck. I've played thopter sword variants in modern for 3 years or so now. I'm far from a top player, but I feel I have a handle on the deck enough to give players a starting point.

I've posted what I have so far for the primer. In the coming days/weeks I'll be expanding the detail and editing the primer. So let me know what you think of the primer, if any thing needs to be added/changed/removed, and I'll take it all under advisement.

Hopefully having the primer and being able to direct people to it will help spark more discussion here!

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

Systrill wrote:
2 years ago
So I've taken over the job of making a Primer for the deck. I've played thopter sword variants in modern for 3 years or so now. I'm far from a top player, but I feel I have a handle on the deck enough to give players a starting point.

I've posted what I have so far for the primer. In the coming days/weeks I'll be expanding the detail and editing the primer. So let me know what you think of the primer, if any thing needs to be added/changed/removed, and I'll take it all under advisement.

Hopefully having the primer and being able to direct people to it will help spark more discussion here!
Thanks. We appreciate it. I will look over the primer when I get a bit more time.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago


So this is the current list I'm rolling with.

Sideboard is always in a bit of flux. I might want another graveyard hate piece for Hogaak. I might need something else for Eldrazi Tron.

Maindeck I'm pretty happy with. I like the 4/1 split of foundry and sword, since sword is often bad in multiples. It does sometimes suck when you cast sword and it gets exiled by Force of Negation, but that doesn't happen often enough to really be a major concern

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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

Mythic Championship update. Hogaak is 21.4% of the metagame, and Urza is 4.2%. So a solid showing for Urza.

BBD crushed tron in the first round of modern.

Here's the decklist. For sideboard he only know the cards he has and not the specific count of them
A few deviations from the "normal" lists. going to Chromatic Star and 3 Ichor Wellsprings is pretty interesting. Also no way to win this turn when you're combo'ing off is an interesting choice. It's often not needed, but interesting that he didn't include any.

Sideboard seems fairly typical, though Saheeli is an unusual choice

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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

I'm adding all the lists from the 19 people playing the deck at the PT here. Reminder that as of right now, we know what cards are in their sideboards, but not how many. In brackets is the player's actual modern win-lose record
Last edited by Systrill 2 years ago, edited 2 times in total.

the nobodys
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Post by the nobodys » 2 years ago

Hey all, thought I'd join this thread, cause why not! Great job with the primer, Systrill. It's cool to see this deck's success. I wish some pros could have seriously tried their hand with it pre-horizons, because I think the deck had plenty of legs then, too, but oh well. Onward and upward!

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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

Welcome!

Deck is definitely much better now I think. I imagine now that a copy will have top 8'd a Mythic Championship it'll get a lot more interest

Definitely a lot of interesting tech. Kassis and BBD showing that maybe Chromatic Star and extra Wellsprings aren't so bad after all. They both also opted not to play one of the cards to win the turn you combo, which is extra interesting given open decklists. But needing that card isn't something that comes up all that often

While Lenz in the top 8 is pretty much dead on what I would consider a "stock" list, or as close to a stock list as we have so far

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Post by St3ncil » 2 years ago

So it looks like no Sai in Mainboard is the way to go

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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

Sai is great is you expect a lot of Jund or UW Control. Basically the grindy matchups. Less good against some of the more aggro decks and Hogaak. So I can see the merit in cutting Sai. If jund's performance causes it to continue to shoot up in metagame share, Sai would be a good option to move 1-2 copies back into the main I think

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Post by the nobodys » 2 years ago

I cut Sai a few weeks back. He's really good in the good matchups, and fairly bad in the bad matchups. But he's still gas, and will always be on the radar - especially since he has a kind of mini combo with urza.

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Post by St3ncil » 2 years ago

What do you think about Sorcerous Spyglass as one of in the mainboard. For informations and phiting needle copy

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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

St3ncil wrote:
2 years ago
What do you think about Sorcerous Spyglass as one of in the mainboard. For informations and phiting needle copy
Granted, I haven't played the deck too much, but I felt it was bad (well, my 1 of Pithing Needle). In theory, just having it as a Whir target is good. But then you draw it when you need to draw other cards and it feels so bad only having a fetchland to name or some odd card that you know they won't have.

I think it really depends on your luck with drawing the 1 of. If you rarely draw it, it's amazing as a Whir target. If you draw it a lot instead of some other card when it's bad, you won't like it. At least with Sorcerous Spyglass, you get to see the opponent's hand. Sometimes that's a bad thing since you know you're dead, lol. :(
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

You've gotta be kidding me. Nobody is posting here? I played in a 24 person FNM with Grixis Urza.

Round 1 vs. Tron. He gets turn 3 Tron into Karn Liberated. He also gets Ugin, but I have the infinite combo. The problem? My Spine of Ish Sah was exiled, so I don't automatically have it. But I Whir for O Stone on his final turn after having a bunch of colorless Thopters from Sai, then swing back for lethal after he Ulamogs 2 of my 3 Construct tokens. In the next game, he mulliganed to 3 and I had 1 land, Astrolabe, and Bauble, but drew into 2 more lands and my hand was GAS. Not close. 2-0.

Round 2 vs. Tron. One of 2 guys who drove with me. :( He whittles away my board, but I am hoping I draw Urza to combo. I do and then combo off. In the next game, Karn and the boys got me down. In the final game, he Nature's Claim on my Damping Sphere, then gets O Stone. But he doesn't have anything the rest of the game, at least nothing of consequence and I finally got off 2 land and did an Ultimate on Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas after getting the Thopter.Sword Combo. That's a lot of damage! 2-1.

Round 3 vs. Jund Shadow. Discard slows me down, but I'm live for good draws. I end up drawing an Urza, which he deals with Fatal Push and fetchland. But I get another 2 turns later and I survive to combo off. In the next game, it is similar. I am lucky enough to find a 2nd Urza and get there. Did some chump blocks with Thopter Foundry because I felt like I'm not beating Temur Battle Rage anyway. 2-0.

Round 4 vs. Esper Stoneblade. I have a really good hand, but he kills 2 Goblin Engineer, then Urza, then bounces Sai, then discards him. He ended up with all the equipment, Jace, TMS, Teferi, and some dudes. I got Sword of the Meek late in the game, but he had lethal through that with B Skull, Sword of Fire and Ice to not get chumped by the Thopters, and Sword of Feast and Famine. The next game is similar, but Detention Sphere gets my Ghirapur Aether Grid and Stony Silence slows me way down. I scoop to not having much of an answer to double Force of Negation. I felt like my only out was drawing 2 Urza in a row. I scoop. It turns out the next card WAS Urza. Lol, I think I was still not beating his board. 0-2.

I finish 3-1, only losing to 1 of 2 guys from my car.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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FoodChainGoblins
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Location: Riverside

Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

19 person FNM, 5th place at 3-1.

Round 1 vs. Burn. I win the die roll, but barely miss having the turn 4 combo. I sacrifice 2 artifacts on his turn 4, but that puts me to 5 and he has double "Bolt." In the next game, I made the mistake of not fetching basic Mountain and when I drew double Goblin Engineer, I couldn't play 1 and then activate the other to find Scrap Trawler. On my turn 4, this put me 1 mana short of gaining infinite life. I should have sided out all the Whirs. He basically hammered me with a bunch of dudes and Bolts. That's kind of why I didn't mention his draws much. 0-2.

Round 2 vs. UW Control. This game goes to 5 cards left in my library. He literally finds the answers to nearly everything I have, except a 12/14 Construct that was wearing 2 Sword of the Meek. He also Surgical Extracted Thopter Foundry on turn 4. :( I literally had no win-cons left and he had 2 chump blocks of Celestial Colonnade that I had to go through. I think he finally stopped drawing answers and drew 3 lands straight. The next game is similar, but after he counters some cards, I have Nihil Spellbomb to protect me from Surgical Extraction. I also land a turn 4 Urza, he Paths. I cast another 1 two turns later and he's seen enough. 2-0.

Round 3 vs. Jund. In the first game, he has removal for a bunch of things and I am flooding out. But luckily I dodge 2 draw steps by him and then draw Thopter Foundry. He had just drawn Scavenging Ooze and activated it, getting rid of a few cards. But even if he hadn't, I had millions of lands and told him that I had enough artifacts to barely get past all Ooze activations for a bunch of Thopters with the Urza that I drew too. In the next game, he ended up playing 3 Bloodbraid Elves, 2 Kologhan's Command, Ancient Grudge, Plague Engineer, and I barely could not get there. I actually drew Urza twice in the late turns, but he removed blockers and got the last point of damage. In the final game, I have a big Construct after some smoke settles and he is forced to try to block with Plague Engineer. But I have Welding Jar, which he also knew about. I guess he figured, better now than later. He draws Ancient Grudge, but I still have Urza and eventually it gets me a few non land cards that get me the win. :grin: Deck's busted! 2-1.

Round 4 vs. AIR Goblins. He gets turn 2 Goblin Rabblemaster and I take some hits, but double Thopter block it to kill it. I get Urza and then get infinite life the turn after. I went to 5 life too. In the next game, he got turn 1 Warren Instigator. It gets Goblin Chieftain and Siege Gang Commander the next turn, then he casts a Goblin Chieftain. I'm not winning that one, although it was surprisingly somewhat close. I needed Fatal Push or Galvanic Blast. In the final game, he mulls to 4, then land, Spirit Guide, Ritual, Goblin Rabblemaster. The race is on. I go to 2 life before getting the infinite combo on turn 4. Whew! 2-1.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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The Fluff
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Post by The Fluff » 2 years ago

FoodChainGoblins wrote:
2 years ago
19 person FNM, 5th place at 3-1.

Round 3 vs. Jund. In the first game, he has removal for a bunch of things and I am flooding out. But luckily I dodge 2 draw steps by him and then draw Thopter Foundry. He had just drawn Scavenging Ooze and activated it, getting rid of a few cards. But even if he hadn't, I had millions of lands and told him that I had enough artifacts to barely get past all Ooze activations for a bunch of Thopters with the Urza that I drew too. In the next game, he ended up playing 3 Bloodbraid Elves, 2 Kologhan's Command, Ancient Grudge, Plague Engineer, and I barely could not get there. I actually drew Urza twice in the late turns, but he removed blockers and got the last point of damage. In the final game, I have a big Construct after some smoke settles and he is forced to try to block with Plague Engineer. But I have Welding Jar, which he also knew about. I guess he figured, better now than later. He draws Ancient Grudge, but I still have Urza and eventually it gets me a few non land cards that get me the win. :grin: Deck's busted! 2-1.
oh, so it's strong enough to outgrind Jund and Uw control? deck is good.
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want to play a uw control deck in modern, but don't have Jace or snapcaster? please come visit us at the Emeria thread

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 years ago
oh, so it's strong enough to outgrind Jund and Uw control? deck is good.
UW Control was a good matchup before. I was surprised he got so close, but he hit very good hits early on while I flooded. UrzaS were just enough to pull me back. I've never had that close a game 1 vs. UW Control.

Now UW Stoneblade is different. I haven't tested it much, but I feel it's 50/50 and very draw dependent. You can get crushed or you can crush them.

Jund in my opinion is slightly favored, but most other players disagree with me here. I will admit that I've only tested it very little, including hardly any SB games (where the matchup is figured out), so I am probably wrong here. But yeah, the deck is insane, mostly losing to land issues or extreme hate with a clock.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

Systrill
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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

Deck can easily outgrind Jund and UW, it's great

I've been working on lots of stuff on mtgo with the new ELD cards. Not really sure where to go with them, but this so far is I think my favourite.
I've been trying just Jeskai, just Esper, etc, but I think I still really like Green for the Trophies. Tireless Tracker can be just amazing as well. Oko is a new addition I wanted to try.

Emry is great. She's even better at grinding than Engineer, though worse at finding Sword. So I think the options are either play some engineers as well, or play more Whirs. Possibly even play Grinding Station as a way to help mill yourself for Emry/find sword/immediate wincon as a bonus (which you totally don't need, but if it is good otherwise it's a nice option to have). I'm still liking engineer, and he's great alongside Emry. I also really like Galvanic Blast in the main as just a nice catchall answer. Switching it to Fatal Push or Glass Casket hasn't felt as good.

I normally don't like Engineered Explosives, but combined with Emry I think it's an amazing 1 of. Everflowing Chalice is just a 0 mana card to help turn on Emry that is still handy a bit later. It could easily be something else.

Witching Well so far has felt quite solid. ETB Scry 2 is pretty good, and being able to cash it in for 2 cards later, which is especially easy to do with Urza is great, especially since the 2 cards is instant speed. So if Jund has you topdecking, getting to end step draw 2 cards feels great. I could even see maybe incorporating more counterspells in the sideboard since witching well and counterspells work decently, and more blue cards in the deck now for Force of Negation.

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Post by Systrill » 2 years ago

Update: Last night I was able to 5-0 my league with the above list.

Round 1 vs Esper Control (2-1) - Game 1 I was able to turn 1 Emry which was super strong when you have a bauble. On the play too. So immediately get to start drawing 2 cards a turn with Baubles. Even though they path'd emry fairly quickly I drew just a ton of Wells, Baubles, Astrolabes and got crazy card advantage. Eventually grinded out the game with thopter sword through wraths and cryptics. Game 2 went really long, but in the end I couldn't quite deal with Blast Zone, and Plague Engineer, and Stony Silence, and Jace, etc. Game 3 an early emry went unanswered for a long time, which gave me tons of ability to power Thopter FOundry through counterspells and eventually get it online, followed by a Tezz, an Urza, and a 2nd Tezz.

Round 2 vs Amulet Titan (2v1) - Kinda went the way of Amulet games, they either did their thing fast enough or they didn't. I won game 1, could have won game 2 if I'd sideboarded in my Damping Sphere, but I forgot it was in the board and not the main now, oops. Game 3 I wasn't even paying attention to the clock since I had like 12min left, but I didn't realize he was out of clock until he lost because of it. If it hadn't been for the clock I think I would have lost the game and match.

Round 3 vs Eldrazi Tron (2-0) - Game 1 was interesting. He got a chalice on 0 but stuck on 3 mana for a couple turns. I got Oko out which helped me a ton in pressuring his 2 Karns he ended up resolving. Even with him playing a Smasher, Oko's huge loyalty count really held out for awhile, bought me a ton of time and gave me a way to deal with his Karns. Game went quite long and goblin engineer helped a ton working around his chalices on 1 and 2. Bridge kept me from dying, and eventually an Urza gave me what I needed to dig for the eventual combo. Game 3 he played a Leyline of the Void and a turn 1 chalice on 0. I got stuck on 3 mana for a bit, which sucked with 2 Urzas and a Tezz rotting in hand. He didn't have much action either thankfully, and eventually I drew a Tireless Tracker, which when I next turn drew a fetchland just went insane with 2 clues, Urza, Tezz, etc. Tracker + Urza is just wow every time

Round 4 vs Grixis Shadow (2-1) - These went kinda how you'd expect. Long drawn out grindy games. Emry and Engineer are great since they have lots of artifact destruction. Urza is great. If they get their discard spells and Stubs to line up well with pressure it's a rough one. They also have plague engineer which is great, since Thopter Sword alone against them in awesome

Round 5 vs Grixis Shadow (2-1) - Same as the previous round. Games were all pretty close.

Oko only came out in 1 game sadly, but he looked decent there. Witching Well so far seems to be pretty good, but it's hard to say if it's really better than Chromatic Star. I'm leaning to yes, but it's close. The everflowing chalice seems weak, and I'm not sure playing extra 0's like chalice/Mox Amber for Emry is worth it. I'm leaning towards no.

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

Good job on the 5-0! I hope they feature your list.

15 person MNM. 2-2.

Round 1 vs. Jund Shadow. He gets stuck on 1 Blood Crypt for 1 turn, then only Swamp and the Blood Crypt. I go for his upkeep Whir of Invention for Sword of the Meek and have too many 1/1s and a 2/3. He scoops. In the next game, he gets Shadows out and I draw a few too many lands. In the last game, he Surgical Extraction, targeting my Thopter Foundry. I crack Nihil Spellbomb, targeting myself, as I had seen the Surgical Extraction of Bauble earlier. He did another Surgical Extraction and got the Foundries. But I finally draw Urza after he has a Collector Ouphe beating my face in. Goblin Engineer the turn before got some value going. 2-1.

Round 2 vs. Hardened Scales. He has Scales turn 1. He does Arcbound Ravager and I'm forced to turn 3 Thopter Foundry because he could do lethal Inkmoth Nexus. Then I get too much value and even a Hangarback Walker and company can't take me down. In the next game, my Goblin Engineers both get Dismembered, my Thopter Foundries get Nature's Claimed, and he Throne of Geth a Hangarback Walker to allow attacks past an Ensnaring Bridge. I may have punted this game, as I had 2 Assassin's Trophies in hand, but could only cast 1 on the final turn since I hadn't drawn many lands this game. So the 1/1s still kill me. In the final game, he has some Dismember and Nature's Claim again. I slow roll Thopter Foundry because I suspect as much, but Inkmoth Nexus, Hardened Scales, and Arcbound Ravager again make it tough. In the end I assemble Thopter/Sword, but can't make enough on 1 turn to stop all of his attackers and lethal Ravager since he JUST drew Hangarback Walker. I bluff Galvanic Blast with a 7th land in hand, but he realizes that he loses if he lets me untap (unless he draws another Hangarback Walker of course). He attacks and asks if I have Galvanic Blast. I tap ... and don't. 1-2.

Round 3 vs. Tron. I kept on 2 land and Mox Opal. I lose after drawing a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th copy of Urza when I have Thopter/Sword in play. In the next game, I keep on 3 land. I draw 12 land this game and 3 actions spells before he gets the Lattice Lock. I end up drawing Ceremonious Rejection, Arcum's Astrolabe, Mox Opal, and Thopter Foundry before dying. 0-2.

Round 4 vs. Titanshift. I combo him pretty early. In the next game, he breaks out of a slow lock with Prismatic Omen and double Valakut into Prime Time #3. In the final game, it's close, but Ashiok, Dream Render wrecks him. He finally kills it, but I now have Ensnaring Bridge, Welding Jar, and another Ashiok, Dream Render to go with my Thopter/Sword combo. :) Yeah buuuudddy!2-1.

I go 2-2. Had some rough beets. :poop: Overall I'm 10-5 with this deck, which isn't too good. I'm gonna keep trying though.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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Arkmer
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Post by Arkmer » 2 years ago

Just ignore me.

Had thoughts, things happened, post irrelevant.

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FoodChainGoblins
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Post by FoodChainGoblins » 2 years ago

I'm not sure if Paradoxical Urza should be here, but here goes... 23 person FNM.

Round 1 vs. Skred Red. Game 1, I can't beat Karn, the Great Creator into Ensnaring Bridge, then exile both Simian Spirit Guides in hand. Get Mycosynth Lattice. In the next game, I applied pressure before he could do that. He had 3 draws to get Karn into the toys again, but couldn't find it. In the final game, he mulled to 4 cards. He put out a turn 2 Seasoned Pyromancer, but it was no match for Oko and his group of Elk. He didn't have much else and the Elk and then a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, finish him off. 2-1.

Round 2 vs. Titanshift. In the first game, I go off for a pair of Construct tokens on turn 4, but he ramped like crazy and if he has Scapeshift, he wins. He doesn't have it and I cast 1 more artifact to get my Constructs and 2 Thopters for lethal. In the next game, I super punted. Firstly, I down ticked a Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas instead of getting value and setting up an ultimate kill. This cost me, as double Valakut and Prismatic Omen wrecked me. I heard active double Valakut with Omen is good with fetchlands. That put me to 4 life and I couldn't get there next turn. In the final game, he got stuck on mana and Tezzeret combined to do 10 damage to him, then a 5/5 construct finished him off with 1 of 2 Collective Brutality that were in my hand. Turn 4 kill. 2-1.

Round 3 vs. Tron. In the first game, I go off and get a bunch of Servos. I fear the turn 4 Oblivion Stone since he had Tron land, Star, another Tron land, Sylvan Scrying all 3 games. He gets something similar the next game and my mistake of not mulliganing a 1 land on the draw, Mishra's Bauble, Mox Opa hand destroyed me. I died after drawing a few more 3 and 4 drops to go with all of those in my hand. Sad. In the last game, I get an early Oko and put in some work, but he gets Wurmcoil Engine. I make a mistake of not plussing Oko to make his Wurmcoil Engine a 3/3 Elk, but it turns out I lose to the O Stone anyway. I draw a bunch of redundant Moxen, but hope for 1 of 2 Outcome left in the deck. Nope. Drew all Opals and Ambers left in the deck and he got Emrakul, the Promised End. I made a mistake of hoping to draw a land off Astrolabe, so I didn't have Disdainful Stroke up for Emrakul. I ended up drawing a Thoughtseize for the turn, so he made me Thoughtseize myself and play redundant Moxen. 1-2.

Round 4 vs. Goblins. Don't laugh. This guy was 3-0-1 and 4-0 the past 2 weeks. In the first game, he kills Emry with Munitions Expert, but I play another one on turn 2 and Emry lets me cast and crack Engineered Explosives 4 turns in a row till he is tapping out. GG. In the next game, he mulliganed to 5 and I played Pithing Needle on turn 2 after I turn 1 Bauble, Opal, Astrolabe, Astrolabe, crack Bauble. It names both of his Aether Vial and he is stuck on 1 land. He scoops 2 turns later. 2-0.

I get 3-1.
Standard - Will pick up what's good when paper starts
Pre Modern - Do not own anymore
Pioneer - DEAD
Modern - Jund Sacrifice, Jeskai Phoenix, Elementals, Trollementals, BR Asmo/Goryo's, Yawmoth Chord
Legacy - No more cards, will rebuy Sneak Show when I can
Limited - Will start when paper starts
Commander - Nope

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