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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 5:24 pm 
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GNiels wrote:
And you took out 2 more lands, so you're at 20 only?
I have 22 lands now and I need to mulligan down too much just to ensure my ramp engine will start off.

long as i have something to do on turn 2 or 3 in most cases that's all i care about in my hand, having the 5 lands for the sweep is more important to me than getting Ulamog out, i haven't had any issues with mana yet, even when i put in 3 Rouge's Passages & took out 3 double mana lands. the goal of my deck is to counter everything the other guy might do, i even out controlled a control deck once, had the guy bouncing his thing in the ice all over the place trying to dodge all my nullifying spells


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This just shifts the problem where you'd need to find the EvoLeap first in my opinion

not really, anything that gets Displacer or one of your other combo creatures into your hands faster is a plus, not to mention how cheap it is, 1 for play 1 for pay, Tamiyo's Journal is 5 to play plus you have to wait several turns for the clues, Nissa drops turn 3 if you have her and can immediately start digging for creatures if you have Leap out, Leap also serves as removal bait, bait that won't be used on your more important cards. Duskwatch Recruiter might also be a good addition to the deck. you need to decide if your deck is gonna be a ramp deck or a combo deck, my deck is essentially a tempo deck for example, main concern is stopping the opponent from doing his thing while i plop down mid level threats baiting removals & if i get to ramp that's just cherry on top


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 8:03 pm 
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Made a big update to my list based on feedback from GNeils and Deathdealer. See it here.

I have added Warping Wail primarily as a sweeper counter. Sweepers are one way to kill Displacer that can't be countered with his blink ability. I also have the Tragic Arrogance / Suppression Bonds combo to counter the Walker decks.

Still lots of testing to do. :fight:


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 9:12 pm 
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Ulvenwald Valor

Description
A fun deck with lots of combos that can lead to victory.

How to Play
The main combo is Ulvenwald Mysteries and Valor in Arkos. Usually you want to keep Arkos in hand until you can use it to get the kill. The Journal is for tutoring and for mass sacing of clues.



Creature(20)
3x Jaddi Offshoot
2x Hanweir Militia Captain
4x Sylvan Ranger
4x Elvish Visionary
3x Pious Evangel
2x Bygone Bishop
2x Tireless Tracker

Sorcery(6)
2x Declaration in Stone
4x Angelic Purge

Enchantment(6)
3x Ulvenwald Mysteries
3x Valor in Akros

Planeswalker(2)
1x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Artifact(2)
2x Tamiyo's Journal

Land(24)
8x Plains
2x Canopy Vista
10x Forest
2x Sunpetal Grove
2x Westvale Abbey

To view this deck go to: http://www.magicduelshelper.com/decklis ... 92f0cd3942

Created using Magic Duels Helper: http://www.magicduelshelper.com

I ended up on Kryders twitch. Here is the link, the game starts at 5 min mark

https://www.twitch.tv/nwgodskryder/v/65011618

And yes, I made two mistakes at the end. I should have played the offshoot before the last land, and I should have waited for endstep to activate the journal. (Endstep should be safe, but I have had a few times that I can't pause, so I will activate sooner if it will not make a huge difference. I wanted him to think I mis played on the attack and activated too late for the block, but end step would have been better.)

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 8:49 pm 
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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Tue May 17, 2016 7:41 pm, edited 15 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 12:46 am 
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What would be your thoughts on Veteran Warleader? Seems like she's fit no Problem (though you may want Sylvan Advocates to go with her, for that occasional Ally-tap-trigger).

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 12:55 am 
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Considered; I think she's too slow. If I can't reliably give her Trample, she's almost functionally identical to a 3-mana Expedition Envoy - and there aren't enough playable allies at this speed to make it reliable. Generally the play pattern is: Turn 1, play a land, maybe a creature. Turn 2, play a creature. Turn 3, play two creatures or flip Recruiter. Turn 4, dump three to four creatures on the table or swing for lethal with double Might of the Masses. Turn 5, swing for lethal with single Might of the Masses, or play some creatures and hold up Make a Stand. Turn 6, swing for lethal without Might of the Masses. A three mana creature with just power/toughness doesn't fit that curve very well. For example, if you just want to clear out chump blockers, Sylvan Advocate does that for 1 less mana, and still isn't useful enough.

Edit ~~~

Okay, this entire deck is still too slow for my liking. Let's speed it up to 11.

Removed: 2x Deathcap Cultivator, 2x Bygone Bishop, 4x Scion Summoner, 2x Westvale Abbey, 3x Forest

Added: 1x Kytheon, Hero of Akros, 3x Expedition Envoy, 3x Scythe Leopard, 2x Always Watching, 4x Plains

When we kill on turn 4-5 with Sylvan Ranger in our deck, Scythe Leopard is always a 2/2 and sometimes a 3/3. Always Watching is the best Anthem effect, especially with even fewer tokens; we're almost pure creatures. Westvale Abbey is not very good in a 5-turn game. Our new deck aims to play like Mono-White humans - except be even faster and more resilient to removal. Remember, you don't have to beat Planar Outburst if you kill them before they can play a fifth land.


And there is still Bonded Construct if we wanted to speed up even more... though that feels like it might be pushing it. Could replace Expedition Envoy to smooth out the mana.

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If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Tue May 17, 2016 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:45 am 
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You want Dwynen, Gilt-Leaf Daen in here as a curve topper. And Gideon, Ally of Zendikar - all his modes are relevant in the deck and if you just use him a s 4cmc anthem that's fine - he doesn't have to stick around. You can afford 2 4-drops, as it is right now your curve is too flat.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 9:07 am 
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I could do that, or...

...I could just speed up even more.


Removed: 3x Make a Stand, 2x Always Watching, 1x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, 1x Forest

Added: 3x Topplegeist, 4x Kytheon's Tactics

I'll figure out the land count and fine tuning when I get home.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Tue May 17, 2016 7:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:18 am 
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To be honest, I hardly believe that last change makes the deck any better. You're taking out buffs for buffs, with the exception that three of the buffs you take out are permanent, while the four you add only last for a turn. Yes, they add an extra point of power, but often enough a single buffed attack is not enough to finish opponents with decent draws I think.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:33 am 
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I'm trying to tune this into the fastest possible agro deck through a blocker/removal spell, but you might be right about Always Watching/Nissa being stronger. That said, they're only stronger if you plan to attack at least three times after activating it. I'm aiming for a turn 4-5 kill, so my goal is:

1) 1 Drop
2) 2 Drop
3) 1 Drop + 2 Drop or 1 Drop + 1 Drop + 1 Drop or flip Duskwatch Recruiter
4) Kytheon's Tactics and Might of the Masses for lethal or dump my hand
5) Kytheon's Tactics or Might of the Masses for lethal

Anything that assumes you don't get wrathed before turn 6 is a little questionable to me, and I don't think G/W can come back from that, so I'd rather be faster.

Considering swapping 3x Duskwatch Recruiter for 2x Deathcap Cultivator, 1x Plains. Duskwatch is starting to feel too slow as well, since you can't rely on your opponent to flip it, and Deathcap fulfills the same acceleration role.


Edit ~~~

Nevermind; this super-speed version just folds to multiple Sylvan Rangers, which is unacceptable. Dialing it back a bit to add some power.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Tue May 17, 2016 8:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:32 pm 
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What if you wanted to make a deck that was as fast as mono-white humans, but less vulnerable to single-target removal? Well, you'd probably need to go wide. And you'd need to go wide fast if you wanted to race humans or burn. I think I've come up with a pretty good list to do just that.

Behold! The Mighty... Curve-Topping... Elvish Visionary!?


Selesnya Recruitment Drive V2.0 ()
(Aggro)

Threats
1x Kytheon, Hero of Akros/Gideon, Battle-Forged
3x Topplegeist
3x Scythe Leopard
3x Sunblade Elf
2x Hanweir Militia Captain/Westvale Cult Leader
3x Duskwatch Recruiter/Krallenhorde Howler
3x Dwynen's Elite
4x Sylvan Ranger
4x Elvish Visionary

Combat Tricks
4x Might of the Masses
3x Make a Stand

Anthems
2x Always Watching
1x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar

Removal
2x Declaration in Stone

Lands (21)
6x Plains
7x Forest
2x Sunpetal Grove
2x Canopy Vista
4x Evolving Wilds


Strategy

The goal is to kill your opponent as fast as possible, as you might have guessed from the average 1.8 CMC. This deck averages a turn 5-6 kill through multiple pieces of resistance (and a turn 4 kill through no resistance). It doesn't fold to spot removal or individual big blockers. It does fold to Radiant Flames and Languish - but that's what you sign up for when playing an aggro deck. We can often race Planar Outburst, so that's less of a concern.

The creature base has been chosen with the current meta in mind - specifically, everybody is playing Sylvan Ranger on turn 2 as their blocker of choice, with Anguished Unmaking as the removal of choice. Nobody is playing Twin Bolt or Boiling Earth. This means that our attackers can be as weak as we want on our turn as long as they're scary when we attack. As a result, the much maligned Scythe Leopard makes an appearance as a 2/2 or 3/3 on offense that can attack past Sylvan Ranger. Same for Sunblade Elf, and Topplegeist can just fly over. Our only card that straight up trades with a 1/1 is Kytheon, Hero of Akros and we can always make him indestructible if we really need to.

Duskwatch Recruiter is very powerful in longer games; flipping him allows you to reliably play four creatures the next turn. This is also part of why we can't afford colorless lands like Westvale Abbey that might otherwise fit the theme. And once you flip Duskwatch...

...Sylvan Ranger, Elvish Visionary, and Dwynen's Elite combo together amazingly well. Each one gives you a 1/1 elf and a little extra; a 2/2 body or a card or a land. They're also each constructed viable on their own. But if you play them off a Krallenhorde Howler... Let's just say that getting a two 2/2s, four 1/1s, and two cards is a good fourth turn.

Hanweir Militia Captain flips on your turn 4 upkeep almost every game, giving you an instant 4/4 to 6/6 that spits out a token every turn. By itself, this card can race a midrange deck without sweepers. It gives the least upfront value-per-mana of any card in our deck, but the payoff for living a turn is incredible.

So, the idea is to dump your hand on the board as efficiently as possible, then get ready to alpha strike using one of our many combat tricks / anthems. Might of the Masses is +6/+6 for , and Make a Stand blows out combats while also pushing a lot of damage. Always Watching and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar serve as ongoing anthems in case you need to attack over multiple turns. Topplegeist is good for messing up combat just a little bit more for a single . This deck races almost any deck in the room - it's a turn faster than Vampires, a turn faster than Prowess, half a turn faster than Aggro/Burn, and half a turn faster than Humans. Also, it can chump block better than all of those decks, and it doesn't waste cards on combat tricks that only make things unblockable or tap creatures; we're just here for damage.


Other Card Options

Blisterpod might be good for this deck; we don't have a lot of sweeper protection, and even a Scion is a valid target for a Might of the Masses. It can also reasonably attack into Sylvan Ranger, which is a requirement to be in the deck.

Kytheon's Tactics is a double-anthem, but it only lasts one turn and they can see it coming. Also - most importantly - it not giving indestructible means you can't make all-in attacks, so it often adds less damage than Make a Stand would.

Expedition Envoy is another possibly playable 1-drop, although it just trades with Sylvan Ranger, which is bad.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


Last edited by Zerris on Wed May 18, 2016 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:51 am 
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Currently under consideration: +4 Blisterpod, -3 Scythe Leopard, -1 Topplegeist

Blisterpod adds a lot of protection against removal, and allows you to chain single green source hands into a Sylvan Ranger / Elvish Visionary to find your second land. Scythe Leopard is a 1.75/1.75 on average, which might be worse than a 1/1 with recurrence. I also hate drawing Topplegeist in my opening hand; it's mostly there for the ETB ability alongside a same-turn Might of the Masses.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 8:52 am 
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It looks excellent, good anti-meta plays in order to beat the ubiquitous sylvan ranger opening. Here is one thing I notice that concerns me very slightly: the threat / spell ratio. You have 27 creatures/threats (including Gideon) vs. 12 pump effects (including Nissa). This is about a 2:1 ratio and I would rather see something a little closer to 3:1 for the sake of consistency. You really want 3+ threats in every opening hand.

Make a stand is effectively only insurance against planar outburst. It can add a little offensive punch on your turn, key word a little. And it can help some creatures survive. But it isn't really alpha strike material. I would suggest dropping 2 and adding 2 anointer of champions. Not an aggressive drop by itself but it is effectively a combat trick that is also a creature for might of the masses. And lower on the curve. I think you said outracing outburst is plan "A." Keeping 3 mana perpetually open is not a great plan "B" and this is not a top-shelf combat trick either IMO.

If you made this swap you would be at 29:10 which I think is close to an ideal ratio for this sort of deck. One thing that always makes white weenie tough for me as a control player is the high threat ratio. Pump spells will always improve your speed under ideal settings, but make you more vulnerable to disruption. Solution: focus more on your high quality pumps.

Also forget what I said about scythe leopard, it is great here because of the card drawing/ land fetching elves, I wouldn't like it in a normal white weenie style list but it is good here.

Edit: You ninja'ed me. I think your suggesting is definitely worth testing, you could also squeeze a few blisterpod in as a split e.g.
-1 leopard
-1 topplegeist
-2 make a stand
+4 blisterpod


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 9:07 am 
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I tried the list with and without Make a Stand, and decided that the card is actually insane. It's not good against control, but it makes the midrange and aggro matchups fantastic. You get to make a suicidal alpha strike, and see how they block - if they block to trade, you blow them out of combat. If they don't block at all, you kill them. If they block to chump, you just don't cast it and dump more threats. The indestructible allows you to attack with every creature even into bigger blockers, which is fantastic. You don't hold it up to protect you, you use it as an excuse to make alpha strikes when you otherwise couldn't, then save your entire board to alpha strike again the next turn.

Anointer of Champions is playable, but not at it's best here. You never want to play it as your first threat, and it gets worse with every Make a Stand or Gideon or Nissa you draw. You can think of it as a 1/1 evasive threat (the damage impact is roughly similar) and it's just outclassed by Topplegeist if you don't care about human synergies.

For threat density, it's important to remember that Duskwatch Recruiter helps that a little, since he can tutor threats (but only threats). I find myself wishing I had a pump effect more often than running out of threat cards, and Nissa / Gideon help balance us out.


Right now the deck absolutely stomps aggro decks - I think I'm 8-0 against Vampires / Mono-Red / Mono-White / Prowess, as this deck is often faster on the draw than they are on the play. Scythe vs. Blisterpod is nearly a wash here; Scythe hits harder, but Blisterpod gets to fog an attack at no cost. Edge, probably Blisterpod.

I haven't seen many control/ramp decks, but Scythe Leopard is probably slightly better against them; the extra damage will help and both creatures get by their puny chump blockers. Either way, I'm massively favored just for being aggro.

My problem right now is Abzan/midrange decks that always draw languish by turn 5. And there, Blisterpod feels like it might be stronger. They have an endless sea of Sylvan Advocates and Sylvan Rangers, and I need to be able to go wider - make an alpha strike to get them low - then rebuild after a Languish into a second alpha strike.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 9:22 am 
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What's your plan for dealing with T3 Radiant Flames? The deck's gimmick is basically to overextend and pray the opponent doesn't have a sweeper on time. I've been running something similar, and to my mind you absolutely need 2x Tireless Tracker and 2x Bygone Bishop. With 4 clue engines in the deck you'll draw at least one most games, and the clues allow you to dump your hand and refill the board after a sweeper. It won't slow you down.

You should ditch Kytheon's Tactics and bring back Always Watching.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 8:49 am 
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Zerris, I'm playing something similar with excellent results. The decks is a bit more late game oriented, but also more resilient.

1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
3 x Expedition Envoy
2 x Hanweir Militia Captain
2 x Thalia's Lieutenant
2 x Sylvan Advocate
3 x Duskwatch Recruiter
3 x Lambholt Pacifist
2 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Bygone Bishop
2 x Tireless Tracker
2 x Veteran Warleader
3 x Citadel Castellan
2 x Always Watching
3 x Make a Stand
1 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 x Archangel of Tithes
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Archangel Avacyn

12 x Plains
8 x Forest
2 x Canopy Vista
2 x Sunpetal Grove


This deck really goes wide and pump quickly and punishes slow decks. I tried the extremely fast route with mono white, but IMO it's just not worth it.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 10:54 am 
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Auunj wrote:
Zerris, I'm playing something similar with excellent results. The decks is a bit more late game oriented, but also more resilient.

1 x Kytheon, Hero of Akros
3 x Expedition Envoy
2 x Hanweir Militia Captain
2 x Thalia's Lieutenant
2 x Sylvan Advocate
3 x Duskwatch Recruiter
3 x Lambholt Pacifist
2 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Bygone Bishop
2 x Tireless Tracker
2 x Veteran Warleader
3 x Citadel Castellan
2 x Always Watching
3 x Make a Stand
1 x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar
1 x Archangel of Tithes
1 x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar
1 x Archangel Avacyn

12 x Plains
8 x Forest
2 x Canopy Vista
2 x Sunpetal Grove


This deck really goes wide and pump quickly and punishes slow decks. I tried the extremely fast route with mono white, but IMO it's just not worth it.


No Westvale Abbey?

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:13 am 
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I am glad to see that I am not the only one who thinks that Abbey is not an auto-include in every deck ever made. So many players underrate the importance of a good manabase.

I do think abbey is auto-include in one color decks though. But aggressive + two color decks need an extremely reliable manabase, so it is not auto include, depends on the needs of the deck.

Zerris I was looking at your list again... and I noticed the evolving wilds, which are just in there for scythe leopard. If you cut leopard you could put normal lands in there and speed things up. I have played a few times with your list, not 8-0 but something like 6-2. I lost when I drew hands with few threats and too many combat tricks. But the deck is hilariously fast thanks to MotM.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:10 pm 
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The Evolving Wilds aren't just for Scythe Leopard. My mana base needs to reliably hit and on three lands (not just for Always Watching / Nissa, but also for casting two creatures in a turn and Krallenhorde Howler turns). This means needing 17+ white and green sources in a 21 land deck. With just basics, untapped duals, and Ranger the best I could do would be 21 + 4 (duals) + 8 (Ranger) = 33 total sources, probably 16W and 17G, 12W and 13G without Ranger. You might consider that a *little* higher due to Elvish Visionary.

So, we might be able to run without any tapped lands, but the mana would be less reliable. Could be worth the speed boost though; it's a reasonable consideration.

If you do want to fix the mana, Evolving Wilds > Tranquil Expanse by a lot, both for Scythe Leopard and Sunblade Elf.

Now that I've actually done the math, though... We might be able to get away without Evolving Wilds, or at least with fewer of them. They do slow down the deck noticeably when trying to hit a turn 4-5 kill. That, combined with the thoughts on Blisterpod, would lead me to initially suggest this change:

-4 Evolving Wilds, -3 Scythe Leopard, -1 Make a Stand
+2 Forest, +2 Plains, +4 Blisterpod


While Evolving Wilds didn't depend on Scythe Leopard to be good, Scythe Leopard did depend on Evolving Wilds; without it I think Blisterpod is the clear favorite. This change will make the mana less consistent, but faster - and you can mulligan fairly aggressively since it's easy to identify from the opening hand whether the mana is good or not. I don't think we should cut two pump spells, but I'm willing to hear the case for cutting one, and Make is Stand is probably the weakest. If we're cutting that, then we probably keep the third Topplegeist, since he doubles as a "combat trick" to push through damage. Deck still wants 21-22 lands, but I want more Green sources than White so if I added any land, it would probably just be another forest. -1 Topplegeist, +1 Forest might or might not improve the deck; unsure.

If anybody wants to try these changes and see what they think, I'd love to know - I'm busy today, or I'd check myself.

Re: Might of the Masses - Card's great. Getting to play four fully-delved copies of Become Immense in your aggro deck is very nice.

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For those interested, a link to some of my better decks.

If I ever built an Esper Control deck, it would still somehow contain 2x Sylvan Advocate, 2x Tireless Tracker, 1x Nissa, Vastwood Seer, 1x Reclamation Sage, 1x Nissa, Vital Force, and 1x Woodland Bellower.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:36 am 
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Hey first post. I've been playing around with this clue generation deck and been seeing some good results so far.

Creatures
3x 1Duskwatch recruiter
2x 1hanweir militia captain
2x 1thalia's lieutenant
2x 2 tireless tracker
4x 2byway courier
2x 2hermit of the natterknolls
2x 2bygone bishop
1x 2Nissa, vastwood Seer
1x 1archangel of tithes
1x 3archangel avacyn
1x 4woodland bellower
1x 4linvala the preserver
1x 4plated crusher

Instants
3x confront the unknown

Sorcery
2x 1declaration in stone
4x 3angelic edict

Enchantments
3x 2ulvenwald mysteries

Planeswalkers
1x 2gideon, ally of zendikar

Land
4 plains
8 forest
2 canopy vista
2 westvale abbey
2 sunpetal grove
4 evolving wilds
2 tranquil expanse

Any thoughts/suggestions for improvements?


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