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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:50 am 
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Azureshade has his own more lifegain focused Cat deck, but I'd like to go in a different direction so I decided to make a new thread. I'd like to see if we can win our game with fur flying rather than grooming ourselves.

I'm not going to put numbers to cards just yet. I'll wait for that until both the rest of the set gets spoiled and to see if Felidar Guardian gets his furry butt banned.

Potentially relevant AKH cards (as of 4/9/2017)


It's not the fascinating part of our deck, but I'd like to point out that our mana base is amazing for decks that stick to just 2 allied colors for lands. We have 3 not just usable, but synergistic duals.
Fortified Village will almost always enter untapped.
Canopy Vista in a 24 land deck with 12 duals and 12 basics will enter untapped a lot of the time as well
and the new shiny Scattered Groves can cycle itself away if we don't need it. In fact since the bicycle lands exist, even for a deck as low to the ground as I hope this might be I may just go up to 25-26 lands because I can.

Ok. Cats.
We have 2 tribal lords so far:
The ever so flexible Metallic Mimic and the newly spoiled Regal Caracal.
Mimic wants creatures that come down after it, but the caracal doesn't care when they come down.
Fortunately at the moment, Felidar Guardian is still unbanned (though this may change in a week) so any cats that come down before the mimic can be reset to gain bonuses. Of course the dream play is to drop the Guardian targeting a Regal Caracal. :D :D :D :D :D

In order to be a good attacking deck though we can't get too cute with our curve. Something low and lean while still being tribal is what we're gunning for.
From our existing standard we actually have some not half bad cats we can use:
Longtusk Cub can grow to unmanageable proportions with relative ease so long as we are able to jump start him to keep him above the curve for his first attack.
Scrounging Bandar may not really look much like a cat (though the ears are very Caracal/Serval in appearance to me), but he has the subtype and has perfectly reasonable stats. Bonus that he plays very nicely with the +1/+1 counters that Mimic dishes out so we can consolidate onto a single larger creature if we find that suits our game plan. Also if we move all but 1 counter we can reset the Bandar later with Guardian.

The Cub and the Bandar are servicable, but their size is still on the cusp of being aggressive enough to punch through. In order to push that over the top I think that Oath of Ajani is a perfect fit for this deck. It acts as a 3rd "lord" after the mimic and the Caracal, and being on the low end of the cmc spectrum helps ensure that we get to start our aggression early and hopefully snowball out of control. Also worth noting is that Felidar Guardian can blink the Oath to add another stack of +1/+1 counters to our glower.

From Amonkhet there are two cats in particular I think fit into the curve quite well and are powerful and synergistic enough to go in the main deck:
Sacred Cat provides us with a 1 drop lifelinker that LOVES power boosts. Oh yeah and we can cast it twice. Wicked.
Prowling Serpopard is just absurdly over the curve on its own. Make it bigger? Sure let's tango with gearhulks. Not really considered in this analysis, but a nice bonus is the text box of this nutty card. Let's just crush the hopes and dreams of every blue control player out there shall we?

But Amonkhet is not done there. It also gives us 2 potential sideboard felines:
Watchers of the Dead is a solid body with an easy mana cost that hates on graveyards. Easy sideboard slot.
Pouncing Cheetah I'm not sure if it would make the final cut in the 75, but it's still worth considering that Flash lets you surprise opponents who thought they may be safe.

Then there's the removal. I actually am just really interested in focusing on the new Amonkhet removal right now:
Cast Out is just a 4-of all day long. Sure it's up there on the curve, but that cycling for W is what puts this over the edge.
Dusk///Dawn is actually just absurd with our deck. I love a good 4 mana wrath and we're fast enough with the rest of our creatures that if there's a deck that's trying to stay under the Dusk half by having small creatures, we can both keep up with them and outclass them. Meanwhile, if we do need to wrath, sure with all our anthems we will probably lose some stuff too. But if we look at all of our base stats, there are very few that we can't just get back with the Dawn half. it's absolutely nuts and I really love the incidental synergy here.

I'm not going to worry too much about other removal for the time being because we've still got the rest of the set to spoil and I'm not nearly as enthralled about the rest of our removal options in g/w right now as I was for those 2 cards. I'm sure some of it's just shiny new card syndrome, but it's not like we don't have plenty to choose from later down the road.

Lastly I want to touch on card advantage.
For such a creature focused deck that's playing green, I LOVE Lifecrafter's Bestiary. Scry 1 every turn, yes please. Have an extra open green mana when we play another cheap creature, yeah, let's draw a card.
Looking back up to the top end of our curve, remember how we're playing Oath of Ajani? We can play the cat man himself too. The good one, Ajani Unyielding, of course. His Oath also conveniently lowers his casting cost down from 6 to a more reasonable 5 (not that 6 mana is absurd, but it's not nothing and there will often be a few turns difference between 5 lands and 6). +2 card advantage, -2 removal. Awesome. Ultimate...eh, whatever I wouldn't focus on it.

Still on the top end of our curve I'm gonna be a little silly and say I'd like to play a single Felidar Sovereign. I don't necessarily think we'll win many (if any) games from his 40 life condition, but it's actually not necessarily that big of a stretch and shouldn't be impossible. He's big and he has lifelink, Regal Caracal grants lifelink to ALL of our cats, Sacred Cat and has lifelink natively both times it comes out, and we have 3 anthems/lords to amp all this lifelink to kingdom come. But even beyond all that the sovereign is big (so good in combat), he's a cat (so gets all our buffs), and he plays both offense and defense (thanks vigilance). Seems like a fine way to cap off the curve with what we know right now.

I may have missed a few Amonkhet Cards that hadn't yet made it onto the mothership spoiler page yet. I seem to recall something about a cycling artifact removal spell that people are hyped on. Regardless, I eagerly await week 2 of Amonkhet spoilers and I really hope this turns out to be a deck decent enough I can at least not feel completely outclassed bringing to Game Day. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:27 pm 
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I was thinking about this deck too.

I wonder if it can be toolboxed with Traverse the Ulvenwald + Vessel of Nascency

Then you can play one-ofs like Ajani + Oath (oath is really only good if you have a bunch of guys), Sovereign, Heroic Intervention, Fumigate, Retreat to Kazandu (or some other grindy lifegain card), something that boosts energy for cub, and you can specialize your removal (Nature's Way maybe too blow out inducing)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:43 pm 
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That's an interesting thought. My concern with the Traverse/Vessel package is that if we play too many of those we no longer have sufficient creature density to make it a reasonable aggro deck and instead we move into midrange territory. At which point the small 2-drop cats plan becomes far worse.

Athough...for the delirium count we actually no longer need Vessel of Nascency because we can cycle Cast Out (and Scattered Groves).
If all you want to add is Traverse, that one slot might be doable without breaking the creature count too badly.

Note that Traverse can't find Heroic Intervention, Fumigate, or Retreat to Kazandu. I understand part of what you were thinking was that Vessel can dig really deep, but I've already voiced my thoughts on that. Personally I don't think you need a grindy lifegain card. The deck has so much inherent lifelink already.

I'd run Declaration in Stone long before I considered Nature's Way. It may have a cute (large) kitty on the art, but Standard is Standard. :/

New Cards Alert!


Do I replace the pokedex or Ajani?
Or do I split it...actually you know what, it's too early to talk numbers for the deck still.
Vizier of the Menagerie DEFINITELY deserves consideration. Card is bonkers!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:33 pm 
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The only cat related card that appears to have not been spoiled individually is Initiate's Companion and I don't think that's going to make the cut.
Initiate's Companion

Also there are totally enough nutter enchantments that I definitely want a couple copies of Felidar Cub in my sideboard.
Also, Manglehorn. It's not a cat and it only has 2 toughness, but it's cheap to cast, kills Heart of Kiran, and it stops Saheeli/Felidar Guardian dead in its tracks (until they remove it, which will hopefully be enough time for me to find a Cast Out to nab the stupid walker...or the cat if I've run the walker over by then).

Ok, time for a first crack at a decklist with actual numbers.

Creatures (26)
3 x Sacred Cat
3 x Longtusk Cub
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Scrounging Bandar
4 x Prowling Serpopard
3 x Felidar Guardian
1 x Vizier of the Menagerie
3 x Regal Caracal
1 x Felidar Sovereign

Non-Creatures (10)
2 x Oath of Ajani
3 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
3 x Cast Out
1 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Ajani Unyielding

Lands (24)
4 x Fortified Village
4 x Canopy Vista
4 x Scattered Groves
6 x Forest
5 x Plains
1 x Westvale Abbey

Sideboard (15)
3 x Watchers of the Dead
2 x Felidar Cub
3 x Manglehorn
1 x Cast Out
3 x Dusk // Dawn
3 x Gideon's Intervention
1 x Ajani Unyielding


I ended up not going above 24 lands because a)there's lots of cool toys to try out, b)my curve seems pretty fine as is.
Speaking of curve:

Creatures
1-3
2-11
3-4
4-4
5-3
6-1

Non-Creatures
1-0
2-2
3-3
4-4
5-0
6-1

Total
1-3
2-13
3-7
4-8
5-3
6-2

Not ideal in that I have more 4s than 3s, but I have enough 1s and 2s that I think it should smooth out alright (I hope).
Also, three of those 4s cycle for
Card Draw-5 + Dawn as recursion
Removal-5
Anthems-9

Not 100% on the Westvale Abbey, but I do play a lot of creatures and my mana base is otherwise gorgeous in terms of color fixing so I hope a single copy won't hurt too much. My biggest concern with adding the abbey is actually the fact that I'm dipping down a basic, lowering the likelihood that Canopy Vista will ETB untapped.

Thoughts?
Is there any different types of removal you think I should swap around?
Other creatures I should look at?
Anything you think I'm missing?
Something I'm overvaluing?

Thanks a million! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:27 am 
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Damn.
Cat got his fuzzy butt banned.

I mean...it's not like I didn't think it would happen or that the combo didn't deserve to be kicked out, but I really really wanted to use him to blink Regal Caracal...

Well, what's done is done and there's nothing I can do about it so there's no use whining about it.
How do we fill in the gaps?

I see two different ways I can go about doing this:
1)I can try to get a replacement blink effect, they do exist, just not on cats.
2)The deck is a little light on early game removal/tempo. That's probably something I should address.

As an aside, since I don't have to worry about cat combo anymore Gideon's Intervention is probably right out....I guess there's still a pair of gideons I could name that have big targets on them, but I dunno...
I also want to take a second look at whether or not I really want to keep manglehorn in my board. Not that I'm necessarily going to remove, just think I should explore my options since one of its two big targets is gone.

Replacement blink effects:
Eerie Interlude
Eldrazi Displacer <-this is also tech against embalm tokens, but I would have to modify my mana base. Aether Hub is probably an acceptable place to start. Geier Reach Sanitarium?
Vizier of Deferment <-is a combat trick and a body, but it's stats are not good for combat for its price
Wispweaver Angel <-expensive, but it does fly which my deck is weak to.
Long Road Home

Cheap Removal/Combat tricks:
Prepare // Fight is in my lifelink theme, but I doubt my creatures are big enough for fight to actually kill something nevermind being worth the mana cost
Stasis Snare instant speed exile
Blossoming Defense
Dazzling Reflection it's even cat themed! XD
Declaration in stone this would be my first guess at probably the strictly best removal card for this slot...gatherer may present me another option yet though.
Expose Evil how tempo do I want to get??? I know it works ok in Duels for a hyper aggressive deck, but that's not really the same thing as Standard and this deck isn't exactly hyper aggressive either...
Edifice of Authority limited allstar, could it make the jump to standard?
Pacification Array
Gideon's Reproach...doesn't exile though so it won't stop embalm or scrapheap scrounger. Also won't hit noncombatants
Heroic Intervention??
Immolating Glare doesn't exile and doesn't hit noncombatants
Nature's Way??



Other possibilities?
Always Watching my cats are juuuuust this side of being a little small to be combat viable. This would help that. I do already have Oath of Ajani, timing restricted though it may be, it is an entire mana cheaper already too.
Animation Module might be going too deep on the +1/+1 counter theme...
Glory-Bound Initiate efficient as all heck and it has lifegain
Gryff's Boon I remember this being nutty in weenie humans decks back in SOI standard. I'm also light on flying so...
Heart of Kiran well if you can't beat 'em...
Key to the City tempo and card selection...but at the cost of some mana each turn if you don't want to go down on cards...
Narnam Renegade deathtouch blocker...but does that really fit my deck? Do I need it?
Selfless Spirit
Walking Ballista?



I'm really just lost right now.
Any ideas?


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 11:52 am 
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I went with Eldrazi Displacer as my blink replacement. I'm also a huge fan of Stasis Snare.

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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:34 am 
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AzureShade wrote:
I went with Eldrazi Displacer as my blink replacement. I'm also a huge fan of Stasis Snare.

Ok, thank you very much.

I actually have an oddball suggestion I'd like to run by you:
Gisela, the Broken Blade

I know she's not a cat and she doesn't fit anywhere in the deck theme (unless you look at lifegain I guess), but my deck seems pretty weak to fliers.

At the moment I'm considering
Main Deck:
-3 Felidar Guardian
+2 Eldrazi Displacer
+1 Gisela, the Broken Blade

+4 Aether Hub
+1 Geier Reach Sanitarium
+2 Crumbling Vestige
-1 Forest
-2 Plains
-2 Canopy Vista
-1 Scattered Groves
-1 Westvale Abbey

Sideboard:
+3 Stasis Snare
-3 Gideon's Intervention

Those changes make the decklist look like this:

Creatures (26)
3 x Sacred Cat
3 x Longtusk Cub
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Scrounging Bandar
4 x Prowling Serpopard
2 x Eldrazi Displacer
1 x Gisela, the Broken Blade
1 x Vizier of the Menagerie
3 x Regal Caracal
1 x Felidar Sovereign

Non-Creatures (10)
2 x Oath of Ajani
3 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
3 x Cast Out
1 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Ajani Unyielding

Lands (24)
4 x Fortified Village
2 x Canopy Vista
3 x Scattered Groves
5 x Forest
3 x Plains
1 x Geier Reach Sanitarium
4 x Aether Hub
2 x Crumbling Vestige

Sideboard (15)
3 x Watchers of the Dead
2 x Felidar Cub
3 x Manglehorn
3 x Stasis Snare
1 x Cast Out
3 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Ajani Unyielding


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:13 am 
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I guess my question is; outside of maybe the new dragon, what creatures with flying worry you enough to want dedicated blockers over general removal? Is it the tokens from the new Nissa?

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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:36 pm 
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...I hadn't really considered particular threats I guess.

That said, Heart of Kiran is still a menace at the moment.
Isn't White/Blue spirits still a thing? Tier 2 admittedly, but cats feels Tier 3 if I'm lucky, so I'm ignoring Tiers.
Among the new stuff, while Gisela does jack against the dragon she could block an already dropped Angel of Sanctions.
Likewise Archangel Avacyn is definitely still a thing...just not a good matchup if Avacyn is coming down while Gisela is mid combat.
There's also Advanced Stitchwing and Stitchwing Skaab in blue/red zombie reanimator.

New Nissa (and planeswalkers in general) don't bother me because as low to the ground as I am I should be able to swarm them to death.
That said, new Nissa's flyers steamroll gisela anyway if they get into combat with eachother (unless gisela has acquired a +1/+1 counter)
Same is true of most of the rest of the relevant fliers in standard: Kefnet the Mindful, Mindwrack Demon, Ishkanah, Grafwidow, Skysovereign, Consul Flagship.

I just feel like flying is too broad a category across too many different strategies to just write off as, "I'll hit it with removal", because the moment they have a flier and you don't have removal on the spot it starts going downhill.
Maybe my lifelink is enough to keep that in check. I don't know.

I could take a larger flyer, but I was looking at gisela both for her size and for her spot on the curve. My 4-drop slot is light in the creature department.
That said I'm open to suggestions. Was just explaining my reasoning.

I do have another worry: In modifying my manabase to accommodate the activated ability of displacer am I making it too difficult to achive for Gisela, the Broken Blade, Stasis Snare, and Dusk // Dawn?
Perhaps I ought to even out the forests and plains a little more...
Then again I do still have 12 permanent white sources and 6 more temporary white sources...
maybe that's enough?

Thank you very much for your input, it really helps to have another perspective.


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 1:50 pm 
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On the one hand, you are playing Green, which has a wealth of options when it comes to dealing with flying creatures specifically:

Clip Wings
Heaven // Earth
Plummet
Stinging Shot (Which is also card draw!)
Take Down (Fun against 1 toughness spirits.)

I would say that the copies Manglehorn and Stasis Snare in your sideboard are already solid deterrents against both Heart of Kiran and Skysovereign. The Snares also do a solid job answering Kefnet the Mindful and Mindwrack Demon, as do your main deck copies of Cast Out. Small weenie swarms of flying creature like spirits might be an issue, but I think it can be workable if you are aggressive enough with your low-CMC mons.

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You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Ah. Your argument on swarms of weenie fliers vs my preexisting answers to single large threats does make me lean towards Heaven // Earth.
Thanks for talking through that.
Now to see if I have any Heaven // Earth...

So...
Main:
-1 Gisela, the Broken Blade
-1 Cast Out
-1 Forest
+2 Stasis Snare
+1 Plains

Side:
-2 Stasis Snare
-1 Watchers of the Dead
+2 Heaven // Earth
+1 Cast Out

It does bring me down to 25 creatures in the main, but...it might be worth it?


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:02 pm 
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Soooooo, New Perspectives is the real deal and the only ways I have to interact with it (in my colors) are graveyard removal and enchantment removal. Do I have enough??

Main:
2 x Cast Out

Side:
2 x Watchers of the Dead
2 x Felidar Cub
2 x Cast Out

Eh...8 cards might actually be enough.
But if I were to add more I think it would only be in the form of more Watchers and/or some Forsake the Worldly. Normally I'd like Forsake the worldly over both Felidar Cub and Manglehorn now that Saheeli/Guardian is out of the picture, but I have to keep in mind that I'm an aggro deck and don't want to dilute my creature base too much.

On a sort of related note: Traverse the Ulvenwald.
I am actually playing all 7 card types. Still gotta keep my creature base up, but being able to tutor for various silver bullets in each matchup is no joke.

Main:
Out:
1 x Sacred Cat
1 x Scattered Groves

In:
2 x Traverse the Ulvenwald

Side:
Out:
1 x Heaven // Earth
1 x Manglehorn
1 x Stasis Snare

In:
2 x Forsake the Worldly
1 x Watchers of the Dead
How does this look?:

Creatures (24)
2 x Sacred Cat
4 x Metallic Mimic
3 x Longtusk Cub
4 x Scrounging Bandar
2 x Eldrazi Displacer
4 x Prowling Serpopard
1 x Vizier of the Menagerie
3 x Regal Caracal
1 x Felidar Sovereign

Non-Creatures (13)
2 x Traverse the Ulvenwald
2 x Oath of Ajani
3 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
2 x Stasis Snare
2 x Cast Out
1 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Ajani Unyielding

Lands (23)
4 x Aether Hub
2 x Crumbling Vestige
2 x Canopy Vista
4 x Fortified Village
2 x Scattered Groves
1 x Geier Reach Sanitarium
4 x Forest
4 x Plains

Sideboard (15)
1 x Heaven // Earth
3 x Watchers of the Dead
2 x Felidar Cub
2 x Manglehorn
2 x Forsake the Worldly
2 x Cast Out
2 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Ajani Unyielding



Another thing that I'm looking at is if Oath of Ajani is still worth a slot in the deck.
It's a supplemental anthem and it some lost utility with the banning of Felidar Guardian so I can no longer blink it.
Meanwhile Declaration in Stone is a cheap removal spell that can wipe tokens (zombies are maybe a thing?? Not sure).


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:54 pm 
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Watchers of the Dead and Felidar Cub are your decks best bets against New Perspectives. Technically Cast Out will help as well, but you really need to lay the hurt to their combo by either blowing up New Perspectives or eliminating Weirding Wood early to slow down their mana generation. Watchers of the Dead can eat their graveyard after they cycle a lot, but by then it may be too late of they can generate enough mana to not care or draw multiple Shadow of the Grave and cast a second in response.

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:44 pm 
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shouldn't you just have 4xFelidar Cub in the board? That plus 4 Cast Out should basically make you immune to anything that relies on an enchantment.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:02 am 
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Thanks for the input you guys. I decided I wanted to test it out basically as is first, before I made too many more changes, so I took it to Standard Showdown this weekend using the most recent list I posted (except in the board I shuffled the numbers on some of the cards a little: Felidar Cub up to 3, Forsake the Worldly down to 1, Dusk // Dawn down to 1, and added a Fumigate). Deck is honestly not that bad.

Round 1 I got rolled by Mardu Vehicles, however a good part of that was due to color screw. I had too many colorless sources in the deck. Not saying I'd beat Mardu Vehicles once I fix that, but I think I'd put up more of a fight.

Round 2 was against what I believe was a New Perspectives deck (he intimated that it may just be a cycling synergy deck...I saw him point out an Archfiend of Ifnir in his deck after the match, but then again I wouldn't put it past this player just to be messing with me for giggles even if he really was a new perspectives deck) but game 1 he missed 2 land drops while I dropped an on curve Prowling Serpopard, causing him to scoop game 1 on turn 4. Game 2 he couldn't find the enchantment (or any other threats for that matter). He stalled and fogged and countered, but never found his end game pieces so I eventually ran him over without having to try to answer the namesake card. I was holding a Cast Out at all times, ready for it, though.

Round 3 was against a GB snake deck whose owner only had 1 verdurous gearhulk and never found it. Without Gearhulk my cats just got bigger than his stuff, even past Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Rishkar, Peema Renegade with snakes on the field. Also, MASSIVE amounts of lifelink just made racing me around about impossible.

Going 2-1 at the Standard Showdown made me feel pretty good about the deck. I'm under no illusion that 3 matches means anything statistically significant (at a free event no less), but the deck definitely has teeth (pun intended). Whether they are the needles of a frisky kitten or the steak knives of a smilodon remains to be seen.



So for fixing my mana base issues I cut the 2 Crumbling Vestiges and put in another basic of each. Adding those 2 basics made swapping out the Scattered Groves to complete the set of Canopy Vista too tempting to pass up.

As for spells I changed the sideboard around again: I changed the 3rd felidar cub back to a 2nd forsake the worldly, and changed the 3rd Watchers to a 3rd Manglehorn. Both changes were to be more effective against Mardu Vehicles.

I don't have enough reps in with the main deck to make me want to make changes there yet. I'm sure there are optimizations I could make, but I don't know what they are and it honestly runs pretty good as is.


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 1:18 am 
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Game Day report: Got rolled. Went 1-2
Bonus though: there were only 7 people playing Sunday so even my terrible record got me a promo dargon. :D

Round 1)Vs. GB Constrictor. He was just too big and too resilient for me. This was not the same opponent who I beat at the previous Standard Showdown, this deck was an updated full list netdecked from MTGO. Lost 0-2.

Round 2)Vs. Mardu Vehicles. Just did Mardu Vehicles. It was quick, it was evasive, it had removal, I pretty much didn't stand a chance. I did manage to steal game 2 though because he didn't have Heart of Kiran early.

Round 3)Vs. WB Tokens. The only match I won. Actually only managed to play one game. We both had TONS of lifegain and when he got his second Hidden Stockpile I had a bear of a time punching through his defenses. Eventually I amassed enough card advantage via Lifecrafter's Bestiary, and forced him to make enough blocks on my turn (where he wouldn't get his servos back from stockpile revolt triggers), and I managed to find one last removal spell for his Herald of Anguish (which had been gunning down my smaller cats) that I was finally able to finish him off. By the time all was said and done my opponent just didn't feel like playing another game since that one had gone for ~40 minutes.

Takeaways: Regal Caracal is how I turn the corner against most decks and I really should be playing the full set. I want to put some number of Scattered Groves back in to help enable delirium on my Traverse the Ulvenwalds.

I'm also thinking I might want a 24th land, but I'm not sure what to take out for it. I guess probably the intelligent cut is Felidar Sovereign, though I hate to lose my one big cat he's not exactly filling a crucial role in my deck since my 10 +1/+1 effects kinda make everything big(ish). It's possible that Eldrazi Displacer is both too cute and too mana intensive for my deck and that he's the one I should be cutting instead, but I haven't drawn him while I have a Caracal out and the potential for silliness is just too high for me to trim him without at least trying. Actually, you know what, scratch that. I will go down a Displacer because he is mana intensive and leaving him at 1 copy means he's still tutorable with Traverse for the circumstances where I do want him.

Oof, actually 9 ETB tapped lands is more than I want. Gonna shave an additional Canopy Vista for a basic Forest too.


I'm thinking.
Main:
-2 Canopy Vista
-1 Eldrazi Displacer
+2 Scattered Groves
+1 Forest

-1 Vizier of the Menagerie I never saw it and I never felt like I wanted it. Lifecrafter's Bestiary and Traverse the Ulvenwald (and my 1 of Geier Reach Sanitarium) provide me all the cardflow I need.
+1 Regal Caracal

Even with my poor results I'm pretty pleased with how the deck performs. I'm under no illusions that these upgrades would change the results of my matches, but I do enjoy making it as streamlined and effective as possible. :)

I wonder how AzureShade did with his cat deck this weekend?


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:20 am 
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I'll have reports typed up as soon as I get to work and am at a real computer instead of my iPod.

_________________
magicpablo666 wrote:
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in an thread with GM_Champion" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against AzureShade when card design is on the line!"


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:03 pm 
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HOU update:
Adorned Pouncer and Pride Sovereign seem to be shoe ins for me as 4-ofs for both.
On paper, what I should cut seems pretty straightforward however in my experience with the previous iteration of the deck I have an issue.

For the most part I like my first pass at my list here.
I'll get into my issue below it because I want to have context for it:

Creatures (24)
4 x Adorned Pouncer
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Scrounging Bandar
4 x Pride Sovereign
4 x Prowling Serpopard
4 x Regal Caracal

Non-Creatures (12)
1 x Traverse the Ulvenwald
2 x Oath of Ajani
3 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
2 x Stasis Snare
2 x Cast Out
1 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Ajani Unyielding

Lands (24)
2 x Endless Sands
2 x Scavenger Grounds
4 x Canopy Vista
4 x Fortified Village
4 x Scattered Groves
4 x Forest
4 x Plains

Sideboard (15)
1 x Heaven // Earth
2 x Sacred Cat
1 x Watchers of the Dead
1 x Declaration in Stone
1 x Felidar Cub
2 x Forsake the Worldly
2 x Manglehorn
1 x Stasis Snare
1 x Cast Out
2 x Fumigate
1 x Ajani Unyielding


Main Deck Stats
Creatures
1-0
2-12
3-8
4-0
5-4
6-0

Non-Creatures
1-1
2-2
3-5
4-3
5-0
6-1

Total
1-1
2-14
3-13
4-3
5-4
6-1

Ignoring MOST my sideboard for the moment because that will change once I get more time to mull over the full set and maybe once I see some gp results.

My issue is with Sacred Cat. You'll notice that this seemingly innocuous card is in my sideboard, moved from my main deck in the previous iteration. A 1/1 lifelinker is not terribly good on its own, though being able to recur itself is pretty useful. What makes it particularly good in my deck is two fold:
1)I have a LOT of pump effects, meaning that the sacred cat will often gain me more than the 2 life minimum of chumping and dieing twice.
2)Being a 1 drop in this deck allows me to get my fastest starts with so much of my creature base at 2 cmc. Not that starting on 2 is bad, but starting on 1 AND being able to gain some early life means I have enough of a buffer in the mid game that I can afford to stall out the board, maybe take a hit or two, and wait for a critical mass of creatures for me to strike with.

The problem is that the new card Adorned Pouncer fights for the same functionality early in the curve. Being 2 cmc is a big difference vice 1 as far as the curve of this deck goes because I have a fair bit of options at 2, but the pouncer is leaps and bounds better in the late game once you eternalize it. When I say the "same functionality" I mean that both the Pouncer and the Sacred Cat are fairly underwhelming with their base stats even at their cheap costs, but can become absolute monsters with just one or two +1+/1 boosts (particularly if you land them early enough).

What I would love to do is find some way to put Sacred Cat back in the main deck as a 4 of or at LEAST a 3 of. My first inclination is to cut Scrounging Bandar, but I need to be careful because that's one of the ways that I pump my cats. What's tipping me though is that I DO have 10 other pump effects, but 4 of them are at 5 cmc. I want to make sure I don't lose too much pump consistency. It's possible that 6 early is fine and I can just make the swap, but on the OTHER hand it's possible that between Regal Caracal and Pride Sovereign I have enough lifelink to still stabilize and may not need the faster starts the Sacred Cat enables.

One other aside I just thought of is possibly adding Always Watching to the deck now that I have Pride Sovereign for exert shenanigans. Admittedly vigilance isn't as useful with Exert on a tap ability vs how good it is on an attack trigger, but it's still fairly potent. It would possibly go in place of Oath of Ajani? Just gotta watch my curve, because glutting the 3 drop slot is not something I'm interested in.

Note to self: May wish to put Geier Reach Sanitarium back in the deck, but want to see how it fairs without it first.

I'd love to hear input on either what I've mentioned or anything else related to the deck.
Thanks so much!^_^


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:22 pm 
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I've spent some more time looking at the set, and in addition to the two cats I definitely want, I've identified some other potentially useful cards:

Angel of Condemnation It's a non-C requiring Eldrazi Displacer. Now I cut that card, but this has two other plus sides going for it: It flies and it can be removal. Not sure if that would be enough to make it, but I would be a fool to at least not consider it. Another thing I need to be aware of is that I also have Endless Sands so this effect may or may not be too redundant.
Crested Sunmare I have soooooooo many lifelinkers that this should make a massive army of horses, the question is if I can find room and if so, how many.
Dagger of the Worthy alternate pump option
Hashep Oasis land that pumps
Hour of Revelation board wipe that hits non-creatures too
Leave // Chance I can use Leave as a rescue effect, Not sure if worth a slot
Majestic Myriarch Powerful, but may be win more
Mirage Mirror can copy my best creatures and be immune to sorcery speed removal
Oketra's Last Mercy Ok so it's probably not worth it especially with as much lifegain as I already have
Overcome This may be a valid "I win" button
Rhonas's Last Stand cheap, efficient, but not real synergy and has a serious drawback
Solemnity sideboard card that might also hit my stuff, but considering how hard it hoses some decks, it may still be worth considering
Unconventional Tactics a recursive pump and evasion spell. I do have 4-8 zombie cats depending on how many Sacred Cats I play

Based on my previously mentioned inclinations and some thinking I've done on what I'd like to try from these cards here's an updated list I'd like to look at:

Creatures (27)
4 x Sacred Cat
4 x Adorned Pouncer
4 x Metallic Mimic
4 x Pride Sovereign
4 x Prowling Serpopard
1 x Angel of Condemnation
2 x Crested Sunmare
4 x Regal Caracal

Non-Creatures (9)
2 x Declaration in Stone
3 x Lifecrafter's Bestiary
2 x Cast Out
2 x Overcome

Lands (24)
4 x Canopy Vista
4 x Fortified Village
2 x Scattered Groves
2 x Hashep Oasis
1 x Scavenger Grounds
1 x Endless Sands
1 x Geier Reach Sanitarium
6 x Plains
3 x Forest

Sideboard (15)
1 x Heaven // Earth
1 x Watchers of the Dead
1 x Declaration in Stone
2 x Oath of Ajani
2 x Felidar Cub
1 x Forsake the Worldly
1 x Manglehorn
2 x Stasis Snare
1 x Cast Out
1 x Dusk // Dawn
1 x Fumigate
1 x Hour of Revelation


CMC
Creatures (27+8)
1-4+4 (embalm on sacred cat)
2-8
3-8
4-1
5-6+4 (eternalize on adorned pouncer)

NonCreatures (9)
1-0
2-2
3-3
4-2
5-2

Total (36+8)
1-4+4
2-10
3-11
4-3
5-8+4

Average spell cmc:
just spell cmc: 3.03
with embalm and eternalize: 3.02
with just embalm: 2.83 Remember that just because I can't activate eternalize doesn't mean I haven't gotten use out of the card yet. That said it's not like a 1/1 lifelinker is very impactful.

Color sources
White: 16
Green:15


My biggest issue with this deck is my cmc distribution. 8 cards is a lot to have a 5 cmc, nevermind the 4 eternalize costs of adorned pouncer.
Another concern I have is that I may have taken out too many of the cheap continuous pump effects. I did originally have Oath of Ajani in the main, but decided that my removal count needed to be shored up, so I put some Declaration in Stones in in place of the Oaths.
You'll note I took out Ajani completely. He was both cardflow and removal, but he's quite expensive so I felt like he was ok to maybe cut.
I took Traverse the Ulvenwald out completely because upon evaluating my card selection I determined that I just can't reasonably expect to get delirium online.


Edit: Upon further review, as much as I love the synergy with Crested Sunmare I don't want to still be building up my army at 5 mana with this deck. Now I could see it perhaps being useful in grindier matchups so the plan right now is to swap it to the sideboard and bring the Oath of Ajanis back into the main. That ups my pump count and drops my curve, both things I was concerned about earlier. Average cmc now 2.86, much better. Since I've dropped my curve, I can also consider swapping a Declaration in Stone out of the main for a Stasis Snare, putting the average cmc at 2.89, which is still fine and gives me a cheaper instant speed removal spell than cast out.

Actually...looking at my color split I think I want to swap another forest for a plains as white mana is crucial to my early game where green is more mid to late. Should I maybe even swap two forests? Eh...not sure, and I don't want to much up my chances for a T3 Serpopard too much either, but definitely shave one.

Going back to another iffy card, if I do end up getting rid of the Angel of Condemnation I'm thinking it would be for a...Nissa, Voice of Zendikar? Because honestly I forgot that card existed and it seems perfect for what my deck wants to do. Actually...I think I want another one too, swap it in for one of my Oaths since I don't have an expensive planeswalker to drop the cost on anymore seems reasonable to me. GG hurts, but I think I'll live. If it truly becomes a problem I can consider Rishkar, Peema Renegade in her place.

To keep the curve down and lessen my color weights, undo that Dec in Stone/Stasis Snare Swap I mentioned above. And actually with so much GG on turn 3 and getting rid of my only WWs before t5 I think I'll undo the Forest/Plains swap too. And with my desire to curve out I think I'm going to lose a Hashep Oasis for another basic forest to help my duals etb untapped more often, also I've added in some more pump now so losing an Oasis is a bit more acceptable as far as its activated ability is concerned. Average cmc back down to 2.86.

Don't know if I should cut the Angel entirely or put it in the sideboard...eh that's something that can be figured out later.

Edit 2: Longtusk Cub and Attune with Aether? The cub is relatively powerful if you can get it rolling, the problem is that I'd need some level of energy support to make it actually worth it. Something to kickstart the energy production. A 2/2 for 2 just isn't going to get through all that often. Attune would let me go down some on my land count and give me some energy for cub to play with, but it is counter to my white heavy casting cost start. Even then, is Attune enough? Energy is just such a parasitic mechanic/resource. I could add Aether Hubs, but if I did that I'd definitely go down deserts so that I'm not losing colored sources which means I'd be losing utility lands.

If I wanted to get cute I could try Decoction Module, but the usefulness of that card is just sooooo narrow. Primarily it would be an energy source because the reset/rescue ability costs so much and doesn't really have an effect outside of resetting a creature to get more Metallic Mimic counters or to give me more kittens from Regal Caracal. I think what it comes down to is that I have to temper the things I'm hearing about how good the cub is against the fact that they're referring to it in an energy shell which I just don't have here. I think I'd be giving up too much of my core by cutting things just to try to make the cub work. Not to mention I have no idea what I'd cut. So in the end I don't think I'm going to use cub or attune.

On to another subject. We do have a player who runs W/U flash/spirits so maybe I want to go up on Heaven // Earth? Doesn't stop Selfless Spirit, but then not much does. I'd love to play Sandwurm Convergence but that just isn't for this deck. No way, no how could I support that casting cost. Gryff's Boon and Stinging Shot are other reasonable options.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:35 pm 
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I had just been editing my post to update it, but now I've got a quandary I'd like input on.

Is Appeal // Authority worth a slot? I keep hearing hubbub about this card and i wonder if I've been overlooking it? Might it be better than Overcome? It's certainly cheaper to cast... I'm just so wary of single target pump spells in constructed where there are a myriad of instant speed spot removal spells to 2-for-1 me. Of course it's not truly a 2-for-1 because i still have the back half of my spell, but it still isn't a good place to be. I count at least 15 different relevant and good instant speed removal spells that cost 3 or less in the format.

At least the target for Appeal also counts itself in the pump...that doesn't help the "kill in response" stance, but it does wonders for the efficiency (as opposed to only counting other creatures you control), only needing 2 creatures out to get +2/+2. I hate that it's not an instant though. I mean, neither is overcome, but overcome will still have both pump and trample value if one creature is removed. On the other hand getting to pick 2 blockers to get rid of and granting the team vigilance with Authority does allow you to punch through a fair bit of damage while still having blockers for the crack back. Then again with enough damage there wouldn't be a crack back.

My curve with my current edits can accommodate the casting cost of Overcome so it's not an issue of being too much mana, it's more "what's a better finisher" or "what will give me enough aggression to close out the game."

Maybe does it go in the sideboard?

Thoughts?

For the record here's my current list with all my current edits:
Cat Deck


Edit: Wedge made a sweet video of a more aggressive version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64BPt4mGTtg
Tech I might consider borrowing:Collective Effort.
Not sure what I'd cut though, possibly that last Oath of Ajani.
More tech: Heroic Intervention
Reluctant Tech: Gideon, Ally of Zendikar Dumb card is dumb.


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