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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:37 am 
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Greatly expanded the OP!

I'm off the Nullhide Ferox plan for now, especially since I've decided I was sideboarding too heavily. Boarding out all my Adanto Vanguards and Venerated Loxodons for example - yeah that nullifies my opponent's sideboard cards a lot, but my own proactive gameplan weakens drastically as well. If I keep my proactive gameplan though, there's less space to bring in Nullhide Ferox, and it's not like he is that good anyway. Not running Nullhide Ferox means I free up four slots for Lyra, Citywide Bust, etc.

The deck still treats me well and I have ~60-70% win rate with it, probably averaging 4-2 in competitive constructed with it :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:41 am 
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I just played against the Naya tokens list with Selesnya tokens. Game 1 was close. I stumbled on mana and he drew two Marches against one for me. Still he was on the back foot early (Selesnya tokens can operate quite well with just 2-3 lands!) and I was at 28 life when he finally played the first Heroic Reinforcements. I took most of the damage, attacked back to flip Legion's Landing, and would have stabilized behind an Ajani keeping my tokens bigger than his tokens. However he had Trostani the next turn and that was too much. I never drew Loxodon. I imagine it would've been a game-changer. He had Shanna this game which is immune to all my removal, but no matter how big it got, it could always be chumped with 1/1s.

Sideboard: I brought in Lyra, The Immortal Sun, Knight of Autumn (removes enchantments), and one Vivien Reid (also removes enchantments), taking out Legion's Landing as usual, and Adanto Vanguard (since it can't attack easily into 1/1s). I was debating whether to bring in Citywide Bust to kill the Shanna, but since it can be chumped, I decided not to. I also decided not to bring in Ixalan's Binding because it's ineffective against tokens and Shanna is immune. The major concern with this sideboard plan is that I have so many 5-mana cards.

Game 2 was not so close. On the play I curved out nicely into Trostani on turn 5. He was forced to Ixalan's Binding it, but I had Conclave Tribunal for the Binding and he folded.

For game 3 I decided the curve was too high and took out Vivien for Karn. I figured that I'd be able to chump block well to keep him in play.

Game 3 was also one-sided. He color screwed out of green mana and I overran him. He had Adanto Vanguard too - a card I took out because of its weakness in the mirror. He was extremely zealous to keep it in play (paid 8 life), not to mention extremely zealous about not chump blocking, such that when he finally drew Temple Garden he was already on 2 life. It seems like he went for the high-value play at the expense of life points all the time (too often?) and paid the price. Note to self, in games like these:

1) Check whether History is going off - if opponent's is going off, trade knights if possible; if yours is, save them!
2) Check how many convoke cards you have. If you're intending to convoke soon, avoid trades; otherwise, trade so your opponent can't convoke either.
3) Assess how many points each token is likely to be worth. For example if Adanto Vanguard attacks into a 1/1 and pays 4 life, that's like the 1/1 attacking for four damage. If that's unlikely on the board + you aren't intending to convoke + the life totals might matter, then you should absolutely block.
4) Check if you're close to an anthem. Your 1/1 for their 1/1 is not a good trade if you have Trostani in hand and might topdeck a land to play it next turn.
5) If your life total is getting dangerously low and you need to chump to survive, then assess how many points of damage chump blocking might save you. Blocking Adanto Vanguard is 3 points of life, but if you can block Venerated Loxodon on the next turn, that's 4 points. Of course, factor in also possible anthems removal etc.

I've had two consecutive 5-0's in traditional constructed. The deck's good :D


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:12 pm 
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I love this deck! Three consecutive 5-win streaks in traditional constructed, my win rate overall is probably >70%. Using this sideboard right now:

3 Knight of Autumn
2 Baffling End
2 Lyra Dawnbringer
2 Vivien Reid
1 Karn, Scion of Urza
1 The Immortal Sun
1 Citywide Bust
1 Plummet
2 Ixalan's Binding

It's possible Crushing Canopy > Plummet because the +1 mana doesn't matter often, but being able to kill enchantments means it's a viable sideboard card against Jeskai. On the other hand, I just had to cast History of Benalia @ 5 mana against a Drakes deck rocking Spell Pierce & Dive Down with 2 Ixalan's Binding in hand. If that Plummet were Crushing Canopy, he might be able to protect his way through.

Ironically, I have loads of control hate in the sideboard, but not too much to actually board out. Cards I want: 3 Knight of Autumn, 2 Vivien Reid, 1 Karn, 1 The Immortal Sun, 1 Crushing Canopy, 2 Ixalan's Binding. That's ten cards. On the other hand only the three Legion's Landing are easy cuts. I could take out 2 Trostani for curve reasons, but that's still only 5 cards ... beyond that it's boarding out Saproling Migrations & Venerated Loxodon which is never ideal. It's not like taking out all three Legion's Landing is too good either. A single copy of Legion's Landing can make 1/1s (play it the turn you attack with 3 creatures) that can help grind, too.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:11 am 
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Here's a writeup by Simon Nielsen that touches on Selesnya tokens for the World Magic Cup. He and his team arrived at a non-standard version that utilizes Song of Freyalise and Benalish Marshal. He also mentions Divine Visitation. http://www.mtgmintcard.com/articles/wri ... -magic-cup

Summary:

- Song of Freyalise results in some very impressive wins. (The counterpoint to this, not mentioned by Nielsen, is that it's high variance. When it's bad, it's really bad.)
- To power up Song, they ran Hunted Witness. As an additional payoff, they ran Benalish Marshal.
- Their conclusion is that this version of the deck is weaker against Jeskai and stronger in the mirror. (This is, in my opinion, not a good trade based purely on metagame share.)
- They weren't aware that standard tokens has a transformational sideboard plan involving Nullhide Ferox (This amazes me. Guess they should have read this thread! :D)
- They wound up not running Divine Visitation after all. It won games, but it also lost games, and after sideboard it's vulnerable to cards like Reclamation Sage. They actually didn't run The Immortal Sun for the same reason. (Weird, the only "Rec Sage" effect is Knight of Autumn, and the only important deck that has that is Selesnya tokens. In the mirror, I can't believe that not having an additional anthem is a good idea.)
- They didn't run Venerated Loxodon, which let them put Tocatli Honor Guard and more copies of Citywide Bust into their sideboard. They said Citywide Bust overperformed and they were using it in every matchup except the white ones (Eh? They really bring this in against monoblue and / or monored?)
- Probably the most interesting bit: they tried Huatli, Radiant Champion and it overperformed. The idea is that you can play her, +1, and immediately threaten the ultimate with only 3 creatures on the board. The mere threat of Huatli coming down forces sweepers.

I remain skeptical about Huatli because as I mentioned she seems like win-more. Okay, so the threat of Huatli coming down forces the opponent to sweep early, but then what? If you play Huatli after the opponent sweeps, she literally doesn't do anything. Comparatively, a card like Karn or Vivien would generate card advantage and be a much better threat. Ajani is less strong post-sweeper, but he could still conceivably bring back Emmara.

Maybe I will give her a try regardless (damn the mythic wildcard though ...).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:54 am 
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Well after something like 7 consecutive 5-win streaks in traditional constructed, I finally went 3-2. gg wp! Embarrassingly this run I lost one match to Boros aggro: game one he had perfect curve (Legion's Landing into Boros Challenger into History into Heroic Reinforcements on the play), game two I forgot about his Tocatli Honor Guard and stupidly played Knight of Autumn; if I'd just kept the Knight I'd probably have won. I was one turn away from winning but he drew Conclave Tribunal to remove my Lyra, too. The other loss was to Golgari; his draws were simply too fast (T1 Llanowar Elves both times), and he had Find//Finality as well. Still very happy with the deck, my win rate with this sideboard is probably >80% right now.

Worst matchups for the deck, at least the ones that terrify me the most, are those that rely on Enigma Drake / Crackling Drake / Niv Mizzet and runs Dive Down or Spell Pierce to protect them. These flyers are dangerous enough, and I can easily lose if any of them survives the turn (especially Niv Mizzet - I think my win rate against that card if it lives is close to 0%). However I only have so many pieces of removal, and trading 4 mana for 1 is just a recipe for losing. If anyone wants to know how to beat this deck, you know where to start looking :) I'd say Jeskai with 4x Niv Mizzet and Treasure Map to cast it is the single worst matchup.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:36 am 
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Huatli is also insanse with a stalled board and if you're running some fliers like Healer's Hawk. Just -1 her and you have a X/X flying lifelinker.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:59 am 
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Also, in-depth guide to the matchup vs. Golgari. I estimate this as about 50-50 overall, although either side can tilt the matchup if they want to.

Preboard it's mostly a matter of whether the Golgari deck finds Find//Finality; if they do they are favoured and if not they are disfavoured. Both sides will draw a lot of cards so even with only 3 copies the odds of Golgari finding Find//Finality is better than 50%; however a single Find//Finality is often not enough to stop the Selesnya deck. Golgari can adapt their mainboard to beat Selesnya by running Doom Whisperer; Selesnya can do likewise by using the Thorn Lieutenant + Ajani configuration which is marginally better than the Adanto Vanguard + Ajani configuration.

After sideboard, the matchup usually becomes worse because Golgari deck has more flexibility to adapt to the Selesnya deck if they desire (just add more sweepers to the sideboard). Selesnya has fewer targeted hate cards. Tocatli Honor Guard is huge, but the opportunity cost is also huge.

There're a few ways the game can end after sideboard.

1) One player gets overrun. This is more likely to happen to the Golgari player pre-board and more likely to happen to the Selesnya player post-board. That's because pre-board if the Golgari player doesn't have Wildgrowth Walker they are much worse equipped to deal with Adanto Vanguard, especially if it's buffed, so if they stumble they can easily be overrun. After sideboard the Selesnya player is probably boarding down on their Legion's Landing & Adanto Vanguards for more powerful threats; meanwhile the Golgari player is probably keeping in the explore package as well as Wildgrowth Walker, so the Golgari deck is more likely to do the overrunning and less likely to be overrun; besides they can gain life easier with Wildgrowth Walker.

That said, a player getting overrun happens fairly rarely, and one should never count on it happening. A corollary of this is that life totals don't really matter. Neither deck has reach. The matchup is won by the board, not by life totals.

2) If neither player gets overrun, then the ground tends to stall. In this case the side that is able to land an active planeswalker is favoured (The Immortal Sun is effectively a "planeswalker"). Both sides have ways to directly kill planeswalkers (Ixalan's Binding & Conclave Tribunal vs. Vraska's Contempt & Assassin's Trophy). This sounds like it favours the Selesnya deck because they have more planeswalker removal, but that's not actually the case because the planeswalker removal are enchantments, and Vivien / big Vraska can tick down to kill them, not to mention Thrashing Brontodon also answers them.

3) Another way to break the ground stall is to have a big flyer, in this case Doom Whisperer. The Selesnya deck cannot really bring in Lyra here, because she doesn't do anything if removed at once (comparatively Doom Whisperer can always surveil to the next threat: remember life totals don't really matter). If the Selesnya deck is running Shalai, that can conceivably win the game as well, but it's unlikely, because she's only 3 power and cards like Chupacabra & Vivien kill her.

4) Yet another way to break the ground stall is for the Golgari deck to draw a sweeper. By late-game the only really threatening sweeper is Find//Finality, and it's possible this will not fully sweep the Selesnya board. Since the attack the turn Find//Finality is cast is likely to be weak, this is really only backbreaking if multiple Find//Finality are played.

5) If neither player has a big flyer or planeswalker, then the Selesnya deck is favoured because they'll eventually draw the combo and win that way (March + Flourish). The Selesnya deck can often attack for over 30 damage via the combo even after blocks.

Aggregating all this, specific tips for the matchup are:

1) Don't be afraid to take damage. You are not likely to be overrun. Don't just trade off your History token for your opponent's 3/2 Merfolk Branchwalker without thinking; yes it's an "advantageous trade", but you might be able to buff your History token with Ajani / Trostani / Loxodon and make it more valuable than the Branchwalker. You can happily drop to 2 life and be fine (unless they have Doom Whisperer). In the same way, this is not a matchup where you want to trade Emmara for a 3/2 Branchwalker.
2) Don't use your premium removal on non-essential permanents. If you've followed the discussion above, the cards you want to use your Conclave Tribunal and Ixalan's Binding on are any planeswalker and Doom Whisperer. Rarely, if you've not drawn Baffling End and the opposing Wildgrowth Walker is really big, you can remove that too, but it's rare. Removing Midnight Reaper is a possibility, but also rare, and is only something to do if the opponent has enough creatures to force trades (i.e. you can't just take the damage). Barring exceptional circumstances, never, ever, use your premium removal on Jadelight Rangers or Merfolk Branchwalkers.
3) With Baffling End, save this for Wildgrowth Walker and Midnight Reaper. Thrashing Brontodon is also an OK target if you're holding Conclave Tribunal or Ixalan's Binding. Again, do not use this on the small explore creatures barring exceptional circumstances. They matter so rarely that you might as well save this for bigger fish.
4) If given the choice between playing Conclave Tribunal and Ixalan's Binding, try to use Ixalan's Binding on the planeswalkers who can remove enchantments, i.e. Vivien & Vraska Relic Seeker. This makes your later removal safer.
5) If given the option, trade for their Branchwalkers before their Jadelight Rangers, Chupacabras, etc, because they run recursion. Putting their weakest cards in the graveyard means Memorial and Findbroker can't bring back the more powerful ones.
6) Prioritize getting your creatures out of Find//Finality range. That means buff your 2/2 tokens before 1/1s (this also gets them out of range of Golden Demise), and if you have a Loxodon or Trostani on the board, buff those first.
7) The turn they reach 6 mana is a key turn. Start being aware of the possible Find//Finality when it happens.
8) The combo is a very real route to victory. Don't ever cast Flower unless you really need the land. An example of a fair time to cast Flower is, you have four mana but are holding Trostani. If you have four mana but are not holding any 5- or 6-mana cards, don't cast Flower. After I have six lands in play I can't imagine a situation where I cast Flower; similarly the only conceivable situation where I'd cast Flower at five mana is because I don't have a sixth land but am holding The Immortal Sun or have an active Shalai. In the same vein, if the ground is stalled and the tokens won't have much impact, don't cast March of the Multitudes unless you are ready to Flourish on the next turn. This prevents them from killing all the tokens with a sweeper before you're ready to combo.
9) Play your planeswalkers when you can safely protect them. For example if the board is already stalled, play Vivien before playing out more ground creatures (this also plays around sweepers). Play creatures before planeswalkers if the opponent can just attack to remove them on the ground; planeswalkers are too powerful win conditions to be throwing away like this. The only exception is if you need to remove a Doom Whisperer.
10) If you get the chance to ultimate a planeswalker, do it because both Ajani & Vivien ultimates guarantee an eventual win. Don't get greedy and try to e.g. tick Ajani to 8 loyalty before using the -7, because opponent can topdeck Vraska's Contempt or Assassin's Trophy.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:10 pm 
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Another article by a pro player about the deck! https://article.hareruyamtg.com/article/18333/?lang=en It's fascinating we're running virtually the same sideboard - only difference I have is +1 Karn -1 TIS, and +1 Crushing Canopy -1 Citywide Bust. Our sideboard plans are also different. I can see the rationale behind everything he's doing though, and will probably give his advice a try at some point. I know Mengucci writing for ChannelFireball said never to board out March of the Multitudes, but that does not agree with my experience; I'm kind of in the middle though since I would keep in at least 3 March against Jeskai simply because it's instant-speed.

Auunj wrote:
Huatli is also insanse with a stalled board and if you're running some fliers like Healer's Hawk. Just -1 her and you have a X/X flying lifelinker.


Unfortunately, nobody plays Healer's Hawk in Selesnya ... it's just too low-impact.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:09 am 
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First impressions of some Ravnica Allegiance cards in the Selesnya deck, going with white first:

Angelic Exaltation - probably not happening. 4-mana do-nothing is just very pricey to pay, and it's not like you'll always have a big board either. That said it'll be funny to see a 1/1 token attack as a 20/20 Marit Lage.

Civic Stalwart - also probably not happening. A one-shot anthem effect is likely to be good enough, even if the floor is a 4-mana 3/3. Compare Trostani & Venerated Loxodon.

Hero of Precinct One - inferior to Emmara.

Tithe Taker - possibly over Adanto Vanguard. Afterlife 1 is much weaker than Adanto Vanguard's indestructibility, but the tax on opposing instants should be significant.

Unbreakable Formation - this might replace a few cards. Cast with Addendum it's effectively Song of Freyalise's 3rd chapter, which is going to be very strong with a decent board since the attack is not just free, it means each lifelink token gains 2 life. Cast as an instant, it saves the team from wraths. I doubt it's a 4-of, but 2 copies is possible (with possibly more in the sideboard).

Will look at the green cards another time. I'm not particularly hopeful for Selesnya after the new set rolls around, though, and I'll probably be hiding in limited until the constructed meta shakes itself out before I commit wildcards.

Also: as a final farewell to GRN limited, I gotta say, I think in my last ~10+ traditional constructed runs, I think I've hit 5 wins ~8 times. Worst run was 3-2. I love this deck!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:22 pm 
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Here's an interesting idea for RNA Selesnya tokens. Instead of Saproling Migration & Adanto Vanguard, run Incubation Druid and Growth-Chamber Guardian. You have Venerated Loxodon & Ajani to put +1/+1 counters on them, plus you have ways to use the mana coming out of Incubation Druid.

I've not tried it yet. Losing Adanto Vanguard is very scary against control decks, but I've never been a fan of Saproling Migration (Thorn Lieutenant isn't that good either) so this is a genuine idea.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:15 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
Here's an interesting idea for RNA Selesnya tokens. Instead of Saproling Migration & Adanto Vanguard, run Incubation Druid and Growth-Chamber Guardian. You have Venerated Loxodon & Ajani to put +1/+1 counters on them, plus you have ways to use the mana coming out of Incubation Druid.

I've not tried it yet. Losing Adanto Vanguard is very scary against control decks, but I've never been a fan of Saproling Migration (Thorn Lieutenant isn't that good either) so this is a genuine idea.


I think those two cards will become staples in green.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:12 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
Here's an interesting idea for RNA Selesnya tokens. Instead of Saproling Migration & Adanto Vanguard, run Incubation Druid and Growth-Chamber Guardian. You have Venerated Loxodon & Ajani to put +1/+1 counters on them, plus you have ways to use the mana coming out of Incubation Druid.

I've not tried it yet. Losing Adanto Vanguard is very scary against control decks, but I've never been a fan of Saproling Migration (Thorn Lieutenant isn't that good either) so this is a genuine idea.


I play this deck. Bad vs sweepers. Otherwise it goes almost ok. Knight of Autumn autoinclude too


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:19 am 
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Selesnya tokens just won twitch rivals with an 8-0 record :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:46 am 
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Uhhh what the heck ... I couldn't find the maindeck / sideboard, but the 75 apparently is

4 x Flower // Flourish
3 x Legion's Landing

3 x Emmara, Soul of the Accord
3 x Baffling End
1 x Incubation Druid
3 x Adanto Vanguard
3 x Tithe Taker
3 x Kraul Harpooner
4 x Saproling Migration

4 x History of Benalia
2 x Unbreakable Formation
3 x Knight of Autumn

2 x Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants
4 x Conclave Tribunal

1 x Vivien Reid
4 x Venerated Loxodon
3 x Trostani Discordant

4 x March of the Multitudes

9 x Plains
4 x Forest
4 x Sunpetal Grove
4 x Temple Garden


I suppose monoblue is a good matchup for this (especially with 3x Kraul Harpooner), the control decks have shifted off Jeskai (i.e. no turn three sweepers) which makes the matchup less bad, and Izzet Drakes is now a much smaller part of the meta ... but I have no idea how this pile doesn't auto-lose to Wilderness Reclamation decks. which just shrug off the little interaction it presents. Not to mention Gates. While theorycrafting the Gates matchup it felt like Gates Ablaze is a massive problem even in the late-game, plus Gatebreaker Ram just wipes you out, but they only have a few threats so Ixalan's Binding does a lot of damage ... and this deck doesn't have any of that either. The matchup vs. Golgari / Sultai doesn't look good either. Last season it was around 50-50, and a lot hinged on whether they drew Find // Finality. This season they're not only still running Find // Finality, they have Hydroid Krasis, which as a flying threat is dangerous against Selesnya. This list doesn't have The Immortal Sun either, which makes me suspect the matchup is disfavoured.

A win's a win, but color me amazed.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:17 am 
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Main deck:

4 x Flower // Flourish
3 x Legion's Landing

3 x Emmara, Soul of the Accord
1 x Incubation Druid
3 x Tithe Taker
4 x Saproling Migration

4 x History of Benalia
2 x Unbreakable Formation

4 x Conclave Tribunal

4 x Venerated Loxodon
3 x Trostani Discordant

4 x March of the Multitudes

9 x Plains
4 x Forest
4 x Sunpetal Grove
4 x Temple Garden


Yeah. Amazed too. Took it to gold ranked, went a quick 5-1. Unbreakable saved my ass vs ablaze. Dunno how he won though. Maybe a good meta call.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:42 pm 
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Lol, come to think of it, with Nexus of Fate banned in BO1, this deck could be excellent there. Like, just look at it: theoretically the tough matchups would be Gates (okay), Nexus (banned), Drakes (less common now), Sultai (weaker in BO1) ...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:29 am 
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One Bant tokens deck made it to 7-3 in the Mythic Championship

Spoiler


Three made it to 6-4. Two ran this 75:

Spoiler


The last ran this:

Spoiler


Seems like the two Selesnya decks just accept that Simic Nexus is likely to be a bad matchup. Their only real way to beat the deck is the two Demystify in the sideboard as well as various sorcery-speed removal. I'm skeptical this will be fast enough since Selesnya (at least last season) tends to take some time to win. With the nut draw Selesnya can do something like T1 Legion's Landing, T2 attack for 1 + Emmara, T3 Saproling Migration + Venerated Loxodon, which still isn't enough to be lethal on turn 4, and there's always the chance that the Nexus deck has Root Snare. With a more realistic draw I'd say the fundamental turn is about 6-7. I don't know how often the Nexus deck fails to combo off by that time; knowing that it can just jam Wilderness Reclamation though should make it >50%. That said, every deck has bad matchups in this format, so maybe it works out.

Seeing Huatli over Ajani (!) makes me raise an eyebrow, especially main deck. Really weird choice. What if you fall behind? Ajani even got better because his -2 can bring back Tithe Taker. The other deck is outright not running planeswalkers, which also makes me raise an eyebrow. What if you run into Esper control? Growth Chamber Guardian certainly helps, but it's still a creature that dies to all sweepers.

The Bant deck looks the most interesting to me, not to mention has the most game against Nexus decks. Maybe that's why it went 7-3 while the others went 6-4.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:53 am 
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I love trying out token decks, so I played a bit in Bo3 with a comparable Bant token list. You basically just scoop vs RDW with Chainwhirler (might not be an issue if you dont meet it, but of course I did) and any nexus stuff (they start looping before you're done), so I put it away again for now since it did not feel powerful enough to me.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:14 am 
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Well last season at least monored was a good matchup especially after sideboard. Chainwhirler is great vs. you, but you have ways to get your X/1's out of range, and you can often take a 1-damage sweeper (a 2-damage sweeper, which kills History tokens + Emmara + singly-buffed tokens, is significantly more dangerous). They did get much stronger this season though. Nexus is a fail case I guess but it's banned in BO1. Did you try playing this deck in BO1? It's conceivable Selesnya tokens will be strong in BO1. I might try it out.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:16 am 
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No I just tried it in Bo3, because I mean, that's the real magic, right? :D


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