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 Post subject: "Counters"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:47 am 
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This new format starts tomorrow, I'm assuming you guys have played this before?. Everyone's just gonna run mermaids? Superfriends? Looks like it's just going to be mermaid mirror matches and whoever goes first or curves out better wins. Am I missing something or is this format not going to be nearly as fun as the last two?


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:57 am 
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what is the format again?

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Quote:
Counters

Bring a 60 card deck that loves counters! At the end of each turn, Planeswalkers you control get an additional loyalty counter and creatures you control with a +1/+1 counter on it get an additional +1/+1 counter. If you control no creatures with a +1/+1 counter on them and no planeswalkers, amass 1.


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:26 pm 
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DANG!!! that is sooo sweet for the freyalise contest!
I will take the decks for a spin on that thing :D

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:18 pm 
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Wow, that sounds hugely abusable.

Are there any planeswalkers other than Jace, Cunning Castaway that can threaten the ultimate the turn after they are played with this in effect?


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:10 pm 
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Banedon wrote:
Wow, that sounds hugely abusable.

Are there any planeswalkers other than Jace, Cunning Castaway that can threaten the ultimate the turn after they are played with this in effect?

Jace, Cunning Castaway + Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God + Oath of teferi = Your opponent exiles everything they have ever seen in the game and you control an army of nicol bolas dragon god tokens.

song of freyalise or Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter with some bodies could make this happen very quickly.

5 color jank sure but isn't this mode there to make crazy things happen?

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:14 am 
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What about an anti-meta deck? Full of shocks and Jaya's Greeting to remove creatures as they get targeted by +1/+1 counters. Vraska's Contempt and The Elderspell to take care of planeswalkers. Control the board till you drop your own black and red planeswalkers.


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:20 am 
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Not that anyone plays my decks but here's my deck. I tested it in "Play" and it went 4-0.

4 x Blink of an Eye
2 x Callous Dismissal
4 x Contentious Plan
1 x Disperse
4 x Pollenbright Druid
4 x Merfolk Skydiver
4 x Aven Eternal
4 x Sleep
2 x Eternal Skylord
3 x Biogenic Ooze
4 x Ugin's Conjurant
10 x Island
10 x Forest
3 x Breeding Pool
1 x Hinterland Harbor


I would add somemore dual lands but I don't have anymore wildcards. the 1 thing I'd like to do that just doesn't work without the Counters format is play Conjurant T1.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when the new format starts.

(edited to update the final decklist)


Last edited by sixty4half on Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:08 am 
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I don't think removal, especially damage based removal, will be that great; simply because the creatures will very quickly outgrow that removal.
Bounce effects will have quite some value, though.

Currently I'm considering two approaches:
a) Selesnya Tokens with enough ways to give your creatures a counter (either Ajani, Unbreakable Formation, Venerated Loxodon, Song of Freyalise, maybe Path of Discovery or Shalai)
b) Gruul Aggro with enough Riot to give your creatures the counters they need.

To be quite honest, I don't know which planeswalkers are the best for either approach. Does Selesnya Tokens need Yanggu? How good is Nissa? Do we even need Green in Selesnya?
Many, many questions await my deckbuilding answers.

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:33 am 
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My deck went a quick 3-0 already. First game, IDK what they were playing, some blue artifact something. with gearsmiths diamond mare and air elemental. Game 2 was something similar to my deck. They played a Pollenbrite T2 and a Conjurant T3 and a Simic +1/+1 counter Enchantment T4. I was on the go and was able to bounce the conjurant and Army token at key points. third game gave me problems. Golgari with Vraska planeswalkers. Vraska put a few +1/+1 tokens but I was able to bounce all but 1. his assassin tokens (he used 2 diff Vraskas) got blocked by Army tokens but my two Oozes got killed by the other Vraska. Luckily I drew into Pollenbrite, Aven Eternal, then Sleep for the final 8 damage.

In this format, this deck grows quickly. On the go it's almost to fast. Having Dismissal, Eternal or Proliferate to push my Army past their army token has been very helpful and might be key in some games. The bounce is perfect and sleep is an excellent finishing move for this format.

edit: Also, I'm going to swap out the 3 drakes for the 4th Merfolk Skydiver and 2 Eternal Skylords. reasons; the 4th skydiver should have always been there. the initial build should have been 4 of those and 3 pollenbrites at the least, but I like this change better as the more changes at a T2 creature the better. I never liked the Drake on T4. I'd rather be either bouncing 2 creatures, dropping more 2 drops to exploit the format, Contentious Plan or any combination of two of those. Drake w as always more of a T6 play and that might be t wo slow. Flying really became a theme and throwing that 5/5 Army token over the top should end games quicker

edit: game 4 doesn't count. all I did was play Skydiver on the play and they quit


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:38 am 
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G5 - Lost to Nissa Shaker and Ooze combos. He was on the Play.

G6 - Zombies with Jjanguu. I was on the Play. Pollenbrite T2, Skydiver T3, Conjurant T4, another Skydiverr and Contentious plan T5 caused a concede.

Also, after game 1 I decided a T1 Conjurant is bad. It robs you of your initial Army token. I can always play Conjurant T2, get the same amount of tokens on him at EoT and I have a 2/2 Army. The Army is hard to replace if you already have counters on something else. I really like the Dismissal and Eternals because of that.

G7 - An explore deck that was on the Play. He killed my first Skydiver, my T3 skydiver/Conjurant=1 stuck, T4 Contentious plan with Blink of an Eye mana open, Skydiver in for 4, he had some big butt crit that gained tokens when he explored and a newly explored weenie. T5 Sleep caused him to concede when he drew his next card.

G8 - Conceded on the mulligan

G9 - Teyo, Diamond Mare, an Iron Bully and something white that likes artifacts on the Play. Teyo blocks Sleep BTW. Not that it mattered. T2 Skydiver, T3 Conjurant, T4 he conceded before I could even Contentious Plan/Bounce. I had an Ooze and another land in hand for T5.... sad I didn't get to do it

G10 - Merfolk on the Play. He didn't get at +1/+1 counter on a merfolk till T4. I was stuck at 3 lands while he went very wide. A bunch of non-threatening 2/1s. While my Skydiver and 2 Conjurants continued to grow. He bounced my first skydiver and I was afraid he'd bounce again so I went ahead and played a conjurant for 1. The Army and conjurants kept his wide strategy at bay until he got a merfolk that made creatures with counters on them unblockable. had to bounce the merfolk and my Skydiver was able to race his Army token for the win. I drew another bounce the turn I won.

Not counting the concede during mulligan and the first game 4 the deck went 8-1 and I am the proud owner of a colored glass style Ugin.


Last edited by sixty4half on Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:49 am 
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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Went 10-3 using a tweaked Simic Mass Manipulation deck. These cards were impressive:

Benthic Biomancer - looting every turn is strong, especially by the late game when you're only looking for certain cards.
Entrancing Melody - everyone has creatures. At the very least you can steal their army token. This card was the most impressive of all and I'm confident it's one of the most powerful in the format. I had many games where opponent would work to get +1/+1 counters into play, and then I simply steal their creature and reap the benefits. Hell, it even steals Ugin's Conjurant for 2 mana.
Incubation Druid + Jiang Yanggu - more mana!!
Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter - the point being that you'll always have the army token, which will have a +1/+1 counter, which will be able to tap for mana from his passive, so he's also a ramp card.
Biogenic Ooze - be sure to order triggers such that Ooze triggers before the emblem.

These cards were meh:

Paradise Druid - it's just a 2/1 ramp creature.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World - the problem with this card is that by turn 3, a 3/3 vigilance is bad already. While normal decks run 4x, I suspect in this format the correct number is zero.

I lost one game to Esper planeswalkers, which was even playing Thought Erasure and Dovin's Veto. It was very impressive because those cards look unplayable. Of course they also happen to own my Mass Manipulations ... one of the other losses were due to being tempoed out (being on the play is a huge deal in this format), and the last was to a Mass Manipulation mirror where opponent drew more Mass Manipulations than me. To be fair though he was playing Hydroid Krasis while I wasn't (not sure if that's worth running in this format).

Points to note about this format:

- It's dominated by creatures. Planeswalkers also get the emblem effect, but importantly the opponent can attack your planeswalker much easier; they'll always have at least an army token.
- I don't think countermagic and hand disruption is playable in this format. It's too fast.
- Snowball effect is huge. Don't play anything that doesn't impact the board the turn it enters play.
- Don't bother playing around sweepers. They're too rare to bother.
- Don't just trade away your army token. If you're going to be able to play another creature with +1/+1 counters, you want to keep the token so you can keep buffing.
- Being on the play is a huge deal.

Some cards I played against which might have potential:

- Domri's Ambush seems like a good way to get going and kill one of your opponent's army token (or whatever) as well.
- Simic Ascendancy looks close to unbeatable if played early, and backed with enough explore creatures. Could be dead if drawn later though, although hopefully you have enough creatures that it's a 5-turn clock at most.
- Venerated Loxodon was one of the first things I thought about, but amazingly enough, it seems quite win-more (also outright loses the game if the opponent can cast Mass Manipulation).
- The explore package looks pretty good since everything lands with +1/+1 counters; however drawing lands off the explore is a huge drawback.

I already find the format pretty stale - good luck to those still playing it :)


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:58 am 
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Haven't had too much time to play yet, but I am 2-0 with an aggressive Boros deck.
Idea: Somehow get a counter on evasive or otherwise problematic creatures and go to town.

4 x Healer's Hawk
4 x Rustwing Falcon
4 x Goblin Banneret
4 x Gird for Battle
4 x Legion's Landing

4 x Adanto Vanguard
4 x Boros Challenger
4 x Swiftblade Vindicator

4 x Unbreakable Formation
4 x Venerated Loxodon

8 x Plains
4 x Mountain
4 x Sacred Foundry
4 x Clifftop Retreat

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:07 am 
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Modulo wrote:
Idea: Somehow get a counter on evasive or otherwise problematic creatures and go to town.

But why? Your deck has the same problem the decks in that article from mtgazone.com has. They all lay down a creature and then Try to do something that puts counters on it. Everything suggested in that article is to slow for this format except chamber sentry and benthic biomancer which I'm thinking of swap into into my deck above. You're all putting to much effort into it.

Just play creatures that ETB with +1/+1 counters on them and be done with it. Play a creature T2 T3 and maybe T4 and then swing for the win on T5.

Also, I think Mentor is bad in this format. You have to attack with unbuffed creatures on T3 at best. Beyond that it gets worse and worse, just a bunch of 1/1s and 3/1s attacking into 4/4s and better. Adapt would be better but only on certain cards, like the biomancer where it's getting a counter on curve, or, if played later in the game, it'll get Adapt on the same turn it comes out. You don't want a 1/1 that you have to wait till 3 or 4 mana to Adapt, by then you've sat with a do nothing 1/1 for to many turns, and you're wasting a turn trying to turn something into a threat when there's already 4/4s on the battlefield


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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:32 am 
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sixty4half wrote:
What about an anti-meta deck? Full of shocks and Jaya's Greeting to remove creatures as they get targeted by +1/+1 counters. Vraska's Contempt and The Elderspell to take care of planeswalkers. Control the board till you drop your own black and red planeswalkers.

I had the same thought and used my Azorius LD deck for the first two games. Fun games both time but eventually I lost both.
I then built a proliferate deck that did much better

3 x Nissa, Who Shakes the World
8 x Plains
4 x Grateful Apparition
8 x Forest
4 x Pollenbright Druid
2 x Huatli's Raptor
3 x Bloom Hulk
4 x Courage in Crisis
3 x Martyr for the Cause
3 x Dauntless Bodyguard
4 x Cleansing Nova
3 x Ajani, the Greathearted
3 x Arlinn, Voice of the Pack
4 x Sunpetal Grove
4 x Temple Garden

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:21 am 
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After a post by Cucho in the Discord I decided to update the deck a little.
This should do wonderfully. I'll keep track of my win/loss and report back. Still keeping Nova in for the moment as a "reset" but considering removing them for maybe... Titanic Brawl?
Also wondering if I should get rid of the checklands and put some more forests in for the Nissa ult/Sage deal. Getting rid of the Nova's for Brawl's could justify that.


3 x Nissa, Who Shakes the World
8 x Plains
4 x Grateful Apparition
8 x Forest
4 x Pollenbright Druid
2 x Huatli's Raptor
3 x Bloom Hulk
4 x Courage in Crisis
3 x Martyr for the Cause
4 x Evolution Sage
3 x Cleansing Nova
3 x Ajani, the Greathearted
3 x Arlinn, Voice of the Pack
4 x Sunpetal Grove
4 x Temple Garden

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:50 am 
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Made the move with Brawl and Nova.
Deck working as intended

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:11 am 
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sixty4half wrote:
Modulo wrote:
Idea: Somehow get a counter on evasive or otherwise problematic creatures and go to town.

But why? Your deck has the same problem the decks in that article from mtgazone.com has. They all lay down a creature and then Try to do something that puts counters on it. Everything suggested in that article is to slow for this format except chamber sentry and benthic biomancer which I'm thinking of swap into into my deck above. You're all putting to much effort into it.

Just play creatures that ETB with +1/+1 counters on them and be done with it. Play a creature T2 T3 and maybe T4 and then swing for the win on T5.

Also, I think Mentor is bad in this format. You have to attack with unbuffed creatures on T3 at best. Beyond that it gets worse and worse, just a bunch of 1/1s and 3/1s attacking into 4/4s and better. Adapt would be better but only on certain cards, like the biomancer where it's getting a counter on curve, or, if played later in the game, it'll get Adapt on the same turn it comes out. You don't want a 1/1 that you have to wait till 3 or 4 mana to Adapt, by then you've sat with a do nothing 1/1 for to many turns, and you're wasting a turn trying to turn something into a threat when there's already 4/4s on the battlefield



Because I felt like 1-drops which then could be abused with Venerated Loxodon would be great, and that very few deck would have actual outs to fliers.
However, I have since abandoned the deck for pretty much the reasons you stated; the additional counters didn't do too well.

Instead I have switched onto Simic. Not sure my build is ideal, but this is where I'm at:

4 x Benthic Biomancer
4 x Llanowar Elves
4 x Pelt Collector

4 x Growth-Chamber Guardian
4 x Incubation Druid
4 x Merfolk Skydiver
4 x Simic Ascendancy
4 x Chamber Sentry

4 x Jadelight Ranger
2 x Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter
2 x Hadana's Climb
2 x Hydroid Krasis

4 x Island
6 x Forest
4 x Breeding Pool
4 x Hinterland Harbor


Thoughts after playing my games:
-Simic Ascendancy is a decent alternate wincon if you manage to stall the board, but it is the slowest card in the deck by a landslide and it's terrible in multiples. Could see trimming them down to 3 or cutting them altogether.
-Pelt Collector has yet to prove its worth, but I feel like it definitely belongs here.
-Not sure if Jadelight Ranger should be Merfolk Branchwalker or if I should run both (and if so, what I should cut).
-18 lands seem like very few, but between Llanowar Elves, Incubation Druid and Jiang Yanggu I have not had mana problems thus far. That said, Hydroid Krasis might be stretching it (I don't hate it because it can definitely shut down many fliers, though).
-Funnily enough, Chamber Sentry is one of the cards I'm the least confident about. It's a decent 1- or 2-mana play (not a good turn-1-play though), it's flexible and Yanggu provides an out to return it if needed, but it definitely seems like one of the weaker cards.

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 Post subject: Re: "Counters"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:34 pm 
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Best thing about this event is the meta. People try out a lot of fun janky stuff. Got to a 6-0 start with my Merfolk deck before running into the fun police. 3 Kaya's Wrath's, a Lili and 2 Teferis later I had to scoop ;)
After that results were mixed - only 4-5 to end the event, but other players can be on the play and overrun you, too. That alone happened three times: Mono white featuring Grateful Apparition and 2x Unbreakable Formation, Selesnya with Ajani, the Greathearted and a mirror. You just don't win when the opponent curves out on the play.

Remaining two losses to 2x Liliana + Ritual of Soot (talk about topdecking skills) and the one and only loss on the play came to a clutch X=10 Finale of Glory made possible by some dorks and an early Nissa just as he was about to die on my turn.

Also no RDW at all :D

My deck:
Image
It's 5 Islands and Forests each. This only works in a Solitaire-meta ofc, but there it is quite great.

Haven't seen an approach that I'd deem stronger - Merfolk either outvalue or outrace you - and if all else fails Tempest Caller breaks your legs. Though the actual MVP is Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca of course, he saved two games for multiple turns at ~1 life before I could swing back for lethal.

Spoiler


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