The "bolt the elf" rule

Discussions about the Modern format

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The "bolt the elf" rule

Postby Jack » Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:37 pm

Do you follow this in Modern? Do you apply it to all decks? This was gospel last Standard season, when we played 2-4 Pillar of Flame, mostly for fucking over green decks that kept greedy hands. In Modern, most decks will only have 4 Bolts as burn, and, unlike Pillar in Standard, it kills most things in the format. Bolting a turn 1 DRS on your main phase was usually a good play, but DRS is also a much better card late game than your average mana dork.

So, when your opponent plays a mana dork on their first turn and, when the turn passes to you, you have a Lightning Bolt in-hand, do you use it? Do you play bolt pretty much thoughtlessly, or do you consider if you should be advancing your own game plan first?


You're playing UR Tempo Twin with an opener of 3 lands, Pestermite, Snappy, Bolt and Spell Snare. They're on the play, and lead with Misty, crack it for
Overgrown Tomb, and drop a Noble Hierarch (typical Melira Pod play). They pass, you draw a Remand.

Do you bolt it?

Do you bolt it if, instead, you're on the play, drop a fetch turn 1, and don't have the bolt until the draw step of your second turn?
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Postby hamfactorial » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:01 am

Yes, definitely bolt it if you have it in your opener. You can't Spell Snare a T2 Birthing Pod, and you won't be able to Remand it, so delaying the acceleration is a good play.

If you don't draw the bolt until your 2nd turn on the play, still bolt the damn thing. If you're feeling silly, let them accelerate into a T2 Birthing Pod, then kill the dork in response, leaving them vulnerable to Pestermite into Twin shenanigans.

Everyone's scared of Pod, but a Birthing Pod by itself doesn't do a damn thing, and you can always Remand their Persist creature (Finks, Redcap) to really ruin their tempo.

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Postby Longtoe » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:17 am

It almost always depends on deck and hand for me. If you are a 'slower' deck like twin, control, etc. you always kill the dork. With an aggressive approach like Burn or even the new RDW it is much more debatable. Turn 1 GG is still my preferred play in format.
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Postby Mcdonalds » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:48 pm

Yes, pod with mana dork turn 2 vs pod without turn 2 dork is like night and day

Most of the time I've lost to pod so far has been due to that

Course thats like maybe ten games so far

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Postby BlakLanner » Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:03 am

The one phrase I utter more than any other in a Modern tournament is "Bolt(Blaze) the Bird". They are too dangerous to let live early.
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Postby LP, of the Fires » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:21 am

We should come up with examples of when you should deviate from this rule.

For instance, playing affinity, depending on my hand, in postboard games, I'll hold gutshot for kataki.
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Postby rcwraspy » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:39 am

It seems this rule is becoming more important with the new Jeskai Ascendancy deck making waves.

And by making waves I mean everybody is calling for its banning despite it only existing for 2 weeks and without any major events.
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