Primer: Mardu Midrange

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Postby Lightning_Dolt » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:01 am


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Postby magicdownunder » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:08 am

In other news, I am toying with the deck in more aggresive direction. UB control is a nightmare and aggro is a coinflip.
Can't you just toss in more discard and sweepers for those MUs? You've mention that lots of your old SB we're bad last time. Hell online I think MD'ing two sweepers seems solid (you could even just use drown so at least it does something if your in a non-aggro MU).
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Postby Valdarith » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:23 am

In other news, I am toying with the deck in more aggresive direction. UB control is a nightmare and aggro is a coinflip.
Can't you just toss in more discard and sweepers for those MUs? You've mention that lots of your old SB we're bad last time. Hell online I think MD'ing two sweepers seems solid (you could even just use drown so at least it does something if your in a non-aggro MU).
Running sweepers in your 60 when Esper Dragons is the clear frontrunner in the format seems pretty bad, especially when said matchup is already poor.
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Postby Valdarith » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:24 am

I played the Chapin / Flores list this weekend and was not impressed.
I would appreciate elaboration here.
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Postby Lightning_Dolt » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:29 am

The deck was just awful for me. There were times I went Dragon Fodder into Raise the Alarm into Stoke and felt like a real boy, bout it turns out Butcher still dies to everything, Outpost Siege still gets countered and Green Midrange decks are still stronger. I lost to Abzan midrange ( Siege Rhino is still very good), Ojutai Bant (Dromoka's Command making Butcher fight Hornets nest did me) and Esper Dragons (If you can't crackle, SDD beats your entire deck). They play bile blight and drown in sorrow and virulent plague too.

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Postby LP, of the Fires » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:35 am

If you want to beat Esper, try adding any of these cards to your mardu deck:

Bloodsoaked Champion

Pitiless Horde

Secure the Wastes

Mardu Charm
You gotta understand, I love the beatdown. I really do. I always have.

Beatdown is hard, though.


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Postby magicdownunder » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:49 am

Running sweepers in your 60 when Esper Dragons is the clear frontrunner in the format seems pretty bad, especially when said matchup is already poor.
Gotcha, wow holy crap red aggro is ranked 4th in the (MODO) list - I was under the impression that red aggro was doing quite well from my PM @_@.
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Postby Lightning_Dolt » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:11 am

What about Risen Executioner?

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Postby LP, of the Fires » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:45 am

Executioner strikes me as more of a sideboard card, but also works. Just have to build with it in mind as it's clunky if you have too many creatures.
You gotta understand, I love the beatdown. I really do. I always have.

Beatdown is hard, though.


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Postby jsilv » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:03 am

Have you guys considered cheating and just jamming Ojutai w/ Havens? You can easily minimize either your white color commitments if you go light on creatures and commit to black + red removal + doom. Or if you go heavy on white, cut down the MD red to just Thunderbreak + Doom + Outpost Siege and sideboard cards. Buying back Thunderbreak and Ojutai gives you a real end game against control and takes advantage of just powering out lands via OS.

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Postby LP, of the Fires » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:52 am

That plan seems loose.

Against Esper, to beat there normal game plan and the OJutai BS they throw at you, it's important to get under them and then finish. Ojutai and Thunderbreak are both comparable to Stormbreath dragon against them and stormbreath is NOT good against esper. Regent's better any time it's targeted while ojutai's about the same. Ojutai doesn't cut it for me because the payoff for hitting isn't even that high in mardu. It's not like Esper where you put them in the full nelson as they're locked under your infinite hard counters.

I like the cards I mentioned cause they're all either cheap, hasty, and let you time your interaction. Mardu charm both kills ojutai and is a threat. Secure the wastes can be a bunch of dudes and makes them look silly after cruxing. Champion costs 1 mana and keeps on chugging. Pitiless horde is like brutal hordechief that can't be disdainful stroked at the cost of being vulenerable to all the 2 mana removal but is another great post wrath play.
You gotta understand, I love the beatdown. I really do. I always have.

Beatdown is hard, though.


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Postby jsilv » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:23 am

That's fair. I was mostly thinking about how Mardu has no scary threats against decks and that Haven helps the weakness of having no end game. Like the deck LP linked too has 2 OS and a few PW's. Just not a lot of gas there in the long game when Esper can still trade 1-for-1 and then Dig or Opportunity out of a hole. It also looks complete dogshit to Ojutai Bant or Abzan w/ Deathmists because the removal doesn't line up well vs. a recursion package. Also a note that a small number of Esper Dragons players are switching back to Ashiok, which helps a ton versus these types of decks. Far easier to protect, naturally resilient to non-Downfall removal, the creatures they steal can actually kill on their own, etc.

Basically Mardu felt like a place to be 1-2 weeks ago and a lot worse now because Anger of the Gods is mandatory vs. green and control players are starting to pack answers to the Mardu plan of 'murder your ojutai's and hope that my targeted 1-for-1's are better than yours'.

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Postby LP, of the Fires » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:38 am

Yeah, I agree with most all of that.
You gotta understand, I love the beatdown. I really do. I always have.

Beatdown is hard, though.


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Postby Lightning_Dolt » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:30 pm

Planeswalkers bro.

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Postby Pedrobear » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:39 pm

It also looks complete dogshit to Ojutai Bant or Abzan w/ Deathmists because the removal doesn't line up well vs. a recursion package.

What do you think about maindeck or heavy SB (4x) Anger of the Gods a key card there ?

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Postby Valdarith » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:10 pm

It also looks complete dogshit to Ojutai Bant or Abzan w/ Deathmists because the removal doesn't line up well vs. a recursion package.

What do you think about maindeck or heavy SB (4x) Anger of the Gods a key card there ?
2-3x Anger in the sideboard is definitely necessary now that Abzan Megamorph is a thing.
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Postby Jedi_Knight » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:01 pm

Yep, Anger beats other sweepers because of Abzan horseshit. I'll continue working on BR for this season since it is modern which I don't play. But since I have MTGO cards for Mardu, why not do that too.

But with Storm's Fury!

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Postby Jedi_Knight » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:04 pm

Also listened to the podcast and there is one thing I want to point out which I agree with: the gameplan of 7 Duresses is not where you want to be. I'll much rather play Bloodsoaked Champ since the fuckers will draw their CA engines sooner or later anyway.

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Postby Valdarith » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:08 pm

All the suggestions here seem at odds. Do we go aggro or do we go control? Can we play the control role as well as Abzan can? We don't get Den Protector, Rhino, or Abzan Charm but we do get Crackling Doom, Mardu Charm, and Chandra. Can Mardu Walkers win vs Esper Dragons if we just jam a bunch of walkers?
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Postby Jedi_Knight » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:14 pm

I think there are more than one deck to construct there. Chapin/Flores one warrants testing which I can only do on MTGO (and MDU's advice for sweepers main matters there) so I have to take Esper into serious consideration. Local meta on the other hand is Esper free. As far as I am concerned, this will be my "pet deck" until Magic Origins.

For interactions that BR lacks and Mardu offers: Soulfire into Anger is gamechanger against any aggro(ish) deck. Crackling Doom works just as well against Esper and better against everything else (except RDW variants hence the Soulfire Grandmaster). Mardu Charm is... I don't know how anyone can consider this the best card in their deck (as per the SCG video) but I am open to testing. Does not seem particularly useful against anything. Harder to cast Twin Bolt against RDW, worse HDF against midrange and "not-so-dead" card against control. Not sold. White offers SB material: Glare, Erase, Ram, Valorous Stance (maybe?), maybe Sorin, Elspeth.

Kolaghan is highly underrated. There was a part of the podcast where they debated on putting a 5 drop or a one of a card into the deck. Neither of them mentioned her. She can close games out of nowhere (with 3 tokens she represents 8 damage, with a Thunderbreak it's once again 8 damage). Problem here is that she evades only 1 piece of removal: Ultimate Price. Dead to everything else.

As far as playing the Control role I don't think Mardu can do that as well as other decks. We lack the card advantage, we lack the firepower. Our threats can be easily disposed. The aggresive/midrange approach works better imho. At least it should in theory since If we want to beat Esper we cannot reliably go against them in the long game: it may work for the time being when the players still makes stupid mistakes like BAM HERE IS OJUTAI DEAL WITH IT while we can just FTI or Doom him, but on that you can't count if ya plan on "winning" anything.

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Postby Jedi_Knight » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:55 pm

Ok, the pile I put together on MTGO. Baseline was the BR control (with me finding out I actually want to be proactive instead of waiting until T4 to drop my first threat).

[deck]Mardu[/deck]

Shit I don't like: Thoughtseizes main or SB? LS or DR or combination of both? How many Havens - 2, 1 or none? Dragonlord Kolaghan: maybe too cute? HDF - worth it to kill PWs or fuck them? Ultimate Price: is it useful against anything? Should Anger be main instead of Rabbles and Rabbles in SB? And what else to put in SB?

This is gonna be my starting point. Only one thing I am sure of: I want the one Cut. This card is just glorious, I love it.

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Postby Valdarith » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:27 am

As far as playing the Control role I don't think Mardu can do that as well as other decks. We lack the card advantage, we lack the firepower. Our threats can be easily disposed. The aggresive/midrange approach works better imho. At least it should in theory since If we want to beat Esper we cannot reliably go against them in the long game: it may work for the time being when the players still makes stupid mistakes like BAM HERE IS OJUTAI DEAL WITH IT while we can just FTI or Doom him, but on that you can't count if ya plan on "winning" anything.
Outpost Siege? Why not something similar to Ben Stark's RW list not too long ago? Dromoka's Command isn't nearly as scary since your other spells are so powerful thanks to the black splash.
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Postby Valdarith » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:11 am

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. I guess it isn't much different than what Chapin and Flores suggested, except it has a lower curve.

[deck]
Creatures (10)
4 Seeker of the Way
2 Soulfire Grand Master
4 Goblin Rabblemaster

Spells (26)
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Dragon Fodder
2 Valorous Stance
4 Crackling Doom
4 Mardu Charm
4 Stoke the Flames
4 Outpost Siege

Lands (24)
4 Nomad Outpost
1 Temple of Malice
2 Temple of Silence
3 Temple of Triumph
4 Bloodstained Mire
3 Battlefield Forge
2 Caves of Koilos
3 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Swamp

Sideboard (15)
1 Erase
1 Glare of Heresy
1 Surge of Righteousness
1 Valorous Stance
2 Self-Inflicted Wound
3 Anger of the Gods
3 Read the Bones
2 Chandra, Pyromaster
1 Murderous Cut
[/deck]
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Postby Jedi_Knight » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:10 pm

Outpost Siege is a thing. But the control list would need more than that for it is too slow against anything other than control. There is a difference when the curve tops at Outpost Siege and when it clashes with your Regents. I was actually rather impressed with what Sign in Blood can do... the one mana difference is serous business when you going only two colors (with maybe a light white splash).

From the limited testing on MTGO, the BR control list has problems against hyper aggro, UB Control and some shitty weird brews. The Esper matchup is I would say even. But Mardu offers the chance to shore matchups against both Aggro and Control either in your aggresive shell or the the more midrangy one.

Abzan Control is a fucking nightmare though. The Midrange decks in general are a pain in the ass.

Also, 4 Mardu Charm seems rather excessive. I would much rather go with Thoughtseize here but that depends on testing which matchup is worse.

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Postby Valdarith » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:44 pm

4 Doom, 4 Charm, 4 Stoke, and 2 Valorous Stance make midrange matchups a cakewalk.

That said, I am considering tweaking slightly for 2-3 Thoughtseize maindeck.

I want to test four Mardu Charm and work back from there. I keep hearing how good it is so I'd rather find out by testing the maximum possible number.
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Postby Valdarith » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:46 pm

As a reference, my meta is ridiculously green heavy, so keep that in mind when looking at my lists. I tend to bias them to crush those matchups.
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Postby Crims0n » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:24 am

no Sorin in the main or side? That card seems good right now with aggro and an emblem is game vs control.

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Postby Valdarith » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:39 am

I've thought about it but I'm not sure it's the correct way to attack the meta. My strategy is for Hero's Downfall to be poor against me in game one so that they side them out for cheaper removal, allowing me to next level them with Chandra out of the board. I'm just not sure there's enough room for Sorin too.

I tested against GRw Dragons today. Mardu Charm was fantastic, as was Soulfire Grand Master. The deck can get some pretty clunky draws though so I'm considering cutting a Fodder, a Valorous Stance, and a Mardu Charm for three Thoughtseize. It seems to be in a good position in this deck and my meta in general with all the Esper and green decks I expect at the PPTQ.
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Postby Jedi_Knight » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:44 am

I don't think Sorin is where you want to be. More of a "win more card". Valdarith's idea seems great: we all know how bad HDF is against tokens.

Also, BR Dragons player qualified for PT: http://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/ar ... 2015-04-25. His decklist is what I've toying with (moving Rabbles main) but what I don't like is Draconic Roar. The card is really underperforming against Esper: with the advent of whatever you call Michael Flores Dragons deck, that may change though. Also no card draw in the MB or SB other than 1 lonely OS seems weird. But he got there so whatever. :D

[deck=Daniel Ward's Black_Red Dragons – 3rd]
Creature (14)
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
4 Thunderbreak Regent
4 Stormbreath Dragon
2 Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury
Sorcery (5)
3 Thoughtseize
1 Anger of the Gods
1 Crux of Fate
Instant (15)
3 Foul-Tongue Invocation
3 Kolaghan's Command
3 Hero's Downfall
2 Bile Blight
4 Draconic Roar
Artifact (1)
1 Whip of Erebos
Land (25)
3 Bloodfell Caves
2 Haven of the Spirit Dragon
4 Bloodstained Mire
4 Temple of Malice
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
6 Mountain
5 Swamp
60 Cards
Sideboard (15)
1 Thoughtseize
3 Anger of the Gods
1 Crux of Fate
2 Duress
3 Self-Inflicted Wound
1 Virulent Plague
2 Outpost Siege
1 Dragonlord Kolaghan
1 Twin Bolt [/deck]
Card I think warrant either change in their number or another card in their place: MB Kolaghan's Command (3 seems excessive), Roar (well...), Whip (seem kinda cute); SB Dragonlord, Angers (4 total seems like overkill), Self-Inflicted Wound (never played that). Rest seems "ok"ish

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Postby Pedrobear » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:46 pm

Is Rending Volley a good SB card against everything playing Ojutai ? Or it is too narrow to be playable in Standard ?

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Postby Jedi_Knight » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:51 pm

Too narrow. Foul-Tongue kills him as well. HDF does too (in situation when RV would) and kills Ugin/Dragonlord Silumgar.

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Postby LP, of the Fires » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:51 pm

Best answer to Ojutai is self-inflicted wound as far as sideboard cards go.
You gotta understand, I love the beatdown. I really do. I always have.

Beatdown is hard, though.


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Postby Valdarith » Fri May 01, 2015 12:08 am

Best answer to Ojutai is self-inflicted wound as far as sideboard cards go.
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Postby Valdarith » Fri May 01, 2015 12:36 am

LP, any critique on my deck? Am I headed in the right direction considering how much Esper Dragons and Abzan decks I'm expecting? Note that I'm putting three Thoughtseize maindeck for one Fodder, one Stance, and one Charm.

I would love to play Jeskai Tokens but I just don't think it's the correct choice with as much Abzan as I'm expecting.

One critique I have of my Mardu deck is that it can't do a lot against a resolved Elspeth and has some issues against walkers in general. I wonder if I should be playing Butcher.
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Postby Jedi_Knight » Sun May 03, 2015 11:28 pm

Mardu Dragons in the finals of GP Toronto. His build is "kinda similar" to what I've been toying with on MTGO, biggest difference is 4 Seekers main where I tried spells in place of that. The thing is that the deck apparently can get results and will certainly gain some traction now. Soulfire into Anger against aggro is just absurd.

[deck]Edgar Magalhaes - Mardu Dragons[/deck]

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Re: Primer: Mardu Midrange

Postby Pedros » Tue May 05, 2015 6:36 am

This deck is really close to what I brought to GP Krakow.
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Re: Primer: Mardu Midrange

Postby Pedrobear » Tue May 05, 2015 8:40 am

I heard that Ben Stark played a Mardu Dragons deck on stream but couldn't find a list. Does someone have it ?

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Re: Primer: Mardu Midrange

Postby Jedi_Knight » Tue May 05, 2015 9:55 am

Nope, tried to find it too but tough luck. What he did say in quick questions was that he was playing Arashin Cleric SB which is pretty much a fine wall against RDW. SCG list (11th something place) I don't like since that is once again all over the place with Sorins into Wingmate Rocs and not enough red. :D Wondering about the Seeker main.

Also pretty much every other deck had Den Protector. Like... 25 by a quick count of possible 32. Meaning every green deck had at least 3. The only Exile effects we have as far as I know are Utter End (ugh...) and Anger. With the number of Abzan variations there will be a time when Anger is the right card to SB against them. Do we have something else? Like go full on Bile Blights? :D

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Re: Primer: Mardu Midrange

Postby Pedrobear » Tue May 05, 2015 10:09 am

http://st.reddit.com/r/spikes/comments/ ... rds_mardu/

I think this is what I'd be playing at Paris. This or Levy's last update.

But the Mardu looks like a great base to do something great.

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Jedi_Knight
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Re: Primer: Mardu Midrange

Postby Jedi_Knight » Wed May 06, 2015 8:36 pm

So with the dust settled, seems like we have the core made up. 10 Dragons, 4 Rabbles, 4 Roar (ugh ugh), 3x Thoughtseize, 25 lands. What differs is whether we are splashing white or not. I don't think there is any reason not to since we are giving what, Bile Blight maybe? There will be games when we will die to Haven variance more in Mardu than in Kolaghan/Rakdos colors, but they will happen either way.

For Mardu variant: 4x Doom, 2x Soulfire, 4x Seeker (not bad after few testing games)
For Kolaghan variant (this I hereby proclaim based on my testing): 3x HDF, 3x Invocation, 6 mix of BB, Anger, LS, Crux

Crackling Doom and Invocation fills the same role against Esper but what differs (and significantly) is where Invocation fails miserably: against Raptor bullshit due to these decks playing elves. Against aggro Invocation is not bad but what matters is the lifegain effect (basically the card reads: your opp sacs a 1/1 goblin and you gain 4 life). Once again all the more reason to go white with the incremental lifegain it offers (Seeker, Soulfire, SB cards).

I'll be going to last FNM with Kolaghan variant simply because I don't see a reason to not go white.

As for DR: this will be a meta call. I am actually starting to like BB less and less since I am finding I need to close the game as quickly as possible once the window opens and DR allows me that while BB only takes care of tokens (raptors can't deal with Dragons and you want to press the advantage). BB also terribly sucks against control and I mean in a fucking horrible way, card is just useless. DR can at least go to the dome if they tap Ojutai... sure, wishful thinking but hey! I just don't like going full throttle on DR.

Closing point though: 4 Anger is mandatory now in these decks. The raptor plague is everywhere on MTGO and RDW is basically the worst matchup aside from Abzan Control for Kolaghan variant (don't know about Mardu since I have less than 20 games of testing compared to 100+ with Kolaghan). You just have to have it.


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