02/08/2012 BoaB: "The 'Crux of Modern"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Building on a Budget, which goes live Wednesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
where's the hydra from rize of the eldrazi with eight green mana symbols?
Yeah. That hydra would almost always be free in this deck.

Yo Modern, I heard you like Tarmogoyf (plays free 8/8 trample, giving Primalcrux +8/+8)
Feels to me like Leatherback Baloth and/or Dungrove Elder would be better fits than the current three-drops.  4/5>3/3 w/haste, at least to me.
nice seeing the deck win in unsideboarded game 1's...why not at least the whole match?  Or is subpar commentating on SCG Open's with Gerard 'I can't pronounce a card name right to save my life' Fabiano really taking up that much of your time?
I like fun, but competitive decks. So I might not play what is optimal but they have normally been tested to have a 2/3 winrate.
Wherever Khalni Hydra is, there's probably a reason why it wasn't mentioned.

Anyways, Primalcrux is a cool card, and decks based around it are cool. 
Known as Blitzer on most forums. Despite the username, I am male. Both sex AND gender.
Having no Khalni Hydra is a miss I think, but nonetheless a very interesting Modern deck here. I might actually try this out to see how Modern PTQ's look like from the inside, rather than from forum coverage.

Btw, I disagree with the above poster that says Leatherback Baloth is better here than Boggart Ram-Gang; Suppose they are played on turn 3; it takes until turn 6 (!) before the baloth has dealt more damage than the Ram-gang! The early pressure of a 3/3 haste seems absolutely worth it to me.
Having no Khalni Hydra is a miss I think, but nonetheless a very interesting Modern deck here. I might actually try this out to see how Modern PTQ's look like from the inside, rather than from forum coverage.

Btw, I disagree with the above poster that says Leatherback Baloth is better here than Boggart Ram-Gang; Suppose they are played on turn 3; it takes until turn 6 (!) before the baloth has dealt more damage than the Ram-gang! The early pressure of a 3/3 haste seems absolutely worth it to me.


I agree, but i think wither on the 3/3 makes it over the top
Good deck. Monogreen aggro: the most basic archetype of all, but it hasn't survived in the metagame, but recent cards may change that. Sounds like lots of fun. Speaking of removal that green lacked until recently, how Beast Within or Bramblecrush could go in the sideboard if someone doesn't have cards that are now in there.

I agree that Khalni Hydra looks like it would be good here, but what would you take out for it? The deck needs its mana acceleration and removal. The hydra wouldn't be free on the very early turns of the game, so you wouldn't want to replace Boggart Ram-Gang or Strangleroot Geist. And Cloudthresher and Deus of Calamity have utility that the Hydra doesn't. I'd put the Hydra in if I happened to have a few copies and couldn't find some of the fatties in this version of the deck, but it doesn't have much to offer this version.

Also, I like that Melira-persist combo deck. Made me think about undying. The only remotely possible options are Flayer of the Hatebound, Geralf's Mindcrusher and Geralf's Messenger, and anything that Mikaus the Unhallowed gives undying to, and all of them make the combo a lot more unwieldy than the Modern version. Still though, that might appear in Standard...
Am I the only one noticing the inherent weakness of this deck to DOJ/Wrath? He has no counter to it, even the hideaway has to have 10+ power on the field to work. If someone does wrath, it's game over.
Am I the only one noticing the inherent weakness of this deck to DOJ/Wrath? He has no counter to it, even the hideaway has to have 10+ power on the field to work. If someone does wrath, it's game over.

I think this deck is strong right now, because no one is playing board clearing spells. Most popular decks are resistant to them like Melira, Kitchen Finks, Squadron Hawk, and control decks.
OK, time to stop thinking only about standard then :p
I really like this deck! Green is possibly my least favourite Magic colour but this deck is very cool. I was thinking, since we're playing Modern, would including a singleton Call of the Wild be a bad idea? Also, I think maybe Leyline of Lifeforce could find a spot in the sideboard, no?

IMAGE(http://i1.minus.com/jbcBXM4z66fMtK.jpg)

192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Great article and an interesting deck. Your explanations on possible substitutes was good.

I still have the same problem that I've had since reading this column though... while it's nice and useful to see what pieces have to go together to get a win, it would also be VERY useful to see how the deck fails and where it falls down. As great as the deck might be, I'm sure that it didn't just go undefeated indefinitely. Show some of the losses too!
Am I the only one noticing the inherent weakness of this deck to DOJ/Wrath? He has no counter to it, even the hideaway has to have 10+ power on the field to work. If someone does wrath, it's game over.



It's the same as with most other creature decks.  Don't over-commit on your creatures.  Any creature deck that plays out all of it's creatures is bound to lose against decks packing mass removal.  Mass removal is what keeps creature decks in check.  The trick is to play out as many creatures as you need.  In fact, some of the creatures are strong enough that you only NEED one or two on the field at a time to kill the opponent.  Primalcrux may get stronger with more creatures on your side but a 6/6 trampler isn't bad in most cases.  Also, Strangleroot Geist will survive WoG and become even stronger in the process.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
I like the ideas in this deck, but as mentioned earlier, it is a disservice to the readers to post game one results only.    Why not play in a DE and post your results?   Or at least play in 2-mans.
Ugh. Yeah, reason I'm overthinking is because I've been playing a Kuldotha Rebirth deck exclusively lately, although I've finally (almost) got the cards for a better deck. It gets blown out by board wipes, since the plan is "Dump the hand, cross the fingers."
Having played a Crux deck while it was in Standard, I can definitely agree with the build presented in the article as a fundamental, viable one. Running "must answer" cards means that the Prux becomes one of just a host of Very Bad Things (TM) which may be used to put your opponent on the defensive. Finks and Ram-Gang help push this into inevitability, because unlike many other concentrated-Green-costed critters, the bonuses these guys provide are extremely powerful and do not necessarily promote chumping. I ran a Wilt-Leaf package in my version, but see that the Ram-Gang is superior on speed concerns alone, while wither is a nice bonus, also preventing Finks recursion when Melira isn't out. For the most part, however, the deck basically rotated into an Oversould/Crux deck, because at the time, both were equally powerful creatures that required Path as an answer, although the growth potential on the Crux often meant it had to be taken out first; Oversoul was just inevitability.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Having never played Modern (outside of a Goblin deck that is basically the deck I had pre-rotation so I could use Bushwhacker and Guide again, and only playing 1 person at my LGS, lol), I decided the deck looked cheap enough to build and fun enough to play. Unfortunately I didn't have the dismembers on MTGO, but as a Standard player, I didn't feel too bad dropping $10 on a playset of them. The rest of the deck cost MAYBE 10 tickets, which was a big plus. I'm still -1 on one of the Deus of Calamity's (currently subbing a single Bellowing Tanglewurm to keep the curve). I also don't have access to Strangleroot Geist yet, so I'm running Garruk's Companion as a sub (since it keeps the GG casting cost, and essentially is the second version of Geist anyway).

Well, I just played my first match with the deck, and man was it fun to play. There are a couple of issues (which I'll hit later), but this deck is very capable of suprise players, which is awesome from green. I can recall having Primalcrux out, and my opponent tried to swing with a group of creatures, to which I flashed in a Cloudthresher for an extra big blocker, and a pump to my Crux. It was such a fun play.

The main thing I'm not sure about is land count. With only 21 lands, in a deck that casts so many large creatures, it is very succeptible to not only sweepers, but spot removal. Keeping a land light hand because you have a Llanowar Elf and an Arbor Elf, turns spot removal into Stone Rain and spot removal. My suggestion, and what I'll be doing, is dropping 1-2 of the bigger creatures (1 of which will be the Deus I'm already missing, and maybe a Cloudthresher), and running 23-24 lands.

Otherwise, great column, and a great BUDGET friendly deck that could get me into Modern
Probably very vulnerable to decks with DoJ or faster combo decks like exarch/twin.  But otherwise seems cool.
I'm a little disappointed by this. I hope no one gets tricked into playing this deck at a PTQ hoping it will be in any way viable. You literally can't win the combo matchups, which are a very significant portion of the competitive modern metagame, possibly even the majority on a given week. Even a below-average draw from a storm or twin deck can beat the fastest draw this deck produces. You might have some game against bad twin players if you have a dismember and they play into it, but against a real opponent who is awake that should basically never work (approximately a third of the typical twin deck is dedicated to beating instant speed removal). In order for this deck to ever beat storm (or any of the other similar "all in" combo decks, like Hivemind) the storm would have to mulligan to a terrible 5 or something equally bad. If you want a budget deck that at least gives you an outside shot, just build burn. It costs about as much as this deck and can actually race combo decks a reasonable portion of the time.
Having no Khalni Hydra is a miss I think, but nonetheless a very interesting Modern deck here. I might actually try this out to see how Modern PTQ's look like from the inside, rather than from forum coverage.

Btw, I disagree with the above poster that says Leatherback Baloth is better here than Boggart Ram-Gang; Suppose they are played on turn 3; it takes until turn 6 (!) before the baloth has dealt more damage than the Ram-gang! The early pressure of a 3/3 haste seems absolutely worth it to me.



The Wither ability also makes it really great. Haste gives it early pressure, and the Wither allows it to chump block a big creature and significantly weaken it. Plus, Kitchen Finks stays dead.

As for Khalni Hydra, I think it is excluded for two reasons. First, I can't see what would be worth cutting to throw it in. Taking away any early drop could fatally slow the deck. Taking away a late drop could fatally weaken the late game. Second, An 8/8 Trample isn't really needed. It doesn't help the deck at all.

MaRo: One of the classic R&D stories happened during a Scars of Mirrodin draft. Erik Lauer was sitting to my right (meaning that he passed to me in the first and third packs). At the end of the draft, Erik was upset because I was in his colors (black-green).

He said, "Didn't you see the signals? I went into black-green in pack one."

I replied, "Didn't you see my signals? I started drafting infect six drafts ago." ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************MaRo: During a playtest, I played a Reaper from the Abyss. I attacked each turn, while my opponent would chump block (he had a lot of fliers), and then I killed a second creature. This happened until he had only one creature left. I attack, he blocked, and then the following dialogue occurred:

Him: Kill your demon. Me: What? Him: My guy died so you have to kill a creature.

Me: Yeah, but why would a demon kill himself?

Him: I don't know. He's depressed there's no one left to kill.

Me: That doesn't make any sense. Him: I don't care. It's what the card says. I then take out my pen, and wrote "non-Demon" on it.

Him: You can't do that.

Me: I redesigned him while the effect was on the stack.

I'd go with burn, too. A playset of lightning bolts and fireballs are cheap and dealing a faceful of burn might win the game on it's own. If you want one-drop threats, Scuzzback Scrapper is from Shadowmoor like the Ram Gang and is a 1/1 with wither. Breath of Darigaaz or Volcanic Fallout might be good, too, but both deal damage to you. If the mono red route is chosen, Voracious Dragon is a good choice for 5 mana. It can eat your goblins, dealing damage to opponent equal to the number it eats AND gets +1/+1 per goblin sacked.

Mono red lacks the plethora of mana ramp options of green, but D0ES have some available.

my list that might be better:

25 mountains
4 Scuzzback Scrapper
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Boggart Ram Gang
4 Goblin Chieftain
1 Taurean Mauler
3 Voracious Dragon
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Fireball
3  Volcanic Fallout
2 Breath of Darigaaz
2 Seething Song

Pyroclasm is cheaper than either Breath of Darigaaz or Volcanic Fallout, but both deal damage to the opponent, which is why they get the nod over it; Fallout can't be countered.  The only rares are the Ram Gangs, the Chieftains and the Taurean Mauler.
Breath of Darigaaz isn't Modern legal.
Having played against this deck a few times in the tournament practice room I think it needs Dungrove Eldar and Vengevine, Dungrove has shroud (I know I know it's hexproof same difference) which is really relevent as some decks can 1 for 1 the deck all day (Especially with snap caster recuring stuff like doom blade go for the throat etc).  In the late game the deck basically just plays 1 creature a turn and top decks very badly.

Vengevine would give it some inevitability and would actually make all those top decked turn 6 arbor elves and treespeakers do something.

If the deck does become popular I will probably add deathmark to the board again (took it out when zoo stopped being played)

So I just want to say that these cards were easy to aquire yesterday (WED) on MTGO.  I hope JVL realizes he has singlehandedly made primalcrux go from about .75 on most bots to 2 and Deus to go from 1.80 on most bots to 4! I was putting the deck together yesterday and put off getting the Primalcrux and Deus and now I'm kickin myself... Someday maybe I will have this much power! :o) Great deck JVL!
I built this deck for 18 tix last night on Magic Online. It was well worth it and very fun to play. I love the Hideaway lands.

The only thing I had trouble with was the angel that stops you from casting a certain color spell. Green in this case.
That being said I now have  question.
If you play hideaway and exiled a Deus can you still cast it chosing the red mana option even though you dont pay the mana? All you're doing is paying the 1 and tapping hideaway. Or does it still count as a green spell?

I was one total creature power off last night to to test this.

Thanks
The color(s) of a card are determined by its mana cost as printed on the card*, not by what mana you actually use to play it, so even if you pay only red mana for a card with G/R hybrid mana it's still both green and red.  Similarly, even if you have a way to play it without paying its mana cost at all (such as a hideaway land) it's still both green and red, so Iona still says no.

On the other hand, Iona only stops you from *casting* spells of the named color, so if you found a way to put the Deus into play without actually casting it that would get around Iona's ability.  Through the Breach, for example, would let you put a Deus into play even if Iona named green.  (I'm not actually recommending this as a strategy, just trying to explain the rules.)


*Except for certain oddities like a transformed Garruk, which has the color dot indicating that he's G/B despite having no mana cost, or spells that change colors, or...but none of that applies here.
Cool ty for clearing that up