MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

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Darth Xentus
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MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

Postby Darth Xentus » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:41 pm

So in my online play, my token spam deck is taking a forced hiatus due to my friends getting bored by getting swamped by a hoard of creatures. Similarly, I have enacted a similar hiatus on my friend's eldrazi deck. So right now, we're both not learning anything and are back to making our cheesy decks.

With the release of Ahmonket and Hour of Devastation, there is a lot of play with -1/-1 counters. Bit dangerous outside of standard, but I've stumbled across an old strategy of Quilspike and Devoted Druid. Druid taps for mana, then untaps by putting a -1/-1 counter on herself, then Quill eats both mana and counter to give itself +3/+3 until end of turn with no limit. Generate, eat, generate, eat, repeat ad-nausium. Usually this just lets you get a single powerful creature with no flying, vigilance, or anything. However, with the release of cards like "Haptra Vizier of Poisons", "Obelisk Spider", and "Nest of Scarabs" whose effects proc when a -1/-1 counter gets played, it can make for an interesting time.

So, below is my attempt at making such a deck. Current weaknesses seem to be boardwipers and blue counters. So I've been thinking a 3rd color is in order. Let me know what you all think? As in other threads I've posted, no worries about card prices. This is all online only. I'm looking to adhere to the Modern format.

Main
Creatures: 30
4x Quillspike
4x Devoted Druid
4x Festering Mummy
3x Ammit Eternal
4x Channeler Initiate
4x Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
4x Obelisk Spider
3x Skinrender

NonCreatures: 11
1x Throne of the God-Pharaoh
2x Golgari Charm
4x Abrupt Decay
4x Rite of Consumption

Land: 19
4x Forest
8x Swamp
4x Verdant Catacombs
3x Overgrown Tomb


Maybeboard
Necroskitter
Plague Belcher
Nest of Scarabs
Decimator Beetle
Hero's Downfall

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tombombodil
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Re: MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

Postby tombombodil » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:57 pm

Ok, not sure if I've ever helped you out with a deck before, but here are the questions I always ask at the start.

1. How competitive do you want the deck to be on a scale of
[Kitchen Table Magic with Friends]
-->[Friday Night Magic with competent players]
-->[Competetive REL Tournaments like Grand Prix and PPTQs]

2. Are there any cards you are truly married to and want to avoid cutting under any circumstance?

3. What's your budget?
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Darth Xentus
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Re: MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

Postby Darth Xentus » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:43 pm

tombombodil wrote:Ok, not sure if I've ever helped you out with a deck before,


You have, actually. At least 2 other times. one was a Flamshawdow Conjuring idea that took out the flameshadow Counjuring, the other was a GW token spam deck.

anywho, to answer your questions; 1) Technically kitchen table level as this is online with friends who don't get much play time in otherwise, though I enjoy trying my hand at higher competitive levels, if only to see what the result would be.

2) No single card per se, though I do want to keep to the Quill/Druid engine if possible. Throne of the God Pharaoh is in there for funsies. I like it, but will likely remove it anyway later on.

3) Per my OP, this is all online, so no budget constraint.

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Re: MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

Postby tombombodil » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:13 pm

I thought I'd worked with you before :mrgreen:


Well I made a lite first-pass at making it as competitive as I can without just turning it into a BG Tarmagoyf/Liliana Deck and trying to keep to the -1/-1 counter theme. In that context the deck looks like it wants to be a grindy control deck with Quilspike Combo as a win condition, so I trimmed back the creatures for more robust disruption and removal and added some very powerful old-school -1/-1 counter snygery cards.

It doesn't *need* red, but it's so easy to splash in modern that I did, for Puncture Blast and The Scarab God

3 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Fatal Push
3 Puncture Blast
2 Blowfly Infestation
2 Crumbling Ashes
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Splendid Agony
1 Maelstrom Pulse

4 Quillspike
4 Devoted Druid
3 Channeler Initiate
3 Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons
3 Obelisk Spider
2 Necroskitter
2 The Scarab God

4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Wooded Foothills
3 Overgrown Tomb
2 Bloodcrypt
3 Woodland Cemetary
3 Forest
2 Swamp

If I wanted to make it stronger but less thematic I'd cut Puncture Blast, Blowfly Infestation, Crumbling Ashes, and Splendid Agony for Lightning Bolt(4), Liliana of the Veil(3), Inquisition(+1), and Abrupt Decay(+1).

If I wanted to make this list weaker but more thematic, I'd cut Fatal Push and Inquisition for less efficient "cuter" cards with -1/-1 synergy. Maybe Kulrath Knight, or Murderous Redcap, or Midnight Banshee, or maybe, conversely, Heartmender or Kitchen Finx. Actually there's a decent argument for putting Redcap in the above list. Probably over some mix of Crumbling Ashes, Obelisk Spider, and Splendid Agony.

Card that were cut were cut either becaues they were too inefficient, to conditional/low impact, or in order to add comprable cards that increased the deck's synergy.

The deck almost looks like it wants 21/22 land, but having Druid and Channeler makes it less of an issue. It's also possible the deck could use something like Sign in Blood, Dark Confidant, Kitchen Finks, Eternal Witness, or Pyrexian Arena (just something to generate card advantage).
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Darth Xentus
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Re: MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

Postby Darth Xentus » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:53 pm

I think you meant the Scorpion God. But yeah, I'll give that a shot. Though I'm going to nix the Puncture Blast, Blowfly Infestation, Crumbling Ashes, and Splendid Agony because I actually ruled those exact cards out. They just didn't feel right to me. For now I'll go ahead and sub in Lightning Bolt(4), Liliana of the Veil(3), Inquisition(+1), and Abrupt Decay(+1) like you suggested for making it stronger (albeit, not wholly in theme).

Though I do have two questions: Why Maelstrom Pulse? And why only one?

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Re: MtG deck: Perpetual Negative Counter Machine

Postby tombombodil » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:43 pm

Darth Xentus wrote:I think you meant the Scorpion God. But yeah, I'll give that a shot. Though I'm going to nix the Puncture Blast, Blowfly Infestation, Crumbling Ashes, and Splendid Agony because I actually ruled those exact cards out. They just didn't feel right to me. For now I'll go ahead and sub in Lightning Bolt(4), Liliana of the Veil(3), Inquisition(+1), and Abrupt Decay(+1) like you suggested for making it stronger (albeit, not wholly in theme).

Though I do have two questions: Why Maelstrom Pulse? And why only one?


Why at all? Because it's nice to have a truly universal catch-all; if you cut it, what does this deck do against Ugin, or Karn, or Elspeth Sun's Champion, or even Prime Time?

Why only 1? Because you would have to cut more efficient removal to run more, and it's catch-all nature doesn't make it worth cutting say, a lightning bolt or an abrupt decay to significantly raise your removal's average mana cost.

In Modern, 4 Bolt 4 Push 3 Decay 1 Pulse, will be more effective over a large number of games Than 4 Bolt 3 Push, 3 Decay 2 Pulse, or 4 Bolt 4 Push 2 Decay 2 Pulse. People are casting incredibly important creatures on turns 1 and 2 and 3 very often in this format, and so building your deck in such a way that it is impossible to have a hand with two Maelstrom Pulses facing down a Goblin Guide and a Tarmogoyf, and significantly decreasing chance of having a Maelstrom Pulse and an Abrupt Decay in the same 7 cards increase your win% in a random game significantly. Put simply: you very rarely want to draw two Maelstrom Pulses in the first 8 turns of a game of modern, only running one main deck ensures that will never happen.

You can side a second one in against slower decks though, especially if they have big "go over your head" threats.
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