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By: Lord Erman, Nafiz Erman
Aug 23 2011 8:43am
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ROGUE PLAY
Modernization
Part II
by Nafiz Erman

Hello everybody and welcome back to Rogue Play. As you may remember, last week in this article I talked about the banned list of Modern and then mentioned briefly the deck types I'm seeing very frequently in the Tournament Practice Room. And in my Modernization articles I dig a bit deeper and examine those decks closer. In each article I select one deck and I show you what that deck is capable of, its strengths and weaknesses, how it plays out against other Tier-1 decks, test matches and so on. And this week I'm going to show you yet another Twelve Posts deck; the mono Blue version this time.

So... shall we start?

 

TWELVE POSTS... ONCE AGAIN (and with feeling this time)

Two weeks ago in this article I showed you my mono Green Tooth and Nail deck. And as you know, what makes Tooth and Nail so deadly is actually its mana base; meaning Cloudpost, Glimmerpost and Vesuva. That Tooth and Nail deck was surely very nice and I'm still enjoying that deck. But lately I also discovered the mono Blue version. And I simply fell in love.

Sylvan Scrying

 

 

Mana ramping versus Counterspells

Condescend

Well, for a very long time I thought that the mono Green version was the better one. But then I came across that mono Blue version. First I didn't take it seriously. It was very slow in my opinion and it was also lacking my superstar; Primeval Titan. But in time I realized that that deck also had some serious "power" that I wasn't able to realize at first.

What power?

Well, for starters this one:

Academy Ruins

Academy Ruins? Is this the "power" you speak of?

Uhm, yes? And who you might be, appearing in my articles from time to time and speaking in italic and asking questions to me?

I'm your inner you and I always question your decisions.

Oh, my inner me. Well, that makes sense; kind of. Okay my inner me, thanks for stopping by. And yes, Academy Ruins is an incredible piece of power if you can supply it with some real threats. Such as these:

Oblivion Stone Mindslaver

Please do remember that this is a Twelve Posts deck we're talking about here dear readers. So playing AND using one of those cards in the same turn is absolutely not a problem. I can destroy all they have on table and I can continue doing so as long as I wish. I can destroy their hand as many times as I want to. And after I'm done with them, I can start playing my own game.

And exactly this was what mono Green was lacking. Tooth and Nail surely is nice and scary, but a recurring Oblivion Stone is scarier. So I decided to give this mono Blue version a try.

I will not tell you all the changes I made to this deck. You don't need to know that long, boring and painful process. But what you need to know is with what I ended up. Which happens to be this:

 

This deck dear readers, is the result of some really heavy testing. As I said above, I tested this against many other decks out there, made tons of changes and ended up with this.

And now I want to explain you some of my choices so that they make sense:

Trinket Mage is my superstar. He is basically my everything. As I cannot play Sylvan Scrying in this deck, I'm using Expedition Map. So my Expedition Map is actually my Sylvan Scrying. But I don't have it always in my starting hand. And that's why I'm using Trinket Mage. Oh and I also use him to get me my Brittle Effigy (more on this below), my Chalice of the Void, my Tormod's Crypt and my Pithing Needle. So yes, he's my everything. Trinket Mage
Brittle Effigy I told you already that Twelve Posts is one of the decks you play against very often if you're testing Modern. Even though there are many versions out there, all aim for one thing: To get Emrakul, the Aeons Torn out. Oh and they do that! With great consistency I might add. And what can save you when you face one? Path to ExileGo for the Throat? No dear readers, none of them work. That's the reason why I play Brittle Effigy. It also is great against Wurmcoil Engines too!
There are two things about Magic players: They are very smart and they adapt very quickly. I say this because playing so many games against Twelve Posts decks led people to add extra amount of land destruction to their decks. I've already seen Zoo decks siding in Fulminator Mage against me! So this doubles the importance of Crucible of Worlds. Also Crucible of Worlds together with my Tectonic Edge is how I fight other Twelve Posts decks. Crucible of Worlds
Sundering Titan I know I haven't spoken highly of Sundering Titan in my Modernization, Part I article (which can be found here). But opinions change and especially mines chance incredibly fast. This Titan may not be Primeval Titan but it has its uses; especially against greedy mana bases. Zoo and Jund are especially vulnerable against Sundering Titan. And it's body is not something to sneeze at. In fact I won many games with my Sundering Titan.

Bribery is my "I win" card against other Twelve Posts decks. Oh and believe me; there are many out there. I don't want to explain in long paragraphs why this card is so important for this deck. You will watch the games I played with my deck below and there you will also watch me play against a Green/Blue Twelve Posts deck. And there you will witness the full power of Bribery all by yourself.

Bribery

The rest of my card choices should be clear. Chalice of the Void comes in when I need to counter spells that cost zero or one. Such as Restore Balance, such as Lotus Bloom in Dragonstorm decks, such as Elves... there are many targets actually.  And Tormod's Crypt comes in against decks that use their graveyard, Hurkyl's Recall comes in against Affinity and Surgical Extraction comes in against decks that rely mainly on one card to win.

There are still things I'm not very happy about the deck but like I did last time, I will talk about these things at the end of the article.

Now I want to move onto the test matches so that you can see this baby in action.

 

MATCH #1
Against Affinity

Last week I talked about the Top-5 decks people play in the Tournament Practice Room. And Affinity is one of them. Watch me battle Affinity and see how I fight that artificial menace.

So yes, this was a nice match and a nice win. Their Etched Champion carrying a Cranial Plating is very scary against many decks but not if you can "deploy" a Wurmcoil Engine to face it in battle. Then it really loses all its appeal.

Anyway, let's move on.

 

MATCH #2
Against Green/Blue Twelve Posts

This below is the replay of game two. Normally I hate recording replays but you really have to see this.

I told you somewhere above that Bribery is excellent against Twelve Posts decks and I'm sure that now you believe me. 

 

MATCH #3
Against Death's Shadow

Okay, here's something interesting for you. I've seen this Death's Shadow deck only once before this below match, so at first I wasn't able to recognize it. Basically this deck aims to kill itself (yes, itself!) very fast so that it can bring in a huge Death's Shadow. It stays alive with Phyrexian Unlife mainly but it also has Angel's Grace too.

This is not a Tier-1 deck surely but this is one of those rogue decks you will come across from time to time. And please do watch game two and see what that deck is truly capable of. If you think your deck is fast, you really should see this. Then you'll see what "fast" really means.

I was lucky in game one; that I admit. There was nothing I could do in game two but I believe that I played wisely in game three. And this game showed me once again how useful Chalice of the Void is.

 

MATCH #4
Against Twelve Posts

I told you two things about this Twelve Posts archetype. I told you that it's one deck you'll face extremely often in the TP Room and I also told you that there are many different versions out there and below you'll watch yet another different version. This one plays Lodestone Golem and Thorn of Amethyst to stall the opponent as well as Kuldotha Forgemaster to... well, to do nasty things of course!

Let's watch what happened.

So he quit after game one. But why then did I show you this single game? Well I showed it to you only because I wanted you to see my alternate way of dealing with other Twelve Posts decks. Bribery is one way to beat Twelve Posts but sometimes Crucible of Worlds with Tectonic Edge is a much safer road to victory.

Oh and I showed this game to you also because I liked my opponent's deck as well. A mono Brown(!) version with Lodestone Golems and Thorn of Amethysts is also a nice option. Good thinking!

 

MATCH #5
Against another Affinity

Affinity decks are all over the TP Room and almost two out of my five matches are against this deck. Everybody has a different version and here I'm showing you another one.

Pretty straightforward.

 

MATCH #6
Against Restore Balance

Finally it's time to show you the elephant in the room, so to speak. Restore Balance decks are very good and no matter what deck you play, you should have a plan against them.

Oh and you may not hear me from time to time, so my apologies in advance for that. But hey; this is my first article with videos that have sound as well. I'm getting used to it. It will be better in time.

As I also said during the match (but most probably you didn't hear it!) I enjoyed this match very much. I've been hit by Restore Balance twice, I've been Blood Moon-ed in both games, I had to deal with a Greater Gargadon, I had to deal with his March of the Machines but I didn't give up and emerged victorious from this long but exciting battle. So yes, it was a very nice win that I enjoyed a lot.

Oh and a friendly advice to all: Never say things like "I never lost to DECK X, ever!" to your opponent during a match. As you saw above, you may regret it.

 

WRAP UP

And that's all. The Blue version of this deck is obviously not as fast as the Green one. The Green one can do some absurd things like playing Primeval Titan on turn three. This version simply can't do that. And that's the biggest weakness of this deck. You need at least a couple of turns before you can set up your game plan and some decks out there simply win within those "couple of turns". When you're still busy playing your Cloudposts and making copies of them with Vesuvas, some decks simply finish the game (and I'm looking at you RDW!).

But on the other hand this deck has access to some great cards as well. And that makes this version worthy of considering. Academy Ruins with either Oblivion Stone or Mindslaver is "gg". Counterspells are important. Trinket Mage can get you anything you need and that's important. Bribery is incredibly important.

Primeval Titan So here you have it. I showed you the mono Green one and now I showed you the mono Blue one. Of course you can combine those colors and play this deck as . As a matter of fact, I've seen many players trying that version. The good thing is that this version has both Primeval Titan and Remand. But don't forget that it's neither as fast as the mono Green one nor as defensive as the mono Blue one. It's somewhere in between. Remand

And finally there is still one thing I'm considering. As you saw above, I have two Gifts Ungivens in the deck. But to be honest they didn't serve me well this far. And therefore I'm trying this deck without those two copies of Gifts Ungivens now. Instead, I play two Solemn Simulacrums. I cannot say which one is better in this deck yet, but Solemn Simulacrum also has its uses and I'm so far happy with the "sad robot".

Okay dear readers, that's all and it's time to conclude the article. Which brings me to...

 

ROGUE PLAY GOES TO VACATION

As a matter of fact, it already has! By the time you're reading this article, I will be sunbathing at a nice beach in southwestern Turkey at the Aegean coast. I have my family with me, my parents are here as well and we're having some quality time here. I will stay here for two weeks and will relax. It has been a very tiresome year for me and I earned this break. But don't worry; I have my laptop with me. I will follow puremtgo and will be able to reply to your comments. I may even be online from time to time but I will not be able to play (the laptop I have with me is not that good, sorry!).

So we'll see us in three weeks dear readers. So please do miss me, okay?! I know I'll miss writing.

Thanks for reading.

See you online
Nafiz Erman, aka Lord Erman

5 Comments

Hey LE enjoy your well earned by Paul Leicht at Tue, 08/23/2011 - 10:20
Paul Leicht's picture
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Hey LE enjoy your well earned rest! :)

Hey Lord Erman, Thanks as by seydaneen at Tue, 08/23/2011 - 10:46
seydaneen's picture

Hey Lord Erman, Thanks as always for the detailed work. Your original article made me play with 12 post and i tried many versions over the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I think blue version is much weaker than green one except 1 important detail. It crashes the green version entirely with 1 card :Bribery. Other than that, it is very slow for the current environment. Trinket mage is great but by the time it comes in turn 3, you are already way behind. zoo and rdw are just too fast for this deck. green version on the other hand is much more consistent and persistent against aggro, however since alot of people play either versions of 12 posts, i dont think it is a good choice at the moment. Green version can rarely defeat blue one and 12 post mirror is very random.

and gifts ungiven is not that good if you do not run life from the loam. i'd take thist for knowledge over it anyday

Great article. If you think by themonkey at Tue, 08/23/2011 - 13:01
themonkey's picture

Great article.

If you think 12 post is crazy in 2 player, you should try it in a multiplayer games, especially 2-headed giant. Cloudposts with Vesuvia was breaking the format back in the old extended. It was so bad that nobody was playing 2-headed giant extended without saying in the game description "no Cloudposts". I may have even written an article with that as a sub-theme. Now with Glimmerpost in the mix things will be even worse in the new modern format. I don't know if there is a specific online 2-headed giant banlist, but I expect Cloudpost will be on it soon.

Have a relaxing vacation!

In Match 1 Game 2 you could by pfirpfel at Tue, 08/23/2011 - 15:56
pfirpfel's picture

In Match 1 Game 2 you could have selected the Watery Grave for the Swamp AND the Island, allowing your land to stay in play.

I liked the videos, but the microphone was way too quiet and full of hissing sounds.

Thanks LE, I enjoyed this by guidaux at Tue, 08/30/2011 - 14:12
guidaux's picture
5

Thanks LE, I enjoyed this article as well. The mic you had may take some getting used to. As you know it was low and you kept breathing into it. But aside from that I'm really glad you can do voice commentaries during gameplay now.

One opponents deck really caught my eye, the Shadow deck. I remember in high school when I played Magic alot during lunch 13 years ago, I had a really nice B/W pestilence deck that had that killing yourself theme and worship, sun droplet, or pariah to save you last minute. That deck was very fun to play for me back then. If you have time you think you can try playing a Shadow deck in an article? After your vacation of course. I'm not sure if flesh reaver is legal still but he was pretty decent with the theme. I wish they would reprint pestilence. Now I'm stuck in Legacy where everyone runs super powerful cards. Besides, my original pestilence deck was made for multiplayer also, so I had to do some tweaking.

I also noticed so many people run Chalice now that it makes the entire deck shut down. Chalice just seems too good against so many pro decks. You said yourself Shadow/suicide was a good theme deck. I'd like to see your take on it and some videos with a commentary.