Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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All entries tagged spikes.

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Dec 2019

  • Well, I’m not sure my Gruul list is optimal either, but I do enjoy it:


    4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259

    4 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256

    3 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168

    7 Mountain (ANA) 64

    4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171

    4 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179

    8 Forest (ANA) 65

    4 Zhur-Taa Goblin (RNA) 215

    4 Burning-Tree Emissary (GTC) 216

    3 Embercleave (ELD) 120

    4 Questing Beast (ELD) 171

    4 Once Upon a Time (ELD) 169

    4 Pelt Collector (GRN) 141

    2 Domri’s Ambush (WAR) 192

    1 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240


    3 Veil of Summer (M20) 198

    2 Cindervines (RNA) 161

    2 Lava Coil (GRN) 108

    1 Rekindling Phoenix (RIX) 111

    2 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194

    2 Flame Sweep (M20) 139

    1 Collision // Colossus (RNA) 223

    2 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115

    If you’re facing a lot of aggro, I do like bant scapeshift better.

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0
  • Sorry, after I posted the comment above, I didn’t have much time to grind Arena that month so I don’t have much more input. The deck is sweet but it fares much better against aggro decks than the various ramp and control decks that become more prevalent once you’re in Diamond or higher.

    For this month, I’ve switched to Gruul aggro for Historic BO3, the games tend to go a lot faster :)

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Nov 2019

  • Gave this a quick run and won 5 consecutive BO3 matches easily, barely any struggle. And I never even cast scapeshift! The one close match was vs Fires; Game 1 I almost ran out of cards before I closed the game with a huge krasis, Game 2 he hit me with Unmoored Ego, but I responded with Growth Spiral to play the 2nd Field so it was fine (I never seem to have the Veils when I want them). Granted, this was in Gold, but I look forward to trying to use this deck to grind as far up as I can til end of month.

    Since I never got the chance to cast scapeshift, I’d like to confirm that if I sacrifice exactly 7 lands and search for 7 uniques including field of the dead, I get 7 zombie triggers yes? (I assume if I have more than 7 and at least one of them is field, I shouldnt sac the field so that I get more triggers)

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Oct 2019

Sep 2019

Jan 2019

  • since mono-red is the majority of the meta at my ranking, what deck would be best to punish that deck

    For budget options, I like the white weenie decks vs red. They have 12 one-drops that can gain life (the vampire from legion’s landing, the 1/1 lifelink flier and the 1/1 gain 1 life if if i have 3 creatures), so they almost always have incidental lifegain. If they manage to pump even 1-2 lifelink vampires with the “convoke and put a +1/+1 counter on my dudes” elephant, it’s a big deal. (I should really learn the names of cards). Selesnya is also pretty good - they have access to both Knight of Autumn and Wildgrowth Walker, so it’s kind of a nightmare. And then of course there’s those control decks that have Absorb AND “Gain 3 life draw a card” AND Moment of Craving. I consider these much worse matchups for RDW than Golgari

    I agree the Golgari deck can run out of steam too. Golgari’s advantage is that your creatures are generally of higher quality and will win over theirs (except maybe for Chainwhirler). Find, Vivien, Karn, and even small Vraska are good for getting your second wind and refilling your hand after stabilizing.

    I also run 1 Brontodon in the main, but I don’t think I can cut the reapers, as I’ve won a few close fights just by chump blocking with creatures to draw cards and find my answers.

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0
  • I started tracking my BO1 Arena games today. Out of 35 matches, I faced 8 RDW, won 50% (4 matches). I think the matchup overall is about 50-50, maybe 55-45 in Golgari’s favor, and your win rate goes up if you get at least one life gain off Wildgrowth Walker. The 3 out of the 4 games I lost I either didn’t have access to one color, or never got off 2 lands. (I might need to mulligan better or add more duals - I’ve been saving my rare WCs so I only have 3 shock 2 check)

    I’ve played both decks on Arena; red has some explosive hands, but has a tendency to run out of steam. If they get the nut draw, there’s not much you can do, and you’ll be down to 6-8 before turn 4.

    Having wildgrowth isn’t necessary to win - 2 out of my 4 wins I didn’t draw one.

    The ideal opening hand has 2-3 explore creatures (ideally two 2-drops, squire is preferred over branchwalker and a jadelight) to ensure a steady flow of lands. On turn one you play an elf if you have it, even if you have to use a shock, because they’ll bolt it everytime, and 2 <= 2-3. I kind of wish I had been tracking who was going first - I suspect it matters a lot, I’ll do that tomorrow.

    You want to play creatures on turns 2-3 and just assume they’re going to die. You want them to waste their burn spells on your creatures. Play wildgrowth last, but if he’s your only guy, it’s okay to run him on 2 (especially if you have Find to get him back later).

    When exploring during the early turns, send to the graveyard Tyrant, Karn, big Vraska, or Vivienne, those won’t be much help. Getting more creatures is better, just make sure you can play them.

    You’re going to stabilize at around turns 4-6, with around 6-10 life, and hopefully the red deck’s hand is spent. 6 life is scary - you’re basically hoping he doesn’t have two bolts, but it happens. Stay scared, never attack without leaving a blocker for a hasted 2/2 mage. You’re hoping he doesn’t draw LUtS, Risk Factor or Frenzy (frenzy is the worst for him, light up is the best)

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Jun 2018

Aug 2016

  • Play-wise, it’s impossible to predict what kind of decks there’ll be in March, so just practice general tight play for now.

    Aside from that, the biggest difference a large tournament like a GP has compared to an FNM is the sheer length of the tournament. I’m not sure how large GPs in your area get, but I would typically expect 9 or 10 rounds on the first day. If you’re used to just playing 4-5 rounds of FNM, it can get exhausting. You need to build up both your physical and mental stamina. So what I would suggest is playing at other large tournaments near you to start getting used to it. 7-8 rounds should be fine, if you have trouble looking for something with at least 9 rounds. PPTQs and SCG stuff are your best bet, although some stores might have larger GPT events too if they have a large enough playerbase.

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Jul 2016

  • Posted on r/spikes: [Modern] Jeskai control sideboard choices

    Hey, looking for some advice. Here’s the deck I played at the last tournament:

    I’m mostly fine with the main deck (except maybe Tamiyo, a bit weak, if I think of something better in that slot I might swap her out). I’m not playing Nahiri because I don’t have time to get them before Saturday, and also because I’m quite used to this build already and in Modern I prefer piloting the deck I already really know

    I’m thinking of tweaking the sideboard. No idea the meta to expect for this weekend’s WMCQ so I want to hit as wide a base as possible.

    Permission magic:

    • Thinking of changing 1 Negate 2 Dispel to 2 Negate 1 Dispel to give better game against Tron
    • Counterflux. This slot is really only good vs Storm, is it worth it? I figure vs Storm you just always stop the start of the storm chain instead of the end, so maybe not worth it?


    • 2 Supreme Verdict or 1 Anger of the Gods + 1 Supreme Verdict? Or should I free up another slot and have 1 Anger + 2 Verdict?
    • is Shatterstorm even good against Affinity or should I have 2 Stony Silence instead? (I don’t have the 2nd Stony yet though…)

    GY hate:

    • Relic or RIP? RIP turns off GY stuff forever while Relic is a one-off, but RIP is symmetrical so it turns off my own Snaps

    Also, is there some guide somewhere that tells me what’s the optimal number to choose for EE in various matchups? I just got this EE, so I’m not to used to boarding it in.

    Any other suggestions? What matchups should I look out for? Thanks!

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Jun 2016

May 2016

  • Posted on r/spikes: [Standard] Can anyone recommend any good Bant Company guides?

    • Main deck card choices
    • Good/bad matchups
    • Sideboarding choices and options
    • Things to watch out for

    I haven’t been playing Standard since SOI came in but I just found out I’m qualified for our WMCQs so I’m planning to put together the deck (It’s the standard deck I already have most of the cards for and can buy/borrow the rest), but I won’t have too much time to playtest due to reasons, so I’m hoping to read up as much as I can in the next two weeks

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Feb 2016

Aug 2015

Feb 2015

Oct 2014

  • Posted on r/spikes: [Standard] Any tips for the Jeskai Wins vs Abzan midrange matchups post-board?

    Game 1 seems easier because Thoughtseize + painlands deal them a bunch of free damage

    Post-board, should you be aiming to be the aggressor, or go for the long grindy game?

    What do you board out? I’m thinking something like Seekers and Magma Jets and probably Steam Augury out, and bringing in some combination of Negate, Disdainful Stroke, Erase (if they have Whip/Banishing Light/Herald of Torment). Should I consider Keranos and go for the long game? I’ve also tried boarding in Narset, but havent had a chance to actually cast it, not sure how good it is in the match up.

    I’m also thinking about playing some Glare of Heresy in the board. Answers Rhino, Sorin/Elspeth/Ajani, Banishing Light, Fleecemane Lion, Wingmate Roc. What do you guys think?

    Siege Rhino by itself isnt actually too bad, since you can still try to race it. The problem is when it comes with Sorin and/or a Whip, then the lifelink makes things tough. I’m also wary of Fleecemanes, it seems you need to kill them before they get a chance to go monstrous; once they’re monstrous you don’t have easy answers

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0

Jun 2014

  • Posted on r/spikes: [Modern] UWR Geist?

    Hi, I’m looking to get into Modern (mostly because we have a PTQ in a few weeks), and I’ve been checking some decklists and I already have most of the cards for UWR Geist (based on some decklists off the Top Modern Decks from PT:BOTG)

    Is this deck currently well-positioned? Looking at recent MTGO event results, most of the UWR decks are the more controllish types without Geist.

    Is there a good primer I can read somewhere, something that tells me what are the good/bad matchups, sideboard choices, etc?

    Posted by under notes at #spikes
    Also on: reddit / 0