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Author Topic: Top 4 with Noble Fish - NEV 3/10  (Read 4315 times)
voltron00x
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« on: March 11, 2012, 10:35:31 PM »

In between the TDG Winter Open and Saturdayís NEV at Top Deck Games, Mark Hornung and I tested a bunch of different brews.  One of mine was a BUW brew that had a set of Ethersworn Canonist in the sideboard, and while the deck itself was mediocre, those guys were fantastic coming in out of the board against not just Storm Combo but also Gush, Snapcasters, and opposing blue decks in general.  That made me wonder if Canonist had a home in Noble Fish, so I started messing around with Fish.

The source list I started with is Mike Nobleís current version (although his sideboards tend to be 15 one-ofs, this is the list he loaned out that made top 8 at the TDG Winter Open):

Maindeck:
4 Trygon Predator
4 Qasali Pridemage
4 Meddling Mage
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Path to Exile
4 Mental Misstep
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Force of Will
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
3 Tundra
4 Tropical Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Strip Mine
4 Wasteland
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl

Sideboard:
4 Grafdiggerís Cage
3 Surgical Extraction
3 Natureís Claim
3 Threads of Disloyalty
2 Mindbreak Trap

Thereís a lot that I like about this deck, but Iím not a huge fan of the Gitaxian Probe / Meddling Mage package, and this build lacks the type of strategic trumps that I like to see in Noble Fish decks.  That being said, I still appreciate what this deck does, and it is very consistent.  I started out by taking out the Meddling Mages, Path to Exiles, and Gitaxian Probes, and rebuilding from there.  After a few weeks of testing, I ended up here:

Noble Fish

4 Noble Hierarch
3 Qasali Pridemage
3 Tarmogoyf
4 Ethersworn Canonist
4 Trygon Predator
2 Edric, Spymaster of Trest
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
2 Steel Sabotage
3 Grafdigger's Cage
3 Stony Silence
1 Brainstorm
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Black Lotus
3 Wasteland
1 Strip Mine
3 Tropical Island
2 Tundra
1 Forest
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Flooded Strand


SB: 2 Path to Exile
SB: 1 Dismember
SB: 1 Tarmogoyf
SB: 1 Qasali Pridemage
SB: 1 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 2 Hurkyl's Recall
SB: 1 Seasinger
SB: 1 Wasteland
SB: 1 Steel Sabotage
SB: 3 Ravenous Trap
SB: 1 Tropical Island

So the basic idea with this is similar to the way I prefer my Fish decks to play, namely that youíre playing some strategic trumps combined with a reasonable clock to give you a shot of beating the broken decks.  

Stony Silence is a huge upgrade over Null Rod as it is way harder to remove, and in fact is impossible to remove for most decks in the format pre-board.  Grafdiggerís Cage gives the deck another way of shutting down Will, Tinker, Oath, and Dredge.  Ethersworn Canonist is massively annoying for Gush decks, shuts down Ritual decks, and is really good at finishing off games against big blue when youíre ahead.  

It is also worth noting that in Noble Fish decks, Trygon Predator is way better than it is in decks like BUG Fish and Gro, in that your Exalted triggers let your Trygon swing into an opponent thatís made a copy using Phyrexian Metamorph.  Edric, Spymaster of Trest is another way the deck can put games out of reach, as you suddenly start drawing extra cards while still being able to attack with all your creatures.

Noble Fish is also obviously quite good against Remora decks, and Mental Misstep as a tempo card in the early game is terrific in a Fish deck.  And, I found Steel Sabotage to be much better than I first expected as a main-deck inclusion.
Hereís a brief report.

Rd 1 Ė Gro (Feature Match)

Iím matched up against Tom Dixon, fresh off winning the NEV event in NY.  Heís playing Gro again.  Tom knocked me out of contention in the Grudge Match in February, so this is something of a revenge match for me.  

In the first game, Tom mulls to 5 and I mull to 6.  His hand has Ancestral and Mental Misstep but no mana sources.  My hand isnít all that great, but Tomís deck refuses to give him a mana source, and when it does, itís a Mox Emerald, and I counter it with Steel Sabotage.  

In game two, I mull to 5 and Tom mulls to 6.  If I recall correctly, he plays Mox, land, pass.  On my end-step, he plays Mystical for Ancestral Recall, which I counter with Force of Will. I then play Stony Silence, leaving Tom with just his one land.  He proceeds to top-deck two more Moxen, and without mana, we again donít have much of a game.
(1-0, 2-0)

Rd 2 Ė Kuldotha MUD

In game 1, my mulligans continue as I go to 5.  On the draw against Shops, my match-up preboard is decent but not great.  Going to 5, I donít have much of a shot and get crushed.

The sideboard plan against Shops is to take out 4 Misstep, 3 Cage, 3 Canonist and bring in everthing except 3 Rav Trap, 1 Seasinger, 1 Cage.

In game two, Iím way ahead the entire time, leading on Hierarch, countering the first resistor, and building an unbeatable board position (or something like that).

In game three, mulligan bug strikes in my favor as Iím up 7 cards to 5.  Four of those cards hit play on turn one:  Ancient Tomb, Sol Ring, Mana Vault, Kuldotha Forgemaster.  Thankfully my hand is all business.  I play fetch for Trop, Black Lotus, crack WWW, Stony Silence, Pridemage.  Next turn I play Wasteland, Time Walk, then Wasteland the Ancient Tomb and Dismember the Forgemaster.  GG.

(2-0, 4-1)

Rd 3 Ė Elves!

Extremely excited to be playing against Elves in the 2-0 bracket!  I figure my deck should have a good match-up with the Canonists in the main.  I lose my 3rd die roll of the day and then promptly mulligan to 5, so then Iím feeling much less secure.  I do get a Canonist out and play Stony Silence to shut off any potential Skullclamps, but Iím soon facing down a ton of Elves.  Summonerís Pact finds Ezuri and Iím within two mana of being killed, but because of Canonist, Iím able to make that sequence of plays take an extra turn and that allows me to win by chumping to 1 life and swinging lethal with a Trygon.

In game 2, I mull to 6, attack for damage early, then fall way behind with no chance of attacking in thanks to Wirewood Symbiote, and scoop.

In game 3, I get to keep my hand, which ends up being extremely strong.  I get out a couple of quick Tarmogoyfs, counter and Path to Exile the right cards, and win quickly.  Outside of my top 4 match, this was my closest match of the day.

(3-0, 6-2)

Rd 4 Ė Dredge (Feature Match)

For round 4, I get another feature match, which is a reversal of my first feature match at the TDG Winter Open.  There, I was on Dredge against Scalzo on a blue deck.  Today, he was playing Dredge, so it was time to see if those maindeck Cages would do their job.

I draw my opening seven, and it is something like Wasteland, Strip Mine, Cage, Cage, Tropical, fetch, Tarmogoyf, and then I drew Mental Misstep.  I also won the die roll.  So, this game was kind of a blowout in my favor.

In game two, my opener had only a Ravenous Trap for hate, and no Wasteland.  I took a mull, and the next card was obviously Wasteland (though taking the mull is definitely the right call).  Next hand had no hate, then the five was good.  I know in one game I baited Misstep with Recall to resolve a Cage, and Scalzo discarded a second Bazaar and got blown out by Wasteland Ė I think this was game two here.  Regardless, both games were quick and my hands were very good.

(4-0, 8-2)

Rd 5 Ė ID
Rd 6 Ė ID

(4-0-2, 4th place)

Top 8 Ė Slash Panther MUD

We both keep and Iím on the play.  My opening hand was mediocre as it had a bunch of lands, two Steel Sabotage, a Force of Will, but no pressure at all.  I took a chance to see if I could draw a threat before I ran out of counters, but instead I drew Cage, Cage, Stony Silence, and lose badly.

The next game, I lead on Hierach, resolve Pridemage through Thorn, then Trygon on top, and that quick weíre on to game three.

This game is closer, but I get double Pridemage going to swing in for four a turn, then resolve a Goyf, send the Goyf into combat against an opposing Karn and blow that up after Exalted triggers, forcing Daryl to animate his Sphere and chump block, and from there itís just over.

(5-0-2, 10-3)

Top 4 Ė Espresso Stax

Iím excited for this round as my postboard games against Shops have been 4-0 so far, but Espresso is a tough match-up as they have Crucible and Smokestack.  

I get smashed badly in game one, and probably didnít need to.  I played out an Edric with a Noble Hierach and two lands in play (with Force, Canonist in hand) hoping Micky would have either a Lodestone (which Iíd trade with or get in a draw extra) or no blocker.  Instead he has Metamorph and a Wasteland followed by Smokestack, then last card is a Crucible.  Had I just played the Canonist, Iíd have Force for the Smokestack, and could attack through the Metamorph (if he even wasted it on Canonist) since Iíd have Exalted.  I still mightíve lost, as he had Crucible/Waste set up, but Iíd have been ahead on board at least.

Game 2 I botched horribly as it shouldíve been an auto-win thanks to a very strong hand.  I led on Island instead of Trop, played Ancestral into plenty of good cards, but couldnít play Pridemage turn 2 because I led with Island.  That basically lost me the game. I was still in it had I floated mana in response to a Wasteland, but didnít thinking it was pre-combat (it wasnít), and that AGAIN cost me a chance to play a Pridemage and get back into the game.

So, that was that, unfortunately for me.

Great event, sucks that I missed my chance to battle Chris Pikula in the finals, but still a fun day.  And, Nick's store is pretty awesome, since now not only can you use your credit for Nick's obviously sick collection of Magic cards, but he also has a ton of board/card games, so I got to pick up Power Grid in addition to some singles I needed.

As far as the deck, Iíd probably suggest moving some Canonists to the sideboard since Gush, Rituals, and Snapcasters were few and far between yesterday, but overall the list felt good, considering I havenít played Fish in over two years.  I didn't have a ton of stuff for opposing Fish decks, however, so be aware that this build is really meant to beat blue decks better than Mike's version in exchange for a worse mirror match.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 05:21:53 PM by voltron00x » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 07:05:10 AM »

Congrats for your top! I have 1 question: playing 7 exalted creatures, is Edric better than selkie? Probably worse in the MWS matchup, but better against blue decks, IMHO. Edric gets better with some creatures in play, but in that scenario you should win anyway. Having only one creature (seokie or edric) you prefer selkie 90% of the time, as attacking with edric is under the threat of a blocking snapcaster (or any untapped creature).
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voltron00x
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 09:19:02 AM »

I tried Selkie, Mindcensor, Vendilion Clique, and Edric in those two slots and liked Edric the best, but I think there are valid arguments for any of those creatures.  I did a lot of my testing against decks like Landstill, Gro, and various Gush builds as well as Shops, where its usually clear whether or not you can attack in with some or all of your guys, and really liked Edric.
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 11:37:47 AM »

Great write up, thanks!  This deck looks like it could be a lot of fun and congrats on the Top 4.
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 02:57:29 PM »

Oh, now you want the canonists in the sideboard?
Sincerely, your rd 3 opponent  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2012, 03:07:33 PM »

That deck is a real threat, Matt.  I love it.  Great work.
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2012, 07:54:31 PM »

This deck is legit. I played Mark and all the games felt like uphill battles. I had 2 perish and a sower in the board and still lost.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2012, 08:30:04 PM »

I watched that match streaming Vito, was pretty brutal for ya haha.
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 10:44:32 PM »

This deck is legit. I played Mark and all the games felt like uphill battles. I had 2 perish and a sower in the board and still lost.
Did you hit him with 10x10 Drills and then 98 Mudkips on your Time Walk turn?



No wonder you lost.
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 10:08:15 AM »

This deck was a monster. Having maindeck cages wasteland and countermagic seemed like a near impossible battle to fight for dredge. Elias also being very observant of the metagame had ravenous trap which my deck was very weak to. Gratz again for the finish, maybe one day I'll beat you in a feature match Razz
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 12:00:03 PM »

My very first thought as soon as I won my match in round 6 was "man, I sure hope Elias is in the other bracket". Haha

Congrats again Matt.
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 05:09:54 PM »

This deck was a monster. Having maindeck cages wasteland and countermagic seemed like a near impossible battle to fight for dredge. Elias also being very observant of the metagame had ravenous trap which my deck was very weak to. Gratz again for the finish, maybe one day I'll beat you in a feature match Razz

Man, I wonder who it was that broke in Ravenous Trap in the NY/NJ/PA metagame. That guy must be really observant of the metagame or something. I'll let him know when I see him later........[/sarcasam off]
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 08:15:41 PM »

I actually got the Cage/Wastelands/Counters package idea from Rich Shay, independent of the fact that I'm sure it's been done before since Cage came out.  I also remember Chris Materewicz beat me twice in 2010 when I was on Dredge by using Rav Traps in Noble Fish... he always had two, and I always refused to believe his last card was a second Trap.
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2012, 05:53:22 PM »

I actually got the Cage/Wastelands/Counters package idea from Rich Shay, independent of the fact that I'm sure it's been done before since Cage came out.  I also remember Chris Materewicz beat me twice in 2010 when I was on Dredge by using Rav Traps in Noble Fish... he always had two, and I always refused to believe his last card was a second Trap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piVnArp9ZE0
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 01:22:52 AM »

I actually got the Cage/Wastelands/Counters package idea from Rich Shay, independent of the fact that I'm sure it's been done before since Cage came out.  I also remember Chris Materewicz beat me twice in 2010 when I was on Dredge by using Rav Traps in Noble Fish... he always had two, and I always refused to believe his last card was a second Trap.

This was at the Philly Open Jake Gans won.  I felt like hot shit when I did it to you. :p  Jake blew me out with a Nix in the Top 8. :/
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2012, 09:24:32 AM »

Jake didn't win, he lost in the finals to Jesse Martin after beating me in the top 4. 
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2012, 02:17:45 PM »

I actually got the Cage/Wastelands/Counters package idea from Rich Shay, independent of the fact that I'm sure it's been done before since Cage came out.  I also remember Chris Materewicz beat me twice in 2010 when I was on Dredge by using Rav Traps in Noble Fish... he always had two, and I always refused to believe his last card was a second Trap.

I used 4 Ravenous Traps in my first place build of the deck, and the first build where it was legal, in 2009: http://morphling.de/printview.php?c=1157&d=1

Otherwise, very nice report, and I am honored to be mentioned as a starting point for one of the format's best deck designers.
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2012, 11:21:08 AM »

Why do you pick Cannonist over Thalia?
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 03:19:20 AM »

I actually got the Cage/Wastelands/Counters package idea from Rich Shay, independent of the fact that I'm sure it's been done before since Cage came out.  I also remember Chris Materewicz beat me twice in 2010 when I was on Dredge by using Rav Traps in Noble Fish... he always had two, and I always refused to believe his last card was a second Trap.

I used 4 Ravenous Traps in my first place build of the deck, and the first build where it was legal, in 2009: http://morphling.de/printview.php?c=1157&d=1

Otherwise, very nice report, and I am honored to be mentioned as a starting point for one of the format's best deck designers.

I think you both missed the point I was trying to make. I realize that ravenous trap has been used long before, the first time I was trapped was by Jeremy Beaver in testing back in 2010. I was simply saying as there are MANY options for people to side against dredge (Cage, Surgical, Leyline, Trap, Wheel of Sun and Moon, Crypt, Relic, etc.) and it was observant of you to shift back to traps which were barely being used in previous tournaments. Thanks to popularity of "Cagebreaker Dredge" people have mainly been using ignot chewers and nature's claims instead of leyline of santitcy or just in general playing around trap. I was very unprepared to deal with trap so was quite surprised when you had it.

I was simply pointing out an observation not credit for who originally used traps.
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