Maximum Horse Power

Faithless Brewing, Episode 33: Crested Sunmare

 

Giddy-up, brewers! It's Horse week at Faithless Brewing, the theme episode you never knew you needed, but now can't recall how you ever lived without. David has been champing at the bit to get Crested Sunmare on the docket, a truly majestic steed that nevertheless failed to cross the finish line during its time in Standard. But don't believe the neighsayers! Despite this rather equestrian Standard pedigree, Sunmare has already galloped to a Grand Prix Day 2 finish in Modern of all places. Was it simply a lack of enablers that made the Standard builds come up lame? Or will the Modern shell prove to be a one-trick pony? In the greener pastures of Pioneer, David thinks he has a thoroughbred, but will his unbridled enthusiasm land him on the whinnying side? There's only one way to find out! This week we've got the horses in the back, horse decklists attached, sleeves are matte black, got the tokens black to match. Saddle up!

 

ALSO: This week, we have a very special bonus episode! We joined forces with our friends at The Dive Down for our first-ever podcast crossover, a deep dive into Niv-Mizzet Reborn in Modern! You can find that episode (The Dive Down, Ep. 51: "ROY G. NIV: 5c Niv-Mizzet, ft. Faithless Brewing") over at www.thedivedown.com, or subscribe to The Dive Down on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, or YouTube to catch all of their outstanding content. Don't miss it!

 

Roundup: Modern Playoffs + Pioneer B&R

 

Pioneer

Pioneer B&R Announcement (Smuggler's Copter, Field of the Dead, Once Upon a Time)

Reference: 2017 Smuggler's Copter Ban Announcement (Standard)

GW Knights (Phill_hellmuth): PTQ Winner

Ari Lax B&R analysis (thread)

 

Modern

Format Playoffs Top 16

 

Flashback: New Perspectives + Witch's Oven
 
 
New Perspectives
 
Blood Sun Perspectives (Dan): 3-2 league, 0-5 league
 
Growth Spiral Perspectives (Danny + David): 4-1 league, 0-3 league
 
 
Twiddle Field (Runeskjold): PTQ Top 8 (x3)
 
 
Witch's Oven
 
Sultai Cat Dredge: strong, but likely does not survive bannings
 
Orzhov Cat Oven: 4-1 league, can be re-tooled without Copter and Lookout, see below
 
 
Temur Emerge Oven: 4-1, but played like a weaker version of Ryan Overturf's non-Oven Temur Emerge. No need for green without OUAT.
 
 
Bonus lists:
 
Kiora Dragons (Pedro Almeida): 8-0, LATAM qualifier series
 
 
 
 
Brew Session: Crested Sunmare
 
 
Modern
 
GW Eldritch Horse (Martin Colding, Fluffywolf2): GP Birmingham Day 2, 5-0 league
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
 
Bonus sketch: Abzan Life Rider
 
Bonus sketch: Ghost Dad Kiora
 
 
 
Contact Us
 
 
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Faithless Brewing, Episode 32: Scrap Trawler, New Perspectives, Astral Drift

 

It was a golden weekend for Niv-Mizzet at Grand Prix Columbus, with Dan and Damon both posting 10-4-1 finishes with our favorite Faithless Brew. Is Niv the last control deck in Modern? What we do know is that, at the last Grand Prix of 2019, Niv quietly had one of the best performances of any archetype in the field.

 

This week, however, we depart from the realm of flashy five-color control, and turn our attention instead to some truly bizarre combos. Scraps from the Oven? New Perspectives? Astral Drift Turbo-Land? Oh yes, these are going to be spicy ones.

 

We are joined this week by special guest brewer Danny Salvatore, fresh off a Top 4 finish at the SCG Invitational. We talk about his preparations in Modern and Pioneer leading up to the Invi and the GP, before we collectively dive headfirst into assembling the combo machine.

 

Flashback: SCG Invitational + Grand Prix Columbus

 

SCG Invitational (Pioneer / Modern)

 

Green Devotion (Danny Salvatore, 3rd place)

Grixis Shadow (Danny Salvatore, 3rd place)

 

GP Columbus (Modern)

 

Utopia Niv-Mizzet (Dan + Damon, 10-4-1, 40th & 42nd place)

 

Rakdos Bone Picker: 2-3 league, needed more creatures to crew with

 

Brew Session: Comboing Off

 

Sketch #1: Scraps from the Oven

 

Sketch #2: New Perspectives (Growth Spiral version)

 

Sketch #3: New Perspectives (Blood Sun version)

 

Brainstorm Session: Astral Drift Turbo-Land

 

Contact Us
 
If you like our show, be sure to leave us a review! You can do this from within the Apple Podcasts mobile app, or (if on a computer) open the iTunes desktop app and search for Faithless Brewing, then click "Ratings and Reviews" and click "Write a review." Thank you for your support!
 

 

Faithless Brewing, Episode 31: Witch's Oven

 

Let's face it, Vantress Gargoyle is probably not going to make the leap to eternal playable anytime soon. It struggles to attack in Pioneer, although our Modern explorations did yield some very interesting builds using powerful tools like Archive Trap and Into the Story. That being said, when a card can't even hack it in Standard, we shouldn't ask too much of it off the bat.

 

On the other hand, when a card is dominating Standard and meets the benchmark metrics for eternal playability (best in class effect, highly efficient, useful card type) it is certainly worth a closer look. Witch's Oven fits that bill. The "Kentucky Fried Kitten" / "Meow Mix" combo with Cauldron Familiar was a breakout star at the most recent Mythic Championships, and those two have started to make some inroads into Pioneer as well. But how good is this combo really? And is there more to the Oven than just cat food? While Damon and Dan are busy prepping Niv-Mizzet in Modern for GP Columbus, David has been cooking up some spicy Oven lists that he thinks just might hit the sweet spot.

 

Flashback: Vantress Gargoyle

 

Modern

 

Simic Flying Goyfs: 3-2 league. Extremely effective at finding big flyers and attacking with them, but struggles against creature decks and high density of removal.

 

Sultai Flying Goyfs: 2-3 league, noticeably clunkier than the Simic version because Glimpse and Hedron Crab fight for mana, but some additions like Drown in the Loch are well worth the price of admission.

 

Gargoyles, Please!: 2-3 league. Yes, this is a Modern list with four copies of Didn't Say Please. The concept here is not bad, but the execution could use refinement.

 

Turbo Trap Control: 4-1 league. This strategy might be secretly excellent. Needs a more diverse set of spells in the main deck, but Mystic Sanctuary + Into the Story is incredible and the sideboard juke plan can steal games.

 

Pioneer

 

Emry Ascendancy: achieved numerous turn 3 kills, but this deck relies super heavily on Emry surviving, and probably shouldn't run any Gargoyles as they can never attack

 

Gargoyle Gift: 3-2 league, Gargoyle is actually a decent blocker here and synergizes with both Kiora and Gift

 

Bonus list: Retraction Helix Ascendancy by MrRaeb

 

Brew Session: Witch's Oven

 

Pioneer

 

Sketch 1: Sultai Cat Dredge

 

Sketch 2: Rakdos Bone Picker

 

Sketch 3: Grixis Emerge Oven

 

Sketch 4: Orzhov Life Gain

 

Modern

 

Utopia Niv-Mizzet (GP Columbus build)

 

Contact Us
 

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/faithlessbrewing

If you like our show, be sure to join our community of brewers!

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

 

Faithless Brewing, Episode 30: Vantress Gargoyle (Modern & Pioneer)

 

Just when you thought you'd seen it all, it turns out the castles of Eldraine are guarded by blue Tarmogoyfs with wings. At 5/4 flying for 1U, Vantress Gargoyle is an absolute unit. It's even an artifact to boot, with an illustrious pedigree of potential synergies. The catch? It might be a while before you can start attacking. Oh, and if you want to block, better make sure that hand size doesn't get too low. Perhaps you'd like to tap and mill for 1 instead?

 

Good cards come to those who break them, so this week, the crew is leaving no stone unturned with new lists for Vantress Gargoyle in both Pioneer and Modern. Will we ever attack with this card? Will we ever get to block with it? And perhaps most important of all, is this strong enough to be the centerpiece of its own deck, or is the Gargoyle better utilized as a role player in small numbers? As always, there's only one way to find out!

 

Roundup: Pioneer B&R, Redux

 

Blue Moon Canlander (Damon): Top 8, Puget Sound Battleground 1k (Individual); Top 4, Puget Sound Battleground 1k (Team Trios)

Pioneer B&R Announcement

 

Flashback: The Royal Scions
 
 
Modern
 
Izzet Arcanist: 2-3 league (adapted from this 5-0 list by Habster)
 
Blue Moon (by thepensword): 7-3 leagues
 
Temur Prowess: 1-4 league
 
 
Pioneer
 
 
Grixis Arcanist: 4-6 leagues
 
Temur Deathtouch: 4-1 league
 
4c Royal Vehicles: 2-3 league
 
Izzet Firebirds: updated sketch (compare to these Izzet Firebirds lists from Challenge)
 
 
Additional concepts:
 
Grixis Flamewake Phoenix: updated sketch
 
Grixis Ninja Scions (by Pedro Almeida): sketch
 
Royal Frenzy Aggro (by Elvis Alcomb): sketch
 
 
Brew Session: Vantress Gargoyle
 
Pioneer
 
 
Sketch 2: Dimir Control
 
 
 
Sketch 5: Mystic Forge
 
Sketch 6: Gargoyle Gift
 
 
Modern
 
Sketch 1: Dimir Turbo Trap (by Jordan Boisvert, based on this article at Modern Nexus)
 
Sketch 2: Sultai Delirium
 
 
Contact Us
 

Update: We are now on Patreon! If you like our show, be sure to sign up and join our community of brewers:

https://www.patreon.com/faithlessbrewing

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

 

Royal Pain in the Scions

Faithless Brewing, Episode 29: The Royal Scions (Modern & Pioneer)

 

Kiora delivered us a fresh 5-0 last week, but we knew that would happen, as Kiora has always been great. The combination with Glorybringer is excellent in Modern and even stronger in Pioneer, although the mana requirements proved to be much trickier without the smooth shock-fetch manabase. Eldrazi add an interesting wrinkle to the Gruul ramp archetype, and Niv-Mizzet got in on the 5-0 action too.

 

This week, we're on to the next 3 CMC walker with absurdly high loyalty. Oko has already been widely accepted as planeswalker royalty, but what about Eldraine's actual royalty, the dashing Kenrith Kids? Two useful +1s and an achievable ultimate make The Royal Scions an attractive card to brew around, in both Modern and Pioneer. We've got more than a dozen new lists, so whether you like looting for value, unlocking graveyard synergies, or pumping creatures and turning them sideways, there's something for everyone this week!

 

Roundup: Pioneer B&R Announcement

 
 
 
Kiora Green Devotion (Dan): 3-2 league

 

Flashback: Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner

 

Modern
 
Classic Niv-Mizzet (Damon): 5-0 league
 
Once Upon KiorDrazi (Dan): 5-0 league, 3-3 Modern Challenge
 
Once Upon Kiora (Damon): 4-1 league
 
Pioneer
 
RG Dragons (David): 2-3 league, 4-1 league
 
RG Dragons (Damon): 0-4 league, 4-1 league
 
Jeskai Dragons (David): 4-1 league, 1-4 league
 
Jeskai God-Pharaoh's Gift (David): 2-3 league

 

Brew Session: The Royal Scions

 

Pioneer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sketch 6: Temur Pummeler
 
 
 
Modern
 
 
 
 
 
Reference: Blue Moon (thepensword)
 
Reference: Temur Kiora (Dan, 5-0)
 
Reference: Faeburrow Niv (Damon, 5-0)
 
 

Contact Us

 

We are now on Patreon! Visit us at www.patreon.com/faithlessbrewing to support our show, get access to our Discord and patron feed, and more.

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

 

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

Faithless Brewing, Episode 28: Kiora Returns

 

It's finally time to dive into Pioneer, so it's no surprise that the first card we want to brew around is... Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner? That's right, Kiora! An old favorite on Faithless Brewing, Kiora has always been secretly excellent in Modern, especially when paired with Glorybringer in a ramp shell. New additions from Eldraine have Dan interested in updating the Modern list, while David believes that the basic shell can be ported over to Pioneer as well. But that's not all that Kiora can do. Looking outside of green, David has some wilder ideas for unlocking Kiora's synergies in Esper, Grixis, and Izzet. Do any of them have what it takes to keep up in the wild west that is Pioneer?

 

Update: We are now on Patreon! If you like our show, please consider joining our community:

https://www.patreon.com/faithlessbrewing

 

Also, Dan has a new article up at Arenadecklists.gg, covering the rules of engagement for building successful decks in Pioneer. Check it out!

https://arenadecklists.gg/pioneers-rules-of-engagement/

 

Roundup: SCG Atlanta + Week 1 of Pioneer

 

Simic Urza Oko Goose (by Zan Syed): 4th place, SCG Atlanta Modern Open

 

Boros Burn (by Lichking7): 7-1, Pioneer Challenge

 

Brew Session: Kiora in Modern and Pioneer

 

Modern lists

 

Bonecrusher Oko-Kiora (Dan): 5-0 league

For a writeup on the evolution of this deck, see this article.

 

Once Upon KiorDrazi (Dan): 5-0 league

 

Pioneer lists

Sketch #1: Gruul Ramp

Sketch #2: Esper Dragons

Sketch #3: Grixis Hollow One

Sketch #4: Izzet God-Pharaoh's Gift

 

Contact Us

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

 

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Modern After Regionals

Faithless Brewing, Episode 26: New Spice from SCG Regionals

 

In this second half of our double header episode, we are tackling all things Modern: spicy brews from SCG Regionals, testing results with The Great Henge, plus Damon's Top 8 finish in his Standard MCQ in Mox Boarding House, Seattle. Does the Czech testing house's Bant Ramp deck hold lessons for Modern as well?

 

Two other important announcements this week:

 

First: We are extremely excited to announce the launch of our Faithless Brewing PATREON (https://www.patreon.com/faithlessbrewing)! Many of you have been asking us about this over these past five months, and lo, it has at last come to pass. Patreon is where you can support the show directly, and receive a variety of cool benefits as thanks, including bonus content, swag, and access to our Faithless Brewing Discord channel. We are very excited to build a community of brewers in the Faithless Family, which we hope can be a place to interact not just with us but with the many talented and creative brewers that make up our listener base. So if you like what we produce, find value in it, and want to help us make it even better, be sure to check it out!

 

Second, I mentioned that this Episode is part of a double header. The other half, which is posted as separately (as Episode 27), is already available on our channel and offers a guide to the Pioneer format from the perspective of a Modern player. We unpack the manabases, removal options, disruption tools, the most powerful cards and strategies, and how to combat them. If you are Modern player wondering how to get started brewing in Pioneer, you won't want to miss this!  

 

****

 

Timestamps:

 

Weekend Roundup
 
 
5:21  Bant Ramp (Damon, via Czech testing house): Top 8, Standard MCQ at Mox Boarding House, Seattle
 
 
13:57  Urza Oko (by Zan Syed): 1st place, SCG Regionals Raleigh-Durham
 
 
18:23  Simic Eldrazi (by aspiringspike): 7-2 regionals, several 5-0s, also top 8 in MTGO PTQ (by C_E.L)
 
 
23:14  Foodie Niv-Mizzet (by Cameron Martinez): 1st place, SCG Regionals Knoxville
 
 
25:01  Faeburrow BTL Saheeli (David): 4-1 league
 
 
33:33  BTL Kiki Copycat (by forenmagra): four 5-0s in his last six leagues
 
 
 
Flashback: The Great Henge
 
 
35:58 Sultai Hengevine: 4-1 league
 
 
39:57 Golgari Undying: 4-1 league
 
 
45:29  Bant Monkeyhenge: 2-3 league
 
 
46:57  Mono Green Stompy: 2-3 league
 
 
54:22  Hengehammer Gruul: 4-1 league

 

 

Contact Us

 

WE ARE NOW ON PATREON! Come see how you can support the show, get access to the Faithless Brewing Discord, and earn cool benefits: www.patreon.com/faithlessbrewing

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

 

 

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

 

Faithless Brewing, Episode 27: A Brewer's Guide to Pioneer

 

Well that was unexpected.  The birth of a new format is a strange and wonderful thing. “Brewer’s paradise” is a phrase that gets thrown around often, and if that doesn’t apply to times like these, when does it ever apply? For a brewing podcast like ours, a completely unexplored format must be a dream come true.

 

The truth is that successful brewing is actually quite difficult when a metagame is completely undefined. We cannot attack a meta from unexpected angles if we ourselves have no idea what to expect.

 

So what should we expect from Pioneer? How do we build decks in this exciting new format? Fear not, you Faithless Brewers, we have you covered!

 

In this special bonus episode, we take a deep dive into the Pioneer card pool. We unpack the mana bases, removal options, the most powerful cards and strategies, and the decks you will need to be prepared for on Day 1 -- everything you need to get brewing and start battling in the queues!

 

Timestamps

 

2:38 What is Pioneer?

 

5:18 Initial reactions + unpacking the B&R philosophy

 

11:15 Getting to know the card pool: Pioneer and Modern, compared

 

17:00 Understanding Pioneer mana bases: lands and ramp options

 

32:11 Cards that used to be banned in Standard and Modern

 

45:42 Understanding interactive tools in Pioneer: removal, sweepers, counterspells, and hand disruption

 

1:02:16 Understanding the Day 1 metagame: the most powerful strategies in the format

 

1:22 Summary: The Rules of Engagement for Day 1 of Pioneer

 

Contact Us

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

 

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

 

 

Faithless Brewing, Episode 25: The Great Henge

 

Some weeks, when we pick a card to feature, we know it will be a hit. Charming Prince is a versatile role player. Emry is insanely efficient. Oko is simply Broko, and might prove too strong even for eternal formats. Brewing around these cards is a great way to get acquainted with future format staples, and maybe rack up some trophies in the process.

 

Other times, however, it is helpful to brew from the other end of the spectrum: pick a card that might prove totally unplayable, explore it to its fullest, and see where that leads. The Great Henge is one such card. Like the rest of Eldraine's mythic artifact cycle, The Great Henge demands an impossible mana investment, but offers a quest that might let you summon it on the cheap. Meeting this condition is already a giant puzzle, to say nothing of crafting a game plan that can exploit the Henge's abilities while also keeping pace with the brutal Modern format.

 

This week, our goal is to stretch our deckbuilding muscles. This means brewing in Hard Mode. Forget about 5-0s, or tuning a sideboard for the meta; these decks might not even survive the goldfishing stage. But the farther there is to climb, the more we stand to learn from the attempt. Join us as we venture to the Great Henge and beyond!

 

Roundup: Latest Developments in Modern

 

Utopia Niv-Mizzet (Dan): Top 4, SCG IQ Danbury, Sprawls are quite good at landing a planeswalker on turn 2, which may prove more important going forward

 

Sultai Into the Story (Raphael Mark): Top 2, SCG IQ Danbury, a strong take on the Mystic Sultai hard control archetype

 

Flashback: Charming Prince

 

Naya Dubious Defector: 13-7 leagues, hilarious and powerful, struggles to play defense

 

GW Charming Challenge: 2-3 league, Iona is stronger than Woodfall Primus/Worldspine Wurm, but requires giving up Through the Breach

 

Boros Blink: 2-3 league, grinds well, but struggles to disrupt unfair decks

 

Charming Taxes: 2-3 league, relies heavily on Aether Vial and Stoneforge Mystic to present anything powerful

 

UW Charming Soulherder: 3-2 league, very strong but requires a lot of clicks and triggers to win

 

Brew Session: The Great Henge

 

Sketch #1: Golgari Hengevine

 

Sketch #2: Yolo Yorvo Combo Henge

 

Sketch #3: Basic Henge Stompy

 

Sketch #4: Arcanist Hengehammer Beats

 

Elfball Combo Henge (Meryn MTG): 5-2 in 1v1 queues

 

Contact Us

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

 

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

Faithless Brewing, Episode 24: Charming Prince

 

Oko, Thief of Crowns crushed it last week. We tested five homes the new Simic walker, and the trophies just started stacking up. Sultai Faeries, Bant Okoblade, Bonecrusher Kiora, even Faeburrow Niv-Mizzet got in on the 5-0 action. 38-7 is not a normal record for our testing sessions. Was it just good luck, good decklists, or is Oko simply brok-o? What is clear at least is that the card has many hidden modes, functioning more like a six- or seven- ability walker. "Five-Oh-ko" (too much?) looks to be a multi-format staple going forward, so pick up your copies now.

 

Four trophies will be a tough act to follow, so this week the crew takes a crack at a more humble offering from Eldraine: the Charming Prince! Like Oko, Prince Charming offers three modes, but contextually they can feel like four or five. Versatility like that on a 2 drop is great, but the blink mode in particular has Dave's gears turning as potentially enabling broken plays. Can the young prince rescue our permanents from the enemy’s clutches, and stake his claim as a future Modern staple?

 

 

Timestamps and Decklists

 

Flashback: Oko, Thief of Crowns

 

03:45 Bant StoneBlade: 5-0 league

12:29 Shape Anew: 2-3 league

21:14 Sultai Faeries: 9-1 leagues

30:04 Bonecrusher Kiora: 17-3 leagues

39:10 Faeburrow Niv: 5-0 league

 

Roundup: Eldraine Week Two

 

 

51:03 SCG Team Open results

52:48 Once Upon a Time, Castle Garenbrig

54:06 Emry, Lurker of the Loch

54:56 Witching Well

55:34 Mystic Sanctuary

58:35 Gingerbrute, All that Glitters

59:24 Merchant of the Vale

59:43 Fires of Invention + Fae of Wishes

1:01:15 Fires of Invention + Savor the Moment + Mystic Sanctuary

1:04:55 Glass Casket

1:05:16 The Royal Scions

1:06:18 Drown in the Loch

 

Brew Session: Charming Prince

 

 

1:09:24 Charming Prince Overview

1:11:53 Sketch 1: Wr Humble Blink

1:26:37 Sketch 2: Naya Challenge

 

Reference lists:

 

Mono-W Taxes (kaosofmind): 5-0

Mono-W Emeria (Fincown): 5-0

GW Dubious Prince (k_f_chicken): 5-0

 

*****

 

Contact Us

 

Twitter: @FaithlessMTG

 

Email: faithless.brewing@gmail.com

 

Homepage: faithlessbrewing.podbean.com

 

We rely on brewers like you to help us improve the show and bring you better content. We want to hear from you!

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