Brief Brainstorm 006 — Musings on Shardless vs. Miracles

Quick bit of extra content for all the loyal Brainstorm Show listeners out there. We received a donation from a friend of the show, and we fielded his questions about Shardless BUG vs. Miracles in this Brief Brainstorm. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Brief Brainstorm 006 — Musings on Shardless vs. Miracles”

  1. Thanks for taking my question!

    All in all, solid analysis of the matchup. I agree hymn is a great card here. The main difference between my list and yours was I had 2 thoughtseizes main (in place of 1 strix and 1 maelstrom pulse), and the 2 duress in the board turned into 2 clique. My board plan was -2 seize, -3 strix, +2 clique, +1 Garruk, +2 hymn. You’ve convinced me that pithing needle deserves a slot here. I don’t really think it’s “reactive nonsense”, just wanted to see if I could get a rise out of someone.

    You’re right that the cliques made it into my sideboard in the first place b/c I was worried about Sneak and Show. When you’re bringing in pithing needle vs. SnS it feels like your sideboard is a little thin. The 4 leylines taking up valuable space definitely put pressure on sideboard cards to be more generic vs the field rather than matchup-specific silver bullets.

  2. Great lil episode, what’s your current list?
    A great lil rule I find that helps my miracle matchup is to be very disciplined in when I use my force of wills. I pretty much only force the spell that I will lose to such as jace and entreat at tier 1 then mentor at tier 2 if I don’t have an abrupt decay handy at the time. It’s important to understand how far behind you are if you try to fight over a spell that isn’t actually going to win or lose you the game and you end up losing that fight. So there are exceptions to that rule but this felt like a good start.
    Another thing that might sound obvious but it was surprisingly hard to train myself to do was just because you cast or control an active liliana doesn’t mean you have to use it, most miracles players are terrified of liliana and she’s not even very pivotal in winning the match so baiting out counters or cliques with her so you can land your planes walker that actually kills them (garruk). Don’t toss away important spells with her plus 1 just to get cards out of their hand.
    This is such a great matchup for shardless not only because of its actual cards and general game plan but because it gives you time to set up, prepare and make plans against it deal with its threat while applying pressure and then move to the next sub game unlike other matchups where you’re like instantly dying the moment you don’t mulligan correctly into cards that interact with the opponent like playing against something like storm.

  3. Thank you lads for fantastic work that you are doing. I like your podcast very much!
    I have been playing miracles for years (I played a lot of Shardless) so a few thoughts on the matchup.

    1) I agree with most that has been said. Mainly the importance of Hymn – I think without it gets very hard. Keeping Forces. Importance of stoping Top. Playing around Blood Moon and Entreat.

    2) From Miracles perspective I would add that you want to keep Needles and Null Rods off the board. Most of the time you cant do anything about Hymn. (Counterspell, empty hand with active tops; so the more copies of Hymn Shardless plays the better for him) You always want Top and red source+REB to counter his Jace (they dont play many) and Ancestral Vision. Snapcaster does it all again+kills liliana+protects jace+trades with shardless…

    3) You said Shardless wins the lategame. I ma not quite sure what do you mean. I think its Shardless that is the deck that needs the gas and put Miracles under preassure all the time. But the games go typically VERY long and one deck has Top and the other doesen’t.

    4) Two thing I believe you did’t stress enough are:
    a) Jace, the Mind Sculptor is huge in this matchup. Both sides play the card but one deck play 3-4 instant removals and Snapcaster Mage and Council’s Judgement while the other has one Maelstorm Pulse at best. (Needle; Creeping Tar Pit – but it always feels bad to tap out to his one off fetch) So if Shardless resolves Jace – good for them. If Miracles resolve it so they can untap with it its the game.
    b) In similar way Mentor steals games out of nowhere. Shardless must-answer cards dont really put preassure and Miracles can deal with them two turns later with say Judgement. (Null Rod, Needle, Garruk, Lili) But Miracles must-answer cards will kill you unless you have the correct card to deal with it NOW or you are dead on the spot. That must be very stressful for the Shardless player. Particulary considering as you pointed out that he only has 4 Brainstorms as a card selection.

    5) What do you think about
    a) siding out goys?
    b) siding out Liliana? (she much worse in this matchup than ppl think)
    c) keeping strixes?

    6) It is so important how good are the players in this match up. Its like ANT vs. Miracles. Some ppl will tell its really good for one or the other…
    I dare to say here its overall positive for Miracles.

    Thank you for what you are doing again!

    1. Fantastic comment! I’ll give my personal feedback on #5:

      a) I absolutely keep in Goyfs as the Shardless player because they provide a relevant clock when needed and close out the game before giving the Miracles player the “I have Top and you don’t” lategame situation. Goyfs also get better post-SB because I’ve found that most Miracles players do not have the full 4 StP, 4 Terminus post-SB. Goyf pressures the Miracles player from a difference axis than Visions, Hymn, and planeswalkers which is important.

      b) I like Liliana because it is a non-blue planeswalker that synergizes well with a turn 2 Hymn. There are usually worse cards to board out like the next one –

      c) I board out all Strix. The 1 power does very little to pressure Miracles. From the Miracles player’s perspective, when my Shardless opponent taps 2 mana and I see a Strix hit the table, I breathe a deep sigh of relief.

  4. I just entered the legacy format with shardless bug and just discovered your great show. Certainly helpfull and cool suggestions! Gonna try some stuff out.

    Keep it up! I will be tuning in.
    -Greetings from Belgium

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