Temur Creativity Primer & Sideboard Guide [Modern]
15/08/2022 · 15 min read
About the deck
Creativity is a Twin/Scapeshift hybrid that is built to prolong the game until it can win the game with a single spell. Fable made the deck a great deck because it's a threat that helps your gameplan and keeps your opponent on their toes before the actual important stuff is happening. Mana advantage, free bodies and card filtering is A LOT of value on a three mana card. The green version with Wrenn and Six provides free wins when you get to ping their one-drop on the play, and it keeps the lands going so your plan B (hardcast Archon) is way more realistic. The deck's matchups are close, so you generally "don't care" about your pairings, and your decision are more likely to be the difference maker.
(4 - 0)
100% in MTGO Modern Preliminary #12453837 [10 Players] — 08-Aug-2022
|4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker||$23.99|
|4 Archon of Cruelty||$17.99|
|2 Prismari Command||$5.49|
|3 Spell Pierce||$0.25|
|4 Lightning Bolt||$0.99|
|4 Indomitable Creativity||$23.99|
|4 Hard Evidence||$0.25|
|4 Wrenn and Six||$57.99|
|1 Stomping Ground||$12.99|
|1 Ziatora's Proving Ground||$8.99|
|1 Blood Crypt||$18.99|
|1 Boseiju, Who Endures||$37.99|
|1 Ketria Triome||$20.99|
|2 Steam Vents||$19.99|
|3 Arid Mesa||$16.99|
|3 Wooded Foothills||$37.99|
|3 Bloodstained Mire||$37.99|
|4 Dwarven Mine||$0.25|
|4 Scalding Tarn||$27.99|
|1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn||$17.99|
|2 Nature's Claim||$0.99|
|2 Force of Vigor||$34.99|
|2 Aether Gust||$0.69|
|2 Boseiju, Who Endures||$37.99|
|3 Veil of Summer||$6.99|
Card choices and Other Options
I'm playing two copies of Transmogrify because I want to maximize my Archon games when I have four mana. Other versions run a single Jace to diversify your threats, but I feel like the card is weak to many of the same cards and costs the same, so I prefer a red enabler in this spot. Fable is your "Jace TMS" in this deck.
This card is by far the weakest card in the list, but we play it for its flexibility. Killing artifacts is relevant vs. Hammer, killing creatures is relevant against a lot of decks, filtering can be nice, and the treasure can help being a Crea target that doesn't die to removal AND hardcast Archon. That's a lot of utility, but three mana is a lot.
Main deck Boseiju is my sideboard card #16, but 25 lands can be nice to help you make them more consistently. Two more copies in the sideboard shore up the Hammer and big mana matchup. Recursion with Wrenn can slam the door on these matchups.
Another flexible card that offers different things to your combo/control deck. Spell Pierce makes sure you have relevant interaction up the curve to stay alive and can help you resolve Trans/Crea with backup on the crucial turn. With different cascade strategies in the format, Spell Pierce will be everything from medium to clutch over the course of an event and never terrible.
I like this card in my sideboard because Primeval Titan, Omnath, mirror, Rhinos and cards out of Burn are very likely to show up on your radar during a tournament. It's not amazing or gamebreaking, but the frequency you want to sideboard them in is high enough that they get the nod.
My logic with the 2+2 split is that if I draw two disenchant effects, I want them to be one of each. Each have their strengths and weaknesses.
Spending one slot to improve Mill and not lose to extraction effects on Archon is worth it. When your opponent has black mana, consider if they might be running Necromentia. Note that Veil of Summer also counters that card.
Cascade forces you to play some number of Flusterstorms, but thankfully they're also good at forcing through your business spell.
White Splash for Teferi
With Triomes around, going 5 colors isn't as absurd anymore. Teferi will excel vs. Cascade and Counterspells, but be a liability in faster matchups.
I like cards that buy time in the deck, but for now I'm prioritizing being faster game one via Explore which realistically is the only slot up for grabs.
A card I will happily play if my deck wasn't so tap-out focused. The addition of Wrenn and Fable makes Remand awkward. Uptick in big mana strategies can change my opinion, so Remand is in my "extras" box for sure.
Anger of the Gods
Having access to turn three sweeper can be very powerful if your meta has decks like Yawgmoth and Humans in reasonable numbers.
It's great vs. walkers and the flexibility to counter Murktide, but it comes with a cost. You will be worse vs. Flusterstorm/Dovin's Veto (opposed to Veil) and Cascade (opposed to Flusterstorm) if you change the counter suite.
Thoughts on Land Sequencing
First, you have to accept that you'll be shocking a lot with this deck, and there are two reasons for that. Firstly, unloading your hand is important to keep playing on curve, and second, you will only shock when playing things that either stop your opponent (like Crab or Bolt turn one) or develop your own gameplan (Explore/Wrenn) both of which mitigates the damage. First priority is getting RUG mana online with a slight advantage to blue mana over green unless your hand has Explore and Wrenn that you are unloading on the same turn. Later in the game, you want to make sure that you have BB once you hit 8 mana to hardcast Archon which can sometimes be complicated because dwarfs hold value in either pressuring walkers, buying time or clocking your opponent. Keep in mind we only have one untapped black source to get later, and that treasures can help cast it as well.
These are relatively simple with this deck. Keeping two to five-landers are all in my range, but there is a tax on how many Archons slash Trans/Crea you can have in there. If my first play is Fable on the draw, that's a good baseline for mulliganning an otherwise decent land/spell ratio hand. Banking on Wrenn and Six resolving is something we have to do sometimes when we have two lands and not much else going on. That card is so good in our deck. This also means I will buttom my 3rd land in a mulligan if I have Wrenn. Double Archon is tricky, but cards like Fable and Command can cycle them in the mid game and make the hand acceptable. If you play online and have double Bolt or double Spell Pierce and not much else going on, Google your opponent.
Tips & Tricks
- You can target your opponents creatures and artifacts with Creativity which can be relevant when playing against suspected removal spells and your main plan is hardcast Archon. I've recently used it to swap a Murktide for a Bauble to buy time and kill Ensnaring Bridge out of E-Tron.
- In game one you can try and disguise your deck by fetching Steam Vents instead of tri-land. Your opponent could make a misstep play naked on the crucial turn where you punish them with Archon if they think you are either Murktide or something else.
- If you don't care about your turn three-four Wrenn resolving, you can play it out before playing a land to look land light. Wrenn and Fable are your ways of depleting the opponent's countermagic proactively before going for a big Trans/Crea.
- Targeting treasures and clues can be big if you are facing Lightning Bolt, Fire//Ice, Fatal Push or other creature-only removal spells.
- If the game goes super long against slower decks, Wrenn emblem and Wrenn + cycling land is a way to win without resolving Trans/Crea.
- If you play in paper, decide on your opponent's turn if you go for it next turn or not. Try and think about which draws can alter that decision and stay calm. Think carefully about your body language, as it can mean the difference between them tapping out to apply pressure or hold up counter magic. In an open field where you don't know each other, I suggest looking dangerous when you don't have it and chill when you don't with hopes of making your opponent do the wrong move.
- You can relatively often sideboard out one copy of Archon if the matchup is fast - which means that hardcasting isn't super likely.
Important Matchups + Sideboard Plans!
U/R Murktide is by far the most important matchup to master. On paper you have great tools, but their deck is just so powerful that they can overcome it a lot of the time. That's why tailoring your gameplan starting from turn one is so important against them.
My main plan against them is to set up a turn where I can cast Trans/Crea with backup and hope for the best. If they have a good draw with creatures and two counters, it's gonna be very hard. We cross our fingers that our cards line up well (Crab vs. Monkey, Wrenn vs. Channeler for example). If they don't keep making land drops, they will have awkward situations where they have to Expressive Iteration which leaves them with less mana to interact with.
This is very much the plan after sideboard where you have way more protection. Please be aware that red removal are also interaction for your big spell, and Veil of Summer doesn't help solving that. You will face extremely hard situations where you have to decide which X to pay for Creativity because of soft counters, but you also don't wanna get your two dwarfs shot my otherwise semi-bad removal spells. I would personally look at U/R sideboard guides to learn how many Heats/bolts are in their deck post-sideboard to make the best decision. Watch out for Engineered Explosives which can be awkward to play against despite locking up two mana from them. Fable provides a non-zero MV creature, and Prismari eot can mess with their mana.
- OUT: -4 Explore (you can cut 2-3 Crabs on the play instead), 1 Archon, 1 Boseiju
- IN: +3 Flusterstorm, +3 Veil
Grixis Shadow is tough because they present cheaper creatures and have discard spells with the trade-off of having worse counter magic. Thankfully, Shadows can be blocked by Crabs so we should have a bit more time than against U/R. Find your spot and hope for the best. Cryptic Commanding t1 Thoughtseize is key on the play after sideboard.
- OUT: -4 Explore, 1 Archon, 1 Boseiju
- IN: +3 Flusterstorm, +3 Veil
4 Color Yorion
4c Yorion can have many variants, so you want to find out if they're on Monkey, Counterspell and/or value. If they're not playing Counterspell, Solitude becomes your biggest enemy. Hardcast Archon is huge in this matchup as it's bound to go long.
Think twice about "value Dwarfs" before going for Trans/Crea because of Fury. Also some versions have Supreme Verdict, so see if you can play around that card a bit. March can target Clue, so no target is safe when being Creative. Most versions play Flusterstorms and maybe even Force of Negations on top in the SB, so Veil of Summer is good here no matter what. Aether Gust will catch them with their pants down on an Omnath turn or buy time vs. Wrenn and Six.
- OUT: -4 Bolt, 2 Command, 1 Boseiju
- IN: +3 Fluster, 2 Gust, 3 Veil
Hammer is a super dangerous deck where game one is mostly a race. The toughest hands to beat are semi-fast hands with Spell Pierce backup, but usually waiting it bad against that deck because so many bad things can happen in just one turn cycle.
Buy time, build an Archon or two and take it down. I approach this matchup a lot like Infect back in the day where you don't mind taking small chunks of damage, so you can play patiently with your removal spells and hope they make a mistake. For sideboarding, they will have some counterspells for upgrades, and we have a bunch of disenchant effects + some situational cards to win the war.
- OUT: -1 Archon, 4 Fable, 1 Crab, 1 Jund triome, 1 Explore
- IN: +2 Vigor, +2 Claim, +2 Boseiju, +2 Veil of Summer
Cascade decks are close matchups where your counters are key to victory. Resolved Rhinos are beatable, a big Living End not so much. Fire//Ice out of Rhinos can be a sick tempo swing turn two, so if you can sit on uncracked fetches, the lifeloss can be worth it. These are mostly racing matchups where you aim to play Trans/Crea as soon as possible. Force of Negation and Brazen Borrower are the interactive spells you should worry about the most, but usually waiting isn't something that benefits you.
- OUT: -4 Bolt, 1 Crab (-2 more Crabs vs. Rhinos and Glimpse), 1 Boseiju
- IN: +3 Flusterstorm, +3 Veil, (+2 Gust vs. Rhinos and Glimpse)
Burn is a bit different because you actually care about your lifetotal when setting up your mana. Manage it to the best of your ability to hopefully get to a turn four where you can build an Archon, or five with Pierce backup in case you don't have any artifacts to point at.
Remember casting Trans/Crea and making them have the Bolt for the dwarf is better than passing the turn and losing. We don't get many upgrades in sideboarding, but if this deck is huge in your meta, add some Weather the Storms.
- OUT: -4 Fable, -1 Archon
- IN: +2 Gust, +3 Fluster
Amulet is a pure race where you hope to get an advantage after sideboard where your tweaks are more impactful than theirs. Kill Amulets, Sagas and bounce lands to slow them down while you set up. Spell Pierce is very situational, so Pierce almost anything you see including Pact.
- OUT: -4 Bolt, -4 Crab
- IN: +2 Gust, +2 Claim, +2 Vigor, +2 Boseiju
Yawgmoth is a deck you can't afford to get going, so disrupt them early and often by killing mana dudes and present an Archon as fast as possible. After sideboard things become trickier as they have Thoughtseize and Necromentia which slows down the game. You will come prepared with Veil of Summer and Emrakul and be favored in post-SB games.
- OUT: -1 Explore, -1 Crab, -1 Pierce, 2 Command, -1 Boseiju
- IN: +3 Veil of Summer, +1 Emrakul, +2 Gust
Control isn't that popular, but every now and then you'll play against Counterspells, Verdict, and Solitude out of the same deck. They have more answers, but less pressure than U/R which gives you a bit more time to set up your crucial turn with Trans/Crea and as much backup as possible.
Flusterstorm is great for them in a defensive counter war, so as a rule of thumb play your Veil as the last interactive spell in counter wars. Keep in mind Archmage's Charm can steal your mana goblin out of Fable. We keep our incidental answers to Explosives because the 0/3 body of Crab is quite bad.
- OUT: -4 Bolt, 2 Crab
- IN: +3 Veil, +3 Fluster
Tron is a pure race where your consistency, Spell Pierce and Boseiju should give you the advantage of the course of a match. We bring in some situational disenchant effects to hopefully kill a Map. Bolt becomes better if they're on 4-mana Karn as well, so adjust accordingly.
- OUT: -2 Bolt, 2 Crab
- IN: +2 Claim, +2 Boseiju
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Published: 2022-08-15 00:00:00