“It’s not a deck that loses to itself” is probably the root of the issue here. When you’re playing a combo or aggro deck it’s easy to see when you’ve lost - you don’t assemble the combo or your early pressure gets stymied and it’s pretty easy to point to where things went wrong. The relevant game actions are pretty obvious. Tempo or midrange decks often don’t give you those obvious cues. You’re always taking game actions and you may feel like you’re winning even when you’re not. It’s the Jund syndrome. It feels great to thoughtseize and fatal push things and that makes you feel like you’re in the game even when you’re really answering the wrong things or presenting the wrong threats and your advantage is poor. With Murktide, you’re bolting, baubling, surveiling, taking lot of game actions that feel relevant…but if you surveil poorly, counter or heat the wrong threats, sequence your threats wrong you’re actually not at an advantage like it may feel.


God this is such a good breakdown of this mindset. I usually play more value engine oriented decks, but i sometimes pull out a tempo deck, and you're right, its so easy to goldfish an opening 7 and feel like you have answers to everything, wow all these cards are so good and I'll throw down a threat and just take over the game after exhausting their resources! Its so easy to feel like that. But the *tempo* in tempo decks is holding back your action for relevant pieces of your opponents deck, its not good enough to counter a wall of omens when you should probably save it for the coco. In Modern even a single choice like that could lose you the game. It really is that tight of a format sometimes. And thats probably the easiest example. Theres a *thousand* examples vastly more complicated or nuanced and if you have to solve 6 or 7 of those problems per game to gather enough tempo to slam a murktide and win and you screw up even just one of them, yeah, maybe you feel like you lost when you shouldnt have. I think the crux of what you said is feeling like youre taking all these game actions and thats gathering tempo when it can really just end up being mostly treading water if youre not thinking ahead correctly.


> wow all these cards are so good and I'll throw down a threat and just take over the game after exhausting their resources! To be completely fair, sometimes you just *do* that when playing Murktide if you draw hot or your opponent draws a mid hand.


For sure. But my point was its easy to feel like that with *every* hand and thats probably why new players might feel like they don't deserve to lose as much as they do.


I totally agree with you but I'm not sure murk is really a pure tempo deck, is more a midrange deck who can successfully play control, tempo or just a long value game like 4c do.


Yeah I'm being reductive to make a long comment a little shorter, i used tempo pretty generically here not necessarily to exactly describe tempo decks lol


That's exactly the misunderstanding of games that I were talking about. Thank you. And so? How do you improve it?


When you watch a great Murktide player it seems like they always have the answer they need at the right time, but there are only a few counters and a few removal spells in the deck. The first step I think is to know the common matchups well and know exactly what you need to answer so you know how to sculpt your hand when surveilling or casting iteration. If you’re already playing UW you have some of those skills already, but you have less wiggle room with a tempo deck and fewer answers. A delver style deck is trying to stick an early threat and ride it to victory on the back of cheap disruption with the idea that you have 1-2 mana answers for their more resource-intense threats. You want to condense the game and keep it within a window where your cheap disruption is still relevant and you do that with early pressure. I think someone else here mentioned knowing about good Ragavan/Murktide windows so you need to know what removal you’re playing around. If you’re used to playing UW control and Rhinos, your play patterns were casting removal for several turns and then suddenly presenting a big threat (rhinos) - murktide is the inverse of that. TLDR: know your crucial must-answer targets well, know what removal you’re playing around, stick threats early when possible, condense game when possible, learn fundamentals (bauble tricks, dress down tricks, blood moon matchups) and keep track of how you surveil so you can reflect post-game


> The first step I think is to know the common matchups well and know exactly what you need to answer so you know how to sculpt your hand when surveilling or casting iteration. Exactly. A control deck has to answer everything. Sometimes it will wait for a sweeper or better answer, but it needs to answer everything. A murktide deck doesn't need to **and can't** answer everything. And it's answers are also a wincon (bolts). So there are many more decisions to make.


Watch streamers play your deck on mute and pause before they take game actions to think about what you would’ve done. Anytime they do something you wouldn’t have, analyze why they made that play and why that might have been a better decision. I play a value creature deck and I find that I beat Murktide players quite handily if they remove the wrong creatures or play removal at the wrong time


Watch Andrea Mengucci on YouTube, plain and simple.


Take notes when you play. Analyze them post game. Did you use the right removal in the right spot? Was that luke warm 7 better than a good 6? If you dont have data to look back on it can feel like youre doing everything right even when letting a minor threat go to save an answer for a game ending threat was the better play.


Perfectly said.


Being aware of what your cards do and how to stack triggers or play them is a big part of Murktide. If you have a DRC and a Bauble, don't play bauble first, play bauble after DRC to surveil. If you have a fetchland, you can bauble yourself to shuffle away what's on top of your library. Don't play expressive iteration early, it's best if you have more excess mana to cast what's comes of it. Don't be afraid to put cards into the graveyard with surveil or connive to get delirium early. You want to make sure your playing aggressively when you are on the play and emphasize on the threats you have. If you keep a hand with a lot of counter magic but without advancing the game yourself and try to fight back into the game, that's really difficult. Learn to play Ragavan and how, Ragavan is a nice one drop if you know the opponent is light on interaction game one, but sometimes it's better to just dash him when the opponent is tapped out. Learn what your opponent's play, learn about meta decks and card choices to help you assess when you need a counterspell. Make a list of matchups you had, get to know what cards they play and what their gameplan is. The better you understand what your opponent's doing, the better you can stop him. That's the advice I can give you from my perspective. UR Murktide has a lot of synergies going and the better you understand all of the things happening, the better you're able to perform.


> Don't be afraid to put cards into the graveyard with surveil or connive to get delirium early. I was watching CoreyB streaming the challenge last weekend on Jeskai tempo breach, and it was amazing seeing how quickly he could fill the graveyard. He got Bojuka Bogged twice one game and both times regained delirium the next turn.


yeah lol it's pretty easy to fight through one shot grave hate effects because of the crazy speed you can mill yourself. RIP and black leyline though are rough


Yeah I play yawg and the amount of.times I've had a hearse out w 2 endurance in hand and STILL not been able to shut down a murktide players GY...


I play a Boros Midrange deck, so the red tips you gave were useful to me too. Thank you!


Lot of good answers in the thread but if I could make one suggestion. Watch Andrea Mengucci on YouTube He's one of the best players in the world and Murktide is his favorite modern deck. He uploads Murktide Sunday videos every week and does entire leagues explaining his play. I've gotten extremely good at Murktide by watching him weekly while grinding reps at locals.


I don't play Murktide, but I really like his videos. He's very good at explaining his thought process and how he comes to a decision. He's also very entertaining! :)


Yes big Mengu fan.


I will say I prefer his old leegacy videos tho..


Or just put him on in the background regardless. His voice is magic :)


Veeeeedeo! *sips water*


I think that Andrea mengucci is such a good murktide player because he knows his metagame. He knows what to expect what he should or shouldn't counter.


Hell that's just being a good competitive Magic player period.


knowing the meta game is like 90% of magic though. The MTGO Metagame is *THE* Metagame so it will most likely be similar to decks OP playing as well.


Are you forgetting to draw off of mishra's bauble? I had a friend who started playing murktide and initially did quite poorly and that was one of the issues he had. Assuming that it's not a play issue, one thing you can do to improve is to think a lot more about the interactions between DRC, Ledger Shredder, Mishra's Bauble, and Fetchlands. There are a lot of tricks you can use to get more information at any given point. Things like "do I surveil first and then connive or the opposite" are questions you should ask yourself very often. Mastering these tricks will give you the information needed to make the decisions that ultimately influence winning. Without that information, you don't have the decisions, and then murktide becomes average. However, you also need to be able to make good decisions, which requires deep knowledge of the wider metagame and general magic principles, which is very tough to do. And, do reflect on your games, but ensure not to be too hard on yourself for misplays. Mistakes happen a lot with murktide for most everybody.


>Are you forgetting to draw off of mishra's bauble? Not OP but definitely guilty of this myself!


Thanks for all the great inputs, I have a lot of work to do with this deck and I'm really excited about it!


whats the difference between either surveiling or conniving first?


If you already have a card in hand that you want to discard (say, for delirium, or for flooding, or if you have a bad card), or don't need a specific thing right now then you want to connive first, then surveil. On the other hand, if you're interested in getting what you need this turn, then surveiling first and then conniving is better. Also, if you know the top card of your deck from baubling yourself you want to connive then surveil if its good, or surveil then connive if its bad.


thank you! never realized there was so much depth to this. what do you mean by flooding?


Flooding is a term used when you have more lands than you need and would have preferred those extra lands had been spells instead. When you have more mana than you can spend each turn, you're flooded.




Murktide is probably the most difficult deck in modern to play optimally. You have so many chances to make mistakes. Even control decks typically are easier to pilot. You could just be making many misplays without knowing that add up over a game.


Totally agree, my first and favourite deck is UW and I think is pretty easier


That’s because UW is a reactive deck where you don’t really have to do anything, just sit back and counter/exile their stuff and eventually just attack with a solitude or ult a planeswalker. Murktide isn’t like that.


Not that easy man, I mean, you can do that when you have 8 land and 7 cards in hand. Before that you suffer


Is it just murktide that you are losing a lot with, or all the decks you play? If it's the former then I would say get more reps with the deck and read content about it, its impossible to say what it is you're doing wrong just from what you wrote. If it's the latter, you might need to just get better at magic before any deck or format specific advice will help you. You really need to be a fundamentally strong player in order to succeed consistently with murktide, but once you are, the details are not too hard to learn.


Totally agree. IDK exactly who said this (Reid Duke?) but there are decks that are two ways for decks to be hard to play: i) they require really good magic skills generally, and ii) they require a lot of deck-specific skills. Murktide is really high on the former (it's a true aggro control deck where your role changes a lot between and in games, and it wins on thin margins a lot), not so much on the latter. OP, paying for a primer on the deck is probably a good idea. I read the mystical teachings one when I was playing UR a lot and it helped a lot, especially for bad matchups (eg 4c)


I'm not a good magic player and my LGS have a lot of mtgo grinders and ultraseasoned players. Btw with the other decks I played (UW control and rhinos) I didn't have the sensation of not understanding why I lost certain games, It was easyer to understand things like "I didn't had to answer that" etc.


That makes sense. Lots of other good advice in this thread but maybe, if there are a lot of good players around you, you can try and learn from them? Make friends at your store and watch each others games and ask them questions. To me that is more fun way to learn than watching videos or reading articles.


you are most likely killing/countering things that don't matter figuring out what you actually care about from your opponent is key. maybe you don't need to answer their creature or planeswalker because you have a murktide coming soon that can prevent attacks, kill that planeswalker in one swing, or outrace your opponent. either that, or you are tapping out / casting threats when you don't need to, or on the flip side you are overprotective of your threats the board is completely clear on your opponent's side and you have a DRC out? probably no need to dash that ragavan. your opponent goes to kill the DRC? might want to just let it happen, then if they tap out for a threat you can counter it and start dashing your ragavan or cast your murktide or whatever. it's turn 3, you have a hand with a good mix of spells and lands including an iteration? no need to cast iteration yet, hold up that interaction.


Are you confident in your sideboarding decisions? Everyone knows how to sideboard against Murktide because it's so prevalent, so a Murktide player must know how to sideboard and play in response to retain advantage.


I wasn't but after the free mengucci's guide it was very easyer making good decisions, even if I'm changing the decklist


Play 10k games. About 40% of my winrate (85% overall in modern, i do mostly play lower end local tournaments tho) is just knowing traps/tricks that opponents use to grind small victories across games. Above and beyond that, control decks (and tempo) have an extremely tight learning curve on sequencing, relative card value, and clock speed. Every turn (and every game) you need to ask yourself "do I use removal first, or attack first?" Every piece of interaction, ask yourself what gain you have from using your interaction, vs what gain you have for holding interaction. Every point in every game, you need to know how many turns you have to live, and how many turns your opponents have to live.


You should always learn from your mistakes. Last night I countered a seasoned pyromancer when playing against rhino's. Never doing that again. Your sideboard needs to be effective and have enough copies of the cards to be able to expect to draw them. Sideboarding 1 ofs is basically pointless.


i mean, sometimes countering a pyro can be important when they have no cards in hand to deny the card advantage


Yes but that was not the scenario


well fair enough


Murktide is a deck that can do a lot of things at any time so playing incorrectly is very easy and will lose you games.


Yeah agree


I like to think of murk very similarly to how jund plays. You have to know the right window to attack, and that window is different for every archetype you are against, or how the draws played out. The “who’s the beatdown” simplifies it but it is more nuanced than that. You jump the gun a turn too early or too late can determine if you win or not.


Step one, could be worth it to goldfish the deck, even just a little bit, just to learn how to see as many cards as possible and how to stack certain triggers. This is not a great deck to goldfish a ton as a lot of what you do depends on what your opponent does, but it could still be useful for you to get used to how to resolve Mishra's Bauble (fetchland scry trick, holding it for Shredder if you have one for turn 2, etc), how to trigger DRC/Shredder, how to cast Iteration, holding extra lands to pitch to Shredder, etc. Even just getting used to the physicality of resolving the spells could make it so you're not thinking about that stuff in game and instead you can think about just decisions. This all seems like small stuff but it can add up. Step 2, the way I get a ton of free wins vs bad Murktide players (bad players in general but this stuff can be extremely punishing from the Murktide deck) is them not understanding what is important vs what's not important. So try to learn what your role is at any given time. People just do dumb things like bolting the turn 4 bird, using counter spell on a card that is maybe a 4 out of 10 on a given board only to let me resolve a 10, tapping out/low at weird times or on the flip side being scared to do anything at all, etc. This is really just where good magic fundamentals comes in, and just comes from playing a lot. You can also absorb this kind of stuff via watching Mengucci stream, he has literally hours of Murktide videos you can watch where he talks through the lines. Step 3, related to step 2, is sideboarding. Speaking of Mengucci, he puts it well where as long as you have a good board plan, Murktide is almost never unfavored in games 2 and 3 just because you have a wide swath of powerful tools in your sideboard tool belt, you just have to know how/when to use them. This could be as simple as paying for a sideboard guide or checking out Mengu's on CFB. But again, this kind of stuff also comes from just playing sideboarded games and realizing what does stuff vs what stinks. Also, while netdecking/using a sideboard guide is never a bad idea, sometimes if you know a certain sideboard card doesn't really mesh with YOUR plan in a matchup, consider making a tweak to the numbers with that in mind. Just as a quick example, idk if it's just luck or how I navigate the games but [[Brotherhoods End]] has always just been much worse for me than just more copies of [[Engineered Explosives]] so I generally just lean more towards the latter. Is this strictly correct for everyone? I don't think so, but it's just how I like to play my post board games particularly vs Hammertime. Lastly, after all of this, think carefully about every game you lose. Sometimes you lose because of variance, that definitely happens, but more often than you might realize you could've done something different that may have made an impact on the game. The only games I lose with Murktide where I feel like there was literally nothing I could've done different have been matches where games 1 and 2 the top like 10 cards of my deck have been lands, and even those perhaps I could've cantripped more effectively and saw more cards. Hell, also think critically about the games you win because you probably didn't play those perfect either.


[Brotherhoods End](https://cards.scryfall.io/normal/front/5/0/50f7666d-0d60-4fe5-b144-286d4e47b704.jpg?1674421089) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Brotherhood%27s%20End) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/bro/128/brotherhoods-end?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/50f7666d-0d60-4fe5-b144-286d4e47b704?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text) [Engineered Explosives](https://cards.scryfall.io/normal/front/4/2/420bf1e9-f2ec-4dff-b540-e64de71e58be.jpg?1599709112) - [(G)](http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Engineered%20Explosives) [(SF)](https://scryfall.com/card/2xm/252/engineered-explosives?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher) [(txt)](https://api.scryfall.com/cards/420bf1e9-f2ec-4dff-b540-e64de71e58be?utm_source=mtgcardfetcher&format=text) ^^^[[cardname]] ^^^or ^^^[[cardname|SET]] ^^^to ^^^call


Knowing your opponent's deck can go a long way, but knowing the finer details of the game too. I lost a game to a Omnath deck and my friend pointed out that I could have won by exploiting the fetchland trigger to cast instant spells, for example.


Set up a camera and record your matches, ideally from a perspective where you can see both players hands, and then watch after the matches that you lose and see why you lost.


Murktide has so many micro-decisions that it’s really hard to see where you misplay. A wrong surveil trigger can cost you the game after 5 turns. Just watch pros play the deck and learn their thought process.


Op, some matchups are a uphill battle. Decks with tempo-like plays like white flicker give us headaches. It’s all about evaluating your threats. Example is it good to counter NOW or is it better to save for when we could cripple the opponent? Do I have surveil triggers I’ll get from casting my counter spell? How do I avoid missing them? Bolt the bird/monkey turn 1 is still a valid play when I have seen many people use turn one to “setup” with drc+bauble. that’s a key thing I have seen lately. turn 1 heat getting rid of a dork will set back your opponent more than you having to wait turn to set up


How does murktide match up in your meta? I’d recommend looking at guides for other decks used in the meta to help you anticipate what they’re next play is.