View Full Version : [Pro-Bant] 2nd at Magickeller Hannover 12.09.09

09-15-2009, 03:22 PM
Last Saturday I was able to take part at the monthly “Magickeller Hannover” - Legacy Event in Niedersachsen, Germany.
I piloted my NO/Progenitus-Bant list to a 5-0-1 finish taking 2nd place. There were 41 players attending making “Magickeller” the biggest Legacy-Event in my region.
After rejecting “traditional” UG/w Threshold builds, I was in search for a new weapon of choice. Well, in the end I changed 10 cards of the deck. How creative… :wink:

[My Decklist] (60)

Lands: (18)
4x Flooded Strand
4x Windswept Heath
3x Tropical Island
2x Tundra
2x Island
1x Forest
1x Plains
1x Dryad Arbor

Creatures: (13+1)
4x Noble Hierarch
4x Tarmogoyf
3x Rhox War Monk
1x Trygon Predator
1x Progenitus

“The infamous CB/Top Part”: (8)

4x Counterbalance
4x Sensei’s Divining Top

Other Spells: (21)

4x Brainstorm
2x Ponder
4x Daze
4x Force of Will
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Natural Order

SB: (15)
1x Trygon Predator
2x Krosan Grip
2x Engineered Explosives
2x Hydroblast
2x Blue Elemental Blast
2x Path to Exile
2x Relic of Progenitus
1x Tormod’s Crypt
1x Empyrial Archangel

I didn’t take any notes, so be aware that this is right of my mind and probably not always described in detail.

Round #1: - vs. Elves/Planeswalker.dec
Game #1: He begins with Forest, go. I kept a solid hand containing CB/Top, which I assemble in the next turns. My opponent plays Wren’s Run Vanquisher, followed by an Elvish Archdruid, which got dazed. I’m on defense all the time, but after I sworded 3 vexing shushers, I’m able to keep his green men off the board with Counterbalance (also revealing NO to counter Garruk / Sarkhan Vol). He beats me with a pumped Chameleon Colossus a few turns, and I refilled my life total with two War Monks beside a Noble Hierarch. The small lady transforms into a giant Hydra and ended the game 10 minutes away from the end of the round. 1-0
Boarding: - 2x Ponder - 1x Trygon Predator / + 2x EE + 1x Path to Exile
Game#2: I’m able to stay alive and would also have won this game pretty easy, because he had a very slow start (clunky deck)

Round#2: - vs. Bant Aggro
Game#1: Before we start he tells me that CB/Top wouldn’t be fun for him. Fortunately my opening hand consists of 2 Lands, Top, CB, CB, Ponder and Daze. I can resolve the second CB, but he disrupts my manabase with Wasteland and I was unable to find lands with my top for the next turns. In the meantime CB does its job, countering everything useful for him. He gets pissed and just scoops it up after I finally see some land. Thx, that’s fine with me. 1-0
Boarding: - 2x Ponder - 1x NO / + 1x EE + 2xPtE
Game#2: He beats me down with double exalted War Monk and my lonely ¾ Goyf is not enough to keep me in the game for long. 1-1
Game#3: The board is stalled and nobody can force through enough damage for the win in the extra-turns.

Round#3: - vs. UW/b Landstill
Game#1: I resolve an early Natural Order fetching Progenitus, but I only have one Force of Will as a backup, which is not enough to keep his Humility from hitting play on his turn. My FoW gets forced and I’m missing the second blue card for another Force of Will in my hand. Poor Hydra! I concede because I have no answers to Humility in my MD. He also has 2 Mishra’s Factory in play, ready to nibble away my life points. 0-1
Boarding: - 1x Swords to Plowshares - 1x Natural Order - 1x CB - 1x Daze/ + 2x Krosan Grip + 1x EE + 1x Relic of Progenitus
Game#2: He gets eaten by Tarmogoyfs quickly. I grip and counter everything in the way (Disk/Factories). Again, there is CB revealing my remaining two 4cc spells involved - hitting the otherwise game breaking cards of his deck.1-1
Game#3: See game #2. He has Vedalken Shackles combined with Academy Ruins but after my Grip I always keep my Rhox on top for CB. I kill him in the last extraturn. 2-1

Round#4: - vs. Death ‘n’ Taxes
Game#1: After three turns I’m facing 2x Aether Vials and 2x Ethersworn Canonists, laughing at my CB/Top package. The power of my Trygon Predator is negated by Serra Avenger, who quickly applies pressure. I announce “here comes the Fat-Evil-Hydra-of-Death-from-Hell” and exchanged my Predator for Progenitus, who was able to race him just in time. 1-0
Boarding: - 2x Ponder - ? / + 2 E. Explosives + 2x Path to Exile
Game#2: See Game 1. I can slow down the game with Tarmogoyf and Progenitus has fun eating his face, ignoring his army. 2-0

Round#5: - vs. Eva Green
Game#1: After he casts Snuff Out on my first turn Hierarch, he focuses on destroying my hand, taking a Rhox War Monk - leaving me with Brainstorm and lands left in my hand. In the next turns I found Sensei’s Divining Top and Counterbalance but I can’t handle his Nantuko Shade, which ends the game three turns later, with me not finding any removal in spite of searching with Top combined with fetchland activations. 0-1
Boarding: - 1x Progenitus – 3x Natural Order -1x Ponder / + 1x Relic of Progenitus + 1x EE +1x Krosan Grip + 2x Path to Exile
Game#2: I prefer the CB/Top softlock over 2nd turn War Monk with the help from my Hierarch. I lost the War Monk to a Hymn to Tourach, because I used SDT to draw the CB, so he knew what was on the top of my deck.
But as always CB pays out, countering his next spells with little effort and my Tarmogoyfs can beat him down. 1-1
Game#3: I keep an aggressive hand with Noble Hierach and two Tarmogoyfs. He tries to wreck my manabase with Sinkholes, but cheap Tarmos run him over. He can’t do much else then writing down his shrinking life totals and removing his Tombstalker from the game and replace him with a tapped basic land. 2-1

Round#6: - vs. Bant Aggro
Game#1: We both keep creature heavy hands, but he can easily crush me by casting a Noble Hierarch, 3 Tarmogoyfs and a Rhox War Monk against my Hierarch and my two Lhurgoyfs. We both have one StoP to send some Goyfs farming, but the battle was lost this time. 0-1
Boarding: - 2x Ponder -1x Daze – 1x Natural Order / + 2x EE + 2x Path to Exile
Game#2: I resolve an early CB hitting two of his spells blindly. He starts complaining, but that’s what CB does with pleasure. Finally, I found Top and the lock protects my attacking green men. 1-1
Game#3: At some point the game gets stalled a bit, until he confidently sends out Rafiq, who definitely puts pressure on me. I see my chance to cast Natural Order on my lonely War Monk and Progenitus hits the table. I kill his Noble Hierarch with an EE at 1 and cast mine to have a blocker for Rafiq or a Vendilion Clique. He was unable to draw a card that helps him out and Progenitus seals the deal again. (After the game I was told that I could have cast Natural Order turns before I actually cast it. But I feared him holding back countermagic at this point, also I can’t remember having a FoW myself in contrast to my friend watching the game. Yeah, I was pretty exhausted last round.) 2-1

[Thoughts on the deck]

1. Would have Rafiq/ Bant Aggro/ Thresh/w also won the games?
[Also removing the 4 situational and sometimes dead slots (3 NO, 1Pro)]
- Rafiq may put the same amount of pressure on the opponent, but a cc1 spell can easily save the opponent (Bant Aggro does not play CB/Top)
- Progenitus can be handled only by a few cards that are played right now / the opponent must find and resolve one of these special cards fast and has to get around your counter suite, too.
- Strangely Qasali Pridemage was not needed the whole day, which was the former reason I like to play Thresh/w.

2. Is the Progenitus combo a viable threat or is it the power of CB/Top that cripples a huge amount of decks alone, so it doesn’t matter what creature was send out to deal lethal damage?
- Progenitus breaks stalls (and he does this job better than an exalted Goyf)
- CB can reveal a cc4 spell, which is huge against Planeswalkers, Humility, Wrath, Moat etc.
- Against agro decks you can focus your counters on their threats until Progenitus finishes them off.
- Natural Order gets around CB, leaving your opponent with Force of Will /Discard as an answer / Daze and Spell Snare are also useless

3. What about Noble Hierarch?
- Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of her and always argued that she is a bad topdeck and doesn’t help the Threshold decks much (see SPOD builds, which I would categorize as the optimum)
- BUT: Pro Bant absolutely loves this card. Ok, you have more mana to spend in the first turns to assemble CB/Top or accelerating into turn two Rhox War Monk (same for Bant Aggro/ Thresh), BUT a fast NO -> Progenitus really wins you games you usually would have lost instead.
(See Round 1,4,6) or it is an attempt to steal games quickly (damn Humility - Round 3)

4. Notes on the Sideboard:
- Empyrial Archangel wasn’t needed at all
- 4 Blasts were never boarded in, because I never faced anything red
- I never felt I had to change much in the deck. Against decks packing a higher threat density, I always boarded the additional removal to stay alive before Progenitus does its dirty deed
- Path to Exile can be switched to Submerges to fight CB, but Path was the right card for the merfolk and aggro players I've seen around
- Gaddock Teegs are also a valid choice, improving my Landstill and combo MU, but somehow I dismissed him

+ Meeting nice people
+ Playing a big event after some time
+ Winning a signed Revised Underground Sea
+ I never drew Progenitus nor was he in my opening seven, which happened a lot in the little testing I have done
+ Not much CB hanging around. Unbelievable :eek:

- Me not facing a Combo deck all day. Fear my Counterbalance!
- Combo decks eating aggro decks for breakfast all day… (3 decks in the Top8)
- Not enough testing with the deck, which led to exhausting matches going to the extraturns
- No lunch because of intensive extraturns against Landstill
- I tried out KMC Sleeves and they just sucked (I had to replace 10+) because they just wear out after some riffle shuffling
- A pretty random Meta
- My friend facing 2x Affinity and 1x Staxx with his Canadian Threshold list

So, I hope you guys enjoyed my first report. I would appreciate your comments on the deck itself, your own experiences or your opinion on Natural Order in a Threshold/Bant shell in general. I’m still skeptical about the deck.

09-16-2009, 03:31 PM
Nice report! Did you find the Heirarch's exalted ability relevant at all? Or could she just as easily have been a BoP?

Also: When first I clicked on this thread, I thought it was a misplaced tourney announcement (Me: "What? It's not December 9th yet"). Silly me.

09-16-2009, 03:52 PM
I like the list. Nice finish.

Have you tried bant survival before?

09-16-2009, 05:34 PM
Nice report! Did you find the Heirarch's exalted ability relevant at all? Or could she just as easily have been a BoP?

Also: When first I clicked on this thread, I thought it was a misplaced tourney announcement (Me: "What? It's not December 9th yet"). Silly me.

Stupid me. I wrote the date as I would write it in german.:confused:

The exalted ability is sometimes relevant and i would always prefer Hierarch over BoP. I picked up my three missing little ladies 10 minutes before the tournament. First, she produces all the colors you need and can also get into the red zone (By the way, this is absolutely relevant when you play a Bant Aggro list with Jitte). She makes Tarmogoyf pushing through an extra dmg on each attack speeding up your clock (outracing the opp), and if there are too many creatures in play and attacking is more complicated, you can most of the time just cast NO and win with Progenitus.
Exalted becomes more relevant with Rhox War Monk. He can give you an incredible life boost making the game last longer in your favor to find solutions for your opponents deck. I really wanted to play against some Burn or Zoo style deck because 1st turn Hierarch into 2nd turn War Monk is just nuts.

What I also liked about the deck is its stable manabase. War Monk is easily cast and you really have good MU's against popular Zoo/Burn and Canadian Thresh decks. First turn Hierarch is a good boost that makes Sinkhole/ Stifle /Wasteland less scary.
The only advantage in playing BoP, is that you are able to block a flyer, which is not so important.

other question:
I played a few games with a Bant Survival list on MWS, but I can't remember my experiences with it. I've been playing Survival Rock for the last months
and I think I was more satisfied with the non-blue list.