View Full Version : [Report] First Place with Bant Survival

01-03-2010, 01:59 AM
January 2nd 2009
The first big Legacy event in Tucson for the new year! Winner gets their choice of a set of any non blue dual or a box of any newer set. The team I'm on (Team G!) put together a nice variety of decks that we thought would be strong. We brought in BR Goblins, Geddon Stax, Trisomy 21, Mono Blue Merfolk and 2 Bant Survivals.

I was one of the Bant pilots. I played this:

__18 Land
2 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Windswept Heath
2 Forest
1 Plains
1 Island
4 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
1 Savannah

4 Noble Hierarch
4 Tarmogoyf
2 Rhox War Monk
2 Qasali Pridemage
1 Trygon Predator
1 Eternal Witness
1 Genesis
1 Squee
1 Rafiq of Many
1 Wonder
1 Kira
1 Ethersworn Canonist

__22 Other Spells
4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Spell Snare
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Ponder

3 Krosan Grip
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Spell Pierce
2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Pithing Needle
1 Kataki, War's Wage
1 Faerie Macabre

The other Bant Survival we brought was a mirror -1 Savannah for another basic (think he said Island?). I was trying to squeeze NOPro into the sideboard. Mostly because it helps the aggro match a little bit by cheating in a beastly 10/10 unstoppable Hydra. I ended up opting against it though. I was also considering dropping Spell Snare for Spellstutter Sprite and maybe Scryb Ranger or Vendillion Clique but I liked the one mana counter too much.

Match 1 vs Deadguy Ale
G1 - He drops a scrubland and Thoughtseizes. I don't remember what he took because I didn't remember to write notes until after the game. I remember him walking into two Spell Snares with a Sinkhole and I think a Confidant but sticks a Shade. I lay out a Goyf and a Noble, but by this time he's got 4 lands out and it's bigger than Goyf. He hits me for 6. I lay another Noble and hit him back, getting him to 13 as well. He swings again, but neglects to pump. I lay out a RWM and start going to town. The game ends with me at 33.
G2 - He leads with Ritual, Hymn, Thoughtseize taking a QP and a Heath, then selecting the Force out of me hand. I play a turn 2 Goyf, and he uses Perish on it. We go back and forth for a while. I wind up with a Survival, Noble, and Kira while he has a Hypnotic Specter keeping me in topdeck mode for a while. We trade blows until I'm at 11 and he's at 9. He then Vindicates Kira twice and pushes me to 4 before I answer Hypnotic Specter. I Genesis up Kira by now, and he puts down a Confidant with only 4 life. He got pretty lucky, revealing only lands for 3 turns and I kill him with one life left.
2-0 (1-0)

Match 2 vs Elf Aggro with NOPro
G1 - I mulligan a no land hand. He lays out a Llanowar Elf into a Priest and I counter a NO on turn 3. I land a Noble and RWM and hit him. I draw into a Survival, but there's no creature to pitch. I draw 2 more as he lays out 2 Lords. I end up scooping with 18 life as he sits with about 22 damage on the board Forestwalk.
G2 - I lay out Noble and Goyf or two and he gets stuck on 3 guys. Countered another NOPro in this match.
G3 - We both mulligan to 5. I keep a risky one land hand (Plains) with FoW, Pierce, STP, Canonist. He goes Llanowar Elf, pass. I lay the land and wait. He hits a Ranger and ramps a Priest in, which I Swords. He plays another the next turn as I draw into 2 Survivals. I Force his NO again, but by the time I get another land, it's too late.
1-2 (1-1)

Match 3 vs Mono Blue Merfolk
G1 - He was playing with Cosi and lays out 3 of them while I have a Goyf on the offensive. He ended up drawing nothing but lands.
G2 - He put out 2 early Lord of Atlantis and 2 Adepts. I put a little bit of pressure down, but not enough to hold back the Islandwalking Merfolk.
G3 - I keep an interesting hand of Trop, Island, Forest, Survival, Goyf. I draw into a couple of Exalted dudes and make Goyf retarded huge. Then I lay out Rafiq for the win.
2-1 (2-1)

Match 4 vs Mono Blue Merfolk (Josh, a teammate)
G1 - Really really close. He doesn't see much control, but he lays out threats everywhere. I answer the Lords, but take a beating to the little dudes. I manage to stick a Goyf and lock up the ground. I end up beating him by making my dudes go in the air via Wonder and end the game 11 life to 8.
G2 - We both play pretty sloppy, but we're having fun. I end up making a huge mistake of tapping out while he plays Back to Basics, making it impossible to recover.
G3 - With B2B in mind, I Survival up a Trygon Predator. He forgets, playing a B2B only to have it eaten. He didn't get a lot of threats, but managed to hit me for 8 with a Thrasher and a Mutavault with a Lord out. I remember the board being to the point where if he topdecked a Lord of Atlantis, he won regardless, so I sent in enough guys to go over the top and hold back a Noble and lay a Goyf to block. He topdecks a land and I win.
2-1 (3-1)

They post standings. Burn and the Elf deck I lost to are in 1st and 2nd. David is in 3rd with the Bant Survival. I'm in 7th and the rest of the team is 14th, 15th and lower. Match 6 and beyond were single elimination rounds.

Match 5 vs UG Stifle Nought (store owner excellent Magic player)
G1 - Very slow game. I'm digging for threats and swinging witha 1/2 Noble, but he lays a turn 2 Top and turn 3 CB. I bring him to 11 via Noble, but he gets out a Nought and ends the game pretty quickly.
G2 - I lay out double Noble and then a War Monk that takes him to 7, only interrupted twice by 2 Factories. I play a Goyf to help end the game quicker, and he matches mine. I send it farming and take him to 1. He mentioned something about not being able to cast his Threads without two Islands.
G3 - I keep a hand that is risky, but works out in my favor. It was something like Forest, Noble Hierarch, 2 Survival, 2 Goyf, Force. The first Survival gets countered, but the second one resolves. I end up countering his Counterbalance 3 times before he stalls out.
2-1 (4-1)

Match 6 vs Affinity *Quarterfinals*
G1 - Early Noble, early Goyf. Countering his Master of Etherium to make Goyf fat was nice too. He was pretty threat light. I take him to 14 with that fast Exalted Goyf, but have to block an angry angry creature. Luckily I played Rafiq and pushed him to 2 life pretty much ending the game.
G2 - Turn 1 Noble. Turn 2 Survival, get Kataki. Turn 3 Kataki. He played a lot of good stuff though, so it was actually a difficult match. The biggest mistake I made was not ditching a Goyf for a RWM when I was at 6 life and he was at 9. It didn't matter much though. I still got it.

Match 7 vs Next Level Dredge
G1 - He starts off pretty slow, as he doesn't have any discard outlets. I beat him down pretty quickly with RWM and STP some of his guys.
G2 - I counted my play mistakes in this match, because they were what led to my demise. Getting the Survival engine too late, getting Teeg out too late, countering the wrong spell. He ended up laying into me with a couple tokens, and then all of a sudden, there were 8 and 4 Bloodghast. I lived one turn though because of Lifelink.
G3 - My first turn consists of Crpyt and Brainstorm. He plays pretty cautiously by playing a Tribe and really slow rolling the dredgers. I play Survival and start rolling my engine. His graveyard starts looking big, so I STP the Tribe. He responds by discarding a couple of dredgers. On his draw step after he turns up 2 Bloodghast and a couple of other goods, so I pop the Crypt then, leaving him with about 3 cards in hand and a 3 Narcomoebas in play. I then put out Teeg. He tries to Breakthrough, but I point at Teeg. The game drags out for a while, as I give my guys flying and start blocking the angry Moebas. Towards the end of the game, I was at 12 and he was at 11, but he had 2 lands, no graveyard, 3 dead cards in hand, and I had a Survival,a bunch of land, Genesis recurring Macabre every turn, and a Witness, some exalted guys, RWM, and Wonder in the yard. I'm surprised he didn't scoop earlier.

Match 7 vs Elf Aggro w/NOPro
I want to go home and split. The kid wants to play. Fine.
G1 - He draws, says he forgot to unboard from the last match, so he lost.
G2 - He fixes his deck and we begin. We both play out turn 1 land, mana guy, go. he puts out a Ranger and then a Priest. He ends up with another Priest which I counter. He puts some light pressure down with the Elves he does have available to attack. He ends up with a bunch of smaller mana Elves and tries to cast Sylvan Messenger. I FoW it. At this point I lay out a RWM and stabilize. I just pray he doesn't draw a Natural Order and crush me. I draw into a Force, and play a Witness for a Ponder to dig for removal. He ends up trying to cast that 5/5 Champion an Elf nonsense, so I counter it instead. He chumped the Monk to avoid going to 5, but then I dump Wonder into the yard.

So I won 3 Revised Tundras and went home happy. Hoping to trade 2 of the Tundras for other useful cards, since one finished the set.

I like the deck a lot. It's better than the monstrousity I played in December for the lawls. Kira+Canonist was a nice combo against spot removal. I want more Monks somewhere int he 75. That card was better than Goyf in most scenarios. Exalted is incredibly powerful.

-The store (Amazing Discoveries) for putting up the event
-David for helping develop the build and convincing me not to add NOPro.
-Frank G and his epic team.

-Being at the store for 8.5 hours.
-Kid wanting to play instead of splitting when I just wanted to go home.
-All of the play mistakes I made.

Sorry that I didn't put in my SB changes. Usually Snare came out for things. Or against aggro, Kira and Canonist came out. Even Trygon Predator came out against Elf Aggro in the first match I played against him. Also a lot of my notes were pretty shitty as I was worn out by match 5.

01-03-2010, 02:36 AM
Nice report! The list looks good except the mana base. Why 3 Tundra? Those should definitely be some number of Savannahs. You really only need one blue source to opperate whereas you need green for Survival and 16 of your creatures.

How many players were there?

01-03-2010, 03:15 AM
I only have one Savannah and I have 3 Tundras. I know it wasn't optimal, but it's what I had to work with.


01-03-2010, 06:02 AM
Nice job, fun to see you guys liking the deck ;)

01-03-2010, 08:05 AM
Match 7 vs Elf Aggro w/NOPro
I want to go home and split. The kid wants to play. Fine.
G1 - He draws, says he forgot to unboard from the last match, so he lost.
Haha, awesome.

Congratulations on the performance, enjoyed reading your report.

01-03-2010, 08:59 AM
Congrats, why Ethersworn Canonist in maindeck?

01-03-2010, 09:07 AM
Congrats, why Ethersworn Canonist in maindeck?

I think it's for a the synergy with Kira, based on his comments about the cards. I think it should be the third RWM (since you were looking for a card to cut for the third) because the lock seems weak to go for. You still get owned by a sweeper and Kira already does a great job at owning targetted removal.

01-03-2010, 01:54 PM
Like Jak said, Canonist was for the synergy with Kira. I saw that thread where they mentioned it and I presented it to my team...they loved it. It was good, but I think that Kira is enough protection from spot removal. But yes, a third RWM would be great there.

It was just something we wanted to try.

01-03-2010, 08:17 PM
żDon't you think Rafiq is overkill? I mean, you will the game with it in play most of the times.

I use to play 1 Kitchen Finks, it's very useful in situations where, despite having Survival in play, you are in a bad position, or you need instant life. It's an MVP against agrodecks like Zoo, try it ;)

01-04-2010, 01:49 AM
No way. Rafiq made it possible to go from 4 life to 14 life with minimal effort (One other exalted, and a RWM). Also it's good with Trygon Predator, as you can nuke an extra artifact or enchantment.

01-06-2010, 05:17 PM
Canonist is a rather big deal with Storm/Belcher combo-decks. Just something to keep in mind. Makes your counters infinitely more powerful and overall, just makes the matches quite a bit easier.

01-07-2010, 06:30 PM
Neat list. I'm curious about your Kataki, War's Wage choice in board. What was it for? Also, what's your general gameplan against things like Goblins?

01-07-2010, 06:58 PM
Neat list. I'm curious about your Kataki, War's Wage choice in board. What was it for? Also, what's your general gameplan against things like Goblins?

Could see it dp'ing (yes all by itself) some stax list and... affinity. oO

01-07-2010, 11:57 PM
Canonist was decent. We're going to refine the list some more though. We really felt that Monk was stronger than Goyf.

Kataki (aka Bukake) was against Affinity. There was a mix up with the quarter finals in which an Affinity player had to play me. Game one I got him just by being a solid deck. Game 2 he topdecked a Fling with an Atog on board. Game 3 I had turn 3 Kataki.

I also had a casual game with someone playing Affinity. Kataki just beat Affinity. It also helped with Stax, which Frank was playing. There was a Thopter Token deck or two floating around.

Tribal aggro was my weakest matchup, which is why I spoke of Natural Order to turbo out a clock and after the tourney we were talking about Magus of the Moat or Wrath or Moat to deal with it. My plan against Goblins though would be to lockup the ground via Goyf and start going for Flying War Monk with Rafiq. Kira helps for the anti Gempalm/Stingscourger.

I appreciate all of the feedback. I will have to start posting some thoughts my team comes up with for the deck. I definitely want to drop a Snare for an extra creature, which would probably be Monk. Scryb Ranger is another card I liked against B2B and stuff, but without Spellstutter, I might be better off with Quirion.

01-08-2010, 02:03 AM
Sounds neat. I love the list, it's just that the Tribal matchup looks so awful it makes my blood crawl, and Tribal completely runs rampant down here anyway. I feel like there needs to be a removal creature somewhere in a Survival list.

I'd also think with the Forces, Swords, and Trygon Predator that Kataki might be overkill, but if you expect to face Affinity, whatever wins games.

01-08-2010, 02:47 AM
I forget where the slots in the board were, but I think we settled on Magus of the Moat and 2 PTE. Yes though, the Tribal match is atrocious. I won the Tribal matches entirely because of luck I think. We seriously underestimated Tribal though...and that's why the clone deck we had lost to the Elf deck in the Top 8.

Magus of the Moat isn't that slow. Noble ramps you and Kira protects him fairly well. But if they play sweepers that kill him, it's also taking out their stuff (Spout, Wrath, Deeds...but in aggro, who plays that?)

Jitte was something we talked about too, now that I think of it. Reason being is that me and the clone list pilot were dicking around with Bant CounterTop and Japanese Supreme Blue with Jitte in the main in place of a Spout. Jitte was nice as a form of extra lifegain or spot removal. I wanted to play around with Survival some and we both liked it a lot. But requiring a threat and not being tutorable sucked.

Removal creatures in the Bant colors might be tough to come by. I wish Acidic Slime hit creatures. It has Deathtouch! Speaking of Deathtouch, right before the tournament, I was digging through foils and found a Winged Coatl and was joking about it with the team.

When I presented the Kira/Canonist combo to the team, Frank G built an Angry Tradewind Survival list that was more combo control than the aggressive builds we wound up playing. He had Spore Frog in his list, which nullifies combat damage. Even without Kira protection, that Frog was annoying to fight. It turned all of my removal into "You can deal damage next turn" which wasn't enough when he was fetching Kira/Canonist/Tradewind Rider and then winning.

So Spore Frog is a legit option. Yes, it's not good against Zoo, but it Healing Salves you and gives you a chance to find a RWM.

I hate making this post so long, but Loyal Retainers really opens up the options. Iona as a lockpiece, or you could do that Kuro Pitlord as a form of removal. Get creative.

TLDR: Magus of the Moat and 2 PTE in the board? Spore Frog main? Loyal Retainers+Legendary meanies?

01-08-2010, 03:08 AM
Tribal like Goblins isn't too hard if you load your board with Paths and finish off your playset of War Monks. Spore Frog can be okay, but I wouldn't run it main and it really takes some time to set up. You most likely need as many Swords effects and War Monks as you can get to buy you the time to set it up.

@Tutorable removal
It would be nice if there was something like Shriekmaw in the colors but this deck doesn't necessarily need it. When you have Survival, just keep grabbing creatures and you should easily math whatever you are playing. Wonder breaks stalemates where removal would have.

01-08-2010, 04:45 AM
As a merfolk player I absolutely must counter a Rhox War Monk unless I have an incredible board position. If you are looking for more sb choices vs tribal decks I suggest Umezawa's Jitte. It's good vs Merfolk, Goblins, Elves and Dredge.

01-08-2010, 01:31 PM
@Jak - Yes, Monk is house. And PTE would be nice. But like I said, I'll be working on the list hopefully this weekend and next week. Setting up Spore Frog+Jenny (Genesis) can come down as early as turn 3, but more commonly after that. Goblins makes that more difficult though because of Port and Wasteland. I think the extra RWMs will drastically improve the match and PTE wouldn't hurt.

@Ecoris - My only problem with Jitte is that it really does take 2-3 slots in the board and then require a threat to wield it. My sideboard is pretty tight as is. I think the weakest cards were the 2 Needle and the third Crypt, but going the 2 PTE 1 Magus of the Moat, it gives me 2 removal and a tutorable Moat that I can work around because of Wonder. I'm open to testing though, as I'm relatively new to the deck. I played the deck for under 4 hours prior to the tourney.

I'm going to post my list in the Surviving Bant thread to get more exposure and hopefully more insight.