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hungryLIKEALION
03-15-2010, 08:34 PM
[Deck] Excalibur

Current List:
[Deck] Excalibur
by Harry Matten Gillen aka hungryLIKEALION

This is the list I'm currently using. I believe it to be the most optimized version currently being played, but there's always room for improvement.

[Updated 1/6/11]
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded Strand
1 Plains
1 Forest
1 Island
1 Savannah
2 Tundra
3 Tropical Island
4 Mutavault

4 Noble Hierarch
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique
4 Spellstutter Sprite

4 Force of Will
3 Spell Snare
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Brainstorm
2 Spell Pierce
2 Ponder
1 Jace, The Mind Sculptor

SB:
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Krosan Grip
2 Trygon Predator
2 Path to Exile
1 Lightning Greaves
3 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
2 Spell Pierce

This list is the culmination of my playing the deck for 3 and a half months straight. It quickly became apparent to me that the deck wanted more creatures, which led to the inclusion of the faerie package (Vendi and Sower) that has proven to be one of the most identifying parts of the current deck. In fact, I almost believe this deck is now more of a Faerie deck than it is an SFM deck, believe it or not. I’ve won many games with the power of Vendilion Clique alone, without even needing equipment to help it along. Decreasing the deck’s dependency on equipment and increasing resiliency to Krosan Grip and artifact destruction is a solid deal. It also allowed me to get the blue count up to 21 for Force of Will, so I call that a win/win.

I cut the 4th SFM because it is a lot worse in multiples than people seem to realize, and drawing 3 SFMs + Equipment can make a hand extremely lackluster very quickly, and it’s cost me high profile matches, such as game 2 of the semi-finals against Dave Price (New Horizons) at the 3/13 Duel for Duals where I drew 3 stone forges, both jittes and SoFI. 3 SFM are still easily found thanks to cantrips, and we don’t end up with as many clogged draws. Additionally, as I stated above, SFM is no longer necessary for us to win thanks to the power of the faerie package, but the two complement each other very well.

Spell Snare replaced Daze in my deck for the first time at the Philly Open, where I split the Top 4. I’ve spoken at length about the change with Jeremy Smelski (GrooGrux) and he agrees that the change is warranted. Without mana denial, Daze just becomes a dead draw far too quickly for us. Also, since our deck is based more around consistent card quality than powerful bombs or combinations (Such as Vial+Standstill, Counterbalance, or Natural Order) it makes more sense to play a more consistent card than one designed for inconsistent blowouts.
A Brief History:
February 27th-28th Evangelos Papatsourachas piloted a bant colored deck containing new WWK card Stoneforge Mystic to 14th place at GP Madrid. His deck looked like this:

Mystic Control by Evangelos Papatsourachas
14th place GP Madrid 2/27/10-2/28/10

4 Flooded Strand
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Mutavault
1 Plains
1 Savannah
2 Tropical Island
4 Tundra

4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tarmogoyf

4 Aether Vial
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
2 Ponder
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Threads of Disloyalty
2 Umezawa's Jitte

Sideboard
3 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Hydroblast
3 Krosan Grip
2 Meddling Mage
2 Path to Exile
3 Tormod's Crypt

I saw the deck and immediately knew I would enjoy playing it. I was still trying to decide what to play at the March 13th Duel for Duals, so I decided to test it. Initial testing was positive across a number of matchups, but I did make some changes. At first I tried testing Serra Avenger as a 2 of since it's such a bomb with equipment, but testing showed that the deck did not really want Aether Vial, and without Vial, Avenger's pretty bad. I swapped out Vial for Hierarch and cut a daze for a SoLS, giving me the following list:

Fern Gully by Harry Matten Gillen
3rd place Jupiter Games Duel for Duals 3/13/10

4 Mutavault
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Plains
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Savannah
2 Tundra
3 Tropical Island

4 Noble Hierarch
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Stoneforge Mystic

2 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
2 Threads of Disloyalty
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 FoW
3 Daze
2 Jitte
1 SoFI
1 SoLS

SB:
4 Tormod's Crypt
4 Path to Exile
2 Krosan Grip
2 Faerie Macabre
3 Wash Out

I stuck with the majority of Papatsourachas' choices, because they're very good. I'll go into card choices now.


MANABASE-
Basics- Wasteland protection, path to exile targets, don't play legacy without them. I play all three basics, Papatsourachas only played 2, but the green requirement in my deck is higher because I have Hierarch.

Duals- It would certainly be possible to play 3 tundra 3 tropical island, but having a savannah seems appropriate. Having noble hierarch increases the green requirements of the deck, meaning it's better to have more trops than tundras.

Fetches- As an aggro deck you need to get your colors fast, so 8 fetches provide the fixing you need.

Mutavaults- Mutavault is very important to this deck's function. Manlands have always been a great thing for aggro-control decks due to their versatility. The reason Mutavault gets the nod over Mishra's Factory is thanks to Spellstutter Sprite, though the proliferation of Lords of Atlantis in the format means swining with 3/3 unblockable lands is a very common play.

Wasteland- Wasteland could be playable in this deck, but it is less important to the deck’s function than mutavault, and serves fewer purposes for us.

CREATURES-
Noble Hierarch- Hierarch is incredible. This is not really news, but it definitely needs to be said. Playing daze-proof two drops, using exalted to bash past their goyfs, and the extra mana stability are just a few of the awesome benefits this little creature provides. Hierarch makes all of our counterspells better by allowing us to develop our board while holding up counters. Papatsourachas played Vial in this slot, but with only 12 creatures, Vial has a chance to just sit around doing nothing, and is much slower than Hierarch. Hierarch can also pick up equipment when need be, and can help with the equip costs of moving your jitte around before and after combat, as well as allow for hardcast Force of Wills with great consistency.

Tarmogoyf- He’s Tarmogoyf. He’s a cheap, reliable beater against control and a solid defense plan against agro. Any Bant deck worth its salt will be playing it.

Spellstutter Sprite- Integral to the deck's function. Sprite is the most synergistic piece of the deck, as almost every card in the deck interacts with it profitably. Sprite's synergy with mutavault makes it a very powerful hard counter with built in card advantage. Given how few fliers there are in the format, it can almost always connect with equipment, or just beat down with exalted triggers from Noble Hierarch while Tarmogoyf holds the ground. It primarily counters removal aimed at your equipped creatures. Sprite should almost never be cast without countering a spell, but some of the deck’s toughest judgement calls come from when you have to decide whether or not to cast a blank sprite.

Stoneforge Mystic- Pretty much the entire point of the deck. This is the thing that makes it unique. With how powerful Jitte and SoFI are, being able to reliably find them and put them into play through countermagic is amazing. While resolving multiples of these isn't really necessary, the first one will sometimes get countered, so having a second is never bad. And if the first one does resolve, having both Jitte and SoFI (or a backup Jitte if they have it too) is never a bad thing.

I am often asked what equipment I search for first with Stoneforge Mystic. Unfortunately, I cannot really give a firm answer because it is very heavily dependent on the individual circumstances of the game at hand. If I had to put a number to it, I probably fetch SoFI first 60% of the time, but that’s not because it’s “better”. The more you play the deck, the more you get a feel for which equipment is more appropriate in your given situation. My best advice is to playtest like crazy and just practice. You’ll learn what each equipment does for you and the best way to utilize it pretty quickly.

Vendilion Clique- Vendilion Clique is, simply put, a house in this format. A 3 power flier playable on turn two with Noble hierarch, it is a threat throughout the entire game with evasion and a very powerful disruption effect. Vendilion Clique is one of the best creatures in threshold mirrors as most opponents will not have their own fliers, meaning they can only deal with it by using swords to plowshares or countering it, and the clock it provides (Often combined with either equipment or exalted) is huge. This card is also one of the best reasons to run Hierarch over Vial. If you tick a vial up to 3 to play it, you can never use it for your other creatures again, whereas Hierarch lets you play Clique quickly and get the flying clock on even sooner. Historically, I have run two ever since I added the faerie package, but its power seems to warrant a third if it is so desired.

Sower of Temptation- Papatsourachas’ original list contained two Threads of Disloyalty. Threads is not a bad card, but is narrow, and actually falls victim to a key piece of dissynergy with Sword of Fire and Ice, where Pro-Blue will cause it to fall off of a stolen creature. This is more relevant than it may seem. Sower of Temptation, on the other hand, has a number of advantages over Threads. While still capable of stealing Tarmogoyfs, Sower will also steal larger creatures (And with New Horizons showing up more, this is important). As a faerie, it powers up Spellstutter sprite. Finally, it is even a 2/2 flying body which adds to the clock and can carry equipment in the air. Roll all this together and it pretty handily defeats Threads for our creature-stealing slot.

EQUIPMENT-
Umezawa’s Jitte- Jitte is widely known as the most powerful equipment ever printed, and for good reason. The shenanigans that jitte allows are nothing short of ridiculous, and its complete hosing of agro decks from Zoo to Goblins to Merfolk makes it very well positioned in the format. It is typically best to run two, because, let’s face it, everyone and their grandmother runs Jitte, if not maindeck then in the board. As a legendary artifact, it’s important to be able to stick the last Jitte when your opponent has them as well, because it turns out Jitte is capable of hosing us as well thanks to all our 1 toughness creatures.

Sword of Fire and Ice- SoFI has always been a very powerful equipment. With how little actual card drawing there is in legacy, it doesn't take a lot of it to put you way ahead. Connecting with SoFI even once is usually enough to put you far enough ahead to win most games. Protection from Blue is huge against Merfolk as it means they cannot block the equipped creature, and Protection from Red can smash Goblins and help significantly against Zoo. However, the real draw to this card is the combat damage to player activation. Shock is capable of killing a large number of creatures in the format, from all Goblins and Merfolk to Noble Hierarch and Dark Confidant. Getting to draw a card on top of that makes every connection a +2 card advantage. And if the opponent has no creature to shock, you can send it at the dome to enhance the clock. All around, a great card. Any list without it is doing it wrong.

Sword of Light and Shadow- This card has been one of the more frequently debated slots in the deck. Those who would run it typically point to the Protection from White as the biggest draw to the card. Yeah, Pro White is great, I’ll admit. Unfortunately, the rest of what SoLS does pales in comparison to what SoFI does. Gaining life on attack is largely irrelevant because this deck will almost always be playing aggro, and when we are in need of life Jitte just does it better, while allowing us to block with the creature as opposed to having to send it in to attack. Seldom is a creature returned to our hand because of Swords to Plowshares’ stranglehold on the removal of the format, and typically drawing a fresh card will be just as good if not better anyway. SoLS can be useful late in the game and when racing, but typically is not powerful enough to warrant inclusion. And anyone who says you should play it over SoFI is just plain wrong. I award them no points, and may God have mercy on their soul.

Basilisk Collar- Basilisk Collar has been debated a bit off and on, but generally does not do enough for the deck to warrant inclusion. Allowing Spellstutter Sprites to trade with larger creatures is cute, but Jitte already basically does that, and can do a lot more ridiculous things on top of it. If your metagame is HUGE on New Horizons I could see playing it since that is a matchup where the deathtouch is largely relevant, but I personally would not choose to include it.


COUNTERSPELLS-
Force of Will- We're running blue in legacy. I don’t think I have to explain why this is here. 21 Blue cards supports it well enough, increased from 19 in Papatsourachas’ list. I’d be very careful about going any lower than that, as I think it’s a dangerous risk you take by doing so.

Spell Snare vs. Daze
These two cards fulfill a similar function, being early counters to stop opponents from playing threatening cards for little or no mana. While daze is a very powerful card and a staple of many legacy decks for years going back, in this deck it becomes dead extremely quickly due to our complete lack of mana disruption. If you were to run Wasteland, then Daze would become viable for the deck, but without it it is hardly worth playing.
Spell Snare, on the other hand, is spectacular in this deck. It can counter a huge number of cards that give us serious problems throughout the entire game, such as Tarmogoyf, Counterbalances Jitte, Dark Confidant, Standstill, Engineered Explosives set for 2 (One of the best cards against us), and the list goes on. Simply put, Spell Snare does what this deck needs it to much better than Daze does, so it gets the nod.


CANTRIPS-
Brainstorm- Obviously, with 8 fetchlands, it's the best cantrip available.

Ponder- This has always been a good spell, and it makes a great 2-of for the deck. The deck wants a little more card filtering than 4 brainstorm, and Ponder is one of the best topdecks at any point in the game, able to quickly find your best cards coming up or shuffle away all the bad cards you have on top if there is nothing you need.


REMOVAL-
Swords to Plowshares- The best removal spell in the format, it's better for the deck than Path to Exile because we have a lot of damage potential due to all our equipments and ramping the opponent is never a good thing for a threshold deck, even when we don’t have a mana denial plan.

Threads of Disloyalty- This is amazing in any matchup where they have Tarmogoyf, which means a good deal of the format. In matchups where it's dead you can brainstorm it away or pitch it to FoW. 90% of the time, this is a blowout. This card is not synergistic with Sword of Fire and Ice. Equipping SoFI to a Threads-enchanted creature will cause Threads to fall off. This problem is one of the big reasons Sower has replaced it, as it comes up more often than one may initially suspect. Still, Threads is a powerful card if you’re expecting a lot of Tarmgoyfs and not a lot of artifact/enchantment removal.


SIDEBOARD-
Graveyard Hate- Going forward I expect Tormod’s Crypt to be the most popular choice for graveyard hate, with Faerie Macabre and Relic of Progenitus close behind. Reanimator’s weakening means that graveyard hate is less necessary against it than it once was, but it’s still a good idea to pack some means of disrupting the graveyard since it also has utility against Life From The Loam decks, traditionally bad matchups for us.

Path To Exile- It can be brought in against Merfolk and Zoo as STP 5-8, though 4 are probably not necessary on the sideboard.

Bant Charm-More versatile than Path to Exile, it goes in the same slot. Takes care of creatures while also blowing up jittes, countering instants, and pitching to Force of Will. Could be well worth including.

Washout- It is an excellent answer to Progenitus, Iona, Inkwell Leviathan, and can also be played against combo decks to clean up Empty The Warrens tokens. Also has utility in matchups like Enchantress and Prison decks. I’m constantly finding new ways to play this card, and cannot recommend it enough.

Krosan Grip- It's dangerous to leave home without it in Legacy, because you'll almost always run into counterbalance at some point. Our deck is heavily centered around 2, which makes counterbalance even stronger against us.

Ethersworn Canonist- It's good against combo, but a little slow. Given the banning of Mystical Tutor, additional combo hate in our board is unlikely to be necessary.

Hydro/Blue Elemental Blast- You can bring it in versus Goblins or Zoo or Burn, but those are all pretty good matchups already so it's probably not neccesary.

Meddling Mage- Also presumably for combo, but it's not that good anymore and I wouldn't play it.

Lightning Greaves- Lightning Greaves is very strong against Lands, shutting off Maze of Ith and giving you a faster clock. If you expect Lands in your meta, consider boarding one.

The Main Debate: Aether Vial v. Noble Hierarch
The original list Excalibur is based on, posted above, includes Vial. Many of the lists here run vial. Let me put this bluntly. This is not the place for Vial.
Decks that run vial profitably, most notably goblins and merfolk, gain huge swings of tempo from them. Merfolk gains the ability to daze with little to no backlash, since it needs far less mana to land threats. Goblin uses vial to flood the board, something it can do consistently with approx. 36 creatures. The original post runs 12 creatures, a third of most Goblin lists and 40% fewer than typical Merfolk builds. Uncounterable creatures and combat tricks are good, but devoting 4 slots to an enabler that quickly loses value is foolish. Protection from counterspells is unnecessary, particularly since one will typically run into two main counterspells in the modern metagame – Force of Will and Daze. Noble Hierarch protects our two drops from daze already, and does it a turn sooner, which means it’s pretty much strictly superior to Vial against Daze. As for Force of Will, given how consistent our deck is and the huge array of threats we present, there is hardly a creature we play that we don’t want our opponent to Force of Will since they must 2-for-1 themselves to do it. If they FoW our Stoneforge Mystic, we drop a Goyf and a Vendilion Clique and go on our merry way.
Hierarch, on the other hand, fixes our mana. In fact, it gives us an additional mana after our investment and accelerates, while vial keeps our threats in hand for a turn longer for fear of counters. NH helps us punch through with goyf wars, activates mutavault, carries dropped equipment in a pinch, and isn’t as bad of a topdeck. After boarding it helps us cast timely Grips or Wash Outs. Finally, it allows us to run the Faerie Package (Vendi+Sower) instead of crappy cards like Meddling Mage that you will see vial players running just to increase their creature count. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be playing with Vendilion Clique and Sower ANY day.
By all means test it! You can do very well with Vial as evidenced by some builds here, but Hierarch is the better choice.



MATCHUP ANALYSIS-
Example sideboarding strategies done with my 3/13 version.

MERFOLK-70/30 our favor. If they're not playing Goyf, it's more like 75/25 our favor. Our equipment is key here, as they cannot beat an active Jitte or SoFI without a really ridiculous draw. With your ability to consistently grab both of these pieces in the first 4-5 turns, it's not hard to overwhelm them, particularly since they have no removal. Versions with Kira are better against us, but we still have the advantage.

GOBLINS-75/25 our favor. Like Merfolk, except they have no counterspells. Both Jitte and SoFI are pretty much game against them. Rb versions can be annoying with hand disruption, but that's about it.

ZOO-60/40 our favor. Once again, it's pretty much all about Jitte. You have to be more careful here because they have pridemage to kill your equipment, but between the 4 equips and threads you have enough bombs to overwhelm them most games, and Spellstuttering their paths on your goyfs is usually enough to swing things wildly in your favor.

NATURAL ORDER BANT-50/50. Game one is all about getting Sword of Fire and Ice and racing them before they kill you with Progenitus. If they don't make Progenitus, you'll be able to handle the rest of their deck via Jitte, Sword of Fire and Ice, and your Goyfs most games. You have no maindeck out to Counterbalance though, so be careful! Don't let them resolve top, and if they do resolve CB, be as careful as possible when casting important spells. Games 2 and 3 Washout is savage, letting you bounce their Progenitus and recur any Spellstutters you've already used to counter more spells. Vendilion Clique and Sower of Temptation are also amazing in this matchup.

REANIMATOR-50/50. Game one you have to hope they don't have the nuts draw, but with 8 hard counters you can keep them off their game long enough to kill them with a quick SoFI or Jitte with any luck. Most of their spells cost only one mana, so Spellstutter is very strong. You bring in 6 GY hate and 3 Wash Out for games 2 and 3, evening things out significantly.

STORM COMBO-50/50. Weak pilots will be no match for your FoWs, Dazes, and Spellstutters. Strong pilots will stand much more of a chance. Those who maindeck discard over chants are more resilient. The matchup is worse if the storm player knows what countermagic we’re playing. Other issues include lack of a clock until turn 3, giving storm time to set up. Vial is notably worse here.

BELCHER-65/35. You have FoW, so you should often be able to just shut them down right away. If they don't have the turn 1 kill, Spellstutter is very good here. On the play you can race 8 goblin tokens with Hierarch and Stoneforge mystic if you get Jitte.

TEMPO THRESH- 45/55 against. Obviously, this is one matchup where Vial is actually better than Hierarch, but since it’s on the downswing in the metagame I don’t think it’s a particularly strong argument. Snare is amazing for both sides, though they tend to function better off one land. Most of our creatures are well within burn range, which is unfortunate because Fire tends to be a huge blowout. Resolved equipment can end things quickly against non-goose threats. Our color requirements aren’t that severe that mana disruption is game breaking, just a speed bump, but sometimes that’s all Thresh needs. Play it tight, keep a mana heavy hand if you can, and don’t screw up. They can do a lot with just a fetch on the board.

STAX- 40/60 against. We don’t quite have the clock to get them. Both Vial and Noble Hierarch help tremedeously, enabling play around trinisphere should it resolve. Sometimes their bombs just land though, and things get complicated in a hurry. Trygon Predator and Grip out of the board can make it easier, but this deck is more designed against creatures than lock pieces. Countermagic is what keeps us in.

LANDS- 35/65 against. Maze hurts, tabernacle hurts. This deck cannot reliably keep loam off the table without some sort of riptide lab effect, which would only be wasteland’d. Preboard equipment does next to nothing, though post board we have Lightning Greaves to protect. Try to Clique away Life from the Loams if possible. In the end, lands is designed for this sort of matchup.

If I'm missing anything important, please let me know. I'd love to get help with this deck, because I think it's a very powerful choice in the current metagame. I can't recommend giving it a shot enough. I'll gladly answer any questions anyone has.

Thank you for reading.
--hungryLIKEALION, 3/15/10

Updated exstensively,
--hungryLIKEALION, 6/24/10 (With special thanks to Tammit67 and mchainmail.)

Fuzzy
03-16-2010, 11:11 AM
What about 3-4 Thopter Foundry and 1 Sword of the Meek?

AngryTroll
03-16-2010, 11:35 AM
The deck looks fun, but I'm skeptical that you're 70-30 against Merfolk, Goblins, 60-40 against Zoo, and 50-50 with NOThresh and Reanimator. On the other hand, those finishes are pretty impressive. Are there tournament reports somewhere so that we can read more about how those matches play out?

Maveric78f
03-16-2010, 11:36 AM
When I saw the Mystic Control by Evangelos Papatsourachas, I found it interesting but as you I was surprised by the 4 vials for only 12 creatures.
When I saw your report and your list (something like yesterday or the day before), I could not resist anymore to try it out.

The first change I wanted to see was to integrate wasteland instead of ponders (*2) and some of the colour lands (*2). Why wasteland ? Because the deck needs a protection against Maze of Ith and because the deck needs a lot of colourless mana (for equipping).
The second change I made was "no-surprise" to remove the Threads for 2 ninja random slots (mainly for testing but I would not reject the possibility to stick with them) : Ninja of the Deep Hours and Mistblade Shinobi. They enable to use several times the CITP effects and these creatures are good in themselves.

About the SB, I think that it plays too few anti-artifacts slots. I already had to face Null Rod and it was not the most pleasant moment in the game. Wash Out is awesome and this is certainly the deck where you want to play it, but you need something specific to deal with artifacts more than 2*Krosan Grip. Maybe Trygon Predator.

hungryLIKEALION
03-16-2010, 01:36 PM
What about 3-4 Thopter Foundry and 1 Sword of the Meek?

This is an interesting idea. It would take the deck in a slightly different direction, but I'd enjoy testing it out. I'll try cutting the threads and a ponder and see how it goes, and post my results here.


The deck looks fun, but I'm skeptical that you're 70-30 against Merfolk, Goblins, 60-40 against Zoo, and 50-50 with NOThresh and Reanimator. On the other hand, those finishes are pretty impressive. Are there tournament reports somewhere so that we can read more about how those matches play out?

Why are you skeptical of these numbers? I know it doesn't make much sense for a deck with islands to have a good merfolk matchup, but I've yet to lose a match to UG merfs with this deck, and on the day of the tournament I went 4-0 in games against them. Goblins is a complete cake walk because they play either 0 or 1 answer to artifacts in the main, meaning Sword of Fire and Ice and Jitte put you so far ahead they can't keep up. Since Rb goblins is currently more popular than Rg goblins they don't usually have krosan grip, meaning you just have to hold a counter for their artifact removal and you've basically guaranteed victory. Zoo may be closer to 50-50, but I feel like it's at least slightly in your favor, if not 60-40. As for Reanimator, I'm giving a lot of credit to the sideboard, since 6 gy hate cards (3 or 4 of which should probably be faerie macabre) and 3 washouts is very good. Game one they will win unless you have a very good hand and get spellstutter online immediately, but games 2 and 3 you have tons of counterspells, graveyard hate, and washout. For NO Bant it's similar. You can race progenitus in game 1 with Sword of Fire and Ice (I did it at the tournament saturday) and games 2 and 3 you have washout to wreck their natural orders, so you basically just have to beat counterbalance, because their tarmogoyfs will not beat yours in a fair fight due to your equipment. Also, Spellstutter is a champ here, both countering their removal/goyfs/cbs/tops and producing a 1/1 that can pick up sword of fire and ice. If you connect just once with SoFI, it's usually enough to put you so far ahead they can't recover. (Draw a card and kill your noble hierarch? Sign me up!) If you test the deck and find my numbers are innaccurate, let me know. These numbers are all just my initial reactions, because I've only been playing the deck for two weeks and am still trying to find time to test it. College has been keeping me pretty busy. But in the coming weeks I'll get more testing done and refine the numbers to reflect their true values.

Here's the report I wrote for the DforDs. I haven't found anything by Papatsourachas about his experience in madrid yet, but will post it if I find anything.

http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?16864-Jupiter-Games-Duel-for-Duals-3-13-10-3rd-out-of-106


When I saw the Mystic Control by Evangelos Papatsourachas, I found it interesting but as you I was surprised by the 4 vials for only 12 creatures.
When I saw your report and your list (something like yesterday or the day before), I could not resist anymore to try it out.

The first change I wanted to see was to integrate wasteland instead of ponders (*2) and some of the colour lands (*2). Why wasteland ? Because the deck needs a protection against Maze of Ith and because the deck needs a lot of colourless mana (for equipping).
The second change I made was "no-surprise" to remove the Threads for 2 ninja random slots (mainly for testing but I would not reject the possibility to stick with them) : Ninja of the Deep Hours and Mistblade Shinobi. They enable to use several times the CITP effects and these creatures are good in themselves.

About the SB, I think that it plays too few anti-artifacts slots. I already had to face Null Rod and it was not the most pleasant moment in the game. Wash Out is awesome and this is certainly the deck where you want to play it, but you need something specific to deal with artifacts more than 2*Krosan Grip. Maybe Trygon Predator.

I don't think you can cut any more colored lands without significantly weakening the mana base. If you want wastelands, I think you either have to cut mutavaults or spells. I agree that maze of ith is a significant problem for this deck, but I don't think even wasteland will make the 43lands matchup winnable, so I'd rather just let that one go. Threads is really good though, and I'd urge you to keep it in the main for at least some testing.

I've considered fitting in maindeck Qasali Pridemages. You can't cut blue cards from the deck without endangering force of will, so they'd pronbably go in over the Sword of Light and Shadow and the 4th Stoneforge Mystic. I'm going to test a configuration like this some time soon. As for more artifact answers in the sideboard, well, if you put the pridemages main that's probably not a problem. If you don't, It'd be easy to cut the 4th path for a 3rd grip because 4 paths aren't really necessary. I haven't seen null rod in play in a game of legacy in over a year, but that may just be my meta. It is certainly viable to put more artifact hate on the board.

Also, I too noticed Ninja of the Deep Hours would be good in this deck, but did not yet test it. My friend still has my copies of the ninja, so once I get them back from him I'll probably test them in the same slot as the potential pridemages.

Please, if anyone tests this deck or has anything they want added to the primer, please let me know! :)

Thanks!

Maveric78f
03-16-2010, 03:09 PM
About thÚ mana base I propose, it's 7 fetches + 3 basics + 5 duals (2 tundras 2 trops 1 Savannah) 4 wastes 4 muta 4 nobles and 4 Brainstorms to dig into the other colours. If you add the fact that not a dingle spell requires double coloured mana, it looks acceptable to me. I hope testing will prove me right. Before pridemage I'd play trygon as an answer because it has evasion which is awesome for wearing equipments.

hungryLIKEALION
03-16-2010, 03:12 PM
Well, if the wasteland manabase is working for you, then more power to you. I just get really nervous about running so few colored sources.

As for Pridemage vs. Trygon, I like both cards quite a bit. The exalted from pridemage is sweet and the ability to come down and eliminate an artifact/enchantment on the same turn is very good. Trygon, on the other hand, has the ability to evasively carry SoFI and also eliminate multiple artifacts/enchantments over a few turns. Also, it's pitchable to FoW. I'm not sure which one I like more for this deck at the moment, but I believe both are viable options. I'll test both and post here when I get an idea on which I like better.

Fuzzy
03-16-2010, 05:43 PM
Hungry, why i can't see any War Monk in your list? That guy is a HOUSE!

I'm testing it with:

+3 Rh0xXxZ0r War Monk
-2 Threads
-1 SoLS

But still looking a room to play Foundry combo (Maybe a "transexual" SB?)

SpikeyMikey
03-16-2010, 06:48 PM
A couple of thoughts:

Stoneforge Mystic is nuts. His ability to "vial in" equipment is just gross. You absolutely need to run Basilisk Collar. It let's you use Spellstutters and Mystics to kill off opposing fatties. Iona isn't very scary when you've got a 1/1 death touch flier.

SoLS is superior to SoFI. Protection from StP and a recursion engine for useful chumps (Sprite/Mystic again) is far more important than 2 damage and a card. 2 damage doesn't kill anything important anymore and I would argue that getting back a utility creature is far stronger than a random card which may or may not be useful.

Jeff Kruchkow
03-16-2010, 07:30 PM
A couple of thoughts:

Stoneforge Mystic is nuts. His ability to "vial in" equipment is just gross. You absolutely need to run Basilisk Collar. It let's you use Spellstutters and Mystics to kill off opposing fatties. Iona isn't very scary when you've got a 1/1 death touch flier.

SoLS is superior to SoFI. Protection from StP and a recursion engine for useful chumps (Sprite/Mystic again) is far more important than 2 damage and a card. 2 damage doesn't kill anything important anymore and I would argue that getting back a utility creature is far stronger than a random card which may or may not be useful.

Except that pro red and pro blue singlehandedly beat 2 of the DtB and 2 damage kills alot more creatures than youd think

yadda
03-16-2010, 08:59 PM
A couple of thoughts:

Stoneforge Mystic is nuts. His ability to "vial in" equipment is just gross. You absolutely need to run Basilisk Collar. It let's you use Spellstutters and Mystics to kill off opposing fatties. Iona isn't very scary when you've got a 1/1 death touch flier.

SoLS is superior to SoFI. Protection from StP and a recursion engine for useful chumps (Sprite/Mystic again) is far more important than 2 damage and a card. 2 damage doesn't kill anything important anymore and I would argue that getting back a utility creature is far stronger than a random card which may or may not be useful.

Uh, you can still lose to reanimator very very easily with a 1/1 deathtouch in play, reanimator plays more than one creature meaning that if they shut you off with iona they probably buy a little time to find a second fatty to beat you down with.

also SoFI is nuts, utility creatures are actually making a comeback in months (survival, Noble Hierarch in various decks, zoo plays lavamancer, ect ect) and as such creates alot more card advantage than SoLS. also SoLS only does something if you have a creature in the yard which is not always the case.

@fuzzy
RWM is a house but this deck doesnt really want to commit 3 mana to a creature that doesnt have a CIPE. as was stated above we already have very good matchups against aggro, therefore adding more anti aggro cards that will not be as effective against control doesnt seem like a good idea.

xTrainx
03-16-2010, 09:09 PM
As mentioned before, I would strongly suggest running Basilisk Collar. It can turn Sprite or Mystic into a wall that can get rid of pretty much everything - Goyf, Tombstalker, ect, as well as enabling your Goyf to outrace if needed.

Stoneforge - reasons on running four? With the Brainstorms and Ponders, you are bound to run into him(with three copies) sooner or later, or, if you don't, chances are VERY slim that you won't hit an equipment or a Mystic.

As for Trygon vs Quasali, I think it comes down to your preference - do you want the evasion or the exalted and versatility?
Personally, I'd go for Quasali, the ability to instant speed resolve AND to resolve in response to removal AND to resolve the turn it comes in is just more powerful.

Also, Thopter/Meek combo may work well -> In one of my various poor person decks, I have a deck that uses Mystic to grab Sword, and then Thopter's as blockers/life gainers. Gives you something to dump spare mana into, as well as giving you an outlet for later game play. It also may cause them to burn postboard artifact removal on the Foundry rather than, say, popping your Jitte.

hungryLIKEALION
03-17-2010, 12:36 AM
The thing about Basilisk Collar is that it doesn't really do anything Jitte or SoFI don't already do. Jitte already lets your weaker creautres trade with much bigger creatures/win goyf wars, as does SoFI. I just don't see very many situations that actually pop up where Jitte just isn't better. I mean, You have to get a hit in with Jitte first, but that's not hard to do in this deck. The amount of situations where I'd rather have the collar are few enough that I'm not worried about including it.

I, personally, like Pridemage better for this deck, but am still open to testing Predator. I just think not needing to attack is very relevant.

I'm excited to test ThopterSword in this deck. Seems very interesting, though it may be the danger of cool things. Either way, I'm going to try it out soon.

Edit//Oh, and the reasoning for running four stoneforge mystics is because they will almost certainly counter the first one you play if they can, so drawing a second is almost necessary. This is okay because drawing two is not a problem at all. The only thing better than having Jitte or SoFI is having Jitte AND SoFI. :D

IsThisACatInAHat?
03-17-2010, 02:19 AM
Have you considered SDT for this deck? It looks like it would fit nicely in place of 2 ponders and a sword (either one, probably SoFI since it's less useful) and would definitely help in a long game (and this is pretty much goodstuff.dec anyway, so more broken shit can't hurt). I found that against opponents with lots of removal (Rock and Aggro Loam) I was having a lot of trouble maintaining a board presence or recovering after a sweeper and I think SDT would go a long way toward fixing that. I also wasn't such a huge fan of Wash Out in the board. I noticed you had listed it at least once as FOW-fodder; isn't there anything more useful?

hungryLIKEALION
03-17-2010, 02:51 AM
Washout is, IMO, the best, most flexible answer to Progenitus and Iona for this deck to play. It's important for a deck like this to be able to answer these creautres if they are resolved, because it can be difficult to race them. For a deck like this, I think it's fine to include a 3-of to combat two of the most played decks in the format's most explosive plays.

As for SDT, I have not considered it. I'm certainly willing to test it as a 3 of, given the number of shuffle effects in the deck, and will post how that goes here. You're also welcome to test it yourself and let me know how that goes for you. I probably won't get any meaningful testing in with the deck until this Sunday, but I'll be making a big post then to let everyone know how it goes with all these different variations.

SpikeyMikey
03-17-2010, 03:15 AM
The thing about Basilisk Collar is that it doesn't really do anything Jitte or SoFI don't already do. Jitte already lets your weaker creautres trade with much bigger creatures/win goyf wars, as does SoFI. I just don't see very many situations that actually pop up where Jitte just isn't better. I mean, You have to get a hit in with Jitte first, but that's not hard to do in this deck. The amount of situations where I'd rather have the collar are few enough that I'm not worried about including it.

I, personally, like Pridemage better for this deck, but am still open to testing Predator. I just think not needing to attack is very relevant.

I'm excited to test ThopterSword in this deck. Seems very interesting, though it may be the danger of cool things. Either way, I'm going to try it out soon.

Edit//Oh, and the reasoning for running four stoneforge mystics is because they will almost certainly counter the first one you play if they can, so drawing a second is almost necessary. This is okay because drawing two is not a problem at all. The only thing better than having Jitte or SoFI is having Jitte AND SoFI. :D

Jitte is not going to let a 1/2 Mystic trade for a 5/6 goyf. It's not going to let a Spellstutter hold back an Iona until you can find an answer. I guess if you really don't like Collar, that's fine, but I run it in my Doran and it is amazing. It usually occupies a small body like Stoneforge until I've got something bigger like a 'goyf or a Doran to move it to and start gaining reams of life. Doran, the Siege War Monk is some good.

Edit: I guess my biggest point is that Collar makes a difference if you're behind when it comes down. If you're behind when Jitte comes down, it probably won't save you. If you're already winning, then yes, Jitte will seal things faster than Collar will.

hungryLIKEALION
03-17-2010, 03:26 AM
I won't deny that the trading 1/2s or 1/1s for 5/6s and 7/7s is exciting, but Jitte does the same thing with just a bit more work. I'm perfectly willing to just chump a goyf with a mystic to get the jitte counters neccesary for my mutavault or second mystic to kill it next turn, or whatever. Jitte's an incredible card for saving you when you're behind. Collar may be better if you find yourself with a horde of 1/1s and 1/2s against multiple goyfs, but by moving Jitte back and forth between offense and defense you can easily accrue enough counters to pull your ass out of the fire very quickly.

Still, you've made some fine points and I'm willing to test collar over SoLS and will do so this weekend.

I'm seriously gonna have to take a ton of notes on all these different card choices I'm testing...

Maveric78f
03-17-2010, 05:09 AM
Hungry, why i can't see any War Monk in your list? That guy is a HOUSE!

I'm testing it with:

+3 Rh0xXxZ0r War Monk
-2 Threads
-1 SoLS

But still looking a room to play Foundry combo (Maybe a "transexual" SB?)
I agree that RWM is very seductive with equipments. With SoLaS, it's +8 life per turn and 5 damage to the opponent. You race Progenitus quite easily. BUT, its mana cost is a problem for 2 reasons:
- the deck needs to play a lot of colourless lands (mutavault, and I would even argue that wasteland is necessary), so that RWM is more difficult to play than a simple 3CC creature.
- Wash Out will bounce it too often. The deck proposed in the original post has this: it plays only 16 coloured permanents, with 8 having come into play effects and not more than 8 of the same colour. This results in the fact that Wash out is simply a great answer to every non-artifact, non-land and non-Eldrazi (:-) permanent.



A couple of thoughts:

Stoneforge Mystic is nuts. His ability to "vial in" equipment is just gross. You absolutely need to run Basilisk Collar. It let's you use Spellstutters and Mystics to kill off opposing fatties. Iona isn't very scary when you've got a 1/1 death touch flier.
No. Collar is really not that great with 1/1s. Collar becomes useful as soon as you play big creatures in order to be able to take advantage of Lifelink.


SoLS is superior to SoFI. Protection from StP and a recursion engine for useful chumps (Sprite/Mystic again) is far more important than 2 damage and a card. 2 damage doesn't kill anything important anymore and I would argue that getting back a utility creature is far stronger than a random card which may or may not be useful.
No. SoFI is the best. I haven't played a lot this particular deck but I've played during a long time Stoneforge Mystic in such a shell and let me tell you that I often tutor for SoFI before Jitte. SoLaS is definitely less useful but still necessary IMO in order to protect from removal and to block all day Iona/Sphinx/Stalker.


Have you considered SDT for this deck? It looks like it would fit nicely in place of 2 ponders and a sword (either one, probably SoFI since it's less useful) and would definitely help in a long game (and this is pretty much goodstuff.dec anyway, so more broken shit can't hurt). I found that against opponents with lots of removal (Rock and Aggro Loam) I was having a lot of trouble maintaining a board presence or recovering after a sweeper and I think SDT would go a long way toward fixing that. I also wasn't such a huge fan of Wash Out in the board. I noticed you had listed it at least once as FOW-fodder; isn't there anything more useful?
Wash Out is really impressive against a lot of decks, from Enchantress to Reanimator and Progenitus. Its weakness is that it does not enable you to deal with artifacts nor lands (see my post earlier). That's why I think that playing Wasteland is useful and that playing more antiartifacts in the SB is necessary too.


As for SDT, I have not considered it. I'm certainly willing to test it as a 3 of, given the number of shuffle effects in the deck, and will post how that goes here. You're also welcome to test it yourself and let me know how that goes for you. I probably won't get any meaningful testing in with the deck until this Sunday, but I'll be making a big post then to let everyone know how it goes with all these different variations.
I think that the deck has a sufficient number of mana sinks not to add more with top.


Jitte is not going to let a 1/2 Mystic trade for a 5/6 goyf. It's not going to let a Spellstutter hold back an Iona until you can find an answer. I guess if you really don't like Collar, that's fine, but I run it in my Doran and it is amazing. It usually occupies a small body like Stoneforge until I've got something bigger like a 'goyf or a Doran to move it to and start gaining reams of life. Doran, the Siege War Monk is some good.
Why would you trade Goyf with Mystic. Just let it attack you and attack back. Eventually you'll lose 1 life a turn, so will he. You could also have tutored SoLaS to lose 2 life a turn but the opponent 3 life and be able to resurrect your other creatures. Just play the deck and you'll understand that 1 goyf is rarely an issue (although it's sometimes the most annoying creature since there is no equipment that provides protection against it).


Edit: I guess my biggest point is that Collar makes a difference if you're behind when it comes down. If you're behind when Jitte comes down, it probably won't save you. If you're already winning, then yes, Jitte will seal things faster than Collar will.
Jitte will save your ass far more often than Collar does. Collar forces you to trade. With Jitte you can just attack once to get counters and then start blocking.

IsThisACatInAHat?
03-18-2010, 04:16 AM
You're also welcome to test it yourself and let me know how that goes for you. I probably won't get any meaningful testing in with the deck until this Sunday, but I'll be making a big post then to let everyone know how it goes with all these different variations.
In fact I did, and I have some thoughts based on results:

-SDT was way too mana-intensive. The deck is really running its bare minimum number of lands at the moment and then only because of Noble Hierarch, which saved me from being Wasted out of several games. Fetching basics is just the wrong play when so many of your turns 1-3 plays require U+W/G. I also would not add any more colorless sources without first dropping Mutavault, which I think is a bad decision because the deck has no real mana denial plan and the Mutavault beats were seriously useful, especially with Hierarch. It's also a major Wasteland target to take heat off your duals. Conversely, no one will Waste a Waste when they can nab a dual; this deck is mana intensive, so both of you being down a Waste+ dual is worse for you than your opponent out a Waste and you out a Mutavault. I think Sword/ Foundry will net you the same conclusion that SDT did me.

-Cutting SoFI (to test SDT) was a huge mistake. I now have much greater appreciation for the swords, especially this one. It really shined against Goblins, where I went 0-4 with the SDT build and then 6-0 with Ponder and SoFI back in (only 1 game was not due to SoFI) and Burn (2-0). SoFI tended to be my #1 SFM target against any creature-based strategy. It's typically easier to counter all of an opponent's white removal and be protected from red burn (as opposed to the reverse) when they've got both (Zoo, Sligh). When I read your report I was surprised to find that you usually opted for Jitte, where I almost always preferred one sword or other unless I opened with Jitte and had no SFM. I don't know why since Jitte has always been awesome for me in other decks, but the situations that have come up to date were always better served by a sword.

-I've become more comfortable with Wash Out because I can see how it's extremely useful against Progenitus, Iona and Reanimator, though I haven't actually cast it yet. On the other hand, while I originally thought 4 PtE was correct I'm now thinking I'd rather have only 2 or 3. I never needed or boarded in all 4, but there were a couple of times I wished I'd had 3 Grips or Macabres in the board. I know you also run Crypt, but it's never really been as useful as Macabre since 2 is usually enough to nab the problem cards (Loam, Reanimator targets, Ichorid) while Crypt is slow and unless you want to play it early (I prefer hiding my hate), it's pretty easy to play around. I'm going to try swapping it with Relic to see if I get better results, or if the extra mana requirement is just too much.

I played (to my recollection) the following matches:
Goblins (6-4) and Burn (2-0) see above: SoFI is a hoser.
Enchantress (1-1) got disconnected early into G3, but I was lucky to win G2. He stabilized with Blood Moon and Runed Halo on goyf then Moon actually helped me when it left him with only 1 white source and let me to bash with Jitt'd SSS while Halo #2 sat in his hand.
Thopter Combo (3-0) deck from GP: Madrid, though the pilot was pretty inexperienced because these were complete walkovers due to a handful of play mistakes.
Reanimator (3-3) Faerie Macabre is the ultimate Reanimator hate and the reason I'm using 3: uncounterable, instant and typically unexpected. Also would be useful for Aggro Loam, Ichorid and Lands. When it didn't show up or during G1, I had to pray I could win the counter war or already had a strong enough board to win through resolved whatever (usually Inkwell).
Zoo (2-1) depended on whether or not I could land SFM and then vial in a sword. Opted against fetching Jitte first 2 games because the pump made their guys blockable, where with Jitte I wouldn't have been able to afford to trade (SFM+2 counters for Ape/ Nacatl/ whatever). G3 he left after I got a 2-for-0. Loam Lion blocked SFM+SoLS and he bolted, I countered with SSS, GG.
Merfolk (3-1) Again, SoFI is a beating. The first game he let SFM land and that was it. The next 3 games were a question of whether or not I opened on SFM or drew into it before I ran out of StP for LoA or goofy was too small to beat a 'folk. Then, I just had to get him on the table. In 2 of 3 games, I did.
Janky homebrews (3-0) resolve SFM, protect with counters and win. Haven't had any trouble yet with weird or awkward non-meta decks.

I'll be looking to test against more randoms, but hopefully my playtest buddy (the guy who I played against Goblins and Reanimator with) will be available online tomorrow to test his actual decks (Zoo, Bant). I will be testing a Basilisk Collar instead of 1 Jitte in the main and a new sideboard of:
3 Wash Out, 3 Krosan Grip, 3 Faerie Macabre, 2 Path to Exile, 2 Relic of Progenitus, 2 not sure, Relics for now but maybe Collar+ something else here?

I'll report back my findings then and hopefully you'll have had the chance to test a bit yourself but it's 4:22 am now so I think I'll go to sleep.:rolleyes:

Philipp2293
03-18-2010, 04:18 AM
So, I consider taking your (Hungrylikealion) list to a smaller weekly tournament, as there is quite a lot of dredge in my meta, how would you board?

In: 4 Crypts, 2 Faeries and 3 Wash out

Out: 2 Ponder, 2 Threads, 1 SOFI + ???

would be my first thougt.

Maveric78f
03-18-2010, 06:03 AM
Maybe I'm going to surprise you but I would board out FoW on the play and Daze on the draw.

4 Tormod's Crypt
4 Path to Exile
2 Krosan Grip
2 Faerie Macabre

I would enter all the 12 cards because you don't want to lose to a resolved needle. If you consider that you lost g1, which is the most probable, you can go game 2 with this SB:
-2 Mutavault
-4 FoW
-2 Ponder
-2 Threads of Disloyalty
-1 Jitte
-1 SoFI

On the draw, it's a bit the same but FoW is better than Daze. As you blue cards count is becoming very low (12 only...), I'm still not sure about it and maybe you should replace Daze/FoW with Washout for g3.

But actually my SB is quite different from this one with Burrenton Forge-Tender for instance, which is important in red MUs to endure to be able to equip 1 creature and in the Ichorid MU (to remove bridges and to have cheap equipers). So, I'm not sure about hungryLIKEALION's game plans in this MU.

Reanimator (3-3) : How is it possible ? You play 6 antigraveyard, 8 hard counters + equipments that allow you to race + 8 targetted removals (so Sphinx is useless) + 3 Wash Out which are absolute crazyness in this MU. The SB might be tricky a little but anyway I don't get how you can lose to this.

Philipp2293
03-18-2010, 07:02 AM
Why wouldn't you side in Wash Out? It's a little slow, but it vaporizes an army of zombie tokens.

Maveric78f
03-18-2010, 07:14 AM
Mostly because it's not instant and very expensive. Second reason is that with all the hate you pack, your opponent will probably have big difficulties to have tokens (STP/Path on Ichorid/Narco/Bloodghast and Tormod/Faerie on graveyard threats : cabal/bridges/Dread Return). I indeed think that the graveyard hate is more than needed in this deck.

IsThisACatInAHat?
03-18-2010, 11:34 AM
Reanimator (3-3) : How is it possible ? You play 6 antigraveyard, 8 hard counters + equipments that allow you to race + 8 targetted removals (so Sphinx is useless) + 3 Wash Out which are absolute crazyness in this MU. The SB might be tricky a little but anyway I don't get how you can lose to this.
I assume this question was directed at me so, the order of games was: 1. L W W 2. L W L if that helps, which means I lost both games pre-board and 1 of 4 post. This doesn't sound even the slightest bit off to me.

Reanimator is fast enough to race SSS on the play and if he's got exhume, on the draw as well unless I land turn 1 Hierarch, turn 2 Mutavault. It runs 1 more relevant counter (4 FoW, 4 Daze as opposed to 4 FoW, 3 Daze) in fewer colors. Targeted removal is useless against Inwell or Iona on white (no sense getting anything else) and equipment is not fast enough to race even if I land t2 SFM (off of daze or force backup, since he will fight for it). Even if I'm equipped and have a chance to race, Inkwell or Iona can stall long enough for the other to come down. Given I probably blew all my counters trying to stop the first reanimate attempt and protect SFM, I'm probably in topdeck mode or close to it.

Postboard I bring in 9 cards (using hungryLIKEALION's board), 6 for the yard and 3 for a resolved threat. Except Wash Out requires I make 4 consecutive land drops (or have a Hierarch for every one I miss) and then have counter protection (again, I have fewer counters over more colors) to keep it there. As well, Crypt is actually pretty easy to play around or at least recover from. I think it's usually Ichorid players who say something like, "just because you land your hate doesn't mean the game is over; it just means you now have a chance." Even so, Reanimator doesn't need to use the yard anyway when it's got 1-2 SnT between MD and SB plus 4 tutors. Without the help, there was really very little I could do even if I kept a counter-heavy hand. With the help, it was better but not a blowout, hence why I'm using 3 Faerie Macabres now. Against an opponent who actually practices with this deck, it can only get worse.

The only time this matchup was really significantly favorable was if my opponent kept a bad hand (one which would force him to pitch to Study rather than Entomb and thus not necessarily have Iona or Inkwell) or was forced to mulligan into a suboptimal hand. Maybe you can test for yourself and you'll find similar numbers.

klaus
03-18-2010, 05:36 PM
So I've recently been working on a strikingly similar deck :)
Didn't know there was a designated thread already.
Anyway let me just pitch in my 2 cents - here's what I came up with:

3 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Noble Hierarch
2 Vendillion Clique
2 Trygon Predator
1 Trinket Mage -------------------- yeah that mini-mini toolbox seems a little odd, but neither T. Mage, nor EE, nor Top would ever be random topdecks
---
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
---
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
4 Spell Pierce
---
4 Flooded Strand
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Mutavault
1 Forest
1 Plains --------------------------- could be cut for Mutavault #3 - thoughts?
1 Island
1 Academy Ruins

SB:
3 Gaddock Teeg
3 Krosan Grip
3 Path to Exile
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Dueling Grounds?
---

Vial is a pretty tough topic to discuss, since its advantages are obvious (mana denial and so forth) and so are it's downsides (possibly the worst card you can topdeck after turn 7 or so, barring against decks with lots of counterspells). I guess I prefer drawing a real thread instead, I'm glad, you do too.
-

Discuss.

St3B
03-18-2010, 06:21 PM
I wanted to write it under your report, but I figured it will be better here. Thanks for writing this up!

I will take this deck for a spin this weekend, since I will not be able to find some Washouts I'll play an Enlightened Tutor package.
2x E. Tutor
1x Canonist
1x Explosives
2x Crypts
2x Relicts
1x Wheel of Sun and Moon
3x Path to Exile
3x Krosan Grip

hungryLIKEALION
03-18-2010, 11:59 PM
So I've recently been working on a strikingly similar deck :)
Didn't know there was a designated thread already.
Anyway let me just pitch in my 2 cents - here's what I came up with:

4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Noble Hierarch
2 Vendillion Clique
2 Trygon Predator
1 Trinket Mage -------------------- yeah that mini-mini toolbox seems a little odd, but neither T. Mage, nor EE, nor Top would ever be random topdecks
---
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Light and Shadow -------------------- I see most people opt for SoFI, I guess it's a meta choice in the end. 4 (Mystic->7) equipments in the main seems a little overkill though, even with Vial.
---
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
3 Spell Snare--------------------- I'm pretty sure Snare ( tempo + )>Daze ( tempo - ), since we need all the land we can get.
---
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
1 Forest
1 Plains
1 Island
1 Academy Ruins
(Mutavaults appear to be nice, but I'm worried about mana consistency, I could picture it as a 2of, though)

SB:
3 Gaddock Teeg
3 Krosan Grip
3 Path to Exile
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Meta slot
---

Vial is a pretty tough topic to discuss, since its advantages are obvious (mana denial and so forth) and so are it's downsides (possibly the worst card you can topdeck after turn 7 or so, barring against decks with lots of counterspells). I guess I prefer drawing a real thread instead, I'm glad, you do too.
-

Discuss.

Hierarch is far better in this deck for reasons I've posted in both my report thread and here.

SoFI is better than SoLS, regardless of your meta. Given that STP is the most common removal in the format, an early SoLS will almost never create value for you. SoFI, on the other hand, adds significant pressure (+4 dmg instead of +2) Allows you to kill off opposing utility creatures/goblins/merfolk, and draws you cards so you can keep your opponent buried. SoLS on the other hand produces less pressure (since you're the aggro almost always, your own life total is rarely relevant) and will often whiff on the creature return. Now, later in the game, after some creatures have been countered, SoLS can be awesome. But if you're only going to play one, play SoFI. It's almost always my first SFM target, and for good reason.

If you're not going to play mutavault, don't play spellstutter. Spellstutter becomes incredibly weak without the mutavaults to support it. And the mana base is fine with them. 17 colored lands +4 Noble Hierarch combined with very lax color requirements (The only UU card in the deck is Threads and blue is the most common color of mana in the deck) means the manabase is totally fine.

I like Daze better than Spellsnare for this deck. Spellsnare's main purpose is to counter Tarmogoyf. This deck has very little problem dealing with opposing Tarmogoyfs. Daze on the other hand answers everything they can play, and is much better in counterbattles, which this deck needs to do constantly. However, if you cut spellstutters because you're not playing mutavaults (which is what you should do if you're not running mutavaults) then spellsnare would be a fine inclusion.

However, since cutting spellstutter would be retarded because it's the best creature to put a SoFI on in the entire game, you're not going to cut it. Since you're not going to cut spellstutter, you're not going to cut mutavault.

@St3B-Let me know how that approach goes. I would really reccomend washout if you're going up against progenitus or iona though.

Tao
03-19-2010, 11:19 AM
I disagree with your decision to play Hierarch over Aether Vial. In my opinion the Tempo win, the uncounterability and the Tricks provided by Vial are more important than having an addional creature. Also I don't think that Exalted is as important in this deck as in others because with the Equipments and Threads the deck is already designed to break Goyf stalls.

Maveric78f
03-19-2010, 12:01 PM
I disagree with your decision to play Hierarch over Aether Vial. In my opinion the Tempo win, the uncounterability and the Tricks provided by Vial are more important than having an addional creature. Also I don't think that Exalted is as important in this deck as in others because with the Equipments and Threads the deck is already designed to break Goyf stalls.

I think that you forgot one of the main points to prefer hierarch: it provides mana that can be used to play equipments and equip them to your creatures.

hungryLIKEALION
03-19-2010, 02:05 PM
Vial is a great card, don't get me wrong. However, there's only 12 creatures in this deck, and this means that a)Your first vial will be activated twice, maybe three times in the first ten turns, and b)every subsequent vial will be completely dead. Hierarch, on the other hand, makes your two drop daze proof (Which is awesome) and helps pay for expensive equip costs. It also helps activate mutavaults, allows your Spellstutters to fly over goyf stalemates for a quick clock, and is generally, how shall we say, "the nuts". Go test the deck with both. You'll find I'm right.

Tao
03-19-2010, 02:29 PM
I did not reply without testing. The advantages of Vial are a bit more subtle, but undeniable.

- Vial is awesome with Mystic, keeping the Equipment surprise effect.
- It makes using Sprites much easier, especially with Mutavault.
- Aether Vial will make fetching for Tropical Island unnessecary for the rest of the game so you can get basic Plains and Island, which matters a lot against both Tiribal deck, Canadian, Eva/Suicide, everything with Loam and Zoo with Price of Progress. Vial will almost completely deny any Mana Denial strategies for the rest of the game, whereas Hierrach certainly helps, but also is very fragile.

A few matchups in which I noticed that Vial is especially useful:

Countertop: Vial laughs into the face of Counterbalance. Turn 1 Vial with Daze backup is the best thing you can get against Countertop. Vial in Mystic, get Equipment, use his ability to put Equipment into play, Swing with equipped Goyf or Sprite.

Canadian: Hierarch will only get burned while Vial will ridicule their Wastelands and Stifles.

ANT: Since there is no attrition the addional threat won't matter and also Vial with Sprite can get them even if they Chant you.

Zilla
03-19-2010, 04:08 PM
It almost seems like the Hierarch/Vial argument is a metagame call. In your opening post, hungry, you said the decks that were most even/troublesome were blue-based control decks like NOBant, Canadian Thresh, and Landstill. Vial obviously shines in these matchups. If you're certain that Hierarch is the better maindeck choice, might it make sense to swap them for Vials from the board in the blue-based control/aggro-control matchups?

adrieng
03-19-2010, 06:15 PM
What about cutting green for black ? Mainly for bitterblossom, we already play stutter and mutavault and the token are nice with equipment.
Also, dark confidant could be not bad, even if it's not a really good card in an aggro meta (zoo/gob/merfolk).

hungryLIKEALION
03-21-2010, 02:31 AM
It almost seems like the Hierarch/Vial argument is a metagame call. In your opening post, hungry, you said the decks that were most even/troublesome were blue-based control decks like NOBant, Canadian Thresh, and Landstill. Vial obviously shines in these matchups. If you're certain that Hierarch is the better maindeck choice, might it make sense to swap them for Vials from the board in the blue-based control/aggro-control matchups?

The reason these matchups are difficult/even is not because of the counterspells. In NO Bant it's Progenitus; He's hard to race, and Vial is too slow to aid your race speed significantly. Hierarch, on the other hand, allows you to come out of the gates blazing, giving you the speed you need to win game 1. For games 2 and 3 when you bring in Washout and therefore racing isn't as big a deal, Hierarch both helps get you to washout/daze-proof washout mana more easily, and allows you to swing through stalemates with exalted. Also, since a lot of removal flies back and forth in this matchup, you find yourself in attrition battles often. Hierarch helps here by picking up Jitte/Sofi and resuming the beatdown after your goyfs have been swordsed.

Landstill is difficult because they have Deed/Disk/EE, which are very good against us. Anything that answers equipment and creatures at the same time will give us serious trouble. Vial will just get blown up along with everything else without speeding us up or helping us apply pressure.

I haven't gotten to test Canadian yet, I said it seemed even in the primer because I didn't have any data on it yet

And I wouldn't cut green. Goyf is too neccesary for a deck like this to compete, and Hierarch is, as I've been arguing for two pages, incredible.

Tao
03-21-2010, 05:58 AM
The Landstill matchup doesn't really matter, it is close to completely unwinnable anyway. Also Landstill is unplayable because they get fucked by pretty much everything from Progenitus to Iona, Ichorid and ANT. But against NO-Countertop the Counterbalance-Softlock sure can wreck this deck and a T1 Vial makes that so much less effective for them. If you play with washout, Hierarch is probably better but if you choose the Meddling Mage / Canonist Sideboard I would certainly go with Aether Vial.

I agree with you on not cutting Green, at the end of the day Tarmogoyf is still the best card in the deck.

AzdraŰl
03-21-2010, 08:02 AM
What about playing standstill?
soudns amazing with Vial/Stoneforge

Frid
03-22-2010, 01:14 PM
I got yesterday 4th out of a 49 man tournament, and lost in the semifinals just because a stupid mistake I could perfecly have avoided if I had thought carefully about it (equipping a creature with a SoLS instead of a SoFI against zoo). The final match would have been against goblins so I suppose I would have won the tournament but... Anyway, the list I used is this:


//Lands
4 [MOR] Mutavault
1 [B] Island
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [B] Plains
3 [B] Tropical Island
3 [B] Tundra
3 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
1 [ON] Windswept Heath

// Creatures
2 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
4 [FUT] Tarmogoyf
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
4 [WWK] Stoneforge Mystic

// Spells
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
1 [DS] Sword of Fire and Ice
1 [DS] Sword of Light and Shadow
4 [DS] AEther Vial
4 [B] Swords to Plowshares
4 [AL] Force of Will
4 [MM] Brainstorm
4 [NE] Daze
2 [SOK] Threads of Disloyalty

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [ZEN] Ravenous Trap
SB: 3 [CNF] Path to Exile
SB: 3 [ALA] Relic of Progenitus
SB: 4 [ZEN] Spell Pierce
SB: 1 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
SB: 2 [TSP] Krosan Grip

I think aether vial is one of the most powerful cards in legacy, and I won many many games just because I started with turn 1 vial, specially against two landstill decks and one countertop. I am 100% sure I would't have made top4 with hierarchs in those slots, so I definetly won't cut vials.
Qasali won me one game i would not have won without it, as it was against painters and he had counterbalance and the combo online, but thanks to vial i could kill the painter and win the game, but I would like to test vendilion clique in these two slots because of their sinergy with spellstutters and equipments. SoLS was not very impressive and indeed I lost in the semifinals as I said because it made me misplay :mad:, so I am considering cutting it. I like much the wash out tech, but I thin spell pierce as sideboard card in this deck is amazing against combo and control decks, it won me some games after sideboarding . I am testing this list this week:


// Lands
4 [MOR] Mutavault
1 [B] Island
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [B] Plains
3 [B] Tropical Island
3 [B] Tundra
3 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
1 [ON] Windswept Heath

// Creatures
2 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
4 [FUT] Tarmogoyf
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
4 [WWK] Stoneforge Mystic

// Spells
1 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
1 [DS] Sword of Fire and Ice
1 [DS] Sword of Light and Shadow
4 [DS] AEther Vial
4 [B] Swords to Plowshares
4 [AL] Force of Will
4 [MM] Brainstorm
4 [NE] Daze
2 [BOK] Threads of Disloyalty
1 [ALA] Elspeth, Knight-Errant

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [CNF] Path to Exile
SB: 3 [ALA] Relic of Progenitus
SB: 3 [ZEN] Spell Pierce
SB: 2 [TSP] Krosan Grip
SB: 2 [IN] Wash Out
SB: 2 [SHM] Faerie Macabre


Many decks run one elspeth as singleton, so I will test it here also as a bomb for the lategame. Apart from the obvious card quality I think I fits in this deck perfectly, creating creatures every turn and giving equipped creatures flying, which can't be bad. The only problem can be the two white mana running just 4 white sources and 20 land as I do, anyway I will post my results in the next days.

St3B
03-22-2010, 04:43 PM
I took 2nd place yesterday at a 20 person event. This is the list I played:
//Lands
4 [MOR] Mutavault
1 [B] Island
1 [B] Forest
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [B] Plains
1 [B] Savannah
3 [B] Tropical Island
2 [B] Tundra
4 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest

// Creatures
2 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
4 [CON] Noble Hierarch
4 [FUT] Tarmogoyf
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
4 [WWK] Stoneforge Mystic

// Spells
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
1 [DS] Sword of Fire and Ice
1 [DS] Sword of Light and Shadow
4 [B] Swords to Plowshares
4 [AL] Force of Will
4 [MM] Brainstorm
3 [NE] Daze
2 [M10] Ponder

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [MIR] Enlightened Tutor
SB: 3 [CNF] Path to Exile
SB: 2 [ALA] Relic of Progenitus
SB: 1 [] Aura of Silence
SB: 1 [] Engineered Explosives
SB: 1 [] Ethersworn Canonist
SB: 2 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
SB: 3 [TSP] Krosan Grip

I won against:
Enchantress
Enchantress
Merfolk
ANT
Affinity
ID’ed against Lanstill
Lost in a very close match to BantSur
And lost to Merfolk in the finals for not playing the SoFI in fear of Daze only to loose it to a Vendilion Clique. I should’ve searched for a Jitte and played it without fear of daze... Afterwards you’re always smarter.
It’s a fun deck to play and I will keep on testing it.

Tao
03-22-2010, 04:54 PM
I took 2nd place yesterday at a 20 person event. This is the list I played:
//Lands
4 [MOR] Mutavault
1 [B] Island
1 [B] Forest
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [B] Plains
1 [B] Savannah
3 [B] Tropical Island
2 [B] Tundra
4 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest

// Creatures
2 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
4 [CON] Noble Hierarch
4 [FUT] Tarmogoyf
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
4 [WWK] Stoneforge Mystic

// Spells
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
1 [DS] Sword of Fire and Ice
1 [DS] Sword of Light and Shadow
4 [DS] AEther Vial
4 [B] Swords to Plowshares
4 [AL] Force of Will
4 [MM] Brainstorm
4 [NE] Daze
2 [SOK] Threads of Disloyalty

// Sideboard
SB: 2 [MIR] Enlightened Tutor
SB: 3 [CNF] Path to Exile
SB: 2 [ALA] Relic of Progenitus
SB: 1 [] Aura of Silence
SB: 1 [] Engineered Explosives
SB: 1 [] Ethersworn Canonist
SB: 2 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
SB: 3 [TSP] Krosan Grip .

65 cards sounds like not good idea. I think you meant either 0 Hierarch or 0 Vial. Which was it?

Also congratulations Frid for doing well with Vial.

St3B
03-22-2010, 06:03 PM
@TAO
This happenes when you're too lazy to type everything and forget some choices... It's fixed now

hungryLIKEALION
03-22-2010, 09:42 PM
I went 3-2 at a local event yesterday, going 3-0 against Dredge, Zoo, and UWb Landstill and then 0-2 again Eva Green and Aggro Loam, both of which are pretty bad matchups. I ran the exact same deck as my original build but -1 path +1 grip on the sb.

This deck needs to up its blue count, in my opinion. 19 (or 17 if you replace threads with a non-blue spell) is dangerously low, and I don't feel comfortable with that number. I've been running into positions a lot where I have no blue spell to pitch when I want to. I'm not sure how I'll rework it yet, and I don't have much time to test this week, but I'll be sure to update here when I figure it out.

Also, I'll be posting a short tournament report in my thread for those curious.

Tao
03-23-2010, 02:09 AM
I have to go there again with that report. Against Aggro Loam and Eva Green Aether Vial is gold, because their Mana Denial becomes so much more inefficient for them.

hungryLIKEALION
03-23-2010, 02:29 AM
I have to go there again with that report. Against Aggro Loam and Eva Green Aether Vial is gold, because their Mana Denial becomes so much more inefficient for them.

Are you joking? Vial is TERRIBLE against Eva Green. 21 Lands and 4 hierarchs versus 3-4 wastes and 0-4 sinkholes... The mana base holds up fine. Given how fast your hand empties against them, (which is pretty fucking fast) Vial does nothing, and you end up topdecking dead vials where Hierarch can come down and pick up a jitte/sofi and present a threat, or contribute exalted to your other creatures. Vial does literally nothing in this matchup.

Against Aggro Loam, vial is not going to help you either. Their creatures are larger than yours no matter what, so the only way to even the odds is to get your equipment online ASAP. This requires more mana. If you get stuck with a vial and 1-2 land you're fucked because no matter how many Stoneforge mystics and spellstutters you vial in, they're going to run you over with countryside crushers while you can't use your equipment.

Once again, Vial doesn't help this deck with any of its problems. To reiterate, the problems this deck faces are not:
-Mana Denial
-Countermagic

Instead, they are:
-Lots of opposing removal
-An abundance of large creatures
-Hand disruption

Vial does not belong in a deck with 12-14 creatures with no draw engine. If you think it does, you're deluding yourself and I can't help you.

IsThisACatInAHat?
03-23-2010, 02:48 AM
On the subject, what about the Eva Green matchup was difficult? Were you just unable to find StP before TS finished you, hand disruption, or something else? On paper it looks like a wash so I just ignored it, but I wouldn't want to make that mistake in a tourney if it's not. It sounds like you're pinning their best cards against us as Hymn/ Thoughtseize/ Duress (if they have it), so that's what we should be saving counters for?

Also, I've been using Threads MD on and off but have found it's almost always either dead or just waiting for FoW to get pitched. I'm going to try Clique in its spot (still blue, same cost but faerie + useful ability + decent stats), so I'll report back on that. Meanwhile, I'm pretty much sold on the 3rd Faerie Macabre given the popularity of Reanimator (and now Aggro Loam) but if Crypt continues to be the disappointment it has been, I may go up to 4 Macabre and drop the Crypts altogether. I'll get back on that too, since only running targeted grave hate sounds like it could bite me in the ass at some point.

hungryLIKEALION
03-23-2010, 03:12 AM
The eva green list my friend runs has no sinkholes and instead plays gatekeepers and maindeck grips. It's really the grips that put it over the edge, but their deck is really just the perfect storm against ours. They can take out our goyfs pretty easily leaving us with a bunch of 1/1s and 1/2s against 5/6s and 5/5 fliers among other creatures. We don't have enough removal to handle all their critters and it's hard to trade effectively without the equipment, and it can be difficult to get enough time to equip anything, and then when you finally do they have the grip ready. It's pretty miserable. It also didn't help today that he had turn 3/4 sylvan library both games and I didn't have the fow.

That being said, my winrate against him has gone up significantly since I switched from vial to hierarch. The matchup often comes down to topdecking, and even hierarch's ability to pick up a jitte and swing for 1 can be enough to win the attrition fight.

As for aggro loam, I lost both games because he went t1 bob, I plow it, he plays running 3 drops and chalice at 1 while I topdeck lots of 1 costs.

klaus
03-23-2010, 05:21 AM
Isthatcatinthehat. +1 on that threads vs clique issue

gustha
03-23-2010, 05:49 AM
Wow, I didn't know there were a topic on this deck I was testing (truth be told, don't have time to watch the source anymore, but meh).
My team and me started to test the deck in january, but didn't feel too confident with the green approach. tarmo is ofc a big green fatty, but was the only reason to play green, and it's just a stupid beast with nothing better to do than beating and beating. Qasali pridemage/trygon predator are ofc nice, but the deck can work even without disenchant effects, as my testings with UW tempo showed and so do the numbers of qasali i see in this thread's lists. So we dediced to shift to a straight UW version that's a bit different in the mechanics. Here it is:

4 Flooded Strand
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Island
1 Plains
4 Tundra
3 Mutavault
3 Wasteland

4 Aether Vial
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
3 Standstill
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
3 Spell Snare

4 Mother of Runes
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Ninja of the Deep HOurs
3 Jotun Grunt
2 Stoneforge Mystics
----
3 Meddling Mage
3 Spell Pierce
3 Aura of Silence
4 Perimeter Captain
2 Pithing Needle

The deck basically thrashes aggrocontrol, has higly positive Mu vs any form of bant. Good MU vs combo and vs ichorid too. Can keep zoo and merfolk at bay and thus candidates to be a good tier in my opinion. Suffers a bit from black based decks (ofc), but if you manage to have a t1 mom and save the stutters for targeted discard and force for deed, then it's a little better (mom+stutters handles TS very well). A teammate is testing:
-1 tundra -2 island -1 fetch + 1 plains +2 volcanic +1 tropical
Sb: -4 perimeter captain +4 firespout (i'll probably follow this choice, without the MD tropical though)

Pros:
-mom offers better defense and protection from removal, being able to twist the deck from tempo to controllish; she nullifies attacks with equipped creatures, sb pithing needle/aura do the rest!
-positive combo and bant/bant prog MU
-diversified sb can handle lots of otherwise problematic MU's (aura of silence is good vs ant and vs control, needle is nuts vs control and ofc EE/deed/foundry/grindstone/whatever)
-more than 2 equips is winmore
-reinforced countersuite (the deck really suffers 2-drops as counterbalance without vial and bob; qasali is a lesser problem, but a good target nonetheless)
-good support of standstill
-lots of cards which serve multiple functions (mom, clique, stutter, jotun, ninja, SFM) = CA
-you laugh at goyfs
-lots of brutal card advantage engines, not merely library manipulation

Cons:
-weak against black based decks
-no brainstorm makes mulligans a little more frequent, but the list seems quite solid however.
-as every metagame deck, if you lose round1 at tournaments you'll encounter non-tier decks which rape you :)

I think this list has potential, and testings seem to prove it. Despite the UWG version it has more "intelligent" creatures than the stupid tarmogoyf, can play as landstill when facing the aggro MU and as merfolk when facing aggrocontrol/combo MU's, which is a versatility not to be understimated. Improves the mu vs aggroloam, combo and bant, the last two being the most powerful and played decks nowadays. Playable Mu vs zoo, which is another huge contender to recente top8's, not too bad vs ichorid and reanimator (though a version with cursecatchers instead of moms is better suited for a meta full of combo decks, or just use maindeck spell pierces).

Eldamion
03-24-2010, 04:15 PM
Hi all,

I like the idea of the deck a lot, cause it will win some matchups very easy thanks to the equipments.
I had a first contact with the deck last weekend, were is was playing an adapted Aggro Bant list, where i was cutting Rafiq, Elspeth, one Daze and an one Jitte for 2 Mystics and both swords.

Unfortunately the tournaments didn't work well for me.

Back at home I found this thread an was very happy to see other people working on ideas like mine.

Here are my thoughts:
-I really missed card advantage, I see a little advantage in the sprites and maybe, if the equipment is running in the sword of FaI.
-my Manabase was horrible, so my own fault

Who came up with the idea to play the deck will Spellstutter Sprite, like the way the decks moves, but like to now what kind of thoughts are behind that idea?


After that tournament I had the following ideas, not all together in one list, but maybe :

- Standstill to create cardadvantage, great with vial, mystic and vialable equipment
- Thirst for knowledge, discard vial 2-4, dead cards in the lategame
- Riptide Laboratory, with Spellstuter Sprite and Vial? The Land can cast Vial turn one and with so many equipment in the deck, the colorless mana
will not hurt so much
- Thopter Foundry and Sword of the meek, Mystic searches for the sword, maybe Muddle the Mixture for the Foundry or the standstill
END

I will test the list from the first post with the vials, which I like a lot in my meta (Counterspells and Land destruction).
Will update you soon...

Eldamion

luckme10
03-25-2010, 08:57 PM
[the problems this deck faces] are:
-Lots of opposing removal
-An abundance of large creatures
-Hand disruption


Have you tried working in the following? Plaxamanta (http://www.magiccards.info/query?q=Plaxmanta&v=card&s=cname) acts as an additional Spellstutter Sprite to target those pesty removal spells.
If you're having trouble keeping beaters, I also reccomend adding something like Nulltread Gargantuan (http://www.magiccards.info/query?q=Nulltread+Gargantuan&v=card&s=cname) which doubles as evasion (if vialed depending on if you have it), and the ability to recur either Spellstutter Sprite or Plaxamanta.

They're also blue cards so it'll give you a better chance to pitch to FoW.

jrsthethird
03-25-2010, 10:02 PM
Have you tried working in the following? Plaxamanta (http://www.magiccards.info/query?q=Plaxmanta&v=card&s=cname) acts as an additional Spellstutter Sprite to target those pesty removal spells.
If you're having trouble keeping beaters, I also reccomend adding something like Nulltread Gargantuan (http://www.magiccards.info/query?q=Nulltread+Gargantuan&v=card&s=cname) which doubles as evasion (if vialed depending on if you have it), and the ability to recur either Spellstutter Sprite or Plaxamanta.

They're also blue cards so it'll give you a better chance to pitch to FoW.

Plaxmanta*

Nulltread sounds like a janky trick and might work with Vial but without it's just terrible.

I think you're trying to add a little too much to this. What you're suggesting would be great for a GU-type tempo deck, using both Vial and Hierarch, as well as Spellstutters, Vendilion Cliques, etc.

GrooGrux
03-26-2010, 07:06 AM
I love this deck, saw your build Harry and the only change I made was that I play three spell pierce and one control magic in place of the the 2 ponders you ran and the two threads. Reasoning here is totally meta dependent. Probably wont run the control magic in an unknown meta. FUN FUN Deck!

klaus
03-26-2010, 12:25 PM
So I've updated my version, based on the little testing I got done.

3 Stoneforge Mystic - - - - - against anything not running counterspells, I think 3 is the perfect number - I really don't want to have it in my opener most of the time.
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Noble Hierarch
2 Vendillion Clique
2 Trygon Predator
1 Trinket Mage -------------------- that mini toolbox has proven to be not random at all - I think it also allows for a single Needle in the board instead of the 4th GY spell, while virtually keeping the GY count at 4. And yes, an equipped T. Mage is nothing to sneeze at - so I guess I'll keep him in.
---
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
---
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Force of Will
4 Spell Pierce - - - - - - - - - - - - - - this choice is still being tested - I just thought that postboard, 7 equipments plus 8 STPs should make Aggro.dec a favorable MU, which in effect undermines Spell Snare's versatility, making Pierces more desirable overall.
---
4 Flooded Strand
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
2 Mutavault
1 Forest
1 Plains
1 Island
1 Academy Ruins
------------------------------------------------------- what would you guys change to find room for Mutavault #3?
SB:
4 Path to Exile
3 Gaddock Teeg
3 Krosan Grip
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GrooGrux
03-26-2010, 06:44 PM
I agree.

I have been running this deck for a while and NEVER have I EVER wanted to play the collar. I cut it. It never helped really. Most of your match ups don't need it. SoLS give pro black, takes care of the tombstalker etc. And Jitte is huge against goblins and merfolk, instant speed -1/-1 is so much better than death touch. Pro blue red is huge. The real problem with the collar however is that it does not help you win the race. Your creature stays at 1/1 it is still a 20 turn clock with a sprite on the board. With FnI or LnS or Jitte, its is a 4 of 5 turn game....HUGE DIFFERENCE

One heiarch one sprite and sword of fire and ice = 18 damage three turns.

One heiarch one sprite and a collar = 18 damage and 18 life gained in 9 turns. In three turns, its only 6 and 6 = that is 12 point life swing, but you still have to do 14 more damage.

Also, if you are playing tombstalker, your are probably playing against a 2/3 flying death lifelink anyways. Pro black = much better in this situation. I would run something else over the collar. Anything that will increase your consistency in your meta or give you more control in an unknown meta.

HAVE HEART
03-28-2010, 06:07 PM
I think this deck just Top 8'd the Orlando 5K. Wonder what name they will give it? Obviously it will be something awful, but hopefully it is funny.

hungryLIKEALION
03-29-2010, 12:19 AM
Man, they just named it "Bant". Lame.

Anyway, that's another high finish for the vial version. He is playing 14 creatures though (but only 18 blue cards...? Yuck!)

MD Jotun Grunts. Interesting, but I'm not sure I like it.

nodahero
03-29-2010, 12:40 AM
From the look of his list I would wager he is a follower of Land Hax/UW tempo also... Just a hunch though. It would explain the card counts.

yadda
03-29-2010, 11:27 AM
From the look of his list I would wager he is a follower of Land Hax/UW tempo also... Just a hunch though. It would explain the card counts.

Agreed.


Also here is the list from the 5k:


Bant
A Legacy Magic deck, by Lewis Laskin
5th place at a StarCityGames.com $5,000 Legacy Open tournament in Orlando, Florida, United States on 2010-03-28
As reported at http://www.starcitygames.com/php/news/article/19057.html

Maindeck:
2 Jotun Grunt

Artifacts
4 Aether Vial
1 Sword Of Fire And Ice

Creatures
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Tarmogoyf

Enchantments
2 Threads Of Disloyalty

Instants
4 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Force Of Will
4 Swords To Plowshares

Legendary Artifacts
2 Umezawa's Jitte

Sorceries
1 Ponder

Basic Lands
1 Island
1 Plains

Lands
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Mutavault
1 Savannah
2 Tropical Island
4 Tundra

Sideboard:
1 Pithing Needle
3 Tormod's Crypt
3 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Meddling Mage
2 Blue Elemental Blast
3 Krosan Grip
1 Mindbreak Trap

nodahero
03-29-2010, 12:40 PM
I really like the lsit that made top 8 yesterday except for the threads. They just seem a little overkill. I would rather that be something more flexible like a VClique. Not to mention the Clique also powers up the Sprite.

yadda
03-29-2010, 04:43 PM
Threads is simply ridicules in so many matchups, i 4 for 1ed someone on mws the other day with it by taking their dreadnought and then forcing him to block it with a second one. No he should not have been playing dreadnought but that isn't the point, threads is effective against tons of different strategies including any deck containing goyf.

As for his list, i dont like a few of his choices, for instance im personally of the noble hierarch camp in that debate and i would also have included more blue cards instead of the jotun grunts. which seem like overkill since they are most effective against aggro who we already smash.

As Lion already pointed out he only ran 18 blue cards including 5 cantrips which are certainly not something you want to have to hold in order to keep your FOWs turned on.

hungryLIKEALION
04-11-2010, 12:23 PM
I played Excalibur yesterday at Vestal going 4-3. My list was as follows.

4 Mutavault
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Plains
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Savannah
2 Tundra
3 Tropical Island

4 Noble Hierarch
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Sower of Temptation

2 Ponder
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 FoW
3 Daze
2 Jitte
1 SoFI

SB:
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Path to Exile
2 Krosan Grip
3 Faerie Macabre
3 Wash Out
1 Trygon Predator
1 Thwart

Report's up: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?16594-hungryLIKEALION-s-tournament-report-collection&goto=newpost#post446396

GrooGrux
04-21-2010, 07:10 AM
I went to 2-2 at the same tournament in vestal. I lost to goblins, which was a good match up for me, just didn't get what I needed when I needed it. However, my second loss came to 43 lands. I never had a chance, not even post board.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to beat this deck. Basically lost to Maze of Ith and post board ensnaring bridge. Didn't have grips because I didn't know about the bridge until it was too late.

Any thoughts?

LOurs
04-21-2010, 08:21 AM
I like this deck a lot. I tested it with some changes, and it is really funny & efficient to play.
I tried something : to sb Curfew. Curfew is fast, really good with sprites & mystic (or even mutavault if you dont want to bounce your own creature for some reasons), and btw it is also a pain for lonely progenitus / iona. I think this could be better than washout in many cases (except vs token armies, but usualy in this case, equipment are good enough).

GrooGrux
04-21-2010, 08:49 AM
Curfew seems very interesting, it can definately power up the sprite a little. For the mystic it seems pretty neat too. Might make you over play the board and then get crushed by mass removal if you use it that way thou. None the less, any thoughts on beating 43 lands? Or any planeswalker based deck?

jrsthethird
04-21-2010, 09:37 AM
If you expect a lot of Lands or other targeted removal you can use a singleton Lightning Greaves in the board to fetch with Mystic. Then he can only stop you with Bridge or Chasm (either one can be dealt with using current sideboard options).

Also, Jitte + counters on a Sprite or something could get under Bridge for 5 damage a turn, if you can shroud him.

GrooGrux
04-21-2010, 09:45 AM
If you expect a lot of Lands or other targeted removal you can use a singleton Lightning Greaves in the board to fetch with Mystic. Then he can only stop you with Bridge or Chasm (either one can be dealt with using current sideboard options).

Also, Jitte + counters on a Sprite or something could get under Bridge for 5 damage a turn, if you can shroud him.

Greeves just plain crushes maze of ith. I really like it. It also take a bit of power away from their planeswalkers. Any other ideas?

GrooGrux
04-21-2010, 09:58 AM
Anyone tried wasteland in this deck? Does it work? Is vault really better? I have not tried it....

hungryLIKEALION
04-22-2010, 12:18 AM
Anyone tried wasteland in this deck? Does it work? Is vault really better? I have not tried it....

You can't run Spellstutter without 4 mutavaults, so you'd have to run wastelands in addition to vaults. This isn't bad, and does have its uses, but I haven't found a configuration I like that includes them yet.

GrooGrux
04-22-2010, 07:05 AM
You can't run Spellstutter without 4 mutavaults, so you'd have to run wastelands in addition to vaults. This isn't bad, and does have its uses, but I haven't found a configuration I like that includes them yet.

And sprite is half the decks winning power.....

GrooGrux
04-22-2010, 11:20 AM
I am considering testing this card within the next few weeks. Anyone out there have any thoughts or want to give it a try and share their information?



Banshee's Blade 2 (2)
Artifact — Equipment

Equipped creature gets +1/+1 for each charge counter on Banshee's Blade.

Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put a charge counter on Banshee's Blade.

Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card enters the battlefield unattached and stays on the battlefield if the creature leaves.)

AngryTroll
04-22-2010, 11:28 AM
I am considering testing this card within the next few weeks. Anyone out there have any thoughts or want to give it a try and share their information?



Banshee's Blade 2 (2)
Artifact — Equipment

Equipped creature gets +1/+1 for each charge counter on Banshee's Blade.

Whenever equipped creature deals combat damage, put a charge counter on Banshee's Blade.

Equip 2 (2: Attach to target creature you control. Equip only as a sorcery. This card enters the battlefield unattached and stays on the battlefield if the creature leaves.)

Banshee's Blade costs the same to cast and equip as Jitte, but it gives +0/+0 when you equip it. After the first attack, you'll have invested 4 mana and an attack step for +1/+1. After two attacks, you'll have invested 4 mana for one extra power and toughness in combat, and an additional +1/+1 after combat.

If you compare Banshee's Blade to Jitte, Basilisk Collar, or Sword of Fire and Ice, you'll find that it's very weak.

jrsthethird
04-22-2010, 12:39 PM
The only (possibly) relevant Legacy equipment printed so far, for a Mystic-based suite, are:

'Tier 0' equipment:
Skullclamp (so good, it's banned!)

'Tier 1' equipment:
Jitte (auto-include with Mystic)
SOFI (also auto-include)
SOLS (situationally awesome, underrated IMHO)
Lightning Greaves (metagame choice, only reason to run it is for protection from Green/colorless effects, and there are no relevant green ones.)

I can't think of anything else in the format that you would want an answer for that isn't covered by these.

'Tier 2' equipment
Basilisk Collar (weak, but could be useful in some MUs. Probably better off building up Jitte counters for what you need.)
Whispersilk Cloak (inferior to Greaves unless you have some sort of Ophidian effect, but then why aren't you just using SOFI?)

...and I can keep going with others, but they will be inferior somehow to the first 4 in some way.

If you're trying to run equipment with Trinket Mage, your choices change since none of the top tier equipment cost 1 or less.

So I guess the bottom line is, if you want to test an equipment, first think, "What does it do that the tier 1 equipment don't?" If you can't answer that, it's probably not worth testing.

hungryLIKEALION
04-23-2010, 12:36 AM
You can put Sigil of Distinction in tier 2 also.

Lull
04-23-2010, 09:21 AM
This may be an odd question, but how conservatively should I be playing this deck? I've been trying it out and I've found that I'm getting consistently out-tempo'ed by aggro control decks. What usually seems to happen is that things will be pretty even but then my first jittequip will get answered, followed by me slowly losing control of the board. Should I be thinking of it not like a thresholdish deck but as something else?

GrooGrux
04-23-2010, 09:29 AM
This may be an odd question, but how conservatively should I be playing this deck? I've been trying it out and I've found that I'm getting consistently out-tempo'ed by aggro control decks. What usually seems to happen is that things will be pretty even but then my first jittequip will get answered, followed by me slowly losing control of the board. Should I be thinking of it not like a thresholdish deck but as something else?

I have found this deck to work good for me when I play it just a little behind my opponent. Let him take a little board and then use sprite to slowly swing it in my direction. However I play a build that uses both heiarch and aether vial, allowing a seemingly weak board position with no creatures to quickly turn around.

GrooGrux
04-23-2010, 09:39 AM
My current build. Seems to be very consistent. The Nobles with Vial give 6 cards that make the opening hand fast enough to take most aggro decks and give you enough control to over take them as well.

4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest

2 Tundra
2 Tropical Island
1 Savannah
4 Mutavault
1 Plains
1 Forest
1 Island
20 Lands


3 Aether Vial
3 Noble Heiarch
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Vendillion Clique
2 Ponder
2 Umezawaĺs Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
40 Non-Lands

GrooGrux
04-27-2010, 11:35 AM
I went 3-0-0 last night at a local shop. I beat out enchantress which is a really tough match up for this deck. However he was not playing elephant grass, which is probably the card that makes the deck a tough match up in the first place.

I also beat out 43 lands. The pilot is a very good magic player, over 1800 rating and he just could not keep up with the deck on the Lightening Greaves hit the table. Turns off the maze of ith. I also used Macabres to turn off chasm lock and waste lock. It was very effective.

That is all I have for now. Another tourney on Thursday, I will be sure to post a more detailed breakdown, since it is a much more competitive environment.

whienot
04-27-2010, 12:04 PM
So, Greaves is the new tech? What was your sideboard?

GrooGrux
04-27-2010, 12:10 PM
So, Greaves is the new tech? What was your sideboard?

Greaves is awesome. It shuts off any card that needs to target your creature to stop you from winning. The haste is pretty useful sometimes too, but really it is the 0 casting cost shroud that you can bounce around.

Stops Swords, Maze of Ith, Smother, Echoing Truth....everything but Edict and board wipes.


Side Board

3 - Faeirie Macabre
2 - Tormods Crypt
2 - Krosan Grip
1 - Lightening Greaves
3 - Path to Exile
2 - Propaganda
2 - Ethersworn Canonist


The last 4 are Meta Dependent....i think...

hungryLIKEALION
05-06-2010, 12:19 AM
I got to test greaves a little bit this week, and I'm very impressed with it in some of our worst matchups. It's sick against lands since it shuts down maze of ith, and is at least decent against landstill and walker control decks. I'm gonna keep testing it, but it seems fine for the sideboard.

waSP
05-06-2010, 01:02 AM
What about Qasali Pridemage over Goyf? Do you find yourseves blocking a lot? Or might the flexibility mean something in some of your less favorable matchups (such as Enchantress).

hungryLIKEALION
05-06-2010, 03:59 PM
What about Qasali Pridemage over Goyf? Do you find yourseves blocking a lot? Or might the flexibility mean something in some of your less favorable matchups (such as Enchantress).

... No. Just no.

GrooGrux
05-07-2010, 07:59 AM
... No. Just no.

Ditto that. The only card in magic that could possibly replace goyf in this deck would be a goyf itself. There is nothing in this deck that can be changed that drastically. It has 4 or 5 slots at best that can be tinkered with. If it is going to play bant colors it must play what it does right now. The only change you could un-reasonably make to the deck would be to cut sprite, play waste land and more counter. However, that would not work.......so.
Goyf, and Noble are the foundation, accelerating your mana and the Noble doing its damage without having to attack. So, the base is pretty much made and not that flexible. Which is fine, and unless they print something else, you can expect it to function best like this. This does not mean you can't go another direction with the stoneforge thou.

As far as enchantress goes, this is a tough, tough, tough matchup. But, not impossible. Sideboards should be designed to improve matchups, if enchantress is in your meta, just play tranquility or tempest of light. In a large tourney, I am not sure what you would run, depends on the expected meta there. I wouldn't side board sweeping enchantment in unkown meta thou.

hungryLIKEALION
05-07-2010, 01:06 PM
Ditto that. The only card in magic that could possibly replace goyf in this deck would be a goyf itself. There is nothing in this deck that can be changed that drastically. It has 4 or 5 slots at best that can be tinkered with. If it is going to play bant colors it must play what it does right now. The only change you could un-reasonably make to the deck would be to cut sprite, play waste land and more counter. However, that would not work.......so.
Goyf, and Noble are the foundation, accelerating your mana and the Noble doing its damage without having to attack. So, the base is pretty much made and not that flexible. Which is fine, and unless they print something else, you can expect it to function best like this. This does not mean you can't go another direction with the stoneforge thou.

As far as enchantress goes, this is a tough, tough, tough matchup. But, not impossible. Sideboards should be designed to improve matchups, if enchantress is in your meta, just play tranquility or tempest of light. In a large tourney, I am not sure what you would run, depends on the expected meta there. I wouldn't side board sweeping enchantment in unkown meta thou.

If you're expecting to play against enchantress, you sideboard harmonic convergence. It's pretty much the best enchantress hoser since it doesn't let them just immediately replenish to get everything back.

But Enchantress is such a fringe matchup, I tend not to worry about it.

GrooGrux
05-07-2010, 01:10 PM
If you're expecting to play against enchantress, you sideboard harmonic convergence. It's pretty much the best enchantress hoser since it doesn't let them just immediately replenish to get everything back.

But Enchantress is such a fringe matchup, I tend not to worry about it.

I dont usually worry about at Jupiter. But I do worry about it at my local meta. I like the harmonic idea. Might use this in my local shop meta.

hungryLIKEALION
05-08-2010, 11:42 PM
Alrighty, I'm taking this to the Philly Open tomorrow, made a change to the list that I'm excited to try out, we'll see how it goes and I'll post a report tomorrow.

GrooGrux
05-10-2010, 08:21 AM
Alrighty, I'm taking this to the Philly Open tomorrow, made a change to the list that I'm excited to try out, we'll see how it goes and I'll post a report tomorrow.

How did it go???

jrsthethird
05-10-2010, 12:02 PM
He split Top 4 and bought 2 Goyfs with the prize credit. Only 20 people showed up, so prize structure was reduced to $500 total credit. He posted the TR in that forum, major change was cutting Daze for Spell Snare.

GrooGrux
05-10-2010, 01:04 PM
He split Top 4 and bought 2 Goyfs with the prize credit. Only 20 people showed up, so prize structure was reduced to $500 total credit. He posted the TR in that forum, major change was cutting Daze for Spell Snare.

Thanks for the info JRS. Just checked it out, I like that switch. I had been thinking about it myself, as daze is just not that useful without wasteland and/or stifle. And most of the time, they will play around it anyways, which is good.

hungryLIKEALION
05-10-2010, 01:25 PM
Yeah Spell Snare was a champ all day long. I'm definitely going to keep it in, and I recommend that everyone else should test it too.

MULocke
05-10-2010, 02:12 PM
Yeah Spell Snare was a champ all day long. I'm definitely going to keep it in, and I recommend that everyone else should test it too.

I agree, spell snare is insane. Maybe it's because I played Canadian Thresh for awhile (Snare counters all the scary spells), but they're just such good tempo and are a beating paying one mana for a hard counter.

You mentioned a bit of trouble in the combo matchup, at least compared to other matchups (tribal, etc). You could take a leaf out of Landstill's book and try making Ponder into Top and boarding Counterbalances. CB helps against storm and Reanimator, and splashes well onto other matchups.

hungryLIKEALION
05-10-2010, 04:09 PM
I agree, spell snare is insane. Maybe it's because I played Canadian Thresh for awhile (Snare counters all the scary spells), but they're just such good tempo and are a beating paying one mana for a hard counter.

You mentioned a bit of trouble in the combo matchup, at least compared to other matchups (tribal, etc). You could take a leaf out of Landstill's book and try making Ponder into Top and boarding Counterbalances. CB helps against storm and Reanimator, and splashes well onto other matchups.

That's a very interesting idea, but I worry about taking out blue cards. I was playing the deck with 19 blue cards before I got it up to 21, and I used to have a lot of trouble casting FoWs. Going from 19 to 21 helped this a lot, and I'd be nervous going back down to 19. ;\

MULocke
05-10-2010, 04:22 PM
That's a very interesting idea, but I worry about taking out blue cards. I was playing the deck with 19 blue cards before I got it up to 21, and I used to have a lot of trouble casting FoWs. Going from 19 to 21 helped this a lot, and I'd be nervous going back down to 19. ;\

That's a fair argument; I didn't count the blue cards before posting the idea. I've had the same problem in some of the similar bant shells where I've had to use Top or Survival to find a blue card to pitch. The other potential problem is that you don't get to see three or four (Ponder) cards for just the one mana, making Top slower if you need to find a Force now for combo. However, this problem seems less relevant than being able to float a Force on top to make it immune to Duress effects. Maybe the hate bear route is the way to go in the board if the matchup is a concern. That way, you don't need to find space for the full amount of Tops in the main (Counterbalance seems weaker than other options without a Top out).

GrooGrux
05-11-2010, 08:02 AM
That's a fair argument; I didn't count the blue cards before posting the idea. I've had the same problem in some of the similar bant shells where I've had to use Top or Survival to find a blue card to pitch. The other potential problem is that you don't get to see three or four (Ponder) cards for just the one mana, making Top slower if you need to find a Force now for combo. However, this problem seems less relevant than being able to float a Force on top to make it immune to Duress effects. Maybe the hate bear route is the way to go in the board if the matchup is a concern. That way, you don't need to find space for the full amount of Tops in the main (Counterbalance seems weaker than other options without a Top out).

A ridiculous sideboard card in this deck is ethersworn cannonist. Game two drop cannonist with greeves on the table and you basically win against combo. They can't target it and they can't play more than one spell a turn, this gives you far more than enough turns to make the match up yours. Slows down tons of other decks too.

I suggest giving it a try. You can easily pull the stps for it in combo. Unless they board bobs, but I don't see why they would in this matchup.

Enigma
05-11-2010, 08:22 AM
Hey guys. I've been playing this deck for a while and I finally did a tournament with it. I did 4-1 on swiss and lost to zoo in top8.

1-2 against Bant Survival
2-0 against Howling mine.dec
2-0 against Merfolks
2-1 against UWb Landstill
2-0 against Death and Taxes
1-2 against Zoo

Here's the decklist:

// Lands
4 Mutavault
1 Plains
1 Island
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
1 Savannah

// Creatures
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Meddling Mage

// Spells
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 AEther Vial
2 Ponder

// Sideboard
SB: 2 Meddling Mage
SB: 3 Qasali Pridemage
SB: 3 Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 Lightning Greaves
SB: 3 Threads of Disloyalty
SB: 3 Spell Pierce

We played with the 2 MD slots (now MM) a lot. Between Clique, Thirst, Threads, Qasali and MM. We quickly learned we had to put 2 blue cards even though QP would have been great in this slot. We decided to put 2x MM to get 2 more free SB slot.

MM over Cannonist because there is a lot of combo decks out there that doesn't care about Cannonist (Eureka, Reanimator, Lands and such). Our combo MU is already awesome because of the MD MM and the fact we add 3 Pierces post-side. We had Armageddon at a certain point, but we found that 4x MM + Greaves just beats Lands way more effectively.

Threads has been underwhelming for me all day long and I'm considering replacing -3 Threads -1 MM for +4 Kitchen Finks to help the Zoo MU.

I'll also try out the Snares. Though, my MVP card is definitaly Aether Vial. It enables crazy plays that I would never considere cutting it, never.

P-M

jimirynk
05-11-2010, 12:42 PM
I'm glad to see that Hungry, Enigma and myself all are testing this deck ATM.
I've been testing the deck do to the power of equipments in a deck with counters, giving us a good match-up vs. combo and aggro.
But the problem I've been having with the deck is the lack of hand manipulation, with only 4 bs you often pray for the right top deck.
After board, 4 k-grip ruins are deck strategy.

I'm torn between this deck, new horizons, folk, or re-animator for the vestal torn Saturday
The question I have to ask is how is the zoo MU for every one else?
Another question is has anyone been siding out force in aggro mu's?

jrsthethird
05-11-2010, 12:57 PM
MM over Cannonist because there is a lot of combo decks out there that doesn't care about Cannonist (Eureka, Reanimator, Lands and such). Our combo MU is already awesome because of the MD MM and the fact we add 3 Pierces post-side. We had Armageddon at a certain point, but we found that 4x MM + Greaves just beats Lands way more effectively.

Canonist helps against matchups like Elves and Goblins where they can 'go off' by dropping like 5 dudes in one turn. Just want to point out that she isn't just a card against Storm; MM might still be better (plus it pitches to FOW).

Also I'm not sure how the Elves/Goblins MUs are anyway so not sure if Canonist would even be worth boarding.

GrooGrux
05-11-2010, 01:04 PM
I'm glad to see that Hungry, Enigma and myself all are testing this deck ATM.
I've been testing the deck do to the power of equipments in a deck with counters, giving us a good match-up vs. combo and aggro.
But the problem I've been having with the deck is the lack of hand manipulation, with only 4 bs you often pray for the right top deck.
After board, 4 k-grip ruins are deck strategy.

I'm torn between this deck, new horizons, folk, or re-animator for the vestal torn Saturday
The question I have to ask is how is the zoo MU for every one else?
Another question is has anyone been siding out force in aggro mu's?

New Horizons is a great deck. Re-Animator is awesome, but a lot people play around it.

Good question on the force. If I have to side out any blue cards, I usually pull one force. But, I do not usually side it out against the aggro match up because there are very few pure aggro match ups out there. Their removal and burn can usually cause a lot problems, force back up is huge too sometimes if you need resolve a jitte or goyf against merfolk or protect a sower, or equip for the win against Zoo and goblins.

The Clique is hand manipulation, it is good for getting rid of the second jitte, and the third/fourth vial when you pull it (if you play it). Against combo it can ruin, let them resolve the tutor and then clique away the card :- ) That is fun :- ) I love the mystical tutor in reanimator into the draw step priority grab into a clique into "ohh throw away that card" and then force that one; Win... :-)

My zoo match up has been good. Since they have little counter I am able to get really early game equpiment and then usually do pretty well. However, it could go either way. The idea of putting the Kitchen finks in the board would make this match up alot more likely. I say that is the best approach to shoring up the Zoo match up if you are having trouble against it. Especially since the cards is an auto 4 life 1 for 0.

hungryLIKEALION
05-11-2010, 01:09 PM
We have 4 brainstorm and 2 ponder, I find it to be plenty to allow us to topdeck well when we need to. On top of this, so many of our cards are such haymakers, our topdecks can easily outdo other decks.

Nobody puts 4 grips in their board anymore. But if someone did, then I would highly reccomend playing a list like mine where, in addition to the stoneforge plan, you also have the faerie package of vendi and sower, which is absolutely brutal. I've won a lot of games without drawing any SFMs or equipments just on the back of vendi cliques, goyfs, and sowers (and exalted triggers combined with vendilion clique provides a ridiculous clock.)

And Zoo is rough if you play sloppy, but tends to be easy if you play tight and counter the right spells. Just don't get blown out by price, protect your goyfs and sowers with spellstutters, and you should be able to get there.

Enigma
05-11-2010, 05:32 PM
The problem with Zoo is that you can be quickly out tempo when you are trying to do equip creatures. I've been pretty unlucky on my 3rd game where I mulliganed to 6 on the play and still had a so-so hand. What really helps I find is having an early Vial and an answer to their first threat. Daze is also not really good in this MU as it slows us down and is pretty easy to play against. Though, I almost always took back the control of the game but have been finished out by burn spells. That's why I'd like to have Finks that are able to gain 4 life and usually trading with a creature. When Zoo becomes in topdeck mode, if you are still at 7 life or more, you are usually winning. Though, you can still lose if you stabilized between 6 and 1 life. And games I'm losing are almost always played by 3-6 lifes, and that's why I'd like to include Finks.

And I do not think I lost to sloppy plays. My opponent even made a couple of mistakes that were greatly in my advantages and still lost.

Against ANT, I highly recommand running the 3 Spell pierces, they are pure gold.

P-M

hungryLIKEALION
05-11-2010, 07:26 PM
The problem with Zoo is that you can be quickly out tempo when you are trying to do equip creatures. I've been pretty unlucky on my 3rd game where I mulliganed to 6 on the play and still had a so-so hand. What really helps I find is having an early Vial and an answer to their first threat. Daze is also not really good in this MU as it slows us down and is pretty easy to play against. Though, I almost always took back the control of the game but have been finished out by burn spells. That's why I'd like to have Finks that are able to gain 4 life and usually trading with a creature. When Zoo becomes in topdeck mode, if you are still at 7 life or more, you are usually winning. Though, you can still lose if you stabilized between 6 and 1 life. And games I'm losing are almost always played by 3-6 lifes, and that's why I'd like to include Finks.

And I do not think I lost to sloppy plays. My opponent even made a couple of mistakes that were greatly in my advantages and still lost.

My version is better against zoo than yours, I think.

GrooGrux
05-12-2010, 03:56 PM
My version is better against zoo than yours, I think.

Sower and heiarch against Zoo are a set of houses. Only question I have Hungry, why no sword of light and shadow? And what is your first grab, Jitte? Always?

hungryLIKEALION
05-12-2010, 04:49 PM
Sower and heiarch against Zoo are a set of houses. Only question I have Hungry, why no sword of light and shadow? And what is your first grab, Jitte? Always?

Sword of Light and Shadow used to be in my list, but I cut it because it's basically worthless. Protection is rarely relevant, the life gain is miniscule, and you seldom have a critter in your yard to get back with it. SoFI on the other hand draws cards every time it connects, adds 4 dmg a turn to your clock (or 2 dmg+kill a utility critter, which is awesome as well) and makes your guys unblockable to merfolk, which is great. SoFI is just infinitely better.

There is no perfect system to determine which your first grab should be, but there are a lot of different circumstances you have to consider at any given moment. First, you have to consider what you're playing against. If I'm playing against merfolk or Goblins, I will almost always go for SoFI if I'm casting him on turn 2, because getting it active will almost always result in a crushing victory. Against other decks, it depends a lot. When playing against Zoo, if you're behind or low on life, Jitte will usually be the safer bet. But if you have a SSS in play and can swing over their head with the ground stabilized, SoFI has a more powerful effect. When playing against CB Top, if you have a flier, SoFI is much better. If you're ahead on board, SoFI's still probably better. If you are behind or stalemated, Jitte is better.

Some other things you have to consider:How much mana is available, if you need to get the equipment active this turn? How many other Stoneforge Mystics are left in your deck? Do you suspect your opponent has jitte? If your opponent does, do you have enough removal to keep them off equipping it? And so on.

But really, you have to evaluate your position in the moment and decide which better suits your current needs. I'd say I get SoFI first about 60% of the time, and the other 40% Jitte.

Enigma
05-12-2010, 05:00 PM
In my meta, we see a lot of Death and Taxes, mirror, Bant and Landstill, which makes SoLS a real bomb. I've been recurring pridemages post-side against the Stoneforge.decks and it has been awesome. Against landstill, a MM naming EE equiped with SoLS is usually a good way to win.

It can also recurre Faerie Macabre post-side against decks like aggro loam, Lands and such.

And against a resolved Iona, it has the ability to race it pretty well.

P-M

GrooGrux
05-12-2010, 05:00 PM
Sword of Light and Shadow used to be in my list, but I cut it because it's basically worthless. Protection is rarely relevant, the life gain is miniscule, and you seldom have a critter in your yard to get back with it. SoFI on the other hand draws cards every time it connects, adds 4 dmg a turn to your clock (or 2 dmg+kill a utility critter, which is awesome as well) and makes your guys unblockable to merfolk, which is great. SoFI is just infinitely better.

There is no perfect system to determine which your first grab should be, but there are a lot of different circumstances you have to consider at any given moment. First, you have to consider what you're playing against. If I'm playing against merfolk or Goblins, I will almost always go for SoFI if I'm casting him on turn 2, because getting it active will almost always result in a crushing victory. Against other decks, it depends a lot. When playing against Zoo, if you're behind or low on life, Jitte will usually be the safer bet. But if you have a SSS in play and can swing over their head with the ground stabilized, SoFI has a more powerful effect. When playing against CB Top, if you have a flier, SoFI is much better. If you're ahead on board, SoFI's still probably better. If you are behind or stalemated, Jitte is better.

Some other things you have to consider:How much mana is available, if you need to get the equipment active this turn? How many other Stoneforge Mystics are left in your deck? Do you suspect your opponent has jitte? If your opponent does, do you have enough removal to keep them off equipping it? And so on.

But really, you have to evaluate your position in the moment and decide which better suits your current needs. I'd say I get SoFI first about 60% of the time, and the other 40% Jitte.

That is pretty much what I expected. I find myself never getting the SoLS and often when I do, I find it not being that great. The matchup where it usually is good are only because it can't be targeted and therefore greaves is the real answer.

aTn
05-12-2010, 05:10 PM
I played at the same tournament as Enigma finishing 9th (I played the same list, being part of the same playtest group).

I agree with the idea of a 4 Finks SB since I had a similar experience as Enigma vs. Zoo. I played against an unexperimented Zoo player who didn't board correctly, slow played his threats and didn't use his burn correctly; nevertheless, I would have probably won (or not lost as horribly) were I able to stabilize at a higher lifetotal.

Is Sower really that good vs. Zoo (I haven't tested it) ?

My preliminary intuition would be that they have more than enough removal for it (burn + path) making your Sprites a very temporary back up plan.


Another question is has anyone been siding out force in aggro mu's?

As PM mentioned, there's a bit of D&T in our meta, so against them I generally side-out 4 FoW and X Daze (depending on my current SB) in order to get more threats/removal and 1 x Lightning Greaves.

jrsthethird
05-13-2010, 01:34 AM
SOLS is good if you are facing an Iona, but they're probably going to name white anyway so you better have searched for it before the Iona hits. One of our teammates plays Reanimator and the SOLS on a filer just wrecks him. Also, the ability to get back Spellstutters is pretty good, but I don't know how often this is either relevant or better than drawing a fresh card.

I run it in a BW deck with a Mystic package and I search for it fairly often. The lifegain helps me a lot though since I run both Bitterblossom and Confidant, so it's a little more necessary for me. I guess it's a personal choice.

hungryLIKEALION
05-16-2010, 01:30 PM
So I went 5-3 yesterday at Vestal with the same list and sideboard as the philly open. My matchups were as follows:
2-0 vs Bant Countertop with Elspeth and SFM
2-0 vs Dredge
1-2 vs New Horizons (Dave Price)
2-1 vs ANT
0-2 vs TES
2-0 vs Enchantress
1-2 vs UGR Threshold with Jace and Crucible
2-0 vs Zoo

Gonna write a report when I have time, might not get around to it until tuesday. We'll see. Anyway, list was good, and most of my losses were to my own play mistakes. I suck! Yay!

memnarch
05-16-2010, 09:27 PM
Hey I really like this deck idea. I played against a deck that may or may not have been Excalibur and somewhat came up with my own ideas of where to take it. It seemed like they weren't running counterbalance because they had so much good stuff crammed in . Stoneforge Mystic is the dark confident of white (Not literally but both high power level OK?); becoming both a tutor and CA with no life loss. The quality of mystic is in throwing another most counter equipment at them. And as someone has pointed out before, Stoneforge "vials" in equipment.

I felt a new deck needs to be developed from the counterbalance and NLU of yesterday. Bant is just strong for Legacy right now. It can bring so many great creatures to the table and is so flexable with white. Its really the king of aggro in an aggro format. But I STRONGLY suggest dedicating 4 slots sideboard for spell pierce to help VS combo AND Merfolk. Pithing needle seems to help with alot of things that bother this deck as well like Wasteland, Mutavault, Vial and Plainswalkers.
Anyho, good to hear results on your end I was getting the same thing with my similar version. And your name for the deck is awesome.

Here is my previous thread where I discus some choices with Vacrix. http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?17585-Next-Level-Blue-Bant-updated-for-2010-counterbalanceless


21 Land:
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded strand
4 Tropical Island
4 Tundra
3 Savannah
1 Volcanic Island


18 Creatures:
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Rhox War Monk
3 Sower of Temptation
3 Stoneforge Mystic


Other 21:
4 Force Of Will
4 Daze
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Brainstorm
1 Jitte
1 Sword F/I
1 Loxodon War Hammer
1 Elspeth KE
1 Top


Side:
2 Gaddock Teeg
3 Firespout
4 Spell Pierce
2 EE
1 Krosan Grip
3 Pithing Needle

memnarch
05-17-2010, 10:40 PM
I changed my side I should probably be putting in some grave hate for Ichord even though I don't see it much now days, probably because ANT is faster and just better in general, and not reliant on the grave. Here is my update:

2 Gaddock Teeg
4 Spell Pierce
2 Krosan Grip
2 Pithing Needle
3 Relic of Progenitus
2 Meddling Mage

Remember you might want to name Slaughter Pact against ANT with Mage.

This Deck has been getting good results VS Countertop decks too. Seems like at least 60/40 in Excalibur's favor pre-board.

yadda
05-18-2010, 11:16 AM
Remember you might want to name Slaughter Pact against ANT with Mage.

no. just no.

There is no way you ever name a removal spell against ant with MM. I will explain via bullet points the problem with this strategy.

I will assume that you are useing MM in this fashion because you want to protect a resolved Gaddock Teeg. So lets assume you have a Gaddock Teeg in play and a MM naming slaughter pact.

1 combo player plays chain of vapor on gaddock teeg and goes off

2 combo player plays deathmark on gaddock teeg and goes off

3 combo player plays Wipe Away EoT on gaddock teeg and goes off

4 combo player plays echoing truth on gaddock teeg and goes off

now if you had named Tendrills with your mage none of those outs or slaughter pact would be good enough to allow them to go off ever.

if this becomes the case they need two outs to win the game.

memnarch
05-18-2010, 01:45 PM
no. just no.

There is no way you ever name a removal spell against ant with MM. I will explain via bullet points the problem with this strategy.

I will assume that you are useing MM in this fashion because you want to protect a resolved Gaddock Teeg. So lets assume you have a Gaddock Teeg in play and a MM naming slaughter pact.

1 combo player plays chain of vapor on gaddock teeg and goes off

2 combo player plays deathmark on gaddock teeg and goes off

3 combo player plays Wipe Away EoT on gaddock teeg and goes off

4 combo player plays echoing truth on gaddock teeg and goes off

now if you had named Tendrills with your mage none of those outs or slaughter pact would be good enough to allow them to go off ever.

if this becomes the case they need two outs to win the game.

Well I guess you should know whats coming in from the side. What would you name with Mage?

jrsthethird
05-18-2010, 04:45 PM
Well I guess you should know whats coming in from the side. What would you name with Mage?

RTFP:


now if you had named Tendrills with your mage none of those outs or slaughter pact would be good enough to allow them to go off ever.

if this becomes the case they need two outs to win the game.

JT, not to be a douche but people on here are Nazis about proper caps. Try to keep that in mind, I think I've seen you get a warning before. Most people who have shitty caps are also scrubs who don't know what they're talking about, but better safe than sorry.

Raptor
05-18-2010, 06:02 PM
no. just no.

There is no way you ever name a removal spell against ant with MM. I will explain via bullet points the problem with this strategy.

I will assume that you are useing MM in this fashion because you want to protect a resolved Gaddock Teeg. So lets assume you have a Gaddock Teeg in play and a MM naming slaughter pact.

1 combo player plays chain of vapor on gaddock teeg and goes off

2 combo player plays deathmark on gaddock teeg and goes off

3 combo player plays Wipe Away EoT on gaddock teeg and goes off

4 combo player plays echoing truth on gaddock teeg and goes off

now if you had named Tendrills with your mage none of those outs or slaughter pact would be good enough to allow them to go off ever.

if this becomes the case they need two outs to win the game.

In this situation, if you have Gaddock Teeg in play, you should name Ad Nauseum with Meddling Mage, and most of the time, Ad nauseum is the card of choice to name agaisnt ANT.

If you name Tendrils with mage, your opponent can use whatever bounce he has or he can mystical tutor for it(because we are assuming that the opponent has an answer to your Gaddock) to bounce a Gaddock Teeg. Then, at his turn, the combo player could play Ad Nauseum with a good amount of chance of hiting another answer for your meddling mage, than do tendrils.

If you named Ad Nauseum, they would need to bounce the Gaddock teeg and then up the storm count manually to 7-9 then do tendrils which is way harder to do than only casting Ad Nauseum and finding an answer.

aTn
05-18-2010, 08:02 PM
In this situation, if you have Gaddock Teeg in play, you should name Ad Nauseum with Meddling Mage, and most of the time, Ad nauseum is the card of choice to name agaisnt ANT.

If you name Tendrils with mage, your opponent can use whatever bounce he has or he can mystical tutor for it(because we are assuming that the opponent has an answer to your Gaddock) to bounce a Gaddock Teeg. Then, at his turn, the combo player could play Ad Nauseum with a good amount of chance of hiting another answer for your meddling mage, than do tendrils.

If you named Ad Nauseum, they would need to bounce the Gaddock teeg and then up the storm count manually to 7-9 then do tendrils which is way harder to do than only casting Ad Nauseum and finding an answer.

I approve 100%, Tendrils is not a great call for MM vs ANT for the reasons you stated, i.e. Ad N. can reveal the answer for them easily since they play Mystical/Infernal Tutor.

hungryLIKEALION
05-18-2010, 08:09 PM
That's fair, I believe we can all agree that naming tendrils is still better than naming slaughter pact though.

Vacrix
05-18-2010, 09:41 PM
Well I guess you should know whats coming in from the side. What would you name with Mage?
You shouldn't even play Mage because its bad. This deck has far better options than an outclassed piece of storm hate.
Thats pretty hilarious though. Once the point of naming Slaughter Pact with Mage? That just makes it a 2/2 with protection from Slaughter Pact, which hardly helps your game plan.

Jak
05-18-2010, 09:53 PM
You shouldn't even play Mage because its bad. This deck has far better options than an outclassed piece of storm hate.
Thats pretty hilarious though. Once the point of naming Slaughter Pact with Mage? That just makes it a 2/2 with protection from Slaughter Pact, which hardly helps your game plan.

I think he was talking about when Gaddock Teeg is in play and you play that as protection. This is still not wise though because the removal/bounce in ANT lists vary wayyy too much.

Anyway, if I had Gaddock Teeg on the board and played Mage, naming would have a lot to do with what was in my hand. I'll go ahead and say I would name Mystical Tutor since that finds the bounce/removal and/or Ad Nauseam. They can play it in response, but they still have to either deal with the Teeg or find Ad Nauseam.

hungryLIKEALION
05-18-2010, 10:01 PM
As long as they play it before you've named mystical, and at that point they don't know what you're going to name, so advantage is definitely yours.

Vacrix
05-18-2010, 10:02 PM
Well in that case, Cannonist would still be stronger than Mage. Cannonist outclassed mage in general. I don't know why anyone would play Mage.

Also, has Chant been considered in the board?

hungryLIKEALION
05-18-2010, 10:05 PM
I concur, I hate MM too. I just figured while it was the topic du jour I'd throw in my two cents on what to name. Canonist is definitely way superior if you need ad naus hate though. I think he's also much stronger than teeg against them.

I have not considered chant, and don't really think it's that worthwhile, tbh.

Jak
05-18-2010, 10:10 PM
Well in that case, Cannonist would still be stronger than Mage. Cannonist outclassed mage in general. I don't know why anyone would play Mage.

Also, has Chant been considered in the board?

Because Mage is much more versatile? It can come in and shore up a lot of matchups. Loam, Natural Order, Engineered Explosives (Recursion), any Removal, Exhume, etc and it still performs very well against combo if you know what to name. If you are trying to remove a hate bear for Canonist, remove Gaddock Teeg since they would be used for the same reason.

mchainmail
05-18-2010, 10:13 PM
I concur, I hate MM too. I just figured while it was the topic du jour I'd throw in my two cents on what to name. Canonist is definitely way superior if you need ad naus hate though. I think he's also much stronger than teeg against them.

I have not considered chant, and don't really think it's that worthwhile, tbh.

MM is pretty solid against Lands! Too though (name loam)

Raptor
05-18-2010, 10:13 PM
As long as they play it before you've named mystical, and at that point they don't know what you're going to name, so advantage is definitely yours.

Yes, but if I have gaddock teeg and put meddling mage in play, assuming my opponent is good :
1) If he doesn't mystical in response, you can name it, but you'll have problems if they already have an answer in hand. So I would name Ad Nauseum, in case they have the answer.

2) If he mystical tutor in response of Meddling mage for an answer, I would probally name Ad nauseum except if I suspect him to be able to go off without Ad Nauseum. If he's a good player, he probally Mystical in response to make me name the card.
a) He either already has a bounce in hand, so if I name his answer, he could just bounce Gaddock Teeg and go off, instead of at least responding my two cards if I name Ad Nauseum.
b) He has no answer, in which case, he would still need to find another answer to go off or go manually.

memnarch
05-18-2010, 10:15 PM
Sorry guys I guess I was off my mark there. I just played some combo and they kept killing my creatures with slaughter pact. I wanted to save my counters for Ad N. Also getting in some damage with Rhox War Monk and gaining life can put them in a tight spot so it could potentially help protect more then just Teeg. The games seemed to go slow, they would wait until many lands were out in preparation for daze/spell pierce. Its just a tough battle. I don't think Mage is so horrible its flexible as side option. It can hose different combo decks: sword of the meek, dreadnought, grindstone etc. Including certain cards you just don't want resolving like Devastating Dreams.

hungryLIKEALION
05-18-2010, 10:18 PM
Daze and Spell Pierce's inefficacy is why Spell Snare and Spellstutter Sprite are far superior in this deck.

Raptor
05-18-2010, 10:19 PM
Sorry guys I guess I was off my mark there. I just played some combo and they kept killing my creatures with slaughter pact. I wanted to save my counters for Ad N. Also getting in some damage with Rhox War Monk and gaining life can put them in a tight spot so it could potentially help protect more then just Teeg. The games seemed to go slow, they would wait until many lands were out in preparation for daze/spell pierce. Its just a tough battle. I don't think Mage is so horrible its flexible as side option. It can hose different combo decks: sword of the meek, dreadnought, grindstone etc. Including certain cards you just don't want resolving like Devastating Dreams.

The principal advantage of MM in this deck, IMO, is that he's blue and the deck often lacks blue count. Also, agaisnt ANT, it's pretty hard to save counters because you only have FOW that really matters and maybe REALLY well timed SSS. Also, your clock is often slow and you need to let 2 manas open to sprite a duress, if you don't have vial. And even 1 mana if you play spell pierce.
If ANT resolves a duress or thoughtseize agaisnt you and they remove your hardcouters, they will most likely win.
In my experience, RWM is only good if you are able to shut down their first go off attempt.



Daze and Spell Pierce's inefficacy is why Spell Snare and Spellstutter Sprite are far superior in this deck.

Spellpiercing a duress is one of the best thing that can happen. Opponents will fear that you have Force of Will and won't go off till they see your hand, so you have to bluff that force to gain some times.

hungryLIKEALION
05-18-2010, 10:28 PM
Sure, that is good, but as memnarch said, they can just wait until they have plenty of lands out to survive your soft counters and combo out anyway since we play no mana denial. This means hard counters are a lot better for us.

I've had a lot of experience playing against ANT lately, and believe me, Spellstutter is a house against them. He can shut down tons of their cards, and do it while producing a body to attack with. Mutavault + Multiple Spellstutters means she counters the majority of their deck. Then you also have Spellsnare to shoot their infernal tutors, cabal rits, and burning wishes with. The result is a pretty solid wall of countermagic that they need a lot of discard to get through.

Also, our clock is deceptively fast. We play multiple aggressive creatures like Vendilion Clique and Tarmogoyf, and exalted triggers let even a Spellstutter get in pretty quickly. I'd say games average about 6 turns against ANT before we kill them.

memnarch
05-18-2010, 10:32 PM
Daze and Spell Pierce's inefficacy is why Spell Snare and Spellstutter Sprite are far superior in this deck.

Hmm Daze has been really good to me in every other match up fighting other dazes, catching people off gaurd and slowing the game all while not lossing tempo. But combo generates so much mana they can play around these in that case snare would be good a nabbing an infernal tutor. But Pierce also stops them going bezonkers on turn two if you didn't draw a force. Its also really good VS other counter based decks like Merfolk etc. and just stopping really lame things from happening early like chalice, counterbalance etc. It does sound like snare and Sprites would be better vs combo though.

aTn
05-19-2010, 07:05 PM
Cannonist outclassed mage in general. I don't know why anyone would play Mage.


ENIGMA SAID: MM over Cannonist because there is a lot of combo decks out there that doesn't care about Cannonist (Eureka/Show&Tell, Reanimator, Lands and such). Our combo MU is already awesome because of the MD MM and the fact we add 3 Pierces post-side.

For the 75-list Enigma posted, the ANT MU is just fine; in certain metas (in particluar, metas with a lot on 'non storm combo'), as Enigma explained, MM makes more sense than Canonist.

BreathWeapon
05-20-2010, 05:35 AM
Has any one else replaced the Hierarch/Vial slots with Mother of Runes? I'm pretty sure her chump blocking, virtual card advantage and evasion are way better than the mana generated by Hierarch/Vial, because you essentially generate the same tempo by preventing your creatures from removal while they arm themselves and she's a much bigger removal/counter target FWIW.

Enigma
05-20-2010, 03:02 PM
Equipement are really expensive to get effective, which means we need some accelerant, either NH or Vial.

As I already said, I'm sure MM's versatily makes it way better than any other hatebear. Sure Canonist is good against ANT, Enchantress, Belcher and might be OK against Reanimator (stopping their counterspells), but MM is also pretty good against all those decks, while being awesome against any decks playing Lftl or combo pieces as Eureka, Show and Tell and such. As friends of me just mentionned, blue cards is an issue in the deck, which means we have to considere this factor in our cards choices.

Just as a reminder, I went from 45/55 against Zoo to 65/35 with the full set of Finks in the SB. I'm continualy trying to find a bad MU for this deck and there is seriously not that much. This deck isn't just a brewed deck, it is the real shit. Enchantress and Aggro-loam aren't so easy, but if it is a concern, there is a lot of awesome cards to prevent losing to those MU (while sacrificing other MUs). Trygon would be a nice addition to fight those and Sower would worth considering in the A-L MU. That's continualy showing me that the deck is easily suitable to any meta changes, which is a strong quality.

P-M

MULocke
05-20-2010, 04:18 PM
Sower was insane for me yesterday. I went 4-1 with this deck, losing only to ANT where I gambled in countering a Mystical game one then died turn one on the draw game three (kept a Canonist hand without Force). I played against a few bant builds that had only Swords to deal with resolved guys, so I got them to spend one on a Goyf or Vendilion Clique then blew them out with Sower. Spellstutter is also sick for countering removal spells like that (makes me feel like I'm playing standard again, lol). I had hoped that Mind Harness would be equally insane coming out of the board, but I neglected the Krosan Grips my opponents were already bringing in. Luckily, I still got there with the Spell Snares and Spellstutters. Playing control magic effects post board is risky, so something else should probably be in that slot. Finks would probably be solid for the zoo matchup, but since there's a lot more bant in my meta I'm considering Submerges. Maybe a third Sower or some Paths would end up being better, as this deck is less tempo oriented than the others that abuse Submerge.

Tammit67
05-20-2010, 07:43 PM
Sure, that is good, but as memnarch said, they can just wait until they have plenty of lands out to survive your soft counters and combo out anyway since we play no mana denial. This means hard counters are a lot better for us.

I've had a lot of experience playing against ANT lately, and believe me, Spellstutter is a house against them. He can shut down tons of their cards, and do it while producing a body to attack with. Mutavault + Multiple Spellstutters means she counters the majority of their deck. Then you also have Spellsnare to shoot their infernal tutors, cabal rits, and burning wishes with. The result is a pretty solid wall of countermagic that they need a lot of discard to get through.
I can see running the dazes maybe in a vial build, where you have a way around stopping your mana development with the alt cost, but the NH build should be more concerned with ramping. Good combo players know when to go off, and there is not good reason to rush it against a blue player. Daze shouldn't be relevant or they are doing it wrong. And without waste/stifle, daze gets old quickly, especially with these decks running NH themselves. So i agree here.
Honest question, what match up would you rather have the Pierce/daze as opposed to Snare/Sprite? I am having issue thinking of such a case, unless you plan to play against high mana cost midrange that sprite/snare can't quite reach.


Also, our clock is deceptively fast. We play multiple aggressive creatures like Vendilion Clique and Tarmogoyf, and exalted triggers let even a Spellstutter get in pretty quickly. I'd say games average about 6 turns against ANT before we kill them.

To be fair though with this statement, the speed is more setting up for the first 2/3 turns, then swinging for a lot, as opposed to zoo with comes out the gate guns blazing

aTn
05-21-2010, 11:12 AM
Honest question, what match up would you rather have the Pierce/daze as opposed to Snare/Sprite?

Post-board against Reanimator, I'd rather have Pierce, Daze + Sprite than Snare, Daze + Sprite.

GrooGrux
05-21-2010, 11:35 AM
Post-board against Reanimator, I'd rather have Pierce, Daze + Sprite than Snare, Daze + Sprite.

Really, against reanimator. They have 8 cards that get a creature in to play. One of them (Reanimate) cost 1, hardly Daze-able, unless they over extend. And the ther one (Exhume) cost 2, totally Snare-able. If you are referring to Show and Tell, this is a slow play card, and they would never, ever let it get dazed. That would be silly, since they also play thoughtsieze post board, making daze virtually worthless in my opinion, they are going to know you have Daze or you are going to have waste it on the first turn thoughtsieze if you are on the play anyways.

Not to mention, getting early damage in against reanimator is crucial, if you get enough in, you can almost turn Reanimate off. Daze slows the deck down just enough to make it not get that damage in.

I don't know. Daze is a VERY situational card, and in a well tuned meta will highly skilled players, it just doesn't really stack up unless you are playing mana denial and force them to over extend to have any hope.

GrooGrux
05-21-2010, 11:42 AM
I think the right choice is Snare, Pierce, Sprite.

See below for why.

aTn
05-21-2010, 12:23 PM
I don't know. Daze is a VERY situational card, and jn a well tuned meta will highly skilled players, it just doesn't really stack up unless you are playing mana denial and force them to over extend to have any hope.

1. Reanimator plays 16 or 17 lands. Effects that make their spells cost more mean that they'll either have to slow play their spells to not run into Daze + Pierce, which they can't do infinitely because of our clock, or risk running into the aforementioned spells. The fact that Reanimator needs to set up its plays with Mystical Tutor or Careful Study (and having at most 17 lands) makes them even more prone to being faced with the dilemma of either facing a beatdown from their opponent or risking it.

2. Your only legal targets for Spell Snare in their MD are 4 Exhume and 4 Daze, but, contrary to you, I'm not assuming you're stupid so let's not talk about the Daze.


That would be silly, since they also play thoughtsieze post board, making daze virtually worthless in my opinion,

Oh yeah, and Spell Snare is the nuts in that situation ? Your argument applies not only to Daze (sentence above), but to any legal target of Thoughtseize.

P.S.: You implicitly assume that the meta were I play and its players are sub-par, which is, in my opinion, the lamest way to try to make your point. EDIT: Guess I'm wrong about that... hehe.

Tammit67
05-21-2010, 01:03 PM
1. Reanimator plays 16 or 17 lands. Effects that make their spells cost more mean that they'll either have to slow play their spells to not run into Daze + Pierce, which they can't do infinitely because of our clock, or risk running into the aforementioned spells. The fact that Reanimator needs to set up its plays with Mystical Tutor or Careful Study (and having at most 17 lands) makes them even more prone to being faced with the dilemma of either facing a beatdown from their opponent or risking it.
While its true they are land shy, they run what? 6-8 Cantrips, not including careful study? they can find that extra land, should the duress effects not be enough. Not to mention the ones that run dark rit/petal, but i digress


2. Your only legal targets for Spell Snare in their MD are 4 Exhume and 4 Daze, but, contrary to you, I'm not assuming you're stupid so let's not talk about the Daze.

there are lists that use animate dead, and post board h. recall is a classy answer to artifact hate this deck may run.



Oh yeah, and Spell Snare is the nuts in that situation ? Your argument applies not only to Daze (sentence above), but to any legal target of Thoughtseize.
No its not great in that situation, but its not something they can play around simply by having another land. They see your hand, and its all relevant.


P.S.: You implicitly assume that the meta were I play and its players are sub-par, which is, in my opinion, the lamest way to try to make your point.
I'm sure GrooGrux was merely trying to say 'we should consider we are playing good opponents who play optimally (ie ones who play around daze against a blue deck' as opposed to a slight at your meta. Trying to get a sence of what is better in the abstract, yeah?
I'm still not convinced I'd rather have the daze, especially if it only helps the reanimator, which I don't believe it does. Its not good enough in the format without mana denial, and even against reanimator its just ok. Against a Hatfield-ish list that has counters+accel+discard, is it really hard to play around daze? Its not even like this deck has a clock the first 2-3 turns. The biggest clock is what? t1 NH t2 SFM getting SoFI t3 'vial' SoFI in, equip to NH and swing?

GrooGrux
05-21-2010, 01:10 PM
1. Reanimator plays 16 or 17 lands. Effects that make their spells cost more mean that they'll either have to slow play their spells to not run into Daze + Pierce, which they can't do infinitely because of our clock, or risk running into the aforementioned spells. The fact that Reanimator needs to set up its plays with Mystical Tutor or Careful Study (and having at most 17 lands) makes them even more prone to being faced with the dilemma of either facing a beatdown from their opponent or risking it.

2. Your only legal targets for Spell Snare in their MD are 4 Exhume and 4 Daze, but, contrary to you, I'm not assuming you're stupid so let's not talk about the Daze.



Oh yeah, and Spell Snare is the nuts in that situation ? Your argument applies not only to Daze (sentence above), but to any legal target of Thoughtseize.

P.S.: You implicitly assume that the meta were I play and its players are sub-par, which is, in my opinion, the lamest way to try to make your point.

Your thoughts on my implications are the opposite. I am assuming you are playing a well tuned meta with good players, which is why they will not let themselves be dazed. Hence my disagreement with using daze in this deck. I assume all metas contain good players. Never underestimate your opponent, correct? I digress; Daze is a powerful card, and can often set your opponent back. However, once players get used to it, they will use it their advantage forcing you back a land and letting you daze a card they didn't really want to resolve in the first place, unless you play mana denial, then it is a tempo card.

You are mostly correct on thoughtseize, but with pierce, daze and sprite they can just take the sprite or pierce and play around daze, if they take the sprite, you have no hard counter at all. On the other hand, with snare, sprite and pierce. You still have two hard counters for 1 or 2 at the least. They have to take either sprite or snare and play around the pierce. If they take pierce, you have a potential hard counter for everything in their deck, just seems like the position I would rather put them in.

Let me state, these are just my thoughts on the cards, and their interactions. I have no negative opinions about you, your meta, or your decisions. Especially since we are arguably debating some of the best cards in the game, and regardless, they are all good. It depends mostly on your style and whether or not people in your meta attempt to call your bluffs a lot. If they play risky magic, which some of the best players in the world do, then DAZE THEM for it!

aTn
05-21-2010, 01:30 PM
@Tammit67: I agree that against lists playing petals, animate dead and dark ritual, I'd reconsider. Guess I ignored these lists in my argument because they aren't predominant in my meta (but you're right, they should be taken into account if they are relevant in major events).


While its true they are land shy, they run what? 6-8 Cantrips, not including careful study? they can find that extra land, should the duress effects not be enough.

In my experience, they rarely have more than 3 lands on the board and there is yet to be a mathematical proof that convinces me that their cantrips can make them dig successfully for a land when they want it (it's not like they're playing the number of cantrips that 'old' Threshold lists played and they only play 16-17 lands).

About the discard effects, mosts list I faced played only 2 Thoughtseize MD and 1 Thoughtseize SB.

That being said, I agree that Daze is not that great in that MU, but for my playstyle, I prefer it to Snare. I've only played a list with Daze, so who knows ? I might test Snare, it might change a bit the way I play the deck and I might convert.


Your thoughts on my implications are the opposite. I am assuming you are playing a well tuned meta with good players, which is why they will not let themselves be dazed. Hence my disagreement with using daze in this deck. I assume all metas contain good players. Never underestimate your opponent, correct?

Sorry about that; I guess when a sentence may be interpreted in more than one way I tend to choose the negative one based on reading so many rants on this forum.


However, once players get used to it, they will use it their advantage forcing you back a land and letting you daze a card they didn't really want to resolve in the first place,

Agreed, but then it's up to you to read their bait.


You are mostly correct on thoughtseize, but with pierce, daze and sprite they can just take the sprite or pierce and play around daze,

It's pretty hard to say what would be good in that situation since choosing "the correct play" (or a correct play) would depend on gamestate (namely the number of untapped lands the opponents has) and what you can infer about your opponent's hand.

Again, my point was that against Reanimator, which often runs on 2-3 lands (and plays 16-17 lands) and often taps out, I choose to pass on a counter for 4 cards in their deck. That being said, I may be wrong .


Let me state, these are just my thoughts on the cards, and their interactions. I have no negative opinions about you, your meta, or your decisions.

Same here; again, sorry about the rant.


It depends mostly on your style and whether or not people in your meta attempt to call your bluffs a lot.

For sure...

Vacrix
05-21-2010, 01:51 PM
Because Mage is much more versatile? It can come in and shore up a lot of matchups. Loam, Natural Order, Engineered Explosives (Recursion), any Removal, Exhume, etc and it still performs very well against combo if you know what to name. If you are trying to remove a hate bear for Canonist, remove Gaddock Teeg since they would be used for the same reason.
Well I think that Teeg is more versatile in a lot of matchups. It hits FoW, EE, NO, etc. I don't think it makes much sense to name removal, Exhume, etc. Decks like reanimator (as an example) have redudancy and you might not name the right card. Even if you do, your opponent can still play around it with redundant cards like Reanimate. I think there are better cards to be boarding instead of MM.
Primarily, though, I was referring to why people would play MM against storm combo. Cannonist and Teeg are far more dangerous.


Has any one else replaced the Hierarch/Vial slots with Mother of Runes? I'm pretty sure her chump blocking, virtual card advantage and evasion are way better than the mana generated by Hierarch/Vial, because you essentially generate the same tempo by preventing your creatures from removal while they arm themselves and she's a much bigger removal/counter target FWIW.
Not a bad idea. I think Vial is worth keeping though. It provides so many combat tricks, and facilitates dropping MoM early EOT when your opponent taps out. I think Hiearch might be worth replacing with MoM.

Tammit67
05-21-2010, 02:42 PM
@Tammit67: I agree that against lists playing petals, animate dead and dark ritual, I'd reconsider. Guess I ignored these lists in my argument because they aren't predominant in my meta (but you're right, they should be taken into account if they are relevant in major events).

I think many have cut the animate dead anyway since the original lists. i base stock lists after Alix hatfield's that he has been running the past 2 months. Maybe he is the one thats the oddd man out. Here's the list, not running duress as I initially thought: http://magic.tcgplayer.com/db/deck.asp?deck_id=581195


In my experience, they rarely have more than 3 lands on the board and there is yet to be a mathematical proof that convinces me that their cantrips can make them dig successfully for a land when they want it (it's not like they're playing the number of cantrips that 'old' Threshold lists played and they only play 16-17 lands).
It would have to be a hypergeometric distribution thing for them to get 3 lands by the third turn. Plus probabilities of brainstorm/ponder hitting a land. Sounds complicated, and although I'm a math major, I don't feel it necessary


About the discard effects, mosts list I faced played only 2 Thoughtseize MD and 1 Thoughtseize SB.

That being said, I agree that Daze is not that great in that MU, but for my playstyle, I prefer it to Snare. I've only played a list with Daze, so who knows ? I might test Snare, it might change a bit the way I play the deck and I might convert.

Sounds more than fair.

aTn
05-21-2010, 04:04 PM
I think many have cut the animate dead anyway since the original lists. i base stock lists after Alix hatfield's that he has been running the past 2 months. Maybe he is the one thats the oddd man out.

Here's the canonical Reanimator list in my neck of the woods (SGC May 2nd 2010, 2nd place): http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=32455


It would have to be a hypergeometric distribution thing for them to get 3 lands by the third turn. Plus probabilities of brainstorm/ponder hitting a land. Sounds complicated, and although I'm a math major, I don't feel it necessary

Nice to see another math geek playing the geek card game; I have a research position in pure & applied math in a Canadian governement research center (been doing this for about 6 years after finishing school). I don't think nailing a proof would be that hard, but I simply don't have the time and energy to do it since I'm up to my neck in paper submissions & reviews. "Experimental" studies may also give some info on expected values, etc. (e.g. using Monte Carlo methods).

GrooGrux
05-21-2010, 04:11 PM
Here's the canonical Reanimator list in my neck of the woods (SGC May 2nd 2010, 2nd place): http://sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/displaydeck.php?DeckID=32455



Nice to see another math geek playing the geek card game; I have a research position in pure & applied math in a Canadian governement research center (been doing this for about 6 years after finishing school). I don't think nailing a proof would be that hard, but I simply don't have the time and energy to do it since I'm up to my neck in paper submissions & reviews. "Experimental" studies may also give some info on expected values, etc. (e.g. using Monte Carlo methods).

This brings up a question I have been meaning to ask. How much does have a strong knowledge of the probability of math actually help your game? Have you found be the back bone of your decision making, or do you play instinct alot???

How important is the math??? Should i take the time to study more than the rudimentary probability and stats i already know??

Draener
05-21-2010, 04:32 PM
For the most part, you cannot do complex statistical analysis while you play the game. While an advanced knowledge of mathematics certainly helps your deck building skills, during the game it is much more practical to make informed decisions based on the cards that have been played and number of cards in hand.

One man's opinion at least.

aTn
05-21-2010, 04:35 PM
This brings up a question I have been meaning to ask. How much does have a strong knowledge of the probability of math actually help your game? Have you found be the back bone of your decision making, or do you play instinct alot???

How important is the math??? Should i take the time to study more than the rudimentary probability and stats i already know??

I'm like Draener, I mostly rely on instinct, trying to use simple deductions to infer what's in my opponent's hand or what play he'll go for (Paulo Vitor wrote an excellent article on this on channelfireball.com).

I use some probability theory in building a deck (i.e. card choices and how many copies to play), but for the rest I rely on my instincts since calculating things during a game would make me get a ton of slow play warnings (and there'd be a good chance I'd make a mistake calculating things mentally) and I don't think it's possible to cover the multiple situations in a pre-game analysis (something which can be done for Poker, but not for a game with a card pool of a couple thousand cards).

memnarch
05-21-2010, 08:53 PM
I'm like Draener, I mostly rely on instinct, trying to use simple deductions to infer what's in my opponent's hand or what play he'll go for (Paulo Vitor wrote an excellent article on this on channelfireball.com).

I use some probability theory in building a deck (i.e. card choices and how many copies to play), but for the rest I rely on my instincts since calculating things during a game would make me get a ton of slow play warnings (and there'd be a good chance I'd make a mistake calculating things mentally) and I don't think it's possible to cover the multiple situations in a pre-game analysis (something which can be done for Poker, but not for a game with a card pool of a couple thousand cards).

That said, you can still count cards and realize the probablility of getting Forced etc. has decreased after the third one hits.

hungryLIKEALION
05-24-2010, 11:04 AM
That deck has nothing to do with this thread.

GrooGrux
05-24-2010, 11:20 AM
That deck has nothing to do with this thread.

I was going to say the same thing....But, I did not.

St3B
05-24-2010, 01:10 PM
I've been playing the deck for a while now and really like it. Lately I've been thinking of dropping green for black and make it a little more tempo oriented. Unfortunately I don't have much time for testing, but here is a first draft:

4x Waste land
3x Tundra
4x Underground Sea
4x Polluted Delta
4x Flooded Strands
1x Scrubland
1x Island
1x Swamp
3x Bitterblossom
3x Stoneforge Mystic
2x Tombstalker
4x Spellstutter Sprite
4x Swords to Plowshares
4x Brainstorm
3x Ponder
4x Force of Will
3x Daze
4x Stifle
1x Umezawa’s Jitte
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
2x Jace, The Mind Sculptor

Any thoughts on the list?

Vacrix
05-24-2010, 01:43 PM
Your list is more like Team America post-SFM. I think its actually much stronger with green. Goyf and Hierarch are pretty strong choices, and you won't have Krosan Grip post board.

St3B
05-26-2010, 03:38 PM
More than Team America I think it’s a mix of Excalibur and Fatesstalker. My thoughts were that Bitterblossom should improve the equipments and Sprites, while making it less dependable on Goyf. You also have Jace and Tombstalker as win conditions against Counterbalance. It’s just an idea and I hope to give it a shot soon.

Vacrix
05-26-2010, 03:41 PM
Well my point was rather that it was not Excalibur if you take out the green. Its certainly an interesting build though that deserves its own thread.

hungryLIKEALION
06-03-2010, 03:07 AM
So I took this to another tournament at Redcap's Corner in Philadelphia and went 3-1. I lost to ANT in round 1 due to a play mistake in game three and then defeated Eva Green, Goblins, and UWGr Landstill. Ended 5th, and it was a 4 round top 4 tournament, so I was kinda miffed.

Anyway, deck was great, ran the same list and sb as last time except for -1 macabre +1 ee in the sb.

So anyway, going to the SCG Philly 5k on Sunday, probably playing this, excited for taking my deck to the big stage. My level of confidence with this deck is a lot higher than most other decks I've played.

markbris
06-03-2010, 10:09 AM
So I took this to another tournament at Redcap's Corner in Philadelphia and went 3-1. I lost to ANT in round 1 due to a play mistake in game three and then defeated Eva Green, Goblins, and UWGr Landstill. Ended 5th, and it was a 4 round top 4 tournament, so I was kinda miffed.

Anyway, deck was great, ran the same list and sb as last time except for -1 macabre +1 ee in the sb.

So anyway, going to the SCG Philly 5k on Sunday, probably playing this, excited for taking my deck to the big stage. My level of confidence with this deck is a lot higher than most other decks I've played.

GLGL. I hope you do well, the deck looks really strong.

GrooGrux
06-03-2010, 10:42 AM
How has the addition for MoM worked for you guys? Has anyone reliably tested it?

memnarch
06-04-2010, 01:39 PM
Yup I love how this deck just tramples Merfolk. As for the versions running Mutavault I understand why you would want that with Spellstutter Sprite but you don't have as easy time playing things like Rhox War Monk which make the deck an absolute aggro nightmare for people. This may be obvious but for those using Sower use your swords first against a deck you think might be running Countertop, hold out on the Sower until later. Also I still highly recommend Pithing Needle in the side, I seem to bring that in all the time.

hungryLIKEALION
06-04-2010, 01:44 PM
We don't play Rhox War Monk at all because it's completely unecessary. Trust me, I've never lost an aggro matchup in a tournament, and never have I wanted for RWM. He's just completely superfluous to our deck strategy.

memnarch
06-04-2010, 02:04 PM
Well I'm a big fan of consistant mana, Rhox War Monk is like Goyf 5-8 giving you a solid beat stick with life gain I find the increase in creature count overwhelms most players amount of removal. Its like an attrition war and he is often bigger then Goyf in the early game.

hungryLIKEALION
06-04-2010, 02:28 PM
Spellstutter is much better in an attrition war because it counters another spell on the way down, then picks up jitte or sofi, or picks up some exalted triggers, and has to be answered. RWM just gets stp'd and is gone.

And have you actually played with my version of the deck? The mana is BEAUTIFUL.

jrsthethird
06-04-2010, 02:55 PM
Yup I love how this deck just tramples Merfolk. As for the versions running Mutavault I understand why you would want that with Spellstutter Sprite but you don't have as easy time playing things like Rhox War Monk which make the deck an absolute aggro nightmare for people. This may be obvious but for those using Sower use your swords first against a deck you think might be running Countertop, hold out on the Sower until later. Also I still highly recommend Pithing Needle in the side, I seem to bring that in all the time.

Running 5 Jittes is an aggro nightmare, as well as 4 SOFI. War Monk has no synergy with the deck, besides being able to carry equipment (which is a given since his type line says "Creature"). All you need is one guy to stick with an equipment and you're golden. The deck runs 23 creatures (effectively, 8 of them are mana sources but can still be a headache late-game for your opponent) so if you want to run RWM you either:

1. increase the number of creatures, thus decreasing the permission, which would make every non-aggro matchup worse
or
2. take out some of the 15 non-mana creatures, which all either create instant 2-for-1's or are named Tarmogoyf. The only place where the lifegain would even be relevant is against straight-up burn, and we know how much of a developed metagame runs that. :rolleyes:

If you look at it that way you might be able to see why RWM is undesired.

And what would you name with Pithing Needle that isn't already covered with the sideboard?

memnarch
06-04-2010, 03:03 PM
To be honest I havn't tested it but I will. I am pretty wary about using colorless lands in a three color deck on the other hand Hierarch can help out. I think Elspereth may be able to take the place of man-lands to a degree because of mass removal etc. A big part of the game is having a strong opening hand so I put prority on a sturdy mana base to quickly get out threats. Spellstutter is a bad top deck and alot of times I play it without countering anything but its good against discard and combo which are stronger against this deck, I even include it in my version now. But War Monk has a habbit of swinging games in your favor and is a lightning rod against red decks which seem to do well against Excalibur as well.

jrsthethird
06-04-2010, 03:12 PM
Sounds like you definitely need to play his list before you think too much about the deck, there's a lot of bad stuff in that post.

Elspeth is bad because:
1. It costs 4 mana, and when it sticks it's too slow
2. It's not a Faerie
3. You're never going to get her up to 8 so fear of mass removal (which is very rare in the current meta anyway) is irrelevant

Mutavault can become a Faerie in a pinch to boost a Spellstutter; even on an empty board with a Mutavault, Spellstutter Sprite can take out a Goyf and live. I don't know how many time I playtested against him and played a 2-drop into an empty board with a Mutavault and was blown out.

You should (almost) never play Spellstutter without countering anything. Think of it as a card that reads:

Instant
Put a 1/1 Faerie token into play, then counter target spell with CMC ≤ number of Faeries you control.

It's a counterspell first, creature second. You're really underrating the synergy in the deck, which might not be apparent unless you've played with or against it.

If your metagame is heavy on the dumb red decks, then try out some War Monks if you really want to, but definitely test his list first.

memnarch
06-04-2010, 03:28 PM
The meta game is diverse enough to consider encountering red you probably will, I'm not talking about pure red burn decks either. I don't expect to get Elspeth up to 8 its just good against decks that pack tons of removal its a 1 off answer to control decks. I don't consider it slow at all your swinging with a 4/4 flyer the next turn just like a normal creature. My strategy is to pack lots of good aggro creatures for game one then side in things against combo. Your right RWM doesn't have synergy neither does Goyf they're just solid cards. Going for the kill is the strategy, keeping your opponent on the defensive is an effective strategy. And I don't think I need to name all the things Pithing Needle stops, Mutavault is one of them.

MULocke
06-04-2010, 04:09 PM
The meta game is diverse enough to consider encountering red you probably will, I'm not talking about pure red burn decks either. I don't expect to get Elspeth up to 8 its just good against decks that pack tons of removal its a 1 off answer to control decks. I don't consider it slow at all your swinging with a 4/4 flyer the next turn just like a normal creature. My strategy is to pack lots of good aggro creatures for game one then side in things against combo. Your right RWM doesn't have synergy neither does Goyf they're just solid cards. Going for the kill is the strategy, keeping your opponent on the defensive is an effective strategy. And I don't think I need to name all the things Pithing Needle stops, Mutavault is one of them.

Rhox War Monk is a fine card, but it's not the best card for the slot. There are enough good cards floating around (especially in bant lists) that you could make a goodstuff list only and still be at 80-90 cards; you need to focus a bit. Spellstutter is what this deck wants more than War Monk. He stops removal spells on your valuable creatures, as you are often well invested in them because of equipment, etc. and he stops plenty of other scary ones and twos. Against controlling decks, it comes down at instant speed to pick up a piece of equipment and get in there. War Monk attacks and blocks well, but the equipment package makes it so all the creatures do that anyway. Goyf is a bit different because he is much more efficient than War Monk.

As for the mana, I find it to be adequate in most cases. I opened a couple of hands with one colored source and a Mutavault, leaving me down a color initially, but the cantrips and Hierarchs help out a lot. The only times where my mana has been really taxes was against stifle/waste packages because, well, that's what they're designed to do. Stick a Noble Hierarch or find some basics.

Also, Needling your own Mutavaults seems kinda loose. There are plenty of okay cards to name with needle, but the question is the same as with War Monk: Is that is the best thing you can be doing with that card/slot?

jrsthethird
06-04-2010, 04:36 PM
RWM is a 3/4 for 3. Goyf is a 4/5 for 2 that you can cast off of Mutavault. Seems like an easy choice to me.

hungryLIKEALION
06-04-2010, 05:22 PM
To say spellstutter is a bad topdeck is... vastly unexplored. The only time spellstutter is a bad topdeck is when you have no other creatures, no equipment, and are facing a deck that has inevitability on you (Which basically means either landstill or walker, because we beat everything else in the long game) and their life total is above what a spellstutter can reasonably deal (so like 5+). If you have any equipment or any other creatures down, you can A) hold the spellstutter to counter a removal spell or blocker or B) flash it in on their EOT and pick up the equipment and start bashing. The whole point of the deck is that every creature you play, even the lowly noble hierarch, is a serious concern because it can pick up Jitte or Sofi and be a monster.

The other thing about the mana is that while it is a 3 color deck, we run 0 gold cards and only 4 cards that require UU (Not counting FoW). This makes it very easy to meet the mana requirements of the deck, which is part of why the mana base is so strong.

hyc8028
06-06-2010, 03:52 AM
I have been playing this deck for last couple weeks. I just found out this thread today and I just finished reading 8 pages. I love this deck to death. Stoneforge Mystic is the only reason why I want to play this deck. I played many version of Bant Aggro, NO/PRO, Bant CounterTop and this deck by far offer the most flexibility. Spellstutter Sprite with equipment is usually game ending. Here is the list I am working on:

Creature: 15
2x Qasali Pridemage
4x Spellstutter Sprite
3x Stoneforge Mystic
4x Tarmogoyf
2x Vendillion Clique

Spell: 24
4x Aether Vial
4x Brainstorm
4x Daze
4x Force of Will
2x Ponder
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
4x Sword to Plowshares
1x Umezawa’s Jitte

Land: 21
3x Flooded Strand
3x Misty Rainforest
2x Windswept Heath
4x Mutavault
3x Tropical Island
3x Tundra
1x Forest
1x Island
1x Plain

SB: 15 cards
3x Nature's Claim
3x Tormod's Crypt
3x Gaddock Teeg
3x Spell Pierce
3x PtE

Having 4x Stoneforge Mystic is a must. The first one usually eat a counterspell. She helped me shuffle my deck after Brainstorm. People in my meta afraid her more than goyf. I miss the SoLS and I am going to pick up one soon. It cost me matches against UW tempo because I couldn't race with Serra Avenger. As soon as I equip and attack, he just chump block and mom give protection to blocker. Other than that, it has been superb against other blue control deck. I do have some concerns.

1. Blue count is so low that I often have to watch out during SB. Clique is a solid card, but I often find myself pitching for FOW. I am considering swaping Meddling Mage for Pridemage just to increase blue count.

2. EE @ 2. I have played against landstill and supreme blue. Recurrable EE is painful.

3. For Vial version, how do we deal with turn one pithing needle on Aether Vial? I have been playing Nature's Claim instead of Grip in SB and they were amazing.

I am considering pick up some more stuff for this deck. I am going to make this changes.
+2 Meddling Mage, +1 SoLS, + 1Stoneforge Mystic
-2 Qasali Pridemage, -2 Ponder

I am lazy on the SB for now, but I ll work on that once I have my hands on everything.

hungryLIKEALION
06-07-2010, 01:24 AM
You say you want to add Meddling Mage (which is terrible) to increase your blue count, and to make room for them... you take out ponders. You're a true visionary, sir.

4 SFMs is completely unnecessary.

Anyway, SCG Philly was today and this is what I ran:

4 Noble Hierarch
4 Goyf
4 Spellstutter
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Sower
3 SFM
4 FoW
3 Spell Snare
4 Brainstorm
2 Ponder
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Mutavault
3 Basics
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded Strand
3 Tropical Island
2 Tundra
1 Savannah

And for my SB:

2 K Grip
1 EE
3 Washout
1 Lightning Greaves
2 Spell Pierce
1 Trygon Predator
3 Tormod's Crypt
2 Path to Exile

Lost 1-2 to Lands (Punted games 1 and 3 but he punted game 2 so whatever)
Won 2-0 to Mono U Merfolk
Lost 0-2 to Tempo Thresh (two worst hands I've ever drawn with the deck, and he drew absurdly well.)
Won 2-1 to Dredge
Won 2-0 to Dream Halls
Won 2-0 to Mono U Merfolk
Won 2-0 to Reanimator
Won 2-0 to NO Bant
Lost 1-2 to Mono U Merfolk (Raped him game 1, games 2 and 3 got severely mana screwed after mulliganing, deck would not cooperate or else I would have easily won.

In round 9 I was paired down because my breakers were awful (Big surprise losing rounds 1 and 3) and my opponent could not physically make top 16. I told him this and asked for the concession since I could still get prize, and he refused. After the match he was a complete ass and he's now on my official shit list. Losing your best match up to someone who can't get prizes when you still can is probably the most frustrating thing ever.

kremenchugskiy
06-07-2010, 06:48 AM
I was working on the similar deck for couple of months, since I saw the perfomance of Evangelos in Madrid.

The first thing I considered is to drop green splash, as Tarmogoyf is simply the worst card here, and, from my point of view, green could be splashed for Qasali Pridemages, not more.

Also I dropped Mutavaults, replacing them with Wastelands. I have tested both versions, and have found that though you can obviously counter more with SSS when using Mutavaults, the benefit of wastelanding your opponents lands is far better. At least, from my experience. Still working on the version that will use both these cards.

The list below is my final version, and I am pretty happy with it, enjoying positive results on local tournaments here in Russia (overall, I have 50-15-2 tournament result with the deck).

4 Spellstutter Sprite -- really shines, even without Mutavaults
4 Stoneforge Mystic -- 4 is a must, I want to search for equip as soon as possible
3 Serra Avenger -- main beater
4 Mother of Runes -- the most recent addition, and I am more than happy with it
3 AEther Vial -- for me, the right number
4 Brainstorm -- obviously
4 Force of Will -- obviously
3 Daze
2 Spell Pierce
2 Spell Snare -- I am happy with that mix of counters, SS is important as a hardcounter to two most annoying cards for the deck, Qasali Pridemage and Survival of the Fittest
4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Wing Shards -- I am more than happy running this, really a surprise in maindeck
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
4 Flooded Strand
3 Tundra -- I feel that 6th basic is more important than 4th Tundra
3 Island
3 Plains
4 Wasteland

Sideboard. To the moment I have no doubt in these slots:
4 Faerie Macabre
3 Meddling Mage
2 Disenchant
2 Hydroblast
This leaves us with 4 empty slots, and I am personally using Hydroblast#3 (or Wing Shards #2), and 3 Hibernations (a metagame call, and I prefer them over Wash Outs, which is a very solid choice, anyway).

I would be happy to answer any questions, may some arise, or to share my experience with particular matches, though I fully understand that my approach to the deck may seem a bit strange.

jrsthethird
06-07-2010, 03:03 PM
Have you even considered playing with Noble Hierarch instead of Aether Vial? Vial with only 15 creatures is just silly. Hierarch gives you more mana to not only play creatures but also to cast spells, and it provides an awesome combat boost. I hate when decks splash green just to play Goyf but the exalted ability is so good in this deck that Hierarch is nuts.

GrooGrux
06-07-2010, 03:12 PM
Have you even considered playing with Noble Hierarch instead of Aether Vial? Vial with only 15 creatures is just silly. Hierarch gives you more mana to not only play creatures but also to cast spells, and it provides an awesome combat boost. I hate when decks splash green just to play Goyf but the exalted ability is so good in this deck that Hierarch is nuts.

I agree with JRS.

I can not tell you how many games I have won off the back of that little noble. She makes cards like mutavault and spell stutter and clique complete houses. The way I usually explain this to people is rather simple, she does her damage without having to attack. Your 1/1 flier become a 2/2 or 3/3 and she just chills waiting to spell snare the smother.

yadda
06-07-2010, 07:52 PM
I agree with JRS.

I can not tell you how many games I have won off the back of that little noble. She makes cards like mutavault and spell stutter and clique complete houses. The way I usually explain this to people is rather simple, she does her damage without having to attack. Your 1/1 flier become a 2/2 or 3/3 and she just chills waiting to spell snare the smother.

she also alows you to consistently hardcast FoW which is just good since you dont have to 2 for 1 yourself.

kremenchugskiy
06-08-2010, 07:30 AM
Have you even considered playing with Noble Hierarch instead of Aether Vial? Vial with only 15 creatures is just silly. Hierarch gives you more mana to not only play creatures but also to cast spells, and it provides an awesome combat boost. I hate when decks splash green just to play Goyf but the exalted ability is so good in this deck that Hierarch is nuts.

Though I can agree, that 15 creatures can seem small to effectively support Vial, I was never thinking of dropping it, just too good in this deck for me. I wouldn't call that approach "silly", just take a look at Madrid's result with 4 Vial and 12 creatures. I'd suggest you to choose word more carefully.

While definetely Hierarch is awesome in giving mana and boosting, it is far more vulnerable than Vial, and smart opponent will kill it as soon as it hits the table. A hand with 2 lands+Vial is strictly better than hand with 2 lands+Hierarch, basing on my tests. More to say, running Hierarch means running less basics, which leads to occasional losses from Wastlands. Running only 2 colours, you have a priviledge to fetch for 2 basic lands, which is not possible with 3 colours (assuming that your Hierarch would be killed anyway).

The only thing I would regret in the lack of green splash, is Pridemage.

I mean, guys, Hierarch is strictly awesome when it stays on the table, I woudn't argue, but during my tests I have lost too many games, having Hierarch killed, than land wasted. The risk that you face is too big -- I would prefer to be more conservative. My local resuts do not make me regret.

hungryLIKEALION
06-08-2010, 11:45 AM
On one hand, I could seriously consider your opinion about this.

On the other, I could point out that you think Tarmogoyf is the worst card in the deck and are posting a UW deck in the thread about a Bant deck.

Which do you think I'm going to do?

memnarch
06-08-2010, 05:03 PM
RWM is a 3/4 for 3. Goyf is a 4/5 for 2 that you can cast off of Mutavault. Seems like an easy choice to me.

Goyf is usally at 3/4 for a while: instant, land and creature after some combat. Yes its litterly not Goyf its just a cheap fattie to include in addition I would never substitute Goyf with RWM. Well you guys convinced me to try mutavault so I want to share my new list with you. RWM is replacing disruption but please consider running him. I have found actualy multiple times he tilts my life total so far above 20 combo players will have a hard time getting enough storm count, and he has swung the game and stabalized my position countless times in aggro match ups and mirror matches. My resoning is this: I would rather just go all in with the aggro strategy game 1 then bring in more disruption depending on the deck I face. Scince I don't know what I will be facing I don't want to be putting in disruption they may not be needed when I can just go for the throat which is always effective.

21 lands
2 Savannah
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
1 Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Windswept Heath
4 Mutavault

4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Sower of Temptation
3 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Rhox War Monk
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Noble Hierarch

4 Force of Will
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword F&I
4 Brainstorm
4 STP

side

2 EE
4 Gaddock Teeg
4 Relic of Progenitus
4 Spell Snare
1 Pithing needle

Tammit67
06-08-2010, 05:59 PM
Your RWM shouldn't be considered a way to deal with storm combo, which has a decent matchup against this deck. 55-45 storm I think, if they know the list. Is that why you have teeg/pierce in board?
Other than that, the list looks cool. RWM makes aggro easier, but doesn't this deck tote a good aggro matchup already? I find your lack of basics disturbing. I realize the desire for vaults, but...

hungryLIKEALION
06-08-2010, 06:43 PM
The problem I have with your lists, Memnarch, is that you're trying to shore up a problem that this deck doesn't have. Aggro is already an extremely popular matchup for us. If you want to shore something up, you should be looking at how to shore up the control and combo matchups.

kremenchugskiy
06-09-2010, 05:23 AM
On one hand, I could seriously consider your opinion about this.

On the other, I could point out that you think Tarmogoyf is the worst card in the deck and are posting a UW deck in the thread about a Bant deck.

Which do you think I'm going to do?

Sure, you as topicstarter, have a right to choose the course of discussion. Anyway, I would like to point out that, from my point of view, we shoudn't consider this deck to be a Bant (though technically it is). This deck is about SM with equipments along with permission. If I am mistaken, we can stick to discussing UWG version, of course, but what I want to discuss is whether this deck really needs green, or it can be narrowed to 2 colours, having the same gameplan.

memnarch
06-09-2010, 01:03 PM
Alright well after arguing for RWM I decided to give it a try and switch it out for Engingered Explosives what do you guys think of this? I played stax and lost, alot of their artifacts cost 3 (so Teeg only stops so much) and its a three color deck so I think it fits. I think it will help with board based combo and dredge game 1 (not that dredge has been a real problem). I also included Academy Ruins which could help with lost equipment as well. I can't possibly fit in enough hate storm combo AND everything else in the side so I think this is a good solution. This version will probably leave me mana screwed more often, but then have better long term solutions which is probably what it needs.

21 lands
2 Savannah
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
1 Island
1 Forest
1 Plains
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Windswept Heath
2 Mutavault
1 Academy Ruins

4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Goyf
4 Nobel Hierarch
3 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Sower
2 Vendilion Clique

4 Force of Will
4 Engineered Explosives
4 STP
4 Brainstorm
2 Jitte
1 Sword FI

Side
4 Gaddock Teeg
4 Relic of Progenitus
3 Spell Snare
3 Spell Pierce
1 Pithing Needle

Tammit67
06-09-2010, 02:09 PM
Sure, you as topicstarter, have a right to choose the course of discussion. Anyway, I would like to point out that, from my point of view, we shoudn't consider this deck to be a Bant (though technically it is). This deck is about SM with equipments along with permission. If I am mistaken, we can stick to discussing UWG version, of course, but what I want to discuss is whether this deck really needs green, or it can be narrowed to 2 colours, having the same gameplan.

I think you lose a ton of power by throwing away the green. You lose access to one of the better 2 drops in the format in goyf, not to mention a quick boost to mana development and combat in noble hierarch. When you take into account the ability to board into k. grip or any other green based tech (trigon comes to mind), its clear I'd rather have green, at least at first glance. Sure your mana base is more vulnerable, but Thresh and dreadstill have gone to the wayside at least along the East Coast here. Lands is a bad match-up.
I think you could do reasonably well with a UW list. but since you lack the power that green offers, you end up having to go a more tempo route (see the UW tempo thread), and I think you'll find the deck heading to a different direction entirely.

jrsthethird
06-09-2010, 03:24 PM
Memnarch, doesn't 4 EE seem a little much?

Matt, New Horizons has kind of taken the place of Thresh decks in our meta, so I think you're discounting the mana denial strategy a little too much. Hierarch should help a lot with that matchup since it's a 3 color source that they can only answer with Swords (giving them less answers to real threats) or EE (but this doesn't hit anything else in the deck, so it's also kind of a waste).

Tammit67
06-09-2010, 04:01 PM
Memnarch, doesn't 4 EE seem a little much?

Matt, New Horizons has kind of taken the place of Thresh decks in our meta, so I think you're discounting the mana denial strategy a little too much. Hierarch should help a lot with that matchup since it's a 3 color source that they can only answer with Swords (giving them less answers to real threats) or EE (but this doesn't hit anything else in the deck, so it's also kind of a waste).

Sure, you still have mana denial in the forms of Merfolk, New Horizons, Lands and to a limited extent Goblins, but it is by no means as successful as it was a year ago. I'm not discounting it, but you don't see it as the go-to strategy. Decks have adjusted accordingly. Every list these days starts with asking itself "What colors am I playing?" and immediately throw in basics of the appropriate type. Since everyone has access to fetchlands and the basic lands, mana denial, although troublesome, is something that you can play around. With the amount of cantrips a deck like this runs, with the addition of hierarch, this deck under a player who realizes that stifle and wasteland exist can minimize the risk of being blown out by such plays. Sure you can get backed into the corner by (un)luck of the draw, but its not worrisome.

New Horizons is an extreme example to this, where they have the wastes and stifles and KotR to prey on people who don't play around them. But that matchup seems more than winnable with Harry's list. Expect to play against it and it to be annoying, but don't fear it the way 4 color countertop would. Fair enough?

memnarch
06-09-2010, 04:51 PM
I wouldn't say its too much its hardly ever a dead draw but I could see going down to 3 because its somewhat expensive to use.

Tammit67
06-09-2010, 06:17 PM
I can't see you wanting to set EE at 2 ever with this deck. Even 3 seems like it could bite you back. What do you traditionally set it at? 1? 0? Seems fine against zoo or dredge, but since letting them resolve threats is ok, main deck inclusion seems... unwarranted.

GrooGrux
06-09-2010, 08:27 PM
I can't see you wanting to set EE at 2 ever with this deck. Even 3 seems like it could bite you back. What do you traditionally set it at? 1? 0? Seems fine against zoo or dredge, but since letting them resolve threats is ok, main deck inclusion seems... unwarranted.

I agree....

jrsthethird
06-09-2010, 10:12 PM
Sure, you still have mana denial in the forms of Merfolk, New Horizons, Lands and to a limited extent Goblins, but it is by no means as successful as it was a year ago. I'm not discounting it, but you don't see it as the go-to strategy. Decks have adjusted accordingly. Every list these days starts with asking itself "What colors am I playing?" and immediately throw in basics of the appropriate type. Since everyone has access to fetchlands and the basic lands, mana denial, although troublesome, is something that you can play around. With the amount of cantrips a deck like this runs, with the addition of hierarch, this deck under a player who realizes that stifle and wasteland exist can minimize the risk of being blown out by such plays. Sure you can get backed into the corner by (un)luck of the draw, but its not worrisome.

New Horizons is an extreme example to this, where they have the wastes and stifles and KotR to prey on people who don't play around them. But that matchup seems more than winnable with Harry's list. Expect to play against it and it to be annoying, but don't fear it the way 4 color countertop would. Fair enough?

True, I haven't really played Legacy before this year so I guess I can't relate to a time where there was more mana denial around.


I can't see you wanting to set EE at 2 ever with this deck. Even 3 seems like it could bite you back. What do you traditionally set it at? 1? 0? Seems fine against zoo or dredge, but since letting them resolve threats is ok, main deck inclusion seems... unwarranted.

I was thinking this as well, sure, EE at 2 or something will help us if we're behind, but once we go Mystic -> Jitte or something, we should be ahead. I'd rather invest cards in proactively applying pressure on the opponent, especially with the tempo offered by Spellstutter and Hierarch, than investing them in a backup plan in case we fall behind. That's what the sideboard is for.

memnarch
06-10-2010, 07:04 PM
OK so -4EE +3 spell snare +1Elspeth -1academy ruins +1mutavault +3 EE in side?

neckfire
06-10-2010, 09:49 PM
so i finally read all 10 pages...this deck looks highly interesting im gonna build it right now and go test it.


oh and i was at philly also...i had belcher r1 and 2 :( not a good day.

jrsthethird
06-10-2010, 11:14 PM
OK so -4EE +3 spell snare +1Elspeth -1academy ruins +1mutavault +3 EE in side?

You should probably have 4 Mutavaults, and Elspeth seems unnecessary.

Enigma
06-15-2010, 02:28 PM
I'm still playing the deck, as it has a really good MU against aggro and combo. I made 4th last saturday at a 33 people tournament in Montreal. I've made some changes that I like a lot. I've seen myself getting flooded too often, which made me cut 1 fetch for the 3rd ponder and then I could change the 2 md Meddling mages for 2x Qasali, which actually won me 1 game preboard against Belcher. The reasoning is that if I have now 21 blue cards, I could cut 2 to 19 with the actual 7 cantrips.

The SB went like this: 4 Kitchen Finks, 3 Meddling Mage, 3 Spell Pierce, 3 Faerie Macabre, 1 Qasali Pridemage, 1 Lightning Greaves.

I went 4-1-1 in swiss, only losing to two perfect dredge hands that I couldn't stop. In top 8 I beat Belcher and lost to a really good Bant deck with progenitus (that doesn't have CB/top). I won first because of how good are the equipements, but lost the second to a really aggro start involving multiples Qasalis and the last one to Progenitus (and getting flooded).

I still think this deck is one of the best in the metagame, I completly crushed Goblins, Canadian Thresh, Reanimator and Belcher (twice).


P-M

GrooGrux
06-15-2010, 02:59 PM
I'm still playing the deck, as it has a really good MU against aggro and combo. I made 4th last saturday at a 33 people tournament in Montreal. I've made some changes that I like a lot. I've seen myself getting flooded too often, which made me cut 1 fetch for the 3rd ponder and then I could change the 2 md Meddling mages for 2x Qasali, which actually won me 1 game preboard against Belcher. The reasoning is that if I have now 21 blue cards, I could cut 2 to 19 with the actual 7 cantrips.

The SB went like this: 4 Kitchen Finks, 3 Meddling Mage, 3 Spell Pierce, 3 Faerie Macabre, 1 Qasali Pridemage, 1 Lightning Greaves.

I went 4-1-1 in swiss, only losing to two perfect dredge hands that I couldn't stop. In top 8 I beat Belcher and lost to a really good Bant deck with progenitus (that doesn't have CB/top). I won first because of how good are the equipements, but lost the second to a really aggro start involving multiples Qasalis and the last one to Progenitus (and getting flooded).

I still think this deck is one of the best in the metagame, I completly crushed Goblins, Canadian Thresh, Reanimator and Belcher (twice).


P-M

What is your main deck?

Enigma
06-15-2010, 03:44 PM
A little research could have gave you the answer. So that with the changes I mentionned earlier in the post.


Hey guys. I've been playing this deck for a while and I finally did a tournament with it. I did 4-1 on swiss and lost to zoo in top8.

1-2 against Bant Survival
2-0 against Howling mine.dec
2-0 against Merfolks
2-1 against UWb Landstill
2-0 against Death and Taxes
1-2 against Zoo

Here's the decklist:

// Lands
4 Mutavault
1 Plains
1 Island
4 Flooded Strand
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Tropical Island
3 Tundra
1 Savannah

// Creatures
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Meddling Mage

// Spells
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 AEther Vial
2 Ponder

// Sideboard
SB: 2 Meddling Mage
SB: 3 Qasali Pridemage
SB: 3 Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 Lightning Greaves
SB: 3 Threads of Disloyalty
SB: 3 Spell Pierce

We played with the 2 MD slots (now MM) a lot. Between Clique, Thirst, Threads, Qasali and MM. We quickly learned we had to put 2 blue cards even though QP would have been great in this slot. We decided to put 2x MM to get 2 more free SB slot.

MM over Cannonist because there is a lot of combo decks out there that doesn't care about Cannonist (Eureka, Reanimator, Lands and such). Our combo MU is already awesome because of the MD MM and the fact we add 3 Pierces post-side. We had Armageddon at a certain point, but we found that 4x MM + Greaves just beats Lands way more effectively.

Threads has been underwhelming for me all day long and I'm considering replacing -3 Threads -1 MM for +4 Kitchen Finks to help the Zoo MU.

I'll also try out the Snares. Though, my MVP card is definitaly Aether Vial. It enables crazy plays that I would never considere cutting it, never.

P-M

Boogie
06-18-2010, 07:02 PM
I personally think that clique should be run in the meddling mage spot, especially maindeck. I also made room for 2 serra avenger main, because they are so nuts with a jitte. or any equipment, really.

five
06-20-2010, 02:17 PM
It has been a while since I read through this entire thread, so I can't remember if anyone has suggested Waterfront Bouncer in the main deck? I was testing him last night, and he seemed okay. I drew him 3-4 times: once I used him to bounce SFM and retrigger, once I shuffled him away with Brainstorm, and once he bashed away with eqipment. I think I pitched him to FoW as well. I Anyway, his greatest effect seems to be bouncing our creaturs so we can retrigger their CitP effects (SSS, SFM, Clique).

Just for reference, I was playing this deck with Vials instead of Nobles. I only own 1 Noble and don't feel like trading for them just before they rotate out of Standard. So I am going from the Vial perspective when suggesting Bouncer, although he should be fine with the Noble build too.

Here's the creatures I used:

4 SFM
4 SSS
4 Goyf
2 Waterfront Bouncer
1 V-Clique

My equipment package was:

Jitte
SoFI
SoLS

* I agree that it is kind of dumb to play Vials in a deck with so few creatures. There was one game where I really wished I could equip the Vial and swing with the damn thing since I had no creatures. I played the SoLS mostly to retreive fallen creatures, but pro-Swords helped too.

jrsthethird
06-20-2010, 06:48 PM
With the new Extended, don't expect Hierarchs to drop much. In the meantime, test with proxies and see if you can borrow for tournaments.

Tammit67
06-23-2010, 06:14 PM
With the apparent increase in creature strategies post bannings, how do we fare?

jrsthethird
06-24-2010, 01:28 AM
Fare*

Running 5 Jittes seems like a good play in an aggro meta, and Spell Snare is a 1-mana Terror. Also, if the format slows down a little like everyone is saying, we have more time to develop mana to be able to handle equipment.

Maybe some slight changes to the deck, but it still seems great.

mchainmail
06-24-2010, 04:21 PM
Fare*

Running 5 Jittes seems like a good play in an aggro meta, and Spell Snare is a 1-mana Terror. Also, if the format slows down a little like everyone is saying, we have more time to develop mana to be able to handle equipment.

Maybe some slight changes to the deck, but it still seems great.

And when cb decks run 8 swords, or some number of firespouts, what do you do? I feel it's going to get more difficult to keep a threat in play.

MULocke
06-24-2010, 04:58 PM
And when cb decks run 8 swords, or some number of firespouts, what do you do? I feel it's going to get more difficult to keep a threat in play.

Spellstutter is huge here. He counters swords for value. Also, with equipment every creature is a threat.

As for Firespout, just don't overextend into it. Put an equipment on your guy and bash in. Mutavault is good here, too.

jrsthethird
06-24-2010, 05:38 PM
And when cb decks run 8 swords, or some number of firespouts, what do you do? I feel it's going to get more difficult to keep a threat in play.

Put SOLS back in the deck/board, or bring in Lightning Greaves. SOLS might not be worth the spot, but Greaves is already in the board against lands, so if you're expecting an upswing in spot removal it gives you time to protect your Goyf while you can search for a business equipment.

hungryLIKEALION
06-25-2010, 01:20 AM
Wrapping up writing a new primer for the deck, trying to get into Established now.

Bardo
06-25-2010, 02:12 AM
Wrapping up writing a new primer for the deck, trying to get into Established now.

Meets the criteria -- good enough for me.

Also, this deck is awesome. Well done.

mchainmail
06-25-2010, 02:13 AM
Put SOLS back in the deck/board, or bring in Lightning Greaves. SOLS might not be worth the spot, but Greaves is already in the board against lands, so if you're expecting an upswing in spot removal it gives you time to protect your Goyf while you can search for a business equipment.

And... how do you intend to equip "business equipment" to a creature with Greaves?

Tammit67
06-25-2010, 02:13 AM
Thanks a lot Bardo! Now lets see if we can generate a bit more discussion.


And... how do you intend to equip "business equipment" to a creature with Greaves?

Never tell me the odds

Vacrix
06-25-2010, 02:15 AM
Congrats on the promotion!

How is the board going to adapt post-MT ban?

jrsthethird
06-25-2010, 02:51 AM
And... how do you intend to equip "business equipment" to a creature with Greaves?

Good question. :confused:

hungryLIKEALION
06-25-2010, 02:55 AM
Thanks again to Bardo. You're a real americna hero, sir. :salute:

As for the deck, I'm anticipating that the meta shift will be okay for us. We can easily tool our deck to be better against zoo heavy fields, but I'm hesitant to predict how exactly everything will pan out until we see a few tournaments post banning. Lands, our worst matchup, stands to gain significantly from this shift, so that is something we should consider going forward. Lightning Greaves is good, but likely not enough and we should consider other ideas for additional help.

I'll be sure to post here as soon as I have some more ideas for the deck.

IsThisACatInAHat?
06-25-2010, 03:27 AM
Gaddock Teeg would be a really nice board card here. I've been playing the original Mystic Control list and replaced some unnecessary filler in the board with Lightning Greaves and Gaddock Teeg. Greaves stops Maze and can switch for free between creatures while you equip your other stuff, then switch back for the shroud. Teeg stops EE recursion (which is game over for this deck) and is easy to cast, whether you run vials or hierarchs.

With both on-board, the only way to lose would be chasm lock into recurring mindslaver, but SSS and Snare can disrupt loaming for critical swings to finish the game. The matchup is still difficult, but becomes decently winnable. I also haven't cut an SFM, since the deck relies so incredibly heavily on it.

jrsthethird
06-25-2010, 08:50 AM
Thanks again to Bardo. You're a real americna hero, sir. :salute:

As for the deck, I'm anticipating that the meta shift will be okay for us. We can easily tool our deck to be better against zoo heavy fields, but I'm hesitant to predict how exactly everything will pan out until we see a few tournaments post banning. Lands, our worst matchup, stands to gain significantly from this shift, so that is something we should consider going forward. Lightning Greaves is good, but likely not enough and we should consider other ideas for additional help.

I'll be sure to post here as soon as I have some more ideas for the deck.

Meddling Mage on Loam is sick against them, as well as GY hate.

Maveric78f
06-25-2010, 09:29 AM
The last version I'm testing. Be careful, it contains a lot of "new" choices.
1/ 2*Chrome Mox. It might be my weakness of these last days but I find mox acceleration very interesting in such a deck where a resolved Stoneforge Mystic is so important.
2/ 0 Tarmogoyf. Tarmogoyf looks too much as a vanilla creature in a deck packing that many equipments.
3/ 0 STP. I'm still not sure of this bet. I preferred the charms because the deck can develop very fast and paying 3 is not that much a problem.
4/ Thopter combo. Well, not that new but it's certainly a bet that few Excalibur players have tried. It looks awesome as being an equipment carrier and infinite blockers.
5/ Glittering Wish. For foundry and for anything else. From Dueling Ground to charms, from Firespout to Ajani Vengeant. I'm not sold on this choice neither which could be replaced with more countermagic, Foundries and STP.

Mana : 19
2 Chrome Mox
1 Island
1 Forest
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Tundra
2 Tropical Island
4 Flooded Strand
1 Volcanic Island
1 Academy Ruins

Creatures : 18
4 Qasali Pridemage
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Thopter Foundry

Equipments : 4
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of the Meek

Blue Control : 12
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Bant Charm
2 Treva's Charm

Library manipulation and tutors : 7
3 Glittering Wish
4 Brainstorm

The sideboard is not definitive.

klaus
06-29-2010, 06:56 PM
The last version I'm testing. Be careful, it contains a lot of "new" choices.
1/ 2*Chrome Mox. It might be my weakness of these last days but I find mox acceleration very interesting in such a deck where a resolved Stoneforge Mystic is so important.
2/ 0 Tarmogoyf. Tarmogoyf looks too much as a vanilla creature in a deck packing that many equipments.
3/ 0 STP. I'm still not sure of this bet. I preferred the charms because the deck can develop very fast and paying 3 is not that much a problem.
4/ Thopter combo. Well, not that new but it's certainly a bet that few Excalibur players have tried. It looks awesome as being an equipment carrier and infinite blockers.
5/ Glittering Wish. For foundry and for anything else. From Dueling Ground to charms, from Firespout to Ajani Vengeant. I'm not sold on this choice neither which could be replaced with more countermagic, Foundries and STP.

Mana : 19
2 Chrome Mox
1 Island
1 Forest
4 Misty Rainforest
3 Tundra
2 Tropical Island
4 Flooded Strand
1 Volcanic Island
1 Academy Ruins

Creatures : 18
4 Qasali Pridemage
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Thopter Foundry

Equipments : 4
2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of the Meek

Blue Control : 12
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
2 Bant Charm
2 Treva's Charm

Library manipulation and tutors : 7
3 Glittering Wish
4 Brainstorm

The sideboard is not definitive.

I don't fancy those Charms. A full playset of Pridemages makes them rather obsolete imo. I'm positive those slots would be nicely used by Swords to Plowshares, especially since Stonforge.decs tend to be extremely mana-hungry. Which brings me to my next point: Daze - it simply does not belong, and Hierarchs don't make it a legitimate inclusion either. Excalibur is a deck that wants to flourish in the late midgame (with all mana resources you can get your hands on), and more often than not, Daze will cost you a land drop. I can't see that card outside CB-Top.dec and ManadDenial.dec anyway. Spell Snare/Pierce would be a valid alternative - those cards are made to buy you tempo and time to reach the midgame as unharmed as possible.
Including S.o.t.M combo looks like a danger of cool things thing, but let us know how your testing went, who knows it just might pay off to sac 3 slots (not counting wishes).
Yeah, thinking about it Wishes should be Foundry #3 and 4 and 1 Vendillion Clique, I guess.
---
@ HungryLikeaLion:
I do like your list in the opening post, which is pretty close to what I ended up with.
I'm really not sure about those Sowers though, obv. they have treated you well enough to run 2 copies in the MD.. I've got 1/2 Predator in those slots, freeing up valuable SB space (i.e. Path #3).

On a different note: Have you ever considered cutting Goyf? I think it's a valid thought, since we do love us some guys with evasion. Next time I take that baby for a ride, I'll replace them with 1 Path, 1 Warmonk and 2 Clouds of Faeries - yeah kinda wacky, I know...

hungryLIKEALION
07-04-2010, 07:08 AM
Cutting goyf is like cutting off your right hand before going to the tournament. Yeah, you can do it, but you're putting yourself at a huge disadvantage for no discernable reason. Without Tarmogoyf, this deck has only one way to win, which is to rely on the equipment completely and totally. Replacing goyf with thopter combo means you get hosed by Krosan Grip even harder, which is horrible.

Goyf isn't actually a vanilla creature. It contains the text "Tarmogoyf kicks every other creature in the balls and takes its lunch money" right before the reminder text, which is, in fact, extremely relevant in this format.

Compare that with my list which contains 3 reliable routes to victory:Tarmogoyf, Equipment, and the Faerie Package. Only one of these routes is hosed by Krosan Grip, which makes the game plan much harder to disrupt. The clock is fast thanks to exalted goyfs and v.cliques.

I have to get going to work, but seriously, if you're considering even for a second cutting goyf, stop and think to yourself for a few moments. When's the last time you saw a UGx deck top 8 something without Tarmogoyf?

2006? Don't cut off your right hand. You'll need it to fap later when you lose cuz you cut your Tarmogoyfs.

Tammit67
07-05-2010, 04:29 PM
Goyf is ridiculous. Goyf with forks and knives is better. Have you tested not running him? How has it gone?

HumphreyBogardan
07-10-2010, 04:48 PM
Has anyone tested Jace TMS in this deck either MB or SB? I thoroughly enjoy this deck and know personally how mana hungry it can be with equipping and what not but if it can run sower effectively perhaps jace would be an okay option? It would be rather effective against lands I imagine (have not tested Jace vs lands so just speaking in theory.)

hungryLIKEALION
07-10-2010, 06:35 PM
Has anyone tested Jace TMS in this deck either MB or SB? I thoroughly enjoy this deck and know personally how mana hungry it can be with equipping and what not but if it can run sower effectively perhaps jace would be an okay option? It would be rather effective against lands I imagine (have not tested Jace vs lands so just speaking in theory.)

I would LOVE to play Jace in this deck, and yes, it could easily go in over Sower and in all honesty likely should.

I have not tested it though. The main reason I haven't tested it is a lack of $160 to pick up a pair of jaces at any reasonable time. I'll proxy some up though and see how they work out.

strife2
07-14-2010, 12:37 AM
Fell in love with the deck seeing the list !
I'm gonna test it now !
What about the MU Landstill and Rock ?

JerkyVendor
07-14-2010, 02:16 AM
4 - Noble Hierarch
4 - Tarmogoyf
4 - Spellstutter Sprite
3 - Stoneforge Mystic
3 - Rhox War Monk

4 - Force of Will
4 - Daze
2 - Spell Snare
4 - Brainstorm
2 - Ponder
4 - Swords to Plowshares
1 - Umezawa's Jitte
1 - Sword of Light and Shadow
1 - Sword of Fire and Ice

3 - Mutavaults
4 - Misty Rainforest
2 - Flooded Strand
1 - Windswept Heat
3 - Tropical Island
2 - Tundra
1 - Savannah
1 - Island
1 - Forest
1 - Plains

SB
3 - Krosan Grip
2 - Pithing Needle
3 - Path to Exile
2 - Threads of Disloyalty
2 - Tormod's Crypt
1 - Relic of Progenitus
2 - Hydroblast

Im probably a little greedy running 19 lands, but its been fine in testing.

HumphreyBogardan
07-14-2010, 03:22 AM
I would LOVE to play Jace in this deck, and yes, it could easily go in over Sower and in all honesty likely should.

I have not tested it though. The main reason I haven't tested it is a lack of $160 to pick up a pair of jaces at any reasonable time. I'll proxy some up though and see how they work out.

Yeah Jace's price is ridiculous, will probably keep going up too since he's a mythic and it's from a horrible set that no one wants to buy. I was able to test a bit tonight and Jace was pretty solid. I only boarded him out once vs merfolk since LoA is a tight clock and I felt he was too slow for that MU. The only downside I saw where Sower would've been better was against Zoo when he had qasali out and I had jace but no remova (Sower would've kept my Jitte alive and provided a free dude.) Other than that it was a pretty positive transition, hopefully you'll be able to test it soon and we'll get some more insight.

GrooGrux
07-26-2010, 11:56 AM
I would LOVE to play Jace in this deck, and yes, it could easily go in over Sower and in all honesty likely should.

I have not tested it though. The main reason I haven't tested it is a lack of $160 to pick up a pair of jaces at any reasonable time. I'll proxy some up though and see how they work out.

I see you were able to get them in there. It seemed really good for you when we played. Kept me in a tough position. I think without him in game two, you would have surely been in a much worse position. If you had drawn sower in that spot you would have not been able to keep me off the goods cards and I would have been able to vindicate something else and would have been able to swing at you the 5 or 6 times i did attack....

Thanks again for your kindness.

Hey Everyone! Harry is the nicest guy on the planet!!!

jrsthethird
07-27-2010, 12:32 AM
GrooGrux, what were you playing?

GrooGrux
07-27-2010, 07:57 AM
GrooGrux, what were you playing?

Landstill with Maze of Ith

klaus
07-28-2010, 05:10 AM
Here's the list that I ended up and am completely happy with:

4 Flooded Strand
3 Misty Rainforest
1 Windswept Heath
1 Island
1 Plains
1 Forest
3 Tundra
3 Tropical Island
1 Academy Ruins
3 Mutavault

3 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Tarmogoyf
3 Rhox War Monk
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Vendilion Clique

1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

4 Force of Will
3 Spell Snare
4 Brainstorm

4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Path to Exile

1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Revenge (still testing, could be Lightning Greaves in a Maze-meta)


SB:
2 Path to Exile
3 Spell Pierce
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Tormod's Crypt
2 Faerie Macabre
3 Krosan Grip
3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
---

As you can see I completely cut Disenchant effects from the MD and haven't been missing them so far. The MU that you really want them are favorable after sideboarding (Enchantress, Stax etc..).
The mana base is rock solid I think and the creature suite is tight. Elspeth never feels like win more, in fact I love her as a one of in this shell.
Jace might be the weirdoin the SB, but hardcore control poses a big problem imo and Jace just pummels them.
As I mentioned before I really don't like Daze in this deck, as it is extremely mana-hungry, while Spell Snare deserves its slot over and over again.
Crits welcome.

fdiv_bug
07-28-2010, 09:59 AM
...
1 Sword of Revenge (still testing, could be Lightning Greaves in a Maze-meta)
...
I don't have much to say about the list besides that it looks perfectly reasonable and if it's been working for you, then by all means keep at it. But I did want to mention that I'm assuming you mean Sword of Vengeance in the above. :smile:

fdiv_bug
07-28-2010, 10:07 AM
So I've been fiddling with this deck, mostly using hungryLIKEALION's "current list" from the first post, and I like it. A lot. So, thanks for sharing it with us (and thanks to the work others have poured into it as well)!

As mentioned in the opener, it seems to mop the floor with Goblins and Merfolk (which I adore, because Merfolk is my arch-nemesis in the format), but I'm having trouble game one against CounterThopters in my testing. I dislike that there's no non-creature removal in the main, leaving me cold to Moat unless I can manage to stick a flying lady, which can be hard to do under so many counters and Swords to Plowshares. As the first post points out this is a rough match, so I'm not surprised, but is there something other than the post-board Wash Outs that could, and should, be done to help improve it?

I'd also be interested to know what people's general sideboarding strategies are, if there are any. I've been generally pulling out Ponder first, as well as reducing my Stoneforge Mystic count against slower decks, but I may be doing things entirely wrong since I'm new to this archetype.

jrsthethird
07-28-2010, 11:50 AM
His most recent list incorporates Jace, TMS instead of Sowers as a secondary win-con and for addition reach against control decks.

fdiv_bug
07-28-2010, 11:59 AM
His most recent list incorporates Jace, TMS instead of Sowers as a secondary win-con and for addition reach against control decks.
Really? Interesting. Coz I've been loving Sower of Temptation in the list. Could the Jaces be put in the sideboard, I wonder? Maybe in place of the Trygon Predator and Lightning Greaves, since I imagine I'd care less about CounterTop and Maze of Ith if I were just bumping up Jace and then going off with his ultimate.

MULocke
07-28-2010, 05:00 PM
I've been playing a very similar list as Klaus and it's been working well for me, too. My problem is the NOBant matchup, specifically sideboarding. I've tried a couple different configurations, and nothing seems to work. I seem to die a different way every game, be it Goyf beats, Natural Order, or getting locked out with Counterbalance. Whenever I focus on stopping one or two plans, the third gets me. The reason this happens after board is because I have trouble with opposing Krosan Grips killing my equipment and thus most of my clock. Do you guys have a good plan that I've been missing, both in terms of cards brought in and strategy?

HAVE HEART
08-16-2010, 05:40 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgR8OOTPWa4

Even the Japanese know the name of this deck.

Tammit67
08-16-2010, 11:24 PM
Hungry's version was also piloted to top 8 at a 45 person event at TOGIT this past weekend. Congrats Nick Gidosh. Wonder if he'll say a few words...

jrsthethird
08-17-2010, 02:45 PM
Nick doesn't post on here, but he reads it. Also, it's Gidosh.

hyc8028
08-23-2010, 02:55 AM
Today, there is a legacy tourney in Eudomonia in Berkley, CA. I expected there would be a lot of zoo and tribal showing up, so I sleeved up this deck. There were 18 people showing up with 5 rounds of swiss and top 8. I got 2nd place with this deck.

Excalibur by Denny Chan

Creature: 18
4x Noble Hierarch
4x Spellstutter Sprite
3x Stoneforge Mystic
4x Tarmogoyf
3x Vendillion Clique

Spell: 21
4x Brainstorm
4x Spell Snare
4x Force of Will
2x Ponder
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
1x Sword of Light and Shadow
4x Sword to Plowshares
1x Umezawa’s Jitte

Land: 21
3x Flooded Strand
3x Misty Rainforest
2x Windswept Heath
4x Mutavault
3x Tropical Island
3x Tundra
1x Forest
1x Island
1x Plain

SB: 15
3x Faerie Macabre
1x Relic of Progenitus
1x Lightning Greave
2x Trygon Predator
4x Spell Pierce
2x Krosan Grip
2x Gaddock Teeg

I forgot my notepad today, so I didn't take any notes. I am sorry that I forget my opponents name.

Round 1: TES 2-1

Round 2: Burn 1-2

Round 3: Survival Elves 2-0

Round 4: Mono Blue Merfolk 2-1

Round 5: Some sort of Eva Green ID

Top 8: Survival Elves from Round 3 2-1

Top 4: Mono Blue Merfolk from Round 4 2-1

Top 2: TES from Round 1 1-2

Total: 12-8, so I got away with a Goyf and $15 store credit. Not bad for $10.

I played the vial version before. However, hungryLIKEALION claims that Hierarch is better early game and late game. I gave that a try and I never regret running it over vial. Exalted kept my Goyfs big enough from dying. I can't remember how many times the Exalted save my ass today. Those of you who disagree really need to play test this deck.

I decided to run the 3rd copy of Mystic and Clique instead of Sower and they were both MVP of the day. Clique helped me tuck in any Krosan Grip and protect my equipment while Mystic just search for Jitte/SoFI quickly and create card advantage. I might be looking to get a Karaka in there in the slot of 1x Mutavault.

HumphreyBogardan
09-08-2010, 04:21 AM
I was checking out the new scars of mirrodin spoiler and saw this card.

http://www.gatheringmagic.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Grand-Architect.jpg

I was trying to think of the applications this card offers to the deck and while I'm not sure it would fit in for a number of reasons, I do think it may be worth looking into. I like that it's a lord to faeries and allows any of your faeries to be tapped to move equipment around. I also like that if you play stoneforge and need to keep mana open for other spells (i.e. swords, pierce, grip, etc.) you can tap a sprite and play your jitte. Any thoughts?

jrsthethird
09-08-2010, 10:38 AM
Only has synergy with SS Sprite and Clique; the rest of our dudes are not blue. It's nice to be able to tap guys for equip mana, especially since we only attack with one most of the time due to Exalted+Evasion, so it makes extra Sprites useful, but that's about it. I think we want a little more for a 3 mana investment.

This guy would be better if we didn't play green.

GreenHornet
10-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Anyone else try out Sword of Body and Mind? I ran it in the sideboard at a tournament and it was a beating against anything running green. It makes goyf huge, and gives you blockers against anything they drop.

DragoFireheart
10-25-2010, 11:07 AM
Is it possible or viable to go two colors? (U/G or U/W)? Or are all three colors needed? Has any extensive testing been done on the Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek combo?

Shimi
10-25-2010, 12:19 PM
Last weekend i just take the deck and tried it in a 40+ man tournament, I top8ed with 4-1-1(ID and I a conced to a friend), I is fun as hell but I would like to know if you guys think the Zoo MU is problematic, for me it is impossible, they can burn every dude except goyf and I can't deal with any resolved dude.Any advice or plan?

Jonathan Alexander
10-25-2010, 02:51 PM
Is it possible or viable to go two colors? (U/G or U/W)? Or are all three colors needed? Has any extensive testing been done on the Thopter Foundry and Sword of the Meek combo?


Last weekend i just take the deck and tried it in a 40+ man tournament, I top8ed with 4-1-1(ID and I a conced to a friend), I is fun as hell but I would like to know if you guys think the Zoo MU is problematic, for me it is impossible, they can burn every dude except goyf and I can't deal with any resolved dude.Any advice or plan?

I tried out a list with red instead of green in an aggro-heavy metagame. It does pretty well against all kinds of aggro and isn't bad against other decks either. This is my list:


//Lands
4 Flooded Strand
1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Plains
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
1 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

//Creatures
2 J÷tun Grunt
3 Serra Avenger
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique

//Spells
3 Ăther Vial
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
3 Firespout
3 Lightning Bolt
3 Ponder
1 Sword Of Fire And Ice
1 Sword Of Light and Shadow
4 Swords To Plowshares
1 Umezawa's Jitte

//Sideboard
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Enlightened Tutor
4 Force Of Will
2 Relic Of Progenitus
3 Spell Pierce
1 Wheel Of Sun And Moon
+2 Metaslots

Force Of Will sideboard looks pretty odd but in an aggro-heavy metagame it has proven to be good. Daze is better mainboard when you're facing lots of aggro. Seven additional counterspells in the sideboard is still kind of necessary though. The only major advantage green lists have over this one is Noble Hierarch instead of Ăther Vial, but a better game against aggro and sometimes control is worth it I think. The last time I took this to a tournament I played against 80% aggro, which should have been pretty good for me, but I somehow managed to lose against Merfolk (okay, this was close and but had three Stifles and one or two Wastelands game three) and what annoyed me even more, against Zoo. The reason I lost against Zoo was that I didn't draw enough threats. In game one I saw two creatures in a lot of cards. Around half my deck. I had plenty of answers but never had actual threats. The final game I lost due to not drawing threats again. At first, I had plenty of answers and controled the gamestate for a long time, but then I topdecked seven lands in a row and lost in the fourth extra turn. Starting to draw Wastelands around turn fifteen is pretty useless, you know.
This made me think about the deck and I started considering Elspeth, Knight-Errant instead of Ponder. Testing showed that I was sometimes short of mana to cast her and then I tried out Mutavault instead of Wasteland, which was awesome. From there on, Daze looked significantly worse and I started to try out more counters mainboard. I moved Force Of Will to the mainboard again and moved Firespout to the sideboard. The list above was before the rise of Vengevine Survival. I stopped working on the list, but I'm looking into it again. Here's a more recent one:


//Lands
4 Flooded Strand
1 Island
1 Mountain
4 Mutavault
1 Plains
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Tundra
1 Volcanic Island

//Creatures
2 J÷tun Grunt
3 Serra Avenger
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique

//Spells
3 Ăther Vial
4 Brainstorm
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4 Force Of Will
3 Lightning Bolt
4 Spell Snare
1 Sword Of Fire And Ice
1 Sword Of Light and Shadow
4 Swords To Plowshares
1 Umezawa's Jitte

I'm not sure about the sideboard yet but I think there will be a three Spell Pierces and three Firespouts. The rest will most likely be a mix of Enlightened Tutor, Pithing Needle, Faerie Macabre, Aura Of Silence, Engineered Explosives, some redblasts and perhaps an Ethersworn Canonist and/or a Wheel Of Sun And Moon, depending on the number of Enlightened Tutors.
I like how the more recent list has an overall better game one against most of the field, but it's worse against aggro and I'm not quite sure if mainboard Force Of Will is the way to go here. It could be better to focus on winning game one against aggro again, but this depends on the meta you're playing in. If I was to move Force Of Will to the sideboard again, I think I would replace them with three Firespouts and the fourth Lightning Bolt. Note that the blue-count is pretty low, so tossing in a Ponder or two when playing with Force Of Will mainboard might not be a bad idea.
Feel free to test my list, I promise it's a lot of fun to play.

hungryLIKEALION
11-15-2010, 06:36 PM
If you are losing to aggro with my list, you are not good enough at magic to play this deck. Period, end of story.

Also, cutting tarmogoyf to improve the aggro matchup is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

HumphreyBogardan
11-16-2010, 12:25 AM
Yeah cutting goyf and noble for 3x mainboard bolt and firespout in the board seems like such a downgrade. Also explains why you said you were having a problem drawing threats.

Jonathan Alexander
11-16-2010, 04:55 PM
I never said my list was better than the stock list. What said was that it's good in an aggro-heavy metagame, which is true. The tribal matchup is definitely better when you have Lightning Bolt and Firespout. You put it like I cut Goyf without adding any kind of creatures, but in comparison to the stock list, my list actually has more business, unless you count Noble Hierarch as important business spell. Honestly, I'd rather have Hierarch than Ăther Vial if I had the choice, but in my metagame, the list with red was actually better positioned. J÷tun Grunt is also an underrated card. It wins games against Dredge and all these neo-Thresh decks (New Horizons and so on) on its own.
The real problem is Vengevine Survival here. It's basically the most important match up right now, and the UWR version has a hard time beating it. This is really the only reason I'm not really running this deck anymore. The current metagame is not good for any kind of Excalibur.

hungryLIKEALION
11-16-2010, 05:07 PM
I'm suddenly reminded why I stopped coming to this forum in the first place.

If you're consistently losing to Vengevines with my list, you are not good enough to be playing Excalibur.

Edit//And christ, tribal is our best match up. We don't need lightning bolt and firespout when we have fucking tutorable SoFI and better cards than them.

Jonathan Alexander
11-17-2010, 01:41 AM
Okay, so I'm a bad player because I want to improve my most common matchups? I never said I couldn't beat tribal with the stock UGW list. What I said was that I wanted to further improve these matchups, because they were incredibly important in my meta. At the time I played the deck, my meta was more than 25% Merfolk. This was even before the Grand Prix.
Would you still play this deck in a metagame that's all Goblins or would you rather play storm combo? You must be a bad player when you pick up storm combo, because this deck beats Goblins anyway, right?
As I see it, there are better decks to beat the field right now. There's a lot of storm combo and Vengevine Survival, so packing lots of counters and having access to Extirpate is really good. As of now, I'm trying out any black tempo decks, and most of them work nicely for me, way better than Excalibur right now.

Esper3k
11-22-2010, 06:32 PM
So I sleeved this up for our weekly Legacy tournament and had a pretty fun time with it.

I'm still having some issues trying to figure out how to sideboard - everything seems so good!

I played HungryLikeALion's mainboard list, except -2 Sower and +2 Jace. For the sideboard, I didn't have any Wash Out, so I played -3 Wash Out, -1 Faerie, -1 Tormod's Crypt, -2 PtE (I wanted to give Dueling Grounds a try instead), +2 Dueling Grounds, +3 Pithing Needle, +1 Trygon Predator, +1 Echoing Truth.

Ended up going 2-2, lost to Enchantress and TES, but beat Stax and Aggro Loam.

So in regards to Sideboarding, do you usually just cut Ponders to start with? I usually cut Ponders, then Stoneforge Mystics.

from Cairo
11-22-2010, 11:07 PM
So in regards to Sideboarding, do you usually just cut Ponders to start with? I usually cut Ponders, then Stoneforge Mystics.

I could be wrong, but in most decks I would tend to board keeping my cantrip engine intact.

In Enchantress/TES/Stax matches I would think cutting some of the SFM/Equipment package (SoFaI seems lackluster) and some number of StPs for Trygons and Grips would be the best route. I'm not sure what the best sb strategy would be against Agro Loam - bringing in the 2 Faeries and 2 Tormods, maybe Lightning Greaves if Maze is expected? In that case I'd imagine again cutting into the SFM/Equips and maybe Ponder would be the cut after some of those.

Esper3k
11-22-2010, 11:57 PM
Yeah in many of the matchups I ended cutting Stps. I'm always hesitant about cutting any equipment since your Spellstutters and Sfm are so terrible without them. I cut the Ponders against Stax since they punish cantripping so much.

I also brought out the Ponders against Aggro Loam and I think I cut 2 Sfm. Against Aggro Loam I was really wishing for a SoLS in the board to help protect from Pulses and recover from EE. Anyone experience this at all?

Jace has been pretty good so far.

hungryLIKEALION
12-02-2010, 04:36 PM
Okay, so I'm a bad player because I want to improve my most common matchups? I never said I couldn't beat tribal with the stock UGW list. What I said was that I wanted to further improve these matchups, because they were incredibly important in my meta.What this tells me is that you don't actually understand A)How this deck functions and B)What actually beats tribal decks.

Would you still play this deck in a metagame that's all Goblins or would you rather play storm combo? You must be a bad player when you pick up storm combo, because this deck beats Goblins anyway, right?This is a huge logical fallacy. You're not saying "I'm playing storm combo because Excalibur isn't as good against Goblins", you're saying "I'm taking out Tarmogoyf and Noble Hierarchs for bad cards that will actively decrease every matchup, including the ones I think I'm improving with them." Tarmogoyf is one of the best cards you can ever hope to draw against any tribal matchup, and I would much rather have a goyf than a bolt in my hand at any moment.

No, I would not still play this deck if the meta was 100% Goblins. I would indeed play Storm Combo. But the meta isn't 100% Goblins, so that's completely irrelevant. And if the meta was 100% Goblins and I wanted to still play Excalibur, I'd be playing Tarmogoyfs.


As I see it, there are better decks to beat the field right now. There's a lot of storm combo and Vengevine Survival, so packing lots of counters and having access to Extirpate is really good. As of now, I'm trying out any black tempo decks, and most of them work nicely for me, way better than Excalibur right now.Good for you. The funny thing here is that you came into this thread, suggested cutting green for red and diminishing the power of the deck exponentially, and then turn around and say red isn't even the color you think you should be playing. Great, sounds like you really have your act together, and I'm glad you felt it necessary to come here just to tell me you don't think my deck is well positioned. You're wrong, but you're allowed to be.

@Esper3k: I too made the -2 Sower +2 Jace change this summer, I just haven't updated the primer because I've become kind of disinterested in magic lately. I don't play washout anymore either, since progenitus is showing up much less often now.

For sideboarding, it's heavily matchup dependant. For example, against storm, if I have relevant board for that tournament, I cut STPS (Unless I suspect Xantid Swarm, then I leave a few in), Stoneforges and equipment first, keeping in ponders because they help find the relevant sideboard cards. Against control decks, I usually cut mystics, then a snare if they don't seem to have a lot of 2drops, but it's also pretty dependant on what is in our board that day. Mystics first, though.

Basically, people trying to beat you without creatures, you board out stps, mystics and maybe the Jitte. People trying to beat you with creatures, you're in luck because you have a good matchup. So you board out whatever seems least relevant against them.

One of these days I'll maybe do a sideboarding guide for what I'd play if I was going into a big tournament soon.

SoFaI is better than Jitte against control/prison decks because it take a whole turn off the clock, and provides extra cards so you can hopefully continue to keep them off balance longer.

I don't know how to board against Aggro Loam, it's not a good matchup but it rarely comes up so I've never bothered to figure it out. I do know that I dislike SoLS though. It's a largely irrelevant card most of the time.

ScatmanX
12-02-2010, 04:47 PM
No, I would not still play this deck if the meta was 100% Goblins. I would indeed play Storm Combo. But the meta isn't 100% Goblins, so that's completely irrelevant. And if the meta was 100% Goblins and I wanted to still play Excalibur, I'd be playing Tarmogoyfs.
I think that, if the meta was 100% goblins, you would have to play goblins, right?

GGoober
12-02-2010, 06:14 PM
Or Goyfs if you splash green.

lordofthepit
12-03-2010, 04:39 AM
Hey guys, I have no experience with this deck (not even goldfishing), but I'm considering sleeving up something new.

I can see how this stomps aggro strategies, but how is its matchup against storm combo and different Survival builds? How about Countertop and Landstill?