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Jonathan Alexander
12-27-2010, 03:52 PM
(Note: This is only going to be about the UB-based versions of the deck, mainly about the UBR one, but you're welcome to discuss other possible splashes instead of red, since there may be less need for it due to future metagame evolvements. For UGR lists check out Next Level Threshold (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?18865-%5BDeck%5D-Next-Level-Threshold), this deck evolved from the old UGR-Faeries lists. When talking about this very deck I will refer to it as BitterStalker from now on.)


http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=152648&type=card http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?multiverseid=136041&type=card


Overview
1. Introduction
1.1 Current List
1.2 History Of The Deck
2. Classification And Playstyle
3. Structure
3.1 The Core
3.1.1 The Manabase
3.1.2 Threat-Density And Explanation
3.1.3 Utility & Disruption
3.2 Additional Cardchoices
3.2.1 Removal
3.2.1.1 Spotremoval
3.2.1.2 Massremoval
3.2.2 Other Cards
3.3 The Sideboard
3.3.1 Sample Sideboard
3.3.2 Sideboard Options
4. Matchup Analyses
4.1 Merfolk
4.2 Goblins
4.3 Zoo
4.4 TES
4.5 Dredge
4.6 Threshold & New Horizons
4.7 Landstill
4.8 Counterbalance Top
5. BitterStalker Compared To Other Tempo-Decks
6. Additional Reading
6.1 What splash is best.
6.2 Exploiting Tempo
6.3 Spell Pierce vs. Spell Snare
6.4 Why this deck shouldn't be called Faeries.
6.5 The Old Thread


1. Introduction

1.1 Current List

From now on I will always show the list I'm currently running in this section. As almost no one else really plays this deck these days, I figured it would make more sense to have just one section for decklists. Also, the old list that has been shown here, was pretty much outdatet.


//Lands
1 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

//Creatures
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

//Other Spells
4 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Fire // Ice
4 Force Of Will
2 Ghastly Demise
1 Smother
3 Spell Snare
4 Stifle
2 Umezawa's Jitte

//Sideboard
3 Firespout
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Ravenous Trap
2 Relic Of Progenitus
3 Spell Pierce

This list is nothing too special. It's the product of tons of testing I've done with the deck. The most recent changes are the configuration of the removal-suite and the inclusion of the fourth Bitterblossom and the second Umezawa's Jitte. I'm playing the deck as aggressively as possible right now, but it still has strong control-capabilities.

The sideboard is for an open metagame with some number of Ichorid, Zoo, Merfolk, Goblins, (storm-) combo, control variants and other tempo decks. Look at 3.3 The Sideboard for further explanation.

1.2 History Of The Deck
Mainly, this deck evolved from T2 Faeries. A lot of the archetype-defining cards were Standard-legal together since a lot of them were printed in the Lorwyn block. Since I didn't play Magic during that time I don't know much about that era in T2, but apparently the deck (UB Faeries) was format-defining.

I'm sorry for the lack of sample decklists from back then, this is due to the lack of DeckCheck right now, but hopefully I will be able to edit this post and attach some lists from back then.

There have been several versions in Legacy featuring a lot of cards from these T2 lists, most of them straight UB. During that time the lists were really close to their T2 and Extended counterparts and the main differences were the addition of Force Of Will and Brainstorm and a more stable manabase due to fetchlands and duals. These lists were not focused on tempo-play but rather on control. Much of the cards played in these lists are considered clunky now (Sower Of Temptation) or are just outdatet (Scion Of Oona and Ancestral Vision).

They started experimenting with Counterbalance and a white splash (mainly for Swords To Plowshares) during early 2009, following Gabriel Nassif's GP win with a four-colour CounterTop list in March 2009; from about that time there were also some results from UBG-lists featuring Dark Confidant and Tarmogoyf (sorry again for the lack of reference).

To my knowledge people starting playing the now typical UBR BitterStalker lists in Legacy during mid-late 2009. This was when people started combining the namesake-threats Bitterblossom and Tombstalker and the manadenial/tempo-elements with the now typical red-splash. Since then, neither the structure of the deck nor the actual cardchoices have changed much, but lists have become way more streamlined.


2. Classification And Playstyle
BitterStalker is essentially a control deck, but it has much more reasonable clock than typical control variants, much akin to Next Level Thresh for example. We also have a lot of tempo-disruption elements which play an important role in this deck. Despite the relatively high threat-density for a control deck, this deck is not really aggro-control, as you usually only have one aggressive turn over the course of a game. This is the turn you drop a threat; in general turn two for Bitterblossom and turn three or four for Tombstalker.

One thing that separates BitterStalker from other control decks is the lack of control-bombs, we don't really have a way to gain significant card advantage. We have to rely on tempo-advantages and card quality.

When playing BitterStalker (or basically any other deck) you should always seek to benefit more from your turns than your opponent benefits from their turns. The best way to achieve this is to develop your own board-position while preventing your opponent from doing so. Spellstutter Sprite and Bitterblossom are really good at doing this.

Spellstutter Sprite is obvious: you counter a spell and drop a creature at the same time for only two mana, achieving tempo- and cardadvantage, both of which are crucial to winning with this deck. Timing your Spellstutter Sprites is really important; you don't want to waste them on unimportant spells, but you also want to play them as early as possible, preferably countering their one drop on turn two after you led with Stifle. An example where it's important to keep them for important spells is when you cast Tombstalker. When you do this, you want to make sure that you didn't just waste your important threat, so it's often good to keep mana open for Spellstutter Sprite to counter your opponent's Swords To Plowshares or Path To Exile.

Bitterblossom is less obvious, but should be clear after short explanation. With Bitterblossom you do something that you often get told to not do: overextending. The thing about Bitterblossom is thats after an initial investment of two mana, you get a free creature every turn; you're developing your board-position without spending mana to do so, saving mana to play countermagic, removal and cards like Brainstorm. I'll say more about Bitterblossom's qualities in the main part of this primer.

Summed up this basically means: do as much as possible for the lowest amount of mana. This deck can often easily operate off of two lands (though it's often good to make more landdrops), maximising the power of your cantrips, as you usually don't have to search for landdrops and can put excess lands away with your Brainstorms.


3. Structure

3.1 The Core

The core of the deck generally looks like this:


//Lands
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

//Creatures
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Tombstalker
1 Vendilion Clique

//Other Spells
3 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Force Of Will
3 Stifle


This is 42 cards and leaves quite some room for variation, though usually most lists are packing 6-7 pieces of removal maindeck and usually have two additional threats, usually the second Vendilion Clique and either the third Tombstalker or the fourth Bitterblossom (some lists have all of them). Most of them also have another four pieces of countermagic in the maindeck and play the full set of Stifles. On top of that there are usually 19-20 lands (sometimes even 21, which would be three more than here, but this is rather uncommon). This makes 57-60 cards, so effectively there are only about 3 flex slots.

Note that removal and additional countermagic will be discussed in 3.2 Additional Cardchoices as there are a lot of choices and some of them, even though heavily played, just don't belong to the core of the deck.

3.1.1 The Manabase


//Lands
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island

This is basically what all lists share. Since 20 lands is the most common number, there's not much variation here; usually only additional Volcanic Islands, a singleton Badlands or a basic Mountain are played. I don't think this deserves further explanation, but I'll drop some lines on each card.

Island
Some people say that this is the strongest card ever printed. One might argue that duallands are better than this one, but in a metagame full of Wastelands and sometimes even Blood Moon or Magus Of The Moon it's not exactly a bad idea to have one of these in your deck. Stifle is a way less common card, so it usually should not be that hard to get this card when you need, even if you only play one. Considering the deck is blue based it's a really good idea to have this one. Plus the deck can operate off of almost any two lands anyway.

Mountain
This is a rather uncommon choice and way less seen than the other basics, since most lists have a singleton Badlands instead of this. But depending on your other choices, it's often a good idea to have this one as well, as your red cards (Firespout and Lightning Bolt for example) are usually important against decks with manadenial in the form of Wastelands, i.e. Merfolk and Goblins. You don't want to get manascrewed and therefore be unable to cast your removal against these decks, so if your metagame is full of these, you should definitely consider running that basic Mountain, as it doesn't significantly weaken your manabase. In fact, it increases your chances against your common matchups.

Swamp
There are players out there who think this one is actually more important than the basic Island. In a way, they're right. Your removal spells are usually black and you want to consistently have that black mana to cast them. You also need to have two black mana to cast Tombstalker more often than you need to have access to two blue mana, although there are exceptions to this rule, of course. Another thing that speaks for the inclusion of a basic Swamp is that it is harder to manascrew you blue than it is to screw you on black mana.

Like I said before, the deck is easily capable of operating off of two lands, and Island and Swamp is often all you need.

Badlands
Lists without the basic Mountain often play one of these instead. It basically has the same purpose: smoothing out your manabase. It also makes it possible to cast a wide variety of cards off of two lands, thus it's often found in lists that utilise Terminate, so that you can cast almost all off your cards off of Badlands and Underground Sea.

It's quite common to see this one as the 20th land.

Underground Sea
The most important dualland in the deck. The deck is naturally UB-based and it's helpful to have some of these in your list, so that you have a wider range of options with fewer lands on the battlefield. The typical number for these is three.

Volcanic Island
Definitely not as important as Underground Sea but nonetheless very useful. Against decks without Wastelands you don't want to always fetch for the basic Mountain when you need red so having one or two Volcanic Islands in your deck often comes in handy. It's also important to note that you can get this one off of Polluted Delta, a criterion that the basic Mountain doesn't fulfil.

Polluted Delta & Scalding Tarn
Probably the most important part of this deck's manabase. Fetchlands help stabilising it way more than duallands do, and on top of that, they have other important purposes. They would be worth playing only to find the right basics when needed, but doing this and at the same time helping to fuel your Tombstalker and maximising the power of your Brainstorms makes them outright awesome.

Since you only need eight of them at most, these two are more common, but sometimes you can find lists playing Bloodstained Mire. I recommend maxing out Polluted Deltas, then maxing out Scalding Tarns; you shouldn't need more. But if the basic Swamp is that important for you to reliably find, you can play some number of Bloodstained Mires.

3.1.2 Threat-Density And Explanation



2 Tombstalker
1 Vendilion Clique
3 Bitterblossom

Only counting actual threats, this deck almost always has exactly eight of them. As you can see, there are already six of them in the core so there are really only slight differences for the choice of threats. The most common practice is to have the second Vendilion Clique and the third Tombstalker, but there are some people who rather want to max out their Bitterblossoms, which can be done in addition to adding another Tombstalker or Vendilion Clique or at the cost of one of them.

Tombstalker
In regards of raw power, this is the deck's most efficient beater. In fact, it's the deck's only real beater. It's naturally a four turn clock, but in quite often you only have to swing three times with him, as your opponents usually have fetched a few times, cast a Force Of Will and you will often have swung with a Spellstutter Sprite.

It's really good that Tombstalker is flying, even though it doesn't have a big deal of influence on the fact that you can play him together with Firespout.

Alongside Tarmogoyf and Knight Of The Reliquary this is the format's most cost-efficient creature. You will usually cast him for two mana (three at most) and his drawback isn't even a real drawback. Of course you can't just drop him on turn two, but you only want to play him when you can protect him anyway.

Due to the fact that you can't really cast more than one (and don't need to) over the course of a game, you usually only want to have three of them in your deck. This is a good number to draw him frequently but to not have him clog your hand. Remember that you want to benefit as much as possible from your drawsteps and cantrips.

Not that you will ever need to know this, but note that you can remove any number of cards from your graveyard when you cast him, not only six. I never needed this, but perhaps this will one day win one of you a match, so it's probably worth knowing.

Vendilion Clique
Another flying beatstick, this time with useful utility.

At first it has Flash, which benefits the deck's tempo-play. Against decks that mostly operate on sorcery-speed this is really good. You can keep mana open for countermagic, removal and whatnot and if they don't do anything, you can cast it end of turn, effectively never having tapped out. It's ability to disrupt your opponent makes for another good way to use it's Flash-ability: to cast it during your opponents draw step. Casting it in your opponents draw step means that you see the highest amount of cards without them being able to cast any of these. Again, this is really strong against decks that mostly operate on sorcery-speed. Against decks with instant-removal, it's often good to have countermagic when casting Vendilion Clique; Spellstutter Sprite is really nice in here. You can also use Vendilion Clique to bait removal and clear the way for your Tombstalker.

For Vendilion Clique it is actually important that it is flying in regards to Firespout. It's also quite cool that it's a Faerie, even though it isn't necessary.

Bitterblossom
Hands down the best threat in the deck. It's relevant for both of the deck's faces (tempo and control) and still it's often only played as a three-off. The reason for this is simple, it's basically the same reason Tombstalker is only a three-off: they suck in multiples. Bitterblossom is slightly better in multiples, though, especially against control-variants where you want to win the game as soon as possible, preferably before they can drop their bombs. For Bitterblossom there are more reasons to run the full set than for Tombstalker.

I elaborated this before, it's both tempo- and cardadvantage. You turn one card into several little threats at the cost of two mana and a few life. A turn two Bitterblossom paired up with (free) countermagic (Force Of Will, Daze) can win games on its own. It's also very resilient, and there is not much one can do about it. Your opponent has to remove it instantly after you dropped it, or they're likely to lose the game. Otherwise you still got some tokens out of it, so your opponent didn't actually stop you, they just prevented you from further developing your board. The thing is that you probably developed your board enough. There are basically two cards that are good against Bitterblossom: Engineered Plague and Pernicious Deed. The first one turns Bitterblossom into a rather bad joke, only costing you life turn after turn. The second is not as good as it seems. They have to spend five mana on removing your Bitterblossom and tokens, so that will likely take some time, so that you can find answers to their answers. Stifle for example is quite good against Pernicious Deed.

The fact that Bitterblossom powers out your Spellstutter Sprites also speaks for its inclusion to the deck. In the end it's up to you to decide if you want to run the full set.

3.1.3 Utility & Disruption


//Utility & Disruption
4 Brainstorm
3 Daze
4 Force Of Will
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Stifle
4 Wasteland

These are the core-cards that are left to discuss. Let's look at them.

Brainstorm
Now this is what's called a "format staple". In almost all blue decks in the format you are going to find a set of Brainstorms. There's a reason for this. They help smoothing out your draws; increasing your card-quality significantly. The interaction of Brainstorm and fetchlands (Polluted Delta and the like) is often referred to as being an essential Ancestral Recall. This is not entirely true, but it's a very strong interaction nonetheless. It helps you finding threats or answers in time, and it occasionally helps you hiding your important cards against discard. It can also completely turn the tide when you get unlucky with your draws. You can just cast your Brainstorm and get rid of excess lands or excess threats, powering out your Tombstalker or possibly Ghastly Demise.

I won't elaborate all its uses here. If you play Legacy for some time you know how good it is anyway, and if not, there are several articles on the correct use of Brainstorm, which you should definitely read.

Daze
In a way, this is another format staple. It's a great card on its own, but it also helps us achieving our main goal when playing this deck: creating a tempo-advantage by laying down threats and still be able to deal with your opponents threats, or sometimes handling multiple threats at the same time. Daze can also help smoothing out your landdrops. When you're set back one landdrop, you're technically not going to miss one, and like I said several times before (and probably will repeat a few more times) this deck can operate off of few lands anyway. It has great synergy with most of the cards in your deck. It's awesome when paired with Stifle and Wasteland as your opponent is less likely to have the extra mana to pay for your Daze. It's also pretty good after a turn two Bitterblossom or when paired with Spellstutter Sprite against Zoo for example, when your opponent tries to play around your Daze by casting a one-drop on turn two instead of running headfirst into your Daze or possibly Spell Snare and you counter their first one-drop and then cast Daze on the burn spell they want to use to neuter your Spellstutter Sprite.

Like with Brainstorm, there are quite some articles on this card, and most people should know how it works. A lot of people are running the full set of Dazes, you should always consider doing so.

Note that the threat of Daze is often even more dangerous than you actually having it. This is due to the fact that players often try to play around your Dazes. When you have them in hand, this makes them dead cards (which is usually not even that bad), but when you don't have them, you gained tempo on them without even doing anything about it since they develop slower than they usually would.

Force Of Will
Again, format staple. As you can see, this deck is packing a lot of cards that have proven to be good. And like Daze, this card perfectly fits this deck's playstyle. At the price of one extra card and one life this card gives you an awesome tempo-advantage, allowing you to tap out for removal, threats, or other disruption, but beware of opponent Dazes. You really don't want to waste this card (plus the card you pitched to cast it).

It gives you an out to (essential) turn one kills like double Dark Ritual, Ad Nauseam or stuff like turn one Trinisphere, even though the latter is less common.

Spellstutter Sprite
The reason this deck is often referred to as Tempo Faeries, even though I think this term is inappropriate.

Anyway, this card is one of the reasons for this deck's strength; as it's both, countermagic and a (small) body. Nevertheless, it often gives you an important tempo-boost and multiples of these often result in wins. When you cast the second one, it's often over for your opponent, even when they can't figure that out. But you should have achieved so much tempo- and cardadvantage by then that they won't be able to do much anymore. This card is essential for the deck's success and often makes for really good plays when combined with the other cards of the deck, obviously Bitterblossom, but also Tombstalker. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference when paired with the latter one, but that often means that your clock is going to be one turn faster, which is sometimes crucial for tempo decks, even though this deck has the means to get out of awkward situations.

Stifle
This one is typically played as a four-off, but some lists only pack three of them. Note that a turn one Stifle on a fetchland does not only give you a tempo-boost, but can also really shake up your opponent, especially when paired up with Wasteland, thus resulting in even more tempo-advantages and virtual cardadvantage, as they can't cast all of their spells. Note that even the threat of Stifle can have an impact on the game, as it might make your opponent play around it and then run into your Wasteland, much like with Daze. And speaking of Daze, these two have great synergy as well. Stifle also has synergy with Spellstutter Sprite, allowing you to counter their first spell in a game with Spellstutter Sprite, giving you a massive tempo-boost.

As you can see, the deck has a lot of synergy between its cards.

Anyway, there are more things you can do with Stifle, like countering Qasali Pridemage's ability targeting your Bitterblossom or countering your opponent's Wastelands. The card is not as narrow as some people seem to think.

Wasteland
In a way, this looks like it does the same as Stifle: manascrewing your opponent and thus gaining tempo. In a way, this is right, but manadenial is not the most important factor of both cards. Of course manadenial is strong and can sometimes just win games on its own, just because it's virtual cardadvantage since your opponent can't cast all of their cards. What makes them strong is the tempo you gain off them, and this is where they differ.

You want to use your Stifles as early as possible, preferably on turn one. This way, you get the most benefit; Stifle on an opponent's fetchland sets them back a turn. You traded one for one, and essentially you didn't do anything on your first turn either. But in your turn two you actually are in turn two since you had a (profitable) landdrop, while your opponent will essentially only be in turn one (and possibly be manascrewed). You developed your board while your opponent could not do so.

Wasteland is a bit different. You usually do not want to use it on turn one, it doesn't help you. A turn one Wasteland is nothing but manadenial. It doesn't help developing your board, it sets back both you and your opponent, and if your opponent had a one-drop (Wild Nacatl or Goblin Lackey for example), you played tempo on yourself, your opponent could develop more profitable than you could. So when is the best time to use it? In general the answer is on turn three, after you started actively developing your board, but a turn two Wasteland can often be really strong as well. The reasoning for this is that our deck has a fundamental turn two; what you do on turn two is crucial for the outcome of your games.

Like I stated before, you usually start actively developing your board on turn two; you don't want to delay your Spellstutter Sprite or Bitterblossom, these cards are usually best when played early; you should always seek to play them as early as possible. The best situation to use a Wasteland is after you did something your opponent needs to answer, this way you essentially only set them back a turn because you already did what you needed to do, while they still have to find the (right) answer to it.

Another reason to not use it on turn one is its synergy with Daze. When used on turn one it doesn't increase the strength of your Dazes, but when you already have an island on the battlefield, your Daze becomes stronger, you actively benefit from your Wasteland.

3.2 Additional Cardchoices

3.2.1 Removal
Obviously there's more to the deck than just the core, even though it makes up for most of the deck. Another important part of the deck is its removal-suite. The deck always plays removal, usually 6-7 pieces of mass- and spotremoval combined, but there are lists that play more. The only reason that this is not part of the core is that there are a lot of options. And there aren't only lots of options, the variety of removal actually being played is indeed very wide. Some people only pack spotremoval maindeck, other people play splits of spot- and massremoval. There is no absolutely right thing to do, there aren't even "best" pieces of removal, since it's pretty much of a metagame choice. Playstyle also has great influence, as has the rest of the deck.

3.2.1.1 Spotremoval
Having access to (cost efficient) spotremoval is important in Legacy. You need to deal with cards like Tarmogoyf, Knight Of The Reliquary, opposing Vendilion Cliques and a lot more, for example Goblin Lackeys or merfolk lords. You don't want to lose just because you didn't have the counter at the right time.

I apologise if I don't discuss all choices in detail, but there really are a lot of viable options. Also, due to the fact, that this pretty much depends on your metagame, I won't give any judgement about what to play.

Diabolic Edict
A classic that has suffered from the metagame-evolvements. Due to the aggressive nature of Legacy, this is not commonly played anymore, since most decks with creatures tend to have more than one at a time on the battlefield. It's quite good against Threshold-variants with Nimble Mongoose or decks with Progenitus, but the former are usually packing Spell Snare, waiting to counter your removal, and the latter ones often have a Dryad Arbor to fetch for, as have most Reanimator-lists this card would otherwise be good against.

Fire // Ice
This one has been really good in the past, as it could often create nice cardadvantage, but due to the recent power creep in creatures it has suffered a lot. On the one hand it's pretty bad that your two-mana removal spell can't kill your opponents one-mana Wild Nacatl, but on the other hand it can still be really versatile, so it's always worth looking at.

Ghastly Demise
This is cost-efficient, but conditional removal. You'll find yourself unable to kill your opponents one-drop with it from time to time, but it's really good at killing merfolk lords, especially Coralhelm Commander in response to a level up.

It has a bit of antisynergy with Tombstalker, but its speed makes up for that. Also note that it can't kill black creatures and you sometimes won't be able to kill a Knight Of The Reliquary or Terravore because they're just too big for it.

Lightning Bolt
This card sure is cost-efficient, but like every other piece of removal it has some downsides. It can't kill bigger dudes, but I think its power during the first two or three turns of the game makes up for that. The major downside is that it's red. Against tribal aggro, you neither want to fetch for a dualland on your first turn, nor do you want to fetch for a basic Mountain. This is less important against Merfolk than against Goblins, since you don't need your removal as early against Merfolk as against Goblins, but it's at least sometimes important. If you consider playing Lightning Bolt, you might as well consider Flame Slash, but that doesn't give you any reach and might be subpar due to being a sorcery and thus making you unable to react properly. If you expect a lot of Zoo it's reasonable to include a few maindeck Lighting Bolts, as they really help against their early creatures, but keep in mind that recently more and more Zoo-lists are running Wastelands as well.

Smother
Hits almost every creature in the format for a reasonable cost, but gets hit by Spell Snare. Two mana might sometimes be too slow, but it's definitely worth mentioning. It's almost the same as Terminate, only with a better manacost and with less potential targets. I'd also always play Smother over Go For The Throat as it has more potential relevant targets. It doesn't hit opposing Tombstalkers though, and with more and more Team America lists spiking up, you might want to do the change.

Snuff Out
Snuff Out, compared to other spotremoval, enjoys an awesome tempo-advantage. You can cast it without leaving mana open for it, but this comes with a cost. Often four life is less than what the creature you're going to remove would deal to you, so it's not that much of a downside. You can also hardcast it during the mid-lategame, which kind of makes up for the potential early lifeloss.

It might also be a downside that it can't hit any black creatures, but there aren't much of these in the current meta anyway, basically only Tombstalker and Dark Confidant. If your meta is full of these, you should probably play something else.

Like with Force Of Will, just make sure to not run it into Daze. This might end up killing you.

Terminate
In the past, this has always been the most widely played piece of spotremoval in BitterStalker. Like Diabolic Edict, this is another classic. It kills every creature except for those with shroud or protection from black and/or red. Notable examples for this are Progenitus and Dark Depths tokens, though they are not that common anymore.

Terminate's two major downsides are the colour-requirements (which is not that bad, but still subpar) and the susceptibility to Spell Snare, which is heavily played in the current meta. These are the reasons for more and more people dropping Terminate.

3.2.1.2 Massremoval

Engineered Explosives
Probably the most versatile piece of removal in the format. It hits basically everything, from Chalice Of The Void over Empty The Warrens tokens to Tarmogoyf and back to Sylvan Library. Oh, and it nicely plays around Counterbalance, while still being able to blow it up. Did I mention that it can kill Jace, The Mind Sculptor, given that you have an off-colour dual in your deck?

It's also really good against Zoo for example, since your opponents will often try to play around your Dazes. And in fear of your spotremoval, they might tend to overextend into a crew of Wild Nacatls, Steppe Lynxes and Grim Lavamancers. Really an awesome card.

Firespout
Not as versatile as Engineered Explosives, but still very powerful. It's a key card in winning your tribal-matchups, so you should keep some of them ready if your meta is full of these decks. It also plays nicely with your creaturebase, as it will never hit any of your own creatures. Its only downside is that it doesn't hit any fatties.

Grim Lavamancer
Recursive spotremoval and additional reach. Sadly he doesn't fit the deck and the creatures he's supposed to kill are either to big (Merfolk) or too many to deal with them all (Goblins). He's also not that good against Zoo. The antisynergy with Firespout and Tombstalker (possibly even Ghastly Demise) doesn't help him either. He's indeed pretty good against Enchantress, but that's not exactly a metagame-defining deck. Having Grim Lavamancer as your spotremoval of choice also helps against control variants, as it increases your threat-density.

Umezawa's Jitte
Just like Grim Lavamancer, this is both, recursive spotremoval and a possible wincondition. Just like him, it's better against tribal aggro and worse against Zoo. But unlike Grim Lavamancer, Umezawa's Jitte actually has synergy with your deck. Be it the fact, that your creatures are evasive or that you have recursive token-production (Bitterblossom), this card really benefits the deck, despite being a bit clunky. An equipped Tombstalker is nothing to scoff at and ends games quickly. Even with Spellstutter Sprite it's really good against control-variants; it easily turns all of your creatures into relevant clocks.

3.2.2 Other Cards

This section is probably going to be quite long, as it deals with a lot of different kind of cards, for example cantrips and additional countermagic, but also other utility, like lategame-engines or manlands. This is also the section that is most likely to grow, so maybe you should check it out from time to time.

Jace, The Mind Sculptor
To put it short, he's too slow for BitterStalker. We can't abuse him like other decks can, neither do we want to have like six lands in play to cast him around Spell Pierce. Even if we could actually cast him, we couldn't protect him properly. We don't have effective cardadvantage-engines like control decks have, or virtual cardadvantage like Humility + Moat and the like, so having that many lands means that we haven't drawn enough disruption to defend ourself and/or we haven't drawn enough threats to actually win the game. If this is the case, a Tombstalker would probably the best card we could draw, as we don't have to protect it as we have to protect Jace, The Mind Sculptor.

If there were more true control variants I could see myself packing some of these in the sideboard, though I think that other additional threats like Grim Lavamancer for example would probably be better.

Mishra's Factory & Mutavault
Just quoting myself on this, I think I described it pretty well:

I don't like manlands in this deck. At first, we don't need them. Secondly, they don't fit the deck's playstyle. This deck is pure tempo. This is not control, even though it sometimes plays like control and often plays the control-role. But there's a huge difference in playing control and actually being control. Control wants to drag out the game, because they get better as the game goes on. They have cardadvantage engines and stuff, we don't have anything like this (except you play Jace, The Mind Sculptor, who doesn't fit the deck either, for these exact reasons, or you count Firespout/Engineered Explosives/Umezawa's Jitte as cardadvantage engines). We benefit from manascrewing our opponent and/or out-tempoing them. We often use all our resources, since we want to play (win) as fast as possible, but without having to go all-in. Like I stated several times before, the best play this deck can make is going turn one Stifle a fetchland and turn two drop Bitterblossom with counterbackup (preferably Daze). We also don't need our landdrops as much as control does. This deck is perfectly fine with having three landdrops an entire game. This is basically what I described in regards to Ponder. We want to draw as much actual disruption as possible. When playing Ponder, we might find the right cards more easily, but we don't achieve cardadvantage plus we have to make more landdrops. Essentially this means that we need one more card when we cast Ponder. Mutavault, in a way, has the same problem. It looks like it serves two roles at the same time, but it doesn't. It seems to be mana-producer and wincon at the same time. The mana-producing aspect of Mutavault is almost completely irrelevant, as we almost never need colourless mana anyway. To be a wincon, it needs mana, every single turn you want to attack with it. It costs you one landdrop and requires you to have another landdrop after it to have the same mana as before, essentially costing two cards.

Ponder
In theory, this is a good card. In practice, it doesn't fit BitterStalker, as it slows us down. Just think about what you're going to search for with Ponder. You almost always want to hit some disruption. If you're looking for additional lands, then why do you cast Ponder? You should be keeping mana up for disruption and not tapping out to cast cantrips. This is one of the things you almost never want to do with BitterStalker. Considering you're always going to look for disruption it would be better to just have disruption instead.

Another thing is that Ponder requires you to make additional landdrops in that it is, like Brainstorm, best when coupled with fetchlands, thus making your draws less effective by not letting you use your Brainstorms to full power, since you have to keep fetchlands for future Ponders.

Preordain
This looks a lot like Ponder, but the difference is that it doesn't require you to have a fetchland ready to shuffle away the bad stuff you have just seen. It might be a bit better in the mid-lategame, but you still don't want to tap out early. In general we can say that non-Brainstorm cantrips are rather bad in this deck. Not being able to cast them at instant speed is an important downside.

Spell Pierce
Nice countermagic for one mana. This can help us in a lot different ways. It's main purpose would be to protect our threats, like for example countering the Swords To Plowshares that targets our freshly cast Tombstalker or countering the Force Of Will that's being thrown at our Bitterblossom. It's second important use would be to protect ourselves in countering our opponents Jace, The Mind Sculptor or Ad Nauseam for example. Spell Pierce is a very versatile card, but it's not exceptionally good against control, unless we can resolve an early threat (which should be our main goal anyway), otherwise they're just going to pay that two extra mana.

Spell Snare
Another nice piece of countermagic for one mana. This helps more with out-tempoing our opponents. Against Zoo, you can counter their turn two Tarmogoyf without having to bounce your land (Daze); against other tempo decks you can counter their Tarmogoyf or Dark Confidant on turn two on the play while still being able to pay for Daze. It generally competes for the same slot as Spell Pierce, look at 6.2 Spell Pierce vs. Spell Snare for further insight on that topic.

Standstill
Another card that looks really good in theory. I think it actually has the potential to be good in BitterStalker, but that would slow us down a lot. It also doesn't help that manlands are pretty bad in this deck and we can basically lose to our own Standstill due to one single removal-spell. Way too narrow for this deck, but someone might put it to good use.

3.3 The Sideboard

3.3.1 Sample Sideboard


//Sideboard
3 Firespout
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Ravenous Trap
2 Relic Of Progenitus
3 Spell Pierce

This is my current sideboard. Like I've said before, this is for an open meta. You have something to bring in against basically every deck with this board. Lighting Bolt is a really good card to bring against any form of aggro except maybe Bant variants, which have rather big creatures.

Depending on the kind of aggro you expect in your meta, you cut play around with the Lighting Bolts and Firespout, but Firespout is the best bet if you expect both Goblins and Merfolk; it's not that good against most modern Zoo variants, though (not that you would need it).

If you expect a lot of Goblins, you should consider Engineered Plague instead of Firespout, which is really strong against them, but rather bad against Merfolk, where additional spotremoval is better than Engineered Plague. In this case you could probably cut some of your Lighting Bolts for Red Elemental Blasts or Pyroblasts, which also help against control variants.

If you don't expect a lot of Dredge, cut the Ravenous Traps for Extirpates, which are better against other graveyard-based decks and also help against decks like Show And Tell / Emrakul.

The Spell Pierces are in here because they're pretty versatile in the current meta, but another hardcounter would be better. Again, look at Pyroblast/Red Elemental Blast or perhaps even Negate, it's actually quite strong. Dispel is another option for cheap countermagic, but I always considered it too narrow.

3.3.2 Sideboard Options

Blue Elemental Blast / Hydroblast
These help improving your Goblins matchup, but have only few other uses outside of that. You can bring them in against TES to counter their Burning Wishes for example, but I don't recommend doing so. You rather want some one-mana removal that can't be countered with Red Elemental Blast, as these also help in other matchups. Lightning Bolt comes to mind.

Diabolic Edict
You might want to pack some of these if you're expecting to see a lot of Emrakul, The Aeons Torn and Progenitus. Look at 3.2.1.1 Spotremoval for further explanation.

Engineered Explosives
You should have at least three of these somewhere in your 75. Look at 3.2.1.2 Massremoval to find out why.

Engineered Plague
This card helps against tribal-aggro, but I don't recommend playing them. It's quite strong against Goblins, but against Merfolk they're only good in multiples. When you have two of them, they're really good against them, but only as long as they have less than two lords on the table. If they have, any piece of spotremoval is better.

Extirpate
A silverbullet against Life From The Loam-based decks. You often just win after resolving it against them. It's also quite good against Dredge but be sure to play it right. Look at 4.5 Dredge for further explanation.

In the past it has been really good against Threshold-variants of any kind since you could Wasteland their Tropical Island and then Extirpate it, preventing them from casting any of their threats at all. But recently more and more lists are packing basics and the appropriate fetchlands so it's not as strong as it used to be. I don't recommend bringing it against them anymore, unless you know for sure they don't have basics.

Faerie Macabre
Another piece of gravehate. It's not that good against the most common graveyard-based decks, but in exchange it's really strong against Reanimate since they can do almost nothing about it (except for letting you discard it of course). But considering Reanimate is on the decline, I don't recommend running them, you should rather run Extirpate and/or Ravenous Trap, depending on your meta or what your expecting the meta to be.

Firespout
This is the best card we can bring against tribal-aggro, and it's also quite good against other aggro-decks like Zoo (but only against the faster, one-drop heavy builds). Like with Engineered Explosives, you should have about three somewhere in your 75. Look at 3.2.1.2 Massremoval.

Lightning Bolt
It might look a bit odd to see Lightning Bolt as a sideboard card, but it works really well for me and several other people. You don't need the additional removal maindeck, but it's good to have some of them for your aggro-matchups. Again, look at 3.2.1.1 Spotremoval for additional information.

Mindbreak Trap
If you're really worried about combo (I mean seriously worried) you can run some of these, but in general they're too narrow. Depending on what your maindeck looks like (basically whether you run Spell Pierce or Spell Snare) you usually either want to have Spell Pierce or even Mystic Remora in your sideboard, as they also help against other decks.

Perish / Nature's Ruin
These used to be heavily run, but are rarely seen anymore these days. If you expect a metagame full of Bant-variations, you might want to have some of them in your sideboard, but against all other decks, we usually have better answers in Engineered Explosives and Firespout. It's quite good against Progenitus though. With the recent rise of Zoo decks featureing tons of green fat, these might probably be worth looking into again.

Ravenous Trap
Not counting Relic Of Progenitus, which also has other uses, this is the best card to exile your opponent's whole graveyard in one shot. Just like with Daze and Stifle the threat of this card is often enough to slow down your opponents. Unlike basically every other hatepiece you can bring, they won't see this coming, making it harder for them to play around it.

Whether to run Ravenous Trap or not depends on what you want to beat with it. If it's mainly Reanimate or decks with Life From The Loam, you're most likely better off with Extirpate or Faerie Macabre, but against Dredge Ravenous Trap is just golden.

Red Elemental Blast / Pyroblast
These are mainly good against Merfolk, but they also help against control variants and basically everything with Force Of Will and Brainstorm. But since all of these matchups except for Merfolk are rather good for us, you might want to have additional spotremoval like Lightning Bolt instead.

Relic Of Progenitus
Hands down the best piece of graveyard-hate ever printed. It helps in a lot of common matchups, basically against everything with Tarmogoyf and every other deck that relies on its graveyard as a resource (Dredge comes to mind).

It helps slowing down all of these decks significantly and when paired up with countermagic, it can win games against Dredge, as they won't be able to get into the game at all.

Spell Pierce
This is a quite good sideboard card, much better than it is in the maindeck right now. It helps against quite some decks and is always a strong contender for about three sideboard slots. It competes with Mindbreak Trap and Mystic Remora and is much less narrow than these. Look at 3.2.2 Other Cards and 6.2 Spell Pierce vs. Spell Snare as well.

Jonathan Alexander
12-27-2010, 03:52 PM
4. Matchup Analyses
(Note: Right now, this is focused on my personal testing-gauntlet, these are mostly the current decks to beat, I think this is reasonable. If you want to have any other matchups included, just tell me. These matchup estimations are assuming you're playing something close to the list presented in the beginning of this primer. Even slight changes in the maindeck can have a significant influence on the outcome of your matches.)

4.1 Merfolk
Our countermagic is not as good here as in other matchups because they have Mutavault and AEther Vial. The power of your Stifles depends on their build, but most of the time they're pretty useful, even if you only use them to protect your lands from their Wastelands. Keeping your spotremoval for their Coralhelm Commanders and Mutavaults (which you can also hit with Wastelands), having Firespout for the rest of their creatures and landing early threats are key here. They can't do much against an early Tombstalker backed up with a way to slow them down (spotremoval our Spell Snare if you have it). Our worst card in this matchup is probably Force Of Will since we often can't even counter their stuff and they're able to easily create cardadvantage. Note that you can counter their turn one AEther Vial with it, which can slow them down considerably, especially when paired up with manadenial. This is a stronger play against lists that splash a colour. Force Of Will is not terribly bad though, since we tend to have more life draws than them. It's still the the card I like to see the least here.

Since most builds can't handle resolved Artifacts or Enchantments Umezawa's Jitte comes to mind. It's good with our evasive creatures and they can't do much about it. More spotremoval, for example Lightning Bolt or probably Engineered Explosives would also be good. As long as you have them, bring your Pyroblasts/Red Elemental Blasts.

The last thing that comes to mind is Pithing Needle. It can shut down their AEther Vial, Coralhelm Commander and Mutavault, all of which are key cards in their deck.

Make sure you don't play this matchup to aggressively, you're usually control and they're the beatdown. You should try to control the game and then drop a threat that ends the game quickly; preferably Vendilion Clique or Tombstalker. Don't waste your spotremoval on irrelevant stuff.

All in all the matchup is quite even preboard and slightly favourable postboard. Assuming you have maindeck Firespouts, it's slightly favourable preboard. With non-abysmal hands and tight technical play you should be able to win this matchup. Just force them to overextend into your sweepers, as most lists don't have a way to gain significant card advantage, only few of them are packing Standstill these days. You should then be able to develop a favourable board-position.

4.2 Goblins
Plays out pretty similarly to Merfolk. They have a lot of creatures we often can't counter and a bit of manadenial. With Goblin Lackey and AEther Vial they can often out-tempo us. Instead of countermagic they have more creatures and usually some kind of removal. On top of that, with Goblin Ringleader and Goblin Matron, they have useful cardadvantage.

Again countermagic is worse than actual removal and early threats really help, as against Merfolk we preferably want to cast an early Tombstalker. Stifle is better here than against Merfolk since Goblins is almost never mono red and they have quite some triggers we want to counter, for example Goblin Ringleader's.

Umezawa's Jitte and additional removal, preferably something that deals with early Goblin Lackeys would be nice here as well. Builds with green might bring Krosan Grip, so think twice before you bring in too many Artifacts/Enchantments.

Preboard this is probably our worst matchup amongst the most important decks, but it's not that bad when you have some Firespouts maindeck. If not, you should bring some postboard. This is unfavourable preboard and slightly unfavourable to even postboard.

4.3 Zoo
I actually think that this matchup is better and easier to handle than Goblins, it's basically the best of our aggro-matchups. They're able to deal a lot of damage early but they don't have any way to get cardadvantage except for Sylvan Library (new lists sometimes pack some Elspeth, Knight-Errant, but this is only about traditional Zoo). If they resolve either one, they'll frequently put down additional threads. They have Path To Exile or sometimes Swords To Plowshares for our Tombstalker, burn spells for all of our faeries and Grim Lavamancer and Qasali Pridemage to deal with Bitterblossom. These are basically their most important cards in this matchup, though Tarmogoyf and Knight Of The Reliquary can be quite important as well. If they overextend into one-mana dudes, you have Engineered Explosives or Firespout to slow them down and gain cardadvantage. Firespout is similar to Engineered Explosives but it's a bit slower and less versatile. It can be really nice nonetheless.

Our manadenial plan (Stifle and Wasteland) is very strong in this matchup, and they're quite vulnerable to manascrew.

Our weakest cards are usually Force Of Will and non-Brainstorm-cantrips. Daze might sometimes seem subpar as you don't want to slow down yourself, but it's often quite helpful.

Umezawa's Jitte is not as good here as it is against Goblins and Merfolk since they have loads of removal, but you want to bring additional spotremoval and max out on Engineered Explosives preboard. With Engineered Explosives you can stop an early assault. Some people like to take out Bitterblossom here because of Zoo dealing much damage early and being able to deal the last points of damage with burnspells, but dropping it early often results in wins when paired up with a bit of disruption in the form of Spell Snare and spotremoval. An early Relic Of Progenitus is also quite good against them since it stops a lot of their threats and slows them down considerably. Perish is a card that can easily provide cardadvantage but it's not that heavily run these days. If you have them, think about bringing them.

The matchup is pretty much draw-dependant, but preboard it's even to slightly favourable. Postboard it often looks a bit better for you, as you usually bring in about 4-6 useful cards and they usually don't have much to bring (Red Elemental Blast is not exactly good against us). Tight technical play is often required to win here, but you can sometimes just have the nut hand and stomp them.

4.4 TES
This is one of our better matchups. We have around fifteen counters maindeck, which makes it quite hard for them to resolve game-breaking spells. We also have our manadenial-plan, which can slow them down considerably, as they often spend the first two or three turns casting cantrips. We have Wasteland for their mana-producing lands, but also Stifle for their fetchlands (some lists run basics) and Chrome Moxen (you can Stifle the imprint-trigger). We have slightly less relevant spells than they have, but they need the right combination of them, whereas we usually need a good amount of them. (We have Force Of Will, Spellstutter Sprite and Spell Pierce/Spell Snare, opposed to their 7-8 pieces of disruption plus Infernal Tutor and Burning Wish. They also have a singleton (rarely two) Ad Nauseam.) With a moderately good hand you will often be able to beat them preboard.

Postboard it gets a lot better, as you can get rid of your spotremoval (bring/keep some number of Engineered Explosives, they're pretty useful as they might bring Xantid Swarm or Dark Confidant; it's also good against Empty The Warrens) and get more countermagic or stuff like Mystic Remora.

Slightly favourable preboard, quite good postboard I'd say. Try to drag out games as long as possible, you only get better and your Wastelands often hit them pretty hard, making it easy for you to achieve tempo- and cardadvantage.

4.5 Dredge
I'm not gonna lie, I hate this matchup. Not because they're incredibly strong or something, it's just that this is incredibly draw-dependant. You can sometimes randomly steal game one, but expect to lose it anyway. But when they have bad dredges, you have a good grip, can counter their attempts to go off (they can still slowdredge) and have one or two Stifle(s) for their Narcomoebae, you can win. You really have a lot of dead cards in this matchup, mainly your removal (it will almost never help you, no matter what you're packing), your Spell Snares and, to a lesser extent, your Stifles, though they come in handy from time to time, mainly because of their Narcomoebae and their Cephalid Coliseums. List with maindecked Spell Pierces are slightly better here.

Postboard your chances are much better, it's actually favoured for you. Relic Of Progenitus is usually the best card you can bring against them, backed up with countermagic for their discard-outlets you often just win with it, assuming you get it online on turn one or two. If you're going first you might want to not cast your Relic Of Progenitus on turn one. This way they often think they can safely slowdredge, which buys you at least one turn. For those who think it's not good to bring Relic Of Progenitus because of your own Tombstalkers, it almost never matters, but you can try out Phyrexian Furnace instead, as the first ability is the more important one most of the time. But note that these are worse in other matchups, namely against decks with Tarmogoyf, Knight Of The Reliquary or Grim Lavamancer and the like.

Extirpate is also a good card to bring, but make sure to play it right. That means you shouldn't waste them on your opponents' dredgers but on their business. Their most important piece of business is Ichorid, as it often results in massive cardadvantage for them. Next comes Narcomoeba, it does basically the same as Ichorid, but only once. Like I stated before, it's a good target for your Stifles.

When you play cards that remove their entire graveyard at once (Tormod's Crypt or Ravenous Trap), be sure to use them at the right time. This usually is in response to their Narcomoeba triggers, but can also be in response to their Bridge From Below triggers when they cast Cabal Therapy or Dread Return.

One card they rarely play but that's nevertheless really good against us is Firestorm, as it's uncounterable discard and can destroy multiple Bitterblossom tokens or even Tombstalker.

If you expect to see a lot of Dredge, you should consider playing white instead of red so you have useful removal in the form of Swords To Plowshares, but this is generally a rather bad move overall. By the way, this is another matchup where Engineered Explosives is better than Firespout, simply because it costs one mana less. It can also occasionally draw hate (Ancient Grudge) that would otherwise be thrown at your graveyard hate, but this is unlikely.

Please note that all of this is not me complaining about the brokenness of Dredge, I just don't like how the matches play out. For reference my tournament record against Dredge is something like X-3 or X-2, and I faced a lot of it throughout the year. Maybe I'm going to rewrite this section with less personal opinion.

4.6 Threshold & New Horizons
These matchups basically all play out the same and, like the Zoo matchup, all both require tight technical play and are a bit draw-dependant. It's also a good idea to play first (i.e. win the dice-roll) as you then can fetch for your basic Island (it's often the strongest land to lead with, especially against these decks) without them being able to cast Stifle and threaten them with your own one (and preferably actually have it). Be sure to use your Dazes wisely, you might lose a game or two just because you set back yourself a turn.

You are better at developing a Wasteland-proof, strong manabase than they are and are therefore better in the lategame, as you will often have access to more resources or will be able to use your resources effectively. This is not true against New Horizons, they also have a strong manabase, but in exchange they have less disruption. Their manacurve is quite high though, so your Dazes are somewhat strong here, despite them packing a lot of lands.

These decks usually have more threats than we have, but they're worse than our threats (Terravore is an exception). We also have our Spellstutter Sprites, which can counter gamebreaking spells (Swords To Plowshares, Nimble Mongoose), but make sure to not run them into their Spell Snares or spotremoval. Umezawa's Jitte also gives us a decent shot at outright winning the game. The fact that we're often able to draw more actual business just due to the very nature of our deck is beneficial as well.

Depending on what you're up against you don't want your Spell Snares postboard, as they're often rather dead (this is especially true for New Horizons, they have almost no important spells with a converted manacost of two, except for Tarmogoyf), though they're really strong against the recent UGB Tempo Threshold. Depending on your removal-suite you might want to side out some of it (Ghastly Demise or Snuff Out against UGB Tempo Thresh, burn spells against almost all of them).

What you want to bring is Relic Of Progenitus, it slows them down considerably, and is good against most all of their threats (it kills Terravore by the way). You might also want to have additional Engineered Explosives, as it's efficient, versatile removal (and can hit Nimble Mongoose by the way), just don't run it into their Stifle.
You're definitely the control most of the time, but still be aggressive. Don't tap out until you're sure you can win and focus on handling their threats. This will usually be the way to win here.

(See 5. BitterStalker Compared To Other Tempo Decks for some more insight on this topic.)

4.7 Landstill
Like in most other matchups, it's quite important to land an early threat here. It's also good if you can play a bit of tempo on them, but it isn't necessary. You're definitely the better deck with lower amounts of lands on the battlefield, though. Your major disadvantage here is that you have no means of generating cardadvantage, except for Bitterblossom, which really shines in this matchup. It's good for you that they're likely not going to cast any threats at all (except for Jace, The Mind Sculptor) and they won't be able to block your creatures in general. Sometimes it's a good idea to counter a Brainstorm with a Spellstutter Sprite, but in general that matchup plays out pretty straight forward. Lists with Pernicious Deed are better at dealing with your Bitterblossom, but don't have much against your Tombstalkers except for countermagic and Jace, The Mind Sculptor. Against these lists, it might be a good idea to keep your Stifles in hand for Pernicious Deed instead of throwing them at their fetchlands, considering they probably won't run them into your Stifles anyway.

Postboard you don't have much to bring, except for probably Red Elemental Blast, Pyroblast or Spell Pierce. They're not likely to have anything either so it will be pretty similar to the preboard matches.
All in all its rather favourable for us and when you land an early Bitterblossom, you have almost won.

Sorry for not having tested this matchup extensively, as it's on the decline and I almost never face it in tournaments.

4.8 Counterbalance Top
This is quite good as well, like the Landstill matchups. At first, your Tombstalker usually resolves through their Counterbalance. Secondly you can easily prevent them from resolving said enchantment with your fifteen maindecked counters and your manadenial. Thirdly, lists with maindecked Engineered Explosives have an out to it anyway. The other most important card that you should prevent them from casting is Natural Order, despite you being able to handle their Progenitus or sometimes even outrace it (you're usually dealing more damage early). For decks with Thopter Foundry, just use your Spell Snares. Jace, The Mind Sculptor is not that strong against us, Bitterblossom is constantly creating new creatures and bouncing Vendilion Clique or Spellstutter Sprite doesn't really help them at all. It's quite strong against our Tombstalkers though.

As against most control-strategies, rushing out an early Bitterblossom is really strong here, they usually can't do much about it, unless they have Engineered Explosives, which is easy to deal with.

Don't be too shy with your Spellstutter Sprites, just use them for their Sensei's Divining Tops. You don't have many targets for it at one anyway and this can really help you, as they have lower card quality. Plus it prevents them from looking you out of the game effectively

Postboard it doesn't change much at all. Some of us have Red Elemental Blast or Pyroblast to bring in, others don't. Just bring your Engineered Explosives fi you don't have them maindeck and keep winning.

These matchups are pretty favourable, as they're rather mana hungry and we have mana denial. The also tend to rely on single cards which is nice for decks with countermagic (we have some, by the way).


5. BitterStalker Compared To Other Tempo Decks
This part could as well be the first one of the primer, but it could also be filed under 6. Additional Reading. I believe it deserves its own category because it's quite important to know why you'd want to play this deck over other decks. Since I'm going to compare some of BitterStalker's functions and qualities to those of other decks I don't think it should be in the first section of the primer. You need to know the deck to understand it.

One of the main reasons to play BitterStalker over other tempo decks is its very resilient manabase. Against decks with Wastelands as their only manadenial, you can easily fetch for your basics. Of course this isn't enough, but paired up with the fact that you can cast almost all of your spells off of basic Island and basic Swamp, this makes for a really strong manabase. Other decks don't even have basic lands at all, so this is one of BitterStalker's major advantages when compared to them. New Horizons (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?15244-%5BDTW%5D-New-Horizons) for example has a quite strong manabase as well but they're often running a lot of lands; some lists have up to 23. BitterStalker usually has 19-20 lands, so we have more slots for business. UGw Tempo (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?17600-%5BDeck%5D-UGw-Tempo) is definitely the deck that comes closest to our manabase, not only because the manabase is pretty similar, but also because they have Noble Hierarch to help smoothing out their manabase. This makes their manabase really strong, but it comes with a few sacrifices; like New Horizons they have less slots for actual business, despite Noble Hierarch being a really good tempo card in that it helps developing their board-position in two ways at the same time. Regarding the manabase it's also good for us that we can play removal in the same colour as our threats and therefore have to rely way less on our splash-colour (which is indeed only a splash-colour in BitterStalker).

The next important advantage BitterStalker has when compared to other tempo decks are its threats. The namesake cards, Bitterblossom and Tombstalker are really good tempo cards. Both are cheap evasive beaters that can quickly end the game. What's really good about them is that they don't share any weaknesses, in fact they don't have much in common at all. This is really important when you compare BitterStalker to other tempo decks, as they often need the graveyard as a resource for their creatures. Our creatures don't die to a Relic Of Progenitus, and though it can slow down our Tombstalker, it does nothing against our Bitterblossom. It's hard for our opponents to hate out all of our threats at the same time, and when they focus on one of them, we might come up with the other one instead.

Another reason to play BitterStalker instead of Tempo Thresh (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?13715-%5BDTB%5D-Tempo-Thresh) for example, is that we can more easily develop our board while still disrupting our opponent. Spellstutter Sprite is a good example for this, as is Bitterblossom. I explained this in detail in the main part of the primer, so it should be clear. But it also helps that we have a low manacurve, like most other tempo decks (New Horizons is an exception here).

This sounds pretty nice, but what do other decks play what we don't have access to (or can't profitably play)?

The most obvious thing is the lack of Tarmogoyf. Tarmogoyf is an undercosted beater that fits the concept of tempo decks pretty well. But it doesn't fit our deck well and we have good beaters anyway. There have been lists with Tarmogoyf instead of Tombstalker nonetheless, but this was somewhere in mid 2009 or something (sorry again for the lack of DeckCheck-evidence). When speaking of Tarmogoyf one could also mention the lack of gigantic creatures like Knight Of The Reliquary.

One thing most tempo decks don't have but that you can find in New Horizons and UGw Tempo is Swords To Plowshares. I once said that you need to have a good reason to not play Swords To Plowshares in a blue deck in Legacy and I stand by this statement. Trust me, I'd love to have Swords To Plowshares, but actually we have a good reason to not run it: Firespout. Overall, Firespout benefits our deck more than Swords To Plowshares would, but over time, this might change, due to less tribal aggro for example.

The last major downside BitterStalker has when compared to other tempo decks is the lack of proper Artifact- and Enchantment-removal. Luckily we have Engineered Explosives to make up for that and a lot of countermagic to back that up, but it would still be nice to have a Disenchant-effect that's actually worth playing. Anyway, Engineered Explosives deals with most of them well enough, and stuff like Moat is just irrelevant.


6. Additional Reading
Right now, there won't be much here, but I hope to collect tournament reports, videos and the like here. I'd also like to gather explanations about several cardchoices that compete for the same slot or useful articles in general.

6.1 What splash is best.
The question what to play as the third colour in BitterStalker comes up quite often. The agreed upon answer is red, but there are three other possibilities: white, green and nothing.

First off, we need to think about why (and if) we even want a third colour at all. The reason for this is simple; we don't want to lose our aggro-matchups (Merfolk and Goblins are more important here, we can win Zoo without the splash).

The card that improves these matchups most significantly is Firespout, which is red. Red also gives you access to unconditional spotremoval as well as cost-efficient spotremoval (Terminate, Lightning Bolt). All of these cards are even frequently maindecked, I think this speaks for their power.

When playing white, we would get Swords To Plowshares and Path To Exile, but against tribal we would have to rely on Engineered Plague, which is far from Firespout's powerlevel. We'd also get Enlightened Tutor, which looks quite cool, but BitterStalker is not the right deck for Enlightened Tutor, since it's way too slow for us.

The worst colour to add is green. With green you have access to Tarmogoyf maindeck and Krosan Grip postboard, but that's it. Neither of these card warrants green's inclusion. On top of that we wouldn't even want to play Tarmogoyf; the threats we already have are better anyway, as they're more resilient.

The last option is to play straight UB. Obviously it doesn't give us any new answers, but it's better for our manabase (albeit only slightly), which is the next thing we need to consider when thinking about additional colours as the matchups we need to improve are against decks that have Wastelands. Note that when playing straight UB you usually still want to have an off-colour dual to be able to cast Engineered Explosives for three, so it's really only a slight difference.

Again, the best colour is red if you're looking to have a manabase that's as strong as possible. There are quite some lists that don't even have any red cards maindeck and only utilise red postboard. This is a major advantage when compared to white, where you would definitely want to pack some Swords To Plowshares maindeck. With red, you often only need to cast a single Firespout over the course of a game, so that you can fetch for your Volcanic Island when you need it and then have it Wastelanded without being in big trouble.

6.2 Exploiting Tempo
My mini-article on this topic is here (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?19603-%5BMini-Article%5D-Exploiting-Tempo), I think that it will help you understanding the deck and will improve your performance with a bit.

6.3 Spell Pierce vs. Spell Snare
This is a quite important choice one has to make when playing BitterStalker. I'm just going to quote myself on this:


As for Spell Snare vs. Spell Pierce. I always liked Spell Pierce way better but recently I figured that in the current meta Spell Snare is better to have, much like I recently figured that Engineered Explosives is better than Firespout in the current meta. There are a few reasons for this. The first is Survival. Against them, you want a hardcounter for Survival Of The Fittest, Umezawa's Jitte and whatever else. They easily ramp to 4+ mana, being able to play around Spell Pierce. In this matchup, Spell Snare is obviously preferable.

Then there's Merfolk. They have hardly any important targets for Spell Pierce, basically only Force Of Will and AEther Vial, sometimes Umezawa's Jitte and rarely Standstill. Countermagic is generally rather weak against them, I usually prefer having removal in this matchup. But being able to hardcounter Coralhelm Commander, Lord Of Atlantis and the rarer Standstill and Umezawa's Jitte is nothing to scoff at, especially when it only costs one mana. You see, Spell Snare is better here as well.

Against storm combo (mostly TES), you definitely want Spell Snare over Spell Pierce. They won't run their protection into your softcounters anyway and apart from that the important things you can hit are their tutors and Ad Nauseam (note that you counter Diminishing Returns and Ill-Gotten Gains by countering the tutor they use to set it up). Since it's not that hard for them to play around softcounters, it's pretty good to have a hardcounter for their tutors. They all cost two mana. As a side note, they sometimes bring in Dark Confidant, Spell Snare is good here as well.

Then there's Zoo. Like Merfolk, they hardly play any noncreature spells, especially those which are worth countering. In general you want to counter Path To Exile on your Tombstalker and Sylvan Library. When you can cast Tombstalker, they usually already have the mana to pay for Spell Pierce. Sylvan Library is also another lategame-card, hence it's better to have a hardcounter against it. You see, it's not that important to counter noncreature spells against them. They have a lot of nasty creatures, though. For example Qasali Pridemage, which will eat your Bitterblossom for breakfast. And countering Tarmogoyf is not that bad either. Another matchup where Spell Snare is preferable.

Against Goblins, Spell Pierce is outright awful. You don't need it there, except you want to gamble on you being able to hit their AEther Vial and in turn possibly have dead draws. They sometimes have Warren Weirding, which is actually worth countering, but only as soon as you have Tombstalker or Vendilion Clique as your only creature. Note that this will be in the lategame, where they definitely will have the mana to pay for Spell Pierce. Spell Snare on the other hand is a hardcounter for Warren Weirding and most importantly Goblin Piledriver, Stingscourger and Mogg War Marshall (he can be really nasty, trust me). I'm not saying that Spell Snare is the best card for this matchup, but luckily we have Firespout, Umezawa's Jitte, spotremoval, Tombstalker and a lot of other stuff to deal with them.

In tempo matchups Spell Pierce actually is slightly better, except against UGB Tempo Thresh, where you want Spell Snare for Tarmogoyf and Dark Confidant, most of their other cards aren't really important, since they're either cantrips or countermagic/removal. Now what is more threatening, a threat or a Ponder? Against lists with Tarmogoyf as their only important card with converted manacost of two, Spell Pierce is slightly better.

Against CounterTop variants it depends. Usually you want to hardcounter their Counterbalance or Tarmogoyf or Qasali Pridemage or whatever else they have, but having a counter for Natural Order and Jace, The Mind Sculptor is not bad either. Spell Pierce can also counter Stifle against Dreadstill, which is nothing to scoff at either. In these matchups, we have no clear winner, like in the tempo matchups.

Against other control variants you don't really want either of them. Against variants which still actually play Standstill, you definitely want Spell Snare. Spell Pierce isn't that good here because games often last long against them and therefore they tend to be able to develop a good manabase, being able to pay for Spell Pierce anyway.

Of course these are not all decks you might face, but these are, in my opinion, the most important ones. Against Dredge Spell Snare obviously sucks and Spell Pierce is sometimes quite cool, against Enchantress Spell Snare is slightly better, considering the rise of the new lists which are focused on spells with converted manacosts of two (Living Wish).

6.4 Why this deck shouldn't be called Faeries.
Actually, the reason is simple. This is not a tribal deck. The highest amount of Faeries you will find in BitterStalker is ten, but nine is way more common. Goblins has 30+ Goblins and Merfolk has 20+ Merfolks. These decks are actually depending on their tribe, BitterStalker is not. We would play Vendilion Clique and Bitterblossom even if they weren't Faeries. It's not important for a creature to be a Faerie to work in this deck, we're looking for other qualities, namely utility and the ability to gain tempo.

Like I said, we have nine Faeries. New Horizons has seven Lhurgoyfs. We don't call that deck Tempo Lhurgoyfs, do we? We should rather focus on what actually matters for the deck and calling the deck Tempo Faeries clearly gives a wrong impression of what it might be to someone who doesn't know the deck. Both Bitterblossom and Tombstalker define the deck way more than the fact that it happens to contain a few Faeries.

We also don't have anything in common with the playstyle of other tribal decks, as they're often forced to overextend due to the nature of their decks, their creatures directly influence each other and are often best in multiples.

Nevertheless, this doesn't make Engineered Plague a bad card against us. But this is mainly because it completely stops two of our threats. It's still easier for us than for Goblins to fight through it, though.

6.5 The old thread
Is here (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?10720-%5BDeck%5D-Faeries). Lists similar to our current lists start being discussed around page 14, it's probably quite interesting to read.

GGoober
12-27-2010, 04:31 PM
Nice primer Jona. Really enjoyed it and makes me want to pick up UBr Faeries again (well you say it's not called Faeries but I'll call it that :P). I played UBr and UGr for a few weeks (not extensively) but UBr definitely fit my playstyle. Not playing green, you lose out on Goyf + Grips, but playing black you gain Tombstalker, Perish, Terminate, Engineered Plague even, Extirpate and a lot more option.

In your primer you raised that losing green = losing answers to artifact/enchantment. Red still gives you outs to artifacts, but your sideboard can't be universally condensed with the loss of Grips. However, for Enchantments, I ask you to look into Dystopia. It hits everything that is relevant in Legacy: Enchantress, Humility, Moat (this deck screws Moat), Oblivion Ring, White Stax etc. It doesn't hit Counterbalance but your deck already has many inbuilt resilience against Countertop (Tombstalkers, Sprites that get in via battling CBTop stacks and Mutavault).

Dystopia also serves as a tempo card because when you play it, you are always guaranteed to Edict one of their permanents (usually creature agains Zoo/Bant/Progenitus/Enchantress). Not to mention, the cummulative upkeep is quite a joke when you consider paying 1,2,3 life to destroy 1,2,3 permanents with just an initial 1BB requirement.

Good read, I'll definitely pick this deck up again. I used to run Jittex2 maindeck but often felt they were slow, however I feel that they are still needed since they shore up game 1 matchups against everything if you draw them. It's great against tribal and control, and just super with flyers. The only thing I hate about Jitte is that it always ends up being 6 mana before it does anything (2 to cast, 2 to equip, dude gets plowed, 2 to equip again). But once that phase is over, you win. Sometimes it's just hard to get to that phase and risk losing tempo while you are trying to establish tempo. I was even running Snuff Outs to make up for playing 2 Jittes so that I could free up my mana-usage, but perhaps I can attribute more of my failures to Snuff Out + BBlossom killing myself.

Regardless, good job on the primer! And in my opinion, Tombstalker >>> Goyf. The only thing stopping Tombstalker from being overly played like goyf in Legacy is not really the Delve drawback. It's really its BB that limits it to black-based decks, and we all know how black-based decks aren't too popular outside of control or combo shells.

Uncoordinated
12-27-2010, 06:02 PM
I prefer the term Faestalker over Bitterstalker, but they both have a nice ring to it.

I've been experimenting with a white splash, mostly for Swords, but also for an E. Tutor toolbox. I still think the red splash is much stronger, but here's my list for comparison:


Lands: 18
4 Wasteland
3 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
3 Underground Sea
2 Tundra
1 Island
1 Swamp

Creatures: 9
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendillion Clique

Non-creature: 33
4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
4 Stifle
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Spell Snare
3 Bitterblossom
2 Snuff Out
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Sensei's Divining Top

Sideboard: 15
2 Engineered Plague
2 Spell Pierce
2 Submerge
2 Extirpate
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Thorn of Amethyst
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Mystic Remora
1 Dystopia
1 Engineered Explosives


I recently cut an Extirpate for Thorn in the board, and I've been shuffling around the Tutors from main to side a lot. I think my list is too cute, so I'd love so feedback from you guys. I have much trouble against tribal/aggro without Spout, but I make up for it with better spot removal and a more reliable EE. I just feel like E. Tutor is sacrificing too much CA for the sake of reliability. I removed the Curfews for a more varied maindeck toolbox and additional spot removal.

In reference to the actual ( UBr ) list, I would definitely go for Dystopia somewhere. I too have issues with maindeck'd Jitte, but it really is necessary for certain decks, and the fact that it pairs so well with flying beats ( not even counting Bitter + Jitte interaction ) means it's a definite include. I also maindeck Bolts over Demise in my UBr list, as I find them too conditional. We should be able to chump/counter midgame fatties while we fly overhead.

Jonathan Alexander
12-27-2010, 06:40 PM
First off: Thanks.

About not playing green: I don't think it's a major downside that we don't have access to Krosan Grip. You should maindeck Engineered Explosives anyway, which is way more versatile and also plays around Counterbalance. I agree that both black and red are definitely stronger than green, both colours bring something unique to the deck. Having access to real spot- and massremoval is also a major advantage.
So far I never had any problems against Enchantress. They really don't have much we care about; usually they have like 6-7 cards maindeck we need to counter (lists with Living Wish have more), if we do, they can't win. Just make sure to not run your Bitterblossom into their Elephant Grass and lose to it. If ever find that the matchup gets worse, I'm going to try out Dystopia. But for now, 15 counters +2 Engineered Explosives maindeck has been enough. I might include it in the list of possible sideboard-options (which I still need to write), but personally I haven't had any testing with it since I didn't need it. I don't like its manacost, though, it looks really slow.

As for the white-splash: I think the real problem is that it brings nothing except Swords To Plowshares. I agree with you that it's just too cute (I tested lists with white extensively by the way). Most of white's good sideboard options (Aura Of Silence; Wing Shards) require double white, and this is just not good for the manabase. The Enlightened Tutor package slows the deck a lot, this is not exactly where we want to go. We want to play as much tempo as possible, and if we can't we need to control the boarstate as effiecient as possible. Having an Enlightened Tutor toolbox doesn't help both plans enough I think. If anything, I would go back to a Trinket Mage package, but the last time I had them in my list was almost a year ago, this was when Dredge was really popular in my area (almost half of my tournament matches were against Dredge).

I'm definitely going to write something about which third colour to play, this seems to be something that comes up from time to time.

GGoober
12-27-2010, 06:55 PM
I think red splash is best. Eplague doesn't do best against Tribal outside of Goblins and Firespout can be devastating against Zoo once you've pinpoint your counters on their bigger dudes. I have a friend (Esper3k) who swears by Dystopia, and I can testify to its power. He plays eva so he can power it out early, but that's irrelevant. In fact, the power of Dystopia comes as a lockpiece. You counter (discard/disrupt in the case of eva) most threats, and then put out a Dystopia locking the board out completely while winning the game from there.

It's a pretty terrifying card that so happens to be a non-green deck's answers to relevant enchantments. The only thing you can't answer is countertop, but by then if you haven't been able to get a Bitterblossom/Tombstalker in and losing the counterwar, you just have to accept they had a better draw than you did. I have not played the deck much though (only 3 tourneys total, mix of UBr and UGr) so I won't know best. All this is just me spouting stuff from experience. What's your feedback on Jitte? Yes or no? Would it be good in a meta of tribal, Countertop? I would assume so since it turns every creature into a dumb Jitte equipping creature.

Malakai
12-27-2010, 10:28 PM
Why was the Faeries/Fae Stompy thread closed? This deck has nothing to do with it. I'm looking at about six common cards, plus some islands. Not to mention the plans are about as different as any two plans can be. Even the opening note specifying what the thread is about shows this has nothing to do with Eldariel Faeries.

grahf
12-27-2010, 11:55 PM
The Faerie Stompy thread was not closed. If you want to discuss Tribal Faeries in Legacy (which this deck is not), create a new thread for it.

Malakai
12-28-2010, 01:17 AM
Faerie Stompy isn't Tribal Faeries...

Bardo
12-28-2010, 01:21 AM
Why was the Faeries/Fae Stompy thread closed?

Faerie Stompy (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?16742-%5BDeck%5D-Faerie-Stompy) is still open, it's just buried a couple of pages within this forum. Only the Faeries thread was closed since that would be mostly redundant to this newer thread.

Jonathan Alexander
12-28-2010, 08:08 AM
I slightly updatet the primer, the only real important things are the inclusion of possible sideboard options and something about which additional colour to run. As you can see, I agree on red being the best, as most people do.


I think red splash is best. Eplague doesn't do best against Tribal outside of Goblins and Firespout can be devastating against Zoo once you've pinpoint your counters on their bigger dudes. I have a friend (Esper3k) who swears by Dystopia, and I can testify to its power. He plays eva so he can power it out early, but that's irrelevant. In fact, the power of Dystopia comes as a lockpiece. You counter (discard/disrupt in the case of eva) most threats, and then put out a Dystopia locking the board out completely while winning the game from there.

It's a pretty terrifying card that so happens to be a non-green deck's answers to relevant enchantments. The only thing you can't answer is countertop, but by then if you haven't been able to get a Bitterblossom/Tombstalker in and losing the counterwar, you just have to accept they had a better draw than you did. I have not played the deck much though (only 3 tourneys total, mix of UBr and UGr) so I won't know best. All this is just me spouting stuff from experience. What's your feedback on Jitte? Yes or no? Would it be good in a meta of tribal, Countertop? I would assume so since it turns every creature into a dumb Jitte equipping creature.

The thing about Dystopia is that I don't see any need for it. There are no important enchantments and with 1BB it's a bit too slow for this deck, as we want to be able to operate with as few lands as possible.

Umezawa's Jitte is a solid maindeck card, but I don't think you should run too many of them. I think Bardo had a list with three of them maindecked (sorry if I'm mistaking, this was in July or something), which are too many for my taste, because, as you already pointed out, it's a giant tempo sink. It's still really strong againt tribal and less narrow than Firespout. I really like that it's also quite good against control variants, turning your Spellstutter Sprites into serious threats.

Mr. Safety
12-28-2010, 08:53 AM
I would love to hear your opinions on these particular options:

1) Trinket Mage (allowing for Needles, fetchable Explosives, and fetchable hate like Relics without extending into a white splash.) I've been using it, and it tends to lend itself to a much more control oriented build (gaining advantage in the mid-game) rather than a tempo build (wrecking the early game while still settting up)

2) Riptide Laboratory (I see your real passion is for Curfew...which is nothing short of awesome.) Does Curfew belong in a sideboard? The only real reason to play RipLab would be if you played #1 (Trinket Mage) or if you had a higher land count to accomodate activations. I don't advocate using this, I'm just curious about why it's bad (or how it could be good) if you are using a more controlling build rather than a tempo build.

3) Chrome Mox (I have always used a full playset of Bitterblossoms because of how potent it can be, and I really love a turn 2 BB.) Mox allows the extras to become fodder and accelerate your mana, allowing ridiculous plays like Spellstutter Sprite + Daze turn 1, or a turn 1 Bitterblossom. I'm currently using 2 Chrome Moxes, for reference. It also allows for a turn 1 Trickbind...which brings me to...

4) Trickbind - does it have any use in the sideboard? Is Stifle good enough to functionally play 'more copies' of it?

Thanks!

Jonathan Alexander
12-28-2010, 09:12 AM
I would love to hear your opinions on these particular options:

Sure.


1) Trinket Mage (allowing for Needles, fetchable Explosives, and fetchable hate like Relics without extending into a white splash.) I've been using it, and it tends to lend itself to a much more control oriented build (gaining advantage in the mid-game) rather than a tempo build (wrecking the early game while still settting up)

You've basically said everything that's important about Trinket Mage yourself. It pushes the deck more towards control, and this is its problem. Sure it's nice to have fetchable Relic Of Progenitus and Engineered Explosives, but this is really slow. I used to run this when I first started playing this deck and was testing a lot of things (back then with Cloud Of Faeries and Standstill, more of an UR-list). This is somewhere between control and old fish-lists then, but neither of them are viable in the current meta. Legacy has become way too fast for this of decks.


2) Riptide Laboratory (I see your real passion is for Curfew...which is nothing short of awesome.) Does Curfew belong in a sideboard? The only real reason to play RipLab would be if you played #1 (Trinket Mage) or if you had a higher land count to accomodate activations. I don't advocate using this, I'm just curious about why it's bad (or how it could be good) if you are using a more controlling build rather than a tempo build.

Again, I get where you're coming from, and again the reasoning why it doesn't work that well is simple: it's too slow. Back in 2009 you could easily run stuff like Riptide Laboratory, Sower Of Temptation and a Trinket Mage toolbox, but all of this doesn't work right now since the meta has become way too fast and aggressive, mainly due to the recent power creep in creatures.


3) Chrome Mox (I have always used a full playset of Bitterblossoms because of how potent it can be, and I really love a turn 2 BB.) Mox allows the extras to become fodder and accelerate your mana, allowing ridiculous plays like Spellstutter Sprite + Daze turn 1, or a turn 1 Bitterblossom. I'm currently using 2 Chrome Moxes, for reference. It also allows for a turn 1 Trickbind...which brings me to...

Nothing is as awesome as turn one Bitterblossom with Daze-backup. But if anything, I'd run Lotus Petal, as you rarely need continuous mana sources, you usually only need to get ahead as early as possible and then proceed to counter their removal and remove their threats. I'm sometimes running a list with Lotus Petal instead of Curfew, but I generally prefer the list with Curfew as it's a bit stronger.


4) Trickbind - does it have any use in the sideboard? Is Stifle good enough to functionally play 'more copies' of it?

Not really. You don't want to keep two mana open for this effect. Not being able to use it on turn one is a huge downside and letting Trickbind eat up sideboard-slots isn't that good either.


Thanks!

You're welcome.

Mr. Safety
12-28-2010, 09:27 AM
Sorry for being an annoyance, but just another short question: Is Curfew sideboard material if you don't run them maindeck?

BTW, the Trickbind question was tied directly to the Chrome Mox question...if you end up using Chrome Mox, you would have the option of making sure you had 5-7 copies of Stifle to make sure it happens turn 1 when it really counts (I read that in your primer, BTW...lol)

Purgatory
12-28-2010, 09:28 AM
I approve of this thread, and it makes me want to toss my CounterTop pieces out the window and start playing Tempo decks again :)

Jonathan Alexander
12-28-2010, 09:48 AM
Sorry for being an annoyance, but just another short question: Is Curfew sideboard material if you don't run them maindeck?

BTW, the Trickbind question was tied directly to the Chrome Mox question...if you end up using Chrome Mox, you would have the option of making sure you had 5-7 copies of Stifle to make sure it happens turn 1 when it really counts (I read that in your primer, BTW...lol)

Whoops, sorry for leaving this out. Depending on what you run maindeck instead of Curfew, you can move it to the sideboard, but I think it's better off in the maindeck. It's a bit like running sideboard Stifles, it feels a bit weird to bring them in if they're not maindeck.
Having both, Trickbind and Chrome Mox / Lotus Petal eats up too many slots I think. Note that with Lotus Petal you can start using your Dazes from turn one on, given that you cast a Bitterblossom. You still have Spell Snare for their two drop then. If you want additional tempo against decks where you want the turn one Stifle (mainly Bant and Zoo) try out Submerge in your sideboard.

Oh, and I agree that tempo is stronger than CounterTop right now since the format's becoming faster and faster.

Purgatory
12-28-2010, 11:10 AM
I might as well share my list as well. This is what I've been tinkering with, and this is probably pretty close to what I'd sleeve up if there was a tournament today.


4 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands
4 Wasteland
1 Island
1 Swamp

4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Tombstalker

4 Brainstorm
3 Ponder
2 Spell Pierce
4 Stifle
4 Daze
4 Force of Will
3 Bitterblossom
2 Smother
2 Terminate
2 Firespout
1 Umezawa's Jitte

Side:
2 Spell Pierce
3 Submerge
3 Lightning Bolt
3 Pyroblast
2 Extirpate
1 Ravenous Trap
1 Tormod's Crypt

As is evident from above, I don't run any Engineered Explosives, but I do run Firespout. I prefer Firespout because Goblins, and their very diverse mana curve is a common deck at most tournaments I play in. The two slots of Firespout in the maindeck could just as well be Engineered Explosives though, it's a metagame call.

I also cut Spell Snare from my list, despite it being MVP for the last two tournaments, because come January 1st, it's main target and the biggest reason for its inclusion will be banned. I have Spell Pierce in there instead, because it goes together well with the whole mana-denial plan, and it can hit stuff that are tough to deal with - planeswalkers for example. It is also decent at stopping TES and other combo decks, and while it is not a hard counter for Infernal Tutor and Burning Wish, it can at least deprive them from some mana, which heavily restricts their possible Tutor/Wish targets, and it can even stop them cold sometimes. I don't expect any decent enough TES pilots to run headlong into Spell Pierce, but the threat of flying 5/5s can disturb some.

The Submerges in the sideboard could also just as well be Curfews or some other stuff. The reason I run Submerge is because they're great against Zoo and green-based creature decks in general and they're a complete beating against Rock, another popular archetype here in Sweden. Other than the above, I guess the list is fairly stock.

Bardo
12-28-2010, 03:41 PM
Jona - The primer is really fantastic work. Excellent stuff.


Umezawa's Jitte is a solid maindeck card, but I don't think you should run too many of them. I think Bardo had a list with three of them maindecked (sorry if I'm mistaking, this was in July or something), which are too many for my taste, because, as you already pointed out, it's a giant tempo sink.

I stand by 3 as the correct number. Yes, it's a tempo sink, but when it sticks, it wins the game against many decks. I'll usually find a way to stick #4 in the board since you can't always count that the first will stick; note too that an opposing Jitte is pretty much murder against Fae, so you'll need to disenchant your opponent's with your own, on occasion.

Mr. Safety
12-28-2010, 03:50 PM
Note that with Lotus Petal you can start using your Dazes from turn one on, given that you cast a Bitterblossom.

How is this different than Chrome Mox?


Oh, and I agree that tempo is stronger than CounterTop right now since the format's becoming faster and faster.

Fully agree. CounterTop is slower on the table than Stifle, and in some cases slower on the table than Qasali Pridemage. CounterTop typically uses NO-Pro (or Goyf for more traditional setups), but it takes a lot of time to get 4 mana ( if ever, against tempo decks like BitterStalker or Tempo Thresh) and maindeck Spell Snare makes life pretty tough. This is where Spell Snare shines, because you don't have to worry about saving it for Force of Will (uh, because it doesn't work...) like with Spell Pierce. This frees up Daze to work over FoW, and Spell Snare stays open for threats. Love it.

bsnake35
12-28-2010, 05:53 PM
How is this different than Chrome Mox?

Lotus Petal doesn't cost you two cards, it costs you one. Chrome Mox needs a card to imprint on it taking away more tempo from a fully-tempoed-out (or should be) deck.

I was going (and still am) to throw my 10 cents into the mix with Jona's explanations of the cards he used but my IE crashed and of course my work wasn't saved. Now I'm doing it in Word and am going to paste it onto IE. Should be done sometime tonight.

Purgatory's list looks a lot like my list. I STRONGLY suggest you try Preordain instead of Ponder. It is way better in a tempo deck.

Jonathan Alexander
12-28-2010, 05:55 PM
Again, thanks Bardo. Do you think the formatting is better now?

I still believe that three maindeck Umezawa's Jitte is quite a lot, but if it works for you, why change it?
When choosing how to split between Umezawa's Jitte, Engineered Explosives and Firespout, I think it's best to consider when we want to see them and in which matchups they're important.

Engineered Explosives is the best sweeper against Zoo and Dredge, as it's the fastest of these cards. You can drop Engineered Explosives for one on turn one, making sure that you can use it on turn two (unless the Zoo player is mean and has Wastelands). Against Dredge it's the best way to deal with their tokens, as it can't be hit by Cabal Therapy and works at instant speed. On top of that it's quite useful against other decks as well, this is why I usually tend to have more of these than of the other options.

Firespout is best against Goblins, but it's also quite good against the other decks. Due to the fact that Merfolk lists are packing more and more lord effects, it's getting worse, but it's still incredibly powerful against Goblins, which is one of our worst matchups. Therefore I focus more on being able to beat Goblins than on being able to beat Merfolk.

Umezawa's Jitte is the strongest card against Merfolk, but does almost nothing against Zoo. Against Zoo the problem is not sticking a Jitte but rather sticking a creature; I usually side out Umezawa's Jitte against Zoo and it works well for me. Against Goblins it's basically only good when paired up with Tombstalker, as they have a lot of ways to deal with X/1 creatures, no matter whether they're flying or not (some lists even run Lightning Bolts now).

Keeping this in mind I prefer having 3 Engineered Explosives; 3 Firespout; 2 Umezawa's Jitte. I might cut one of my Firespouts for the third Jitte, but right now I'm reconsidering my gravehate-package. I'm not sure if Extirpate is still worth playing, I might cut them for a split of Ravenous Trap and Tormod's Crypt or something. We'll see how common Loam-based decks will be next year.

By the way, Bardo, are you still actively playing the deck? If so, would you mind posting a recent list? I remember that your old lists were not focusing solely on tempo but also had some control elements, are you still not running Stifle?



As is evident from above, I don't run any Engineered Explosives, but I do run Firespout. I prefer Firespout because Goblins, and their very diverse mana curve is a common deck at most tournaments I play in. The two slots of Firespout in the maindeck could just as well be Engineered Explosives though, it's a metagame call.

I agree that Firespout is better against Goblins, but did you never miss Engineered Explosives? You don't have many ways to deal with Zoo's and New Horizons' bigger creatures outside of Submerge. Your list has a lot of spotremoval (7-10 pieces, depending on the matchup), do you really think you need all of it? If it's a metacall I can fully understand it, but personally I'd rather run Engineered Explosives than Pyroblast.


I also cut Spell Snare from my list, despite it being MVP for the last two tournaments, because come January 1st, it's main target and the biggest reason for its inclusion will be banned. I have Spell Pierce in there instead, because it goes together well with the whole mana-denial plan, and it can hit stuff that are tough to deal with - planeswalkers for example. It is also decent at stopping TES and other combo decks, and while it is not a hard counter for Infernal Tutor and Burning Wish, it can at least deprive them from some mana, which heavily restricts their possible Tutor/Wish targets, and it can even stop them cold sometimes. I don't expect any decent enough TES pilots to run headlong into Spell Pierce, but the threat of flying 5/5s can disturb some.

I don't think it's the time to go back to Spell Pierce yet. The meta will most likely still be quite aggressive and feature a lot of creatures we want to hit on converted mana cost two. What I do think is that Spell Pierce will be a much stronger sideboard card than it has been in the past few months; there might be more control decks which couldn't beat Vengevine Survival.


The Submerges in the sideboard could also just as well be Curfews or some other stuff. The reason I run Submerge is because they're great against Zoo and green-based creature decks in general and they're a complete beating against Rock, another popular archetype here in Sweden. Other than the above, I guess the list is fairly stock.

Not much to say here, if Rock is important in your meta, Submerge probably warrants inclusion.



How is this different than Chrome Mox?

It isn't, I was just too lazy to continue writing Chrome Mox / Lotus Petal. But with Chrome Mox the whole thing will cost you a valuable card, Lotus Petal only costs Lotus Petal. This is why I'd rather run Lotus Petal. We don't need that much mana anyway.

bsnake35
12-28-2010, 10:06 PM
Aside:

I have to respectfully disagree with Jona when he states that this deck shouldn't be called 'faeries'. Everything we use to win, aside from Tombstalker, is a Faerie. Spellstutter Sprite requires another faerie to be any good. There aren't too many things you want to be countering for one mana besides maybe Top and Grim Lavamancer that can really do this deck much harm. Everything is either 2-3 mana. The real selling point for me is that Bitterblossom creates Faeries, is a Tribal Enchantment - Faerie, and happens to be the single best (read: broken) card in our deck besides Brainstorm and FoW. The fact that we don't run 20 faeries is irrelavent. Back in type 2 most Faerie decks ran between 12 and 14 faeries (excluding bitterblossom). Also, 'FaeStalker' sounds cooler than 'BitterStalker' imo :tongue:

/aside

My decklist as it stands:

4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Vendilion Clique
2x Tombstalker
4x Bitterblossom

4x FoW
4x Daze
3x Spell Snare
4x Stifle
4x Brainstorm
3x Preordain
3x Terminate
2x EE
1x Jitte

4x Wasteland
4x Polluted Delta
4x Scalding Tarn
3x Underground Sea
2x Volcanic Island
1x Badlands
1x Swamp
1x Island

Sideboard
4x Lightning Bolt
3x Extirpate
3x Spell Pierce
3x Firespout
1x Jitte
1x EE

The only thing I really don't like about this deck is the fourth Daze. I find that Daze is only good if your opponent isn't expecting it (game 1/game 3) or if they are playing combo. Otherwise it is very easy to play around and really only good before turn 3. I'm still a bit iffy on running 4 Daze but the only other card I can think of to run instead of Daze is EE or a singleton Firespout main. The issue with me running either of these is that Firespout isn't a very good miser card and 3 EEs main makes me want to play Counterbalance with StPs. It just seems too cluttered.

As far as my threats are concerned:

4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Vendilion Clique
2x Tombstalker
4x Bitterblossom

Bitterblossom
I am one of the only people (at least from what I've read in this thread) that is a proponent of running a full playset of Bitterblossoms. The reason for this is threefold: One, I really really want to land a turn 2 Bitterblossom against every single deck I play (except possibly burn, but who plays that? :eyebrow:). Running a full playset gives me the greatest chance of drawing one in my opening 7. Two, I am also a proponent of running out Bitterblossom in multiples early game. (I really don't think they suck in multiples unless for some god forsaken reason you draw 4 but usually you can just BS-fetchland the extras away) If I land a turn 2 Bitterblossom followed by a turn 3 Bitterblossom I win well over 50% of the time because not many decks can come back from something that doubles as a Forcefield and a win condition at the same time.

Think about having 3 Bitterblossoms out (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT PLAY THOUGH :cool:). On turn 7 they better have an answer for them or they die. At the last SCG Open I went to I outraced a combo Rock-depths deck game two with 3 Bitterblossoms. It was all in or I died. He spent 3 turns looking for a Deed but he never found one. Not to mention the virtual card advantage and tempo of two or more Bitterblossoms is retarded. Four turns after you lay the second Bitterblossom your opponent is dead. The third, and probably best, reason is that Bitterblossom doesn't lose to Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Terminate, Diabolic Edict (yes, I still see that in Rock decks), or any other spot removal played in Legacy like Tombstalker does. I win far more games with Bitterblossom than I ever do with Tombstalker. Most of the time I play him he's basically either a Rampant Growth or a 'BB: Exile your graveyard, gain five life'. I'm not saying Tombstalker is bad by any means but he's just not as good as Bitterblossom. About the only thing that makes Tombstalker better than Bitterblossom is that late game he is usually, but not always, a better draw than Bitterblossom is. Bitterblossom is the most resilient card in your deck and an absolute nightmare for any control or opposing tempo deck to deal with.

Spellstutter Sprite (SSS)
Spellstutter Sprite Jona explained well, although I think it should go under the 'threats' section. I'm ridden the back of many a SSS to victory before, especially against slow control decks. 20 turns really isn't THAT long and usually the extra damage SSS does paves the way for an alpha strike of a Vendilion Clique or a Tombstalker.

Vendilion Clique
If only Vendilion Clique wasn't a Legend...Then he'd be an auto-4-of and completely busted.

Tombstalker
I only run two Tombstalkers because I REALLY REALLY hate drawing them in my opening 7. They are basically a pseudo-mulligan because chances are good that they are a dead card until at least turn 4 and this deck really wants action on turns 1 through 4. Tombstalker is a beast late(r) game but unless you draw a lot of cantrips/fetches/wastes early game and can feed his hunger to power him out on turn 3-4.

Control/Tempo:

4x FoW
4x Daze
3x Spell Snare
4x Stifle
4x Brainstorm
3x Preordain
3x Terminate
2x EE
1x Jitte

Force of Will
If you are running enough other blue cards to support it (15+) they are an auto 4 of, but you knew that if you were playing Legacy right? :eek:

Daze
As I said above, I really can't tell if I want to run 3 or 4 Daze. 4 Daze seems a little much to me since they are basically dead draws after turn 5 most games, but like Bitterblossom I REALLY want one in my opening hand. I'm going to stick with 4 right now until I find a suitable replacement for the 4th one.

Spell Snare
Unless people stop playing Goyf/Counterbalance/Infernal Tutor/Quasali Pridemage/Dark Confidant/Jitte/EE/whatever other two-drop that's good I'm not going to ever have less than 2 in my main deck again. Spell Pierce is more of a matchup-dependent card, Spell Snare hard-counters pretty much every major threat for U.

Stifle
I'm a strong believer of running 4 Stifles or none at all. Also, if you are blue the only time you should run Wasteland (besides possibly Landstill that runs Crucible) is if you run a playset of Stifles as well because they compliment each other so well. Like Jona said "The card is not as narrow as some people seem to think." It randomly wins by itself.

Brainstorm
"BS"; the card's name says it all.

Preordain
I'm going to refer to what I already said about it, and expound a bit more:
"Also, at least in this deck, I believe Preordain is FAR superior to Ponder. It smoothes out your draws so nicely and I have no qualms with waiting until after turn 1 to cast it so I keep mana open for Stifle/Spell Snare. With Ponder I revealed crap/crap/business, business/crap/crap, crap/business/crap, etc. too much. If you want to keep the business card, which is usually the case, you have to give your opponent basically a two turn timewalk. If your Ponder was instead a Preordain then, at worst, you would give your opponent a one turn timewalk or even filter out two cards you want to the bottom of your library. Where there is NO possibility of them coming back! Another thing I hated about Ponder in this deck is when I shuffle and my opponent ninja-cuts my deck to give me the same card I didn't want.

Like Jona has been preaching, this is a tempo deck. There is nothing worse than losing two turns because you needed that Jitte or that Tombstalker or that Bitterblossom and didn't want to shuffle it away because of Ponder. I have never been sad to see Preordain in my hand or off a topdeck. In fact, besides Tombstalker, and to a lesser extent Vendilion Clique, I like drawing a Preordain better than just about anything else late game (I suppose I should include BS in the cards above Preordain, but BS is BS after all)."

I can't stress enough how much this card smoothes out your draws. You don't always want a that Bitterblossom/Wasteland/Tombstalker/Jitte so ship it to the bottom. Sometimes you need one land but not two. Take one, ship the other to the bottom. It gives you a lot more versatility than Ponder does and sculpts your hand far better too. This isn't a combo deck, so your should never be digging for 'that one card'. Usually when that occurs you should have probably taken a mulligan in the first place. So much is decided already when playing this deck before turn 5 it's not even funny. Usually you can tell if you are going to win or lose by that time.

Terminate
I like this better than Snuff out for a variety of reasons. The first, and main, attraction is that it kills Bob. If an opponent somehow sticks a Dark Confidant against us for even a single Upkeep most of our tempo and card advantage are lost. The second reason is I don't always want to pay 4 life to make Snuff Out 'free'. Sometimes paying the 4 life to kill a goyf isn't worth it. The third reason is I like to operate this deck off of two lands. Iím aware that this makes Counterbalanceís Ďsoftí lock on the deck a hard one, but with 15 counterspells/mana denial Counterbalance should rarely hit board against Faeries. If it does, EE does a good job of killing it. Like Jona said, its two downsides are it can be countered by Spell Snare (minor inconvenience) and it is multi-colored. But with 8 Fetches the deck shouldnít have a problem getting both colors out.

Engineered Explosives
Unlike Firespout, Iíve never felt that EE was a wasted draw. There are times when Iím sitting with a Firespout in my hand looking down at KotR/Terravore wishing it was an EE. Also, the mana cost can be spread out between turns so in essence it doesnít always have to cost 3 mana all at once like Firespout does. Firespout is in my sideboard as a solid replacement to EE against Goblins and Merfolk.

Jitte
Jitte makes any creature in your deck a threat that has to be dealt with or your opponent will lose quickly. Even a lowly SSS equipped with a Jitte becomes a Weapon of Mass Destruction. I used to run 2 main board but they arenít required to beat most matchups. The ones they shine against, Goblins Merfolk Zoo, I can easily SB another in game 2.

Manabase:

4x Wasteland
4x Polluted Delta
4x Scalding Tarn
3x Underground Sea
2x Volcanic Island
1x Badlands
1x Swamp
1x Island

This is the default manabase Iíve been using for some time now. The only difference is I used to run a Riptide Laboratory. I like it because at anytime I can fetch for any of my colors. The one Badlands has been an all star in many-a-game where I lead out with a fetched Island and need both Black and Red. Iíve tried it as a mountain but I donít like drawing one in my opening hand since it casts literally 3 spells in my entire deck game 1. Some people like cutting this down to 19 lands but I feel I get manascrewed too many games so I upped the Scalding Tarn count from 3 to 4. This could just as easily be a Mountain if someone wanted to have all 3 colors available as basics to fetch for.

Sideboard:
4x Lightning Bolt
3x Extirpate
3x Spell Pierce
3x Firespout
1x Jitte

The Lightning bolts come in against decks with Aether Vial. If a Vial hits board against our deck itís pretty decimating because it makes most of our counters worthless. It also gives the deck more reach against decks with a fast clock such as Goblins and even sometimes Storm if people get too greedy with their Ad Nauseum.

Extirpates are a trump card against Loam/Reanimator/Dredge. I feel they are better because they target and against most of the matchups where Relic is good, Extirpate is just as good, if not better because itís uncounterable.

Spell Pierce is an easy substitute for Daze Games 2 and 3 if needed. I really like it against storm and belcher because it forces them to play around yet another counter spell. Itís also quite good against Counterbalance/Tempo/Landstill. Countering a Turn 2 main phase Brainstorm is usually pretty good for 1 mana because most players will only BS during their main phase on turn 2 if they didnít find another land. Quite a blowout, Iíve done it on a couple occasions.

Firespout comes in against Goblins and Merfolk. Against Zoo usually EE is better because most of their threats cost 2 and if they run KotR you wonít be able to Firespout it away.

The last Jitte comes in against Goblins and Merfolk for sure. Sometimes it is a good replacement for Daze against Zoo if they go first game 2. I also randomly bring it in against decks that have no way to deal with artifacts and slow control decks to give my little 1/1s some stopping power.

That was a lot of writing and Iím sure I missed some stuff. I should be an active poster and I plan on playing Faeries at many upcoming tournaments. Iíll even try to make a tournament report or two.

Jonathan Alexander
12-29-2010, 06:21 AM
First off, I agree with most of what you said, so I'm only going to talk about the parts where I disagree or want to add something.


Aside:

I have to respectfully disagree with Jona when he states that this deck shouldn't be called 'faeries'. Everything we use to win, aside from Tombstalker, is a Faerie. Spellstutter Sprite requires another faerie to be any good. There aren't too many things you want to be countering for one mana besides maybe Top and Grim Lavamancer that can really do this deck much harm. Everything is either 2-3 mana. The real selling point for me is that Bitterblossom creates Faeries, is a Tribal Enchantment - Faerie, and happens to be the single best (read: broken) card in our deck besides Brainstorm and FoW. The fact that we don't run 20 faeries is irrelavent. Back in type 2 most Faerie decks ran between 12 and 14 faeries (excluding bitterblossom). Also, 'FaeStalker' sounds cooler than 'BitterStalker' imo :tongue:

/aside

Yeah, whatever. It's not as if anyone cares about the name, I just wanted to make clear that I don't like the term Faeries.
But Spellstutter Sprite is pretty strong at one mana as well; it can counter the Swords To Plowshares thrown at your Tombstalker. I'm going to talk about this later.


My decklist as it stands:

4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Vendilion Clique
2x Tombstalker
4x Bitterblossom

4x FoW
4x Daze
3x Spell Snare
4x Stifle
4x Brainstorm
3x Preordain
3x Terminate
2x EE
1x Jitte

4x Wasteland
4x Polluted Delta
4x Scalding Tarn
3x Underground Sea
2x Volcanic Island
1x Badlands
1x Swamp
1x Island

Sideboard
4x Lightning Bolt
3x Extirpate
3x Spell Pierce
3x Firespout
1x Jitte
1x EE

The only thing I really don't like about this deck is the fourth Daze. I find that Daze is only good if your opponent isn't expecting it (game 1/game 3) or if they are playing combo. Otherwise it is very easy to play around and really only good before turn 3. I'm still a bit iffy on running 4 Daze but the only other card I can think of to run instead of Daze is EE or a singleton Firespout main. The issue with me running either of these is that Firespout isn't a very good miser card and 3 EEs main makes me want to play Counterbalance with StPs. It just seems too cluttered.

A nice list, I like it. I think I'm going to try out Preordain instead of Curfew once more since I didn't draw them quite often and therefore don't have a full grasp on how good they are.
About Daze: When running the full set of Bitterblossoms you should run the full set of Dazes. The combination of these two cards on turn two is just so strong, I don't see how you want to miss that. I think you're playing the deck even more aggressively than I do, using your Spellstutter Sprites as early as possible and not keeping them for your Tombstalkers for example. Considering this you really should run the fourth Daze. But I think the best substitute for the fourth Daze is a singleton Spell Pierce. Having a full set of them against storm combo might be better than having a full set of Dazes I guess.


Bitterblossom
I am one of the only people (at least from what I've read in this thread) that is a proponent of running a full playset of Bitterblossoms. The reason for this is threefold: One, I really really want to land a turn 2 Bitterblossom against every single deck I play (except possibly burn, but who plays that? :eyebrow:). Running a full playset gives me the greatest chance of drawing one in my opening 7. Two, I am also a proponent of running out Bitterblossom in multiples early game. (I really don't think they suck in multiples unless for some god forsaken reason you draw 4 but usually you can just BS-fetchland the extras away) If I land a turn 2 Bitterblossom followed by a turn 3 Bitterblossom I win well over 50% of the time because not many decks can come back from something that doubles as a Forcefield and a win condition at the same time.

Think about having 3 Bitterblossoms out (THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT PLAY THOUGH :cool:). On turn 7 they better have an answer for them or they die. At the last SCG Open I went to I outraced a combo Rock-depths deck game two with 3 Bitterblossoms. It was all in or I died. He spent 3 turns looking for a Deed but he never found one. Not to mention the virtual card advantage and tempo of two or more Bitterblossoms is retarded. Four turns after you lay the second Bitterblossom your opponent is dead. The third, and probably best, reason is that Bitterblossom doesn't lose to Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Terminate, Diabolic Edict (yes, I still see that in Rock decks), or any other spot removal played in Legacy like Tombstalker does. I win far more games with Bitterblossom than I ever do with Tombstalker. Most of the time I play him he's basically either a Rampant Growth or a 'BB: Exile your graveyard, gain five life'. I'm not saying Tombstalker is bad by any means but he's just not as good as Bitterblossom. About the only thing that makes Tombstalker better than Bitterblossom is that late game he is usually, but not always, a better draw than Bitterblossom is. Bitterblossom is the most resilient card in your deck and an absolute nightmare for any control or opposing tempo deck to deal with.

I stated this in the primer, if I was going to max out on any of the threats, it would be Bitterblossom. Its resilience is incredible and it's definitely the deck's strongest threat. Any, I don't think rushing out multiples is a good idea. When I draw multiples I usually resolve the first one and then keep the second in hand. When you have one Bitterblossom on the battlefield, your opponent is usually trying to handle it, but when you have two, they're often just overextending and trying to race it, and we can't always stop them.


Spellstutter Sprite (SSS)
Spellstutter Sprite Jona explained well, although I think it should go under the 'threats' section. I'm ridden the back of many a SSS to victory before, especially against slow control decks. 20 turns really isn't THAT long and usually the extra damage SSS does paves the way for an alpha strike of a Vendilion Clique or a Tombstalker.

It's not a threat on it's own, but with Umezawa's Jitte it is. And 20 turns is a lot.


Vendilion Clique
If only Vendilion Clique wasn't a Legend...Then he'd be an auto-4-of and completely busted.

I'd probably still only play two or three, it's the deck's worst threat, despite being one of the most flexible cards in the deck.


Tombstalker
I only run two Tombstalkers because I REALLY REALLY hate drawing them in my opening 7. They are basically a pseudo-mulligan because chances are good that they are a dead card until at least turn 4 and this deck really wants action on turns 1 through 4. Tombstalker is a beast late(r) game but unless you draw a lot of cantrips/fetches/wastes early game and can feed his hunger to power him out on turn 3-4.

I kind of like having one in my opening seven, it means that I know how to set up the game for him. But multiples are pretty bad and you're right that he's usually dead until turn four, so I can fully understand why you max out on Bitterblossom and only play two Tombstalkers.


Stifle
I'm a strong believer of running 4 Stifles or none at all. Also, if you are blue the only time you should run Wasteland (besides possibly Landstill that runs Crucible) is if you run a playset of Stifles as well because they compliment each other so well. Like Jona said "The card is not as narrow as some people seem to think." It randomly wins by itself.

Just one thing: you can run Wasteland without Stifle, just look at Merfolk. What's true is that you want to run Watseland alongside other tempo cards, making its effect asymmetrical.

(I agree with your opinion on Preordain, it's definitely better than Ponder here, as you don't need to have additional fetchlands ready for them to work.)


Terminate
I like this better than Snuff out for a variety of reasons. The first, and main, attraction is that it kills Bob. If an opponent somehow sticks a Dark Confidant against us for even a single Upkeep most of our tempo and card advantage are lost. The second reason is I don't always want to pay 4 life to make Snuff Out 'free'. Sometimes paying the 4 life to kill a goyf isn't worth it. The third reason is I like to operate this deck off of two lands. I’m aware that this makes Counterbalance’s ‘soft’ lock on the deck a hard one, but with 15 counterspells/mana denial Counterbalance should rarely hit board against Faeries. If it does, EE does a good job of killing it. Like Jona said, its two downsides are it can be countered by Spell Snare (minor inconvenience) and it is multi-colored. But with 8 Fetches the deck shouldn’t have a problem getting both colors out.

Try out Smother, it's beautiful. Plus it can be cast off Island + Swamp, which is a major advantage.


Jitte
Jitte makes any creature in your deck a threat that has to be dealt with or your opponent will lose quickly. Even a lowly SSS equipped with a Jitte becomes a Weapon of Mass Destruction. I used to run 2 main board but they aren’t required to beat most matchups. The ones they shine against, Goblins Merfolk Zoo, I can easily SB another in game 2.

Just a small detail: I hate Umezawa's Jitte against Zoo. Against Zoo your favourite threat is usually Tombstalker, and it doesn't need an equipment to be strong, he ends the game on four turns on his own. Just make sure you counter their Path To Exile or Swords To Plowshares.


The Lightning bolts come in against decks with Aether Vial. If a Vial hits board against our deck it’s pretty decimating because it makes most of our counters worthless. It also gives the deck more reach against decks with a fast clock such as Goblins and even sometimes Storm if people get too greedy with their Ad Nauseum.

You should also bring your Lightning Bolts against Zoo since it lets you use your real removal against their Tarmogoyfs and Knight Of The Reliquary.


Extirpates are a trump card against Loam/Reanimator/Dredge. I feel they are better because they target and against most of the matchups where Relic is good, Extirpate is just as good, if not better because it’s uncounterable.

Against Dredge Extirpate isn't enough. Relic Of Progenitus' main use is to shrink Tarmogoyf and Knight Of The Reliquary by the way, so I usually also bring them in against Threshold and most importantly Zoo, this has won me a lot of games. You might want to replace one or two Lightning Bolts with Relic Of Progenitus.


That was a lot of writing and I’m sure I missed some stuff. I should be an active poster and I plan on playing Faeries at many upcoming tournaments. I’ll even try to make a tournament report or two.

I'm looking forward to your reports. I'd like to play German Magic II tomorrow, but I don't think I'll do it as my teammates aren't planning to go there either and I don't want to drive alone and get up at 4AM or something.

jeanbathez
12-29-2010, 07:03 AM
Thank you guys for the good work on this new thread, and a lot of discussion, wondefull !!!

I'am also working on the list, i prefer 4 Bitterblossom ( I think 4 is a must), i also play 4 dazes, i think there is nothing better than play turn 2 BB, than daze your opponents turn 2 play, and the untap with SSS mana up....;-)

I will test the preordains, i think bsnake35 points are very good, i'am not sure about the amount of jitte (1 or 2) and firespout (main or SB)..

Mr. Safety
12-29-2010, 07:59 AM
Lotus Petal doesn't cost you two cards, it costs you one. Chrome Mox needs a card to imprint on it taking away more tempo from a fully-tempoed-out (or should be) deck.

I was going (and still am) to throw my 10 cents into the mix with Jona's explanations of the cards he used but my IE crashed and of course my work wasn't saved. Now I'm doing it in Word and am going to paste it onto IE. Should be done sometime tonight.

Purgatory's list looks a lot like my list. I STRONGLY suggest you try Preordain instead of Ponder. It is way better in a tempo deck.

Lotus Petal doesn't cost you 2 cards...but Mox is reusable. I understand that Petal functions the same (opening up seriously good options turn 1) and it also feeds Tombstalker. I think the difference is that my version is much more aggro-control, meaning I want to have mid-gamecard advantage available, rather than just out-tempo early and beatdown in the mid-game. I basically sacrifice Stifle for a Trinket Mage package. I won't post my list, as it is both budget and plays out in a different way than this deck, therefore not really making it BitterStalker.

I also promote 4 Bitterblossoms, mostly because extra copies allow for Chrome Mox fodder.

The reason I'm spending time in this thread is to weigh options and compare differences between a more traditional aggro/control faeries build and the tempo version that is highlighted here.

Jonathan Alexander
12-29-2010, 08:35 AM
The thing about the tempo lists is that they're probably even more controlling than dedicated control lists. This has to do with a lack of a general answer to what tempo really is and how it shows itself. In general decks are called tempo when they pack Stifle and Wasteland, but tempo has more faces than just this. Tempo does not only work for aggro-control, it works for any kind of deck. When you look at Big Zoo for example, this is clearly an aggro deck. But it's exploiting tempo, and it does so pretty well. I think I'm going to write something about this and work it into the primer, most probably under Additional Reading. I actually wanted to start writing this yesterday, but I was kind of tired and couldn't fully concentrate.
In general you can think of tempo as virtual cardadvantage; it makes you have more options than your opponent has. Is anyone here reading One Piece? If you are, tempo is like Haki. You take something that's already existing and make it even stronger. This is basically the reason we don't see traditional slow-roll control anymore, it just gets crushed by decks that are able to out-tempo them.

planarvoid
12-29-2010, 10:47 AM
I'm falling in love of this deck, i've never seen a man running this deck in my country, i'll probably be the first (Belgium) running the list.
The things I want to do is to integrate lightning bolt maindeck coz in belgium there mainly folk, gobz and zoo, but i don't know what to remove instead.

btw, nice primer jona

Jonathan Alexander
12-29-2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks. Where to place Lightning Bolt depends on what else you want. If you want to have as much removal as possible, you should play them in the flex slots, in which I have Curfew and most others have cantrips. When playing a list with a significant amount of maindecked Lightning Bolts, I recommend playing a list with 16 lands + 4 Wastelands. You could also play them instead of the more expensive spotremoval, i.e. Terminate, Smother, or what else you're playing. It also depends on what massremoval you play, which depends on your meta. If there's a lot of tribal in your meta you probably want to run a few Firespout and Umezawa's Jitte maindeck, but if there's more Zoo, I'd rather run Engineered Explosives and a singleton Umezawa's Jitte. Read post #21 for further explanation, I think this should help you.

planarvoid
12-29-2010, 11:19 AM
nice !!

I'll try it out in few weeks after new year and i'll feed the thread with my test.

Have you already tried the deck into competitive environment?

Jonathan Alexander
12-29-2010, 11:48 AM
Sure I have, but I don't have any impressive results. I think my best result was in January or something when I went 9th at a GPT, but this was with an awkward list (and an awkward tournament for me in general). I usually either lose the first round of each tournament against Merfolk and then get pissed and scrub out the second round as well or I have a good start and then decide to scrub out later on. I think I went 3-1-1 in my last tournament, but I should've won the draw; I was just pissed about losing to Merfolk round one and played like shit in game two. Whatever.
Due to this I didn't play a lot of events during the psat few months and focused on serious playtesting and learning more about magic theory (I started playing Magic again about 1 1/2 years ago and started buying into Legacy about one year ago).
As of late my testing results are quite good and I really think I improved a lot, so I'm looking to start playing more events again (and perform better again).

Purgatory
12-29-2010, 11:51 AM
Purgatory's list looks a lot like my list. I STRONGLY suggest you try Preordain instead of Ponder. It is way better in a tempo deck.

Yeah, another card I simply haven't gotten around to test yet. I can certainly see its appeal vs. Ponder though, but I like Ponder as well because it digs for answers deeper than Preordain (kinda).



I agree that Firespout is better against Goblins, but did you never miss Engineered Explosives? You don't have many ways to deal with Zoo's and New Horizons' bigger creatures outside of Submerge. Your list has a lot of spotremoval (7-10 pieces, depending on the matchup), do you really think you need all of it? If it's a metacall I can fully understand it, but personally I'd rather run Engineered Explosives than Pyroblast.

Not really, EE is very slow and my four spotremovals kill all of NHs creaures, not that I play against that deck very often - I've only seen one other person play it other than me in tournaments around here, and I didn't play against him. Firespout kills everything in Zoo bar Knight and Goyf and those are killed by Smother/Terminate, just like they are against NH.

The reason I run Submerge etc. in the board is that against some Rock decks, having them resolving even a single creature is a big problem. Bolts are very versatile and are good against many, many decks, everything from Goblins to TES (to an extent).



I don't think it's the time to go back to Spell Pierce yet. The meta will most likely still be quite aggressive and feature a lot of creatures we want to hit on converted mana cost two. What I do think is that Spell Pierce will be a much stronger sideboard card than it has been in the past few months; there might be more control decks which couldn't beat Vengevine Survival.

Well, you might be right, the list is nothing rock solid, but I do play against quite a few combo decks in most every tournament I play, and against most decks Spell Pierce is really good.

Bardo
12-29-2010, 12:15 PM
Again, thanks Bardo. Do you think the formatting is better now?

I still believe that three maindeck Umezawa's Jitte is quite a lot, but if it works for you, why change it?
When choosing how to split between Umezawa's Jitte, Engineered Explosives and Firespout, I think it's best to consider when we want to see them and in which matchups they're important.

By the way, Bardo, are you still actively playing the deck? If so, would you mind posting a recent list? I remember that your old lists were not focusing solely on tempo but also had some control elements, are you still not running Stifle?

Yeah, the formatting looks a lot better. Thanks for fixing it. Overall, your primer could be a template on how you these things are organized. Very thorough and logically. I approve. :)

I haven't played the deck in a bunch of months, but here's where I left off.

Grixis Fae
by Bardo and Team Info Ninjas

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Spell Snare
4 Daze

4 Lightning Bolt
3 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Firespout

4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Bitterblossom
3 Vendilion Clique
3 Tombstalker

4 Wasteland
4 Polluted Delta
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Underground Sea
4 Volcanic Island

Sideboard
3 Extirpate
3 Perish
2 Spell Pierce
2 Hydroblast
2 Pyroblast
2 Smother
1 Firespout

I go back and forth on the 3 vs. 4 Bitterblossoms and haven't come around to Stifle. The deck is really a blast to play.

mujadaddy
12-29-2010, 01:12 PM
I like Bsnake & Bardo's lists -- the one I'm working on is about right between them.

I wonder, though, in 4 Stifle lists, whether a single Phyrexian Dreadnought might not be a nice explosive move, perhaps 2 Tombstalker / 1 Dread.

Like...
1 Badlands
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland
//20 Lands

3 Spell Snare
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
4 Brainstorm
2 Preordain
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Stifle
1 Engineered Explosives
2 Jitte

4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Bitterblossom
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Tombstalker
1 Phyrexian Dreadnought

//SB
4 REB
4 Curfew
4 Firespout
3 Spell Pierce

I'm thinking about Thoughtseize, too.

There is something to say for the non-Stifle package, but I recently Stifled the lifelink trigger on a two-life opponent's just-Reanimated Sphinx of the Steel Wind, which would've won him the game without a Stifle. Stifle does some very "Fae" things for you.

...I tend to get impatient playing the deck, though -- dumping my hand ASAP when i should be holding back, waiting to counter things.

Nidd
12-29-2010, 01:36 PM
Lifelink doesn't use the stack anymore. From what I know, it's a static ability now, just like Flying and the like.
Same goes for Deathtouch.

...just for the record.

mujadaddy
12-29-2010, 06:00 PM
Lifelink doesn't use the stack anymore. From what I know, it's a static ability now, just like Flying and the like.
Same goes for Deathtouch.

...just for the record.
Hm, my opponent actually looked up the rule and came back and said it was triggered and said I could. Good to know, though, thanks.

kubalonek
12-29-2010, 06:55 PM
From the Comprehensive Rules (as of Magic 2010)

* 702.13. Lifelink
o 702.13a Lifelink is a static ability. Damage dealt by a source with lifelink causes that source’s controller, or its owner if it has no controller, to gain that much life (in addition to any other results that damage causes). See rule 118.3.
o 702.13b Multiple instances of lifelink on the same object are redundant.

Jonathan Alexander
12-29-2010, 07:16 PM
Nice list, Bardo. But don't you think that you kind of overload on tribal hate? 3 Firespout, 3 Umezawa's Jitte and 4 Lightning Bolt is a bit too much for my taste, I'd rather have some more serious removal in there, like Smother or Terminate. I also think that you really have a lot of threats in there, do you really feel you need that many? I think cutting a Vendilion Clique for the fourth Daze would be a good idea. But apart from that, I really like how streamlined your list is.

About Phyrexian Dreadnought. This is not its home. We want to use our Stifles to play tempo and not hold them back. Using your only Stifle on a fetchland and then drawing a Phyrexian Dreadnought hurts as well, especially when you only run one Dreadnought. It's also not that hard to deal with a resolved Phyrexian Dreadnought, and we really don't want to use all of our resources to protect it. If we were running Counterbalance, things would be different, but as it is, we don't.

By the way, I wrote some lines about tempo, but I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I might write some more, making it an article, but I could also work it into the primer. Basically it's some in-depth information on how to use tempo cards like Daze and Wasteland, backed up with some Magic theory and my definition of tempo. I don't know how interesting my opinion is though. We'll see what I'm going to do with it.

atropos
12-29-2010, 08:33 PM
By the way, I wrote some lines about tempo, but I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I might write some more, making it an article, but I could also work it into the primer. Basically it's some in-depth information on how to use tempo cards like Daze and Wasteland, backed up with some Magic theory and my definition of tempo. I don't know how interesting my opinion is though. We'll see what I'm going to do with it.

This primer couldn't have come at a better time. I played Canadian Thresh and although I was sad to see it fall out of tournament play, I'm thrilled to have discovered Faeries. I'm in the process of building the deck at the moment and I've been enjoying reading all of this information. I really appreciate your new primer, Jona, and I would be happy to read even more about tempo. Great job!!!

Bardo
12-29-2010, 09:57 PM
Nice list, Bardo. But don't you think that you kind of overload on tribal hate? 3 Firespout, 3 Umezawa's Jitte and 4 Lightning Bolt is a bit too much for my taste, I'd rather have some more serious removal in there, like Smother or Terminate. I also think that you really have a lot of threats in there, do you really feel you need that many? I think cutting a Vendilion Clique for the fourth Daze would be a good idea. But apart from that, I really like how streamlined your list is.

Except for the Firespouts, I wouldn't call my removal package "tribal hate." Bolt is multi-modal, hitting TES players that get greedy on life; shaving a turn or two off your win when you're clocking them with Clique; killing Bobs, Nacatls and Hierarchs -- it's really flexible. Jitte I just love having, since it turns even a humble SSS or BB token into a 5/5, helps vs. burn and kills stuff. Jitte on a Tombstalker is kinda overkill, but really intimidating. :) Overall, Jitte is good because most of Faeries' creatures are kind of crap on their own.

In metas with more aggro-control and control, I'd drop the Firespouts for EEs.

From the other thread, I'm not a fan of Terminate, since it moves a critical utility (your removal) into both your off-colors. I prefer Bolt, Smother and Ghastly Demise since each of those only requires one mana from an off-color.

Also, I can see dropping Clique #3 for Daze #4; but Clique rocks. Hard.

I also might test a Badlands in place of Volcanic #4, though I'll probably go back the first time I need to mulligan because of it.

bsnake35
12-29-2010, 10:30 PM
I think you're playing the deck even more aggressively than I do, using your Spellstutter Sprites as early as possible and not keeping them for your Tombstalkers for example.

Any, I don't think rushing out multiples is a good idea. When I draw multiples I usually resolve the first one and then keep the second in hand. When you have one Bitterblossom on the battlefield, your opponent is usually trying to handle it, but when you have two, they're often just overextending and trying to race it, and we can't always stop them.


It comes from playing this deck in Type 2 for the duration it was legal. Against different deck types I do different things. That's what is/was nice about Faeries and FaeStalker, it can either be a dedicated control deck, i.e. 'slow', or it can be hyper-aggressive.

Against a slow control, i.e. Landstill, Counterbalance, etc, I run out as many BBs as I can because they just become overwhelmed too fast for them to come back from. Against Zoo I probably wouldn't run out multiples. It also depends on what other cards I have in my hand. If it is a hand full of counters I usually run out multiples and just counter the stuff that can kill em, EE or Quasali Pridemage usually. Like I said, and most people already know, it's really hard to win against an active BB, even in Legacy.



And 20 turns is a lot.


I was joking.




Try out Smother, it's beautiful. Plus it can be cast off Island + Swamp, which is a major advantage.


I've used Smother in other decks way back in the day when Psychatog was still heavily played in Legacy. I like it, but I won't have enough time to test it before the next major tournament I play in. So if it ain't broke, don't fix it =) I've been screwed over in the past changing the removal in a deck the day before.

The only thing that completely made sense to me was changing out Firespout for EE. I play EE in a TON of my legacy decks. It's amazing. Firespout being a SB card makes way more sense.



Against Dredge Extirpate isn't enough. Relic Of Progenitus' main use is to shrink Tarmogoyf and Knight Of The Reliquary by the way, so I usually also bring them in against Threshold and most importantly Zoo, this has won me a lot of games. You might want to replace one or two Lightning Bolts with Relic Of Progenitus.


I have to disagree, I think a well timed Extirpate bends Dredge over. Also, I think Dredge is a terrible legacy deck (it seems better in vintage, but I don't play that format so I don't know). It's a 100x weaker version of ANT, which I happen to love. Also countering their Breakthrough/Putrid Imp/Tireless Tribe and killing your own creature (even a faerie token) after they dredge with a lightning bolt or other such nonsense to remove their bridges from the game totally messes them up. It's kind of like belcher, very single minded and if you mess up their inital thrust they usually can't recover.

Planar Void:

My current record in the last three major (60+ person) tournaments is 14-4-3. I placed 22nd in the Minneapolis SCG that had over 200 people in it (one win away from top 8 with another FaeStalker deck. I misplayed against enchantress so I tied to them and couldn't just draw into top 8; lost to U/G Survival Madness because I didn't even know that was a deck at the time so I wasn't prepared for it at all.).

I scrubbed out of one tournament in the 0-2-drop club, and I split top four at another tournament for duals/FoW.

I have 43 lands, ANT, Landstill, Counterbalance (NO bant, Thopter Foundry, goyf), Canadian Thresh, Bant (Pro bant, NO bant, etc) U/W Tempo, Merfolk, Goblins, Dead Guy...basically have the cards to make just about any Legacy deck (besides Dredge and Belcher) and I keep coming back to Faeries for major tournaments. It really is good.

Atropos:

This is the 'next level' of Canadian Thresh. It is much more resilient to way more decks. You don't just lose to a Counterbalance lock. You should check out U/W Tempo also if you like tempo decks. It's pretty good as well.

A little aside as far as my experience with Legacy. I've been playing since Legacy and Vintage split B/R lists and became Legacy and Vintage. I have a good deal of experience to pull from.

bsnake35
12-30-2010, 03:35 AM
From the other thread, I'm not a fan of Terminate, since it moves a critical utility (your removal) into both your off-colors. I prefer Bolt, Smother and Ghastly Demise since each of those only requires one mana from an off-color.


I'm just worried about the random creatures decks play in Legacy that cost more than 3.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, or maybe I just can't let go of a card I've used so much in the past. It would make my deck more consistant because pre-sideboard I wouldn't even need a red source of mana ever. I just really like the 'Destroy any creature no matter how much its cmc is' clause the card has.

I guess the creatures I'm really worried about that sees play is Tombstalker, dredge decks, Reanimator decks, post-survival vengevine/ooze decks. Mostly random fringe decks people play.

I'll playtest it hard this weekend and see how many times I can't cast Terminate when I want to and see if those times I could cast Smother. With my manabase if I play it smart that should be slim to none.

mcfarland
12-30-2010, 04:42 AM
Hm, my opponent actually looked up the rule and came back and said it was triggered and said I could. Good to know, though, thanks.

That was me, mujadaddy. Nice to meet you. It's a small... cyberspace?

And, being that I was wrong, I'll put that in my "wins" column. ;) Thanks for the info, Nidd. Goot to know.

Jonathan Alexander
12-30-2010, 06:48 AM
Wow, nice to see so much discussion going on in this threat. And again, thanks for all the kind words. About the tempo thing; I think I'll write an article, and I'm about halfway finished.



Except for the Firespouts, I wouldn't call my removal package "tribal hate." Bolt is multi-modal, hitting TES players that get greedy on life; shaving a turn or two off your win when you're clocking them with Clique; killing Bobs, Nacatls and Hierarchs -- it's really flexible. Jitte I just love having, since it turns even a humble SSS or BB token into a 5/5, helps vs. burn and kills stuff. Jitte on a Tombstalker is kinda overkill, but really intimidating. :) Overall, Jitte is good because most of Faeries' creatures are kind of crap on their own.

In metas with more aggro-control and control, I'd drop the Firespouts for EEs.

From the other thread, I'm not a fan of Terminate, since it moves a critical utility (your removal) into both your off-colors. I prefer Bolt, Smother and Ghastly Demise since each of those only requires one mana from an off-color.

Also, I can see dropping Clique #3 for Daze #4; but Clique rocks. Hard.

I also might test a Badlands in place of Volcanic #4, though I'll probably go back the first time I need to mulligan because of it.

Yepp, you're right. Firespout is the only dedicated tribal hate you're running. I'm just a bit too narrow-minded about Umezawa's Jitte and Lightning Bolt, because they're my boardings against tribal aggro. And yeah, a Tombstalker with an Umezawa's Jitte is about as intimidating as Emrakul.

By the way, I agree with your opinion on Terminate, I really dislike that it's in both of our splashcolours. But both, Ghastly Demise and Smother work really well for me.

I also agree with your opinion about Vendilion Clique, it's really strong. But I think it's BitterStalker's worst threat, despite being one of the most flexible cards in the deck. The reason why I would rather run the fourth Daze is basically just turn two Bitterblossom, which might be the strongest play this deck has. I might go back to the two Tombstalker four Bitterblossom setup; I had the Tombstalker clog my hand way too often yesterday. But I'm afraid I'm not going to see them often enough anymore in my tribal matchups then. I also dislike how much worse it makes the deck against Engineered Plague. We'll see how it works.



It comes from playing this deck in Type 2 for the duration it was legal. Against different deck types I do different things. That's what is/was nice about Faeries and FaeStalker, it can either be a dedicated control deck, i.e. 'slow', or it can be hyper-aggressive.

Against a slow control, i.e. Landstill, Counterbalance, etc, I run out as many BBs as I can because they just become overwhelmed too fast for them to come back from. Against Zoo I probably wouldn't run out multiples. It also depends on what other cards I have in my hand. If it is a hand full of counters I usually run out multiples and just counter the stuff that can kill em, EE or Quasali Pridemage usually. Like I said, and most people already know, it's really hard to win against an active BB, even in Legacy.

Well, I didn't play this deck when it was in Standard since it didn't play at all back then. I stopped playing after I played Gifts Ungiven in Standard (which was a blast to play by the way).

Anyway, the difference between the difference in playstyles this deck has is quite simple. This has to do with whether you're control or beatdown which in turn has to do with fundamental turns. I'm talking about this in my article on tempo, but in general the player whose fundamental turn comes first is the beatdown. With Bitterblossom in hand our fundamental turn is turn two, we usually want to rush it out as fast as possible, preferably with some kind of free counter in hand. When we have Vendilion Clique or Tombstalker in hand, we become a bit slower; our fundamental turn will usually either be turn four or five. Obviously, this changes our playstyle a lot. What's strong about BitterStalker is that it can switch roles easily and we can go back to being control after our fundamental turn.




I have to disagree, I think a well timed Extirpate bends Dredge over. Also, I think Dredge is a terrible legacy deck (it seems better in vintage, but I don't play that format so I don't know). It's a 100x weaker version of ANT, which I happen to love. Also countering their Breakthrough/Putrid Imp/Tireless Tribe and killing your own creature (even a faerie token) after they dredge with a lightning bolt or other such nonsense to remove their bridges from the game totally messes them up. It's kind of like belcher, very single minded and if you mess up their inital thrust they usually can't recover.

Dredge is pretty strong when in the right hands. On top of that, it has the Belcher-like behaviour to just randomly win games. Have you ever played against lists with Bloodghast? They're incredibly stronger than those without. They have almost no bad dredges since they almost always hit some business and they're way more resilient to hate. When testing, I usually play against Bloodghast Dredge. In tournaments I usually don't (my only to losses ever against Dredge were against Bloodghast Dredge by the way).


Atropos:

This is the 'next level' of Canadian Thresh. It is much more resilient to way more decks. You don't just lose to a Counterbalance lock. You should check out U/W Tempo also if you like tempo decks. It's pretty good as well.

I don't think this is the next level of Canadian Threshold. But I agree that it's more resilient than traditional, graveyard-based tempo decks with Tarmogoyf and such. What I do think is that tempo decks are the new face of control. I'm talking about this in my article as well.


I'm just worried about the random creatures decks play in Legacy that cost more than 3.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, or maybe I just can't let go of a card I've used so much in the past. It would make my deck more consistant because pre-sideboard I wouldn't even need a red source of mana ever. I just really like the 'Destroy any creature no matter how much its cmc is' clause the card has.

I guess the creatures I'm really worried about that sees play is Tombstalker, dredge decks, Reanimator decks, post-survival vengevine/ooze decks. Mostly random fringe decks people play.

I'll playtest it hard this weekend and see how many times I can't cast Terminate when I want to and see if those times I could cast Smother. With my manabase if I play it smart that should be slim to none.

Again, the thing about not playing Terminate is that you can operate off of two basics, which is really strong. Terminate really only works well when you have some duals, which you can't always afford to fetch for; you really don't want to play into Merfolk's Wastelands. So far, I've never had problems with my removal-suite. Except for one game against Zoo, when I had Snuff Out in hand and couldn't cast it because of his Gaddock Teeg. I needed another piece of removal for his Knight Of The Reliquary anyway. Which I topdecked in the form of Smother next turn.

Mr. Safety
12-30-2010, 08:02 AM
Just another question:

If you were committed to a 2-color deck (U/b) would Ratchet Bomb be a viable card as opposed to Engineered Explosives to get to the critical mass of 3 (converted mana cost)? It seems really slow...you play it for 2, put a counter on it. Now you're waiting for 3 more turns to pop the thing off. Is Ratchet Bomb even an option? (For reference: I play 2 Engineered Explosives in the maindeck, along with 3x Trinket Mage)

Jonathan Alexander
12-30-2010, 08:26 AM
You should probably still run a one-off off-colour dual to be able to cast Engineered Explosives for three. You're right about about Ratchet Bomb being awfully slow.

By the way, my article on tempo: Exploiting Tempo (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?19603-%5BMini-Article%5D-Exploiting-Tempo).

Squirrel
12-30-2010, 10:44 AM
I have a question about the strategy against Decks like New Horizons. I agree that relic of progenitus is good here. But how is it with tombstalker and ghastly demise? Had someone ever problems with casting tombstalker because of relics?

Jonathan Alexander
12-30-2010, 10:55 AM
Most of the time you're only going to use Relic's first ability, so it rarely matters.

Purgatory
12-30-2010, 11:49 AM
Most of the time you're only going to use Relic's first ability, so it rarely matters.

I haven't tested Relic in this deck, but in Merfolk I find myself blowing it up a la Crypt many times vs. decks like Ichorid.

What decks are you going to board it against and only use the first ability? And please don't say Threshold, I'm talking current decks that are actually competitive (I'm sad that my Mongeese are so bad in Legacy right now :()

Jonathan Alexander
12-30-2010, 11:55 AM
UBG Threshold is actually quite strong right now. Well, probably only today and tomorrow, but is was really strong against Vengevine. It was just a bit boring. Anyway, against Dredge I mainly use the first ability as well, we can usually counter their attempts to go off, and then it's hard for them to recover via slowdredge. I also bring it in against New Horizons and Zoo. Depending on the list, Zoo has 10-12 creatures against which Relic Of Progenitus is pretty good.

alderon666
12-30-2010, 12:33 PM
Didn't read the whole thing, but something I always thought about this deck. Lightning Bolt is a very strong tempo play.

Sure, if your meta is all about Tarmogoyfs and KotRs it might not be that good. But against Merfolk, Zoo and Goblins it's very good!

Just picture the sequence of plays: You're on the play against Zoo. You play and a land and pass with Stifle up. Your opponent plays Taiga and Wild Nacatl. With Bolt in hand you can just kill at EOT and play a Bitterblossom safely on your next turn. If it was a Smother your could do that, but you would take a whole lot of damage.

mujadaddy
12-30-2010, 02:16 PM
That was me, mujadaddy. Nice to meet you. It's a small... cyberspace?

And, being that I was wrong, I'll put that in my "wins" column. ;) Thanks for the info, Nidd. Goot to know.
Yeah, you completely won, then ;) Nice to meet you, too, and nice tricky deck!


my article on tempo: Exploiting Tempo (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?19603-%5BMini-Article%5D-Exploiting-Tempo).
Re: Dreadnought -- yeah, I suppose you're right -- having him in-deck makes me hold onto Stifles and play badly. Out he goes.

Article is fairly good -- Metalwalker's post (#5) is a good compliment to yours.

bsnake35
12-30-2010, 02:21 PM
Anyway, the difference between the difference in playstyles this deck has is quite simple. This has to do with whether you're control or beatdown which in turn has to do with fundamental turns. I'm talking about this in my article on tempo, but in general the player whose fundamental turn comes first is the beatdown. With Bitterblossom in hand our fundamental turn is turn two, we usually want to rush it out as fast as possible, preferably with some kind of free counter in hand. When we have Vendilion Clique or Tombstalker in hand, we become a bit slower; our fundamental turn will usually either be turn four or five. Obviously, this changes our playstyle a lot. What's strong about BitterStalker is that it can switch roles easily and we can go back to being control after our fundamental turn.


You're preaching to the choir here.



Dredge is pretty strong when in the right hands. On top of that, it has the Belcher-like behaviour to just randomly win games. Have you ever played against lists with Bloodghast? They're incredibly stronger than those without. They have almost no bad dredges since they almost always hit some business and they're way more resilient to hate. When testing, I usually play against Bloodghast Dredge. In tournaments I usually don't (my only to losses ever against Dredge were against Bloodghast Dredge by the way).
.

No, I have never played against lists with Bloodghast but I've heard they are slower and more consistant and thus should be easier to beat than Dredge that can randomly 'go off' turn one or two with the correct draws. If you draw a single Extirpate and use it on their business cards, i.e. Bridge, Ichorid, and even to a lesser extent, Dread Return and have a counter for their other plays, which this deck should because it runs something like 17 counters on average it slows dredge down enough to be easily beaten. I've never had a problem with Dredge playing this deck, but I do agree that it can just 'go off' and win randomly which is annoying.

Bardo
12-30-2010, 02:34 PM
Some brewing on the train today.

Esper Fae

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Stifle
3 Daze
2 Ponder / Preordain / Spell Snare

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Engineered Explosives
3 Umezawa's Jitte

4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Bitterblossom
3 Vendilion Clique
2 Tombstalker

4 Wasteland
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta
4 Underground Sea
4 Tundra

SB:
Perish
Gravehate
Peacekeeper
Paths

Any reason we're not playing this? Plow has to be better than Bolt or any of the /b removal.

You could even sub a Tundra for a miser's Karakas -- which is super-tech with Clique.

Alternately:

-4 Stifle
+1 Daze
+3 Spell Snare

bsnake35
12-30-2010, 02:40 PM
Thanks to Jeanbathez for reminding me:

Here is a link, if anyone wants to watch, of me losing against Blake for the top 8 spot of SSG Open Minneapolis.

It wasn't a very well played game, mostly because Magic will be Magic and sometimes you don't draw enough lands. Also, I had never played against U/G Survival so I wasn't prepared for it. That changed rather quickly. This is a video from earlier this year:

http://ggslive.blip.tv/file/4105350/

I love the commentary. All of them never saw this deck before and they thought it autoloses to slow control! :laugh:

bsnake35
12-30-2010, 05:51 PM
Any reason we're not playing this? Plow has to be better than Bolt or any of the /b removal.


I agree Plow is the best there is, but how do you deal with Goblins? That is by far our worst matchup and one that is readily played at many major and smaller tournaments. Firespout seems like a must. You could run Wrath of God in that version or 4 Paths along with 4 Plows but I don't know how the consistancy of the deck would be affected. Also, Wrath would be way too slow. (i.e - One turn most of the time)

Bardo
12-30-2010, 06:29 PM
Agreed. The difference between 2R and 2WW is huge (no sarcasm intended; Wrath is essentially unplayable in this format). My argument is that all of your non-Merfolk, Goblins and Elves match-ups would get better at the expense of the tribal m/u.

Maybe the default splash color for Faeries shouldn't be /r. Maybe the default should be /w, switching to /r in an expected metagame with a lot of tribal decks.

paK0
12-30-2010, 07:14 PM
Played this today:

// Lands
1 [IN] Island (4)
1 [9E] Plains (2)
1 [OD] Swamp (3)
3 [B] Underground Sea
2 [U] Tundra
4 [ON] Flooded Strand
4 [ON] Polluted Delta
4 [TE] Wasteland

// Creatures
3 [FUT] Tombstalker
2 [MOR] Vendilion Clique
3 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite

// Spells
4 [IA] Brainstorm
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [MOR] Bitterblossom
4 [LRW] Ponder
4 [SC] Stifle
4 [NE] Daze
4 [DIS] Spell Snare
4 [4E] Swords to Plowshares
1 [OD] Ghastly Demise

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [ZEN] Spell Pierce
SB: 3 [SHM] Faerie Macabre
SB: 2 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
SB: 2 [9E] Tempest of Light
SB: 2 [FD] Engineered Explosives
SB: 3 [OD] Innocent Blood

3-1 drop (I really don't enjoy Magic much these days)

Beat Reanimator, TES and Goblins, Lost to Merfolk


I'm almost certain now that R > W in almost any metagame. Oh and Sprites are clunky as hell.

You don't loose a lot if you cut W (only Swords, Ghastly Demise is almost as good, the only think it doesn't kill is Confi, but 4 Snares should take care of that.)

I'm not really a fan of Terminate, the format has become so friggin fast that 2 Mana removal is really clunky.

The version I consider the strongest is probably something like :

// Lands
1 [IN] Island (4)
1 [OD] Swamp (3)
3 [B] Underground Sea
4 [ON] Polluted Delta
4 [TE] Wasteland
2 [B] Volcanic Island
4 [ZEN] Scalding Tarn
1 [5E] Mountain (2)

// Creatures
3 [FUT] Tombstalker
2 [MOR] Vendilion Clique
3 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite

// Spells
4 [IA] Brainstorm
4 [AL] Force of Will
3 [MOR] Bitterblossom
4 [LRW] Ponder
4 [SC] Stifle
4 [NE] Daze
4 [DIS] Spell Snare
4 [OD] Ghastly Demise
1 [OD] Innocent Bloodt

// Sideboard
SB: 3 [ZEN] Spell Pierce
SB: 3 [SHM] Faerie Macabre
SB: 2 [DK] Tormod's Crypt
SB: 2 [OD] Innocent Blood
SB: 3 [SHM] Firespout
SB: 2 [AT] Lightning Bolt

You MU against spellbased stuff is great, so I optet for maximum removal in the board to shore up creature MUs.

KevinTrudeau
12-30-2010, 07:29 PM
I've slowly been obtaining cards for a blue tempo deck over the past couple of months, and I've decided to either go with this or a U/Goyf/r midrange tempo variant a la NLThresh. Here's the list I've built and have been testing for a little while on MWS:

3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands
1 Swamp
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Wasteland

4 Bitterblossom- I've tested the 3/3 split with Stalker, and I like 4 Blossoms and 2 Stalkers a lot more.
2 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Umezawa's Jitte- This slot will possibly change a lot over time. -1 Jitte +1 Preordain might just be better.

4 Brainstorm
2 Preordain

4 Force of Will
4 Daze- I like 3 normally since it's a pretty dead draw later on, but as previously stated, it gets a lot better with 4 Blossoms. Would be the third Preordain otherwise.
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Spell Snare
4 Stifle

3 Terminate- Higher potential over Smother's consistency. The removal slot will be heavily tested.
2 Engineered Explosives- I like Firespout more, but EE has more applications game 1, so it gets the nod.

Side:

3 Nihil Spellbomb- As a fairly seasoned Dredge player, I can tell you from experience that Extirpate is the worst threat in terms of graveyard hate. I can understand siding it if you want to fight Loam or something similar, but it only removes 1/3 of Dredge's triad of doom (with a bit of splash damage to the other two). Spellbomb doesn't affect your Tombstalker and cantrips- sign me up.
2 Extirpate- That being said, Extirpate is still grave hate and has a wide variety of uses even though it's card disadvantage most of the time.
4 Ghastly Demise- In my mind, much better than Bolt out of the side since it's not in the splash color, can hit bigger things, and outside of Bob, black doesn't really have anything threatening. I try to keep sideboard cards as to close to one mana as possible (especially in a tempo deck), which is why I wouldn't consider Smother for the side.
3 Spell Pierce
2 Firespout
1 Sower of Temptation- I borrowed this from NLThresh. Goes in against decks that pack big creatures but have either little or no removal- New Horizons, Sneak Show, etc.

Jonathan Alexander
12-30-2010, 07:40 PM
I agree with bsnake35 and paK0, the reason to run red over white is Firespout. It improves our two worst matchups, Goblins and Merfolk. Against Goblins Engineered Plague might actually be better than Firespout, but it sucks against Merfolk, which is a heavily played deck, at least in most metas I play in.

By the way, KevinTrudeau, I like your list, but Lightning Bolt really is better than Ghastly Demise off the board. It's really important that you can use with full power on turn one, and you're running the Badlands anyway.

That being said, I think it's time to pick up the fourth Chinese Bitterblossom again.

Plague Sliver
12-31-2010, 05:31 AM
A hearty thanks to all the contributors to this thread.

Although I am not currently playing this deck, the lessons and theory about card choices and Jona's article about Tempo have definitely helped my game.

Playing another type of "tempo" deck at the moment - Team America - but very interested in taking it in the Bitterblossom direction. It is such a versatile card.

jeanbathez
12-31-2010, 04:57 PM
Thanks to Jeanbathez for reminding me:

Here is a link, if anyone wants to watch, of me losing against Blake for the top 8 spot of SSG Open Minneapolis.

It wasn't a very well played game, mostly because Magic will be Magic and sometimes you don't draw enough lands. Also, I had never played against U/G Survival so I wasn't prepared for it. That changed rather quickly. This is a video from earlier this year:

http://ggslive.blip.tv/file/4105350/

I love the commentary. All of them never saw this deck before and they thought it autoloses to slow control! :laugh:

Thanks bsnake35, have watched the video now (without commentary), may i ask you a few questions here in the thread or per pm ? If you still remind your handcards etc...Its allways interesting, to see other players play the same deck ;-)

bsnake35
12-31-2010, 05:40 PM
Thanks bsnake35, have watched the video now (without commentary), may i ask you a few questions here in the thread or per pm ? If you still remind your handcards etc...Its allways interesting, to see other players play the same deck ;-)

Yeah, you can PM me, but if I don't respond right away, please don't take offense. I get really busy some days.

Other than that. I am almost done touching up my tournament report for that day (I found it, yay!). I'm taking out a lot of the verbage I use with my buddies (ie - the team of guys I play magic with) and making it easier to read. Should be up soon. It's pretty long.

Jonathan Alexander
01-02-2011, 08:09 AM
Has anyone ever tested Opt? In terms of efficiency it's obviously worse than Preordain but bsnake35 and I agree that its flexibility might make up for that.
So before I buy some just to find out they suck I'd like if anyone has some experience with it.

In other news, I think I'm going to a 4 Bitterblossom 2 Tombstalker split as it lets me play more aggressively, especially with my Spellstutter Sprites, as I don't have to save my counters to protect my Tombstalkers that often anymore and can land threats more early in the game. Thanks to bsnake35 and everyone else helping me figure that out.

Volrath
01-02-2011, 11:10 AM
Has anyone ever tested Opt? In terms of efficiency it's obviously worse than Preordain but bsnake35 and I agree that its flexibility might make up for that.
So before I buy some just to find out they suck I'd like if anyone has some experience with it.

In other news, I think I'm going to a 4 Bitterblossom 2 Tombstalker split as it lets me play more aggressively, especially with my Spellstutter Sprites, as I don't have to save my counters to protect my Tombstalkers that often anymore and can land threats more early in the game. Thanks to bsnake35 and everyone else helping me figure that out.

Opt does not dig as deep as ponder/preordain, hoewever being an instant is a huge plus,wich is huge in a tempo orientated deck like this.

I'll test it myself this evening, but i think digging not as deep is a bit can be a huge liability.

Nordvoll
01-03-2011, 06:20 AM
This is my latest take on FaeStalker.

3 Tombstalker
4 Bitterblossom
4 Spellstutter
2 Vendilion C

4 Brainstorm
2 Ponder
2 Daze
4 Force of Will
4 Terminate
3 Lightning bolt
4 Stifle
3 Spell snare
1 Jitte

4 Wasteland
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Badland
1 Swamp
1 Island

SB

3 Spell pierce
4 Extirpate
2 Pithing needle
1 Lightning bolt
3 Firespoute
2 Red elemental blast (Open slots)

Mr. Safety
01-04-2011, 09:37 AM
It's been said a few times about how great Preordain can be, especially as an alternative to Ponder. Opt seems 'meh'.

@Nordvall: I don't think it's smart to play 4x Terminate alongside 3x Lightning Bolt. I would play the Terminates for sure, but most likely only 2-3. In the old faeries thread, it was emphasized (and I totally agree with it) that Daze is your best protection while playing Bitterblossom. Turn 2 BB with Daze backup is probably the best play the deck can make. Play 3-4 Dazes, most likely 4. Maindeck Engineered Explosives is another fairly important ingredient as well, which Jona makes a very compelling case for. Good luck man!

Has anyone tried out Perilous Research in this yet? Seems pretty solid considering you can chump with a token and then sac it for 2 cards.

Jonathan Alexander
01-04-2011, 11:32 AM
Mr. Safety is right, you should really run at least three Dazes (rather four) when running the full set of Bitterblossoms. Running both Lightning Bolt and Terminate is not that bad, but I'd run additional removal in the flex-slots and not instead of Daze. Anyway, you don't necessarily need Engineered Explosives maindeck, but you should have three of them in your 75. Just cut your Ponders for Dazes and your maindeck is fine.

I also think that you don't need the full set of Extirpates and the Pithing Needles anymore. Survival Of The Fittest is banned, you know. You can play three Engineered Explosives instead. I also don't think you need the fourth Lightning Bolt in the board, Umezawa's Jitte is probably better. If you have a lot of graveyard-based decks in your meta, the Red Elemental Blasts could be additional graveyard hate, but we don't really need these slots.

Perilous Research is way to slow by the way. There is no time when we would want to cast it for two mana. If we're in a position where we could profitably cast it, we're most likely winning anyway.

Nordvoll
01-04-2011, 12:22 PM
First of all, sorry for my bad english :b
I agree that Daze is amazing protecting a turn 2 blossom. But dont u guys often end up with a start hand without blossom?
And i find daze to be a dead draw late game. (i used to run 4)

Don't you guys have trouble with this ?

I often find myself trying to waste/stifle lands early game instead.
and/or
terminate/bolt treaths...filling my yard while waiting for a tombstalker/blossom..

I agree that 3 bolt can be situational, but they are rearly useless early game, and i have found them to be a better topdeck than daze late game.
The main reason for running them are merfolk/goblins/zoo, + they hit plainswalkers, and opponents too and that really helps some times.

However i could test -1 lightning bolt + 1 Daze main again. maybee i change my mind :)
I agree about EE SB. Im going to make room for them. and maybe 1-2 smother.

Purgatory
01-04-2011, 01:22 PM
First of all, sorry for my bad english :b
I agree that Daze is amazing protecting a turn 2 blossom. But dont u guys often end up with a start hand without blossom?
And i find daze to be a dead draw late game. (i used to run 4)

Don't you guys have trouble with this ?

Yes, but considering this is a Tempo deck, I'd like to avoid going into the late-game. I play 4 Dazes because the more copies of it I have, the higher the chance is that at least one of them finds itself in my opener. Daze is only good in the very beginning of the game, hence fewer copies of the card in your deck makes it weaker.

Also, 4 Terminates is a lot. I'd play 2, max 3. 4 Blossom is also a lot (notice that Blossom is also often a dead draw later on), since you never want to see more than 1. I'd do the following changes to your list if I were you:

-2 Terminate
-1 Bitterblossom
+2 Daze
+1 Ponder (might want to swap these out for Preordains too, I'm not sure there).

Mr. Safety
01-04-2011, 01:39 PM
First of all, sorry for my bad english :b
I agree that Daze is amazing protecting a turn 2 blossom. But dont u guys often end up with a start hand without blossom?
And i find daze to be a dead draw late game. (i used to run 4)

Don't you guys have trouble with this ?

You want to maximize your chances of Bitterblossom protection on turns 2-4. REMEMBER: excess Dazes can be effective Force of Will fodder. This allows your Brainstorms/Preordains to go so much further, rather than holding onto them because they are the 'worst' blue spell in hand, therefore the obvious choice for Force of Will pitching. Daze is awesome turn 1-3. Turn 4-on, pitch it to Force so you can use Brainstorm/Preordain better. That's my take on the playset of Daze.


I often find myself trying to waste/stifle lands early game instead.
and/or
terminate/bolt treaths...filling my yard while waiting for a tombstalker/blossom..

I think you're trying too hard to cover your first few turns. You're right about Wasteland/Stifle for the early game, but I feel Wasteland activation on turn 1 is sort of a bad play. It would be better to have Stifle/Daze available and an Island to play them, then use Wasteland post-Bitterblossom (or instead of turn 2 Bitterblossom.) This ensures you are gaining momentum while you are halting opposing momentum. I think 3 spot removals maindeck, considering 4x Force/4x Daze, are PLENTY to control a potential threat that gets dropped. I would recommend using 3x Terminate. This allows for lots of more powerful options, like a 2nd Umezawa's Jitte and Daze x3-4. Lightning Bolt is great, but the occasional situation may arise that Bolt just won't cut it for removal, but Terminate would. I'd take the sure thing vs. the basic 3 damage, but that's my opinion.


I agree that 3 bolt can be situational, but they are rearly useless early game, and i have found them to be a better topdeck than daze late game.
The main reason for running them are merfolk/goblins/zoo, + they hit plainswalkers, and opponents too and that really helps some times.

I agree, Lightning Bolt is a great topdeck in ANY stage of the game, honestly. Again, I'd rather have Terminate for a better chance of killing a creature. I would have to say that if planeswalkers are resolving on your opponent's side of the board, you're in serious trouble. Lightning Bolt won't really help you out there. Jace the Mind Sculptor = blue control (so they protect Jace with Daze/Force), Elspeth = Big zoo or Rock (both of which will be hard to beat with a resolved Elspeth...Force of Will THAT). Your best plan is to simply counter the planeswalkers, period. Spell Pierce should come in from the sideboard for these threats, in my opinion. REGARDLESS, one of your best weapons against zoo/fish/gobbos is going to be Engineered Explosives or Firespout, not Lightning Bolt. You have the 3 Firespouts in the sideboard. EE is fantastic at dealing with 2+ threats, letting your counterspells sit in wait for more threatening things (like a resolved Jace/Elspeth)

Jonathan Alexander
01-04-2011, 02:12 PM
Occasionally drawing Daze after turn four is worth being able to cast turn two Bitterblossom with Daze backup. By the way, I recently won a game because of a turn twenty-something Daze on a hardcast Force Of Will while my opponent was at one life (I stifled his Jace ultimate).

Playing four Bitterblossom is totally okay. Forget what I said about diversifying threats and stuff. We usually only need to cast one threat over the course of a game and Bitterblossom is the most cost efficient one.

If you're going to add some Smother, cut Terminate. Smother is better than Terminate anyway. Plus you already have plenty of spotremoval. You don't need even more in the sideboard.

bsnake35
01-04-2011, 04:54 PM
Has anyone tried Thoughtsieze in this deck?

Lots of people swear by Thoughtseize and say it should go into any tempo deck that runs black. I'm not sure if I totally agree with this or not. I haven't gotten a chance to test it out either.

Jonathan Alexander
01-04-2011, 05:44 PM
I already said this to bsnake35, but I'm going to repeat it for everyone else as well. Personally I don't think it fits the deck too well. I prefer being as reactive as possible with this deck; this was also the reason why I was interested in Opt, I don't want to dig for answers beforehand, I'd rather react to my opponent's threats.

Anyway, I didn't test Thoughtseize, but I've played with Duress before, which I didn't like that much, it was only really good against storm. You also can't always use Thoughtseize to create tempo, as your opponent will not always have only a single one-drop (or whatever else drop) or one key card.

I'm also not quite sure what we could cut for it, to me the only flex slots (apart from varying removal) are the slots in which I have Curfew and most others have their additional cantrips.

On top of that, Thoughtseize is just another one-drop that competes with Stifle turn one. What are you going to do if you have both? When you keep mana open you allow them to gain a tempo-advantage when they play something else. If you open with Thoughtseize, they can fetch without fear of Stifle.

Because of this, I think there are three good options for the flex-slots.
1) Go with the additional cantrips and just cast them as late as possible (like we should do anyway).
2) Run some one-mana instant. There are only few viable options, basically only Lightning Bolt and Curfew. But we could also go for Spell Pierce or even Force Spike (which seems awful but might be useful).
3) Play some acceleration. Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox come to mind, but basically Lotus Petal is better, as we generally only have one big turn and are defending us / disrupting our opponent the rest of the time. I'm looking into this again right now, as it worked quite well for me in the past. Must be even better with four Bitterblossom than with only three.

Mr. Safety
01-05-2011, 03:28 PM
I already said this to bsnake35, but I'm going to repeat it for everyone else as well. Personally I don't think it fits the deck too well.

Agreed, so far...


Anyway, I didn't test Thoughtseize, but I've played with Duress before, which I didn't like that much, it was only really good against storm. You also can't always use Thoughtseize to create tempo, as your opponent will not always have only a single one-drop (or whatever else drop) or one key card.

Was this before or after Inquisition of Kozilek was printed? Have you considered/playtested Cabal Therapy?


Because of this, I think there are three good options for the flex-slots.
1) Go with the additional cantrips and just cast them as late as possible (like we should do anyway).
2) Run some one-mana instant. There are only few viable options, basically only Lightning Bolt and Curfew. But we could also go for Spell Pierce or even Force Spike (which seems awful but might be useful).
3) Play some acceleration. Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox come to mind, but basically Lotus Petal is better, as we generally only have one big turn and are defending us / disrupting our opponent the rest of the time. I'm looking into this again right now, as it worked quite well for me in the past. Must be even better with four Bitterblossom than with only three.

In regards to #3, I opted for 2x the 'worse' option of Chrome Mox because I play with 3 Tombstalkers (more than one is good fodder for it) and it's one more outlet for a 'useless' Daze in hand. Lotus Petal, on the other hand, allows for the same speed (turn 1 Bitterblossom) but also opens up a 3rd color for Engineered Explosives without splashing red for Terminate/Firespout. I am fairly committed to a u/b list, so this is definately an option for me, so I can use Smother but STILL get 3 colors on EE.

Jonathan Alexander
01-06-2011, 03:36 PM
I'm not quite sure, but I think it was before Inquisition Of Kozilek was printed. But Duress is better against storm combo, so it doesn't really matter anyway. I never considered Cabal Therapy. That card is only good in decks that can make use of its flashback-ability reliably. We can't.

I also don't really get your reasoning for running Chrome Mox. You run it because it gets rid of excess cards? We're not Dragon Stompy, we don't need to get hellbent. You'll always find a use for additional cards. Plus you really only need the Lotus Petals on turn one to cast Bitterblossom, nothing else. You can sometimes use it to power out turn three Tombstalkers, but this is rather uncommon. The only other thing it does is enabling Engineered Explosives for four against Planeswalkers.

arebennian
01-06-2011, 07:33 PM
Pretty cool...

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=292919

I'm very much a fan. Wish it wasn't a foil.

atropos
01-06-2011, 09:54 PM
Pretty cool...

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=292919

I'm very much a fan. Wish it wasn't a foil.

Yeah it's a cool picture but I'm a fan of Rebecca Guay and don't particularly like foils either.

Volrath
01-07-2011, 06:28 AM
Yeah it's a cool picture but I'm a fan of Rebecca Guay and don't particularly like foils either.

I'm a Guay fan too, but Moellers version is also stunning.
I think ill run a 2/2 split.

Mr. Safety
01-07-2011, 08:15 AM
I'm not quite sure, but I think it was before Inquisition Of Kozilek was printed. But Duress is better against storm combo, so it doesn't really matter anyway. I never considered Cabal Therapy. That card is only good in decks that can make use of its flashback-ability reliably. We can't.

I also don't really get your reasoning for running Chrome Mox. You run it because it gets rid of excess cards? We're not Dragon Stompy, we don't need to get hellbent. You'll always find a use for additional cards. Plus you really only need the Lotus Petals on turn one to cast Bitterblossom, nothing else. You can sometimes use it to power out turn three Tombstalkers, but this is rather uncommon. The only other thing it does is enabling Engineered Explosives for four against Planeswalkers.

I hear you on Cabal Therapy, it works in Dredge, it can work in decks using Kitchen Finks...but not faeries.

You probably don't remember, but I don't own any alpha/beta/revised duel lands (like Underground Sea) so I need to be creative with my mana sources. I use Secluded Glen and Sunken Ruins. I'm TESTING Chrome Mox x2 in the deck to see if it will work. If it doesn't, I'll drop it and try out Lotus Petal.

I appreciate your feedback! THANKS!

Admiral_Arzar
01-07-2011, 11:12 AM
I hear you on Cabal Therapy, it works in Dredge, it can work in decks using Kitchen Finks...but not faeries.

You probably don't remember, but I don't own any alpha/beta/revised duel lands (like Underground Sea) so I need to be creative with my mana sources. I use Secluded Glen and Sunken Ruins. I'm TESTING Chrome Mox x2 in the deck to see if it will work. If it doesn't, I'll drop it and try out Lotus Petal.

I appreciate your feedback! THANKS!

If you're looking for budget duals, use the ones from Scars of Mirrodin. As this deck rarely has more than three lands, their only drawback is they can't be fetched.

Mr. Safety
01-07-2011, 12:36 PM
If you're looking for budget duals, use the ones from Scars of Mirrodin. As this deck rarely has more than three lands, their only drawback is they can't be fetched.

Darkslick Shores isn't as good as Sunken Ruins, mostly because that land can enable either the BB for Tombstalker or the UU for Vendilion Clique (and in my deck's case, the UU for Counterspell)

It's an option, and I think I will replace my Underground River with Darkslick Shores (I am currently using 2 Underground Rivers to get my duel land count up to 8, 2 Sunken Ruins, 2 Underground River, 4 Secluded Glen. the rest is basic islands)

Thanks for the note! Playtesting shall commence... :)

Admiral_Arzar
01-07-2011, 02:19 PM
Darkslick Shores isn't as good as Sunken Ruins, mostly because that land can enable either the BB for Tombstalker or the UU for Vendilion Clique (and in my deck's case, the UU for Counterspell)

It's an option, and I think I will replace my Underground River with Darkslick Shores (I am currently using 2 Underground Rivers to get my duel land count up to 8, 2 Sunken Ruins, 2 Underground River, 4 Secluded Glen. the rest is basic islands)

Thanks for the note! Playtesting shall commence... :)

While Sunken Ruins is good, the reason I don't like it much is if you just have it and one other land, and they waste the other land, you have no colored mana. It is excellent at casting 'Stalker though.

Patrunkenphat7
01-07-2011, 08:10 PM
A major drawback to these budget lands is the inability to use Daze with them. This is a huge factor in a tempo deck.

On another note, I would like to start building this deck. It is fun to play, rewards tight plays, and people don't get sick of playing against decks like this. My playgroup is about 8 people, and they are starting to get tired of my decks, such as Lands... One question I have for you guys: How is Ponder? I don't really like playing a sorcery on turn 1 when I'm playing Spell Snares, Stifles, and Brainstorms, but I feel like it is a crucial card. How many of these do people play?

Jonathan Alexander
01-08-2011, 11:44 AM
If you're looking for budget duals either use the Ravnica ones or use more fetchlands and less real duals. You want to cast your Brainstorms and Dazes with full power. This is most important.

As for Ponder. It's not played much at all. If you're looking for additional cantrips, go for Preordain. It performs way better than Ponder, though I'm not sure if I want to play it at all. It makes me keep hands I would never keep with Curfew, and keeping them because of cantrips often turns out to be a bad decision. Cantrips are bad for your tempo play, I prefer having cards that improve my tempo play. Not quite sure yet what to play in the flex-slots, but I think Curfew fits them best. I haven't done extensive testing with Force Spike though.

By the way, the promo is ugly. It's English, it's foil and the art is way worse than Guay's.

Patrunkenphat7
01-08-2011, 03:57 PM
So I decided not to play any sorcery cantrips, like Jona suggested.

Here is the list that I am now testing:

1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands
4 Wasteland

4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

4 Bitterblossom

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
3 Daze
4 Stifle
3 Spell Snare
1 Force Spike

3 Firespout
2 Terminate
1 Smother
2 Fire // Ice
2 Umezawa’s Jitte

SB
1 Firespout
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
3 Extirpate
2 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Spell Pierce
1 Perish
1 Nature’s Ruin

Some questions people might have:
Why a total of 4 Firespouts?
Goblins and Merfolk are common matchups, and I really want to win them. Goblins seems nearly impossible to beat in 2 out of 3 without Firespout. This card is the #1 best card in these matchups, and it also has many other applications as well. It's easy to board out the Firespouts, as there are some cards in the SB that are amazing against decks that Firespout is irrelevant against.

Why the green sweeps? Aren't there enough sweepers already?
These sweepers play a different role in the deck. I'd like a little extra tech vs. Progenitus as well as big Bant decks. These cards can single-handedly decide those 2 matchups, and I would really like them in the board. It's also generally better than Firespout vs. Zoo players, but that sometimes depends on their list. Not to mention there is a Natural Order Elves player in my playgroup...

Force Spike?
Yeah, I like this card. The fact that I am only running 3 Daze lets me run the Force Spike. I like it because it has applications on both the play and the draw, whereas Daze can be painfully bad on the draw. Force Spike or Spell Snare is what you want to see if you are on the draw, and some amount of this type of card is necessary if you don't want to lose often to the die roll.

Why the chosen manabase?
EDIT: After some testing, I really do not like the basic Swamp. There are extremely few times when I want to fetch for it, and it sometimes screws me over when it is in my hand. The basic Island is very good, but the manabase is flowing better now without the Swamp.

I like this list because Firespout adds some power against the iffy matchups, but the SB Spell Pierces and Red Blasts really make sure that I am going to crush control and combo decks. 2 Jittes help turn my Spellstutters into real threats, and the 2 Fire//Ices can do almost anything depending on the matchup. I really think some number of Spell Snares (or Force Spikes) is needed to help this deck out on the draw, as losing the die roll multiple times can really hurt your chances of winning a tournament with a tempo deck without these cards.

Purgatory
01-09-2011, 11:11 AM
I say cut the Spike for Daze #4 or Snare #4, they're not even comparable.

Patrunkenphat7
01-09-2011, 01:53 PM
I say cut the Spike for Daze #4 or Snare #4, they're not even comparable.

I sort of see where you are coming from on this. I do not think that any of those cards are comparable in the role that they perform, but I think that they are comparable for that slot.

I feel like Daze is just not as good on the draw, and Spell Snare does not hit as much, so seeing it too much and in multiples is not fantastic. I also really do not like seeing Daze in multiples.

Early game Force Spike is like a one mana counterspell, but just like Daze, it's a pretty dead draw late game. Has anyone else actually tried out Force Spike in a small quantity?

Jonathan Alexander
01-10-2011, 05:16 AM
First off, you should really run the full set of Dazes, especially with four Bitterblossom. I really only could see Force Spike in the flex-slots, but not replacing any of the stock counters. You really want that turn two Bitterblossom to resolve whenever you have it; this is Daze's most important role in this deck. Honestly, about one in three Dazes I cast I use to protect my Bitterblossom, and I only run three of them. Having free counters during the first few turns is also really important against basically everything that's not slow-control. Anyway, I can fully understand why you want it; in a way it's like Spell Snare #4 and Daze #4 at the same time, so that's pretty cool.

Though I didn't find the time to test Force Spike instead of Curfew, I must say that I really don't want to play even more cards that are rather bad in the lategame. We want to have as many life draws as possible; this is also the reason why I'm running Spell Snare ove Spell Pierce right now.

Cutting the basic Swamp is really a bad idea. You need to have it against Merfolk and Goblins.

By the way, yesterday I played my worst tournament ever with this deck. Actually I don't even know if I ever performed wose at all. Anyway, I managed to draw against TES (no offense, but he was really slow; he was still mulliganing when the guys next to us started game two) and all my other games were against control. One thing I noticed was that I managed to always lose the attrition wars. I don't really know how to fix this, as my mani problem was not having the wrong answers but mostly drawing into lands (I had several games with all my manaproducing lands on the battlefield) and not drawing threats. Still, I wanted my Curfews to be cantrips in only one game, so I don't think I'm going fo Preodain the next time. On top of drawing miserably, I also played miserably, so whatever.

Cthuloo
01-10-2011, 06:29 AM
By the way, yesterday I played my worst tournament ever with this deck. Actually I don't even know if I ever performed wose at all. Anyway, I managed to draw against TES (no offense, but he was really slow; he was still mulliganing when the guys next to us started game two) and all my other games were against control. One thing I noticed was that I managed to always lose the attrition wars. I don't really know how to fix this, as my mani problem was not having the wrong answers but mostly drawing into lands (I had several games with all my manaproducing lands on the battlefield) and not drawing threats. Still, I wanted my Curfews to be cantrips in only one game, so I don't think I'm going fo Preodain the next time. On top of drawing miserably, I also played miserably, so whatever.

This can usually be fixed by holding the lands until you find a brainstorm. I never play excess lands after the fourth one (which allows for stalker/blossom + stutter and it's probably the maximum reasonable mana requirement for the deck). If you didn't see a single brainstorm... well, that's bad luck.
I don't know if this can be of any help to you, but usually the control matchups can be won by forcing them to play the "beatdown" role. I usually abandon the tempo plan (unless I have some spectacular combination of stifle+waste) and try to keep all the resources to win the relevant counterwar(s). We don't have many relevant threats compared to the number of opponent's removal, so it's usually a better plan to try to land a threat and protect it rather than throwing them on the battlefield one after the other, I've won more than one game against Landstill waiting to sculpt my hand under a standstill and breaking it after scuplting my hand,
Needless to say, the real nightmare for control is bitterblossom, since it's harder to get rid of. I hope I've been of some help.

Jonathan Alexander
01-10-2011, 07:54 AM
This can usually be fixed by holding the lands until you find a brainstorm. I never play excess lands after the fourth one (which allows for stalker/blossom + stutter and it's probably the maximum reasonable mana requirement for the deck). If you didn't see a single brainstorm... well, that's bad luck.
I don't know if this can be of any help to you, but usually the control matchups can be won by forcing them to play the "beatdown" role. I usually abandon the tempo plan (unless I have some spectacular combination of stifle+waste) and try to keep all the resources to win the relevant counterwar(s). We don't have many relevant threats compared to the number of opponent's removal, so it's usually a better plan to try to land a threat and protect it rather than throwing them on the battlefield one after the other, I've won more than one game against Landstill waiting to sculpt my hand under a standstill and breaking it after scuplting my hand,
Needless to say, the real nightmare for control is bitterblossom, since it's harder to get rid of. I hope I've been of some help.

Yeah, this is what I'm usually doing. I only had all the landdrops because my hand was seven cards and playing a land is better than discarding it. I agree that four lands is the usual maximum, but I sometimes play the fifth one to be able to hardcast Force Of Will. I also saw all of my Stifles in game two, which sucked as well. I drew surprisingly few counters the whole day in general (for comparison, in two games against TES I saw a Spellstutter Sprite, two Dazes and one Force Of Will). The only Bitterblossom I saw against Control came in my last extra turn.
I really don't want to say I lost due to bad draws, I could've played better of course, but my draws were abysmal throughout the day.

Cthuloo
01-10-2011, 09:03 AM
Well, in this case... bad luck just happens sometimes! I managed to lose to Belcher once, having seen only one Daze in 3 games as a counter (and mulliganing to 4, 6 and 5). ;)

Anyways, I generally have the feeling that control is an even-to-good matchup once you practice it a bit.

Jonathan Alexander
01-10-2011, 10:57 AM
Yeah, I certainly agree. Bad draws happen from time to time and blue-based control are rather favourable matchups for us. Still these matchups are sometimes hard to play, since you need to be patient and aggressive at the same time; you need to resolve a threat as early as possible but you also don't want to waste your countermagic. I guess I need to mull more aggressively the next time to find my threats earlier.

Bongo
01-12-2011, 08:37 AM
One thing I noticed was that I managed to always lose the attrition wars.

It seems this is because you lack a way of directly gaining card advantage. Have you tried Predict? In a deck with Brainstorm and a few Ponder/Preordain, Predict has been surprisingly good. It gets rid of excess lands or other dead cards while drawing you into more business.

litmanen
01-13-2011, 07:47 AM
I am not convinced about this Tempo Faeries thing. Stifle and Wasteland package can be very powerful weapon in a right deck, and in my opinion, Faeries is not that kind of deck. Lets compare this Tempo Faeries deck to decks that make most out of stifle and wasteland. First my mind comes to Team America and New Horizons. Team America and New Horizons use biggest creatures that can have for 2 or 3 mana thus putting pressure every time they land a creature. Now, in Faeries deck, the best threat is Bitterblossom. I donít see it is a tempo oriented card at all. It is rather slow threat. If you can play it in your second turn, you can win it by it in turn 9. Not so fast. With Tarmogoyf, you can win in turn 6 or 7.

Lets compare more Team America and Tempo Faeries. They both use same counter spells (Daze and Force), then ofcourse, Stifle and Wasteland, same cantrips (Brainstorm, maybe Ponder or Preordain) and few same threats (Vendillion Clique and Tombstalker). There is easily over 20 same cards. So what about the other cards? Bitterblossom against Tarmogoyf, Spellstutter Sprite against Hymn to Tourach or Sinkhole, Firespout against Snuff Out, Spell Snare and Jitte against Thoughtseize, Engineered Explosives against Pernicious Deed. You dont have to be a scientist to realize, which here are tempo cardsÖ

So, if u want to play pure tempo cards like Stifle and Wasteland, why play Tempo Faeries over Team America? I donít see any reason. You just trying to be everything with this deck, sometimes a tempo player, sometimes a control player. Stifle can be a contolling card, namely against Storm Combo but Faeries has already a good match up against it. Obviously Tempo Faeries can punish with Stifle and Wasteland some people in certain games, when they donít crack their fetchlands correctly or are already manascrewing their own game. And still when starting a game and your opponent is in the draw, there is a big chance that Stifle ends up to be a dead card or the advantage you gain from it is minimal. But what about the other 50% of the games when your opponent starts the game and you are on the draw? Do you want to see a starting hand that holds both wasteland and Stifle? I dont.

In my opinion, Faeries should be mostly a controlling deck, because its main threat is rather slow (Bitterblossom) and Spellstutter Sprite is a counter spell. If u take those 2 cards out of your deck, it is no more a Faeries deck and then you just switch your deck to Team America.

In my Faeries deck, I play manlands over wastelands and 3 Dark Confidants and Jitte over Stifle.
I recently won a tournament 5 - 0 with a deck that has those changes plus few other changes compared to Jonas starting post deck list. I beat in that tournament Vampires, Burn, Black Suicide, Landstill and New Horizons.

Then I went to play Finnish Legacy Champs with Faeries. I placed somewhere betveen 20 Ė 30 when there was over 80 players. I played 4 times against storm combo! 2 first I lose due to my poor knowledge how to play correctly against it, but I learned from those 2 matches and won the other 2 TES games. Then I won a Stax Deck, lose to a Goblins (which is by far the worst match up) and finally won a 4 colour control ending up 4 Ė 3 result.

Mr. Safety
01-13-2011, 08:48 AM
There aren't any tempo cards...just tempo plays. Some cards are better at generating tempo than others, that's the fundamental principle.

The reason this is a good choice is because it is great at COMBATING team america. You can chump block Goyf with BB tokens all day long, for he low price of 1 life. Think about how good AEther Vial is right now, and realize that Bitterblossom does the same thing (with less power, but built in evasion) but with added benefits (supports Spellstutter, getting the countermagic count up to 15-16 in the deck) and being an early play that does not need any support, other than combating enchantment hate.

BitterStalker has a lot more inevitability potential than Team America, that's my take on it.

Mr. Safety
01-13-2011, 08:51 AM
A major drawback to these budget lands is the inability to use Daze with them. This is a huge factor in a tempo deck.

I have posted before, and my deck is not nearly as tempo-oriented as this list. The old faeries deck thread is locked, or I would post there. My deck is more of a 'true' control deck. I play 11 Islands to take advantage of Daze, and I haven't had too much trouble yet. In most games where I get a hand with a Daze in the opener, I also have an Island to use with it.

litmanen
01-13-2011, 11:59 AM
BitterStalker has a lot more inevitability potential than Team America, that's my take on it.

I think the same, Faeries has more potential than Team America. Thats why I am playing Faeries. Only thing what I am attacking is that I dont think Stifle should be in a maindeck. Maybe then, if you expect a heavy combo meta. I also think that manlands should be in this deck and maybe if you still find room to put wastelands they could be there.

The thing what I am trying to say is that Team America gains much more from those tempo plays what you possible can do with Stifle and Wasteland.

Jonathan Alexander
01-13-2011, 01:00 PM
BitterStalker's tempo plays are really strong; in my opinion stronger than those of most other decks that focus on tempo play. We might not have Tarmogoyf, which is savage when dropped turn two after leading with Stifle, but we have a much better lategame than the other decks and our threats are more resilient than theirs. I mean, really, how are you going to stop a turn two Bitterblossom? You need to immediately remove it or have a Pernicious Deed when you want to deal with it; the other option is to race it, which is not that easy either because we have loads of countermagic and removal. To stop a Tarmogoyf is quite easy; almost every deck in the format either has some kind of removal for it or just packs Tarmogoyf as well.

When you want to play a less tempo-orientated control deck, this is really not the best deck. There are way more viable choices like Dreadstill or Landstill.

Also, I changed a few things about my list and played a few games with it. Again, I saw nothing of the new stuff during the first few games, but I hope to be able to test some more this weekend.

Rune
01-13-2011, 02:53 PM
I am not convinced about this Tempo Faeries thing. Stifle and Wasteland package can be very powerful weapon in a right deck, and in my opinion, Faeries is not that kind of deck. Lets compare this Tempo Faeries deck to decks that make most out of stifle and wasteland. First my mind comes to Team America and New Horizons. Team America and New Horizons use biggest creatures that can have for 2 or 3 mana thus putting pressure every time they land a creature. Now, in Faeries deck, the best threat is Bitterblossom. I don’t see it is a tempo oriented card at all. It is rather slow threat. If you can play it in your second turn, you can win it by it in turn 9. Not so fast. With Tarmogoyf, you can win in turn 6 or 7.

Lets compare more Team America and Tempo Faeries. They both use same counter spells (Daze and Force), then ofcourse, Stifle and Wasteland, same cantrips (Brainstorm, maybe Ponder or Preordain) and few same threats (Vendillion Clique and Tombstalker). There is easily over 20 same cards. So what about the other cards? Bitterblossom against Tarmogoyf, Spellstutter Sprite against Hymn to Tourach or Sinkhole, Firespout against Snuff Out, Spell Snare and Jitte against Thoughtseize, Engineered Explosives against Pernicious Deed. You dont have to be a scientist to realize, which here are tempo cards…

So, if u want to play pure tempo cards like Stifle and Wasteland, why play Tempo Faeries over Team America? I don’t see any reason. You just trying to be everything with this deck, sometimes a tempo player, sometimes a control player. Stifle can be a contolling card, namely against Storm Combo but Faeries has already a good match up against it. Obviously Tempo Faeries can punish with Stifle and Wasteland some people in certain games, when they don’t crack their fetchlands correctly or are already manascrewing their own game. And still when starting a game and your opponent is in the draw, there is a big chance that Stifle ends up to be a dead card or the advantage you gain from it is minimal. But what about the other 50% of the games when your opponent starts the game and you are on the draw? Do you want to see a starting hand that holds both wasteland and Stifle? I dont.

In my opinion, Faeries should be mostly a controlling deck, because its main threat is rather slow (Bitterblossom) and Spellstutter Sprite is a counter spell. If u take those 2 cards out of your deck, it is no more a Faeries deck and then you just switch your deck to Team America.

In my Faeries deck, I play manlands over wastelands and 3 Dark Confidants and Jitte over Stifle.
I recently won a tournament 5 - 0 with a deck that has those changes plus few other changes compared to Jonas starting post deck list. I beat in that tournament Vampires, Burn, Black Suicide, Landstill and New Horizons.

Then I went to play Finnish Legacy Champs with Faeries. I placed somewhere betveen 20 – 30 when there was over 80 players. I played 4 times against storm combo! 2 first I lose due to my poor knowledge how to play correctly against it, but I learned from those 2 matches and won the other 2 TES games. Then I won a Stax Deck, lose to a Goblins (which is by far the worst match up) and finally won a 4 colour control ending up 4 – 3 result.

You have very little reason not to run Wasteland in a 2-colored aggro-control deck with a low mana curve. It's not just a tempo card, but also a control card that can cut your opponent off certain colors or get rid of problematic lands (man lands, academy ruins, etc). Once you have added Wasteland, Stifle becomes a logical inclusion. It's not really a combo hoser, as you seem to think. Against most tier 1-2 combo decks, it won't do much other than rape fetchlands (thereby making their Brainstorms a lot worse). In other matchups, it will protect your lands from Wastes, stop Pridemage and EE activations (very important if you rely on Blossom) and sometimes it wil, ofcourse, be the pseudo-Timewalk for U, which is also the main attraction to the card. I don't think New Horizons and Team America are very good decks because: a) They only use the tempo from Stifle/Waste to put some kind of dork into play, and 90% of the time this creature will still die to StP and then you are back to square one. b) They don't play red -> almost an auto-loss to Merfolk and a bad Goblins matchup. TA can play Deed, but you sometimes end up in situations where you want to blow up everything but you have already comitted a Goyf to the board = sad face.

I think it's usually more efficient to use the big tempo swings to drop a problematic non-creature permanent, such as Jace, Crucible of Worlds or, in this deck's case, Bitterblossom. That's not to say you shouldn't run creatures, but I think it's dumb to rely almost entirely on them to abuse the tempo. Turn 2 Goyf vs empty board will not get there surprisingly often.

Stifle/Waste is also a good way to beat a deck like Zoo. I can almost guarantee you that slapping a Jitte on a faerie will not get you there in this matchup. You can only equip Jitte if you have nothing else to do or if they are tapped out, often making it a do-nothing card or just a giant tempo hole. Now, if you played Stifle to keep their resources low and to protect the Jitte from Pridemage, it would make the card a whole lot better..

litmanen
01-14-2011, 06:44 AM
I can’t imagine a better play than turn two Bitterblossom, turn three either a Vendilion Clique or Spellstutter Sprite and turn four Jitte. There is no need to have that additional tempo you might have from turn 1 Stifle, and seriously, how often that happen? Ofcourse, if your opponent plays without thinking, you can get him Stifled easily in turn one. And what about when you are on the draw? Please, answer this question, how good is Stifle when you are on the draw? I would rather dig deeper with my cantrip to get that turn 2 BB or other good stuff, use a one mana removal, or if I am on the draw, possible counter with a Spell Snare on first turn.

I admit that Stifle can be a good card, and sometimes it can even win you matches. But how often it end up to be a dead card in your hand? Or the benefit you get from it is irrelevant? One thing I love in my Faeries deck is how consistent it is. I really have to say that I have never played a deck before that is so consistent. You can play reactively, trying to keep board empty, and once you have your blossom out, you are on your way to win. Okey, allways things wont go that smooth..

Jona, I have never criticised Bitterblossom. It is THE reason to play Faeries. The thing is, that I don’t believe it needs that additional tempo boost from Stifle. Like Mr. Safety said, you can chump block with your tokens all the day, there is no hurry. When you think about Tarmogoyf, it is quite easy to kill. Therefor it need’s more that tempo boost so it can do it damage. Yes, Bitterblossom is much harder to remove. Let say opponent has found his EE, Pridemage or Krosan Grip few turns later, you have by then alreday made some tokens! It wont be a setback if they destroy BB. It has done it thing.

Jonathan Alexander
01-14-2011, 07:03 AM
First off, I agree with you that Bitterblossom is one of the main reasons to play this deck. But Bitterblossom benefits from a tempo play much more than any other threat in the format does (except for maybe Knight Of The Reliquary). The sequence you described in the beginning of your post is indeed rather weak, as you will just lose to everything that drops more than one creature. Slowing your opponent down nets you one more token from Bitterblossom that you can attack with in situations where you need one token to block with.

Also, kikoo's last paragraph about BitterStalker vs. Zoo is pretty important. Stifle + Wasteland can win games against them in two ways; sometimes you can out-tempo them with these cards, sometimes you can really just manascrew them. There's a reason that this deck can beat Zoo consistently whereas slower versions struggle against Zoo. And by the way, Umezawa's Jitte is pretty bad against Zoo. I side it out against them.

Mr. Safety
01-14-2011, 07:21 AM
I can’t imagine a better play than turn two Bitterblossom, turn three either a Vendilion Clique or Spellstutter Sprite and turn four Jitte. There is no need to have that additional tempo you might have from turn 1 Stifle, and seriously, how often that happen? Ofcourse, if your opponent plays without thinking, you can get him Stifled easily in turn one. And what about when you are on the draw? Please, answer this question, how good is Stifle when you are on the draw? I would rather dig deeper with my cantrip to get that turn 2 BB or other good stuff, use a one mana removal, or if I am on the draw, possible counter with a Spell Snare on first turn.

I admit that Stifle can be a good card, and sometimes it can even win you matches. But how often it end up to be a dead card in your hand? Or the benefit you get from it is irrelevant? One thing I love in my Faeries deck is how consistent it is. I really have to say that I have never played a deck before that is so consistent. You can play reactively, trying to keep board empty, and once you have your blossom out, you are on your way to win. Okey, allways things wont go that smooth..

Jona, I have never criticised Bitterblossom. It is THE reason to play Faeries. The thing is, that I don’t believe it needs that additional tempo boost from Stifle. Like Mr. Safety said, you can chump block with your tokens all the day, there is no hurry. When you think about Tarmogoyf, it is quite easy to kill. Therefor it need’s more that tempo boost so it can do it damage. Yes, Bitterblossom is much harder to remove. Let say opponent has found his EE, Pridemage or Krosan Grip few turns later, you have by then alreday made some tokens! It wont be a setback if they destroy BB. It has done it thing.

Just for reference, I do NOT play Stifle in my faeries build, and mine is only U/b, no red splash for Firespout/Terminate. My build is fundamentally a much more traditional aggro/control deck that uses the mid-game to 'catch' up (Trinket Mage package) rather than the early game to get tempo. I still have Daze, a great support card for getting Bitterblossom to stick and to counter early aggression, and I use a playset of Duress for my turn1 play rather than Stifle, but that's about the only 'true' tempo plays I have in my deck. It's a different spin on the deck is all, and one that supports your reasoning a lot better.

I would love for someone to put up a primer (or unlock the old thread) so I could get input on a U/b faeries deck rather than the BitterStalker Tempo version here. Just my opinion.

BTW, I love this deck Jona, it just isn't available to me for budget reasons.

DarkJester
01-14-2011, 09:27 AM
Stifle reads like this: counter all stuff you don't want your opp to do...
from my point of view it is just amazing, especially in this build ... I had rare situations in which it had been a dead card, even if you're not playing the "race for tempo"-game. EE, Vial, Equips, Deed, Fetchies, Gatekeeper, Plainswalker, Narcomoebas, Bridges, Pridemages, Emrakul-Trigger, and so on and so on... it's one of the most flexible cards in the game for just one blue mana.
And another statement to Bitterblossom: I think it's a card that fits to the tempo-plan at it's best.Why? It increases your board-position every turn without investing your precious ressources ( except 1 point of life, which is irrelevant most of the time).

litmanen
01-14-2011, 09:30 AM
The sequence you described in the beginning of your post is indeed rather weak, as you will just lose to everything that drops more than one creature. Slowing your opponent down nets you one more token from Bitterblossom that you can attack with in situations where you need one token to block with.

I don’t wonna sound harsh, but are you serious? Now you are saying that turn two Blossom is rather weak, and after that countering their spell with Sprite is rather weak and then attackin with equiped token is rather weak? If I may simplify, I got the picture from your talks, that only when you get a turn one Stifle and succesfully deny a land with it, and then play a turn two Blossom, you can win a match. If that so, then good luck to your games, because that wont happen very often. I skip that part willingly and make my later game stronger and what more important, more consistent.

Bongo
01-14-2011, 09:51 AM
Amazing primer!

However, one thing is not clear to me: Besides Dredge, what are your bad matchups?

Jonathan Alexander
01-14-2011, 09:51 AM
Turn two Bitterblossom is only strong in the right context, as every card is only good in the right context. In the line of play you described, you start interacting with your opponent on turn three. Essentially, you just might have lost the game by then. This will really just lose against everything that casts a creature on turn one and a creature on turn two. How are you going to deal with stuff like turn one Wild Nacatl, turn two Tarmogoyf? What do you do if they remove the token you're attaching your equipment to? Simply put, you're most likely going to lose, unless you really topdeck like a champ.

When you can delay your opponent's plays, you're far better off. When you led with Stifle and cast Bitterblossom on turn two, you can counter their Tarmogoyf with your Spellstutter Sprite, thus gaining additional tempo and dealing with their probably most important / dangerous threat.

Also, the reason why I focus on Stifle's power is that we're actually discussing it. Sure there are other strong plays forr turn one, and those are mostly controlling plays that help smoothing out your midgame. You want Stifle because of two things:

1) It's the strongest of these plays, as it does not only disrupt your opponent's game, but also slows it down.
2) You want to maximise your chances of disrupting your opponent as early as possible.

Also, a more consistent lategame gets you nowhere when you can't take advantage of it.

//Edit: Thanks. In general, the worst of our common matchups is Goblins; Merfolk is generally slightly better for us, as they're not as fast. Control variants can also be hard to beat when you don't draw enough business, but usually you'll manage to beat them. Unless you're familiar with them, matches against Threshold and such are hard to play, but they're not bad. You both have to play really tightly in these matchups.

DarkJester
01-14-2011, 10:27 AM
just a question: I have tested a UBw BitterStalker-List for about two months ... and from my point of view there are five discussable slots in which I run the only three-drop of the deck (Clique 2x), and three spell pierces... most of the time I tested against deadguy-ale, which seems to be a favorable match-up, if he hasn't a first turn discard-spell when he's on the play. What are your impressions of playing old-school-stuff like Psi-blast for gaining reach or something else (I don't run red for spouts)...Do you guys like stuff like Predict, Ponder or even Ancestrall Vision/ Accumulated Knowledge?

litmanen
01-14-2011, 02:05 PM
Turn two Bitterblossom is only strong in the right context, as every card is only good in the right context. In the line of play you described, you start interacting with your opponent on turn three. Essentially, you just might have lost the game by then. This will really just lose against everything that casts a creature on turn one and a creature on turn two. How are you going to deal with stuff like turn one Wild Nacatl, turn two Tarmogoyf? What do you do if they remove the token you're attaching your equipment to? Simply put, you're most likely going to lose, unless you really topdeck like a champ.

Now you forget, that I probably have in my hand one mana removal, Spell Snare, Daze, Force of Will or Brainstorm and Ponder to dig more answers. Those were only three cards I mentioned in earlier post I would want to have in my opening hand.

litmanen
01-14-2011, 02:09 PM
I want to show you mathematically, why relying on Stifle tempo play with this deck is wrong.

Lets make some assumptions:
1. You have to make your Stifle tempo play on turn one or atleast on turn two. It rarerly matters later.
2. Opponent has 7 fetchlands and 21 lands overall
3. Opponent has to have atleast 2 fetchlands in his opening hand
4. It doesnít matter who can start the game
5. Opponent is not a stupid player

Chanches that you get your Stifle in turn one or two is 44,5%.
Chanches that opponent has 2 fetchland in his opening hand is 18,7%. (If we think he is a stupid player and he has only one fetchland and still manage to get in to your Stifle trap is 41,6%)

Lets calculate: 0,445 x 0,187 = 0,0832 = 8,3% (with a stupid player 18,5%)
So, you can make your stifle tempo play once in every 12 game. And when you can, you have to play a threat in your next few turns so you can make something out of it. And then there are many decks that donít even run a single fetchland.

I want to compare again Tempo Faeries to decks like New Horizons and Team America. When you play New Horizons, you can play a turn one Noble Hierarch, then second turn wasteland and a threat. This way you can also use your stifle in later rounds. Procentually this make a huge different to make those stifle and wasteland tempo plays when comparing to Tempo Faeries. But still, when thinkin about it more closely, New Horizons player can do those plays maybe once in every 5 or 6 games, which isnít either so much.

Team America plays Hymn to Tourach or Sinkhole. Second turn Sinkhole makes Stifle and Wasteland more viable in later rounds. Chanches are quite similar as New Horizons have.

Okey, I finish my crusade hereÖ

rogue.nine
01-14-2011, 02:45 PM
Team America stopped playing Sinkhole a while ago when everyone realized spending your second turn killing a land and not developing your board is a pretty subpar play in a world of 1 drops/aether vial.

Just fyi

I'm not one to jump into other people's arguments but I would like to say that stifle is not a card for mana screwing opponents (period- full stop). Sure stifling turn 1 fetch is that sexy obvious thing that everyone thinks of because color screwing someone out of the game is an easy win. Stuff like that happens but if thats all your aiming to do you're limiting yourself way too much.

Stifle is a versatile card, someone already mentioned a ton of other possible targets other than fetches so I won't rehash that. What I would like to say is that the ability to be flexible and put a hole in your opponents game plan for 1 blue is key in a tempo deck, aka a deck that aims to keep people off balance and win before they fully recover.

Many times in a tempo deck you just need to disrupt them for one more turn to push through that lethal and that may include stifling an EE set to 0 to save your tokens or a pridemage blowing up your bitterblossoms or a wasteland aimed at your manland or etc. etc.

Another fine play is:
Stifling a fetch after they brainstorm to make them draw bricks for the next 2 turns is devastating at any point in a legacy game where card quality is so key.

That being said if you don't like running stifle for what ever reason thats fine, its always more important to play lists you're comfortable with than some stock lists cause "its correct." If you play around with them and you would rather have slots for something else and that something else is putting up better results than by all means go that route.

Just don't go stifle is bad in most games cause you cant kill a turn 1/2 fetch. The end. Because the card is good for so much more than that.

Patrunkenphat7
01-14-2011, 03:05 PM
I want to show you mathematically, why relying on Stifle tempo play with this deck is wrong.

Lets make some assumptions:
1. You have to make your Stifle tempo play on turn one or atleast on turn two. It rarerly matters later.
2. Opponent has 7 fetchlands and 21 lands overall
3. Opponent has to have atleast 2 fetchlands in his opening hand
4. It doesn’t matter who can start the game
5. Opponent is not a stupid player

Chanches that you get your Stifle in turn one or two is 44,5%.
Chanches that opponent has 2 fetchland in his opening hand is 18,7%. (If we think he is a stupid player and he has only one fetchland and still manage to get in to your Stifle trap is 41,6%)

Lets calculate: 0,445 x 0,187 = 0,0832 = 8,3% (with a stupid player 18,5%)
So, you can make your stifle tempo play once in every 12 game. And when you can, you have to play a threat in your next few turns so you can make something out of it. And then there are many decks that don’t even run a single fetchland.

I want to compare again Tempo Faeries to decks like New Horizons and Team America. When you play New Horizons, you can play a turn one Noble Hierarch, then second turn wasteland and a threat. This way you can also use your stifle in later rounds. Procentually this make a huge different to make those stifle and wasteland tempo plays when comparing to Tempo Faeries. But still, when thinkin about it more closely, New Horizons player can do those plays maybe once in every 5 or 6 games, which isn’t either so much.

Team America plays Hymn to Tourach or Sinkhole. Second turn Sinkhole makes Stifle and Wasteland more viable in later rounds. Chanches are quite similar as New Horizons have.

Okey, I finish my crusade here…

This logic makes absolutely no sense.

First of all, I do not think anyone is 'relying' on Stifle in order to win with this deck. The card simply makes sense for what this deck is trying to do. Secondly, the coupling of Stifle with Wasteland is completely left out of this logic, which is why opponents have such a hard time making fetching decisions. Yes, they will sometimes search for a basic during their main phase, but this can hurt color-hungry decks as well, and it will make them weaker to Wasteland color-screw when they actually decide to get their duals later.

I would also like to point out that the New Horizon player has to pay 3 mana for most of his threats, and I know for a fact that they do not utilize Stifle better than the Fae.

And not to mention that Team America having to tap out for its disruption does not go well with the Stifle plan in the slightest. Plus I don't think they even play Sinkhole anymore!

Instead of using vague assumptions backed up by completely random math, you should try this deck out to see the effectiveness of Stifle in a tempo deck that usually says "Land, go", leaving the opponent completely unsure of the correct play. The deck is extremely fun and quite effective, and it has a decent matchup against Merfolk which laughs at a deck tapping out for a turn 2 Sinkhole...

litmanen
01-15-2011, 03:46 AM
This time I actually have an idea, what might be even worth of trying. Add green mana and good old Bird of Paradise.

Benefits you get from it:
It allows you to make more those tempo plays with Stifle and Wasteland, also speeding up your game.
You have access for all colours, thus making your Engineered Explosives better
It flyis, so it doesn’t die to your firespouts. Some cornercases you may even cast your firespout with green mana
You have access to more sideboard options

Downsides:
Adding fourth colour can be risky
It is easy to kill, so you could manascrew yourself, if you deside to go say with a one land and Bird of Paradise

Jonathan Alexander
01-15-2011, 03:36 PM
What do we need Birds Of Paradise for? If you want to run some kind of acceleration, try out Lotus Petal. It's kind of okay and we actually benefit from it as it fuels Tombstalker and powers out turn one Bitterblossom or Spellstutter Sprite, which is pretty cool. Three mana on turn two does basically nothing for us. Also, we don't need a fourth colour for it but are still able to use Engineered Explosives on four from time to time. I played with Lotus Petal several times, and it was always nice to have stuff like Bitterblossom on turn one, but with additional mana sources I drew even more of them mid- lategame than I do without them.

RaNDoMxGeSTuReS
01-15-2011, 04:35 PM
Jona, what's your current list?

rogue.nine
01-15-2011, 04:42 PM
They need to make a noble hierarch in either U/B/W or U/B/R colors i would run that in all my decks forever in a heartbeat.

As jona mentioned there aren't really any turn 3 plays we want to accelerate into since turn 2 is our fundamental turn. It be nice to have daze mana open on 3 but im not sure its worth weakening the manabase for that.

Other random strikes against birds:
Can't wear jitte unless it already has charges
doesn't put any pressure on opponent

All that combines to make it a bad topdeck and not THAT powerful of an opener, although i have to admit turn 2 Bitterblossom + wasteland on one of their lands sounds pretty delicious.

Why don't you test it out and let us know how it works out for you?

Jonathan Alexander
01-16-2011, 06:40 AM
My current list is the last one in the primer, though I'm currently trying out more maindecked removal and threats in place of Curfew. I'm not quite sure about these changes, but it's definitely better than running Preordain in these slots. I'm also trying out the second Ghastly Demise instead of Snuff Out, which seems to be okay.

I've also tried out running two Umezawa's Jitte maindeck, but having the fourth Bitterblossom instead was just better. The only slots I'm messing around with are the three Curfews and the Snuff, but I'm definitely sure that I want some kind of black removal in the Snuff Out slot, though I haven't decided yet whether Ghastly Demise or Smother is better.

The sideboard is the same for the list I'm testing right now. But in a Dredge-heavy meta, I'd probably rather run Ravenous Trap instead of Extirpate.

wcm8
01-31-2011, 09:16 AM
Go for the throat: a removal spell to replace terminate? Dropping red gives us a more stable mana base. I think that within black and blue there are enough options to handle the aggro matchups: engineered plague, submerge, perish, mind harness, hydroblast, other black removal... I think firespout and pyroblast are amazing, but with all the wastelands it may be better to drop to just blue/black.

Mr. Safety
02-01-2011, 09:32 AM
What the deck needs is an instant speed black wiper. Even an instant speed Infest-variant would be, quite frankly, AWESOME. Perish does the job, but isn't really maindeck material. For my own peace of mind, I want something x2 in the maindeck to adequately take care of multiple threats. I play 2x Engineered Explosives, but I'd use an instant-Infest maindeck x2 without even thinking about it.

The thing about Bitterblossom (the decks best threat) is that it needs time to become effective, which means more turns. Tempo wants to halt your opponent, and then get a fast clock going so they can win. Bitterblossom isn't fast, it's actually quite slow. What it does is give you incremental card advantage. I essentially look at it as a static Aether Vial. The threats are not great as a 1/1, but have built in evasion and don't require anything beyond a minor life loss. This gives the deck inevitability, which is what I focus on and what I feel faeries is good at.

This is just my opinion...I feel faeries lends itself to a traditional control deck better than Tempo. But this deck isn't really faeries...it's BitterStalker. The best play is to have great tempo early game, followed by an evasive threat that can end the game (Tombstalker, Vendi). Bitterblossom can add to the damage and turn Spellstutter into a hard counter, but it isn't fast without Jitte. Still, it fits as one of the better threats the deck can play (it isn't splashing green for Goyf)

wcm8
02-01-2011, 09:50 AM
My main complaint about this deck is that it pretty much folds to a resolved engineered plague. As if the Merfolk matchup wasn't bad enough pre-board! Plenty of other decks are also packing it in their sideboard. I know that there are plenty of bombs against various decks, but plague is just such a huge (and prevalent) trump. Is there anything to address this issue? (other than to hope to not face these decks, haha)

FieryBalrog
02-02-2011, 01:53 AM
I just tested this deck on MWS for a bit and had the bad luck to run into Affinity a bunch of times, man that matchup is pretty awful. One resolved cranial plating or even Myr Enforcer is really really bad news. One game I had to trade 3 creatures and some Fire/Ices to kill their Plating'd random dudes and then the last one just got there.

Also had some trouble with couple of white-based vial decks. Resolved vial meant stoneforge mystic fucked shit up left & right. Stifle is pretty dead in these matchups as using it to counter an equip or a vial activation is pretty terrible.

Of course not worth anything, just some random observations.

Jonathan Alexander
02-02-2011, 03:20 AM
First off, I don't really think that Go For The Throat is better than Smother and Ghastly Demise. Also, the card is incredibly ugly. Really shitty artwork.

Running red for additional removal and especially Firespout is totally worth it. You also get access to Engineered Explosives at three, which is really important. This also solves the Engineered Plague problem, which is not really significant in my opinion. I don't remember a single game that I lost to Engineered Plague, as you can either counter it, remove it via Engineered Explosives or just have a Tombstalker not caring about it at all.

I didn't have any problems against Affinity, either. My worst match against Affinity was an unintentional draw. As long as you can deal with their Cranial Platings and can fend off their creatures for a few turns, you can win that matchup quite easily. The thing with Affinity is that it runs out of gas easily. Umezawa's Jitte is golden in that matchup. You might also want to run some number of Lightning Bolts, I'm currently running 4 in my 75, but I'm not sure about the maindeck/sideboard split.

atropos
02-02-2011, 10:19 AM
First off, I don't really think that Go For The Throat is better than Smother and Ghastly Demise. Also, the card is incredibly ugly. Really shitty artwork.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. The name is inescapably stupid as well.

Mr. Safety
02-02-2011, 12:54 PM
For my slots, I'll always consider Smother over Go for the Throat. It covers more creatures by being able to kill Arcbound Ravager, and possibly the new Pithing Needle 2/1 dude from Mirrodin Besieged (can't remember the name...)

Ghastly Demise is awesome in this deck, as Stifle/Wasteland/Daze/fetchlands fill the graveyard pretty quickly, allowing it to do Smother's job for B instead of 1B.

Is anybody using Perish in their sideboards, or is Firespout your go-to wiper of choice?

atropos
02-02-2011, 04:05 PM
Ghastly Demise is awesome in this deck, as Stifle/Wasteland/Daze/fetchlands fill the graveyard pretty quickly, allowing it to do Smother's job for B instead of 1B.

Have you found the interaction between Tombstalker and Ghastly Demise to screw up your game plan at all?

Jonathan Alexander
02-02-2011, 04:39 PM
Have you found the interaction between Tombstalker and Ghastly Demise to screw up your game plan at all?

Never. I'm actually trying out multiple Ghastly Demise right now, and with three Tombstalkers it works. You also rarely need to deal with any creatures after you resolved Tombstalker, the only creature that's sometimes a problem is Knight Of The Reliquary, which is hard to remove with Ghastly Demise anyway.

Eventide
02-03-2011, 12:51 PM
ouch ...

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/legacy/21062_Eternal_on_the_Other_Side_of_the_Ocean_Learning_from_Three_Flawed_Decks.html


A flying 1/1 is not really worth a card, though, making it more of a conditional counter with a minor upside...

Jonathan Alexander
02-19-2011, 12:14 PM
So I didn't know what to play and chose to pick BitterStalker because I thought there would be quite some Zoo, Dredge and Control-variants. Turned Out I was right on Zoo, but I didn't face any. Anyway, I went 5-0 with my slightly updatet list:

//Lands
1 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

//Creatures
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

//Other Spells
4 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Fire // Ice
4 Force Of Will
2 Ghastly Demise
2 Lightning Bolt
1 Smother
3 Spell Snare
4 Stifle
1 Umezawa's Jitte

//Sideboard
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Firespout
2 Lightning Bolt
3 Ravenous Trap
2 Relic Of Progenitus
3 Spell Pierce
1 Umezawa's Jitte

Round one I played against Eva Green.
I lost game one to my own Bitterblossom because he kept playing Vampire Nighthawks and Hypnotic Specters to deal with my tokens.
I won game two and three, don't remember what happened exactly, but game three was ended by a Tombstalker.

Round two I played against my teammate playing Dragon Stompy.
He's on the play and opens with Mountain, Chrome Mox and Chalice Of The Void, which I let resolve. I play an Island and pass the turn. He then misses his next landdrop and casts Trinisphere via Simian Spirit Guide, which I counter with Force Of Will. In my turn I fetch for basic Swamp and play Engineered Explosives with no counters, immediately using it. He misses another landdrop and I cast Bitterblossom, which wins the game.
Game two. I don't remember, but I won via Bitterblossom again.

Round three I play against Merfolk.
Game one I lose because I can't count and don't counter his Merrow Reejerey with my Spellstutter Sprite.
Game two I go Island go, he casts a Cursecatcher. I then play a Scalding Tarn and he casts a Silvergil Adept. In my turn I Fire both of them and cast a Tombstalker during the next turn or something.
Game three started out exactly the same as game two. He had Cursecatcher and Silvergil Adept, I had Fire//Ice. Again I won because of Tombstalker, this time with Umezawa's Jitte.

Round four I play against UWRG CounterTop.
I'm on the play and play land, go. He casts Sensei's Divining Top I think and I follow up with Bitterblossom. He scoops two turn later because I had double Wasteland.
Game two lasts a bit longer, but eventually I win via Tombstalker, only being able to counter his Vendilion Clique with my Spellstutter Sprite because I cast Bitterblossom the turn before to back up my Stalker.

Round five I play against U/W Control.
I tell him that I'm really tired and don't want to play, but he insists on playing.
Game one I mull to five (my only mulligans the entire day as far as I remember) but get a pretty nice hand with two lands, Force Of Will, Brainstorm and Bitterblossom. I draw another Bitterblossoms but he has Wrath Of God and Baneslayer Angel. I don't think he knew this, but he only won because he had a Relic Of Progenitus and I couldn't use my Ghastly Demise. Whatever.
Game two I lose a lot of life to two Bitterblossoms but get there with Umezawa's Jitte.
Game three was nothing spectacular. I had Tombstalker with Jitte and lots of countermagic. His life total went 20-15-6-0.

Overall I really liked the list, but I'm kind of bored right now, so I'm not playing the deck a lot. I also sold my Chinese Scalding Tarns so it's not that pimp anymore. Would be a shame to play it with English fetches. The only thing I'd probably change would be moving the two Lightning Bolts to the sideboard and adding the third Engineered Explosives and the second Umezawa's Jitte to the maindeck. Both of them were really good today, as was everything else.

Patrunkenphat7
02-20-2011, 04:28 PM
ouch ...

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/legacy/21062_Eternal_on_the_Other_Side_of_the_Ocean_Learning_from_Three_Flawed_Decks.html

This guy has obviously never actually played this deck, as the logic makes absolutely no sense.

Concerning Go for the Throat, here is how I compare it to smother, since they are the same cost:

Smother cannot hit: Tombstalker

Go for the Throat cannot hit: Phyrexian Dreadnought, Mishra's Factory, Phyrexian Revoker, Affinity dudes, and several other lesser-used artifact utility creatures

Am I missing something here? I was initially really excited about Go for the Throat, but Smother looks infinitely better on paper vs. the field of competitive decks. You also have to think about how Tombstalker is easier to counter than a Dreadnought, and obviously Factory cannot be countered, yet it can be Wastelanded.

And concerning Ghastly Demise, I can see it giving us a leg up against tribal decks, but it is pretty bad and often dead vs. others. I will only ever want to use a removal spell on turn one against either a Lacky, Hierarch, or Nacatl, and a single mana saved in the midgame is not worth the times that you will lose because of not being able to cast it. Smother seems more relevant against the majority of the field as well.

Hopo
02-21-2011, 02:41 AM
Round two I played against my teammate playing Dragon Stompy.
He's on the play and opens with Mountain, Chrome Mox and Chalice Of The Void, which I let resolve. I play an Island and pass the turn. He then misses his next landdrop and casts Trinisphere via Simian Spirit Guide, which I counter with Force Of Will. In my turn I fetch for basic Swamp and play Engineered Explosives at two, immediately using it. He misses another landdrop and I cast Bitterblossom, which wins the game.
Game two. I don't remember, but I won via Bitterblossom again.

I believe that Dragon Stompy has no 2-cost permanents, so why would you set EE on 2? Do note that chalice in play always has a cmc of 0, not 2.

Patrunkenphat7
02-21-2011, 03:00 AM
I believe that Dragon Stompy has no 2-cost permanents, so why would you set EE on 2? Do note that chalice in play always has a cmc of 0, not 2.

Since it was turn 2, I'm assuming he played it for 0 then cracked...

Jonathan Alexander
02-21-2011, 04:16 AM
Actually Dragon Stompy has permanents on two, but mostly only preboard. But Patrunkenphat7 was right, I cast it for zero. My bad.
By the way, I decided to move the two maindeck Lightning Bolts to the sideboard, and to run 3 Engineered Explosives and 2 Umezawa's Jitte maindeck instead. Explosives is just way too strong and Jitte tends to just win games as well. I'm probably going to update the opening post later today, at least the decklist.

Also, has anyone tested Flame Slash? I thought about running them instead of Lightning Bolts, as I'm only bringing these in to deal with early creatures anyway, but I think Lightning Bolt is better due to being instant, which is important against Goblins and Merfolk. What do you guys think?

Mr. Safety
02-21-2011, 10:49 AM
I'm not in the 'middle' of this conversation, but I think with your mana-base, Lightning Bolt is the way to go. You really need cheap removal, and Bolt is cheap. Flame Slash goes a little further on the toughness, but at sorcery speed? Yuck. I have a hard time believing it's better than Bolts. I have a hard time believing it's better than Fire/Ice, actually...at least Fire/Ice cantrips or can potentially knock out 2 Gobbos with one spell.

If you're going to play sorcery speed removal, I would say you really only have a 2 options:

Shriekmaw
Innocent Blood


I can't see those as better than Bolts or Fire/Ice

Jonathan Alexander
02-21-2011, 03:48 PM
If Flame Slash wasn't Sorcery, it'd be the best piece of removal out there. By far. But Lightning Bolt is better against Merfolk and Goblins, which are our worst matchups. Being able to react to their Vial-actions is really important, as is being able to deal with hasty Goblin Piledrivers and the like.
Anyway, I'm pretty content with my current removal-suite and as you can see, it works.
Oh and by the way, Flame Slash is by far the best piece of Sorcery-speed removal. It's a really strong card, it just doesn't work too well with the rest of the deck. Almost everything we play is instant, and if it isn't it wins games (see Bitterblossom, Tombstalker and Umezawa's Jitte) or sweeps (which means it's winning games as well).

Also, regarding the article (yep, timely response), he's a bit off. I don't remember what he said exactly, but he said something about this deck not having enough tribal-synergies and the cards being weak on their own. This is so not true, and this is the reason why I wrote something about this deck not being tribal in the primer.

Praeses
02-27-2011, 04:18 PM
Hey Jona,

I've been wondering, just what exactly is your rationale for running your current removal suite? I'm not sure y there is 1 fire/ice, 2 ghastly, 2 bolt, and 1 smother...it just seems to bit random...

Jonathan Alexander
02-28-2011, 04:25 AM
It's basically just versatility, all of these cards are good, but work slightly differently; i.e. they are bad in some cornercases and good in some other cornercases. With the current setup I haven't had any problems at all so far, except for not being able to cast Ghastly Demise on a Knight Of The Reliquary once. I initially just had the full set of Snuff Outs, but the lifeloss was sometimes too much so I started diversifying. I cut the last Snuff Out after I was playing against Zoo and couldn't cast it because of Gaddock Teeg. Right now I have 2 Ghastly Demise / 1 Smother; this is because fetchland into Ghastly Demise deals with Goblin Lackey on turn one. I also don't like that Smother can be Spell Snared. Fire // Ice could really just be the second Smother, though. But I've won quite a few games because I could pitch it to Force Of Will or deal the last two points of damage or whatever.

And as for Lightning Bolt, I moved them to the sideboard. I'm running 3 Engineered Explosives / 2 Umezawa's Jitte maindeck right now. In general I'm playing a more aggressive list right now and it works really well. I'm going to update the primer as soon as I get back my own computer.

Praeses
03-01-2011, 03:08 PM
I see. I'm going to have to try that. I've been running bolt/terminate for removal, but I'm going to switch to smother/ghastly just b/c needing the red so early is a bit unwieldy. Fire/Ice intrigues me as well...

Jonathan Alexander
03-01-2011, 05:27 PM
Everything is better than Terminate. With my current removal-suite I can easily operate off of basic Island and basic Swamp. This means that it's hard to cut you off from your removal-colour(s) early, which is important in a lot of aggro matchups (even Zoo is often running Wasteland these days).

Just pack some split of Smother and Ghastly Demise and some Engineered Explosives, this is usually enough. Also, with Engineered Explosives, you have maindeck answers to nasty Artifacts and Enchantments plus a way to deal with really aggressive Zoo starts or Zombie tokens game one. On top of that the card isn't as situational as Firespout, which I used to run maindeck a few months ago.

Jonathan Alexander
03-19-2011, 06:20 AM
I finally managed to update the opening post. I mainly rewrote the beginning section of the primer and the explanation of the core cards. I also slightly changed the structure; my current list is now in the beginning of the primer.

Is anyone still playing this deck by the way? In the last few events I've played with the deck it was awesome. What are your recent experiences? Also, I consider cutting the Vendilion Cliques, does anyone have some experience on this? I'm thinking of Jace, The Mind Scupltor as a possible replacement, but I'm not too sure about it. He's clunky and not good against aggro, not exactly the card I want for this deck. Are there any other nice options for additional threats?

Deck Dont Matter
03-19-2011, 11:16 AM
I really like the base idea to this deck...I decided to go a bit of a different root by going down to a solid two color build. It does play quite aggresive for playing with so much control. I have been getting comments of the 2xmistbind clique...but it has saved my ass more then a few times against combo and get a bitterblossom out of play...plus its a nother solid beater.


4xSpellstutter Sprite
2xVendillion Clique
3x Tombstalker
2xMistbind Clique

3xBitterblossom

2xUmezawa's Jitte

4xThoughtseize
4xHymn to Tourach

4xBrainstorm
4xForce of Will
3xGor for the Throat
2xSnuff Out
2xSpell Pierce

4xPolluted Delta
4xUnderground Sea
4xwasteland
1xMisty Rainforest
1xMarsh Flats

2xSwamps
2xIslands

SB
2xSpell Pierce
3xSubmerge
3xDystopia
4xNihil Spellbomb
3x stifle/spell snare/blue elemental blast/meta game slot

Deck Dont Matter
03-21-2011, 02:12 PM
First weekend playing Tempo Fairies at my local...Learned really quick I know nothing about legacy and maybe standard really is the format I should be playing. Loss to fish 1-2 twice in a row and but beat ANT and Goblins 2-0. Got a lot of feedbaxck on the deck...biggest change was removal of Mutavault from the deck...just got hanged up SO much in trying to cast the turn two hymn that I took them out...and the Mistbing cliques from my previous build...oh and the spell peirces too...put in 4xstifles and 3x Daze...the deck seemed to play more consistant with the changes...also side board now plays 3x spell pierce and 2x Crucible....hope these changes help and get this deck up and running.

Jonathan Alexander
03-21-2011, 02:38 PM
Did you also take out the Hymns? I'm really interested in how they work out in BitterStalker. I'm mostly playing the deck online right now since I don't want to play it with English cards. Online I'm trying to run it basically like Team America but with Bitterblossom instead of Tarmogoyf and some nice removal in the side. The list also plays Hymn To Tourach in place of Spellstutter Sprite. So far the changes didn't matter at all since I didn't draw any of the new cards. The sideboard changes were irrelevant because I didn't need any of the new inclusions. I'm giving Grim Lavamancer a try again, basically didn't play him in this deck for about a year now.

When I played Team America yesterday, I noticed a few things. It was awesome to be able to bring additional threats postboard. This helps against a lot of decks. Also, Hymn To Tourach is amazing against everything with blue. They really need their resources; one of my opponents sided out his Force Of Wills; his reasoning for this was that my Hymns were enough carddisadvantage for him. I'm thinking about including Go For The Throat, even though the card looks really ugly. But there are a lot of Tombstalkers running around right now, which Smother can't hit. Furthermore, Darkblast is another amazing card. I'm not too sure about it in this deck, since it doesn't help winning Goyf wars here, but it still gets rid of all the nasty utility creatures like Noble Hierarch, Dark Confidant, Grim Lavamander, Goblin Lackey and so on. Therefore I'm working on my stock list again. The maindeck will probably only be -1 Smother -1 Ghastly Demise, +1 Darkblast +1 Go For The Throat. For the sideboard, there's a lot more thinking going on, but I'm actually reconsidering Red Elemental Blast / Pyroblast. 4 Lightning Bolt, 2 Umezawa's Jitte, some number of Blasts, Tombstalkers and 3 Engineered Explosives should be enough to beat Merfolk reliably. This way I could drop the Firespouts for some Engineered Plagues. Firespout has been pretty underwhelming as of lately anyway.

Sooo, back to your list. I can imagine why you lose against Merfolk without red. It's pretty important against them. By the way, Merfolk is the deck I lost the most against, but this is partly due to the number of times I actually faced it and partly due to my awful draws against them. Having loads of removal and getting out an early threat is key here. You generally want to board out your Force Of Wills in this matchup. First of they're card disadvantage and after they get ∆ther Vial going, it will be dead anyway. Plus, what do you expect Crucible to do?

Patrunkenphat7
03-28-2011, 09:43 PM
Hey guys,

Because of the current metagame, I will probably be playing this deck next weekend at a large tournament. I am going to post my list with sideboarding strategies for some of the common matchups. Please give any feedback or ask any questions you might have. I might not take some suggestions due to playstyle and the simple fact that I disagree, but I would still like to hear different opinions!

For the record, I have playtested this deck extensively, and I have played it quite a few times in smaller events. This sideboarding information and decklist might be useful for newer players or anybody unfamiliar with these matchups.

Well here you go:

1 Island
1 Swamp
4 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
1 Bloodstained Mire
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands
4 Wasteland

4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

4 Bitterblossom

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Stifle
3 Spell Snare
1 Force Spike

2 Firespout
2 Go for the Throat
1 Ghastly Demise
1 Smother
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

SB
1 Firespout
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Red Elemental Blast
1 Pyroblast
3 Extirpate
2 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Spell Pierce
2 Perish

Merfolk (mono U):
+1 Firespout, +2 Engineered Explosives, + 2 Red Blast
-4 Stifle, -1 Daze (on draw); -4 Stifle, -1 Spell Snare (on play)
(B): same (on draw); +2 Spell Pierce, (+ same), -4 Force of Will, -3 Spell Snare (on play)
(W): same (on draw); (+ same), -4 Force of Will, -1 Stifle (on play)

Goblins (with a splash):
+1 Firespout, +2 Engineered Explosives
-3 Stifle (on draw); -3 Force of Will (on play)
(Mono R): same (on draw); (+ same), +1 Spell Pierce, -4 Stifle (on play)

Countertop:
+3 Spell Pierce, +2 Red Blast
-1 Ghastly Demise, -2 Firespout, -1 Jitte, (-1 Force Spike on draw; -1 Smother on play)

NO Countertop:
+3 Spell Pierce, +2 Red Blast, +2 Perish
-1 Smother, -2 Firespout, -1 Jitte,
(-1 Force Spike, -2 Daze on draw; -3 Spell Snare on play)

Storm Combo:
+3 Spell Pierce, +3 Extirpate
-1 Ghastly Demise, -2 Go for the Throat, -1 Smother, -2 Firespout
(If Empty the Warrens -> +1 EE, -1 Jitte on play and +2 EE, -1 Jitte, -1 Force Spike on draw)

Rock (Mox Diamond):
+2 Perish, +2 Spell Pierce, (also +1 Spell Pierce on draw)
-1 Jitte, -1 Ghastly Demise, -2 Firespout, (also -1 Daze on draw)

Dredge:
+3 Extirpate, +2 Nihil Spellbomb, +2 Engineered Explosives, +3 Spell Pierce
-1 Smother, -2 Go for the Throat, -1 Ghastly Demise, -3 Stifle, -3 Spell Snare

Team America:
+3 Spell Pierce, +1 Red Blast, (also +1 additional Red Blast on draw)
-1 Ghastly Demise, -2 Firespout, -1 Jitte, (also -1 Daze on draw)

Elves:
+1 Firespout, +2 Engineered Explosives, +2 Perish
-4 Stifle, (-1 Daze on draw; -1 Spell Snare on play)

Zoo:
+1 Firespout, +2 Engineered Explosives, +2 Perish
-4 Daze, -1 Vendilion Clique (on draw); -4 Force of Will, -1 Vendilion Clique (on play)

Dreadstill:
+2 Red Blast, +2 Engineered Explosives, +3 Spell Pierce
-2 Go for the Throat, -2 Firespout, -1 Spell Snare, -1 Ghastly Demise,
(-1 Force Spike on draw; -1 Spell Snare on play)

NO Bant:
+2 Perish, +3 Spell Pierce
-2 Firespout, (-2 Daze, -1 Force Spike on draw; -3 Spell Snare on play)

Zenith Bant Aggro:
+2 Perish, +2 Spell Pierce
-2 Firespout, (-2 Daze on draw; -1 Spell Snare, -1 Jitte on play)

New Horizons:
+2 Perish
-2 Firespout

Show and Tell:
+3 Spell Pierce, +2 Red Blast, +1 Extirpate
-2 Firespout, -1 Smother, -2 Go for the Throat, -1 Ghastly Demise

Affinity:
+1 Firespout, +2 Engineered Explosives, +3 Spell Pierce
-4 Stifle, -2 Go for the Throat

Painter Grindstone (U/R):
+2 Engineered Explosives, +3 Extirpate, +2 Red Blast
-1 Firespout, -2 Go for the Throat, -4 Stifle

Jonathan Alexander
04-01-2011, 10:05 PM
Ah, the thread is working again. I like your list, but I don't really get the Force Spike. I always wanted to test them, but chose to just increase my threat-density, i.e. running the second Umezawa's Jitte and the fourth Bitterblossom maindeck. You might want to try out Darkblast instead, it's pretty strong in a lot of matchups. Is maindeck Firespout over Engineered Eplosives a metagame choice?
Also, how is Nihil Spellbomb for you? Do feel it's better than Relic Of Progenitus? I generally prefer Relic since it also helps a lot against Threshold-variants, Team America and also Zoo.

One thing that I would like to say in general is that I think that the basic Mountain is becoming more and more important, since nowadays even Zoo is running Wasteland. Getting hit by Wasteland from Zoo really hurts, especially in the early turns. Zenith Zoo is basically the only deck I don't really want to face right now. All these giant threats are intimidating. I actually consider running Perish again, but I'm not really sure what to cut from my sideboard. I'm generally reworking my board right now, but I'm not entirely sure where I want to go. I rarely see Goblins anymore, so I might cut the Firespouts for Red Elemental Blasts or even Grim Lavamancer, both of which are good against control and Merfolk. I'm also not sure what I want to do against Affinity, but I think running a lot of sporemoval should help me win my matches here. Darkblast is awesome against them. It's also pretty strong against Goblins; this would justify not devoting as many sideboard slots as before to them.

Also, by playing Team America a lot recently, I noticed that I'm kind of missing some broken plays in this deck. I'm working on a list that's basically Team America with red instead of green. I'm really trying out a lot of stuff with this deck right now. I'll let you know how it works.

Praeses
04-22-2011, 02:34 PM
What do ppl think about the new set and this deck? Obviously Mental Misstep is going to be good, but what about phyrexian obliterator and some combination of dark rit/urbog?. With the addition of mental mistep...it gives the deck a way to counter swords/path for free...and other removal against it would be pretty rare...

Jonathan Alexander
04-22-2011, 03:12 PM
I'm most likely to remove Spellstutter Sprite from my stock list for Mental Misstep. Further, I'm going to cut my Umezawa's Jittes for some Preordains due to not being able to support it properly anymore. I might also cut the Vendilion Cliques for additional Preordains or Grim Lavamancer. Not too sure. But apart from Mental Misstep, there's nothing good for the deck. Dark Ritual doesn't belong in this deck, it's card disadvantage. I tried Lotus Petal for stuff like turn one Spellstutter Sprite and Bitterblossom before, but the card disadvantage wasn't worth it.
This deck really needs some way to achieve card advantage for the aggro matches to assume the control-role better; especially in the long run.

Mr. Safety
05-04-2011, 10:55 AM
This deck really needs some way to achieve card advantage for the aggro matches to assume the control-role better; especially in the long run.

I dusted off my Standstills and Mistbind Cliques...they are doing quite well, actually. I am also testing Mental Misstep in Force's spot, not Spellstutter's spot, I kept the Sprites. I don't have Forces, so Mental Misstep was a really great card for a budget player like myself. I'm still in the stone age with just a U/b list with no red, too, so my comments may be entirely useless to everyone here.

Standstill + Bitterblossom gets you a great amount of card advantage, and now I have Mental Misstep to protect my Mistbinds, Vendis, and Stalkers.

Boogie
05-04-2011, 11:18 AM
I don't have the ability to test, but I was wondering when the last time anyone tested ancestral visions? it takes 4 turns, but it is kind of an ancestral recall. delaying long enough with your stupid amount of permission wouldn't be unfeasible, but it might turn out to be too little too late, especially past the first or second turn.

Mr. Safety
05-04-2011, 12:52 PM
I don't have the ability to test, but I was wondering when the last time anyone tested ancestral visions? it takes 4 turns, but it is kind of an ancestral recall. delaying long enough with your stupid amount of permission wouldn't be unfeasible, but it might turn out to be too little too late, especially past the first or second turn.

Ancestral Vision is LOUSY when you need cards PRONTO. I have played it in Faeries in legacy, and it's good turn 1-2...that's it. If you were cascading into it with Ardent Plea, maybe not bad, but that's not even on the radar screen...

Standstill can create virtual card advantage by keeping folks from playing spells (at least it works for a turn or 2) and once they finally DO break Standstill, you can usually draw into permission to counter the spell they played to activate it (or already have permission in hand.)

Mr. Safety
05-04-2011, 01:14 PM
I really like the base idea to this deck...I decided to go a bit of a different root by going down to a solid two color build. It does play quite aggresive for playing with so much control. I have been getting comments of the 2xmistbind clique...but it has saved my ass more then a few times against combo and get a bitterblossom out of play...plus its a nother solid beater.


4xSpellstutter Sprite
2xVendillion Clique
3x Tombstalker
2xMistbind Clique

3xBitterblossom

2xUmezawa's Jitte

4xThoughtseize
4xHymn to Tourach

4xBrainstorm
4xForce of Will
3xGor for the Throat
2xSnuff Out
2xSpell Pierce

4xPolluted Delta
4xUnderground Sea
4xwasteland
1xMisty Rainforest
1xMarsh Flats

2xSwamps
2xIslands

SB
2xSpell Pierce
3xSubmerge
3xDystopia
4xNihil Spellbomb
3x stifle/spell snare/blue elemental blast/meta game slot

Nice list...This is my current list (budget, for sure):

4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Vendilion Clique
2x Mistbind Clique
3x Tombstalker

4x Bitterblossom
4x Brainstorm
3x Daze
2x Spell Pierce
4x Mental Misstep
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
3x Smother
2x Standstill
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1x Basilisk Collar

7x Island
2x Swamp
1x Watery Grave
1x Scalding Tarn
1x Misty Rainforest
2x Faerie Conclave
4x Secluded Glen
2x Drowned Catacomb
1x Sunken Ruins


Sideboard is this currently:
2x Engineered Explosives
4x Faerie Macabre
3x Echoing Truth
2x Sower of Temptation
1x Pithing Needle
3x Annul

Jonathan Alexander
05-04-2011, 01:28 PM
I'm still not sure whether to cut Spellstutter Sprite and Umezawa's Jitte from my list or actually not include Mental Misstep at all. A thing that kind of bugs me with this deck is the lack of turn one plays. We really only have Stifle and sometimes Spell Snare. That's about it. Some maindeck one mana removal would be cool, but Ghastly Demise won't be online on turn one and I dislike the thought of having too many red cards maindeck, especially ones that I'm going to use in the early game. I like my Lightning Bolts where they are.

I also tried out Grim Lavamancer again, but he sucked. Most of the time he was just a vanilla 1/1 that warped my manabase. Perhaps a viable sideboard option to beat Merfolk and Goblins and to increase threat-density and general aggressiveness against control variants, I'm going to try that out as well. It's not too good with Tombstalker though, not even with cantrips and Hymn To Tourach did it work too well. (Yes, I did a lot of testing and tried out a lot of new tech, none of which was reasonably good).

What I dislike about Ancestral Vision is that it's slow and actually quite clunky. You almost never want to cast stuff on your own turn, the exceptions are cards that win the game. In my list these are actually twelve cards, Bitterblossom, Tombstalker, Engineered Explosives and Umezawa's Jitte. All of these cards have a significant (and usually immediate) impact on the game and are worth tapping out for. Ancestral Visions takes turns to get online. I'd rather play Preordain (which I actually did test, it's pretty cool).

Standstill. Ahh. I used to play it in early 2010, and even then it was too slow (in this case, slow means bad) and unreliable. Oftentimes your opponents can just set you back in terms of board position or easily play around your Standstill. If you drop it on turn two, you usually have five or six cards in hand. Your Standstill loses a lot of power against an end of turn Lightning Bolt or Brainstorm. Most of the current Legacy decks have one of these cards. I didn't like it back then, and even with manlands it sucked. I remember playing a six round GPT with a list featuring Standstill and boarding them out in five rounds. The match where I didn't board them out was one of two where I did not win all of my postboard games.

Mr. Safety
05-04-2011, 02:49 PM
@Jona: I temper that by only playing 2 copies...it's not a turn 2 play by no means (I thought I mentioned that?) I think the focus has to be winning the early game disruption war with Mental Misstep (which also counters mid-game Swords/Path on our Tombtalkers...NICE!) Stanstill is a mid-late game card drawing trick, nothing more, nothing less. The way I look at it, the longer my opponent waits to play a spell the STRONGER I GET by fillng my hand with Spellstutters, MM's, Spell Pierces, etc...and land drops to feed Mistbind Clique. Sure they still get their Bolt/Brainstorm at EOT...but you can always counter it (if needed) or just re-fill your hand and take on more serious threats wit h the permission/removal you just drew.

One card that is really on my mind is Mana Vapors. It just seems like it could be SO DAMN GOOD in here. Alas, it is not reactive (which is what a faeries deck wants) it is much more proactive. It COULD give you a Time Walk...or it could just be dead. It's blue, so it's FoW fodder, but that's not a good enough secondary use IMHO.

Praeses
05-04-2011, 10:11 PM
I think Mental Misstep should be included...it stops vial and goblin lackey, etc...as well as protects tombstalker as a finisher. I've been playing around with Phyrexian Obliterator...just b/c hes such a house against any aggro deck and so far hes been fairly promising in initial testing vs Bant, Goblins, Zoo, and assorted randomness (Ghostway, etc)

My list so far looks like:
Lands (22)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalded Tarn
4 Underground Sea
2 Badlands
1 Island
1 Swamp
4 Wasteland
2 Urbog

Creatures (15)
4 Bitterblossom
2 Vendelion Clique
2 Tombstalker
3 Phyrexian Obliterator
4 Spellstutter Sprite

Spells (23)
4 Brainstorm
4 Stifle
4 Force
4 Mental Misstep
3 Ghastly Demise
2 Smother/Go for the Throat
2 Preordain

I'm still not entirely sure if cutting daze was a good idea, but I really think that we should at least give obliterator a try...he is really really good and with 22 mana I havent had too many problems casting him.

Arsenal
05-04-2011, 10:49 PM
If we're going to be casting 4cc spells during our mainphase, I really don't see how anything even remotely trumps Jace. Jace is a swiss army knife, allows you to play the control role in certain matchups, and there's literally no drawback to playing him. Again, this is only a suggestion if people are serious about casting 4cc spells during their mainphase. Otherwise, I'm all for Flash creatures, 2-3cc dudes, etc.

Jonathan Alexander
05-05-2011, 08:31 AM
@Jona: I temper that by only playing 2 copies...it's not a turn 2 play by no means (I thought I mentioned that?) I think the focus has to be winning the early game disruption war with Mental Misstep (which also counters mid-game Swords/Path on our Tombtalkers...NICE!) Stanstill is a mid-late game card drawing trick, nothing more, nothing less. The way I look at it, the longer my opponent waits to play a spell the STRONGER I GET by fillng my hand with Spellstutters, MM's, Spell Pierces, etc...and land drops to feed Mistbind Clique. Sure they still get their Bolt/Brainstorm at EOT...but you can always counter it (if needed) or just re-fill your hand and take on more serious threats wit h the permission/removal you just drew.

One card that is really on my mind is Mana Vapors. It just seems like it could be SO DAMN GOOD in here. Alas, it is not reactive (which is what a faeries deck wants) it is much more proactive. It COULD give you a Time Walk...or it could just be dead. It's blue, so it's FoW fodder, but that's not a good enough secondary use IMHO.

I think you should try out Preordain and Fire // Ice. These cards to basically the same as the cards you are mentioning while being more versatile. Preordain is really such an awesome card. If you can put away at least one land with it, it's virtual cardadvantage, and lands drawn off a Standstill aren't too strong anyway. Plus you can cast Preordain even when you're behind. What I also like about Preordain is that you don't need fetchlands to make it work to full extend.
Fire // Ice can also help tapping down your opponents to make Daze work again while also allowing you to tap down creatures. Against decks with low threat density, tapping a Knight Of The Reliquary for example can really help a lot. It also cantrips. Mana Vapors is card disadvantage and really narrow. It might give you one more turn, but it only does something on an empty board.
Both of these cards seem too situational to work well in this deck (for Standstill this is true, at least in my experience; Mana Vapors I didn't test). You rather want to have cards that always work, even when you're behind. The only weak matchups for this deck are those where you get behind early, this is especially true for tribal aggro.

About Mental Misstep in this deck. I worked out a new list without Spellstutter Sprite with Mental Misstep. I'm going to do some extensive testing and refine the sideboard, as soon as I'm done with that, I'm going to share the list and update the primer.

Apart from that, I agree with Arsenal. Casting a card that costs BBBB is not what this deck wants to do. I'm not even running Jave, The Mind Sculptor since that guy is to slow for this deck. This deck's endgame is casting a turn two Bitterblossom with countermagic in hand. There really are only three possible gameplans for this deck.

Number one:
Turn one you disrupt your opponent, turn two you cast Bitterblossom. This is the main plan as it's the most reliable, easiest to achieve and most resilient.

Number two:
Disrupt your opponent during the first few turns, then follow up with a Tombstalker and ride that guy to victory. Easy. This is pretty strong against tribal aggro.

Number three:
Disrupt your opponent. Win by casting one of your threats late in the game. You only do this against combo decks.

As you can see, all of these plans have a primary focus of disruption in the early game, followed by a single turn of action either in turn two, turn four, or much later. Apart from the third plan none of these plans involve dropping more than four lands ever. And Phyrexian Obliterator is rather a creature that wins against aggro decks by keeping them from interacting with it in any way. It's only slightly better than Tombstalker when your on the defense, but if you're aggressive, it's worse most of the time. Merfolk is still running Daze so you need to have at least five lands in play when casting it. Tomstalker only requires you to have three lands.

Mr. Safety
05-05-2011, 08:58 AM
Fire//Ice sounds good. I think it's a better play than Mana Vapors, for sure. I'm not entirely convinced that Standstill isn't good enough for the deck. Again, I like Fire/Ice quite a bit. It might make it's way into my deck, especially considering I'm looking to fit in more duels/fetches.

Preordain...is it better than Brainstorm, even with only 2 fetchlands? I feel that I only have room enough for 4-6 draw spells, and the rest needs to be business. I'm not arguing, I'm just questioning it is all. I've always liked what Brainstorm does, especially on turn 1 with an island out and Daze in hand. Brainstorm, Daze, profit.

AznSeal
05-07-2011, 08:38 PM
2 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Trinket Mage
4 Spellstutter Sprite

2 Diabolic Edict
3 Spell Snare
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Bitterblossom
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Pithing Needle
1 Sensei's Divining Top
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Academy Ruins

1 Marsh Flats
1 Plains
1 Scrubland
1 Swamp
2 Island
2 Tundra
3 Flooded Strand
3 Mutavault
3 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
2 Doom Blade
Sideboard:
3 Spell Pierce
1 Engineered Explosives
3 Engineered Plague
2 Extirpate
3 Perish
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Umezawa's Jitte

How does this look?

Jonathan Alexander
05-08-2011, 07:02 AM
Fire//Ice sounds good. I think it's a better play than Mana Vapors, for sure. I'm not entirely convinced that Standstill isn't good enough for the deck. Again, I like Fire/Ice quite a bit. It might make it's way into my deck, especially considering I'm looking to fit in more duels/fetches.

Preordain...is it better than Brainstorm, even with only 2 fetchlands? I feel that I only have room enough for 4-6 draw spells, and the rest needs to be business. I'm not arguing, I'm just questioning it is all. I've always liked what Brainstorm does, especially on turn 1 with an island out and Daze in hand. Brainstorm, Daze, profit.

Fire // Ice is a really strong card, but it's better if you have access to red mana. You might want to try out Lotus Petal in your list (or did you do that already?), it allows for stuff like turn one Bitterblossom and can help with Tombstalker. It's also quite cool for Engineered Explosives.

And Preordain is not better than Brainstorm. Nothing is better than Brainstorm. And by the way, turn one Brainstorm is most of the time not the best play you can make. Even not playing anything at all on turn one is usually better than casting a Brainstorm. Turn one Ponder or Preordain is a different story though.




How does this look?

To be honest, it looks a bit slow and clunky. It kind of reminds me of Next Level Thresh though, which is actually much stronger than it looks. But in my personal testing Stoneforge Mystic actually was too slow and clunky, it was always too mana-intensive for my taste and therefore too limiting in regards to the plays you can make. Stoneforge Mystic is a giant mana sink and this deck is really better suited to be played as a tempo deck.
But if it works, it works. What are your testing results so far?

In other news, I started testing my new list and it is awesome. I actually cut Spellstutter Sprite and to be honest, I'm not missing it. I've also cut Umezawa's Jitte, but my new sideboard makes up for that. Also, the new sideboard is much more focused than the old one. I'm only metagaming against a few decks right now, we're going to see how that works out.
I'm not going to share the exact list right now, as I'm still not entirely sure about everything, but it looks really promising. As soon as I have played it in a tournament, I'm going to share results and the exact list.

AznSeal
05-09-2011, 12:31 AM
My newest version

3 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique
4 Spellstutter Sprite

3 Spell Snare
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Daze
4 Stifle

4 Bitterblossom

1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Umezawa's Jitte

1 Academy Ruins
1 Marsh Flats
1 Plains
1 Scrubland
1 Swamp
1 Island
2 Tundra
3 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
3 Underground Sea
4 Wasteland

Sideboard:
3 Spell Pierce
3 Perish
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Tormod's Crypt
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
4 Engineered Plague

I feel like the stoneforge package is a lot stronger than tombstalker. It makes every single faerie a threat. This leads me to my next point:

As blasphemous as this sounds, are spellstutter sprites really necessary? I feel like a 2 cost counter is overcosted in legacy.

oRen
05-09-2011, 08:56 AM
I feel like the stoneforge package is a lot stronger than tombstalker. It makes every single faerie a threat. This leads me to my next point:

As blasphemous as this sounds, are spellstutter sprites really necessary? I feel like a 2 cost counter is overcosted in legacy.
I do not think that mystic is better than stalker ... it needs a lot of mana and does not have a direct impact on the board.

a hardcounter which often counters stuff up to cc5 or more and and is a creature at the same time never seemed bad to me. i got 18 counters in my list which is really nice to play. anyway jona also said that he cutted the sprites in his most recent list.

personally i would either run blossom + sprite or play another deck :wink:

here is my most recent list:
// Lands
3 [B] Underground Sea
1 [B] Badlands
1 [B] Volcanic Island
1 [B] Island
1 [B] Swamp
1 [B] Mountain
2 [ZEN] Scalding Tarn
3 [ON] Bloodstained Mire
3 [ON] Polluted Delta
4 [TE] Wasteland

// Creatures
3 [FUT] Tombstalker
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
2 [MOR] Vendilion Clique

// Spells
3 [MOR] Bitterblossom
4 [NPH] Mental Misstep
3 [DIS] Spell Snare
3 [NE] Daze
4 [AL] Force of Will
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
4 [SC] Stifle
2 [FD] Engineered Explosives
3 [PS] Terminate
4 [MM] Brainstorm

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [PS] Terminate
SB: 2 [6E] Perish
SB: 1 [PT] Nature's Ruin
SB: 3 [SHM] Firespout
SB: 3 [PLC] Extirpate
SB: 2 [IA] Pyroblast
SB: 1 [B] Red Elemental Blast
SB: 2 [WL] Null Rod

so long :smile:

Mr. Safety
05-09-2011, 09:44 AM
Fire // Ice is a really strong card, but it's better if you have access to red mana. You might want to try out Lotus Petal in your list (or did you do that already?), it allows for stuff like turn one Bitterblossom and can help with Tombstalker. It's also quite cool for Engineered Explosives.

And Preordain is not better than Brainstorm. Nothing is better than Brainstorm. And by the way, turn one Brainstorm is most of the time not the best play you can make. Even not playing anything at all on turn one is usually better than casting a Brainstorm. Turn one Ponder or Preordain is a different story though.

Yeah, I figured. Brainstorm gets exponentially better the later in the game you play it, for sure.

I've come over to your side on the Standstill argument, too. I playtested without it and put Doom Blade x2 in those 2 slots. MUCH BETTER to say the least. I'm also playing Inquisition of Kozilek x4, and it worked like a well-oiled machine by hitting early IoK's to support when to play my Dazes/Spell Snares/Doom Blades/Smothers.

I'm not totally sold on Lotus Petal...because I want 21 lands for Mistbind Cliques. Clique has been a freakin' HOUSE in most of the games I've played them. They make a natural swap with Sower of Temptation in the sideboard vs. aggro decks, too. Mistbind Clique make your late game Dazes much better, and I'm committed to 4x Daze to protect turn 2 Bitterblossoms.

Current List:

Spellstutter Sprite x4
Mistbind Clique x2
Tombstalker x3
Vendilion Clique x2

Bitterblossom x4
Smother x3
Doom Blade x2
Inquisition of Kozilek x4
Brainstorm x4
Daze x4
Mental Misstep/Spell Pierce x4
Engineered Explosives x2
Umezawa's Jitte x1

Scalding Tarn x1
Misty Rainforest x1
Watery Grave x1
Faerie Conclave x2
Secluded Glen x3
Drowned Catacomb x2
Sunken Ruins x2
Island x5
Swamp x3

I'm currently using Spell Pierce x4 until I get hold of Mental Misstep. I look at Spellstutter Sprite as my mid-late game counterspell, not an early 1cc counterspell. Mental Misstep/Daze are the ones that I use early, coupled with Inquisition to make them better. I'm not sure which path to take:

4x Mental Misstep + 2x Spell Pierce maindeck with Engineered Explosives in the board x2 OR
4x Mental Misstep + 2x Engineered Explosives maindeck with Spell Pierce in the board x2

I'm also playtesting Annul in the sideboard x3 and Echoing Truth x2 again...why you ask? For the combo matchup and because resolved artifacts/enchantments are pretty ugly for me.

As far as getting a 3rd color for Engineered Explosives goes, i think moreefetchlands and 1x Steam Vents can solve that. I don't really want to go into 3 colors with Fire/Ice, because I would feel obligated to add in Lightning Bolt because it's such a strong play. I'm committed to Inquisition though, as it makes the deck run so much smoother.

One thing is for sure: I'm committed to 5 removals maindeck, period.

AznSeal
05-09-2011, 10:43 AM
I do not think that mystic is better than stalker ... it needs a lot of mana and does not have a direct impact on the board.

a hardcounter which often counters stuff up to cc5 or more and and is a creature at the same time never seemed bad to me. i got 18 counters in my list which is really nice to play. anyway jona also said that he cutted the sprites in his most recent list.

personally i would either run blossom + sprite or play another deck :wink:

here is my most recent list:
// Lands
3 [B] Underground Sea
1 [B] Badlands
1 [B] Volcanic Island
1 [B] Island
1 [B] Swamp
1 [B] Mountain
2 [ZEN] Scalding Tarn
3 [ON] Bloodstained Mire
3 [ON] Polluted Delta
4 [TE] Wasteland

// Creatures
3 [FUT] Tombstalker
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
2 [MOR] Vendilion Clique

// Spells
3 [MOR] Bitterblossom
4 [NPH] Mental Misstep
3 [DIS] Spell Snare
3 [NE] Daze
4 [AL] Force of Will
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
4 [SC] Stifle
2 [FD] Engineered Explosives
3 [PS] Terminate
4 [MM] Brainstorm

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [PS] Terminate
SB: 2 [6E] Perish
SB: 1 [PT] Nature's Ruin
SB: 3 [SHM] Firespout
SB: 3 [PLC] Extirpate
SB: 2 [IA] Pyroblast
SB: 1 [B] Red Elemental Blast
SB: 2 [WL] Null Rod

so long :smile:

I still play spellstutter as a 4 of. It was just a suggestion.

As for stoneforge vs tombstalker, i feel that they both essentially put the opponent on the same clock. Only difference is that stoneforge can give your creatures protection from different colors, card advantage, and removal.

JCLe
05-09-2011, 02:50 PM
Cutting the sprites actually feel pretty good to me, using a list close to Jona's in the OP. I also have been working with a spellskite as the 4th misstep (in terms of anti swords for Tombstalker) and I can't say I hate drawing it. In some cases, it can block an early goyf, a warren instigator/lackey, and zoo critters. It can also eat bounce or whatever which MM can't do, unless its CoV.

I can also imagine a situation where it's the only creature into play and jitte has at least 1 counter on it to keep it going, but that's kind of stretching it. I might even move up to 2, but I really wouldn't want to be drawing 2 at any given time.

3 Missteps seem like enough, but only time will tell for this one. Maybe in the sideboard because it gains a lot of value on the draw, when daze loses a lot, so it'd be an easy swap against some decks.

Here's the list.

//Lands
1 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
1 Badlands
2 Underground Sea
1 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

//Creatures
1 Spellskite
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

//Other Spells
3 Mental Misstep
4 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
4 Daze
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Fire // Ice
4 Force Of Will
3 Terminate
3 Spell Snare
4 Stifle
2 Umezawa's Jitte

Some times I wish Fire // Ice was a 4th straight up removal, but that's because I'm playing against KoTR tempo a lot recently and some Team America. I really like it as a blue card to pitch and actually gives you a small chance against maverick, although I haven't tested that match up with missteps... Maybe -1 EE (replaced by the Fire // Ice that stays in) +1 removal, but I haven't thought much about that yet.

Jonathan Alexander
05-09-2011, 06:29 PM
First off, Stoneforge Mystic is not even close to Tombstalker. Tombstalker is a four turn clock. Stoneforge Mystic needs another turn to set up and requires you to make more landdrops than Tombstalker does, also demanding more colours. When I tested Stoneforge Mystic in this deck, it was always too slow. I don't think it will even be strong enough against Merfolk anymore, which seems to be by far the best deck in the format right now, unless you find a way to beat it reliably while still winning against the rest of the field.
When you're playing Stoneforge Mystic, you will just lose against Zoo (yes, I guarantee that). You're too slow and they're too fast.

This brings us to the next point, the reason I don't play Spellstutter Sprite anymore right now: this deck lacks really strong turn one plays in its current (or should I say former?) incarnation. I was always looking for some way to interact on turn one with this deck, I used to play Curfew for quite some time and even considered Force Spike, just to do something against plays like Wild Nacatl. Now we have Mental Misstep. It perfectly fits the deck, you can fetch for Island on turn one on the play, don't need to tap out on your turn, and you will most likely have a strong play. The amount of reasonable one-drops we have now just doubled.this is really good news for us.

The reason why I didn't Spellstutter Sprite often (enough) to counter one-drops is that it didn't do that reliably. Apart from Swords To Plowshares you want to counter one-drops early on (on turn one). Spellstutter Sprite only does this on the play with Stifle. In situations when you have Bitterblossom out and counter expensive spells you're most likely winning anyway. You don't need to counter Knight Of The Reliquary, you can just chumpblock it. Also, with Mental Misstep, I feel much better boarding out Force Of Will against Merfolk. I hate that card against them, but now we're still able to counter their turn one ∆ther Vial. Sweet.

Anyway, I think oRen's list is really similar to what I'd be playing if I was still running Spellstutter Sprite. The only changes I'd consider are cutting the Engineered Explosives for another piece of spotremoval and the fourth Bitterblossom. I really really like that list. I enjoy running boatloads of countermagic.

JCLe's list also seems really strong, but I really don't get the Spellskite. Mental Misstep can also counter the Wild Nacatl you can block with it (Exalted kills you by the way). Plus being much more flexible in general. What I can say for sure though is that Umezawa's Jitte in a deck with such a low threat-density always seems like wasted slots to me. Equipment is really awesome if you can hand it to otherwise not that dangerously strong creatures like Noble Hierarch (or Spellstutter Sprite) to draw removal away from your real threats (though it also works on Tombstalker). But if you only have nine cards Umezawa's Jitte interacts with that's really just not enough to support it. Try out sideboard Grim Lavamancers, they do almost the same thing. They beat tribal (delaying your Tombstalker though) plus they function as additional threats against control (and as an out against nasty stuff like Peacekeeper or Ensnaring Bridge). In my testing I liked them a lot, but in the maindeck they're actually not as good. I tried maindeck Lavamancers without Bitterblossom and without Tombstalkers and in neither case I really liked them. In about ten testgames I used it's ability only once or twice. It really didn't make the cut.

Apart from that, it feels really good to see people playing this deck again. After my success with it a few months ago I've also seen some local players pick it up and one managed to go undefeated in a tournament. If you have some tournament reports, let me know. I'm also always interested in seeing what cards other people like in this deck and which cards seem to underperform.
Thanks guys!

Mr. Safety
05-10-2011, 08:22 AM
This brings us to the next point, the reason I don't play Spellstutter Sprite anymore right now: this deck lacks really strong turn one plays in its current (or should I say former?) incarnation. I was always looking for some way to interact on turn one with this deck, I used to play Curfew for quite some time and even considered Force Spike, just to do something against plays like Wild Nacatl. Now we have Mental Misstep. It perfectly fits the deck, you can fetch for Island on turn one on the play, don't need to tap out on your turn, and you will most likely have a strong play. The amount of reasonable one-drops we have now just doubled.this is really good news for us.

Bingo...Misstep is perfect for this deck, I agree COMPLETELY. As soon as I saw it, I knew I'd be playing it in my faeries deck.


The reason why I didn't Spellstutter Sprite often (enough) to counter one-drops is that it didn't do that reliably. Apart from Swords To Plowshares you want to counter one-drops early on (on turn one). Spellstutter Sprite only does this on the play with Stifle. In situations when you have Bitterblossom out and counter expensive spells you're most likely winning anyway. You don't need to counter Knight Of The Reliquary, you can just chumpblock it. Also, with Mental Misstep, I feel much better boarding out Force Of Will against Merfolk. I hate that card against them, but now we're still able to counter their turn one ∆ther Vial. Sweet.

My experience has been the same...Spellstutter is NOT an early game counterspell. It's deceiving...it looks like it says 'counter target 1 mana spell and put a 1/1 faerie with flying into play'...this isn't the right way to look at spellstutter, IMHO. I see it as 'counter target dangerous mid-game spell that attacks my threats' or 'counter target mid-game threat' or 'counter target counterspell in order to win the counter war during the fundamental turn'. Sure you can chump block Goyfs and Knights with BB tokens...but this is also a great reason to make sure your spot removal takes up at least 5 slots (currently 3 Smothes and 2 Doom Blades for me.) If you consider Explosives in the mix (2 maindeck here) then you really have 7 maindeck removals. This saves your tokens for attacking for incremental damage.



Apart from that, it feels really good to see people playing this deck again. After my success with it a few months ago I've also seen some local players pick it up and one managed to go undefeated in a tournament. If you have some tournament reports, let me know. I'm also always interested in seeing what cards other people like in this deck and which cards seem to underperform.
Thanks guys!

I played my list against a Bant Aggro list using Mental Misstep on MWS (I wasn't using MM because I haven't updated my files yet.) There seemed to be a fairly even field as far as skill went, but I wiped the floor with him pretty good. I kept preparing to see NO-Pro, and I never saw it in the 3 games we played. I did aggressively kill Noble Hierarchs and Goyfs (either with removal or counters) which is good against Bant. The real all-star in this matchup was Inquisition of Kozilek. I planned out my turns and had him LOCKED OUT as far as 3 turns in one game. If folks aren't using 4 slots dedicated to targeted discard, then I strongly suggest playtesting it. The only game that was close was when he actually got a chance to protect a Rhox War Monk with Force of Will. The lifegain KILLED me...I had already spent my removal on his earlier green dudes to avoid NO-Pro, but he may have not even been playing it, lol. I played around it knowing it would pretty much be auto-lose.

It felt good destroying his deck with my budget deck. I wish I had the best cards, but it feels good knowing that play skill reallly DOES matter.

AznSeal
05-13-2011, 10:57 PM
What's the general consensus on colors. Is white or red a better splash?

Jonathan Alexander
05-14-2011, 04:26 AM
Red's by far the best splash, the reasoning is in the opening post. There's a lot of useful information in the primer.
Apart from that, I wouldn't want to rely on Swords To Plowshares as my primary removal. I think that relying on one-mana spotremoval is not a good idea right now, Mental Misstep seems to be everywhere. Having Go For The Throat and Firespout seems just fine for now, I expect to see a lot of Merfolk in the future.

AznSeal
05-17-2011, 04:37 PM
Red's by far the best splash, the reasoning is in the opening post. There's a lot of useful information in the primer.
Apart from that, I wouldn't want to rely on Swords To Plowshares as my primary removal. I think that relying on one-mana spotremoval is not a good idea right now, Mental Misstep seems to be everywhere. Having Go For The Throat and Firespout seems just fine for now, I expect to see a lot of Merfolk in the future.

So i've been testing a version with red and a version with white. Is firespout so good that it's worth it more to include firespout over swords to plowshares? I know about MM being everywhere, but you also play your own MMs.

I feel that swords is really really good and that+stoneforge is enough to warrant a white splash over red. I realize that you're a big supporter of Tombstalker but i feel that a resolved stoneforge mystic is a lot harder to deal with than a resolved tombstalker, only the clock is 1 turn slower, but it's more "guarenteed"

Mr. Safety
05-18-2011, 07:49 AM
So i've been testing a version with red and a version with white. Is firespout so good that it's worth it more to include firespout over swords to plowshares? I know about MM being everywhere, but you also play your own MMs.

I feel that swords is really really good and that+stoneforge is enough to warrant a white splash over red. I realize that you're a big supporter of Tombstalker but i feel that a resolved stoneforge mystic is a lot harder to deal with than a resolved tombstalker, only the clock is 1 turn slower, but it's more "guarenteed"

Tombstalker got about a metric ton BETTER with the printing of Mental Misstep. Now we need not fear Swords on him quite so much...it's looking really good for Tombstalker right now. I for one support Tombstalker over SFM, absolutely. Tombstalker can swing games your way (5 evasive damage a turn can change a game state FAST) but SFM can't save you if you're behind.

KevinTrudeau
05-23-2011, 10:45 PM
My oh my is this deck good. I've been switching off between these two lists:

UBr

4 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
2 Bloodstained Mire
4 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
1 Badlands
1 Island
1 Swamp
3 Wasteland

4 Dark Confidant
4 Bitterblossom
3 Hymn to Tourach

4 Brainstorm
4 Ponder
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Mental Misstep

3 Lightning Bolt
2 Terminate
1 Repeal

3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

Sideboard:
2 Vendilion Clique
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Spell Pierce
2 Energy Flux
3 Firespout
2 Sower of Temptation

Esper

4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
4 Underground Sea
3 Tundra
1 Scrubland
1 Island
1 Swamp
3 Wasteland

4 Dark Confidant
4 Bitterblossom
4 Stoneforge Mystic

4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Mental Misstep

4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Repeal

3 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice

Sideboard:
3 Path to Exile
4 Leyline of the Void
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Steel Sabotage
2 Spell Pierce
2 Tidehollow Sculler

and I can't decide which one I like more. The mana in the UBr build is better, but the Esper has a higher power level. Mental Misstep and Jace really push them over the top; if they manage to deal with one of the abundant 2 CMC threats and disruption you're packing, they likely won't have any gas left when Jace hits play. I replaced 3 Tombstalkers with 3 Jaces because Tombstalker doesn't fit the curve as well, and I feel that Jace is just better, though I'm not 100% about that. Stifle doesn't really have a place either anymore, as I'd much rather cast a Bob, SFM, Blossom, or Hymn than leave up mana for disruption.

Nordlund
05-23-2011, 10:56 PM
The look of the UBr list I really like fits my play style. Though I would play the 4th Hymn over the 4th MM. Yes it is good but it will always be a 1 for 1. Hymn is probably one of the best spells in the deck and usually a 2 for 1 sometimes more sometimes less. Have you thought possibly about Misdirection SB at all?

KevinTrudeau
05-23-2011, 11:04 PM
I have not really thought about Misdirection, but the sideboard isn't close to being finalized. I'd cut the fourth Ponder before Misstep because Misstep stops Spell Snare and helps you resolve your turn two threat immensely, and since all Ponder tries to do is dig for a spell rather than improve your hand like Brainstorm, cutting a Ponder for a spell you'd be digging for with Ponder seems alright.

Jonathan Alexander
05-25-2011, 05:29 AM
That UBR list looks like a monster. I like it.
Did you test Grim Lavamancer? It's a pretty strong sideboard card against control and Merfolk, both of which seem to be popular strategies nowadays. It also works better with Dark Confidant than Firespout does plus it's a one-drop, of which this deck only has few really good ones. Without Stifle you don't really need to keep mana open on turn one anymore anyway, so I'm fine with tapping out more often now.
Grim Lavamancer is also quite strong against Affinity, which is popping up more and more (at least where I play, but it looks like it's also quite popular in the States).
Apart from that I always like to have the full set of Wastelands.

Moving the deck to a more traditional control-route (i.e. cardadvantage over tempoadvantage) seems like an interesting idea to me. After I've seen your list I started working on a similar one, so thanks for sharing. I'm not quite sure how to fill the last few slots though. Right now it looks a lot like creature-based control with Grim Lavamancer and Dark Confidant.

I'm also not sure if I really want to run Jace in this deck, as it woud require me to run more lands (something I really dislike in these kind of decks) and I'm not sure if running Dark Confidant with Force Of Will, Jace, Bitterblossom and Mental Misstep is not too risky. It would be nice to have a wincondition that doesn't lose to Grim Lavamancer or Darkblast though. Running Jace with Wasteland and Daze doesn't seem to good either as you won't reliably cast him before turn five or six.

This is the list I'm stuck with right now:

//Lands
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Swamp
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland

//Creatures
4 Dark Confidant
3 Grim Lavamancer

//Other Spells
4 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
1 Darkblast
4 Daze
2 Engineered Explosives
4 Force Of Will
2 Go For The Throat
3 Jace, The Mind Sculptor
4 Mental Misstep
4 Ponder

No clue about the sideboard right now. I want to address the most common matchups (Merfolk, Control and Affinity, perhaps Team America) in the maindeck. This list seems to do a pretty good job at that.

wcm8
06-27-2011, 12:08 PM
Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I think this deck deserves a bit more attention with the recent equipment printings.

With UBr, you gain access to Grim Lavamancer, Firespout, Lightning Bolt and REB/Pyroblast. Grim is awesome, but to consistantly bank on seeing him in the matchups where he matters, you're going to want 3-4 slots devoted to him between main and side. Firespout is rather narrow, and it's often difficult to actually resolve it with Merfolk running Cursecatcher, Daze, Spell Pierce, and FoW -- and late game it can often be too little, too late. Lightning Bolt is either going to be awesome or completely dead, and as a 1CMC removal option, it is just as vulnerable to misstep as StP. I will agree that Blasts are awesome, but running a color for just a few sideboard slots seems somewhat narrow if the rest of the deck doesn't justify it.

With UBw, you gain a ton of options: 4 SFM + Equipment, 4 StP as the best universal removal option, and several strong sideboard options. When you are committing yourself to running Bitterblossom and Spellstutter Sprite, I think you're not really trying to end the game so quickly anymore, so I fail to see why Tombstalker is a necessity for this deck -- you also don't need to hit double black since every card besides Jace and Clique are only single colored. If you are connecting each turn with a SoFI or a Batterskull, you have the opponent on a quick clock anyways.

The following list got 4th place in the most recent LCL tournament:

4ļ Alejandro Delgado- UWB Stoneforge Blossom

1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique
4 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
3 Mental Misstep
3 Spell Snare
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Flooded Strand
2 Island
1 Plains
4 Polluted Delta
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Scrubland
1 Swamp
3 Tundra
3 Underground Sea
2 Jace, the mind sculptor
3 Ponder

SD:
3 Engineered Explosives
1 Manriki-Gusari
2 Nihil Spell bomb
3 Peacekeeper
2 Extirpate
2 Spell Pierce
2 Perish

I wouldn't necessarily copy this list card-for-card, but I think it provides a good starting-point for further development of the "Faeries" deck. For one thing, I would consider increasing the land count to 21/22 to reduce mulligans. The SB seems okay for a certain expected metagame, though I would consider mixing it up depending on what you'd plan on seeing -- Peacekeeper is fantastic though as a foil to aggro decks and sometimes Emrakul.

I am aware that going in this direction makes the deck more of a midrange/control deck rather than a "tempo" deck (no stifles, Dazes, or Wastelands), but given the current metagame I think this is a better utilization of Spellstutters and Bitterblossom. If I wanted to play the tempo game I'd rather run Team America.

jeanbathez
06-28-2011, 06:42 AM
@wcm8 : Perfect that you started this discussion, i also saw this deck and liked it.
A few weeks ago i played Ubr and realized the same things about lavamancer sometimes great and sometimes bad, but to get him when he is needed, you need between 3 and 4 so i decided to drop red and try add white, and then saw this list.

About the list, i think too that 1 or 2 lands could be added, perhaps instead of Ponder ?
Perhaps i prefer 3 Jaces. Perhaps somewhere in the 75 a Jitte...i'am not sure...

paK0
06-28-2011, 11:53 AM
Ok, of all the decks i've seen in the last time this one seems like the most appealing to me, but there are some fundamental changes I would make.

- Cut one Equipment, with SFM we still have virtually 6.
- Add Land
- Add Aether Vial and a 4th Misstep. Fearies is not as fast as other Tempo Decks, mainly because a lot of the powerful plays of it lie in the 2-drop range. Adding 1-drops and Misstep will help get past the hardest turn of the game (2 if we are on the draw).

Anyways, a good time to start brewing.

wcm8
06-28-2011, 12:06 PM
I'm not sure why Aether vial would deserve the slot. We run only 10 (or less) creatures, and if you want to make them uncounterable you should just run something like Daze to protect your turn 2 drop (including Blossom). Flashing in a Sprite is cute, but it seems to be in 'danger of cool things'.

paK0
06-28-2011, 04:46 PM
True, but I'd still give it a shot, we only play 4 removal spells, so having countermana up at every point is pretty mandatory.

I know its called Tempo Faeries, but the deck actually functions best if it can play some kind of MUC style, counter everything and drop a wincon only of you have a window. Now Aether vial broadens that window by a lot, putting pressure on the opponent while having countermana up is a situation everyone wants to be in.

Mr. Safety
06-29-2011, 08:08 AM
I remember a list that ran Hymns recently...I just made the switch over to Hymn to Tourach in my list (cutting 2 Spell Snares and 2 Daze to get 4 in there) and it has been nothing short of awesome. I also play 4 Inquisitions, so the 1-2 punch can be brutal to any deck I can pull it off against (with the exception of Dredge which laughs at it, but if I have a MM/Daze in hand to protect those early plays against other decks it can be really great tempo disruption)

Anyone else play Hymns in their list?

Sygg_River_Landlord
06-29-2011, 03:20 PM
I've been running this list and it seems ok. Could use some further testing though. sideboard is entirely fluid.
3 spellstutter sprite
4 force of will
4 mental misstep
3 daze
2 repeal
4 brainstorm
3 Jace, the mind sculptor
3 Tombstalker
4 bitterblossom
1 Jitte
1 Sword of fire and ice
3 stoneforge mystic
4 swords to plowshares
4 underground seas
3 tundra
1 scrubland
1 plains
1 swamp
1 island
3 flooded strand
4 marshflats
3 wasteland

I really like the stoneforge package alongside bitterblossom since you get a constant stream of evasive creatures for your equipment. I'm still playing the tombstalkers mostly cause I like having yet another path to victory but they could be taken out for another stoneforge and some more disruption. I've wanted to fit hymn or thoughtseize somewhere but haven't had time to test the best option.

Sygg_River_Landlord
07-23-2011, 11:31 PM
Also I've had some promising results against stoneforge control decks. A turn two bitterblossom is extremely strong against them and repeal has been very useful in keeping the batterskull token off the field. UW decks with standstill seem to be more challenging than those with visions however.

Mr. Safety
08-09-2011, 03:03 PM
I've been testing this list on MWS with pretty awesome results:

4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Vendilion Clique
3x Tombstalker
4x Bitterblossom
4x Brainstorm
4x Mental Misstep
4x Force of Will
4x Inquisition of Kozilek
4x Hymn to Tourach
3x Smother
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1x Basilisk Collar
4x Polluted Delta
4x Underground Sea
2x Scalding Tarn
4x Wasteland
4x Island
3x Swamp
1x Mutavault

Sideboard
3x Annul
2x Echoing Truth
1x Pithing Needle
2x Surgical Extracion
1x Ravenous Trap
2x Engineered Explosives
2x Deathmark
2x Spell Pierce


I've turned from Daze to Mental Misstep, and I think the 1-2 punch of Inquisition/Hymn is brutal.

Annul in the board is because I've seen a small uprising of Enchantress on MWS and it can still be a hard counter to the cheaper equips (jitte, sword of *and*) I absolutely love the 2 color mana-base instead of splitting to 3 colors for red or white. I'm debating on putting in Spell Snare in the sideboard...because of the prevalence of Stoneforge Mystic as well as hitting traditional powerful cards (Goofy, Bob, Hymn, Pridemage)

The deck is pretty good against Maverick...the Deathmarks and Echoing Truths are really nice weapons. I've debated Chain of Vapor instead of Echoing Truth, but I feel that the potential of hitting 2 permanents is worth the extra mana. Bouncing Batterskull can usually buy you enough time to either get Jitte/Collar working or dig into some removal for Mystic. Multiple Mystics on the table are fun to bounce with Truth as well.

I feel that overall, Bitterblossom is just really well placed right now. I spent one really long game against Maverick and stuck a Basilisk Collar on my tokens...it took care of the Batterskull problem quite nicely and when equipped to a Tombstalker brings you back to life parity pretty quickly. I also tested Trinket Mage but found that Brainstorm was sufficient enough to feed me the answers I needed.

Any thoughts on a more traditional u/b fae build?

Awake
08-16-2011, 06:40 PM
hello everyone, i'm really interested in this deck even if it's only my first post

after a quick read of the last pages, i propose my decklist, which is probably not the best one, but the one i prefere, what do you guys think about it?

1 Island
1 Mountain
1 Swamp
1 Volcanic Island
3 Underground Sea
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Wasteland
2 Vendilion Clique
3 Tombstalker
4 Spellstutter Sprite
1 Engineered Explosives
1 Umezawa's Jitte
4 Bitterblossom
1 Fire / Ice
1 Smother
2 Ghastly Demise
2 Spell Snare
3 Daze
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
2 Ponder
3 Thoughtseize

i'm missing stifle in this list, maybe I could do -3 thoughtseize -1 EE + 4Stifle .. but i like thoughtseize a lot :/
let me know what you think :)

Capitalization and proper punctuation are requirements when posting on these boards. Please use them in the future. Thanks. -zilla

fdiv_bug
09-19-2011, 02:21 PM
Down in Atlanta a little over a week ago, I faced off against Edgar Flores and his U/B Faeries deck, and I really enjoyed playing against it. So I built it from this list:

4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Dark Confidant
3 Vendilion Clique

4 Bitterblossom
4 Brainstorm
4 Mental Misstep
2 Spell Pierce
2 Daze
2 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Cabal Therapy
2 Thoughtseize
3 Stifle
2 Umezawa's Jitte

4 Mutavault
4 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
1 Riptide Laboratory
3 Wasteland
4 Underground Sea
1 Scalding Tarn
1 Swamp
2 Island

// Sideboard
3 Spell Snare
1 Doom Blade
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Smother
3 Extirpate
2 Damnation
2 Darkblast
2 Spell Pierce

The sideboard is kinda strange -- Diabolic Tutor? Really? -- but otherwise I generally like the deck. Cabal Therapy is so good against Stoneforge Mystic and the equipment it tutors up, and as a way to get rid of Bob when one's life total gets dangerously low, but I think I might like to fit in a couple pieces of removal. I dislike the idea of having to pay up to 7 life -- 3 off Bob and up to 4 for the mana cost -- for Dismember, but what about a couple of Go for the Throat or Ghastly Demise? Maybe in place of the two Spell Pierce? Thoughts? Any other options I might be overlooking?

GGoober
09-19-2011, 02:32 PM
Lol Diabolic Tutor???

It should be Mystical Teachings before Diabolic Tutor anyway (tutoring up Clique/Sprite/FoW/MM/Brainstorm/removal), you also get two uses, and at INSTANT speed. Even then, Mystical Teachings isn't for this deck, or for Legacy in general.

fdiv_bug
09-19-2011, 02:40 PM
Lol Diabolic Tutor???

It should be Mystical Teachings before Diabolic Tutor anyway (tutoring up Clique/Sprite/FoW/MM/Brainstorm/removal), you also get two uses, and at INSTANT speed. Even then, Mystical Teachings isn't for this deck, or for Legacy in general.

Oh, snap! Mystical Teachings would be kinda clever, but you're right in that it's still not playable. If I were going to keep a Tutor in the board, I'd replace it with either Grim Tutor or Cruel Tutor.

Mr. Safety
09-19-2011, 02:50 PM
I think the best tutor would be Lim-Dul's Vault for this deck. Instant speed, 2-mana cost in the colors of your deck, and can dig really deep for relatively little life. The first 2 points make it better than Grim or Cruel Tutor IMHO. If you don't find the card you need in the top 15 cards of your deck, that is a sad day indeed (comparing it to Grim Tutor) and you get to look at 10 cards to be comparable to Cruel Tutor. Still, the low-cost of 1-life-per-5-cards is pretty easy to work with.

The instant-speed and 2-mana cost of Lim-Dul's Vault make it stand out as a better option, IMHO.

Draener
09-19-2011, 04:06 PM
Yeah... who needs life in a deck that plays dark confidant and bitterblossums anyways. Vastly overrated.

fdiv_bug
09-19-2011, 05:22 PM
Yeah, I would not play a tutor that costs me more than a few life, if that. In fact, I'm not even looking for a tutor replacement for the board, since I'm going to make some significant board changes anyway. I'm most interested in what people might consider for some spot removal, either main or board (or both).

I also wanted to start some discussion regarding the deck up again since it's a hell of a lot of fun to play. Reminds me of when Faeries was good in Standard.

fdiv_bug
09-20-2011, 01:08 PM
All right, well I'm pleased with the loss of Mental Misstep because it makes other decks I enjoy playable again. That means we've got four slots in the list I posted above, though. I'm thinking -4 Mental Misstep, +2 Daze, +2 Ghastly Demise.

Mr. Safety
09-20-2011, 02:45 PM
All right, well I'm pleased with the loss of Mental Misstep because it makes other decks I enjoy playable again. That means we've got four slots in the list I posted above, though. I'm thinking -4 Mental Misstep, +2 Daze, +2 Ghastly Demise.

I am thinking the same, that Daze can hop right back into MM's spot (although I think you're correct in not playing 4. Two or three should suffice, and Ghastly Demise is solid tech.) Spell Snare is another solid option, and I may go with 2x Daze and 2x Spell Snare.

I missed Bob in that list...I would never have suggested Lim-Dul's Vault if I knew he was in there.

fdiv_bug
09-20-2011, 02:49 PM
I am thinking the same, that Daze can hop right back into MM's spot (although I think you're correct in not playing 4. Two or three should suffice, and Ghastly Demise is solid tech.) Spell Snare is another solid option, and I may go with 2x Daze and 2x Spell Snare.
Well, adding two Daze would put me up to four. Could do -4 Misstep, +1 Daze, +3 Ghastly Demise, to put me at 3 Daze and 3 spot removal.

Slate-
09-21-2011, 02:43 AM
I've also been toying around with this deck. Here's my list that I've been playing, based off that same list from Mr Flores.



4 [TE] Wasteland
4 [A] Underground Sea
1 [ON] Riptide Laboratory
4 [MOR] Mutavault
4 [ON] Polluted Delta
3 [ON] Flooded Strand
2 [UNH] Island
1 [UNH] Swamp

4 [RAV] Dark Confidant
4 [LRW] Spellstutter Sprite
2 [MOR] Vendilion Clique
2 [BOK] Ninja of the Deep Hours

4 [IA] Brainstorm
4 [JGC] Bitterblossom
2 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
3 [SC] Stifle
3 [NE] Daze
3 [OD] Standstill
4 [ROE] Inquisition of Kozilek
2 [ON] Smother

SB: 1 [BOK] Umezawa's Jitte
SB: 3 [PLC] Extirpate
SB: 1 [OD] Divert
SB: 3 [DIS] Spell Snare
SB: 2 [PLC] Damnation
SB: 1 [RAV] Darkblast
SB: 2 [MBS] Go for the Throat
SB: 2 [ZEN] Spell Pierce

Draener
09-24-2011, 01:34 PM
You should really be testing cabal therapy in that list's discard spot. It combines very nicely with dark confidant and bitterblossom, plus everyone and their mom is now showing you parts of their hand, whether it be stoneforge, silvergill, or dark confidant.

Zunam
09-24-2011, 05:57 PM
This deck looks like an exceptionally good home for Snapcaster Mage (or Tempo Lists in general). Has anyobody tried it in this shell, yet?

Cantrips, Counters, Stifles, Removal and discard seem like a promising home for it. Additionally it does a good job with Jitte and does well in lists with Firespout (surviving them and occasionally recurring them).

Poliser
09-27-2011, 11:25 AM
Hey guys!
I'm looking to play at one of the Next tournaments with a deck like this:

19 Lands:
3 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
3 Underground Sea
3 Tundra
4 Wasteland
1 Scrubland
2 Island

20 Instants
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Stifle
4 Brainstorm
4 Swords to Plowshares

3 Sorceries
3 Ponder

2 Artifacts
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawas Jitte

13 Creatures
3 Snapcaster Mage
3 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Vendillion Clique
4 Dark Confidant

3 Enchanrments
3 Bitterblossom

It is a Tempo-list and i am not sure about the Spellstutter Sprites
I think the New Snapcaster Mage will be hilarious, so the Most of my Instant and sorcery Spells have cc 1
Because i'll Never want to pay more than 3 mana
But i'm not sure about the whole thing
Can you help me?

antesha
09-30-2011, 12:35 PM
my classic ubr build:

Mainboard:

Polluted Delta x4
Bloodstained Mire x2
Scalding Tarn x2
Underground Sea x3
Volcanic Island x2
Badlands x1
Wasteland x4
Island x1
Swamp x1

Spellstutter Sprite x2
Tombstalker x3
Vendilion Clique x2

Stifle x3
Brainstorm x4
Daze x3
Force of Will x4
Spell Snare x4
Ponder x3
Go for the Throat x2
Fire//Ice x1
Lightning Bolt x3

Bitterblossom x4

Umezawa's Jitte x2


Misstep ban left me with 3 empty slots so I put in 2 Spell Snares i 1 Ponder. Snares are great because of ongoing Stoneforge Mystic mania. In side got Explosives, Firespout, 1 more Clique, Needles (with Misstep ban the worst enemy returned: Vial) grave hate and
most often red blasts because fish decks are common in meta...
3 Stifle proved to be ok...lot of times it was dead card later in the game...Fire//Ice replaced it nicely with its few ways to use it...

otherside
10-18-2011, 01:29 AM
Current list.

Switching out Tombstalker.


4 Polluted Delta
3 Scalding Tarn
3 Underground Sea
3 Volcanic Island
4 Wasteland
3 Island

4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Vendilion Clique
3 Scion of Oona

4 Bitterblossom
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Stifle
4 Brainstorm
4 Terminate
3 Ponder
3 Firespout

Mr. Safety
09-07-2012, 09:11 AM
Unearthing this to show someone who posted a U/B faeries deck in the New and Developmental category.

Mr. Safety
12-14-2012, 09:21 PM
Big time necro here...haven't heard a peep about Faeries in a long time. I still love the deck, and I still have mixed success with it.

I've been playing this deck a lot, now that I have sets of Wasteland, Force, and at least 1 Underground Sea. It seems to be doing really well, back to the mid-range faeries type of strategy. Snapcaster is better than Delver, and Jace + Liliana is badass.

Current list, and loving it:

4x Spellstutter Sprite
2x Snapcaster Mage
3x Tombstalker

4x Bitterblossom
4x Brainstorm
4x Force of Will
3x Spell Pierce
3x Daze
2x Go for the Throat
2x Jace, the Mind Sculptor
2x Liliana of the Veil
2x Umezawa's Jitte
2x Hymn to Tourach
1x Spell Snare

4x Wasteland
2x Mutavault
2x Creeping Tar Pit
1x Underground Sea
1x Watery Grave
1x Sunken Ruins
4x Misty Rainforest
2x Verdant Catacombs
3x Island
2x Swamp

Sideboard:

3x Pithing Needle
4x Faerie Macabre
4x Ensnaring Bridge
2x Deathmark
2x Echoing Truth


It has a broad-spectrum approach, much like Rock or Esperblade, where it doesn't auto-lose to anything but it doesn't auto-win either. The Bridges out of the board are especially nasty against Show and Tell decks, and basically anything aggro like Goblins, Maverick, or Rock. I take out Tombstalkers for the Bridges, and Spell Snare to get all 4 in.

Barbed Blightning
08-16-2013, 07:55 PM
Any hope tempo faeries can become a thing? Looks like fun

Quzu
09-03-2013, 07:47 PM
I think it has been a thing since the deck was created. Most people I've talked to agree that is a solid tier 2 deck, albeit an unpopular one.

I really want to thank Jona for this thread though. I recently got into legacy, and I love playing this deck. My playgroup runs RUG thresh, BUG cascade, Death and Taxes, white weenie, and ANT. This deck has been holding its own against them.

My current decklist runs
//19 land//
2 Underground Sea
1 Tropical Island
1 Blood Crypt (soon to be replaced with Badlands)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Wastelands
2 Island
1 Swamp

//10 Creatures//
4 Spellstutter Sprites
3 Vendilion Clique
3 Tombstalker

//4 Enchantmentt//
4 Bitterblossom

//27 Instants & Sorceries//
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Stifle
2 Spell Snare
1 Spell Pierce
2 Cabal Therapy
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Go for the Throat
1 Doomblade

//Sideboard//
3 Relic of Progenitus
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Extripate
1 Surgical Extration
3 Firespout
3 Lightning Bolt

Most of the feedback I've gotten was to maybe include the 20th land, and play 2 hymns in place of Inquisition. Maybe change my removal to include Smother or Ghastly Demise.

I am also really tempted to give the green splash a second look. Abrupt Decay is really good, and it gets rid of a lot problem cards like engineered plague and Liliana. The green splash also gives access to deathrite shaman which I think could fill in the role of Jitte very well. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Yonthan
09-05-2013, 10:50 AM
I think it has been a thing since the deck was created. Most people I've talked to agree that is a solid tier 2 deck, albeit an unpopular one.

I really want to thank Jona for this thread though. I recently got into legacy, and I love playing this deck. My playgroup runs RUG thresh, BUG cascade, Death and Taxes, white weenie, and ANT. This deck has been holding its own against them.

My current decklist runs
//19 land//
2 Underground Sea
1 Tropical Island
1 Blood Crypt (soon to be replaced with Badlands)
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Wastelands
2 Island
1 Swamp

//10 Creatures//
4 Spellstutter Sprites
3 Vendilion Clique
3 Tombstalker

//4 Enchantmentt//
4 Bitterblossom

//27 Instants & Sorceries//
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
4 Stifle
2 Spell Snare
1 Spell Pierce
2 Cabal Therapy
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Go for the Throat
1 Doomblade

//Sideboard//
3 Relic of Progenitus
3 Engineered Explosives
2 Extripate
1 Surgical Extration
3 Firespout
3 Lightning Bolt

Most of the feedback I've gotten was to maybe include the 20th land, and play 2 hymns in place of Inquisition. Maybe change my removal to include Smother or Ghastly Demise.

I am also really tempted to give the green splash a second look. Abrupt Decay is really good, and it gets rid of a lot problem cards like engineered plague and Liliana. The green splash also gives access to deathrite shaman which I think could fill in the role of Jitte very well. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

if u splash red, have u tried terminate over doomblade?

Quzu
09-05-2013, 09:33 PM
I definitely want to try it, but I don't own any. That is my list as is, but I haven't run into too much trouble with creature removal. I mentioned abrupt decay mainly to deal with Liliana and engineered plague, and to be creature removal too when I needed it to be.

Next time I play, I'll probably play
-2 spell snares
-1 spell pierce
-1 vendilion clique

+4 lightning bolts

Just to see if I like it better. Also borrowing some hymns from a friend to see how they run instead of Inquisition of Kozilek.

danpo
10-08-2014, 01:37 PM
Necro'd.

1) A recent take on this deck won a 167-person event:
http://mtgdecks.net/decks/view/87367

The above list looked sweet to me. You get to Green Sun for Edric to make Bitterblossom just rad. You can reset Reclamation Sage, V.Clique or Spellstutter Sprite via Quickling. And it affords way more style-points than Team America or Shardless builds.

-

2) I tweaked the above list (wasn't hyped on Dimir Charm or Faeries that cost four mana) and took the following version to my local $5 four-round event:

4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Spellstutter Sprite
2 Scryb Ranger
2 Quickling
3 Vendilion Clique
1 Edric, Spymaster
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Dryad Arbor

2 Spell Pierce
4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
4 Abrupt Decay
3 Green Sun's Zenith
1 Sylvan Library
3 Bitterblossom
1 Umezawa's jitte

2 Mutavault
1 Island
1 Forest

3 Tropical Island
2 Underground Sea
2 Bayou
4 Mistry Rainforest
3 Polluted Delta
2 Verdant Catacombs

Round one against my guy Adam with Death & Taxes: I had fast Bitterblossoms and drew lots of Spellstutter Sprites. They did god-like things like counter Flickerwisp and the 3/4 catboss legend. Quickling reset my Reclamation Sage mid combat, that was sweet. I don't remember precisely why this match got long but I do remember playing imperfectly. It ended in a draw.

Round two against Aluren: I have endless counters for his Recruiters (note that Bitterblossom is tribal and thus it + token + Spellstutter = legit counter for 3c on turn 3) and although he stalls me with Orzhov Pontiff I am able to grind through and get this 2-0.

Round three against URbg Pyromancer: he makes lots of tokens, counters three Brainstorms from me and Dazes my Bitterblossom, and also has multiple Forked Bolts. I had to flash out a V.Clique as a blocker just to kill a Pyromancer, life sux. I fall to 1-1-1, then we play a third game just for funsies, which I squeak out by containing his initial onslaught, then having two Blue Elemental Blasts for his two Forked Bolts, and casting Spellstutter Sprite on his Git. Probe to make sure he can't claw back in.

Round four against Sneak & Show: he goes off god-like and I just don't have enough super-relevant hate to make him care. Like I board out Abrupt Decay and Jitte and slow stuff and bring in Flusterstorm and Spell Pierce and Pithing Needle and Blue Blast but it doesn't matter Emrakul just crushes me. We even play a third game and it's the same. I hate this matchup but the opponent, Jesko, was turbo-nice and I couldn't stay mad at him.

-

3) Where to go from here? The deck is too fun not to tweak and try to improve.

I don't find the Mutavaults terribly exciting. I get that they have the potential to make Spellstutter better and/or maintain pressure against sorcery-speed removal and unguarded planeswalkers, but I think Wasteland randomly punishing opponents who are land-light and dealing with Karakas (which jams up V.Clique and Edric) and other annoying stuff (Tabernacle could be a problem and my Pyromancer opponent vowed to bring Lands next week) is probably just better.

Quickling often felt more cute than good; it's pretty situational. There's a temptation to just put more utility or beatdown in that slot. 4x Thoughtseize seems a more appealing sideboard option than more Spell Pierces and junk. So I dunno. Stifle could be cute, but the deck's clock isn't insane, so I'm not sold on that route either.

Thoughts?

fdiv_bug
10-08-2014, 10:06 PM
Necro'd.
Quite. :tongue:

I like the list a lot, though, and Quickling is pretty tight. Thanks for sharing it, and the great report!

Something I did want to point out, though, in case you or others maybe missed it:


Aluren: I have endless counters for his Recruiters (note that Bitterblossom is tribal and thus it + token + Spellstutter = legit counter for 3c on turn 3)...
Not only does that work perfectly to hard counter his 3-drop, you don't even need to pay any mana for the Spellstutter Sprite! Like Dream Halls, Aluren affects both players. "Nice Aluren, man. Too bad about your Recruiter getting countered." Plus you can Quickling the Sprite back for free and cast it again for free (to counter a 4-or-less-drop this time). :laugh:

Qweerios
10-08-2014, 11:20 PM
Isn't Goyf just better than Quickling in this deck? Being able to draw 7 copies of Goyfs sounds really exciting. Also, with all the ramp available in that deck, Daze/Wastes sounds phenomenal.

Pans-Advocate
10-16-2014, 07:10 AM
It looks sweet to Quickling back a Spellstutter, but I think this deck really wants a Scavenging Ooze to Zenith for. That said, I really like the promise of Edric and Bitterblossom representing a way to keep up with the card advantage of Treasure Cruise. If the format devolves into pure card advantage races, I think this could be a reasonable approach. It's a little rough to be so vulnerable to -1/-1 effects, but there's still a lot of potential here. I don't have the time or opportunity to jam enough games to feel comfortable bringing this to GP NJ, but you can bet I'll be trying this at my next weekly. This deck is exciting in a way that I haven't seen in a while.

danpo
10-17-2014, 02:40 AM
Yeahhh! Glad to get someone else psyched on Legacy Faeries in 2014.

It's true, there are times where you're holding Quickling and just want a body and instead the card basically amounts to a situational instant that you just have to sit there and hate.

Scavenging Ooze is indeed tempting with the Green Sun package, but you already have DRS helping hate the graveyard, and I feel like Ooze is less impressive when you don't make heaps of green mana. I'm also not jazzed on going with a Daze/tempo-type package, because this deck's clock is not blazing fast. Maybe I'm wrong though: stub the other guy's toe with a well-placed Stifle and by the time he's back in maybe you're dominating the board with a squadron from Bitterblossom. I guess if that's your argument then the question becomes, why not play the full 4x Bitterblossom? I'm just free-styling here.

Anyway I hate to be the guy lobbying for a more predictable BUG build because, as I said a few posts up, I think this package offers crazy style points over Shardless and Team America and whatnot. That said, my temptation is to shore up the disruption package with some kind of hand-hate somewhere in the 75 (not sure it's 4x Thoughtseize though, because Bitterblossom DOES kill you).

I had daydreamed about Tarmogoyf taking over the Quickling slot (pros: less susceptible to Golgari Charm/Zealous Persecution; blocks Tarmogoyf. Cons: is not a faerie; is negative style points) but a more ambitious experiment I'm leaning toward is Spell Snare. It hits both the -1/-1 effects I mentioned and opposing Goyfs, and is also relevant against Infernal Tutor and Burning Wish and Stoneforge and Pyromancer and a lot of other annoying stuff in my meta. If it could also bone Sneak-and-Show it would've been the first thing I mentioned in this post, really. I guess it's cool to take advantage of so much of the deck having flash by leaving mana open for counters.

Hey, also: the sideboard I played last week was a total pile of cards and needs help. My meta has a disproportionate amount of Maverick/Death&Taxes, Storm, Sneak&Show and a few tempo players and occasional goofy combos like Food Chain, Aluren, etc. Thoughts?

scry_me_a_river
12-18-2016, 02:30 PM
Hey guys=)

I came across some threads in the forum and this seems to be the "official" one (even though it has been inactive for some time).

Does still anybody play faeries these days? I didn't find that much content so far but I would be very interested in building a fae deck (maybe with Delver, mayber a Standstill or even a BUG build).

Kind regards

magicmo
02-14-2017, 10:07 AM
Some time ago I fell in love with BUG Faeries, so with the appearance of Leovold (colleague of Edric), I thought it's the right time to let them fly again - elves are faeries without wings in the end.
After the BUG Nemesis hype some Merfolk Rogues found their way into the swarm - I could swear TNN has wings.

Anyways, here is the list I won a small local tournament with 27 participants.

http://tcdecks.net/deck.php?id=22106&iddeck=170193

1 Dryad Arbor
1 Edric, Spymaster of Trest
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Sower of Temptation
2 Scryb Ranger
2 Vendilion Clique
3 True-Name Nemesis
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Spellstutter Sprite

2 Daze
3 Abrupt Decay
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will

3 Green Sun's Zenith

2 Bitterblossom

1 Umezawa's Jitte

1 Forest
1 Swamp
2 Bayou
2 Island
2 Mutavault
2 Underground Sea
3 Tropical Island
4 Misty Rainforest
4 Polluted Delta

[Sideboard]
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Glissa, the Traitor
1 Garruk Relentless
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Diabolic Edict
1 Submerge
1 Echoing Truth
1 Flusterstorm
2 Thoughtseize
2 Grafdigger's Cage
1 Sword of Feast and Famine

Where to go from here...

wcm8
02-14-2017, 01:25 PM
I'm on-board with you in terms of running a Delver-less BUG aggro-control deck that plays the most absurdly pushed creature in recent history (Leovold), and I can see the potential in playing a mixture of cards that take advantage of Spellstutter Sprite.

While it's hard to argue with results, I was wondering about a few things:
1. Did you feel like the GSZ + utility creature package was worthwhile? Or do you suppose a more streamlined configuration might work better?
2. Did you like running 2 Daze without Wasteland? I usually feel like Daze is an 'all or nothing' sort of card, and if there's not a commitment to it, it seems like it's usually better to just run an alternative.
3. Is there a reason you're not running Jace TMS somewhere in the 75? Seems like he'd be a perfect fit.

edit:

Here's what I would start out testing with:
20 lands (9 fetch, 4 Sea, 2 Trop, 1 Bayou, 4 Waste)
4 DRS
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 TNN
2 Leovold
1 VClique
2 Bitterblossom
2 Jace, TMS
4 FoW
4 Daze
4 Bstorm
3 ADecay
3 FPush
3 Ponder
1 UJitte

SB:
2 PNeedle
1 UJitte
1 Liliana otV
2 Surg. Extraction
1 G. Cage
2 Invas. Surgery
2 Marsh Casualties
2 Flusterstorm
2 Diabolic Edict

It's basically Team America that tweaks a few numbers and drops Goyfs and Hymns in exchange for Sprites, Jace and Blossom.

I am not necessarily sold entirely on this approach, as Hymn is incredibly powerful on its own, same with Tarmogoyf. Whereas the Fae cards sort of require some situational gamestates to be a lot better. I suppose it largely depends on what you end up facing. But I do agree that a BUG Aggro tempo deck doesn't really need to play Delver of Secrets anymore thanks to the absurdity of Leovold (and Fatal Push, to a lesser extent).

magicmo
03-02-2017, 07:48 AM
I really love the GSZ toolbox and think that's what makes this BUG list hot and spicy.
Fetch the Leovold, Edric for cardadvantage (if you have some boardpresents), main R.Sage, Scryb Ranger against Delver and block-bounce with Dryad Arbor. Glissa and S.Ooze from the board :)

The original list played 2 Spell Pierce, but i wanted more "free counter" and I already tested cutting 2 basics for 2 Wastelands.
I love to hit my opponent "out of the blue" and if they saw the Daze they play around it in fear. A friend of mine even promotes to play 1 ofs Spell Pierce, Daze, Spell Snare and Counterspell. Spellstutter Sprite with Bitterblossom or Mutavault are "Counterspells" too.

Properply I should play a Jace in the main, as another "win-option" and "creature-removal". Just got one and have to find a spot in the main.

Still not sure what to play at the next eternal weekend, maybe i bring the swarm to paris..

magicmo
04-18-2017, 03:46 AM
A new article on Channel Fireball about BUG Faeries
https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/deck-of-the-day-sultai-faeries-legacy/
Congrats to HJ_KAISER for the win :)

ElDorte
01-18-2018, 04:11 AM
*Necro the Thread*

Hey Guys we try to make BUG Faeries playable for us and sadly there are no recent results. So i tried to come up with a playable list. Atm its pretty raw and untested. What do you guys think? I tried to take a more Bug Delver style approach.

3 Underground Sea
3 Tropical Island
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Pendlehaven
3 Wasteland
4 Polluted Delta
4 Misty Rainforest

4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Spellstutter Sprite
3 Scion of Oona
2 Scryb Ranger
2 Vendilion Clique
1 Mistbind Clique

4 Bitterblossom
2 Umezawa's Jitte

4 Force of Will
4 Brainstorm
2 Abrupt Decay
4 Daze
2 Fatal Push
2 Thoughtseize
1 Spellpierce

I have no Sideboard right now since i try to make the main playable it was not a high priority.