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Elleran
04-15-2011, 10:40 PM
Ascension
Deck Primer by Elleran and co-written by BattlefieldMedic

Table of Contents
1 - Introduction
2 - Why play Ascension?
3 - Decklist
4 - Card Choices / Explanation
5 - Cards that were considered but didn't make the list
6 - Matchups / Analysis

=====================================================================

1 - Introduction

This is my first big post that I will be posting on this forum!

First of all, I am the kind of deck builder who likes to look at the fringe decks or unonrthodox strategies. I love decks that seem to use loopholes or strange combos to achieve victory.

This, deck, Ascension, is inspired by the Standard deck “Soul Sisters” by Conley Woods, who has played it to a great success. Ascension’s strategy will use some mechanics found in Soul Sisters, but this deck also has other win cons not present in Soul Sisters, so do not dismiss this deck as a thing of Standard.

I got into this deck because I played with my own variant of Soul Sisters in Extended. After playing with it for a while, I realized that it could defeat a Legacy deck quite easily, namely Goblin. With an urge from BattlefieldMedic that I should compete in Legacy, I developed new win conditions and improved the old ones to Soul Sister. This deck is the fruit of months of playtesting and has performed excellently in real life.

So what is Ascension?


2 - Why play Ascension?

Ascension is a deck that takes advantage of a resource that most other legacy archetypes ignore: life. Cards that allow us to gain life is often underestimated or even ignored for logical reasons: No card advantage or tempo advantage and life does not affect the immediate battlefield. However, life gain in small quantities gives time. Life gain in large quantities gives near invulnerability.

Some reasons why you should play this deck:
-If you hate losing to Zoo but love aggro decks
-If you hate getting mana screwed
-If you want to build a highly competitive deck for a low price

This deck has the power equal to, if not greater than, Zoo decks. It is different from Merfolk, from Countertop, and from Storm. This deck aims to add consistency and staying power throughout the mid to late game without losing steam. Sounds good?

The deck has a ridiculously low mana curve of nearly/over 30 1-cmc costing creatures and spells. Despite opening up a few weaknesses (Countertop and chalice), this adds speed as well as consistency, even with low land count on the field. The deck is also mono-color and thus is completely immune to non-basic land hate.The deck also has an unique ability to shrug off most attacks and to render most aggro decks harmless, thanks to the life-gaining engine.



3 - Decklist

The more updated decklist is available later in the thread: [[ Post 290 - The Updated Decklist ]] (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?20582-Deck-Ascension&p=575001&viewfull=1#post575001)

What you guys have been waiting for. Here is the currently optimized decklist for Ascension [OUTDATED DECKLIST]:

ASCENSION [as of April 13, 2011]
by Elleran

//Creatures (33)
4x Martyr of Sands
4x Mother of Runes
4x Soul Warden
4x Ranger of Eos
4x Soul's Attendant
4x Ajani's Pridemate
4x Serra Ascendant
3x Student of Warfare
2x Knight of the White Orchid

//Sorceries (3)
3x Proclamation of Rebirth

//Instants (3)
3x Swords to Plowshares

//Artifacts (2)
2x Umezawa's Jitte

//Lands (19)
19x Plains

----

//Sideboard:
3x Relic of Progenitus
3x AEther Vial
3x Leyline of Sanctity
1-3x Serenity
3-4x Pithing Needle
0-1x Runed Halo


4 - Card Choices / Explanations

First, the win cons.
4x Serra Ascendant - The namesake of the deck. Serra Ascendant is one of the best creatures ever printed in the right deck. This card makes Tarmagoyf look like a joke. In this deck, Serra Ascendant is basically 1 for a 6/6 life-link flyer. Sounds fair, right? Combined with Martyr of Sands, Serra Ascendant will often put the opponent onto a 3 turn clock.

4x Ajani Pridemate - The powerhouse of the deck. This card can be directly compared to a Goyf because of its 2 cmc. However, combined with Soul’s Attendant and Soul Warden, this card will often enter the battlefield immediately as a 3/3, if not a 4/4, then proceed to become 6/6 and then 10/10 in about 1 or 2 turns thanks to the huge number of 1 cmc creatures in this deck as well as the opponent’s creatures triggering the Soul triggers. At worst, Pridemate works as a lightning rod for removal.

3x Student of Warfare - This card is often underestimated. Because of its expensive mana cost to level up, it is considered a good card in Standard but doesn’t see much play in Legacy. Against Merfolk and Countertop, this card will either get FoW’d or dazed on turn 1. Otherwise, the game can quickly become a threat that will go out of hand. Student of Warfare has the following advantages:
-3/3 first striker on turn 2 with haste. This will kill Nacatl on turn 2, block most tribal creatures without dying, and basically deter the opponent from attacking.
-Once it lands on the field, it can no longer be countered. Combined with Mother of Runes, this card is immune to instant spot removals and will be free to level up.
-Against decks like Countertop or those that run Chalice, first turn Student will be able to pose an effective threat even if no other creature is played (or able to be played) for an extended time. Simply leveling up Student keeps it above-par in strength (3/3 first strike on turn 2, 4/4 double strike by turn 4).
-Double strike will automatically pose a great threat to the opponent. Combine the double strike with either Jitte or Mother of Runes for maximum damage.
-1 cmc. Thus, this card can be brought back with Proclamation of Rebirth.

Because Ascension is very unlikely to die early (unless to Storm or similarly powerful combo decks), this deck will definitely have time to level up Student as the game goes on. This gives Ascension the strength of being able to play the mid-ranged game, if necessary. Once the 4th mana is paid, double strike can be achieved on the immediate next turn of playing Student of Warfare. Furthermore, its first/double strike ability allows Student to wield the Jitte with exceptional skill.

Unfortunately, because this card does require so much mana to become powerful, only 3 is used.

4x Mother of Runes - This card protects against Maelstrom Pulses, StPs, PtEs, red burns, combat damage, and miscellaneous harmful auras. This card also makes unblockable Ajani Pridemates and Students for the win. It’s the utility of Ascension that gives it the edge to fly to victory.

The works:
4x Soul Warden / 4x Soul’s Attendant - Basically 8 copies of “Soul” triggers. The sisters function as the workhorses for the deck. They enable Ascendant, power up Pridemate, and these give the deck staying power against Zoo, ANY red deck, and Affinity. These are also randomly good against Empty the Warrens and Dredge.

4x Martyr of Sands - The best enabler in the deck. Martyr allows the “first turn Serra Ascendant, second turn Martyr combo”, which turns on Serra to be a 6/6 life link flyer swinging on turn 2, ending the game by turn 5 if not answered. Quantitatively, this deck will usually benefit from about 9 to 12 life from each Martyr. To put that into perspective, 9 life means two hits from a 4/5 Goyf, or 3 Lightning Bolts, or a Piledriver attacking with 3 Goblins and a Lord. This card is also randomly good against Dredge, because of it’s ability to go to the graveyard.

Card Advantage:
4x Ranger of Eos - Also known as the win con fetcher. This card can immediately hand over 2 Serra Ascendants if your life is over 30. This card can fetch 1 Martyr and 1 Serra otherwise. At worst, this card still gets you 2 chump blockers, as well as a 3/2 body. Almost always, this card will be the card that gets Cabal Therapied or Thoughtseized.

2x Knight of White Orchid - Basically a 1 for a 2/2 first striker. Fetches a land most of the time. Because this deck has such a high 1-cmc density, that one extra land will make a significant improvement in tempo and the ability to put pressure. Unfortunately, the 'weakest' card slot as of now. However, still a promising aggro creature with CA.

3x Proclamation of Rebirth - A tremendously powerful recovery card against mass removals. This card can deal with Pernicious Deed, Explosives, Chalice at 1, and WoG or Damnation. Its forecast ability is basically negligible.

**This card allows a trick that gets this deck around Chalice at 1 by intentionally having 1 cmc creatures be countered, then using Proclamation to return them back onto the battlefield. Also, using level 7 Student or powered up Ascendant to block, then returning them from the dead is also a powerful use of Proclamation. Unfortunately, this card can flood one’s hand and should not be a 4-of because this card is useless if creatures are not drawn.

Others:
3x Swords to Plowshares - The classic white removal. Gets rid of creatures that actually threaten you (which is rare). Does what it does well. Enough said.

3x Umezewa’s Jitte - This is actually in here to destroy the opponent’s Jitte in case the opponent plays theirs because this deck is weak against Jitte. However, this deck’s creatures can easily wield the Jitte better than can the opponent’s creatures thanks to this decks’ first and double strikers. Having a level 7 Student with a Jitte almost always results in gg from the opponent. Flying Serra with a Jitte is pretty handy too.

The Sideboard:
3x Relic of Progenitus - This is against graveyard based-decks, such as Seismic Assualt, Dredge, and Reanimator.

3x Leyline of Sanctity - This is against mill/Belcher/Tendrils deck. Especially against mill (since Spiral Tide is beginning to become popular) because this deck has no mainboard answer to mill decks.

3x AEther Vial - Against CounterTop and Chalice at 1. More on this during match analyses.

1-3x Serenity - Against Affinity and Enchantress. With Affinity beginning to come back with Tezzeret and the Scars block, Serenity makes sure that Affinity dies. Hard. Enchantress will also cry when Serenity is used. Unfortunately, the side effect of Serenity is that it destroys AEther Vials if Serenity is used at the same time (as well as Leyline, but Serenity will probably not be used with Leyline). This also destroys Chalice, Stax, and Engineered Plague.

2-3x Pithing Needle - Answer to Grim Lavamancer, Seismic Assault, Deed, and Explosives. Other activated ability dies against this.

0-1x Runed Halo - Depending on your meta, this will give an answer to Progenitus, but not Emrakul, unfortunately. Show and Tell will just be a really bad matchup for this deck. :(



5 - Cards that were considered but didn't make the list

*Wasteland - The colorless mana basically does nothing in this deck. It doesn't provide any first turn drop and can be used only for Martyr of Sands trigger, Ajani Pridemate, Ranger of Ios, Proclamation of Rebirth, and Jitte. Not a good choice.

*Auriok Champion - Not fast enough. A turn 2 for a Soul trigger is not effective. The Protection vs. Red and Black helps block Goblin and Zoo forever, Auriok Champion doesn't do anything beyond that. Also, its 2-cmc makes is so it is unreturnable from the graveyard with Proclamation.

*Green Color in general - Again, using another color means that this deck needs to splash a color, i.e. fetches/duals. This is bad for two reasons: 1. The deck features immunity to wastelands and non-basic land effects. Duals will mess this up. 2. This deck is built with budget in mind. Yes, Duals are viable for many players on this site. However, I wish to keep this in theme, even in terms of budget. Also, the benefit that Green gives (Essence Warden, Leyline of Vitality, Ageless Entity, Tarmagoyf, etc) can all be replaced in White or simply overlap unnecssary effects, such as Essence Warden (we don't need 12 Soul triggers).

*Fetchlands - They thin our decks. However, using fetches means that we are losing life early. Our goal is to hit 30 life as fast as we can, but losing 1 or 2 life within the first 2 turns mean that we just undid 1~2 Soul triggers, which may be critical when Martyr of Sands can give us 9 (rather than 12) life. No need to risk not reaching 30 life for a reason as simple as 'to thin the deck'. Also, fetches will power up the opponent's Terravore, which we don't want.

*AEther Vial in the main - AEther Vials have proven to clog our deck more than they help it. I have tried putting 3 Vials in the main in previous versions, and they turned out to be less valuable than having drawn the alternatives. Drawing a Vial mid-late game proves to be useless because our deck is already more than capable of continuously putting down threats and dumping the hand relatively quickly. Vials are basically only conditionally good against control decks, and thus belong in the SB.

*Path to Exile - An alternative to Swords to Plowshares. However, PtE did not make the list. Helping the opponent in the early game by giving them an extra land allows him/her to play threats faster. Because Ascension focuses on mid-late game, getting beat up early game will be detrimental to progress to victory. Giving them life can always be undone. Giving them a land cannot be.

*Hero of Bladehold - Too slow. This card is basically a weaker version of Ranger of Ios in this deck. Hero can create 2 soldier tokens while Ranger can create 2 6/6 Life-link flyers, so Ranger wins. Yes, Hero can power up the 1/1 weenies in this deck. However, few 2/1 creatures is less threatening than a couple 6/6 flyers.

*Stoneforge Mystic - Undoubtedly useful. Unfortunately, she has no synergy with the rest of the deck. The equipment Mystic can fetch is usually not as good as what the extra mana could be used for (ex. Play Stoneforge on t2, drop Sword of X and Y on turn 3, equip on t4. This takes too long.) Also, getting too many Stoneforge Mystics is bad because Stoneforge itself doesn't provide any aggro or synergy with anything else in the deck.

*4th Swords to Plowshares - Removals in this deck is usually unnecessary. Creatures like Tarmagoyf can usually be ignored, and only creatures super big like Marit Lage (Dark Depth), Knight of the Reliquary, or Goblin Piledriver get targeted by StP anyway. Creatures that may be pesky (Dark Confidant, lords, land creatures, etc) may also be dealt with Swords. Using the 4th one tended to flood my hand occasionally where as 3 StP usually led to one being drawn and 2 somewhat rarely. Because Ascension rolls better when lots of creatures are drawn, 4th StP diluted the strategy more than it helped it.

*Suture Priest - Another 2-cmc Soul trigger. Suture Priest's ability to deal damage to opponent is good, but not good enough. The beat sticks in this deck is much faster and efficient at dealing damage than Suture Priest. i.e. this card was not a big enough threat.




6 - Matchups and Analysis

Merfolk:
POSITIVE

This deck’s hitters are superior to their individual creatures. If they can create enough of a board presence using multiple lords, we start having problems. Luckily, Ascension runs the best spot removal in the game. Their counterspells are also less effective because of the density of threats that we play - play around them. Early Student and perhaps an uncountered Ajani will win the game. Overall, merfolk is a favorable matchup. If you want to, AEther Vial can be SB’ed in for few sisters to help work around their countermagic.

Goblin:
VERY POSITIVE

The number of creatures they play goes to our advantage. Thanks to the Soul triggers, we will easily be able to take few direct hits from Piledrivers before it begins to matter. The density of 1 drops makes it impossible for Lackey to go through, and they have no answer to a quickly-enlarging Ajani Pridemate nor to a flying Ascendant. No need to SB anything. Based on my testing, almost a 100% win rate.

Zoo:
VERY POSITIVE

Compared to the firepower of Ascension, Goyfs are feeble and Nacatls are jokes. Knights of the Reliquary go farming or are chump blocked or we just eat their damage. The power of Ascension is the power to gain so much life that standard aggro creatures are rendered useless. When we are able to take the 4/5 Goyfs or 7/7 Knights each turn while having a net-gain of life, Zoo cannot win. Again, Soul triggers shine as well as Mother of Runes. Almost 100% chance of victory based on my testing.

T.E.S. / A.N.T.:
NEUTRAL-NEGATIVE

Surprisingly, if Martyr of Sands goes off within the first 2 turns for a net gain life of 9 or 12, the Storm deck will probably have to take few more turns to ensure that it can shoot for 29 or 32 life. This not only buys time to kill the Storm player, but it also gives us the chance to gain more life to extend the time even more. Although the deck has no REAL mainboard answers, Leyline in the SB will give this deck a chance against these Storm decks.

Spiral Tide:
VERY NEGATIVE

Spiral Tide runs a mill strategy, which renders ALL life gain useless. Even with Leyline, the Spiral Tide can simply tap its Wishboard for a Wipe Away and then it’s over. The key is that Ascension focuses on rendering opponent’s actions insignificant, not on disrupting their strategies so much. Therefore, Ascension will expect extremely hard wins against most purely-combo decks. Terrible, terrible matchup.

Team America:
POSITIVE

We can vomit our hand faster than TA can. Tarmagoyf is outclassed by Ajani Pridemate. Tombstalker is outclassed by Serra Ascendant. Proclamation of Rebirth directly counters mass removals. Ascension can do many things better than can TA. So apply quick early pressure and prevent TA from taking control with their Blue control aspect, and the game will be ours.

Belcher:
NEUTRAL-NEGATIVE

Fortunately, if the opponent goes off with Empty the Warrens (for say.. about 8 goblins), we can usually stabilize quickly and win the game. Unfortunately, if Belcher goes off with a Charbelcher, we lose. We can use Leyline of Sanctity, Pithing Needle, and Runed Halo, so post-game-one won’t be too bad.

Day of Disease / Pox:
POSITIVE

Play around the pox. Thanks to Martyr of Sands and high 1-cmc creature density, Pox will end up hurting them more than it’ll hurt us. As long as Mother of Runes, Student, or a Soul trigger with Ajani can stay on the board, the game will be ours.

The Gate:
POSITIVE

The number of their removals will be annoying. However, our high number of threats will put them on high pressure to use removals rather than to play their threats which are more mana-heavy than our deck’s threats. By spewing out a constant rate of threats, the game can be won. Post-board, include Serenities because the opponent will most likely run Engineered Plague, which will be the death of this deck if it goes unanswered.

Burn:
VERY POSITIVE

Burn relies on dealing exactly 20 damage as quickly as possible. Playing Soul triggers and sacrificing Martyrs will allow us to take the burn and survive even after Burn run completely out of steam. Then we continue to gain life and end the game.

Post board, burn may include Leyline of Punishment which will be annoying. To counter this, run Leyline of Sanctity as well as Serenity. Because Burn will tend to sac their lands for more fuel, they will be less likely to be able to play another copy of Leyline of Punishment post-Serenity.

Countertop:
VERY NEGATIVE

Countertop will ALWAYS have 1-cmc ready to counter thanks to the Top’s tap ability. The key is to put out so much threat before their combo goes online that we’ll be able to win with what’s on the field. Against an unexpecting opponent, the Proclamation trick will work just as it does against Chalice at 1. However, once the combo is online and we haven’t established a strong board presence, the game will most likely end in a loss. Sideboard in EITHER Serenity or AEther Vials. I have made the mistake of SBing both before... to end up destroying my own Vials. It is strongly advised that you do not repeat my mistake.

Dredge:
POSITIVE

Surprisingly, Dredge's strategy is countered by our own. The recurring Ichorids trigger Soul triggers again and again. If 1 Soul trigger is out, each unblocked Ichorid will deal effectively 2 damage. With 2 Soul triggers out, Ichorids will deal only 1. Each of their zombies also trigger the Soul triggers, causing them to be less effective in general. Finally, Martyr of Sands is key in destroying dredge. Because of its ability to sac itself, Martyr can effectively rid the opponent's graveyard of Bridge from Below. After the 1st game, SB Relics in for further graveyard hate.

=====

I will welcome any constructive feedbacks, suggestions, and questions. They can be either posted on this thread or PM'ed to me. I will continue updating this post as time goes on and suggestions are proven successful. Thanks for reading this primer! :)

TedElderhi
04-15-2011, 11:43 PM
Seems fun :). I'll have to build this one.

Now, what with not having vials in the main? They make things go smoothly, and means you can free up side board space, and dodge counters. No idea what to remove though.

Also, did you consider boarding canonists(which kinda hurt the game plan), glow riders or Thorn of Amethyst. Out of all of I think toa would be the best.

All in all, a awesome left field idea.:)

perm
04-15-2011, 11:49 PM
How does this match up against chalice aggro decks like dragon stompy? You are able to dodge moon effects, but chalice just destroys you

Elleran
04-16-2011, 12:39 AM
Seems fun :). I'll have to build this one.

Now, what with not having vials in the main? They make things go smoothly, and means you can free up side board space, and dodge counters. No idea what to remove though.

Also, did you consider boarding canonists(which kinda hurt the game plan), glow riders or Thorn of Amethyst. Out of all of I think toa would be the best.

All in all, a awesome left field idea.:)

Vials actually used to be in main. Testing proved that the benefit of uncounterability granted by the Vials was outweighed by the fact that the Vials took away valuable card space away from threats. I would often be flooded with vials or simply not draw enough creatures for the vial to actually do anything significant. The conditional benefit was also only applicable to blue-heavy or specific decks (like Countertop), so SB proved to be the best place for the Vials, rather than in main.

Canonists will disrupt the deck's tempo horribly. I've considered them, but I chose Leyline over Canonist because:
1. Leyline is 'free'.
2. Leyline does not disrupt my tempo.
3. Leyline has a greater flexibility (vs. Jace v.2, burns).
Mainly the second reason. With a Canonist out, Ascension becomes too slow and thus the high threat-density becomes less meaningful.

Elleran
04-16-2011, 12:44 AM
How does this match up against chalice aggro decks like dragon stompy? You are able to dodge moon effects, but chalice just destroys you

It's true. I've hit Chalice decks before in other places. Thankfully, Dragon Stompy has no way to block Proclamation of Rebirth. Furthermore, SB-ing in Serenity will destroy both Chalice AND Trinisphere. I agree that Chalice is a main threat, but I have won handful of games against Chalice players before.

Also, that will be a rare time that I'd recommend having both Vials AND Serenity. Since Vials allow Ascension to drop threats while ignoring Chalice and Trinisphere, we can sit with Vial alone.

bakofried
04-16-2011, 03:09 AM
Have you tested Stoneforge Mystic? I'd assume you have, but it's mentioned nowhere in your post. Did it clash too much with the deck? I don't see how it would, tbh.

(nameless one)
04-16-2011, 10:17 AM
How is this an established deck? Everyone can say that their deck is established but has it actually won a premier tournament?

RexFTW
04-16-2011, 11:10 AM
card tags please!!!!

you can use this:
http://manabase.com/autocard.php

just make sure you change the tag it is using to include the S on cardS.

RexFTW
04-16-2011, 11:24 AM
This deck should be called EDH because you start with 30 life LOL

Seems like armored ascension, armadillo cloak, essence warden and Tarmogoyf could all be better than student of warfare. Just sayin.

Galroth
04-16-2011, 12:35 PM
Linking to previous discussion of this deck in the New and Developmental forum for quick reference.

Soul Sisters (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?18833-Soul-Sisters&highlight=soul+sisters)

LegacyDan
04-16-2011, 12:47 PM
Essence Warden and Tarmogoyf both add a second color to this deck. It already runs 8 wardens, #9-12 really don't appear to be needed.

I do have a question though, why StP over Path to Exile? Ya are not running any mana denial, and giving them extra lands seems more beneficial for the deck than giving them extra life.

chinEsE girl
04-16-2011, 03:30 PM
Just two questions;

1: Why no aether vial? The deck is chock full of low mana cost guys, so vial would let bring in guys at instant speed and uncounterable. All you would have to do is make a few cuts and it would easily fit in.

2. Why is there no wasteland? It's a mono color deck, with an incredibly low average cmc. It would almost never keep you from casting spells, while putting your opponent back a turn often. From what I see the are zero reasons to not run wasteland in this deck

Elleran
04-16-2011, 06:33 PM
@bakofried: I have tried Stoneforge Mystic before. It turned out yet again to be slower than I wanted. These are the reasons:
1. For Stoneforge to work well, multiple kinds of equipments are needed, which takes away space for other threats.
2. The equipment itself takes more mana to play and equip, yet again taking up the mana that could have been spent dropping more threats.
3. The equipments prefer creatures with evasions. In this deck, the key evasion card is Serra Ascendant, but Stoneforge nor the equipments really help Ascendant reach the 30 life threshold. i.e. Stoneforge does not have synergy with the rest of the deck.

@nameless one: Established Deck doesn't require that each deck posted to have won any major tournaments. I have played this deck against various decks that my team played with, tested it online against various decks, and have goldfished few times. I have played this at a local tourney, but the meta of my local tourney is very random, so no strong data could be pulled there. However, Ascension performed well in the tourney (3-2) with the two losses having been 1-turn or 1-life away from winning with many sad mis-plays on my part. The 3 wins were all very one-sided, imo. I believe this deck to have been playtested thoroughly enough and have performed well enough in real life for me to post it here.

@LegacyDan: You bring up a good question. I actually haven't thoroughly tested PtE in this deck before. I have a personal preference to Swords to Plowshares for seemingly no good reason, so PtE definitely merits a thorough playtesting. Thank you for bringing this up.

@chinese girl: I have explained why I chose not to put in Vials in my post above. To answer your question about Wastelands:
This deck has a great demand for white mana. Putting in Wastelands will essentially no real mana in this deck (because wasteland's colorless mana can only help get out Ranger of Eos, Ajani's Pridemate, Martyr of Sands' sac cost, Proclamation of Rebirth, and Jitte). So Wasteland does indeed keep me from casting spells.

Elleran
04-16-2011, 06:33 PM
Essence Warden and Tarmogoyf both add a second color to this deck. It already runs 8 wardens, #9-12 really don't appear to be needed.

Vandalize
04-16-2011, 06:38 PM
You can try some Retribution of the Meek as an answer to Emrakul/Progenitus in SnT/NO decks.

bakofried
04-16-2011, 07:10 PM
Swords is still better, as it isn't card disadvantage like PtE. The only deck which should run PtE before StP is Zoo.

Elleran
04-16-2011, 07:23 PM
You can try some Retribution of the Meek as an answer to Emrakul/Progenitus in SnT/NO decks.

Yeah, that will work. But luckily, in my meta, there is no one who plays SnT/NO. For a meta with a greater abundance of SnT/NO decks, Retribution of the Meek will definitely help.

Elleran
04-16-2011, 07:24 PM
Swords is still better, as it isn't card disadvantage like PtE. The only deck which should run PtE before StP is Zoo.

I was thinking more in the line of PtE one of my own Soul trigger for an extra land as an option. Those Soul triggers are really expendable.

bakofried
04-16-2011, 07:26 PM
I'm giggling, cuz I picked up most of this deck for 42 dollars. I'm only missing the students and the Swords.

Elleran
04-16-2011, 07:50 PM
I'm giggling, cuz I picked up most of this deck for 42 dollars. I'm only missing the students and the Swords.

Yes, this deck is super cheap, and performs extremely well for its cost. For example, I've seen this deck destroy a Team America deck which ran 4 Goyfs, 4 Tombstalkers, 4 Wastelands, 4 Thoughtseizes, and duals and fetches, and probably more that I didn't see.. A deck easily $400 or more. I feel like Ascension uses lots of cards that don't see any play in Legacy format, and utilizes them to their full potential, which can blow many other decks right out the water.

bakofried
04-16-2011, 11:24 PM
Did you check out the earlier thread here and on salvation? They've taken it a slightly different direction.

LegacyDan
04-16-2011, 11:29 PM
Swords is still better, as it isn't card disadvantage like PtE. The only deck which should run PtE before StP is Zoo.


I'm giggling, cuz I picked up most of this deck for 42 dollars. I'm only missing the students and the Swords.

PTE also sets up your own Knight of the White Orchid. And I must say, after playing the Standard version of this and testing this list on MWS, giving your opponet extra mana is basically meaningless. STP gives them life, which is not really that good when running quick deck like this. Afterall, PTE removes that last blocker for the alpha strike, whereas STP removes the same blocker but grants them some life making alpha strikes a little less strikey.

Elleran
04-16-2011, 11:33 PM
Did you check out the earlier thread here and on salvation? They've taken it a slightly different direction.

I did. I 'll post a link here to the Salvation discussion:
MTG Salvation: Soul Sisters (http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=271285&highlight=soul+sisters)

Elleran
04-16-2011, 11:39 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention Auriok Champion.

I have tested them out in the earliest version of Ascension, but I have cut them quickly because of the following reasons:
1. Too slow. I have better things to do with 2 mana.
2. 2 cmc. Can't be returned with Proclamation.
3. It is not a threat. Sure, it can block some zoo creatures, but still very weak.
4. Too many Soul trigger is bad. Soul triggers compliment threats, but the life gain is not a threat itself.

bakofried
04-17-2011, 12:58 AM
Seriously, PtE is card disadvantage. You care about that in a midrange deck like this more than a wee bit of life.

dahcmai
04-17-2011, 01:00 AM
I ran into one of these in a local Legacy tournament. So this is what it was. I was wondering the whole time. "An old type 2 deck in Legacy? Whatever. lol" I was thinking at the time. It gave me a run for my money though. We ended up having a game go really looong due to the fact I had Essence Wardens and Leyline of Vitality in the main.

I was playing my Saffi deck so I ended up having trumps to it anyway, but it was tough bringing him down from 170 something life total when I finally did take control.


My Saffi deck runs a similar pattern of good to bad match ups so I'll lend you what I use for my board.

Show and Tell - Runed Halo for Progenitus and Karakas for Emrakul. I'm surprised you didn't already run Karakas. It does tap for white. Low land count, but it might be worth not getting blown out by him. It's also useful for Iona. That's actually how I beat this deck. He didn't have a way to remove Iona or red Akroma and they raced harder than the Serra.

Countertop - Not as bad for me, but I run Leyline of Lifeforce. You can run it in mono-W, but it's kind of chancy. You might try Aura Fracture. I use it for Enchantress, but it would serve the same purpose. It really hurts Enchantress as a nice bonus for you. It's 3 mana so it slips in better than most.

Combo - I have the typical answers in Teeg and Canonist. Though Runed Halo helps keep things under wraps. Pithing Needle for Belcher.


Like the deck. It's definitely fun looking to play and I could see this ripping a new one in an aggro field. If you are flooded with Zoo, Goblins, Dredge, and Merfolk like most metas, this looks like a great choice. Just playing against it told me that.

LegacyDan
04-17-2011, 02:16 AM
Seriously, PtE is card disadvantage. You care about that in a midrange deck like this more than a wee bit of life.

Oh I am usually the first person to start yelling when people suggest anything over STP, but this deck focuses on quick low mana beaters to get the victory. The extra resource is meaningless when compared to giving someone life. Its the same arguement for using PTE in Zoo instead of STP.

bakofried
04-17-2011, 03:43 AM
Yes, but this isn't a deck with quick beaters that just beats fast for the win. It's got a solid mid, and even late-game plan with Rangers, Ascendants, and Students. So pushing this idea of "get your beats in now, because you won't be able to later" doesn't really apply.

BattlefieldMedic
04-17-2011, 12:20 PM
Oh I am usually the first person to start yelling when people suggest anything over STP, but this deck focuses on quick low mana beaters to get the victory. The extra resource is meaningless when compared to giving someone life. Its the same arguement for using PTE in Zoo instead of STP.


Yes, but this isn't a deck with quick beaters that just beats fast for the win. It's got a solid mid, and even late-game plan with Rangers, Ascendants, and Students. So pushing this idea of "get your beats in now, because you won't be able to later" doesn't really apply.



^
This, and the fact that we run mid-ranged cards like Proclamation of Rebirth and Ranger of Eos. Usually, if we are able to survive the first few turns against any kind of aggro (and we usually do), the deck is able to pull off an easy win. Donating a land to the opponent gives them the kind of card advantage that the deck would rather avoid.

More thoughts:

Elleran and I discussed the possibility of Surture Priest in the deck. The topic may come up so I'm going to address my thoughts on it now. The card works as a win-more. The second effect is a blank against most of the decks that ours is weak to, such as creatureless combo.

Elleran
04-17-2011, 01:46 PM
I ran into one of these in a local Legacy tournament. So this is what it was. I was wondering the whole time. "An old type 2 deck in Legacy? Whatever. lol" I was thinking at the time. It gave me a run for my money though. We ended up having a game go really looong due to the fact I had Essence Wardens and Leyline of Vitality in the main.

I was playing my Saffi deck so I ended up having trumps to it anyway, but it was tough bringing him down from 170 something life total when I finally did take control.


My Saffi deck runs a similar pattern of good to bad match ups so I'll lend you what I use for my board.

Show and Tell - Runed Halo for Progenitus and Karakas for Emrakul. I'm surprised you didn't already run Karakas. It does tap for white. Low land count, but it might be worth not getting blown out by him. It's also useful for Iona. That's actually how I beat this deck. He didn't have a way to remove Iona or red Akroma and they raced harder than the Serra.

Countertop - Not as bad for me, but I run Leyline of Lifeforce. You can run it in mono-W, but it's kind of chancy. You might try Aura Fracture. I use it for Enchantress, but it would serve the same purpose. It really hurts Enchantress as a nice bonus for you. It's 3 mana so it slips in better than most.

Combo - I have the typical answers in Teeg and Canonist. Though Runed Halo helps keep things under wraps. Pithing Needle for Belcher.


Like the deck. It's definitely fun looking to play and I could see this ripping a new one in an aggro field. If you are flooded with Zoo, Goblins, Dredge, and Merfolk like most metas, this looks like a great choice. Just playing against it told me that.

Yes, Karakas would be a great answer against Emrakul and Iona. I would definitely suggest Karakas if you can afford them. I would still advise keeping Karakas in the SB though. It does provide W mana, but it can be wastelanded. In order to keep this deck completely immune to wastelands and Blood Moon effects, etc, the only nonbasic land that should be considered in the main should be fetches.. Which I don't like because it requires us to pay a life.

Aura Fracture is interesting. It can definitely work. If your meta is full of Countertop players (unlike my meta), making room for 3 Aura Fractures in the SB is commendable.

bakofried
04-17-2011, 11:25 PM
Hey Elleran, could you add a section to the primer on why you cut some fairly well-known and powerful white cards? Like Stoneforge, Wasteland, the 4th StP, that kind of stuff. Like a "what didn't make the cut and why" section.

Elleran
04-17-2011, 11:48 PM
Hey Elleran, could you add a section to the primer on why you cut some fairly well-known and powerful white cards? Like Stoneforge, Wasteland, the 4th StP, that kind of stuff. Like a "what didn't make the cut and why" section.

Alright, will do.

Elleran
04-18-2011, 11:50 PM
Section "5 - Cards that were considered but didn't make the list" has been added!

bakofried
04-19-2011, 12:56 AM
I didn't see Stoneforge Mystic mentioned in there - again, I'd really like to see some justification for that one, as the card is flat-out nuts.

Micki
04-19-2011, 05:02 AM
Very interesting deck, I've always wanted to find a mono white aggroish deck that actually would be good enough to take to a tournament.
I used to play Angel stompy back in the days and after that the only option has been Death & Taxes and I can't get myself to enjoy that deck no matter how hard I try.

Have you considered Ajani Goldmane? It seems to fit the deck quite good and the only drawback would be it's high manacost.

1maarten1
04-19-2011, 01:36 PM
@Elleran

What is you opinion on planeswalkers like Ajani Goldmane or Elspeth??

I took some time to test the deck today and it was running very smoothe! Lost a game to tempo thresh tho, which seems like a bad MU. Fire//Ice, bolts, counterspells etc.

Galroth
04-19-2011, 01:41 PM
I don't think Knight of the White Orchid belongs. I'd place it easily as your 2 weakest slots. What synergy do they really bring the deck? With only 2 it's not like you can remotely depend on the extra land drop during the early game. They're creatures so I suppose they proc your sisters life gain - otherwise I'd run an extra StP and something else. Really I think Auriok Champion is superior in just about every aspect for a 2cc slot. You might also consider Survival Cache - that's was a T2 staple and at least deserves consideration.

Elleran
04-19-2011, 05:46 PM
@Elleran

What is you opinion on planeswalkers like Ajani Goldmane or Elspeth??

I took some time to test the deck today and it was running very smoothe! Lost a game to tempo thresh tho, which seems like a bad MU. Fire//Ice, bolts, counterspells etc.

I have considered Elspeth before. I have concluded that the Planeswalkers either didn't do much to turn the tide, or they were simply win-mores.

I have not played with Ajani enough to have any solid playtest data. I have concluded beforehand (after Elspeth) that 4 mana for Planeswalker wasn't all that great.

Micki
04-19-2011, 06:04 PM
@Elleran

I'm feeling a bit stupid now since I'm making suggestions and asking questions before I even have had time to test the deck ( will tomorrow). However I agree with Galroth that Knight of the White Orchid seems to bee the weekest card in your list, have you tested Kitchen Finks?

Elleran
04-19-2011, 06:09 PM
I don't think Knight of the White Orchid belongs. I'd place it easily as your 2 weakest slots. What synergy do they really bring the deck? With only 2 it's not like you can remotely depend on the extra land drop during the early game. They're creatures so I suppose they proc your sisters life gain - otherwise I'd run an extra StP and something else. Really I think Auriok Champion is superior in just about every aspect for a 2cc slot. You might also consider Survival Cache - that's was a T2 staple and at least deserves consideration.

Interesting suggestion. I actually did have Survival Cache when I used the deck for Extended. However, I believe it to be too slow in Legacy. I haven't given it a try, so I'll try it.

And Knight is 2-cmc, so it cannot be Proclamation of Rebirthed'ed. I agree that the Knights are the 2 weakest slots for Ascension. Auriok Champion is viable.. But I would rather have the extra land than a 1/1 creature and few life.

Any suggestions for the 2 Knight slots? I would personally the replacements to be creatures.
Some options:
Auriok Champion
Survival Cache
Swords to Plowshares
Planeswalkers
Stoneforge Mystic
Or just keeping Knight of the White Orchid.

Elleran
04-19-2011, 06:14 PM
@Elleran

I'm feeling a bit stupid now since I'm making suggestions and asking questions before I even have had time to test the deck ( will tomorrow). However I agree with Galroth that Knight of the White Orchid seems to bee the weekest card in your list, have you tested Kitchen Finks?

Haha, that's fine. I understand your concerns (I've considered many many cards before I was satisfied myself).

Kitchen Finks is one of the cards that I have discarded without testing. For me, 3 mana for a 3/2 wasn't powerful enough. Compared to Tarmagoyf, Kitchen Finks will stand no chance. Yes, I gain 2 life twice, and Kitchen Finks trigger Soul triggers twice. However, Finks do not have the kind of firepower that Pridemate and Serra Ascendant possess and 3 mana for 4 or more life isn't all that impressive when compared to Martyr of Sands for 9-12 life for 2.

Again, this is coming from me WITHOUT me having playtested them. Perhaps if someone provides me with a good enough argument, I will give the Finks a shot.

Hot Soup
04-19-2011, 07:12 PM
Well of Lost Dreams?
This would fill your hand much better than Ranger of Eos, in most cases.

Elleran
04-20-2011, 05:38 PM
Well of Lost Dreams?
This would fill your hand much better than Ranger of Eos, in most cases.

I'll give that a try. Thanks for the suggestion!

Darth Nihilus
04-20-2011, 05:47 PM
why not run 16-17 snow plains and add 2-3 scrying sheets? it could generate neat card quality while still beeing immune to moon effects/wastelands for te most part

Elleran
04-20-2011, 11:46 PM
why not run 16-17 snow plains and add 2-3 scrying sheets? it could generate neat card quality while still beeing immune to moon effects/wastelands for te most part

Again, colorless mana prevents turn 1 drops. It is too risky to run colorless mana lands. Even on turn 2, a colorless mana source prevents 2 1-drops from being played at the same time. This affects the tempo too much.

Vandalize
04-22-2011, 04:18 AM
I think you could cut those 2 Knights of White Orchid and 1 Student of Warfare for 3 Kitchen Finks. Those life triggers are really nice.

And you could add a singleton Serra Avatar for some good laughs. Imagine your opponent's face staring at a 90/90 Serra Avatar.

eq.firemind
04-22-2011, 04:25 AM
Funny fact: casting 1-costed cards right into Chalice of the Void and then Proclamation of Rebirth often beats the shit out of Chalice player.
Sometimes it even works versus Countertop.

Survival Cache is probably awful, but it fits in this deck (especially when you are playing against slow decks like control or control-agrro).

Also, this deck is perfect for Lightning Helix. The +3 life for :w: part is pretty underwhelming, but in this deck it's great.
4 Arid Mesa and 4 Plateau are enough to reliably cast helix on turn 2. I don't know if one card is worth splashing and what to remove, but I'd try that. At least, red offers some sideboard options (from the top of my head Red Elemental Blast for Countertop and High Tide).

AggroSteve
04-22-2011, 05:04 AM
ajani goldmanes ultimate would create a "serra avatar" and he would actually fit the deck IMO, but i would probably only play him as a one-off maybe a two-off

testing will show if he is actually good in this deck or not

Richard Cheese
04-22-2011, 11:13 AM
Interesting suggestion. I actually did have Survival Cache when I used the deck for Extended. However, I believe it to be too slow in Legacy. I haven't given it a try, so I'll try it.

And Knight is 2-cmc, so it cannot be Proclamation of Rebirthed'ed. I agree that the Knights are the 2 weakest slots for Ascension. Auriok Champion is viable.. But I would rather have the extra land than a 1/1 creature and few life.

Any suggestions for the 2 Knight slots? I would personally the replacements to be creatures.
Some options:
Auriok Champion
Survival Cache
Swords to Plowshares
Planeswalkers
Stoneforge Mystic
Or just keeping Knight of the White Orchid.

Maybe just run Weathered Wayfarer? Works with proclamation and can provide you the same kind of tempo gain.

Edit: wayfarer is also really good with fetches/wastes. Are you sold on keeping the manabase plains-only? Your curve is so low you could easily fit wastes in.

LostButSeeking
04-22-2011, 12:53 PM
Vials actually used to be in main. Testing proved that the benefit of uncounterability granted by the Vials was outweighed by the fact that the Vials took away valuable card space away from threats. I would often be flooded with vials or simply not draw enough creatures for the vial to actually do anything significant. The conditional benefit was also only applicable to blue-heavy or specific decks (like Countertop), so SB proved to be the best place for the Vials, rather than in main.

Canonists will disrupt the deck's tempo horribly. I've considered them, but I chose Leyline over Canonist because:
1. Leyline is 'free'.
2. Leyline does not disrupt my tempo.
3. Leyline has a greater flexibility (vs. Jace v.2, burns).
Mainly the second reason. With a Canonist out, Ascension becomes too slow and thus the high threat-density becomes less meaningful.





T.E.S. / A.N.T.:
NEUTRAL-NEGATIVE

Surprisingly, if Martyr of Sands goes off within the first 2 turns for a net gain life of 9 or 12, the Storm deck will probably have to take few more turns to ensure that it can shoot for 29 or 32 life. This not only buys time to kill the Storm player, but it also gives us the chance to gain more life to extend the time even more. Although the deck has no REAL mainboard answers, Leyline in the SB will give this deck a chance against these Storm decks.



As a TES pilot, I wanted to address leyline here. Leyline will NOT stop any competent TES pilot. My friend--an enchantress Pilot--thought that leyline was a godsend for enchantress against combo. I thought differently, and we tested this in tournament play. Game two he got leyline, I Ad Nauseumed, made a ton of mana, wished for Eye of Nowhere, bounced it and killed him. Game three, he got TWO leylines in his opening hand. I Ad Nauseumed, made a ton of mana, wished for eye of nowhere, bounced one, wished for Ill-Gotten Gains, got Eye of Nowhere back, bounced his OTHER leyline, and killed him. Because I had that many cards in my hand, and that much mana.

Now, I realize, this is a little different for other version of storm combo (say, ANT), and that Leyline is useful for other things, like fighting against burn. However, I strongly, strongly believe that the way to attack storm combo is by preventing Ad Nauseum, NOT by preventing Tendrils. Once ad nauseum hits the table, storm combo pilots have ~20 cards in their hands, which gives them way too many outs to try to stop them at that stage.

Elleran
04-22-2011, 04:25 PM
As a TES pilot, I wanted to address leyline here. Leyline will NOT stop any competent TES pilot. My friend--an enchantress Pilot--thought that leyline was a godsend for enchantress against combo. I thought differently, and we tested this in tournament play. Game two he got leyline, I Ad Nauseumed, made a ton of mana, wished for Eye of Nowhere, bounced it and killed him. Game three, he got TWO leylines in his opening hand. I Ad Nauseumed, made a ton of mana, wished for eye of nowhere, bounced one, wished for Ill-Gotten Gains, got Eye of Nowhere back, bounced his OTHER leyline, and killed him. Because I had that many cards in my hand, and that much mana.

Now, I realize, this is a little different for other version of storm combo (say, ANT), and that Leyline is useful for other things, like fighting against burn. However, I strongly, strongly believe that the way to attack storm combo is by preventing Ad Nauseum, NOT by preventing Tendrils. Once ad nauseum hits the table, storm combo pilots have ~20 cards in their hands, which gives them way too many outs to try to stop them at that stage.

Thanks for this advice. I have been told by another competitive Magic player that a competent TES/ANT pilots can shoot for 50 regularly. Unfortunately, this information does not necessarily help me since Ascension's SB can only fight so much. Perhaps fitting in Silence may be nice, but I believe Leyline to be a stronger choice. I know this is an awkward question, but which card would you recommend in order to defeat a deck like ANT? (ex. how much damage can you shoot for regularly, and what cards will you have challenge defeating?)

Elleran
04-22-2011, 04:28 PM
@eq.firemind: Yes, the Proclamation trick vs. Chalice on 1 and Countertop has proven to be a viable (but obviously not the ideal) solution against those decks.



ajani goldmanes ultimate would create a "serra avatar" and he would actually fit the deck IMO, but i would probably only play him as a one-off maybe a two-off

testing will show if he is actually good in this deck or not

I agree that Ajani's Ultimate and just Ajani itself is better than Serra Avatar (because getting Serra Avatar means that 7/19 lands in the deck must be drawn). Plus, Ajani provides utility abilties that are useful.

Elleran
04-22-2011, 04:35 PM
Maybe just run Weathered Wayfarer? Works with proclamation and can provide you the same kind of tempo gain.

Edit: wayfarer is also really good with fetches/wastes. Are you sold on keeping the manabase plains-only? Your curve is so low you could easily fit wastes in.

The problem with Wastelands is not the mana curve. It's the fact that they only provide colorless mana, which is almost useless in this deck BECAUSE of the low mana curve.

Here are some of the problems:
1. dropping Wasteland on the first turn means that I will be playing nothing.
2. dropping Plains the first turn, then Wasteland means that I will be casting one spell this turn.

I agree that Wasteland will be absolutely beautiful after turn 2 or 3, but until then, it'll be a dead card. Basically, it is an unreliable mana base. Substituting Plains for Wastelands is a risky move that I advise against.

----

Weathered Wayfarer is good. But the question is, is it better than Knight of the White Orchid? Knight has a better body (2/2 First Striker = good Jitte user) and Knight doesn't need to be tapped, i.e. on the turn it enters the battlefield, it basically costed only 1 W mana to play.

Admiral_Arzar
04-22-2011, 05:02 PM
Thanks for this advice. I have been told by another competitive Magic player that a competent TES/ANT pilots can shoot for 50 regularly. Unfortunately, this information does not necessarily help me since Ascension's SB can only fight so much. Perhaps fitting in Silence may be nice, but I believe Leyline to be a stronger choice. I know this is an awkward question, but which card would you recommend in order to defeat a deck like ANT? (ex. how much damage can you shoot for regularly, and what cards will you have challenge defeating?)

While it is possible for storm pilots to storm off for 50+ life loss, it isn't the norm, and pretty much always requires Ad Nauseum. I win far more games with Empty the Warrens or just Tendrils in the 18-26 range. If the storm pilot Ad Nauseums for a bunch and has enough mana to go Tendrils, then Wish->Tendrils, however, that's a lot of life loss. I honestly wouldn't bother with a ton of storm hate, the matchup is still probably not going to be great, and storm isn't a particularly common deck anyways, even nowadays. Keep Leyline just because it's good against a lot of different decks.

BattlefieldMedic
04-22-2011, 06:22 PM
Two words: Mental Misstep.

Mental Misstep
pU
Instant
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 1.

That card, if it becomes mainstream (which it probably will), is going to be a problem for the deck. Nearly half of the deck is one drop creatures. I think that card will single handedly warp this deck, so let's start some proactive discussion on how to combat the card, because playing around it will be difficult.

Two ways I can see right now to improve the matchup against the card:
1. Run a more smoothed out curve.
2. Run Mental Misstep.

Option 1 seems to be against the strategy of the deck, and hurts a lot of the synergies... but it improves the midrange even more.

Option 2 dilutes the strategy of Ascension, but allows you to keep playing the same one.
---


The problem with Wastelands is not the mana curve. It's the fact that they only provide colorless mana, which is almost useless in this deck BECAUSE of the low mana curve.

Here are some of the problems:
1. dropping Wasteland on the first turn means that I will be playing nothing.
2. dropping Plains the first turn, then Wasteland means that I will be casting one spell this turn.

I agree that Wasteland will be absolutely beautiful after turn 2 or 3, but until then, it'll be a dead card. Basically, it is an unreliable mana base. Substituting Plains for Wastelands is a risky move that I advise against.


As for wasteland (i know i can talk to you, elleran later, but i'll address it now for a compiled discussion), I think it would be correct to put it in for these reasons:

The fact that your curve is low allows you to play it correctly. Wasteland nukes the weak mana base of the deck, and you playing nothing on the first turn (assuming it's on the play), is much more of an advantage to you.

If you have a hand on the play with wasteland as the only land, it'd be very incorrect to not mulligan the hand. Wasteland needs to be treated as a spell rather than a land, especially when determining mulligans. Same concept goes for the second turn.

Wasteland works most effectively as a way to mana screw the opponent on turn one and is effective because of the number of decks that splash colors. Punish them for being greedy :D

Frozen_Fire
04-23-2011, 07:02 AM
Don't know if it was suggested before, but since the worst matchups are Counterbalance and combo decks, I'd suggest those changes:
-Cut Needle and Vial from the board
-Add Mindbreak Trap, Abolish and some chants in the sideboard

You could also add some 1-ofs tutorable by Ranger, such as Figure of Destiny and Weathered Wayfarer in maindeck, the latter to have always a land in your hand. A singleton Karakas in order to fight Emrakul is also a nice option.

EDIT: Especially if you want to include Knight of the White Orchid and/or Weathered Wayfarer, Path to Exile becomes better than the traditional StP. (Not to mention that this is still an aggro deck and making opponents gain life could be a bad idea)

Greetings,
Frozen_Fire :)

Elleran
04-24-2011, 01:55 PM
While it is possible for storm pilots to storm off for 50+ life loss, it isn't the norm, and pretty much always requires Ad Nauseum. I win far more games with Empty the Warrens or just Tendrils in the 18-26 range. If the storm pilot Ad Nauseums for a bunch and has enough mana to go Tendrils, then Wish->Tendrils, however, that's a lot of life loss. I honestly wouldn't bother with a ton of storm hate, the matchup is still probably not going to be great, and storm isn't a particularly common deck anyways, even nowadays. Keep Leyline just because it's good against a lot of different decks.

I see. So then the initial 9~12 life from Martyr of Sands can delay the Tendril storm for a bit then, correct?

And, yeah I don't see any maindeck answer for Ad Nauseam.

-------


Don't know if it was suggested before, but since the worst matchups are Counterbalance and combo decks, I'd suggest those changes:
-Cut Needle and Vial from the board
-Add Mindbreak Trap, Abolish and some chants in the sideboard

You could also add some 1-ofs tutorable by Ranger, such as Figure of Destiny and Weathered Wayfarer in maindeck, the latter to have always a land in your hand. A singleton Karakas in order to fight Emrakul is also a nice option.

EDIT: Especially if you want to include Knight of the White Orchid and/or Weathered Wayfarer, Path to Exile becomes better than the traditional StP. (Not to mention that this is still an aggro deck and making opponents gain life could be a bad idea)

Greetings,
Frozen_Fire :)

I'm not sure about cutting Needles, but I agree that putting in Abolish over Vials will be a good idea. The 1-ofs for Ranger was considered, but I wasn't sure what kind would be useful. I've considered Elvish Hexhunter and Figure of Destiny. Maybe Figure deserves playtesting.

Knight of the White Orchid is only a 2-of, so I don't think it's a good idea to replace StP with PtE. If Wayfarers are run though, then I might consider them.

Elleran
04-24-2011, 01:59 PM
Two words: Mental Misstep.

Mental Misstep
pU
Instant
Counter target spell with converted mana cost 1.

That card, if it becomes mainstream (which it probably will), is going to be a problem for the deck. Nearly half of the deck is one drop creatures. I think that card will single handedly warp this deck, so let's start some proactive discussion on how to combat the card, because playing around it will be difficult.

Two ways I can see right now to improve the matchup against the card:
1. Run a more smoothed out curve.
2. Run Mental Misstep.

Option 1 seems to be against the strategy of the deck, and hurts a lot of the synergies... but it improves the midrange even more.

Option 2 dilutes the strategy of Ascension, but allows you to keep playing the same one.
---


Yes, I've thought of Mental Misstep. I'll talk to you more in real life about this, but basically, we can treat this card like FoW and play around it. I'm currently hoping that the threat density of the deck will be able to outrun Mental Misstep/FoW/Daze effects.

========


As for wasteland (i know i can talk to you, elleran later, but i'll address it now for a compiled discussion), I think it would be correct to put it in for these reasons:

The fact that your curve is low allows you to play it correctly. Wasteland nukes the weak mana base of the deck, and you playing nothing on the first turn (assuming it's on the play), is much more of an advantage to you.

If you have a hand on the play with wasteland as the only land, it'd be very incorrect to not mulligan the hand. Wasteland needs to be treated as a spell rather than a land, especially when determining mulligans. Same concept goes for the second turn.

Wasteland works most effectively as a way to mana screw the opponent on turn one and is effective because of the number of decks that splash colors. Punish them for being greedy :D

Like you said, Wastelands will be basically spells not lands. Which cards will you consider replacing out for Wastelands?

LostButSeeking
04-24-2011, 03:19 PM
Thanks for this advice. I have been told by another competitive Magic player that a competent TES/ANT pilots can shoot for 50 regularly. Unfortunately, this information does not necessarily help me since Ascension's SB can only fight so much. Perhaps fitting in Silence may be nice, but I believe Leyline to be a stronger choice. I know this is an awkward question, but which card would you recommend in order to defeat a deck like ANT? (ex. how much damage can you shoot for regularly, and what cards will you have challenge defeating?)


While it is possible for storm pilots to storm off for 50+ life loss, it isn't the norm, and pretty much always requires Ad Nauseum. I win far more games with Empty the Warrens or just Tendrils in the 18-26 range. If the storm pilot Ad Nauseums for a bunch and has enough mana to go Tendrils, then Wish->Tendrils, however, that's a lot of life loss. I honestly wouldn't bother with a ton of storm hate, the matchup is still probably not going to be great, and storm isn't a particularly common deck anyways, even nowadays. Keep Leyline just because it's good against a lot of different decks.

You can do two things here; tailor your sideboard for the storm combo matchup (I'm talking 8+ slots). If you want to do this, my advice would be Mindbreak Trap and Chalice of the Void because they don't cost mana (a chalice for 0 isn't the end of the world, but the storm combo player won't USUALLY be able to go off quickly without artifact mana unless they have a weird hand--dark ritual, dark ritual ad nauseum, or something equally unlikely--and so Chalice for 0 is my plan in Goblins as well). The alternative is to do what Arzar suggests, and I agree with--accept that you have a miserable storm combo matchup and move on. The admiral is right, storm combo isn't that common right now, and 8+ sideboard slots are going to mess with your percentages in other matches. Lots of perfectly admirable decks have good matchups with other decks and a lousy storm matchup, and I imagine you do fairly well against a lot of those decks.


Yes, I've thought of Mental Misstep. I'll talk to you more in real life about this, but basically, we can treat this card like FoW and play around it. I'm currently hoping that the threat density of the deck will be able to outrun Mental Misstep/FoW/Daze effects.

I agree with this. My argument here is similar to to Team America players who cut their basic lands for more duals; once they waste your land, it's gone, and I'd rather be able to make all three colors of mana in my deck with two lands, rather than being stuck with a forest that I topdecked and a bayou. Similarly, because the deck has SO MANY one drops, countering one is less big of a deal than say, countering the essential one drop in another match (Vial, Top, Lackey, etc.). Not to mention, the fact that this deck is so rogue-ish right now plays in the deck's favor--you play a first turn Serra Ascendant. do I MM it? Or wait for the Martyr of the sands? I'm sure I don't know, and I doubt whoever is sitting on the other side of the table with the MM will either.

Elleran
04-24-2011, 04:10 PM
You can do two things here; tailor your sideboard for the storm combo matchup (I'm talking 8+ slots). If you want to do this, my advice would be Mindbreak Trap and Chalice of the Void because they don't cost mana (a chalice for 0 isn't the end of the world, but the storm combo player won't USUALLY be able to go off quickly without artifact mana unless they have a weird hand--dark ritual, dark ritual ad nauseum, or something equally unlikely--and so Chalice for 0 is my plan in Goblins as well). The alternative is to do what Arzar suggests, and I agree with--accept that you have a miserable storm combo matchup and move on. The admiral is right, storm combo isn't that common right now, and 8+ sideboard slots are going to mess with your percentages in other matches. Lots of perfectly admirable decks have good matchups with other decks and a lousy storm matchup, and I imagine you do fairly well against a lot of those decks.



I agree with this. My argument here is similar to to Team America players who cut their basic lands for more duals; once they waste your land, it's gone, and I'd rather be able to make all three colors of mana in my deck with two lands, rather than being stuck with a forest that I topdecked and a bayou. Similarly, because the deck has SO MANY one drops, countering one is less big of a deal than say, countering the essential one drop in another match (Vial, Top, Lackey, etc.). Not to mention, the fact that this deck is so rogue-ish right now plays in the deck's favor--you play a first turn Serra Ascendant. do I MM it? Or wait for the Martyr of the sands? I'm sure I don't know, and I doubt whoever is sitting on the other side of the table with the MM will either.

Alright, thanks!

Yes, this deck is pretty weak against Storm (and many combo decks in general). Putting too many counters vs. Storm will lead to losses against other decks, like you said. I'll consider Chalice, but for now, I'm going to keep in Leyline and hope that Martyr of Sands and other cards will pull my life forward enough for me to kill the Storm player.

LostButSeeking
04-24-2011, 04:40 PM
Alright, thanks!

Yes, this deck is pretty weak against Storm (and many combo decks in general). Putting too many counters vs. Storm will lead to losses against other decks, like you said. I'll consider Chalice, but for now, I'm going to keep in Leyline and hope that Martyr of Sands and other cards will pull my life forward enough for me to kill the Storm player.

Good Luck!

bganns
04-26-2011, 04:24 PM
What about the Inquisitor Exarch what do you guys thing about him on the deck?

Elleran
04-26-2011, 05:35 PM
What about the Inquisitor Exarch what do you guys thing about him on the deck?

I don't like it. It's a 2 for a 2/2, which is sub-par in this deck. Also, the 2 life gain is okay.. but that's equivalent to 1 Jitte charge counter. Gaining 2 life won't impact the game that much in the bigger scheme of things. The 2 life loss ability is also just okay. Basically, this card doesn't add anything to the deck. It's not a big threat nor does it synergy. Thus, it will find no place in Ascension.

Micki
04-27-2011, 10:09 PM
@ Elleran

Why do you prefer Pithing Needle over Phyrexian Revoker and have you tried running a E Tutor based sideboard?

Richard Cheese
04-28-2011, 12:55 PM
White has quite a bit of hate available for storm if you really want to fight it in the SB.


Ethersworn Canonist
True Believer
Thorn of Amethyst
Null Rod
Leyline of Sanctity
Orim's Chant
Silence


Of course TES/ANT lists can play around all of these with bounce/discard, but as many storm players have pointed out, having a variety of overlapping hate is the only real way to slow the decks down. I guess it goes to the old scenario of making your sideboard to improve the even matchups, or to put the terrible ones within reach. Out of that list, True Believer and Thorn probably play the best with the deck's gameplan.

BattlefieldMedic
04-28-2011, 08:50 PM
White has quite a bit of hate available for storm if you really want to fight it in the SB.


Ethersworn Canonist
True Believer
Thorn of Amethyst
Null Rod
Leyline of Sanctity
Orim's Chant
Silence


Of course TES/ANT lists can play around all of these with bounce/discard, but as many storm players have pointed out, having a variety of overlapping hate is the only real way to slow the decks down. I guess it goes to the old scenario of making your sideboard to improve the even matchups, or to put the terrible ones within reach. Out of that list, True Believer and Thorn probably play the best with the deck's gameplan.

In my opinion, this deck is not meant to combat combo at all. This deck is more of a metagame focused deck that is designed to dominate aggro matchups. Combo was, and never will be a good matchup. If a meta is filled with combo, don't run this deck.

Elleran
05-03-2011, 07:41 PM
@ Elleran

Why do you prefer Pithing Needle over Phyrexian Revoker and have you tried running a E Tutor based sideboard?

Revoker costs 2. For that extra 1 mana, it doesn't provide any more benefit to Needle. Needle does what it needs to for the cheapest cost.

I suppose being a creature is good for Soul triggers, but if Needle is used, it is probably because of a combo deck. That means that the sooner that Needle/Revoker/(and other disabler) hits the battlefield, the better. Needle costs the cheapest, so it made the list.

SB-ing E-Tutor instead of running 3-of or playsets other Artifact/Enchantment is probably not a bad idea. I haven't tested it, but that seems very plausible.

kicks_422
05-04-2011, 01:35 AM
Don't underestimate the fact tha tRevoker can hit LED's while Needle can't. Revoker on LED has been a real pain when that card gets boarded in against me.

Oxmo39
05-04-2011, 03:23 AM
Don't underestimate the fact tha tRevoker can hit LED's while Needle can't. Revoker on LED has been a real pain when that card gets boarded in against me.

I totally agree with you Kicks !
I am a Death&Taxes player (mono-W), and i know how awful the combo MU's are!
Revoker give you chance to win this unwinnable MU! having revoker on the table protected by Mom is a real pain for the ANT/TES player.
Revoker is a very versatile card and is a body, which is really relevant is this kind of MU. Sure it doesn't suit the gameplan of your deck but as a mono-w build revoker and canonist are your best weapon agisnt storm MU.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not telling you that it will turn the MU favorable but it will steal you games.

Good luck and succes with this deck looking very pleasant and solid ! Great idea!

Micki
05-04-2011, 05:23 AM
Hello!

This is the list I'm going to start testing

18 Plains

4 Mother of Runes
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Serra Ascendant
3 Soul Warden
3 Soul's Attendant
2 Auriok Champion
4 Ranger of Eos
2 Knight of the White Orchid
2 Student of Warfare
1 Cho-Arrim Alchemist

1 Ajani Goldmane

3 Swords to Plowshares
3 Proclamation of Rebirth

2 Umezawa's Jitte

SB

3 Orim's Chant
2 Wing Shards
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Serenity
1 Aura of Silence
1 CoP:Red
1 Absolute Law
1 Runed Halo

Some comments;

I don't know if the two Auriok's are worthwhile but I like the card and I'm going to give it a chance. The one off Cho-Arrim Alchemist might also be a total waste of space but I always like to put something odd in my lists when I test them, sometimes they work well but usually not :) Another card I probably will try out in that spot is Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant. If none of them works I'll play the 4:th StoP or second Ajani.

Regarding the SB; I think that fore me the Chants, Wing Shards and Revoker are quite fixed but which cards I decide to play in the E Tutor package depends on the meta.

I will write a report when I've done some serious testing with the deck but I would naturally appreciate any comments and/or suggestions on the list I'm starting with.

Micki

Elleran
05-04-2011, 11:15 PM
Don't underestimate the fact tha tRevoker can hit LED's while Needle can't. Revoker on LED has been a real pain when that card gets boarded in against me.

Oh right, I didn't consider that. Okay, Revokers then may be better in certain matchups. I guess it really depends on the meta, but Revoker is a good choice to consider in the SB.

@Micki - I still disapprove of Auriok Champions. Extensive Playtesting showed that it doesn't do much. Topdecking it doesn't help win games and having it on the field is equivalent to other 1-cmc Soul triggers. The only time it really did anything was against Zoo, which Ascension does well without AChamp anyway. I like the E-Tutor in the SB though. Yes, please tell us how things go. :) I'm especially interested about the Ajani planeswalker in there.

Also, you have 18 plains. I believe that is too little. 20 and 19 seemed to be the optimized number when I was playtesting Ascension. 18 may often lead to your deck having only 2 lands through the mid game, which will be pretty devastating. This deck's favorite land count is about 3-4 in mid game and 4-5 in late game. Having only 2-3 in mid game may be detrimental to victory.

bakofried
05-04-2011, 11:46 PM
I'm wondering if anyone has found a replacement for KotWO; it just doesn't feel that strong.

HdH_Cthulhu
05-05-2011, 12:39 AM
Has anyone tried whitemane lion? Saves a guy from removal or just a trigger engine!
2/2 is very weak and stonecloacker is to expensive, though...

Darklingske
05-05-2011, 02:17 AM
I don't know if anyone already discussed the new Suture Priest. Wouldn't this card be ideal in the slot for the Auriok Champion? It lets us gain life, while at the same time drain the opponent.

Micki
05-05-2011, 06:47 AM
I'll try Suture Priest in Aurioks slots when it becomes legal but the main reason that I play Auriok in the first place and not 4/4 Soul Warden/Soul's Attendant is it's protection from red. It's good against Goblins and Burn which both still hangs around in my meta and it's also Firespout safe. I'm not sure that the life loss ability that Suture Priest has is relevant enough to take Aurioks place.
I also think that if you're going to run Suture Priest you need to run 4 cause you obviously want to resolve one as early in the game as possible.
I've ordered a set of Priest though so I will try them probably both 2 and 4 copies.

Does anyone have any thoughts about Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant? I think I will try that one also. probably instead of KotWO.

@Elleran You're right about the land count being too low, I thought that the Knights would fix it but after a lot of goldfishing I've decided to cut the Cho-Arrim for plains number 19.

novatinhu
05-05-2011, 08:44 AM
My current list is:

19 plains

4 Ranger of Eos
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Martyr of Sands
3 Soul's Attendant
3 Soul Warden
2 Auriok Champion
4 Squadron Hawk (Jitte carrier and full our hand to martyr)
4 Mother of Runes

3 Proclamation of Rebirth
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Umezawa'd jitte

Side:
2 Ethersworn Canonist (Combo)
2 Oblivion Ring (emrakul and others)
2 Pithing Needle (Folks, Gobbos, Mud and other)
3 Tariff (Projenitus and Emrakul)
3 Relic of Progenitus (gave rate)
3 Serenity (affinty, MUD)

esqulax
05-05-2011, 02:00 PM
Has anyone considered cutting 1 Jitte for a Sword of Fire and Ice and cutting the KotWO for Stoneforge Mystics? Probably also cutting something for a 3'rd Mystic.

Maybe it is just from how good it is in standard atm, but it just looks like it could be stronger than KotWO, doesn't it?

novatinhu
05-05-2011, 03:51 PM
Has anyone considered cutting 1 Jitte for a Sword of Fire and Ice and cutting the KotWO for Stoneforge Mystics? Probably also cutting something for a 3'rd Mystic.

Maybe it is just from how good it is in standard atm, but it just looks like it could be stronger than KotWO, doesn't it?

I tried Lady Gaga (Stoneforge) and dont like, and ii dont like KotWO and Student of Warfare becouse that i add 4 squadron hawks.

Micki
05-05-2011, 06:36 PM
Personally I think using the Stoneforge package changes the decks strategy a bit too much. Mirran Crusader could be an alternative in the KotWO spots, with 2 Auriok 2 Crusader and 4 Mothers the chanse of getting an unblockable carrier for Jitte is quite good.
I think that Student of Warfare fits nicely in the deck since he gives us something to do with extra mana in the midgame.
The deck runs about 23-25 1cc spells so though we need the 19 plains to ensure enough land drops in the beginning of the game I often find myself not tapping out after the first 3 or 4 rounds.

This is how I will test the deck;

Core

19 Plains

4 Mother of Runes
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Ranger of Eos
2 Student of Warfare

And then...

8 cards in some combination of...

Soul Warden
Soul's Attendant
Auriok Champion
Suture Priest

2 KotWO / Mirran Crusader / Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant

1 Ajani Goldmane

3 Swords to Plowshares
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
2 Umezawa's Jitte

After testing all combinations I'll hopefully find out which list "feels" best and fits my playstyle.

Elleran
05-08-2011, 11:23 PM
I'll try Suture Priest in Aurioks slots when it becomes legal but the main reason that I play Auriok in the first place and not 4/4 Soul Warden/Soul's Attendant is it's protection from red. It's good against Goblins and Burn which both still hangs around in my meta and it's also Firespout safe. I'm not sure that the life loss ability that Suture Priest has is relevant enough to take Aurioks place.
I also think that if you're going to run Suture Priest you need to run 4 cause you obviously want to resolve one as early in the game as possible.
I've ordered a set of Priest though so I will try them probably both 2 and 4 copies.

Does anyone have any thoughts about Rune-Tail, Kitsune Ascendant? I think I will try that one also. probably instead of KotWO.

@Elleran You're right about the land count being too low, I thought that the Knights would fix it but after a lot of goldfishing I've decided to cut the Cho-Arrim for plains number 19.

I have already tried Kitsune in my earliest development of this deck. It turned out to be less powerful than I first imagined for the following reasons:
1. Immune to damage doesn't save the creatures from StP, which is the more likely card that Ascension's creatures will die from.
2. Kitsune costs 3. That is rather expensive in this deck for what it does.
3. It does nothing in multiple copies.
4. Does not save creatures from Pernicious Deed, Engineered Explosive, or Ratchet Bomb.

Overall, the best thing Kitsune does is to make the Soul trigger creatures infinite chump blockers, but that's only good against decks that don't run evasion creatures or decks that base their win con on pure creature aggro, like Zoo, which this deck can already perform well against. Kitsune was then cut for another card that I don't remember exactly.

===

Also, Suture Priest seems meh. To me, it's similar to Auriok Champion (bc they both cost 2). Not very impressive.

BlindMage
05-13-2011, 12:01 PM
Played this at a local tournament last night. Despite the tournament's poor turnout and my poor results, the deck seems promising. I ended up losing 3 matches against Reanimator, Countertop-Thopter, and Dredge, and getting 1 bye. The list I ran was very similar to the one in the OP, with the somewhat random sideboard I threw together a couple hours before the tournament:

Lands: 19
19 Plains

Creatures: 31
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendant
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Mother of Runes
4 Serra Ascendant
3 Student of Warfare
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Ranger of Eos

Spells: 8
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Umezawa's Jitte
4 Proclamation of Rebirth

Sideboard
4 Orim's Chant
3 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Serenity
3 Abolish
3 Retribution of the Meek


Round 1 -- Reanimator
G1: I play first and get a few wardens and a Jitte down before his turn 3 Iona. I scoop, but I shouldn't have. He was at 8 after Reanimating Iona, and I probably could have raced.
G2: Starts similar to G1, though his Iona was slightly slower. I was determined to keep playing this one and drew many lands, but no Proclamation to forecast, which would have conceivably won me the game by allowing Martyr recursion. Iona came in with Animate Dead, and could only swing for 6.
Sideboard: -4 Swords to Plowshares; +4 Orim's Chant (not really sure what I was thinking with that)
Record 0-2; 0-1

Round 2 -- Countertop Thopter
G1: I play first, and quick beats put him at 3 life before he gets countertop and Thopter Foundry. I have two Pridemates and first one, then 3 Wardens so my Pridemates were a 42/42 and a 34/34 by the end, but I couldn't stick a Mother of Runes to get one of them past the blue thopters. This is another game where I could have won if not for my misplay with Jitte. I stopped attacking into generated thopter blockers when I should have been trying to build up enough counters to make it past the number of new blockers he could make after attacking.
G2: I follow his Day of Judgement with a Ranger of Eos and put him at 1 before he stabilizes with Humility and Thopter Foundry. There were still about 4 turns where drawing some enchantment removal would have won me the game. No dice.
Sideboard: -2 Swords to Plowshares, -2 Ranger of Eos, -1 Plains; +3 Abolish, +2 Serenity
Record 0-4; 0-2

Round 3 -- Dredge
G1: He goes first, but multiple Martyr of Sands and Proclamation remove all of his Bridge from Below, while Serra Ascendent and Soul Warden quickly put me out of range. I Ranger for a second Ascendant and mom, and he scoops. This was the first game that I saw Ascendent before turn 6 all night.
G2: His turn 2 Firestorm slows me down enough for him to get a 10/10 troll and 2 Ichorids going. I can't find StP for the troll, so it's game.
G3: Again he Firestorms on turn 2 and then goes off on turn 3. I had no chance. I later found out that he only boarded the 2 Firestorm and just got lucky drawing them with no mulligans.
Sideboard: no change. I really had nothing to bring in.
Record 1-6; 0-3

Round 4 -- bye


Despite my losing night, I was actually pretty pleased with the way the deck played. The list is rough, for sure, but unbelievably it shows promise. The main things that jumped out at me were that it needs game 1 answers to problem cards very badly. Not a lot, but some. Second, there were many games where I had 6 lands or more by the end, and a few where I sat at 2 or 3 with Proclamation or Ranger in my hand. I'd like to find a way to smooth this out, but overall I think there are too many unless we are trying to play Armageddon. I will be cutting at least 1 Plains from my list. I might also be trying some number of Abolish or Elvish Hexhunter in the maindeck. Anyone have ideas to ways this deck can answer noncreature permanents or spells?

DukeDemonKn1ght
05-13-2011, 03:19 PM
The main things that jumped out at me were that it needs game 1 answers to problem cards very badly. Not a lot, but some. Second, there were many games where I had 6 lands or more by the end, and a few where I sat at 2 or 3 with Proclamation or Ranger in my hand. I'd like to find a way to smooth this out, but overall I think there are too many unless we are trying to play Armageddon. I will be cutting at least 1 Plains from my list. I might also be trying some number of Abolish or Elvish Hexhunter in the maindeck. Anyone have ideas to ways this deck can answer noncreature permanents or spells?

Personally, I've been eyeing this list for a little while (since I think white weenie strategies are kinda fun), and I'd be tempted to run Weathered Wayfarer, as well as some utility lands (ie Flagstones of Trokair, Karakas, and Wasteland mostly.) He makes the deck a bit more expensive to build, and he necessitates some small quantity of fetch-lands (which are actually not very good in this strategy, since you're mono colored and concerned with keeping a high life total)... but I think you could get by with about 4 or so, in conjunction with Wastelands and Flagstones, and still have about enough tricks to keep him active. Wayfarer is a beast, because he tutors for Wasteland, draws opposing removal spells, and keeps you on mana parity with your opponent. I seriously think he's worth experimenting with.

As far as extra permanent removal goes, I think Oblivion Ring is probably the best fit in this deck, and I'm a little surprised y'all don't already run it. Mangara tricks seem way too slow, and I wouldn't advocate running more than one copy of Karakas anyways, because I think it's important to be relatively Wasteland immune. I realize that by running only Plains, you're already 100% Wasteland immune, but I think some non-basics in the mana base might make up for this vulnerability by providing extra power.

Abolish seems bad, because this deck wants to hit four mana pretty reliably. Elvish Hexhunter, on the other hand, seems like he should be a 1-of in the maindeck, since he's tutorable with Ranger, and you can recur him with Proclamation. Kind of sucks that he doesn't hit artifacts though...

...Just some random suggestions.

BlindMage
05-13-2011, 03:42 PM
I like Wayfarer, but I'm not a big fan of Wayfarer tricks in this deck. It's amazing in a deck like UW Tempo where so much of their deck, from the grunts to the fathom seers to the dazes, and of course wasteland has synergy with Wayfarer. In this deck it would just feel a little tacked-on, just like mangara tricks would. This deck already has a powerful strategy with ranger and proc; I think we should work with that first.

On Abolish: I picked it mostly because it costs 3 and I wanted to be able to destroy counterbalance. Its alternate cost is just a sometimes-useful plus. I'm not saying it's the card this deck wants, just want to clarify my reason for choosing it.

Elleran
05-13-2011, 04:30 PM
@Blindmage:

Wow, that's some tourney. Unfortunately, Thopter Foundry combo is one of those decks that this deck won't perform very well against. Flying and chumpblockers mean that Ascension will have a hard time getting damage through. Since Thopter runs Blue, Mother will most likely get FoW'ed. imo, the best answer is to SB Serenity, but even then the matchup is just bad.

Reanimator is also another combo deck. I'm surprised that you didn't have Relic of Progenitus or Tormod's Crypt in your SB. Having a playset of one of those can be very useful in most metas. Relic could have really messed up all three of those decks that you hit. I guess it's a meta thing, but perhaps that deck could have performed better with Relics.

Dredge game was 1 was well played. Martyr's ability to sac is randomly good against Dredge and is one of the main answer to Dredge. Unfortunately, running Relic of Crypt would have helped (again). Yeah... Dredge got quite lucky with the Firestorms. Usually, this deck should perform better against Dredge than most combos.

Overall, the matchups were gross. lol. Because this deck is an aggro deck (despite being unorthodox), combo deck will almost always have an upper hand against it. Perhaps a better SB could have helped, but otherwise I'm glad that you liked the deck :)

Hot Soup
05-14-2011, 12:22 AM
So, anyone tried Well of Lost Dreams yet?

Beatusnox
05-14-2011, 12:39 AM
Roughly the list I made based off of this:


//Creatures (30)
4x Martyr of Sands
4x Mother of Runes
4x Soul Warden
4x Ranger of Eos
4x Soul's Attendant
4x Ajani's Pridemate
4x Serra Ascendant
2x Knight of the White Orchid

//Enchantment (4)
4x Oblivion Ring

//Sorceries (3)
3x Proclamation of Rebirth

//Instants (4)
4x Swords to Plowshares

//Lands (19)
19x Plains

Some Reasons, Do not have the jittes at the moment, and I disliked the student here. Oblivion Ring's power as a removal spell is amazing. and upped the StP to 4 for more mainboard removal.

neoryujin
05-14-2011, 01:45 AM
Just a rogue comment: with all that life abundance, has anyone consider Moltensteel Dragon as an evasive finisher?

And what about Order of the Stars? Also 1cc, and at least it can hold invading ground creatures quite solidly (Goyf & co. This dies to Jitte, but can prevent evasionless opposing creatures to deal damage with Jitte (& put counters on Jitte). And if someone wasted Swords to Plowshares to it (at the time where it has no protection to white), then it has served its purpose as well.

Elleran
05-14-2011, 09:34 AM
Roughly the list I made based off of this:


//Creatures (30)
4x Martyr of Sands
4x Mother of Runes
4x Soul Warden
4x Ranger of Eos
4x Soul's Attendant
4x Ajani's Pridemate
4x Serra Ascendant
2x Knight of the White Orchid

//Enchantment (4)
4x Oblivion Ring

//Sorceries (3)
3x Proclamation of Rebirth

//Instants (4)
4x Swords to Plowshares

//Lands (19)
19x Plains

Some Reasons, Do not have the jittes at the moment, and I disliked the student here. Oblivion Ring's power as a removal spell is amazing. and upped the StP to 4 for more mainboard removal.

Yeah, I liked the Student + Jitte. It offers a solid win con.

How is O-ring? I was considering it as well after I lost to Jace TMS in 2 games out of 3 against one player.

Elleran
05-15-2011, 06:09 PM
Just a rogue comment: with all that life abundance, has anyone consider Moltensteel Dragon as an evasive finisher?

And what about Order of the Stars? Also 1cc, and at least it can hold invading ground creatures quite solidly (Goyf & co. This dies to Jitte, but can prevent evasionless opposing creatures to deal damage with Jitte (& put counters on Jitte). And if someone wasted Swords to Plowshares to it (at the time where it has no protection to white), then it has served its purpose as well.

Moltensteel Dragon could be used as a finisher. It has benefits and disadvantages that I will consider below:

Benefits:
1. Evasion
2. Colorless (no Iona)
3. High cmc (no Countertop)
4. Ability to kill the opponent in one attack

Disadvantages:
1. Costs life to play
2. Costs life to use firebreath
3. If it gets removed in the middle of combat after a large quantity of life was paid to use the ability, can have devastating consequences
4. Costs 4 to cast, which is decent for what it does, but will have a significant impact on the mana curve of this deck

I personally think that this card can be a very nice finisher. Perhaps two of Moltensteel Dragons instead of 3-4 Rangers, and have the remaining slots be filled with Rangers (1-2) will be good. Hmm.. Nice suggestion.

BlindMage
05-16-2011, 07:09 PM
Moltensteel Dragon might be a powerful finisher, but I don't see it being worth a maindeck inclusion for two reasons. First is that I don't think that finishers is where this deck needs help; if the 6/6 flying lifelink won't get you there, it's hard to imagine that the dragon will. Second is that against many decks the dragon is just so risky. pumping the crap out of it only to have it get sworded, or worse, hit with Ancient Grudge or other artifact removal seems like a good way to lose a game you had been winning. I could see having him as a 2-of out of the side against decks where you need more flying threats, or that might not be able to remove him. In some situations he could be a severe beating.

Really, though, I think we need to be talking about answers the deck could use. There's two directions I'm considering right now. One is mono-white and adds 1-2 Elvish Hexhunter and 2-3 Oblivion Ring while cutting rangers down to 3 or 2, proclamation down to 3, and possibly StP down to 2 or 3 as well. Another would splash green for Gaddock Teeg and Qasali Pridemage. Neither of these works with proc or ranger, unfortunately, but they do trigger wardens, and they are white for martyr. Both would be useful against some of the bad matchups like countertop, sneak attack, and storm combo.

Another option would be to simply play Mental Misstep without bothering with islands, or maybe with just some Tundras and no fetches. I'm not sure how much of an advantage MM would or wouldn't be. Obviously there are many powerful 1-mana spells that could be countered. However, since MM isn't white for martyr and would cost life, it might make it harder to get to 30 for Ascendent.

I'm certain, however, that I'll be adding at least 1 Elvish Hexhunter no mater what else I do.

Elleran
05-16-2011, 08:16 PM
Moltensteel Dragon might be a powerful finisher, but I don't see it being worth a maindeck inclusion for two reasons. First is that I don't think that finishers is where this deck needs help; if the 6/6 flying lifelink won't get you there, it's hard to imagine that the dragon will. Second is that against many decks the dragon is just so risky. pumping the crap out of it only to have it get sworded, or worse, hit with Ancient Grudge or other artifact removal seems like a good way to lose a game you had been winning. I could see having him as a 2-of out of the side against decks where you need more flying threats, or that might not be able to remove him. In some situations he could be a severe beating.

Really, though, I think we need to be talking about answers the deck could use. There's two directions I'm considering right now. One is mono-white and adds 1-2 Elvish Hexhunter and 2-3 Oblivion Ring while cutting rangers down to 3 or 2, proclamation down to 3, and possibly StP down to 2 or 3 as well. Another would splash green for Gaddock Teeg and Qasali Pridemage. Neither of these works with proc or ranger, unfortunately, but they do trigger wardens, and they are white for martyr. Both would be useful against some of the bad matchups like countertop, sneak attack, and storm combo.

Another option would be to simply play Mental Misstep without bothering with islands, or maybe with just some Tundras and no fetches. I'm not sure how much of an advantage MM would or wouldn't be. Obviously there are many powerful 1-mana spells that could be countered. However, since MM isn't white for martyr and would cost life, it might make it harder to get to 30 for Ascendent.

I'm certain, however, that I'll be adding at least 1 Elvish Hexhunter no mater what else I do.

Very good points. I agree with your reasoning about the Dragon.

Onto your points about discussing answers.

Elvish Hexhunter is a good suggestion. I have considered it before, but I decided that it wasn't as useful as I wanted. The main threat it can remove is Counterbalance, which will probably counter the Hexhunter anyway. I've lost to a Seismic Assault (a variant on LoamAggro), and a singleton Hexhunter wouldn't have helped much anyway because there was a Chalice at 1 (I actually won once because of SB'ed Serenity). Being such, I couldn't think of much use for Elvish Hexhunter. Other SB cards are probably more appropriate (despite not being able to be tutored up with Ranger).

Mental Misstep is good, but like you said, costs life. I haven't playtested at all with MM, so I can only speculate about its effectiveness.

O-rings instead of a playset of StP is viable. I will playtest this and tell you my results later.

Also, I've tried using Elspeth Tirel in the deck. It has won me a round against Goblin when we were both at a standstill.. but I think it's a bit of a win-more.

Elleran
05-16-2011, 08:18 PM
I know this has been suggested before, but what do you guys think about running a playset of Enlightened Tutor in the SB and then running just 1-2 of each artifact or enchantment answers? I think it has the potential to increase the effectiveness of the SB, but the deck would be sacrificing some of its synergistic effectiveness since the Tutor and the artifacts/enchantments aren't creatures.

Thoughts?

Micki
05-16-2011, 08:37 PM
This is the sideboard I'm testing right now:

3 Orim's Chant
2 Wing Shards
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Serenity
1 Aura of Silence
1 CoP:Red
1 Absolute Law
1 Runed Halo

I haven't played with it enough yet to have any strong opinions but since the tutor SB works in my UW Tempo deck I can't see why it wouldn't work in this deck.

264505
05-16-2011, 08:53 PM
I built a rough list and started testing on MTGO. Noticed a few things, there needs to be spot enchantment removal in the board because eplague slows down the life gain a lot. Also, Flickerwisp has some good synergy because it triggers the soul's life gain and allows you to grab multiple 1 drops by blinking Ranger of Eos or Knight of White Orchard.

Elleran
05-17-2011, 12:19 AM
This is the sideboard I'm testing right now:

3 Orim's Chant
2 Wing Shards
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Serenity
1 Aura of Silence
1 CoP:Red
1 Absolute Law
1 Runed Halo

I haven't played with it enough yet to have any strong opinions but since the tutor SB works in my UW Tempo deck I can't see why it wouldn't work in this deck.

I'll give ETutors a try.

@264505: Flickerwisp is pretty cool. I'll give it a try. Yes, ePlague is... deadly. Serenity maybe?

264505
05-17-2011, 02:03 AM
I dont have the option since it wasnt printed on MTGO. Im thinking of Wispmare filling that spot since hes also a body if need be. I ended up going 7-3 tonight and would have won my last match if lagging didnt call me to timeout. I beat thresh, sligh, burn, 12 post, and affinity twice and some janky stuff. Lost to burn (Ensnaring bridge), enchantress, and goblins, but I timed out with 2 6/6 Serra Ascendents in game 3 so i probably would have won that.

EDIT: Flagstones is also a good land to add to the deck. I am running 3 and its strictly better than a basic Plains. It gives you a fetch and deck thinning effect without a loss of life or being vulnerable to Wasteland and with 3 I have yet to run into a problem with having multiples in my opener slow down my draw. I have also been fooling around with Ajani as the life gain and the creature buff carry a lot of synergy with the deck. Hes just a 1 of at the moment but i might bump him up to 2 if he continues to be useful.

264505
05-18-2011, 07:27 AM
OK, so the Junk matchup is pretty terrible. It's long, drawn out and near impossible when they x-1 you with EE and Deed. This might be the decks worst matchup.

BlindMage
05-18-2011, 02:00 PM
OK, so the Junk matchup is pretty terrible. It's long, drawn out and near impossible when they x-1 you with EE and Deed. This might be the decks worst matchup.

In theory proclamation and ranger should allow you to recover from things like deed and EE. Perhaps Phyrexian Revoker is needed as well?

From what I can tell almost all the cards that wreck this deck are artifacts or enchantments. Illumination might be janky, and it would certainly change the way this deck plays, but it also might be worth looking into the ability to outright counter cards like deed, humility, counterbalance, ensnaring bridge, sneak attack, EE, thopter foundry, solitary confinement, LED, etc, etc. Meddling Mage might be another option, but he's often not quite as good as he sounds in my experience, and Phyrexian Revoker might just be better.

264505
05-18-2011, 05:11 PM
Junk decks run vindicate, swords, hymn, thoughtsieze, deed, and ee. Thats a diverse enough removal suite that makes games hard to recover from as we need to overextend a bit to make our threats relevant.

Beatusnox
05-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Against Junk, Pithing Needle on Deed, or EE is clutch IMHO. As is the revoker. Leyline of Sanctity is one of the few ways to stop thoughtseize and Hymn.

Beyond that, their spot removal becomes very hard to deal with, but we should have a deep enough threat density that we can pound our way through all it, if we an shut off the Deed and the EE.

Elleran
05-19-2011, 06:56 PM
From my experience, Ascension should be able to dig itself out of 1-2 board wipes. After that, it gets pretty hard. Fortunately, Ascension can gain a huge life (and thus time) to work with to find answers. Unfortunately, overflowing number of spot removals can get annoying quickly (especially the white ones because they exile).

Using Revokers or Needles to shut down Deed and Explosives is critical. Also, no White Weenie deck is going to fare well against overflowing board wipes. But then again, most decks don't run overflowing board wipes. 4 Deeds or Explosives is the usual number that people run in their SB.

Elleran
05-21-2011, 06:11 PM
After some more playtesting, I have decided that running 2 Oblivion Rings in the main would be the best. After losing many rounds to a Legacy Caw-Blade, I have further inputs into the PRIMER.

This deck is weak against decks based on artifacts and enchantments. This has been mentioned many times before, but I want to emphasize it more. It is difficult to win when using Artifacts and Enchantments allows the opponent's creatures to gain a stronger board control (such as Jitte, Swords of Fire and Ice with an evasion creature, or CounterTop, etc).

To answer this, I recommend that this deck requires some main and SB answers to non-creature threats. Oblivion Rings have proven successful in removing some immediate threats (like Jace, artifacts, Counterbalance, etc). In the SB, having multiple copies of [/cards]Serenity[/cards] would really help post-board. Because Ascension's creatures are already powerful and reliable, it is important to not allow the opponent to gain an upper hand using non-creature strategy.

Beatusnox
05-21-2011, 10:42 PM
After some more playtesting, I have decided that running 2 Oblivion Rings in the main would be the best. After losing many rounds to a Legacy Caw-Blade, I have further inputs into the PRIMER.

This deck is weak against decks based on artifacts and enchantments. This has been mentioned many times before, but I want to emphasize it more. It is difficult to win when using Artifacts and Enchantments allows the opponent's creatures to gain a stronger board control (such as Jitte, Swords of Fire and Ice with an evasion creature, or CounterTop, etc).

To answer this, I recommend that this deck requires some main and SB answers to non-creature threats. Oblivion Rings have proven successful in removing some immediate threats (like Jace, artifacts, Counterbalance, etc). In the SB, having multiple copies of [/cards]Serenity[/cards] would really help post-board. Because Ascension's creatures are already powerful and reliable, it is important to not allow the opponent to gain an upper hand using non-creature strategy.

Elleren, I believe more of them to run better, but it is all personal Preference. The list I posted on the other page is close to where I would play it, I am going to edit into this post in just a second some insights I have after having played this deck, and helped my friend Build a version and teaching him how to play it successfully.


New Mainboard Idea.

//Creatures (26)
4x Martyr of Sands
3x Mother of Runes
4x Soul Warden
2x Ranger of Eos
4x Soul's Attendant
3x Ajani's Pridemate
4x Serra Ascendant
2x Stoneforge Mystic

//Artifacts(4)
1x Sword of Light and Shadow
1x Umezawa's Jitte
1x Sword of Fire and Ice
1x Sword of War and Peace

//Enchantment (4)
4x Oblivion Ring

//Sorceries (3)
3x Proclamation of Rebirth

//Instants (4)
4x Swords to Plowshares

//Lands (19)
19x Plains

Reasoning:

Threat density is very high on this deck. And the some of the more utility Creatures were almost too much,

I cut White Orchids for Stoneforge Mystics, these are added as a tutor package for the swords in the deck, and are a white card, go figure.

Took Mother down to 3 and Pridemate as well. Brought Ranger down to two, as it is an important card to have, but is not Completely Necessary.

Added an equipment suit to give the deck some extra mainboard power.

Sword of Light and Shadow, For life gain, and Creature Recursion, using a Martyr and getting it back next turn? Yes please.

Umezawa's Jitte, Removal and Life gain. It is an amazing equip card, and against other weenie strategies, can be clinch.

Sword of Fire and Ice, Can push for Extra damage, and it draws us cards. In a deck like this, drawing cards is never a bad thing.

Sword of War and Peace, and Finally the Card that is going to get me flamed, War and Peace. It is life gain, and damage towards your opponent, the +2/+2 and the different protections it gives can be amazing, it protects from opposing spot removal(outside of black and now green).

Try play testing, or proxying up a shell like this and tell me your results please. I am testing but would like more varied and widely tested results.

264505
05-21-2011, 11:42 PM
Ive swung a few matchups with a singleton Ajani Goldmane. The card looks kinda bad, but it has a lot of synergy with the deck and with StP being the most common form of removal, the ultimate is pretty backbreaking.

Elleran
05-22-2011, 01:07 AM
@Beatusnox: The list looks very interesting. With the prices of Stoneforge plummeting, the Stoneforge package looks both affordable and potent. I'll give it a playtesting and tell you how it goes.

Some feedbacks to your list, though. Why only 1 Jitte? Its legendary status makes it vulnerable to removals. Because it is such a powerful equipment, I would rather have 2 Jittes rather than say.. Sword of Light and Shadow.

I also don't like the deduction in Mother of Runes. I'm afraid having the Stoneforge Mystics, equipments, and more O-rings puts a major deduction on the creature count in this deck and will have some consequences on the level of synergy. However, your explanations do justify your changes, and I'm excited to try out your list. Thanks a lot!


@264505: I've tried Elspeth Tirel as a singleton, and it has helped me almost every time I drew it. Only when I was completely losing was it not useful at all. Elspeth can break stalemates in our favor, and I'm even thinking about trying 2 instead. I used the same list my original one in the first post but I just replaced a Ranger of Ios with Tirel.

Beatusnox
05-22-2011, 02:00 AM
The main board I wanted to have a Varied package for the equipments, one of each seemed pretty balanced. The creature count at 30, while relevant, was high enough where I felt it could be shrunk some to try to balance the deck out more. Only four creatures are being removed for the Equipment package.

You could keep the Mom Count at 4, and drop the Oblivion Rings down to three.

Honestly I would drop SoWaP before I dropped SoLaS. The recursion of our creatures from light and shadow can be game winning. The way it can swing things back into our favor is amazing.

Updated Equipment package:

1 SoLaS
1 SoFaI
2 Umezawa's Jitte.


Possible Sideboard equips:
Batterskull
Basilisk collar
Sword of War and Peace


And the good thing here is, The stoneforge basically become tutors, allowing us to only run one or two maximum of whatever equipment, we are trying to abuse, and still reliably get what we need.

One question I have, as its 2 am, and my mind is kind of in la-la land, Sword of the Meek states "Whenever a 1/1 creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may return Sword of the Meek from your graveyard to the battlefield, then attach it to that creature."

If we are at 30 or higher life, when the Serra Ascendant comes into play, it is a 1/1 and then gains the +5/+5 right? Which would allow the sword to come in on the Serra Ascendant making it a 7/8?

Sorry if my thoughts are unclear.

Lusian
05-22-2011, 12:01 PM
This deck is weak against decks based on artifacts and enchantments

have you considered/playtested leonin relic-warder ? Maybe also the addition of phyrexian metamorph? As i remember metamorph+relic-warder+ soul warden should give infinite life. As well as all the cute tricks metamorph can do =)

Elleran
05-22-2011, 12:18 PM
One question I have, as its 2 am, and my mind is kind of in la-la land, Sword of the Meek states "Whenever a 1/1 creature enters the battlefield under your control, you may return Sword of the Meek from your graveyard to the battlefield, then attach it to that creature."

If we are at 30 or higher life, when the Serra Ascendant comes into play, it is a 1/1 and then gains the +5/+5 right? Which would allow the sword to come in on the Serra Ascendant making it a 7/8?

Sorry if my thoughts are unclear.

It actually enters the battlefield as a 6/6. This is because the "As long as you have 30 or more life" clause makes this ability a static ability. This means that there is no 'trigger' time. Just like a player loses when he or she has 0 life, Serra Ascendant simply becomes 6/6 whenever your life is 30 or higher.

I like the SoWaP because of its protection. I guess the recursion ability of SoLaS is impressive, too. The reason why I think recursion may be overrated is because personally, the only times I have really lost was when I didn't have more creature on the battlefield and the opponent had an overwhelming force (like Jace or few 10/10s or 8 Goblin creatures with Piledriver or an evasion creature with Jitte, etc). Gaining life becomes less relevant when the opponent has so much board presence and control. In other words, reestablishing board presence becomes the main priority rather than lasting longer. That is why I like Elspeth Tirel's ability to clear the board and Serenity's ability to wipe any 'unfair' advantage that the opponent is receiving from his artifacts and enchantments.


@Lusian: Leonin Relic-Warder isn't very good in this deck. It lacks much synergy with the rest of the cards. Also, compared to O-rings, it has less versatility as well as being vulnerable to removals. Phyrexian Metamorph is good, but is really dependent on what's on the battlefield. It has potential though. I'll give it a try.

HPB_Eggo
05-22-2011, 09:45 PM
Let me preface this by saying that I think Ajani's Pridemate and Student of Warfare are not terrible card choices, at least for this deck.

That being said, they both represent a huge investment when they get to a certain size, usually in time more than anything else. Removal once they hit a certain point is, correspondingly, a loss of that investment.

More commonly than not, the removal tossed at them will be either StP or PtE because of their beefiness, so you will gain either a land, which you don't need, or life, which you already have more than enough of, while having a threat you have invested a large amount of time into creating removed at instant speed.

Personally, I hate the idea of having an investment like that toasted and getting nothing in return, so I'd go for something else. Yes, I understand that you're gaining life as a matter of course through playing out creatures, but the cost in time and cards is still there, and it is quite hefty.

I have some number of other suggestions I will type up when I have more time, but my advice is to cut all of both and go for two specific strategies - rushing a big Serra Ascendant through Martyr of the Sands, or playing out a lot of threats and a powerful piece of equipment, be it Jitte or SoFaI.

For the first strategy, you're getting a big beat down early with little investment, which is very powerful. This gives the deck the possibility of a very fast win, especially during the first game when your opponent will probably not know what you are playing or be familiar with the deck.

The second strategy is strong because of creature density and the fact that you can legitimately ignore the opponent's actions most of the time. Only block when it's favorable, only swing with a creature that's equipped and ready to go, keep gaining life by playing out more threats. Most importantly, this strategy makes every creature in your deck a threat, which is what this deck needs.

So, yeah. Try cutting Ajani's Pridemate and Student of Warfare, add in Stoneforge Mystic, keep Knight of the White Orchid, put in another decent equipment carrier like Serra Avenger, and see what else you can do to generate card advantage. I'm personally looking at Renewed Faith as a possible addition, but it will require some testing to see if it actually works out or not.

Elleran
05-23-2011, 01:05 AM
Let me preface this by saying that I think Ajani's Pridemate and Student of Warfare are not terrible card choices, at least for this deck.

That being said, they both represent a huge investment when they get to a certain size, usually in time more than anything else. Removal once they hit a certain point is, correspondingly, a loss of that investment.

More commonly than not, the removal tossed at them will be either StP or PtE because of their beefiness, so you will gain either a land, which you don't need, or life, which you already have more than enough of, while having a threat you have invested a large amount of time into creating removed at instant speed.

Personally, I hate the idea of having an investment like that toasted and getting nothing in return, so I'd go for something else. Yes, I understand that you're gaining life as a matter of course through playing out creatures, but the cost in time and cards is still there, and it is quite hefty.

I have some number of other suggestions I will type up when I have more time, but my advice is to cut all of both and go for two specific strategies - rushing a big Serra Ascendant through Martyr of the Sands, or playing out a lot of threats and a powerful piece of equipment, be it Jitte or SoFaI.

For the first strategy, you're getting a big beat down early with little investment, which is very powerful. This gives the deck the possibility of a very fast win, especially during the first game when your opponent will probably not know what you are playing or be familiar with the deck.

The second strategy is strong because of creature density and the fact that you can legitimately ignore the opponent's actions most of the time. Only block when it's favorable, only swing with a creature that's equipped and ready to go, keep gaining life by playing out more threats. Most importantly, this strategy makes every creature in your deck a threat, which is what this deck needs.

So, yeah. Try cutting Ajani's Pridemate and Student of Warfare, add in Stoneforge Mystic, keep Knight of the White Orchid, put in another decent equipment carrier like Serra Avenger, and see what else you can do to generate card advantage. I'm personally looking at Renewed Faith as a possible addition, but it will require some testing to see if it actually works out or not.

Some great ideas! I will respond back when I have time. It is night here and I must sleep.

HPB_Eggo
05-23-2011, 10:35 AM
So, I now have time to write some things out in an attempt to get out some more suggestions.

In my mind, this deck thrives against one rather general strategy - reducing the opponent's life total to zero quickly while presenting little actual control of the flow of the game. It does so by gaining life in large quantities quickly while simultaneously playing out threats, and then beating face with an equipped creature or enhanced Serra Ascendant/Ajani's Pridemate/Student of Warfare.

A few things are necessary to point out. Firstly, the deck will nearly always make it past the first four or five turns, and will only lose quickly against decks that can only be beaten in games two and three, i.e. Spiral Tide. Secondly, without equipment, it currently plays only three threats. Third, it currently has no draw mechanism and only three cards that generate card advantage, all of which do so quite well. And fourth, it has no method of disrupting the opponent's strategy beyond gaining life, which is an insurmountable problem in some matchups.

As such, there are several things I think need to be addressed. First and foremost, the heavy focus on 1-cmc spells and creatures is actually a detriment to the deck. Considering that you nearly always make it past the first few turns and are generally allowed at least three lands, you will play out creatures faster than you will draw them. Of these creatures, few of them are actual threats in and of themselves. Regardless, you will be topdecking fairly quickly, so you either need to change the decks composition to allow for strong topdecking, which it currently does not, or you need to balance out the mana curve more towards the two slot with a few bigger threats. Nothing huge, mind you, but things like Stoneforge Mystic and Serra Avenger are very powerful and only cost two mana. This has the added benefit of allowing a better matchup against Countertop, while the stable mana base ensures that denial strategies will not be effective.

One important thing to note here is that it is an incredibly poor decision to replace Soul's Attendant and Sould Warden with anything else. For these cards, the fact that they cost one is an enormous benefit, and should not be overlooked.

Stoneforge Mystic and the addition of an equipment package - probably Jitte, SoFaI, and SoLaS - solves the problem of your creatures generally being non-threats while also helping to smooth out the mana curve, which is a huge benefit.

Now, looking at the two above changes, you will probably want/need to remove at least some copies of Ranger of Eos and Proclamation of Rebirth, both of which are great sources of the card advantage the deck needs. This, then, is something to look into - what can provide card advantage while still being effective for the decks strategy, while also smoothing out the mana curve? Stoneforge Mystic is the perfect example of this, and Knight of the White Orchid is also quite good at providing card advantage, removing lands from your deck, and carrying equipment. Renewed Faith is a possible choice, although I have yet to perform any testing on the card. Regardless, I would hope that at least a few decent methods of gaining card advantage while working into this strategy are out there, although I'm not sure what they are myself.

The final problem, that of providing little to no disruption, is best solved in the sideboard, which should be set up solely to deal with non-aggro matchups. Ethersworn Canonist and Jotun Grunt both seem like good choices. Ethersworn Canonist with Mother of Runes on the table essentially prevents any combo deck from going off, while Jotun Grunt provides a great benefit against Zoo, Dredge, and anything running Tarmogoyf. Past this, I would think you would only require some amount of strong artifact and enchantment disruption, my personal favorite being Aura of Silence, but just about anything works, so long as it's not Abolish, as the deck cannot take the loss of a plains if the mana curve is smoothed out. I don't think Aether Vial is a solid choice, especially if you take the time to smooth out the mana base. It won't really help against Countertop, as they will simply counter it and let you play out other threats before landing Countertop and a Goyf to win.

A few not mentioned cards that might require some testing - Augur il-Vec, Children of Korlis, Divine Offering, Sacred Offering, Kor Sanctifiers, SoWaP, Order of Whiteclay and Soltari Visionary.

EDIT: What I would consider core cards the way I would build the deck would be the following...

4 Martyr of Sands
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Soul's Attendant
4 Soul Warden
4 Mother of Runes
2 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow

Everything else seems like it could be moved in or out depending on the sort of meta you played in. I wouldn't advice playing this outside of an aggro-heavy meta, but there are still specific things that can be done to tune it depending on what sort of aggro decks you face the most.

Micki
06-02-2011, 11:47 AM
Hello again!

Nobody has posted anything here for a while so I thought I'd post the list I'm testing ATM.

18 Plains

2 Tithe

4 Mother of Runes
4 Martyr of Sands
3 Soul Warden
3 Soul's Attendant
4 Serra Ascendant
3 Ajani's Pridemate
2 Auriok Champion
3 Ranger of Eos

2 Ajani Goldmane

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
3 Oblivion Ring

2 Umezawa's Jitte

Sideboard

3 Orim's Chant
2 Wing Shards
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Serenity
1 Aura of Silence
1 CoP:Red
1 Absolute Law
1 Runed Halo

Some comments; I added Tithe just for fun and sentimental reasons one evening when I was playing with my friend, since I used the card in a very old WW deck :)
The card worked surprisingly well so for now I'm keeping it. This deck has a lot of 1cc spells so you can almost always wait for your opponent to drop a second land and get two plains. Mental Misstep is a problem of course but if he/she decides to MM your Tithe, it means one of your creatures is safe. Game two and three your opponent usually wants to sit on his/her MM waiting for a tutor to counter so then Tithe is quite safe.
I've played quite a lot against my friends Goblin deck so I still like my 2 Auriok Champions :) Ajani is great and she's one of the last cards I would cut from my list. Her first ability is of course "made for" this deck and her second ability is almost like having Student of Warfare spliced onto all your creatures.
Oblivion Ring has also been a very good addition.
Personally I don't think this deck needs the SM package but this opinion might be affected by the fact that I run the SM package in every bloody deck I use white in so I WANTS TO play a deck that can do with out it.
Since I haven't played the deck in any larger tournament yet the "meta" I've tested it against is quite narrow but so far I like the build.

Please give me your opinion of the list and if someone finds the time to test it, even better.

Elleran
06-02-2011, 05:17 PM
The reason why I haven't replied in a while is because I've been busy with school work, and I haven't been able to satisfactorily test the list that HPB_Eggo has posted. I've tried the Stoneforges and they have proven to have potential. On another note, I would prefer to use [cards]AEther Vial[cards] with the Stoneforges. My younger brother who plays another deck uses Stoneforge + Vial to a great effect.

Micki
06-03-2011, 12:51 AM
There is hardly any decks that play Stoneforge Mystic without Vial since having Vial in play guarantees (well almost) that you will at least get an equipment to your hand and with Mom in play you'll probably also get it to the battlefield.
If I would play SM + Vial in my list I would go -2x Tithe +2x Vial, -2x Ajani +2x Mystic, -1x Proclamation
-1x O Ring +2x Equipment. The first equipment I would add would be Batterskull, a 4/4 with lifelink and vigilance for 1W should fit quite good in this deck...
The problem IMO is that to use SM+Vial with any success you need to play at least three of both and I don't know what else I would cut without weakening the original game plan too much.
I play 4x SM, 3x Vial, 3x Equipment (and 2 in the Sideboard) in my UW Tempo deck so I know how powerful the combination is but I still like my list better as it is.

Elleran
06-03-2011, 06:11 PM
First thing,in the new M12 set, there is a card called Gideon's Lawkeeper. It is a white creature for 1 that has the same effect as Blinding Mage. Any thoughts on this?


There is hardly any decks that play Stoneforge Mystic without Vial since having Vial in play guarantees (well almost) that you will at least get an equipment to your hand and with Mom in play you'll probably also get it to the battlefield.
If I would play SM + Vial in my list I would go -2x Tithe +2x Vial, -2x Ajani +2x Mystic, -1x Proclamation
-1x O Ring +2x Equipment. The first equipment I would add would be Batterskull, a 4/4 with lifelink and vigilance for 1W should fit quite good in this deck...
The problem IMO is that to use SM+Vial with any success you need to play at least three of both and I don't know what else I would cut without weakening the original game plan too much.
I play 4x SM, 3x Vial, 3x Equipment (and 2 in the Sideboard) in my UW Tempo deck so I know how powerful the combination is but I still like my list better as it is.

I agree that if SM + Vial is going to be a consistent real threat, there needs to be more copies of the equipments, SMs, and Vials. I also agree that putting the entire package would seriously weaken the game plan. Therefore, I suggest that we should disregard that package in favor of perhaps an alternate one NOT involving so many copies of each. Perhaps Vials and extra copies of SM in the Sideboard? I like the idea of the package, but I am unwilling to put it in for the sake of the strategy of this deck. Fast Serra + quick but huge life gain should be one of the main components in this deck.

Micki
06-03-2011, 10:21 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but judging by the spoilers I found, Gideon's Lawkeeper is exactly the same card as Goldmeadow Harrier despite Harrier being a Kithkin Soldier and Lawkeeper a Human Soldier?

If so, I don't think that a deck where some players even consider cutting one StoP needs a defensive creature like this one. I run 4x StoP, 3x O Ring and 2x Jitte MD and I think this is disruption enough in a deck where I want to spend the main part of my mana on getting 6/6 creatures with evasion and protection from Mom, as soon as possible.

IMO this decks game plan should focus on "pumping" Pridemate and Ascendant as fast as possible and then being able to raze almost any deck because of our high life count and Mom, every card that slows down this game plan (SM package) has to be amazing to earn a spot. If I want to play a slower aggro control styleish deck I'll play Death&Taxes (that uses Goldmeadow Harrier btw.) or UW Tempo.

These are of course only my thoughts about the deck and I might be wrong or other "ways" might be just as right.

@Elleran; Since you are the creator of this deck, if you could find time to test my list and give me some feedback on it (only if you don't feel it's crap just by looking at the list of course), I would very much appreciate it. This of course also goes for anybody else that is trying to develop this deck.

lorddotm
06-03-2011, 10:24 PM
Why does this deck have such a shitty ass name? I thought it was Soul Sisters, but apparently it's not?

Legacy deck names are the absolute worst. Vintage deck names are the best.

Vandalize
06-04-2011, 02:20 AM
Agreed.

I'd name this deck: "Hey, soul sister... ain't that deck with lots of 1cc spells...", just a little modification from Train's song

Elleran
06-04-2011, 05:14 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong but judging by the spoilers I found, Gideon's Lawkeeper is exactly the same card as Goldmeadow Harrier despite Harrier being a Kithkin Soldier and Lawkeeper a Human Soldier?

If so, I don't think that a deck where some players even consider cutting one StoP needs a defensive creature like this one. I run 4x StoP, 3x O Ring and 2x Jitte MD and I think this is disruption enough in a deck where I want to spend the main part of my mana on getting 6/6 creatures with evasion and protection from Mom, as soon as possible.

IMO this decks game plan should focus on "pumping" Pridemate and Ascendant as fast as possible and then being able to raze almost any deck because of our high life count and Mom, every card that slows down this game plan (SM package) has to be amazing to earn a spot. If I want to play a slower aggro control styleish deck I'll play Death&Taxes (that uses Goldmeadow Harrier btw.) or UW Tempo.

These are of course only my thoughts about the deck and I might be wrong or other "ways" might be just as right.

@Elleran; Since you are the creator of this deck, if you could find time to test my list and give me some feedback on it (only if you don't feel it's crap just by looking at the list of course), I would very much appreciate it. This of course also goes for anybody else that is trying to develop this deck.

Oops, yes they are the same cards. I thought Gideon's Lawkeeper looked familiar... >__>

I will test the list and give you feedback as soon as I can. Hopefully with summer, I will be able to find more time to experiment and such. Just from looking at your list, I have some questions:
1. Why Ajani Goldmane? Why not Elspeth or Tirel? I find Goldmane's +1 ability is too weak. His -1 ability is decent, especially with the Soul triggers being 1/1s, but I want to know whether you can justify him better.
2. I still dislike the Auriok Champion in your list. I suppose I will test her once again, but from my personal testing experience, I have find her to be both slow and un-threatening. Again, justification? Perhaps you have a different playtesting data?
3. 18 Plains? I've actually began to play with 20 Plains instead recently. I have found that even 19 can be an unreliable mana base, especially in the first few turns. For this deck, having an explosive first few turns is critical, and having too few lands can be extremely detrimental to the threat level of this deck. Having 3 lands by turn 3 and then 4 lands by turn 5 would be very healthy. Becoming stuck at 2 lands after turn 2 for an extended period (obviously depending on the opponent's threat level ad tempo) can be disastrous.

Elleran
06-04-2011, 05:16 PM
Why does this deck have such a shitty ass name? I thought it was Soul Sisters, but apparently it's not?

Legacy deck names are the absolute worst. Vintage deck names are the best.

Personally, I would have named it Soul Sisters but I thought it was already 'claimed' already. I refer to the deck as either Soul Sisters or Ascension interchangeably within my testing team.

264505
06-04-2011, 06:49 PM
1. Why Ajani Goldmane? Why not Elspeth or Tirel? I find Goldmane's +1 ability is too weak. His -1 ability is decent, especially with the Soul triggers being 1/1s, but I want to know whether you can justify him better.


The ultimate will just win games. Putting a Serra Avatar into play is pretty much the nuts against any deck not running Jace. I've played with a singleton and the token either goes all the way or gets sworded and doubles your life total.

Micki
06-04-2011, 07:04 PM
Oops, yes they are the same cards. I thought Gideon's Lawkeeper looked familiar... >__>

I will test the list and give you feedback as soon as I can. Hopefully with summer, I will be able to find more time to experiment and such. Just from looking at your list, I have some questions:
1. Why Ajani Goldmane? Why not Elspeth or Tirel? I find Goldmane's +1 ability is too weak. His -1 ability is decent, especially with the Soul triggers being 1/1s, but I want to know whether you can justify him better.
2. I still dislike the Auriok Champion in your list. I suppose I will test her once again, but from my personal testing experience, I have find her to be both slow and un-threatening. Again, justification? Perhaps you have a different playtesting data?
3. 18 Plains? I've actually began to play with 20 Plains instead recently. I have found that even 19 can be an unreliable mana base, especially in the first few turns. For this deck, having an explosive first few turns is critical, and having too few lands can be extremely detrimental to the threat level of this deck. Having 3 lands by turn 3 and then 4 lands by turn 5 would be very healthy. Becoming stuck at 2 lands after turn 2 for an extended period (obviously depending on the opponent's threat level ad tempo) can be disastrous.

1. Elspeth gives us more 1/1 creatures (I think we have enough already) and yes it triggers the soul sisters or you can make some 4/4 flying creatures but I don't think she gives us anything that we can't get already. Tirel is 5cc... Ajanis +1 pumps Ajani's Pridemate and her ultimate gives us a VERY big beater. I just think she is the best Planeswalker for giving us an optional "win condition". I haven't tested that much with Elspeth though so I might be wrong on this one. I just enjoy the situation when I resolve an Ajani, stall the game for a couple of rounds and then get a 32/32 or something creature protected by Mom :).

2. As I said, I've tested a lot against decks like goblins and Eva Green so I'm probably overrating Auriok, next time I test the deck I'll play 4x Soul, 4x Soul's and no Auriok to see which combination I like better.

3. 18 plains + 2 Tithe works very well for me. When I'm on the draw I can easily keep an opening hand with 1 plains and 1 Tithe, it usually guarantees me two plains from Tithe. In my testing 18 plains + 2 Tithe is more reliable than 19 plains, I haven't tested with 20 plains but Tithe also thins the deck a little so... Of course if your meta is filled with Mental Misstep Tithe might be a bad idea.

Have you ever considered testing Chrome Mox? Since this deck has quite a low curve I've been thinking of adding some Chrome Mox, a couple of Flagstones and Armageddon in the sideboard, what do you think?

Elleran
06-05-2011, 12:27 PM
The 18 Plains + 2 Tithe seems pretty good. I will surely test that one. Thanks for your idea!

I have thought about running 1 Flagstone in the main just because it's basically a 'better' Plains as a singleton. I haven't thought about running Chrome Moxes. My thought on the Mox is that removing a card from hand may be bad because of the lack of card advantage in this deck. Adding speed is little unnecessary in the long run, and Mox gets blown up by Deed (which is what this deck's already weak against). Perhaps Mox will be powerful in the first 1-2 turns and it does deserve a playtesting. I can't dispute or agree with you because of my lack of data: This is just my speculations.

1. Yes, I was thinking Jace or spot removal for Ajani's Ultimate. Still, his first ability still looks little too vanilla for me. Perhaps I'm underestimating it. I'll give it a try.

2. Yeah, Auriok Champion was a great card vs. Zoo and Goblin, but the deck is usually already geared toward fighting those decks. Perhaps try playing against Merfolk or CounterTop or Team America with Champion and tell me how it goes. Also try playing Goblin, Zoo, or Eva Green without Champion and tell me how it goes. I've done the exact same thing and saw that the Champions didn't matter as much in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps you'll get a different set of data.

Elleran
06-05-2011, 12:31 PM
And with some playtesting data finally available, I found out the following few things:
1. The Stoneforge Mystic package (without Vial) seems too slow to me.
2. Elspeth Tirel is good. Having 5 mana isn't too bad since this deck is very likely to move into mid-late game. Her +2 ability usually nets about 3-4 life, and her -2 ability for Solider tokens is quite powerful especially with some sisters out with Ajani Pridemate. Her -5 ability is great when the opponent's board presence is too threatening.

264505
06-05-2011, 02:04 PM
There is no real drawback with running 2 or 3 Flagstones. Its very rare that they will be the only ones in your grip, but the late game deck thinning should be more useful.

paeng4983
06-05-2011, 07:40 PM
there's a drawback although a minimal one, there will be times that you'll draw them
both at an early part of the game and it will delay your tempo for a moment because instead of at turn two you'll have two mana available,
you'll find yourself with one because landing the 2nd flagstone will nuke them both. :) thus, missing your whatever 2cc drop you have
the effect is just temporary but might affect the result of the game later on.

anyway, i also have this deck, does anyone here have an updated list?

here's what i have

19 plains

4 Mother of Runes
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendant
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Ajani's Pridemate
2 Ranger of Eos
2 Baneslayer angel
3 SFM
2 knight of goldmeadowgain (the kitkhin guys 2/2 lifelink 1st strike)

2 Oblivion Ring
1 sword of fire and ice
1 Umezawa's Jitte
4 Swords to Plowshares

264505
06-05-2011, 08:09 PM
Depending on your meta, you might wanna change your sword spot. Light and Shadow seems to have a lot more synergy with this deck and prot green from the other 2 swords might be more useful if you have to deal with goyfs and KoRs. Batterskull also seems like a good choice, but you dont often get to 5 to hard cast it without SFM. Imho, the knight looks underwhelming to me, I feel like there might be better options. How has the angel been in testing?

As for the flagstones, its going to be rare you run into 2 in your opening grip while running 2 or three. Also the deck runs very very few 2 drops so missing the 2 drop is not a huge concern. The benefit of the flagstones is that they fetch and thin the deck. They are never going to be a wasteland target. I run 3 in my list and I have yet to run into a problem with them.

Micki
06-06-2011, 02:44 AM
This is the list I'll try next;

16 Plains
2 Flagstones of Trokair

2 Tithe

4 Mother of Runes
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendant
3 Serra Ascendant
3 Ajani's Pridemate
2 Ranger of Eos

2 Ajani Goldmane
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
2 Oblivion Ring
1 Enlightened Tutor

2 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Light and Shadow

The changes from my previous "test" list are;

Lands

-2xPlains
+2xFlagstones

Creatures
-2xAuriok Champion
-1xSerra Ascendant
-1xRanger of Eos
+1xSoul Warden
+1xSoul's Attendant

Other spells
-1xOblivion Ring
+1xElspeth, Knight-Errant
+1xEnlightened Tutor
+1xSword of Light and Shadow

Some explanations; First my thoughts about Stoneforge, in my UW Tempo list I run the this package in my local tournament on Saturday: 4xStoneforge, 1xJitte, 1xSword of Fire and Ice and 1xBatterskull MD and 1xSword of Feast and Famine + 1xSword of War and Peace SB.

I've gone from 2x to 3x and now 4xStoneforge in that list and this Saturdays list is the best so far. With 4xMystic, 4xBrainstorm, 3xFathom Seer and 1xJace I was able to resolve an Equipment in all but one of the 14 games I played (the one I didn't was a game against White Stax where I didn't draw lands).

The conclusion IMO is that Ascension/Soul sisters will never be able to rely on equipments as an important win condition and using to many spots on them will only weaken our main game plan (which still is getting 6/6 flying lifelink creatures).
In this list I've cut one Ascendant because I've added an Elspeth, I also added a main deck E tutor for helping me finding my equipments and sideboard cards but that is as far as I'm willing to go. Stoneforge Mystic will never see play in my list. The creature count in this test list is as low as it can be IMO and every creature has to support our game plan.

Light and Shadow is the best second equipment IMO, it is great against sweepers and of course the "gain 3 life" kinda sound right in this list. If you look at the list, every single card (except maybe Elspeth) has some kind of synergy with the rest and I'm eager to test it. Elspeth Tirel might be better than Elspeth Knight-Errant but I don't have any (I hate playing with proxies), I'll probably be able to trade one from a friend later this week and then I'll try it in the Knight-Errant spot.

The sideboard is a bit all over the place right now but I'll post the new one when it's ready, here's the one I've used until now (and it's not bad I just want to try a new one) for reference;

3 Orim's Chant
2 Wing Shards
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Serenity
1 Aura of Silence
1 CoP:Red
1 Absolute Law
1 Runed Halo

Finally a tip for those of you who wants to play with Stoneforge, Batterskull is amazing!!! A 4/4 creature with lifelink and vigilance for 1W... well you do the maths. It's sad that it's cc makes it unplayable without Stoneforge.

Elleran
06-07-2011, 11:13 AM
I got some playtesting through.

Tithe is good. It's going to stay in the deck.
Elspeth, Knight-Errant is good, but I haven't drawn it enough times to see if it's more than just a win-more.
I haven't drawn multiple Flagstones in the opening hand. This is also a good sign.

Micki
06-07-2011, 12:28 PM
Just something to think about, more and more decks seems to be running Batterskull as a SM target (including me). This might be another reason to play Auriok since the Germ token is black?

A friend is coming over this evening and I'll get to test this deck against my own UW Tempo (which is a deck I haven't tested against), we'll see if that brings me some new thoughts.

About the manabase; For me 16 plains, 2 Flagstones and 2 Tithe feels quite optimal atm.

HPB_Eggo
06-07-2011, 04:30 PM
I've still been testing this, and I haven't changed my mind about the list of cards I believe need to be in the deck. Been switching a lot of things in and out of the remaining slots, and I'm currently testing one with 4 Stoneforge Mystics, which has been performing reasonably well in comparison to other lists.

I have, however, decided that Batterskull is both powerful and synergistic with the rest of the deck. I'd test it, as I think you'll find that you want to include it.

Elleran
06-07-2011, 06:11 PM
I've still been testing this, and I haven't changed my mind about the list of cards I believe need to be in the deck. Been switching a lot of things in and out of the remaining slots, and I'm currently testing one with 4 Stoneforge Mystics, which has been performing reasonably well in comparison to other lists.

I have, however, decided that Batterskull is both powerful and synergistic with the rest of the deck. I'd test it, as I think you'll find that you want to include it.

I agree that if we decide to add SM, Batterskull will definitely be included. I understand the potential that Batterskull has as well as its synergy with the deck. I'm just currently trying to avoid SM because from my testing experience, SM has been countered or removed too often. I know I have a better reason for why I'm trying to avoid SM right now... but I can't think of it atm. >_> lol

About Auriok Champion: Even if the opponent is running Batterskulls, running Auriok Champion still seems like a mistake. The benefit against Batterskull is good, but is too narrow for my liking. It doesn't improve the Champion very much. Also, Ajani's Pridemate can crush Batterskull. Personally, I would prefer the SM package over adding Auriok Champions in.

kicbak
06-08-2011, 04:24 PM
I ordered most of the piece for this deck the other day. I haven't played it at all yet but I'm already tinkering...I know its pretty much a budget deck but I have the G/W lands and I think the life gain when its over 30 can really fuel some Sylvan library card draw. I also want to try Beast Within, as them getting a 3/3 nets us life and removed just about anything at instant speed. We can also use it on our side to upgrade something to a 3/3 later in the game. Maybe a 3/2 stp/beast split, or drop relic warders for more beast.

// Artifacts
2 Jitte
1 Batterskull
3 (3)
// Creatures
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Mother of Runes
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Soul Attendant
3 Soul Warden
2 Ajani’s Pridemate
2 Leonin Relicwarder (might not be useful with beast within, maybe revokers)
3 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Ranger of Eos
27 (30)
// Enchantments
3 Beast Within
2 Slyvan Library
5 (35)
// Instants
2 Swords to Plowshare
2 (37)
// Planewalkers
1 Ajani Goldmane
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
2 (39)
// Sorceries
2 Proclamation of Rebirth
2 (41)

// Land
4 Savannah
4 Horizon Canopy
4 Windswept Heath
6 Plains
1 Forest

Micki
06-09-2011, 03:28 AM
After getting some more test results, here is a "breakdown" of the deck as I see it atm, it would be nice if Elleran could ad his comments and thoughts.

Mana sources (20)

2 Flagstones of Trokair
16 Plans
2 Tithe

For me this s optimal, Tithe is great when you're on the draw and good when you start. Flagstones is very good against Armageddon and can work as a deck thinner later in the game.

The untouchables (8)

4 Mother of Runes (auto include in any creature based deck running W)
4 Martyr of Sands (gets you past 30 life turn 2)

Soul sisters (8)

Soul Wareden
Soul's Attendant
Auriok Champion

I run a 3/3/2 split because there is a lot of Batterskulls in my meta and I seldom find the WW casting cost to be a problem, I know that Elleran feels differently on this one though...

Win conditions (6-8)

I run
4 Serra Ascendant
3 Ajani's Pridemate

Tutors (2-4)

Ranger of Eos

I run 3

Tools and disruption (10)

I run
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Oblivion Ring
3 Proclamation of Rebirth

Equipment (2)

2 Umezawa's Jitte

Flex spots (2)

I run
2 Ajani Goldman

Some comments;
1) IMO. to add a card to this deck it needs to do the same job as a card used in on of the "sections" but better. Therefor I think it's important that we don't just throw card suggestions in the air, we develop the deck better by adding a comment about which card we would remove and why. For instance "I would play 1 E tutor + 2 O rings because...

2) I don't think of this deck as a budget deck, it just so happens that the best cards for this deck are quite cheap.

3) Splashing colors; I have all the duals so for me splashing is NOT a budget question, I simply haven't found a card that makes our game plan so much better that it's worth a weaker manabase and suddenly becoming vulnerable to Wastelands.

4) I would personally never go 1+1 with the Equipments or the Planeswalkers since we can't tutor for them.

5) If I felt that the equipments are essential to this deck I'd go;
- 2 Ajani
- 1 Jitte
+ 2 Stoneforge
+ 1 Batterskull
and 1-2 metagame dependent swords in the Sideboard.

I don't want to comment on the sideboard here because it varies so much depending on the meta. Personally I like the E Tutor sideboard because it's so flexible, here's mine just for reference;

3 Orim's Chant
2 Wing Shards
1 Phyrexian Revoker
2 Enlightened Tutor
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
1 Serenity
1 Aura of Silence
1 CoP:Red
1 Absolute Law
1 Runed Halo

Well that's about it then. I do hope I'll get some response to this post, especially from Elleran and others who have done much testing with the deck, but of course I'm grateful for any feedback.

Charlatan
06-09-2011, 09:34 PM
Don't run Stoneforge Mystic, because you are betraying the purpose!!

Come on. I love this deck just because it is alternative with a differetn approach.

Don't let them win!!!!

zpikduM
06-10-2011, 12:22 AM
Don't run Stoneforge Mystic, because you are betraying the purpose!!

Come on. I love this deck just because it is alternative with a differetn approach.

Don't let them win!!!!

Sorry, running inferior cards should not be the priority. The priority is making it as good as possible.

Micki
06-10-2011, 02:50 AM
Sorry, running inferior cards should not be the priority. The priority is making it as good as possible.

Once again, I do not and will not run Stoneforges in my list because this deck simply doesn't need them. It would be very interesting to hear which cards are so inferior that they should be cut for Stoneforges though, of course I presume that such a comment is backed up by quite intensive play testing both with and without the SM package.

Elleran
06-10-2011, 11:00 AM
After getting some more test results, here is a "breakdown" of the deck as I see it atm, it would be nice if Elleran could ad his comments and thoughts.

Mana sources (20)

2 Flagstones of Trokair
16 Plans
2 Tithe

For me this s optimal, Tithe is great when you're on the draw and good when you start. Flagstones is very good against Armageddon and can work as a deck thinner later in the game.

The untouchables (8)

4 Mother of Runes (auto include in any creature based deck running W)
4 Martyr of Sands (gets you past 30 life turn 2)

Soul sisters (8)

Soul Wareden
Soul's Attendant
Auriok Champion

I run a 3/3/2 split because there is a lot of Batterskulls in my meta and I seldom find the WW casting cost to be a problem, I know that Elleran feels differently on this one though...

Win conditions (6-8)

I run
4 Serra Ascendant
3 Ajani's Pridemate

Tutors (2-4)

Ranger of Eos

I run 3

Tools and disruption (10)

I run
4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Oblivion Ring
3 Proclamation of Rebirth

Equipment (2)

2 Umezawa's Jitte

Flex spots (2)

I run
2 Ajani Goldman

I support the manabase. Excellent balance. From my testing results, I also believe that to be the optimal land balance.

Haha, yes I disagree with the Soul Sisters, but then again, if your meta is appropriate, then I won't press the matter any further. I agree with the number (8) though. Having 12 (by using 4 of each sister) seems to be way too many.

I would advise running at least 4 Rangers. Ranger of Eos can fetch a combination of 1 cmc creatures such that they can turn the tide of battle in our favor. Because of our various 1 cmc creatures, picking 2 and adding them to our hand can be surmount to an incredible advantage.
:: Ex. Martyr + Serra Ascendant, 2 Mother of Runes, 2 Serra Ascendant (if over 30 life), Student of Warfare + Mother, etc. (but you aren't running Students, so I guess the last one doesn't apply to this list)


The tools/disruption seem good. Hmm.. I was thinking of something but I forgot... xD something about the balance regarding the Oblivion Rings and StPs.

I still do not have enough playtesting data with the Planeswalkers due to having so few in the deck that I rarely draw them. :\ I cannot say whether Ajani > Elspeth or vice versa.. And the popular opinion on this thread seems to be pretty split, with perhaps little more favor to Ajani. idk.


Some comments;
1) IMO. to add a card to this deck it needs to do the same job as a card used in on of the "sections" but better. Therefor I think it's important that we don't just throw card suggestions in the air, we develop the deck better by adding a comment about which card we would remove and why. For instance "I would play 1 E tutor + 2 O rings because...

2) I don't think of this deck as a budget deck, it just so happens that the best cards for this deck are quite cheap.

3) Splashing colors; I have all the duals so for me splashing is NOT a budget question, I simply haven't found a card that makes our game plan so much better that it's worth a weaker manabase and suddenly becoming vulnerable to Wastelands.

4) I would personally never go 1+1 with the Equipments or the Planeswalkers since we can't tutor for them.

5) If I felt that the equipments are essential to this deck I'd go;
- 2 Ajani
- 1 Jitte
+ 2 Stoneforge
+ 1 Batterskull
and 1-2 metagame dependent swords in the Sideboard..

1) I agree. I know I've suggested cards without a complete knowledge of what I was suggesting before (Gideon's Lawkeeper >_>), but to maximize the effectiveness of this discussion, I completely support this.

2) Yes. I suppose splashing colors may lead to huge increase in cost, but I have never found it necessary to splash.

3) Yes.

4) Yes, never put in a singleton of a card if there is no way to tutor it. It will never be consistent enough with just one copy of anything.

5) I have tested the SM package already, like I've said, and found that I dislike them. I don't plan on running SM unless I run Vials, which I am not willing to add.

BlindMage
06-10-2011, 03:15 PM
Just a couple thoughts:

- I really like the idea of this deck using an E Tutor sideboard. I've only played it a little, but any SB I built just felt super clunky -- a big contrast to how the maindeck plays. It seems like E Tutor could really ameliorate that by finding the answers and hate that you need, when you need it. Personally, I'd find it hard to resist putting 2 ET in the maindeck just to search for O Rings and Equipment.

- The original posting of the deck included Student of Warfare. Is there a consensus that SoW is not up to par?

- I'd be tempted to try the following manabase:
16 Plains
2 Tithe
1 Knight of the White Orchid
I've found a manabase with 17-18 Plains and 1 knight to work well, so I'd like to see if it works with the Tithes too.

Cheers

Micki
06-10-2011, 04:49 PM
Just a couple thoughts:

- I really like the idea of this deck using an E Tutor sideboard. I've only played it a little, but any SB I built just felt super clunky -- a big contrast to how the maindeck plays. It seems like E Tutor could really ameliorate that by finding the answers and hate that you need, when you need it. Personally, I'd find it hard to resist putting 2 ET in the maindeck just to search for O Rings and Equipment.

- The original posting of the deck included Student of Warfare. Is there a consensus that SoW is not up to par?

- I'd be tempted to try the following manabase:
16 Plains
2 Tithe
1 Knight of the White Orchid
I've found a manabase with 17-18 Plains and 1 knight to work well, so I'd like to see if it works with the Tithes too.

Cheers

First on SoW; I think Elleran (who created this deck) still runs them so it's still a valid card, I just prefer Ajani since I think 4x Serra A and 3x Ajani's P is enough "meat". And if you want to get really BIG there's always Ajani's ultimate...

On E Tutor; I love the E Tutor sideboard and I've been thinking of trying -1x O Ring +1x E Tutor MD to increase my chances of resolving a Jitte, so your reasoning is the same as mine on this one. I wouldn't play more than one Tutor MD though.

On the mana base; IMO (and Ellerans) 2x Flagstones, 16x Plains and 2x Tithe is the optimal mana base. Personally I wouldn't go under 18 lands producing white mana. There's always a risk that Tithe runs in to a Misstep and the Knight needs WW, if your Tithe gets Misstepped you might have to wait a while before getting a second plains and then your opponent forces your Knight :)
That's a lot of risks just to occasionally resolve a first strike creature. I'd stick to the mana base that we know works.

Charlatan
06-11-2011, 02:41 AM
Once again, I do not and will not run Stoneforges in my list because this deck simply doesn't need them. It would be very interesting to hear which cards are so inferior that they should be cut for Stoneforges though, of course I presume that such a comment is backed up by quite intensive play testing both with and without the SM package.

That's so true. The deck doesn't need SFM. Guys that crack this ladies in their decks are just adding for the power level's card. She doesn't help in anything, the deck has a great sinergy with the cards.I think that we need to improove the tech.

And come on, if you say that the life thatu gain from batterskull matters, i won't believe...

Elleran
06-11-2011, 04:13 PM
And come on, if you say that the life thatu gain from batterskull matters, i won't believe...

The lifegain from Batterskull is good, but it's not just that that makes Batterskull formidable. The fact that it's also a 4/4 and able to block (for more life) after attacking makes it extremely powerful. Unfortunately, without Stoneforge, Batterskull is not particularly powerful due to its high mana cost.

---

I have found this deck to be so weak against an opponent who runs Jitte to the point where I believe we need a 3rd Jitte. :\ Thoughts?

---

On Student of Warfare: I believe it to be an useful card. It provides a mana sink that is so important in late game. Also, it provides a good early, mid, and late game body. It is really your preference whether you want to run it or not. I have found it useful, some have found it less useful. I don't know the general consensus, but the recent suggested lists seemed to have excluded it.

To emphasize some of its advantages:
1. Provides a good body for Jitte (or any equipment).
2. Once equipped and Level 7, it becomes an extremely effective win-con. (in late game)
3. Can be revived using Proclamation.
4. Can be fetched with Ranger of Eos.
5. Provides a worthwhile mana sink in late game.

Some of its disadvantages:
1. Requires mana to get it started. In early game, the mana cost may be taxing on the speed of this deck.
2. Dies to all other 1-cmc removals (Deed, Explosives)
3. Vulnerable to spot removal before the mana invested for the levels can pay off.

To me, the second and third disadvantages similarly apply to most creatures in this deck anyway (1-cmc is common in this deck, and every threat in the deck can be spot-removed). But that is why we have Mother of Runes for (for the third disad).

So thoughts on SoW? Any suggestions for taking it out of the deck or replacing with another card that can perform better, etc?

---

On mana base: I like 16 Plains, 2 Flagstones, and 2 Tithe. I stated in the very first post that I liked the deck with 19 lands, but through further experimentation, I have found 19 to incur too many slow starts. To prevent inconsistency, I believe the 16-2-2 split to be pretty optimal.

Beatusnox
06-13-2011, 04:55 AM
I disagree with the exclusion of Stone Forge. The ability to Grab and play Batterskull for 2, or also get swords of various protections(most notably Blue and black). Or to grab a Jitte. I just feel that the Sword and Stoneforge package adds utility that this deck benefits from more than it is hindered by. At least in local testing. It may be different in other metagames.

TheInfamousBearAssassin
06-13-2011, 05:05 AM
I could understand just cutting SFM to run lots of Jittes, but if that were the case I definitely wouldn't dip below 3 of them.

Alternately you could pack in a Tutor set to grab Jitte, SoFI, and then a couple randoms like O-Ring, Parallax Wave, Razor Golem for beats and Test of Endurance of course.

Since I apparently accidentally made this deck, my list;


Nah, it's easy.

I'm going to cheat and assume you already own Plains;


Life On A Chain, v 1.0

20 Plains
3 Emeria, the Sky Ruin

4 Serra Ascendant
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Student of Warfare
4 Knight of Meadowgrain
3 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Ranger of Eos

4 Swords to Plowshares
1 Basilisk Collar
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
4 Well of Lost Dreams

Also, I like my name better

Also wtf you people need to play Well of Lost Dreams it's like this deck's Jace on crack.

eta: In retro, it's obvious that 1x Kami of False Hope belongs in there. Any other 1cc hate-drops to run?

Elleran
06-13-2011, 10:07 AM
I doubt we will be running Emeria any time soon. The 7 plains requirement is unrealistic, and Emeria adds vulnerability to Wasteland with no real benefits.

Basilisk Collar is interesting, but to whom would you equip it to?

Well of Lost Dreams has been brought up before, but I lack much data regarding it. :(

TheInfamousBearAssassin
06-13-2011, 03:44 PM
The benefit is that suddenly you have a late game, uncounterable lock out. I wouldn't describe 3 out of 23 lands being nonbasic as being vulnerable to Wasteland, either. I think it's worth running an incredibly powerful card for if you're sticking monowhite anyway.

Basilisk Collar is for first strikers primarily, in order to make them lethal walls, but could be something else. Again, I think just cutting SFM for 3x Jitte is a legitimate option here.

lorddotm
06-13-2011, 03:56 PM
Basilisk Collar is for first strikers primarily, in order to make them lethal walls, but could be something else. Again, I think just cutting SFM for 3x Jitte is a legitimate option here.

-snip- Every deck that can max out SFM should. Especially a deck that can gain benefits from having a Batterskull or Jitte in play.

TheInfamousBearAssassin
06-13-2011, 05:16 PM
-snip- Every deck that can max out SFM should. Especially a deck that can gain benefits from having a Batterskull or Jitte in play.

Why?

The deck's plan isn't to sit back on a Stoneforge and drop Batterskull and lock them down with counters and removal. It's to drop a bunch of dudes and recur them and gain life. Jitte is pretty much the most efficient way to do this while also slowing down opposition in the form of Fish or Goblins or Lavamancers. The only reason to run SFM at all is if you can gain added value out of having other equipment to tutor for, which is to say if it's reasonably likely that having the option of dropping SoFI will matter more than spending the extra time tutoring for whatever you want to drop. Otherwise you can just run out one of 3-4 Jitte and go to town.

And 2 SFM and 1 Jitte is about as good as 3 Jitte; if you're adding 2 more equipment targets it's already taking up more slots, in fact. What's the benefit of maxing out SFM?

Micki
06-13-2011, 08:39 PM
My opinion once again (excuse me for repeting myself) here's my list for reference;

16 Plains
2 Flagstones of Trokair
2 Tithe

4 Mother of Runes
4 Martyr of Sands
3 Soul Warden
3 Soul's Attendant
4 Serra Ascendant
3 Ajani's Pridemate
2 Auriok Champion
3 Ranger of Eos

2 Ajani Goldmane (flex)

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
3 Oblivion Ring

2 Umezawa's Jitte

In this list every single card supports our game plan which still is either to gain 30+ life as soon and consistently as possible for Serra Ascendant or to gain life a often as possible to pump Ajani's Pridemate.
There are no dead cards in this list except sometimes a second Jitte or Ajani G and maybe the "toolbox" (StoP...) game 1.

About Emeria; The mana base used by me and Elleran doesn't run more than 18 lands + Tithe so to state that "3 out of 23 lands being nonbasic" doesn't apply to our core mana base, in our case it would mean cutting three plains for three tap lands that can be wasted and it's ability can be used only if we draw 7 out of our remaining 13 plains. I can't see that as a good thing however good the lands ability is.

This deck can raze any aggro deck as it is so there's no reason to increase the chances of a bad topdeck for that MU. The MU against combo is as bad as it is for every aggro deck so that MU can be made better after side boarding and if you meta is filled with combo... don't play this deck.

The only equipment I can think of (except Jitte) that might improve our game plan is Batterskull. To play Batterskull with any consistency you need at least 3x SFM, this means I need to cut 4 cards from my list to be able to play a card that probably does the same thing as the cards I cut.
My stupid Finish head can't find an acceptable reason for doing that. If I want to increase my chances of getting a Jitte, I have two E Tutors in the sideboard.

I've tried lots of different builds with this deck and I always come to the same conclusion, this deck works best when you're keeping it simple.

I would very much like to here from anyone that has tested the deck both with and without SFM and find the deck better WITH SFM. Which cards did you cut and which MU:s got better?

@TheInfamousBearAssassin: I think your list differs so much from mine that I have a hard time (stupid Finn you know) to compare them, I will try 2x Well of Lost Dreams instead of Ajani G though.

Finally, please please please, whatever card you want to add - tell us what you cut and why it worked better. There's still a lot of discussion (for and against SFM for instance) where people are throwing suggestions without any explanation.
It would be nice to read posts like "I cut this,this and this for 3 SFM:s and this for Batterskull, this kept my good MU:s just as good and made my XXX MU:s much better".

lorddotm
06-13-2011, 08:44 PM
Why?

The deck's plan isn't to sit back on a Stoneforge and drop Batterskull and lock them down with counters and removal. It's to drop a bunch of dudes and recur them and gain life. Jitte is pretty much the most efficient way to do this while also slowing down opposition in the form of Fish or Goblins or Lavamancers. The only reason to run SFM at all is if you can gain added value out of having other equipment to tutor for, which is to say if it's reasonably likely that having the option of dropping SoFI will matter more than spending the extra time tutoring for whatever you want to drop. Otherwise you can just run out one of 3-4 Jitte and go to town.

And 2 SFM and 1 Jitte is about as good as 3 Jitte; if you're adding 2 more equipment targets it's already taking up more slots, in fact. What's the benefit of maxing out SFM?

I'm not even going to bother, I'm just going to say that drawing 2 SFM is infinitely better than drawing 2 Jitte.

TheInfamousBearAssassin
06-13-2011, 09:20 PM
@TheInfamousBearAssassin: I think your list differs so much from mine that I have a hard time (stupid Finn you know) to compare them, I will try 2x Well of Lost Dreams instead of Ajani G though.

Finally, please please please, whatever card you want to add - tell us what you cut and why it worked better. There's still a lot of discussion (for and against SFM for instance) where people are throwing suggestions without any explanation.
It would be nice to read posts like "I cut this,this and this for 3 SFM:s and this for Batterskull, this kept my good MU:s just as good and made my XXX MU:s much better".

Sure, I can do that. First off, let me post an updated list;

20 Plains
3 Emeria, the Sky Ruin

4 Serra Ascendant
4 Martyr of Sands
4 Student of Warfare
4 Mother of Runes
1 Kami of False Hope
4 Augury Adept
3 Ranger of Eos

4 Swords to Plowshares
3 Umezawa's Jitte
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
3 Well of Lost Dreams

What I'm trying to do with this list is basically be able to maximize the deck's ability to win via a traditional white weenie route on the one hand, but be able to play a control route against other creature decks and gain explosive card advantage in the late game.

StP needs little explanation as the best removal in the game, with the added bonus of being able to draw cards via targeting the deck's own guys with a Well in play. The list runs Mom and Martyr as utility one drops, Student of Warfare and Serra Ascendant as beaters with the potential to get quite big, and Ranger of Eos to grab them all, in addition to a one of Kami for the Kami-lock with Emeria/Proclamation, which can also return many of your other dorks for added use, including the traditional use of gaining 20 a turn with Martyr. Jitte helps with your life gain plan and clears out Tribal decks, that otherwise might be capable of amassing more damage than Martyr-lock can prevent. Well of Lost Dreams is a massive draw engine, and Augury Adept is your secondary all-purpose guy who can draw, beat, and gain life with the help of removal + Moms.

For cards not in here; Soul Warden & Co aren't very good by themselves, even in terms of mass of life gain, and Ajani's Pridemate isn't that great without them; I thought this was less net synergy than a drag on the deck's ability to function in the face of disruption or bad hands. Stoneforge I'm cutting just because I need more card slots and you pretty nearly always want Jitte anyway. With the rest of the deck's curve trending downwards, Augury Adept gets the nudge over Knight of Meadowgrain for the ability to refill your hand, although the lack of First Strike is particularly acute with a Jitte in play and no Mom active. Ajani Goldmane would fill up an already busy 4cc slot. O-Ring would be a nice addition but I'm not really sure what it's better than, although there's probably not much harm in trimming a few cards down to 3-ofs to fit 2-3 O-Rings in; maybe -1 Adept, -1 Student, -1 Proc, +3 O-Ring?


(stupid Finn you know)

Comment withheld.


I'm not even going to bother

Well, at least you tried your best.

Micki
06-13-2011, 11:51 PM
@TheInfamousBearAssassin; Just to clarify, this comment:

"Finally, please please please, whatever card you want to add - tell us what you cut and why it worked better. There's still a lot of discussion (for and against SFM for instance) where people are throwing suggestions without any explanation.
It would be nice to read posts like "I cut this,this and this for 3 SFM:s and this for Batterskull, this kept my good MU:s just as good and made my XXX MU:s much better"."

...was not directed at you but at discussion participants in general. Thank you for your explanation though, I've been thinking of fitting Children of Korlis in my sideboard as protection from Tendrils. It would work the same way as Kami in your list except it pumps Pridemate and protects you from all damage when Kami on the other hand also protects your creatures.

Elleran
06-14-2011, 11:53 AM
@TheInfamousBearAssassin; Just to clarify, this comment:

"Finally, please please please, whatever card you want to add - tell us what you cut and why it worked better. There's still a lot of discussion (for and against SFM for instance) where people are throwing suggestions without any explanation.
It would be nice to read posts like "I cut this,this and this for 3 SFM:s and this for Batterskull, this kept my good MU:s just as good and made my XXX MU:s much better"."

...was not directed at you but at discussion participants in general. Thank you for your explanation though, I've been thinking of fitting Children of Korlis in my sideboard as protection from Tendrils. It would work the same way as Kami in your list except it pumps Pridemate and protects you from all damage when Kami on the other hand also protects your creatures.

The problem with Children of Korlis and Kami is that Tendrils will almost always go off before Ranger of Eos can fetch the Children or Kami. That means that having just 1-of of each of those cards will likely have little to no effect against that kind of matchup. Having more than 1-of will clutter the deck or SB and dilute our strategy.

@Assassin: I will give Well of Lost Dreams a try.

Micki
06-14-2011, 05:30 PM
Agreed, the best cards against storm combo for this deck are Orim's Chant and Ethersworn Canonist IMO.

Elleran
06-30-2011, 11:25 PM
Well of Lost Dreams is not a good addition. By turn 4, my hand is almost always empty of creatures, which makes the Well not very useful. I'd rather drop a Ranger of Eos than a Well.

Goldmane has failed to impress me. His ultimate gets Jace-bounced too often, and his first ability is not strong enough. I've taken a liking to Elspeth though. Currently I'm testing 2 Elspeth, Knight-Errants, and 1 Gideon Jura.

novatinhu
07-01-2011, 07:24 AM
http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=120785&d=1309493771

So, a new guy to the army?
I like it!!!

Elleran
07-01-2011, 10:23 AM
http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=120785&d=1309493771

So, a new guy to the army?
I like it!!!

Oh yeah, I saw that card. Great card to consider for the SB. Some uses include shutting down Top in Countertop (well I suppose they can just flip the Top on to the top of their deck before the end of their turn), counters, and unexpected spot removals. Basically it makes the game more manageable with less surprises.

Another card that I think we should consider:

http://static.starcitygames.com/sales/cardscans/MAG_M12/TimelyReinforcements.jpg

It's a nice come back card that confers two benefits: 3 instances of Soul triggers + 6 life. Although I doubt either of those abilities to be particularly useful when the deck is winning, but it's a great card to turn the game around when we topdeck it. If we are losing and we have even 1 sister out, this card gives 9 life + 3 soldiers for 3 mana. Thoughts? I would also like some thoughts on Grand Abolisher as well.

paeng4983
07-05-2011, 09:02 PM
does anyone here tried using elspeth in the MD?
im considering this PW as my another MD win-con
aside from ascension and Ajani's Pridemate.
any thoughts?
thanks
:eyebrow:

Elleran
07-06-2011, 08:12 PM
I've tried both Elspeth v1.0 and v.2.0 in the MD fairly extensively. Here are my results/opinions.

** Elspeth, Knight-Errant:
Great choice. From my experience, a better choice in the MD than Ajani Goldmane. Jace TMS's bounce ability makes Ajani a terrible topdeck, where as an Elspeth topdeck may serve a better utility function. Both her +1 abilities are relevant to the deck: Solider = Soul sister triggers, and power-up and flying for damage is always good. I haven't actually gotten to her ultimate before, but I suppose it will make the Sisters become ultimate chump blockers. Other than that, I don't see too much use for her ultimate.

**Elspeth Tirel:
Again, relevant abilities for this deck. Although the extra mana in the CMC makes this card considerably slower, this card definitely have more powerful abilities. Her first ability is obviously powerful. With bunch of Sisters on the battlefield, Tirel's first ability should be able to prove itself strictly better than Goldmane's first ability often. Tirel's second ability is simply awesome. 3 1/1s trigger each sister 3 times. This means a huge life boost as well as a nice synergy to Pridemate. Even as a top deck, her second ability can provide immediate bodies for chump blocking as well as make her first ability useful. Tirel's ultimate should not be used ASAP, obviously. Her ultimate is VERY useful especially when there are cards that cannot be normally removed (non-creatures) and when the opponent is beginning to have an upper hand. By clearing the board, you have a chance to regain momentum. Also, Proclamation of Rebirth can provide an immediate come back post-ultimate.

Pick one whichever appeals to you better. IMO, Tirel has been more useful to me. However, both are excellent choices. Hope this helps!

Tru3z3rox
07-07-2011, 02:02 AM
Hah...wow..well I've been playing this deck in my local tournaments for quite a while and never bothered to write a primer. Glad that someone did! I saw the extended deck and decided to make it legacy viable.

We have similar ideas and lists, but with a few major differences.


I DO run the stoneforge package. It is absolutely amazing in a deck that sometimes has trouble being aggressive...

I DO run Elspeth 1.0. She is absolutely a house against many decks including control. She also helps break stalemates and provides pridemate with evasion. Also pumps ascended or nonascended ascendants with an extra lifelink.

I think that Elspeth 2.0 is GREAT, but 5cc in legacy is just unreasonable.. At that point the game is usually over one way or another..

Also I don't like martyr of sands..it forces the deck to "combo off" in a sense with ascendent. You reveal your entire hand to your opponent which is a huge deal. She is also a HORRENDOUS top deck. Imagine getting her over a warden or some such...

I really like Grand Abolisher, but he hardly has space in the mainboard...he doesn't have much synergy with our game plan, nor does he generally provide a relevant ability. We are already pretty decent against blue control decks I'd think.

jonny
07-07-2011, 06:31 AM
I´m very interested in this deck. It´s very cheap and you can get all cards from T2...

Tru3z3rox, could you please put your decklist???

Sorry but my English isn´t very fluent.

Thks!!!

RexFTW
07-07-2011, 10:01 AM
I proxied up the list from the OP and played it. It was quite nice!


However, I think you are missing a key card: Retribution of the meek

Elleran
07-07-2011, 12:26 PM
@Tru3z3rox: I've noticed that Martyr is quite a terrible topdeck, but I've always thought the benefit of an explosive beginning hand outweighed the negatives. I'll try out a Martyr-free/Stoneforge package list. Feel free to post your deck list.

@RexFTW: Retribution of the Meek doesn't particularly seem useful. Although it can be a one-sided Day of Judgment, it is hard to replace anything in the current MD. Any suggestions?

Tru3z3rox
07-07-2011, 01:53 PM
My list:

Lands:
20 Plains

Sorceries:
2 Proclamation of Rebirth

Planeswalker:
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Instants:
4 Swords to Plowshares

Artifacts:
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Batterskull

Creatures:
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendent
4 Mother of Runes
4 Ajani's Pridemate
3 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Serra Ascendent
3 Ranger of Eos
4 Martyr of Sands

I've played this list to great success. This deck sometimes has trouble with evasion/aggression.

Explanations:
Mother of Runes: Provides protection and evasion for your big dudes and plays well with proclamation (because people will go to great lengths to kill her).

Elspeth: She provides CA and eventually indestructibility to your dudes. She triggers wardens when your hand is empty and gives pridemate/ascendent pump/evasion.

Ranger: He is the other CA in the deck. CA is very important in legacy and he is a 3 in 1.

Sword of Light and Shadow: This is a great card for the deck as it functions for protection/evasion against black/white decks as well as a mini proclamation of rebirth when you need to chump or recover from a sweeper. Another form of CA (since we're not playing blue we need to take what we can get.

Jitte: No explanation needed

Stoneforge Mystic: She will fetch your relevant equipment and is usually a 2 for 1. She generally eats removal to save your bigger dudes. She also eats counters in their hand and paves the way for Rangers, etc.

Batterskull: Just so good....

Auriok Champion: The protection from black and red is extremely relevant...It does well against black control and burn/goblins. It should be an auto include in the mainboard as at least a 3 of.

Elleran
07-07-2011, 04:07 PM
The deck list looks great! I have some questions:

1. No Oblivion Rings? I've hit decks that I would almost auto-lose to (like Aggro-Loam) because of Artifact or Enchantent cards. I've also lost to Jace TMS. How does this deck fare against decks such as those?

2. Have you tried Enlightened Tutor before in MD? I suppose since your list doesn't include O-Rings, Stoneforge Mystic can fetch the equipments. (lol answering my own questions.. >__>)

3. Auriok Champion had been not very impressive when I ran her. However, seeing no Martyr in your list, I have no doubt that Auriok Champion greatly aids you in life gain. Is the 2 CMC worth it? In my experience, her Protections didn't do too much other than aggro match ups.

Again, great list. I will see how the Martyr-free idea will test out.

Tru3z3rox
07-07-2011, 07:51 PM
The deck list looks great! I have some questions:

1. No Oblivion Rings? I've hit decks that I would almost auto-lose to (like Aggro-Loam) because of Artifact or Enchantent cards. I've also lost to Jace TMS. How does this deck fare against decks such as those?

2. Have you tried Enlightened Tutor before in MD? I suppose since your list doesn't include O-Rings, Stoneforge Mystic can fetch the equipments. (lol answering my own questions.. >__>)

3. Auriok Champion had been not very impressive when I ran her. However, seeing no Martyr in your list, I have no doubt that Auriok Champion greatly aids you in life gain. Is the 2 CMC worth it? In my experience, her Protections didn't do too much other than aggro match ups.

Again, great list. I will see how the Martyr-free idea will test out.

1. Yes I used to run o-rings, but I came to the realization that they generally didn't improve a bad situation in the least when I was in one. Against aggro loam it is tough especially when they resolve a seismic assault. That is why I like to run Auriok Champion..it improves random matches like that. Aside from Seismic and Jace I don't see us hitting many artifacts or enchantments. Perhaps the occasional ensnaring bridge? O-ring is also good vs show and tell emrakul. I guess my point is that you choose what matches you want to improve. Since orings improve decent matches already I chose to get a bit better with our aggro match. We sometimes have trouble outclassing other dudes. Frankly I WOULD run oblivion rings if I had more space, but I wanted to get more "aggressive" and have a faster clock. I DO run them in the side against certain decks. I wish that we had a dude that we can sacrifice to destroy artifacts. I've found a tutor package with Ranger is good, but the only 1cc dudes destroy enchantments.

2. I have another deck called "suppression" where I run a md tutor package and a bunch of silver bullets. That won't work in this deck, because we are above all else an aggro deck, not a control deck. It is too slow and too much dissynergy/CA disadvantage.

3. Auriok is definitely a bit slow, but she is magnificent in improving some match ups. She improves burn, goblins, aggro loam, sligh, belcher (I almost raced a turn 2 empty the warrens with her help...haha), etc. Until there is something better to replace her at the 2 slot she is staying.

RexFTW
07-07-2011, 10:59 PM
@RexFTW: Retribution of the Meek doesn't particularly seem useful. Although it can be a one-sided Day of Judgment, it is hard to replace anything in the current MD. Any suggestions?

I think it would probbaly replace 2 knight of the white orchid with a possible 1-2 in the sideboard depending on testing. It absolutely dominates midrange decks as it kills all their guys except dark confidant and noble heirarch (ie goyf, tombstalker, knight of rel, progenitus) and locks this matchup away! It also seems profitable against unsuspecting merefolk players (although they may get wise after you hit them with it once and keep their guys a reasonable size).

All of the lifegain makes it easy to get past "little" men like stoneforge mystic hitting you for 5 a turn. Its when they crash in with progenitus and 2 huge knights racing becomes a problem.

Tru3z3rox
07-07-2011, 11:48 PM
I think it would probbaly replace 2 knight of the white orchid with a possible 1-2 in the sideboard depending on testing. It absolutely dominates midrange decks as it kills all their guys except dark confidant and noble heirarch (ie goyf, tombstalker, knight of rel, progenitus) and locks this matchup away! It also seems profitable against unsuspecting merefolk players (although they may get wise after you hit them with it once and keep their guys a reasonable size).

All of the lifegain makes it easy to get past "little" men like stoneforge mystic hitting you for 5 a turn. Its when they crash in with progenitus and 2 huge knights racing becomes a problem.

Retribution is a sideboard card at best. You can already race big dudes with pridemate, batterskull, ascendent, etc. You can chump with ranger, mom, stoneforge, etc. Doesn't seem like an issue. Also you have swords to plowshares for the big dudes.

paeng4983
07-08-2011, 03:15 AM
hmmmm.. discussions are now shifting from
the traditional into a sfm-batterskull theme.
i havent tried that one, though i will. :)
but as of the moment, here's what i have

3 flagstone
18 plains

4 Soul Warden
3 Soul's Attendent
4 Mother of Runes
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Serra Ascendent
2 Ranger of Eos
1 Baneslayer angel
4 martyr of sands
2 elspeth v.1
4 STP
2 o.rings
3 proclamation of rebirth

whiley85
07-08-2011, 07:42 AM
This deck developes nicely!
I'm going to try this list:

My list:

Lands:
16 Plains
2 Flagstones
2 Tithe

Sorceries:
3 Proclamation of Rebirth

Planeswalker:
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Instants:
4 Swords to Plowshares

Artifacts:
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Batterskull

Creatures:
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendent
4 Mother of Runes
4 Ajani's Pridemate
3 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Serra Ascendent
2 Student of W.
3 Ranger of Eos

as a combination of old and new elements.
I don't like Auriok Champion and always tutor up at least 1 student with ranger.

RexFTW
07-08-2011, 10:18 AM
Playing flagstones seems silly. What is the point??? all it does is make your lands come into play tapped sometimes. This is a bad thing.

Tru3z3rox
07-08-2011, 01:21 PM
Auriok Champions are quite good, but replacing them with anything other than removal is a poor idea in my opinion. The only thing I'd stick in their slot would be o-rings. Elleran had a good point about resolved seismic assualts, jace, ensnaring bridges, etc. I think that until they come out with a 1 drop that can blow up artifacts that perhaps he could be right in running o-rings. I have to think about this carefully because auriok champions have done so well for me in the past. Perhaps now with 4 mom and the SoLS we have enough protection. I'll go back and edit the list to replace her with 3 orings and test it out. Let me know how testing goes WITH her.

It also curves the deck out well to have something that costs 3 (we didn't have that other than proclamation before).

RexFTW
07-08-2011, 03:07 PM
I tested Burrenton Forge Tender for a different deck. It was MUCH better than auriok champion. Plus it costs 1 which is great with rebirth.

RexFTW
07-08-2011, 03:13 PM
@Elleran

Are you still playing this deck? I would be interested in seeing your current list.

Elleran
07-08-2011, 03:33 PM
Playing flagstones seems silly. What is the point??? all it does is make your lands come into play tapped sometimes. This is a bad thing.

Later in the game, it gets rid of a Plains in the deck. If you don't like it, it can easily be replaced with 2 Plains. It's not a card that affects the game plan.

Elleran
07-08-2011, 05:16 PM
@Elleran

Are you still playing this deck? I would be interested in seeing your current list.

I haven't tested this deck in real life in a while; only online. I haven't taken this deck to any tournament since few months ago either because I've been interested in Standard recently.

My decklist is still in flux. I'll post a more updated list once I get something more stable.

Tru3z3rox
07-08-2011, 07:54 PM
I have tested this deck heavily online as well as in tournament play. The list functions quite well.

Burrenton Forgetender doesn't follow our gameplan (although she nullifies 1 progenitus attack which is cool) NOR does it have protection from BLACK which is far more important against:

Smother
Go for the Throat
Vindicate
Maelstrom Pulse
Vendetta

Do I need to go on?

Also chump blocks:
Confidant
Crusher
Grim Lavamancer
All goblins


Also thinking about my comment this morning on o-ring. I realized why I stopped running them. I want more wardens and life gain in play because I want more creatures to trigger more life gain. The reason that this deck is as good as it is is because it ROBS opposing decks' tempo. This deck WRECKS merfolk generally and I've "taken" many a goblin alpha strike before. It can race progenitus as well. That is why I stuck the O-rings in the sideboard.

Elleran
07-08-2011, 10:27 PM
@Tru3z3rox: Question, have you found any effective counter to Deed/Explosive hates? I've found Proclamation of Rebirth to be the most effective, but if you have any better ideas, then shoot.

Also, robbing the opposing deck's tempo is a good way to put it. :)

O-Ring has to be in either MD or SB imo. I suppose it also matters depending on the meta.

Tru3z3rox
07-09-2011, 05:02 AM
@Tru3z3rox: Question, have you found any effective counter to Deed/Explosive hates? I've found Proclamation of Rebirth to be the most effective, but if you have any better ideas, then shoot.

Also, robbing the opposing deck's tempo is a good way to put it. :)

O-Ring has to be in either MD or SB imo. I suppose it also matters depending on the meta.

The answer to that is to just play smart. Don't overextend too much and force them to pop the deed early and then flood the board again. Plays like Ranger, Proc, and SoLS are best against board wipers.

Explosives are easier to deal with if you have a good curve (stoneforge and champion at 2, ranger and elspeth at 4). Deed is annoying but it is slower. So it all depends on the tempo that you have going. Proc is probably the best thing that we have against it.

RexFTW
07-09-2011, 01:17 PM
Smother
Go for the Throat
Vindicate
Maelstrom Pulse
Vendetta


I have been playing aggro in legacy for 3 years. Total, in all 3 of those years, I think that one of these cards may have been played against me 4 times in matches. Just sayin.

Tru3z3rox
07-09-2011, 02:25 PM
I have been playing aggro in legacy for 3 years. Total, in all 3 of those years, I think that one of these cards may have been played against me 4 times in matches. Just sayin.

Not to sound like an ass, but really? Are you playing in an underdeveloped meta? Have you missed the rise(and fall) of team america, junk, etc? Personally I deal with those cards a lot.

ateu89
07-09-2011, 03:01 PM
Hello, I just registered here because of this thread.
I'm playing this kind of deck, and that's my currently build:

Equipment (3)
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Your Preference and Metagame Choice
1 Umezawa's Jitte

Creatures (26)
3 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Martyr of Sands
3 Mother of Runes
2 Ranger of Eos
3 Serra Ascendant
3 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendant
4 Stoneforge Mystic

Removal (6)
2 Oblivion Ring
4 Swords to Plowshares

Planeswakers (2)
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Sorcery (3)
Proclamation of Rebirth

Lands (20)
17 Plains
3 Wasteland

Considerations:
-The Stoneforge Package can run 3~4 Equipment, probably always 1 Batterskull and 1 Umezawa's Jitte, then 1 or 2 Swords and maybe a Basilisk Collar. But I think this pack suits this deck perfectly.
-I usually run Sword of Light and Shadow, it triggers another lifegain and returns creature, wich is utterly good in this deck.
-Creatures quantities are discutible, but in my opinion these are the main creatures. Probably you could run Student of Warfare if you feel it's doing good against the decks you play, but I personally don't think Student can make the cut.
-Removal are discutible too, but I wouldn't play less than 3 StP and 2 Oblivion Ring in some unknow field.
-With the Stoneforge Package I can run Wastelands, 3 Wastelands don't mess with my game and can mess a lot with my opponent game. If you play Auriok (very bad in my opinion) you shouldn't consider Wasteland.
-Proably I wouldn't run more or less than 3 Proclamation, for me that's the right number.
-Elspeth 1.0 is WAY, WAY better than Ajani in this deck. Elspeth is ALWAYS growing and protect himself very well. Also it's very nice to fly above opponents creatures with Equipments, pump up Serra Ascendant to 4/4 to gain 4 life when you are with less than 30 life or give Ajani's Pridemate that so desired evasion.
-I like Thite, but I hate Mental Misstep and Daze. Better not to risk.
-I like Flagstones, probably I will be testing, they seem good, I can't think some reason to not play 2, maybe even 3.

So, just a final tought: I think the core of the deck need Elspeths 1.0 and Stoneforges, they improve the deck and make it a lot better.

Litorers
07-09-2011, 03:06 PM
Would squadron hawk be complete garbage in this deck? He seems like he might make martyr + the wardens be ridiculous, although he doesn't really synergize well with anything else in the deck besides equipment...

Tru3z3rox
07-09-2011, 03:59 PM
Would squadron hawk be complete garbage in this deck? He seems like he might make martyr + the wardens be ridiculous, although he doesn't really synergize well with anything else in the deck besides equipment...

Squadron Hawk is cool, but we already have evasion and CA. He just isn't good with the synergy of the deck.

@ateu
I think you should maximize your important 1 drops. Running them as 3 ofs isn't a good idea. Also I've stated why I think martyr isn't a good card in the deck.

How are wastelands working for you? I was thinking of running them, but I generally couldn't justify it because I want to drop elspeth and ranger.

Elleran
07-09-2011, 05:35 PM
@ateu89: Only 7 Soul Sisters? I would definitely run 8 in the main before SB-ing. Is there a reason for running only 7?

I've already stated that Wastelands may be good later in the game, but in the beginning few turns, having white mana is critical. Wastelands can't really be considered lands in this deck, but spells that can destroy an opponent's land. Running only 17 Plains with 3 Wastelands can run into problems imo. All those Sisters, Serra Ascendant, Martyr, and Mother are all 1 cmc White creatures. Have you run into any of these problems while running the deck? How about consistency with lands?

I agree with your assessment of Ajani vs Elspeth.

With Tithe, Mental Misstep and Dazes are common, but I haven't really run into any problems against them (and one of the main decks I test against is Merfolk). There are those times that Tithe gets countered, but this deck can function at land count as low as 2 (not recommendable, but it is possible). It is rare that I play Tithe (that gets countered) and not draw into any lands for several turns.

I like the Proclamation at 3. 3 is good especially post-boarding when the opponent begins to run a massive number of board wipes. It is great seeing the "Ha I just killed 3-4 creatures using Deed/Explosive!" on the opponent's face turn into "Wait, you brought back all your creatures...?" look. ;)

===========================

I'm still in testing for the Stoneforge package, but my results have been very favorable so far. I would actually recommend adding the Stoneforge package as part of the Core.

Elleran
07-09-2011, 06:23 PM
Finally, here is an updated list for Ascension. This deck has been performing very well (mostly tested against Team America and Merfolk). It is still under testing, but I have incorporated the discussion in this thread to add new win cons as well as trim off some unnecessary cards.

Ascension

Creatures (30)
4x Ajani's Pridemate
4x Martyr of Sands
4x Mother of Runes
3x Ranger of Eos
4x Serra Ascendant
4x Soul Warden
4x Soul's Attendant
3x Stoneforge Mystic

Artifacts (3)
1x Batterskull
1x Sword of Light and Shadow
1x Umezawa's Jitte

Sorcery (2)
2x Proclamation of Rebirth

Instants (5)
3x Swords to Plowshares
2x Tithe

Planeswalkers (2)
2x Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Lands (18)
16x Plains
2x Flagstones of Trokair

--------------------------------------

Notes worth mentioning:

*I want to fit 3 Proclamation of Rebirth in. Any suggestions on how? (or why I shouldn't?)

*Concerning Martyr of Sands, I've tested the list with and without the Martyrs. Some observations I have made:
1. On turn 2, with Serra Ascendant out, when Martyr is played, it is almost always FoW'ed or Mental Misstepped. Great FoW lightning rod is always good.
2. Even without a Serra Ascendant out, Martyr can always be played and killed then later brought back to life. Serra Ascendant can always be drawn or fetched with Ranger of Eos, making Martyr useful no matter where it is.
3. Bad topdeck is going to be a bad topdeck. It is rare that a perfect topdeck will be drawn when losing. Even in many decks, it is not possible to trim the deck of all bad topdecks.

I have weighed the pros and cons of Martyr and decided that Martyr's ability to create an explosive beginning, as well as large burst of life, is more beneficial than the possibility of topdecking her in a dire situation. Again, thoughts on this?

*Elspeth is great. I finally got some good games where without Elspeth, it would have been stalemate or worse.

*Student of Warfare was cut. :(

*Concerning the name, I want to know whether people would prefer this deck to be called "Soul Sisters" or "Ascension"? I personally call it Soul Sisters more, lol. Thoughts?

Elleran
07-09-2011, 06:27 PM
*Sorry about the triple post*

Unfortunately, putting in the Stoneforge Package means taking out the Enlightened Tutor package (including O-Rings). I have not tested SB yet, but looking at the currently tested (but outdated, I suppose) SB I don't see a place to put in Oblivion Rings. Thoughts?

Fore reference:

Sideboard
2x Ethersworn Canonist
2x Leyline of Sanctity
4x Phyrexian Revoker
4x Relic of Progenitus
3x Serenity

Tru3z3rox
07-09-2011, 07:13 PM
*Sorry about the triple post*

Unfortunately, putting in the Stoneforge Package means taking out the Enlightened Tutor package (including O-Rings). I have not tested SB yet, but looking at the currently tested (but outdated, I suppose) SB I don't see a place to put in Oblivion Rings. Thoughts?

Fore reference:

Sideboard
2x Ethersworn Canonist
2x Leyline of Sanctity
4x Phyrexian Revoker
4x Relic of Progenitus
3x Serenity

Leyline of Sanctity is horrible in the current meta. Revoker is a bit unnecessary as well. Also you should diversify your grave hate.

-2 Leyline
-3 Serenity
-4 Revoker
-2 Relic of Prog

+3 Oblivion Ring
+2 GY hate (faerie macabre, crypt, surgical extraction)
+2 Abolish
+4 Angel's Grace (SOOOO tech vs combo :D)

Oblivion ring and serenity don't play well together. If you want to run o-ring pull the serenity for abolish (which is faster anyway).


I personally like Proc at 2 in the main because it is actually a card I sometimes find dead in hand. Removal negates it. I have 1 in the board that I BRING IN for matches that warrant it.

I ALWAYS call it soul sisters since it is basically the name sake. I've never referred to it as ascension before. ;)


I would also maximize your STP. Removal is quite important in the meta and gives you things to board out vs combo.

19 lands? It is a little risky if you want to cast elspeth and ranger...How is that working for you? I find it a bit scary to run less than 20 even though our curves is quite low. Many times you'll want to be casting multiple dudes in one turn for a life swing.

You still like martyr of sands in the deck? I feel like she is too defensive. I will always rather drop a mother of runes or a soul warden turn 1 and a pridemate/2 wardens/2 moms/stoneforge turn 2. Turn 3 she is probably less relevant since you're hand is near empty. Turn 1 soul warden and turn 2 double warden is a god play against empty the warrens if you can manage it...haha.

Edit:
Don't get me wrong...I LOVE martyr of sands, but she doesn't seem to be too relevant after turn 1 or 2. Having her as a 4 of can be rather irrelevant if you cannot have her in the opening hand... I cannot get passed that fact.

Elleran
07-10-2011, 01:10 AM
Edit:
Don't get me wrong...I LOVE martyr of sands, but she doesn't seem to be too relevant after turn 1 or 2. Having her as a 4 of can be rather irrelevant if you cannot have her in the opening hand... I cannot get passed that fact.

Yeah, that's the trade off of running her in the deck. Depending on the opening hand, I also almost always put down a Sister or a Mother the first turn. However, if I draw both Martyr and Serra Ascendant, then I drop Serra Ascendant first, then Martyr on turn 2 then sac it and swing away for 6. Yes, that does not always happen, but I find the Martyr-less version a bit slow. It takes many turns in order to get Serra going (making her a less-than-primary strategy) and relies too much on Ajani's Pridemate and Batterskull to dish out the damage.

Even in later games, Ranger of Eos can easily fetch a Serra Ascendant and a Martyr together to get the Ascendant online faster. Yes, Martyr becomes worthless as my hand gets played out, but with recursion (SoLaS and Proc) and fetches, Martyr proved to me as one of the key components in making Serra Ascendant work.

---

I like Angel's Grace. When I was testing out Storm long time ago, I MB'ed some Angel's Grace and resulted in few autowins against other Storm strategy.

--

You mean 18 lands? + 2 Tithe (for 20 lands)? Or are you counting 2 Flagstones as 1 Land? Either way, if you want to play safer with 20 real lands, then go ahead. I've found both 19 and 20 to be the optimal numbers.

In my experience, 19 gets mana screwed too easily and 20 gets mana flooded too often. That is why I like the 18 Lands + 2 Tithe split. It's somewhere in between 20 and 19, lol.

Elleran
07-10-2011, 01:10 AM
Edit:
Don't get me wrong...I LOVE martyr of sands, but she doesn't seem to be too relevant after turn 1 or 2. Having her as a 4 of can be rather irrelevant if you cannot have her in the opening hand... I cannot get passed that fact.

Yeah, that's the trade off of running her in the deck. Depending on the opening hand, I also almost always put down a Sister or a Mother the first turn. However, if I draw both Martyr and Serra Ascendant, then I drop Serra Ascendant first, then Martyr on turn 2 then sac it and swing away for 6. Yes, that does not always happen, but I find the Martyr-less version a bit slow. It takes many turns in order to get Serra going (making her a less-than-primary strategy) and relies too much on Ajani's Pridemate and Batterskull to dish out the damage.

Even in later games, Ranger of Eos can easily fetch a Serra Ascendant and a Martyr together to get the Ascendant online faster. Yes, Martyr becomes worthless as my hand gets played out, but with recursion (SoLaS and Proc) and fetches, Martyr proved to me as one of the key components in making Serra Ascendant work.

---

I like Angel's Grace. When I was testing out Storm long time ago, I MB'ed some Angel's Grace and resulted in few autowins against other Storm strategy.

--

You mean 18 lands? + 2 Tithe (for 20 lands)? Or are you counting 2 Flagstones as 1 Land? Either way, if you want to play safer with 20 real lands, then go ahead. I've found both 19 and 20 to be the optimal numbers.

In my experience, 19 gets mana screwed too easily and 20 gets mana flooded too often. That is why I like the 18 Lands + 2 Tithe split. It's somewhere in between 20 and 19, lol.

BlindMage
07-10-2011, 01:28 AM
On the subject of land count, I've been finding that the optimal number is considerably less than 20. Admittedly, this is in a non-stoneforge version; stoneforge might require more. The manabase that I've been using is:

12 Plains
2 Flagstones of Trokair
1 Ancient Den (in Enlightened Tutor version; otherwise it'd be another Plains)
2 Tithe
1 Knight of the White Orchid

AND I'm strongly considering cutting another Plains since it's still not uncommmon for me to get much more mana than I need.

My feeling is that if I have more than 5 lands in play ever, I've gotten too much.

ateu89
07-10-2011, 10:09 AM
Squadron Hawk is cool, but we already have evasion and CA. He just isn't good with the synergy of the deck.

@ateu
I think you should maximize your important 1 drops. Running them as 3 ofs isn't a good idea. Also I've stated why I think martyr isn't a good card in the deck.

How are wastelands working for you? I was thinking of running them, but I generally couldn't justify it because I want to drop elspeth and ranger.

I do agree with your Squadron Hawk opinion.

About the 1 drops, I came up with this build because of the decks I'm facing off. I normally playtest against Zoo. I see you guys saying you play Turn 1 Serra Ascendant, for me this would never work. T1 Ascendant is too risky, I don't want it to die for Chain Lightining or Lightning Bolt before I get 30 life. So, my main strategy is to T1 nothing and T2 sacrifice Martyr.
I think I'm playing the same deck but some slightly different strategy.

About Martyr not being a good card in this deck, I can't agree with that. Wisely played this is damn good... Don't tell me about dead draw. Sisters, Pridemate and even Serra Ascendant can be dead draws.
Martyr can be filled up with 1 Ranger of Eos draw. Fetch 2 creatures and draw another white cards on next turn, done... 9 life sounds good for me, even 6 can be good when you are next to 30 and want to grow up Ascendants.

About Wastelands, again, it's my playtest. Zoo don't have Wastelands and have a lot of nonbasic. It works out great, maybe not that great against other decks. The thing is that I can still play Rager of Eos or Elspeth T4 with my Wasteland as a land and then crack out their land. Ok, it's not great to destroy a land on turn 3~5, but if they ever get manascrewed, thats very good. But again, since my Wastelands can't be Wastelanded, it's worth playing for sure.

ateu89
07-10-2011, 10:41 AM
@ateu89: Only 7 Soul Sisters? I would definitely run 8 in the main before SB-ing. Is there a reason for running only 7?

I've already stated that Wastelands may be good later in the game, but in the beginning few turns, having white mana is critical. Wastelands can't really be considered lands in this deck, but spells that can destroy an opponent's land. Running only 17 Plains with 3 Wastelands can run into problems imo. All those Sisters, Serra Ascendant, Martyr, and Mother are all 1 cmc White creatures. Have you run into any of these problems while running the deck? How about consistency with lands?

I agree with your assessment of Ajani vs Elspeth.

With Tithe, Mental Misstep and Dazes are common, but I haven't really run into any problems against them (and one of the main decks I test against is Merfolk). There are those times that Tithe gets countered, but this deck can function at land count as low as 2 (not recommendable, but it is possible). It is rare that I play Tithe (that gets countered) and not draw into any lands for several turns.

I like the Proclamation at 3. 3 is good especially post-boarding when the opponent begins to run a massive number of board wipes. It is great seeing the "Ha I just killed 3-4 creatures using Deed/Explosive!" on the opponent's face turn into "Wait, you brought back all your creatures...?" look. ;)

===========================

I'm still in testing for the Stoneforge package, but my results have been very favorable so far. I would actually recommend adding the Stoneforge package as part of the Core.

Why 7 Soul's Sisters... Well Soul's Sisters never made the game all by herselves for me. I do need other cards and I found that it doesn't change much cutting down one. I don't miss that 8th Sister until now, maybe because I get rid of it very soon, maybe because it's not that necessary.

In my last post I explained my Wasteland choice. It's very hard to see more than 1 each game, maybe when it gets too long. And I'm getting plenty of plains most of the time.

Well, about Thite, I'm not currently testing against decks that runs Misstep and Daze, it's just my assumption, I will be testing very soon against other decks and maybe I will give a try, probably I would cut down to 18 lands + 2 Thite.

_______________________

Well, I will keep testing, now against other kinds of decks and will make some changes, at 1 drops and manabase.

And my file name is "WW Lifegain.cod", but probably will call it Soul's Sister when I get all the cards in my hand. =P

Tru3z3rox
07-10-2011, 02:07 PM
OK I've been testing with 4x Martyr in the place of 3 Champions and 1 Sword of Light and Shadow (weakest equip and I wanted to maximize the white cards in the deck). I have to say that it does make for some broken plays. It still sucks to top deck late game when you have nothing in your hand, but every life could be relevant I guess. I'll edit my previous post to include her. I'll keep testing her just to make sure, but I think I'm starting to come around.

Elleran
07-10-2011, 07:55 PM
OK I've been testing with 4x Martyr in the place of 3 Champions and 1 Sword of Light and Shadow (weakest equip and I wanted to maximize the white cards in the deck). I have to say that it does make for some broken plays. It still sucks to top deck late game when you have nothing in your hand, but every life could be relevant I guess. I'll edit my previous post to include her. I'll keep testing her just to make sure, but I think I'm starting to come around.

The more borken the plays, the better. I'm glad that you're giving her a chance.

---

Also, to everyone, I've said this before, but what does everyone think about including more than 1 Jitte in the MD? This deck DIES to Jitte and it'd be important if we can blow the opponent's Jitte with our Jitte. Thoughts?

Tru3z3rox
07-11-2011, 02:30 AM
The more borken the plays, the better. I'm glad that you're giving her a chance.

---

Also, to everyone, I've said this before, but what does everyone think about including more than 1 Jitte in the MD? This deck DIES to Jitte and it'd be important if we can blow the opponent's Jitte with our Jitte. Thoughts?

Jitte does wreck this deck, but hence we run things like ascendent, batterskull, stoneforge, swords, and jitte of our own. I think clogging the MD with too much artifacts makes martyr of sands way worse.

ateu89
07-11-2011, 11:55 AM
Jitte does wreck this deck, but hence we run things like ascendent, batterskull, stoneforge, swords, and jitte of our own. I think clogging the MD with too much artifacts makes martyr of sands way worse.

I agree, I run 3 equipment and I think that's the right number. I don't want artifacts in my hand... That's why I'm thinking it's worth running -2 Land +2 Tithe too, it's doing very well in my tests. In this deck we want to max out the White cards in our hands.
If Jitte is bothering you, find some white cards to deal with it. Oblivion Ring, Divine Offering (instant speed and life gain) or any other artifact destroyer.

Anthem
07-11-2011, 01:22 PM
I've been testing this against Zoo, Merfolk, and TESS, and I guess I just don't see what you all see. Maybe I get bad hands/can't play it well. Against Zoo, even when I get the Martyr/Ascendant combo, Ascendant gets bolted/StP in response (I play Ascendant turn 1), and I can't recover fast enough while Zoo slings out 3/3's and 4/5's against my 1/1's and 2/2's.

A smart Merfolk player only counters the 2/2's and Mom once he knew what was happening. My opponent would leave my "Soul Sisters" alone while attacking with his 2/2s, and once again I couldn't keep up in the red zone with 1/1's. By the time I got something meaningful through, the board was too far gone.

TESS was the only matchup I did well with because I often skyrocketed out of tendrils range, and had answers to everything he threw at me.

Tru3z3rox
07-11-2011, 01:35 PM
I've been testing this against Zoo, Merfolk, and TESS, and I guess I just don't see what you all see. Maybe I get bad hands/can't play it well. Against Zoo, even when I get the Martyr/Ascendant combo, Ascendant gets bolted/StP in response (I play Ascendant turn 1), and I can't recover fast enough while Zoo slings out 3/3's and 4/5's against my 1/1's and 2/2's.

A smart Merfolk player only counters the 2/2's and Mom once he knew what was happening. My opponent would leave my "Soul Sisters" alone while attacking with his 2/2s, and once again I couldn't keep up in the red zone with 1/1's. By the time I got something meaningful through, the board was too far gone.

TESS was the only matchup I did well with because I often skyrocketed out of tendrils range, and had answers to everything he threw at me.

I usually find that it is difficult to lose to merfolk. You rob their tempo (against them I usually play wardens first), you plow their dudes, and you have stoneforge (this auto beats them usually). Pridemate gets too large for them to deal with and Ranger/Jitte give you good CA. Sometimes it is worth it to play around daze against them because we can stay alive long enough.

Against zoo it is a bit tougher since they have tons of removal, but here you want CA as well. You need to stabilize whenever possible. Just keep grim lavamancer off of the board and take the damage from the nacatls if you can. Ranger is a good blocker here and batterskull wrecks them pretty hard. Martyr of sands is also mvp in this match up as you gain at least 2-3 turns against them with her. Proclamation is also mvp since they must path your dudes or you'll just get them back. This is tougher than goblins or merfolk, but it is definitely doable. Just play smart.

Elleran
07-11-2011, 03:09 PM
I've been testing this against Zoo, Merfolk, and TESS, and I guess I just don't see what you all see. Maybe I get bad hands/can't play it well. Against Zoo, even when I get the Martyr/Ascendant combo, Ascendant gets bolted/StP in response (I play Ascendant turn 1), and I can't recover fast enough while Zoo slings out 3/3's and 4/5's against my 1/1's and 2/2's.

A smart Merfolk player only counters the 2/2's and Mom once he knew what was happening. My opponent would leave my "Soul Sisters" alone while attacking with his 2/2s, and once again I couldn't keep up in the red zone with 1/1's. By the time I got something meaningful through, the board was too far gone.

TESS was the only matchup I did well with because I often skyrocketed out of tendrils range, and had answers to everything he threw at me.

I agree wtih Tru3z3rox. In addition, I am surprised that you're doing so much better against TESS than the other Aggro-decks you have mentioned.

Against Zoo, be careful when you play Serra Ascendant. I would always play either Mother or a Sister on the first turn, drop Martyr on Turn 2, then sac during the opponent's EOT, then follow up with a Ascendant on turn 3. Because Serra Ascendant's ability is a static ability, it will be 6/6 before Zoo can Bolt it. If you played Mother the first turn, Zoo would have undoubtedly bolted/StP'ed it the first turn. You just have to anticipate what Zoo has because, like Tru3z3rox said, Zoo has so much removals in their deck. Fortunately, Zoo tends to run out of steam quickly, so survive the beginning few turns and you'll probably win.

ateu89
07-11-2011, 08:46 PM
I've been testing this against Zoo, Merfolk, and TESS, and I guess I just don't see what you all see. Maybe I get bad hands/can't play it well. Against Zoo, even when I get the Martyr/Ascendant combo, Ascendant gets bolted/StP in response (I play Ascendant turn 1), and I can't recover fast enough while Zoo slings out 3/3's and 4/5's against my 1/1's and 2/2's.

A smart Merfolk player only counters the 2/2's and Mom once he knew what was happening. My opponent would leave my "Soul Sisters" alone while attacking with his 2/2s, and once again I couldn't keep up in the red zone with 1/1's. By the time I got something meaningful through, the board was too far gone.

TESS was the only matchup I did well with because I often skyrocketed out of tendrils range, and had answers to everything he threw at me.

Zoo is not a bad matchup. And first of all, in my opinon 1st turn Ascendant is very risky, I almost never do it. If you know your opponent play burn spells, please just don't do it, take it easy on T1 and hold white cards then do Martyr T2.

Are you not playing Stoneforge Pack? Elspeth?

jnosrati
07-12-2011, 01:49 AM
I consider myself a veteran zoo player, and want to make it clear that zoo basically scoops to this deck. Its a race bolting creatures, etc over and over, then a ranger or proclamation ends the game.

between this, elves, and empty the warrens, im gonna try sideboarding breath of darrigaz. Yeah, this deck is that good.
What are the bad mu's? you beat aggro and combo easily. This deck is broken. I guess blue decks can beat you in a very long game that might hit time....

Tru3z3rox
07-12-2011, 02:23 AM
I consider myself a veteran zoo player, and want to make it clear that zoo basically scoops to this deck. Its a race bolting creatures, etc over and over, then a ranger or proclamation ends the game.

between this, elves, and empty the warrens, im gonna try sideboarding breath of darrigaz. Yeah, this deck is that good.
What are the bad mu's? you beat aggro and combo easily. This deck is broken. I guess blue decks can beat you in a very long game that might hit time....

Heh. My buddy here is the zoo and dredge player that I test against. He also pilots my merfolk deck whenever I test against that as well.

Moondancerbb
07-12-2011, 01:21 PM
How does this deck fare against Reanimator it seems like its a pretty bad match up they can lock you out pretty bad with Norn or Iona. Has anyone done any testing against it?

Tru3z3rox
07-12-2011, 01:32 PM
How does this deck fare against Reanimator it seems like its a pretty bad match up they can lock you out pretty bad with Norn or Iona. Has anyone done any testing against it?

If it is a turn 2 lock then yes Iona is pretty rough. We do run swords, so they'd have to counter it if we hit their norn. So likely I'd say it depends. Game 2 and 3 is usually where you win against grave decks.

Batterskull gives us a better chance against iona if we can get a stoneforge down before she resolves. Also jitte helps.

I will admit that it is a rough match up, but it is the same for almost any aggro deck.

bokwinkle
07-12-2011, 02:59 PM
I've fished the hell out of this and generally got sick of the draw dependance and vomiting my hand only to have some 1/1's (after seeing my primary threat removed via countermagic, discard, or removal).

I elected to try blue for brainstorm and sejiri merfolk. I've been very happy with both cards - it hurts martyr triggers a bit, but brainstorm replaces itself and a land with 2 white cards....so it's not so bad as it may appear. And the first strike and lifelink on the merfolk make for some intersting interaction with the win-cons of the deck (since the lifegain from the first strike pumps your win cons before they do damage). Utilizing blue also allows me to run misstep in the board against removal heavy decks and/or decks that may try and foil my early plays with missteps of their own. Preordain was also pretty good in testing. And access to countermagic does improve the combo matchups slightly.

I also agree that Gaga is not the right card for the deck....it just doesn't interact with the other win-cons well enough or fast enough.

just my $0.02

Elleran
07-12-2011, 03:15 PM
I've fished the hell out of this and generally got sick of the draw dependance and vomiting my hand only to have some 1/1's (after seeing my primary threat removed via countermagic, discard, or removal).

I elected to try blue for brainstorm and sejiri merfolk. I've been very happy with both cards - it hurts martyr triggers a bit, but brainstorm replaces itself and a land with 2 white cards....so it's not so bad as it may appear. And the first strike and lifelink on the merfolk make for some intersting interaction with the win-cons of the deck (since the lifegain from the first strike pumps your win cons before they do damage). Utilizing blue also allows me to run misstep in the board against removal heavy decks and/or decks that may try and foil my early plays with missteps of their own. Preordain was also pretty good in testing. And access to countermagic does improve the combo matchups slightly.

I also agree that Gaga is not the right card for the deck....it just doesn't interact with the other win-cons well enough or fast enough.

just my $0.02

My complaint about adding Blue with its search ability is, doesn't it slow this deck's tempo with all the Brainstorms and Ponder/Preordains? i.e. I feel that it'd make this deck less aggro.

Elleran
07-12-2011, 03:31 PM
How does this deck fare against Reanimator it seems like its a pretty bad match up they can lock you out pretty bad with Norn or Iona. Has anyone done any testing against it?

Like most aggro decks, this deck doesn't do very well on Game 1 vs Combo. Good SB should be able to pull you through, though.

------

Question: If I have Flagstones already out, then I play another one, do I fetch 1 Plains or 2 Plains?

Tru3z3rox
07-12-2011, 07:26 PM
Like most aggro decks, this deck doesn't do very well on Game 1 vs Combo. Good SB should be able to pull you through, though.

------

Question: If I have Flagstones already out, then I play another one, do I fetch 1 Plains or 2 Plains?

2

Tru3z3rox
07-12-2011, 07:33 PM
I've fished the hell out of this and generally got sick of the draw dependance and vomiting my hand only to have some 1/1's (after seeing my primary threat removed via countermagic, discard, or removal).

I elected to try blue for brainstorm and sejiri merfolk. I've been very happy with both cards - it hurts martyr triggers a bit, but brainstorm replaces itself and a land with 2 white cards....so it's not so bad as it may appear. And the first strike and lifelink on the merfolk make for some intersting interaction with the win-cons of the deck (since the lifegain from the first strike pumps your win cons before they do damage). Utilizing blue also allows me to run misstep in the board against removal heavy decks and/or decks that may try and foil my early plays with missteps of their own. Preordain was also pretty good in testing. And access to countermagic does improve the combo matchups slightly.

I also agree that Gaga is not the right card for the deck....it just doesn't interact with the other win-cons well enough or fast enough.

just my $0.02

You don't have to splash blue to run missteps first of all. Two life is hardly much to pay for stopping removal. But removal (aside from path/swords) is something we dont care about since we run proc. Seijeri is a cool idea, but hardly fits and makes us vulnerable to wasteland for no reason. I'd rather just run knight of the white orchid....

ateu89
07-13-2011, 08:31 AM
I've fished the hell out of this and generally got sick of the draw dependance and vomiting my hand only to have some 1/1's (after seeing my primary threat removed via countermagic, discard, or removal).

I elected to try blue for brainstorm and sejiri merfolk. I've been very happy with both cards - it hurts martyr triggers a bit, but brainstorm replaces itself and a land with 2 white cards....so it's not so bad as it may appear. And the first strike and lifelink on the merfolk make for some intersting interaction with the win-cons of the deck (since the lifegain from the first strike pumps your win cons before they do damage). Utilizing blue also allows me to run misstep in the board against removal heavy decks and/or decks that may try and foil my early plays with missteps of their own. Preordain was also pretty good in testing. And access to countermagic does improve the combo matchups slightly.

I also agree that Gaga is not the right card for the deck....it just doesn't interact with the other win-cons well enough or fast enough.

just my $0.02

What? Sejiri Merfolk over Stoneforge Mystic?
I don't really bother having 1/1 if I have some equips in play. A Jitted Sister can make some mess around, and with Elspeth in play too... Oh well...
Stoneforge Mystic is a tutor for Batterskull, Jitte and Sword of L&S. Wich of those equips do not interact with the deck? She is a tutor that triggers Sisters to gain life, also with some skills you can manage to put a Batterskull in play in early game. Come on, Stoneforge Mystic is VERY GOOD in this deck, no one can give me enough evidence that's not good. I can't see the deck faster or better with Brainstorm and some random lifegain 2/1 creature... First Strike, let me tell you something about First Strike, it sucks! I want protection, fly, double strike, pump, lifelink, trample then first strike in this deck. Also, I do not want nonwhite cards in this deck, and seriously, even in that merfolk was white, I wouldn't play it, I don't play Knight of Meadowgrain, why should I play that merfolk?

Tru3z3rox
07-13-2011, 01:31 PM
At the moment there is nothing worth splashing for. Even splashing black for bitterblossom isn't worth it. It totally ruins the synergy of the deck. Just keep it mono w for now and avoid wastelands.

I'm really hoping that they print a 1 drop dude that nukes artifacts/enchantments. We actually have nova cleric right now, but I find it not worth it since there aren't that many troublesome enchantments in the meta now.

Tru3z3rox
07-18-2011, 02:13 AM
Played a tournament today running this deck. Argh! I ended up going 3-3 and placing 20 something...

I beat:
Zoo
Burn
Aggro Loam

Lost to:
U/B/G Landstill
Cephalid Breakfast
U/W Landstill

Ugh..jace all day and landstill is a tough match. I was even running 4 proc between my main and my board. I think I saw deed, wrath, damnation, day of judgement, and engineered explosives ALL DAY.

I don't quite remember each game, but there was nothing worth noting expect that batterskull, proc, and ranger were MVPs all day.

Elleran
07-18-2011, 03:16 PM
Played a tournament today running this deck. Argh! I ended up going 3-3 and placing 20 something...

I beat:
Zoo
Burn
Aggro Loam

Lost to:
U/B/G Landstill
Cephalid Breakfast
U/W Landstill

Ugh..jace all day and landstill is a tough match. I was even running 4 proc between my main and my board. I think I saw deed, wrath, damnation, day of judgement, and engineered explosives ALL DAY.

I don't quite remember each game, but there was nothing worth noting expect that batterskull, proc, and ranger were MVPs all day.

Haha, when I took this deck to a tournament, I lost to Landstill and Loam Aggro as well. Their ability for lands to become creatures slows down the Sisters' abilities, and thus slow down our deck. Jace is annoying, as usual. Loam Aggro has more creatures, so it's easier to deal with, but Seismic Assault really hurts.

The board removals you are talking about are indeed painful. That's why I like running 3 Proclamation of Rebirth in MD. A lot of decks mainboard Deed or Explosives (such as Landstill and Loam Aggro).

I don't have Cephalid Breakfast in my meta, but mine does have a High Tide mill deck, so I can imagine how that went.. :\

ateu89
07-18-2011, 04:06 PM
Played a tournament today running this deck. Argh! I ended up going 3-3 and placing 20 something...

I beat:
Zoo
Burn
Aggro Loam

Lost to:
U/B/G Landstill
Cephalid Breakfast
U/W Landstill

Ugh..jace all day and landstill is a tough match. I was even running 4 proc between my main and my board. I think I saw deed, wrath, damnation, day of judgement, and engineered explosives ALL DAY.

I don't quite remember each game, but there was nothing worth noting expect that batterskull, proc, and ranger were MVPs all day.

How was your list and SB?

Tru3z3rox
07-18-2011, 07:37 PM
My list:

Lands:
20 Plains

Sorceries:
2 Proclamation of Rebirth

Planeswalker:
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant

Instants:
4 Swords to Plowshares

Artifacts:
1 Umezawa's Jitte
1 Batterskull

Creatures:
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendent
4 Mother of Runes
4 Ajani's Pridemate
3 Stoneforge Mystic
4 Serra Ascendent
3 Ranger of Eos
4 Martyr of Sands

Sideboard:
4 Angel's Grace
4 Oblivion Ring
5 Gravehate
2 Proclamation of Rebirth

I lost to some sick tech in the final round. I had a really good hand against this dude until he vialed in grand abolisher and then I couldn't do ANYTHING. :(

I had a crypt on the board and an angel's grace in my hand, but once the dude hit the board I couldn't respond.

Playing against that much control makes me feel that 3 procs mainboard could be supported, but it can still be quite a dead card against certain other match ups...

ateu89
07-18-2011, 08:52 PM
I'm currently playing 3 Procs. It's never a really dead card. We have always Martyr and maybe some dead blockers to rebirth.

Unfortunately it appears that Grand Abolisher will support some combo decks, we have to deal with Vial before it get 2 counters.

Tru3z3rox
07-18-2011, 09:03 PM
Its not dead against a combo deck?

The only thing I can think of pulling for it would be a ranger, but he is SO good.

ateu89
07-18-2011, 10:46 PM
In my opinion there are no dead cards in this deck. But yes, probably its one of the first cards to be sided out against combo.

Ranger is very good, but I use 2 Ranger / 3 Proc. But that's probably a metagame call, against some decks 3 Rangers would be very good.

paeng4983
07-18-2011, 10:58 PM
Played a tournament .... Argh! I ended up going 3-3 ....
Lost to:
U/B/G Landstill
Cephalid Breakfast
U/W Landstill

this is the sad part. i also have the same problem here vs. control and combo decks.
does anyone have a solution for this? thanks

Tru3z3rox
07-19-2011, 01:05 PM
this is the sad part. i also have the same problem here vs. control and combo decks.
does anyone have a solution for this? thanks

The issue is that we don't have much of a tempo. That is why merfolk and zoo still beat this deck and we don't. It is usually not that common when merfolk is around, but since I've not seen merfolk in a while they have flooded into the meta. Hence I've been trying to improve our "clock" for a while. The life gain is very good to rob tempo, but if we cannot be aggressive then its tough to win anyway.

Our current beaters:
Pridemate
Ascendent
Elspeth
Stoneforge/Batterskull

I'm less scared of wrath and such than I am of deed. These cards make me miss sword of light and shadow....

I'm actually thinking of doing this:

-1 Ranger of Eos
+1 Sword of Light and Shadow


Anyone run other swords in the deck to good effect??

Elleran
07-19-2011, 02:29 PM
In my opinion there are no dead cards in this deck. But yes, probably its one of the first cards to be sided out against combo.

Ranger is very good, but I use 2 Ranger / 3 Proc. But that's probably a metagame call, against some decks 3 Rangers would be very good.

I run 3 Rangers and I've even tested running 4 instead of running Elspeths. In my experience, Ranger has been one of the most commonly Thoughtseized or Force of Will'ed card in the deck because of its enormous card advantage as well as threat. It basically lets this deck fetch 2 of any combination of threats and stands alone as a 3/2 which is not bad. Extremely powerful card. Unfortunately, 4cmc is the thing holding back running a playset of them.

My brother and I are currently testing different decks other than Soul Sisters. One of deck uses Grand Abolisher to a GREAT effect without AEther Vial. I am convinced that it is one of the most powerful control card that has been printed for white. It negates all countermagic, stops surprising StPs/burns/removals, makes AEther Vial less than half as useful, makes Top useless in our turn, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, I am unsure whether they'd be good in Soul Sisters deck. Anyone have data on this? Otherwise, I'll try Grand Abolisher out and see how things go.

Regarding Proclamation of Rebirth, It is rare that it is a dead card. Even if is drawn with only 1 1cmc creature in the graveyard, we can always use Sisters on the battlefield to chump block, then resurrect them the next turn. Proclamation is similar to Ranger in that it can fetch what we need, and since the graveyard is teeming with creatures that were hated out already (such as countered Mother or chumpblocked Sister, etc) Proclamation is a powerful card that can easily push the game in our favor. Obviously drawing into too many Proclamations can happen, but that is rare and flooding can happen with other cards as well, so it is not a unique problem to Proc.

Tru3z3rox
07-19-2011, 07:15 PM
Yes, but I'm replacing a CA dude for a CA engine (sword of light and shadow). I had it pulled before, but I think I want to improve my curve a bit and have some more 3 drops as opposed to clogging my hand with 4 drops.

I think 2 in the main and 2 in the side is enough for proc. It does nothing against a combo match up where you want to be aggressive. Nor does it help you be aggressive, it helps you recover. Hence why I'll never bump it above 2 in the main.

Edit:
Actually I agree that pulling a ranger is a bad idea. The only other thing I could think of is sideboarding jitte. I honestly never find myself searching for it. I never care to drop it over batterskull or sword of light and shadow. If it is in my hand I usually play a bigger threat anyway. I figure we can just bring it in against tribal aggro? It doesn't help much vs zoo and combo (at least not more than light and shadow).

Elleran
07-20-2011, 02:10 AM
But Jitte has a secret fine text that allows it to destroy an opponent's Jitte. Having at least a 1-of in the MD will allow an emergency anti-Jitte option with Stoneforge.

Tru3z3rox
07-20-2011, 01:26 PM
But Jitte has a secret fine text that allows it to destroy an opponent's Jitte. Having at least a 1-of in the MD will allow an emergency anti-Jitte option with Stoneforge.

Yes I know of course that is true, but most of our threats are out of jitte range anyway. I can always side it in game 2 for that purpose but its just not good in the md for me anymore. Merfolk side it as well. Sometimes they don't even run it at all in their 75.

MD.Ghost
07-21-2011, 04:28 AM
My Deck

// Deck: Ascension

// Lands
2 Flagstones of Trokair
17 Plains

// Creatures
4 Ajani's Pridemate
4 Mother of Runes
3 Ranger of Eos
4 Serra Ascendant
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul's Attendant
3 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Student of Warfare

// Spells
1 Batterskull
2 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
3 Proclamation of Rebirth
1 Sword of Light and Shadow
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Tithe
1 Umezawa's Jitte

// Sideboard
3 Ethersworn Canonist
3 Faerie Macabre
3 Null Rod
3 Phyrexian Metamorph
3 Timely Reinforcements

I found +1 Plain usefull with five 4cc Spells (Elspeth and Ranger) and with Stoneforgetech i want enough Tempo and mostly a Turn 3 Board with 3 Lands. Manasink can be used with Student of Warefare and Proclamation of Rebirth Ability.

Stoneforgetech is very good, after testing most of the time batterskull is the first equipment, but i found jitte and sword are god additional options md.

Sideboard, i prefer Null Rod over Serenity because it works instantly and shuts down some combodecks as well as the additional Ethersworn Canonist.

Phyrexian Metamorph against reanimate/dredge (iona) and show and tell/natural order...

Timely Reinforcements is a new addition, i found against zoo, aggro decks with lots of removal and hard beaters (and pridemage vs equip) even with lifegain its a hard matchup. For 3 Mana you can rebuild, sometimes with 9 or 12 Life and some chump blockers, equip carrier.

catmint
07-21-2011, 07:28 AM
I played vs. a soul sister build with TA recently at a local tourny.
At the beggining I thought it is some kind of bad homemade thing but it was pretty annyoing.

I won 2:0 but it was much closer that it looked. It took a lot of hard work, a good draw and Jace active for many rounds to get to a win (by damage).

Yes, ranger of EOS is your late game bomb (along with elspeth), but I feel it maybe would be good to have SD.top or some kind of similar cards to get value for long grinding games that you probably have sometimes.

It is funny that it looks good, but I did not see it making any good finishes.
Do you have some reports where it did well?

What I don't like is that you cannot really splash a color, because of Martyr right?
..or can the deck work without him?

MD.Ghost
07-21-2011, 08:14 AM
What I don't like is that you cannot really splash a color, because of Martyr right?
..or can the deck work without him?

New developments test stoneforge over martyr, i thougt it is the right choice.

So you can go multicolour and get vulnerable against wastelands, and the lifegain theme works very well with mono white.

Yes, Jace vs Ajani's Pridemate is a bad matchup, but a furious attack from your 8 soulsister can smash Jace Plainswalker face :wink:

Elleran
07-21-2011, 10:23 AM
@MD.Ghost: I like your Phyrexian Metamorph and Null Rod choices. How does Serra Ascendant fare without Martyr of Sands?

@catmint: Yes, I have noticed that this deck's late game is very dependent on topdecking due to lack of CA. Drawing into a Ranger is very good. In fact, I would say that Ranger is similar to Goblin Ringleader in that you want to play it as late as possible.

When I hit TA in my tourney, I won 2-0 with this deck's primer list. In both rounds, he Thoughtseized my Ranger of Eos right away, then proceeded to drop Tarmagoyf or something. My Ajani's Pridemate was able to overpower it. Recently, however, I've found it difficult (about 50/50) against TA when I playtest the most recent lists. I don't know what's up. Maybe the guy had bad hands?

Tru3z3rox
07-21-2011, 01:09 PM
Yes jace is quite annoying to play against. Especially when he is sitting behind a wall of creatures. He nullifies our pridemates and gives them ridiculous CA. Also he allows them to kill us without touching our life total.

I really wish we could run Gaddock Teeg or something along those lines, but it really is a bad idea to splash for the deck. Wait....

Splashing green would get us...:

Dauntless Escort
Gaddock teeg
Quasali Pridemage
Kitchen Finks
Sigil Captain


Of course making room for any of these would likely make ranger and proc worse... I really like teeg and pridemage in the main as it gives us answers, but is it worth it? Kitchen Finks is also pretty damn good.

ateu89
07-21-2011, 02:37 PM
New developments test stoneforge over martyr, i thougt it is the right choice.

So you can go multicolour and get vulnerable against wastelands, and the lifegain theme works very well with mono white.

Yes, Jace vs Ajani's Pridemate is a bad matchup, but a furious attack from your 8 soulsister can smash Jace Plainswalker face :wink:

It's not Stoneforge OVER Martyr. They are really, really different cards.
I'm currently playing 3 Stoneforge and 4 Martyr.

I would love to splash black, something like 3~4 Dark Tutelage, just to keep the deck working well and some Hide // Seek in SB. Searching for Progenitus against NO would be so cool =P. 10 Life and breaking their combo with 2 mana! Emrakul would be another great target. And of course, we have Vindicate, that could replace Oblivion Ring.

MD.Ghost
07-21-2011, 05:12 PM
It's not Stoneforge OVER Martyr. They are really, really different cards.
I'm currently playing 3 Stoneforge and 4 Martyr.


In the last deck builds stoneforge+equip replaced martyr+o.ring
Sure, we all wait for proven results but in my opionion stoneforge package outclasses the old version. Martyr is usually a one hit wonder, especially with a turn 2 serra beater with 6/6 flying, lifelink.
But in a meta full of counters and spot removal, a clever opponent won´t be tricked twice. I love martyr for an explosive start, but prefer a constant thread aka stoneforge with various equipments. For me the main aspect is, in contrast to the new stoneblade/esperblade decks, we dont need stoneforge to win.

@Elleran: Serra Ascendant is less important without a martyr setup, but it is a nice, fetchable option. first turns he can pump a pridemate, later without 30 life he loves equipment and elspeth support. We have enough lifegain effects to support 4 in our deck, even without explosive martyr trick.

Tomorrow i can test against some friends and various legacy decks in a small private tournament.

evanmartyr
07-21-2011, 05:24 PM
I can't help but think that in an environment full of removal, Knights of the Reliquary, cheap sweepers, Repeal, and JTMS, Pridemate is just a bad call. You're facing off against decks whose midgame draws yield 8+/8+ Knights of the Reliquary. Pridemate in your midgame is just awful, barring a flurry of creatures from you or your opponent or both. How often this happens in your metagame, of course, swings its value from poor to amazing to poor again, but as a default creature it seems iffy.

Admittedly, I have nothing constructive to add to that, but that's my perception.

Shawon
07-21-2011, 05:24 PM
I don't really follow this thread or play the deck, but I was just curious, has anyone playing this deck ever tried Moltensteel Dragon? With the deck gaining tons of life, it can become lethal pretty quickly. Of course, this gives the dragon the drawback of being winmore, but the fact that it can steal games if unchecked should not be ignored. Compare the role of Moltensteel Dragon in the Ascension to the role of Blightsteel Colossus in MUD. Pretty situtational roles, but given the right timing, you can win games you probably have no business winning. Anyway, just an observation.

Elleran
07-21-2011, 05:53 PM
I don't really follow this thread or play the deck, but I was just curious, has anyone playing this deck ever tried Moltensteel Dragon? With the deck gaining tons of life, it can become lethal pretty quickly. Of course, this gives the dragon the drawback of being winmore, but the fact that it can steal games if unchecked should not be ignored. Compare the role of Moltensteel Dragon in the Ascension to the role of Blightsteel Colossus in MUD. Pretty situtational roles, but given the right timing, you can win games you probably have no business winning. Anyway, just an observation.

Moltensteel Dragon was discussed before. It was dismissed as a winmore and just a simply risky choice. Pumping it then having it bounced or StP'ed would be horrible. Also getting to such a high life total that we can blow the opponent away is also rare. Even for this deck, spending 20 life or so can be quite risky (although doable, I admit).

@evanmartyr: Ajani's Pridemate is a solid beater. The only drawback is that it can be bounced/removed/exiled before it is as threatening as we want it.

------

Personally, I'm questioning the use of Martyr the most. I would much prefer seeing a CA card rather than seeing Martyrs.. But in mono white, pure CA is hard to find.

evanmartyr
07-21-2011, 07:31 PM
@evanmartyr: Ajani's Pridemate is a solid beater. The only drawback is that it can be bounced/removed/exiled before it is as threatening as we want it.

That was my point. I was questioning its inclusion, since splashing another color could allow you to shore up some weaknesses as well as using an overall better creature in its spot. Obviously, in some situations its nowhere near as good as other creatures, and in some it's far better. It's just wierd to have so much of the deck's offensive value hinge on such a situational, vanilla creature.

Tru3z3rox
07-21-2011, 09:10 PM
I can't help but think that in an environment full of removal, Knights of the Reliquary, cheap sweepers, Repeal, and JTMS, Pridemate is just a bad call. You're facing off against decks whose midgame draws yield 8+/8+ Knights of the Reliquary. Pridemate in your midgame is just awful, barring a flurry of creatures from you or your opponent or both. How often this happens in your metagame, of course, swings its value from poor to amazing to poor again, but as a default creature it seems iffy.

Admittedly, I have nothing constructive to add to that, but that's my perception.

Actually Pridemate usually outclasses even knight of the reliquary. Although admittedly pridemate sucks vs maze of ith...

@ martyr

Now you're seeing what I was trying to say about her. I'm down to 3 of her at the moment. I still think that she is good, but she is what I usually side out.

Our current CA engines:

Ranger of Eos:
Fetches win cons and life swinging dudes

Stoneforge Mystic:
Fetches equipments that do all kinds of things

Elspeth:
Creates dudes and beats face

Jitte:
Kills critters and gains us life

Sword of Light and Shadow:
Acts as a proclamation for non 1 mana dudes that were killed. Also gains us life

Proclamation of rebirth:
Brings dudes back to life that were taken out

I think we have pretty solid CA. I don't think that we need more. I think we need to think more of our wincons.

Our wincons:

Elspeth:
Beats face

Batterskull:
So good against warrens, zoo, and merfolk

Ascendant:
A bit conditional but so good none the less

Pridemate:
Huge beater that can be protected by mom

I think our beaters are good, but are just a bit slow. Some are also conditional.

Elleran
07-21-2011, 10:06 PM
Yes, conditional. That's what I've come across to. In Legacy, basically all Aggro deck has an element of control to it, which makes cards like Pridemate less useful (as pointed out). I'm going to try out some new mechanics into the deck and see how things work out. My main playtest opponent right now is Team America, btw.

Some cards that I'm planning on playing out:

Timely Reinforcements
Honor of the Pure
Student of Warfare
Conqueror's Pledge

MD.Ghost
07-22-2011, 04:33 AM
Before my private tournament starts in the evening, i thougt about the sideboard.

New Idea: Cut 3 Faerie Macabre and bring in a little Ranger Toolbox:

1x Nova Cleric (wins against enchantress and beats Engineered Plague on human...because we cut our Oblivion Ring)
1x Salvage Scout (get an equipment back, jitte vs jitte and one of my null rods/phyrexian metamorphs -> seems strong enough to test)
1x Hex Parasite (planeswalker kill, maybe another 1 drop is more usefull)

@Elleran, 1x Student MD is a great choice, very good with equipment, and a solid win condition if you can sink some mana
Timely Reinforcements can i test tonight

@Tru3z3rox, yes i think the deck have enough CA for cheap Mono White Deck, your listed winconditions are good for smashing some faces. The main fact is, that all conditional options are connected -> more lifegain/trigger -> more power and a longer breath

Elleran
07-22-2011, 09:59 AM
Do you not have graveyard decks in your private tournament?

And of course you can try Timely Reinforcements. You don't need to ask permission to try out cards, lol. Unless you meant "Timely Reinforcements I can test tonight".

About the Student of Warfare, I meant putting more than 1 in the MD. I'm simply trying to increase our threat density in the deck.

Tru3z3rox
07-22-2011, 12:55 PM
Yes, conditional. That's what I've come across to. In Legacy, basically all Aggro deck has an element of control to it, which makes cards like Pridemate less useful (as pointed out). I'm going to try out some new mechanics into the deck and see how things work out. My main playtest opponent right now is Team America, btw.

Some cards that I'm planning on playing out:

Timely Reinforcements
Honor of the Pure
Student of Warfare
Conqueror's Pledge

I think all of these are strictly worse than pridemate. Pridemate is 2 mana with no further mana investment. Student getting killed at 6 counters and coming back with 0 is pretty annoying it seems.

@Timely Reinforcements
This card is EXTREMELY conditional in a LIFE deck. I think that if we're losing this badly this card won't save us...

@Honor of the Pure
Terrible top deck. When you have no dudes in play this card is just horrible. Why try this when we're trying to beat sweepers?

@Conqueror's Pledge
Seems really win more. Or they'll just have another sweeper after the fact. I'd rather run more proclamations than this. Also Elspeth 2.0 is way better than this. She does everything we want.

@Hex Parasite
I really like this tech in the deck. What other things does it hit so I can justify including it somewhere in my 75?

Jace
Elspeth
Countryside Crusher
Level up creatures
Neuters engineered explosives (in response to them blowing it up you use it to give it 0 counters)
DARK DEPTHS! (there is our new wincon...haha)

It can also eat our own elspeth after we pump to swing for a lot.


Also...fyi...while you think about testing conqueror's pledge test Decree of Justice instead. It not only gives you dudes, but draws you a card if you cycle it. It is a little pricey, but so is conqueror's pledge. It can also give you bigger flying beaters. Although I think it is too pricey in general for my best, but it is a better option than pledge. It also gets around standstill.

Edit:
How about White Sun's Zenith? Seems pretty bad, but could be useful.

Elleran
07-22-2011, 03:02 PM
Sorry about the confusion.. I didn't mean for those playtest cards to replace Ajani's Pridemate. Those cards I mentioned were cards that I was looking to replace Martyr of Sands or other cards.

MD.Ghost
07-22-2011, 07:01 PM
@Elleran: I dont need your permision - you´are right. Sorry for my bad and simple English.

@Tournament was very succesfull:

First Round i beat DeadguyAle 2:1, SB: Timely Reinforcements and Salvage Scout compensated his Disruption. Finally a 16/16 Pridemate with double protection backup from mothers got him.

Secound Round against Affinity i won again 2:1, SB: Timely Reinforcements and Null Rods Backup beat my friends Aggroplan. Only Cranial Plating hurts.

Third Round i played exciting games vs Bant-AggroControl with NO into Progentius. After a hard clash i recovered faster and beat him easily. SB: Timely Reinforcements, Salvage Scout and Phyrexian Metamorph. (Stall Gofy, Copy Stoneforge Equip or beat Progentius :cool:) won 2:1

Last Round i lost 0:2 against Black Reanimate. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite was a tough match and i cant beat the -2/-2 effect... Phyrexian Metamorph got some kills, but my friend draw into enough reanimate Spells and won the race Game 2.

Finally i won and got a booster (private tournament among friends :wink: )

---
Mostly i sided Elspeth, Tithe and some serra ascendant out. Elspeth is nice in game one, but i found against Aggro Timely Reinforcements much better. Yes it is conditional, but you can jump in life and boardposition like good old martyr with some benefits. Without Elspeth and 19 Lands i dont need Tithe and gain another free spot.
Serra Ascendant without martyr is often a 1/1 lifelink, sure you can boost some pridemates but in most game it suffices to 2-3 main deck. You can fetch some with Ranger if needed.

Hex Parasite wasn´t usefull - maybe i try 1 Heap Doll against graveyard, with 3 Phyrexian Metamorph and my secret Salvage Scout backup. Heap Doll is also a target for Proclamation of Rebirth, if games go long enough.

Elleran
07-24-2011, 12:34 PM
I was just watching the SCGO Standard and got inspired by Timely Reinforcements. Basically, Timely Reinforcement's requirements are usually fulfilled by 20 vs 19 life difference and 1 vs 2 creature difference. For 3 mana, 6 life and 3 soldiers seem like an excellent deal.

MD.Ghost
07-24-2011, 04:31 PM
I was just watching the SCGO Standard and got inspired by Timely Reinforcements. Basically, Timely Reinforcement's requirements are usually fulfilled by 20 vs 19 life difference and 1 vs 2 creature difference. For 3 mana, 6 life and 3 soldiers seem like an excellent deal.

it is a nice comeback card, combine it with soulsisters and surprise your opponent. Together with proclamation of rebirth, you can easly deal with mass removal like dead, engineered explosives, engineered plague etc.

For me a must have sideboard option for this deck.

PyreDream
07-24-2011, 05:26 PM
Why would anyone play Timely Reinforcements out of the sideboard when Pulse of the Fields is arguably a better card against aggro? I think I'd rather have a Pridemate enabler than a Soul Warden enabler here. Sure the tokens are a nice speedbump or pseudo-removal, and they don't require you to tie up mana every turn, and they can carry equipment. But Pulse of the Fields is one of the few cards that can stalemate a board into oblivion, forcing some mad over-extends (useful in conjunction with sweepers) and generally being a giant frustration for aggro, which is one of the defining traits of the deck.

MD.Ghost
07-25-2011, 04:52 AM
@pyredream, timely reinforcements is much better, both spells cost three mana and you cast them normally if you are on low life, timely is a one use option but gives 2 life more.if you can enable some soulsisters triggers you gain easly more life. If you have more life than your opponent you mostly get 3 creatures, who also can trigger, blocks big dudes like knight/gofy or can throw some damage against your opponent, with option to gets a nice equipment. Both spells are good if you are in danger, but i think timely reinforcements is the stronger option with more card advantage.

Tru3z3rox
07-25-2011, 01:14 PM
@pyredream, timely reinforcements is much better, both spells cost three mana and you cast them normally if you are on low life, timely is a one use option but gives 2 life more.if you can enable some soulsisters triggers you gain easly more life. If you have more life than your opponent you mostly get 3 creatures, who also can trigger, blocks big dudes like knight/gofy or can throw some damage against your opponent, with option to gets a nice equipment. Both spells are good if you are in danger, but i think timely reinforcements is the stronger option with more card advantage.

I personally think both options are quite bad. We already have a positive aggro match up. It is the control match up that we need to improve. I wish there was choke for white.

ateu89
07-26-2011, 08:36 AM
I personally think both options are quite bad. We already have a positive aggro match up. It is the control match up that we need to improve. I wish there was choke for white.

Totaly agreed. I whis there was Holy Sun (Blood Moon for white).

Who can't beat aggro decks with this deck is not playing right. Zoo is some of the easiest match ups.

MD.Ghost
07-26-2011, 10:38 AM
You havent played against zoo with a high red/removal shell, stoneforge equipment looses vs pridemage and with 16 removal spell it can be hard for our important drops like mother to stay alive.
Same vs new tezz affinity with stoneforge shell, even with lifegain a swinging cranial plating or shooting tezzeret can be a hard match.

Yes, generally aggro is easy to handle for our deck but i wouldnt call it an auto win.

If you have problems with control try the new m12 cleric. For me a good mana curve and CA like ranger, proclamation and stoneforge a solid enough. Throw in protection from mother and enough life to deal with big win conditions it isnt much harder to play against control. The key is a sideboard with more card advantage, let them throw out counters and answer with a longer breath and solutions they didnt suspect.