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death
07-17-2011, 01:11 PM
http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/2391/sshhh.jpg
This banner stands for "staying low-key," V. Shusher has been discarded.


I. Introduction:
When Flash was unerrata'd at the end of Spring 2007, it was an ominous sign that something crazy was bound to happen. The community witnessed for the first time in the history of Magic, a no turn (turn 0) kill. No one doubted the raw power of Hulk Flash would dominate the format -- to back this up, a hand with any combination of Gemstone Caverns/ESG/SSG, Flash and a Protean Hulk essentially meant a win even on the draw. Just days before Summoner's Pact and Pact of Negation were to become legal, Hulk Flash smashed GP Columbus. Very soon after a ban was on order after Wizards realized they had unleashed an ugly beast.

Grand Prix Providence – Exactly 4 years later. An ordinary kitchen table player made headlines when his rouge creation won a GP Grinder and then featured in a round against Matt Nass (a Grand Prix winner). Although he didn't make his way to the top, he left behind a blueprint too valuable for the legacy community to ignore. If anyone would ask why this deck is in the Established section, the answer would be because it belongs here. Felix Lapan has tweaked the deck for years and the list he left behind required minor tuning, if anything at all.

For those interested in the GP Providence list, here's the link as previously published on StarCityGames.com Premium:
Going Infinite – Analyzing Providence, The Rogue Deck, And Systems (http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/finance/22022_Going_Infinite_Analyzing_Providence_The_Rogue_Deck_And_Systems.html)

The only changes made to the above version were: –2 Sylvan Library (+1 Pattern of Rebirth +1 Body Snatcher). Below is the bone stock version,


Deck ZeRO
4X Verdant Catacombs
4X Misty Rainforest
1X Wooded Foothills
3X Ancient Tomb
3X Bayou
1X Savannah
2X Dryad Arbor
1X Gaea's Cradle
1X Phyrexian Tower
1X Forest

4X Birds of Paradise
1X Wild Cantor
1X Tinder Wall
1X Wall of Roots
1X Academy Rector
1X Progenitus
2X Protean Hulk
1X Body Double
1X Body Snatcher
1X Carrion Feeder
1X Reveillark
1X Mogg Fanatic
1X Viscera Seer
1X Starved Rusalka
1X Fauna Shaman
1X Xantid Swarm

4X Green Sun's Zenith
4X Pattern of Rebirth
4X Natural Order
4X Cabal Therapy
3X Gitaxian Probe


Why do I recommend playing this deck?
The deck combos faster and more consistently than you expect
It is well-placed in today's diverse meta since the banning of MM
Resiliency: sidesteps Snares, Flusterstorms, REBs and Needles
It's helluva lot of fun to play because of its intricacy & complexity
Robust win condition with built-in Plan B against graveyard hate

Unlike other combo strategies that are weak to blue and red disruption spells, this combo is a completely different animal. Conditional counters don't hit it hard. The only effective tool a blue mage can use against it is Force of Will. That card is outnumbered by the sheer amount of threats this deck have: 4 Natural Order 4 Pattern of Rebirth 4 Green Sun's Zenith and 4 Cabal Therapy. The deck is prepared to beat control decks with maindeck Xantid Swarm which can spell trouble if not dealt with immediately. Unlike combo decks which succumb to Null Rod, Needle effects and Swords to Plowshares, this deck employs 8-9 different cards with essentially the same function.

Unlike other one-shot combo strategies that require 2-3 specific cards available in order to win, this deck on the other hand needs virtually just 1 card to do the same. Once a sac outlet is available in the form of Carrion Feeder, Viscera Seer, Starved Rusalka, Phyrexian Tower, or a Cabal Therapy in the yard, resolving either a Natural Order, Pattern of Rebirth, or Academy Rector usually means instant win. Plan B (Progenitus) is accessible pre-board for those random maindeck hate you may encounter.

This deck doesn't run any of the blue cantrips which are prone to Mental Missteps, Spellstutter Sprites, Red Elemental Blasts and Chalices of the Void at 1. The redundancy of threats makes digging unnecessary. Gitaxian Probe is used as bait, if unanswered it will give away information about what cards to name with Cabal Therapy and which spells to play around in order to go off unhindered. (Gitaxian Probe followed by Cabal Therapy will usually tear down a hand). Drawing a card off of it is just an added bonus. The mana acceleration inherent in the deck makes threats easily castable and top decks could end games quickly.


How To Play This Deck
You start off with mana acceleration by dropping Birds of Paradise, Tinder Wall/Wild Cantor or GSZ into Dryad Arbor. (They will serve as NO fodder and Pattern of Rebirth targets). Use Cabal Therapy as disruption or GSZ into Xantid Swarm for protection. In cases where you didn't draw your combo piece or it got discarded, you can GSZ into Fauna Shaman and with it you can fetch Academy Rector. Casting a Pattern of Rebirth is risky when an opponent has a white or red mana source available unless you've successfully therapy'd their hand off of removal spells. It is safer to do it when you can sac the target immediately after without passing priority.

The goal is to get Protean Hulk in play. Always maintain priority when Hulk comes into play and sac it immediately. The Hulk's trigger will allow you to get a sac outlet (Feeder/Seer) and Body Double. Body double comes into play as a copy of Protean Hulk (this effect does not trigger and cannot be responded to). The Body Double is sacrificed, allowing you to search for the win card (Mogg Fanatic) and Reveillark. Sacrifice Mogg Fanatic to deal 1 damage to your opponent. Afterwards, sacrifice Reveillark to bring back Mogg Fanatic and Body Double which comes into play as a copy of Reveillark this time. Rinse and repeat. At this point, you can now infinitely deal damage.

If for any reason you draw Body Double or Reveillark, you can get Body Snatcher in their place using Hulk. Body Snatcher's trigger will allow you to discard a creature card and put it back to play from the graveyard after Body Snatcher is sacrificed. Another option is to run a second copy of Tinder Wall. You can fetch 2 Tinder Walls + Wild Cantor with the Hulk trigger and this will allow you to hardcast Body Double or Reveillark. The drawback of course is you are at risk of walking into a Daze since you are casting a spell this time.


II. Card Selection:
1. Sacrifice Outlets
Cabal Therapy – combo and disruption in one card. Usually names Force of Will/Swords to Plowshares/Show and Tell/Infernal Tutor. This card is worth gold when it goes into the graveyard. A well-timed flashback is backbreaking.
Carrion Feeder – sac outlet and win condition. Once you've killed all their creatures with a Mogg Fanatic, it can be pumped to attack for more than lethal damage against decks that play True Believer or Leyline of Sanctity.
Viscera Seer/Starved Rusalka – as backups against a Pithing Needle naming Carrion Feeder.
Mogg Fanatic – win condition and sac outlet - By killing off your 1-toughness creatures, you can trigger a Pattern of Rebirth.
Phyrexian Tower – kills off a Hulk or a Patterned creature immediately. At best, an Ancient Tomb with no life loss. It taps for 1 colorless or :b::b: (in exchange for a creature) making it less consistent than Ancient Tombs.
You can sacrifice the Feeder to itself, for example, if it gets targeted by Swords to Plowshares or if Pattern of Rebirth ends up enchanting it. You can also sacrifice Viscera Seer to itself and activate its own ability.

2. Win Conditions
Natural Order – the green creatures you want to find with this card are Progenitus and Protean Hulk. If you find yourself having no sac outlet available after a turn 2 Pattern of Rebirth, a Natural Order would do (sac outlet #10-13).
Pattern of Rebirth – adds redundancy to the build and cheaper (doesn't require green creature, doesn't require :g::g:). This card will allow you to get a Carrion Feeder or Viscera Seer in play while you Natural Order a Hulk into play.
Academy Rector – 9th win condition. (CMC=4, see a pattern here?) When this creature dies, you win via a Pattern of Rebirth on Tinder Wall/Wild Cantor if you have a sac outlet ready for the Hulk. This card gets around removal spells (will be described later). You can also fetch post-board enchantments like Carpet of Flowers or Leylines and put them directly into play.
Protean Hulk – the combo engine. He can tutor for any number of creature cards with CMC total of 6. This means you can get Dryads Arbor for free. Alternatively, a 3-turn clock if he ends up being an attacker on an empty board.
Fauna Shaman – Survival of the Fittest on a stick -- mainly as tutor for Academy Rector, sac outlets, or Protean Hulk. Once active, you can get Hulk instantly and drop him off Show and Tell to win on the spot.
Green Sun's Zenith - X=0: Dryad Arbor; X=1: Starved Rusalka, Xantid Swarm or Tinder Wall; X=2: Fauna Shaman, Wall of Roots or Qasali Pridemage; X=7: Protean Hulk.
Since X=the CMC or less, you can play around Mental Misstep or Spell Snare by paying extra mana.

3. Mana Sources
Ancient Tomb – powers out a Natural Order or Pattern of Rebirth on turn 2, Protean Hulk on turn 3.
Forest – saves you from non-basic hosers like Wasteland. A nice perk to get with Path to Exile.
Bayou – black is the second color of the deck.
Savannah – white source to hardcast Academy Rector.
Gaea's Cradle – green Tolarian Academy. Pretty good with fetchlands + Dryads Arbor.
Dryad Arbor – primarily as GSZ targets. Provides 1/1 body for combat.
Wall of Roots – being a steady source of :g: it earned its way back in the deck.
Birds of Paradise – since black is the second color, Noble Hierarch is out of the picture. Birds are unaffected by red Firespouts.
Tinder Wall/Wild Cantor – Tinder Wall can deal 2 damage to a creature it's blocking if you pay R and sac it. Wild Cantor color fixes mana from R/G to W/U/B.
Tinder Wall/Wild Cantor attached to a Pattern of Rebirth can be sacrificed in response to Krosan Grip on the enchantment. You still get to resolve the effect since they are mana abilities and won't use the stack.

4. Cards that didn’t make the cut
Noble Hierarch – in a nutshell, would have been better in the deck if it tapped for black instead of blue.
Elvish Spirit Guide – Flash is banned, consistency is key rather than speed. Strictly a worse Pattern target.
Summoner's Pact – same reason above. Hulk and Progenitus need to stay in the library and not in your hand.
Sylvan Library – too slow in the deck when you can just cast spells and win. Good against control decks.
Sylvan Safekeeper - will take away a valuable slot in the main. Is a dead card against combo decks.
High Market – Life gain is less relevant when playing the deck. Strictly worse than Phyrexian Tower.
Death Cultist/Bile Urchin – less utility than Mogg Fanatic.

5. Sideboard

4X Slaughter Pact - gets rid of Gaddock Teeg, Iona (on green). A sac outlet for Pattern of Rebirth/Hulk/Academy Rector.
3X City of Solitude - shuts off permission and graveyard removal spells, crypt/relic/Scavenging Ooze activation.
3X Thoughtseize - inarguably the best 1cc discard spell available at the moment against combo.
3X Beast Within - seems good against Humility, a catch-all answer (Slaughter Pact #5-7).
1X Qasali Pridemage
1X Xantid Swarm


III. Advanced Techniques:
Turn two-win -- GSZ (or Birds of Paradise), 2 lands (Gaea's Cradle + fetchland/Bayou), Tinder Wall, Cabal Therapy, Natural Order. Turn 1 GSZ into Dryad Arbor or play BofP. Turn 2 play Cabal Therapy, Tinder Wall, drop Cradle and tap for :g::g:, sac Tinder Wall for :r::r:. Cast Natural Order for Hulk, flashback Therapy.

Comboing off with Body Double or Reveillark in hand -- read How To Play This Deck

Comboing off with both Body Double and Reveillark in hand -- use Hulk to search for: Academy Rector, Carrion Feeder, Wild Cantor, and Dryads Arbor. Sac Rector for Pattern of Rebirth on Dryad Arbor, sac Dryad Arbor into 2nd Hulk. Sac Hulk for 2 Tinder Walls + Wall of Roots + Mogg Fanatic. Hardcast Reveillark (2 Tinder Walls + Wild Cantor). Sac Reveillark to get back 1 Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor. Hardcast Body Double using all available resources (as Reveillark copy) and win from there.

Against creature removal -- use Hulk to search for: Academy Rector, Carrion Feeder, Viscera Seer, and Dryads Arbor in the deck (total CMC is still 6). Sacrifice Academy Rector in order to get a Pattern of Rebirth on a Dryad Arbor, sacrifice it for Body Double and go off as normal. There's no way an opponent can stop you if they are holding onto a single removal spell.

Against Surgical Extraction, Extirpate, Ravenous Trap, Stifle -- if you can't therapy these off their hand, you'll need GSZ or Fauna Shaman into Xantid Swarm to protect the combo.

Fighting Crypt and Relic of Progenitus -- with a Feeder or Seer in play, use Hulk to fetch Academy Rector + Qasali Pridemage. Destroy target artifact and go off as normal by sacrificing Rector.

Fighting Wheel of Sun and Moon and Leyline of the Void (when Progenitus won't get there) -- you'll need GSZ or Fauna Shaman into Qasali Pridemage.

Infinite mana + Pridemage activation on multiple targets, including a Ground Seal, Runed Halo and Leyline of Sanctity -- use Hulk to search for: Body Double + Viscera Seer. Sac Body Double (as Hulk copy) to get Academy Rector + Qasali Pridemage + Dryad Arbor. Sac Rector to Seer into Pattern of Rebirth on Dryad Arbor into Reveillark + Wild Cantor. Sac Wild Cantor for 1 and destroy target with Pridemage. Sacrifice Reveillark getting back Wild Cantor + Body Double (as Reveillark copy). After near infinite mana recursion and Pridemage activation, use Viscera Seer's ability to scry into Mogg Fanatic for the win.

IV. Matchup Analysis:
Except against dedicated control and faster combo decks, your matchups are generally favorable.

Against Force of Will + Swords to Plowshares - Variable win %
You have 4 Cabal Therapy + 4 GSZ for Xantid Swarm. Post board you can bring in Vexing Shusher or a second Swarm. There's also a variety of hate to choose from: Choke, City of Solitude, or Carpet of Flowers.

Against faster combo (Belcher/ANT/TES/SnT) - Variable win %
You can bring in discard spells. This will slow them down a few turns while you set up a combo turn or beat them with a Progenitus. You are the aggressor since you are packed with more threats than they can disrupt.

Against Merfolk - Excellent win %
Islandwalk does not work on you. Block their creatures while you wreck their hand with Therapy. Make sure there's no Cursecatcher that can put you off guard.

Against Ichorid - Excellent win %
Ichorid is a slower deck without LEDS and especially now with the manaless version. You burn their Bridges down by sacrificing creatures and win shortly thereafter.

Other Aggro decks - Excellent win %
Against G/w variants, watch out for Gaddock Teeg. You need to bring in no less than 4 Slaughter Pacts for this matchup.


V. Feature Articles:
1. From Rogue To Riches – SCG Open Pittsburgh @ ManaTalks.com (http://manatalks.com/blog/2011/08/scg-legacy-open-pittsburgh-from-rogue-to-riches/)
2. Deck Tech - Hulk Rebirth @ ManŠ Infinito.com (http://manainfinito.com/videos/deck-tech-hulk-rebirth-juan-miguel-carrascosa)



http://www.blackborder.com/images/graphs/4154.gif

VI. Updated Decklists:

Hulk Rebirth by Xantid Swarm
Creatures (20)
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Tinder Wall
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Body Double
1 Reveillark
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus

Spells (20)
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Sylvan Library

Lands (21)
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Gaea’s Cradle

Sidebord (15)
4 Slaughter Pact
4 Carpet of Flowers
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Sylvan Library
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Qasali Pridemage
3 Leyline of Sanctity

death
07-17-2011, 01:11 PM
Cardboard choices and matchup analysis coming shortly.

DragoFireheart
07-17-2011, 01:17 PM
Lots of dead draws. Faster aggro decks and/or tempo decks (Zoo/Merfolk) look like they would crush this deck easily. Show and Tell decks are faster and run protection.

birds of paradise2
07-17-2011, 01:24 PM
Wrong forum. Should be placed in new and development.

death
07-17-2011, 02:24 PM
The deck is favored against aggro and tempo. Against Show and Tell, you can combo off once it resolves if you have a sac outlet available.

Gocho
07-17-2011, 02:43 PM
Please refrain from posting comments unless

1. You read the Primer
2. You did some research
3. You playtested the list

thank you,
death

You can't post a deck and pretend that the people playtest before comment in The Source :D

We are testing a similar list here at Spain but with the Infinite Persist Combo in the place of the Reveilark and mana creatures. I put the deck at the teamstormboards. It have less dead draws because every creature is part of the combo kill, can search for defense to skip graveyard hate while comboing and plays more sacrifice effects and more defense (Thoughtseize in the place of Gitaxian Probe).

I'll post it if anyone want it.

mort-
07-17-2011, 05:26 PM
I would be interested in the list :) Thanks.

death
07-19-2011, 12:21 AM
We are testing a similar list here at Spain but with the Infinite Persist Combo in the place of the Reveilark and mana creatures.

On the contrary, from what I've seen so far 4 Meliras, 4 Feeders, 4-8 Persists says otherwise. List looks cold to spot or mass removal spells with no way of getting around them. I also don't see much acceleration going on compared to this deck which still has room for it.

Gocho
07-19-2011, 07:36 AM
On the contrary, from what I've seen so far 4 Meliras, 4 Feeders, 4-8 Persists says otherwise. List looks cold to spot or mass removal spells with no way of getting around them. I also don't see much acceleration going on compared to this deck which still has room for it.

I'll post the list today in a new primer and let that you see its resilient for yourself ;)

EDIT:
Done:
http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?21496-Persist-Hulk-Combo&p=569485#post569485

Sharpened
07-19-2011, 01:20 PM
Lots of dead draws. Faster aggro decks and/or tempo decks (Zoo/Merfolk) look like they would crush this deck easily. Show and Tell decks are faster and run protection.

Clearly, you've put a lot of thought and research into this statements. They obviously aren't initial impressions without any real thought, justification or other insight.

The deck is fast. I know playing it to a 7-2 record at SCG Baltimore. I combo'd out on turn 3, and that was with me hardcasting the Hulk. I raced storm on several occasions and won, although Bryant beat me by using Chant to delay me a turn and then topdecked his tutor to combo off. I beat a reanimator player who got a turn 2 Jin gitaxis. This deck is far faster then it looks.

The package of Cabal Therapy with Gitaxian Probe is really quite brutal. It really lets you tear through your opponents disruption and leave them helpless. It gives you the go ahead, knowing what your up against and it facilitates your combo.

There are actually not too many dead cards. The mana accelerators and walls are pretty useful. GSZ gives a lot of consistancy to do what you need to do, and 8 of the spells basically win you the game when they resolve (NO, Pattern). And having a 10/10 Pro everything as your backup plan is quality as well.

The deck can combo off totally ignoring a single instant speed removal spell, which is pretty impressive. And since you ussually have tons of information (due to probes and therapies) you know what you have to play around and how.

As for the Melira combo version, that seems slower, packed with dead draws and without any significant added benefit.

mrjumbo03
07-19-2011, 02:34 PM
I think Mogg Fanatic should be played over Death Cultist. It basically ends the game the same way, but it has the added benefit of killing random x/1 dorks such as Birds, Hierarch, Confidant etc. I think this is huge because Mogg Fanatic, prior to comboing, will have more of an effect than Death Cultist will ever have. And, another bonus is it lets you play around Leyline of Sanctity by killing all the blockers and letting you swing through with your 100/100 Carrion Feeder.

Gocho
07-19-2011, 04:42 PM
Clearly, you've put a lot of thought and research into this statements. They obviously aren't initial impressions without any real thought, justification or other insight.

The deck is fast. I know playing it to a 7-2 record at SCG Baltimore. I combo'd out on turn 3, and that was with me hardcasting the Hulk. I raced storm on several occasions and won, although Bryant beat me by using Chant to delay me a turn and then topdecked his tutor to combo off. I beat a reanimator player who got a turn 2 Jin gitaxis. This deck is far faster then it looks.

The package of Cabal Therapy with Gitaxian Probe is really quite brutal. It really lets you tear through your opponents disruption and leave them helpless. It gives you the go ahead, knowing what your up against and it facilitates your combo.

There are actually not too many dead cards. The mana accelerators and walls are pretty useful. GSZ gives a lot of consistancy to do what you need to do, and 8 of the spells basically win you the game when they resolve (NO, Pattern). And having a 10/10 Pro everything as your backup plan is quality as well.

The deck can combo off totally ignoring a single instant speed removal spell, which is pretty impressive. And since you ussually have tons of information (due to probes and therapies) you know what you have to play around and how.

As for the Melira combo version, that seems slower, packed with dead draws and without any significant added benefit.

The Melira version can combo with grave hate in the board/hand.
It looks like a significant benefit to me ;)
And it have the same requisites in the board to combo than this version. Speed isn't always better than toughness.

5doorfury
07-20-2011, 10:29 AM
@ Zero - I am interested in learning more about this deck. Could you post thoughts/ideas of what a starting SB would look like?

Going along with that, what are your big "worry" matchups or cards?

Sharpened
07-20-2011, 12:49 PM
Sideboard Cards:
3 Carpet of Flowers
3 Slaughter Pact
2 Xantid Swarm
1 Qasali Pridemage
2 Krosan Grip
4 Leyline of Sanctity

That's my sideboard, but Death may go with something else.

You need Slaughter Pacts for Gaddock Teeg. Being able to end him is pretty huge, as he shuts off your deck short of hardcasting Hulk.

Qasalit Pridemage is a good GSZ answer to most random hate you'll see, I tend to side him in no matter what.

The Grips are so you aren't just cold to Humility.

The leylines are becuase Storm is pretty much a nightmare matchup. Generally speaking, they are just faster then you.

Carpet of Flowers and extra Xantid swarms are for the control decks, obviously. They tend to have trouble fighting through your mana superiority and disruption, so overloading on those aspects is generally the way to go.

Really, there's not alot I find overly scary with the deck. Noninteractive combo, like storm decks, are a race, and that can be tough. Fortunately, dredge doesn't like decks that sacrifice their own creatures, so that noninteractive combo matchup is pretty favorable. Pure control decks aren't too tough, as you have a lot of diruption and must counterstuff. The merfolk aggro control decks aren't too bad either becuase you have enough things to slow them down (blockers) to by you time to force through a must counter. Playing against Goblins kinda felt like cheating, and other linear aggro is pretty much the same. NO RUG has given me problems, as they can combine countermagic with a fast clock and some removal, which does lead to headaches.

Basically, the deck has diverse methods of attack (Progenitus or Hulk Combo) and it's really hard to shut out both.

death
07-22-2011, 10:40 AM
Right now, in a vacuum, the scariest and most consistent decks would be

U/B ANT (w/ Gitaxian Probe)
U/B Reanimator (w/ Jin-Gitaxias)
Hive Mind
Spiral Tide

But since the coming of Mental Misstep/Flusterstorm and popularity of REB/Pyroblast, they are no longer at same the power level they used to be and the meta has always come prepared. This time, there is an opportunity for this deck to shine given the situation where most of their sb cards are dead against us.

Fwiw, I never liked Burning Wish in ANT.

Vandalize
07-22-2011, 07:49 PM
Can't you go for Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker and Sky Hussar as a 3rd (?) win condition?

You could remove some utility creatures and add those two guys for some straightfoward strategy combo. The only problem I see is drawing into them...

John Cox
07-23-2011, 12:25 AM
I played around with something similar to this using personal tutor to find Natural Order a while ago. I Originally had slaughter pact and Natural order as my combo, and had a sorcery speed sacrifice outlet that could be found with personal tutor. The deck was really janky.
This looks better, and I'll have to test it. I'm just wondering though, is there enough protection/disruption in this?

Xantid Swarm
07-24-2011, 07:40 PM
Hello everyone, I'm the one who built this deck and played it at Providence. My friend also played it to a top 64 finish at the GP (58th) and actualy enjoy a lot of success with it on MTGO.

I personaly do not play Body Snatcher. It's not needed and I recommand to cut it for 1 Wall of Roots. Wall of Roots is a good blocker and a good target for Pattern of Rebirth against decks packing Lightning Bolt / Fireblast / Pirokinesis. I also play Mogg Fanatic over Death Cultist as a more useful creature before combo.

There is a lot of way to fight grave hate. Most obvious is simply to cast NO for Progenitus. You can also use GSZ for Qasali Pridemage (an essential sideboard card) to destroy a Leyline of the Void. Against Tormod's Crypt or Relic of Progenitus the trick is to sac Hulk and get Pridemage + Academy Rector. You kill the Crypt or Relic with Pridemage and then combo out via Rector.

Your main protection and disruption are the 4 Therapy + Xantid Swarm. The fact that you can Zenith for Swarm is huge. Also, you play so much must-counter cards that even if a NO or a Pattern get countered, you are often able to cast another one next turn.

I tried Leyline of Sanctity in the side as Sharpened suggested and they are very good not only against storm but also against B/W discards decks. On a final note, any Show and Tell matchup is favourable because of your ability to win from your opponent Show and Tell so Hive Mind is not a scary matchup.

death
07-24-2011, 09:10 PM
@Xantid Swarm, welcome! I've found Wall of Roots to be a practical choice as it provides a steady source of :g: when I'm short on lands, especially against Wastelands. I find it really useful so I'm bringing it back. I'm going with 1/1 split with Tinder Wall and a Body Snatcher since I don't like hardcasting stuff once I start to go off.

@mrjumbo, Mogg Fanatic is more versatile, true. It's also castable via Tinder Wall (not just Cantor) if it gets stuck in the hand (and no Taiga). The reason why I'm sticking with Cultist is because I don't want to run a Taiga, the 2nd Savannah is what makes the mana base stable for casting Rector in cases when BofPs get shot down. I put more weight into getting the combo online as early as possible undisrupted.

@John Cox, I think the 9 protection spells pre-board are enough. Although I'm considering a 2-1 Probe/Thoughtseize split.

@Xantid Swarm, any help with the matchups and sideboard stategies will be appreciated.

PanderAlexander
07-24-2011, 09:25 PM
Hello everyone, I'm the one who built this deck and played it at Providence.

Welcome! Is your name Felix? I use to play with you a lot on MWS when I first joined legacy last year, I remember you playing flash-less hulk all the time.


This deck won the Jupiter games invitational yesterday, decklist is here:
http://sales.jupitergamesonline.com/articles/2011/07/top-8-decks-july-legacy-qualifier


Creature (21)
2x Tinder Wall
2x Protean Hulk
4x Birds of Paradise
1x Reveillark
1x Wild Cantor
1x Mogg Fanatic
1x Progenitus
1x Academy Rector
1x Viscera Seer
1x Body Double
1x Xantid Swarm
1x Wall of Roots
1x Starved Rusalka
1x Carrion Feeder
2x Dryad Arbor
Land (20)
3x Verdant Catacombs
2x Wooded Foothills
2x Misty Rainforest
2x Windswept Heath
1x Savannah
1x Forest
3x Bayou
3x Ancient Tomb
2x Dryad Arbor
1x Phyrexian Tower
Sorcery (12)
4x Natural Order
4x Gitaxian Probe
4x Cabal Therapy
Enchantment (4)
4x Pattern of Rebirth
Sideboard (8)
2x Carpet of Flowers
1x Choke
1x Xantid Swarm
2x Krosan Grip
3x Null Rod
1x Qasali Pridemage
4x Slaughter Pact
1x Sylvan Library

Xantid Swarm
07-24-2011, 10:11 PM
@PanderAlexander: Yes, my name is Felix. I used to play this deck a lot on MWS months ago, so we probably played together.

This list (Jupiter Games) is almost my list minus Gaea's Cradle (the 4 Green Sun's Zenith are missing but it's probably a retranscription mistake).

@death: thanks for your good comments on my deck, I'm very happy to see this thread.

Even without Taiga, Mogg Fanatic is playable from Tinder Wall, Wild Cantor, Birds of Paradise and post-board Carpet of Flowers. Fanatic is not only better pre-combo but sometime after combo. But anyway, most of the time it will do no difference.

Edit: I just watched the coverage of last Jupiter Games tournement. Robert Green was definitly playing Gaea's Cradle. For those of you wanting to see the deck in action, you can take a look here:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jupiter-games-legacy-series

PanderAlexander
07-24-2011, 11:53 PM
Edit: I just watched the coverage of last Jupiter Games tournement. Robert Green was definitly playing Gaea's Cradle

Ya, when he end of turn cracks both fetches and gets double dryad arbor, then drops Gaea's Cradle, pretty good.

Xantid Swarm
07-25-2011, 12:35 AM
There is also an interesting match at round 5 when he played against Hive Mind (you can see the coverage, it was featured).

He won game 1 back on his opponent playing Show and Tell as he put Pattern of Rebirth directly in play, enchanting Tinder Wall, and then sac Tinder Wall to get Protean Hulk and finaly sac Hulk via Phyrexian Tower.

Game 3 he managed to put all his hand into play on turn 2: Bayou, Cradle, 2 Birds, Tinder Wall, Wild Cantor and Starved Rusalka. At this point commentators was saying that it's crapy to have a lot of "useless" creatures and nothing going. But it was in fact an excellent position, as he have access at that point to 11 mana and can win on any of those top deck: Pattern, NO, Academy Rector, GSZ, Protean Hulk. It's a total of 15 cards! He can also pay for any pact is opponent can play via Hive Mind. Fair enough, the next turn he draw Green Sun's Zenith, cast it for X=7 and win the game...

Last comment on this matchup: always board-in all your Slaughter Pact against Hive Mind in order to maximize your chance of killing your Protean Hulk after a Show and Tell. I do not think Robert Green did it and he would have won game 2 with a Slaughter Pact in hand.

caggii
07-25-2011, 02:15 AM
im bobby greene the one that won at jupiter on sat i will say i have found the hive mind matchup to be favorable although my opponent didnt seem to agree with me and the deck is a ton of fun to play i played the deck at the last 2 jupiter event going 5-0-2 at both yesterday i had only one game loss on the day and last month took a bad beat from g/w the deck is for real and can just do some stupid stuff im sad it has a post on here because now people may actually know whats going on when they play me lol

PanderAlexander
07-25-2011, 05:27 AM
im bobby greene the one that won at jupiter... im sad it has a post on here because now people may actually know whats going on when they play me lol

Congrats on the win at Jupiter, I don't think the deck will be really popular until it top 8s in a large-scale tournament such as a SCG, GP, or BoM, until then you can stay low-key ;)

nonja
07-25-2011, 07:45 AM
Robert's deck lacks three cards: one of them is Gaea's Cradle, other two - GGZ?
http://sales.jupitergamesonline.com/articles/2011/07/top-8-decks-july-legacy-qualifier

Xantid Swarm
07-25-2011, 08:01 AM
The reported list lack many cards in fact. I guess Green was playing 4 Green Sun's Zenith, 1 Gaea's Cradle and 1 Fauna Shaman that do not appear in the list. Also, the 2 Dryad Arbor was reported in double (in the creatures section AND in the lands section).

I think he was playing my 61 cards list:
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Tinder Wall
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Body Double
1 Reveillark
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Gaea’s Cradle

caggii
07-25-2011, 08:06 AM
Thats what I plan to do with a little more luck In boston in about a month. I didnt look at the list they posted but I definatly had a Cradle and a set of GSZ

death
07-25-2011, 07:00 PM
Sweet-looking deck you got there. I wasn't convinced that fanatic is the right call until I saw this line of play: Sac Tinder Wall, cast Pattern on a 1/1, cast fanatic off Tinder Wall mana. Ping the 1/1 to put a 10/10 pro-everything into play. You played very tightly, grats on the win there bobby!

So I dug through my stuff and realized I sold off my fanatics when they made changes to the combat damage step. Now I have to re-order one :) fuck the Savannah

Xantid Swarm
07-25-2011, 09:51 PM
For those of you interested to learn more how the deck work and how to play it, you can read the primer I did for MTG Salvation there:

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=333355

And there is also this article I wrote on it for Mana Deprived:

http://manadeprived.com/2011/06/one-year-of-gaming-with-protean-hulk.html

@death: Feel free to take some part from this to complete your opening post, if you want and think it's apropriate.

PanderAlexander
07-25-2011, 11:11 PM
For those of you interested to learn more how the deck work and how to play it, you can read the primer I did for MTG Salvation there:

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=333355


Awesome primer Felix, super detailed.

Admiral_Arzar
07-26-2011, 05:27 PM
This deck looks freaking awesome. I'm probably going to impulsively pick up Natural Orders as a result of seeing this list, as I have a weakness for all sorts of combo decks.

My one question for the designers is: Is Cabal Therapy and GSZ -> Xantid Swarm really enough protection to beat blue? My meta is very blue-heavy at the moment, so it's rather difficult to fight through with traditional fast combo decks like TES.

death
07-26-2011, 06:28 PM
Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. They can hide their Forces if they have a Brainstorm and proceed to Misstep your flashback later on, or double Misstep a Therapy. It depends on your timing really. There are blue-based decks that don't run Snare so you can Zenith > Swarm around their permission. But they can also answer it back with Swords.

My thoughts on the sideboard are, 3 City of Solitude against control and 3 Thoughtseize for combo-control like Hive Mind.

Right now is a good time to buy Natural Orders, they're down to $32 from an average of $37 last week.

Xantid Swarm
07-26-2011, 07:09 PM
Honestly, and I told that after lots of games, this deck is well equiped to beat blue. The main reason is that all your essentials spells are not counterable by Misstep and Spell Snare. Most of time, game 1 their only anser to NO is Force of Will and they can't play more than 4. You have 4 NO, 4 Pattern and 1 Rector that are often all must-counter spells. You also have 4 Cabal Therapy (that can be flashbacked), 1 Swarm, 4 GSZ that can get Swarm (and you can pay 3 to cast it around spell snare). Gitaxian Probe can also help there to told you if you need to play around Force, Spell Snare, Daze, etc.

Post board, you side-in more Xantid Swarm and also Carpet of Flowers that are amazing. I tried City of Solitude as death suggest but I believe Carpet of Flowers are just better. Carpet generally give you enough mana to blank Daze and Spell Pierce and it's not long that you reach the point where you can cast GSZ directly for Hulk. At that point, it's impossible for your blue opponent to counter all you win-con. With 2 Carpets out, it's even possible to hardcast Progenitus (ok that's a very rare scenario but this append)!

If you play tight, the majority of blue matchup are favourable.

caggii
07-26-2011, 08:31 PM
At jupiter in the last 2 events i went 5-0-2 at the first lost in the quarters and this month 8-0-2 with the win about 8 of those decks were blue 2 hivemind 4 u/w 1 rug and 1 forceless bant. I am pretty sure in all those matches i have only lost like 3 games so i would say with tight play blue is a decent matchup. The only Decks I worry about are faster combo and good g/w hatebears lists as mom plus mindscenser and teeg can be rough

death
07-27-2011, 02:30 AM
I was thinking about this card last week, forgot about it. Vexing Shusher can be hardcast or through GSZ definitely a strong option.

EDIT: I'll be working on the primer during my spare time. we'll stay low-key untill then ..

Admiral_Arzar
07-27-2011, 10:03 AM
I was thinking about this card last week, forgotten then remembered Vexing Shusher can be hardcast or through GSZ definitely a strong option.

Yeah, I thought about that guy yesterday. Is he worth the slot? It seems like this deck often generates a lot of mana, so he might be worth a thought, I don't know.

Norm
07-27-2011, 10:08 AM
He has nearly all the same weaknesses of Xantid swarm in this deck, except that he's worse. While you're able to sink mana into him to make something un-counterable, you could still lose to stifle/extirpate/double removal when going off. Swarm is just better imo.

bokwinkle
07-27-2011, 11:11 AM
Congrats on the win at Jupiter, I don't think the deck will be really popular until it top 8s in a large-scale tournament such as a SCG, GP, or BoM, until then you can stay low-key ;)

This is funny to me, because Upsate NY has one of the strongest legacy Meta's in the country and the Jupiter event was a 3k. People that understand what it takes to win at Jupiter have already counted this list as a deck to beat.

Grat's on your finish by the way bobby - I know smelski is pissed that you're beating him in the points race...lol.

Xantid Swarm
07-27-2011, 07:30 PM
@death: Very nice to see that you are actualy working on the primer. Just want to say, as an important note, that I always played 2 Tinder Wall. For some reason, the list posted on the mothership was lacking 1 Tinder Wall (and the Medina's article that you link to in your opening post just recopy that mistake). Playing 2 Tinder Wall is important to permit you to hardcast Body Double or Reveillark when you go off so I recommand to never play less than 2.

Edit - I understand that in your list, you cut 1 Tinder Wall for Body Snatcher as with him you don't need to hardcast Body Double/Reveillark in the middle of combo. If you take that route, I think it's better to cut Wild Cantor instead of your second Tinder Wall as Tinder Wall is just better than Cantor when you draw it.

About Vexing Shusher:

He has nearly all the same weaknesses of Xantid swarm in this deck, except that he's worse. While you're able to sink mana into him to make something un-counterable, you could still lose to stifle/extirpate/double removal when going off. Swarm is just better imo.

Unfortunatly this is 100% true. There is no real situation where you'll Zenith for it as if you plan to go off next turn, you'll get a Swarm. If you want to go off this turn and get him as a protection, you need to cast Zenith X=2 + NO/Pattern and need 1 free mana to be able to activate his ability at least once. That's a total of 8 mana. At 8 mana, it's just better to cast GSZ for Hulk...

So, in my opinion, against counterspells decks, best options remain Carpet of Flower, additionals Xantid Swarm and City of Solitude. I actualy play 4 Carpet + 2 Swarm in my side but City of Solitude has some merit too.

PanderAlexander
07-27-2011, 09:27 PM
Congrats on the win at Jupiter, I don't think the deck will be really popular until it top 8s in a large-scale tournament such as a SCG, GP, or BoM, until then you can stay low-key ;)

This is funny to me, because Upsate NY has one of the strongest legacy Meta's in the country and the Jupiter event was a 3k. People that understand what it takes to win at Jupiter have already counted this list as a deck to beat.

Your post makes no sense what-so-ever to what you quoted. You quote on me saying the deck isn't that popular but yet you don't mention anything in your post about what you quoted. Instead you go on about how Jupiter has a strong meta and the deck is strong. Reading is a pretty good skill, re-read my post I didn't mention anything about Jupiter meta or the deck being strong or not. I already know Jupiter has a strong meta, infact on our westcoastlegacy forum I even say I hope our meta and players become as strong as Jupiters:
http://www.forums.westcoastlegacy.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=218&p=1618#p1618

As for how strong the deck is, you don't have to tell us that, we know otherwise we probably wouldn't be posting in this thread. If you're going to quote me, at least talk about what you're quoting. I still stand by what you quoted, that the decks popularity will not rise until it top 8s a major tournament. But that is something I'm happy with, because I don't want it to end up like SnT Hive Mind where everyone and their grandma are playing it. One thing I love about this combo deck is there are many lines of play and overall requires a skilled pilot, unlike SnT Hive Mind which is much more simpler.

Back on topic, I agree with Felix on Shusher, he may dodge misstep and counters unlike Xantid but he ends up being a mana sink, GSZ him for 3 and then essentially making each spell cost one more to become uncounterable. Regardless tonight our group will be testing Shusher anyways.

caggii
07-28-2011, 01:06 AM
This is funny to me, because Upsate NY has one of the strongest legacy Meta's in the country and the Jupiter event was a 3k. People that understand what it takes to win at Jupiter have already counted this list as a deck to beat.

Grat's on your finish by the way bobby - I know smelski is pissed that you're beating him in the points race...lol.

Actually he still has me just beat because of his top 8 on the sat event last month but i hope to take the lead next month.

Elle
07-28-2011, 03:52 PM
I'm playing the deck atm and it is very funny and strong.
I would suggest one Grand Abolisher in the board. We can use it for win through multiple grave-hate like Scavenging Ooze, Tormods, Relic or activated abilities that do not hallow us to win.
We must have the same conditions with Qasali Pridemage (almost 1 sac outlet, but 0 mana), we can put in play with the Hulk an Academy Rector, Grand Abolisher and the Dryad Arbor, then proceed to sacrifice Rector, fetch Pattern and go off.
If the opponents doesn't respond at the first Hulk trigger with a Surgical Extraction/Estirpate it's gg. On the contrary we can take Progenitus.

Unfortunatly Zenith can't take the abolisher.

(i don't know how to link the cards)

Xantid Swarm
07-28-2011, 05:17 PM
Grand Abolisher. I think that if it's cost would have been 1W or even better (for us) GW, it would have been a good sideboard option. At WW, I just can't see how we could run it. If you test it, I'm sure you'll run 2 Savannah but even that way, the card will often be a death draw.

The other problem is that Grand Abolisher do nothing against Leyline of the Void, so you still need Pridemage. That said, if you try it let us know if it work for you.

bokwinkle
07-28-2011, 09:31 PM
oh, I meant no offence. It was more of a back-handed compliment than anything else. I suppose I should have just said I think you guys are doing a hell of a job here - and you're failing at keeping it low key :)

I'm curious where the deck falls down, what hate works, which pieces to take with discard and which creatures to kill (and in response to what) - but this isn't a thread on how to beat the deck...lol...so I'm left sitting here trying to figure it all out, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Sharpened
07-30-2011, 09:16 PM
Well, I played the deck without Fauna Shaman. Didn't really miss it. Won a 37 person tourney in Baltimore, one of 02drop.com's local tourneys, so now I have a nice pretty Mox Saphire (Hooray for prize support).

Scavenging Ooze out of the board was ridiculously good, as was Leylines of Sanctity.

I don't know that there's many changes to make, the decklist is so tight, I always found it difficult to sideboard cards out to bring in cards from the board.

[sic]
07-30-2011, 09:36 PM
horay! interesting choice on gy hate. Did you really feel it's that necessary and you can't outrace them? Previous lists didn't have any.

I wouldn't cut Fauna Shaman as it adds consistency to the deck. I've seen Mr. Ross-Latour's latest list and it didn't run cradles, he was playing 3 Tinder Walls though which I think has merits against non-basic land hate. Against blue, is Carpet really better than City of Solitude? I mean, it can be misstepped and it's only good when you have multiple threats and they have 1 FoW. And is burn/discard prevalent in your meta hence Leyline of Sanctity?

Sharpened
07-30-2011, 10:06 PM
Re: The GY hate - it seemed worth it. It's not absolutely necessary, but I did get paired against reanimator (twice) and dredge. While racing is the better option, its not always possible. Having the ability to zenith for gy hate was really nice, and sealed me games I might have been in trouble otherwise.

Fauna shaman just seems unneeded to me. I never want to see it, am almost always unhappy when I do. I didn't miss it.

I haven't tested City of Solitude, but it seems redundant with Xantid Swarms. The carpet is pretty nice, although I'm not sure its necessary. I still ran some, but they weren't all stars for me. Pernicious Deeds were actually pretty strong at crushing my mana generation when I didn't go off early against Blue decks.

The Leylines were originally put in the board for Storm combo, which is a pretty abyssmal matchup. The benefit against discard is enough to make me really glad I have them, and while its nice that I have them for Burn if I see it, it wasn't part of my decision making process. I find they make a difference in situations that are particularly problematic, so I've been very pleased with them in the board.

[sic]
07-31-2011, 08:25 PM
I don't think the deck will be really popular until it top 8s in a large-scale tournament such as a SCG, GP, or BoM, until then you can stay low-key ;)

Felix in the top 4, looking forward to a feature match between him against GerryT or Eli :)

PanderAlexander
08-01-2011, 03:47 AM
Congrats to Felix on top 4 at SCG Pittsburg! Hope to see a report soon.

Xantid Swarm
08-01-2011, 01:19 PM
I just came back at Montreal. I'll try to post a tournement report soon.

Norm
08-01-2011, 03:56 PM
I just came back at Montreal. I'll try to post a tournement report soon.

Looking forward to it, I'd really like to read about your thoughts on the Zoo match.

[sic]
08-01-2011, 05:20 PM
The Zoo player would have lost if he sticked to an aggro plan, apparently he switched gears and played control which won him the round.

Xantid Swarm
08-01-2011, 06:54 PM
The Zoo player would have lost if he sticked to an aggro plan, apparently he switched gears and played control which won him the round.

That's true, but even playing control, Zoo can't beat this deck most of the time. In the three games, I mulligan and kept cluncky 6 cards hands. Also note that he got very explosive hands game 2 and 3.

Game 2, with my Therapy in graveyard, I just needed to resolve my Natural Order to win. I missed the crucial third land that would have permitted me to cast GSZ for Wall of Roots. I'm convinced that with a Wall of Roots I would have won it.

Game 3, I needed to draw an Ancient Tomb or a Tinder Wall to be able to combo out around any burn spell he could have as I was holding a Natural Order and two Slaughter Pact. By the way, the Slaughter Pact I casted against his Lavamancer was a clear misplay, anihilating my chances of winning on my turn 4.

That said, even if Zoo is a good matchup, it's by no way an auto-win. They can kill your mana creatures and answer Pattern of Rebirth by a burn spell. Still, it's the first time I lost a match to Zoo that do not involved Gaddock Teeg.

Jacob
08-01-2011, 10:30 PM
Hey, Felix. Not sure if you remember me, but I was the judge at Providence from the last grinder on Friday. Gratz on SCG!

My friend and I have been playing around with the list. We replaced Gaea's Cradle with a second Phyrexian Tower and added more basic lands. The reasoning is that if I have a bunch of crits, then I tend to have a lot of mana producers out anyway. Phyrexian Tower plays more to the outs and provides another sac outlet. I don't have the current decklist with me, but I will post it.

And on general principle, we never play more than 60+15. :)

Vandalize
08-01-2011, 10:51 PM
Don't hate me but, switching all these winconditions/utility creatures for a Sky Hussar + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, isn't a viable contidion? They can go off Protean Hulk as well.

I mean, you can just remove 10 creatures from the deck to add countermagic/discard as another disrupt plan, and stick with NO Prog plan as second condition. That would make the combo pretty straightfoward and you wouldn't need sick tricks to fight hate (that might take the fun out of the deck, actually).

It's just an idea, but with some cantriping, you can get the previously mentioned combo online pretty much going.

[sic]
08-01-2011, 11:05 PM
Instead of Sky Hussar, you can actually use Karmic Guide + Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker. Just replace Body Double and voila! I'm not sold on the idea of using cantrips in this particular deck because that forces a blue splash, which then opens up a weakness to REBs and whatnot. In addition to a likely unstable 5-color mana base which can lose to Stifle, Wasteland, etc.

Countermagic is for Hive Mind and discard is for storm, both decks dedicate 7-8 slots for them in the main. This deck has only 4 Cabal Therapy like Breakfast for protection but even so they both use it differently.

Jacob
08-02-2011, 01:25 PM
Current decklist

2 Wooded Foothills
1 Windswept Heath
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Bayou
1 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
3 Forest
1 Swamp
3 Ancient Tomb
2 Phyrexian Tower
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Tinder Wall
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Devoted Druid
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Body Double
1 Reveillark
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus
Spells (20)
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Green Suns Zenith
Sideboard (15)
2 Krosan Grip
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Xantid Swarm
4 Dismember
4 Mental Misstep
1 Thrun, the Last Troll
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Harmonic Sliver

Sharpened
08-02-2011, 02:07 PM
Regarding using Kiki-Jiki, why would you want to add a vulnerability to Karakas (if used in conjunction with Sky Hussar)? I also don't see the benefit. I guess if you replaced mogg fanatic with kiki-jiki and body double with karmic guide then you save 1 slot becuase you can cut the revielark. Of course, you need to attack to win, and I've won games where my opponent had a Blazing Archon in play. The idea that switching to a Kiki-Jiki combo frees up something like 10 slots seems crazy to me. What are you cutting?

Jacob -
Why a devoted druid (instead of a second tinder wall)? I guess with your mana base, getting double green seems less assured, but it definitly seems slower.

Can you explain your sideboard?
Isn't Dismember just a downgrade from slaughter pact?
Why do you find mental misstep necessary?
Whats the point of the sliver and thrun?

lorddotm
08-02-2011, 02:46 PM
Your post makes no sense what-so-ever to what you quoted. You quote on me saying the deck isn't that popular but yet you don't mention anything in your post about what you quoted. Instead you go on about how Jupiter has a strong meta and the deck is strong. Reading is a pretty good skill, re-read my post I didn't mention anything about Jupiter meta or the deck being strong or not. I already know Jupiter has a strong meta, infact on our westcoastlegacy forum I even say I hope our meta and players become as strong as Jupiters:
http://www.forums.westcoastlegacy.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=218&p=1618#p1618


He is just saying that it is funny that the Jupiter events aren't considered major events, even though they give out 3k in prize.

No need to panties in bunches.

Jacob
08-02-2011, 02:58 PM
Devoted Druid provides G, can be a constant source of mana, can kill itself as easily and can be used as a Pattern Target/NO cost after providing 2 mana.

I view Dismember as an upgrade. Dismember hits Yixlid Jailer (and less of a concern Bob or a Batterskull token), doesn't cost you your next turn and is less vulnerable to Counterbalance/Spellstutter Sprite. You can cast Dismember without any black sources. In the face of Trinisphere, Dismember can be 1BB, 2B 2life or 3 and 4life. Pact is a 3 and 2B on your next turn.

I like Misstep because I think the deck is very vulnerable to Misstep itself, there is always 1cc removal and can use the disruption to buy time. The other choice we considered was 4 goyfs and transitioning out of gy requirements.

Thrun eats Jace/landstill for lunch, is Hexproof for added Pattern utility, can't be Submerged and is a great crit in general. It also helps if you are thinking of transitioning into Goyfs, which we were.

Sliver is arguably better that Qasali. Ultimately, the mana costs and effects are the same. Sliver cannot be Pithing Needled/Revokered, provides CC variety (which I am a fan of) and its a sliver (which adds insult to injury). Basically, I think it is better choice than a second Qasali. Qasali is great in so many matchups...

I am seriously considering Death Cultist instead of Fanatic, simply because I like to be able to cast the combo piece if necessary. Having Fanatic in hand is more of an auto-mull. They each have their up sides. I expect to be seeing more Angel's Grace because of Hive Mind, gets past Glacial Chasm and you have the added possible use of lifegain for some odd reason. Maybe you are up against Suture Sisters or Luminesce! Been there, done that. :(

[sic]
08-02-2011, 04:03 PM
@Jacob I don't see any other outs in your build if you draw double or lark but to therapy yourself.

Sharpened
08-02-2011, 08:23 PM
Thanks for explaining your reasoning Jacob. Granted, I disagree with most of your points, but I do appreciate the explanation.

Devoted Druid seems like it should take the place of Wall of Roots if your going to play it. They both are sources of G with a CMC of 2 that can kill themselves. But it seems to me that the wall is better. Also, cutting one of the tinder walls makes it much harder for you to go off with body double or revillark in hand (2 tinders and a cantor to cast them).

Do we even care about Yixlid Jailer (not that I have seen one played since survival was banned)? Sure it means we cant flash back Cabal Therapy, but it doesn't stop us from going off. It's ability to kill Bob or a Germ token doesn't seem to be more relevant than the Pact's ability to kill Iona or our own Hulk. Paying life to Dismember may be costly, as between Probe and Ancient Tombs, we are already eating into our own life. Counterbalance isn't much of a concern (another deck I haven't seen played regularly in 2011) and while the Sprite is on the rise, I have yet to see it be an issue. Besides, what are the decks that you are playing against that you want to side in your removal, but are facing Trinisphere or Spellstutter or Counterbalance? I tend to only side in the Pacts against decks that play creatures that stop me from winning (like Teeg, Iona, Canonist, Jin-Gitax or something). Most decks with those problem creatures don't also have the cards that make your Dismembers (which are never free) better than the Pacts (which are often totally free).

I don't see how this deck is vulnerable to Misstep. None of the spells that matter get countered by it. I guess Therapy is an exception, but I'm never upset to have a therapy in my graveyard, and knocking a counterspell out of my opponents hand is what I want Therapy to do (and if they misstep it, it did). If your opponent is winning by trading 1 for 1 with your Birds, Probe's, and Therapies than you probably should have mulliganed. Besides, siding in reactive cards is not how you want to be fighting misstep. Things like Xantid Swarm are how you fight misstep (as well as other removal), and GSZ means you have far more than they do. Besides, you should be able to go off even if they have a StP.

Thrun actually seems solid. I've had a bit of issues with Pernicious Deed based Landstill decks, I think Thrun would be solid there.

Sliver doesn't seem necessary. It doesn't beat down as well as the pridemage, and I don't see the benefit. I've never wanted to side in multiple pridemages, as anything that makes me want more enchantment kill has me fearing Humility so I want the KGrips in that situation. I rarely bring those in, I question whether they are worth the spot in the board, but I hate being dead to Humility or some other card. Why is your opponent needling pridemage? Why wouldn't they needle your wincon or sac outlet? And if they devote that much effort to preventing you from using Fanatic, so what, kill them with Progenitus. As for CMC diversity, since its a 1 of, your likely using GSZ to fetch it, which means the relevant CMC is whatever you want it to be.

As for Death Cultists, again your argument seems off. Being more likely to be able to cast a creature that has little to no effect on the board state doesn't seem to matter. At least the Fanatic can kill creatures (and does). Besides, fanatic would be easier to cast if you hadn't modified the manabase and made it worse. Angel's grace shouldn't matter. I fail to see any relevant situations where a Death cultist would win you the game and a fanatic would not with regards to that card - after all, dont you just kill them on the next upkeep almost always? (I suppose with fanatic, they can chain Angel's graces to get extra turns, but if your planning for situations where you opponent can chain angel's graces and kill you then your should probably invest in some tiger insurance, becuase your about as likely to get mauled by one as that scenario). And the suture sisters is another horrible example - as fanatic is the only creature that lets you win in that situation (you have 2 creatures that come into play on every cycle, so not only do you still lose 1 life, but they gain at least 2 for every 1 you do to them - Fanatic just kills the creatures then kills your opponent). Glacial Chasm is at least a valid concern, but they should have real difficulty setting it up in time, plus they have to get rid of your setup before letting the chasm leave play even for a second, and that cumulative upkeep will get tricky for them.

BTW, I apologize if I was overly harsh, it just seems like most of your points dont make sense. Are you really playing in a Counterbalance and Trinisphere saturated metagame?

Jacob
08-02-2011, 09:13 PM
No need to apologize. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comments on this. Really. And, you are far less harsh than Ozymandias, who is usually ripping every idea I have to shreds. Which I appreciate immensely! I hate having tournaments be the learning experiences. Up to now, I have been playing a different deck almost every tournament, but this looks like the type of deck I could get to know and love.

To be exact, this (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?21288-Tournament-Sunday-July-31-2011-Los-Angeles-CA-Knight-Ware-Inc.-10-entry&p=572866&viewfull=1#post572866) is my metagame. I play at Knight Ware. This is one of the "small" Legacy events we have, with the big ones having ~60 people. Todd likes to throw a wrench into things and is just good enough to make it to Top 8, but the field really is that diverse. We even had someone running Pattern Hulk before we even knew how well Felix placed. And every deck runs at least some gy hate in the side, if not in the main, since we tend to be dredge and life from the loam heavy. Although, surprisingly, we only had one dredge player at this tournament. The amount of gy hate in every sideboard is pretty heinous and might be why the deck is getting less popular. I want to play Pattern Hulk at this (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?21484-Los-Angeles-CA-Sunday-August-21-2011-Knight-Ware-FBB-French-Tundras-20-Entry).

The reason we changed the mana base was the number of wastelands I can expect to see. Notice there were 14/32 Wasteland in the Top 8.

Mental Misstep is a recent try. That spot was formerly occupied by 4 goyf. I do like the Leylines of Sanctity, though I'm not sure I am not better off with Leylines of the Void considering how much loam/dredge I expect to see. Although, I think dredge is a horrible pick in Los Angeles right now, it is cheap to build and we have a lot of newish Legacy players. Our players are mostly familiar with how to deal with dredge and have at least 4 SB cards devoted to it, so it doesn't have the element of surprise it might at something like an SCG Open.

Do you run Felix's list? Could you tell me how you sideboard against the more common decks? What are the most expendable pieces?

Sharpened
08-02-2011, 10:10 PM
I run very close to his list. I run a 2nd forest instead of a Cradle, becuase I think 2 basics are necessary. I also cut the Fauna Shaman. While it does let you combo without Drawing a NO or Pattern, I cant imagine GSZ-->Shaman-->Rector-->Combo off to be a real route to success under any form of pressure.

Sideboarding is a real inexact science for me so far.
If my opponent isn't an aggro deck, I side out Wall of Roots.
If my opponent doesn't play countermagic, I side out Xantid Swarm.
From there, it gets harder to shave and there are less rules.
I'm willing to take out 2 patterns, if I feel the need.
If I expect to use Progenitus, I may side out 1 Hulk (I actually did this, then was in a position to go off but had my only hulk in hand - I could just get progenitus, but I waited as my opponent could reanimate Blazing Archon; I ended up saccing the patterned creature for a Tinder wall and hardcasting Hulk the next turn and winning that way, so going to 1 Hulk still can work).
I'll often cut 1 or 2 Probe's. I think I'm fairly good with Cabal Therapy, so the Probes are less valueable in games 2 and 3, as I know what they are playing and have decent idea of what to play around.
If I'm bringing in Carpet of Flowers, I will often cut BoPs and a Fetchland to make room.

My default sideboarding has me always bringing in Pridemage. He's my go to answer for anything. Between him and Progenitus, I don't fear any GY hate. The only hate I do fear is something like Gaddock Teeg, which is what the Slaughter pacts come in against, as well as Reanimator.

I've found the only GY hate I need is a singleton Scavenging Ooze. Your already favorable against dredge due to so many creatures that sacrifice themselves allowing you to eat their Bridges. As such, they have to try and grind you out with Ichorids ussually or a Impressive Dread Return target. Ooze answers both of those problems, for when you don't combo them out quickly. Ooze eats Loam as well if thats what you want to do. And against Reanimator, in a long game, Ooze just wins, and for the quick stuff, you are already running slaughter pact.

I don't think you need to sideboard for Hivemind, as the deck seems well positioned against them. I'd just bring in Pridemage for Wall of Roots and thats it.

Against Zenith Bant decks, I'd bring in the Pacts and Pridemage, probably cutting something along the lines of 1 Wall of Roots, 1 Pattern, 2 Probe, 1 xantid swarm - again, this is a general rule, not a hard one. Seeing something like stifle would make me leave a swarm in.

Junk decks I don't have much sideboard for, I tend to just bring in pridemage for wall of roots and thats it.

The Leylines are for storm combo. I've played them against storm, belcher, and the like. I did bring them in against a mono black deck that ran helm and leyline combo, but that was kinda unexpected.

I dunno, I think the sideboard and sideboarding is probably where I need the most work. Fortunately, having the Hulk combo and the Progenitus as to very direct, very different lines of attack in the maindeck allows for not much need in sideboarding.

Goaswerfraiejen
08-03-2011, 09:49 AM
Just wanted to pop in and say that I've been giving the deck a spin, and I'm really enjoying it. It feels more interactive than storm combo, but just as complex, nuanced, and resilient (if often a bit slower). I ESPECIALLY love being able to go off thanks to Emrakul's annihilator: I love facing Show and Tell decks.


On Mogg Fanatic: being able to ping away problem creatures like Meddling Mage, Phyrexian Revoker, Platinum Angel, Platinum Emperion, etc. is a real boon. If you have a Fanatic in your hand, it's easy enough to cast it by fetching either Tinder Wall or Wild Cantor with the hulk activation that would otherwise grab the Fanatic and Reveillark. Doesn't matter if it's countered.

Jacob
08-03-2011, 01:05 PM
BTW, I just found this last night. http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=333355 It is Felix's primer. Good thing to read.

Also, what do you think of 1 Vigean Hydropon instead of 2 Grips in the board for Humility? It becomes a 6/6 tutor target.

Sharpened
08-03-2011, 06:57 PM
BTW, I just found this last night. [url]
Also, what do you think of 1 Vigean Hydropon instead of 2 Grips in the board for Humility? It becomes a 6/6 tutor target.

Well, I have to give you credit for a wild idea. I never would have thought of that. But when it comes down to it, any creature that can be chumpblocked repeatedly (as any creature can while humility is in play) doesn't seem like the way to go. Since it seems like the creature would only be useful in that situation, and it doesnt do enough to garuntee victory in that situation, I can't think its a good idea. Neat idea though.

Xantid Swarm
08-03-2011, 10:17 PM
@Jacob: Sure I remember you. You was realy enthousiastic on the deck at Providence. Nice to see you on this thread!

About the list, main deck:

I'm agree with Sharpened on about everything except on Fauna Shaman. I still think Fauna Shaman is essential - and yes, I sometime win by casting GSZ into Fauna Shaman, tutoring for Academy Rector. For me, FS is always nuts against any control or aggro-control deck if they don't remove it immediatly.

I'm agree to cut Gaea's Cradle (probably for a fetchland - but a second Forest as merits too). In one game at Pittsburg I mulligan 2 excellent hands in a row because my only land was Gaea's Cradle. Cradle did provide epic win from time to time but I dont think it worth it anymore. In my list it's a vestige of an ancient version of the deck that pre-date GSZ. At that time, I played more creatures.

I also badly want to play a fourth Ancient Tomb. Games with Tomb is always 1 turn faster and a starting hand with a Tomb is so often the nuts that I want to maximize my chances of having it. Turn 2 Progenitus is very good, but also the possibility of casting GSZ into Fauna Shaman or Wall of Roots on turn 2 is great in many matchup. I realy think I'll cut 1 Pattern of Rebirth main to be able to play 4 Tombs. The only reason I'm not sure of that is Hive Mind because in that matchup you realy want to be able to put a Pattern into play on the back of Show and Tell.

About sideboard and sideboarding:

I do not play Krosan Grip anymore. Since nobody play Counterbalance, it's not useful enough to justify keeping them.

I use about the same sideboarding strategies than Sharpened. Against Hive Mind, I bring my four Slaughter Pact as I want to be able to kill my Hulk as fast as possible. I in fact bring my four pacts against every combo deck for the acceleration they provide.

I also realy want to try that Scavenging Ooze. Nice find, Sharpened!

[sic]
08-03-2011, 10:35 PM
I'd like to expand more on the role of Fauna Shaman. Aside from tutoring for a combo win (through Rector), she can be used to fetch protection (Swarm) or accel (Tinder Wall), color fix mana (Wild Cantor), grab a sac outlet (Feeder/Seer) or anti-hate (Pridemage), or cycle Progenitus back into the deck. As was mentioned in the primer, she can turn any creature card from your hand into a Hulk and just win through an opponent's Show and Tell.

The first thing I removed from Felix's list is the 4th Gitaxian Probe. Drawing multiples is like taking 2 hits from a Nacatl and that should give aggro a turn less to finish you off which seems kinda dumb.

JBlaze
08-04-2011, 04:09 AM
I cut the cradle for a tropical island to help hard cast body double and extra first turn green source seems solid but I could see that spot being the fourth tomb or a second tower
Maybe it has been tried but why gitaxian probe over thoughtsieze?
I would also like to congratulate Felix on the scg top 4 this deck is the real deal thanks man.

Chiuks
08-04-2011, 06:06 AM
First, congratulations for the deck is fantastic, I have a question for the deckbuilder ^ ^, why not add a little blue splash to intuition? take 3 cabal is a strong play against many decks .... if you had already thought to intuition because you discarded it?

Admiral_Arzar
08-04-2011, 09:19 AM
Maybe it has been tried but why gitaxian probe over thoughtsieze?


I'm not sure, personally I cut Probe for Thoughtseize in my testing and liked it. It increases protection significantly while improving our bad fast combo matchup a little.

Irenicus
08-04-2011, 03:38 PM
First of all I havenít played the deck myself very much. But I watched countless games on MTGO played by Jeremie Ross-Latour, read both threads and have a lot of experience playing magic, especially combo-decks. I might play the in the next tournament I am attending and therefore wanted to discuss my thoughts about the deck:

Almost all games that I saw Jeremie losing where due to either screw because of Wastelands and removal on the mana-producers or not drawing enough gas. Itís really sad to watch a Xantid Swarm connecting multiple times vs. Merfolk but actually doing nothing because you donít have that winning spell.

I know that the maindeck is quite tight therefore the SB isnít that important. This sounds wrong but what I mean is that you can't bring in that many cards with this deck. I even think that some slots of the sideboard arenít used that well because Carpet of Flowers for example isnít that big of game-changer vs. blue decks besides mana-denial decks like Canadian which arenít played that much anymore.

These thoughts led me to the conclusion that Burning Wish might fit the deck well enough to test it. It gives us more ways to find Natural Order, finds the right answer to almost any permanent that might trouble us and helps with sideboarding only a few cards but still having enough answers.

Burning Wish also allows us to have some silver-bullets that handle threads that are normally quite difficult to answer for our deck/sideboard. E.g. Virtue's Ruin vs. Maverick when they more than one troubling creature or mass artifact-/enchantment-removal vs. decks that play a lot of them.

I am not saying that Burning Wish might be the right or best direction to take this deck but in my opinion itís worth a try.

A decklist containing Burning Wish could look like this:

Maindeck(60):

22 Lands (imo more basics are needed, but the manabase is a whole topic itself)

1 Academy Rector
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Body Double
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Mogg Fanatic
2 Protean Hulk
1 Reveillark
1 Starved Rusalka
2 Tinder Wall
1 Viscera Seer
1 Wall of Roots
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm

3 Pattern of Rebirth
1 Progenitus
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Natural Order
4 Burning Wish
1 Open Slot

Sideboard(15):

1x Cabal Therapy
1x Thoughtseize
1x Natural Order
1x Virtues Ruins
1x Hull Breach
1x Artifact-Mass-Removal
1x Enchantment-Mass-Removal
1x Morning Tide
1x Creature Removal
1x Quasali Pridemage
1x Scavenging Ooze
4x Open Slots

That's it for now. I hope that we can get a healthy discussion going about whether or not Burning Wish makes any sense in this particular deck. Thank you!

mrjumbo03
08-04-2011, 04:16 PM
Reverent Silence for Mass Enchantment Removal. I remember some Aggro Loam decks utilizing Burning Wish had this in there.

Rafa
08-04-2011, 04:22 PM
First of all I haven’t played the deck myself very much. But I watched countless games on MTGO played by Jeremie Ross-Latour, read both threads and have a lot of experience playing magic, especially combo-decks. I might play the in the next tournament I am attending and therefore wanted to discuss my thoughts about the deck:

Almost all games that I saw Jeremie losing where due to either screw because of Wastelands and removal on the mana-producers or not drawing enough gas. It’s really sad to watch a Xantid Swarm connecting multiple times vs. Merfolk but actually doing nothing because you don’t have that winning spell.

I know that the maindeck is quite tight therefore the SB isn’t that important. This sounds wrong but what I mean is that you can't bring in that many cards with this deck. I even think that some slots of the sideboard aren’t used that well because Carpet of Flowers for example isn’t that big of game-changer vs. blue decks besides mana-denial decks like Canadian which aren’t played that much anymore.

These thoughts led me to the conclusion that Burning Wish might fit the deck well enough to test it. It gives us more ways to find Natural Order, finds the right answer to almost any permanent that might trouble us and helps with sideboarding only a few cards but still having enough answers.

Burning Wish also allows us to have some silver-bullets that handle threads that are normally quite difficult to answer for our deck/sideboard. E.g. Virtue's Ruin vs. Maverick when they more than one troubling creature or mass artifact-/enchantment-removal vs. decks that play a lot of them.

I am not saying that Burning Wish might be the right or best direction to take this deck but in my opinion it’s worth a try.

A decklist containing Burning Wish could look like this:

Maindeck(60):

22 Lands (imo more basics are needed, but the manabase is a whole topic itself)

1 Academy Rector
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Body Double
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Mogg Fanatic
2 Protean Hulk
1 Reveillark
1 Starved Rusalka
2 Tinder Wall
1 Viscera Seer
1 Wall of Roots
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm

3 Pattern of Rebirth
1 Progenitus
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Natural Order
4 Burning Wish
1 Open Slot

Sideboard(15):

1x Cabal Therapy
1x Thoughtseize
1x Natural Order
1x Virtues Ruins
1x Hull Breach
1x Artifact-Mass-Removal
1x Enchantment-Mass-Removal
1x Morning Tide
1x Creature Removal
1x Quasali Pridemage
1x Scavenging Ooze
4x Open Slots

That's it for now. I hope that we can get a healthy discussion going about whether or not Burning Wish makes any sense in this particular deck. Thank you!

Since you mentioned the mana denial and the lack of gas as being the main problems, woudnt living wish be a better solution? It's green, gets Cradles and Tombs, and all the needed creatures.

Irenicus
08-04-2011, 04:37 PM
Since you mentioned the mana denial and the lack of gas as being the main problems, woudnt living wish be a better solution? It's green, gets Cradles and Tombs, and all the needed creatures.

Sure, I thought about Living Wish too. But getting any creature isn't as good as getting it into play via Natural Order. I always thought that the mana denial problems can be solved by more basics, but adding more red might weaken the manabase too much.

Burning Wish makes winning and handling permanents easier than Living Wish. But Living Wish on the other hand is more on colour and works better vs. mana denial. Maybe only testing will tell if one of them or neither will help the deck run even better. For now I think that Burning Wish is the stronger option.

Xantid Swarm
08-04-2011, 06:11 PM
Lots of interesting propositions in a few hours! Let me give you my opinion on those:

About Burning Wish / Living Wish:

Before the printing of Green Sun's Zenith, I played 4 Living Wish. If you want to put wishes in this deck, Living Wish is the way to go. You can then put in the side a Cradle, a Phyrexian Tower, a Viscera Seer and an Academy Rector. You can also use Living Wish to get Qasali Pridemage, Xantid Swarm, etc.

That said, I don't think we need more tutor than the 4 GSZ. When GSZ got printed, I spend long time testing the deck with 4 GSZ + 3 Living Wish. I also tested a version with 4 GSZ + 2 Eladamri's Call. I'm now convinced that 4 GSZ is enough as it always got you what you need to complete the combo (mana / protection / sac-outlet / combo piece). At some point too much tutor made every hands clunky.

Edit - If you realy want to test a spell that cost 2 to add consistancy, give a try to Sylvan Library. Library will generaly got you want you need very rapidly. Even if opponent make you discard all your hand, most of the time an active Library won the game in 1-3 turns.

About Thoughtseize / Gitaxian Probe:

I never tested Thoughtseize main deck but I played it during a very long time in my sideboard. My conclusion was that it is simply not good enough. At best, its a sideboard card. But feel free to prove me wrong...

Gitaxian Probe cost zero mana and cantrip for free. It permit you to play an effective 56 or 57 cards deck, raising your chances of drawing Natural Order + Cabal Therapy. Playing a Probe to know if you can go to a turn two NO for Progenitus or if you are better to cast GSZ for Xantid Swarm first is something you can't do with Thoughtseize because of i'ts mana cost. The possibility of playing a turn 1 Probe + Therapy to discard 2 cards or more is also very good. I do not agree that 2 Probe in a starting hand is bad as you can use one on turn 1, organize your strategy acording to opponent hand, and than use the second one the turn you go off to be sure the way is free.

That said, if someone want to cut Gitaxian Probe, I would recomand to add 1 Wall of Roots, 1 Tinder Wall, 1 Viscera Seer and perhaps 1 Slaughter Pact main deck before adding any Toughtseize.

About Intuition:

Wow, I never think of Intuition but I must admit that Intuition for three Cabal Therapy sound realy awesome. Alternativly, Intuition can got you 3 Natural Order or even 3 mana sources if needed. I'm just not sure that the blue splash worth it and what to cut. I suppose someone can cut 1 Pattern of Rebirth and 1 Gitaxian Probe for 2 Intuition and try to see if it worth it.

About mana base and land count:

I play a 21 lands list since a long time, but I now think that 22 can be the right count to maximize the chances of playing 1 land each turn. Something like:
9 fetchlands
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
1 Taiga
1 Forest
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Phyrexian Tower
4 Ancient Tomb

The best way to fight Wasteland in a deck like this is not to put more basics but to play multiples bayou and to miss as less land drop as you can. Each turn you play a land + a mana dude, your opponent is at risk of faling behind if he only play a Wasteland and waste you.

.dk
08-04-2011, 10:45 PM
wow, this deck looks like an absolute blast to play and some awesome innovation in a metagame filled with slow blue based control. i love the resiliency against hive mind as well - fauna shaman activation for hulk in response to S&T is sick! I'm also having some good fun with thoughtsieze/cabal therapy in another deck, and seems like git probe/therapy can be equally as devastating and digs to boot. sorry i don't have anything real to add, but i'm totally looking forward to trying this out. keep up the good work!

ajfirecracker
08-04-2011, 11:22 PM
The primer contains an implicit error - you cannot use Protean Hulk's search effect to find answers to Wheel of Sun and Moon or Leyline of the Void. It isn't ever put in the graveyard to trigger.

Jacob
08-05-2011, 01:49 AM
I knew once the deck showed in an SCG Top 8, we would get a lot more minds brewing. I borrowed the deck from a friend of mine on MTGO and have been playing the heck out of it.

I really think the list is a bit too tight. The problem with probe is that it doesn't allow you to mulligan effectively. You get some information from your opponent, but it costs you two life and you draw random. If you don't have therapy in hand, there is not much you can do with the information anyway. Right now, I am trying it with 4 pacts maindeck, no therapy and no probe.

Library is absolutely amazing in this deck. With all the fetch/search, you basically spin your deck every turn. Spending 4 life per card isn't really much, when you can just turn around and win that turn. Has anyone tried Top?

I am playing the deck a lot more like I do Dredge or Charbelcher. I try to go off ASAP. If they stop me (which usually will take everything they have), I grind it out. I have no problem losing an Arbor Dryad and Natural Order to a Force and blue card. If they are trading cards with me 1:1, they are losing.

Irenicus
08-05-2011, 03:32 AM
@ Xantid Swarm:

Thank you for commenting on the Wish-discussion. I now that you have a lot of experience with the deck and that you are probably right but I still think that there is a big difference between getting Natural Order and getting Protean Hulk/any other creature. As far as I see it Natural Order is the most efficient way to win with deck (which target you get doesn't matter here). Burning Wish can be NO 5-7 in addition to being great at answering problems.

Here in Germany for example Maverick is running rampart. They play Teeg and Mindcensor post-board which can be protected by Mother. In this case I think that Burning Wish might be our best shot at winning the game. With your build you would have to draw many Pacts in order to be able to do what you want to do.

I know that this is all a little too theoretical and I hope that I will find the time to test Burning Wish. I just wanted to make clear that in theory Burning Wish is more efficient than Living Wish and might be a good back up for the deck.

Xantid Swarm
08-05-2011, 09:27 AM
@Jacob: Even if you do not have a Therapy, Probe allow you to know if you must play around Force, Daze, Spell Pierce, Sword to Plowshares, Stifle, etc.

Let's say you have 1 Natural Order + 1 Pattern in hand against a U/W opponent. It's not clear wich one you try to play 1st. Probe permit you to know if he hold Sword to Plowshares (in wich case NO is the right choice) or FoW (in wich case you cast Pattern and he is obliged to play FoW meaning that you can keep your creature). Probe allow you to know if you must get Progenitus (around let say a Stifle) or if you can go to the combo. But what is really awesome is that Probe is almost free.

But I understand we can discuss Probe. Cutting 1-2 Probe for Sylvan Library is perhaps the right choice, I'm not sure. Now, I'm sure that cutting Cabal Therapy is very wrong. Cabal Therapy is certanly the best card of this deck, or the second best after NO. An hand with Cabal Therapy is always good. It's hard to lose games when you cast double Cabal Therapy or more. So if you want to try Slaughter Pacts main deck and/or Sylvan Library (two legit cards in my opinion), you can cut a few Probes, you can cut 1 Pattern of Rebirth, perhaps 1 Birds of Paradise, but I will never recommand to cut any Cabal Therapy!

@Irenicus: I just want you to realize that Living Wish for Academy Rector is a good way to play around Gadock Teeg. With a Feeder or Seer in play, Academy Rector is a better spell to cast than NO as you don't expose yourself to lose two cards if countered and you can play it under Gadock Teeg. Also, Shriekmah can be put in a wish-board as creature removal.

Edit - I want to be clear about the fact that even if I think Living wish is better than Burning Wish in that deck, I do not recommand to play it. As I said, I think that Sylvan Library is better than any wish and I do not play any Library main for now.

Do not underestimate the importance of the sideboard and how Carpet of Flowers help against almost any blue matchup. As you pointed out, Carpets are good against blue decks using mana denial strategies (including not only Canadian threshold but also things like Team America, MUC playing Back to Basic, and many other), but even if opponent do not attack your mana base, Carpets allow you to reach 8 mana. At that critical point, you can Zenith directly into Hulk, meaning that any GSZ can win you the game. I realy like my playset of Carpets in the side and do not want to get rid of it for a wish-board.

Sharpened
08-05-2011, 01:56 PM
I suppose I'll pay closer attention to whether or not I miss Fauna Shaman. For now, I'm happy without her, but we shall see.

Jacob, while I agree with you on the problems that Probe can create towards mulligan decisions, that's just a small problem. I think the positives far outwiegh the negatives. And I agree with Felix, Cabal Therapy is probably the best card in the deck. I would play 6 or 7 if I could, and I often attribute my struggles with the deck to games where I 'didn't draw cabal therapy'. Thoughtseize is definitly not Cabal Therapy.

Felix, I agree that the KGrips in the board aren't worth the slot. I don't like being totally cold to humility, but it seems like it's a very small risk.

I have mixed feelings about the Carpet of Flowers. They are very strong against U/W control decks. They are also pretty weak against BUG control decks with Pernicious Deed. As it stands, I think I'm more worried about the Deed based control decks than the UW builds, but I don't know if I should be or not.

I'm very tempted to try 3 Pithing Needles in the sideboard. They should be fairly strong against both of U based control decks. They can shut off Mother of Runes if your worried about her protecting a Teeg. They can turn off some of the artifact based graveyard hate, although I would never side them in to bother with that, its just an added bonus.

Xantid Swarm
08-05-2011, 05:34 PM
I'm agree with the fact that Team America/BUG variants with Pernicious Deed is our worst non-combo matchup (add Stifle to make it more bad). They can attack our mana base by killing creatures and using Wasteland. If we overexpose ourself, they will deed us. If we try to wait and sculp our hand, Hymn can got us or simply they will put a fast clock with Goyf, Clique and Tombstalker...

In that matchup, I'll generaly try to not over-expose myself too much to deed. As much as I can, I try to avoid 3-for-1 (I'm ready to accept a 2-for-1 to get rid of a Deed). It's still not easy.

I found Carpet and Sylvan Library very useful in this matchup. Late game, Carpet can be casted as green version of Dark Ritual, and sometime permit to steal the game from an empty bord with 2-3 lands. An unansered Carpet can nullifie 2-3 Wasteland/removal spells. Sylvan Library can force them to use Deed or die at short term. If they don't have Deed, Library allow strong recover from Hymn to Tourach and permit to hide cards from discard spell.

When I sideboard against those decks, I try to keep all my lands to be more resiliant to Deed.

I myself already considered Needle, but rejected the idea. Think about it: you'll side in three cards that do nothing except again a card that your opponent have good chance of not drawing at all. The Gerry T's deck of the last open play only 1 Deed main deck + 1 in the sideboard.

Against that deck, if I know he play 4 Leyline of the Void in his sb, I will probably side about like this:

+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-2 Birds of Paradise
-1 Protean Hulk
-1 Academy Rector
-1 Pattern of Rebirth
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Fauna Shaman
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Rafa
08-06-2011, 09:58 AM
Dudes, testing the deck I realized how often I resolve a Pattern of Rebirth, sac the enchanted creature but then I have no more sac outlets on the table (nor in the graveyard), in a dangerous situation where Progenitus would be too slow to win the game.
In all those situations I wish I had an Emkarul in my deck!
Not to mention that it protects us against Painter and is not perished!
Have your considered running a 1-off?

Norm
08-06-2011, 11:59 AM
I have considered Emrakul as a 1 of in the SB, it certainly doesn't seem terrible.

Kellyx
08-06-2011, 08:18 PM
Did anyone think about playing 4xpact of negation in sb or even in md(instead 4xprobe) if meta is heavy-control?
It lets you get through a counterspell/surgical extraction/extirpate/ravenous trap and some more kind of hate.There will be times when oponent will be able to counter the pact, but such games are lost even if u dont use pact(w/o pact your oponent will counter both of your attempts to combo out if u will survive till 2nd;p).
Its better in many wayes than xantid sward is (cant be MMSed/removed).

Norm
08-06-2011, 08:59 PM
Did anyone think about playing 4xpact of negation in sb or even in md(instead 4xprobe) if meta is heavy-control?
It lets you get through a counterspell/surgical extraction/extirpate/ravenous trap and some more kind of hate.There will be times when oponent will be able to counter the pact, but such games are lost even if u dont use pact(w/o pact your oponent will counter both of your attempts to combo out if u will survive till 2nd;p).
Its better in many wayes than xantid sward is (cant be MMSed/removed).

It doesn't counter extirpate. It's also a dead card unless you're going to kill them on that turn, and that's a pretty big risk because it only takes care of one spell, where Xantid Swarm would blank most of their answers. Pact of Negation is also significantly worse than Probe in a deck that runs Cabal Therapy.

Rafa
08-07-2011, 03:19 PM
Ok. After suggesting Living Wish I built the deck and started testing it. I think it's amazinnng now, playing with 74 cards is really great and I have even added Hexmage for another auto-sac outlet and the possibility of getting a Dark Dephts with Living Wish if you have the Hexmage in your hand, for a Plan C!
Check it out:

// Lands
2 [FUT] Dryad Arbor
1 [UNH] Forest
1 [UNH] Swamp
2 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
2 [ZEN] Verdant Catacombs
2 [ON] Windswept Heath
2 [ON] Wooded Foothills
2 [R] Savannah
3 [TE] Ancient Tomb
1 [R] Taiga
3 [R] Bayou

// Creatures
1 [M11] Viscera Seer
1 [SC] Carrion Feeder
2 [DIS] Protean Hulk
4 [M11] Birds of Paradise
1 [MOR] Reveillark
1 [CFX] Progenitus
1 [GP] Wild Cantor
1 [M11] Fauna Shaman
1 [GP] Starved Rusalka
1 [PLC] Body Double
2 [CST] Tinder Wall
1 [ARC] Wall of Roots
1 [10E] Mogg Fanatic
1 [ZEN] Vampire Hexmage
1 [SC] Xantid Swarm
1 [UD] Academy Rector

// Spells
4 [MBS] Green Sun's Zenith
3 [UD] Pattern of Rebirth
4 [JU] Living Wish
4 [PT] Natural Order
4 [JU] Cabal Therapy

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [ALA] Ethersworn Canonist
SB: 1 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
SB: 1 [ARC] Shriekmaw
SB: 1 [LRW] Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 [CMD] Scavenging Ooze
SB: 1 [TE] Wasteland
SB: 1 [IA] Glacial Chasm
SB: 1 [SC] Xantid Swarm
SB: 1 [UD] Academy Rector
SB: 1 [US] Gaea's Cradle
SB: 1 [US] Phyrexian Tower
SB: 1 [CS] Dark Depths
SB: 3 [FUT] Slaughter Pact

Sharpened
08-07-2011, 07:55 PM
Both Living Wish and Hexmage Depths seem like downgrades for this deck. If you need a plan C, you beat down with random dudes. Squeezing something else in the deck seems awful, especially when it gets answered by the same things that answer Progenitals, plus additional things.

The more I play both with and against Scavengin Ooze, the more nuts it is. It's ridiculously strong and a must play. Don't be surprised to see it out of other decks, and I wouldn't be shocked if a lot of decks with Green Suns Zenith start maindecking one. It's beyond good.

Also, anyone tempted to go below 4 Slaughter Pacts in the sideboard is simply doing it wrong. That card is a savior for so many things out of the board.

Pact of Negation is another bad idea. You really shouldnt need counterspells. There are very few things that are trouble to go off through, you just need to learn the ways to play around a lot of things (see Felix's primer over at MTGsalvation).

Xantid Swarm
08-07-2011, 08:41 PM
I'm once again agree with Sharpened.

A problem with Living Wish is it's anti-synergic with GSZ+Fauna Shaman. Living Wish want you to put your tutor targets in the side while GSZ and FS want them in the deck. Let's say game 2 you need to Zenith into Q. Pridemage but you cant because your only copy is in the side for Wish (or the reverse because you side it in). In the end, you'll need double copies of all your importants tutor's targets to be able to fully use them.

With 4 GSZ + 1 Fauna Shaman I'm prety sure we have enough tutors. Notice how Fauna Shaman function in many ways like a Living Wish.

A full playset of Slaughter Pact in the side is a necessity, as Sharpened said. They not only are a solution for Gadock Teeg (and Scavenging Ooze, if this thing is going to see play), they also often accelerate the combo win.

If you absolutly want to add consistancy, I encourage you to try some Sylvan Library main instead of Living Wish. Even Eladamri's Call seem better as it do not force you to play your creatures in the side.

That said, Rafa, if you persist with you wishes and obtain good results in competitives tournaments, report them to us. I'll be hapy if there is a way to get the deck better.

Edit - If Scavenging Ooze really begin to see play, what do you think about 1 Phyrexian Revoker in the side? Sure, we can't Zenith for him, but we can get it from a Fauna Shaman's activation and it's possible to grab a Rector + a Revoker from the Hulk's trigger to combo through an active Ooze, or even through a Crypt, a Relic, etc. It's a bit like the Grand Abolisher that somebody did suggest before, except we can easily hardcast it. Also, we can bring Revoker against Pernicious Deed, Grindstone, Lion Eye's Diamond, etc.

Rafa
08-07-2011, 11:52 PM
I kind of agree with you guys about the 4x Slaughter Pact. I'll try to add one more to the list, since it also plays Shriekmaw. If I miss the 4th then I will play the full set. I don't want to be creative here, just to play the best Hulk Rebirth deck as it can be.
About the Living wishes being a downgrade I must disagree, it's a better card than Gitaxian Probe IMO, plus it doesn't cost you 2 life, the rest is pretty much the same. BUT, I can be wrong and if I'm wrong I'll be glad to turn back and play the best deck possible.
Just wanted to tell that Glacial Chasm has been amazing against aggro; that the plan C has won me some games; the canonist is great; tutoring for Academy Rector is also very nice!
I haven't tried the Libraries yet, so it can be what I was needing, instead of the wishes.
After a week I'll report again.
Thanks for the comments, folks!

Sharpened
08-08-2011, 09:42 AM
About the Living wishes being a downgrade I must disagree, it's a better card than Gitaxian Probe IMO, plus it doesn't cost you 2 life, the rest is pretty much the same. BUT, I can be wrong and if I'm wrong I'll be glad to turn back and play the best deck possible.

I'm really enjoying playing with the Probe. Games where I can Probe on turn 1 with Cabal Therapy in my hand really feel like cheating. But obviously, that's the ideal scenario. There's far more to Probe than that. This is a deck without card drawing, which makes the free cantrip incredibly useful. Being able to shrink the deck, even a small amount, can make a noticeable difference. That, and when comboing off as quickly as possible, mana/tempo can be at a premium, the Free aspect of the Probe is mighty nice. Beyond that, information is valueable. Especially since this deck has 2 different plans of attack, knowing what your opponent has can make all the difference in the world.

Revoker is certainly a possibility. Probably have to test him and see if he accomplishes enough to be worth a slot.

5doorfury
08-08-2011, 10:54 AM
- Probe v. Thoughtseize. (sorry to distract from the Wish convo)

I know that Gitaxian Probe and Thoughtseize are EXTREMELY different cards, and understand that they fill almost entirely different roles, but I really feel like they are competing for the same spots here.

The reason I bring this up is because there have been several occasions where I Probe someone, have no Therapy in hand/yard and really no way to fight through their hate aside from just drawing really well. (which this deck does pretty well, but that is beside the point)

I don't think this argument can't be resolved with a simple "this card is better than that one" because of how different these cards really are, but has anyone REALLY given thoughtseize a shot?

I do not think 4 thoughtseize would be right at any rate, so I am going to try a 2-2 split and see how it plays out in testing. My issue here is that I have been succesful with the 4 probes thus far and actually love the card in this deck. I am just trying to figure out if we can really benefit from this change or not.

Rafa
08-08-2011, 03:49 PM
- Probe v. Thoughtseize. (sorry to distract from the Wish convo)

I know that Gitaxian Probe and Thoughtseize are EXTREMELY different cards, and understand that they fill almost entirely different roles, but I really feel like they are competing for the same spots here.

The reason I bring this up is because there have been several occasions where I Probe someone, have no Therapy in hand/yard and really no way to fight through their hate aside from just drawing really well. (which this deck does pretty well, but that is beside the point)

I don't think this argument can't be resolved with a simple "this card is better than that one" because of how different these cards really are, but has anyone REALLY given thoughtseize a shot?

I do not think 4 thoughtseize would be right at any rate, so I am going to try a 2-2 split and see how it plays out in testing. My issue here is that I have been succesful with the 4 probes thus far and actually love the card in this deck. I am just trying to figure out if we can really benefit from this change or not.

Dude, Thoughtseize is a GREAT card. It's the best disruption for its cost. That split test is very welcome for us! Keep testing and comparing with Gitaxian Probe.
______________________________

Concerning to the Living Wish again, it's being used in the Junk Depths deck, which is doing GREAT at the recent SCG tournaments. I thought of using the card thinking of it.

JBlaze
08-08-2011, 08:23 PM
I played some games today with a 2-2 split between probe/seize and I liked it quite a bit Im going to run with it for awhile and get some more data

probe is an awesome card and I would not fault anybody for just running 4. that being said having a couple extra disruption cards felt really strong to me going first turn seize into second turn therapy + bird or zenith is at least comparable to first turn probe therapy. seize is stronger in the later game where you have some extra mana but are trying to fight through your opponents disruption. I would say at least give it a shot. if not in the main I would try to fit some in the board

Xantid Swarm
08-08-2011, 09:28 PM
Thoughtseize and Gitaxian Probe have lots in common. Both cost 2 lifes and both let you see opponent hand, wich is good with Cabal Therapy.

There can be situation where Thoughtseize is better than Probe: if opponent hold a Force of Will, you have enough mana to go off, you have the combo piece but no disruption (no Therapy, no GSZ). But the situation where you need just 1 more card to go off (either a land or a combo piece) or where you can go off using all your mana but just want to be sure the way is free are more frequent. In those situation Probe is most of the time better.

Thoughtseize cost 1 mana. It's not too much but it's a lot more than zero. The fact you can cast Probe and still cast a turn 2 Natural Order is big.


The reason I bring this up is because there have been several occasions where I Probe someone, have no Therapy in hand/yard and really no way to fight through their hate aside from just drawing really well. (which this deck does pretty well, but that is beside the point)

It's not beside the point: this deck draw pretty well because it's a concentration of mana/win condition/sac outlet. Except for a few tutors targets, every card help you to go off, even Therapy and Xantid Swarm (as a green creature you can sac to NO or enchant with Pattern).

That's the main reason why I prefer a free cantrip over a one-mana disruption that do nothing more. There is only a few cards that really matter in opponent hand. A lots of time, where you cast a Thoughtseize against an opponent that do not have a Force of Will or other revelent card, you just lose 1 card and 1 mana for almost nothing and put youreself at the risk of losing to you own deck. At least, a missed Therapy give you a free sac outlet for latter. Thoughtseize just don't do enough in a deck that can only be stoped by a few cards.

I do not agree that Thoughtseize is a better late game card. Late game, chance are that opponent do not have anymore disruption and you just need 1 mana or 1 combo card to win. Thoughtseize is an awful top deck in those situations, where the cantrip from Probe can still permit you to go off.

That said, Thoughtseize can be a good sideboard card. I played with it and tested it a lot in my sideboard before Providence and conclude there is better options, but I can be wrong on that.

Edit - I don't want to be too harsh towards all of you caming with new ideas to tweak the deck. I think it's awesome that a lot of people are brewing and try to find ways to get the deck better. Sure, I played this deck during a long time, tested a lots of cards, and I know that some of them are just not good enough for this deck, but there can be some cards that I never looked at that realy worth a try, so continue to came up with new ideas.

JBlaze
08-08-2011, 11:11 PM
felix thanks for your input it is an amazing resource to have the deck designer on the forum to bounce ideas off of. thoughtseze being a horrible top deck is a very valid point that I cant really argue with.

the other idea that i want to test out is intuition. This deck has a ton of ways to power out second turn intuition. Im going to take your suggestion of cutting -1 probe pattern +2 intuition.

as far as the mana base -1 tiaga -1 fetch +2 tropical island maybe cut 1 BOP for a noble hierarch

8 fetchlands
3 Bayou
1 forest
1 Savannah
2 tropical island
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Phyrexian Tower
4 Ancient Tomb

Dresden
08-09-2011, 12:27 AM
Hi all, I've been testing this deck a fair amount recently as well, I would have to place myself in the probe > thoughtseize camp or at the very least 4x thoughtseize instead of 4x probe is not my preferred mode of operation, I'm in the process of testing a split as well. Ultimately, the answer may very well be meta-dependent, depending on if you want to combo quickly and win or if you want to combo later with additional protection. I've found the 1 mana for thoughtseize to be critical and potentially not worth the 1-turn tradeoff.

One of the ways to look at this is via possible T1 Openings
1) Land->Birds
2) Land->GSZ->Dryad Arbor
3) Land->Probe->Therapy
4) Land->Thoughtseize

Against decks or draws with no counters or discard, either 1 or 2 can lead to T2: Ancient Tomb + NO/Prog, usually FTW, and if you have a probe on top of this, you will likely know if the way is clear. An additional point of relevance in this discussion is that Thoughtseize doesn't actually result in seeing your opponent's hand nearly as much as Probe. Case in point - if you T1 probe an opponent holding MM, they might let it through and you can see their hand, the reasoning being they may wait to counter the business spell, whereas if you T1 Thoughtseize, you never see their hand.


I played some games today with a 2-2 split between probe/seize and I liked it quite a bit Im going to run with it for awhile and get some more data

probe is an awesome card and I would not fault anybody for just running 4. that being said having a couple extra disruption cards felt really strong to me going first turn seize into second turn therapy + bird or zenith is at least comparable to first turn probe therapy. seize is stronger in the later game where you have some extra mana but are trying to fight through your opponents disruption. I would say at least give it a shot. if not in the main I would try to fit some in the board

PollePotDK
08-09-2011, 04:25 AM
I have a question regarding Felix Lapans list from SCG Pittsburgh. First of all I get the combo, haha :-) but...

What's the game plan if you happen to get the Body Double and/or Reivellark (or Progenitus) in hand? There's no "get card back to library" card in the list like Brainstorm? I see this as a weakness in the list. The back up is Body Snatcher, but is that all there's to it?

Great deck though and looking forward to sleeve it up :-)

/PollePotDK

JBlaze
08-09-2011, 04:40 AM
rev/body double in hand got ya down use hulk to grab 2 tinder walls and a wild cantor then hard cast that shit for the win son

Sharpened
08-09-2011, 08:51 AM
While you occassionally get cards you don't like stuck in your hand, it's rarely a big deal. As KidVic said (sort of), Hulk trigger can grab Double Tinder Wall and Wild Cantor to let you hardcast either of the 5 drop combo creatures. If you have both in hand, you still can do it (although you need extra mana). The first trigger gets 2 Tinders, Cantor, Fanatic, Feeder/Seer (If you already have a sac creature, wall of roots means you only need 1 extra instead of 2). Revillark first, returning a Tinder Wall and a Cantor, then cast the Body Double, combo off.

You can Cabal Therapy yourself, which while not ideal, certainly can and has worked. You can even flat out cast those creatures using Birds of Paradise. Felix's list even has the additional outlet of Fauna Shaman (I've been playing without it).

The standard method of comboing off is pretty straight forward. I think it's what you find yourself doing in the unusual situations that really makes teh deck fun, interesting, and strong.

Using a Pattern of Rebirth trigger to fetch a tinder wall? Yup, I've done that (I had sided 1 Hulk out, the other was in my hand and I needed the mana).

Therapy on myself to get Progenitus back into my Library? Yup. Therapy on myself to get Body Double into the grave instead of my hand? Yup.

Hardcasting both Body Double and Revillark without the combo to create an infinite loop of blockers for a monstrously large Lord of Extinction? That was a weird game.

Fetching Wild Cantor instead of Mogg Fanatic when going off, becuase the Fanatic was in my hand? Sure. Laughing when my opponent Misstepp'd the Fanatic, becuase it didn't stop me in the slightest? But of Course.

I've even run my combo repeatedly into graveyard hate to just get more and more creatures and beatdown with carrion feeder. Definitly not my prefered plan of attack, but it got me a win.

I've yet to run into a situation where the deck proceeds to draw me into cards that prevent me from going for a win. I'll almost always mulligan an opening with 'lark and Double in hand, although only 1 of the two is fine depending on the rest, but the deck mulligans pretty well.

1maarten1
08-09-2011, 10:15 AM
All right! I recently built this deck irl, after testing it on mws/cockatrice. I am still making some play errors, but thats only natural I think because this deck offers so many many options (one of the reasons the deck is so much fun to play), like how you want to use GSZ for example. I will be playing the deck in a SCG Invitational Qualifier end of this month (200 players I think) and then in october at the GP Amsterdam so I still have some time to get to know the deck better etc. I hope I can go to some smaller tournaments before these big ones, but I have some trouble getting free from work.

Anyway, I play the standard list, only I went to 60 cards cutting 1 Pattern. First I went down to 20 lands but that just didnt feel right. I now play 9 fetch, 3 bayou 1 savannah, 2 basic forest (which are great), 1 phyrexian tower, 3 ancient tomb and 2 dryad arbor. I dont have money for the Taiga at the moment, and I dont think I want to play it anyway.

But, I have been having trouble with sideboarding which I am finding very hard. I am not sure yet what I can take out of the maindeck without hurting the combo too much, so maybe Felix can help us with that? I mean against a deck like BUG Landstill or something I want to bring in: 4 carpet of flowers, 1 Pridemage, 2 Sylvan Library, some extra xantid swarms maybe and maybe some krosan grips depending on the build. I have trouble with taking out enough cards... I understand that because of the carpets you can take out some Birds, but I have trouble with siding out combo pieces. You can take out fauna shaman, but what comes out with it etc?

So if you can help me on that part it would be great! And oh yeah, I am still waiting for that report from top 4 at SCG Open ;)!

Thanks in advance.

5doorfury
08-09-2011, 12:37 PM
Thoughtseize and Gitaxian Probe have lots in common. Both cost 2 lifes and both let you see opponent hand, wich is good with Cabal Therapy.

{...}

Thoughtseize cost 1 mana. It's not too much but it's a lot more than zero. The fact you can cast Probe and still cast a turn 2 Natural Order is big.



It's not beside the point: this deck draw pretty well because it's a concentration of mana/win condition/sac outlet. Except for a few tutors targets, every card help you to go off, even Therapy and Xantid Swarm (as a green creature you can sac to NO or enchant with Pattern).

That's the main reason why I prefer a free cantrip over a one-mana disruption that do nothing more. There is only a few cards that really matter in opponent hand. A lots of time, where you cast a Thoughtseize against an opponent that do not have a Force of Will or other revelent card, you just lose 1 card and 1 mana for almost nothing and put youreself at the risk of losing to you own deck. At least, a missed Therapy give you a free sac outlet for latter. Thoughtseize just don't do enough in a deck that can only be stoped by a few cards.



Thanks for the response Felix and everyone else. I have had a very good experience with the thoughtseizes in the main thus far as well and will continue to test them further.

@Felix - I see where you are coming from regarding Thoughtseize and Gitaxian Probe "having lots in common." I agree with, and accept that fact when speaking in regards to life loss and one part of their effect on the game.

The point I am trying to achieve is that they are completely different cards from a sense of what we are trying to achieve with them and the point at which they can be cast in the game, as well as how they let us play our hand. I feel that that one costing actual mana is a HUMONGOUS difference between the cards (which is where most of the appeal for playing Probes comes from) and which is why I am resistant to just taking all of the Probes out completely.

The cards are both amazing in the deck but they force us to play our hand completely differently and the difference between us drawing a random card off of one and forcing a specific discard from our opponent is also, in my opinion, relatively large.

For reference, my argument stems from, and is based on my personal, strong opinion that if Thoughtseize's mana cost was one phyrexian black instead, that thoughtseize would be the clear winner and an automatic "4 of" in the deck. Even if it cost us 4 life (total) to play, I think that being able to cast a Thoughtseize AND a bird or other dork on turn one would be a massive advantage for us. To contrast/compare this, I feel that if Probe cost a regular blue mana, we most likely wouldn't even be considering playing it. Thoughtseize's ability is clearly stronger, but the mana cost difference is so huge that I think this is where the real issue arises. Thus, why I say that the cards are completely different.


Finally, I have not tested the Thoughtseize in the SB option, but I am not a fan of the idea. Felix said he tested it and concluded that there are better options. I tend to agree with that statement.

I feel that the sideboard is pretty good already and this is why I am suggesting them for the main board. If you run into a match that you do not feel like the 2 Thoughtseize in the MB will be beneficial, it can be a good option for cards to side out. Otherwise I think we have better strategies in the deck already, rather than siding in generic discard spells.

Thanks again all and please feel free to chime in and let us know if you test the thoughtseizes, whether good or bad. I am interested to hear from others on this.

[sic]
08-09-2011, 04:13 PM
And oh yeah, I am still waiting for that report from top 4 at SCG Open ;)!.

Feature Article from ManaTalks.com: SCG Legacy Open Pittsburgh – From Rogue To Riches (http://manatalks.com/blog/2011/08/scg-legacy-open-pittsburgh-from-rogue-to-riches/)

1maarten1
08-09-2011, 08:32 PM
;574767']Feature Article from ManaTalks.com: SCG Legacy Open Pittsburgh – From Rogue To Riches (http://manatalks.com/blog/2011/08/scg-legacy-open-pittsburgh-from-rogue-to-riches/)

Haha yea I also found it minutes after I posted :P Anyway good read! Thanks!

[sic]
08-09-2011, 09:56 PM
@Xantid Swarm
Round 2 - Game 1 versus Hive Mind. Why did you blindly name Hive Mind instead of Show and Tell when you didn't have anything to put down but a fetch land? You had Natural Order but no Pattern or Hulk. Granted your line of play was to cast a turn 2 Natural Order (knowing he didn't have a Force) but then if he had a Force for your NO and just didn't use it on Therapy, then Show and Tell will allow him to do broken stuff and in that case you'll need to draw into both a win con + sac outlet in order to outrace him. If you named Show and Tell, you would have slowed yourself down a turn and him probably by a significant 2 turns (at least) if he didn't have a Force of Will.

Xantid Swarm
08-10-2011, 12:19 AM
@sic:
Well, I almost always name Hive Mind against that deck, because we can beat a S&T into Emrakul most of the time. Hive Mind can be hardcasted and can kill you at your next upkeep while Emrakul can only be put into play via S&Tell and cant attack you once you have an Hulk into play. Once Hive Mind hit the field, we are obliged to beat him at instant speed. Against Emrakul, we can still win at sorcery speed.

By naming Hive Mind, the only way I can lose is, like you said, if he have in hand S&T + Ancient Tomb/City of Traitors + Emrakul + Force of Will + another blue card. It's a five card combination, really unlikely. In any other scenario, I'm in good shape. Let's say he have S&T + Emrakul AND FoW + a card to pich but no 2-mana land. In that scenario, he would have to cast S&T only on turn 3. At that point, I'll be able to fetch 2 Dryad Arbor, use one to flashback Therapy (removing FoW in is hand) and then cast NO into Hulk. The same is true if he have Emrakul + Ancient Tomb + Intuition + FoW backup: he'll have to cast Intuition to get S&T and I'll get 2 Dryad Arbor into play on my turn 3. Once I'm able to NO for Hulk, Emrakul can't attack anymore (or he wil attack and I'll win on the anihilator).

So, I do not really fear a Show and Tell into Emrakul: what is really scary is S&T into Hive Mind or an hardcasted Hive Mind. By naming Hive Mind, you reduce both of this possibility. If I name Show and Tell, I can still lose to an hand with 2 Island + Grim Monolith + Hive Mind.

Also, by naming Hive Mind, you have the chance of hitting an hand with double Hive Mind: that way, the opponent can't Intuition for Hive Mind anymore (I know, it's a low chance, but it sometime worth it).

By the way, in that matchup I always bring Slaughter Pacts for game 2 and 3 and try to mulligan into hand with Pattern of Rebirth or Protean Hulk to be able to go off on any Show and Tell casted by my opponent.

@1maarten1:
I'm agree that sideboarding is often not easy. I'll try to list how I sideboard in different matchup on a latter post.

I also want to thanks Pascal Marion from Mana Talk who did a great job of formating / editing / corrections on my tournament report.

Admiral_Arzar
08-10-2011, 10:07 AM
"I made it a Progenitus party, and those don't last long."

LOL



Thanks again all and please feel free to chime in and let us know if you test the thoughtseizes, whether good or bad. I am interested to hear from others on this.

I like Thoughtseize, personally. In the limited testing I have done, it hasn't slowed me down much. Also, casting Probe, seeing Force, and not having another protection spell is problematic (where as if it were Thoughtseize, you take the Force and combo). This situation came up a number of times when I tested this deck against Esperblade and NO-RUG.

Rafa
08-10-2011, 11:43 AM
Plus we can often pay for the Pacts costs! =D I don't fear Hive Mind that much.

Xantid Swarm
08-11-2011, 04:24 PM
I wrote this post to try to help anybody having difficulties with sideboard decisions.

As many notice, the most difficult part of sideboarding with this deck is generally not to choose what to bring in, but what to take out. You don’t want to lose too much tutor options and in the same time, you don’t want to hurt the consistency of the deck.

Important Note:
I assume those sideboard configurations from the list that I actually play:
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Tinder Wall
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Body Double
1 Reveillark
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
3 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
1 Taiga
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
4 Ancient Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower

And this is my actual sideboard:
4 Slaughter Pact
4 Carpet of Flowers
2 Xantid Swarm
2 Sylvan Library
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Null Rod
1 Qasali Pridemage

As I play, for now, 22 lands including 4 Ancient Tomb but only 3 Pattern, I’ll often take out 1 Tomb and still be fine, but if you play 4 Pattern and 21 lands, you can almost always cut 1 Pattern instead of 1 land. The exception is against Hive Mind where you’ll always want to keep 4 Pattern of Rebirth.

General rules:
- Never cut a Green Sun’s Zenith (always cut Birds instead);
- Never cut Cabal Therapy (too goods!);
- Always keep both Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor to be able to hard cast a Reveillark or Body Double as you sac Hulk;
- Against blue matchups, as you bring in 4 Carpet of Flowers, you can generally cut few birds and lands (not green lands - I talk about Tombs, Tower or Cradle). If your opponent play no Wasteland or mana denial, you can probably cut 4 or 5 mana sources (otherwise, you probably can still cut up to 3 mana source to bring the Carpets);
- When you bring in Slaughter Pacts, you can generally cut a few sac outlets;
- Against non blue deck you can normally took out Xantid Swarm;
- Generally, when you expect a short game, Fauna Shaman is often too slow and can be cut;
- Against decks that cannot deal or race a 10/10 with protection from everything I used to put myself on the “Progenitus plan” and take out 1 Protean Hulk, 1 Starved Rusalka, 1 Seer or Feeder (not both!), 1 Academy Rector – that said, with all the clone versions that see more and more play (in addition to Perish that can come from opponents sideboards), I’m not sure of this strategy anymore;
- Against fast combo decks, you can take out the “slow cards”: Rusalka, Progenitus, Academy Rector, Wall of Roots, 1 Dryad Arbor (keep 1), Fauna Shaman;
- You can generally cut 1 Acient Tomb (if you play 4 like me) and still be fine;
- If you play 4 Pattern of Rebirth main, you can generally cut 1 and still be fine;
- The 4 Gitaxian Probes main can be seen as a flexible spot where you can put cards post board without loosing options. Probes are very good cards for this deck but when you board in a lot, you sometime have no other choice but take them out.

Specific sideboarding strategies:
Please use those as suggestions of possible ways to use sideboard, not as rigid rules. I cannot guaranty you that any of this is 100% optimal. You have to adapt yourself according to real opponents depending of the cards you saw game 1 and 2. Once again, remember that if you play 3 Tomb / 4 Pattern (instead of my 4 / 3), always cut your 4th Pattern before cutting your 3rd Tomb when sideboarding (except against Hive Mind).

Sure, I didn’t go in details for all archetypes of Legacy, but I’m sure you can work from there (exemple: against Affinity, you can sideboard like against aggro decks but bring 1 Null Rod instead of a Slaughter Pact...)

Against aggro decks playing Gadock Teeg (Zoo, Maverick):
+4 Slaughter Pact
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Xantid Swarm
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Starved Rusalka
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Against other aggro decks (Goblins):
+3 Slaughter Pact
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Xantid Swarm
-1 Carrion Feeder
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Against Hive Mind:
+4 Slaughter Pact
+2 Xantid Swarm
-1 Wall of Roots
-2 Ancient Tomb
-3 Gitaxian Probe

Against Aggro/Control U decks:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-2 Ancient Tomb
-1 Birds of Paradise
-1 Carrion Feeder
-3 Gitaxian Probe

Against NO RUG:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+1 Qasali Pridemage
+2 Slaughter Pact
-2 Ancient Tomb
-1 Phyrexian Tower
-1 Birds of Paradise
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Fauna Shaman
-3 Gitaxian Probe

Against non-blue Aggro/Control (Junk, WB):
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Xantid Swarm
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Against BUG variant:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-2 Birds of Paradise
-1 Ancient Tomb
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Fauna Shaman
-4 Gitaxian Probe

Against U Control decks:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Birds of Paradise
-2 Ancient Tomb
-1 Phyrexian Tower
-1 Protean Hulk
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Academy Rector
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Against Storm decks:
+4 Slaugther Pact
+1 Null Rod
-1 Dryad Arbor
-1 Fauna Shaman
-1 Wall of Roots
-1 Xantid Swarm
-1 Starved Rusalka

Against Dredge:
+4 Slaugther Pact
+1 Scavenging Ooze
-1 Dryad Arbor
-1 Xantid Swarm
-1 Ancient Tomb
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Against Reanimator:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+4 Slaughter Pact
+2 Xantid Swarm
+1 Scavenging Ooze
-2 Birds of Paradise
-1 Ancient Tomb
-1 Phyrexian Tower
-1 Dryad Arbor
-1 Fauna Shaman
-1 Carrion Feeder
-4 Gitaxian Probe

1maarten1
08-13-2011, 10:34 AM
@Felix

Thanks alot that will come in handy at my first tournament with the deck tomorrow!

@All
The deck just placed second at a GP Trial for Amsterdam: http://manainfinito.com/articulos/road-alcoy-dia-1-gp-amsterdam-trial

Xantid Swarm
08-13-2011, 12:12 PM
According to the coverage, this was a 94 players tournament. So nice job Juan Miguel Carrascosa - his efforts worth him 3 byes for GP Amsterdam. This Sb with 3 Leyline of Sanctity + 3 Leyline of Void can be good in some meta, if you expect lots of Reanimator and combo decks.

Good luck for tomorrow, 1maarten1!

1maarten1
08-14-2011, 02:15 PM
Alright I just came home from the tournament. Went 3-2! One game loss was too DD Ant, a pretty bad MU. Game 1 he goes off t2 through my Probe Therapy hand lol (he had the nuts). Game 2 he chants me during my upkeep for a couple of turns, while I fail too grab a 4th mana source for 3-4 turns lol, had the NO and the slaughter pact in my hand... I won from Stoneblade twice (felt pretty good, 2 times with progenitus and 2 times with the combo) and from affinty. The other game loss was to NO RUG. Game 1 I make a terrible missplay by not saccing my xantid swarm to viscera seer in response to his lavamancer activation, which would have gotten me my 4th land 1 turn sooner which turns out to be crucial. Game 2 I just get wrecked by his soon progenitus and him killing my mana creatures with lavamancer and fire/ice. Some thoughts: Im going to cut the 4th pattern for an extra land. Also I had a couple of cards in my sideboard that I felt were unnecesary. 2 krosan grip are going out, for 1 scavenging ooze and 1 other slot. I might want to cut some stuff to make room for 3 Leyline of Sanctity, because those are also very strong against discard. (I lost one game due to hymn stripping my 2 patterns from my hand :P unlucky).

Anyway these are my thoughts after my first tournament with the deck (25 people), so maybe you could tell me if you agree with me on some points felix. In 2 weeks Ill be playing the Starcitygames Invitational with the deck (150-200 players :)).

Thanks in advance, Maarten

Xantid Swarm
08-14-2011, 08:44 PM
3-2 for a first tournament with the deck is not bad at all especialy taking in acount 1 match was against storm.

I'm still unsure about the ideal number of lands, between 21 and 22. For now I play 22 (4 Ancient Tomb, only 3 Pattern of Rebirth) because the local meta is full of mana denial but if I play somewhere expecting lots of Hive Mind decks, 4 Pattern (21 lands) can be the right call.

About the side:
I'm 100% agree to cut Krosan Grip, not good enough since nobody play Counterbalance.
Leyline of Sanctity is a good choice if you expect discards AND storm decks. Where I play, nobody play storm for now so I don't put Leyline of Sanctity in my side. I use Sylvan Library against discards decks (and against slow control decks). But if storm is present in your local meta, I'll say go for Leyline of Sanctity.

About NO RUG:
This matchup never gave me too much problem until now, but I can see how it can be rough sometime. Grim Lavamance and Fire and Ice (+counter magic) can be painful, that's sure and we'll peraps have to take Scavenging Ooze in acount in that matchup.

I watched yesterday the Jupiter Games tournament. Robert Green (Hulk Rebirth) played round 7 against NO RUG for a place in the top 8. He lose 2-1 after three close games. I saw how Scavenging Ooze can be a real problem for us (his opponent use GSZ to get it 2 times in the match). So, against any opponent playing GSZ, it's probably a good idea to bring 4 Slaughter Pact to be able to deal this Ooze. I will also test 1 Phyrexian Revoker in the side, to bring it instead or in addition to Qasali Pridemage against decks that can play Scavenging Ooze: that way you can sac Hulk and get Rector + Revoker to nullifie opponent Ooze.

Edit - If Scavenging Ooze became a real problem, it will give additional merit to City of Solitude, a card that can take the place of 1 or 2 Xantid Swarm in the sideboard.

caggii
08-14-2011, 09:38 PM
I didnt lose that match we actually drew but he did have me if he had played quicker missed t16 on breakers. I completely agree about the pacts and i did bring the 4 in i do like the idea of revoker. No rug is a pretty decent match up my game 1 was really awkward my first hand i keep a solid hand with a hulk my and a no i believe it was and my first draw was the second hulk and then i also ended up drawing the progenitus a little later in the game

Admiral_Arzar
08-15-2011, 11:36 AM
Went 4-1-1 with this deck at my local. Here's a report from what I can remember:

The List

4 Birds of Paradise
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Tinder Wall
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Putrid Imp
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Reveillark
1 Body Double
2 Protean Hulk

4 Cabal Therapy
3 Thoughtseize
4 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Natural Order
4 Pattern of Rebirth

4 Ancient Tomb
1 Gaea's Cradle
2 Dryad Arbor
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
1 Taiga
1 Forest
8 Fetches

Sideboard
4 Carpet of Flowers
4 Slaughter Pact
2 Xantid Swarm
2 Qsali Pridemage
1 Harmonic Sliver
1 Swamp
1 Sylvan Libary

Round 1 - Burn

We both mulligan, and I open with Thoughtseize (and LOL when I see red cards, taking Flame Javelin). I play some manadorks and he burns me a few times. I cast Pattern on some dude and win T4 I think (after blocking Spark Elemental with my Tinder Wall). Game 2 is basically the same except I win T3 with NO. I boarded out Thoughtseize for Xantid Swarms I think.

2-0, 1-0 matches

Round 2 - Merfolk

We both mulligan again, and he opens with Mutavault -> Vial. I go land, manadork. He plays Wasteland and I Therapy (he forces pitching LOA). I Thoughtseize and see 2 Coralhelms, taking one. I therapy away the other, and then draw Pattern of Rebirth and win with Progenitus (the only clock he had with Kira after yet another Therapy hits Rejerey). Game 2 we both mulligan (I've mulled every game in both rounds) but he mulls again and has to keep a slow hand. I play dorks (including Xantid Swarm) and win with T4 NO.

2-0, 2-0 matches

Round 3 - BUG Landstill

I walk into this a little afraid because I know he has Relic, Extirpate, and maybe more hate in the board. Game one is a huge shit-show. He forces my T2 Natural Order, and I play some dudes. He counters or kills some of them, and I end up with only Viscera Seer. He plays Standstill, I drop Dryad Arbor and start getting in there for 2 every turn. Eventually I have a hand stocked with business, and he never draws a manland and has to break his own SS. I untap with 3 Therapies and like four business spells in hand. I therapy and then drop a Wall of Roots or something. He plays Deed with one mana up. I untap, Pattern targeting my Wall and he scoops. Game two I play a bunch of dorks and Gaea's Cradle, and attempt to hard-cast Hulk. He forces, then extirpates. I play Pattern on something, get Progenitus, and get there after beating him up with shitty dudes for a few turns again.

2-0, 3-0 matches

Round 4 - Steel Stompy

This is a rogue deck brewed and played by Metalwalker, a friend of mine. Game one he drops Vial and Mox Opal, and I play a fetch. End step I fetch Dryad Arbor and walk in to the STP I forgot he played. I eventually play Wall of Roots, get Wastelanded, and then die unable to pay extra mana for business due to Lodestone Golem and Thorn of Amethyst. This is my first loss of the day and puts me on huge tilt, as all I had to do was not fetch arbor. Game 2, He plays double thorn but I get some dorks in play and start getting in there (Viscera Seer is the BEATZ). His own Thorns force him to keep tapping Ancient Tombs to play spells and he takes a ridiculous amount of damage. He Metamorphs my Seer and then sticks a Jitte on it while at 2 life. I attack, he takes 1 and goes to 1. He attacks, I fetch Arbor and block, sacrificing it to Seer before damage to fizzle Jittle counters. I untap, attack for 1, and win. Game three I keep a one-lander full of Birds and Zeniths, praying he doesn't have Chalice. He doesn't, and I get there by hard-casting Hulk and comboing. I sided in Pridemages here, and they did something in both games, I just don't really remember what.

2-1, 4-0 matches

Round 5 - Hypergenesis

ID - this is a good matchup, but he's a friend of mine and we both want food.

4-0-1

Top 4 - Belcher

Of course I get paired against the one bad matchup :P. Other two were Steel Stompy and Hypergenesis. I lose the roll (uh oh). Game one I mull to 3 and then scoop (I wasn't even fishing for discard, just got a string of all or no land hands). Game two he drops Belcher on T2 without mana to activate. I Natural Order for Harmonic Sliver and blow it up. He scoops. Game three I have T1 Thoughtseize. I see a hand of mana, Burning Wish, and Belcher. After Pondering for a while, I take Belcher. He rips a mana source and Empties for 12 (I would have died if I hadn't taken Belcher). I play Visera Seer and BOP, and pass. He swings and I go to 5. If I rip Pattern, Order, or Rector, I win. I draw a land and concede. Although this matchup isn't good, I think I could have taken it down if I didn't get a rash of terribad hands in game one.

1-2, 4-1-1 matches

Some thoughts:

Thoughseize was amazing all day, and I never really wished it was Gitaxian Probe. The list was missing Phyrexian Tower because it hasn't showed up in the mail yet, and my sideboard was suboptimal due to me only owning one Sylvan Library. I will be re-working the manabase, as it wasn't great. Mogg Fanatic is going to become Death Cultist so the Taiga can become another basic Forest. I will probably also cut a Bayou for a Swamp. A 4th Xantid Swarm will likely make it into the board, as the card is just insanely good (also, as a longtime TES player, I love the thing). I never used Putrid Imp, Fauna Shaman, or Academy Rector, but it was nice to know I had the safety nets they provide. Wall of Roots is the NUTS against any deck with creatures that attack, and I almost want a second one. Tinder Wall and Wild Cantor are kind of so/so. I don't really like Carpet of Flowers here as it isn't a creature, but I'll see if it works out (I didn't board it against BUG Landstill due to Pernicious Deed, or Merfolk due to all the non-islands). I almost hard-cast Reveillark against BUG, which I found hilarious. Also, never fetch a T1 Arbor into untapped white mana. You will be punished, and you will rage just like me.

EDIT: The new manabase I will be testing looks like this:

3 Ancient Tomb
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Phyrexian Tower
2 Dryad Arbor
2 Forest
1 Swamp
1 Savannah
2 Bayou
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Windswept Heath

Xantid Swarm
08-16-2011, 11:55 PM
Good job Admiral_Arzar. With a bit more luck in the Top 4 pairing, you'll probably have won all this as the two other matchups where all good (with Hypergenesis almost impossible to lose). 100% agree with your comment on Wall of Roots being amazing against aggro.

Thoughtseize vs Gitaxian Probe (one again...)

I don't want to argue this to the death, but I just want to point that in this line of play

I Thoughtseize and see 2 Coralhelms, taking one. I therapy away the other (...)
Probe is strictly better than Thoughtseize, leaving you with +1 card and +1 mana (as you would have took both Coralhelms with Therapy). Also, a Probe would probably have been better in your round 1 match. The only matchup where Thoughtseize is generally better than Probe is against faster combo (where you can/must take the "control" role). In any other matchup, I'm convinced that Probe are better as there is only few cards that matter in opponents deck, while digging into your deck is almost always good.

I also want to report a match where I realized another cool aspect of Gitaxian Probe. I was playing at local game store tonight. In my round 3 match, I was paired against a UW faerie control deck. Game one, we came to a point where both of us have no card in hand and he have a couple of Faerie + a Jace. As faeries hit me and reduce me to 6 (with the help of a Sword of Body and Mind, by the way), I was death next turn and with Jace fatesealing me each turn, things are not looking good. All I was having on board was 5 lands (including 1 Dryad Arbor, 1 Phyrexian Tower and 1 Ancient Tomb). I was thinking: if I can top deck a Natural Order, I would win but the Jace's fateseals make it hard...

When Jace fatesealed and leave my top card there, I was sure it was over. I draw and saw: Gitaxian Probe! As you can see, a Probe on top of the deck effectivly blink Jace's fateseals. I play my Probe and cantrip into Protean Hulk. At first I think I just lost because I can hardcast it but my Phyrexian Tower would be tap so I could not sac Hulk then... Until I realize that there is a Cabal Therapy in my grave, thanks to an attack my opponent did with Sword of Body and Mind! So, I hardcasted Hulk, sac it and got an amazing win (at 2 life!). I won the match 2-1 and the three games was realy close and intenses.

Last thing, about your suggested mana base, Admiral_Arzar:
I understand you want to be resilient to wasteland / Moon effects, but access to green mana on turn 1 is critical for this deck. I really think that 14 green mana source is minimal to avoid too much mulligan (I actualy play 15). It's the only problem I saw with you list: you only have 13.

With a 60 cards list playing 14 turn 1 green sources, you have 86,1% of chance of having one in your starting 7, opposed to 83,7% if you play 13. I you mulligan to 6, 14 green sources still leave you with 81,3% of chance of seing one, opposed to only 78,6% if you only run 13. I guess you can see the risks...

So I would recommand to cut Cradle in your list for a fetchland or a Taiga OR to cut Swamp for a third Bayou.

Admiral_Arzar
08-17-2011, 01:03 PM
Good job Admiral_Arzar. With a bit more luck in the Top 4 pairing, you'll probably have won all this as the two other matchups where all good (with Hypergenesis almost impossible to lose). 100% agree with your comment on Wall of Roots being amazing against aggro.

Thoughtseize vs Gitaxian Probe (one again...)

Last thing, about your suggested mana base, Admiral_Arzar:
I understand you want to be resilient to wasteland / Moon effects, but access to green mana on turn 1 is critical for this deck. I really think that 14 green mana source is minimal to avoid too much mulligan (I actualy play 15). It's the only problem I saw with you list: you only have 13.



Thanks.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on Probe vs. Thoughtseize. There are plenty of situations where one is strictly better than the other - perhaps the fact that I'm an old-guard storm and mbc player leads me to prefer additional targeted discard.

You're probably right about the manabase, and I noticed I'm running one less land than you are. I may up my land count, probaby by cutting Wild Cantor or Starved Rusalka (both were pretty terrible for me in testing). I could cut a Pattern of Rebirth, but I'd rather stay at eight business if at all possible. The basic swamp may also end up in the board. I do believe that we should be running more than one basic though.

5doorfury
08-17-2011, 04:36 PM
^^ I have the answer to the argument above... PLAY BOTH :tongue:

I seriously think the deck wants both cards though, and you both bring up valid points.

Anyways, thank you for the detailed report. While I am really happy you liked the thoughtseize, I am not sure that I understand your logic of not using the academy rector all day? Personally, I combo off with the academy rector almost every single time I combo, if anything to show my opponents that I am almost not vulnerable to creature kill at all.

If you were not using the academy rector to combo, shouldn't the burn deck just absolutely detroy you by killing your sac outlets mid-combo??? It's possible I'm missing something, but I feel confident that if I was playing mono red burn, and someone playing ZERO did not use the academy rector to combo out, I would be able to wreck them (aside from you trying to race them with progenitus, which is scary in it's self.) Albeit, I wouldn't play mono-red burn, but just giving that as one of your examples.

detroitpro
08-17-2011, 10:03 PM
I've been playing the deck for ~2 weeks now. One tournament so far and a fair amount of play testing. I'm at the point where I need some help with some of the more tricky situations.

For example, I found myself up against Enchantress and his board was 2 Runed Halo, Elephant Grass(s), and Leyline of Sanctity. I recurred wild cantor to generate a bunch of mana, then recurred pridemage to kill all the enchantments and then finally recurred mog for the kill...It took about 10min to figure out and that caused us to go to time.

Question 1: If I have a therapy in the graveyard, no sac outlet, a pattern in my hand. My opp drops a Tormod's crypt (or relic) on his turn. on my turn when I cast pattern he can respond by popping the crypt and at that point I need to find a new sac outlet correct? I don't have a chance to respond because the flashback is a sorcery speed.

Question 2: If I have a therapy in hand and pattern in play, no sac outlet,. Again, my opp has a crypt (or relic). Are there timing rules that make this an easy situation? Maybe like keeping priority after casting Therapy and then using it's flashback?

Question 3: Is the current sideboard simply cold to 2 Leyline of void?

DrHealex
08-17-2011, 10:26 PM
I've been playing the deck for ~2 weeks now. One tournament so far and a fair amount of play testing. I'm at the point where I need some help with some of the more tricky situations.

For example, I found myself up against Enchantress and his board was 2 Runed Halo, Elephant Grass(s), and Leyline of Sanctity. I recurred wild cantor to generate a bunch of mana, then recurred pridemage to kill all the enchantments and then finally recurred mog for the kill...It took about 10min to figure out and that caused us to go to time.

Question 1: If I have a therapy in the graveyard, no sac outlet, a pattern in my hand. My opp drops a Tormod's crypt (or relic) on his turn. on my turn when I cast pattern he can respond by popping the crypt and at that point I need to find a new sac outlet correct? I don't have a chance to respond because the flashback is a sorcery speed.

Question 2: If I have a therapy in hand and pattern in play, no sac outlet,. Again, my opp has a crypt (or relic). Are there timing rules that make this an easy situation? Maybe like keeping priority after casting Therapy and then using it's flashback?

Question 3: Is the current sideboard simply cold to 2 Leyline of void?

Q1: Yes you need a new sac outlet. No you can't respond because it's a sorcery.
Q2: Yes you keep priority after the resolution of therapy leaving you free to flash it back.
Q3: Win with the attack step :p

koba
08-18-2011, 05:00 AM
Xantid swarm, thank you for all the time you put into this.

One suggestion: you are unsure about playing with 21 or 22 lands. Have you tried the deck out with 3 patterns and 3 tombs, i.e. 60 cards and 21 lands instead of 61 cards?

It is like playing with 21,5 lands and seems like a small improvement to me (although I have very little experience with the deck and could be wrong).

5doorfury
08-18-2011, 11:57 AM
@detroitpro - As Xantid has said, "just make it a progenitus party, they usually don't last long." Obviously, you will need to make it a Natural Order, Progenitus party, but you can also just try and ramp up to cast a Hulk the old fashioned way. Also, if you really get wild you can GSZ for a progenitus!?

Xantid Swarm
08-18-2011, 07:27 PM
One suggestion: you are unsure about playing with 21 or 22 lands. Have you tried the deck out with 3 patterns and 3 tombs, i.e. 60 cards and 21 lands instead of 61 cards?


Thank you for this excellent suggestion. I'll go back to 60 cards and 21 lands, except I like too much playing with 4 Tomb, so I'll cut my Taiga or my 9th fetchland instead. This will still leave me with 14 lands that can produce G on turn 1, it's enough. I'll stay at 3 Pattern.

I must admit I get used to 61 as it sometime make it a bit easier to take out a card for sideboarding. But it's clear that you're right.

Admiral_Arzar
08-22-2011, 11:10 AM
Went 2-1 at my local (enough for top 4 and split because we only had 8, lol). Beat BUG Landstill 2-0, lost to Team America 0-2, and then beat NO RUG 2-1. Traditional TA is a BEATING for this deck - I mulliganned and then got Thoughtseized and Hymned. Stifle also royally rapes us. I'm still mulliganning pretty much every game with this deck, but it doesn't matter as I usually win anyway (mulled to five game three vs. NO RUG and still got there).

Xantid Swarm
08-22-2011, 10:18 PM
I'm back from SCG Boston and want to share some toughts. I did 6-3 for 35th position. I beat 2 Dredge decks (1 manaless, the other with mana), 1 B/W deck, 1 WUB Stoneforge deck, 1 Combo elf and 1 UR Twin combo (!). I lost to Team America (3 realy close games), Reanimator (also realy close) and got completly crushed by Alex Bertoncini playing NO RUG.

Well, even if I'm a bit sad about the final result, I felt that all my win was realy comfortable while I could have won 2 of my three defeats with a bit more luck or tighter plays.

I was running a 60 cards main: 21 lands (9 fetch, 4 Tomb, no Cradle, no Taiga), my usual 20 creatures and 4 Probe, 4 GSZ, 4 Therapy, 4 NO + only 3 Pattern. I am very hapy with this main list and feel it's the perfect balance between mana, disruption and combo cards.

Now, about the side, I was runing this:
4 Carpet of Flowers
4 Slaughter Pact
2 Sylvan Library
1 Pridemage
1 Xantid Swarm
1 City of Solitude
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Phyrexian Revoker

I realy feel that Team America (or any BUG variant) is beatable with this side. Sure, it remain a tough matchup and we must accept it, but with a bit of luck its realy possible to win. At my local game store, I won a lot of matches against BUG, often with the help from Carpets and Library. In Boston the match I played against it could have go either way.

The matchup that I realy want to get better is NO RUG. NO RUG is far from being the worst matchup but it's actualy the deck that dominate the format and it's harder to beat than, let say, UW decks. A turn 1 Grim Lavamancer is a real nightmare and the red part of Fire and Ice is almost always a two-for-one. Xantid Swarm seam so fragile against them, it's hard to win without Therapy... and they can also Zenith for Ooze.

The card that I realy want to try against NO RUG is City of Solitude. Unlike Swarm, City is almost impossible to remove for most deck, including NO RUG. Like Swarm, it stop counterspells, removal, stifles and extirpate, but City also stop Ooze activations with the added bonus, against other decks, of stoping anything that opponent can do against the combo (like activating a Crypt, a Relic, a Faerie Macabre, a Cursecatcher, a Pernicious Deed or a Engeenered Explosive at 1, etc). Finaly, unlike Swarm, City of Solitude dodge Mental Mistep (and also Spell Snare, by the way).

I also feel that City of Solitude can play well in the curve with my actual mana base (with 4 Ancient Tomb). Against NO RUG, with City of Solitude and Carpet of Flower, there is no reason to put more than 1 creature into play at the same time, avoiding the painfuls two-for-one of Fire-and-Ice. Use GSZ to get Wall of Roots, and Grim Lavamancer is not scary anymore.

So, in the next days, I'll try this sideboard:
4 Carpet of Flowers
4 Slaughter Pact
2 Sylvan Library
1 Pridemage
1 Scavenging Ooze
3 City of Solitude

3 City is perhaps too much, but I want give the card a real try so I must be sure to see it regularly. Unfortunatly, I will not be able to play before next week. Be sure I'll report my results and my opinion of the card.

hofzge
08-23-2011, 07:22 AM
I played an older version of the deck with 61 cards, 4 Pattern of Rebirth, 3 Ancient Tombs + 1 Gaea's Cradle and no Taiga at a local FNM to 3-0 (vs. Storm 2-1, vs. BW 2-1, vs. Sneak and Tell 2-1) and then at a GP Trial for Amsterdam to 4-1-1 (vs. Splinter Twin 0-2, Aggro Loam 2-0, Blue Zoo 2-1, vs. Hive Mind 2-1, vs. Sneak and Tell 2-0 and ID) into the top8 and lost the quarterfinal (vs. BUG Jacestill 0-2).

During the day I played against Leyline of the Void, Leyline of Sanctity, Tormod's Crypt, Relic of Progenitus, Scavenging Ooze, Gaddock Teeg and Aven Mindcensor. In the sideboarded matches the only relevant cards the opponent can have in my view are Scavenging Ooze and Gaddock Teeg, as well as Aven Mindcensor. Therefore I agree more with Xantid Swarm about switching to City of Solitude instead of Xantid Swarms (I never liked the idea of sideboard Revoker anyways, as you have a hard time tutoring for it). The only negative point is that you cannot tutor for City of Solitude with Green Sun's Zenith.

On the topic of the manabase I will switch the Gaea's Cradle for an Ancient Tomb. I nearly lost to Sneak Attack after an Emrakul had annihilated my board and I topdecked a Cradle onto an empty board on my side and a Trinisphere on his side. Luckily my opponent didn't draw a creature in at least 10 draw steps and I won after drawing a Zenith, a Tomb and a land.

bfeingersh
08-23-2011, 12:38 PM
Hey Xantid Swarm, we played at the open the other day (I was playing BW Deadguy). That sucks that you missed cashing, I was really impressed in our game... game 2 your play was absurd, I didn't think there was a way I could possibly lose that, haha. I ended up winning out after our match to go x-2 missing top 16 on breakers.

Xantid Swarm
08-23-2011, 10:54 PM
@bfeingersh:
Nice to see you on this thread! That game 2 was a true crazy game. I know my won was spectacular but I did a big misplay through the motion, giving you an out without need. Congratulation for your great finish, as I understand you won 4 in a row after our match.

bfeingersh was my round 5 opponent and the game 2 of that match illustrate well how this deck can sometime be very resilient and at the same time very complicated to play. Let me describe this match as I remember it:

Game 1, I got a fast win through the main combo, killing him with infinite Mogg Fanatic damage.

Game 2, bfeingersh resolved a Tidehollow Sculler. He saw and took Body Double from my hand. Later, he resolved a second Sculler, taking that time my Mogg Fanatic. With 2 essential combo pieces removed from game, bfeingersh was certainly sure that I can’t combo anymore...

One or two turns later, I was having in play 4 lands, including 1 Dryad Arbor, and a Tinder Wall. I also have 3 Cabal Therapy in graveyard.

I'm sorry, the rest is not true. I did not drew Natural Order but Reveillark. Read the next post, from bfeingersh, to have the correct story, that make more sense. Sorry for this piece of confusion and please forget about it...

I then drew a Natural Order and cast it (sacking Dryad) to get a Protean Hulk and then go through this sequence of play:

1. I sac Hulk using a first Therapy in yard, getting Academy Rector + Qasali Pridemage
2. I sac Rector using my second Therapy, getting Pattern of Rebirth enchanting Tinder Wall
3. I sac Tinder Wall for RR to trigger Pattern, getting my second Protean Hulk
4. I sac the second Hulk, flashbacking my third Therapy (!), and get that time my second Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor + Viscera Seer + Birds of Paradise +my second Dryad Arbor + ... I don’t remember what else as this is only do a total of 4 cmc.

I don't understand why I did not get a Wall of Roots at step 4, as it would have permit me to win without passing the turn. Perhaps Wall of Roots was already in my grave at that moment, I do not remember.

As I saw, after step 4, that I could not win on that turn, I took out the last card that was in the hand of my opponent with the last Cabal Therapy still on the stack and say “go”, seeing how stupid I was to not get my Carrion Feeder on the fourth step: if bfeingersh draw a Sword to Plowshare or a Vindicate, he could kill my Viscera Seer and I would not be able to kill him next turn...

As it turn out, bfeingersh did not draw the removal he needed to stop me and attack with both Sculler. I block with my Wall and my Pridemage, killing the Sculler who hold Body Double. I then won on my next turn trough this sequence:

1. I sac Wild Cantor and cast Body Double who came into play as a copy of Protean Hulk
2. I sac this new Hulk via Viscera Seer, to get Reveillark + something else
3. I sac Reveillark to get back Body Double + Wild Cantor

At that point, I can generate infinite mana and get back my Qasali Pridemage infinite times. I kill the last Sculler, get back Mogg Fanatic and kill my opponent with infinite damage.

After the match, I realized I did a lot of mistakes. I could have won this game 2 without using triple Therapy and without giving any out to my opponent. The correct sequence of play would have been this:

1. Cast NO to get Hulk
2. Sac Hulk, using only one Cabal Therapy and get Academy Rector + Viscera Seer + Wild Cantor + Dryad Arbor
3. Let resolve Cabal Therapy to be sure the way is free
4. Sac Rector via Seer to get Pattern of Rebirth on Dryad Arbor
5. Sac Arbor and get second Hulk from Pattern’s trigger
6. Sac Hulk to get Qasali Pridemage + second Tinder Wall + Carrion Feeder + 2 Birds of Paradise
7. Pass the turn: opponent have no out even if he draw removal
8. On the next turn, use the 2 Therapy remaining in grave to be sure the way is still free
9. Use Pridemage to kill the first Sculler and get back Body Double
10. Cast Body Double (copy Hulk)
11. Sac the new Hulk, get Reveillark and win from that point

And this is right only if Wall of Roots is not available. If Wall of Roots was still in my deck when I casted NO (something I can't remember for sure), I could have won without passing the turn by getting Wall of Roots at step 6 and with 6 mana available proceed immediatly to step 9.
@hofzge:

The only negative point is that you cannot tutor for City of Solitude with Green Sun's Zenith.


The idea is, when you board in City of Solitude, you keep the one Xantid Swarm in the deck. That way, you can still use GSZ to get Swarm one time if needed.

bfeingersh
08-23-2011, 11:36 PM
I don't think you drew NO. I'm pretty sure you:

- drew Reveillark and cast it for regular cost.
- Therapy #1 to return Academy Rector and Tinder Wall from your yard. Academy Rector had been discarded so it was in the GY rather than exile.
- Therapy #2 on Rector, get Pattern of Rebirth on Tinder Wall.
- Tinder Wall for RR, get Protean Hulk.
- Therapy #3 on Protean Hulk, getting Viscera Seer, Birds of Paradise, Wild Cantor, Tinder Wall, and Qasali Pridemage.

At that point you passed and I drew Stoneforge Mystic, an effective blank as I was 1 mana short to play and equip SoBM, which would have been irrelevant as you had mana available to just Pridemage one of my Scullers from your Wall/Cantor. So you get back your Body Double, then on your turn cast it as Reveillark, sacrifice to Viscera Seer, get back itself and the other Pridemage and get your Mogg Fanatic back, then proceed to combo as usual.

My memory is kind of hazy though, Sunday was a really looooong day, heh.

Xantid Swarm
08-24-2011, 12:01 AM
Damn that's 100% true! I'm too tired and wasn't able to remember it right. How can I forgot this epic Reveillark top deck! (The NO top deck occured in another game against somebody else, and I confuse both games in my memory).

Well, now it make a lot more sense, as I understand why I didn't kill you right away and why I wasnt able to retrospectivly understand my line of play.

Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the correction, I feel a bit less stupid about my play (but a bit more stupid about how badly I confused this awesome game).

Rafa
08-24-2011, 07:37 PM
Dudes, what about us running perish ourselves?
Wouldnt that help against most of the decks, plus sending our hulk and our enchanted creatures to the gy?

hofzge
08-25-2011, 03:55 AM
In my opinion Perish and Nature's Ruin are very bad, as you can mostly ignore your opponents green creatures except Scavenging Ooze, Gaddock Teeg and maybe Progenitus. Against most Decks able to run Scavenging Ooze you will board 4 Slaughter Pacts anyways (maybe with the exception of RUG) and those have the advantage of being able to play 2 spells a turn vs. Counters in RUG.

To kill your own creatures Slaughter Pact is infinitely better as it costs 0 as opposed to 3, which means you can go off the same turn you cast Pattern of Rebirth or Natural Order.

To sum up: Slaughter Pact is better against opposing creatures and better against your own Protean Hulk or creature with Pattern of Rebirth on it.

Sigar
08-26-2011, 01:46 PM
I love this deck and I am buying the cards to assemble it asap!

I have some questions:

1) How do you combo if you have Body Double and Reveillark in hand?

2) How do you combo if you sac Hulk, get sac outlet + Body Double, Sac Body Double and opponent in response kill sac outlet?

3) How do you combo if opponent has Tormod's Crypt in play?

Thanks!

Climax
08-26-2011, 02:23 PM
1. The deck has the possibilities to hardcast both.
(Grep Tinterwalls Wild Cantors, Dryad with Hulk instead)
2. If you no your opp may have removal get the right cards to play around it.(described earlier in this treat)
3. After Boarding you've got Quasali to zenith for.

Hope that helps

Rafa
08-26-2011, 02:52 PM
The cool stuff is that in the worst scenario you put Prog into play and thats a 2 turns clock to win!

PS: I'm loving my Living Wish version. I have added Peacekeeper and he shines against NO RUG.

mrjumbo03
08-26-2011, 02:56 PM
Don't forget that you have one of the best plan B's in the format in the form of the big fat hydra.

Edit: Ninja'd!

Sharpened
08-26-2011, 04:28 PM
Why would Peacekeeper shine against NO RUG, they have removal?

Rafa
08-26-2011, 04:49 PM
Why would Peacekeeper shine against NO RUG, they have removal?

All I need is to buy 1 or 2 turns until comboing and it's not always that they have one of the 5 removals they run in their hand. Besides, there are more creatures they should care to remove first, like xantid swarm, for example, which make it possible for peacekeeper to provide me the turns I need.

Anyways, it's about my Living Wish version and it's based on my results on Workstation. I'm just sharing.
I have won many games against NO RUG thanks to him.

Shawon
08-26-2011, 09:46 PM
Is there a reason why Eternal Witness is nowhere to be found in the 75, let alone not mentioned anywhere in this thread (I ctrl+f'd each page)? As writer Reid Duke stated in his NO RUG article this week, Witness "rebuys" Natural Order, by itself. It not only Regrowths your NO, say if it was countered/discarded, and but it provides the "sacrifice a green creature" requirement for the NO you returned.

death
08-26-2011, 11:19 PM
The deck usually autopilots and goes into top deck mode, what makes it different from NO RUG is the number of threats that can win immediately. Although Eternal Witness can "Regrowth" your win conditions back, the card isn't absolutely necessary. This deck has 16 win conditions, aside from NO, there's Pattern, Academy Rector, Fauna Shaman, 2 Protean Hulk and a full set of GSZ. Any top deck can win on the spot, while Eternal Witness will need at least 7 mana or 1 full turn to win. In this scenario, it doesn't make it any better than GSZ. It is an expensive creature compared to BoPs/Walls and all it does is recoup, which is not my strategy with the deck.

detroitpro
08-26-2011, 11:21 PM
3) How do you combo if opponent has Tormod's Crypt in play?



This is just as much a question as an answer.

If you have a creature with pattern in play you can cast from your hand therapy, retain priority and cast again from GY to start the combo.

Or (and I'm less sure about this situation)

If you have a sac outlet in play you can cast NO or Pattern. They can crypt now but it won't do anything but remove your grave yard, mostly lands, maybe a therapy, the green creature you sac'd. Once you sac again you retain until you've killed them and then pass.

Yes/No/Maybe?

1maarten1
08-27-2011, 02:30 PM
Allright, just came home from a 87 person tournament (the starcity games inventational qualifier) went 3-2-1 with the deck, dropping the last round as it was not possible to top 8 and there were no prises outside top 8. I will write a longer report and some thoughts tomorrow but to sum it up, I made some sick plays that won me games but also 2 or maybe 3 missplays that cost me games and thus took me out of top 8 contendance. I won against Stoneblade with Thoptersword, Manaless dredge and Soul sister, drew with UWR stoneblade (tough MU with the grim lavamancers) when we went to the extra turns I could make 11 mana so I had ALOT of winning draws, but all I drew was land, he was also 1 turn short of killing me in the end because I drew no creatures.(This was the first round). Losses to Affinity (i know, wtf. He had nut draws) and to BRW disruption confident something, bad MU, I lose G1 bad, G2 Sanctity does alot but a very severe misplay and I give him the game (ill explain tomorrow). There also was an other guy playing this deck! Ill share some of his thoughts in my report tomorrow!

So yeah. Mixed feelings today! Ah well, Im happy with what I learned today as it was only my second tournament with the deck!

Sigar
08-27-2011, 03:02 PM
This is just as much a question as an answer.

If you have a creature with pattern in play you can cast from your hand therapy, retain priority and cast again from GY to start the combo.

Or (and I'm less sure about this situation)

If you have a sac outlet in play you can cast NO or Pattern. They can crypt now but it won't do anything but remove your grave yard, mostly lands, maybe a therapy, the green creature you sac'd. Once you sac again you retain until you've killed them and then pass.

Yes/No/Maybe?

Uhm.. Explain to me how you combo through a Tormod's Crypt please. What you said makes no sense. They can crack Crypt when Mogg Fanatic is in the grave for example.

1maarten1
08-27-2011, 03:22 PM
Uhm.. Explain to me how you combo through a Tormod's Crypt please. What you said makes no sense. They can crack Crypt when Mogg Fanatic is in the grave for example.

With the first trigger you grab Pridemage and A.Rector. Rector gets pattern pattern gets the second hulk etc. Takes a bit more mana and it requires 1 extra sac outlet but the troublesome crypt/relic/leyline is gone.

Xantid Swarm
08-27-2011, 03:36 PM
1) How do you combo if you have Body Double and Reveillark in hand?!

With Body Double in hand:Hulk's trigger get you 2 Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor + Seer or Feeder (+ other stuff if needed). Hard cast Body Double, copy Hulk and combo from there.

With Reveillark in hand:Hulk's trigger get you Body Double + Seer or Feeder. Body Double copy Hulk. Sac it and get 2 Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor + Mogg Fanatic. Hard cast Reveillark and combo from there.

With both Reveillark and Body Double in hand:You'll need one extra mana. Hulk's trigger get you Academy Rector + Feeder/Seer + 1 Wild Cantor (+any Drayd Arbor still in the deck). Sac Rector for Pattern of Rebirth, for 2nd Hulk. Sac 2nd Hulk for 2 Tinder Wall + Wall of Roots + Mogg Fanatic + 1 more thing. Hardcast Reveillark (2 Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor). Sac Reveillark to get back 1 Tinder Wall + Wild Cantor. Hard cast Body Double (1 Tinder Wall for RR, Wild Cantor for U, Wall of Roots for G +1 extra mana) - came into play as a copy of Reveillark. From there, combo as usual.


2) How do you combo if you sac Hulk, get sac outlet + Body Double, Sac Body Double and opponent in response kill sac outlet?

If opponent can have remvoval in hand, get Rector + Seer + Feeder + Dryad Arbor from Hulk's trigger. This way, you have two sac-outlet. From there, sac Rector to get Pattern (enchanting Dryad Arbor) and then get Body Double (copy Hulk) and then Reveillark + Mogg Fanatic.


3) How do you combo if opponent has Tormod's Crypt in play?

Get Academy Rector + Qasali Pridemage from the Hulk's trigger. From there, if you have already Seer or Feeder into play + 1 extra mana (to pay for Pridemage ability) you can combo instantly: Pridemage kill the Crypt and Rector get you Pattern of Rebirth, for 2nd Hulk, for combo-win.

I'll try 3 City of Solitude in my sideboard to fight blue deck, with the added bonus of stoping Crypt, Relic, Scavenging Ooze, etc.

As many said, you also have the option to win with Progenitus against grave hate.

Edit - Sry 1maarten1, didn't see your post before I ansered. It will be nice to see your complete report! Also, how did the other player with the deck?

Sigar
08-28-2011, 03:03 AM
Great, thanks! Would a Body Snatcher somewhere in the deck make some of those situations easier, and maybe let us cut Tinder Wall and Wild Cantor? I would really like to make room for Brainstorm.

1maarten1
08-28-2011, 08:58 AM
Edit - Sry 1maarten1, didn't see your post before I ansered. It will be nice to see your complete report! Also, how did the other player with the deck?

The other player made top 8, but then lost in his quarterfinal to dark horizons. He played the old list with the gaea's cradle. He did make a pretty big change to his sb, he had 3 Mental Missteps and he said he boarded those in in almost every match he played and that he was thinking about moving them maindeck instead of probes becauses he was so impressed with the MM's. I will try to contact him so he can explain some of his choices but I dont know if he is active on any forum ;).

Anyway back to my report:
First off, my list and sb
Lands: 21
4 verdant catacombs
4 misty rainforest
4 ancient tomb
3 bayou
1 savannah
2 forest
1 phyrexian tower
2 dryad arbor

Spells: 19
4 natural order
3 pattern of rebirth
4 cabal therapy
4 gytaxian probe
4 green sun's zenith

Creatures: 20
4 Birds of paradise
2 tinder wall
1 wild cantor
1 wall of roots
1 fauna shaman
2 protean hulk
1 body double
1 reveillark
1 mogg fanatic
1 carrion feeder
1 viscera seer
1 starved rusalka
1 progenitus
1 xantid swarm
1 academy rector

Sideboard: 15
4 carpet of flowers
4 slaughter pact
3 leyline of sanctity
2 xantid swarm
1 scavenging ooze
1 qasali pridemage

Ill post my thoughts on the list at the end of the report.

Round 1: UW Stoneblade with red splash for grim lavamancer
Game 1: I mull to 6 after seeing a 7 with ancient tomb as its only land. I kept a rather bad 6 (like 4 lands wild cantor and probe) but I was kinda nervous to go to 5 my first game of the tournament so I keep it. He has a decent amount of removal and counters and a turn 1 grim lavamancer makes my life miserable.

Ill try to post my sideboarding although I didnt write that down so it might not be 100% accurate.
-1 ancient tomb, -2 birds of paradise, -4 gytaxian probe
+4 carpet of flowers, +2 xantid swarm, +1 qasali pridemage

Game 2: I keep a sick 7 hander and manage to combo out pretty soon as he uses his plows on 2 xantid swarms and I cabal therapy some counters. (Carpet gave me a big advantage this game).
Game 3: He counters my NO's, but doesnt have much gas himself. After a while he has a grim lavamancer on board and time is called. He plays SFM and gets SoFaI. At this point my board is alot of lands and a carpet, I can make 11 mana so I have alot of draws that can win me the game but I end up drawing lands only and he is one turn short of killing me so its a draw.

Round 2: Soul sisters
Game 1: He keeps a hand with just a wasteland (no vial) and then proceeds to draw 2 wastelands in the next 2 turns. I have alot of lands so I just let him wasteland some stuff while I rip his hand apart with therapy and then easily combo out.

-1 progenitus, -1 wall of roots, -1 viscera seer, -2 gytaxian probe
+4 slaughter pact, +1 qasali pridemage

Game 2: He goes t1 Soul Warden. I play alot of mana dudes (while he is commenting wow thanks for the free life :D) and then proceed to combo out for infinite damage :) after ripping his hand with therapy.

Round 3: UW ThopterSword combo with SFM, these are probably the sickest games I played with the deck so far.
Game 1: I keep a strong hand but draw my 2 protean hulks as my first 2 draws :D. After a while I manage to get a progenitus, but he has a batterskull, SFM and 2 mishras that had been beating me so my progenitus alone will not race it. I manage to resolve a tinder wall with a Pattern on it (I did not have therapys to discard my hulk so Pattern couldnt get body double) My progenitus attacks, puts him to 10, he attacks I chump the BS and fall to 2. Pattern gets me Reveillark after some thoughts (seeing that even if he had removal I could get back 1 arbor and a tinder wall to block. He doesnt have the removal and my Lark and progenitus swing for the win.

+4 Carpet, +2 Swarm, +1 Scavenging Ooze, +1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Wall of Roots, -1 Progenitus (he could race it, and I expected Moat after seeing his thopter foundry), -2 ancient tomb, -1 Birds, -3 Probe.

Game 2: I make the sickest combo turn I have had with the deck ever. My tinder walls and cantor were in the yard and I didnt have a fetch to get my savannah to hardcast my Reveillark. So when I start the combo (hulk into rector feeder seer), he aims a Swords at my carrion feeder, I remove rector put pattern on feeder sac it to itself to get carpet. Then proceed to second mainphase, get 6 mana to cast reveillark for the win.

Round 4: Manaless Dredge. Im not too scared for this matchup as I know what he is playing and being a former dredge player myself I know very well how the deck works.
Game 1: I keep a pretty good hand with 2 lands, NO, Pattern etc but never find a 4th mana source so I get burried in zombies.

+4 Slaughter pact, +1 Scavenging ooze
-1 Xantid swarm, -1 Viscera seer, -1 Progenitus, -2 Gytaxian probe

Game 2: I keep a hand with birds, 2 GSZ, Ooze, 3 lands. Beginning on turn 3 my ooze grows by 5 or 6 each turn eventually hitting him for 20+ in one turn :).

Game 3: I keep a very strong hand that goes off on turn 3 with double slaughter pact and NO+Pattern. He takes my NO with therapy and then says out loud ''allright so I still have another turn before im dead'' I know thats not true as I can simply put pattern on my dryad arbor and then combo out with double pact. He passes and Im like: Pattern on arbor. He: ''ok, my turn?'' Im like nah, pact my own arbor and he says something like: wow thats possible? Thats pretty strong.

At this point Im at 3-0-1 so in a pretty decent spot seeing that there were 7 rounds so 5-0-2 or 5-1-1 would be enough.

Round 5: BRW Disruption Confident deck with Lavamancer (I hate that creature :P)
Game 1: He rapes my hand with Hymn and Thoughtseize and keeps the board clean with his turn 1 Lavamancer. I dont stand a chance.

I dont exactly remember my sideboarding here, but the 3 leylines came in.

Game 2: I start with t0 Leyline, and I hear him sigh (he kept a hand with 2 thoughtseize and 2 hymn xD). So I start building up some stuff, but he topdecks Lavamancer and Bitterblossom. He extirpates my therapy's the turn I want to go off, leaving me with no outlet. I then proceed to kill the lavamancer with a shady play like wild cantor, sac for red, mogg fanatic, ping the lavamancer and then hardcast my Reveillark. My reveillark dies in combat to a bunch a tokens, and I return some mana dudes. I hardcast my Protean hulk, but have no sac outlet since I had to tap my Phyrexian tower. He topdecks swords like a boss. I draw for a few turns and then eventually get a pattern. I grab Hulk (reveillark and fanatic in the grave), sac it to Tower, get Body double and in some stupid automated fashion I say: Body double is protean hulk. While body double copying reveillark was win, I have no way to turn this round and get buttkicked by a Mirran Crusader.

After this round I am very pissed at myself for ruining my chances like that. Now I have to win the remaining 2 rounds. After talking with some people I find out there is only 1 other player at 3-1-1 and that he is playing Affinity. I dont feel bad about going into this MU so with a slightly better mood I walk to my table.
Game 1: I keep a 7 that wins on turn 4 and Im like: No way he can win this lol. He wins the roll and plays a turn 1 Vault skirge. I go land go. He goes nuts and equips a Cranial plating on the skirge and hits me for 6. I play ancient tomb and tinder wall, He beats me for 7 on his turn. I then manage to get a pattern on my tinder wall but know I will probably be facing lethal next turn. I then make another big mistake. He casts Master of Etherium, at this point I should have sacced my Tinder wall to get mogg fanatic to ping his skirge before it grows to 2 to buy me a few turns since I did have enough mana and arbors to make progenitus next turn and still have an extra chump blocker. However for some reason I forget the +1/+1 and then go for birds with the pattern, chumping the skirge. However I now have zero outs to the Skirge and he beats me to death.

Game 2: I keep my 7, seeing its a turn 3 or 4 kill. I play a fetch and say go. He plays 7 artifacts under which a cranial plating (yeah, fml). My turn I get birds with GSZ (I should have played this different because on his turn he gets a second black mana to simply move his plating during combat hitting me for 9) I am then forced to grab Pridemage with NO to kill the plating. He still has 2 frogmites and a blinkmoth nexus and beats me to death in 2 turns.
So I should have taken the beats and save the GSZ to be able to grab pridemage and kill the plating in the same turn, and then proceed to get progenitus to race his 2 frogmites.

So at 3-2-1 I am out of top 8 contendence and decide to drop and go home. The other Pattern Hulk player made top 8 but proceeded to lose in the quarter finals to Dark Horizons.

Some thoughts on the maindeck:
- I really need the singleton Taiga. I didnt have money for it, and didnt think it was that necessary but It gives alot of good options and I never had too much of an advantage of the second basic forest.
- I seriously never GSZ for Starved Rusalka, but that could be my mistake.
- The 4 ancient tombs were pretty good, although I am think of swapping the 4th for a second Phyrexian tower to have an extra sac outlet in the maindeck.
- I also wasnt too impressed by Fauna Shaman this tournament, Ofter it was simply too slow with the plan of grabbing me an Academy Rector.

Stuff I am thinking about:
- Moving the singleton Body Snatcher back into the main
- Playing an extra sacrifice outlet
- Playing a singleton Emrakul (Allthough I have no idea if this is worth it, but at the tournament I have had 2 times where It would win me the game where progenitus is too slow/misses flying)

Stuff I am unsure about in the Main:
- Fauna Shaman
- Starved Rusalka (I think when we still played Gaea's cradle it was better then it is now)
- The configuration of 4 Ancient Tomb and 1 Phyrexian Tower

The sideboard I was pretty Satisfied with, but I will try out 3 City of Solitude's/3 Mental Misstep (after the other player in the tournament told me he thought those were so great) instead of 2 xantid swarm and 1 carpet.

Allright turned out to a pretty long post lol, please let me know what you all think!

~Maarten

1maarten1
08-28-2011, 09:00 AM
Great, thanks! Would a Body Snatcher somewhere in the deck make some of those situations easier, and maybe let us cut Tinder Wall and Wild Cantor? I would really like to make room for Brainstorm.

Death still runs Snatcher in the MD (look at the opening post). And I am also considering it. But I will never cut the tinder walls and the wild cantor, they just serve way too many purposes and can be returned by Reveillark which can be great if you need to get rid of several annoying permanents with pridemage during the combo.

Xantid Swarm
08-28-2011, 12:14 PM
Thank you for the repport, 1maarten1. I just want to point one thing in your round 3 match:


My progenitus attacks, puts him to 10, he attacks I chump the BS and fall to 2. Pattern gets me Reveillark after some thoughts (seeing that even if he had removal I could get back 1 arbor and a tinder wall to block. He doesnt have the removal and my Lark and progenitus swing for the win.

When you chump block a Battleskull, you know you can sac the creature before damage to avoid the life gain from opponent? Like if you block BS with Tinder Wall and sac Wall before dmg, you can then win just with 1 Progenitus swing (I know that did not change anything at the result of that game, but it can be important to know). Same is true against a creature equiped by Jitte.

Edit - I fail to see how Mental Misstep can be good for us. Opponent's Misstep or Sword to Plowshare generally don't do too much and MM do nothing against Force of Will. I'm just curious about the reasoning as I can't think of many 1 cmc spells that we want to be able to counter - at the cost of running a reactive card that can be an awful topdeck and do not help us to combo off.

1maarten1
08-28-2011, 02:02 PM
Thank you for the repport, 1maarten1. I just want to point one thing in your round 3 match:



When you chump block a Battleskull, you know you can sac the creature before damage to avoid the life gain from opponent? Like if you block BS with Tinder Wall and sac Wall before dmg, you can then win just with 1 Progenitus swing (I know that did not change anything at the result of that game, but it can be important to know). Same is true against a creature equiped by Jitte.

Edit - I fail to see how Mental Misstep can be good for us. Opponent's Misstep or Sword to Plowshare generally don't do too much and MM do nothing against Force of Will. I'm just curious about the reasoning as I can't think of many 1 cmc spells that we want to be able to counter - at the cost of running a reactive card that can be an awful topdeck and do not help us to combo off.

Yes I know that ;) I misstyped! I put him to 14, and my tinder wall with pattern on it chumped the batterskull and then sacced itself to get reveillark!

I am also not impressed by Misstep, but what are your thoughts on the other suggestions? I forgot the fact that p.tower is a legendary land so running more of those wont be too good, but I sometimes felt I wanted more Sac outlets.

Xantid Swarm
08-28-2011, 03:37 PM
Some thoughts on the maindeck:
- I really need the singleton Taiga. I didnt have money for it, and didnt think it was that necessary but It gives alot of good options and I never had too much of an advantage of the second basic forest.
- I seriously never GSZ for Starved Rusalka, but that could be my mistake.
- The 4 ancient tombs were pretty good, although I am think of swapping the 4th for a second Phyrexian tower to have an extra sac outlet in the maindeck.
- I also wasnt too impressed by Fauna Shaman this tournament, Ofter it was simply too slow with the plan of grabbing me an Academy Rector.

Stuff I am thinking about:
- Moving the singleton Body Snatcher back into the main
- Playing an extra sacrifice outlet
- Playing a singleton Emrakul (Allthough I have no idea if this is worth it, but at the tournament I have had 2 times where It would win me the game where progenitus is too slow/misses flying)

Stuff I am unsure about in the Main:
- Fauna Shaman
- Starved Rusalka (I think when we still played Gaea's cradle it was better then it is now)
- The configuration of 4 Ancient Tomb and 1 Phyrexian Tower

The sideboard I was pretty Satisfied with, but I will try out 3 City of Solitude's/3 Mental Misstep (after the other player in the tournament told me he thought those were so great) instead of 2 xantid swarm and 1 carpet.

Allright turned out to a pretty long post lol, please let me know what you all think!

~Maarten
About Taiga:
I played lots of games with and without the single Taiga. I run in situations where I have a fetchland in play, a Mogg Fanatic that I want to cast in hand but no Taiga in the deck... But I also run situations where I drew the Taiga and was pissed because a fetchland could have give me a Bayou/Savannah/Dryad that I needed at that time. So I'm not conviced what is better. For now, I run 9 fetch and no Taiga.
That said, I think 1 basic Forest is enough. With all the mana creatures and GSZ in the deck, it's not tough to access to 2 green mana even under a Blood Moon or B2B effect.

About Starved Rusalka:
The day Wizard will print a green Feeder will be a great day for this deck. Waiting for that, Rusalka must stay in the list.
Think about it: if you decide to cut Rusalka, you'll probably run a second Viscera Seer instead as you don't want to reduce the number of sac outlet in the deck. Sure, you'll sometime lose because this damn Rusalka is not a Viscera Seer but most of the time, Rusalka will be able to do the same job anyway. GSZ into Rusalka is not a frequent play but when you need to do it, it's essential to have the Rusalka. It's probably something I do 1 time each 5 or 6 match. Losing a game because Rusalka is not 2nd Viscera Seer append lot less often.

About running 2 Phyrexian Tower:
This idea have merits. Sure, legendary rule can sometime hurt you, but it will be rare. The other option is to play 1 Tower + 1 High Market, but I believe 2 Phyrexian Tower will be better as using Tower to get BB came fairly often.

About Fauna Shaman:
I still think it's a needed card. FS won me a lot of game I would not have won without her. That said, you are not the only one to question her so I can be wrong.

About Body Snatcher:
I still think we don't need it. We don't have a place to run it.

About Emrakul:
Well, I suppose you can run 1 copy in the side and bring him against decks that can race Progenitus. That said, I'm not convinced at all that he worth 1 sideboard slot.

About playing more sac-outlet:
I would love to have the place for a 2nd Seer or 1 Slaughter Pact main deck. That said, I don't know how to do it without hurting the consistancy of the deck. You suggestion of -1 Tomb +1 Tower is perhaps the solution.

About City of Solitude:
As you know, I'm agree with this idea and I'll try 3 City of Solitude in the side this week at local game store.

Shawon
08-28-2011, 08:45 PM
About Taiga:
I played lots of games with and without the single Taiga. I run in situations where I have a fetchland in play, a Mogg Fanatic that I want to cast in hand but no Taiga in the deck... But I also run situations where I drew the Taiga and was pissed because a fetchland could have give me a Bayou/Savannah/Dryad that I needed at that time. So I'm not conviced what is better. For now, I run 9 fetch and no Taiga.
That said, I think 1 basic Forest is enough. With all the mana creatures and GSZ in the deck, it's not tough to access to 2 green mana even under a Blood Moon or B2B effect.

Have you considered Tropical Island instead of Taiga? I figure it would be more helpful to be able to hardcast Body Double than Fanatic without relying on BoP. It also lets you run a singleton Trygon Predator, which can help against double Leylines (white or black).


About Starved Rusalka:
The day Wizard will print a green Feeder will be a great day for this deck. Waiting for that, Rusalka must stay in the list.
Think about it: if you decide to cut Rusalka, you'll probably run a second Viscera Seer instead as you don't want to reduce the number of sac outlet in the deck. Sure, you'll sometime lose because this damn Rusalka is not a Viscera Seer but most of the time, Rusalka will be able to do the same job anyway. GSZ into Rusalka is not a frequent play but when you need to do it, it's essential to have the Rusalka. It's probably something I do 1 time each 5 or 6 match. Losing a game because Rusalka is not 2nd Viscera Seer append lot less often.

I've been trying Scarland Thrinax in lieu of Rusalka, after running into a situation where I played Pattern, but didn't have enough mana with Rusalka to go off that turn. So far, I haven't noticed any significant differences as I haven't had the need to use Thrinax.

f|i[p]
08-29-2011, 12:13 AM
I agree on Felix regarding his points...

Right now, we need rusalka, even if its mana intensive..as it is the only tutorable sac outlet with zenith that is cheap enough so that it might enable you to win in the same turn..
With Scarland THrinax, if you pattern for him you might as well pattern for a seer or feeder.. its the same thing.The good thing about rusalka is that its cc and its green. Although I hate the fact that it uses mana as at times I get delayed a turn just because of that. I too am hoping that they print out a 1cc sac outlet for green.

Fauna has won me games as well, she may be slow but she works..fetching rector or sac outlets at times is very important. and shes fetchable by zenith as well.

A second tower might also be good,since I too have problems with sac outlets. ANd I was always happy to see tower.

I am unsure about emrakul.. haven't run in the situation yet..I don't think ill be happy to see emrakul bounced by jace.

However regarding bodysnatcher, I actually see some merit in running it. I too have tried it and it works.. but I am unsure of how its really needed..

I need to play the deck more against more blue decks and black decks as usually this gives me the most experience and most problems regarding the deck which will lead to smarter plays. I still have problems regarding leylines.. Ill always need a zenith in hand.

Shawon
08-29-2011, 03:46 AM
"]With Scarland THrinax, if you pattern for him you might as well pattern for a seer or feeder.. its the same thing.The good thing about rusalka is that its cc and its green. Although I hate the fact that it uses mana as at times I get delayed a turn just because of that. I too am hoping that they print out a 1cc sac outlet for green.

FWIW, Thrinax is green (:b::r::g:), so you can fetch it with GSZ. But I am aware of the obvious casting differences between Thrinax and Rusalka. When you have Rector in play, you can actually win that same turn with four mana if you GSZ for Thrinax, whereas you would need 1GGGG to GSZ into Rusalka and win in that turn. That's the one situation where Thrinax is strictly better than Rusalka. Narrow corner case, I'll have to admit. Haven't really determined if it's worth it yet.

hofzge
08-29-2011, 03:59 AM
I've been trying Scarland Thrinax in lieu of Rusalka, after running into a situation where I played Pattern, but didn't have enough mana with Rusalka to go off that turn. So far, I haven't noticed any significant differences as I haven't had the need to use Thrinax.

This makes no sense to me as with Green Sun's Zenith for 3 to tutor up Thrinax you had 4 mana. Had you instead played GSZ for 1 and tutored Rusalka you would still have 2 mana to activate the Rusalka. You usually just need 1 mana to sac the Hulk and get a Seer or Feeder, from where you can proceed without mana. Even if you go Rector + Feeder + Seer to play around Removal you don't need any extra mana.

In these situations you would even have saved 1 mana with Starved Rusalka versus Scarland Thrinax. The situation with Rector and going off the same turn with Thrinax (described by Shawon above) where you have an Academy Rector and GSZ for Starved Rusalka for 1G then sac the Rector for G to get a Pattern of Rebirth, Sac the creature with the Pattern on it for G to get a Protean Hulk, and then sac the Hulk for G is not worth the added mana in the more common scenario of "just needing a sac outlet" in my opinion.

Also how did you get the Academy Rector into play in this hypothetic situation? If you played it, you have at least 4 mana and this situation arises very seldomly and if you sacced a Hulk for it you had the opportunity to get Viscera Seer or Carrion Feeder or both.

PollePotDK
09-09-2011, 06:17 AM
Hi all,

First of all. OMG this deck rocks so hard.

I have never been a fan of Combo decks, but this deck is amazing. The complexity of the deck is huge, but the many different approaches to "walk around" hate and combo of is ridiculous and makes this deck so fun to play. The best thing is when you combo of and look at the opponents face. Priceless :-)

I played the deck at a tournament about a week ago (4 matches - went 3-1 and the loss was 1-2 to UW Blade control, with a HUGE misplay in the final game aka cost me the win) and it was at that tournament, I realized the full potentiel and versatility of the deck.

First match was against Team America. OMG - I thought, bad matchup (I knew the opponent and he is skilled), which was confirmed about 3 turns later, went I had ZERO cards in hand, after 2 Hymn and a Thoughtseize, if I recall correctly. BUT a topdecked Natural Order with him having zero cards in hand, 3 Goyf on board aka lethal next turn and could combo of. weehhhh :-). Next game he keep a hate heavy hand, which slows him down and an exalted Reveillark beat FTW. I had the "luck" in this match, BUT this decks have the cards to give you the "luck", if you can say that.

Second match was against UW Bladecontrol and got manascrewed the first game. Of to the next. Sylvan Library saved my ass. Paid 8 life for the win. Match 3 was the greatest punt from my side and a testiment of how one can overlook the smallest little detail in the heat of the battle (plus I haven't played this deck for so long). Bottomline is, time is called, and he has 2 cards in hand, which I don't know. I attacked with Xantid Swarms to prevent him from countering anything and cast Carpet of flowers, which I needed to cast the combo piece, in second main (PUNT and lost). I should have cast Carpet in the first main to get the mana in the second, but forgets. Because if he didn't counter the Carpet I win and if he countered I would loose anyway. SAD FACE.

Last 2 matches was againtst Goblins (2-1) and BW Discard/Deadguy Ale (2-0) - both very good matches with topdecks and complex plays. All in all great tournament with a great deck.

Xantid Swarm
09-10-2011, 01:05 AM
Yup, never forget to cast Carpet in the first main phase to be able to use it on the same turn. That said, nice report.

By the way, just want to repport that I'm still playing 3 City of Solitude in my side and I do not plan to cut any of them for now. They are realy good against both NO RUG and UW Stoneblade. With my actual side (4 Carpet, 3 City, 2 Sylvan, 1 Pridemage, 4 Pact, 1 Ooze), I feel like every blue matchup is favorable except for Team America and Reanimator.

death
09-10-2011, 01:39 PM
Since nobody has mentioned this yet, what are everyone's thoughts on Beast Within:

http://gatherer.wizards.com/Handlers/Image.ashx?size=small&type=card&name=Beast%20Within&options=

This is currently in my sideboard as a catch-all answer. I wanted to have 3x K. Grips/Dismember (Slaughter Pact #5-8) but thought they would take so much space. This card seemed to fit the bill, does it all, and still leave some room in the sideboard.

The 3/3 beast at EOT can be irrelevant, especially when your dealing infinite damage on your next turn.

Sigar
09-10-2011, 03:43 PM
I don't know if the card is good in the deck, but it can also produce a creature to Natural Order if needed.

Xantid Swarm
09-11-2011, 09:24 AM
I suppose it's a legit SB card for the deck. No doubt it's better than Dismember as Slaughter Pact 5+ (if you think 4 Pact is not enough), because it can kill Protean Hulk. It's probably also better than Krosan Grip for now as split second is not so important without CB Top in the actual meta. A card that can kill a Leyline of the Void, a Gaddock Teeg AND be used as a sac-outlet or provide a creature for NO seem good.

@ death: Nice to see you did some update of the Primer (like adding the "Feature Articles" section).

Rafa
09-12-2011, 04:05 PM
I'm glad you haven't forgotten the topic! I've finished building the deck IRL and I can't wait to start playing and comboing =D
Actually I need some help.
I was playtesting and it happened more than once: I had only the rector in play, which became destroyed and I had no creature to attach the pattern of rebirth on (because the other creatures - birds, dryad arbors, tinderwalls - were also destroyed). :frown:
Is there a spot for maybe a singleton great enchantment for that situation?

Xantid Swarm
09-12-2011, 09:40 PM
The situation you describe - Rector trigger with no creature in play - can append but very rarely if you are cautious: somthing like 1 time every 50-100 matchs. Never cast Rector without at least 1 creature into play and try to always keep 1 unused fetchland as a back-up. Most of the time, this situation will append against mass removal, but if you have 1 fetch, you'll still be ok: if all your creatures dies to Wrath of God, you can still sac a fetchland with Rector's trigger on the stack and get a Dryad Arbor.

That said, if you want to be sure to get something in every situation, you can run 1 Sylvan Library main deck. Sylvan Library is a very good card: there is valid arguments about playing it main, even without considering Rector. Any big uncastable enchantment (like Form of the Dragon) do not worth it, as they'll be stuck in your hand 10 times more often than fetched by Rector.

Post-board, depending on your side, you can have some more possible targets, like Carpet of Flowers, City of Solitude, Leyline, etc.

.dk
09-12-2011, 11:38 PM
The situation you describe - Rector trigger with no creature in play - can append but very rarely if you are cautious: somthing like 1 time every 50-100 matchs. Never cast Rector without at least 1 creature into play and try to always keep 1 unused fetchland as a back-up. Most of the time, this situation will append against mass removal, but if you have 1 fetch, you'll still be ok: if all your creatures dies to Wrath of God, you can still sac a fetchland with Rector's trigger on the stack and get a Dryad Arbor.

That said, if you want to be sure to get something in every situation, you can run 1 Sylvan Library main deck. Sylvan Library is a very good card: there is valid arguments about playing it main, even without considering Rector. Any big uncastable enchantment (like Form of the Dragon) do not worth it, as they'll be stuck in your hand 10 times more often than fetched by Rector.

Post-board, depending on your side, you can have some more possible targets, like Carpet of Flowers, City of Solitude, Leyline, etc.

I was considering running 1 Library main before reading this - I hadn't really thought of this situation before, which lends even more credence to it. I was considering replacing the Fauna Shaman with a Sylvan Library to see how that ends up. Although, Shaman can be useful for getting Rector in the first place... Decisions...

NyxathidHorror
09-13-2011, 01:50 AM
So how exactly does the combo work in this deck; Does it win with Progenitus?

.dk
09-13-2011, 02:16 AM
So how exactly does the combo work in this deck; Does it win with Progenitus?

umm, not be a jerk, but did you read the thread? like... at all? maybe the first post?

NyxathidHorror
09-13-2011, 03:00 AM
umm, not be a jerk, but did you read the thread? like... at all? maybe the first post?

I actually started to read the first page after I posted, and now I'm not wondering how the combo works, but how this deck deals with any type of hate. I've been looking for something new to test, and this deck caught my attention when I looked at the list at first. I understand now that you always combo out on your terms, but if your opponent knows what you're playing, then they can hit key pieces at inopportune times for you.

The deck theoretically sounds like fun to play, but it looks kinda weak on paper. I'm going to have to give this thing a spin on cockatrice later.

TheShaun
09-13-2011, 03:09 AM
I actually started to read the first page after I posted, and now I'm not wondering how the combo works, but how this deck deals with any type of hate. I've been looking for something new to test, and this deck caught my attention when I looked at the list at first. I understand now that you always combo out on your terms, but if your opponent knows what you're playing, then they can hit key pieces at inopportune times for you.

The deck theoretically sounds like fun to play, but it looks kinda weak on paper. I'm going to have to give this thing a spin on cockatrice later.

It's a strong deck, able to insta-combo win or make a turn 2-3 Progenitus. I feel that a very large part of its strength lies in the very small number of people who understand what it is trying to do, and therefore have no idea how to interact with it.
I've seen several versions of this running around, and it can be a very dangerous match. It does seem to be a bit more inconsistent than some combo decks, but it's not like Progenitus turn 2-3 is a bad backup plan. Gitaxian Probe + Cabal Therapy can be game-ending to many decks as well.
I like the deck quite a bit, but the occasional inconsistencies seem to scare me off a bit.

.dk
09-13-2011, 03:10 AM
I actually started to read the first page after I posted, and now I'm not wondering how the combo works, but how this deck deals with any type of hate. I've been looking for something new to test, and this deck caught my attention when I looked at the list at first. I understand now that you always combo out on your terms, but if your opponent knows what you're playing, then they can hit key pieces at inopportune times for you.

The deck theoretically sounds like fun to play, but it looks kinda weak on paper. I'm going to have to give this thing a spin on cockatrice later.

its more resilient than you think. being able to GSZ for pridemage is huge, as well as xantid swarm protecting your money turn. additionally, if there is a lot of graveyard hate (more than 1 leyline specifically), then you can turn to progenitus. the combo can also fight through crypt and relic (you can read how on the previous pages) with recurring pridemage. same with pithing needle. or again, just turn to progenitus.

i'm still learning the deck myself, and i'm just having a bit of a tough time with permission based matchups. they seem to be about to out-counter my disruption (1 or 2 cabal therapies). but other than those (and they really don't feel THAT bad, as playing around daze is usually pretty easy) and team america, i feel pretty favored in most of the matches i've played. i haven't played against reanimator yet, so i can't speak to that one.

.dk
09-13-2011, 03:13 AM
It's a strong deck, able to insta-combo win or make a turn 2-3 Progenitus. I feel that a very large part of its strength lies in the very small number of people who understand what it is trying to do, and therefore have no idea how to interact with it.
I've seen several versions of this running around, and it can be a very dangerous match. It does seem to be a bit more inconsistent than some combo decks, but it's not like Progenitus turn 2-3 is a bad backup plan. Gitaxian Probe + Cabal Therapy can be game-ending to many decks as well.
I like the deck quite a bit, but the occasional inconsistencies seem to scare me off a bit.

hmm, i haven't found it inconsistent at all, really. i mean, there are SO many topdecks that let you just win. i'm actually finding it to be more consistent than faster (storm) combo, and can just outpace slower combo (hive mind). what parts are you thinking are inconsistent?

NyxathidHorror
09-13-2011, 03:22 AM
It's a strong deck, able to insta-combo win or make a turn 2-3 Progenitus. I feel that a very large part of its strength lies in the very small number of people who understand what it is trying to do, and therefore have no idea how to interact with it.
I've seen several versions of this running around, and it can be a very dangerous match. It does seem to be a bit more inconsistent than some combo decks, but it's not like Progenitus turn 2-3 is a bad backup plan. Gitaxian Probe + Cabal Therapy can be game-ending to many decks as well.
I like the deck quite a bit, but the occasional inconsistencies seem to scare me off a bit.

I see. I think I'm going to give it a try, and see if I like it. That's probably easier than asking a ton more questions...lol

PollePotDK
09-13-2011, 03:55 AM
Played against a friend last nightn, who plays Enchantress. The first few games were blow-outs turn 3-4 all the way, but as he got to know the deck, he won some games due to main deck Ground Seal, Moat and Runed Halo. Those cards alone are a pain in the ***, but postboard he brings ind Leyline og Sanctity, Wheel of Sun and Moon aka lots of Hate cards. Post isn't the big issue, as Pridemage mostly takes home the bacon, but preboard it's difficult to win if he hits a Runed Halo or Ground Seal+Moat, which isn't unrealistic due to Sterling Grove and Enlightened Tutor. Was think of, it's possible to main deck Pridemage as a 1-of or main deck Terastodon along Progenitus to get rid of the pesky cards. But what to take out? Having a VERY hard time, taking out cards of the main deck (my deck is the original list on the first page of the primer). Know it's a narrow case I'm talking about, but... Thought?

Btw, what's the code for card tags? :confused:

NyxathidHorror
09-13-2011, 04:01 AM
Btw, what's the code for card tags? :confused:

(cards)(/cards)

Replace the parenthesis with brackets.

:smile:

Xantid Swarm
09-14-2011, 12:15 AM
I tested a bit Qasali Pridemage main deck just after GSZ got printed and I rapidly put it in the side. Really, in the actual meta, there is too few matchup where it's good enough game 1 to justify running it main deck.

Enchantress is in fact a very good matchup. I understand that game 1, main deck Ground Seal + Moat can be anoying, but I know you can race that most of the time (and sometime deal the last points of damage with Reveillark attacks over the Moat). Once you put Pridemage in the deck for game 2 and 3, it's really easy to win. The only thing that can stop you from comboing with infinite Pridemage activations is Wheel of Sun and Moon or double Sterling Grove. And you can still deal Wheel with GSZ for Pridemage. In that matchup, Leyline of Sanctity do almost nothing against us.

Now, if you absolutly want to play Pridemage main deck, and if you run the list from death, I guess you can cut a Pattern (go to 3) and still be fine. That said, I'm sure you are better with Qasali in the side...

PollePotDK
09-14-2011, 02:32 AM
Ground Seal game 1 means you have to win by attacking and if Moat comes down, you have 1 out and that's Reveillark. I know it's a good match-up and it's only because he knows my deck, that the win percent is decreasing.

Infinite Pridemage activations is a beauti in game 2 + 3, but isn't Ground Seal a problem beside Wheel of Sun and Moon or double Sterling Grove? you can't target the Pridemage i graveyard with Ground Seal in play and Ground Seal can't be targeted with Sterling Grove in play. I know it requires a pridemage more and I do play with 2 Pridemages in SB a the moment, so it's not a problem.

That said, I would like to avoid Pridemage in MD and don't think I'm including him. Enchantress just have so many answers to you deck game 1, if the deck gets going.

TheShaun
09-14-2011, 08:47 PM
Nobody plays Ground Seal in game one, but yeah it would be a game ender in play... I guess the same way a game ender game one is if the opponent casts Goblin Charbelcher and activates it without a land in the top 10...

And the inconsistencies I've seen from my friend playing the deck are mainly regarding mulligans. It's kinda funny but kinda annoying as well, the last time we played I won every game that he kept his opening 7, but he won every game that he mulled to 5 or less. I do agree that this is one of the more consistent combo decks in the format, but just saying that sometimes a single counter or removal can put the deck back quite a few turns.

Xantid Swarm
09-14-2011, 09:35 PM
@PollePotDK: Game 2 + 3, a single Ground Seal alone do nothing AT ALL. Do not forget that Body Double don't target, meaning you can do this :

1. sac Hulk to get Viscera Seer + Body Double (copy Hulk - as Ground Seal do not stop this ability);
2. Sac the B.Double/Hulk to get Pridemage + Academy Rector (+Dryad Arbor);
3. Sac Rector into Pattern into 2nd Hulk into Reveillark + Wild Cantor
4. Sac Cantor for 1, destroy Ground Seal with Pridemage
From there you have infinite mana, infinite Pridemage and infinite Scry. You can destroy every enchantments and pass the turn. Before drawing on your next turn, you can infinite-Scry into Mogg Fanatic for the win.

Against Ground Seal + Sterling Grove, you can still win via Progenitus. That mean he need in fact 3 lock piece to stop you (Moat + Grove + G. Seal) and even at that point you can attack with Reveillark. But most of the time, you'll win before opponent can get all those pieces.

Sure if you want to tune the deck to beat your friend playing enchantress, you can play multiple Pridemage (or Krosan Grip, Nature Ruins, etc) but if you bring the deck in a random tournement, I do not recommand more than 1 Pridemage SB (and zero main).

Dresden
09-15-2011, 12:09 AM
Nice on the infinite pridemages. Q for you guys, what's the most typical T1 play if you don't know what your playing against if you have GSZ, Bird, Therapy (no probe)? Does this change if you have 1 fetch vs 2+ lands?

Also, I've been trying a sb of +3 leyline of sanctity (-2 Sylvan, -1 Pact) instead to shore up against TA, Painted Stone, Burn, I think it's been more useful than having the extra sylvan libraries? I guess it makes the U/W control or U/W blade matchup more even, what do you think? Also trying +1 pact, -1 shaman since I've needed the extra sac outlet more so than fauna's ability. Btw just checking - we have 0 outs against humility pre or post-board, right?

PollePotDK
09-15-2011, 02:56 AM
@Xantid Swarms: I didn't know that you could still copy Hulk with Body Double. Thought it was a targetting ability. Thx for the heads up :-)

I'm not looking to tune my deck versus the enchantress. It's not the way to do it, as you said, it doesn't work if taking it to a tournament.

@TheShaun: My friend DO play Ground Seal in MD, so somebody does. Again, it's not a bad choice, as many deck use the graveyard.

One Hymn or Thoughtseize as disruption or a counterspell doesn't stop this deck. You topdeckmode is usually insane. That's my experience. Against blue decks, just GSZ for 1. They figure - ohh, he wants a Bird, OK. But you pick up a Xantid Swarm. I love playing against blue decks. Rather that, than black disruption.

@Dresden: I usually play the Bird, but it dependents on the other cards in hand and the opponent. GSZ for Dryad comes in second. I like to know the deck I'm playing against, before casting Cabal Theraphy.

Played a 18 (if I remember correctly) person tournament yesterday and came in in second place:

Match 1: Junk (1-1 draw) - win game 1 in turn 3 :-), punts the second game. Didn't get Progenitus and comboed out instead, but met a Extirpate. Would have won with Progenitus. Sad face.
Match 2: Zombies (yes zombies) (2-1): Nothing exciting to point out here.
Match 3: Reanimator (2-0): He drew like shit, I didn't :-)
Match 4: Solution 2012 (or something UWB deck) (2-1): he Surgical Extract Protean Hulk instead of Reveillark/Body Double, as he get's the combo wrong - Combo continues FTW.

For now I have participated in 2 tournaments and went 3-1 and 3-0-1 (6-1-1), which is a nice record.

Xantid Swarm
09-15-2011, 07:22 PM
Q for you guys, what's the most typical T1 play if you don't know what your playing against if you have GSZ, Bird, Therapy (no probe)? Does this change if you have 1 fetch vs 2+ lands?

Assuming I am on the play against an unknow opponent with those cards in hand, I'll play Bird turn 1. Always play Birds before GSZ cause it's better to keep option with Zenith. I wait to have more informations on opponent before playing Therapy.

If I have only 1 fetch, I'll fetch Basic Forest to avoid Probe + Wasteland. If I have 2 or more lands, I'll probably fetch a Bayou with this hand.


Also, I've been trying a sb of +3 leyline of sanctity (-2 Sylvan, -1 Pact) instead to shore up against TA, Painted Stone, Burn, I think it's been more useful than having the extra sylvan libraries? I guess it makes the U/W control or U/W blade matchup more even, what do you think? Also trying +1 pact, -1 shaman since I've needed the extra sac outlet more so than fauna's ability. Btw just checking - we have 0 outs against humility pre or post-board, right?

Leyline of Sanctity is not that great against TA, I'm not sure they have enough discard to justify it. I realy think Library is better against them as it is always good, even when they don't draw Hymn to Tourach. That said, Leyline of Sanctity is also good against storm combo decks. I bring Library against control decks like Stoneblade and any deck playing Hymn to Tourach. Leyline is good against BW, Burn and some combo decks. So it's a meta call I think.

Playing 1 Pact main is probably a good idea, I would like to do it if there is more place in the deck... I just do not want to remove Fauna Shaman from my build. But you can be right.

I do not think that 0 out to Humility is so bad considering how few play the card actualy saw (and you can still win by attacking under it). That said, if Humility is present in your meta, you can play some Krosan Grip or Beast Within (as suggested by death) in your side.

f|i[p]
09-16-2011, 01:48 AM
Has anyone tested this vs BUG?

The problems I have with the deck are quite simple... creature removal and wasteland...
I am wondering if I should even run a basic swamp in here..

but other than that it has been very powerful...

Dresden
09-16-2011, 09:49 AM
Hrm, I've been playtesting both vs BUG and U/W Control/Stoneblade, and both are tough, Ancestral vision and wasteland = ouch, UW seems a bit worse though simply b/c it doesn't have diabolic edict (i.e. progenitus plan is ok), has more counters, and has stp. Q - for those running the new SB with city of solitude instead of xantid swarm, how's that working out vs stoneblade/uw control? It seems that if the game stretches long enough that we actually use city of solitude, we lose?

On pg6, Against U Control decks:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Birds of Paradise
-2 Ancient Tomb
-1 Phyrexian Tower
-1 Protean Hulk
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Academy Rector
-2 Gitaxian Probe

With new sb, Against U Control decks:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+3 City of Solitude
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-1 Birds of Paradise
-2 Ancient Tomb
-1 Phyrexian Tower
-1 Protean Hulk
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Academy Rector
-1 Fauna Shaman
-2 Gitaxian Probe

Is that right? I think the matchup isn't much better post-board since they can bring in extra oblivion ring, force of will, path to exile..

Chiuks
09-17-2011, 05:56 PM
I have a question: in the strategy section describes how to bypass removal, through the academic rector.
Rector get you a Pattern of Rebirth on a creature, but the opponent can remove the creature with for exaple lightningbolt before it is enchanted?

Dresden
09-17-2011, 09:28 PM
Get Rector + 2 sac outlets, i.e. viscera seer and carrion feeder as well as all the dryad arbors. Then, if they cast removal in response to the trigger, just put pattern on whatever creature you want after bolt resolves.

Xantid Swarm
09-18-2011, 01:54 AM
I just came back from Legacy side-event at GP Montreal playing once again Hulk Rebirth. This is my little tournament report:

So we was 32 players, so five swiss rounds + Top 8.

Round 1 - Jamie, playing Merfolk

Game 1, an early game Probe show me that he have a Force of Will in hand. I tried a GSZ x=1 on turn 2 or 3 and he choose to let it resolve. Zenith got me a Xantid Swarm and I combo out few time later with my opponent still holding is now useless FoW.

Game 2, a Cabal Therapy reveal that he has 2 Lord of Atlantis + other fish in hand. I flashbacked Therpay to get rid of both Lords and then played a Tinder Wall + a Wall of Roots. I was then able to block all his fish during few turns, searching for my kill. I latter resolved a City of Solitude, just before he draw a Force of Will. So I was able to combo out (via an hardcasted Hulk if I remeber correct) despite the fact that again, he hold FoW.

1-0

Round 2 - Robin, playing BUG Vision Control

This was an really epic match. Game 1 he completly crushed me as he killed every creatures I put into play, countered a lot of spells I tried to cast, and won with help of Jace TMS (with a Pernicious Deed on the field, just in case...).

Game 2, after a few exchanges of me playing creatures and him playing removal and counterspells, I finaly resolved a City of Solitude that stuck into play. I then played a Carpet of Flower that give me access to a monstruous amount of mana - but this was a mistake as I did not have a way to combo out in hand at that time so I was exposing myself to a deadly Deed... He then played Deed and, with 1 mana up, choose to not destroy my Carpet as he wanted to kill my City in the same time. Luckyly, I proceed to win with my top deck, before he got the chance to untap and destroy my board.

Game 3 was completly crazy. Early game, he blow a couple of my creatures with removal (including a 2-for-1 via Perish) and put a Pernicious Deed into play. At that point, I'm sure he feeled confident. I then casted a Carpet of Flowers and used it to get blue mana, hardcasting a Body Double to copy my Qasali Pridemage that was then into my grave, and blow his deed before he can use it. I then managed to get a City of Solitude into play. At this point, I was having all my Pattern of Rebirth in my hand and just needed a sac outlet to get there. The problem is that he beated me with three Mishra's Factory and get my life total to 2, and got a Jace TMS into play to featseal me each turn. As he put my top card on the bottom of my library, I drew for my last hope and got the Cabal Therapy I needed. I got an Hulk into play and sac it thinking I just won, but I then realised that my Body Double was in the grave, so I grab Reveillark + Carrion Feeder, got back a lot of blocker, growth my Feeder to huge proportion and say go, because I have no way to get my Mogg Fanatic.

On his turn, he bounce my Body Double (copying Reveillark) and cast the Perish that he just drawed. That leaved me with a 1000/1000 Carrion Feeder as my only creature. At that point, he just have 2 untaped land. He could activate 1 Mishra's Factory for the win (I was still at 2 life), but he forgot the fact that Carrion Feeder can't block. So he pass the turn and I kill him with my big Feeder (thanks to City of Solitude, he can't activate his Factories for chump blocking).

After the match I realised that I misplayed as I could have won without saying go the turn I got my combo: Hulk could have got me 2 Tinder Walls, Wild Cantor, Feeder and Fanatic, and I could have casted one of the Pattern in my hand to get Reveillark. Anyway, I was lucky enough to get it, thanks to his misplay (I believe Robin will never forget again that Feeder can't block...)

2-0

Round 3 - Shawn, playing Hive Mind

Game 1, double Cabal Therapy allowed me to get rid of a Show and Tell and a Pact of Negation and I was able to combo out knowing the way is free.

Game 2, I managed to keep an hand that can win at instant speed if he cast a Show and Tell. Knowing my deck, Shawn tried to beat me without cast S&T, but I was able to combo out before he did anything revelant.

Round 4 & 5 - I.D. into top 8

Top 8 - Benjamin, playing MBC with 4 Mental Misstep

Game 1, the first turn was funny as I casted 2 Gitaxian Probe and he casted Misstep both time. I then cast Therapy and got the Hymn to Tourach he was having in hand. He still managed to get my Natural Order with a Duress, and begin beatdown with Dark Confident + another 2/2 creature. I finaly combo out at 2 life!

Game 2 he played a lot of removal, including 1 Perish, and beat me with Gatekeeper + Phyrexian Obliterator beatdown,

Game 3 he removed a few creatures I played, but I was able to get a Pattern of Rebirth on a Dryad Arbor when he was tapped out. On my next turn, I casted a Cabal Therapy, naming Mental Misstep - and he have it. I then cast a GSZ for 1 to get a Tinder Wall and sac it for RR to hardcast the Mogg Fanatic I was having in my hand. I use Fanatic to kill my Dryad Arbor, got Hulk from the Pattern's trigger and sac Hulk with the Therapy now in my grave for a combo kill.

Semi finale - Sebastien, playing NO RUG

Game 1 - He mulligan to 6 and I got an hand with 2 Cabal Therapy. My second Therapy got 2 Force of Will in his hand - it was a blow-out.

Game 2 - Another blowout as I got 2 Submerge in his hand with a single Therapy. The only counter that he drew was a Daze: not enough to stop me.

So I got to the final. The other top 8 matches took so long (in fact particularly 1 match) and it was so late at that time that we decided to split the final without playing.

My efforts worth me a nice foil Dark Confident + a cash prize.

Now, to anwser the last questions:


I have a question: in the strategy section describes how to bypass removal, through the academic rector.
Rector get you a Pattern of Rebirth on a creature, but the opponent can remove the creature with for exaple lightningbolt before it is enchanted?

Pattern go directly into play, attached to a creature you choose. Opponent do not get the priority at all during the time you resolve the Rector's trigger.

@ Dresden: I'm agree that BUG is an hard matchup, but UW Stoneblade is favorable in my opinion. Your sideboarding seem ok, I do almost the same, except for little differences.

Chiuks
09-18-2011, 07:01 AM
good result, even today I have done well in a smal tournament final ..... the only game that I lost was with melfork, rector in play and he had Relic ready to remove the rector before this could take the pattern of victory , I could do some play around that hate?

Rafa
09-18-2011, 09:04 AM
good result, even today I have done well in a smal tournament final ..... the only game that I lost was with melfork, rector in play and he had Relic ready to remove the rector before this could take the pattern of victory , I could do some play around that hate?

I'm in doubt if he can use his relic in response to your rector's death. Who has the priority then?

Dresden
09-18-2011, 10:23 AM
@Xantid: Great report, thanks for sharing! I'll be playing in a local event too and will see what happens :P Can you update with your latest SB plan with 3 city of solitude? Curious to see what you think. And...how do you sideboard against Lands/Loam? It seems to me in this matchup we should try pure combo and race for speed?

Also, what do you guys think about 'summoning trap'? It seems to me the most difficult match-ups IMHO are the ones against control, so I was just thinking if this card is viable. Chances of hitting at least 1 bomb after starting 7 + 1 countered creature, drawing 7 cards with 52 cards remaining (a la summoning trap):
4 bombs in deck: 44.96%
5 bombs: 52.99%
6 bombs: 59.99%

The default deck starts with 2 hulk, 1 rector, 1 progenitus = 4 bombs. Also, hitting wall of roots, viscera seer, carrion feeder, rusalka, or xantid swarm depending on matchup are usually upgrades to a T1 birds of paradise, I think.

Rafa
09-18-2011, 03:05 PM
Nice report! The deck is really great!
Here is the current list I'm running, which is being great in my tests!

// Lands - 20
1 [UNH] Forest
1 [UNH] Swamp
2 [ON] Wooded Foothills
4 [ZEN] Verdant Catacombs
3 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
1 [R] Savannah
3 [R] Bayou
3 [TE] Ancient Tomb
2 [FUT] Dryad Arbor

// Creatures - 22
2 [DIS] Protean Hulk
4 [M11] Birds of Paradise
1 [MOR] Reveillark
1 [M11] Fauna Shaman
1 [10E] Mogg Fanatic
1 [UD] Academy Rector
1 [GP] Wild Cantor
1 [SC] Xantid Swarm
2 [CST] Tinder Wall
1 [ARC] Wall of Roots
1 [PLC] Body Double
1 [TSP] Scryb Ranger
1 [GP] Starved Rusalka
1 [M11] Viscera Seer
1 [SC] Carrion Feeder
1 [ROE] Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 [CFX] Progenitus

// Spells - 19
3 [UD] Pattern of Rebirth
4 [JU] Living Wish
4 [MBS] Green Sun's Zenith
4 [PT] Natural Order
4 [JU] Cabal Therapy

// Sideboard
SB: 1 [SOK] Kataki, War's Wage
SB: 1 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
SB: 1 [ARC] Shriekmaw
SB: 1 [WL] Peacekeeper
SB: 1 [UD] Academy Rector
SB: 1 [SC] Xantid Swarm
SB: 1 [CMD] Scavenging Ooze
SB: 3 [FUT] Slaughter Pact
SB: 1 [SHM] Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 [TE] Wasteland
SB: 1 [WWK] Bojuka Bog
SB: 1 [US] Phyrexian Tower
SB: 1 [US] Gaea's Cradle

The md Emrakul is a must IMO because we can always use pattern to play it and that's often gg. It's safer than playing a bubble and waiting to combo out next turn, plus, its triggered graveyard ability is useful plenty of times.
Scryb ranger is great for fixing my mana, to protect my lands, to use Fauna Shaman twice in a turn and to stop blue creatures.
In my deck those card will definitely stay.
My only doubt is regarding living wish in the place of gitaxian probe, thoughtseize or mental misstep. Each one has its pros and cons.
The benefit from LW is that you will get exactly what you need to deal with the most diverse troublesome situations and I'm enjoying having the answer when I need it. At least more than disrupting, getting information/drawing a card and countering... at the moment.

Rafa
09-18-2011, 03:12 PM
@Xantid: Great report, thanks for sharing! I'll be playing in a local event too and will see what happens :P Can you update with your latest SB plan with 3 city of solitude? Curious to see what you think. And...how do you sideboard against Lands/Loam? It seems to me in this matchup we should try pure combo and race for speed?

Also, what do you guys think about 'summoning trap'? It seems to me the most difficult match-ups IMHO are the ones against control, so I was just thinking if this card is viable. Chances of hitting at least 1 bomb after starting 7 + 1 countered creature, drawing 7 cards with 52 cards remaining (a la summoning trap):
4 bombs in deck: 44.96%
5 bombs: 52.99%
6 bombs: 59.99%

The default deck starts with 2 hulk, 1 rector, 1 progenitus = 4 bombs. Also, hitting wall of roots, viscera seer, carrion feeder, rusalka, or xantid swarm depending on matchup are usually upgrades to a T1 birds of paradise, I think.

I used to play ST in my other legacy decks. It's so useful and the best part is our opponents "Oh crap" face! With 5 bombs I have more than 50% chance of playing it. It's worth it!
If I happen to play MM/Thoughtseize/Gitaxian Probe instead of Living Wish I'll surely play summoning traps.

Dresden
09-20-2011, 12:04 AM
Legacy: Mental Misstep is banned :) Wow guys, time for somebody to take Rebirth all the way!

Xantid Swarm
09-20-2011, 01:15 AM
I'm not 100% sure that the banning of Mental Misstep is good for us. We'll have to see how the new metagame will look. I'm not very hapy with the perspective of playing against CB Top and storm combo again... I also generaly prefer to fight against Misstep than against Spell Pierce or Stifle.

That said, the fact that Merfolk (and other blue decks) will not be able to protect their Force of Will from our Therapy is certanly a good thing. Also, having a starting hand with Probe + Therapy and being almost sure that it will get there is cool. And finaly, more Vial decks in the meta is certanly good for us.

For sure, we'll have to reconfigure the sideboard to take in acount the probable return of CB Top and fast combo. I guess that City of Solitude do not look so good now, in comparaison to playing more Xantid Swarm in the side. Perhaps it will be the time to play Krosan Grip, Null Rod, or Leyline of Sanctity again? I would probably give a shot to Beast Within, as death suggested. It can be useful against a variety of decks, including Counterbalance and High Tide (destoying an Island at the right moment can delay them a lot and I doubt they will beat us with a 3/3).

Dresden
09-25-2011, 12:33 PM
I think after testing it more that now, after MM ban, this deck cannot win against team america :( TA now packs 3x or 4x stifles, and they certainly didn't decrease any hymns, so I think that matchup is un-winnable due to discard + removal + stifle, and unfortunately likely to be popular.

I've tried several versions of this deck, one with living wish as suggested by Rafa, and another by fitting veteran explorer and switching to more basics, a la nicfit to combat removal. Neither version really helps against team america though, sigh.

death
09-25-2011, 12:48 PM
Sylvan Library is great in that match up. I would have to make space for 2 in my sideboard though. Team America will slow roll you but as long as you keep playing lands and mana dudes and a Therapy hits the yard, you can win on the back of a resolved NO/Pattern.

Xantid Swarm
09-25-2011, 01:05 PM
Sylvan Library is great in that match up. I would have to make space for 2 in my sideboard though. Team America will slow roll you but as long as you keep playing lands and mana dudes and a Therapy hits the yard, you can win on the back of a resolved NO/Pattern.

+1

TA was and will be a tough matchup but resolving an early Sylvan Library against them is often guaranty win. From that point, you can keep your winning top deck on the top of library to avoid discard while putting mana source into play. Also, in a faster meta, TA will probably switch back from Pernicious Deed to Engenireed Explosive as mass removal of choice (and will use it at x=1 against us), meaning that Sylvan Library will be safe most of the time.

Another card that is very good against TA is Carpet of Flowers, as a single one Carpet often nullify 2-3 Wasteland / Stifle on fetch / removal of mana creatures they did. The fact that they can't Misstep our Carpet anymore is huge.

Sure they can keep Stifle to stop the combo, but remember you can cast NO for Progenitus around Stifle. You can also use Therapy or Xantid Swarm attack to get rid of Stifle.

I played a lot of games against TA, both before and after the printing of Misstep. It never was an easy matchup, it was in fact defavorable in both periods, but it never was impossible to win.

Edit - The Team America MU is the main reason why I'm still undecided about City of Solitude vs Xantid Swarm in the SB for the post-ban meta. More Xantid Swarm bost-board will be awesome against Merfolk (and in general, against Spell Pierce) but Swarm will die from Explosive at 1 and various removal from TA while City will most of the time be impossible to remove for them.

Dresden
09-25-2011, 01:39 PM
Hrm, it's the 'keep playing lands and mana dudes' part that often seems to be an issue for me with their removal and wasteland. The standard list we run has 1 forest right? I've had a couple games where I never got to 4 mana due to waste/stifle killing 2 lands, and dismember on birds, hence the main reason I tested replacing birds with veteran explorer and changing the land mix, but the results were mixed.

I have beat TA a few times, but I think the majority of the time we're a dog g1, then be hard-pressed to win the next two. Is your sideboard plan like this (copied from xantid's guide on p6):

Against BUG variant:
+4 Carpet of Flowers
+2 Xantid Swarm
+2 Sylvan Library
+1 Qasali Pridemage
-2 Birds of Paradise
-1 Ancient Tomb
-1 Carrion Feeder
-1 Fauna Shaman
-4 Gitaxian Probe

Xantid Swarm
09-25-2011, 01:57 PM
Yup, this look like my exact SB plan against TA.

An active Sylvan Library, if you can afford to pay 4 life, often gave you the opportunity of playing a land AND a mana dude each turn. Mana denial plan cannot follow that pace. Also, as I said, Carpet of Flowers is awesome against any blue mana denial plan - it is often a 2 or 3-for-1 in our favor.

Rafa
09-27-2011, 11:51 AM
Well, now that MM is banned, I think more people are gonna play combo again. So, perhaps thoughtseize deserves its spots now.
What do you guys think?

Admiral_Arzar
09-27-2011, 12:04 PM
Well, now that MM is banned, I think more people are gonna play combo again. So, perhaps thoughtseize deserves its spots now.
What do you guys think?

Thoughtseize always deserved its spots. Also, make sure to test Sylvan Library in the main, the card is the NUTS.

Dresden
09-27-2011, 01:05 PM
Hrm I tried thoughtseize for a time and then just went back to probe since it's faster. Against storm, I'd probably just leave that matchup alone, given their odds of combo'ing off T1, and our T2/T3 odds against theirs I think it's tolerable.

I play 1 library in the main and found it helpful, didn't want to cut a single card so playing 61, which leaves 2 free slots in the board when playing just 2 swarms in board. I'm thinking to go along with death's suggestion of beast within, since this helps remove leyline of the void, a vastly annoying card that blanks the entire deck besides natural order.

Admiral_Arzar
09-27-2011, 05:52 PM
I can't say I agree here. Even with leyline you can still easily get Pridemage first, it just requires to have a sacrificing outlet (which is easy, even more post board where you might bring in S.Pacts). Just to be clear: First hulk gets Rector+Pridemage (and all arbors ofc), kill leyline, get pattern, get second hulk continue from there.

Incorrect. Hulk does not trigger with Leyline of the Void in play, as it is never put into the graveyard.

Dresden
09-27-2011, 05:55 PM
Note: Hehe late post. Yeah like he said above.

Protean Hulk: When Protean Hulk dies, search your library for any number of creature cards with total converted mana cost 6 or less and put them onto the battlefield. Then shuffle your library.

Leyline of the Void prevents this search, correct? I was under this impression. That is to say any of the 'dies' effects don't trigger, i.e. Pattern. Academy Rector is out as well. So this blanks the entire deck other than natural order and gsz to get a pridemage. And if we NO for a pridemage...probably lose anyway :) I consulted several rulings online on leyline of the void and its interaction with 'dies', so I'm fairly sure, but if not PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Leyline would be no prob if hulk/pattern can trigger.

r0ckstAr
09-27-2011, 07:09 PM
"Dies" replaces the old "When [this card] is put into the graveyard from the battlefield".
Back in the short LOLflash period, Leyline of the void was one of the only possibilities to fight protean hulk.

Some rules have changed, all the cards with this kind of triggers got errata to replace them with "dies" but it didn't change the way it works. You need to remove the leyline before you sacrifice hulk.

Side note : Nowadays, very few competitive decks run LLotV in Legacy (the only one i can think of is TA), so i don't think it is THAT important to be able to win through it, especially if it takes precious sb slots.

Xantid Swarm
09-27-2011, 11:14 PM
@ Dresden: if you resolve NO under a Leyline of the Void, do not get Pridemage, get a Progenitus and win in two swings! That leave 9 "outs" to Leyline post-board (4 NO, 4 GSZ, 1 Pridemage). I think it's enough.

Also, I think I'll try your suggestion of running 1 Library main as 61th card, to free 1 more spot in the side. This will leave 2 place in SB to put some anti-combo cards (4 Carpet, 4 Pact, 2 Swarm, 1 Library, 1 Ooze, 1 Pridemage, 2 free spot).

1maarten1
09-28-2011, 05:38 AM
I can't say I agree here. Even with leyline you can still easily get Pridemage first, it just requires to have a sacrificing outlet (which is easy, even more post board where you might bring in S.Pacts). Just to be clear: First hulk gets Rector+Pridemage (and all arbors ofc), kill leyline, get pattern, get second hulk continue from there.

I have to stop drinking on weekly days. Please forget what I said.

Rafa
09-28-2011, 11:27 AM
Dudes, here am I again throwing card names... Well:

How good would Hymn to Tourach be for the deck?

1maarten1
09-28-2011, 12:40 PM
I am still not totally sure about my sideboard for Amsterdam:
I am still not sure if I want to play City of Soltitude or Leyline of Sanctity.
4 Carpet, 4 Slaught Pact, 1 Scav.Ooze and 1 Pridemage is set in stone for me, which leaves us 5 spots.

I have been using 2 swarm, 3 leyline. Now I wanted to make room for Sylvan Library so I cut the swarms. Im not sure if thats right because I would cut down on the amount of ''anti-counterspell cards''. But then again: I don't really want to remove Leyline's for City's because I think combo will be played in the new meta, especially here in Holland where combo has always been really popular. So my question: Xantid swarms or Librarys? Im currently thinking Library's since those are better against team america and BUG. Thoughts?

Main is still the same as always btw.

EDIT: I have been thinking about changing the 9th fetch into a second basic forest again with Stifle probably becoming more popular in the format. Thoughts on this?

death
09-28-2011, 01:35 PM
I'm not a fan of 4/3 Leyline of Sanctity in a non-blue shell against combo. Because they can just Ad Nauseam as usual into Chain of Vapor and bounce it, TES can also win via the ETW path turn 2. Since we don't support counter magic and Mental Misstep is out, I don't see any merit using LoS. But this deck does support discard spells with black as its secondary color.

Xantid Swarm
09-29-2011, 10:14 PM
I just want to share my thoughts on sideboard me too.

First, I'm totaly agree with 1marteen1 about 4 Carpet, 4 Pact, 1 Ooze, 1 Pridemage set in stone. Let talk about the rest.

Sylvan Library - I think that 2 Sylvan Library in the 75 is the minimum needed to give us a shot at beating Team America, and would also be good against control decks. As I'll try 1 Library main, 1 in side is enough.

City of Solitude / Xantid Swarm - After thinking more about it I'm prety sure that Xantid Swarm is better than City of Solitude in the post-Misstep environement. It's better against Spell Pierce and Daze that will probably see more play now, so the switch seem obvious. Before the printing of Misstep, Merfolk was an awesome good matchup for me, mainly because of Xantid Swarm. A Swarm in starting hand against them is devastating unless they have an immediate Dismember. So, I'll play 2 Xantid Swarm in the side to have a total of 3 post-board.

That leave me with 2 spots for anti-combo cards. Now, let's talk about some possibility:

Thoughtseize - Probably good in an unknow meta and have the additional benefit of being usable against both control and combo decks. But I feel it's overall less effective than other options.

Leyline of Sanctity - Very good against combo deck and also usable against heavy discard decks like Deadguy Ale. I'm plenty conscient of what death just said: opponent can still beat you by casting Ad Nauseam, but the main utility against combo is the fact that Leyline protect you from Duress, Thoughseize and Orim's Chant. ANT and TES are bad matchup because they are faster and play more disruption than us (generaly 6 to 8 + of those cards). Leyline of Sanctity disable all their disruption and slow them down a bit (as they are obliged to bounce Leyline to win) while we can still disrupt them with our Therapy. Taking in acount the fact that we also side-in 4 Pact in this matchup to speed up our kill, believe me, with a Leyline in starting hand, you will almost always race storm decks.

But I think that I'll finally try something else for my two last sideboard spots: 2 Null Rod.

Null Rod - A card that I used before the printing of Misstep and that will be good again with the return of storm and CB Top. Do not underestimate how good Null Rod can be. With 4 Ancient Tomb, playing it on turn 1 is a real possibility. Null Rod slow down storm decks a lot by nullifying LED, Petal, Chrome Mox (and Charbeltcher if someone still play it). Racing storm is easy with a resolved Null Rod. But the card is also useful against a lot of random combo decks like Painter, Basalt Monolith-Mesmeric Orb, 12 posts, Hive Mind with Candelabra, Leyline-Helm, Metalworker decks. Null Rod can also provide free win against Affinity and can be good against CB Top by making SDT unplayable. It's awesome against Thopter Top, by exemple. Finaly, Null Rod have the additional bonus of stoping Crypt and Relic that opponent can bring against us.


I have been thinking about changing the 9th fetch into a second basic forest again with Stifle probably becoming more popular in the format. Thoughts on this?
@1maarten1: Playing 2 basics have merits, but not because of Stifle in my opinion. Most of the time, I prefer to see my opponent spend is Stifles on my fetchland than keeping it for Pattern or Hulk's trigger. Post-board, with 4 Carpet sided-in, I will in fact often try to have my opponent waste his Stifles on my fetch.

Dresden
09-29-2011, 11:46 PM
[Gah. Forum issues :P]

Quick comments on the 2 free slots. I did more playtesting the last few days. First my observations on possible meta (these are biased by what I see online so take it with a grain of salt) are that there is now a decent amount of tempo out there (tempo thresh, team america-tempo, u/r control tempo, etc). The u/r version that runs stifle, grim lavamancer, fire/ice, a bunch of counters and wasteland are especially annoying and frankly a bad matchup, I have a new deck-i-hate-to-see besides team america, haha. Anyway, there are also more counterbalance derivatives so there's some decks running around with 1x humility in main, more in side. We have no outs to humility, and if they run enlightened tutor, they're guaranteed to find it. Whether they get 4 mana first or we resolve past counters is still somewhat of a toss-up, might be ok.

Against countertop UW (http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?16836-Deck-CounterTop-Thopter/page41): I've had some success with beast within, it's our only out to humility so that's what I used against one deck. Also, one perhaps useful observation is that if we hardcast prog, they don't have a card with the same casting cost to counterbalance with. No idea how much this deck shows up in real life.

Against tempo: Welp maybe it's my bad luck, but playing against something like this:
http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/showthread.php?13715-Deck-Tempo-Thresh/page87
it's pretty hard to get past the wall of counters.I've found beast within useful here as well, primarily because it often eats a counter :P The good thing is hopefully this type of deck will be kept in check by merfolk and we won't see too many of them.

Anyway that's what I thought so far before considering null rod. Now that I've read Xantid's post it's starting to make a lot of sense so I'll go back and test null rod more, I esp like that it works against chrome mox/mox diamond/mox opal so that tremendously helps matchups against some decks, even though it doesn't do anything against tempo decks, but oh well gotta pick a poison as weak matchup. In the meantime I concur on xantid swarm > city of solitude, even with more removal in the meta, against blue decks I find xantid easier to resolve than city.

P.S. Xantid Swarm, you run 4 ancient tombs? Does that mean 0 taiga or just 1 less fetch? 19 lands (not including arbors right?) was my last count, or did you decide to cut fauna shaman too?

Xantid Swarm
10-01-2011, 12:14 AM
P.S. Xantid Swarm, you run 4 ancient tombs? Does that mean 0 taiga or just 1 less fetch? 19 lands (not including arbors right?) was my last count, or did you decide to cut fauna shaman too?

I play 0 Taiga and 9 fetch as I found that the situation where I draw the Taiga and in fact need a fetch for Bayou/Savannah/Dryad/Forest is a bit more frequent than the situation where I have a fetch + Mogg in hand and no way to cast it. So my 21 lands are 9 fetch, 3 Bayou, 1 Savannah, 1 Forest, 2 Dryad, 1 Tower and 4 Tomb.

A question for you: do you side-in Sylvan Library against URG Canadian Threshold? I used to not bring Library against what I considere aggro-control decks unless they run Hymn to Tourach but Canadian Threshold can have a slow clock, so I don't know. Also I don't know if they will side-out Spell Snare or not against us.

Dresden
10-02-2011, 01:16 AM
Heyas Xantid,

Mm I side in library against all those tempo-style decks, to get extra gas to combat their, well, tempo, b/c stifle, wasteland and a counter or two set us back and I think we need more cards to bait their counters. I don't know about the spell snare decision either, it's one of those things that from a level-one (or two) tempo player, it seems they should take it out b/c all it hits is fauna shaman and wall of roots and they might not see these two cards G1 at all. But next-level thinking on that is they should keep them in b/c when we gsz for anything, it is +1 mana. Not sure what they actually do, in either case, I think our sb plan is the same, it's just how to play I guess.

On the lands thing, it might be preference, I'm playing -1 tomb (3), and +1 taiga, b/c I rather not clunk out on hands with just ancient tombs, and more importantly I find the fetch for taiga, play fanatic to ping 'something' for 1 damage situation happens a lot, and now that goblins is back in the meta, maybe, it is additional % vs lackey? :P

---

Heya guys,

I played this deck at a decently large event this weekend, nearly 300 people. Did ok in side event the first day, going 3-1 vs Zoo, Affinity, and 2x Team America, only loss was to Team America hymning my hands out of existence then FOW my last-ditch NO. Day 2, the main event, I started 2-0, winning first two rounds against Zoo (1 Progenitus party at 2 life, no topdeck bolt for him, 1 combo ftw), Affinity (combo, and drawing null rod although not much use!).

Then round 3 I lost to NO-RUG utilizing our tech and playing Ancient Tombs (G1, he T1 Hierarch, I T1 Birds, he T2 Ancient Tomb->NO-Prog, when I NO T2 he plays FOW or daze. G2 went on a bit longer, but with his three noble hierachs and island sources, my carpet did nothing, and eventually lost to snapcaster mage flashing back removal).

Round 4 vs NO-RUG again with more snapcaster mages, and although I had NO in hand, waited to try and get a xantid swarm in play before going off. As it turns out, with snapcaster mage, going long rounds is not great, so perhaps I should have just bet it all on T3 for the NO, win-or-lose :P A Progenitus party is just not as fun when we didn't invite him, I hate tempo-RUG.

Round 5 vs Dredge, good matchup, and combo'ed off for the win pretty easily in games one and three, although in game 2 he won with ichorid + 2x narc beatdown, even though I removed every single bridge.

Round 6 vs Zoo. Similar to round 1, except at 2 or 3 life, I passed the turn after NO. It was extremely sad since I started with hulk and prog in hand, and I drew the second hulk the turn I had enough mana for NO :( I decided to NO for progenitus, then bash face for a turn but during his turn, he topdecks burn and kills me. I think Zoo is a matchup where I should aggressively mull to 4 or 5 in hopes of getting a hand with NO with acceleration. G2 I kept a hand of rector, cabal therapy, verdant catacombs, phyrexian tower, NO, carrion feeder and fauna shama, in retrospect I think I should have mulled. T1 I cabal therapy for path to exile and hit 2, and he shows 2x kird ape, 1x goyf and lands. Unfortunately, T3 I miss a land drop, and he beats down with apes and goyf.

Round 7 vs High Tide. I combo off game 1 pretty easily, and he combos off game 2 with brain freeze and I had no creatures on board so I kept quiet and went to game 2. G3, I cast carpet of flowers, and proceed to hardcast protean hulk on T3, I think, after drawing NO, passing the turn. On his turn he starts combo'ing off. On the first time spiral, I drew slaughter pact, and checked with the judge, who was watching whether I get priority during the combo. It turns out that I did, but I made the epic misplay of not playing it. He then time spirals several more times, meditating 3x and finally getting ready to combo after twenty minutes. I prepared to surprise him with progenitus in the library (7 cards in hand, draw progenitus, beat face with hulk, discard progenitus, repeat for each missed turn via meditate) but he cast blue sun's zenith and I was shocked. Welp, my last-ditch attempt to cast slaughter pact that I again drew off of the last time spiral of course gets FoW'ed. After the game he told me that if I cast slaughter pact immediately after the first time spiral I would have had the game. Sigh, newbie mistake - now I know.

Round 8 and 9 went by in a blur, I played Painterstone in the last match but I was pretty tired and gave the opponent a couple of take-backs after which he milled my library out of existence.

Couple notes:
* I think I should mulligan much more aggressively with this deck, willingly going down to 5 fairly often.
* In terms of playing style, I expect more snapcaster mages in future decks, so against those decks I'm thinking to play more belcher-style and NO/Pattern with 5 mana the moment it is available :) This is also relevant to Xantid's q on boarding in sylvan libraries, I drew libraries against NO-RUG fairly often, and while it helped, I did not get quite enough out of it if the game went long, with snapcaster mage in existence. Going with the all-in-style thinking, if I board in slaughter pact instead, that increases combo speed and perhaps can kill a random goyf if necessary.
* I think I will stick with the 3 tomb/1 taiga, with vendilion cliques in U/R tempo decks, and I've had to hardcast taiga to cast mogg fanatic killing my dryad arbor with pattern on it :P
* I may remove fauna shaman for good and get another md slot, although it is a removal magnet since most people somehow think this card is critical for the deck. For me, I've only wanted fauna shaman to discard progenitus, which happens a lot more than I prefer but it's almost always too late to use it.
* Null rod: I drew and played this vs affinity but it was not very effective (he dropped most of his hand and had creatures in play by T1, by the time I cast null rod, he was already bashing face). Boarded it in vs high tide, and drew+casted it in G3, but it got bounced midway in high-tide combo. Boarded in via painterstone, but did not draw it.

Xantid Swarm
10-05-2011, 11:31 PM
Hi Dresden, I just saw your tournement report. Thanks for sharing. As I'm about to go to bed I just want to throw one comment for now:


---
Round 6 vs Zoo. (...) G2 I kept a hand of rector, cabal therapy, verdant catacombs, phyrexian tower, NO, carrion feeder and fauna shama, in retrospect I think I should have mulled. T1 I cabal therapy for path to exile and hit 2, and he shows 2x kird ape, 1x goyf and lands. Unfortunately, T3 I miss a land drop, and he beats down with apes and goyf.

I'm pretty sure this hand is a good keep and there is no way I would have mulled it. After Therapy hit 2 Path to Exile, you was almost sure to win. I suppose you played Fauna Shaman on turn 2 and then what append? If FS survive, you can use her on turn 3 to get a Dryad Arbor and do your land drop for the turn and win on turn 4. I suppose they kill FS but you still have lots of outs from there: any land/ birds/ wall of roots/ GSZ would have put you in winning position... So I'm sure the keep was good but you just got bad luck.

For my part, I played 7 matches in the new Mistepless format and I am 5-1-1 for now (2-1 Sunday and 3-0-1 yesterday, the draw was against UW CB Top). It's still early to be sure of anything, but I feel confident against the new meta. Casting Xantid Swarm, Carpet of Flower or even just a Birds of Paradise on turn 1, without fearing Misstep, is so sweet. Also, the Merfolk matchup is once again awesome good.

Against Snapcaster Mage, the strategy of trying to go off fast is probably ok sometimes, but it's also possible to bring Scavenging Ooze against him on game 2 and 3.
By the way, the good part of Snapcaster Mage in BUG is they will probably not play Pernicious Deed or Engenireed Explosive anymore, meaning we can play with less fear of mass removal.

amppyou
10-06-2011, 02:00 AM
New to the thread...

want to say how amazing the wealth of information on the deck you guys have amassed here is. the primer is pretty sweet, and i have not gotten a chance to read xantid's primer for salvation yet.

i've been sidelined for a while, and am not really happy with playing painter anymore. ancient grudges have been owning me everywhere, and seeing progenitus everywhere does not help either.

was just hoping that you guys could update what your current lists look like, so i can try and piece together a list that I can test. this deck looks amazingly fun, and i'm excited to begin learning it's intricacies. thanks in advance!

Xantid Swarm
11-02-2011, 12:30 AM
Ok, I just want to give my impression of one month of play in the post-misstep metagame. I must admit that I probably underestimated how Misstep was good against Hulk Rebirth because now I know how amazing it is to play without fear of the free counter.

So since October 1st I played in 4 weekly events at the local store + 2 bigger tournaments, for a total of 25 matches, and got a very nice record of 19-4-2.

I now play Sylvan Library as my 61th card main deck (as Dresden suggested it) and I absolutly love it. I won every game I resolved it in the last month.

The local metagame being completly dominated by blue decks, the playset of Carpet of Flowers, without having to worry about Mental Misstep, is the nuts. The various UWx Stoneforge-Snapcaster decks that see a lot of play localy all seem good matchups, especialy post-board. I kept a record of 5-0-1 against those decks. Tempo decks, like Canadian Thresh, also have a real hard time to fight the playset of Carpets without MM. The fact that Canadian Threshold now play Dismember instead of Fire and Ice is another very good news.

Also, control decks seem all low on mass removal, another great thing for this deck. Even the new versions of BUG Control / Team America do not seem to run Pernicious Deed or Perish anymore (to abuse Snapcaster) and are cold to resolved Carpet or Library. They do not feel unbeatable as before.

There is a little presence of CB Top here, but even that do not feel too hard to beat, with the help of GSZ to get around CB and post-board an early resolved Carpet often mean a latter hardcasted Hulk or big GSZ.

It's perhaps too early to conclude and it's possible that I got lucky in my matchs or pairing, as I did not run into storm combo until now and only play one time against Reanimator (a lost in the final of a 26 players tournament, by the way), but my first impression are that the deck got significantly better in that Misstep-less environment.

Too bad I will not be able to get to a very big tournament in the coming months...

.dk
11-02-2011, 07:09 PM
I think the larger US Meta probably agrees with you. Seems to be very blue-tempo heavy that have cut the sweepers. We have so many must answer cards that we usually seem to overwhelm them.

My local meta is infested with storm combo, so the past few weeks I've been going 2-2 with an occasional 3-1 finish. Been having a hard time keeping up with TES and ANT - if I can resolve Null Rod by turn 2, I usually have a shot, but I seem to end up mulliganing myself into oblivion trying to find one.

Have had a few games against merfolk where drawing like 1 of 15 cards would win, and kept ripping lands or some other chaff off the top for 4 or 5 turns straight for the lose. Maybe that's just bad luck, but now I'm also running the Sylvan Library as a 61st card to combat that.

Wishing I had more time to travel right now to play in some larger tournaments as well - only thing close is SCG Vegas this weekend, which I can't make.

CMads
11-14-2011, 11:03 AM
Top8ed the Die Hard Games 11/13 Sunday legacy with 68 players attending.

played
4 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Natural Order
4 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Protean Hulk
2 Tinder Wall
1 Wall of Roots
1 Viscera Seer
1 Wild Cantor
1 Body Double
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Reivellark
1 Academy Rector
1 Progenitus
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Sylvan Library
2 Wooded Foothills
3 Bayou
3 Ancient Tomb
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Forest
1 Savannah
2 Windswept Heath
4 Verdant Catacombs
1 Taiga

SB
1 Null Rod
1 Quasali Pridemage
4 Carpet of Flowers
4 Slaughter Pact
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Thoughtseize
1 Sylvan Library

The deck seemed pretty strong. My only match loss in the swiss was to RUG Tempo.

Lost in the quarters to Bant SFM with KoTR

Xantid Swarm
11-14-2011, 09:07 PM
Congrates CMads.

I see you don't run Xantid Swarm main. I understand you want to play the full playset of Pattern but didn't you sometime miss the singleton Swarm game 1? Because I know that I cast GSZ for Swarm very often game 1 against blue decks and blue decks represent probably 80% of the meta in my local game store. That said, you got a good result, so I suppose it was ok for you.

And I'm agree that the deck is solid and got better without Misstep in the format. We are also almost immune to Spell Snare, and that's great as the card actualy see a ton of play.

Storm Combo is almost absent where I play now (I suppose the storm players fear all those blue decks) so it's another good new for this deck. I fear more Reanimator and I started to play 2 Faerie Macabre in my side (in addition to Ooze) instead of Null Rod. If you got a Faerie Macabre in starting hand you can use it against the first reanimation spell and buy time until you can GSZ for Scavenging Ooze.

Anyway, have fun with the deck and report your thoughts.

PollePotDK
11-18-2011, 05:26 AM
I also feel this deck is very well positioned in todays meta, HOWEVER, I'm having alot of problems with RUG Tempo. All this counter and Lightning bolt + Dismember is hard to work around. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but everytime I have a Xantid Swarm in board, it gets a Bolt or Dismember, Wasteland my lands, Stifle triggers or hardcounter everything I play. And OMFG I hate Delver of Secrets. Can Blue get anymore "Creme-de-la-Creme"?

Thought about getting the City of Solitude back into the SB, because it's a must counter then, rare than "OK", but I bolt your Xantid afterward. How do I SB? my SB is pretty standard to the ones in thsi thread. No surpises.

What's your feeling with RUG Tempo. I hate it, to be frank :cry:

Dresden
11-18-2011, 09:23 AM
It's the same issue I had in the last meta, tempo decks are a horrible matchup g1, either black or red are both nearly auto-losses, and unfortunately, these decks are hugely popular and of course have won the last several scg events. I think the biggest issue is the wastelands + stifle, at least for me b/c if you start with a 2-land hand and get one wasted or stifled, I feel like half the time the game ends before ever getting to 4 mana. I've tried tinkering with the manabase to run more basics and/or run veteran explorer instead of/alongside birds but it's been iffy. So I guess the salvation lies in G2/G3 and hoping you resolve at least one carpet of flowers to ensure a consistent manabase :P


I also feel this deck is very well positioned in todays meta, HOWEVER, I'm having alot of problems with RUG Tempo. All this counter and Lightning bolt + Dismember is hard to work around. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but everytime I have a Xantid Swarm in board, it gets a Bolt or Dismember, Wasteland my lands, Stifle triggers or hardcounter everything I play. And OMFG I hate Delver of Secrets. Can Blue get anymore "Creme-de-la-Creme"?

Thought about getting the City of Solitude back into the SB, because it's a must counter then, rare than "OK", but I bolt your Xantid afterward. How do I SB? my SB is pretty standard to the ones in thsi thread. No surpises.

What's your feeling with RUG Tempo. I hate it, to be frank :cry:

Xantid Swarm
11-18-2011, 10:59 PM
Well, RUG Tempo do not feel that bad for me but perhaps I'm wrong. Older versions of Canadian Threshold, with 4 Fire/Ice was a real nightmare, so Dismember feel like a lesser evil... Now they generally can only do 1-for-1.

The best way to beat them is to try to get a fast NO for Progenitus. Stifle do nothing against NO and getting the big Hydra avoid a Stifle on the Hulk's trigger.

That say, I'm agree it's not an easy matchup. Delver on turn 1 is always bad news, in good part because that mean Progenitus can be not fast enough. If you are lucky enough to be able to cast a Mogg Fan before this stupid thing transform, do it and kill it!

My actual mana base count 2 basic Forest as I think its a necessity now. Against Tempo decks, I tend to use all my GSZ to get mana dude, and if possible a Wall of Roots as he can survive Bolt. GSZ for Tinder Wall is also a way to jump rapidly the mana count for next turn. I also run 4 Ancient Tomb and try to keep one in hand for the big turn.

G2/G3 the main hope is to resolve a Carpet of Flower to swing the match in our favor. 4 Carpet in the side is more important than ever. With 1 Carpet in play, GSZ can be used to get Swarms. As they probably bring in some Surgical Extraction and Submerge post-bord, the NO for Progenitus plan remain the best for post-board games.

About City of Solitude: I'm not sure it's a good idea to bet on a 3 mana spell against all those Daze and Wasteland. Sure Xantid Swarm can take removal, but we still have Therapy and we can flashback it using the creatures that survive during the time they spend removal on Swarms.

On a side note, I decided to not run Sylvan Library main deck anymore, mainly because it's so sweet to entirly dodge Spell Snare, a spell that every blue mage play. Do not cast GSZ x=1 against an untapped Island and you are ok. I still play a 61 cards list, as I put 1 Slaughter Pact main, to improve some matchups game 1.

OneWingedAngel
12-12-2011, 11:49 AM
How do you guys feel about spellskite on the side? with the amount of Creature removal and stifles present in the meta right now, I think he's a good fit. The only issue would be is that you can't tutor for him with GSZ and you'll probably run at least 1 Trop instead of Taiga.

Xantid Swarm
12-12-2011, 11:37 PM
It's funny you propose Spellkite because I'm actually testing a small Enlighten Tutor package in my side and Spellkite could fit there. But I don't think it worth it, as a Xantid Swarm seem almost always better. Both will attract removal very fast but at least when Swarm survive you also got protection from counterspells and a lot more things. Spellkite is probably a better blocker and perhaps better against burn spells, but in that role you have Wall of Roots that you can Zenith for and who also provide mana.

About my Enlighten Tutor sideboard:
The idea is to run a small E. Tutor package in the side that can be usefull in a lot of matchups, but especialy to improve worst matchups. I think E. Tutor worth a try because at least it can get you a Pattern of Rebirth or a Sylvan Library (because I still run 1 in my 61 cards main deck).

Last weekend I played this sideboard as a test for this idea:
3 Carpet
3 Slaughter Pact
3 Enlighten Tutor
1 Pridemage
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Null Rod
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Seal of Doom

So against Storm I can bring 3 Tutor + Canonist + Null Rod, giving me 5 cards to directly fight Storm, including the 3 Tutor that can dodge discard at instant speed. I will also bring the 3 Pact for acceleration purpose.

Against Maverick, I'll bring 3 Tutor + 3 Pact + Seal of Doom (acting like the 4th Pact and a Tutor target). This is 7 cards that can get rid of a Teeg or an Aven Mindsencor or simply kill Hulk (in addition to Rector that dodge Teeg and Mogg Fan that can kill Mindcensor).

Against graveyard decks, I'll bring 3 Tutor + Crypt (in addition to other stuff including Ooze, Pacts and Seal of Doom). I know a single Crypt is not enough to beat Reanimator but the idea is to use it to win enough time to get an active Ooze or simply win the game.

Against blue decks, as I side-in my 3 Carpets, I'll probably also bring 2-3 Tutor + perhaps a Seal of Doom as tutorable sac outlet. Probably not stellar in those matchups, the Tutor can still give lots of options to get, when needed, Carpet of Flowers, Sylvan Library and Pattern of Rebirth.

Against any discard decks, Enlighten Tutor will certanly came in as a way to dodge Hymn to Tourach and other discards spells to get a Pattern or simply a Library on top (so huge when you just lost your hand to Hymn).

Now, even if the idea look good in the abstract, the bad side of this proposition is the fact I need to raise my Savannah count to 2 and get back to only 1 basic Forest. There is also the fact that Enlighten Tutor is card disadvantage and would often be a bad top deck. Finaly, I'm still not at ease with the idea of playing only 1 Swarm in my 75 and I'll maybe try only 2 Enlighten Tutor to get back 1 Xantid Swarm in my side.

Anyway, I'm still at the testing stage of this idea, I played this only in 1 tournement (and casted Tutor only 1 time) so I'm still undecided. I'll report my thoughts after more tests.

Edit: I also want to share the fact that I bring back 1 Gaea's Cradle in my deck instead of the 4th Ancient Tomb. Without Misstep, all 1-mana creatures get there more often and as mass removal are at an all-time low, I feel there is less danger about overexposition. Cradle provide green mana at no life cost and can sometime give 3 or more mana. Having 2-3 Tombs out is sometime so clunky.

OneWingedAngel
12-13-2011, 09:26 AM
It's funny you propose Spellkite because I'm actually testing a small Enlighten Tutor package in my side and Spellkite could fit there. But I don't think it worth it, as a Xantid Swarm seem almost always better. Both will attract removal very fast but at least when Swarm survive you also got protection from counterspells and a lot more things. Spellkite is probably a better blocker and perhaps better against burn spells, but in that role you have Wall of Roots that you can Zenith for and who also provide mana.

About my Enlighten Tutor sideboard:
The idea is to run a small E. Tutor package in the side that can be usefull in a lot of matchups, but especialy to improve worst matchups. I think E. Tutor worth a try because at least it can get you a Pattern of Rebirth or a Sylvan Library (because I still run 1 in my 61 cards main deck).

Last weekend I played this sideboard as a test for this idea:
3 Carpet
3 Slaughter Pact
3 Enlighten Tutor
1 Pridemage
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Null Rod
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Seal of Doom

So against Storm I can bring 3 Tutor + Canonist + Null Rod, giving me 5 cards to directly fight Storm, including the 3 Tutor that can dodge discard at instant speed. I will also bring the 3 Pact for acceleration purpose.

Against Maverick, I'll bring 3 Tutor + 3 Pact + Seal of Doom (acting like the 4th Pact and a Tutor target). This is 7 cards that can get rid of a Teeg or an Aven Mindsencor or simply kill Hulk (in addition to Rector that dodge Teeg and Mogg Fan that can kill Mindcensor).

Against graveyard decks, I'll bring 3 Tutor + Crypt (in addition to other stuff including Ooze, Pacts and Seal of Doom). I know a single Crypt is not enough to beat Reanimator but the idea is to use it to win enough time to get an active Ooze or simply win the game.

Against blue decks, as I side-in my 3 Carpets, I'll probably also bring 2-3 Tutor + perhaps a Seal of Doom as tutorable sac outlet. Probably not stellar in those matchups, the Tutor can still give lots of options to get, when needed, Carpet of Flowers, Sylvan Library and Pattern of Rebirth.

Against any discard decks, Enlighten Tutor will certanly came in as a way to dodge Hymn to Tourach and other discards spells to get a Pattern or simply a Library on top (so huge when you just lost your hand to Hymn).

Now, even if the idea look good in the abstract, the bad side of this proposition is the fact I need to raise my Savannah count to 2 and get back to only 1 basic Forest. There is also the fact that Enlighten Tutor is card disadvantage and would often be a bad top deck. Finaly, I'm still not at ease with the idea of playing only 1 Swarm in my 75 and I'll maybe try only 2 Enlighten Tutor to get back 1 Xantid Swarm in my side.

Anyway, I'm still at the testing stage of this idea, I played this only in 1 tournement (and casted Tutor only 1 time) so I'm still undecided. I'll report my thoughts after more tests.

Edit: I also want to share the fact that I bring back 1 Gaea's Cradle in my deck instead of the 4th Ancient Tomb. Without Misstep, all 1-mana creatures get there more often and as mass removal are at an all-time low, I feel there is less danger about overexposition. Cradle provide green mana at no life cost and can sometime give 3 or more mana. Having 2-3 Tombs out is sometime so clunky.

If you're gunning for a tutor package, I'd suggest replacing Tormod's crypt with either Ground seal or Wheel of Sun and moon. This shuts off reanimator and dredge tremendously. Just take note that they normally side in bounce spells (Chain of Vapor/Echoing truth) or nature's claim in the case of dredge. It can be used against the U/W Stoneblade match-up too since it hits their snappy's as well.

I got to think about the Spellskite since majority of the meta now has either tempo decks running stifles or red removal in the form of bolts, Fire/Ice, Lavamancers, and even punishing fire which can be very overwhelming for the deck at times especially if they have a very fast clock on the board. On paper, I think they are good since it's under the radar and normally people don't expect you to be playing them.

Just my two cents.

Edit: My bad, kindly disregard Ground Seal. Didn't notice that you're locking yourself as well if you'll play one. Go for Wheel of Sun and moon.

death
12-13-2011, 10:50 AM
The idea of having a tutor package is innovative albeit counterintuitive. Although this deck has near zero draw manipulation (Viscera Seer - Scry), its advantage over other combo decks is the amount of bombs (threat density) that a single card off the top can guarantee a victory. Enlightened Tutor is card disadvantage, you stop drawing new cards. 3-4 Gitaxian Probes in the main 60-61 don't erase that fact. A tutor package eats up much space post-boarding also when you don't have enough space to give in the first place. My question is how is that more optimal than boarding in specific solution cards themselves, without giving up a draw step?

The only situation where a Spellskite is better than Xantid Swarm is when an opponent has only Go for the Throat as removal spell. Also, having more creatures that are green means if you draw them you win more games when you have Natural Order in hand and no other creature on the board.

I've removed Fauna Shaman, I find her to be too situational and too slow to even get there. Show and Tell decks have also lost popularity so her ability to insta-fetch Hulk won't be required for a while. I've replaced her with Q. Pridemage. Having a maindeck solution, aside from Progenitus against everything else isn't terrible. Also, maindeck Thoughtseizes replacing Gitaxian Probes, the need for peeking at opponent's hand AND getting rid of problem cards has just been real. I've freed up 4 slots in my sideboard so I can jam more meta slots in their place :)

votan
12-13-2011, 11:22 AM
can anyone post an updated list?

Xantid Swarm
12-13-2011, 10:25 PM
@Votan:

My actual list:

Main (61):
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Tinder Wall
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Body Double
1 Reveillark
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Sylvan Library
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bayou
2 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Gaea’s Cradle

Sidebord (15):
3 Slaughter Pact
3 Carpet of Flowers
3 Enlighten Tutor
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Seal of Doom
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Null Rod
1 Tomrod’s Crypt

If you don't want to run this Enlighten Tutor package in the side, I'll recommand you to run 2 Forest main + only 1 Savannah and I suggest this sideboard: 4 Carpet, 4 Pact, 1 Swarm, 1 Pridemage, 1 Ooze, 1 Library + 3 cards against combo decks (can be Leyline, Null Rod, Canonist, Faerie Macabre, Thoughtseize or something else).

@OneWingedAngel:
The main reason to try this Enlighten Tutor sideboard is Storm decks (Null Rod+Canonist), BUG/Team America (Tutor for Library) and Reanimator. I thinked about Wheel of Sun and Moon but it's simply too slow against Reanimator: you can't get it before turn 2 and at this point Elesh Norm or another fatty will already be in the grave, unafected by the enchantment. Crypt is fast enough to disrupt the first Reanimation, giving us enough time to get an Ooze online or to resolve NO. It's even possible to tutor for Crypt + play it on turn 1, with Enlighten Tutor + Gitaxian Probe. Also, it's easier to play a Crypt around Daze.
I know Reanimator is playing bounce, but remember we are not a control deck: the goal here is not to shut them forever, it's just to get a bit more time. To bounce the Crypt, they need to wait on turn 2, meaning they can't reanimate before turn 3. It's enough time to play GSZ for Ooze or NO or at least to get a Slaughter Pact ready for the first fatty.

About Spellkite: if your main fear is burn spells and Lavamancer, I recommand you to try playing 1 or 2 more Wall of Roots main or side (if you can find place to do that). For the same mana cost of a Spellkite, Wall of Roots seem just better. It provide mana, can sac for NO and can be tutored by GSZ. You can also cast Pattern on it without fear of Bolt and then put 2 counters on it each turn to auto-sac it.

@death:
I'm completly aware of what you say about E. Tutor. In fact I got this Enlighten Tutor idea long time ago, during my testing for GP Providence. At the time, I decided to not run E. Tutor mainly for the same reasons you just gave (and also because ANT or TES was not a big concern at that time, thanks to Misstep).
So perhaps you are true and Enlighten Tutor is not the card we need. I still want to try it for now as this deck cannot race Storm and Reanimator without using some hate from the board. Enlighten Tutor allow us to run grave-hate and in the same time storm-hate in good number (as Tutor artificialy raise the count of specific hate cards), with a consistent way to find Sylvan Library against Hymn to Tourach decks. This seem simply impossible otherwise.

OneWingedAngel
12-14-2011, 11:16 AM
@Votan:

My actual list:

Main (61):
4 Birds of Paradise
2 Tinder Wall
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Wild Cantor
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Wall of Roots
1 Academy Rector
1 Body Double
1 Reveillark
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Sylvan Library
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
3 Bayou
2 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Forest
3 Ancient Tomb
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Gaea’s Cradle

Sidebord (15):
3 Slaughter Pact
3 Carpet of Flowers
3 Enlighten Tutor
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Seal of Doom
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Null Rod
1 Tomrod’s Crypt

If you don't want to run this Enlighten Tutor package in the side, I'll recommand you to run 2 Forest main + only 1 Savannah and I suggest this sideboard: 4 Carpet, 4 Pact, 1 Swarm, 1 Pridemage, 1 Ooze, 1 Library + 3 cards against combo decks (can be Leyline, Null Rod, Canonist, Faerie Macabre, Thoughtseize or something else).

@OneWingedAngel:
The main reason to try this Enlighten Tutor sideboard is Storm decks (Null Rod+Canonist), BUG/Team America (Tutor for Library) and Reanimator. I thinked about Wheel of Sun and Moon but it's simply too slow against Reanimator: you can't get it before turn 2 and at this point Elesh Norm or another fatty will already be in the grave, unafected by the enchantment. Crypt is fast enough to disrupt the first Reanimation, giving us enough time to get an Ooze online or to resolve NO. It's even possible to tutor for Crypt + play it on turn 1, with Enlighten Tutor + Gitaxian Probe. Also, it's easier to play a Crypt around Daze.
I know Reanimator is playing bounce, but remember we are not a control deck: the goal here is not to shut them forever, it's just to get a bit more time. To bounce the Crypt, they need to wait on turn 2, meaning they can't reanimate before turn 3. It's enough time to play GSZ for Ooze or NO or at least to get a Slaughter Pact ready for the first fatty.

About Spellkite: if your main fear is burn spells and Lavamancer, I recommand you to try playing 1 or 2 more Wall of Roots main or side (if you can find place to do that). For the same mana cost of a Spellkite, Wall of Roots seem just better. It provide mana, can sac for NO and can be tutored by GSZ. You can also cast Pattern on it without fear of Bolt and then put 2 counters on it each turn to auto-sac it.

@death:
I'm completly aware of what you say about E. Tutor. In fact I got this Enlighten Tutor idea long time ago, during my testing for GP Providence. At the time, I decided to not run E. Tutor mainly for the same reasons you just gave (and also because ANT or TES was not a big concern at that time, thanks to Misstep).
So perhaps you are true and Enlighten Tutor is not the card we need. I still want to try it for now as this deck cannot race Storm and Reanimator without using some hate from the board. Enlighten Tutor allow us to run grave-hate and in the same time storm-hate in good number (as Tutor artificialy raise the count of specific hate cards), with a consistent way to find Sylvan Library against Hymn to Tourach decks. This seem simply impossible otherwise.

I was under the impression that disrupting their hand on the earlier turns would give you enough time to play wheel of sun and moon, possibly tutor for EOT and play it on turn two. Then again, I see the benefits of being able to play crypt as soon as you can. Probably my other concern now is that Reanimator players are shifting to playing Needles on the side now as an answer to artifact hate and ooze.
Lemme give it a couple of runs and I'll let you know as soon as I have more data.

Xantid Swarm
12-17-2011, 07:59 PM
Played in a 31 persons tournament today. Started 2-0-1 and then lose two in a row, out of the top 8 with a bad record of 2-2-1.

I'v seen enough to conclude that Enlighten Tutor is a bad idea. Death, you was true on this. Sure, my storm matchups would have been favorable post-board but it simply do not worth it. I lost a game today because I run only 1 basic Forest. Sylvan Library and Carpet of Flowers are good cards but when you get them with Tutor, at the cost of 1 card, they don't seem that good and I lost at least 1 game because of this. In short, the E. Tutor sideboard could help against some matchup that represent perhaps 10% of the meta, but hurt most blue matchups. Funny enough, in the 2 tournament where I had try those Tutors I got paired against blue decks 8 times and 0 time against combo decks...

So for next time I'll go back with 2 Forest and only 1 Savannah main, and my side of 4 Carpets, 4 Pact, 1 Swarm, 1 Pridemage, 1 Ooze, 1 Library +3 cards against storm or Reanimator.

death
12-17-2011, 09:25 PM
can anyone post an updated list?

Since nobody reads the primer anymore, I'll post mine here


4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Wooded Foothills
3 Ancient Tomb
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Gaea's Cradle
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Forest

4 Birds of Paradise
1 Wild Cantor
2 Tinder Wall
1 Wall of Roots
1 Progenitus
1 Qasali Pridemage
2 Protean Hulk
1 Body Double
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Reveillark
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Academy Rector
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Xantid Swarm

4 Green Sun's Zenith
4 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Cabal Therapy
3 Thoughtseize

4 Slaughter Pact
3 Beast Within
3 Carpet of Flowers
1 Xantid Swarm
4 Leylines (meta call)


main deck difference:
0 Fauna Shaman
0 Gitaxian Probe

1 Qasali Pridemage
3 Thoughtseize

Rafa
12-18-2011, 11:19 AM
Dudes, how do you think Orim's CHant would work in the place of Gitaxian Probe?

Xantid Swarm
12-18-2011, 11:39 AM
You need to compare Orim's Chant with Xantid Swarm because Chant and Swarm would probably took the same spot in the deck, main and/or side.

Chant advantage: not vulnerable to removals, you don't need to pass the turn before winning, can be used to disrupt opponent combo (mainly storm), can be used as a Fog if needed.

Swarm advantage: can be fetched by GSZ, can be sac to NO or enchanted by Pattern, easier to cast (as G is easier to produce than W), can be casted a turn before the game winning spell (meaning you just need to reach 4 mana, not 5 like with Chant).

Did I forgot something? At the end I think Swarm is better for this deck, but I can see some merit to a few Chant in the side (in addition to 1 Swarm main + perhaps 1 side), mainly because it can be used to disrupt combo decks. But I'm not sure how relevant it can be even in that matchup, because of the difficulties to produce W mana and the fact ANT/TES play a lot of discard spell.

death
12-18-2011, 11:41 AM
Dudes, how do you think Orim's CHant would work in the place of Gitaxian Probe?

The topic of Chant vs discard vs Probe has been discussed to death in the Ad Nauseam thread. Same reason why it's bad in this deck it's because black is the secondary color of the deck and rarely would you want a Savannah in play and birds aren't always dependable due to creature removal. I think Xantid Swarm is always the better option since it doesn't make your spells more expensive to cast. If ANT/Belcher decks splashing green for Xantid Swarm means anything, it's because it's more mana efficient yet as effective.

Xantid Swarm
12-18-2011, 12:37 PM
Death, you are once again spot on.

Rafa, I do not recommand to take out Gitaxain Probe as you'll lose the cantrip and your Therpies will be less efficient. The synergy between Probe and Therapy are particularly good since Misstep is gone. Now if you choose to cut Probes to add disruption, more Xantid Swarm or Thoughtseize seem better than Chant.

JBlaze
12-19-2011, 04:30 PM
I went 5-0 in matches and 10-0 in games yesterday at a 17 person tournament. I ran brainstorm in the probe spot and it was great. This deck has a lot of cards you do not really want to draw and being able to shuffle them back in and dig three cards for a win con is just huge plus it protects are combo against hand disruption.


played against
u/w stoneforge
B/w stoneforge
Treefolk tribal,
mono blue
dredge



4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
2 tropical islands
3 Ancient Tomb
3 Bayou
1 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Phyrexian Tower
2 Forest

4 Birds of Paradise
1 Wild Cantor
2 Tinder Wall
1 Wall of Roots
1 Progenitus
2 Protean Hulk
1 Body Double
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Reveillark
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Academy Rector
1 Viscera Seer
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Xantid Swarm

4 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Pattern of Rebirth
4 Natural Order
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Brainstorm

4 carpet of flowers
4 slaughter pact
1 pride mage
2 xantid swarm
3 thoughtseize
1 scavenging ooze

Xantid Swarm
12-20-2011, 01:13 AM
Kid Victorious, this is awesome results, and props to you for trying this new idea. At LGS, somebody suggested me to run Brainstorm few weeks ago but I rejected the idea, thinking that Sylvan Library is in color and that Fauna Shaman can sometime be used to get rid of Progenitus or another useless creature. I also like a lot my Probes.

That said, I can't argue with your results and I can understand how Brainstorm can be good in this deck. Is this the first time you try Brainstorm? Please repport your next results with it, I could see myself playing the best card of the format!

I like your mana base as I see you find a way to still play 3 Tombs, but I think it perhaps worth it to try to run a 9th fetchland in a build like this, to get maximum value from Brainstorm and a better chance of being able to produce U. Do you think it's possible to be fine with only 2 Bayou (-1 Bayou, +1 fetchland)?

JBlaze
12-20-2011, 03:04 AM
Xantid this is the first time I have tried it I played 8 fetches because that was all i had adding one more fetch would be ideal . I really like probe a lot too playing dredge a ton has made me a cabal therapy sniper so I never really missed probe. having brainstorm made the deck play so smoothly I can't see playing the deck with out it . My next tournament is not till the 7th of Jan but I will keep you posted

If I can borrow the cards this is the mana base I would use at the next tournament
This mana base gives us 16 first turn green sources and lets us fetch blue to cast body double

3 Verdant Catacombs
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
2 Tropical islands
3 Ancient Tomb
2 Bayou
1 Savannah
2 Dryad Arbor
1 Phyrexian Tower
2 Forest

.dk
12-20-2011, 03:06 PM
You rocked it up on Sunday dude! I've been playing Zero in the same events for the past couple months (although we haven't had the turnout that we did this past weekend), and never quite put up the results that you did.

I have been playing a list similar to what Xantid ran at the GP (maybe 1 or 2 cards different - don't have the list in front of me). I'll have to try Brainstorm sometime as well.

I'm now running Thoughseize in the Probe spot and Pridemage in the Fauna Shaman spot.

I know this was discussed earlier as well, but I'm also really interested in figuring out a way to get a Veteran Explorer in the list and have it be effective as well - but running more basics changes the manabase around a bit. Haven't really had time to play with it yet - maybe sometime over the coming weeks.

JBlaze
12-21-2011, 04:49 PM
Hey dk thanks a man. I guess its like they say every dog has his day.

Zenith cabal therapy and brainstorm play great together Because we are a proactive combo deck that operates at sorcery speed I found my self brainstorming more aggressively then normal during my main phase. I also found my self casting double cabal therapy a fair amount with is almost as good as probe/seize into therapy

i feel like the main deck is almost locked in other then playing one more fetch I would dare say it was perfect. I just had this idea so it is untested but I want to cut -1 BOP +1 noble hierarch a minor change but i could see a scenario where being able to attack for a point with some of our 0/1 flyers could be relevant

With brainstorm in the deck sideboarding gets harder a couple of times I had more cards I wanted to bring in then I had to take out some numbers may need to be changed . Scavenging ooze is really good I could see having a second one.

Xantid Swarm
12-21-2011, 07:45 PM
I'll test this Brainstorm idea me too, but I'll try to keep Probes because they are too good in my opinion. From my actual list (death put it at the end of the opening post) I'll cut 1 Bayou, 1 Forest, Cradle, Fauna Shaman, Rusalka and Library, to enter 2 Tropical Island + 4 Brainstorm. With those changes, I now have 20 lands, but with 4 Brainstorm + 4 Probe that seem enough, with the fact that GSZ is now used almost only to get mana creature.

I will not be able to play before next week so for now I just shuffle this pile and that seem good. Casting Brainstorm to get a Probe, than shuffle with a fetchland or GSZ before casting Probe to dig more is nice.

That said, I expect that I'll sometime miss Fauna or Rusalka. I'm in fact still a bit skeptical about the whole idea. It deserve a try but I'm not sure the splash worth it at the end. Anyway, I will make my opinion by playing it.

BjoernEE
12-21-2011, 09:20 PM
Now that we are talking about veteran explorer, I've done some testing with this VetHulk list:
Creatures: 23
2 Dryad Arbor
4 Veteran Explorer
4 Birds of Paradise
1 Tinder Wall
1 Starved Rusalka
1 Carion Feeder
1 Viscera Seer
1 Xantid Swarm
1 Death Cultist
1 Fauna Shaman
1 Academy Rector
2 Protean Hulk
1 Progenitus
1 Body Double
1 Revillark
Spells: 19
4 Brainstorm
4 Natural Order
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Green Sun's Zenith
3 Pattern of Rebirth
Lands: 18
3 Forest
1 Island
1 Swamp
1 Tropical Island
2 Bayou
1 Savannah
3 Misty Rainforest
4 Verdant Catacombs
2 Phyrexian Tower

I have basically just replaced the walls for explorers. I haven't tested it at a tourney yet, but it seems very stable, and it's harder to hate with wasteland/stifle denial due to the upped amount of basics.

Dresden
12-22-2011, 12:25 AM
Hrm, brainstorm doesn't particularly appeal to me simply because the manabase is shaky enough as it is without adding another color, or maybe it's because I run 1 taiga (I find the ability to cast mogg fanatic pretty useful, I use it a lot - common targets are dark confidant, delver of secrets, snapcaster, and my own dryad arbor with pattern on it, etc.). If we take a look at KidVictorious (great job btw)'s matches, we'll see this:

u/w stoneforge
B/w stoneforge
Treefolk tribal,
mono blue
dredge

There's no tempo, and I don't believe u/w stoneforge typically runs stifle. Just saying, those were some pretty ideal opponents to be running a more varied manabase, but at a larger event, we will hit tempo eventually and generally the stifle/wasteland/creature removal is what kills me when playing this deck, not racing batterskull/dredge/etc. If I had 1 extra mana, I'd rather be thoughtseizing I think. The primary creature we need in the library is just progenitus right? I mean, hulk comes into play every once in awhile when you draw two and I've lost games due to this but generally progenitus is the one I need back in the library, not sure if brainstorm is needed? Although its uses for dodging thoughtseize effects almost makes it worth it for me.

Veteran explorer is pretty nice, I never got this guy to work but I keep hoping somebody would, in which case I think we would need to run a lot more basics and brainstorm is likely not in the equation b/c we just don't have enough basics to cover those colors? Walls are pretty crucial for me, I have to hardcast something fairly often so I think if anything, the explorers must go in for (some of) the birds, and not any of the walls.

Anyway, just some thoughts. Oh, and after some EDH experiences, I found a card I really want to try in the deck, probably replacing my...viscera seer? Dimir House Guard. Read it real quick, just count the cards in the deck with the same mana cost and think about what you can do with T1 birds/gsz for dryad, T2 transmute.

death
12-22-2011, 02:00 AM
I found a card I really want to try in the deck, probably replacing my...viscera seer?

I disagree, I don't know how long you've been playing this deck but Seer is not the card I would easily replace. It let's you get around many things. I can safely say Fauna Shaman, the bees, or 1 Protean Hulk are replaceable on certain occasions, not a sac outlet, especially Seer. Transmute Guard is also situational, good when you have no bombs, which the deck has a high amount of, but when you already have bombs then DHG is nothing more than a 4cc deadweight. Other than that I agree with mostly what you said.

Xantid Swarm
12-22-2011, 10:58 AM
I want to share my opinion on lasts propositions.

About Brainstorm: I'm agree with you, Dresden, that splashing another color for just one spell is not attractive at first. It's the main reason I never tried Brainstorm before and I'm agree it can fragilise the mana base. But since the post from Kid Victorious I shuffled my deck with 4 Brainstorm in it just too see how it go and must admit it look amazing. Between 8 fetchlands and 4 GSZ we run enough shuffle effects to abuse Brainstorm. Also, playing 4 Birds of Paradise, 1 Cantor and 4 Zenith that can get Birds (+Carpets in the side) make a lot of way to produce U even if our lands are under attack.

Brainstorm allow to get Progenitus back into the deck but it's not the main point. We always have useless cards in hand, can be Hulk, Reveillark, Body Double, Fanatic, excess mana or excess combo cards, so it's easy to ship back 2. Brainstorm help to find combo piece or simply mana when needed and I'm surprise how often it allow to get double Therapy over the course of a game. Now, games where I see myself casting 2 Cabal Therapy is probably near of 100% wining rate.

So I think that Brainstorm at least deserve a try. Sure the U splash came at a cost, but tests will show if it worth it. At least Merfolk do not see a lot of play actualy so opening ourself to Islandwalk is not very relevent. And it also have the small bonus of being able, from time to time, to get a Tropical for casting Body Double.

By the way, I recommand everybody to test Brainstorm with a playset of Gitaxian Probe. 8 cantrip is amazing to find NO + Therapy.

About Taiga: Dresden, I know being able to cast Mogg Fanatic is sweet (another important target is Aven Mindcensor) but you can often do it without Taiga (Birds / Tinder Wall / Wild Cantor / Carpet of Flowers). Really, I don't think you need the Taiga. Even without the blue splash I do not run Taiga since a long time now.

About Noble Hierarch: There is no way I see myself running this over a Birds of Paradise, even as a singleton. Being able to produce black is too important for this deck. I often feel that Cabal Therapy is the most important or powerfull card of the deck so I don't want to not be able to cast it for a small attack bonus.

About Veteran Explorer: Sory friends, but this is bad. In the abstract, Veteran Explorer is good synergy with Therapy but not in this deck where our Therapy in grave are combo pieces. Explorer will oblige us to spend those important Therapies in grave. Also the fact that Explorer cannot sac himself at will is a big drawback in the context of Pattern of Rebirth. Wild Cantor, Tinder Wall and even Wall of Roots are all good Pattern targets because of that and are better in this deck than Explorer. Finally, Explorer force us to play a lot of basics, clearly too much to allow a blue splash. BjoernEE, with your list you can fizzle with a Reveillark in hand, not being able to get a Wild Cantor for W or a Plain from Explorer to hardcast Reveillark after you sac Hulk. So I'm sure that Tinder Wall is miles better than Explorer for this deck.

About Dimir House Guard: I don't see why I would play this over a 4th Pattern or over a 2nd Rector (for those already running a full playset of Pattern). I understand House Guard can be 5th NO and NO is generally better than Pattern and Rector, but I'm sure the transmute cost do not worth the trade (especialy with the BB in the cost).

That said, if you go with the blue splash for Brainstorm, there is another card that can get a NO for 3 mana, and at instant speed by the way: it's Intuition. Intuition can also get triple Cabal Therapy, a play that look very good, so it's perhaps a real option. I don't know if we have the place, I'm not sure it worth it and I don't plan to try it for now but it seem valid option if we choose to splash blue for Brainstorm in first place. I think Victorious Kid gave a try to Intuition few months ago so he perhaps have an opinion on this.

OneWingedAngel
12-22-2011, 01:32 PM
I want to share my opinion on lasts propositions.

About Brainstorm: I'm agree with you, Dresden, that splashing another color for just one spell is not attractive at first. It's the main reason I never tried Brainstorm before and I'm agree it can fragilise the mana base. But since the post from Kid Victorious I shuffled my deck with 4 Brainstorm in it just too see how it go and must admit it look amazing. Between 8 fetchlands and 4 GSZ we run enough shuffle effects to abuse Brainstorm. Also, playing 4 Birds of Paradise, 1 Cantor and 4 Zenith that can get Birds (+Carpets in the side) make a lot of way to produce U even if our lands are under attack.

Brainstorm allow to get Progenitus back into the deck but it's not the main point. We always have useless cards in hand, can be Hulk, Reveillark, Body Double, Fanatic, excess mana or excess combo cards, so it's easy to ship back 2. Brainstorm help to find combo piece or simply mana when needed and I'm surprise how often it allow to get double Therapy over the course of a game. Now, games where I see myself casting 2 Cabal Therapy is probably near of 100% wining rate.

So I think that Brainstorm at least deserve a try. Sure the U splash came at a cost, but tests will show if it worth it. At least Merfolk do not see a lot of play actualy so opening ourself to Islandwalk is not very relevent. And it also have the small bonus of being able, from time to time, to get a Tropical for casting Body Double.

By the way, I recommand everybody to test Brainstorm with a playset of Gitaxian Probe. 8 cantrip is amazing to find NO + Therapy.

About Taiga: Dresden, I know being able to cast Mogg Fanatic is sweet (another important target is Aven Mindcensor) but you can often do it without Taiga (Birds / Tinder Wall / Wild Cantor / Carpet of Flowers). Really, I don't think you need the Taiga. Even without the blue splash I do not run Taiga since a long time now.

About Noble Hierarch: There is no way I see myself running this over a Birds of Paradise, even as a singleton. Being able to produce black is too important for this deck. I often feel that Cabal Therapy is the most important or powerfull card of the deck so I don't want to not be able to cast it for a small attack bonus.

About Veteran Explorer: Sory friends, but this is bad. In the abstract, Veteran Explorer is good synergy with Therapy but not in this deck where our Therapy in grave are combo pieces. Explorer will oblige us to spend those important Therapies in grave. Also the fact that Explorer cannot sac himself at will is a big drawback in the context of Pattern of Rebirth. Wild Cantor, Tinder Wall and even Wall of Roots are all good Pattern targets because of that and are better in this deck than Explorer. Finally, Explorer force us to play a lot of basics, clearly too much to allow a blue splash. BjoernEE, with your list you can fizzle with a Reveillark in hand, not being able to get a Wild Cantor for W or a Plain from Explorer to hardcast Reveillark after you sac Hulk. So I'm sure that Tinder Wall is miles better than Explorer for this deck.

About Dimir House Guard: I don't see why I would play this over a 4th Pattern or over a 2nd Rector (for those already running a full playset of Pattern). I understand House Guard can be 5th NO and NO is generally better than Pattern and Rector, but I'm sure the transmute cost do not worth the trade (especialy with the BB in the cost).

That said, if you go with the blue splash for Brainstorm, there is another card that can get a NO for 3 mana, and at instant speed by the way: it's Intuition. Intuition can also get triple Cabal Therapy, a play that look very good, so it's perhaps a real option. I don't know if we have the place, I'm not sure it worth it and I don't plan to try it for now but it seem valid option if we choose to splash blue for Brainstorm in first place. I think Victorious Kid gave a try to Intuition few months ago so he perhaps have an opinion on this.

This is a cool tech...are you still sticking with the same SB? I've allotted 2 slots for ooze in my SB since Dredge and esp reanimator's rampant here in our meta. Will you still stick to siding out probes and leave the BS in during g2 and g3 when sideboarding for most match-ups?

Xantid Swarm
12-22-2011, 02:26 PM
@OneWingedAngel: For my sideboard, I'll probably run this: 4 Carpet, 4 Slaughter Pact, 1 Swarm, 1 Sylvan Library, 1 Pridemage, 1 Ooze, 1 Ethersworn Canonist, 1 Null Rod, 1 Faerie Macabre.

Running singletons (like those Faerie Macabre or Canonist) make more sense with Brainstorm because your chance of finding them raise a bit. If you want more grave hate than just the single Ooze, I recommand you to play other things because Ooze is often too slow for Dredge or Reanimator and 1 is enough since you run 4 GSZ. Faerie Macabre, Extirpate, Surgical Extraction or Leyline of the Void are all good option in addition to 1 Ooze.

For sideboarding, I don't know for now how I'll do it but I'm pretty sure I'll keep 4 Brainstorm every games. Once you splash blue there is no reason to not keep those. For the rest, I find myself keeping 2 to 4 Probe more often than before lattely so I'm not sure. Against decks than cannot answer or race Progenitus, I can cut 1 Hulk and 1 sac outlet (Feeder). Against Stifle decks, I often cut 1 Pattern, 1 Hulk and 1 sac-outlet. With +4 Carpet, I'll probably cut 2-4 mana sources, with +4 Slaughter Pact, I'll probably cut 1 Feeder and 1 Phyrexian Tower. 1 Pattern can go away against decks full of removals and Swarm go away against non-blue decks. Against combo, I generally cut Wall of Roots + 1 Dryad Arbor and sometime Progenitus. After that, if I still need more space to bring in cards, I'll cut some Probes.

OneWingedAngel
12-22-2011, 02:38 PM
@OneWingedAngel: For my sideboard, I'll probably run this: 4 Carpet, 4 Slaughter Pact, 1 Swarm, 1 Sylvan Library, 1 Pridemage, 1 Ooze, 1 Ethersworn Canonist, 1 Null Rod, 1 Faerie Macabre.

Running singletons (like those Faerie Macabre or Canonist) make more sense with Brainstorm because your chance of finding them raise a bit. If you want more grave hate than just the single Ooze, I recommand you to play other things because Ooze is slow and 1 is enough since you run 4 GSZ. Faerie Macabre, Extirpate, Surgical Extraction or Leyline of the Void are all good option in addition to 1 Ooze.

For sideboarding, I don't know for now how I'll do it but I'm pretty sure I'll keep 4 Brainstorm every games. Once you splash blue there is no reason to not keep those. I find myself keeping 2 to 4 Probe more often than before lattely so I'm not sure. Against deck than cannot answer or race Progenitus, I can cut 1 Hulk and 1 sac outlet (Feeder?). Against Stifle decks, I often cut 1 Pattern, 1 Hulk and 1 sac-outlet. With +4 Carpet, I'll probably cut 2-4 mana sources, with +4 Slaughter Pact, I'll probably cut 1 Feeder and 1 Phyrexian Tower. 1 Pattern can go away against decks full of removals and Swarm go away against non-blue decks. Against combo, I generally cut Wall of Roots +1 Dryad Arbor and sometime Progenitus. After that, if I still need more space to bring in cards, I'll cut some Probes.

I was thinking the same thing coz you'll probably have to modify a little bit in terms of SideBoarding with the inclusion of BS. its a good tech IMHO which allows you to dig deeper and look for combo pieces. Just like majority of the players who play this deck,I usually find myself stuck with unwanted cards after establishing board position/Ramping. If possible, you'd want to avoid Mulling too much. I dont want to rely on my topdeck too much even if we have a high probability of hitting the bombs(this is assuming that the early ones got countered or fizzled for some reason).

JBlaze
12-22-2011, 03:55 PM
Xantid- I'm loving having probe therapy and brainstorm it just makes the deck a beast mad props fitting gitaxian probe back in

I never tested Intuition I was going to awhile back but this deck is a complex machine and I did not feel like I knew it well enough to start tinkering with it. It is an interesting idea but I don't know what I would take out so if anybody tests it let us know

Dresden-I hit some good match ups for sure, tree folk tribal is not exactly tearing up the metagame right now. In my opinion the power boost that we get from brainstorm is worth making the mana base just a little more vulnerable. Regardless of if you play brainstorm or not wasteland/stifle removal is going to be tough and something that takes practice to play against. All I can say is test it out for your self

here is my list as it stands right now.

60 cards
8 green fetch
2 bayou
2 tropical island
1 savannah
1 forest
2 dryad arbor
3 ancient tomb
1 phyrexian tower

4 natural order
4 green sun zenith
4 cabal therapy
4 brainstorm
3 pattern of rebirth
3 gitaxian probe

4 bird of paradise
2 tinder wall
1 wild cantor
1 wall of roots
1 xantid swarm
2 protean hulk
1 carrion feeder
1 viscera seer
1 Reveillark
1 body double
1 mogg fanatic
1 academy rector
1 progenitus

Is it right to run 61 cards if the 61st card is a 4th gitaxian probe? right now I have been testing with 3 in a 60 card list. I would like to fit in full playset of probes but I also want to keep the deck at 60 cards any ideas? I think the deck could function with only two pattern of rebirths if it has 4 probe and 4 brainstorm.