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SpeakingofJager
08-28-2011, 12:32 AM
Overview
Esper America is the natural evolution of a classic BUg Team America. It plays the same game style that Team America does; it's just a matter of how the deck gets it done. The deck attempts to capitalize on the narrow window of disruption generated from cards like Stifle, Thoughtseize, Wasteland, and Hymn to Tourach with SFM and Tombstalker.

History
About three days before the July Jupiter Games' NELC Qualifier, Ben Landers(RogueMTG) and I decided to gut green from my Team America deck on a whim and replace it with SFM. There was no testing, I walked into the even on nothing but the theory "SFM > Tarmogoyf", and itís paid off. This deck has been to two 70+ events and top 8íd both times, and hit a top 32 at SCG Boston.


Deck List
The Original
Creatures 9
4 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

Counters 11
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
3 Daze

Disruption 8
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Stifle

Gas 6
4 Brainstorm
2 Ponder

SFM Toolbox 2
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice

Removal 4
4 Swords to Plowshares

Lands 20
4 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
3 Underground Sea
2 Scrubland
2 Tundra
4 Wasteland

Sideboard:
2 Vindicate
2 Snuffout
2 Tormodís Crypt
2 Extirpate
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Perish
3 Engineered Plague

The Current (as of 25Aug11)
//Creatures 9
4 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

//Toolbox 2
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Feast and Famine

//Removal 5
3 Swords to Plowshares
2 Dismember

//Disruption 10
4 Stifle
4 Hymn to Tourach

//Gas 4
4 Brainstorm

//Counters 10
4 Mental Misstep
3 Daze
3 Force of Will

//Planeswalkers 2
2 Jace, the Mindsculptor

//Lands 20
4 Marsh Flats
3 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
3 Underground Sea
2 Scrubland
2 Tundra
4 Wasteland

//SB 15
3 Extirpate
2 Perish
2 Diabolic Edict
2 Vindicate
2 Spell Pierce
2 Thoughtseize
1 Force of Will
1 Swords to Plowshares

So, at this point youíre probably saying to yourself ďIsnít this just Team America?Ē Yes and no. As I stated earlier, this deck was built by gutting green from the Team America shell and adding white to the deck. Switching to Esper gives you better match ups against Team Americaís worst. All the while, the Esper switch maintains all of Team Americaís good match ups. Rather than cluttering that thread with two divergent philosophies on how the deck should be played, itís best to post it as its own deck.

However, the switch over isnít flawless. SFM is one of the most played creatures in the current Meta. G2 and G3, SFM becomes less reliable with all of the hate in everyoneís board. Also, you now open yourself up to red removal. In the classic BUG, aside from its earliest stages, Tarmogoyf give you a 2 for 1 by eating a man and then getting shot with a lightning bolt. SFM doesnít do that, and we have a tough time getting to the mana for a hard cast batterskull. Iíll admit, itís not fun, but I feel like the trade is worth it. You can play around Grim Lavamancer and Lightning Bolt, you canít really play around the 10 Ė 12% of the field that fish represent, and all of the other aggro match ups.

Card Selection
First Iím going to hit the cards that separate this deck from Team America:

Stoneforge Mystic: The reason for the change to Esper colors. The addition of Stoneforge mystic makes some of Team Americaís worst match ups much friendlier. Traditionally, Team America has always had a bad match up against Merfolk (and other aggro / tribal decks), adding SFM and Batterskull to the mix makes the match up much better for us.

Swords to Plowshares: Despite the recent printing of Mental Misstep, this is still the best removal spell in the game. By adding white youíre able to cut all of the situational removal Team America was forced to use and just play a better card.

Next Iíll list the cards that separate this deck from Esperblade:

Tombstalker: I donít know what to say, other than this is a 5/5 flyer for 2. He is the perfect man to capitalize on that narrow window of board superiority your early game stifles and hymns create.

Stifle: This card is so relevant in the meta right now, itís crazy. You can hit SFM, fetches, wasteland, AV, Jace ultimates, animate dead, narcomeba, etc. Against some decks itís dead, but those are usually decks that you bring in all your removal spells for.

And finally, just a few cards in the deck that I feel I need to comment on Ė

Jace, the Mind Sculptor: Well . . . heís Jace. I feel like he belongs in the deck. I personally use him as a late game strategy. Against some decks, tempo doesnít always get there. Jace becomes both your out to a Game 1 Jace and your wincon in those same match ups.

Sword of X and Y: I've personally switched between all Fire and Ice, Body and Mind and Feast and Famine, and to be honest, it's just a matter of preference. This argument has been beaten to death, just go with what you think is best.


SB Choices

Vindicate: This is the third and final reason to switch to Esper. If you hadnít noticed, I only play three white cards in the entire deck. Vindicate supports LD plan in G2 by allowing us to hit basic lands. Itís also a universal answer to whatever you donít like. The card is just good.

Perish: An added benefit of switching over, you can safely play Perish. It rarely happened, but having to perish away your goyf to kill a 10/10 sucked. Yes, it was reasonable, but youíre still losing out.

Diabolic Edict: At best, it answers Emrakul and Progenitus, at worst its another kill spell. It's more powerful post board with 8 other spells to back it up.

Spell Pierce: A card I just like in the board. With it and the 1 FoW, it makes on the play G2 easier, as i can just side out 3 daze and bring in 3 counter magic, but thatís entirely on you

Extirpate: This card is a matter of preference, if you're worried about just dredge, Leyline is probably better for you. Extirpate is better against mid to late game decks (and the mirror). Against other mid to late game decks (IE: Team America, UW Control blade, etc), it's good for the same reasons its powerful against the mirror. Ripping a threat or a quarter of their mana base is crippling, and most decks just can't recover. It also is an out to Wastelock.

Thoughtseize: To me, this is the flex slot in the entire 75. Iím constantly switching between having these MD and in the board. If you donít like Jace in the main, this is a good replacement for him.

This next section is cards that just didnít make the cut:

Dark Confidant: Bob is my boy, but he just doesnít fit in this deck. The problem with Bob is that he doesnít play well with Force of Will, Batterskull, and Tombstalker. If you cut Tombstalker, you lose out on the one creature that can best take advantage of the deckís tempo. Bob just slows things down and makes this a different deck . . . It makes it a worse version of Esperblade.

Bitterblossom: Bitterblossom has itís merits, I just feel like itís attempting to fill the late game wincon slot. Unfortunately, itíd be competing with Jace at that point, and I feel like Jace is just better in that slot.

Mother of Runes: I love you mom, but we need to leave the nest eventually. Your guys are going to get hit, it sucks, but it happens. Mom can stay at home for this one. Batterskull allows you to have a threat that you can just keep playing, and Jace doesnít go down easy.

Ponder: Team America players may notice that Iíve cut Ponder completely from the deck. After a lot of testing, I found Iíd rather just have more action spells in my MD than ponder. First I cut it for thoughtseize, and eventually Jace. If youíre unhappy with both of those card choices, you can always try ponder back in your MD.

Snuff Out: Another cut some Team America players may have noticed. Snuff out is replaced with dismember. Snuff out canít hit Bob, germ tokens or Tombstalkers. Dismember hits all of those, and misses a few giant knights / goyfs / terravores. Letís be honest though, against decks running knights / goyfs and terravores, youíre bringing in all of your other removal, so youíll probably be alright

Darkblast: This card is just good. I donít have a Meta filled with grim Lavamancers and bobs, but if I did, itíd be in my 75. This card is purely a Meta call.

Engineered Plague: Too narrow. Batterskull pretty much answers all the tribal decks, and with a board packed with removal, those decks arenít too bad anyway.

Final thoughts before we go into match ups:

19 Ė 22 Lands: I personally feel like 20 is the right number, but itís a matter of preference. If you want to support jace more frequently, make room for 22. If you want to cut jace entirely and play ponder or thoughtseize, go 19. Or if youíre like me, go for the middle ground and stick with 20.

3 Force of Will: The deck already beats the pants off of combo. With combo rare in the current meta, why stack your MD so heavily against them? Against most of the Meta, three is about all you need.

3 StP / 2 Dismember: I constantly bounce between 5 removal MD and 5 discard MD. When I switch into discard I do 3 Hymn, 2 Thoughtseize, porting the dismember to the board and cutting 1 hymn completely and moving StP 4 back into the MD. I do this purely as a Meta call.


Match ups:
(Courtesy of IsThisACatInAHat?)

Merfolk:

As one of Legacyís most popular decks, Merfolk is likely to be a good percentage of the room at any large tournament. Classically favored against U/x aggro-control, the Stoneforge package plus sideboard removal suite make this more of a push. The best way to beat Merfolk is by resolving a turn 2 Stoneforge Mystic, but it doesnít stop there. Merfolk decks are more prepared than they used to be, bringing in some number of Dismembers out of the board (in addition to their counter magic and non-interactive lord effects). Some Merfolk decks are also playing Tower of the Magistrate, so save Wastelands until you need them. Postboard, side in removal and hand disruption for counter magic. In addition to resolving Stoneforge Mystic, keeping Lord of Atlantis off the table is a critical part of winning. Overall, this matchup is about even, which is considerably improved from BUG Team America (this deckís closest similarity).

Zoo:

Zoo mixes some elements you really want to see across from you with some elements you really donít. As with most aggro matchups, a resolved Batterskull is almost definitely game over, especially since most Zoo decks are cutting Pridemages for additional speed. Save your counter magic to protect Stoneforge and Batterskull rather than countering their guys if you can and the game should be over quickly. While the creature side of Zoo can be very easy to deal with, burn can be very difficult. Stoneforge is still an easy target for all of their removal and Lavamancers, while Price of Progress can be absolutely devastating to our mana-intensive mono-nonbasic manabase. Stopping the initial rush of creatures (or getting Batterskull online) is the most important step to beating Zoo. Postboard, side in your entire removal suite and cut cards as you see fit, likely some combination of Stifle, Hymn, Daze and Force of Will. Expect Red Blasts, Choke and Price of Progress, but otherwise, itís all mostly the same. This matchup is very draw-dependent, but wavers from even to slightly better.

Team America:

This pseudo mirror match plays out much like old threshold mirrors. It depends heavily on draws and careful play, since tapping out exposes you to opposing Dazes and cracking lands at the wrong time can put you on the wrong end of a Stifle. Hymn is crucial for knocking cards out of each otherís hands, but all told this matchup is about as even as it gets. After all, youíre both practically playing the same deck. The only real difference, white versus green, can be an advantage either way. Swords is better removal than anything in black, but itís also counterable by Mental Misstep. Tarmogoyf is much bigger than Stoneforge Mystic and doesnít leave you susceptible to Thoughtseize or Hymn, but a resolved Batterskull can easily race a goyf. Since neither side has any real bombs except Jace, itís safe to side out counter magic in favor of removal or other disruption like Thoughtseize. Play carefully and patiently and hope you draw well.

NO RUG:

The greenest competitive deck in the format is sort of like everything you want to see out of Zoo, but with nothing you donít. Black disruption and white Stoneforge Mystics match up pretty much perfectly against everything in their deck. Youíve even got 4+ outs to a resolved Natural Order if youíre running Edicts and Perishes (as you should), while all of your Hymns and Dazes already play well against Green Sunís and Natural Orders. This is the dream matchup for Esper America and very difficult to lose unless youíre trying to. Itís safe to side out all or most of your counter magic in favor of removal postboard since this can go long if you donít just walk over them in the first few turns. Perish is your all-star, but youíve got more removal spells than they have targets, so use non-Edict/Perish removal liberally and be glad to have gotten such a lucky pairing.

Hive Mind/ Sneak Attack/ other Show and Tell:

Combo decks trying to resolve expensive spells sounds like a perfect combination to a thresh-style deck with Stifle, Daze, Hymn and Wasteland. Esper America, like its predecessors, is a natural predator to these kinds of decks. This is most apparent in your sideboard design, where youíre dedicating 6-10 slots to various kinds of aggro decks, but actual 0 specifically to combo decks. This is because youíre already running some of the best 75 you can; itís appropriate to side in Thoughtseize or Edict if you have them, but otherwise your disruption suite can be very difficult for Show and Tell decks to resolve spells through. Given the choice between resolving a threat and resolving disruption, even assuming theyíre low on cards, almost always choose disruption. Thereís plenty of time to resolve your threats, but giving them a window to resolve theirs is basically the only way they can win. I also prefer fetching Sword over Batterskull against these decks, since while Batterskull is a faster (albeit essentially irrelevant) clock, Sword can ensure theyíll never get the chance to go off, even out of desperation, no matter how many extra turns you give them.

U/W/x Blade Control:

UW and its various splashes can range from difficult to easy, depending on the exact build. The lynchpin card in this matchup is Standstill, since that card is a classic trump to Hymn decks and exactly what you donít want to see when youíre playing a deck that 1. canít play under it and 2. wants to grind a long war of attrition. Against Standstill versions, aggressively keep Standstill off the board and try to win the game as fast as possible. Jace is another problem, especially against your threat suite of Stoneforge Mystic/ Tombstalker. Stifle is useless as a land destruction spell, but actually extremely valuable as a tool for protecting Stalker from Jace and opposing Mystics from searching up Batterskull. Depending on your sideboard you have some relevant cards (additional Cliques, Vindicate, Thoughtseize) that should help you against the biggest problem cards, but overall, Standstill remains difficult to beat without getting a little bit lucky.

On the other hand, versions with Ancestral Vision are very easy to beat. All of the same cards are there, but where Standstill makes your hand disruption a liability, Vision makes it much more powerful, taking a card out of their hand for four(!) full turns and allowing you to hit the really good stuff with Hymn. Once both your hands are nearly empty, Stifling the CITP trigger on Vision that would Recall them back into the game is a final nail in the coffin. If theyíre even cutting good cards like the 24th land or 4th Jace for Spellstutter Sprites, so much the better. 1/1 flyers that cost a card are a critical liability in these attrition-style battles. Your most counterable spells, Brainstorm and Swords to Plowshares, are both greatly diminished in this matchup anyway. Jace is still a problem on the top end, but without Standstill, theyíre much less likely to get into a position where they can resolve him with counter backup against an empty board.

Hanni
08-28-2011, 01:29 AM
Was wondering when this would get its own thread.

I would like to say, that I think Vindicate would be a really good spell to somehow fit in the maindeck. It's versatile and answers all sorts of randomness, from Jace TMS to whatever, and adds to the decks LD gameplan.

From your current list, I'd probably cut 2 Jace TMS and 2 Dismember to add these, although I'd want to find a way to run 4 StP too.

EDIT: Actually, I have no idea. Cutting Jace TMS cuts the blue count too low. Since I'm not extremely experienced with the deck, I won't make on comments on what to cut to fit them.

lordofthepit
08-28-2011, 01:32 AM
Love the writeup. I might be taking this out for a spin when I have a chance to play again.

the_ob3lisk
08-28-2011, 01:36 AM
Was wondering when this would get its own thread.


I second that. Long time TA player here and from the transition of a typical BUG list, this looks like it would solve all the problems agaisnt aggro. I must give it a try!

Chikenbok
08-28-2011, 01:39 AM
Dear Carson,

Your deck sucks.

I love you.

xoxo <3 ,

Alex

SpeakingofJager
08-28-2011, 01:51 AM
I currently run a 3 / 2 split of removal as a pure meta call. We have a lot of bant aggro / no rug in the area. Dismember gets there against almost everything there and doesnt get MM'd. I'm still hammering out bugs, but its an idea im trying out right now. In a less aggro filled meta, i switch back to 4 StP and bring in the thought seize to hurt on the control / combo (cutting 1 hymn completely).

As far as vindicate MD, I want it so bad it hurts. But I found it too slow against too many decks to justify. Maybe I'm wrong though.

Hanni
08-28-2011, 01:54 AM
With Stifle and MM, I would think Vindicate being slow would be a non-issue. At least a couple copies, anyway.

SpeakingofJager
08-28-2011, 02:00 AM
I agree, vindicate would add something to the MD, maybe I just had a bad taste in my mouth from it not bieng instant speed in corner cases where that mattered. I'll give it another whirl, but I'd suggest not touching the Jace slot until you try him against UW conrolblade. Thats the match where JTMS shines, but Vindicate could be better. I never really tested it

Tombstalker
08-28-2011, 12:17 PM
Excellent primer and thank you for your efforts. I have just begun testing most of the things we spoke of and right away I see why you run the 3/2 removal split. Having our primary removal in the splash color can occasionally be a pain.

xfxf
08-28-2011, 01:54 PM
Great primer, thanks! I'm curious to see if Team Esper will make an appereance in the Grand Prix.

oldbsturgeon
08-28-2011, 04:34 PM
With only 20 land, does it become difficult to play jace? The general consensus is that you have to have 22, though I wonder if that is really true.
And if you were to add land, would you only need to add 1 in reality, bringing the count to 21.
Also vindicate feels more like the deck's purpose, that is destorying things, over jace, but it's also pretty obvious jace is awesome when it comes down.
It's a tough call.

Tombstalker
08-28-2011, 05:15 PM
So ive been testing this deck and I gotta say so far its been absolutely sick! I think once decklists get a little more dialed in we are going to see this deck in a lot of top 8s. Heres what ive been running for reference:


Creatures 9
4 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique

Artifacts 2
1 Batterskull
1 Umezawa’s Jitte

Permission 10
4 Mental Misstep
3 Daze
3 Force of Will

Disruption 8
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Stifle

Cantrips 4
4 Brainstorm

Removal 7
3 Swords to Plowshares
2 Dismember
2 Vindicate

Lands 20
4 Marsh Flats
4 Underground Sea
4 Wasteland
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Verdant Catacombs
2 Scrubland
2 Tundra

Side Board 15
2 Perish
1 Retribution of the Meek
2 Engineered Explosives
1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
1 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Surgical Extraction
1 Extirpate
2 Diabolic Edict
2 Spell Pierce
1 Force of Will


The difference in life gain vs. lifeloss between this and traditional TA is simply game changing. Ive chosen Jitte over sword of x and y due to utility and 2cc, and I havent found a significant reason to change yet. Ive mainly been testing against fast zoo and merfolk, and a little against stoneblade since these decks give me problems. So far im pleased to say that between batterskull and Jitte the aggro matchups have become far easier. I will say that the deck is mana hungry in a completely different way than TA, I think in part due to removal in white but also due to the preferred timing of casting SFM as opposed to a goyf.

It took me a little while to let go of my crutches...i.e. the 4th FoW and Ponder but so far I havent missed the 4th FoW maindeck at all. Ponder otoh Im still unsure on, mostly because Im still not always happy to see Clique as opposed to tombstalker and I do occasionally miss Ponders card selection and shuffle effects. If anything I may drop 1 (or both) Clique for Ponders and squeeze the 4th tombstalker back in, not sure yet. Ill keep testing without them and see how it goes.
I do feel that if you can run vindicate in the main then daze could easily be a 4 of.

I know my manabase isnt optimal but I dont currently own the proper fetches since I recently traded them off. Still I am amazed how powerful this deck has become just by changing green to white.

Anyway feel free to comment.

SpeakingofJager
08-28-2011, 06:35 PM
My quick thoughts.

4x Stalker - While stalker is more often then not what gets you there, getting stalker flooded sucks. Any hand with 2 stalkers is almost an auto mull. I just found myself getting flooded entirely too much.

Vindicate versus Jace - If you look at this strictly as a late game scenario, which would you rather top deck? Vindicate is a good top deck, where as jace wins games. That was ultimately why I put Jace MD. However, I dont know if vindicate and jace are fighting for the same slot. If you want vindicate, I'd toy with slots other than JTMS, maybe the cliques and MD removal number 5. I'm not sure cutting 2 threats (be they jace or clique) is the right call. All i can say in Jaces defense is that he's Jace.

20 lands enough to support Jace - Well, I've never really had a problem with it. For me, Jace has only ever had to hit late game. I havent done much testing with him since SCG Boston.

Also, Tombstalker mentioned it briefly. This deck IS very mana needy. The only other problem I see with vindicate MD, is that good opponents will try and keep us off of white. This deck wants white right now, but if you MD vindicate, it will need it. Seems a bit like setting yourself up for failure

Hanni
08-28-2011, 06:59 PM
As far as the manabase goes, I don't think Vindicate, or rather wanting WB, is the problem. The deck already wants W for SFM and StP. Adding Vindicate doesn't change the fact that you need W.

On the surface, the problem looks to be the fact that you are running 7 spells that require BB and 4 spells that require UU. With or without Vindicate, you still need W. You're trying to hit BBUUW with 20 lands, where 4 of those lands produce colorless (Wasteland). That seems to be the bigger issue, if you ask me.

Especially considering that this deck is way more top heavy than your average "tempo" deck, I really think the deck needs 22 lands. The list is so tight though, and I have no idea how to fit everything.

catmint
08-28-2011, 07:30 PM
thanks for the very good primer.

Biggest problems I had with this build (besides of not playing it correctly)

- I often want to Daze, Stifle, Hymn instead of playing SFM/batterskull which cannot be done early to get batterskull down. Goyf takes 1 turn -> batterskull 2 turns.

- We are more vulnerable to wasteland, because we need W twice and not only once like for goyf.

- It sucks to be vulnerable to red

- overall I feel the SFM plan has some antisynergy with the orignial TA tempo strategy.

Would be interesting to hear your experiences of changing the playstyle from green to white!

Tombstalker
08-28-2011, 08:10 PM
As far as the manabase goes, I don't think Vindicate, or rather wanting WB, is the problem. The deck already wants W for SFM and StP. Adding Vindicate doesn't change the fact that you need W.

On the surface, the problem looks to be the fact that you are running 7 spells that require BB and 4 spells that require UU. With or without Vindicate, you still need W. You're trying to hit BBUUW with 20 lands, where 4 of those lands produce colorless (Wasteland). That seems to be the bigger issue, if you ask me.

Especially considering that this deck is way more top heavy than your average "tempo" deck, I really think the deck needs 22 lands. The list is so tight though, and I have no idea how to fit everything.

This is why I dont really think JTMS belongs here although plenty of people have proven otherwise im sure. But yes IMO its the double color requirements and just as importantly the cc of 3+ that can be a problem. Im in the Vindicate > JTMS camp, for this type of deck that is.


Biggest problems I had with this build (besides of not playing it correctly)

- I often want to Daze, Stifle, Hymn instead of playing SFM/batterskull which cannot be done early to get batterskull down. Goyf takes 1 turn -> batterskull 2 turns.

- We are more vulnerable to wasteland, because we need W twice and not only once like for goyf.

- It sucks to be vulnerable to red

- overall I feel the SFM plan has some antisynergy with the orignial TA tempo strategy.

These are all my same gripes with SFM (and clique when talking red vulnerability). That being said the trade off really does seem to be worth it. Access to far better removal in StP and Vindicate is huge and batterskull/jitte/Sword of xy bring an element to TA that it has needed to evolve, namely a late game + utility, and their even tutorable!

Just when I was starting to feel solid about my TA plays this comes along :)

Antonius
08-29-2011, 07:00 AM
White America works so much better as a name for this deck.

It's seeing a lot of play over here on the West Coast, ATM. It seems pretty good and has made a Top 8 since showing up.

RogueMTG
08-29-2011, 10:56 AM
...
The difference in life gain vs. lifeloss between this and traditional TA is simply game changing. Ive chosen Jitte over sword of x and y due to utility and 2cc, and I havent found a significant reason to change yet.
...
Anyway feel free to comment.

I like Jitte in the 75, but I'm not sure it belongs in the main.

It was a card that 'Jager and I mulled around for a while as a sideboard card, as in some matchups it just does more than the Swords do. Unfortunately in the maindeck it felt as though we didn't really have the creature base to make Jitte the monster that it can be. Trading an SFM or Clique just to get counters isn't really a viable strategy because of how reliant we are on our few resolved beaters (whereas something like GW has the dudes to keep throwing at it). Also it's nice when an equipped dude is able to halt Goyf beats or swing by unmolested. A Jitte that has already triggered can do this, but the Swords do it right away.

I'd be interested to see how your build matches up against Bant or GW Mav game 1 with the Jitte > Sword change. It's possible that it's just better because of the help it gives in the aggro/folk matchups.

Tombstalker
08-29-2011, 12:32 PM
RogueMTG- I cant honestly rate the swords yet because I went straight for Jitte but I will test the swords eventually. As you say, it may be a whole different experience against those specific decks. What I have been testing is the match ups I have the most problems against with TA and so far they have all improved quite a bit.

On another note, with more play time ive actually found the loss of ponder and the 4th tombstalker to be fine, especially since vindicate just owns.

wcm8
08-29-2011, 02:22 PM
I don't mean to take the wind out of anyone's sails, but this deck has been known about for awhile. I posted my own list in both the Team America and Esperblade threads a few weeks before the deck gained notoriety by top 8ing some events. So I would be wary on anyone claiming to 'invent' this deck.

Anyways..

The conclusion I came to after testing this deck for awhile is that while SFM can help solve some of TA's hardest matchups, it's not really any better than what green offers post-board, specifically Pernicious Deed in the aggro matchups. The other issue is that other SFM-based decks can sideboard into an alternative gameplan in the postboard games (making an opponent's Krosan Grips and whatnot useless), whereas Esper still needs to rely on Mystic as a primary kill condition. So if I were going to play a tempo deck, I'd stick with the efficiency of Tarmogoyf over devoting 5-6 slots to a somewhat clunky plan that doesn't adhere to the tempo plan of traditional TA. Just my two cents, but obviously results speak for themselves. Here's to hoping Innistrad gives us some new toys to play with for this style of deck.

SpeakingofJager
08-29-2011, 02:27 PM
@ Catmint - I'd say my expiernce with the switch is pretty much nothing but joy. White makes a lot of team america's worst match ups so much easier. Even if there is a bit of anti-synergy, it gets the job done. You also make yourself more vulnerable to red, but every deck that plays SFM does that. The way I look at it is this: I'm not forced to auto scoop to fish and zoo. I know it wasnt that bad with traditional Team America, but it may as well of been. Those match ups are so unfun, people put the deck away when the meta shifts that way.

Part of the reason I posted this as a seperate primer is to allow both BUG Team America and this to develop independantly and not have ideas getting crushed by both camps.

@ Tombstalker: Jitte provides great utility, but the thing is you often end up having to trade a creature for counters, and you dont want this. Sword of X and Y puts even your smallest man (SFM) past Wild Nactal and clique range, and if they still kill him (IE lightning bolt ), well, you just got a 2 for 1. I just feel like Jitte forces you to do the 1 for 1 every time, where as Sword of X and Y leads to 2 for 1 more frequently.

@Antonius: Just curious, what has it top 8'd? How big / how long ago?

@ WCM8: I'm not claiming i invented anything. All i did was smash SFM into a preexisting shell and have gotten nothing but good results. Its different enough from Team America I felt it deserved its own dedicated primer, so I did it up

Tombstalker
08-29-2011, 03:37 PM
I don't mean to take the wind out of anyone's sails, but this deck has been known about for awhile. I posted my own list in both the Team America and Esperblade threads a few weeks before the deck gained notoriety by top 8ing some events. So I would be wary on anyone claiming to 'invent' this deck.

Anyways..

The conclusion I came to after testing this deck for awhile is that while SFM can help solve some of TA's hardest matchups, it's not really any better than what green offers post-board, specifically Pernicious Deed in the aggro matchups. The other issue is that other SFM-based decks can sideboard into an alternative gameplan in the postboard games (making an opponent's Krosan Grips and whatnot useless), whereas Esper still needs to rely on Mystic as a primary kill condition. So if I were going to play a tempo deck, I'd stick with the efficiency of Tarmogoyf over devoting 5-6 slots to a somewhat clunky plan that doesn't adhere to the tempo plan of traditional TA. Just my two cents, but obviously results speak for themselves. Here's to hoping Innistrad gives us some new toys to play with for this style of deck.

wcm8- I remember your decklist, final fantasy right? Props to you as well and no offense intended its just that Jager put up the primer thats all. I am just happy that the deck and playstyle I love has received some new love without changing what is integral to its function. Heres hoping innistrad brings some actual new tech!

nedleeds
08-29-2011, 04:21 PM
How do decks with 16 color producing lands, and double black and double blue requirements win 8-10 round tourneys without cheating savagely. The math is just not with you.

SpeakingofJager
08-29-2011, 04:52 PM
Team America gets around the same problem . . . You get there with disruption and the fact that EVERY land can be fetched. The mana base is ripped pretty much directly from a Team America shell, just switching to the appropriate duals.

Edit: I also just rechecked the Team America thread and saw your Final Fantasy list, WCM8. I honestly had never seen it before. Sorry if you feel like I ripped your idea. So you dropped it because it just seemed clunky?

wcm8
08-29-2011, 05:00 PM
How do decks with 16 color producing lands, and double black and double blue requirements win 8-10 round tourneys without cheating savagely. The math is just not with you.

It's a fair question. Traditional TA achieves this by running 8-9 fetchlands, and no basics. Then it adds in 4 brainstorms and 4 ponders, which smooths out the deck and allows it to find whatever it needs at the moment, including additional lands. Finally, it protects itself by using Stifle and sometimes even Daze to prevent opponents from blowing it out with Wasteland. For the most part, the deck functions on two lands, and can leverage into more with just one blue source and the 8 cantrips. The advantage is that these sorts of decks hardly ever flood on lands like some control decks tend to.

A build smashing in SFM and/or Jace is typically going to get blown out by Wasteland far more often once it starts dropping the aforementioned cards. I don't want to hinder any deckbuilding creativity, but I think the U/W and U/W/r (and sometimes even U/W/g) builds are better ways of utilizing Stoneforge Mystic. 'Tempo' decks want to captilize on the very narrow window of opportunity that cards like Daze, Stifle, Hymn, etc. create, and slowing down your alarcity with a plodding [albeit powerful] kill condition is going against the gameplan. I'm not really convinced that white is justified in this type of deck when green functions just as well, if not better.

wcm8
08-29-2011, 05:08 PM
So you dropped it because it just seemed clunky?

The biggest problem I had with the deck was in post-board games. Every deck worth its weight has sideboard cards to address Stoneforge Mystic. All it takes is one Pithing Needle or Krosan Grip to throw a wrench into the gameplan. If you are testing this deck, I would look into figuring out a way to address games 2 and 3.

My suggestion:

If you have a creature base of
4 Tombstalker
4 SFM
2 Equipments

You can side out the entire SFM package and bring in 3 Vendilion Clique and 3 Thoughtseize/Spell Pierce against control and combo matchups. Against aggro, you're obviously going to leave the Mystics in, but perhaps you could have an additional equipment in the side that addresses particular matchups.

FWIW I would not drop Ponders entirely if you are intending on playing Tombstalkers in multiples.

Chikenbok
08-29-2011, 06:33 PM
4 x Spellstutter Sprite.

4 x Mutavault - you wanted more creatures right?

That is all.

catmint
08-30-2011, 09:15 AM
I would like to share my current thought process with you:

1) The manabase IS a problem. Stoneforge requires W in 2 rounds and you want swords, hmyn and V-clique early. As mentioned by someone because TA works different and has Ponder I don't think it can be done with 20 lands.

2) I don't think the tempo plan of stifle, daze, hymn with a fast kill is not that good atm, because combo is weak obv... so having the same plan with W instead of G just for stoneforge is probably not the best idea.

Therefore I would rather like to build a 3 color control/midrange build with a lot of removal (4 swords, 3 Vindicate) and good long game cards such as bitterblossom, jace, and stoneforge mystic

In such a build hymn would not be good and Tombstalker can easily be reduced to 2 (which I by the way also do in the traditional TA). This eases up the mana and makes it much easier to build up with 22 lands INCLUDING BASICS.

With Vindicate, Perish in SB and a really full removal suite + Jace, Stoneforge + the flying army it should be possible (in theory) a good game versus the current DTB.

Perish/edict should take care of Maverick and NO RUG (I am confident here and also tested a couple of games with very good results)

The jace/stoneforge fight vs. U/W can be won by the support of bitterblossom and vindicate (...no testing so far).

The Problems I am facing:

1) Blue card count?: I don't want to worry about the blue card with every sidebaord decision, so 22 blue cards would be nice. The core I see is: 3 v-clique, 12 (BS, MM, FoW), 2-3 Jace = 17-18 cards.

Depending on which direction to go I see Stifle, Ponder, Spell Snare or maybe even spellstutter sprite as possible candicates.

2) Card advantage:
Without Visions/Standstill and the cut of hmyn, the deck has to rely on 2-3bitterblossom, SFM and a flying army with sword of fire and ice (and of course jace). Good enough?

Where I am at the moment:

Creatures / SFM Package:
2 Tombstalker
3 Vendilion Clque
3 Bitterblossom
4 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice

Disruption
4 FoW
4 MM
3 Spell Snare

Removal
3 Vindicate
4 Swords

Utility
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Brainstorm

SB offers Perish, Thoughtseize, Diabolic Edict, 4th vindicate and the usual stuff.

Thoughts?

nedleeds
08-30-2011, 11:35 AM
Team America gets around the same problem . . . You get there with disruption and the fact that EVERY land can be fetched. The mana base is ripped pretty much directly from a Team America shell, just switching to the appropriate duals.

Sure. I'm saying over a long tourney the deck should experience mana screw at least twice, and therefore not top 8. Are people not Misstepping their Brainstorms / Ponders? People who play these decks must keep one land, 1-2 cantrip hands. Again the hypergeometric distribution doesn't look good, and it really doesn't look good over 8-10 rounds.

oldbsturgeon
08-30-2011, 04:37 PM
I was messing around with some things, trying to get the numbers right, and how about something like this?
39 spells
4 mystic
2 clique
2 stalker
1 batterskull
1 sword of x&y
3 force
4 misstep
3 daze
3 stifle
4 hymn
3 STP
1 dismember
1 vindicate
4 brainstorm
2 ponder
1 JTMS
21 land
9 esper fetches
4 sea
2 tundra
2 scrubland
4 wasteland
you then put the extra force, vindicate, and jace in the board in case you need it.
this is how I am going to play it and see how it goes, and can let people know my thoughts of this configuration.

RogueMTG
08-31-2011, 11:01 AM
Sure. I'm saying over a long tourney the deck should experience mana screw at least twice, and therefore not top 8. Are people not Misstepping their Brainstorms / Ponders? People who play these decks must keep one land, 1-2 cantrip hands. Again the hypergeometric distribution doesn't look good, and it really doesn't look good over 8-10 rounds.

In the one tournament I played with this deck, this was unfortunately the case. 19 lands was too low after cutting Ponder. The random late-game Wasteland off the top was sometimes enough to lock me out of the win despite my super disruptive/explosive starts.

Looking at going up to 21-22, not sure what it's going to look like yet.

oldbsturgeon
08-31-2011, 12:11 PM
Originally thats why I added an additonal land in the form of scrubland as it seemed white was more important to keep around than green ever was.
I wouldn't think 19 would ever really work even with ponder, but maybe so.

Arcadia
08-31-2011, 06:10 PM
I was temptated of playing this instead of team america, as SFM is nice, but I'm really not convinced.

The only situation where batterskull is better, is if you are in a bad board position and it is online (harder getting it online than goyf), as in a good position goyf is equally effective,even if the position with goyf doesn't change as much as with batterskull. What I mean is, if you play tight with goyf you can get good results anyway.

STP is nice, but with misstep around, I'm not so sure. Also, what people says it's true, the pressure comes later, as you need two turns and a clunky creature on the middle, so you cannot do goyf t2 and hymn t3 for example.

Even saying all that, I think it's an interesting choice. The only think that is wrong is 20 lands. I don't say I don't like it, it's just wrong. 4 wastelands, 8-10 fetchlands and doubles implies that you have 16 real sources, and you can get hitted by stifle or wasteland. Furthermore u play hymn to tourach, jace, vendillion and tombstalker. I played exactly the same in TA with 22 sources and sylvan library and it seemed quite fine. 21...maybe. 22 no. Wasting brainstorms in early turns to find lands, suck.
Guess the possible change is -1 stifle, but I usually only run 3 and I don't know if you will miss the 4th one.

keys
08-31-2011, 07:39 PM
I would like to share my current thought process with you:

1) The manabase IS a problem. Stoneforge requires W in 2 rounds and you want swords, hmyn and V-clique early. As mentioned by someone because TA works different and has Ponder I don't think it can be done with 20 lands.

2) I don't think the tempo plan of stifle, daze, hymn with a fast kill is not that good atm, because combo is weak obv... so having the same plan with W instead of G just for stoneforge is probably not the best idea.

Therefore I would rather like to build a 3 color control/midrange build with a lot of removal (4 swords, 3 Vindicate) and good long game cards such as bitterblossom, jace, and stoneforge mystic

In such a build hymn would not be good and Tombstalker can easily be reduced to 2 (which I by the way also do in the traditional TA). This eases up the mana and makes it much easier to build up with 22 lands INCLUDING BASICS.

With Vindicate, Perish in SB and a really full removal suite + Jace, Stoneforge + the flying army it should be possible (in theory) a good game versus the current DTB.

Perish/edict should take care of Maverick and NO RUG (I am confident here and also tested a couple of games with very good results)

The jace/stoneforge fight vs. U/W can be won by the support of bitterblossom and vindicate (...no testing so far).

The Problems I am facing:

1) Blue card count?: I don't want to worry about the blue card with every sidebaord decision, so 22 blue cards would be nice. The core I see is: 3 v-clique, 12 (BS, MM, FoW), 2-3 Jace = 17-18 cards.

Depending on which direction to go I see Stifle, Ponder, Spell Snare or maybe even spellstutter sprite as possible candicates.

2) Card advantage:
Without Visions/Standstill and the cut of hmyn, the deck has to rely on 2-3bitterblossom, SFM and a flying army with sword of fire and ice (and of course jace). Good enough?

Where I am at the moment:

Creatures / SFM Package:
2 Tombstalker
3 Vendilion Clque
3 Bitterblossom
4 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Fire and Ice

Disruption
4 FoW
4 MM
3 Spell Snare

Removal
3 Vindicate
4 Swords

Utility
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
4 Brainstorm

SB offers Perish, Thoughtseize, Diabolic Edict, 4th vindicate and the usual stuff.

Thoughts?

I actually think ditching the tempo plan and going a Faerie heavy build is the direction these colors will eventually take us. There is just too much synergy between SFM, Bitterblossom, and SS Sprite.

lorddotm
08-31-2011, 07:43 PM
Can we please change the thread name to White America? Such a cooler name.

sdematt
08-31-2011, 08:53 PM
I'm thinking "The Klan" is a MUCH better name (alluding to White America and the KKK). Plus, it fits the "most decks need a random name."

Vote now!

-Matt

Tombstalker
08-31-2011, 09:15 PM
I agree White America sounds much cooler, if a little supremist. Anyway I know I've been praising this new color change here and I do think its really cool and a viable alternative to green. However I've mostly been playing game 1 (Around 40 matches to get a feel for the main deck) and its performed very well. recently I started moving on to g2-3, and here I found myself missing green. Not to say SFM isn't still great but post board she gets dealt with a lot easier than I had hoped. I guess this may be obvious to some of you but I like to experience things for myself before forming opinions.
Anyway just thought I'd give an update. Now to order a couple of those Liliana of the veil :)

Hanni
08-31-2011, 09:32 PM
My biggest problem with this build is that, as far as "tempo" decks go, i.e Stifle/Waste/etc, I'd rather drop a more efficient Goyf for 1G and clock my opponent ASAP so that I can kill him/her before they recover.

I absolutely love the U/W/b color combo w/ Stoneforge Mystic, but I think going a more fishy route, like the decklist I posted in the OP of the Esperblade thread, is a more stable direction. SFM is a midrangey creature, and a deck that is built to excel in the midrange is likely going to be a better fit for SFM. "Tempo" decks generally want to capitalize on early tempo gains with quick efficient beaters; i.e Tarmogoyf and Tombstalker in Team America. SFM is pretty slow.

Scordata
08-31-2011, 09:37 PM
I submit Invoke Prejudice.dec

Tombstalker
08-31-2011, 11:25 PM
Heres an idea, why not fit tidehollow sculler in, maybe even in place of hymn? It ups the threat density and goes great with sfm.

sdematt
08-31-2011, 11:33 PM
For sure on Invoke Prejudice. It'll be the Squire that some SFM based decks run in the sideboard just for the lols.

-Matt

Scordata
09-01-2011, 02:35 AM
Yes, the manabase is an abortion.
Yes, if you don't know how to properly mulligan, this deck is not for you.

It's obviously a meta-predator. It's worst matchup is Burn or Stax, and if those decks are in your local meta, move.

Tidehallow Sculler is not where this deck wants to go. You generally want to wait till turn 3-4 to cast SFM, anyway. Also, you don't need to blow wasteland as soon as you play it.

Typically, the curve is T1 stifle, T2 hymn, T3 SFM with a blue source up. Unless you are playing against Zoo or NORug, you should not be wasting them until turn 4. This is not Team USA/Can Thresh.

If you can't handle things like resolved permanents/wastelands then go -2flex -1 hymn/+3 ponder.
Id rather play Jace and Hymn than cantrip though. 20 lands is OK in my book.

lordofthepit
09-01-2011, 02:49 AM
I agree White America sounds much cooler, if a little supremist.

Because the colonists took a land filled with lush forests and messed it up to the point of ecological instability?

/notracist

Scordata
09-01-2011, 02:54 AM
@lord - booo (ok maybe it was a little funny)
How about Team Estonia? Huh? Huh?

Its also awesome playing a deck with Brainstorm that eats merfolk alive, every time.

And people, STOP MISSTEPING the lightning bolt/stp on the first SFM you play. You'll be happy you had it for their follow up threat.

catmint
09-01-2011, 08:49 AM
Unfortunately people in this thread are more interested in discussing names that the problem that hanni and I are pointing out which is that SFM unlike Gyof is not a tempo but more a midrange card.

How do you feel about this issue what were your experiences?
Would it be therefore maybe viable to go into a different direction and change the tempo cards as I suggested...?

OrGy
09-01-2011, 09:21 AM
Unfortunately people in this thread are more interested in discussing names that the problem that hanni and I are pointing out which is that SFM unlike Gyof is not a tempo but more a midrange card.

How do you feel about this issue what were your experiences?
Would it be therefore maybe viable to go into a different direction and change the tempo cards as I suggested...?First, sorry for my rusty english :)

I recently went 6-1-0 during Swiss rounds in a 80 people tournament sporting a list quite close to the first one on the opening post (and unfortunatly losing to UGB Landstill in QF due to huge draws from my opp.).

I agree with the statement that SFM is much more of a Middle-to-Late-Game card compared to Tarmogoyf.
That being said, I do feel that the tempo elements of the list can be used to some other purposes than simply inducing color death on your opponent side. Stifle on the opponent SFM trigger or Jace activation or KotR ability create a huge breach in their strategy (hell yeah, losing a Jace to a Tombstalker board is a crucial momentum shift). Depending on the Matchup and the presence of color fixing elements such as Noble Hierarch, the tempo strategy can be nullified and one must switch to a more controling approach.
Stifle and to a lesser extend Wasteland allow to focus on the key elements of your opponent strategy, gaining you the time necessary to drop and defend a game winning Batterskul or Tombstalker.
If your opponent runs a more fragile manabase, Stifle/Wasteland do their job perfectly out-tempoing him till you drop your kills or efficiently hymn away his full-of-bombs hand.

I could be wrong but I feel this list two greatest's problems are :
- its clunky manabase (noting new here)
- its inability to deal with problematic non-creature, non-PW permanents post board.

With the two combined, if our opponent is able to squeeze a Choke or Back to Basics throught our disrupt and countermagic wall, well, that's as GG as it could be.

In tweaked the list a little to play a MD basic swamp and have 2 disenchant ready in the board to deal with non-basics land hate.

SpeakingofJager
09-01-2011, 09:26 AM
Would it be therefore maybe viable to go into a different direction and change the tempo cards as I suggested...?

The problem with the deck you posted is that its a worse esperblade. The thing that distinguishes this deck from esperblade is Stifle / Hymn / Tombstalker.

Let me start here: "Oh noes! My SFM gets shot down by lightning bolt?!!" Who cares? If you know they're playing red, grab Sword of X & Y, dont waste them immediately, and get a stalker on the board. I hear its real hard for red removal to shoot down a stalker . . . Just adjust your play style to get through the red.

"SFM is slower than goyf" - If you want this deck to play exactly like Team America, you're wrong. Goyf is a great beater, a one time investment, but ultimately just a vanilla creature. This deck is harder to play than Team America because SFM is harder to play than goyf. You will get punished for misplays and lucky top decks from your opponent. It happens.

"Everyone is packing SFM hate in the board" - Yes, this makes G2 and G3 more difficult. But what you gain from having SFM in this deck is you win G1 more often than not. I personally would rather have a harder G2 and G3. Even with hate, those matches are far from unwinnable.

"16 colored mana prodcution blah blah blah" - Add more if you want more. I dont know about you guys, but my meta is NOT filled with 5 mana land denial.dec
IF yours is, don't pick up the deck. This deck is like playing with fire. Getting locked out of white sucks, but you can play through that pretty easily. After all, most LD you have to deal with is wasteland, and fortunately, you can only have 4 in a deck. The decks that run wasteland are some of our harder match ups (IE: control blade). But you dont stifle fetches against those match ups, you just save them from wasteland.

Just learn to play through bad situations and you'll love the deck. Its powerful, and just beats the pants off of so many decks, its unfair.

sdematt
09-01-2011, 02:09 PM
I'll be honest, I've played both Team America and played against this deck. Both seem pretty good, but I definitely think you've got to stop trying to T2 SFM. I think most people playing this deck just assume you're running Stoneblade, and you're trying to Batterskull the opponent as soon as possible.

The deck does run out of Steam reasonably quickly (if you can answer the immediate barrage of threats), but if you can't, then you get pretty hosed. What I really miss in this deck is Sylvan Library, mostly. I love Swords and SFM, but Library really kicks me in the pants. Plus, I can't run Grips against other Equipment, which makes me a sad panda.

I see this deck as Team America, but with a much better mid-to-late game plan.

-Matt

Scordata
09-01-2011, 05:34 PM
@Matt -that's exactly correct. Since the meta has slowed down, why not capitalize on it? At least, until people start packing jank like Mogg Salvage in their sideboard.

oldbsturgeon
09-06-2011, 10:01 AM
There was a post in the original TA thread about this deck, but I don't think the poster saw this or knew of it.
Anyway his question was that if darkblast is to be played, and you decide to SB is one really sufficient or would you need 2?

My thoughts are if you are playing against NO-RUG and you do have a darkblast, you also have:
STP, diabolic edict, perish, vindicate( if you run those like I do) and dismember, meaning not much is going to be living very long, so 1 DB would be enough.
If you are only playing NO-RUG all day, then sure maybe a second would be good, though I still feel 1 is enough.

JMLL
09-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Hi all,


My meta is quite aggro heavy, and because of that, more and more combo decks are popping out. There is not much true control (10-15% out of 40-50 players) and a lot of fetches and duals over there. I felt I needed a way to play Stifle+Hymn becuase it works and I like it, while being able to beat aggro, and I've never been a fan of the "New TA" with Confidants.

So I decided to "brainlessly" swap green for white, and I don't regret! I've played 2 Legacy tournaments in the last 2 months and I've been the 1st after swiss rounds in both of them, having lost only 3 rounds out of 15 (11w 1id 3l). For reference, my last list is this one:


Team Catalunya - JMLL
Creatures - 8
4 Tombstalker
3 Stoneforge Mystic
1 Vendilion Clique

Artifacts - 2
1 Sword of Fire & Ice
1 Sword of Feast and Famine

Spells - 30
4 Force of Will
4 Mental Misstep
3 Daze
4 Stifle

4 Brainstorm
2 Ponder

2 Snuff Out
2 Swords to Plowshares
1 Smother

4 Hymn to Tourach

Lands - 20
4 Polluted Delta
3 Flooded Strand
2 Marsh Flats
4 Wasteland
2 Tundra
4 Underground Sea
1 Scrubland

Sideboard
3 Spell Pierce
3 Submerge
2 Perish
3 Vindicate
1 Sword of War and Peace
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Batterskull



The deck simply stomps any Gw Zenith, Zoo or Bant without discussion, maybe the extra hate in the side is not needed (5 cards) but it was a meta choice for the amount of GW decks in my meta. I added the Jaces in the side (originally they were 1 StP and 1 Sword of B&M) as I prefer to have an option against Control decks if I ever encounter one.

Let me explain the reasoning behind some choices:
- 4 Tombstalker, 3 Stoneforge, 1 Vendilion
I've been in too many games (while testing) where my 3rd Stoneforge was a dead draw. I prefer having something to equip and DEAL DAMAGE to my opponents. A Stoneforge + any equipment is not enough to stall the ground, a Tombstalker is. So I NEED a tombstalker, and I want 5 (4 + some mini-tombstalker). I agree that a Batterskull can stall the ground, but it gets all the possible hate and I find myself losing some turns for it as it tends to be destroyed, or I have to save 3 mana to return it to my hand plus it's an extremely bad draw if I don't have a Stoneforge. So, it's just Side tech for now.
- No Batterskull main
It's too mana intensive to play it right. We are not Patriot, we don't have "reliable" mana, so we cannot afford that.
- 2 Snuff Out, 2 StP, 1 Smother
I don't have much mana to spend in my removal. I need to cast it, though, and I feel I need 5. I cannot play ONLY StP, as now, with Mental Misstep everywhere, StP may NOT land. And I want my removal to hit the target. ALWAYS. That's why I cannot use an "unreliable" removal as a 4 of. I can play 2, as it's the best suited one in here, but not a 4 of, for sure.
- 4 Underground, 2 Tundra, 1 Scrubland
The reasoning behind 1 Scrubland is easy. I want to search for it on T2 (ideally for Hymn) but i NEVER want to have it in my opening hand. I need 1 blue in my opening, so in T2 I may need 1W, BB and/or Ux. There is only one solution to that and that's the reason why we play a Scrubland.
I need BB a lot, and I may not need W for my removal (see point above) so 3 Tundras are not as important as it may seem.


My pain is, as always, Burn or Boros. Both decks are too fast for me to stop them, specially if they go first as I cannot deny their 1st fetch to Mountain. My idea is to add the Sword of W&P in the main in order to have more options.


After all the wall of text, what would be your options in order to improve my Burn/Boros pairings without disrupting much the others? I've heard -3 Vindicate + 3 Chill but I'm not sure of that. Any ideas?

Thanks all,

SpeakingofJager
09-10-2011, 01:42 PM
JMILL, I'm glad to hear you're having great results with the list. Let me start by saying, you have results and I'm not trying to say anything you're doing is wrong. Everything I'm putting here is my opinion.

Batterskull MD: I agree, this card is mana intensive. However this can easily be played around. If you're worried about your mana bieng attacked or your SFM dying, just go for Sword of X and Y instead of Batterskull. Batterskull is pretty much the reason for the white switch. A resolved batterskull puts a lot of decks in a tight spot. Even if it doesnt get there all the way, with Tombstalker beats, its more than enough.

3 SFM: Ive often considered doing this, but I'm not sure this is the right call. SFM can be a dead draw, and its not nearly as powerful as Tombstalker. However, a play set is best able to fight through removal. If you're running 2 Sword of X and Y instead of a batterskull, its not as important. I'm a fan of batterskull, so I personally won't drop below 4.

4 Tombstalker: Ive played both 3 and 4 tombstalkers. I ended up settling on 3 because getting stalker flooded sucks. I've just had too many situations where I just keep drawing stalkers instead of gas. Between Batterskull / SFM, V clique / Jace, 3 tombstalker has always been enough for me.

Your 2/2/1 removal suite: I've gone between 4 StP and a 3/2 split of StP / Dismember. I always end up coming back to 4 StP. The biggest issue with StP is that it can be MM'd, but thats okay. StP is still the best removal spell in the game. However, if you want to do a split, I have to ask: Have you tried Dismember > snuff out? I originally did 3/2 StP / Snuff out but was constantly getting run over by opposing tombstalkers and bobs (and germ tokens!). I just feel like dismember is a superior removal spell.

4/2/1 Mana base: Its a fair decision. The only reason I play 3/2/2 is that I play so much white. With your list, 4/2/1 just makes sense. My only concern is that you have to be careful of getting your white sources hit. Its hard, LSV was right, Esper mana is not easy, but its workable

Submerge: Is this really necessary? I'm just curious where you need / want it where a removal spell just wouldnt work better

Finally, on your bad match ups with burn and boros: MD batterskull helps a little bit, I'm not sure what else there is to do. Every deck has bad match ups, and this is our worst. If your meta is full of burn, put the deck away for a little while. Part of the reason we're so good against so many decks is that when we have a bad match up, its pretty bad. Also, don't play MUC. That is just a nightmare for us.

aljiichiban
09-10-2011, 07:00 PM
HI:

Just new to this deck and trying to familiarize myself with it. Obviously having issues regarding SB so I'd like to ask a few questions:

Is there any situation that we board out Stifle or the stoneforge package?

Will boarding in extirpate be better against Control(stoneblade, landstill) or will the thoughtseize and spell pierce be better?

I know there were tips regard SB posted on the primer, but would like to know specific cards to side out.

SpeakingofJager
09-11-2011, 04:34 PM
My biggest advice for SBing in this deck is that nothing is sacred. SB what is right, or what feels right. Do your homework, test some, and trust your gut. Here's a few comments though:

1) Stifle - Siding out stifle is a pretty common play for decks running it. Stifle has its biggest impact g1 and leaves a bad taste in your opponents mouth for the rest of the match. Unless the card is extremely relevant for the match up, I'd consider boarding it out.

2) Spell Pierce / Daze: Personally, i rarely have both in the 60 at the same time. I typically rotate them depending on if im the play. So to answer part of your question for Control Blade: Side pierce in over daze G2 and keep it in G3. Daze is bad against such a land heavy deck. If you're playing zoo or other random shenanigans, you may want to keep some counters in just for the Choke they're bringing.

3) Thoughtseize: Assuming you sided out stifle and did the Daze / Spierce slot, you now have 4 free slots in your MD. If it's a control match up, I'm all about bringing Seize in. Id do it over extirpate every time as well (i'll discuss that next). If you're against combo, this is also a sure bet to side in. Bieng able to be proactive is just a good feeling.

4) Extirpate: This card is a personal favoriate of mine. If you don't find it to your play style, cut it and put it's slot to a better use. I side it in against dredge / reanimator (obviously), combo (if i think they're packing Silence > xantid swarm), team america / the mirror, and sometimes control blade. How do i find room for it?
- GY decks: It's not as powerful as regular GY hate, but it can still tip the match
in your favor. Thats probably the weakest point of this card. I tend
to side out some combination of the counter suite (MM / Daze), stifle
and Hymn to bring in extirpate. If its reanimator, I may keep hymn
in, but you may also want to consider packing thought seize.
- Team America / the Mirror: What i take out is usually MM. The weakest point of
TA and our deck is our fragile mana base and our low threat count.
An early extirpate on a land is crippling blow, if not a death sentence.
- Control Blade: This is a risky call. Extirpate lets you fight through waste lock.
I can honestly say thats the best thing it's got going for it in this
match up. If you can stop a Jace / Elspeth or smash a factory before
it kills you, extirpate proves itself again. But this card is only okay
in the match up. If you cant find room for this and Thoughtseize post
board, go with seize.

I know, I'm not very specific. The thing about this game is it's all about information. I don't have a specific SB strategy, I SB based on what I read from my opponent. If you have specific questions, PM me.

Chikenbok
09-11-2011, 04:44 PM
My biggest advice for SBing in this deck is that ONLY TOMBSTALKER is sacred. SB what is right, or what feels right. Do your homework, test some, and trust your gut. Here's a few comments though:


There ya go

JMLL
09-12-2011, 10:43 AM
@SpeakingofJager: First of all, thanks for your kind way of exposing your opinion. I've never been corrected in a better way :smile:

Let me explan what I see and maybe we'll reach a better point with more info.

Batterskull + 3 Tombstalker + 4 Stoneforges: I see that there's a kind of "pack" that I used in one direction, more aggro oriented, and that you use in another one. The result is almost the same, as a resolved and protected Tombstalker wins the game, the same way a resolved and protected Batterskull does. You have more "life swing" (+8 or +5) but no evasion... Choices.


In my game, the Stoneforge is just a tutor + uncounterable play for the Equipment. In your case (-1 Tombstalker +1 Stoneforge + Batterskull over Sword of Whatever) means that you NEED a stoneforge to play your 4th Tombstalker (the batterskull), so SFM is almost always a good draw and that's another reason why you don't need that many Demons. And if they kill one, you just go for the next one.

I feel that your play may be safer, but exploits less the "timming window" when my deck puts that much preassure. Going for Batterskull may secure victory, but gives the opponent more time and more options that may be an answer. And also, a bad removal on the Stoneforge kicks you out of the game as you may find the 2nd one too late to recover. It may be playstile or meta call. I'll test your route, though.

Jace: I still don't get how anyone can pack this in the maindeck going with 20 lands and playing a wasteland asap in order to exploit the advantage of the cheap drops we play. Maybe I play it wrong, but I tend to punish my opponent as much as I can. In control matchups where playing no cards but lands is the safest way to go, having one or two of them may mean victory.

Removal: I've thought a lot about the removal suite. 2/2/1 may not seem ace, but they give me answers to a lot of the main problems I may face. In my meta, Knight of the Reliquary was a stample, may it be in Zoo, in GW Zenith or in Bant decks. I feel that Dismember may not solve this. I'm not sure, though, when I've played the removal without spending any mana because it was safer or when I could have saved some life by using Dismember instead. What I'm not fully comfortable is the MM on StP. They're ace, OK, but what if it gets countered by a stupid spell? There are no Tombstalkers or Confidants in my meta, some germs, though, so I don't feel like Snuff Out is that bad.

Submerge: This card gives me answers to Zoo, GW Zenith and Bant decks really easily. If a fetch is cracked, then Submerge really shines. I can take out counters, or ponders or Stifles (depending on what I see) in order to play a "pseudo removal" spell. It does the same job but the card is in the middle of the deck instead of in it's owner's gYard. It makes my Green-x pairings easier. It's a kind of "Snuff Out" without life cost. It may be overkill and then I could use that slot for something better, but a free spell is too tempting.

Well, I see there's not much to do Vs Boros/Burn by now. I'll keep that in mind when the elimination round pairs me Vs that :cool:


Thanks again.

Qweerios
09-12-2011, 03:33 PM
I don't know if this belongs here but it is what used to be my Team America deck. I changed Goyf for SFM and Tombstalker for Bob. I also don't play FoW to keep the curve very low. I also took out any form of double black costing cards. This deck has a lot of disruption and a lot of fuel. It basically wins by continuously disrupting your opponent while beating with a batterskull or a clique. Here is my Esper America list:


Creatures (10)
4 Dark Confidant
4 Stoneforge Mystic
2 Vendilion Clique

Spells (28)
4 Brainstorm
4 Stifle
4 Mental Misstep
4 Spell Snare
4 Daze
4 Swords to Plowshares
4 Vindicate

Artifacts (2)
2 Batterskull

Lands (20)
4 Wasteland
4 Flooded Strand
4 Polluted Delta
3 Tundra
3 Underground Sea
1 Island
1 Plains

Sideboard (15)
4 Spell Pierce
3 Disenchant
3 Aven Mindcensor
3 Extirpate
2 Smother


My meta is infested with SFM (20 out of 30 players play it aproximately) and Spell Snare/Stifle are really important. Punishing my opponent's manabase with Stifle/Wasteland/Vindicate is really important and keeps Daze relevant for a long time. I don't play much GY hate because there is only 1 Dredge player out of that 30 players and there is probably 6-8 Stoneblade/Maverick players. A couple of NO Bant and NO RUG here and there too, this deck is a great predator.

oldbsturgeon
09-13-2011, 08:39 AM
Very few people seem to enjoy what dark confidant brings to the deck, but if you feel it works for you, I guess you have to keep it. Without tombstalker though, the deck can feel like a less controlling esperblade deck, but once again if its good for YOU, awesome.
One thing though I surprised to not see it that deck is thoughtseize in some amount.
You could make room for them without much difficulty, cutting a few of the 4 cards like vindicate, stifle, spell snare, daze, swords to plowshares in some combination to fit them in.

oldbsturgeon
09-17-2011, 09:24 PM
there has been discussion about the implications of banning mental misstep in the green TA, so the question is, is it worse for this deck to have misstep banned or will it be about the same?

SpeakingofJager
09-18-2011, 09:39 AM
It should be about the same. Itll make disrupting turn 1 a bit harder, itll make goblins a bit harder. I personally want neither of those, but on the same note, it makes StP that much better. The banning of MM would reinforce the fact that StP is superior removal to what TA is running.

@ JMILL: Sorry for the late response. Don't get me wrong, I wasnt trying to correct you or call you wrong. If your list works, I'm happy for you. I was just adding input / commenting. If I came off as a dick, I apologize.

Ramirez777
09-19-2011, 07:31 PM
I typed up a card by card explanation of the list below, and lost it all. This is a post Innistrad list. So, I'm just going to post the deck:


Creatures:
4x Snapcaster Mage
4x Dark Confidant
3x Stoneforge Mystic
2x Geist of St. Traft
2x Vendilion Clique

Artifacts:
1x Batterskull
1x Umezawas Jitte
1x Sword of the Meek
1x Ensaring Bridge // Crucible of the Worlds
2x Thopter Foundary

Instants & Sorcerys:
2x Enlightened Tutor
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Thoughtseize
2x Spell Pierce
1x Spell Snare
4x Brainstorm
3x Stifle

Lands:
4x Wasteland
1x Riptide Labratory
4x Tundra
2x Underground Sea
2x Scrubland
4x Flooded Strand
3x Poluted Delta

To sum up all those single card explanations, this is a good deck. No I haven't done much playtesting. Please let me know what you think.

Edited for improvements, & progress; 9/20/11.

oldbsturgeon
09-19-2011, 08:38 PM
I actually thought about what it would be like to have the thopter foundry combo in the deck anyway, especially IF misstep gets the axe, but I ask, what is exactly the purpose of gitaxian probe in the deck, I would think thoughtseize would be better, and you might want some cliques in the deck, and maybe 1 riptide lab, just to get your guys back.
I might be wrong, but it just seems kind of weird with some of the cards.
I do like people trying to think out of the box, though maybe this is more appropriate in the esperblade thread.

Ramirez777
09-19-2011, 08:54 PM
Good call on the Riptide Labratory, I will edit the list. The Gitaxian Probe is to work in conjunction with the Cabal Therapy. Not only that, but Gitaxian Probe works well with Snapcaster Mage if you are not sitting on an open mana source. Thoughtseize is not ran due to the addition of Dark Confidant; a bit too much life loss for me. Cliques are good, but I'm trying to avoid higher cost cards, and the double UU cost. Although it was in contention with Geist of St. Traft, which works well with stifle, and with the mana denial package.

I appreciate the feedback, sorry if it was not posted in the correct thread.

oldbsturgeon
09-19-2011, 11:06 PM
Oh I don't know if its in the wrong place, just that it doesn't seem the typical tempo plan of an __america deck.
If you are looking at riptide lab, then you may seriously want to consider clique as its a wizard itself. If you land the batterskull, then the life loss from thoughtseize shouldn't matter, nor will it matter much if you are ending the game fast with the thopter foundry plan

Chikenbok
09-19-2011, 11:16 PM
I typed up a card by card explanation of the list below, and lost it all. This is a post Innistrad list. So, I'm just going to post this list:


Creatures:
3x Snapcaster Mage
4x Dark Confidant
3x Stoneforge Mystic
2x Geist of St. Traft

Artifacts:
1x Batterskull
1x Umezawas Jitte
1x Sword of the Meek
1x Ensaring Bridge // Crucible of the Worlds
2x Thopter Foundary

Instants & Sorcerys:
2x Enlightened Tutor
4x Swords to Plowshares
3x Cabal Therapy
3x Mental Misstep
4x Brainstorm
3x Stifle
3x Gitaxian Probe

Lands:
4x Wasteland
1x Riptide Labratory
3x Underground Sea
3x Tundra
2x Scrubland
4x Flooded Strand
3x Poluted Delta

To sum up all those single card explanations, this is a good deck. No I haven't done much playtesting. Please let me know what you think.

This is not any kind of TA list. Its just a.. I don't know.. Its not Esper America. Its not white splash Team America, its just.. uhm.. I don't know..

Cabal therapy with 12 threats? Enlightened tutor? Probe?

What's going on here.

oldbsturgeon
09-19-2011, 11:28 PM
Its probably better to be supportive than outright dismissive. In the case of the above deck, there are choices I wouldn't go with, but the person is trying things out.
They may find it to not be good after playing it more, but you have to try things to sometimes get to that point.

Ramirez777
09-20-2011, 12:36 AM
I appreciate the criticism, good and bad. I didn't realize Clique was a wizard, I'll have to rethink the inclusion. The deck does look like it's trying to do alot of things, but their is a lot of interaction between the included cards. Cabal therapy ran well in testing, as I was able to use Gitaxian Probe to monopolize it's power. It's true that I'm pretty short on sac outlets, but Thopter Foundry makes it possible, as the combo is relatively easy to assemble with in the mana curve.

Now I want to go back to testing Clique...

aljiichiban
09-20-2011, 04:55 AM
With Mental Misstep now being banned, will spell snare be the most appropriate replacement for it?

oldbsturgeon
09-20-2011, 09:34 AM
that or spell pierce as well. I also imagine anyone that took out that 4th force, it will go back in.

oldbsturgeon
09-20-2011, 06:37 PM
After playing around with a few ideas, I made a change to the deck, that probably won't affect the typical gameplan of the deck much, as the change is for the late game anyway.
Here it is
4 stoneforge mystic
3 tombstalker
1 vendilion clique
4 force of will
3 daze
2 spell snare
3 stifle
4 brainstorm
4 swords to plowshares
4 hymn to tourach
1 jace the mindsculptor
1 sword of the meek
2 thopter foundry
4 underground sea
4 wasteland
3 polluted delta
3 flooded strand
3 marsh flats
2 tundra
2 scrubland
I am not sure exactly if its win more for the deck but does give it some late game it rarely had besides playing jace.
I sort of see the deck playing like this
1st few turns: typical TA plan of hymn, stifle, counter, kill
turn 3-4: play stoneforge, then equipment
later turns: play jace or thopter foundry if you need it.
The question is should 1 enlightened tutor be in the deck or not?

SpeakingofJager
09-20-2011, 09:46 PM
@ Aljii: I'm currently playing with a combination of Spell Snare / Snapcaster Mage / ponder / Tombstalker (I've only ever run 3). I haven't put much work into it, but if you want counters, Spell Snare is the natural replacement for MM. I havent had the time to do much testing however, and can't give you a conclusive answer. Snapcaster is worth testing as a 2 of, to say the least. I'll post what i do.

@ oldbsturgen: I don't really know if the combo is entirely necessary. Feels like it is either a win more or just clutters the deck. I feel like you're just trying to force it into a deck where it may not work very well. This is still a tempo deck, and thopter definately cannot capitalize on what stifle does for you. I honestly dont think Jace should be in the 60, but he's Jace. He's earned his slot in the MD time and time again, and he's just a 2 card investment. For something like thopter foundry combo, you need to get the combo and have protection for it. I dont think this deck can support that strategy and still do what it does

oldbsturgeon
09-20-2011, 10:14 PM
I wasn't sure if its necessary either, though was thinking of it as a possible inclusion. I'll try it out and see what I think of it.

JMLL
09-21-2011, 01:06 PM
To be honest, losing MM means that we cannot push and punish our opponents while tapping out and being fast and effective at the same time. It means we may be slower, more controlish, than tempo, and I feel this means that this decks is diverting towards a Ubw control configuration instead of easly punishment and preassure. Imho, this deks may become a kind of "agroish" Ubw control, and I'm not sure about it's viability. Don't get me wrong, I have been an extremely huge fan of the Tempo way of playing the deck (as my lists show) but I feel this has to move into another direction and I'm not sure how this can be Tempo anymore.

So, as a Recap, I feel that we may be in front of a deck that "almost gets there" if we keep the tempo route. Protecting Tombstalker and/or attacking their T1 play (while we are on the draw) may be too "game affecting" right now.

Do you also feel that the tempo route has to be ignored?

@SpeakingofJager: You got it entirely wrong XDDD I appreciate your feedback and I specially thank you your kindness in your way of telling me your thoughts. A+

SpeakingofJager
09-21-2011, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure the loss of MM means we have to abandon the tempo plan together. Before we decide to just drop our tempo plan, we need to really look at what exactly this ban does for us. I honestly feel like this can best be done trying to predict where the meta is going. It's going to "speed up" a little bit.

The storm kids are cheerin that they can finally, finally masturbate with ease again. There's going to be a resurgance in storm bieng played in most metas. I'm personally not afraid of storm, Team America pre MM gave storm players nightmares. We're a bit slower than traditional Team America, but the lifelink batterskull provides make the match up that much harder for storm.

Vial decks: Goblins is coming back, they say. It never really went away. The deck is a hard match up, just like fish. I'm not goin to change my strategy for this match up. I run 4 MD removal and another 4 in the board that can affect them. I am considering trying dark blast in the board as an extra removal spells, but I'm not sure yet. The plan here is just board out your forces and dazes, bring in an absurd amount of removal.

What you're underestimating, is how much other decks are effected. Take a peak at blade control, one of our worst match ups. All of them are planning on abandoning the deck in favor of a counter top list. Our tempo strategy never really worked on them, and countertop will be a tough match up. But it's hard to CB a tombstalker, right?

I think everyone is just having a knee jerk reaction to the banning of a powerful card. If it was just banned for us, and not everyone else, then yeah, I'd say drop this deck. But the banning of MM allows us to play our stifles and StPs without fear of a cheap counter. Try running snare in MM's slot, tell me you don't love it.

oldbsturgeon
09-25-2011, 12:48 PM
I'm trying to figure out if I want something like spell snare in the deck (2 of them) to replace the lower speed of clique.
I have moved the cliques to the board at this exact moment, though it may be still appropriate to have them in the main.
Maybe keep 1 in the main and move the 2nd to the board?

SpeakingofJager
09-28-2011, 01:38 PM
My current list:
// Threats - 11
4 Stoneforge Mystic
3 Tombstalker
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

// Counter Suite - 11
4 Force of Will
4 Daze
3 Spell Pierce

// Disruption - 8
4 Hymn to Tourach
4 Stifle

// Gas - 4
4 Brainstorm

// Removal - 4
4 Swords to Plowshares

// Artifacts - 2
1 Batterskull
1 Sword of Feast and Famine

// Lands - 20
4 Marsh Flats
3 Polluted Delta
2 Flooded Strand
3 Underground Sea
2 Scrubland
2 Tundra
4 Wasteland

// Sideboard - 15
2 Diabolic Edict
2 Dismember
3 Extirpate
3 Ghastly Demise
2 Perish
3 Thoughtseize

So, as you can see, I've replaced MM with Spell Pierce. I'm not going to get into the arguement of Pierce v. Snare. That horse has been beaten to death. All I'm going to say is that in this particular deck, Pierce feels more natural in this deck. I also bumped my daze count to 4 with the last MM slot. I'm torn on that selection, I'm toying with the idea of adding 1 Snapcaster Mage to add some extra versatility with that last slot.

Another thing I've changed is that I went back to 4 StP in the MD. Without MM, StP x4 is a must

And on my final change, Ghastly Demise in the board. I moved Spell Pierce to the main, so I had 3 free slots in the board, and i wanted extra removal. Vindicate was too slow, so it wasnt an option. With our fetches, you can almost always bank on Ghastly demise hitting a lackey or some other 1/1, but it's quickly going to get better. Yes its bad against black cards, but if your opponent is playing black, dont bring them in. This card is a meta call, I feel like there's going to be a resurgance of Goblins and Zoo.

@ oldbsturgeon: I personally am in love with Clique in the main, especially with storm on the rise. What are you doing with your MM slots that you had to cut cliques for snare?

metamet
09-28-2011, 02:08 PM
So how does SfM match up against Goyf now that MM is gone?

Seems to me traditional Team America may have the edge again, as Goyf will typically be beating out the Batterskulls from here on out. Thoughts on this?

Chikenbok
09-28-2011, 02:22 PM
Swords to plowshares?

oldbsturgeon
09-28-2011, 10:00 PM
Basically it looks like this
4 SFM
3 tombstalker
2 equipment
2 clique
4 force
4 daze
2 spell pierce
4 brainstorm
2 ponder
4 STP
1 dismember
3 stifle
4 hymn
21 land
what I ended up adding in was the 4th force from the board, 1 daze, and the 2 other counters.
Then I also shifted around some other cards to bring the speed of the deck up and lower higher cost cards.
EDIT:
after actually LOOKING at the deck and not trying to remember it, it is the above instead as it only has 3 stalkers and not 4. I moved the 2nd clique in the main and pushed the vindicate to the board.
right now the board just has tons of removal, which in reality could be reduced for some things like spell snares I guess?

oldbsturgeon
10-03-2011, 09:20 AM
We just came off a SCG legacy event and looking at the T8 I would think a deck like this should do well against the field.
One of the things I wanted to discuss that was quite interesting in the BUG that both AJ and Gerry played was the inclusion of the sunken ruins in the deck.
Having 1 in the deck may actually make sense as it ensures you could play t2 hymn every time.
The situation that comes up when you can't is rare as tundra is the only land that would prevent from doing so.
People that play jace, typically want 22 land, so this could be that last one I would guess.
The other thing I feel convinced would be awesome in the deck is at least 1 Liliana in the main, and maybe 1 more in the board.
The cards seems to be pretty strong, so I plan on getting one and trying it out to see how it goes.

oldbsturgeon
10-07-2011, 06:38 PM
I received my 1 liliana in the mail today and decided to put it in the deck.
As it stands the deck looks something like this ATM
4 stoneforge mystic
3 tombstalker
2 vendilion clique
2 jace the mindsculptor
1 liliana of the veil
1 batterskull
1 sword of mind and body
4 force of will
4 daze
3 stifle
2 spell snare/spell pierce
4 swords to plowshares
4 brainstorm
4 hymn to tourach
21 land
My thought has always been that with only 20 land playing jace seemed to be more difficult, so added the extra land to make up for the difference. There is also always the possibility of having them in the board instead, but they are pretty awesome.
My first impression with liliana is she will be pretty awesome in the deck. The two hands I had with turn 1 stifle, turn 2 hymn, turn 3 liliana was a huge advantage I could imagine.
Having 4 stifle would be nice, though without going to 20 land I have a hard time deciding what could get cut for it.

warai
10-07-2011, 07:09 PM
Tombstalker? Take them out and put some Confidants. Your winning strategy is Stoneforge + Batterskull, Tombstalker is just another beater that is no match for mystic with equipment package.

oldbsturgeon
10-07-2011, 08:55 PM
As it's been said on this board and the other tempo type decks, dark confidant does not play along with the strategy well at all, specifically the tempo idea.
There is a thread called esperblade that does seem to play confidant, but forgoes the tempo plan of stifle and hymn.
With a potential rise in combo, it seems a step in the wrong direction to go that route.
This is all my conception of how the deck works mind you, so I could be wrong.

SpeakingofJager
10-08-2011, 07:46 PM
@ Ooldbsturgeon: Try 3 Daze 4 Stifle. Stifle has a bigger impact in more games than a fourth daze. Other than that, our main 60 are pretty identical. Are you coming to Jupiter Games on the 15th?

@ Warai: If you want bob, play Esperblade. Tombstalker is nuts and the reason to play this deck.

oldbsturgeon
10-08-2011, 09:07 PM
I have to get the 4th stifle to be able to play it, which is something I will most likely be able to get next week.
As for playing at jupiter games, thats about 10 hrs for me. I live in WV and the furthest I would probably go to play somewhere is like columbus, which is somewhere about 2 45 from my home.
I mean going to the store about 25 min away sometimes feels far, and in reality I actually don't really play ever, just buy things and talk about playing.