4. Card Selevtion
5. Sideboard Choices
6. Matchup Analysis
U.G.w. Tempo or “Tempo Bant” is an aggro control deck designed to win through the use of tempo, redundancy, and card selection.
Since there are plenty of archetypes and people that miss-use the term Tempo, we should probably explain it, so you have a complete understanding of how this archetype really functions. Tempo, is something you obtain when you stop your opponent from casting relevant spells and developing like they normally would; while you continue to develop like normal, and improve your board position. “How!” you might ask, “can you accomplish this task of developing and denying at the same time?” This list develops tempo by abusing synergies with Noble Hierarch. The synergy between Noble Hierarch, Daze, Wasteland and, to a lesser extent, Spell Pierce, along with all the efficient creatures, are the tools that you will use to gain such tempo.
Now you might ask “Why play this instead of other archetypes, like Canadian Thresh?” Other archetypes in Legacy attempt to gain tempo through slowing an opponents development down with cards like stifle and wasteland. "Wasting" someones land doesn't generate tempo by itself, because you haven't developed your mana-base with the land you have played; However, with the addition of Noble Hierarch you are able to continue to develop your mana base, while attacking your opponents at the same time. The same "basic" principles can be applied to the counter-magic suite for this archetype.
Another key difference in this tempo deck is the lack of the blue instant Stifle. I'm sure your thinking I must be crazy to not auto-include this in a blue based tempo deck, but calm down junior! Your answer awaits you. The theory goes a little something like this. The worst thing a tempo deck can do is hold Stifle mana open and not have a fetch-land to Stifle. Your opponent just gains tempo on you because you did nothing on your turn hoping they would pop a fetch-land.
This brings us to our major difference between other Tempo archetypes and Tempo Bant; value. U.G.w Tempo strives to not only bring a strong tempo game, it also attempts to be as efficient for the costs as possible, while retaining card value over a longer period of time. That may sound like cheese to you, but rest assure that those decks playing “one trick pony” cards like stifle, nimble mongoose, or submerge, which only have value for a certain time-frame, or in a favorable board position. Without it; those archetypes suffer drastically. U.G.w Tempo does not share the same problem, as the card values of this Archetype are rarely cards you don't want to draw. When combined with 8 cantrips the deck virtually tutors for what it needs, so you have good cards, all the time.
Anyways back to the game-plan. As you have an increasing number of resources comparatively to your opponents decreasing number throughout the game; you continue to apply pressure "or a clock" with lots of creatures that are mana efficient and have strong utility. The Exalted mechanic has a lot to do with the efficiency of this deck's attack step. Your creatures generally have more value in this deck than in others because of all the exalted triggers and secondary abilities.
I'll be as brief as possible as this is not very relevant. U.G.w Tempo began as a concept deck in October 2009 at the Mean Deck Open. Paul Kim and Spencer Hayes are the decks creators; and relentlessly tested the deck for 6-8 months before taking a brake from the format. Since then I have piloted the deck with great success at small events and large ones.
Doug Lynn and Spencer Hayes did an article on the archetype. I think it's about as good as it gets for articles on the Legacy format.
A few tournament reports I wrote
Click Here<-- Newest Report
3. The List
1x Misty Rainforest
1x Flooded Strand
4x Windswept Heath
3x Tropical Island
4x Noble Hierarch
4x Qasali Pridemage
3x Rhox War Monk
3x Knight of the Reliquary
4x Force of Will
3x Spell Pierce
4x Swords to Plowshares
4. Card selection
Mana-base- The base is structured to suit daze, while playing about as safe of a configuration against opposing denial strategies and giving you as many colored sources as possible. 6 Fetches is pretty standard against stifle, 2 basics is bare minimum against wasteland, and 7 duals is pretty standard to give you the most “bang for your buck.” Noble Hierarch is the real reason this archetype can get away with running 4 wasteland.
You may notice the original base looked like this
I found after extensive testing that the extra basic was a little too much; and basic island was becoming a colorless source the more I played with it. You never want to draw hands of double wasteland, or wasteland island go. Therefore; cut the island, fixed the fetches, and added a savannah, so it would be a bit more difficult to hate directly on the base. Your slightly more prone to extirpate on windswept; but thats quite unlikely, and usually a bad play against you anyways.2 misty
1/1/1 basic of each color
Qasali Pridemage- triple utility. A stand alone threat which helps break stalemates with exalted. deals with pesky artifacts and enchantments. Multi-pridemage openings usually result in complete blowouts. Said by many to be the best creature in the deck.
Rhox Warmonk- Incredibly efficient and synergistic with exalted triggers. Creates bow-out scenarios. Pitches to force; rarely ever a dead card.
Knight of the Reliquary- The big daddy of the deck, like many others is quite useful at breaking stalemates because of his huge power creep. Also is a temporary “waste-lock” which keeps opponents shenanigans daze and spell pierce-able.
Spell Pierce- Stops opponents from casting stuff that not only kills your dudes, but also stops them from doing much of anything else other than making their own dudes; coincidentally your dudes eat theirs anyways. Phenomenal tempo control-counter. Establish your plan, while prohibiting theirs.
Brainstorm/ Ponder 8 Kantrips- Allows for as much allowable redundancy as a tempo deck can reasonably get away with. Acts as a filter early game, and a tutor late. Pitches to force.
Cards that almost made the cut
Vendillion Clique- Most efficient flyer for the cost in Bant colors. Kicked on ability almost always good, either trades with larger critters I.E. Tombstalker because of exalted triggers, or opponents become victims rather quickly. We like to call him flying goyf. Was eventually cut due to the dominance of the Zoo archetype.
5. Side-boarding choices
The sideboard is clearly highly interchangeable based on your preconcieved metagame. General sideboards include the following
Some combination of blasts, paths, gy removal, pithing needle, etc. My current sideboard looks like this for my metagame.
6. Matchup Analysis2 blue elemental blast
3 path to exile
3 Ethersworn Cannonist
2 relic of progenitus
1 Bajuka Bog
3 Pithing Needle
This is one of the worst matchups for Tempo Bant. Applying constant pressure and protecting your threats is absolutely key. They have good removal in the form of Incinerator. Preboard. Also keep in mind you can very easily get swarmed early. Cards that matter: Gempalm Incinerator, Lackey, Piledriver, Warchief's. You need to side in additional blasts, paths, and perhaps 2 needle if you can squeeze it in.
Post board you need to watch for things like pyrokinesis, perish, and other goodies. Keep this in mind keep strong aggresive hands and you should be alright post board.
Another not fun matchup. Merfolk is in their favor preboard and should be shored up post. Staying aggressive against their alpha is again key. Forcing them to make bad blocks, and keep them on the backfoot especially preboard is essential. Cards that matter: Lord's, Jitte.
Post board you even the matchup out with the additional paths. Before I was siding in EE, but since it's been removed theres no blowout play against them (ee at 2.) Some versions run Perish, some versions opt for jitte and mind harness. submerge was seen as well. Be aware, and don't trade the last of your gas for the last of theirs without know your ripping gas and you should be fine. Be prepared against commander. It's usually the card that the match comes down to.
it's something like 20-80 preboard. Ouch! I've won once in the many games i've played sanctioned preboard, but he mull'd aggresively. Relivent cards: Breakthrough, Tireless Tribe, Cabal Therapy.
Post board you bring in some combination of graveyard hate. Knight into bog is an auto tilt for them. Staying aggressive is once again key. Siding in Path for stp is relivent.
Tendrills combo is a solid matchup based on your countermagic suite. You usually have just enough to get there preboard. If all else fails remember that STP can gain you life if you nuke your own goyf. Post board you need to side in the cannonists, and if you see B wish and rite, it's probobly a good idea to find spots for those as well.
Obvious dues to the decks creators Paul Kim and Spencer Hayes. Thanks to Doug Linn for the article. Thanks to all you people out there who took time to read this thing. Thanks to Jak for an outline of his primer on Bant Survival. Thanks to all of my friends IRL who listen to me blab about this deck constantly. You are all greatly appreciated.
Last edited by mossivo1986; 12-29-2010 at 01:04 AM.
Why isn't this just another take on Bant Aggro? Yes, it has Wasteland, yes it has 2 Knight of the Reliquary instead of 2 Rhox War Monk, but the basic principle of the deck seems similar to Bant Aggro.
Knight's ability and STPs are hardly considered 'tempo'
You dare to call this deck "Tempo" without Stifle? Hell, this is just plain and simple Bant Aggro with 4 Wastelands.
The seven cardinal sins of Legacy:
1. Discuss the unbanning of
2. Argue that banning Force of Will would make the format healthier.
3. Play Brainstorm without Fetchlands.
4. Stifle Standstill.
5. Think that Gaea's Blessing will make you Solidarity-proof.
6. Pass priority after playing Infernal Tutor.
7. Fail to playtest against Nourishing Lich (coZ iT wIlL gEt U!).
'White Thresh' should contain the following cards:
4 Force of Will
4 Nimble Mongoose
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
The problem with White Thresh is that you can't really use either Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile. So I'm uncertain what you should fit in the removal slot. It seems strictly worse than Canadian.
Obviously there are some different cards, but how would you differentiate this deck from New Horizons?
-SkeggiWhy isn't this just another take on Bant Aggro? Yes, it has Wasteland, yes it has 2 Knight of the Reliquary instead of 2 Rhox War Monk, but the basic principle of the deck seems similar to Bant Aggro.
-Doug LinnThe basic gameplan of Tempo Bant is to play out an early attacker and utilize cards like Daze and Wasteland to increase its mana advantage. It then can ramp into a card like Knight of the Reliquary or Vendilion Clique. Both, while seemingly costing three mana, functionally often cost much more in Legacy because the player is holding up mana to protect against Daze, Spell Pierce an opponent or cast Brainstorm to find cards. Often, one big attacker (or three Exalted creatures on the board) will quickly end the game.
If your going to compare this deck to Bant aggro then I think it's only fair that you distinguish that bant aggro uses counterbalance/ top as a means to lock an opponent out, and in doing so sacrifices the idea of a tempo plan in order to give itself a potential soft lock. Also the nombo that is counterbalance+daze in that deck should be recognized as well.
-StackerKnight's ability and STPs are hardly considered 'tempo'
Check out New Horizon's
-Julian23You dare to call this deck "Tempo" without Stifle? Hell, this is just plain and simple Bant Aggro with 4 Wastelands.
So what your asking me is why is this deck called a tempo deck? I answered that. If your question is why is it called a tempo deck while not running the card stifle, then here is an answer.
-Skeggi'White Thresh' should contain the following cards:
4 Force of Will
4 Nimble Mongoose
2 Vendilion Clique
2 Isamaru, Hound of Konda
As stated earlier there is no real reasoning behind calling the deck a thresh-deck because it doesn't revolve around obtaining a goal of getting seven cards in the graveyard. With that said the play-style of the deck plays similarly to that of Red thresh and so it was named white thresh.
-SkeggiThe problem with White Thresh is that you can't really use either Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile. So I'm uncertain what you should fit in the removal slot. It seems strictly worse than Canadian.
You can in fact use STP in tempo decks, that point is invalid and has been explained. Path to exile is apart of the sideboard and should be addressed accordingly. If your quiery is post board play then you should ask yourself "what am I siding out post board against decks that I want to side in path to exile." In that question you will find yourself siding out the tempo plan for a more control plan involving more creature removal and less permission to aid your better creatures. This is how you win creature match-ups.
Exactly how does it seem worse then Thrash?
-Better creatures (knight, rhox, qasali)
-Better land-base (basic lands+noble hierarch)
-Better transition into post-board play (Doesn't need to play a tempo roll in post board play)
-JazzykatObviously there are some different cards, but how would you differentiate this deck from New Horizons?
Excellent question. New horizons is similar to W_Tempo_Thresh obviously.
The main differences
The synergies discussed before make the match-ups substantially different. While both decks play similarly (get a big threat and ride it) noble hierarch not only allows W_Tempo_Thresh to play with wasteland, but plays better against them as well comparatively.
Spell pierce versus Stifle.
The reasoning for this has already been covered within this post.
One of the bigger weakness to New Horizon's that i've witnessed and also heard from pilots of the arch-type is that non-creature permanents tend to be a big problem. Most notably Umezawa's Jitte. Qasali pridemage not only serves as THE answer to all things lame that your opponent is doing, but is also widely regarded by the creators as well myself as one of the best creatures in the deck.
There are various other glaring differences to me but i've run out of time to post. I hope this serves as an explanation to you all.
Cleaned up the intro a bit, still working on it though.
Interesting build, close to existing Bant strategies as mentioned but it seems clearly more tempo oriented, at least in playstyle.
I have 2 questions anyway :
> Bounce ability
I know that all the deck is designed to prevent the opponent from playing anything harmful in the right tempo, but sometimes it happens. And when that is the case, to bounce the threat is often a decent answer. Plus it could be useful in a tempo gain view (sometime, to bounce an opponent's lonely hierarch eot provides huge tempo gain) . That said, I see no options neither md nor sb to do it (echoing, wipe, rushing are some example of possible bounce cards). No need ?
> Graveyard hate
Is your defense vs graveyard strong enough ? Vs Dredge, loam or other heavy GY based deck, this decks seems to loose consitency vs its thresh cousins (no way to stifle any GY effect) and to play relic sb seems risky (terrible for your goyf & knights). How are your results vs dredge ??
I didnt test this build enough at the moment, so consider my questions as pure feeling and good luck with that deck.
I still stand by it. This is Bant Aggro with Wasteland. Sven Dijt's Naya Zoo from top8 GP Madrid also ran Wasteland. Does that make it not Naya Zoo? Should we call it Tempo Zoo instead?
I have quite a bit of experience with Canadian Thresh and my team's own brew of black Tempo Thresh, and I have a couple of problems with this list. First of all, Hierarch is an excellent tempo card. Actually, I'd consider more mana critters as a part of this deck (it's probably not good enough though).
You gave no explanation for running Spell Pierce over any other counters that serve comparable purposes. Why wouldn't you run Spell Snare in these slots? Why wouldn't you supplement the Pierces with Spell Snares?
I agree with some of the above posters that Stifle is very important in a tempo list. Canadian Thresh is built to abuse Stifle + Waste, and this deck might be able to do it better, because of Hierarch's mana ramp and the haste-ish effect the exalted guys have. If you play your deck properly, your opponent can't get a tempo advantage over you, given that you can get through the first couple of turns without losing the advantage you have. Spell Snare is important for that. The example given in the first post is too limited. This deck can keep a Tundra open, and have up to 3 options to play some card that offers tempo, StP, Stifle and Pierce, and maybe Spell Snare could be added to that as well. If the opponent doesn't fetch the turn you have mana open, you're very likely to Pierce or StP something instead.
There are too many creatures in this list. Creatures don't offer tempo advantage generally. Clique is a good tempo card, and offers a very good synergy with the exalted guys. The exalted guys themselves are good at generating tempo as well. Knight is not and RWM isn't either. I'd cut them to reduce your creature count and add Stifles.
The mana base is bad. You cannot run basics in a list like this. The idea is to use your mana as tight as possible, and basics will screw this up way too often. You always want to have a Tundra open, and you always want to be able to play a (possible multicolored) creature next to it.
And why do you board out Daze all the time?
"Part of me belives that Barrin taught me meditation simply to shut me up."
-Ertai, wizard adept
Switch the word "chess" with "Magic" and there you go essentially. Magic is a game of resources and if you use yours better than the opponent, you win. It is all about getting ahead and every deck in the format does it. Some try to take advantage of tempo early, like Zoo who plays out guys fast, has a low mana curve and efficient spells. Others, later, like Landstill who is slower out of the gates since the mana curve is higher, but later on it can use all of its mana casting more powerful spells like Wrath of God, Planeswalkers, etc. The raw power of Landstills cards allow them to win the game later on from being behind on tempo.tempo
1.Music. relative rapidity or rate of movement, usually indicated by such terms as adagio, allegro, etc., or by reference to the metronome.
2.characteristic rate, rhythm, or pattern of work or activity: the tempo of city life.
3.Chess. the gaining or losing of time and effectiveness relative to one's continued mobility or developing position, esp. with respect to the number of moves required to gain an objective: Black gained a tempo.
I hate calling cards tempo cards, because everything can be a "tempo card" in the right situation. Cards aren't tempo, they can only generate it by giving you opportunites to get ahead of the player sitting across from you. Casting StP on Rafiq can be a great tempo boost. You each lose a card but it only cost you one mana (and three life) to their four mana. Now you can capitalize and cast your own threat and get ahead because with your resources you answered his/her threat and produced your own.
Bant Aggro is aggro-control, but that doesn't exclude it from being a "Tempo deck"*. It uses efficient spells and Noble Hiearchs to get ahead of the opponent.
*= Most people call decks "Tempo decks" if they are blue, include Wasteland, have a very low mana curve, and run cheap creatures. However, something like ANT is much more of a tempo deck than Canadian Threshold. I really don't like the term "Tempo Decks" since it is mainly only used to describe blue decks with Wasteland.
Anyway, rant over. I think the deck is good. I feel as if it is competing against New Horizons and Bant Aggro since it is like a hybrid of both, but it obviously plays different than both.
This is just bant aggro, but I'm glad it got it's own thread anyway because it deserves more love. Here's a similar list I posted back in January:
2 [ZEN] Misty Rainforest
3 [A] Tropical Island
3 [R] Tundra
4 [TE] Wasteland
2 [ON] Windswept Heath
2 [ON] Flooded Strand
1 [MR] Plains (1)
1 [ALA] Forest (3)
1 [7E] Island (2)
4 [CFX] Noble Hierarch
4 [ARB] Qasali Pridemage
4 [FUT] Tarmogoyf
3 [MOR] Vendilion Clique
2 [DIS] Azorius Guildmage
4 [AL] Force of Will
4 [IA] Brainstorm
4 [NE] Daze
4 [ZEN] Spell Pierce
4 [A] Swords to Plowshares
3 [DIS] Spell Snare
1 [ALA] Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Notable changes are lack of RWM and the addition of Guildmage, Elspeth, and more counters. I personally love drawing Guildmage and believe that Noble makes it playable here. Stifle on a stick and its tap ability are huge for this deck.
This deck is more suited for my meta, as I don't see an overwhelming amount of Lightning Bolt. Though if I do I often just change the the Cliques to RWM. I play this as straight tempo, but have the Guildmages and Elspeth to give me reach. This deck can wreak havoc on CB decks, which I do enjoy.
Lastly, whoever says this is not a tempo deck is just plain wrong. Tempo is defined as the pace in which a given object moves. In magic tempo is colloquially defined as developing ones board with creatures and lands, putting pressure on an opponent, while simultaneously stifling (not literally) the development of an opponent thus creating an asymmectrical tempo in your favor. The card that best enables this is noble hierarch. Optimally I want to lay one down on turn one. And the way I generate 'tempo', at least in the early game, is to start laying down threats while leaving me an open mana to play any of my 15 counterspells, or wasteland. Later on I can use Clique, which is a great card at maintaining tempo, and Guildmage which again, is a great tempo card because I'm laying down a threat that not only aims at your life total, but often nulls your opponents blockers, while also having its often backbreaking second ability ready to strike, and neither of these abilies cause it to tap, which is huge.
Additionally, Noble lets me soak up tempo when an opponent tries to daze or wasteland me, as I can recover quicker. Say an opponent wins the roll lays a land and passes, I play a land and noble and say go. He wastlands my land and says go. Think of how huge this is. It is the start of turn 3 (or virtually my turn 2) and now I'm laying down my second land (noble is also a land) to his 1. The roles are now reversed, because you drew first, you were already a card ahead, but now you are a land ahead as well! Again, this may look like a small play on the surface, but it really is huge in practice and is the best example of using tempo to your advantage.
To me, in MTG, following a tempo strategy is trying to prevent a deck from following its natural spell mana curve : it consists to slow the opponent deck enough in its own win strategy to allow to the tempo deck to reach the victory before opponent fills its late (late could be to not have enough mana to cast the answers/ win con at the correct moment, to delay a combo launch ... )
With that in mind, I would agree with that : "I hate calling cards tempo cards, because everything can be a "tempo card" in the right situation."
A StP could be a tempo card when you remove an early hierarch in example (by breaking the acceleration the opponent's deck is trying to get and the access to the whole spells suite based on that acceleration). But StP could also to not be tempo at all if it removes an attacking creature late game (a good board position play, but probably not a tempo gain = it is mostly in that case a control card) ...
Only my opinion
Graveyard hate has been brought up for the board. I haven't REALLY tested ichorid led and non led. I imagine its poor without playing samurai of the pale curtain. In the tournament report there was alot of indepth information regarding some of the key card choices. I urge all who have not read it to go through it.
As for the name, don't get stuck on it. Everyone has their own position on it; it's not relivent, so leave it alone. We can change it once the archtype starts showing up and playing in larger tournaments.
Stifle has been discussed and beaten to death both here and on the tournament report. Stifle is only a tempo card when you use it to stop fetchlands, and if your losing the tempo race stifle only stalemates, it does't actually further your game plan in my opinion. I don't like the card, Paul doesn't like the card, it's not what we are looking for in this shell.
The creature count is fine.the deck is designed to have good matchups against the tiers in the metagame currently. Playing 18 creatures is perfectly legitimate. High threat density is what wins you magic games too :). More mana producers is not an option currently. By adding in additional mana producers you reduce either threat density, kantrip, or counter protection. All of which are vital to the archtype. Increasing the raw power plays one can make doesn't make the deck better, but less consistent and more prone to heavy spot removal like firespout.
Here's a list I top-8'd with a while ago at a GPT Madrid (about 60 players if I recall correctly), as a note: the Counterbalance in the sideboard sucked . Elspeth count may be reduced to 3. This deck however is unable to run Wastelands because it requires some more mana intensive spells (it evolved from a more 'tempo' oriented list, but you'll soon find out 'tempo' isn't that good once people know how to play against it).
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Qasali Pridemage
3 Cold-Eyed Selkie
3 Rhox War Monk
2 Vendilion Clique
4 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
4 Force of Will
4 Swords to Plowshares
2 Path to Exile
3 Sensei's Divining Top
3 Misty Rainforest
3 Flooded Strand
2 Windswept Heath
3 Tropical Island
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Path to Exile
1 Rhox War Monk
2 Krosan Grip
1 Tormod's Crypt
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Ravenous Trap
2 Orim's Chant
Last edited by Skeggi; 05-19-2010 at 03:03 AM.
I hate to rag on you skeggi; wait no I don’t you’ve been ragging all over my list. So your list was a tempo list, but then it changed. When you changed it I assume you added STP AND P2E after the change correct? Also obviously I’m going to harp on you for telling me that Bant Aggro doesn’t play counter/top and you JUST showed us a list, yours none the less that runs it. And like you said 4x Elspeth? Seriously? I think its better if we just stopped communicating because nothing you’re going to tell me is going to be constructive, just negative and down-right wrong sometimes. I like you a lot on the mish mash thread. You’re a really funny guy, but I honestly think it’s best if we leave it at that and you go constructively criticize other threads.
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