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Thread: [Deck] Aluren

  1. #1

    [Deck] Aluren

    This was posted on TheManaDrain yesterday evening, but I might as well post that here, people might be interested in the deck. Two of my testing partners took the deck to GP Lille and both made Top32 after a 7-1-1 record Day 1.

    1. INTRODUCTION AND EARLY DECKLIST

    Aluren is probably my favourite deck ever. I played It in Extended before the last rotation with good success. When the two Legacy Grand Prix were announced by WOTC, I decided to start working actively on Legacy with some good friends. Two of these were also Aluren addicts, so Aluren soon became one of our primary focuses. We browsed MTGTheSource forums for a while looking for interesting ideas, but all the builds we could found were extremely bad, mainly based around the Extended core (that means, Living Wish, Cloud of Faeries, Maggot Carrier and Auriok Champion), but with terrible cards like Lotus Petal or Elvish Spirit Guide. In Legacy, playing a true Combo deck based on a 4CC card is strictly impossible, because of cards like Aether Vial, Goblin Lackey, Force of Will and Daze. That means the deck has to be turned into a Control-Combo deck (and not the other way around) in order to be competitive in Legacy. Raven Familiar and Cavern Harpy being blue, the deck can easily support Force of Will. Counterspell is obviously not a solution here, but with Intuitions and plenty creatures, you get to run the best black card in the format, Cabal Therapy. Against Aggro decks, Walls are your primary Control component.

    I started to actively discuss on Aluren in August with Sylvain Lauriol and Kevin Desprez, with Pierre Canali and Wilfried Ranque joining the group later on. Our primary testings with ports from decklists played in 2002 gave us really strong results against most of the so-called Legacy best decks, Goblins, Landstill and High Tide. Back then, Landstill was still heavily played, and the fact that It was a complete bye for Aluren decided us to keep working on it. Back then, our list still had Extended stuff such as Living Wish, but these got cut soon after, because we didn't want to bastardize our sideboard with poor cards. Also, Living Wish's speed is a liability when facing Goblins, since you hardly want to waste your turn 2 doing nothing but a Living Wish while being smashed by a Goblin Lackey.

    // Aluren
    // Pre Ravnica and Pre GP Philadelphia decklist
    // Mana Base
    1 Island
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Windswept Heath
    3 Wooded Foothills
    4 Bayou
    4 Tropical Island
    5 Forest
    // Combo cards
    2 Spike Feeder
    3 Man-o'-War
    4 Cavern Harpy
    4 Raven Familiar
    4 Aluren
    // Control
    1 Chain of Vapor
    3 Cabal Therapy
    3 Wall of Blossoms
    4 Wall of Roots
    4 Force of Will
    // Draw and Tutors
    3 Intuition
    4 Brainstorm
    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 Cabal Therapy
    SB: 1 Wall of Blossoms
    SB: 1 Meloku the Clouded Mirror
    SB: 2 Blue Elemental Blast
    SB: 2 Hydroblast
    SB: 2 Pernicious Deed
    SB: 3 Eladamri's Vineyard
    SB: 3 Elephant Grass

    I won a couple of tournaments with this decklist. Sideboard is heavily oriented against Aggro decks, with some versatile cards to bring against Combo and Control too. More testings shown us that Cavern Harpy was by far the worst card in the deck. Basically, you never want to see one in your opening hand, you just want to dig into one while Comboing off, through repeated Raven Familiar and Man'O-War abuse. Ravnica gave us an interesting card to work with, Chord of Calling. The 4th Cavern Harpy was quickly cut for a singleton Chord of Calling, which gives you more Raven Familiars and can be used to get a Cavern Harpy too.

    Then came GP Philadephia, and an overwhelming Threshold showing. Because of Threshold's fast clock backed up with disruption (Meddling Mage) and countermagic, we decided to maindeck the 4th Wal of Blossoms and a second Chain of Vapor.

    2. GP LILLE DECKLIST

    In the end, Pierre Canali and Wilfried Ranque decided to pick Aluren for GP Lille, and ended up both Top32 after a 7-1-1 record during Day 1 (with Wilfried's only loss funily being to Pierre). Kevin Desprez and myself were judging, and Sylvain Lauriol opted for UGr Threshold at the last minute for some reason. Both played slightly different versions of the deck, the most important being Ranque's maindeck Eladamri's Vineyards (Canali had them in the sideboard only). The mana bases were also slightly different. I'm not really sold on the maindeck Vineyards, and I think 3 Cavern Harpies are needed in the deck because of Intuition and Force of Will. Here is what I would have played at the GP. It's basically a mix of both decklists. I dislike the City of Traitors, but It has Its uses in some matchups.

    // Aluren
    // Suggested Decklist post GP Lille
    // Mana Base
    1 Island
    2 Windswept Heath
    2 Wooded Foothills
    3 Polluted Delta
    4 Bayou
    4 Tropical Island
    5 Forest
    // Combo cards
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Spike Feeder
    2 Man-o'-War
    3 Cavern Harpy
    4 Raven Familiar
    4 Aluren
    // Control
    2 Chain of Vapor
    3 Force of Will
    3 Cabal Therapy
    4 Wall of Blossoms
    4 Wall of Roots
    // Draw and Tutors
    1 Chord of Calling
    3 Intuition
    4 Brainstorm
    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 Cabal Therapy
    SB: 1 Force of Will
    SB: 2 Mystic Remora
    SB: 2 Pernicious Deed
    SB: 3 Eladamri's Vineyard
    SB: 3 Blue Elemental Blast
    SB: 3 Hydroblast

    3. HOW DO YOU PLAY THE DECK?

    Aluren is probably one of the most difficult decks to play perfectly in Magic, and for sure the hardest deck to play in Legacy. It has dozens of tricks and non obvious card interactions that It gives you fast headaches if you don't have some automatisms with it, since there are plenty plays to do in response to each other and controlling the stack is sometimes tricky. As a reward, the good thing is that your opponent will hardly know when to play his hate cards properly, and that will win you many games. The main Combo is divided in 6 steps.

    1. Use Raven Familiars and Cavern Harpies to dig into the deck to find a Man'O-War and the Spike Feeder.
    2. Use a Cavern Harpy, Man'O-War and Spike Feeder loop to get a large amount of life.
    3. Use a Cavern Harpy, Man'O-War and Wall of Roots loop to get a large amount of Green mana.
    4. Use a Cavern Harpy, Man'O-War and Spike Feeder loop to turn your creatures into big monsters.
    5. Recur all your Force of Wills and Cabal Therapies with an Eternal Witness loop and pass the turn.
    6. Attack on the next turn for the win.

    4. QUICK CARD BY CARD ANALYSIS

    * 3 Cavern Harpies : the worst card in the deck, but needed for the Combo. 3 is enough, especially with Chord of Calling and Man'O-Wars.
    * 2 Chains of Vapor : deals with problematic permanents before going off (Mages and Needles), and acts as a pseudo Harpy when going off. Incredibly strong and versatile.
    * 1 Chord of Calling : Better than Cavern Harpy and usually free when going off. A strong addition.
    * 3 Force of Will : 4th one is hardly needed, so thrown in the sideboard for Combo and Threshold matchups.
    * 1 Eternal Witness : versatile utility and strong card when going off.

    5. RANDOM MATCHUPS ANALYSIS

    * Goblins
    Game 1 is easy when on the play because of the 8 Walls to block Goblin Lackey. On the draw a first turn Lackey is obviously a serious threat but can still be managed with good Wall draws or Chain of Vapor for tempo. You goldfish faster than them anyways. You got 6 answers to Lackey game 2, and still 8 Walls to stop the rush. Their only threat is Red Elemental Blast, but It's rather easy to play around. Overall a slightly favourable matchup if you know what you are doing perfectly. Otherwise, they wreck you.

    * Landstill
    An easy matchup. Just play draw-wall-go until you get the Combo in hand, wreck them with a Cabal Therapy and win. Landstill has to be the Aggro deck in the matchup, and 4-6 manlands will hardly make it, especially since they run billions of dead cards against you (Swords to Plowshares, Akroma's Vengeance, Wrath of God, Nevinyral's Disk...). Post sideboard, Pernicious Deed takes care of Arcane Laboratories and Meddling Mages all day long.

    * Mono White Control
    You cant lose to first turn Plains, EOT cycle Secluded Steppe. A complete bye. Their only problematic card is Humility, which is extremely slow. And they can't stop your Chain of Vapor anyways. Oh, and Pernicious Deed.

    * RW Lightning Rift
    A bit harder than MWC because turn 2 Rift is a decent clock, but still a very easy matchup. Post board BEB allows you to go into late game, and you always win if you manage to do so.

    * BW Suicide
    A nightmare matchup. You can hardly expcet to win more than 1 game out of 4. Luckily, the deck is bad, so that's hardly a concern.

    * UGw Threshold
    Meddling Mage is annoying but can be dealt with thanks for Chain of Vapor or Man'O-War backed up with Force of Will or Cabal Therapy. The 8 Walls buy a lot of turns in this matchup, which means you are almost Daze proof. Post sideboard Pernicious Deed destroys them and Mystic Remora is huge. They have to bring in Swords to Plowshares to get rid of your Walls, which is a good thing. Mystic Enforcer is a serious threat though. Slightly favourable overall.

    * UGr Threshold
    Lightning Bolt and Fire/Ice make that you can hide behind your Walls forever. Luckily, they don't have Meddling Mage to disrupt you and a single Cabal Therapy is usually enough to go off without problems. Post sideboard Red Blasts are annoying, but Pernicious Deed and Remora are awesome too. I'd say the matchup is even.

    * Affinity
    The only way they can win is with double Disciple of the Vault or a very fast Cranial Plating on a flying dude. If they don't, you should win most of the games without too many problems. It's overall a good matchup.

    * UWg(r/b) Confinement / Life from the Loam
    We didn't playtest the matchup a lot and we didnt expected the deck to be heavily played anyways. If they get Confinement out, It becomes extremely hard to win because you can't back up your Chain of Vapor with Cabal Therapies. Otherwise, It's a good matchup. I'd say Confinement has the edge in the matchup, but only by a small margin. Post sideboard Pernicious Deeds are good, as are more Force of Wills and Cabal Therapies.

    * Non Blue Confinement / Life From the Loam decks (CAL variants)
    Confinement is not a threat because of Chain of Vapor. A very fast Assault is annoying, which is why you'll bring the Blue Blast post board. If Assault doesnt stay on the board, they have no way to kill you, and you'll always wreck them in the late game.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toad
    Aluren is probably one of the most difficult decks to play perfectly in Magic, and for sure the hardest deck to play in Legacy. It has dozens of tricks and non obvious card interactions that It gives you fast headaches if you don't have some automatisms with it, since there are plenty plays to do in response to each other and controlling the stack is sometimes tricky. As a reward, the good thing is that your opponent will hardly know when to play his hate cards properly, and that will win you many games.
    I have always found that in general the best time to play your hate, is in response to the Harpy. This forces the Aluren player to have at least another Raven in hand. I've often found that if they are able to resolve a Harpy (with something worth gating) then I am sure to lose.

    Have you found that Wirewood Savage (that guy that draws cards if you resolve a beast) to be unnecessary? He was amazing in the lesser builds that were running around here.

    Also, have you found any splash damage from E-Plague? Plague naming Harpy is ugly, but if a deck is playing Plague, then it is probably a black disruption deck that is beating you anyway.
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  3. #3

    Plague naming Harpy would be spectacularly bad, as harpy is a Beast. I know what you meant, though. ;D
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  4. #4
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    Nice summary. That deck definitely looks very interesting. Have you tested the Solidarity matchup? To me, it seems that 3 Cabal Therapy should not be enough to disrupt them. Am I wrong?
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  5. #5
    Arbitrary Wielder of Justice

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    No Living Wish, Wirewood Savage, Maggot Carrier, or Auriok Champion? Why not win the same turn you play Aluren?

    Also, against aggro, it seems like just winning on turn four is a fine option as opposed to playing some random walls.
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  6. #6
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    Here's a question in regard to a post on TMD, since I don't post over there, but I do lurk.

    I think that Solidarity might be a difficult matchup as well.
    Once again, if you manage to go off, High Tide will have hard times to resolve its namesake when facing infinite Force of Will recursion.

    In order to realize that, just consider the following plays :
    1. Go off and get 7 blue cards in hand, including 4 Force of Wills (or less if a FOW got pitched to FOW), before passing the turn.
    2. Force the first 3 spells played by the opponent.
    3. If you have to cast FOW after that, return a Cavern Harpy to your hand, play it, get a Man-O'War back, play it, get the Eternal Witness back, play it, grab a Force of Will. Repeat at will.
    You don't have infinite Blue mana. You have infinite recursion, but you have 22 Pitchable spells including 3x Force of Will. That isn't even close to infinite. Not to mention that to go off, you actually play spells. 1x Brainfreeze wins the game. Did I miss something?

  7. #7

    I have always found that in general the best time to play your hate, is in response to the Harpy. This forces the Aluren player to have at least another Raven in hand.
    The best moment to play the Disenchant effect is indeed in response to the Cavern Harpy. Nevertheless, in response to that hate card, you can often start digging into cards with Raven Familiar, and try to find a Man'O-War for 3 more cards, a Chain of Vapor or a Cavern Harpy for going off, or a Force of Will. This means you are not really vulnerable to Disenchant effects. Cabal Therapy also gets rid of these. Creature removal is also not a problem if you cast Cavern Harpy before the Raven Familiar.

    Have you found that Wirewood Savage (that guy that draws cards if you resolve a beast) to be unnecessary?
    Wirewood Savage is not really needed. The deck wants to focus on useful cards, and cut all the fancy stuff for that. Wirewood Savage would likely own the mirror match, but that's completely irrelevant. Man-O'Wars usually do what Wirewood Savage is supposed to do, except Man-O'Wars can be pitched to FOW, deal with Meddling Mage and other things.

    Also, have you found any splash damage from E-Plague? Plague naming Harpy is ugly, but if a deck is playing Plague, then it is probably a black disruption deck that is beating you anyway.
    The comment about Engineering Plague is valid, but not really problematic, since B/W Suicide like decks are already awful matchups, Plagues or no. Discard and mana denial are usually enough to beat you. I'd probably sideboard out the Plagues with B/W against Aluren, since these are rather slow and can be easily dealt with through Chain of Vapor or Pernicious Deed. Mana and hand control are far better.

    Have you tested the Solidarity matchup? To me, it seems that 3 Cabal Therapy should not be enough to disrupt them.
    We tested the High Tide matchup a bit, both Instant and Sorcery speed builds, but not that much since we didn't consider the deck as a DTB in Legacy. They have 4 Force of Wills, you have these and 3 Cabal Therapies (and the 4th one sideboard). Both decks have similar goldfish rates, so you have the edge there. Going off is tricky here, since you are making Storm for them, but a single Cabal Therapy will usually seal the deal. Pierre and Wilfried actually had no dedicated cards in their sideboard for this matchup.

    No Living Wish, Wirewood Savage, Maggot Carrier, or Auriok Champion? Why not win the same turn you play Aluren?
    No Living Wish because It's far too slow for Legacy. On turn 2 you want to stop a Nimble Mongoose or a Goblin Lackey. No Wirewood Savage for the reasons mentionned above. No Maggot Carrier or Auriok Champion because these are completely useless unless you are already winning, and when you are winning, winning with your engine is far. The deck runs no maindeck dead cards. Then, no real need to win the turn you play Aluren. I mean, no deck is able to deal an infinite amount of damage when facing a dozen of Force of Will recursion in a single turn.

    Also, against aggro, it seems like just winning on turn four is a fine option as opposed to playing some random walls.
    Aluren is by nature a slow Combo deck. It can go off consistently on turn 4. That means you have to play some Walls to do that. Nevertheless, these Walls are good because they are versatile. Wall of Blossoms draws a card. Wall of Roots makes mana. Why would you ever want to go off turn 4 when one of the best deck in the format maindecks Daze? There is really no point winning balls-on-the-table on turn 4 when you can go off on turn 5 or 6 with quadruple Cabal Therapy backup. You are probably misunderstanding the fundamental concept of Aluren. You can't play It as a pure goldfish Combo deck.

    You have infinite recursion, but you have 22 Pitchable spells including 3x Force of Will. That isn't even close to infinite.
    Yeah well, not infinite. But 22 or something potential Force of Wills will always beat a 7-cards hand.

    Not to mention that to go off, you actually play spells. 1x Brainfreeze wins the game. Did I miss something?
    Yep, you missed Cabal Therapy naming Brain Freeze :)

  8. #8
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    Flame deleted---Frogboy

    I just goldfished the deck you put up, thirty times. I'm not some random noob who just decided to pick up Aluren and give it a try, I've been playing and tweaking my 1.5 Aluren deck for well over a year. In those thirty games, I was only able to successfully goldfish a turn 4 or turn 5 kill TWICE. In over half of the games I had to wait until at least turn EIGHT to win, and this is playing without enemy resistance. There were, in my testing, over three quarters of the games where I found myself in topdeck mode as early as TURN TWO. In forcing myself to go off, I dealt myself around 7-9 damage from Cavern Harpies. Against any deck with direct damage, that is simply unacceptable.

    This does not even take into account all the hate people have in their sideboards for combo.

    All the fancy walls and defensive tempo gainers can't get around the fact that you're still a 3 card combo deck with 4 Brainstorms and 3 Intuitions and a single Chord of Calling. No, I don't count Raven Familiar, because it's vulnerable to just about every creature hate in the format and if he isn't killed, becomes a Strategic Planning for 4UU. And if it dies or is countered, it's another combo card you have to find to go off. It is amazingly improbable for anyone to draw a three-card combo(where you only have 3 of one particular card) with such consistency that you can actually race Solidarity.

    At the very least, you need another tutor or another good creature with Aluren in there. I suggest Lim Dul's Vault. Cut some basic forests, you don't need to hit 4 mana on turn 4 anyways because you're probably not going to go off then anyways - your deck is too inconsistent.

    If you want to prove me wrong, I'd be glad to hear your arguments. But at least provide some sample goldfish hands. I want to see how you play this deck out.
    -Slay




    Edited By frogboy on 1135193807
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  9. #9
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    You know, I thought that too until I got bashed by it a lot. Pierre Canali's also a lot better at Magic than you are, so he's probably not going to lose to subtle, small errors. While I wouldn't play it if you held a gun to my head, it's good in the hands of a good player.

    Goldfishing this deck is, while not futile, less than optimal because it's a control deck with a combo-kill. Most often you're not going to bother to race anybody because you don't have to - you block Goblins until it's too late and you have functionally infinite life and no other deck really puts pressure on your life total well enough.

    Remember kids, this deck is probably out of your skill level and especially your current skill-set to play properly. That's the real drawback.

  10. #10

    I'm not some random noob who just decided to pick up Aluren and give it a try, I've been playing and tweaking my 1.5 Aluren deck for well over a year.
    Playing Aluren for a year is nothing. I've been playing the deck for more than 4 years now, and I still discover new tricks every once in a while.

    In those thirty games, I was only able to successfully goldfish a turn 4 or turn 5 kill TWICE. In over half of the games I had to wait until at least turn EIGHT to win, and this is playing without enemy resistance.
    I'm sorry, I don't get this argument. There is a Landstill thread in your DTB forum. I doubt Landstill can goldfish on turn 8 even without enemy resistance. You are misunderstanding what Aluren is. It is not a Combo deck. It is a Controlish deck with a Combo finish.

    There were, in my testing, over three quarters of the games where I found myself in topdeck mode as early as TURN TWO.
    Mulligan?

    In forcing myself to go off, I dealt myself around 7-9 damage from Cavern Harpies. Against any deck with direct damage, that is simply unacceptable.
    I usually need 3 to 4 life to go off thanks to Man-O'War and Chain of Vapor. You are probably playing the deck wrong.

    This does not even take into account all the hate people have in their sideboards for combo.
    Is this taking Pernicious Deeds into account? Pierre and Wilfried faced Pithing Needles, Arcane Laboratories, Rules of Law, Seals of Cleansing, Disenchants, Naturalizes, Humilities and Pyrostatic Pillars all days long. They still made Top32 at a 900-players tournament. With a 7-1-1 record Day 1. I saw most of their matches, they faced many Goblins, many UGw Threshold, many UGr Threshold, some Burn, a WR Rift, a Zoo, a MWC, two Landstill and other stuff I forgot. Hardly a non relevant field. I'd bet all these are considered as good decks in Legacy. We playtested the deck against dozens of Legacy archetypes. I got tons of testing data and matchup statistics. They picked Aluren for a reason ;)

    But at least provide some sample goldfish hands. I want to see how you play this deck out.
    Thats, hmm, rather pointless. Aluren is all about stack interactions and tricking the opponent into mistakes. You can't goldfish that.

  11. #11
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    Playing Aluren for a year is nothing. I've been playing the deck for more than 4 years now, and I still discover new tricks every once in a while.
    Are you telling me that an extra 3 years is the difference betrween a 25% win ratio and a 50+% win ratio? Baloney.

    I'm sorry, I don't get this argument. There is a Landstill thread in your DTB forum. I doubt Landstill can goldfish on turn 8 even without enemy resistance. You are misunderstanding what Aluren is. It is not a Combo deck. It is a Controlish deck with a Combo finish.
    Aluren does not play with unrestricted Ancestral Recall, or Fact or Fiction, or 8 counterspells, or 10+ board control spells. It plays Walls, and 6 disruption spells, 3 of which are card disadvantage usually and 3 of which don't do crap against a card ripped off the top. Its board control is 2 Chain of Vapor. Its draw engine is Brainstorm. Landstill is in the DTB forum because its control elements are incredibly powerful. Saying this deck's control elements are lacking is a serious understatement.

    Mulligan?
    When almost all of my hands are pretty terrible, I fail to see how mulliganing would help.

    I usually need 3 to 4 life to go off thanks to Man-O'War and Chain of Vapor. You are probably playing the deck wrong.
    Seeing as how a monkey could goldfish the deck at that point, I doubt it has to do with that.

    Is this taking Pernicious Deeds into account?
    So now our combo consists of a 4-of, another 4-of, a 3-of, and a 2-of. Awesome!

    Pierre and Wilfried faced Pithing Needles, Arcane Laboratories, Rules of Law, Seals of Cleansing, Disenchants, Naturalizes, Humilities and Pyrostatic Pillars all days long. They still made Top32 at a 900-players tournament. With a 7-1-1 record Day 1. I saw most of their matches, they faced many Goblins, many UGw Threshold, many UGr Threshold, some Burn, a WR Rift, a Zoo, a MWC, two Landstill and other stuff I forgot. Hardly a non relevant field. I'd bet all these are considered as good decks in Legacy. We playtested the deck against dozens of Legacy archetypes. I got tons of testing data and matchup statistics. They picked Aluren for a reason ;)
    Ah-ah-ah. You aren't allowed to make the "they're better players than you" argument to justify this deck's non-suckiness. You yourself stated that you regarded BW Deadguy as trash. Well, if a crappy deck placed in the T2 of a Grand Prix, maybe playskill has a lot more to do with his deck, and similarly, your deck winning than you think.

    Thats, hmm, rather pointless. Aluren is all about stack interactions and tricking the opponent into mistakes. You can't goldfish that.
    When your opponent's plan is to play dudes, smash, then cast burn spells to finish you off, and deals 20 consistently at around turn 6, outplaying your opponent is pretty damn obviated.
    -Slay
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  12. #12
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    Actually, I'm saying that the deck is only FOR good players, since they themselves won't lose games with it.

    This deck is to allow the maximum abuse of superior skill over an opponent.

    If you're that much better than the other guy, why play a simpler deck when you can make him do all sorts of stupid things with a deck that you know and he doesn't? Look at Karsten's deck from Worlds this year. It's by FAR the hardest deck to pilot at maximal efficiency, but it also leads his opponents down all sorts of wrong plays.

  13. #13
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    I understand that.

    However, what I'm saying is that this deck is so bad that it requires abusing your skill over lesser players in order to win the game. That is, its goldfish is so low and its control presence is so minimal that by and large, other decks could goldfish you and win. Your opponent making mistakes based on your deck is largely dependant on him caring about what you do, which, insofar as I have seen, he simply does not have to.
    -Slay
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    Team Slay and Lego: Slay your a tool and your glasses are almost as GAY as your retarded snitch of a boyfriend Lego. Lego focus on your own game you are a fucking clown and should have heard the rediculous amount of people saying how much of a dick you were being and what kind of a fool you are. I laugh at you two. Seriously you both need attitude adjustments. I have never encountered a larger pair of pussy bitches in my whole life.

  14. #14

    I'm not sure if all of what slay said about the deck is true because I haven't tested the deck myself and to be honest slay you seem to be a cynic. I would think that this deck is as suckie as slay says by looking at it but that isn't everything. If it's true what is said about the play skill aspect why wouldn't better players play good decks(like Gro)? Besides if it really is play skill that wins it games it's not the deck that deserves praise it's the player.
    One more thing, just because a pro can win with mono blue wizards it doesn't make that deck good.

    P.S I'm sorry if I offended you slay but it seems as though you are always critisizing everything
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  15. #15

    Are you telling me that an extra 3 years is the difference betrween a 25% win ratio and a 50+% win ratio?
    Could be yeah. Also, I didn't find your decklists in some forum here, so I don't know if you are playing builds with Man'O-Wars and Spike Feeder or builds with Wirewood Savage and Soul Warden likes. These builds are extremely different to pilot, so a year of experience with these is really nothing. They only have their core card in common, but play totally different.

    Aluren does not play with unrestricted Ancestral Recall, or Fact or Fiction, or 8 counterspells, or 10+ board control spells.
    Landstill's "unrestricted Ancestral Recall" is hot against first turn Goblin Lackey, first turn Aether Vial or first turn Nimble Mongoose. Landstill's "unrestricted Ancestral Recall" is also hot after the opponent dropped his turn 2 Lightning Rift. It's also awesome to have that on the board when your opponent is going to Cabal Therapy 3 times in a row. But whatever, Aluren outdraws Landstill. You are not playing with 8 counterspells, right. You can have 4 Force of Wills and 4 Cabal Therapies if needed. Cabal Therapy is so much better than Counterspell in billions of matchups you know? Then, board Control spells. You have 10. Landstill has 4 spells that are crap against Nimble Mongoose (Swords to Plowshares), Aluren has 2 (Chain of Vapor). Wall of Roots and Wall of Blossoms hold Threshold's army for ages, and for a mere 2 mana. Are you really telling me you are planning to resolve a Wrath of God, a Moat or a Humility against Threshold's 4 Force of Will, 3 Counterspells, 3 Dazes? Please? Ah, and Wall of Blossoms is a board Control card that cantrips and has synergy with Cabal Therapy. Good luck doing something useful with Swords to Plowshares and Wrath of God against MWC, WR Rift, High Tide, Belcher, Ill-Gotten Storm, Confinement, Aluren and some others.

    Landstill is in the DTB forum because its control elements are incredibly powerful.
    When playtesting the Aluren vs. Landstill matchup, nothing was more funnier to see Landstill with a hand full of powerful control elements like Wrath of God, Swords to Plowshares, Akroma's Vengeance and others when going off through Cabal Therapy.

    Seeing as how a monkey could goldfish the deck at that point
    I doubt so. Proof for that is easy, I just have to read your feelings after your early goldfishing cessions.

  16. #16

    I have some questions regarding how the deck operates.

    1. Use Raven Familiars and Cavern Harpies to dig into the deck to find a Man'O-War and the Spike Feeder.
    2. Use a Cavern Harpy, Man'O-War and Spike Feeder loop to get a large amount of life.
    3. Use a Cavern Harpy, Man'O-War and Wall of Roots loop to get a large amount of Green mana.
    4. Use a Cavern Harpy, Man'O-War and Spike Feeder loop to turn your creatures into big monsters.
    5. Recur all your Force of Wills and Cabal Therapies with an Eternal Witness loop and pass the turn.
    6. Attack on the next turn for the win.
    So couple of points off the top of my head.

    The deck does not win once Aluren's resolved and on the table, it has to wait at least one turn, and kill by charging across the red zone. Does that mean creatures such as Troll and Mongoose can potentially block the large guy? (Assuming it's not a flier.) Wouldn't that kind of push back the kill turn by 1 or 2?

    Compare that to the original creatures such as Rishadan Cutpurse, what's the advantage of the Feeder/Harpy/Man-o-War/Wall engine? (My understanding is that without a Wall of Root, you can't make large creatures.)

    A lot of the match ups seems favourable from recursive disruption and counter magic. How consistent does the deck find its lone E.Witness? I guess the Chord is good tutor here. Does Intuition sometimes is used to find the Witness as well?

    Creature removal is also not a problem if you cast Cavern Harpy before the Raven Familiar.
    I do not really understand. If I cast Harpy before Raven, I have to return a blue or black creature, no? Once the Raven is cast, opponent can still StP Raven in response to you casting Harpy, right? Unless you already have multiple Harpies and Ravens, then it is okay, no?

    Thanks in advance for the answers.
    Nothing witty to say.

  17. #17
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    I'm with Slay on this one and don't really like this build (FoW ?), although it has some good elements like the chain to answer some annoying things
    but IMO If you want to play a controllish deck with combo finish there are far better options out there

    Look at Aluren in extended of early 2005 (where I played it to day 2 at GP Eindhoven and 2 times in top 8 at a PTQ) which was focussed on getting the combo through as early and consistent as possible
    So why would you want to change that in Legacy where you can even make the deck a turn faster ???

    Just like Slay I've been working on and tuning Aluren for 1,5 since end 2004 and the deck performs very nicely in the average legacy metagame and can combo on average on turn 4 (so it's on pace with solidarity and the aggro decks) but can combo on turn 3 if need be
    this makes landstill, threshold, gobo ... matchups that can be won by a decent aluren player.

    But then came Philly and a guy called Pikula came up with a deck that was good for that metagame and as splashdamage TOTALLY rapes combo decks like aluren in the arse. (pardon my french)
    -> It rips apart your hand, manabase (which is one of the vulnarabilities of aluren) and then as icing on the cake puts a plague for beasts on your heinie (sure you have chain, but without enough land and/or cards .... )

    After some testing with our group, the conclusion was that it would have been too great a risk a take Aluren to a 9 round (and 15 counting day 2) tourney like a GP where the risk of having to duke it out against Pikula more than 2 times was realistic. (even with 3 byes I still would have to play 6 rounds day 1)

    Imagine my surprise to see a pro like Canali playing Aluren, immidiately giving the dude some more credit, thinking he had balls of steel and wishing him the best of luck to stay clear of Pikula decks ...(which apparantly he did since the top tables day 1 were mostly rift, gobo, threshold and only 6 Pikula's/Deadguy ale made day 2)

    In retrospect ...
    when a deck has only 1 truely bad matchup ...
    why not play it ?
    I think I would have had more fun and maybe even made day 2 ...
    (providing I only met 1 or 2 Pikula decks)

    The lesson learned once more ...
    play the deck you like and know how to play it best instead of "taking the best deck for the metagame"

    as a final note ...
    didn't we already have a few threads on Aluren ?
    Usually you guys are pretty strict about that
    God has a good excuse for why things in our world are as messed up as they are ... He doesn't exist

  18. #18

    Does that mean creatures such as Troll and Mongoose can potentially block the large guy? (Assuming it's not a flier.) Wouldn't that kind of push back the kill turn by 1 or 2?
    You usually win through Raven Familiars and Cavern Harpies, so Blockers are not a problem. Especially since you often have around 10 beaters on the board before passing the turn.

    Compare that to the original creatures such as Rishadan Cutpurse, what's the advantage of the Feeder/Harpy/Man-o-War/Wall engine?
    Rishadan Cutpurse is weak on its own. This is the same for Maggot Carrier and Auriok Champion or Soul Warden. OTOH, Wall of Roots can hold Werebear all game long, Man-O'War gives some tempo and can act as creature removal with Cabal Therapy, and Spike Feeder can gives a cute life buffer against Burn or Goblins. Overall, they are better utility in the deck.

    How consistent does the deck find its lone E.Witness?
    When going off, you have no problems finding the Eternal Witness.

    Does Intuition sometimes is used to find the Witness as well?
    This happens pretty often yes. You can Intuition for 2 Man'O-War and the Eternal Witness, or 2 Chain of Vapor, or 2 Cavern Harpies if you pitched one to FOW... It's versatile, It's a must counter against Control and can chump a Piledriver.

    If I cast Harpy before Raven, I have to return a blue or black creature, no? Once the Raven is cast, opponent can still StP Raven in response to you casting Harpy, right? Unless you already have multiple Harpies and Ravens, then it is okay, no?
    You play the Raven Familiar in response to the gattin' trigger. Basically, play Cavern Harpy, put the gattin' on the stack. In response, play Raven Familiar and Impulse your card. Then try to resolve the gattin' trigger. If opponent passes back, the Raven is safe into your hand. If opponent tries to StP, pay 1 life to return Harpy into your hand, and use it to save the Raven. In other words, opponent needs 1 more removal than you have Harpies and Man'Os in your hand to kill a single Raven. Which makes creature removal useless against Aluren.

    So why would you want to change that in Legacy where you can even make the deck a turn faster.
    Force of Will. In Extended, counterspells cost 2 mana. In Legacy, counterspells are free. This fundamentally changes the deal. Also, Red Elemental Blast is heavily played.

    In retrospect, and this is what came out the discussions I had with Pierre and Wilfried after the tournament, Aluren was a strong choice for Lille. Your only nightmare matchup, B/W Suicide, was rampant but only in the bottom tables. The Control deck of choice here, RW Rift, is close from being a bye. Goblin decks were focusing on the mirror match and the Threshold matchup, leaving the Pyrostatic Pillars out. Threshold can be beaten with our last minute addition of the 8th Wall in the deck and a good understanding of the matchup. Making Top32 at a 15 rounds tournament is not something you can do with skills only. You need a good deck too, or at least a deck that is good enough that It allows you to beat your opponents.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toad
    So why would you want to change that in Legacy where you can even make the deck a turn faster.
    Force of Will. In Extended, counterspells cost 2 mana. In Legacy, counterspells are free. This fundamentally changes the deal. Also, Red Elemental Blast is heavily played.

    In retrospect, and this is what came out the discussions I had with Pierre and Wilfried after the tournament, Aluren was a strong choice for Lille. Your only nightmare matchup, B/W Suicide, was rampant but only in the bottom tables. The Control deck of choice here, RW Rift, is close from being a bye. Goblin decks were focusing on the mirror match and the Threshold matchup, leaving the Pyrostatic Pillars out. Threshold can be beaten with our last minute addition of the 8th Wall in the deck and a good understanding of the matchup. Making Top32 at a 15 rounds tournament is not something you can do with skills only. You need a good deck too, or at least a deck that is good enough that It allows you to beat your opponents.
    Huh ?
    so just because of force of will you are going to play a build that is slower and tries to use force of will itself ?

    counters are higly irrelevant for a deck with 4 cabal therapies and enough creatures to flash it back.

    besides, did you try/consider Xantic Swarm in the side ?
    "but that's a swords target"
    err, you just said removal is mostly irrelevant so people playing white normally should side em out
    besides, that's also a swords they can't use on one of the combo pieces

    Aluren was indeed a good call IF YOU HAD 3 BYES because far less pro's than I had anticipated opted to play Deadguy Ale.
    Also, as it turned out, Deadguy ale isn't that hot a deck if the number of threshold is increased

    You Do need to specify the 3 bye thing because we both agree they were a lot of Deadguy ale at the lower tables and in the earlier rounds so that would have made it harder for someone with aluren to make it to day 2 if they had to play aluren for 9 rounds instead of 6.

    Anyway,
    I'm not too fond of your Aluren build with force of will but I'm glad you crazy french did well and you gave me a couple of ideas to change my build

    c u in Hasselt in a month I guess for what will most likely be the biggest GP ever
    God has a good excuse for why things in our world are as messed up as they are ... He doesn't exist

  20. #20

    counters are higly irrelevant for a deck with 4 cabal therapies and enough creatures to flash it back.
    They are not irrelevant. You have to take them into account. Threshold runs Counterspell, Force of Will and Daze. And Meddling Mage for the white builds. That means you can never goldfish turn 3 or 4 over these, even with a Cabal Therapy. So you have to wait a bit and go into later game. That implies using Force of Will to deal with threats.

    besides, did you try/consider Xantic Swarm in the side ?
    Yeah, we tried It. The 4th Force of Will and Cabal Therapy are better since they are more versatile.

    You Do need to specify the 3 bye thing
    Wilfried didn't have 3 byes.

    c u in Hasselt in a month I guess for what will most likely be the biggest GP ever
    Nah you won't beat GP Paris ;)
    I'll likely be judging in Hasselt.

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