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Thread: UW Enduring Ideal

  1. #1

    UW Enduring Ideal

    4 Enduring Ideal

    4 Wall of Omens

    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    4 Runed Halo
    4 Cast Out
    4 Stasis Snare
    1 Dovescape
    1 Phyrexian Unlife
    1 Solemnity
    1 Endless Horizons
    1 Mobilization

    4 Temple of Enlightenment
    4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
    2 Mistveil Plains
    2 Irrigated Farmland
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Calciform Pools
    10 Plains

    53 Cards

    This is not a full 60 but I would describe this is as the core I am building off of.

    It doesn't make sense to me how none of the Enduring Ideal lists seem to play Wall of Omens. It's the pefect card for a White-Devotion control/prison deck. One argument would be that it's not good alongside Porphyry Nodes, but I don't like that card either. Against creatureless decks Nodes can't even give you 1 devotion and even if your opponent does have creatures it will still eventually sacrifice itself.

    Leyline/Halo don't need explanation. Powerful cards to protect yourself and both give 2 devotion each. In some ways this deck is a metagame choice depending on whether maindeck Leyline is viable or not, and I think that this is an okay spot at the moment (vs Valakut, Storm, 8-Rack etc).

    Cast Out is solid removal, or helps you dig for Enduring Ideal or lands. Having removal for any permanent is important because resolved planeswalkers are often a problem for this deck.

    I am playing 4 Stasis Snare and 0 Ghostly Prison, I don't like Ghostly Prison because the nature of your 'pillow fort' deck means that games often go long and the opponent will eventually draw enough lands to pay for it. Taking the creature out of play is also often important compared to just stopping it from attacking (e.g. Tasigur, Thought Knot Seer, Pikula, Freebooter). These points alone would possibly be an argument for Snare over Prison but the fact that it also provides twice as much devotion puts it way ahead in my opinion. Both Snare and Cast out having flash is also more important than it might initially seem, breaking up company combos, ravager plays, hasty titans, etc.

    1 Dovescape is absolutely essential for Enduring Ideal, there are plenty of matchups/gamestates where you just find this card immediately and your opponent can't possibly win.

    In some situations when you resolve Enduring Ideal you are about to die, and the card that makes it most likely for you to not die is Phyrexian Unlife, which effectively fogs your opponent for one turn no matter what (unlike Worship or Sphere of Safety, which can often be broken through by the opponent). Then the next turn you search for Solemnity, which alongside unlife prevents all damage. Form of the Dragon also does a similar thing to Solemnity in this situation while saving 1 deck slot by also being a win condition, but I hate the fact that it's not castable (you can just play Solemnity on turn 3 to gain 1 devotion and it will already be in play when Ideal resolves so you can 'skip' 1 search). Touch of the Eternal is a castable card that functions kind of like Form of the Dragon by resetting your life total, but the fact it triggers in your upkeep and not at the end of the turn means that searching for it after Phyrexian Unlife will often give your opponent a 1-turn window to kill you.

    Endless Horizons is a pretty good card, it's a Phyrexian Arena that adds white devotion, there arent many cards that do this. It's also a tutor for Mistveil Plains in case you need to put a critical enchantment back in your deck. With the Amonkhet cycling lands (the UW and GW ones are nonbasic plains) it can also act as an actual draw engine.

    Mobilization is the primary wincon. It's castable from hand to help ramp devotion and after comboing off you can usually make a ton of mana with Nykthos to spam out tokens. I like it better than Heliod because it's cheaper to cast. I also like it better than Sacred Mesa, as while the activated ability is worse, not having a 1W upkeep cost is better when you are trying to 'curve out' playing a card every turn to ramp devotion. Luminarch Ascension is also a good alternative but under the Solemnity lock you can't put quest counters on it.

    The manabase is pretty self-explanatory, Calciform Pools should be noted for being disabled by Solemnity but is still worth including. Maybe I could add 1 Celestial Colonnade.

    There are 7 slots remaining and I am not 100% sure how to fill those.

    I do want 1 more enchantment win condition in case the Mobilization gets exiled somehow but I am not sure what it should be. There arent very many good options. None of the mill enchantments in blue are very good and they don't give devotion. The only other alt-win as an enchantment in UW is Near-Death Experience which is cool for giving 3 devotion but seems impossible to reliably work. The only other option seems to be a second thing that makes tokens, or maybe Starfield of Nyx?

    Another approach would be to play an additional lockpiece as an 'indirect' win condition, like Zur's Weirding or Shared Fate, but I'm not sure how good these are. Another thing to consider with these blue enchantments is that it's likely that you never actually want to hardcast them before resolving enduring ideal and therefore they might as well be Form of the Dragon. (It's also worth noting that if you can assemble a lock there is a hidden win condition already built into the deck, which is decking the oppoonent with Mistveil Plains)

    I have played Overwhelming Splendor and Peace of Mind maindeck for a while and have been liking them. Splendor is a good complement to Dovescape against decks like Company where you are more worried about their creatures than their spells. Peace of Mind is okay for the lifegain but is mainly included as a tutorable way to discard key enchantments so you can tuck them back into the deck with Mistveil Plains. The reason why I didn't put them in the above decklist is because I'm not sure if they're just a 'crutch' and not really needed.

    Apart from this there are a number of cards I have tried which are good sometimes and underwhelming at other times:
    - Nevermore/Gideon's Intervention
    - Privileged Position / Greater Auramancy (More important in matchups where your opponent can Decay Unlife through Dovescape)
    Copy Enchantment (Notable for comboing with the above pair to give your entire board hexproof while having more utility than just playing 2x Auramancy)
    - More anti-creature / removal cards like Sphere of Safety/Ghostly Prison/Faith's Fetters/Prison Term/Detention Sphere etc

    I liked Suppression Field in a format with Twin/Pod but I'm not a big fan at the moment. Azcanta seems like a good card in theory but in a deck of all permanents I think it might be too hard to flip it.

    Apart from that you can just play some generic good card like a planeswalker, Path to Exile / Supreme Verdict, and I have even played 1 copy of Mana Tithe before. Ardent Plea might also be okay just as a free devotion but this is obviously very underpowered. Having a couple of additional threatening cards (e.g. Elspeth Suns Champion, or maybe even Sigil of the Empty Throne, even though it does nothing after Ideal resolves) is good because otherwise the deck is so threat-light that you can struggle against people who play counterspells.

    The reason why I play blue over any other splash is to play Spreading Seas in the sideboard, because Tron (both versions but especially the Sylvan Scrying one) is by far the worst matchup (they have many ways to wipe your enchantments but all of them are expensive: All is Dust, Ugin, Karn, Worldbreaker, Ulamog, Oblivion Stone etc). An example sideboard would be something like the following
    1 Boseiju
    3 Spreading Seas
    3 Stony Silence
    3 Rest in Peace
    1 Aura of Silence
    1 Curse of Exhaustion
    1 Anti Land-Destruction card (Terra Eternal or Sacred Ground)
    2 Porphyry Nodes / Wrath
    Last edited by kombatkiwi; 11-16-2017 at 07:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    I would think you would still want 1x Form of the Dragon somewhere in the 75. Some other cards I would consider:

    Meishin, the Mind Cage
    Reverence


    The old sequence was Dovescape, Meishin, Form. Such a cool combo/prison deck!
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  3. #3

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    this list is nowhere being on par from other Modern forums.

    If you're going for Blue, how could you Not run Monastery Siege? How about Peer through Depths?

  4. #4

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I would think you would still want 1x Form of the Dragon somewhere in the 75. Some other cards I would consider:

    Meishin, the Mind Cage
    Reverence


    The old sequence was Dovescape, Meishin, Form. Such a cool combo/prison deck!
    Meishin is just outdated I think, there's no reason to use this card over other options.
    Reverence might be ok, it's close to a lock with Overwhelming Splendor (barring +1 counters or Auras or whatever) and 2 Devotion is nice but against many of the aggressive decks the creatures all have 3+ power (Humans, Merfolk etc) so it doesn't really do anything by itself.
    Lightmine Field would be ok too but it prevents you from attacking with Soldier tokens.

    I think at least 1 Elspeth Sun's Champion maindeck is a good decision, _maybe_ 2 (but definitely not more). The 2nd ability is a good combo with wall of omens.
    I tried playing Zur's Weirding maindeck and as expected I hated drawing it.
    Even though Overwhelming Splendor is kind of 'narrow' it's still a big bomb that often helps to stabilize so I will keep it for now, but I think that I'm almost at the point where I would say that Peace of Mind is uncessary (ie. I get more annoyed with drawing it than I seem to actually need it). With the blue splash maybe Monastery Siege or Trial of Knowledge / Oath of Jace / Sphinx's Tutelage is better, if this is effect is even warranted. Otherwise the plan to get enchantments out of your hand is to just Endless Horizons to fill your hand up quickly and then start cleanup discarding. There aren't even too many matchups where the game is decided by 'search for specifically X card ASAP or lose'. (Especially because the only card in the list that can't be cast pre-Ideal is Dovescape).

    Teferi's Moat might be decent as a sideboard card
    Merfolk:Blue
    Humans: White
    Elves: Green (they always seem to have Chord into Rec Sage but still)

    EDIT: (Replying to twndomn)
    I don't browse other forums too much, I just check lists from Starcity or MTGTop8. The only card which I see used sometimes that I haven't mentioned is Ensnaring Bridge, which I don't like because it doesn't give devotion. I don't think Peer is good because it only hits Ideal or itself, Monastery Siege is card disadvantage and doesn't give devotion either, but maybe 1 copy is fine (especially because sometimes you draw multiple leylines or other cards that don't help in certain situations).

    Apart from that, the only changes to bring my list in line with other decks that are already out there is to up the numbers of Ghostly Prison and Suppression Field, which I am not strongly against doing, but I already addressed this in the first post. Is there anything else you specifically meant by 'nowhere being on par with other modern forums'?

  5. #5

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    "THE" Enduring Ideal thread is a primer thread started on 2012 and still active today in a different forum. A simple Googling would have save everyone's time.

  6. #6

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Quote Originally Posted by twndomn View Post
    "THE" Enduring Ideal thread is a primer thread started on 2012 and still active today in a different forum. A simple Googling would have save everyone's time.
    It's just another MTGS thread going around in circles, posting lists that aren't much different to the ones that first came out when people realised that Leyline + Nykthos was a combo. This thread is not 'I have no idea how to build this deck, please help', I was going for something more along the lines of 'I have a somewhat different approach to building this deck than the norm, can we discuss why it is/isn't a good idea'. If you're just trying to say 'salvation has solved it, sorry' in the most recent pages you can see stuff like people thinking Solemnity will disable PWs, or that Overwhelming Splendor will disable PWs, it's not exactly a hive of inspiration. The decks still look the same for the last 2-3 years and they aren't winning tournaments.

    The only potentially useful thing that I can glean is that everybody seems to think Suppression Field is really good, so maybe I'm off in my evaluation of that? It would require a bit of a decklist overhaul because it makes all of Mobilization / Cast Out / Cycling Lands / Elspeth much worse.

    The disappointing thing is that there seems to be no wincon that
    A) Is castable
    B) Gives white devotion
    C) Doesn't use an activated ability
    D) Doesn't need to have counters put on it

    Maybe Starfield of Nyx meets all of these criteria but exposing your other enchantments to creature removal seems a bit risky.

    Another option is to play Lotus Bloom and be more of a 'combo deck' like Shayne Morris at Roanoke, but I'm not sure I like this much, I think it might be more consistent to just focus on Nykthos.

  7. #7
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    I like Nykthos a lot better than Lotus Bloom if you're not going 'all in'. Playing both for an all-in setup would be cool, but not necessarily better.

    Ghostly Prison, Supreme Verdict, and other anti-agro cards are certainly good sideboard options. My thought with Reverence is that it creates a lock with Dovescape tokens (which is what Meishin used to do. Meishin also makes attakers with 3+ power almost negligible as threats.)

    Form of the Dragon fits all of your requirements for a win-condition that works with Suppression Field, and it can deal 5 damage to creatures as well as opponents. I don't think there are any commonly played flyers in modern with 5 toughness or more. Starfield is still probably your best option, simply because once it triggers you have hasted enchantment creatures that are pretty beefy. Even if they have Path/Terminate/etc to kill your enchantments, they are still not going to win. You get a new "creature" every turn with Enduring Ideal. Your big worry is Supreme Verdict on that front.
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  8. #8

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Form is basically perfect in terms of what it does, the only problem is that it costs 4RRR
    a) If you draw it then it's neither a big threat by itself nor can it ramp your devotion because 1. It has no white mana symbols on it and 2. You can't even cast it. So every time you see it it's like you skipped a draw.
    b) If you are relying on Form's life-reset for Unlife to protect you then the fact it's uncastable is even worse, because you have no convenient way to get it into your deck or into play if you draw it. So now it almost seems like you have to play a backup Solemnity as a contingency plan, but as long as you have Form in your library then Solemnity will always be essentially useless, so now by adding Solemnity it feels like you are wasting a card slot. One way to eliminate this second feel-bad would be to play multiple copies of Unlife/Solemnity so that you are more likely to assemble that combo naturally, but this just seems like such a shit idea when these cards don't do anything in multiples and the deck has almost 0 library manipulation.

    Another option would be instead of a Solemnity to just play Sphere of Safety or similar and hope that is good enough to protect you if you can't quickly put Form/Unlife together. (and with Ghostly Prison in the deck Prison+Sphere probably locks out damage in most situations)

    You don't need Reverence (or Meishin) to lock Dovescape tokens when Unlife/Solemnity or Unlife/Form locks all sources of damage. Meishin also has the same problem as Form of being uncastable.

    Starfield is fine during the combo because you can wait to protect your enchantments from non-Supreme removal with Dovescape. I'm more worried about playing turn 5 Starfield for value and then Oblivion Ring gets Path to Exiled or whatever.

    Assuming that no-Solemnity is acceptable then you can play a 2nd win condition that depends on counters and I think Assemble the Legion might be perfect for this. It depends whether a red splash is better than blue (you get Crumble/Moon/Stone Rain as Tron hate which is maybe a slight downgrade from Seas).

  9. #9
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    I agree they are uncastable, so they are more akin to all-in Enduring Ideal rather than your alternative plan of big mana/enchantment lock. Starfield is most likely your g1 go-to win condition then, which should be fine. G2 maybe you can sideboard in Form of the Dragon.

    One card that saw a lot of play in both Dragonstorm and Enduring Ideal is See Beyond. I think its worth testing.
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  10. #10

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    It's just another MTGS thread going around in circles, posting lists that aren't much different to the ones that first came out when people realised that Leyline + Nykthos was a combo. This thread is not 'I have no idea how to build this deck, please help', I was going for something more along the lines of 'I have a somewhat different approach to building this deck than the norm, can we discuss why it is/isn't a good idea'. If you're just trying to say 'salvation has solved it, sorry' in the most recent pages you can see stuff like people thinking Solemnity will disable PWs, or that Overwhelming Splendor will disable PWs, it's not exactly a hive of inspiration. The decks still look the same for the last 2-3 years and they aren't winning tournaments.


    Another option is to play Lotus Bloom and be more of a 'combo deck' like Shayne Morris at Roanoke, but I'm not sure I like this much, I think it might be more consistent to just focus on Nykthos.
    You're overly generalizing. If you look at Miracles thread on this source forum, it is also going around in circles for years. The same Blood Moon vs Back to Basic circle once every other months, it's universal in all forums for all established concepts.

    User drmarkb has over 3000 responses on that forum, a lot of his posts are on this archetype, it's just faster to get deck expert's opinion than throwing an idea onto a virtual discussion wall and see what sticks, what bounces back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post

    One card that saw a lot of play in both Dragonstorm and Enduring Ideal is See Beyond. I think its worth testing.
    Why would I cast a CMC 2 Sorcery to see 2 cards on top of my library when I can cast CMC 2 Instant to see the top 5 of my library via Peer? You're either looking for Ideal, or for some kind of spell that can save you from dying next turn, hence Ideal, Path, board wipe like Verdict are the most logical library digging targets. Sure, See Beyond can allow you to put uncastable Enchantment back or find another land, that's so little to gain when you most likely just need something to combo off or to save yourself.

    Basically, kombatkiwi has objections to many typical card choices on established threads regarding this archetypes in a vacuum. This is basically the same as a new graduate student being ambitious and refuted established journals and common wisdom in that domain for the sake of novelty. Write couple tournament reports on your "novel" build, then we can have constructive discussion.

  11. #11
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Twn, why do you have to get so offended that someone wants advice on this forum about a deck that might be posted on a different forum? Who cares if people are talking about this deck on MTGsal? I post stuff here all the time that is also probably there. It's not like The Source's modern section is so full of action that this is going to push another thread out of view, we're lucky if there's a single comment per day here in the modern section.

    If it were discussion about a tier 1 deck and possibly adding a garbage card to it then I might agree that the discussion is a waste of space, but until Enduring Ideal decks are the DTB of modern then maybe some real innovation is needed.

  12. #12

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    The difference between this and miracles is that with miracles there wasn't any reason to make any big changes to the lists when you had multiple people top8ing with it every week. There's a difference between being suspicious of like Newtonian Mechanics or something vs some other relatively unsuccessful idea. I understand that maybe posting here isn't the right approach to get the best feedback but I'm not sure why you seem so butthurt about it.

    The Peer suggestion makes sense if you have things like Path or Verdict as well as ideal but that seems like another relatively unpopular/untested concept (at least from what I can find), most lists only seems to play 4 ideal as Instant/Sorcery.

    After testing some more I do agree that Suppression Field is good and therefore it's possibly not worth playing cast out (at least in such high numbers).
    Ghostly prison is also pretty good.

    I still think that maindeck Wall of Omens is better than Porphyry Nodes, and that Stasis Snare is underrated. With Ghostly Prison out you can wait and see if they attack with anything before you exile, if they continue to develop their board instead then you can just hold onto it until they do commit to attacking with something. (and like I said before 2 devotion is really good).

    // 60 Maindeck
    // 4 Creature
    4 Wall of Omens

    // 28 Enchantment
    1 Form of the Dragon
    1 Dovescape
    1 Phyrexian Unlife
    1 Assemble the Legion
    1 Banishing Light/Cast Out
    1 Overwhelming Splendor
    1 Endless Horizons
    1 Sphere of Safety
    4 Runed Halo
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    4 Suppression Field
    4 Ghostly Prison
    4 Stasis Snare

    // 4 Sorcery
    4 Enduring Ideal

    // 24 Land
    4 Temple of Triumph
    1 Rugged Prairie
    2 Mistveil Plains
    4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
    12 Plains
    1 Sacred Foundry

    6 Red sources including Rugged Prairie makes Form of the Dragon at least semi-castable, which is a side-benefit of playing a red splash.
    I have tried Chained to the Rocks in the past in red builds but I don't think it's consistent enough without fetchlands and it's not essential to kill things on turn 1 in most matchups.

    I'm not confident that Prison/Field/Snare all need to be x4, it might be reasonable to add more Banishing Light, 1 Greater Auramancy, Journey to Nowhere, Nevermore etc. I think adding 1 more Assemble the Legion would be reasonable just to up the threat density, (possibly in the Endless Horizons slot).

  13. #13
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    I've been playing an Enduring Ideal list on and off for a bit and have the following opinions based on that experience:

    Ghostly Prison is great. So many of the decks in Modern are winning by attacking but still need to spend all of their mana each turn cycle. Prison is "good" against many of the established/tiered decks and is a blowout against a lot of fringe decks (e.g. Bushwhacker Zoo).

    Porphyry Nodes is really powerful and part of that is its synergy with Ghostly Prison. That may seem odd, as Nodes keeps the creature count down, while Prison prevents multiple creatures from attacking. However, the combo of Nodes + Prison means your opponent either needs to take turns off or keep deploying threats to outpace the Nodes, which ties up their mana and prevents attacks under the Prison.

    Heliod, God of the Sun is a pretty solid option. Granted, being the only creature in the deck makes it really vulnerable to Path to Exile specifically, but it is immune to most other removal. While the activated ability is at odds with Suppression Field, the mana production of Nykthos can still pull you ahead and Heliod's indestructibility and high power make him a combo/lock with Porphyry Nodes.

    Lotus Bloom is probably worth it. It allows you to cast Enduring Ideal more quickly and also provides a way to hardcast Form of the Dragon or Sandwurm Convergence.

    I'm actually not a huge fan of Dovescape in the main, because I like Form of the Dragon and I'm afraid of getting blown out by something like Qasali Pridemage. I prefer the lock of Form of the Dragon + Overwhelming Splendor.

    Here's the list I've been running for reference:

    Enduring Ideal
    CREATURES
    1 Heliod, God of the Sun
    SPELLS
    4 Lotus Bloom
    3 Porphyry Nodes
    2 Journey to Nowhere
    1 Peace of Mind
    4 Runed Halo
    2 Suppression Field
    1 Copy Enchantment
    1 Detention Sphere
    4 Ghostly Prison
    1 Phyrexian Unlife
    2 Cast Out
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    1 Form of the Dragon
    4 Enduring Ideal
    1 Overwhelming Splendor
    LAND
    9 Plains
    1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
    2 Clifftop Retreat
    2 Glacial Fortress
    1 Mistveil Plains
    4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
    1 Rugged Prairie
    4 Temple of Enlightenment

  14. #14
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    Twn, why do you have to get so offended that someone wants advice on this forum about a deck that might be posted on a different forum? Who cares if people are talking about this deck on MTGsal? I post stuff here all the time that is also probably there. It's not like The Source's modern section is so full of action that this is going to push another thread out of view, we're lucky if there's a single comment per day here in the modern section.

    If it were discussion about a tier 1 deck and possibly adding a garbage card to it then I might agree that the discussion is a waste of space, but until Enduring Ideal decks are the DTB of modern then maybe some real innovation is needed.
    I feel that Salvation is full of fairly non-competitive players as well. Not bad players, just more budget-minded and FNM All-Stars instead of really looking to develop a competitive deck in the format at-large. I really value TheSource's input much higher than Salvation, as scarce as it is.

    Overwhelming Splendor is definitely an upgrade from Dovescape, because the tokens don't have flying.

    What about Secure the Wastes? It scales up really well with Nykthos ramping and could be an alternative win-condition outside of Ideal.

    @CaptainTwiddle: I might just have to try out your list, I am only missing about 6-7 cards. I could play the deck for about $50. Cool.
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  15. #15

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Secure the wastes is just worse than Assemble the Legion I think (assuming R mana isn't an issue).If you want to kill your opponent with a bunch of tokens then you might as well also play the token-maker that gives you devotion and is an enchantment (so you can Ideal for it if Form of the Dragon is AWOL somewhere)

    I think that it's not correct to view Overwhelming Splendor as a replacement for Dovescape because the two cards do fundamentally different things. I would like to be able to cut Dovescape from the main (really hate uncastable cards in this deck) but I am afraid to losing to random things like Ad Nauseam, Cryptic bouncing enchantments, etc etc. Maybe this isn't warranted? Many of the scary things are still blocked by Leyline and the Form/Unlife combo but maybe I would want 1 Nevermore or 1 Greater Auramancy maindeck to compensate for losing this angle.

    I'm on the fence about lotus bloom. Upside: Helps to combo off faster. Downside: makes you more 'all in' vs counterspells, takes the slot of a card that would give devotion so it makes Nykthos worse. Against a hard control deck with counterspells all the cards you would use in place of bloom (Stasis Snare or Ghostly Prison #4 or whatever) probably don't help much either but vs something like Grixis Shadow with Stubborn Denial, Lotus Bloom might be significantly worse than a 'real' spell. For this reason I like the maindeck Boseiju in the 4x Bloom list but not 100% sure which is the correct approach overall.

  16. #16
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    Secure the wastes is just worse than Assemble the Legion...
    I agree with that statement, but keep in mind that if you do end up running Porphyry Nodes, you probably don't want either. The Enduring Ideal deck really thinks about winning as an afterthought. The most effective approach, imho, is to just lock your opponent out and then win incidentally with whatever you have available. Luckily, there are cards that fill both of those roles (e.g. Form of the Dragon). Aside from cards that provide both offense and defense, the strength of the deck comes in that it plays so many cards that function as roadblocks to various strategies and some of those pieces overlap in unique ways, buying you time until the hard lock is established. As such, I find that the deck has game against most of the field, because you have trumps to everything. Runed Halo is probably quietly one of the most powerful cards in the deck; as it has a relatively high floor (blanking a single card on board) and an incredibly high ceiling (being a self-contained lock, against Storm relying solely on Grape Shot, for example), all while providing WW to your devotion.

  17. #17

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Another top from Shayne Morris (Starcity classic 3/12/2017)

    Creatures (2)
    2 Simian Spirit Guide

    Lands (23)
    11 Plains
    1 Mistveil Plains
    2 Rugged Prairie
    1 Sacred Foundry
    4 Temple of Triumph
    4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

    Spells (36)
    4 Lotus Bloom
    2 Blood Moon
    1 Dovescape
    2 Form of the Dragon
    4 Ghostly Prison
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    1 Oblivion Ring
    1 Overwhelming Splendor
    3 Phyrexian Unlife
    4 Runed Halo
    1 Sphere of Safety
    4 Suppression Field
    4 Enduring Ideal
    1 Idyllic Tutor

    Sideboard
    1 Defense Grid
    2 Ensnaring Bridge
    2 Greater Auramancy
    1 Oblivion Ring
    2 Rest in Peace
    2 Stony Silence
    1 Story Circle
    3 Silence
    1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
    Going to test this version card for card, it's hard to judge what might be good/bad when it's so different to the version I am used to playing.

  18. #18
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    I've been revisiting Enduring Ideal and have been liking my updated list, but there are some points I'd like to address. Let's start with the list:

    Enduring Ideal
    CREATURES
    1 Heliod, God of the Sun
    SPELLS
    4 Lotus Bloom
    2 oppressive Rays
    3 Porphyry Nodes
    1 Greater Auramancy
    1 Peace of Mind
    4 Runed Halo
    2 Seal Away
    4 Ghostly Prison
    1 Phyrexian Unlife
    2 Cast Out
    1 Dovescape
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    1 Form of the Dragon
    4 Enduring Ideal
    1 Overwhelming Splendor
    LAND
    10 Plains
    1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
    2 Mistveil Plains
    4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
    1 Rugged Prairie
    1 Saltcrusted Steppe
    2 Scattered Groves
    3 Temple of Triumph

    SIDEBOARD options
    Aura of Silence - vs Affinity, Bogles, etc.
    Banishing Light - all purpose removal
    Expedition Map - vs control
    Heroic Intervention - combats enchantment sweepers (e.g. Fracturing Gust, Back to Nature, Oblivion Stone)
    Nevermore - vs specific problem cards
    Rest in Peace - vs Dredge, Ironworks, Snapcaster decks, etc.
    Sacred Ground - vs Ponza, Death and Taxes
    Sandwurm Convergence - vs Death and Taxes, flyer-heavy strategies
    Stony Silence - vs Affinity, Ironworks, and Tron
    Torpor Orb - vs Humans, Reclamation Sage, Acidic Slime

    This isn't radically different from the list I posted previously, but there are some notable changes. I've cut Blue from the deck, mostly to streamline the mana, making it more realistic to hardcast Form of the Dragon. I've also cut Suppression Field. I think Field is actually an amazing card when it comes to hating out the format at large, but it hampers what I want to do with this deck as well (e.g. activating Heliod, Mistveil Plains, cycling cards, etc.). I've also added Dovescape. My omission of that card previously was a total mistake; I didn't understand how to use it, thinking that it served as a win condition giving you birds, when in reality, it's a lock piece preventing your opponent from countering spells or dealing with your enchantments.

    What I'm Looking to Improve
    My main issues are navigating the control matchups and combating Bogles post-board. Against control decks, the strategy I've found to work well is to just jam your Leylines and Ghostly Prisons to make it hard for them to win, then either draw Boseiju or overload their counters to resolve an Ideal. Dovescape is the primary lock piece against them. Cryptic Command is probably the scariest card control has, as they can bounce an enchantment while countering something else, which is a potentially huge problem. I've considered adding an Expedition Map as a way to increase access to Boseiju (and Nykthos), but am unsure what I'd cut for it from the main, so maybe it belongs in the sideboard, but that seems odd to me for some reason.

    As for Bogles, I'm pretty well suited to beating them game one. Porphyry Nodes is effective removal and Ghostly Prison taxes them heavily, as they need to choose between suiting up their creature or paying to attack. Post-board the matchup gets much more dicey. They will typically have access to multiple copies of Seal of Primordium, Dromoka's Command, and their real hay-maker, Gaddock Teeg. Since most of their threats have hexproof, it's natural to want to side out targeted removal, which makes Gaddock all the more difficult to answer. I guess my real concern with this matchup is how to answer Gaddock Teeg effectively. We need something that costs less than 4 mana, which would ideally not be super narrow. Oblivion Ring and/or Banishing Light come to mind, but given that Seal of Primordium is coming in along with Teeg, those types of answers seems dubious.

    Thoughts for Larger-Scale Changes
    I continue to wonder what the ideal color configuration really is for this deck. I like being able to have the option of hardcasting all of my cards. Lotus Bloom goes a long way toward casting Form of the Dragon or Sandwurm Convergence, but I don't know that it's necessarily worthwhile including lands to produce Red or Green specifically. I could see swapping out W/R temples for W/U and replacing the W/G lands with their W/U equivalents to include Detention Sphere and possibly Copy Enchantment. I like D-Sphere a lot. Copy Enchantment is less powerful in a vacuum, but being able function as an additional copy of the other one-ofs is solid, as is being a 5th Ghostly Prison. Perhaps the most powerful thing it can do though is copy Greater Auramancy to make your enchantments fully immune to spot removal (though making the opponent answer the first Auramancy is usually a sufficient hurdle). I could also see Jace, the Mind Sculptor doing good things in this deck. Using the Brainstorm ability to put back your expensive enchantments to search up later seems nice. The main problem I see with Jace is that Ghostly Prison doesn't tax attacks directed at planeswalkers. Sphere of Safety serves that function, but at a significantly higher mana cost. The last thing that Blue offers which I find appealing is [cards]Spreading Seas[cards] out of the board to combat Tron.
    Last edited by CaptainTwiddle; 06-17-2018 at 12:04 PM. Reason: fixed card tags

  19. #19

    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Nice post, I was thinking about this deck for a bit again yesterday.
    Yeah, Dovescape is just a hardlock vs noncreature spells, not only does it protect your enchantments but most combo and control decks just auto-scoop to it.

    I'm surprised you are having difficulty with Bogles, yes Teeg can be annoying to deal with but that deck struggles with Runed Halo, Ghostly Prison, and Porphyry Nodes. You could try playing different removal instead of Oppressive Rays / Seal Away. I still like Stasis Snare.

    One card that I think might be good is History of Benalia, because it helps in 2 of the problematic matchups (Tron and control). Against control it's a powerful early threat that can't be answered well by spot removal (bolt/path/fatal push etc, especially in SB games where the opponents will be aiming to board these out). The tron deck can still probably go over the top of it relatively easily but if you have turn 2 Stony Silence into turn 3 History on the play then maybe you keep the opponent off balance for a few turns to win, and the tokens stop Karn from having absolute free reign. Against Jeskai it also lets you attack Teferi. In aggressive matchups it gives you two 2/2 blockers which isn't too bad either, and if you play it a bit later on turn 5 or so you can use the 2 devotion to cast Enduring Ideal before the Saga sacrifices itself (you can even get this mana on the turn the saga dies because the +2/+1 ability resolves in your mainphase).

    It doesn't necessarily take up too much space in the deck, you can play HoB in one of the 'threat' slots (e.g. instead of Heliod) because combined with Mistveil Plains and Enduring Ideal it does give you an endless stream of 2/2s (which are actually 4/3s half the time). Having more token-makers also makes Worship more viable as a lockpiece.

    The problem is that HoB is not very good with Porphyry Nodes, I still really like Wall of Omens but Porphyry Nodes is so important now because you want outs to Meddling Mage / Thalia / Freebooter. At the same time, Porphyry Nodes is actually pretty bad vs Hollow One because it's not good vs Flamewake Phoenix and Bloodghast. I agree that the splash colour seems mostly decided by 'which tron hate do you want to play' (either Spreading Seas or Moon/Stonerain. I just remembered Green gives you Beast Within which doesn't seem terrible). But maybe this matchup is a total write-off no matter what you do.

    I feel like once you have decided to play this deck:
    - Aim to get your free wins vs Burn/8 Rack/Valakut/Storm etc with maindeck Leyline and Runed Halo (if the meta is in a spot where you don't expect this to happen much then the Enduring Ideal deck becomes much worse)
    - Tune the deck to beat the aggressive matchups you expect to face because different creature decks are variously susceptible to different hate enchantments
    - Once you have made your creature matchups good, if you have a few slots left try to fit some more threats or anti control cards
    - Accept that if your opponent is playing Green Tron then you can't win (I think the deck might be able to play a few copies of field of ruin to address this somewhat)

    I tried a green splash for a while with 3 Ajani's Aid and 1 of that Ajani (using 4 Wall and 1 Heliod as the only creatures), which wasn't totally awful but didn't feel too great either.
    I liked the fact that the Aid gave you extra devotion while replacing itself, and Ajani would give you walls for draw and devotion. Eventually it would find a threat in Heliod, which you could put back into your deck with Mistveil if countered and then use Ajani to find it again, but it was a lot of hoops to jump through and the resulting engine wasn't that impressive.
    The other 4GW Ajani (from Kaladesh/AER) might be ok as a draw Engine too but I haven't tried it, and I don't even know if it is what the deck wants.
    I liked playing on-colour storage lands and cycling duals, which don't exist with WB / WR, but that's not too important.

    For copying Auramancy, you can also play 1 Auramancy and 1 Privileged Position which combines to give your whole board shroud. (1 Position 1 Copy Enchantment also works). I like Privileged Position because it gives you 3 devotion
    Jace is an okay idea but I think double-splash manacosts are too hard (having UU on turn 4 requires a pretty significant manabase commitment)
    Teferi is another strong white planeswalker, and the untap lands ability is quite good with Nykthos and the flash enchantments like Stasis Snare and Cast Out (but like you say, Ghostly Prison not protecting your planeswalkers kind of sucks, and so does the rules change meaning that Leyline doesn't protect your PWs from Burn anymore)
    Last edited by kombatkiwi; 06-17-2018 at 05:48 AM.

  20. #20
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    Re: UW Enduring Ideal

    Thanks, kombatkiwi; I appreciate your input. History of Benalia was on my radar, but I felt like it belonged in the sideboard and I really only wanted it if I could play 3-4 copies. I decided against it because I didn't want to dedicate that many slots for a card I thought I'd only be bringing in for a few matchups.

    The Tron matchup doesn't seem great, but I haven't played it much (not really present in my local meta). My plan was to board in Stony Silence to shut off their maps, spheres/stars, and O-stones. Karn and Ugin are huge problems, so Nevermore would come in as well. Aura of Silence and Heroic Intervention are also option that are better than some of the maindeck cards.

    I've played a few matches against Hollow One and didn't think that matchup was that bad. Obviously, if they get the nut draw, they can run you over, but on that flip-side, dropping multiple Hollow Ones or Bloodghasts into play on turn 1-2 is answered nicely by Runed Halo and Ghostly Prison is excellent against against a swarm from a deck that often aims to function off of few lands. The fact that they can't effectively answer enchantments is nice for us.

    Looking at control matchups again, Silence is a card that I've run in varying numbers in the past, but it never really came up, so I don't know if it's that great. I suppose forcing through Ideal to get a Dovescape is probably game over, so I'll probably keep at least 1 copy of Silence in the board. I've also wondered about Starfield of Nyx as an option. I like the direction it can take the deck, but I've generally omitted it because it seemed to just make me vulnerable to removal that would otherwise be irrelevant. That said, I could see it coming in from the board against control to act as threat that can allow you to win unexpectedly in a single turn in the late game or provide recursion for enchantments that your threw into waiting counterspells to empty your opponent's hand. I would imagine that your opponent would side out most of their removal, at least their sweepers, so Starfield seems like less of a liability here. That said, I've often wanted Rest in Peace against Snapcaster Mage decks, which would be at odds with Starfield.

    I think the biggest hurdle for Enduring Ideal as an archetype is that you have access to all of these powerful, surgical tools, but many of them do work against angles that you might want to take yourself. For example, Rest in Peace shuts down Mistveil Plains recursion. Stony Silence shuts down Lotus Bloom, which is awkward, but the time it buys you usually makes up for the difference. Blood Moon shuts of Nykthos and Mistveil Plains. Suppression Field is amazingly powerful, but you have to skew your deckbuilding dramatically to include it effectively. The point is, it's hard to sideboard/build correctly and you have to be hyper aware of your sequencing, as it's sometimes correct to take lines that invalidate other cards in your deck.

    I do like Privileged Position as a devotion generator and the effect is obviously very desirable, but it seems a bit too mana intensive for it's purpose. I like that Greater Auramancy can come down early and just make your subsequent enchantments safe or force your opponent to commit resources to answering it first. That said, if I found myself wanting to play something like Sandwurm Convergence in the main, having the ability to use Nykthos go generate GGG would be helpful (that said, I don't think Sandwurm Convergence is necessary or even much better than other options at the moment, but if some other big green game-winner comes along, this line is something I'll be keeping in mind).

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