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  1. #1
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    GB Vengevine

    Way back, before Survival was banned rather than running UG, UGW or GBW, I was running a straight GB Aggro version. I top 8íd a bunch of local events with it, the strengths it had vs the more stock lists were that itís agro plan A was very strong and could beat people on itís own, and then if you needed to go to the late game you had your survival engine for that. It was also very very fast, you could kill on turn 2 and 3 without that much trouble with is pretty insane especially just off of creatures, not that it was the focus, but nice when it happened.
    (Turn one putrid imp discard 2 vengevines and a rootwalla, swing for 8, turn two, swing with everything and pump rootwalla for 12 exactly)

    Fast forward to today, and there are a whole bunch of new goodies to help make this work. The survival version didnít even have access to all the awesome Return to Ravnica GB cards. So Iíve dusted it off and started toying around with it again. It still has the turn 2 and 3 kills, which is nice, it doesnít have the late game inevitability of Survival of course, but it does now have somewhat of a draw engine and tools to better grind out the late game. The fast kills are in no way the point of the deck just a side benefit if they do happen. Itís possible I should remove more of the interactivity and focus on those explosive early turns, but I would worry about combo matches a lot. Iím more interested in being semi well rounded than a glass cannon. If I was all in I would just be on dredge, so itís better to play with those strengths and flexibility in mind.
    Because we arenít on Blue, there is a way higher degree of inconsistency here, so Iím trying to fix that, but Iím not quite sure how or if itís even possible.

    This is very much a work in progress, Iím just brewing and having fun at this point, but I feel there is enough going on here that itís worth exploring.


    GB Vengevine

    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Basking Rootwalla
    4 Cryptbreaker
    2 Gravecrawler
    4 Lotleth Troll
    4 Vengevine
    3 Hollow One

    3 Cabal Therapy
    3 Collective Brutality
    3 Abrupt Decay
    2 Driven to Despair

    4 Bayou
    1 Pendelhaven
    1 Forest
    3 Swamp
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    5 Black Fetches
    2 Green Fetches


    So a few card notes on specific choices:

    Cryptbreaker
    Iím testing this out, it does a lot of heavy lifting for a 1 drop. It can draw cards, make creatures and be a discard outlet. Those are all things this deck is very much interested in. The big knock against it, is that it doesnít do much in multiples, or attack well, and I really donít have a ton of zombies in here, so it can take a bit to get online. That being said this deck isnít trying to just abuse it as much as possible, and it still does good work even with that low zombie count.

    Hollow One
    I want a cheap and big back up creature other than vengevine, but hollow one does require you to jump through some hoops, and is way less impressive off the top. Itís been ok, but not fantastic, and sometimes a bit clunky. Itís possible that cutting back on the interactivity and pushing the synergies more would let Hollow One shine more, like the RB and RG lists you are seeing in modern right now. Without the draw engines in this build he may be the wrong solution to this problem. It is nice that he doesnít get affected by graveyard hate or killed by most removal in the format. Street wraith could be a consideration here, to help out with this creature and to maybe shave a few lands, but I donít know if thatís enough incentive for the life loss involved.

    Driven to Despair
    This card is really great and can do some absurd things in here. But it is very situational. Iíd love to jam the full 4 but there just isnít room, and it isnít always good. Vs the decks with a lot of creature interactivity it can be pretty lack luster, but if you can get a big board presence early this will do some absurd things. The evasion it provides is also not to be underestimated.

    Abrupt Decay
    Oddly enough Iím pretty unhappy with this spell right now. You need some sort of removal, but not being able to deal with bigger creatures (anglers can be an issue) and things like Jace and batter skull that cost more than 3. Pulse is fine out of the board or even one main but it is expensive and clunky. Not sure what the best interactive option is.

    Cabal Therapy
    3 is a weird number for this spell, but honestly you donít always want to be sacrificing a creature, and you canít always do it for free. Vs the fair decks this isnít super great, just fine, but you need something to be competitive with combo game one, and can always be boarded out.


    While this is fairly graveyard dependent it isnít wholly dependent, we donít have goyf or bloodghast here so grave hate isnít as bad as it could be. That being said, surgicals on vengvines are an issue and Iím not sure what the best way to combat this is. Ground Seal is cool, but It shuts off deathrites. Other catch all grave hate isnít as bad, as you can still operate and hard cast things and play a fair and normal game, to some extent.

    Iíve tested a one of Dryad Arbor just for potential synergies with therapy and getting an extra body for driven. But itís gotten in the way more than it has helped so Iíve cut if for now, green isnít very valuable in here so you donít want too many mono green sources.

    Sideboard

    There are a world of options to play with here. The tricky part is the deck doesnít operate that well if you dilute the creatures too much, so if there are creature based options those are preferred, as you can board in more things with out diluting your deck. However all the high impact sideboard cards are non creatures for the most part. My big question is if I want a bunch of reactive and hate cards or if I should try to be proactive and protect my own synergies.
    I am fairly soft to sweepers, but Golgari Charm and other options donít really help protect from a deluge or something similar, not sure what to do there.

    Things that I want more of after board:

    Creature removal:
    Push, Go for the Throat, Dismember, Pulse, Decay, shriekmaw, Lilly, Edict, Pernicious Deed,
    Big Game Hunter is a fun one and works really really well with your over all plan. How many you want depends on your meta, if you have lots of sneak and show, eldrazi, or reanimator, Iíd want to be up to 3 or 4 of these.

    Combo Disruption:
    Therapy number 4, Lilly, Chains of Meph, Hymn, Surgical, Thoughtseize, Pithing Needle

    Graveyard hate:
    Leyline, Surgical, Macabre, Spellbomb, Sc-Ooze

    Matchup specific cards and catch alls
    Golgari Charm, Dread of Night, Carpet of Flowers, Pernicious Deed, Shapers Sanctuary, Marsh Casualties


    Iím going to try to get out to some local events over the holidays and hopefully some real world testing will answer some of these questions.


    Current list:


    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Carrion Feeder
    4 Gravecrawler
    4 Lotleth Troll
    4 Cryptbreaker
    2 Diregraf Colossus
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Vengevine

    3 Abrupt Decay
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Collective Brutality

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Marsh Flats
    3 Polluted Delta
    4 Bayou
    3 Swamp
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    Last edited by ReAnimator; 12-06-2017 at 11:51 AM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Etherium is limited. Innovation is not.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    For reference, this is an experimental list that I put together about a year ago:

    Lands (20)
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Marsh Flats
    2 Polluted Delta
    4 Bayou
    3 Swamp
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Mutavault

    Creatures (20)
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Carrion Feeder
    4 Gravecrawler
    4 Vengevine

    Spells (20)
    4 Buried Alive
    2 Contamination
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Cabal Therapy
    2 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Abrupt Decay

    With Fatal Push and Collective Brutality in the card pool now, I'd definitely cut some number of Thoughtseize and/or Abrupt Decay for some. I'm not even sure how good Liliana is right now, either.

    The premise behind Carrion Feeder was that he gave resiliency to Swords to Plowshares and Terminus for Gravecrawler and Vengevine, and was a solid backup threat to the Vengevine plan when combined with Gravecrawler.

    Contamination can be difficult to setup and is a little clunky, but it is brutal against most decks in the format.

    I'm not saying this list is any good, or any better than yours, just that this was where I ended up with the concept last year. I have not worked on it at all since then.

    EDIT: Also, Entomb may be better than Buried Alive. Buried Alive is slow, and although powerful, Entomb would be better at setting up Contamination locks. Entomb is faster to set up Vengevine beats (turn 2) as opposed to Buried Alive (turns 3 or 4), too.
    Sligh
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  4. #4
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    The whole Vengevine thing is fine, but Bloodghast is probably just a better starting point.

    Among your better discard enablers are traditionally Faithless Looting and Careful Study. There are other, newer cards that can fill this role including things like Wharf Infiltrator and Chart a Course, which can move you away from the graveyard. These are ofc blue, but there is also the idea of Leovold and Geier Reach Sanitarium/Cephalid Coliseum. If you're really dedicated to the green/black approach, there's some pretty dumb stuff you can do with Amonkhet cards like Archfiend of Ifnir and Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons.

    Looking at the creatures in your list, DRS is great, but the rest is pretty questionable outside of the value triangle of Gravecrawler, Carrion Feeder (doubtful that this should be a 4x), and other zombies (Bloodghast). Basking Rootwalla is fine, but probably needs a better plan than maybe running him will allow me to make a 4/3 haste in a DRS format. Putrid Imp and Hollow one just aren't going to work very well (you're not getting away with playing Hollow One in legacy without Faithless Looting, at which point that's our 1-drop, not Imp). Cryptbreaker is in all likelihood too slow; this card is probably more at home in a Standstill shell that for some reason wants a creature over Innocent Blood??? Lotleth Troll and Vengevine are highly conditional - one requires a very real pitch zombie plan that runs directly into yard hate, and the other isn't all that realistic compared to the power level of what you're trying to achieve.

    Buried Alive probably just has to be Entomb. Driven // Despair should be Sylvan Library, if anything like that. Once you get to the point of Entomb (where we aren't just playing reanimator), Vengevine should start looking like a worse and worse Bridge from Below; a card that is more effective as a tutored singleton even. If the point is to not be Zombardment and use Rootwalla, I think there is something to be said for Archfiend/Looting/Hollow One as the payoff idea to build around.

    If I really can't dissuade you from running Vengevine, the creature you're looking for has to cost 1, have competitive stats, and bounce itself. The card you are looking for is Greenbelt Rampager.

  5. #5
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I do like the idea but Goblin Bombardment is really hard to pass up on. As far as the Hollow One goes though, what about using Mox Diamond as an accelerator and enabler alongside dakmor salvage?
    Once you go Legacy...

  6. #6
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Bloodghast and Buried Alive both seem very good to me. Bloodghast is just pure gas with Carrion Feeder and Cabal Therapy. I would even consider playing Dark Ritual in this deck, just to get faster starts and enable t1 Buried Alive. Similar to Pox, Dark Ritual allows for broken starts while being a pitch card to Liliana/Collective Brutality in the mid-late game.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 12-05-2017 at 11:39 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    For reference, this is an experimental list that I put together about a year ago:

    Lands (20)
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Marsh Flats
    2 Polluted Delta
    4 Bayou
    3 Swamp
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Mutavault

    Creatures (20)
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Carrion Feeder
    4 Gravecrawler
    4 Vengevine

    Spells (20)
    4 Buried Alive
    2 Contamination
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Cabal Therapy
    2 Liliana of the Veil
    4 Abrupt Decay

    With Fatal Push and Collective Brutality in the card pool now, I'd definitely cut some number of Thoughtseize and/or Abrupt Decay for some. I'm not even sure how good Liliana is right now, either.

    The premise behind Carrion Feeder was that he gave resiliency to Swords to Plowshares and Terminus for Gravecrawler and Vengevine, and was a solid backup threat to the Vengevine plan when combined with Gravecrawler.

    Contamination can be difficult to setup and is a little clunky, but it is brutal against most decks in the format.

    I'm not saying this list is any good, or any better than yours, just that this was where I ended up with the concept last year. I have not worked on it at all since then.

    EDIT: Also, Entomb may be better than Buried Alive. Buried Alive is slow, and although powerful, Entomb would be better at setting up Contamination locks. Entomb is faster to set up Vengevine beats (turn 2) as opposed to Buried Alive (turns 3 or 4), too.
    I would transform Hannis list to something like this:

    // 60 Maindeck

    // 25 Creature
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    3 Putrid Imp
    4 Carrion Feeder
    4 Gravecrawler
    3 Vengevine
    3 Lotleth Troll
    1 Vengeful Pharaoh
    3 Bloodghast

    // 6 Instant
    3 Abrupt Decay
    2 Entomb
    1 Darkblast

    // 20 Land
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Marsh Flats
    2 Polluted Delta
    4 Bayou
    3 Swamp
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    3 Mutavault
    1 Scrubland

    // 9 Sorcery
    2 Thoughtseize
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Collective Brutality


    // 15 Sideboard
    SB: 2 Null Rod
    SB: 2 Tidehollow Sculler
    SB: 2 Fleshbag Marauder
    SB: 2 Sylvan Library
    SB: 3 Surgical Extraction
    SB: 2 Path to Exile
    SB: 2 Golgari Charm

    Looks like some fun and in the past i really enjoyed Walking Dead etc. you can get some good interaction with the cards. Its maybe still to weak for legacy but a lot of players will underestimate a brew like this so you can easily outplay some situations if you have done your homework and knew whats to do with this pile of cards.
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  8. #8
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    So I tested this a little last night vs Grixis delver to see how it ran and it wasnít too bad, I learned a lot about certain cards and some directions I want to go.

    What I was playing with feedback form here:


    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Carrion Feeder
    4 Gravecrawler
    4 Lotleth Troll
    4 Cryptbreaker
    2 Diregraf Colossus
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Vengevine

    3 Abrupt Decay
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Collective Brutality

    4 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Marsh Flats
    2 Polluted Delta
    4 Bayou
    3 Swamp
    1 Forest
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth


    Crypbreaker is super strong and worth building around and supporting. It does a lot of heavy lifting in here. Iím not surprised it was a cornerstone of a standard deck for a long time. With the addition of a bunch more zombies it can really get going fast.


    The Feeder / Crawler engine is great, people here were right it adds an extra dimension and it doesnít take much for a crawler to get out of hand. It is a very mana hungry engine though, the basic forest got in the way a few times not just with this, but with 16 one drops on B you are often on 2 of them turn 2 and the forest can really screw up your tempo.

    Diregraf Colossus surprised me, itís sort of like a young pyromancer, and if you have a Cryptbreaker out it starts cascading out of control very quickly.

    Dark rituals were something I tried at Mr.Safetyís suggestion, but itís really not what the deck is looking for. Because of the activated abilities in here and when you have crawler / feeder going, having permanent mana sources is just way more desirable. The explosiveness wasnít worth the greater lack of consistency, and if you have a Lotleth and a Cryptbreaker in play you are going to want lands, not one shot activations. Worth trying out for sure though.

    @morgan, yeah thatís not the direction I want to go at all, for the reasons you stated, it doesnít really have many advantages at that point over just being dredge, and since itís all in on that strategy it canít really play out like a normal deck when you need too.

    @MD.Ghost That list is really close to where Iím at now and what I tested last night. A few things Iím doing different. I think Mutavault is probably too greedy this deck can be very colour intensive so much so that I want to cut the basic forest from my list. You might be able to support a couple if you had more urborgs which work well with bloodghasts too. I like the idea of the mini entomb package it just eats up a lot of slots. So Iíll have to test that out.

  9. #9
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Keep in mind, the list I posted was built for a different metagame, back when CounterTop Miracles was the most played deck. Cards like Mutavault and Abrupt Decay were much more valuable then. Cutting Mutavault for more Swamps seems better now. Without Mutavault, there is no point in having Urborg.

    I still think Contamination is incredibly powerful. If not maindeck, then at least sideboard.

    I'm not sold on Lotleth at all. There are only 8 creature cards you would want to discard to it. Otherwise, it's extremely mediocre.

    I can get behind Cryptbreaker. The deck definitely benefits from a high count of both 1cc creatures and zombies, so it makes sense. The abilities seem a bit too slow for Legacy, but it does give the deck some more midrange power by being able to convert excess lands or other dead cards into zombie tokens later on, should the game go that long. The ability to tap down a pile of weak zombies to draw a card seems decent, though I'm not sure how often that it would come up. Still, being 1cc and a zombie has me sold.

    I'm not sold on Diregraf Colossus. It is rarely going to come into play with multiple counters, and the only way you're making a bunch of tokens with it is with the Feeder/Crawler engine, which seems win-more. I realize that there are enough zombies to naturally make a couple of tokens with it if you sequence properly, but it's 3cc. Even in this shell, it pales in comparison to Monastery Mentor.

    If you cut Lotleth and Diregraf, you could fit more discard, removal, Entomb, Contamination, Liliana, Buried Alive, whatever. Personally, I'd advocate for 4 Entomb and 2 Contamination.
    Sligh
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

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