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Thread: GB Vengevine

  1. #221
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Decay was very strong in the BG build. It's harder with the 5c low-land version, but I think it's still worth it.

    Dredge and TES often run it too, despite low land count. The main reason is decks like that (and this) can't afford to run too many removal slots without diluting the core engine and really need the first copy to kill the thing you want to kill. Missing sets you far back. Uncounterable is very strong. Also, Decay hits almost anything. With most others, you have to choose between a Disenchant or creature removal, and you could draw the wrong one (if they've diversified their hate like they should).

    FoV is a nice new tool. The problem is your green count is low to support it (and it's counterable). Decay increases the green count making FoV better. With Decay I have 15 MD green even without Troll, while you just have 13, and there aren't many other green cards worth playing.



    Not mandatory, but in my experience it helped add value to the card. It beats Decay and Fatal Push. It lets you block immediately, especially OTD. It stops Bolt without being forced to discard (holding back cards can be useful for bluffing or playing around hate, especially postboard) and without having 4 creatures (with just 3 they can respond to one activation to kill 4/3 Troll). You lose to StP either way, but if they use StP on Troll then Vengevine and Amalgam just got better. StP is torn between too many targets.



    Not the only reason, but it was useful. My original builds of this deck 8ish years ago ran Carrion Feeder + Gravecrawler + Lotleth Troll, so there was a significant zombie subtheme. The higher zombie count made Gravecrawler easy to recur. Gravecrawler could be double cast in one turn (sac via Feeder or Therapy) to trigger Vengevine even with no hand and bad topdecks, recovering from disruption, providing 2nd and 3rd winds. Gravecrawler was also a grow combo with Feeder. Feeder gave a sac outlet to protect recurring creatures from StP and Terminus, keep counters off Jitte, and swarm around Batterskull lifelink (Stoneblade was much more common then). Both Feeder and Troll use the recurring creatures to be significant Grow threats, aside from just being enablers. Beatdown plan B was strong even through graveyard hate. DRS provided incredible mana boosting, fighting through Wasteland, allowing Troll regeneration, hardcast Vengevine, faster Carrion-Crawler growth, and turn 2 Buried Alive. There was a lot of synergy between the pieces, and they transformed well into a grindy fair deck postboard.

    Now with Hollow One and without DRS, the 5c build seems less synergy-oriented and more linear and explosive: discard outlets and free creatures. Troll shone more with its synergies, grindiness, and plan B utility. As just a discard outlet it's weaker than the others. That makes me question if it still is necessary.

    Relying on drawing Petal + Troll is a 2-card combo. You shouldn't need to get lucky for your backup engine. The backup engine is supposed to bail you out of bad hands.



    My idea was that OUAT + London Mulligan + Faithless Looting should help dig into the 8 copies of PImp/Tribe. Your older build had 10 copies to consistently have an outlet, but that was pre-OUAT pre-London.

    Looting doesn't just discard 2 cards. It also digs for more cards, something none of the others do. That should get more gas and more mana, while still pitching 2 cards for value.

    Another 2 cmc outlet to consider is the new Seasoned Hallowblade. Zombie Infestation is a bit awkward requiring double discard, but it also lets you pitch noncreatures and provides lasting value via multiple bodies.




    I never liked the card disadvantage of Petal. It seemed less important without Lotleth Troll. Most things cost 1 mana. Dredge runs off 12-14 lands. Looting and OUAT should help dig into more lands, something the previous build couldn't do. In theory, that should be enough to compensate, but it needs testing. I might need to increase the land count. I have a 15th land in the SB (Karakas) and considered a 16th.
    What are you worried about hitting with Decay in game 1? Most of the stuff we are worried about usually comes in against us in postboard games. Neither TES nor Dredge maindeck Decay. TES has cantrips to dig for the mana needed, and neither deck runs Cavern of Souls, which doesn't cast it. I've not seen Decay's from Dredge... usually they are on Nature's Claim or Firestorm.

    Without Petal, you literally have 10 lands that will cast it, and you need 2 of them. It's not reliable enough. Postboard, it doesn't deal with Leyline, which is one of the primary targets that we would want a removal spell for.

    The green spell count may be a bit low and something to figure out how to improve, but Force of Vigor is a much better spell to deal with most graveyard hate, counterable or not. I'd rather run copies of Nature's Claim before Abrupt Decay, even if it doesn't deal with Containment Priest and even if it is counterable.

    I've played the old builds, but Gravecrawler + Carrion Feeder just isn't a strong enough plan anymore. Sinking mana into Carrion Feeder is way too slow, trades horribly with Ice-Fang Coatl, and the fringe benefits don't outweigh drawing bad cards that don't do anything significant.

    The deck is intended to be linear. You want to put a bunch of creatures into play as quickly as possible and kill the opponent before they are capable of stabilizing. The deck has interaction with the discard package to remove cards that would allow the opponent to do so, and we can grind in the midgame with creatures that keep coming back, but the goal is to get under the opponent and overwhelm them.

    It's not about relying on Troll + Petal. It's about Petal increasing the consistency of going off on turn 1. Sometimes you'll have a Putrid Imp but no Basking Rootwalla or Hollow One to get Vengevine into play; Lotus Petal and another 1cc creature allows us to go off. Lotus Petal casting a 1cc outlet, discard Bloodghast's, play land gives us turn 1 Bloodghast's. Sometimes, we have Lotleth as our outlet, and Lotus Petal allows us to go off on turn 1 instead of turn 2. Lotus Petal can also improve our ability to cast Cabal Therapy on turn 1 prior to going off. So on and so forth. Lotus Petal increases the consistency of the broken starts.

    If you cut Petals, you should probably be replacing them with some number of lands.

    Lotleth is better than the other 2cc options. Faithless Looting isn't strong enough because we need to be able to discard more than 2 cards for the one mana spent.
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  2. #222
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    What are you worried about hitting with Decay in game 1?
    T1 Chalice @ 1 shuts us down hard. Decay can't be cast off Cavern, but if we have Cavern we don't care about Chalice. (In general Cavern is a problem, so I need more lands).

    Decay also kills Planeswalkers, Ensnaring Bridge, combo engines, and other problems.

    0 removal MD seems bad because we are not as explosive as Storm, Reanimator, Dredge or Hogaak. Those decks don't run MD removal because in G1 they do unfair things and are the aggressor (the faster/more dangerous deck). They only need removal postboard to answer hate. This will not always be the faster deck. This is explosive aggro, but not pure combo. We're turning 4/xs sideways. If we wanted speed we would be Hogaak. This is less explosive but has more resilient lines. Aggro has a higher need for interaction, even if it's just removing a blocker to clock a turn earlier.

    Dredge has sometimes SBed Decay, depends on the meta. Claim is harder to resolve against blue decks and Chalice decks. FoV is good against Chalice/Leyline decks, but against blue decks with Cage/Crypt you're way behind if it gets countered.

    Decay doesn't answer Leyline, but FoV does. I'm running Decay in addition to FoV and Firestorm, not instead of. Decay boosts the chance of FoV killing Leyline, by being a playable green card. Looting's card draw also increases FoV consistency.


    I've played the old builds, but Gravecrawler + Carrion Feeder just isn't a strong enough plan anymore. Sinking mana into Carrion Feeder is way too slow, trades horribly with Ice-Fang Coatl, and the fringe benefits don't outweigh drawing bad cards that don't do anything significant.
    I agree, and that's why I've cut Carrion Feeder too. But it does change the dimensions of the deck. Lotleth Troll was a house in the original deck. It gets worse and worse in the modern meta and as other cards get cut (DRS, Carrion Feeder + Gravecrawler).

    Troll is much worse in the linear plan, that was my point.

    Faithless Looting isn't strong enough because we need to be able to discard more than 2 cards for the one mana spent.
    Lotleth Troll discards 0 cards for the 1 mana spent.

    If you're on the Troll plan, you're playing for turn 2 anyway. Looting (on top of 4 OUAT) gives a chance of digging into Putrid Imp/Tireless Tribe on turn 2, which is no slower than Troll. Looting is not a main engine but a bridge. For hands without Hollow One, Looting may discard enough cards too. The big thing is it draws into new cards, which nothing else does, so it sets up better turn 2s. Looting makes OUAT marginally better by filtering redundant copies into gas, so 4 copies should be fine. Looting also helps dig into interaction and play a less all-in postboard game.

    I'll have to test it more. It may not be enough, but Troll is pretty bad and I think should be cut if there's any way the deck can run without it.

  3. #223
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Hanni, how has Stain the Mind performed so far? I'm really tempted to play Faithless Looting in that spot, cut 1 of the Trolls (still play 1) and get a Hogaak in there. Once we incorporate Faithless Looting we can discard redundant copies of Once Upon a Time, play some fetchlands, and get 1-2 Hogaak's back in. Just a thought. I have a full set of Stain the Mind to play around with, it still seems really good, especially in the combo matchups.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    If Stain is mainly good in the combo matchup, would it work in the SB?

    It seems hard to get going against disruptive decks (e.g. blue tempo, blue midrange). You need to have a substantial board presence to pay the cost, then forgo an attack step to cast it, and Extracting one card from their deck won't win you the game.

  5. #225
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    T1 Chalice @ 1 shuts us down hard. Decay can't be cast off Cavern, but if we have Cavern we don't care about Chalice. (In general Cavern is a problem, so I need more lands).

    Decay also kills Planeswalkers, Ensnaring Bridge, combo engines, and other problems.

    0 removal MD seems bad because we are not as explosive as Storm, Reanimator, Dredge or Hogaak. Those decks don't run MD removal because in G1 they do unfair things and are the aggressor (the faster/more dangerous deck). They only need removal postboard to answer hate. This will not always be the faster deck. This is explosive aggro, but not pure combo. We're turning 4/xs sideways. If we wanted speed we would be Hogaak. This is less explosive but has more resilient lines. Aggro has a higher need for interaction, even if it's just removing a blocker to clock a turn earlier.

    Dredge has sometimes SBed Decay, depends on the meta. Claim is harder to resolve against blue decks and Chalice decks. FoV is good against Chalice/Leyline decks, but against blue decks with Cage/Crypt you're way behind if it gets countered.

    Decay doesn't answer Leyline, but FoV does. I'm running Decay in addition to FoV and Firestorm, not instead of. Decay boosts the chance of FoV killing Leyline, by being a playable green card. Looting's card draw also increases FoV consistency.




    I agree, and that's why I've cut Carrion Feeder too. But it does change the dimensions of the deck. Lotleth Troll was a house in the original deck. It gets worse and worse in the modern meta and as other cards get cut (DRS, Carrion Feeder + Gravecrawler).

    Troll is much worse in the linear plan, that was my point.



    Lotleth Troll discards 0 cards for the 1 mana spent.

    If you're on the Troll plan, you're playing for turn 2 anyway. Looting (on top of 4 OUAT) gives a chance of digging into Putrid Imp/Tireless Tribe on turn 2, which is no slower than Troll. Looting is not a main engine but a bridge. For hands without Hollow One, Looting may discard enough cards too. The big thing is it draws into new cards, which nothing else does, so it sets up better turn 2s. Looting makes OUAT marginally better by filtering redundant copies into gas, so 4 copies should be fine. Looting also helps dig into interaction and play a less all-in postboard game.

    I'll have to test it more. It may not be enough, but Troll is pretty bad and I think should be cut if there's any way the deck can run without it.
    Well, Chalice @ 1 can either be beaten by going off turn 1 on the play, Cavern of Souls, or Lotleth Troll. 6 ways to get past a turn Chalice 1 Chalice on the draw may not be great, but I don't think it warrants maindeck Abrupt Decay in a deck that is going to be unable to cast it in most games.

    Decay does deal with some problems, but it's just too cost prohibitive. Planeswalker's are mostly irrelevant, and Bridge will often can take too long to work properly. Our creatures come down way too fast, and we have plenty of 1/x and 2/x creatures. How many decks are running it maindeck anyway... Moon Control?

    This deck is more explosive but less powerful than Hogaak. Most Hogaak decks don't start cheating in creatures until turn 3, whereas we can do it turn 1. The Hogaak decks do more broken things by getting swarms of 2/2's and Hogaak in addition to Bloodghast and Vengevine, but they don't get going as fast.

    I agree that sometimes we won't have enough bodies to close a game out before an opponent can stabilize, causing us to have to grind into the midgame, but I'm not sure that necessarily warrants maindeck removal. The plan with Stain the Mind was to remove the obstacles that we would need to deal with, and/or to shred an opponent's hand in tandem with Cabal Therapy, so as to not necessarily need maindeck removal. Maybe I am wrong on this point.

    If I was going to maindeck removal, it would almost certainly be either Nightshade Assassin or Ruthless Sniper. It's certainly possible that I could cut the Cabal Therapist's for one of those in a future list.

    I should have stated my problems with Faithless Looting better. While it does draw into the deck to access more resources, it doesn't do the things this deck wants. We need to be able to discard more than 2 cards, and we need to cast creatures. Looting does not trigger Vengevine, nor does it make Hollow One cost 0 mana. So you are essentially wasting a turn to dig two resources deep into the deck, because you still need one of the other discard outlets to actually function.

    Troll may cost 2, but it's a creature body and it discards 3+ cards. It's potentially uncounterable with Cavern, and can be grabbed with an opening hand Once Upon a Time. It just does what this deck needs it to do, where Looting does not.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Hanni, how has Stain the Mind performed so far? I'm really tempted to play Faithless Looting in that spot, cut 1 of the Trolls (still play 1) and get a Hogaak in there. Once we incorporate Faithless Looting we can discard redundant copies of Once Upon a Time, play some fetchlands, and get 1-2 Hogaak's back in. Just a thought. I have a full set of Stain the Mind to play around with, it still seems really good, especially in the combo matchups.
    In most games you should be able to get enough bodies on the board within the first couple of turns to enable it, and it does a lot of work. It may be correct to cut back to 2 copies and maybe fit 1-2 more in the board for specific matchups, but it still needs more testing.

    Hogaak is still an interesting option, but in order to really make it work (consistently able to cast by turn 2), we basically need to change a bit of the structure of the deck. Fetchlands and Looting are certainly a big part of that, but I'm not sure that making those changes are worth it. I would be interested in hearing about your results if you do test out those changes.
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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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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    If Stain is mainly good in the combo matchup, would it work in the SB?

    It seems hard to get going against disruptive decks (e.g. blue tempo, blue midrange). You need to have a substantial board presence to pay the cost, then forgo an attack step to cast it, and Extracting one card from their deck won't win you the game.
    Stain the Mind the mind doesn't need a substantial board presence to be castable, just to be cast for free. 3 bodies casts it for 1B on turn 2, for example. You'll usually want to cast it for free when you can, but it's not as difficult to cast for us as say Hogaak would be.

    In matchups where there isn't necessarily a key card we want to remove (vs like a Delver deck), it can still contribute to discarding cards from their hand in tandem with Therapy, so it's not horrible. Against midrange, removing Swords to Plowshares is a pretty big deal. Most decks aren't equipped to consistently stop us from exploding out within the first couple of turns, so having the body count is usually not an issue.

    Still, I could see trimming it down to 2 copies and putting 1-2 in the board for specific matchups.
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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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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    In most games you should be able to get enough bodies on the board within the first couple of turns to enable it, and it does a lot of work. It may be correct to cut back to 2 copies and maybe fit 1-2 more in the board for specific matchups, but it still needs more testing.

    Hogaak is still an interesting option, but in order to really make it work (consistently able to cast by turn 2), we basically need to change a bit of the structure of the deck. Fetchlands and Looting are certainly a big part of that, but I'm not sure that making those changes are worth it. I would be interested in hearing about your results if you do test out those changes.
    Good thoughts, I read your response above as well. I'm not advocating for Looting specifically, just looking for discussion about Stain the Mind. While Troll is a necessary evil (I am convinced) I was more interested in how good Stain the Mind was testing out. I think if Stain the Mind isn't pulling its weight in enough matchups it could be a sideboard option. At that point I feel that we don't *necessarily* need to add more creatures, we could add in spells to that slot. Faithless Looting seemed to be the most powerful at maintaining consistency while still supporting the linear game plan (as opposed to a utility removal, disruption, etc, like Abrupt Decay or Thoughtseze for examples.) EDIT: I saw your comments on cutting to 2 copies main, more in the board. That's another good option.

    I think you narrowed in on why I wanted to discuss Looting: in order to enable Hogaak, I think Looting has to be part of the plan. Looting provides 3 'mana' to cast Hogaak if we discard fodder like extra OUaT/lands. If we discard Hogaak/dudes then we are setting up for another turn. Looting costs a mana, but we will often have 2 mana turn 1. Looting/Hollow One turns are acceptable even if we have to pay 1 for Hollow One. Looting could get us access to a 1-mana dork as well. So the question becomes: if given the choice, would we rather spend 2 mana for a Looting + 1 mana enabler/Therapy turn 1-2; or would we rather spend 2 mana on a Lotleth troll turn 1-2. I can't help but think that the Looting openers will likely be less explosive but more valuable, putting a level of consistency into the deck. If Once Upon a Time is this deck's Brainstorm, Looting would be this deck's Ponder. Looting is tied directly to whether Hogaak is viable, IMHO right now. No Looting, no Hogaak. If Looting, Hogaak becomes possible. I don't really think Gurmag Angler is on the table, even with Looting, because discarding it is so bad. Hogaak in the yard is just fine.

    My cards are in the mail, so I will sleeve up and test as soon as I get them. Unfortunately, I still don't have access to Undiscovered Paradise and Cavern of Souls. I can proxy them easily enough, but if I end up trying Looting/Hogaak I'll rework into fetch/duals alongside some rainbow lands to feed delve.

    EDIT:

    First draft:

    4x Putrid Imp
    4x Basking Rootwalla
    4x Tireless Tribe
    4x Vengevine
    4x Bloodghast
    4x Prized Amalgam
    4x Hollow One
    2x Lotleth Troll
    1x Hogaak

    4x Cabal Therapy
    3x Faithless Looting
    4x Once Upon a Time
    4x Lotus Petal

    4x City of Brass
    2x Gemstone Mine
    4x Verdant Catacombs
    1x Marsh Flats
    1x Bayou
    1x Blood Crypt
    1x Swamp

    Sideboard
    3x Stain the Mind
    2x Surgical Extraction
    3x Force of Vigor
    2x Pyroclasm
    2x Veil of Summer
    3x Silent Gravestone


    No Faerie Macabres, but I'm not sure how important that is to the gameplan. It can *theoretically* help you cast Hollow Ones, but I would never want to be pressured into playing FMacabre at a sub-optimal time. If I could somehow squeeze in 4 copies then it might be reasonable, but without the set I don't think the interaction will show up often enough to make a statistical difference.

    Pros of Looting/Hogaak: smooths out draws, gives additional consistency, Hogaak is a huge beater with trample, one more green card to enable Force of Vigor and 3 more ways to dig for it (or other sideboard cards) post-board.

    Cons: Hogaak is legendary (weak to Karakas), Hogaak doesn't encourage swarm attacks (taps down dudes to play him), he's slower onto the board, Faithless Looting doesn't synergize with Once Upon a Time, mana-base gets somewhat weaker (trading fetchlands/duals for Cavern/Undiscovered Paradise to feed delve.)

    Pros of maindeck Stain the Mind: outs to combo decks, Swords to Plowshares, any deck with a lynchpin card like Life from the Loam out of Lands, easy to turn on with fast dudes.

    Cons: It may not have a strong enough impact to warrant tapping creatures to enable it (racing may be better), it's uncastable if we can't get enough creatures to make it cost 1 or less (maybe 2...), it can't be grabbed with OUaT

    Please feel free to chime in with additional pros/cons of any mix of these cards. This is really the final stage of pre-testing theorycrafting, Stain the Mind vs. Faithless Looting. It may be correct to split them 2/2, or 3/1 in either direction, but everything else is pretty much locked in. Whether to include a single Hogaak or not seems fairly low-impact, and doesn't make sense with Stain the Mind tapping creatures, which Hogaak also does, so it fights for the same tempo-eating space.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 09-01-2020 at 11:01 AM.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Close, but no cigar. Two mana is too much. I like that it's an actual *cast* from graveyard, which can trigger Vengevine, but Hogaak is also cast and is a lot bigger and he isn't at a full set. I am pretty sure with Vengevine, Bloodghast, Basking Rootwalla, Prized Amalgam, and Hogaak we have enough 'want to discard' creatures to feed synergies. I like this new card, it's just not efficient enough for this particular deck.

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    2 mana looks too slow for what this deck wants to do. It looks great for Pox though. That deck has been stuck attacking with vanilla bears for too long (Mishra's Factory, Nether Spirit, Bloodghast, 2/2 morphs).

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Yeah, I definitely like it for Pox. The closest equivalent was Undead Gladiator, which is ok but far too cumbersome at 3 mana to cast (and double black.) However, even for Pox, the fact that it can't block is a real downside. That factor more than anything else is what holds Bloodghast back in Pox. If Bloodghast could block it would be a natural 4-of in Pox, easily.

    I was hoping for another free-ish graveyard synergy creature from this set, but this won't cut it.

    On another note, I think it's time to reevaluate Cabal Therapy in this deck. We don't have any tricks (Veteran Explorer, Stitcher's Supplier) and there seems to be an argument for playing maindeck Veil of Summer instead of Therapy. It still allows us to 'combo', is card parity, and it's efficient enough. I think I'm going to try playing some number of Veil of Summer maindeck over Therapy, maybe even a 2/2 split. I was listening to an episode of the Eternal Glory podcast that spoke about Therapy recently and how bad it is in Vintage Hollow-Vine but how good it is in Legacy Hogaak: Stitcher's Supplier makes all the difference. We aren't doing Supplier in here so I think Therapy is a synergistic disruption for the deck, but possibly not a necessary maindeck one. It's a quandary that needs solving.

    Options for replacement:
    Veil of Summer (straight swap)
    Cabal Therapist (iffy...it's slower, but also a creature to enable Vengevines)
    Insolent Neonate (creature + discard synergy for Vengevine/Hollow One)
    Street Wraith (pure velocity, feeds Hollow Ones)
    Hogaak + Faithless Looting (lean further into this)
    Stain the Mind (maindeck instead of Therapy)
    Utility slots (additional lands, BGHunter, Lightning Axe/Fatal Push/utility removal)
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 09-08-2020 at 12:17 PM.
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  12. #232
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I don't agree that Veil of Summer is better than Therapy in here. Aside from being more narrow across the field, Cabal Therapy has the potential to remove multiple cards from an opponent's hand between the multicasting of it. It can also be beneficial in the midgame to sac a Bloodghast to recur an Amalgam. The fact that Therapy synergizes better with Stain the Mind (and to a lesser extent, Cabal Therapist) is icing on the cake.

    I'm still on the list I posted before, except I'm down to 2 Stain the Mind and 1 Cabal Therapist, with 2 Ruthless Sniper in their place.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I missed Ruthless Sniper, I need to nab some. Thanks for the insight.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I missed Ruthless Sniper, I need to nab some. Thanks for the insight.
    No worries. I feel like they are the best option for removal maindeck because they are 1cc to trigger Vengevine, are human (which we name with Cavern for Tribe), and they provide repeatable -1/-1 counters. We typically won't need removal until turn 2+, so the cost isn't so bad, they can apply counters the turn they come into play, and the 1/2 body is quite nice. Shrinking a Dreadhorde to 0/2 renders it useless, and it munches up most of the problematic creatures in the format. Even just shrinking a bigger creature like Batterskull can make a big difference. Since the activation cost is colorless, we can even use Cavern of Souls mana to pay for the cost.

    I feel like 2 Stain the Mind is the correct amount since we almost never want to cast more than 1, which should help increase the consistency of the main plan by not being flooded on too many non-combo pieces. 4 Therapy, 2 Stain, and 1 Therapist still gives us 7 discard effects, which should be plenty.

    I also moved up to 4 Force of Vigor in the sideboard, cutting a Tomik for it. The card is pretty critical against most forms of hate, and the extra copy helps buff the green card count to 17 (19 in matchups where we would also bring in Veil).
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    The old curmudgeon in me wants to jam Lightning Axe and Darkblast, but I understand that Sniper being a creature is a strict upgrade for Vengevine triggers and helps with Bloodghast tricks, which in turn can enable Amalgams.

    I'm planning on sleaving this up either tonight or tomorrow night, I'll drop in a note with my final configuration. I still want to try Hogaak/Faithless Looting, but that means I have to pass on Stain the Mind. It's a quandary, but I have all the cards I need to try some different things and play around. Hogaak gives me another 1-2 green cards for Force of Vigor and Faithless Looting helps me dig into it post-board.
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  16. #236
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    The problem with Hogaak in here is a matter of resources. Hogaak takes 7 cards between creatures on the table and cards in the yard, which we aren't really built to feed properly. Faithless Looting and Once Upon a Time alone aren't really enough. Hogaak is much better supported in the standard shell with Stitcher's Supplier, Hedron Crab, and Alter of Dementia to help feed the yard... plus the healthy amount of fetchlands they run.

    Stain the Mind is significantly easier to cast because it costs 5 instead of 7, with some of the cost being able to come from lands/Petal mana.

    Faithless Looting itself isn't horrible on the basis that it digs you 2 resources deeper off of the top, but it's extremely clunky to spend a mana on a card that neither triggers Vengevines nor reduces the cost of Hollow One to zero mana. You're basically wasting turn 1 to dig 2 resources deeper for a slightly more impactful turn 2. I'd rather just go off turn 1 as consistently as possible.

    If I were to go the route of digging for more resources, I 'd rather run Anje's Ravager. That way you're still going off on turn 1, but you also have an engine to fuel additional resources on turns 3+. You can put Anje's Ravager into play on the opponents EOT on turn 2, and then start digging deeper for additonal resources for more bursts starting on turn 3.

    Another option which I explored before Once Upon a Time was printed, was Gamble. Gamble tutors for exactly what you need, but it's risky, and it suffers the same tempo problems as Faithless Looting in that it doesn't help increase the consistency of the turn 1 bursts.

    I feel pretty comfortable with my current list, with the exception of the lone Cabal Therapist. Therapist is awesome in theory, but it's ability is just too slow I think. I still want to try it some more, but it's probably better off as something else. The fact that its creature type is Horror doesn't play nice with Cavern, either.
    Last edited by Hanni; 09-10-2020 at 04:23 PM.
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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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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    I'm planning on sleaving this up either tonight or tomorrow night, I'll drop in a note with my final configuration. I still want to try Hogaak/Faithless Looting, but that means I have to pass on Stain the Mind. It's a quandary, but I have all the cards I need to try some different things and play around. Hogaak gives me another 1-2 green cards for Force of Vigor and Faithless Looting helps me dig into it post-board.
    Sounds like a good tweak to me. Good luck!

    Not convinced about Hogaak either (we struggle to fuel Delve without Stitcher's Supplier), but I'm pro-Faithless Looting.

    @Hanni: We're never casting it when there's a better turn 1 play. But in real magic games you don't always have magical Xmas land. It's nice to think of the deck as this ultra linear T1 PImp -> make a bunch of free creatures, but not all games will play out that way, especially through disruption and postboard. In those other games, Looting's digging should improve interactive lines of play and set up a later explosive turn. Looting is not there to make T1 Hollow Ones. It's there for the games where we need to do something else because of what the opponent is doing, or because we didn't draw one of the 8 PImps, or to dig into more gas after the first wave fails.

  18. #238
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Sounds like a good tweak to me. Good luck!

    Not convinced about Hogaak either (we struggle to fuel Delve without Stitcher's Supplier), but I'm pro-Faithless Looting.

    @Hanni: We're never casting it when there's a better turn 1 play. But in real magic games you don't always have magical Xmas land. It's nice to think of the deck as this ultra linear T1 PImp -> make a bunch of free creatures, but not all games will play out that way, especially through disruption and postboard. In those other games, Looting's digging should improve interactive lines of play and set up a later explosive turn. Looting is not there to make T1 Hollow Ones. It's there for the games where we need to do something else because of what the opponent is doing, or because we didn't draw one of the 8 PImps, or to dig into more gas after the first wave fails.
    I understand what you're saying, and I agree that the turn 1 plays don't always happen, but my goal is to try and increase the consistency of them as much as possible. It's for that reason that I'm running cards like Once Upon a Time and Lotus Petal.

    It's still possible to go off turn 1 with a Faithless Looting and a Lotus Petal, of course, but if we're going that route, Gamble might be more consistent than Faithless Looting. You may end up discarding a critical piece like an initial discard outlet or Hollow One, but you also get to tutor for exactly what you need to make the hand work.

    I wouldn't cut Lotleth Troll for Faithless Looting, but maybe they could be cut for Gamble. Unfortunately though, that makes Once Upon a Time digging for an initial discard outlet less consistent, so I'm still not convinced to cut Lotleth Troll. Troll is a pretty solid threat on its own too, which is another big reason why I prefer it.

    If we can't go off until turn 2, I don't dislike the idea of leading off turn 1 with a discard spell instead. Maybe some number of Thoughtseize in addition to the Therapy and Stain the Mind would be a better idea. It can help deal with problems like Force of Will when we don't have a Cavern, clear out Swords to Plowshares, etc.

    EDIT: On second thought, the Thoughtseize plan is loose. It can't be cast off of Cavern, and if we're casting it off of Undiscovered Paradise, we're unlikely to go off on turn 2. Honestly, Gamble is probably the best solution if more consistency is what the deck needs.
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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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    Re: GB Vengevine

    1) I don't think Looting is a 4-of, I'm trying 3 for now and 1 hogaak
    2) I'm still on the fence about Hogaak as well, but with looting/fetches I think I can support 1 copy, maybe at the most 2. He's still a monster of a threat. Threatening lethal as early as turn 3 seems slightly more favored with Hogaak in the mix.
    Brainstorm Realist

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    1) I don't think Looting is a 4-of, I'm trying 3 for now and 1 hogaak
    2) I'm still on the fence about Hogaak as well, but with looting/fetches I think I can support 1 copy, maybe at the most 2. He's still a monster of a threat. Threatening lethal as early as turn 3 seems slightly more favored with Hogaak in the mix.
    Hogaak as a one-of is probably fine. I was running 2, but I basically cut them for Stain the Mind. Now that I'm down to 2 Stain the Mind, running a single copy in my list might actually be a good idea.

    I'm also not against Faithless Looting, I just dislike a lot of aspects about it for the way this deck works. Discarding two cards may make it harder to go off with cards you want to discard on turn 2 to make Hollow One free or Lotleth Troll bigger. I guess if you're drawing 2 you might hit another one you want to discard, but it's iffy. It does support Hogaak better, but I'm not sure this deck should be going out of its way to feed Hogaak.

    I like what Gamble brings to the deck, though. It's risky because it can hit initial discard outlet's and Hollow One, but it's a one mana tutor for any card in your deck. Most of the times, this deck just needs one more specific card to make a hand pure gas, and this can help with that more than two random off the top. It also gives you the ability to tutor for sideboard cards, which is pretty powerful.

    Maybe I cut 1 Ruthless Sniper and the 1 Cabal Therapist for 2 Gamble. I could also see running a 1-of Hogaak in the board for matchups where an 8/8 trample is necessary. With 3 Once Upon a Time and 2 Gamble, digging for 1-of creatures will be much easier. Gamble also promotes the plan of holding cards in the midgame to go off for bursts.

    Gamble would make options with Flashback and Madness much better, like Ray of Revelation and Big Game Hunter, so I might need to tweak my sideboard a bit.

    EDIT: I cut 1 Sniper, 1 Therapist, and 2 City of Brass for 3 Gamble and 1 Hogaak maindeck.

    I ran the numbers, and 12 lands + 3 Once Upon a Time divides into 2 within the first 8 turns, which is perfect. Once you add in 4 Lotus Petal, that bumps up to 3 in 9.5 turns, which is plenty. Gamble can tutor for a land too, especially Undiscovered Paradise to enable Bloodghast. Gamble helps to assemble the correct pieces you need to go off, and they also can tutor for one-of's.

    Hogaak works well as a one-of to tutor for, since he's fine if he gets discarded or not, and he's a powerful finisher that should be able to close games out in the midgame (once we have enough resources). The fact that he costs 0 mana and can help to trigger Amalgam and Vengevine is a nice bonus. Adding Gamble as another "cantrip" feeds the yard better for Hogaak, albeit not as well as Faithless Looting.

    The other one-of's in the sideboard become significantly better, too.

    I decided to cut Veil of Summer for Thoughtseize in the sideboard, since it's better at fighting combo and graveyard hate than Veil of Summer while still dealing with countermagic, and it synergizes better with Cabal Therapy and Stain the Mind. It also deals with other hate that Veil can't deal with, like Chalice of the Void and Swords to Plowshares.

    My current list now is:

    Lands (12)
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Undiscovered Paradise
    4 Mana Confluence

    Creatures (32)
    4 Tireless Tribe
    4 Putrid Imp
    2 Lotleth Troll
    1 Ruthless Sniper
    4 Basking Rootwalla
    4 Hollow One
    4 Prized Amalgam
    4 Bloodghast
    4 Vengevine
    1 Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis

    Spells (16)
    3 Once Upon a Time
    3 Gamble
    4 Cabal Therapy
    2 Stain the Mind
    4 Lotus Petal

    Sideboard (15)
    2 Thoughtseize
    4 Force of Vigor
    2 Firestorm
    1 Big Game Hunter
    1 Tomik, Distinguished Advokist
    2 Faerie Macabre
    1 Silent Gravestone
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Karakas


    This list should be way more consistent now.
    Last edited by Hanni; 09-10-2020 at 09:18 PM.
    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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