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Thread: GB Vengevine

  1. #161
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Looks fun but worse than Hogaak or Reanimator by trying to do a bit of everything while still having graveyard weaknesses.

    Especially with Putrid Imp + Reanimate, it feels bad to discard any creature that isn't Griselbrand. Sure Bazaar Trademage draws you 2 cards and lets you discard some, but Griselbrand draws 7 and lets you discard some...

  2. #162
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I know, I know...again, the idea is to get Trademage + Hollow One + Vengevine. Fun is what I'm looking for, not necessarily the most competitive graveyard deck.

    My next test will be with Buried Alive + Dark Ritual...which rewards me for having 3x Bloodghast/Vengevine in the graveyard. It's above rate for getting dudes to turn sideways but way below rate considering what it could be (Griselbrand/Iona.)
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Buried Alive seems better than Intuition, especially with Ritual acceleration. Worth testing.

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Buried Alive seems better than Intuition, especially with Ritual acceleration. Worth testing.
    It's my next test, the first one was bad. Trademage has to be the first discard outlet because I'm actually down 2 cards. The discards have to be high value creatures and I have to draw into a Hollow One. If not, it just falls flat.

    Trademage, while being an interesting card, is not good unless I can discard dredgers. Dredge cards don't support Shadow/hollow one and lead directly to better decks. So Buried Alive + Dark Ritual are the next step.

    Interestingly, I could see something monoblack with maybe 20 lands and Smallpox + Gurmag. Breaking the symmetry could be good enough to make an aggro Smallpox setup with Reanimate/Hollow One/Shadow synergies.
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  5. #165
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    It's my next test, the first one was bad. Trademage has to be the first discard outlet because I'm actually down 2 cards. The discards have to be high value creatures and I have to draw into a Hollow One. If not, it just falls flat.
    I recommend the Chalice version or a Noble Hierarch for that reason. Ramp fixes that.

    Trademage is much better when its the first discard outlet. It feels really bad on turn 3 after casting turn 1 Careful Study, because by then you've already discarded the things you wanted to discard and you barely have any cards left. To hit 3 lands + Trademage and have any interaction on turns 1-2, you don't have many cards left. To be able to cast Hollow One, you need 3 other cards to discard and space to keep a Hollow One, and you'll have no cards in hand left after. I tried it and it was always tight. It's very all-in. It was better to use the 1cmc spells as enablers and only use Trademage as a flyer to get past Goyfs and Anglers, at which point it's a bad Serendib Efreet. Discarding Dredgers isn't enough, because playing Dredge.dec with 1cmc discard is just better.

    You really need to ask yourself why am I using Bazaar Trademage as an enabler instead of Careful Study and how can I get value from that?

    I found the Chalice version solved that problem. Turn 1 you play disruption, which slows down the opponent and buys you tempo, then turn 2 you play your discard outlet while you still have cards in hand. 1cmc discard could not fit into that strategy, so Bazaar Trademage actually adds value and fills a role you can't get with other cards. Also sometimes I just hardcast Vengevine or Hollow One for full mana. Sol Lands.

    Buried Alive could also work, seems great with Vengevines and other grave stuff, but you still have the problem of "what does turn 3 Trademage add?". Maybe Birds of Paradise instead into T2 Buried Alive or T2 Trademage. Having 8 turn 2 enablers at 3 cmc adds redundancy and consistency.

    Edit:


    //Creatures: 30
    4 Birds of Paradise
    1 Gilded Goose
    1 Noble Hierarch
    1 Quirion Ranger
    4 Baleful Strix
    2 Fauna Shaman
    1 Tarmogoyf
    1 Lotleth Troll
    1 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    1 Prized Amalgam
    4 Bazaar Trademage
    4 Vengevine
    4 Hollow One
    1 Vengeful Pharaoh

    //Spells: 7
    4 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Buried Alive

    //Planeswalkers: 3
    3 Oko, Thief of Crowns

    //Lands: 20
    1 Dryad Arbor
    4 Misty Rainforest
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Bayou
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Underground Sea
    2 Snow-Covered Forest
    1 Snow-Covered Island
    1 Snow-Covered Swamp
    1 Volrath's Stronghold

    //Sideboard: 15
    3 Veil of Summer
    3 Cabal Therapy
    2 Faerie Macabre
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Big Game Hunter
    1 Murderous Rider
    1 Asylum Visitor
    1 Questing Beast


    This has 10 Turn 1 ramp cards to ramp into 8 3cmc enablers (Trademage, Buried Alive, Lotleth with regen mana open) or Oko or GSZ stuff.
    There's also 2cmc smoothing via Strix and Fauna Shaman to help curve into the bigger plays.
    Buried Alive can get 3 Vengevines, but it can also grab a mix of creatures including value singletons like Uro or Vengeful Pharaoh
    Postboard you can board out some graveyard dependent stuff for more toolbox via GSZ and Shaman

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Good thoughts. I really like the toolbox nature of your BUG version, but I think Trademage is still a liability. I think I'm going to drop Trademage altogether and play Putrid Imp/Careful Study as my t1 enablers, and go Dark Ritual into Burid Alive as my "combo". I want some number of gurmags because Dark Ritual into Gurmag provides 4 of the 7 mana needed while still only tapping 1 land (ideally) so I can play another 1 drop to trigger Vines. I want to include some number of silver bullets for Buried Alive, but I'm not sure how to squeeze them in. I also feel it's likely better to just add more careful studies (looting) if i need more gas.

    Here's to brewing bad decks! If i had Chalices i would build that version for sure. It's a beefed up stompy deck that really emphasizes the old definition of stompy: disruption then big dudes for the win.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Yeah that sounds like a good plan, probably more consistent than forcing Trademage.

    If you run Necrotic Ooze (easy to support with Dark Rituals), that opens up more silver bullet options for Buried Alive (e.g. Walking Ballista + Phyrexian Devourer). If one of the bullets is stuck in hand, Ooze can even copy Putrid Imp to discard it. Good synergy with your deck.

    Vengeful Pharaoh's another good bullet, just need 1 in the deck.

    If you play Red for Faithless Looting instead of blue for Careful Study, that also enables a 1-of Ox of Agonas or a Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger (not sure if Kroxa is actually good enough to run though).

    I like Big Game Hunter in the SB of black madness decks. It's a sneaky foil to Show and Tell, killing Emrakul and Griselbrand and other nasty stuff. Putrid Imp enables it at instant speed, letting you even respond to Sneak Attack, Reanimator, Tin Fins... Even kills Goyfs and Anglers. Does a lot of work for 1 mana for a card that sees no Legacy play!

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Rough list:

    4x death's shadow
    4x Putrid imp
    4x Bloodghast
    4x Vengevine
    4x hollow one
    4x street wraith
    2x gurmag Angler
    1x vengeful pharaoh
    1x wonder

    4x careful study
    4x cabal therapy
    4x dark ritual
    4x buried alive
    2x reanimate

    4x polluted delta
    4x verdant catacombs
    4x watery grave
    1x swamp
    1x cephalid Coliseum

    Sideboard
    1x big game hunter
    1x iona, shield of Emeria
    4x faerie macabre
    2x brazen borrower
    2x surgical extraction
    1x echoing truth
    2x thoughtseize
    2x stubborn denial


    Deep Analysis *might* be good enough. I'm sticking to blue for sideboard cards. I need something to deal with Leyline of the void and red doesn't. Blue gives only temporary answers, but they apply in many different situations. Sticking to 2 colors keeps the mana base rock-solid.
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  9. #169
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    If you're not playing Bazaar Trademage, what's wrong with the original GB Vengevine shell? Does Death's Shadow add much value?


    //Creatures: 29
    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Gravecrawler
    4 Carrion Feeder
    4 Bloodghast
    4 Lotleth Troll
    4 Vengevine
    4 Hollow One
    1 Vengeful Pharaoh

    //Spells: 15
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Once Upon a Time
    4 Buried Alive

    //Lands: 16
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Prismatic Vista
    2 Bayou
    4 Snow-Covered Swamp
    1 Snow-Covered Forest
    1 Undiscovered Paradise

    //Sideboard: 15
    3 Thoughtseize
    3 Abrupt Decay
    3 Faerie Macabre
    2 Gurmag Angler
    1 Big Game Hunter
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    1 Asylum Visitor
    1 Collector Ouphe


    OUAT should be a nice upgrade adding consistency.
    Other cards that could make the main: Prized Amalgam, Basking Rootwalla (Bloodghast is probably the weakest slot)

    Decay can't kill Leyline, but you could board out a lot of the grave stuff:
    -4 Buried Alive
    -1 Pharaoh
    -3 Bloodghast
    +8 fair cards

    There was also the version with the 8 1-drop enablers: Putrid Imp and Tireless Tribe.

  10. #170
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I think the list is cool, something that could be a solid tier 2.5 agro deck at the LGS that could take advantage of a particular metagame. It has just enough spice to be interesting, but not so much that it will fall flat due to it's own variance.

    The small issue with that list is that you are all-in on Putrid Imp/Lotleth Troll to get free/cheap Hollow Ones without Street Wraith; Street Wraith is a way to make HO's cheaper for almost no cost. The idea with Death's Shadow was that once you have Street Wraith you are just shocklands away from enabling 5/5's or better for B. Shadow being a 1-mana creature means that doubling up is easy to trigger Vengevines, which are also high-value targets to discard with Putrid Imp/Lotleth Troll. The way I look at it, if there is an agro deck to be made with this setup, not a combo one a-la-Hogaak, then the creatures have to be way above rate and efficient enough to run on few lands (in order to fit in enough synergies to make it worthwhile.) To me that was Death's Shadow, and to a smaller extent Gurmag Angler. Tarmogoyf would be the next natural inclusion, but at 2 mana is much harder to achieve to double up unless you specifically have free Hollow One/Rootwalla opportunities.

    Some observations from testing against Death and Taxes and Show and Tell this weekend (goldfishing): the best parts of the deck are the pieces that are included in other decks, such as Bloodghast + Cabal Therapy, Chancellor of the Annex + Putrid Imp/Careful Study + Reanimate. I didn't get many cheap/free Hollow Ones. Once I dropped Trademage, Hollow One quickly became the weak link. All of the combos I wanted to pull off were better with other creatures (Shadow, Gurmag, even Putrid Imp was better as a 2/2 flyer for B.) The biggest issue with Hollow One is that it's a 'combo' that only results in a 4/4 vanilla creature. If I'm not getting multiple Bloodghast/Vengevines in the process it's a pretty lame agro plan.

    Oddly enough, I think the deck absolutely needs another 4 cantrips to go along with Careful Study. Brainstorm seems to be the most obvious way to just smooth everything out. This would make some other part of the deck become the weakest link, and so on, until the deck reaches a final destination of UB Reanimator, RB Reanimator, Dredge, or Hogaak. I think if I want to play a deck with Bloodghast and Vengevine, Hogaak is it. Hollow One (as noted above) doesn't give enough payoff unless I 'combo' out with Vengevines.

    So where does that bring me? I think it brings me to a fork in the road where I need to do something with Buried Alive + Vengevine or other creature combos, and this needs to be the central combo/synergism of the deck. The means to that goal should support and synergize with that goal but also be effective enough to fight in the Legacy arena. Chancellor of the Annex was surprisingly good, a high value target in the graveyard that slowed down opponent's and was a very quick clock. Opening hand it was very good at allowing for uncontested t1 setups.

    Here is my starting point:

    Cantrips
    4x Careful Study
    4x Brainstorm

    Disruption
    4x Cabal Therapy
    4x Chancellor of the Annex

    Combos
    4x Buried Alive
    4x Reanimate

    That's 24 cards in the deck so far, which leaves 19 slots for creatures and mana acceleration. I think at this point it's a necessary inclusion to have acceleration, probably in the form of a creature so I can jam it into the same slots as creatures.

    Graveyard synergy creatures
    4x Vengevine
    4x Bloodghast

    Enablers/Acceleration
    4x Putrid Imp
    4x Birds of Paradise

    That leaves me with 7 slots left. Those 7 slots need to be high-impact, a way to make the three mana Buried Alive be enough to win games. Ideally at least 4 of them should be 0-1 mana to trigger Vengevines. Hollow One really isn't going to cut it, it's just too unreliable. Brainstorm might change that, it might not. If Brainstorm enabled it I would include it, but it doesn't, so I'm leaving it behind.

    So 7 slots left, the rest is basically locked in. There are several avenues to go:

    Pure Aggro plan (biggest dudes for 1 mana)
    4x Death's Shadow (shocklands necessary, sideboard Sylvan Library/Thoughtseize seems smart)
    2x Gurmag Angler (biggest dude for B you can get outside of enabled Street Wraith)
    1x Wonder (giving evasion to the big dudes seems really good)

    Reanimator Plan (cheap/sometimes free dudes to support Vengevine activations and high-value Reanimate targets)
    4x Basking Rootwalla
    1x Iona
    1x Griselbrand
    1x Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

    And finally, the last idea, which I am dubbing "the Crazy Delver plan". This gets the instants/sorceries up to 22, 6 of them traditional Delver cantrips with Brainstorm/Ponder. Gurmag is just another fat 1-mana creature to trigger Vengevines, getting the total of cheap dudes up to 13 (likely enough with 10 cantrips to enable it.) Playing t1 Delver will completely mislead opponents as to what I'm on. Delver won't flip reliably on it's own, but that isn't the primary goal. The goal would be to mislead, provide a cheap creature to trigger vengevines, and to be a 3/2 flyer occasionally that can help close out games. Twenty-two sorceries/instants seems quite low though, most decks that play Delver are looking for 26+.
    4x Delver of Secrets
    1x Gurmag Angler
    2x Ponder

    I like the idea of having a primary Vengevine strategy, which can put a ton of pressure on opponents, with a Reanimator backup plan that can really overwhelm opponents' disruption. I love the idea of a pure GB Vengevine agro deck, it's right up my alley, but it seems so weak compared to Hogaak where you can just -4 Buried Alive, -4 Dark Ritual, +4 Alter of Dementia, +4 Bridge from below and have a combo deck with a backup agro plan. I'm leaning towards the Shadow plan currently, with the addition of Brainstorm to really smooth things out (so essentially -4 Hollow One, +4 Brainstorm.) It means fewer creatures to trigger Vengevines but better ways of finding them rather than relying on top-deck draws.

    If nothing else, this is a fun thought project! Thanks for indulging me.
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  11. #171
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Blood Pet

    A way to double up on creatures for only B? It isn't acceleration but it's essentially a 'free' creature that provides B to play Shadow/Imp and even pays 1B for Gurmag by itself, in order to trigger Vengevines. Testing shall commence! I think it's a better way to go than Hollow One, possibly not as good as Birds of Paradise. I do like that it can be played t1 and still allow a t2 Buried Alive with a 2nd land drop.

    EDIT: Just another round of disappointing attempts at this kind of deck. *sigh* It's fun to attempt but it's depressing to fail.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 03-20-2020 at 08:51 AM.
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