Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
The issue is you don't have strong ways of getting Bridge into your yard. Hogaak enables it with Altar of Dementia and milling a minimum of 4 cards with Supplier and Vengevine, 8 for a single Hogaak. That is how Bridge gets busted wide open. Otherwise you're still just trying to luck-draw Bridge with an enabler out. You will almost never have more than one Bridge in the yard, and you don't have Alter/Hogaak turbo-charging it. I don't think it's worth the loss of consistency cutting Looting and Troll. I think you will eventually just land on a tweaked version of Hogaak, which is fine! If this thread discussion leads to development of a modified Hogaak list then its worthwhile.
The intention of Bridge in the list I posted isn't to get all of them into the graveyard; they are just another threat that gets discarded by a 1cc outlet, that creates some amount of 2/2 creatures for free when other creatures die or get sacrificed. It's basically more redundancy of cards that we want to discard.

Your Hogaak argument of filling the yard is just as applicable to everything else, be it Bloodghast, Vengevine, or whatever. That deck obviously puts more total resources into the graveyard. That's not the point in here. Just think of Bridge as another card we want to discard like Vengevine or Prized Amalgam, which ends up putting creatures into play for free when certain other conditions are met.

An opening hand of say land, Imp, Hollow One, Vengevine, Bridge from Below, and Cabal Therapy (with whatever else) gives us a hand where we have enough cards we actually want to discard to enable Hollow One while also triggering Vengevine, with a bonus Bridge from Below in the yard that we can get value out of with the Cabal Therapy flashback, but that can continue to generate additional value in the future.

Past the initial burst, Bridge from Below can continue to generate value when our creatures die or we sac them to Feeder or Therapy (usually when we can recur them). Drawing multiple Bridges is not even unlikely.

Once we have a Carrion Feeder with Undiscovered Paradise + Bloodghast or zombie + Gravecrawler assembled, we can turn those into an engine to generate more tokens. Vengevine and Prized Amalgam can also be sac'd and recurred after combat to generate tokens too.

Adding what is essentially more redundancy is in a way increasing consistency. I'm not saying the idea is more or less consistent or even better than the Looting + Troll list, but I don't think it should just be dismissed without consideration either.

The Bridge list does some very interesting things that the Looting variation lacks. It has more relevant plays that it can make past turn 1. It improves our consistency of recurring Amalgam by giving us 10 cards that can do so vs 8 (with Gravecrawler). It gives us greater resiliency to Swords to Plowshares and Terminus with Carrion Feeder (instead of relying on Stain the Mind). It makes our Cabal Therapy's better. The list also has more 1cc creatures to make it easier to recast Vengevine in the midgame, especially with Gravecrawler recursion.

The broken turn 1 starts aren't any less consistent. I simply changed the dynamics of the turn 2+ plays by changing the engine. For what it's worth, I feel like the Looting engine has better synergy with Hollow One, while this engine has better synergy with the rest of the deck.

None of these changes make Hogaak any more viable in this list. The Hollow One lists simply do not feed the delve cost of Hogaak enough to make him worth it.

I also don't want to turn the Hollow One lists into a Hogaak deck. The entire reason for the extra discard outlets, Rootwalla, Hollow One, and Lotus Petal is that the deck is significantly faster. Where sometimes the Hogaak deck can be slow to get onto the board, we can often flood the board on turn 1. We lack the raw power, but we make up for that by overwhelming the opponent before they can handle it. We can often get under the hate, expose our graveyard less, and have extra resiliency with Cavern of Souls.

Maybe 8 discard outlets with only 3 Once Upon a Time and 12 lands isn't consistent enough... in which case, it's back to the drawing board. I'm also not necessarily against trimming a Carrion Feeder for the 4th Once Upon a Time if it's necessary, but I think the configuration I have listed is the base that I would want to begin playtesting with. I've already fine-tuned the Looting list pretty thoroughly, so I see no harm in trying out something else.

All I'm saying is don't knock it until you try it. Experimenting with different variations is sort of the point of this thread, is it not?