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Thread: GB Vengevine

  1. #201
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I really like what Chancellor does for Reanimator, but I just don't know if it does enough for us. The early game disrupt is great, don't get me wrong, but it just doesn't do enough for us otherwise. Yeah, we can discard it to pump Lotleth or reduce the cost of Hollow One, but we don't run the density of reanimation spells that Reanimator does, and it's going to clunk up the deck more than it is going to help, I think. Reanimation spells are pretty bad for us; most of our creatures reanimate themselves.
    I agree, without Entomb it's an unreliable plan (and honestly not good enough.) The only remaining question is whether having 4x Chancellor/Xx Dread Return is worth it in the sideboard. I don't think so, simply because we will already face a bunch of grave hate. Going deeper into graveyard synergies likely doesn't seem smart (unless it's something like Firestorm, which accomplishes the main goal while being synergistic.)

    Whether or not it's worth it as an opening hand disruption vs other disruption is questionable. It costing 0 mana is fantastic, but needing to reveal it from the opening hand is suspect. We also can't dig into it turn 0/1 with Once Upon a Time vs other creature/land options.
    It's basically Daze, right? I liked Daze in the Shadow version, but the mana-base can't handle that. If Chancellor is a worse version of Daze and we don't even want Daze, I think its out.

    Thalia seems pretty reasonable against Storm, as does Collector Ouphe. We already have Faerie Macabre vs Reanimator and Storm, and we can have Big Game Hunter/Karakas for Reanimator/S&T, along with Force of Vigor vs Omnitell.
    The rainbow land manabase allows for some really good sideboard options, so Thalia seems alright. Ethersworn Canonist is another card that historically has been good against Storm, and honestly we could just play Deafening Silence. It isn't a creature but it's only 1 mana to cast and doesn't affect our game plan very much at all. With 5 colors available we could play Eidolon of the Great Revel in the sideboard.

    All I'm saying is that we have plenty of other options for dealing with combo decks, and we want as many of those options to play double duty in other matchups while synergizing with our deck construction as much as possible.
    I wrestle with this point, because without experience I don't know whether to go for sideboard cards that augment synergies or to just pick the most efficient hate cards and move away from graveyard reliability to blunt opposing hate cards. Right now the most played grave hate is Surgical Extraction, which isn't too hard to work around. Dredge is doing well in the current environment, so it's only a matter of time before we see Leylines and other hate. Thankfully we can answer the hate and have 1 big turn, rather than relying on several turns to leverage the graveyard (like Dredge.)

    I realize Annex hits other decks too, but it has to be in the opener to do anything, and is a dead draw if we draw into it. I won't cross it off the list without testing it, but I think there are better options.
    I think we can cross it off; it isn't the best option even if all we had were 3 colors of mana available. With all 5 available we can safely say it won't make the cut.

    We probably need Wasteland/Ghost Quarter for Tabernacle (or Pithing Needle on Wasteland), so a Crop Rotation package could be possible, although I like the idea of Weathered Wayfarer or Elvish Reclaimer to dig for lands more, since they are creature based. I think Wayfarer gets the nod because it's a Nomad (same as Tireless Tribe for Cavern), and it's activated ability costs less. It's also card advantage vs parity, and it's unlikely for us to grow Reclaimer to 3/4 in most games. I'd consider Reclaimer more if I cut the rainbow lands for a 3 fetch/Bayou/Scrubland/Swamp manabase, but I think the rainbow lands are better overall. Wayfarer just works better with our much lower land count, in most cases, although it does make Bojuka Bog worse (sorcery speed).
    I don't know if we should warp around Tabernacle, it's not very common to see. We would need a minimum of 7 slots dedicated to it: 4x Crop Rotation and 1x Wasteland/Karakas/Bojuka Bog. None of those cards synergize with our main plan. It's cool, it's efficient, it's flashy, but ultimately with 5 colors available I think we can come up with a better option that is more compact (same argument as Chancellor, really.) If we don't play Crop Rotation and instead play Wayfarer or Reclaimer we are now at the mercy of removal actually hurting us, in exchange for a fairly slow plan (summoning sickness on the dudes.)

    As far as sweepers go, they have to cost 2cc or less. 3cc is too expensive for this manabase, and too slow in most cases even if we could make our first three land drops without eating a Wasteland. Free is always best, but the free options mostly suck, and I don't think Firestorm is going to work (since we likely don't have much left in hand to discard when we are ready to cast it), so we're stuck choosing between the 2cc options.

    Double-costed spells like Golgari Charm, Zealous Persecution, Marsh Casualties, and Devastating Dreams are a tough sell though, since they cannot be cast from Cavern of Souls, so I'm thinking Sickening Dreams or Chord of Calling + Pontiff or Engineer (or whatever 3cc+ creature) are our best options. Pyroclasm is also a thing; I don't like that it can't deal with Mom + Containment Priest, but Sickening Dreams can't either. There's also Electrickery, Volcanic Spray, or even Forked Bolt as other options. Ruthless Sniper could also be an option, despite being slow.

    Honestly though, whatever the choice, I think it needs to be able to deal with x/2's. I still haven't figured out what I want to do for the sweeper slot yet, unfortunately.
    Firestorm and Pyroclasm both have the disappointing aspect of *not* dealing with True Name Nemesis. Zealous Persecution does double duty by pumping our team while killing opponent's stuff. Sickening Dreams doesn't target and gives reach. Chord of Calling is another option that isn't compact enough to really be worth cramming in (in my opinion, testing could change that.) Sickening Dreams will be the easiest to cast and the easiest to take full advantage; it's an enabler that doubles as hate. We really need to be reactionary in that situation, but not too greedy. If we get a 2-for-1 on the exchange that should be plenty, especially if we end up with valuable creatures binned. Opponent's won't have the luxury of waiting even a turn to deploy their game plan, but we will have absurd tempo if we can hit 2+ creatures with Dreams, quicken the clock, and still get our threats active.

    EDIT: Fuck. After rereading Firestorm, it might actually be our best option. I thought it was 1 damage divided per card discarded, but it's 1 damage to each. Discarding 2 cards deals 2 damage to 2 targets each, discarding 3 deals 3 damage to 3 targets each. It still requires a fairly hefty discard investment to sweep, so I'm skeptical, but it only costs 1 mana and it's instant, which are both such a big deal. It can also hit the opponent, so it gives us the same reach as Sickening Dreams. I'll go back to trying Firestorm first. I think the key is to wait to explode with creatures until turn 2, where you can cast Firestorm and still cast two creatures (Rootwalla, Hollow One, or Lotus Petal) to trigger Vengevines. In that case, you could also Firestorm first and then play the second land to immediately trigger Bloodghast's too. I think I'm sold on Firestorm, to be honest.
    Firestorm targets so I think it's less viable than Dreams. It might be corner cases (TNN) that affect it, but again, with 5 colors available I think we should look at card effectiveness before any other metric (provided it lands in the mana cost range we can handle.)

    I'm curious about a couple cards and whether they have a place in here: Stinkweed Imp and Cephalid Coliseum. Neither of them really takes away from the main game plan, but can also super-charge turns. Rebuilding seems to be more reliable when binning 5 cards or doing a loot for 3, and Imp does a fairly good job at being a utility blocker.

    EDIT: also curious about Reckless Bushwhacker. It gives the deck a more combo-esque game plan, should be easy enough to enable with a free Hollow One/Lotus Petal/Rootwalla or just getting to three mana with Petal and playing a Tribe/Imp, and it supports the Vengevine plan (Vengevine trigger resolves first so it still attacks for 5). I thought about Goblin Bushwhacker but the RR cost seems to be prohibitive. I played a modern zoo deck for a little while that played Wild Nacatl, Kird Ape, and Burning Tree Emissary so I could attack big on turns 2-3 with Reckless Bushwacker. Just a thought, janky as hell, but the fun-factor would be huge.
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  2. #202
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    In regards to Fleshbag Maurauder and Recurring Nightmare; those cards are way too slow for the Legacy metagame these days. Innocent Blood is also a worse removal spell compared to other options, even if we can afford to self-sacrifice.

    I agree that Annex and reanimation spells is not the way to go with this deck.

    I like Thalia better than Eidolon because it is easier to cast than Thalia. Deafening Silence is cool, but possibly too narrow. To be honest, I have a better solution for everything that I will discuss at the end of this post.

    I think the sideboard needs to be a combination of efficiency, effectiveness, and synergy with the rest of the deck. I know it sounds complicated, but with enough time invested, we will come up with it.

    I also believe most of the best anti-graveyard hate options have already been listed in this thread. Force of Vigor, Pithing Needle, and Firestorm deal with most of the permanent based hate, and Silent Gravestone deals with targeted spell based hate. There might be some hate that falls between those cracks, but we still have discard as a catch-all too.

    The fetch manabase does have some advantages though, so the rainbow manabase isn't strictly better. The basic Swamp is nice, and fetches improve Bloodghast and Hogaak. Still, color consistency and 5c options in the sideboard make me prefer the rainbow manabase for now.

    I'm not necessarily trying to warp around Tabernacle, I simply wanted an answer to it, and Weathered Wayfarer seemed like a great tool to incorporate a land toolbox. It's reasonable that this plan is too slow and vulnerable to actually work out.

    Honestly, Tabernacle itself is really only played in lands as a 1-of, and is only really problematic when it comes down quickly and is supported with Wasteland. Either stopping Crop Rotation/Gamble or Wasteland does enough to limit its effectiveness. We have the tools to deal with these without needing to actually destroy Tabernacle, so I'm fine with emphasizing those options instead. I'll discuss these more at the bottom of this post.

    I'm actually okay with Firestorm targeting, and I could care less about True-Name. Obviously, Mom + Containment Priest is an issue, but I think we can deal with that situation, and Sickening Dreams doesn't deal with this either. Firestorm costing 1 and being instant speed makes it infinitely better, IMO. I'm almost positive that this is the removal option we want for the matchups where we need it to deal with.

    Big Game Hunter can also be included for the other creature problems that Firestorm doesn't handle, like Emrakul (or any other large threat other than Marit Lage). Probably like 2 Firestorm and 1 Big Game Hunter, with possibly a 1'of Karakas and a 1-of of one of the other generally good options like Nightshade Assassin or something, depending on space.

    Stinkweed Imp costs 3 to cast, which makes it unplayable. I don't think we need to dredge. Coliseum will never have Threshold.

    Bushwhacker could be alright, but I think the cost is prohibitive and the effect unnecessary.

    Okay, so down to business. Stain the Mind is absurd. It literally deals with nearly every deck in the format. Whether to dismantle combo decks, to stripping away Swords to Plowshares or Terminus, to taking away key bombs, to acting as graveyard hate, to simply shred opponents hands in tandem with Cabal Therapy, this thing does it all. Oftentimes, we can cast it turn 1 for zero mana, but it should almost always cost 1 or less and be castable on turns 1 or turn 2. At zero mana, it's an Unmask on steroids; even at 1 mana, it does the exact same thing as Cabal Therapy without the flashback but with the ability to Cranial Extraction a card from the game.

    Between Cabal Therapy and Stain the Mind, the deck can literally destroy the gameplan of nearly every deck in the format. No real need for creature removal maindeck when you can strip the opponent of whatever problems they have before they get a chance to cast them. Obviously in games where the opponent has the ability to prevent us from putting our initial creature burst on the table, it's not going to do much, but even postboard against graveyard hate, we should still be able to get enough creatures into play within the first couple of turns to make it castable.

    Having a turn 1 where you dump some creatures on the board and then shred the opponents hand is almost always going to be enough to get there against just about every deck in the format. I'm not saying that it is going to make this deck an instant tier 1 strategy, but the power level is pretty absurd. Obviously it can get countered, but we can potentially bait with Cabal Therapy, and postboard Veil of Summer can put in some work. Obviously many opponent's will have their own Veil of Summer's, so that might take away a little bit of its sting, but the power level still makes it beyond worth it.

    I definitely want this thing maindeck. My initial reaction is to cut Gravecrawler and Hogaak for 4 copies. 4 may be too many, since we don't really want to be convoking every turn, but we can certainly pay some amount of mana for it in later turns, and I'd like to start with 4. It's definitely a card I'd like to see in most opening hands. It's possible that Hogaak still deserves 1-2 slots, especially since this can kind of help enable Hogaak by being graveyard fodder, but I think the necessity of a midgame finisher diminishes if we can remove both threats and answers. Even with an anemic board of like a Putrid Imp, Rootwalla, Bloodghast, and Prized Amalgam... if the opponent has no threat (like SFM/Batterskull) or answers (like Swords to Plowshares), we can probably still close the game out. Gravecrawler was a solid inclusion for helping to enable Amalgam's and Vengevine's (and discards with minimal drawback for Hollow One), but it still costs 1 mana for a 2/1 that can't even block in a deck that wants to spend 1 mana on a discard outlet and then put everything else into play for free.

    To close out, I also believe that Tomik, Distinguished Advokist is probably our best sideboard option for dealing with Tabernacle, pretty much Lands in general, while having splash against other strategies like Turbo Depths and such. WW could be a little difficult to power out, but it shuts off Wasteland, Thespian's Stage, Life from the Loam, Crop Rotation, Elvish Reclaimer, Maze of Ith, Ramunap Excavator, and a ton of other shit, with an ass of 3 and beating for 2 in the air. It's possible to cast turn 1 off of a Lotus Petal, which would be backbreaking against most Lands starts. Creature based means it synergizes with the rest of the deck. Of course, Stain the Mind does a great job of pre-emptively snagging Crop/Gamble to keep Tabernacle off of the table, and it can also snag whatever else to help us push through, too.

    I'll post an updated list with a preliminary sideboard sometime today.

  3. #203
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    5c Fiendish Nature

    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 Bloodghast
    4 Prized Amalgam
    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 Veil of Summer
    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

    The sideboard is just a rough draft of good cards right now. There's still several dozen other good options to consider, and it desperately needs playtesting to be tweaked according to the current metagame, especially in regards to problematic matchups. However, this is the starting point that I'd work from.
    Last edited by Hanni; 09-10-2020 at 07:50 PM.
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  4. #204
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Very cool, I'm sold on Stain the Mind. So Gravecrawler and Hogaak are the cuts, which seems ok to me. I think Stain the Mind does a lot to give an alternative axis of interaction, something the deck really needs.

    I'm going to start working on getting the cards I need for this, it isn't many. It has given a spark of inspiration for a new deck, and that is really fun.

    On a whim I'm grabbing some odd cards like Call to the Netherworld and still grabbing some Hogaaks.

    Edit: So the deck is really close to being straight BG (functionally) so I am revisiting what it would look like in just those colors. Losing Tireless Tribe would be the biggest loss due to it being a 1-mana enabler, so maybe keeping in white is still correct. Lotleth Troll is not as good at 2 mana, even with Lotus Petal to power it out. The tradeoff is better mana and fetchlands for Bloodghast (which feed Hogaak.)

    A single Scrubland alongside 4 lotus petals should do the trick with a couple Bayou, basic swamp, and black fetches.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 08-23-2020 at 01:43 PM.
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  5. #205
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    There is some value to running 3 fetch, 1 Bayou, 1 Scrubland, and 1 Swamp, but you pretty much have to run 4 Cavern of Souls and 4 Undiscovered Paradise regardless. At which point, you get access to a basic Swamp and a couple of fetchlands, but you give up some mana consistency for some mana stability, and you limit yourself with possible sideboard options.

    Mana consistency is better than stability in this particular deck, and I feel like Firestorm alone is worth the rainbow manabase. Tomik is also really good at dealing with quite a few popular decks in the format that can otherwise be hard to deal with, and even has splash damage against other decks, such as Infect (prevents them from pumping Inkmoth and shuts off Crop Rotation). Casting Tomik with the rainbow manabase can be difficult, but it's significantly harder with the fetch configuration.

    I'm no longer on Hogaak, so I'm even less concerned about the fetchlands, although fetches/swamps does open up options like Massacre in the sideboard.

    In either case, I would not, under any circumstances, cut Tireless Tribe.
    Last edited by Hanni; 08-24-2020 at 12:18 AM.
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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.

  6. #206
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I'm an idiot...I wanted fetchlands for Bloodghast but I completely forgot about Undiscovered Paradise taking care of that issue. Hogaak is a card I just want access to, not necessarily something I will include. I actually really like the Stain the Mind list you posted, I think the creatures are trimmed as low as possible to feed synergy while still giving access to some really good disruption.

    Talk to me about Stitcher's Supplier, have you tried it in any variation yet? I'm wondering about Village Rites and Tendrils of Despair synergies, along with it being on-color and feeding the graveyard. Hogaak may be out, but the synergies from that deck might help tune this one. I'm also super curious about Cabal Therapist, which seems pretty spicy but likely not good enough. All of these cards contribute towards a grindier game-plan rather than all-in. Looking at Stain the Mind and how it can really hamstring decks makes me want to become a little more resilient rather than fast.
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  7. #207
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Well, it's like you said, the creatures are basically trimmed as low as possible. If you trim any more, you risk having hands that simply don't do anything. You need specific combinations of stuff for the whole thing to work.

    You need your initial discard outlet, creatures that reanimate, and then you need to be able to reanimate those creatures. If you have Vengevine, you really want a Hollow One or Basking Rootwalla, but Lotus Petal and another 1cc creature will also work. If you have Amalgam, you need either Vengevine or Bloodghast, and a way to get those guys reanimated.

    You can't really trim on lands, because you need them for Bloodghast, and you really don't want to cut Lotus Petal, because it increases the consistency of the broken starts. Without the fast starts, you're a worse version of the standard Hogaak lists.

    So what's left is the non-creature spells. For Village Rites, I feel like it competes with Once Upon a Time, but that card helps stitch the deck together. Multiples in the opener aren't ideal, but even with 2, you're digging 5 deep for whatever piece you need for 0 mana on turn 1, and then you can cast the 2nd copy on turn 2+ to dig another 5 deep for more gas in the midgame.

    I suppose you could split Once Upon a Time with Village Rites, but Village Rites is a blank until you go off (only fuels the midgame), whereas Once Upon a Time increases your consistency of going off initially. The card advantage of Village Rites is pretty good, but I'm not sure that it is necessary. I'm not even sure that I like it better than Anje's Ravager, to be honest.

    If we were to draw cards, we'd really like to be drawing them before we first go off; Village Rites does not help with that. Having a midgame refuel is nice, but 2 cards by itself isn't that much, and running it dilutes our opening burst. At least with Ravager, it's an engine card that keeps refueling, and by the midgame, the 2cc cost is much less of an issue.

    I do not think Tendrils of Despair is better than Cabal Therapy nor Stain the Mind. Letting the opponent choose the cards is a weak effect, and even if it does hit two cards for 1 mana, I'd rather choose the card and see my opponent's hand.

    Cabal Therapist is certainly interesting. I'm always interested in creature options, and the cost and power level are certainly there. Not getting the Therapist effect until turn 2+ is certainly a drawback, but it would still be effective I think.

    I like that you can potentially keep fueling it every turn, especially with Bloodghast + Undiscovered Paradise, although you usually only need to rip the opponents hand apart at the beginning of the game in most cases. It is a little slow, but in addition to Therapy and Stain the Mind, it doesn't seem too bad.

    I dislike that it is soft to creature removal. Against Swords to Plowshares matchups, I'd rather lose Therapist than a Vengevine, but against decks with Lightning Bolt, it might be a liability.

    Since you want Cavern of Souls to name your initial discard outlet's creature type, it's unlikely to be cast uncounterable... not really a knock though, since neither Cabal Therapy nor Stain the Mind are uncounterable either.

    With that being said, as a 1cc creature, it's great for simply being able to trigger Vengevines, especially in the midgame, so that aspect is definitely relevant. It can also be grabbed with Once Upon a Time, which is pretty sweet.

    I do like that Therapist gives us a sacrifice engine to help enable midgame Amalgam's more consistently.

    A good portion of the time, the first Therapy effect will whiff. With Cabal Therapy, you simply sac a guy and the second casting hits something. With Stain the Mind, it's pretty likely that even if you miss hitting a card in their hand, you're still removing all copies of that card from the game. Both Cabal Therapy and Stain the Mind usually have an impact right away. With Cabal Therapist, it takes a turn, and it's possible that you don't get any value until it triggers for a second time on the turn after that, so it's a bit slow on its own. However, in combination with the other discard effects, it gets much better.

    Opening up with a turn 1 Therapist into an explosive turn 2 with Stain the Mind or Cabal Therapy would be a pretty strong start, assuming Therapist doesn't die right away. That then gives you another Therapist rip the following turn, which is probably enough to dismantle most opponents hands. Still much slower than a Therapy + Stain the Mind opener, but increasing the consistency of the discard plan seems worth it still.

    Casting Therapy, Therapist, and Stain the Mind between the first two turns would be pretty sick, actually.

    I would not cut any Cabal Therapy. Stain the Mind and Once Upon a Time, on the other hand, are bad in multiples. It seems reasonable to trim one of each.

    With the two free spaces, I'm torn between Therapist and Ravager. However, I'm much more interested in the first few turns than I am with the midgame, so for now, Therapist gets the nod. I may change my mind later and cut the Therapist's for Anje's Ravager, Nightshade Assassin, Ruthless Sniper, Gravecrawler, or Hogaak.

    As far as Stitcher's Supplier goes, that's a different deck. We only have 12 cards we actually want to put into the graveyard. Stitcher's Supplier does not synergize with Basking Rootwalla or Hollow One. Stitcher's Supplier, and similar effects like Hedron Crab, are better suited for the standard Hogaak lists.

    tl;dr Once Upon a Time and Stain the Mind are not great in multiples, so trimming 1 of each seems like a good idea. I really like the dynamic that Cabal Therapist would add to this deck, essentially increasing the consistency of destroying the opponent's hand during the first few turns of the game in tandem with Cabal Therapy and Stain the Mind. Therefore, I will be modifying my list above to include these changes.
    Last edited by Hanni; 08-25-2020 at 12:26 PM.
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    5c Hollow Vine

    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.

  8. #208
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Honestly, the only place I would trim is maybe 1x Stain the Mind. OUAT is *nuts*, pure and simple. I wouldn't cut any copies. Stain the Mind seems to be the natural place to trim simply because it needs the main plan to succeed in order to be castable, which means any hand with more than one Stain is basically an automatic mulligan. OUAT does the opposite: it can undo a mulligan pretty easily by converting into another threat or land. The first Stain the Mind should be backbreaking, the rest of our effort should be put into closing the game. Just theoretical of course, I still need to get some real testing in.

    Therapist I think will be an interesting test...I like that it's a creature to trigger Vengevines and it provides another avenue of discard. The cost is correct at B, but as you say, it's slow. Lotleth Troll is also slow but basically neccessary, it's there as discard outlets 9+10 and as a creature that doesn't need the graveyard to become a serious threat. Menace isn't a terrible ability, either (something I always forget Therapist brings.)

    EDIT: I'm really digging the tricks this deck can do as well. There is all of the Therapy/Stain the mind shenanigans that can really make this deck good against combo and the ways double Basking Rootwalla can enable Vengevines on our opponent's turn.

    How do we feel about Darkblast? Is that just worse than Firestorm?
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  9. #209
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Well, the first Once Upon a Time is nuts, but every copy beyond the first in the opening hand is not. Paying 0 mana to dig 5 is nuts, but paying 2 mana is not. Having two copies in the opener isn't horrible; if you can make 2 land drops and have nothing significant to spend mana for on turn 2, you can spend it on the 2nd copy to dig for more gas. However, if you don't have two lands or if you do have other stuff you do want to cast on turn 2, it's a blank until the midgame. 3+ copies in the opener is usually a mulligan. Cutting to 3 copies will make the deck more consistent overall I think.

    Same goes for Stain the Mind. One copy is fantastic, and while there will be some matchups where you want two copies, you can only cast one copy per turn at the expense of tapping your threats and not attacking. It's okay when they have summoning sickness, but you're hurting your clock to convoke multiple turns in a row. Drawing 3+ copies in the opener is usually a mulligan. Same as Once Upon a Time, cutting to 3 copies will make the deck more consistent overall.

    Beyond that, we have two open slots to work with. It might simply be correct to fit the Gravecrawler's back in to make the deck run more smoothly, but I'm willing to test out other options in these flex slots. I really like the concept behind Therapist, but I guess I'll have to see how it actually works in practice.

    Darkblast is definitely worse than Firestorm. Darkblast only deals with a single x/1 per mana investment, whereas Firestorm is a single mana sweeper that can basically clean the board against aggro matchups. We don't need to keep killing stuff, we usually just need a one time sweep to close a game out. Blazing Volley is another consideration for that slot, but I really feel like our mass removal option needs to be able to deal with x/2's, and being an instant is a nice bonus.
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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

    I figured Darkblast is less conditional; topdecked Darkblast when your hand is empty could steal some games. It can kill x/2's by dredging during the draw step. *shrug* Just some thoughts.

    Edit: Force of Despair?
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Force of Despair only deals with creatures that have come into play that turn, so it's too conditional.

    The way I usually play the deck, I tend to float cards in hand during the midgame, so I should usually have at least a couple of cards to discard to Firestorm during the midgame. However, I haven't playtested with it much, so maybe I'm wrong.

    If I was going to run something else, it would probably be Pyroclasm.
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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

    That all makes sense. I was looking for 'free' options, and the only ones I could come up with were Massacre (need to run fetches/basic Swamp), Marrow Shards (only deals 1 damage, and only to attackers), and Force of Despair (only free on their turn and conditional.) If Engineered Plague only cost 2 mana I would say that is the card to use, but unfortunately it's at 3 mana so essentially unplayable, especially considering Plague Engineer is just a strict upgrade.

    I haven't heard anything about Death and Taxes in a long time, and Maverick is basically a fringe deck at this point in Legacy history, but Esper Vial is a real deck ATM. I was looking at Pyrokinesis, which would be very good, but we don't have nearly the red count to pull that off.

    What about Umezawa's Jitte? It isn't super efficient but it could really swing grindier games.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    The fact that Firestorm costs a single mana, sweeps creatures with as much toughness as you have cards to discard, is instant, and can go to face as reach puts it in a class above all of the other options that we have available.

    You just have to wait to go off until turn 2 or 3, so that you can wreck the opponent's board at the same time (assuming Firestorm is in your opening hand and not a topdeck). I tend to hold cards in hand in the midgame so that I can make another burst later, so that sort of works to enable a topdecked Firestorm.

    Jitte is way too mana hungry to work in this deck, and too slow for what we would need it for anyway. We grind really well by having sticky creatures that keep coming back after they die. Stain the Mind removing Swords to Plowshares from the game does a lot to shore up those matchups. The most important thing to address in postboard games where we would need to grind is to be able to deal with their graveyard hate.

    I wish there was some sort of etb creature at 0cc-2cc (with whatever additional cost that we could reasonably satisfy) that gave all creatures-2/-2 until end of turn, but that's probably never going to happen.
    Last edited by Hanni; 08-25-2020 at 11:01 AM.
    Sligh
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    5c Hollow Vine

    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
    I wish there was a some sort of etb creature at 0cc-2cc
    I enjoy reading all the deck tech, thanx for posting; discord is meh.

    this type of creature was discussed in other threads. the only creature that's close to what you want is necroplasm.

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Well, Firestorm it is. I don't currently have any but I can proxy them for now.

    The closest I can come up with for creature-based repeatable removal is either Grim Lavamancer or Plagued Rusalka. Grim will be hard to feed and Rusalka seems too conditional, not as good as Firestorm.
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Where are you at with the maindeck now?

    I like the shift back to the old 5c madness builds we had before with Imp + Tireless Tribe. 8PImp.dec has more explosive turn 1s.

    I loved Lotleth Troll in the original version years ago, but it seems too slow for recent metas. Casting it with regeneration mana open is a pipe dream if you want to use it as a Madness enabler. The old version could curve T1 DRS into T2 Troll with B open, a MUCH stronger sequence worth delaying a turn. The regeneration ability was most useful for bluffing attacks into blockers and fighting Goyf ground wars, but that was a thing of older metas. Another part of its value was being a Zombie for Gravecrawler tricks, but once you cut the Gravecrawler+Carrion Feeder engine Troll loses yet more value. Without B open, it trades 1-for-1 too easily and seems worse than 1 cmc outlets.

    Is turn 1 Faithless Looting or Insolent Neonate better in slots 9-10 than Troll? Without the DRS line, there isn't a good reason to wait till T2 to start discarding. At 2 mana, Collective Brutality seems better, providing relevant interaction immediately. It also makes Therapies better.

    Cabal Therapist is a great idea and "goes off" with Bloodghast, generating more immediate interaction than Carrion Feeder's cuteness.

    Firestorm is a classic Dredge SB card that I used to run in this deck sometimes. It's good in creature-heavy matchups for explosive changes to the board state.

    Jitte and Plague are way too slow. This deck is not control and can't durdle with mana. Jitte is very mana hungry and a poor fit with painlands.

    I usually ran Decays somewhere in the 75. Magic is an interactive game. Vomiting out 4/4s and 2/1s isn't always enough. But this deck needs a high creature count and can't afford to waste too many slots on interaction, so you really want your few interaction spells to hit. Decay being uncounterable is big. Therapy also plays around disruption well between the mind games and flashback value.

    I think 4 Paradise is too many. They're great with Bloodghast, but having 2 out at once is awful tempo.



    //Rainbow Lands: 14
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Mana Confluence
    3 City of Brass
    3 Undiscovered Paradise

    //Creatures: 32
    4 Putrid Imp
    4 Tireless Tribe
    2 Cabal Therapist
    2 Gravecrawler
    4 Basking Rootwalla
    4 Bloodghast
    4 Prized Amalgam
    4 Vengevine
    4 Hollow One

    //Spells: 14
    4 Once Upon a Time
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Faithless Looting
    3 Abrupt Decay

    //Sideboard: 15
    2 Firestorm
    2 Faerie Macabre
    1 Big Game Hunter
    1 Karakas
    1 Collective Brutality
    2 Thoughtseize
    2 Veil of Summer
    2 Silent Gravestone
    2 Force of Vigor


    Rough SB. Balance between anti-combo, anti-aggro, anti-control, and anti-hate will depend on the meta.

    With Prized Amalgam in the deck, I think Gravecrawler is worth another look. They enable each other. Crawler is also a cheap way to trigger Vengevine in topdeck mode, from hand or graveyard. Without it there's a shortage of castable creatures to really get good value from Vengevine, and there's a shortage of recurring creatures to trigger Amalgam. Crawler solves both at once. You will often have Cavern @ Zombie for PImp, which helps.

    Edit: Part of me has always wanted to have the stones to bring in postboard Doran, the Siege Tower as a plan B that doesn't depend on the graveyard and is hilarious with Tireless Tribe.

  17. #217
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    My current maindeck (and sideboard) is the one listed in the middle of this page (page 11).

    Lotleth Troll is a necessary evil. You need a permanent based repeatable discard outlet, and there are no other 1cc options. Faithless Looting, Insolent Neonate, and Collective Brutality aren't good enough. You have to discard 3+ cards to make Hollow One cost 0 mana, you often need to discard 3+ to dump your hand, and you want to be able to discard topdecked Vengevine's and Amalgam's midgame (and whatever else to enable midgame Hollow One's)..

    You don't need to cast Lotleth Troll and have regeneration mana up immediately. You simply need to resolve it in order to be able to dump your hand. Against removal, you can continue to discard in response. Against Swords to Plowshares, it's going to die anyway, and against Bolt, it can grow past 3 toughness. If it dies to Fatal Push, it's whatever; the important part is that it enables the rest of your hand. You shouldn't need to worry about regenerating it until the following turn when it is capable of attacking, where you should have the mana to regenerate it if necessary.

    Lotleth Troll is certainly slower, but the deck has Lotus Petal to still enable it on turn 1, and even on turn 2, that's still okay. The deck has 8 free creatures between Rootwalla and Hollow One, which makes it work.

    Being a zombie for Gravecrawler was only a piece of why it was ran before, and Gravecrawler may still find its way back in eventually.

    Decay is certainly something that could be ran, but supporting a double color costed non-creature spell can be difficult in this deck. I was exploring cheaper or creature based options first, which is why I arrived at my current list. Force of Vigor gives us free removal for artifacts/enchantments, while Firestorm and Big Game Hunter give us removal that costs 1cc.

    4 Paradise is a necessary evil to enable Bloodghast with only 14 total lands. There are plenty of games where we only need a single source of mana, so it's usually not an issue. We don't use mana the same way that normal decks do. In the midgame, I usually hold on to stuff until I can get another little burst assembled.

    Gravecrawler could certainly make its way back in, but it would be in the Therapist slot for me, because again, Lotleth Troll is a necessary evil. For now, I think there is a sufficient amount of bodies to recur midgame Vengevine's (again, I hold topdecked stuff in hand to assemble another mini burst in the midgame), but Gravecrawler would certainly make things run smoother, and I may end up cutting Therapist for Gravecrawler in the future.

    I see that you cut Lotus Petal; I would advise against that. You need the additional mana sources, and Petal enables the faster starts more consistently. If you do go that route, without increasing the land count, let me know how it tests out.

    I think Stain the Mind is way too good to not run some copies, and that you will get stuck with uncastable Decay's too often, but there is certainly room for trying different things.
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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
    Edit: Part of me has always wanted to have the stones to bring in postboard Doran, the Siege Tower as a plan B that doesn't depend on the graveyard and is hilarious with Tireless Tribe.
    You my friend are an evil genius...I am a sucker for anything Lorwyn-related and I actually used Doran as anti-Tnn tech at one point.

    I'm torn on Stain the Mind maindeck. It's a card with a decent floor and a very high ceiling, ranging from 'get rid of your StP' to 'win the game right now.'

    Abrupt Decay may be a necessary evil, but I think Force of Vigor needs to be vetted first. It's free and we can enable it easily, leaving our mana open to feed the creature plan.

    I think we want 10 repeatable creature-based discard outlets, it's just a necessary evil with Vengevine. Once Upon a Time might be enough to squeak out playing only 8-9, but I don't think that's a reliable approach. Having more than one outlet isn't bad at all considering one may get countered (no Cavern opener) and the fact that the majority of them are 1-mana creatures to enable getting Vengevine back. If another 1-mana 'discard up to 3 cards' creature gets printed I think we swap immediately, but until then I think Troll just has to be there. If Gravecrawler becomes too important to the gameplan I think Troll gets even more important. I don't think Burning Inquiry is good enough, but has that been tested yet?

    I am still torn about Chancellor of the Annex...I want it to work really bad, just because t1 is so fundamental to the gameplan. A man can dream...
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    Decay is certainly something that could be ran, but supporting a double color costed non-creature spell can be difficult in this deck. I was exploring cheaper or creature based options first, which is why I arrived at my current list. Force of Vigor gives us free removal for artifacts/enchantments, while Firestorm and Big Game Hunter give us removal that costs 1cc.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    You don't need to cast Lotleth Troll and have regeneration mana up immediately.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    Being a zombie for Gravecrawler was only a piece of why it was ran before, and Gravecrawler may still find its way back in eventually.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    Lotleth Troll is a necessary evil. You need a permanent based repeatable discard outlet, and there are no other 1cc options.
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I see that you cut Lotus Petal; I would advise against that. You need the additional mana sources, and Petal enables the faster starts more consistently. If you do go that route, without increasing the land count, let me know how it tests out.
    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.
    Last edited by FTW; 08-28-2020 at 12:00 PM.

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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    You my friend are an evil genius...I am a sucker for anything Lorwyn-related and I actually used Doran as anti-Tnn tech at one point.

    I'm torn on Stain the Mind maindeck. It's a card with a decent floor and a very high ceiling, ranging from 'get rid of your StP' to 'win the game right now.'

    Abrupt Decay may be a necessary evil, but I think Force of Vigor needs to be vetted first. It's free and we can enable it easily, leaving our mana open to feed the creature plan.

    I think we want 10 repeatable creature-based discard outlets, it's just a necessary evil with Vengevine. Once Upon a Time might be enough to squeak out playing only 8-9, but I don't think that's a reliable approach. Having more than one outlet isn't bad at all considering one may get countered (no Cavern opener) and the fact that the majority of them are 1-mana creatures to enable getting Vengevine back. If another 1-mana 'discard up to 3 cards' creature gets printed I think we swap immediately, but until then I think Troll just has to be there. If Gravecrawler becomes too important to the gameplan I think Troll gets even more important. I don't think Burning Inquiry is good enough, but has that been tested yet?

    I am still torn about Chancellor of the Annex...I want it to work really bad, just because t1 is so fundamental to the gameplan. A man can dream...
    The random discard on Burning Inquiry can be hit or miss, and I'd hate to accidentally discard my Hollow One's, but the draw 3 discard 3 aspect of it isn't horrible. I'd still rather pay an extra mana for Lotleth though. Potentially uncounterable with Cavern, repeatable, able to discard everything you want (and nothing you don't), and the fact that it's a decent threat on its own are all pretty good things, IMO.
    Sligh
    Echo Stompy
    /r Miracle Intuition
    Yorion's Intuition
    5c Hollow Vine

    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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