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Thread: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

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    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Note that this primer is also meant to be a resource to help with future brewing of the deck (or other creature-centric decks), that's why there are listed loads of relevant cards and synergies.

    Table of contents

    • Deck name explained
    • Basics
    • Background
    • Why play MOST?
    • Sample deck lists
    • Matchups
    • Core cards of the deck
    • Sideboard
    • Two potential cores
    • Related decks
    • Synergies to build upon
    • Possible combos
    • Packages from above
    • Examples of online playing
    • Discord
    • Podcasts covering the deck
    • Tournament results
    • Modern version of the deck


    MOST is an acronym for Merieke, Opposition, Survival of the Fittest, and Tradewind Rider. Note that many of these cards have been replaced as they became less relevant, it is a name that was relevant a long time ago.

    With Survival banned it may be more appropriate to call it MOFT, since Fauna Shaman replaced Survival of the fittest. But we won't do that, no.

    Basics of the deck

    At its heart it's a creature centric control deck, using creatures to try to control the board and to some degree stack and having some amount of selection to help find the creatures needed. Depending on which colours and card selection suit you choose to use, the deck will look a bit differently. The deck is typically focused on the bant colours with a light black splash but any combination is possible and they all have their advantages. An introduction to what the different colours bring, and what different colour combinations look like, could be added to this primer.

    The deck typically tries to ramp by playing a large amount of alternative mana sources and fewer lands. In parallel it can deploy a Mother of Runes to secure key creatures and gain board control. The advantage of this is that you develop your board more quickly than most decks, and your late game topdecks improve since a top decked mana producer can be used as tutor fodder for Fauna Shaman. Having Fauna Shaman active and an Aether Vial in play means you can put basically any card from your deck into play at instant speed and uncounterably (well, you need to plan for it and tick Vial up accordingly). This is very useful. Vs combo you can slam a Spell Queller, Leovold, Gaddock Teeg or Gilded Drake at an inconvenient moment for your opponent. Vs control a Glen Elendra can cause some problems, or a Magus of the Moon. Vs aggressive decks a Peacekeeper can give you all the time in the world to build up a game winning board. And vs midrange decks getting Leovold, Merieke Ri Berit or Stoneforge for Jitte can all be game winners. You can also tutor up strong card advantage engines when that is the approach you need to take, or a sweeper. It's all up to you and how you choose to use your flex slots. Just changing a single slot can have a large impact on a matchup.

    Background of the deck

    It was created by the user Stinner as a Survival deck in 2008-2009. Already in 2004 the ATS thread was created on the Source. Also in the 90's I was playing 5c Tradewind which can be read about on The Dojo, buried deep in memory.

    The deck, in its post-survival form, has been discussed on the now inactive MtG-forum since Dec 10th 2011:

    I highly recommend using Google Translate when browsing this forum:

    Previous thread on the source and other forums was the Trade Pod deck, which was high-jacked by the user Buloid to discuss MOST in late 2013:
    Buloid's post:

    Why play this deck?

    It is perhaps the most beautiful deck of legacy (not afraid of using big words here), surprising you with its consistency (which is reasonable), efficiency (which is good) and flexibility (which is unparalleled). It is unlike anything most of you have seen or played before, so free your mind of your mental inhibitions and browse on.

    The deck is different in that it doesn't put one single strategy foremost and then does everything to streamline the deck into executing that strategy, it is a deck that tries to execute a multi-faceted strategy by having an efficient and redundant tutor core (maybe it needs to be streamlined, you're welcome to dig in). Due to the last decade's steady increase in efficiency of creatures we can expect this deck to only get better with time. The most crucial aspect seems to be veeeery few people playing it. The learning curve is steep, the deck is difficult to master, the deck building possibilities are endless, but given time and effort the deck will reward you with tremendous fun, even your opponents will enjoy it with you, and correctly tailored for your meta it can be a strong contender.

    The deck has a maindeck hatebear strategy which gives it good game vs combo and control decks, it can pack FoW somewhere in the 75 which helps vs t1-2 combo and it has a redundant card tutoring core that lets you find a multitude of silver-bullets for certain matchups (such as Gilded Drake, Magus of the Moon, Orzhov Pontiff, Merieke Ri Berit, etc).

    It is a very creative deck archetype. The core is flexible and provides a lot of tutoring and protection vs both fair and unfair strategies. It can host basically any creature based combo and will put it together by turn 4-5 if left uninterrupted, and Mother of Runes and Force of Will can help it be uninterrupted if that's what you're going for. FoW’s can also be used to protect your creatures against sweepers if they are rampant in your local meta, the Vials and ramp options give it a good chance vs mana denial strategies (but Canadian Threshold is still a tough matchup in my experience).

    One of the deck’s main disadvantages is that it is very hard to both put together optimally and to master a list; there is most certainly a better list out there and evaluating changes can be hard since it is not a streamlined deck with 4 copies of every card, different games can play out quite differently. Having access to almost any of the cards in your list every turn and figuring out if you need to be defensive, offensive, which threat you should focus on preparing for or which synergies you should deploy and in what order can be quite challenging. Putting an extra counter on a Vial because you want to be guaranteed to put a certain creature in your deck into play may result in your losing the game.

    Sample deck lists

    03-27-2020 Pettdan and 020719
    02-17-2020 Vickas and 122018, 2018
    06-08-2019 Bobmans
    03-24-2019 Memories of the Time
    02-22-2019 Deragun
    02-21-2019 Bedell
    02-02-2019 AngryBacon
    01-12-2019 ChristoferV
    12-22-2018 FutureSight2_MTGBoogaloo
    11-16-2018 Cermak
    09-20-2018 Demonic Pact
    08-17-2018 Kanti
    02-22-2018 Stinner
    05-12-2017 Shaden
    04-14-2017 Hadhod
    02-15-2017 Alexeezay


    Running out of space for the primer, moved here:

    Common and a few not so common core cards of the deck (by decreased order of frequency in decklists, subjectively)

    • Lands: 14-18 cards

    1 Forest
    0-1 Plains
    1-3 Savannah
    1-2 Tropical Island
    1-2 Bayou
    0-1 Tundra
    0-1 Underground Sea
    0-1 Taiga
    6-8 Fetches for Forest type cards
    Not counting Dryad Arbor among the lands.

    • Alternative mana sources: 4-14 cards

    Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch, Green Sun's Zenith, Dryad Arbor, Aether Vial, Once upon a Time
    Comment: there used to be mixed opinions on playing Aether Vial in this deck, as of now it's relatively established in most versions. Here you can find previous discussion on this:

    • Tutors and card selection: 6-12 cards (GSZ included above)
    • Utility: 1-2 cards

    Scryb Ranger, Quirion Ranger
    Comment: These are often key cards of the deck, although if your list is focusing on ETB effects they become a little less useful, still however excellent. They triple up on the activations of each creature with a tap effect in the deck, since you can activate the Ranger's ability during the opponent's turn too. The perhaps most useful applications are Mother of Runes for board control and protection, and using it to get 4 mana out of a single land and mana dork, extremely resource efficient. Other examples of applications are doubling up on tutoring with Fauna Shaman, good if you try to use a graveyard based combo or synergy such as using Volrath's Shapeshifter; the rangers turn Merieke Ri Berit into a killer machine and win condition since you can untap her with her first activation on the stack to put a second copy on the stack, taking control of several creatures; you can use Tradewind Rider (rarely played lately) to bounce 2-3 lands per turn to create a soft lock, keeping your opponent on 1 land for the rest of the game. The Scryb Ranger provides more utility, flashing in to fizzle a Wasteland is common as is blocking Strix/Delver/Clique or carrying equipment, but the Quirion Ranger can be fetched more easily. Adding Soulherder to the deck puts more focus on etb-effects than tap-effects, so depending on which effects you focus on you may want to run 1 or 2 copies.

    • Control: 1-2 cards

    Glen Elendra Archmage, Opposition, Tradewind Rider
    Comment: Tradewind Rider and Opposition have fallen out of favor but are still powerful options, consider if they are right for your meta. Both cards are actually weak to Terminus.

    • Removal: 3-7 cards

    Qasali Pridemage, Knight of the Autumn, Orzhov Pontiff, Plague Engineer, Swords to Plowshares, Abrupt Decay, Umezawa’s Jitte, Izzet Staticaster
    Comment: You absolutely need artifact removal to get rid of Umezawa's Jitte before it connects (if that card is seeing play, with Oko in the format it has dropped a lot), or some other way of dealing with it such as Peacekeeper or Force of Will.

    • Hatebears: 4-7
    • Finishers: 0-1 cards
    • Protection: 3-8 cards
    • Card advantage: 2-5 cards
    • Boosting your team: 0-2 cards
    • Lifegain or damage prevention
    • Graveyard-interaction
    • Planeswalkers

    Oko, Thief of Crowns, Venser, the Sojourner, Domri Rade, Nissa, Steward of Elements, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, Garruk Relentless, Captain Sisay
    Comments: Planeswalkers will always be slightly suboptimal in the deck, if you can find a creature with a similar ability that is much better due to the tutorability provided by Fauna Shaman, protection from Mother of Runes, reusing thanks to Meren, and being playable through Aether Vial. There is a way to tutor for the planeswalkers and that is using Captain Sisay to tutor for them since they are legendary.

    Other options to the core cards:

    When considering which cards to add to your list you generally want the card to fullfill as many of the following requirements as possible (basically common sense):
    - The card is a relevant topdeck in a lot of matchups independent of other cards in the deck. The more generally relevant a card is, the better. Fauna Shaman does loosen this requirement but many games will be played without an active Fauna Shaman. Playing Brainstorm in your list, of course, further loosens this requirement.
    - Choose cards that have synergies with as many of the other cards in your deck as possible. A practical way of working with this is consider packages of cards. An example is Scryb Ranger which has synergy with any creature with a tap effect, which is most creatures in the deck, while also having a combo-like synergy with Merieke ri Berit (who's not "supposed to" untap).
    - Cards that don't have much synergies with the other cards should have some very strong effects. Examples are Sylvan Library and Force of Will.
    - When adding a combo element to the deck, the cards included should preferably be as few as possible and individually relevant.

    Discard and hand disruption:

    Vendilion Clique, Riptide Pilferer, Kitesail Freebooter, Tidehollow Sculler, Needle Specter, Gwendlyn di Corci, Dimir Cutpurse, Bloodhusk Ritualist, Ana Battlemage, Distended Mindbender, Thought-Knot Seer
    Comment: there is also the combination of Leovold, Emissary of Trest or Notion Thief with Magus of the Wheel or similar creatures.
    Thought-Knot Seer is pretty hard to cast and playing it would require some innovative choices. Cards that help cast Thought-Knot Seer could be Aether Vial, Magus of the Library, Cavern of Souls

    Card advantage:
    Card draw or filtering:
    Combat creatures:

    Glissa, the Traitor
    Comments: Glissa can rule the battlefield in some matchups and come in with Vial to block-kill an attacking creature, with the benefit of bringing back Vials, Strixes and Jitte from the graveyard for free. She also has very nice synergy with Walking Ballista.

    Boosting your team:
    Life gain or damage prevention:
    Other mana producers:
    Sideboard considerations

    Vs combo or control:
    Vs combo:
    Vs control decks:
    Vs removal heavy decks:
    Vs mana denial:
    Vs graveyard strategies:
    Vs artifact-heavy decks:
    Vs burn strategies:
    Vs lands strategies:
    Vs big creature strategies:

    Two potential cores of the deck

    To help me in my deck building with this deck I tend to build a core of the deck that contains the most useful cards that are needed to keep the deck together and provide the answers to some of the most common strategies. Let me know if you like a different core of the deck and I'll add it.

    Upd March 2020: Since a while back I've been running Flickerwisph and Recruiter, inspired by DnT, and with recent MTGO success of Esper Vial using Soulherder I decided to try it too, I'll update the shell with Soulherder below. Also the release of OuaT means this card is now competing with GSZ (and Brainstorm) for space in the deck. I think if you're playing a value control version, then Recruiter is better, but if you're playing a combo control version, then Fauna Shaman is relatively better, but I think there is a lot of overlap between the optimal versions of both approaches. Also Collector Ouphe has appeared as a new hatebear for the sideboard, Oko presents a good threat and answer vs fair decks that MOST can ramp into, Uro and Kroxa appear as new Vial+Karakas value engines and late-game grind power. Kunoros has appeared as another relevant hatebear although it's hard to say how it fits, being a bit slow at three mana and not green and competing with Scavenging Ooze and Containment Priest.

    With Soulherder:
    3 Once Upon a Time
    1 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Recruiter of the Guard
    1 Fauna Shaman

    4 Aether Vial
    1 Sylvan Library

    Green creatures:
    2 Birds of Paradise
    2 Noble Hierarch
    1 Scryb Ranger
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Knight of Autumn

    Non-green creatures:
    3 Mother of Runes
    1 Soulherder
    1 Orzhov Pontiff
    1 Sanctum Prelate
    1 Glen Elendra Archmage
    16 fetches and forests

    Comment: with Soulherder etb effects get better, like Knight of Autumn and Orzov Pontiff. The lower amount of GSZs mean Dryad Arbor, Meren and Leovold are much harder to find consistently. This also means it's less necessary to run black cards and splashing red is more of an option than in the Meren version. An advantage of this version is a lot of built in card advantage and good board presence. The OuaT's could be replaced with Brainstorms, making it easier to build a FoW-version.

    With Meren:
    3 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Once Upon a Time
    4 Aether Vial
    2 Birds of Paradise
    2 Noble Hierarch
    1 Dryad Arbor
    1 Scryb Ranger
    1 Fauna Shaman
    1 Recruiter of the Guard
    3 Mother of Runes
    1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
    1 Sylvan Library
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    1 Plague Engineer
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    1 Glen Elendra Archmage
    16 fetches and forests

    Comment: This version seems more relevant for a combo version since Fauna Shaman offers unparallelled tutor ability and puts creatures in the graveyard which is sometimes needed for combos.

    1 Carpet of Flowers
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Ethersworn Canonist
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1-3 Leyline of the Void

    Close contenders:

    Motivation for this core:
    These are 43 cards so you have 17 potential one-offs to add to the deck. From this you can go for a FoW version, a combo version, a mana denial version à la DnT, an elves package, wizards, artifact theme or whatever you like.
    The current trend is to play Aether Vial, I think it is too good not to play, but it can be changed for more mana dorks.
    You probably want more answers to Umezawa's Jitte, depending on how popular it is, but answers will help vs Chalice too and that never hurts. That can be in the form of additional Qasalis, Reclamation Sage, Abrupt Decay, Kolaghan's Command, Force of Will and/or Peacekeeper.
    I usually play 2 Scryb Ranger, 0 Quirion Ranger, but I think this depends on how many lands you choose to play. Furthmore, usually there will be 2 Leovolds.
    You also typically want some card draw, either Sylvan Library or Brainstorm. If you want to play FoW's somwewhere in the 75 then Brainstorm is well suited.
    I removed Merieke ri Berit from this list because I've been fine without her, however she's a real game-winning card that's nice to have access to. If attrition based decks are tier 1, then she may be ill positioned.

    I'll add here Stinner's description of his list, it has some general recommendations that can be considered a core:
    Quote Originally Posted by Stinner View Post
    [Had to cut this to free up some space, access the link by clicking Stinner above]

    Decks that share some features with MOST or that can be used for inspiration

    Basically, any creature heavy deck with Vials or tribal deck contains synergies that can be used by MOST too. Below decks are ordered by thread number.

    ATS (Angry Tradewind Survival):
    Cephalid Breakfast: Also: Intro to updated CB 2020
    Full English Breakfast:
    Faerie Stompy:
    Grand Architect (modern deck):
    Mono-blue Martyr:
    Stoneybrook's Alarm, Wizard to Opposition:!
    Oracle Opposition:
    Trophy Mage control:
    Stilljutsu, UB Ninja Still:
    Faerie Ninja Still:
    Humans, 1:
    Humans, 2:
    Standing Vial:
    Spicy Popcorn:
    Wizards (Eternal Durdles):
    Spirit Tribal:

    Below decks are not Source-threads:
    Vial Wizards (Modern):, here is a video explaining the deck:
    Esper Vial: Reddit-discussion
    BUG Vial: MTGO 5-0 decklist 041120

    Synergies to build upon

    • Wizards

    Patron Wizard, Spellstutter Sprite, Voidmage Prodigy, Qasali Pridemage, Meddling Mage, Vendilion Clique, Izzet Staticaster, Glen Elendra Archmage, Grim Lavamancer, Dark Confidant, Snapcaster Mage, Sylvan Safekeeper, Thornscape Battlemage, Zameck Guildmage, Mangara of Corondor, Master of Waves, Trinket Mage, Trophy Mage, Aphetto Grifter, Surgespanner,Mirror Entity, Cursecatcher, Martyr of Frost, Zameck Guildmage, Sage of Fables, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Boros Reckoner, Aven Mindcensor, Venser, Shaper Savant, Azorious Guildmage Master Biomancer, Marchesa, the Black Rose, Ana Battlemage, Magus of the Library,Mistcaller, Merfolk Trickster, Reflector Mage, Naru Meha, Master Wizard, Naban, Dean of Iteration, Siren Stormtame, Champion of Wits, Dreamstealer, Nimble Obstructionist, Baral, Chief of Compliance, Harbinger of the Tides, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy, Galecaster Colossus (which can be used from the graveyard with a Necrotic Ooze if you don't get to hardcast it), Archivist
    Comments: The deck already likes to play a lot of wizards, sometimes up to ten wizards in the main deck. At that point, with the inclusion of one specific card, the Patron Wizard, you can effectively lock down many decks or at least prevent them from playing the game efficiently. Note that Quirion and Scryb Ranger help out by untapping wizards. Voidmage Prodigy has a similar effect.

    • Faeries
    • Elves
    • Artifacts
    • Graveyard based synergies, reanimation strategies etc (or more generally strategies for cheating a monster into play)

    Necrotic Ooze, Scarab God, Arcane Artisan, Varolz, the Scar-Striped, Loyal Retainers, Goblin Welder, Mimeoplasm, Volrath's Shapeshifter, Apprentice Necromancer, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Order of Whiteclay, Magus of the Will, Coffin Queen, Hell's Caretaker, Lazav, the Multifarious

    Necrotic Ooze is a fantastic card for this deck, since Fauna Shaman puts anything into the graveyard, most abilities of your creatures are activated abilities so even without trying Necrotic Ooze is likely to be a super creature by the time you get access to it during a game. Meren of Clan Nel Toth is another card slot in the deck that utilizes the graveyard by bringing the creatures back into play. If you look further down you will find that there are a lot of combos and strong synergies with Necrotic Ooze that are worth considering. Some cards provide good enough synergy from the graveyard that you could consider playing them just to get value from Necrotic Ooze, one such option could be Zacama, Primal Calamity (or Minion of Leshrac) who first takes care of any bothersome creatures, then any equipment or lock pieces the opponent may have and then starts gaining you life.

    Another card that deservs its own section is Volrath's Shapeshifter. A couple of players devote themselves to Shapeshifter versions, building on the tradition of the deck Full English Breakfast. VS mixes utility and combo potential in a fascinating way that gives the player a lot of opportunity to outplay the opponent. Here are some cards that work well with it: Phage the Untouchable, Sheoldred, Whispering One, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Master of Cruelties, Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

    • Goblins

    Krenko, Mob Boss, [cards]Grenzo, Dungeon Warden[cards], Grenzo, Havoc Raiser, Goblin Welder, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
    Comments: with a Quirion or Scryb Ranger in play a Krenko by itself can generate 7 tokens over your and the opponent's first turn without summoning sickness, over yours and your opponents next turn you can have another 49 tokens. With a Mirror Entity in play this goes even more crazy.

    • Spirits

    Mausoleum Wanderer, Spell Queller, Kira, Great-Glass Spinner, Dimir Cutpurse, Geist of Saint Traft, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Eidolon of Rhetoric, Kataki, War's Wage, Hokori, Dust Drinker, Tradewind Rider, Strangleroot Geist, Phantom Nantuko, Karlov of the Ghost Council (pretty nice with Scavenging Ooze)
    Comments: Mausoleum Wanderer is what creates some extra synergy here. There should be some more things to make this strong enough to be really useful, but a lot of these cards work well in the deck anyway.

    • Lands

    Knight of the Reliquary, Karakas, Gaea’s Cradle, Ramunap Excavator, Sylvan Safekeeper, Tireless Tracker, Scryb Ranger, Titania, Protector of Argoth, Dryad of the Ilysian Grove, Azusa, Lost but Seeking, Weathered Wayfarer
    Comment: Playing Karakas and having a way to tutor for it is very good next to legendary creatures such as Vendilion Clique, Mangara of Corondor, and Venser, Shaper Savant. Especially if you also play Vial, e.g. you can replay Clique during each of your opponent's draw steps to create an uncounterable soft lock.

    • Legends

    Karakas, Aether Vial, Vendilion Clique, Mangara of Corondor, Captain Sisay, Gaea’s Cradle, Pia and Kiran Nalaar
    Comments: Note that Captain Sisay can tutor for any planeswalker too!

    • Mana denial

    Stasis, Winter Orb, Scryb Ranger, Quirion Ranger, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Vryn Wingmare, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Hokori, Dust Drinker, Archangel of Tithes, Tsabo's Web, Static Orb, Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
    Comments: Stasis combos with the Rangers so you can add it to your arsenal to fight various decks with basically zero deck building cost. The problem in my experience is not so much the usefulness of Stasis as that games become slow and your opponents become frustrated when they can't play.

    • Generating and using a lot of mana

    Gaea's Cradle, Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, Grand Architect with Pili-Pala, Shaman of the Great Hunt, Mirror Entity, Knight of the Reliquary, Grenzo, Dungeon Warden, Wren's Run Packmaster, Rhonas the Indomitable, Wolfbriar Elemental
    Comments: generating a lot of mana can be used with mana sinks such as Shaman of the Great Hunt, Rhonas the Indomitable and creatures that can be hardcast using this excessive mana while also spending a few slots to offer a way of cheating it into play such as Natural Order, Loyal Retainers, Elvish Piper et cetera.

    • Stealing Stuff

    Merieke ri Berit, Yasova Dragonclaw, Gilded Drake, Sower of Temptation, Dominating Licid
    Comments: Merieke Ri Berit is super powerful and you probably don't need anything else, still there are a few options.

    • +1/+1-Counters
    • -1/-1-Counters
    • Enchantments
    • Tokens
    • Clerics

    Edgewalker, Orzhov Pontiff, Mother of Runes, Weathered Wayfarer, Containment Priest, Vizier of Remedies, Academy Rector, Alms Collector, Ethersworn Canonist, Angus Mackenzie, Auriok Champion, War Priest of Thune, Children of Korlis (this actually answers Tendril's of Agony from turn 1), Mikaeus, the Lunarch, Skirsdag High Priest, High Priest of Penance, Leonin Arbiter, Remorseful Cleric, Weathered Wayfarer
    Comments: I'm collecting stuff here, not enough right now but Edgewalker seems so cool if you can put a bunch of creatures into play for free with him. I think these will be moved to some section with ideas that aren't worth going through here.

    • Rogues

    Earwig Squad, True-Name Nemesis,Brazen Borrower, Grenzo, Dungeon Warden, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Bitterblossom, Tetsuko Umezawa, Fugitive, Thada Adel, Acquisitor
    Comments: Earwig Squad seems like an interesting addition to the deck, a potential gamewinner vs combo and also good vs control, but it's hard to find enough Goblins and Rogues, that are good enough to play without the Squad, to make it reliable. I'll list some options here.

    • Elementals

    Master of Waves, Risen Reef, Animar, Soul of the Elements, Nivmagus Elemental, Wolfbriar Elemental, Fulminator Mage, Lightning Skelemental
    Comments: Master of Waves is good with e.g. Grand Architect and Patron Wizards so I've been looking for other elementals that may be worth adding to that shell, just to make Master of Waves a little bit better. This is more of a bonus synergy than something to build on, but who knows what can be found here. Recently a lot of elementals were printed, not least Risen Reef which gives a lot of extra value to Elemental synergies so it's worth considering.

    Possible combos

    Necrotic Ooze with any of the following:
    Devoted Druid, Quillspike
    Phyrexian Devourer, Triskelion, Walking Ballista
    Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
    Tree of Perdition
    Loyal Retainers or Apprentice Necromancer with any Legendary card
    Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Emrakul, Aeon's Thorn
    Volrath’s Shapeshifter, Phage the Untouchable or Vesperlark and a sacrifice outlet for infinite sacrificing (like Carrion Feeder)
    Aluren, Cavern Harpy, Recruiter of the Guard, Imperial Recruiter, Orzhov Pontiff, Sedraxis Alchemist. If playing this version it may be a good idea to maximize cards that have synergy with Aluren and Cavern Harpy, such as: Orzhov Pontiff, Baleful Strix, Coiling Oracle, Vendilion Clique, Bone Shredder, Spellstutter Sprite, Trinket Mage
    Heliod, Sun-Crowned, Walking Ballista
    Grand Architect, Pili-Pala
    Zameck Guildmage or Vizier of Remedies or Melira, Sylvok Outcast or Rhythm of the Wild, Varolz the Scar-Striped, Kitchen Finks, Murderous Redcap, Glen Elendra Archmage, Falkenrath Aristocrat
    Varolz, the Scar-Striped, Phyrexian Dreadnought, Death's Shadow
    Volrath's Shapeshifter, Lazav, the Multifarious, Phyrexian Dreadnought
    Archangel of Thune, Spike Feeder
    Painter's Servant, Grindstone, Trinket Mage
    Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Pestermite, Deceiver Exarch, Necrotic Ooze
    Knight of the Reliquary, Retreat to Coralhelm. Not quite a combo but it allows you to grow the knight huge quickly, while allowing for other tricks with Retreat.

    Packages from above
    Below are some of the packages from above, giving an idea of how the deck can be customized.

    • Blue artifacts devotion

    Master of Waves, Grand Architect, Mausoleum Wanderer, Baleful Strix, Pili-Pala, Walking Ballista, Trinket Mage, Phyrexian Metamorph
    Comments: here is a link to a post discussing Grand Architect:
    This shell works very well with Painter's Servant and Grindstone, with Trinket Mage tutoring for Grindstone and Fauna Shaman tutoring for Painter, and once Painter is in play you can even GSZ for Trinket Mage and you can use Grand Architect to generate all the mana you need to play and activate the combo. It's also sweet how Grand Architect helps you hardcast expensive artifact creatures that alternatively Goblin Welder can weld into play after Fauna Shaman discarded them. You can even play Gaea's Cradle or Rofellos to help out hardcasting them. Batterskull is the best card I found because a) it can be tutored by Stoneforg Mystic which is a strong way of using Aether Vial EoT, b) it's not eaten by Deathrite Shaman (irrelevant post ban), c) it can be played and equiped by Grand Architect, d) welding it in creates a new creature every time.
    Here is a link to some discussion about Grand Architect:

    Ranger of Eos
    Recruiter of the Guard
    • Mono-blue Martyr

    The key cards from the amazing deck Mono-blue Martyr are very possible to play as a package in MOST:
    Sky Hussar, Martyr of Frost, Nivmagus Elemental, Flusterstorm, Ninja of the Deep Hours, Judge's Familiar, Mausoleum Wanderer, Cursecatcher, Skaab Ruinator

    • Ninjas

    This section was created with the introduction of Yuriko, who is probably good enough to be the only ninja in your deck, and with a Mirror Entity in play this gets ridiculously good. See the section for similar decks or Mono-Blue Martyr (just above) for more inspiration!
    Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow

    Doran, the Siege Tower

    Mardu Ascendancy, Spellskite
    Comments: Doran is a very efficient beater by itself at three mana, even if it's usually rather unexciting to play a vanilla beater. It does boost all your 0/1's (BoP and Noble), 3/4's (Meren) and some of your opponent's creatures will lose power (True-Name Nemesis, Delver of Secrets, Young Pyromancer, Vendilion Clique, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben etc). It does make some other cards ridiculously good though. Mardu Ascendancy is a very interesting card, by courtesy of both protecting your team vs sweepers and offering the potential of providing a ton of free attacking goblin tokens every turn. If you have a Quirion/Scryb Ranger around you can use the goblin tokens for chump blocking, maybe you are attacking with fliers, in this case your opponent will have quite some trouble racing you. With Doran around, Mardu Ascendancy sacrifices to give your entire team +3/+3 until end of turn which with your army of creatures probably means you can attack for lethal on the very same turn (you even get extra goblin tokens when attacking, this seems extremely powerful). The disadvantage is that enchantments are hard to find (Zur the Enchanter) and the color combinations is not our favorite.

    Examples of online playing

    Andrea Mengucci testing a version of MOST, note that he is rather inexperienced with the deck (April 2017):
    Another attempt with a more updated list (Dec 2018):
    Jeff Hoogland playing MOST on stream (30th May 2018):
    Phil Gallagher playing 5c MOST on MTGO (Jan 2019):
    You can watch streams here:


    Join the discord:

    Podcasts covering the deck

    The dead format episode 25 with Rodney Bedell on 2018-12-18:

    Tournament results

    A search for Fauna Shaman and Quirion Ranger on results in the following decks that are all based on Survival of the Fittest. Decks for Fauna Shaman have been linked in the old thread but they were from which is no longer available.

    Survival Bant by Matteo Negrini in 2010:

    Ooze Survival by Nicola Landoni in 2010:

    Retainers Survival by Bachiorri Lorenzo in 2010:

    Welder Survival by Francisco José Gonzalez in 2010:

    Survival of the Moby Team by Letterio Musolino in 2010:

    Fauna Shaman-based decklists have been posted on which is no longer available.

    The user Stinner top8-ed with these lists in 2013:

    User Shaden top16'ed at Nebraska's War in late 2017 (list and tournament report: )

    User Demonic_Pact top16'ed at MKM Rome in March 2018 (list and tournament report: ).

    A 5-0-list from MTGO was published in December 2018 (list here: )

    Modern versions of the deck
    Last edited by pettdan; 04-30-2020 at 03:32 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    There's a 2 or 3 mana artifact that lets stuff with a "tap" ability activate the turn in comes into play, and also untaps creatures. Can't remember what it's called. Ah, found it Thousand-Year Elixir it's not really good, but it seems like it fits into what you're doing there.

  3. #3
    pettdan's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_coke View Post
    There's a 2 or 3 mana artifact that lets stuff with a "tap" ability activate the turn in comes into play, and also untaps creatures. Can't remember what it's called. Ah, found it Thousand-Year Elixir it's not really good, but it seems like it fits into what you're doing there.
    Thanks for the suggestion! I tried it when it was released, it gives haste which is great but the untap ability is the most useful part of it and Scryb Ranger and Quirion Ranger already provide that while having synergy with Green Sun's Zenith and Fauna Shaman. I'll add it to the list of potential cards to add though. Edit: Maybe it could be played with Trophy Mage, I think it's a bit too slow though.

  4. #4
    Stinner's Avatar
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    Feb 2018

    Milan, Italy


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider


    Great job, Pettdan!
    As wrote in the other thread (Trade Pod), I'm the original maker of the deck (based on the old ATS) and I've played since 2008 or 2009.
    Best result at time of SofT (and near 80% top 8 of played tournaments): (top 8 at Ovino 5)

    In the last MLL where I've played some (5) tournaments (2013), with 2 top 8:

    I suggest to keep the name (it's a joke: "how many tricks you can do?" "more... sry, MOST" (S = Shaman instead of Survival)

    The list I'm am playing at the moment (copy from the other thread):

    Some considerations about the basic concepts of the deck (born originally when SotF was legal in Legacy and with an amazing win ratio), who have the roots in the structure of the old ATS:

    - The low number of lands (14+1 Dryad): it’s permitted by the high number of starters (6 manadorks + 4 GSZ for Dryad + 3 Mother in the current version). The number is not casual but taken from the manabase of a monogreen aggro played by Dario Parazzoli (a very known Italian player, qualified 15-20 times for the PT) in years 1998/1999 and playtested in hundred of games (the great part against me). So, if you know it works, copy and use without another waste of time in order to search the ideal number of lands. I’ve played MOST in hundred of games and yes, this manabase work. The concept is, of course, to fix and to accelerate the mana, but also to have quickly a good number of creatures on the board in order to activate Tradewind and/or Opposition. Furthermore, in the late game it’s best have more % chances to draw a creature to do something (field, food for Fauna Shaman, pitch for FoW) instead of a land. And, yes, maybe a risk vs. a deck that put high pressure on the manabase and have a good race (Canadian, the worst matchup), but… no risks, no glory.

    - Is highly recommended that every land in the deck is a forest in order to amplify mana with Quirion and/or Scryb and at the same time save our lands from Wasteland or evade from Rishadan Port (a classical trick to gain tempo and material is to cast Scryb in response to a Wasteland). I’ve seen a Tundra in some lists. This is an apparently mana fixing, but in true this choose will increase the number of times you will take a mulligan (Just the Tundra in opening hand + manadorks and no Mothers = no good for us).

    - The pillars of the deck are, in every version: manadorks (of course), Fauna, Tradewind, Mother, Quirion/Scryb, FoW, Peacekeeper, Squee, and GZS. All other cards may change (included Merieke and Opposition, present in the acronym of the name of the deck: originally Merieke-Opposition-Survival-Tradewind).

    - Another basic concept is: better a long term-card advantage (for example, Peacekeeper) instead a 1x1 card trade. Every card in the deck must contribute to card advantage real (as seen, Scryb in resp. to Wasteland, activation of Fauna with Squee) or virtual (Mother, Mother + Quirion/Scryb, Meddling Mage and so on). Furthermore, for the Presence of Meddling Mages it’s better for us not choose the most common cards, specially removals (no StP, no Abrupt Decay. Sometimes, if meta requires, I’ve tried Fire//Ice or Izzet Charm).

    - Other: FoWs are a must. Legacy is a fast format with an huge number of powerful cards, imho is better to have a life insurance named FoW. The theoretical minimum amount of blue cards in the deck to play FoWs with good % of pitch in the first hand is 16 (I try to play ever from 18 to 20).
    - Other: of course a well-balanced toolbox in the main deck in order to have an answer near to everything. Hard, and virtual impossible, but the search for the perfection is a long way...

    The list of the current version I’m playing (with short explanation of the various choices):

    Main Deck

    3 Mother of Runes (great card, but just 3 instead of full set because useless or near useless in the first game vs. some matchups: ANT, S&T, Eldrazi, Mud, Tron)

    1 Peacekeeper (the key card vs. a great part of the decks of the field, think just ANT and High Tide don’t end the game with creatures)

    4 Birds of Paradise

    2 Noble Hierarch (3-3 to maybe a good balance of manadorks if we are feared for a possible call of Phyrexian Revoker. But, without the problem of Revoker, the better balancing is 4 BoP/2 NH because BoP are better mana fixers for mana offcolor RB (and we need it fast in some situations, for example when we side-in Magus of the Moon vs. Lands or colorless decks) and blockers -of course with Mother- for Delver, Marit Lage and so on)

    1 Quirion Ranger

    1 Scryb Ranger (1+1 of this incredible couple of similar creatures -the cost itself of they ability is an advantage!- to evade a call of Revoker and to have different casting costs. Of course Scryb is absolutely better than Quirion –flash, fliyng, protection from blue… amazing!-, but thanks to cc1 we will be able to play it in our turn 2 -assume to be starded with a manadork in turn 1- with only 1 land and after have mana to cast another cc2)

    4 Fauna Shaman (engine of the deck)

    1 Scavenging Ooze (control graveyard, jailer of hated Deathrite Shamans and big beater)

    2 Eternal Witness (Regrowth and a tutorable creature in the same card? Yes, thanks! Ever two to have a backup. *Note for Pettdan*: I’m ever in search of space to insert Meren in the deck…  )

    4 Green Sun's Zenith (one of the cards Memories have steadily sponsored across the time. I started with 2, then 3, and finally landed to a full set. Think I will never come back. This card grant flexibility -the first golden rule of this deck- and permit to save slots -for example, old versions of MOST played full set of Quirions- and, finally, grant a fast access to some silver bullets in certain matchups, for example Gaddock in turn 2 vs. Dredge to stop a fast Dredge Return)

    1 Squee, Goblin Nabob (fuel for Fauna Shaman and, in desperate cases, blocker)

    3 Spell Pierce (the card we want ever to see in our second turn after a manadork in first to give coverage to a Fauna. Take note that is one the best card in hand in the lucky opening land+dork, second turn GSZ Quirion, untap and do cc2 or a couple of cc 1 and thanks to Quirion+Dork we have populated the board but have again a virtual counter coverage in the opponent’s turn. Played for a long time the full set, at the moment I am testing 3+2 Negate)

    2 Negate (to have more efficient coverage in the middle game, when Pierces becomes near useless)

    1 Vendilion Clique (threat to play in eot and combo with Meddling)

    2 Tradewind Rider (another engine of the deck together Fauna. Think is simply the strongest card ever print for board control. Flyer, good toughness, and a wonderful bouncing ability. I love it).

    1 Opposition (a Silver Bullet recently back in the deck on suggestion of my friend Enrico Polledro. Absolutely great vs. Eldrazi and colorless. Take note: Trinisphere do not work when becomes tapped  ;) )

    4 Force of Will (guys, this is Legacy. The great part of decks are fast & furious, to have the possibility to say “not” without mana is priceless. Side it out, with the other counters, just vs. deck that use Vials and Cavern of Souls)

    1 Qasali Pridemage (in my opinion the best answer main deck to artifacts and enchantments. See before the other candidates: Reclamation Sage grant card advantage and is great in combo with Tradewind, but we need to play in our turn to answer to something, and often maybe too late. For example: Jitte. Trygon Predator is blue to pitch to FoW, has a continuous effect and is a good beater with flying, but maybe too slow. Again the same example: Jitte. Qasali stay on board and permit to wait until the last possible moment to activate his effect. Of course the best thing would be to have another response to artifact and enchantments in the main deck, but at the moment I’ve not found slot)

    2 Meddling Mage (sometimes I’ve played also the full set, but this is possible only if you know perfectly the field and only if the threats of the opponent are homogeneus. For example, to face a BUG with only Decay and Deluge is completely different to face a BUG with a mix of Decay, Fatal Push, Deluge, Marsh Casualties and Golgari’s Charm. The actual choose to run 2 Meddling and 2 Negate sound more balanced)

    1 Merieke Ri Berit (Terminator. Pure destruction in combo with Quirion. Take note for the best trick you may play with this amazing and absolutely underestimated creature: imagine a board with Merieke, Mother for safety, Quirion and Scryb and an opponent field of fatties. Ok, we simply activate Merieke target the first, untap in answer with Quirion or Scryb, destruction effect resolve before we have something in control, so nothing happens, tap again Merieke targeting second creature, untap again in answer with the other Quirion/Scryb, then tap for the third time Merry and take all. Have a nice day )

    1 Mystic Snake (back after many time in the deck. Have a tutorable counter for middle game is ever a good think. Of course the soft lock combo is with Tradewind)

    1 Murkfiend Liege (I forgot to the list another little rule of the deck: every card too mana expensive must be blue in order to pitch to FoW instead to be complete useless in hand in all the situations where we are short of mana. Great finisher, pump up our army and double the effect of Tradewind and Opposition. Finally, but not less important, grant to stay mana open in opponents turn when our manadorks become untapped. Thinking to come back in the deck also Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary.. huge. At the dear old times of SofT a standard play with SofT in play was to take in eot of opponent Anger, discard it, take Rofelloss, play in the turn, tap/untap with Quirion, take Murkfiend Liege and play, attack, end the turn, untap all mana dorks and light a cigar thinking to the Mystic Snake in the deck if the opponent try to breathe )

    1 Baleful Strix (new entry. Think maybe good. Fly, blue for FoW, great blocker with Mother, alternative card advantage with Tradewind if we lost Squee for a Deathrite/Ooze and have problems to activate Fauna)

    1 Phyrexian Revoker (essential. So many things to call. I’m on the way to put the second in my side)

    1 Spellskite (another guy essential in some matchups, and of course really cool if we have Mother: Burn, Infect, Lands, Canadian, all black decks with the new Liliana, also useful vs. all decks with Jitte, giving us time to search an answer)

    1 Dryad Arbor (another essential card. We need for the mana acceleration in early game and to valorize the full set of GSZ also in our first turn. Great blocker with Quirion and bounce before damage. Take note: of course in this situation Jitte don’t charge)

    2 Windswept Heath

    2 Wooded Foothills

    1 Misty Rainforest

    2 Verdant Catacomb (fetch lands of every type in order to minimize the effect of a possible Surgical Extraction. Take note: Misty in 1x to help us to hide the presence of blue in the deck in the early game. In example: if we start to fetch for basic forest with a Verdant Catacomb and play BoP, it’s hard for our opponent imagine we could have a FoW in hand, this maybe decisive to face a crucial threat)

    2 Savannah

    2 Tropical Island

    1 Taiga

    1 Bayou

    1 Forest (Taiga is recently back after a long time I’ve played with 2 basic Forests. As I wrote above, in some matchups maybe we must try to have fast access to red mana)


    1 Containment Priest (S&T, Reanimator, but also D&T, Merfolks and Goblin to face the threat of Vials)

    1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence (D&T, Elves, BUG, Maverick/Dark Horizon, Eldrazi, Affinity)

    1 Reclamation Sage (D&T, Enchantress, Sneak &Show, Eldrazi, Tron, Affinity, MUD)

    1 Obstinate Baloth (Burn, BUG, Pox, aggro decks)

    1 Magus of the Moon (D&T, Maverick/Dark Horizon, Lands, Infect, Eldrazi, Tron, MUD)

    1 Plaxmanta (Canadian, BUG)

    4 Surgical Extraction (Reanimator, Dredge, Lands, UW and UWr Control, ANT, Show & Tell, Sneak & Show)

    1 Gaddock Teeg (UW and UWr Control, ANT, Sneak & Show)

    2 Meddling Mage (D&T, but just because we need a lot of cards to put in istead of all counters -the same is true for Merfolks and Goblins- , S&T, Sneak & Show, UW and UWr Control, ANT, Dredge, Eldrazi – a
    critical matchup in which is aboslutely crucial to call the fucking Tough-Knot Seer ad soon as possible)

    1 Orzhov Pontiff (D&T, Elves, Infect, Pyromancer, all the decks with True-Name Nemesis)

    1 Wilt-Leaf Liege (BUG, Pox, all aggro decks to help Murkfiend to pump up our army)

    Interesting cards in my watching list: Sanctum Prelate, Leovold, Sylvan Safekeeper+Ramunap Excavator (and + Kinght of Reliquary and 1x Wasteland), Thornscape Battlemage (in order to have another answer to Deathrite. Thanks for the idea, Pettdan! )

    That’s all, friends, hope you will find useful and/or interesting this version of the deck and this guide.


    An add to the list of the possible planeswalkwer list: Venser, the Sojourner, imho the best for colors and effects. Good mini-combos with Eternal Witness and Glen Elendra Archmage and all the stuff with enter on the board abilities, second ability maybe useful sometimes to tactical moments for a decisive attack, final ability is huge in a deck with a lot of creatures with low cc.
    Also cool with Master Biomancer.
    An add to the list of Discard and hand disruption: Gwendlyn Di Corci, hard cc because is offcolor, but... cc4 for a body 3/5 and a big effect (think in combo with Quirion and Scryb), maybe interesting.

    Big problems of the deck at the moment:

    - Deathrite Shaman. Any suggest to introduce main deck cards vs. this guy? Have thinked to Fire // Ice or Electrolyze
    - the return of Miracles decks. Maybe the time for Gaddock Teeg to back in to the main deck (but we've a problem vs. the opponents with Karakas in the deck).
    Last edited by Stinner; 02-25-2018 at 06:25 AM.
    "Life is fight"

    Emanuel Lasker

  5. #5
    pettdan's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Thanks for the input and feedback, Stinner! I made some updates to the primer. I think I can't add your comments to all the cards (I linked it in the list of recent decklists) but I added parts to the discussion about different cores of the deck. I think each player has their own core, so it's good to have some different versions visible there. Actually meta decisions are important for choosing the core, I battled Miracles for year after year and vs that deck Opposition and Tradewind Rider make little sense and Vial makes much more sense, due to Terminus removing all your resources + vial interacting with and stopping the miracle trigger. So I expect my core may develop due to this, maybe to play Opposition and/or Tradewind again (Tradewind was in my board recently). Actually with Kolaghan's Command being so popular I feel like Vial is less well positioned. Better positioned cards are Bitterblossom, Ranger of Eos (see the section above, can provide loads of value) with Recruiter and Flickerwisp and Hangarback Walker, Granger Guildmage, Thornscape Battlemage.. I have been moving to a card advantage version of the deck, playing a few Recruiters over/in addition to Fauna Shaman. We can even play Kolaghan's Command ourselves, and maybe a Snapcaster to tutor for.. but that almost requires a Brainstorm version.

    On the topic of fighting Deathrite Shaman I have spent some time looking for options. He ruins the late game all the time, be that Meren or Squee or Scarab God. So, for one, Scarab God can actually operate with a Deathrite in play, I played it in my last FoW-build some months ago as a finisher to increase blue count but never got to play him, anyway my plan was to Vial him into play EoT meaning you get two activations and can play around Deathrite even without removing Deathrite. Once you get a zombie token or two into play you stop caring about Deathrite Shaman. Other answers are Stoneforge Mystic + Umezawa's Jitte (too good not to play), Izzet Staticaster + Ranger, Grim Lavamancer (we can't reliably fill the graveyard), I've been considering Magus of the Scroll, I've been thinking of playing like 3 Thornscape Battlemage since it takes care of both Jitte and Deathrite, it could be great vs Pile while taking care of Stax and Delvers and Vials and Mothers and... so much. And I want to couple 3 Battlemages with 1 Wirewood Symbiote in that case, so you can even replay it a lot. We'll see. Then there's Masticore, but I think it requires too much mana to the regeneration option around. But that card can destroy everything from Pile while protecting itself and attacking them for the win. This would be with Vial so you can vial it into play with regeneration mana up.

    I often play Gaddock in the maindeck actually, unless I'm on FoW's, to battle Storm efficiently in g1. But that is optional I think, both FoW and Gaddock are helpful vs Miracles.

    Wow, Gwendlyn... :) Reminds me actually of Tetsuo Umezawa as another Deathrite killer.

  6. #6
    The green Ancestral
    ESG's Avatar
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    Mar 2010

    Seattle, WA


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    This primer really showcases the depth of Legacy's deck-building strategy and options. And this is just one deck! So many options! Well done.

    On the topic of fighting Deathrite Shaman, how about Fire Imp? It would be online faster than Thornscape Battlemage. Fire/Ice is also an underrated card that I think is well-positioned.

  7. #7
    pettdan's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Thanks ESG! Glad you like it! Yes, there are seemingly endless possibilities.

    Thanks also for your suggestion! The imp is indeed more efficient at destroying a Deathrite, but Thornscape Battlemage does a similar thing, and it can also be used without red mana (we play little red usually) to destroy an artifact which can be even more important than getting that shaman, this makes it more flexible, but it doesn't stop there - it can do both and provide sweet card advantage, a 3 for 1.

  8. #8

    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Amazing work, pettdan, very impressive =)

    For the safe of a standard, up-to-date list the one played by shaden last december was perfect: it's classic (it has FoW, a card strongly debated with many flaws but also some unique features for this deck) but it has vials (here the list and the report: ).

    As already said, i think that Fow have to be cut, for many reasons. If we don't play Nissa UG (and we should, since it's the best pw for this deck by far) we have no manipulation, and force is often an horrible topdeck. In every situation where we are not already winning (very often). Sometimes it's perfect, of course. Same for other, even worse, counters like negate or spell pierce.

    Squee: it could have been barely (very very very very barely) playable if DRS wasn't one of the most common card in the meta, but it is. I can't imagine why we should discuss him again in a meta so fast and so harsh where, if you can activate Fauna Shaman 1 time, that should be almost enough.

    Opposition and Tradewind are two cards that really belong to the past, sadly. Oppo could be awesome against tempo and midrange, but oooops -> Leovold.

    Ah, Leovold. We should play him at least as a 2x, with 3-4 gsz. It's a strong card and here, in this deck, it's even better.

  9. #9
    pettdan's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Thanks! It was about time for a primer. Hopefully it will make someone try the deck.. If you want to add something just write and post here or message me.

    There's not a core specified in the post you suggested though, I have written about what I consider a core and I added Stinner's description to that section. You are most welcome to write down what you consider a core and I'll add it. For full decklists those will be linked in the decklist section, I think that works better. The deck is messy and hard to understand and describing a core is supposed to help with that. I'll consider it though... On the topic of core of the deck, I think I'll actually try a few more dorks and less lands... I've had problems with starting hands with lots of lands and no ramp, it's hard to play.

    I agree about the cards, to some extent, I've been playing Leovold since its release I think and you're rarely unhappy with it. Squee, yes, Meren is probably much better anyway. I'm not sure about the exclusion of Opposition and Tradewind Rider, though I didn't play them much for a long time, with Miracles no longer the uncontested best deck we don't have to build the deck with Terminus in mind, so both Opposition and Tradewind Rider can be at least considered again (like I think I wrote recently in the old thread). An opponent's Leovold, reducing the value of said cards, can be handled in many ways. Like our own Leovold, for example.

  10. #10
    Weapon X's Avatar
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    May 2014

    Winnipeg, Mb


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider


    So is this just trying to update tradewind survival?
    The Parfait Meta-Game

  11. #11
    pettdan's Avatar
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    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    This has been a non-survival deck since at least 2011 it seems so "trying" is a bit misinformative. But I guess you can see it that way.

  12. #12
    Stinner's Avatar
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    Feb 2018

    Milan, Italy


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Quote Originally Posted by Memories of the Time View Post
    Amazing work, pettdan, very impressive =)

    For the safe of a standard, up-to-date list the one played by shaden last december was perfect: it's classic (it has FoW, a card strongly debated with many flaws but also some unique features for this deck) but it has vials (here the list and the report: ).

    As already said, i think that Fow have to be cut, for many reasons. If we don't play Nissa UG (and we should, since it's the best pw for this deck by far) we have no manipulation, and force is often an horrible topdeck. In every situation where we are not already winning (very often). Sometimes it's perfect, of course. Same for other, even worse, counters like negate or spell pierce.

    Squee: it could have been barely (very very very very barely) playable if DRS wasn't one of the most common card in the meta, but it is. I can't imagine why we should discuss him again in a meta so fast and so harsh where, if you can activate Fauna Shaman 1 time, that should be almost enough.

    Opposition and Tradewind are two cards that really belong to the past, sadly. Oppo could be awesome against tempo and midrange, but oooops -> Leovold.

    Ah, Leovold. We should play him at least as a 2x, with 3-4 gsz. It's a strong card and here, in this deck, it's even better.
    I disagree.
    Squee is the best fuel for the engine of the deck (Fauna), we play it in safe way in the forst game vs. all decks of meta without Deathrite Shaman and also when we face the damned 1/2 we can play around searching a solution (tipically Revoker, best if protected by a Mother, but also an active Tradewind, best if after the bounce we play a Meddling to solve the problem).
    Opposition maybe useless vs. certain decks (es. ANT, but dont forget it's blue, so in the first game may be recycled to pitch on a FoW) and I've not used for a long time, but I've recently tested again and vs. Eldrazi and colorless is probably the best card you can play to control the board.
    Tradewind belong to the past... LOL. It's the game winner in the great part of the games, it's a great control of the board card and the number of tricks you can do with the bounce ability is amazing (just considering our permanents: Eternal Witness, Mystic Snake, Peacekeeper in eot for our attack and then play again it, Stasis in eot to untap, Vendilion, Meddling/Revoker to call other, Reclamation Sage, Obstinate Baloth, Plaxmanta, Orzhov Pontiff, Gaddock if we need absolutely to play a FoW), I've wrote you countless times: what you describe is another deck, the Most work with these cards, and work with these cards because I've make the deck and choose the name. That's all.
    Leovold is a nuisance, but if you reverse the perspective, ooooops => Merieke. Thx for the old Leo, and have a nice day!

    @Pettdan: no problem for the Modern list, I'm working on comments... stay tuned!
    "Life is fight"

    Emanuel Lasker

  13. #13
    Matsu's Avatar
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    Jul 2016

    Forever dark woods


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Just curious. Why not use Deranged Hermit.
    You play GSZ/SotF to fetch silver bullets, wincons, etc.
    Turn 4 Opposition/Tradewind rider into turn 5 Deranged Hermit was pretty powerful 15 years ago.
    I think it still is powerful with some mana acceleration. Hermit is 5 bodies for 5 mana and 9F in the board at the end.

  14. #14

    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    @Stinner: even if you have created the deck 8 years ago, you can't say "play tradewind or it's another deck", since
    1) it's nosense, tradewind isn't in any way a 4x core card that shapes the rest of the deck (like Delver, for example)
    2) It's a card that the majority of people who have played this deck has discarded, for good reasons: you can play and defend it, but that's all.
    3) in any case, we are talking about similar decks with a core made by:
    -Few lands and many dorks
    -Many creatures that work togheter and few non creature spell
    -Control/prison archetype with many flexibility

    These are the basic points that make posting here reasonable, as showed in the last years of discussion. In any way Tradewind is mandatory

    Edit: I want to clarify this point to avoid further problem. None has even remotely the authority or the results behind him in the last years to make statement like "this is it or it's another deck".
    A narrow mind is the nemesis of this deck

  15. #15
    pettdan's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    @Matsu: Thanks for the suggestion! I'll add Deranged Hermit it to the tokens synergy section, and the Elves section. It certainly works well with Opposition and Tradewind Rider, no doubt about it. On the other hand, once you've ramped into those cards you already have lots of creatures in play, making Deranged Hermit perhaps somewhat slightly a win-more card. A weakness of the deck is being vulnerable to sweepers, and Hermit Druid doesn't really help with that. So you may be better off playing something to protect the creatures you have rather than adding to them with a Hermit Druid. I've considered it and seen it mentioned before but don't remember that much of the discussion actually, it's an interesting card.

    @Memories and Stinner: I think we have to accept different versions and even different cores of the deck being played. I would even consider this a strength, assuming people actually play the different versions. I suggest we all nurture our cores and versions; give me input and I'll include them in that section of the primer, and I need to do some editing there to make that section more clear. You can also add your arguments to why you prefer the very core or version that you create. Yes, like Memories says, when a version puts up significant results we should probably focus on that. I was actually running very hot with my lists when I picked the deck up again during the autumn in 2016 but it has cooled off since.. Also, an important factor when discussing cores is how much they are actually being played. I tend to post when I have played with the deck, I encourage you all to do so too, regardless of good or bad results. And if we could have some MTGO action recorded that would be even sweeter..
    Last edited by pettdan; 04-10-2018 at 04:57 AM.

  16. #16

    Join Date

    Feb 2018



    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Hello, long time lurker from the old thread here posting for the first time...

    First of, massive thanks for the time and effort put into this primer, it's excellent work.

    I've been playing the deck for about a year, during which time I've tried and changed a lot of things. But it's always been immensly fun and incredibly rewarding to pilot. All your decisions matter, from deckbuilding to playing and it leads to some excellent blowout stories ;)

    Here's my current list:
    Creatures (29)
    1 Dryad Arbor
    3 Mother of Runes
    2 Deathrite Shaman
    2 Birds of Paradise
    4 Fauna Shaman
    2 Scryb Ranger
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Spellstutter Sprite
    1 Phyrexian Revoker
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    2 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    1 Orzhov Pontiff
    1 True-Name Nemesis
    1 Vendilion Clique
    1 Spell Queller
    1 Renegade Rallier
    1 Atraxa, Praetors' Voice
    1 Glen Elendra Archmage

    Other Stuff (14)
    4 Aether Vial
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Green Sun's Zenith
    2 Abrupt Decay
    1 Umezawa's Jitte

    Lands (17)
    4 Windswept Heath
    4 Misty Rainforest
    1 Wooded Foothills
    2 Savannah
    2 Tropical Island
    2 Bayou
    1 Tundra
    1 Forest

    Sideboard (15)
    1 Ethersworn Canonist
    1 Gilded Drake
    1 Merieke Ri Berit
    1 Meddling Mage
    1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    1 Big Game Hunter
    3 Faerie Macabre
    1 Reclamation Sage
    2 Sanctum Prelate
    1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
    1 Wilt-Leaf Liege
    1 Unified Will

    It's definitely not final and especially the sideboard changes week in, week out. Obviously the deck is highly customiseable to specific playstyles and metagames. However, I do want to give some comments on some of the cards that have been discussed in this thread:

    Aether Vial:
    This card is so powerful in the deck. It ramps, fixes, makes dudes uncounterable and most importantly gives everything flash. The largest amount of the decks power lies in its versatility and being able to pass with Fauna Shaman active and a Vial basically means you're holding your entire toolbox and have an answer for anything. It feels amazing. I would highly recommend playing this card.

    One of the most powerful cards in the format. And I think we are one of the most efficient users of the card for multiple reasons: We have a lot of specific answers to dig for, we sometimes have dead cards to get rid of, we usually have the mana available to play it without slowing down and we have more shuffle effects than almost any other deck that plays it (I have 9 fetch+4 Shaman+3 GSZ).

    Force of Will:
    I have run 4 of these in the board previously and am not opposed to doing it again. Currently I don't feel like I need them locally and without altering the deck the blue card count is only just enough to make them work. I can't see myself maindecking them unless the meta shifts massively towards combo though.

    Opposition / Tradewind Rider:
    I wasn't around 5 years or so ago when these were apparently all-stars in the deck. But I can't see them working now, they're just too slow and clunky.
    Quote Originally Posted by Memories of the Time
    (...) in a meta so fast and so harsh where, if you can activate Fauna Shaman 1 time, that should be almost enough.
    this is too true. Too often my first activation of Fauna Shaman is to protect itself with a Queller or similar. It's just not feasible to expect to be able to find, deploy, protect and have enough of a board to support something along these 2 reliably imo.

    Just some thoughts, glad to have a hopefully somewhat more active place to discuss this amazing deck :)

  17. #17
    pettdan's Avatar
    Join Date

    Mar 2013

    Stockholm, Sweden


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    @Demonic Pact: Thanks! And thanks for posting, it's really sweet to read!

  18. #18
    Stinner's Avatar
    Join Date

    Feb 2018

    Milan, Italy


    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    Quote Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
    Just curious. Why not use Deranged Hermit.
    You play GSZ/SotF to fetch silver bullets, wincons, etc.
    Turn 4 Opposition/Tradewind rider into turn 5 Deranged Hermit was pretty powerful 15 years ago.
    I think it still is powerful with some mana acceleration. Hermit is 5 bodies for 5 mana and 9F in the board at the end.
    All correct but (I'm sorry, forgot to wrote this), another of the "rules" of the deck is that every card with cc =/> 4 must be blue.
    A card with an high casting cost, in hand in a deck without Brainstorms, is often useless (assume we cannot have ever an active Fauna on the board), if it is blue we can pitch to FoWs.
    "Life is fight"

    Emanuel Lasker

  19. #19

    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    @Deranged Hermit: I've played Nic Fit along this deck for years, and the CC5 finisher is debated only if you can't have White and Sigarda.
    But we do, so if you need a clock, she's the best

    @pettdan: agree on everything

    @Demonic Pact: Good list, i'm unsure about the Manabase mix lands/dorks. Moreover, some SFM could be nice in your list, if you want equip.
    Pontiff maindeck maybe is not necessary?
    Totally agree on Vial, partially on Brainstorm (i'm playing it too)

    @Stinner: This assuming that we play Force and not Brainstorm. So this isn't neither a fixed ruler =)

  20. #20

    Join Date

    Feb 2018



    Re: M.O.S.T. - Merieke, Opposition, (Survival), Tradewind Rider

    @Memories of the Time: I've tried SFM and I hate it. It's really, really awkward with only one equipment in the deck. You can also make an argument to remove the Jitte without ways to tutor it up and I think that's pretty fair. But I play Jitte mainly because it's incredibly powerful and very versatile, it's not a toolbox answer I really need to tutor up, it's just...well...really good. If I was tutoring it up, I could almost always just tutor up something else that does the same thing I want my Jitte for, except faster and more efficiently...the Pontiff for example. Which in my experience is one of the best cards in the deck. Obviously this depends on the metagame you play in, if you're playing ANT and S&T every round, it'll suck. But it's excellent against Grixis Delver, Czech Pile, Elves and Blade decks in particular, which make up enough of the meta here for me to want it. It clears up Pyromancers and their tokens, Strixes, Snapcasters, unflipped Delvers, small Mongooses, True-Name Nemesis (killing this also massively helps not losing to Jitte), most of the D&T deck, basically the whole Elves deck, Bob,'s also reach, it comes up plenty often that you just search it up and add 3 power or so to your Flyers to make your attack lethal.
    The manabase I am still open to experiment on. Specifically I'm cutting the Tundra for a 3rd Birds this week. I used to play 3 but moved down to 2 and haven't missed it. I tend to play vs a large amount of mana denial plans and going too low on lands is something I'm wary about. You can make the argument that Birds is essentially also a land that's immune to Wasteland, but keeping a 1 land+dork(s) hand loses you games vs. Waste+Bolt or similar very easily :/

    Do you have a list of your own? I'm always happy to see other peoples ideas and what their pros/cons are :)

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