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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
    Why play MOST?
    Core cards of the deck
    One potential core
    Related decks
    Synergies to build upon
    Possible combos
    Packages from above
    Examples of online playing
    Podcasts covering the deck
    Sample deck lists
    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

    The deck 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.

    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 by 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. FoWs 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 decks 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.


    Below we'll have a look at some common matchups and comment briefly on how you can expect the matchups to play out and what cards you should be looking for and boarding in/out.


    Comment: Try to pressure them! Aether Vial helps with that, not least pressuring their Jaces. Always expect Terminus!
    Your MVP's: Aether Vial, Gaddock Teeg, Glen Elendra Archmage, Mother of Runes, True-Name Nemesis, Invasive Surgery, Winter Orb, Vendilion Clique

    Grixis Control

    Comment: They play so much removal and discard that it's hard for you to establish control, then they follow up with planeswalkers that you have trouble coming through for. If you manage to get an active Mother, that's very valuable. Vial tends to be eaten by a Kolaghan's Command so you can't really expect vial tricks. Both Glen Elendra and Shalai can provide some welcome protection, TNN can attack them but usually they have some sweepers that end up taking it along with your other 1 toughness creatures. A late Meren can turn the game around if they can't interact with it. Cataclysm from the board messes with their mana and clears their planeswalkers.
    Your MVP's: Meren of Clan Nel Toth, Glen Elendra Archmage, Shalai, Voice of Many, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Sylvan Library, Cataclysm, Bitterblossom, Mother of Runes

    Grixis Delver

    Comment: Hopefully you can go Vial into Mother and Scryb Ranger to stabilize the battlefield, then get a Pontiff to sweep their board (if they have Pyromancer and/or TNN), a lifelinker if you have it or just Meren to build up an overwhelming board. Of course Glenn Elendra can stop Lightning Bolts from dealing the last damage and Leovold to stop their cantrips.
    Your MVP's: Mother of Runes, Atraxa, Umezawa's Jitte, Orzhov Pontiff (if they have TNN, probably no Pyromancer), Swords to Plowshares, Abrupt Decay

    RUG Delver

    Comment: Like for Grixis Delver but your mana base will be exposed, Carpet of Flowers is very valuable here. They usually don't play a lot of removal so you can probably establish board control with Mother, but Bolt+Stifle+Wasteland can make it so you never establish any board in these games. Watch out for Rough // Tumble out of the board as well as Forked Bolt.
    Your MVP's: Mother of Runes, Atraxa, Aether Vial, Scryb Ranger, Umezawa's Jitte, Swords to Plowshares, Abrupt Decay, Carpet of Flowers

    Death's Shadow

    Comment: Similar to the delver decks above but they tend to be able to produce a faster clock, making your removal like StP and Decay slightly more valuable, I think.
    Your MVP's: Mother of Runes, Merieke ri Berit, Umezawa's Jitte, Abrupt Decay, Swords to Plowshares, Peacekeeper


    Comment: You can easily get run over by them, try to find a lifegainer, removal or Meren to keep building a better boardstate.
    Your MVP's: Atraxa, Umezawa's Jitte, Peacekeeper, Swords to Plowshares, Merieke ri Berit, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, True-Name Nemesis, Glissa, the Traitor

    Big Eldrazi

    Comment: It's very hard to beat them before they beat you, this is one of the matchups in which a combo element in your deck will be very beneficial. Otherwise try to interact with their lands and hand.
    Your MVP's: Magus of the Moon, Winter Orb, Vendilion Clique, Fulminator Mage, Gaddock Teeg

    Death and Taxes

    Comment: This is a good matchup, you have reliable artifact removal that you can easily tutor for and even reuse every turn with Meren, you also have tutorable Pontiff to basically clear their board. You also have Scryb Ranger to win any Mother of Rune battle.
    Your MVP's: Orzhov Pontiff, Qasali Pridemage, Knight of the Autumn, Aether Vial, Mother of Runes, Scryb Ranger, Umezawa's Jitte, Abrupt Decay

    Storm-based combo (ANT, TES)

    Comment: If they don't win by t2 you have pretty good chances of landing a hatebear. When sideboarding you try to bring in interaction for the first two turns and board out all cards that are mostly relevant for the attack step and vs creatures.
    Your MVP's: Gaddock Teeg, Sanctum Prelate, Meddling Mage, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Thoughtseize, Invasive Surgery, Force of Will, Vendilion Clique, Kambal, Consul of Allocation

    Show and Tell-based decks

    Comment: A combination of hatebears and creatures that let you steal the opponent's creatures give you a pretty good matchups. They don't interact well with Fauna Shaman once resolved (Vial and GSZ make resolving a copy easier, of course), so if they didn't win by turn 3-4 you're in a good spot to build up a board and hand with answers to Show and Tell (Glenn Elendra Archmage, Sanctum Prelate, Gilded Drake) and Omniscience (Qasali Pridemage or Knight of the Autumn). Sneak Attack can be hard to interact with once in play (Gaddock helps), Phyrexian Revoker is great if you have it. Aether Vial lets you respond to what the opponent during their mainphase and once you reach EoT be proactive (Gaddock, Glenn Elendra).
    Your MVP's: Sanctum Prelate, Meddling Mage, Glen Elendra Archmage, Gilded Drake, Peacekeeper, Aether Vial, Fauna Shaman, Invasive Surgery, Thoughtseize, Force of Will, Vendilion Clique, Gaddock Teeg

    Punishing Loam

    Comment: Punishing Loam can be difficult to interact with, unless you get an active Mother of Runes first. Chalice can slow you down, it is not generally a big problem but coupled with Toxic Deluge, Punishing Fire and recursive mana denial (Loam or KotR + Wasteland) it can keep you from doing anything meaningful. Also an unanswered Dark Confidant can draw them into their best tools.
    Your MVP's: Mother of Runes, Sanctum Prelate Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Scavenging Ooze, Magus of the Moon, Abrupt Decay, Swords to Plowshares


    Comment: This is a tough matchups, sometimes they lock you down with mana denial coupled with a Tabernacle, sometimes Punishing Fire gets all your creatures. Sometimes you deploy a board they can't interact with. Sometimes you get to steal their Marit Lage token and beat them with it.
    Your MVP's: Aether Vial, Sanctum Prelate, Gilded Drake, Mother of Runes, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Scryb Ranger, Winter Orb, Vendilion Clique, True-Name Nemesis

    Reanimator (BR, UB)

    Your MVP's: Leyline of the Void, Faerie Maccabre, Scavenging Ooze, Gilded Drake, Merieke ri Berit, Invasive Surgery, Thoughtseize, Force of Will


    Your MVP's: Umezawa's Jitte, Orzhov Pontiff, Gaddock Teeg, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, Peacekeeper, Invasive Surgery, Linvala, Keeper of Silence


    Comment: This can be tough, try to establish board control and watch out for Goblin Sharpshooters (try to keep StP for it) especially when they have a goblin providing haste in play. Also their Goblin Thrashmaster may keep you low on Aether Vials and Jitte.
    Your MVP's: Umezawa's Jitte, Orzhov Pontiff, Izzet Staticaster, Abrupt Decay, Swords to Plowshares, Peacekeeper, Engineered Plague (sb), Linvala, Keeper of Silence (sb)


    Comment: They are faster than you, if you can land an early Peacekeeper that gives you pretty good control of the game. You can try to set up Mother and a flyer for blocking, Pontiff is great and answers the unblockable creature, Leovold stops cantrips. Spot removal help immensely and if you survive a couple of turns getting counters on a Jitte likely wins the game. Glen Elendra can also protect you from pump spells if you live that long. Board into fast interaction.
    Your MVP's: Peacekeeper, Umezawa's Jitte, Orzhov Pontiff, Swords to Plowshares, Abrupt Decay, Thoughtseize

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

    Update Sept 10th 2019: with the release of Wrenn and Six, the deck needs to be reworked to avoid any creature with 1 toughness. This needs to be tested before updating the primer but replacing Mother of Runes with Giver of Runes is a start, and replacing some amount of mana dorks with more reliable alternatives (such as Sylvan Caryatid, Paradise Druid or maybe even Veteran Explorer).

    Lands: 14-18 cards

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

    Alternative mana sources: 12-14 cards

    Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch, Deathrite Shaman, Green Sun's Zenith, Dryad Arbor, Aether Vial
    Comment: there are mixed opinions on playing Aether Vial in this deck, here you can find previous discussion on this:

    Tutors and card selection: +5-8 cards (GSZ included above)
    Utility: 2 cards

    Scryb Ranger, Quirion Ranger
    Comment: These are key cards of the deck. They triple up on the activations of each creature in the deck, since you can activate the Ranger's ability during the opponent's turn too. Furthermore it turns Merieke Ri Berit into a killer machine: you can untap her with the first effect on the stack to take control of several creatures. You can use Izzet Staticaster to destroy all Deathrites for example. You can use Tradewind Rider to bounce 2-3 lands per turn so your opponent can't play any more spells. The rangers are also extremely resource efficent in that they allow you to use a land for 2 mana, by tapping it then returning it to your hand and replaying it during your main phase, while also tapping and untapping a mana dork. This way, you get 4 mana from a mana dork and a land. Many games can be successfully played out with one land, a mana dork and a Ranger. 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.

    Control: 1-2 cards
    Removal: 3-7 cards

    Qasali Pridemage, Orzhov Pontiff, Knight of the Autumn, Reclamation Sage, Izzet Staticaster, Abrupt Decay, Umezawas Jitte
    Comment: You absolutely need artifact removal to get rid of Umezawa's Jitte before it connects, or some other way of dealing with it such as Peacekeeper or Force of Will.

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

    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:

    One potential core 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.
    3 Green Sun's Zenith
    4 Aether Vial
    3 Birds of Paradise
    2 Noble Hierarch
    1 Dryad Arbor
    1 Quirion Ranger
    1 Scryb Ranger
    4 Fauna Shaman
    3 Mother of Runes
    1 Meren of Clan Nel Toth
    1 Sylvan Library
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    1 Orzhov Pontiff
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
    1 Glen Elendra Archmage
    16 fetches and forests

    1 Carpet of Flowers
    1 Invasive Surgery
    1 Thoughtseize
    1 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
    1 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 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.
    Humans, 1:
    Humans, 2:
    Oracle Opposition:
    Faerie Ninja Still:
    Faerie Stompy:
    Stilljutsu, UB Ninja Still:
    Standing Vial:
    Trophy Mage control:
    Stoneybrook's Alarm, Wizard to Opposition:!
    Grand Architect (modern deck):
    Mono-blue Martyr:
    Vial Wizards (Modern):, here is a video explaining the deck:
    Wizards (Eternal Durdles):
    Spicy Popcorn:
    Spirit Tribal:
    Cephalid Breakfast:

    Synergies to build upon


    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, 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.

    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, pprentice Necromancer, Karador, Ghost Chieftain, Order of Whiteclay, Magus of the Will, Coffin Queen, Hell's Caretaker, Lazav, the Multifarious
    Comments: 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.


    Krenko, Mob Boss, 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.


    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: Maosoleum 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.


    Knight of the Reliquary, Karakas, Gaeas Cradle, Ramunap Excavator, Sylvan Safekeeper, Tireless Tracker Scryb Ranger, Titania, Protector of Argoth, 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.


    Karakas, Aether Vial, Vendilion Clique, Mangara of Corondor, Captain Sisay, Gaeas 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.


    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.


    Earwig Squad, True-Name Nemesis, 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.


    Master of Waves, Animar, Soul of the Elements, Nivmagus Elemental, Wolfbriar Elemental
    Comments: I like Master of Waves in the blue artifact devotion shell 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.

    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 Necromancer's Apprentice with any Legendary card
    Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Emrakul, Aeon's Thorn
    Volraths Shapeshifter, Phage the Untouchable
    Aluren, Cavern Harpy, Recruiter of the Guard, Imperial Recruiter, Orzhov Pontiff, Zedraxis 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
    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 you can put together from the above, giving an idea of how the deck can be customized.

    Blue artifacts devotion

    Master of Waves, Grand Architect, Maosoleum 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:

    Force of Will

    Reaching a reasonable blue count comes with real deck building limitations for MOST. FoW is often played in the sideboard for this reason.

    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

    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):

    Podcasts covering the deck

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

    Sample deck lists

    03-24-2019, Memories of the Time
    02-22-2019 Deragun
    02-21-2019 Bedell
    02-07-2019 Pettdan
    02-02-2019 AngryBacon
    01-12-2019 ChristoferV
    12-22-2018 FutureSight2_MTGBoogaloo
    12-20-2018 Vickas
    11-16-2018 Cermak
    09-20-2018 Demonic Pact
    02-22-2018, Stinner
    04-14-2017 Hadhod
    02-15-2017 Alexeezay

    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 Jos 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

    The user Kanti started experimenting with a modern version of the deck:
    Last edited by pettdan; 09-10-2019 at 06:17 PM.

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