Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: The Epic Thief

  1. #1

    The Epic Thief

    So this deck has been circulating around and it is one of the grindiest decks I've ever had the pleasure of playing.

    It feels close to optimal, but not quite there. It's impressed me, however, as one of the most intensely satisfying decks to pilot in a while. A little tight for time; but wanted to get a thread up here as I havent seen anyone discussing the merits of this deck anywhere.

    Has anyone else had the pleasure of giving it a run?



    // Creatures – 10
    4 Baleful Strix
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    3 Thief of Sanity
    // Spells – 29
    4 Brainstorm
    1 Counterspell
    1 Diabolic Edict
    3 Fatal Push
    4 Force of Will
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    2 Liliana of the Veil
    2 Liliana, the Last Hope
    4 Ponder
    2 Thoughtseize
    // Lands – 21
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Flooded Strand
    2 Island
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Polluted Delta
    2 Swamp
    4 Underground Sea
    2 Wasteland
    // Sideboard – 14
    3 Back to Basics
    1 Diabolic Edict
    1 Engineered Explosives
    2 Marsh Casualties
    3 Nihil Spellbomb
    3 Spell Pierce
    1 Thoughtseize


    Coverage / Content:
    Phil Gallagher - MTGO League

    Rudy Briksza - SCG Syracuse

    Eric Landon - MTGO League
    Last edited by walked; 03-09-2019 at 08:37 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Might be worth throwing in a couple of extirpate/surgical main board, if you happen to discard/destroy/mill a critical win con piece. Some decks just can’t win without key pieces.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Why 2 Wasteland?

    Usually the correct number is 0 or 4, sometimes 3. A deck either wants mana denial or wants mana/gas. As a grindy control deck with that many 3s and 4s and Snapcaster, this looks like a bad place for Wasteland. You need your lands more than most decks.

  4. #4

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Why 2 Wasteland?

    Usually the correct number is 0 or 4, sometimes 3. A deck either wants mana denial or wants mana/gas. As a grindy control deck with that many 3s and 4s and Snapcaster, this looks like a bad place for Wasteland. You need your lands more than most decks.
    This I agree with! This is a list I picked up straight from EWlandon and used as a starting point.
    I've actually been toying with moving into Esper and cut wasteland entirely. It's still not 100% there, but I'm really liking having white in there:


    //Creatures – 10
    4 Baleful Strix
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    3 Thief of Sanity
    //Spells – 30
    4 Brainstorm
    1 Counterspell
    1 Diabolic Edict
    4 Force of Will
    2 Gerrard's Verdict
    4 Hymn to Tourach
    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    2 Liliana of the Veil
    2 Liliana, the Last Hope
    4 Ponder
    2 Swords to Plowshares
    2 Thoughtseize
    //Lands – 20
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Flooded Strand
    2 Island
    1 Misty Rainforest
    1 Plains
    4 Polluted Delta
    2 Scrubland
    2 Swamp
    2 Underground Sea
    //Sideboard – 15
    2 Back to Basics
    1 Diabolic Edict
    1 Dread of Night
    1 Engineered Explosives
    1 Marsh Casualties
    3 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Rest in Peace
    3 Spell Pierce
    1 Surgical Extraction
    1 Thoughtseize


    I'm certain its not fully correct in the build yet; the white splash was just a quick "for kicks" and it's been great. Swords is a huge upgrade over push. Not sold on Gerrard's Verdict, however. It's been not bad, though. Generally games are so grindy that most of the times its "BW: Target player discards their hand"

  5. #5

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Why 2 Wasteland?

    Usually the correct number is 0 or 4, sometimes 3. A deck either wants mana denial or wants mana/gas. As a grindy control deck with that many 3s and 4s and Snapcaster, this looks like a bad place for Wasteland. You need your lands more than most decks.
    4 wastelands is part of your tempo game plan but 1-2 is often correct for a different reason.


    As a two color deck with a high curve you want to run quite a few lands, wasteland lets you run a couple extra lands to up the land count for cards like jace and snapcaster mage while still getting some utility out of those cards in the deck. For example, miracles runs 19-20 lands and this deck has 21. Those aren't your typical wastelands. Also, with thief of sanity it is nice to have targets against depths decks when you draw their crop rotation or other land tutor cards.

  6. #6

    Re: The Epic Thief

    I've played a version of this deck twice now and have been having a lot of fun with it. I figure since it's very new I may as well share my experiences with the deck and maybe I can help push it forward. It's a lot of fun to play and I'd love to see it get developed further.

    First off, here is my list: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/04-03-19-tet/

    I only own 2 USeas so I had to make some changes to Eric's original list. I swapped the Seas 3 and 4 for an Island and a Volc. The Volc allows me to replace the B2Bs in the SB with Blood Moons, which have felt awesome whenever I've brought them in. Back to Basics is strong, but Blood Moon is the nuclear option. The Volc also gives the EEs a little more oomph from the sideboard. Next I dropped 1 LotV because no one in the videos seemed to be impressed by it. I replaced it with Consign/Oblivion as an answer to random things I can't ordinarily deal with and late game card advantage. Finally, I added a Grip of Phyresis in the SB because there is a strong D+T presence at my LGS and I thought there might be more equipment running around after UW Delver's showing at the SCG even recently.

    First off, I'll give some thoughts on the list and then give a bit of a play by play for the matches I've played with the deck.

    TET's biggest weakness seems to be closing speed. Thief is a hell of a card once it has hit once or twice, but the games go LONG. I didn't play anything shorter than the full 50 minutes today. I don't know how to speed up other than trying to sneak something like an Angler into the list, but I'm not sure what I'd cut for it. Burn feels like a terrible, terrible matchup. Everything else has felt winnable. If anyone has list suggestions or other feedback definitely post it up.

    Match 1 (Wednesday): UB Shadow 2-0

    Game 1 I get behind early and I believe he has 2 Delvers and a Shadow at one point, but Strix, Thief, and Lili pull it back and then I outvalue him for the win. Game 2 I see a Blood Moon in my opener, but it gets Thoughtseized on turn 1. I Ponder into another one and cast it. The board is Blood Moon vs flipped Delver. I draw a Thief, trade with the Delver and then get the scoop from my opponent who can't cast anything else with no basics in his deck.

    Thief Steals: Dismember

    Match 2 (Wednesday): Burn 0-2

    As I said before, this match up feels unwinnable. I kill all his creatures, and everytime as I try to stabilize he hits me with Exquisite Firecraft or something similar. This deck is too slow to fight back in any meaningful way.

    Match 3 (Wednesday): UB Shadow 0-2

    Game 1 is the literal nightmare. My opponent on the play T1 goes Thoughtseize, takes my Thief, turn two Reanimates it. I'm rapidly staring down my own Thief, Lili Last Hope, and Jace. There is no coming back. Game 2 we go back and forth a bit and right as I'm stabilizing with a Thief (tapped, having stolen Stubborn Denial) and Strix on board vs two Death's Shadows my opponent draws into Dismember to kill my Strix and present an additional 8 power on board and swings for lethal.

    Thief Steals: Stubborn Denial

    Match 1(Saturday): 1-0-0 Tezz with Lim Dul's Vault

    Game 1 is a GRIND. He gets Tezz, AoB out quick and starts throwing artifacts at me. He has Trinisphere and Chalice for 0. Lili Last Hope, Strixes, and Jace eventually stabilize me at 1 life and then I steal a Lim Dul's Vault, stack my top 5 and he concedes. This game took nearly the amount of allotted time. Game 2 ends up being similar. On turn 2 I did EE away his Mox Diamond and Chalice on 1 though, which was fun. Anyways, he gets Tezz and swings a few times. I stabilize and am ticking up Lili when time is called. I think I would have had this in a few more turns.

    Thief Steals: Lim Dul's Vault

    Match 2 (Saturday): 1-2 Miracles

    Game 1 is awesome (for me). I Force his Mentor on turn 3 and then slam Jace on turn 4. I Jacestorm into LotV and he concedes shortly afterwards. Game 2 is the opposite: I mull to 5 keeping a Swamp with a Nihil Spellbomb and a few other oddities. I miss land drops for a few turns and get way behind as he slams Jace and Counterbalance. Then he adds a Mentor... it ends fast. Game 3 is the slugfest. I Hymn him 5 or 6 times. He AKs just as often. He pulls ahead and starts coming at me with a Clique. I miss the line of Wasteland his Karakas and then Marsh Casualties away his Clique. This happened in garbage time and I don't think it would have mattered anyway. I was Hellbent and he had a full grip. I lose. That's fine. Maybe need more gas against Miracles?

    Match 3 (Saturday): 1-2 ANT with maindeck Empty

    Game 1 he gets an early Empty for 8 goblins and starts beating down. I have Strix, Thief, Jace, and Lili Last Hope and get through them all, but am low on life. He naturally draws into Tendrils for 6 which ends up being lethal. Game 2 I get a hand with a lot of discard and go to town. Thief then takes a Duress and a Thoughtseize and I leave him with nothing useful. Thief is full on MVP here.

    Game 3 is the heartbreaker. I Force him going off turn 1 or 2 and then play a Spellbomb, effectively shutting off PiF lines since I doubt he he brought in his Decays and bounce spells against me. I do a lot of Thoughtseizing and end up getting myself a little low on life, which I'm wary of, but I'm hoping to keep him from going off at all. The problem is I have no clock, just a lonely Snapcaster doing his best. I'm not sure how this round went so long, but time gets called. On turn 5 my opponent casts Dark Ritual, I assume this is his last out and Force it. He then casts Brainstorm and it must have been a damn good Brainstorm. He Cabal Rits, I Spellbomb away his graveyard taking away Threshold. He Petals, LEDs, Grim Tutors, cracks LED and gets the exact mana for Tendrils. I guess I should have thought more about Forcing the Dark Ritual, but he only needed one or the other Ritual to resolve. If I'd waited for a Tutor I'd have gotten the tie, but also he could have hit me with discard. If anyone can tell me the exact right play here I'd be curious to here it.

    Thief Steals: Duress, Thoughtseize

    Match 4 (Saturday): 1-1* Grixis Phoenix

    Game 1 is a grind. He nearly gets milled out. by the end and I'm not sure how many Phoenixes I deal with by the end. I steal Bob from him with a thief, which was risky, but I wanted to get on the aggro plan late as I felt I was turning the corner. The end of this game gets weird. I'm at 2 with Bob and Jace. He is at 7 with a tapped Phoenix. I swing with Bob, bounce his Phoenix and pass the turn. He replays the Phoenix and I Counterspell. He plays Petal, Brainstorm, Thoughtseizes and sees two lands, brings three Phoenixes back and swings at me for lethal. Did you catch it? I didn't. Twitch caught it. He only played 2 instants and sorceries that turn. His Phoenixes shouldn't have come back. I had a chance to still take the game. Feels bad, but I guess it happens.

    Game 2 felt like a bit of a blowout. I Waste away his USea turn 2 and then he fetches a Swamp. I don't know if he expected me to have more nonbasic hate, but this really hurt him here. I end up using Force and Spell Pierce to protect myself and finally a Surgical to take away his Phoenixes. Now I really feel like I'm in the driver's seat. I have Snap, Strix, and Thief and take his Bitterblossom. He concedes when I play a second Thief and he is at 3.

    Game 3 I mull to 6, scry a Surgical to the top, and then Thoughtseize turn 1 and see a scary hand, but take his Thoughtseize so he can't strip away my Surgical. He goes for it and the Surgical takes the Phoenixes. Once again, I feel like the game is mine to lose now that the Phoenixes are gone. I have Lili Last Hope ticking up and Thief is thieving, but after the game 1 marathon time gets called. I cast his Young Pyromancer and Brainstorm making a token. On turn 5 he has an empty board, casts a Bitterblossom and I Counterspell it with Force of Will and Brainstorm in hand, Lili at 7, plus Thief, Pyro, and 2 elementals. If the game goes on I literally don't know how he beats my board. I would have Lili emblemmed and swarmed him with zombies and elementals plus some Thiefing and Force backup.

    Thief Steals: Bob, Brainstorm, YP

    So right now I'm 2-4-1 with the deck, but the draw against Phoenix easily could have been a win, and the loss to ANT could have very easily been a draw. That puts me real damn close to 3-3-1 and I am not a good Magic player so that isn't bad. Games against Storm and Phoenix are on Twitch here:

    https://www.twitch.tv/videos/393060922?t=01h44m33s

    My first match against Death's Shadow is also available at the CFB Twitch channel from March 7.

  7. #7

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Quote Originally Posted by CpnPlanet View Post
    I've played a version of this deck twice now and have been having a lot of fun with it. I figure since it's very new I may as well share my experiences with the deck and maybe I can help push it forward. It's a lot of fun to play and I'd love to see it get developed further.

    First off, here is my list: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/04-03-19-tet/
    Thanks for all your thoughts.

    I've found the white splash improves the burn matchup markedly; Gerrard's Verdict is a big tide-turner; it's 2cmc "negate 2 spells" every time; no matter how it shakes out. I've even used it on myself to discard two lands. But at the same time; I'm not going to spend too much mental energy on burn as it's such a small portion of the meta.

    I'm going to find some time to post my experiences with matchups and splashes in the next day or two - my wife just had emergency gallbladder surgery so I havent had a great opportunity to write much more.

    Does anyone have extensive thoughts on the red splash?

  8. #8

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Quote Originally Posted by walked View Post
    Thanks for all your thoughts.

    I've found the white splash improves the burn matchup markedly; Gerrard's Verdict is a big tide-turner; it's 2cmc "negate 2 spells" every time; no matter how it shakes out. I've even used it on myself to discard two lands. But at the same time; I'm not going to spend too much mental energy on burn as it's such a small portion of the meta.

    I'm going to find some time to post my experiences with matchups and splashes in the next day or two - my wife just had emergency gallbladder surgery so I havent had a great opportunity to write much more.

    Does anyone have extensive thoughts on the red splash?
    I think the white splash could be worth it, but was surprised at how few white cards you had in the SB - which would be the almost the entire reason I would want white to begin with (obv. StP is sweet). Whites SB answers seem like they would be perfect for this deck - disenchant for equipment/chalice, containment priest for reanimator/S&T/GSZ, Jailor for control, ZP for a sweeper, maybe canonist, PtE as another creature removal, RiP for graveyard hate etc.

    I think if I were to move towards a splash color, white offers the best game 2&3 options, with straight up hosers vs. a lot of decks.

    Thoughts?

  9. #9

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilLesh View Post
    I think the white splash could be worth it, but was surprised at how few white cards you had in the SB - which would be the almost the entire reason I would want white to begin with (obv. StP is sweet). Whites SB answers seem like they would be perfect for this deck - disenchant for equipment/chalice, containment priest for reanimator/S&T/GSZ, Jailor for control, ZP for a sweeper, maybe canonist, PtE as another creature removal, RiP for graveyard hate etc.

    I think if I were to move towards a splash color, white offers the best game 2&3 options, with straight up hosers vs. a lot of decks.

    Thoughts?
    Oh I DEFINITELY agree! The sideboard has hardly been worked on from the splash perspective in that post. Jailer is kinda hard right now; WW is just too intensive; we're already leaning super hard into UU and BB costed spells; so I'm only comfortable with single pip W spells.

    Disenchant I've moved into my list; same with Zealous Persecution.
    I havent considered Ethersworn Canonist but I dont hate it. I'm running RIP as well.

    I've also found Kaya Ghost Assassin to be GREAT in this shell. I've cut 1 LotV for her and it's just overperformed every. single. time. It was kinda a "for kicks" attempt and its just really done work. You end up in SO MANY gamestates where you are both hellbent (or close) and topdecking, and the -2 plus leaving behind a PW that continues to do work almost always seals the deal.

    I'll get an updated list posted when I'm back at my home computer.

  10. #10

    Re: The Epic Thief

    Can I ask why the deck isn't splashing red for kcommand and red blasts sideboard? It seems like it would just be a different, possibly better, version of grixis control.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)