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Thread: Death-Nought

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    Death-Nought

    I'm posting my experimental Death's Shadow/Phyrexian Dreadnought list to see if I can get some good feedback. I fell on my face playing mono-blue Dreadstill recently and I wanted to see what I could do with a splash color. I don't have Underground Seas so the only viable option, if it shows itself to be viable, is playing Watery Grave + Death's Shadow. In theory it seems spicy and pretty good to me, but in practice it could be a train wreck. I like that it gives access to Thoughtseize as another way to protect Dreadnought (from annoying cards like Abrupt Decay.) I leaned pretty hard on the Ub DS template that has been established for that deck, shaving some of the pieces down to fit in the Stifles.

    Here is the current list as of 11/19/19:

    4x Death's Shadow
    3x Phyrexian Dreadnought
    3x Dark Confidant
    2x Brazen Borrower

    4x Brainstorm
    4x Ponder
    4x Thoughtseize
    4x Stifle
    2x Spell Pierce
    4x Force of Will
    1x Force of Negation
    2x Fatal Push
    1x Dismember
    2x Hymn to Tourach
    1x Torpor Orb
    1x Lim-Dul's Vault

    4x Polluted Delta
    3x Misty Rainforest
    1x Marsh Flats
    2x Watery Grave
    2x Darkslick Shores
    1x Island
    1x Swamp
    4x Wasteland

    Sideboard
    2x Bitterblossom
    1x Liliana, the Last Hope
    1x Narset, Parter of Veils
    1x Darkblast
    2x Blue Elemental Blast
    2x Ratchet Bomb
    2x Surgical Extraction
    1x Grafdigger's Cage
    1x Nihil Spellbomb
    2x Diabolic Edict


    Delver list for testing:

    4x Delver of Secrets
    4x Shadow
    3x Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4x Street Wraith
    4x Brainstorm
    4x Ponder
    4x Stifle
    4x Force of Will
    4x Daze
    4x Thoughtseize
    2x Fatal Push
    1x Dismember
    4x Polluted Delta
    3x Misty Rainforest
    1x Marsh Flats
    3x Watery Grave
    1x Darkslick Shores
    1x Island
    1x Swamp
    4x Wasteland

    Sideboard
    2x Bitterblossom
    2x Hymn to Tourach
    1x Darkblast
    1x Liliana, the Last Hope
    1x Narset, Parter of Veils
    2x Blue Elemental Blast
    2x Diabolic Edict
    2x Surgical Extraction
    1x Nihil Spellbomb
    1x Grafdigger's Cage
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 11-26-2019 at 07:54 AM.
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    Re: Death-Nought

    With that many creatures with 12-13 power, I'd try Varolz, the Scar-Striped in such a deck.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Wraith out, Confidant in. For more yolo, add Petals. Little need for >1 Watery Grave if you have Seas since you’ll be taking plenty of combat damage.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    Wraith out, Confidant in. For more yolo, add Petals. Little need for >1 Watery Grave if you have Seas since you’ll be taking plenty of combat damage.
    Wouldn't I need to up it to 20 lands to make Confidant worth running? I don't have Underground seas btw. I figured Wraith is just pure velocity. Lotus Petal isn't terrible, but makes the deck more 'glass cannon' and less 'big bad threat' tempo. I'm not saying no, I'm just curious what I would cut (maybe the maindeck removal?)
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by sco0ter View Post
    With that many creatures with 12-13 power, I'd try Varolz, the Scar-Striped in such a deck.
    Very spicy idea, I love it. I could easily splash green with Verdant Catacombs/Overgrown Tomb. Then Abrupt Decay/Sylvan Library get opened up as well. Basic lands would likely have to go at that point, unfortunately.

    Grixis is also easy for me with Scalding Tarn/Steam Vents/Blood Crypt, for Bolts, Temur Battle Rage, Pyroblasts in the board.
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by sco0ter View Post
    With that many creatures with 12-13 power, I'd try Varolz, the Scar-Striped in such a deck.
    I made a Deathnought deck a long time ago using that engine, around when Varolz was spoiled. It was back when Deathrite Shaman made midrange BUG a viable archetype. Don't know if it's any good in the current meta.

    Varolz means you need some non-12/12 bodies to scavenge onto, so it doesn't work in spell-heavy Delver decks. My list was something like this


    //Creatures: 18
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Death's Shadow
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    3 Varolz, the Scar-Striped

    //Spells: 24
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Ponder
    4 Stifle
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Abrupt Decay
    1 Dismember

    //Lands: 18
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Misty Rainforest
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Bayou
    1 Island
    1 Dryad Arbor


    (Fatal Push and Leovold hadn't been printed)

    True-Name Nemesis, Dark Confidant and even Tarmogoyf are other spicy creature options. It probably doesn't work with Delver. It was easier with DRS to ramp to 3 and stabilize the mana, plus DRS was great to scavenge onto.

    Street Wraith seems bad. It makes you think you're playing with a 56 card deck, but in reality it makes mulligans worse and leads to awkward topdecks when your life is pressured but you don't have/need Death's Shadow.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    I made a Deathnought deck a long time ago using that engine, around when Varolz was spoiled. It was back when Deathrite Shaman made midrange BUG a viable archetype. Don't know if it's any good in the current meta.

    Varolz means you need some non-12/12 bodies to scavenge onto, so it doesn't work in spell-heavy Delver decks. My list was something like this


    //Creatures: 18
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Death's Shadow
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    3 Snapcaster Mage
    3 Varolz, the Scar-Striped

    //Spells: 24
    4 Force of Will
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Ponder
    4 Stifle
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Abrupt Decay
    1 Dismember

    //Lands: 18
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Misty Rainforest
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Underground Sea
    1 Tropical Island
    1 Bayou
    1 Island
    1 Dryad Arbor


    (Fatal Push and Leovold hadn't been printed)

    True-Name Nemesis, Dark Confidant and even Tarmogoyf are other spicy creature options. It probably doesn't work with Delver. It was easier with DRS to ramp to 3 and stabilize the mana, plus DRS was great to scavenge onto.
    Thanks for the note! I'm not completely sold on Delver, but it seemed like the easiest transition where Ub DS already had an archetype template. Without DRS I don't think this BUG midrange deck is anywhere near good enough, and Varolz at more than 1-2 is super questionable. It opens up Abrupt Decay and other great cards, but I'm not sure I want to go that route. Delver/Daze/Wasteland support the Stifle plan quite strong, which overlaps with Dreadnought.

    Honestly, Gurmag/Tombstalker aren't as flashy as Dreadnought but they get the job done in DS. What I'm hoping for is a little more mana stability to be able to run basic lands. don't have UU or BB costs in the maindeck, and only one in the side with LtlH. What does Dreadnought offer over Gurmag/Tombstalker? A much faster clock and trample. It will murder planeswalkers, laugh at TNN and Tarmogoyf, and at the most take 2 turns to win if unanswered.

    My main reasons for wanting to include Dreadnoughts in Ub Shadow:
    1) The velocity is impressive, giving a high level of consistency
    2) Thoughtseize alongside free countermagic should let me protect it.
    3) It allows for fast wins against some decks that look to win through card advantage (Miracles, Grixis) see: Thoughtsieze/FoW/FoN/Daze
    4) I'm a dork that loves brewed decks
    5) I can reasonably use Watery Grave as a budget USea and not lose as much percentage points as shocks replacing other duals
    6) DrEaDnought is FucKinG BadASS
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Thanks for the note! I'm not completely sold on Delver, but it seemed like the easiest transition where Ub DS already had an archetype template. Without DRS I don't think it's anywhere near good, and Varolz at more than 1-2 is super questionable. It opens up Abrupt Decay and other great cards, but I'm not sure I want to go that route. Delver/Daze/Wasteland support the Stifle plan quite strong, which overlaps with Dreadnought.
    Something like this, maybe?
    1. Birds of Paradise
    2. Varolz
    3. Play Dreadnought, sac him, scavenge on BoP, attack with 12/13 flyer

    Add some Trinket Mage, which can search Walking Ballista (besides Dreadnought) and Scavenge becomes even more fun.

    just theocrafting here... I often look from more casual/Johnny point of view.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Thanks for the note! I'm not completely sold on Delver, but it seemed like the easiest transition where Ub DS already had an archetype template. Delver/Daze/Wasteland support the Stifle plan quite strong, which overlaps with Dreadnought.
    Delver is great with the Stifle/Waste/Daze tempo plan, just less so with Varolz. If you want to play the tempo plan, there's no need for green.

    Without DRS I don't think it's anywhere near good, and Varolz at more than 1-2 is super questionable. It opens up Abrupt Decay and other great cards, but I'm not sure I want to go that route.
    Yeah DRS made that deck work. It enabled plays like turn 3 Varolz, immediately scavenge it to 15/15, and if they try to Bolt you in response you can sac the DRS to regenerate it. Lategame you could drop Varolz, turn your DRS into a huge threat, and immediately attack for lethal. Both the mana and body made it easier to support multiple Varolz. It's a mana hungry strategy that doesn't work with Wasteland and Daze.

    You could replace DRS with other mana dorks, but it's not the same.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    You could replace DRS with other mana dorks, but it's not the same.
    Ain't that the truth. Elvish Reclaimer is alright, but doesn't net extra mana, just utility lands and a 3/4 beater. It's more akin to Tarmogoyf at 1 mana than a DRS replacement, but a worse one because it doesn't feed Stubborn Denial or even survive Bolt early on. Noble Hierarch is also an idea, and closer to DRS, but still just not enough.
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by sco0ter View Post
    Something like this, maybe?
    1. Birds of Paradise
    2. Varolz
    3. Play Dreadnought, sac him, scavenge on BoP, attack with 12/13 flyer

    Add some Trinket Mage, which can search Walking Ballista (besides Dreadnought) and Scavenge becomes even more fun.

    just theocrafting here... I often look from more casual/Johnny point of view.
    It looks ok, and would shore up the mana base even stronger with Birds adding mana. However, I think that combination of cards is unlikely to happen very often without the cantrips/Street Wraith engine I'd have to give up to fit in more creatures (the disruption is necessary to protect the big dudes.) It can sometimes be a challenge just to get Stifle/Nought together in traditional Dreadstill, which is only a 2 card combination.

    Green Sun's Zenith seems interesting in that sort of setup...I think it could be a Nic-Fit-ish variant that just makes big Varolz/Birds and plays a small toolbox and some recursion (Eternal Witness, Reanimate.) The blue would have to go, it would be total overhaul.
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    Re: Death-Nought

    I began legacy on UB Nought without Seas, the mana I went with was Island x2, Swamp x1,Watery Grave x1 (2x was too much), and River of Tears* x1 (this card is incredibly underrated as a budget option). On top of this was Petals, but no Daze. This was around the time of Khans and I was running a ton of Stubborn Denial main. It's a fairly nasty combo in the context of Petal, where Dreadnought on board turns on the ferocious for protecting the incoming Stifle. I wouldn't really want to try this again, because going big like this was uniquely suited to a format where OmniTell w/ DTT had pushed out the fair stuff. Alas they ended the fun times by banning Dig before the more responsible ban: Probe. There is something to be said though for rigorous adherence to no-Daze 1-3-5cmc structure (Steady Progress to beat Chalice + Warping Wail), which I only violated for JVP/Confidant and the occasional LDV/Illusionary Mask [anti-Chalice maindeck].

    If we're looking at your list, you're already pretty much auto-losing to Chalice (the classic weakness, along with colored + not-trample, of Shadow); you can't add a third color and absorb losses to Wasteland [from non-Chalice decks] on top of this. You can maybe get away with a bad matchup vs Chalice or a bad matchup vs RUG Delver, but not both. This likely doesn't get re-evaluated until such a time as DRS is unbanned (when you can get away with a 1x Trop).

    Dreadnought could play Magus of the Cursed Scroll [DRS], because that's a real wincon with novel win percentage (vs yard value/yard combo). It's not competitive to play -1 cards [pure mana dorks] in Dreadnought; and even outside Dreadnought shells, playing mana dorks into a real threat = losses to most 2-for-1s. That card should be Lotus Petal (and the Lotus Petal stuff is less safe than derping people out with 1-card combos Wrenn/Oko).

    In terms of NicFit crossover, I'm not sure what the end goal always is, but you're looking to re-purpose a card NicFit is trying to use conventionally. The top of this list are cards like Nissa, Vital Force, Liliana, the Last Hope, Meren of Clan Nel Toth, and Liliana, Heretical Healer // Liliana, Defiant Necromancer - there's mostly a black predisposition here [with blue backup], but the question is how are you getting value out of instances of 12 P/T on board [at competitive legacy speeds]. Nissa is easier to understand we're trying to re-purpose Stifle for cards like Lotus Field [for some reason]. If you're ever reaching for GSZ, you've already dropped Dreadnoughts b/c you're playing Managorger Hydra.

    *The modern border is crap, the Future Sight border on this card specifically is the only time a not-classic border has looked good.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    If i played a budget non-Watery Grave dual land it would be Darkslick Shores.

    No Daze is interesting, but i think its just too good with stifle/wasteland. If i expect a lot of Chalice in the meta i would maindeck the force of negation and sideboard the Stub.

    Thanks for the continuing insight! Always appreciated. I'm still debating Bobs over Wraiths, but i think it being a free cycle thay supports Shadow seems very good.
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    Thanks for the continuing insight! Always appreciated. I'm still debating Bobs over Wraiths, but i think it being a free cycle thay supports Shadow seems very good.
    Bob or Sylvan Library or pretty much any other card is better. At least you get value for the card slot and life spent. Or play Spell Pierce/Stubborn Denials.

    Street Wraith is bad. You think you're playing with a 56-card deck, but it ends up leading to tough mulligan decisions and awkward topdecks when your life total is pressured but you don't have/need Death's Shadow.

    Gitaxian Probe was good because:
    -It was a sorcery for Delver, Snapcaster, YP, Storm, etc.
    -It gave you perfect information to sequence your next turns
    -You could choose to pay mana for it when your life total is pressured

    Street Wraith does none of those things. It just cycles for 2 life.

    You don't need to aggressively suicide your life total against fair decks. They'll deal you damage on their own. You already have fetches, shocks, and Thoughtseize to help you get down. I could see an argument for it in a heavy combo meta where you just need to be explosive as fast as possible. But this meta is full of fair decks like RUG with Lightning Bolt.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Bob or Sylvan Library or pretty much any other card is better. At least you get value for the card slot and life spent. Or play Spell Pierce/Stubborn Denials.

    Street Wraith is bad. You think you're playing with a 56-card deck, but it ends up leading to tough mulligan decisions and awkward topdecks when your life total is pressured but you don't have/need Death's Shadow.

    Gitaxian Probe was good because:
    -It was a sorcery for Delver, Snapcaster, YP, Storm, etc.
    -It gave you perfect information to sequence your next turns
    -You could choose to pay mana for it when your life total is pressured

    Street Wraith does none of those things. It just cycles for 2 life.

    You don't need to aggressively suicide your life total against fair decks. They'll deal you damage on their own. You already have fetches, shocks, and Thoughtseize to help you get down. I could see an argument for it in a heavy combo meta where you just need to be explosive as fast as possible. But this meta is full of fair decks like RUG with Lightning Bolt.
    You make a great point, i just see Ub Shadow still on Wraiths. To feed Gurmags?
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Safety View Post
    You make a great point, i just see Ub Shadow still on Wraiths. To feed Gurmags?
    Probably. If Wraith has a secondary function, like graveyard-filling, then it gets a lot better.

    Dredge ran it to protect dredgers from Surgical, Dredge at instant speed, and feed Ichorid.

    Modern runs it to help turn on Delirium for Traverse the Ulvenwald and because their cantrips suck.

    I just think it's bad if all you're doing is shocking yourself for no reason.

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    Re: Death-Nought

    Quote Originally Posted by FTW View Post
    Probably. If Wraith has a secondary function, like graveyard-filling, then it gets a lot better.

    Dredge ran it to protect dredgers from Surgical, Dredge at instant speed, and feed Ichorid.

    Modern runs it to help turn on Delirium for Traverse the Ulvenwald and because their cantrips suck.

    I just think it's bad if all you're doing is shocking yourself for no reason.
    Talking with a couple friends that play the deck have said its easier to manage you're life total in the 6-8 range with Wraiths, where bob is unpredictable. I see the point, but where i'm playing a 2-card combo Confidant can really recoup the card disadvantage. On the other hand, i may not get my life total low as quickly with Bob. I imagine if i'm drawing extra cards that won't matter much. Another thought is to drop the Reanimate for a 4th thoughtseize/daze. Primary target was Wraiths, if i understand the deck properly, but with Bobs i don't know if that slot is still worth it. Reanimating Dreadnought after baiting a counterspell could be fun though...

    Testing will show me where to go with it.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 03-27-2020 at 07:20 AM.
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    Re: Death-Nought

    Another thing to keep in mind is their only big threat is Death's Shadow. They're heavy on that plan, so they need it to be big fast. You've got Dreadnought. Between that and Delver, you can win the game at 15 life. Death's Shadow is secondary. You don't need to go suicidal.

    If life total control is an issue, you could run neither Bob nor Street Wraith and just play a useful spell.

    Ub Shadow is also not putting up big results in the current meta. Dealing yourself 12 damage seems bad against Mountain (RUG, UR Delver, etc.)

  19. #19

    Re: Death-Nought

    I think in 2019 legacy unless you're doing something 'extra' (e.g. Scroll of Fate) then Stifle-Nought as the threat package for a tempo deck is just too much clunk.

    It just doesn't seem viable to play a Hidden Horror that asks you to discard 1 specific card, even if it is a 12/12.

    I think the subset of games where having Stifle + Nought is better than Stifle + Mandrills, or even Angler + any disruption is so small that it's not really worth considering.
    Once you have other Dreadnought enablers (Scroll) then at least the deck has its own uniquely powerful niche rather than just being 'awkward delver' or 'awkward shadow' etc

  20. #20

    Re: Death-Nought

    If you are going UB, keep in mind that 'Lazav, The Multifarious' exists ;-) Combine that with green and get a mongoose or something with hexproof in the grave to protect Lazav at any time.

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