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Thread: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

  1. #1
    Aes Sídhe
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    [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    Definition of Nic Fit: "A GBx hybrid ramp-control deck which strives to abuse the Veteran Explorer / Cabal Therapy interaction."

    Table of Contents:
    I. Introductions
    II. (Some) Card Selections
    IIIA. Historical Notes
    IIIB. Naming Conventions
    IV. Cabal Therapy Guide
    V. The Primary Variants
    VI. The Second Variants
    VII. The Tertiary Variants
    VIII. Coverage Matches

    I. Introductions:

    Welcome to the Nic Fit community here on Source!

    You should play this deck if you like:
    -) Your opponents wailing and gnashing their teeth while you unleash cards that they never want to play against upon them
    -) A unique hybrid ramp-control style of play that is only really found in us and our sister decks 12post and MUD
    -) An archetype with a lot of undiscovered potential and space for individuality and brewing
    -) You're coming to Legacy from Standard or Modern. This isn't a budget deck (and can be hilariously in some cases), but a lot of its optimal choices as things that you may already have from newer formats or have been recently reprinted (Deed).

    You shouldn't play this deck if:
    -) You are harshly critical on what's playable / "real" and not -- Nic Fit can surprise you!
    -) You're unwilling to put a lot of time into learning to play this deck. And I mean, a -lot-.

    Yup. Those are really the only reasons not to play this deck. Within its deep annals, there is really something for everyone. There's combo variants, hard control variants, Stoneforge variants....you name it, we've got it. And, we're expanding our variants all the time. Come contribute!

    It's been generally agreed upon amongst the 'older' Nic Fit pilots that you can reasonably expect to sink a year of your life into this deck before you will be able to reliably top 8 events. This number can fluctuate based on your playtime (every weekend + during the week vs once a month) and also based on your experience with 'similar' decks in other formats. It's important to keep in mind, though, that Nic Fit is a very, very challenging archetype to play. You need to sequence your plays several turns in advance, while still being flexible enough to respond to both your own deck and your opponents' decks changing your plans. You need to learn how to use Cabal Therapy effectively, which involves a massive amount of format knowledge and the ability to pay attention to every little detail and shred of information that is offered to you.

    It's very easy to become discouraged in yourself and in the deck after a few months of not putting up results. You just have to stick with it -- and we're here to help!

    My name is Kevin "Arianrhod" McKee, and I've been playing Nic Fit since early summer 2011. I've put up a lot of pretty reasonable results with a couple different versions of the deck, and while I'm still hunting for my own breakthrough event instead of consistently top 8ing/16ing/32ing, I'm here to offer opinions and advice to all.

    Now, with the introductions out of the way, let's talk about the deck itself!

    II. (Some) Card Selections:

    Things We Do Run and Why:

    A. Pernicious Deed

    It has been theorized in the past that you can run Deedless. It's a bad idea. Depending on the situation, your opponent will oftentimes get the benefit from your Explorers (if they get any at all) before you will. Being able to untap and reset the board while still holding your threats in hand is pretty huge.

    Dropping Deeds / running 1 copy in the past. My sincere recommendation would be: don't.

    B: Green Sun's Zenith

    The only times that we don't run at least 3 of this card is when there's either some number of Birthing Pods present in the list, or when most of the creatures are nongreen. It's basically the most powerful creature tutoring option currently available.

    C. Eternal Witness

    The green Snapcaster. Before Return to Ravnica, we would commonly run 2-3 copies of this card. Unfortunately, Deathrite Shaman has arrived and is the fun police. She's still good enough that you should almost always run a singleton.

    D. Sensei's Divining Top

    The gold standard for non-blue card filtration and quality. Doesn't die to our Deeds, and we can use it as many times per turn as we have shuffles (which can be a lot). Most versions run 3 copies, although blue versions usually shave to 1-2 due to the addition of Jace and Brainstorm, and Punishing versions have been upping to a 4-of recently.

    E. Phyrexian Tower

    This unique land leads to some of Nic Fit's most broken opening sequences, with its crazy synergy with Veteran Explorer. Rector versions used to run 2 copies of this land, due to the added focus on sacrifice outlets. Every other version only runs a 1-of, however -- with some versions opting not to run it at all to improve that mana stability at the cost of explosive hands.

    F. "Combat" Planeswalkers

    This category includes planeswalkers which make tokens or buff creatures. Combat planeswalkers tend to be very good at beating opposing planeswalkers (consider Elspeth, Knight-Errant; Sorin, Lord of Innistrad; Garruk Relentless/Primal Hunter/Apex Predator). One of Nic Fit's weaknesses tends to be to opposing planeswalkers because Pernicious Deed does not kill those like it does everything else. Combat planeswalkers can help shore this up.

    Things We Don't Run and Why:

    A. Dryad Arbor

    -) Dies to your own Pernicious Deeds, Deluges, etc.
    -) Usually better in all situations to sandbag the Zenith and Zenith@1 for Explorer instead of @0 for Arbor.
    -) Occupies a spell slot, and even then, it will sometimes screw your mana development with its very presence.
    -) Natural Order is not currently used in Nic Fit -- this would be the only scenario in which I would support Arbor.

    B. Liliana of the Veil

    -) Notable Exception: Punishing Nic Fit
    -) Most of the problem with Liliana is that our cards are generally much better than our opponents' on a 1-for-1 scale. Bleeding our hand is usually something that is effective against us, and therefore it doesn't make any sense to do it to ourselves.
    -) Liliana isn't actually that effective against the decks that we want her to be effective against. Our clock is too slow to kill combo while Liliana keeps their hand low, she's not Show and Tellable, and she does nothing to Sneak Attack.

    C. Maindeck Thoughtseizes

    -) Too many dead cards in the late game.
    -) Doesn't actually kill the opponent.
    -) The 2 lifeloss can actually matter in a lot of matchups, because Nic Fit tends to use its life as a resource pretty aggressively.

    D. Random EDH / Cube Garbage

    -) If you're running a card in Nic Fit, you need to have a specific reason for doing so. Don't think that just because Nic Fit "looks like a cube draft" that means that you can jam anything that you want.
    -) Nic Fit variants are very carefully constructed and each card present in them is there for a reason.

    E. Sylvan Library

    -) See also Thoughtseize on why life loss is bad. Even in matchups where you think your life total is safe, like Miracles, it does end up mattering.
    -) Dies to your Deeds and you can't save it like you can with Top.
    -) Usually better options exist. I would probably play Read the Bones before Sylvan Library.

    IIIA. Historical Notes:

    Tao created the Source thread for Nic Fit in late May of 2011, and the thread quickly attracted the attention of deckbuilders due to the interaction formed between Veteran Explorer and Cabal Therapy. Speaking personally, I had discovered the interaction separately around the same time due to the printing of Veteran Explorer in one of the Commander box-sets. Previously, I had no idea the card existed, but I quickly thought of Cabal Therapy and came to Source to investigate if anyone else had thought of the same thing. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the fledgling thread, and have been working on the deck ever since.

    The deck remained underground for several months, despite putting up sufficient numbers at local tournaments to keep our interest up. It probably helped that the deck is so much fun to play, as well. Fast forward to July 31st, 2011 -- the Starcity Games Open in Pittsburgh, PA. I was able to get a car around to play in the Legacy Open, and while none of us did that well, my deck attracted the eye of Caleb Durward, who was playing not far from me. We talked about the deck briefly, and he said that he'd seen people playing it on Workstation online, but that he hadn't seen it at an actual event before (paraphrased due to nonexact recollection). Although I ended up at something dismal like 4-3-1, apparently some interest had been sparked.

    At the SCG Invitational in Charlotte, in December 2011, Nic Fit got to steal some limelight as Caleb Durward piloted a straight G/B version of the deck to an impressive top 8 finish, and snagged a Deck Tech on the way. Over the next few months, the deck periodically bounced in and out of the Decks to Beat forum on the Source, which signifies a tier one deck. Despite these periodic jumps, the deck has remained a strong tier 1.5/tier 2 contender for much of its life, largely due to a complete lack of true masters and professional players that actually run the deck, as Caleb has continued to experiment with other archetypes after playing Nic Fit to decent finishes several more times.

    Since then, the archetype has fragmented into various sub-versions, all with a unique style and personality all their own. Each version can have wildly different matchups, although most share at least a few core similarities. Most of the high-placing finishes for the deck will be categorized with their attending version in section V. While we have yet to win any notable, large-scale tournaments, we have appeared in many such top 8s, and our pilots have pocketed dozens of dual lands and other high-level prizes. The overall archetype's best/most prestigious finish so far is a 10th place by BUG Pod at GP Paris, in February 2014.

    IIIB. Naming Conventions:

    Our deck's name is so weird and off the beaten path that I feel I must address it in its own section. We don't actually know entirely where Nic Fit came from, before anyone asks. A lot of people assume that it came from a typo....that it was originally supposed to be "Nice Fit." Whether it did or not, however, is questionable, and probably impossible to prove. Caleb Durward noted that he believes the name to refer to the interaction between Explorer and Therapy in his Deck Tech.

    Whatever it may have once signified, Nic Fit has come to be synonymous with Therapy/Explorer, although some casters in particular still try to call the deck Explorer Rock, or even more simply, "that Veteran Explorer deck."

    Each subset of the deck tends to go by either its shard/wedge name or the name of the specific plan or backup engine that it is abusing. Scapewish comes from Scapeshift + Burning Wish, Punishing Fit as per Punishing Fire, Thunian Fit comes from the Archangel of Thune interactions present in the list, etc.

    IV. Cabal Therapy Guide:

    Proper Cabal Therapy names are one of the most important aspects of playing the deck. While the following guide is far from perfect, it can be used as a general purpose training tool for when you're just learning the deck and just starting with Therapy. If you have no idea what to do, this is for you. As you get more experienced and more advanced with the deck, some of these calls will change based on a wide variety of factors...but this is a good starting guide.

    Miracles
    Play: Sensei's Divining Top
    Draw: Counterbalance

    Top is the most important card in their deck, and on the lpay it's the obvious name. On the draw, try to snag their Counterbalance to shut down their virtual card advantage and keep your early developmental plays clear.

    Shardless:
    Play: Brainstorm
    Draw: Shardless Agent or hold until t2-3 for Jace, or hold until you want to resolve something and name Force
    Postboard Play: Brainstorm
    Postboard Draw: Hymn to Tourach

    On the draw, Therapy isn't that great in this matchup. Frankly, Therapy isn't that good in general, but especially on the draw. Hymn to Tourach is their best card vs you, but they usually only have 1 or at most 2 copies maindeck, so it's generally not worth naming. On turn 2 (if they have DRS) or turn 3 it can be correct to name Jace, but even still they only usually have 1-2 copies of him now as well. It can be wisest to just hold it until you need to resolve something and then slam it on Force of Will. Postboard, adjust to Hymn to Tourach, because they'll be bringing in extra copies of it and actively looking for it in their opening hand.

    Stoneblade/Deathblade
    Play: Brainstorm
    Draw: Hold.

    If you're on the play, try to disrupt a shaky keep by taking Brainstorm, which also makes your future Therapies better. If you're on the draw, you want to hold your Therapy so that you can either use it after they Stoneforge for an equipment, or on turn 3 naming Jace TMS.

    RUG Delver
    Play: Stifle
    Draw: Stifle

    It's our number one enemy in this matchup. If they don't have it, congrats, you have information and the go-ahead for Explorer to ramp past their tempo. Also keep in mind that they give you information on their hand from Delver. Write it down.

    BUG Delver
    Play: Stifle
    Draw: Stifle

    Same as RUG here, really. You can make a strong argument for calling Hymn to Tourach, but Stifle is usually more devastating if they happen to run it.

    UWR Delver
    Play: Stifle
    Draw: Hold for Stoneforge

    It's hit or miss whether or not UWR Delver plays Stifle, but it's worth taking the shot on the play. On the draw, they'll usually tap out for Stoneforge on turn 2, which both lowers their shields for Stifle and also gives you information for Therapy. Seize it.

    TES and ANT
    Play: Dark Ritual
    Draw: Dark Ritual

    Ideally you want to name mana on the call, and then business on the flashback. Doesn't always work that way though...be prepared to be flexible here. Dark Ritual gets the nod as the initial name because most of their 'broken hands' involve sequences containing Dark Ritual, and it's probably the ritual that they are most likely to keep in their opening hand, vs something like LED that needs a lot of pieces to go with it and is fairly fragile.

    Elves
    Play: Natural Order
    Draw: Natural Order

    Natural Order is their pathway to their fastest kill, and it's the first priority to name as a result.

    Reanimator
    Play: Reanimate
    Draw: Exhume

    Reanimate is the 'faster' reanimation spell, but it does hurt them badly. Exhume is arguably more dangerous because it doesn't cost them life, meaning they get 7 more cards to defend their Griselbrand with. Worst case, don't forget that you can play around Exhume by Therapying yourself to discard Venser, Frost Titan, Rector, or any other creature that you want to get in play.

    Sneak/Show
    Play: Show and Tell
    Draw: Griselbrand

    Show and Tell is their fastest kill. Likewise, Griselbrand is probably the more dangerous thing for them to Sneak Attack because they can draw a million cards to hit Petal + Emrakul and just kill you in one shot.

    Death and Taxes
    Play: Vial
    Draw: Phyrexian Revoker

    Deed is our best card here. We know and they know it, and Revoker is their answer to it. Shut it down. Vial is still better to name on the play, though, because sometimes you can catch them keeping the 1-lander+Vial hand, and punishing that when possible is good. Vial also lets them break timing with Flickerwisp and Avenger, so that's good to attack too.

    Burn
    Play: Lightning Bolt
    Draw: Fireblast (or Price of Progress, depending on your draw)

    If you have a lot of nonbasics in your draw, name Price -- otherwise, name Fireblast. On the play, call for Lightning Bolt because it's their best burn spell and usually the one they're happiest to have in-hand. That being said, it's a royal crap shoot to hit anything vs burn. All of their cards are basically the same, just with different names.

  2. #2
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    V. The Primary Variants:

    Scapewish

    Arianrhod's latest list (9/10/14):

    4 Veteran Explorer
    2 Sakura-Tribe Elder
    1 Eternal Witness
    2 Wood Elves
    2 Huntmaster of the Fells
    2 Stormbreath Dragon
    2 Thragtusk
    1 Primeval Titan

    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith
    4 Burning Wish
    3 Scapeshift

    3 Pernicious Deed

    3 Sensei's Divining Top

    4 Taiga
    2 Stomping Grounds
    3 Badlands
    2 Bayou
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Wooded Foothills
    3 Forest
    2 Swamp
    2 Mountain
    2 Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle

    SB:
    3 Slaughter Games
    2 Red Elemental Blast
    2 Abrupt Decay
    2 Thoughtseize
    1 Massacre
    1 Scapeshift
    1 Innocent Blood
    1 Toxic Deluge
    1 Maelstrom Pulse
    1 Pyroclasm

    Finishes:
    Kevin McKee - 2nd - Mythic Games - 7/21/12
    Kevin McKee - 4th - Jupiter Games - 8/11/12
    Eric Warns - 7th - SCG Open Minneapolis - 9/2/12
    Luigi Lescarini - 4th BBC #1 Roma 9 - 9/9/12
    Louis Soloman - 4th - Jupiter Games - 11/3/12
    Juan Miguel Carrascosa - 1st - Mishra's Factory Open - 11/17/12
    Sam Castrucci - 12th - SCG Open Baltimore - 12/2/12
    Kevin McKee - 4th - Jupiter Games - 12/15/12
    Kevin McKee - 13th - SCG Open Columbus - 1/6/13
    Kevin McKee - 7th - Mythic Games - 1/12/13
    Evan Flynn - 5th - Mythic Games - 1/12/13
    Dario Moreno - 6th - 1 LML 2013 - 1/12/13
    Eugenio Arano - 3rd - Cerberus Open 3 - 1/20/13
    Kaarle Tukia - 3rd - GPT Strasbourg / Kuukkacon - 3/2/13
    Evan Flynn - 8th - Mythic Games - 3/9/13
    Roberto Geada - 5th - GPT Strasbourg / 3 LML Madrid - 3/16/13
    Kevin McKee - 8th - Mythic Games - 4/13/13
    Ludovico Pagliughi - 4th - MLL#12 Milano - 6/9/13
    Sam Higgins - 8th - Jupiter Games - 6/22/13
    Pablo Montoya - 6th - 6 LML 2013 - 6/29/13
    Pagliughi Ludovico - 6th - MLL#1 Piacenza - 9/22/13
    Kevin McKee - 5th - Mythic Games - 11/9/13
    Gianluca Barbati - 2nd - GBLL Tappa 3 - 11/17/13
    Ludovico Pagliughi - 5th - Nebraska's War / Viareggio - 12/7/13
    Kevin McKee - 10th - Tales of Tales of Adventure - 12/7/13
    Manuel Torres - 7th - Legacy Open IV / Cantrabria - 12/14/13
    Adrian Perez - 6th - GPT Paris / Barcelona - 1/11/14
    Romain Van Den Daelen - 4th - GPT Paris / Paris - 1/25/14
    Giacomo Befani - 6th - T1.5 T#8 / Pisa - 3/16/14
    David Rice - 8th - Tales of Adventure 40 Duals - 3/30/14

    Summary
    Scapewish is the archetype with perhaps the highest pedigree amongst Nic Fits. In addition to the above major finishes (events with over 32 players), it has a large host of smaller event finishes which I opted to not include. The original seed idea came from a pair of small European event finishes from Summer 2012 merging the Nic Fit core with a Scapeshift aesthetic. These lists were very nascent, using multiple copies of Primeval Titan, Foratog, and some other choices which in today's world seem bizarre. I took this core idea and revised the list, refocusing it a bit -- this led me to a string of finishes over the next 6 months, which attracted a lot of other players to the archetype. While Scapewish has fallen off in popularity a bit in 2014, it's still very alive and worth considering moving forward.

    Scapewish functions as a midrange beatdown deck, presenting powerful creature threats like Huntmaster, Thragtusk, and Stormbreath Dragon. However, these creatures, while respectable and certainly capable of winning the game on their own, are primarily smoke and mirrors. The creature plan serves to mask the true looming threat: a combo kill with Scapeshift searching up Valakuts and mountains. Here's how the Scapeshift kill works:

    -) Scapeshift (resolves) sacrificing 7 lands, fetches Valakut + 6 mountains. Valakut sees all 6 mountains entering play at the same time, which means each mountain counts as the "6th mountain" which will trigger Valakut. This deals 18 damage.

    -) Scapeshift (resolves) sacrificing 8 lands, fetches 2 Valakut + 6 mountains. This will deal 36 damage.

    -) Scapeshift (resolves) sacrificing 8 lands, fetches Valakut + 7 mountains. This is how you beat onboard Wasteland. Add a mountain for each untapped Wasteland.

    Coupled with the Burning Wishes, Scapewish plays a total of 7 effective copies of Scapeshift, not counting any that get discarded or countered, which turns on Eternal Witness + 4 Zeniths as further 'effective copies'. The Scapeshift kill is very redundant -- given enough time, it WILL happen. This means that many games end up being race scenarios where your opponent may not even realize that you're racing.

    The Burning Wishes can do a lot more than just fetch Scapeshift, of course. They also present a great deal of utility, enabling the pilot to fetch additional discard, sweepers, spot removal and the powerful anti-combo disruption of Slaughter Games. Innocent Blood, while also removal, enables you to Wish for a sacrifice outlet to off a struggling Explorer. Burning Wish can gain further utility postboard, as you can sideboard out a Green Sun's Zenith for grindy matchups to increase your midgame threat density even further.

    Strengths:
    -) A strong, linear plan which is good against random decks and redundant enough to be very hard to stop
    -) Some of the better anti-combo sideboard options Nic Fit has to offer
    -) A solid plan B which is sometimes good enough to get there on its own
    -) Can steal game 1 vs combo with discard + a fast Scapeshift

    Weaknesses:
    -) Fairly unstable manabase that can be easily attacked early in the game
    -) A complete lack of lategame power -- after turn 10, this deck becomes pretty unfavored against current decks

    Matchups:

    Miracles:

    Cointoss game one, slightly favored game 2-3. Some games you'll get out underneath them, drain their resources with Thragtusks and Stormbreaths, and then wombo them from nowhere. Some games you'll get turn 3 Entreated, they'll Force your Deed, and you'll die. Postboard you gain Slaughter Games, Decays, and Red Elemental Blasts -- all of which are superb in this matchup. You also board in a lot of the Burning Wish targets for the Wishes themselves, since the Wishes can be Hydroblasted and are easily Counterbalanced.

    How you win:
    -) Slaughter their Jaces and park a Deed in play. Without their Jaces, it's much harder for them to countertop Scapeshift, which taxes their resources heavily. Deed stops Entreat.
    -) Slaughter their Entreats. If game one took a long time, consider going after Entreat before Jace, because Entreat is a typically faster wincon.
    -) Slaughter their Force of Wills. If you have a lot of ramp / a Scapeshfit and they don't have CB/Top online, it can sometimes be correct to just rush the combo.
    -) Slaughter their Terminuses and go dudebro beatdown. Without Terminus, Stormbreath Dragon is very hard for Miracles to effectively shut down. Without Terminus in their deck, they also cannot CB/Top Zenith@5 or Primeval Titan, both of which can be relevant if you're on the dude plan.

    How you lose:
    -) Early, unanswered CB/Top (turn 2 assembled) locks you out of your early game development.
    -) Counterspells + Snapcaster + Clique tempos you out of the game.
    -) Fast Jace starts fatesealing immediately while they ensure that they can protect it.
    -) Fast Entreat + they have a counterspell for your Deed.
    -) Long, grindy 10+ turn game in which they bury you in cards and/or assemble Clique/Venser/Karakas.

    Delver (RUG, BUG, UWR):

    All of these matchups play out roughly the same, so I'll group them together, noting specific differences as I come to them. Scapewish is generally favored vs all three, however all three are perfectly capable of stealing games out from under you. In general your dude plan is less effective here, although Thragtusk in particular is a beating for all versions of Delver. Pernicious Deed is the best card in your deck; Stifle is your opponent's best. Veteran is pure value here, and necessary to help you escape their conditional, soft countermagic.

    How you win:
    -) Thragtusk.
    -) Even better, double Thragtusk.
    -) Pernicious Deed + a beefy body to stabilize the board.
    -) A midgame Scapeshift when they're out of resources.

    How you lose:
    -) The Delver pilot correctly identifies the important of Sakura-Tribe Elder and Wood Elves. They're usually good about stopping Explorers, but sometimes decide that Sakura-Tribe isn't worth Dazing or Wood Elves isn't worth Stifling. They are.
    -) Double Delver + Wasteland + Stifle + Daze + Force hands. We've all been there. It's as good vs us as it is vs any other deck in the history of the game.
    -) BUG Delver Hymn to Tourachs you clean out of the game and then makes a Tombstalker.
    -) UWR Delver assembles TNN+equip and you don't have an answer / your answer gets countered.
    -) RUG Delver gets you low early and then goes triple Lightning Bolt.

    Shardless BUG:

    This matchup is really strange and feels very draw-dependent. I've had games where it feels like the matchup is a bye...going both ways. They play a lot of planeswalkers, which we're typically ill-equipped to fight adequately, and Thragtusk in particular is pretty questionable in the matchup. We usually end up playing more to our combo side than our midrange side here, because if we play like a midrange deck, we lose pretty badly. By contrast, they generally only have 3-4 Force of Wills to actually stop us from killing them with Scapeshift.

    How you win:
    -) Stall until you can Scapeshift safely (care of Wastelands). This usually involves casting / Zenithing for as many Explorers as possible as quickly as possible.
    -) Pernicious Deed is pretty good here as well, but you NEED to have a Thrag or Stormbreath to follow it up or they'll just rebuild. Deed not killing their planeswalkers is particularly bad here.

    How you lose:
    -) Hymn to Tourach happens.
    -) They clock you down before you can really do anything. This usually involves multiple Tar Pits and either discard or a Force of Will for Deed.
    -) Turn 2 Liliana, when backed up appropriately, can be very bad.
    -) They resolve multiple Ancestrals, which allows them to rebuild right past your Deeds.
    -) Meddling Mage can be a threat, although you should generally be able to answer it with a backup sweeper.

    Elves:

    This is a poor matchup for us, with Elves generally favored in all stages. Symbiote can save their elves from sweepers, and they're fairly redundant to discard since they can just topdeck another threat pretty easily. They also get value from the first Explorer, which can turbocharge them depending on their draws. All you can really try to do is disrupt them as much as possible as often as possible. Don't be afraid to sweep even if you'll only get 2-3 elves. Keep it as clear as you can and hope that you kill them before they kill you.

    How you win:
    -) Multiple board wipes into Huntmaster. Huntmaster's flips can devastate Elves if you run them out of resources.
    -) Discard + 1-2 sweepers into a fast Scapeshift can steal some games.
    -) Slaughter Games on Craterhoof can be pretty good, but keep in mind that Slaughter Games doesn't actually deal with any resolved threats on board.

    How you lose:
    -) They goldfish you while you draw noninteractive cards.
    -) You sweep them, but they Glimpse off afterward.
    -) They Thoughtseize the crap out of you and then goldfish you.
    -) They make a Progenitus and you can't find an answer (read: Deluge).
    -) They combo Deathrite Shaman with multiple untaps and drain you out.
    -) They assemble Visionary + Symbiote in a grindy situation.

    Stoneblade/Deathblade:

    This is usually a pretty favored matchup, but you do need to respect some of their draws. In general, though, their cards are fairly low powered compared to yours, and they fall into the same camp as Shardless in that they don't have enough counterspell backup to effectively protect themselves from Scapeshift. Respect their sideboard options, for they are many and diverse. Also remember that True-Name with equipment is a beating, and that they do play some quantity of planeswalkers depending on the pilot.

    How you win:
    -) A midgame Scapeshift, Burning Wish, or sometimes Green Sun off the top.
    -) Primeval Titan is a pretty good plan here, as is Stormbreath Dragon.
    -) Deed away their board.
    -) Sandbag a Therapy until they play Stoneforge Mystic and take their equipment.
    -) Burning Wish for Massacre can really catch these decks with their pants down and sweep them unexpectedly when they think you don't have the mana to wrath them.

    How you lose:
    -) You get kolded by some random weird sideboard option.
    -) TNN + equipment happens and you can't find an answer.
    -) Turn 2 Liliana can be problematic depending on your draw and theirs.
    -) You get ground out by Lingering Souls.
    -) They curve out and have just enough disruption to keep you off-balance while they aggro you out.

    Sneak and Show: Less good now than when the Slaughter Games were maindeck. If they have Leyline of Sanctity you probably just lose -- if they don't, your discard and Slaughters can rip them to shreds with REB backup. Prioritize Emrakul and then Griselbrand with Slaughter Games.

    Storm: Again, less good than it was -- but also less popular. If vs TES, prioritize Burning Wish with Slaughter Games. Vs ANT, you may be able to just name Ad Nauseam and win on the spot.

    Reanimator: Stone unwinnable. Seriously, they can mull to four while drinking absinthe with one hand tied behind their back and they will beat your best possible 7.

    Death and Taxes: This is pretty good for you. Respect the possibility of Mirran Crusader + equips, but otherwise you just have too many redundant sweepers for them to stop you. Your manabase -can- shit on itself and enable them to steal, though.

    GBx midrange (junk & jund): Play to your combo half, because your beatdown plan is not good enough here. This is simply a struggle for you to stay alive until you can make them dead. Watch out for stray Wastelands, and if they're running Knighto f the Reliquary, keep that threat in mind as well.

    Punishing Fit

    HoneyT's latest list (9/11/14):

    // Deck: P-Fire Nic Fit (60)

    // Lands
    2 Badlands
    2 Bayou
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    3 Forest
    4 Grove of the Burnwillows
    1 Kessig Wolf Run
    1 Mountain
    3 Swamp
    1 Taiga
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Wooded Foothills

    // Creatures
    1 Broodmate Dragon
    2 Eternal Witness
    1 Huntmaster of the Fells
    1 Primeval Titan
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Thragtusk
    1 Thrun, the Last Troll
    4 Veteran Explorer

    // Spells
    3 Abrupt Decay
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Liliana of the Veil
    1 Maelstrom Pulse
    3 Pernicious Deed
    3 Punishing Fire
    4 Sensei's Divining Top

    // Sideboard
    SB: 1 Choke
    SB: 1 Golgari Charm
    SB: 1 Krosan Grip
    SB: 3 Red Elemental Blast
    SB: 2 Slaughter Games
    SB: 3 Surgical Extraction
    SB: 3 Thoughtseize
    SB: 1 Toxic Deluge

    Ralf's latest list (8/28/14):

    1 Bloodstained Mire
    1 Mountain
    1 Savannah
    1 Wooded Foothills
    2 Badlands
    2 Forest
    3 Bayou
    3 Swamp
    4 Grove of the Burnwillows
    4 Verdant Catacombs

    1 Huntmaster of the Fells
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Thragtusk
    2 Eternal Witness
    4 Veteran Explorer

    1 Garruk Relentless
    3 Liliana of the Veil

    1 Batterskull
    3 Sensei's Divining Top

    3 Pernicious Deed

    2 Diabolic Edict
    3 Abrupt Decay
    3 Punishing Fire

    2 Thoughtseize
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith

    SB: 1 Reclamation Sage
    SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
    SB: 1 Kitchen Finks
    SB: 1 Dryad Militant
    SB: 1 Toxic Deluge
    SB: 1 Golgari Charm
    SB: 2 Slaughter Games
    SB: 3 Red Elemental Blast
    SB: 2 Surgical Extraction
    SB: 2 Thoughtseize

    Finishes:
    Alexander Podeschwa - 1st - IS-MAGIC - 4/22/12
    Alain Martin - 2nd - 6 Torneo LLG - 6/2/12
    Alain Martin - 8th - 7 Torneo LLG - 7/28/14
    Juan Garcia Pardillo - 5th - Torneo Evolution-Sevilla - 8/26/12
    Bota Varzquez - 3rd - TLA Torneo 6 - 11/11/12
    Juan Garcia Pardillo - 1st - 1er Torneo Navidad Evolution-Sevilla - 12/8/12
    Michael Pilz - 4th - Sunday Legacy Wien - 12/16/12
    Louie Funelas - 6th - Manila Legacy Wars 6 - 2/3/13
    David Clark - 20th - SCG Open Atlanta - 2/3/13
    Tim Wilson - 8th - SCG Open Kansas City - 3/24/13
    Claudio Mineri - 7th - Stargate Mantova - 5/12/13
    Claudio Mineri - 7th - Verona Evil#10 - 6/9/13
    Claudio Mineri - 4th - Olympus#5 - 6/30/13
    Daeva Tommaso - 4th - KING 1 Roma - 9/8/13
    Jakob Peschel - 6th - MKM Legacy Turniers in Nurnberg - 12/14/13
    Borja David Palachio - 4th - Legacy Open IV / MTG Cantabria - 12/14/13
    Jakob Peschel - 7th - MKM Legacy Turniers in Nurnberg - 12/21/13
    Giacomo Befani - 6th - T1.5T#8 / Pisa - 3/16/14

    Summary:
    This variety is one of the hardest/purest control lists amongst the archetype. You kill everything, and what you can't kill, you make them sacrifice. This is the only version that can effectively / happily run Liliana of the Veil, due to her synergy with Punishing Fire meaning that you aren't just eating cards out of your hand. Perhaps the most common finisher in this version is ThrunRun: Thrun + Kessig Wolf Run. Some prefer to eschew the ThrunRun plan in exchange for Phyrexian Tower + Volrath's Stronghold. Still others prefer to use grindier threats like planeswalkers and Batterskull. Whatever your win condition, though, it's slow and ponderous -- as with most true control decks.

    These sections were written by HoneyT -- thanks!

    Strengths:
    -) One of the best “board control” decks in Legacy. This deck utterly decimates the midrange/creature decks of the format
    -) Arguably the best Nic Fit variant against combo due to being able to play Liliana of the Veil maindeck
    -) The ability to grind with the blue decks of the format
    -) Punishing Fire. Seriously

    Weaknesses:
    -) Just like all Nic Fit variants, combo is not great for us
    -) Like all Nic Fit variants, decks that we can't interact profitably with that go bigger than us (a la Cloudpost) are stone unwinnable.
    -) Not a weakness per se, but this is the slowest/grindiest of the Nic Fit variants. If you're a slower player, the clock can certainly be an issue

    Matchups:

    Miracles:

    This is a pretty even matchup. As long as you can keep Counterbalance and Jace in check with Decays and Punishing Fires respectively, and can sit on a Deed for Entreat, you shouldn't have any problems grinding them out of resources and killing them with something. Thrun does tons of work forcing them to find a Terminus. At that point it's not unreasonable to to actually kill them with Punishing Fires. Play fast, these games go VERY long. Post-board we get great tools in REB and Slaughter Games. Pray they never draw Keranos and you should be good post-board.

    Delver (RUG, BUG, UWR):

    As the case for all Nic Fit variants, these are generally very favorable matchups. However any Delver deck is certainly capable of getting underneath you and stealing some games. Priority one is setting off an Explorer to catapult you past their soft counters. At that point their deck is not equipped to beat any of our threats. Pernicious Deed is your best card. Stifle is theirs (mostly out of RUG) so watch out/Therapy that first. Hymn can also randomly win the game for BUG.

    Shardless BUG:

    Another very favorable matchup, Punishing Fire kills everything outside of Goyf. Jace and multiple Visions are their only real hope of winning and we get excellent sideboard cards to further combat them in REBs. Hymn, while very good for them, is not usually backed up by enough of a clock to put the game away. With 4 Tops, you can usually draw out of it and stick a threat they can't handle. Veteran Explorer is MVP vs them as they can't remove it without killing it. Try to save Therapies for a potential Jace or Force to stick a threat. You have easy answers to pretty much everything else in their deck.

    Elves:

    While it doesn't look too bad on paper, this matchup is actually slightly unfavorable. Most of their reasonable draws are fast enough to get ahead of our disruption. Sometimes Punishing Fire and Deeds are simply too slow. However, with some good Therapies and if we can avoid some topdecks, we can maneuver the gamestate where we gain total control of the board and can clean up with a Huntmaster or other threat. Post board gets slightly better with access to more discard, Slaughter Games, and a couple cheap sweepers.

    Stoneblade/Deathblade:

    This is almost unlosable. Really, Punishing Fire takes care of almost everything, Deed cleans up TNN. It's incredibly hard for them to establish a clock and it's very easy to run them out of resources and take over the game.

    Sneak and Show: You almost can't win game one. You almost can't lose post-board if they don't have Leyline. Between the extra discard + Sugical, REBs, and Slaughter Games, they have a hard time fighting through the hate without Leyline.

    Storm: Again, tough to win game one, though this version has a better shot to steal game one on the back of Liliana. And again, you almost can't lose post-board. If you can Slaughter Wishes vs TES and Tendrils vs ANT they're going to have a rough time trying to win.

    Reanimator: Same as the other combo decks, though they're tougher to beat post-board as they can interact with your interaction easier than the others with discard in addition to countermagic.

    Death and Taxes: Midrange-y creature deck. Favorable, though not as easy as it looks on paper. They do have draws that can compete that typically involve Thalia with Wastelands and Ports into an Avenger or them being able to protect a Revoker on Deed while they keep your mana in check. Don't get blown out by Flickerwisp shennanigans and you should be ok.

    GBx midrange (junk & jund): Another very favorable matchup. We play their game, but we do it bigger and better than they do. Not much else to say here.

    Abzan (gbw) Wish

    jbone's latest list (9/9/14):

    Dudes (14)
    4 Vets
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    4 Stoneforge Mystic
    1 Scooze
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Thragtusk
    1 Sigarda
    1 Baneslayer Angel
    non-dudes (25)
    2 Thoughtseize
    3 Tops
    1 Maelstrom Pulse
    4 Therapy
    3 GSZ
    1 Diabolic Intent
    3 Living Wish
    3 Deed
    1 Jitte
    1 StP
    2 Decay
    1 Batterskull
    Land (22)
    3 Windswept Heath
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Bayou
    2 Savannah
    1 Scrubland
    3 Forest
    2 Swamp
    2 Plains
    1 Karakas
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Volrath's Stronghold
    Board
    1 Karakas
    1 Bog
    1 Phyrexian Revoker
    1 Ethersworn Canonist
    1 Fleshbag Marauder
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    1 Ashen Rider
    2 Mindbreak Trap
    2 Tsumani
    1 Toxic Deluge
    1 Humility
    1 Surgical Extraction
    1 Innocent Blood

    Finishes:
    Bruce Mills - 7th - SCG Open Birmingham - 4/22/12
    Bruce Mills - 8th - SCG Open Madison - 5/13/12
    A handful of SCG Open top 64s, some smaller event top 8s.

    Summary
    JBone's personal project, descended from the old "junk" approach. This version runs Stoneforge Mystic as an additional toolbox, along with Living Wish to accelerate into silver bullets from the sideboard. Both of these toolboxes also serve to increase the deck's overall threat density, which allows the list to play a little bit more disruption than most. Qweerios also worked on a version similar to this for a while. While still very much a work in progress, it has shown quite a bit of promise and has earned Jbone some good finishes.

    Strengths:
    -) Tremendously flexible and tunable. Most of the flex comes from toolbox effects, which reduces the chance of drawing the wrong half of your deck for a given matchup.
    -) Significantly more disruption than most Nic Fit lists, which enables a much better win rate against combo.

    Weaknesses:
    -) Deep wishboard removes a lot of space for "actual" sideboard cards.
    -) Few effective wincons. Sigarda is no longer as reliable as she used to be, and most of the format is set up to beat a Batterskull anyway.

    Matchups:

    TBD

    Thunian Fit (nee Rector)

    Arianrhod's latest list (9/10/14):

    4 Veteran Explorer
    1 Selvala, Explorer Returned
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Varolz, the Scar-Striped
    2 Spike Feeder
    1 Courser of Kruphix
    2 Academy Rector
    1 Master of the Wild Hunt
    1 Spike Weaver
    2 Archangel of Thune
    1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
    1 Thragtusk
    1 Sun Titan

    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith
    2 Council's Judgment
    1 Toxic Deluge

    2 Abrupt Decay

    3 Pernicious Deed
    1 Whip of Erebos

    3 Sensei's Divining Top

    3 Windswept Heath
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Bayou
    2 Savannah
    1 Scrubland
    3 Forest
    2 Plains
    2 Swamp
    1 Karakas
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Gavony Township

    sb::
    2 Abrupt Decay
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    2 Aven Mindcensor
    2 Ethersworn Canonist
    2 Tsunami
    2 Baneslayer Angel
    2 Pithing Needle

    Finishes:
    Elias Klocker - 5th - Legacyturniers - 4/30/2011
    Michael Thiel - 4th - Legacyturniers - 8/27/11
    Matthias Frauenschlager - 3rd - GPT Amsterdam / Nurnberg - 10/1/11
    Andrea Ciotta - 4th - PCLL#3 / Piacenza - 12/18/11
    Stephane Roumanille - 7th - Legacy Cachan - 1/15/12
    Angelo Cortazzo - 2nd - GA Vimercate LRS2012#1 - 2/12/12
    Chris Higashi - 8th - SCG Open Phoenix - 4/15/12
    Peter Venema - 7th - SCG Invitational Qualifier - 6/3/12
    Marco Lazzazzara - 8th - Finale BBC - 6/10/12
    Kevin McKee - 6th - Jupiter Games July - 7/14/12
    Juan Jose Valero - 5th - Genshiken Duals Tournament - 8/25/12
    Steve Thompson - 12th - SCG Open Providence - 10/14/12
    Roberto Turriziani - 4th - KMTG#3 - 11/25/12
    Kevin McKee - 6th - Mythic Games - 7/20/13
    Some small local top 8s.

    Summary:
    This particular version is one of the oldest versions of the archetype, second only to the (now outdated) straight GB versions. While it looks quite a bit different than it did 'back in the day,' the core philosophy remains the same: a rock-inspired approach involving a fair amount of spot removal + efficient sweepers coupled with some card advantage (usually in the form of recursion), some toolboxes, and powerful, efficient creatures. Lately, this version has been moving more towards a higher threat density due to the greatly improving quality of removal across the format.

    This version currently has some problems in the metagame and is not recommended at this time. That being said, it is getting a massive upgrade in Khans in the form of Siege Rhino. This creature will have implications for this archetype, and it looks to regain its position near the top of the Nic Fit hierarchy.

    Strengths:
    -) Arguably the highest raw power level across all Nic Fits. Your gameplan often is just slamming bombs until the opponent is out of answers. All of your threats are must-answers or they will take the game over.
    -) Spikes provide a ton of synergy with themselves and the rest of the deck, as well as offer a combo kill via Archangel of Thune.
    -) One of the best Elves matchups amongst Nic Fits courtesy of its powerful hatebear sideboard plan.
    -) The best removal options amongst the archetype. It may not play as many removal spells as some others (notably BUG Walkers), but it gets Council's Judgment alongside the more traditional GB options.
    -) Your burn matchup is a joke, and your raw power level is so high that you can smash through most random / budget decks, making this an attractive option for Grand Prixs and other large events that attract budget / nonlegacy players.

    Weaknesses:
    -) Usually doesn't have enough card advantage to actually keep up with the current quantities and quality of removal in the format. X-for-1ing with powerful bombs is a fine plan, but when blue decks are armed with Council's Judgment, Snapcaster, Swords, Terminus, and Verdict, it's very hard to actually execute this plan.
    -) Sneak and Show is a hole in this version's combo armor, in addition to the turn 1 combo decks that all Nic Fits struggle with.

    Matchups:

    Miracles:

    This is the main reason that this version is struggling currently. They have such a superfluity of insanely powerful removal that it can be very hard to overpower them. It doesn't help that they're both the better "7 basics" deck as well as the better Sensei's Top deck. Postboard you do gain some strong help in the form of Tsunami, but this matchup is still no joke even if you half-Armageddon them, as they can dig out with Top and white sweepers/removal buying them time.

    How you win:
    -) Get lucky and they brick on removal for a couple of turns. This is unlikely, but variance does happen, even to this deck.
    -) Tsunami away most of their lands and slam the door while they fail to find Terminuses.

    How you lose:
    -) EoT Entreat you for a million.
    -) They exile literally every single threat you have.
    -) They protect an early Jace and he either fateseals you out or buries you in cards.

    Delver:

    Delver variants are usually pretty easy for this deck. The amount of lifegain, stall, and removal that it brings to the table can be very hard for Delver strategies to effectively deal with. In addition, you gain Carpet of Flowers out of the sideboard, which helps you ramp to your bombs through their softcounters. As with any variety of Delver, it's still possible to lose randomly to them, but overall this has historically been one of the best matchups for this deck, and it continues to be so.

    How you win:
    -) Your deck functions.

    How you lose:
    -) Your deck doesn't function.
    -) They get "delver hands."

    Shardless BUG:

    Shardless is very grindy, and can at first seem to be kind of a harder matchup. There's a trick to this matchup, though -- you spam Veteran Explorers. Seriously, play / Zenith up as many Explorers as fast as possible in this matchup. Shardless is randomly susceptible to an army of 1/1s that they don't want to block beating them down. At 3 Explorers, you can effective pressure their planeswalkers and force them to make you get lands. Alternatively, if they have a very dude-heavy draw, you can beat with a couple while leaving one back, and force them to attack into it. Once you set off 2-3 Explorers, you should be able to overpower them fairly easily.

    How you win:
    -) Make a bunch of lands courtesy of prioritizing Explorer heavily, and then play a game of EDH to your opponent's underpowered creatures.

    How you lose:
    -) You don't make enough Explorers quickly enough and they get too much of a grasp on the game too quickly.
    -) They resolve 3+ Ancestrals.
    -) They have the Deathrite -> Liliana -> Jace -> 2x dudes curve. It's very rare, but it can happen and is pretty backbreaking for us if it does.

    Elves:

    Elves is not that bad for this particular version. Most of our removal is a little slow, so you still basically need to hit Explorer/Therapy/Deed or Deluge early in game one if you want to win that. Postboard, they need to slow their deck down quite a bit by adding Thoughteizes and Decays, and while this lets them fight our hate, it also slows them down enough that our more powerful hate options can come online. You can also threaten TitanDeed if the game goes long enough, which Elves actually straight cannot beat.

    How you win:
    -) Explorer/Therapy into a Deed or a Deluge is pretty backbreaking. Just make sure you slam the door quickly or they will rebuild with Glimpse or Visionary/Symbiote.
    -) A fast Archangel/Spike combo can also do good work in this matchup, although you're going to need some kind of disruption if you want to live that long.
    -) Spike Weaver can be hilariously backbreaking for them. Just respect the potential of their Deathrite Shamans just burning you out with multiple untaps.

    How you lose:
    -) The aforementioned Deathrite burn plan.
    -) They turn 2 you.
    -) They have one disruption spell for your hate, and then Glimpse off.
    -) They make a turn 2-turn 3 Progenitus. Note that Baneslayer can race Progenitus, and if they go all-in on the Prog plan, it opens the window for you to aim for the combo. Spike Weaver also defeats Progenitus.

    Stoneblade/Deathblade:

    This matchup is a slugfest on both sides, since both decks' power levels are very high. You generally should have enough sweepers (and Council's Judgments) for their True-Names. As in other variants of Nic Fit, shutting down the equipment is top priority -- without their equipment, they are just a deck of underpowered creatures that can't hold a candle to your own. THey've cut way back on the planeswalkers lately, which is good for us. Lingering Souls can be a pain in the ass if they're on that plan, but we should have enough air power to hold off an army of spirits.

    How you win:
    -) Shut down their equipment with Therapies, Decays, Judgments, and Deeds.
    -) Shut down their True-Names with Deluge, Deeds, and Judgments.
    -) Look for an opportunity to combo. They're going to generally be stretched very thin between their counterspells, discard, removal, and threats.

    How you lose:
    -) You fail to resolve their equipment, especially if it gets attached to a True-Name.
    -) They curve out and punish you before you can escape your early game developmental stage. It's rare that they can actually slam the door before you stabilize, but it can happen with certain hands.

    Sneak and Show: This is the achilles heel for this version. Show and Tell can be dangerous for them (as with any version of Nic Fit), but Sneak Attack is pretty big game. The sideboard Pithing Needles (which should probably be Revokers) help a lot, but this matchup is still very hard -- especially if they sideboard Through the Breach.

    Storm: Not fantastic, but winnable. The hatebears are effective against them, but it can be hard to effectively slam the door before they dig out.

    Reanimator: Strangely winnable. Spike Weaver is deceptively powerful here, as he will usually buy you enough time to Deed away their huge monsters. Baneslayer matches up well against Griselbrand, and when Khans comes out, we also gain Anafenza, which will change how you play this particular matchup (Therapy goes after Entomb and Careful Study over the actual reanimation spells). There will also likely be a Scavenging Ooze in the list moving forward, as well as possibly Abzan Charms, which can function as additional monster removal. Sometimes they'll make a turn 1 Griselbrand and you'll just lose, but if they stumble at all, you can punish them.

    Death and Taxes: You generally have enough removal and air superiority to be okay here. Watch out for Mirran Crusader postboard, as always. Council's Judgment can exile Revokers regardless of Mother of Runes, so your Deeds should generally be live. They also need to be cautious of you gaining infinite life, since they can't actually beat you at that point.

    GBx Midrange: Grindcore festival. Your power level is overall higher than theirs, but watch out for the disruption-heavy curve-out hands. They can sometimes apply enough pressure quickly enough with just enough disruption to be a problem. Sigarda is your #1 here, since she renders Liliana moot and is also impossible for them to get rid of.
    Last edited by Arianrhod; 09-15-2014 at 08:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Sultai (bug) Control

    Arianrhod's latest list (9/10/14):
    4 Veteran Explorer
    3 Baleful Strix
    2 Vendilion Clique
    1 Eternal Witness
    2 Notion Thief
    1 Venser, Shaper Savant
    2 Glen Elendra Archmage
    1 The Mimeoplasm
    1 Thragtusk
    1 Consecrated Sphinx
    1 Frost Titan

    4 Cabal Therapy
    1 Green Sun's Zenith
    1 Diabolic Intent

    2 Brainstorm
    2 Abrupt Decay

    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

    3 Pernicious Deed
    1 Future Sight
    1 Recurring Nightmare

    2 Sensei's Divining Top
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice

    3 Underground Sea
    3 Tropical Island
    2 Bayou
    2 Forest
    2 Island
    2 Swamp
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Misty Rainforest
    1 Mikokoro, Center of the Sea
    1 Phyrexian Tower

    sb::
    1 Bribery
    1 Haunting Echoes
    1 Batterskull
    1 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
    1 Abrupt Decay
    2 Krosan Grip
    2 Flusterstorm
    2 Thoughtseize
    1 Cranial Extraction
    2 Toxic Deluge
    1 Golgari Charm

    Finishes:
    Jonas Kozak - 1st - Czech Legacy Series 6 - 11/10/12
    Tao - 5th - Magic-League Legacy Master - 12/30/12
    Kyle Weaver - 7th - Tales of Tales of Adventure - 12/7/13
    Kyle Weaver - 4th - Bazaar of Moxen Qualifier - 2/22/14

    Summary:
    The idea of putting blue in the original GB Nic Fit is as old as the archetype, and throughout its history, generic BUG-colored control lists have shown up on and off. Generally speaking, these lists are "gimmick" free, although they may have a package of cards that has a subtheme. In my list above, for example, I have a strong blue-anti-blue subtheme, with the Notion Thiefs, ConSphinx, Glen Elendras, and Mikokoro present.

    Usually, BUG Control oriented Nic Fits will run some number of planeswalkers, but it won't be the list's focus. Instead, these decks run some of the powerful Ux creatures -- where many of which do very unique things and are the best at what they do. Soem number of Baleful Strix is almost always present. Additionally, due to the higher density of blue-based, non-green creatures in these lists, Green Sun's Zenith is often de-emphasized for either more raw card advantage or for alternate tutoring options, like Living Wish.

    One of the big draws of putting blue in your Nic Fit list is that you get to play with some impressively broken cards. It's very hard to lose a game after 2+ turns of Future Sight being alive. Likewise, you gain perhaps the best Sneak and Show matchup of any variant, courtesy of Clique, Glen Elendra, Venser, and Frost Titan -- not counting your "traditional" postboard hate options like Flusterstorms and Thoughtseizes.

    Strengths:
    -) You're Shardless BUG's literal worst nightmare. You give them more waking-up-suddenly-screaming-and-palms-sweating moments than Burn does, even.
    -) Brainstorm is the most played / arguably most broken card in legacy. While you don't want to run too many of them yourself, you can greatly punish others for doing so.
    -) Cliques and Glen Elendras shore up everything that Baleful Strix doesn't, presenting a fairly robust plan against most decks.
    -) Lots of card advantage, both literal and virtual.

    Weaknesses:
    -) A lot of your threats are seriously underpowered. Your creatures tend more towards the utility side of things, and oftentimes you win by pure value, not by having any really potent threats.
    -) You can struggle with Burn, which is normally a positive matchup for basically every other version.
    -) Largely unproven on the grand scale. While it does have some pedigree, most pilots have opted for Punishing, Rector, and Scapewish historically, and neglected blue versions.
    -) None of the backup tutoring options are as good as Green Sun's Zenith, but Green Sun is pretty bad for you.

    Matchups:

    Miracles:

    This matchup is insanely grindy. Honestly, your core plan is to win game one, and thus the match. Be aware of the clock, as it may behoove you to scoop early in game one to preserve time and try to win the next two. Your sideboard has strong options here, but your maindeck is already set up pretty well to win the long game. Take out CB when possible, but be wary of Entreat the Angels, as they can steal the game out from under you. A resolved Glen Elendra is big game, especially if you can get to her before they drop a Jace. Cliqueing Miracle triggers is very good for you, and Notion Thief can mess up a lot of their card filtering and attempts at instant-speed miracle-ing.

    How you win:
    -) Notion Thief blowouts. Oftentimes Notion Thiefing a Brainstorm (or, even better, a Jacestorm) won't outright win you the game -- but it will put you massively ahead.
    -) Consecrated Sphinx is your last bomb. Use everything else first if at all possible...suck up as much of their removal as you possibly can before playing Sphinx. With luck, you can then ride Sphinx the rest of the way.
    -) Early pressure Glen, Thief, and Clique...ideally in that order (Glen covers Thief, Thief shuts down their card draw, and Clique is a flying, cantripping Thoughtseize).
    -) A resolved Future Sight or Recurring Nightmare loop. Either one will generate so much value so quickly that Miracles will crumple.

    How you lose:
    -) You aren't protective enough of your bombs. Know what matters in the matchup. Always, always be careful of the possibility of EoT Entreat for a million, kill you.
    -) They get out ahead early with a protected Jace.
    -) They randomly Blood Moon you, Thopter Foundry you, or do something else unexpected from their sideboard. Note that I wouldn't expect them to board in Blood Moons vs Nic Fit, but respect the possibility.

    Delver:

    The Delver matchup is a little different for BUG Nic Fit. You don't generally have space in your sideboard for Carpet of Flowers, so you can't lean on that. Instead, you have Baleful Strix to slow the game down, and Abrupt Decays to help smooth things out. Coupled with Cliques and Glens, you have a lot of flying creatures that can block and kill a Delver. Instead, focus on the ground threat. Deter their Goyfs by leaving Veteran Explorers in play when possible.

    Be judicious of your life total and how much of it you can safely afford to use as a resource. Goyf grows very large, very quickly in these matchups. Playing the tempo game is 100% acceptable -- odds are, you won't need to use Jace to Brainstorm as much in this matchup, so just using him to unsummon and reset opposing creatures is fine. Notion Thief blowouts won't happen often, but if it happens even once, you likely win on the spot. This matchup is so tenuous for Delver that they can't afford Recalling and double Time Walking you off of a Brainstorm. ConSphinx and Frosty the Snowman are both bigger than their everything, and Frosty can keep Goyfs under control easily.

    How you win:
    -) The usual Nic Fit plan: get ahead on mana, get ahead on cards, and crush them with superior power.
    -) Pretty much any Nightmare loop.
    -) Lots of tempo. With Thief, Clique, Venser, and Jace, you can realistically out-tempo the tempo deck if you survive your developmental turns intact.
    -) Getting Sword of Fire and Ice online is particularly devastating here.

    How you lose:
    -) Delver bullshit hands.
    -) Getting Hymned/triple Bolted/TNN'd out of the game.
    -) Having your developmental turns really screwed with can sometimes put you far enough behind that they can close before you can recover, mostly due to the sheer strength of Goyf.

    Shardless BUG:

    Seriously, you're their worst nightmare. Veterans and Strixes stabilize the game while you develop, while the threat of Notions and ConSphinx looms large. Deed is as good vs them as it is in any other version. If you untap with Future Sight, you'll bury them in cards. Sword of Fire and Ice is also rather strong here. Postboard you gain Haunting Echoes, which will exile approximately 2/3 of their deck on average. Kiora is also quite good here.

    How you win:
    -) Play Magic.

    How you lose:
    -) I have no idea.

    Elves:

    This is a hilariously awkward matchup for both decks. Game one you'll probably die, but if you manage to string together enough disruption and ramp and if they stumble at all, you can stabilize. Notion Thief is oddly fantastic against them, as shutting down Glimpse and Visionary is pretty huge. Glen Elendra stops Green Sun's and Natural Orders effectively. Sword of Fire and Ice can help shoot down elves one-by-one in a stalled board state.

    Postboard you gain a pair of Deluges and a Golgari Charm to help out with the sweeper duty, along with more generic combo hate. If you're feeling adorable you can also side in the Bribery to take one of their Hoofs (or possibly Progenitus). While none of this makes Elves a favored matchup, you're a little less colossally screwed here than most versions are.

    How you win:
    -) Hit enough disruption to stall the board state, and then draw into things that stop you from dying. From there, try to clock them as best as you can.
    -) Chain together multiple sweepers postboard.

    How you lose:
    -) They rip your hand apart with Thoughtseize, taking your hate.
    -) You don't draw the appropriate answers at the right times.
    -) They just draw well.

    Stoneblade/Deathblade:

    Stoneblade is a peculiar matchup. Stoneblade is generally classified as a blue midrange deck, which makes this something of a mirror. All of the cards you would expect to be good here are -- Thief and ConSPhinx blowouts happen fairly regularly, and you can Clique away equipments in response to the Stoneforge trigger. You also gain the pair of Krosan Grips postboard, which helps ease the equipment problem, along with your Therapies.

    At the same time, True-Name can be an issue...at the very least until Toxic Deluge comes in out of the board, and sometimes even with a Deluge. They can also just bury you in value with Snapcaster and removal/discard. That being said, all of the usual control-breaker tech applies. Survive their midgame aggression intact into the late game and you'll be fine.

    How you win:
    -) Thief blowouts.
    -) Starving their resources and then slamming a control breaker.
    -) Kill / discard all of their equipment to keep their utility creatures non-threatening.

    How you lose:
    -) Find all of your lategame cards too early and get them Thoughtseized out of your hand.
    -) They get the perfect curve with discard into threats into protection. Depending on the threats and the protection in question, you can really struggle with their curve.

    Sneak and Show: Show and Tell is very dangerous for them, as you have any number of things that they very much don't want to see. If Glen Elendra resolves, she's basically unbeatable for the opponent. Postboard you gain an array of nasty things, including Bribery, which they want nothing to do with.

    Storm: You aren't in as much trouble as other versions are, since you at least have interaction. Glen Elendra is, again, an all-star -- and if you can set up Notion Thief in the early game while they're cantripping and trying to set up their kill, you can punish them very harshly. Still not favorable, but you at least have tools.

    Reanimator: Oddly favorable. Baleful Strix is a pain in the ass for them, and, as with storm, you have a fair amount of interaction. They can't realistically move to the Show and Tell plan postboard, as well -- you only have one angle to worry about, and while it's still definitely a hard matchup, I believe us to be (albeit slightly) favored.

    Death and Taxes: Tricks. You need to know tricks. Venser and Mimeoplasm are very powerful here, since you can take a lot of unexpected lines. Revoker is public enemy #1, and if you can solve him, you probably win because Deed is just so unbelievably strong in this matchup. Postboard you gain a couple more sweepers (ones that can't be revoked, at that). Favored.

    GBx Midrange (Junk and Jund): The grind is real. These decks don't really have a lot of card advantage, so Notion Thief isn't that great here -- although ConSphinx is still fine, and your cards are on average better than theirs, so cold Mikokoroing is acceptable. Future Sight is your plan here, with Frost Titan and ConSphinx doing overtime. If you can keep their Deathrites under control, Mimeoplasm will serve you very well, too.

    Sultai Superfriends

    David McDarby's latest list (3/29/14):

    1 Baleful Strix
    4 Veteran Explorer

    4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    2 Karn Liberated
    3 Liliana of the Veil

    1 Forest
    2 Island
    3 Swamp
    2 Bayou
    3 Misty Rainforest
    4 Polluted Delta
    2 Tropical Island
    2 Underground Sea
    3 Verdant Catacombs

    4 Pernicious Deed
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Gitaxian Probe
    3 Hymn to Tourach
    4 Innocent Blood
    1 Ponder

    Sideboard:
    2 Ensnaring Bridge
    2 Notion Thief
    2 Flusterstorm
    4 Force of Will
    1 Negate
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Vendilion Clique

    Finishes:
    David McDarby - 7-1 or better at SCG Invitational - 3/29/14
    Miscellaneous SCG Open top 64s, small event finishes

    Summary:
    This version is, so far, unique to David McDarby -- an SCG columnist who to my knowledge is unaware of the Source. Despite this, he has put up some pretty solid finishes with the deck, and he's made very few changes as per his articles over the last few months on it, which would suggest that he's fairly happy with where it's at and considers it mostly a finished product. Note that I disagree with this assessment.

    That being said, I question how much of an effect the printing of Council's Judgment has had on this list in particular. Regardless, people have been attempting to build superfriends-style lists with the Nic Fit shell for quite a while now, and his is the first to see any real semblance of success.

    This version is all-in on its planeswalkers. It is 100% reliant on Jace and Karn to actually finish the game. That being said, it's also very good at enabling these two to carry the game. It plays more removal and discard than basically any other version, and that's not counting that Karn and Jace can also serve as removal engines if the game state so requires.

    Strengths:
    -) Good luck to any creature deck thinking that it's going to get through that.

    Weaknesses:
    -) Very unpolished decklist in my opinion, as McDarby is the sole voice in the wilderness working on it.
    -) Solely reliant on its planeswalkers to win the game, with no plan B. This leads to an enormously slow clock when it comes to actually winning games, especially vs combo.
    -) Lots of deckslots taken up by relative do-nothings like Gitaxian Probe.

    Matchups:

    TBD

    Sultai Pod

    Zachary Schulz's latest list (8/2/14):

    Creatures [23]
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Glen Elendra Archmage
    1 Grave Titan
    1 Murderous Redcap
    1 Phantasmal Image
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Shriekmaw
    1 Sower of Temptation
    1 Thragtusk
    1 Trinket Mage
    1 Vendilion Clique
    3 Baleful Strix
    4 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Veteran Explorer

    Instants [4]
    4 Brainstorm

    Sorceries [4]
    4 Cabal Therapy

    Enchantments [3]
    1 Recurring Nightmare
    2 Pernicious Deed

    Artifacts [5]
    1 Engineered Explosives
    1 Pithing Needle
    3 Birthing Pod

    Lands [21]
    1 Polluted Delta
    2 Bayou
    2 Forest
    2 Island
    2 Swamp
    2 Tropical Island
    2 Underground Sea
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Verdant Catacombs

    SB::
    4 Force of Will
    2 Envelop
    2 Riptide Pilferer
    1 Venser, Shaper Savant
    1 Garruk, Primal Hunter
    1 Garruk Relentless
    1 Abrupt Decay
    1 Golgari Charm
    1 Pernicious Deed
    1 Carpet of Flowers

    Finishes:
    Leo Maros - 8th - Knightware GPT DC - 10/13/13
    David Gleicher - 6th - SCG Open Milwaukee - 10/13/13
    David Gleicher - 13th - SCG Open Indianapolis - 10/27/13
    Ruben Martinez - 4th - 5 torneo Team-o - 12/7/13
    Michael Rusch - 3rd - MKM Legacy / Nurnberg - 12/14/13
    David Gleicher - 10th - SCG Open Indianapolis - 1/5/14
    Sveinung Noding - 10th - Grand Prix Paris - 2/16/14
    Federico Benini - 5th - IMT SuperSide / Milano - 2/22/14
    Vuolo Umberto - 4th - Kingdom Legacy 6 - 3/2/14
    Russo Manfredi - 2nd - Kingdom Legacy 6 - 3/2/14
    Sean Thielman - 1st - ChicagoFinal Legacy Open - 3/16/14
    Kyle Weaver - 12th - Tales of Adventure 40 Duals - 3/30/14
    Vuolo Umberto - 8th - Kingdom Legacy 7 - 3/30/14
    Niccolo Stopponi - 6th - T1.5T#9 / Scandicci - 4/13/14
    Federico Benini - 7th - FRLL#8 - 4/13/14
    Philipp Dinnus - 2nd - Trader-Liga Legacy - 4/13/14
    Mineri Claudio - 1st - Raffa Olympus #4 - 5/4/14
    Niccolo Stopponi - 7th - AZMagicPlayers.com Legacy Series - 5/31/14
    Zachary Schulz - 14th - Tales of Adventure Eternal Extravaganza - 8/2/14

    Summary:
    As the name implies, Sultai Pod is focused entirely around Birthing Pod and the abuse thereof. Among its other accomplishments, this version has achieved a 10th place finish at a Grand Prix, which is something that none of the other versions can boast of. This version was pretty much unknown until David Gleicher had back-to-back high placing SCG finishes, and then it kind of took off from there. While not incredibly popular, it has put up a respectable number and quality of finishes since its creation, and it has continued to perform through 2014 -- which thusfar has been a rough year for Nic Fit.

    The deck operates basically by just valuing the opponent out. It has various hateful creatures along the Pod chain, along with potent threats and finishers. It also gets to run a Trinket Mage to Pod up, which enables it to take up fewer deck slots with redundant Sensei's Divining Tops.

    Notably, BUG Pod gets to run Brainstorm, although the number of Brainstorms is a question that has yet to be answered. Some prefer the full set, whereas some only run it as a 3of or even a 2of.

    Unlike most other Nic Fits, BUG Pod stands to gain a lot moving forward, as every green, blue, or black creature yet to be printed may have a place in this deck. It's much harder for new toys to find slots in other versions -- but Pod's raw power and selection is pretty much unrivaled at this point.

    Strengths:
    -) An online Birthing Pod is absolutely monstrous against most of the format.
    -) Toolboxes within the toolbox enables redundant flexibility even when Pod isn't online.
    -) Good mix of hateful, disruptive creatures and powerful threats.
    -) Blue-colored Nic Fit means that strong anti-combo measures like Force of Will and Flusterstorm are available postboard.
    -) Highly customizable for any given metagame.

    Weaknesses:
    -) Pod deck. Sometimes Pod won't be online, and even with the extra toolboxes, the deck is notably worse without its namesake.
    -) Pod deck. All of your "spells" need to be creatures in order to take advantage of Birthing Pod. This can limit deck construction harshly because there are only so many playable "spell creatures" in existence.
    -) Harder to play than the average Nic Fit list (which is already fairly hard).
    -) Very difficult to build correctly. I firmly believe that we have yet to see the best version of this deck, just because of the sheer number of possibly viable pod chains and things that it can do.

    Matchups:

    This section was written by GtF -- thanks!

    Miracles:

    This is slightly unfavorable. Though counterbalance is not at its best against BUG pod's varying mana costs, it is still solid. Additionally, ramping them into a quick Jace is a great way to lose. Veteran Explorer, Deathrite Shaman, and

    Baleful Strix are not good at pressuring a Jace. They have Swords to Plowshares to break up pod chains. This is one of the matchups where veteran explorer is a liability - the fact is they can make better use of the mana than BUG Pod, activating tops, hardcasting force of wills and jaces, and miracling lots of angels.

    How you win:
    -) Try to ration your threats and hold something for a miracled terminus. However, also be mindful of the need to pressure a jace if they drop one.
    -) Key cards to get going are Glen Elendra Archmage, Thragtusk, and Birthing Pod
    -)A Trinket Mage package has started to find its way into pod decks partially for this matchup, as pithing needle is great against Jace and Top
    -)Board out Veteran Explorers and Cabal Therapies for Envelops, also consider riptide pilferers to pressure them early and Force of Will to counter key cards.
    -)In general, just try to be aggressive.

    How you lose:
    -) Early, unanswered CB/Top (turn 2 assembled) locks you out of your early game development.
    -) A fast Jace going unanswered
    -) A long grindy game where they get to activate top many times is also probably going to favor them.


    Delver (RUG, BUG, UWR):

    These are all quite favorable. Delver decks can't take advantage of veteran explorer's trigger at all. The rag-tag assortment of creatures are all designed to make the lives of opposing creatures hell, even without a Pod. Baleful strix is a nightmare card for a delver tempo deck to deal with. In UWR delver, batterskull can sometimes be scary, but a reclamation sage + cabal therapy to take it out of their hand is a play that can take care of that if you live long enough. Pernicious Deed is also a trump.

    How you win:
    -) Be as defensive as possible, preserve your life total, and let your late game bombs take over.
    -) Therapy wisely. Sometimes stifle is the most important card to get rid of, sometimes force of will. Often it is just correct to hit brainstorm so your next therapy is good.
    -) Pernicious Deed them


    How you lose:
    -) The usual way people lose to delver - get your lands destroyed to the point where daze and the like counter everything you can do.
    -) Versions with red can sometimes burn you out after you've stabilized the board.

    Shardless BUG:

    This matchup is somewhat favorable. Shardless BUG players have been known to cast ancestral visions several times in a game and still lose. This is probably the match where the card Birthing Pod is at its best. Both are slow grindy decks but one has an engine and one just has good cards. Shardless BUG has to take the role of the aggro deck in this matchup to win.

    How you win:
    -) Get your mana together with explorer and stick and activate a Pod for several turns.
    -) Bog down the game until you can get pod online. Reset with Deed as necessary. An early therapy naming Hymn to Tourach can be good, as if both players get to play their cards, pod is favored.

    How you lose:
    -) They destroy or discard your Pod
    -) Active Deathrites on their side can be a problem, mainly due to disrupting persist creatures and Recurring Nightmare
    -) A very early planeswalker can sometimes be a problem.
    -) They resolve multiple Ancestrals, which allows them to rebuild right past your Deeds.


    Elves:

    This matchup is very poor. It seems like the pernicious deed deck should be favored, but they just attack from too many different angles. A skilled elves pilot can mitigate the effect of deed with careful play. They can kill early with Natural Order or grind the game out to a point where a hardcast Craterhoof Behemoth is a real possibility. Your expensive value creatures just really don't do enough, and the trio of one power early game creatures don't put any pressure on the Elves deck. On top of all that, giving them lands with Veteran Explorer is awful. Force of will is ineffective against elves because of their backup plan of grinding the game out with visionary/symbiote. Envelop however, is good.

    How you win:
    -) Kill their creatures early. Set up a lock against their late game bombs with Glen Elendra and more discard later. SB cards need to be cheap to be effective. Think Golgari Charm and Darkblast over more deeds or Engineered Plague.
    -) Break up Wirewood Symbiote/Elvish Visionary combo so they can't redraw into gas after you break up their initial combo.
    -) You can rarely establish complete control, so killing them once you've established at least partial control is definitely something to think about as well.

    How you lose:
    -) The usual fast Glimpse of Nature or Natural Order.
    -) Being ground out by Visionary/Wirewood after dealing with the initial pressure. This lets them either beat down or combo off again.
    -) They get ahead in cards with the odd visionary here or small glimpse there and manually beat down with an assortment of green creatures.
    -) They make a Progenitus
    -) The game drags out and they hardcast a Craterhoof Behemoth


    Stoneblade/Deathblade:

    This matchup is slightly favorable. It's a grindy affair but Pod is set up to grind slightly better. If they are playing deathblade it is better for pod since they will benefit less off of explorer triggers. The goal is to control their equipment and planeswalkers with cabal therapies. The rest of the cards they have are not too threatening. Pernicious Deed can mop up the assorted true-names and stoneforges.

    How you win:
    -) Therapy their good cards away and set up for Birthing Pod or Recurring Nightmare to take over.
    -) Deed away their threats.
    -) The trick of reclamation saging a batterskull and discarding it with therapy is still good here.

    How you lose:
    -) They get too far ahead with jitte counters and kill all your potential blockers/pod targets.
    -) They out-card you with an active jace.
    -) An answer for True-Name doesn't eventually show up.

    Sneak and Show: The matchup is slightly favorable. Normally BUG Pod is bad against combo decks, but this particular one has a lot of somewhat random disadvantages. Show and Tell is a very dangerous card for them to play. Between Sower of Temptation, Shriekmaw, Trinket Mage for Needle, Needle itself, and Reclamation sage, this deck has more ways to blow out a show and tell than most. Putting in a pod and activating it to get phantasmal image is also another line to keep in mind. The card Sneak Attack is pretty scary, which is another great reason to include a trinket mage/pithing needle package. After boarding, all the disruption, including the riptide pilferers to pressure their hand, come in. If they are losing a card a turn, they will be unable to back up any attempts combo off.

    How you win:
    -) Therapy away their cards. Often naming brainstorm first is best, just so the second therapy can hit and they can't hide combo pieces away.
    -) Stick a Glen Elendra Archmage. Then clone it if possible.
    -) Randomly have a sweet card to put in if they go for Show and Tell.
    -) Postboard - attack their hand with Riptide Pilferer and disrupt their attempts to combo with Force of Will, Cabal Therapy, and Envelop

    How you lose:
    -) Draw too many of your useless cards (Deed, Abrupt Decay, expensive pod targets)
    -) Get quickly combo'd out.

    Storm: Somewhat unfavorable. Unlike sneak and show, this combo deck is completely impervious to most of the pod creatures. In exchange, pernicious deed exists as an out to a quick empty the warrens, and deathrite shaman can make comboing off more difficult for them. Cabal Therapy remains important. The Pilferer/Force/Envelop package in the SB remains good, since storm relies heavily on having cards in hand and has no creatures to block. However, the deck can be quite fast, so surviving long enough is not a given.

    How you win:
    -) Snipe important cards with therapy
    -) Establish Glen Elendra lock.

    How you lose:
    -) Have no answers to a fast combo, or have your answers discarded.

    Reanimator: Slightly favorable. Having 4 maindeck Deathrite Shamans is obviously great here. These can buy you time to set up Glen Elendra or Scavenging Ooze. Use cabal therapy to live and then get these things online for winning.

    How you win:
    -) See above. Note: I think it may still be correct to bring in Riptide Pilferers even though they are reanimating. Post-board they are often on the Show and Tell plan, and it is another blue card that can be pitched to force of will. Once the creatures are in their graveyard, attacking is no longer a liability, so you can use your judgment on that.

    How you lose:
    -) Get reanimated or shown and told.

    Death and Taxes: Somewhat favorable. Pernicious deed really shines here. Veteran explorer can give them lands but they usually don't have much to do with them. If the game goes long, pod and recurring nightmare can do some nice work. Thalia is probably the most annoying card, followed by aven mindcensor. Watch out for Cataclysm or Armageddon post-board and play around them if possible.

    How you win:
    -) Much the same as against delver decks, bog down the game with your controlling elements and take over with a late game bomb, deeding them somewhere along the way is nice too.

    How you lose:
    -) Much the same as delver, if they can keep you off mana with Thalia, wastelands, rishadan ports, or just rush you with lots of vialed in creatures, they can win the game that way. A quick jitte or batterskull can also be a problem.

    GBx midrange (junk & jund): Slightly favorable? It kind of depends what is in the decks. Punishing Fire is a big problem card. Knight of the Reliquary seems like it could be rough as well. Dark depths combo is almost impossible to beat. Other than that, the rest of their cards probably don't stack up to the pod chain. A pile of tarmogoyfs is usually not hard to manage.

    Any land-based deck (lands, cloudpost, aggro loam): These are all very bad matchups. There are not great ways to interact with lands in the creatures available in these colors. Loam also makes blowing up a single land somewhat pointless. The first step is to deal with loam via shamans and ooze, then deal with dark depths via pithing needle. Then you have to kill them before they find a way to deal with your answers. If you are lucky you could steal a win by snagging a merit lage with a sower of temptation, but it is unlikely. If they're playing cloudposts, you should probably just concede and go get lunch.

    In general: It is sometimes right to wait a turn to sacrifice veteran explorer if they can use the lands immediately and you can't. It is also sometimes correct to board out veteran explorer if they just make better use of the lands than you do. This is the nice thing about having a Force of Will package and Baleful Strix - you can leave those in and still have a decent card to sacrifice to therapy as well as a card to pitch to force of will. Against many combo decks you board out many of the high end pod targets and some number of pods and become this weird janky lock piece control deck. It works a surprising amount of the time. The fact that the deck so often does this, and that it is so capable of winning without pod, has made me consider dropping the pods on more than one occasion and hybridizing the deck with the more planeswalker-oriented BUG deck. But that's a whole different topic...

    VI. Secondary Variants:

    Straight GB

    Caleb Durward's Invitational List (12/11/11):
    Creatures [17]
    1 Deranged Hermit
    1 Dryad Arbor
    1 Kitchen Finks
    1 Wall of Blossoms
    1 Wickerbough Elder
    2 Eternal Witness
    2 Grave Titan
    2 Scavenging Ooze
    2 Thrun, the Last Troll
    4 Veteran Explorer

    Instants [3]
    1 Go for the Throat
    2 Dismember

    Sorceries [14]
    3 Hymn to Tourach
    3 Maelstrom Pulse
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith

    Enchantments [3]
    3 Pernicious Deed

    Planeswalkers [1]
    1 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts [2]
    2 Sensei's Divining Top

    Lands [21]
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Wooded Foothills
    3 Swamp
    4 Bayou
    4 Forest
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Verdant Catacombs

    SB::
    1 Nihil Spellbomb
    1 Tormod's Crypt
    2 Faerie Macabre
    1 Kitchen Finks
    2 Extirpate
    4 Mindbreak Trap
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    2 Liliana of the Veil
    1 Damnation

    Finishes:
    Caleb Durward - 5th - SCG Invitational 2011 - 12/11/11
    Bernd Fritsch - 4th - WPN Qualifier LegacyTurniers - 12/28/11
    Robert Lippmann - 6th - WPN Qualifier Legacy Turniers - 2/25/12
    Borja Ceberio - 3rd - 3 LLG 2012 - 3/11/12
    Kabelis - 1st - Magic-League Legacy Trial - 8/15/12
    Matt Bevilaqua - 4th - DHG November Buncha Duals - 11/10/12
    Alessio Papi - KING 4 / Roma - 12/16/12
    Kurt Madouse - 3rd - Philadelphia Legacy Series #3 - 8/31/13
    Ivan Cominelli - 2nd - Olympus #2 / Raffa - 2/9/14
    Ivan Cominelli - 8th - Olympus #5 / Moniga - 6/1/14

    Summary:
    This is pretty much what started it all. The original successful lists where straight green/black. While they've since fallen out of favor, they do put up some modest results still -- mostly in Europe at smaller events.

    One of the biggest draws of this version was that you got to run Hymn to Tourach, which opened some incredibly strong opening lines where you could Therapy/Explorer/Therapy/Hymn to Tourach all by the end of your turn 2, essentially emptying the opponent's hand. Your mana was also so strong that you could run manlands (usually Treetop Villages), which synergize well with Primeval Titan.

    The biggest struggle for GB Nic Fit was always ending the game. The deck had a lot more dead draws lategame than most other versions, and it had few actual wincons, relying on Green Sun's Zenith to tutor them up. Once it found a wincon, it did had the "Two Towers" engine to abuse -- using Phyrexian Tower and Volrath's Stronghold, you can simulate Recurring Nightmare's effect to keep recurring your threat. As the metagame has moved to Snapcaster+Swords to Plowshares decks, coupled with the advent of Council's Judgment, this style of deckbuilding is falling out of favor. Deathrite Shaman didn't do it any favors, either.

    Abzan Pod

    Paul Ewenstein's SCG Open List (5/6/12):

    Creatures [19]
    1 Academy Rector
    1 Acidic Slime
    1 Birds of Paradise
    1 Bone Shredder
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Grave Titan
    1 Reveillark
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    1 Sun Titan
    1 Thrun, the Last Troll
    1 Wickerbough Elder
    2 Kitchen Finks
    2 Strangleroot Geist
    4 Veteran Explorer

    Instants [2]
    2 Swords to Plowshares

    Sorceries [8]
    1 Inquisition of Kozilek
    3 Green Sun's Zenith
    4 Cabal Therapy

    Enchantments [4]
    2 Pernicious Deed
    2 Recurring Nightmare

    Planeswalkers [2]
    2 Liliana of the Veil

    Artifacts [4]
    2 Birthing Pod
    2 Sensei's Divining Top

    Lands [21]
    1 Karakas
    1 Marsh Flats
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Scrubland
    2 Forest
    2 Plains
    2 Savannah
    2 Swamp
    3 Bayou
    3 Verdant Catacombs
    3 Windswept Heath

    SB::
    2 Ethersworn Canonist
    1 Phyrexian Metamorph
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    2 Choke
    1 Pernicious Deed
    1 Wheel of Sun and Moon
    1 Enlightened Tutor
    2 Extirpate
    1 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Maelstrom Pulse

    Finishes:
    Tomas Bilek - 5th - Czech Legacy Series - 1/14/12
    Tomas Bilek - 2nd - Pohar cerneho rytire c.3 - 3/22/12
    Alan Gerevini - 4th - PCLL#7 / Piacenza - 4/15/12
    Jordi Roca Lacostena - II Torneo Liga Foro - 5/4/12
    Paul Ewenstein - 2nd - SCG Open Providence 5/6/12

    Summary:
    While still able to be a thing, this deck combination has proven to be fairly unpopular -- surprising, given that it would be an easy jump for modern Melira Pod players. In 2012, it had a handful of major event finishes and a host of <32 player top8s -- but since 2012, it has basically disappeared from the hierarchy. I believe that this is primarily due to the relative popularity of the more rock-styled lists and the more junk-styled lists.

    Still, white has some pretty impressive pod targets -- capable of making nice chains with Restoration Angel, and it gets a lot of randomly hateful creatures, like Orzhov Pontiff -- which wrecks Elves and Death and Taxes, or can pump your team for an alpha strike. There's lots of possibility here, in my opinion.

    VII. Tertiary Variants:

    These variations are mostly theoretical at this point, and have either never been fully developed or have very, very few results.

    GB Scapeshift:

    It has been theorized that a GB Scapeshift list could exist, using Ob Nixilis and other landfall cards. In addition, you could possibly combine this shell with a Cloudpost core. The biggest problem here, in my opinion, is how you untap the lands post-shift...you basically either have to somehow give Scapeshift flash, or run something like Amulet of Vigor or Candelabra of Tawnos.

    GB Turbo:

    Culling the Weak exists. A turn 1 Explorer into turn 2 Culling yields 7 mana on turn two: enough for a Therapy+Titan or GSZ->Titan sequence. The issue here is the lack of stability. This version would likely be very Belcherish -- when the stars align, it would be extremely deadly. However, the volatility of this shell likely scares everyone away from developing it.

    GBx Doomsday:

    A gentlemen by the name of Vacrix developed this initially: http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...lorer-Doomsday -- a Veteran Storm deck. He's tried it with both an ANT shell and a Doomsday shell, but I haven't heard anything further on it for quite a while.

    Jund Pod:

    Birthing Pod has seen success in the other color combinations, but so far, Jund Pod has been relatively unexplored. There was some conversation on it in the old thread, but to my knowledge, it never went anywhere. Highlights include Olivia Voldaren, Flametongue Kavu, and Kiki-Jiki. You also gain the Redcap->Kiki+Conscripts infinite combo. There's probably something here.

    Jund Genesis Wave:

    The idea is to ramp up and drop consecutively larger Genesis Waves until the point at which they die. Between Eternal Witnesses to keep the Waves flowing and Sarkhan Vol to give all of your fleshly waved goodies haste, it wouldn't take much to actually kill with this. You'd probably eschew Deeds in favor of things like Burning-Tree Emissarys, and maybe run some combination of Cradles, Deserted Temples (Candelabras?), and Nykthoses...kind of a hybrid between Nic Fit and Mono-Green Devotion. Scapewish may just be a better version of this exact deck.

    Abzan OmniRector:

    This was a popular variant in the Netherlands, particularly, a few years ago. The idea was to max out on Rectors and Diabolic Intents, and fire off an Intent on a Rector to tutor Omniscience into play + Emrakul into your hand. You used Scroll Rack as a pseudo-Brainstorm to keep combo pieces out of your hand. This version is more of a historical anecdote than anything else -- I don't believe that this list could exist in today's metagame.

    Sultai Gifts:

    Every few months, a group of us get bored and try to make Gifts Ungiven work. Unfortunately, every few months, we fail. The closest that we've gotten at this point is to acknowledge that the deck needs to be primarily Reanimator-oriented with the option to value-gifts on the side. Putting something fat into play is really the only thing that's powerful enough for Gifts to do currently, as we do not have the equivalent of a Vault-Key-YawgWill-Snapcaster (Regrowth) pile in legacy.

    Crack the Earth variants:

    It's been theorized that Crack the Earth could function as a non-black enabler for Veteran Explorer, opening up straight Gruul lists as well as Temur and Naya. That said, no development has really been done on any of these, and it's very unclear as to whether there's even anything here.

    The Menagerie:

    This is something that I screw around with every once in a while. It's basically a 5-color Pod list...think Kiki-pod does Legacy. It's not good enough for big events, but it can be amusing to troll around with at your 12-person locals. It's worth mentioning, but only as a footnote.
    Last edited by Arianrhod; 09-15-2014 at 08:42 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    VIII. Coverage Matches:

    Chris Higashi (Abzan Rock vs RUG Delver & Stoneblade) -- Rd 7 and Rd 8 of SCG Open Phoenix (4/15/12)
    Rd 7: http://blip.tv/scglive/scgaz-leg-rd-...ueseke-6096615
    Rd 8: http://blip.tv/scglive/scgaz-leg-rd-...igashi-6096748

    Bruce Mills (Abzan Rock vs Hive Mind) -- Quarterfinals of SCG Open Birmingham (4/22/12)
    http://blip.tv/scglive/scgal-lgc-top...-mills-6111223

    Paul Ewenstein (Abzan Pod vs RUG Delver, Goblins, AggroLoam) -- Quarters/Semis/Finals of SCG Open Providence (5/6/12)
    Quarters: http://blip.tv/scglive/scgri-leg-qua...nstein-6136815
    Semis: http://blip.tv/scglive/scgri-leg-sem...node-1-6137404
    Finals: http://blip.tv/scglive/scgri-leg-fin...nstein-6136718

    Steve Thompson (Rector vs BUG Delver) -- Rd 6 of SCG Open Providence (10/14/12)
    http://blip.tv/scglive/scg-prov-lgc-...ompson-6402089

    Juan Miguel Carrascosa (Scapewish vs RUG Delver) -- Finals of Mishra's Factory Open (11/17/12)
    Game 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVZjajy96y4
    Game 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEIrg7yqekQ

    Kevin McKee (Scapewish vs Mono-blue Nivmagus) -- Rd 6 of SCG Columbus (1/6/13)
    http://blip.tv/scglive/scgcol-leg-rd...e-gunn-6496269

    Tim Wilson (Punishing Fit vs Reanimator) -- Quarterfinals of SCG Open Kansas (3/24/13)
    http://blip.tv/scglive/scgkc-leg-qua...wilson-6558983

    David Gleicher (BUG Pod vs Shardless BUG and BUG Delver) Rd 3 & Rd 5 of SCG Milwaukee (10/13/13)
    Rd 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AITzKpdassY
    Rd 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_RZmriarss

    David Gleicher (BUG Pod vs BUG Control) -- Rd 5 of SCG Open Indianapolis (1/5/14)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ4_7arwBpI

    David McDarby (Veteran Planeswalkers vs Death and Taxes) -- Rd 5 of SCG Knoxville (5/11/14)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvBuGXGcMw4

  5. #5
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Alright. Formatting has been applied now, since it didn't copy/paste over from my Evernote.

    People who specialize in the versions that are missing information, send me the appropriate sections and I'll fill them in. I can't speak to some of these matchups / strengths / weaknesses / etc.

    Again, if anyone knows where to find more coverage footage of Nic Fit being played in events, let me know and I'll add it to the list. There should be some old features of mine from Jupiter laying around somewhere, as well as some of Kyle Weaver's from Tales of Adventure (I think I have 2 from there as well). I need to try to find them -- they might've just been eaten by Twitch, not sure.

    And if I missed anything over the course of this, I apologize. This has been an absolutely exhausting experience and I hope I don't have to repeat it -- should just be able to update it periodically and be fine.

  6. #6
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    I think Pod variants of Nic Fit are a whole different animal. For starters, Pod decks are aggro decks with disruptive elements at the core while traditional Nic Fit is a dedicated control deck in all of its iterations. You can see this difference when you observe the amount creatures with lower mana costs vs. the amount of non-creature spells present in each respective deck.

    Secondly, they don't use Deed quite as effectively and some versions are even better without. Pod has no incentive to blow a Deed on their own Arbor, DRS, Strix, SFM/Jitte, or reset their Pod Chain in order to deal with a single Nemesis. The main strength of Deed in today's legacy is its versatility and its main piece of synergy with Nic Fit resides in its ability to generate lots of mana quickly in order to be able to abuse an instant speed board wipe into a devastating Planeswalker (Lily, Jace, Garruk, etc.) or board breaking creature.

    Lastly and most importantly, Explorer does not represent the same thing for each deck. In a traditional Nic Fit list, an Explorer trigger is an essential component of the deck's success. This is why the better lists play 4 Explorer and 4 GSZ to maximize the chances of this crucial trigger even though the 2nd Explorer trigger has diminishing returns and the 3rd and 4th are mostly cluster and dead weight. In a Pod deck however, Explorers are treated as added value and are not as crucial of a component to the deck's success. Pod decks have more ramp tools, a lower curve, and is overall more proactive as it doesn't need to wait for an Explorer to be available in order to use a Therapy effectively. My most recent and successful Pod lists have dropped down to 2 Explorers because the trigger is only desired when a Therapy or a Pod activation is available in the early game.

    Aside from that, great work on the primer Kevin. You were always the most dedicated to this deck and I am glad to see you reiterate its history for the future Nic Fitters. I may not share your optimism on the deck's future success but I do share your enthusiasm about the spicy brews to come.
    Do you know what assuming does? It makes an ass out of you and me.
    Get it...? Ass, u, me?

    ... ffs I was trying to be funny...

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by Arianrhod View Post

    And if I missed anything over the course of this, I apologize. This has been an absolutely exhausting experience and I hope I don't have to repeat it -- should just be able to update it periodically and be fine.
    Amazing job !

    Thanks a lot.

    Ps: My name is actually Romain Van Den Daelen (in the Scapeshift "Finishes" part).

  8. #8
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf View Post
    Amazing job !

    Thanks a lot.

    Ps: My name is actually Romain Van Den Daelen (in the Scapeshift "Finishes" part).
    Fixed =) I'm not sure if I made a typo, or if it was wrong on TCDecks (from where I pulled the data).

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by Arianrhod View Post
    Fixed =) I'm not sure if I made a typo, or if it was wrong on TCDecks (from where I pulled the data).
    Wrong on TCDecks.

  10. #10
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Great job with the new primer Kevin!

    As for missing footage, I was also on camera in the swiss, I believe round 4 of SCG KC 2013 (1 slightly embarrassing missplay aside it's not awful to watch)

    Also I'll get to work on the PFire section for you.

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    I'll see what I can do as far matchups for the Wish Fit.

    I really don't think we need have the video coverage from my match against Sam black.

  12. #12

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    The new primer is awesome and I can't believe you put that much work into it, thanks Kevin.

    Just to add something here this is what I've been running lately when I play nic fit at my local shop. I think that it's based off of a list Qweerios posted in the old thread with plenty of influence from Jbone.

    Boring Stoneforge Nic Fit

    Maindeck:
    3 Deathrite Shaman
    3 Veteran Explorer
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    4 Stoneforge Mystic
    1 Tarmogoyf
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Thrun, The Last Troll
    1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
    1 Thragtusk

    1 Umezawa's Jitte
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Batterskull

    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    2 Thoughtseize
    3 Abrupt Decay
    2 Pernicious Deed

    2 Bayou
    3 Forest
    1 Karakas
    2 Plains
    2 Savannah
    1 Scrubland
    2 Swamp
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Windswept Heath

    Sideboard:
    1 Duress
    3 Surgical Extraction
    2 Thoughtseize
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Golgari Charm
    3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben
    2 Council's Judgement
    1 Krosan Grip
    1 Toxic Deluge

    Summary:
    This version sacrifices some of nic fit's controlling late-game power for less exotic legacy staples that quickly pressure the opponent. From my experience it hasn't strayed very far from the other variants matchup-wise. It's felt well positioned versus delver variants and burn for the normal reasons, while being ok against elves post board.

    It's miracles match-up is the worst problem and the only real option is to voltron-up Thrun or Sigarda and hope to fade a terminus. This list is eagerly waiting for siege rhino and being able to grab a life loss trigger off of a zenith in these colors will be awesome vs. miracles in particular. Another weakness of this version is the shardless match-up due to the more anemic top-end power. It's not horrible but the deck doesn't quickly jump ahead of shardless power-wise like a lot of other versions can.

    The upside to this power shift is that the deck can interact a little faster in my combo-infested local meta with some early pressure cards like thoughtseize, stoneforge, and goyf. This is backed up by Thalia, more discard, surgicals, and another Teeg in the board for a decently disruptive presence in combo match-ups. I have to regularly play against ANT and high tide so this package has felt great so far.

  13. #13

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Wow, quite an impressive compendium of information. I'll try and put something together for the BUG pod matchups guide.

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by supremePINEAPPLE View Post
    The new primer is awesome and I can't believe you put that much work into it, thanks Kevin.

    Just to add something here this is what I've been running lately when I play nic fit at my local shop. I think that it's based off of a list Qweerios posted in the old thread with plenty of influence from Jbone.

    Boring Stoneforge Nic Fit

    Maindeck:
    3 Deathrite Shaman
    3 Veteran Explorer
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Qasali Pridemage
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    4 Stoneforge Mystic
    1 Tarmogoyf
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Thrun, The Last Troll
    1 Sigarda, Host of Herons
    1 Thragtusk

    1 Umezawa's Jitte
    1 Sword of Fire and Ice
    1 Batterskull

    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Green Sun's Zenith
    3 Sensei's Divining Top
    2 Thoughtseize
    3 Abrupt Decay
    2 Pernicious Deed

    2 Bayou
    3 Forest
    1 Karakas
    2 Plains
    2 Savannah
    1 Scrubland
    2 Swamp
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    4 Windswept Heath

    Sideboard:
    1 Duress
    3 Surgical Extraction
    2 Thoughtseize
    1 Gaddock Teeg
    1 Golgari Charm
    3 Thalia, Gaurdian of Thraben
    2 Council's Judgement
    1 Krosan Grip
    1 Toxic Deluge

    Summary:
    This version sacrifices some of nic fit's controlling late-game power for less exotic legacy staples that quickly pressure the opponent. From my experience it hasn't strayed very far from the other variants matchup-wise. It's felt well positioned versus delver variants and burn for the normal reasons, while being ok against elves post board.

    It's miracles match-up is the worst problem and the only real option is to voltron-up Thrun or Sigarda and hope to fade a terminus. This list is eagerly waiting for siege rhino and being able to grab a life loss trigger off of a zenith in these colors will be awesome vs. miracles in particular. Another weakness of this version is the shardless match-up due to the more anemic top-end power. It's not horrible but the deck doesn't quickly jump ahead of shardless power-wise like a lot of other versions can.

    The upside to this power shift is that the deck can interact a little faster in my combo-infested local meta with some early pressure cards like thoughtseize, stoneforge, and goyf. This is backed up by Thalia, more discard, surgicals, and another Teeg in the board for a decently disruptive presence in combo match-ups. I have to regularly play against ANT and high tide so this package has felt great so far.
    Wow, I like this list a lot actually. Thanks for sharing.

  15. #15
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    I am not sure if it is explored already, but i was thinking about a Living Wish package for Punishing Fit. Going to 10-12 maindeck creatures (including Veteran Explorer) and have like 4-5 wish targets. Possible targets:

    Magus of the Moon
    Flametongue Kavu
    Inferno Titan
    Sire of Insanity
    Stormbreath Dragon

    This way we could ditch some of the creatures that where not to exciting about like Huntmaster and Broodmate Dragon for some other juice stuff. Also i really like the idea of a tutorable Moon effect with all those lands/12post/greedy blue wedge manabases out there.

    The idea is going down to 3 GSZ, have 3 Living Wish. Still keep 4 SDT, 4 Therapy and 1 flex slot for Maelstrom Pulse or Diabolic Edict and still have 3 offs of the goodstuff: Liliana, AD, Deeds, PFire and with 10-12 creatures. Normal Manabase.

    While not restricted to green creatures being able to have to be GSZ'd this might actually solve the issue this deck has at closing out game being not threat heavy enough. Thoughts?

    Edit: Have been digging up some other options (while some or perhaps most of them are far fetched):

    Bojuka Bog
    Phyrexian Revoker
    Yixlid Jailer
    Vexing Shusher
    Master of Cruelties
    Blazing Specter
    Massacre Wurm
    Mogis, God of Slaughter
    Lodestone Golem
    Zo-Zu the Punisher
    Mindclaw Shaman
    Akroma, Angel of Fury
    Balefire Dragon
    Bogardan Hellkite
    Utvara Hellkite
    Lord of the Void
    Platinum Angel
    Last edited by Bobmans; 09-13-2014 at 11:50 AM.

  16. #16

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Here's my GBu Superfriends list that I got 13th with at one of the recent GP Sydney Legacy side events (81 people)

    Maindeck:
    2 Deathrite Shaman
    4 Veteran Explorer
    2 Coiling Oracle
    2 Baleful Strix
    1 Scavenging Ooze
    2 Eternal Witness
    1 Grave Titan

    2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 Liliana of the Veil

    3 Pernicious Deed
    1 Recurring Nightmare
    2 Sensei's Divining Top
    2 Green Sun's Zenith
    2 Diabolic Intent

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cabal Therapy
    1 Abrupt Decay
    1 Maelstrom Pulse

    3 Forest
    2 Island
    2 Swamp
    3 Misty Rainforest
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Tropical Island
    2 Underground Sea
    2 Bayou
    1 Phyrexian Tower
    1 Volrath's Stronghold


    Sideboard:
    4 Force of Will
    2 Negate
    2 Abrupt Decay
    1 Surgical Extraction
    2 Extirpate
    3 Leyline of the Void
    1 Helm of Obedience



    Went 4-1-2, drawing to MUD and Punishing Jund (both were such slow players) and losing to Fish 1-2 thanks to one game where I never hit a black source after keeping an Explorer-Brainstorm-Tropical Island-Therapy-Deed hand.

    Sideboard seems a bit stacked towards grave hate but that's because the deck has no real interaction with graveyard decks other than a lucky opening Ooze.

    Sideboarding is great. It's either the 2 Abrupt Decays in or 13 out, 13 in :D

  17. #17
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Alright, primer has been updated. Much thanks to GtF and HoneyT for their additions! I ended up having to kick the BUG varieties down a post because the 2nd post (with all of the decklists and matchups) was too big. Everything's fine there, just a space consideration.

    ---------------

    Report time:

    I played my BUG Control list at KDM's 40 Duals event on Saturday.

    First of all, I wanted to preface things by stating immediately and upfront that I had an AWFUL start to the day. Here's why: my Mimeoplasm is altered. Nothing too fancy, although I'm very fond of it (it's my EDH general). I had a notable alterist do it, not some random, and it's basically just a border extension +: I literally just told the guy that I want him snow-covered. So the alterist extended the border, made it all snowy looking, and piled up some snow drifts on poor Mim's head, and voila. I've used it before and never had a problem, but I still wanted to check with the head judge and verify that there would be no problems.

    Well he hemmed and hawed and was very unsure overall, so he ended up saying that I should try to find another one to be safe. While he was flipping through my deck finding things to compare it to, he also decided that one of my foil Glen Elendra Archmages was a little too warped and should also be replaced. Now, this is all well and good to say, but trying to find these cards on site was a literal goddamn nightmare. I checked all of the vendors, and nobody had either card. Eli Kassis (the TO...name may be familiar to some of you, as he used to run Jupiter) tacked on an announcement like 15 minutes before the event started that if anyone had either of those cards that someone could borrow, it would be much appreciated. Naturally the entire room burst out laughing, which absolutely mortified me. I mean, much props to Eli for trying, but the room's reaction did not help my mental state. Mythic located a Mimeoplasm for me, but I was still up shit creek for a Glen Elendra.

    My driver had cards that he needed to pick up at Jupiter anyway, so he basically grabbed me in a mad rush to make it to Jupiter and back before the event started, because I could buy a Glen there. Well, the GPS ends up fucking up and taking us to their tournament center as opposed to their storefront, so we panic and abort, heading back to the venue. We rush in and discover that the player meeting (which was also pairings for round 1) had begun. Luckily, my friend Jacob had located me a Glen Elendra to borrow from one of his carmates from Rochester. I scrambled to my seat, made the swap, and sat down with a "legal" deck.

    Eli wandered by later once we were playing and informed me that he tried to plea for my character, and they would have allowed me to use my altered Mimeoplasm, but that he couldn't sway them on the Glen. Of course this is after I'd gone through at least 5 heart attacks, but, again, props to Eli for trying his damnedest to help out in a bad situation.

    So yeah. Before this event even started I was ferociously tilting. I tried to put it out of my head as best as I could and just focus on the games, but it was rough going early.......

    Rd 1: Jund

    My opponent informs me that he's borrowing his deck and that it is entirely foreign. He mulls to 5, and leads with a Bloodstained Mire, fetching a basic Swamp, and passes. I Therapy him, calling Reanimate because I figure that's the worst case scenario, and he shows me a hand of jund lands and a Sylvan Library. Library proceeds to take over the game while I flood way the fuck out. To my opponent's credit, he correctly identified that his life total wasn't under immediate duress, and the Library quickly undid his mulligan at the cost of a bunch of life.

    The next game saw basically the opposite thing happen, as this time it was my opponent's turn to flood like a madman. We were quickly on to game 3.

    My opponent misplayed harshly in game three. He came out pretty quick, and dropped me to 7 in short order. He had a Lily out that was being annoying, and I ripped Garruk Apex off the top. I slammed it down, +1-destroy-target-planeswalker-ed, and passed. He untaps with me at 7, with Bolt + Punishing Fire + DRS active. instead, he opts to play a Tarmogoyf...a 7/8 Goyf, and passes the turn. I happily kill it with Garruk and gain 8, ensuring that the matches ended in a draw (my opponent wasn't really slow, per se, but he was very...methodical).

    Nothing like the good ole 0-0-1 start.

    Rd2: TES

    My opponent is whining about reanimator as we sit down, which tells me that he's likely playing a combo deck of some kind. I have a Therapy-Explorer-Clique hand, with a Deed in tow, so I'm feeling fine about this. I don't remember the sequence of Therapies, but I basically shred his hand (although I have to sac my Clique to a 2nd drawn Therapy because I didn't feel safe). Eventually I have a board with a Jace ticking up and a ConSphinx in play. He has to Brainstorm to try to go off, which lets me draw 6. The best he can do is Wish for Past in Flames and try to set up for next turn. I play a Glen Elendra, and that's that. Beat TES game 1. Feels good.

    We both mull to 5, and engage in a hilarious cripple fight that each of us makes worse for the other with discard. Like, this game was just silly. He Probes me and sees a Flusterstorm at one point, so I expend it on a Brainstorm the next turn to try to keep him in the hole. I untap and decide to gamble -- he knows (obv) that I just used my Flusterstorm, and he has perfect information on me except for the card that I drew for my turn. I could either hold it up and bluff more interaction, or I could tap out for the Glen Elendra and demand that he kill me that turn or never again. He accepts the challenge, and has triple LED into Infernal Tutor. He gets Ad Naus, and goes to 2 on the back of an Empty the Warrens flip. Storm is well past lethal, but he doesn't have a way to get to Tendrils. He contemplates casting Empty (which loses him the game, as Glen flies over for lethal), and decides that he can do a hail mary brainstorm first. He draws his 3, and shows me that his third card drawn was the 4th LED, with like half-to-two/thirds of his deck still in his deck. Rough beats are rough.

    Game three I tear his hand to absolute shreds again, and I have a Notion Thief to stop him from cantripping out of it. I try to find some more solid disruption, but fail, and he eventually goes off, although I made him work very hard for it. After the match, my friend Timur points out that I had a mental derp and had placed a Cabal Therapy in the exile zone when it was actually still in my graveyard, which would've let me flashback off of my Explorer to net some mana + another therapy hit + a shuffle for my Top. The card I would've taken would have actually stopped him from comboing that turn, which would have allowed me to win (I would've had the mana for Haunting Echoes next turn, and he needed PiF to win). Oops.

    0-1-1. About what I expected for my day based on how it started.

    Rd3: Shardless Bant

    My opponent and I sat next to each other round 2, and he was basically terrified of me. I stand by that this deck laughs at Shardless of any variety. I don't remember exactly what happened in either of these games, but I know that I both crushed him and that it did wonders for my mental state, because I got to have like infinite fun with Future Sight and other awesome cards. Game two, Garruk Relentless completely took over by himself.

    1-1-1.

    Rd4: Deathblade

    Nom nom nom.

    Game one I get to untap with Future Sight. He cannot possibly recover, and I drown him in cards after 3 Pernicious Deeds run him completely out of gas (Witness and Diabolic Intent were involved).

    Game two I kill his True-Name Nemesis with a Deluge@1, and then Zenith up Mimeoplasm to make a 5/3 True-Name (imprinting his Snapcaster). He can't answer it, and scoops up.

    2-1-1.

    Rd5: UW Delver

    This guy had drawn with one of my carmates a round or two previous, and I knew what he was on going in -- UW Delver with Geists and Snapcasters but no Stoneforges. The first game he just tears me a new asshole while I stumble on lands (helped by him, to be fair).

    Games two and three play out exactly the same way -- I introduce him to the fact that my deck does, in fact, have removal. Mikokoro shined really hard in this matchup. He was unwilling to Wasteland it, since it was giving him cards too -- but the cards it was giving me were just leagues ahead of his. He was another very deliberate player, and I'm 100% sure that if not for Mikokoro, this match would have drawn as well.

    3-1-1. Suddenly I realize that despite my awful start to the day, I'm actually doing pretty good and am still live for top 8 if I win out, or am at least locked for top 16.

    Rd6: BG Loampox w/Dark Depths + Thespian's Stage

    I once again had advanced info on this match, since he drew with my driver (playing 12post) earlier in the day.

    Game one he did his loampox thing and I couldn't find any meaningful interaction (read: Venser). I had both Glen Elendras, which he had to dispose of before making Merit Lage, but he didn't have any particular problems doing so.

    Game two I resolve a very fast Future Sight (turn 3 I think), and I proceed to live off the top of my deck for the rest of the game despite never having a hand via Raven's Crime. I eventually find and resolve Haunting Echoes, with strips out everything but 4 nonland cards in his deck. He naturally rips the 1-of Thespian's Stage off the top to go with the Dark Depths that he already had in play. I calmly draw my card for the turn and play the Jace that was hiding underneath (which I knew was there from Top). With a Glen in play running defense, he can't make a Merit Lage since he doesn't have Loams in his deck anymore. He tries to go for a half-assed Mishra's Factory plan, but I'm able to defeat it with ease, and I Jace him out.

    Game three we've very cramped for time, but we're both playing pretty quickly. My opponent plays to his Factory+Spirit beatdown plan again, to try to close the match. I once again outmuscle his Factories, and Frost Titan does a great job finishing the game by keeping his Maze of Ith tapped down.

    4-1-1.

    Rd7: Reanimator

    There were 4 13-points at this point, and as it ended up, none of us actually had a chance at making it in. We didn't know that at the time, though, so we were all playing in a win-and-in scenario. I knew what all of the other 13s were playing, and my heart sank a bit when I saw that I was paired vs Reanimator.

    Game one I mull to 4 looking for interaction, and fail to find any. I do make his life a little miserable with a Baleful Strix, which he at first Forces and then realizes that his reanimation spell is Exhume, oops. He assembles Grisel+Elesh, and I die.

    Game two I mull to 5, and I'm thinking that I'm basically out of it. Strix once again does a good job of holding him off, but I'm frozen on 3 lands, with 2 Explorers, a Strix, and a Top in play. I cast a Deed, and hope that I get another turn. He casts Show and Tell with a Griselbrand already in play, angling for more board state. I put a Glen Elendra in, and he opts to exile it with the Ashen Rider that he puts in. He passes the turn, and I draw the Bribery off the top that I knew was there. I then activate Top's draw, holding priority and Deeding for 1. This sets off the Explorers, giving me much needed lands, and a random card postshuffle. I'm hoping to hit Flusterstorm so that I have protection for my Bribery, but either way the random card is better than what was on top of my deck. I get my lands, he cuts me, and my blind draw is Flusterstorm.

    The run goods.

    I Bribery him, which resolves without needing the protection, and I take his last remaining Griselbrand. I'm at 13, with a board of Strix+Griselbrand vs Griselbrand+Ashen Rider. I opt to draw 7, which makes my land drop and allows me to pass turn with a full grip. Of relevant note: I have Mimeoplasm in my hand. By this point I've attracted quite a large crowd, and I hear a lot of s******ing behind me -- everyone on my side of the table knows what's going to happen next turn, and not a single one of them can wait.

    He swings with his Ashen Rider, which I happily nom with my Griselbrand. He exiles my Griselbrand with the death trigger, which leaves me with Strix vs Grisel -- the timeless struggle. He draws 7, and puts himself to 1. He doesn't find more board presence, but he does find protection. Fortunately for me, I have a Therapy. I name Force of Will, and hit two. I then Zenith for an Explorer, to flash it back -- which he Brainstorms in response. I'm perfectly fine with this, as I'm just trying to ramp storm count for my Flusterstorm. I brick my flashback, which I expect since I named Force of Will again just to be safe, and note the Echoing Truth his hand. Luckily, Flusterstorm is a hard counter now. I cast The Mimeoplasm, taking his Ashen Rider with an imprint of Griselbrand, making a 12/12 Ashen Rider. The trigger eats his Griselbrand, and Strix Field-of-Dreams-es into the End Zone for the victory.

    The timer goes to 00:00 as we finish game 2, and after a brief chat I agree to scoop him up since his breakers were slightly better than mine going in and because if he did skate in at 8th place, he would be playing vs Infect, which is almost a bye for Reanimator. He was a pretty chill guy and I just did some pretty unspeakable things to him, so I figured that I'd get something for my troubles regardless of if he made it in or just got top 16. Sure enough, he tracked me down afterward and informed me that he only made 10th, and gave me a 20 (he took cash instead of the dual for top 16), which was pretty classy.

    Official ending 4-2-1, actual ending 4-1-2.

    -------------

    Deck thoughts:

    The Jund matchup may be a problem going forward. Their card advantage exists on a different axis than the blue decks that my list is designed to fight, which makes it kind of hard. ConSphinx is fine if you can get to it with a dork to protect from Liliana, but Notion Thief is useless. Future Sight is insane, but they bring in Red Blasts which can kill it (or the Sphinx). Some of that matchup was definitely my mental state working against me, and some of it was kind of subpar draws, but even still, that matchup still did not feel like I was favored.

    Combo feels pretty fine, and with a few slight tweaks I think I can make it even better. The fact that I was able to do the things that I did to Reanimator despite mulling to 4 and 5 for both games is incredibly promising for that matchup. It still doesn't feel "safe," but I'm not sure that that is a matchup that will ever feel safe.

    Shardless is still a joke of a deck for my list, even when it's based in different colors.

    The deck has a slight problem actually winning. It almost always has control of the game, and my Deathblade opponent in particular (who was a very vocal and animated fellow, tons of fun to play against) complained multiple times that I "just don't run out of card advantage," but it struggles with actually slamming the door. Frost Titan is pretty good at that, and Mimeo can be fantastic, but I think that I need a little bit more oomph somewhere, somehow-- awkward since I feel like my curve is already kind of high.

    Haunting Echoes was fantastic. I boarded it in multiple times, and I would have been happy to draw it at pretty much any point. It definitely gets the sideboard MVP award. I never played against Miracles, so I sadly did not get to employ my super secret tech of Nephalia Drownyard. Oh well -- always next time.

    I'll post an updated list at some point possibly later today. I need to think a bit on it and where I want to go next with it.

  18. #18

    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by Arianrhod View Post
    The deck has a slight problem actually winning. It almost always has control of the game, and my Deathblade opponent in particular (who was a very vocal and animated fellow, tons of fun to play against) complained multiple times that I "just don't run out of card advantage," but it struggles with actually slamming the door. Frost Titan is pretty good at that, and Mimeo can be fantastic, but I think that I need a little bit more oomph somewhere, somehow-- awkward since I feel like my curve is already kind of high.
    I think this a statement I exactly made when we talked about the BUG lists previously. That has be the eternal problem of the BUG lists; they don't end the game. It very difficult to do because they do not have alternate/unanswerable victory paths the way Junk and Jund do. This is probably why the BUG Pod deck has done well.

    Is there a way for you to end a game in the air with things like Cliques? If you can get some sort of tempo advantage then you can translate that into a win. This is where a Planeswalker or Creeping Tar Pit becomes significant because of Deed.

  19. #19
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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Quote Originally Posted by Zirath View Post
    I think this a statement I exactly made when we talked about the BUG lists previously. That has be the eternal problem of the BUG lists; they don't end the game. It very difficult to do because they do not have alternate/unanswerable victory paths the way Junk and Jund do. This is probably why the BUG Pod deck has done well.

    Is there a way for you to end a game in the air with things like Cliques? If you can get some sort of tempo advantage then you can translate that into a win. This is where a Planeswalker or Creeping Tar Pit becomes significant because of Deed.
    I tried putting a Sword of Fire and Ice in my deck to assist with the "I have a ton of utility fliers, let's do something with them" plan, but it was pretty awful all day. I almost want to try going back to an ollllllld favorite in the form of Simic Sky Swallower. While it costs a million mana, it's nearly impossible to deal with, and I discovered that I was making land drops with stupid regularity with this list, so it's possible.

    My guess is that I'm going to try to find room to squeeze in a pair of Garruk Relentless manideck, though. Wolfblossoming might just be what the doctor ordered -- and if Relentless flips, Veil-Cursed is probably one of the best cards for Nic Fit ever. The problem is putting in the effort to flip it -- but in this list, Relentless might just be good enough in and of itself, with Veil-Cursed being gravy.

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    Re: [Primer/Deck] Nic Fit

    Great job on this primer Kevin. I completely want to try the culling the weak version you mentioned everyone is too scared to do. It sounds amazing. I don't necessarily mean good amazing but like an absolute blast. I already have some ideas floating in my head but do you have any more advice on where to start?

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