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Thread: GB Vengevine [Hogaak Placeholder Thread]

  1. #121
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    I don't think Gurmag Angler is very good, at least in the creature-heavier list, even as a transformational plan out of the sideboard. My list simply does not put enough fodder in the graveyard. Even if I were to switch to an 8+ fetch manabase + Lotus Petal, there's still not enough fodder. The cards that I discard are intended to be returned to play. I don't run any cantrips, and very few instants/sorceries.

    Gurmag would probably work in lists with Faithless Looting and such, and certainly works if you're running Stinkweed Imp, but I almost never hit Threshold for Putrid Imp in my current rainbow list, and Gurmag would be completely uncastable for me.

    Against the targeted graveyard hate where Gurmag would excel, I would rather board into Silent Gravestone, I think.

    Another interesting fact about the faster all-in list, is that it can get underneath the slower hate like Rest in Peace and Containment Priest.

    Honestly, the more I think about the deck, its matchups, and the sideboard plans, the more convinced I am that this deck is better than Dredge. It's not quite as powerful in game one, but still powerful enough to beat the fair matchups all the same, and is significantly more resilient to graveyard hate postboard.

    Cavern of Souls making the initial discard outlet uncounterable is huge, and gives the deck a resilience to Force of Will and Daze that (LED) Dredge doesn't have.

    I've been trying to make a viable Vengevine deck for years to no avail, but I really feel like we're onto something here. Again, this isn't Tier 1 by any means, but I certainly think the deck could achieve a 5-0 run on MTGO.
    All good points. If I wasn't playing Stinkweed Imp I would have to cut the Gurmags. So far Stinkweeds are my flex slots for sideboarding, which again is a different strategy (sideboard Rock.)

    Hell, I might have to just get all the cards to play any/all versions.
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  2. #122
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkfathom View Post
    Hmm, I havenít had quite such positive results with the deck, I feel like the deck just mulls to obvilion way too often or I keep a hand that needs one thing to work and I never draw it. Itís possible Iím playing it wrong, but it feels too inconsistent to be very strong deck for me so far.
    I suppose that's fair. Despite attempting to improve consistency with redundancy, this is still essentially a combo deck; it requires a combination of certain cards in order to "work." Sometimes, the deck is just not going to draw the right cards, and without cantrips, you are at the mercy of the topdeck.

    Unlike a deck like BR Reanimator, which can technically go off on turn 1 with only 4 cards (land, Ritual/Petal, Entomb, reanimation spell), this is more of a critical mass deck. Being a critical mass deck means that it does not mulligan well, and so you're sort of stuck between a hand that needs one more piece, or mulligan'ing into a potentially worse hand.

    Despite that, though, the deck does work more often than not, and even when it doesn't get the lightning fast starts, it can still beat a good number of fair decks game one by virtue of sheer threat density and unkillable threats that can grind them out in the midgame.

    You may be looking at failure based on whether or not the deck can assemble a board on turn 1 or 2, but there are a non-zero number of games where the deck can still win even when it does not.

    Regardless, I think the deck is a pretty good deck, and if nothing else, it's the most competitive Vengevine deck that I've been able to come up with since I started trying to make Vengevine viable after Survival got banned.
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  3. #123

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    You may be looking at failure based on whether or not the deck can assemble a board on turn 1 or 2, but there are a non-zero number of games where the deck can still win even when it does not.
    Yeah that's still definitely a thing, but I still only have about a 50% winrate in mtgo tournament practice with it. Again, I might just be playing it wrong, but idk

  4. #124
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkfathom View Post
    Yeah that's still definitely a thing, but I still only have about a 50% winrate in mtgo tournament practice with it. Again, I might just be playing it wrong, but idk
    If you don't mind me asking, what have been your matchups so far, what have you beaten and what have you lost to, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  5. #125
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    You may be looking at failure based on whether or not the deck can assemble a board on turn 1 or 2, but there are a non-zero number of games where the deck can still win even when it does not.
    QFT

    Just because going all-in is the goal doesn't mean you can't draw into nutty topdecks and get there. As with any combo deck, in my experience, patience is rewarded. Pick your window, and sometimes that window isn't t1-2.
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  6. #126

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Beat: Hypergenesis, manaless dredge x2 (same guy), miracles (1 game), unknown stompy, monoblack reanimator, enchantress, ANT, grixis delver (with bitterblossom), monoblack discard, goblin stompy, lands, junk loam, eldrazi, punishing jund?, pox, punishing maverick, turbo depths, bant
    Lost to: Junk midrange, grixis phoenix x2 (same guy), miracles, LED dredge, UR delver, UB delver, sneak and show, burn x2 (same guy), monoblack reanimator, monowhite control, grixis delver, lands, RUG delver, UB show and tell?, goblin stompy, maverick

    MTGO tournament practice is kind of an amalgamation of jank, as you can see. I think the deck lost to itself more than it lost to other decks.

  7. #127
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkfathom View Post
    Beat: Hypergenesis, manaless dredge x2 (same guy), miracles (1 game), unknown stompy, monoblack reanimator, enchantress, ANT, grixis delver (with bitterblossom), monoblack discard, goblin stompy, lands, junk loam, eldrazi, punishing jund?, pox, punishing maverick, turbo depths, bant
    Lost to: Junk midrange, grixis phoenix x2 (same guy), miracles, LED dredge, UR delver, UB delver, sneak and show, burn x2 (same guy), monoblack reanimator, monowhite control, grixis delver, lands, RUG delver, UB show and tell?, goblin stompy, maverick

    MTGO tournament practice is kind of an amalgamation of jank, as you can see. I think the deck lost to itself more than it lost to other decks.
    That's a pretty interesting spread, as there doesn't seem to be any sort of trend in what you beat and what you lost to.

    Were these best 2 out of 3's involving sideboard, and if so, were the losses mainly in games two and three once graveyard hate became a factor, or were there a lot of game one losses? Were any losses due to you scooping them up prematurely?

    It's hard to make sense of that matchup data because it looks like you've both won and lost to the same major archetypes, so it's hard to determine what are good matchups that you lost and what are bad matchups that you won.

    Could you go into a tiny bit more detail about what losing to yourself is like?

    What cards or strategies from the opponent's do you feel that the deck has problems with?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  8. #128

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanni View Post
    That's a pretty interesting spread, as there doesn't seem to be any sort of trend in what you beat and what you lost to.
    Yeah, I think there's just such a high variance with this deck that we can beat or lose to almost any deck.

    Were these best 2 out of 3's involving sideboard, and if so, were the losses mainly in games two and three once graveyard hate became a factor, or were there a lot of game one losses?
    There were some of both, but post-board losses were more common. I think a lot of that has to do with our opponents knowing how to mulligan in addition to graveyard hate. There were some hands I kept that basically lost to surgical, but there were also games like one against maverick where they had 3 swords and/or path by turn 3. If all those were in the opponent's opener, it's unlikely they would keep it game 1, and this deck has a very hard time beating it.

    Were any losses due to you scooping them up prematurely?
    I don't like conceding until I'm actually dead, but there were a few times when I scooped because I got frustrated when I had a small chance of winning.

    Could you go into a tiny bit more detail about what losing to yourself is like?
    As you mentioned, this deck mulligans quite poorly. I felt obligated to keep some hands that could be good but could be awful depending on what an opponent has (e.g. a t1 hollow one with nothing else, or a hand with lotleth troll as your only discard outlet [which loses to thoughtseize or wasteland]). There are also times where you just mulligan to 4. There were many games where I just needed to draw a specific card (different cards each time) and never did.

    What cards or strategies from the opponent's do you feel that the deck has problems with?
    I feel like with the sideboard and the nut draw the deck has, it can beat almost anything. With that said, there are a few cards I struggled to beat: this deck scoops to a tabernacle at pendrell vale with many draws for example. Other cards that were difficult to beat: chalice of the void, blood moon, young pyro and a ton of spells, wasteland with some draws, terminus. Reanimator felt difficult too because this deck basically loses to any fatty and the deck can be faster than ours. Sideboard cards helped, but sometimes there's just nothing you can do. One game I therapied two blood moons out of my opponent's hand, and they ripped a third one and I just lost.

    As I was writing this, I was thinking about some cards that could solve some of our problems. I looked back at faithless looting, but the fact that it doesn't work very well with hollow one or vengevine probably means this deck doesn't want it. Gamble is very interesting at making the deck more consistent. There's a chance you get screwed by it, but the fact that most of the cards in the deck want to be discarded makes me at least want to try it. It also helps lotleth troll cast hollow one. Bomat courier is super interesting as at least a sideboard card. Control decks have to answer it, and it's great at putting vengevines or potentially hollow ones into play. Tortured existence could maybe be a good sideboard card for grindy matchups, but it's probably too slow. I considered lion's eye diamond, but it can't work with hollow one unless we put in jank like shadow of the grave. I'll do some more testing.

  9. #129

    Re: GB Vengevine

    The more I think about it, the more I like gamble. It gets discarders if you need one, it gets rootwalla for vengevine, it gets gravecrawler/bloodghast for amalgam and it gets vengevine to just put more power on the board.

  10. #130

    Re: GB Vengevine

    Gamble has been amazing so far. I think we should just be playing 4 of it.

  11. #131
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Thanks for posting your test results.

    Gamble has always been one of my favorite Magic cards. Glad to see it has a home here. What did you cut for Gambles?

  12. #132

    Re: GB Vengevine

    I cut 3 lotleth troll and 1 carrion feeder (was running 3 of each). Because the deck can more consistently go off by turn 2 now, I didn't feel the need for slower, grindier cards. Lotleth troll has won me games before, but it's much worse than a 1-drop at discarding and we can find our 1-drop discarders more consistently now. Relying on the actual body to win the game is not where we want to be.

  13. #133

    Re: GB Vengevine

    With gamble in the deck, we can play tutor targets in the sideboard: big game hunter maybe can go to 1 copy, and asylum visitor, coffin purge, and ancient grudge are all good to have access to.

    Edit: maybe scourge of nel toth too?

  14. #134
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkfathom View Post
    With gamble in the deck, we can play tutor targets in the sideboard: big game hunter maybe can go to 1 copy, and asylum visitor, coffin purge, and ancient grudge are all good to have access to.

    Edit: maybe scourge of nel toth too?
    Vengeful Pharaoh and BGH are both pretty powerful Gamble targets, and I wouldn't be opposed to something like Life from the Loam out of the sideboard, especially if the mana-base ends up being super fragile (I'm thinking mostly because I want to jam Grove of the Burnwillows, which can make for fragile mana.) Entomb does the same, but Gamble provides a little more value (being in hand sometimes will be better than in the grave, for instance.) I like this technology; I was trying Burning Inquiry in my earliest tests with jund colors and I was quite disappointed with it's random nature. Gamble seems like an all-star. I have a couple in my binder so as soon as I finish acquiring the other red cards I need (Flamewake, Lootings, a couple fetchlands to make it work) Gamble will be part of the mix.

    Rough Gamble list:

    4x Putrid Imp
    4x Vengevine
    4x Bloodghast
    4x Hollow One
    4x Flamewake Phoenix
    4x Basking Rootwalla
    3x Lotleth Troll
    2x Gurmag Angler
    1x Vengeful Pharaoh
    1x Stinkweed Imp
    1x Big Game Hunter

    4x Faithless Looting
    2x Thoughtseize
    2x Cabal Therapy
    3x Punishing Fire
    2x Gamble

    4x Verdant Catacombs
    2x Bloodstained Mire
    2x Wooded Foothills
    1x Bayou
    1x Taiga
    1x Badlands
    3x Grove of the Burnwillows
    1x Urborg, tomb of Yawgmoth
    2x Swamp
    1x Forest


    Gamble acts as a 2nd Rootwalla very effectively. If you have 1 Rootwalla or 1 rootwalla/1 Gamble you basically have the same thing, so triggering Vengevines is going to be easier. With any other 1-2 drop creature and 3-4 mana available it does the same: Bloodghast/Troll/PimP/Stinkweed/BGH + Gamble. Gamble's interaction with Rootwalla is going to be pretty big I think. It should allow for similar interactions as the zombie engine but with a little more flexibility. I really like this idea. EDIT: I am assuming a hand size of only 1-2 cards for these interactions, it's obviously different with more cards in hand. I like that it is a way to gas-up after the initial plan is spent. It can also turbo-charge dredging if needed with the 1-off Stinkweed.
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  15. #135
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I like the idea of Gamble, but I'm not sure if I'm completely sold yet. Cutting Lotleth Troll for it means you're more susceptible to Chalice of the Void. It's susceptible to most forms of countermagic. The random discard will most likely be irrelevant, but it's still possible that it discards something you didn't want to discard. It also costs mana, potentially slowing down the deck. It also makes Cavern of Souls even more akward.

    With that being said, it would certainly increase the consistency of the deck dramatically, and I'm not opposed to trying out new things.

    It would also improve postboard matchups where you aren't sure what anti-graveyard hate to bring in, by bringing in 1 of each, and then being able to tutor for the right one.

    I wouldn't cut Lotleth Troll completely, because the card is still fantastic in some matchups and is a non-graveyard dependent threat. I would rather trim down on Carrion Feeder and Gravecrawler instead. So something like cutting 2 Lotleth, 1 Feeder, 1 Crawler from my current list for 4 Gamble.

    My list would look like this:

    5c Fiendish Nature

    Lands (14)
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Undiscovered Paradise
    4 Mana Confluence
    2 City of Brass

    Creatures (34)
    4 Tireless Tribe
    4 Putrid Imp
    2 Lotleth Troll
    2 Carrion Feeder
    2 Gravecrawler
    4 Basking Rootwalla
    4 Bloodghast
    4 Prized Amalgam
    4 Vengevine
    4 Hollow One

    Spells (12)
    4 Gamble
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Lotus Petal
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMogg View Post
    In porn terms, Zoo has a 11" shlong and an impressive money shot, but it's over in 4 minutes, whereas Landstill is a good 8" and can go for 30 minutes.

  16. #136

    Re: GB Vengevine

    What matchups is lotleth troll good against? I've had the most success with it against decks like grixis control, where they have a hard time killing it if it regenerates. Problem is, I just don't think it's worth waiting to 3 mana to play it and keep up regeneration mana, and you have problems if your opponent has a gurmag angler. I'd rather just beat down with gravecrawlers, bloodghasts, and amalgams. Maybe it should be in the sideboard, but this deck has so little sideboard space. Idk.

  17. #137
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    Troll was really good for me in the old list when you could play DRS on turn 1 and Troll turn 2 with regeneration mana up. Turn 3 is slow. You could use Petal and play it turn 2. Also, you can hold back creatures. If they try to Bolt it you grow it in response. That's usually the best way for it to beat combat and beat removal. The bluff factor is huge and can lead the opponent to misplay. Against control you can probably afford to play slower to hold back responses so they can't remove your threats. The matches it wins are the ones where there's less pressure to race anyway.

    It plays out the same way as Wild Mongrel did in the old UG Madness/Thresh decks, except the growth is permanent and it regenerates. Sometimes you just use it to pitch everything and you don't care if it dies. Other times you attack over and over holding cards in hand to protect it, reacting to their plays. Nonwhite decks have a very hard time answering it, especially when the cards you pitch to it become threats too.

  18. #138
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    My trolls are usually 4/3 or bigger most of the time, at times as big as 6/5. It's another 4+ power threat that can power through and win fast. It's also a free discard enabler like Putrid Imp. It also has an incredibly underrated keyword ability for legacy: trample. It gets by TNN's and can go toe-to-toe with Gurmag because of regeneration. I'm actually convinced that even in a red-splashed list I will keep at least 2-3 Trolls in there.

    I'm also not sold that Gamble needs to be a 4-of either. I see it as an Entomb with occasional upside. I'm definitely going to be testing Gamble with Punishing Fire, another graveyard value engine that can provide reach and removal to get threats through.
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  19. #139

    Re: GB Vengevine

    @FTW Ok, that makes sense actually. For now Iím really liking the 15th land and gravecrawler and bloodghast are great, so Iíll see if I miss lotleth troll.

    @Mr Safety Youíre basically playing a different deck at this point, our deck really wants 4 gamble because it needs a 1-mana discarded by turn 2. For your list, it might not make sense.

  20. #140
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    Re: GB Vengevine

    I played tonight, went 2-2. Beat miracles and merfolk, lost to miracles and sneak/show. I'm convinced i need red in the deck, will detail the matches if anyone is interested.

    I made a few changes: -4 stinkweed imp, -2 gurmag, +4 street wraith, +2 vengeful pharoah . Hollow Ones were super bad mid/late game with imps, and i was very happy with wraiths. 180 degree turnaround, and i'll explain why below in the red splash. Pharoah was for removal, and it was bad without a discard outlet. Bettet with looting i think.

    Observations: if you want to play a jund style deck, this is probably a better apporach. It turns corners very quickly, unlike jund.

    New list for testing:
    4x pimp
    4x rootwalla
    4x vengevine
    4x bloodghast
    4x hollow one
    2x lotleth troll
    4x street wraith
    1x vengeful pharoah

    4x faithless looting
    3x thoughtseize
    3x cabal therapy
    3x PFire
    1x gamble
    1x liliana the Last Hope

    18x lands (3x grove of the Burnwillows)

    I think 4x looting/wraith will gas up this deck in the right way and i would have loved to have pfire last night.
    Last edited by Mr. Safety; 02-23-2019 at 07:13 AM.
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