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Thread: Vaka Nought - A Powerful Brew Abusing Stifle and Dress Down to slam 12/12s and Titans

  1. #1

    Vaka Nought - A Powerful Brew Abusing Dress Down and Stifle to slam 12/12s and Titans

    Vaka Nought is a unique deck built around Dress Down, Stifle, Dreadnought and either Uro (Bant versions) or Dragon's Rage Channeler, Lazav and Kroxa (Grixis versions) to add resiliency. The deck was in development (and played both Lazav and Uro together alongside Dreadnought) before Dress Down was spoiled but post Dress Down, the list diverged into two very different directions that I like to refer to as Dress Nought and Naked Nought (the Dreadnoughts don't have Uros to back them up).

    Despite the strength of Dress Down, the fundamental game plan stayed the same, to disrupt your opponents manabase with Stifle and Wasteland, disrupt their win conditions using Daze, FoW or Dress Down, and win using a Dreadnought and either Uro or Dragon's Rage Channeler (alongside Lazav to abuse the Surveil shenanigans) while they are still rebuilding. Instead of creating a new thread, the existing thread where the preMH2 lists were being discussed was updated with the post MH2 changes. However, there were so many different ways to abuse Dress Down that the deck several different directions.

    The newest list that is the current focus of development is...

    Vaka Nought - Temur (aka. Dress Naughty)

    4 Wasteland
    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Scalding Tarn
    2 Wooded Foothills
    2 Volcanic Island
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Tiaga
    1 Snow Covered Island

    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    3 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

    4 Dragon's Rage Channeler
    2-3 Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer
    1-2 Brazen Borrower
    1-2 Sylvan Library

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    3-4 Daze
    3-4 Force of Will
    1 Force of Negation

    Sideboard:
    1 Abrade
    1 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Brazen Borrower
    1 Sylvan Safekeeper
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Wilt
    2 Veil of Summer
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    2 Pyroblast
    3 Endurance

    It's still very early and some of the numbers might need tweaking.

    The list looks very similar to Temur Delver but it's a misdirect of sorts. Your opponents will think they are playing vs Delver and will heavily focus on countering or killing DRC/Ragavan asap, and will expect Lightning Bolt and will thus value their life total highly when casting Ad Nauseam or utilizing Sylvan Library. In doing so, your smaller threats really function to draw out removal and counterspells that would have otherwise hit your Dreadnought or Uro. Your smaller threats also all generate pseudo card advantage (DRC's surveil trigger helps you dig for your Dress Downs while filling up your yard for Uro, meanwhile Ragavan makes treasure tokens and lets you cast your opponents cantrips to help dig for combo pieces). They also serve to ping at your opponents life total so that a single swing with either a Dreadnought or a Uro wins the game.

    The one weakness with this approach is that the only interaction that you have game one with your opponent's game plan is Daze, Force, Brazen, Stifle, Wasteland and Dress Down (against specific matchups). Postboard, you have quite a bit more interaction with your opponent.

    With Dress Down, people seem to miss that you can cast Dress Down at the end of your opponent's turn, and then cast any combination of Dreadnought, or a titan like Uro/Kroxa on your turn in order to get a 12/12 trampler along with a 6/6 titan in one go which means the only way your opponent wins is if they manage to Wrath the board the very next turn (for which you have FoW and Daze and FoN to help protect against). In the Death's Shadow versions of the list, you also abuse the fact that Dress Down turns your lowly 2/2 Death’s Shadow into a game winning 13/13 Shadow for a turn, but Death's Shadow proved to be inferior the Dragon's Rage Channeler + Lazav surveil plan upon further testing, and the current Grixis list looks as below...

    Vaka Nought - Grixis (aka. Naked Nought)

    4 Ponder
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze

    4 Stifle
    3-4 Dress Down

    4 Dragon's Rage Channeler
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    1-2 Lazav, the Multifarious
    0-2 Kroxa (Can play up 2 Urza's Saga along with utility artifacts instead of Kroxa as they serve a similar role)
    1-4 Ragavan (Test Slots)

    0-2 Urza's Saga
    3-4 Wasteland
    1-2 Bloodstained Mire
    0-1 Snow-Covered Island
    1 Badlands
    2 Underground Sea
    2 Volcanic Island
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn

    The test slots could instead go to Lighting Bolt or Expressive Iteration or Force of Negation or Flusterstorm or Drown in the Loch or Predordain or Reanimate or Expediate or Temur's Battle Rage or Thud or to a alternative threat such as Death's Shadow or Delver of Secrets or Urza's Saga targets like Soul Guide Lantern or Pithing Needle.

    The above lists are the ones that are the current focus of development as both the Bant and Simic versions feel really good where they are right now. BoshNRoll 4-1ed with the Simic list I sent him and I 4-1ed with the Bant list despite running into various mtgo bugs that cost me games. I also sent the list above to BoshNRoll to play the Grixis list through a league as my laptop is no longer allowing me to play mtgo and I wanted to get a video of the Grixis variant up for this thread. I earlier lost a league due to my 10 year old laptop crashing and have run into bugs and lag and connection issues which makes me feel bad about blowing money on MTGO leagues only to lose to technical issues. For now, I have gone back to doing most of my testing in person or in the free mtgo tournament practice rooms for now.

    Once the above brews are tested and refined, next on the agenda is put together a BUG (Sultai) list utilzing both Uro and Lazav together alongside maindeck Thoughtseize and Abrupt Decay. It'll be a grindier albeit very powerful list, but I still need to get my hands on some fetches before I can put it together.

    Surveil is such an incredibly strong ability and boot strapping it to Channeler and Lazav made it very abusable. Plus the Grixis version is an absolute blast to play.

    The Uro version was initially just Simic due to Endurance making the white splash no longer neccesary, but Bant list reemerged due to how rock solid Prismatic Ending ended up being maindeck and how awesome Serenity and Knight of Autumn in the sideboard have been with all the affinity running around post MH2...

    Below is the Bant version that I 4-1ed with in spite of technical issues with my computer.

    Vaka Nought - Bant (aka. Dress Nought)

    4 Misty Rainforest
    4 Flooded Strand
    2 Snow-Covered Island
    1 Snow-Covered Forest
    1 Snow-Covered Plains
    1 Prismatic Vista
    1 Tundra
    2 Tropical Island
    4 Wasteland (was also pleased by a 1 of Urza's Saga here during testing)

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will

    3 Prismatic Ending
    1 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Sylvan Library

    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    1 Noble Hierarch (also was pleased with Esper Sentinel and Mother of Runes here in earlier test builds)
    1 Ice-Fang Coatl
    1 Brazen Borrower
    1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor (also tested Teferi3 and a second Sylvan Library here, Library might actually be stronger in this slot but hindsight is 20/20)

    Sideboard:
    3 Endurance
    2 Knight of Autumn
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    1 Serenity
    1 Karakas
    1 Brazen Borrower
    1 Containment Priest
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Mother of Runes
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Swords to Plowshares

    Below is the Simic List list I sent to BoshNRoll to play due to my laptop's issues with mtgo, when Dress Down was spoiled.

    His 4-1 video is here...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETm2CazPDq8&t=1734s

    Vaka Nought - Simic (aka. Naughty Dress)

    3 Wasteland
    4 Misty Rainforest
    3 Prismatic Vista
    3 Tropical Island
    3 Snow Covered Island
    2 Snow Covered Forest
    1 Urza's Saga

    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    2 Noble Hierarch
    2 Sylvan Library
    1 Ice-Fang Coatl
    1 Brazen Borrower

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    1 Force of Negation
    1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

    Sideboard:
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Divert
    1 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Sylvan Safekeeper
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Wilt
    2 Veil of Summer
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    3 Endurance

    I also briefly toyed around with a Death's Shadow based list due to Dress Down temporarily turning Shadow into a 13/13 but eventually abandoned it to build the Grixis list around Surveil, Channeler and Lazav...

    Vaka Nought - Shadow (aka. Death Nought)

    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down

    4 Death’s Shadow
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    3 Street Wraith
    1 Dragon's Rage Channeler
    1 Lazav
    1 Kroxa

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Daze
    3 Ponder
    1 Snuff Out/Drown In the Loch/Flusterstorm
    1 Force of Negation/Expedite/Thud/Temur’s Battle Rage

    4 Wasteland
    14 Grixis Lands

    All the 1 ofs were being tested, and it quickly became clear how broken surveil is in a deck with Dreadnoughts, Cantrips and Lazavs especially when surveil came bootstrapped to an aggressive 1 drop like Channeler.
    —————————
    The initial thread when created on May 11 and was built around Dreadnought and Uros alongside Noble Hierarchs, MoM's, Scroll of Fates, Torpor Orbs, Hushbringers or Lazav and became defunct when Dress Down was printed. You can skip to page 2 of this thread for pertinent discussion about the Dress Down based lists.
    Last edited by Clark Kant; 06-18-2021 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Updated the primer with newer lists and video of a 4-1 League

  2. #2

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    Some comments:

    You have to decide if you are more of a tap out creature combo deck or a tempo deck with a combo finish.

    if you are more of a tempo deck you should probably cut hierarch and mom for more instant speed interaction like plows and spell Pierce.

    If you are more of a creature combo deck, you should be playing 4 ouat over preordain and the 1 mana counters. You are a 2 card combo involving 2 creatures, ouat is insane. You also want 4-5 mana dorks. The best sequence your deck can do imo is t1 dork, t2 hush plus dreadnought. Ouat can find any of those three pieces for free; with 4-6 of each piece it should be very consistent.
    Last edited by Reeplcheep; 05-11-2021 at 02:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    Yeah, I agree with Reeplcheep. You should pick a direction.

    It seems like you're leaning towards the tempo plan (Xerox, Stifle, Wasteland, Daze). If so then you don't want Hierarch, Mom, or so many Uros (just for curve reasons). The problem is Uro + Stifle is 4 mana and tempo decks don't want many plays at 3-4 mana. You might want an alternate cheap threat, maybe Delver or Hooting Mandrills or Hexdrinker. You probably want 4 StP maindeck.


    //Creatures: 14
    4 Delver of Secrets
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Hushbringer
    2 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

    //Spells: 27
    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Swords to Plowshares
    4 Stifle
    1 Veil of Summer
    1 Spell Pierce
    1 Force of Negation

    //Lands: 19
    4 Wasteland
    4 Flooded Strand
    4 Misty Rainforest
    2 Tropical Island
    2 Tundra
    1 Island
    1 Plains
    1 Forest



    If you want to go the creature combo route, then 4 OUAT and 4 Noble Hierarch seems good. But then you won't have room for as much tempo mana denial. Noble Hierarch has a nice interaction with Hushbringer (turn 2 combo and Exalted + Lifelink) so this direction seems fun.

  4. #4
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    Let's have mana we can accomplish something with.

    Land (22)
    4x Misty
    4x Vista
    5x Island (4x snow)
    2x Forest (1x snow)
    1x Trop
    2x Wasteland
    2x Lotus Field
    1x Blast Zone
    1x Field of the Dead

    Dudes (12)
    3x Reclaimer
    1x Hexdrinker
    3x Nought
    3x Ice-Fang
    2x Uro

    PW (4)
    2x Nissa of the 5/5s
    2x Karn

    Spells (17)
    4x FoW
    2x FoN
    4x BS
    4x Stifle
    3x GSZ

    Artifact (2)
    2x Scroll of Fate
    ---
    Now this is 57 cards so there is this question about how much you want to invest in Arbor and Mystic Reflection vs a 4th Ice-Fang or Veil or Urza's Saga/other utility land or even maindeck Verdict off Field. Arbor/Reflection in certainly the coolest and most Depths & PW-trolling thing you can do with a Misty Rainforest. I would start at 1x Arbor and 2x Mystic in these last 3 slots, and consider moving to 2x Arbor if this direction tested well.
    ---
    While Ice-Fang is the closest thing UG has to a real kill spell, there is some juggling you have to do, and at the end of the day Verdict off of Field is ultimately something you'll have to resort to to cover the inadequacies of the UG color combo.

    Note how everything makes sense in this list and there really isn't anything to disrupt. Stifle works with Lotus. Honest Lotus feeds Uro and/or grows Reclaimers. Reclaimer finds the Lotus. Lotus is a 5/5 hexproof that casts the Nissa that would animate it. Nissa rebuys whatever, including Karn. Karn has the sideboard & exile looping. GSZ & Uro ramp to 7 lands, Reclaimer spams zombros, Karn wishes Crucible.

    Dreadnought is just chillin' here saying "this is fine" in a deck that can combo him [or Uro] with cards like Stifle, Scroll, Karn wishes (including Torpor Orb), and Reflection. At no point is there any pressure to make 12/12s, it's just a thing you *can* do.

    It should also be noted that Urza's Saga can wish out a Dreadnought, so Reins of Power is technically a wrath spell that can be investigated by switching up a few slots.

    Unlike other magical christmasland Urza's Saga brewing ideas, this deck would be fine with 1x. It can tutor it [Reclaimer]. It can actually keep it alive [Stifle the Wasteland]. It can recur it [Nissa/Karn]. All of these things without going out of our way at all...like all you have to do is -1 Blast Zone and it slots in seamlessly.

    A UG sideboard should be closer to:
    1x Crypt
    1-2x Gravestone or Relic or Lantern or Furnace
    2x FoV
    1-2x utility lands like Karakas or Bog
    2-3x Veil
    1x Torpor Orb
    1x Scroll of Fate
    1x Liquimetal Coating
    1x Crucible
    2x Supreme Verdict or Reins of Power [Wrath]

  5. #5
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    I'd like to start with a meta level question.

    Dreadstill has had access to Torpor Orb for roughly ten years now. Why does worsening your mana base to make a Torpor Orb that dies to every removal spell, including not just StP but also Punishing Fire, Stomp, a single Jitte activation etc., make it better?

    If there's a version of this deck that's worthwhile you would expect it to be built around the fact that Hushbringer is a creature, and not just hoping that that fact incidentally doesn't come up, e.g. maximizing Mother of Runes, Once Upon a Time etc.. At that point you're basically building a Maverick variant, which, doesn't sound terrible honestly, but then do that.

    The other obvious meta level concern that has to be pointed out is that uh. Uro just. Doesn't seem good in this deck?

    Like, let's consider. Uro does not need to be "broken" because he already sees quite a lot of play because he's already good. This is not because people cheat around his "if he didn't escape" sac clause but because it's just pretty easy to have him escape.

    Moreover part of the reason this is the case, and part of the reason he's good, a huge part in fact, is that he has an ETB ability. The life gain + explore is huge. It buys time, it digs you deeper into your deck. Most importantly it means you don't care that much if they StP or just keep Karakas'ing Uro because you're getting ahead still.

    But you wouldn't be because you've specifically played cards to make Uro drastically worse until you actually get to untap and swing with him. At which point it's still going to take a number of turns to kill them, if they don't just throw a couple of Goyfs or a Baleful Strix/Icefang in front of him. I mean maybe you stopped them from drawing a card but the thing is that those cards are still really good against you because you're investing very heavily into a couple of creatures that can just die to a deathtouching chump block.

    So yeah you can win a lot of games in Legacy playing the standard cantrip/Force base and Stifle/Daze/Wasteland package is hardly an innovation. Throw in any threat with the remaining cards and you can win a lot of games, you could go back and run an old 2007 Thresh list card for card and win a lot of games because those cards have never stopped being good.

    But why is this threat package better than anything that already exists?

    Again, especially given that this threat package/deck ALREADY existed and has fallen out of favor because it wasn't as efficient as other threat packages? Because the threats are like, utility + standalone instead of being fragile combos that you have to spend resources protecting instead of proactively using the same resources to disrupt your opponent's plans?
    For my confessions, they burned me with fire/
    And found I was for endurance made

  6. #6
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    @TheInfamousBearAssassin the reason why is that some 1-card combos allow people to hide deckbuilding flaws. For some reason people thought Stifle'ing their own Uro trigger was good. Take away the DHA, Ice-Fang, Astrolabe, and Oko though and plays like that turn out to be not so good on their own. What's interesting is the bifurcation of realizing Sanctuary target 1-for-1 is trashers, but we're still seeing a lot of this Uro/Stifle stuff.

    The reason for that is Uro decks get dismantled by yard hate, so they've convinced themselves that the fix should be to keep it out of the yard. Now why this [Dreadnought stuff] is the response over "side in a Living Wish, side out an Uro b/c you're definitely getting Surgical'd" is anyone's guess. This list at least has Wasteland for Karakas, so they won't turn their Uro into a permanently textless use of 1UG. There is also some fringe scenario out there where enemy Uro value pile doesn't run Plow or Wasteland, so Torpor effect + Karakas will turn keep enemy Uro from ever getting value.

    The real question though is why, after jumping through all these unnecessary hoops for Uro, do they routinely side out Dreadnoughts (effectively Surgical'ing half of their card names with text, so the opponent doesn't have to).

  7. #7

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    I am having pretty great results with the below list...


    Vaka Nought 2.0

    4 Wasteland
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Scalding Tarn
    3 Underground Sea
    2 Volcanic Island
    1 Badlands
    1 Snow-covered Island

    4 Ponder
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze
    3 Thoughtseize

    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Kroxa
    2 Dark Confidant
    2 Bonecrusher Giant

    //10 Combo Enablers
    4 Stifle
    2-3 Lazav, the Multifarious
    1-3 Torpor Orb
    1-2 Scroll of Fate

    Sideboard (work in progress)
    4 Red Elemental Blast
    2 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Torpor Orb
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Misdirection/Divert
    2 Plague Engineer
    4 Leyline of the Void

    I am actually having even better results with the Grixis version thanks to how much lower curve it is compared to the Sultai version.

    The key to winning with the above list is to know when to press the gas and when to press the breaks. Against combo and control decks, you’re usually better off going slower keeping your mana open your early turns to disrupt your opponents mana development and game plan. Turn 1 Thoughtseize to map out the rest of game is key. But against fast aggro and burn, speed is the key. Your threats will clock hard and will go the distance, you just have to mulligan aggressively and drop them down asap.

    The sideboard is in flux but game one always seems to go well. The deck plays so much disruption and pairs it with an incredibly fast clock.

    Every card in the deck is very powerful on its own and synergies perfectly with the rest of the deck. Theres so many fantastic cards that I am testing the below spicy options...
    Dark Ritual
    Hymn to Tourach
    Lightning Bolt
    Fatal Push
    Misdirection
    Spell Pierce
    Pyroblast
    Standstill
    Preordain
    Reanimate
    Hunted Horror
    Scroll of Fate
    Jace Vyrn’s Prodigy

    Once available, some of the Wastelands will be swapped out with Urza’s Saga, which is going to add a few more percentages to the deck's wins.
    Last edited by Clark Kant; 05-18-2021 at 09:00 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    @IBA: All great questions. I just responded to OP assuming this was a thing he wanted to do (Hushbringer, Dreadnought, Uro in a tempo shell) and how to make it less bad. But I wouldn't myself play it over a regular tempo deck.

    @Fox: That looks like a better use of Nought in a Stifle-Uro deck, but I assumed OP wanted Hushbringer, which forces the mana to be worse. Torpor Orb or no Orb at all (Scroll+Nought) lets you cut white.

    Hushbringer dies to a lot but does have different text than Torpor Orb. It also stops dies triggers. Is that relevant in Legacy? Maybe not. Most of the examples in the OP are ETB triggers not dies triggers. Another difference is it is a flying lifelink attacker, which is good paired with Noble Hierarch. So maybe this wants to be in a Maverick deck instead.

    @Clark: I see you cut white for Orb. Torpor+Kroxa is probably better than Hushbringer+Uro. If you don't care about the attacks trigger you could also just run Hunted Horror staying in black. It works with Stifle, Torpor and Lazav and then you don't need to play red.

  9. #9

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    You guys made some excellent points about how Hushbringers vulnerability to burn is a liability, especially against UR Delver.

    My most recent list above plays Torpor Orb instead and fixes all the issues you brought up.

    I am open to trying a more Mavericky build as well maxing it out Noble Hierarchs, Mother of Runes and such cards. How would a list like that look. Yes it would clock much faster than traditional Maverick lists. But it would either need room both for Cantrips to put the A and B combo together and room for FoW or Thalia or Thoughtseize or Daze or some other means of distupting the opponent’s game plan

    Thats why for a Mavericky style list, I think the better approach to cheating out a giant threat is 4 Natural Order and 2 Progenitus maindeck along with Brainstorm (to shuffle away Progenitus) and FoW (to exile Progenitus and protect Natural Order)

  10. #10
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    I think it's pretty hard to defend NO and Progenitus and not be on Elves [where Progenitus can live in the sideboard]. On the other side there is Maverick with GSZ and the build-your-own Progenitus [Hexdrinker]. Playing some blue-based NO-Progenitus pile is likely doing basically the same thing in a less winning way than Maverick or Elves.

    Dreadnought itself is a Ux card, not a 3c card [until DRS is unbanned]. If you've dropped Hushbringer, drop white altogether. You don't want to be the pilot running quad-laser Mother of Runes and Hierarch headlong into Plague Engineers while trying to draw past lands and Dreadnought stuff. This kind of thing never ends well.

    One important difference between Maverick and Dreadnought is that Maverick plays....let's call it "unreliable" magic. Dreadnought requires the ability to trust its permanents [and spells in hand], because we make long-term plans. Maverick spams easy to kill permanents, plays uber-hard into wraths, and has no stack control [countermagic] to stop bad things from inevitably happening to them. Maverick's brand of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks does not play nicely with having to sit on cards in hand waiting for additional draws to unlock said cards. Things like simple removal, Hierarch, and Mother of Runes do not bring the pilot closer to doing Dreadnought things - but these definitely increase the odds of sitting there and taking turns off while your opponent pulls ahead with some no-skill 1-card combo.

    A lot of what I'm seeing in your lists @Clark Kant is a start point where deckbuilding is built upon the assumption that you did the thing; i.e. you made a Dreadnought so you will have Mother of Runes to protect it. The real deckbuilding work of successful Dreadnought is the focus on never losing velocity *before* you are cheating 12/12's into play, while creating situations favorable to 12/12 topdecks. The wincon isn't beating people to death with 12/12s, it's about subverting the rules such that the asymmetry breaks other decks. You make a Torpor Orb effect, you hurt few decks while advancing your plans; you make 2-8 Torpor Orb effects and you've accomplished nothing [other than impeding your own ability to progress the game].

  11. #11

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    I think it's pretty hard to defend NO and Progenitus and not be on Elves [where Progenitus can live in the sideboard]. On the other side there is Maverick with GSZ and the build-your-own Progenitus [Hexdrinker]. Playing some blue-based NO-Progenitus pile is likely doing basically the same thing in a less winning way than Maverick or Elves.

    Dreadnought itself is a Ux card, not a 3c card [until DRS is unbanned]. If you've dropped Hushbringer, drop white altogether. You don't want to be the pilot running quad-laser Mother of Runes and Hierarch headlong into Plague Engineers while trying to draw past lands and Dreadnought stuff. This kind of thing never ends well.

    One important difference between Maverick and Dreadnought is that Maverick plays....let's call it "unreliable" magic. Dreadnought requires the ability to trust its permanents [and spells in hand], because we make long-term plans. Maverick spams easy to kill permanents, plays uber-hard into wraths, and has no stack control [countermagic] to stop bad things from inevitably happening to them. Maverick's brand of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks does not play nicely with having to sit on cards in hand waiting for additional draws to unlock said cards. Things like simple removal, Hierarch, and Mother of Runes do not bring the pilot closer to doing Dreadnought things - but these definitely increase the odds of sitting there and taking turns off while your opponent pulls ahead with some no-skill 1-card combo.

    A lot of what I'm seeing in your lists @Clark Kant is a start point where deckbuilding is built upon the assumption that you did the thing; i.e. you made a Dreadnought so you will have Mother of Runes to protect it. The real deckbuilding work of successful Dreadnought is the focus on never losing velocity *before* you are cheating 12/12's into play, while creating situations favorable to 12/12 topdecks. The wincon isn't beating people to death with 12/12s, it's about subverting the rules such that the asymmetry breaks other decks. You make a Torpor Orb effect, you hurt few decks while advancing your plans; you make 2-8 Torpor Orb effects and you've accomplished nothing [other than impeding your own ability to progress the game].
    Thats very insightful. Thank you.

    I just found this video on youtube. I guess I will tryout a faster more aggressive ubr variant of this list playing torpor orbs and kroxas and rituals instead of scroll of fates, abrupt decays and uros.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9jxYRNGonQ&t=532s

  12. #12
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    @Fox: Looking at that video and some other content, I see what you mean. These decks are winning off the Xerox package but executing the whole Dreadnought+Uro thing poorly. Lazav looks really bad. I don't understand it. It's a 1/3 most of the time. Rarely it can be a 12/12. Somehow that draws appeal. But Scroll of Fate can make 12/12s as easily but also does relevant things the rest of the time. Lazav is so terrible when you don't have the combo.

    Torpor Orb + Kroxa looks bad. You lose the ETB trigger on cast and escape, so it's just a vanilla 6/6 unless it turns sideways. Scroll of Fate allows you to cheat it out without having to cancel your own ETB triggers when you want them, seems better than Orbing it.

    One positive of Hushbringer is that multiples aren't strictly dead because at least it evasively swings for 2 life points per turn. Multiple Torpor Orb are completely dead.

    Maverick doesn't strictly speaking have to be "unreliable" Magic. Once Upon A Time, Green Sun's Zenith, Elvish Reclaimer, Knight of the Reliquary, Sylvan Library and some other cards give it card selection. Most of that is land fixing, which is why I think Marit Lage is the much better fatty to play in Maverick over 12/12s. But Living Wish is also a thing. Conceivably, you could have a Maverick deck with 4 maindeck Hushbringer (meta hate + 2/x lifelink attacker with Exalted) and then just Wish for SB Dreadnought if you want to make a 12/12, without risking any maindeck vulnerabilities. No Stifle or Daze in this plan obviously. This might be the best home for Hushbringer, if one exists. But that might still be worse than using those slots on Maverick-Depths or regular Maverick.

  13. #13
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    The thing about Hushbringer is that you don't ever want to cast a Dreadnought into it, b/c you know that Hushbringer is 100% dying to removal while Nought is on the stack. You have to be able to trust the enabler to do its job. Much safer to cast a Nought into a Torpor Orb....but you also know Torpor is useless in multiples...and you have to have answers to Chalice; otherwise all the setup is pointless. This is why we prefer Karn main, Torpor x1 side.

    When I talk about Maverick being "unreliable" I'm talking about spamming easy to kill permanents which collectively die to 1 card [wrath]. There is no long-term plan in Maverick other than spamming dudes and hoping it gets there. All of that is fine...but you won't be able to make the deliberate plans Dreadnought requires. The Maverick mindset wants to focus on protecting Nought with Mother of Runes, when it is far more important to focus on always being able to deploy 12/12s.

    In terms of Maverick and Hushbringer, it would be an overreaction to their inability to handle Thassa. They won't play fast mana, and Hushbringer as a turn 2 play won't change the fact that they died to Oops, and will still almost certainly lose to DDFT (they'd just counter or Abrade it). Other than that, about the only thing it does is dismantle DnT [if not Plow'd] and *maybe* add some game vs Uro in decks that can't interact with Karakas.

    Edit: on Lazav, it failed upon spoiler date. The card did not need to be tested to know the issues that would keep it from being effective. I'm fairly certain I broke down these problems before release date in the Dreadstill thread. [Pg. 191]

  14. #14

  15. #15
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    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    That does look significantly better with 0 Lazav, 0 Kroxa, 0 Hushbringer, 2 Scroll of Fate, fewer Torpor Orb. It might not be the most synergistic Dreadnought configuration but at least it takes out most of the bad cards and runs mostly good cards. Playing piles of good cards is good enough to win games even if there are minor deckbuilding anti-synergies.

    Lazav doesn't copy the ETB trigger which is the best part. Paying 2+2 mana for a 6/6 Kroxa is not that big a deal. Hunted Horror already existed for a long time. Tarmogoyf and Tombstalker are cards if you just want a cheap fatty.

    Uro is so good because even if opponent answers it you still gained 3 life, drew a card, and played an extra land. Probably twice if you both cast and escaped it before it was answered. But Lazav + Uro is 2+3 mana to make a 6/6 that skips the ETB trigger and still loses to graveyard hate. It's basically an Uro that Bolted you and made you discard 2 cards (Lazav + the card you didn't draw from Uro ETB). Why pay 3 for that when you could pay UUGG to just make Uro? And what does Lazav do all the times you don't have Uro or Dreadnought?

  16. #16

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    You don't lose the etb trigger with Lazav. You can cast Uro/kroxa to get the etb benefit then copy them with Lazav and swing with Lazav to get the trigger again.

    Lazav’s strength is that its a combo piece that can also essentially reanimate creatures that your opponent already killed, which is excellent against removal heavy decks.

    I only I want 4 Stifle and 6 other slots devoted to some combination of Scroll of Fate, Torpor Orb and Lazav but I cant determine which should have more slots, all are awesome in their own way.

    1-2 Scroll of Fate - Slow but great midgame at turning extra lands and Dazes into 2/2s.

    1-3 Torpor Orb - Beats a ton of decks on its own, requires the least mana to combo, plop it down once and its useful all game. Right now am trying 1 Orb maindeck and 2 more in the sideboard to swap in swapping out Scroll of Fate versus fast decks and against decks like Death Taxes, Maverick, Goblins, Baleful Snapcaster lists etc where Torpor Orb serves as a solid hate piece as well as a combo enabler.

    2-3 Lazav - Not only enables the combo but reanimates any Dreadnoughts or Kroxas that your opponent managed to kill earlier. Its essentially a one card combo midgame as you usually already have a Dreadnoght or Kroxa in your yard by then. Its even solid when used to copy a Dark Confidant or Bonecrusher Giant in your yard. Even just as a 1/3 it has value at stopping Goblin Lackeys, Confidants, Young Pyromancers, Snapcasters, Thalias and similar threats from being able to attack you.

    4 Stifle - Super versatile, amazing against storm, I use them as 1cc sinkhole on turn one/two whenever I get the opportunity since the deck has 9 other cards that enable the combo and plenty of cantrips to find them

    Lazav and Scroll of Fate shine in a slower more controllish build. That's why they show up alongside Uro is 5-0 lists.

    Torpor Orb is faster, needs less mana and disrupts your opponents etb triggers which is amazing against the majority of the legacy deck that feature etb effects. Due to needing less mana, it shines in fast aggressive builds, especially if paired with Dark Ritual, Thoughtseize (to clear out your opponents removal) and Kroxa (you can use Ritual mana to cast it alongside torpor orb on turn 2, or to both cast and escape it the same turn). But Orb sucks against opposing Uros if youre not playing removal and Karakas.
    Last edited by Clark Kant; 05-18-2021 at 09:54 PM.

  17. #17

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    I was having excellent results testing Death’s Shadow as the last threat in a Dreadnought Kroxa list, but Disallow and its synergy with Death’s Shadow, Kroxa and Dreadnought has now made this the central focus of Vaka Nought...



    You cast a Disapprove during your opponents end of turn step, draw a card, then next turn either cast a 1 mana Dreadnought or 2 mana Kroxa that you wont need to sac or swing (Stifle does this too) or swing with a 13/13 Death’s Shadow (that you have mana to cast a Temur’s Battle Rage or a haste card on).

    This is where I am ending up with the Vaka Nought list I was trying...

    4 Stifle
    4 Disapprove - proxied up in paper (using my Disallows to proxy for them) for testing with excellent results

    4 Death’s Shadow
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Street Wraith
    3 Kroxa

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Force of Will
    4 Thoughtseize
    4 Daze
    1 Reanimate
    1 Snuff Out
    1 Flusterstorm/Force of Negation
    1 Expedite/Temur’s Battle Rage
    1 Spell Pierce/Drown In the Loch

    4 Wasteland
    14-15 Lands

    A 63 card deck for now, but I find this is the easiest and fastest way to figure out which cards I dislike seeing and want to cut.

    Bant Vaka Nought 3.0

    15-16 Lands
    4 Wasteland

    4 Stifle
    4 Disapprove

    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    3-4 Noble Hierarch
    1 Sylvan Library

    4 Ponder
    4 Brainstorm

    3-4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    4-6 Utility (Currently in the process of alternatively testing Subtlety/Ice-Fang Coatl/Brazen Borrower/Scroll of Fate/Tarmogoyf/Misdirection/Flusterstorm/Spell Snare/Divert/FoN or StP/Teferi or Thoughtseize/Push. The rest of the list is finalized, this one utility slot is the missing piece to perfecting it.)
    Last edited by Clark Kant; 05-27-2021 at 01:23 AM.

  18. #18

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    Disapproves was translated to english as Dress Down but the card is awesome in testing.

    The list remains the same...

    Vaka Nought 3.0

    15-16 U/G Lands with atleast 1 Urza’s Saga
    4 Wasteland

    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down

    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    3 Noble Hierarch
    1 Sylvan Library
    1 Force of Negation/Misdirection/Divert/Flusterstorm/Spell Snare

    4 Ponder
    4 Brainstorm

    4 Force of Will
    4 Daze
    4 Subtlety (Flex Slot, could instead be Ice-Fang Coatl/Brazen Borrower/Standstill/Jace or Tarmogoyf)

    It's absolutely fantastic. I highly highly recommend testing the Vaka Nought build above (in paper using something else in place of Dress Down and Subtlety)

    The only card I am not 100% sure about yet is Subtlety. I am really looking forward to further testing Subtlety in that utility slot. The blue count is more than sufficient. There are situations where evoking a Subtlety during a turn that you have a Dress Down on the board just to get a 3/3 flyer might be useful. I anticipate that Subtlety and Noble Hierarch will be key to this strategy if Sudden Edict sees a lot of play next month.
    Last edited by Clark Kant; 05-31-2021 at 08:10 AM.

  19. #19

    Re: Would appreciate your help in improving my Vaka Nought deck (particularly the SB)

    I think I really like Esper Sentinel in that flex slot above. Its a huge removal/counter magnet and makes your later threats more likely to stick.

  20. #20

    Re: Vaka Nought - A Powerful Brew Abusing Stifle and Dress Down to slam 12/12s and Ti

    I am testing various iterations of Vaka Nought that all start either...

    4 Deaths Shadow
    4 Dreadnought
    1-3 Kroxa
    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down
    +
    Xerox Shell

    Or...

    4 Dreadnought
    4 Uro
    1-3 Hierarch/Tarmogoyf/Snapcaster/Subtlety/Brazen B
    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down
    1 Urza’s Saga
    +
    Xerox Shell

    And every iteration has been extremely promising. Just waiting on MTGO so that I can test these decks outside my guantlet, but I’m feeling pretty damn good about the list I landed on this weekend...

    Current List as of 6/1/21

    4 Wasteland
    4 Misty Rainforest
    3 Prismatic Vista
    3 Tropical Island
    3 Snow Covered Island
    2 Snow Covered Forest
    1 Urza's Saga

    4 Stifle
    4 Dress Down
    4 Phyrexian Dreadnought
    4 Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
    2 Noble Hierarch
    2 Sylvan Library
    1 Ice-Fang Coatl
    1 Brazen Borrower

    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Daze
    4 Force of Will
    1 Force of Negation
    1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor

    Sideboard:
    1 Relic of Progenitus
    1 Pithing Needle
    1 Flusterstorm
    1 Divert
    1 Blue Elemental Blast
    1 Sylvan Safekeeper
    1 Collector Ouphe
    1 Wilt
    2 Veil of Summer
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    3 Endurance
    Last edited by Clark Kant; 06-04-2021 at 03:14 AM.

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