Human Stompy



  • Here are my thoughts on a new decklist going forward:

    Human Stompy

    Lands (18):
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Mana Confluence
    4 City of Brass
    3 Ancient Ziggurat
    1 Karakas
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Wasteland

    Artifacts (7):
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Jet

    Creatures (31):
    4 Noble Hierarch
    3 Qasali Pridemage
    4 Phyrexian Revoker
    4 Harsh Mentor
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    3 Mayor of Avabruck
    3 Kambal Consul of Allocation
    3 Mantis Rider
    3 Palace Jailer

    Instants (3):
    1 Ancestral Recall
    2 Mental Misstep

    Sorceries (1):
    1 Time Walk

    Sideboard
    4 Containment Priest
    3 Surgical Extraction
    2 Mental Misstep
    2 Wasteland
    1 Mayor of Avabruck
    3 Elvish Spirit Guide

    And now some explanations:

    1. Manabase - If we decide to only run creatures or free spells then we gain access to the 3 Ancient Ziggurat. I could even see it being 4 Ziggys to ensure minimum pain from lands. I like 1 Karakas as its utility is amazing and there aren't many times when it tapping for white will be much of an issue since a lot of cards in the deck have W in their casting cost.

    2. Creature Choices - Now to the meat and bones:
      Noble Hierarch: Many might debate whether this is too much of a liability to run in the face of Walking Ballista being in the format, but I think this is the one list that still desperately wants its effect. The reason being that this list makes use not only of the mana fixing/accel that Hierarch provides but also abuses the crap out of its exalted trigger (see Mantis Rider).
      Qasali Pridemage: Many have tried to convince me to cut this card on account of its "non-human-ness" and I've seriously considered it, but again, this deck makes great use of the exalted trigger and we also need an obligatory solution to Moat and Oath of Druids game 1. Pridemage stays for now.
      Phyrexian Revoker: This guy is my nod to the Ancient Ziggurat Manabase. I still like having an answer to Moxen and Ballistas that can be more easily cast than Stony Silence. Stony Silence is an incredibly powerful card though so Revokers are in a probationary period and we'll see how they perform over Stony.
      Harsh Mentor: This guy is the great experiment for the list. I'm of the opinion that it is maindeckable even though it's strength vs. blue decks is way less than its strength vs. shops/eldrazi. I do think it has enough utility vs. blue to be something I don't HATE seeing game 1 necessarily. Here are the targets out of blue:
      Fetches
      Sensei's Top (really good vs. this card because it hits both abilities)
      Library of Alexandria
      Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

      Also, vs. Time Vault decks this makes Time Vault itself cost 4 damage per turn to use. This can also be annoying to cards like Memory Jar or Engineered Explosives. The jury is still out as to just HOW dead it is vs. blue but I think its purpose is so important vs. Ballista Shops that I'm comfortable with it in the maindeck for now.
      Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: Taxes the primary type of spell in the format. I don't think I need to go into this one.
      Mayor of Avabruck: This guy is at his absolute best in 5-C Human Stompy. He pumps your team (Riders etc.) and allows your aggro plan to take off vs. any sort of "fair" deck. He is also reasonably good vs. Mentor decks if the board begins to stall out.
      Kambal, Consul of Allocation: This guy is an update and almost strict upgrade to Scab-Clan Berserker. He is so insane at helping you win the damage race vs. blue and his 2/3 body is nothing to sneeze at in the face of Revokers so he doesn't become totally dead game 1 vs. shops. I cannot speak the praises of this guy enough. I'd like to find room in the SB for a 4th copy and may do just that in a future update of the list. Also, it is worth pointing out that Mental Misstepping a Plow targeting this guy often feels like cheating. . . your opponent of their life total :P.
      Mantis Rider: The reason to run 5-Colors. That's right, I said it. It isn't Kambal delving us into black or now Harsh delving us into Red that makes us want to go beyond general GW hatebears. It's this guy. He packs such a combat punch and does so often uncounterably for only UWR. He is a Planeswalker killer extraordinaire and, most importantly, he flies right over those silly monk tokens to dome Mentor players for the critical last couple points of damage after Kambal has taken them down a notch. In my opinion, if you aren't running this guy as a 3-of in 5-Color Human Stompy you are doing something miserably wrong and need to have a stern talking to. <3 this guy.
      Palace Jailer: A recent change from Reflector Mage. While Mage is a bit more on curve for the deck, I think this guy is actually just the better card. Mid-late game Free Bob is just what this deck needs often, and the ability for this to exile a dude without having that dude just return to the battlefield if he gets removed is quite spicy and unique in the cycle of "exiling creatures" (i.e Fiend Hunter, Banisher Priest, Fairgrounds Warden etc.). Jailer being at 4 mana might be a cause for concern, but I think the fact that we run all the Moxen + 4 Hierarch and, most important, NO Stony Silence, makes this guy playable.

    Now on to the other cards in the list:

    1 Ancestral, 1 Time Walk: Ummm. . . very little cost in playing these bad-ass cards. Yes please.
    Mental Misstep: The card is great early protection vs. blue bullshit or combo and is very well paired with Kambal.
    Containment Priest: This card resides in the SB but is firmly going to stay there because of its applications in the key matchups of Dredge and Oath.
    Surgical Extraction: Some might not quite get why I run this card. The reason is 2-3 fold. First off, I love what this card does vs. Paradoxical Outcome. Unlike vs. Ritual decks where you can't stop the second ritual going on the stack it is very reasonable to assume that you'll nab the second Paradoxical before they can cast it. The other major targets for this spell are Wasteland and Walking Ballista. Being able to remove all of these can pay huge dividends vs. the Workshop archetype. Obviously the card also has reasonable applications vs. Dredge.
    Wasteland: This card is great but I only run 3 of them between the maindeck and SB because of Color considerations. I may go back to 4 though if I find that it truly is the best thing I can be doing vs. workshops. Wasteland is one of the best ways to keep Workshop openers from getting out of hand and the card also has great applications vs. Dredge and various other blue decks. Don't leave home without some Wastelands in your deck.
    Elvish Spirit Guide: Some folks might ask why the hell this card makes the cut, but I think the answer is simple. I believe this deck's Plan A is very good vs. the field and I'd like that Plan A to get online as early as possible. Plan A = cast hatebears/valuebears that cost at least 2 on turn 1 and keep them coming every turn thereafter. ESG helps you start this process on turn 1 without having to run the "other approach" of running 3-4 Ancient Tomb and 4 Thorn of Amethyst. To me, that approach only works in certain archetypes with certain support cards. Since this deck can't effectively run Tomb (would ruin the manabase) I elect to, instead, run some ESGs in the SB to help shore up the problem of "nothing to do on turn 1."

    So what are people's thoughts? Do you agree with my assessment of the cards of the deck? If so, why? If not, what would you replace them with? How many? Please don't just unilaterally deluge this thread with hyperbolic criticisms if you aren't prepared to go into at least as much depth as I just did on card choices. I want this archetype to be optimally built more often and taken seriously, but that requires serious discussion from invested players. Trolls are NOT welcome in this thread. Keep it civil. Keep it productive. Thanks! :)

    -Storm


  • TMD Supporter

    @Stormanimagus

    I was playing with deck builder last night and what do you think about Stoneforge Mystic and mid range threats such as Siege Rhino (to stand up to Shops/Eldrazi). My thought is that you want to be the control in those matchups, which should be to survive the initial rush attack, stabilize, and then overwhelm.

    Along that same thought, have you thought about going more mid range in general, with Veteran Explorerers to power out mana. In the current meta game, there is no urgency to lay a hate bear on turn 1.



  • @Stormanimagus

    I disagree with the use of Ancient Ziggurat over Gemstone Mine in this deck. Your reasoning states that Ancient Ziggurat acts as a Gemstone Mine with no drawback due to the way you've constructed your deck. While there are two errors in your own reasoning (Ancestral Recall and Time Walk), you're failing to take into account the construction of your opponent's deck. Given that Thorn of Amethyst is so prevelant in today's metagame, you risk stunting your early game in situations where you're looking to open on a Ziggurat/Mine and a Mox or two. With White Eldrazi and Workshops each containing at least 8 effects that stop Ancient Ziggurat into a Mox or a chain of Moxen, if you are on the draw against either (as you would hope to be at least once per match, given you want to win games), you limit keepable hands. Your tradeoff, it seems, is that your lands stick around forever, but that isn't often the case against Thorn decks anyway due to their 5 Strip effects. Do you truly believe that longevity outweighs your ability to deploy early?



  • @Stormanimagus

    List looks great man! Keep up the good work. Wish you would give in and play stuff like this on Magic Online.



  • @The-Gremlin-Lord

    Yes I do. I think you overestimate the number of hands that will turn out that way and also the number of times you'll even be facing the card "Thorn of Amethyst" after game 1 (hint: I believe it will be zero). I realize there is still sphere + Trinisphere + Lodestone Golem to contend with (though Golem conveniently DOESN'T hit moxen) but you're also forgetting that I side in 3 ESG after game 1 as well. I had a lot of experience running 3-4 Gemstone Mine about a year ago and I did indeed love the Mines (I'm the one who created the list in the first place so clearly I get how good Mine can be) but I think Mine's power was largely contingent on you also running 3-4 Abrupt Decays. I think Decay WAS extremely good in a more diverse meta that featured more:

    Oath
    Time Vaults
    Rando Permanents to hit from value blue decks
    Stax (Sans Ravagers)

    Now that Decay is largely just relegated to "Kill your Mentor" I don't think it is as powerful in the format overall because spot removal has been shown to insufficient vs. Mentor decks time and time again. But I digress. Here's how I see it:

    If you are going to include 3-4 Stony in your 75 I think that means that the number of maximum Ziggurats you can run is 2 and likely 1 copy is better at that point. If you run Decay the maximum number you can run is 0. This deck can get into some grindy games that don't end quickly and it's exactly for those games that I largely prefer Ziggurat to Gemstone Mine. I've just had too many times where the loss of a Mine to being used thrice was killer to me and cut off key lines of play. If I find that a new iteration of the deck can kill more quickly more consistently then I'll rethink that value judgement (i.e if I went back to maindeck lightning bolts), but for now that's where I'm at.

    The more I think of maybe a list COULD be designed with bolts main and a more robust burn plan. Thoughts on that idea?

    -Storm



  • @desolutionist Are you ummm. . .kidding? No Urgency? Have you SEEN what Ballista Shop decks can do? Have you seen what Paradoxical Outcome decks can do?


  • TMD Supporter

    @Stormanimagus said in Human Stompy:

    @desolutionist Are you ummm. . .kidding? No Urgency? Have you SEEN what Ballista Shop decks can do? Have you seen what Paradoxical Outcome decks can do?

    With regards To Ballista Shops, that's exactly why I'm suggesting a fatter approach. You're not going to get there with x/1s and x/2s. The early game could be to survive with PtE and Sudden Shock so that you can get to the late game and cast stuff that they cannot deal with.

    With regards to Paradoxical Outcome, it's an unimpressive deck. You can slow them down quite a bit with minimal disruption and take cheap shots to close it out. A single card like Hammer Mage and Stony Silence is devastating to them. Then a well timed Wasteland and it's game over. It's not even a major part of the meta game because it's so bad against the top decks.



  • Have you considered Spire? It should be able to tap for any color more often thsn not with Moxen and Revokers, and might even influence the using of Null Rod. Just a thought.



  • @Serracollector Absolutely I have considered it and it's always been a borderline include. It sucks because they've now printed another juicy dude that is R in color which makes my old plan of 2 Horizon Canopy no good anymore cause of the reliance on Red again. Otherwise I'd probably run 2 Canopy and 1 Karakas and 1 Ziggurat and call it a day. The list has some mainstay cards but I also think there is much room for innovation, hence the thread Necro :).



  • 5 moxen, 4 Revoker, and 4 Rod would be roughly one quarter of the deck. That should be enough to run a 2-2 split on ziggeraut and spire I would think. Most your guys have a colorless in CC anyways, so you wont be pinging yourself everytime you use it.



  • @desolutionist I think that Stoneforge Mystic is one of the better cards you can play against Shops and Eldrazi. The fact that it's decent against Mentor as well makes it my current go-to strategy in hatebears.

    For clarity, I wouldn't play it in 5-color humans, but in slower, more prison oriented builds.

    Here's the list I play currently:

    Mana: 28

    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Plains
    4 Wasteland
    2 Flagstones of Trokair
    2 Karakas
    1 Strip Mine

    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire

    Creatures: 29

    4 Phyrexian Revoker
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    3 Containment Priest
    3 Eldrazi Displacer
    3 Palace Jailer
    3 Sanctum Prelate
    3 Spirit of the Labyrinth
    3 Stoneforge Mystic
    3 Thalia, Heretic Cathar

    Other: 3

    1 Batterskull
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Umezawa's Jitte

    Sideboard: 15

    4 Swords to Plowshares
    3 Mental Misstep
    2 Grafdigger's Cage
    2 Null Rod
    2 Serenity
    1 Devout Witness
    1 Stony Silence

    Eldrazi and Shops are definitely the two hardest matchups. Stoneforge Mystic helps and the 4 Swords in the sideboard do as well. But besides this package, I've never found something that I'm really happy about and confident in. Serenity is the latest thing for me to test. If deployed correctly, it can be a game winning card, but the downside is that is destroys my own Null Rod, equipment, Revokers and artifact acceleration. And it doesn't help against Eldrazi. Devout Witness is another thing I'm trying out, and once again if it sticks, it's gonna win you the game against Shops, but it's slow and loses to Revoker and Ballista. Perhaps I should just play 3 more Sword effects in those spots haha.

    I'd love any suggestions. I'm also thinking about Gisela, the Broken Blade and Baneslayer Angel but have yet to try them out. I like the idea of big creatures with lifelink (and first strike). I would love it if they had vigilance as well though.

    Hmm, Angel of Invention looks like an interesting card.



  • On the 5-color Humans archtype, I think that Stormanimagus' list is a good starting point and it looks very solid.

    I have only briefly tested out Harsh Mentor so I haven't really been doing enough testing to comment on it, but I think what's already been said is on point: It's good vs Shops and less good - but not useless - against Mentor and other blue decks which are the two archtypes you want to focus on beating at first.

    I have been playing some 5-color humans lately, and that version included 3 Kambal, Consul of Allocation and 2 Scab-Clan Berserker but otherwise it looked a lot like Stormanimagus' list. I did play Ancient Ziggurat as well and never had problems with my manabase.

    I would like to support Stormanimagus' claim that if you're not running Mantis Rider, you're doing something wrong. My initial list had Prophetic Flamespeaker instead but I soon realised that I missed Mantis Rider. Prophetic Flamespeaker turned out too slow. I would also like to point out that Phyrexian Revoker is the right way to go, as in it's necessary for the deck. Palace Jailer is absolutely bonkers. It's like Reflector Mage and Dark Confidant in one card.

    Last, I don't think I would run Mental Misstep maindeck but I guess that's a metagame call.



  • Is it just me, or do other people always want to try to jam Magus of the Moon in with humans. Harsh Mentor has me back thinking about this one.



  • @Topical_Island Depending on the B&R announcement, I've been working on a build of The Mountains Win Again that runs a large Humans suite with Cavern of Souls. Harsh Mentor, Magus of the Moon and Scab-Clan Berserker seem like a nasty trio.



  • @The-Gremlin-Lord As far as red decks go, I've found Scab-Clan Berserker & Eidolon of the Great Revel pretty punishing in the vintage metagame.



  • In my experience with Magus of the Moon, you want to pair it with Null Rod. Both Magus and Null Rod are bit of a nonbo with Harsh Mentor, so I'm not sure that's the route you want to go.



  • @Griselbrother they're not really a non-bo, right? It just turns off their stuff entirely and you keep a 2/2 to attack with. It's not exactly synergistic, but being able to make the tactical decision of "Pay 2 life: Use Ability" might be worse than "Can't use ability, getting attacked by a 2/2"



  • @boxian said in Human Stompy:

    @Griselbrother they're not really a non-bo, right? It just turns off their stuff entirely and you keep a 2/2 to attack with. It's not exactly synergistic, but being able to make the tactical decision of "Pay 2 life: Use Ability" might be worse than "Can't use ability, getting attacked by a 2/2"

    It's true that they aren't a non-bo but Moon effects in general are a non-bo with this manabase. Not being able to cast like anything in my deck could lead to major issues most of the time.



  • @boxian said in Human Stompy:

    @Griselbrother they're not really a non-bo, right? It just turns off their stuff entirely and you keep a 2/2 to attack with. It's not exactly synergistic, but being able to make the tactical decision of "Pay 2 life: Use Ability" might be worse than "Can't use ability, getting attacked by a 2/2"

    Perhaps not a nonbo but there's some (too much?) dissynergy. I think you've got to ask yourself if you really want to be playing Harsh Mentor when you've got like 7 cards (that makes it much worse). I'm not saying it necessarily wrong to do so, but I question it.



  • @Stormanimagus i think wrecking your own manabase is an excellent reason to not run Moon effects


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