Human Stompy

  • @DeaTh-ShiNoBi I’ll be the first to admit that Trinisphere has been the worst card in the 60 so far. Its inclusion right now is a wild bet on the strength of the surprise factor. Thorn of Amethyst, however, has been fine. While counterable, it has the luxury of being cast off of any combination of two mana sources (or less with Crypt/Lotus). While Humans doesn’t have the acceleration of Workshop, it does have a slightly different plan of curving out in Noble Hierarch. Like most aggressive decks, and especially Vintage ones, you want to be building a board position from turn one. While we can dream of Mox Cavern Thalia all day, sometimes we need to lead with City Noble or Mox Confluence Thorn. I think Thorn of Amethyst is both synergistic with our overall plan as well as our mana, despite not being completely maximized like a Workshop deck.

    @Stormanimagus The Lodestone vs Glowrider comparison is tough now due to Lodestone’s restriction, but I consider Glowrider to be a perfectly reasonable second Sphere. Often Workshop decks would lead with a first turn Sphere of Resistance, then another Sphere or Thorn on the following turn. The nice part about Glowrider is that it never costs more while acting as the second Sphere, and leading with Thalia or Thorn curves nicely when you’re on a heavy lockdown plan. Thalia is our Lodestone Golem, Glowrider is our Phyrexian Metamorph. Berserker has been wonderful as a proactive threat that can act as both a Slash Panther and a Spellshock.

    @xouman Ziggurat doesn’t cast Thorn of Amethyst or Moxen under a Sphere (opposing or not). With an average curve of 1.27 I find Dark Confidant’s damage, in conjunction with City and Confluence, to really not leave us falling much more than halfway over the course of a game. I think having lived in a world where Dark Confidant could flip one of four Force of Wills or a Blightsteel Colossus has made me desensitized to being nickeled and dimed. As for Null Rod effects, I had a singleton in an earlier build, but they are useless in multiples and either dead or worse for us in a few matchups. It’s still a reasonable sideboard card.

  • @xouman said:

    @mickey.nobilis Beautiful list. However I dislike the 8 painlands (ziggurat does not have a place?) with confidants. I agree that if you are going to the mana denial route, canonist and meddling are bad: they only work if your mana denial plan has failed. I prefer them in control builds, acting as "countermagic" to some extent.

    @Stormanimagus I'm pretty surprised you moved wastes to sb. I thought it was one of the best cards of the deck together with thalia.

    @Jogee 30-8 is no joke. I think your skill should be over the medium, I highly doubt I could do a 30-8 with your list and my skill 😛 While the list looks solid, I also dislike the 1's and 2's in a list with 0 manipulation

    @all I'm also surprised that stony silence has so little acceptation. Back in my day, null rod was a pillar, and that was even before vault got errated. I understand stony is dead against dredge and is a meh card against mentor. But I'm surprised nevertheless.

    You'll note that my lists have pretty much ALWAYS had 3 stony in the 75 somewhere.
    As to the wasteland point, I am probably going to add them back and go down to 2 mantis main after much debate. Mantis x4 was a main reason that wastes left the deck for ziggurats. I'm now seeing how absolutely necessary they are vs. some matchups, but, more than that, I'm realizing I still need abrupt decay to combat time vault decks further (especially time vault mentor decks). Hence, I'm going to move away from ziggurats for now and back to more of my original manabase in order to accommodate 3-4 decay main. This deck is a tough gambit and I think I pushed too hard at the gambit aspect of it by making maybe too "balls to the walls." The format pushed back and I really lost ground to toolboxblue.dec that could just tutor themselves to victory too easily. I still like the 3 ziggurat build I posted earlier A LOT vs. traditional tempo gush mentor, but I can't rely on facing that version of the deck every time. It really pains me to go down to 2 mantis, but for now at least, that seems correct.


  • @Stormanimagus I have to agree with you in nearly everything. Decay has no good replacement in humans. A flashy human that answers mentors, vaults, oaths... would be AWESOME. If decay is absolutely unavoidable (that's a good question) then ziggurat cannot stay, but measure the lifeloss of painlands, and the fact that decay does not attack your opponent each turn.

  • @xouman said:

    A flashy human that answers mentors, vaults, oaths... would be AWESOME.


  • @AmbivalentDuck Wing Shards?

  • @AmbivalentDuck said:

    @xouman said:

    A flashy human that answers mentors, vaults, oaths... would be AWESOME.


    Touché! And indeed venser is awesome. However it costs double than decay and only answers for one turn. Seems wonderful in an aggro deck, since it can provide that extra turn needed to attack win. Really worth testing it, good idea 🙂

  • @Topical_Island Human Venser, not planeswalker Venser.

  • @AmbivalentDuck Yeah I got it. Seems good off cavern, maybe a bit steep on mana? I was just throwing in my two cents on the use of Wing Shards... (I simulated it and it's not that good after all because there tends to be a lot of leftover monks floating around afterwards. but it might work if you already have a lot of guys facing a Mentor that's crapping tokens onto the board...) There's probably something better.

  • @Topical_Island I mentioned Venser because he has Flash ("flashy") and his ability to bounce spells on the stack answers everything but split second. I don't know that he's good, but he certainly fits the specific request I addressed.

  • @mickey.nobilis

    I've just tried the full-on sphere approach online and I don't think it will work, sadly. You are welcome to continue pursuing 4x Glowrider, but I think that it will come up short more than you expect. Shops was able to go for the "sphere you out" plan because it could easily implement its plan from turn 1 and continue to pile on spheres every turn.

    We can't CONSISTENTLY implement our plan from turn 1 and that 1 unmolested turn is basically all blue needs to set up devastating tempo/card advantage. If they slip out under the lock you are dead in the water with a 2/1 you spent 3 mana to cast (and likely your whole turn). It's better to run creatures with more value and fight them on the value front rather than attempt to bury them under spheres. Cards like Decay that pull double or triple duty, cards like berserker that pressure their life total (or mantis that also pressures life totals), cards like Pridemage that cover many bases, these are the cards we need to be running. We need cards that work well in multiples an, in fact, stack in effect in multiples. This is why reflector is a solid 3-of. It really fights the tempo war quite nicely. I tried brewing around your list and just couldn't stop my opponent from going turn 1 mox land jace, vpn. That tempo advantage was enough to get them there most games (whether through mentor or time vault).


  • @AmbivalentDuck Oh I hear ya. I got it. It might be sweet tech, try it out... with cavern out he's all but an uncounterable counterspell. (My bad. I confused the thread by replying to you rather than the whole thread.)

    I've gotta tack on a slightly different idea here. A big (I'll even say the big) advantage that Gush Mentor has over Humans/Hatebear type decks is the draw engine. If I were playing the Gush deck, my plan would be to simply trade resources as often as I could, until my drawing put too many cards in my hand and the sheer amount of resources available via the powerful drawing was enough to overwhelm the other deck. For that reason, I think it's critical to create actual dead cards in the opposing Gush deck so that when they draw, they don't see real resource advantage. For example, if a gush deck is able to outdraw a Humans deck by 40% over the course of the game, the Gush deck would probably win. Not hard to imagine, when one deck actually plays draw spells while the other basically doesn't. (You touch 14 cards, they touch 19, and likely filter through substantially more... ) Just playing a Thalia, and then later a Glowrider won't do this. Thalia doesn't hurt Gush that much... floating 1 now instead of 2. It hurts Mentor not at all (directly anyway).

    Cards like Chalice of the Void are studs when the opponent plays drawing cards and you don't. Again, most Gush decks run upwards of 20 one-drops in their main. Many of these are cantrips that allow the deck to plow through and find the next Gush (Preordain, Ponder, Brainstorm.... Ancestral). Cutting that off is brutal against Gush decks. In contrast, I'm seeing humans lists come in with under 5 one-drops routinely. Sometimes these do include critical pieces of the mana base though, like Noble Hierarch... but oh yeah, Cavern of Souls... how about that?

    By the same token, Chalice on the play set at zero is so broken as to have gotten the card restricted in the first place. Speaking of critical pieces of the mana base. Mentor decks almost all include all the Moxen and the Lotus... some even occasionally pack in the Crypt (which seems bad, but oh well.) That's over 10% of the deck that gets ruined dropping chalice on the play, and 25% of the mana base that goes missing. Basically I'm arguing that not including a singleton Chalice in a Humans list is just a mistake. I'd probably end up cutting a Thalia for it (legends rule). But I get that some people just can't ever live without her. I'd ask, would one rather see a Thalia or a Chalice in their opening hand here... I guess if the answer is then you could always run 4 of her and pack in Chalice for something else. Would you rather see a Scab-Clan Berserker or a Chalice in your opening hand... you get the point.

    P.S. (for the same reasons I would be looking at singletons of Null rod and Chains of Mephistopheles... but that's up more to play style I suppose. Spirit of the Labyrinth (inhuman) might actually be better than chains, since it swings for 3.

  • @Topical_Island

    Tropical, we're in less disagreement than you might think. In fact, in my next version I was going to run 1x Chalice in place of the 3rd maindeck Stony.

    Also, I think Stony is almost strictly better than null rod if you can run white so I AM running that effect already. My main reason for not running Chalice x1 before this point was that I hated not having it reliably on turn 1 so I didn't want to run it at all. However, I'm seeing the utility in this build even mid-game so I think one can justify running 1x in the current meta. Everyone is on the plow plan right now so Chalice @1 also really bears fruit. Also, less players are running chewers in their sbs these days so Chalice @1 also more reliably stops the answers to Chalice @1.

    Good call!

    Other than that, do you like my list?


  • @Stormanimagus Was KeyVault Blue your only opponent in testing? That deck is fairly absent from my personal metagame.

  • My latest update, given suggestions from folks on here is the following:

    Land (19):
    4 Cavern of Souls
    4 Mana Confluence
    4 City of Brass
    4 Gemstone Mine
    1 Strip Mine
    2 Wasteland

    Artifacts (7):
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Chalice of the Void

    Creatures (30):
    4 Noble Hierarch
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    4 Containment Priest
    4 Dark Confidant
    3 Qasali Pridemage
    3 Reflector Mage
    3 Mantis Rider
    4 Scab-Clan Berserker
    1 Notion Thief

    Instants (4):
    4 Abrupt Decay

    SB: 4 Izzet Staticaster
    SB: 3 Basilisk Collar
    SB: 3 Extirpate
    SB: 3 Stony Silence
    SB: 2 Wasteland

    I'm back to running wastes as they are so good vs. shops and dredge. I also am now including 1x Chalice in the maindeck.


  • @Stormanimagus Ok... I'm testing this against Kari's Sylvan Gush this weekend. (I'm also tinkering around with Notion Thief, Dack, and Cephalid Coliseum in the same deck... that seems spicy at least)

  • @Topical_Island

    Well I've lost a bit of faith in my 5-C Approach. I'm just not sure about it at the moment. A 3-color variant I made had serious game vs. mentor/storm but got blown out most games by shops/oath. It was WRU. Perhaps 5-C is, in fact the way to go. Feeling a bit confused about the archetype at the moment tbh.


  • @Stormanimagus If you want in on something else... I'm seriously working on a Thing in the Ice midrange contraption designed to beat Mentor. It has a lot of humans in it... though Vampire Hexmage looks good with Thing, and if that's in you almost must include Dark Depths... I should probably start another thread.

  • I don't think the main issue is whether the deck is 3c or 5c, I think the main issue is cards like Reflector Mage, Mantis Rider and, to a lesser extend, Scab-Clan Berserker.

  • @JuzamJim said:

    I don't think the main issue is whether the deck is 3c or 5c, I think the main issue is cards like Reflector Mage, Mantis Rider and, to a lesser extend, Scab-Clan Berserker.

    What you might call bad cards others would call innovation. Be careful of writing off cards off-hand without testing them or really knowing anything about how they work in the context of a real Vintage game.

  • @Stormanimagus I agree with him on this. Certainly you could attribute it to play style, but we are a long way from Man-o-War and lightning angel being Vintage cards.