Survival Salad



  • That's what I've been calling this deck anyway. After quite a bit of work I think I've finally come down to a list I'm pretty satisfied with. Might be a couple off still, but I'm pretty happy so far.

    0_1527726117087_survivalsalad.JPG

    The deck works by using Bazaar of Baghdad or Survival of the Fittest to generate a bunch of power spread across a bunch of bodies (sometimes they all have haste and/or flying too!)

    The engine and drivers of the deck takes up 20 cards:
    4 Bazaar
    4 SotF
    4 Vengevine
    4 Hollow One
    4 Basking Rootwalla

    Add the obligitory 14/15 lands and 5 moxen and Black Lotus:
    2 Bayou
    1 Savannah
    1 Trop
    1 Taiga
    1 Forest
    1 Dryad Arbor
    1 Gaea's Cradle
    6 green fetches of your choice (mixing is good to dodge Spyglass)
    5 Moxen
    1 Black Lotus

    We've got 20ish cards left to play with. I've fiddled with having more ways to interact (like main deck Abrupt Decay), more engine pieces (Faithless Looting, Wheel of Fortune, Frantic Search, Breakthrough), tutors, and other raw card draws. The best cards in Vintage obviously make the cut (Ancestral Recall and Time Walk). I've also chosen to go with a couple annoying effects via Thorn and Chalice. Neither of them really impact this deck while they are more than capable of stealing wins from other players. I've decided to err on the side of lots of creatures (because Vengevine and Survival demand it):
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Thorn of Amethyst
    4 Mana Dorks (I have 2 DRS, 1 BoP, 1 Noble)
    1 Elvish Spirit Guide (this is better than Lotus Petal, I'll explain why later)
    1 Anger
    1 Wonder
    1 Tasigur
    1 Squee
    1 Manglehorn
    2 Thalia
    2 Dark Confidant
    2 Tarmogoyf

    Some questions you may be asking-

    Why no Memnite/Walking Ballista?
    -tried both, the free nature isn't relevant, basically ever.

    Do you really want Wonder/Anger?
    -Wonder is how you beat Mentor/Pyromancer tokens, and Anger is how you beat Oath (if they don't draw Orchard of course) and is a great way to still have haste guys when your opponent is relying on Grafdigger's Cage.

    Why Tarmogoyf?
    -He is a big guy that you don't have to set up for, just play him and he can swing hard. He is also pretty good at holding off Shops until you can set something up (like Wonder or Energy Flux).

    How good is Squee?
    -I've only had him for a handful of games but he has shown to be useful so far. He allows you to be more aggressive with Bazaar activation.

    Why is Elvish Spirit Guide better than another mana dork or Lotus Petal?
    -Not least because it is an uncounterable way to generate extra mana (that happens to work through Chalice/Trinisphere too) but also because it allows you to generate an additional mana on Survival turns. If you find yourself short a G when trying to create some Vengevines you can grab ESG and use it to give you +1 G to activate Survival that one extra time (you need to have a superfluous creature in hand for this to work)

    How much mana do you need to Survival?
    -Depends on the situation. If you already have SotF in play and Vengevine(s) in the graveyard you need 1 creature in hand. If that creature is Basking Rootwalla you need GGX or GXXX (discard BR for VV, VV for Hollow One, tap off color to cast Hollow One, or discard BR for Hollow One and tap XXX to cast Hollow One {you could also get Bob or Thalia assuming you have the right Mox among those extra mana}). If the creature is not BR- you'll need GGX (dude for BR, BR for HO, tap 1 for HO) or GGG, or GG and an additional creature in hand (discard creature 1 for ESG, discard creature 2 for BR, use ESG to add G to discard BR for HO, cast HO).

    Sideboard (still not perfect, but getting closer)
    2 Stony Silence (Shops and Outcome)
    1 Faerie Macabre (Dredge)
    1 Wispmare (Leyline of the Void/Moat/Oath)
    2 Energy Flux (Shops)
    1 Gilded Drake (Oath/Tinker)
    3 Ravenous Trap (Dredge)
    1 Ingot Chewer (Shops/Outcome)
    1 Manglehorn (Shops/Outcome)
    2 Abrupt Decay (Shops/Outcome/Oath/Fair Blue decks/Cage/Rest in Peace/etc)
    1 Kambal (Outcome/Fair Blue)

    Comments are always welcome!
    Thanks to @hierarchnoble @kaluma and @bleedth3sky for also working on the deck and offering their suggestions!



  • Awesome love it! Great write-up!
    This new list looks pretty tight. I like the innovations here with goyfs and tasigur giving an alternate aggressive plan - will have to try that out! Seems like you've cut back on mana dorks to get these slots. At what point does Gaea's Cradle become a liability here?

    in my experience shops and dredge are okay matchups if you can draw your SB cards, blue fair decks are favorable matchups barring something like a fast mentor, oath decks are very unfavored, and outcome decks are both faster than you and can sculpt gameplans that circumvent hate cards. Is that similar to your assessment? How strong have your SB plans been against these archypes?



  • @kaluma that is pretty spot on, yes. Goyf and Tasigur help the Shops match quite a bit. The best thing against Outcome I’ve found is to be very aggressive and try to make them go before they want to, but like you said- sometimes they just go a different route and you get beat by quick Mentor+Time Walk or Tinker. I’m hoping the combo of Thalia, Stony, and Manglehorn is enough to disrupt them and that I can find the Drake if they make Blightsteel. As for the Cradle, I think it is still ok with 5 dorks because of the additional 2 drops, might be wrong though.



  • Great that we have a topic for this deck now. Seems great.

    You might want to correct Aether Flux to Energy Flux though 😛



  • @fsecco oh right! Lol



  • I love everything happening here.



  • I'm loving this deck. I was active in the other thread and had suggested Drake, Thalia, and Manglehorn. I thought of another, Gaddock Teeg. It literally affects nothing in your list, but puts a damper on PO and big blue/tendrils. Keep up the good work.



  • @serracollector yeah, I’ve tried Teeg before- just lost too many times to tutor+Tinker or Mentor+cantrips+Time Walk 🤷🏻♂



  • apologies if this is not the appropriate place to put this but i'm going to stream this deck a little tonight if anyone wants to come hang out!! https://www.twitch.tv/kaluma47



  • Went 5-1 on the night: 3-0 vs shops, 1-1 vs Four Color Pile, 1-0 vs UWR standstill. Really like the plan against shops, got to play Brian Kelly while he wasn't on oath, and won a lot of games without ever activating Survival. Overall, really fun! Great list you put together @wfain ! Slots I'm going to play with are Leovold (for Kambal) and Wispmare (for Chains of Mephastopheles), but the list really does feel very powerful.



  • @kaluma How many times did you get the engine Bazaar - Vengevine - Hollow One running?

    I am also playing a Survival list, but without Bazaar, Vengevine and Hollow One. Instead I am running more hate with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Spirit of the Labyrinth, Varolz - Scar Striped, Tocatli Honor Guard and Phyrexian Dreadnought.

    I had lots of trouble against control with Tinker - Blightsteel Colossus on second or third turn.



  • @kaluma did you draw Cradle very much? Did it work ok or should it revert to another dual? Or Riftstone Portal?



  • 3-2 with the above list. Close losses to Outcome/Mentor and Shops. Beat Shops, Team Leo, and Steel City Vault (I think, could’ve been an Outcome deck with a Notion Thief 🤷🏻♂️)

    Gonna try @kaluma idea of losing the Leovold in favor of another Thalia and replacing the Thalia in the board with a Chains of Mephistopheles.



  • @quo Bazaar was great. used it all the time to filter, dump things in the GY, cast rootwallas and hollow ones. This league it was the driving engine of the deck. Also uncounterable!

    @wfain Drew cradle one time and it was good. Riftstone portal I had to play as a land once and never ended up in the GY. I could see that being a second fetchable white land or blue land for being able to cast shops SB cards through wastelands.

    I'm trying -leovold, -wispmare, +kambal, +chains right now.



  • @kaluma I’m scared to cut Wispmare- no way to kill Leyline and -1 way to kill Oath seems icky to me, but I'll try it.

    Edit: Tried it, went 4-1. Having second Thalia in the main led to a pretty funny game against a Blue Tinker deck: T1 he played a land and Preordain, I played Bazaar, Emerald, Lotus- activate Bazaar to pitch VV, crack Lotus for WWW, cast Thalia, he Forces, tap Emerald, cast another Thalia, get back VV, cast Hollow One. He scoops.

    0_1527112949549_survivalsalad.JPG



  • @kaluma maybe we just want some Thoughtseize in the board to fight Outcome (good vs Storm and Oath as well)?



  • way to go! looks good! I'm kind of okay with oath just being a bad matchup. Fairish green decks probably don't have the ability to really fight everything and I'd rather have SB slots to tilt a closer matchup rather than try to fix the 80-20 matchup.



  • Good thinking, @wfain! I never expected quickly mentioning your 5-0 in the Hollow One thread to lead to such an in-depth discussion, and I'm glad you took the time to create a much-needed independent thread for this emerging archetype.

    On Tuesday I played a list that I've since scrapped, trying out a maindeck Qasali Pridemage and an additional Qasali Pridemage and a Trygon Predator in the sideboard. What I found was, although I could resolve Trygon Predator during the game I drew it against Ravager Shops, the lack of immediate impact was a huge detriment. Qasali Pridemage, while exalted is cute, ended up being an overcosted Disenchant the two times I resolved it. In every situation Manglehorn would have been significantly better.

    The Qasali build was my first dropped league (1-3) out of the five I've played. I'm now 1-1 in my league with the @kaluma's 5-0 list from last week, and will finish streaming it tonight. If I have enough time before VSL I'll start another league with @wfain's post that's a few above this one, but I don't think I'll get more than the three games done in the two hours before VSL. While I've had a ton of fun with my own 75s I really want to give these Dark Confidant builds a reasonable shot. Nothing forces me to see someone else's perspective more than running their exact build.



  • I love Manglehorn



  • @serracollector it’s pretty decent so far! I’m sitting on 4-0 in league with the 2 Thalia list from a couple posts up. Tasigur/Tarmogoyf make the Shops matchup like 60/40 in my favor where before it was like 40/60 or something. Those dudes just handle all but the most busted Ravager/Overseer draws.
    Tasigur also makes it a little easier to trigger VV through Trinisphere (which was nearly impossible before).

    EDIT: went 5-0. Pretty decent hits on my prize chests too!
    0_1527184089968_prizes.JPG



WAF/WHF