I'm trying the DRS (I actually went 100% on DRS) and I'm finding it to be better than birds. I didn't get to try hierarch, but I don't think I've ever missed his trigger. For the first turns of the game it's very good at generating mana (having lands in the GY) and the collateral effect of his other activations is pretty relevant. I'm really liking it.

@gutocmtt that’s interesting. I like having DRS, but I’m not sure enough fetches are played in Vintage to support all 4 (especially in the matches where I really want the mana guys to work early, like Shops).

Hello all,

I've recently picked up this deck to run through my local game stores and some non-competitive games online. I have adopted a slightly different approach to the deck to the posters previously in this thread. The deck functions differently, as it relies on going 'all in' a lot less often.

The initial inspiration came from what has become commonly known as the Brian Kelly oath variant (@brianpk80), which eschews the pure combo of something like Fenton Oath for inevitability and a dual role as a planeswalker control deck.

The major differences between the two archetypes (Oath / Survival) are numerous, however both share a propensity to function well below acceptable levels when facing early hate (albeit slightly different hate). The solution to this problem in Oath was traditionally to fight hate with cards (as Dredge would do with its own hate problems), however the major innovation recently was to sidestep the hate and simply cast the creatures being hated out. Although I have seen other post that Survival is not a purely graveyard based deck, which I agree with, it does function best when utilising the graveyard.

Thus I took the inital shell of Survival, and tried to streamline a deck that relied on raw power G1, whilst switching to a Blue control deck after.

The cards that I pinpointed to having limited impact post graveyard hate are Bazaar and Vengevine (albeit still castable as a 4/4 for 4)

The intial 20 cards as identified by @wfain are the core of the deck G1:

Survival Package
4 Bazaar
4 SotF
4 Vengevine
4 Hollow One
4 Basking Rootwalla

Planeswalker Package:
2 Dack Fayden

Blue/Green Control Package:
1 Ancestral
1 Brainstorm
4 FoW
1 Deep Analysis
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Ponder
4 Preordain
1 Time Walk
1 Sylvan Library

Alternate Win Con:
1 Monastery Mentor

5 moxen
1 Black Lotus
4 Tropical Island
2 Volcanic Island
2 Tundra
6 Fetchlands

1 Ancient Grudge

4 Containment Priest
1 Kataki
2 Scab-Clan
2 Energy Flux
2 Mindbreak Trap
2 Pyroblast
1 Island
1 Stony Silence

As you can see above the concept revolves around reducing the number of conditionally good cards (Thalia, Squee, Thorn etc.) for objectively powerful filtering blue cards (Ponder, Preordain, Brainstorm) which allow for a smoother trandition to a blue control deck, light countermagic suite pre-board (Fow) and post-board (pyroblast, mindbreak trap), pure card drawing (Ancestral, Deep Analysis, Sylvan) and of course a fetchland base.

The list if of course rounded off by powerful planeswalkers that in the case of dack play the role of Bazaar 5 and 6, as well as restealing back lost Hollowed ones.

Jace is an alternate win con.

Mentor is the secondary alternate win con.

Thanks for reading and I hope people have a play with these types of possibilities.


last edited by Guest

Maybe I’m wrong but at a glance it looks like you’re just doing two things worse. Aren’t you a worse blue deck and a worse Survival/Bazaar deck? It’s interesting, but honestly I’d cut Survival. You aren’t doing anything with it. Breakthrough or Frantic Search would be better with so few creatures and no bullets to search for. I do, however, think a FoW version should at least consider Prized Amalgam.

last edited by wfain

@wfain said in Survival Salad:

Maybe I’m wrong but at a glance it looks like you’re just doing two things worse. Aren’t you a worse blue deck and a worse Survival/Bazaar deck? It’s interesting, but honestly I’d cut Survival. You aren’t doing anything with it. Breakthrough or Frantic Search would be better with so few creatures and no bullets to search for. I do, however, think a FoW version should at least consider Prized Amalgam.

I have been thinking about a FoW version as well, but I hate to think of what needs to go right to make Prized Amalgam fit into the deck. The only triggers would be Vengevines, and when you start to add other dudes like bloodghast or gravecrawler, you are adding lots more non-blue cards.

If I was going to make a list of immediately good blue cards to add I'd start with Ancestral, Walk, Cruise, Wonder, FoW, Misstep and Judge's Familiar. If you pick 12-16 blue cards to run in the deck to support FoW, you are going to be severely short on creatures to use for Survival and VV recursion unless you just start with 4 Judge's Familiar.

@ritter I played a version with Gravecrawler. It was fine. I think there is a list up in the thread somewhere.

@wfain said in Survival Salad:

@ritter I played a version with Gravecrawler. It was fine. I think there is a list up in the thread somewhere.

I think a list with Gravecrawler and Amalgam could be great, I'm just not convinced you can squeeze FoW in there as well.

I'm thinking of taking the list to a more hatebears place, including 3 MD Thalia and 3 MD Stony Silence to start. With 3 MD Stony Silence, Kataki gets a lot better, so I've been playing one MD over Ancient Grudge cutting red aside from Squee. With this configuration, Manglehorn gets a little worse and harder to cast, so that probably goes to the board or maybe gets cut entirely. Another card that could be good is Grand Abolisher, kinda going the Defense Grid route you see DPS take, running anti-FoW cards instead of FoW itself.

@ritter That’s why I have the Pyroblasts (in addition to countering PO). I moved off Manglehorn a while ago. The 3 mana cards (Leo, Kambal, Queller, etc) are too slow vs Outcome decks. Grudge and Pyroblast are much more functional.


This is where I kinda wanna go for one branch of what this deck could look like. I've already played a few league matches and would cut the grand abolisher as well as the 4th sb stony silence. I feel bad about cutting the stony silence, but I've had them pile up too many times in my hand. I'd also cut the spell queller, it just sits in my hand uncastable most of the time.

The cards I'm using past the core 20 are just an impersonation of a tax package you might find in white eldrazi or shops. All I really want to do is start going crazy with a bazaar or survival as fast as I can while stopping my opponent from going crazier at a faster pace than me. When I lose, the #1 reason is getting FoW'd at the worst possible times and then having no choice but to play draw go until I find more lands that make mana (maybe 3 is too many ESG), or action that can swing me back into the game. I almost want to go back into red to run goblin rabblemaster, a dude that can just take over a game on an unchecked board.

If you're not gonna run a tax package, you can try to run countermagic to try and stall the game to the point where you have flooded the board with VV and hopefully won the game. That list is going to still have that core 20 cards, but past that I can imagine a deck that goes real heavy in blue to support FoW (disputable, but probably 16 cards), or maybe just runs missteps and mindbreak traps.

@ritter if your trying to add goblin rabblemaster, maybe the new Najeela, the blade blossom is for you. She kills way quicker than rabbleman when unimpeded. Worth a thought!

@punchilleno barring other warriors, does it kill faster? Rabbles does 1,6,8,10. she does 0,4,6,10. barring activating her ability, of course.

last edited by BlindTherapy

If you want an unchecked beater, isn't Goyf or Tasigur just plain out better than a Grey Ogre?

@serracollector Well as it turns out, Goblin Rabblemaster and Grey Ogre have different text.

Also, if you manage to cast a Squee, he's a goblin so your rabblemath would need to be updated.

Mandrills is sweet because it can be cast for G, Goyf is sweet because he can become a monster under the right circumstances for 1G. Rabble costs more than both, but provides additional value past his own body. Tasigur is probably just a smaller version of Gurmag Angler in this list as activating his 4 mana ability is not ideally where you want to be. Both Tasigur and Angler require black mana to cast which is somewhat of a downside. If I was going to pick a dude like Tasigur, I'd probably just go with the Angler instead.

The deck may just not have enough surprise value anymore, and as people on MTGO move away from SB options that target shops and PO, the incidental hate towards creature strategies goes up. I have seen a ton more plows, peacekeepers!, and sweepers (pyroclasm, verdict, deluge) recently, and it doesn't take a whole lot to throw off our game plan. Survival decks are going to need to adjust and evolve, and won't be able to bank on people making bad SB decisions and not really understanding how the combos work for long.

I have been having a real hard time against Jeskai Mentor and basically any deck that runs plows and snaps with FoW. I have lost games where I dropped 12 power on board turn 2, and I have been ultimated by a JTMS more than once. Survival at its core is not a control deck, but also lacks the focused aggro plan you might see from a deck like humans or fish. This shoves it into a weird place between combo and aggro/control.

last edited by Ritter

@ritter Play more Dyrad Militant for a start! She is really good against jeskai. Secondly, sweepers shouldn’t impact you unless they are backed up by RiP. Your plan against jeskai is to grind resources with your Thalias and random attackers while building towards a great VV/Survival turn where they can’t deal with all of them. Try not expose them one at a time, instead work to get 3+ all at once. Obviously if you have a 9+ power Bazaar hand on t1 you go for it, but make sure you build up a hand to fight back if they deal with that. Don’t be super aggressive with Bazaar if you don’t have Squee, do it when you want to filter bad cards.

In general- I encourage people to STOP 🚫 playing 3 cmc dudes you have to hard cast (like Manglehorn, Kambal, Queller, etc), at least in the main. They’re too hard to cast on time when you have to play Bazaar too. Instead opt for things like Mandrills, Dryad Militant, and Ingot Chewer- highish impact for 1/2 mana is better than super high impact for 3 cmc that you never cast.

For me the URw matchups (mentor/YP) are still pretty good. Actually they got a LOT better for me with DRS and dryad militant. I expected to have a little bit of problem with DRS mana-generating, but I've so far not noticed that problem. What I've noticed is that it's inclusion have improved my win rate. Do you guys have ideas for a black splash that would make this deck better? I've been wondering, as I've included a bayou to get the DRS activation mana, if there's something that would be worth splashing the color. I've played against GBxx versions of this deck, but at least in the mirror they were horribly bad, and brought nothing worth splashing for. But maybe there's something there that would make the splash worth it.

I totally agree with wfain in regards to the 3cmc spells, they are just never worth playing. If you play a silver bullet that's 3cmc hoping to get it with survival, well, if you have 4 mana to spend on survival you probably have better things to do. Which may include paying 2 mana on extra survival targets + ingot chewer, or paying 1 mana on other targets and getting thalia into play. Or just paying 4 mana to get 3 vengevine, 1 rootwalla and 1 hollow one into play, which is at the very least ok.

One thing I really was surprised was how good pyroblast has been. I didn't even consider it something in the first time I was getting this deck together, as there's no misstep to fight the "misstep wars". But it seems like usually people don't expect it and sometimes they can't even play around it (too much pressure) and waste their missteps in other 1 drops. And if they force the pyroblast, you kinda countered a force with a 1 mana spell, which is great. That being said, countering a walker, recall, outcome or force with pyroblast in an essentially naya deck is AWESOME!

I've been noticing how good thalia is against the blue decks. That's pretty obvious of course, but what I mean is that I will be trying the 4th copy of it, probably on the sideboard. The "non-combo-dependant" disruption + aggression (on vintage a 2/1 first striker is kind of a bully) have been ridiculous.


Thalia's been great, DRS, pyroblast and no 3cmc spells have become kinda no-brainer to me.

@GutoCmtt @wfain Would you mind posting a list? It sounds like you are running the full 5 colors with Thalia, Pyroblast, DRS etc., and I'm interested to see how you allocated spots for ESG, DRS, and your lands. I've also been thinking a lot about off color moxen and a 5C list could potentially run all of them. I've found that emerald and pearl are great, while the rest go from game breaking on T1 to worse than a green producing land mid to late game.

Has anyone been trying Riftstone Portal recently? It was a staple of lists near the top of this thread, and kinda died off. I've been running a singleton and it has definitely been better than another fetch. If you are running DRS, I can see an extra fetch being more valuable, especially if you are color fixing for a 5C list.

last edited by Ritter

@ritter 0_1534440998834_025D8E29-3EF3-4ECE-B367-40E993E16546.jpeg
I’ve since gone back to Containment Priest instead of Crypt. That opened up a spot but I forgot what I used it on.

last edited by wfain

@ritter I haven't tried riftstone portal, but it seems as good with bazaar as it seem bad without it. It's like an extra land drop when you have an early bazaar into survival. But many times you get to keep a 1 land hand with off-color mox and some mana dork, and with riftstone you just wouldn't be able to do so.

The list I'm running atm is:


last edited by GutoCmtt
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