I'm just starting to think about this deck so forgive me if this is silly, but for the blue version has anyone just tried snapcaster mage and/or spellseeker? These add to the blue count, can be found by survival, and let you tutor for and replay ancestral and time walk. Might this be better than treasure cruise if you already run ancestral?
@marcb that is definitely something I was think about earlier, the problem is having 3 mana and UU is not trivial in this deck. You also run the issue of if you have Survival and the mana to do all that you could just make a bunch of dudes instead. Add that to the low spell count and I think those cards are not where you want to be.
Of those 2, spellseeker sounds better. When you have 1-ofs, you usually mean to grab then with survival. The only time you will spend 4 or 5 mana to a recall with survival online, is when there is some hate assembled. As most of the survival hates get snapcaster, you will probably want to fetch spellseeker, which would be fine considering it would 'replace' a creature with a recall. But still, I don't think that's enough. Also, the 5 mana it takes probably means you would have to take 2 or 3 turns to do that.
Poor Squee, he's already got that face and you put him alone ;(
That's because @wfain is a monster.
Just played a league with the list from kaluma's stream and I really liked it. Phantasmal and containment priest made me run more confidence against tinker (while still losing, but variance hits every deck), and I guess it would be nice against oath and it's blue to force.
PI has consistently impressed. It answers a lot of the problems of the deck without being pure trash outside of problem situations. 1U 4/3 haste is for real.
Btw, I really liked your idea of hurkyl's in the side. Hurkyl end step to survival with nothing holding you back, and even have another turn until your opponent be able to attack again. I mean, energy flux is kinda lights out for shops when you play it, but it's 3 mana against a deck with wasteland, sphere, revoker... And sometimes hurkyl would save you when flux wouldn't. I'll definitely try it for my next league on flux's spot!
I like the idea of Hurkyl's (and we certainly do enter a Hurkyls->you're dead kind of state). Worth trying (I think it's wrong), but worth trying, as Hurkyl's x2+Trygon+removal gives pretty good game.
I also hate only 12 mana producing lands. It's possible that it's right, and 4 mox is correct, but I hate only 12 lands.
Re: Cruise--I've found that it's one of the worst cards early and one of the best cards late. Deep Analysis isn't insanity to play, and worth trying. I think Brainstorm is pretty overrated, tbh, as you want to brainstorm with a full hand, and Survival does not have a full hand all the time. I'd cut Brainstorm before I cut Cruise.
@neo_altoid i've liked cruise a lot and i think it's an easy include. heck, i'd been playing it in Bant versions over mandrills. Drawing 3 cards is just good. there are times when you need to evaluate your bazaar cards and think "are 3 random cards better than the X i have access to right now?"
Phantasmal image has impress me as well. I came with low expectations though. It seems to be a little "win-more" as just a value creature - you need to already have a big guy on board for it to be good, copying deathrite is medium. As a bullet card it's been pretty solid - i used it to copy a Sphinx once (but then it got jace'd and I lost), and I almost used it to copy a Reality Smasher for lethal, but was wasted off blue mana.
Hurkyls/ Shops hate/ Mana producing lands all kind of fall into the same boat. If you expect a lot of shops, the blue version is slightly worse than other versions. You are cutting back on mana sources and creatures for blue cards which range from "okay" to "really bad" against shops. Luckily, shops does not seem to be a major player in the online meta right now (thanks PO?). If you are trying to maximize your win% against shops while still playing the blue cards, play all 4 deathrites, and from there, maybe energy flux, maybe hurkyls, maybe a pile of nature's claims? I splashed a couple grudges btw the main/side in the blue list for a league, so maybe that's a good option too.
@rat3de I can't see that being worth it, it's a land that doesn't produce green mana. Our lands should be either bazaar or green mana-producing, otherwise our survivals will get worse and our other spells would be worse to cast. A lot of times we are discarding tons of lands to bazaar, but a lot of times we don't get to chose the lands we will have. And lots of times we keep hands with 1 land and mox(en) to help cast our non-creature magics.
Other thing is that matchups where our shaman or leovold would get countered are already favorable to us (usually some xerox or control deck).
PS.: The only way to cast hollow one with cavern would be with only 1 or 2 activations of survival or paying the full 5, as we are not allowed to pay mana for it if it costs 0.
@rat3de Grindy matchups remind me of lightning bolt. I don't know, seems slow and fragile. But maybe with some more thought on it, it could be made viable, but I don't see it right now.
There's one thing I was wondering... Currently we are using 2 kinds of builds: counters and taxing (which can be divided into the old stony silence or the grudge version). And I honestly think those builds are near optimal for it's purpose. I'm not saying there isn't space for innovation. I just think that innovation probably will have to take other routes.
One of those routes may be something focused on assembling the combo, with resources to make it work earlier, search for it, destroy hate. I think it's way more viable now as we got the catch-all assassin's trophy, as every other card has some weak spot, like nature's claim not destroying jailer and priest, decay not destroying leyline, etc. Maybe get back to the idea of crop rotation? Lately I feel like my recalls aren't getting countered and my missteps are not getting much resistence. Maybe that's time for it to come back. With black we got demonic tutor too, and other really great cards.
I'm not saying I will go to that direction, but for others who have energy to pursuit another build (I'm focusing on getting better at the BUG, maybe I'll try others soon too), I think maybe you should change your approach. Just maybe. And maybe there is another way of building countering/taxing survival decks better than the ones we have, but I'm feeling there will be only small improvements, maybe other approachs to the SB, but that the core is pretty close to ideal.
@gutocmtt I agree with this completely. Bant/Stony build is consistent, has good mana, good plan against shops in the SB, tries to dodge Tinker/Mentor from PO. Grudge build has greedier mana, should dunk on shops, has a reasonable plan against PO, still tries to dodge mentor but can red blast tinkers. BUG versions are weakest vs shops (still not bad though!) and have a delver-y plan against most of the field. This versions feels strongest against PO, Oath, and the mirror.
as far as innovation goes, there is probably some small tuning you can do for each of these, but improvements will be in the margins. The core is definitely very powerful and the flex cards can be adjusted to fight various metas.
if you want to take the deck in a slightly different direction you could build the flex cards to be more proactive and combo oriented. A card that hasn't been mentioned much that is very powerful in conjunction with survival is Lion's Eye Diamond - you can crack LED with a survival activation on the stack for a pile of VV's. Heavy crop rotation builds could also be viable as in a Bazaar focused deck. You could also maybe try for a dredge/survival mashup?
@kaluma I have actually been thinking recently about the Dredge/Survival mashup, I think it would be super interesting but just a bad version of both. It would be super hard I think to trigger VV in dredge because you are not casting the creatures most of the time. Also @wfain I agree that could be cool but I think it may be to slow to function properly.
I played 2 or 3 leagues with deep analysis and I remember seeing it about 6 times. One of them was in a hand that I had to mulligan (due to having it and not having survival/bazaar, but it would lead to the same outcome with TC), about 3 times it was great, and in two of them it made my opponent use his GY hate in response to fetch activation/playing mox to cast it, which is... acceptable. In all of the good situations I had bazaar.
Being realistic, without bazaar, we can barely cast TC. And in games without bazaar where we can cast TC, we probably will already have the 4 mana to cast deep analysis. Didn't feel like an awesome card, but I don't see how that slot gets better. It can make some bad situations worse by drawing into it, but it's also another nice hit for the upkeep bazaar with no cards in hand.