I'm not sure about that. With already 4 lavinia in the deck, plus recall and time walk, you already have 6 blue cards. If you put 4 fow and 4 misstep (which is kinda the basic fow package) you have already 14, then you can put somethings like phantasmal, fluster, deep analysis, treasure cruise. I mean, you don't get to that point where you have to stick awkward blue cards (as the bug version also don't).

One weird and which makes thalia bad IMO is that with thalia, free spells cast 1. I'd rather pay 1 for a spell that would be free, than not be able to play it at all. There's that other clause that's still pretty good (non-creature with cmc>land can't be cast), but you lose half of the Lavinia's power. And I dare to say, you lose the best part of her. They are both hatebears, but instead of stacking they are bad together.

Now I think we have kinda 2 main ways to go, which are counter or thalia. Unless we get to a third way, Lavinia will probably be played with fow.

BTW, Just played against PO with Lavinia+karakas. That's definitely something to watch out for, Lavinia is awesome against PO but for combo decks it also protects them against fow/misstep, and in our case, rootwalue and hollow one too. It's not lights out, but its a pretty good card against survival.

Considering they have both karakas and lavinia (which are both strong against the leovold survival), I'll stop bringing in nature's claim and instead board in assassin's trophy against PO.

That being said, do you think the Dark Confidant/DRS version might be better? Still has Leo but leans on Ancient Grudge and Pyroblast to fight PO? I liked that version better against Shops and the mirror anyways.

@wfain I'm not sure. Honestly I've having very few problems in terms of deck we're facing with this list, mostly dredge and storm. Xerox decks have been pretty favorable to me, PO is at something like 55-45, the mirror it's also very favored. I think it may be something worth trying, but as I recall it was better against shops and xerox. Maybe it's variance, but shops also is feeling pretty favorable lately, and it wasn't worse than 50-50 before as I recall correctly.

I don't think I'll play that version soon as the matches it's better against, are already favorable to me.

PS.: when I say mirror, I say versions people are playing lately, which aren't the bug one for some reason. This version is favored mostly due to DRS and misstep, what I mean is that against versions without it, it's favored.

last edited by GutoCmtt

I think my record with the Mox Diamond version is 9-1 right now. Rich put up a 4-1 on stream and Andy put up a 5-0. The deck is more aggressive, but is capable of grinding in games 2-3 with the Life from the Loam package. It is certainly a different style of play and the BUG variant continues to be good (probably better in the mirror though Lavinia has been quite good against Wallas and Hollow Ones and not having mana dorks means missteps really don't do much against you).

I wouldn't run Thalia with your Lavinias...they are a bit of a nonbo. I also dislike the Hatebear versions of Survival but that's never been my style of play. I found them easy to beat when I was running PO or crazy decks like Experimental Frenzy, beating board states with 3 Rods, a Thalia, and a Thorn or something stupid like that. I think the whole turn 1 Bazaar into 4+ power line plays well in a Delver-like Tempo deck, which is why I've been keeping the counterpackage and trying to add things like wastelands.

Banged out a quick 4-1 this morning, losing to Dredge and beating Survival, Colorless Eldrazi, UW Eldrazi, and BUG. Games that were interesting:

  • The game two loss against Dredge was weird as I was mana screwed but stalling effectively with containment priest and tormod's crypt. I used Life from the Loam to keep the opponent off of Cabal Pit mana but probably should have been more aggressive at using Loam at trying to find Bazaar or additional mana sources (I only had Strip Mine and Portal in yard).
  • I won game three against the UW Eldrazi pilot in spite of suboptimal on my part. The game plan of sticking an early Hollow One and then Life from the Loam + Wasteland locking the opponent out of the game is just really strong against Eldrazi. My opponent had a ton of hate in turn 1 Containment Priest, Grafdigger's Cage, Revoker on Survival, and both Thalias, but those don't stop Loam.
  • Game 1 against BUG involved a turn 1 Lavinia on the play and a turn 2 Basking Rootwalla with Wasteland. That was pretty much it. I had Force of Will back up but these hands are surprisingly effective at getting there. It just gets down to the Tempo game plan and Lavinia forcing the opponent to play at a crawl. Wasteland being synergistic with Lavinia was also worth noting.

I continue to build competency with Life from the Loam and Bazaar, but I keep noticing and picking up on new interactions. It's been fun, honestly.

List for reference:

alt text

@chubbyrain How is the xerox match being for your list? It's pretty bad for me when they have leyline on G2/G3 (even with trygon, claim, trophy), yesterday I played the challenge and won 2 matches and lost 1 in the swiss of the challenge against xerox, and when I lost it went poorly because my opponent managed to get leyline on both G2/G3 without mulligan, and answered everything I had.

On another game I was in a pretty bad spot, with like 15 life and a rootwalla that was holding the pyro back since the beginning of the game, my opponent with pyro, 5 tokens, cards in hand when all of a sudden: leovold showed up and completely bricked my opponent off: both in spells and combat. I feel like I can win either going off (a lot or just something like vengevine+rootwalue+hollow one in the early game) or having leovold. There were some games when I had almost no hope, and leovold managed to stop my opponent from doing anything relevant until I could take over the game back again.

I haven't had any games against Leyline out of Xerox but my strategy is almost always just to ignore whatever hate they board in against me and just adopt my game plan accordingly. I never board in Claims unless they have crazy things like Moat and As Foretold/Rest in Peace. If they hit Leylines in back to back 7s (20% chance), then I typically just try to get the job done with the other parts of the deck, using Bazaar to pitch the dead draws and casting Vengevine as a Slash Panther. Then again, I avoid cards like Treasure Cruise and Deep Analysis that get hosed by Leyline, I don't always board in the Life from the Loam package against Xerox, and will trim some Vengevines or even board in Containment Priests to up my creature count.

Leovold is better against Xerox, I agree, but I found him too slow against PO. Doesn't make either approach wrong, just makes it more of a metagame call. Frankly, I'm having a pretty tough time getting a grasp on this metagame so I don't know what approach I would recommend to someone trying to maximize their win rates.

@chubbyrain Yeah, I usually don't board in claim against them unless I see either leyline or skullclamp, in which case I board in only assassin's trophy. Though we can make our gameplan without graveyard, it's pretty tough to beat pyromancer that way. Getting caged is one thing, we can still execute our gameplan with squee and wonder being active against xerox, but without even it, their aggro/control gameplan is usually better. Considering they have claim and pithing needle it's hard to get survival online games 2 and 3. Way too hard to get more than 1 activation.

Btw, how are your numbers against PO? One thing that is pretty relevant is the difference between the leagues and the challenges meta. In the last 3 leagues I faced AT LEAST 3 xerox decks in each one of them (this was 3, the one before 4, and before it 3). Also in this one I faced 2 PO. I'm hitting the good part of the variance against PO lately, the last 5 matches were win, but I'm aware that it's no more than 55% chance of beating PO with BUG survival. I love this bug version but maybe yours is better depending on the meta (in the same way as the dark version was better than the bug for some metas)

Has anyone a link to a list of the Mox Diamond version?

Apologies if these cards have been suggested before, but I think you ought to consider:

1x Vengeful Pharaoh

You have a lot of ways to discard this guy for profit, and when that's true he makes any sort of disruptive aggro deck way, way worse. He's bad against pure aggro because you do take the damage, but where the opponent is investing in their creatures being well-protected or having disruptive effects, Pharaoh should be considered

1x Gigapede
He has a very Squee-like effect vs controlling decks and is also a huge threat against them once you hit enough mana. I'm not as confident about Gigapede as Pharaoh, but I think he merits consideration

What deck exists where you want Pharaoh? He isn’t helpful in the mirror and isn’t very good angainst Shops. What other creature decks even matter? I guess if Eldrazi were to become more popular it would be a fine way to fight them.

Why wouldn't you want Pharaoh vs Shops?

Because when they beat you it’s because they locked you out (most of the time) not because they attacked you with stuff. Our creatures are already better (aside from Ravager/Ballista stuff, which Pahroah doesn’t help against).

You need either bazaar or survival active to make good use of pharaoh. As wfain said, that's usually how we lose games. It can help sometimes. But as a matchup-specific card I think energy field does a better job.

@ajfirecracker said in Survival:

1x Gigapede
He has a very Squee-like effect vs controlling decks

I brought up Pharaoh before and opinions don't seem to have changed. I think Pharaoh's highest potential is that it's 'fine'. I could see punching back and forth with shops, and it's also a way to guarantee you have a creature in hand for Survival. But in playing i still have not had a reasonable chance to test him so i'm not sure if that grind factor really applies to shops. But, i have run out of creatures and just wished i had Bazaar to put a creature in my hand, so that's kinda cool with Pharaoh and with Gigapede. Gigapede has to have another card in hand but guarantees you get a body in hand. I just don't think that's as exciting as having another Squee because i have never been in a situation (so far. again; i don't play online so i don't play as much as much as others responding) where i'm like "welp, time to cast 5 drops old fashioned". I barely ever cast Vengevine so far.

Some random thoughts on my graveyard cards...

I think a creature with Dredge would make more sense if you wanted to just slightly bolster the GY plan from the deck. Dredge creatures give you a similar effect of Squee to guarantee a creature to pitch to Survival, while potentially also hitting a Vengevine / Wonder / ect. Golgari Brownscale is a non-traditional one that can give you some life points, and as a result stem the bleeding against other aggro decks. Or the classic, Golgari Grave-Troll gives you an endgame finisher.

A heavier splash of bolstering the GY plan, I've tested a bit, but haven't found a sweet spot. Hermit Druid is nice at times, but too inconsistent (adding the typical package of DR + Target + Therapy is too much). Gravecrawlers are nice with an active Survival to trigger Vengevines every turn, but otherwise are pretty underwhelming, I think you might need to find some other zombies that are good (I tried Fatestitcher and the Embalm Cat, but they are not good enough).

last edited by vaughnbros

I had a FoW version with Crawlers and Amalgams that was very reasonable.

Just hit another 5-0 with @GutoCmtt Bug Survial list


Matchups in order were:
Pitch Dredge (main deck leylines)
Mirror BUG survival
UR Xerox

Hit some insane hands and believe i didnt have to mull to 5 in any of my matches. probably mullinganed 3-4 times total. I believe i just got incredibly lucky. First game against pitch dredge opponent mulls 2 serum powder hands and is able to play a LotV on turn 1. Play Bazaar Turn 1 into a crazy hand getting 2 Hollow ones and a DRS.

Not to mention crazy 3 pieces of power opener hands w/ survival.

Believe i am running an older sideboard. Think i would probably run an additional Energyflux over the 3rd Null rod. Still learning the deck but its just super strong and proactive. Still trying to understand when to active Bazaar (believe this is probably the hardest part of the deck for me), but nonetheless still incredibly enjoyable.

@gnargoyles Nice! 🙂

I think I was usually not running 3 null rods. I don't like null rods that much against shops, sometimes it hurts us more than them, and sometimes it's awesome, depending on which half of the deck they drew. That being said, we still need some null rod effects for PO, which is why I was running 1 null rod (for both) and 1 stony (is better against PO, they usually run hurkyl's to bounce null rod and hollow ones). I don't think we need 3 null rod effects, I'm feeling a little bit favored against PO lately.

Those hands were really some nut draws, and sometimes we get them too 😉
Seems like you were on the good side of variance, this deck tends to mulligan quite a few times. But it's still pretty awesome.

Congrats on the result, and keep up with the training, this deck is hard to master but it's very rewarding. The hard part of it is exactly what you said, the judgement calls we have to take in regards to what matters, how low we can go on cards with bazaar, etc.

About energy flux, it's awesome when it gets into play but it's hard for that to happen when we are not in a good position. I'm actually liking more nature's claim to pick some lock pieces so that we have some chance to fight, so that we can land stuff like... energy flux.

Nowadays there are lots of Lavinias out there. Which is ironically pretty good for us. Lavinia is good against survival, no doubt about that. But decks that run lavinia are favored to us even with Lavinia, so the rise of that kind of deck makes me feel good about running bug survival.

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