Hello all, wanted to share a survival list I played yesterday to a Top 8 finish.
The event was the Bearded Dragon vintage for a Mox event in NJ. We had 37 players (I believe) and played six rounds. I went 4-1-1 (last round intentional draw) to make top 8. Myself and @Mike-Noble both made Top 8 on survival (though he finished much better than I did and our lists were very different. Congrats to Mike on getting to the finals in a strong field!). I ended up in 6th or 7th I think.
The list I played is as follows:
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Collector Ouphe
4 Hollow One
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Ancestral Recall
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Time Walk
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Force of Vigor
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
3 City of Brass
4 Mana Confluence
1 Tropical Island
2 Verdant Catacombs
2 Yixlid Jailer
1 Carnage Tyrant
1 Domri, Anarch of Bolas
1 Domri, Chaos Bringer
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Sudden Shock
3 Ravenous Trap
2 Null Rod
1 Strip Mine
My matches went as follows:
Round 1- infect. won 2-1 ( this was a bizarre round 1).
Round 2- UW suppression field control -won 2-1. Game one wheel of fortune on turn one let me do crazy things. Game 2. Turn one Lavinia followed by multiple spell quellers on my decays took me down. Game three. Insane bazaar hand gave me 2 hollow one, 2 vengevine, and a rootwalla turn one for a quick game.
Round 3- esper control lost 1-2. Game one was a long and very close grind but opponent got there. This was an epic game one. Involved a time twister on my part and a perfect mana drain from opponent a and great back and forth all game long. It was a game you don’t mind losing. Game 2. Domri Anarch of Bolas and carnage tyrant got to work and several hard cast vengevines which were uncounterable got me there. Game three my hand was 4x vengevine, Bazaar, hollow one, mana confluence (lets go all in). I hit a second hollow one off the bazaaar. Opponent recalled in response to vengevine triggers and hit a rav trap then he took care of my hollow ones fast. Game over basically.
Round 4 bug- won 2-1. Game one several hard cast threats and shaman got there. Game 2 loss because could not deal with 7/8 goyf (yea they were big). Game three insane bazaar hand and it was a quick end.
Round 5- UW control. Won 2-0. Game one. Lots of hollow ones and vengevines got there. Game two hardcast carnage tyrant showed his stuff for the win.
Round 6 draw
Top 8 bug lost 1-2 (excellent match of magic)
Game one I flash in wood fall primus and blow up all my opponents lands but he top decks what he needs to trophy the primus and game grinds for a while and ends with my opponent at 2 and me dead.
Game 2- domri anarch of bolas shows his stuff and basically wins me the game allowing me to cast uncounterable beaters and sudden shock clears a timely clique.
Game 3 (the fun ends)- turn one survival meets a force followed by a wasteland. Turn 2 survival resolves but I get stripped leaving only Mox ruby. Then got wasted again later on. Game grinded along but I knew I was done and died to a very diverse board of beaters.
I know the deck is very far off the normal list but it felt great all day long. Both Domri seriously impressed me and both played a role in several matches.
Carnage Tyrant was also insane and won me several games either literally or constructively.
The flash package is there because I wanted to play flash and obviously isn’t optimal but damn it was fun putting it on the stack and watcing the opponent instantly wonder “what is possibly going on now” lol.
Also I didn’t play misstep because I hate misstep and I love abrupt decay. For better or worse. Lol.
I’ll be glad to answer any questions. I know the list looks insane but I will gladly defend my choices and answer any questions.
Happy Brewing as always!
@wfain thanks for the input. so DRS was actually good for me all day, however, I will admit that the mana base is definitely wacky and could use some refining. I went with so many rainbow lands in an attempt to avoid an inability to fix my colors. DRS let me somewhat hedge against wastelands and use my opponents fetches to feed my mana needs. I was anticipating a bug heavy field which turned out to be the case and DRS shined in a lot of the matches so he was a meta call even if my mana didn’t line up perfectly with him. This could have been a purely misguided thought process on my part and I got lucky or I just drew really hot but the mana was good all day despite looking crazy.
For the future I could easily run more fetches with a wider variety of duals and remove the rainbows. Taiga was definitely a card I wished I had run as a 1x at a few key points during the day.
The flash stuff was purely because I wanted it there and it’s obviously suboptimal and in the future it’s being cut.
Wonderful! I wonder if Gravecrawler is better than Bloodghast? You need a second zombie to bring them back, but it does contribute to make VV happen too? Maybe if a Hogaak turned into a Gurmag Angler? I could also imagine a copy of Zombie Infestation being reasonable if GC was the choice.
I also happen to prefer more Ouphe than FoV main, anyone care to convince me otherwise?
@Mike-Noble I eventually ended up cutting the cabal therapy from my side because they didn't have as much impact as I'd hoped. I really liked the idea when I was originally making the deck, did they perform well in your games? I may have just cut them too early and with too few games of experience.
Following @Mike-Noble 's lead, blue was removed entirely.
This frees up a lot of potential design space.
Could we use cards like tomik, elvish reclaimer, and knight of the reliquary to tutor land cards as well as protect filth and lands in that case?
Basically develop an abzan toolbox that also tutors for specialty lands (karakas, bojuka bog, urborg) via 'crop rotation' effects.
You could also utilize Anafenza in the mirror as well to prevent opposing Hogaak/VV/Bloodghast cards as well.
Please take all of this with a many grains of salt as I am very new to Vintage and a terrible Magic player in general.
Given the current high-speed meta (I was informed that MysticForge.dec and Dredge were the current boogeymen of the format), I intend to play Survival as hatebears + 2 turn clock. Here's the list as of its last iteration:
4 Hollow One
2 Collector Ouphe
2 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Containment Priest
1 Deputy of Detention
1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Mental Misstep
2 Force of Vigor
6 green fetches
2 Force of Vigor
2 Collector Ouphe
1 Yxlid Jailer
2 Containment Priest
1 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Deputy of Detention
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Dark Confidant
1 Mindbreak Trap
I've gotten some good advice and I feel like this list is fairly strong. I do have some slots that I question and I'd like some input on them.
First is Mox Ruby. I would rather this be a Noble Hierarch. I was informed that I NEED to ensure I have a strong play turn 1 and a mana dork (not including DRS as we all know that's just a 1-mana planeswalker) does not fit the bill. I think Elvish Spirit Guide is a strong alternative, but I don't know how ESG's yummy green mana compares to Mox Ruby's re-usability. Thoughts? Other alternatives?
Second, Force of Vigor. I have 2 maindeck but was advised to fit 3 (with the 4th in the SB). Is that worthwhile? If so, what would you cut to fit the 3rd?
Third, Lavinia. I love this card in this format (but with my limited experience, that doesn't mean much). I'd like 3 maindeck. Is that too greedy? My gut says "yes", but her power level says "doesn't matter, do it anyways".
SB Squee: When do I board this in? I can only forsee a need for real card advantage against BUG Control, who is probably going to exile my Squee anyways. Is this better off as another Dark Confidant?
SB Thalia: Is 2 sufficient? Despite having significant impact against many decks, she's a non-bo with Lavinia (who has MORE impact), so I'm waffling on this one. Maybe 2 is the perfect amount, for all I know.
SB Dark Confidant: Too risky in a deck of 4 and 5 drops?
SB Mindbreak Trap: Really a flex slot and an homage to the Vintage boogeyman of bygone eras. Still worthwhile? Better used differently?
Generic feedback is also welcome.
Mike is pretty much right in his post.
A couple additional thoughts: Thalia seems unimportant. I wouldn’t worry about it. Maybe another Deputy and a Trophy instead? In my opinion, your SB should try to win Dredge matches (~6-8 cards), finish off ForgeShops (~3-4), and give you either anti-hate cards or an alternate plan of attack against BUG with the remaining slots.
Thank you for the feedback!
Cutting the Mox Ruby for the green fetchland sounds great.
The SB Squee and SB Confidants were attempts at gaining some card advantage. I'm open to cutting them, but I think some recuperation/refill from Bazaars is still worthwhile. Also, card advantage seems worthwhile vs BUG. Do you have any recommendations on replacement cards? I have seen Deep Analysis in some lists...
I suppose Assassin's Trophy is indeed necessary since Deputy can't hit Tabernacle.
Thalia seems unimportant, don't worry about it? I'm afraid I don't follow. In addition to the problematic overlap with Lavinia (which makes for points AGAINST playing Thalia in the 75), Thalia is strong against blue decks where Lavinia is weak (points FOR Thalia). I heard Survival has a good matchup against BUG, is it intrinsically strong against most blue shells? If that's the case I could easily cut Thalia.
Thalía is only better than Lavinia against Xerox. That’s already a good matchup (most of the time). BUG is probably the most challenging because of DRS and Narset/Leo. Thalía isn’t very valuable there. That’s why I say don’t worry about playing it. I don’t think it is helping any relevant matchups.