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 Rootwalla
4 Vengevine
4 Hollow One
1 Wonder
1 Squee

4 DRS
2 Collector Ouphe
2 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Containment Priest
1 Leovold
1 Deputy of Detention

1 Lotus
5 Moxen
1 Petal

1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Mental Misstep
2 Force of Vigor
4 Survival

6 green fetches
2 Savannah
2 Trop
1 Bayou
1 Forest
4 Bazaar

SB:
2 Force of Vigor
2 Collector Ouphe
1 Yxlid Jailer
2 Containment Priest
1 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Deputy of Detention
1 Squee
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.

@mirrislegend
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.

last edited by mirrislegend

@mirrislegend

A few cards that can refill your hand that I have had success with are Deep Analysis (already mentioned), Sylvan Library, and Chart a Course.

@mirrislegend
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.

Ah that makes more sense. Ok, cutting Thalia seems fine.

While trying to evaluate the choices available for card advantage, I realized that I'm missing context. Against which matchups do I explicitly board in card advantage?

@mirrislegend
That’s a tough one to answer. Used to be great vs BUG style and Xerox decks. Also against Oath. Now those decks all have Narset and/or Leo so it isn’t as helpful. Personally I prefer ways to answer those problems.

@Mike-Noble: I don't plan on playing Hogaak. I'd bet I'm wrong and that Gaak is optimal, but I can't help but feel that Survival doesn't need more clock. So I'm attempting to hate and interact and such.

@wfain: You brought up EXACTLY the issues I was pondering. That's why Squee and Dark Confidant were the card advantage sources of choice.

@mirrislegend
I’ve played 1-2 copies of Hogaak in the more traditional shell and he is good. Sometimes you have to beat Tarmogoyf when they have DRS to keep you off Wonder.

I think we may have some interesting things to discuss with this new B&R.

@Mike-Noble: what's DPS?

Anyways, turnout was pretty low, but it could have been worse.

I went 1-1-1 to make T4. Lost Round 1 to Dredge (excellent pilot), drew round 2 against an excruciatingly slow Jedi Knights pilot, and crushed PO round 3. Lost in T4 to the same dredge guy. Damn that deck is intense.

I didn't get to do much by way of Bazaar or Survival shenanigans, which was unfortunate.

If super fast combo decks are now less likely (with the exception of Dredge), maybe I should cut white for a more stable and consistent plan. Maybe go to 3 or 4 Leovold in the 75 instead. And play some Ravenous Traps!

last edited by mirrislegend

@mike-noble perhaps the OG Thalia version is closer to correct now. Who knows? Maybe 3 Thalia, 3 Ouphe is where you want to be?

I think this B&R announcement was probably close to the best possible. And Yeah, I think I'd go back to the original thalia builds too. Blue seems really hard without misstep to help keeping the count up for FoW. Actually I've always thought misstep was better than fow in the blue version, but anyways.

There's still the green force and the ouphe as good cards we got since we went away from the thalia versions and those will probably come in.

I played some matches yesterday after a few weeks with almost no play and wasn't really excited. Matches felt too trivial (blue decks), too stupid (but I guess dredge is not dead yet) or too uncontrollable (karn). But now things look nice again, and maybe even fun!

@gutocmtt @Mike-Noble
The other card that I think really picks up value for us is Pyroblast. Seems reasonable to rock 3 in the board strictly to fight PO (which I expect to pick up some)

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