HollowVine / Survivalless Survival

There's already great discussion about this deck in the main Survival thread so I don't know if it needs to be forked off, but I've been deep in this archetype later so I wanted to post something.

Sorry if attribute wrong, but I think the main contributors to the deck so far have been @wfain , @zias and HanChoBai (MTGO name, I'm unsure if they have a TMD account).

While the HollowVine deck shares a lot of cards with Survival, I think it's philosophically different, it trades away some versatility and reach, and in return gets some consistency and raw power. I'll try to keep this first post more general and then follow up with my own flavor of the deck.

core synergy

HollowVine starts with the synergy between these cards, familiar to any Survival player

vengevine triggers

Where HollowVine decks break from Survival is that they often run (maybe 4 to 😎 of additional free creatures, used to trigger the "play two creatures" clause on Vengevine. These are cards like Memnite or Stonecoil Wurm, which, frankly, are not very good on their own, but increase the likelyhood of getting a Vengevine into play on one of the first few turns.

hand fixers

HollowVine decks often borrow from the midgame to fix their opening hands with some combination of Serum Powder and Once Upon a Time

disruption, additional threats, variation and personalization

From here, lists vary widely. HollowVine hasn't coalesced into a single archetype yet, and there may just not be a clear correct build (which I personally find an exciting place to be).

With the remainder of the deck (and there's a lot of cards left), people have tried a lot of different configurations. You'll often see additional cards that take advantage of the graveyard, pushing the value of Bazaar - cards like Bloodghast, Bridge from Below, and Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis. Bridge+Hogaak form the cornerpiece of the Modern format's HollowVine deck, and there are plenty of articles written about the synergy there.

All lists run some further form of disruption, but it varies a lot between builds. HollowVine doesn't act like a pure lock or control deck, but uses disruption as a tempo play to keep the opponent one or two turns off balance while a 4/x quickly finishes them off.

A Workshop variant runs Mishra's Workshop to consistently play Sphere of Resistance effects, and a Workshop can turn otherwise weak Vengevine-triggers into real threats, with cards like Stonecoil Wurm and Walking Ballista

Lists that run more graveyard centric cards might run a pitch-counter suite, making those lists very similar to Dredge.

Myself, I've tested several variants I haven't seen published elsewhere, including a Skullclamp-centric list with lots of Gaea's Cradle, and an Eldrazi list leveraging Ancient Tomb/Sphere of Resistance and the 0-cost Vine-triggering Endless One.

I tired to figure out a version with Emry that was pretty fun, but I could never quite get it over the top.

  • 2
  • 176