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.

Some variations of HollowVine play The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale. Since the deck plays only a few mana sources, the inclusion of the Tabernacle is counterintuitive. Other than supporting a strategy using Vengevines for an alpha strike, what are other reasons for including the Tabernacle?

@Chronatog It is because the deck has such a terrible Dredge matchup that you need Tabernacle to try to even come close to winning from my understanding.

I agree with @Rat3dE . I can't speak for everyone who runs The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, but it's a reasonable choice in specific matchups. Like you said, the HollowVine decks don't run a ton of mana to support a Tabernacle, but you'd bring it in only against decks that are even less equipped to handle it.

For context, there was a stretch of time where popular Dredge decks online were running literally zero outs to a Tabernacle - no mana, and no creatures with haste. I'm not sure if that's still the case today. In that sort of metagame, Tabernacle becomes a powerful card, even in a deck with almost no way to win through it, because "almost no way" beats "no way".

In this sense, Tabernacle is a kind of metagame gambit, you're risking your sideboard slot on the chance that your Dredge opponents aren't running the Strip effects or Dread Return targets that beat a Tabernacle. You'll see a lot of successful Magic Online decks making calls like these, but those calls might not translate into success in your local metagame, or a broader field like Vintage Champs, or even Magic Online as the metagame shifts a few weeks later.

@rat3de said in HollowVine / Survivalless Survival:

@Chronatog It is because the deck has such a terrible Dredge matchup that you need Tabernacle to try to even come close to winning from my understanding.

I see your point. It makes sense to have The Tabernacle instead of Leyline of the Void as Dredge was blessed with Force of Vigor. And Tormod's Crypt and Ravenous Trap are not good enough as Dredge now has more blue Forces.

However, Ichorid doesn't need Dredge to cast anything and Vengevine needs two creature spells. So while HolowVine is putting its act together under the Tabernacle, Dredge just punches into the face with those hasty Ichorids and episodically summons Ashen Rider to take care of the holy ground's protection or Flame-Kin Zealot to accelerate the assault.

From this perspective would it be more efficient to use Leyline of the Void as a more proactive/preemptive defense rather than Tabernacle that may quite passive and a little bit too late?

HollowVine also has blue Forces so while Dredge is looking for Force of Vigor plus a green card, the time HolowVine buys is critical in gaining a slight advantage over Dredge.

I can be completely wrong as I don't play much these days, but I am still unconvinced.

@brass-man said in HollowVine / Survivalless Survival:

I agree with @Rat3dE . I can't speak for everyone who runs The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale, but it's a reasonable choice in specific matchups. Like you said, the HollowVine decks don't run a ton of mana to support a Tabernacle, but you'd bring it in only against decks that are even less equipped to handle it.

It looks like partially The Tabernacle is a response to a specific metagame. Is this still the case now?

I don't play online and very irregularly play in paper so my knowledge of the metagame is quite outdated. Nevertheless, I was under impression that Dredge is getting leaner and meaner as a response to fast combos and mid-range controls, not to mentions thanks to new forces (let the force be with us).

I noticed that in the Vintage Challenge #12130342 Dredge and HollowVine 6-1'ed. It would be interesting to hear from the players, but I have no idea if PTarts2win or WingedHussar has a TMD account.

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