@Thewhitedragon69 Thanks for the catch on Defense Grid, my mind blanked!

I think I want to maintain a theme of colorless permanents, so I may test Hope of Ghirapur. I'm also currently testing some version of Ugin (Spirit Dragon, Ineffible.)

My deck may not end up being super competitive, but it certainly is fun (and fast, and consistent.)

@horologium0 That's awesome. The only issues I see with Hope are 1) you are forced to wait a turn to be protected, so it's hard to win turn 1, 2) it turns on their otherwise useless creature removal killing Hope turn 1 to have their counterspell active, 3) it doesn't ALSO answer null rod/stony silence/collector ouphe, which shuts your deck down flat. Teferi is the nice all in one package that is immune to removal, bounces the "null rod" effects, stops ALL responses on your turn, and can also do things like bouncing your mox opal for that second W/R mana to go off (while drawing a card).

I'd recommend 3x ballista main and 1 in SB with main Karn if you want to be more colorless. One reason I chose Stroke as a win con is because it's blue to pitch to FoW if needed, can be fetched with mystical or scroll, so it's like having 2 more virtual win cons, and varies kills in case a sorcerous spyglass lands, naming ballista. Ballista is just a great card on its own right and can easily be a 5/5 with the absurd mana we generate naturally. It can also be cast for 2 mana to get a cheap bounce target for PO. It's the best colorless wincon I found. Ugin is a broken card, but it doesn't win on the same turn.

A couple cool things I noticed:

  1. While deafening silence stops PO and shuts down storm cold, it does nothing to this deck but slow it (and if you are on the play, it may be a blank completely). Consider you open with land, sol ring, grim monolith, pass. Opponent plays DS. On your turn, you play land (or just use your land+mox if your mox is R/W), cast Zirda (a creature), infinite mana, cast ballista, stroke, karn -> ballista, etc. -- It ONLY stops Urza from casting more than 1 spell. If you get Urza as your only wincon in hand, you can still get a free spell or more on your opponent's turn and also your turn, which is more than enough to just grind a win.

  2. The deck is virtually immune to blood moon. Anyone that plays me (KillerKarma) on Cockatrice knows I run a welder/moon/painter deck quite often, and blood moon is an absolute house vs 90% of Vintage. But Zirda can be cast off 1RR, so you can just infinite and cast a colorless wincon easily (or stroke off a sapphire/lotus/opal). That's an absurdly great side effect of the hybrid mana of Zirda.

  3. The ONE big weakness of the deck is Containment Priest. It keeps Zirda in the SB. You can still win without Zirda, and between FoW and Teferi, you should be able to stop CP, but it is an available answer card, if nothing more than a speed bump.

Some cards I considered and might still try to squeeze in (for the UWg build):
Sensei's top
Orim's Chant
Some giant tinkerbot with an activated ability
Brain Freeze (since you can just PO storm like crazy)
Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy (since it combos with basalt monolith for infinite mana too)
Kozilek, the Great Distortion
Spawnsire of Ulamog (with Emrakul, Aeons Torn in the sideboard)

*Update - I just tried some of the above cards. -1 PO (sub for Kozilek), -1 Preordain (sub for Sensei top), -1 Urza (sub for Spawnsire & -1 hurkyls in SB for Emrakul). These lead to even more broken paths. Channel into Kozilek is bonkers. Spawnsire is more castable than Urza once you've gone infinite and the Emrakul from the SB means you swing with annihilator 6 and 22 damage on the board turn 1. Just WOW. I think the genie is out of the bottle and Vintage is broken. Can't even restrict Zirda as it is a SB 1-of. They can re-restrict grim monolith, and I don't even think that matters. Would they really restict BASALT monolith too? THIS DECK IS SO NUTS!

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

@Thewhitedragon69 You've discovered my win condition! I have 4x Spawnsire of Ulamog main, and I fetch Emrakul, Ulamog, and Kozilek from the side with its ability. And in case I can't pass the turn (for example, if I double pact and won't have mana to pay next turn,) I also have Forerunner of Slaughter. For 1 colorless, I can give each of the Eldrazi haste, which would end the game immediately.

edit: Also, does containment priest stop Zirda as you noted? You are casting it from your sideboard, which circumvents Containment Priest's ability. Unless, of course, I am interpreting the interaction incorrectly.

last edited by Horologium0

eldrazi stuff seems very cute, but is it better than walking ballista or another X spell that doesn't need multiple sideboard slots to complete? either it or spawnsire need to resolve to work; i think playing emrakul the aeons torn maindeck is safer than spawnsire, as the payoff spell itself is uncounterable.

priest does not stop zirda from being cast from the sideboard.

@horologium0 Oh snap - CP doesn't stop it. I was thinking it stopped everything not cast from hand. But anything cast from anywhere still works.

Per the card's rulings:

  • Containment Priest’s last ability won’t affect any creatures that were cast, including ones cast from unusual zones such as your graveyard.

That does it. Vintage is broken. Every deck will be Standstill (to just 12x counter Zirda), THIS MONSTROSITY, or 4x stony/4x Ouphe/4x Null rod.dec

Yeah, that's hyperbole...or is it?

@Horologium0 I Am still running 1 Urza in case of 1) if ceremonious rejection becomes a popular answer, 2) If we DO get flooded with null rod effects by the opponent. Then at least outside of teferi being unable to remove all the rod effects, you can at least get a 1/4 for just 4 mana that makes a giant construct out of all your dead artifact rocks and has an ability that costs only 3 to use (if you have Zirda in play). I think if we have infinite mana, we win more times than not with either Urza or Spawnsire in hand, but on the chance null rod hits and we can't remove it, it is at least a viable plan B.

Are there any good ways outside of Teferi to get rid of problematic null rods? I was running repeals in draft 1.0, but realized Teferi just offered so much more upside with the same effect for the same 3cmc that I went to 4 teferi and never looked back. Maybe there's another permanent with an ability that handles ouphe, stony, and null rod in one card? Something fetchable with Karn perhaps, but Spine of Ish Sah seems really expensive if we have our mana rocks shut off. Thoughts?

last edited by Thewhitedragon69

@blindtherapy You can't run Emrakul main - it has no activated ability (per Zirda's condition). The key would be to vary win cons since Sorcerous Spyglass is a thing and not uncommon. I run 1 ballista main and 1 SB (to fetch with Karn), but also 1 stroke, 1 Urza, and 1 Spawnsire now. That way opponents with a spyglass have to pick their poison and likely die that turn or next anyway. If your win cons are just 4x spawnsire or 4x ballista, you may be up shitz creek without a paddle. Using Spawnsire also dodges Leyline of Sanctity, which stops the ballista and stroke kills.

@Horologium0 I highly recommend a main Kozilek. It's not hard to get to 10 mana naturally, it is an extra busted channel funnel (beyond Karn -> lattice), and its ability to counter spells helps protect the Zirda combo/lock up the game. You can just land/mox/channel/kozilek, refill your hand, and have a 2 turn clock with a full hand and the ability to protect. The angles and resiliency this deck has is just...beyond dumb. LOL I'm goldfishing and mulling to FOUR and still getting turn 2 kills. This is STUPID!

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Time to run Helix Pinacle or too slow?

@serracollector With infinite mana, you want to kill on the spot. If they have a counter, the opponent is going to counter Zirda, not the kill condition. If they have removal, it doesn't matter, so shroud doesn't help here. This is also vulnerable to Force of Negation, whereas Ballista and Spawnsire are not.

@blindtherapy said in [IKO] Zirda, the Dawnwaker:

eldrazi stuff seems very cute, but is it better than walking ballista or another X spell that doesn't need multiple sideboard slots to complete? either it or spawnsire need to resolve to work; i think playing emrakul the aeons torn maindeck is safer than spawnsire, as the payoff spell itself is uncounterable.

Time to start running Sudden Shock to deal with Zidra? I feel like most of these lists so far are relying on the fact that if you land Zidra you can win through removal and have no way to bring her back, so split second removal can really mess up that plan. Shock has a lot of utility outside of Zidra as well, as it is a great way to deal with a mentor with its first trigger on the stack or random planeswalkers with 2 or fewer counters on them.

Then again, unearth can just pull her back so maybe that merits a slot?

@Protoaddict Zirda is 3/3, so unless you have double sudden shock I’m not sure that plan is going to be sufficient.

Crap, the pic I was looking at was much lower quality, looked like a 2. Well there goes that good idea.

Is it time we start discussing as a community how the restricted list can no longer save the format from being degenerate and only delay the inevitable need for a fundamental format change like moving to singleton or 80 card decks or something? We now have basically have two different 1 card "I win" combos in the format because one card is in the board and cannot be interacted with prior to going off:

Karn into Lattice
Zirda into Monolith(s)

We also have a few cards that are also virtually 1 card win combos including the recently restricted Mystic Forge

Both combos play really well with each other and can have turn 1 wins, and play well with a lot of other cards that are traditionally broken but only in limited scenarios like channel. In both cases the restricted list did not stop the combo, just the frequency. At what point do we send up the warning flare.

I would also mention that the way Zidra is slotting into the format right now is the same way that Lutri was fitting into EDH (basically free for any deck that had the colors with no restriction) and also the reason he was preemptively banned.

@protoaddict I don't think we need that discussion because of what your solutions are, which are the only solutions there could be. It's not "how do we save vintage" as much as "let's scrap Vintage as a format altogether and just play highlander." A fundamental change of that magnitude is basically just saying "let's play a whole new format that allows older cards." We already have Old School if you want that. If you want to avoid the degenerate broken, we have Modern, Pioneer, etc. If you want a format that allows all the old cards, but still uses all the new cards, and has no broken power issues...well, I want a mansion, yacht, and a Ferrari.

I think we'll have to see how problematic Zirda really becomes. I suspect that it will be a big issue as the consistency rate of the deck I posted is phenomenally stupid. You could always restrict grim monolith again, and then it does lose some consistency and speed. You could restrict basalt monolith too, and now you've nerfed the deck considerably. Alternately, you could print a split-second lightning bolt - maybe costs 1RR and the red is phyrexian mana - so it's like a dismember cost. I think in the mean time, if the deck really takes off, then you have humans running up to 12 null rods and other disruptive elements. Maybe they print a card that says "Spells may only be cast from a player's hand."

There are many options to fix issues made by new printings without nuking the format and making everyone play EDH instead.

@protoaddict i think zirda is noticably different from karn as a combo card(ignoring all the other things karn does). karn is effectively a modal card with its wish function, while zirda is just there.

I don't think Zirda compares to (EDH)Lutri. the big problem with Lutri is that it had no real deckbuilding restriction; Zirda stops people from putting mentor, defense grid, and other cards in their deck, and takes up slots in the maindeck for the combo in a way that Lutri would not have in EDH.

Here are a list of cards I have seen people play a game of Vintage with, which can be cast off of a Cavern of Souls naming Fox or Elemental, and have an activated ability.

Nivmagus Elemental

Okay I didn't say I saw anyone win a game of Vintage with them.

@brass-man you forgot chameleon colossus and mirror entity

@brass-man said in [IKO] Zirda, the Dawnwaker:

Here are a list of cards I have seen people play a game of Vintage with, which can be cast off of a Cavern of Souls naming Fox or Elemental, and have an activated ability.

Nivmagus Elemental

Okay I didn't say I saw anyone win a game of Vintage with them.

This is not the list for it but NivMagus Elemental is a perfectly cromulent card in many eternal format. It would never surprise me to see that in a top 8 list.

Ingot Chewer and Wispmare have won many games as elementals off of Cavern.

@vaughnbros yes, but neither has an activated ability

Updated list:

// V_1_Monolith Combo

// 61 Maindeck
// 23 Artifact
3 Basalt Monolith
4 Grim Monolith
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
3 Mox Opal
1 Black Lotus
1 Sol Ring
1 Mana Crypt
1 Time Vault
2 Manifold Key
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Jet
1 Memory Jar
1 Sensei's Divining Top

// 4 Creature
2 Walking Ballista
1 Kozilek, the Great Distortion
1 Spawnsire of Ulamog

// 10 Instant
2 Paradoxical Outcome
1 Mystical Tutor
4 Force of Will
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Stroke of Genius

// 13 Land
1 Tolarian Academy
1 Misty Rainforest
2 Tropical Island
1 Island
4 Tundra
2 Polluted Delta
1 Flooded Strand
1 Scalding Tarn

// 4 Planeswalker
1 Karn, the Great Creator
3 Teferi, Time Raveler

// 7 Sorcery
1 Channel
1 Time Walk
1 Tinker
1 Ponder
1 Merchant Scroll
1 Timetwister
1 Gitaxian Probe

// 15 Sideboard
// 1 Artifact
SB: 1 Mycosynth Lattice

// 4 Creature
SB: 1 Zirda, the Dawnwaker
SB: 1 Walking Ballista
SB: 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
SB: 1 Sphinx of the Steel Wind

// 5 Instant
SB: 1 Hurkyl's Recall
SB: 4 Orim's Chant

// 4 Planeswalker
SB: 1 Narset, Parter of Veils
SB: 3 Oko, Thief of Crowns

// 1 Sorcery
SB: 1 Balance

Turns out, 8x monolith is really more than you need. You almost always get one in your top 7, or can mull into it, and running 1 more doesn't add enough to the % to justify losing a spell slot. I've been happy with 7.

Urza got cut for Ballista #2...the UU is often too hard to get the same turn as WW, but the infinite colorless needs sinks.

I decided to try orim's chants in the SB as extra combo protection. Force of Vigor hurts, and the pitch-bazaar decks run far too many counters/vigors main to rely on FoW alone. Teferi helps, but it rarely lives a turn vs hollowvine decks, and you need the 1WU + WW in the same turn for that to matter. Chant helps.

Oko in the side helps kill rods/ouphes. Rod decks really hurt, and you need to permanently remove them, not just bounce them for 1 turn a lot of times. BUG is tough, though not the end of the world. I've found Hollowvine to actually be the toughest match with 12 pitch spells and a fast clock. I added sphinx as a tinker target, because, although you can't use Zirda as a companion then, you can SB in Okos, Sphinx, Zirda, etc., and have a better chance of winning with Sphinx in play. BUG/BUGr and hollowvine have a very tough time vs Sphinx.

I cut misstep, which may be a mistake, but stopping the opponent is less important than protecting the win, since you are usually faster and misstep doesn't stop null rod/ouphe anyway.

The deck still needs work, but is still being pretty consistent and degenerate. Zirda is still insane, if you can land him. Any thoughts?

last edited by Thewhitedragon69
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