White Eldrazi



  • In skimming this thread, it sounds like Shops is the worst matchup.

    This deck, when I've played against it, seems to have a painfully good game against Oath. What cards are you typically afraid to face (whether in an Oath deck or other deck)?

    I got knocked out (at 2-2) of the Power 9 today because of White Eldrazi with main-deck Containment Priest. I'm trying to figure out if this is just a 70-30 bad matchup, or if I have some options at improving the odds.


  • TMD Supporter

    @jhport12 said in White Eldrazi:

    In skimming this thread, it sounds like Shops is the worst matchup.

    This deck, when I've played against it, seems to have a painfully good game against Oath. What cards are you typically afraid to face (whether in an Oath deck or other deck)?

    I got knocked out (at 2-2) of the Power 9 today because of White Eldrazi with main-deck Containment Priest. I'm trying to figure out if this is just a 70-30 bad matchup, or if I have some options at improving the odds.

    You could try different versions of Oath. I know that on the surface Griselbrand and pals seem bad against it, but I always had better luck when my Oath targets were scarier than Sun Titan.

    I tried the Sun Titan deck for a little bit, and the games where I won by Oathing into the combo felt like games I would have won with my other decks anyway. I never had that many times where I assembled the combo without Oath, especially not enough to make me super happy about having to have Saheeli Rai in my deck.

    The tactics that worked best for me against White Eldrazi are Blazing Archon, as it's Karakas proof, and blinking it doesn't help them much. It gave me enough time to find pithing needles (of which I never run less than two in the SB).

    Engineered Explosives is decent too, as popping it for two is a good way to remove thalia and thorns all at once. Toxic Deluge is another decent play, but it is much more expensive to play through thorns so you have to be careful.

    I will note that even with everything I could do to make the matchup better it still wasn't great. I had to rely on getting the quickest possible hand. Usually a turn one Oath into something, or Show and Tell an important target just as quickly. The great thing about Griselbrand in these instances is that even if they have the Displacer or Karakas immediately, you still have a chance to draw seven cards, and that often times gave me a way to crawl back into a game.

    If you're dead-set on the Saheeli plan, you'll have to come up with a different method for dealing with the deck in the colors your playing. Engineered Explosives might be your best bet in that case. Balance is also pretty decent, but restricted obviously.



  • So far, the issue has been being able to cast spells, not whether I have put a Sun Titan vs. Griselbrand into play.

    I have also been facing White Eldrazi decks with Containment Priest main-deck, which shuts off Oath. That, combined with tax effects, has made it very hard to live long enough to land Oath and remove the Oath-hate.

    Shops decks are an easier matchup because I have 3 Dack Fayden, artifact removal, and their only hate card is Cage.

    Against White Eldrazi, sometimes I'll have a Swords in hand against a Thorn, or a Nature's Claim in hand against a Thalia. Or I have nothing in hand because TKS has taken it. It seems to be the most difficult matchup I can recall playing Oath for the past two months.



  • @Smmenen said in White Eldrazi:

    I cashed the daily yesterday with this list, and Top 16ed the January MTGO P9 event as well. I think this deck is very fun to play:

    4 Eldrazi Displacer
    1 Lodestone Golem
    3 Phyrexian Revoker
    4 Reality Smasher
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    4 Thought-Knot Seer
    4 Walking Ballista
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Sol Ring
    4 Thorn of Amethyst
    1 Trinisphère
    4 Ancient Tomb
    4 Cavern of Souls
    3 Eldrazi Temple
    2 Karakas
    4 Plains
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Wasteland

    3 Containment Priest
    2 Dismember
    2 Ghost Quarter
    3 Grafdigger's Cage
    3 Mental Misstep
    2 Null Rod

    I've fully moved the Priests into the SB. Eldrazi Displacer already holds it's own weight with it's capacity to blink out Monks, Ballistas, and more...

    SB plans:

    Against Ravager Shops:
    Add:

    • 2 Null Rod (would like more!)
    • 2 GQ
    • 2 Dismember

    Remove:

    • 4 Thorn
    • 1 Trinisphere
    • 1 Chalice (on the draw)

    Against Mentor:

    Add

    • 3 Misstep

    Remove:

    • 3 it varies depending on build, but often Revokers...

    Against PO Decks:
    Add

    • 2 Null Rod
    • 3 Misstep
    • 2 Cages

    Remove

    • 8 Reality Smasher/ Ballista

    Against Dredge:

    Add

    • 3 Priest
    • 3 Cage
    • 2 GQ
    • 3 Misstep

    Remove

    • 4 Reality Smasher
    • 4 TKS
    • 3 Revoker

    The main reason to play this deck is because it's theoretically one of the best decks you can play against PO strategies and Gush Mentor. Whereas they can simply Hurkyl's a Workshop board, Thalia can't be so bounced, and she is often uncounterable via Cavern as well.

    However, because PO decks can attack you from different angles, you'll need cards like Cage to combat Oath post-board. And Null Rod is the final nail.

    I've been testing lately with 3 Null Rods in the SB and just 1 GQ, although that weakens you a bit to the Dredge menace :) I think it may be an improvement, as you really want 6 Revoker/Null Rod effects against Ravager Shops.

    I see that you don't play Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Can you elaborate on that decision? That seems like a big mistake to me as it's one of the cards that's good in all matchups (although not so good against PO) and very good in your lesser good matchup (Shops).


  • TMD Supporter

    @Griselbrother said in White Eldrazi:

    I see that you don't play Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Can you elaborate on that decision? That seems like a big mistake to me as it's one of the cards that's good in all matchups (although not so good against PO) and very good in your lesser good matchup (Shops).

    Very simple explanation. THC is bad or weak in the field's most important matchup: Gush decks. You'll note that, for example, Paul R sideboarded it out in the VSL matches against the Gush decks he faced for that reason. Although it can generate some tempo, it has almost no long term effect on the game. I would much rather have Vryn Wingmare, Ballista, or Eldrazi Displacer in play.

    If you watch my matches in the VSL Prelim tournament, you'll see how I use Displacer as a long term card. I blink out monk tokens, and then blink out the Mentor to clear the way for an attack to win the game. All I need is Displacer and mana. THC is a speed bump, and not a very significant one, for the top flight Gush pilot.

    I would note that wappla likes it, however, in the Gush matchup. My experience, testing and theory suggests it's not very good, though. It's best when you are generating tempo, but many hands don't generate much tempo, and are more controlling, where THC is less than optimal.

    It's also absolutely dreadful against Paradoxical decks.



  • @Smmenen said in White Eldrazi:

    @Griselbrother said in White Eldrazi:

    I see that you don't play Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Can you elaborate on that decision? That seems like a big mistake to me as it's one of the cards that's good in all matchups (although not so good against PO) and very good in your lesser good matchup (Shops).

    Very simple explanation. THC is bad or weak in the field's most important matchup: Gush decks. You'll note that, for example, Paul R sideboarded it out in the VSL matches against the Gush decks he faced for that reason. Although it can generate some tempo, it has almost no long term effect on the game. I would much rather have Vryn Wingmare, Ballista, or Eldrazi Displacer in play.

    If you watch my matches in the VSL Prelim tournament, you'll see how I use Displacer as a long term card. I blink out monk tokens, and then blink out the Mentor to clear the way for an attack to win the game. All I need is Displacer and mana. THC is a speed bump, and not a very significant one, for the top flight Gush pilot.

    I would note that wappla likes it, however, in the Gush matchup. My experience, testing and theory suggests it's not very good, though. It's best when you are generating tempo, but many hands don't generate much tempo, and are more controlling, where THC is less than optimal.

    It's also absolutely dreadful against Paradoxical decks.

    I do agree that it's bad against Paradoxical Outcome, but I don't agree that it's bad against Gush strategies (well, Mentor because that's the only Gush strategy played). It's a speed bump, yes, but often significant enough to buy you enough time to win the game. But it's not just a speed bump, it's very good against Mentor itself as well.

    I don't know how much Paul plays White Eldrazi and if he's the authority to ask when it comes to White Eldrazi (and I don't mean this in an offensive way, I simply don't know), but I did notice that he did not side out Thalia 2.0 against Rachel Agnes in the VSL this week which I definitely think is correct.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Griselbrother said in White Eldrazi:

    @Smmenen said in White Eldrazi:

    @Griselbrother said in White Eldrazi:

    I see that you don't play Thalia, Heretic Cathar. Can you elaborate on that decision? That seems like a big mistake to me as it's one of the cards that's good in all matchups (although not so good against PO) and very good in your lesser good matchup (Shops).

    Very simple explanation. THC is bad or weak in the field's most important matchup: Gush decks. You'll note that, for example, Paul R sideboarded it out in the VSL matches against the Gush decks he faced for that reason. Although it can generate some tempo, it has almost no long term effect on the game. I would much rather have Vryn Wingmare, Ballista, or Eldrazi Displacer in play.

    If you watch my matches in the VSL Prelim tournament, you'll see how I use Displacer as a long term card. I blink out monk tokens, and then blink out the Mentor to clear the way for an attack to win the game. All I need is Displacer and mana. THC is a speed bump, and not a very significant one, for the top flight Gush pilot.

    I would note that wappla likes it, however, in the Gush matchup. My experience, testing and theory suggests it's not very good, though. It's best when you are generating tempo, but many hands don't generate much tempo, and are more controlling, where THC is less than optimal.

    It's also absolutely dreadful against Paradoxical decks.

    I do agree that it's bad against Paradoxical Outcome, but I don't agree that it's bad against Gush strategies (well, Mentor because that's the only Gush strategy played).

    "Good" and "Bad" may be too binary to capture the point I was trying to make. Clearly, Thalia 2.0 is useful against Mentor strategies. Specifically, 1)it slows the use of their lands, especially if they deploy Fetchlands, and 2) makes Mentors and Monks come into play tapped. It's basically Root Maze here.

    As you point out, this is useful. The question isn't whether it's useful. The question is whether that slot is the absolute best use of that slot. It's an opportunity cost question.

    I already explained my answer: I'd rather have "Vryn Wingmare, Ballista, or Eldrazi Displacer in play." The most important thing against a Gush deck is to tax their mana or directly remove or address their win conditions. Thalia does each of those things, but not well - less directly than the other options. As I said, Thalia 2.0 is strongest when you are milking a tempo advantage, but I think it's weak when you are trying to maintain control of a longer game. That's where Displacer or Ballista shine.



  • @Smmenen In a deck with no draw engine, it's actually immensely valuable to have a card that does both well. Thalia is an all-around all-star in a deck full of conditional hatebears. Having a hatebear that hates on every single opponent is a truly unique ability. She is even good against Paradoxical; they are often drawing to the one-outer of Academy. You might prefer Ballista here and Wingmare there, but you will just as often have Ballista when you need Wingmare and Wingmare when you need Ballista. This is the fundamental problem of hatebear decks. Thalia and Smasher are the two most important cards for overcoming this fundamental flaw of the archetype. (Smuggler's Copter is the third, and I've become convinced the best version of Eldrazi does run at least 3 Copter)

    You're also underestimating Thalia's peak. She doesn't single-handedly win either of the following games, but then no card can. The soft advantages you dismiss allow the deck to snowball in ways you're too easily dismissing. Who needs long term advantage when you can just kill people?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLcWS3Dc9Vc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ8NwDoLLRY



  • @wappla I've become convinced the best version of Eldrazi does run at least 3 Copter

    That is interesting. In a deck designed to "hate", Copter is essentially the opposite of what you want. It literally does stone nothing for an entire turn and seemingly only gets value when you "2 for 1" your attack phase. Curious why you think it is so vital. Is discarding spare Thalia's that important?



  • The deck isn't designed to hate. It's designed to kill people. It's an aggro deck with anti-combo cards because half the format is combo. So you are an aggro deck with 28 mana sources, and there are some basic issues trying to kill people with 28+ mana sources. Copter helps you cast your five drops and helps you avoid flooding on random bears and extra lands. The evasion is also fantastic at turning Revokers and Priests that can't get through into sources of damage. Copter is a card that has 32/32ed a GP top 8. The last cards to do that are like JTMS and Preordain.


  • TMD Supporter

    @wappla said in White Eldrazi:

    Who needs long term advantage when you can just kill people?

    The games where you can't or don't. The games, for example, where you have to beat with bear or hill giant for many turns. Or they've plowed your biggest threat.

    I understand the point of THC. I just think the games where it is optimal are outweighed by the balance of games where it is not. And the deck should be designed to shore up games where you aren't crushing them, but have to win the hard way or the long game.



  • @wappla said in White Eldrazi:

    The deck isn't designed to hate. It's designed to kill people. It's an aggro deck with anti-combo cards because half the format is combo. So you are an aggro deck with 28 mana sources, and there are some basic issues trying to kill people with 28+ mana sources. Copter helps you cast your five drops and helps you avoid flooding on random bears and extra lands. The evasion is also fantastic at turning Revokers and Priests that can't get through into sources of damage. Copter is a card that has 32/32ed a GP top 8. The last cards to do that are like JTMS and Preordain.

    wappla, what's your take on Walking Ballista in White Eldrazi?



  • I think it's fine. I'm not playing it because:

    • Copter is better and Stony Silence/Null Rod (both your own sideboarded and your opponent's) becomes a concern if you play both.
    • I'd rather not draw Ballistas when I have a Revoker on them against Workshops. And I don't want to try to out Ballista a deck with Workshop and Foundry Inspector.

    That said, Ballista is completely defensible and possibly correct if you are set against playing Copter. If you do want to play Ballista, I would find room in the 75 for a Ranger of Eos and/or Archangel Avacyn.


  • TMD Supporter

    What I like most about Ballista is what I also like most about Displacer: it's a card that is really good when you are mana flooded, which happens every so often. The absolute best Ballista's are the late game Ballista's when you have an absurd amount of mana, and you've held back a Cavern so that you can make a gigantic Ballista uncounterable.

    That said, I like playing Null Rod in the White Eldrazi SB as well, so you use Ballista and Null Rod in different matchups.



  • Yeah, my first thought was that Ballista was an automatic 4-of, but I'm currently testing out Copter instead since you (@wappla) speaks so fondly of it. I also think that Palace Jailer is very interesting and perhaps better than Ballista. It's a draw engine and it's removal (combos very well with Displacer since the exiled creature will stay exiled until your opponent becomes the monarch).

    I don't play TKS either, and I haven't missed it once since I dismissed it.



  • I played 3 matches yesterday against @Stormanimagus on cockatrice (white eldrazi vs hatebears). Thalia was key is like 8 games out of 9. Thalia + mana available was ALWAYS a win. The double loss of tempo is absolutely insane.

    I was playing 3 thalia v1 and 3 thalia v2 which seemed correct to me. this needs way more tests to figure out if the 4/4 "split" is better or not
    However, 4/4 might be right when playing 3 or 4 copter to get ride of extra copies easily
    I like SCopter on the paper but having a turn where i do not affect the board is not something i like in this deck.

    4 eldrazi temple is mandatory as you need gas to activate displacers

    TKS has an impact on both hand & board...
    Playing 0 TKS and 4 Smashers is..... weird.

    How bad is our MUD match up?



  • @CwaM said in White Eldrazi:

    I played 3 matches yesterday against @Stormanimagus on cockatrice (white eldrazi vs hatebears). Thalia was key is like 8 games out of 9. Thalia + mana available was ALWAYS a win. The double loss of tempo is absolutely insane.

    I was playing 3 thalia v1 and 3 thalia v2 which seemed correct to me. this needs way more tests to figure out if the 4/4 "split" is better or not
    However, 4/4 might be right when playing 3 or 4 copter to get ride of extra copies easily
    I like SCopter on the paper but having a turn where i do not affect the board is not something i like in this deck.

    4 eldrazi temple is mandatory as you need gas to activate displacers

    TKS has an impact on both hand & board...
    Playing 0 TKS and 4 Smashers is..... weird.

    How bad is our MUD match up?

    Thalia 2.0 is definitely key in the aggro matchups. Eldrazi vs Eldrazi often comes down to whoever gets down a Thalia 2.0 first. And then an active Displacer.

    I could be convinced that 3 Thalia 2.0 is fine, but I wouldn't go below 4 Thalia 1.0, and I do think that 4 Thalia 2.0 is correct as well.

    I don't agree with Eldrazi Temple (especially if you're not playing TKS). I'd rather have acces to additional white mana, though I guess if you are playing TKS, some number of Eldrazi Temple is correct.



  • If thalia v2.0 is key vs aggro decks, why wouldn't you be playing a 4th one in sde? or are they any dedicated card that is better against aggro?


  • Administrators

    Don't forget that this thread has seen a lot of VERY different lists pasted, and a lot of people talking about very different matchups and metagames. (Hell, when I posted this thread originally, Walking Ballista and Paradoxical Outcome weren't printed yet).

    I think it's pretty obvious that Thalia 2.0 is is good in some situations:

    • you're in a tempo-centric match/board state where being one turn ahead on attackers gives you the win.
    • you're in a situation where first strike makes combat dangerous for the opponent (for me this has been particularly notable with equipment, or in a team-up with Thalia 1.0 against Reality Smashers)
    • you're in a situation where the "comes into play tapped" ability on Thalia does more than usual (e.g. an opponent with a combo that gets shut off by it, like Saheeli+Sun Titan, or Dragon Combo [lulz])

    But it also seems pretty obvious that Thalia 2.0 is bad in some situations:

    • you're in a game state where tempo doesn't matter, or you're far enough behind on tempo that Thalia is worse than a catch-up spell (note that this can be the the case even if the matchup is tempo-centric)
    • your opponent is on a deck that's low on cards that get hit by Thalia (e.g. Paradoxical Outcome which has no creatures and gets most of its mana through artifacts)

    Of course, if people have a different read on the metagame, they think those situations are more or less important, more or less common. If you think that Workshops is already a very good matchup, you're going to place less importance on how good or bad Thalia is against Workshops, even if there's a lot of shops in your meta.

    I think it's useful, in threads like these, to be explicit about the assumptions you're making to come to your conclusion - instead of jumping ahead to "Thalia is definitely a 4-of" ... by getting a handle on WHEN a card is good, and separately, what sort of cards can be run to induce those game states to happen, people can adapt their list to handle the metagame they expect, and solve the problems they have.



  • @CwaM legend glut is brutal in a deck with zero deck manipulation. things compound themselves during mulligans. If you randomly never encounter it then you'll pick up some %, if you randomly end up with awkward 2.0,2.0,1.0,1.0,lnd, land mulligans then you will not win.


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