White (Semi) Humans in the current meta



  • Just a few words about me and how arrived at this current iteration deck before I dive into details. I have been playing on MTGO from before Vintage was possible and the format was called 'Classic' instead. I entered Classic at the same time as the GW Hatebears was invented around the early 2010's as far as remember (in fact by a MTGO Classic player). I have always had a preference for underdog decks although I own all the cards to play pretty much everything but shops and dredge. I rarely play tournaments and Dailys due to my work and social schedule.

    This deck is tuned for what I encounter in the tournament practice room during late afternoons and evenings in Europe. Results may vary elsewhere :) I find the performance to be above par in some of the match-ups that typically pose problems for other Human decks when you have to optimize for all those match-ups. So please only see the discussions on the deck as inspiration or food for thought for your meta and what you encounter. You will not see a proven tournament deck here.

    This deck is the result from a journey from the 5C Human decks, but where I found that Iost too often to Storm, Mentor and Eldrazi. Each of those decks have each their own approach when fighting them, but only in a pure white build could I find a solution that wasn't too counterproductive when fighting the other decks on the list.

    The observations I made was:

    Eldrazi

    • 1-for-1 spot removal just doesn't seem to cut it, as all their bears are just bigger and badder on the battlefield, and I cannot out-draw them
    • Most of the hatebears have limited effect against them. Thalia, Spirit of the Labyrinth, etc, is not worth more than their merits on the battlefield itself
    • I won more games where I could LD their important lands and keep them off their most expensive Eldrazi.

    Mentor(/Pyromancer)

    • Dedicated token control cards a worthless against Eldrazi. Same with Storm as long as they are not on the Empty the Warrens plan which they tend to not be
    • Mentor could often power through Spirit of the Labyrinth and sometimes even Thalia. One lock piece down quickly that allows time to play the second was needed.
    • High number of spells per turn is needed for Mentor to be of any value (obvious, I know)

    Storm

    • On the play, even with a good hand, disruption often destroyed it, before I could play the bears, if I didn't have a Mox. On the draw start I might not ever get enough turns to play a bear (compounded with the Mox issue if they didn't go off on their first turn), so consistency is key.
    • Some of their builds doesn't care about Stony Silence or even Spirit of the Labyrinth if they chain tutors and rituals. I needed a higher anti-storm bear count, which goes against a good match-up against Eldrazi
    • High number of spells per turn is only sure shared weakness in the different storm builds (again, sorry for being Cpt. Obvious)

    All these things can be summed up to the following points that lead me to going 5C to White:

    • I need to be able to drop a relevant bear turn 1 consistently. 6 Mox/Lotus is not going to cut it -> I need closer to 10.
    • Lower spell per turn count of Storm/Mentor opponent -> Ethersworn/Eidolon effects is needed
    • Bye-bye to token control and 1-for-1 spot removal -> Reusable creature control or removal with indirect card advantage
    • 5 LD is not enough -> I'm currently on 8 via Ghost Quarter. That is difficult with a multicolor build, especially if I need ~10 Moxen effects

    All in all it evolved into the following white list. Card explanations to follow after the list:

    Lands (22):
    4 Cavern of Souls
    3 Horizon Canopy
    7 Plains
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Wasteland
    3 Ghost Quarter

    Mana acceleration (10):
    6 Mox/Lotus
    1 Mox Diamond
    2 Chrome Mox
    1 Lotus Petal

    Creatures (Total 28, 13 Humans, 15 Other):
    Anti Mentor/Storm
    4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    3 Spirit of the Labyrinth
    3 Ethersworn Canonist
    3 Vryn Wingmare

    Creature control/removal
    3 Containment Priest
    3 Eldrazi Displacer
    3 Banisher Priest
    3 Porcelain Legionnaire
    3 Leonin Relic-Warder

    Sideboard:
    3 Rest in Peace
    3 Stony Silence
    3 Serene Master
    3 Archetype of Courage
    3 Eidolon of Rhetoric

    First thing that springs into mind the extremely high total number of lands and mana acceleration. I kept upping the number of mana acceleration and found that it overall worked better as long as I side some of them out when I meet the Eldrazi. Another thing to factor in when evaluating the high number of lands/acceleration is the high number of LD lands. You cannot cast spells of a Ghost Quarter lying in your graveyard. So I see most of my LD lands as a Sinkhole spell that have an alternate casting cost of making me skip a land drop. The high LD count makes Dredge a manageable match-up pre-board together with Containment Priest. And as mentioned LD is good against Eldrazi.

    Pretty much all decks I encounter are very greedy when it comes to basic lands, so Leonin Arbiter was among the first cards I cut from my list. In addition it is too narrow against Eldrazi.

    In general the lack of a draw engine is tried mitigated by choosing reusable effects and not getting into a situation where you trade 1-for-1. More on this later.

    Eldrazi match-up:
    Speaking about Eldrazi, I have focused on creatures with reusable effects or indirect card advantage when combating them preboard. Thalia and Porcelain Legionnaire do good work against their smaller creatures with their first strike and if you land them both you can take on the bigger of them. Displacer together with Containment Priest is highly reusable, and sometimes they will even help with part of the combo with a priest of their own. If they assemble it first, you need to drop your Displacer when they are tapped out. Banisher Priest has indirect card advantage and does good work in other match-ups too.

    Post board, I side out some mana acceleration and Ethersworn Canonist so I can find room for all Serene Master and Archetype of Courage. Their Thalia's lose first strike, and even less ideal bears are now good defenders. The gameplan is then to assemble Displacer/Containment or land a Vryn Wingmare with evasion. Vryn is among the weakest cards in the deck, but if I were to cut it, I would want another creature with evasion. Perhaps Aven Mindsensor.

    What I'm struggling with is Tangle Wire and Smokestack. Leonin Relic-Warder is reactive instead of proactive. Suggestions welcome!

    Mentor Match-up:
    Even pre-board this deck is in a good place with the high number of relevant bears and 10 mana acceleration. Stony Silence are only used against dedicated Vault/Key, Helm Deck, Painter/Stone, Forgemaster and Affinity Robot decks. I wouldn't recommend it against Mentor decks. Eidolon is only relevant card I usually side in.

    Cavern of Souls is still an all-star despite of the diverse number of creature types. It is fairly obvious which type to choose based on your hand and the board state.

    Storm Match-up:
    Same as above, plus Rest in Peace. Certainly Porcelain Legionnaire and probably Displacer could go. Although Displacer could work against Blightsteel is most likely too slow.

    Dredge Match-up:
    Easy. Even more than decent pre-board with LD and Containment Priest. Porcelain and Thalia on their own go a long way in keeping stray creatures in control. Just add the Rest in Peace instead of Relic-Warder post board. Ethersworn + a couple of Banisher/Displacer can be replaced with Serene Master and Archetype of Courage.

    Shops Match-up:
    Consider Stony Silence if that is relevant, otherwise just stick with the plan from the Eldrazi match-up. The high land and mana acceleration count helps a lot.

    Mirror Match-up (Human, White Weenie):
    Again, pretend they are Eldrazi. Very favorable.

    Oath Match-up:
    I don't see it much, but do very well against it. Either keep hands with an Oath killer or several good lock pieces.

    General observations:
    Regarding problems not mentioned above, I get hit the hardest with disruption like discard before it even have been my turn. I find it hard to combat this, as I will not even have time to drop a Aegis of the Gods. But I guess all decks have this problem. But with virtually no draw engine and a lower than usual number of business spells preboard, a good hand can very quickly turn bad against storm or similar. And with no disruption of my own, this can prove fatal against fast decks

    Another weakness is the narrow sideboard cards. When you meet a deck that attach from many different angles it becomes more difficult to side in effectively. Examples could be decks with a lot of tutors that could win with either tinker/bot, a Welder or two, or Vault/Key. It is no problem identifying which sideboard cards are the right ones to fight those individual strategies, but unless you know their exact build you could risk weakening your overall game plan. I need more experience and see more lists if/when they start winning more dailies/tournaments before I can see if I need to make more adjustments.

    The future:
    Thalia 2.0 for sure! And as it has first strike, it could replace Porcelain Legionnaire as it is more narrow (and can hit the board faster, granted). I think the price of Horizon Canopy is ridiculously high right now, otherwise I would test one more of them instead of a basic land. The same with Mox Diamond over Chrome Mox as I would rather discard a land over a business spell. I might drop 2 Eidolon for +1 Serene Master and +1 Ethersworn Canonist in the board.

    Questions and comments welcome!


  • TMD Supporter

    @Uvatha this post is great. Thanks very much. I agree with a lot of your reasoning about 5c humans and some of the same issues apply to white Eldrazi as well. I have been wanting to try mono white to get ghost quarter in the deck and it's great to see such a list with such well thought out logic to go with it.


  • TMD Supporter

    Did you consider thought-knot seer? Seems like it's been shoehorned into kind of everything nowadays. With eight colorless lands and all that acceleration seems like it might work. Might have to swap in a Sol Ring or Mana Crypt for a couple of Chrome Mox or Mox Diamond. Not sure if it fits but the it would give the deck another angle of attack.



  • @DrStreetmention said:

    Did you consider thought-knot seer? Seems like it's been shoehorned into kind of everything nowadays. With eight colorless lands and all that acceleration seems like it might work. Might have to swap in a Sol Ring or Mana Crypt for a couple of Chrome Mox or Mox Diamond. Not sure if it fits but the it would give the deck another angle of attack.

    Thank you for your comments!

    Regarding Thought-Knot Seer, I feel a little like Anakin Skywalker before the Emperor: "Come to the daaaark side!" :) No, seriously, if it would perform in that shell without weakening the overall game plan, then I would certainly run it. And it would be possible to cast it with the 12 lands that can produce colorless. But with no Eldrazi acceleration lands, it will just be another 4CC creature. And in that case it might be better to evaluate all 4CC creatures before deciding. Maybe Magus of Moat to stall the board state while assembling Displacer/Containment or looking for that Vryn Wingmare? I'm not sure, but I'm certainly up for testing it.



  • @Uvatha Good approach to build the deck metagamed to current environment! Just my 5 cents

    -If you are going the mana denial route, add revoker. It disables moxen but also planeswalkers and other nuisances (for example opponent displacers).

    -This list looks a lot like white eldrazi, but softer. Creatures are smaller, thus having a slower clock. I'm surprised that the Eldrazi pairing feels good. Same for other aggro pairings: you are drawing too many mana sources, and displacer seems the best card to face them but it's slow

    -Mentor seems ok as long as you can deploy your artillery before they go crazy. If they counter/swords your first bear and they play probe+therapy, you have a problem. Canonist is great, but you are both limited to 1 spell. Spirit of the labyrinth denies the draw engine, but a resolved mentor trumps spirit. Thalia could be the best tool, but it's not gg itself.

    -Dredge indeed seems really favoured.

    -Storm/combo: I suppose that if you curve perfectly, you have very good options. Canonist, thalia and wingmare are awesome. But you have lots of semi dead draws, and the slow clock gives opponent time to find options.

    I think that overall the problem is that this kind of hate deck must play lots of focused cards to have the edge, and nowadays the big amount of different playable decks makes hard to get the right card at every moment. I think that @Stormanimagus and @mtGGuli are right going the aggro route. If you can effectively deny resources for your opponent (as crucible + smokestack does for example) you don't have any hurry to win. However if opponent gets enough mana to play toxic deluge, to play a big creature, to play key+vault, etc, you can find yourself in a bad position.



  • @xouman said:

    @Uvatha Good approach to build the deck metagamed to current environment! Just my 5 cents

    -If you are going the mana denial route, add revoker. It disables moxen but also planeswalkers and other nuisances (for example opponent displacers).

    It is certainly on my shortlist! Maybe I could cut a single Relic-Warder and a Banisher Priest or two. Or a Qhost Quarter.

    -This list looks a lot like white eldrazi, but softer. Creatures are smaller, thus having a slower clock. I'm surprised that the Eldrazi pairing feels good. Same for other aggro pairings: you are drawing too many mana sources, and displacer seems the best card to face them but it's slow

    Pre-board it is far from ideal, no doubt about it. But post-board, and unanswered single Serene Master really stall things completely! The first strikers also really lifts their weight when it comes to stalling. And post-board I have sided out several of the mana accelerants, so the high number of mana sources have been mitigated somewhat.

    Eldrazi is by no way easy! But it feels a lot better than what I was able to pull off in the 5C builds. And if I built something that worked against Eldrazi in 5C, then it was just too soft against most of the other decks.

    -Mentor seems ok as long as you can deploy your artillery before they go crazy. If they counter/swords your first bear and they play probe+therapy, you have a problem. Canonist is great, but you are both limited to 1 spell. Spirit of the labyrinth denies the draw engine, but a resolved mentor trumps spirit. Thalia could be the best tool, but it's not gg itself.

    Deploying before they go crazy is what this deck can do pretty consistently with all the mana accelerants. The number of relevant turn 2 plays are also very good, so even with only ~3-4 business spells in your opening hand, there is a good chance you can follow up with a relevant bear 2nd turn.

    -Dredge indeed seems really favoured.

    -Storm/combo: I suppose that if you curve perfectly, you have very good options. Canonist, thalia and wingmare are awesome. But you have lots of semi dead draws, and the slow clock gives opponent time to find options.

    I could be wrong, but I think I have more relevant answers than the traditional 5C variant, and a higher chance of getting it on the board before they go off with the mana accelerants. But as I mentioned, I'm soft to hand disruption in form of discard before it is my turn.

    [...] I think that @Stormanimagus and @mtGGuli are right going the aggro route.[...]

    Could be, but I was always outgunned against Eldrazi

    However if opponent gets enough mana to play toxic deluge, to play a big creature, to play key+vault, etc, you can find yourself in a bad position.

    Toxic Deluge is definitely a problem. I put it in the same category I mentioned with all the tutors and different attack angles (I only see Toxic Deluge in those decks so far). In that case I would assume the right strategy isn't to overcommit, but more testing is needed. But a good point indeed.

    Thank you for feedback!



  • Thank you for your explanations. I completely agree on the mana acceleration against mentor, and the traditional troubles of aggro decks with eldrazi.

    I still think that Eldrazi should be favored (specially if they manage to dismbember your Serene Master (and if you don't draw it you are still in a bad shape)

    Overall, what I wanted to raise is that monowhite is in a poor position when both Mentor and Eldrazi (plus some storm) are on the raise. The cards you want in each pairing are really different, making really difficult to have an optimal build based on narrow cards. Good luck and prove me wrong :D



  • Hi folks, I've been playing While Trash for a bit and finally think I have something substantive to say.

    I messed around with the deck 2-3ish years ago before deciding it was silly to not be playing shops. When Chalice was restricted the shops decks developed in a direction I wasn't a fan of, and went back to WT and have been tuning it ever since. There was a point right before mentor was printed when the deck felt like it had no bad matchups among the "real" decks. These days I agree that Mentor and Eldrazi are pretty bad. I think I may have found a list that can move us towards a solution.

    This is my deck

    The differences from the OP in the manabase are -3 GQ +2 Karakas +1 Eiganjo castle and -2 chrome mox +2 Spells -1 Mox Diamond +1 Mana Crypt

    I'm kinda surprised at how much similarly there is here. I'm concerned about the bad moxen from OP's list hurting mulligans, but am curious to try out.

    I've been playing Stoneforge Mystic in the deck basically since I realized Young Pyromancer tokens trade with half of the creatures in the deck. SFM is both a win con and a tutor for our best removal spell in Umezawa's Jitte. Almost all of the games I play against a resolved Mentor are won because of Jitte (if at all). SFM also pumps up the mostly irrelevant bodies of our hatebears to TKS sizes and ensures that any random 2/1s in the late game can still be a threat.

    Brimaz, has been great for me as win-con that gets protected by the manabase.
    Archetype of Courage is something I'm trying in the mainboard against the two problem matchups. It makes combat really hard for the opponent. These guys would normally be Wingmares.

    In the sideboard:

    I have 2 more of the deck's best removal spells (Jitte). This is mostly here for the Mentor matchup.
    Earnest Fellowship is also some interesting tech for Mentor. This card gives all creatures protection from STP and from each other. This means that all of our creatures can't be killed by their removal, and we can get in with SofI and Jitte. The biggest downside is it is a 2 mana enchantment, and we can only chump with revoker/bskull. I haven't tested this card yet, but it is promising.

    Crackdown is the last interesting card. Unlike Serene Master, Archetype of Courage, etc they need to be playing a disenchant to be able to get through for lethal. Chump blocking is actually not that bad with this thing in play.

    I'd love to hear people's thoughts about the list.



  • Thanks for chipping in!

    I have the following comments/questions:

    The differences from the OP in the manabase are -3 GQ +2 Karakas +1 Eiganjo castle and -2 chrome mox +2 Spells -1 Mox Diamond +1 Mana Crypt

    I'm kinda surprised at how much similarly there is here. I'm concerned about the bad moxen from OP's list hurting mulligans, but am curious to try out.

    It has its downsides as I mention, but I felt compelled to do it due to getting a beating too often by storm. So I need to be able to drop a 2 CMC bear consistently turn 1. I would rather run Diamond Mox over Chrome Mox (due to the high land number and low business spell number), but think they are way too expensive right now. If you own them, I'd go with Diamond over Chrome.

    I've been playing Stoneforge Mystic in the deck basically since I realized Young Pyromancer tokens trade with half of the creatures in the deck. SFM is both a win con and a tutor for our best removal spell in Umezawa's Jitte. Almost all of the games I play against a resolved Mentor are won because of Jitte (if at all). SFM also pumps up the mostly irrelevant bodies of our hatebears to TKS sizes and ensures that any random 2/1s in the late game can still be a threat.

    Cool you could get it to work. I also played around with Stoneforge and Jitte a lot, but found that they always got shut down by Phyrexian Revokeers or stolen by Dack Fayden. And the Stoneforge or Jitte would often be countered. Revokers was everywhere in the Eldrazi decks at this time. I see fewer Eldrazi decks online, but more and more Dack Fayden. And get your face kicked in with your own Batterskull really hurts :)

    Brimaz, has been great for me as win-con that gets protected by the manabase.
    Archetype of Courage is something I'm trying in the mainboard against the two problem matchups. It makes combat really hard for the opponent. These guys would normally be Wingmares.

    Nice synergy with Brimaz and the lands! That is probably the last straw that pushes him over the edge to being playable for me. I will definitely try him out once I go back to these pure white builds (currently I'm on a 4C Spirit/Human build)

    In the sideboard:

    Earnest Fellowship is also some interesting tech for Mentor. This card gives all creatures protection from STP and from each other. This means that all of our creatures can't be killed by their removal, and we can get in with SofI and Jitte. The biggest downside is it is a 2 mana enchantment, and we can only chump with revoker/bskull. I haven't tested this card yet, but it is promising.

    I see, but will the Mentor player not just create enough tokens so he can overrun you?

    Crackdown is the last interesting card. Unlike Serene Master, Archetype of Courage, etc they need to be playing a disenchant to be able to get through for lethal. Chump blocking is actually not that bad with this thing in play.

    This will not work against Mentor, as the Mentor/token is small again during their untap phase, so I assume this is for Eldrazi?

    I'd love to hear people's thoughts about the list.

    I see more and more Mentor lists branching into red for Dack and Pyromancer. I'd be curious to hear if the reliance on Jitte and SoFI becomes too precarious. Or maybe you don't see that in your meta.

    But nice list and some very cool innovations!



  • Just found this thread! Great list.

    A couple of comments regarding card cuts, I think you're totally right about Arbiter. Since I added Enlightened Tutor to my list, Arbiter had to be cut, and I hardly noticed a difference except against Storm. I replaced it with Suppression Field in the SB to board in against decks that rely on Planeswalkers, but a turn 1 Suppression Field is pretty harsh against a deck that fetches.

    I feel the same way about Spirit of the Labyrinth, very close to cutting them in favor of more Canonist and/or Eidolons. Especially because it can be completely wasted with any anti-Mentor tech people are running in bulk right now. Spirit is just plain less good than one-spell-per-turn limits against Gush decks, and it's completely useless against Eldrazi/Shops.

    One thing that has helped against Pyromancer and Mentor is including a number of Grand Abolishers. We can't fight on the stack, so blanking their counterspells seems like a pretty good idea (although you have Caverns, so this effect might not be 100% useful).

    Wondering why u no Enlightened Tutor? There are 19 cards you could search up in the main (some of which aren't really worth it, but still), and you could possibly cut the number of specific enchantments/artifacts in the SB and cut situationally bad creature/enchantments down to 2-ofs and diversify the deck a little bit. My list runs Mental Misstep, so it gets a little bit better because of that, but so far it has been a game changer, and I'm no longer completely beholden to the top of the deck. A great example would be, if we're really hurting post-sb against Eldrazi or Shops, we could just include a single Meekstone in the SB, and effectively have 4-5 copies of it in the deck... Not a bad idea? I was also beginning to look into restricted artifacts like Trinisphere, which would be kind of dumb to include in a deck that can't search. Tutor also allows you to add one Stony Silence in the deck to combat Game 1 Storm or Ravager Shops.

    If Dack and Jace are really troublesome, you could - "couuuld" - include Black Vise. You can redirect the Vise damage to planeswalkers, and that's pretty damn cool. Again, probably decent as a 1-of in a SB of a deck with tutors.

    These are just some observations based on a few changes I made to my little bears list.

    One question, do you think Dread of Night and Sulfur Elemental are decent enough reasons to cut Porcelain Legionnaire and non-thorn 1-toughness creatures? My distaste for Spirit of the Labyrinth partially comes from how much Mentor hate there is out there and how affected my deck is by it.



  • @Dumpsterac1d said:

    A couple of comments regarding card cuts, I think you're totally right about Arbiter. Since I added Enlightened Tutor to my list, Arbiter had to be cut, and I hardly noticed a difference except against Storm. I replaced it with Suppression Field in the SB to board in against decks that rely on Planeswalkers, but a turn 1 Suppression Field is pretty harsh against a deck that fetches.

    Have you considered Phyrexian Revoker? (like Xouman also suggested in his reply) That wouldn't be a nonbo with your Stoneforges.

    I feel the same way about Spirit of the Labyrinth, very close to cutting them in favor of more Canonist and/or Eidolons. Especially because it can be completely wasted with any anti-Mentor tech people are running in bulk right now. Spirit is just plain less good than one-spell-per-turn limits against Gush decks, and it's completely useless against Eldrazi/Shops.

    Spirit of Labyrinth is certainly under pressure, but in my meta is mainly due to Dack Fayden. The draw 1, discard 2 they impose on you is not totally crippling, but they still get nearer they ultimate.

    I tend to cut Canonist more and more in my builds (pure white or multiple colors) as I find that it only works against storm. Time and time again, I would lose to Mentor with that on the board as they would just drop some Moxen and/or a Sensei Top and overwhelm me. The part with artifacts not counting towards the limit makes it too weak and narrow in my mind.

    One thing that has helped against Pyromancer and Mentor is including a number of Grand Abolishers. We can't fight on the stack, so blanking their counterspells seems like a pretty good idea (although you have Caverns, so this effect might not be 100% useful).

    To be honest, I haven't testet him for a long time, but I just remember him as really weak against many other achetypes. And they can easily counter him (I assume you don't have a Cavern when you cast him, otherwise he would be most redundant himself). In other builds with more colors I would look into Vexing Shusher as he can't be countered regardless, but that is of course not an option here.

    Wondering why u no Enlightened Tutor? There are 19 cards you could search up in the main (some of which aren't really worth it, but still), and you could possibly cut the number of specific enchantments/artifacts in the SB and cut situationally bad creature/enchantments down to 2-ofs and diversify the deck a little bit. My list runs Mental Misstep, so it gets a little bit better because of that, but so far it has been a game changer, and I'm no longer completely beholden to the top of the deck. A great example would be, if we're really hurting post-sb against Eldrazi or Shops, we could just include a single Meekstone in the SB, and effectively have 4-5 copies of it in the deck... Not a bad idea?

    It is probably due to stubbornness on my side :) I really want to avoid running non-creatures. So I stay clear of Mental Misstep too. With the low number of business spells I want a body attached to pretty much everything I do.

    If Dack and Jace are really troublesome, you could - "couuuld" - include Black Vise. You can redirect the Vise damage to planeswalkers, and that's pretty damn cool. Again, probably decent as a 1-of in a SB of a deck with tutors.

    Interesting idea, but I'm really happy with Revoker as it has a body attached. But I can see the appeal.

    One question, do you think Dread of Night and Sulfur Elemental are decent enough reasons to cut Porcelain Legionnaire and non-thorn 1-toughness creatures? My distaste for Spirit of the Labyrinth partially comes from how much Mentor hate there is out there and how affected my deck is by it.

    I added Thalia 2.0 in my last iteration of the deck instead of Porcelain, and she actually benefits from Sulfur Elemental as she becomes a 4/1 First Striker.

    Thank you for your insights!



  • @Uvatha

    I've whittled my Revoker count to 2. I find that it's rarely useful with it's 1-toughness as a body, and it usually presents a dilemma re whether or not to block with it and let a Jace, Dack, or Lotus go, and it's not a good attacker vs any deck other than Storm. I may be undervaluing it because I run Null Rod/Stony in the maindeck and that essentially cuts its targets in half or by 3/4, but Suppression Field tends to hit things that Arbiter hits, and hits the important things that Stony Silence doesn't hit that Revoker would be good for. Revoker, if I manage to play it, barely stays in play for more than 2 turns, and if it does, it essentially does nothing. It's still really useful in some cases, so there's a few in the deck still, and it can be searched for with the tutor, so it'll always be in the deck, but I just feel that the best use scenario is in a deck without Null Rods and other Planeswalker hate. Not ready to get rid of it, as there's one in the SB in case I need to have more tech against Planeswalkers, but it's on it's way out.

    I don't have Stoneforge in the deck, I found it to be too iffy. Probably works well in other decks that don't lean on Null Rod.

    Grand Abolisher I think gets a lot better depending on how many noncreature spells you play. It's turned the tides clearly in my favor v Mentor since there's no shennaninganry with pumping tokens post attack, they can't use my turn to evade Eidolon of Rhetoric or Canonist restrictions, and I can easily land hate cards and rest assured that they'll remain there until they find removal.

    The build below has increased my win percentage against Mentor quite a bit. There's some tech in the sideboard against them, but I'm thinking about removing the ratchet bombs in favor of something else. In theory they are great (and made better with Enlightened Tutor), but all it does is delay the inevitable, and I'd much rather search up a Ghostly Prison or something else. I think this is the closest I've gotten to a budget list that might actually win in the hands of a deft player, in the current meta:

    Quick List

    Creatures (24)
    2x Mother of Runes
    2x Dryad Militant
    2x Ethersworn Canonist
    2x Spirit of the Labyrinth
    3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
    2x Grand Abolisher
    4x Leonin Relic Warder
    2x Phyrexian Revoker
    2x Eidolon of Rhetoric
    3x Vryn Wingmare

    Artifacts/Enchantments (5)
    4x Null Rod/Stony Silence
    1x Ghostly Prison

    Spells (9)
    2x Enlightened Tutor
    4x Mental Misstep
    2x Path to Exile
    1x Swords to Plowshares

    Accel (4)
    3x Simian Spirit Guide
    1x Lotus Petal

    Lands (18)
    1x Strip Mine
    4x Ghost Quarter
    13x Plains

    SB
    1x Path to Exile
    2x Swords to Plowshares
    1x Aegis of the Gods
    3x Serene Master
    2x Suppression Field
    1x Ghostly Prison
    1x Windborn Muse
    1x Sol Ring
    1x Phyrexian Revoker
    2x Ratchet Bomb

    Seriously, I'd give Enlightened Tutor a good try (especially since you don't have Mindcensors or Arbiter) and see what happens. I just have 2 in the deck and it has transformed the deck completely. Move one-of useful things into the maindeck and see if your game 1s get better. Even if they end up countering whatever you look for it's rarely a huge deal since you'll be using mana on their turn to look for stuff, and sometimes you have backup plays.



  • I should probably mention that I mulligan pretty aggressively with this deck. Against a lot of matchups I mull to a strong T1 play. Generally keeping a good 5 is better than keeping an underpowered 7. This is probably roughly equivalent to playing the bad moxen too.

    About Earnest Fellowship, the card certainly opens you up to be overrun by anthem'd tokens. The idea is that Fellowship + SFM/Jitte/Sofi lock the opponent out of putting us in that situation.

    Here is a list of cards I've tried and been generally unimpressed by:

    Thalia 2.0: She was the card I was most recently excited to try. Players her as a 3of in the Archetype/Wingmare slot. She felt like an Arbiter; she has to come down on turn 1-2 to be effective, and on those early turns you really want to be playing the other hatebears (Thalia & Spirit mostly). Not taxing artifacts or spells felt lackluster

    Misstep: I strongly feel that if you play any 1drops you have to play ~8 to resolve any through the opponent' misstep. We simply are not equipped to have a fight on the stack. Thalia makes it even harder to cast this card. Misstep just does not play to our strength.

    Grand Abolisher: I also find that with careful application of mana denial and Caverns makes this card really marginal. It technically makes Canonist better, and it makes the opponent play awkwardly. I haven't found the card to be worth a slot.

    Ethersworn Canonist: I'm mostly of the same opinion. It isn't very good against mentor, as they can easily still make 2 tokens a turn with either instants or artifacts. Spirit is better against gush because the opponent draws 1 fewer cards. Spirit is IMO the second best bear behind Thalia against blue decks. It turns off every cantrip and downgrades gush.

    Enlightened Tutor: I don't like it in the main for the same reasons I won't play Misstep, but I actually really like it in the board. We are boarding in these haymaker cards that we don't mind 2-for-1ing ourselves over. It also saves a lot of SB space. I particularly like it against the non-blue decks. I used to play 2 tutors in the sideboard, but found that the way it was configured at the time, I didn't have enough targets to make it worthwhile. I'm gonna go back to playing it.

    About SFM: I'm a little surprised you are seeing an uptick in Dack, since Eldrazi generally drove the artifact count down. I generally see him as a 1-2of. Dack can be pretty painful, but artifact hate exists is just something you gotta deal with. Revoker and Relic-Warder kinda help in these situations. I usually time the equips to get immediate value and only go for Batterskull against Islands in the late game.

    The unpowered version of the deck is pretty different from the powered one IMO, and has a different set of concerns.



  • @Apocolyps6 said:

    Misstep: I strongly feel that if you play any 1drops you have to play ~8 to resolve any through the opponent' misstep. We simply are not equipped to have a fight on the stack. Thalia makes it even harder to cast this card. Misstep just does not play to our strength.

    I have to completely and utterly disagree here, Misstep is a card that over-performs and completely changes the game against Storm and a lot of blue decks. Yes, the downside is that they might counter your counter, but that's one more 1-drop you can actually make. Removal is almost always in the form of a 1CMC card. I can't imagine playing against Mentor/Pyromancer without Misstep. They have so much removal that they can nuke your entire board and still manage to draw more cards than you will ever get to, and token out in the process. Think of the one drops that are all over the place: Sol Ring, Ancestral Recall, Misstep itself, Mana Vault, Vampiric Tutor, Voltaic Key, Sensei's Divining Top, Swords to Plowshares, Bolt, Therapy, Brainstorm, Ritual... Games are absolutely won because an opponent will keep a hand with an Underground Sea, a fetch, and a Sol Ring. Storm rarely has counterspells, so they will have to draw something off the top. It has been an AMAZING card, 100%. I use every single one I draw. The best is when I play a basic Plains and pass, they think the coast is clear, and they cast Ancestral. Gotcha. Happens all the time. Even if you have no one drops, it's one of the best defensive cards we have access to. It also allows you to have a turn-0 play on the draw, which, again, is a gigantic advantage since Hatebears are pretty dependent on the coin-flip, primarily cause we don't have access to FoW.

    Grand Abolisher: I also find that with careful application of mana denial and Caverns makes this card really marginal. It technically makes Canonist better, and it makes the opponent play awkwardly. I haven't found the card to be worth a slot.

    This is also tough, because I thought this as well. You don't get to see the number of times you're actually saved by this card until you eliminate it. I undervalued it after losing a few games in a row, then realized that there was no way to really effectively analyze it's successes because we don't have perfect information and we can't see the number of counterspells they're holding. Again, if your build has Cavern, probably not the greatest card as there's some effect overlap there; there's overlap with my build and Revoker, so Revoker gets worse in my deck and I get why Abolisher wouldn't be good. I've just recently played games vs mentor with Eidolon and Abolisher in play, and they are completely stuck. They are restricted to one spell in two turns, and if they want to get rid of one Abolisher or Eidolon with Swords, I have misstep, which they can't respond to. If I cast Swords during my turn, they can't respond, and their Mentor is dead, period. It's a very interesting board state that is difficult for them to break out of, regardless of how much mana they have, and it's one of my favorite interactions vs blue decks.

    The unpowered version of the deck is pretty different from the powered one IMO, and has a different set of concerns.

    Totally. I honestly think though, that if you have all the cards for the unpowered list, you should give it a try to see what works and what doesn't in that deck, and you might be able to improve the powered list based off your experiences with it. Tutor, Misstep and Abolisher are huge cards.



  • I didn't mean to say that Misstep and friends are bad in your deck or that you should not play them. The powered list plays Very differently and you should not be lacking in devastating T1 plays with it.

    The deck is also never interested in trading 1-for-1. We simply can't trade like this with the blue decks. All of our cards are either attacking mana or some sort of virtual card advantage.
    Getting to misstep sol ring is nice, but revoking it is even better. But again, the powered deck plays a T1 (uncounterable) Thalia quite frequently so we are really dealing with different strategies here. Storm is a cakewalk if you play Canonist or Wingmare main.

    Grand Abolisher: Mana Drain is dead. Misstep is dead against the powered list. The counterspells that it fights are just Forces. WW is rough on the mana sometimes. Canonist + Arbiter is interesting as a mainboardable "solution" to mentor. I might give it a try in the Archetype slot if that card does not work out.



  • Well to be fair, Mental Misstep acts as mana denial when it trades with Preordain. The common strategy of Gush/Preordain decks is to play as few lands as possible and just use Preordain to draw the 2nd. By Misstepping Preordains (specifically on turn 1), you're denying them land drops, making your Wastelands a lot more effective. Generally, Wasteland is just a 1-for-1 trade as well. But if you're limiting your opponent's options by making 1 for 1 trades on the stack (with Mental Misstep on Preordain), then those 1-for-1 trades just get better and better as their hand size decreases. If they're not seeing new cards then there is just a limit to what they can do and I think that's where a human deck wants to be.

    Additionally, Swords to Plowshares is a commonly played card; I would think protecting specific humans from Swords is pretty relevant. The fact that Thalia could be in play is irrelevant, since you already have the 1 mana to cast it, and you're still paying 1 mana to their 2 mana. Similarly, I've had success with Sphere of Resistance and Mana Drain. Since I could reliably cast Sphere of Resistance on turn 1, preventing anything crazy they might have, and then have Mana Drain up on turn 2.



  • @desolutionist

    I think it varies per deck, of course, but games can literally come down to this.... This one, game 1, turn zero Mental Misstep turned into my opponent having no significant plays for 6 turns and let me fill my hand with bear-like answers to whatever their deck was going for and I easily won:

    alt text

    A lot of games can literally come down to things like this. Clearly this is not for every deck, but I hardly think it matters whether or not we can realistically fight stack wars, it's sneaking in a Misstep on a mana source or a tutor, or holding one for the inevitable Plow or Bolt that make it definitely worth tossing in.



  • @Apocolyps6 said:

    I didn't mean to say that Misstep and friends are bad in your deck or that you should not play them. The powered list plays Very differently and you should not be lacking in devastating T1 plays with it.

    The deck is also never interested in trading 1-for-1. We simply can't trade like this with the blue decks. All of our cards are either attacking mana or some sort of virtual card advantage.
    Getting to misstep sol ring is nice, but revoking it is even better. But again, the powered deck plays a T1 (uncounterable) Thalia quite frequently so we are really dealing with different strategies here. Storm is a cakewalk if you play Canonist or Wingmare main.

    Grand Abolisher: Mana Drain is dead. Misstep is dead against the powered list. The counterspells that it fights are just Forces. WW is rough on the mana sometimes. Canonist + Arbiter is interesting as a mainboardable "solution" to mentor. I might give it a try in the Archetype slot if that card does not work out.

    For the most part, this is a good rule to have in mind, but it isn't entirely true and I can elaborate on it if you want. See @desolutionist's comment on Wasteland for instance.



  • Regarding Misstep, it's a weird card and as I mentioned in the other White Trash topic, it's the one card that I've gone back on fourth on the most.

    The funny thing is that it goes against a lot of general rules a deck like this goes by:

    1. Don't fight on the stack
    2. Avoid 1-for-1's
    3. Play proactive and not reactive spells

    But in spite of this, the card seems to overperform like some of you have already experienced. @desolutionist brings up a good point on Misstep vs Preordain for instance, and I think Misstep is a prime example of why "avoid 1-for-1's" is a complex and misunderstood topic. A Misstep on Preordain or Sol Ring isn't just a 1-for-1 because it will turn off other cards as well (now they perhaps can't cast the Mentor/Jace etc. in their hand or they perhaps can't find the second land to cast their Mentor/Jace etc.), same as Wasteland isn't just a 1-for-1 because it shuts off other cards as well.

    Misstep is also an example on why "Play proactive and not reactive spells" shouldn't be a cardinal rule. Misstep on spot removal like Swords or Bolt protects your strategy. It protects that one hatebear that makes your opponent's deck not work and hence turns off a lot of other cards in your opponent's deck (in this way, Misstep also isn't just a 1-for-1).



  • One note to all hatebears players, Serene Master is buggy on MTGO, it swaps p/t like it's a 2/2 and not a 0/2, which kills it. If more peeps report it they might actually fix it?



  • @Dumpsterac1d

    Is Serene Master a hatebear? I've never seen that card played before.


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