Deck Discussion: Burning Tendrils



  • Glad to see TMD back! I figured I start a deck discussion thread for my favorite vintage deck, burning tendrils. I'm an online vintage convert but have listened to Steve and Kevin's podcast long before the format was available online and was always fascinated with this mish-mash of burning long and oath.

    The deck is not currently popular and I think it suffers from fairly severe consistency issues but I still have a blast playing it. I'm not a vintage expert so I won't really speculate on what the deck needs to be competitive at a high-level however I do think it is perfect for "casual" vintage play online or in paper.

    Here are a few sample decklists I've played that are heavily influenced by Steve Menendian and his burning tendrils bible which was a huge help to me when first starting out with the format. The first is a fairly standard list with duress and some missteps for protection while the second is configured to play force of will and misdirection. I personally prefer versions like the first list that are explosive and force the opponent to answer a series of powerful plays rather than trying to protect my own.

    Burning Tendrils
    2 Griselbrand

    1 Black Lotus
    1 Chrome Mox
    1 Lion's Eye Diamond
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Duress
    1 Mana Vault
    2 Mental Misstep
    1 Ponder
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    1 Demonic Tutor
    2 Hurkyl's Recall
    4 Oath of Druids
    1 Time Walk
    1 Necropotence
    1 Timetwister
    1 Tinker
    1 Wheel of Fortune
    1 Windfall
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Memory Jar
    1 Yawgmoth's Bargain

    2 City of Brass
    4 Forbidden Orchard
    1 Gemstone Mine
    3 Mana Confluence
    1 Tolarian Academy

    SB
    3 Ancient Tomb
    2 Nature's Claim
    1 Shattering Spree
    1 Thoughtseize
    1 Void Snare
    2 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Laboratory Maniac
    1 Show and Tell
    1 Yawgmoth's Will
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    Pitch Burning Tendrils
    2 Griselbrand

    1 Black Lotus
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Mana Vault
    3 Mental Misstep
    1 Mystical Tutor
    1 Ponder
    4 Preordain
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Vampiric Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    1 Demonic Tutor
    2 Hurkyl's Recall
    4 Oath of Druids
    1 Time Walk
    1 Timetwister
    1 Tinker
    1 Wheel of Fortune
    1 Windfall
    4 Force of Will
    1 Memory Jar
    2 Misdirection
    1 Mind's Desire
    1 Yawgmoth's Bargain

    2 City of Brass
    4 Forbidden Orchard
    1 Gemstone Mine
    3 Mana Confluence
    1 Tolarian Academy

    SB
    3 Ancient Tomb
    2 Nature's Claim
    1 Shattering Spree
    1 Thoughtseize
    1 Void Snare
    2 Hurkyl's Recall
    1 Laboratory Maniac
    1 Show and Tell
    1 Yawgmoth's Will
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    I'd like to hear what people think about the deck and if they have any ideas for improving it, playing it, or just general comments they may have.


  • TMD Supporter

    Have you tried Dark Petition at all in this? We were looking at a Burning Tendrils list for a while that included that above some of the draw 7s to try to make the wins more absolute or not, and I think it made the deck more consistent, though it still got absolutely crushed by shops.



  • I've tried dark petition as a wish target (not a great idea...) and as a two of in the maindeck of a list that wasn't playing FoW. I wasn't able to come up with anything that felt like it really improved on what the deck was doing but it certainly seems like a card that could help. This is where I feel like I need more input from seasoned vintage players who actually know what they are doing.



  • Burning Wish is amazing. Easily my favourite Vintage card of all time.

    That said, this shell is definitely not suited to the metagame. Is it possible to slow it down to more of a TPS-like game? It would open up options like running light control elements like Treasure Cruise as Wish targets, and possibly open up Tinker->BSC as an alt win.

    Just throwing stuff against the wall here!


  • TMD Supporter

    I love me some Burning Tendrils. That said, this deck is either;
    A) a storm deck with awful Oath cards jammed in.
    B) an Oath deck with awful Storm cards jammed in.

    Myself and Jimmy McCarthy split a Team Serious tournament in early 2015 both playing the deck, but other than that it hasn't made huge waves. I can tell you that Petition storm is generally a more stable deck.

    Think ofnit thisnway. Burning Wish into Yawgmoth's Will costs 3BR, which is super awkward. Dark Petition into the same costs 3BB, with the upsided benefit of Demonic/Vampiric/Mystical Tutor or naturally drawing Yawgmoth's Will.



  • I think the point of this deck is to play as storm and be advantageous against blue, but run oath to have another angle against shops. Also you absolutely don't care about grave hate, which is usually good against TPS. So idea of this deck is good. But yes, there are some consistency issues.



  • This is by far the best storm oath hybrid approach I can think of:

    Take the standard dark petition storm list Efro plays:

    -1 Mind's Desire (hard to cast sometimes)
    -1 Defense Grid (bad against shops)
    -2 Cabal Therapy (bad against shops)
    -1 Wheel of fortune (don't need to play red and draw 7s are just bad anyways)
    -1 Cabal Ritual (worst ritual effect in the deck)

    +4 Oath
    +2 Griselbrand

    -4 of a combination of fetches/duals (cut the red completely, no need for it without wheel)
    +4 Forbidden Orchard

    This change significantly shores up your shops matchup, without weakening your other matchups too much.

    Match-ups aside, what you give up is the consistency of a regular storm deck - Sometimes you'll have Griselbrand in your opener, sometimes you'll have oath but orchard and vice versa.

    The cool thing about this deck is that you can hardcast Griselbrand very easily, so it's almost like Bargain #2 and 3. It's a ton of fun and creates blowout game states, but is a bit too swingy for my taste to play at a high stake tournament.



  • Great thread! I have an updated list that I played with some success since last summer, which I never got around to posting because Dark Petition Storm erupted as the justifiably default Storm option.

    That said, here it is:

    Burning Tendrils, August 2015 (when last updated)

    4 Defense Grid
    1 Brainstorm
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk

    2 Hurkyl's Recall

    1 Timetwister
    1 Windfall
    1 Wheel of Fortune
    1 Memory Jar
    1 Tinker

    1 Necropotence
    1 Mind's Desire
    1 Yawgmoth's Bargain

    1 Vampiric Tutor
    1 Demonic Tutor
    4 Burning Wish

    4 Oath of Druids
    2 Griselbrand

    Mana Sources
    4 Dark Ritual
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Lotus Petal
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mana Crypt
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Mana Vault
    1 Lion's Eye Diamond
    2 Mox Opal
    2 Chrome Mox

    1 Tolarian Academy
    4 Mana Confluence
    2 City of Brass
    1 Gemstone Mine
    4 Forbidden Orchard

    Sideboard (15)
    1 Yawgmoth’s Will
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Show and Tell
    1 Balance
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Shattering Spree
    1 Void Snare
    1 Laboratory Maniac
    2 Hurkyl’s Recall
    3 Ancient Tomb
    1 Nature's Claim
    1 City of Solitude

    Defense Grid is the nuts because all of the control decks use countermagic that doesn't counter it: Misstep, Fluster, Pyroblast, etc.

    The plans against Workshop and Dredge are rock solid.

    This deck is soft, however, to DPS. DPS's disrupting is better against you than your disrupting (mostly the Grid package) is against them.



  • @Soly It absolutely feels like both of those things from time to time. It's got some topdecks that are pretty amusingly bad. I agree with the general sentiment that dark petition storm is just a better deck, I just don't enjoy playing it nearly as much.

    @hankzhong I have yet to try a DPS and oath hybrid. I'd be very concerned about getting into sticky situations with the oaths without things like memory's journey or gaea's blessing in the deck. I've found that to be an unfortunate necessity when burning wish is gone. I think @Smennen played something like that in the VSL this past season so I'll have to go back and check that out a little closer.

    @Smennen Thank you for the updated list. Is city of solitude serving mostly as a fifth defense grid? I'm a big fan of your content so please keep doing what you do!



  • @Smennen Thank you for the updated list. Is city of solitude serving mostly as a fifth defense grid? I'm a big fan of your content so please keep doing what you do!

    Thank you!

    Yes, City of Solitude was serving as mostly a 5th, and more encompassing Defense Grid.

    I also like City of Solitude because it's a card that can be imprinted on a Chrome Mox, unlike Defense Grid. It's also more difficult to remove, since targeted artifact removal like Ancient Grudge can't deal with it.

    It produced a number of hilarious game states on Magic Online where my opponent resolved Consecrated Sphinx, but City of Solitude prevented them from stopping me even while massively outdrawing me.



  • How does this deck adapt to the changing metegame? Steve you mentioned the build you posted was soft to DPS. I anticipate a slight surge in Storm variants because of Workshop decks being in flux. What changes do you propose to help shore up that matchup?



  • Along the lines of what @hankzhong said, isn't this deck just better without burning wish? It makes comboing faster and more consistent, and frees up enough space in the board to have a good shops matchup while not ignoring stuff like dredge.

    I mean, adding oath to combat shops is still a great tactic. In a meta defined by shops and mentor-control, a deck like storm that already has a good control matchup, if it could be tweaked to have a better shops matchup, could be a real force.


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