[Developing] Budget Vintage: Unpowered White Hatebears

@Protoaddct said:

In addition to the aforementioned spirt guides (Elvish is likley superior because of Dryad) I really like Ghostly Prison right now. In many respects it is better than moat for a list like this, while still being budget, because:

1 - It can affect flyers
2 - Asymmetrical
3 - Not dead in multiples
4 - Cheaper
5 - Pairs well with other taxes.

I also think some other cards that could be of use include dismember as swords number 5 or even thorn of amethyst as another Thalia you can have in play at the same time. Also what about leyline? It is a very strong card against Oath for a deck that just wants to rush creatures.

Board wipes are the natural enemy of this list and are seeing more play. I wonder if something like Selfless Spirit would maybe not be a good thing to consider if you suspect people are going to be running supreme verdict?

I don't think Ghostly Prison is where you want to go. In fact, I think that the fact that you are tempted to play Ghostly Prison is a very good indicator that this deck isn't very well positioned right now. You want a metagame where you don't fight (many) other creatures. This deck has a hard time beating creature based strategies, simply because our creatures are much smaller.

You don't want to be the deck playing non-creature spells trying to stop creatures. You want to be the deck playing creatures trying to stop non-creature spells.

Oh, you also never want to play Thorn in this deck. Glowrider/Wingmare are much better.

@JuzamJim said:

I don't think Ghostly Prison is where you want to go. In fact, I think that the fact that you are tempted to play Ghostly Prison is a very good indicator that this deck isn't very well positioned right now. You want a metagame where you don't fight (many) other creatures. This deck has a hard time beating creature based strategies, simply because our creatures are much smaller.

You don't want to be the deck playing non-creature spells trying to stop creatures. You want to be the deck playing creatures trying to stop non-creature spells.

This is totally correct. I've found Ghostly Prison to be a little clunky, which is why I'm testing a version with Magus of the Moat in it's stead and some Simian Spirit Guides for acceleration, but again, Moat makes most of the creatures just worse Enchantments which is pretty bad. But, it's a budget card and if it gets played would help against the 'drazi and Mentor, so why not?

Anyone have any opinions on Black Vise in general? Anyone tested it in the current metagame? Maybe with new Thalia this card can be a blowout, and help punish Mentor, at least that's what I'm hoping.

Current updates, I'm testing a build with 3x Simian Spirit Guides and 1x Lotus Petal for acceleration. Seems to be working, I even swapped out 2 Canonist for 2 Eidolon of Rhetoric due to the increase in available mana and was able to slam an Eidolon on turn 1... One thing of note, though, the list was more heavily adjusted than I wanted, I dropped three Plains to make room for the acceleration and that ended up messing pretty badly with the balance, two games I mulled down to 4 cards with no turn 1 play.

The list I'm testing now:

2x Mother of Runes
2x Eidolon of Rhetoric
1x Ethersworn Canonist
3x Leonin Arbiter
1x Grand Abolisher
3x Spirit of the Labyrinth
3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
4x Leonin Relic Warder
2x Dryad Militant
2x Judge's Familiar
2x Vryn Wingmare
3x Phyrexian Revoker

3x Path To Exile
4x Mental Misstep

3x Simian Spirit Guide
1x Lotus Petal

3x Null Rod

4x Ghost Quarter
1x Strip Mine
13x Plains

SB:

2x Swords to Plowshares
2x Serene Master
2x Suppression Field
2x Ghostly Prison
2x Magus of the Moat
2x Archangel of Tithes
1x Null Rod
2x Ratchet Bomb

The SB is essentially to see which is most effective as SB hate against Mentor. I'm leaning on Archangel right now, but if they get harder to cast because of the 1WWW casting cost and accel being majorly off-color, thinking about trying Windborn Muse and/or Blinding Angel, maybe. Open to other non-bear, mono-white fliers that are decent.

Also already running into situations where it'd be better to cast the Spirit Guides instead of using them for mana, usually in topdeck mode. Trying to figure out how to mitigate that.

last edited by Dumpsterac1d

@Dumpsterac1d

This is awesome, as someone who is looking to step into vintage due to the very reasons you mentioned (VSL, prices on MTGO, etc...) it's great to see a deck option that is not only budget but may also be relatively intuitive to play. So thank you so much for the time and effort you've put into the primer, you're helping add a new member to the community!

last edited by aniso

I'm not a fan of Black Vise. It doesn't impact the board state and if your opponent has 7 cards in hand it's either because he's already locked out or because he's doing his Gush/cantrip stuff and winning.

@JuzamJim All true. Yet, it does add a clock as early as turn 1, discourages Library activations, Ancestral on your turn, is decent against Gush (+4 cards in hand, although they can usually get rid of three of them) adds another 'tax' effect that isn't dependent on you connecting with creatures to do damage (which can be a problem if they have creatures that are sitting there and you don't have fliers, happens quite often), does damage on Time Walk turns, and, I think it has more impact as a 1-drop than Judge's Familiar against everything except Storm. All a Black Vise needs to do is 3 damage in a game and it's a decent play. Not a dead draw in most blue matchups, the effects stack. I can't count the number of games that came down to 6 or less life as the decider, and keeping that opponent either taking 3 damage a turn or off of 7 cards in hand would have made the difference. Bad against Storm, Shops, and Eldrazi, two of which we have good game against already. Worth a playset? probably not... Worth testing as a 2-of? I think so.. Neo Thalia would definitely help this card get a lot better. One issue is that it's Missteppable, which wouldn't be fun, but then again, I'd be eliminating another 1CC card for it to stay on curve. I dunno. All will be revealed with more testing.

@Dumpsterac1d said:

Also already running into situations where it'd be better to cast the Spirit Guides instead of using them for mana, usually in topdeck mode. Trying to figure out how to mitigate that.

I don't think there's anything to do about this. Just remember that it's no worse than drawing a Mox in a powered deck.

last edited by JuzamJim

@Dumpsterac1d I was referring to the Nightveil Specter I had in play and the fact that I failed to Fateseal you with Jace precombat to select the card... I really did not mean it as a slight against you. It was worded poorly and I apologize.

last edited by ChubbyRain

@ChubbyRain My bad... Been a rough day.

Also, definitely updating this thread to say that now is NOT the time for this deck, or any creature/lock strategies, I just spent the last two hours getting hammered by mentor/gush decks. Time to move on for now.

last edited by Dumpsterac1d

@Dumpsterac1d No worries...we've all been there and MTGO players are well known for their salt. I don't blame you in the slightest and I should have phrased it better.

Dumpster AC there are ways to fight those decks, don't give up hope. That being said a second color might be necessary for it to work out. You can do this budget style, (though it may require getting some scrubland or plateaus, they are amongst the cheapest duals, cheaper than many fo the lands in modern).

For beating mentor gush specifically I would strongly consider 1) jitte and 2) Sulfur Elemental. Both cards are very good and can turn the tide by themselves given a little time, which is all this deck is trying to do.

It is always an uphill battle to play hatebears in vintage, but the beauty of hate bears is that they can beat anything if tweaked correctly.

@garbageaggro I'd love to try and figure it out, but at the moment, I honestly don't think there's enough varied cards in White that can successfully nuke token-based strategies. The main issue being that Mentor runs white, and has access to Swords to Plowshares and can put me off plays while SIMULTANEOUSLY significantly adding to power/toughness on the board, which I generally don't want to block.

I've made some edits to the deck, and I'm getting happier with what's been happening.

I'm pretty certain that Spirit Guides are the way to go for this deck. Getting turn 1 plays is massive, and Spirit Guides allow me to retain the Stony Silence/Null Rod plan and still let me accel. The downside is that my hand gets emptied far quicker, and I don't have the ability to refill... at all.

Enlightened Tutor has been absolutely a game changer. If I make a good enough metagame call, I can plop a Tutor and search for the most effective strategy against the deck they're playing. A frighteningly large number of cards (for a creature deck) can be searched up. This is incentivizing adding in Thorns, although I'm not quite sure.

Tried Black Vise for a few days, and it made a huge difference in about a half of the matches I played. It kept people from using Library, and it hit at least two times in games where I played it. A few games were won off the back of that card alone. The issue is that it isn't a prison card and those slots needed to go somewhere else.

With the accel now available, I added 2x Eidolon of Rhetoric and kept one Ethersworn Canonist. Eidolon actually helps more against Mentor because Mentor gets triggered off of Moxen, which can still be spammed with a Canonist. Canonist is also a 2/2, and will likely get attacked into, whereas Eidolon is a 1/4 and that matters way more than it should...

SB: Windborn Muse needs more accel than I currently have to be effective, but Ghostly Prison got so much better after including Enlightened Tutors, as is Ratchet Bomb, Aegis of the Gods, and Suppression Field.

I cut 1 Grand Abolisher, 2 Judge's Familiar, 1 Path/Swords, 1 Plains, 1 Vryn Wingmare and 2 Leonin Arbiter to make room.

New thoughts are adding one Wingmare back, as Flying is actually a big deal against Mentor. Might try one maindeck Ghostly Prison to be on the safe side game 1 against Mentor.

New Thalia just dropped today on MTGO (i think) and I can't wait to test it. Might even try a version with Winter Orb for the good old fashioned soft lock.

It's not over, but it's definitely an uphill battle, one that I don't think will get better with slight tweaks. The games have been absolutely dreadful.

UPDATES:

Added a metagame analysis section (Section 7) that should be updated most frequently with little blurbs as I play the deck. Not sure how to archive past analyses, but I want the most relevant information seen.

Updates 8/8/16 :

  • Greatly Improved readability
  • Altered the Core section to include mana acceleration, Enlightened Tutors, Windborn Muse
  • Added a 'faster' decklist
  • Added "Fetching basics is a misplay" to 'how to defeat' section
  • more stuff
last edited by Dumpsterac1d

Updates, 8/18/16

Added a blurb about Belcher for completion's sake, I don't think this deck will have any problems against Belcher and I probably didn't need to write anything at all.

Just a note, Suppression Field has moved to a 1-of in the main, and Turn 1, it's one of the best cards in the deck, and it almost beats playing turn 1 Thalia. Against any strategy that involves Planeswalkers, Manlands, and Fetches, this card has the ability to heavily tax a player, down to you getting three to four free turns throughout the game, or more. Combine that with Null Rod/Stony Silence and a strategically laid Revoker, it's very difficult for people to bust through a turn 1 Suppression Field.

Anyone know of one on legs?

last edited by Dumpsterac1d

@Dumpsterac1d
When you mean it beats Thalia, you mean that it's effect is even better than thalia, right?

The closest creatures that I can think of are Leonine arbiter (not really comparable, but both affect fetchlands which is one of the best effects from suppression field playing tax deck). Revoker can shut activated abilities from target non-land permanent. Burning-Tree Shaman deals 1 damage whenever a player activates an ability that isn't a mana ability, but does not affect the ability to trigger them. Azorius Guildmage can counter activated abilities, but for a high 2U.

Null rod on legs could have been viable years ago, but creating now a bear for 2cc with rod text... that would be nasty, specially in white.

@xouman Yeah, it's effects can be a better choice than Thalia. Often I'll have a hand with a couple plains, a Spirit Guide, Thalia and Suppression Field, and the times where I've managed to get out a turn 1 Suppression Field I get way ahead. Players keep hands with fetches and one mox, and if that mox isn't a Sapphire, they're drawing from the top to find mana.

The thing that doesn't sit right is that it's not a bear and doesn't add p/t or a clock to the board. I'd use Arbiter but I've been having great success with Enlightened Tutor.

Haven't ever played enlightened tutor, but I have played vampiric and never got fond of it. Trinket (for example) is 2x1. Demonic 1x1. Vampiric/Enlightened 0x1. Whenever I have played "fair" decks, mulligans always hurted a lot, because there is no ancestral or gush to recover CA. Of course you play cards that lock lots of opponent cards (for example stony silence of sanctum prelate, but also field or thalia can do it temporary). I suspect that while there is some tempo card in play (thalia, or suppression field) ET can fetch for the right lock card, and that be game winner if you detect devastating cards against each pairing. But I suspect that often the ET would be misstepped (which is not that bad, being 1x1 but at 1 mana loss for you despite making the misstep alive, since it's otherwise dead). Even worse, the fetched card can be countered, losing cards and mana in the process.

Good luck and thanks for sharing your results/experiences 🙂

@xouman You're totally right about Tutor getting misstepped, but there are a couple of strategies.

One is I run 4 missteps myself, so there's that, and two is that I'm running 3 Abolishers at the moment, so throwing one out on my turn is actually preferable about 1/3 of the time I draw it, which is almost never the case with the Visions tutors.

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