TNT : My New Favorite Deck



  • I didn’t know how this was going to work or if it was going to work. My reasoning for picking up this deck was because I was searching for a strategy that met this criteria:

    Doesn’t draw extra cards.
    Makes 2-for-1s through creatures (cards like Flametongue Kavu and Thought-Knot Seer)

    Survival of the Fittest appealed to me because it essentially is able to cheat on the “doesn’t draw extra cards” criteria. It doesn’t draw extra cards, but it finds exactly the card that you want and puts it into your hand. So I began the search on Morphing.de, aiming for one of the Spike Feeder combos or Vengevine lists, but I stumbled upon an old deck from 2002 called TnT.

    I started with a list that was directly from 2002, just to observe some things and figured it was a good place to start. And of course I’ve been analyzing the strategy and my games and making changes when I think of them. But 14 years is a lot of ground to cover so I know that I’m not even close to an ideal list yet. But here is where I’m at:

    4 Mishra’s Workshop
    4 Mana Confluence
    4 Taiga
    2 Tropical Island
    1 Cavern of Souls
    3 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Tolarian Academy
    1 Library of Alexandria
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Sol Ring

    4 Goblin Welder
    3 Phyrexian Revoker
    2 Squee, Goblin Nabob
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Sulfur Elemental
    1 Fire Imp
    1 Simian Spirit Guide
    1 Su-Chi
    1 Lodestone Golem
    1 Flametongue Kavu
    2 Razormane Masticore
    1 Ingot Chewer
    3 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Sundering Titan
    4 Survival of the Fittest
    1 Crucible of Worlds
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Trinisphere
    1 Time Walk
    1 Ancestral Recall

    -sideboard-
    1 In the Eye of Chaos
    1 Choke
    1 Pyrostatic Pillar
    4 Grafdigger’s Cage
    2 Tormod’s Crypt
    1 Pyroblast
    1 Ingot Chewer
    1 Gorilla Shaman
    1 Flametongue Kavu
    1 Ancient Grudge
    1 Artifact Mutation

    I’m not going to get into card specifics because It’s hard for me to say any of these cards definitely belong in the deck and they might be replaced by tomorrow. I started with a list that had 4 Juggernauts and 4 Su-Chis. I cut Juggernaut right away because its pretty bad against 3/2 first strikers, but Su-Chi is not bad. I went to zero but then added 1 because its kind of nice to have a plethora of options with Survival.

    I’m sharing this because I’ve been really impressed by this deck. I didn’t expect it to be as competitive as it is. I was more or less trying to scope it out for future iterations of the Vintage meta. (i.e. Hate bears.meta), because it makes sense that it would have really good game against those decks due to the Flametongue Kavus, redundant (and Large) creatures, and ways to go broken with Goblin Welder. So the real question is how does this deck stack up against Gush Mentor, Ravager Shops, and the other decks that are being playing on MTGO right now.

    The first thing I noticed on MTGO is that a lot of people are trying out these underpowered hate strategies before CN2 is even available. So right of the bat, I can confirm that TNT truly dominates that whole pillar. If someone wants to beat this deck, they’re going to have to go broken (Like DPS or a great first turn from Ravager Shops), it’s not going to be beaten by something fair. So Eldrazi, is a joke of a matchup apparently. They’re aiming too much for Gush decks with how they’re constructed and they just miss TnT. One game against Eldrazi I didn’t have much going besides a Phyrexian Revoker so I played it naming “Abandon Hope”. A couple Squee chump blocks later, and I was able to get a Survival of the Fittest and the deck just takes off from there. Get another Revoker, name the Endbringer he just cast, get a Welder into play, Weld in a Wurmcoil Engine, etc. It’s truly remarkable how Survival just allows you to go off.

    Now I have lost some games to those turn 1 Monastery Mentors; but I’m not convinced its a bad matchup. If you can resolve a Survival of the Fittest, its very hard for the Gush deck to keep up with your card advantage. They have to counter your threats and you’re drawing 3 cards (creatures that you choose) every turn. Then after the dust settles, maybe they get a Mentor in play, but then I’m just able to kill it via Fire Imp or something. In the Gush matchup, this deck operates within the “do-nothing theory”. The Do-Nothing Theory is what I describe what the Gush deck does against Dredge or Goblins. They might have a good hand in general (Preordain, Land, Gush, Flusterstorm, Gitaxian Probe, Force, Land), but simply do nothing against the particular strategy that I’m deploying.

    Overall this deck has promising alignment within the metagame. And I'm happy to be working on it currently.



  • This deck blew me away a couple days ago. Happy to see it described. Very interested!



  • Here's the original 2002 list:

    1 Black Lotus
    1 Grim Monolith
    4 Juggernaut
    1 Karn, Silver Golem
    2 Masticore
    1 Memory Jar
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Sol Ring
    4 Su-Chi
    2 Triskelion
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Time Walk
    1 Tinker
    1 Regrowth
    4 Survival of the Fittest
    1 Uktabi Orangutan
    4 Goblin Welder
    1 Gorilla Shaman
    2 Squee, Goblin Nabob
    1 Thunderscape Battlemage

    Lands (21):
    4 City of Brass
    1 Library of Alexandria
    4 Mishra's Workshop
    1 Strip Mine
    4 Taiga
    1 Tolarian Academy
    3 Tropical Island
    3 Wasteland

    -sideboard-
    3 Artifact Mutation
    2 Elvish Lyrist
    3 Flametongue Kavu
    1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress
    2 Pyroblast
    2 Red Elemental Blast
    2 Tormod's Crypt



  • This was my favorite deck of all time, and I played various versions of TNT back in the day. I played the deck more recently again in various color permutations on MTGO before selling out, and before Lodestone was restricted. At that point it was still viable, with the only tough matchups being Storm and Oath.

    • Combo of Sylvan Library + fetchlands is good for seeing lots of cards (and so is Top, which also combos well with Welder)
    • Thorn of Amethyst was very good at the time
    • In versions with blue, Dack Fayden is mana intensive to cast, but solid, and lets you keep more hands without Survival
    • Genesis is mana intensive but lets you sidestep a lot of hate like Cage, Priest, etc., and usually better than a second Squee, because it's not just dead without Survival
    • Anger is still really good


  • @JACO

    Thank you so much for the advice. I'm definitely trying all that you suggested. Really good ideas.

    Good touch on Thorns being good then. I played around with Thorns but didn't like that, if I had two mana on turn 1, I would have to choose between casting Thorn to potentially cripple my opponent or cast Survival. They can do a lot of work, but can also be a nuisance. I wouldn't rule it out completely though because it's absolutely essential to have that kind of effect for against Storm.



  • Dont like doube masticore / squees and possible a 3rd wurmcoil.
    I think myr battlesphere would be good in here.
    Tangle wire is a great TNT card as well.

    Not sure if playing white is game, but i could see one-ofs containment priest (SB) and ethersworn cannonist.

    Maybe blood moon / magus of the moon?



  • i dont know what this deck is trying to do.
    but it looks sufficiently broken that i am in full support of doing it.
    also have you considered casting seedtime? i mean who doesnt like green timewalk.
    people always be casting blue cards on my turn in this format

    also sex monkey in the og list. i approve.
    also mox monkey. fun times

    is there a world where you can play sad robot for value?
    or veteran explorer and some basics?
    dryad arbor is in fact a creature and a land.
    is there any reason to play a big dumb idiot like like boneyard wurm/splinter fright/ghoultree?
    what about grenzo dungeon warden for some faster recursion than genesis.
    keeper of the dead seems like he would be good in a creature mirror. tho it might not be better then just a FTK.
    is signal the clans worth considering? a red green creature tutor thats slightly worse than the actual copy of survival.
    scavenging ooze.
    big game hunter seems like a pretty good guy to discard and kill a thotnot.
    farie macabre for the classic anti graveyard?
    eternal witness?

    creature that becomes a creature in your graveyard+phage? im sure theres more then 1 floating around.

    k im out of ideas that are on top of my head now.



  • Looks like a sweet deck to take for a whirl - and probably a perfect home for the new Kaladesh Skysovreign card. While it doesn't take down Thoughtknot Seers like FTK does, it will help control the board against smaller creatures. Maybe over one of the Razormanes?



  • @desolutionist If you ever see me in the open play area and want to test against underpowered hatebears, I am down. I love this deck.

    Wurmcoil vs Hatebears is nail-in-coffin-level good.

    One thing I would be particularly worried about is the combination of Rest in Peace and Leonin Arbiter/Suppression Field, if your main target is a future Hatebear-rich meta. I currently have two slots in the SB I've been looking for something to fill and RiP fits quite nicely. Maybe something like Sylvok Replica in the SB? Can be searched with Survival and Welded back once a RiP is down.

    Also, Containment Priest is a bummer too.



  • I have been waiting almost 15 years for this deck to make a comeback. Wonder and Anger are still very powerful cards. I always wondered why just them 2 cards havent been usd in these Jeskai Mentor/Pyro lists running 4 dacks. Trike should definitely be in these lists and I personally would run at least 2 Reclamation Sage maindeck for Graveyard hate. Genesis is probably to slow. Also I think Dr. Shaman should be an auto 3-4 of in this type of list.


  • TMD Supporter

    @Serracollector said:

    I have been waiting almost 15 years for this deck to make a comeback. Wonder and Anger are still very powerful cards. I always wondered why just them 2 cards havent been usd in these Jeskai Mentor/Pyro lists running 4 dacks. Trike should definitely be in these lists and I personally would run at least 2 Reclamation Sage maindeck for Graveyard hate. Genesis is probably to slow. Also I think Dr. Shaman should be an auto 3-4 of in this type of list.

    Echoing this! Haven't been this excited about a deck in a long time!


  • Administrators

    TNT holds a special place in my heart because it was the first vintage deck I ever brought to a tournament! I tried making this deck work a few months ago, and couldn't get it off the ground ... but I hope you have better luck than I did.

    A few old-guard players have mentioned Anger for the deck, but I want to make sure it isn't missed what Anger does for this list - while it looks like Anger only buys you one extra turn, it can actually buy you two. Pretty often Survival->Anger is the "plan A" for this deck, with Workshop as the backup.

    With Survival of the Fittest and any creature in hand, you can pay GGGR to:

    G => discard [any creature] for Anger,
    G => discard Anger for [giant dude],
    G => discard [giant dude] for Goblin Welder,
    R => play Goblin Welder with haste, immediately activated it to weld in [giant dude] with haste and attack.

    it only costs GGR if you have a piece in hand, and it's very realistic to pull off the turn after you play Survival. I like attacking with a turn 2/turn 3 Sundering Titan or Myr Battlesphere myself, but Wurmcoil Engine is no slouch. Remember that the next turn, you have active Welder along with your giant creature. Of course, Anger can be vulnerable to Strip effects and grave hate, which are both more common now than they used to be.



  • There's a list, maybe called 'Apple Jacks'? Idk. It was like this, but also fueled by Orcish Lumberjacks.

    I tried it out with a white splash, since it seems to offer more vs combo, dredge and control than just TW/AR does.

    Both Thalias were pretty good in there and you could survival for pretty hateful stuff in white.



  • Such a shame that Kiki Jiki costs trips red, and is probably unplayable in this as a result, this is the sort of list that could abuse it beyond belief if it could ever be cast.

    VERY happy to see you kept a copy of artifact mutation in your board, I always thought it was the forgotten piece of artifact hate.



  • I love me some SotF decks. Apple Jacks was always fun, but high variance. My biggest concern with any SotF decks is how they perform in the absence of the flagship card. This is clearly a different deck that Apple Jacks, which was critically dependant on SotF, but it's still close enough that I wonder how the deck functions without it. There are no interaction spells and no other source of card advantage so do you have to aggressively mull to SotF every game? Are there enough hands that are good enough without SotF that this deck has a chance in a tournament?



  • @enderfall clearly we just name it "survival of the nakamura" and we get oath in our opening hand every game.

    @Brass-Man said:

    TNT holds a special place in my heart because it was the first vintage deck I ever brought to a tournament! I tried making this deck work a few months ago, and couldn't get it off the ground ... but I hope you have better luck than I did.

    A few old-guard players have mentioned Anger for the deck, but I want to make sure it isn't missed what Anger does for this list - while it looks like Anger only buys you one extra turn, it can actually buy you two. Pretty often Survival->Anger is the "plan A" for this deck, with Workshop as the backup.

    With Survival of the Fittest and any creature in hand, you can pay GGGR to:

    G => discard [any creature] for Anger,
    G => discard Anger for [giant dude],
    G => discard [giant dude] for Goblin Welder,
    R => play Goblin Welder with haste, immediately activated it to weld in [giant dude] with haste and attack.

    i feel like if your doing that platinum emperion or nullstone gargoyle. warrent consideration.



  • Thanks for all the great advice and comments. I’m glad I made this thread because I’m getting a lot of information out of it. I revised my list last night that took into account Jaco and BOP’s suggestions and I won two matches in the 2-mans against Myth Realized/Mentor and Dredge.

    Here is the updated list:

    4 Mishra’s Workshop
    2 Mana Confluence
    4 Taiga
    2 Tropical Island
    3 Wooded Foothills
    3 Wasteland
    1 Strip Mine
    1 Tolarian Academy
    1 Library of Alexandria
    1 Black Lotus
    1 Mox Sapphire
    1 Mox Ruby
    1 Mox Emerald
    1 Mox Pearl
    1 Mox Jet
    1 Sol Ring

    4 Goblin Welder
    4 Phyrexian Revoker
    1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
    1 Genesis
    1 Anger
    1 Reclamation Sage
    1 Fire Imp
    1 Lodestone Golem
    1 Flametongue Kavu
    1 Razormane Masticore
    2 Wurmcoil Engine
    1 Myr Battlesphere
    1 Sundering Titan
    4 Survival of the Fittest
    1 Sylvan Library
    1 Dack Fayden
    1 Tinker
    1 Chalice of the Void
    1 Trinisphere
    1 Time Walk
    1 Ancestral Recall
    1 Sensei’s Divining Top

    -sideboard-
    1 In the Eye of Chaos
    1 Choke
    1 Sulfur Elemental
    4 Grafdigger’s Cage
    2 Tormod’s Crypt
    2 Ingot Chewer
    1 Gorilla Shaman
    1 Flametongue Kavu
    1 Ancient Grudge
    1 Artifact Mutation

    @enderfall

    One thing that appealed to me about this deck is the Mishra’s Workshops and robust mana base. If I can’t get Survival going, I’m fine to slow roll it with my value creatures. I personally don’t mulligan to Survival, but some of the comments here has made me think that maybe I should be. I’ve kept some pretty questionable hands as far as having plenty of business spells and it’s usually turned out okay. There are some other options in the deck to generate advantage ranging from Sylvan Library and Library of Alexandria to hard casting Flametongue Kavus.

    @Brass-Man

    Thanks for that outline, I had totally been playing Survival wrong until I read that. Anger is a new addition to my list, and I had been going for Squee to establish advantage before Anger. But I’ll definitely be trying that line.

    @Serracollector

    Deathrite Shaman does seem like its possibly pretty good. I just put Genesis in the list last night and it was actually pretty good for me in the game against Mentor that it came up. I actually had it in play until he Wrathed, and then I started bringing stuff back until he conceded.

    @Dumpsterac1d

    I’ll definitely be playing some games against you in the future.

    @sodoyouwearacape

    The 6/5 flying vehicle seems like an auto-inclusion in this deck. Though the only problem is that it isn’t a creature so it will only come up as often as Trinisphere, Chalice, etc. Still seems good though.

    @snowydude

    I'll look into those creatures, thanks.



  • @desolutionist combustable gearhulk should get a look in this list for sure. With 4 welders you can see a ton of cards and/or deal alot of damage and load your yard. Maybe in place of wormcoil #2.



  • Yea, with haste, Dr. Shaman can be birds that can attack for 2 if needed, and it gets around wastes, bloodmoons, and null rods, which ur deck seems weak too. I still think Wonder should be in there. Swing in the air is still good and gets around moat.

    Just a thought but shouldn't you have a draw 7 and dump, like Jar, Windfall, or Wheel?

    Is Razormane better than Triskelion?

    Is mana confluence necessary if you play more fetches/duals, and Dr. Shaman?


  • TMD Supporter

    I got a lot to say about this but gearhulk is officially the bomb in phantoms



  • @Serracollector said:

    Yea, with haste, Dr. Shaman can be birds that can attack for 2 if needed, and it gets around wastes, bloodmoons, and null rods, which ur deck seems weak too. I still think Wonder should be in there. Swing in the air is still good and gets around moat.

    Just a thought but shouldn't you have a draw 7 and dump, like Jar, Windfall, or Wheel?

    i hear magus of the wheel is a creature.


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