I was very curious about this deck so i test it a bit and bring it to a small paper tournament today. The list was the last one suggested by Vroman and running life from the loam (see a few posts above). The mail was slow so i missed a few cards and made some minor change to it.
Namely -1 balance / +1 needle for MD.
The side was : 4 dark depths, 4 thespian stage, 4 leyline of the void, 1 needle, 1 vengeful pharaoh and 1 ancient grudge.
The results were average but mostly because the pilot did not master enough the deck.
Here are a few thoughts :
- i really missed 1 ichorid to trigger amalgam, i think i will put it in the balance/needle slot.
- i agree with Zias about Darkmor Salvage. Rifstone portal and some slow dredging can let us get loam running and getting the lands but it is really slow. Not sure what to cut yet but i will definitively want 1 or 2.
- i know that it is not exactly the plan but since i had 1 free slot in sideboard i tried ancient grudge. I found it quite neat to deal with cage, needle and time vault. Ray of revelation could be interesting too in sideboard but much less useful.
- Maybe i played the deck really bad but i am not convinced by Hollow one. It is great when you get it in opening hand or if you happen to get it with bazar when drawing instead of dredging, but most of the time it just get away when dredging. I know people love it in dredge decks but this deck is not exactly a classical dredge deck so maybe it is different. I don't know and will test much more.
- strip / loam lock is a thing.
- Hardcasting a 16/16 troll is just a blast !
My 10 cents
I did not do any deep analysis about that but my fear is : what if people find out that mulligan agressively into hate is the best strategy under that mulligan rule ? It would lead in not very interesting games where the winner would be the one who found the hate in fewer mulligan than his opponent.
I see several drawbacks for that card :
- Its effect triggers "at the beginning of your precombat main phase" so that means that when you cast it it is too late and you will get the effect only next turn.
- It is a creature. Will it survive long enough to get neat advantage ?
- Since it requires sacrifying a creature, the obvious shell is Dredge or any deck that plays mentor/pyro. I am not a Dredge expert but IMHO that deck will really want to cast a cabal therapy effect quick before hate goes on the battlefield. As for mentor/pyro, i guess they would rather have a non creature spell.
So i am not really optimistic about its use in Vintage. I agree that it may be interesting in a deck that is currently under radar but i fail to see which one yet.
There is a cycle of cards in Legends that have a nice potential. The black one is Touch of Darkness (the other four are exactly similar). They never saw any play back in the days but there is a nice combo that is played in Commander with Horobi, Death's wail.
When Horobi is on the field, Touch of darkness is a 1cc instant wrath of god that hits only opponent and that can't be countered (very difficult to be more true). Quite neat !
Horobi is not Vintage playable but if a Vintage playable similar card was printed it could lead in the death of all creature decks and so would deserve some restriction.
I am not an expert but, because of the high power level of vintage cards, could it be that making 1 for 1, in ritual and not knowing what you may find in opponent hand, is not good enough for a vintage control deck ? Counterspells sound better as some are free (or sort of) and can be played with more information. I mean discard might not be broken enough for modern vintage ?