The Noble/Dark Confidant/Thalia/Mayor core creature base for Humans designed 5-6 years ago (A_Duck and myself worked months on this) has been utterly destroyed by printings like Walking Ballista/Wrenn/Oko and more. You get punished so hard by running the 'normal' stuff.
Some answers I can think of are:
They print an efficient card that hexproofs our investments (our creature base) is to play more powered lists yourself that generate more resource than they can handle. A good example is
The problem is that this card is not efficient , at 4 converted mana cost it is a good card, but in order to be reliable as a tactic to support our strategy of 'protect the investment' it has to be cheaper. Cheaper with a price maybe but it has to be able to get in there when it matters. Similarly how infect tries to protect their dudes.
Chubbyrain has illustrated that a list with Humans and lords can get the job done: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/3167642#online
I do not know what the match ups where, and I am especially interested in the match up vs Wrenn/Drs. It seems that his list tries to put a lot of boots on the table and win by force and relatively quickly. Having access to Humans that can grow big but do not cost 3 mana (like Knight) was most likely what made life hard on all the decks that try to get rid of all your stuff. Very interesting list.
My opinion is that this is not just about Wrenn but this is about trying to beat a strategy that is simply put, superior to what you are trying to do. Even with your best draw, you will still be at a disadvantage. A couple of cards will not solve this. Wrenn/DRS/Waste combined with multiple draw / card selection and removal is just the kind of tempo play that beats 'fair' aggro control decks.
The reason for this is simple, your investment is based on creatures, and almost exclusively. The cards they run naturally answer creatures and more.
Thankfully not all the Xerox iterations are on DRS/Wasteland/Wrenn package. In my opinion, this package should actually be played by us. And there is actually a deck that Recklessmbermage is covering in the Junk bear thread that does exactly this. I still don't understand why you are not trying that out Noah. Just because some version of Xerox runs these cards, does not mean they 'own' it and they are the only ones that can run it. It does not make DRS/Wrenn a blue thing.
Thanks for the read. I am super happy that you put me in The Spice Corner with the 4C Baazar Humans. I actually was 3-0 things where going really great. I brew the thing together a day before, so I am sure someone else can improve on it. Expect a decent amount of turn 2 / turn 3 finishers with this deck and sometimes you even get turn 1. It all depends if you see the lotus or mana crypt early on, and preferably with Cavern of Souls. Also there is obviously a learning curve, I probably made a lot of mistakes.
What I learned: You want to hit that 3 mana + Bazaar as soon as possible. Herald is always around the corner. Also don't forget you can put Herald on stack and then activate Bazaar in response (even if there are no cards left in your hand). This might sometimes be your only play to win on the spot.
Thanks for the contribution.
Isn't Mox Diamond and Ouphe anti-synergy causing issues? I do understand how important it is to have more chance of having 2 mana on turn 1. And I love the synergy with Wrenn.
I have tested Deafening Silence a lot this past month and it is one of the strongest cards you can play against the heavy blue metagame. It actually acts as mana denial early on, and makes it hard for the opponent to quickly get rid of all your bears one by one while also developing their board and hand size.
The new Shepherd making all green spells uncounterable could be an interesting card in this list. Have you considered it?
The routine is Force of Will your first threat, bolt your second, do some cantrips, find either another removal like plow or snap/dread. Then a turn later fetch sanctuary and continue the slaughter. Infinite removal.
That routine needs to be interrupted, it is criminal behavior. I am busting my brains for a while now in finding ways / lines of play but I don't see it. It used to be just snapcaster that represented a double removal on your lovebears. Nowadays they just sweep your board with a combination of counter magic, removal and recurring effects. The plan to "play another threat they can't remove them all" is in my opinion no longer valid. Why would you say that doesn't do anything, it is cheap enough to be played prior to your 'cards that do something'. Shepherd does disrupt, it disrupts their counter magic that is suppose to counter your threats that stop their bombs. Again, it used to be a thing to maximize your disruption by playing only stuff like teeg, thalia, priest, ... and then have all these effects stacked on top of each other to overload opponents, sadly I do not think this approach works anymore, Xerox decks are too strong, they easily dismantle that now.
I am not saying Shepherd is a fix to all this, it should probably have 'hexproof' printed on it as well and then ... maybe (probably still not enough). I do believe the card does deserve at least some testing, we need to find out what 8 'cavern of souls' effects can do.
What is more is that I came to this conclusions 5 years ago and dropped the more redundant and straightforward Human lists. Even back then it was hard (but not impossible) to get a foothold on the game. I started brewing with Human lists that ran all the power and cut on the amount of creatures but still kept enough to do similar 'aggro' things. Dack and Sensei Top enabled deck manipulation (and Dack was also disruption to mana, tinker so it worked well). Tutors got your silver bullets like Karakas, Hurkyl's recall or Decay, or a well timed recall/strip mine. In such a deck I could see Shepherd work. Dack probably needs to go and Oko can take it's place. Top replaced by Sylvan and Ouphe sounds interesting too.
The Value 5C Humans do not run rainbow manabase, that is more a modern format thing. You run highlander dual mana base with plenty of fetchlands. Deathrite is also extremely important (i know it is a non human but my experience tells me Noble is worse at the moment).
No it won't. Deafening is actually very strong in Survival since all you are doing is casting 2 creature spells.
Another home would be 5C Humans, the controlling value versions or the Knight Humans which usually goes for prison and sticks with GWx colorwise.
It does not have to be all about combo, but I can see it being very good in a combo deck as well.