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@wfain said in Survival Salad:

@ritter I guess. I don’t imagine that combination is correct for the online metagame right now anyhow. Leyline/Trap seem far better than Cage unless you expect to play Oath a few times.

There needs to be a better way to record match data. I can't say for certain which combination of cards is better for SB. What I can tell you is that I played Oath 6 times, 7 if you count MTGO user gmac who played Paradoxical with a SB Oath package. I played Dredge 11 times, and the mirror 6 times. I'm not a statistician, but there were many games where having a cohesive plan against these decks definitely mattered. There are like 5-8 SB slots that can be put towards these types of decks, so any new tech or development could certainly be useful. I've never played with Cages in my SB, but I can see them being worth a thought in at least 23/73 matches.

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@wfain You definitely don't have to cut VV in those matches, but that might be the game plan he was going for. I can see leaving VV in if he was just running Priests, but I can't really imagine many matches he's bringing in just Priests and not the Cages as well (mirror match probably). If there are 2 Cages going into the deck post-board, I don't think you can leave the VV in as well. They still pitch to a Bazaar/Survival, but I think unless you really can't find any better cards to bring/leave in, VV come out.

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@withmk2 and I played several nights ago in a league before the event. I was running 3x Stony Silence main at the time, and we talked about how to board for the mirror and how I boarded for some of the matches.

With such a prestigious finish for the deck, I'm sure it'll only get more popular going forward. It'll be interesting to see how it branches out and evolves. I've now played 73 matches with variations of the deck on MTGO with an Overall WR of 58%. Interesting Fact! I played against Paradoxical 17 times comprising 23% of the matches I faced going 9-8.

I've tried a bunch of different cards to fill the 6-10 slots that can be played with. I've never played with Sylvan Library in the list but many post-board games against blue decks are a game of landing Thalia and hoping to out tempo/aggro an opponent while they play cages/crypts and hopefully come up short on mana and do something spells. Sylvan would be great on a stalled board or very early on, but often not better than a Survival. Even in the face of cage/crypt, being able to chain a few rootwalla into just about anything can be pretty great. As people try out different cards, game plans change and maybe there is a better plan that involves Sylvan we just haven't tried.

Haven't really missed Manglehorn or Spell Queller. I like the idea of Dryad Militant, but in practice has basically been a 2/1 for W. The absolute best part of Militant has been casting it off a sad pearl that really wishes it was useful past the first few turns of the game. I still like Squee and will probably stick to 2 in the MD, but I can see the utility of the SB plan @withmk2 was going for. Instead of fighting the VV vs. Containment Priest battle in post-board games against Dredge and Oath, just cut all the VV and sub in Squee that can still net value from an active bazaar/Survival. Bonus, he even gets to bring in Cages which is pretty awesome.

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@GutoCmtt @wfain Would you mind posting a list? It sounds like you are running the full 5 colors with Thalia, Pyroblast, DRS etc., and I'm interested to see how you allocated spots for ESG, DRS, and your lands. I've also been thinking a lot about off color moxen and a 5C list could potentially run all of them. I've found that emerald and pearl are great, while the rest go from game breaking on T1 to worse than a green producing land mid to late game.

Has anyone been trying Riftstone Portal recently? It was a staple of lists near the top of this thread, and kinda died off. I've been running a singleton and it has definitely been better than another fetch. If you are running DRS, I can see an extra fetch being more valuable, especially if you are color fixing for a 5C list.

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Also, if you manage to cast a Squee, he's a goblin so your rabblemath would need to be updated.

Mandrills is sweet because it can be cast for G, Goyf is sweet because he can become a monster under the right circumstances for 1G. Rabble costs more than both, but provides additional value past his own body. Tasigur is probably just a smaller version of Gurmag Angler in this list as activating his 4 mana ability is not ideally where you want to be. Both Tasigur and Angler require black mana to cast which is somewhat of a downside. If I was going to pick a dude like Tasigur, I'd probably just go with the Angler instead.

The deck may just not have enough surprise value anymore, and as people on MTGO move away from SB options that target shops and PO, the incidental hate towards creature strategies goes up. I have seen a ton more plows, peacekeepers!, and sweepers (pyroclasm, verdict, deluge) recently, and it doesn't take a whole lot to throw off our game plan. Survival decks are going to need to adjust and evolve, and won't be able to bank on people making bad SB decisions and not really understanding how the combos work for long.

I have been having a real hard time against Jeskai Mentor and basically any deck that runs plows and snaps with FoW. I have lost games where I dropped 12 power on board turn 2, and I have been ultimated by a JTMS more than once. Survival at its core is not a control deck, but also lacks the focused aggro plan you might see from a deck like humans or fish. This shoves it into a weird place between combo and aggro/control.

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This is where I kinda wanna go for one branch of what this deck could look like. I've already played a few league matches and would cut the grand abolisher as well as the 4th sb stony silence. I feel bad about cutting the stony silence, but I've had them pile up too many times in my hand. I'd also cut the spell queller, it just sits in my hand uncastable most of the time.

The cards I'm using past the core 20 are just an impersonation of a tax package you might find in white eldrazi or shops. All I really want to do is start going crazy with a bazaar or survival as fast as I can while stopping my opponent from going crazier at a faster pace than me. When I lose, the #1 reason is getting FoW'd at the worst possible times and then having no choice but to play draw go until I find more lands that make mana (maybe 3 is too many ESG), or action that can swing me back into the game. I almost want to go back into red to run goblin rabblemaster, a dude that can just take over a game on an unchecked board.

If you're not gonna run a tax package, you can try to run countermagic to try and stall the game to the point where you have flooded the board with VV and hopefully won the game. That list is going to still have that core 20 cards, but past that I can imagine a deck that goes real heavy in blue to support FoW (disputable, but probably 16 cards), or maybe just runs missteps and mindbreak traps.

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@wfain said in Survival Salad:

@ritter I played a version with Gravecrawler. It was fine. I think there is a list up in the thread somewhere.

I think a list with Gravecrawler and Amalgam could be great, I'm just not convinced you can squeeze FoW in there as well.

I'm thinking of taking the list to a more hatebears place, including 3 MD Thalia and 3 MD Stony Silence to start. With 3 MD Stony Silence, Kataki gets a lot better, so I've been playing one MD over Ancient Grudge cutting red aside from Squee. With this configuration, Manglehorn gets a little worse and harder to cast, so that probably goes to the board or maybe gets cut entirely. Another card that could be good is Grand Abolisher, kinda going the Defense Grid route you see DPS take, running anti-FoW cards instead of FoW itself.

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@wfain said in Survival Salad:

Maybe I’m wrong but at a glance it looks like you’re just doing two things worse. Aren’t you a worse blue deck and a worse Survival/Bazaar deck? It’s interesting, but honestly I’d cut Survival. You aren’t doing anything with it. Breakthrough or Frantic Search would be better with so few creatures and no bullets to search for. I do, however, think a FoW version should at least consider Prized Amalgam.

I have been thinking about a FoW version as well, but I hate to think of what needs to go right to make Prized Amalgam fit into the deck. The only triggers would be Vengevines, and when you start to add other dudes like bloodghast or gravecrawler, you are adding lots more non-blue cards.

If I was going to make a list of immediately good blue cards to add I'd start with Ancestral, Walk, Cruise, Wonder, FoW, Misstep and Judge's Familiar. If you pick 12-16 blue cards to run in the deck to support FoW, you are going to be severely short on creatures to use for Survival and VV recursion unless you just start with 4 Judge's Familiar.

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I think I'm going to try a straight bant list, cutting 2 grudges, 2 taigas, 3 birds, 1 ESG, 1 squee, and the 1 anger. Going up to 4 hierarch leaves me with potentially 2 land slots and then 4 additional spots to fill. Additionally, with a straight bant manabase is it worth running the ruby? Maybe the ruby gets cut and the third ESG stays in?

Ideally I'd like cards that hit PO, Jeskai Mentor, or possibly Ravager Shops (the loss of 2 grudge should be made up for in some way I guess?). Having a way to bounce a blightsteel might be nice, possibly adding back dryad militant could be sweet, or even a second wonder has crossed my mind. One card I'm definitely interested in trying in some number is phyrexian revoker, being able to tutor up an answer for vault/key or a planeswalker. It seems that spell queller, although common in these lists, has been hit or miss, so I'm still bouncing around some ideas.

I also feel like I'm missing some ESG interactions. Besides it being like a green lotus petal that dodges spheres, I've had situations where I was able to survival up an ESG as an additional green mana source to pitch another creature to survival to get up to 3 discards in a turn for hollow one, but otherwise I can't tell if I'm missing some sweet interaction.

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Finished 3 leagues so far, 3-2; 5-0; 4-1.

My losses were to dredge, RUG Oath, and PO. The dredge pilot got some crazy good draws, hitting just the right combination of cards to pull off a cabal pit for priest and immediately start going crazy with dredgers while still holding FoW backup for my rav trap. PO had turn 1 vault/key on the play game 1 and then assembled vault/key turn 3 through a thalia after forcing a stony silence and tinkering for key with vault in hand.

For my crazy win compilation, I beat a PO pilot with tinker/BS turn 2 and an Oath pilot that managed to pull a turn 3 grisel and turn 4 inferno titan.

Wonder was amazing against just about everything, flying over ravager shops and mentors. I am currently running 3 birds and 3 ESG, which felt good in general. 3 squees were fantastic, pulling me out of many stalemates and slow board positions. Lil' squee even got cast a few times after chump blocking to be my second creature in a turn to resurrect vengevines.

For reference, my current list: