Hey all, long time lurker, first time poster. I'm planning on bringing a bant list to a big tournament in my region, and have had some thoughts I would love to discuss. I recently shaved black entirely from the list and cut spell quellers as they felt a bit out of date. My current list for reference:

Engine/Wincon Creatures:
4 Hollow One
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Vengevine
2 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Wonder
1 Hooting Mandrills

Creatures that make mana:
4 Noble Hierarch
2 Elvish Spirit Guide

Utility (Role):
2 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade (PO, Assorted)
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (PO, Xerox)
1 Containment Priest (Oath, Dredge)
1 Manglehorn (Shops, PO)
1 Deputy of Detention (Creatures)

Lock pieces:
3 Stony Silence
1 Chalice of the Void (On the fence here)

Survival of the fittest and Bazaars:
4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Bazaar of Baghdad

Busted Cards:
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk

Lands that make mana:
1 Forest
1 Island
2 Savannah
3 Tropical Island
2 Windswept Heath
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Riftstone Portal

Fully open to debate.

Firstly, if I am expecting a fair amount of shops and creature decks, is deputy of detention playable in the main? I've seen differing opinions on 3 drops. I am definitely packing a manglehorn, but no spell quellers.

Also, in my testing with survival (and applejacks before this) cards in hand has always been a limiting factor, has any consideration been given to Gush now that Lavinia is becoming a more active hate card and Thalia is being trimmed. I feel there is a lot of opportunity in synergy with bazaar and possibility to refuel. It may just be too slow for what we want to be doing though.

Also, should I just be moving over to a red splash for grudges and access to chewer?

Should I consider a 1x walking ballista in the main as a tutorable 0 drop (like memnite in recent lists) that also has utility vs dredge and dealing with revokers?


Have you considered finding space for Force of Will?

Deputy of Detention has always felt like a good replacement for Fairgrounds Warden, and a solid answer to anything (especially since you cut black).

If you expect a lot of Shops, then consider 2-3 Energy Flux in the sideboard and some number of Nature's Claim.

I find 2 Stony Silence and 1 Kataki, War's Wage should suffice in the main against shops. You can consider putting the 3rd one in the sideboard.

last edited by chikararyuu

Hi all,

another long time lurker, first time poster activates now that there seems to be signs of life in this thread.

I've always dreamed of owning paper power and I've been following Vintage scene for ages purely out of love for the format. Now that there might be a not-so-distant possibility for me to finally invest in paper power as well as Survival being an actual deck in Vintage (I was heartbroken when it got banned in Legacy) I decided to buy the necessary cards on MTGO and try out if actually playing Vintage was as much fun as I believed it to be.

So far I've played a total of 86 matches (17 leagues & 1 challenge) that I've kept track of. My deck has been Bant Survival from day 1. My match win percentage is currently 63,95% and I've managed to get 3 trophies in the current league and 1 in the previous one.

My current list is as follows:

4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
4 Hollow One
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Vengevine
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Wonder
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk

Mana sources
1 Forest
3 Savannah
3 Tropical Island
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Noble Hierarch
2 Elvish Spirit Guide

Disruption & Interaction
3 Lavinia, Azorius Renegade
3 Stony Silence
1 Chalice of the Void
2 Deputy of Detention

1 Containment Priest
1 Manglehorn
1 Sylvan Library

Few words about certain cards I'm running and omitting:

Deputy of Detention
Deputy has impressed me since the day I first tried it and it's even better now that War of the Spark has introduced another problematic permanent for us in the form of Narset, Parter of Veils. I wouldn't run less that 2 MD and I'm running a 3rd in the SB with no regrets.

Squee, Goblin Nabob
I'm running one MD and one SB. I ran two MD for a while thinking it would make 'aggressive Bazaaring' a viable strategy, but it was more a trap than anything else. I still have the 2nd in SB for the grindy control matchups.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
I got one of the trophies with a list that had 3 Lavinia's and 2 Thalia's, but that list was running 0 Stony Silences MD. With Stony Silences back in the deck, I can't really find space for Thalia's. Thalia has always been nice especially against Xerox decks, but there are also other ways to combat those.

Sylvan Library
Losing to Xerox usually involves the following sequence: Noble gets Misstepped, Survival Forced and afterwards one of the lands gets Strip Mined. There are not many ways to get back in the game after such a beating, but a resolved Sylvan Library goes a long way to give you a fighting chance.

Hooting Mandrills
Haven't tried, don't see the appeal. Is the card and/or function something more than 'just a' 1 mana 4/4 trample when it's at it's best?

I had 1 Island in SB for a while. I'd still like to run it as it felt like the best SB card against Workshops/Eldrazi, but I don't have the space for it. I wouldn't run it MD as I want all my lands to produce green mana (on turn 1). I don't run Riftstone Portal, Gaea's Cradle or Strip Mine for the same reason.

Walking Ballista
This is an interesting option that I hadn't considered. I would try it MD over the 2nd Deputy or the Containment Priest, but right now I don't see a compelling enough reason to do it.

Sample sideboard
1 Null Rod (PO, Workshops)
1 Deputy of Detention (Xerox, Workshops, BUG, Mirror)
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob (Xerox, Oath, BUG, Mirror)
2 Nature's Claim (Workshops, Xerox, Oath, Mirror)
2 Energy Flux (Workshops)
2 Mindbreak Trap (PO)
2 Containment Priest (Dredge, Oath)
2 Grafdigger's Cage (Dredge, Oath)
2 Ravenous Trap (Oath, Mirror)

Dredge is the only deck against which I have a match win percentage below 50%. For a long time I only ran 1+3 Containment Priests and 2 Grafdigger's Cages as GY hate, but I've since included Ravenous Trap into the mix to make the matchup more bearable. I haven't faced Dredge yet with this exact configuration so we'll see. Other than that I'm wondering if I want to play 4th Stony or 1st Null Rod. One is better against Hurkyl's Recall while the other one is better against Echoing Truth.

Thanks for making it this far. I hope that we get good discussion going on about this lovely deck of ours.

kortero on MTGO

last edited by rawpk

For the versions running Noble Hierarch over Dr. Shaman, what advantage is there in running duals/fetches over City of Brass, Mana Confluence, and Gemstone Mine? Even if your running Wonder wouldn't say 4 Trop, 4-6 fetch, and X Any color lands just be better? Just curious. Thanks!


I used to run Ravenous Trap in my list, but eventually decided to switchover to just Leyline of the Void. How do you sideboard for the matchup?

A lot of dredge lists in my area are pitch dredge lists, so sometimes my Ravenous Traps would be plucked out of my hand with Cabal Therapy before I could use them and/or get countered with Force of Will, so I decided to make the switch.

I haven't played Survival since WAR became legal, but Deputy of Detention had been an all-star when I ran it.

Regarding the Bant versions of survival, I found myself regularly outpaced by Paradoxical Outcome decks. Sure you could go 'full throttle' and jam out vengevines, but if you do not get it done in one swing, then they could combo off and it'll be over. Additionally, a lot of lists are bringing in Grafdigger's Cage to prevent this move, so you're already playing a slower, more methodical plan in this case.

Switching to the hatebear strategy (Thalia, Gaddock Teeg, etc) would work more consistently than the 'full throttle' plan, but without any interaction on their turn (aka countermagic), it felt very vulnerable to Karakas and Balance.

@serracollector said in Survival:

For the versions running Noble Hierarch over Dr. Shaman, what advantage is there in running duals/fetches over City of Brass, Mana Confluence, and Gemstone Mine? Even if your running Wonder wouldn't say 4 Trop, 4-6 fetch, and X Any color lands just be better? Just curious. Thanks

Few rainbow lands don’t enable one to splash red or black cards and the cumulative lifeloss just adds up even in Vintage. I’d rather spend ’the excess lifepoints’ on Sylvan activations. Additionally fetches are very valuable against Wasteland heavy decks so I try to run as many fetches as possible over anything spicy.


My plan against Dredge:
+2 Priest
+2 Cage
+2 Ravenous Trap
+1 Deputy
+2 Claim
-3 Stony
-1 Chalice
-1 Sylvan
-1 Squee
-1 Manglehorn
-2 Hollow One

Leyline is certainly the most effective way to combat Dredge, but I'm not yet willing to sacrifice my well rounded SB (and plans) against most of the field just to get more edge against Dredge.

Manglehorn has found it's way back to MB because PO is a problem and Karakas is very effective against all the legendary hatebears. For the same reason I'm now running two Mindbreak Traps as often even Lavinia combined with a Stony Silence has not been enough to win the game. Fast combo is certainly an issue, but I do enjoy the play style of this kind of build (i.e. make them have the answer instead of trying to fight on stack). And so far my record against PO is good enough with plenty of games under my belt against it that no drastic measures need to be taken.

Basic Island is probably very bad.
Access to Grudge and Pyroblast can be very helpful.
Gush is probably a lot worse than Deep Analysis, Treasure Cruise, or Sylvan Library.
Good luck everyone!

So I have a few reps under my belt now. My findings:
Basic island allows for a wasteland proof way to keep wonder online, this has been relevant a few times, and I expect it to be more relevant in paper given higher density if unpowered hate bears decks.

In my testing with gush it is either the perfect card or the worst card. Analysis is probably the better draw engine.

PO is playing repeal again, so I have shaved my third lavinia for a teeg. This also avoids some awkward double lavinia draws.

My current hate package in main is:
2 lavinia
1 gaddoc teeg
1 kataki
1 containment priest
1 walking ballista (more there for the memnite trick)
2 deputy of detention

Deputy is great, but harder to cast, I am going to try a 1 deputy/1 manglehorn split. But it softens the mentor matchup.

My sideboard is currently:
3 Swords to Plowshares
2 energy Flux
2 nature's claim
2 containment priest
1 thorn of amethyst
2 ravenous trap
2 mindbreak trap
1 manglehorn

I think the lavinia I shaved should take the spot of the thorn. I am also considering moving the island to side.

I suspect with the shifts going on due to Karn and Narset it may be time to look at Jund again. Cratermaker is a very clean way to beat Karn. Bob gets around Narset a little bit. And Trophy, Decay, and Grudge are all really good cards on their own. Pyroblast and/or MM could be played as well.

Yeah, sounds like a good time indeed. Narset decks are still not a problem for us to beat, as narset is kinda like Lavinia: a good card against us, but a card that is played in decks that are a very favorable matchup for us. But karn decks are usually bad for us to beat. Too many things we have to answer with taxing effects to make it harder to be answered. It's funny, against bad pilots it's even favorable to us, but against good players my win rate against it is pretty low.

I didn't even have it anymore, I had sold everything I had except for a deck I had named 'weird survival' which became the normal survival to me. Now I think I gathered enough tix to buy this deck back, will surely give it a shot. I'm just not sure how will survival look like with modern horizons and all those cool toys that come with it.

Yeah, the Null Rod guy is certainly something! The pitch spell that kills 2 artifacts is probably something too!

@wfain said in Survival:

I suspect with the shifts going on due to Karn and Narset it may be time to look at Jund again. Cratermaker is a very clean way to beat Karn.

Except aren't they immediately activating Karn and getting Mycosynth Lattice? Once that hits the field you cannot use Cratermaker.

they aren't always gonna have 10 mana in one turn, and having this on board with mana up kills karn before lattice resolves

@guslandt You’re gonna have access to some Ancient Grudge too, ol’Gus.

I tried the outdated version with few adjustments, but feels like even though it's a 3-mana answer, they use to get those big cards out there before we get our answers there. And without fow, the dark version is actually worse against that deck. I'm not saying no, just saying we still would have a long way in terms of adjustments to get there. I think I'll try the bug version until after we get those new toys there, and if it is still the underdog it would be cool to try that. Also, being worse at playing Leovold makes it worse against xerox decks. More confidants than the bug version is nice (I'm playing only 1 from the SB in the BUG), but leovold is better against blue value decks.

I’ve been messing with Bazaar Trademage. I’m very happy with it at 2 copies. 3 might even be correct.

@wfain Not sure if you have the single card discussions ignored (which is very reasonable).

I'm also a huge fan and played two leagues last night (6-4, lost to 2 karn decks, guto in the mirror, but I think I should have cast a Trademage instead of pitching it to survival since my creatures traded and Guto killed Survival and Hollow One with the Green Force, which was so good in the matchup, and lost to a JVP-Narset PW heavy deck I streamed a while back. NarKhan Control. Uses Sarkhan to reanimate a bunch of Walkers and swing for nearly 20 damage)

I was on 2 and want to go up to 3 in a Bant Shell without Force. The interesting thing is you can just cast it as a 3/4 and attack in some games, which is pretty reasonable, so I wanted to see how it plays with the exalted.

Didn't get to play it, but played a league with the other cards updated: ouphe, engineer and force. Got 5-1 with it so far but 2 were against someone playing gw old school, so it was probably only a 3-1. Are you guys playing bug? I really can't find slot for it and I don't imagine it being better than Leovold. I think the next card I would take out is phantasmal image as seems like PO das sucessfully hated out of the format for now. I switched trygon and scooze for ouphe and engineer MD.

How have ooze and engineer been?

  • 878
  • 296070