Went 3-2 with this. Lost to dredge because Scavenging Ooze is awful and to Citadel Storm because both times I had Trademage and missed the second creature to bring back VV by a card or two. That seems to be the tension in the list. Trademage provides a very good burst but if you miss it doesn't give you the ability to keep looking like Bazaar or Survival would. It's also worth thinking about changing the two off color moxen for Lotus Petal and maybe ESG or even a Worldly Tutor?

@wfain scooze really sounds bad at your list. I forgot to add that I really hate dredge and that I didn't have success with the normal hate package I used to have. Between all forces, missteps, shoals they have an answer to anything we might have so I overhate tô brute force the matchup. Scooze is bad as the single hate card, but before I get to play it I usually play 2 or 3 hate pieces to hold. And after the second hate piece, scooze is the best because it's harder to kill and can hold hollow ones back. But when you have like 4 other cheap hate cards beside scooze, it's really not that great. Possibly not even good 😕

PS: it's good against xerox and amazing against bug aggro and survival. It constantly win games on it's own.

I just don’t think it’s that good in general. However, if I were to run it I would also be playing Gaea’s Cradle.

I’ve been messing with several different ideas the last couple days including: Rootwala and VV in dredge (fine, this just isn’t the meta for it), Sphinx of Foresight in a straight UG survival list (interesting, but there really is no reason not to have third color), finally, maindeck 3 Collector Ouphe. That’s really good. Do it. You won’t be upset.

Current list:
4 Bazaar
2 Bayou
2 Trop
1 Forest
7 Fetches (all for forests)
1 Lotus
3 Mox (BUG)
4 MM
1 Ancestral
4 Rootwalla
1 Time Walk
3 Collector Ouphe
4 Survival
2 Trademage
1 Trygon
1 Leovold
1 Wonder
4 VV
4 HO
4 FoW
1 Hogaak

3 Yixlid Jailer
4 Rav Trap
4 FoV
1 Collector Ouphe
2 Assassin’s Trophy
1 (whatever else you want, haven’t figured it out yet)

I know nothing about survival vintage but your list just looks beautiful. You really know what you are doing. Gz.

Hello all, wanted to share a survival list I played yesterday to a Top 8 finish.

The event was the Bearded Dragon vintage for a Mox event in NJ. We had 37 players (I believe) and played six rounds. I went 4-1-1 (last round intentional draw) to make top 8. Myself and @Mike-Noble both made Top 8 on survival (though he finished much better than I did and our lists were very different. Congrats to Mike on getting to the finals in a strong field!). I ended up in 6th or 7th I think.

The list I played is as follows:

5c survival:

4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Collector Ouphe
4 Vengevine
4 Hollow One
1 Woodfall Primus
1 Ancestral Recall
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Flash
1 Regrowth
1 Time Walk
1 Timetwister
1 Wheel of Fortune
1 Force of Vigor
1 Black Lotus
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Survival of the Fittest
2 Bayou
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
3 City of Brass
1 Forest
4 Mana Confluence
1 Tropical Island
2 Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard (15)
2 Yixlid Jailer
1 Carnage Tyrant
1 Domri, Anarch of Bolas
1 Domri, Chaos Bringer
1 Abrupt Decay
1 Balance
1 Sudden Shock
3 Ravenous Trap
2 Null Rod
1 Strip Mine
1 Wasteland

My matches went as follows:

Round 1- infect. won 2-1 ( this was a bizarre round 1).

Round 2- UW suppression field control -won 2-1. Game one wheel of fortune on turn one let me do crazy things. Game 2. Turn one Lavinia followed by multiple spell quellers on my decays took me down. Game three. Insane bazaar hand gave me 2 hollow one, 2 vengevine, and a rootwalla turn one for a quick game.

Round 3- esper control lost 1-2. Game one was a long and very close grind but opponent got there. This was an epic game one. Involved a time twister on my part and a perfect mana drain from opponent a and great back and forth all game long. It was a game you don’t mind losing. Game 2. Domri Anarch of Bolas and carnage tyrant got to work and several hard cast vengevines which were uncounterable got me there. Game three my hand was 4x vengevine, Bazaar, hollow one, mana confluence (lets go all in). I hit a second hollow one off the bazaaar. Opponent recalled in response to vengevine triggers and hit a rav trap then he took care of my hollow ones fast. Game over basically.

Round 4 bug- won 2-1. Game one several hard cast threats and shaman got there. Game 2 loss because could not deal with 7/8 goyf (yea they were big). Game three insane bazaar hand and it was a quick end.

Round 5- UW control. Won 2-0. Game one. Lots of hollow ones and vengevines got there. Game two hardcast carnage tyrant showed his stuff for the win.

Round 6 draw

Top 8 bug lost 1-2 (excellent match of magic)
Game one I flash in wood fall primus and blow up all my opponents lands but he top decks what he needs to trophy the primus and game grinds for a while and ends with my opponent at 2 and me dead.
Game 2- domri anarch of bolas shows his stuff and basically wins me the game allowing me to cast uncounterable beaters and sudden shock clears a timely clique.

Game 3 (the fun ends)- turn one survival meets a force followed by a wasteland. Turn 2 survival resolves but I get stripped leaving only Mox ruby. Then got wasted again later on. Game grinded along but I knew I was done and died to a very diverse board of beaters.

I know the deck is very far off the normal list but it felt great all day long. Both Domri seriously impressed me and both played a role in several matches.
Carnage Tyrant was also insane and won me several games either literally or constructively.

The flash package is there because I wanted to play flash and obviously isn’t optimal but damn it was fun putting it on the stack and watcing the opponent instantly wonder “what is possibly going on now” lol.

Also I didn’t play misstep because I hate misstep and I love abrupt decay. For better or worse. Lol.

I’ll be glad to answer any questions. I know the list looks insane but I will gladly defend my choices and answer any questions.

Happy Brewing as always!

The DRS look really out of place with no fetchlands. I honestly question the lands the most (and the Flash stuff, but you said you just like it so that’s whatever).

@wfain thanks for the input. so DRS was actually good for me all day, however, I will admit that the mana base is definitely wacky and could use some refining. I went with so many rainbow lands in an attempt to avoid an inability to fix my colors. DRS let me somewhat hedge against wastelands and use my opponents fetches to feed my mana needs. I was anticipating a bug heavy field which turned out to be the case and DRS shined in a lot of the matches so he was a meta call even if my mana didn’t line up perfectly with him. This could have been a purely misguided thought process on my part and I got lucky or I just drew really hot but the mana was good all day despite looking crazy.

For the future I could easily run more fetches with a wider variety of duals and remove the rainbows. Taiga was definitely a card I wished I had run as a 1x at a few key points during the day.

The flash stuff was purely because I wanted it there and it’s obviously suboptimal and in the future it’s being cut.



I saw @notmi's back-to-back lists appear on MTGGoldfish back in June. I was enamored by the straightforward nature of the maindeck gameplan, which echoed how I used to build and pilot Noble Fish. I chose the list with Squee, Goblin Nabob because Joe Brennan has constantly highlighted it as his least favorite card to see out of Survival and because the Ultimate Masters printing has a Legendary hat.

I've played Survival off and on since the original @wfain lists back in April 2018, but queued this list up on Magic Online to test the Hogaak math. I proceeded to 2-3 against five flavors of blue and deemed the 75 perfect.


  • Round 1 - RG Welder (2-0)
  • Round 2 - UW Xerox (2-0)
  • Round 3 - BUG Midrange (2-1)
  • Round 4 - UW Xerox (2-0)
  • Round 5 - BUG Midrange (0-0-3)
  • Round 6 - UWR Xerox (0-0-3)
  • Quarters - Forge Shops (2-1)
  • Semis - BUG Midrange (2-0)
  • Finals - UWR Xerox (0-0-3)

Sideboarding Notes:

  • UW Control - I saw a Karakas and Lavinia so all the Hogaaks came out, along with half of my Force of Vigors, for Therapy, Ouphe and Nature's Claim.
  • BUG Midrange - With him being on the Yixlid Jailer plan, along with Deathrite Shaman, I eventually settled on cutting Bloodghast and Force for Ouphe, Priest, and Therapy.
  • Forge Shops - Kataki, Ouphe, Claim, and Therapy came in for Hogaak, Squee, and Bloodghast. Apparently I really like Therapy for post-sideboard games.

Memorable Lines:

  • Casting Hollow Ones and madness Basking Rootwallas into Lavinia to trigger Vengevine.
  • Activating Bazaar into Narsets and Leovolds on their turn to mill a card and possibly hit a Hogaak, Bloodghast, Vengevine or Rootwalla.
  • Activating Bazaar while empty-handed in general during my upkeep for all of the above plus making a topdecked Hollow One cost 4 less.


  • Calvin, Liz, and all the judges for creating and running this amazing event.
  • The hotel for their gigantic Bavarian pretzel to fuel me for the playoff rounds.
  • @poxeveryturn for his kind words and sharing our Survival stories.
  • Joe Brennan for literally giving me the shirt off his back because I forgot to wear my Arabian Knights shirt for photos.


  • The parking ticket I got because I was too dumb and anxious to work the parking meter properly.
last edited by Mike Noble

Wonderful! I wonder if Gravecrawler is better than Bloodghast? You need a second zombie to bring them back, but it does contribute to make VV happen too? Maybe if a Hogaak turned into a Gurmag Angler? I could also imagine a copy of Zombie Infestation being reasonable if GC was the choice.

I also happen to prefer more Ouphe than FoV main, anyone care to convince me otherwise?

@Mike-Noble I eventually ended up cutting the cabal therapy from my side because they didn't have as much impact as I'd hoped. I really liked the idea when I was originally making the deck, did they perform well in your games? I may have just cut them too early and with too few games of experience.

With all the BUG going around, is it worth it to consider running Filth in the old Wonder slot?

@chikararyuu flying is pretty close to as unblockable as swampwalk against most BUG decks, and both get hit by DRS pretty easily. Flying is significantly better against the rest of the field, and is particularly important to beating dredge in game 1 imo.


Following @Mike-Noble 's lead, blue was removed entirely.
This frees up a lot of potential design space.

That said...
Could we use cards like tomik, elvish reclaimer, and knight of the reliquary to tutor land cards as well as protect filth and lands in that case?

Basically develop an abzan toolbox that also tutors for specialty lands (karakas, bojuka bog, urborg) via 'crop rotation' effects.

You could also utilize Anafenza in the mirror as well to prevent opposing Hogaak/VV/Bloodghast cards as well.

@wfain Bloodghast may not be directly responsible for most Vengevine return triggers, but that's a downside that I don't believe Gravecrawler makes up for. Having an instant speed way of returning Bloodghast (cracking a fetchland) can be vital to play around cards like Containment Priest. Having haste when my opponent is at ten or less life was vital to one of my wins against UW Xerox where I was otherwise flooding out and losing control of the game. It's a very sticky threat by itself when I wasn't comboing off and gave the deck some easy resiliency.

As for Ouphe over Force of Vigor, Karn Forge is FAST. I do like Ouphe when I get to play it, but I don't get to play it until I hit two mana. Maximizing turn zero interaction against the format's combo deck is important for game one, and game two I'm maxed out on both.

@notmi I honestly didn't get to cast it. I had a line against Karn Forge game three where I was going to Bazaar into a first turn Vengevine and flashback one of the enabling creatures to hit Karn, the Great Creator. I drew into a Force of Vigor and ditched the line in order to maintain a faster clock.

@chikararyuu Maybe, perhaps over a Hogaak. I'd be concerned that Deathrite Shaman or Yixlid Jailer would turn it off to really plan around it.

Feel free to try different creature packages. There were three different Survival players at the event on three different configurations. I opted for the brutal efficiency of almost-mono-green aggro, while @poxeveryturn played more expensive haymakers in Flash and Wheel of Fortune. The third player was on a Lavinia + Force of Will build. The beauty of Survival is that there's no one correct build, just a core engine that you can tune to a metagame much like the Fish decks of yesteryear.

Please take all of this with a many grains of salt as I am very new to Vintage and a terrible Magic player in general.

Given the current high-speed meta (I was informed that MysticForge.dec and Dredge were the current boogeymen of the format), I intend to play Survival as hatebears + 2 turn clock. Here's the list as of its last iteration:

4 Rootwalla
4 Vengevine
4 Hollow One
1 Wonder
1 Squee

2 Collector Ouphe
2 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Containment Priest
1 Leovold
1 Deputy of Detention

1 Lotus
5 Moxen
1 Petal

1 Time Walk
1 Ancestral Recall
4 Mental Misstep
2 Force of Vigor
4 Survival

6 green fetches
2 Savannah
2 Trop
1 Bayou
1 Forest
4 Bazaar

2 Force of Vigor
2 Collector Ouphe
1 Yxlid Jailer
2 Containment Priest
1 Lavinia, Azorious Renegade
1 Deputy of Detention
1 Squee
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Dark Confidant
1 Mindbreak Trap

I've gotten some good advice and I feel like this list is fairly strong. I do have some slots that I question and I'd like some input on them.

First is Mox Ruby. I would rather this be a Noble Hierarch. I was informed that I NEED to ensure I have a strong play turn 1 and a mana dork (not including DRS as we all know that's just a 1-mana planeswalker) does not fit the bill. I think Elvish Spirit Guide is a strong alternative, but I don't know how ESG's yummy green mana compares to Mox Ruby's re-usability. Thoughts? Other alternatives?

Second, Force of Vigor. I have 2 maindeck but was advised to fit 3 (with the 4th in the SB). Is that worthwhile? If so, what would you cut to fit the 3rd?

Third, Lavinia. I love this card in this format (but with my limited experience, that doesn't mean much). I'd like 3 maindeck. Is that too greedy? My gut says "yes", but her power level says "doesn't matter, do it anyways".

SB Squee: When do I board this in? I can only forsee a need for real card advantage against BUG Control, who is probably going to exile my Squee anyways. Is this better off as another Dark Confidant?

SB Thalia: Is 2 sufficient? Despite having significant impact against many decks, she's a non-bo with Lavinia (who has MORE impact), so I'm waffling on this one. Maybe 2 is the perfect amount, for all I know.

SB Dark Confidant: Too risky in a deck of 4 and 5 drops?

SB Mindbreak Trap: Really a flex slot and an homage to the Vintage boogeyman of bygone eras. Still worthwhile? Better used differently?

Generic feedback is also welcome.

@mirrislegend You may have been spooked a bit too much about speed, although I don't think your list suffered because of it. After all, not every opponent is Forge and Dredge.

I'd shave the Mox Ruby for another green fetchland. The 4-color manabase is rough and only 16 lands is too few for it. You'll find an off-color Mox is less useful than a land drop most of the time.

The sideboard Squee is a bit overkill. The single maindeck copy is enough and you'll hate having him when you don't have an engine card. I'd replace that with an Assassin's Trophy or Abrupt Decay, depending on what brand of hate you expect from BUG. The rest of your creature suite is to taste. I don't like Dark Confidant but your mileage may vary.

Mike is pretty much right in his post.

A couple additional thoughts: Thalia seems unimportant. I wouldn’t worry about it. Maybe another Deputy and a Trophy instead? In my opinion, your SB should try to win Dredge matches (~6-8 cards), finish off ForgeShops (~3-4), and give you either anti-hate cards or an alternate plan of attack against BUG with the remaining slots.

Thank you for the feedback!

Cutting the Mox Ruby for the green fetchland sounds great.

The SB Squee and SB Confidants were attempts at gaining some card advantage. I'm open to cutting them, but I think some recuperation/refill from Bazaars is still worthwhile. Also, card advantage seems worthwhile vs BUG. Do you have any recommendations on replacement cards? I have seen Deep Analysis in some lists...

I suppose Assassin's Trophy is indeed necessary since Deputy can't hit Tabernacle.

Thalia seems unimportant, don't worry about it? I'm afraid I don't follow. In addition to the problematic overlap with Lavinia (which makes for points AGAINST playing Thalia in the 75), Thalia is strong against blue decks where Lavinia is weak (points FOR Thalia). I heard Survival has a good matchup against BUG, is it intrinsically strong against most blue shells? If that's the case I could easily cut Thalia.

last edited by mirrislegend
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