Why wouldn't you want Pharaoh vs Shops?

@ajfirecracker
Because when they beat you it’s because they locked you out (most of the time) not because they attacked you with stuff. Our creatures are already better (aside from Ravager/Ballista stuff, which Pahroah doesn’t help against).

You need either bazaar or survival active to make good use of pharaoh. As wfain said, that's usually how we lose games. It can help sometimes. But as a matchup-specific card I think energy field does a better job.

@ajfirecracker said in Survival:

1x Gigapede
He has a very Squee-like effect vs controlling decks

I brought up Pharaoh before and opinions don't seem to have changed. I think Pharaoh's highest potential is that it's 'fine'. I could see punching back and forth with shops, and it's also a way to guarantee you have a creature in hand for Survival. But in playing i still have not had a reasonable chance to test him so i'm not sure if that grind factor really applies to shops. But, i have run out of creatures and just wished i had Bazaar to put a creature in my hand, so that's kinda cool with Pharaoh and with Gigapede. Gigapede has to have another card in hand but guarantees you get a body in hand. I just don't think that's as exciting as having another Squee because i have never been in a situation (so far. again; i don't play online so i don't play as much as much as others responding) where i'm like "welp, time to cast 5 drops old fashioned". I barely ever cast Vengevine so far.

Some random thoughts on my graveyard cards...

I think a creature with Dredge would make more sense if you wanted to just slightly bolster the GY plan from the deck. Dredge creatures give you a similar effect of Squee to guarantee a creature to pitch to Survival, while potentially also hitting a Vengevine / Wonder / ect. Golgari Brownscale is a non-traditional one that can give you some life points, and as a result stem the bleeding against other aggro decks. Or the classic, Golgari Grave-Troll gives you an endgame finisher.

A heavier splash of bolstering the GY plan, I've tested a bit, but haven't found a sweet spot. Hermit Druid is nice at times, but too inconsistent (adding the typical package of DR + Target + Therapy is too much). Gravecrawlers are nice with an active Survival to trigger Vengevines every turn, but otherwise are pretty underwhelming, I think you might need to find some other zombies that are good (I tried Fatestitcher and the Embalm Cat, but they are not good enough).

last edited by vaughnbros

@vaughnbros
I had a FoW version with Crawlers and Amalgams that was very reasonable.

Just hit another 5-0 with @GutoCmtt Bug Survial list
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Matchups in order were:
Pitch Dredge (main deck leylines)
Shops
Mirror BUG survival
Standstill
UR Xerox

Hit some insane hands and believe i didnt have to mull to 5 in any of my matches. probably mullinganed 3-4 times total. I believe i just got incredibly lucky. First game against pitch dredge opponent mulls 2 serum powder hands and is able to play a LotV on turn 1. Play Bazaar Turn 1 into a crazy hand getting 2 Hollow ones and a DRS.
https://imgur.com/a/Yb03Fyr

Not to mention crazy 3 pieces of power opener hands w/ survival.
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Believe i am running an older sideboard. Think i would probably run an additional Energyflux over the 3rd Null rod. Still learning the deck but its just super strong and proactive. Still trying to understand when to active Bazaar (believe this is probably the hardest part of the deck for me), but nonetheless still incredibly enjoyable.

@gnargoyles Nice! 🙂

I think I was usually not running 3 null rods. I don't like null rods that much against shops, sometimes it hurts us more than them, and sometimes it's awesome, depending on which half of the deck they drew. That being said, we still need some null rod effects for PO, which is why I was running 1 null rod (for both) and 1 stony (is better against PO, they usually run hurkyl's to bounce null rod and hollow ones). I don't think we need 3 null rod effects, I'm feeling a little bit favored against PO lately.

Those hands were really some nut draws, and sometimes we get them too 😉
Seems like you were on the good side of variance, this deck tends to mulligan quite a few times. But it's still pretty awesome.

Congrats on the result, and keep up with the training, this deck is hard to master but it's very rewarding. The hard part of it is exactly what you said, the judgement calls we have to take in regards to what matters, how low we can go on cards with bazaar, etc.

About energy flux, it's awesome when it gets into play but it's hard for that to happen when we are not in a good position. I'm actually liking more nature's claim to pick some lock pieces so that we have some chance to fight, so that we can land stuff like... energy flux.

Nowadays there are lots of Lavinias out there. Which is ironically pretty good for us. Lavinia is good against survival, no doubt about that. But decks that run lavinia are favored to us even with Lavinia, so the rise of that kind of deck makes me feel good about running bug survival.

What would you board like now? In another league atm and played against PO twice and they seem to have recently added karakas back into the board which is some good splash damage against the plan of getting out an early Leo.

Is there a go to sideboard plan as well? always find myself just shaving here and there depending on what type of hate im expecting.

@gnargoyles Yeah, I'm usually on that plan myself. I'm usually cutting some survival, hollow ones, shaman, and bringing in what is good against PO (except for energy field that I'm just not sold on). I'm bringing in assassin's trophy instead of nature's claim (claim just doesn't do enough against the mass they create, it's slot is better as some counter or creature to pressure).

I'm having a hard time against good shop players. I feel like bug survival is probably the deck I've felt the most the difference between facing good or bad players in general, which is curious to say the least. But good shop players are hard to beat. How are you guys doing against shops and in which version?

I'm still running the same SB as before:
4 containment priests (against oath and dredge, and I Usually bring 1 against grixis thieves);
3 rav. trap
1 null rod
1 stony silence
1 assassin's trophy
1 nature's claim
2 energy flux
1 leovold
1 mindbreak trap

I just don't really know what I could bring in besides what we have. I feel like there should be something else, and 2 energy flux is enough as a bomb, but more than that will be even more clunky. A lot of sideboard games that I lose is with energy flux in hand where if it was something cheaper maybe I could win. But at the same time, there were a lot of times where I won because I played it and nothing else would save the game. What I mean is that 2 is perfect probably.

Nature's claim could be another good card for the matchup. Trophy is good but clunky. Null rod sometimes hit us more than them, and sometimes it's just not good. Sometimes it's nuts (I'd have won on a game on the spot yesterday with 4 mana rocks and 2 steel overseer T1 from my opp). I just feel like we are probably missing something.

Has anyone played a list with a mix of Leo and Lavinia? I've seen discussion about which to play, and i've seen the Lav lists now where it's more all-in on her (4 copies plus Mox Diamonds to support).

Just wondering how reasonable it is to just have like 2-2 or something in an otherwise normal BUG list.

And less people are playing Dark Confidant, Chalice, and Thorn? Seems to be dropping off.

@aeonsovarius I don't like Lavinia without some setup for her. Lavinia + leovold would be 4 colors, and if you play at least 2 of each, you would probably want at least access to 2 of each secondary color. I don't like the idea of having that many colors against wasteland decks (the bug survival against wasteland decks is just BUG -> no white cards come in those matchups). In BUG lavinia underperformed comparing to Leovold, so I'm using the 3rd copy of leo instead of the first of Lavinia.

About the other versions, they are just worse. I feel like people are getting there, there were lots of results with those lists mostly because there were a lot of people copying the decklist that won the asia champs or some variation of that. There is more than 1 valid version, probably even 3 or 4, but the initial thalia versions are probably the worse we have right now. Mostly now that there are tons of xerox decks out there, and that version wasn't too favored, and bug is way way favored in that matchup (the lavinia version I guess probably is too).

Rav Trap or Leylines?

Dark Confidant and Chalice are just completely out?

@aeonsovarius That's debatable. I like both cards, against dredge I don't like mulliganing to leylines where you can draw rav naturally. That makes for very weird games IMO as we can mulligan to few cards and then opp has some nature's claim and we have nothing. With rav trap they can therapy us too, but having the possibility of keeping a fast hand that can eventually draw into it seems like a better plan than mulligan to few cards.

Against the mirror leyline is better. But as I have had very positive results in the mirror and ok/bad results against dredge, I rather prioritize where I have room to improve.

Dark confidant can still be a thing, I haven't picked up the dark version because of the meta, but if we go down in combo that may be a possibility. It's a good version, but in this meta I prefer bug.

I don't think it's good to play chalice in the bug or dark version, maybe it's possible in those with lavinia but I don't have experience with that version to back me up.

last edited by GutoCmtt

@AeonSovarius I've been playing leyline in my board for my last 5 leagues and im something like 21-4 (25-5 if you count unsanctioned vintage events). Personally kinda depends on how well you know the vintage metagame. Im a pretty new vintage player and i feel like leyline is more cut and dry on which matchups you want it and which you dont. You may be crippling percentage points in matches like xerox (but the match is already somewhat favorable).
Dont know to much about the other versions of survival since ive only been playing BUGw.
I personally would play leyline ,but following @GutoCmtt is probably correct. Guy finished with 20ish trophies last season.

Going to try to upload an interesting game i just had against Oath. We had an interesting game but i feel he may have boarded incorrectly (i dont really know). I make some interesting misplays that may have cost me the match but feel like there are some important cards in the matchup that really showed their strength.

My meta this friday for FNM will be a ton of paradoxical i believe. We had 8 players last month. 2 Oath, 1 Survival, 4 Paradoxical, 1 traditional Ritual Storm. There is randomly 1 or 2 shops, sometimes a Mentor, and sometimes a dredge.

I think my meta is small and predictable enough to change my sideboard a bit from what a league list would be expecting to face on average.

Any particular suggestions? I actually don't own leylines at the moment so i will be playing traps regardless of my thinkering between the 2, or Traps and Crypts.

@gutocmtt said in Survival:

Dark confidant can still be a thing, [...] if we go down in combo that may be a possibility.

That's a good way to look at it.

I don't think it's good to play chalice in the bug or dark version

Is there a reason why not?

@gnargoyles said in Survival:

i feel like leyline is more cut and dry on which matchups you want it and which you dont. You may be crippling percentage points in matches like xerox (but the match is already somewhat favorable).

You wouldn't be boarding either Leyline or Rav Trap in against a xerox deck, i would imagine? What do you mean losing points then?

How do you feel about Guto's assessment of wanting to avoid mulliganing to Leyline?

Going to try to upload an interesting game i just had against Oath.

Oh please do, sounds cool.

@aeonsovarius
Based on what you expect, it’s worthwhile to consider Hurkyl’s Recall over Energy Flux. It’s far better against PO while still being something against Shops if you happen to run into it.

@AeonSovarius your probably right on the xerox idea. I'm thinking more of the baby Jace xerox decks but again things would have to occur for ravenous to even be live (super narrow and probably not worth boarding in at all).

I guess my point is that ravenous is alot more flexible as a side board option than leyline

Honesty really curious trying Graf diggers cage as an option. Yea it has anti synergy with some cards but has some potential splash dmg against other decks.

@wfain said in Survival:

@aeonsovarius
Based on what you expect, it’s worthwhile to consider Hurkyl’s Recall over Energy Flux. It’s far better against PO while still being something against Shops if you happen to run into it.

I'm not completely aware, actually, why we would play Energy Flux. Is it essentially just vs shops?

@gnargoyles said in Survival:

Honesty really curious trying Graf diggers cage as an option. Yea it has anti synergy with some cards but has some potential splash dmg against other decks.

I've thought that could be a thing, but i'm not sure. Friday will be my first time playing this deck for real, the rest has just been casually testing with a friend. I was thinking though, you could board out 2 Venges. That gives you 2 Venges to do a survival trick with, but not so many that you could end up with a bad hand that relies on dumping multiple Venges. Venge is the only creature we have that enters from the gy/lib and the only spell we have is Deep Analysis.

@AeonSovarius exactly want I was thinking of. The mirror would actually be alot better for you since you could just tutor a trygon and shatter their hollow ones.

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