@craw_advantage How come the BUG versions do not play Riftstone Portal then? It seems like a reasonable inclusion to me, I just do not know what I would cut.

@rat3de portal has been discussed and played before. It's a high variance card - can be great if it's in the yard, does nooothing otherwise. Colorless Mana is not very worthwhile unless it's allowing you to deploy a 2 drop on turn 1. In BUG specifically I'm cutting Mana sources to fit blue cards and enough creatures, so not a good fit.

@John-Cox thanks!

@rat3de said in Survival Salad:

@craw_advantage How come the BUG versions do not play Riftstone Portal then?

Kind of for the same reason, I think. It's very inconsistent to get a portal into the graveyard, and when that fails it's very unhelpful because the colorless mana is so hard to use.

But this did make me wonder how it would go if the thing you cut to play Tomb was Bazaar. Lean more into the hatebears, cut some number of Vengevine and Rootwalla for another Squee and more hate/answer-type cards, treat Survival as a longer-term draw engine with less of an explosive combo aspect... no idea if that's promising at all, but that's more where I could see Ancient Tomb fitting in.

I wonder about Meddling Mage in a FoW version? Seems like a reasonable, proactive blue creature to play a few copies of.

Bant SurviWill:

Maindeck (60)
4 Basking Rootwalla
3 Deathrite Shaman
3 Meddling Mage
1 Phantasmal Image
1 Elvish Spirit Guide
1 Leovold, Emissary of Trest
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Trygon Predator
4 Vengevine
1 Wonder
4 Hollow One
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Gitaxian Probe
4 Mental Misstep
1 Time Walk
4 Force of Will
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Sapphire
4 Survival of the Fittest
1 Bayou
4 Bazaar of Baghdad
1 Forest
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Savannah
2 Tropical Island
3 Wooded Foothills

Sideboard (15)
2 Containment Priest
2 Nature's Claim
1 Assassin's Trophy
2 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Null Rod
1 Stony Silence
2 Energy Flux
4 Leyline of the Void

last edited by wfain

@wfain very interesting list. I like it.

One thing: you went with Deathrite + Bayou over Hierarch despite being solidly in Bant. This is very possibly correct as I hate playing the mirror when my opponent has Deathrites and I do not. The flip side of that is that I also hate it when my own Deathrites don’t tap for mana, especially in the face of Graveyard hate that is already hampering my deck post-board.

Do you think that Deathrite is just better in Bant full stop or is there something about the FoW approach (as opposed to Thalia) that leads you to choose it over Hierarch?

Edit: or is Leovold that good? I realized he was in here just after I posted. 🙂

last edited by DrStreetmention

@drstreetmention Yeah, it was more about Leo than DRS, but the more people pick up Survival and/or Dredge the more you’ll want DRS anyway. It is possible you could get away from Leo in favor of another Meddling Mage perhaps? Then Noble is probably better.

I don't know how counter-bant has been, but I'm feeling quite favored against UR/URw/URg xerox decks when I'm using shaman and leovold. I'd assume the matchup become a little worse without them to fight the fair fight when they disrupt our combo, I remember it not being that good when in the red version. I just faced 4 pyromancer decks in a row in a league, and lost only in the 5th match to 2 card monte.

Besides that feeling pretty weird, made me very confortable in the matchup against pyromancer. One game I won with DRS alone, I realized my opponent was trying to go to cruise and started eating their graveyard even having other things to do, then the sad ambush viper came in, and it was a sadly easy game due to shaman. Of course sometimes it's bad for not being a 100% reliable source of mana, but usually managing the amount of lands in the graveyard and saving it a little bit we can get away with it. I don't think I'll drop it any time soon, and I think the splash for it and leovold is worth it.

PS.: deep analysis is being awesome when fighting the value fight. I don't think there's space for the second copy, but I'm pretty happy with the first.

4-1 tonight with the above version (-1 Claim, +1 Squee). Meddling Mage was solid! Gives a higher blue count and is cheaper to cast than Spell Queller. Does decent work vs PO.

Just went 6-0-1 to take down an event with Bant Survival (David Lance's list: https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=20360&d=333244&f=VI ).

Round 1 vs Shops
Game one I played first and won quickly against their only mana source as an Ancient Tomb...makes the beats hurt that much more.
Game two I got off to a slow start after they killed off a few dudes, ended up losing on a missed Squee trigger that would have been lethal with a few VV in the gy.
Game three I didn't make that same mistake and landed a T1 SS into T2 flux to win with some beats.
1-0 (2-1)

Round 2 vs Dredge
Game one was not much of a game as I didn't have any acceleration and they had their entire library in their gy by T2...a big mob of zombies didn't want to play nicely...
Game two I was on the play and landed survival and double mox on T1 to go off on T2 before they could durdle out a win.
Game three my opponent played first and landed double hollow one and a bridge. I responded with land, mox, lotus, survival, rootwalla, double VV, and my own hollow one. T2 wonder swing for the win.
2-0 (4-2)

Round 3 vs Izzet Pyromancer
Game one was over before I really figured out what my opponent was even playing. Double VV slapped him twice before he scooped.
Game two I lost after getting a heirarch bolted, and another one misstepped, before having a survival forced. He had more 1/1 dudes than I could count...
Game three I managed to play double mox and lotus to power out 2 VV, rootwalla, and hollow one and swing for lethal on T3 before he could establish himself.
3-0 (6-3)

Round 4 vs Paradoxical Storm
Game one I'm on the play and my opponent had an awful time playing around T1 Thalia and whiffed hardcore on his first PO for the loss.
Game two my opponent mulled to 5 and opened with mox, lotus, mox, merchant scroll, recall, time walk...I didn't get anything relevant in play on either turn before I was dead on T3.
Game three I dropped T1 stony and T2 Thalia and won with beats dropping a Chalice on 0 for good measure.
4-0 (8-4)

Round 5 vs TPS
ID to top 4
4-0-1 (8-4)

Top 4

Semis vs Paradoxical Storm (same player)
Game one I'm on the play and drop a quick stony and Thalia and start beating with a rootwalla for 5 a turn and topdecking multiple lands. I got beat out by a chain and snapcaster before double PO.
Game two I'm on the play and play Chalice on 0 on T1 on top of a Thalia. Wasn't much of a game after that.
Game three my opponent tries to go off through Thalia and Energy flux after we both did nothing for a few turns (no dudes, just hate for me). Finally landed a threat and just slowly beatdown before he tried to twister in desperation giving me a VV for the win, close one as I was at 2 life from an earlier tendrils and he drew it with twister for lethal if I hadn't gotten my extra VV.
5-0-1 (10-5)

Finals vs TPS (same player)
We hadn't played earlier but I knew what he was on so I was aggressive in play around that.
Game one I kept opening hand of double bazaar, double fetch, double survival, and Thalia. Opened with Bazaar and drew ESG and mox pearl letting me play Thalia. Few turns later beating with Thalia and my opponent had to go off staring down a lethal 2/1. He managed to get to 18 storm but the tax kept him from finishing me off.
Game two I kept an opener with stony, thalia, survival, noble, and some lands. Played out T1 noble and then T2 Thalia but he sideboarded into Tinker and dropped a Sphinx of the Steel Wind...quick scoop there with no answers for me in the deck.
Game three I sided in warded and powered my way to be up 16 to 4 life before he tinkered out Sphinx. I stalled a turn dumping all my VV into my yard and then waiting until end of his turn to dump the last for the warded. Played warden off ESG which he didn't expect and dropped a Rootwalla for lethal with 3 VV coming out.
6-0-1 (12-6)

I have to say, this deck is hard as shit to pilot. I was constantly trying to figure out when to go for broke and when to play safe and Thalia, but all in all it's pretty darn resilient to all the hate that was boarded in against me. I thought the sb was perfectly balanced for what I wanted, but I'm sure I made errors boarding cards out. Would love some people's opinions on sb strats.

@yayjinaz Congrats! I've been playing the Bant version of survival for awhile and ran it at Vintage Champs. I'll PM you regarding sideboard.

One morning shower thought, I always cut mandrills first, never cared to play it even though I can understand why it's there as another 1 cost creature to trigger VV. I think I would have preferred either manglehorn #2, trigon predator, or magus of the tabernacle, the last being my personal preference. I think that would have won me multiple games on its own vs dredge, pyromancer, and shops.

I remember in the first days of playing the deck, thinking about the sideboard and having a little giggle as I thought "and for the mirror... whatever". Now survival seem to be the third deck with most results (in quantity, not quality), behind dredge and PO. Got to play 3x against the mirror in the last league (2x wfain, 1x kungfutrees), and each day I find myself amused of seeing some random people (new to the format) playing the deck.

Now back to the deck. One thing I've been thinking is about switching the 4th ravenous trap for another priest. I don't like bringin in 4 in the mirror, the only deck I use it against is dredge, and containment priest is almost as good as it against them, and is good against oath. I thought about the 3rd leovold, but xerox decks currently aren't really challenging, but if they start having a better plan against the BUG I think it's the best card for the SB to fight them, considering what we already have to hold them back (4fow 4 misstep, 1 fluster, 1 or 2 Mindbreak, 2 leovold).

last edited by GutoCmtt


One card that I have been experimenting is Knight of Autumn instead of Hooting Mandrills. It's either reclamation sage (etb disenchant), an extra card off sylvan library (gain 4 life), or vengevine #5 (2x +1/+1 counters).

how do the games typically play out in the mirror with the bant-counter version?
what's the sb plan?

@chikararyuu The mirror is usually about explosiveness or long-term resources management. They usually are on hierarch instead of DRS, and leovold is pretty good against bazaar, which are pretty good things for the mirror, and the bant version spends resources on symmetrical effects like thalia/stony, so I think here we're favored.

I think it's the sb plan is kinda the same for every version, try to disrupt their gameplan (decay, trygon, containment - usually 1, rav. trap - usually 3), while keeping yourself able to win not running out of resources (which for me means cutting fow). I use to cut blue (4fow, phantasmal, fluster), but I'm not sure about it.

last edited by GutoCmtt

@gutocmtt I think PI should stay in, since there is no real downside to it and it can do all sorts of relevant stuff.

@wfain Hmm yeah, you're probably right. Cloning an opposing trygon, leovold or even just a hollow/VV sounds worth it for 2 mana.

I need a maindeck answer to notion thief...it's literally lost me 5 matches on mtgo out of 2 leagues so far...I've tried replacing mandrills with reflector mage but honestly it's not working...

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