5-2 with Ad Nauseam at the NYSE!

Wanted to share my report from the NYSE with a normally unplayed archetype that I’ve put a lot of work into lately.

I played UB Ad Nauseam and ended 5-2. My breakers were terrible so I ended up in 20th place despite several 15 pointers making top 16.

The list I played is as follows:

UB DazeNauseam

Maindeck (60)
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Consultation
4 Duress
1 Imperial Seal
4 Mental Misstep
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Ponder
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Daze
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Yawgmoth's Will
2 Tendrils of Agony
4 Ad Nauseam
1 Black Lotus
4 Chrome Mox
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Opal
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
1 Island
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
4 Underground Sea
2 Verdant Catacombs

Sideboard (15)
1 Chain of Vapor
2 Fatal Push
2 Thoughtseize
1 Collective Brutality
4 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Sadistic Sacrament
1 Shatter Assumptions
1 Timetwister
1 Ancient Tomb
1 Karakas

My matches were as follows

Round 1- lost 0-2 to BUGR.
Round 2- won 2-0 over BUG
Round 3- won 2-1 against mystic forge shops (on the draw game 1)
Round 4- lost 2-1 to Jeskai PO
Roind 5- Won 2-1 against Karndrazi
Round 6- won 2-0 against mystic forge shops
Round 7- won 2-0 against hogaak dredge

I chose this variant of storm over normal DPS after a lot of testing. The deck relies on the grave less and there was a lot of dredge hate running around which can sometimes come into play. And because I love the card Ad Nauseam.

It’s also normally a turn faster than DPS and I was willing to take the hit against null rod effects for the added speed. On the speed note the deck is basically faster than anything currently in the meta, and I was putting a lot of weight into the speed of the deck during my forge shops matches. The list also does a great job at blanking narset and Leo. And I got to play demonic consultation and there’s almost nothing better than getting to put that card on the stack and naming ad nauseam as the opponent becomes increasingly confused as to what’s happening.

The card that impressed me most was Daze. I played 4 in the main and the card played a huge role all day long. It allowed me to protect my combo and also was a blowout card against karn shops and my opponents on blue during various matchups. Also, when going off with ad nauseam it was not uncommon for me to daze my own spell in order to make a land drop and also adding two to storm count. The card felt versatile and really strong all day long.

Dark Ritual also feels like it is in a great place. Despite this version being weaker to null rod you can still beat that effect easily with rituals.

Just wanted to share and hope everyone who was at the event or watched the event had a fantastic time. Thanks to Nick for putting on a fantastic event and for Brassman doing great coverage.

Thank you.

last edited by poxeveryturn

It looks like a strong and informed choice for this metagame. Nice design. Congrats on the high finish!

I fucking love Ad Nauseam. Got mine altered a while back.

@oestrus very nice! I am a huge fan of alters myself and the art on Ad Nauseam really lends itself to doing a lot of cool stuff with it. The list I played at NYSE was heavily altered. The card is such a unique one to build around imo. It makes for some interesting building and deck choices.

One of the highlights (or lowlights) for the deck was putting Ad Nauseam on the stack at a strong 14 life and then flipping Ad Nauseam, Ad Nauseam, Tendrils off the top and dying on the spot. Strong plays 😎. Still won the match but it wasn’t my finest moment.

Also got to consult for a Timetwister against dredge and there’s nothing quite like consulting for restricted cards when you have to have them. What a rush lol.

@poxeveryturn

List looks great!

Im glad that someone still works on and plays Ad Nauseam in Paper Vintage.

I've been working on an Ad Nauseam list and I must admit, I would not have thought of even adding Daze.
Daze makes so much sense, now.
I entertained the thought of adding Spell pierce, but didn't because of Misstep.

Speaking of Mental Misstep, how has it worked for you thus far? How often did it make, or would've made, a difference throughout the day? Asking for a friend, lol.

What made you go 0-Cabal Rituals?
My reasoning for keeping at least 2 Cabal Rituals in my list has always been speed and another way to ignore opposing MM.

Apologies if I'm asking too much at once.

Thank you, for the report.

last edited by Ten-Ten

@ten-ten thanks for all the questions! No need to apologize I’m glad someone shows interest in the archetype!

Bear with me this will be a long post.

Pact of negation v. Daze v. Spell pierce (you didn’t ask about this but I wanted to expand more on why I chose daze and why it’s good)

Traditionally a lot of Ad Nauseam lists ran 4 pact of negation as a way to protect the combo. I tested this a lot and I’ve played it in the past. I found a few problems with the card in the current meta. 1) the card is purely “offensive” meaning it can only really be used in the deck to defend a combo, you’re never actually using it to stop your opponent from doing something broken and with the speed of the meta it felt too narrow, 2) the card is totally dead against Lavinia which is a big boogey man for the deck, if she’s down you can’t play pact at all and your odds of winning go down even further (yes daze has an alternate cost but you can still actually cast it for 1u), 3) the upside to pact is that it keeps your curve even lower meaning more cards off of Ad Nauseam but this didn’t feel like enough up side in testing.

Daze

Daze did literally everything I wanted it to do and more. During testing and in the current meta in general decks across the meta like to tap out on turn 1/2 for a big threat of some kind or a restricted card I.e recall, Ouphe, Lavinia, karn, forge, even grim monolith as an engine. This led me to a few conclusions with daze: 1) it lets me protect a turn 1-2 combo and traditionally ad nauseam wants to be a turn 1-2 deck (as opposed to defense grid which is normally a turn 2-3 card or later), 2) it generally let me do something proactive turn one like duress, cantrip, imperial seal, and either protect that play or snatch their first turn play with daze and then move forward on my next turn 3) it doesn’t get misstep and it’s not dead under Lavinia. This was actually a huge factor in testing and at the NYSE. Having to force a daze feels horrible for the opponent and unless they’re protecting something very busted even if they do have force it feels great and is a win for you, 4) as I mentioned above you also add to storm count and can protect your seas from wasteland. The one down side to daze is you do have to mess with your mana base some and there are times when you really need to fetch a swamp and daze feels bad but it’s better than getting wasted out of the game. Overall it’s a much more versatile card than people give it credit for in vintage and I will continue to utilize it.

Spell pierce

This is definitely the worst of the theee. As you mentioned it gets missted. It can’t protect a turn one combo and it doesn’t allow you to progress the game turn one (I.e you can’t duress and hold it up) as opposed to pact this is a purely “defensive” spell and the list tends to run really thin on mana so holding it up would be an issue.

Mental misstep

So misstep is literally my least favorite card in magic. I loathe the card, but it is a necessary evil. It’s also very good in Ad Nauseam and it works on the same axis as daze. It lets you fight those “awesome” misstep battles to protect your rituals while adding to storm count and it also keeps your blue opponent off of recall/brainstorm, your shops opponent off of key/top/sol ring/vault etc, and your combo opponents off of vamp tutor and even rituals in the mirror. The reason I separate recall and brainstorm is because those are the cards I would be willing to misstep defensively with this deck as opposed to holding my misstep to protect my own combo. Imo it lets the blue mage see entirely too many cards and get too far ahead of you.
The biggest thing you need to be wary of is life total with the card. You don’t want to get carried away misstepping everything because you’ll get too low. This did not come up for me at NYSE but it did come up in testing.
As a good rule of thumb for life total staying above 14 has been my sweet spot before going off. If you go off above 14 you probably have a 70% chance of seeing enough cards to get there. If you go off between 11-14 that percentage is proabsbly around 55-60%. If you go off below 10 you’re just crossing your fingers and hoping everything you need is directly in a pile all in a row on top of your deck and you avoid all the other ad nauseams lol. However, If you go off above 18 it’s basically lights out for the opponent with a 95% chance of seeing enough cards to get there (unles you’re extremely unlucky).

Overall the card is really good in the deck. However I did cut gitaxian probe at NYSE for life considerations because it can add up fast taking 2 at a time.

Cabal ritual.

Another card I did extensive testing with and played between 0-3 and landed on 0 for a few reasons. 1) mana cost/curve considerations. By adding the dazes and removing what would have been pact of negation or possibly a discard spell I pushed the curve of the deck higher. This may seem inconsequential. But 2s start to add up fast when you’re going off, especially at the magical 14 number or if you might need to misstep something, 2) cabal is not actually as good in this list as it is in traditional DPS And was actually making me slower. You have to find something to cut for cabal and often times I was cutting some number of moxen which made my density of zero cost fast mana lower. That along with the fact that the deck has very few cantrips meant that it was harder to get to 5 mana with several cabals in the list because you have less zero mana acceleration and it’s much harder to reach threshold in this list than in dps. It’s easier to reach threshold once you put ad nauseam on the stack but then you run into the first issue of dying to it and once you put 18 cards in your hand mana isn’t that much of a concern, 3) again unlike DPS ad nauseam often runs off a single land which makes cabal much worse, it simply doesn’t add enough mana I.e. you need a much higher density of cards in your hand to get to 5 in the very early stages of the game. The biggest upside by far is that it lets you more easily play around null rod effects which traditional DPS again does much better than this list and it can also let you win a longer game while smoothing out draws with cantrips. Overall the card is simply much better in that list than here where you’re more “glass cannon” and turn one based.

I also tested burning wish in the deck which is actually really good and a ton of fun and I have a really cool list with it. However it’s just too slow for this meta but I would be glad to share the list.

I hope these answers helped and feel free if you have any more questions. Apologies for such a long winded post.

Awesome list! Thanks for the in-depth analysis. I would love to see your Burning Wish list as well. And, considering your user name, you wouldn't happen to have a vintage Pox list, would you?

Here’s the burning wish list I was running. I was playing this with great success about 5-6 months ago. It’s just a little slow for the current meta. However, the wishes add a lot of versatility to the list and they also allow you to lower your curve by not having to run multiple tendrils main and you can more freely use demonic consultation. The list ran no missteps since it was slightly slower I didn’t want to risk the life loss and I could more easily transition to a wish plan if my life got to low to Ad Nauseam.

Burning Ad nauseam

Maindeck (60)
4 pact of negation
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Dark Ritual
1 Demonic Consultation
4 Duress
1 Gitaxian Probe
1 Imperial Seal
1 Mystical Tutor
1 Ponder
1 Vampiric Tutor
4 Burning Wish
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Hurkyl's Recall
1 Tendrils of Agony
4 Ad Nauseam
1 Black Lotus
1 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Chrome Mox
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Opal
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mana Vault
1 Sol Ring
2 Badlands
1 Bloodstained Mire
4 Polluted Delta
1 Swamp
4 Underground Sea

Sideboard (15)
1 Innocent Blood
1 Overmaster
1 Thoughtseize
1 Collective Brutality
3 Hurkyl's Recall
1 pulverize
1 Sadistic Sacrament
1 Timetwister
1 Yawgmoth's Will
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Karakas
1 Badlands

@horvath sorry I hit the wrong reply button but I posted my burning wish list above.
Also I do have a vintage pox list. It is shockingly bad in this meta but I will dredge it up and post it for you.
It is far and away my favorite deck in legacy which is where I spend a lot more time playing the deck no matter how bad it is. Lol

@horvath here’s my vintage pox list in its last iteration. I played it a few times. I did pretty well with it once. If you catch the right xerox decks you can just go under them and destroy their mana base. It’s a lot of fun regardless. Very light on win cons. Very heavy on prison aspects. Splashed green because the need to deal with walkers and artifacts is a must in vintage and mono black wasn’t working.

This deck could not be further from the Ad Nauseam list that started this thread. Lol.

Maindeck (60)
1 Imperial Seal
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Abrupt Decay
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Life from the Loam
1 Regrowth
4 Smallpox
2 Toxic Deluge
1 Black Lotus
1 Chalice of the Void
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mox Jet
4 Null Rod
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Trinisphere
4 Chains of Mephistopheles
1 Pernicious Deed
1 Nether Void
2 Ancient Tomb
4 Bayou
1 Dark Depths
2 Mishra's Factory
1 Strip Mine
4 Swamp
2 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale
2 Thespian's Stage
2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Wasteland

Sideboard (15)
1 Liliana, the Last Hope
2 Nature's Claim
1 Seeds of Innocence
2 Ensnaring Bridge
2 Helm of Obedience
4 Leyline of the Void
1 Night of Souls' Betrayal
1 The Abyss
1 Karakas

last edited by poxeveryturn

@poxeveryturn
thank you for the detailed response.

I agree with your thoughts on pact, I just didn't know what to replace it with, until i saw your list.
I was actually going to ask about pact/daze/ pierce/probe but you answered before I did, lol.

I kept going between fetches and duals to Rainbow lands and back. Same with pact and thoughtsieze.
Even went as far as to try burning wish but didn't feel confident enough to share the brewing process, so, it didn't make it past goldfishing.

Preordain is another card I tried in threes. Any thoughts or experience on preordain?

Thank you for sharing the Burning wish list, as well. I too had an overmaster in the SB but I went full rainbow on the mana base. your list definitely looks more consistent.

Thank you again for sharing.

@ten-ten

So first some thoughts on thoughtseize.

I think the card is a must in the board but a zero in the main. Game one duress does a lot of work and you have the ability to move faster against the opponent. Post board especially against blue decks I always board in seize and collective brutality. Even on the draw it comes in because it’s better than daze on the draw and it’s importsnt to get information from their hand and pick it apart.
Collective brutality is another card I’m extremely hot on. I went up to two in the board since NYSE because it does everything you want. It snatches an important card, kills a Lavinia or Ouphe, doesn’t get hit by misstep, and it pads your life total. Superb card all around.

Preordain

So I’ve tested extensively with preordain in the list between 0-4 copies. Imo the correct number is 0 especially with the new mulligan rules in place. Unlike traditional DPS this deck relies more on selection through tutors and a high propensity of 4x cards instead of things like preordain or even library to smooth the draw, hence the ability to run consultation.
I think if you mulligan correctly and aggressively and properly utilize the London mulligan based on your matchup you don’t need preordain in the list, you just want the maximum number of viable tutors.

When I had preordain in the deck it felt slow and oddly clunky. I found myself keeping weaker hands in the hopes preordain would get me there and ended up losing a lot of tempo. In traditional DPS you normally want a higher density of cards in hand as you try to dig for restricted cards like tinker and twister or a hand that has some tutors and a dark petition (this is obliviously a very simplified version of how DPS plays). AD nauseam is more of a “one card combo” in that you just need to put it on the stack as fast as you can and make sure it resolves and go from there.

Rainbow lands.

I definitely would not play rainbow lands here. Your life is too important as is mana fixing and by that I mean fetch lands. Taking a point a turn off of confluence or city ofbrass can add up quick. Especially if you have 2 in play you’re just shocking yourself to play hurkyls for instance and leaving yourself open to wasteland at all times. You can never fetch a basic when you need it and you lose the ability to shuffle. These small things add up.

An example of a combo deck that wants rainbows is something like burning oath or perhaps paradoxical oath and 2-card Monte (which already has the world’s sketchiest mana base). Decks like that are often at least 4 colors and they need the ability to produce any color at any time and they’re just down to jam a high variety of different colored spells on the stack. In any given ad nauseam list the majority of the cards you want to see are black and if you are running burning wish you have your fetches to get a badlands when you need it.

Necropotence

As a last note another card to consider strongly is necropotence. I didn’t play it at nyse but I think it is a very viable option for the deck and I’ve played it in the past in the deck. It’s an undeniably broken card and it acts almost like ad nauseam number 5. You’re putting it on the stack and sucking up probably 13-15 to make sure you’re winning the next turn.

The downside is you have to say go and it costs three which isn’t an issue to cast but it can be pricey when resolving ad nauseam.

@poxeveryturn I've been playing a bit with your Ad Nauseam list, and I've been greatly enjoying it. It feels very light but is powerful and surprisingly resilient. Daze is very effective thanks to the high speed of the deck.

The Burning wish list and Pox list are great as well. Thank you for sharing them. I don't mean to derail this thread. I just want to mention that I keep thinking about ways to make a good Pox list in this meta, and that there must be a 75 that works, maybe including the new Karn, Ashiok, and other planeswalkers that dodge smallpox and gain incremental advantage.

last edited by Horvath
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