Tuning Uwx to fight Eldrazi/w

Anyone playing on MTGO must have noticed by now the rise of the Eldrazi shops and Eldrazi/w decks. They are built around Thought-Knot Seer and sphere/Thalia effects.

The question is; how do we tune our UWx Mentor/Gush decks to fight back? Balance might be the best card against them, Stp is obviously good too. Counterspells are terrible but somewhat important to keep the various spheres off the table so we can cast our spells. Ancient Grudge and traditional anti-shops cards are trash.

In theory we would need a reasonable density of cheap creature removal as well as enough velocity to power through TKS exiling cards. It also seems possible to fight them on mana if you can get to board parity early. So maybe we want to be playing Strip Mine and Wasteland in addition to our Balance? What can we do to set up a reasonable matchup there and not give up our ability to fight Storm/Oath/Dredge?

last edited by wfain

@wfain The taxing effects those decks bring hinder the options, otherwise sweepers like Supreme Verdict would be the obvious answer. Thankfully, those taxing effects are on non-creature spells, so would the answer be to play more creatures, especially one's with the ability to trade profitably with those creatures? The 4 power of TKS is a problem, for sure, as there aren't many creatures that Mentor can cast that can deal 4 damage that cost 4 or less mana. Porcelain Legionnaire is pretty reasonable, but doesn't trade with TKS. What about playing a couple Jitte's in the board, too?

@wfain Good. I was hoping someone would do this. I just read an article written on Channel Fireball by Paul Cheon. You can find it here, http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/how-to-beat-eldrazi/.

It suggests attacking the relationship between the Eldrazi lands (Eye of Ugin, and Eldrazi Temple), suggesting cards like Wasteland, Blood Moon, and Painter's Servant. (That last one is very cute.) It recommends as well, running spot removal and sweepers, Swords, Path, and Supreme Verdict seems quite good, and good anyway because Mentor is everywhere to begin with, and those cards are at least not bad against the mad monk.

Ensnaring Bridge gets a mention too, which seems pretty good.

I wonder, what do we think about cards like Drop of Honey and Porphyry Nodes?

last edited by Topical_Island

@Topical_Island said:

I wonder, what do we think about cards like Drop of Honey and Porphyry Nodes?

Nodes is probably not good enough, especially since it would really only be good against eldrazi. Every other deck, even shops, is capable of making many tokens rendering the card pretty bad outside the 1 matchup. If you have a bunch of spare sideboard slots, go for it, but I imagine more versatile answers will be better, like balance and swords to plowshares.

I think the best answer to the eldrazi menace is a gush list with 4x swords to plowshares, and 4x flippy jace. Flippy jace lets you dig to find more lands, and flashes back your swords. The plus of flip jace is also relevant in that it allows a mentor to block a TKS with only 1 spell cast on their turn. You may even want to run 1-3 Young Pyromancer in this hypothetical list, as having a 2 mana creature come down that spits out chump blockers until you find a mentor may be enough to survive the match.

@L0cke17 trouble with 4 vryns prodigy and 3-4 mentor and 1-3 yp is you aren't playing quite enough spells to max the value of any of them. I almost wonder how far we could come off counterspells. Could we reasonably come down to 2 misstep and 4 fow main?

@wfain I have no idea. I wouldnt feel comfortable playing less than 4 force, 3 misstep, 2x other (flusterstorm, steel sabotage, spell snare, mindbreak trap etc). What you probably end up cutting is some combo of gitaxian probe and 1-2 off color moxen, or mana crypt.

@L0cke17 I was thinking it would be good against Humans/Hatebear


Its only good if you dont have a mentor or pyromancer out, if you do its completely blank. That's my big worry with it.


Nodes destroys the creature with the LEAST power, meaning that if you have tokens out, it will never hit the 2 and 3 power creatures that hatebears decks are full of, making it useless in that case.

@L0cke17 Right, but it also makes tokens and prowess for Mentor, so it isn't even card disadvantage for a turn. Aren't we already winning if we draw Nodes with Mentor in play? Maybe you're right...? Maybe drop of honey is more SB for an Oath deck or something.

ive been working on the eldrazi problem for a week or so now and i find that path and dismember are the best spot removal. Im also experimenting with propaganda/ghostly prison. Im also considering blind obedience to stop the haste and for some reach damage.

@NinjaDazed I like Blind Obedience, since you could also use it against Dredge and Storm

How does everyone feel about black instead of red? Do we still want green for library?
Black gains tutors that might allow for the addition of vault/key and tinker as well as the possibility of playing shriekmaw from the board.
If we keep green might we be in favor of fastbond/crucible/wasteland being in the deck? I have found fighting the ancient tombs and eldrazi temples is somewhat reasonable.

I don't see how jamming Wasteland into a Gush deck is going to work out very well for Mentor. While you're sitting there durdling with less mana, they simply drop another land, play a TKS or Smasher and go to town on you anyway. Fastbond can speed things up for you, but it's restricted, so counting on that is not very reliable. If anything, Blood Moon would be most effective since it prevents them from casting Eldrazi at all outside of a Sol Ring or Mana Crypt, however, Mentor also can't play Moon effectively. Seems to me that more spot removal from the board is the only solution, so more Paths and maybe a Bolt or 2 for the Thalia's and/or Wingmares.

@wfain well just managed to win 2-0 with an Esper mentor list against White Eldrazi (piloted by sodoyouwearacape). I basically ended up getting a couple of turns of value from Bob and then chump blocking some eldrazi. First game was won with a mini-tendrils when we both were at 6 life. Second game I boarded in more swords and some Serenities (running white anti-artifact package in sb). The game started much the same with me chumping with bob and a snapcaster to stay alive. In fear of wastelands I fetched a basic plains and eventually drew mentor. The turn before I was gonna cast it my opponent played strip mine, but fortunately stripped an underground sea instead of the plains. The following turn generated two monks which chump-blocked his attackers so I would survive. The subsequent turn generated some 4-5 monks and a Time walk and that was it. The matchup was super hard and I got lucky once with a Bob trigger when at four life. My opponent also never played any sphere (I put one on the bottom of his library with JTMS though). So bottom line: a hard match-up no matter what and key was to stay alive for either mentor or tendrils to become a threat. Swords also helped but TKS sure likes to take them from your hand.

As someone who plays Storm, this struggle amuses me. Please, play some Flame-Tongue Kavus and take out the Mental Missteps and Flusterstorms.

@desolutionist With a lock-piece count similar to 4 Lodestone shops, but resistant to Hurkyl's, I suspect that UWB Mentor with Mental Missteps has a better matchup against W Eldrazi than Storm does. You might want to consider adding some new cards to your own sideboard.

@Brass-Man said:

@desolutionist With a lock-piece count similar to 4 Lodestone shops, but resistant to Hurkyl's, I suspect that UWB Mentor with Mental Missteps has a better matchup against W Eldrazi than Storm does. You might want to consider adding some new cards to your own sideboard.

This is very true. Sideboarding against that deck can be a Nightmare due to the fact that it plays so many different card types of disruption. You need to answer the bears and the artifacts + (have a follow up) before you die to the fast clock provided by the eldrazis. TK Seer also complicates matters by stealing your answer or threat before you can get it online.
I think Rushing river is definitely a card to consider when building your storm sideboard now. Was already pretty good against hard control decks with Boards like Rip + arcane lab.

I think @desolutionist's point was that there is little overlap between the effective strategies Mentor employs against Eldrazi and Storm. Making your Mentor deck better against Eldrazi comes at the cost of the Storm matchup. From Shawn's perspective as a storm pilot, this antagonism in deckbuilding "amuses" him (and helps his Mentor matchup). I don't think he was commenting on the Eldrazi vs. Storm matchup, which is rough on Storm for the reasons @Brass-Man listed. Eldrazi went 5-2 against DPS in the event - which is comparable to the 20-7 record it put up against Gush.

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