@socialite Question was asked by you. Answered by me. I am not taking the bait.

Wasted posts like the one above is a problem.

last edited by ssasala

@ssasala said in White Eldrazi:

@socialite Question was asked by you. Answered by me. I am not taking the bait.

Wasted posts like the one above is a problem.

You're saying nothing, literally. It's not personal and I don't mean to offend you but literally nothing other than what any capable person could deduce from reading the cards.

last edited by Guest

My 2c on TKS: I'm just going to focus on the matchups where this is theoretically positioned as a 2-for-1 and tempo gain (v. Delver/Mentor etc.) rather than the other matchups where it's fairly obvious that the whole is less than the sum due to the opportunity cost of both the card and its slot in the curve.

When I am Delver v. Eldrazi I really don't fear TKS. Duress effects are good but, as I've learned the hard way, consistently overvalued by players (like past iterations of me, and maybe even present). It's not like a terrible effect for the Eldrazi player but it's at an awkward point on their curve and it's not really what they want to be doing. It doesn't synergize with taxing/Wasteland. As an isolated effect it's a tempo loss.

So really you're hoping that the attached body makes it a net tempo gain by closing the deal quickly. Theoretically sound, but awkward in practice: the impact of the body is very overrated.

  • It's supposed to close the game in ~2 turns while I'm reeling from losing a card and under pressure from multiple tax effects and bodies.
  • But really what happens is I buy time on the cheap by chump blocking twice with tokens. Maybe I continue to hit with a flipped Delver. Whatever, it's a tempo win for me, not you!
  • This often actually translates into a real advantage: e.g. 2 turns down the road my JVP finds Swords/Bolt/etc. to kill your Thalia that's been gating my Gush into an improved board position, since you spent the intervening time doing sweet FA.
  • When it doesn't work out like that, it's rare that TKS was the principal reason. It's usually Thalia being too fast too furious, often in combination with Revoker on Jace.

Anyways. I have no opinions on this current build having not tried it but I felt I should chime in on how I actually find playing against TKS in White Eldrazi.

@socialite Literally nothing? That's when you just don't post... like when you type it all out, read it over, then click discard... (Letting that sink in.)

Just want to point out from being on the receiving end of TKS. The duress effect can be extremely disruptive as it comes down before you have time to stabilize, takes your answer or bomb and then leaves you a lot less turns to topdeck something. the tempo gain is very real. Honestly i'm less concerned by a lot of cards than TKS when playing against the deck. The only bad thing I see for it, is what it does to the mana base of the deck and consistency issues. Without the eldrazi the deck is little more than Hatebears + thorns which has been legal for years and never competitive.

@Topical_Island said in White Eldrazi:

@socialite Literally nothing? That's when you just don't post... like when you type it all out, read it over, then click discard... (Letting that sink in.)

I don't know, Richard Shay and Steven Menendian both use quite a large sum of words to say very little on the frequent but they're hearalded as format titans. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this type of cyclical argumentative discussion where not a whole lot of meat and potatoes is brought to the table is the norm.

I explained why I felt the creature swaps for this archetype is the right direction in post eighty six. Beside Ribby the only response I've gotten is people dictating what the text on TKS says, not why they think it's actually better suited or presented any sort of theroy as to why TKS is correct.

last edited by Guest

@ribby So I mean I agree that TKS isn't at it's best against pyromancer decks, but to be fair the 3/2 is likely worse right? I think the best card in that matchup is pretty clearly Jitte. I am still not understanding why the 3/2 is better for the deck against the whole meta. It clearly doesn't improve the pyromancer/delver matchup.

As for the why TKS is correct, it wouldn't be if you could keep playing things that affect the opponents ability to cast spells but if we look at waste/thalia/thorn/revoker a fair amount of the time as delay one turn from casting x. It is more common for us to run out of those delays before they die, and then they cast x and it turns around the game. Your contention is playing this 3/2 means that we get to the them dying part faster. My argument is delaying and then playing tks at the top means we get to take the card which would allow them to turn it around. All the delaying tactics are to set up to take away the card that can get them back in the game.

last edited by garbageaggro

@garbageaggro said in White Eldrazi:

@ribby So I mean I agree that TKS isn't at it's best against pyromancer decks, but to be fair the 3/2 is likely worse right? I think the best card in that matchup is pretty clearly Jitte. I am still not understanding why the 3/2 is better for the deck against the whole meta. It clearly doesn't improve the pyromancer/delver matchup.

When you play Smuggler's Copter and Toolcraft exemplar, you get options. You get to pick if you want to push in with a 3/2 Firststrike or free up other creatures, crew Copter and get in for 3 Flying which circumvents all of the creatures in the mirror and obviously bypasses the example given by Ribby. Defensively, within the context of Eldrazi vs Delver a 1/1 body still makes the important trades.


Cross posting this from a question Akash asked me about TKS vs Reality Smasher (it pretty much follows the reasoning Ribby presented).

"When TKS first started to pick up steam I struggled hard for a while. Everyone and their brother switched to STP to deal with the body. After an immense amount of testing I came to the conclusion that STP was wrong and despite common belief Lightning Bolt was still viable (the concept being that JVP's +1 let you fight on the axis of life as a resource - add that to the dynamic of Ancient Tomb vs Bolt and it becomes very clear that the better option is to race the body not remove it - they already got value when the ETB resolved). The reason I mention this is because I personally find TKS to be a supremely underwhelming card to the point where I felt most Workshop players were far too married to it. Reality Smasher is Lightning Bolt for Eldrazi, it's strictly a better threat than TKS when your primary plan is to race and race this version of Eldrazi does. I appreciate a lot of the nuances it adds to the list compared to Tidehollow Sculler (lol), for example the haste does a number on opponents ability to properly calculate across many lines - time they have to execute spells around tax effects, combat math, life as a resource, etc."


When 65% of the meta has creatures plus removal TKS isn't that great. When 35% of the meta is slamming robots and bears at each other without removal the 4/4 body looks a hell of a lot better, then there's argument to be had between the 4/4 and a 3/2 Firststrike and 3/3 Flying. But do the math and ask yourself what you'd rather plan for 65% or 35%.

last edited by Guest

@garbageaggro to be clear, I'm not contending anything about @wappla's list. I haven't tried it. I'm noting that the opportunity cost of TKS against certain builds I play is probably stupid high. It's not a fully formed argument because opportunity cost implies a substitute which I have not offered, but the archetype is not fully explored and I am pretty confident we can do better than TKS at some point because I recognize the pattern here: awkwardly positioned and awkwardly costed tactic that is taking too long to get priced out in Vintage.

@wappla has chosen a lower-curve approach that warrants testing.

I'm not sure how ya'll feel about your Dredge match-up, but getting out-raced by Toolcraft on stream tonight was a beating. It's fast, closes the door way faster than thought-knot.

This deck is hella powerful, honestly no idea how to side effectively against ya'll. Nice work!

@wappla did you consider lotus petal ? as a way to power out a threat no turn one?
Did you try out sanctum prelate? As decks are playing so many 1cmc cards, this would be pretty devastating as this deck is playing cavern.

You said shops is the worse MU and you cut kataki MD and SB.... i dont get it... the games i played with white eldrazi vs shops kataki was mvp... you could find room for at least 1 kataki MD and one SB. Try better. Try harder.

@wappla said in White Eldrazi:

won the quarterly Gatherling tournament with this last week, going 5-1, 10-2 in games. Thought-Knot and Displacer are weak cards. I knew they were weak before the P9 and regretted playing them when I knew better. Replacing them with almost anything halfway aggressive would be an upgrade. This build improved the deck's worst matchup significantly.

Avacyn and Gisela are not very good, but I did win the final game of the tournament by flashing Avacyn through Tangle Wire and dealing the full 20 damage with it. Fragmentize is useless and should be replaced by a card that does something.

Ballista is about to change the metagame significantly, no promises whether this stuff is good going forward.

Interesting list. Could you comment on the inclusion of Archangel Avacyn? Did you consider Porcelain Leggionaire considering you're taking a more aggressive approach? And perhaps Spirit of the Labyrinth as well? It's a decent clock and does a lot of work against many decks.

@Griselbrother Porcelain Legionare does seem like it fits. It was included in a White Eldrazi list in a Japanese tournament last week I think it was.

This build feels to me like it's pushing more in the direction of 5C Humans with slightly less disruption and more aggression than previous White Eldrazi lists. It's very interesting.

And Smuggler's Copter feels like it would be good in Humans as well.

I played this archetype in the VSL prelim event (my decklist here), based upon the assumption that White Eldrazi was probably the best positioned achetype to attack 1) Mentor strategies and 2) PO strategies. The two people who played this archetype in the last P9 event, I think, came to a similar conclusion.

Without assessing the position of this archetype in the post-AER metagame, and whether or not it gains or loses more from cards like Walking Ballista, I would like to offer a brief comments on this archetype.

  1. I've noticed that many White Eldrazi players play cards like Swords to Plowshares, Disenchant, Rest in Peace, Stony Silence or other white non-creature spells in the sideboard, and sometimes even maindeck. In my experience, and based upon simple math alone, I don't think this deck is capable of reliably playing white non-creature spells, simply because there aren't enough white non-cavern mana sources to reliably cast such spells. 6 white producing lands and Pearl and Lotus is not reliable enough. I think this archetypes colored spell complement has to be strictly delimited to creature spells.

  2. I read Jaco's excellent Eldrazi book before building my list, and one of the things that comes up throughout is the challenge of playing a mana heavy deck. In my experience in the recent metagame, however, I actually found that running a deck with 30 mana sources is an asset. Gush Mentor decks not only run Null Rod effects, but many now run multiple Wasteland effects. I think there is a good case to be made to run 31 or even 32 mana sources post-board in some matchups. In other words, I think that the large mana base, normally a cause of variance and a drawback in most vintage environments, is actually a big upside in the current metagame.

This is especially true with how effective Displacer is in the metagame. A single Displacer and a ton of mana can control a battlefield.

  1. Finally, based upon my experience with Workshop decks and hatebear/Beats deck, I was not prepared to understand how very difficult this deck is to play by comparison. Aside from the developed technical skills needed to pilot certain strategies, like timing Gush, or the experience needed to identify possible lines in the first place, as with Doomsday or other tutors, this may be one of the most difficult decks to play in the format, in terms of selecting the optimal line of play among multiple available options. Put another way: in some decks, the challenge is spotting the best line, with the best line hidden or less visible. Here, the challenge is evaluating lines, not spotting them. That's something I haven't really seen to this degree in modern Vintage.

One of the problems with Beats and Workshop decks is sequencing decisions based upon imperfect information. Yet, usually the sequencing decisions can be reasoned with a bit of logic and thought. There are probably more situations with this archetype than probably any other I can recall in recent memory where among multiple options, the optimal choice is extremely difficult to identify. Without purporting to definitely identify why, I think there are a couple of key factors behind this:

  • Almost every decision with the deck is also a role decision, whether to assume the beatdown or try to maintain a soft lock. Therefore, it's not simply a choice of plays, but a choice of roles. And this role framework is shaped not simply by the nature of the matchup, but the configuration of your hand, your opponent's board, and the overall situation (i.e. what turn, what stage of the game, etc.). Even attacking decisions have role implications. For example, whether to attack a player or a planeswalker.

  • Eldrazi Displacer. In most decks, the main decisions are what cards in hand to play, and whether to attack or not. But, with Displacer, you not only have to select among what spells to play, but whether to play a spell or leave mana up to displace, and if so, what to displace. Displace a TKS to snag a card, or keep up mana to protect your own cards, etc.

  • Your creatures give you lots of options, multiplying the potential for error. Cards like TKS and Phyrexian Revoker, which is commonly played in the archetype, present wide ranging and open decision making options.

  • Design challenges. There is a huge range of possible cards to include, but each have trade-offs in different metagame contexts. Some cards are so powerful that they are auto includes, but some are better or worse in different metagames. For example, whether and in what contexts you play Thalia 2.0 or Wingmare.

  • Land sequencing is challenging. Not only do you have to commit to a creature type with Cavern, but each land drop opens and forecloses potential future lines of play. So you not only have to interface cards in hand and potential lines of play with your mana production possibilities, but you have to develop your mana in such a way as to maximizes your capacity to pursue different routes of play. Workshop mana bases, by comparison, are much easier to play, despite having similar lans diversity.

last edited by Smmenen

@Smmenen The first point of your post is exactly why I moved away from Eldrazi Temple/Ancient Tomb and basically went mono white. The mana in that deck can be an absolute nightmare at times, and I've been much happier with my matches since. You do lose out on a few more explosive turns and TKS, but I never even tried Reality Smasher since I didn't think what basically amounts to a dragon is good enough for this format. That's obviously not to say that it isn't as it's won many games including against me, but I'm not sold on the 5/5 trample haste for 5 in a world where you can just die to Tendrils.

I definitely think the deck is strong; but like you said, it really limits what you can include in your deck both mainboard and sideboard. Thankfully, due to the recent upswing in popularity for Fragmentize, I don't think playing Null Rod over Stony Silence is really a liability at this point (assuming that's a card you want to play- and I think it is).

I finished in the top 16 of the MTGO P9 today White Eldrazi with 4 Walking Ballista.

Ballista was easily one of the best cards in my deck. It's the card I wished I would draw more than almost anything else. I had a few game states against Mentor decks where I had tons of mana, a Cavern ready on Construct, and if I topdeck Ballista, I instant win.

@Smmenen very interesting. Did you tend to cast it for 2-4 or more? Did you miss big Thalia at all?

I never ran Thalia 2.0, because I think it's weak in the most important matchups. I'd prefer to have a Thorn effect like Vryn Wingmare against Gush decks, Null Rod against PO decks, etc.

I had at least one game where I could have cast an uncounterable Ballista for 5, but I didn't draw it.. I don't remember casting it for more than 2, but it's often larger than 2 power.

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