Tuning Gush Given Metagame Pressures

@Brass-Man started a really good thread on here awhile ago, which began something like, there are plenty of threads dedicated to playing against Eldrazi, but lets start one about making Eldrazi better... good point.

I'm combing through trying to find something similar for Gush, and it actually looks pretty thin on here.

What should Gush do now? Given the rise of Eldrazi, Humans, all things Cavern of Souls and beyond, it seems to me like the field is pretty much gunning for Gush right now. What should Gush players be doing in response? What ARE they doing in response? Are there more sophisticated solutions than just packing a bunch of mainboard Swords? I really don't know and am really asking.


The Gush archetype has a lot of possibilities within itself for metagaming adjustments. I'd expect a more tempo oriented and agressive approach to work in this metagame like uw(x) mentor sporting Delver of secrets. Thing in the Ice could be a way to go as it is a nice answer to creature decks too.
On the combo side of Gush, I wonder how a Fusion between oath and the Gushbond engine would work. In theory you would have Fastbond and tendrils to win on the spot anytime you activate oath, Gush would let you keep up with mentor in the long game and give you something to do when you're not oathing and last but not least Oath is great in matchups where the gushbond engine is typically bad (Denial decks).

The biggest problem with adding a bunch of paths to your sideboard (specifically in place of your artifact hate) is that when you face prison workshop decks with cards like smokestack you will have an extremely hard time answering them.

@Macdeath so starting at Gush/Mentor, since its the most common right now, how would you tune with Humans and Eldrazi in mind?

@Topical_Island Hand disruption...Thoughtseize, Cabal Therapy and creatures that can stare down the eldrazi, I have been testing Baneslayer Angel as a 2 -of in my esper Mentor List that runs full 5 mox, lotus and Mana crypt.

Not being overly concerned with humans as the card monastery mentor is usually very hard/clost to impossible for them to beat.
That being said the eldrazi threat is real, and the list I have in my mind would look like this:

4 Flooded Strand
3 Polluted Delta
4 Island
3 Tundra
1 Library of Alexandria
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Emerald
1 Sol Ring
4 Delver of Secrets
3 Monastery Mentor (3 delver and 4 mentors seems really counter-intuitive)
2 Jace, the Mind Sculptor (or -1 Sol ring --> +3 Baby Jace)
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Brainstorm
1 Ponder
4 Preordain
1 Time Walk
1 Dig Through Time
4 Gush
1 Treasure Cruise
1 Mana Drain
1 Mindbreak Trap
3 Swords to Plowshares
3 Flusterstorm
4 Mental Misstep
4 Force of Will

SB: 1 Swords to Plowshares
SB: 1 Plains
SB: 2 Serenity
SB: 3 Steel Sabotage
SB: 3 Containment Priest
SB: 1 Path to Exile
SB: 3 Rest in Peace
SB: 1 Ethersworn Canonist (or metagame slot)

I have been pretty happy with mystical tutor, balance, deep analysis being in my deck. Those play very well with vryn's prodigy too.

@wfain deep analysis? Talk me through that card. Are you discarding it somehow? To Balance?

@Topical_Island yes, sometimes that happens, or to Dack, or Jace VP. Honestly it is castable in any fair matchup. It sort of plays like a fifth Gush in some ways.
I'll give one anecdotal sequence; I'm playing against Grixis Pyromancer I have Jace VP in play, 3 lands, 1 untapped, 3 cards in hand. Opponent has 4 cards, 4 lands, plays YP, then Preordain, then Ponder. EOT I Mystical for Balance. My turn flip Jace discarding Deep Analysis, play a mox, then Balance going hell bent. He discards DTT and 2 lands, and sacs a land, I get to use VP to replay my Ancestral, then flashback Deep Analysis next turn to be at 6 cards in hand to his 1.

I've been a big fan of Deep Analysis for years. It used to be closer to a staple in the format. It really pushes you ahead in control mirrors, it's very difficult to counter profitably. I love to see it here, though I do question how great it is in decks that are running low on mana, in a creature-heavy metagame

Deep Analysis is fun, but I have to question the timing of running that, or like 7+ main deck cards which are dead against Eldrazi main deck still (Flusterstorm, Misstep, Pyroblasts, etc.). I keep seeing the same things in decks, and this is a big part of why Workshops had a match win percentage of 68+%, and Eldrazi decks had a win percentage of 59% at NYSE4. The solution is to stop running so many narrow counterspells main deck, and start playing more removal (or a different strategy).

Also, if you're playing a Mentor and Delver deck seeking to tempo your opponent out, I think I'd rather be playing Path to Exile over Swords to Plowshares.

@JACO I play 3 path/plow, balance, a snapcaster, and 2 Jace vp. Eldrazi isn't really difficult with that set up

@wfain walk me through including both Snapcaster and FlippyJace. How does one arrive at that conclusion?

@Macdeath a problem with that is gush interferes with orchard so gush could be awkward but it could be worth a shot with fast bond in the deck

don't know how relevant this is, but what ive been doing to beat the humans decks and the mentor deck is i play a steel city vault/burning oath hybrid, against humans i board in my abrupt decay for their containment priests, stony silence, and whatever else while with the mentor decks, the deck is so broken that the draw 7's will favor me more because my spells are much more powerful, and also with the deck i have about 4 ways to win, key/vault combo, griselbrand beat down, storm, or using and oathed up griselbrand to draw cards and either storm or vault key. its been pretty successful because they cant hate out the entire deck, and if they do they dilute their own plan way to much, plus its really fun to play

edit: i apologize if this dosnt help, i know this thread is meant for tuning the mentor decks but was jsut sharing what ive been doing to beat the decks,

last edited by letseeker

@letseeker No need to apologize... Any honest attempt at information is good in my book. Thanks for contributing.

@Topical_Island could very well be wrong but my rationale is Jace Vp is better early and Snapcaster is better late. I'm looking to be better equipped to fight thorn/thalia decks, where snapcaster is little more than a chump. JVP is somewhat weaker in the gush matchups though so I wanted a mix. I could very well have the wrong mix, but I think mixing is correct right now.

@wfain I find that really interesting. I really haven't piloted those cards in those types of decks enough to have any opinion about a choice that fine. But it's fascinating. Really interesting call.

Watching LSV biencarnate himself as Reid Duke tonight and bury Randy Buehler's white Eldrazi under a seemingly unending rain of Swords to Plowshares... that was fun. It also forced me to notice some interesting things about Gush decks beating Aggro Midrange decks (Kikashi Aggro I like to call it), specifically Eldrazi in this case... trading 1 for 1 against decks that have no draw engine at all is really really good.

Humans, and Hatebear and Eldrazi have no drawing cards at all... what a bunch of psychopaths. Just trading down resources, and then resolving any drawing spell at all, seems to give the Gush deck a huge advantage. Its when drawing spells get locked out that the blue decks find themselves in big trouble, while the biggest weakness of the Aggro type of decks may yet prove to be that they can just be attacked by blue decks, or any deck that refills it's hand for that matter, simply by trading 1 for 1 in cards and slowly pulling ahead with drawing cards... would one actually board in more drawing cards against these types of decks? Is there a cheap drawing spell that remains playable through thorn effects used by these decks? Mulldrifter seems not powerful enough, yet almost close. Certainly a deck with 4 Gush, 4 Mulldrifter, 6+ Swords/Paths, and any sort of Snapcaster or Flippy Jace effects, would be a nightmare for Eldrazi right now....

I wonder what other people think about the possibility of beefing up draw as well as removal, as a possible way to attack these Aggro decks... as well as what this says about the potential importance of Spirit of the Labyrinth in the matchup.

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