Hi all! So I also managed to top 4 with a list very similar to this months back, but I put the deck on the shelf cause I didn't think it could beat the eldrazi menace that was showing up all over the place. I think that may have been a false assumption and I think this deck is perfectly well poised in its current iteration in the metagame. So below I'll post the list with an explanation of some card choices and then a brief tournament report.
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Mana Confluence
4 City of Brass
2 Ancient Ziggurat
2 Horizon Canopy
1 Strip Mine
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Pearl
1 Mox Ruby
1 Mox Sapphire
2 Stony Silence
4 Noble Hierarch
4 Qasali Pridemage
4 Mayor of Avabruck
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Thalia, Heretic Cathar
3 Kambal, Consul of Allocation
3 Reflector Mage
3 Mantis Rider
3 Path to Exile
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
4 Containment Priest
2 Stony Silence
2 Elvish Spirit Guide
2 Rest in Peace
3 Swords to Plowshares
1 Chalice of the Void
This list has a lot of similarities to my 5-C lists from the spring but with some key improvements.
- The manabase. I can now easily run 2 Horizon Canopy and 1 Karakas as well as 2 Ancient Ziggurat because I am no longer on the Abrupt Decay plan. Cards like Thought-Knot Seer are now a thing so Decay is no longer the card I want to be seeing in this deck all the time. Karakas was great for me all day long and being able to bounce my own Thalia or Kambal definitely came up once. The deck is predominantly GW so the 2 Canopies were fine and a big reason I didn’t run 4 Ziggurat is because Ziggurat can’t cast a Stony Silence and Stony Silence was HUUGE all day long.
- 6 Plow Effects. This didn’t come up much on the day cause I didn’t really face Eldrazi, but the maindeck Paths were actually decent at nabbing a Deathrite Shaman and a Sphinx of the Steel Wind.
- Kambal. This guy was an easy swap for Scan-Clan Berserker and is a main reason the manabase feels a lot tighter as well. 1WB is far easier to cast in this deck than 1RR. Amazing card.
- Up to 4 Pridemage. Another All-Star on the day. This card kept me safe under the threat of Time Vault on more than one occasion and I’m pretty sure I’d have lost multiple games if I hadn't stuck one of these guys.
- SB ESG. Guides were amazing a couple key times during the day. I wish I could have made room for a 3rd one and perhaps I will down the road.
So a quick summary of my matches:
Round 1 vs. Jeskai Delver (2-0):
Game 1: This guy was a really nice guy who didn’t have a ton of experience playing Vintage so I think my deck came as a bit of a shock to him. Game 1 was a bit of a grind with Mayor and me Reflecting his Delver early. Can’t remember exactly how I got there.
Game 2: In this game I had Karakas early with both Thalia 1.0 and Kambal. It was pretty much impossible for him to break out of that lock.
Round 2 vs. Leovold Gush (0-2):
Game 1: I kept an iffy opener without much in the way of anti-blue tech expecting to lose game 1 anyway cause I thought Kevin would be on Dredge. I was mistaken and sadly my Mayor/Pridemage couldn’t out Aggro a Leovold with Pyromancer tokens.
Game 2: A near carbon copy of game 1. My opener involved a double mayor this time and a Thalia 2.0 so I figured it was a sketchy keep but a keep. I had a Noble for turn 2 Thalia and then used a path to nuke a DRS. Sadly, I drew no Thalia 1.0 or Kambal the whole game and he just did what gush does after removing Thalia 2.0 with a Dismember I believe. In hind sight I probably should have mulled into a hand that DOES something in this matchup and doesn’t just have big dorks, but I was worried about going to 6 or 5 vs. a value deck like Leovold Gush. That deck is utterly gross.
Round 3 vs. Ravager Shops (2-0):
Game 1: On the play I keep an opener with a Mox Sapphire, 3 Rainbow Lands, Noble, and Wasteland and a Mayor of Avabruck. I think this was mainly cause I knew my opponent likes to play shops, but that is part of the game. Game 1 is pretty much a breeze from there as my shop opponent locks herself under spheres and only seems to be able to draw tombs for mana.
Game 2: Here it’s a little more uncertain whether I’ll turn the corner early because she lands an early TKS that steals my Ancestral in hand. Thankfully I’m able to ride some wastes and a Mayor to Victory while stabilizing at 4 life. This one was more of a nail biter but I got there.
Round 4 vs. Grixis Outcome (2-0):
Game 1: I don’t remember all the details of this game, but I do recall having Thalia 1.0 in play and a Mantis Rider sealing the deal just a tiny bit faster than he could try to assemble Time Vault.
Game 2: Stony happened on turn 1 off ESG (loooove ESG). He had cast a Key, Mox and Lotus on turn 1 and later told me he was threatening turn 2 Desire for 4-5. I then had a waste for his Academy and it was over. Phew.
Round 5 vs. Academy Combo (2-0):
This was against my good buddy Danny Batterman and his list looked absolutely sweet.
Game 1: He makes a tough judgement call to hardcast Sphinx by popping a Lotus and basically leaving himself open to Reflector Mage. He had forgotten that was a card I run and had the Force for my Paths main. Luckily I had the Reflector Mage and Cavern up. Reflector really showed it’s power there.
Game 2: Stony hit the table pretty early and Danny was eventually able to find his echoing truth for it. fortunately I had set up pridemage and kambal and containment priest and gotten him to 5 life so I just pridemaged his mana vault in response to him attempting to untap it. He said afterwards that that was the right call because he would have played time spiral and had a chance to find an out to my board.
Overall, I had an amazing time playing 5-C Humans and would certainly bring it to another event or to champs. I highly recommend giving the deck a try at champs this year for any one bold enough to do so. I sadly won’t be able to attend so it would be great to have some brave player carry the torch of the little men. Whatever you do thought DOOOON’T cut MANTIS RIDER. That card is bonkers.