I'd like to share my recent FNM tournament experience with a slightly altered build of the deck.
It was the first time I had the feeling the pieces were truly clicking together Went 2-1-1, but the losses were very close things.
- went down to 23 (from 24) lands, cutting Vault of the Archangel. This means about 5% less chance of having 4 lands on turn 4, which seemed fine
- included 2 Smuggler's Copter for a Relic of Progenitus and the land. It was a revelation, and I might go up to three. The Tidehollow Scullers and the Wasteland Stranglers that could not attack due to blockers could do something useful from time to time. The filtering found my sideboard cards. I think it really works because it fits the gameplan so well: first, discard and removal, and the get in as fast as possible while the opponent has no board presence. If you count in fetch/shock, 3 attacks from a copter is down enough that a Reality Smasher can finish the game. It's also more pressure against all the planeswalkers being played at least in my meta. And lastly, it is safe from board wipes that red-based control decks have so many of now
- went down one Ghost Quarter and one Godless Shrine for 2 Mutavaults. Same as with the copters: they perfectly filled the role of pressuring the opponent after discards and removal. I really want to go up to 3, but if I lose another colored source, Sculler on Turn 2 gets too much of a hit, and I still play 4 of them
- went down one Wasteland Strangler for one Eldrazi Displacer. At the moment, creature-based decks are just a smaller part of the meta, and having the additional mana sink to neutralize blockers or defend me felt good
- one Kambal, Consul of Allocation in the sideboard now. Great against Burn, Control and some Combo decks, and one more creature to get in early to change out for a Wasteland Strangler when removal is not needed
Draw 1-1-1 against a weird Mono-White Hatebears/Flyers/White Weenie deck. In the game I won, I won with Wasteland Strangler. Drew all three, was able to use the triggered ability every time, attacked. In the game I lost (which took forever) I was not able to draw my board wipes and slowly got outnumbered. There were 30 seconds for the third game. I would need a second Flaying Tendrils for this kind of matchup, but I have no space left in the sideboard.
Won 2-1 against Eldrazi Tron. In both games, discard was king. Took his early plays, and some later ones as well, and always felt one step ahead. In the two games I won, he had huge amounts of mana, but never drew the Karn I probably would not have been able to deal with (I had enough removal for the Eldrazi). Mutavault won both of those games, I think, together with Lingering Souls. The key was to be fast enough before he eventually draws a threat I can't deal with. In the game I lost, I lost to Endbringer, which I could not remove for 5 turns or so. He drew one additional card each turn, kept my blockers at bay, pinged my Lingering Souls ...
Lost 0-2 to Skred Control. Both games were effectively lost to Blood Moon, which he had 3 in the mainboard. I had lethal on board both times, and then he removes my creature and drops a Blood Moon. In game 2, I Disenchanted the first, and made the mistake of keeping back Collective Brutality for more value lateron, which got me the second Moon the turn after. I had a Plains out and a Path to Exile to play on one of my creatures to get the black one, but he boarded in Stone Rain and destroys that as well. Smuggler's Copter shone in this matchup, and was 5 points of damage away twice before I could not cast another creature to crew him.
Won 2-0 against UB Fairies. Two long games. The first one I won because I had so many cheap spells that he could only counter the first one each turn, and eventually had 2 Lingering Souls out and was able to cast a Reality Smasher. Game 2 was the most enjoyable one of the evening. It took 30 minutes. I was behind around 12 life versus 17 at one point, and he had just suspended an Ancestral Vision. Then came the lands. I had Shambling Vent out (which I encourage everyone to run one of) as well as my two Mutavault, and my Eldrazi Displacer, and enough mana to activate Displacer twice or activate both Mutavaults and Displacer once. He also had two Mutavaults and a Creeping Tar-Pit. Since I was empty-handed, I was able to blink his ETB fairies without doing harm to me, so he was not able to attack, and I got in several crucial attacks with my manlands. Eventually, I Pathed his Tar-Pit, which was his only real threat. I drew into Lingering Souls, and killed him 2 life a turn.
This last game was exemplary of why I feel my version of the deck is much more rounded now: it has additional mana sinks for the late game, and a more focused plan. I did not need to draw so many additional cards (which he did, a lot, with Ancestral Vision and Cryptic Command to defend a board state I had turned in my favor due to discard, removal and flyers.
For me, this deck is now 2 stages:
1. Discard, removal, graveyard hate, small creatures
2. Out-tempo with bigger and evasive creatures, with more discard inbetween.
It's strange that this deck, at least for me, would define itself around tempo, but I think this is also why Tidehollow Sculler makes so much sense
Good to see other people keeping it alive, I will also share my recent results with the current iteraction of the deck.
I'm playing this deck since GP São Paulo last month. My GP list was greatly influenced by thoughts shared in this thread, so first of all I would like to thank everyone that put an effort on it. I had this deck built as a second option for some months but was mainly playing Abzan, as the GP meta had a heavy presence of Eldrazi Tron, I considered changing my choice after playing some trials on the friday of the GP. The good results that I got with this deck in the trials made me stick with it for the main event. After leaving the GP with a record of 5-3-1 due to a relative inexperience with the deck, I felt it was very well positioned for the local meta, so I made small changes in the intention to grind through the PPTQ season.
This is the current iteraction that I'm playing and is what I played in the two tournaments that I reported below. I know it's a 61 card list and that's ugly, but I wanted to try some different things and was very uncertain about the amount of lands in the deck.
Last weekend I played a 29-man PPTQ, in which I lost in the finals after finishing 4-1 and getting 1st in the swiss portion of the event.
This thursday was a national holiday here in Brazil, so 66 people attended to a PPTQ that was tought to be a 25-ish people one. After 7 exhausting rounds I finished in 16th place (4-3 record) losing the win-and-in match for the last spot in the top8.
PPTQ #1 (details about some of my match have already gone away of my mind, so it will be a kind of summary) Round 1: Grixis Shadow
G1 he had no early cratures and spent life agressively trying to draw cards, I had enought early game pressure and disruption.
G2 he cast an early Gurmag Angler who hit me once, but was neutrallized by Mirran Crusader T3, turn 4 I noticed he was goin low on life trying to find another big creature so I decided to race him with crusader, he took the damage, but then I recklessly cast another Mirran Crusader instead of Lingering Souls and he responded with an EoT Kozilek's Return wiping my board. He hit again with gurmag leaving me at 10. I cast lingering souls and flashback it, he decides to stop attacking me, so I start applying pressure in the air and cast an 3-cmc Eldrazi (probably matter reshaper) he has one card in hand and I take the damage from the gurmag hit (forgetting that he could have a TBR), as he doesn't have TBR to punish me, the following turn the tokens finish him in the air.
Round 2: Bant Retreat
G1 a had no removal for his double KotR + retreat comboing me on turn 4. But i gained some value in seeing that he was very inexperienced with the deck, took a lot of time to combo and didn't know about turn phases so well.
G2 disruption and early Reality Smasher dominate the game.
G3 again I apply a lot of pressure and force him into situations that he could have played safer if he was more experienced, he has a large board (like 5-6 dorks) a tireless tracker with plenty of counters, but only 4 life. I attack with all my creatures, he blocks the Smasher only with Tireless Tracker, I activate Vault of the Archangel, then after blocks he cast an Collected Company and brings some useless creture instead of a Kitchen Finks that could have made some difference. as damage is attributed i point that he is dead then the judge that was watching the match explains to him how trample interacts with deathtouch.
Round 3: Abzan
G1 I mulligan to 5, take a lot of early damage but after some incredible topdecks (Relics, Push, Path, seize for his only Rhino) he finds another rhino that brings me dead.
G2 I make one of the largest punts ever, having smasher in hand and two temples I play my T2 land being sure that it's a temple, than i take a look at it and realize I played a Ghost Quarter instead... not being able to cast T3 Smasher his large goyf start beating me, I had also two Mirran Crusader, one gets Thoughtseized and the other was removed by Liliana's minus two in a sequence of terrible missplays from me still tilted for playing the wrong land on turn two.
Lesson: never let missplays from early turns lead you to another ones, If I sequenced correctly the two crusaders could have turned the game.
Round 4: UR Gifts Storm
I was disappointed after losing rd3 match, but was still alive, thinking that a win could lock me on the top8.
G1 the deck does his best demonstration of oppression and 2 Eldrazi Temple, Turn 2 TKS followed by Displacer makes me control his hand and he has no chance.
G2 I disrupt everything that I can, apply some pressure but can't find removal for his creatures. I exile one empty the warrens with TKS and at some point one Grapeshot goes to his graveyard (can't remember how) and I cast surgical extraction on it. I check his deck and see that his only win con left is 1 empty the warrens, so I keep attacking with every possible creature, it's not enought as he had 3 goblins and comboing and once he started comboing his lmost infinite mana allowed him to dig deeply to find the only empty the warrens left. I don't draw mass removal the next turn and lose to 17 angry goblins.
G3 even not being so heavy on disrupt i get some removal for his creatures, so i dont allow anyone to stay on the board, he even casts a gifts ungiven, but
Surgical extraction and Relic makes it easy for me to disrupt it. Some turns later after when I have letal on board he topdecks a past in flames and tries to combo without any creature, fails to do it, make some bad sequencing and loses
At this point I was thinking I could be locked with an ID since 3-1-1 was often enough to make the cut on similar PPTQs I had played before, but my standings doesn't help and I am obliged to play the last round. This is kind of good as I have the possibility of finishing 1st if I win.
Round 5: Counters Company
G1 I am able to kill every Vizier of Remedies that he cast, and the Reality Smasher applies enough pressure to seal the game.
G2 goes incredibly long, I start by casting Surgical Extraction on Vizier Of Remedies and find some extremely opportune Flaying Tendrils through the following turns, when he builds an expressive board again, with Rhonas and 2 Kitchen Finks I find an Eldazi Displacer who shines blinking his attackers, when I think my blinks will not be enought I draw an Path to Exile to remove his Rhonas, it's time in the round and he is not able to kill me in 5 turns.
And then I finished in 1st place, what is very good as prizes are distributed by the swiss standings, but as my match took a lot of time I was not able to find out what my unknown top8 opponent was playing. Top8: GW Auras
G1 I was playing blindly, kept a safe hand with a reasonable game plan. T1 IoK lets me know what he is playing, as he has a lot of creatures that I can race I try to remove the most problematic auras. He draws many other ones and kills me after making my largest Eldrazi look like tiny ants.
G2 he casts only one creature puts all his eggs in one nest and is punished by a well timed Blessed Alliance.
G3 he starts by casting many creatures that i exile with Flaying Tendrills, when he has only one creature he start playing on it and then again, an Blessed Alliance makes the path clear for me to kill him.
Top4: Similar to Todd Steven's GW Company
This one has been the most exhausting and grindiest match I've ever played with the deck. I don't remember much details about G1 (he won) and G2 I won finding the right removal to kill his last creature that was turning an annoying Worship on. G3 he started with Voice and KotR, I took the opportunity to exile the only land in his yard (a Windswept Heath) and follow up with a turn 3 Flaying Tendrils which reset the game. Both of us developed a large board state but reality smasher came to break the stall when he was starting to put counters on his creatures with Gavony Township
Final: Merfolk splashing white for Spell Queller
The opponent was a friend of mine who has been playing this custom Merfolk list for a while and made day 2 of GP São Paulo with it. I had beaten him previously when I was playing Abzan, so i tried to play as close as Abzan that I could.
G1 I started with IoK taking away the Ather Vial and noticing that he was full of Quellers in hand. As I had 3 TKS I played them first as bait for the Quellers, proceeded to kill the Quellers and cleared his hand. I was pressuring his life totals but I had to lose a lot of life due to only having Cave of Koilos to generate colored mana due to him having enchanted two of my lands with Spreading Seas. Then when I needed two more attacks to kill him, he found an Islandwalk lord who providing his two Mutavaults the ability to pass through my blockers and kill me before I could attack him twice.
G2 I don't remember well, just remember I was stomped and could not handle it.
PPTQ #2 (the 66-man event)
Round 1: BG Tron
G1 Enough Pressure and hand disruption made his Tron irrelevant. Worth noting that I bite the bullet and cast Path to Exile on a Wasteland Strangler to ramp me one turn and pressure with reality smasher earlier. It paid of when he had to activate his Oblivion stone to kill my creatures that posed lethal damage and had to take his Karn in the process.
G2 was an academic match, Ghost Quarter on one piece of Tron, Surgical extraction on it. Stony Silence to keep him from getting value of the artifacts, pressure with Relity Smasher, game.
(2-0) / 1-0
Round 2: Affinity
This matchup is a walk in the park for us, we have to really try to lose the match. as I was so relaxed I lost g1 forgetting about the boost given by Master of Etherium. I focused to not make great mistakes on the other games and played safe, lingering souls dominated G2 and an early Stony Silence locked him. On G3 Lingering Souls, efficient removal and Sorin taking me to an unreachable life amount made the win only a matter of time.
(2-1) / 2-0
Round 3: RG Ponza
G1 3 discards including TKS on turn 3 made it impossible for him to develop his game plan.
G2 He cast a turn 2 blood moon followed by Mwonvuli. When I removed the moon with Ratchet Bomb his board state was light-years ahead and I couldn't handle it.
G3 fatal push on dork avoided any chance of turn 2 blood moon, basic lands helped making me safe against it. I made him discard a Mwonvuli Acid Moss and a surgical extraction removing one card that I knew was duplicated in his hand helped me to control the board and avoid him to draw a Bonfire Of the Damned that Courser Of Kruphix was showing on top of his deck.
(2-1) / 3-0
Round 4: UB Faeries
G1 an early Reality Smasher from me and Bitterblossom from him made him lose quickly
G2 and G3 I made such bizzare missplays that I can't even say anything about the match, it unexplainable, I could win both matches, but threw it away with missplays, I don't know... the only reasonable explanation was that I was playing sloppy and/or was hungry and should prepare myself better to unexpected large tournaments.
(1-2) / 3-1
Round 5: Merfolk
G1 he stomped me, did what merfolks do best with an explosive start and cheated creatures from Aether vial
G2 I had some early discards and noticed that he had two Vials in hand and those got locked by Stony Silence, without him having many cards in hand and not being able to cheat in creatures I was able to win the game.
G3 was a fair game, he enchanted one land of mine with Spreading Seas. I had Fragmentize, Disenchant and Lingering Souls in hand, instead of playing safe, casting Fragmentize on the enchantment and making some more blockers from souls, I opted to pass the turn trying to get him with Disenchant on Spreading Seas after he declared attackers, for my disappointment he had Dispel for it, I was not able to race him and the fishes became larger than my blockers.
(1-2) / 3-2
Round 6: Burn
G1 he started by quickly casting a lot of spells, Reality Smasher and TKS did their job hitting quickly as he ran out of gas. He had one draw to try to kill me as I had 4 life, but didn't draw Boros Charm and got killed on the following turn.
G2 he was less aggressive on spells but got advantage of two swiftspears that i struggled to remove, when he cast a Hazoret I didn't have removal for it and he took the game
G3 was won by Collective Brutality taking a spell and draining life followed by IoK on Ensnaring Bridge. Double Reality Smasher in sequence dealt exactly the needed damage to take the match
(2-1) / 4-2
At this point I was 4-2, almost thinking to go away. Standings were posted and I noticed that only the 3 top tables could ID. As my standings were very good (UB Faeries, RG Ponza and Merfolk opponents were locked in top8) I was in 9th and if I won I could get the last spot in the top 8. I knew what my opponent was playing and I knew how I had to play the match to get chance to win
Round 7: RG Scapeshift
G1 I lost the dice roll and kept with: Eldrazi Temple, Fetid Heath, 2x TKS, 2x Reality Smasher, IoK. A risky hand but was the kind of unfair game that I needed to win before he could kill me. It turned out that I didn't drew any land and I cast a total of zero spells in the game.
G2 I had to mulligan to 6 and decided to keep another two-land that could have some action if I drew another land intead of going down to 5. I also had almost no chance to cast spells and lost quickly.
(0-2) / 4-3
So that's it, if you are interested I can explain some of the card choices or absences and also try to bring some sideboard notes, any feedback is welcome as I'm feeling I need to uppdate the list to deal with Merfolk and RG Scapeshift.
How did Matter Reshaper work out for you? I'm currently weighing it against Tidehollow Sculler and other possible 3-drops.
It's a card that's great when I want blockers in the ground (Death's Shadow Variants, Naya and other Zoo lists) and is also good if the opponent wants to kill creatures (Burn and Abzan). In matches against deck that run Path To Exile it's good if Reshaper makes the opponent spend on it one of their few cards that deal with Reality Smasher.
It really depends on the matchup to say which of the 3-drop Eldrazi are better, but Matter reshaper is generally the easier to cast one and the one that I want to play independently of the board state. Strangler is good if it can kill something so it's worth to wait to cast it, and displacer is better if it can dominate the board blinking other creatures for value.
Overall it is a card that's good if I can cast it on turn 2 from an Eldrazi Temple and pressure the opponent to spend resources giving me the card advantage, but not even close to how absurd is a turn 2 TKS or a turn 3 reality Smasher.
And most of the time I think I would cast a Tidehollow Sculler first if I had to make the choice between both. early game disruption is what generally makes us break the opponents plans and have an easier match
Four Scullers seems really good on paper, but I also hear a lot of complaints about it being awful when top decking. And since this deck is kind of prone to top decking I'm a bit hesitant on running a full set. Displacer is also a great card in certain situations, but I'm afraid it's a little too slow for main board. What about a 3/3/3 split of Sculler, Reshaper and Strangler?
If you add Smuggler's Copter (I run two), it has the added benefit of making a lategame Tidehollow Sculler just a tiny bit better (it can crew the copter).
I think that the share of Sculler and Strangler is meta dependent:
- if the meta is creature-heavy, you want 4 Stranglers. There is not much room for discussion there, it's just so much value
- if the meta is combo-heavy, like at the moment, 4 Scullers just gives you a greater chance of chaining discard for the first 3 turns. Thoughtseize into Sculler into Though-Knot is enough to break most hands
Displacer for me is a card that rounds up the deck, in the sense of having a better blocker than Strangler, of having a mana sink, of having a creature with white-only casting cost (can be relevant against Blood Moon decks), and of getting a card that can help push damage through before the other side recovers.
I can see it as a 2-of in our deck (and I am considering letting one Sculler go for a second Displacer), but to play 3 copies, I think this deck needs more good blink targets than it has. Maybe I'm wrong
And for me, Matter Reshaper is a card that is simply out of place in this deck, since it counters it's strategic approach: disrupt and remove, and then keep pressure until you win. Reshaper is a card that draws out the game, makes it slower, gives the opponent a turn to find a new card. This deck doesn't want time, it wants the opposite. Eldrazi Tron wants to buy time until they go off, wants to create a blocker, wants to find a Tron piece, which is why they run Reshaper.
Oh, and for anyone not knowing: when you blink Thought-Knot with Displacer, you actually get to chose whether the card draw or the Thoughtseize effect are placed on the stack first. VERY handy, and can be a bit of a discussion in a tournament.
Last week I went to a smallish tourney and decided on taking Processors with me after a long time without playing the deck.
Knowing most of the people there, I expected to find a couple of people on Tron (Eldrazi and/or Mono U) and Death Shadow, with a possible mix of R/G Ponza, Living End, D&T and Merfolk among the rest of the field. Of all of those, I ended not playing against them with the exception of the Merfolk and D&T players.
Round 3: UB Mill
G1: Won the roll and opened with a Thoughtseize followed by a Sculler next turn, seeing some Hedron Crabs, along with some mill spells, choosing to take a Glimpse the Unthinkable and a Mind Funeral. My oponent followed that by playing 1 crab each turn, but I pushed one and strangled the other. After a couple of turns he got me to mill twice with a couple of Mind Funerals, but he didn't have anything to follow them and fell to a couple of my creatures and spirit token beats.
G2: I boarded artifact/enchantment destruction and since I only play 2 Marsh Flats I decided to board 1 of them out for the Wastes to minimize the chances of turning on Archive Trap. This game went long too and he managed to mill more than half of my deck, but I managed to land some Stranglers and a Relic early, killing one of his Crabs using the card exiled by his Shelldock Isle. Having a Relic on the battlefield and leaving enough mana to crack it at all times proved crucial when I was able to exile everything in response of a Crypt Incursion that would have left him in the lower twenties, and I finished the game with some spirit tokens and the 2 Stranglers, killing him with 3 Archive Traps in his hand and no way to play them since he didn't see a single of his Ghost Quarters and I didn't draw the single fetch I left in my deck.
By then I was feeling confident on my deck choice and how the deck was behaving, but also a bit worried because so far I hadn't encounter any of my bad matchups, and that could change really soon.
Round 4: Devoted Druid/Vizier CoCo
G1: Won the roll again and kept a hand full of discard, opening with Inquisition into Sculler into Seer on the first 3 turns. Took a Bird, a Vizier and a Collected Company, and started to beat with my Seer. After that, 1 Push and 1 Path kept his side of the board mostly clear and let me go for the win.
Round 5: Merfolk
G1: Really close game, winning the roll and going on the play the first game was crucial. I stabilized at 2 life with a couple of Seers and a Displacer on the board against 2 lords and a Silvergill Adept, with no islands on my side and enough mana to flicker 2 of his creatures, him with 1 card in hand and me hellbent. After attacking with one the Seers, he used Vapor Snag on it, leaving me at 1 and drawing a card, putting a Harbinger on the battlefield at the end of my turn. On his turn I flickered the lords and had to block the Adept and the Harbinger with the Displacer and the other Seer to stay alive, drawing him another card, and he plays a vial afterwards. On my turn I draw a Fatal Push and play the Thought-knot Seer, taking the single card he has, another Silvergill Adept he didn't have enough mana for not having any other merfolk in his hand. On his turn, I block one of the lords and Push the other, and he passes to me with a card on hand and the vial on 1. I draw something inconsequential and pass without attacking, with him at 5, fearing an instant speed Cursecatcher with me at 1. He draws, ticks up vial and plays an island, before activating vial and playing another Silvergill Adept, drawing and instantly playing a Lord of Atlantis, and he passes to me. I draw my second Displacer, playing it and having enough mana to flicker 1 of his creatures. Since I'm dead to a Spreading Seas, I attack with the Seer, leaving the Displacer to block, and he takes it going down to 1. On his turn, he draws, plays another lord and attacks with the Adept. Not wanting to draw him more cards but without much choice if I want to keep the Displacer so my next attack is lethal, I take the gamble and blink the Adept, hoping he doesn't draw another Vapor Snag. Second main he plays a Spreading Seas, and just passes. Next turn I deal with the two untapped lords and attack for lethal, asking if I'm dead or the attack passes. He shows me the single island in his hand and we go to game 2.
G2: I board the Wraths and Ratchet Bomb plus Fragmentize to deal with the Spreading Seas. This time, my opponent gets stuck drawing land after land and not many threats, so nothing of much interest happens. He manages to stick a Spreading Seas early, but Displacer wins me the game tapping his creatures early, and flickering a Wasteland Strangler late game to get rid of everything on his half of the board.
Really good night for Eldrazi, and the first time I go completely undefeated playing the deck. It was also the first time I played Sculler as a 4-of and I didn't feel any mana issues (at least tonight). All in all, I really liked them there, having 12 discard effects felt really powerful, and the hands I was able to go T1 Inquisition/Thoughtseize -> T2 Sculler -> T3 Thought-knot Seer or similar were absurdly good.
The 2 Eldrazi Displacers were the MVPs of the night without a doubt, to the point that I could even see running 3, in the right meta.
Last week I went to a smallish tourney and decided on taking Processors with me after a long time without playing the deck.
Knowing most of the people there, I expected to find a couple of people on Tron (Eldrazi and/or Mono U) and Death Shadow, with a possible mix of R/G Ponza, Living End, D&T and Merfolk among the rest of the field. Of all of those, I ended not playing against them with the exception of the Merfolk and D&T players.
Round 2: Death & Taxes
G2: I don't remember this game that well and my notes don't say much. I boarded the Wraths for his creatures and the Stony Silences for his vials, going down on Relics, and exchanged the Wastes for the Cavern of Souls.
Hi. Congratulations on the results and thanks for the comprehensive write-up, which is very helpful. I am not sure if there is a typo in your decklist given that you had a Wastes that you brought in during matches, but isn't listed in the deck list? On the sideboard, how much of what you included was based on your knowledge of the meta? Would you sideboard differently for an unknown meta or say a PPTQ or GP, or MTGO league? Also, I am on the fence about using Anguished Unmaking. When do you bring it in?
I copied my list without looking it over and yeah, I had a Wastes there in place of the second Pithing Needle. That was a change I made shortly before going because I feared that I would just fold to a resolved Blood Moon since I no longer play Mind Stone in the deck. I'll edit my post above to reflect this, I didn't notice it was outdated. Thanks!
I like Anguished Unmaking as a catch-all solution, but it's true the 3 life is sometimes too much. I used to run two, one in the main and another in the SB, but since I run more discard now I took it off the main, but left the other in the 75. In this instance, I brought it against both Mill decks just to have more enchantment removal, because a Fraying Sanity on the battlefield it's what really gives those decks legs, but I didn't need it after all. In the past, I have brought it against Lantern Control so I have a higher chance of having more artifact removal for those pesky Ensnaring Bridges in the starting hand, and any time I suspect a Blood Moon can be played against me, although I know having access to WB can be tough if it surprises us tapped out and we can't float it in response, but in these cases I prioritize having access to W fetching for a basic plains so I can path something and get my basic swamp.
Regarding the rest of the sideboard, the Surgicals are there solely because of the Tron and (lesser so since it's not as played, but still nice against) Valakut players in my LGS, and I wouldn't run them without a number of Ghost Quarters in the main. Incidentally, they can be useful against other decks, but I wouldn't count much on them.
Otherwise, I feel that going into an unknown meta, you want 2-3 wrath effects, depending on how much aggressive decks are being played, a number of Stony Silence (I like it at 2 currently) because it's just so useful, definitely around 3 enchantment/artifact removal effects (maybe in the form of Disenchant instead of Fragmentize, although the latter being sorcery speed has yet to bit me in the ass, I can see it happening) and some life gain, a bit more than normal if you don't have any in the main. I'm also of the thinking that having 1 or 2 Pithing Needles to deal with anything unexpected doesn't hurt this deck at all, coupled with all our discard. Finally, if I had it, I would play a second Collective Brutality in the sideboard, just because it's so versatile.
That's a great play report, bad_shot, but only 15 lands to cast Sculler with seems pretty risky to me. Congrats on your 10-0 in games.
Yes, it's risky and nowhere near how many I'd like to run, but the list is tight and I had to make some concessions if I wanted to fit 2 Ghost Quarter, in place of a 3rd Marsh Flat and a 1-of Shambling Vent, and even then the number of sources was already lower than Frank Karsten's analysis suggests.
Hey all, I went to a 400 player tournament here in Hamburg this weekend with B/W Eldrazi Discard, and would like to share my findings.
I do not remember every game and every play situation, but will try to write the most important things about each matchup, and specific situations that reevaluated some cards for me.
1. Grixis Death's Shadow
2. Blue Tron
4. Abzan -1/-1 Counters Combo
5. Valakut Bring to Light Scapeshift 4 Colors
6. R/W Burn
8. Abzan (the classic grindy version)
1. Grixis Death's Shadow - Won 2-0
I still feel this is almost the perfect matchup for the Eldrazi. He went down 10 or so life on his own in both cases, and I had him discard his win conditions. Exiled away his graveyard, so he was not able to use Snapcaster. Don't remember much else.
2. Blue Tron - Won 2-1
I won game one by having Path and Displacer ready for his Wurmcoil Engine. He got to huge amounts of mana, which did not help him, since I was able to have him discard his win conditions. Game 2 I lost, as he got enough mana to get a Mindslaver endless combo online, and I had boarded out all of my Relics. I was able to postpone my loss a bit by Surgical Extractioning one Tron land. Game 3 was very, very grindy. I survived an Oblivion Stone, and got two Lingering Souls online, and then it went back and forth. He got a Wurmcoil Online, went up to 30+ life, but was not able to remove my Eldrazi, and I chipped away round by round, and eventually won before he got the Mindslaver win
3.Infect - Lost 0-2
He had 3 infect creatures by turn 3 in both games, including that flying land. One game I was without any chance, the other one I made maybe the biggest mistake of the tournament and did not cast Lingering Souls when I could have on Turn 3. Never drew my Stranglers or my removal or my sideboard
4. Abzan -1/-1 Counters Combo - Lost 1-2
This is a hard macthup. Even with a lot od disruption, the deck plays some many creatures and has so much lifegain that it is incredibly difficult to get a good board position and try to breat down. First game, I lost to the combo, he just had a really good hand. The second I won, since I was able to discard Collected Company and Surgical it, and discard Chord of Calling, and he never drew enough creatures to stop my Reality Smasher (the only maindeck card that has a chance against the deck, as he eats several small creatures per turn). Boarded in all my removal, never drew it. Pithing Needle was really good, since it was able to stop Duskwatch Recruiter, and would have been great against Walking Ballista as well. Third game, I remove all combo pieces, but he just goes wide with several small creatures, including two Kitchen Finks. I was empty-handed, having used most of it for discard and removal, and he just beat me to death with small stuff with exalted triggers. This match was what decided me to bring in the second Wrath of God into the sideboard. I may actually swith Flaying Tendrils for the third Wrath, as I feel that creature aggro is really one of the weak spots of this deck
5. Valakut Bring to Light Scapeshift 4 Colors - Lost 0-2
I never really had a chance. He got really good hands, and drew well, and all the discard in the world did not stop a Turn 5/6 Scapeshift. I was one turn away from killing him in both cases. If Wizards ever prints another disruption creature with a bit more power to it for CMC2 or 3, this deck needs it
6. R/W Burn - Lost 0-2
It was an almost creature-less version of Burn, so the first game much of my deck was blank. Never drew lifegain or Reality Smashers, lost. The second game, I made one mistake (the second big one for the tournament), which was to be greedy and use all three modes of Collected Company, which I gave up a Path for (chose to drain him for 2). If I had kept that Path, and removed the Eidolon that came next, I think I might have had a chance. I was one land away from activating Shambling Vents, and from Thought-Knot Seer
7. Merfolk - Won 2-0
He didn't draw his lands for both games. But I was also able to have him discard/removed his lords, so he never got any kind of board position. Won both games without any danger. Ratchet Bomb was great in this matchup, as there are many CMC2 Merfolk, lords among them, which he was hesitant to play since I had a Ratchet Bomb with 2 counters on it out. He hesitated long enough for me to discard them/draw removal.
8. Abzan (the classic grindy version) - Lost 1-2
Game one he won with Liliana, and Lingering Souls. It was a close race, with him being just a bit grindier. The second game the opposite, with me winning with Lingering Souls and discard. The third game I drew too much removal (my two sideboard wraths among them) and not action, so when he got a Tarmogoyf down after some time, I had no defenses. Pithing Needle was great again shutting down his Shambling Vents, which enabled me to win the second game.
Some comments on individual cards:
- Smuggler's Copter: was able to pressure Liliana in the one matchup I faced a planeswalker. Was usually killed on the spot. Would have been really helpful against the Valakut deck; probably would have won me the game if I had drawn one more early attacker. Overall never a match-winner, but I still think it is the best additional CMC2 card this deck has
- Eldrazi Displacer: was a game winner against Tron to keep Wurmcoil from gaining life. If Infect had been one turn slower, it would probably have saved me, but I died in the turn after I played him without mana for an activation
- Mutavault: I really wish I could run 3, but the mana does not allow for it as long as I want to cast Scullers on 2
- Relic of Progenitus: I boarded it out 90% of games. I know that Strangler needs it, but it felt like the deck's least useful card
The main thing I am taking away from this tournament is a much more detailed understanding of what this deck can do, and what not:
- when the right curve of two discards and at least one creature comes in the first three turns, followed up by Thought-Knot or Reality Smasher, this deck can beat everything, even against a good hand
- when neither the discard is enough nor the creatures big or fast enough, then usually around turn 5 or so, I got a feeling of "I cannot win this anymore". This deck doesn't have as much grinding value as Abzan, which would allow it to prolong the game in topdeck mode, or as much tempo as Fairies, the two deck types I feel it is right in the middle of, from the way it plays
--> This deck does two things well, which is discard and attack. When the combination of those two things is not enough by turn 5 to be close to winning, then in many games, it will lose. There is no plan B, and this is what I feel makes it a Tier 2/3 deck, still.
--> If I could change anything about this deck (while keeping the mana intact), then it would be to add another attack-worthy disruptive creature on CMC 2 or 3 (in the place of Smuggler's Copter and Eldrazi Displacer, which are both fine, but not really attuned to the gameplan "Discard & Attack & Win Early". At the moment, I don't know of any ... Apart from that, in my eyes, having played it a lot, I think it is as good as it gets. And it is a LOT of fun to play
@schuppius, thanks for the write-up! I appreciate the frustration that a mid-range deck faces in the current meta. I too really enjoy playing the deck tho I too realize it is not as competitive as say, Eldrazi & Taxes or other Tier 1/2 decks. I have been following the Colorless Eldrazi Stompy thread to see exactly about bringing in a bit more aggro and have been toying with the idea of either Endless One or Eternal Scourge, or even Eldrazi Mimic. I don't play Copter and not sure what I would cut, though, besides the 2 Displacers I have MB. I can't really see upping the number of creatures so as to not dilute the hand disruption/removal elements..... Would welcome any other ideas.
- Green sournces (non-creature): 14
- White sources (n.c.): 11
- Black sources (n.c): 10
- Wastes sources (n.c.): 14
- additionally, 1 Birds of Paradise and 4 Noble Hierarchs and 1 Talisman of Unity
What are the main probabilities that define this deck's game plan?
1. Play a Hierarch or a Birds on turn 1
2. Play a Lingering Souls on turn 3
3. Play Matter Reshaper on turn 3
4. Have access to the combinations G+W or G+B on turn 2 (for mana dork and Path to Exile or Fatal Push, or for Abrupt Decay)
5. Have access to all mana colors on turn 3 (for options)
1: 80+ %, even on a mulligan on the play
2: 80+ %, likewise (excluding having played a mana dork, so conservative)
3. 90+ %, likewise (lw.)
The other ones are more complicated and take a bit of time; I will keep adding to this thread.
If you have suggestions what other main combinations are important, reply and I will add those
That Abzan version looks sweet! yes, need to see about the mana. Also think it could support a couple Stranglers given the synergy with the Scavenging Ooze...
I tested the deck last night with some friends. Played against Grixis DS, UW Control, WB Prowess, and Esper Gifts Vengeance. The deck did alright in a bunch of games, but I found it to not be as impactful overall as WB Processors. I used Displacer mostly to either tap opponent's creatures or remove tokens. Of course Scooze was great against the Vengeance deck, gobbling up all sorts of stuff in the graveyard, but is so weak to Fatal Push. Even Displacer took a beating on the Push front after blinking away an opponent's token - so not great value. Will test some more though, as I think Abrupt Decay is super right now and Smasher is unbelievable when attacking alone with 2 Hierarch's on the field.
I concur, without even sleeving up the abzan version I am pretty confident to say it is not a good direction. It takes out basically all the discard spells and the graveyard hate (+processor) for nobles, ooze, and a few decays. Ooze btw is green mana intensive and this is now essentially a 4 mana deck (counting colorless). The hierarchs harken to bantdrazi and this version doesn't seem as explosive/consistent. Plus you're using green and not even using Ancient Stirrings .
I am liking current direction of the W/B version posted here, esp. that displacer is back in (love that card and flickering ). Still weak to Blood Moon but have lots of hand interaction to minimize that early. Seems to reduce early mana issues shambling vents are largely knocked down to 0/1. Copter is a great card (see deadguy ale forum, list sporting 4 there), slightly less useful here for beats. However, it's great with sculler and LS, I'd say lists trying out 2 should shave a Reality Smasher.
@Schuppuis nice list above, looks like good way to try get two copters in there. Same issue with the 2cc creature on deadguy thread, I think we can all agree they just need to unban Stoneforge Mystic
Round 1: UW Spirits
G1: Lost the roll, opponent opened with a tapped shock and passed, I opened with Concealed Courtyard and Inquisition of Kozilek, seeing a hand full of spirits and a Favorable Winds, discarding the latter since I have some removal and a Lingering Souls in my hand. I take some hits from a Mausoleum Wanderer and a Rattlechains until I land some spirits of my own. T4 he lands a Drogskol Captain and attacks with the other spirits, but the Captain gets a Path and the rest are stopped by my own spirits. From that point, I drew another Lingering Souls and proceeded to beat him down with only Spirit tokens, with my opponent joking that I was playing the better Spirit deck this game.
G3: He starts slow with a couple of tapped lands, and a Selfless Spirit, but I'm soon able to land a couple of Tidehollow Sculler taking a Spell Queller and some other card, leaving him with a Supreme Verdict in his hand since I have a Collective Brutality in mine. He plays a Vapor Snag on the Sculler that exiled the Queller in response of the Brutality on discard mode. For a few turns we struggle over the Brutality, me blinking the Spell Queller with a Eldrazi Displacer and him playing a Phantasmal Image via Aether Vial copying the Queller, and me playing a Wasteland Strangler the following turn, targeting the Image to trigger the sacrifice, finally being able to take the Verdict from him. With enough mana for 2 activations from Displacer the next turn, I targeted my Strangler, and my opponent punted when he tried to bounce my Sculler in response before the blink resolved, since that was the only card in exile, but I blinked his Queller in response to that, forcing him to exile his own spell, keeping the Sculler in the battlefield, and then being able to give -3/-3 to the Queller processing the recently exiled spell, to which he wanted to activate his Selfless Spirit in a futile attempt of saving the Queller but I reminded him that 0 thoughness indestructible creatures still go to the graveyard. Next turn another Strangler blink took down the Selfless leaving his board clear in the end, letting my creatures attack freely and killing him in a couple of turns.
G2: He opened with T1 vial into T2 vial, me with T1 Vent into T2 Sculler taking a Flickerwisp, leaving a Path in his hand that the Sculler ate at the end of my turn, only to play a second Sculler the next turn, taking the same Flickerwisp but too late for the Displacer he drew and played on T3. In the end, a Displacer of my own was needed to deal with the clogged board and his Displacer tapping my attackers, with the game ending when he was forced to double block one of the 2 Reality Smashers attacking with a Displacer and a Seer and I chose to kill the Displacer, and I could start making unimpeded attacks against his bears, with a Wrath of God in hand I didn't need in the end.
Round 2: Grixis Death's Shadow
The opponent was a friend and we ID'd with my tie breakers being better in the end, giving me the 1st place. Nevertheless, we played the games for fun.
G1: Decks like GDS is one of the reasons why I still love playing BW Processors and having 4 Relics in the main. The first game was a bit uneventful, I opened with a tapland and my opponent with triple Street Wraith into shockland into Thoughtseize taking a Relic instead of the Fatal Push I had in hand going down to 10. Fearing an aggresive delve into Gurmag Angler I played a land and left mana up for removal with a topdecked Path to Exile, but the Gurmag didn't appear and he passed back to me after playing another land. In the end, he only drew into a Snapcaster Mage and a Death's Shadow that ate my removal and I finished him with spirit tokens and a couple of creatures.
G2: Opp starts much more conservatively, even playing shocklands tapped, but got stuck on 2 lands for the remainder of the game. I was able to land a Reality Smasher and a Thought-knot Seer, the latter showing me THREE LotV in his hand, with him having a Death's Shadow and a Snapcaster Mage on the battlefield. Next turn, he still had not draw his 3rd land and I attacked into his 3/3 Shadow and his Snapcaster with both of my creatures. He opted for blocking the Seer with the Snapcaster and taking the Smasher, so after blocks I played a Blessed Alliance making him gain 4 lives, going up to 14 and killing his Shadow, going then back to 9 because of Smasher. Second main I played my topdecked Mutavault to counter his Liliana's -2 and passed, with him finally able to draw that 3rd land, but being dead on board next turn.
Again, Displacer ended being the MVP of the night, with two of the games being won thanks to him and his interaction with Strangler, and I'm happy I'm playing 2 of them. Like 2 weeks ago, having so many discard effects feelt powerful, and so far I'm glad I jumped on the 4 Tidehollow Sculler plan.