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Author Topic: Revival of Survival  (Read 9146 times)
InkfathomBiomage
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« on: January 12, 2015, 10:41:12 am »

First things first, let's get one thing out of the way...

Just play oath instead.

Despite the sheer power of oath, survival has a lot more versatility. It can still combo-kill, but can also tutor up something like vendilion clique or scavenging ooze to prevent yourself from dying that turn or reclamation sage to blow up grafdigger's cage. In addition, survival can get a couple activations off in response to a nature's claim or abrupt decay. It also has the advantage that your opponents may overboard to try and shut down vengevine/griselbrand only to get beat down by bobs, deathrites, and rootwallas.

Oath is better.

Ok maybe, but oath is not strictly better, and people are prepared for oath.

(With that out of the way, please don't make posts saying essentially "play oath instead").

Fine, what is your decklist.

I have two versions of the deck right now.

Retainers
4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Dark Confidant
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Abrupt Decay
3 Mental Misstep
2 Spell Pierce
1 Brainstorm
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Vendilion Clique
1 Snapcaster Mage
3 Tropical Island
3 Bayou
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Steel Sabotage
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Loyal Retainers
4 Force of Will
1 Savannah
3 Windswept Heath
1 Griselbrand
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Mox Pearl
SB: 1 Yixlid Jailer
SB: 4 Nature's Claim
SB: 2 Ravenous Trap
SB: 1 Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 Wispmare
SB: 1 Trygon Predator
SB: 1 Kataki, War's Wage
SB: 1 Orzhov Pontiff
SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 Notion Thief
SB: 1 Abrupt Decay

This is the more controllish version, comparable to oath. Survival acts as a consistency engine and combo kill. As you can see, this deck has access to a lot of 1-of creatures in the board. This deck can certainly function without survival (basically a bob control deck).

Nic fit
4 Survival of the Fittest
3 Deathrite Shaman
3 Basking Rootwalla
2 Vengevine
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Dark Confidant
1 Demonic Tutor
4 Abrupt Decay
2 Bayou
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Veteran Explorer
2 Skullclamp
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Swamp
1 Reclamation Sage
3 Forest
1 Plains
2 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Mox Pearl
3 Mental Misstep
SB: 1 Yixlid Jailer
SB: 3 Nature's Claim
SB: 2 Ravenous Trap
SB: 1 Kataki, War's Wage
SB: 1 Aven Mindcensor
SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 Wispmare
SB: 1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
SB: 1 Shriekmaw
SB: 1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

This deck is a lot different than any other vintage deck. The reason all the random synergies are in the deck is that they connect. Explorer works with survival by giving you more mana with which to activate it. Survival works with rootwalla not only because rootwalla triggers vengevines nicely but also because just chaining rootwallas is decent, and you can get orzhov pontiff at the end of the chain to pump all of them. (Rootwalla chain als conveniently gets around all forms of graveyard hate because it never actually goes to the graveyard.) Rootwallas work with therapy and skullclamp because they are sac fodder. Therapy and skullclamp are obviously sac outlets for explorer. White is mainly for sideboard options, but it's possible that blue for just ancestral/time walk/brainstorm/spell pierce/trygon predator is correct or even red for ingot chewer.

Your sideboard isn't complete.

Yes, that is correct. I'm not sure about what the last card should be.

So what do you guys think? Are they not competitive? Are there other creatures that I missed? Any other suggestions?

Current lists

Retainers
4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Deathrite Shaman
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mox Sapphire
1 Ancestral Recall
1 Time Walk
4 Dark Confidant
1 Demonic Tutor
2 Abrupt Decay
3 Mental Misstep
1 Brainstorm
3 Vendilion Clique
1 Snapcaster Mage
3 Tropical Island
2 Bayou
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Loyal Retainers
4 Force of Will
1 Savannah
3 Windswept Heath
1 Griselbrand
1 Mox Pearl
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
2 Flusterstorm
1 Mox Ruby
1 Trygon Predator
1 Aven Mindcensor
SB: 1 Yixlid Jailer
SB: 3 Nature's Claim
SB: 1 Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 Wispmare
SB: 1 Kataki, War's Wage
SB: 1 Orzhov Pontiff
SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 Reclamation Sage
SB: 1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
SB: 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
SB: 1 Gilded Drake
SB: 1 Notion Thief
SB: 1 Scavenging Ooze


Nic fit
4 Survival of the Fittest
3 Deathrite Shaman
3 Basking Rootwalla
3 Vengevine
1 Black Lotus
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Emerald
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Dark Confidant
1 Demonic Tutor
3 Abrupt Decay
2 Bayou
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Misty Rainforest
1 Vampiric Tutor
3 Veteran Explorer
2 Skullclamp
4 Cabal Therapy
1 Swamp
3 Forest
1 Plains
2 Savannah
1 Scrubland
1 Swords to Plowshares
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Mox Pearl
3 Mental Misstep
1 Lion's Eye Diamond
SB: 1 Yixlid Jailer
SB: 3 Nature's Claim
SB: 1 Kataki, War's Wage
SB: 1 Aven Mindcensor
SB: 1 Gaddock Teeg
SB: 1 Faerie Macabre
SB: 1 Wispmare
SB: 1 Spirit of the Labyrinth
SB: 1 Shriekmaw
SB: 1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
SB: 1 Reclamation Sage

Thanks to Stormanimangus and Maximum Unicorn on cockatrice for ideas.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 09:48:44 pm by InkfathomBiomage » Logged
Stormanimagus
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 02:28:24 pm »

They both look good. In a more controlling variant I'd like to see emrakul as a way to shuffle back your toolbox guys over and over again for multiple uses (I'm thinking about stuff like ingot chewer here).

-Storm
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 02:39:39 pm »

Is there any reason you haven't explored the Ooze/Devourer/Triskelion line in any of the lists?
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2015, 02:55:58 pm »

I have no idea about the viability of the decks. But I love people creating ideas like those, they look wonderful Smile

Probably I'd choose the first one. Seems more Vintagish, more powerful.
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 02:57:44 pm »

Caleb Durward 4-0'd a vintage DE last night with survival.

http://i.imgur.com/XaGonAX.jpg

he didn't stream the DE, but here's a match of the deck in action

http://www.twitch.tv/calebdmtg/v/3681360?t=93m50s
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 03:24:58 pm »

They both look good. In a more controlling variant I'd like to see emrakul as a way to shuffle back your toolbox guys over and over again for multiple uses (I'm thinking about stuff like ingot chewer here).

-Storm

Does emrakul trigger before you tutor up the creature? Even so, 3-mana to activate a tortured existence isn't bad, but having enough creature fuel in the lategame seems difficult.

Is there any reason you haven't explored the Ooze/Devourer/Triskelion line in any of the lists?

I think retainers/griselbrand is much better, simply because of the mana investment. It costs GGGG to tutor triskelion and devourer up and into the yard, and plus the 2BB for ooze, makes it 8 mana, compared to the 5 for retainers/griselbrand.

Probably I'd choose the first one. Seems more Vintagish, more powerful.

Probably true, but I can't pass up a chance to play skullclamp Very Happy
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John Cox
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 03:49:54 pm »

Have you thought about Anger and Orcish Lumberjack? Adrian Becker had an amazing deck that used those cards with survival.
(heres a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ6uMTGVfWk)
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2015, 04:52:19 pm »

Caleb Durward 4-0'd a vintage DE last night with survival.

http://i.imgur.com/XaGonAX.jpg

he didn't stream the DE, but here's a match of the deck in action

http://www.twitch.tv/calebdmtg/v/3681360?t=93m50s


Memnite is a great idea! The 1 mana matters a lot, and in the vine list it can enable ridiculous stuff like t1 therapy + flashback.

Other than that I don't like his list much. It seems to rely too much on drawing and sticking survival. However, he does seem to have to experience with it.

Interestingly enough, one of the reasons I decided to add therapy and skullclamp to the deck was to add something to do with extra rootwallas. But as is, 3 rootwalla/2 vengevine is a better split I think. (There's not a lot of difference between having 2 vs. 3 vengevines in play imo.)
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2015, 05:42:42 pm »


Is there any reason you haven't explored the Ooze/Devourer/Triskelion line in any of the lists?

I think retainers/griselbrand is much better, simply because of the mana investment. It costs GGGG to tutor triskelion and devourer up and into the yard, and plus the 2BB for ooze, makes it 8 mana, compared to the 5 for retainers/griselbrand.


G gets Trisk G gets Dev G gets Ooze which costs 4. It's only 7 and you win the game on the spot. On the other hand for 5 you get GB into play but don't win the game on the spot and decks are already designed to interact with him because of Oath. I think it might be worth looking into.
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2015, 06:00:33 pm »

Have you thought about Anger and Orcish Lumberjack? Adrian Becker had an amazing deck that used those cards with survival.
(heres a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ6uMTGVfWk)

Personally, I don't like orcish lumberjack because of the all-in nature of it, and anger doesn't do much in my decks. But there are other elements of his deck I could consider. Going slightly higher up on the curve is a possibility in the nic fit version because of explorer and deathrite, and squee, goblin nabob is a nice card advantage engine and ensures I don't run out of survival fodder. It could be either maindeck or sideboard. Thanks!


Is there any reason you haven't explored the Ooze/Devourer/Triskelion line in any of the lists?

I think retainers/griselbrand is much better, simply because of the mana investment. It costs GGGG to tutor triskelion and devourer up and into the yard, and plus the 2BB for ooze, makes it 8 mana, compared to the 5 for retainers/griselbrand.


G gets Trisk G gets Dev G gets Ooze which costs 4. It's only 7 and you win the game on the spot. On the other hand for 5 you get GB into play but don't win the game on the spot and decks are already designed to interact with him because of Oath. I think it might be worth looking into.

How about discarding trisk/dev? One of the discards is covered when you tutor for ooze but you still need to discard the other one. Also, I don't know one good answer to griselbrand. If they swords it you can just draw 14 in response and potentially even force the swords. Even if you can't, it's pretty hard to lose from there. Jace is an ok answer if it hits play before griselbrand but you still get to draw at least 7 cards in most cases.
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Samoht
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2015, 10:19:38 pm »

You discard them to find the next one. The first activation gets Triskelion, the second one gets Phyrexian Devourer, and then you get Ooze to cast with the third...

If they bounce our GB how are we closing even with 7+ cards drawn?
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2015, 03:29:25 am »

AFAIK, griselbrand approach gets hosed by cage, but ooze & friends don't. And retainers and griselbrand are even worse than ooze, devourer and triskelion on their own (but the 5 of them are dead cards most of the time, and they are 2 dead cards vs 3). But the most important thing is that winning on the spot is better than having a 7/7 flying lifelink bargain.

With that in mind, I'd try ooze approach, it looks at least equal, if not better.
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Twiedel
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2015, 04:51:33 am »

Hey, very very nice that someone has some love left for Survival! Interesting approaches, altough I personally feel you are pushing it a little far with Dark Confidants in the deck... but I never really tested them to be honest.

I'm also nto sure about the Griselbrand. I never considered that you'd ever want a Yawgmoth's Bargain when you have an active Survival and just resolved a three mana spell... it seems decent, but I think in most cases I'd rather have the opponent not being able to win. Iona is just insanely powerful, and argueably better in a deck that cannot draw into multiple counterspells.

The greatest thing about Survival decks is that the smallest alterations to your decklist (like: exchanging 1-2 creatures) can completly alter how certain matchups go, as you have such an insane tutoring engine.

I wrote a complete article for EC before the Vintage Worlds, but it seems that has been lost and forgotten by Jaco, or not deemed worthy ... whatever it was, if someone here is interested in a (possibly a bit outdated) article on the card in Vintage, let me know!

Best regards,
Marc
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2015, 09:12:59 am »

You discard them to find the next one. The first activation gets Triskelion, the second one gets Phyrexian Devourer, and then you get Ooze to cast with the third...

If they bounce our GB how are we closing even with 7+ cards drawn?

Fair enough, but it's still quite hard to lose when you just draw 7 cards in the mid to late game.

AFAIK, griselbrand approach gets hosed by cage, but ooze & friends don't. And retainers and griselbrand are even worse than ooze, devourer and triskelion on their own (but the 5 of them are dead cards most of the time, and they are 2 dead cards vs 3). But the most important thing is that winning on the spot is better than having a 7/7 flying lifelink bargain.

With that in mind, I'd try ooze approach, it looks at least equal, if not better.

Cage is easily dealt with with sideboard reclamation sage. The only way you really lose with griselbrand is if your opponent already has a game-winning threat on the field, but a 7-mana wincon is not going to give you many outs in that respect. Plus, griselbrand could draw you into an answer for their threat. In my limited testing so far I have lost to a blightsteel with a griselbrand out but I didn't have 7 mana for the ooze combo anyway. I could be wrong, but let's agree to disagree until we get testing evidence otherwise.

Hey, very very nice that someone has some love left for Survival! Interesting approaches, altough I personally feel you are pushing it a little far with Dark Confidants in the deck... but I never really tested them to be honest.

Dark confidant is your best route to victory without a survival, as well as drawing you into survival, providing fuel for survival and providing another decay/counterspell target. In the limited testing I've done so far, it was very good.

Quote
I'm also nto sure about the Griselbrand. I never considered that you'd ever want a Yawgmoth's Bargain when you have an active Survival and just resolved a three mana spell... it seems decent, but I think in most cases I'd rather have the opponent not being able to win. Iona is just insanely powerful, and argueably better in a deck that cannot draw into multiple counterspells.

Yes, Iona is better than griselbrand in a deck without force of will. But my retainers list has force of will Very Happy

Quote
The greatest thing about Survival decks is that the smallest alterations to your decklist (like: exchanging 1-2 creatures) can completly alter how certain matchups go, as you have such an insane tutoring engine.

Yeah, the versatility of survival is amazing Very Happy

Quote
I wrote a complete article for EC before the Vintage Worlds, but it seems that has been lost and forgotten by Jaco, or not deemed worthy ... whatever it was, if someone here is interested in a (possibly a bit outdated) article on the card in Vintage, let me know!

Yeah, that would be great!

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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2015, 11:25:36 am »

Caleb did post a series (2-mans) on his survival deck if anyone wants to see them:

http://www.channelfireball.com/videos/channel-calebd-vintage-survival/
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2015, 01:29:32 pm »


Memnite is a great idea! The 1 mana matters a lot, and in the vine list it can enable ridiculous stuff like t1 therapy + flashback.

Other than that I don't like his list much. It seems to rely too much on drawing and sticking survival. However, he does seem to have to experience with it.

Interestingly enough, one of the reasons I decided to add therapy and skullclamp to the deck was to add something to do with extra rootwallas. But as is, 3 rootwalla/2 vengevine is a better split I think. (There's not a lot of difference between having 2 vs. 3 vengevines in play imo.)

Your logic for Memnite holds true for Vengevine, since starting the chain with a Vine also saves a mana and generates an extra 4/3. You draw the Memnite without Survival less often, but then naturally drawing Vengevine is much better.

I played Clamp in older versions of the deck alongside a miser Trinket Mage, but it got cut when I was making room for tutors and Null Rod. This made the deck more explosive (tutor for lotus) more consistent (tutor for survival) and gave it more winning lines in its worst matchups (tutor for Null Rod).
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2015, 08:17:09 pm »

I've been running a similar deck online, and I'm enjoying it. I use a Chrome Mox and I also run Lion's Eye Diamond. On the turn when I'm chaining survival discards, simply hold priority (hold ctrl while activating survival) then crack LED while the discard trigger is on the stack. It's great when your hand has chaff in it; it's effectively a black lotus.
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2015, 09:10:36 pm »

naturally drawing Vengevine is much better.

I'm actually not so sure about this. Free therapy fodder is great, as is 2 cards with skullclamp. Just those 2 benefits plus the fact you can always tutor for it at the end of the chain make me like memnite over an extra vine.

I've been running a similar deck online, and I'm enjoying it. I use a Chrome Mox and I also run Lion's Eye Diamond. On the turn when I'm chaining survival discards, simply hold priority (hold ctrl while activating survival) then crack LED while the discard trigger is on the stack. It's great when your hand has chaff in it; it's effectively a black lotus.

LED sounds really powerful. It also allows you to discard rootwalla + vine, cast rootwalla, animate vine. So it both works well with survival, and makes my worst cards better without survival? That's really nice, and it's also possibly a reason to run more vengevines and rootwallas.

I'll definitely try to find room in the vine version.

Thanks!
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2015, 07:59:00 am »

I'm having a hard time finding space for both more rootwallas and vengevines. I'm thinking of cutting skullclamp and therapy for 4 LED and adding some other graveyard shenanigans, because LED is a better use of random rootwallas and vengevines than clamp/therapy anyway. Anyone have any suggestions?
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« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2015, 08:00:47 am »

Isn't LED restricted in Vintage?
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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2015, 08:07:24 am »

Isn't LED restricted in Vintage?

Correct.  It's restricted.

Do LED rootwalla and vengevine actually work properly together?  It's my understanding rootwalla triggers and is cast before anything hits the yard while vengevine needs to be in the yard before the second creature spell is cast.
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InkfathomBiomage
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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2015, 08:25:14 am »

Isn't LED restricted in Vintage?

Whoops.

Do LED rootwalla and vengevine actually work properly together?  It's my understanding rootwalla triggers and is cast before anything hits the yard while vengevine needs to be in the yard before the second creature spell is cast.

Hmm...you discard them both at the same time, and the rootwalla discard is replaced with a cast. My gut says vines would be binned at that point, but I'm not sure. Anyone know?

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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2015, 08:33:41 am »

Do LED rootwalla and vengevine actually work properly together?

They do.

Will be looking if I can find that article once again and then post it here somewhere, should be ready on the weekend...
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« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2015, 09:54:46 am »

other creature cast>>LED-Vengevine-Rootwalla does work.  The part of madness that lets you cast the spell is a triggered ability that triggers off replacing the discard with exile, so by the time that trigger resolves and you cast rootwalla venge is already in the yard.
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« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2015, 09:58:51 am »

Ok thanks guys.
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« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2015, 10:49:00 am »

I've also had a few matches where I have 2 vengevines in hand and LED has helped tremendously in that situation.

Let's suppose the mana I have is G (forest, or tropical, or whatever) + LED. I can use G to discard the first Vengevine, hold priority to crack LED (discard the extra vengevine), then with GGG from LED find/discard Vengevine, Vengevine, Rootwalla, Memnite. I'm searching for 4 creatures with survival, but the first creature is found from the discard trigger of the initial vengevine. Also remember that rootwalla is cast for madness, and memnite ends the chain so it's free.

If in that situation I had G + Black Lotus instead, I would only be able to get 3 vengevines (because if you have two in hand, you'd need GG to discard both rather than a "free" discard from LED activation.)

The difference between 3 or 4 vengevines is minor in most cases, but an extra 4/3 is always beneficial.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 03:22:14 pm by ApolloGod » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2015, 11:06:57 pm »

i could be wrong, but i think once you crack led, you can't "find /discard" anything because your hand is empty . Am I missing something here?
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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2015, 11:30:44 pm »

i could be wrong, but i think once you crack led, you can't "find /discard" anything because your hand is empty . Am I missing something here?

Discarding to survival is part of the cost so you can stack the ability (multiple times) then crack LED.  Similar to Legacy Storm casting Burning Wish/Infernal Tutor and cracking LED before it resolves.
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2015, 07:20:40 am »

With the ability on the stack you can then pop LED generating GGG. You lose your remaining hand and acquire a new creature. From there you can pitch again for g , get rootwalla, pitch it and cast it for gg, and get memnite and trigger vengevine(s).
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« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2015, 09:03:09 pm »

I've been finding more and more that survival doesn't do enough in the retainers list. I'll try adding a squee and seeing if that does anything.
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