Bant Aura

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I haven't seen any discussion of the Bant aura archetype (if there is an existing thread, I apologize – please point me to it). The final of GP Atlantic City was a Bant aura mirror match and the deck type was also the subject of this week's Daily MTG article Everywhere Ethereal Armor. This was not the first appearance or first place showing of this deck type, but it did raise its visibility. There is also a recent Bant Auras article on tcgplayer.com. There are a couple of variaitons on the theme, but the core is hexproof creatures Invisible Stalker and Geist of Saint Traft pumped up with cheap enchantments, particularly Ethereal Armor, Rancor, and Spectral Flight, ideally soulbonded with Silverblade Paladin.

Because Geist of Saint Traft is one of my favorite cards and my very first FNM deck was a spirit-based deck using Ethereal Armor and Spectral Flight combined with a large number of U/W enchantments, this deck design appeals to me. I wish I had been clever enough to think of including green, but this is why I am a casual FNM player and those piloting this to GP victories are not.

EDIT: This is the most current version, adapted for Gatecrash. The original version follows below.

Bantaurification (Post Gatecrash)

Creature (17)


Other (21)
[deck]4 Abundant Growth
1 Blessings of Nature
2 Blind Obedience
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Rancor
4 Spectral Flight
2 Bonds of Faith[/deck]

Land (22)
[deck]4 Breeding Pool
2 Cavern of Souls
3 Plains
2 Glacial Fortress
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Plains
3 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]2x Blind Obedience
2x Detention Sphere
2x Elixir of Immortality
3x Rest in Peace
3x Selesnya Charm
3x Sundering Growth[/deck]


Bantaurification (Original)

Creature (16)
[deck]4x Avacyn's Pilgrim
4x Geist of Saint Traft
4x Invisible Stalker
4x Silverblade Paladin[/deck]

Other (21)
[deck]4x Abundant Growth
2x Divine Reckoning
4x Ethereal Armor
4x Rancor
4x Spectral Flight
3x Selesnya Charm[/deck]

Sideboard (15)
[deck]1x Angelic Overseer
2x Detention Sphere
2x Feeling of Dread
2x Increasing Savagery
3x Loxodon Smiter
3x Rest in Peace
2x Rootborn Defenses[/deck]
I don't think 7 selesnya charms is enough. Up it to 8.

I found Carmen Sandiego before you were born unless you're Zlehtnoba.

I don't think 7 selesnya charms is enough. Up it to 8.

Typo. Fixed.

Throwing out some more thoughts, based on my G/W aggro experience:

- Ajani, Caller of the Pride: Seems like it would work nicely with deck theme, but I've never seen him in a Bant aura deck list.
- Garrul Relentless: I don't own and I'm not sure I want to make the investment, but I would like feedback on him.

I like the notion of using Planeswalkers given that I'm using Divine Reckoning.

- Most decks use Increasing Savagery, whereas I use Divine Reckoning



I think Increasing Savagery is important in this deck, mainly because its not an aura. It makes Invisible Stalker very, very, hard to deal with. Pretty much have to board sweep him with Terminus or Supreme Verdict or force sac him. Without it he's still suceptible to targeting the auras on him for removal, then a light sweep like Electrickery, Mutilate or Golgari Charm.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I think Increasing Savagery is important in this deck, mainly because its not an aura. It makes Invisible Stalker very, very, hard to deal with. Pretty much have to board sweep him with Terminus or Supreme Verdict or force sac him. Without it he's still suceptible to targeting the auras on him for removal, then a light sweep like Electrickery, Mutilate or Golgari Charm.

I'm biased, as always, by testing extensively against Selesnya and Rakdos aggro deck. This bias is not all bad, since my FNM-store tends to feature a lot of aggro and very few board sweeps. I don't disagree with your suggestion in general, but I have never faced any of the cards you list. Even Supreme Verdict is rare. I don't even really know why this is and maybe tonight is the night I found out things have changed.

Despite the aggressive nature of this deck, I still often find that I am one turn behind. This is my reason for including Divine Reckoning instead. The thinking is that it lets me choose a highly ramped up attacker, which shoudl be better than most of what my opponent has on the board. But I am definitely on the fence about this. Keep taking...convince me to use Increasing Savagery.
I think Increasing Savagery is important in this deck, mainly because its not an aura. It makes Invisible Stalker very, very, hard to deal with. Pretty much have to board sweep him with Terminus or Supreme Verdict or force sac him. Without it he's still suceptible to targeting the auras on him for removal, then a light sweep like Electrickery, Mutilate or Golgari Charm.

I'm biased, as always, by testing extensively against Selesnya and Rakdos aggro deck. This bias is not all bad, since my FNM-store tends to feature a lot of aggro and very few board sweeps. I don't disagree with your suggestion in general, but I have never faced any of the cards you list. Even Supreme Verdict is rare. I don't know why this is. Despite the aggressive nature of this deck, I still often find that I am one turn behind. This is my reason for including Divine Reckoning instead. The thinking is that it lets me choose a highly ramped up attacker, which shoudl be better than most of what my opponent has on the board. But I am definitely on the fence about this. Keep taking...convince me to use Increasing Savagery.



Right. So my point is, with savagery, those cards that you never see (Verdict and Terminus) are the only ones that effectively deal with stalker. Without it, cards you probably will see, like Golgari Charm and Mutilate (often sideboarded in G/B aggro and zombie aggro, respectively) will find ways to deal with him. 

All the more reason for you to run it. 

That said, Divine Reckoning also sounds really good with the stalker on board.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Right. So my point is, with savagery, those cards that you never see (Verdict and Terminus) are the only ones that effectively deal with stalker. Without it, cards you probably do see, like Golgari Charm and Mutilate (often sideboarded in R/B aggro and G/B aggro, respectively) will find ways to deal with him.

The cards I see are Abrupt Decay, Ultimate Price, Victim of Night, Oblivion Ring, Pillar of Flame, Searing Spear, Brimstone Volley, Mizzium Mortars, Bonfire of the Damned, and Sever the Bloodline (against tokens). That's what comes to mind. For example, I've never seen Golgari Charm and didn't even know what its modes were until you linked it for me (B/G is pretty rare, regardless).

I am thinking I really want a few more aggressive creatures, and I am settling in on Strangleroot Geist. I'm thinking -1 Silverblade Paladin / -1 Selesnya Charm / +2 Strangleroot Geist, plus an extra 2x in the Sideboard (instead of Loxodon Smiter). This is also makes good use of Cavern of Souls when I name "spirits" as opposed to "humans".

If Strangleroot Geist is in, I also think I have nice synergy with Divine Reckoning. And if I sideboard in Angelic Overseer I could, if the stars are aligned right, resolve the sweep with three creatures on the board. Conversely, Strangleroot Geist would look pretty with Rancor and Increasing Savagery too, but would be vulnerable to removal (except instant direct damage when my opponent is tapped out).

Again, I'm definitely taking in your feedback: I'm just laying out my rationale and doing some thinking outloud.

I'm not suggesting that you see those cards a lot, given the decks you play. They are sideboard cards that probably wouldn't get subbed in against your FNM Selesnya deck. I do think if you play a Bant Aura deck, you'll see them sideboarded in against you. And you'll see Golgari Charm not just in G/B aggro and B/G zombies, but in the sideboard of Jund ( ) and Junk colors ( ) as well, most likely. 

Anyway, that said, I'm arguing that Increasing Savagery makes an already hard to deal with creature (Invisible Stalker) a little harder to deal with. So maybe its not such an important point in the long run.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
I made top 8 with this deck last week, but my deck was definitely more aggro-based. I do not play any defensive cards or Selesnya Charm, but focus more on creatures to beat down with. I play 3x Fencing Ace (I've gotten t3 wins with him), 2x Wolfir Avenger (very versatile and can stay alive through most things), and 2x Ajani. Ajani is a very good PW for this type of deck, as he pumps your creatures, gives them flight and double strike. I got off his ult last week, and it was an auto-win. All in all, I really like this deck in that once you stick a creature with a couple enchants, theyre pretty unkillable except for certain cards, which is why I started packing Wolfir, as he can survive so much. Well, I hope this helps. And whats your sideboard like?
I made top 8 with this deck last week, but my deck was definitely more aggro-based. I do not play any defensive cards or Selesnya Charm, but focus more on creatures to beat down with. I play 3x Fencing Ace (I've gotten t3 wins with him), 2x Wolfir Avenger (very versatile and can stay alive through most things), and 2x Ajani

Do you have a deck list you could post? What do you do when you draw Fencing Ace and Silverblade Paladin? There seems to be a lack of synergy between the two. Or do you not use Silverblade Paladin?

I'll post my sideboard with an updated deck list.

I'm on my phone and at work, so apologies for the long wait. Here's the list:

Lands:

4x Temple Garden
4x Hallowed Fountain
4x Hinterland Harbor
4x Glacial Fortress
4x Sunpetal Grove
2x Forest
1x Gavony Township

Creatures:

4x Invisible Stalker
3x Fencing Ace
3x Silverblade Paladin
3x Geist of Saint Traft
4x Avacyn's Pilgrim
2x Wolfir Avenger
1x Sigarda, Host of Herons

Planeswalkers:

2x Ajani, Caller of the Pride

Enchantments:

4x Ethereal Armor
4x Rancor
4x Abundant Growth
3x Spectral Flight

Sideboard:

4x Centaur Healer
Good list, reminds me somewhat of my G/W aggro deck, although without the blue and enchantments (except Rancor) of course. I would be worried about losing enchantments on non-hexproof creatures, however.
Rest of sideboard:

3x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
3x Detention Sphere
2x Rest in Peace
3x Syncopate

The sideboard is geared towards my meta, but covers many of the popular decks right now. Centaur Healer is for aggro decks, D-Sphere for tokens and/or planeswalkers, Rest in Peace for GY shenanigans/Zombies, and the Syncopates are for the board sweepers/Thragtusk/Jund midrange. More often than not, though, the deck wins due to its design, not so much the sideboard, but it helps.
Well, the Fencing Ace demands attention right away, for he can deal large amounts of damage with only one or two enchantments. Also, he absorbs spells that would otherwise make quick work of Silverblade. Also as I stated before, he can end a game on T3 with not that big of a stretch (had him swing as a 13/13 dub strike trample on T4 one game), so he is a legitimate win condition.
I skimmed through the thread, and saw nobody told you why there isn't any talk about this deck.

Here's why: It is a terrible, terrible deck that isn't real Magic, and you should feel horribly horrible for sleeving up such a monstrosity.
Hexproof is a bad enough mistake, don't let Zac Hill claim he was right by saying "Invisible Stalker + pump" is a combo deck.
Its also boring as hell to play against

(at)MrEnglish22

 It is a terrible, terrible deck that isn't real Magic, and you should feel horribly horrible for sleeving up such a monstrosity.

You have just motivated me even more to play it. Thank you!

I skimmed through the thread, and saw nobody told you why there isn't any talk about this deck.

Here's why: It is a terrible, terrible deck that isn't real Magic, and you should feel horribly horrible for sleeving up such a monstrosity.
Hexproof is a bad enough mistake, don't let Zac Hill claim he was right by saying "Invisible Stalker + pump" is a combo deck.
Its also boring as hell to play against



Tell that to the top 2 from GP Atlantic City.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Any thoughts on Master Biomancer in this deck after Gatecrash? Could make every creature you play a monster even with just a Rancor on him.
Quick update: FNM turnout was very small, maybe because it's the Friday before prerelease weekend. Went 2-1 which was good enough for 2nd place: Won 2-0 against U/W/b spirits and 2-1 against R/b aggro and lost 0-2 to...*drum roll*...Bant aura mirror match, to the deck that took first place. That deck used Azorius Charm instead of Increasing Savagery.

Invisible Stalker with 2x Ethereal Armor, Spectral Flight and 2x Abundant Growth on the board is just the ticket for a fun night at FNM.

I will post full deck list and comments: I made some last minute changes at the store.  Given the small turnout, I wouldn't jump to any major conclusions, and Gatecrash may change things considerably, but it was fun to give Geist of Saint Traft a spin before Glaring Spotlight.
I was really hoping for a Griffin Guide reprint.  

With that said, I think Zegana or Garruk+ may be good CA engines that you can use to top off the curve as a 1 or 2 of, with Garruk+ likely the better of the two. You likely want to move the spheres MB to deal with Glaring Spotlight as well.

I don't think Spotlight will be the bane of this deck by any means.
IMAGE(http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a117/Nasrod/BigRedForumSigNostretch.jpg)


 Lands 23

4x Breeding Pool

4x Temple Garden

4x Hallowed Fountain

4x Sunpetal Garden

4x Glacial Fortress

1x Island

1x Plains

1x Forest

Creatures 15


4x Geist of Saint Traft

4x Invisible Stalker
 
4x Avacyn's Pilgrim

3x Silverblade Paladin

Enchatments 19

4x Abundant Growth

4x Ethereal Armor
 
4x Spectral Flight

4x Rancor

3x Gift of Orzhova

Instants 3

3x Selensya Charm

              




4x Strangleroot Geist

2x Nevermore

2x Sundering Growth

2x Feeling of Dread

2x Nearhearth Pilgrim

3x Loxodon Smiter





This is the deck im planning on running this friday coming any suggestions?     


   
                

 

I have to tag the cards and remove the line breaks, so I can get better overview, then I'll comment:

Lands 23


Creatures 15
[deck]4x Geist of Saint Traft
4x Invisible Stalker
4x Avacyn's Pilgrim
3x Silverblade Paladin[/deck]

Enchantments 19
[deck]4x Abundant Growth
4x Ethereal Armor
4x Spectral Flight
4x Rancor
3x Gift of Orzhova[/deck]

Instants 3
[deck]3x Selesnya Charm[/deck]

Sideboard 15
[deck]4x Strangleroot Geist
2x Nevermore
2x Sundering Growth
2x Feeling of Dread
2x Nearheath Pilgrim
3x Loxodon Smiter[/deck]
Looks good. I think it's too early to tell what Gatecrash offers the deck yet. I really haven't had a chance to look through everything that is in there yet. Gift of Orzhova certainly fits the theme and the life gain is a nice touch, if you get it on fast enough.

Glaring Spotlight is a risk: Maybe it will get sideboarded initially (I'm not going to), but I think eventually other cards will be more valuable in the sideboard, overall. Sundering Growth also allows you to populate an angel, but only if the timing is exactly right.

Losing an Avacyn's Pilgrim or Silverblade Paladin is painful. I've been thinking about sideboarding in Wild Defiance against direct damage spell (but does nothing for other removal).

If you play end up playing mirror match and you don't have a hexproof creature, and are instead pumping up a Strangleroot Geist or Silverblade Paladin, be mindful of overextending into an exile from  Selesnya Charm. That happened to me twice.
I have to tag the cards and remove the line breaks, so I can get better overview, then I'll comment:

Lands 23


Creatures 15
[deck]4x Geist of Saint Traft
4x Invisible Stalker
4x Avacyn's Pilgrim
3x Silverblade Paladin[/deck]

Enchantments 19
[deck]4x Abundant Growth
4x Ethereal Armor
4x Spectral Flight
4x Rancor
3x Gift of Orzhova[/deck]

Instants 3
[deck]3x Selesnya Charm[/deck]

Sideboard 15
[deck]4x Strangleroot Geist
2x Nevermore
2x Sundering Growth
2x Feeling of Dread
2x Nearheath Pilgrim
3x Loxodon Smiter[/deck]

Sorry about that haven't posted alot
I don't know, i feel that Sundering Growth would to better than ray of revelation because Growth can hit Detention Sphere and Spotlight.
im feeling spotlight will be played the first two weeks of gatecrash then dissappear. What do you think of the mana base? is it good or needs work? thats the hardest part for me when making a deck.
  

I don't know, i feel that Sundering Growth would to better than ray of revelation because Growth can hit Detention Sphere and Spotlight.

Yes, you are right. I immediately edited what I wrote after posting, but you must have seen it before the edit. I used Ray of Revelation in my sideboard this past Friday: Post-Gatecrash will require Sundering Growth. The more mana-intensive alternative is, as suggested by Midgling, is to use Detention Sphere, which is very versatile, deals with tokens, and adds to Ethereal Armor.

What do you think of the mana base? is it good or needs work? thats the hardest part for me when making a deck.

I haven't done the math on your mana colors. Before Breeding Pool, you would not want as many Glacial Fortress and Sunpetal Grove, because the chances of them coming in tapped was higher. Now, 4x of each may be right, but I'm no expert on building three-color decks.


Losing an Avacyn's Pilgrim or Silverblade Paladin is painful.



Why will you lose them? Are you worried about standard rotation? They won't rotate out until after M14. Same deal with Ray of Revelation. So not until October. That's still a long way off. 

"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong


Losing an Avacyn's Pilgrim or Silverblade Paladin is painful.



Why will you lose them? Are you worried about standard rotation? They won't rotate out until after M14. Same deal with Ray of Revelation. So not until October. That's still a long way off. 


i belive he means if they die while there on the board


Losing an Avacyn's Pilgrim or Silverblade Paladin is painful.



Why will you lose them? Are you worried about standard rotation? They won't rotate out until after M14. Same deal with Ray of Revelation. So not until October. That's still a long way off. 


i belive he means if they die while there on the board



Gah! It seems so obvious now! How embarassing... Embarassed
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Deck need Cavern of Souls to sheild up unless you put 2-3 of them in SB. Bant will still be hard to beat

My take...just idea. I played with Strangleroot and Ooze at FMN. Strangleroot is just aggressive with Rancor but easy target by Pillar. Ooze is pretty awesome. Can't be killed unless Ring or Sphere or Terminus. Don't forget that Abundant Growth help out with Ooze 3 Green mana



Thoughts?
Deck need Cavern of Souls to sheild up unless you put 2-3 of them in SB. Bant will still be hard to beat

My take...just idea. I played with Strangleroot and Ooze at FMN. Strangleroot is just aggressive with Rancor but easy target by Pillar. Ooze is pretty awesome. Can't be killed unless Ring or Sphere or Terminus. Don't forget that Abundant Growth help out with Ooze 3 Green mana



Thoughts?

I know i still need the caverns but im having trouble getting them at the moment, anyways i like Silverblade paladin over predator ooze but main deck strangleroot geist
like it would work well. Could you take a look at my mana base and see if its good on page 3?
Hate trying to figure out the right mana base :D    
That is fine with me on Silverblade. It is good in there

SB 3 of Cavern then if against Control

I noticed you have only 9 Forest. You need 2 more if want to use Pilgrim. I looked at Gavin's. He have 11 Forest ready for Pilgrim and rest are same yours. He added Simic Charm

His land
4 Pool
4 Temple
2 Hallowed
2 Harbor
2 Fortress
3 Souls
3 Forest
1 Island
i belive he means if they die while there on the board

Yes, I could have been clearer, but that's exactly what I meant. If you're wondering if you should put that Pillar of Flame on Avacyn's Pilgrim, the answer is yes (or on a Silverblade Paladin and certainly on a Strangleroot Geist).

I looked at Gavin's. He have 11 Forest ready for Pilgrim and rest are same yours. He added Simic Charm His land 4 Pool 4 Temple 2 Hallowed 2 Harbor 2 Fortress 3 Souls 3 Forest 1 Island

Using Simic Charm to protect Silverblade Paladin is nice, but you lose the removal option of Selesnya Charm and the ability to make a creature, if you really aren't drawing any. I've won games with a pumped up knight token: It's iffy as all heck, but better than an Avacyn's Pilgrim.

That is fine with me on Silverblade. It is good in there SB 3 of Cavern then if against Control I noticed you have only 9 Forest. You need 2 more if want to use Pilgrim. I looked at Gavin's. He have 11 Forest ready for Pilgrim and rest are same yours. He added Simic Charm His land 4 Pool 4 Temple 2 Hallowed 2 Harbor 2 Fortress 3 Souls 3 Forest 1 Island



 Ok thanks this looks better umm what would you suggest replacing the 3 souls with until i could get them
I looked at Gavin's. He have 11 Forest ready for Pilgrim and rest are same yours. He added Simic Charm His land 4 Pool 4 Temple 2 Hallowed 2 Harbor 2 Fortress 3 Souls 3 Forest 1 Island

Using Simic Charm to protect Silverblade Paladin is nice, but you lose the removal option of Selesnya Charm and the ability to make a creature, if you really aren't drawing any. I've won games with a pumped up knight token: It's iffy as all heck, but better than an Avacyn's Pilgrim.




you could do a 2/1 spilt of 2 Selensya charm and 1 Simic charm
If no Souls...I would fill in 2 Hallowed and 1 Harbor

Correction for land...my bad

Gavin's

4 Breeding Pool
3 Cavern of Souls
3 Forest
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Hinterland Harbor
1 Island
4 Temple Garden
If no Souls...I would fill in 2 Hallowed and 1 Harbor

Correction for land...my bad

Gavin's

4 Breeding Pool
3 Cavern of Souls
3 Forest
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Hallowed Fountain
2 Hinterland Harbor
1 Island
4 Temple Garden



Thank you very much now i only need to trade for 11 shock lands lol

Gavin's



First off, here is a link to Gavin's article, for those who are interested in it:

Zero to Sixty: Gatecrashing into Standard

My instinct would have been to run 4x Hallowed Fountain and 2x Glacial Fortress. Other than the issue of mana fixing, the challenge is to find a balance between shocking yourself too often and having a land come in tapped. I don't know how one arrives at those numbers. It'd be interesting to run some sort of Monte Carlo simulation to find out (says the analyst in me).




Gavin's



First off, here is a link to Gavin's article, for those who are interested in it:

Zero to Sixty: Gatecrashing into Standard

My instinct would have been to run 4x Hallowed Fountain and 2x Glacial Fortress. Other than the issue of mana fixing, the challenge is to find a balance between shocking yourself too often and having a land come in tapped. I don't know how one arrives at those numbers. It'd be interesting to run some sort of Monte Carlo simulation to find out (says the analyst in me).





i actually dont have caverns so im running -3 cavern +2 Hallowed fountain +1 hinterland harbor. sound good or what would you reccomend?