[Deck] U/G Madness

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Madness?! This is SPARTA!
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For some reason this whole first post got really messed up. They change the code sometimes on these forums I think. In any case, the whole post except the pictures got deleted.

The deck has undergone serious changes from straight UG Madness, to Survival Madness, to Vengevine Madness (the deck that got Survival banned), and now Fauna Shaman Madness (still in development).

The deck is still very good against an underdeveloped metagame, but will not consistently do well at larger tournaments like a Grand Prix or a Star City Games Open. UGR Threshold is usually going to be better while following a similar strategy.

The deck lacks consistent removal and is largely reliant on discard outlets to work. There is also not a whole lot of room for changes in the MD since many of the threats are needed to work together.

The benefits of UG Madness come from a very stable manabase, the ability to play creatures at instant speed through the madness mechanic, the ability to play creatures that can easily dodge counterbalance (arrogant wurm), and wonder.

The deck has not been played a lot recently because of Survival's banning and the success of Canadien Threshold (UGR). Therefore, no objective list can be given, but here are two theoretical lists.


Aggro Madness is very similar to the old Extended Madness lists, going very aggressive early with mongrels and aquamoebas. It uses free counterspells to protect its madness outlets until it hits 3 mana when it starts dropping its bombs: arrogant wurms. It uses the usual mana denial package of wastes, daze, and stifle.

Your first turn should be either playing a rootwalla, ponder, brainstorm EOT, or saving mana for stifle. Second turn should be a madness outlet. Third should be going aggro and/or digging for wonder.

My assessment: The deck is very vulnerable to aggro strategies like Zoo or Goblins. It shines VS control (like most aggro-control decks) but is a bit unfavored against opposing aggro-control (depending on the deck). Fairly even against combo, sometimes slightly favored. Keep in mind this is theorycrafting at this point. More testing is needed.



From OmniMarconi67:
I feel that I--and many others--owe a personal apology to the Fauna Shaman regarding its usefulness in Legacy.  It's true that it pales in power and usefulness to Survival of The Fittest, of that there can be no dispute.  The problem therein lies with assuming you have to treat the Fauna Shaman as a direct replacement just because it's a retooled version.  If you instead use it as part of a new engine to replace Survival--such as what I had designed with Attunement/Intuition--Fauna Shaman becomes a powerful addition to a deck that doesn't need multiple searches in a turn to pull off the combo.  Even if only once a turn starting the turn after you play it, the fact that it does tutor like Survival offers a level of combo consistency that not only can make the deck half a turn faster on average, but also much more comfortable to mulligan.  Yes it is a creature and dies as easy as just about any other creature, but if it's only part of rather than the crux of your engine you'll be able to recover.  The fact that your opponent will kill it ASAP only serves to reinforce the elusive obvious about the card:  It wins games if left alone, and a Bolt spent on the elvish taxidermist is one less being chucked at your Hierarchs, Mongrels, or your face.  Furthermore, not every deck plays heavy removal like Zoo, and even those that do generally can't race you or match your average creature size (keep in mind, a good chunk of the format tends to ignore and evade opposing creatures to go for the kill as quickly as possible, U/G Madness itself being no exception).  Fauna Shaman can be used in many matches without any fear of immediate reprisal, and even if it only goes off once you're that much further along in your preparation.  Plus being a creature isn't entirely a terrible thing; it does swing for 2 in a pinch and can be used as a chump block.

Playtesting U/G Madness with the Fauna Shaman has naturally led to a slight re-tooling of the combo engine.  First came a thinning of utility slots; with the ability to Survival tutor now back in the deck, utility creatures can be one-ofs and still useful again, and the tempo increase of the deck allows out-racing the opponent to take more priority than dealing with threats should you get off to a slow start.  Including Fauna Shaman also means that card drawing, while always desireable, is no longer needed in huge chunks to find combo pieces.  In this light, the recursive nature of Attunement is no longer a benefit that outweighs the casting cost.  As such, Attunement can be replaced with Careful Study, providing good card drawing/discard while using less mana.



So, that is the new UG Madness post. I hope you enjoy. If you decide to play the deck, please post your results so that we know how well the deck can do in today's metagame. Any comments on the decklists are appreciated.

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

My first thoughts would be:

-Definitely run Squee; it means you always have SOMETHING to discard so mongrel can ALWAYS grow. In fact, I would run 2 Squee.
-As you said in your post; you play your creatures during opponents EoT - so anger probably doesn't need consideration.
-I would not run B2B. Testing required.
-Run only 1 wonder in my opinion (SB another for GY hate?).
-As you said - aquamoeba has gotten worse (by a fair bit); maybe you want the new beater - lorescale coatl who will grow from your Bstorm?


That's all I have for now.
In regard to your list, one change I would consider:
+4 Merfolk Looter
It is both a discard enabler, and it allows you to filter through your deck for things like Survival, countermagic, etc. continuously. I would cut the aquamoebas, one Wild Mongrel, and something else. The 'moebas are lackluster, even here, and mongel, while solid, is outclassed by Goyf as a beater and by the looters for discard engine/utility. They are still good regardless for consistency and redundancy, but I would cut them to 3 since they aren't integral, and because you gain very little benefit by having 2+ at the same time.

In regards to your questions at the bottom:
-I would not put back to basics in the main. It's not a bad choice in general, but here it would have to squeeze out Card filtering/countermagic, or lower your creature count. Additionally, it's a bit slow, and it doesn't stop fetches. If anything, I would go for Stifles to kill fetchlands and stop random effects here instead.
-Four Survival is fine. It is an insane card advantage engine/discard enabler that you will want to get going as soon as possible. Additionally, it draws removal/discard/counters like nothing else, so you will rarely if ever find extra dead copies in your hand.
-I would opt to run Squee. It only takes up one slot, and it allows you to Gain +1 card advantage a turn using survival.
;19067553']Discussion:

The list probably isn't optimal. Thoughts?

You should probably test Daze over Spell Snare. One or two utility creatures for Survival wouldn't hurt, either. A couple of Deep Analysis would be good.

;19067553']Should B2B be in the main?

I don't think so. I could be wrong, though.

;19067553']Is 4 Survival too many?

No. You want to see one in every game, and drawing multiples isn't horrible.

;19067553']Should Squee be run?

Yes.
Issues addressed by topic:

Squee
Squee should definitely be part of the engine. I probably should have seen that.
-1 Wonder
+1 Squee

Back to Basics
So, not good enough in the main. I totally get the "competes with CA and creatures" argument. It is such a bomb though, and there is precedent for the deck to run it. It will be in the sideboard.

Other creatures
Anger would require red, which would upset the manabase. It isn't all that great here anyway.

Lorescale is good (great even) but I don't think he fits necessarily. I liked him in my GAS (gro a snake) list because of 4 careful study and 4 brainstorm. But it is hard to find spots for all those here. Maybe as a 1 of to tutor for, but he doesn't offer much in the way of utility.

I don't think Merfolk Looter belongs in the deck, at least not as a four-of. The deck wants to play aggressively and looter is not aggressive. He also isn't all that great of a discard outlet. The reason is because his discard ability is subject to summoning sickness. Survival, moeba, and mongrel all let you discard the turn they come into play, which can be significant if you want to play an instant chump blocker (or bluff one). Looter is also ridiculously vulnerable. Of course you can say the same about bouncer, but he offers utility and an answer to other threats.

I can maybe see him as a 2 of, but 4 seems way to many. I'll try them in the moeba spot.

Other Spells
Daze can be better, especially when you are tapping out to play things like wurm. I usually run Daze in Madness, I guess I just assumed that spell snare was better because, well, it is such a strong card. Will test.

I'll probably try:
-1 Mongrel
+1 DA

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

For reference, here is my original deck from summer 2005:

4 Tropical Island
4 Island
4 Forest
4 Wasteland
3 Blue Fetch-lands (Deltas or Strands or some combo)
3 Green Fetch-lands (Foothills/Heaths)
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Arrogant Wurm
4 Aquameoba
3 Wonder
4 Circular Logic
2 Deep Analysis
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
3 Umezawa's Jitte
2 Naturalize (or other metagame pick)
3+ Grips is a must in the sideboard

I love Survival/Madness
Given the board (needle, crypt/relic, chalice), let's add a trinket mage so we can tutor them up as needed.
Also, if we are running Waterfront Bouncer and we have survival for creature tutoring then we need more Gilded Drake!
I would consider having a 1-of Meloku the Clouded Mirror in the main. It has nice synergy with Mongrel as a finisher while giving you lots of 1/1 flyers. Just something to consider.

Also, what about Life from the Loam?
Not sure if I know what im talking about but couldnt you run threshold alongside of madness? I mean they do compliment each other. You could run some Nimble Mongoose alongside of the rootwalla and even some Werebear to beat face and accelerate yourself.
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Would you be appose to changing the thread title to U/G Madness, and have Sparta be the headline in the thread? It would just be more simetrical with the other decks in the DtB sub-forum.
Not sure if I know what im talking about but couldnt you run threshold alongside of madness? I mean they do compliment each other. You could run some Nimble Mongoose alongside of the rootwalla and even some Werebear to beat face and accelerate yourself.

Werebear and mongoose, while both awesome imo, don't have enough synergy with the deck to warrant their inclusion. One of the strengths of this deck is to play creatures as instants. Neither of the thresh creatures are good enough by themselves to justify their lack of synergy with the madness mechanic (unlike goyf, which is too good not to run).

@Magic
Sure, I'll change the title. I just thought it was funny...:D

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

;19086791']Werebear and mongoose, while both awesome imo, don't have enough synergy with the deck to warrant their inclusion. One of the strengths of this deck is to play creatures as instants. Neither of the thresh creatures are good enough by themselves to justify their lack of synergy with the madness mechanic (unlike goyf, which is too good not to run).

@Magic
Sure, I'll change the title. I just thought it was funny...:D

Oh, don't misunderstand me I got the reference as soon as a read it and liked it. I only wanted the change to the title for symmetry with the others.
If you run Aether Vial, wouldn't it let you cast Wild Mongrel, Werebear, and Tarmogoyf at instant speed? Or is it not worth it?
I know this is hard to fit in, but Reckless Wurm makes 8x of the best creature in the deck. I've been trying to splash red into madness since that guy got printed without luck, anyone have ideas? Or is it not worth pursuing?
I know this is hard to fit in, but Reckless Wurm makes 8x of the best creature in the deck. I've been trying to splash red into madness since that guy got printed without luck, anyone have ideas? Or is it not worth pursuing?

Well, you could try R/G Madness with things like barbarian bully, gathan raiders, fiery temper, and violent eruption. It has been done in the past.

Although RUG Madness was successful to a degree in Vintage, they had access to bazaar, which makes up for the lack of madness outlets in red.

Honestly, I think that one of U/G's strength's is its manabase, and I wouldn't want to mess that up by adding red.

What do people think about adding wastelands?
-2 Forest
-2 Island
+4 Wastes

I'm used to running every aggro or aggro-control deck with some sort of mana denial, but that doesn't always seem the norm in Legacy.

I'm going to switch spell snare for daze, unless there are any objections. Reason is because the deck likes to spend mana and having free counterspells is good.

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

Wasteland has been an important part of Madness in Eternal formats. It helps you disprupt your opponent's tempo and I think that using it and Daze together has always made a lot of sense.
In testing I have had problems with Goyf-Sligh and Burn. I could not apply a fast enough clock or slow theirs enough to win. I rearranged my decklist based on this and now have the following list-

@Discworld
Madness can have problems with really fast, straight aggro, just like most aggro-control decks.

Jitte is a good inclusion to help with those matchups. They'll win goyf wars and gain you life against burn.

Why spellstuter sprite? Just for the disrupt effect?

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

During playtesting I found myself short of Force of Will-able pitch cards. The only available targets for it previously with Survival were Waterfront Bouncer and Wonder, so they are also useful to find with Survival for pitching to FoW. In addition, I found Basking Rootwalla underwhelming. It doesn't add to the clock like Nimble Mongoose does for Threshold and the fact that it's free quickly becomes irrelevant in the face of anything from Tarmogoyf to Mishra's Factory. Spellstutter still lets me play on their turn but counters Lightning Bolt, Chalice of the Void, etc. It also carries the Jitte well without dying on the ground. I was also considering adding 4 Mutavault in the place of two of each basic land to synergize with Spellstutter and also add a useful beater.
I'm interested in testing Spellstutters and I've always liked Circular Logic in this deck, but I'm not sure I see how these will help against fast decks. I mean, you're dropping potentially free cards (Daze and Rootwalla, which happens to be your only turn 1 creature) and adding cards that can't be cast until turns 2 or 3. Also, Relic has terrible synergy with Logic; why not stick with Crypt? And going with Mutavaults further destabilizes the mana-base, and more importantly means I'd have to spend too much cash on T2 chase rares...
True- I should drop Relic in favor of Crypt. Spellstutter helps against Burn because it is a creature AND counters Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, or something similar. Daze I found underwhelming because even with them playing around it their clock outstripped my own.
why not careful study?
why not careful study?

There isn't room in the deck. The card is typically outclassed by Brainstorm. I've heard of people running both, but I'm not sure where they found room.

It also isn't the greatest discard outlet since it is only one time and it can be sorta random which might make you dump cards you want in your hand in your graveyard.

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

In my meta, the decks to beat all run counter-top.


I've played UG Survival madness for a while, I've found that Trygon predator is a must have in the main. Just one so you can search for him is great.


Roar of the wurm has been surprisingly strong for me, even though it's cost is quite high. Hail Storm in my Sideboard has been a must also, since it really punishes goblins.


I've also been using a couple of Psionic Blast for reach/removal to good effect.


I've been toying around with a Cunning Wish board, so I can have more MD answers to certain decks, but haven't done enough testing to see if it's worth it.


I can't remember my list exactly from the last tournament I used it in, but my sidebaord was somethign like:


2*Energy Flux
3*Krosan Grip
2*Back to Basics
3*Hail Storm
2*Blue Elemental Blast
2*Trickbind
1*Trygon Predator


In my meta there is no Ichorid, and very little in the way of storm, but a couple of goblin decks floating around. Suicide Black and counter-top make up the majority of decks. The best suicid eblack deck being one that uses Helm of Obedience with Planar Void and Leyline of the Void in the MD, which can be rough to play against since they hose all the flashback right from the off.

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I've found that Trygon predator is a must have in the main.

At worst it's an efficient flyer and if your meta calls for it (like yours with lots of Counter-Top) it's a life saver.

Hmmm, new fetch for us


But Goblins gets a massive boost now, I think 3 Hail Storm should become a base minimum sideboard now.

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I've been testing this deck lately and I've found that Jitte absolutely wins games.  I've got 4 main board in my deck.  It's perfect in this deck, so I would advise it in the main board.


In my meta, the decks to beat all run counter-top.


I've played UG Survival madness for a while, I've found that Trygon predator is a must have in the main. Just one so you can search for him is great.


Roar of the wurm has been surprisingly strong for me, even though it's cost is quite high. Hail Storm in my Sideboard has been a must also, since it really punishes goblins.


I've also been using a couple of Psionic Blast for reach/removal to good effect.


I've been toying around with a Cunning Wish board, so I can have more MD answers to certain decks, but haven't done enough testing to see if it's worth it.


I can't remember my list exactly from the last tournament I used it in, but my sidebaord was somethign like:


2*Energy Flux
3*Krosan Grip
2*Back to Basics
3*Hail Storm
2*Blue Elemental Blast
2*Trickbind
1*Trygon Predator


In my meta there is no Ichorid, and very little in the way of storm, but a couple of goblin decks floating around. Suicide Black and counter-top make up the majority of decks. The best suicid eblack deck being one that uses Helm of Obedience with Planar Void and Leyline of the Void in the MD, which can be rough to play against since they hose all the flashback right from the off.




Why not run hurkly's recall instead of energy flux mana expense is less 1 effectiveness umm doubled...  Psionic Blast is an ehh I can see where it would be useful but is it worth what you lose mb?


 

This thread may or may not be dead in the water, but I thought I'd try and recessitate it because I want to try a build and there hasn't been much discussion of its viablity post M10/Zendikar Cycle or its favorable/unfavorable matchups.  My list is as follows:


Land:


5 Forest, 5 Island, 4 Misty Rainforest, 4 Tropical Island, 4 Wasteland


Creatures:


3 Arrogant Wurm, 3 Basking Rootwalla, 3 Spellstutter Sprite, 1 Squee, Goblin Nabob, 4 Tarmogoyf, 1 Waterfront Bouncer, 3 Wild Mongrel, 1 Wonder

Spells:

4 Brainstorm, 4 Daze, 4 Force of Will, 4 Survival of the Fittest, 3 Umezawa's Jitte

Sideboard:

2 Back to Basics, 1 Chalice of the Void, 1 Gilded Drake, 2 Hail Storm, 2 Hurkyl's Recall, 3 Krosan Grip, 1 Pithing Needle, 1 Tormod's Crypt, 1 Trinket Mage, 1 Trygon Predator

When putting this together I tried synthesizing the best of the ideas already here, and so far this is goldfishing really well.  I found that I really like the Sprites for an added boost to the counter suite, but without some Rootwalla presence it's hard sometimes to get the tempo going.  Going 3 all around with the Wurm, Rootwalla, Sprite, and Mongrel really makes it sing.  Daze is just so much better than Circular Logic, having to leave land open to counter something just isn't worth it unless you're using the Sprite.  And speaking of land, the new blue/green fetch from Zendikar just makes life grand, allowing the deck to run easy on 2-3 lands for a while and not worry about burning that Wasteland too soon.  I've never needed more than 4 lands to do everything this deck needs to do in any given turn, and that's just if I want to use Survival to cast the Wurm.

The sidebord was much trickier, and though I like the way this one works I'd be more than willing to accept some constructive criticism on it.  Back to Basics, Krosan Grip, and Trygon Predator go without saying, and Gilded Drake is a nice Goyf/Zoo/Sligh stop.  A well-timed Hurkyl's Recall just kills Affinity in a way that Energy Flux doesn't quite match, and it's cheap enough to not throw off your own tempo.  Hail Storm is quite efficient at stopping weenie hoards, though it's better suited for goblins and faries than merfolk, and if you're playing the madness trick right to force your opponent's creatures into combat mismatches then you shouldn't need more than 2 to smooth things out.  The rest comprise a singleton engine to deal with combos, Ichorid/dredge, and burn, using the Trinket Mage to ensure that you can grab any of the pieces and use them with relative immediacy.  This works reasonably well across the board; combo and Ichorid are self-explanitory, but something that a lot of people don't think about is that a Chalice for 2 pretty much shuts down Burn and RDW for good, and once it's in play there's little that red can do to stop it that can't be handled with your counter suite.

So far this seems solid, but again more perspective never hurts.

I think UG Madness is still viable, and actually, I have a feeling that if it catches on, it can actually make a splash in the new metagame.  It seems Tempo Thresh has fallen out of favor recently and I think that leaves a hole that Madness can fill really well.

Only maybe Merefolk can boast Madness' aggressiveness and control.

The only thing I don't like about your list is no actual draw engine.  I'd like to find room for 2 Deep Analysis.  One thing I really like is the sprites.  I haven't tested yet, but they definitely seem to be an added control element that is very needed.

I've just picked up some survivals so I'm going to sleeve up a goyfless version soon and see how it works.  If we're lucky it can be a viable (if maybe not optimal) goyfless UG deck.  If only because goyfs cost more than the manabase now...

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

Alright, a couple observations:

The goyfless deck can't beat Zoo.  Or, at least, I can't beat Zoo with the deck....
They seem to have too many answers and we don't have enough countermagic.  Their threats come down faster and are just usually better (1cc 3/3 > 2cc 2/2).  Their removal gets both our small guys and our big guys without much problem.  IF (that is a big if) this deck can survive the early onslaught, it will win with card advantage and flying 4/4s.  But getting to that spot is tough.

That is a huge downside, since Zoo is so prolific right now.  This also has really made me reconsider the worth of Deep Analysis

The deck also needs a lot of mana to function properly.  This is true for any Survival deck, hence why most of them run noble hierarch or birds of paradise and possibly more mana accelerants.  This causes the deck to run slightly different than it did when it was just 'moeba's and mongrels powering stuff out.  The deck can't really run on 3 land anymore, it needs at least 4 and usually more.  This has made me want to run more dig in the deck to find that land.  But I absolutely cannot find room.

I haven't been liking daze too much, which surprised me.  It isn't nearly as good here as it is in Tempo Thresh because there really isn't a whole lot of 1 mana plays.  So the loss of tempo really hurts.  And, as I mentioned before, the deck is really mana hungry, so losing a land drop is painful.  Spell snare might warrant some discussion.  What do you all think?

I also don't think the deck is viable (not even suboptimal) without goyfs.  They give the deck some much needed time to set up and add firepower against more aggressive decks.  However, with goyfs, I think the deck can actually be really good.

Part of me is tempted to drop the Survival and run 4 'moebas again...but only part of me.  (perhaps I'll try it in the goyfless version, which doesn't have time to set up survival)

More testing is needed, but (once again) I really do think that this deck can make a splash with the recent meta shift.

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

Alright, a couple observations:

The goyfless deck can't beat Zoo.  Or, at least, I can't beat Zoo with the deck....
They seem to have too many answers and we don't have enough countermagic.  Their threats come down faster and are just usually better (1cc 3/3 > 2cc 2/2).  Their removal gets both our small guys and our big guys without much problem.  IF (that is a big if) this deck can survive the early onslaught, it will win with card advantage and flying 4/4s.  But getting to that spot is tough.

That is a huge downside, since Zoo is so prolific right now.  This also has really made me reconsider the worth of Deep Analysis

The deck also needs a lot of mana to function properly.  This is true for any Survival deck, hence why most of them run noble hierarch or birds of paradise and possibly more mana accelerants.  This causes the deck to run slightly different than it did when it was just 'moeba's and mongrels powering stuff out.  The deck can't really run on 3 land anymore, it needs at least 4 and usually more.  This has made me want to run more dig in the deck to find that land.  But I absolutely cannot find room.

I haven't been liking daze too much, which surprised me.  It isn't nearly as good here as it is in Tempo Thresh because there really isn't a whole lot of 1 mana plays.  So the loss of tempo really hurts.  And, as I mentioned before, the deck is really mana hungry, so losing a land drop is painful.  Spell snare might warrant some discussion.  What do you all think?

I also don't think the deck is viable (not even suboptimal) without goyfs.  They give the deck some much needed time to set up and add firepower against more aggressive decks.  However, with goyfs, I think the deck can actually be really good.

Part of me is tempted to drop the Survival and run 4 'moebas again...but only part of me.  (perhaps I'll try it in the goyfless version, which doesn't have time to set up survival)

More testing is needed, but (once again) I really do think that this deck can make a splash with the recent meta shift.



Goyf and Survival are what make this deck work. Both are needed, and taking away one cripples the deck against the field. That doesn't mean that Goyf is infallable, as it's often one of the the first places I look to board out. But Survival definitely should never be touched.

Zoo is tough, but there are ways to manage the matchup. Spellstutter Sprites work great as de facto elimiation against Kird Ape and Wild Nacatl, as well as against StP and Bolt, plus it can chump block in a pinch. Wasteland helps a lot too in this matchup. Early Rootwallas and Mongrels can pump to kill whatever is coming at you, and your Goyfs will keep their Goyfs at bay as long as you're handling the board well. If you can keep it alive Waterfront Bouncer helps too, and if you can get a Jitte charged you're all set. Don't be afraid to counter some of those early creatures. Basically you have to play defense instead of offense in the early game aganst zoo. In game 2 a Chalice for 1 is your best friend.  Psionic Blast could potentially be a good sideboard option against zoo, but I don't know what I'd switch out for it.

Deep Analysis is too awkward in Legacy. It's been replaced in Legacy Madness by Survival of the Fittest. 4 Brainstorm on top of that is more than pleanty.

Daze is far better than Spell Snare because it can be cast for free, which is clutch for a deck that likes to tap out. The threat of Daze can even stall Zoo for a turn, and combined with Wasteland is very potent.

Honestly unless you get land-screwed you have a great chance against any deck you face, which is ultimately all you could reasonably ask for. Here's my rundown in matchups so far:

Zoo: Slightly Unfavorable. It's rough, but not as rough as Merfolk. I've already the strategy above. Bring in Krosan Grips to deal with the things you know they'll be bringing in from their sideboard. 

Merfolk: Unfavorable, but manageable Game 2. Don't even think about letting Aether Vial or Lord of Atlantis hit the table, they're definitely worth spending a FoW on. This is rough in Game 1 because of the potential for islandwalk, but if you can keep the aforementioned two at bay, wipe out their Mutavaults with Wasteland, and keep up with tempo you could feasibly squeek away with it. Game 2 gets better, side in Trygon Predator, Hail Storm, and your entire Trinket Mage package. A timely Hail Storm wins you the game, and a Pithing Needle on Aether Vial saves your life. Chalice for 1 (or two if you already have Survival in play) can slow them down too. Krosan Grip kills Aether Vial and whatever else they've brought in from their sideboard for you.  Between these and the Jitte you should have enough firepower to hold out.  Trygon Predator could be useful as well. 

Goblins: Kind of Unfavorable. Similar to Merfolk, but a little better because no islandwalk. Better than Zoo because Hail Storm can wipe them out. Same strategy as above, keep Aether Vial away and you'll be fine.

Combo of any sort: Highly favorable. Counterspell in hand = You win. You can board in the Trinket Mage package Game 2 to really pad your odds, but it probably isn't necessary. Tempo Thresh: Highly favorable. Wasteland + Faster Development + Quicker Recover + No way for them to remove Survival once in play = You win. The Trinket Mage package makes Game 2 a lock.

HexDepths: Highly favorable. Wasteland is best used on Urborg, Tomb of Yagmawth, as they'll never play Dark Depths until the Vampire Hexmage is on the board. If you counter the Hexmage they'll try to go the Tombstalker route, which can either be countered as well or sent away with the Waterfront bouncer. HexDepths is very slow and has nothing that can eliminate or keep up with Survival. Don't even bother using your sideboard in Game 2.

Stax: Favorable. Game 1 can be rough, but using Wasteland on the Tabernacle at Pendrall Vale and countering Smokestacks will go a long way for your comfort level. Waterfront Bouncer will help mangage the Magus of the Tabernacle, and Rootwallas can be great sacrificial lambs to buy some time if they get going early. In Game 2 sideboard in Hurkyl's Recall, Back to Basics, Krosan Grip, Trygon Predator, and the Trinket Mage package. Your opponent may well scoop.

CounterTop: Highly Favorable. Between Wasteland and your tempo they shouldn't stand a chance. They can't remove Survival once it's in play, and the madness mechanic puts your big bruisers out of the reach of Counterbalance. In Game 2 bring in the Trinket Mage package, Trygon Predator, and Krosan Grip to wrap things up.

Affinity: Favorable. They have the chance to catch you by surprise in Game 1 if you don't have a counterspell handy, but you shouldn't have too much trouble. In Game 2 bring in Hurkyl's Recall, Back to Basics, Krosan Grip, Trygon Predator and the Trinket Mage package, you'll be alright.

Edit:  I should probably list my new sideboard too, just so there's no confusion.

2 Back to Basics, 1 Chalice of the Void, 3 Hail Storm, 2 Hurkyl's Recall, 3 Krosan Grip, 1 Pithing Needle, 1 Trinket Mage, 1 Trygon Predator, 1 Tormod's Crypt
OmniMarconi67,

yeah, I agree with what you say.  It just took some actual testing to figure it out for me.  I really wanted to have a UG deck that could be playable without Goyfs, but, as usual, goyfs make the deck.

The deck has fundamentally changed from it's Extended days.  Which I think I will note in the OP.  Although the deck is still Aggro-Control, it plays less aggressive in the early game than in the past.  It really wants to lay down blockers like goyf and mongrel until it can get it's engine going.  Once the engine gets going though, it is a monster.  The deck can play aggressive fast when it needs to, but a slightly slower gameplan is probably going to serve us better.

Do you mind if I use your matchup analysis in the primer?  We are still lacking that piece.  I'll be sure to give you credit.  Although, I'm not sure I agree with your CounterTop MU.  TopAggro seems like it would be a pain because of Rhox War Monk.  And I think they run Pridemage now, so they can remove survival.  Although, this may be a matchup that we have to be more aggressive with.  Can you explain this MU a bit more?

The only thing keeping this deck from being a contender right now is the fact that is has slightly (or more) unfavorable matchups against Merefolk and Zoo.  Both of which are huge right now.

Thanks for the discussion OmniMarconi67

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/

Go right ahead with the primer.

There are a lot of variants with CounterTop.  The one above was slated towards the more traditional control type.  I've played HexDepths that used CounterTop and the Thopter Foundry combo before too, that one I definitely went to the sideboard for my Trinket Mage package and some Krosan Grips.  The TopAggro can still be thwarted with Pithing Needle and a Chalice for 1 or 2.  The same sideboard swaps work against all variants, some just give you more interesting matchups than others.


I'm thinking Propaganda might be in order for Zoo matchups, if it works for Stax (Ghostly Prison) there's no reason it can't work for us.  I'd definitely swap out Tormod's Crypt for one since Ichorid isn't really that big a threat, but I need to figure out how to get at least one more in the sideboard.  It'd have to come in for either a Hail Storm or a Krosan Grip, and arguments can be made for keeping both of those at 3.  I think it'd have to be Hail Storm, since that's there for weenie hoards and Propaganda works against those too.

New Sideboard:

2 Back to Basics, 1 Chalice of the Void, 2 Hail Storm, 2 Hurkyl's Recall, 3 Krosan Grip, 1 Pithing Needle, 2 Propaganda, 1 Trinket Mage, 1 Trygon Predator

A UGw Counter-Top Survival deck finished in the Top 16 at the most recent SCG Legacy 5K Open.
sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/di...

Any thoughts on taking this deck in a UG direction (possibly with Madness)?
A UGw Counter-Top Survival deck finished in the Top 16 at the most recent SCG Legacy 5K Open.
sales.starcitygames.com//deckdatabase/di...

Any thoughts on taking this deck in a UG direction (possibly with Madness)?

There's no room for madness in a deck like that, you'd have to gut either the CounterTop engine or the Survival engine, and at that point you'd have a deck that tried to do too much and not accomplish anything. Looking at the deck makes me think that this particular tournament was heavy in Merfolk, Zoo, and other CounterTop variants. Goblins, TempoThresh, better Survival builds, and perhaps even Affinity would have torn this apart, and I'm not convinced that Zoo with an average draw wouldn't have either. I'd be curious to see what it played against. Trying to build a madness deck with CounterTop would take away a lot of our strengths and give us more weaknesses.

It does have one good suggestion, though. Llawan, Cephalid Empress is a great option for Merfolk or anyone else relying on blue creatures (I'm not sure who though other than faeries). It could be worth putting one maindeck in lieu of a Jitte. That would have to be a meta-based decision.
I can't seem to focus on school work, even if finals are next week...so, here is a decklist:

"Budget" UG Madness

// Lands 20
4 Island
4 Tropical Island
3 Misty Rainforest
2 Forest
3 Flooded Strand
4 Wasteland

// Creatures 19
3 Aquamoeba
2 Waterfront Bouncer
4 Basking Rootwalla
3 Wonder
4 Wild Mongrel
3 Arrogant Wurm

// Spells 21
4 Brainstorm
4 Force of Will
3 Roar of the Wurm
4 Ponder
4 Daze
2 Deep Analysis

// Sideboard 15
SB: 4 Spell Pierce
SB: 4 Echoing Truth
SB: 4 Blue Elemental Blast
SB: 3 Krosan Grip

The survival madness list doesn't work without goyf.  If you take out goyf then you need mana accel, which the deck just doesn't have room for.  So, I've dropped both survival and goyf for the "budget" version (scare quotes because FoW and Duals are not budget).

I considered posting this in the regular forums because the deck plays differently than it's survival brethren.  Survival Madness is more controlling and can afford to be a bit slower (the goyfs come out early and are used more for defense while it sets up a fleet of flying wurms).  Non-survival madness wants a more aggressive game, more about taking an early advantage and going all out.  It doesn't have the inevitability of Survival-Madness, so it needs to try to play more explosively.

I don't necessarily have the most optimal, non-goyf, list, but I've had success with it against other aggro-control lists.

Roar is MVP, believe it or not.  Yeah, he dies to STP, but he usually trumps goyfs and he gets around counterbalance.

Fun to play, at the very least.

"There are some who call me...Tim?" Go Duke! I apologize for my lack of grammar, spelling, and coherence in my posts. Former Member: Team ABS

http://www.nogoblinsallowed.com/