[Developing Competitive] Vat/Lives decks

  • #1
    I didn't see a thread for this in the guide, so all Mimic Vat/Parallel Lives decks should go here. It seems really interesting to me, and I really would like it to work competitively. It seems that we need to go GW for Splicers and token creators that are creatures. A really interesting part here would be played by Doomed Traveler, so it is seemingly good for this.

    Okay, I just played a few games with this deck, and it is a BEAST. I will talk about it later, there were a few stars out of nowhere.

    Sample decklist:

    Eminem's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    4 Blade Splicer
    2 Master Splicer
    1 Precursor Golem
    3 Hero of Bladehold
    4 Doomed Traveler
    2 Geist-Honored Monk
    1 Myr Battlesphere
    2 Myr Propogator

    4 Mimic Vat
    4 Parallel Lives
    4 Beast Within
    2 Day of Judgment
    1 White Sun's Zenith



    Quote from qwertyman
    Searching for cards with "token" in the text that exist in Standard, we find a list of 84 cards. A number of these cards are unrelated to actual tokens, among them Phyrexian Ingester, who exiles a nontoken creature, and the living weapon cards, which generate extra 0/0 tokens (Read further @ http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=300595). I'm also removing Parallel Lives from the list.
    Removing them leaves us with 69 cards.

    Sorting them reveals:
    17 White
    2 Red
    5 Blue
    10 Black
    13 Green
    21 Colorless
    1 Land


    I'll review these cards, focusing on their usefulness and synergy with our overall strategy. My review won't be the best, as I often fail to consider the implications of these cards from certain angles, and I tend to emphasize their value in the context of Parallel Lives being active.

    Get your deckbuilding pants on, 'cause here's the full breakdown:




    Moorland Haunt - If anything called for Bant Lives, this'd be it. Tapping your friend colors makes anything that died (in a creature deck, btw) turn into two Flying 1/1's seems kinda good.


    Beast Within - Fine and dandy if we're planning on using it on our own guys and stuff, no difference using it on theirs. Lives only doubles stuff that comes in under our control.

    Carrion Call - Not that great of a card, mostly because Infect doesn't need lots of 1/1's that come out on turn four or later. I think there are better options in 99.99% of decks.

    Fresh Meat - Pretty ridiculous in Fresh Meat.dek, and not too shabby here. For the sake of imagination, consider Precursor Golem and his four buddies dying to a Doom Blade, only to be met by 10 3/3's. Black Sun's Zenith for three next turn, only to be met with a second Fresh Meat and 20 3/3's. Since it's important to board-wipe against a creature spamming deck, having the ultimate anti-board wipe that actually fits with the color and theme seems just stupid-good.

    Garruk Relentless - He becomes much more threatening making either two 2/2's or two deathtouch 1/1's. He's alright by himself, so I have no problem with the idea of including him.

    Garruk, Primal Hunter - Just like the previous Garruk, much more threatening. His Ultimate becomes even more back breaking, but we shouldn't necessarily rely on that. It was pretty much just as back breaking before, you know.

    Gutter Grime - Ultimate kitchen table enchantment theme hijinks here, but nothing more threatening or meaningful that regular Gutter Grime in my opinion.

    Mayor of Avabruck - Solid 2/2, leans towards a Wolf (not necessarily Werewolf, mind you) subtheme, and good pressure overall. Even in constructed, we all feel the pressure to play spells every turn. Not the best we could hope for, but fitting the theme and could fill out a mana curve.

    Jade Mage - Well, unused mana is going to be mean if the opponent can't deal with her. This has potential to stomp control matches, I guess... but you need protection from board sweepers. Kinda meh.

    Kessig Cagebreakers - I mean, he kills people dead. The Green Hero of Bladehold is pretty awesome if we expect tons of our creatures to die and our deck to get milled, but I can't really tell. That extra mana he costs could do him in. Maybe if we're not playing White and we still want Bladehold really bad.

    Maul Splicer - Well, it's a finisher on par with Pentavus and Myr Battlesphere. Gets a little silly with Mimic Vat, I think. You'd get two Splicers, each generating four tokens, for a total of eight 3/3's and two 1/1's.

    Phyrexian Swarmlord - More Infect hijinks, more kitchen table masterpieces.

    Spider Spawning - Some decks (Deathfed event deck) would love double the Spiders. The flashback of Black makes this a tempting card for B/Lives, and it could seriously be great, but it leans towards the fun side. A one-of might be ridiculous.

    Vital Splicer - The Splicers are generally good here, and Vital can threaten regeneration on fields full of golems. By the way, with Precursor Golem up, you still need to pay G for each golem. Thank you to Mortal Coil for the ruling notice. The flavor text is also ideal for this deck, and begs inclusion: "For every one that falls, ten shall rise..."


    Chancellor of the Forge - He'll never make more than one to start, but his ETB effect will triple your creature count. Mimic Vat'ing him with nothing else on your field would result in 10 creatures. Every additional creature you controlled before that results in four additional 1/1's. If you controlled four creatures before, you would end up with 30 creatures (24 1/1's) after.

    Kuldotha Rebirth - I hear this was a good deck once. I have no idea about its implications here, I haven't considered it thoroughly.


    Back from the Brink - So convoluted, so mana intensive... a straightforward strategy, or a Mimic Vat strategy, seems better. It works like this: For six mana, you gain an ability (with a bullseye planted on its chest) that lets you re-cast dead creatures, possibly in doubles. So mana intensive...

    Cackling Counterpart - Blue mana intensive, but could triple a creature you control. Can be flashed back for tons of mana. It's also on instant speed, and so leaving a mana selection of UUG open on the opponent's turn and tripling your creature on their end step could be absolutely back-breaking. Worth hearty consideration.

    Stitcher's Apprentice - Lulz, he can finally make guys that live. I doubt he's on par with our other guys at the same mana cost, and he doesn't seem that explosively aggressive like some others.

    Undead Alchemist - Mill gets mean, but this guy seems kinda meh overall. Except in kitchen table realms, I don't really like him.

    Wing Splicer - Now they fly, and there's a bunch of them. It could be good, but it's fighting with all the other Splicers. Tons of aggro potential nonetheless.


    Army of the Damned - I mean, sweet jesus....

    Bloodline Keeper - A powerhouse, a monster. If he's making two at a time (at instant speed), he can transform on the third turn you have him out, factoring in summoning sickness. If you pay 2BB for his Mimic Vat cost, then tap both of him for Vampires, you'd be paying 2BB for four Flying 2/2's that stick around. Next turn, you could pay 2BBBB (cost + transform both of them) to have six Flying 4/4's swinging. Also, Intangible Virtue makes this guy good. A bit heavy on the Black mana.

    Cemetery Reaper - There's got to be a good Zombie subtheme going on here, or in the kitchen. Yes, he makes tons of Zombies, he pumps tons of Zombies, he hits their graveyard. Yours too. Heavy on the mana.

    Endless Ranks of the Dead - What did I tell you? Big Zombie subtheme, endless kitchen table shenanigans.

    Grave Titan - There's a bomb. Not too many have missed out on his potential in here, this guy's loaded.

    Moan of the Unhallowed - More Zombies, but actually not too shabby. Up to four 2/2's for 2BB, flashing back later. Better options, though, especially when Mimic Vat says hi creatures.

    Nested Ghoul - More kitchen Zombies, not competitive, but fun like nobody's business.

    Parasitic Implant - Much better removal out there. I could Doom Blade something and then generate twice as many tokens for about that much mana.

    Skirsdag High Priest - Tempting effect with Lives up, too demanding conditions. Too bad, he could see some play here. We've even got the creatures to tap and the creatures to die for him. Vigilance would even make him playable.

    Zombie Infestation - More Zombie subtheme, more enchantment subtheme, actually kinda sometimes worth it, but still not competitively playable without significant help and effort.


    Blade Splicer - The easiest to cast of the Splicers, and with a good effect. Very easy to justify inclusion here.

    Doomed Traveler - Funny dude, funny interaction with Mimic Vat. No, he doesn't make tokens when Vat kills him, but if THEY kill him (and maybe his duplicate with Lives) then you get two (or four) 1/1 Fliers that don't die. In other words, this dude's getting in. Giving him a sword sounds kinda good. He's good in general, too, so not a bad option.

    Elspeth Tirel - Not a bad planeswalker, even better with Lives. We're going to have tons of creatures, so her +2 is great all by itself. Her Ultimate doesn't feel bad if our tokens include bombs and 3/3's. Great card, pretty possible inclusion.

    Geist-Honored Monk - Absurd with both Lives and Mimic Vat, probably good in general. In that case, and with no other creatures out, you'd get two 10/10's with Haste that left behind eight 1/1 Fliers for free. Might not beat out Hero of Bladehold as a bomb option, but nasty nonetheless.

    Hero of Bladehold - Always powerful, absurd with extra 2/1 tokens attacking, absolutely dumb with Vat and Lives. Vat and Lives means that 2WW = 32 power with nothing else on board. Easy bomb contender.

    Intangible Virtue - Seems powerful in here. I would not be surprised to see Virtue as a distinguishing feature (White Lives with Virtue vs. White Lives without Virtue) at some point. Up for consideration.

    Kemba, Kha Regent - Wait what? I mean, it's reasonably costed, but not really helpful to the deck. No equipment love here.

    Master Splicer - Makes our tons of dudes bigger. Could be great, could be average. He's competing with the other splicers, remember.

    Master's Call - Good in our deck I guess, but almost entirely inferior to Midnight Haunting.

    Mausoleum Guard - Bigger, meaner Doomed Traveler. Same fun interaction with Vat and pressure-attacking, at four times the mana cost and twice the impact. With Traveler and other bombs floating around, he's unlikely to see play, but could be cool nonetheless.

    Midnight Haunting - Could be extremely powerful. This in the end step, Lives, and Intangible Virtue up make for eight points of flying power. We'll see.

    Myrsmith - Enchantment support and artifact support in a tight and high-mana deck does not a Myrsmith-friendly deck make. But I guess it's okay.

    Phyrexian Rebirth - Interesting effect, but even with doubled X/X's, Day might be better. Could help us justify such an effect against the Hexproof swarming decks out there, as we might end up with two 10/10's or something after a Day.

    Roc Egg - Nothing more than a stall card for ground troops. Even though it tends to discourage bigger land things from attacking, I'm not sure it would really do anything. Taking everything into consideration, Spellskite might be better in its slot.

    Sensor Splicer - Heavy on the mana, and only granting Vigilance? Seems like this guy will lose out to the other Splicers to me, especially if we were already running white and could justify Intangible Virtue for ALL of our tokens if that's what we were running.

    Timely Reinforcements - Could totally work against faster ground-based aggro. Definitely sideboard consideration.

    White Sun's Zenith - I feel like there are better options for finishers. Seven mana and a Lives up would mean eight 2/2's. Seven mana and a Lives up could mean 26 2/2's on another card I know of. If we're sticking to White, I don't think we need this.


    Cellar Door - Cool, and cute. Unlikely to be playable, but cool. Loads the graveyard as a side consideration. Perfect for kitchen table Zombies.

    Conversion Chamber - Okay, I'll have to make a note here. I'm not going to seriously consider any of the Golem-producing artifacts, as I feel that all of them are clunky. I wish I had been lazy enough to never mention them, but alas, I was not. ALL OF THEM ARE GREAT FOR KITCHEN TABLE GOLEM THEME.dek. None are competitive.

    Druidic Satchel - I feel like could do so much more with our mana at any given time. Mimic Vat is already a mana sink and a vulnerable permanent, so I doubt the Satchel is going to do enough. 

    Golem Foundry - Golem card, read above.

    Mimic Vat - Usually powerful enough to be considered for standard level play anyway, ridiculous in our deck. Awesome with Splicers (who leave their Golems behind), absurd with Lives (3 mana for two Blade Splicers and four 3/3 Golems every turn). Obviously worthy of inclusion in most cases.

    Mirrorworks - This would have been a cute card if it didn't care about nontoken artifacts entering the battlefield. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

    Myr Battlesphere - Good bomb, even more power than Hero of Bladehold if it comes off of Mimic Vat and Lives (get two Battlespheres, each gives you eight 1/1's that stick around, swing with the Haste'd Battlespheres, tapping eight tokens each = two 12/7's swinging, burning for 16 when they swing). 

    Myr Propagator - Well, you're going to have tons of ground troops if you have the mana to support them. However, I doubt we'll ever need this quality of a mana sink. I'd rather be spending my mana casting bombs or something. This guy might (might, I say) be a little better than Jade Mage. 

    Myr Sire - As a two-drop, I'm iffy about this guy. Doomed Traveler is better in every way except in that we're obligated to play a decent number of white lands. Well, and there's the next card in the list....

    Myr Turbine - In terms of token production, this is nearly the ultimate in ground defense (not considering "the best defense is a good offense" sorta stuff). Up to two free 1/1's every turn, at instant speed. The second ability might not matter much... unless we were running other Myrs and a Myr Battlesphere to tutor for. Probably not worth it, but this card actually shows a hint of promise.

    Origin Spellbomb - We're short on one-drops sometimes, and this isn't a bad card. To benefit from it, we'd need white mana, but it's not awful, especially if it's making two 1/1's and drawing a card for three mana.

    Pentavus - This dude bursts into tears every time he enters the battlefield, and every time he activates his abilities. Why? Because he wishes Parallel Lives was Doubling Season. Anyway, he's a bomb, but not nearly as good as our others. He just doesn't pack enough punch. 

    Precursor Golem - The most fickle of our bombs, and not too shabby on power. Coming off Vat + Lives, he'll bring in six points of power and leave 24 behind, without his drawback of target-radiation. However, we must consider that our splicers are producing their own Golems, so don't think that he'll only be taking his own guys with him if he radiates destruction. Very dangerous to play, and other bombs might actually do more damage.

    Prototype Portal - On the surface, this has the potential to be another Mimic Vat. On a thin, plastic surface with holes torn in it and bloodstains on it. This takes more mana in every way, requires you to immediately have and give up from your hand what you intended to make tokens of, never allows you to switch, never allows you to use your opponents' dudes, and never lets you get back to the grave the previously exiled dude. Not much of a chance, although there are a few circumstances where it's better than Vat - for dudes with mana costs close to 0, and if you want to be making dudes without waiting for dudes to die.

    Shrine of Loyal Legions - I won't deny that this card becomes significantly scarier if it's making nearly 12-14 1/1's, and it could make more than that if we're playing plenty of white in the deck. Shrine can let you come back a bit from a Day of Judgment or other sweeper, and can make threats from the sidelines that alter your opponents' moves. 1/1's might not mean as much as some other options, but I'm not entirely willing to discredit it.

    Sword of Body and Mind - Well, it does give protection from Blue, which is interesting, and it does make Wolf tokens, if there're some Mayor of Avabrucks in your deck. You never know about those swords. Anyway, I'm not sure Swords are the way to go in our deck, but I could be wrong.

    Thopter Assembly - Another bomb, and it flies. 10 Flying 1/1's should not be discredited either, but this won't do anything off of Vat/Lives to speak of. Better bombs out there.

    Throne of Empires - If you've got mana sitting around and you're not running Myrs, this could actually be a tiny bit better than Myr Turbine. Well, hardly. Anyway, poor Throne won't be seeing any play here. Don't worry, your day will come.

    Titan Forge - Golem card, read above.

    Trigon of Infestation - Kinda like a bad Throne of Empires that makes Infect dudes. I think we covered this earlier, and it belongs in the Kitchen.

    Wurmcoil Engine - I've been waiting quite a while to discuss this guy. This, in my opinion, is a very good bomb for our deck. Lifelink should not be discredited, four 3/3 tokens should not be discredited, and 6/6 Lifelink Haste (or two of them) coming off of the Vat should not be discredited, especially when you can't reasonably kill those 6/6 Lifelink Haste guys without them splitting into things that don't go away at the end of the turn - or doubling into said things. I love this dude, even though his aggressive power is actually a lot less than some other bomb options we have.


    From each color, the best of the best:






    This is all my opinion, mind you. I left in some cards that were borderline, I left out some cards that were borderline. Perhaps I got some cards entirely wrong. That's up to the community to decide.

    Anyway, what does this leave us with for core strategy options?

    - We must always run Green for Lives. Is it possible to go mono-green? Probably possible, yes, but maybe not desirable.

    - Is G/W possible? Most definitely, as white has one of the best bombs (if not the best bomb) for our deck, Hero of Bladehold. White also gives us a token-theme card (maybe we don't care much), the best of the Splicers, a good one-drop, a potential sidedeck option for fast aggro decks, and access to the full effects of at least two artifacts.

    - Is G/B possible? Yes actually, thanks to Grave Titan and its removal suite at least. Don't immediately discredit Cemetery Reaper or Bloodline Keeper at first glance, either.

    - What about G/U or G/R? If you want to try, fine by me. However, you'll be relying on Green cards, artifacts, and Blue's Cackling Counterpart for token-building.

    - Finally, the three-color options. More than one person has thought about G/W/U, an interesting but clunky option, especially if we're tapping UU and WW for the two best cards in those colors, Hero of Bladehold and Cackling Counterpart. I have not considered other three color options, and I'm sure others will consider them. For me, playing unsteady-but-powerful things like Parallel Lives is already enough of a stretch to justify stabilizing the manabase.



    I hope my work so far will excite deck discussion! Have fun!

    (p.s. - The best way to start discussing would be to criticize my opinions and findings, while also posting your decklists)



    [CARD]Birthing Pod
    Birds of Paradise[/CARD]

    Blue Splash for:


    With blue, I think Venser is testable as a 1-or-2 of.

    Stars:
    Hero of Bladehold (duh)
    Pentavus/Myr Battlesphere (we have some REALLY nice finishers!)
    White Sun's Zenith (played for 3 tokens then copied them, and drew it next turn!)
    Beast Within
    Doomed Traveler (wrecks early aggro)

    And for control:
    …Myr Propogator! Seems terrible, but when you get a Lives, it's amazing.

    Why would you hold your token cards in your hand? That's what Mimic Vat is for.

    Budget discussion is for the budget forums, not here. Thank you.

    EDIT: Just realized how powerful this is with splicers…Mimic Vat a Blade Splicer. Put another copy token onto the battlefield. Then put 4 Golems into play. 14 power for 3, just think of Precursor Golem. Also happy with either a Vat or Lives out for Hero of Bladehold.
    Last edited by Eminem: 11/25/2011 6:58:06 AM
    ]

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    Stanard:

    WR Grenadier

    WW White Grenadier WW

    Legacy:

    BG 1EverythingGB

    Casual:

    R AllOutAggro R (49-3)


    Quote from apocalypse31
    The second is guaranteed as a T1 deck that is really good, plus its' mana is better. I would choose #2. However, Eminem is correct, comes down to preference. Eminem was not correct, however, for tying Rihanna to the bed and setting the house on fire.
  • #2
    Seems interesting but the problem is that you need to hold your creatures in your hand before you can start playing them and that gives time for Aggro players to chunk you, control players to establish and combo players to finish you off :p

    What would you do as an early game plan?

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  • #3
    Just a few cards I thought of:
    Elspeth Tirel would put 6 1/1 soldiers.
    Master's Call would create 4 1/1 Myr at 3 mana, instant speed!


    With the aid of the new duals coming I believe a third color can be added without losing much consistency. The thought of Cackling Counterpart copying a Precursor Golem cracks me up.
    Turn 4: Parallel Lives
    Turn 5: Precursor Golem, along with 4 other vanilla Golems.
    Turn 6: Cackling Counterpart. Forks the effect to the other 4 vanilla Golems, bringing in 2 Precursor Golem (due to Parallel Lives) and ... okay I suck at maths. All I know is your opponent scoops if he can't find a removal.
    Last edited by sucreality: 9/24/2011 6:57:50 AM


    Thanks to Heroes of the Planes Studios for the awesome sig!
  • #4
    doomed traveler wouldn't leave behind a token if you just vat it onto the field as it never dies on it's own.
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  • #6
    I know, but it still has synergy with Parallel Lives.
    ]

    Sig by Miraculous Recovery Signatures, avvie by Hakai Studios. Thanks!

    Stanard:

    WR Grenadier

    WW White Grenadier WW

    Legacy:

    BG 1EverythingGB

    Casual:

    R AllOutAggro R (49-3)


    Quote from apocalypse31
    The second is guaranteed as a T1 deck that is really good, plus its' mana is better. I would choose #2. However, Eminem is correct, comes down to preference. Eminem was not correct, however, for tying Rihanna to the bed and setting the house on fire.
  • #7
    My question for this, it looks like an interesting deck. Does the 2nd token made with Vat still get exiled at the end? It probably does, but I'm just curious.
    Inferno Titan+Onyx Mage= I would let you keep those creatures Buuuuuuut no.
  • #8
    It would indeed get exiled at the end, assuming you dont just Sundial of the infinite at EOT, keeping him forever.
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  • #9
    My question for this, it looks like an interesting deck. Does the 2nd token made with Vat still get exiled at the end? It probably does, but I'm just curious.


    I'm pretty sure the Parallel Lives token would stay regardless of Sundial. If you read Mimic Vay closely, it specifically states the token that it brought into play is exiled. However, the second token wasn't brought into play via the Vat specifically.

    I'm curious, I'll post a thread over in the rules forums.

    Okay, I checked. Neither token would survive indefinitely. They'd both die at the next end step, the next end step being whichever end step they reach next. So Sundial would only save them until your opponent's end step, at which point they would be exiled.

    Edit again: Nevermind, the thread is proving inconclusive. I'm going to wait to pass judgment until someone posts an actual rules clause.
    Last edited by Gweivyth: 9/30/2011 1:45:58 AM
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  • #10
    Technically, the second token was brought into play by Mimic Vat. Parallel Lives creates a replacement effect such that any time Mimic Vat gives you a token, it gives you two tokens instead. Now, if Parallel Lives said you put a COPY of the token into play, that would be completely different. The second token would only have the printed attributes of the original, and wouldn't gain Haste or the exile clause.

    More on topic, this deck looks like a lot of fun. I don't know that it's terribly competitive, but, hey, that's never stopped me before.
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  • #11
    I feel compelled to point out that under a Vat with Parallel Lives out, Geist-Honored Monk attacks for at least 20 a turn, whilst also leaving behind 8 1/1 fliers.
  • #12
    Yeah I believe the fact that Parallel Lives sets up a replacement effect means that you get two hasty, soon-to-be-exiled creatures tokens from your Mimic Vat.

    This however does provide another outlet for Sundial being good, in addition to Geist of Saint Traft. Perhaps that might be worth exploring after all...

    Edit: guy above me, that's silly. I love it.
  • #13
    You could add Birthing Pod to that deck, so you can search for certain creatures and put others into your graveyard to use them with Mimic Vat.
    I Love the Idea!

    And since you probably start relatively slow you could add Timely Reinforcements.
  • #14
    In a similar vein, while you don't get blockers, Hero of Bladehold attacks for 32 in a turn, in a much harder to deal with form (two 4/4 and eight 3/1s, thanks to double battlecry triggers) from under a Vat with Parallel Lives on the board.

    I must say, the maths is very attractive, and you would think that everything in the deck should work well with either Mimic Vat or Parallel Lives - the above discussion with both in play is certainly more wishful thinking than absolutely necessary. This means that card draw or tutors are not necessary; I'm just not sure what the deck should be doing in the early turns, before either is down.
  • #15
    Quote from phuture2k
    Seems interesting but the problem is that you need to hold your creatures in your hand before you can start playing them and that gives time for Aggro players to chunk you, control players to establish and combo players to finish you off :p

    What would you do as an early game plan?


    Could always run blue for counters/bounce... then you could run Cackling Counterpart or Back From The Brink . Seems a little less fragile than Mimic Vat actually.
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  • #16
    It seems like this obviously wants to run green (Parallel Lives) and almost certainly white (the best token generators away from artifacts - some combination of Hero of Bladehold, Master and Blade Splicer, Timely Reinforcements and Geist-Honored Monk). It's honestly been so long since I tried a manabase without fetchlands, I've forgotten how plausible a 3-color manabase is not using them. Hinterland Harbor will certainly help.

    I like Cackling Counterpart - especially as it can be used on a Mimic Vat token to get back a permanent copy of the creature in question. Back from the Brink seems like it wants to be used to cast creatures out of your graveyard after milling yourself. I'm also wary of it costing six, and not doing anything until at least the turn afterwards, and almost certainly not doing any damage to the opponent until the turn after that.

    EDIT: An alternative approach would be to spend our early turns ramping into the Mimic Vat or Parallel Lives, using BoP/Avacyn's Pilgrim/etc.
    Last edited by area: 9/30/2011 10:50:36 AM
  • #17
    If you're going to purely use tokens for your deck, might I suggest Intangible Virtue so all of your creature tokens get +1/+1 and vigilance. It's better than Tempered Steel with your Splicers and you can replace Sensor Splicers with Vital Splicers. I would also get rid of the Precursor Golems since 1 Doomblade pretty much brings out a Day of Judgement effect on all of your golems, unless you decide to sideboard Asceticism.
  • #18
    Not using Mimic Vat, but I am using parallel lives

    Deck:

    Etemal's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    3 hinterland harbor
    3 glacial fortress
    4 moorland haunt
    2 seachrome coast
    2 island
    3 forest
    2 gavony township
    4 plains

    4 Birds of paradise
    1 Solemn Simulacrum
    2 Spellskite
    2 Phantasmal Image
    1 Sun Titan
    4 Geist of Saint Traft
    4 doomed traveller

    4 parallel lives
    2 oblivion rings
    2 cackling counterparts
    3 midnight hauntings
    3 mana leak
    2 elspeth tirel
    3 garruk relentless



    I need to redo the manabase and I need to get fetch/draw cards. Anyone have any idea what's not needed?

    How I see this deck:

    Turn 1: Forest+Birds
    Turn 2: Land+ saint
    Turn3: Land + parallel. Swing with Saint and make two 4/4 angels

    Garruk is in there for fetch and to kill my doomed travelers and also provide an overrun. Wolf tokens with deathtouch are also fun to block with. Oblivion Ring, Mana leak, for counter. mid night hauntings- 4 1/1 fliers when parallel is on the field. sun titan- recycle cards, spellskite- blocker, solemn- fetch/draw.
  • #19
    Back from a month of this thread being inactive. I really doubt it's qualified as necroing though.

    Thoughts: Birthing Pod does seem like it wants to be in here, I'll see if it works, especially along with a singleton Back From the Brink, which seems fine in conjunction with both. Blue really seems interesting with Cackling Counterpart. Geist-Honored Monk is fine over Pentavus.
    ]

    Sig by Miraculous Recovery Signatures, avvie by Hakai Studios. Thanks!

    Stanard:

    WR Grenadier

    WW White Grenadier WW

    Legacy:

    BG 1EverythingGB

    Casual:

    R AllOutAggro R (49-3)


    Quote from apocalypse31
    The second is guaranteed as a T1 deck that is really good, plus its' mana is better. I would choose #2. However, Eminem is correct, comes down to preference. Eminem was not correct, however, for tying Rihanna to the bed and setting the house on fire.
  • #20
    Early game answers is definitely what you need. 4 Day's, easy. However, backup for when your opponent sLaughters your Vat. Maybe tuck some Bruied Ruin's in there or Turn Aside. Just some thoughts. And I wouldn't go with Precursor, he is so fun, but fickle.
    Fighting the Nightman, since 1988.

    MTGS egos at their finest.
    Thoughts on proxies:

    Quote from Shady Wolf

    My focus is on playing, and not how much my opponents and I earn.
  • #21
    I would definitely consider acidic slime, repeatable land destruction is great, and 3, T: double stone rain seems pretty good.
  • #22
    Quote from JdPhoenix13
    I would definitely consider acidic slime, repeatable land destruction is great, and 3, T: double stone rain seems pretty good.


    Yeah, but I try to avoid cards that work only well with on card.

    Quote from apocalypse31
    Early game answers is definitely what you need. 4 Day's, easy. However, backup for when your opponent sLaughters your Vat. Maybe tuck some Bruied Ruin's in there or Turn Aside. Just some thoughts. And I wouldn't go with Precursor, he is so fun, but fickle.


    I know he is fickle, but the synergy with Mimic Vat! What would you run then, more Geist-Honored Monk? Say cut 3 for +1 monk and +2 DoJ?

    EDIT: I might splash blue just to have Mana Leaks in my 75.
    Last edited by Eminem: 11/11/2011 11:43:56 AM
    ]

    Sig by Miraculous Recovery Signatures, avvie by Hakai Studios. Thanks!

    Stanard:

    WR Grenadier

    WW White Grenadier WW

    Legacy:

    BG 1EverythingGB

    Casual:

    R AllOutAggro R (49-3)


    Quote from apocalypse31
    The second is guaranteed as a T1 deck that is really good, plus its' mana is better. I would choose #2. However, Eminem is correct, comes down to preference. Eminem was not correct, however, for tying Rihanna to the bed and setting the house on fire.
  • #23
    Guys, I have an idea.

    How about Mayor of Avrabruck? It's strong by itself, interacts nicely with Blade Splicer and some other cards. Also, the body it provides works great with Parallel Lives, also I think? you can EOT use mayor off a vat and keep it for your upkeep. Not sure.
    ]

    Sig by Miraculous Recovery Signatures, avvie by Hakai Studios. Thanks!

    Stanard:

    WR Grenadier

    WW White Grenadier WW

    Legacy:

    BG 1EverythingGB

    Casual:

    R AllOutAggro R (49-3)


    Quote from apocalypse31
    The second is guaranteed as a T1 deck that is really good, plus its' mana is better. I would choose #2. However, Eminem is correct, comes down to preference. Eminem was not correct, however, for tying Rihanna to the bed and setting the house on fire.
  • #24
    Searching for cards with "token" in the text that exist in Standard, we find a list of 84 cards. A number of these cards are unrelated to actual tokens, among them Phyrexian Ingester, who exiles a nontoken creature, and the living weapon cards, which generate extra 0/0 tokens (Read further @ http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=300595). I'm also removing Parallel Lives from the list.
    Removing them leaves us with 69 cards.

    Sorting them reveals:
    17 White
    2 Red
    5 Blue
    10 Black
    13 Green
    21 Colorless
    1 Land


    I'll review these cards, focusing on their usefulness and synergy with our overall strategy. My review won't be the best, as I often fail to consider the implications of these cards from certain angles, and I tend to emphasize their value in the context of Parallel Lives being active.

    Get your deckbuilding pants on, 'cause here's the full breakdown:




    Moorland Haunt - If anything called for Bant Lives, this'd be it. Tapping your friend colors makes anything that died (in a creature deck, btw) turn into two Flying 1/1's seems kinda good.


    Beast Within - Fine and dandy if we're planning on using it on our own guys and stuff, no difference using it on theirs. Lives only doubles stuff that comes in under our control.

    Carrion Call - Not that great of a card, mostly because Infect doesn't need lots of 1/1's that come out on turn four or later. I think there are better options in 99.99% of decks.

    Fresh Meat - Pretty ridiculous in Fresh Meat.dek, and not too shabby here. For the sake of imagination, consider Precursor Golem and his four buddies dying to a Doom Blade, only to be met by 10 3/3's. Black Sun's Zenith for three next turn, only to be met with a second Fresh Meat and 20 3/3's. Since it's important to board-wipe against a creature spamming deck, having the ultimate anti-board wipe that actually fits with the color and theme seems just stupid-good.

    Garruk Relentless - He becomes much more threatening making either two 2/2's or two deathtouch 1/1's. He's alright by himself, so I have no problem with the idea of including him.

    Garruk, Primal Hunter - Just like the previous Garruk, much more threatening. His Ultimate becomes even more back breaking, but we shouldn't necessarily rely on that. It was pretty much just as back breaking before, you know.

    Gutter Grime - Ultimate kitchen table enchantment theme hijinks here, but nothing more threatening or meaningful that regular Gutter Grime in my opinion.

    Mayor of Avabruck - Solid 2/2, leans towards a Wolf (not necessarily Werewolf, mind you) subtheme, and good pressure overall. Even in constructed, we all feel the pressure to play spells every turn. Not the best we could hope for, but fitting the theme and could fill out a mana curve.

    Jade Mage - Well, unused mana is going to be mean if the opponent can't deal with her. This has potential to stomp control matches, I guess... but you need protection from board sweepers. Kinda meh.

    Kessig Cagebreakers - I mean, he kills people dead. The Green Hero of Bladehold is pretty awesome if we expect tons of our creatures to die and our deck to get milled, but I can't really tell. That extra mana he costs could do him in. Maybe if we're not playing White and we still want Bladehold really bad.

    Maul Splicer - Well, it's a finisher on par with Pentavus and Myr Battlesphere. Gets a little silly with Mimic Vat, I think. You'd get two Splicers, each generating four tokens, for a total of eight 3/3's and two 1/1's.

    Phyrexian Swarmlord - More Infect hijinks, more kitchen table masterpieces.

    Spider Spawning - Some decks (Deathfed event deck) would love double the Spiders. The flashback of Black makes this a tempting card for B/Lives, and it could seriously be great, but it leans towards the fun side. A one-of might be ridiculous.

    Vital Splicer - The Splicers are generally good here, and Vital can threaten regeneration on fields full of golems. By the way, with Precursor Golem up, you still need to pay G for each golem. Thank you to Mortal Coil for the ruling notice. The flavor text is also ideal for this deck, and begs inclusion: "For every one that falls, ten shall rise..."


    Chancellor of the Forge - He'll never make more than one to start, but his ETB effect will triple your creature count. Mimic Vat'ing him with nothing else on your field would result in 10 creatures. Every additional creature you controlled before that results in four additional 1/1's. If you controlled four creatures before, you would end up with 30 creatures (24 1/1's) after.

    Kuldotha Rebirth - I hear this was a good deck once. I have no idea about its implications here, I haven't considered it thoroughly.


    Back from the Brink - So convoluted, so mana intensive... a straightforward strategy, or a Mimic Vat strategy, seems better. It works like this: For six mana, you gain an ability (with a bullseye planted on its chest) that lets you re-cast dead creatures, possibly in doubles. So mana intensive...

    Cackling Counterpart - Blue mana intensive, but could triple a creature you control. Can be flashed back for tons of mana. It's also on instant speed, and so leaving a mana selection of UUG open on the opponent's turn and tripling your creature on their end step could be absolutely back-breaking. Worth hearty consideration.

    Stitcher's Apprentice - Lulz, he can finally make guys that live. I doubt he's on par with our other guys at the same mana cost, and he doesn't seem that explosively aggressive like some others.

    Undead Alchemist - Mill gets mean, but this guy seems kinda meh overall. Except in kitchen table realms, I don't really like him.

    Wing Splicer - Now they fly, and there's a bunch of them. It could be good, but it's fighting with all the other Splicers. Tons of aggro potential nonetheless.


    Army of the Damned - I mean, sweet jesus....

    Bloodline Keeper - A powerhouse, a monster. If he's making two at a time (at instant speed), he can transform on the third turn you have him out, factoring in summoning sickness. If you pay 2BB for his Mimic Vat cost, then tap both of him for Vampires, you'd be paying 2BB for four Flying 2/2's that stick around. Next turn, you could pay 2BBBB (cost + transform both of them) to have six Flying 4/4's swinging. Also, Intangible Virtue makes this guy good. A bit heavy on the Black mana.

    Cemetery Reaper - There's got to be a good Zombie subtheme going on here, or in the kitchen. Yes, he makes tons of Zombies, he pumps tons of Zombies, he hits their graveyard. Yours too. Heavy on the mana.

    Endless Ranks of the Dead - What did I tell you? Big Zombie subtheme, endless kitchen table shenanigans.

    Grave Titan - There's a bomb. Not too many have missed out on his potential in here, this guy's loaded.

    Moan of the Unhallowed - More Zombies, but actually not too shabby. Up to four 2/2's for 2BB, flashing back later. Better options, though, especially when Mimic Vat says hi creatures.

    Nested Ghoul - More kitchen Zombies, not competitive, but fun like nobody's business.

    Parasitic Implant - Much better removal out there. I could Doom Blade something and then generate twice as many tokens for about that much mana.

    Skirsdag High Priest - Tempting effect with Lives up, too demanding conditions. Too bad, he could see some play here. We've even got the creatures to tap and the creatures to die for him. Vigilance would even make him playable.

    Zombie Infestation - More Zombie subtheme, more enchantment subtheme, actually kinda sometimes worth it, but still not competitively playable without significant help and effort.


    Blade Splicer - The easiest to cast of the Splicers, and with a good effect. Very easy to justify inclusion here.

    Doomed Traveler - Funny dude, funny interaction with Mimic Vat. No, he doesn't make tokens when Vat kills him, but if THEY kill him (and maybe his duplicate with Lives) then you get two (or four) 1/1 Fliers that don't die. In other words, this dude's getting in. Giving him a sword sounds kinda good. He's good in general, too, so not a bad option.

    Elspeth Tirel - Not a bad planeswalker, even better with Lives. We're going to have tons of creatures, so her +2 is great all by itself. Her Ultimate doesn't feel bad if our tokens include bombs and 3/3's. Great card, pretty possible inclusion.

    Geist-Honored Monk - Absurd with both Lives and Mimic Vat, probably good in general. In that case, and with no other creatures out, you'd get two 10/10's with Haste that left behind eight 1/1 Fliers for free. Might not beat out Hero of Bladehold as a bomb option, but nasty nonetheless.

    Hero of Bladehold - Always powerful, absurd with extra 2/1 tokens attacking, absolutely dumb with Vat and Lives. Vat and Lives means that 2WW = 32 power with nothing else on board. Easy bomb contender.

    Intangible Virtue - Seems powerful in here. I would not be surprised to see Virtue as a distinguishing feature (White Lives with Virtue vs. White Lives without Virtue) at some point. Up for consideration.

    Kemba, Kha Regent - Wait what? I mean, it's reasonably costed, but not really helpful to the deck. No equipment love here.

    Master Splicer - Makes our tons of dudes bigger. Could be great, could be average. He's competing with the other splicers, remember.

    Master's Call - Good in our deck I guess, but almost entirely inferior to Midnight Haunting.

    Mausoleum Guard - Bigger, meaner Doomed Traveler. Same fun interaction with Vat and pressure-attacking, at four times the mana cost and twice the impact. With Traveler and other bombs floating around, he's unlikely to see play, but could be cool nonetheless.

    Midnight Haunting - Could be extremely powerful. This in the end step, Lives, and Intangible Virtue up make for eight points of flying power. We'll see.

    Myrsmith - Enchantment support and artifact support in a tight and high-mana deck does not a Myrsmith-friendly deck make. But I guess it's okay.

    Phyrexian Rebirth - Interesting effect, but even with doubled X/X's, Day might be better. Could help us justify such an effect against the Hexproof swarming decks out there, as we might end up with two 10/10's or something after a Day.

    Roc Egg - Nothing more than a stall card for ground troops. Even though it tends to discourage bigger land things from attacking, I'm not sure it would really do anything. Taking everything into consideration, Spellskite might be better in its slot.

    Sensor Splicer - Heavy on the mana, and only granting Vigilance? Seems like this guy will lose out to the other Splicers to me, especially if we were already running white and could justify Intangible Virtue for ALL of our tokens if that's what we were running.

    Timely Reinforcements - Could totally work against faster ground-based aggro. Definitely sideboard consideration.

    White Sun's Zenith - I feel like there are better options for finishers. Seven mana and a Lives up would mean eight 2/2's. Seven mana and a Lives up could mean 26 2/2's on another card I know of. If we're sticking to White, I don't think we need this.


    Cellar Door - Cool, and cute. Unlikely to be playable, but cool. Loads the graveyard as a side consideration. Perfect for kitchen table Zombies.

    Conversion Chamber - Okay, I'll have to make a note here. I'm not going to seriously consider any of the Golem-producing artifacts, as I feel that all of them are clunky. I wish I had been lazy enough to never mention them, but alas, I was not. ALL OF THEM ARE GREAT FOR KITCHEN TABLE GOLEM THEME.dek. None are competitive.

    Druidic Satchel - I feel like could do so much more with our mana at any given time. Mimic Vat is already a mana sink and a vulnerable permanent, so I doubt the Satchel is going to do enough. 

    Golem Foundry - Golem card, read above.

    Mimic Vat - Usually powerful enough to be considered for standard level play anyway, ridiculous in our deck. Awesome with Splicers (who leave their Golems behind), absurd with Lives (3 mana for two Blade Splicers and four 3/3 Golems every turn). Obviously worthy of inclusion in most cases.

    Mirrorworks - This would have been a cute card if it didn't care about nontoken artifacts entering the battlefield. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

    Myr Battlesphere - Good bomb, even more power than Hero of Bladehold if it comes off of Mimic Vat and Lives (get two Battlespheres, each gives you eight 1/1's that stick around, swing with the Haste'd Battlespheres, tapping eight tokens each = two 12/7's swinging, burning for 16 when they swing). 

    Myr Propagator - Well, you're going to have tons of ground troops if you have the mana to support them. However, I doubt we'll ever need this quality of a mana sink. I'd rather be spending my mana casting bombs or something. This guy might (might, I say) be a little better than Jade Mage. 

    Myr Sire - As a two-drop, I'm iffy about this guy. Doomed Traveler is better in every way except in that we're obligated to play a decent number of white lands. Well, and there's the next card in the list....

    Myr Turbine - In terms of token production, this is nearly the ultimate in ground defense (not considering "the best defense is a good offense" sorta stuff). Up to two free 1/1's every turn, at instant speed. The second ability might not matter much... unless we were running other Myrs and a Myr Battlesphere to tutor for. Probably not worth it, but this card actually shows a hint of promise.

    Origin Spellbomb - We're short on one-drops sometimes, and this isn't a bad card. To benefit from it, we'd need white mana, but it's not awful, especially if it's making two 1/1's and drawing a card for three mana.

    Pentavus - This dude bursts into tears every time he enters the battlefield, and every time he activates his abilities. Why? Because he wishes Parallel Lives was Doubling Season. Anyway, he's a bomb, but not nearly as good as our others. He just doesn't pack enough punch. 

    Precursor Golem - The most fickle of our bombs, and not too shabby on power. Coming off Vat + Lives, he'll bring in six points of power and leave 24 behind, without his drawback of target-radiation. However, we must consider that our splicers are producing their own Golems, so don't think that he'll only be taking his own guys with him if he radiates destruction. Very dangerous to play, and other bombs might actually do more damage.

    Prototype Portal - On the surface, this has the potential to be another Mimic Vat. On a thin, plastic surface with holes torn in it and bloodstains on it. This takes more mana in every way, requires you to immediately have and give up from your hand what you intended to make tokens of, never allows you to switch, never allows you to use your opponents' dudes, and never lets you get back to the grave the previously exiled dude. Not much of a chance, although there are a few circumstances where it's better than Vat - for dudes with mana costs close to 0, and if you want to be making dudes without waiting for dudes to die.

    Shrine of Loyal Legions - I won't deny that this card becomes significantly scarier if it's making nearly 12-14 1/1's, and it could make more than that if we're playing plenty of white in the deck. Shrine can let you come back a bit from a Day of Judgment or other sweeper, and can make threats from the sidelines that alter your opponents' moves. 1/1's might not mean as much as some other options, but I'm not entirely willing to discredit it.

    Sword of Body and Mind - Well, it does give protection from Blue, which is interesting, and it does make Wolf tokens, if there're some Mayor of Avabrucks in your deck. You never know about those swords. Anyway, I'm not sure Swords are the way to go in our deck, but I could be wrong.

    Thopter Assembly - Another bomb, and it flies. 10 Flying 1/1's should not be discredited either, but this won't do anything off of Vat/Lives to speak of. Better bombs out there.

    Throne of Empires - If you've got mana sitting around and you're not running Myrs, this could actually be a tiny bit better than Myr Turbine. Well, hardly. Anyway, poor Throne won't be seeing any play here. Don't worry, your day will come.

    Titan Forge - Golem card, read above.

    Trigon of Infestation - Kinda like a bad Throne of Empires that makes Infect dudes. I think we covered this earlier, and it belongs in the Kitchen.

    Wurmcoil Engine - I've been waiting quite a while to discuss this guy. This, in my opinion, is a very good bomb for our deck. Lifelink should not be discredited, four 3/3 tokens should not be discredited, and 6/6 Lifelink Haste (or two of them) coming off of the Vat should not be discredited, especially when you can't reasonably kill those 6/6 Lifelink Haste guys without them splitting into things that don't go away at the end of the turn - or doubling into said things. I love this dude, even though his aggressive power is actually a lot less than some other bomb options we have.


    From each color, the best of the best:






    This is all my opinion, mind you. I left in some cards that were borderline, I left out some cards that were borderline. Perhaps I got some cards entirely wrong. That's up to the community to decide.

    Anyway, what does this leave us with for core strategy options?

    - We must always run Green for Lives. Is it possible to go mono-green? Probably possible, yes, but maybe not desirable.

    - Is G/W possible? Most definitely, as white has one of the best bombs (if not the best bomb) for our deck, Hero of Bladehold. White also gives us a token-theme card (maybe we don't care much), the best of the Splicers, a good one-drop, a potential sidedeck option for fast aggro decks, and access to the full effects of at least two artifacts.

    - Is G/B possible? Yes actually, thanks to Grave Titan and its removal suite at least. Don't immediately discredit Cemetery Reaper or Bloodline Keeper at first glance, either.

    - What about G/U or G/R? If you want to try, fine by me. However, you'll be relying on Green cards, artifacts, and Blue's Cackling Counterpart for token-building.

    - Finally, the three-color options. More than one person has thought about G/W/U, an interesting but clunky option, especially if we're tapping UU and WW for the two best cards in those colors, Hero of Bladehold and Cackling Counterpart. I have not considered other three color options, and I'm sure others will consider them. For me, playing unsteady-but-powerful things like Parallel Lives is already enough of a stretch to justify stabilizing the manabase.



    I hope my work so far will excite deck discussion! Have fun!

    (p.s. - The best way to start discussing would be to criticize my opinions and findings, while also posting your decklists)
    Last edited by qwertyman: 11/25/2011 1:24:28 AM
  • #25
    Quote from qwertyman


    Vital Splicer - The Splicers are generally good here, and Vital can threaten regeneration on fields full of golems. By the way, with Precursor Golem up, you only need to pay G to regenerate all golem, as Vital Splicer's regeneration does target. The flavor text is also ideal for this deck, and begs inclusion: "For every one that falls, ten shall rise..."


    Just a quick rules point: Precursor Golem only radiates instants and sorceries.
  • #26
    Quote from Mortal Coil
    Just a quick rules point: Precursor Golem only radiates instants and sorceries.


    Thank you sir, I will make the adjustments.
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