[SCD] Venser, the Sojourner

  • #1
    Venser, the Sojourner

    This fella is probably one of my favorite walkers, mostly because you have to build around him. What I am wondering is why is he not seeing any play anywhere? I know he costs 5 mana, but blue white is a good color combo. His abilities, depending on your deck, are incredibly relevant. He also hurries to his ultimate, which just wins games. So, why is he not seeing any play?

    Other things that would be appreciative, if you were building a u/w deck themed around Venser, what cards would you say are auto includes?
    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.
  • #2
    other than pointing out that Venser is somewhat of a win-more card (you have to already have drawn and played some decent value creatures before Venser even does anything) i'd say there are a few obvious includes.

    Solemn Simulacrum seems like one of them. building up your mana base at will is good. if you've got Green mana then Acidic Slime is going to be very powerful to blink multiple times. often its best to stay in UW though. the mana situation in standard is not that good right now. Frost Titan and Sun Titan are both strong curve topper creatures that work well with Venser. Venser is also quite good with Geist-Honored Monk. can't forget the Stonehorn Dignitary softlock either, good as a sideboarded card to be sure.
  • #3
    Currently running U/W Venser, and I mainboard the Stonehorn Dignitary. I agree Venser will be win-more in most decks unless you are specifically doing something through his abilities that could not otherwise be accomplished (i.e. skip combat indefinitely via Stonehorn). While Gideon can approximate this effect, I honestly find him too often to be a 3WW holy day and that just doesn't cut it for me.

    While difficult to get the softlock going against Delver (Mana Leak says hi), I do find myself very secure if it actually falls into place; use of Spellskites and stacking stonehorn triggers will make it hard for them to disrupt you (resolve Venser, and later play Stonehorn, blink Stonehorn). It also applies against every aggro deck running around right now, which are numerous. This interaction is also useful against Wolf Run, since it'll hold back the several titans and other potentially big creatures that you might not otherwise be able to remove (Thrun survives DoJ, Inkmoth is never touched).

    However, since removal on either Venser or the Stonehorn disrupts your lock, it can be vulnerable. Trying to rush a Stonehorn t4 and then Venser t5 because they're your only plays will invite people to mess up your plans. If Stonehorn no longer exists by the time Venser's +2 resolves, then you're probably screwed (I imagine you're close to lethal if you've had no other plays). It's something that takes a careful approach, and if you want to do it reliably you might find yourself fully dedicating your deck to supporting the interaction, which may not be something you feel comfortable with; since you'll sometimes be very quick to lose, and often very slow to win.

    I'm not fully confident in many cards as auto-includes for Venser right now. I think Stonehorn as at least SB is a smart decision, because there are few interactions with as useful an effect as "skip combat" floating around. But I've tested some of the commonly considered cards (Blade Splicer, Solemn Simulacrum, Acidic Slime, Frost Titan) and I've found most to be lackluster. I keep finding myself comparing each interaction to Stonehorn and then I wonder why I'd want to really blink anything else first. Lower CMC creatures like Blade Splicer could still make sense - since you surely want to do something before turn 4 - although it just never plays offense or defense as well as I ever want it to.

    One exception I find is Sun Titan. I can do things like blink him, cast Day of Judgment, and then end of turn the Titan brings back a few Phantasmal Images and that typically leaves me in really good shape. Alternatively if I already have lethal on the board, Venser's -1 can secure a win right there. Sun Titan is also just good in his own right, Image is good in its own right, and both will probably make good use of ETB triggers one way or another. They're probably good cards to include in Venser lists.

    Fringe use of Venser with Oblivion Ring: get opponents to think twice about playing a second copy of a legend or planeswalker if you o-ring one; Venser blinks the ring and both die. Additionally, being able to change targets is pretty good; against Humans I might have to take care of a Mirran Crusader, but then when they drop a Hero of Bladehold next turn, I can at least choose to deal with the smaller creature. It may not sound like much but for me these little interactions sometimes turn losing games into even ones, and even ones into winning ones.

    So in a nutshell I think you should include Stonehorn Dignitary, Sun Titan, Phantasmal Image and probably Oblivion Ring somewhere.
    Last edited by Blue_Oneironaut: 3/6/2012 3:44:07 PM
  • #4
    Aether Adept is underrated as well. I have maddened many a people with this little fella.
    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.
  • #5
    Stonehorn Dignitary
    Blade Splicer
    Phyrexian Metamorph
    Acidic Slime
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  • #6
    If you aren't adverse to playing Pod, Bant Pod with 2x Venser is a really nice deck and looks like a load of fun to play.
  • #7
    I've played a deck with Venser, the Sojourner+ shape anew on mtgo that is fun. Stonehorn Dignitary is and auto-include to try and get the combat lock out aspect running. Blade splicer is one cheaper and you get the golem. Even a few wing splicer to get in for flying. Masters call for artifact fodder. Shape Anew to sac into blightsteel collosus. The rest of the deck is early counters and a few oblivion rings venser can always bounce if needed. Venser w/ lock or venser w/ splicer bounce and also shape anew or artifact sac into blightsteel are the win-cons.
    Now Playing

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    "Some convictions are so strong that the world must break to accommodate them."
  • #8
    Quote from AngelsRNG
    If you aren't adverse to playing Pod, Bant Pod with 2x Venser is a really nice deck and looks like a load of fun to play.


    ^This. I found a spirit bant pod deck that only runs venser as a 1-of, but you could take it and play with the list. Here's a link where I have it listed. It's not a traditional pod deck that requires 1-of 20 different things for jank and successful podding. It's more of a Bant spirit aggro thing that goes insane when pod works.

    Something of this nature might be your best bet.
    You are the universe experiencing itself.
  • #9
    Perhaps something like http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showpost.php?p=8053089&postcount=27 would strike your fancy.
  • #10
    Quote from Tremulant
    ^This. I found a spirit bant pod deck that only runs venser as a 1-of, but you could take it and play with the list. Here's a link where I have it listed. It's not a traditional pod deck that requires 1-of 20 different things for jank and successful podding. It's more of a Bant spirit aggro thing that goes insane when pod works.

    Something of this nature might be your best bet.


    How does this list go against Wolf Run? It looks like they would just go bigger.
  • #11
    Quote from BarneyGumball
    How does this list go against Wolf Run? It looks like they would just go bigger.


    i don't know but you could build a ramp deck out of it. U/W/G ramp. venser as a 4 off take the pod out. put some more ramp in and some better cards and your good.
  • #12
    Build used in these videos is a pretty good one:

    http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/channel-lsv-standard-gauntlet-reanimator-daily-event-1/

    Venser is a nifty fit here, with lots of card filter, meaning he won't be a problem clogging your hand. Same with Stonehorn - can be dumped when not needed, or getting more uses from Unburial Rites and Phantasmal Image package. Deck is pretty fun to play.

    And just wanted to point that Venser's "-1" ability sometimes comes in more handy than the usual "+2" one. Nearly no one is prepared for it, and with Phantasmal Titans ready, it's usually gg.
  • #13
    Quote from zombeikiller
    i don't know


    Thanks.
  • #14
    Besides Wurmcoil Engine Venser is the card I most hate playing against. I'm very happy that nobody seems to be playing it anymore.

    I think Lifekills sums it up pretty well.
    Trade with me.
  • #15
    Venser has been my favorite card to play since he came out in Scars. I've had a version of a Venser deck since I first acquired 3. Unfortunately the cards that I think allowed a Venser deck to be Tier 1 are now gone. Those were Sea Gate Oracle and the Zendikar manlands (Venser bouncing Primeval Titan to flood the board with man lands was fun).

    Currently I dislike Stonehorn Dignitary in a Venser deck because he in my opinion doesn't permanently affect the game state and doesn't win the game for you. Only having a 1 power and if removed he has at best delayed the game.

    I LOVE Acidic Slime with Venser, it's infuriating to people. I enjoy moving Oblivion Rings, changing what I'm cloning with Phyrexian Metamorph, and getting more lands with Solemn Simulacrum.

    That being said, I'm learning that Venser's -1 is something that gets ignored too much. If I drop a Birds of Paradise turn 1, a Hero of Bladehold turn 3, and a Venser turn 4, I attack for an unblockable 7 if I choose, and if Venser somehow survives, an unblockable 11 on turn 5.

    Another thing worth remembering with Venser is that his +2 ability can protect your creatures should you need to board wipe. Being able to +2 on your best creature, cast DoJ, and then still have a beater that can now be unblockable next turn should they play a creature, is quite nice.

    I've also been playing Ichor Wellspring recently to make up for a lack of repeatable card draw for Venser. I'm considering Tower Geist
  • #16
    Quote from thraashman
    I've also been playing Ichor Wellspring recently to make up for a lack of repeatable card draw for Venser. I'm considering Tower Geist


    I personally enjoy both of the Wellsprings, mostly because you can repeat it as much as necessary, and then you use Phyrexia's Core in combination with Sun Titan and have numerous shenanigans and card advantage like you wouldn't believe.
    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.
  • #17
    Quote from apocalypse31
    I personally enjoy both of the Wellsprings, mostly because you can repeat it as much as necessary, and then you use Phyrexia's Core in combination with Sun Titan and have numerous shenanigans and card advantage like you wouldn't believe.


    I must admit, I hadn't considered Phyrexia's Core, I must now consider that however. Good call.
  • #18
    Quote from thraashman
    I must admit, I hadn't considered Phyrexia's Core, I must now consider that however. Good call.


    It is amazing how much it helps against aggro. That one life gain a turn can be a huge pain in their butt. Back in Zen-Som standard, I only ran 22 lands, with 4 of both wellsprings, all basic lands besides 4 Cores, and never had mana issues. I also curved out at 6 (with 4 titans total) and 4 Venser's, plus 3 Gideon. Never, never had mana issues. I miss Sea Gate Oracle.
    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.
  • #19
    Ive been using Tower Geist in replacement of the well missed Sea Gate Oracle and its still really good with Venser. The 1 more mana cost really sucks but the flying is very relevant in the meta.
    Mentor of the Meek is insane CA with Venser in the right deck also
    Playing
    UW Control :symu::symw:
    UWr Control :symu::symw::symr:
  • #20
    I thought about using him, but that 1/3 butt was so relevant. I miss it so much.
    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'd accept 2/2 if only it were 3 mana.
  • #22
    yeah it's definitely not as strong but it's still a solid replacement &it does have some slight tradeoffs since it has flying.
    Playing
    UW Control :symu::symw:
    UWr Control :symu::symw::symr:
  • #23
    I think he doesn't get play because any strategy built around him takes a lot of time and in the current meta of powerful 1 drop creatures (delver), and hard to kill flying tokens (flashback) wielding swords, time to develop the board is a premium.

    U/W is the right color combination but creature recursion is a real problem. I agree with Blue_oneironaut that Stonehorn and Sun Titan are the only ETB effect that are worth building around. The rest of the ETB's make Venser a win more.

    The -1 ability is often overlooked I feel. This ability could be good on its own. Making venser a must counter.
    Last edited by jaszuni: 3/8/2012 7:44:54 AM
  • #24
    I still think that Aether Adept does wonders to answer Delver and spirit tokens. Just send em on back.
    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.
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