Post-Rotation Heartless Summoning

  • #76
    Testing this deck, I noticed that T3 Desecration followed by T4 Zealous Conscripts is an absolute blowout. Hardly anyone's packing enchantment removal post-rotation, so Heartless stays more often than not. This might push Heartless to tier 1 finally.
  • #77
    The more I test Demon the more I love him. I just played a game on Cockatrice against some new U/W control and even without Heartless out this deck just steam rolled. This was after Dention Sphere took my Demon and Hellkite and after he Mircled Temporal Mastery two turns in a row meaning I did nothing for 4 turns. But what finally pushed the last little damage through was flashback Geistflame.
  • #78
    Quote from sonofstev
    ...Hardly anyone's packing enchantment removal post-rotation...

    Really? I'm hesitant to play Heartless because it's significantly worse against anything playing W (e.g. Ray of Revelation, Erase) or BG (Golgari Charm, Abrupt Decay). Jund, especially, seems like a tough match-up, because they're 1) aggressive, and 2) definitely packing Decay.
  • #79
    Quote from silentji
    Really? I'm hesitant to play Heartless because it's significantly worse against anything playing W (e.g. Ray of Revelation, Erase) or BG (Golgari Charm, Abrupt Decay). Jund, especially, seems like a tough match-up, because they're 1) aggressive, and 2) definitely packing Decay.


    But that's the trick! The deck is solid enough to do ok (albeit a little slower of course) without HS. If you are facing Zombies and they wasted their second turn Abrupt Decaying/Golgari Charming HS, congrats, you have not only earned a Time Walk against an aggro deck, but also made them waste disruption meant for creatures onto an enchantment.

    That's why Vampire Nighthawk is there, to have a solid drop 3 if HS doesn't come/gets removed.
  • #80
    Right, what they said. I'm thinking Abrupt Decay will see more play than Golgari Charm, and mostly as a sideboard option.
  • #81
    Quote from Kosakosa
    But that's the trick! The deck is solid enough to do ok (albeit a little slower of course) without HS. If you are facing Zombies and they wasted their second turn Abrupt Decaying/Golgari Charming HS, congrats, you have not only earned a Time Walk against an aggro deck, but also made them waste disruption meant for creatures onto an enchantment.

    That's why Vampire Nighthawk is there, to have a solid drop 3 if HS doesn't come/gets removed.

    Yeah, I get that (and Nighthawk's a fantastic card choice), but from what I've been seeing, Heartless still struggles in keeping up with aggro-heavy decks. Time walking Jund is great and all, but when their stream of 1-4 drops typically outclasses Heartless's, the match-up remains tough.

    Don't get me wrong; dropping down Conscripts and demons is fantastic, but when Heartless gets removed, most builds' curves are looking to slowly reach that 5-6 mana sweet spot, while Jund's just sitting there, vomiting out 1-4 drops.

    Thinking on it some more, I guess I'm just concerned about the lack of good utility (e.g. Havelgul Lich, Grand Architect) in the deck, because without Heartless, most lists just seem like mediocre midrange decks.
  • #82
    Quote from hellgrammite
    You can only put 4 of the Bloodgift into a deck. If you could put 8, i would do that perhaps instead of desecration demon.

    You can drop desecration demon on turn three for 2 mana. That leaves you one mana to lay down a tragic slip/geistflame during your opponents turn before combat. That can be huge against aggro deck's. You burn his 2/1 hasty, and then he has to decide if he want to sack his 3/2.


    Gotta give props to this thread.

    Think this is the only thread in the entire internet giving Bloodgift Demon respect.

    While, I'm not sure how good Heartless Summoning can be. I am absolutely positive Bloodgift Demon will be making a huge impact in the imediate future probably along with Thragtusk and Disciple of Bolas.

    Freaking hilarious that the 1BB enchant land (which requires you to TAP a land every activation) is getting a ton of love and with everyone seemingly forgetting Bloodgift Demon. Really?!
    Quote from findogul
    It's an instant speed 5/5 trampler for 4. Wtf do you people want seriously? It has applications in populate/ above the curve beats decks, or in Bant control/ flash. I seriously think anyone mad at this card for any reason other than losing an attacker to instant speed wurm, should go home and make their own awesome card game and leave the rest of us alone.
  • #83
    While I was always a fan of HS, I fail to see how the deck can function as it did pre-rotation. You lose Ponder, Sim, Wurmcoil, as well as the ability to vomit out clones (metamorph and image) or combo off with grand architect or lich/perilous myr

    In my opinion for the deck to work you should look at BG. That gives you farseek as an additional ramp element on t2 as well as access to thragtusk.

    Additionally, Desecrator Demon is a blank vs Zombies.
    And if zombies plays a 1 drop, then decays HS on t2, they aren't the ones who just got time walked.
  • #84
    Someone said earlier Mercurial Chemister seems strong but its just can we support blue with only 4x Sulfur Falls
  • #85
    Are folks overlooking Jund because of mana concerns? When M13 was spoiled, I thought about a path for Heartless to take was BG in order to take advantage of G's natural ramp (Farseek, perhaps Dawntreader Elk) as well as their really nice 5cc creatures (Thragtusk, obviously, but also Garruk's Packleader and of course Wolfir Silverheart). Adding R ultimately I think "completes the look" thanks to DD, Conscripts and Looting, plus opening up more SB plays.

    HS is a funky ramp spell: it comes down T2, and ramps you two turns, so your T3 play can be a T5 play. With the titans rotating out, HS decks are no longer trying to curve out on T4 by dropping a titan, but rather T3 by dropping some pretty darn efficient (however not Titan-efficient) bombs. I think G adds a couple things: ramp to replace Solemn and Sphere (that's also pretty easy to cast), and card draw in the form of Garruk's Packleader (virtually every creature will net you extra card) and maybe Soul of the Harvest (although he probably doesn't pass the "do something when you hit the board" test most of the time).

    I have an untested (obviously) list written up, but I adore the idea of Vampire Nighthawk and agree he's a superb "Plan B" so I want to make room for him. Also, I really think a key card, if adding G is Wolfir Silverheart. He's such a backbreaking bomb, but a caveat I ran into while theory-crafting is that in a HS deck, you're very unlikely to have a soulbond target in play if the Wolfir comes down T3 haha. Nighthawk might change that, with the concession that the Wolfir comes down T4.

    Anyway, just some thoughts.
  • #86
    I do worry about Jund's mana base. With the current B/r list Im running the mana almost is never an issue, adding a 3rd color really worries me.
  • #87
    Quote from Smoo
    While I was always a fan of HS, I fail to see how the deck can function as it did pre-rotation. You lose Ponder, Sim, Wurmcoil, as well as the ability to vomit out clones (metamorph and image) or combo off with grand architect or lich/perilous myr

    In my opinion for the deck to work you should look at BG. That gives you farseek as an additional ramp element on t2 as well as access to thragtusk.

    Additionally, Desecrator Demon is a blank vs Zombies.
    And if zombies plays a 1 drop, then decays HS on t2, they aren't the ones who just got time walked.


    People are so obssessed about Thragtusk, but it isn't THAT good for this kind of deck. I'd rather play another Hellkite instead of it considering the mana scramble onto Jund. Flicker effects, and RestoAngel in particular, are what makes Tusk so good, and we have none.

    If Zombies play any one drop at T1, it dies to Flame/Slip/Pillar on SB. If they Abrupt Decay an enchantment instead of a creature, yes, they lost a turn instead of us, and a removal. For an aggro deck, losing the T2 is WAY more problematic than to the control one.

    I've done much playtesting against Zombies, with pretty high success rate. If I control their first or second turn and Pillar the T3 Messenger, it's pretty much a win. Demon helps as normally as ever on that, because if you are sacrificing Undying creatures to tap it, you're making them even more vulnerable to non-Pillar removal.

    EDIT: The deck is better now then it was in Scars block. Phyrexian mana and Swords made the format way too quick for HS to be any good. Now that Standard slowed down, Desecration Demon and Hellkite gave meaning to the deck.
    Last edited by Kosakosa: 9/24/2012 5:26:11 AM
  • #88
    I'm with The Gate Keeper. Although the idea of having Packleader, Wolfir and Farseek in the deck, that not only can screw the mana base (and heigthen the curve), but also poses the problem: what to remove? Searing Spear for Farseek? Bloodgift for Packleader?

    For me, it doesn't seem consistent. But I'd love to see a functional Jund list to playtest it.
  • #89
    I don't have any high hopes for Heartless. The deck really needs another 2CMC ramp card. Farseek is an option but then we force ourselves to use Green (not that this is good or bad thing). We could use Chromatic Lantern or one of the Keyrunes for further ramping but then we'll be wasting the first three turns ramping with maybe some minor disrupting. Risky against aggro decks.

    Another problem is the chance of having multiple Heartless in hand or in play. Currently this isn't a problem because we have Titans with 4 colourless mana and plenty of Artifact Creatures. After rotation we hardly have any creatures with 4 colourless mana and/or high enough stats. This eliminates the 'need' for heartless and makes multiple Heartless in hand/play problematic.

    Finally, in my (limited) experience we really need big beaters that swing the battle in our favor immidiatly. Titans, Wurmcoil, Massacre Wurm, Rune-scarred and to a lesser degree Sphinx (sphinx offers no immidiate value). Post rotation we lose these creatures. Yes we have Thragtusk, Olivia, Bloodgift, Zealous Conscript and Hellkite but these don't automaticly win you the game or put you ahead. And other cards like the new Hellsteed or Demon just don't do enough to build a deck around.
    Griselbrand, Isperia and Niv-Mizzet might be a cards we really want out on the field but their casting costs are to restrictive.

    In summary: Post rotation we don't have the means to ramp efficiently, multiple Heartless are unwelcome or unneeded and there aren't any big guys that are worth the effort. The rest of RTR block might bring us some goodies but for now I don't see how the deck can work.
  • #90
    ^^ Bloodgift and Olivia will win you the game.

    But, yes, what is heartless really doing for us that mana dorks or Farseek can not do... that's the question we should be asking.

    Without a plenthera of colorless creatures or something abusable like Havengul Lich, pretty sure I'm putting this on the back-burner.
    Quote from findogul
    It's an instant speed 5/5 trampler for 4. Wtf do you people want seriously? It has applications in populate/ above the curve beats decks, or in Bant control/ flash. I seriously think anyone mad at this card for any reason other than losing an attacker to instant speed wurm, should go home and make their own awesome card game and leave the rest of us alone.
  • #91
    What are the big monsters we want to cast? Previously, we had Titans, Wurms, useful Artifacts, and Flying Demon tutors. Most of them had insanely awesome ETB effects. The Images and Metamorphs made it even better by getting more use out of those effects.

    I mostly play U/B Heartless, so most of my suggestions focus around those colors.

    Heartless decks win not just because they cast big monsters but because it can also cast multiple big monsters to overwhelm an opponent. We still have clone effects: Evil Twin and Clone. No, they're not as efficient, but they really don't have to be. ETB effects, for better or worse, are largely depowered in Innistrad and RtR. We're looking at a more combat-focused Standard.

    So what are the big monsters we want to cast? Bloodgift Demon is good at 5 and nuts at 3. Desecration Demon is also good at 4 and even more nuts at 2. He kinda sucks by himself, but he gets to be a big problem in groups. A turn 2 Heartless can produce a turn 3 Bloodgift, two turn four Desecrations, and two more turn 5 Desecrations. Add in clone effects, and you can add 3 more of either demon on turn 6. And, they're highly resistant to most board wipe effects.

    Add in an Essence Harvest or two, and you should be able to stabilize the game. If Heartless can stabilize, it has a very good chance of winning by overwhelming an opponent. In the example above, that's 24 power on the field by turn 5.

    Sadly, that's not going to happen all that much. We need another source of mana ramp or more efficient creatures. Vampire Nighthawk fits nicely, but what about earlier turns. Previously, we had Spellskite or Perilous Myr to see us through. Duty-bound Dead, Kraken Hatchling, Fog Bank, Black Cat, Ravenous Rats or even Ludevic's Test Subject could work here as roadblocks to help us survive.

    So, what other monsters deserve a look? Demonlord of Ashmouth is really tempting for its mana cost, but could be bad in multiples. Shimian Specter looks to have an interesting control aspect alongside Desecration Demon. Galvanic Juggernaut, especially as a 4/4 for two that untaps when something dies. Necropolis Regent is mana-intensive but nasty. Mikaeus the Unhallowed makes everybody better and resistant to dying, but not alongside the Regent or Desecration. Havengul Lich brings everybody back to party some more. And a Stormtide Leviathan would be super fun times.

    Will all this work together? No idea. Maybe B/R is really the way to go for the time being.

    R Searing Seneschal of Salvation R



    Cogito, ergo incendo.
  • #92
    Quote from ActionJunkie
    ^^ Bloodgift and Olivia will win you the game.

    But, yes, what is heartless really doing for us that mana dorks or Farseek can not do... that's the question we should be asking.

    Without a plenthera of colorless creatures or something abusable like Havengul Lich, pretty sure I'm putting this on the back-burner.


    True, but both Olivia and Bloodgift need to stick around for them to do their magic. I'm a big fan of them though, certainly post rotation now.
  • #93
    Quote from ActionJunkie
    But, yes, what is heartless really doing for us that mana dorks or Farseek can not do... that's the question we should be asking.


    Keeping us from stretching into 3 color just to get some acceleration?
    Unless you are running BG. By all means then..

    Quote from windstrider
    ...but what about earlier turns. Previously, we had Spellskite or Perilous Myr to see us through. Duty-bound Dead, Kraken Hatchling, Fog Bank, Black Cat, Ravenous Rats or even Ludevic's Test Subject could work here as roadblocks to help us survive.


    I think earlier turns shift to control, casting targeted removal/burn to buy time if we don't see Heartless Summoning in our opening hand. BR has a large suite of low cmc board stalling control spells.
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