What is the community consensus on a 1-of Elder Deep-Fiend? I've had games where deep-fiend has won me the game or allowed me to come back via mana denial or tapping down attackers/blockers, and it is nice being able to emerge in response to a removal spell, but at the same time I feel we want to give ourselves as many chances as possible to draw into the Displacer/Drowner lock and thus should play 4-of drowner. I know this topic has been discussed off and on before so forgive me for bringing it up again, but what are people's thoughts on this topic now that we've seen successful showings by both decks that use deep-fiend and decks that don't?
I don't love Elder Deep-Fiend. I know some have been testing it as a one-of over a Drowner of Hope, but I believe the Drowner to usually be better. EDF seems best if you can cast it early, but getting double blue early is very, very unlikely with the current manabase. Late in the game, EDF gets worse and Drowner gets better, so you have that tension with the manabase and when the cards are good. Additionally, the only really good Emerge target is Reshaper; Displacer you want to keep around, TKS gives your opponent a card back, and Smasher is usually busy smashing As such, I'm not too high on EDF.
I like Timely reinforcements (I run 2x of atm) and don't like World breaker personally (too slow for hitting artifacts, enchantments, lands to matter and for slower matchups we are already good).
I think you need at least 4 knockout hate cards for affinity - im running 3x Stony silence, 1x Worship. EE is also good but not as back-breaking as the other four. Kataki is far more impactful against Affinity when compared to Stony Silence (although much narrower) and will often win games effectively on the spot, whereas Stony silence can be beaten. A 1-of is not a bad idea to complement Stony silence's and worship..
You need to have World Breaker or you're just dead to Worship in the mirror. And you can ramp out World Breaker much earlier than Turn 7; I used it to blow up an Ad Nauseam player's Lotus and more or less shut him off winning.
And your Affinity matchup is certainly not great, but it's not terrible either. Worship is a little too slow in that matchup, and it doesn't protect against Poison anyways. Chalice of the Void is a fantastic, fantastic card on the play. Cast it on zero, and now they have to play a severely inhibited normal game of Magic. Ghostly Prison is also decent, but not great. Kataki is good, as you mentioned, as is Stony.
So I have all the pieces of this deck, but only own 2 Engineered Explosives. I know 3-4 seems to be better, but any advice on a main/sideboard that only has access to two of them?
Right now it looks like some a mix of the following are popular for sideboards:
Stony Silence (although I only have 2 of these, maybe run a Kataki for a 3rd anti-artifact?)
Rest in Peace
My sideboard only ran two EE, and it felt alright. It was:
4 Chalice of the Void
2 Engineered Explosives
2 Ghostly Prison
2 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Stony Silence
1 World Breaker
Well I guess we agree to disagree - and you've obviously personally done well with Chalice - so congrats.
The other thing I would mention is that Merfolk has similar bad matchups to Eldrazi. Merfolk is unfavoured against Affinity, Infect, Death's Shadow, Ad Nauseum and the new Storm deck (and the old one). Chalice has a long history in sb's of Merfolk decks and was especially successful in the Treasure Cruise era. However, no one is playing Chalice in Merfolk atm (at least the vast, vast majority of lists). Perhaps, everyone else needs to consider chalice? I dont know what the answer is - but I'm pretty skeptical on chalice given the data as it stands..
It's a good point; I don't know a ton about Merfolk, so I can't confirm one way or the other how good Chalice would be. What really led me to include Chalices in the board was the rise of linear aggro decks post-Twin banning. I'm not sure what the timeline looks like in terms of Merfolk running Chalices, but perhaps its worth considering again given the increase in linear aggro? Would be curious to hear a Merfolk player's perspective.
Overall I think there are generally more impactful cards that we can side in against genuine tier 1 or tier 2 decks. Chalice's effectiveness revolves around the popularity of Infect and Ad Nauseum. Granted it has some play against Tron - but it really hurts our own development against Tron as well. Other decks like Living End are not relevant in modern (they might be in your local meta though). If this relatively new Storm variant with Thing In The Ice becomes big then Chalice's stocks go way up! There were ~18 decks in the top 64 of the 3 GPs; including a top 8 deck - no other decks ran any copies of chalice.
I'm not just theory crafting i've played with chalice for years in different decks including Bant Eldrazi. Chalice is hit or miss even against the decks were its good as its effectiveness later in the game declines rapidly and in some matchups it's unplayable on the draw. Further it demands 4x sb slots that weaken your ability to sb against other decks..
From my testing and the testing of others, Eldrazi is weak to decks that have lots of zero-mana or one-mana spells and fine against pretty much everything else. Sure, we can sideboard more heavily against matchups that we're already slightly favored in (Jund, Burn, Jeskai, etc), but I think we gain significantly more percentage points by focusing our sideboarding on matchups that we're very weak too (Ad Nauseam, Dredge, Death's Shadow, Affinity). Additionally, Chalice is particularly good in Eldrazi because it can be found off Ancient Stirrings.
Sure, Chalice is great against Living End, but that's not why I'm running it. I'm running it because it's great against a set of Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks that Eldrazi is unfavored against. If the popularity of Infect, Ad Nauseam, Death's Shadow, and Affinity plummet, I will be the first to remove Chalices from the board, because the cost of needing 4 copies is certainly high. But the payoff is so incredibly high as well. As I mention in another comment, Chalice does way more against opponents than it does against you. I'd need to double-check the article to be sure, but at the GP, I did not lose a single *game* where I cast Chalice of the Void. That is true for the previous weekends I've tested the card as well.
Sure, there might be more impactful sideboard cards against specific Tier 1 or Tier 2 decks; Blessed Alliance against Infect, counterspells against Ad Nauseam, more Engineered Explosives against Death's Shadow, and so on. But Chalice of the Void covers the vast majority of our bad matchups, and it does not do much worse than the cards I just listed. Finally, when I'm playing Bant Eldrazi against a deck that I side in and resolve a Chalice, there shouldn't be a late-game. Chalice provides the couple of turns you need to kill them with little to no resistance. Because Bant Eldrazi has such a fast clock, you don't need to worry about Chalice's effectiveness in the lategame.
All I can say to people is to try it for themselves; I certainly won't be leaving home without four copies in the board because it's the perfect sideboard card for Bant Eldrazi, basically hosing all our bad matchups.
Thanks! Secure the Wastes was an innovation I was quite proud of, and it certainly pulled its weight at the GP.
Another question : you said secure the wastes is great when "in the lategame, there was a board stall and we were both top-decking"
Entreat the angels isn't better as this role? One mana more for 4/4 flyers is huge!
Entreat the Angels is next up for testing The reason why I went with Secure for that particular event is because it was safer; if I draw it early, I can hold it until I'm ready to cast it with tons of mana. Entreat is much tougher to cast if you don't Miracle it in the late game. While Entreat is definitely better in the actual top-decking scenario, it's worse if you've drawn it early and want to hold until you have more mana and need to break the board stall. But comparing the two, with 11 mana, you can make 10 Warriors or 4 Angels; I might still like the Angels better there. Will be testing in upcoming events
If I'm bringing in Chalice with the intent to cast it on 1, I'll sometimes bring out a couple of 1-mana spells. For example, against Ad Nauseam or UR Pyromancer Thing, you can bring out all four Paths. In the aggro (Infect, Death's Shadow, Affinity) matchups, I usually bring Chalices in on the play, but not the draw. On the draw, casting it for 1 is often going to be too late and will harm you more than your opponent.
The reason why it's okay to use Chalice on 1 even though it harms you is that in the matchups where Chalice is good, your opponent is far, far more dependent on 1-mana spells than you are. For example, Death's Shadow runs around 27 one-mana spells, and really has no other way to win. Infect runs around the same number. You run 12, but the way you win the game is via >=3-drops. Chalice is a great way to buy you time; sure, it'll slow you down too, but it's absolutely not symmetrical. It's incredible to play a card that turns off over half of your opponent's deck and ensures that there are now maybe two things that you can die to, and it's super easy to play around those.
You mentioned Infect, where Path is important. Even if they have an Inkmoth or a Blighted Agent, every pump spell in their deck aside from Become Immense is now dead. I'm more than happy to play a game where I'm on a 10-turn clock, with four draws to make it a 4-turn clock and they're on a 3 turn clock getting beaten down by TKS (which can take Become Immense) and Smasher.
Also, if you have an awkward hand of some lands, two Hierarchs, and a Chalice, just play the Chalice T3 instead. It's still going to be fantastic, and you still get the benefits of your one-drops.
I like Worship because some decks just can't beat it. It's obviously good in the Eldrazi mirror, which is becoming more common as the deck becomes more popular. But it's also good (in combination with other sideboard cards such as Prison to overload their hate) against Dredge, Affinity, Merfolk, Tron, Burn, Abzan, and RG Breach/Valakut decks. It's also fine against Jund. Keep in mind, you should never play one of these sideboard cards and say, yes, now I've won! I can sit back and relax. These cards buy you a huge amount of time, which you can use to kill your opponent because you're actually playing a relatively fast deck or assemble one of the Displacer combos.
Hey guys! I'm Ryan Normandin who Top 8'ed GP Indy this weekend with Bant Eldrazi. I noticed you discussing my list and some of the more unusual card choices, and you can read more about them in my latest article here: