Went 4-1 with basically the same list I played a few weeks ago, I'm liking the 2 Looting a lot. Beat Burn x2, Humans, and Jeskai (lost to Jund). Looting doesn't enable starts as fast as Manamorphose, but with a good hand you can still get massive creatures out ahead of schedule easily. It can be awkward but I actually found it less clunky than Manamorphose, and it lets you pitch fetches you can't use or dead cards like Push/Stub in G1's where you won't need them to enable Delirium and dig for a threat or TBR.
When I play it again I'll either try to squeeze a Grim Flayer into the main (maybe cutting Decay) or drop the Tarfires for Bolts just for the extra % of damage. I previously had been running 17 lands with 4 Manamorphose, and I still like those lists but I wanted to drop it and see how Looting would perform. Manamorphose lets you accelerate your busted starts and really helps if you have a lot of Blood Moon around, or if you're on only 1 basic. However I also found it to be pretty awkward getting openers with multiple manamorphose or several cantrips and then cycling into no action. The deck is pretty customize-able and I don't believe there to be a truly "optimal build" because of the # of colors we're able to run, so testing a couple different configurations and seeing what you're most comfortable with is the way to go imo
Back with my match report of the 5-0 from a couple weeks back, since they've been late with the stream for weeks now unfortunately:
Round 1 vs Ponza (2-1)
Game 1: Mull to 6 but multiple discard spells take care of Utopia Sprawl and Blood Moon, Tarfire takes care of Tireless Tracker. Opponent casts BBE cascading into Blood Moon, but at this point I have a huge Goyf out, and a second Tarfire takes care of the BBE after which I just beat down to win.
Game 2: On the draw, have to mull again and have no answer for T1 Utopia Sprawl into T2 Molten Rain. Blood Moon comes down next turn and I can't contend with Tracker/Pia and Kiran.
Game 3: On the play, have the classic curve once again of discard (Utopia Sprawl) into Goyf and then a big Death's Shadow. Had all the answers for his creatures, had Golgari Charm for Blood Moon, and the quick clock was too much for him to handle.
Round 2 vs Bogles (2-1)
Game 1: On the draw, keep a very good 7 with potential for an absurdly fast clock (Shadow, Dismember, Thoughtseize). Opponent plays Thicket and passes, I fetch and Thoughtseize him and see that he's on Bogles. I take his only creature (Ledgewalker) and pass. He tries to find a creature after I cast DS and he is forced to fetch for Dryad Arbor, which I promptly Dismember to make DS a 9/9. I swing, he takes one more draw step and scoops.
Game 2: On the draw, keep an OK looking 6 with some SB cards, but he's just too fast. I Thoughtseize away a Runed Halo and hope that he jams Coronet T3 with only 2 lands (Stub in hand), but he finds one off the top and makes his Scout huge. I'm able to cast and crack Engineered Explosives, but he fetches an arbor, attaches a couple Auras, and ends it.
Game 3: On the play, he has T0 Leyline after I mull to 5 so it's not looking good. My hand is 3 fetches, Death's Shadow, and TBR. He plays his Bogle but luckily doesn't find a haymaker aura, just swinging in with Rancor+Gryff's Boon and another aura I don't recall. I get my Death's Shadow out which stalls him for a little as he does the combat math, and later cast a 1/2 Tarmogoyf. Eventually, he decides to swing in with his Bogle, leaving back an unenchanted Scout to block. I block with Tarmogoyf and go to 4 life, he is at 17. He passes, I crack the fetch I'd been sitting on and shock myself down to 1 to get a Watery Grave. I then untap and swing with Death's Shadow, he blocks with Scout. I cast TBR with counterspell backup (Delay) which he clearly was not expecting, and I get the win.
Round 3 vs RW Blasphemous Act (2-0)
Game 1: On the play, I Thoughtseize him and see mostly lands, with a Stuffy Doll and a Blood Moon. I take the Doll as I have multiple Traverses in hand that I use to get my basic Swamp & Forest. He eventually casts Blood Moon, but by this time I have a big Tarmogoyf beating down, and the Stuffy Doll he draws is hit by Dismember, after which he doesn't draw anything relevant and loses.
Game 2: On the draw, he has T0 Leyline, but I play tight to fade Blood Moon while putting out a massive 6/7 Goyf thanks to removal and drawing engine pieces like Wraith/Bauble. He has a Grandmaster in play he hit me with a couple times, so he's at 24 when he attempts to cast Rest in Peace. I crack the fetch I'd been sitting on to get Watery Grave and Stubborn Denial the RIP. I get an attack in with Goyf and then cast Death's Shadow, then Traverse for another Shadow which I also put on the board. He simply passes the turn with an untapped Plains and Vantage, and I go down to 5 life, swing with everything and TBR the Goyf that he attempts to block for the win.
Round 4 vs Jund Shadow feat. Bomat Courier (2-0)
Game 1: I keep a great hand of Thoughtseize, a couple removal spells, and DS/Goyf. I'm on the play and Thoughtseize his Reveler away, also taking note of a Grim Flayer and Courier. He casts Courier which gets Pushed. I Traverse for Shadow but don't cast it, worried about Bolt. Next turn his 4/4 Flayer is stonewalled by my 5/5 Shadows, and eventually I fetch-shock again and TBR for the win.
Game 2: On the draw, I keep another fantastic hand. I manage to go lower faster with multiple Wraiths, and cast a DS which starts getting in, although I know I won't win the long game since I Thoughtseized him earlier and took an IoK to prevent him from taking my TBR (also saw Traverse, Shadow, and a Reveler). He plays a Ghost Quarter and Dismembers my Shadow, then plays a Shadow of his own. I Traverse for another DS and cast it, and he doesn't have removal so there is a standoff. The pivotal moment comes when he taps out to cast Reveler while at 7 life and passes the turn. I topdeck a Dismember, which kills the Reveler and puts me to 3. I then swing with my Shadow, he blocks with his, and the first strike + trample damage from TBR gets there.
Round 5 vs Humans (2-0)
Game 1: On the draw with discard and 2x Shadow, he casts T1 Vial and passes. I Thoughtseize him and see Meddling Mage and Thalia. I take Meddling Mage, so T2 he casts Thalia. He gets in for 2 and passes on T3, and because of normal Death's Shadow things, I am at 8. I cast 3 Shadows on my T3 and pass with Dismember in hand. He topdecks a Freebooter to strip Dismember, and casts a Champion as well, but when I untap I fetch-shock to make my Shadows 8/8 and force him to block 2 of them, sending Thalia and Champion to the GY. He untaps and passes, and on my draw step Vials in another Freebooter. I reveal a basic Forest and with no cards in hand, he concedes.
Game 2: On the draw again, this time he plays a land and passes. I Thoughtseize him and see Meddling Mage, Thalia, Auriok Champion, and 2 Phantasmal Images. I take Auriok Champ and pass. He casts Mage naming Death's Shadow, and on my turn I Tarfire the Mage and cast my 5/5 Death's Shadow. He plays Thalia the next turn, but I just Fatal Push it and swing for 7 to put him to 12. He casts Thalia's Lieutenant and passes. I decline to attack because of the Images in his hand, and instead cast Faithless Looting, which draws me into a Traverse and Kozilek's Return (binned 2 lands). I Traverse for a second Shadow and pass. He plays a Vial and casts a Phantasmal Image copying my Shadow. I untap and cast Kozilek's Return, wiping his board and then swinging in for lethal.
On the current talk in this thread: 3 color Shadow is still good, but imo you really need Blue in order to protect your threats. It's a disruptive aggro deck at its core, so drawn out resource-exchanging games is generally not where you want to be. Utilizing 2x Looting you're able to pitch Stub in G1 matchups where it's not great, and Looting can also draw you into action to end games before they become drawn out and you lose momentum. If you do go 3 color though, you can run an additional TBR and things like Anger of the Gods more easily.
Lavamancer has been great for me on traditional Jund, but with Traverse it can be more of a balancing act to maintain delirium. It's still a fantastic option against Humans, but the games have to line up correctly (lots of removal or a sweeper into Lavaman to lock down whatever they might play) and multiple Mantis Riders/Reflector Mages are terrible, but with or without Lavaman those are rough for our deck to see anyway.
Thanks! Unfortunately the guy running the camera left after round 4 vs jund shadow (featuring bomat courier), so the finals match against Humans which is probably more relevant to this meta was not on camera. I'll include a match report when they stream it on monday.
The Tarfires were pretty medium; the idea was to go efficient to Traverse ASAP and get some huge Goyfs, but the Tribal wasn't relevant as much as I thought it would be. I can see how it sets up quick Traverses if you want to fire it off, and against Humans I luckily wasn't punished for not running multiple Bolts instead. Other than that match, the 2 damage vs 3 was pretty negligible, but I like having at least 2 direct damage spells somewhere in the 75 as they're pretty flexible. For example in G1 against Bogles, after Thoughtseizing his Ledgewalker and casting DS, he was forced to fetch for a Dryad Arbor. I Dismembered it, Tarfired myself, and suddenly he was on a 2 turn clock. Whether you play those, Seal of Fire, Bolt, even additional Decays etc seems like personal preference, but I enjoyed the flexibility of direct damage with the more low to the ground list than trying to hold up Decays for problem permanents.
Piloted Traverse for the first time in about a month tonight and went 5-0 (beat Humans, Ponza, Bogles, Blasphemous Act, and Jund Shadow). First time I've finished so well with the deck, and while I definitely ran hot with some absurd starts, the topdecks were live all night and I found that I didn't miss Manamorphose as much as I thought. I liked the cards being mostly business outside of the normal engine, and Faithless Looting was fantastic at filtering draws (pitching Stubborn Denial in irrelevant situations, finding the game-winning Kozilek's Return against Humans). Manamorphose is still a great choice for the deck, but the list I decided on tonight felt really efficient and ran like a buzzsaw. I'll definitely keep testing with Looting and updating the removal suite here and there. Decklist here:
It's late but I did take notes and plan to do a write up later on the individual games. Will post it here once I'm through, and when they upload the round I played on stream to Youtube I may post that here as well.
Not much to say here, Manamorphose is so good I can't even describe it. The deck feels like a freight train. Not impressed with Liliana TLH or Fulminators at all today, wish I had more sweepers. Onwards and upwards.
Nice finish! How did the Mardu and Eldrazi games go? Those seem like difficult matchups when I've faced them, but certainly winnable. Were you using the same list you posted a while back? I'm playing in an invitational in a couple weeks and I'm thinking of running 4C blue, but I'm still unsure of the number of manamorphose to include as well as the sweepers. Do you think Anger of the Gods is doable with 2 red sources + Manamorphose, or would you stick to something like Kozilek's Return or even Pyroclasm for the speed? What would you replace LtLH with in the board for the grindier matchups? Interested to hear your opinion if you'd be up for elaborating some
Those all sound solid, and the Faithless Looting list is really sweet in particular, I haven't tried that yet. Which versions have impressed you the most? I tried Spooly's list, and while it was pretty good I missed having at least one Grim Flayer and a Bolt. I'm thinking 2-3 Manamorphose is the sweet spot, and 2 Whispers seems to be just enough too. Lingering Souls is fantastic in a lot of matchups, but I did pretty poorly at an IQ recently with a 5-color list running those where my opponents either grinded me out anyway, or had an answer like EE/Anger (playing Burn 4 times after cutting some of the Blue didn't help either). The card has won me many games and seems good against Humans/Hollow one, but along with LoTV, it's a grindy 3 drop and I'm not sure that's what the deck excels at or really wants right now.
Has anyone else been testing with Whispers/Manamorphose? I've been tinkering with a 4-color list splashing blue and have found that both cards are just bananas. I still need a lot more games to be comfortable knowing when and what number to side out, but adding those cards as well as dropping LoTV and going to 17 lands has made the deck feel super smooth. I find myself getting early delirium very consistently, and something like T1 Thoughtseize/Push followed by T2 Whispers normally leads to a steamroll. I'd love to hear other opinions or about other experiences with this!
Thanks for the tips everybody, I'm going to make some manabase tweaks and hopefully test out 5C with different things in the SB this weekend! Would love to play 2 basics and still feel like I can filter for lands the same way. I need to pick up an EE for sure to test over Radiant Flames, sounds like it's super versatile.
Agreed, TBR is an incredible card for closing out a game quickly or pushing through lethal damage across chump blockers. I'd never go below 2 and sometimes play 1 in the side.
Currently on 4C with White splash, but I'd like to try 5C with Basic Forest, has anyone had success with this and if so, what did you cut for the Forest? I was thinking of cutting Delta or Mire depending on Stomping Ground/Breeding Pool in the list. Is Lavamancer a viable option against prison decks postboard? Last night I dodged those but played 2 Living End decks, and without Blue for Stubs and any Nihil Spellbombs in the side, it was rough going sideboarding. What could you sideboard in to help with these matchups as 4C White besides spellbombs? Surgical Extraction maybe?