Anyway, after building literally hundreds of lists (some of my very early attempts can be seen deep in this thread somewhere) and playing loads of solitaire, free games and 2-mans on MTGO, I decided to take my current list (which I have been honing for a while now)for a run in the casual modern league.
Finished the league 4-1. The list and the win image is below.
I've never played a Belcher deck before but after seeing your list and rundown I decided to give it a whirl.
Before I tried out a few games I just assumed that hitting land drops/getting mana was going to be tough with only 7 Forests in the whole deck but, man, it is pretty damn consistent. Only one time (that I can remember) did I have to mulligan into oblivion. Color me impressed.
I also like how the deck goes into 'beatdown mode' after sideboarding, hoping to take advantage of the opponent likely going into the next game a bit lighter on removal spells.
Round 1: Bogles, 2-1
Turn 3 kill in game 1 was easy, game 2 double Leyline kept my Belchers dead and I lost to a huge first striking Gladecover Scout killing my Wormcoils, game 3 I Nature's Claim the Leyline and Belch for the win.
Round 2: 4 Colour TitanShift, 1-2
Another speedy game 1 victory, games 2 and three my Belchers all get Slaughter Gamesed and I die to Scapeshift.
Round 3: UW Control, 2-1
Game 1 I get turn 2 Blood Moon on the play and win easily, game 2 he plays Runed Halo and kills all my other threats, game 3 I have the Nature's Claim for his halo and win quickly.
Round 4: UW Tron, 2-1
Yet another easy game 1 helped by Blood Moon, game 2 goes really long and he manages to eventually kill with Iona me after I'd had two activation of Belcher hitting a land as my top card, game 3 I just win really quickly (which is just as well, we only had 5 minutes to play it!)
All in all the deck felt way better than I remembered! Possibly the meta is just more friendly for us right now? Blood Moon and Defense Grid were both MVPs in the control matchups, and I think i got a little unlucky against Scapeshift.
Mono G feels much faster and consistent, as the deck thinning process the mono G list uses (mostly) puts the lands directly onto the battlefiled, so less turns casting and waiting to activate Belcher. Also, the post-board also feels much better suited for our bad matchups (especially Burn and Jund), as the deck becomes a Stompy kind of deck with the immediate kill afterwards.
Fog cards (Haze of Pollen might be better due to cycling), I have tried them when I used the UG shell, so I'm comfortable using it here. It's the cushion that gives the list a way to be somewhat all-out before the kill turn.
We should not disregard the utility RG build provides us (I will mostly miss Firespout and SSG), but I think for now, I'll go with the mono build.
With all the Ixalan spoilers out, what cards do you guys plan to test? Personally, I'd want to run a number of Ranging Raptors. It chumps, it gets a land. They burn it / path it, it gets a land. It dodges vanilla Fatal Push. Maybe some other things I can't think of atm haha! Right now I'm using the RG version but the Mono-G one looks nice.
Interesting lists. The Japanese UW seems like a less all in, but interesting 2 piece combo version compared to these deck thinning ramp versions.
I recently played my own super different version to a perfect record which may warrant a different thread, but I sourced a strong amount of inspiration from here, so I wanted to post about it.
How to play:
1.Tutor for your 4 lands.
2.Once you have 4 lands out of your deck, cast belcher, Balustrade spy, or Undercity informer. Target yourself with the mill.
4a. If you cast belcher, untap and activate for the win next turn.
4b. If you cast Balustrade spy, or Undercity informer, legacy weapon triggers and goes on top of your deck.
5b. If legacy weapon, Azami, Angel of Glory's rise, Lab Maniac, or unburial rites are in your hand during your upkeep, activate phantasmagorian to discard them for free.
6b. Draw Legacy weapon. (So you dont mill)
7b. Tap out to flashback unburial rites targeting angel of glory's rise. Angel trigger returns azami and lab maniac.
8b. Tap azami and/or lab maniac to draw a card and win.
True. Maybe I'll try and make it like legacy oops all spells, where main board I run my version, and post board I side out the combo and play your version. It dodges the graveyard hate.
I wanted to ask, what is your 7 card pile? If your pile goes like "5 mana sources, belcher, x) Then I propose that x is pact of negation. Also, assuming a list combined COULD exist, the pile could be "red ramp x4, manamorphose (bw), Balustrade, Infernal plunge, Pact of Negation" (8 mana to combo off in 1 turn, and Manamorphose allows for an 8 card pile, as it is a free cantrip)
Why would this line be useful? Beats leyline of Sanctity! It's possible your list could find space for Angel, Azami, Maniac, Balustrade, Manamorphose, infernal plunge, rites? Maybe not, but since you have recross, you only need 1 spy, you don't need legacy weapon (since you win in 1 turn), and you dont need phantasmagorian (since reforge will discard your hand).
May I suggest adding 3-4 Lotus Bloom to the 4-land list. Makes mulligan less likely (initial mana source, albeit delayed and not thinning the deck, but the purpose is to lessen the mulligan numbers) plus the explosiveness factor wherein you can cast your Belcher and activate it at the same time on turn 4 (when all your lands are already out of the deck).
Have been doing extensive testing. The list I originally posted doesn't go off soon enough but does always have a win condition because we have 12.
I tried optimizing the recross combo list, and it wins very consistently on turn 4 with counter back up in my updated version, but it does sometimes have problems getting to a win con by turn 4, but is ultimately better. I tried running 2 abundance and street wraiths to get turn 4 wins, (using street wraith/faithless to draw reforge after we rearranged our deck during draw step) but it was inconsistent.
I tried lotus bloom, but since were winning consistently on turn 4 anyway, it didnt add any value to the recross list. For the Mill list, I can imagine it speeding up the combo by a turn, but it requires 4th mana to speed up the creature kills. (4 for balustrade 4 for unburial. 4 lands + lotusbloom= 7) Do some gold fishing with this list and I think you will be surprised at how consistent it is.
BTW, the sideboard has tech to beat leyline with the following pile = (spoils, angels grace, mana morphose , 3 rituals/guides, pact of negation. Mana morphose for black white (for spoils grace) and draw into all your street wraiths but 1 (which is on the bottom) The last street wraith (non-bottomed) draws you lab maniac. then you spoils/grace naming your last street wraith. mill your deck and draw wraith, 3 rituals+ second manamorphose to cast maniac, then use the last wraith to win. That being said, it might be better to just have a natures claim manamorphose pile for beating leyline haha.
Pact of negation
street wraith (total left in deck minus 1, which is at the bottom)
(rest of cards)
Nice! This list is considerably better: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/recross-belcher-speed-v2/
Cut a land, added a ton of rituals, and wild cantor for turn 1 consistency. As somebody commented on the original list, it has some difficult decision making, but stats based plays are pretty easy.
Turn 3 wins: 19
Turn 4 wins: 49
Turn 5 wins 18
Losses due to mulligan, or winning turn 6+: 14
Good to hear! The 3 land list is a leaner and faster variant of your version, but it is more fragile as well. There is a land in the SB specifically to fight against ghost quarters! Yes, there is turn 1 inconsistencies a little, but not as much as I expected. Stats show most goldfish fails are due to never drawing a win con over mulling too much. On the play, its a much better deck because cantor hands arent going to be thoughtseized. On the draw, you are correct that those hands are much riskier.