- 2x Cliffhaven Vampire
- 2x Drana, Liberator of Malakir
- 4x Drana's Emissary
- 4x Expedition Envoy
- 3x Kalastria Healer
- 4x Metallic Mimic
- 2x Vampire Envoy
- 4x Zulaport Cutthroat
Comments View Archive
BudyWolfe, I have thought of Captain's Claws, but it seems like a hard fit into this deck. To make room for it probably means dropping some of the removal and/or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. I could take out some of the Always Watching and/or March from the Tomb, but those cards have proven to be extremely valuable to the success of the deck.
I'll tinker with Captain's Claws and see if there's a way to integrate it. Thank you for the suggestion!
March 6, 2017 12:37 p.m.
Geo67, it is! The problem is that it's just not quite enough to push it to highly competitive. I haven't quite figured out the missing piece, but it is definitely strong against friends. FNM is a bit more cutthroat, and I think it will hold its own, but not be a top deck.
It's a lot of fun to play, whether it's winning or not, though. :-)
March 29, 2017 11:18 a.m.
So I took the deck and did minor changes....2x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet in, since he is a vampire, and gets stupid huge. I squeezed him in by taking out the cut throat...which is a card I love, but Kalitas puts the fear on peoples faces like few other cards. I was looking for something that would protect the creatures, but haven't found it yet, some type of 'fog' technique....like a Heroic or a Blossoming Defense, but in white.
I also upped the removal, and added an extra Gideon, Ally of Zendikar for ally creating. There are several Mardu players in my meta, so Ruinous Path is almost a must have in a black deck. If you could splash it for a tiny, tiny bit of red, and run Unlicensed Disintegration, that would be a nice finisher.
After play testing a bit, I think that 4 Shambling Vent may be too much land coming in tapped especially when we want to strike fast, and apply pressure.
March 30, 2017 8:31 a.m.
Make a Stand is a good white card to protect your creatures
March 30, 2017 3:57 p.m.
Still correct! 8 gained, 16 lost.
Panharmonicon would be insanity. I have thought of this, but that requires making room for it, and I like the current balance. It is worth play testing, but at this time I'll stick with the current list. Thanks for the suggestion!
Yes, Vampire Envoy is counter-intuitive when it would have vigilance, but a 2/5 or 3/6 flier (if two Always Watching are out) is worth the trade for me! I used to have Ondu War Cleric and Smuggler's Copter (and then Aethersphere Harvester) in the deck, but removed them to make room for other cards. I think a 2/5 blocker is pretty good, so I'm okay with the tradeoff.
When the deck hits all cylinders, it is efficient. Opponent's learn to use removal virtually every turn because getting 2 or 3 creatures out means they start to combo off one another and they get terribly painful. Picking them off as they enter the battlefield minimizes the damage.
The good news is that the current meta seems to be more aggro, so board wipes are not as common, and removal seems more targeted. In other words, control decks are the minority, meaning that this deck has a chance to flourish!
Thanks for the questions and the suggestions!
April 5, 2017 11:24 a.m.
+1 from me. Interesting deck to look over. My first thought was that this essentially gets gutted by any board wipe in the meta and/or that it can't do well against the top end stuff but the addition of anthem effects and March from the Tomb might give you the edge that you need in order to win.
I think i'll try bringing this deck for some standard, with a few custom changes. Which I wouldn't mind discussing with you BioProfDude
I think the land base could lose 2 Shambling Vent and be better for it. Life gain is not a problem for this deck at all and we need the quick mana. Replacing them will be 1x Westvale Abbey Flip which I see is in your maybe board and 1 swamp because frankly you have so much need for black mana that having an equal amount of white mana might actually be bad in the early game!
Looking over your creatures I think a few changes can be made. Vampire Envoy for example feels super weak to me. Being a 1/4 you want to use him as a potential blocker. But he only does something when he attacks.. for 1. And he's not capable of blocking Heart of Kiran before an anthem effect is played (which admittedly you have lots of). But maybe that's good enough?
How do you deal with the saheeli combo in game 1? That's where I think we agree that trying to get Authority of the Consuls into the main would be good, just like it would be good against mardu vehicles. Not that the deck needs more passive life gain per se, but being able to stop crewing + the combo with a 1CMC enchant is pretty good. But what to take out? I think the only card that could be reasonable to take out would be the 3 Always Watching . And I know it's an anthem BUT with metallic mimic and gideon already there to give anthems are they really needed? You have so much passive life gain that you shouldn't need to worry about crack backs from other decks. That's what I'm looking at right now or perhaps taking out some of the less impactful allies.. Thoughts?
I think Gideon should be a 2x in this deck because of how powerful he is against basically everything. Not to mention that he can give an anthem and/or allies and/or attack as a 5/5. He's basically a win-con all on his own that also works as an engine for your deck. So 2x minimum imo.
Sideboard is good but I think Collective Brutality for example could be taken out in favor of something more useful. Fragmentize is kinda meh these days and I would probably prefer to run it as a singleton and have 2x Fatal Push instead that I can bring in against mardu vehicles for example or other aggro decks. You could also run some hand hate. Transgress the Mind for example hits every board wipe in the meta along with other big things.
April 5, 2017 11:45 a.m.
Shambling Vent is a surprisingly useful card. I don't necessarily use it for the lifelink. Rather, it is the surprise creature to block-- or more often attack. I activate it when needed (which is not much more than once per game), and often it acts as that one extra creature (or two!) to finish off an opponent with a full swing of all creatures. It's also the card that has saved me after board wipes as I am able to draw upon it as offense/defense when I have no creatures. I get from where you're coming saying that 2x suffices, but it has saved me enough times that I (personally) prefer to keep 4x in the deck. To each their own, though, so I say try it and let me know how it worked for you!
Vampire Envoy is a big blocker, and gets bigger with the anthem effects. 1 damage isn't enough, and it won't stop Heart of Kiran, but it will stop most fliers. It's also a card that I frequently pull (to trade in sideboard cards) when facing decks with few fliers.
Authority of the Consuls, yeah, that's just a great card. To beat the kitty combo, I normally have enough fliers to get damage to Saheeli Rai before she can be too effective. If the opponent curves perfectly, it can be problematic. If not, it's a very beatable deck just by using fliers to get at Saheeli. Removal, of course, helps as well, for the kitty.
I have taken Always Watching out before, and I never liked the result. Vigilance with smaller creatures is awesome. the +1/+1 is even better. Arguable the largest weakness of the deck is the weakness of the creatures. These anthem effects are what has helped get the deck into a more competitive range. I realize that there are other ways, but Metallic Mimic is a lightning rod, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar has other uses if I don't want to sac him or -4 him. I get what you're saying, and (as before) I say go for it. However, this one card has probably had the largest impact on the rebirth of this deck.
Speaking of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, I had 2x in the deck until just a few weeks ago. I reduced to 1x simply because I find him useful and he can definitely change games, but not essential to the strategy. He's a nice bomb, but my play style doesn't necessarily need or want him as much. You are correct to want more of him, I think, as this definitely depends on play style and preferences for this card. You certainly won't be disappointed with 2x or 3x of Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.
Fragmentize is terribly useful! I wouldn't trade that card out at all! Heart of Kiran? Gone before it can do anything. Artifact creatures like Bomat Courier or Scrapheap Scrounger or any number of other vehicles? Gone. Oath of Nissa, Oath of Chandra, etc..., all are gone. In the current meta with Kaladesh and Aether Revolt, I almost think this card should be mainboard. Again, though, to each their own. Fatal Push is good, but not great because it is limited unless I want to lose a creature. Grasp of Darkness would be a better substitute, in my opinion. Then again, I wouldn't part with my artifact/enchantment killer for anything, given the current meta. Again, though, that's just me!
In short, a lot of the cards in this deck and sideboard depend on the play style of the person holding the cards, so there are arguments to be made for and against the changes you suggest. I say you should go for it and see what works best for you!
Except Authority of the Consuls, that card is just good and really should be mainboard, at least 3x. I just haven't figured out what I want to remove to get there...
While not an Ally, Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet has also been used in this deck to great effect. Indeed, adding Metallic Mimic is what prompted the removal of Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and it is still a questionable replacement, in my opinion. Might be worth a try for you as well.
April 5, 2017 3:45 p.m.
April 5, 2017 3:48 p.m.
I think Evolving wilds wouldn't work simply because the land it fetches comes into play tapped and it'll totally shut you down if you don't get untapped lands in the early game. That's kinda why I'm iffy with shambling vent. Evolving wilds is much worse. What you need is a reliable sac outlet... That would allow you to trigger zulaports at will amongst other cards in your deck.
April 5, 2017 4:50 p.m.
Noctem, well, you pretty well said exactly why I don't use Evolving Wilds, but other versions of this deck do (to trigger revolt). They're fine late game, but early game isn't so great. Shambling Vent is just too useful for my play style, so that's why I prefer the 4x. I get why others (yourself included) may want fewer of them.
April 5, 2017 6:29 p.m.
April 6, 2017 10:08 a.m.
So, I'm probably missing it, but what is the sac outlet to juice the Zulaport Cutthroat?
April 6, 2017 10:46 a.m.
Geo67, there's not a sac outlet. It's more protective to keep my creatures from getting dinged, and getting a couple out at a time really makes an opponent think twice about board wipes.
April 6, 2017 11:19 a.m.
Noctem, that's an interesting card. Makes the vigilance thing questionable, eh? Not sure I want to try it, but could be worth a tinkering, just to see how it flows with the deck.
April 6, 2017 9:07 p.m.
Are you not counting Mostly Harmless as the fifth book of the trilogy?
April 7, 2017 1:58 p.m.
FAGGOTUS-REX, I completely forgot about that book! Yes, I do need to amend my description above to a FIVE book TRILOGY! Thank you for catching that!
April 7, 2017 3:05 p.m.
Alright well I took this deck to standard last night. Went 2-2.
Played against a U/G Geralf's Masterpiece deck for match 1. Won 2-0. Played again for fun and won again. good start to the night. Having 3x dec in stone in the side + 1x Anguished Unmaking + 2x Stasis Snare that I added to the sideboard was very useful against his deck.
Next I played against Saheeli combo. God I hate the combo. So stupid. Anyway I lost 0-2. Game 1 he combo'ed off for the win. Game 2 I got him to 3 HP with him dead the following turn on upkeep and he top decks exactly what he needs to combo again. I never drew any of the 3x Authority of the Consuls or any of the other stuff I sided in.
Match 3 was against R/U control. Won 2-0. I exhausted his counterspells, then enough threats to force a board wipe, which let me March from the Tomb everything back. He used Radiant Flames which meant his mana was tied up and it gave me more freedom to refill the board post wipe. He ended up misplaying and killing himself with a board wipe when I had zulaport on the field. He wasn't happy.
Match 4 was the closest match of the night vs G/W aggro. Won game 1 easy. Game 2 on the other hand had him use a timely Blossoming Defense on the Avacyn he played to stay alive, which worked. Game 3 had the exact same thing happen. I played removal at instant speed on his avacyn before the trigger could resolve, he then played Blossoming Defense to save it. However I managed to get him to 1 HP. He then put me at 1 HP. I needed a relevant top deck, preferably Kalastria Healer or Zulaport which would have won me the game on the spot but I didn't and so I lost. It was that close.
Before FNM started I also played a few practice games against Mardu Vehicles. The lesson I got from it was simply that he out-values you card for card big time. I got close to winning in most of our games with him in single digits but I couldn't lock in the win unfortunately.
Another problem I noticed was that, after taking out 2x Shambling Vent and putting in 1x Abbey + 1 more swamp, I often didn't have the 2 white mana needed to cast non-creature spells. That made my turns awkward for example or stopped me from playing cards like Always Watching and Gideon. Ally Encampment is deceptive here. It doesn't let you cast your much needed double white non-creature spells properly because it only taps for colorless. Having 2 swamps, 1 plains and an encampment let's you cast every creature you have, BUT it doesn't let you cast super important cards. I think the mana base needs to be re-worked a bit and the loss of 2x shambling isn't the problem because those come into play tapped anyway. I think -2 ally encampment to put in more guaranteed colored sources, like at least 1 more white source would be the better idea. And yes, I know you can bounce an ally back to hand with the encampment but I don't know if that's important enough to have to deal with mana issues.
April 8, 2017 6:12 p.m.
also, even though it's not an ally, it was recommended to me to look into Scrapheap Scrounger so that I can have a recurring threat. But I'm not sure if it would fit in the deck per se. though it was would be a good way to use the mimics since you can't bring them back via March from the Tomb anyway.
April 8, 2017 6:23 p.m.
Noctem, ya, as I said earlier-- mardu vehicles is beatable, but that's a very tough match up. Odds are in favor of the mardu deck. G/W aggro is about what I would predict-- fairly even. Probably had some creature stall and the passive life gain/drain is what was helping you. Second game your opponent probably added additional removal.
I disagree with the mana base. I rarely have the problems you describe. They happen, of course, but they happen on the pro tour, too (I've seen top 8 matches were people get mana screwed or flooded). I don't include Westvale Abbey Flip because I'm just not yet convinced it's worth sacrificing 5 creatures (unless the Zulaport Cutthroats are out). The Shambling Vents just add reliability.
I do get what you mean about the Ally Encampment, and it's great in a creature heavy deck like this. It really depends on how much one needs to get creatures out. Reducing to 3x or possibly 2x isn't a terrible idea, but I've also used those Ally Encampments to great effect, so I'm torn on that one. To be honest. though, I rarely use the card's ability to return an ally to my hand. Once in a great while, maybe to save a Drana, Liberator of Malakir, but not very often at all.
Thanks for play testing at FNM-- and especially for the report. You did about what I expect at 2-2. Occasionally, I think, a 3-1 record is expected, but (on average) 2-2 is about where I think it would fall. It's just missing some little piece that will push it up the next level and I cannot quite figure out what that piece is...
I live 70+ miles away from the nearest store, and I don't get to FNM much at this time of year-- work and family obligations eat up weekends during the March and April. I probably won't get to FNM before Amonkhet, so I may not even get a chance to test drive this deck again for a while at FNM.
April 8, 2017 9:22 p.m.
Well I'll make a few tweaks and I'll bring it to standard again this coming week. My store does 3 standard events a week. This week is a cut short because of the long weekend (easter + family day) but I'll keep playing it. I think it has very good potential as a deck that no one is immediately prepared for.
April 9, 2017 8:48 a.m.
Alright I've made a few teaks. Here's the list I'm going to bring tomorrow for Standard.
23 Lands =
24 Creatures =
13 Non-creature spells =
2x Fatal Push
Let me know what you think BioProfDude :)
April 9, 2017 2:29 p.m.
Noctem, looks pretty good. I think, though, getting 2x Authority of the Consuls into the main board is a good idea. Maybe in place of 1x Gideon, Ally of Zendikar + 1x Fatal Push (or 1x Grasp of Darkness)? Just a thought.
April 9, 2017 2:53 p.m.
What are your thoughts on having only 4 one drops in the 75? How valuable do you think the Expedition Envoy is? For example you could cut those 4, put in 3x Authority of the consuls and run an extra kalastria healer. Thoughts?
April 9, 2017 3:06 p.m.
That's an idea. I didn't have the Expedition Envoys in the deck for a long, long time. Indeed, they were added with the latest rebuild. I put them in just to get some 1 drop creatures in because the meta sped up so much with the release of Kaladesh. I might argue that more 1 drops are better, but I'm so aggro minded now that mid-range decks are hard to balance. I like Expedition Envoy only because it is a turn 1 play-- but so is Authority of the Consuls. That will reduce your creature total, but it may be worth it? It's worth play-testing.
April 9, 2017 3:14 p.m.
What about hidden stockpile ? It would give you servos and you can sac them to scry and deal damaged with cutthroat
April 9, 2017 4:17 p.m.
Thanks for the suggestion!
April 9, 2017 4:29 p.m.
Anytime! Been playing u/r tower swapped to temur and hate it. I've always loved the allies deck and decided to dust it off and update. Saw your post and we are pretty similar. I'll post mine once I get it tested and good (:
April 9, 2017 4:34 p.m.
Seems like a fun deck to play!
Have you ever thought of using a card like Eerie Interlude. It's a cheaper way to trigger a lot of allies at one time than for example March from the Tomb and it can also be a good counter against boardwhipes, being instant speed and all.
April 10, 2017 8:46 a.m.
recodef, yes, eerie interlude was in an earlier version of the deck and was quite useful. It has a different purpose, though, than March from the Tomb. Eerie Interlude is more for protection from board wipes or even targeted removal, while March from the Tomb is to get creatures back from the graveyard. Yes, I do understand that eerie interlude would keep creatures from getting to the graveyard in the first place, but with only 4x in the deck maximum, it wouldn't be reliable enough to completely prevent all creatures from ending up in the graveyard. Thus, March from the Tomb has its own utility.
Eerie Interlude is a great card, and highly useful. probably worth a look (again) for the sideboard. Thanks for the suggestion!
April 10, 2017 9:45 a.m.
I thought about Eerie Interlude as well when I looked over the deck. I'm not sure if it's better than MArch in this deck. Worth testing though :)
April 10, 2017 10:04 a.m.
I run a very... very similar deck. But i went mardu. Probably not as good as this deck. I will sometimes board wipe myself with fumigate when zulaport is out. You get all the triggers for that, then ill bring them back with march from the tombs next turn. Plus you get to wipe all the creatures an opponent has out, and you get life gain. Eerie interlude never puts those creatures in the graveyard, so you skip the zulaport triggers. I dont use zulaport for protection, they just pick him off first, then go after the others.
I also have a problem with land, so i kicked out expedition envoy. My lands not fast enough. Thought about spire of industry since i usually have extra life. Dont know. Youre right though, this deck is awesome but cant quite consistently beat the meta.
April 12, 2017 2:21 a.m.
Actually im so impressed i took out the red. Made it look almost identical. So yeah. Left in the fumigate though.
April 12, 2017 3:46 a.m.
I played my custom list again on monday and went 3-1. Important note though that I didn't play against Mardu or Saheeli combo during the 4 rounds and I got a bye during the first round. So my results were affected by that.
April 12, 2017 6:35 a.m.
Check out my Odric deck! Maybe we could do a white/black collab?
Dm me and I'll make a deck that we can edit together!
May 29, 2017 2:29 p.m.
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|Date added||1 year|
|Last updated||2 months|
This deck is Casual legal.
|Tokens||Gideon, 2/2 Knight Ally|
|Folders||Ally Deck, Others, Rally, Ally Primer, practice, Standard, decks, Interesting Standard Decks, allies, YEEEEEEET, See all 36|
|Top rank||#1 on 2017-04-08|