A few lists from Sweden Mar 21, 2020, 4:45 PM
urdjur Hello everybody! I'm a big fan of the peasant format even though I don't live in France or play much on-line. I use it as a basis for both casual and competitive play, and would like to see it spread. Anyway, here are my three peasant decks - the lists are quite different from what I see on this site. If you have any comments (French is fine, though I'll be replying in English), I'd be happy to receive them.

Decklist 1: THOPTER SWORD
4 Ash Barrens
4 Mystic Sanctuary
10 Snow-Covered Island
3 Snow-Covered Swamp

4 Arcum's Astrolabe

3 Thopter Foundry (u)
2 Sword of the Meek (u)
3 Muddle the Mixture

4 Brainstorm
4 Impulse
2 Tragic Lesson

4 Counterspell
4 Miscalculation
1 Deprive

4 Innocent Blood
3 Agony Warp
1 Echoing Truth

Sideboard
4 Duress
3 Gurmag Angler
2 Cremate
2 Negate
2 Recoil
2 Evincar's Justice
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Doom Blade

I call this variant "frozen sanctuary". It mostly differs from regular thopter-sword lists in the mana base. Most lists will use Dismal Backwater and sometimes Dimir Guildgate for mana flexibility. This deck likes to keep 2 mana open at all times for instant speed interactions, so being able to choose between UU or UB on the fly means that you can use Agony Warp or Counterspell or whatever you wish depending on the situation - very neat indeed. Traditional lists also include some number of black or blue artifact lands, to feed to Thopter Foundry when you don't have Sword of the Meek yet. However, this weakens the mana base in games 2 and 3 when many have artifact hate to bring in.

I instead use Arcum's Astrolabe for both mana flexibility and extra thopter fodder. This has the added benefit of creating a mana base that supports Mystic Sanctuary. Not only does it let me reuse the most valuable instants and sorceries in the game, but it forms another combo with Tragic Lesson/Deprive. This second combo lets the deck play the "UB Teachings" style attrition game as a secondary strategy.

The final card I wanted to discuss here was Miscalculation. I don't think I've seen it in any Thopter/Sword lists, and to me it's just the best main deck counter for the deck after Counterspell. Early on, it's just as powerful but less color restrictive, and later it lets you dig into your combo pieces. With 2 mana open, you will often want a draw effect EOT when opponent didn't make a counter-worthy play, and this works very well alongside Impulse and Brainstorm + Ash Barrens in this role. In games 2-3, you can side it out for more dedicated hate such as Duress, when you know what you're up against.

Decklist 2: BURN
16 Mountain
2 Simian Spirit Guide

3 Ghitu Lavarunner
4 Monastery Swiftspear (u)
3 Thermo-Alchemist

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Lava Spike
4 Chain Lightning
4 Rift Bolt
4 Skewer the Critics

3 Fireblast
3 Lava Dart
3 Magma Jet
2 Flame Rift
1 Light up the Stage (u)

Sideboard
3 Martyr of Sands
3 Pyroblast
3 Smash to Smithereens
2 Flaring Pain
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Searing Blaze

Again, the manabase is atypical. I like to do something called Hypergeometric Distributions, which is basically a mathematical tool to figure out how many of a certain card you should be running to acheive a certain result. Now for some theory!

Consider a simple burn deck of just Lightning Bolt and Mountain. Such a deck would need 7 bolts (3x7=21 damage) to win, and this would take 7 mana to cast: 1+2+3+1 mana if you make your 3rd land drop or 1+2+2+2 if you don't. Either way, you're looking at winning on turn 4. Now with some spells such as Fireblast, or if you get much value out of a t1 Swiftspear, it's conceivable that you even win on turn 3, but most of the time you're not super-lucky and your opponent is not a goldfish, and t4 is what you should expect. Furthermore, we can note that if you mulligan on average once 50% of the time and you're on the play vs. on the draw 50% of the time, you will see 10 cards total by turn 4. That means 3 of those need to be mana and 7 need to be spells.

Now in the real world, your deck is not all Lightning Bolt, but that's OK. Because if we assume 3 land drops and 4 turns, you actually have 9 mana to spend, so you can afford to run a few more expensive spells. Also, you could go for a more interactive game against aggro and accept a slower turn 4-5 kill plan with greater consistency. Here we have the two basic subtypes of Burn - the fast variant and the slow variant (with 3 CMC cards such as Volcanic Fallout).

For either variant, the problem is that you can only keep 2-3 land hands. Keeping 1 land is almost always too risky and keeping 4 lands means your first 10 cards will certainly not contain 7 threats. I will not bore you with the hypergeometric distributions, but here are a few take home messages:
21 lands: The best number to maximize probability of 2-3 land hands. Unfortunately, with this many lands, there is still a 50% chance that you'll see more than 3 lands in your first 10 cards. This is the maximum number that "heavy" lists with 3 CMC cards should play.
18 lands: The best number to maximize having exactly 3 lands in 10 cards. Having more than 3 lands is now 34% chance (16% reduction from 21 lands) but you will mulligan 3% more often because of the increase in 1-land hands.
15 lands: Included as a reference, not a recommendation. 9% more mulligans than with 21 lands but only a 20% chance of more than 3 lands in 10 cards.

As you can see, seemingly dramatic changes in land total still don't affect your net result that much. What you lose in mulligans, you gain back in threat density. The important thing is to pick a mana base that suits your curve. Now Simian Spirit Guide enters to make things a bit more interesting!

Remember the 1+2+3+3=9 mana we had available to complete Burn's game plan? So if you need to finance 7 spells with that mana, basically 2/7 or 12/42 of your spells can be CMC 2 rather than CMC 1. Well in that scenario, the last land is only tapped twice (t3 and t4), producing 2 mana. You'll have emptied your hand by then, so avaialble mana beyond that point doesn't really matter - any top deck will be castable. But if one of those lands is Simian Spirit Guide instead, he will only ever produce 1 mana, but he can provide it at any point in the game which compensates you greatly for the net mana loss. So by running 2 SSG, you speed up your game at the price of being able to run even fewer 2 CMC spells in your deck, because you'll sometimes just have 8 mana and not 9 available by turn 4. The important thing is never to get 2 of them, because replacing 2 lands with 2 SSGs is a terrible net loss of available mana, and he can't (realistically) do damage on his own, so 2 is the correct number to run in your deck, and that means no more than 10 CMC 2 spells with 18 mana sources (note that Light up the Stage is effectively a CMC 2 spell, because it adds a 1 mana tax to the spell it hopefully draws).

If you're with me so far, you may have guessed that my firm belief is that Peasant Burn should play anywhere from 16+2 mana sources for the fastest lists, up to 19+2 mana sources for the slower ones (that is Mountains + SSG). The much under-used SSG permits plays like t1 Thermo-Alchemist or t1 Swiftspear -> t2 two spells + Ghitu Lavarunner and attack for 5, not to mention randomly hosing Daze. I very much recommend running it for all Burn lists as a 2-of!

Another much under-used card is Magma Jet, for many of the reasons described above. The correct number to run is 3 and you should pretty much always play it in your t3 upkeep, before your draw step. This filters your last two draws, avoiding mana flood. If Magma Jet saves you from only 1 Mountain, it will have contributed 5 damage total - only Thermo-Alchemist (and occasionally Keldon Marauders) can compete with that. It also lets me keep more 1 land hands with SSG. Mountain + SSG + Magma Jet is a solid keep on the draw - if you didn't draw land t1, Magma Jet in t2 upkeep financed by SSG, scry for land, draw and proceed as normal. It's also great for clearing a path for your creatures to connect for damage.

The rest of the list should be pretty self-evident, but ask away if you're wondering about copy numbers etc. 4 Fireblast is too risky for the fast lists IMO, since you're not planning to drop 4 lands. For heavier lists that interact more, 4 copies is fine. In return, the fast lists can run a few Flame Rift instead, as well as Lava Dart to abuse Swiftspear/Alchemist and enable top decked spectacle cards.

Decklist 3: HEXPROOF
13 Forest
4 Plains

4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Abundant Growth

4 Gladecover Scout
4 Slippery Bogle
4 Silhana Ledgewalker

3 Season of Growth (u)

4 Ethereal Armor
4 Armadillo Cloak
4 Rancor
3 Ancestral Mask
3 Cartouche of Solidarity
2 Spirit Mantle (u)

Sideboard
3 Young Wolf
3 Return to Nature
3 Journey to Nowhere
2 Standard Bearer
2 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Karametra's Blessing

Not much to say about this list except for Season of Growth - now even seen in Modern hexproof lists that are also starting to look more and more like Peasant lists in other aspects. I haven't seen it before in Peasant. It's awesome, basically. Against control where you don't need to race, you can drop t1 bogle and t2 season before they can start countering everything. Now what will they do? Countering your auras is losing, because you draw when casting. Not countering them is losing too. They have edict effects immediately, or they lose basically. Against quicker decks, playing it t4 is fine and just drawing a couple of cards from your last auras as you solidify your position even more.

Another observation though: I don't think Hexproof should run any tap-lands at all. Why would it? You need 12-ish Forests for Utopia Sprawl anyway. You certainly want Abundant Growth as well. Why would you want to add even more green sources at that point? Plains produce white, and ETB untapped - they work very well here. You can easily have 12 white sources to support your white cards without resorting to tap-lands. Yet I see many fetches or Blossoming Sands in these lists. They seem bad. Enjoy the mana consistency and power of green auras, and just play basic plains instead IMO.

I also think Khalni Garden is a big mistake now that Cartouche of Solidarity is available. Khalni Garden breaks your game plan, which is t1 land aura or t1 bogle. With 16 1-drops, no tap lands need apply. If you're worried about edict effects, I recommend 3 Young Wolf in the SB instead. An oldie but goodie, that card is really hard to get around with edicts and board wipes once the opponent boards out all targeted removal.

Hope you like my list variants and that they can spark a fruitful discussion on the forum!

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