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.

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

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)

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)

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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urdjur Mar 26, 2020, 9:42 PM

Btw did you have any chance of reading my coupe de feance report ?

I've now read the first part Good to practice my French! (Love the photo of your group, btw!) Do you know of mana-less dredge in Legacy? It uses the so called "DDD mechanic" to discard on the draw as you describe. It gets to be OTD quite a lot, because most people chose to go first. A problem with using this mechanic is that you cannot mulligan. The mechanic likes the ravnica bounce lands because they let you drop land t1 and t2 and still "DDD" on turn 2 (perhaps too slow for reanimator?).

I have no other experience with traditional peasant reanimator, other than thinking it's a strategy not supported by the format. The threats are fragile and there is no room for protection in the main deck. If you can reanimate Iona, Shield of Emeria, it is worth all that trouble of doing so - if it's Hand of Emrakul, then not so much. Unfortunately, all the undercosted removal is still available at common rarity, but the strong threats are not.

I have experiemented with a Selesnya reanimator list using green t1 acceleration, cyclers like Krosan Tusker and white Breath of Life/False Defeat on turn 3. It plays a lot like old mono green 12-post, if you remember that, but instead it uses reanimation to cheapen threats and can eventually hard cast them just fine too. And using the cyclers to draw into more reanimation. It was ok, it was not very good. But less vulnerable than regular reanimator.

As you can see, it's a very classic build and your ideas are just blowing up my mind.

Glad to be able to contribute something! I have a few questions on your experience with your list:
1) Dimir Aqueduct: How/when do you play this? I was trying to fit one but it always seemed to mess up my game plan unless very late game, even though there is great incentive for me to use it. I decided to rely on instant speed land bounce effects instead, but I was wondering how you liked it because you're not even trying to abuse ETB effects on lands like Mystic Sanctuary.
2) Pharika's Libation: Had missed this card. When is the enchantment alternative useful? Do you like it a lot in your SB?

- less diggers (some lists play 4 x Impulse + 4 x Preordain + 4 x Serum Vision + 1 Forbidden Alchemy - looks a bit too much though)

I play a similar number of functionally similar spells. Current experimental list has 4 Impulse + 4 Brainstorm + 2 Tragic Lesson + 2 Expedition Map + 1 Barren Moor. And then the Mystic Sanctuary mechanic to reuse cards like Impulse contributes too.

- shuffle effects seem to me counter productive in a combo deck where you want to dig your deck vertically to assemble the combo

Perhaps we can express this as a quantifiable mathematical problem instead? Note that you are yourself running 4 shuffle effects in Muddle the Mixture so the problem seems inevitable at a certain level, but let's ignore that for now because you might argue that once you hit that MtM you are "home" so to speak. Consider:

1) Let's say you have Thopter Foundry in hand. It is early game, you have seen 10 cards including your opener. You are about to cast your first Impulse. It digs for 4. You grab something useful, no MtM or Sword of the Meek though (I have 3+2 in my list, so lets consider these 5 cards our dig targets), and place 3 less relevant cards at the bottom of your library.
2) At this stage, Brainstorm/Ponder/Preordain as the next dig spell are largely equivalent. If you dig into MtM/Sword using either, then shuffle or no shuffle doesn't matter. So we find that for shuffling to "ruin" the stacking of a previous dig spell, we must really consider only a slightly weird scenario where we have gotten 3 dig spells but no MtM OR Sword. Just saying, this won't even happen every game.
3) Now let us consider the 3rd dig spell, where the paths diverge. We consider Impulse -> Brainstorm + Shuffle -> Impulse and alternatively Impulse -> Preordain -> Impulse. How much does that brainstorm ruin from not leaving the library "intact" from the first Impulse? Well, I mentioned 10 cards seen in point 1 above, so that means there are 50 cards in your library when casting the first Impulse. Stacking the library and leaving it intact essentially "shaves" those 3 cards from the top down to the bottom, increasing the likelyhood that the target will be in the remaining 46 cards, whereas Brainstorm ruining things only considers that one card that Impulse picked up to hand. Preordain adds another scry 2 to that, digging another 3 possible cards whereas Brainstorm only removed one card. So ignoring regular draws in this example, digging through an intact library gets to consider a library size of "virtually" 43 cards with 5 remaining goodies, whereas Brainstorming must consider a library of 48 cards with 5 goodies.
4) What are the odds that the second impulse reveals a MtM/Sword in either case? Hypergeometric distribution time! The probabilities come out to 40,2% vs. 36,6%. So if you find yourself in this situation, not having shuffled your library would have increased your chances with about 4,5% - play 100 games and it will matter in 4-5 of them, assuming the situation comes up at all.

So this must be weighed against the instant speed of Brainstorm, the increased draw power of Brainstorm (essentially being an Ancestral Recall if you shuffle away 2 "bad" cards and keep 3 relevant ones) and some minor tricks that Brainstorm provides, like hiding combo pieces on top of library in response to Duress for example. My choice is Brainstorm.

- still not convinced about brainstorm here: this card requires a specific setup (6/7 shuffle effects) to be optimal. I think I will stick to Preordain in my own UB Snow Thopter

Preordain is fine. I'd run a few if I had room. But I also have 9 shuffle effects in my current version: 4 Ash Barrens + 2 Expedition Map + 3 Muddle the Mixture. I think Arcum's Astrolabe is a factor here too - it is sorcery speed, which motivates me to not have even more sorcery speed effects because there is no room in the game plan for them. Innocent Blood, Arcum's Astrolabe, Duress, Preordain, Serum Visions... C'est beaucoup quand même. We also have sorcery speed combo pieces, sorcery speed tutors and taplands to fit in.

I keep wanting to post my updated Thopter list, but it's not quite finished and I await your reply concerning Dimir Acqueduct/Pharika's Libation first

urdjur !
Just for you ! (a bit for me too)

Thanks, Kaeru - I am sure I will tweak my list after having digested all that wisdom concerning the Hexproof archetype! It will have to wait until tomorrow though

Kaeru Mar 27, 2020, 12:43 AM

2) Pharika's Libation: Had missed this card. When is the enchantment alternative useful? Do you like it a lot in your SB?

Hexproof, Enginereed plague, Ghirapur aether grid...

urdjur Mar 27, 2020, 3:29 PM

Hexproof, Enginereed plague, Ghirapur aether grid

I can't imagine enchantment mode being more useful versus Hexproof than creature mode, in which case it is just an overcosted edict effect that you can't tutor for. Engineered Plague is a concern for sure - in very early drafts of the deck I even included 1x Sunken City for it, but since moved on to more general answers like Recoil.

Now I'm contemplating Pharika's Libation instead of Recoil and trying to think of in which MUs Recoil would still be better. And in which cases Libation would actually be more useful than just Diabolic Edict, which perhaps belongs in the main, not sure.

pismy Mar 28, 2020, 9:17 AM Yes indeed I included Pharika Libation for Engineered Plague.
The card is quite present in the meta (MBC and most of all UB Delver)
Last time I played against UB Delver I 2on after being plagued
As Kaeru says, it's also useful against hexproof although overcosted compared to Diabolic Edict. But well, speaking of sideboard I always prefer versatile cards than specialized ones (also hexproof is not very present in the meta)

About Aqueduct, it's not here to add additional ETB land effects, just to provide an additional "virtual" land drop.
The deck wants mana a lot.

pismy Mar 28, 2020, 9:18 AM Sometimes Libation can help against Oblivion Ring too.

pismy Mar 28, 2020, 9:25 AM But Recoil is nice too I suppose

urdjur Mar 28, 2020, 11:06 AM OK, I'm convinced - I'm switching to Libation in the board The problem with Aqueduct (a card I normally love for the CA) is how to fit it in the game plan? Behold:

t1: Of course impossible
t2: The only realistic play here that permits dropping Aqueduct is Innocent Blood. You don't want an early Brainstorm without a shuffle effect. Preordain works much better with Aqueduct here, but I'd still prefer to have 2 mana open for counter/removal here. Tapping out on t2 can be dangerous.
t3: Again, we want 2 mana open. Can't have that with bouncing one land and the other ETB tapped. Tapping out on t3 is even worse! This is normally where Innocent Blood gets played IMO, to handle threats that got through the instant speed protections, still leaving 2 mana open.
t4: This would normally be the best turn to drop a combo piece with 2 mana open to protect it if needed as you pass the turn, but you can't if you want to play Aqueduct. With Aqueduct, you must use the game plan for t3 here instead, which I guess is acceptable.
t5: Transmute at sorcery speed for 3 with 2 mana open, typically. Not possible with Aqueduct, means t4 aqueduct is still the best play.
t6: I don't really plan on making my 6th land drop, either because I didn't see enough land or because I'm using instant speed land bouncers at this point to abuse Mystic Sanctuary.

At present, I don't think the deck (my list) wants Dimir Aqueduct, but I may reconsider. Anyway, here is my present ThopterSword list:

4 Ash Barrens
3 Mystic Sanctuary
10 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Swamp
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Barren Moor

4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
2 Expedition Map

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

4 Brainstorm
4 Impulse
2 Tragic Lesson

4 Counterspell
3 Miscalculation
1 Deprive

3 Innocent Blood
3 Agony Warp
1 Echoing Truth
1 Diabolic Edict

SB (15)
4 Duress
3 Gurmag Angler
2 Negate
2 Pharika’s Libation
2 Welding Jar
1 Doom Blade
1 Shred Memory

So, one less Sanctuary but 2 Expedition Map = more sanctuary sources, but less risk of having too many. The maps also add to artifact count for games 2-3 as discussed before. Against most decks, I would board out 2 miscalculation for 2 welding jar too in games 2-3, increasing the artifact count further.

Expedition Map also adds more shuffling effects and main deck GY hate in Bojuka Bog. Shred Memory as a tutor target that can be recurred with Sanctuary completes the GY package, with very strong hate that still takes up minimal deck space because bog is a land and shred is also a tutor. This means it can also relieve some pressure off of MtM games 2-3 if you need to hardcast those more against artifact removal. Finally, the 3rd dedicated black source is Barren Moor, which is there to make a redundant Map cantrip as well, if you have no other use for it. An early t1 Moor can be bounced with instant speed land bouncers and cycled away later too!

Getting quite satisfied with the list including the SB that now even has hard enchantment removal! With Pharika's Libation, I cut 1 Innocent Blood and moved Diabolic Edict to the main. This also simplifies SB process, as it's a clean swap now between 3x Innocent Blood and 3x Gurmag Angler (they have some anti-synergy), depending on what you're up against.

Next goal is to study up on Hexproof with the material provided by Kaeru, but don't hesitate to keep suggesting things for ThopterSword or Burn too if something comes to mind

pismy Mar 28, 2020, 12:13 PM Hey Urdjur !

I've spent a couple of hours this morning on my goldfish simulator.

I first improved my scry implementation (based on whether I need lands or I need to avoid them).
Then ran the simulator on your burn list (the first one you posted).
(I didn't implement the SSG strategy, so sticked to 2 mountains instead)

Average kill turn stats are already impressive:
- OTP: 4,49 +/-0,83
- OTD: 4,08 +/-0,57
Quite low avg kill turn and average mean difference too, which means the deck is pretty stable!
Believe me the goldfish stats here are above most lists (doesn't mean the list is strickly better as goldfish is no real game - for instance lists playing Seering Blaze are somewhat disadvantaged on goldfish, but the card is damn good)

Then I wondered if Magma Jet was responsible for this stability and made the following version to validate (or not) my theory:
-3 Magma Jet
+1 Thermo-Alchemist
+2 Flame Rift

And obtained the following stats:
- OTP: 4,39 +/-0,79
- OTD: 3,99 +/-0,54

Even better !
The lack of "regularity" brough by Magme Jet scry is somewhat compensated by the cheaper cost of your spells (better ratio mana/damage)

So then I wondered if - maybe - Lava Dart was in some way responsible of those good stats, and made this 3rd version:
-3 Lava Dart
+1 Ghitu Lavarunner
+2 Firebrand Archer

And obtained the following stats:
- OTP: 4,35 +/-0,71
- OTD: 4,00 +/-0,48

Even better, again !

Sometimes it is quite frustrating when trying to analyse the impact of a specific card on a list. All your hypothesis go wrong.

urdjur Mar 28, 2020, 11:31 PM

I've spent a couple of hours this morning on my goldfish simulator.

Awesome news! I wish I had access to tools like this back in my Burn glory days, but better late than never!

-3 Magma Jet
+1 Thermo-Alchemist
+2 Flame Rift

Perhaps this is not the best option if you wish to evaluate the effect of Magma Jet scry. Creatures in general are powerful in goldfish because they are repeatable damage sources, but in practice they eat removal and can be interacted with in more ways than bolts. But judging by the Flame Rift substitution alone, it seems the scrying power of Magma Jet is at least not quite as good as 2 extra damage for 0 extra mana. In practice though, Flame Rift comes with a very high price of dealing 4 damage to yourself (and sorcery speed), so it has its problems.

Might I suggest swapping Magma Jet for Incinerate in testing? If Incinerate gives a quicker goldfish in your simulator, then the case for playing Magma Jet at all seems pretty weak. You could diagnose further by trying Staggershock in this slot too - it sort of emulates what Magma Jet is trying to do, but requires the final mana (of the spell you scry for) to be payed in advance. Anyway, could be interesting to compare these three IMO.

A forth variant might be tweaking your scry code and see if, when you keep Magma Jet constant, what scry strategies give the quickest clock.

-3 Lava Dart
+1 Ghitu Lavarunner
+2 Firebrand Archer

Again you have the problem here of swapping bolts for creatures in a goldfish simulator... Ghitu Lavarunner won't deal damage from t3 and forward in most real games. Firebrand Archer will most likely deal 2 and trade with something. I think it's better to test creatures vs. creatures and spells vs. spells to find out what's most effective.

Has your simulator implemented the use of Lava Dart to trigger Monastery Swiftspear and Thermo-Alchemist twice per copy? If so , it could be interesting to swap Lava Dart for Shard Volley, which has the same mana investment and tax on the land base. If Lava Dart does not give greater kill speed than Shard Volley, even in a deck with 4 Swiftspear and 4 Alchemist, the argument for running it weakens. It might be that our desire to get clever synergies is actually hurting ourselves compared to just the raw power of MOAR BOLTS

If you could do some testing with Light up the Stage and testing various similar creatures against each other (Keldon Marauders vs. Firebrand Archer for example would make sense to test IMO), that would be great.

Max2070 Apr 3, 2020, 11:59 PM test