My MOCS Decks Part 2: Pioneer Sultai Delirium

Goncalo Pinto

Goncalo Pinto

Hello Magic Friends!

Welcome to the second part of my MOCS 2019 finals decks series. On the first article I talked about Modern Temur Scapeshift. Now it is time for Pioneer.

Pioneer Overview

Unlike Modern, Pioneer has a much more predictable metagame. This means that you can afford to have a much more reactive game plan since there aren’t that many out of the line strategies and the format is shaped even more around《Uro》.

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

It is basically Uro decks trying to go bigger than other Uro decks while the other decks try to capitalize on that by going under it. There are a few decks that operate at a different axis such as WB Auras and Lotus Field, but the most important and relevant of these is definitely Oops! All spells.

Eidolon of the Great RevelBurning-Tree EmissaryBalustrade Spy

At the time of the event the most popular non Uro decks were Boros Burn, Mono-Green Planeswalkers and Oops! All spells. While from the Uro side, Sultai Reclamation was the one putting more results.

Picking the Right Uro Deck

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to be on the Uro side. I think that once you have your deck correctly tuned, your average Uro draw will beat everyone’s non Uro draw. Even if the Boros Burn or Mono-Green nut draws you one game, they still have to beat you once more. The weekend before the deadline, I top4ed the Pioneer Challenge with Sultai Reclamation on my secondary account:

Despite the good result, I felt like I was on the good side of variance in many spots and that in game 1, I was always struggling. This meant that my deck wasn’t correctly tunned, and the counterspells were overall underperforming due to the raise in popularity of Boros Burn and Mono-Green.

Wilderness ReclamationSinister Sabotage

The idea behind playing 《Wilderness Reclamation》 in this deck is not to play one big powerful spell such as 《Explosion》 on the Temur Version. It is more like playing 《Uro》 and card draw on your turn while leaving the counterspells up on your opponent’s turn. If counterspells are underperforming, maybe the reclamation version is not the way to go.

This was when I started panicking. I had this version pretty much locked for almost a week and was dedicating most of my testing time to Modern.

Panic

My friend Do0mswitch played Jaberwocki’s version on the Pioneer Showcase, and said he liked the matchup versus both Mono-Green and Boros Burn.

Satyr WayfinderUro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

I had played the deck before and while I liked the deck’s feeling, I felt some of his deckbuilding choices were not correct. I had built my own version in the past but abandoned it because I felt it was slightly worse against other Uro decks, and the matchup against the Lotus Field deck popular at that time was kinda poor. But wait… that’s not how the metagame is right now! The full playset of 《Fatal Push》 and the 《Satyr Wayfinder》 boosting the turbo 《Uro》 draws were exactly what I felt I needed to improve the matchups versus Mono-Green and Boros Burn in specific.

Sultai Delirium

As I said above, while I liked the full playset of 《Fatal Push》, 《Thoughtseize》 and 《Satyr Wayfinder》, there were some aspects of Jaberwocki’s decklist that I wasn’t a fan of. For reference, this was his last available list at that time (which ended up being almost identical of the one he submitted):

Jaberwocki’s Decklist

Emrakul, the Promised EndSoul-Guide LanternThoughtseize

My Decklist

Now this is what I submitted for MOCS:

Card Choices

Now let me give you a brief explanation on some of the decisions and numbers:

Mana Base

Zagoth TriomeFabled PassageBlooming Marsh

Copy / Paste JaberWocki’s Decklist.

The 4-of Untouchables

4《Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath》 4《Satyr Wayfinder》

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

4

Satyr Wayfinder

4

These are all pretty standard in this deck and one of the reasons to play this build. I think all the other cards in the deck have reasons to play either the full set or shave some copies. Not these. I think you must play 4 of each card, period.

Delirium Package

4《Grim Flayer》

Grim Flayer

4

This was the biggest change I made in the deck. I really felt the deck needed another way to apply pressure. This felt like a perfect fit to the deck. It quickly grows into a 4/4 and each time it connects, it has a good chance of hitting 《Uro》 for free. Even when it doesn’t hit the jackpot it smooths your draws very effectively.

3《Traverse the Ulvenwald》

Traverse the Ulvenwald

3

I felt like you didn’t need to have a bunch of these, since having too many in your hand would make your draws kinda awkward sometimes. I felt 3 was enough.

2《Shark Typhoon》 1《Brain Maggot》

Shark Typhoon

2

Brain Maggot

1

I felt like 3 《Shark Typhoon》 was a little too much, but at the same time I wanted to have 3 enchantments in the deck. One thing I was missing was a good card to disrupt the combos and 《Brain Maggot》 filled that spot just fine. With that being said, and with the particular decline of Lotus field decks, maybe 1 《Courser of Kruphix》 maindeck would be fine as well. I would still play 1 《Brain Maggot》 in the 75.

3《Soul-Guide Lantern》

Soul-Guide Lantern

3

Having a good reason to play 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 maindeck was one of the factors that led me into play this deck. It is good against other Uro decks and is premium versus Oops! All spells. Pretty much every time you have it in your opening hand game 1 against that deck, you win. That easy.

2《Liliana, the Last Hope》

Liliana, the Last Hope

2

With the addition of 《Grim Flayer》, you want to have all the card types available, so adding planeswalkers is a must. I decided to go for 《Liliana, the Last Hope》, mostly because of her -2 ability. Rebuying a milled 《Emrakul, the Promised End》 has proven to be very strong in my testing.

1《Emrakul, the Promised End》

Emrakul, the Promised End

1

I think this card was missing from Jaberwocki’s list. It is a very strong trump against control and combo matchups. Controlling one turn of your opponent’s turns can flip the game entirely in your favor.

Utility

4《Thoughtseize》 4《Fatal Push》

Thoughtseize

4

Fatal Push

4

Not much explanation needed for these.

1《Assassin’s Trophy》

Assassin's Trophy

1

I wanted to have the 3rd 《Noxious Grasp》 in the 75, but couldn’t find space for it. This made me change the 《Heartless Act》 for this, as this was the closest card to 《Noxious Grasp》 I could get while being maindeckable.

1《Murderous Rider》 1《Ravenous Chupacabra》

Murderous Rider

1

Ravenous Chupacabra

1

Probably 2 《Murderous Rider》 was better, but I found myself in a spot where I needed to “Tutor” for something that kills the 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》. Tutoring and killing it with the 《Murderous Rider》 meant a lot of damage. Having an immediate body on the field was not irrelevant as well.

1《Tireless Tracker》

Tireless Tracker

1

I had to shave an extra card and it ended up being 《Tireless Tracker》. It is very good against control / combo, but not that much versus aggro. I expected the field to be faster so I decided to shave one and play only a single copy of the powerful human.

0《Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy》

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

0

It was either 《Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy》 or 《Grim Flayer》. I felt applying pressure was more important.

0《Mystical Dispute》

Mystical Dispute

0

I felt the blue decks were in decline, so I decided to let this go.

Sideboard

1《Reclamation Sage》

Reclamation Sage

1

Very strong sideboard card against Boros Burn as it deals with 2 of their biggest threats against you, 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 and 《Roiling Vortex》. Wouldn’t mind to have another copy in the sideboard.

2《Abrupt Decay》

Abrupt Decay

2

I also wouldn’t mind to have access to more of these, since it deals with all the Boros Burn threats. This includes 《Roiling Vortex》, 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 and 《Lurrus of the Dream-Den》. It is also O.K. against 《Teferi, Time Raveler》, but that card is not as annoying for this deck as it is for Sultai Reclamation.

1《Bloodchief’s Thirst》 1《Disfigure》

Bloodchief's Thirst

1

Disfigure

1

These are the slots to add extra 1 mana removal to the deck after sideboard. I felt both had their pros and cons so I decided to split. Being sorcery is obviously worse, but still relevant to the delirium. Since you tend to board out 《Thoughtseize》 against some matchups where you board these in.

2《Necromentia》

Necromentia

2

Specific slots against combo. Very effective against both Oops! All spells and Lotus Field.

1《Negate》 1《Disdainful Stroke》

Negate

1

Disdainful Stroke

1

I had to spare some slots for hard counters, in order to complement the primary 《Thoughtseize》 plan. Again, both have some pros and cons, so I decided to split in order to make it a little difficult for the opponent to play against. Having 2 《Negate》, for example, would mean that they knew they could always jam a 《Yorion, Sky Nomad》 or 《Niv-Mizzet Reborn》. My third option for this slot was 《Tale’s End》.

2《Noxious Grasp》

Noxious Grasp

2

The best card possible against Mono-Green. Ideally, I would have 3, but I couldn’t find room for it.

1《Extinction Event》

Extinction Event

1

It was a concession to BW Auras, but it is also a way to scare the opponent from over committing.

1《Hydroid Krasis》 1《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》 1《Notion Thief》

Hydroid Krasis

1

Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet

1

Notion Thief

1

I wanted to have some extra value creatures that don’t depend on the graveyard, that provided good value. 《Elder Gargaroth》 and the second copy of 《Tireless Tracker》 were also in the mix.

Sideboard Guide

Sultai Reclamation

Against Sultai Reclamation

Out

Assassin's Trophy Fatal Push
Ravenous Chupacabra Murderous Rider

In

Disdainful Stroke Negate
Hydroid Krasis Notion Thief

Be careful with the 《Nightpack Ambusher》 on the sideboard. Make sure you keep 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 or 《Fabled Passage》 around to enable your 《Fatal Push》s.

How to Improve?

Notion ThiefTireless Tracker

《Notion Thief》 is the MVP here. They can’t do anything productive while it is in play, so make sure you set it up correctly. Extra copies of the 3/1 will help, but 《Tireless Tracker》 also plays a big role here.

Oops! All Spells

Against Oops! All Spells

Out

Liliana, the Last Hope Liliana, the Last Hope
Ravenous Chupacabra Murderous Rider
Fatal Push

In

Necromentia Necromentia
Disdainful Stroke Negate
Extinction Event

I like to keep 《Fatal Push》s instead of adding mediocre cards such as 《Hydroid Krasis》 or 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》. I feel that you can very often get their 2-mana accelerator. Also, sometimes they try to beat you down once you have 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 or 《Necromentia》 and you have an effective way to stop that plan. Last but not least, it is a good way to stop them from winning with the sideboarded 《Thassa’s Oracle》 as the 《Worldspine Wurm》s will grant that they will have some cards left in the library.

Necromentia

《Necromentia》s are insanely good, but somehow tricky to play. The default used to be to name 《Worldspine Wurm》 and win on the spot, but now I think it is correct to name 《Creeping Chill》.

They usually bring out the 《Narcomoeba》 so removing the 《Creeping Chill》will also prevent their Plan A to work while giving you 2 extra turns to win if you have a way to deal with 《Thassa’s Oracle》 (such as 《Fatal Push》 or 《Assassin’s Trophy》).

Confused? let me clarify that for you:

Narcomoeba

The Oops! All Spells deck, usually plays a 《Narcomoeba》 in order to:

Now, here comes the tricky part.

Because they fear 《Extinction Event》, they often board out the 《Narcomoeba》, since having the 《Prized Amalgam》s already in play on your opponent’s turn can be a disaster. This opens the door to stop their combo quite effectively with a 《Necromentia》 naming 《Creeping Chill》, since without 《Creeping Chill》s, the 《Silversmote Ghoul》 won’t trigger, and without the 《Silversmote Ghoul》 and the 《Narcomoeba》 on the sideboard, the 《Prized Amalgam》s won’t trigger either.

My experience says that without the 12 damage of 《Creeping Chill》 and the 《Silversmote Ghoul》, your deck is perfectly able to deal with the non-recurring 《Prized Amalgam》s coming off a 《Haunted Dead》 since it’s just too slow, thus naming 《Creeping Chill》 instead of 《Worldspine Wurm》 is correct.

Thassa's OracleWorldspine Wurm

This leaves them with the 《Thassa’s Oracle》 plan B and that is where the 《Fatal Push》 can do some work. Since they still have the 《Worldspine Wurm》, they will have 2 cards left in the library. This means that in order to play around the 《Fatal Push》 on the 《Thassa’s Oracle》, resetting the devotion to blue back to 0, they need to wait 2 extra turns to safely play the Oracle with 0 cards in the library to win the game.

With all this being said, if you know that they are not running or boarding in 《Thassa’s Oracle》, just name 《Worldspine Wurm》 and collect the free win.

How to Improve?

Soul-Guide LanternNecromentiaShadows' Verdict

Extra 《Soul-Guide Lantern》 and 《Necromentia》s will obviously help, but I think that you already have a good set up against this deck. 《Shadows’ Verdict》 is also very good and useful in other matchups.

Boros Burn

Against Boros Burn

Out

Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Tireless Tracker Brain Maggot
Emrakul, the Promised End Shark Typhoon

In

Abrupt Decay Abrupt Decay Disfigure Bloodchief's Thirst
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet Hydroid Krasis
Extinction Event Reclamation Sage

I think the biggest advice I can give you for this matchup is to be careful with 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》. Sometimes it is better to take a hit from the one drop in order to potentially get their 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》 at the end of their turn 2. 《Roiling Vortex》 and 《Lurrus of the Dream-Den》 are their way to go to the long game against you, so make sure you save some resources with that in mind, even if it means to take some extra damage from some creatures.

How to Improve?

Reclamation SageKalitas, Traitor of GhetElder Gargaroth

More 《Reclamation Sage》s, more 1 mana removals, more 《Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet》/《Elder Gargaroth》. All of those help since you still keep some mediocre cards in the maindeck such as 《Liliana, the Last Hope》s or 《Soul-Guide Lantern》s. Be careful with the card types you finish with, if you decide to add extra tools against it.

Mono-Green

Against Mono-Green

Out

Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern
Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Emrakul, the Promised End Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

In

Extinction Event Disfigure Bloodchief's Thirst
Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp
Negate Disdainful Stroke

It is extremely important to kill their one drops in order to make sure that their planeswalker doesn’t come online before you already have a solid board presence. The 1 《Bloodchief’s Thirst》 is extremely important in this matchup, as it can stop the early drops and also clear the planeswalkers.

How to Improve?

Noxious Grasp

More 《Noxious Grasp》! Also, replacing the 《Disfigure》 for 《Bloodchief’s Thirst》 improves a bit.

Orzhov Auras

Against Orxhov Auras

Out

Grim Flayer Grim Flayer Grim Flayer Grim Flayer
Liliana, the Last Hope Liliana, the Last Hope
Shark Typhoon Shark Typhoon
Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern

In

Abrupt Decay Abrupt Decay Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp
Disfigure Bloodchief's Thirst
Extinction Event Reclamation Sage
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet Notion Thief

You try to 1for1 all their creatures and then stick an 《Uro》. 《Emrakul, the Promised End》 can be a good plan once they establish a big board. 《Notion Thief》 is surprisingly good, since they often grind you out with 《Sram, Senior Edificer》 and 《Hateful Eidolon》.

How to Improve?

Extinction EventSoul Shatter

《Extinction Event》 is very good, but also 《Soul Shatter》 is. 《Soul Shatter》 is also a good alternative for the extra 《Noxious Grasp》s against Mono-Green. It can be a good alternative since the opponent’s post-boarded 《Apostle of Purifying Light》s are really annoying.

Mono-Black Aggro

Against Mono-Black Aggro

Out

Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
Emrakul, the Promised End Brain Maggot

In

Disdainful Stroke Extinction Event Disfigure Bloodchief's Thirst
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet Hydroid Krasis

Killing their creatures and then sniping them with 《Soul-Guide Lantern》s is the key to win this matchup, so make sure you save the 《Soul-Guide Lantern》s in hand as much as possible.

How to Improve?

Shadows' VerdictCry of the Carnarium

《Shadows’ Verdict》 and 《Cry of the Carnarium》 are very effective against this deck, so if you feel that you are getting paired against Bolov0 or mahzinha_linda very often, make sure you add some of those to the sideboard.

Niv to Light

Against Niv to Light

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Shark Typhoon Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
Assassin's Trophy

In

Disdainful Stroke Negate Necromentia Necromentia
Notion Thief Hydroid Krasis
Abrupt Decay

Your plan is to prevent them from playing their 《Niv-Mizzet Reborn》 before you cast 《Necromentia》, either be 《Thoughtseize》 or 《Disdainful Stroke》/《Negate》 (《Negate》 the 《Bring to Light》). Once you 《Necromentia》 their 《Niv-Mizzet Reborn》, your life becomes much easier. 《Emrakul, the Promised End》 is a good way to go bigger than them.

How to Improve?

Disdainful Stroke

More 《Disdainful Stroke》 would do wonders here.

Jeskai Lukka

Against Jeskai Lukka

Out

Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern
Ravenous Chupacabra Fatal Push Fatal Push
Liliana, the Last Hope Shark Typhoon Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

In

Negate Necromentia Necromentia
Disdainful Stroke Abrupt Decay Abrupt Decay
Notion Thief Reclamation Sage Hydroid Krasis

You want to leave some instant speed removal for the 《Transmogrify》/-2 《Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast》. You board in the 《Abrupt Decay》s for that reason, plus the fact that they can hit 《Teferi, Time Raveler》,《Narset, Parter of Veils》 or 《Rest in Peace》. 《Necromentia》 is good against 《Agent of Treachery》, since once you do that you will leave them with many useless cards. If they board in 《Void Winnower》 you can still 《Traverse the Ulvenwald》 for 《Murderous Rider》 or simply beat them with 《Uro》.

How to Improve?

Tireless TrackerNegate

I think this is a matchup where value creatures with ETB abilities or similar (such as 《Tireless Tracker》) would help. Also, some extra counterspell effects.

Esper Control

Against Esper Control

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern
Ravenous Chupacabra Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

In

Abrupt Decay Abrupt Decay Noxious Grasp Noxious Grasp
Notion Thief Reclamation Sage Hydroid Krasis
Disdainful Stroke Negate

How to Improve?

Tireless TrackerNegate

Same as above. More value creatures and some extra counterspells!

Lotus Combo

Against Lotus Combo

Out

Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push Fatal Push
Ravenous Chupacabra Liliana, the Last Hope

In

Disdainful Stroke Negate Necromentia Necromentia
Notion Thief Hydroid Krasis

If they play the 《Baral, Chief of Compliance》 Version, you can leave a couple of extra 《Fatal Push》s in and take another 《Liliana, the Last Hope》 or 《Shark Typhoon》 out. 《Assassin’s Trophy》 doesn’t get the 《Lotus Field》, but it gets the 《Thespian’s Stage》. 《Necromentia》 before they play 1 《Lotus Field》 is GG. If they already have a 《Lotus Field》 in play I usually go for 《Fae of Wishes》, but it depends much more on the information you got with the 《Thoughtseize》s. 《Murderous Rider》 stays as an out to 《Ugin, the Spirit Dragon》 or 《Niv-Mizzet, Parun》.

How to Improve?

Damping SphereNecromentia

This matchup is not great, but you can always add 《Damping Sphere》 in addition to 《Necromentia》 in order to disrupt them in many angles.

Conclusion

This finishes this 2-part series deck guides from the MOCS 2019 finals I had the pleasure to play. I hope you enjoy and benefit from reading these!

If you don’t do it already, follow me on Twitter for more MTG updates!

Gonçalo Pinto(Twitter)

Recommended Items

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加
Goncalo Pinto

Goncalo Pinto A veteran player from Portugal. He has a good relationship with Hareruya Latin members especially his countryman, Marcio Carvalho. His best finish was alongside with Marcio, both made top 8 at Pro Tour Dominaria and he won the closest match against his closest friend. The result was good enough to become a Gold Level Pro and he joined Hareruya Pros after his highest season. Read more articles by Goncalo Pinto