The only reason to play Bant version of this deck is T3feri imo. Spending your fourth turn to wipe the board with Shatter the Sky is not that great, because it delays your loop, and dosen’t guarantee a win by itself. Also Bant has better two-mana counterspell (Dovin’s Veto), but that’s not enogh to me. On the other hand, the manabase for Bant version is much worse, and it lacks consitency to find and loop nexus compared to simic version. However, if the simic version grows in popularity signicantly, I would consider playng bant one because of T3feri being super-good in game one and still good post-board.
The worst matchup for this build is Bant Nexus (because of T3feri) and (surprise) Mono-white lifegain. Despite being designed to beat aggro and midrage decks in the first place, I found myself in a very bad spot vs Mono-white. Every other matchups seems favorable or even. Also this new build of Jeskai Control could become a problem that can require some updates to the list, but it is not that popular yet so I can’t say this for sure right now.
As you can see, the only one matchup amongst the decks I’ve met more than 3 times in two months on tha ladder, the only one that is hugely unfavorabele is Mono-White. Also this could possibly be 6-4 against Mono-Red, i definitely remember loosing one game because I forgot to set a stop not so long ago.
Opt is a decent filler, that helps you to find your gas. Can easily board out one, rarely two of those if space is needed. However, this is one of the slots that I can see being replaced if some better cards are printed.
-2 Aether Gust
This is here mainly because of Gruul aggro, but most of top tier decks run either green, or red, the only matchup where it’s dead is Mono-white lifegain, and it’s not large portion of the field. Board out against control and in mirror.
-3 Search for Azcanta
One of your best ways to find your gas in the lategame, and way to filter your draws in the beginning. You usually want to board out two or all three agains agrro.
-3 Root Snare
Despite that Gruul runs Bonecrusher Giant and Lovestruck beast, this card can buy you a turn or two, before you can start your loop and win the game. Nice target to return from gy with Tamiyo’s -3 ability to keep her alive and start searching for gas next turn.
-4 Growth Spiral
Ramp + catrip, all you could wish with this deck in one card.
-2 Brazen Borrower
One of your ways to deal with T3feri, the most problematic card you can see on the other side of the table. Can also be a secondary wincon. This card struggles for slot with Blink of an Eye, that can draw you a card to replace itself, but can’t win the game on the other hand. In the mirror, it’s nice idea to blink their t4 reclamation, leaving them tapped out.
-3 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
Ramp + cantrip + lifegain + primary winkon. The all-stars of the deck, especially in agressive mathcups. Against control, however, you usually want to board out at least two of them, not unusual to board out all three.
-4 Wilderness Reclamation
The deck’s bread and butter, the card that makes it work. Versus T3feri matchups, you want to board out one of those. Don’t forget to set a stop, this definitely costed me some games. 😉
-3 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
Another one way to find parts of your combo. Unlike Azcanta, it can find you creatures. Don’t underestimate her -3 ability, returning sth like Root Snare or Negate can win you some games. In addition, you can consider naming any card as also naming Uro, because you can then cast him from your graveyard immediately. It also fill your grave for flipping Azcanta and casting Uro. Definitely another all-stars of the deck.
-2 Shark Typhoon
Another way to fight T3feri, and also can be a secondary wincon. Don’t be afraid to cycle it for 0 if you are short on lands, you can always return it back with Tamiyo. Sometimes hardcasting this is also a good idea, as you get a 7/7 shark for every Nexus loop.
-4 Nexus of Fate
You never want to board out a single copy of this. Don’t forget you can cast this at the end of your opponent’s turn, after they have tapped out (useful when they run counterspells). In the mirror, you can cast it in response to opponent’s Nexus, so you get the extra turn before them.
-0 Thassa’s Intervention
Almost all builds I see nowadays run 2-3 of this one, but I think this card underperforms. It can be a decent counterspell after turn 3, but if you are on the play it can’t counter T3feri. It can also dig in your deck, but compared to azcanta it will cost you two more mana to dig for four cards, and when you can go really deep and still keep 7 mana for Nexus it’s usually just a win-more. You can replace one Search for Azcanta with this one if you are short on them, but imo this card is overrated.
-0 Teferi, Master of Time
I have tried T4feri as a one-off, but you usually don’t want to loot that much because most of your cards are pretty good on their own, and he is not good мы agrro. Sayng that, he can sometimes save you from mana flood, or disable their single big beater, or phase-out Lovestruck Beast to enable your Root Snare. Anyways, I wouldn’t recommend playing him.
-1 Arch of Orazca
With Reclamation on board, it can draw you extra card per turn, sometimes even two.
-2 Blast Zone
Your one and only hard removal. This can deal with T3feri, Scavenging Ooze, Cindervines, or completely break the RDW’s and White lifegain go-wide plan. Be careful with hitting 4-cmc permanents though, because your two main pieces of combo both cost 4.
-3 Castle Vantress
Combines really well with Reclamation. If you have Rec on board and need to find your Nexus, set a stop at your upkeep to scry before you draw.
-4 Breeding Pool, 4 Hinterland Harbor
Your bread-and-butter manabase.
-3 Ketria Triome
You run triomes for two reasons – frist because they are Forest Island (so your Castles and Harbors come into play untapped), second – you can cycle them in the lategame to find more gas. With the release of new untapped dual lands with basic land types I will strongly consider replacing those.
-1 Temple of Mystery
Despite scry being a decent effect in this deck, you really don’t want to find yourself in position when you have only tapped lands. Definitely will swap this with the realse of new untapped duals.
-2 Aether Gust
Board them in against Gruul and Stompy. Not very good in mirror.
Good in most matchups, except mono-color aggro and gruul. You should almost always go for cunterspell war for T3feri (except the times you have some exact plan to deal with him), cause if you don’t they can be dead for the rest of the game anyways.
-1 Brazen Borrower
Board him in againts T3feri and other slow matchups.
-4 Mystical Dispute
One of the best ways to fight T3feri. Even if you don’t cast it, knowing that you have them forces your opponent to play around it, delaying their spells for a few turns. Also a good way to fight in a counter war, cause it usually costs just one. Always board in against any blue deck.
-4 Lovestruck Beast
The best way to stop aggro deck’s early game plan, especially when you are on the play. They usually can’t attack into it untill turn 4 or 5. It also can sometimes win you games on it’s own, for example if you have two of those, cause they usually can’t block this profitable as well. If they attack you with Questing beast int it, it’s usually a good idea to trade.
Your perfect opening hand usually contains 3-4 untapped lands, some ramp (Uro/Growth Spiral), Tamiyo and Reclamation. If you don’t have any turn two play and Opt, you should consider taking a mulligan. Sometimes (usually in midgrange matchups), however, you can keep hands with Uro, Tamiyo and Reclamation without any turn two action.
If you have both Tamiyo and Reclamation after mulligan, and have nothin else to put on bottom, you almost always want to put back the Reclamation, because you can find another one with Tamiyo.
If you have to mulligan in game one, and you don’t know what your opponent is playng, you should strongly consider putting back more situational cards like Aether Gust and Root Snare.
If you have to choose between bottoming Uro or Growth Spiral, you shold consider having a turn four play. If you have Reclamation or Tamiyo, it will usually be better to bottom Uro, cause you will be spending your turn three to cast one fo those.
Tips and Tricks
You can cast Nexus of Fate not only at the end of your turn. If you try to play around their counterpsells, you can wait for them to tap out on their turn (like for casting T5feri). Also, even if they don’t tap out at all, casting your Nexus at the end of their turn will either give you a free turn or force them to spend thier mana on counterpell, after which you will untap and still have a full turn to do your staff.
If they cast T3feri, you can sometimes hardcast Brazen Borrower in response. This will force them either to bounce it back or to plus, instead of bouncing your Reclamation or Azcanta. You could also cycle Shark Typhoon at the end of their turn, so you would be able to attack T3feri next turn with a token. This works best if they minus.
You should also remeber that T3feri dosen’t disable your utility lands, so you can still activate Azcanta, Orazca, Castle and Blast Zone muliple times per turn.
If you have both Reclamation and Tamiyo in hand, and have some other instant-speed action, it’s usually a better idea to cast Reclamation, beacause you can then spend more mana this turn.
Also don’t be afraid to spend all your remaining mana to cycle Shark Typhoon at the end of their turn. In general, the more mana you can spend every turn the better (this rule can be applied to almost every deck in very format however).
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