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Yetipult is Gas

Article by detail251 - October 19, 2017

EDIT-After I wrote this, a pretty similar deck won the SPG tournament on Tuesday. The relevancy!

Since I first saw it, I have been interested in Yetipult. It's a quality anti aggro tool in a game where a large number of the premier aggro threats have only 1 health, and it also has some sick late game value by drawing you bursts of extra cards. I liken it to the Primal version of Knight-Chancellor Siraf. In other words, it does everything Feln control wants to do.

I've been playing a bunch of Yetipult-Feln over the past few days and I have been super impressed. Against decks where Lightning Storm is great, it's extra Lightning Storms. Against decks where Lightning Storm is awful, Yetipult is still awesome because it draws you a stack of cards later in the game. For some context, here is what I have been playing:

Here's the rundown:

The Titular Card
Yetipult is awesome in this deck. Here is a list of tier 1 cards that it kills on curve:Oni Ronin, Pyroknight, Grenadin, Initiate of the Sands, Amber Acolyte, Dawnwalker, Friendly Wisp, Temple Scribe, Shadowlands Guide, Desert Marshal

At least half of those are high priority targets. That's before we even consider the fact that it can pop aegis on a number of problematic units that otherwise give Feln fits. Or that fact that it can combine with a Withering Witch to take down anything.

On top of all that, if you don't need to be killing units you can just wait and eventually it will draw you 3 cards every few turns.

But wait, there's more... Yetipult also just beats down harder than most cards in Feln are capable of. Sometimes, the world's worst Dawnwalker is all you need. Being 4 attack also provides one of Yetipults most unintuitive bonuses. It is vulnerable to Vanquish. You might be saying "Isn't that a downside?". In the context of just Yetipult it is, but consider this: Feln has historically had very few targets for Vanquish. Just Champion of Cunning and Vara, Fate-Touched if you play her (more on that later). This means that the opponents Vanquishes just sit in their hand until you play one of your finishers and then immediately get spent dealing with your most important cards. Yetipult tempts them into wasting their Vanquish so that your Champions are that much more difficult to deal with.

Removal Package
Tavrod, Auric Broker is a big deal right now. It is absolutely critical to play a full set of Deathstrike at a minimum. There is definitely an argument for a few Feeding Time as well though I have currently settled on it not being necessary. In the past I might have advocated for full sets of Permafrost and Annihilate in the name of efficiency but you just can't be caught with your pants down when they play a Tavrod on 5. 4 Lightning Storm is also non-negotiable. Historically people have played as few as 3 but I can't cosign that. The card is basically the reason you want to play Primal in this game and it's 70% of the reason Yetipult looks interesting: To have more storms.

I've been fluctuating between 2 and 3 Withering Witch and I really don't know which is correct. You have enough card draw that 2 is usually good enough but there are match ups where the 3rd is nice. The fact that it is also an out to a Tavrod (albeit a bad one) makes it that much more attractive. If you are playing against more midrange and less aggro then I could see cutting a Permafrost for a 3rd witch.

The Expensive Stuff
Every Feln deck plays some combination of expensive, high impact "finishers" beyond the mandatory 4 Black-Sky Harbinger. Typically around 4-5 of them. Aside from the Yetipult this is where my list differs most significantly from traditional lists. 1x Celestial Omen and Azindel's Gift is more or less required. This is how you win control mirrors. Gift is likely the single most impactful card in the game. If you put a gift on your opponent they are probably under 10% to win. Some people favor playing a second gift instead of the omen and I think that is totally reasonable. I tend to prefer playing the omen as I value the flexibility over speed. There are match ups where Gift isn't great, but they are the match ups where Lightning Storm excels and consequently Yetipult too. So we are fairly well covered in those games.

The main point of contention here is Vara, Fate-Touched. She is certainly the flagship bomb in the archetype and most often you will see Vara as a 2 or 3 of in Feln. I don't really like her though, at least outside of reanimator. Cutting the Varas is the main way I made space for the Yetipults. I just don't think she is particularly good against any relevant match up. There are 5 main categories of opponents you will be playing: Fire aggro, Time midrange, Argenport midrange, Control, Armory.

Vara is too slow against Fire aggro. 8 drops in general are too slow. This match up is the reason you only play a limited number of expensive cards to begin with.

Time midrange is a very good matchup already. Feln was more or less created to be good against Sandstorm Titan and his fat friends. Praxis is the hardest of the Time decks to beat because of Obliterate but it's still no worse than favorable. In this case, Vara would be a good card to help grind but it's just unnecessary. Why waste deck slots improving an already pretty great match up?

Argenport is a hell of a deck but I don't think Vara is all that incredible here. Feln is already perhaps the deck that is best set up to stop a Tavrod in the meta (except perhaps Argenport, hmmm...) and the gameplan of jamming 3 and 4 cost weapons on your guys against a deck chock full of spot removal isn't a winning formula. Sometimes they play Tavrod, you can't deal, and you die. It happens, but on balance I think this is a reasonable match up. Grinding isn't your plan here. You need to put them on a clock and hope to have enough removal for their Tavrods so that you can close the game before you run out and they are able to stick one for a few turns. Vara helps with none of that.

Control mirrors, be it Chalice or other Feln, revolve around Azindel's Gift. Nothing matters except for that card. Stick a gift and you are all but guaranteed to win. We'd rather Vara be additional copies of gift here. Or in this case, Yetipult so we can draw more cards to try and find our gift.

That leaves Armory. I will admit that against Armory, Vara is great. Probably the second best card in your deck after Champion of Cunning. The reality though is that this match up is basically unwinnable with or without Vara and so I am in favor of just ignoring it. If there is a lot of Armory on ladder at a given moment you could put Varas in to help, but a better option is to just play a different deck. This is among the most lopsided match ups I have ever seen in a card game (aside from maybe vintage Dredge game one against any other deck in the history of MtG).

You have 2 realistic options for the slot, Snowcrush Animist and The Last Word. Snowcrush is pretty good but it's a little expensive for what you actually get I find. The Last Word on the other hand is sweet. It suffers against Praxis specifically as they have an endless procession of cards that answer it but against basically every other non-aggro deck it is pretty excellent. If you are seeing lots of praxis on ladder then I would swap this out with either a Channel the Tempest or a Sleepless Night.

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fabest77 Eternal Version: 1.25.1
Hello, thanks for sharing the deck.
Now that you've seen the similar deck that won the tournament, would you make any change to it?

I'm not a seasoned player but I've got a few other questions, if you don't mind :

1. Don't you think that The Last Word is kind of a win-more card? Usually when I manage to play it, it's because I'm already ahead on the board. Otherwise it's very costly and fragile. But maybe I'm missing something. Most of the time I would have liked Channel the Tempest more, to remove a threat and draw more cards.

2. What do you think about Lightning Strike ? It seems like a correct answer to armory and can help deal with Titans & Tavis too.