My Omnath, Locus of Creation exhaustion was well in effect last week, and I couldn't bring myself to play multiple rounds of open decklist mirrors. The match is a slog, and, frankly, I just couldn't bring myself to care otherwise. I had planned on making sure I was qualified for the SCG on Saturday, but didn't have a reason to until I was sent a Selesnya Counters list based around Luminarch Aspirant and Conclave Mentor on Thursday. I streamed it for a couple hours just to see if it had anything, and didn't drop a match.

Excited to win in less than 800 game actions and triggered abilities, I set about tuning the list and arrived here in the day or so I had:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Selesnya Counters by NickNPrince

'Selesnya Counters' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: NickNPrince

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $109.87

Cards

Basri Ket

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215501_200w.jpg

+1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target creature. It gains indestructible until end of turn.
−2: Whenever one or more nontoken creatures attack this turn, create that many 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens that are tapped and attacking.
−6: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of combat on your turn, create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token, then put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control."

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/basri-ket

Basri's Lieutenant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215503_200w.jpg

Vigilance, protection from multicolored
When Basri's Lieutenant enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.
Whenever Basri's Lieutenant or another creature you control dies, if it had a +1/+1 counter on it, create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/basris-lieutenant

Skyclave Apparition

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $8.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221860_200w.jpg

When Skyclave Apparition enters the battlefield, exile up to one target nonland, nontoken permanent you don't control with converted mana cost 4 or less.
When Skyclave Apparition leaves the battlefield, the exiled card's owner creates an X/X blue Illusion creature token, where X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/skyclave-apparition

Archon of Emeria

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221969_200w.jpg

Flying
Each player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
Nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

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Stonecoil Serpent

Market Price: $4.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199257_200w.jpg

Reach, trample, protection from multicolored
Stonecoil Serpent enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/stonecoil-serpent

Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222818_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Emeria's Call // Emeria, Shattered Skyclave

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $4.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221952_200w.jpg

Create two 4/4 white Angel Warrior creature tokens with flying. Non-Angel creatures you control gain indestructible until your next turn.

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Kabira Takedown // Kabira Plateau

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222040_200w.jpg

Kabira Takedown deals damage equal to the number of creatures you control to target creature or planeswalker.

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Oran-Rief Ooze

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222133_200w.jpg

When Oran-Rief Ooze enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.
Whenever Oran-Rief Ooze attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on each attacking creature with a +1/+1 counter on it.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/oran-rief-ooze

Khalni Ambush // Khalni Territory

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221900_200w.jpg

Target creature you control fights target creature you don't control. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/khalni-ambush-khalni-territory

Glass Casket

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199004_200w.jpg

When Glass Casket enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls with converted mana cost 3 or less until Glass Casket leaves the battlefield.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/glass-casket

Scavenging Ooze

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215695_200w.jpg

{G}: Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, put a +1/+1 counter on Scavenging Ooze and you gain 1 life.

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Gemrazer

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212071_200w.jpg

Mutate {1}{G}{G} (If you cast this spell for its mutate cost, put it over or under target non-Human creature you own. They mutate into the creature on top plus all abilities from under it.)
Reach, trample
Whenever this creature mutates, destroy target artifact or enchantment an opponent controls.

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208389_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Primal Might

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215456_200w.jpg

Target creature you control gets +X/+X until end of turn. Then it fights up to one target creature you don't control.

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Garruk's Harbinger

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215616_200w.jpg

Hexproof from black
Whenever Garruk's Harbinger deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, look at that many cards from the top of your library. You may reveal a creature card or Garruk planeswalker card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/garruks-harbinger

Conclave Mentor

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215629_200w.jpg

If one or more +1/+1 counters would be put on a creature you control, that many plus one +1/+1 counters are put on that creature instead.
When Conclave Mentor dies, you gain life equal to its power.

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Swarm Shambler

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221897_200w.jpg

Swarm Shambler enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.
Whenever a creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it becomes the target of a spell an opponent controls, create a 1/1 green Insect creature token.
{1}, {T}: Put a +1/+1 counter on Swarm Shambler.

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Temple of Plenty

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206636_200w.jpg

Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {G} or {W}.

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Branchloft Pathway // Boulderloft Pathway

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $2.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221843_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {G}.

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Maul of the Skyclaves

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221903_200w.jpg

When Maul of the Skyclaves enters the battlefield, attach it to target creature you control.
Equipped creature gets +2/+2 and has flying and first strike.
Equip {2}{W}{W}

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Inscription of Abundance

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.43

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222042_200w.jpg

Kicker {2}{G}
Choose one. If this spell was kicked, choose any number instead.
• Put two +1/+1 counters on target creature.
• Target player gains X life, where X is the greatest power among creatures they control.
• Target creature you control fights target creature you don't control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/inscription-of-abundance

Luminarch Aspirant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222055_200w.jpg

At the beginning of combat on your turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/luminarch-aspirant

The deck actually had the capability to stop Omnath, Locus of Creation before they got going in game one, and post-board Archon of Emeria shut down half their deck's ability to function. The matchup was not insanely favored, but I had found myself beating them about half the time on the draw. On the other hand if I won the die roll, the match-up was fairly easy.

A big factor in how this deck can perform well is Luminarch Aspirant. That card is not messing around.

While it's not as fast as Goblin Rabblemaster or Legion Warboss, Luminarch Aspirant has the advantage of only costing two and can quickly grow out of range of red removal. An Omnath, Locus of Creation opponent who only has Spikefield Hazard // Spikefield Cave and a couple copies of Bonecrusher Giant maindeck might never have the opportunity to actually kill it before it's a Watchwolf. And on the play it will easily attack past Omnath, Locus of Creation itself, because it was in play on turn two. Against the Sultai and Dimir decks, they've leaned heavily on Heartless Act as a two-mana removal spell that kills Omnath, Locus of Creation (and, previously, Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath). Catching them without a way to actually remove the two-drop, because it now has a counter on it, is a godsend to aggressive decks.

But even more impressive is Luminarch Aspirant can grant this ability to play around red's removal or make combat a nightmare to other creatures. Every match with the deck is a constant evaluation of where to put Luminarch Aspirant +1/+1 counters in order to confound the opponent's attacks, blocks, or removal. Especially with open decklists in this online world we live in now, this is invaluable. Now they only have Scorching Dragonfire and no Thundering Rebuke? Put the counter on a 3-toughness creature. Now they lean heavily on Storm's Wrath post board? Get something to 5 toughness ASAP so that their wrath turn leaves them dead to what's in play.

Sadly I did not get there. Sometimes opponents find their one of Ugin, the Ineffable in game three, and there's nothing to do about that. In a feature match, everyone got to watch me mull to five, assemble a board that could win in a turn or so, and then lose to a topdeck Genesis Ultimatum that dealt 21 damage to my face. Still, I believe what I said about the deck that morning: Omnath is the best deck, but Selesnya is a solid choice against it if you're tired of the deck.

I continued playing it after Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath was banned to see how it held up, and reached this as my list for the moment:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Selesnya Counters by NickNPrince

'Selesnya Counters' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: NickNPrince

Event:

Rank:

Standard

Market Price: $111.45

Cards

Basri Ket

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $2.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215501_200w.jpg

+1: Put a +1/+1 counter on up to one target creature. It gains indestructible until end of turn.
−2: Whenever one or more nontoken creatures attack this turn, create that many 1/1 white Soldier creature tokens that are tapped and attacking.
−6: You get an emblem with "At the beginning of combat on your turn, create a 1/1 white Soldier creature token, then put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control."

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/basri-ket

Branchloft Pathway // Boulderloft Pathway

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $2.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221843_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {G}.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/branchloft-pathway-boulderloft-pathway

Swarm Shambler

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221897_200w.jpg

Swarm Shambler enters the battlefield with a +1/+1 counter on it.
Whenever a creature you control with a +1/+1 counter on it becomes the target of a spell an opponent controls, create a 1/1 green Insect creature token.
{1}, {T}: Put a +1/+1 counter on Swarm Shambler.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/swarm-shambler

Skyclave Apparition

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $8.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221860_200w.jpg

When Skyclave Apparition enters the battlefield, exile up to one target nonland, nontoken permanent you don't control with converted mana cost 4 or less.
When Skyclave Apparition leaves the battlefield, the exiled card's owner creates an X/X blue Illusion creature token, where X is the converted mana cost of the exiled card.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/skyclave-apparition

Luminarch Aspirant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222055_200w.jpg

At the beginning of combat on your turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/luminarch-aspirant

Oran-Rief Ooze

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222133_200w.jpg

When Oran-Rief Ooze enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.
Whenever Oran-Rief Ooze attacks, put a +1/+1 counter on each attacking creature with a +1/+1 counter on it.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/oran-rief-ooze

Plains

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222818_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {W}.)

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Primal Might

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215456_200w.jpg

Target creature you control gets +X/+X until end of turn. Then it fights up to one target creature you don't control.

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Conclave Mentor

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $0.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215629_200w.jpg

If one or more +1/+1 counters would be put on a creature you control, that many plus one +1/+1 counters are put on that creature instead.
When Conclave Mentor dies, you gain life equal to its power.

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Vastwood Fortification // Vastwood Thicket

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222155_200w.jpg

Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature.

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Temple of Plenty

Color Identity:G,W

Market Price: $1.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206636_200w.jpg

Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield tapped.
When Temple of Plenty enters the battlefield, scry 1. (Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.)
{T}: Add {G} or {W}.

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Giant Killer // Chop Down

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198743_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/giant-killer-chop-down

Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208389_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/product/show?ProductName=Forest

Basri's Lieutenant

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215503_200w.jpg

Vigilance, protection from multicolored
When Basri's Lieutenant enters the battlefield, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control.
Whenever Basri's Lieutenant or another creature you control dies, if it had a +1/+1 counter on it, create a 2/2 white Knight creature token with vigilance.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/core-set-2021/basris-lieutenant

Garruk's Harbinger

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.36

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215616_200w.jpg

Hexproof from black
Whenever Garruk's Harbinger deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, look at that many cards from the top of your library. You may reveal a creature card or Garruk planeswalker card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Khalni Ambush // Khalni Territory

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221900_200w.jpg

Target creature you control fights target creature you don't control. (Each deals damage equal to its power to the other.)

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/khalni-ambush-khalni-territory

Emeria's Call // Emeria, Shattered Skyclave

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $4.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221952_200w.jpg

Create two 4/4 white Angel Warrior creature tokens with flying. Non-Angel creatures you control gain indestructible until your next turn.

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Kabira Takedown // Kabira Plateau

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222040_200w.jpg

Kabira Takedown deals damage equal to the number of creatures you control to target creature or planeswalker.

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Glass Casket

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.14

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199004_200w.jpg

When Glass Casket enters the battlefield, exile target creature an opponent controls with converted mana cost 3 or less until Glass Casket leaves the battlefield.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/glass-casket

Gemrazer

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $1.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212071_200w.jpg

Mutate {1}{G}{G} (If you cast this spell for its mutate cost, put it over or under target non-Human creature you own. They mutate into the creature on top plus all abilities from under it.)
Reach, trample
Whenever this creature mutates, destroy target artifact or enchantment an opponent controls.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/ikoria-lair-of-behemoths/gemrazer

Archon of Emeria

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221969_200w.jpg

Flying
Each player can't cast more than one spell each turn.
Nonbasic lands your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/zendikar-rising/archon-of-emeria

Fearless Fledgling

Color Identity:W

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222009_200w.jpg

Landfall — Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, put a +1/+1 counter on Fearless Fledgling. It gains flying until end of turn.

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Stonecoil Serpent

Market Price: $4.75

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199257_200w.jpg

Reach, trample, protection from multicolored
Stonecoil Serpent enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/throne-of-eldraine/stonecoil-serpent

The biggest two changes between last weekend and now are the rise in popularity of the Adventures decks. Some are Omnath decks, others are not, but they're all functionally the same. Omnath, Locus of Creation makes the mana a little worse in exchange for explosiveness and a card busted on rate, but doesn't otherwise change the deck at all. It's still the same deck it's been for months, except now they sometimes have Giant Killer in the mix.

While my inclination watching the deck is that the Genesis Ultimatum]Omnath decks still go way over the top of these decks and should end up pushing them out of the metagame, people are playing them for now and may never put them down as long as they're a viable option. They definitely do a number on aggressive decks, especially because Brazen Borrower resetting counters is a real concern.

Fearless Fledgling is a card that's quite medium, but kind of necessary. The deck needs more two-drops, and Scavenging Ooze isn't as necessary now that Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath is gone. It has incidental synergies with the deck, where it does a kind of Luminarch Aspirant impression with Conclave Mentor. A bit of evasion is also nice, and removes some of the need for Maul of the Skyclaves—the Spectral Flight I never wanted but kind of needed to get over Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. Now, though, the Maul of the Skyclaves is medium or a liability against most opponents except Rogues, and I don't feel the need for it.

Currently I'm favoring the Fearless Fledgling, but it's also possible three Bronzehide Lion would be good enough. Always playing as a Watchwolf is nice, and the indestructibility can be valuable as a way to keep attacking or blocking, especially with all the fight cards. My problem is mostly that if it doesn't get a counter, it's pretty useless. At least the Fearless Fledgling can chip in sometimes if you draw it late, but the Bronzehide Lion will almost always be too small.

So should you play this deck if you want to win? No, you should play Omnath. It's a better deck, doesn't have to rely on things going right, and is honestly easier to play. But if you don't want to spend wild cards on a deck that is obviously going to get banned, or want to have fun more than you want to win, Selesnya Counters is worth flexing your combat math skills with.

Sideboard Guide

Vs. Omnath
-4 Conclave Mentor
-2 Oran-Rief Ooze

+2 Glass Casket
+4 Archon of Emeria

The plan post board is to contain them long enough to win. Glass Casket is for Lotus Cobra, and Archon of Emeria does the lifting as far as keeping Escape to the Wilds mostly dead, making it difficult to Genesis Ultimatum you. Giant Killer is the preferred way to kill a Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath, but sometimes you have to Skyclave Apparition it and accept that a 4/4 might blow you out later. Mulligan hands that aren't proactive. The deck is capable of winning with five cards, where a hand of four lands, two copies of Stonecoil Serpent and a Basri's Lieutenant does nothing on the play or draw.

Conclave Mentor always dies post board, and it's a lousy topdeck when your plan is actually working, because you can only cast one spell a turn anyway. Oran-Rief Ooze almost always dies also, but it helps if you know their removal or if they're already tapped out. If I can only cast one spell, I'd rather it put a counter on something else before getting Bonecrusher Giant.

Vs. Adventures
-4 Oran-Rief Ooze
-1 Conclave Mentor

+2 Glass Casket
+3 Gemrazer

Bonecrusher Giant is your biggest enemy here, and Adventures has more creatures in play typically, so attacking with a 2/2 to grow another creature is often not enough. Putting the counter on it can mean losing your three-drop to their two-drop, and Brazen Borrower can reset things even if they get going. Overall, I don't want the Oran-Rief Ooze.

Against Adventures, my goal is to invalidate what they're doing. Without Lucky Clover in play, their deck is mostly overcosted creatures with situational spells attached, and they especially struggle against big creatures. Skyclave Apparition already gives us maindeck ways to remove Lucky Clover, but they're usually taxed removing Lovestruck Beast from play, so your creatures are actually the biggest thing on the battlefield. Gemrazer, on the other hand, can make threats large enough their only option is to bounce them with Brazen Borrower.

Overall, I think Adventures is still favored, but not as much as I initially thought. Because they're mostly forced to play fair Magic without Lucky Clover, their copies of Fae of Wishes and Beanstalk Giant all look much more awkward. Add on that you get to sideboard while they don't and suddenly things aren't too bleak.

Vs. Rogues
+2 Glass Casket
+3 Garruk's Harbinger

-4 Oran-Rief Ooze
-1 Basri's Lieutenant

Rogues is an odd one. "Who's the beatdown?" basically doesn't apply, because it mostly depends on their draw. Sometimes they have two creatures in a game and a pile of removal, other times they're all in with Soaring Thought-Thief to close out the game quickly. Thus, I sideboard in a way I can invalidate their removal and disrupt them. Our advantage is that all our threats can win the game, while only a few of theirs can.

That said, kill Nighthawk Scavenger as soon as possible—the card is miserable. Glass Casket comes in just for that, but ideally you Skyclave Apparition it. Let them have a 3/3 later for all I care, at least it doesn't gain six life a turn.

Giant Killer does great work if you can identify the Zareth San, the Trickster turn, and tapping down Scavenging Ooze later is a respectable way to get through it.

Vs. Control
-4 Skyclave Apparition
-2 Giant Killer

+3 Basri Ket
+3 Garruk's Harbinger

One of the unbelievably great upsides to Heartless Act seeing most of the play over Eliminate is that a card I've had my eye on for a few months finally gets a chance to shine: Basri Ket. A two-drop into Basri Ket will leave them in rough shape a lot of the time, and either force out a sorcery speed kicked Bloodchief's Thirst or he'll ult on turn six.

Garruk's Harbinger similarly puts them in an awkward position of, "you must Extinction Event this," especially if some counters get put on and Shark Typhoon can't handle it. A big theme of playing against the black control decks is balancing even and odd mana costs against Extinction Event, but the deck naturally has more evens than odds. Garruk's Harbinger helps force their choices to odd or die to a card they can't interact with while it draws cards.

Dimir-flavored control feels like it shouldn't be a good matchup, but I've only lost to it once, I believe.