Archetypes » Sneak Fit
This deck’s game plan is very similar to the more fair Jund Nic Fit except that it includes Sneak Attack and a few creatures to pair with Sneak like Emrakul. Unlike a more pure-play combo deck like Sneak & Show or Omnitell, it has a reasonable fair backup plan that can also win the game on its own.
A Sneak Fit starting point
|1||Emrakul, the Aeons Torn|
|1||Meren of Clan Nel Toth|
|4||Green Sun's Zenith|
|1||Field of the Dead|
|3||Grove of the Burnwillows|
|2||Carpet of Flowers|
|3||Leyline of the Void|
|2||Red Elemental Blast|
|2||Veil of Summer|
Yours truly created a deck tech and ran the list above through a MTGO legacy league in August 2020.
This is the post-M21 list I put together although I don’t want to say it’s an optimal list. This listed opted for three Sneak Attack instead of four which results in fewer clunky draws (of which this deck gets its fair share) although many games you won’t even see Sneak Attack and you’ll have to rely on the fair game plan.
This list went for a full 24 lands due to the number of utility lands. Four of the lands don’t even generate relevant colors of mana so even with 24 the land situation can be challenging. Grove of the Burnwillows and Field of the Dead sort of work against each other because you want multiple Groves but with Field you want as many different lands as possible. Even with 24 lands, in the league video embedded above I had a few games where mana was awkward.
I chose to skip the Inferno Titan in this list which hasn’t felt as necessary since Primeval Titan getting Field of the Dead is usually a better six drop. I played about 30 games with Inferno Titan but never once fetched it out with Fierce Empath and while it was very good sometimes I felt fewer top end threats resulted in better draws.
A few mainboard decisions were made to try to shore up some of the bad matchups notably Depths. I put in a maindeck Karakas with no use for white mana as well as two Assassin’s Trophies which are all around good but are especially good against Depths.
How is Sneak Fit played?
Sneak Fit is a combo deck that can play an entirely fair game plan. Frequently the best course of action is to play for a longer fair game while having Sneak Attack as a way to win out of nowhere. The longer the game goes, the more likely you are to win it especially against fair decks.
Unless deck lists are available, most opponents will just put you on Jund Fit rather than Sneak Fit. Use this to your advantage as people will sideboard incorrectly against you. Many times you can win a game without showing the combo and also if you show the combo sometimes it’s correct to sideboard out of it.
Once Sneak Attack is on the table, the deck has a lot of ways to end the game. Green Sun’s Zenith for Fierce Empath can get Emrakul to end the game. Woodland Bellower can get Empath and then also Emrakul for another way to get the finisher. Sneak Attack also opens up some different lines like putting Eternal Witness into play to get a card from the graveyard at instant-speed or putting Reclamation Sage into play for some instant-speed removal.
Play to keep playing and you’ll generally win. This is a hard pill to swallow for a lot of players who are told over and over and over again to play to win, not play to not lose.
- The Source/Nic Fit Discord User Arianrhod on Sneak Fit
While this dates back to the pre-Oko era, this primer from Arianrhod from the Nic Fit Discord is worthwhile.
Sneak Fit frequently runs a large amount of utility lands. These lands are fantastic when Primeval Titan cheats them out on turn 4 or beyond, but it can result in a little bit of a precarious manabase.
- Field of the Dead feels pretty mandatory and many decks can’t handle Primeval Titan into Field especially when there’s 2 triggers from Primeval Titan in the same Sneak Attack turn.
- Volrath’s Stronghold is frequently the other land retrieved with the first Primeval Titan trigger. The reason for this is that if you sneak Prime Time and get Volrath’s Stronghold, you can put Prime Time on top of your deck during your next upkeep and sneak it again.
- Grove of the Burnwillows helps with the deck’s control game plan along with Punishing Fire and helps the deck to not die against fast aggro decks like Delver.
- Karakas is a bit of an odd inclusion since there’s no other use for white mana. However, depending on your meta, this is one of the best solutions to some decks Sneak Fit can struggle against like Depths.
- Phyrexian Tower is often a Nic Fit staple and it can help protect your threats from being exiled while also being a sac outlet for Veteran Explorer.
Top end threats
- Primeval Titan is pretty mandatory and can frequently close the game on its own when it fetches Field of the Dead. Since the deck runs quite a few utility lands, Primeval Titan is a fantastic top end threat.
- Emrakul, the Aeons Torn is the other threat which frequently closes the game on a single attack. Emrakul is the best creature to sneak off of Sneak Attack as a single attack usually closes the game and there’s very little instant speed interaction to stop the attack. Hardcasting Emrakul off of a Carpet of Flowers or two actually comes up against hard control decks like Miracles more than you’d think as those matchups tend to go long.
- Woodland Bellower is an odd card for a legacy deck, but it works very well here. Bellower can close out a game with Sneak Attack by getting Fierce Empath into Emrakul for a 21 damage attack. Without Sneak Attack, it’s still a great value creature and there’s a number of three mana creatures to retrieve with Tireless Tracker being the most common. It can also get things like Reclamation Sage to clear out problematic permanents like Ensnaring Bridge.
- Inferno Titan is the other main top end threat worth considering as it can wipe a wide board of threats and can close some games that even Primeval Titan or Emrakul can’t.
Card advantage and selection
- Tireless Tracker is a very important creature for this deck as it can be found with Woodland Bellower when the deck is not looking for a combo finish. Tracker also can single-handedly take over a game with massive card advantage especially in a deck running this many lands and ways to get them with Primeval Titan.
- Both Vraska, Golgari Queen and Village Rites provide a sac outlet for creatures that are about to die anyway from Sneak Attack. Vraska helps a bit more against control matchups where she really shines with her -3 ability that can sometimes get multiple activations. Rites, however, is one of the best turn 2 ways of killing your own Veteran Explorer.
- Seasoned Pyromancer is a good card selection engine as you can use it to pitch extra Sneak Attack or put Emrakul back in the deck for when she’s needed. Double red, however, can be a challenge and there’s no way to search for Pyromancer out of the deck.
Sneak Fit matchups
Due to running cards like Punishing Fire, Sneak Fit has a pretty good matchup against most aggro decks like Delver. Frequently, the fair game plan is enough against these types of decks, and sometimes it’s correct to sideboard out the combo in these matchups and just rely on the consistency of Jund Fit. Very fast aggro decks and especially those relying on multiple threats that are resistant to Punishing Fire such as tribal decks, Eldrazi, or Death’s Shadow, are the hardest aggro matchups.
Sneak Fit also has a favorable matchups against most control decks such as Grixis Midrange, Snow, or Miracles. Sneak simply has too many must-answer threats in the form of Sneak Attack, Primeval Titan, and as the game progresses Green Sun’s Zenith. The opponent will run out of countermagic before you run out of threats. The sideboard also contains a number of cards that are good against control such as Veil of Summer and Red Elemental Blast.
Like most Nic Fit decks, Sneak Fit struggles a bit against combo decks. Against decks like Storm, you’re typically relying on Cabal Therapy and Collector Ouphe which is really only a roadblock against them. Depths decks can be especially hard as there’s typically very little pre-board to interact with their game plan. Often times, that matchup can end up becoming a race and against the faster Depths decks, that’s not a race that is easily won.
One area that is unique for Sneak Fit due to its huge threats such as Emrakul is that Show and Tell decks like Sneak & Show or Omnitell aren’t as bad of pairings as they are for most Nic Fit variants. Many cards in the deck can be put into play off of Show and Tell that will completely destroy the opponent.
Sneak Fit is a bit better positioned right now than Jund Fit as the deck has better control matchups and the combo matchups are probably slightly better as well. In an event made up of lots of control and aggro decks, this could be a good meta call.