The Gathering Deck Garage
July 21, 2010
When your deck's taking flak cause there's something you
lack, and you don't have the knack to find what's out of
whack, don't get help from a quack! Don't talk to a hack!
Let me take a crack and I'll have your stack leading the
pack as you get your groove back! And today on the rack,
we've got a Yak Attack!
Okay I'm done with the rhymes now. Thank you for humoring
I decided it would be a laugh to create a mono-green deck on
supported archetype of them all - The Auroch. I ended up
serious, but this type is not one that is easy to play. I
have made an
attempt at it, but it is somewhat lacking in speed, sense or
playability. I would be unbelievably happy if you could use
powerful skills in giving these mammoth-like things some
is no object (as I have acquired lots of money through my
but I would like you to stay Extended and mono-green, and
to remember the theme of this furry elephant deck.
4 Aurochs Herd
2 Boreal Druid
4 Bull Aurochs
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Rimehorn Aurochs
4 Silhana Starfletcher
2 Canopy Cover
3 Evolution Charm
2 Momentous Fall
3 Quest for Renewal
2 Vines of Vastwood
4 Mosswort Bridge
4 Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
10 Snow-Covered Forest
P.S. Thank you for helping me with my "The Suspend is
Killing Me" deck.
Always nice to get repeat business, Kwaddy. If only I was
actually getting paid for this.
Anyway, before I actually fix your deck, there are two
asides I feel the need to get off my chest first.
First, on an interesting note, is that Aurochs are
not fictional animals as many Magic players might believe,
nor are they "furry elephants" as Kwaddy describes them.
Their original representation in Magic, in Ice Age, was
inspired by an actual animal that is now extinct but would
have been very well adapted to a cold climate. The aurochs
(and that's not plural either, they're called "aurochs"
whether there's one, two, or more) were the ancestor of
modern-day cattle. They lived as long as 8,000 years ago, in
Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and were considered prime
hunting game by indigenous peoples. It was the aurochs'
sought-after status as a source of fresh meat that led
mankind to domesticate cattle, as well as to their
extinction. Aurochs were driven extinct by overhunting,
mankind's encroachment on their habitat, climate change, and
diseases spread to them by domestic cattle. The last known
specimen died in 1627.*
On a more relevant note to our work here today, you may have
heard that the Extended format has been changed. While it
once consisted of the last seven blocks (with a strange
rotation schedule I never quite fully understood), Extended
now consists of the last four blocks instead. What this
means is that Coldsnap is no longer Extended-legal; it got
hedged out in the reorganization process due to not having a
block to rotate in or out with.** Therefore, Kwaddy, your
Aurochs deck is no longer Extended-legal, and there's
nothing I can do to make it so without removing the Aurochs
altogether. I'm sorry.
Failing that, I shall fulfill Kwaddy's wishes to the best of
my ability. I am much like a Cone of Flame who has found one
of his targets has left play, in that I must still do as
much as I can. Except that I have to choose which of my
targets-- Aurochs or the Extended-legal cardpool-- I will
affect. So I suppose I am more like a spell with Entwine who
had been promised that its entwine cost would be paid only
to find that it wasn't. Or something of the sort. At any
rate, Kwaddy's instructions lead me to believe that he or
she would rather I stay true to the Aurochs theme than
remove them in favor of a generic monogreen midrange deck in
Fortunately, there are, believe it or not, still some Aurochs
that are Extended-legal! And even though we've officially
given up on Extended, Kwaddy should be running them anyway.
Sharp-witted readers will notice that the new range of
Extended still includes Lorwyn block, which of course means
I'm talking about Changelings! Woodland Changeling,
Game-Trail Changeling, and most importantly Chameleon
Colossus may not have the ability that gives them +1/+0 for
each other attacking Aurochs, but each one of them is indeed
an Aurochs, and having them out will further enhance your
"natural-born" Aurochs. I'd stick with Woodland, as an early
drop, and Chameleon Colossus, for efficiency and raw
potential. Game-Trail Changeling just isn't as impressive as
And speaking of needing to fill out your herd, now that
we're not bound by the rules of Extended, there's no reason
the original Aurochs can't take its rightful place in the
stampede. It actually is a pretty good Aurochs, once you can
fill your deck with them.
Aside from that, I like what else you've got in the deck.
Tanglesap was a brilliant stroke when practically all your
creatures have trample, as was Vines of Vastwood since the
+4/+4 is more likely to punch through and the psuedoshroud
is more important in a deck so dependent on a creature rush.
In fact, that if anything is my main beef (no pun intended)
with this deck. If your opponent plays Day of Judgment or
any other board sweeper, you're done. Aurochs need other
attacking Aurochs to be good. When you're not alpha
striking, they just sit there chewing their cud and looking
stupid. Aurochs Herd, for example, is a 4/4 for six mana
that lets you go search your library for a creature and put
it into your hand. Good for card advantage, but once you hit
six mana you want more than a 4/4. Bull Aurochs is a little
better on CMC-to-power-and-toughness ratio, but it's still
outclassed by a 1/3. Its when you get a herd of them
together and start stampeding that it all comes together.
So, you need some insurance for when your opponent
introduces your Aurochs to the slaughterhouse. Fecundity is
a nice choice to help you draw into a replacement, or you
could use Serpent Skin both as combat trick, creature pump,
and "counter" to a removal spell. I always liked Serpent
Skin, and it made me sad that it never got reprinted in a
Core Set. It was much better than Regeneration, and even
Savage Silhouette is a poor replacement.
If you don't want to need to leave mana up to save a
creature just in case a removal spell comes along, Any of
the Umbra Auras from Rise of the Eldrazi can accomplish the
same thing. Since all your creatures already have trample,
Boar Umbra would be good for pushing more damage through,
and Snake Umbra would allow you to draw extra cards. Since
you have no flyers, you may find yourself needing Spider
That's everything I can think of to make your herd of
Aurochs the best that they can be. Now it's up to you,
Kwaddy, to show them all that the aurochs didn't go extinct
because they couldn't put up a fight.
**Source: Wizards of the Coast website
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