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BMoor's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
 Yak Attack
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 me.


Dear BMoor,
I decided it would be a laugh to create a mono-green deck on the least
supported archetype of them all - The Auroch. I ended up getting quite
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 even
playability. I would be unbelievably happy if you could use your
powerful skills in giving these mammoth-like things some justice. Cost
is no object (as I have acquired lots of money through my birthday),
but I would like you to stay Extended and mono-green, and above all,
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
4 Tanglesap
2 Vines of Vastwood
4 Mosswort Bridge
4 Mutavault
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 Extended.

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 the others.

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 Umbra.

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.

Good luck!


*Source: Wikipedia

**Source: Wizards of the Coast website




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Magic the Gathering Deck Fixes