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Paul Hagan's Magic The Gathering Deck Garage
Hey all and welcome back
to the deck garage. Last week, I strayed slightly off topic
by mentioning the Cowboys and my fantasy football team,
Hagan’s Hitmen. It got a small amount of positive feedback,
so I’ll stray again.
The ‘Boys lost a close one to the Raiders, bringing the
superior of the two teams from Texas to a 2-2 record. Boo to
that, but let’s hope they pull out a surprise win over the
Eagles this week.
I do have good news, though: the Hitmen handily won their
match in Fantasy Football against the Leroy Jenkins Armada,
112-70. The Hitmen now sit with a 3-1 record.
Wandering back on topic, it’s been months since we hit a
green deck, so I plucked one out of my inbox this week. Here
be the e-mail I received:
Hey, I've been playing Magic for a
long time and have a deck that I hope has
synergy. There isn't need to worry about budget here.
The basics of this deck is to obtain threshold, pump out
and buff them. If I run into bad situations, use Soul Blast
to burn them.
Mana is no problem at all.
4 Krosan Beast
4 Metamorphic Wurm
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Fyndhorn Elves
4 Giant Growth
4 Far Wanderings
4 Book Burning
3 Sylvan Might
2 Break Asunder
2 Fires of Yavimaya
2 Savage Beating
2 Soul Blast
4 Karplusan Forest
OK, so we’re working with almost entirely green, utilizing
threshold, and pumping creatures to make them hard to deal
I’m cool with Llanowar Elves; those guys are always good.
Using Fyndhorn Elves as well bothers me a bit though – this
deck doesn’t need that much mana acceleration. Instead, why
don’t we concentrate on making dudes that can dole out
-4 Fyndhorn Elves
Krosan Beast should probably continue to hang out, since
this deck is based around threshold. However, if we are
talking about threshold and creatures, then where is the
bear? Haha, that’s not even remotely funny, I’m sorry.
I’m not digging Metamorphic Wurm so much. He costs a bit too
much for the benefit that you get, and I think better things
could be done with the mana.
-4 Metamorphic Wurm
From the same block that Threshold came out in, Wild Mongrel
made his debut. One of the best two drops ever made, the
Mongrel would be a perfect fit for this deck. However, with
his inclusion, I am left at somewhat of an impasse. If I
include Wild Mongrel, should I include the two big Madness
cards, Basking Rootwalla and Arrogant Wurm? What about
everyone’s favorite graveyard man, Roar of the Wurm?
I think the best option is to include Basking Rootwalla, but
pass on Roar of the Wurm, and Arrogant Wurm. Why? Because
Basking Rootwalla is a good enough creature on its own. Roar
of the Wurm can be absolutely scary if it goes active, but
Roar is far too expensive without Mongrel. Arrogant Wurm, on
the other hand, just isn’t that good without a way to
discard. I won’t rely entirely on four copies of a card to
supply the discard, so Arrogant Wurm can’t make the cut
unless there is another discard option.
+4 Basking Rootwalla
+4 Wild Mongrel
After that big change, I really need to cut down on the
non-creature spells, else we will wind up with a 70+ card
deck. Dats not cool. One of the cards that jumped out at me
for immediate cutting was Far Wanderings. Yes, in a deck
that wants to hit threshold, it is a good card. However, I
would much rather have that land early and have my card do
something in case I am already loaded down with lands.
Something that helps with this would be a guy like
Sakura-Tribe Elder, who has a similar function but can also
serve as an attacker / blocker late in the game.
-4 Far Wanderings
+4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
I’m also not a huge fan of Sylvan Might. Or Giant Growth for
that matter, but sometimes Giant Growth can still be a
mildly scary card. Anyways, why not pull Sylvan Might for a
full set of Rancor? It really is the best green pump spell
ever printed, so unless the format prevents you from playing
it, Rancor should make almost any green deck.
-3 Sylvan Might
I’m not digging the amount of pump spells in the deck,
though. No need to have Overrun hanging out – your creatures
will be big enough to handle matters on their own, and you
don’t want to have that many 5-casting-cost spells in your
I know this deck operates somewhat off of threshold, but I
absolutely detest (new word for this article) any of the
option spells like Browbeat, Blazing Salvo, and, yes, Book
Burning. Every time, your opponent will choose the option
that is better for him or her, meaning your spell wasn’t as
effective as it could have been if they hadn’t had an
option. I’m not sure how much sense that comes across as
making, but it makes complete sense upstairs on my end.
Plus, the card really is bad later in the game once you
already have threshold.
-4 Book Burning
Another problem I am seeing is that red is really
unnecessary in this deck. Savage Beating and Soul Blast have
more than one red in their mana cost, meaning you need
multiple red sources in play to get their effects. However,
almost all of the strengths in this deck come from green
cards. In face, aside from Fires of Yavimaya, there really
isn’t a reason to have red in the deck. I could go off on a
small tangent and make this deck *really* R / G, with cards
like Lightning Bolt, Incinerate, and Flametongue Kavu, but
I’m not sure that this was the intended direction,
especially since before any changes were made, there were
only ten red cards in the deck. Instead, I’m going to cut
red from the deck entirely in an attempt to make a more
effective mono-green beatdown.
-2 Fires of Yavimaya
-2 Savage Beating
-2 Soul Blast
There are only a few of slots left, and way too many cards
that could fit into them. Seeing Break Asunder hanging out,
I have to assume that our contributer is working against a
fair number of artifacts and / or enchantments. Instead of
the overcosted Break Asunder, why don’t we include
-2 Break Asunder
The final choice for a card to make the cut is one of my
favs: Call of the Herd. It not only provides you with a
creature that is of good size for its cost, but it adds to
threshold until you see fit to play its low flashback cost.
Think of it as a more appropriate Roar of the Wurm
+4 Call of the Herd
Since we went through and eliminated red spells, I should
probably cut the four Mountains and Karplusan Forests from
the deck, huh?
-4 Karplusan Forest
However, don’t think that just Forests could replace these
cards. Why don’t we add in Treetop Village and Centaur
Gardens in, both of which can be extremely helpful late in
the game? Also, I’m going to throw in two forests to bring
the total land count to 22.
+4 Centaur Gardens
+4 Treetop Village
I think that about wraps up work on this week’s deck. Here’s
how it turned out:
CREATURE SPELLS (24):
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Krosan Beast
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Sakura-Tribe Elder
4 Wild Mongrel
NON-CREATURE SPELLS (14):
4 Call of the Herd
4 Giant Growth
4 Centaur Gardens
4 Treetop Village
Hope that helps!
Remember, cheer for the Cowboys (and the Hitmen, but only if
you like cheering some writer’s fantasy team), play Magic,
have fun, and I’ll see y’all next week.