Magic the Gathering themed post. Here be dragons (in the abstract). If you’re not into this kind of thing, you’ve been warned.
So, now that we’ve got the plebs out of the way, here’s a fun little brew I’ve been tooling with recently. It’s not massively strong, but it’s a cute +1/+1 counter variant on mono-green stompy that comes out of the gate thick and fast, offering some late game reach that can pull wins out of nowhere. Once again I recommend getting Autocard Anywhere if you haven’t yet. It makes things infinitely easier.
Meet the players:
4x Experiment One
4x Servant of the Scale
4x Strangleroot Geist
4x Avatar of the Resolute
3x Scavenging Ooze
4x Leatherback Baloth
1x Nylea, God of the Hunt
Noncreature Spells (14):
4x Hardened Scales
3x Concordant Crossroads
3x Vines of Vastwood
4x Collected Company
Like Flo-Rida and his propensity for fur-lined apple bottom jeans (whatever those are), these shorties get low in the casting cost. 8 one drops, 11 two drops, 4 three drops and 1 4 drop. You’ve got creatures coming out thick and fast, and when your support is virtually all 1-2 casting cost, you don’t need much land to function, hence the 22.
I’m gonna level with you. The central motivation here was to hit that venn diagram between my turgid hardon for Avatar of the Resolute and Collected Company. Boy this deck delivers. You’ve got 15 creatures that Avatar interacts with, all of whom would usually hit the ground before it did. Not to mention that other avatars piggyback each other. Combined with Hardened Scales (which should probably be another creature, but I’m a Timmy at heart), things get nuts. Concordant Crossroads means that the beats come out of nowhere and it’s not uncommon to have Avatar bursting out as a 6/5 trample (with Vines of Vastwood backup). You can have 10 damage, 4 mana appearing in an instant, which crams your opponent in the middle of a shit sandwich in an instant. Casting Collected Company and dropping double avatar just feels mean, because it is. This deck can rack up the damage and put a hurt onto the other side of the board faster than you’d think.
Okay, so there’s some non-ideal stuff in there and I’ll admit to that freely. The Concordant Crossroads, Hardened Scales and Collected Company could easily just be Dryad Sophisticates, Kalonian Tuskers or even Reverent Hunters. I just wanted a little bit of spice and mystery. What’s the fun of running straight up green stompy? Haste is easy enough to justify. The scales are probably greedy, but sometimes it’s just nice having that extra oomph out of your critters. Collected Company is at the top of the curve, but I’ve never been disappointed. It’s usually bringing out at least 6 damage, which is fine by me. You’ve got a lot of nonbos coming out with Avatar of the Resolute and timing disputes. He doesn’t simultaneously pump Experiment One and get the counter himself. The deck doesn’t have a lot of wrath insurance (outside of Strangleroot Geist, Experiment One and Collected Company), but hopefully you’ll have a) put enough beatdown on your opponent that a dude or two off the top can eke out those last few points (don’t forget the Concordant Crossroads) or b) have held back and played around it enough to survive.
With the downers out of the way, let’s look at some of the fun interactions you’ve got. Hardened Scales interacts with most of the deck. 2/2 Servant of the Scale, 3/3 Experiment One and 5/4 Avatar of the Resolute are just the tip. Scavenging Ooze just gets nutty, turning into a 4/4 after just one activation. It’s a 6/6 monster with two. Hardened Scales does come up in multiples. It’s scary. I was wary of Servant of the Scale at first, but having that +1/+1 be +2/+2 really boost the deck a bunch and allows for reckless attacks with abandon. Scavening Ooze cannibalises your own grave well. Imagine having Hardened Scales out with a Servant and Ooze on the board. 2/2 Servant dies, puts 3 counters on something. Ooze eats its body, gets +2+2. Just dumb. I had a 10/9 hasty trampling Avatar of the Resolute come off the top yesterday. Things ended very quickly after that. I was looking for room to fit another Nylea, because having your dudes trample instead of being chumped really greases the wheels (and a 6/6 indestructible hasty trampler is no slouch either). Experiment One is a house here, hitting hard, fast and sticking around. Vines of Vastwood gives the deck equal measures of protection and reach. Just an altogether fantastic card.
The deck’s not gonna be winning a tournament any time soon, but for a casual tabletop 1v1 it can clean house better than Oxiclean. Billy Mays guaranteed.