Kessig Wolf Run
: Gain .
[[symbol:X], : Target creature gets +X/+0 and gains trample until end of turn.
|Have (2)||CompleteWaste , metalmagic|
|Want (2)||DeckBuilderRiot , abaileyjr|
Printings View all
|Commander 2020 (C20)||Rare|
|From the Vault: Twenty (V13)||Mythic Rare|
Combos Browse all
|Commander / EDH||Legal|
Latest Decks as Commander
Kessig Wolf Run Discussion
3 days ago
So, there are several things you have misunderstood when looking at this deck, as it's one I have played and tweaked for the better part of a decade now and am very happy with it's current state. Firstly, the danger of Xenagos really kicks in when you can actually pressure an opponent, so it's best to stick with either trample or flying creatures exclusively, with the few exceptions of those that will really buff and support you such as Birds of Paradise and Oracle of Mul Daya. I chose to go with flyers, the best of which are largely dragons, because people generally do not have many fliers and are not prepared to deal with the power and pressure of many massive fliers suddenly appearing and swinging at them. As for the rest of the suggestions you have, and the part you misunderstood with him, is that you're focused on making more of a midgame and a recovery so you don't falter due to lack of cards. However, Xenagos doesn't really care of need that. Xenagos needs to get to 5 mana and get a single dragon out. One dragon. Then you are immediately swinging for at least 10 if not more, and every dragon has abilities and triggers that further pressures your opponent(s).
Greater Good is a fantastic card, but there are very few times that you want to be sacrificing your creatures since you will always be a massive target since Xenagos is always a threat. The same goes for Life's Legacy and Momentous Fall.
The problem with cards such as Return of the Wildspeaker, Harmonize, and Bonders' Enclave is that they take up most of your turn to draw cards. I have found that as a true gruul deck you don't want to let off the pressure on your opponents. You very rarely need more than a few dragons over the course of the game as Xenagos puts so much pressure on through doubling them and haste that losing an entire turn to draw more cards is a waste. I make an exception for Rishkar's Expertise because it does still allow us to drop a card and keep the momentum going.
Elder Gargaroth is indeed a good card, but it runs into the problem that it's effects aren't good enough for the deck. He is focused on the additional utility abilities, being lifegain, token generation, and drawing a card, which in any other deck are fantastic abilities. But here he doesn't put pressure onto your opponents the way cards such as Terror of the Peaks does. Everything about Xenagos is speed and pressure. You also run into the issue of him dying. With most opponents fielding very few flying and reach creatures when compared with the number of them in this deck, you rarely need to worry about your dragons dying. Every turn your board keeps building and the dragons have such destructive abilities (see Balefire Dragon for an example of such) that they have trouble keeping a strong board presence and fighting back. But all they need is one small deathtoucher, or any pump spell on one of their ground creatures and they stop your momentum. However, they will rarely have enough fliers to do that. That's a big part of the reason why we run so many dragons. Direct damage to your oppoenent, destructive effects to their boardstate (ex. Tyrant's Familiar), and constant psychological pressure and panic setting in. This is the way of the gruul.
Lifeblood Hydra is too slow. You need at least 8 mana to make him even a little viable, which is too much and too slow. My 8 drops are either extremely powerful, Utvara Hellkite for example, or i'm dropping a 6 drop and holding up a Heroic Intervention or something of that sort.
The Great Henge is also a great card, but again it's too slow.
Berserk is okay, but I prefer my creatures staying alive and pressuring on further turns.
Kessig Wolf Run Honestly just not good enough. The trample is largely unnecessary, and it eats up a minimum of 3 mana to have any effect, mana that can better be spent elsewhere.
Rancor Not good enough
Deflecting Swat Amazing card, but very rarely are cards single targeted any more, at least in my meta. Board wipes are more common.
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar Rather than this, I can just have another dragon which would do much more for my deck.
Sensei's Divining Top Another amazing card, but it just doesn't do enough in this deck.
Now, regarding the high CMC of the deck, of course it's going to be high. We're rushing out to 6 mana and then aggroing out from there. This deck doesn't look to play tempo with a whole bunch of smaller cards being played and set up. That takes too long and allows midrange and late game decks to set up too much. This deck is trying to ramp out and attack.
Finally, I have no idea which creatures you are viewing as subpar. The creatures in this deck are exclusively either flying to attack and pressure my opponents, or ramp/dorks to accelerate the deck, or protection in the form of Archetype of Endurance. If you would be willing to expound on that statement i'm curious to hear your opinion on which creatures could be better utilized.
I will say this, all of those suggestions are great and i'm always really happy to hear and see other people's thoughts on improving things. Other than Berserk and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar I have actually run every single one of those cards in this deck at one point or another. However, though many years and a lot of experience with him, this build is what I have found to be the most powerful and reliable one.
1 week ago
Thanks Profet93 :). I like your questions! They makes me reconsider card assessments formed long ago. Let’s dig into our new ones:
- Yavimaya Hollow: a card I like and play in other decks. I also considered it for this deck several times. However, every time I do I feel it just does not belong in this deck. I think the reason why I feel that way is because it’s not the creatures that need protecting most of the time (or that I don’t want to focus on protecting them). Opponents could kill Mina and Denn, Wildborn sure. But they are just an enabler for the deck. Not a key piece, like in decks where I do run Hollow. The deck does not really have many vital pieces like that. On certain moments, yes, hollow will save that one creature you needed for the explosive play, so I do agree it would be a useful include. I just don’t think it is necessary or used very often. A bit like Kessig Wolf Run maybe. To be honest, the threshold of getting one in FOIL also contributes to a feeling of resistance nowadays. However, I can totally see anyone swapping out Spikefield Hazard for Yavimaya Hollow if they feel differently. It might be a good idea to test this one again just to see what happens.
- If I’d cut Retreat to Kazandu now - which I won’t ;) - I’d probably go for another 2-mana ramp piece or put Krosan Tusker back in. I did just put in Rampant Growth in the last update, so I’m already up a ramp piece (5 now) to skip a turn for M&D. Sol Ring is a no go for me because of the total lack of synergy. Life from the Loam was cut in the last update for Ancient Greenwarden and the deck does not need a 4th effect like that I think. Eternal Witness is nice to have, especially with all the green creature tutors, so that is also a valid choice. Has creeped up on my maybe list rank recently because of Valakut Exploration. Depending on your meta, you can also consider something like Vexing Shusher for the spot.
- Ancient Tomb: I have a similar opinion on this land compared to hollow and kessig wolf run. They all provide a little something for the deck, but creating a spot for them is just terrible. Apart from Spikefield Hazard there are no lands I am willing to cut atm. Blast Zone has been a strong answer on a land so far that’s easily found. Khalni Garden has a lot of applications and synergy, Radiant Fountain I like for the same reasons as Retreat to Kazandu. Cryptic Caves and Temple of Abandon get you out of dead situations, which I value more than the benefits of the competition. Most other lands feel like they are kind of set in stone now.
2 weeks ago
Greater Good - The best card in the deck, add it immediately. If you listen to anything I say, this is it. Someone mentioned it before, don't sleep on this card. Seriously, I cannot under state this. If you add a cradle before adding this, then I am shocked
Life's Legacy - Be wary of additional cost to sac
Momentous Fall - Use in response to removal. Be wary of additional cost to sac
Return of the Wildspeaker - Use in response to removal
Harmonize - For much needed draw
Bonders' Enclave - Not needed but nice to have
Elder Gargaroth - Very useful
Lifeblood Hydra - Remove my creature, I dare you
The Great Henge - Ramp and card draw for cheap, very useful
Berserk - Don't worry, my malignus doesn't have trample.....oh you're gonna attack my other opponent, here, get buffed and die doing so! Very fun and versatile
Kessig Wolf Run - Don't underestimate utility in the mana base
Rancor - Makes a 1/1 into a 3/1 into a 6/4 trample.
Deflecting Swat - Counter counterspells, redirect targetted removal, draw, abilities, etc..... for free? Too much utility to ignore
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar - Cheats things into play for cheap, highly recomended
Sensei's Divining Top - Not needed but very nice to have.
I have other ideas of additions and cuts but don't want to overwhelm you. Be sure to let me know what you think of each suggestion as I think each will tremendously improve your deck. You high too high of an AVG cmc as well as some subpar creatures which can be swapped to be more efficient.
2 weeks ago
Haha, I feel you. Sometimes you just need to pull a deck out and turn things sideways.
One of the best decisions I made, that I don’t often see talked about, is running plenty of 1-drop Llanowar Elves as well as the 3-drop Cultivate variants that get you more than one land. This gives the best odds of curving into a Turn 3 Xenagos and getting the party started.
Caller of the Pack and Blade of Selves are personal favorites, since everyone gets to party. If you decide to go the Malignus route, I don’t see Realm Seekers talked about much. It’s often a 20/20 before Xenagos’ trigger plus can fetch utility lands like Kessig Wolf Run
If you need protection from white exile then Bolt Bend almost always costs 1 Red.
Party on Wayne!
3 weeks ago
Hey, good upgrades of the precon. Interesting version with lots of creatures. I've been playing Kalamax on a budget since he was released and I personally prefer less creatures and more instants/sorceries. My version is very different than yours, but I have some suggestions of how you can improve your version.
Cards from the precon to consider adding:
Kessig Wolf Run is one of the better support lands with Kalamax since it can a repeatable source of trample. Getting both Run and Encampment or Settlement with Crop Rotation is nice. Run is a land upgrade for Sapseep Forest. Harrow is one of the better land ramp spells with Kalamax because you sac one land to search for four basic lands of your choice and put them onto the battlefield untapped. Getting the basic lands untapped gives you mana to cast a spell on an opponent's turn and that's really the strength of Kalamax. Harrow is better than Natural Connection.
Primal Empathy is a fine repeatable draw source since Kalamax is going to most likely be the biggest creature on the battlefield and if he isn't then put another counter on him to make him bigger. The three Bounce lands are good budget lands that are upgrades for Guildgates and Life lands (Rugged Highlands).
Some cards to consider adding:
- Narset's Reversal
- Shared Summons
- Wavebreak Hippocamp
- Cultivator's Caravan
- Sprite Dragon
- Paradise Druid
Narset's Reversal is powerful with Kalamax since it can be a repeatable instant. You can return the original Reversal back to your hand with the copy of Reversal that Kalamax makes and still get a copy of opponent's or your own instant/sorcery you first copied. The repeatable interaction is nice with Guttersnipe and other creatures who ping your opponents. Reversal could replace Volcanic Geyser.
Shared Summons is an instant creature tutor that can get any two different creatures. With Kalamax it can tutor for four different creatures. Summons could replace Whiplash Trap. Wavebreak Hippocamp could replace Lunar Mystic. It's one less mana and the draw is repeatable for no mana cost. Sprite Dragon is a upgrade for Spellgorger Weird. It's one less mana and has evasion flying to take more advantage of having a lot of counters.
Paradise Druid can tap to make any color of mana and can use this mana to cast any card. Paradise is a ramp upgrade for Vodalian Arcanist. Cultivator's Caravan is an upgrade for a three drop mana rock because of crew 3 which is a repeatable way at instant speed tap Kalamax.
Good luck with your deck.
4 weeks ago
Hey, some base numbers to consider when starting out a three color casual Temur deck:
- 36 lands: Command Tower, Exotic Orchard
- 12 ramp sources: Simic/Izzet/Gruul Signets, Farseek
- 10 draw sources: Brainstorm, Coiling Oracle
- 8 removal/counterspells: Nature's Claim, Counterspell
- 5 tutors: Shared Summons, Prime Speaker Vannifar
Of course these numbers can be increased or decreased as you build the deck, but this is a good starting point with some cards to consider adding.
Any creatures or instant/sorceries you play think of them has having two additional mana in their mana costs that way you can get value from Riku. This means more creatures and instant/sorceries that are lower mana cost such as Coiling Oracle and Growth Spiral. Oracle and Spiral for two mana can help to get to five or more mana to cast Riku.
Legendary creatures are not the best with Riku because of the legendary rule. Only allowing you to have one card that's the same name in your control meaning you don't really want to copy a legendary creature with Riku. The token copy still triggers any ETB abilities, but then you remove the token copy and keep the original legendary creature.
Some budget win conditions with Riku
Biovisionary + one copy of Biovisionary + Twinflame
At beginning of your end step resolve the Biovisionary win the game trigger before the Twinflame exile tokens trigger which wins the game before the tokens are exiled. Biovisionary is also good with clones such as Phyrexian Metamorph. With Riku in your control get Biovisionary onto the battlefield, make a copy of it, clone it with Metamorph and make token copy of Metamorph gives you four Biovisionarys. Twinflame also combos with Dualcaster Mage for infinite Dualcasters who can attack with haste.
Ral, Storm Conduit + Fork Expansion / Explosion/Reverberate/Twincast
With Ral in your control cast a Fork, copy it with Riku. Let the copy resolve and then copy the original Fork still on the stack. Resolving the Fork copy then copying the original Fork makes a copy instant loop which does infinite damage to your opponents one at a time with Ral. These Forks are good with Riku outside the combo because for four mana you can copy an opponents spell twice. Forks are nice in multiplayer Commander where you have many opponents who are casting instant/sorceries you could copy.
Some of other cards $5 or less each that are good with Riku
- Mana dorks: Kiora's Follower, Paradise Druid
- Land ramp: Crop Rotation, Harrow
- Clones: Clever Impersonator, Progenitor Mimic
- Recursion: Eternal Witness, Regrowth
- Removal: Beast Within, Reclamation Sage
- Draw: Preordain, Serum Visions, Risen Reef
- Tutors: Chord of Calling, Signal the Clans
- Forks: Narset's Reversal can be a repeatable for four mana since the copy of Reversal can bounce the original Reversal back to your hand.
- Tri: Frontier Bivouac
- Fetch: Ash Barrens, Evolving Wilds
- Pain: Yavimaya Coast, Karplusan Forest, Shivan Reef
- Battle: Cinder Glade
- Bounce: Simic Growth Chamber, Izzet Boilerworks, Gruul Turf
- Utility: Mystic Sanctuary, Kessig Wolf Run
- Check: Sulfur Falls, Rootbound Crag
More Expensive Lands
1 month ago
1 month ago
Personally not a huge fan of mana dorks in Xenagos. I ran them for a while but found that they were a little low impact. They bring the curve down, sure, but they are way more fragile than land ramp like Skyshroud Claim or the like. Also, it almost feels wrong to be running these puny creatures in a big beater deck.
The only mana dorks I run anymore are Somberwald Sage and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds (If you can even classify her as such... she does only tap for one when she's the only thing out) since they add way more mana and impact the board much more at any stage of the game. That being said, stuff like Skullclamp, Pathbreaker Ibex and Kessig Wolf Run play very well with them so it's not a bad way to play.
Overall I like the list, but for my personal Xenagos deck I opted to go a bit bigger, and rely more on more reliable land ramp spells for that classic, huge stompy feel. However you build him, the God of Parties has the huge personality that's perfect for commander!