Protean Hydra

Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Modern Legal
Penny Dreadful Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
2011 Core Set (M11) Rare
2010 Core Set (M10) Mythic Rare

Combos Browse all

Protean Hydra

Creature — Hydra

Protean Hydra enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it.

If damage would be dealt to Protean Hydra, prevent that damage and remove that many +1/+1 counters from it.

Whenever a +1/+1 counter is removed from Protean Hydra, put two +1/+1 counters on it at the beginning of the next end step.

Protean Hydra Discussion

Kogarashi on Yarok and Hydras

3 months ago

For a rule of thumb about whether or not an ability will double due to Yarok, the Desecrated , it needs the following conditions:

  1. It must be a triggered ability, which begin with "when," "whenever," or "at." If it doesn't begin with these words, it's not a triggered ability. (The first ability of Protean Hydra doesn't use any of those three words.)

  2. The ability must be triggered by a permanent entering the battlefield.

If the effect fails to meet both conditions, Yarok will not double it.

For examples of something that Yarok would double, see Cathars' Crusade and Acidic Slime (triggered ability, and triggered by permanents entering the battlefield).

hankhill on Yarok and Hydras

3 months ago

Does Yarok basically double all hydra counts? Like if I have Yarok, the Desecrated on the field and play Protean Hydra does Proteans ability that reads "Protean enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it" trigger an additional time?

JustAddButter on Hydra Deck

4 months ago

added Kodama's Reach for ramp

removed Protean Hydra

Epideme on Hungry Hungry Hydras! (Mono Green Hydra Deck)

4 months ago

Hi Guys,

Thank you for all the comments: Re: Ramping w/ enchantments, would it not just make the enchantments or the enchanted lands a target for removal? And what would I do to cover the hole in the defence left by having fewer creatures to defend with, since ramping without creatures removes the option to block and therefore i can get needled down a lot easier. I definitely agree with liking the flexibility of the hydra cards and think it is one of the main strengths of the deck. If less mana is required than previously estimated wouldn't that add to the case of using things like Arbor Elf , as this sacrifices some mana ramp reliability as you pointed out for some defence?

I see your point with Asceticism , as the 5CMC rules it out for a decent amount of the game anyway. I'll straight up just switch those round.

I see the point here more with Doubling Season , but solidarity of heroes has in playtests I've found come to the rescue a lot to accelerate a turn and is also very flexible in terms of number of targets so can just overwhelm removal. I do see your point with valuable real estate (i always struggle to keep my decks to 60, see my other half finished attempt at a deck), I'm just not sure Solidarity of Heroes is the card to drop, can definitely see that Doubling Season more serves to make a winning situation a winning harder situation.

Okay, could switch the Beast Within in and put Return to Nature in the sideboard

I see that Garruks doesn't have perfect synergy with this deck, but have found him a very useful addition on many occassions with his wide array of abilities providing a good way to do several things from only 1 card slot.

I like the look of Gargos, Vicious Watcher and obviously a free 4 tokens on all my hydras, especially Hydra Broodmaster is a very attractive prospect. I'm a little worried that due to the the very high CMC, that it would only provide more winning in a situation of winning already. What creature spell would be worth cutting for it? I think with Rosheen Meanderer should have enough mana base that can be spent on anything green not to need the special effects of the additional 4 but that can only be spent on 'x'.

I'm not sure core set 19 and 20 were out when I first put the deck together, which is why I was interested on whether it needed updating. I like that Hungering Hydra has a nice low CMC, shame it's a bit harder to get it to scale than the likes of Primordial Hydra , but I could definitely get behind adding this. Protean Hydra was in a very early draft of this deck, the problem in my eyes is that it wouldn't really scale, nobody would go for attacking it unless they think they will kill it. It didn't seem like a bad card, so much as less good than some of the others.

I'm not too sure on Hydroid Krasis for the reasons you pointed out, but will have a think on whether can afford to add the splash, should be doable. What about one of the dual lands for enabling this?

I agree the mana base probably is the area with the most room for improvement and I do really like the look of that card for it's flexibility of being mana or pump. I think i'll put some Oran-Rief, the Vastwood in in place of Forest

Would you suggest leaving other Garruk in, and just removing G,CoB for Harmonize? So just the 2?

Again, I like both Fog and Revive, but not sure what I'd cut for them?

Scavenger Grounds I guess could work against decks that like to cheat things in to play. So far I've just been overwhelming them with the time it takes to do and just bring out something big to kill them off with, at the cost of tapping for specifically green mana. Seems much the same for Field of Ruin but for a fairly niche situation. Maybe these woyuld be better suited to the sideboard?

Nissa, Who Shakes the World goes really nice with this deck and allows you to make even more powerful hydras even quicker, but i don't feel like she patches any weaknesses in the deck, so much as just makes the strengths stronger. Would be interested to know other people's thoughts on this though?

Unbound Flourishing I really like and think the synergy with this deck is too good not to have for a 3CMC card - what do you reckon should be cut for it? Solidarity of Heroes ? as it does a very similiar job. I like Voracious Hydra for it's flexibility but it does only provide the 1 point of scaling and for much the same CMC you can have hydras that keep scaling ad infinitum. Gargos, Vicious Watcher we touched on before, and I really like the card, aside from the slight reservation that it might just make a winning game won harder and come in too late, it look really good for this deck - just not too sure what to cut for it?

Thanks for all the comments guys, they are really helpful - I'll make that first set of revisions and add your names to the list of acknowledgements.

Another thing I was wondering: Do I have the right number of creatures? And do i have the right number of lands? and what can I do to improve my land base, as I feel this is probably the area where improvements can be made without having to take anything away from the deck

Tyrant-Thanatos on Slime-ageddon

4 months ago

Yeah, the intention was to suggest that Endless One might be a card you didn't know about. Sorry if it came off differently. TBH I didn't know about Ugin's Conjurant until now haha.

That said, while Protean Hydra would also likely be better, I feel like you have the X cost big creatures covered with Gelatinous Genesis and Slime Molding .

And yes, if you have two copies of Parallel Lives on the battlefield they will both apply one after another, effectively quadrupling the number of tokens you produce. Three copies would cause you to produce 8x as many tokens, and four copies 16x.

Kichirou on Slime-ageddon

4 months ago

Protean Hydra might be better than Endless One since damaging hydra actually increases it's counters

kamarupa on Hungry Hungry Hydras! (Mono Green Hydra Deck)

4 months ago

I suggest you cut Arbor Elf and Birds of Paradise, and instead just ramp with enchantments: Utopia Sprawl, Fertile Ground , Weirding Wood . My reasoning is two-fold: 1) "Bolt the Bird" - your turn 1 dorks are removal targets, and can end up becoming a mana-drag instead of ramp. Additionally, those dorks are slotted as creatures, which means you're going to end up blocking with them. And while that defensive strategy seems rational, what it ends up being as often as not is that you get unreliable ramp, and tapped would-be blockers. 2) I don't think you need as much mana as you think. One of the cool things about Hydras, in my humble opinion, is that even though they're often thought of as giant, scary threats, many of them have fairly low CMCs with "x" in their casting cost. Additionally, they often have pretty powerful and unique abilities that make them valuable creatures even at a low initial cost. If it was really that important to make them huge, you'd just go for an infinite mana-ramp combo and drop them all as 500/500's. But we only need to deal 20 damage (in most games) to get a win. It's better to swing for 18 with 3 6/6's than one big 18/18 - harder to block, less susceptible to removal, etc. So play those lower CMC Hydras right away for reasonable CMC's and build up your boardstate with less concern for scary size. That is, I don't think you need as much mana as you're making. As a side-note, Arbor Elf encourages you to double or triple enchant a single Land. That makes that Land a target for removal. I suggest you resist that urge, and enchant separate Lands. The idea is that you don't give opponents any obvious and advantageous targets.

Cut Asceticism. 5 is way to much to pay for a little creature protection. Additionally, it can be removed at instant speed, which can leave you vulnerable when you least expect it. On average in 1v1 games, you're not going to see more than 2 removal attempts against your creatures. You don't need protection all the time, you need it at the right time. And finally, if you cast creatures for less mana and opponents are still removing them, it's likely you've got tempo on your side and they're on the defensive. So it will be fine to let them remove a smaller Hydra, and instead protect a bigger creature later on when they'll really rely on a removal spell. Therefore Heroic Intervention is just way, way better. It might even be good enough to drop Lightning Greaves, too.

Cut Solidarity of Heroes. All your creatures can get plenty big on their own. This spell is taking up a full slot of valuable real estate. I think the same is probably true for Doubling Season. It's just making a good card ridiculous. Like putting oversized tires with gaudy rims on a BMW.

Beast Within is a solid spell. You can run up to 4x in the mainboard. Then sideboard them out if Return to Nature (<-sideboard suggestion) will do the job.

I don't think either Garruk is the best option for draw, tutor, cheat, ramp, or pump. Yes, it's nice that you can get so many utilities in one place, but I think you can get what you need for less mana, and thus faster. Of all the abilities, Garruk Caller of Beasts first ability is the best, but without lots of creatures, it's probably better to tutor a creature for 2 mana once, instead of for 6 mana a few times.

I've suggested you make a lot of cuts. Here are some spells I suggest in their place:

There is no question in my mind that you should run 2x Gargos, Vicious Watcher . You should probably also run 2x Rosheen Meanderer . If you add this creatures, then Time of Need will allow you to run less of them, so you don't end up with dead cards from the Legendary Rule. These two creatures together are extremely powerful. With a full set of Time of Need, you can be sure to get at least 1 of them consistently.

Hungering Hydra . For starters, the name of this creature fits the name of this deck perfectly. I was honestly surprised it wasn't already included. But to make it better, for a low-minimum CMC, it has evasion AND a means to get bigger on its own. So this is a creature you could cast for 3 or 4 on T3.

Protean Hydra - another low-minimum CMC creature with its own pump ability. I haven't checked, but I believe Heroic Intervention (Indestructible) would mean that even if it was reduced to 0/0, it would stay on the battlefield until it regained even more +1/+1 counters on the End Step.

Hydroid Krasis . This one is probably a little more of a stretch here, but I think the case for it makes it hard not to seriously consider. The minimum casting cost is pretty low, AND it draws you cards, AND it gains you life. Draw+lifegain is game-winning utility with a scary body. The big downside is the blue mana cost. I'm not a big fan of 2-color decks, but I am a fan of splashes. To clarify this position: 2-color decks are a slippery slope into 3,4, and even 5 colors. If the synergy between spells is strong enough to warrant adding a color and fixing mana against inconsistencies, odds are there are other color synergies just as good. Splashes, on the other hand disrupt mana-bases much less, and in many cases don't require any changes at all. If you add additional enchantment ramp, I think you'll be able to add 1 blue mana for this one creature. I don't suggest adding any other blue spells, though, as tempting as that might seem.

I'll leave off on creatures with the suggestion that you try to include as many Hydras with "x" in their casting cost as possible.

Other spells that might be useful:

Oran-Rief, the Vastwood - a lot of Hydras get counters, so more is probably useful. I don't know that it's needed here, but tucking some pump into the mana-base makes more room in the deck for draw-card, protection, removal, etc. While I suggest cutting pump from the mainboard, if you're going to use any, a little pump in the mana-base seems like the best place to put it to me.

Harmonize - 3 card for 4 mana is one of the best draw deals in Modern. Usually people use Collected Company , but with big creatures and creatures with "x" in their mana costs, CoCo is worthless here. Harmonize vs Garruk, Caller of Beasts: Harmonize gets you 3 cards, while Garruk only gets you creatures. Sometimes you need a land, or protection, or removal. When you use G,CoB's first ability, you're ordering your deck, potentially putting a lot of the spells you need into the Graveyard. So Harmonize seems like a decent option here.

Fog - A low-CMC spell that can win a lot of games.

Something that gets your creatures back from the Graveyard might be useful. Revive would do. There are quite a few other options I'm sure you can find with a little searching.

Scavenger Grounds - 1x in the mainboard won't disrupt your mana-base, and you'll gain some valuable range.

Field of Ruin - Same reasons as Scavenger Grounds.

I hope some of this has been helpful!

TypicalTimmy on Card creation challenge

4 months ago

Daveslab2022, seshiro_of_the_orochi we just need to look at Protean Hydra for an idea on how to word it.

"Whenever ~ is dealt damage, you may gain that much life. Otherwise, prevent that much damage and put a +1/+1 counter on it at the beginning of your next end step."

This gives you the choice: Life or sustainably. You can now stop multiple sources of damage, such as several machine gun triggers directed at it. If you do, it gains that many +1/+1 counters; One for each time it was hit.

So giving it Menace is just gross.

Load more

Protean Hydra occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%