Wall of Blossoms

Wall of Blossoms

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Creature — Plant Wall

Defender (This creature can't attack.)

When Wall of Blossoms enters the battlefield, draw a card.

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Wall of Blossoms Discussion

RoarMaster on You will ROON this day!

7 hours ago

I have found that Roon really likes a good removal suite, but I also agree that the deck could use a little draw/ramp.

Coiling Oracle does both.

Yavimaya Dryad/Farhaven Elf decent ramp

Wall of Omens/Wall of Blossoms/Carven Caryatid/Masked Admirers Nice early/mid draw and protection.

Angel of Serenity Love this girl in my Roon deck, acts as creature removal, graveyard removal, and card advantage in the form of recurring cards from your grave to hand.

Tawnos's Coffin - Removes opponents creatures, or flickers yours. Amazing with Zeganna.

All star under rated cards for EDH, and even better than ever in a Roon deck are Erratic Portal/Crystal Shard.

Strionic Resonator Doubles up on all the ETB triggers.

Cauldron of Souls Helps to make your 'fragile' creatures less fragile, and gives extra ETB triggers.

Proteus Staff Lets you cycle your outdated critters for something hopefully better, or just scare your opponents into not wanting to cast their commanders.

Killkow on In The Trees Of Axebane

6 days ago

I like the theme a lot, but I worry you just die to very much interaction. With access to blue, and being only in two colors, I think you could easily afford to lose a bunch of your creatures, a win-con or two, and Kodama's Reach to make room for card draw and counterspells, in addition to other answers. You're well positioned against most creature-based themes, but otherwise very vulnerable.

Another thing to point out is that your maybeboard Wall of Blossoms isn't modern-legal (unfortunately). Being in white and hiving Wall of Omens is basically equivalent. As you mentioned, Sphinx's Revelation solves a lot of your problems too. Cyclonic Rift is also a very viable option if you can make room for it.

+1 though, love these kinds of decks!

NorthernRaven on Help me find a combo!

2 weeks ago

Hello hello!

I got my Roon deck. The deck really likes to stall games. So, when I have stalled the game, I really need to have a combo...

Here is all my creatures:

1x Acidic Slime
1x AEther Adept
1x Bane of Progress
1x Coiling Oracle
1x Deadeye Navigator
1x Deadwood Treefolk
1x Diluvian Primordial
1x Duplicant
1x Elvish Visionary
1x Essence Warden
1x Eternal Witness
1x Farhaven Elf
1x Fiend Hunter
1x Flickerwisp
1x Frost Titan
1x Galepowder Mage
1x Gatecreeper Vine
1x Harmonic Sliver
1x Karmic Guide
1x Kederekt Leviathan
1x Lavinia of the Tenth
1x Man-o'-War
1x Mistmeadow Witch
1x Mnemonic Wall
1x Mulldrifter
1x Murkfiend Liege
1x Nephalia Smuggler
1x Nevermaker
1x Ondu Giant
1x Perplexing Chimera
1x Phyrexian Ingester
1x Roon of the Hidden Realm
1x Sea Gate Oracle
1x Solemn Simulacrum
1x Somberwald Sage
1x Soul of the Harvest
1x Soul Warden
1x Soul's Attendant
1x Stonehorn Dignitary
1x Sunblast Angel
1x Trostani's Summoner
1x Wall of Blossoms
1x Wall of Omens
1x Wood Elves
1x Yavimaya Dryad

I just need 1 card, that can make an infinite (or a very good one at least) combo with any one or two of these cards. Maybe there's already a combo, that I haven't seen?

If I'm going to add some more combo creatures, I would like them to have some ETB effects! :)

Thanks!

Malachorn on Plan B (a Tiny Marath deck)

3 weeks ago

Before I talk about all the individual cards in my current list, let me talk about the deck in the abstract. Most decks in Magic: the Gathering tend to have a "Plan A." This is what you're TRYING to do. The game is easy when you're on Plan A. People like you, you like people, and the sky is made of puppy dogs. Basically, life is great. The Plan A for this deck is to "go big." This is often done by abusing Gaea's Cradle because, well, Gaea's Cradle is freaking awesome!! Sometimes your general just does a ton of "heavy lifting" thanks to the Gaea's Cradle and sometimes, when we're really lucky, we just Genesis Wave all over our opponents' face. And we laugh. But they don't laugh. No, they don't laugh at all... because their deck didn't let them use their Plan A - unless its Plan A was to lose, in which case our opponent was a maniac... and then he might have also been laughing while we were laughing... which probably made us a bit uncomfortable and "weirded out" (so much so, that it might have been hard for us to keep laughing). No, chances are that our opponent was on Plan B the whole time. Plan B is when your deck wasn't exactly doing what you wanted it to do. That's doesn't have to be as bad as it sounds. Look, Plan A is when you built your deck and your deck is performing and everything is going right and you feel really smart... not necessarily because you outplayed your opponent, mind you... but you feel really smart because you have a "perfect deck" and all your cards seem to be doing so much more work than your opponents' cards and you may even be making misplays. but it doesn't matter.. because life's just that good. Heck, sometimes you even feel bad for the poor schlub sitting across from you and you might even try to make him feel better after he loses by telling him there wasn't anything he could do. "That's magic," you'll say.

That isn't magic. Not really.

Plan B is magic. Plan A is a fool's dream. Plan A is a nice place to visit, but unless you're playing against goldfish, you can't plan on living there. Make no mistake, Plan B shouldn't be viewed as a death sentence. When your opponent has something (and isn't it weird how they always do have something?) you shouldn't just shrug your shoulders and tell yourself that they're just luckier than you. No, at that point... it's time to put on your big girl pants, buckle up, and play the game... it's time to move on to Plan B!

We already established that Plan A is the easy part. Well, the worst thing your deck can do is lose when you got all the cards you supposedly needed/wanted. I was over-simplifying things a bit earlier, okay? Whatever. That's not important now. Everyone else has moved past that already, so why can't you? Marath, Will of the Wild is one of the more powerful generals you can try to abuse in this format... even if the colors are a little bit poopy. And figuring out how I'm going to win after a resolved Genesis Wave for a ton against an opponent that doesn't have some form of immediate mass removal isn't a question that's going to bother me too often. I'm going to spend more time thinking about how to win after I do find out that my opponent "has it," thanks.

That brings us to the cards. Let's talk about the cards.

LANDS:

Lands are boring. Moving on!!

Alright... not quite... let's talk a very little about them. First, we're primarily a green deck and we happen to have some mana dorks... so we're going to use a fair number of forests (because we actually won the lottery and that means we get to play with dual lands and stuff). And if we use enough forests/fetchlands-that-want-to-get-forests then that can let us think about actually using Arbor Elf. Also, and we'll talk more about the card later, we know we're going to use a Knight of the Reliquary and that guy wants forests and/or plains... enough so that it's definitely going to have an impact on our manabase.More specifically, let's talk about a few individual card choices:

Dryad Arbor: It sorta goes with the Green Sun's Zenith. I seldom want to actually "waste" the Green Sun's Zenith on the Dryad Arbor though. Still, both Arbor Elf and Knight of the Reliquary demand a reasonable number of forests be played and the card IS a forest. If we're playing both of those cards already then I don't think we'd do much better than basic forest here anyways. Unfortunately, I don't think it'd be so simple as to just swap this card for a Horizon Canopy or something. Sorry. Still, I won't blame anyone that would rather just run yet another regular ol' Forest. That's fine. Just don't come crying to me that one time where you woulda kept the hand with Command Tower + Green Sun's Zenith and a bunch of other random spells if you actually played Dryad Arbor in the deck. Really though... we play a lot of mana in this deck. We have 19 lands and some mana guys (let's ignore Wasteland and Kessig Wolf Run giving us colorless and Gaea's Cradle not working without outside help and Stirring Wildwood coming into play tapped...). I think it's alright. Don't make me bring out the maths!

Stirring Wildwood? I want it to be a Raging Ravine real bad. Real, real bad. I'm not that brave and don't feel like there's room for both... and the deck really rather have that white mana than that red mana most of the time. So, alas, here we are. Not the worst thing that it actually gives us a potential card to interract with an opponent's flier, but we really want it more for the game where our opponent is a total jerk-face who doesn't want us to have nice things and wants to to ruin our life by playing something like Oblivion Stone or Earthquake or Toxic Deluge - or literal Wrath of God if your opponent is Mike Long (I know what you're thinking. You're thinking even Mike Long wouldn't perform such a blatant cheat. Well... he obviously erased the last white Mana symbol from the card before he put it in his deck. Duh.). On a related note: Mike Long doesn't actually play with two Drain Lifes in his Tiny Leaders deck and don't believe otherwise. He'll tell you he has a second copy... but it's a lie. He may or not may not also play with Consume Spirit, however. I'm not sure.

We play three other lands that are very important to remember, seeing as how we have Knight of the Reliquary in our deck: Gaea's Cradle, Kessig Wolf Run, and Wasteland. The Gaea's Cradle and Kessig Wolf Run are actually pretty conveniently cards that are part of our Plan A because to some degree they're "free rolls" since they're lands and we have to play a certain number of lands anyways! Score one for the good guys! Hooray! Bananas for everybody! Wasteland is much more Plan B... because, you know, this is magic and sometimes our opponents, being the jerks that they are, try to do things.

ONE-DROPS:

Alright, so let's do some math (even though math is hard). There are 49 cards in a deck and an opening hand is 7 cards (and you go to 8 on your first turn if you're on the draw). Because we're good at math, we'll say you start with 7.5 cards and the odds of a single card being in your opening hand is 15.3% (7.5/49). We want a one-drop on turn one because we think we're sligh like that and since we care about our mana curve, being all sligh and all (but not so sligh as to play Goblins of the Flarg and a bunch of dwarves in the same deck, mind you), we want almost 7 one-drops in our deck. But not quite... so... um... Swords to Plowshares doesn't really count. we'll say we have 6 and a half with the Swords to Plowshares.... and, um, Greeen Sun's Zenith counts because it can let us get Dryad Arbor. So... perfect. The math says all of our cards are perfect! So there. You can't argue the flawlessly performed maths.

However, I will concede that 15.3 times 7.5 doesn't quite equal 100 (it only equals 99.45. So there will be the OCCASIONAL (and only very occasional unless Richard Garfield hates you) game where you don't have a one-drop... but we'll get to that later. Right now? The one-drops:

Arbor Elf, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, and Elvish Mystic: These cards aren't very exciting and I think you know pretty much what they do. Still, we're going to talk a little about them because I think you're dumb (not really, just joshin' ya). Birds of Paradise is a no-brainer (well, technically speaking it is actually bird-brained... but that's pretty much the same thing based on things I've heard). Oh, and it flies - you might laugh at the fact that it flies... but I used to play Mythic before Mythic was cool and let me tell you that nothing was more fun than killing people with an attacking Birds of Paradise when all your "good stuff" got killed but you still have some Noble Hierarchs and a Finest Hour. That reminds me, friends don't let friends play Eldrazi Conscription. After Birds of Paradise, our next best "mana dork" is Arbor Elf. We play 2 Forest, 1 Dryad Arbor, 2 dual lands, and 2 shock lands for forests. I already established with my incredible maths how certain we are to get one of those 7 forests into play on turn one... but the Dryad Arbor shouldn't really count as a turn one forest (which is weird because by "forest," I really mean "green source" here... which means Command Tower does count, by the way - confused yet?), so for good measure we're just gonna play a bunch of fetchlands to add to the count. So unless Richard Garfield REALLY hates you, you will literally always (every-single-freaking-time) have a forest (or a fetchland to go get one) in your opening hand. Always. Next in line is Avacyn's Pilgrim. Why Avacyn's Pilgrim, you ask? Well, because we obviously have a green mana to play our mana dork, so how about we just have a guy that makes non-green mana that is useful, eh? Honestly, the deck barely needs red mana... so in a lot of ways it's better than Arbor Elf (until you need triple-red for your overloaded Mizzium Mortars and then Arbor Elf makes fun of the stupid white mana that Avacyn's Pilgrim makes... because Arbor Elf can be a real jerk sometimes). Waitasec... triple-red? How greedy is that?!?!? Nevermind all that, m'kay? We'll get to that... but we haven't even talked about Elvish Mystic yet. Why Elvish Mystic over Llanowar Elves? All I can say is thank Richard Garfield for giving us Elvish Mystic. Llanowar Elves has to be the most confusing card ever to have existed and I still don't know if it's one card or two (being plural and all). But I'm pretty sure Llanowar Elves (and let's just ignore his even more stupid cousin, Fyndhorn Elves) isn't legal in a singleton format (being plural and all). I may be confused... but I'm certain it's not worth the risk of a judge call.

And that brings us to... Magus of the Candelabra: What? Is that a joke? Seriously, we're playing Magus of the Candelabra? Alright, we already established that Llanowar Elves isn't an option in this singleton format and this guy may not give us mana normally... but it can sometimes. It can give us A LOT of mana sometimes (thank you, Gaea's Cradle). Now, normally when we have an active Gaea's Cradle we don't need much more help and if that's all it was doing then it'd be very easy to say this is a "win more" card, but there actually are situations where this guy came online early enough that we didn't have a "real Gaea's Cradle" yet and the effect IS needed to have "big game." But more than that, it also fixes our mana (which can also be important when we have an active Gaea's Cradle and are on "making tokens with our general mode" and we have tons of green but less than tons of the white and red). Mostly we need double-white fairly often and eventually triple-red sometimes (the overloaded Mizzium Mortars) and we definitely have some draws where we wish our Wasteland or Kessig Wolf Run didn't only ever try to give us generic. So the card's not that bad... it's also semi-randomly a 1/2 and paying one mana for a 1/2 is just a good rate! So, yeah. If you want to make this card something like a Mother of Runes or Rhys the Redeemed or Ulvenwald Tracker or try and cheat by actually playing the Llanowar Elves in a singleton format or whatever then I understand. I don't really know what this card is supposed to be, to be honest... but I do know I want a semi-random one-drop here and don't think the deck actually has to have a mana accelerator on the first turn and I want the one-drop to ideally do something big. The selling point for me on this card is that it can help fix the mana and I have enough faith in the deck to win given it doesn't "beat itself." Sure, if you REALLY wanted to "play it safe" this card could just be a Viridian Acolyte at that point... but that's no fun.

Next is: Green Sun's Zenith. Good card is good and it gets us Dryad Arbor and that makes it a card I called a one-drop... and that means we're mentioning it here. Now, let me let you in on a little secret: It's not really a one-drop. Yes, sometimes we'll go and get us a Dryad Arbor with the card... but we probably don't want to do that. It's a trap. We're good and our deck is good. We can do better than that. Please, let us do better than that.

And finally we have: Swords to Plowshares. We're a deck that's trying very hard not to play cards that aren't creatures or lands. Why? Because modern magic doesn't like cards that aren't creatures or lands. And if we're anything then we're agreeable (I think. What do you think?). Well, Swords to Plowshares better be good to excuse its spell type... lucky for us, it is. It's very good. Still, this is another card that we wouldn't actually play at all if we didn't have stupid opponents always trying to do things.

TWO-DROPS:

Accorder Paladin: It actually does quite a few different things. The Battle cry is occasionally sweet when you make a bunch of guys with your general and that makes even more mana from your Gaea's Cradle which makes even more guys... and then Accorder Paladin pumps them all and life is wonderful. But, as we stated before, we're not really on the market for those kinds of things that are only super awesome when everything else is super awesome and that's not really why the guy is in the deck. The truth is that a large portion of the time our Plan B with this deck is to be a stupid beatdown deck. We happen to have a lot of creatures anyways and we're playing the dumb colors that like to actually cast dumb spells. So... why not? And since we happen to have some normally pretty pitiful dorks in our deck anyways... it makes some sense and the Battle cry gains some value. And... well, it's a 3/1 for the unbelievably low price of 2 manas!! Best of all with playing stupid guys like this is when your opponent decides he can't beat you in a race so he's doing something silly like keeping his guys back on defense... which just gives you time to do something cool like cast a Genesis Wave. Seriously, imagine you have this guy and a Marath, Will of the Wild in play... your opponent is Mike Flores and he has no idea what you're going to do with your Marath, Will of the Wild, but the idea of you making 3 tokens at the end of his turn and being able to swing for 9 thanks to the Battle Cry is going to make him at least think twice when he asks himself "who is the beatdown?" And that is a very real scenario that doesn't involve a Gaea's Cradle and only involves Accorder Paladin and a card we know we're going to have a chance to cast in the course of the game (and Mike Flores). Sounds good enough that I'd sooner play this over something like Watchwolf, Flinthoof Boar, or Fleecemane Lion. Bonus points for it not being green since we don't really want this card to be a Green Sun's Zenith target anyways and it could theoretically do some things like chump a Mirran Crusader equipped with a Sword of Feast and Famine or survive a post-board Perish. And we really do want a fair number of "meaty" two-drops in our deck, I think.

Ambush Viper: Also known as "the green doom blade." I already told you that we aren't trying to play noncreature, nonland spells. I meant it. So... "the green doom blade" it is. Yes, I know, it's perfectly fine to ask ourselves if this is really what we're doing with our lives. Let's just move on, m'kay? It gets better. It all works out in the end. I promise.

Fauna Shaman: So, you really want to get that Gaea's Cradle? Well, Knight of the Reliquary doesn't find itself! And, hey, sometimes you actually have to do silly things like find an Ambush Viper with this card. And then you and your opponent laugh and have a good time.

Nightshade Peddler: An actual and legitimate Green Sun's Zenith. And we're not ashamed of the fact that we fairly often want this card either, since Marath, Will of the Wild + Nightshade Peddler = 1-costed Murders... which is even better than Ambush Viper! That reminds me of something. Patience is a virtue. If we really think we have to cast this guy on turn 2 then we better not be liking it! Nightshade Peddler is in fact a 2-drop, but this is NOT a card we're trying to cast on turn 2.

Qasali Pridemage: Once again, sometimes our opponents do things. The exalted is mostly "whatever," but it's a green guy that we can Green Sun's Zenith for when our opponent plays his Sword of Fire and Ice after we already blew up his Sword of Feast and Famine. Sometimes we even like this more than the obligatory Reclamation Sage that we're going to play since our opponents sometimes get "all tricky" and try to play around our mostly sorcery speed deck. He cans blows the things up at instant speed evens! What an all-star. But this isn't no Kobe Bryant; he's a John Stockton. If he has to he'll just assist Birds of Paradise in becoming an attacker - that's right... Birds of Paradise flies!! We'll get to Ajani, Caller of the Pride later... but our favorite starts are when we get to go turn 2 Ajani off of the BoP. Hey, it's a thing that happens occasionally. And it's awesome. And we laugh because it's sorta funny. But it is a real thing. Don't forget to say "meow" whenever you're attacking with a bird.

Scavenging Ooze: Because obviously. And it's not like we're going to help Tarmogoyf ever become a real card since we only play creature spells... so we have the Ooze. And that's fine. We like our Ooze, thanks.

Vinelasher Kudzu: We can do things like play a mana dork on turn one and then go Vinelasher Kudzu + fetchland and, as stated before, sometimes we're simply trying to turn our guys sideways. This is one of the best 2-drops available when it comes to potential to dominate the game all by himself. I like the looks of opening hands that have plans and do things and this is one of the cards that can give us such an opening hand. So we play it. That's still more Plan B, but it's also pretty spiffy that if Plan A roles along then our Genesis Wave tends to give us quite a few lands and then we're much more happy with this guy than with something like a Kavu Titan (which is nothing more than a glorified Runeclaw Bear at that point).

Voice of Resurgence: The bit of extra insurance against an opponent who is trying to kill our stuff is probably the best part of the card. The fact that the token that it makes can be insane in our deck is a really close second. The sweetest part, however, is that it encourages our opponent to "play more fair" against our sorcery speed deck. We don't play instants, why should they think they can? Right is right! The token can be awesome, of course... but we're patient. While it's very tempting to kill this guy off the first chance we get. We don't do that. That's what our opponent wants. Our opponent is shady and always up to something. Don't trust them.

Wall of Blossoms: If you play this deck enough then there'll be a game where you Green Sun's Zenith for it and you shouldn't feel bad about that. You do what you gotta do. One of the cards I'm actually legitimately happy to hit from a Genesis Wave. Something to make your Gaea's Cradle do more work while not overextending. Protects your planeswalkers. We could go crazy and also play Wall of Omens, but we're not super-trying to be in that place even if we do have a fair amount of big game potential with this deck. That could be wrong, but in the meantime we'll just play the one we can find with Green Sun's Zenith if we have to. Seriously though, we don't want to actually Genesis Wave and then trade everything we have for a single card the opponent might have... so we'll play cards like this sometimes and not just accept that "there wasn't anything we could do" against that guy when that happens. Also, we kinda just have to get around to drawing the Genesis Wave naturally if we're ever going to cast it, so playing cards that draw cards doesn't hurt there. Could even go super crazy and play Elvish Visionary at that point... but we kinda want most of our cards to actually not be complete duds since casting Genesis Wave and finding out that you get a bunch of cards but none of them really do anything would be the stone cold worst.

THREE-DROPS:

Ajani, Caller of the Pride and Domri Rade: Planeswalkers. We like Planeswalkers so much that we briefly even considered Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded. We're not complete maniacs so Tibalt didn't make the cut (especially since we don't trust that guy and we're sure he'd "randomly" make us discard our Genesis Wave every chance he got). We could play Stoneforge Mystic and the Swords here instead or something... but then our opponents Disenchants become real cards. So we'll settle for the Planeswalkers. It's not so bad, Value Town is one of my favorite places and I never mind staying there for awhile. Value Town isn't the most glorious place... but, gosh, the rates in that place are just so reasonable!

Eternal Witness: A pretty spiffy card that can do things like get your Gaea's Cradle back when your opponent decides to Vindicate it. That's cool, but our favorite part about the card is that it can make us not feel completely horrible about ourselves if we're forced to cast a Genesis Wave a little earlier than we really wanted to. Eternal Witness doesn't care though. It's not in it for the glory, it'll re-buy a fetchland if it has to. No worries.

Frontline Medic: If we're not actually trying to jam Marath, Will of the Wild a lot of the times then we want some cards that we don't mind "jamming" and that's a large part of what this spot is for. We already plan on playing Woolly Thoctar, so that steers us towards someone like Loxodon Smiter... but even though we are a Green-White deck do we really have to play that big, dumb elephant? I hope not! Sure, we'll occasionally feel bad about our choices when this guy dies to a Lightning Bolt and Loxodon Smiter wouldn't have... but it's not like we woulda got more than a big, dumb elephant out of it anyways. No, thank you. Pass! This guy can potentially let your whole team keep turning sideways. For as big of a heart that Smiter has, he's kinda selfish and doesn't really think about others, ya know? Not this guy. He'll even sacrifice himself to counter spells. Which spells? Only the very best spells your opponent had to offer!

Kitchen Finks: Is it the best ouphe in the game? Nope! Not according to you schmucks that vote over there on Gatherer. Gilder Bairn. Gilder Bairn, evidently, is the best ouphe in the game. Thankfully, we can't play Gilder Bairn because it's a blue card. So we'll settle for Kitchen Finks. Admiral Ackbar told me he's not so sure about Gilder Bairn anyways.

Knight of the Reliquary: We like lands and don't mind playing fetches at this point, so the card makes sense. Almost certainly the card you should be using your Green Sun's Zenith on the most often. If you do go and get Dryad Arbor with your Green Sun's Zenith and didn't happen to also have your Gaea's Cradle in hand then you better not be very happy about your decision. Sometimes, you have to do stuff... but make sure you actually "have to" and weren't just being way too greedy. Richard Garfield doesn't like greedy people and you may be punished. Ask for forgiveness when your Gaea's Cradle gets blowed up and you don't have a Green Sun's Zenith anymore to go get your Eternal Witness. And know that it's probably your fault and you deserved to lose that one. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Mul Daya Channelers: If in fact Mul Daya Channelers is ever any good whatsoever then it should be good here, right? It's probably still terrible and way too cute. If you HAVE to play some big, dumb elephant in your deck or something then you should probably be playing it over this card. Look, magic is still a game and should, ideally, be fun... so we're gonna play this card. But I wouldn't blame anyone at all if they'd rather try Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Dauntless Escort, Wolfir Avenger, Emancipation Angel, Troll Ascetic, Transcendent Master, Fleetfoot Panther, Chronicler of Heroes... or pretty much anything else. That's fine. You don't have to be such a Spike about it, okay?

Reclamation Sage: The format really likes cards like the Swords and everyone else wants to be playing them... so we'll maindeck Reclamation Sages like everyone else. Thanks to cards like Fauna Shaman and Green Sun's Zenith, we were probably supposed to anyways.

Woolly Thoctar: This is basically Loxodon Smiter and I'm already not super excited about playing the first big, dumb creature... but 5-power is just too much to pass on when we sometimes have starts of turn 2 Woolly Thoctar on the play.

Council's Judgment: Because you have to.

X-SPELLS:

Green Sun's Zenith: I know I called it a one-costed spell earlier. That wasn't very true. I'm sorry. Chances are, we're getting Knight of the Reliquary or something... and then it costs 4 (or more if you want to play around Spell Burst or something). Normally, you can only play spells that cost 3 or less in this format, so that makes this card cool. It's like cheating (but not in a scummy Mike Long way)!

Hooded Hydra: This format only gives you 10 sideboard slots. That is so littles! That's hardly any at all! Well, we kinda want another big X-spell since we're so often getting Gaea's Cradle and we don't always draw our Genesis Wave... and it's no fair to our general to try and make him do all the work all the time when we don't get our Genesis Wave. Besides, when Gaea's Cradle isn't super great for us, Hooded Hydra can be. If you're not so much a scaredy-cat like me then you could play Genesis Hydra or Primordial Hydra or something. Heck, you can even be a crazy man and play turn 2 Primordial Hydras if that's what you want to do with your life. Your call, man. But as much as I would like the Genesis Hydra in the deck, I ended up cutting it. And if Hooded Hydra got banned then my swap would actually be Lifeblood Hydra. So there.

Unexpectedly Absent: Good card is good, I guess. Not much more to say about it, really. Virtually an auto-include in any deck that can use it and we get bonus points by sometimes actually casting it for a bunch of mana (not really, that doesn't happen).

Mizzium Mortars: I know, I know. This isn't an X-spell. But I don't care. It's not really in the deck to cast for 2 manas. That's not enough. We can do better. You can make it a Bonfire of the Damned if you really want to. Must be nice. Look, some of us don't believe in miracles. And, besides, sometimes you're beating them down and you really do just want a Doom Blade (which Mizzium Mortars often is).

Genesis Wave: If Marath, Will of the Wild wasn't so good with this strategy already and Naya colors didn't give us cool toys like the planeswalkers then we'd seriously consider being other colors just so we had some cooler toys like maybe Drift of Phantasms. But Marath, Will of the Wild doesn't let us play Drift of Phantasms and rules is rules. So we just always pray to Richard Garfield before our match and hope he's kind to us and lets us find this wonderful card.

Malachorn on Plan B (a Tiny Marath deck)

3 weeks ago

Before I talk about all the individual cards in my current list, let me talk about the deck in the abstract. Most decks in Magic: the Gathering tend to have a "Plan A." This is what you're TRYING to do. The game is easy when you're on Plan A. People like you, you like people, and the sky is made of puppy dogs. Basically, life is great. The Plan A for this deck is to "go big." This is often done by abusing Gaea's Cradle because, well, Gaea's Cradle is freaking awesome!! Sometimes your general just does a ton of "heavy lifting" thanks to the Gaea's Cradle and sometimes, when we're really lucky, we just Genesis Wave all over our opponents' face. And we laugh. But they don't laugh. No, they don't laugh at all... because their deck didn't let them use their Plan A - unless its Plan A was to lose, in which case our opponent was a maniac... and then he might have also been laughing while we were laughing... which probably made us a bit uncomfortable and "weirded out" (so much so, that it might have been hard for us to keep laughing). No, chances are that our opponent was on Plan B the whole time. Plan B is when your deck wasn't exactly doing what you wanted it to do. That's doesn't have to be as bad as it sounds. Look, Plan A is when you built your deck and your deck is performing and everything is going right and you feel really smart... not necessarily because you outplayed your opponent, mind you... but you feel really smart because you have a "perfect deck" and all your cards seem to be doing so much more work than your opponents' cards and you may even be making misplays. but it doesn't matter.. because life's just that good. Heck, sometimes you even feel bad for the poor schlub sitting across from you and you might even try to make him feel better after he loses by telling him there wasn't anything he could do. "That's magic," you'll say.

That isn't magic. Not really.

Plan B is magic. Plan A is a fool's dream. Plan A is a nice place to visit, but unless you're playing against goldfish, you can't plan on living there. Make no mistake, Plan B shouldn't be viewed as a death sentence. When your opponent has something (and isn't it weird how they always do have something?) you shouldn't just shrug your shoulders and tell yourself that they're just luckier than you. No, at that point... it's time to put on your big girl pants, buckle up, and play the game... it's time to move on to Plan B!

We already established that Plan A is the easy part. Well, the worst thing your deck can do is lose when you got all the cards you supposedly needed/wanted. I was over-simplifying things a bit earlier, okay? Whatever. That's not important now. Everyone else has moved past that already, so why can't you? Marath, Will of the Wild is one of the more powerful generals you can try to abuse in this format... even if the colors are a little bit poopy. And figuring out how I'm going to win after a resolved Genesis Wave for a ton against an opponent that doesn't have some form of immediate mass removal isn't a question that's going to bother me too often. I'm going to spend more time thinking about how to win after I do find out that my opponent "has it," thanks.

That brings us to the cards. Let's talk about the cards.

LANDS:

Lands are boring. Moving on!!

Alright... not quite... let's talk a very little about them. First, we're primarily a green deck and we happen to have some mana dorks... so we're going to use a fair number of forests (because we actually won the lottery and that means we get to play with dual lands and stuff). And if we use enough forests/fetchlands-that-want-to-get-forests then that can let us think about actually using Arbor Elf. Also, and we'll talk more about the card later, we know we're going to use a Knight of the Reliquary and that guy wants forests and/or plains... enough so that it's definitely going to have an impact on our manabase.More specifically, let's talk about a few individual card choices:

Dryad Arbor: It sorta goes with the Green Sun's Zenith. I seldom want to actually "waste" the Green Sun's Zenith on the Dryad Arbor though. Still, both Arbor Elf and Knight of the Reliquary demand a reasonable number of forests be played and the card IS a forest. If we're playing both of those cards already then I don't think we'd do much better than basic forest here anyways. Unfortunately, I don't think it'd be so simple as to just swap this card for a Horizon Canopy or something. Sorry. Still, I won't blame anyone that would rather just run yet another regular ol' Forest. That's fine. Just don't come crying to me that one time where you woulda kept the hand with Command Tower + Green Sun's Zenith and a bunch of other random spells if you actually played Dryad Arbor in the deck. Really though... we play a lot of mana in this deck. We have 19 lands and some mana guys (let's ignore Wasteland and Kessig Wolf Run giving us colorless and Gaea's Cradle not working without outside help and Stirring Wildwood coming into play tapped...). I think it's alright. Don't make me bring out the maths!

Stirring Wildwood? I want it to be a Raging Ravine real bad. Real, real bad. I'm not that brave and don't feel like there's room for both... and the deck really rather have that white mana than that red mana most of the time. So, alas, here we are. Not the worst thing that it actually gives us a potential card to interract with an opponent's flier, but we really want it more for the game where our opponent is a total jerk-face who doesn't want us to have nice things and wants to to ruin our life by playing something like Oblivion Stone or Earthquake or Toxic Deluge - or literal Wrath of God if your opponent is Mike Long (I know what you're thinking. You're thinking even Mike Long wouldn't perform such a blatant cheat. Well... he obviously erased the last white Mana symbol from the card before he put it in his deck. Duh.). On a related note: Mike Long doesn't actually play with two Drain Lifes in his Tiny Leaders deck and don't believe otherwise. He'll tell you he has a second copy... but it's a lie. He may or not may not also play with Consume Spirit, however. I'm not sure.

We play three other lands that are very important to remember, seeing as how we have Knight of the Reliquary in our deck: Gaea's Cradle, Kessig Wolf Run, and Wasteland. The Gaea's Cradle and Kessig Wolf Run are actually pretty conveniently cards that are part of our Plan A because to some degree they're "free rolls" since they're lands and we have to play a certain number of lands anyways! Score one for the good guys! Hooray! Bananas for everybody! Wasteland is much more Plan B... because, you know, this is magic and sometimes our opponents, being the jerks that they are, try to do things.

ONE-DROPS:

Alright, so let's do some math (even though math is hard). There are 49 cards in a deck and an opening hand is 7 cards (and you go to 8 on your first turn if you're on the draw). Because we're good at math, we'll say you start with 7.5 cards and the odds of a single card being in your opening hand is 15.3% (7.5/49). We want a one-drop on turn one because we think we're sligh like that and since we care about our mana curve, being all sligh and all (but not so sligh as to play Goblins of the Flarg and a bunch of dwarves in the same deck, mind you), we want almost 7 one-drops in our deck. But not quite... so... um... Swords to Plowshares doesn't really count. we'll say we have 6 and a half with the Swords to Plowshares.... and, um, Greeen Sun's Zenith counts because it can let us get Dryad Arbor. So... perfect. The math says all of our cards are perfect! So there. You can't argue the flawlessly performed maths.

However, I will concede that 15.3 times 7.5 doesn't quite equal 100 (it only equals 99.45. So there will be the OCCASIONAL (and only very occasional unless Richard Garfield hates you) game where you don't have a one-drop... but we'll get to that later. Right now? The one-drops:

Arbor Elf, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, and Elvish Mystic: These cards aren't very exciting and I think you know pretty much what they do. Still, we're going to talk a little about them because I think you're dumb (not really, just joshin' ya). Birds of Paradise is a no-brainer (well, technically speaking it is actually bird-brained... but that's pretty much the same thing based on things I've heard). Oh, and it flies - you might laugh at the fact that it flies... but I used to play Mythic before Mythic was cool and let me tell you that nothing was more fun than killing people with an attacking Birds of Paradise when all your "good stuff" got killed but you still have some Noble Hierarchs and a Finest Hour. That reminds me, friends don't let friends play Eldrazi Conscription. After Birds of Paradise, our next best "mana dork" is Arbor Elf. We play 2 Forest, 1 Dryad Arbor, 2 dual lands, and 2 shock lands for forests. I already established with my incredible maths how certain we are to get one of those 7 forests into play on turn one... but the Dryad Arbor shouldn't really count as a turn one forest (which is weird because by "forest," I really mean "green source" here... which means Command Tower does count, by the way - confused yet?), so for good measure we're just gonna play a bunch of fetchlands to add to the count. So unless Richard Garfield REALLY hates you, you will literally always (every-single-freaking-time) have a forest (or a fetchland to go get one) in your opening hand. Always. Next in line is Avacyn's Pilgrim. Why Avacyn's Pilgrim, you ask? Well, because we obviously have a green mana to play our mana dork, so how about we just have a guy that makes non-green mana that is useful, eh? Honestly, the deck barely needs red mana... so in a lot of ways it's better than Arbor Elf (until you need triple-red for your overloaded Mizzium Mortars and then Arbor Elf makes fun of the stupid white mana that Avacyn's Pilgrim makes... because Arbor Elf can be a real jerk sometimes). Waitasec... triple-red? How greedy is that?!?!? Nevermind all that, m'kay? We'll get to that... but we haven't even talked about Elvish Mystic yet. Why Elvish Mystic over Llanowar Elves? All I can say is thank Richard Garfield for giving us Elvish Mystic. Llanowar Elves has to be the most confusing card ever to have existed and I still don't know if it's one card or two (being plural and all). But I'm pretty sure Llanowar Elves (and let's just ignore his even more stupid cousin, Fyndhorn Elves) isn't legal in a singleton format (being plural and all). I may be confused... but I'm certain it's not worth the risk of a judge call.

And that brings us to... Magus of the Candelabra: What? Is that a joke? Seriously, we're playing Magus of the Candelabra? Alright, we already established that Llanowar Elves isn't an option in this singleton format and this guy may not give us mana normally... but it can sometimes. It can give us A LOT of mana sometimes (thank you, Gaea's Cradle). Now, normally when we have an active Gaea's Cradle we don't need much more help and if that's all it was doing then it'd be very easy to say this is a "win more" card, but there actually are situations where this guy came online early enough that we didn't have a "real Gaea's Cradle" yet and the effect IS needed to have "big game." But more than that, it also fixes our mana (which can also be important when we have an active Gaea's Cradle and are on "making tokens with our general mode" and we have tons of green but less than tons of the white and red). Mostly we need double-white fairly often and eventually triple-red sometimes (the overloaded Mizzium Mortars) and we definitely have some draws where we wish our Wasteland or Kessig Wolf Run didn't only ever try to give us generic. So the card's not that bad... it's also semi-randomly a 1/2 and paying one mana for a 1/2 is just a good rate! So, yeah. If you want to make this card something like a Mother of Runes or Rhys the Redeemed or Ulvenwald Tracker or try and cheat by actually playing the Llanowar Elves in a singleton format or whatever then I understand. I don't really know what this card is supposed to be, to be honest... but I do know I want a semi-random one-drop here and don't think the deck actually has to have a mana accelerator on the first turn and I want the one-drop to ideally do something big. The selling point for me on this card is that it can help fix the mana and I have enough faith in the deck to win given it doesn't "beat itself." Sure, if you REALLY wanted to "play it safe" this card could just be a Viridian Acolyte at that point... but that's no fun.

Next is: Green Sun's Zenith. Good card is good and it gets us Dryad Arbor and that makes it a card I called a one-drop... and that means we're mentioning it here. Now, let me let you in on a little secret: It's not really a one-drop. Yes, sometimes we'll go and get us a Dryad Arbor with the card... but we probably don't want to do that. It's a trap. We're good and our deck is good. We can do better than that. Please, let us do better than that.

And finally we have: Swords to Plowshares. We're a deck that's trying very hard not to play cards that aren't creatures or lands. Why? Because modern magic doesn't like cards that aren't creatures or lands. And if we're anything then we're agreeable (I think. What do you think?). Well, Swords to Plowshares better be good to excuse its spell type... lucky for us, it is. It's very good. Still, this is another card that we wouldn't actually play at all if we didn't have stupid opponents always trying to do things.

TWO-DROPS:

Accorder Paladin: It actually does quite a few different things. The Battle cry is occasionally sweet when you make a bunch of guys with your general and that makes even more mana from your Gaea's Cradle which makes even more guys... and then Accorder Paladin pumps them all and life is wonderful. But, as we stated before, we're not really on the market for those kinds of things that are only super awesome when everything else is super awesome and that's not really why the guy is in the deck. The truth is that a large portion of the time our Plan B with this deck is to be a stupid beatdown deck. We happen to have a lot of creatures anyways and we're playing the dumb colors that like to actually cast dumb spells. So... why not? And since we happen to have some normally pretty pitiful dorks in our deck anyways... it makes some sense and the Battle cry gains some value. And... well, it's a 3/1 for the unbelievably low price of 2 manas!! Best of all with playing stupid guys like this is when your opponent decides he can't beat you in a race so he's doing something silly like keeping his guys back on defense... which just gives you time to do something cool like cast a Genesis Wave. Seriously, imagine you have this guy and a Marath, Will of the Wild in play... your opponent is Mike Flores and he has no idea what you're going to do with your Marath, Will of the Wild, but the idea of you making 3 tokens at the end of his turn and being able to swing for 9 thanks to the Battle Cry is going to make him at least think twice when he asks himself "who is the beatdown?" And that is a very real scenario that doesn't involve a Gaea's Cradle and only involves Accorder Paladin and a card we know we're going to have a chance to cast in the course of the game (and Mike Flores). Sounds good enough that I'd sooner play this over something like Watchwolf, Flinthoof Boar, or Fleecemane Lion. Bonus points for it not being green since we don't really want this card to be a Green Sun's Zenith target anyways and it could theoretically do some things like chump a Mirran Crusader equipped with a Sword of Feast and Famine or survive a post-board Perish. And we really do want a fair number of "meaty" two-drops in our deck, I think.

Ambush Viper: Also known as "the green doom blade." I already told you that we aren't trying to play noncreature, nonland spells. I meant it. So... "the green doom blade" it is. Yes, I know, it's perfectly fine to ask ourselves if this is really what we're doing with our lives. Let's just move on, m'kay? It gets better. It all works out in the end. I promise.

Fauna Shaman: So, you really want to get that Gaea's Cradle? Well, Knight of the Reliquary doesn't find itself! And, hey, sometimes you actually have to do silly things like find an Ambush Viper with this card. And then you and your opponent laugh and have a good time.

Nightshade Peddler: An actual and legitimate Green Sun's Zenith. And we're not ashamed of the fact that we fairly often want this card either, since Marath, Will of the Wild + Nightshade Peddler = 1-costed Murders... which is even better than Ambush Viper! That reminds me of something. Patience is a virtue. If we really think we have to cast this guy on turn 2 then we better not be liking it! Nightshade Peddler is in fact a 2-drop, but this is NOT a card we're trying to cast on turn 2.

Qasali Pridemage: Once again, sometimes our opponents do things. The exalted is mostly "whatever," but it's a green guy that we can Green Sun's Zenith for when our opponent plays his Sword of Fire and Ice after we already blew up his Sword of Feast and Famine. Sometimes we even like this more than the obligatory Reclamation Sage that we're going to play since our opponents sometimes get "all tricky" and try to play around our mostly sorcery speed deck. He cans blows the things up at instant speed evens! What an all-star. But this isn't no Kobe Bryant; he's a John Stockton. If he has to he'll just assist Birds of Paradise in becoming an attacker - that's right... Birds of Paradise flies!! We'll get to Ajani, Caller of the Pride later... but our favorite starts are when we get to go turn 2 Ajani off of the BoP. Hey, it's a thing that happens occasionally. And it's awesome. And we laugh because it's sorta funny. But it is a real thing. Don't forget to say "meow" whenever you're attacking with a bird.

Scavenging Ooze: Because obviously. And it's not like we're going to help Tarmogoyf ever become a real card since we only play creature spells... so we have the Ooze. And that's fine. We like our Ooze, thanks.

Vinelasher Kudzu: We can do things like play a mana dork on turn one and then go Vinelasher Kudzu + fetchland and, as stated before, sometimes we're simply trying to turn our guys sideways. This is one of the best 2-drops available when it comes to potential to dominate the game all by himself. I like the looks of opening hands that have plans and do things and this is one of the cards that can give us such an opening hand. So we play it. That's still more Plan B, but it's also pretty spiffy that if Plan A roles along then our Genesis Wave tends to give us quite a few lands and then we're much more happy with this guy than with something like a Kavu Titan (which is nothing more than a glorified Runeclaw Bear at that point).

Voice of Resurgence: The bit of extra insurance against an opponent who is trying to kill our stuff is probably the best part of the card. The fact that the token that it makes can be insane in our deck is a really close second. The sweetest part, however, is that it encourages our opponent to "play more fair" against our sorcery speed deck. We don't play instants, why should they think they can? Right is right! The token can be awesome, of course... but we're patient. While it's very tempting to kill this guy off the first chance we get. We don't do that. That's what our opponent wants. Our opponent is shady and always up to something. Don't trust them.

Wall of Blossoms: If you play this deck enough then there'll be a game where you Green Sun's Zenith for it and you shouldn't feel bad about that. You do what you gotta do. One of the cards I'm actually legitimately happy to hit from a Genesis Wave. Something to make your Gaea's Cradle do more work while not overextending. Protects your planeswalkers. We could go crazy and also play Wall of Omens, but we're not super-trying to be in that place even if we do have a fair amount of big game potential with this deck. That could be wrong, but in the meantime we'll just play the one we can find with Green Sun's Zenith if we have to. Seriously though, we don't want to actually Genesis Wave and then trade everything we have for a single card the opponent might have... so we'll play cards like this sometimes and not just accept that "there wasn't anything we could do" against that guy when that happens. Also, we kinda just have to get around to drawing the Genesis Wave naturally if we're ever going to cast it, so playing cards that draw cards doesn't hurt there. Could even go super crazy and play Elvish Visionary at that point... but we kinda want most of our cards to actually not be complete duds since casting Genesis Wave and finding out that you get a bunch of cards but none of them really do anything would be the stone cold worst.

THREE-DROPS:

Ajani, Caller of the Pride and Domri Rade: Planeswalkers. We like Planeswalkers so much that we briefly even considered Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded. We're not complete maniacs so Tibalt didn't make the cut (especially since we don't trust that guy and we're sure he'd "randomly" make us discard our Genesis Wave every chance he got). We could play Stoneforge Mystic and the Swords here instead or something... but then our opponents Disenchants become real cards. So we'll settle for the Planeswalkers. It's not so bad, Value Town is one of my favorite places and I never mind staying there for awhile. Value Town isn't the most glorious place... but, gosh, the rates in that place are just so reasonable!

Eternal Witness: A pretty spiffy card that can do things like get your Gaea's Cradle back when your opponent decides to Vindicate it. That's cool, but our favorite part about the card is that it can make us not feel completely horrible about ourselves if we're forced to cast a Genesis Wave a little earlier than we really wanted to. Eternal Witness doesn't care though. It's not in it for the glory, it'll re-buy a fetchland if it has to. No worries.

Frontline Medic: If we're not actually trying to jam Marath, Will of the Wild a lot of the times then we want some cards that we don't mind "jamming" and that's a large part of what this spot is for. We already plan on playing Woolly Thoctar, so that steers us towards someone like Loxodon Smiter... but even though we are a Green-White deck do we really have to play that big, dumb elephant? I hope not! Sure, we'll occasionally feel bad about our choices when this guy dies to a Lightning Bolt and Loxodon Smiter wouldn't have... but it's not like we woulda got more than a big, dumb elephant out of it anyways. No, thank you. Pass! This guy can potentially let your whole team keep turning sideways. For as big of a heart that Smiter has, he's kinda selfish and doesn't really think about others, ya know? Not this guy. He'll even sacrifice himself to counter spells. Which spells? Only the very best spells your opponent had to offer!

Kitchen Finks: Is it the best ouphe in the game? Nope! Not according to you schmucks that vote over there on Gatherer. Gilder Bairn. Gilder Bairn, evidently, is the best ouphe in the game. Thankfully, we can't play Gilder Bairn because it's a blue card. So we'll settle for Kitchen Finks. Admiral Ackbar told me he's not so sure about Gilder Bairn anyways.

Knight of the Reliquary: We like lands and don't mind playing fetches at this point, so the card makes sense. Almost certainly the card you should be using your Green Sun's Zenith on the most often. If you do go and get Dryad Arbor with your Green Sun's Zenith and didn't happen to also have your Gaea's Cradle in hand then you better not be very happy about your decision. Sometimes, you have to do stuff... but make sure you actually "have to" and weren't just being way too greedy. Richard Garfield doesn't like greedy people and you may be punished. Ask for forgiveness when your Gaea's Cradle gets blowed up and you don't have a Green Sun's Zenith anymore to go get your Eternal Witness. And know that it's probably your fault and you deserved to lose that one. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Mul Daya Channelers: If in fact Mul Daya Channelers is ever any good whatsoever then it should be good here, right? It's probably still terrible and way too cute. If you HAVE to play some big, dumb elephant in your deck or something then you should probably be playing it over this card. Look, magic is still a game and should, ideally, be fun... so we're gonna play this card. But I wouldn't blame anyone at all if they'd rather try Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Dauntless Escort, Wolfir Avenger, Emancipation Angel, Troll Ascetic, Transcendent Master, Fleetfoot Panther, Chronicler of Heroes... or pretty much anything else. That's fine. You don't have to be such a Spike about it, okay?

Reclamation Sage: The format really likes cards like the Swords and everyone else wants to be playing them... so we'll maindeck Reclamation Sages like everyone else. Thanks to cards like Fauna Shaman and Green Sun's Zenith, we were probably supposed to anyways.

Woolly Thoctar: This is basically Loxodon Smiter and I'm already not super excited about playing the first big, dumb creature... but 5-power is just too much to pass on when we sometimes have starts of turn 2 Woolly Thoctar on the play.

Council's Judgment: Because you have to.

X-SPELLS:

Green Sun's Zenith: I know I called it a one-costed spell earlier. That wasn't very true. I'm sorry. Chances are, we're getting Knight of the Reliquary or something... and then it costs 4 (or more if you want to play around Spell Burst or something). Normally, you can only play spells that cost 3 or less in this format, so that makes this card cool. It's like cheating (but not in a scummy Mike Long way)!

Hooded Hydra: This format only gives you 10 sideboard slots. That is so littles! That's hardly any at all! Well, we kinda want another big X-spell since we're so often getting Gaea's Cradle and we don't always draw our Genesis Wave... and it's no fair to our general to try and make him do all the work all the time when we don't get our Genesis Wave. Besides, when Gaea's Cradle isn't super great for us, Hooded Hydra can be. If you're not so much a scaredy-cat like me then you could play Genesis Hydra or Primordial Hydra or something. Heck, you can even be a crazy man and play turn 2 Primordial Hydras if that's what you want to do with your life. Your call, man. But as much as I would like the Genesis Hydra in the deck, I ended up cutting it. And if Hooded Hydra got banned then my swap would actually be Lifeblood Hydra. So there.

Unexpectedly Absent: Good card is good, I guess. Not much more to say about it, really. Virtually an auto-include in any deck that can use it and we get bonus points by sometimes actually casting it for a bunch of mana (not really, that doesn't happen).

Genesis Wave: If Marath, Will of the Wild wasn't so good with this strategy already and Naya colors didn't give us cool toys like the planeswalkers then we'd seriously consider being other colors just so we had some cooler toys like maybe Drift of Phantasms. But Marath, Will of the Wild doesn't let us play Drift of Phantasms and rules is rules. So we just always pray to Richard Garfield before our match and hope he's kind to us and lets us find this wonderful card.

Malachorn on Plan B (a Tiny Marath deck)

3 weeks ago

Before I talk about all the individual cards in my current list, let me talk about the deck in the abstract. Most decks in Magic: the Gathering tend to have a "Plan A." This is what you're TRYING to do. The game is easy when you're on Plan A. People like you, you like people, and the sky is made of puppy dogs. Basically, life is great. The Plan A for this deck is to "go big." This is often done by abusing Gaea's Cradle because, well, Gaea's Cradle is freaking awesome!! Sometimes your general just does a ton of "heavy lifting" thanks to the Gaea's Cradle and sometimes, when we're really lucky, we just Genesis Wave all over our opponents' face. And we laugh. But they don't laugh. No, they don't laugh at all... because their deck didn't let them use their Plan A - unless its Plan A was to lose, in which case our opponent was a maniac... and then he might have also been laughing while we were laughing... which probably made us a bit uncomfortable and "weirded out" (so much so, that it might have been hard for us to keep laughing). No, chances are that our opponent was on Plan B the whole time. Plan B is when your deck wasn't exactly doing what you wanted it to do. That's doesn't have to be as bad as it sounds. Look, Plan A is when you built your deck and your deck is performing and everything is going right and you feel really smart... not necessarily because you outplayed your opponent, mind you... but you feel really smart because you have a "perfect deck" and all your cards seem to be doing so much more work than your opponents' cards and you may even be making misplays. but it doesn't matter.. because life's just that good. Heck, sometimes you even feel bad for the poor schlub sitting across from you and you might even try to make him feel better after he loses by telling him there wasn't anything he could do. "That's magic," you'll say.

That isn't magic. Not really.

Plan B is magic. Plan A is a fool's dream. Plan A is a nice place to visit, but unless you're playing against goldfish, you can't plan on living there. Make no mistake, Plan B shouldn't be viewed as a death sentence. When your opponent has something (and isn't it weird how they always do have something?) you shouldn't just shrug your shoulders and tell yourself that they're just luckier than you. No, at that point... it's time to put on your big girl pants, buckle up, and play the game... it's time to move on to Plan B!

We already established that Plan A is the easy part. Well, the worst thing your deck can do is lose when you got all the cards you supposedly needed/wanted. I was over-simplifying things a bit earlier, okay? Whatever. That's not important now. Everyone else has moved past that already, so why can't you? Marath, Will of the Wild is one of the more powerful generals you can try to abuse in this format... even if the colors are a little bit poopy. And figuring out how I'm going to win after a resolved Genesis Wave for a ton against an opponent that doesn't have some form of immediate mass removal isn't a question that's going to bother me too often. I'm going to spend more time thinking about how to win after I do find out that my opponent "has it," thanks.

That brings us to the cards. Let's talk about the cards.

LANDS:

Lands are boring. Moving on!!

Alright... not quite... let's talk a very little about them. First, we're primarily a green deck and we happen to have some mana dorks... so we're going to use a fair number of forests (because we actually won the lottery and that means we get to play with dual lands and stuff). And if we use enough forests/fetchlands-that-want-to-get-forests then that can let us think about actually using Arbor Elf. Also, and we'll talk more about the card later, we know we're going to use a Knight of the Reliquary and that guy wants forests and/or plains... enough so that it's definitely going to have an impact on our manabase.More specifically, let's talk about a few individual card choices:

Dryad Arbor: It sorta goes with the Green Sun's Zenith. I seldom want to actually "waste" the Green Sun's Zenith on the Dryad Arbor though. Still, both Arbor Elf and Knight of the Reliquary demand a reasonable number of forests be played and the card IS a forest. If we're playing both of those cards already then I don't think we'd do much better than basic forest here anyways. Unfortunately, I don't think it'd be so simple as to just swap this card for a Horizon Canopy or something. Sorry. Still, I won't blame anyone that would rather just run yet another regular ol' Forest. That's fine. Just don't come crying to me that one time where you woulda kept the hand with Command Tower + Green Sun's Zenith and a bunch of other random spells if you actually played Dryad Arbor in the deck. Really though... we play a lot of mana in this deck. We have 19 lands and some mana guys (let's ignore Wasteland and Kessig Wolf Run giving us colorless and Gaea's Cradle not working without outside help and Stirring Wildwood coming into play tapped...). I think it's alright. Don't make me bring out the maths!

Stirring Wildwood? I want it to be a Raging Ravine real bad. Real, real bad. I'm not that brave and don't feel like there's room for both... and the deck really rather have that white mana than that red mana most of the time. So, alas, here we are. Not the worst thing that it actually gives us a potential card to interract with an opponent's flier, but we really want it more for the game where our opponent is a total jerk-face who doesn't want us to have nice things and wants to to ruin our life by playing something like Oblivion Stone or Earthquake or Toxic Deluge - or literal Wrath of God if your opponent is Mike Long (I know what you're thinking. You're thinking even Mike Long wouldn't perform such a blatant cheat. Well... he obviously erased the last white Mana symbol from the card before he put it in his deck. Duh.). On a related note: Mike Long doesn't actually play with two Drain Lifes in his Tiny Leaders deck and don't believe otherwise. He'll tell you he has a second copy... but it's a lie. He may or not may not also play with Consume Spirit, however. I'm not sure.

We play three other lands that are very important to remember, seeing as how we have Knight of the Reliquary in our deck: Gaea's Cradle, Kessig Wolf Run, and Wasteland. The Gaea's Cradle and Kessig Wolf Run are actually pretty conveniently cards that are part of our Plan A because to some degree they're "free rolls" since they're lands and we have to play a certain number of lands anyways! Score one for the good guys! Hooray! Bananas for everybody! Wasteland is much more Plan B... because, you know, this is magic and sometimes our opponents, being the jerks that they are, try to do things.

ONE-DROPS:

Alright, so let's do some math (even though math is hard). There are 49 cards in a deck and an opening hand is 7 cards (and you go to 8 on your first turn if you're on the draw). Because we're good at math, we'll say you start with 7.5 cards and the odds of a single card being in your opening hand is 15.3% (7.5/49). We want a one-drop on turn one because we think we're sligh like that and since we care about our mana curve, being all sligh and all (but not so sligh as to play Goblins of the Flarg and a bunch of dwarves in the same deck, mind you), we want almost 7 one-drops in our deck. But not quite... so... um... Swords to Plowshares doesn't really count. we'll say we have 6 and a half with the Swords to Plowshares.... and, um, Greeen Sun's Zenith counts because it can let us get Dryad Arbor. So... perfect. The math says all of our cards are perfect! So there. You can't argue the flawlessly performed maths.

However, I will concede that 15.3 times 7.5 doesn't quite equal 100 (it only equals 99.45. So there will be the OCCASIONAL (and only very occasional unless Richard Garfield hates you) game where you don't have a one-drop... but we'll get to that later. Right now? The one-drops:

Arbor Elf, Avacyn's Pilgrim, Birds of Paradise, and Elvish Mystic: These cards aren't very exciting and I think you know pretty much what they do. Still, we're going to talk a little about them because I think you're dumb (not really, just joshin' ya). Birds of Paradise is a no-brainer (well, technically speaking it is actually bird-brained... but that's pretty much the same thing based on things I've heard). Oh, and it flies - you might laugh at the fact that it flies... but I used to play Mythic before Mythic was cool and let me tell you that nothing was more fun than killing people with an attacking Birds of Paradise when all your "good stuff" got killed but you still have some Noble Hierarchs and a Finest Hour. That reminds me, friends don't let friends play Eldrazi Conscription. After Birds of Paradise, our next best "mana dork" is Arbor Elf. We play 2 Forest, 1 Dryad Arbor, 2 dual lands, and 2 shock lands for forests. I already established with my incredible maths how certain we are to get one of those 7 forests into play on turn one... but the Dryad Arbor shouldn't really count as a turn one forest (which is weird because by "forest," I really mean "green source" here... which means Command Tower does count, by the way - confused yet?), so for good measure we're just gonna play a bunch of fetchlands to add to the count. So unless Richard Garfield REALLY hates you, you will literally always (every-single-freaking-time) have a forest (or a fetchland to go get one) in your opening hand. Always. Next in line is Avacyn's Pilgrim. Why Avacyn's Pilgrim, you ask? Well, because we obviously have a green mana to play our mana dork, so how about we just have a guy that makes non-green mana that is useful, eh? Honestly, the deck barely needs red mana... so in a lot of ways it's better than Arbor Elf (until you need triple-red for your overloaded Mizzium Mortars and then Arbor Elf makes fun of the stupid white mana that Avacyn's Pilgrim makes... because Arbor Elf can be a real jerk sometimes). Waitasec... triple-red? How greedy is that?!?!? Nevermind all that, m'kay? We'll get to that... but we haven't even talked about Elvish Mystic yet. Why Elvish Mystic over Llanowar Elves? All I can say is thank Richard Garfield for giving us Elvish Mystic. Llanowar Elves has to be the most confusing card ever to have existed and I still don't know if it's one card or two (being plural and all). But I'm pretty sure Llanowar Elves (and let's just ignore his even more stupid cousin, Fyndhorn Elves) isn't legal in a singleton format (being plural and all). I may be confused... but I'm certain it's not worth the risk of a judge call.

And that brings us to... Magus of the Candelabra: What? Is that a joke? Seriously, we're playing Magus of the Candelabra? Alright, we already established that Llanowar Elves isn't an option in this singleton format and this guy may not give us mana normally... but it can sometimes. It can give us A LOT of mana sometimes (thank you, Gaea's Cradle). Now, normally when we have an active Gaea's Cradle we don't need much more help and if that's all it was doing then it'd be very easy to say this is a "win more" card, but there actually are situations where this guy came online early enough that we didn't have a "real Gaea's Cradle" yet and the effect IS needed to have "big game." But more than that, it also fixes our mana (which can also be important when we have an active Gaea's Cradle and are on "making tokens with our general mode" and we have tons of green but less than tons of the white and red). Mostly we need double-white fairly often and eventually triple-red sometimes (the overloaded Mizzium Mortars) and we definitely have some draws where we wish our Wasteland or Kessig Wolf Run didn't only ever try to give us generic. So the card's not that bad... it's also semi-randomly a 1/2 and paying one mana for a 1/2 is just a good rate! So, yeah. If you want to make this card something like a Mother of Runes or Rhys the Redeemed or Ulvenwald Tracker or try and cheat by actually playing the Llanowar Elves in a singleton format or whatever then I understand. I don't really know what this card is supposed to be, to be honest... but I do know I want a semi-random one-drop here and don't think the deck actually has to have a mana accelerator on the first turn and I want the one-drop to ideally do something big. The selling point for me on this card is that it can help fix the mana and I have enough faith in the deck to win given it doesn't "beat itself." Sure, if you REALLY wanted to "play it safe" this card could just be a Viridian Acolyte at that point... but that's no fun.

Next is: Green Sun's Zenith. Good card is good and it gets us Dryad Arbor and that makes it a card I called a one-drop... and that means we're mentioning it here. Now, let me let you in on a little secret: It's not really a one-drop. Yes, sometimes we'll go and get us a Dryad Arbor with the card... but we probably don't want to do that. It's a trap. We're good and our deck is good. We can do better than that. Please, let us do better than that.

And finally we have: Swords to Plowshares. We're a deck that's trying very hard not to play cards that aren't creatures or lands. Why? Because modern magic doesn't like cards that aren't creatures or lands. And if we're anything then we're agreeable (I think. What do you think?). Well, Swords to Plowshares better be good to excuse its spell type... lucky for us, it is. It's very good. Still, this is another card that we wouldn't actually play at all if we didn't have stupid opponents always trying to do things.

TWO-DROPS:

Accorder Paladin: It actually does quite a few different things. The Battle cry is occasionally sweet when you make a bunch of guys with your general and that makes even more mana from your Gaea's Cradle which makes even more guys... and then Accorder Paladin pumps them all and life is wonderful. But, as we stated before, we're not really on the market for those kinds of things that are only super awesome when everything else is super awesome and that's not really why the guy is in the deck. The truth is that a large portion of the time our Plan B with this deck is to be a stupid beatdown deck. We happen to have a lot of creatures anyways and we're playing the dumb colors that like to actually cast dumb spells. So... why not? And since we happen to have some normally pretty pitiful dorks in our deck anyways... it makes some sense and the Battle cry gains some value. And... well, it's a 3/1 for the unbelievably low price of 2 manas!! Best of all with playing stupid guys like this is when your opponent decides he can't beat you in a race so he's doing something silly like keeping his guys back on defense... which just gives you time to do something cool like cast a Genesis Wave. Seriously, imagine you have this guy and a Marath, Will of the Wild in play... your opponent is Mike Flores and he has no idea what you're going to do with your Marath, Will of the Wild, but the idea of you making 3 tokens at the end of his turn and being able to swing for 9 thanks to the Battle Cry is going to make him at least think twice when he asks himself "who is the beatdown?" And that is a very real scenario that doesn't involve a Gaea's Cradle and only involves Accorder Paladin and a card we know we're going to have a chance to cast in the course of the game (and Mike Flores). Sounds good enough that I'd sooner play this over something like Watchwolf, Flinthoof Boar, or Fleecemane Lion. Bonus points for it not being green since we don't really want this card to be a Green Sun's Zenith target anyways and it could theoretically do some things like chump a Mirran Crusader equipped with a Sword of Feast and Famine or survive a post-board Perish. And we really do want a fair number of "meaty" two-drops in our deck, I think.

Ambush Viper: Also known as "the green doom blade." I already told you that we aren't trying to play noncreature, nonland spells. I meant it. So... "the green doom blade" it is. Yes, I know, it's perfectly fine to ask ourselves if this is really what we're doing with our lives. Let's just move on, m'kay? It gets better. It all works out in the end. I promise.

Fauna Shaman: So, you really want to get that Gaea's Cradle? Well, Knight of the Reliquary doesn't find itself! And, hey, sometimes you actually have to do silly things like find an Ambush Viper with this card. And then you and your opponent laugh and have a good time.

Nightshade Peddler: An actual and legitimate Green Sun's Zenith. And we're not ashamed of the fact that we fairly often want this card either, since Marath, Will of the Wild + Nightshade Peddler = 1-costed Murders... which is even better than Ambush Viper! That reminds me of something. Patience is a virtue. If we really think we have to cast this guy on turn 2 then we better not be liking it! Nightshade Peddler is in fact a 2-drop, but this is NOT a card we're trying to cast on turn 2.

Qasali Pridemage: Once again, sometimes our opponents do things. The exalted is mostly "whatever," but it's a green guy that we can Green Sun's Zenith for when our opponent plays his Sword of Fire and Ice after we already blew up his Sword of Feast and Famine. Sometimes we even like this more than the obligatory Reclamation Sage that we're going to play since our opponents sometimes get "all tricky" and try to play around our mostly sorcery speed deck. He cans blows the things up at instant speed evens! What an all-star. But this isn't no Kobe Bryant; he's a John Stockton. If he has to he'll just assist Birds of Paradise in becoming an attacker - that's right... Birds of Paradise flies!! We'll get to Ajani, Caller of the Pride later... but our favorite starts are when we get to go turn 2 Ajani off of the BoP. Hey, it's a thing that happens occasionally. And it's awesome. And we laugh because it's sorta funny. But it is a real thing. Don't forget to say "meow" whenever you're attacking with a bird.

Scavenging Ooze: Because obviously. And it's not like we're going to help Tarmogoyf ever become a real card since we only play creature spells... so we have the Ooze. And that's fine. We like our Ooze, thanks.

Vinelasher Kudzu: We can do things like play a mana dork on turn one and then go Vinelasher Kudzu + fetchland and, as stated before, sometimes we're simply trying to turn our guys sideways. This is one of the best 2-drops available when it comes to potential to dominate the game all by himself. I like the looks of opening hands that have plans and do things and this is one of the cards that can give us such an opening hand. So we play it. That's still more Plan B, but it's also pretty spiffy that if Plan A roles along then our Genesis Wave tends to give us quite a few lands and then we're much more happy with this guy than with something like a Kavu Titan (which is nothing more than a glorified Runeclaw Bear at that point).

Voice of Resurgence: The bit of extra insurance against an opponent who is trying to kill our stuff is probably the best part of the card. The fact that the token that it makes can be insane in our deck is a really close second. The sweetest part, however, is that it encourages our opponent to "play more fair" against our sorcery speed deck. We don't play instants, why should they think they can? Right is right! The token can be awesome, of course... but we're patient. While it's very tempting to kill this guy off the first chance we get. We don't do that. That's what our opponent wants. Our opponent is shady and always up to something. Don't trust them.

Wall of Blossoms: If you play this deck enough then there'll be a game where you Green Sun's Zenith for it and you shouldn't feel bad about that. You do what you gotta do. One of the cards I'm actually legitimately happy to hit from a Genesis Wave. Something to make your Gaea's Cradle do more work while not overextending. Protects your planeswalkers. We could go crazy and also play Wall of Omens, but we're not super-trying to be in that place even if we do have a fair amount of big game potential with this deck. That could be wrong, but in the meantime we'll just play the one we can find with Green Sun's Zenith if we have to. Seriously though, we don't want to actually Genesis Wave and then trade everything we have for a single card the opponent might have... so we'll play cards like this sometimes and not just accept that "there wasn't anything we could do" against that guy when that happens. Also, we kinda just have to get around to drawing the Genesis Wave naturally if we're ever going to cast it, so playing cards that draw cards doesn't hurt there. Could even go super crazy and play Elvish Visionary at that point... but we kinda want most of our cards to actually not be complete duds since casting Genesis Wave and finding out that you get a bunch of cards but none of them really do anything would be the stone cold worst.

THREE-DROPS:

Ajani, Caller of the Pride and Domri Rade: Planeswalkers. We like Planeswalkers so much that we briefly even considered Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded. We're not complete maniacs so Tibalt didn't make the cut (especially since we don't trust that guy and we're sure he'd "randomly" make us discard our Genesis Wave every chance he got). We could play Stoneforge Mystic and the Swords here instead or something... but then our opponents Disenchants become real cards. So we'll settle for the Planeswalkers. It's not so bad, Value Town is one of my favorite places and I never mind staying there for awhile. Value Town isn't the most glorious place... but, gosh, the rates in that place are just so reasonable!

Eternal Witness: A pretty spiffy card that can do things like get your Gaea's Cradle back when your opponent decides to Vindicate it. That's cool, but our favorite part about the card is that it can make us not feel completely horrible about ourselves if we're forced to cast a Genesis Wave a little earlier than we really wanted to. Eternal Witness doesn't care though. It's not in it for the glory, it'll re-buy a fetchland if it has to. No worries.

Frontline Medic: If we're not actually trying to jam Marath, Will of the Wild a lot of the times then we want some cards that we don't mind "jamming" and that's a large part of what this spot is for. We already plan on playing Woolly Thoctar, so that steers us towards someone like Loxodon Smiter... but even though we are a Green-White deck do we really have to play that big, dumb elephant? I hope not! Sure, we'll occasionally feel bad about our choices when this guy dies to a Lightning Bolt and Loxodon Smiter wouldn't have... but it's not like we woulda got more than a big, dumb elephant out of it anyways. No, thank you. Pass! This guy can potentially let your whole team keep turning sideways. For as big of a heart that Smiter has, he's kinda selfish and doesn't really think about others, ya know? Not this guy. He'll even sacrifice himself to counter spells. Which spells? Only the very best spells your opponent had to offer!

Kitchen Finks: Is it the best ouphe in the game? Nope! Not according to you schmucks that vote over there on Gatherer. Gilder Bairn. Gilder Bairn, evidently, is the best ouphe in the game. Thankfully, we can't play Gilder Bairn because it's a blue card. So we'll settle for Kitchen Finks. Admiral Ackbar told me he's not so sure about Gilder Bairn anyways.

Knight of the Reliquary: We like lands and don't mind playing fetches at this point, so the card makes sense. Almost certainly the card you should be using your Green Sun's Zenith on the most often. If you do go and get Dryad Arbor with your Green Sun's Zenith and didn't happen to also have your Gaea's Cradle in hand then you better not be very happy about your decision. Sometimes, you have to do stuff... but make sure you actually "have to" and weren't just being way too greedy. Richard Garfield doesn't like greedy people and you may be punished. Ask for forgiveness when your Gaea's Cradle gets blowed up and you don't have a Green Sun's Zenith anymore to go get your Eternal Witness. And know that it's probably your fault and you deserved to lose that one. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Mul Daya Channelers: If in fact Mul Daya Channelers is ever any good whatsoever then it should be good here, right? It's probably still terrible and way too cute. If you HAVE to play some big, dumb elephant in your deck or something then you should probably be playing it over this card. Look, magic is still a game and should, ideally, be fun... so we're gonna play this card. But I wouldn't blame anyone at all if they'd rather try Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Dauntless Escort, Wolfir Avenger, Emancipation Angel, Troll Ascetic, Transcendent Master, Fleetfoot Panther, Chronicler of Heroes... or pretty much anything else. That's fine. You don't have to be such a Spike about it, okay?

Reclamation Sage: The format really likes cards like the Swords and everyone else wants to be playing them... so we'll maindeck Reclamation Sages like everyone else. Thanks to cards like Fauna Shaman and Green Sun's Zenith, we were probably supposed to anyways.

Woolly Thoctar: This is basically Loxodon Smiter and I'm already not super excited about playing the first big, dumb creature... but 5-power is just too much to pass on when we sometimes have starts of turn 2 Woolly Thoctar on the play.

Council's Judgment: Because you have to.

X-SPELLS:

Green Sun's Zenith: I know I called it a one-costed spell earlier. That wasn't very true. I'm sorry. Chances are, we're getting Knight of the Reliquary or something... and then it costs 4 (or more if you want to play around Spell Burst or something). Normally, you can only play spells that cost 3 or less in this format, so that makes this card cool. It's like cheating (but not in a scummy Mike Long way)!

Hooded Hydra: This format only gives you 10 sideboard slots. That is so littles! That's hardly any at all! Well, we kinda want another big X-spell since we're so often getting Gaea's Cradle and we don't always draw our Genesis Wave... and it's no fair to our general to try and make him do all the work all the time when we don't get our Genesis Wave. Besides, when Gaea's Cradle isn't super great for us, Hooded Hydra can be. If you're not so much a scaredy-cat like me then you could play Genesis Hydra or Primordial Hydra or something. Heck, you can even be a crazy man and play turn 2 Primordial Hydras if that's what you want to do with your life. Your call, man. But as much as I would like the Genesis Hydra in the deck, I ended up cutting it and Hooded Hydra got banned then my swap would actually be Lifeblood Hydra. So there.

Unexpectedly Absent: Good card is good, I guess. Not much more to say about it, really. Virtually an auto-include in any deck that can use it and we get bonus points by sometimes actually casting it for a bunch of mana (not really, that doesn't happen).

Genesis Wave: If Marath, Will of the Wild wasn't so good with this strategy already and Naya colors didn't give us cool toys like the planeswalkers then we'd seriously consider being other colors just so we had some cooler toys like maybe Drift of Phantasms. But Marath, Will of the Wild doesn't let us play Drift of Phantasms and rules is rules. So we just always pray to Richard Garfield before our match and hope he's kind to us and lets us find this wonderful card.

MrCheeseOnToast on Gardening Spiders

3 weeks ago

Oran-Rief Recluse maybe? Utopia Tree or Tree of Redemption, maybe Vinelasher Kudzu.. Wall of Blossoms or Wall of Vines are both pretty good.. Yea that's all I got. Never seen a plant and spider tribal before...

Power / Toughness 0/4
Color(s) Green
Cost 1G
Converted cost 2
Avg. draft pick 2.08
Avg. cube pick 10.33

Legality

Format Legality
Legacy Legal
Vintage Legal
Commander / EDH Legal
Duel Commander Legal

Printings View all

Set Rarity
From the Vault: Twenty Uncommon
Planechase 2012 Edition Uncommon
Stronghold Uncommon

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