I started Magic in the Hardened Scales era and I am happy to say that I am back in my element (Mana Pun). With Aether Revolt spoiled and the set about to drop, the sneaky snake Winding Constrictor is basically a 2 drop hardened scales. With Durable Handicraft on board, its easy to pump creatures. Here is the breakdown:

1 drops: Fatal Push, I mean come on...yes. Early game removal that can be sideboarded out is awesome when you need a little extra time to build your strength. With clues and Evolving Wilds leaving the battlefield too, that can really help later game with Fatal Push. Blossoming Defense Is a really nice buff and protection from removal.

2 drops: The main component of the deck Winding Constrictor, Like I said before, a 2 drop Hardened Scales. Heroic Intervention really helps by giving everything on my board indestructible AND hexproof. Servant of the Conduit Helps early game mana fixing and helps give another color to cast Woodland Wanderer .

3 drops: Now Rishkar, Peema Renegade is my go to for the mana stuffs later in the game. by having a counter on EVERYTHING, he really fits nice AND he gives me 2 +1/+1 on top of that so he fits nicely. Tireless Tracker is a powerhouse for card draw AND counters. He buffs himself, gives me card draw, and triggers revolt all in one creature. Its no wonder why he is so expensive right now. Drana, Liberator of Malikir is in for her main buffing ability. She also has flying which is nice as most of my creatures don't.

4 drops: Armorcraft Judge is strictly card draw. I thought about running Rare Artifact instead but I needed more creatures so any help on that would be nice. Woodland Wanderer is a nice addition with Vigilance and trample. He enters as a minimum 4/4 with chances to get bigger with Winding Constrictor, Aether Hub, and Servant of the Conduit. I dont see many other people running him which makes me think he isnt all thats cracked up to be but personally I like him.

5 drop: Verdurous Gearhulk you know why..


Grasp of Darkness- Just in case I need more removal and less protection. Also a replacement for Fatal Push in case creatures CMC are higher than i thought in 2nd and 3rd games.

Heroic Intervention- Board protection in case of 1st or 2nd game board wipes, playset available to run.

Lost Legacy- Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian combo is a thing and this helps get around that.

Natural State- Some help with choosing this over Natural Obsolescence would be nice. Either risk running into something bigger than 3 CMC or risk running a 2 drop that gives them their card back if they shuffle and stuff. IDK...

Ob Nixilis Reignited- Card draw, Creature detruction. Thats really it. Not sure if he fits but I like him

Prey Upon- For those pesky fliers. My creatures should be big enough to fight and win. If i find that my shop meta requires a different method, it will be replaced with other means.

Any tweaks to further make this deck awesome would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Ran the original decklist that had 3x Woodland Wanderer, 3x Servant of the Conduit, only 3x Nissa, Voice of Zendikar, 3x Aether Hubs. I have since replaced all of those because Woodland Wanderer is too big and I tap out to play him. Sylvan Advocate will replace him. I also ran Servant of the Conduit for help with mana stuffs to play him so I have removed them in place of 1 more Rishkar, Peema Renegade, Another Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and another Lifecrafter's Gift as i Feel giving everything that has a +1/+1 on it anyway really helps. Thought about Lifecrafter's Beastiary but Im on the fence about playing that turn 3 when its supposed to be aggro. Any tweaks are appreciated. Thank you as always!


Gearhead93 says... #1

You may want to lower the mana curve on your creatures. It could result in often tapping out to cast a creature. May I suggest Sylvan Advocate or Kujar Seedsculptor? Seedsculptor will still get you counters while giving you a blocker early to combat aggro decks and Advocate is just straight green value.

January 5, 2017 11:52 p.m.

BudyWolfe says... #2

Gearhead93 I really like Sylvan Advocate and I might take out Animation Module for him because it doesn't do much unless you have counters out. Also, paying 1 for durable handicraft is more of a win than animation module. Thanks for the help and collaboration!

January 6, 2017 8:49 p.m.

Abacinator says... #3

Considered the new 1G instant that gives all your creatures indestructible / hexproof until EOT? what about Larger Than Life instead of Nature's Way?

January 11, 2017 8:07 p.m.

BudyWolfe says... #4

Abacinator Heroic Intervention is definitely going to be in this deck. I guess Larger Than Life is also sorcery speed and allows for a bigger creature that can be blocked or not rather than dealing direct damage. Thanks for your input!

January 11, 2017 8:22 p.m.

Sephirothix099 says... #5

Yes! I been brewing this deck since Rishkar and winding constrictor was spoiled. I am glad you are using the aetherborn maurader. I have had suggestions to cut it. How is it working for you?

January 12, 2017 11:30 a.m.

BudyWolfe says... #6

Sephirothix099, Aetherborn Marauder seems to be a pretty big play for this deck. With Durable Handicraft on board and Winding Constrictor, it gets 2 instances of counter buffs. Once, if you can pay the 1 mana for Durable Handicraft and Once again for grabbing counters off of other creatures. Throw in Implement of Ferocity and youve got a minimum of 6 +1/+1 counters going onto him. I dont see a downside of running him in a deck like this. Maybe message me your decklist? We could collaborate on this build together

January 12, 2017 11:42 a.m.

moonbeee says... #7

Hey Budywolfe,

I am also very excited for Winding Constrictor and have put together a deck. Came across yours and figured I'd share what I have found. Aetherborn Marauder was in my original list but eventually got cut. The flying and lifelink was very alluring, however in practice I didn't quite like it as much as I did in theory. In an ideal situation it was coming down on turn four with a constrictor on the battlefield and a counter from somewhere to transfer. Quite frequently though I didn't have the constrictor, or no counters to transfer. The replacement I have found for it was Walking Ballista. It didn't seem great at first glance but in our counter decks it is a monster. Being a 2/4/6.. drop is good because it keeps our curve low, yet can still be a great top deck late in the game. It very effectively turns our counters into removal/direct damage, and is a late game mana sink.

My other suggestions are not as exciting. Tireless Tracker offers you a source of card advantage, while also having great synergy with our counter game plan. Also Nissa, Voice of Zendikar is another great card for our decks. Dropping a counter on every creature is huge for us, and in a slower game her card draw and life gain is back breaking for the opponent.

Also, I haven't have success with Decimator of the Provinces but I feel like it could be a great one of for theses decks. Emerging off your gearhulk does not seem ideal, but with a few other creatures on the field is more than worth it. It is a game winning play, and the ideal way to gives all your creatures trample.

Sorry for the wall of text, and hope you draw well and crush many opponents with this deck.

January 14, 2017 7:33 p.m.

BudyWolfe says... #8

moonbeee, Thank you so much for the wall of text! In fact, it was what I was hoping for. Walking Ballista was one thing I was on the fence about. Your explanation about its curve also really brought it to light. I had the same issue with Aetherborn Marauder and was trying to find a way to use him more consistently but it didn't seem to work. Again, thank you for your help and I hope you much success with your version as well!

January 14, 2017 7:47 p.m.

BudyWolfe says... #9

moonbeee, think about splashing white for Oath of Ajani?

January 14, 2017 7:53 p.m.

moonbeee says... #10

@budywolfe I thought about it. I thought about splashing many different colors. I am not convinced that Oath of Ajani is what I'd want to splash for though. I think that fits better in a G/W token deck, as you are playing more planeswalkers and are trying to spit out as many tokens as you can. I think oath of ajani goes particularly well with Sram's Expertise.

I think if you are going to splash for any colour that you are better off splashing blue for counter spells. Blue gives you a few tools that help the deck. Negate is classic and is really good at stopping sweepers and other removal, as well as stopping Aetherworks Marvel and planeswalkers. You also get access to Lumbering Falls which is arguable the best manland in standard right now. The other lands in sultai colours also are good for the deck, as Botanical Sanctum gives you access to turn one green mana. I find this important for my deck because I play Oath of Nissa.

Speaking of which, I really like oath of nissa. It offers a good amount of card selection, as hitting land drops, and finding Winding Constrictor is important to us. My favourite part about nissa's oath though is turning on revolt for Fatal Push (also forgot to mention that Walking Ballista can be used to trigger revolt and allow you to take down many creatures in one turn).

All of that said, there may be a good reason to splash white. White does have better unconditional removal, and ajani's oath and other cards work well with our counter plan. Shoulder to Shoulder is card that has always intrigued me. Let me know if you play around with splashing for anything!

January 14, 2017 8:24 p.m.

clark1424 says... #11

Here's my decklist. Hope it can help you out. The main goal of the deck is to be good without Winding Constrictor and be better with him on the battlefield.:).

BG Counters "Very competitive"

January 23, 2017 12:13 p.m.

BudyWolfe says... #12

clark1424 Thanks for the comment and the list! I have been trying to find something to put in place of Durable Handicraft. Your list opens up some ideas for me

January 23, 2017 12:23 p.m.

clark1424 says... #13

Thanks man. In my opinion, i dont think you will need Durable Handicraft. It wastes (well, not much) your turn 2 and you will have to cast your creatures with additional mana to pay to make it higher casting cost but in exchange, will give +1/+1 counters. I think you will need to put more pressure to your opponent instead rather than helping them recover for a while. It might cost you the game.

It's all up to you though.

January 23, 2017 12:29 p.m.

Blume17 says... #14

I love this list...

First playtest, first 4 turns land drops with a Hissing Quagmire on turn 4---

Turn 2 --- Servant of the Conduit

Turn 3 --- Nissa, Voice of Zendikar and +1 to make a plant token

Turn 4 --- Two Winding Constrictor, then -2 Nissa for 3 counters on 4 creatures

Turn 5 --- No land drop... -2 Nissa for 3 counters on 4 creatures

4 creatures = 8/8, 6/7, 8/9, 8/9

Nissa is the lynchpin of this deck. If she isn't dealt with, things get ugly fast lol

February 1, 2017 12:59 p.m.

clark1424 says... #15

Dude! You don't need Yahenni's Expertise in your sideboard. Anyway, I can see that my deck list made your deck flourish! I'm glad you went 4-0!! CONGRATS buddy!

February 2, 2017 12:04 a.m.

BudyWolfe says... #16

Blume17, I'm glad you like it! Nissa is the mitochondria of the deck, lol. I ran 3 for a bit but found that with her out things get out of hand fast. My favorite thing is -2 one then play another one and do it again. Thanks for your comment! clark1424, Thanks for the congrats! Now, I have been on the fence about Yahenni's Expertise for a while now. It came in handy once or twice when I did use it but I never had anything in my hand to play to do anything else because if it wasn't a Nissa it would just die as soon as it hit the board. It is getting cut but for what? More removal or more protection? I feel like Transgress the Mind maybe?

February 2, 2017 7:35 a.m.

clark1424 says... #17

Ok... so my main deck is DIMIR Control Aether Revolt. Don't mind the main deck and the side board arrangement too much since i just placed it in that order to somewhat misdirect. But don't get me wrong.. those were all the pieces i use. I also had a match in FNM in a deck like yours. I can say that he didn't had a chance. Why?

  1. No discard cards like Transgress the Mind

  2. No Hope of Ghirapur

  3. Too few removal against Torrential Gearhulk and Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet.

  4. Few card advantage like Lifecrafter's Bestiary

To start with, yes you need Transgress the Mind x3. Lost Legacy seems too many in your deck. How about cutting 2 of those and replace them with 2x Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. Hope of Ghirapur seems nice against control but i don't think it will do much in the late game (since late is my range), but will make you build more creatures for another turn. And from a control player's stand point, 1 turn without casting removal is suicide lol.

Also, try putting in some Lifecrafter's Bestiary in the sideboard. Since against control, tireless tracker won't last another turn or will probably be countered. Card advantage on aggro decks irritates us haha! (I'm selling this out so you know what to do). If pre sideboard we knew you are aggro, we are going to take away most of our counter spells and replace them with spot removal/board wipe.I hope this helps you a lot!

P.S. don't forget to add silver bullets

February 2, 2017 10:33 a.m.

SirChris39 says... #18

great looking deck and I have green and black deck too

February 3, 2017 8:58 a.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 10 months
Last updated 7 months

This deck is Standard legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.49
Tokens 0/1 Plant, Clue
Folders AER, Decks, Standard, Standard deck ideas, Standard , Standard, Counter Decks- Kaledesh Standard
Top rank #38 on 2017-01-27
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Views 4061