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|Commander / EDH||Legal|
|Commander: Rule 0||Legal|
Creature — Spirit
Defender (This creature can't attack.)
When Carven Caryatid enters the battlefield, draw a card.
1 year ago
1 year ago
Building a Hans Eriksson deck and was wondering about the interaction with putting a creature with Defender, say Carven Caryatid into play tapped and attacking. Does Defender override this as it would with declaring a regular attack?
1 year ago
I have a lot of experience with mono-green Assault Formation in modern and legacy casual, so I'll toss in some of my thoughts.
Perfect curves certainly aren't necessary, but you should be able to accomplish something on each of the early turns of the game. More than just playing any old card, it should be something that fits in with your overarching gameplan. I agree with cutting Adventurous Impulse as a 1-drop for this reason. It can't get you Formation, Bow, or any other noncreature combo piece you happen to be running. I'd usually run a Llanowar Elves style dork instead in a ramp list. Still, in walls, I think there are even better options than that. My personal favorite is Traproot Kami since it adds an early defender to the pool and can become a serious threat with Formation if the game goes long. Plus, it works well with the lands-matter strategy that Oran-Rief Hydra is also part of. Other options I've had less success with are Jaddi Offshoot for life, Portcullis Vine for cards, and Saruli Caretaker for slow mana. On 2, Sylvan Caryatid, Gatecreeper Vine, and Wall of Roots are all ramp options, but you're probably fine with just Battlement and Vine Trellis. Wall of Blossoms, however, I view as a must-have if you want to maximize your mana without running out of gas. The ability to up the defender count while replacing itself is so good that I even run a playset of the slower Carven Caryatid too, but this could be excessive depending on the deck. The last defender I'll mention is Tree of Redemption. It's more expensive, both in CMC and in dollars, but it is an undeniable threat with Formation. Higher toughness also makes better use of tricks like Sheltering Word and Feed the Pack.
For the top end of the curve, you might actually be underestimating how much mana the ramp walls can net. With your current setup, you only need 2 of either Guardian or Battlement and 1 other wall to have 9-11 mana on T4. Removal is obviously the biggest obstacle to this being a reality but it seems like you're preparing for a counterspell-heavy meta in a big way. Either you use your protection on the walls and win with Formation when they stop your bombs, or they wait to remove the bombs and you have protection saved up to stop them. Honestly, it feels like you might have too much defense in the mainboard but I'll touch on that later. My point here is that you are likely to have more than enough mana to cast threats much more substantial than the Hydra, and that's without modifications to your suite of defenders. In the current version of my deck, it isn't strange to have a game like: T1-Forest+Traproot Kami, T2-Forest+Overgrown Battlement, T3-Forest+Wall of Blossoms+Axebane Guardian, T4-Forest+Genesis Wave for x=9. Oran-Rief Hydra is a totally fine card to top off at if you build around it, but right now I don't even see it being better than Terra Stomper in a lot of games (and Stomper even has built-in counter protection now that I think about it XD). To get more value out of the Hydra, I'd swap the cycling lands for cheap fetches like Evolving Wilds to double up on landfall triggers, and I might also consider some +1/+1 synergy cards in the vein of Hardened Scales or Hydra's Growth. On the subject of landfall, Vinelasher Kudzu is an interesting option that fits with the plant/wall cards, at least thematically. Mechanically, Undergrowth Champion, Rampaging Baloths, and Avenger of Zendikar are all probably better. I've already mentioned Genesis Wave, but some other options for finishers that I've seen are Archetype of Endurance, Hydra Broodmaster, Primordial Hydra, Vigor, End-Raze Forerunners, Colossus of Akros, pretty much any eldrazi, and any red x-spell that can target players. If you choose something with x in the cost, having Umbral Mantle or Freed from the Real to generate infinite mana is beneficial.
The last thing I'd like to talk about are your noncreatures. As I mentioned before, 4 countermagic blockers seems a little excessive in the main 60. I personally struggle much more with Path to Exiles, Fatal Pushes, and Searing Bloods than Counterspells on most days, so I'd usually prefer the Vines of Vastwood or the flexible Veil of Summer. However, I don't know what your meta looks like. If countermagic is a big problem, another way to get around it is to add in plenty of redundancy. Instead of running only 4 bombs, run 8 so 1 is more likely to slip through. Savage Summoning and Insist are fine answers, yet they run the serious risk of becoming dead cards if your opponent isn't playing blue. Of your instants though, Subdue seems to be the weakest to me. It looks like it will usually be a bad Awe Strike or an inverted Berserk that can't contribute to damaging the opponent. If you had cards to benefit from toughness outside of combat like Kin-Tree Invocation, it could at least serve a similar role to Glyph of Destruction in Wall of Blood/Rite of Consumption decks. The final card I might reexamine is Bow of Nylea. generally, mass deathtouch is at its best when you either have a way to force damage (like Lure or Thornbite Staff) or when you want to create a disincentive for your opponent to block (like when running a Curiosity deck. The thing about a high power is that it already allows you to kill multiple blockers and the thing about trample is that it already discourages single blocking. Deathtouch on such a creature is therefore a little redundant. Sure, it's better to have it than not have it, but it might not be worthwhile if it comes at the cost of 3 mana and a card. I'd want some concrete way to take advantage of the Bow's activated ability to justify running it. For example, my G/W enchantment lifegain deck from Theros standard used the gain 3 life ability to buff Ajani's Pridemate. In your case, the +1/+1 might be the best choice to build around since it can overlap with the Hydra's trigger.
2 years ago
2 years ago
I think the weakest links in this deck right now are the mana dorks, Ilysian Caryatid and Leafkin Druid. Since you're not worried about ramping to a specific cost as much as just getting as much mana as possible to sink into x-costs, you'd be better off with something that can produce more than 2. Gyre Sage and Incubation Druid are the first that come to mind as they fit with a +1/+1 theme and can synergize with cards like Hardened Scales and Doubling Season. There's also dorks in the vein of Magus of the Candelabra and Voyaging Satyr. They go well with Castle Garenbrig and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, not to mention Wild Growth-type auras. My personal favorite option is a defender package with Overgrown Battlement and Axebane Guardian for the defensive utility and potential to generate ridiculous amounts of mana with stray Wall of Blossoms and Carven Caryatid, or even go infinite with an Umbral Mantle.
on Tron Wurms
2 years ago
No problem! I think on its face Quicksilver Amulet is probably better than Dramatic Entrance. My only insight to advocate for dramatic entrance would be because the artifact/activated abilities hate being sideboarded in game two when the opponent brings in Pithing Needle/Abrade.... dramatic entrance can also just be straight up counter-bait.... when the opponent sees dramatic entrance they will counter it if they can, but if your gonna amass the mana to cast the wurm anyway then they will likely just run out of counters.. at least that's why I use it.
Somthing else to consider if aggro is problematic in conjunction with Elderscale Wurm maybe instead of Tron Lands/Urza's Tower ect ect. Would be using Defender Ramp with Axebane Guardian/Overgrown Battlement, Wall of Blossoms, Wall of Roots, Carven Caryatid... granted this completely warps the deck into something else entirely but I figured I'd mention it.
Good luck with the brew!
2 years ago
I think you all make good points... the best case scenario I can from the hip think of is a path to an off-brand/mono green Valakut deck.
- Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle
- Primeval Titan
- Azusa, Lost but Seeking
- Dryad of the Ilysian Grove
I dont think that this would be any better or more reliable than already established Titan-Shift though.... but its certainly neat to think about!
3 years ago
lagotripha Oh yeah, I totally forgot that Wall of Blossoms had been printed. That one should be included for sure, probably instead of Carven Caryatid and maybe also some number of Wall of Omens or Axebane Guardian . Vesperlark is good, but I am a bit concerned that it is not a wall. Overgrown Battlement is such a powerful ramp card, and I really want to minimize the number of creatures that are not walls to utilize it. Spellskite is included because it can counter some decks and works really well with Assault Formation , but Vesperlark only has one toughness. It does return a wall though, given that there is one in the graveyard.