Maybeboard


The subtitle for this Tiny Leaders deck could be "Kicking It With Counters". The deck is all about triggering Hallar's ability as often as possible, for as much damage as possible.

Our ambiguously gendered commander, Hallar, the Firefletcher , wants to trigger their ability as many times as they can to burn all of their and your opponents out with epic amounts of firefletcher damage. To that end the deck revolves around two things: getting +1/+1 counters on Hallar, and spells with kicker costs. The more +1/+1 counters on Hallar the more damage when you kick a card. It's just that Ghuul simple.

Beyond all the kicker damage you will be throwing around, it is easy to overlook the fact that Hallar and their kavu mount, Serahane, have trample and that by amassing tons of +1/+1 counters on the card you will be eventually able to steamroll your opponents with good old-fashioned combat damage. Again, Ghuul simple.

Being Counter Productive

Really, who doesn't like +1/+1 counters on creatures? Probably Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons , but that's a whole other deck. Hallar loves having +1/+1 counters. The more counters Hallar has the more damage the card does when we pay kicker costs. Therefore the more counters we can bury the card in, and the faster we do it, the faster our game will go. The problem is of course that our opponents will know what we are up to the moment they read Hallar's card. Hence, building up a cairn's worth of counters on Hallar and then protecting our investment are going to be key to victory.

  • Aquastrand Spider - The spider's ability to donate +1/+1 counters to creatures upon their entry into the battlefield can be used to start pumping Hallar immediately. The fact that with this card in play, and for the cost of , you can allow creatures with +1/+1 counters on them to gain reach for a turn is just the right bit of added utility. (UPDATE 6.4.21: This card has been replaced by a Murasa Sproutling to add a bit more card selection and recursion to the deck.)

  • Bow of Nylea - An All-Star in many decks, the Bow of Nylea gives all of our attacking creatures deathtouch, and taps for to do a lot of useful things, but the thing we are probably going to be most interested in is putting +1/+1 counters on Hallar.

  • Evolution Sage - The sage is one of our proliferators. With each landfall trigger we can put another counter on Hallar as long as the card has at least one on it to begin with.

  • Hardened Scales - Putting one additional +1/+1 counter on Hallar (or any other creature in the deck) each time we put counters on things feels great, and gets us to where we want to go that much faster.

  • Hunger of the Howlpack - As long as something dies Hunger of the Howlpack gives us a huge boost in Hallar's ability's damage output, and at instant speed.

  • Karn's Bastion - Another repeatable proliferate engine, this time in land form.

  • Llanowar Reborn and Oran-Rief, the Vastwood - The graft land, and the repeatable pump land can get Hallar's +1/+1 counter train rolling. Remember too that as long as Llanowar Reborn has a counter on it that it can be proliferated giving you more +1/+1 counters, and therefore more options to pump creatures up by one or even two counters if combined with some of the other enablers on this list, like say Hardened Scales. (UPDATE 6.4.21: Oran-Rief, the Vastwood has been replaced by a Forest to avoid having a land come in tapped. That, and it can be a bit fiddly to play in such a mana-hungry deck.)

  • Opal Palace - Has Hallar taken some lumps? Cast Hallar with this commander filter land to get that counter train rolling again.

  • Retreat to Kazandu - Another repeatable +1/+1 counter generator for Hallar that activates each time we play a land. This also combos well with the deck's other counter counting cards including: Gnarlid Colony , Fertilid , Hardened Scales , Heroic Intervention , Inspiring Call , Joraga Warcaller , and Vastwood Hydra .

  • Solidarity of Heroes - Alright this card might not have the word 'kicker' in its text box, but boy is it a bomb in this deck. Imagine late game suddenly doubling the number of +1/+1 counters on on Hallar, or even your Vastwood Hydra or a beefy kavu with trample. Plus, you can do it at instant speed. Save some mana to play a kicked spell or two right after, and we're probably going to hear "good game" from the rest of the table soon after.

  • Vastwood Hydra - This hydra's ability to shift +1/+1 counters from itself onto other creatures mean that all is not lost if it is buried. In fact, that's really the card's whole point. Dare folks to kill this hydra with Hallar in play. If Hardened Scales is in play, don't forget to add an additional +1/+1 counter both coming, and going.

Kicking It Old Skool

So obviously we need a lot of kicker spells to make this deck work. Fortunately, there are just enough good ones that fit the format (and even better, the theme) to fit the bill.

  • Canopy Surge - Fliers are always a bit of an issue with Ghuul colored decks so it is good to have answers for them and Canopy Surge serves as that answer in this deck. As a sort of little sister to the card Hurricane , not only does it deal damage to fliers, but to players (all players) as well. Yes, we get hit by it but this card's kicker is in the kicker.

  • Comet Storm - This card serves much the same purpose as Canopy Surge, but deals more precise damage to specific targets.

  • Everflowing Chalice - A kickable mana rock. Kicker costs can be high. Multikicker costs even higher, but this rock has you covered early-, middle- and even late-game.

  • Ghitu Chronicler and Murasa Sproutling - We have seventeen cards in the deck with kicker costs, including nine instant and sorcery spells. Recurring the right one with the Chronicler or Sproutling can add insult to the injury you are going to inflict when you kick either of them and then bring a spell back from your graveyard to your hand, only to cast it (and kick it) again.

  • Gnarlid Colony - As the Gnarlid Pack (immediately below), except that while you can't make it super-enormous like the pack and it's multi-kicker ability, it provides trample to most of our creatures.

  • Gnarlid Pack - The Gnarlid Pack's multikicker allows you to make it arbitrarily big, but kicking it even once is enough to inflict significant damage with Hallar in play. And remember those counter proliferators? They work on the Gnarlid's +1/+1 counters as well. (UPDATE 6.4.21: This card has been replaced by the slightly more synergistic Gnarlid Colony (see directly above).)

  • Goblin Bushwhacker - This card is an inexpensive body with some upside, and a cheaply-costed kicker.

  • Grow from the Ashes - Grow gets us a kicker and two lands into play (untapped) for what amounts to 3 mana, making it way better than Cultivate here.

  • Joraga Warcaller - This card plays to our alternate win condition--just beating down our opponents with huge elves. Hallar, and all of our mana dorks/enablers are elves, and the Joraga Warcaller can make them all big threats--particularly our leader, Hallar, who comes equipped with trample. The Warcaller doesn't hand out counters, but the +/+ to all elves, combined with the damage inflicted by Hallar's ability for kicking the Warcaller could leave your board flush with enough lethal threats to close out the game.

  • Kavu Titan & Untamed Kavu - The on-theme Kavu Titan and its more vigilant cousin the Untamed Kavu both come down as a 2/2 creatures for , but for a kicker cost of three more mana both become effective 5/5s. The Untamed Kavu comes with trample and vigilance, while the older Titan only gets trample, and then only if you pay the kicker. Both trigger Hallar's ability, but even without that, 5/5 tramplers for 5 total mana each are pretty darn good in a format that tops out at 3 CMC.

  • Molten Disaster - Another Hurricane-like effect (this time only effecting non-fliers, and players) on a kicker card with a cheap kicker price tag that gives the sorcery split second!

  • Overload - DON'T kick Overload, and you can destroy about 3/4s of the artifacts in the format. DO kick it, and you can destroy pretty much all of them.

  • Ravaging Riftwurm - Remember what we said about 5/5s being okay in the format? Well that goes for 6/6s too (even without trample). Even if you don't kick this 6/6 wurm for for more vanishing counters the amount of proliferate effects in the deck should see it hang around past the 2 rounds it ordinarily would have on the battlefield. (UPDATE 11.20.20: This card has been relegated to the Sideboard which in this case could be more accurately named the Closer-to-Maybe-Maybeboard, because I don't use a Sideboard in Tiny Leaders. My playgroup's meta is nearly always multiplayer. This card was cut from the Mainboard because it is pretty expensive to play. If kicked, it costs a total of 7 mana. So for now at least, we will rely upon Hallar, a pair of trampling kavu, and our hydra as the deck's primary beat sticks. I still love casting big dumb 6/6 wurms for 3 mana, so if Tiny Leaders ever moves to 51 card decks this wurm might return.)

  • Saproling Migration - Chump blockers? We've got you covered in saprolings thanks to this sorcery. Kick it and for a total of 6 mana you've got 4 of every old skool player's favorite token speed bump. Maybe even better we're running the enchantment Saproling Infestation that while it doesn't trigger Hallar's ability it does give us some added value by pumping out a free saproling every time we pay a kicker cost. (UPDATE 6.4.21: This card has been replaced by a Mountain the best card in all of Magic! That and it seemed a bit "win-more" each time it appeared in my hand.)

  • Savage Offensive - Another cheap spell with a cheap kicker cost, and some offensive utility. Useful when we need to push through that last little bit of damage. (UPDATE: This card has been relegated to the Maybeboard. While it is cheap to play and kick, as a sorcery that relies on creatures attacking it just doesn't pack quite enough umph to make the current Mainboard.)

  • Scorching Lava - Ordinarily this would be an expensive bit of pin-point removal targeting a utility creature (or perhaps a player), but getting to activate Hallar's ability for makes Scorching Lava a whole lot hotter in this deck.

  • Strength of the Tajuru - One part +1/+1 counter enabler, and one part kicker enabler. This card does everything we want to do--put counters on Hallar and kick things. Kick it once, choosing Hallar as one of the counter recipients, and watch your opponents cry.

  • Vines of Vastwood - Vines of Vastwood works for Hallar as both protection from removal, and as a devastating combat trick. Even better, this instant is one of our cheapest kicker enablers at low, low cost of .

Protection Racket

Now that we have Hallar in play and weighed down with +1/+1 counters we have to find a way to protect them from removal. Now in general, because of Hallar's strong starting stats even a few counters on the card will get Hallar out of range of single card damage-based removal. We even have ways of attaching counters at instant speed. Beyond that though, here are some cards that can help Hallar maintain a board presence.

  • Heroic Intervention - Save all your creatures (and their counters) for a mere !

  • Inspiring Call - One way or another you are probably going to have +1/+1 counters on something you want to keep on the battlefield be it your Fertilid, a big kavu or Hallar themselves. This card renders those creatures indestructible and perhaps nets us some handy card draw.

  • Swiftfoot Boots - The Sol Ring of the Tiny Leaders format does pretty much everything we want it to do. When you have the mana, and a cheap kicker spell in hand, play Hallar, pop them on, and go in kicking and trampling!

  • Vines of Vastwood - Mentioned above can be used for both offense and defense against targeted spells and abilities.

The Rest

Magic decks need some mix of card draw, ramp, and removal in order to win.

The deck's removal suite is covered above, and much of it is made of cards that satisfy Hallar's kicker triggered ability making for some great two-(or more)-for-one cards. Our removal cards include: Bow of Nylea , Canopy Surge , Comet Storm , Molten Disaster , Overload (for artifacts), Scorching Lava , and of course some big honking creatures.

As for ramp, we have the kicker mana rock Everflowing Chalice , and Grow from the Ashes (both discussed above), and an eclectic list of green mana dorks.

  • Llanowar Elves - An elf that taps for .

  • Elfhame Druid - An elf that taps for when paying for a kicked spell.

  • Incubation Druid - An elf that taps for , or , or even if you want, and happen to have Karn's Bastion in play--so long as it has a +1/+1 counter on it. (How will we ever manage that?) (UPDATE 6.4.21: This card has been replaced by the slightly more synergistic Vine Gecko (see directly above).)

  • Fertilid - Not an elf, but an insect that can tutor up basic lands. It also has a lot of synergy with all things relating to +1/+1 counters.

  • card:Reclaim the Waste (ZRD) - A kick-able ramp spell.

  • Vine Gecko - This elemental lizard gets larger the more spells we kick and as bonus makes the first one we cast each turn cost less.

For card draw, and card advantage we have the surprise Inspiring Call , the recursive Ghitu Chronicler (both discussed above), and the enchantment Colossal Majesty which allows us to draw a card every upkeep that we control a creature with power 4 or greater--which shouldn't be too hard to make pay off.

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Date added 3 years
Last updated 1 month
Legality

This deck is Tiny Leaders legal.

Rarity (main - side)

1 - 0 Mythic Rares

10 - 2 Rares

14 - 3 Uncommons

13 - 5 Commons

Cards 50
Avg. CMC 1.97
Folders Tiny Leaders
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