The War Report: Changing of the Guard

Back when I first started getting into EDH, I wrote a post about a newly created deck of mine with Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer at the helm.

With Molimo being a */* based on the number of lands I controlled, the main theme of the deck was to ramp fast and ramp hard. I included a ton of ramp spells and creatures and basically you wanted to get Molimo on the table, pump him up to 21/21 and then make him unblockable with Rogue’s Passage to kill off players with commander damage. It’s a basic enough idea, and mono green has some nice beefy creatures and interesting effects that rounded out the deck. It wasn’t competitive by any means though. Sure, it would out ramp most decks it went up against, but that rarely meant winning the game. Usually I’d get in some damage but would be eliminated or set back by board wipes, etc. With that said, I decided to update the deck, but not change it entirely. Here’s the new leader:

Ghalta is one of the new Elder Dinosaurs introduced with Rivals of Ixalan. He’ll have a spot in my Dino tribal deck, but he fit the mold for what I was trying to do with Molimo and can utilize much of the existing deck, including Molimo himself, who I kept in the 99. Ghalta is a 12/12 trample, so he starts off big and stays that way, whereas Molimo at minimum is a 7/7 but can end up huge in the late game. However, Molimo costs 7 mana, whereas Ghalta costs 12 but can theoretically cost 2 mana if you have enough other creatures out with power totaling 10 or more. Ghalta also gets around commander tax, which is the extra 2 colorless mana needed to cast your commander after they have returned to the command zone that multiplies each time. In essence, a 10/10 Molimo on the board means you can cast Ghalta for 2 green mana, and that’s huge. Give this bad boy double strike and you can eliminate a player in a single swing! With that said, we’re still ramping hard, and we’ve still included a good amount of card draw. Where I have changed things up with this build of the deck is I’ve included a number of +1/+1 counter shenanigans.

Counter Enablers:

These enchantments are some of the better ones when it comes to +1/+1 counters. Primal Vigor affects both counter and token production, while Hardened Scales just adds one more counter to any number of counters being place. The only thing that I’d like in addition is Doubling Season, but at around $60 if I get one of them it will go straight into my Superfriends build and that’s that. The creatures presented here end up providing counters for their friends, and in some cases that helps with mana production, especially since all creatures with counters produce mana if Rishkar is on the board, not just the creatures he put counters on. Path of Discovery uses the new explore mechanic, which can either get lands into your hand or counters on the creature entering the battlefield.

Counters Matter:

Hydras are the big shoo-in when it comes to creatures that enter the battlefield with counters on them. Each has differing mechanics (tutors, creates tokens on death, etc) but they all tend to enter the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters based on the amount of mana you pay to cast them. Have Primal Vigor on the board? Well then you get double the counters. You can get some pretty big creatures on the board with the right set of circumstances. The Elementals/Walking Ballista that I’ve included also have some interesting things you can do, such as pinging for damage or damage prevention. One even allows you to move counters from itself onto other creatures!

Notable Inclusions:

This last group is kind of a catch all, but things that were important to the deck. First up we have a protection package with Asceticism (Hexproof + Regenerate), Sandwurm Convergence (Fliers can’t attack me and token generation) and Prowling Serpopard (Creatures can’t be countered). Then there’s some big mana generation with Cryptolith Rite (all creatures tap for mana) Zendikar Resurgence (lands tap for double mana + card draw) and Regal Behemoth (same effect as Zendikar Resurgence as long as you’re the Monarch). My recursion package includes Eternal Witness, Genesis, Deadwood Treefolk, and Praetor’s Counsel, and there’s a bit of removal with Acidic Slime and Thrashing Brontodon. Lastly, the land Oran-Rief is on theme, as you can tap it to give a +1/+1 counter to any green creatures that enter the battlefield on a given turn. It also taps for green.

That’s about all the commentary I have to make. You can see the full deck list here. I think this deck will perform faster and work more consistently than the previous build, and I like being able to completely change around a deck but still have a core group of cards present. It makes for an easier brew, but also keeps costs down and refreshes an otherwise dead deck. Like my last post where I found a way to meld several brews into one, I’m going to keep revising decks as I go along and eliminate the ones that aren’t any good (or are no longer fun).