Welcome to the latest installment of Adventures in Tribal-land. Firstly apologies for the week absence for this guild, I will explain later in the article what caused this to happen. So lets wait no further and lets follow that rabbit down the hole and see what we find.
The current challenge is to produce decks based on the guilds from the Ravnica block. Each deck will be based around one of the two legends that each guild have and where possible focus on the essence of the guild. This week I look at the group collective of the Selesnya Conclave.
The Selesnya Conclave, to some they are a spiritual group who work together for the common good through selfless actions, whilst others seem them as a brainwashing nature cult. They are dedicated to keeping life in balance through nature and not through unnatural means. They exhibit this in a strong dislike in technology and a belief of the good of the whole is far more important than that of the single being. The ranks in the guild are increased through preachers giving evangelical speeches to those without guild allegiances. However the guild also increases its rank through the growth of saprolings and elementals. All members of the guild are equal however the guild is guided by a group of Dryads know as the Chorus of the Conclave who share a consciousness which they can share with others to guide and lead the guild. In the ranks of the Guild are the Ledev who are knights of the road protecting the routes of commerce and trade, this order were original a ancient order of warrior monks who wandered the roads righting wrongs and solving injustice, in recent times they have joined the Conclave continuing their role as protector of travelers, whilst also protecting the guilds interest.
The symbol of the Conclave is one of unity, with tree supporting sun and sun feeding tree.
The combination of white and green combines into the guild ethics, as both colours demonstrate an interesting in benefiting the community be it through nature or being part of a organization. Both colours also have a strong spiritual connection. In terms of game play both colours have access to life gain spells as well as artifact and enhancement removal. Individually white provides us with protection and creature removal, whilst green provides us with mana fixing and ramping, and some card draw.
The guilds leader is the Dryad collective know as the Chorus of the Conclave. A 8 casting cost 3/8 forestwalk Dryad is not up there with the super exciting. The second ability of the Chorus, is interesting, you can play any creature and pump it with +1/+1 counters for each extra mana you pay over the actual cost. This ability strikes me as interesting with Dryads who tend to have a land walking ability, generally forestwalk but some like Dryad Sophisticate have non other types. On the interesting things about the Dryad tribe is that their 20 creature commitment can be made up of the only Land Creature Dryad Arbor.
Tolsimir Wolfblood is the guild’s champion, the Ledev, is a 3/4 elf warrior with three interesting abilities the first two boost green and white creatures respectively by +1/+1 each. This ability means he can be a very valuable finisher to a green/white aggressive deck. His second ability is interesting, allowing him to summon his faithful wolf mount voja, a 2/2 green white wolf, who as long as Tolsimir is still in play will be 4/4. With a couple of elves from Lowryn block producing/buffing wolves, a Elf deck with a Wolf subtheme could be interesting.
This week I decided to build around Tolsimir Wolfblood.
I decided with a casting cost of 6 that only two of Tolsimir would be best rather than the full 4. I also decided to pursue the wolf sub theme so 4 Wolf-Skull Shaman and 4 Wren's Run PackmasterWren's Run Packmaster were included. The Wolf-Skull’s allow us a chance to produce a stream of wolves if our deck was kind to us whilst the packmaster allowing us to pay for more wolves and also giving them deathtouch provided us with a very good defensive situation option. With the wolf sub theme in place I decided that I should reuse some the very efficient green/white elves from Shadowmoor which I had used previously for a green/white Knight, the cards in question being Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers and Wilt-Leaf Liege.
At 3 casting cost for a 3/4 vigilance creature, the Cavalier is very efficient whilst the Wilt-Leaf Liege’s provide us more boosters for our creatures at the cheaper price of 4 and the anti discard ability can come in very useful too. Finally with the last two places I decided to include Selesnya Sagittars as some large blocking creatures for defensive including from flyers, the ability to block an extra creature when is good, and being white/green can be excellent if we Liege’s and/or Tolsimir in play.
The majority of my spell choices were my standard choices in white and/or green decks, those being 4 (Path to Exiles) and 4 (Oblivion Rings) from white and 3 Harmonize and 2 Overruns. With the release of M11 I would trade in the Overruns for Overwhelming Stampedes. To this pack I added 3 Glare of Subdual, the tokens we have the potential of producing could be used to tap down an opponents creatures to allow the non token creatures to attack for lethal. When considering spells/non tribal creatures for the deck I consider using either Master of the Wild Hunt or Howl of the Night Pack to add to the wolf theme. However I felt at seven casting cost the sorcery was too much and outside of a pure green deck would not produce enough tokens for the cost. Whilst Master of the Wild Hunt would have added more creatures to our 4 drops which didn’t feel right at the time.
4 Temple Garden were an auto include for the deck, I also included 4 Evolving Wilds to help smooth the mana and also thin the deck. Basic lands made up the rest of the mana base up to a total of 24 lands. If you have access to them or the budget I would highly recommend using the Dual Lands from Masters Edition with any of the decks I show, as well as any of the two land fetch lands from Onslaught Block or Zendikar. Going back now I would have looked at adding some Oran-Rief, The Vastwood to the deck for the creature power boost.
Here is how the deck looks
Tribal Apocalypse Pre
Vs Edgard playing Red/White Soldiers.
I choose to draw and my opponent mulligans down to six whilst I keep
The hand I kept was a very risk two land hand, but if I reach 4 lands, then I will quickly have 3 8/8 elfs on the field. My opponent starts off with a Plains, while I draw Path to Exile and play my Evolving Wilds. The following turn a second Plains for Edgard, and I crack my wilds for a Plains on their end phase. I put my forest into play and cast the Wolf-Skull Shaman I had just drawn, during my end phase my opponent cycles Renewed Faith for a card and two life up to 22.
The following turn a Plains for my opponent is followed up with a Gustcloak Harrier. I miss with Wolf-Skull Shaman’s kinship ability and draw a second Path to Exile. I attack with Shaman to offer the trade, my opponent blocks and both creatures are destroyed.
The next turn my opponent plays a Plains, and casts Daru Warchief which I path at the end of the turn, my opponent fetches up a Mountain. I draw a forest and put it into play and send the turn back. A Thundersong Trumpeter followed by Sunforger are my opponents play. I draw a Wren's Run Packmaster and send the turn back.
My opponent equips Sunforger to the Sunhome Enforcer and attacks me for 7, taking me down to 13, whilst they gain 6 and go to 28 life. I draw a Temple Garden and are forced to play it untapped at the cost of 2 life, taking me to 11. I play one of the three Wilt-Leaf Liege from my hand, during my end phase, my opponent uses Sunforger’s ability to search for a Red or White instant.
I’m attacked by Aven Farseer for 5, leaving me on one life and they then cast Blaze for Lethal.
I Choose to play and kept a hand of
I lead off with a Temple Garden into play tapped, whilst my opponent plays a Plains and casts Wall of Hope. I draw Glare of Subdual and play a Forest. My opponent follows up with Mountain into a Aven Farseer.
I draw a Forest, put into play an Plains and pass the turn. My opponent plays an Plains and attacks with Aven Farseer for 1 taking me down to 19. Post combat they add a Gustcloak Harrier to their side of the board.
Match 2 vs AbraxasRvn playing Blue/Green Snakes.
I choose to play and kept a hand of
I begin with a Evolving Wilds, while my opponent starts with a Island. On my opponents end step I crack my Evolving Wilds for a Forest. On my turn I draw a Plains and play a Forest, my opponent plays a Island and passes.
I draw a second Oblivion Ring, attack with both my creatures taking my opponent down to 6, and post combat cast one of my Glare of Subdual. No plays again for my opponent and discards another Mystic Snake. On the following turn I attack for Lethal.
My Opponent chooses to play first and I keep a hand of
A Forest for my opponent leads them casting a Ohran Viper before passing the turn back. The Wolf-Skull Shamans ability misses and draw a Plains, which I put into play, pre combat I Path to Exile the Ohran Viper, my opponent puts a Island into play and I attack with my (Wolf Skull Shaman) taking them down to 18.
The Lorescale Coatl gains a +1/+1 counter when my opponent draws a card. A Misty Rainforest into an Island (down to 17 life) allows them to cast a second Lorescale Coatl pre combat, and then attack with Ohran Viper. I block with the Wren's Run Packmaster, killing the Ohran Viper and causing my creature to be destroyed post combat and returning the Wolf-Skull Shaman to play. I miss for a third time with my Wolf-Skull Shaman and draw of Glare of Subdual. I play a plains and then cast my second Wren's Run Packmaster, once again championing the Shaman.
The opponents Lorescale Coatl get bigger from card draw again making them 4/4 and 3/3. My opponent plays a forest and passes the turn back. I draw Tolsimir Wolfblood, and make a 2/2 Wolf token with my Packmaster and I remain on the defensive.
Post draw phase the Lorescales are 5/5 and 4/4, my opponent attack with the 5/5 Lorescale which I block with my Wolf token which thanks to the Packmaster has deathtouch, killing both creatures. My opponent has no further plays and passes the turn. I draw a Temple Garden which I put into play untapped, I then proceed to make two Wolf tokens, once again remaining on the Defensive.
The following turn the remaining Lorescale becomes and a 5/5 and the only play for my opponent is a Island. I draw a Plains which I play and then cast Tolsimir Wolfblood. I attack with a single Wolf token taking my opponent down to 14. My opponent Brainstorms on their turn, sees no answers to my Deathtouch Wolf Tokens and Concedes. Second Match won 2-0 and we are on to the final round.
Match 3 vs Proclaim playing Rats
Sadly only one of the replays saved for this.
Proclaim decides to play, and I keep a hand of
My opponent once again has no plays. So the turn is mine again, I draw Harmonize, have no plays myself, attack with the Cavalier and once again the rats block and are regenerated. I’m forced to discard a Wren's Run Packmaster due to the Nezumi.
For the third turn running my opponent has no plays and sends the turn back. I draw Wilt-Leaf Liege, play no cards and once again attack into the regenerating rats. End of my turn, I’m targeted again with Nezumi Shortfang, this time I discard the Wilt-Leaf Liege, who special ability kicks in causing it to be put into the battlefield rather than being discarded.
My opponent plays a Swamp and casts Pain Magnification. My turn I draw Oblivion Ring and attack with both creatures, the Ravenous Rats block the Cavalier and my Liege gets through for 4 damage taking my opponent down to 16.
A Blightning from my opponent causes me discard Wren's Run Packmaster and a Oblivion Ring, I take 3 damage down to 16 triggering Pain Magnification and I then have to Discard a Harmonize. I finally draw my fourth land in the form of a plains, I play that and cast Harmonize. Drawing a Selensya Sagittars, Plains and a Temple Garden. I attack with both my creatures, the Cavalier is blocked by the Ravenous Rats who regenerate, and my opponent takes 4 down to 12. My opponent concedes the following turn. I proceed to win the match 2 Games to 0.
I have to say one of the star players of the deck was Wren's Run Packmaster, deathtouch wolf tokens are a pain in the behind for an opponent when you can just keep pumping out tokens each turn to throw at the opponent in either attack or defense.
I would probably reconsider the Glare of Subdual for possibly Howl of the Night Pack as producing 4+ deathtouch wolf tokens would be pretty epic. If not the sorcery, I would perhaps replace them for (Sensei’s Diving Top) or (Mirri’s Guile) this will help smooth out draws whilst also setting up good Wolf-Skull Shaman Triggers.
Time for a Explanation
So people who have been reading the column so far have probably been wondering why this one took two weeks, well the Tolsimir deck was not the first deck entered into the Tribal Apocalypse PRE by me as representation of the guild. That’s right the week before I tried the Dryad deck, I proceed to go 0-3 and felt a little embarrassed, hence returning to the drawing board. Below is the deck I took first time.
The aim of the deck was to limit a opponents attacking ability through Dueling Grounds, due to the evasion ability of our creatures the impact of the card would be lessened. The creature base was a mixture of landwalking Dryads with some of the high toughness members to block a opponent. Whilst I had some success in the casual rooms, the deck was ripped apart in the PRE environment. The deck had a minor rebuild post the PRE working with a suggestion from Flippers_Giraffe. The deck below was designed more towards using Isochron Scepter with Giant Growth effects to increase the size of Landwalking Dryads to good effect. A couple of games with this showed that it still suffered some of the weaknesses of the previous deck like suffering to massive removal cards like Volcanic Fallout. The list for this deck is below.
And because I made you wait an extra week for the article here is a bonus deck list for a Wolf Tribe deck using Tolsimir Wolfblood as the inspiration, I've not tested this yet but may well bring it to a future Tribal Apocalypse PRE for a bit of fun.
I hope we all now feel like hugging a tree and that’s a nature is important, and with that I bid you farewell until next time where we deal with guild where life and death doesn’t matter the Golgari Swarm.
Hugs and Kisses