It is common practice to discuss our goal and intent, but seldom do we truly discuss the journey. The journey is what truly matters, without it there would be no purpose for the goal. The goal will be truly depicting the journey and scenery along the way.
Why this column?
As I have been writing my other column, I realized that I needed a new avenue in order to successfully convey the ideas behind this new approach. My other column has its own personality and approach. Aside from that, my intent is to tackle the constructed approach without limited view. The Journey Matters will discuss constructed formats, personal and player goals, the struggles of balancing personal and player life, avenues for self-improvement in both planes, among many other topics. I truly believe this will be an enriching experience for both readers and writer.
Since this is our first installment, I will keep it on the light side. The first issue will touch on a deck from the constructed RTR Block format and certain upcoming changes. The deck is the Selesnya Midrange token deck. This was my weapon of choice used to initially tackle this format. As Gatecrash made its way to the scene, the deck suffered a heavy blow from the new shiny toys gained by the enemy. In the last month or so, a few iterations of the archetype have surfaced to wreak havoc. The particular build used relies less on the token generators and populate mechanic, but on the sheer power of efficient creatures. With that being said, Selesnya is not Selesnya without the creation of tokens and means of increasing their population. Let us take a look at the deck.
For the most part, it is still the same Selesnya shell. This build mainly drops the Dryad Militants and Vitu-Ghazi Guildmages. These cards are quite powerful but at times lack impact. They are replaced by Experiment One and Gyre Sage. The replacements have dual purposes. The evolve mechanic allow them to be potential threats, but their edge comes from their secondary traits. Experiment One’s ability to regenerate allows it to survive an opposing Supreme Verdict, thus leaving a threat behind. On the other hand, Gyre Sage’s counters create mana in order to accelerate the enemy’s demise. In addition, this build relies on a heavier curve in order to pack heavy threats. The addition of Trostanis, Armada Wurms, Angel of Serenity and Collective Blessings to the main deck provides a stronger presence. Any of these heavy hitters can change a board state. There are valid arguments for the use of the past rosters, but I can’t help siding with this new team!
Let’s Make Our Rounds!
Upon completion one thought stuck, Angel of Serenity belongs in the sideboard. Eyes in the Skies will be replaced for a more useful option.Aside from those two cards, my only pet peeve has always been the land count. Since inception of the deck, I have found that the land count is very tricky. As you can see from the videos, you either get land flooded or they become scarce. As I move some things around, I will play around with the land count and see what results I get. I will either leave it at the amount is currently at or drop one land. I am still on the fence on this matter, but there is only one way to find out the results. Let’s give it a try!
Voice of Resurgence will fit perfectly into the curve. The physical stats are not the reason for this shiny new tool. Its ability to force your opponent’s actions prematurely is his strength. Voice penalizes opponents for using combat tricks as well as playing counters and spells EOT. The creation of a token fits perfectly into the purpose of our guild. Voice of Resurgence will punish opponents that attempt at decimating our numbers.
Advent of the Wurm is welcomed with open arms. It fits our curve beautifully. The biggest strength is the instant speed of the spell. One of the biggest weaknesses of this deck is fighting control decks that can decimate our army with a single spell. Supreme Verdict resets our goal. Advent of the Wurm provides us with the perfect weapon to fight back. We now have a way to fight back!
Scion of Vitu-Ghazi is a fine creature. A 4/4 body and, at least, two 1/1 flyers at the price of 5cc. It is not an impressive creature all by itself, but can be powerful when paired with certain tokens. With that being said, I don’t expect Scion to make it into the deck. I can possibly see maybe one or two in the board for the deck to combat other creature heavy decks. Time will tell.
Wake the Reflection is a card I am excited about. A 1cc populate spell can prove to be quite powerful. One additional mana can duplicate the threat for the enemy. I am still unsure how many copy of this spell the deck would even run, but I am sure it will be a great addition to our arsenal.
Alive // Well seems like a great addition to the sideboard of the deck. Against other creature decks, specially the boros/rdw, this card can turn the tides and even close the game in our favor. Alive is an expensive side of the spell, but Well is very strong due to the nature of the deck and its endless supply of creatures.
Unflinching Courage is going to be an honorable mention in my book. It is clearly a fine card and it will play a strong role in limited. I don’t expect this card to play the same role in this deck. Unflinching Courage can clearly set a creature out of removal’s reach, but it is not out of reach itself. There are plenty of options to deal with it. It seems a bit too slow and does not push forward our agenda.
Trostani’s Summoner has managed to catch my attention. Will it be a staple in our deck? I am not sure, but would love for it to be so. This card can prove to combat Supreme Verdict with quite ease. The price tag of 7cc seems a bit steep, but still not outside of our budget. We can still afford to purchase one or two of these. It buys 10 power worth of assorted creatures, thus creating a stronger threat. Trostani’s Summoner is no Angel of Serenity, but a close second in my book.
Emmara Tandris is our guilds hero! Another 7cc creature with a strong effect, but will it prove strong enough to make the team? I am on the fence here. I do not see her getting the invitation letter. It is a powerful ability but the game is expected to be closed by that time. The other 7cc options serve a particular purpose. This purpose is not fulfilled by Emmara Tandris. I will watch closely to see if she breaks out.
As I look back, I am rather pleased with the outcome here. This project will clearly be a constant work in progress. It will evolve just as we will evolve as players and people. A great friend recently pointed out that most writers put their focus on becoming better players but forget to become better people. This statement impacted me profoundly. If we take a look at recent years, many articles and news have focused on cheating, dishonesty and theft. We may be improving as players, but why can’t we translate this to our morals? Winning is an important aspect of this game, but morals shouldn’t pay such an Ultimate Price. I cannot guarantee that this project will be successful, but I can promise to do my best at conveying these ideas.
P.S. I clearly cannot remember the name of Angel of Serenity throughout the videos. Next article will have about 6-8 rounds to cover. I know it was mentioned on the last video but didn’t get a chance thanks to finals. Oh, the joy of finals… NOT!