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By: Flippers_Giraffe, Simon Smith
May 17 2010 1:38am
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This time round on Budgeted Resources I'm going back to Zendikar I covered a number of budget articles when the set first came out and skipped Worldwake as there were not many cards to make a good selection of new decks round. Now Rise of the Eldrazi has been released I'm going back in to the fray and will be bringing you lots of new decks over the following weeks mainly using cards from the Worldwake and Rise of the Eldrazi sets.

It didn't take long for the prices to fall so the cards still have that nice new feeling I would say smell but that's something you lose with the online experience. If you have never played paper then that's one thing you will never have had the joy of, the smell of a freshly opened booster is something you never forget.

This week I'm going to be looking at building a mono green deck there are lots of great cards from Rise of the Eldrazi, that could be included the only one which is out of reach for most budget decks is Vengevine which is currently floating at about $13 each. But it is a fantastic card whether it's worth the price that's another matter and will probably take us into the Mythic debate which is not somewhere I want to go.

So let's have a look at those lovely green creatures, the kings of the forest. I'm a lover of big green creatures and the first card I'm going to look at to include in the deck is Khalni Hydra. The hydra is one of the mythic cards in Rise of the Eldrazi but it's not a top constructed card so you will be able to pick them up quite cheap, its currently going for $2 at the time of writing this. The card its self has a casting cost of , now that's a lot of forests. It's a lot easier to cast though let's have a look at the cards text from the gatherer.

Khalni Hydra costs Green less to cast for each green creature you control

Trample

So for each green creature you currently have in play it reduces the casting cost of Khalni Hydra by one green mana. Decks that ramp up their mana by using creatures that tap for green mana could bring the hydra into play in a few turns.   

Now we have the star of our deck let's look at some ways of reducing that mana cost. There is a very nice card in RoE that is an elf Joraga Treespeaker. Joraga is one of the new level up creatures in the set, this is her card text 

Level up 1Green (1Green: Put a level counter on this. Level up only as a sorcery.)

LEVEL 1-4
1/2
Tap: Add GreenGreen to your mana pool.

LEVEL 5+
1/4
Elves you control have "Tap: Add GreenGreen to your mana pool."

She costs one to cast and if you level her up to her first level she can tap to add two  to your mana pool. Now including herself that's already taken three  from the casting cost of Khalni Hydra. We will be playing a few other elves in the deck but I wont be trying to go for her level five ability as we will be casting lots of other creatures instead of trying to level her up that far. Another mana creature I'm going to use in the deck is Arbor Elf.

Arbor Elf 

The next card I'm going to show you also functions as a mana accelerator and can be a good attacker as well but that all depends on the top card of your library, the card is Mul Daya Channelers. The card text is

Play with the top card of your library revealed.

As long as the top card of your library is a creature card, Mul Daya Channelers gets +3/+3.

As long as the top card of your library is a land card, Mul Daya Channelers has "Tap: Add two mana of any one color to your mana pool."

The card can be very touch and go in block but in other formats when you can control the top of your library with cards like Ponder it could be very powerful. The drawback of course is that your opponent will always know what you're going to draw next turn which gives away all your combat tricks. 

The next card I wanted to try out which is a great budget rare is the mistress of elephants Kazandu Tuskcaller. Let's have a look and see what she has to offer.

Level up 1Green (1Green: Put a level counter on this. Level up only as a sorcery.)

LEVEL 2-5
1/1
Tap: Put a 3/3 green Elephant creature token onto the battlefield.

LEVEL 6+
1/1
Tap: Put two 3/3 green Elephant creature tokens onto the battlefield.

She only costs one colourless and one  to cast but you do need to work her up to level two to start tapping for elephants, which will cost you four mana. Once she hits level six you will be tapping for two elephants a turn. Which isn't bad and also goes well with another card which I will show you a bit further on.

Looking at the other creatures I'm going to include in the deck there is the huge Pelakka Wurm, the ever ready Leatherback Baloth. This is such a great creature for three green mana. Next up is our anti Eldrazi blocker Daggerback Basilisk. To finish off the creature front I also included two Wolfbriar Elemental's, as we will be ramping up into a lot of mana quickly we should be able to generate a good number of wolf tokens by using its kicker cost.

Wolfbriar Elemental   

Now let's have a look at the non creature spells the first card I want to show you works well with Kazandu Tuskcaller, the card is an enchantment Quest for Renewal. The card text is as follows

Whenever a creature you control becomes tapped, you may put a quest counter on Quest for Renewal.
As long as there are four or more quest counters on Quest for Renewal, untap all creatures you control during each other player's untap step.

With all our elf's tapping in the early game when Kazandu comes into play and is leveled up she will be generating elephants in every players turn which is elephantastic for us.

The other cards in the deck are standard for green in Zen block Harrow, Strength of the Tajuru and Vines of Vastwood. I also added Oran-Rief, the Vastwood to help boost those elephants.

The final deck looks like this, current cost from MTGOTraders as of the 16/05/10 is $12.29

 

Let Battle Commence

Game 1 vs Tepes1er

My starting hand is 1 forest, Khalni Garden, Joraga Treespeaker, Vines of Vastwood, Harrow and Leatherback Baloth.

I start first with a forest into Joraga Treespeaker. Tepes1er plays an island and passes.

Turn two and I play Khalni Garden and get a plant token, I then send Joraga Treespeaker in for the attack to take first blood. Tepes1er plays a forest and Khalni Heart Expedition.

In my turn I level up Joraga Treespeaker and then use her to cast Kazandu Tuskcaller. Tepes1er plays a mountain and the Harrow which triggers the Khalni Heart Expedition and is sacrificed leaving Tepes1er with three Islands, two forests and a mountain, Tepes1er then plays Nest Invader. Looks like we could be expecting Eldrazi.

I cast my own Harrow this turn and play Mul Daya Channelers. Tepes1er plays Oracle of Mul Daya and drops Narcolepsy on my Channelers which is going to shut them off for the rest of the game.

I play Quest for Renewal and then level up Kazandu Tuskcaller, she needs another level up before she can start playing Elephants. Tepes1er plays another Harrow and Treasure Hunt giving him Explore which he casts and then plays Frontier Guide. Tepes1er’s mana ramp is really fast but he’s not finding any Eldrazi at this moment in time. Tepes1er sends in his Nest Invader and Oracle I block the Invader with my plant token and take two damage.

In my turn I level up Kazandu Tuskcaller to level two and then play Leatherback Baloth. Tepes1er searches for a land with the Frontier Guide and passes.

I attack with the Baloth in my turn and use Kazandu to generate an elephant token. I then bring down the almighty Wolfbriar Elemental kicked twice to generate two wolf tokens. My Quest for Renewal is now above four counters so all my creatures will untap in each upkeep. 

At the start of Tepes1er’s turn the battlefield looks like this

Tepes1er plays an island and then a forest. He then plays See Beyond, Treasure Hunt and then a second Treasure Hunt and finishes by activating Frontier Guide. At the end of his turn I tap Kazandu Tuskcaller for an elephant token.

I attack in my turn with the Leatherback Baloth, Wolfbriar Elemental an elephant token and two wolf tokens. I take Tepes1er from 15 to one life I could have cast a Vines of Vastwood for the win but I wanted to see if he could summon an Eldrazi in his next turn. I level Kazandu Tuskcaller up to level five and use her to generate an elephant token. Tepes1er concedes in his turn, ah well we don’t get to see any Eldrazi this game.

Win 1

Lost 0

Game 2 vs DJE71

My starting hand is 1 forest, 2 Khalni Garden, 2 Wolfbriar Elemental’s, Mul Daya Channelers and Kazandu Tuskcaller.

DJE71 starts off first and I know it’s going to be a hard fight he plays a swamp into Guul Draz Vampire. On my turn I play a Khalni Garden and get my free plant token.

The Guul Draz Vampire attacks through my Khalni Garden and I let it through for a point of damage. I need to keep an eye on my life total as I don’t want to go below ten with this vampire lurking nearby. In my turn I play a forest and Kazandu Tuskcaller.

DJE71 doesn’t like the mistress of elephants and kills her on his turn with Tomb Hex. He then sends in the vampire which I chump block with my plant token. On my turn I play Mul Daya Channelers which revels Joraga Treespeaker on top of my deck, this makes the Channelers 5/5 until my next turn unless they are killed off.

Nothing from DJE71 this turn. In my turn the top card of my deck is a forest so the Channelers are 2/2 and can produce two green mana this turn. I play Harrow and DJE71 Tomb Hex’s my Channelers most likely due to the fear of my deck coming back with a creature after its been reshuffled due to Harrow. I tap them in response for two mana and they die, I search for my two forests and play Joraga Treespeaker and level her up to level two so she will be able to produce two green mana next turn. At this point it’s looking like a very heavy kicked Wolfbriar Elemental may show its face.

DJE71 plays Kalastria Highborn and passes. I draw Arbor Elf and decide to hold the Wolfbriar off for a turn and play the elf and a Khalni Garden.

We see a Bloodghast from DJE71 this turn and he passes. I play one of the Wolfbriar Elemental’s from my hand kicked five times in my turn, that’s a lot of wolves.

DJE71 taps out to play a kicked Bloodhusk Ritualist forcing me to discard my other Wolfbriar Elemental and the Leatherback Baloth I drew last turn.  In my turn I send in the Wolfbriar Elemental and his pack of wolves. One of the wolves is blocked by the Bloodhusk Ritualist and DJE71 is taken down to eight life. I finish the turn by casting Khalni Hydra for free due to all my green creatures in play.

We know it's all over, DJE71 send's in his Bloodghast which I block with my plant token. I counter attack in my turn for the win.

Win 2

Lost 0 

Game 3 vs SMOOTHGRIFTER

I start out with 2 forests, Khalni Garden, Vines of Vastwood, Kazandu Tuskcaller, Leatherback Baloth and Mul Daya Channelers.

I’m off first with Khalni Garden for my plant token. SMOOTHGRIFTER plays Raging Ravine.

On turn two I play Kazandu Tuskcaller and pass. SMOOTHGRIFTER plays Joraga Treespeaker and Kazandu Refuge and passes.

I play a forest this turn and Leatherback Baloth I attack with my Tuskcaller knowing that SMOOTHGRIFTER won’t trade it off for Joraga. SMOOTHGRIFTER levels up Joraga to level two and then casts Frontier Guide.

I attack with the Baloth for four damage in my turn and then play Mul Daya Channelers revealing Arbor Elf on top of my deck. SMOOTHGRIFTER plays a second Kazandu Refuge and Oracle of Mul Daya revealing his top card as another Oracle of Mul Daya.

In my turn I draw Arbor Elf leaving Joraga on top of my deck so my Mul Daya Channelers attack with the baloth this turn both go through for nine damage taking SMOOTHGRIFTER down to eight life. I then cast Harrow and play Arbor Elf. The top card of my library is now another Mul Daya Channelers. SMOOTHGRIFTER searches for a land with the Frontier Guide and concedes.

The force of nature was on my side this game

Win 3

Lost 0

Game 4 vs PLAGUEBOMB

My starting hand is 2 forests, Wolfbriar Elemental, 2 Arbor Elf’s and 2 Leatherback Baloth

PLAGUEBOMB starts off with a plains and passes. I play a forest and Arbor Elf.

A plains and nothing else from PLAGUEBOMB this turn, I expect to see a creature next turn though if it’s an all white deck. In my turn I play a forest and Leatherback Baloth with my elf’s help.

Turn three and PLAGUEBOMB plays Emeria, the Sky Ruin which comes into play tapped so holds him back a further turn, if he had a card he could play for three mana. Now we need to be careful playing against this deck for fear of Day of Judgment as it looks mono white. We must not over commit to the battle field and keep a reserve force in hand at all times. The Leatherback Baloth goes crashing in for the attack on my turn taking PLAGUEBOMB down to sixteen life. I then play Khalni Garden and pass.

Turn four and PLAGUEBOMB taps all four mana and plays…. Kor Cartographer and I can breath for  a turn. I send in both the Leatherback’s in my turn one is blocked killing the Cartographer and the other deals four more damage to PLAGUEBOMB. I then play my hard hitter Khalni Hydra.

Another plains from PLAGUEBOMB and another Kor Cartographer followed by Kor Skyfisher. I send in all my big guy’s on my turn both of the Baloth’s are blocked by the two Kor’s which both die and the Hydra hits hard for eight damage taking PLAGUEBOMB down to four life. I then play a forest but hold off with playing any further creatures.

Day of Judgment hits the stack and all my creatures go to the graveyard, I’m not too worried though as I have an extra army under my wing. In my turn I play a forest Joraga Treespeaker and Arbor Elf to get my mana going again for next turn.

PLAGUEBOMB plays World Queller and passes. I play a forest and a five point kicked Wolfbriar Elemental, instant army.

In PLAGUEBOMB’s turn Emeria, the Sky Ruin activates bringing back a Kor Cartographer, in my turn I crash in for the win.

Win 4

Lost 0

Game 5 vs Robert_T (Wizards)

My starting hand in this game is 2 forests, Khalni Garden, Harrow, Vines of Vastwood, Joraga Treespeaker and Strength of the Tajuru.

Robert_T starts off with Evolving Wilds into an island. I play a forest into Joraga Treespeaker.

Turn two and Robert_T plays a plains and Renegade Doppelganger. I play a forest and level up Joraga and send her in for one damage.

On Robert_T’s turn he plays Transcendent Master, the doppelganger copy’s it and hits me for three damage. In my turn I play Mul Daya Channelers revealing a forest on top of my deck.

Robert_T levels his Transcendent Master up to level four and passes expecting me to have some sort of combat trick I expect of which I did. I drop down Khalni Garden on my turn leaving Wolfbriar Elemental on top of my deck. The Mul Daya Channelers attack for five damage this turn. I then played which looking back was a mistake Harrow for an extra forest. This left Arbor Elf on top of my deck. I wish I had waited a turn so I could have drawn the Wolfbriar.

An Arid Mesa into a mountain from Robert_T . The Transcendent Master is levelled up to level six and then Robert_T plays Time of Heroes making the Master an 8/8 with lifelink. The master attacks and I block with my plant token.  I play the Arbor Elf in my turn but things are starting to not look good.

The Transcendent Master is levelled up to level twelve making it indestructible as well as having lifelink. Robert_T sends it in and I chump block with Arbor Elf. I draw and play Oran-Rief, the Vastwood and pass. The Channelers show the next card to be Daggerback Basilisk but even he won’t be able to stop the Master.

Now this is where things get interesting Robert_T plays a second Transcendent Master but instead of levelling up the new Master he levels up the doppelganger which has just shape shifted to level three. Now that did catch me by surprise as I didn’t realise the creature would keep the level up tokens after it changed back at the end of the turn but it does.

The indestructible Master attacks taking me to six life. I play Daggerback Basilisk in my turn and tap the Rief to give him a +1/+1 counter.
Robert_T levels up his new Transcendent Master to level six and sends the two of them in, I block the level six one with the Basilisk and they both die. The other Master is chump blocked by Joraga. I draw Kazandu Tuskcaller and level her up to level two and use the Rief to add a +1/+1 counter. I don’t think I’m going to be able to hold the Master off with elephants and even if I could I couldn’t get past all the life from lifelink, Robert_T is currently at sixty two life as per my six.

Robert_T plays Student of Warfare which the doppelganger copy's. The doppelganger is already at level two due to its counters from being a Master. Robert_T levels up the doppelganger to level five and then casts Lighthouse Chronologist before attacking for the win 

Win 4

Lost 1

Thoughts

I really like the deck Quest for Renewal is a fantastic card in the deck, together with the early elves and Kazandu Tuskcaller you can create lots of elephants each turn. The only problem I have found is allies I only encountered one deck but it was just too fast for me to get round and turn two Kazandu Blademaster I found was almost an auto lose by the time I had my Hydra in play they were the same size and first strike always wins.
I'm also going to have a good look into Renegade Doppelganger as it has lot's of possibilities. 

 

 

2 Comments

I'm assuming by Zendikar you by Paul Leicht at Mon, 05/17/2010 - 04:19
Paul Leicht's picture

I'm assuming by Zendikar you mean Zen Block. I managed to get 4 of the mana elves from ROE. So far I haven't done much with them sadly. Perhaps someday.

On Renegade Doppleganger. by The D.K. at Mon, 05/17/2010 - 14:44
The D.K.'s picture
5

Renegade Doppleganger was at the focus of a decklist on magicthegathering.com. "From the Lab - A Lot of EXP Points" by Noel deCordova (http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/ftl/90). Give it a look if you want to see a few ideas.

Good job on the deck by the way. :D