Aaron A. is back with a fun and expandable list of Magic Cards for WAR Standard!
You know, I feel like we've got a good grasp on what we are doing now at LandSayGo. I feel like things are actually starting to settle into a rhythm nicely, and we have hit our stride. We are beginning to stream on a regular basis, we are producing quality video content with good cadence, and eventually these community submissions are going to be taken to the mainstream in the near future (probably right after Core Set 2020 release) and we will be playing your submissions in Arena.
That's the future - but for now - let's dive into another deck from one of our most prolific community members - Standard Wolves by Aaron A.
Tolsimir - He's Friendly!
People who play Magic the gathering for competitive reasons often miss out on some of the best content the game has to provide. Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves is a fun card, and one of the linchpins for this Wolves Tribal deck list. There are some substantial upsides to this card: 6 power for 5 mana is good value, a life gain trigger on ETB, and roundabout removal if needed. Not to mention, the life gain and fight triggers occur on every ETB for a Wolf creature type. Of course, in this meta getting to 5 mana before we turn on can be problematic, but there are ways, already addressed in the list, of ensuring we effective with our curve. Mana nerds.
Arboreal Grazer is sloth with horns, but more than that, an excellent way to expedite our mana requirements by placing additional lands onto the battlefield and a worthwhile blocker at 3 toughness with Reach. Llanowar Elves, at this point, are so tired. They need a day off. They are the quintessential mana ramp card in green, and the best turn one play in our deck. Play them liberally.
Elvish Rejuvenator adds to the ramp strategy. If this creature allowed us to dig 5 deep and put the land we found into our hand as opposed to the battlefield I might advocate dropping this creature from the list, but because it places the land into the battlefield it works - in fact I like the addition as a chump blocker. Knight of Autumn is not a Wolf, but Knight of Autumn is a valuable accessory on our tool belt here. Having access to the 4/3 body for 3 mana is perfect, and it doesn't stop there with the right land enforcement through Karn's Bastion. Being able to destroy an artifact or enchantment and get value out of a 2/1 is useful, and in a pinch we can gain some life.
But, Where Are the Wolves?
In fact, curiously enough there is only one devoted wolf creature in the entire list, minus Tolsimir, of course. I could tolerate this creature if it was a base 4/4 in power and toughness. The five deep dig for a green card may not be enough, I have seen this creature get whacked too many times in testing to feel that the 5 converted mana cost is an acceptable price to pay. Once we have additional resources online this creature can feel better. Fortunately, we are right around the corner from Core Set 2020, and we will have the ability to expand on this list in meaningful enough ways to make the Skalla Wolf a useful tempo card. I have loved finding Planeswalkers off of this card, did not enjoy sending my removal to the bottom of library on the dig.
Planeswalkers Make Wolves Too
Arlinn, Voice of the Pack helps our cause. She is capable of producing 2/2 Wolf tokens, and each time a Wolf enters the battlefield it gets an additional +1/+1 counter. The inclusion of Arlinn, Voice of the Pack is meant to build off of the platform Tolsimir creates. It's a loose game plan, but it is fun when things are firing on all cylinders. We devote a fairly good amount of our deck to resources aimed at making sure we are able to play this big hitters early, and it can reach points where the action on our side of field slows considerably. Arlinn gets much better when the new pieces of Core Set 2020 are added. To be fair this community submission was from 13 days ago, and Aaron had not seen the spoilers when it was given to us for review at LandSayGo. Vivien belongs in this list - both versions.
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds helps us keep the creature train rolling by popping cards into exile (hopefully creatures) and allowing us to cast them at instant speed. Vigilance and Reach is also a useful +1 ability and gives our Wolves more resilience. Vivien Reid is one of the best Planeswalkers in Standard. Tutoring for creatures and lands, removing problematic cards from play, and a game ending emblem all make her a dynamite addition to the list. My problem, in reference to the tutor capabilities is that there too few big payoffs for the Planeswalkers. But, we are hamstrung by the lack of options in terms of targets during the tutor. Luckily the next core set will add some much needed tools to this list. Aaron A. is just ahead of his time.
Grow From the Ashes may not be needed for ramp purposes and ends up being a dead card later game. This would be one of my first exclusions from the list in favor of more Wolves. Prison Realm is a irreplaceable card in the list, we need the ability to deal with Planeswalkers - especially the Esper ones. Seal Away may be worth dropping, but I have had moments where this car was crucial to getting us across the finish line. There are many other interchangeable options for these card slots, and I encourage you to take this list and expand on it and experiment with it, especially as we roll into the new set. We have +1/+1 counters and loyalty counters to proliferate with Karn's Bastion - this land is a good choice and a smart use of our mana when our battlefield presence is fleshed out.
The New Stuff
Ferocious Pup is a strong consideration for replacing Elvish Rejuvenator. With an active Arlinn we are getting a 2/3 and a 3/3 for 3 mana. An interesting proposition. Wolfrider's Saddle is another interesting addition, we get a token and and some bonuses. With an Arlinn and a Tolsimir in play we get a 4/4 that fights, we gain three life and the creature we equip can't be blocked by more than one creature.
Is Howling Giant a good inclusion in a deck with this much ramp? I think so. Seven mana is not outside of our curve, we almost always get there in playing. Creature deck against creature deck, we are in a great position with this list. I like Howling Giant, especially in Draft, but this might a worthwhile addition even as a single copy for some diversity and a better finishing scenario. With Tolsimir and Arlinn in play, which is right on curve, we get a 5/5 with reach, two 4/4 Wolves that fight an opponent's creatures when they enter the battlefield, and we gain 6 life. That seems pretty doggone good to me, and the mana ramp we are running has a chance to get us there. I'd be curious to hear your feedback Aaron.
Here's the big one. Nightpack Ambusher. A flash 4/4 Wolf Creature that lords our wolves, and generates wolf tokens when we don't cast spells during our turn. It's easy to not cast spells during our turn when we are using it to proliferate with Karn's Bastion. We might also consider running Biogenic Ooze for further proliferate triggers. Ambusher is good, really good, and a card this list badly needs to be a little more of a competitor even at tier 2 or tier 3. You might consider testing with this card, I have slotted it in over some of the enchantment control that was originally in the list and it has been performing admirably. The flash ability alone get pretty silly with an active Tolsimir - flash it in, fight, gain life, hilarious.
Aaron thanks for your submission. I don't know if I did this list proper justice in my review, but I did play test it for about a week - experimenting with different things. It's fun, and it's unique and that is what LandSayGo is all about.
Your contribution to our site and the community is appreciated, as always.
We can't do this without you guys.