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Brewing Decks as a Casual Player: Green/White Counters

Since M21 came out, I’ve been drafting a lot to build up my inventory in MTG Arena as well as see what’s in store for the new Magic world. It’s a very different world than Ikoria, and since Ikoria was my first real introduction to drafting, I had to figure out how to adapt to the Core Set mechanics. 

While drafting, I discovered my favorite cards in the new set: Basri’s Acolyte and Conclave Mentor, which started to lead me to believe that white/green counters were the best cards to draft in this set. And after reading the recent limited articles on M21 Drafts, I think I am actually right about that.

Brewing decks is one of the hardest things to do as a new Magic player. I technically knew how to play for the past 5 years but I still struggle with the rules. I made note of this in my previous article. Drafting has definitely made me a better “brewer”. If I get a combo to work in my limited pool, then I get excited about finding ways to make it work in a constructed deck. 

Obviously, I’m not the best Magic player as previously stated, so my want to mash limited and constructed decks together overrules my knowledge of how that doesn’t always work… So guess what I did? I tried to make a White/Green Counter Constructed deck with the cards I liked most from my draft decks. Let’s see how this goes. 

Side note: I only brew based on the inventory I currently have until I learn a card exists by seeing it in another deck. Why? Because ya gurl is lazy. 

Here was my first go at a decklist getting the main counter idea together:

Standard GW Counters Deck List - Version 1 - Rebecca Woehrle

My initial thoughts:

  • I am still slightly obsessed with the mutate mechanic. So I couldn’t help but try to put some mutate cards like Glowstone Recluse and Vulpikeet into the deck.
  • As always, I added too many 1-ofs because I just wanted to try out all of the cards possible in this deck. That’s where my inability to separate limited and constructed shows. I guess I’m truly a Commander player at heart. I probably should play Brawl.
  • HYDRAS!
  • My sweet precious cat queen Basri’s Acolyte will make me win every game. Right?

Lets try it out. The only way for me to truly see the best synergy is by playing.

Game 1:

Wow, Mono-Red Cavalcade of Calamity is mean. With no removal of their enchantments, I couldn’t stop anything. 

Game 2:

White enchantments suck. Okay, I still need removal.

Game 3:

Green Black Mutate. My kind of deck. I held my own a little bit. I had a fair board state.

Oh sweet, Broodmoth helps me if someone kills my dudes. I swing with Wildwood Scourge. Don’t worry, if it dies, it will come back with flying… WAIT WHAT? It doesn’t have counters when it comes back? UGH! Waste of a creature.

After playing these 3 games, I realized that this deck sucks. And I need to fix my mistakes.

So how do we make it better?

  1. Better lands: I need to balance my mana better.
  2. Better Curve: I need easier to play lower drop cards. Currently I went Hydra crazy because my elf commander deck lets me play those all the time. But they don’t really count as one or two drops in a 60-card constructed deck.
  3. I don’t have any removal: What was I thinking? Okay maybe a Wilt but like… What was I thinking? There are so many enchantments in the current Standard meta.
  4. Let’s cut Broodmoth. I love this card but it doesn’t actually help bring my low end creatures back since they are 0/0’s when they reenter the battlefield. (GOODBYE MY SWEET BABY MOTH CHILD)
  5. Cut Azusa, she’s a better brawl card. I mostly just picked her because she’s pretty. (I mean, that’s how you pick the best wine too, right?)
  6. Elspeth Conquers Death, why are you in my deck? I don’t know what I’m doing.

Okay here is my updated decklist:

Standard GW Counters Deck List - Version 2 - Rebecca Woehrle

How did it go?

Game 1:

Big scary mono-black deck with enchantments. UGH Enchantments! I added more Wilts but still didn’t pull them. Womp Womp Womp. I’ll probably add more.

Game 2:

White-Black flying nonsense. Okay well this game I still lost but I felt like I had more synergy. 

Conclave Mentor + Pridemalkin and then Charming Prince my Pridemalkin gave me a beeefyyy boooyyy Conclave. I’ll probably want more Charming Princes but currently only have one.

Game 3: 

Black Green with this crazy bounty dude Chevill

Oh crap, what did they play on turn 3? Rotting Regisaur, What the heck is that? BS, I call BS! That can’t be a 3 drop! 

TURN 4 END-RAZE FORERUNNER! HOW THE HECK? Oh crap, he put that in his graveyard and played Blood for Bones. Well played sir!

Let’s upgrade one more time:

  1. Let’s add more Wilts… Maybe Light of Hope instead.
  2. Ugh I need more Charming Princes. I don’t have the wildcards. Guess I’ll just make note for the future with those.
  3. Removing Vivien, I never pulled her and she already doesn’t sound useful.
  4. Got rid of Ivy Elemental. I’ve already got big boy Hydras to create.
  5. I always forget to look into the artifact creatures. I forgot Stonecoil Serpent existed. Unfortunately, I only have one. But let’s add it and see.
  6. Got rid of Vulpikeet and Heliod. I don’t think they were as good at synergy as I had hoped.

Deck 3:

Standard GW Counters Deck List - Version 3 - Rebecca Woehrle

Final attempt to make this deck work. LETS GO!

Game 1:

I have no idea what just happened. They seemed like they weren’t doing anything. And then suddenly.  Underworld dreams + Peer into the Abyss and I have a hot mess of cards in my hand and no life. 

Let’s try this again.

Game 2:

Red/Blue probably counters everything I ever do deck. 

Oh look, I got Stonecoil Serpent out! Oh, it’s dead. This is why I need more than 1. 

I keep getting stuck with lack of white sources to play my double white cards. I think I’ll need to actually do the math on that.

Sprite Dragons killed me. Super sad face.

Game 3: 

Green/Black graveyard deck. Fiend Artisan and Murderous Rider are good cards. I died to Gray Merchant but honestly, I was pretty proud of that game. I lasted longer than any other game and had a fair board state. I think the only changes I’d make are for cards I can’t yet afford.

Conclusion

So after all of that. I still don’t have the deck I’d like, but I am getting closer. Just need some more wildcards to really complete the deck I want. Here is the final deck list I think I’d like to play if I had all of the cards in my inventory:

Standard GW Counters Deck List - Final Version - Rebecca Woehrle

After writing this article and spending hours on brewing a deck. Andrea Mengucci came out with a Deck Guide for Selesnya Counters. I went to compare the two together and my immediate reaction was “Oh this is why I’m not a pro”. I had almost none of the cards he stated. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I refused to craft any cards for my deck and I have very little card choices pre-Ikoria. But I’m still proud of my attempt to brew a deck I’d enjoy.

I guess it’s time to go grind some more drafts and get more cards for my inventory. Hopefully I’ll grind my way back to Platinum in Standard and Limited, but definitely not with this deck. It was fun anyways!

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