Crush. Crush. Crush. Crush Crush.
Crush of Tentacles may be one of the coolest cards I’ve seen come out of R&D lately, but it sure hasn’t seen much play. Bouncing all the nonland permanents just never did quite enough. This is a far cry from the card Upheaval, but there is an additional benefit here. While you may need to cast a spell before the Crush, you get an 8/8 Octopus token for your trouble.
So how do you set this up to get maximum value? First, you probably want the best card in Standard at the moment. Sylvan Advocate is perfect to come down early, attack late, and makes sure that you have a cheap drop to play before or after a Crush. Advocate is the one card that top decks throughout the format are never boarding out because of how well it scales as one of the best creatures in some time.
Den Protector, Nissa, Vastwood Seer, and Elvish Visionary are additional tools that continue to scale as the game plays out. Need an early drop to trade off and get some serious value? They all provide that nicely. In addition to that, however, they are also great in a post-Crush world. Playing an Elvish Visionary only to bounce it and get yet another card is pure value.
Oath of Nissa is a beautiful card for the strategy. It can come down early to make sure you hit your curve and have the land drops you need, but it also costs only a single mana, making it the perfect play before your Crush of Tentacles. In addition to that, you will get to bounce it back to your hand for a second helping of value!
With cards like Nissa’s Pilgrimage to help accelerate, Nissa’s Renewal to give you a life boost, and Pulse of Murasa for some additional life gain and value, getting to the stage in the game where an Octopus can start to take over doesn’t seem unlikely.
Looking at decks like GW Tokens, Crush would appear to match up well. Take their nut draw of Sylvan Advocate into Nissa ticking up into Gideon making a token. This is awfully tough for just about any deck in the format to compete with. Sweepers can help, but they’ll still have multiple planeswalkers you have to contend with.
Crush is the great equalizer in this sort of matchup. Being able to surge out some Tentacles, leaving the board clear except for an 8/8 token, is back-breaking. They may be able to redeploy a planeswalker and even a creature to boot, but that planeswalker is going to be under pressure and those tokens are gone forever. Even if they have the best possible answer, Declaration in Stone, of which they play 0-2 copies main deck, that’s taking up 2 of their mana that they wanted to use to get their threats back into play. This tempo swing allows your creatures to come back down, set up another defense, and ready yourself for the next Crush!
I love what this deck is trying to do, and although I think it could use some tuning, it definitely has potential to take down tournaments!