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Woo Brews – Green Eggs and Spam

You might be surprised to learn that I like to build decks. Yes, yes I do. But why Travis? Why do you build decks?

Good question. A lot of people play Magic, but a surprising number of people don’t actually build decks. For me, that’s all Magic is. It’s an outlet to produce. From day one, I am a producer. I like to create. I like to build.

It started with Legos, then building decks was the natural progression. The way cards fit together and interact in a physical and metaphysical space is a wild trip for my brain. I was always the kid in the back of glass with glassy eyes, but what the rest of the class didn’t know was that epic combinations were unfolding in front of me. Those were exciting times.

I love to produce. And that is why I build the way I do. Decks like Esper Control that aim to reduce the opponent to no cards in hand, no cards in play, no cards in deck—do those decks create? Are they building something great? No, those decks are meant to destroy. Those decks are meant to stop creation.

I always imagine that Magic is like an epic game of Starcraft or Age of Empires. We are each building our massive civilization machines and sending our armies at each other. I imagine that I will let my opponent do whatever he wants. And I will do something bigger.

Here is how I have been building decks: IMAGINE EVERYTHING IS IN PLAY. Work backwards from there.

From Genesis Wave, to Omnidoor, to Omnibor, to Primal Surge, to Black Wolf Run, to Black Tide. These are all decks that aim to create the BIGGEST POSSIBLE FINISH. They aim to put everything into play. EVERYTHING.

Do you like to create? Do you like to put everything into play?

There are a million ways to do it.

THIS is where I START.

THIS is where I FINISH.

Green Eggs and Spam

[deck]4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple Garden
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
4 Forest
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Arbor Elf
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Bloodthrone Vampire
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Evlish Archdruid
3 Hellraiser Goblin
3 Somberwald Sage
4 Faith’s Reward
3 Garruk, Primal Hunter
4 Soul of the Harvest[/deck]

Our well-oiled machine begins with an [card]Arbor Elf[/card]. We add a [card]Somberwald Sage[/card]. We add a [card]Soul of the Harvest[/card]. We play mana dorks. We draw cards. We play [card]Hellraiser Goblin[/card]. We draw. We tap mana dorks for mana dorks and more cards. We [card]Ghost Quarter[/card] our own lands. We play [card]Bloodthrone Vampire[/card]. We draw. We sacrifice all of our creatures.

WHAT. IS. ABOUT. TO. HAPPEN?

[draft]Faith’s Reward[/draft]

Everything comes back. We draw. We draw. We draw. We tap our guys. We play more guys. We draw more. We sac more. We [card]Faith’s Reward[/card] more.

EVERYTHING IS IN PLAY.

We turn our boys sideways.

And THAT is how you create!

Card Breakdown

The deck does what it does. It does what it does in several ways, too. Every card is in here for a reason, and in order to add new cards, you would have to cut some of these crucial components.

The Mana Engine

[draft]Arbor Elf
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Elvish Visionary
Elvish Archdruid
Somberwald Sage[/draft]

These guys are the mana engine of the deck. They offer several combinations for a third turn Soul of the Harvest. They also let us combo off once we stick [card]Soul of the Harvest[/card]. That’s right. They help us start AND help us finish. They are all truly insane and necessary.

[card]Elvish Archdruid[/card] can net a LOT of mana once we get enough Elves in play. It also really beefs up our team for the final swing.

[card]Somberwald Sage[/card] is great at fixing our mana to play one of our off-color creatures, or at powering out whatever really. Three doesn’t feel like that many, and I would love to play 4, but something had to get cut.

The Draw Engine

[draft]Soul of the Harvest
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Bloodthrone Vampire[/draft] [card]Soul of the Harvest[/card] is the obvious way to churn through our deck. Every creature becomes a new card. With 30 creatures in our deck, the Soul gets out of hand quickly.

[card]Garruk, Primal Hunter[/card] is the other way to draw a grip of cards, and works incredibly well with [card]Bloodthrone Vampire[/card]. That’s right, we can feed everyone to Bloodthrone Vampire, -3 Garruk for 17 cards, and [card]Faith’s Reward[/card] back all the creatures AND the Garruk. Yeah.

The Finish

[draft]Faith’s Reward
Hellraiser Goblin[/draft] [card]Faith’s Reward[/card] works with [card]Bloodthrone Vampire[/card] to bring all of our creatures back with [card]Soul of the Harvest[/card] to draw more cards while untapping our mana guys. [card]Hellraiser Goblin[/card] is clutch for letting those freshly untapped mana guys tap for more mana AND letting us flat out kill the opponent. These cards are not too shabby on their own either.

[card]Hellraiser Goblin[/card] can give us some pretty sick aggressive draws. We do need to be careful with him because of his must attack ability, but you can feed him to [card]Bloodthrone Vampire[/card] to get out of it.

[card]Faith’s Reward[/card] is just a good card. We don’t NEED the Vampire for it to be awesome. Most of our opponents will try to [card]Supreme Verdict[/card], [card]Bonfire of the Damned[/card], [card]Mizzium Mortars[/card], or just attack, at which point we can throw everybody in front of their team. [card]Faith’s Reward[/card]! Bam!

The Lands

[draft]Ghost Quarter[/draft] [card]Ghost Quarter[/card] is really crazy with [card]Faith’s Reward[/card]. It ramps a whole new land. It also untaps a land. So each [card]Ghost Quarter[/card] that finds a land will net TWO additional mana. This can keep us going for a while until we find that [card]Hellraiser Goblin[/card] to raise hell.

[draft]1 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
4 Forest[/draft]

We want to play a lot of basic lands to make [card]Ghost Quarter[/card] work. We also want to be able to use [card]Ghost Quarter[/card] as a fixer so we want a basic of each kind we need.

[draft]Temple Garden
Stomping Ground
Overgrown Tomb[/draft]

It’s super crucial to have an untapped green source turn one to power both [card]Arbor Elf[/card] and [card]Avacyn’s Pilgrim[/card]. There are some games where we take a ton of damage from our lands, but we need these lands for the deck to function.

That brings us here:

[deck]4 Stomping Ground
4 Temple Garden
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
1 Swamp
1 Mountain
4 Forest
4 Ghost Quarter
4 Arbor Elf
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
4 Bloodthrone Vampire
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Elvish Archdruid
3 Hellraiser Goblin
3 Somberwald Sage
4 Faith’s Reward
3 Garruk, Primal Hunter
4 Soul of the Harvest[/deck]

Cards That Didn’t Make It

There are a lot of sweet cards that you’re probably thinking should be in here. Remember, in order to add a card, you must always cut a card—and all of the cards currently in the deck are crucial to firing off. So here are some of the cards that were almost-but-just-not-quite.

[draft]Craterhoof Behemoth[/draft]

People always want to add cards like [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card], [card]Mind Grind[/card], [card]Laboratory Maniac[/card], and so on. I get it. You want to win easily with one card once you get there. But what if all of the cards that helped get you there are actually the kill? What if the Arbor Elves and the [card]Crypt Ghast[/card]s are the kill?

In order to play a card like this, we need to cut a card that helps us combo off. At which point we win anyways. Make sense?

[draft]Blood Artist[/draft]

Blood Artist is awesome. We are going to sacrifice more than 20 creatures right? Yeah, but when we get to that point we will just kill them. And [card]Blood Artist[/card] does not actually help us get to that point. Classic [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] syndrome.

[draft]Harvester of Souls[/draft] [card]Harvester of Souls[/card] is like an extra [card]Soul of the Harvest[/card]. Except that it’s hard to cast and only works with sacrificing instead of entering. This is much, much worse. I would play a fourth Garruk before even thinking about touching this guy.

[draft]Gavony Township[/draft]

I would LOVE to play [card]Gavony Township[/card] in this deck—I did for a while. In theory, we have so many creatures and mana guys that some games we can just kill them with this. But in order to actually combo off the most, we need lands that tap for mana and basics to pull from Ghost Quarter. Sorry Gavony.

[draft]Fervor[/draft] [card]Hellraiser Goblin[/card] is a creature, which makes him much better, and we still only play three.

The Sideboard

THERE IS NO SIDEBOARD!
But Travis? Why not?

A couple reasons.

First of all, the deck is just not that competitive. I mean, it is kind of competitive. But it will be sub-50% against good players playing tier one decks. So I see it as a semi-competitive, just-for-fun deck. And when playing a semi-competitive, just-for-fun deck, I want to combo off as much as possible. And we already have the best 60 for comboing off. So why would I want a sideboard?

Ok, so, really I just don’t have a sideboard. You can build a sideboard. I wouldn’t play one personally with this deck. I haven’t and I won’t. But the reality is that there are some cards which are really good against us, and in order to combo off more we need to deal with them. So a sideboard can help us combo more.

So let’s review the cards that people play that can stop us from comboing:

[draft]Izzet Staticaster[/draft]

Izzet Staticaster is just mean. It is a repeatable kill for all of our stuff. If you want to beat it, you probably have to kill it.

How do we kill it? You tell me.

[draft]Olivia Voldaren[/draft]

This is similar to the Staticaster. It’s a lot slower so we can power through it, but probably better to kill her somehow.

[draft]Blood Artist[/draft] [card]Blood Artist[/card] doesn’t prevent us from going nuts with [card]Soul of the Harvest[/card], but it prevents us from sacrificing creatures up to a point. Probably better to remove.

[draft]Curse of Death’s Hold[/draft] [card]Curse of Death’s Hold[/card] permanently kills the majority of our guys. [card]Elvish Archdruid[/card] helps a lot, but still. This one is a huge problem and we need to get it off the board.

[draft]Rest in Peace[/draft] [card]Rest in Peace[/card] is annoying because it stops our [card]Faith’s Reward[/card] combo, and without it our deck is much worse.

[draft]Blind Obedience[/draft] [card]Blind Obedience[/card] makes our guys come into play tapped which stops our midgame combo mana engine with [card]Hellraiser Goblin[/card]. It’s not unbeatable, but it is annoying.

If you were to insist on playing with a sideboard, you would want cards to kill creatures and cards to kill enchantments. You could probably play only those and maybe a few [card]Gavony Township[/card]s and call it good. Have fun!

Green Eggs and Spam

If you like putting your entire deck into play and attacking with everybody starting as early as the fourth turn, this is a deck you will enjoy. I will say it is eggshausting to play… I mean, it’s a real headegg. But it is a blast!

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Questions! Comments! Think there’s something I forgot?!

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