As we wind toward the finish line of my Chromatic Project to build a deck of each color combination, we stop by the forest world of Nylea, God of the Hunt. Nylea will be the 25th different color combo, leaving me with only colorless and five-color, both of which will be difficult (albeit on two different axes). Nylea has both thematic and mechanical ways to build around her. It seems reasonable to hit both. Thematically, we can hit all the Forest, woodsy tropes with all the bows, archers, and centaurs we can manage. Mechanically, Nylea gives other creatures trample, which means we'll be getting into the red zone quite frequently, so we'll want some monsters. Because she cares about devotion, we'll also look at cards on which the number of green mana symbols matter.
Building this deck also means understanding what we don't want to do with it: what most other mono-green decks tend to do. From the piles of mana of Omnath, Locus of Mana to the hyper-ramp of Azusa, Lost But Seeking (leading inevitably to a giant Hurricane), I want the deck to be different (not to mention fun) while still being playable. Enchantress might also be a thing, but I find that I play a great number of enchantments in other decks; I'm going to give them a pass for the most part in this one. Green has the ability to do nearly everything, at least on a one-for-one basis. It obviously has some difficulty board-wiping creatures, but it's pretty good at getting rid of enchantments and artifacts (and planeswalkers by smashing them with combat damage). I'll make some effort to stay away from running just green good stuff, but there will be a few old favorites in the mix.
Here's the list. I looked initially at all the cards which had "hunt" in the name, but it turned out to be a little jankier than I had hoped. I stuck with a few basic ideas: creatures of the woods featuring centaurs, getting Forests onto the battlefield, and attacking unrelentingly. The raw number of creatures means fewer tricks, but I think the deck-thinning means those tricks will come around more frequently.
- 1 Allosaurus Rider
- 1 Bane of Progress
- 1 Battlefield Scrounger
- 1 Budoka Gardener
- 1 Centaur Rootcaster
- 1 Dauntless Dourbark
- 1 Dungrove Elder
- 1 Farhaven Elf
- 1 Fertilid
- 1 Frontier Guide
- 1 Grazing Gladehart
- 1 Hydra Omnivore
- 1 Hystrodon
- 1 Kalonian Twingrove
- 1 Karametra's Acolyte
- 1 Loaming Shaman
- 1 Nullmage Advocate
- 1 Nullmage Shepherd
- 1 Nylea's Disciple
- 1 Pelakka Wurm
- 1 Phantom Centaur
- 1 Pheres-Band Tromper
- 1 Pheres-Band Warchief
- 1 Predator Ooze
- 1 Primalcrux
- 1 Primordial Sage
- 1 Realm Seekers
- 1 Regal Force
- 1 Seedguide Ash
- 1 Silklash Spider
- 1 Silverglade Elemental
- 1 Skyshroud War Beast
- 1 Soul of the Harvest
- 1 Spellbane Centaur
- 1 Uktabi Wildcats
- 1 Vigor
- 1 Wickerbough Elder
- 1 Wood Elves
- 1 Woodfall Primus
- 1 Yavimaya Dryad
- 1 Yavimaya Elder
- 1 Courser of Kruphix
- 1 Arashi, the Sky Asunder
- 1 Baru, Fist of Krosa
- 1 Hua Tuo, Honored Physician
- 1 Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer
- 1 Yeva, Nature's Herald
- 1 Nylea, God of the Hunt
- 1 Centaur Omenreader
- 1 Ohran Viper
Let's look at the deck card-by-card:
Battlefield Scrounger: A superstar from the ancient days of the format, Battlefield Scrounger can be activated (assuming you have threshold) on each turn. Back then, it was one of the few ways of recycling one's deck. Now it will be some of that combined with some beatings.
Budoka Gardener: This should never be wasted. In the worst case, you play him later, activate him once, and flip him. Early game, he should help ramp up a little.
Centaur Omenreader: This creature is battling, so creatures will simply cost less.
Centaur Rootcaster: A Hidden Gem recently uncovered by Armada Games EDH League regular Rich Montero, I got excited when I realized it was a centaur. Via Nylea's trample, it's going to get through even on a chump block.
Courser of Kruphix: The not-as-good-as-Oracle of Mul Daya fits the theme and gets there well enough.
Dauntless Dourbark: You don't really need other Treefolk for this to be huge, and it's already going to have trample from Nylea.
Farhaven Elf: Getting more forests.
Frontier Guide: Sensing a theme?
Hydra Omnivore: With Nylea's trample, this will connect and deal plenty of damage to everyone. I resisted the urge to add more artifacts and enchantments to buff up power (like maybe Beastmaster Ascension).
Hystrodon: A card I've tried multiple times with little success to make work, I think the basic problem is that it's just not big enough to be a serious threat. I hope Nylea can help with that.
Kalonian Twingrove: Two giant creatures for the price of one is some kind of value.
Karametra's Acolyte: As I looked at the devotion cards in green, I found them most of them less than exciting. Extra mana is always spicy, fueling some big monsters or maybe a very saucy Genesis Wave.
Nullmage Shepherd: When he made this game, Richard Garfield visualized players coming into groups with new cards and players stealing ideas from each other. I stole this one from Armada regular Kyle Kuhl, who has make great use out of it in his Azusa, Lost But Seeking deck. I might need a few more token creators for this to actually work the way I want it to.
Ohran Viper: Card draw or rattlesnake, the Viper does its job.
Pelakka Wurm: One of my favorite cards, not only is it giant and do stuff, but it pumps up the devotion count.
Phantom Centaur: Another superstar from the format's oldest days, it's another creature that I'm happy is a centaur. It brings back memories of the times when we were just discovering the magic of EDH.
Pheres-Band Tromper: It's attacking, so it's getting counters.
Pheres-Band Warchief: There are enough centaurs to make this worthwhile, although it's not such a tribal deck that I expect to see more the two or three on the battlefield at once.
Primalcrux: An early version of devotion, it's always at least a trampling 6/6 for six. Most often, it will be far larger.
Silverglade Elemental: A land-searcher that's also a medium-sized beater.
Soul of the Harvest: A little more card draw.
Uktabi Wildcats: More power, less cost.
Vigor: Damage is a thing that will kill your creatures. Since this deck likes to slam into people, we'd like
to give them less incentive to block.
Wickerbough Elder: I'll have to be careful that Vigor doesn't wipe out the counter on this before I can use it. Probably unlikely, since there are so many good targets in the format. It effectively costs the same as Acidic Slime and is slightly larger (although it obviously can't hit a land).
Wood Elves: Just a bit of ramp.
Woodfall Primus: A favorite that does some heavy lifting as well as up the devotion count. I went with
Yavimaya Elder: The classics are classics for a reason.
Arashi, the Sky Asunder: Silklash Spider's cool cousin provides a great deal of flexibility because of the ability to channel it. It deals damage from a green source, which there isn't a great deal of protection from.
Baru, Fist of Krosa: Okay, so in a blue-green deck, you Clone Baru (I guess you need Mirror Gallery in play), bounce Baru back to your hand so that you can discard it and create an immense token. Alternately, you can be not silly and just dump Forests out.
Hua Tuo, Honored Physician: Another idea nicked from an Armada regular, this time Anthony Rueda. With a fair amount of card draw, being able to reuse some creatures will keep the spice flowing.
Molimo, Maro-Sorcerer: More land value.
Yeva, Nature's Herald: Surprise! And you wondered why I didn't cast anything.
Birthing Pod: The chain is a little wonky. I just want to see how it will do in a deck not specifically designed to abuse it.
Bow of Nylea: Nylea has to have her bow. People will forget about my attackers having deathtouch. The trick will be to get Arashi, Sky Asunder attacking with vigilance, then activating it.
Elixir of Immortality: I wanted just one more way to reuse my library. The life gain doesn't hurt.
Tranquil Grove: There's only one, and it deals with all the others.
Garruk, Caller of Beasts: Just the one, although nearly all the legal Garruks would fit. The +1 should draw two or three cards every time, and the ultimate will be simply absurd.
INSTANTS and SORCERIES
Creeping Corrosion: Artifacts sometimes get out of hand, so all of them need to go away. I had considered the slower burn of Molder Slug, but I think this suits the deck a little better since we're not putting all our eggs into the creature basket.
Cultivate: A little ramp, plus an extra for some landfall.
Genesis Wave: The deck is mostly permanents, and I probably won't wait too long to make use of it. Eight or so should be just fine.
Hunter's Insight: Here's one that I kept from doing the search on "hunt," since it's a nice little card draw trick.
Repopulate: Another card with some flexibility to help me reuse my stuff or to blow out the graveyard recursion player.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx: When you're devoted, it pays off. People have talked about this card being more dangerous than Cabal Coffers. I disagree with those people, since you have to have permanents. Coffers brings you back from a board wipe pretty easily. Nykthos does not.
Tectonic Edge and Wasteland: There are dangerous nonbasic lands, so being able to get rid of a few of them makes sense.
Yavimaya Hollow: People are going to try to destroy your creatures. I like having a little backup plan.
Forest: I kept most of the lands as Forests because Forests matter with a number of cards. There aren't too many other nonbasics in the color identity that I might want-maybe Miren, the Moaning Well or Diamond Valley to gain some life. We'll see how it goes as the deck plays out if those might be worth adding in.
All in all, the deck should be reasonably fun and low-impact to play. It's thematic and a little linear, but not so plays-the-same-always as to make it boring (unless, of course, you find battling with big monsters boring). The amount of card draw and land search should give it some resiliency by making draws in the game mostly gas. There are quite a few cards that could go into the deck (my first draft had about 80 non-land cards), so if you use this as a template, you still have quite a bit of room for individual style. I had actually considered making it a nonbasic land hate deck (starting with Primal Order, which may still make its way in one day), but realized that red-green (maybe Radha, Heir to Keld?) would be much better at doing that. I'm not the type to play Dingus Egg/Armageddon, but Ruination and From the Ashes are on the table. We'll see how that idea develops in the coming weeks.
This week's Deck Without Comment is Karador, Ghost Chieftain. As always, feel free to say whatever you'd like to about it in the forums.
- 1 Mindless Automaton
- 1 Acidic Slime
- 1 Archangel of Thune
- 1 Corpsejack Menace
- 1 Creakwood Liege
- 1 Dauntless Escort
- 1 Disciple of Griselbrand
- 1 Doomgape
- 1 Fertilid
- 1 Forgotten Ancient
- 1 Ivorytusk Fortress
- 1 Juniper Order Ranger
- 1 Lifeblood Hydra
- 1 Loaming Shaman
- 1 Lord of Extinction
- 1 Loxodon Hierarch
- 1 Masked Admirers
- 1 Phantom Nishoba
- 1 Qasali Pridemage
- 1 Realm Seekers
- 1 Requiem Angel
- 1 Sakura-Tribe Elder
- 1 Scavenging Ooze
- 1 Skullmulcher
- 1 Spike Weaver
- 1 Treasury Thrull
- 1 Vigor
- 1 Vulturous Zombie
- 1 Warden of the First Tree
- 1 Anafenza, the Foremost
- 1 Daghatar the Adamant
- 1 Ghave, Guru of Spores
- 1 Karador, Ghost Chieftain
- 1 Mikaeus, the Lunarch
- 1 Cauldron of Souls
- 1 Contagion Engine
- 1 Eldrazi Monument
- 1 Abzan Ascendancy
- 1 Attrition
- 1 Dictate of Erebos
- 1 Hardened Scales
- 1 Perilous Forays
- 1 Primal Vigor
- 1 Primeval Bounty
- 1 Retribution of the Ancients
- 1 Abzan Charm
- 1 Batwing Brume
- 1 Cauldron Haze
- 1 Fracturing Gust
- 1 Momentous Fall
- 1 Ready
- 1 Return to Dust
- 1 Rootborn Defenses
- 1 Tangle
- 1 Worthy Cause
- 1 Bow of Nylea
- 1 Damnation
- 1 Explosive Vegetation
- 1 Far Wanderings
- 1 Kirtar's Wrath
- 1 Map the Wastes
If you'd like to follow the adventures of my Monday Night RPG group (in a campaign that's been alive since 1987), ask for an invitation to the Facebook group "Sheldon Menery's Monday Night Gamers."
Here is the latest database version of all my decks:
ADUN'S TOOLBOX ; ANIMAR'S SWARM;AURELIA GOES TO WAR;EREBOS and the HALLS OF THE DEAD;HELIOD, GOD OF ENCHANTMENTS;DREAMING OF INTET;HALLOWEEN WITH KARADOR;KARRTHUS, WHO RAINS FIRE FROM THE SKY;KRESH INTO THE RED ZONE;LAVINIA BLINKS;LAZAV, SHAPESHIFTING MASTERMIND;ZOMBIES OF TRESSERHORN;MELEK'S MOLTEN MIND GRIND;MERIEKE'S ESPER CONTROL;THE MILL-MEOPLASM;NATH of the VALUE LEAF;OBZEDAT, GHOST KILLER;PURPLE HIPPOS and MARO SORCERERS;ZEGANA and a DICE BAG;RAKDOS: LIFE IS SHORT;RITH'S TOKENS;YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF;RURIC THAR AND HIS BEASTLY WEREWOLF FIGHT CLUB;THASSA, GOD OF MERFOLK;THE ALTAR of THRAXIMUNDAR; TROSTANI and HER ANGELS