Thursday, September 30, 2021

For the Trees: A Summer Derby report.

"Come, my friends. The Ents are going to war. It is likely that we go to our doom. The last march of the Ents."--J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Last year I had held a vote on what deck I should run in that years Summer Derby, and unfortunately to my surprise the joke selection won, which was treefolk. Unfortunately I didn't get to enter that Derby, and as such, didn't run it. 


Being a man of my word, I decided this year I would run the deck instead, and do to similar situations as last year, I threw together a deck at 3 am before a flight while strung up on sleep depravation and energy drinks. The results speak for themselves.

However, the deck was admittedly fun, and after a few successful test games, I went into this with probably more self confidence then I should have. I would ultimately win one match against goblins, and end up skipping one game in the second batch, making the final score 1-6-1. 

As with the last deck review I've made, this will be talking about The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of the deck, as well as various musings of it. 

Bottom row is board

The Good

Tough creatures: With the exception of Gaea's Avenger and Birds of Paradise, every creature in the deck had a toughness of 5. This allowed burn to be either ineffective, or expensive to be used as removal. Swords on average turned into a Healing Salve. Further more, they allowed for good ground stalls. Honorable call out to Argothian Treefolk. His ability to ignore artifact damage really commanded respect.

Avoid Fate: The Clutch Card of clutch cards, the green Twiddle. Avoid Fate was so helpful, and so useful, I found myself main decking it on game 2 every time, without exception. I can't believe how much this card gets slept on. 

Aspect of Wolf. Man I love this card. Between the art, the effect, and whatever else, it commanded a presence anytime I dropped it. I think the next time I am dumb enough to run Mono-Green, I'm going to drop four of them into the deck, and hope for the best!

I could actually try that in 95, include things like people of the Woods, An-Haava Constables, and so forth.

The Bad

Birds of Paradise: I think my logic with this was I could put an aspect on it, and it would fly. However you should never run Birds of Paradise in mono-green. It at best chump blocked a Serendib/Serra for a turn before going into taking damage phase. All times I had it I wish I had an elf instead.

Lifeforce: Wasn't once useful in the two games I sided it in. Both times players just played around it. I wish I ran a Thelon's Chant instead, honestly. 

Maze of Ith/Strip Mine. In a four Strip Format, these were either used extremely quickly or blown up. While I do love both of these cards very much, this shows just what was already known. 

The Ugly

Gaea's Avenger: For a creature I had so much faith and potential in, it was a let down. I once had it as a 3/3, but outside of that, its nothing more a 3 drop 1/1. 

Lack of flier hate. Probably the biggest lack of oversight in all of this was that. No Hurricanes, no Desert Twisters. Nothing. The best I could hope for was over swinging, and with Serra, I couldn't even hope for that. 

Lack of Tranquility: When one of the many game breakin Enchantments dropped, I couldn't do anything but hope to draw a Disk. These included my arch enemy known as Moat, and the dreaded Abyss. While I did eventually receive some really nice Tranquilities, I had already played my first match, and I felt it would be poor form to slip them in after the fact. 

Gaea's Liege: I'm running a 4th edition one. What's the deal with that?!

One day I'll turn Library of Alexandria into a forest!

Conclusion: Mono-Green definitely has some potential. Everyone commented how much a problem the big beefy creatures were, and Gaea's Liege is awesome in its own right. Green also has some really interesting tech, and is the only color in the format with true ramp. Aspect of Wolf and Berserk seems spicy enough I want to run it at least once.

Treefolk might need a revision to try another line of it. One that includes the likes of Tranquility and Hurricane! Even a Web would have changed so much.

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