The Final Three: Green!

Posted in Building on a Budget on August 6, 2008

By Ben Bleiweiss

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Building on a Budget, the article dedicated to building decks that cost 30 tickets or less using Magic Online prices! If you tuned in last week, you'll know that this is one of my last three columns on this web site. In the meanwhile, the current series I'm working on involves taking 35 random budget rares (each of which costs .25 to .5 tickets) in a single color, adding in 25 lands, and seeing where the deck would take me from there. This week's color? Green!

Before we get started, I will say that this article is a little truncated due to two major factors, the first being that I just spent the entire last week at the U.S. National Championships for Magic: The Gathering, working the booth with Ken Adams and Wes Moss. The second? My wife Kate and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary yesterday (I love you Kate!), so I didn't have as much time as usual to work on this article. Do not fear! Next week's article will finish up the green evolution, and do the entire red evolution at one time—it'll be a supersized BoaB extravaganza!

All right, so onto the deck! I took my handy-dandy spreadsheet of budget rares, and rolled my random numbers on to randomly select from the following list:

Abundance Glimpse of Nature Nantuko Blightcutter Spawnwrithe
All Suns' Dawn Glissa Sunseeker Nantuko Cultivator Spectral Force
Ancient Ooze Greatbow Doyen Nantuko Mentor Spellbane Centaur
Ancient Silverback Greater Good Natural Affinity Spike Tiller
Animal Magnetism Gurzigost Nature's Resurgence Stag Beetle
Arashi, the Sky Asunder Hibernation's End Nature's Revolt Stone-Tongue Basilisk
Avatar of Might Holistic Wisdom Nature's Will Stonewood Invocation
Ayumi, the Last Visitor Hum of the Radix Nourishing Shoal Sylvan Safekeeper
Bearscape Hunted Troll Oracle of Nectars Symbiotic Deployment
Biomantic Mastery Hypergenesis Panglacial Wurm Symbiotic Wurm
Bioplasm Hystrodon Patron of the Orochi Tempting Wurm
Biorhythm Immaculate Magistrate Petrified Wood-Kin Thelon of Havenwood
Bounteous Kirin Impromptu Raid Phantom Nantuko Thelonite Hermit
Brooding Saurian Iname, Life Aspect Plated Slagwurm Thicket Elemental
Budoka Gardener Insist Possessed Centaur Thorn Elemental
Call of the Wild Isao, Enlightened Bushi Primal Whisperer Thornscape Master
Chord of Calling Ivy Elemental Primeval Force Thriss, Nantuko Prime
Collective Unconscious Iwamori of the Open Fist Primitive Etchings Timber Protector
Copperhoof Vorrac Jade Leech Primordial Sage Timbermare
Cream of the Crop Jedit Ojanen of Efrava Pulse of the Tangle Tornado Elemental
Dauntless Dourbark Jugan, the Rising Star Reach of Branches Tribal Forcemage
Decree of Savagery Kavu Lair Rebuking Ceremony Unstoppable Ash
Dosan the Falling Leaf Kodama of the Center Tree Reki, the History of Kamigawa Unyaro Bees
Dramatic Entrance Kodama of the North Tree Rhox Upwelling
Earth Surge Kodama of the South Tree Rhys the Exiled Ursapine
Elder Druid Krosan Cloudscraper Roaring Slagwurm Utopia Tree
Elemental Resonance Krosan Colossus Root Elemental Valleymaker
Elvish Soultiller Leyline of Lifeforce Root Maze Verdant Embrace
Emperor Crocodile Lhurgoyf Rosheen Meanderer Verdant Force
Enshrined Memories Life and Limb Rowen Verduran Enchantress
Epic Proportions Living Hive Sakiko, Mother of Summer Vernal Bloom
Epic Struggle Loaming Shaman Saproling Infestation Vexing Beetle
Erhnam Djinn Magnigoth Treefolk Sasaya, Orochi Ascendant Vigor
Eyes of the Wisent Magus of the Candelabra Scapeshift Voice of the Woods
Feral Throwback Magus of the Library Scion of the Wild Weird Harvest
Force of Nature Mana Reflection Seed the Land Wild Pair
Force of Savagery Maro Seedtime Witherscale Wurm
Fracturing Gust Masked Admirerers Sekki, Seasons' Guide Words of Wilding
Fungal Behemoth Masumaro, First to Live Seshiro the Anointed Wort, the Raidmother
Fungus Sliver Might of Oaks Seton, Krosan Protector Wren's Run Packmaster
Fungusaur Molder Slug Shape of the Wiitigo Wurmcalling
Gaea's Herald Molimo, Maro Sorcerer Shisato, Whispering Hunter Wurmweaver Coil
Gigapede Mossbridge Troll Shizuko, Caller of Autumn Xantid Swarm
Gilt-Leaf Archdruid Myojin of Life's Web Silklash Spider Zoologist
Gleancrawler Mythic Proportions Silvos, Rogue Elemental

Here's what I ended up with!

10: Biomantic Mastery (x2)
15: Budoka Gardener
29: Emperor Crocodile
33: Erhnam Djinn
37: Force of Savagery
47: Glissa Sunseeker
57: Immaculate Magistrate
60: Isao, Enlightened Bushi
68: Kodama of the Center Tree
77: Loaming Shaman
79: Magus of the Candelabra
82: Maro
92: Nantuko Cultivator
97: Nature's Will
98: Nourishing Shoal
101: Patron of the Orochi
104: Plated Slagwurm
128: Sekki, Seasons' Guide
129: Seshiro the Anointed
135: Silvos, Rogue Elemental
137: Spectral Force
139: Spike Tiller
141: Stone-Tongue Basilisk
150: Thorn Elemental
155: Tornado Elemental
156: Tribal Forcemage
159: Upwelling
161: Utopia Tree (x2)
164: Verdant Force
171: Wild Pair (x2)
174: Wort, the Raidmother
176: Wurmcalling

Since I want the maximum exposure for the rares in this deck, I re-rolled the three duplicate rolls.

Three Rerolls:

45: Gleancrawler
114: Rhox
145: Symbiotic Wurm

The Final Three Green 1

Download Arena Decklist

Game 1: tefus (Tunnel Vision / Living End)

I get down Utopia Tree, Wort, the Raidmother, and Stone-Tongue Basilisk against tefus's double Coiling Oracle. He plays Wrath of God, and then plays Tunnel Vision on himself, naming Living End. Unfortunately for him, the Living End in his deck is the 4th from the bottom card, and he mills away both of his Clockspinnings. I drop Rhox and Spike Tiller, make two of my lands 3/3 creatures, and kill him within two turns.

Record: 1-0


Sekki, Seasons' Guide
Keys to the game: After he cast Wrath of God, I left up mana for Spike Tiller, so I could make him kill his own lands if he Wrath of Goded again. Bad Tunnel Vision!

Game 2: Chadskee (Black-Green Elves)

We go back and forth on creatures for a while, with Chadskee dropping some smaller elves (plus a Moonglove Winnower), and me using Immaculate Magistrate to pump my midrange guys. I get down Nature's Will plus Upwelling, allowing me to store up a truly massive amount of mana for Nourishing Shoal, keeping me from ever having a chance of dying. I finally drop Sekki, Seasons' Guide, which gets around his deathtouch creatures (since it prevents damage to itself), and combos great with Immaculate Magistrate (which can make sure it keeps coming back). He eventually dies to a horde of 1/1 Spirits plus Sekki, Seasons' Guide itself.

Record: 2-0

Keys to the game: Deathtouch only triggers when damage is dealt, so Sekki, Seasons' Guide was the way I was finally able to get through his wall of Winnowers!

Game 3: Endless_Cochroaches (Black-Green Elves)

I could tell you about what happened during this epic game, but in this case the screenshot really is worth a thousand words.

Click to enlarge!

I wish we'd been able to play this out, ya know?

Record: 3-0

Keys to the game: After the game, Endless_cochroaches says that he had multiple Viridian Longbows that he never drew. He'd need to get two in one turn to slip it past Glissa, at the cost of eight mana: one to play the first, three to equip it (I destroy it in response), one more to play the second, and three more to equip it.

Out: Kodama of the Center Tree, Wort, the Raidmother, Magus of the Candelabra, Force of Savagery, Utopia Tree
In: 3x Devoted Druid, 2x Kamahl, Fist of Krosa

The Final Three Green 2

Download Arena Decklist

Game 4: yiorgosv (Selesnya)

I get stalled on three mana for a little bit, and have to trade Isao, Enlightened Bushi with Selesnya Guildmage when offered the trade, without enough mana up to regenerate. He drops Safehold Elite and Watchwolf, backed with Mutavault. I put down Immaculate Magistrate and then Emperor Croc, hoping to stave off his attack. He gets down Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers, and then enchants them with Shield of the Oversoul. Even though I get Rhox and Nature's Will in the next couple of turns (ensuring I can double my mana each turn), I can't outrace his 6/7 flyer.

Record: 3-1

Keys to the game: I had no way to deal with an enchantment, which is very much "not green" (green should easily deal with both enchantments and artifacts). The question is: which enchantment destruction spell would I want to add to this deck? Signs point towards something like Indrik Stomphowler, to keep up the theme of midrange to huge fatties that has been doing well so far.

Game 5: sennin_pl (Zombies)


Nourishing Shoal
Sennin_pl starts the game early with Carrion Feeder and Festering Goblin. My first play is on turn five, when I get down a 1/1 Wurmcalling token (with buyback). He sacrifices his Festering Goblin, swings for two, and cycles Gempalm Polluter. I drop a second Wurmcalling token the following turn (2/2), and he answers with Lord of the Undead. I continue dropping creatures, the first two of which are met with Dark Banishing, but I finally get to stick Spectral Force (great against mono-black!) and Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, against Undead Warchief and Soulless One. Finally, sennin_pl goes all in for the attack, as I am tapped out, and he has lethal damage on the board even through my blockers. As I put damage on the stack... I pitch Patron of the Orochi from my hand to gain 8 life from Nourishing Shoal, setting sennin_pl back quite a few turns of development!

I then get down Spike Tiller and Stone-Tongue Basilisk, and sennin_pl starts rebuilding with another Lord of the Undead (bringing back the first), a Gravedigger, and Call to the Grave. I drop Plated Slagwurm, and then use Loaming Shaman to dump all of his zombie cards back into his library. I then start activating Kamahl on each of our turns, targeting his lands on his upkeep (so he has to sacrifice them to Call to the Grave) and targeting mine on my turn (so I can lose my least important resource). After a couple of turns of this, I finally hit seven cards in my graveyard for threshold, allowing me to swing with my entire team. That means Stone-Tongue Basilisk can kill all five opposing creatures in one fell swoop, while the rest of my creatures get +3/+3 thanks to Kamahl, finishing the game in a single turn!

Record: 4-1

Strangely enough, this deck has worked the absolute best (out of the gate) so far out of the three rare-centric decks! The assortment of large fatties (many of which have been good to have in different situations) has worked well, and I have the ability to just turn the game around by dropping huge creature after huge creature mid-to-late game. Do I want to focus on Nature's Will and creatures like Rhox and Thorn Elemental? Would it be better to have utility fat (Patron of the Orochi) or huge beaters (Plated Slagwurm)? Do I need more artifact and enchantment kill? Tune in next week to see the big finish to the evolution of the Final Three: Green deck, and the full evolution of the Final Two: Red deck! See you in 7!


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