Don't Mess With The Shrubbery, Buddy

Building On A Budget - Druids

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I would like to start off this week giving thanks to everyone who so kindly responded to last week's Bird article. It gives me hope that my readers aren't all about the larger tribes, but still care for the little guys. In tribute to last week, I will continue the trend by writing about another one of the lesser-played Magic tribes -- Druids.

Being a Druid is a curious profession. They tend to the land. They talk to plants. They meditate. Animals like them. While all of these things may be nice and cute, they don't much lend themselves to smashing face.

The nice thing about the Druid tribe is that it is less a race and more of a job. The new race/class creature subtype system will be showing this feature off much more in the future, so while some tribal decks might be Human based, while others might be Wizard based but include Humans and other races. Druid is the first subtype to really encompass this feeling from before Mirrodin block. Druid has it all: Centaurs, Insects, and Bears, oh my!

Ok, so you got a bunch of Druids. You can make mana...lots of mana. Now we could take this more of a five-color route, doing flashy things with non-green cards -- but no. This is a Druid deck so every single last mana source in it will be green. So what is there to do with a lot of mana?

Initially I thought of Crush of Wurms. It would be fun to accelerate out a bunch of Wurms to smash opponents. However, that didn't seem very Druid-like to me. Thus I decided to stick with the basics. As I sifted through the available card pool, I noticed that Druids apparently like threshold. Druids like Werebear, Seton's Scout, and Krosan Restorer get mean when the graveyard gets to seven.

These creatures, with the help of Kamahl (who is the only Druid who ever learned how to smash face, apparently), make up the core of the most peaceful deck to turn ugly. Allow me to present Green Thumb.

Building on a Budget - Green Thumb

To experienced players, one card just kind of sticks out like a sore thumb: Animal Magnetism. In draft, this card was often described as "don't bother reading this, you're wasting your time." However, in the Druid deck, it becomes a force to be reckoned with! It essentially gets five cards in your graveyard, and threshold is very important for this deck. You'll probably get a half-decent creature out of the equation to boot.

The deck has a few other ways to gain threshold, as well -- mainly Nantuko Cultivator, Rites of Spring, and Narcissism. With these you can safely get threshold by turn four or five. Of course, you could get threshold much quicker by using blue cards like Mental Note and Careful Study -- but hey, this is a Druid deck, remember?

Most of the time, the win will come from attacking with many creatures that got big at threshold, or via Kamahl. Never underestimate the Fist, for his power is vast and versatile; he is powerful on both defense and offense, plus he can create his own little army if need be.

Tips On Playing The Deck

  • Collective Unconscious is great for refilling your resources. Try to cast it for no less than three unless you are in dire need of cards. Also remember that Kamahl can make more creatures for your card-drawing pleasure.
  • Don't forget that you can sacrifice Narcissism for one last boost, which may be instrumental in gaining threshold when you need it.
  • You can Rites of Spring for lots of land when you have a Nantuko Cultivator in hand making it large while thinning your deck of land. A Cultivator plus Rites of Spring for three Forests gives you a 5/5 and threshold.
  • Save your Hurricanes! They'll aid you in dealing with pesky Angels, Birds, and other flying nuisances. However, the best use of a Hurricane is to "burn" your opponent out.
  • Krosan Restorer is powerful with Kamahl -- make sure you use them together wisely to get maximum damage. You can make your lands into creatures, tap out to activate Kamahl's Overrun ability, and then untap those lands and attack with them as 4/4s!

Adding Money To The Deck

I would suggest adding the Onslaught saclands, such as Windswept Heath and Wooded Foothills, because they help you attain threshold. Including Centaur Garden might also help that purpose, but you could find yourself taking a lot of damage from your lands.

If you want to make the deck more competitive, you can blend it with a traditional Blue/Green Threshold build. If you want to make it more fun, try adding Thriss, Nantuko Primus. Sylvan Might may also be a decent addition, since it's a good card to discard to Rites of Spring and helps your threshold creatures come over for trample damage.

The deck is mostly about having a lot of fun with the Fist of Krosa and winning games off of lucky Magnetisms and Hurricanes. So remember to beware the Druids -- if you aren't careful, they'll plant their flowers in your garden.

Please Feedback The Animals

I decided that I want to incorporate more of the feedback you send me into the articles of weeks to come. Since I can't reply to everyone sending me decklists, I'm starting to take requests on what my Building on a Budget articles should be about. I'll try to incorporate your feedback in my article two weeks from now.

 What would you like to see more Building on a Budget articles about?  
1: The Tribal decks are still pretty cool.
2: Standard decks I can play in tourneys.
3: You haven't done any Highlander or Prismatic decks yet.
4: I'm tired of netdecks. How about some interesting Rogue options.
5: More general information about budget deckbuilding.
6: Heiss is da bomb. Morph away!

Until next time, remember to collect the nuts.

Nate Heiss
Team CMU
NateHeiss on Magic Online

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