Wow, this deck contains a Thragtusk! Beleive it or not, as awesome as that is, it’s not even the best part of this creature-based deck. Not only is it more playable out of the box than its reckless Flashback-dependent Event deck counterpart, but it is wildly more consistent and has a far better base to build future decks upon. Let’s see what we have in store:
1 Acidic Slime
2 Arbor Elf
3 Attended Knight
4 Avacyn’s Pilgrim
1 Blade Splicer
3 Borderland Ranger
1 Brutalizer Exarch
2 Elvish Visionary
1 Fiend Hunter
1 Geist-Honored Monk
1 Glimmerpoint Stag
4 Llanowar Elves
1 Mwonvuli Beast Tracker
4 Roaring Primadox
1 Stingerfling Spider
1 Stonehorn Dignitary
1 Sunblast Angel
1 Green Sun’s Zenith
4 Lead the Stampede
2 Razorverge Thicket
The main card in this deck, believe it or not, is Roaring Primadox…
Okay, you have four copies of a 4/4 beast that costs 3G and forces you to return a creature you control to its owner’s hand. Well, considering how many of your creatures have very good enter the battlefield abilities, this is actually welcomed. You have plenty of mana ramp in the deck between Avacyn’s Pilgrim for white mana and Llanowar Elves for green mana, so you’ll have no trouble re-playing your creatures.
First of all, you have Acidic Slime, which can deal with many sorts of threats, and if nothing else, can hit an opponent’s land. Attended Knight gives you two creatures for the price of one, and is even better if you can reuse it. Blade Splicer is basically a better version of Attended Knight that gives you a 3/3 golem and gives that and any other Golems you control first strike.
Borderland Ranger helps you grab lands from your deck every time he hits the board, giving you even more mana ramp. Elvish Visionary gives you plain and simple card draw. Fiend Hunter is a nice little removal card, and one copy may be too few. Geist Honored Monk can get really, really big, has vigilance, and gives you two flying tokens. Stonehorn Dignitary can lock your opponent’s battle phase down.
Glimmerpoint Stag is an interesting card in that it blinks a permanent when it enters. This obviously comes in handy with something like Acidic Slime, Geist Honored Monk, Blade Splicer, Thragtusk, and any other of your creatures that give you instant card advantage boosts just by exiling them until the next end step. You have to play this card at the right time, but it’s useful (unfortunately it’s in Scars of Mirrodin and not staying in Standard much longer). It’s also a 3/3 with Vigilance, making it a decent little creature.
I don’t have to say much about Thragtusk that I haven’t already said in my review, “Is Thragtusk Really a $15 Card?” I pretty much answered my own question right away. He fits beautifully into a deck that forces you to return creatures to your hand. Not only do you gain 5 life when he enters, but you get a 3/3 beast when he leaves, no matter however or whenever he does. For 5 mana, he does a lot. He’s even better with cards like Glimmerpoint Stag, Restoration Angel (which would be incredible with this deck!) and even little commons like Cloudshift! The fact that he only requires a single green mana out of his converted mana cost of 5 is just ridiculous in that you can splash him in so many decks! Sunblast Angel is another good card in this deck because if your opponent overextends, you can instantly punish them! It’s also a good flyer.
There are only a couple of cards that I don’t really care for in this deck. Brutalizer Exarch I’m not a huge fan of in this deck; I’d rather play a Solemn Simulacrum (helps you mana ramp even further and gives you a possible card draw). The Exarch can help you search out a creature you need or put a non-creature on the bottom of its owner’s library, good effects, but not necessarily needed in this particular deck. You could just run another Acidic Slime! Same thing goes for Stingerfling Spider, except that it’s only upside is that it’s a creature with Reach that can destroy a creature with flying. There are better removal cards for less mana than that. Again, you’re better off with another copy of one of the other creatures that acts as removal (Fiend Hunter would work here most of the time). You could also run Restoration Angel here, or any other decent 4/4 or 5/5 flyer (imagine Sublime Archangel here!).
Another card I’m not a fan of is Mwonvuli Beast Tracker. It does search out creatures, but only with deathtouch, reach, hexproof, or reach, making it sort of odd in this deck. It really can only search Stingerfling Spider (reach) and Acidic Slime (deathtouch). It would be good with Dungrove Elder (hexproof), but not in this deck. It’s an odd choice, better replaced by a Fiend Hunter or Blade Splicer or even an Attended Knight! If you run two or three Acidic Slime, I could see it being worth playing.
The non-creature spells are as basic as you get, Green Sun’s Zenith and Lead the Stampede. Stampede is great because so much of your deck is creatures, so you can maintain card advantage early and often. Green Sun’s Zenith is OK even at just one copy because it’s a re-usable tutor that immediately calls the target to the battlefield. The mana base is fairly simple, with two Razorverge Thickets to help you mana-fix on the first couple of turns. Two more of these would be preferable, as well as a full set of Sunpetal Grove (which is in M13) but for an event deck this is already a nice bonus.
If you find you’re still lacking against certain opponents, look no further than your side deck!
3 Kemba’s Skyguard
4 Oblivion Ring
3 War Priest of Thune
Cloudshift lets you abuse your enter-the-battlefield abilities even more so than before! Two copies of Dismember guarantee that bigger creatures won’t stomp on your parade, so to speak. Kemba’s Skyguard offers you fliers that also give you 2 life when they come into play. Oblivion Ring helps remove anything you don’t want to deal with. War Priest of Thune destroys enchantments (here’s looking at you, Burning Vengeance!) Your toolbox is pretty much now complete with these additional options at your disposal.
Thragtusk is easily a $12-15 USD card as of this writing, and this deck’s existence may now make it a bit easier to get that particular card. But there’s a lot of good stuff here and this deck is built around a very consistent strategy. Your opponent likely will not be able to stop everything that you can throw at them. You have a large enough mana base that you should never find yourself behind on the curve and being able to consistently replay cards like Acidic Slime may end up becoming fairly easy to do. It’s the classic green/white deck that just puts more attackers out there consistently more often than the opponent has blockers. Simple combat math says this deck will win target game more often than not, so if you’re feeling like running an aggressive white deck that will have an answer for pretty much any threat, this one’s for you!