Once upon a time, WotC printed a set of three lands which went on to be dubbed Tron by the community. They come together to produce a torrential wave of colourless mana, but take a while to get online and are pretty unimpressive until they assemble. But when they finally get together, something clicks and the player is able to make crazy mana-fuelled plays that elude most other decks. Modern Tron lists can make use of cards like Karn Liberated and Wurmcoil Engine that would be far too steeply costed for most other designs to rely on. To add insult to injury, those are often but mid-game plays to help stabilise, and the finishing blow comes in the form of an Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger or something else in the double digits of mana cost. There's also a Pauper variant, which has its own annihilating terror in Ulamog's Crusher.
This whole "be inactive in the early turns while you ramp, then take over the game" is not a concept alien to EDH. A compilation of various gameplay statistics courtesy of the Command Zone showed that if you are sitting on the highest land total, you tend to win the game. This makes sense - having a ridiculous resource pool at your disposal tends to be pretty good in a sloggy multiplayer format, and lands are the most resilient form of ramp. As such, Gx decks devote nontrivial numbers of slots to Cultivates and stuff like that, and those less fortunate still often run Burnished Harts and whatnot. However, most lists have the common sense to not go full ham on the ramp, employing it to help power out game-warping plays. Ever wondered what would happen if you just tossed together a list that goes about as ham on mana as humanly possible, largely disregarding the cost of what it subsequently accomplishes? Well, I'm here to answer this question with a turbo jank heap that unironically runs Book of Rass.
Patron of the Orochi is far from a glamorous hotshot commander vying for the limelight. Mono colour, obnoxiously expensive to cast, occasionally seen as a support piece but very rarely at the helm. If I'm to be honest, I'm not really sure why this is - read the guy's ability. That's essentially a Seedborn Muse out of the command zone. That's a pretty good effect. Once upon a time they made a spin on this which gave creatures flash too, and that ended up banned.
While our commander only nets us the untap part, knowing that it'll be coming allows us to sculpt the 99 to milk value from it, emulating the Prophet to some degree. Activated abilities are the name of the game here. With all of our mana available in each opponent's turn, we can freely pour it into whatever sink we have on board. Card draw? Body making? A ridiculously pricey artifact tutor? Sure, go right ahead. A lot of those options will be quite expensive to activate, but we honestly don't care. We're running an eight drop commander, so we'll be packing ramp in unreasonable quantities. By the time Patron comes online, we'll be swimming in mana.
It should also be noted that if we get a fresh Patron out onto the field by replaying him (e.g. after a bounce), we can use the ability again provided we overcome the summoning sickness. This forms the basis of the deck's most common infinite mana setup. A number of other combos have weaselled their way into the list over the years, and have become common enough that the deck wins off some form of infinite more often than not. As mentioned, Patron often actively partakes in the festivities, and if no combos appear his aforementioned Seedborn Muse mode becomes a super solid backup plan.
There's a certain charm to early EDH builds, the attempt to understand the format and put your own spin on it. One of my first "designs" was a weird, huggy Omnath, Locus of Mana deck. It would feed everybody cards, land, and in return it just asked to be left alone to grow its Omnath in peace. I think I did four digits of P/T on him once. Occasionally it would give the Omnath trample and kill somebody, or win off something absolutely bogus like Goblin Charbelcher after filtering out all the land in the deck, or Helix Pinnacle. I ran literally all of the mana doubling effects in there, along with Seedborn Muse and the hero of this story. I noticed that whilst doublers were cool and everything, Omnath farming exploded when I had one (or both!) of those two online.
At some point I decided to revisit mono-green for fun, and I recalled this fellow. He didn't seem to be played much, which would give me some hipster street credit, and potentially allow an interesting deck design. Activated abilities were the name of the game from day one - I knew that was the only way that would let me reliably pour all of my mana into doing something productive. Working from the bottom up, I picked the best engines and fuelled the list with a plethora of tutors to fish them out. Drawing was a natural complement to the functionality already in place, and ramp is an absolute no-brainer in a green deck based around huge mana plays.
The list soon wormed its way into my heart and has been the longest lasting active build in my roster, with no perspective of disassembling it in sight. The biggest boon to the deck was the printing of Temur Sabertooth, as this unassuming uncommon led to the creation of a combo component in the deck's game plan, which later became actively embraced and pursued.
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard - Probably the strongest mono-green commander. As expected, having a repeatable tutor in the command zone is a beastly option. Yisan's typical build involves a toolbox with some sort of combo finish, and it proved so fiercely consistent it got banned in French.
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds - The most explosive general for stereotypical mono green fat, as progressively fatter dudes fuel insane mana generation and subtle refuel. Retains a delightful, janky edge, as things like Phyrexian Dreadnought turn into gigantic cantripping rituals.
Omnath, Locus of Mana - All the green you generate can be used to directly beat face, and later spent on other things if you so desire. Very aggressive and powerful commander. Combine with the likes of Vedalken Orrery to preserve all your built up mana if someone blows him up.
Ezuri, Renegade Leader - Lends himself to Elfball like no other, giving regeneration to increase the Elves' resilience a little. Handily comes with an Overrun built in, which can be used to help close out games in no time.
Yeva, Nature's Herald - The creature flash enables you to play a draw-go style unheard of in green, and nobody can be entirely sure what lies in store if they swing at you. Combine with Arboria to make things silly.
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa - Similar to Ezuri - loses the regeneration shield, but has his own wrath deterrent in land animation. The ultimate consumer commander - comes down to a built up board, abusing the things green does best to deliver the win.
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger - Comes down late, but massively shifts the resource situation at the table in your favour - you get a mana doubler, everybody else gets staxed. Can be used to help fuel ludicrous plays as your opponents have to do some serious calculations to assess if/how they can respond without opening themselves up too much.
MTG finance is a funny thing. I bought a lot of this deck for a total of 100 euro in 2014, picking up new pieces for relatively low monetary investments as they got released/reprinted. The most I spent was 50 euro on a Mana Crypt and 20 euro on Three Visits. Meanwhile, the list is about to cross four digits on the DeckStats pricegunner. Well crap. The easiest place to shave investment, as usual with Rumpy creations, is the vanity mana base. In this case there are no nonbasics, as the list is mono-colour and built around a commander that cares about having forests in play. However, both the money cards I just listed can be immediately taken out to trim the cost by a third.
If the slimmed version were to try to get some combo going, it'd probably have to look into some elf-based or Yisan, the Wanderer Bard style infinite mana which is inherently more fragile. Filling out the other slots would likely work fine with more budget options for their designated purpose (e.g. Soul's Majesty for draw, some of the inferior doublers the list is currently abstaining from, Beastmaster Ascension for finishing, Ranger's Path for ramp...).
1. Swarm Mode
The initial version of the deck won through a swarm of tokens built up in every opponent's turn, scaling seamlessly into pods of any sizes. These days it's mainly a backup line of play in case no combo appears, but still works fine as ever.
Absolute chump-churning perfection
Ant Queen - The greatest token engine available. Produces the highest number of bodies, and lots of bodies are preferable for pump. Tutor for this if you have multiple tutors available or a finisher on hand.
Avenger of Zendikar - The archetypical goodstuff token burst is surprisingly weak here. The main argument in its favour is its relative commander independence, but that feels insufficient given the fact most of the deck can still operate to some degree without Patron around anyway.
Beastmaster Ascension - A favourite among weenie decks everywhere. If you're not swinging with seven or more creatures in here, you probably shouldn't be swinging. Once it activates, it stays live forever, letting you get that +5/+5 on additional attacks (in case they turn out to be needed) and defence duty. Doesn't respond to tutors as flexibly as the current finisher options.
Coat of Arms - Hey here's an idea, why not turn my 20 1/1 insects into 20 20/20 insects? Be sure to only drop this one down on the turn you go for the kill, as otherwise you may feed other decks at the table to some extent. Has the same tutor response issues as the Ascension.
Craterhoof Behemoth - The most powerful member of the Overrun family for this deck, by far, and he comes with legs too so you can access him easily. The issue with him is the fact he's a one-shot - if somebody fogs or the damage is prevented in another way, you're in a bit of a pickle. Thankfully, the arrival of Temur Sabertooth makes good ole Craterhoof recyclable, so fogs are no longer the bane of his existence.
Jade Mage - Comes down early, makes reasonably costed tokens, but that's about it. Ran it for ages as a third backup engine when the deck was actively swarm-centric, but didn't tend to use it even back in those days.
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa - The gold standard in finishing all those years later. If you can feel a wrath in the air, don't be afraid to set him down the same turn as your token engine. If someone pulls the wrath trigger, people stop having lands. If someone does something silly like Massacre Wurm or Blasphemous Act, people stop having lands and you retain your army. What's not to love? It should also be noted that if you have extra Patron untaps and/or a ludicrous amount of mana on tap, you can just pull an alpha strike out of thin air and kill everybody with animated lands with no warning.
Nemata, Grove Guardian - Responds to every single tutor, produces reasonably costed tokens and can boost the bejeezus out of the tokens in combat. Just use all of the mana on your turn to make more saprolings and sac them off, as well as any that your opponents happen to block. A true one-man army. Tutor for this first if you have one tutor and no finishers, otherwise grab this after Ant Queen falls.
Wren's Run Packmaster - Probably the best value token maker available, but you need elves to have it work reliably. The current list only runs a handful, so putting this in would be a bad idea. If you go for an Elfball mana shell (not recommended, too vulnerable), this becomes a sensible consideration.
2. Combo Enablers
If you happen to open or draw some of these, start paying attention to the possibility of an infinite mana setup coming together. Complementary pieces are often easier to tutor.
They're the best around
Nothing's ever going to keep them down
Cloudstone Curio - A Temur Sabertooth-like enabler for hasted Patron bounce infinites, and still pretty good value town off ETBs otherwise. It's an artifact, making it harder to tutor, and it doesn't double as a defensive shield when in swarm mode.
Concordant Crossroads - Mass haste is pretty problematic for the deck to handle if things don't work out immediately, making this a risky include in spite of the non-existent mana investment.
Earthcraft - Combine with mana doublers and targeted land boosts (Wild Growth/Utopia Sprawl) for a potential infinite off a token maker. If your land taps for more than it takes to make a body - great. If it breaks even, you can rip a Patron untap after making an arbitrary number of bodies and go to town. When not in infinite mode, still makes everything into a hasted Arbor Elf, which can scale quite well in backup swarm mode.
Lightning Greaves - Not having to wait a full go of turns around the table to get to use Patron is actually pretty good. Combine with some bouncing courtesy of Temur Sabertooth and the game should be over on the spot. The fact it grants shroud is also a little handy when in non-combo territory.
Staff of Domination - A bit costly at 6 mana to draw, but still enables dig. Plus, it comes with other cool functionality. Nothing like tapping down that gigantic beefslab so it doesn't destroy you, or serving as a two-in-one piece of an instagib combo if a fat mana dork comes around.
Swiftfoot Boots - Similar story to Lightning Greaves, but a bit more balanced by having it come with a non-zero equip cost. In terms of Patron combo land, this just means it takes one more untappable mana for this to work in the same way as the Greaves. Think we can accomplish that.
Thousand-Year Elixir - Cheap, hastes up Patron without any extra cost on the turn he comes down, doesn't transfer to your opponents. The untap isn't too shoddy either, and can ramp further with mana chickens or let Patron wade his ginormous vanilla buttocks into combat.
Reliable access to whatever you may need... as long as it's a creature, or you've got enough mana to get the crazy artifact options online.
All the list's creatures are green. How handy!
Chord of Calling - The instant speed makes a wonderfully tricksy tutor to have access to. Flash in Kamahl, Fist of Krosa in response to somebody trying to blow up the board and take down everybody's lands. Blow up a vital piece of a combo with appropriate ETB removal at exactly the wrong time. Flash in a finisher after a derpy-looking swing with some ants and win the game. Or, y'know, just perform normal tutoring in your turn if needed. The convoke is pretty handy for cheating cost every now and then. Even a deck as mana-centric as this one appreciates a good alternate casting cost.
Citanul Flute - Both Planar Portal and Ring of Three Wishes are more versatile, but this isn't all that shabby either as it repeatedly digs out all sorts of creatures. It's surprisingly useful if your ramp stream stalls out before you can hit Patron - creature-based acceleration is relatively cheap, so you can usually afford to tutor for something like Sakura-Tribe Elder and play it on the same turn, helping you make your way into the mana zone where you become effective.
Defense of the Heart - The fact you can just set it down and go about your day, letting it pop on its own and get you stuff is pretty good. However, this is a pretty horrible topdeck later on when you're looking for immediate action.
Fierce Empath - A good tutor needs to be able to get as many as possible from the set of Selvala, Temur Sabertooth, a token maker and a finisher to be all-around useful. Nabbing utility creatures is a nice perk on top of that. This only reliably accesses the swarm options. It was fine in the early builds.
Finale of Devastation - A latter-day member of the Chord/GSZ family, making up for the mildly increased cost by having the option to recur the creature. Plus, shall you dump enough spare mana into X, this doubles as a finisher. I still somehow can't get over the fact that it grants haste rather than trample, for whatever reason, but that might just be me.
Green Sun's Zenith - The ultimate green creature tutor, needs no explanation. The only thing that needs an explanation is my paranoia about Extraplanar Lens and wraths resulting in me not running Dryad Arbor to work with this, and I have no explanation for that.
Natural Order - The list doesn't run enough creatures to reliably produce sacrifice fodder. Variations of this problem plague some other established tutor options.
Planar Bridge - A side-grade of the more represented Planar Portal effect, sacrificing access to instants/sorceries for mana efficiency, no counter window and effectively granting flash to whatever you pull out. Shenanigans!
Planar Portal - I got the mana, this got the tutoring. All the tutoring. In the end, it's probably the best tutor in the deck as you can use it to repeatedly grab literally anything you may ever need, including removal, protection options or other tech needed at the time.
Primal Command - A bit like Brutalizer Exarch, as it's a tech card (including having been the only piece of active grave hate with an extended stay in the 99) that can pull double duty as a tutor. Unlike the Exarch, this will probably do the tutoring more often than not. The relatively steep cost for its lack of flexibility got it muscled out of the list with time.
Ring of Three Wishes - If for whatever reason you're running low on wishes, grab a Planar Portal. I'm actually being serious here. But yeah, same conclusions apply here as the other big mana artifact tutors.
Summoner's Pact - You won't have to pay it if you use it to snatch something to kill everybody, and who doesn't love unpaid pacts? Whee! Can lead to a pretty good Eternal Witness into Temur Sabertooth into whatever chain if you've got enough mana. Even if you do end up having to pay the mana later, it's stilly typically worth it.
Survival of the Fittest - I did mention that other established tutor options suffered from the lack of creature density, and this is the main casualty. Just like you don't get to sac stuff to Natural Order, you don't get to pitch stuff to this. How atypical for green!
Sylvan Tutor - A sorcery-speed top-of-deck tutor is okay on principle, but we're typically comfortable covering the mana overhead to just sneak the thing directly into our hand. Worldly Tutor is strictly better.
Time of Need - Legendary restriction? Pfft! Hits a surprisingly serviceable bunch of targets at any stage of the game, reaching Nemata and Kamahl. Turns into Selvala, Heart of the Wilds more often than all of the other targets combined though, especially early game.
Tooth and Nail - Not quite as lethal as it would be in any 2+ colour deck, as mono green lacks a way to have it be immediate geegmas, but still does very good work. If in possession of a non-creature combo piece, tutor up the creature necessary to go off and Eternal Witness to bounce the card back to your hand immediately. If on the token backup plan, typically just churn out Ant Queen + Kamahl, Fist of Krosa to have a safe field to make insects on. If you have a bunch of lands, sometimes you can get all cheeky with Kamahl + Craterhoof Behemoth for a gib out of nowhere. If swimming with mana but not quite infinite, Temur Sabertooth + Eternal Witness means more copies of this. Think you get the picture by now.
Weird Harvest - Whilst the appeal of spending a small chunk of mana to sort out most, if not all, of your tutoring needs is quite real, people won't be tricked by the faux-group-hug facade in anything outside the shortest of terms and will find ways to win faster or answer your shenanigans.
Worldly Tutor - Hey, it's mana cheap. You can sneak it in during your ramping phase if your hand can support the next turn without a ramp-relevant topdeck. Or you can stack the next card you draw when you enter dig mode. Options!
Yisan, the Wanderer Bard - Indubitably amazing in a more creature-heavy build, as Patron untaps him as well, but unreliable dead weight here due to the creature scarcity and lack of combos he could assemble.
4. Card Draw
Drawing cards is good. Comes in the form of a few one-shot effects that end to nab at least seven fresh cards for the mana, due to how gargantuan Patron is, and various mana sinks that can be used to top up as turns go around the table.
Go for the voltron kill, you know you want to
Book of Rass - Greed and Erebos, God of the Dead are good options for black, we could make use of a similar effect. Cheaply costed mana-wise too. Just don't go overboard so you actually live to make use of what you draw.
Diviner's Wand - The cheapest no strings attached "X: draw a card" at 4 mana, allowing you to convert all the excess Patron mana in everybody else's turn into bonus cardboard without any advances on your life total. The +1/+1 and flying on the equipped creature is not to be ignored - you can pull a surprise chump on a flyer "safely" sent your way, or even fuel all of your mana during your turn to produce a 21/21 flying Patron and knock someone out of the game. It's the most hilarious thing you can do with this deck. Variations on Patron's pump are also acceptable, this turns him into a formidable two-shotting flying voltron if there's nothing else to do.
Garruk, Primal Hunter - If out of plays early, set this guy down and gum up the board to stem the bleeding a bit, maybe draw a few cards if the situation is really dire. Later on, it's like a Rishkar's Expertise minus the free spell part, which makes it a bit worse. However, you can copy it with Rings of Brighthearth, so there's that.
Genesis Wave - A gigantic value barf that rockets you forward in development like mad. Whilst a quarter of the deck may be non-permanents, there are a plethora of reasonably redundant combos and a number of permanent-based tutor/recursion options. As such, after you resolve this for a very healthy X, you will almost certainly have some manner of winning the game instantly on the board. I did some goldfishing with X=20 at some point (which is pretty affordable for the deck), 80% of the flipped piles won on the spot in one way or another, don't forget the odds go up with X increasing. Don't forget to leave a few cards in your deck just in case.
Greater Good - Extremely viable Patron protection that also ends up drawing you cards if used. Not a proper draw engine though, as the things that you usually can spare sacrificing are 1/1 derps that would actually empty your hand.
Harmonize - A simple utility spell that you're happy to have at any stage of the game. Helps power through pre-Patron mana stalls as well as provide some options when you topdeck it with 30+ mana and an otherwise empty hand. Great game smoother.
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth - Pay six more for your Harmonize, get a horribly scary body that will likely trigger a wrath and take your graveyard with you. Another one of those cards that seem like they'd work but actually don't.
Momentous Fall - A one-shot Greater Good sans discard, and with some life gain. I think I'd run the original over this for repeated use, which fits the theme really nicely.
Rishkar's Expertise - A potential refuel of seven, along with a free spell cast, for six mana? Don't mind if I do! On the surface it seems troublesome, as people can shoot the Patron out from under you in response, but this won't be too much of a hassle if the Patron is able to tap at the time of the cast anyway. Just be mindful of your timing and you're going to get ample value from this AER piece of dumb.
Soul's Majesty - The next best version of this effect after Garruk/Expertise, but it targets. As such, it's marginally softer to disruption.
Sylvan Library - The deck shuffles all the time, so having the power to peek at the top three cards during your draw step (and even eat some more than you're formally entitled to if desired) is very solid. Helps smooth out the early game, goes a few cards in late, you know the drill.
Tower of Fortunes - Run for the hills! It's an activated ability that taps! It does offer you pretty good bang for your buck, at two mana per card.
Well of Knowledge - Why would I give the opponents the ability to draw as well? I'm going to draw far, far more than they will. Simple. The fact it potentially gives us something to do is offset by the fact it's a really bad draw engine to topdeck later due to the turn delay, and by then the foes are quite likely to sink some mana into this to refuel as well.
5. Mana Ramp
The commander is an eight drop. We need to get there. Plus, once we get there, we can keep going as the various activated abilities are happy to guzzle mana you throw at them.
Crap, I ran out of lands in the deck again
Arbor Elf - Probably the best mana dork proper for the purposes of the deck, as he combos quite nicely with the mana doublers and occasional enchantment ramp.
Boundless Realms - Effectively a nigh untouchable mana doubler. Gets absolutely outrageous if replayed from the 'yard.
Burnished Hart - This is the sort of stuff you're stuck running if you're not in green. We are in green. In fact, just green. Nevertheless, we don't need this.
Cultivate - Kodama's Reach without the freaky tree hand. Gets two lands. Is good card. This sort of stuff became a staple for a reason.
Dawn's Reflection - The any-colour clause does just about nothing for us, plus the ramp's a bit worse than the twin Rampant Growths (doesn't respond to doublers). Potentially useful in the combos which rely on a single land tapping for a lot of mana, but those are reasonably situational and the presence of lots of enchantment ramp stacked on a single land is quite inviting to enemy Strip Mines and their ilk.
Exploration - Low land count, and not much way to fish for land to put in hand. Not that good an idea here.
Explosive Vegetation - It may lack the "flexibility" of one of the other twin Rampant Growths, but it's not like you need any extra fireworks on your ramp spells. This does the job just fine.
Farhaven Elf - 3 mana for 1 land, but leaves behind a chump blocker. A time-honoured ETB ramp chicken, but we don't flicker things reliably enough to care. Our ramp choices are more efficient.
Harrow - Whilst it only effectively ramps 1, it nets you 2 untapped lands to work with, allowing you to continue ramping. This actually produces mana if you have any doublers online. It opens you up to an easy 2-for-1 though, and still ultimately costs three mana to net you one bonus land.
Harvest Season - Same old issue of creature density disables yet another card potent in more standard green lists. Does work in my merfolk deck.
Hunting Wilds - Another twin Rampant Growth, this time with some fancy kicker that won me the game once (hasted bodies to sponge up infinite Craterhoof bounces) but will remain dormant 99.9% of the time.
Joraga Treespeaker - On the whole, Elfball is a bad idea as you're committing your ramp to the most easily removable permanent in the game. This particular elf is just too good to pass up though. If given the opportunity to work together with Rampant Growth or any other piece of 2-mana ramp, you can power out a turn three Mana Reflection. Responds to Patron untaps too. Useful just about always.
Khalni Heart Expedition - Takes a turn or two to "charge up", but is well worth it with the two land return. The only two-drop that ramps more than one land!
Mana Crypt - Probably the best mana rock ever printed. Like Sol Ring, fails to be untapped by Patron. However, it does accelerate early plays to a ridiculous degree. Turn one Kodama's Reach? Sure. And so on in this fashion, just whip it out whenever needed and watch the groans unfold. Skip it if you don't already own it, the price on it is back way past anything even close to justifiable.
Mind Stone - Probably the best two-drop mana rock in here due to how coloured-heavy the land base is. Avoid using mana rocks outside of the strictly most optimal ones, though - they don't respond to Patron untaps, and are more fragile than land ramp.
Nature's Lore - Two mana, an untapped forest arrives in play. Good times. Pity about it lacking functional reprints that aren't from obscure sets designed for the Asian market.
Nissa's Pilgrimage - Cultivate++, the spell mastery clause is quite probable mid game due to the ramp spell/tutor density. And even if the spell mastery doesn't trigger, it's still a Cultivate, which is nothing to sneeze at either.
Oracle of Mul Daya - Ultimately suffers from the same drawbacks as Exploration. The lands get yanked out of the 99 and thrust onto the table with a salvo of ramp spells, decreasing the odds of cheating in that land off the top.
Overgrowth - A very respectable non-land ramp jolt - +2 mana for 3. Shaving one CMC off the land auras makes them worth it, talk about efficiency! Works well with land-untap-centric combos as well, even if they are a little situational.
Rampant Growth - Two mana, land arrives tapped this time. Nevertheless, a classic. Getting to four mana turn three is pretty solid for the various twin copies of this...
Ranger's Path - ...such as this one. Was in the list for a long time, got shaved due to similar ramp slot saturation that took out Into the North.
Search for Tomorrow - If not suspended, Wood Elves without the chump blocker. If suspended, one of the only turn 1 plays the deck has. Helps accelerate the 4cmc plays, which as mentioned before tends to be quite handy.
Selvala, Heart of the Wilds - When you control Patron, this bugger taps for six. That's just ridiculous. Play this before Patron and most likely get a card when you play Patron too. Where does it end? Probably with some ludicrous combo. It shouldn't be too surprising Selvala facilitates those pretty well.
Shefet Monitor - An instant-speed Nature's Lore with a cantrip stuck on. Pretty decent, but a little clunky in both the ramp and draw department.
Skyshroud Claim - Ohh, a twin Nature's Lore! What a pleasant surprise. Mana neutral with a doubler out, mana positive with multiple doublers.
Sol Ring - What? I did say that the strictly most optimal mana rocks are worth running, and this is very tractable financially. This thing makes a turn two Skyshroud Claim possible, that's reason enough.
Three Visits - A functional Nature's Lore reprint from a niche set for an Asian market. Expensive beyond reason, due to scarcity alone. I'm surprised this hasn't been reprinted yet, what's so troublesome about sneaking this in somewhere?
Traverse the Outlands - The card looks bomb on paper, but it plays like a brick. This thing is never played on curve, and only ever reliably comes online with Patron himself. Five mana for seven basics is pretty damn good, but the deck likes its ramp to curve out nicely and be independent of other factors.
Utopia Sprawl - The Llanowar Elves that's actually an enchantment so it doesn't die as easily. If played turn 2 and onward, is mana neutral on the turn you cast it. Run these in all your green decks, yo!
6. Mana Doublers
Having a massive stack of lands is not enough, let's make them tap for a silly amount each to get even more resources to sink into stuff. Features some extra untappers for lack of a better place to put them.
Extraplanar Lens - Talk about a high risk, high reward card. You open yourself up to a tempting 2-for-1, but you only need to commit three mana and a forest to double all your other lands. Run a snow mana base to make this asymmetric!
Gauntlet of Power - A 5 mana doubler that also helps out other green guys. No thanks.
Heartbeat of Spring - True, it's very cheap. It also happens to help out everybody. Leave it for all the Phelddagrifs of the world and stick to the other options.
Illusionist's Bracers - Extra Patron untap! If it's your turn, make all the mana possible and then transfer this over to your token engine/Kamahl for twice the value from those as well. The joy of copying activated abilities in a deck made out of activated abilities. However, the nature of the activated abilities of the deck make this a multiplicative, situational mana doubler.
Keeper of Progenitus - This is almost as bad as Heartbeat of Spring, why run it? Simple, really - it answers to tutors, which we have a lot of and often end up with a surplus of. It only helps out our allied colours, at least, so we won't be sending Mr. Dimir into the stratosphere. Still, it's a double-edged sword that can spectacularly blow up in your face, so proceed with extreme caution.
Magus of the Candelabra - A lot of potential for a one-mana body, as he stacks like a beast with all sorts of other doublers and the usual activated ability abuse culprits. Partakes pretty well in combos. However, if none of his synergy pieces are available, he does literally nothing. The manner in which he comes online makes him a wonderful definition of win-more for the deck.
Mana Reflection - More selfish doubling, this time on an enchantment, making it a tiny bit more resilient. The double-everything nature makes it work quite well with the beefier mana chickens in some combos.
Nissa, Who Shakes the World - Five mana doublers that can be attacked don't seem too good. If you're in a position to defend her to have her ultimate, the game won't last long enough for her to ultimate.
Regal Behemoth - The fact this gets turned off when you get punched (with you being able to punch the monarchy back not looking super likely), and incentivises punching you, makes it far too unreliable an option to run.
Rings of Brighthearth - The plain use case of this is an extra Patron untap for two mana. However, this can be used to copy other activated abilities and isn't restricted to creatures, unlike Illusionist's Bracers. That grants it a surprising degree of flexibility, including extra draws/tutors from the artifact options, overruns from Kamahl, ramp from Steve/Blighted Woodland, plus the occasional kooky combo speed-up.
Seedborn Muse - Another extra untap... but this time, instead of tinkering around with activated abilities, you get to re-use the handful of things that tap to work, like Citanul Flute or Planar Portal. Also puts on a pretty decent Patron impression if the real Patron is unavailable for whatever reason.
Vernal Bloom - Cheap, and only helps out other green guys. That's not so bad.
Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger - In today's obvious statements, the sun rises in the east, capers are inedible and praetors are stupid. This is an on-colour praetor that synergises with the game plan of the deck by doubling your mana and stunting everyone else's. Fair and balanced. However, his 8 cost makes him surprisingly hard to sequence, especially in a deck that's as keen to get its eight-drop commander as this one is. Plus, just like all the other praetors, he's likely to bait out removal, possibly of the wrath persuasion. Seems like he should work, but just doesn't.
Zendikar Resurgent - Whilst the seven mana price tag is still a bit ludicrous, it sequences perfectly into Patron and we can put up with it. In return, we get another engine piece that we can use to draw our deck when going Temur Sabertooth full potato stupid mode, and even when not doing that it grabs a few cards from natural gameplay events to help deal with whatever may arise.
Having a few cards in the deck capable of picking up something from the graveyard is usually a good idea for resilience and general flexibility. Green gets to have the best to-hand recursion for whatever reason, let's use some of it.
Thank you for letting us lick this part of the color pie
Praetor's Counsel - The ultimate graveyard recursion tool, for the ultimate price. I tend to keep my recursion low to the ground in this list though. Cracking this bad boy in a typical game will bring back a thing or two that you actually want and a high number of ramp spells while the board's mana is destined to already be well sculpted, given the fact you just spent eight on this. The extra ramp spell overhead isn't bad, mind you, but the advantage of something like Wildest Dreams in this shell is that it can also come in early game and help power through a ramp stall.
Recollect - Three mana, grab a card. That's pretty good, I'm cool with that.
Regrowth - Two mana, grab a card. That's even better, I'm cooler with that.
Reito Lantern - A gut-wrenching resilience upgrade with Planar Portal (or any tutors really), doubles as graveyard hate otherwise. Ultimately, its super narrow "tech" scenario doesn't tend to come online and this thing just rots in hand or on the field.
Restock - 2 cards, 5 mana. Not a bad price of mana per card, but Seasons Past is one mana more...
Revive - The drawback only prevents us snagging artifacts (or lands, if for some crazy reason you want to spend two mana to get a land out of your bin). There was a game where I fetched a busted Planar Portal, but on the whole this should run okay.
Seasons Past - Six mana, recur a whole bunch of stuff from the graveyard. Potentially clunky if you actually care about multiple things with the same CMC. Also, for two mana more you could just have Praetor's Counsel...
Skullwinder - Whilst you'd probably usually find a way to have the drawback be relatively neutral to you, it's probably better to not risk it and leave effects like this to dedicated bizarro political/huggy builds. The fact it leaves behind a rattlesnake (harr harr) is handy though.
Wildest Dreams - Its base form is a self-exiling Recollect, but it has the potential to stretch out for more targets, mana permitting. Having a base functionality that's reasonably cost efficient with some potential gravy on top seems like a good deal.
Having the potential to interact with what other people at the table are doing is a vital component of any EDH build. Some of these options come in ETB flavour, allowing us to potentially get extra uses off with Temur Sabertooth.
The best of Tron-style removal
Acidic Slime - 5 mana to pop an artifact/enchantment/land, and leaves behind a nice deathtouch body. Pretty okay, but Brutalizer Exarch costs just one more.
Brutalizer Exarch - Seems a bit costly at 6 mana, but a good piece of tech. It can tuck some non-creature unpleasantness, or grab you a creature Worldly Tutor-style in a pinch. This deck can easily pay for it, so it's a welcome versatile piece of tech. Does stupid things with Temur Sabertooth and a huge, potentially infinite, mana pool.
Force of Vigor - Hey cool, green got a Return to Dust-like with an exile clause for emergencies. Very solid option, but I prefer to keep my removal more hit-all when a list runs as little interaction as this one.
Meteor Golem - You front the standard seven mana for colourless removal, and this time around it comes on a body to obliterate just about anything you may need gone. The creature part is weirdly nice in a green deck, given the colour's notorious clunky solutions to enemy troops.
Reclamation Sage - Tutorable, hence useful. Cheap, too - cheaper than ooze and the loss of functionality is negligible in the face of trying to optimise resource expenditure when in a pickle. Also, as always, any friend of Temur Sabertooth is a friend of mine.
Scour from Existence - The instant speed, exile, and lack of colour identity are all nice, but the seven mana price tag balances it out. The more recent version on legs is closer in contention, the legs make him more tutorable and potentially abusable, even if he loses exile in the process.
Song of the Dryads - Say it with me: "Your commander is now a forest". Isn't that beautiful? Hits all sorts of indestructible nastiness as well, there's little reason to not run this in any deck with green in it.
Terastodon - Sure, goes big, but it's extremely expensive for something that isn't hit-all (sometimes creatures are harshing your mellow).
Tornado - The tool of choice to get rid of multiple unwanted objects. The life expenditure needs to be watched, don't go too trigger-happy on this.
Ulvenwald Tracker - You'll have a 7/7 on the table that you can smash against something of your choice every turn for a meagre investment of 2 mana. There will almost certainly be things that you can eat up, messing up someone's day.
The fact that Patron untaps all forests, in conjunction with Extraplanar Lens paranoia, sets the bar extremely high for non-basics. So high, in fact, that literally one made it into the list so far. Here are a few tech options for you anyway.
Gaea's Cradle - There are literally two instances in the game where you'll be happy to tap this for mana - your last opponent's end step before you win the game with swarm, and during your turn before you win the game with swarm. You don't need this to win with this deck, and it actually actively gets in the way most of the time.
Hall of the Bandit Lord - The fact it gives Patron haste is lovely, but it's awkward to play around in Myriad Landscape fashion due to the lack of co-operation with doublers and coming in tapped. There's also the life drain, which may be problematic if you're getting aggro'ed. It's nice that the haste persists past end of turn, allowing you to proceed with swarm mode, but doesn't work with Patron bounce combos. I mean, that would be a hell of a hurdle for a land to clear, if I'm being honest, so can't hold that against it.
The main goal of the deck is to land a quick Patron and either piece together an infinite mana combo, winning on the spot, or use all of the mana he produces to create tokens off engines like Ant Queen.
The token swarm is then used to kill everybody, its hitting power drastically improved by finishers like Kamahl, Fist of Krosa. Kamahl also doubles up as a good instakill option in combo mode, creating arbitrarily sized tramply land creatures out of thin air if given infinite mana.
The progression of a typical game is extremely linear - ramp like crazy, play Patron, evaluate if you're going to combo or swarm, proceed combo or swarm, kill everyone with a gigantic board. If you get disrupted, repeat until you don't get disrupted.
Start the game off by playing out your ramp spells, mana doublers and Patron protection/haste enablers. You want to have a good mana base for Patron to work with once he comes out.
Once you have a sufficient permanent base, play Patron. If you don't have the potential to assemble a combo, tutor for a token engine. During each of your opponents' turns, use Patron to untap your land and fuel all the extra mana into token generation. That is Patron's main purpose in the deck - providing mana to create bodies, and later providing mana to fuel into finishers to kill everybody.
If the Gods of Magic have not smiled upon you and you don't have a tutor on hand, you do have a few massive activated draw options. Pour your mana into those and go digging for a way to get your engine/finisher online. It's probably a good idea to set those down onto your board even if you have a token engine so you can sink spare mana into more options if you get wiped.
Once you have sufficient bodies to kill everybody, get a finisher online (typically with the aid of another tutor), pump all your mana into the finisher's ability, if applicable, and kill everybody.
The deck is constructed to execute its game plan reliably and reasonably quickly, there's little in the way of controlling your opponents. There are a handful of removal options available, some responsive to the tutor bulk, use them as needed. You're not a control deck though, just combo out/swarm the board and kill everybody.
Before you begin playing, you obviously need a hand of some sort. Your commander costs 8 mana to play, you want to get there as fast as humanly possible. In order to pull that off, you need as much ramp as you can in your starting hand, but also a link or two to what you'll be doing later - playing a token engine and making bodies with Patron mana. A solid starting hand involves two lands (only ever keep a one-lander if it comes with a Sol Ring, you'll be fine), a few curved out ramp spells and a tutor. The tutor is usually going to be used to fish for a token producer (most often Ant Queen) once your mana base is fleshed out, unless the pieces for a combo fall into place. If you get a mana doubler and/or haste enabler in there, they're nothing to sneeze at either (a Patron with haste is a reliable combo component, or at the very least speeds up the swarm game plan by a turn). If you luck into a draw enabler, you should probably keep the hand unless it's absolutely atrocious otherwise - it may slow you down a bit, but provides stability in reliably refuelling your options.
Now that you have your hand, ignore what is going on around you almost entirely and get cracking on the ramp. The predominant form of ramp is land-based due to its resilience, as mana dorks die to wraths and other assorted baloney (and it's quite easy to pop mana rocks as well). You are not contractually bound to not do anything productive, mind you - you may place yourself in a good politics position by cracking some removal to get rid of pesky permanents. As the removal options are mostly low-cost, you may be able to get rid of the problem permanent and even squeeze in some extra ramp that turn. Do keep in mind that your priority should be building your mana supply, though. Sequence your ramp spells accordingly, trying to optimise the mana expenditure for each turn. Some of the ramp options available result in lands coming into play untapped, so if you have both those and tapped variants on hand, try to assess the situation and decide what ordering of the spells will allow you to be the most efficient. It's all pretty intuitive, but do keep it in mind.
If you're in possession of a mana doubler, land that as soon as possible. It does what it says on the box - doubles mana. Landing a Vernal Bloom on a 4-forest field makes Patron come out after you untap. It greatly increments your resources, to the point where you'd sometimes want to tutor for it. Keeper of Progenitus ticks that box, curving into a next-turn Patron early and still offering a healthy shot of mana later. However, he is quite a dangerous card to set down, given the fact he's 60% of a Mana Flare, so proceed with caution. Also keep in mind that you have other ramp options that respond to tutors in Arbor Elf, Joraga Treespeaker, Sakura-Tribe Elder and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds. There have been odd, gas-less games where I'd tutor for them just to push myself into the Patron zone of mana. Citanul Flute is a godsend in times like these, and I've been known to crack a turn two Time of Need into a turn three Selvala just about every single time I started with it in hand.
Just another nugget of Urza greatness
As mentioned above, every now and then you stall out and your ramp slows to a draw-based crawl. There's not much you can do when that happens, it's part of the game and happens from time to time. Just tough it out. Possibly play out other stuff contained within your hand, but try to keep a low profile. This should be reasonably easy to do and the focus will hopefully shift away from you a little. If you're in possession of graveyard recursion, there's absolutely no shame in using a piece of it to get back a ramp spell for a second go round. Obviously the optimal ramp spell to get back is Boundless Realms, but if you managed to land that you're definitely not mana-starved. If possible, try to keep the recycling to the two-land ramp (think Skyshroud Claim and the like), but I have snatched and re-suspended a Search for Tomorrow in a pickle. In another weird, mana-starved game I put my Diviner's Wand on my Joraga Treespeaker and drew an extra a turn until I hit enough resources to continue with the game plan. Just work with what you have, maybe you'll be able to weasel yourself out of the pit a bit quicker. The goal is to get to big mana, so try to get to big mana.
Everything that doesn't directly advance your mana base is lower priority for now. However, if you have spare mana it's very industrious to put it to use and make progress for the future. The third highest priority item, after doublers and ramp spells, would be Patron haste enablers. The ability to drop down Patron and immediately have access to his mana engine is very, very desirable, and can often lead to surprise combo kills provided the rest of your hand cooperates. However, cracking a Rampant Growth turn two is more desirable than laying down Lightning Greaves for no real reason. Also, it'd be ideal to hold those back and play them on the same turn as Patron for the surprise factor. However, that is understandably nontrivial in most situations because of the required additional mana investment. Combat-wise, you should be completely idle, with the exception of sometimes using one of those land-based dorks to chump block something coming your way. Your time will come and you will go into the red zone. But that comes later.
On the whole, you should consider early game done when you have Patron out on the board. You may be spending some of your resources to further sculpt your mana base once your commander has been cast, but the very fact you were able to play him means that you have a relatively respectable presence. This should allow you to carry on the game plan. The next step - acquire a token producer and create the bodies you'll be killing everybody with, or proceed to assemble an infinite if in the presence of appropriate constituents (refer to the box below for details). But that's in the Mid Game!
I have seen things no mono green EDH should see...
There are a number of interactions in the deck that will result in an infinite that will kill the whole table in one turn, but they make use of pieces that are harder to tutor for than a token-producing creature and the list is not engineered to get them online every single time. However, if the luck of the draw has been with you, there is no reason not to wedge the constituents together and win out of nowhere. You may even get away with not casting Patron!
The first interaction is Staff of Domination's untap ability. A number of green decks in the format use this on their Elvish Archdruids etc., but we run a more resilient land-centric form of acceleration and as such don't have access to this fine fellow. However, we do have Selvala, Heart of the Wilds, who taps for six if we have Patron out. For fiddlier interactions requiring more pieces, we also have Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, who is capable of animating a land, and Arbor Elf, who can untap a forest for you. Combine them with the mana doublers we run, as well as enchantment ramp (Overgrowth and the like), get yourself a land that can tap for 5 mana, and you have infinite mana at your disposal. Combine the Staff with Rings of Brighthearth and four mana per tap will do (three if you go the Arbor Elf route!). In fact, if you have Rings, then you can combine them and the Staff with Joraga Treespeaker and Mana Reflection for yet another way to go infinite. Get a couple of googolplexes of mana into your mana pool, get Kamahl onto the pitch if he isn't already there, animate your other lands and send a beyond lethal dose of tramply animated land creature at each of your opponents.
Earthcraft allows you to quite easily produce infinite tokens, given enough doubling/land enchanting as described above. If you have more mana per tap on a land than what your engine eats up (should be reasonably easy to do, as the engines are less mana intensive than the staff), you can go for the same Kamahl stun kill. Otherwise, just make an arbitrarily large number of tokens on the end step before your turn and swarm everybody for lethal. Or, if you have a Patron untap available, make an arbitrarily large number of tokens, rip the untap and proceed to reap the benefits of infinite mana. Once again, Rings of Brighthearth can alleviate some mana requirements on the land partaking in the festivities, or even lead to another Earthcraft infinite with Kamahl himself - tap the animated land to untap itself, and copy the ability to untap itself again.
The third interaction involves Patron, Temur Sabertooth and a haste enabler. It's pretty much the equivalent of Deadeye Navigator + Palinchron. Once again, funnel the generated mana into Kamahl and treat everybody to a stupidly large tramply animated land creature on the house. It should be noted that you should pay attention what the rest of the table is doing when you try to "go off" in this manner - as you're performing a plethora of Patron untaps, there's a good chance that the Rhys the Redeemed across from you is spiralling out of control far faster than what you. If this is in danger of happening, only follow this route if you also have a draw engine at your disposal. You can completely smother the whole table now - just follow the instructions in the cheat sheet below. The good thing is that even if it took you forever to get the enemy boards neutered, you are now the only person with resources at the table and can win easily!
For completion's sake, it should be noted that Arbor Elf can stand in for Patron and make infinite mana with the Sabertooth as well. You will need a haste enabler and a land that taps for four (or five if you use Swiftfoot Boots). This comes with the benefit of not feeding the other green decks at the table, in case it turns out to matter. Also, the Sabertooth can combine with Earthcraft to make anything behave akin to an Arbor Elf in this scenario. Rings of Brighthearth cost reductions apply as always. Also, Selvala, Heart of the Wilds can be used if haste is available and she taps for enough mana with Patron out.
Temur Sabertooth Abuse Cheat Sheet
Infinite mana - Refer to the cheat sheet at the top of this box for details, your most common option will involve Patron and 11+ mana (12+ mana if your haste enabler is Swiftfoot Boots). 8 mana of each untap goes towards recasting Patron, 2 goes towards bouncing him, the rest can be used up for everything else.
Vedalken Orrery and Thousand-Year Elixir - This allows all of the ensuing ridiculousness to be performed instant speed during your opponents' turns as well. Currently, the "model" list doesn't run Orrery, so if you want access to this feature you have to slot it in.
A card acquisition engine of some sort - For the purpose of the ludicrousness, you need a way to get what you need on hand. The "standard" X: draw engines (Diviner's Wand, Staff of Domination) work just fine.
Reclamation Sage + Eternal Witness - If using the big artifact tutors for card acquisition (not just cracking a tutor to get a draw option online for whatever reason, like fearing getting decked out by a combination of heavy draw on your end and cheekiness on someone else's), you need something that can blow up an artifact on hand or something that can recur things from your graveyard on hand. Get the body version of whichever functionality you're lacking, blow up the big artifact tutor, recur it, tutor the other body you're missing, recur the thing again, and you should be able to dig up anything you desire. After you tutor up the card you want, just blow the thing up with Reclamation Sage, recur it with Eternal Witness, and bounce them both with the Sabertooth for another go.
Planar Bridge + Song/Exarch/Witness + Reclamation Sage - Another variant of the above for dealing with shrouded/hexproof things. You fetch the Song out with Planar Bridge, slap it onto whatever as it doesn't target, and then do the whole Exarch + Witness shebang to tuck it. However, now you put the recurred Song onto something targetable, even yours if need be, only to shunt it back into your deck with Exarch for a fresh burst of slamming it onto the battlefield without targeting with Bridge. This falls apart if there are two pieces on the board that make someone's lands unable to be targeted, but this doesn't tend to happen.
Ulvenwald Tracker - Seeing how you're in possession of an indestructible 4/3, you can throw it against your opponents' creatures repeatedly if you want to shake things up a notch.
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa - Once you get bored of smothering your foes, get this guy out and kill the table with arbitrarily large tramply land creatures.
Wood Elves - Whilst not part of the outrageous tucking infinite, this guy is effectively "5: go get a forest" with the Sabertooth out. Might be useful some time if you run him.
Okay, so Patron is out on the board. Suddenly you have a tidal wave of mana to work with both during your own turn and your opponents' turns, things like Sol Ring taper off in effectiveness as they don't respond to Patron untaps (still, they're too good for the early game to drop them), and you can start doing crazy mana things. Compare your hand state to the combo piece list above and make a choice about whether you're pursuing combo or swarm, and go for it.
Playing Patron occasionally takes a little bit of thought. Whilst you don't really care about wraths and removal on the whole, as you can rebuild from them very quickly, your resilience scales with your mana and board state. As such, you have to be a bit careful about walking your Patron straight into removal that's already on the board. Durdle around until the guy pops the Oblivion Stone, sculpting your land base some more. Just apply some common sense. Having a haste enabler helps a lot here, as it helps you get gas out of Patron the moment he comes down and often leads to quicker combo wins with shorter windows for disruption. Some of the haste enablers come with some semblance of evasion too, demanding instant response or condemning your opponents to wraths or sacrifice effects. If you have one on hand but not on the table yet, usually the correct play is to set down the haste enabler first and play Patron a turn later. That's always a turn less of your commander just sitting there awkwardly, waiting to eat whatever removal your foes throw at him. Or, better yet, if possible, ramp up a little in the earlier turn and drop the haste outlet as a surprise in unison with Patron.
If you've got the power to combo, go check the box above for how to go about it. Assuming no combo potential, most often due to the lack of a haste enabler, your number one focus is to pop a tutor on a token engine and swarm the board. The token engine that you'll be fetching is dependent on the resources you have available. If you're capable of tutoring for two or more creatures (be it via Tooth and Nail or just multiple tutors), grab Ant Queen. Ant Queen enables you to make the most cost-effective swarm, with a body for two mana. Her drawback is that she is completely reliant on a finisher to make the swarm lethal, though. Still, her raw efficiency makes her the go-to engine in the games where you've got extra tutors available. If you're only stuck with one creature search, go for Nemata, Grove Guardian. Nemata's token hordes will be less voluminous, as the cost is 3 mana per body instead of 2, but the old timer makes up for it by having built-in pump. Once you go for the swing, just make more bodies with your mana on that turn, sacrifice them off to pump all your attackers, then sacrifice your blocked attackers if so desired to deliver an absolutely massive blast of absolutely massive saprolings. Not quite as efficient as Ant Queen plus a dedicated finisher, but only takes one card slot to pull it off. When fetching your engine, try to save Chord of Calling unless it's literally the only tutor you have available. The instant speed and convoke make it fantastic to use in conjunction with an existing token horde to grab a finisher or a response to an enemy play. Still, there's no shame in cracking one to just get a token engine online if no other options are available.
Fetch-a-hero kit. Hero not included.
Finishers should be kept out of plain sight, for now. Some good that Craterhoof Behemoth is going to be if you don't even have a horde to swing with, no? The only exception to the rule is Kamahl, Fist of Krosa, as he's an active wrath deterrent. If somebody decides to crack a board wipe, just turn everybody else's lands into 1/1s. This should wrench the opposition pretty hard whilst you retain your mana base at the low cost of a finisher. As your mana base is intact, you should regroup quite quickly and kill everybody without much trouble. Kamahl shines as a defensive/utility tool more often than you could possibly imagine, and often makes your board live through stuff that isn't outright destruction (-X/-X or damage wipes). In a fringe scenario, he once even saved me from land destruction back when I ran Eldrazi Monument.
In the grand scheme of things, tossing Kamahl under the bus to blow up everybody else's lands is a small sacrifice to make. However, people aren't all that willing to play wraths when he's present as they can usually work out the impending aftermath. Chord of Calling allows you to sneak him in once a wrath is on the stack, catching everybody off guard and shattering their resources. The mid-game build-up is the time when Chord burns the brightest, as its usual linchpin-fetching duties get augmented with all sorts of reactive wrenching like the above example. It doesn't necessarily have to be Kamahl - sometimes a well-placed piece of ETB removal at just the wrong time can throw somebody's perfectly calculated turn off and buy you enough time to claw your way to victory. The convoke means you often get away with casting it without mana, making it an even more surreal fit for the deck.
Whilst your priority should be getting a token engine and making bodies, sometimes you can't do that thanks to not having a tutor. Similar situation to getting stuck mid ramp. Whilst the list is streamlined to make both have a high number of redundant card choices to work with, every now and then you just get screwed over by the card order and there's not much you can do... or is there? Fortunately, you're a little less at the mercy of the card order here, as there's a few activated draw options that you can pour your mana into which you may have access to. Cards like Diviner's Wand allow you to quickly make your way through massive chunks of your deck and are perfect for you - this should hopefully net you some tutoring options, and allow you to go for an efficient Ant Queen + Craterhoof Behemoth kill or enable you to combo out. Hearty drawing means going more opportunities to pull out one of the combo pieces that are hard to tutor out, like Earthcraft or a haste enabler, so a turn cycle spent digging hard with Patron is usually enough to locate enough resources to throw together some sort of combo to end the game on the spot. The benefits of draw are immense (and the sun sets in the west), so setting down an activated ability draw sink is usually a good idea when you have it, even when you're going for the swarm mode at that precise moment. If somebody wipes, that's something very useful to do with your mana; getting a few fewer insects/saprolings is a small sacrifice to make for the bonus cardboard you can acquire if it all goes south. One way or the other, if killing people isn't the Late Game, what is?
Wraths/Targeted Removal - Shrug it off, get your next engine/finisher online. Alternately, if you have the graveyard recursion on hand or can get it easily, just get the one that you just lost back. Preventive measures can be taken with Temur Sabertooth. Potentially shift gears to combo build-up.
Removal on a Stick - Think Avatar of Woe and the like. Those aren't that nice. Blow them up, or wait for them to be tapped down, sneak in your dude and snap on a pair of shoes.
Bounce - Pfft. That's probably helping you become even more ahead of the rest of the table. Just recast all your stuff.
Tuck - If you need whatever was tucked back, use one of your plethora of tutors to get it back.
Mass Land Destruction - There's not much you can do to that. You're committing, pretty darn hard in fact, to land-based ramp as the most resilient form and are definitely putting all your eggs in one basket. Absolute blowout.
-X/-X Effects - If a Massacre Wurm or something of the sort only hits for turn, then who do you call? Hm? Of course you call Kamahl. Static -X/-X things are a royal pain in the ass though, and you'll have to dig for one of the relevant removal options or hope you land a combo.
Creature Activated Ability Shutdown - Shuts off Patron, all production engines and combos. Hurts a number of your draw options too. One of the more game over things that could happen to you. Use whatever limited tools at your disposal to grab hold of a chunk of removal and blow up the source. If it's indestructible, Song of the Dryads may just do the trick.
Pillow Forts - You tend to rely on a high number of troops to get the job done, but you also have an obscene amount of mana on tap each turn. Maybe you'll be able to pay off all the taxation. If not, blow the most annoying fort pieces with some removal, or just assemble a combo and blank their fort altogether.
Now all your work is about to pay off - you have a token engine online, one go around the table produced enough bodies, you have means to access a finisher (or your token engine is Nemata, Grove Guardian and is a finisher as well) and enough mana to make your swarm lethal. Alternately, one of the infinite resource interactions hit the board and you've got the potential to end the game right here and now. All it's going to take is a spot of cautious play and you should be good.
Always expect your opposition to try and trip you up. It's a natural thing for them to do, and you can abuse the expected. As mentioned in the previous section, flashing in Kamahl in response to people trying to respond to you can lead to absolute blowouts, don't be afraid to do it. On a similar note, be cautious with your mana expenditure. You want to make bodies in the end, but those bodies will be useless if you get wrathed out. However, if you spend your mana carefully, you'll have enough resources open to flash in Kamahl, animate the enemies' lands, and maybe even draw a bit if you have a draw option online. The easiest way to be cautious with mana expenditures is to only make bodies and crack the Patron untap during the end steps of turns, keeping as many lands untapped as possible whilst rounding off any token costs. If you can smell a Cyclonic Rift in the air as you go for the swing, similarly leave up some mana to rebuild (you probably don't need to fuel all of it into pump to be lethal). It's a small thing, but it helps you deal with all sorts of shenanigans.
Another very obvious thing that shouldn't really need spelling out is overextending. This deck's one of the easiest in the world to avoid overextending with - only ever have one engine on the board at a time, and if there's a finisher on the table and you're not swinging for lethal there'd better be a really good explanation. This way, it won't hurt that much if you get slapped over the head with a wrath. Just go dig for another engine, or recur the fallen one if you have one of the graveyard recursion cards on hand. A nice, dense token swarm or infinite mana combo is going to keep happening over and over again, turning your endgame into a nigh unstoppable cockroach.
Usually, there's only one combat step in the game where you're active, and that's the one where you kill everybody. Sometimes you're forced to go out of your way, though - there may be a hate card around that's hindering your game plan. Your bodies are relatively expendable, so in cases like these send your insects/saprolings en masse to the offending party. You'll probably lose a few to blocks, but soon enough the message should get across and the offending party will be dead. With the problem removed, you can continue your game plan.
Chord of Calling shines here as well. You swing with your dudes, float all of your mana, untap everything with Patron, convoke in your finisher and fuel the mana into pump. In the case of Craterhoof Behemoth, "pump" is making more bodies. What a wonderful, versatile card. On the whole, there isn't really much to say about this, though - it's just going into the red zone with a swarm of tokens and pumping them up to do lethal, it's a pretty intuitive thing to do. This should close out the game, and you can shuffle up and do it all over again!
Eternal Witness is never a bad thing, whether you want another use out of a spell or need to recover a piece that got hated out.
I feel like a pretty bonkers allstar card for Big Mana that people haven't given enough spotlight to is Genesis Hydra. Important note: whatever it hits will reach play first, the ability is an on-cast.
Finally, in a similar vein to the above - Karametra's Acolyte could function as a weaker Gaea's Cradle that Patron can affect, which would make for some very substantial ramp.
The cards currently in the build that seem the least exciting and dependable to me right now are Night Soil, Vernal Bloom and Tower of Fortunes. Nothing outright wrong with 'em, but I personally feel iffy about the potential hiccups they can produce.
You'd be surprised how much less effective Avenger of Zendikar is than a regular token engine in a list like this. If I had blue and Deadeye Navigator it would be the best token engine, but this isn't so unfortunately.
I'm a bit overcautious with my Overruns, as I don't want to overcommit cards in case someone Fogs or whatever. All of my Overruns have legs and can be popped during combat, and on later turns as well. There's no denying that Craterhoof Behemoth and Triumph of the Hordes are about as good as it gets for one-shots. More than one-shots if you can re-ETB, once again, in case of the behemoth, but I don't have any of that on tap.
A graveyard retrieval package is definitely in order, not just Eternal Witness. Thanks for reminding me.
Mirri's Guile and Sylvan Library are both useful, but I'm slightly concerned about their late game utility. Abundance is not without its drawbacks as everybody knows exactly what is coming up. This all needs some more thinking.
Genesis Wave just got cut, as I don't run enough stuff worth genesising, to be fair. It's all single items I need to dig out. As such, Genesis Hydra isn't happening either.
I really love the additional hate cards you propose. Currently I'm thinking of dropping the hate altogether, but if I don't I'll be sure to run a good chunk of that stuff. If only there was a way to make Tangle Wire be forever and have more and more tokens This deck's supposed to be more relaxed than the Purph, and Winter Orb is hardly relaxed, is it.
The extra ramp seems weird, resource juggling to hit for far, far beyond lethal instead of just far beyond lethal. If I have bodies around to use this, I'm probably in good shape.
Seeker of Skybreak untapping Patron is meaningless, as his ability can only be triggered once each turn and untaps him too (he is green after all). As such, that card would be reduced to a niche three-card infinite with the dryad. The dryad seems like a good idea, but I'm extremely OCD about running anything that isn't the basic land of choice if I risk it with an Extraplanar Lens.
The main change in playstyle is that the stax package got replaced with a graveyard package, which has been performing amazingly. I stuck to small, mana-efficient spells - if I need to fish from the graveyard, I'm probably not all that well off in terms of everything and this enables the use of resources elsewhere. The most hilarious use so far was to re-cast Boundless Realms, which enabled me to draw a metric buttload of cards off Diviner's Wand and swing a 21/21 patron at a dude who was running hate surprisingly effective against my deck.
I still think that running stax here makes perfect sense, mind you. I'm just trying to make the deck be more friendly than my Purph list, which tends to get me focused in both of the playgroups I took it to. I don't think Winter Orbing everybody's lands whilst I have just about undisturbed access to mana is going to go over well.
Also took out the mass-hexproof package. In the end, hexproof isn't really that useful. If only there were more Eldrazi Monument-style things around...
Swapped removal options - Ulvenwald Tracker is great, mind you, but if I have anything larger than a 7/7 on tap I'm most likely about to win. As such, Predator, Flagship is a bit more versatile. Thanks for the Tornado suggestion - Nullmage Shepherd having four bodies to work with usually means I'm doing well, and probably don't really need to off anything. This is also more versatile.
As mentioned, ditched Genesis Wave. Goodstuff worshippers, eat your hearts out. It just doesn't seem to work that well here - this is more about hitting single targets enabling a swarm than filling the board with a huge batch of generally useful permanents. There's definitely enough mana to support Ring of Three Wishes and Planar Portal, so there's no reason to not use them.
Whilst both Deglamer and Unravel the Æther are cute as heck, and there's a bunch of gods cruising around in my meta, having a more catch-all removal suite is in order. Beast Within is the original, accept no imitations unless the imitation is Song of the Dryads then go ahead and welcome it with a hefty pat on the back. Also, at some point I realised just how silly Predator, Flagship is, especially with my new catch-all removal suite, so it went away. I got caught out by Tempting Licid needing to tap to work its magic, and if I'm going to be pulling shenanigans like that foes ought to not see them coming.
Aside from the discussed removal suite, I put in Sol Ring to help make the early game a bit quicker. I still stall out at two mana more often than I'd like (keeping a two-lander with Cultivate seems like it's not asking for too much trouble), this may help with that. Am I missing any good two-mana ramp aside from the obnoxious Three Visits?
A few times I found myself wishing in the early/mid game I could tutor for a mana doubler. Notice early/mid, hence Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is a bit out of the equation. The only thing on offer to use the occasional tutor surplus on is Keeper of Progenitus, who's only 60% as lousy as Heartbeat of Spring (and it doesn't help blue, which is a good thing), so maybe he'll work out.
The Keeper of Progenitus is an all-star, absolute beast of a card. Yes, he isn't restricted to just my stuff, but I find myself tutoring for him very often. Helps in all sorts of situations, be it in an attempt to snowball out of control or rebuild after serious hate. And hey, at least I'm not helping blue/black.
Given the tutorable utility of the mana doubler, I figured I could use a tutorable piece of hate. Reclamation Sage has a good range (artifact/enchantment) for 3 mana, and this fits in the "this needs to be cheap" part of the deck. Acidic Slime had a short stint due to the added utility and nicer body for 2 mana extra, but I was never particularly psyched to see him. Sage's been better.
That needed a cut to make work, obviously. Ebline (many kudos for the insightful comments on this issue!) suggested Frontier Guide, and I begrudgingly agree - the ramp can be useful with spare mana while digging with massive draw or something, but on the whole it's too expensive to use as actual ramp while ramping. I still love the card to bits, and thought it would have a home here. Maybe some other time.
Also, just diming tutors. I wasn't running Primal Command, so now I'm running Primal Command. Why the Abundance cut? Imagine a 1v1 card substitution scenario. I'd be happier to go dig for a creature of choice for 5 mana (plus do something fun like gain 7 life) than filter my draws a bit for 4. Plus the Command can be used as a faux-Deglamer on all sorts of fun stuff. Just more utility in the end.
The second tweak is removing Omnath, Locus of Mana. He was never meant as a beatstick here, more as a mana bubble and attack deterrent. Whilst nice if I managed to hit a token maker with mana stored up, or someone accidentally left themselves wide open, on the whole the game plan would be better off with some dig instead. As such, enter Well of Knowledge, a thing I used to run in my Hugmnath list. This will benefit you far more than it benefits anybody else, and offers an absolutely crazy level of dig.
Nemesis Mask never really did anything either. I once managed to pull off a hilarious win where I put that on Patron and swung with him and a beefed up Omnath, but that's about it. Token-wise, it's better to make the tokens bigger than to connect with a few more 1/1s than you otherwise would have. Coat of Arms is about as good as it gets, just hold it up until you're reasonably sure you can blow everybody up or it may backfire a bit.
I think I'm getting relatively close to a proper list here. I'm enjoying playing this dude more than I should, I might just make it happen in paper and take it to my playgroups. Feedback would be really appreciated before I blow money on cards
Heh, been interesting discussing your mono-green deck in the PMs with ya. Give me a day or two (depends on when I have free time) and I'll see about brewing up a mono-green list myself, noting ideas you've come up with for this one. This general is definitely looking better to me now that I see how it works for you. I'll probably be trying to build around Polukranos, World Eater, Titania, Protector of Argoth, or Kamahl, Fist of Krosa.
I'll be trying to come up with a more goodstuffish list that can run things like Genesis Wave effectively, if I can find a way for it too be viable. I know you don't totally go for goodstuff, but to some degree I feel design success in an edh deck if I manage to somehow find a synergistic manner in which to run /most/ of one or two colors' best/most fun cards together optimally. In that way it almost feels like staying true to that color's strengths, taking along with the deck all the things it's ever been best at doing.
Also, interesting combination you've got here with the group hug coupled with the stax artifacts. I would really like to see how this deck plays for you. You should totally proxy it up and try it out, play about 3-5 games with it and see what happens.
Edit 2: I've got a semblance of a list up for Verdeloth so far, thought I'd post it here to see if any of the optiosn for cards I found might be good adds for your deck. Verdeloth does a few things that are rather similar to Patron, interestingly enough:
I could use some help cutting down the list as I want to run 38-39 lands and have over 100 nonland cards to choose from here, lol. Problems to address: Find ways to deal with being boardwiped by blue bounce spells, finds ways to get haste on stuff. Ugin's Nexus seems like a good card for mono green to get an extra turn to swing after building a board - just have to drop an anti-artifact spell on it to activate it. Does anyone know of non-creature methods green can access for direct damage to players and planeswalkers, btw?
The big problem I see with both of our decks (mine still being in brewing mode) is that either one will probably fall flat on its face to boardwipes of any kind. Sadly for me, my meta doesn't have many aggro decks. Every single other deck is running 4-12 boardwipes, Propaganda, and more. Every time I see someone pull out an aggro deck in my meta they just get blown out into a very difficult place to recover from by a wipe or other annoying spell during their attempt at an attack phase, consistently. All the decks I have so far don't need to commit much at all to the board to succeed or pull of game-ending combos, and they work. But that gets boring after awhile. A swingy green deck would be a fun alternative to play here and there. Hopefully together we can form a couple of decks with good strategies for such scenarios.
This is surprisingly resilient to wipes, just avoid overextending - you don't need more than one token producer on the board at a time, and dropping something Kamahl'ish can wait until the turn when you go off. Cyclonic Rift? Shrug it off and recast everything, be exactly where you used to be in a turn or two. God bless land ramp. Wrath of God? Ah well, get another token engine online. There's plenty of tutors to dig one out, as well as a bunch of draw options to help dig for everything.
By the way, as for some reason the spoiler tags are broken in this thread (no clue why), you may be thinking of the original list. I have since cut the stax as the deck is to be friendly but yeah, stax works great in conjunction with this dude. What does it matter that you don't untap lands in your untap step when you can just turn Patron sideways and have all the mana ever, during other people's turns too no less?
I'll be sure to check out your deck idea/card pool. It's not that I'm averse to goodstuff, I just really like using the strengths of my commander as the primary focus of a deck. After all, this is COMMANDER
EDIT: Whoo, fixed spoiler tags. Turns out I was missing one and everything went to hell. Suddenly the idea to run Well of Knowledge in here - I'll probably be able to get way, way more draw off this than my foes
EDIT2 (whee this is a trend now): You were right, your list is indeed more goodstuff'y. Cut the voltron elements (Eldrazi Conscription, Hedron Matrix) as there's no real need for it, run some more mana doublers. Your curve is pretty high and you need all the help you can get to get there. Also, the thing you suggested in the text box, i.e. creature based ramp, is a bad idea. Creatures die to wipes, making it harder to rebuild. Sakura-Tribe Elder is obviously fine, as are the three-drops that go get a land plus Sad Robot. Also, run more graveyard fetching cards - it's unbelievable how many different things a simple Regrowth can do.
Yeah, Slate of Ancestry is a good 'un, I have it in orbit for my main deck - Purphoros, God of the Forge. Unsure of its utility here - if I have a board presence, I already found a token maker and the dig could only locate a Kamahl or something of the sort.
Glad you found some stuff helpful. I'm actually about to cut Nemesis Mask I'm still torn on what to replace it with - Coat of Arms is the penultimate goodstuff and immediate game ender, whilst Champion of Lambholt is a bit more left-field, sort of like a Nemesis Mask on crack. Check that card out too, maybe it'll be even more to your liking
Funnily enough, the biggest nemesis of this deck is shaping up to be Omnath. I'd love to hear about ideas how to shut him down. So far my "idea" is to mimic the Ensnaring Bridge trick of my Purph list.
EDIT: List updated, merged it with the previous update as it's been quite recent and there's no real point to update-spam the future reference bit
I'm getting a lot closer to a refined Verdeloth the Ancient list myself, but I could use some help with the mana ramp package. As it stands my deck shares a lot of similarities to what your patron deck wants to do, so I'm posting it here so we can continue to bounce ideas off each other. The deck as it is now wants metric tons of mana (I want to to win games off of genesis wave).
*Needs MORE ramp. Mana rocks, card draw, ramping creatures?
*Would like to tune it to use primal surge effectively maybe
*Needs a good anti-control (or anti-blue + anti-white) package. My number 1 fear with this deck is getting hit with bribery and someone taking an eldrazi or a colossus. Considering I have last counted 3 decks in my meta which have bribery and effects like it in abundance, this is a problem for a deck full of fat. My number 2 fear is my biggest spells getting countered. I needa lot more than boseiju and cavern to answer this problem.
*Thunderfoot Baloth and more green fatties might make an appearance too
I don't want too fill it with too much toolboxy stuff if I don't have to - but I do have to consider just building this in on direction willy-nilly to do nothing but smash face is just asking for a decent combo/control deck to laugh in its face as it stops me dead in my tracks with a simple, cheap answer. I want to cut cards that don't synergize with what the deck wants to do, which is play absurd amounts of fatties and flood the board with tokens.
It looks extremely similar to that list that I commented on in one of my upstream posts, go look at that In addition, Fertilid is bad. The two cards that use saprolings could be better, there's one that lets you draw cards off them. You could use Strionic Resonator for saproling multiplication shenanigans with your commander.
I've spent most of the day writing up a primer for this, for some reason. It'll hopefully go up in a few hours. Tiny list tweak: I noticed Sprout Swarm is winmore and switched it out for Lotus Cobra to help with explosive starts.
Nice primer. I just put my Verdeloth the Ancient list up, much of it is inspired by advice you provided me in this thread. I shall have to edit it at some point into a better primer like yours. All those formatting tricks! Not sure how you do all that stuff. I still have to actually playtest mine too, but it sounds like your Patron deck has gotten some testing in already.
I'll swear by Lotus Cobra. It does has done wonders for my Kruphix EDH in the past.
Yeah, I played the bejeezus out of it on Cockatrice. I just couldn't draw into the Lotus Cobra or Emerald Medallion to test them, so eventually I just went on a goldfishing session with the card(s) of interest in hand...
The problem was that whilst both the Cobra and the Medallion do flashy things, they don't offer much lasting impact. The Cobra is particularly guilty of this, as it would spurt forth some mana which would often end up unused. Alternately, a 5-land Patron with no doublers or anything, which is quite a miserable board state in the end. All in the slot of a card that could have reliably done something lasting. Don't get me wrong, there was one goldfish that ended turn 3 with 9 or 10 tapped lands plus Illusionist's Bracers after a powerhouse chain of ramp spells, but that's an exception, not the rule. On the whole it's too clunky and dependent, and its other benefit results in bringing Patron into an underfurnished board state where he usually has no business being. Yes, his presence can help you ramp more, but that's a shot of long term ramp that didn't happen thanks to the Cobra being there.
The Medallion can potentially come in T1 off a Sol Ring, but also ends up eating precious mana/card space that would be best devoted to just straight up ramping. The two in combination were monstrous, but how often will that happen? In the end, a focused design should have as few cards as possible that depend on other things being there to be useful - the token engines make tokens, the tutors help dig those out, finishers are needed to turn the body mass into lethal damage, the draw engines help dig all that up. The rest is all useful in its own way.
One thing the deck is lacking is turn one plays. As such, it would be cool if there were some options that could slide into that slot and help out. Joraga Treespeaker signallizes my imminent transition into Elfball as those offer plenty of one drop ramp options... actually, not really. Joraga's just too good to pass up though. T1 comes down, T2 mana neutral, if you combine it with something 2-mana'ish that ramps (think Sakura-Tribe Elder etc) you can have yourself a Caged Sun turn three and all is well. Responds to Patron untaps. Performed really, really well in the same goldfish setup, offers a more lasting impact. Sure, is a creature, but probably the best mana dork in history for this deck. In it goes.
Search for Tomorrow... guilty as charged, I completely forgot about this thing. If played for full, it's a Wood Elves minus the elves part. If suspended, it's the elusive turn one play, and not a bad one either - +1 land for you to work with turn three. It wasn't quite as much of a house as Joraga, but it definitely has its place here.
Also pampered the primer write-up some more. Once the thread turns a month old, it's got to be really nice. I wish I booked a post under my original post, but at the time the deck was only slowly stopping being a fun gimmick and turning into something you can actually play to an extent
Earthcraft keeps tempting me. However, I guess I'll pass on it due to the same reasoning that led to the Cobra/Medallion being cut - it needs other things to come online, the other things being the token generators. It offers literally zero benefit until I have an engine going. True, it boosts the engine like mad, but outside of that it's useless. Finishers are useless outside of big token situations too, no? Well, true, but they win you the game. Earthcraft + token engine will make more tokens, but not quite win you the game.
Genesis has been on my mind for a while now, ever since I started writing this thing. There's a finite number of engines we run, and a finite number of recursion tools available to get them back if they get poofed. Increasing the number of engines is out of the equation, Soul of Zendikar is the only sensible one not in here. Running Genesis himself is out of the equation as well as there's no reliable way to get him into the graveyard... cue Reito Lantern, a card so weird it may actually work here. We have more tutors than we can shake a stick at, so this can put Ant Queen back where we can reach it. Perfect! Becomes obviously bonkers if we land Planar Portal.
If not acting as an endless recursion engine, we can use the Lantern to hate out other graveyards a bit if so desired. The enemy Genesis gets to live on the bottom of its owner's library, if we can't have it nobody can! Could lead to some hilarious shenanigans against a number of graveyard-utilising generals in an obvious way. We have the mana to support it.
So now, what to cut for it to make room... I did break my previous balance of spells when I cut Sprout Swarm, so I eyed ramp for something to off. The closest to going were Harrow and Khalni Heart Expedition - the former because of its potential 2-for-1 if disturbed, the latter because of its slowness. Beastmaster Ascension was considered for the axe too, as Coat of Arms is considerably more potent. In the end, all those stay for now, and Centaur Glade gets the axe.
But why a token engine?! The best P/T one as well?! It's the worst at swarming the board and responding to pump fuel, making for less effective lethal swings. There's no static -X/-X running around my meta at this time either. As such, the Glade's moved to the sidelines for now, but may obviously come back. Additionally, the Glade responds to the same tutoring as the lantern - the powerhouse artifact one. As such, now I can grab the lantern and have an undisrupted flow of token engines from my graveyard.
(In other news, constant primer pampering - you may notice images scattered as attachments to my first X posts here. That's because they're now hosted on this site and are in accordance to image leeching regulations. Sorry if this bothers you)
I pretty much never, ever kept either one of those two cards in a starting hand. They also don't respond to tutors. With Nemata, Grove Guardian's built in pump, as well as the two dedicated creature finishers we're running, the two cuts shouldn't be missed too much.
This makes the token engine/finisher/tutor interaction about as streamlined as can be, as every single engine/finisher is now responsive to the vast majority of tutors. There was (and still is) a case to be made for the three options that have been cut in the past few days, but for now their absence hasn't been felt (in part thanks to the Reito Lantern backup floating around somewhere in the deck - if I can get a tutor online that could grab any of the three cards I cut, I can take an extra turn to get the Lantern online and set up a very solid recycling system of anything that may have gotten binned).
So, room to fill up. After considering oh so slightly expanding the deck's competence, instead more redundancy is added to already present functionality. Book of Rass is cheap, mana wise, but should be used sparingly for similar reasons to Tornado. I'll eat my words on Wayfarer's Bauble, I was far too critical of it. In this particular build, it's pretty darn useful. More often than not there is no turn one play, and this way I pop down an egg I can crack later to get a Rampant Growth. At 3 mana for 1 land later on in the game it's not too atrocious either. It would still suck in a faster green deck, mind you, but it's good here due to how slow we are.
I think I’m going to have to try out some of the cards you include like Reito Lantern (recursion + graveyard hate!) and Diviner’s Wand. Here are some of my favorites that you might like:
Hydra Broodmaster – One-card win-con with the Patron out. When it’s your diagonal opponent’s turn, untap your forests but don’t use them, and then when it’s the next guys turn right before yours, you can use all your forests twice and throw down 12 12/12 Hydras right before your turn. Can get pretty silly with mana doublers and such.
Magus of the Library – Early game mana dork (the colorless should never matter with our mana base), and then once the patron is out, if you play your cards right, she can draw you multiple cards a turn.
Silklash Spider – Good mana dump for the Patron. Shuts down a lot of decks. Has saved my butt on multiple occasions.
Momentous Fall – I see you mentioned this earlier. One of my favorite cards, I’m always happy to see it in my hand. I’m sure you’ve lost a few games because your patron has been killed a few times in a short time, without you getting any value out of him, it’s hard to recover from that. With Momentous Fall in my hand, I know that once I start going off, if anyone tries to kill the Patron, I can just draw 7 cards and gain 7 life, and really turn the tables.
Good luck to you! I love that you’ve also noticed the “scare rating” advantage. Whenever I’m at a table with new players, they look at my general like “Oh that’s cute.” And then once I start going off, someone inevitably says “Wait. Let me read your general again??” IMO, Patron of the Orochi is immensely more powerful than Omnath, Locus of Mana , and I don’t know why we’re two of the only people who realize that.
Glad to see a fellow Patron player! Patron and Omnath are hard to compare, really - Omnath can kill someone just fine before Patron even comes down.
Your list is considerably heavier on all sorts of creatures, whilst mine is filled to the brim with tutors and draw engines to get a handful of token makers online. I would really, really recommend Planar Portal to you. You have the mana to support it, and it allows you unparalleled tutoring ability.
I really love the fact you're running Wren's Run Packmaster. It's by far the best token engine, and you make it work with Skyshroud Poacher just fine. The Poacher would be a true all star in an Elfball Patron build. I know I used to run Silklash Spider at some point, he is a very strong hate card.
Decided to go through the tutor options again in case I forgot to mention anything. Oh boy, it turns out I completely forgot about Citanul Flute. It may lack the outright wallhax of Planar Portal and Ring of Three Wishes, but there's no denying it's repeatable tutoring for engines/finishers. As such, it obviously deserves a home here.
The cut was pretty hard. In the end, I card 1v1'd with the recent Book of Rass addition. Similarly to how Primal Command ousted Abundance, the flute outdoes the book for the deck's game plan. Don't get me wrong, the book's a hell of a card and it may be coming back at some point. For now I think it gets to hold the title of the card that was in the deck for the shortest amount of time, which is a bit of a pity - I was quite psyched about it. However, the glaring flute oversight needed fixing and this was the weakest link.
Initial sideboard draft now included in the thread. A number of potential problems the list can run into can be answered, given some extra leg room that won't result in dead cards when said problems aren't present.
Hexproof isn't exactly the greatest thing ever, but sometimes there are tons of targeted spells flying around. Having a possibility to tutor up an answer isn't a bad idea, but not something you want in your 99 (unless you know your meta is hellbent on those effects, then by all means go for it).
The deck can deal with destruction/tuck just fine, but stealing the commander is quite painful. Once again, you can tutor up an answer, and there's also some goodstuff in the form of a land.
If you know you'll be staring down -X/-X, side out some of the less inspiring token engines for options that make 3/3s. Once again, this includes a tutorable option too.
Pillow forts fold quite nicely if you off their enchantments as you go in for your alpha strike. You may just be able to pay their taxation anyway.
Iona shouldn't be too much of a bother, as you'll most likely get a token engine online before she comes out to play, but it won't hurt to play it safe in case something wrenches your board once Iona's online. Repeatable, too. Obviously can also be used on other troublemakers.
This Patron list is primarily a nice deck that doesn't wrench others too hard, but stax are absolutely brutal - your opponents get drowned in tar whilst you still go about your day just about uninterrupted. If others keep wrenching you when you try to go about your game plan, why not wrench them back?
Of course, this is just a first version of the sideboard, and I see no reason for it to not evolve as well. Did I miss any cool nuggets? Let me know!
I love Harrow, I really do. The fact it nets you two untapped land (even though it only ramps you by 1) is really great, and can enable some really nice ramp chains. The problem is that the land is eaten as part of the cost, opening yourself up to effortless 2-for-1'ing. Overgrowth may lack the flashiness and same-turn speed of what it's replacing, but it makes up for it with a bigger long-term ramp jolt and a more narrow 2-for-1 scenario.
Also I keep throwing random cards into the write-up every now and then. I'm not sure me mentioning Torpor Orb in the hate section merits a thread bump though. It doesn't really matter
Like I said when I cut Book of Rass to make room for Citanul Flute - it had a good chance to come back, and I found a way to make room. Tower of Fortunes was one of the first cards on the list, and sort of snuck under the radar of cuts for a while. The Book requires the same amount of mana as an investment to draw a card, and comes in more flexible chunks. The life loss is an obvious downside, making its use require just a tad more finesse. Still, most of the time when you need draw your board state is far from imposing, so you hopefully won't attract immediate attention and will manage to secure one of the multitude of tutors, promptly hiding behind a wall of freshly generated tokens.