"Of course it will grow beyond control—it was designed to choose its own evolution."
My journey into the realm of the Simic has been a long one. Much like the ideals of the Simic guild, the ideas of the deck have morphed, evolved, and grown over time. It's been an interesting odyssey to say the least, one full of interesting twists and turns (at least, interesting to me).
At first, I didn’t want to do the +1/+1 counter theme as that was the theme of another deck I had built (Ghave, Guru of Spores). After looking at the cards though, I decided that ignoring +1/+1 counters would exclude a lot of interesting cards and that any of the other themes I wanted to explore wouldn’t be big enough to fill a deck anyway. My decision then was to just try and do the +1/+1 counter theme differently, utilizing Graft, Evolve, Proliferate, and the general Simic theme of growth and evolution. While there is some overlap with my Ghave deck, anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary and was already in Ghave was cut, making the decks feel different enough to make things interesting.
Although all these themes were very interesting to look into, the resulting “short-list” of cards that I wanted to put in the deck was almost 140 cards. Even after paring things down to get rid of anything that was trying to be “too cute”, that only got to 110… and I needed to get down to 63-64. At that point, I did something drastic; I pulled almost every mono-colored card that was a “staple” because of the colors I was in.
The deck should be pretty self-explanatory; use all the various effects available to go crazy with +1/+1 counters making huge creatures, drawing tons of cards, and creating tons of mana with which you use to bludgeon your opponents to death. The deck doesn’t rely entirely on Vorel, but it goes a little nuts once you’ve established some things in play with some counters.
These cards are in the deck to produce counters for doing things that you normally want to do anyway (play spells, draw cards, etc.) These are the meat and potatoes of the deck and they are all fuel for other shenanigans or end up as huge beaters.
The beauty of Vorel and Proliferate is that they don’t care just about +1/+1 counters, so this deck includes a few cool cards to take advantage of that. I want to expand this part of the deck, so I’m actively looking for cards that do cool things with counters.
If you aren’t untapping Vorel, you don’t have many other creatures to untap (your other main untap options are Joraga Treespeaker and Experiment Kraj), so I felt that just the ones that are on-theme or grant other abilities (pseudo-Haste and Protection) were acceptable. Seedborn Muse and Murkfiend Liege also combo with Opposition and Tradewind Rider to help control the board.
A bare minimum suite of control cards is necessary. One card that needs explanation is Opposition; the card is often synonymous with lockdown strategies, but its inclusion here was for interaction with Gilder Bairn (along with Tradewind Rider; Earthcraft, and Nature’s Chosen are other great options). Synergies
The deck is full of lots of little synergies. Some of these are listed below:
Zameck Guildmage+Fathom Mage: At some point, you are not going to be able to play creatures big enough to evolve Fathom Mage on its own, so you move counters or eat counters with Zameck Guildmage till it gets low enough to evolve again. This is useful for all of the Evolve creatures.
So that is the deck so far. As you can see by the list of cards that I’ve recently cut I had a HUGE list of cards that I wanted to include, but I only had so much space and I wanted this deck to be as different from my other decks as possible. I’ve purposely titled my card choices towards things that weren’t already in Ghave, and towards things that were both blue and green. So even though I’m passing up on Deadeye Navigator + Mulldrifter or Mystic Snake, or abusing more Planeswalkers, or trying to untap Vorel 10 times per turn, I think the deck does its own thing rather well.
Hour of Devastation Reason//Believe - If I had some higher CMC stuff to try and cheat into play then I would probably want to run this, but as-is I don't think you get enough for your card. River Hoopoe - Since the deck doesn't care about the two life, I'm essentially overpaying for the card draw. Not a bad card, but not better than what I'm already running. Sunset Pyramid - I can Proliferate and double-up the Pyramid counters, so this will likely stay charged the entire game. For card draw, that is not a bad deal.
Commander 2017 Galecaster Colossus - So I'm running 8 Wizards which is probably not enough. I already don't run Azami for a similar reason. Hungry Lynx - The deck runs no other Cats so this is a no, not to mention I don't have any good ways to kill off the Rat tokens.