Let me say this right away: this is currently my favorite deck to play, and it's not close. Nearly every single one of the 99 cards in this deck embodies exactly why I play this format. They're fun, they're powerful, and they all interact very well together in one cohesive unit. If drawing one of them doesn't give me warm fuzzies, it's probably gonna get cut real soon.
This is one format where gaining life is not a bad thing. Don't get me wrong: I won't be playing any Nourishes in here any time soon. However, I can easily withstand 6, 8, even 10 non-commander combat damage per turn because I know this deck will recover it in spades.
Putting lots and LOTS of bodies on the table is also pretty fun. Not caring if they live or die is even more fun (SPOILER ALERT: things die in this format, a lot). Getting them all back and starting the value engine all over again is even more fun!
For more information on why fog-effects are randomly useful, see bobthefunny's great thread in the credits below...
- Diligent Farmhand: Originally from bobthe funny's list, I've come to realize that this is the green creature variant of Wayfarer's Bauble, which is a staple in every non-green deck I have.
- Archangel of Thune: Had one sitting around from before them banned Birthing Pod in Modern, decided to try it out, immediately started winning games because of it. Trostani already makes bodies and gains life. Archangel turns those things into huge wins. If I untap with her, I can easily trigger her ability 4 or 5 times per turn.
- Crested Sunmare: Trostani gains life very easily and very often. This turns those triggers into giant horseys, which Trostani then uses to gain more life, which then...eventually win the game. I hope to someday unlock the achievement of making multiple copies of this card, so that each one gives the other one indestructible...
- Emeria Shepherd: It's not unreasonable to cast this and make 2 or 3 land drops in a row. At worst, that's a 4/4 flyer that draws a bunch of cards. At best, it starts a massive reanimation chain.
- Freyalise, Llanowar's Fury: It makes tokens that make more mana to make more tokens...
- Blade of Selves: Totally worth the $6 I shelled out for it. Makes token copies of all my best things. I will absolutely pay four mana to make many copies of all my insane creatures, and three more mana to populate one of them so that they stay token-ized.
- Retreat to Emeria, Zendikar's Roil: Slow, steady source of bodies that sticks around
- Rout: Two words: speed kills.
- Tragic Arrogance: My group won't let me play Cataclysm. That's OK, this might actually be better.
- More coming soon!
- Budoka Gardener: As I said on tev's thread, the Gardener is not a two drop that you want on turn two. It's only good IF you manage to have 9 or more lands in play AND one more in hand AND you can then dump 6 mana into making a token. That's a lot of work for one token, and the size of the token really doesn't matter in this deck.
- Seance: It's a fine way to make all your best creatures into token form, but I found that I'm way too good at recursion to want to exile anything.
Credits and inspirations:
- bobthefunny (list): This list (and his fantastic thread) originally inspired me to make mine.
- tev (list): Another great list that has given me more ideas to try in my own.
Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to leave feedback.
Update from this weekend:
- We only played one game, but it was a marathon that lasted over two hours.
- The four players were Gonti, Arahbo, Kess, and myself.
- My first opportunity, I tutored up Crested Sunmare, mostly just to see if it was really as good as it looked. It was. I quickly amassed an army of horseys, got wrathed, reanimated it once, made another horsey army, then unfortunately someone Plowed it. Still, it absolutely did its job.
- Later, I managed to find a couple of planeswalkers. First, I got a Nissa emblem, then two from Gideon. Freyalise showed up later and was also quite effective.
- I almost got to the point of killing someone with Aetherflux Reservoir, but my life total was pretty much stuck in the 30s and 40s, and it also got hit several times by Capsize, until eventually it got Bogged.
- Unfortunately, the Kess player directly in front of me had an active Capsize with a lot of mana available to buy it back, as well as a Primal Wellspring (that I failed to Ghost Quarter) and several means of reducing the casting cost, so I probably got anywhere from 2-4 permanents bounced per turn for at least 6-8 turns. Capsize also made the Phyrexian Processor in my hand utterly useless, as I was never able to keep it on the table with Trostani, nor was I able to keep any of the massive tokens on the table long enough for them to be populated.
- The Gonti player also stole my Seedborn Muse before I was able to use it.
- One nice thing was that I was able to withstand numerous attacks from various Cats enlarged with Arahbo triggers and equipment. Most of the time, I just took the damage without even thinking about it because I knew that if it wasn't lethal, I could get it all back with little effort, and I did.
- My graveyard got hit by Bojuka Bog at least 4 times, including once when the Kess player Capsized the Bog during Gonti's turn. By the end of the game, I probably had about 40-ish cards exiled by the Bog.
- If it wasn't for all the Capsizes, Cathars' Crusade would have made my armies large enough to win the game.
- Finally, when the Kess player had turned their shields down, the Gonti player resolved a Rise of the Dark Realms, which allowed him to chain several triggers of Gray Merchant in a row. At roughly 20 life per trigger, even my 80+ life had no chance.
Going forward, it's hard to say how much better I would have fared if the Capsize had been curtailed, but I was able to withstand a lot of wrath and Bog-effects for most of the game and still remain relevant. The suggestion of adding Evolutionary Leap should not only draw more cards, but also provide some amount of use for the random tokens that die in a wrath.
To answer your questions:
1. One of the things you should know about this format up front is that there is a sort of unwritten social rule about the power level of each deck/player at the table. You need to have a pretty good measurement of how cutthroat the rest of your group is before you play, or even before you build your deck. If you regularly sit down to a table full of mono-blue hyper-competitive decks, obviously this one isn't going to cut it, and no amount of upgrading is going to fix that. But, if you sit down to a table of fairly casual players who just want to cast fun spells and whatnot, then this list should do just fine.
2. Obviously, the biggest weakness of this deck is Erebos, God of the Dead (which ironically is a staple of every black deck I own). Beyond that, graveyard removal is always a pain because I like to utilize the yard as a resource.
3. I'm of the opinion that things will always die in this format. You could pack your deck with a whole bunch of situational responses to someone else trying to kill one of your spells, but those effects are so far behind the removal spells that they are trying to ward off. A much better strategy is to just assume that things will die and plan to recover them.
4. This could change over time, but as of this writing Trostani is usually able to stay on the battlefield pretty well, so it's not hard to pump out bodies and reap the rewards. If that ever changes, it might become necessary to play the likes of Angelic Chorus, Proper Burial, True Conviction, etc.
5. This list started out as a variant of bobthefunny's landfall/fog themed deck. A link to that thread is in the OP.
6. It is slow, and it doesn't help with the difficult casting cost of our commander. However, it's a land, which makes it less likely to draw hate, and the token it makes is a relevant body.
7. The only thing that matters with Phyrexian Processor is being able to activate it before someone else blows it up. People are going to take notice any time you have the potential to make very large bodies, so you might as well consider the Processor an 8-drop.
8. This format for me is all about knowing your group and what they're capable of. Once you figure that out, you can adapt your play style (and your list) accordingly.