Stoneforge entering the format with Looting and Gaak leaving is a pretty big shake up. Who knows what'll happen to the Looting decks, UR Phoenix taken down a notch is fairly big for us.
Some might worry about an uptick in fair strategies with SFM, but I've always been excited about the prospect of the card in our deck as a 1 + 3. A 1-of Stoneforge in the main with a Bskull is a real beatdown plan that doesn't share the same problems Tracker or Shalai have. Packing the rest of the playset in the side with a Sword of Light and Shadow feels like a good plan to beat fair decks.
I'll be trying this list for a week or two to get a feel for the card. Manriki-Gusari is like 70% a meme, but I'd like to just give it a whirl to gauge its usefulness in SFM mirrors.
Whoops Messed up my decklist, didn't change the MD. I do like 1 SFM MD. This is what I'm playing this weekend. Not sure how needed Shalai is, but I do like it so we don't lose to Karn TGC in Game 1. Could be better as a Knight of Autumn to also beat Needle effects out of Whirza in Game 1. I'm also not sure on if Sinew and Steel is better as a 4th Tef, but it does seem a bit better than Manriki-Gusari.
The rationale for this approach seems to be that you kind of do the Tarmotwin thing. Giver into Stoneforge can be a beating, and having another two-drop lightning rod tells the opponent to choose between dying to Batterskull or die to the combo.
While it might seem like a playset of SFM adds a lot of air to the deck, the aspect that looks to be pushing this idea over the edge is Viridian Longbow. This pauper all star happens to be a kill in combination with Druid + Vizier, meaning Stoneforge can be sort of like a Ranger-Captain of Eos. If you're playing Rhonas or Plague Engineer in your 75, you have a neat combo that gives Lightning Greaves + Shalai a run for its money.
I've added a Stoneforge section to the primer. As always, I'm open to any feedback you have.
If this spell is the first spell you've cast this game, you may cast it without paying its mana cost.
Look at the top five cards of your library. You may reveal a creature or land card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.
An interesting card got spoiled today. Variants of our deck are already at least somewhat interested in play with Commune with Nature effects. Paying 2 mana for it is definitely below rate, even if this does dig for lands. That said, this card breaks down to be essentially 0 mana in your opening hand, or 0 mana if you top deck it without a T1 play.
I really like how this in the opener can allow for you to dig for a T1 Birds or Giver.
I'll be interested to how this one shakes out. It definitely seems tailor-made for the Hall of the Bandit Lord versions of Druid combo that seek to T2 as often as possible. A hand of fetch, Bauble, Street Wraith, Once Upon a Time could T1 a Traverse with Delirium, pretty impressive.
Considering the deck in this thread's scope, it seems at its best in lists with 4 Evo, 4 Lunge. You can more comfortably go to 6 mana dorks and 19 non Dryad Arbor lands with this in your deck.
I'm on the Stoneforge package now. It's definitely interesting. I'm not sure how good it is yet. I'm not crazy enough to play 4 colors, but I am on the light blue splash.
One thing I was introduced to, that is meager for the Stoneforge shell but ideal for all-in Druid combo: Vines of Vastwood. More protection is always welcome, but when Druid is online Vines is also a Dark Ritual!
Yes, its rare. It can be very relevant: these decks demand more white mana than ever before (Giver of Runes, Elad Call, Ranger Captain) so your G/W lands and mana dorks are tapping for W. So the dark ritual for green can be very good.
I'm assuming what you're really getting at is "why Vines over other protective spells?" The answer is that Vines does so many things. In addition to protection and buffs, it can, for example prevent your opponent from equipping their creatures. Once you see that angle, its a pretty useful card.
Holden Wolfe placed 9th this past weekend with a more typical Druid Evolution list running with zero Stoneforge, no splash, and unsurprisingly a full set of Once Upon a Time. This looks like a great place to start with Druid post-Eldraine.
MTGsalvation is pretty dead these days, but I figured I'd share where I'll start post IKO. Lurrus has interested me, and I'd like to try it out in Druid. We're definitely interested in recurring threats and T1 Dork into T2 Bauble, Lurrus, Bauble can be quite powerful against certain decks. We have to pass up Shalai and Ranger in the MD, as well as a few SB staples like Knight of Autumn, Deputy, and T3feri. Could be worth it, may not be, only real way to find out is playtesting.
One awkward thing without Shalai is we can run into issues with win cons. A Karn TCG can brick us for example, and there are not any good alternate win cons under two mana. That said, Karn TCG -> Needle already kind of punks us. We do have a work around if they play KTCG on curve and can't Needle Druid right away. It doesn't work on MTGO, but in paper we can stack our deck with infinite Duskwatch activations and Canopy into a Finale. There might be other options here, and honestly E Tron and Mono G Tron tend to be fine matchups already.
The metagame at large is pretty grindy, making typical Druid combo less ideal. I tried to solve this problem by playing this variant below when Once Upon a Time was legal (I cut them for 2 Finale, 1 fetch, 1 Noble). Coatl not only is another cheap two-for-one, but it synergizes well with both Giver and Longbow. I would recommend this variant if you expect to face a lot of Jund, DS, and midrange in general. I didn't mind running Astrolabe, additional one drops are great here and it allows us to run Magus painlessly which solves the issue of a worse Big Mana matchup when slowing the deck down.
If the Lurrus variant above is a little too small ball, I might try adding Coatl since the two work together nicely.
Post Companion nerf, Lurrus is looking like the now best shell to still play Druid. Laplasjan placed highly in the Challenge over the weekend and 5-0
d a Prelim yesterday both with the same list pre-nerf.
Druid is able to survive the Companion nerf better than the other Lurrus lists thanks to manadorks and a bunch of ways to protect it to continually accrue CA. On that note, here's a new card that might end up replacing a couple flex slots.
Our ideal opening hands are ones that have Druid and some way to beat a kill spell while still killing on T3. This Benevolent Body Guard riff is another card that allows for that, which is mostly worse than Giver but does have some advantages over Giver in spots where you have Lunge in hand. It is also neat with Lurrus as are most creatures with sac effects, and Ranger-Captain for people who are off the Companion.