2019 Holiday Exchange!
A New and Exciting Beginning
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on A Guide to Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie
    Removed Birds of Paradise
    Removed Ulvenwald Tracker
    Removed Snapping Sailback
    Removed Magmasaur
    Removed Sky terror
    Removed Raptor Hatchling
    Removed Sun-Crowned Hunters
    Removed Akroma's Memorial
    Removed Pyrohemia
    Removed Warstorm Surge
    Removed Traverse the Outlands
    Removed Mana Echoes
    Added Atzocan Seer
    Added Forerunner of the Empire
    Added Knight of the Stampede
    Added Etali, Primal Storm
    Added Ghalta, Primal Hunger
    Added Polyraptor
    Added Regal Behemoth
    Added Temple Altisaur
    Added Trapjaw Tyrant
    Added Wayward Swordtooth
    Added Zacama, Primal Calamity
    Added Zetalpa, Primal Dawn
    Added Huatli, Radiant Champion
    Added Worldly Tutor

    Basically a bit of an overhaul swapping out a bunch of cards that I never really used for more dinosaurs and dinosaur fuel. Despite adding in MORE enrage based dinos, some of the enrage enabling cards were removed. This was largely due to lack of impact they had. So enrage now has a little less support outside of swinging wildly. Which you should be doing regularly anyway.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on A Guide to Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie
    It's because Ripjaw draws cards on a good body and Tyrant is nigh unstoppable. Those kinds of creatures always have a high price tag.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Gishath - Semi-Dinosaur Tribal with Enrage Synergies
    That changeling combo is actually pretty damn good- And I say that as someone who really does not like changelings! I like the use of Shaman en-Kor, great way to spill damage across a bunch of enrage creatures. Also, reinforcements is one of those cards I never knew about until now, that is definitely something I want for my own Gishath deck.

    As for a card to remove, I personally would get rid of Greater Good, because I dislike willfully discarding three cards. Maybe Changeling Berserker? Seems like a bit of work for just a 5/3 haste. For one more mana you get Charging Monstrosaur which is a 5/5 trample, haste.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on A Guide to Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie
    Deck Updates

    Added in my reasons for not using changelings to "Things I Neglected and Why."
    Removed Kindred Charge
    Removed Command Beacon
    Added Scavenger Grounds
    Added Akromna's Memorial

    Never really liked changelings, so I gave some details in the main post. Kindred charge has yet to make a difference, however given how quickly the deck ramps up, Akroma's Memorial makes an excellent damage booster with tons of utility. I also wanted to give Scavenger Grounds a shot with its easy mass graveyard removal, so it gets some time to shine.

    Quote from TetzaHexloq »
    Very dissapointed this wasnt a deck for Commander 2017. We may never see tribal commander decks again and this would have been a solid spot for some commander focused dinosaurs and pirates.

    I kinda figured we weren't getting dinos before their debut, but I wouldn't put it past wizards to give dinos some real future support with how popular the tribe has been right out of the gate. Plus we have an entire second set to get more goodies out of, which is exciting considering just how much we got out of this set alone.

    Quote from purklefluff »
    This deck needs akroma's memorial really bad.

    Also all the effects that grant extra combat steps. There's that spell with flashback (forget the name) but also Godo, bandit warlord which fetches you some critical equipment (such as lightning greaves or Darksteel plate) and lets you crack in twice with your vigilant dinos

    Yes, godo isn't a dinosaur, but fitting in with the theme doesn't have to mean literally being a dinosaur. There are other ways to build a theme.

    It seems like we had the same idea with Memorial! AS for extra combat stages, yes we have Aggravated Assault, but I'm thinking I want to find a spot for World At War. Godo wouldn't be bad if I was using my usual suite of equipment, but I neglected it this time around in favor of more all inclusive buffs.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on A Guide to Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie
    Quote from illakunsaa »
    I don't want to sound like a dick but I think this deck is really bad. Even if you get the nuts with Gishath and hit 7 dinos off the top the dinos themselves are just bad. None of them (apart from from one) have any etb effects so opponents can just go untap into wrath or play fog. Cards like moment's peace represent crippling tempo loss for you.

    Well dinosaurs are a new tribe, not something like zombies or dragons that have decades of support. You can't expect a brand new tribe to suddenly fill out every little possibility, especially with this being the first set. I'm sure we'll get good stuff in the next set and in the future, but for now we work with what we've got instead of writing it all off because there's not enough support in the tribe. Besides, every creature deck gets shot out by wraths and repeated fogs, that doesn't mean the strategy is moot.
    Quote from JDviant »
    I'd run Leyline of Punishment over Gruul War Chant. Menace can be good, but Leyline shuts down quite a bit.

    Scavenger Grounds is playable graveyard hate that doesn't take up a spell slot. I also think the flexibility of Chaos Warp/Beast Within would be very welcome.

    Punishment wouldn't be a bad thing to test, that's for sure. I don't think it would be a big issue with what life gain we do have most of the time anyway. I totally forgot scavenging grounds was a thing, def wanna see about trying to find a nice spot for it.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on A Guide to Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie
    Blessing is definitively a good idea if you've got mill or titans in your meta. I like command, I just don't think I'd use half of it often enough to justify all four modes.
    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on A Guide to Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie
    Gishath's Prehistoric Menagerie

    Hello and welcome, to this, my first public EDH guide! It's been a very long time since I've delved this deep into magic and it feels good to be back! This guide is not too well geared for competitive spirits, but more for those that want to jump into a fun new tribe that likes to swing wildly at your opponents. Oh and dinosaurs, it’s also about dinosaurs.

    For literal decades players have wanted to see the word “dinosaur” on the type line of creatures old and new, and at long last it has arrived! Dinosaurs are one of those animals that have enough grounding in both reality and fantasy that allows them to show in odd places, such as D&D and now Magic: the Gathering, making paleo nerds like myself very happy. Ixalan wastes no time getting us into our new creature type bringing us a legendary dinosaur for Commander/EDH right out the gate. Gishath, Sun’s Avatar is our premiere dinosaur tribal general, and that is exactly how we‘re going to build him!

    Play Gishath if you Like:
    • Dinosaurs
    • Aggro decks
    • Tribal decks
    • RGW colors

    A Quick History of Tribal
    While the dinosaur creature type is brand new, “tribal” has been an archetype in MtG for a very long time. The first tribal themed block was released in 2002, called the Onslaught block. This block laid the groundwork for future tribal sets and blocks by establishing how tribes could work together and how noncreature cards could be of great value to decks that traditionally want a very high creature count.

    Five years later the next big tribal block was released, this was the Lorwyn block. Much like the Onslaught block, Lorywn pushed the envelope of how tribal could work and created the “tribal” type for noncreature cards. Cards with the tribal type were generally quite powerful, provided you were supporting the same kind of creatures. Sadly, the tribal type ended up being a flop as far as Wizards of the Coast was concerned and was scrapped to never be seen since (well ok sans Rise of the Eldrazi). The community has questioned its return multiple times, but every time we are told no. Maybe one day.

    Since the end of the Lorwyn block, tribal themed cards have shown up every so often, giving creature theme decks new tools to use at their disposal. There have even been a few blocks with a tribal subtheme, meaning that while the overarching theme of the block is not tribal per-say, it plays a big role within the sets. The Innistrad and Return to Innistrad blocks did this with their horror tropes. While the sets themselves were not based on tribal mechanics, tribal subthemes were important in bringing the feel of the different races together since each race was wildly different from one another. A second example with be the Tarkir block. While the tribal themes of Tarkir were minimal, dragon tribal was given a very big boost since the whole plane’s plot revolved around the big flying creatures.

    And now we come to Ixalan, which has a very heavy tribal theme. With dinosaurs. Which is what we’re all about.

    The Commander

    So this is Gishath, our commander for the dinosaur tribal deck. In order to make a deck around him, we must first understand how he works. So we’ll take some time to analyze the different aspects of his card to better understand how to use him.

    Gishath, Sun’s Avatar 5RGW

    To start, he’s got a converted mana cost of eight mana. That’s a steep cost to pay, even in EDH, but he more than makes up for it with his abilities. Thanks to him having green, we have access to the most mana ramp of any color, which will give us a ton of ways to speed him out faster. Cards like Cultivate and Kodama's Reach can assure we get both white and red mana for his eventual casting. And since this is dinosaur tribal, you can get great use out of Urza's Incubator and Herald’s Horn to make him cost even less.

    Legendary Creature- Dinosaur Avatar

    Obviously his creature type has some matter to it, Dinosaur Avatar is a *****in’ typeline, no? And of course he is legendary. All this means is that our tribal theme is on point. Woo.

    Trample, vigilance, haste

    Now THAT is a nice way to start off a card! Those three abilities in tandem mean we don’t need any cards wasted on getting him there. So auras and equipment aren’t really too big of a deal with him. You may want to make him hexproof or indestructible, so Champion’s Helm, and Darksteel Plate may still be in your deck, but that’s about it.

    When Gishath, Sun's Avatar deals combat damage to a player, reveal that many cards from the top of your library. Put any number of Dinosaur creature cards from among them onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

    Here’s where the tribal part comes in. Whenever he hits a player, you get dinosaurs. Now the fact that he has built in trample means you’re likely always going to get something, right? Be advised you reveal equal to the damage dealt, not his power, so you’re not always gonna get the full amount. But you’ll get something, and that is what matters. Any cards that increase the power of Gishath means you’re gonna hit for even more cards, and it just so happens that our three colors are absolutely great at buffing creatures (more on that later). Now when he does grab dinos, they go straight onto the battlefield, meaning any applicable ETB effects will trigger, but since you are not casting the dinosaurs, any tribal ability that states “when you cast a creature of the chosen type” will not be affected. This is important since you want to maximize how your deck runs once Gishath is on the battlefield.


    For the cost and the abilities, these are respectable stats. If he connects to an opponent unhindered, that’s seven potential free dinos! And with a power of seven, he can make a fearsome comm-damage general and opens up possible voltron style builds. Six toughness does put him in kill range with a lot of late game creatures though, so we will need to buff and protect him, or make him straight up unblockable. +1/+1 counters are a great way to make him bigger, and the ever popular Rogue’s Passage is our new best friend in the land department.

    Basic Strategy
    Our strategy for dinosaur tribal is pretty simple at heart, we’re an aggro deck. We need dinosaurs. We need cards that buff those dinosaurs. We need to play Gishath as quickly as possible. Most importantly, we need to hit with Gishath to increase how wide we can swing with our dinosaur army. Now there are so many options for making that work. We’re gonna go over them all, and once the deck is complete I’ll go over why I picked some choices over others.

    Card Choices
    This is obviously the backbone of the deck itself. We’re running three colors, so without a strong mana base we have already lost. Dual lands are important, and we have numerous ones to pick from. Really it’s up to your budget on what kind you want, but Shocklands, Fetchlands, Checklands, and Temples are all great choices that greatly expand our options. Temples also let us scry, meaning we can try to get a read on our next Gishath hit. Cards like Command Tower, Path of Ancestry and Cavern of Souls can help us cast our dinos no matter our current situation. Cavern can keep control decks from knocking out Gishath prematurely, and again, with Path we can scry to try and foresee a Gishath hit. Rogue’s Passage is great as it guarantees that we’ll get a full hit for dinos and slam some nice damage in as well. With our mass amount of dinos and insistence on hitting hard with Gishath, Gavony Township can work wonders here, as late game you don’t really want to spend time casting things instead you want to make Gishath swings as valuable as possible. Being able buff Gishath and the army he creates can get out of hand very quickly.

    Planeswalker choices are pretty easy for this deck. We have both versions of Huatli, who deals with dinosaurs. Hell, Huatli, Dinosaur Knight even comes with its own dinosaur tutor in the form of Sun-Blessed Mount. Do we really want or need more ‘walkers for the deck? Well if you find the answer to be “yes,” then take a good look at Domri Rade, whose creature based repertoire can increase our dinosaur potential quite a bit. My favorite little factor with Domri is that his first ability has a “may” clause, meaning if we have Gishath and Domri, we can attempt to “scry” us Gishath hit if we don’t wanna hardcast the dino that is potentially underneath.

    Garruk Wildspeaker can be a decent choice due to his first ability allowing us to get more mana to cast dinos as well as his last ability when going for an alpha strike. While his middle ability isn’t on theme, it can produce a blocker in a pinch. In the same vein as Garruk we have Xenagos, the Reveler. His first ability lets us cast more dinos, his last ability grants us more dinos, and his middle is an off theme token for fleshing out the board.

    Mana Ramp & Cost Reduction
    Gishath costs quite a bit, as do a good chunk of our dinos, so we definitely need to offset that with some extra mana and cost reduction. Things like Urza’s Incubator and Herald’s Horn are great includes in the deck. Also note that Horn has the “may” clause, so you have the option of using it as a “scry” check for a Gishath hit. Both have cheap costs and definitely can find a home in the deck. In Ixalan we also get two more cost reducers, Otepec Huntmaster and Kinjalli's Caller, while not dinosaurs, they’re pretty damn good early game drops.

    We’re running green, so we get pick of the litter for green ramp spells, and it’s pretty much all preference in that regard. I love Kodama's Reach and Cultivate for the ability to get your plains and mountains early game, or just fill up what you need to cast Gishath late game. Traverse the Outlands is pretty good for us considering the relatively high power of our creatures. And of course we have things like Birds of Paradise and Drover of the Mighty as mana dorks. Druid of the Anima is a good budget dork since she hits all three of our colors. With the sheer amount of creature’s we’re going to be pumping out, Cryptolith Rite can be a great way to drop Gishath or other high cost dinos.

    Creature Support
    Much of the dinosaur specific tribal cards in Ixalan are not that great in EDH, but we do get two cost reducers, so there’s that. The Kindred Cycle from C17 is good here, indestructible from Kindred Boon can be great not only for keeping Gishath on the field, but also for repeated enrage enabling without worrying about overkill. Kindred Charge is absolutely wonderful for that game-ending alpha strike. I admit I am not a big fan of Kindred Summons for taking away potential Gishath hits, but more on that later. Mana Echoes is awesome tribal synergy for casting multiple dinos a turn, or getting dinos out of our hand after a good Gishath hit in.

    Since our whole game plan revolves around throwing down lots of creatures and swinging, we need a nice suite of enhancements that can buff the dino army. To start, we have plenty of choice on mass protection for our dinos. The simple tribal way is Steely Resolve since it’s cheap to cast and targets our dinos. The downside being that if you’re running lots of target buffs, shroud can bite you back. For three more mana you can use Asceticism to give all your creatures, non-dinos included, hexproof and regeneration. That’s probably what everyone wants. But there’s one more that is often forgotten. Privileged Position. Five mana and it gives all your other permanents hexproof. So really the choice comes down to this. Do you want just your dinos safe, all your creatures safe with some regen, or do you want a blanket for all your permanents?

    Now that we have protected our little prehistoric friends, let’s talk buffs. I believe in the case of Gishath, we want more utility rather than straight up power. To this end we have things like Brave the Sands, giving us additional blocks and vigilance for swinging without leaving us open. Gruul War Chant really shines with this deck, as it is going to be hard to double block a ton of dinos unless tokens or some other mass creature aggro deck steps up. Plus hey, free +1/+0. True Conviction gives us double strike AND lifelink, making our attacks hit even harder and give us a leg up in the life department (Disclaimer: the life department means nothing to voltron players). Warstorm Surge also shines pretty well with Gishath hits, dealing a fair amount of damage if you can hit the dinos needed. So what if we do want a good creature buff? Well look no further than Beastmaster Ascension. Swing enough times and we get +5/+5 for our army. Can’t really argue against that!

    The Top Deck
    Gishath relies on the top card(s) of your library being dinosaurs, so obviously we want to be able to manipulate that. The quick and dirty answer is simple: Sensei's Divining Top. Or is it Sylvan Library? Mirri's Guile? Well they’re all great at doing what you need. Budget options also include Crystal Ball, which is pretty decent on its own. We also have Scroll Rack which is beautiful when you’ve got to many dinos in hand and have Gishath poised to strike. Crown of Convergence is also a great choice, since you can choose to remove a non-dino from the top when Gishath is on the offensive. Provided you’re ok with having your top card known at least. Pretty much any good scry or repeatable top deck manipulation is a good for Gishath.

    Behold our Mechanic! We have a decent amount of enrage dinos, with more coming in future sets, so it’s safe to say we should do something with it. Pyrohemia is the go to enchantment for this. For one red, we can ping all our enrage dinos and trigger a plethora of effects. We even have a dino enabler in the form of Raging Swordtooth! As mentioned before Kindred Boon can be great for swinging wildly with enrage creatures to great effect (Raptor Hatchling suddenly starts being the egg layer o.O?!) Other good options are small mass damage dealer cards such as Pyroclasm, but just be aware of your squishy things that might get killed in the process! I personally love Ulvenwald Tracker as a good repeatable fight source here.

    So Now you’re ready to swing. Good! Let’s maximize that power. Extra attack cards are great here for both damage and Gishath hits. Savage Beating is just a great card for us, double strike and extra attack in one package. Aggravated Assault can be a great mid to late game repeatable attack use and is my personal favorite of the bunch. You also have things like Waves of Aggression and World at War that have conditional extra uses tacked on if you really wanna go that extra mile for lots of cards that let you swing a lot.

    It’s also important that Gishath hit as hard as possible. While built in trample is nice, Rogue's Passage bypasses the need for it entirely, as does Whispersilk Cloak with bonus shroud protection.

    Removal & Tutors
    White gives us a lot of the great target removal such as Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, and Condemn for creatures that pose a threat to our board. Oblivion Ring, Banishing Light, and their ilk can also be useful for noncreatures and creatures alike. White also gives us artifact and enchantment tutors such as Enlightened Tutor and Idyllic Tutor, which can be pretty good if you’re like me and love enchantments in a creature deck. Return to Dust is probably white’s best choice for artifacts and enchantments removal if you find your group is full of decks that run them in high amounts.

    Red’s removal is mostly going to be burn, but we do have Chaos Warp for a catch all target removal spell, just gotta hope their top deck is something more manageable. Red’s got a lot of artifact removal, which means we get access to the wonder that is Vandal Blast. Gamble is the defacto red tutor spell in red provided you are ok with the risk it comes with.

    Green gives us all kinds of creature tutors from Green Sun’s Zenith to Sylvan Tutor. We also get plenty of top-deck for creature cards like Lurking Predators. It’s not quite a tutor, but hey more free dinosaurs. Green also gives us more artifact and enchantment removal. Krosan Grip is a sure-fire way to make sure something remains gone, or if you’re dealing with multiple issues, Tribute to the Wild can be a good alternative. Or you can run Bramblecrush and Beast Within to deal with just about everything. Once you start combining colors we get some interesting and nice results. Aura Shards for example shines wonderfully here since we’re going to be vomiting creatures everywhere anyway.

    Scorched Earth Policy
    “But Seth, I want people to hate me” I hear you say. Well have no fear, for together we can salt the earth and leave it barren. This idea does not get credit from me, it’s an idea several people have talked about and I figured it’d be worth mentioning. Gishath gives you free dinos once on the board, so it’s been brought up that mass land destruction and lots of creature removal can pave the way for a totally empty board that Gishath can just swing recklessly into. Now the idea has merit, but not my cup of tea. But things like Land Tax can be a great help when catching back up in lands after something like Armageddon. Or just run ten times the mana rocks, whatever floats your boat. Go cause a mass extinction using dinosaurs.

    The Deck
    Gishath's Prehistoric MenagerieMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Commander (1)
    1 Gishath, Sun's Avatar

    Squishy Support (7)
    1 Kinjalli's Caller
    1 Otepec Huntmaster
    1 Drover of the Mighty
    1 Priest of the Wakening Sun
    1 Atzocan Seer
    1 Forerunner of the Empire
    1 Knight of the Stampede

    DINOSAURS (24)
    1 Territorial Hammerskull
    1 Sun-Blessed Mount
    1 Bellowing Aegisaur
    1 Goring Ceratops
    1 Kinjalli's Sunwing
    1 Wakening Sun's Avatar
    1 Burning Sun's Avatar
    1 Rampaging Ferocidon
    1 Carnage Tyrant
    1 Ranging Raptors
    1 Ripjaw Raptor
    1 Thundering Spineback
    1 Verdant Sun's Avatar
    1 Raging Swordtooth
    1 Regisaur Alpha
    1 Etali, Primal Storm
    1 Ghalta, Primal Hunger
    1 Polyraptor
    1 Regal Behemoth
    1 Temple Altisaur
    1 Trapjaw Tyrant
    1 Wayward Swordtooth
    1 Zacama, Primal Calamity
    1 Zetalpa, Primal Dawn

    Planeswalkers (3)
    1 Huatli, Dinosaur Knight
    1 Huatli, Warrior Poet
    1 Huatli, Radiant Champion

    Artifacts (9)
    1 Sol Ring
    1 Prismatic Geoscope
    1 Chromatic Lantern
    1 Darksteel Ingot
    1 Commander's Sphere
    1 Elixir of Immortality
    1 Urza's Incubator
    1 Scroll Rack
    1 Herald's Horn

    Enchantments (10)
    1 Mirari's Wake
    1 Mirri's Guile
    1 True Conviction
    1 Privileged Position
    1 Beastmaster Ascension
    1 Brave the Sands
    1 Aura Shards
    1 Kindred Boon
    1 Gruul War Chant
    1 Mana Echoes
    1 Aggravated Assault

    Instants (6)
    1 Path to Exile
    1 Swords to Plowshares
    1 Teferi's Protection
    1 Congregation at Dawn
    1 Enlightened Tutor
    1 Worldly Tutor

    Sorceries (3)
    1 Cultivate
    1 Kodama's Reach
    1 Sylvan Tutor

    Lands (37)
    4 Plains
    4 Forest
    4 Mountain
    1 Sacred Foundry
    1 Stomping Ground
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Arid Mesa
    1 Windswept Heath
    1 Wooded Foothills
    1 Fire-Lit Thicket
    1 Rugged Prairie
    1 Wooded Bastion
    1 Jungle Shrine
    1 Reliquary Tower
    1 Homeward Path
    1 Command Tower
    1 Temple of Abandon
    1 Temple of Plenty
    1 Temple of the False God
    1 Temple of Triumph
    1 Clifftop Retreat
    1 Rootbound Crag
    1 Sunpetal Grove
    1 Scavenger Grounds
    1 Cavern of Souls
    1 Rogue's Passage
    1 Path of Ancestry
    1 Gavony Township

    Why I Built This Way
    So now that you’ve seen the list I’ve built and noticed what I put in and more importantly, what I didn’t, let me explain why I built the deck this way. There’s a lot of different cards and strategies that make Gishath work well. You can fill it with fight cards for enrage or top deck manipulation to always get a hit, but I went and threw a little bit of everything into the deck and didn’t focus to much on one strategy over another. And that is because I was more concerned with treating the deck as a whole as dinosaur tribal and not “Gishath spits out dinos.” Don’t get me wrong, Gishath swinging into a 5+ dino drop is immensely satisfying, but there are gonna be times where 8 mana might be an issue and people see a big fat target for removal. So that means the deck should be able to run just fine without the big guy himself. To that end I made sure that the choices I made would make the deck run smoothly with or without him on the board. Lots of enchantments means all the creatures have a bigger impact, lots of mana fixing means that with or without Gishath, the large number of high cost creatures can come down at roughly the same speed as Gishath himself.

    Plus I like the deck as more of a simple drop and swing style aggro deck with lots of enchantment buffs rather than some weird combo style tempo engine. So far in testing the deck has about a 75% win rate (over the course of tenish games inside a couple days at least) and the big thing has been either mana flood when dinos are needed or building up into running out of gas. Getting Gishath out tends to be pretty easy, but not hitting anything can be a problem. I’ve only had one game where none of my swings landed dinos, and that game sucked. However removal tended to be the biggest issue. Once people see how bad it can get when Gishath connects once, he gets hit repeatedly. I had him costing 16 mana at one point simply because I got all the right mana fixing and my opponents kept getting good removal. So maybe a bit more protection would be a good idea if you have the same trouble.

    Putting It All Together
    So everything is in place and you now have a rough idea of how to handle the deck. But there are a lot of other decks that other people play, and they don’t want to be devoured by dinosaurs. So what exactly is Gishath good at and bad at? When is a good time to go on the attack or when should you sit tight and play defense?

    Opening Hand
    A good opening hand has one of a few things. You either want your first three or so turns set up, or you want your turn three to really start pushing you forward. In some cases if you feel like you can make a couple turns work into some decent draws, risk it. A good starting hand for the aggro aspect is anything that will let you hit the ground running. Cost reducer or mana ramp + a dino that will benefit from hitting the board quick. When going for more of a set-up for later hand, try to go for something that really lets loose around turn three and gives you a presence for the turns to come. Such as major cost reduction, tribal synergy, heavy mana ramp, etc.
    Mulligans can be risky in some cases, everyone has that one card they always want to play, but never can. It happens. My group does a partial paris for mulligan, so that card you are so desperate for can stay. But not everyone does a partial paris mulligan. Generally if you can’t get one of the two scenarios, or somewhere in between, mulligan.

    Early Game
    So this very much ties into the opening hand scenario above. Early game you want to drop down your small dinos, your mana fixing, and generally any cheap artifacts and enchantments that will boost your combat prowess in the turns to come.
    Kinjalli's Caller or Birds of Paradise are optimal turn 1 plays for instance, especially if you’ve got something like Deathgorge Scavenger to eat their early graveyard, or Rampaging Ferocidon to set a good early game threat down. So then on turn three you can either do some mana fixing or ideally, more dinos.

    Things like Urza's Incubator into three or more three (or less) cost dinos is an example of a good “late” start, because with incubator they’ll be a single colored mana each (in most cases anyway). Or perhaps you have the perfect turn four set up, but lack the land. You have a T3 Cultivate though to set up that perfect turn four.

    Mid Game
    Once you’ve got some gas, start laying on the enchantments and more powerful dinos. You want lots of feathery bodies with lots of feathery buffs. With an all-star opening hand like above, this is when you should start playing any 4-5 cost dinos and enchantments. If you got a really good mana fixing kind of hand, you should be able to drop Gishath now and start swinging away. This is also probably the time where your removal is going to start coming in handy, so always remember that in the face of overwhelming adversity, “tap some mana, blow your ***** up” is always an acceptable answer for what to do with your turn.
    Great enchantments for this portion of the game tend to be things like Gruul War-Chant for evasion and buffs, as well as Mirari's Wake for more buffs and more importantly: MANA!

    Late Game
    By this time, you should have Gishath out, or an army of dinos, preferably both. True Conviction is your all star late game enchantment and when combined with Aggravated Assault, things get dirty. At this point in the game, your worst fear is a board wipe, like Wrath of God. Maybe you’ll get lucky and all your creatures have been protected by Kindred Boon, but it’s not always going to be there. Use your Privileged Position if you’ve got it. In the face of a wipe however, fear not. You can reload your deck with Elixir of Immortality and a little more mana on your next Gishath cast.

    There are a bunch of different “styles” of aggro. We’ll be talking a little about tokens and tribal, since those are the kinds of aggro I tested this deck against.
    Tokens come with one of two strategies. Be faster than their token generation, or annihilate their tokens. The guy with the three 1/1 tokens might look appealing until he throws them all under the bus to only give you a hit of four. However the tapped out player with only a 2/2 blocker gives you a 5 hit, and maybe he’ll let you through anyway for the full seven. But then again the token deck can get out of hand quickly. Tokens by themselves aren’t really a big issue, but good token production can mean six tokens that can kill Gishath when put together. That problem only worsens once you realize that the token deck has many ways to make their entire board bigger. So if you’re running a lot of small mass damage cards like Pyroclasm, the token deck is not gonna have a good time. Then there's the token buff cards. Token decks tend to run a lot of artifacts and enchantments as well, so in a lot of cases you want to definitely save your removal for the big swingy card that they want to drop to buff the token army. If you can manage to swing on tokens often enough to get them in the defensive, you should have no problem. However tokens by nature can be pretty aggressive so hopefully you don't end up backed into a corner by a bunch of guys with swords.

    Big creature aggro decks tend to be things like dragons and angels where as massive board presence aggro decks tends to be things like zombies and goblins. These are the cases where your spot removal is gonna come in handy. These types tend to rely on certain “lords” to give the decks more fuel, and those lords are exactly the targets you want. If you can keep the zombie horde from reaching critical mass, you can win. Dragons and Angels on the other hand… well big beefy fliers are a problem and one we can’t solve easily without an atrocious amount of flyer removal. Spidersilk Armor can be a good fallback in these instances if you can draw into it or tutor it up. However sometimes the war cannot be won kids. Dinosaurs went extinct, dragons still burn ***** to the ground. Unless this is Reign of Fire, in which case dragons burned the dinosaurs into extinction. Really as a straight aggro deck we have issues with heavy removal and counter, with problems when the other aggro deck gets steam faster. Same problems aggro decks have always had. However everyone’s meta is different so maybe yours is casual enough that none of this matters.

    Haven’t really played against any combo decks yet. I’d assume the matchup is pretty much “be aggressive, kill combo pieces, survive.”

    Counterspells are cheap and Gishath is expensive, end of story. Casting Gishath when the blue mage has open mana is probably not the best idea, but if you have other things to do, see if you can’t fake him into countering something you see as important. Never play into control, play around it. Plus with others in the game, maybe their hand can get worn down into nothing before you get a chance to cast Gishath so he hits the board unaccosted. At that point, spot removal is your big issue. Now there’s no real way around this unless you’re making him indestructible and/or Hexproof. With this deck we have Kindred Boon and Privileged Position, but not much else. So if you’re in a removal heavy meta (I’d say I am, but I’m the removal heavy person with most of my decks) then maybe you should run a little more, Steely Resolve and Darksteel Plate are cheap to cast options for protection.

    Things I Neglected and Why
    So there are a few seemingly obvious ideas that I didn’t go for. For instance, there are quite a few spells that allow you to grab creatures from the top of your library and put them into your hand or straight onto the battlefield. I dislike those kinds of cards for this deck specifically on the merit that it will take away from Gishath. Now if you’re going for more of a speed aggro dino deck, go for it, grab all the dinos and just blitz it. Lurking Predators, Kindred Summons and the like are great for this. Something else I neglected was “when you cast” triggers for creatures. A lot of good support cards like Vanquisher's Banner require the dinos to be hard cast. Now no that doesn’t utterly ruin the deck since we will be casting dinos just as much as getting them for free, I’d just rather make sure that the bonuses I get are geared more towards them being on the field rather than how they get there. Why didn't I use changelings? Yes changelings are powerful, however I've always seen them as kind of a cop-out to fill out tribal space with creatures that don't get a lot of support. Yes we're a new tribe and we don't have decades worth of support, but it's just personal choice that I don't use changelings. You however can use them to your heart's content.

    About the Author & Special Thanks

    If you only care about the deck strategies feel free to skip this portion as it is mostly about me and my love of dinosaurs along with a special thanks at the end.

    To accurately describe how I feel about this tribe and why I came back to MTGS to post this, I want to talk a little about myself. No I'm not some vain narcissist, but I want to give a little insight as to why I seem to be making a big deal out of this.
    When I was little my dad wanted more than anything else to make sure I had an appreciation for science and the world around me. So when I took an interest in dinosaurs, as most kids do, he took it as his chance to get me fascinated in science and the history of the world. Growing up, if it was dinosaur related it was my domain. Whether it was hard science, or science fiction, the world of the ancient past was just as much my life as anything else. I learned to appreciate the differences between Hollywood's movie monster dinosaurs and the real things. Even to this day I love movies like Jurassic Park despite its inaccuracies because they helped me foster more of the love I have for the paleontological world.

    Growing up I wanted to be a paleontologist whether it be out digging up bones or back in a lab unlocking the secrets of animals long dead. Those dreams never came true and in a way that only increased my love of dinosaurs and their ancient cousins. Dinosaurs are something I love more than angels or even dragons (and they're supposed be my schtick!) and my house is littered with books and toys and all sorts of dinosaur paraphernalia.
    MTG also became a similar life long interest. It got me into math and strategy, the latter of which is still considered my strong suit in many situations and hobbies outside MTG. This game helped bring me out of my shell and got me to be social instead of my anti social self. I've often said that if I could only ever have one hobby I'd drop everything for MTG, and that still rings true today.

    So imagine, after almost two decades of loving dinosaurs and MTG, the indescribable feeling of sheer joy when the Ixalan leaks show that not only are we finally getting the dinosaur creature type back, but with full tribal support and the inclusion of an EDH viable tribal commander for them. This is like my two favorite things ever have smashed together in harmony for the first real time. Ixalan will go down as my favorite plane possibly ever now, which is a big damn deal. How big? Well this guide has existed in some form since Gishath was leaked as Gishark and the deck has existed for just as long.

    Special Thanks
    I want to give a very special thanks to TeacherMask. For a good while now I've felt like I've been the only one in my group that still really cares about MTG as a game and not just something to talk about. On top of that, thanks to financial difficulty and a busy schedule I haven't been able to even go to my LGS at all, let alone to FNM or a prerelease. When the Ixalan leaks were posted, I made a thread on reddit's r/edh about brainstorming Gishath. Everyone made great contributions, but TM went the extra mile. We've talked for over a month now about Gishath and deck ideas and ways to improve the deck as well as gushing over all the new official spoilers that are dinosaur related we've gotten since spoiler season started. In this time where I've felt pretty alone in the best thing that could happen to my favorite hobby, it has been almost therapeutic to be able to share this joy in both dinos and MTG with another person. So thanks TM, you've reignited my love for this game that I honestly thought I was starting to lose. And that Wizards, for finally giving me dinosaurs in Magic!

    Deck Revision

    Deck is complete. Well ok it was done a while ago and rebuilt several times, but now I’m happy with calling it complete.

    Got the banner working finally!
    Added in my reasons for not using changelings to "Things I Neglected and Why."
    Fixed some typos.
    Removed Kindred Charge
    Removed Command Beacon
    Added Scavenger Grounds
    Added Akromna's Memorial

    Removed Birds of Paradise
    Removed Ulvenwald Tracker
    Removed Snapping Sailback
    Removed Magmasaur
    Removed Sky terror
    Removed Raptor Hatchling
    Removed Sun-Crowned Hunters
    Removed Akroma's Memorial
    Removed Pyrohemia
    Removed Warstorm Surge
    Removed Traverse the Outlands
    Removed Mana Echoes
    Added Atzocan Seer
    Added Forerunner of the Empire
    Added Knight of the Stampede
    Added Etali, Primal Storm
    Added Ghalta, Primal Hunger
    Added Polyraptor
    Added Regal Behemoth
    Added Temple Altisaur
    Added Trapjaw Tyrant
    Added Wayward Swordtooth
    Added Zacama, Primal Calamity
    Added Zetalpa, Primal Dawn
    Added Huatli, Radiant Champion
    Added Worldly Tutor

    Posted in: Multiplayer Commander Decklists
  • posted a message on Our Skype Room Is [Pack]ed
    With the majority of us no longer posting on MTGSalvation we have come to the conclusion that we should indeed retire the [Pack] Here on MTGS.

    It's been fun, and outside MTGS we shall thrive, but our time here has come to an end.

    For those of you current or former Pack mates that have missed the great closing, the majority of us are active on the Magecraft forums and will continue the Pack Legacy there. You can find a link to Magecraft in my sig. If you'd like to keep in contact, you can contact me there or via PM here.
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • posted a message on Our Skype Room Is [Pack]ed
    Yes, we really haven't been active on this site very much. I'm convening outside MTGS currently with the rest of the clan to decide whether or not we want to retire here or try and keep it active.

    Speaking of you all, you can post your vote here if you'd like.

    I will get back to KoolKoal before the deadline on this issue. Though I do thank you for the heads-up rather than just killing it off.
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • posted a message on Our Skype Room Is [Pack]ed
    I'm just gonna go over my thoughts on the champs we have

    I love Teysa, but her cost is off putting. I almost want to make her work in an EDH deck.
    Exava is a good card, but a total flavor failure. I have a casual deck that MIGHT take her...
    Levinia is a powerhouse, but is dreadfully boring. I dislike.
    Velov is also kinda boring, but is a fun way to play with counters. He;'ll find a home in my Zegana EDH.
    Melek is super neat, but I dunno about the cost, though I am tempted to build a deck around him.
    Ruric Thar is the most balance-to-power of the group thus far and he is quite an awesome card. Though I dunno if I plan on doing anything with him.
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • posted a message on Kaalia + Master of Cruelties
    Quote from UnderwaterGuy

    Cards with abilities worded how MoC's is worded trigger when they are not blocked so they trigger when blockers are declared, not when damage is dealt. I don't know the comprehensive rules location for this rule so I can't tell you exactly where to look it up but I'm pretty confident about this.

    This is what I was hoping to hear about, thank you very much!
    Posted in: Rumored Card Rulings
  • posted a message on Kaalia + Master of Cruelties
    Let's get a little discussion going to settle an argument that seems to be happening everywhere I go.

    Does Master of Cruelties' ability trigger when Kaalia summons it?

    Kallia negates any "when ~ attacks" abilities because they aren't declared, they're just dropped in attacking. It's one of the major reasons Rakdoswas so popular, because he's not declared, you don't sacrifice your permanents.

    However the slight variance on Master of "when ~ attacks a player" seems to make the ability trigger. This means the "attacks a player" clause is quite a bit different from any simple "when ~ attacks" clause.

    Why is this exactly?

    And if all of this is wrong, and his ability doesn't trigger like any other attack clause when dropped, then the internet is wrong.
    Posted in: Rumored Card Rulings
  • posted a message on Hungry Spriggan + Caltrops
    Thanks for the quick responses guys!
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Hungry Spriggan + Caltrops
    Just a quick question. If I have Caltrops on the board and my opponent attacks with Hungry Spriggan, will the spriggan die from Caltrops before the buff, or will the buff apply first and save it?
    Posted in: Magic Rulings Archives
  • posted a message on Our Skype Room Is [Pack]ed
    Quote from Rivenor
    Hydras? Overall I wouldnt mind a break from dragons. Don't need them in everything.here.

    Wizards publicly stated they want to add a dragon to everything during the ISD block when everyone was up in arms over why Balefire was in the set. Apparently they're classic and important enough to just throw around. You won't see me complaining.
    Posted in: Retired Clan Threads
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.