Wild About Wildgrowth Walker

“Wildgrowth Walker is basically Tarmogoyf + Loxodon Hierarch”
-Mike

So this is Wildgrowth Walker:

Wildgrowth Walker

Wildgrowth Walker: Positioned Well

Try as we might… Try as we might with all our Time Walks and Planeswalkers, Goblin Chainwhirler decks remain near the top of the Standard tournament scene. And where there are aggressive Red Decks, some Magicians will want to solve the problem with a solid, on-time, blocker. You know: Like Wildgrowth Walker.

Patrick points out, that like every Omenspeaker that has come before, this Elemental is a 1/3 for two mana. And 1/3 creatures for two mana a great at blocking Red Aggro.

But that’s not all!

Wildgrowth Walker is Actually Huge Sometimes

While it can come down on turn two to hold off, say, an Earthshaker Khenra, this Elemental is actually a big game itself sometimes.

The reason this came up this week at all is that Alexander Gordon-Brown did so well with his Sultai Midrange deck at Grand Prix Brussels.

That deck plays four copies of Merfolk Branchwalker and four copies of Jadelight Ranger. With so much redundancy on Explore creatures, Wildgrowth Walker is a plausible fatty for only two mana. Further, it can gain a lot of life. The latter is of course great against Red Decks and the former is great against everybody. Besides which, either setting up card advantage or setting up more Explore guys can be awesome.

Imagine:

  • Turn two Wildgrowth Walker
  • Turn three Jadelight Ranger

It’s on!

Potentially drawing two extra cards aside, you’ve got a 3/5 Elemental, have just gained six life, and might have more gas in hand. Did we mention “it’s on”?

This Deck Has All the Aces. Okay, “most of” the Aces

While “Wild About Wildgrowth Walker” features all kinds of decks — including 1996 Necropotence references and a shout-out to Worth Wollpert’s 1997 Regional Championships win with Air Elemental — Alexander Gordon Brown’s deck alone has a ton of awesome cards.

Not just these Explore guys. Not just the Walker. Yes to four copies of THE Scarab God. Yes to four copies of Hostage Taker (and the Blossoming Defenses to protect them)…

But somehow not Vraska’s Contempt?

The deck remains Mike’s favorite of the week by far. Plus our takes on how to improve it, and some of the other top cards and decks of the format!

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Palace Jailer Wins the Pro Tour!

Palace Jailer
Palace Jailer made two of the Top 4 Legacy decks at the Pro Tour… including the winning Death & Taxes!

Death & Taxes is a “High Tier One” Archetype in Legacy… Thanks to Palace Jailer

New addition Palace Jailer helps to catapult this strategy to a legitimately defining deck in Legacy.

Death & Taxes has performed for years… But largely as a metagame deck. For example, the presence of main-deck Karakas has helped the deck to foil Sneak and Show. Sneak and Show’s key creatures — Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn — are perfect targets for the Legendary Land.

But with Palace Jailer and other toys from Conspiracy: Take the Crown, the power level and flexibility of this already-viable deck has increased substantially.

Palace Jailer doesn’t quite work like Fiend Hunter

Fiend HUnter
Fiend Hunter

“Um… How do I become the monarch?”

“Well… Did you play with any cards that make you the monarch?”

Patrick notes that the Jailer offers exactly the kind of edge Mike loves. While Palace Jailer looks like another take on the Fiend Hunter mechanic, it actually relies on a unique Conspiracy: Take the Crown mechanic. Many players just won’t read the card and will snap Lightning Bolt the Jailer hoping to get their creature back… not realizing that they aren’t the monarch.

That makes Palace Jailer essentially a white Nekrataal that exiles creatures with no targeting restrictions. Not only can this card smash almost any creature in a 187 — permanently — it can work well with Flickerwisp and other old standbys of the Death & Taxes archetype.

Casual Sets contribute heavily to Death & Taxes

Containment Priest
Containment Priest

From Commander 2014
This card is an absolute monster against Sneak Attack, Show and Tell, or reanimation strategies.

Council's Judgment
Council’s Judgment

From Magic: The Gathering – Conspiracy
Council’s Judgment is like a Vindicate or Maelstrom Pulse that does extra damage against folks who don’t read the card. Here’s a hint: When the opponent casts this, agree with them. Otherwise, you could lose more permanents!

Recruiter of the Guard
Recruiter of the Guard

From Conspiracy: Take the Crown
This tutor helps search up cards like today’s Palace Jailer. Simply awesome in a deck with cards like Stoneforge Mystic, Containment Priest, and Aether Vial. Recruiter of the Guard can get you the right tool for the right matchup at the right time.

There was lots more to the Pro Tour than Death & Taxes and Palace Jailer. Check all the tech out here:

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Everything You Can Do With a Graveyard Marshal

Graveyard Marshal
Graveyard Marshal

  • Mana Cost: BB
  • Converted Mana Cost: 2
  • Types: Creature — Zombie Soldier
  • Card Text: 2B, Exile a creature card from your graveyard: Create a tapped 2/2 black Zombie creature token.
  • Flavor Text: “Rise and shine, my dears. We have work to do.” —Isareth the Awakener
  • P/T: 3 / 2
  • Expansion: Core Set 2019 (Rare) Core Set 2019
  • Rarity: Rare
  • Card Number: 99
  • Artist: Mark Behm

Graveyard Marshal is Helping to Make Zombies Happen

The SCG Classic in Indianapolis this past weekend featured not one but two Zombies decks in the Top 8!

One of them, played by Joshua Satterfield, was the winner.

Graveyard Marshal is one of the most important new cards in this strategy. In fact, the two drop from Dominaria does a ton of things that the deck wants. The first and most obvious is that Graveyard Marshal is an aggressive three-power creature for only two mana.

I mean… So is Scrapheap Scrounger.

But that’s not all. Not only can Graveyard Marshal actually block, but it’s a Zombie!

So you can go…

  1. B Diregraf Ghoul
  2. BB Graveyard Marshal
  3. BB1 Death Baron!

Boom!

You can truck in for a massive seven damage on turn three this way. Speaking of blocking (you know, the thing Scrapheap Scrounger doesn’t do well), any Zombies will trade up like champions with Death Baron buffing them.

Graveyard Marshal Can Frustrate The Scarab God

Everyone knows how powerful The Scarab God can be. It is a massive card advantage engine that can go completely over the top of foolish midrange decks with good creatures.

You know who can spit in the eye of The Scarab God and its four mana reanimation ability? Graveyard Marshal. The opponent has to leave up 2BU to try to make a 4/4 Zombie. The Marshal can hang back with an economical 2B to pre-empt The Scarab God’s attempt. At some point you’ll just run out of creatures. Which is fine (because you’re not getting annihilated by The Scarab God).

Putting it All Together with Graveyard Marshal

Zombies just might be the dark horse strategy to bust open this weekend’s Pro Tour.

With Diregraf Ghoul and Dread Wanderer at the B, it has an eight-pack of two power creatures for one.

There is an equal number of three power creatures for two.

It’s not just that Zombies plays eight Lords on three… It has Liliana’s Mastery too! This strategy has an almost unending number of ways to generate advantages and buff already aggressive creatures.

The big differentiation between this deck and StOmPy though is the creature elimination. Zombies has a ton of green’s aggression, but has great removal including Vraska’s Contempt (one of the best cards in the format overall).

Zombies is just the beginning of this week’s exciting podcast…

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