Trostani Landfall Fogs

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Post by bobthefunny » 1 year ago

Welcome to Trostani Landfall Fogs
This deck came about when my game store started a Commander League. After reading some of Sheldon's ramblings, I became persuaded on the concept that fog effects are under-used in Commander; even so I rarely ran them myself. When my game store started a points-based league, and one of the point options was to save another player, the incentives to build around fogs lined up.

There were three packages I wanted to build around: Spore Frog, Sunforger, and Glacial Chasm.

Initially I split this into two decks, Karador would run the sporefrog effects (decklist), while I placed both the Sunforger and lands packages into a Marath deck I was building (decklist), as both can complement each other - Sunforger wants a Mistveil Plains out. The resulting Marath deck felt a bit split, and unfocused. I decided to split the lands package out of my Marath, to make a new deck. I decided to stay on two colors to have plenty of Forests and Plains available for Knight of the Reliquary. I also wanted to not split my mana base into three colors to reduce the amount of non-basic lands which would be needed to produce colors, as I wanted to instead run a large array of utility lands. I added more landfall support, because it seemed synergistic with the mass land focus, ramp, and search I was running. The landfall triggers mostly make creature tokens, so I ended up with Trostani as a Commander. This would help with populating up an army, and the lifegain added an extra set of stall and recovery tactics, as well as fuel for Glacial Chasm, which completed the circle of synergy back to the origin point.

As I played the deck more, it quickly became my favored of the three new decks to play. The deck simply proved to be even more fun to play than I had anticipated. Something about being able to take over 100 damage a game, and still be at 40 or more life; something about having armies of 8/8 vigilant tokens; something about completely shutting down entire killer attacks with fogs; something about the insane board recovery options that the deck presented, recovering instantly from absolutely devastating wraths; something about being able to just point to Glacial Chasm and smile... it was fantastic. It had a feeling of invulnerability and inescapable destiny.

Why Play Trostani?
Trostani comes with two powerful abilities: the capability to build up a powerful token army, and the capability to gain a lot of life.

Lifegain is underrated in Commander, and even in Magic in general. While it isn't a winning strategy on its own, and cards dedicated solely to gaining life end up being card disadvantage compared to your opponent, incidental life gain is a powerful resource to maintain a healthy presence in the game, and Trostani gives it in spades.

When it comes to the populate ability, this is where Trostani gives you a game winning option. Populating large tokens, from Gargoyle Castle, Grove of the Guardian, or Phyrexian Processor can quickly make a board-state get out of hand for your opponents. On the other side, creating token copies of existing creatures, via cards like Séance, Mimic Vat, or Blade of Selves is a great way to turn populate into a value engine.
Trostani's abilities do not lend her to being a fast deck by default - while some games may start off with populating 8/8 vigilant elementals to pressure the board, this will be the exception more often than the norm. Having to tap and requiring a hefty mana investment to create tokens means that it's difficult to really power out an army in a short amount of time, and her life gain ability favors a longer, survival based game plan. You should be prepared to settle in for the long haul, although don't miss jumping on some aggressive openings that can present themselves due to taking a quick resource lead with mana ramp.

For my own build, graveyard hate is also quite painful to deal with as well. This deck likes to recur lands from the graveyard, as well as have available recovery options - graveyard hate slows that down considerably. Graveyard hate also makes it difficult to reset our Glacial Chasm, so timing when to lose it is made all the more tricky. Likewise, I have not had the displeasure of facing off against land destruction yet, but that could go either of two ways: either the deck's recovery mode is able to help recover faster than other decks, which gives an advantage - or, as is more likely, the deck thinning proves a barrier to quick recovery. If playing against land destruction, be very conscious of it, and keep some recovery available in hand.

Other Commanders?
While any potential green commander can play a Life from the Loam/Crucible of Worlds strategy, there are few that synergize so well with landfall and token production, as well as the core themes of this deck. Trostani gives the complete package, from interaction with the core themes, to a healthy dose of stall and mitigation, and finally also gives a strong win condition. This deck is built self contained enough that practically any other WG commanders could lead the deck, such as Dragonlord Dromoka, or even Asmira, Holy Avenger, but they'll naturally impact the style of the deck's play. Dragonlord Dromoka for example helps protect your big finish, and his lifelink helps keep you afloat, but you lose out on the mass quantities of life, as well as having a lesser finishing threat power.

In the spoiler below, I discuss multiple other Commanders that tough on either the protective or landfall themes that I approach with Trostani. I also link some of them to excellent resources should you wish to compare options.
Other Commanders
Angus Mackenzie
The closest commander with a similar goal to the initial fog idea would be Angus Mackenzie; his fog ability allows for the same kind of stall that this deck is able to pull off, However Angus doesn't have the same transition into being a core part of the deck's winning strategy, nor does he have as much capability to play aggressive in the early game if you get one of your power cards early on. Instead, he trades out that finishing power in order to pick up some counterspells and draw power, turning him into a much more control oriented build.
Hazezon Tamar
For a stronger tie in to the landfall theme and mass land search, a potential commander would be Hazezon Tamar; however, where Trostani tends to go big, Hazezon tends to go broad. Where Trostani is slow and steady, Hazezon decks usually have a more explosive tendency. Hazezon will have more sacrifice outlets to downplay his drawbacks, and is likely to have more haste effects or combo finishes as a method or immediately killing with his large army production capabilities. He also loses out on the built in stall tactics, instead relying on the deck to buy enough time for him to make his immediate impact. If you prefer a more combo oriented deck, I would recommend looking at various Hazezon builds.
Karametra, God of Harvests
Karametra, God of Harvests can also play for a powerful landfall commander, as the land search is built right in. Karametra was almost chosen to lead this deck, but the list would have looked quite different if that had happened. A larger emphasis on creatures and basic lands would be prevalent in the deck, as well as more big mana X spells, to be fueled by the quick mana ramping. Karametra is also much more open to may different builds and playstyles, if you want more flexibility in playstyles, Karametra may be a great starting place for you.

For a better idea of what a Karametra deck could look like, I recommend checking out Ohnno's [Primer]: Karametra and the Untouchables
Titania, Protector of Argoth and Omnath, Locus of Rage
Titania, Protector of Argoth also heads up a powerful land-centered deck. Titania focus more on amassing a large amount of fetch lands and other sac lands, or holding onto a game-winning Scapeshift to make a sizable army early in the game, and then riding it to victory. Some lists also include various land destruction plays, such as Natural Balance to close out the game in an even more one-sided manner. If you prefer a more aggressive game plan, Titania may be a nice fit.
Omnath, Locus of Rage is yet another powerful land commander. Omnath focuses on a more straight up heavy ramp option, with a few sacrifice outlets to get at least Lightning Bolt value out of his Elementals. If you prefer a more aggressive game plan, with a slight combo twist, Omnath may work for you.
Mina and Denn, Wildborn
Mina and Denn, Wildborn add a different direction to the landfall. While the extra land drop is nothing new, the ability to bounce lands ensures that you'll always have landfall triggers, and the ability to reset power lands like Gaea's Cradle and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx can give huge mana swings to emphasize the big mana power. Their ability can also be used defensively, protecting your lands from targeted destruction, as well as enabling some measure of recovery from mass land destruction effects. With Borborygmos, the Enraged, as well as plenty of Seismic Assault variants, and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, your land can also be your actual win condition as well. If you're looking for big mana opportunities, Mina and Denn can be your team.
Rhys the Redeemed
Rhys the Redeemed also brings half of Trostani's effects to the table. Rhys trades the ability to gain life, and instead amps up the power on the populate strategy. Rhys is a more than acceptable commander for the deck, or even as an inclusion, trading away the stall power for increased explosion and aggression. If you like a more explosive game, Rhys may have the power you need.

For a better idea of what a Rhys deck could look like, I recommend checking out Donald's [Primer]: Rhys the Redeemed - Token Justice
Marath, Will of the Wild
Marath, Will of the Wild was my first choice for utilizing a land package, and weith good reason. Marath's ability can be rather mana intensive, especially when paired with the combo enablers, such as Hardened Scales or Doubling Season, which allow you to easily reload counters onto her, or with the combos of Cathars' Crusade or Ivy Lane Denizen, which allow you to generate an army at cheap cost. Expect a Marath deck to be focused more heavily on the Commander, and more combo oriented.

For a better idea of what a Marath deck could look like, I recommend checking out Airithne's [Primer]: Marath, Will of the Horde
Or you could check out my take on the list: Sunforging a Marath.
How Else to Build Trostani?
Landfall Tokens aren't the only way to play Trostani. While I run some of the big token options, there are plenty of other ways to get even bigger tokens than what is included in this list. On top of that, there are plenty of other ways to use the mass lifegain, such as straight up victory conditions with cards like Felidar Sovereign.

Green_Squiggly has a more mainstream and mid-range approach to Trostani, with a very balanced decklist. His goal is to optimize Trostani's synergy with the rest of the deck to achieve better value, balance, and consistency. While the deck is mainly focused as a mid-range deck, there are some combo elements to provide increased avenues of victory.
Check out: Trostani, Selesnya's Voice - Lifegain and Population

Ulka has a more casually oriented Trostani build built around all sorts of various Wurms and Wurm tokens. If you're looking for more of a laugh and a good time with friends over beer and pretzels, this may be a deck for you! Plus, as Ulka put it: "you get to relive "Dune" over an over :p "
Check out: "I've got Wurms!" - Trostani Wurmcaller
Approximate Total Cost:

Strategy Overview
As hinted at the title of the deck list, this deck aims to play more of a survival game - not so much by controlling other players' boards, but rather by making yourself difficult to hit in the early turns, or simply by weathering them out and recovering lost life with Trostani. Eventually, the board position that you've been incrementally building up arrives at an explosive point where you can simply start killing people. Even if reset, you will have built such a large advantage of land count and utility, that you can repeatedly explode from recovery into recovery as needed. For an excellent example of this, check out my report on my second game that I reported on March 10th, 2016:
Game 2 from March 10th, 2016
Game 2: vs. Erebos, Roon, Phage.

Loooong game. An early withered wretch from Phage manages to keep graveyards clean and stops a lot of shenanigans that I had in mind. Erebos gets a scary board with Dictate of Erebos, but roon keeps him in check with a well timed Turn to Frog + Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobyte to kill of his baord + god which was active. A later Oblivion Stone cleans up the rest of the mess. During this time I get a herald of the host online, and even manage to pouplate a token, but sadly Elesh Norn keeps me from drawing a grip off of Elemental Bond.

The next turn when I go to combat with both angels, I ate the O-stone, preventing me again from cards. Really obnoxious, but I was trying to force the ostone anyways so I could build an even better board state (I was holding Doubling Season + Blade of Selves, which I had been DYING to put on my angel with that elemental bond out. The ostone from phage (and copied Clever Impersonator ostone on Roon's side made me use up the angels to force the issue so I could build after). I drop an Emeria Shepherd instead, with the blade of selves on her, and drop a Diligent Farmhand, plains to recur the elemental bond, and pass. On the next turn I drop the Doubling season and attack with 5 Emeria Shepherds, which you would think would be super sexy with a diligent farmhand out. BUT NO. PHAGE REANIMATED THE WITHERED WRETCH, SO I HAVE NO GRAVEYARD. Darn it. Seriously guys. I jsut want to bring 5 things back with my sheperds. Is that so wrong?

Nicely enough, at least Emeria Sheperd had returned my Elemental bond, so I at least got 4 cards out of the deal, one of which was Cathar's Crusade. Next turn I go for the Crusade kill, but get Cyclonic Rifted. Darn it.

Ok, replay Doubling Season, Seedborn Muse, Cathar's Crusade, Elemental Bond, and stuff. Pass. Black sun's zenith for 6 from erebos (who's looking at death from Roon who has Akroma's Memorial + True Conviction, and is dutifully cannibalizing him to buff up his own life total). Response. Chord of Calling -> x = 2 -> Guildmage. Centaur. Populate. Populate. Populate. Many counters. Survive Black suns. Hah! Roon drops Roon (hasty due to Akroma's), and Erebos asks if he's dead. In the meekest voice, Roon says "I need you alive...". It was hilarious. Trust me. Phage Demonic Tutors. Darn it. Perilous Vault. WTF REALLY? More of me not having a graveyard. Or a board. Darn it.

Fine. I have a bjillion some odd cards in hand. (Yay Elemental Bond, rest in peace within your perilous vault). Mirari's Wake. Genesis Wave for all of it (X=33). Get Perilous lives. Get Rampaging Baloths. Get Retreat to Emeria. Lands. Like 5 of them. Get many, many tokens. Pass. Forgot that Archfiend of Depravity had been released (and forgot my Angel of Serenity trigger to exile it). Darn it! Keep Baloth + sun titan.

Fine. Seance puts in some work and brings in 2 tokens of Karmic Guide for reanimation of Angel of Serenity (recursion mode, ahoy! + get rid of Archfiend), and stuff. Roon kills angel, my Baloths, and some other good stuff. Darn it!

Fine. Seance a Knight-Captain of Eos. Get 8 soldiers. Make more soldiers (land drop from burgeoning) + retreat. Kjeldoarn Outpost some soldiers. Phage casts Choice of Damnations. Darn it! I'm at 33 (erebos means no lifegain during the game, annoying). Choose 32 (would keep all my lands, wake, 1 other thing - lose all the tokens, several enchantments, if he chooses permanents). Chooses life. Go to 1. My turn. Drop Trostani (costs 10). Drop Cradle of Vitality. Drop Titania, Protector of Argoth. Respond to lifegain trigger. Sac land for 2 tokens. respond to lifegain triggers. Sac land, respond, etc. gain 4 life from a gargoyle token. Pay 1w to put 4 +1 counters on next in line. Gain 7. Pay 1w onto the 1st of many 5/3 tokens. Gain 10. Pay 1w. 13. Pay 1w. 16. Pay 1w. 19. etc. Gain over 100 life, dropping 23 counters onto a thing that can attack. Kill 2 players. Not enough for 3rd. ERG!

(( SIDE NOTE: In writing this, I realize that I forgot to account for the +1 off of wake in all that, I should have had a LOT more life and counters. ))

Roon recurs Cyclonic Rift. Rifts. For ****s sake. Darn it. Roon punches me for 4. Roon reveals a Chord for a witness/archaeomancer + roon flicker to rift lock me + vigilant commander damage for the eventual kill. Asks if I have any way out of it. I re-drop wake. Kill roon with Elspeth. Rings of Brighthearth + Dust Bowl + Strip Mine for 4 lands. Sun Titan to return Strip Mine (pointing out the land lock on him, +burgeoning makes it faster if he replays lands). Then point out that I can drop trostani, titania, cradle of vit, and overload a soldier token from Kjeldoran Outpost every turn and do the Cradle of Vitality chain to drop ungodly amounts of counters on him for a major attack each turn. He concedes the game. At last!

7 cards left in library, 30+ lands out, (3 in library, including glacial chasm). Most of the rest are exiled. At least 20-30 cards of mine are exiled from GY during the game.
Populating Value Targets

Before jumping into the nitty gritty of the deck, one thing to touch on quickly is how the cards Mirrorpool, Séance, Mimic Vat, and Blade of Selves serve to make token copies of creatures. This allows for Trostani to populate them and keep them around permanently, which adds a large amount of value and strength to her ability. This is important to consider while piloting the deck and judging the value of situations that may arise.

For example, in one case several opponents jumped through several hoops to finally kill my Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage, only to have it placed on a mimic vat, so that I was able to create a token copy of him, and then use that token's own ability to populate himself before my next turn even came around, leaving me with a copy of my guildmage in play, as well as a copy safely on the Mimic Vat for future need, in case the token were removed again.

How to Play

This deck aims to balance developing the board state with self protection. The early game is dedicated to setting up your land searching and ramping capabilities, followed by the card draw options. When exactly you drop Trostani depends on your ability to make tokens, as well as how much fire you're taking and how much you need to prioritize lifegain. If there aren't any majorly advantageous plays available, it is often correct to simply run out Trostani early. Since we don't have any haste enablers, you'll want her out a turn before your token engines anyways, and the incidental lifegain will always help buffer. She's also a fairly solid blocker on her own.

Knight of the Reliquary is perfectly fine to run out early as well. While he's one of our ways to dig up our Glacial Chasm, he can be used to ramp early on by fetching lands like Myriad Landscape and Krosan Verge. At worst, he can also replace a tapped land with an untapped one, giving a slight mana boost if needed on crucial turns. Finally, if you have the luck to pair him with Rings of Brighthearth, he does turn into straight-up ramp, and his ability to bring out fetch-lands becomes exceptionally powerful. Be sure to consider fetching up a Mistveil Plains with his ability, so that you can cycle lands back to the bottom of the library for reuse.

The next aim of the deck is to focus on protection. Since Trostani requires a turn to become usable, it may take a few turns of populating tokens to arrive at a sizable enough army. Trostani is quite simply not the fastest racehorse on the track. She can take a bit of time, and your strategy and progress is very visible during all of it, which makes it easy to prioritize you as a threat. Having lots of mana can help reduce that time required, which is one reason I focus so heavily on ramping during the first phase of the game. This protection phase of our strategy is where we really embrace the fog effects. Due to our life total buffering and high density of fogs, this Trostani deck is not terribly worried about creature-based strategies. Save your removal for combo interactions, cards that are disrupting your ramp or draw, or other non-damage win conditions, unless absolutely necessary. Let the Constant Mists, Knight-Captain of Eos, Invulnerability, and Glacial Chasm handle the direct damage options. You can populate the soldier tokens for Kinght-Captain of Eos, and if the Knight dies, you can mimic vat and then copy him as well. On the other side, both Glacial Chasm and Invulnerability also stop non-combat damage, so they can both be used to stop Fireballs or other direct damage sources, such as Warstorm Surge triggers. You can even pull Glacial Chasm out at instant speed with Knight of the Reliquary, Budoka Gardener, or Crop Rotation.

Once you have your board situation under control, the next step is to find a big token, populate it a lot, and then kill people with it. From Titania, Protector of Argoth to Herald of the host, to repeatedly recycling the token producing lands, the deck has numerous top-end threats - many of which are strong enough on their own to close out the game, even if you can't populate them.

Keeping Glacial Chasm Around, and Responding to Graveyard Hate

Glacial Chasm can hurt, and often times it can hurt you a lot. On top of that, each time you play it is a tempo loss. These qualities are offset in value by how much damage and life it will save you in the long run, but knowing when to let go of the Chasm versus when to keep it around is important. Thankfully, due to having Trostani as a Commander, we can easily offset the life payments for Chasm for quite a long time. This means that it's perfectly ok to let the Chasm stick around longer in this deck than some other decks would. When it comes time to let go of the Chasm, either to attack or to reset the life payments, you have a number of recovery options available to you in order to replay it after combat and keep your protection (or even during combat with Sun Titan). Crucible of Worlds, Life from the Loam, and Tilling Treefolk are the obvious ones, but you can also utilize Mistveil Plains to put it back into your library to bring it back out with Knight of the Reliquary. Putting a Tilling Treefolk or Titania, Protector of Argoth on the Mimic Vat (or populating a Séance token of them) is another great way to get it back at instant speed - perhaps in response to graveyard hate (Glacial Chasm will get targeted). If you do fear a response of graveyard hate, pay attention to available mana for it, and try to keep your Mistveil Plains open to respond, or possibly one of the populate tricks mentioned above. At times though, it's ok to let the Chasm go if you're ready to take the aggessive stance.

Other options for getting the Chasm out in a hurry would be to run Walking Atlas, Budoka Gardener, or Sakura-Tribe Scout, as it can be quite a problem to have the chasm stuck in hand on an opposing turn.

Dealing With a Wrath Heavy Meta

Since this deck aims to build a large board presence over several turns, it can run into delays when opponents use wrath effects wisely. While the density of enchantments in the deck can mitigate traditional wraths somewhat, if you frequently run into Austere Commands or Akroma's Vengeance, you may need more protection and recovery options than are currently in the deck. Consider Rootborn Defenses as a possible inclusion, as well as Dauntless Escort, and possibly even Spirit Bonds. This will allow you to keep Trostani and your army through the wraths, that way you maintain at least some of your board presence.

Against more standard Wrath of God effects, Mimic Vat and Séance can help recover your boardstate very quickly, by populating back in the better engines that you have.

Card Discussion:

Creatures in this list are evaluated with the additional idea that they can be turned into token copies via Mimic Vat, Blade of Selves, and Séance. This means that each may have extra value generated when populated, or may have cumulative effects.
  • Diligent Farmhand, Sakura-Tribe Elder, and Burnished Hart help ramp the deck. The sacrifice portion of their effect is chosen over ETB effects (such as wood elves) for use with easily getting them onto a Mimic Vat. It also allows for synergy with Gift of Immortality, should you choose to run that engine. In contrast, ETB effect ramp creatures, such as Farhaven Elf, Solemn Simulacrum, and Wood Elves, would be better for populating tokens off of Séance or Mimic Vat. Which set you choose, and how many, depends on what your priority is. I feel that by the time I'm populating creatures, I will have better options to choose than furthering my ramp, so I feel the sacrifice effects are more valuable earlier on.
  • Budoka Gardener can help land ramp us early in the game, while also providing instant speed land drops in case we need to drop Glacial Chasm at instant speed. Finally, once flipped he can provide large tokens for us to populate.
  • Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage is a fantastic piece to populate our tokens multiple times a turn. In a way a backup Trostani, the guildmage eats removal more than many other threats in the deck. A fun trick I like to do is to reanimate it with Séance or Mimic Vat, and then have it populate itself to keep a permanent copy around. Then, if anyone tries to remove it, so can simply populate again.
  • Knight of the Reliquary is one of the reasons the deck was built. Aside from being a ramp engine, a big beater, an excellent populate choice, and so on, the main ability to search any land at instant speed, including Emeria, the Sky Ruin and the all-important Glacial Chasm, makes him an all-star of the deck.
  • Reclamation Sage - Removal on a body.
  • Tilling Treefolk - Typically a mainstay of cycling decks of old (Astral Slide), the ability to be a Life from the Loam on a body is quite useful. Early on he can recur fetch-lands to keep you on your land drops, while late game you can tokenize him and populate him to pseudo Loam at instant speed. It's amazing how many people forget that interaction.
  • Tireless Tracker - Tireless Tracker is an immediate upgrade over Seer's Sundial. He's cheaper to drop, let's you cash in clues whenever you want instead of requiring immediate payment, can be returned more easily (Sun Titan), turns into a decent beater, and works will all of the token doubling. What's not to love?
  • Oracle of Mul Daya - Helps ramp up some card advantage, and also gives an extra land drop, what's not to love? On top of that, he's more easily populate-able than Azusa, since he's not legendary, that way you can have all the land drops in the late game. Though, to be honest, you probably won't need to do that.
  • Garruk's Packleader - A nice source of draw for the deck. Most tokens we make have greater than 3 power, so he triggers quite a bit. Once again, he can be brought back and populated for compounded interest.
  • Herald of the Host - Just a beater, but generates its own tokens to populate. This gal gets out of hand quickly once a few tokens get populated.
  • Karmic Guide - Standard resurrection to get extra value from our dead things. If you manage to get a token copy the echo cost can be annoying, but keeping one around can be useful to populate off of on future turns.
  • Knight-Captain of Eos - Possibly one of my favored cards, the Kight-Captain of Fog never fails to deliver. While he only comes in with two fogs of his own, we have the Kjeldoran Outpost to help extend that, as well as being able to populate soldier tokens in a pinch. If he ever dies and becomes a token himself, well then, you can have all the fun populating him and making an army of Knights and Soldiers. Add in Doubling Season for more craziness.
  • Seedborn Muse Populating every turn seems nice. Making tokens every turn seems nice. Untapping your token horde seems nice. Untapping lands for buyback fogs seems nice. Seedborn Muse is the power that of Prophet of Kruphix from before Prophet existed. You can combine with Winding Canyons to actually have a Prophet of Kruphix.
  • Titania, Protector of Argoth - Gets back a land, then gets tokens for all of the fetch-lands. Tokens that you can then populate. Even without population, Titania can raise a large army very quickly, and is quite capable of winning the game alone.
  • Endbringer - Card draw, and general utility.
  • Nacatl War-Pride - Army maker, should prove interesting with populate and token doubling.
  • Rampaging Baloths - We drop lands, and we want tokens. Seems good. Much like Titania, the Baloths are capable of creating a large army very quickly with little effort, which can then take hold of a game very quickly.
  • Sun Titan - Practically a staple of white decks in general, the card advantage in value returned is fantastic. From returning fetch-lands, to other cheap utility permanents, Sun Titan is a mainstay. One particular use specific to this deck is that you can use Sun Titan to return Glacial Chasm on a turn that you decide to let it go. Sun Titan alone allows you to simply let go of the Chasm for the benefit of attacking every turn.
  • Ulvenwald Hydra is one of the other methods we have in order to tutor up our Glacial Chasm, or other utility lands. It's also a huge beater that gains tons of life off of Trostani, and can once again be amusing to populate (do I need to keep repeating that?).
  • Wurmcoil Engine - A fairly standard finisher, Wurmcoil get a good nod in this deck as it comes with its own tokens.
  • Angel of Serenity - Can be used as temporary removal, recursion, or temporary grave hate.
  • Emeria Shepherd - returning permanents to play simply for dropping Plains onto the battlefield is nice. This also allows us to use Knight of the Reliquary to instantly bring back anything needed to the battlefield.
The artifacts are here to shore up some of the color weaknesses, notably some non-creature-dependent card draw.
  • Skullclamp - Insane card draw. Works well with our early land searchers, even on Mimic Vat and Séance copies, since we went with the self-sacrifice route. Also works well with soldier tokens. If we don't have any x/1 tokens available, it simply remains a solid card alone.
  • Sol Ring - While it won't help cast Trostani initially, it remains excellent ramp for the deck, to bypass the early turns.
  • Blade of Selves - This fun toy helps us gain value on all of our ETB effects, while also making token copies for us to populate.
  • Crucible of Worlds - Part of the core deck theme. One of few cards available to get lands back from the graveyard.
  • Mimic Vat - Makes value tokens that you can populate.
  • Rings of Brighthearth - Doubles up Trostani's populate, the guildmage's populate, fetch-land activations, mimic vat, land search, Knight of the Reliquary, token production, etc.
  • Phyrexian Processor - This is an insane token producer in Trostani, since not only will you have a larger than normal pool of life to to pay into it, but you can immediately get back the life you paid as well, as Trostani will gain the life back when you make your first token. From there on, it's gravy.

Enchantments tend to be among the more resilient permanents, so we have some powerful effects in the enchantment slot to build our board position.
  • Exploration + Burgeoning - Extra land drops for early acceleration and increased landfall triggers.
  • Sylvan Library - Card filtration with our fetch-lands, and can be raw card draw since Trostani allows us to be liberal with paying life for effects.
  • Elemental Bond - Garruk's Packleader in enchantment form. More card draw for when our tokens enter.
  • Cradle of Vitality - Opens up Commander damage, and by responding to the lifegain triggers from Trostani to make more tokens, you can 'chain' the lifegain to add more counters and gain even more life.
  • Parallel Lives - Double tokens.
  • Retreat to Emeria - Makes skullclamp-able tokens, or can pump up our team for our aggressive turns. With fetch-lands and multiple land drops, this can get scary fast. Fetch-lands and Knight of the Reliquary also allow this to be used as a combat trick on any turn.
  • Séance - One of the core themes of the deck, Séance allows us to get back token copies of our creatures to populate.
  • Cathars' Crusade - Any time you have a lot of creatures entering the battle field, Cathars' Crusade makes for a powerful finisher. This allows even our smaller token sets to be incredibly deadly.
  • Doubling Season - Much like parallel lives, since our plan is to work with tokens, doubling them is a good play. Doubling Season has the added benefit of allowing planeswalkers to enter with double counters, so has some extra synergy there.
  • Mirari's Wake - A very powerful card in almost every WG deck, Mirrari's Wake drastically increases the capability of all of our plays on any given turn.

Planeswalkers have a notable interaction with Doubling Season, in that they may possibly enter with double counters in some games. Planeswalkers were chosen for their ability to create tokens, have a useful alternate ability, and as having a potential extra interaction with our token armies. Note that some of our protection effects, such as Glacial Chasm and Invulnerability will not extend towards protecting our planeswalkers.
Our instants are there to disrupt our opponents and provide extra options on opposing turns.
  • Crop Rotation - The ability to get any land at instant speed is quite powerful. This will be one of the methods to get our non-basic-type lands out, as well as the ability to use it to grab our Glacial Chasm at instant speed.
  • Path to Exile, Swords to Plowshares - staple creature removal in white. Low cost, high effect. Use removal primarily to stop combo applications.
  • Constant Mists - Fog with buyback. This card alone can stall games for a long time, especially since the 'drawback' is not so considerable to our deck and strategy.
  • Eladamri's Call - Searches up any creature. Can be used early to grab our ramp or card draw, or it can be used late to grab a game-winning piece.
  • Invulnerability - Single source prevention effect, but note that it's not targeted, so it can stop hexproof/shroud voltron commanders in their tracks. It also is not limited to combat, or even creature damage, allowing it to stop lethal fireball effects, or Warstorm Surge triggers (though you'll still need to pay/cast per trigger).
  • Sundering Growth - Removal + instant speed populate. Can be used to 'save' populate activations if an opponent tries to remove it in response to Trostani's populate ability by creating an extra of it so our target of choice still exists when Trostani's ability resolves.
  • Rootborn Defenses - Saves our board presence, and has the same populate tricks.
  • Chord of Calling - Searches up any creature. Can be used early to grab our ramp or card draw, or it can be used late to grab a game-winning piece, like Craterhoof Behemoth.
Sorceries hold our wrath effects to reset the board, as well as a few other big impact spells.
  • Life from the Loam - One of the core pieces of the deck's theme, Loam allows us to re-use our powerful lands, as well as turn into a draw engine with the cycling lands.
  • Tempt with Discovery - The correct answer for opponents should be to always say no, but it seems that someone is always tempted. In a deck built around land engines, this type of valuable land search is extremely powerful.
  • Rout - Wrath effects are often necessary in Commander, and Rout is one of my favored options of these effects, the versatility of being instant speed, or relatively cheap makes it almost charm-like in its uses.
  • Tragic Arrogance - Rapidly becoming my favorite wrath, the fact that you can choose the resulting boardstate makes this an incredibly one sided wrath effect, which also clears problematic enchantments and artifacts. Amazing.
  • Green Sun's Zenith - Searches up any creature. Can be used early to grab our ramp or card draw, or it can be used late to grab a game-winning piece.
  • Genesis Wave - Standard green finisher, but can also be used to reclaim a board position post-wrath.

As Land is the predominant theme of the deck, we maintain a fairly standard land count. Most of the lands are intended to search up more land, or be searched for, which leaves little room for utility lands.

Oct 21, 2015 Oct 23, 2015 Nov 17,2015
This change actually happened earlier, probably 2 or 3 weeks ago, but is of little note:
Out: plains
In: Canopy Vista
New dual land to add and fetch. Lovely.
Explanation of Changes
Jan 13, 2016
Out: Flooded Strand, Wooded Foothills, Skullmulcher
In: Forest, Grasslands, Herald of the Host
Trying out no off-color fetches. Testing out more myriad.
Explanation of Changes
Jan 20th, 2016 Jan 29th, 2016 Feb 4th, 2016 March 10th, 2016 April 6th, 2016 April 14th, 2016 December 20th, 2017
Updating to deck builder.

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Post by Airi » 1 year ago

Moved to the Decklists forum.
RGW Marath [PR] |WUBRG Jodah | WUBRG Najeela | GB Dina
WBG Tayam | BGU Otrimi the Ever-Cute | UW Yorion | RW Zirda | UR Veyran

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