Sometimes, when things get a bit too ridiculous, a bit too unfair, one needs a return to the basics.
Giants are sweet.
Anyway, in response to my local group’s move towards a more hostile environment towards creatures, and the recent acquisition of a Yawgmoth’s Will by our local mono-black player, I felt a need to push my own agenda a bit: The agenda of fair creatures.
Enter Ruric Thar. The fairest of the fair.
Ruric Thar: The Fairmaker
Ruric Thar is a midrangey-aggressive deck with a gimmick: creatures and lands only. Normally, I’m not the gimmicky type, being a particularly Spike-y kind of Timmy (See Timmy, Johnny and Spike by Mark Rosewater). However, I believe a gimmicky deck every now and again can help keep things diverse within one’s playgroup. The last time I tried a gimmick deck, the idea was a Treva, the Renewer-led pillowfort enchantment deck. That wasn’t fun for anyone, but THIS. THIS is fun for the whole table!
Most games, another player will be the dominant force for the majority of the game. That’s okay. Ruric Thar cares not for beating the busted decks at their own game. Just ramp it up, play value creatures, and try to have Ruric Thar on the table at all times to keep the game as fair as possible.
Once the game has progressed to an induced parity, that’s when the big guns can come to the party. Unleash the wombo-combos to help end the game quickly. Savage Ventmaw along with Hellkite Charger can keep the pain train rolling for as long as you can pay red mana, which shouldn’t be hard for the “LITERALLY ALL DUDES AND LANDS” deck. Beyond that, the sweet combo of
Force of Nature plus Savage Roar Ogre Battledriver plus Kessig Cagebreakers or Avenger of Zendikar can end games very quickly doing huge amounts of damage that scale with the length of the game. Of course, should that fail, our good friend, the one-card combo, Mr. Craterhoof Behemoth can sweep things up nicely.
Ruric Thar is able to play second-best very easily. In a game of politics, like most Commander games are, appearing weaker than you are can be an extremely valuable asset towards winning the game. Playing a ton of kinda durdly value creatures is a great way to appear inconspicuous, which is the main game plan of the deck. The deck is very resilient to wraths. Not only does it punish wraths naturally with Ruric Thar, the deck plays both Vile Redeemer and Caller of the Claw to help recuperate the damages and bring righteous fury upon whoever was bold enough to try and wipe the board. The deck also naturally generates a ton of card advantage, enough to keep up with most decks. Ruric Thar is also strong at forcing others to play our game, with Dosan the Falling Leaf, and Heartwood Storyteller to keep the game to a creature-fest, where we can truly shine.
Being such a linear strategy can lead to some notable downsides. Decks with large amounts of targeted removal will give us headaches, and any deck with an abundance of Grave Pact-style effects will be difficult to deal with. This is, in fact, just lands and dudes, and any deck that can repeatedly wrath the board will give this deck fits. Genesis and other similar effects can only go so far to mitigate the damage that will do to our game plan.
Likely our worst matchup, these are the decks where Grave Pacts live. They do, however, like the card Living Death, which is great for us, as many of our creatures naturally end up in the yard as a result of normal gameplay. A card worth considering to help combat this style of deck is Loaming Shaman.
This is an average matchup. We have many ways to punish them for enacting their normal game plan, with cards like Reclamation Sage, Acidic Slime, and Conclave Naturalists to help keep the augmentation under control, and Ruric Thar himself doing great work in giving them pause on whether or not that Spectral Flight is really worth it.
Big Mana Decks
This is an average matchup for us. We accelerate slightly slower than they do, but we tend to maintain resources longer than they do and we recover much better from a wrath than the average big mana deck. Should the game go long, and we establish a form of a card advantage engine, we should be able to win.
Mana Cheat Deck
This is a fine matchup. Being an apparently weaker deck is our biggest advantage here, as the Kaalia or Jhoira deck is likely to target the obvious threat rather than the person playing random durdly creatures. Should the game go long, though, we will likely be able to push back and take over.
Good Stuff Decks
This is a 50/50 kind of matchup. They tend to be on a similar gameplan to you, but likely have individually stronger cards. Where Ruric Thar can fight back is the card advantage fight, as we will be able to generate way more cards than an average good stuff deck.
Ruric Thar is an archetypal 75% deck: Good enough to beat the strong decks given done good luck and tight plays, but not so strong as to win 100% of games against someone who wants to play a Commander deck right out of the box. It will likely fold to a table full of powered commanders such as Zur, Animar or Derevi. However, in a friendly game with friends or at a local commander league, it should be just the right strength.
Feel free to make suggestions or comments on how to improve. I love the dialogue.
All the best,
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