Pimp My Deck: Commander 2014Guided by Nature (the Green Deck)

Hey, everyone, I’m here to bring you a brand-new article series to help newer players get into Commander.  I’m planning on covering all the new decks over the course of a few articles, and today I’m going to start with the green one, Guided by Nature. The first thing I’m going to do is break down the article based on which Commander we’re going to use and keep the cost of our upgrades within a specific range.

[card]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/card] – The $30 Upgrade

What to remove:

-[card]Titania, Protector of Argoth[/card] – Titania is sweet, but she really doesn’t fit with our theme. We need to cut cards to add cards, so she’s getting the swift axe.

-[card]Terramorphic Expanse[/card], [card]Crystal Vein[/card], [card]Evolving Wilds[/card], [card]Myriad Landscape[/card] – We want to shave a few lands from the 37 we’re playing, and these are mostly in the decks to work with Titania.

-[card]Harrow[/card] – also a card that is best with Titania

-[card]Hunting Triad[/card] – Yeah, it makes elves, but it’s one of the worst elf cards in our deck.

-[card]Elvish Skysweeper[/card] – This guy is pretty bad for a one-mana elf.  He doesn’t make any mana and should be replaced with an elf who can!

-[card]Seer’s Sundial[/card] – This card is fine, but it’s pretty slow in this deck and we’d rather be playing elves.

-[card]Assault Suit[/card] – I’m not honestly sure why this card is in this deck, but it’s not particularly good.

-[card]Rampaging Baloths[/card] – We’re getting rid of all the land stuff, so this guy is going, too.

-[card]Loreseeker’s Stone[/card] – We’re replacing this with a more mana-efficient artifact.

-[card]Sylvan Safekeeper[/card] – It’s blasphemous that they aren’t using the sweet Olle Rade art, but since we’re removing Titania, this guy gets a lot worse (and he’s not even an elf!).

-[card]Moss Diamond[/card] – We’re going to have plenty of elves to make mana. We don’t need this.

-[card]Commander’s Sphere[/card] – This is often going to be three mana: draw a card.  We can do better.

What to add:

-[card]Forest[/card] – FREE – You should have one of these.

-[card]Slate of Ancestry[/card] – $1.50 – We need some card drawing once we dump all our cheap elves into play.  Not much better in tribal decks than this.

-[card]Caller of the Claw[/card] – $1.50 – Much like [card]Fresh Meat[/card], we need some contingencies for sweepers. This one also happens to be an elf.

-[card]Fierce Empath[/card] – $0.75 – Oh, hey, it’s an elf.  It also draws a card!  And the card is a sweet one!

-[card]Birchlore Rangers[/card] – $0.50 – Unlike its $6 cousin, [card]Heritage Druid[/card], this guy makes a bunch of mana and helps power our sweet turns. It’s important to note that you can use summoning-sick elves to power its ability.

-[card]Wirewood Symbiote[/card] – $3.50 – Much like [card]Birchlore Rangers[/card], this guy is a Legacy staple. Yep! Legacy, the format with [card]Force of Will[/card], [card]Wasteland[/card], [card]Show and Tell[/card], etc. That should tell you how good this 1/1 insect is.

[card]Wirewood Channeler[/card] – $1.00 – Oh, well, what do you know? It’s a sweet elf to untap with [card]Wirewood Symbiote[/card]. This guy can make a ton of mana in short order.

[card]Arbor Elf[/card] – $0.25 – A guy that makes some more mana. Can’t ever have too many of those, right?

[card]Joraga Treespeaker[/card] – $2.00 – Shhhh. The trees are speaking. They said this makes all of your elves into [card]Sol Ring[/card]s.  That’s a good deal, right?

[card]Coat of Arms[/card] – $8.00 – The most expensive card on this list. I was trying to figure out a way to squeeze in [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card], but you really need tutors to make the most of that monster.  This card is pretty good in a tribal deck.

[card]Triumph of the Hordes[/card] – $0.25 – This has elves in the art!  But seriously, it’s one of the best green win conditions in EDH, and for a quarter, you can’t get much more bang for your buck.

[card]Elvish Harbinger[/card] – $2.00 – Makes mana, check. Is an elf, check. Brings more elves to the party, check. Seems like a slam dunk in this deck.

[card]Nylea, God of the Hunt[/card] – $6.00 – This goddess loves green mana symbols in play and green mana in your mana pool. Elves provide these.

[card]Bow of Nylea[/card] – $2.00 – [card]Nylea, God of the Hunt[/card] combined with her bow completes the one-two punch of deathtouch and trample.  It makes blocking all our little dorky guys exceptionally hard.

[card]Yeva, Nature’s Herald[/card] – $0.5 – This is one big girl.  A 4/4 elf is nothing to sneeze at, but it also gives our deck tons of play against sweepers because we can flash in creatures during the end step.

What’s the Damage, You Say?

It’s $29.75 on most retail websites. Just a touch under $30 before shipping. We’ve focused the deck by removing most of the extraneous stuff that combos with Titania and streamlined our elf theme. I’m going to assume you make these upgrades before you move onto my [card]Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury[/card] section. Both Ezuri and Freyalise play well into the elf theme, so you can do both sets of upgrades with either general.

[card]Freyalise, Llanowar’s Fury[/card] – The $100 Upgrade

What to remove:

[card]Terastodon[/card] – This guy is pretty good for most budget decks, but we’re going to replace him with a creature that doesn’t give our opponents elephants when we blow up their stuff.

[card]Sylvan Ranger[/card] – This card’s effect is pretty marginal.  It’s just a worse [card]Elvish Visionary[/card] most times.

[card]Drove of Elves[/card] – This card is slow and klunky.  It can be big, but a lot of the time, it plays naturally into cards that kill it ([card]Wrath of God[/card], etc).

[card]Grim Flowering[/card] – This card is really expensive and slow.  Ideally we don’t want to draw cards after all our guys are dead.

[card]Desert Twister[/card] – This card is also, you guessed it, really slow.  Paying six mana to destroy what is likely going to be an enchantment or artifact is pretty expensive.  Occasionally, you’ll want to kill a creature, but we should have the biggest guys in town.

[card]Sylvan Offering[/card] – This puts a lot of dudes into play but also gives our opponents blockers.  I don’t think its mana cost justifies it.

[card]Emerald Medallion[/card] – It might be wrong to take this out, but we’re planning on casting a lot of cards with only green mana symbols in their costs. This card doesn’t reduce those cards’ mana costs.

[card]Wolfcaller’s Howl[/card] –  I know there’s a mini wolf theme in the deck, but this is easily the worst card.  It’s not guaranteed to trigger, and I think there are better things we can be doing with four mana.

[card]Whirlwind[/card] – There’s already a [card]Predator, Flagship[/card], [card]Silklash Spider[/card], and [card]Tornado Elemental[/card] in the deck. [card]Whirlwind[/card] is overkill after our additions.

[card]Masked Admirers[/card] – Four mana to draw a card and have a 3/2 is not a great deal in Commander.

[card]Thornweald Archer[/card] – This guy is a pretty effective rattlesnake-style card. I want us to be able to do bigger and stronger things, though, so he’s going to get the axe.

What to add:

[card]Genesis Hydra[/card] – $2.50 – We’re getting this guy in here to help find our more powerful permanents. It scales well with elf mana and can put a lot of our most powerful cards into play for free!

[card]Eternal Witness[/card] – $2.50 – Being able to rebuy any of our spells is pretty awesome! It also dies to [card]Skullclamp[/card].

[card]Oracle of Mul Daya[/card] – $12.00 – If you’ve played with [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card] in Standard, you know how powerful playing lands from the top of your library is. Oracle also happens to ramp and be an elf, so it seems like a win/win situation in this deck.

[card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] – $12.00 – This card is the number-one reason why people concede to a green deck in Commander. Its power and grace cannot be matched.

[card]Chord of Calling[/card] – $5.00 – Thanks to the recent reprint, this card is more affordable than ever!  It allows us to tutor up corner-case creatures or just find a big [card]Regal Force[/card] for value!

[card]Green Sun’s Zenith[/card] – $6.00 – Much like above, this card is also a lot less mana so we can find cheap mana elves to accelerate us more easily.

[card]Heritage Druid[/card] – $6.00 – The big poppa of making mana.  This elf rivals [card]Priest of Titania[/card] in the sheer volume of mana that can be generated. Also, it’s a legacy all-star.

[card]Glimpse of Nature[/card] – $26.00 – If you’ve never cast a [card]Glimpse of Nature[/card] with a hand full of cheap elves, you haven’t lived.  This is the most expensive card we’re adding, but its power speaks for itself.  The only card that I would say is more important is [card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card], but that’s a little out of our price range.

[card]Woodfall Primus[/card] – $4.50 – The gift that keeps on giving!  Don’t be afraid to blow up your opponents’ dual lands with this guy. All is fair in love and war and Commander.

[card]Regal Force[/card] – $15.00 – This will likely be your second-most tutored creature after [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card] because of the sheer volume of cards it can draw.

[card]Tooth and Nail[/card] – $8.00 – The most powerful green card in Commander.  For the low, low cost of nine mana, you can tutor up [card]Regal Force[/card] and [card]Craterhoof Behemoth[/card], and on the off chance you don’t immediately win the game, your hand is full of cards. I almost always start green Commander decks with [card]Tooth and Nail[/card]

Damage on the Stack?  

The total cost of these upgrades is $99.50, and along with the Ezuri upgrades, you’ve got yourself a very competitive Commander deck.  Now that we’ve got the elf theme done, we’re going to work on the hard deck.  [card]Titania, Protector of Argoth[/card] is not a commander that is supported very well in this product. I’d say you need to start from scratch if you want to make a truly good deck. With that said, you can just remove your 15 least favorite elf cards and play the 15 I’m going to list below to make it a lot better.

[card]Dryad Arbor[/card], [card]Wasteland[/card], [card]Strip Mine[/card], [card]Petrified Field[/card], [card]Tectonic Edge[/card], [card]Dust Bowl[/card] – What? You weren’t expecting a ton of lands in the deck that revolves around putting lands into play and sacrificing them? These lands will serve as a base for the rest of the deck to revolve around.

[card]Crop Rotation[/card] – Searches up one of our best lands, puts a land into the graveyard. Pretty much everything Titania wants to be doing. It’s good before you cast her because you can return the sacrificed land to play, and it’s good after you cast her because you get an elemental.

[card]Constant Mists[/card] – The buyback is the really appealing part.  It helps protect our life total as we grind our lands into 5/3s and enables Titania.

[card]Crucible of Worlds[/card] – Well, if we’re going to sacrifice a ton of lands, we need a way to get them back into play, right? Unlike most decks that play [card]Strip Mine[/card] and [card]Crucible of Worlds[/card], this deck will kill you quickly with the 5/3s it’s generating.

[card]Exploration[/card] – As close to the banned [card]Fastbond[/card] as we can get. More land drops will lead to more lands being sacrificed and more elementals!

[card]Scapeshift[/card] – This may look like a weird card, but it lets us [card]Armageddon[/card] ourselves to make a bunch of elementals and search up our most powerful lands to close out the game.

[card]Natural Balance[/card] – I’ll be honest, I did not know this card existed until I was searching for cards that had “sacrifice” and “land” in their rules text.  It’s a sweet little balance that helps you recover from sacrificing a bunch of lands and curbs your opponents’ mana development. If you’re confused by the wording, basically: everyone has five lands when the spell resolves.

[card]Overlaid Terrain[/card] – Okay, seriously. Read this card again. It’s so sweet in this deck, right!  I’m about to pick up a foil as I’m writing this article.  It’s only ever going to be in Titania, but it’s a really cool way to make an army of elementals.

[card]Life From the Loam[/card] – Good way to get back lands, keep the wheels turning, and find more important lands.

[card]Terravore[/card] – Fine, we got a boring one to round it out. This is a big creature with sweet art.

Honorable Mentions

-Any green fetchland (ie [card]Misty Rainforest[/card])

-Multi-lands with a drawback of sacrificing a land (e.g., [card]Lotus Vale[/card] and [card]Scorched Ruins[/card])


Thanks for reading, and I hope you all enjoyed it. I’d like you to vote on the bottom of the article for which deck I’ll work on next.

[poll id=”8″]

About the Author
@Phrost_     -     Email     -     Articles Jim is a software developer and an avid blue planeswalker. He spellslings in Jacksonville, Florida, and you can feel free to contact him on Twitter at @phrost_.

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