First things first, let me apologies for the lack of content over the last couple of weeks. Due to my internet going down and some technical issues, I was unable to get my week articles up which was rather a pain. But hey, at least I’m back now. For the next couple of weeks at least.
I know, it sucks to miss out on more content. But with the holidays fast approaching I have to take some time off to spend time with loved ones. So todays deck tech, and next week’s miniature review will be the last articles I write until the new year. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon enough with an updated schedule for next year’s content, and I hopefully will be able to get a few projects I’ve been working on off the ground. Fingers crossed for that. Now with all that said, on to today’s article.
Werewolves are one of those tribes that I adore, but have always had a hard time making into a functional and competitive deck. Often out shone by the other tribal decks of Innistrad due to the random nature of their primary flip mechanic, they have never truly had a chance to shine in anything outside of kitchen table Magic. That was of course, until Crimson Vow and Midnight Hunt brought us a metric ton of playable Wolves and Werewolves and a new way to flip them for Standard.
In fact, four of the last five Standard sets have given us some from of Wolf or Werewolf synergy, and I for one could not be happier. Because now I get to let out my wild side and tear into my opponent’s life total like a proper child of the night. So, let’s not waste any more time and have a look at R/G Werewolves for Standard.
To absolutely no-one’s surprise, Standard Werewolves is an aggro deck that aims to put the pressure on our opponents as soon as possible. As a result, the deck is fairly bottom heavy, with nineteen spells in the two-drop slot. But what is surprising is the fact that we are only running a single playset of one drop, in the form of Ascendant Packleader. A decent enough creature, its main goal is to get the damage ball rolling ASAP.
But as a said above, the two drops is were we really start cooking with gas. Werewolf Pack Leader kicks things off as a big hitter that punches well above it weight, and can be a nice source of card draw once we have an established board (a huge positive for a deck that usually dumbs out most of its threats early on). Alongside the Pack Leader, we run a playset of both Packsong Pup and Ranger Class for some nice +1/+1 counter support. The pup is a creature that I have been really impressed with during testing, as it will either become a threat that is too big to handle, or draw a decent removal spell away from another valuable creature (and net us a decent chunk of life in the process).
Ranger Class on the other hand gives us a 2/2 for two, but then gives us a mana sink that we can use to help pump our attackers and give us potential card advantage, all while giving us a way to avoid casting spells so we can turn it to night-time. Of course, no tribal deck would be complete without a “lord” to help pump up the team, and we get one in the form of Kessig Naturalist. Its second ability is a little bit awkward, as we really don’t want to run this one into combat encase it can be blocked and destroyed. But if you are short on mana and your opponent is on the control plan, it can be useful to help get those threats on the board.
The final two drop is one part removal, one part ramp and pump, and one part life gain. Arni Slays the Troll does a lot of only two mana and can be very useful to help clear the path for a lethal swing when the time is right. Originally, I was running Blizzard Brawl in this slot, but ever since Mono Green became popular, I have seen more than a few Reidane, God of the Worthy scuppering snowy mana bases. If that is not as much as a problem for you, then you could go for a Snow-Covered mana base and run Brawl instead, but I think for the extra value it offers makes the saga is just that bit better.
Finally finished with two-drops, we head up the curve to our three-drops and some great cards. First up we have a playset of Reckless Stormseeker, a creature that gives the deck far more explosive power thanks to it ability to dish out haste (and trample when flipped). If we hit every point on the curve with Ascendant Packleader, Werewolf Pack Leader and Reckless Stormseeker, we could potentially reducing our opponent to half health by turn three, while also getting some additional card draw as a bonus (which is not to shabby).
And speaking of card draw (and trample) we are also running three copies of Tovolar, Dire Overlord to kick up the threat level a notch. Giving us a way to reliably turn the game to night, Tovolar really puts the pressure on while giving us a way to push through damage against token blockers in combat. But its our final two creatures that I feel really make this deck click, giving us a way to get out multiple threats while and pumping them up to ludicrous levels of damage.
Howlpack Piper in its daybound form allows us to put several Wolves and Werewolves onto the board, while also giving us a great amount of card selection when it turns to night. This can allow use to overwhelm our opponents, especially if one of those creatures is one of our two Avabruck Caretaker. It might be expensive, but if it has a single round of combat during the night it will pretty much be game over as nothing short of a sweeper will save our opponents from the mass of Hexproof beasties heading their way. Throw in a load of basics and a few copies of Rockfall Vale for fixing, and you have yourself a pretty great deck.
4 Ascendant Packleader
4 Packsong Pup
4 Kessig Naturalist
4 Werewolf Pack Leader
3 Tovolar, Dire Overlord
4 Reckless Stormseeker
4 Howlpack Piper
2 Avabruck Caretaker
4 Ranger Class
3 Arni Slays the Troll
2 Rockfall Vale
3 End the Festivities
2 Inscription of Abundance
2 Masked Vandal
2 Pithing Needle
2 Weathered Runestone
2 Dire-Strain Rampage
For a sideboard we throw in a decent chunk of removal, especially artifact and enchantment-based effects (since The Meathook Massacre and Edgar, Charmed Groom decks are becoming more popular). Abrade, Masked Vandal and Dire-Strain Rampage help in this regard, while also been varied enough to take care of multiple other potential problems. End the Festivities can be brought in to handle pesky token decks, while Inscription of Abundance gives us some more versatility. Finally, Pithing Needle can shut down any Planeswalkers we might have issue with, while Weathered Runestone helps lessen the effectiveness of some graveyard decks.
And that’s R/G Werewolves for Standard. What do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out for Crimson Vow Standard? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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