First, I would like to reiterate that the costs of the decks I post are in tickets--meaning the approximate number of Event Tickets needed to trade for (not buy) the deck on Magic Online. Sometimes after I post these articles the cards in the decks go up in price for various reasons, but that can't be controlled. If you're unsure of how to trade tickets for cards, please ask one of the Adepts for help.
Ok, so the name of this deck may not be the best, but it certainly fits in with my style of building rogue decks that are easy on the wallet. This deck uses a particular combo that I am very fond of, even if I am not the originator of it. Your Move Games used a Nantuko Husk/Caller of the Claw deck that ran Verdant Succession to interesting effect for this years Regionals tournament. While this deck uses a few similar cards and the basic combo element is the same (letting you attack with 20/20 Nantuko Husks early on), it has some surprising differences.
Since Onslaught Block is a rather slow format full of Wrath-effects (and a few cheaper Wraths like Starstorm, Infest, and Decree of Pain), Beatdown decks have been in short supply outside of Goblins. This deck has Caller of the Claw backup to help mitigate the Wrath situation and Timberwatch Elf's board-dominating effect to handle the stuff in play. With the threat of a 20/20 Husk and the ability to bounce back from a Wrath, you end up with a deck that is rather well rounded. Add in the disruption of Head Games and you have yourself with a moderate contender--all for under 30 tickets.
Building on a Budget - Husky Caller
The bread-and-butter of this deck is Wirewood Herald. The Herald gives you access to your Timberwatch Elves or Callers of the Claw as needed. If a fatty is what you're hankering for, then fetch Elvish Aberration. Whenever you have a Herald out, your opponent will find it very difficult to Wrath you when you have three mana open, since you will just fetch a Caller and wreck with it.
This is an interesting aggro-control mix but, unlike last week's deck, this is filled with threats. With Timberwatch Elves and Wirewood Lodges along with the Husk/Caller combo, sometimes the theme of this deck is "guess how much damage I'm attacking for this turn."
To illustrate the combo to those of you who are not familiar with it, let's say you have five creatures in play: a Nantuko Husk, a Wirewood Herald, and three other creatures. By sacrificing your four other creatures to Nantuko Husk, fetching a Caller of the Claw with the Herald, and sacrificing the Caller while its ability is on the stack, you'll end up with a 10/10 Husk and five 2/2 bear tokens. By sacrificing the bears you can get the Husk up to 20/20--that's what I call a big bug!
However, if you have access to two Callers (the above scenario with one in hand or two Wirewood Heralds in play), you only need two creatures other than Nantuko Husk in play. Going from three critters on the table to a 26/26 Husk isn't bad, right?
Many times you won't have to deal a full 20 damage, so fewer creatures will be needed. If you want to experiment more with Caller of the Claw, you can add Wirewood Symbiote to the deck. It was in the original build and has a lot of synergy with the Timberwatches and Callers. However, it leaves the deck with too few Elves and you'd probably have to take out some of the game breakers to add them.
Speaking of the game breakers, I turn your attention to Head Games and Biorhythm. I believe these cards are ridiculously good in Onslaught Block format right now. There's so much slow control going around that Head Games plus a little bit of beatdown backup spells doom for many decks. Biorhythm, while funny and unconventional, can be a real nightmare for many of the decks that either rarely have a creature in play, or have few creatures in play at best. Temple of the False God, Wirewood Elf, Birchlore Rangers, and Elvish Aberration all make casting the Biorhythm in a timely manner possible.
Tips On Playing The Deck
- Watch out for Wing Shards on your Husk If you suspect your opponent is packing Shards, I recommend playing some Head Games before attacking.
- Try not to trade your creatures one-for-one until you can drop a Caller of the Claw.
- Try to avoid mulliganing with this deck. Many times your initial hand won't look so good, but will come together within a few cards. As long as you have decent stuff to do, keep the hand.
- Remember that your Wirewood Lodge can untap any Elf, not just Timberwatch. This can be useful with Elvish Aberration, since it actually makes an extra mana.
- Don't feel obligated to protect your Stonewood Invokers--they're decent in the late game, but expendable. You could even play Elvish Warriors instead if you felt so inclined.
Wirewood Symbiote may be a good call versus creature decks--letting you bounce an Elf while damage is on the stack.
More Biorhythms would be useful to sideboard in against the low creature-count decks.
Naturalize or Nantuko Vigilante would be useful against the Rift/Slide decks, not to mention Form of the Dragon.
This deck is an excellent rogue deck to take to a tournament and surprise a few people with--either with the Husk or Biorhythm victories. There is certainly a lot of room to experiment here, and I suggest having a little fun with the deck, trying out other tweaks and versions that might be more fitting to your particular style of play.
Until next time, have fun morphing your creatures for .
NateHeiss on Magic Online