Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Pauper Kings: Landfall Gruul"

"Bagsakan na...Ng Lupa!"
"Pauper Kings: Landfall Gruul"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr. 

Landfall is officially back and it is now time to build a standard pauper deck around it for maximum fun and aggression.

Red/Green decks or Gruul decks have always been around and one of its hallmarks are large beasts that could easily be cast and always on the look out to attack. With Landfall some of the creatures in this deck start out small but deal damage with a bang thanks to a lot of lands dropping on the battlefield in more ways than one. 

And so I present to you Landfall Gruul:

4 x Evolving Wilds
4 x Looming Spires
4 x Fertile Thicket
5 x Mountains
5 x Forests
22 lands

4 x Snapping Gnarlid
2 x Territorial Baloth
4 x Makindi Sliderunner
4 x Valakut Predator
4 x Ainok Guide
4 X Subterranean Scout
22 Creatures

4 x Map the Wastes
4 x Swell of Growth
4 x Unnatural Aggression
4 x Nissa's Pilgrimage 
16 Spells

Battle Trick Time!

Makindi Sliderunner and Snapping Gnarlid are the superstars of this particular deck since they are the earliest aggressors. They both have land fall and fairly costed at 2 mana each. However this deck woould not be as spectacular without the Instant Speed pumping ability of Swell of Growth. This 2 to cast Instant allows you to give an additional +2/+2 on your target creature and it also allows you to drop 1 land into the battlefield. In standard this could mean another fetchland that could be cracked open to drop another land into play.

"Pumping Critters since the BFZ PR"

Now Imagine this scenario where on turn three you have a Makindi Sliderunner or Snapping Gnarlid into play. You play an Evolving Wild and trigger landfall giving a +1/+1 boost , you crack the Evolving wilds and put another land into play. Another +1/+1. You declare attackers and you cast Swell of Growth to give another +2/+2. And since this spell allows you to cast another land , you can either put one basic land or another Evolving wilds for another +1/+1. If you become really greedy and fetch another basic land with the fresh evolving wild that is another +1/+1. So how big did your Makindi    Sliderunner or Snapping Gnarlid get? Pretty huge. Snapping Gnarlid becomes an 8/8! And Makindi Sliderunner  is at 8/7! Pretty good numbers to mow down an Eldrazi or to slice an opponents life total. 

Oh and Swell of Growth also works well with the new ETB lands like Looming Spires and Fertile Thicket. Looming Spires could actually save your creature in an instant since it makes them bigger with the triggered landfall as well as give them first strike which spells doom for blockers. Fertile thicket on the other hand makes sure that you have one land that you would be able to draw on your next turn since it allows you to look at the top 5 cards of your library , reveal one land card among them , shuffle your library and then put that land on top.Set up. Check!

Ainok Guide is here for pretty much the same reason as Fertile Thicket. It would allow you to draw a land since you would be able to pit one of top of the deck yourself. 

"Right this way Sir..."
Subterranean Scout.Hmmm what the hell is a goblin doing hanging around with these creatures? Well he makes them Unblockable but there was to be a timing to it. When you cast Subterranean Scout and you have a Makindi Sliderunner in play you are able to target it because it is a 2/1 creature. Once this is done you could drop a land to trigger its landfall to make it bigger. Eventhough it is not 3/2 the effect of the Scout would still be applicable and you could attack with this bigger creature unimpeded. A sudden Swell of Growth does the trick too if you are able to pump your creature after blockers have been declared and it has been checked that there are no creatures who could block it. So yeah Sub Scout will hang with these guys.

Territorial Baloth and Valakut Predator are bigger , badder versions of our 2 to cast creatures and will makes waves in the latter part of the game.They occupy the 3rd and 5th slot of our mana curve here. 

"May Lupa ka na...May Bolster ka pa!"

More land Fetches!

Map the Wastes and Nissa's Pilgrimage are awesome sorceries that put more land to either ramp up your mana or trigger land fall. Map the Wastes nets you one extra land on the battlefield and you also get to Bolster 1! Not bad since this makes an untriggered creature more sturdy with a +1/+1 counter on it. With Nissa's Pilgrimage you get to have a 2 lands dropping or if you already meet the requirements for Spell Mastery , you get 3 Forest lands entering the battlefield. 

"Right on the Kisser!"
Fighting Back!

Since the deck plans to just go head to head with other creatures there is not much removal in the deck except for Unnatural Aggression which causes creatures to fight each other. It certainly doesn't hurt when your creatures are bigger than your opponents.

So there you go Landfall Gruul promises to be simple enough to teach new players while giving more seasoned planeswalker enough battle tricks or two. So lets do this. Let's smash through for the win! 

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