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Rabid Gnarlids

Happy Wednesday MTG peeps,

Some of our MTG Realm readers may not know this but we're certain many of you do from our previous posts (here, here, and / or here), that we have a place very close to our heart for Aura Gnarlid. This cute 'n' fuzzy little badger / bear-cat / whatever (?), has performed rather well in a number of casual standard environment games. We last ran a deck with him and Eldrazi Conscription when Sovereigns of Lost Alara was still in standard.

Anywhoos - Aura Gnarlid very rarely stays just a 2/2 critter - just add some auras and watch your opponent squirm. The beauty of this card shines when the power of each potential blocking creature is checked against Aura Gnarlid's power as blockers are declared and the second ability now counts each Aura on the battlefield regardless of who controls it and pumps him up to a frightening level. Of course, this fella is prone to removal and that is where we must rely on the very excellent evasion / pseudo-troll-shroud provided by either Canopy Cover or Vines of the Vastwood.

Now when we first saw Phyresis spoiled in the new Mirrodin Besieged set, we thought that this aura is demanding to be placed on an unblockable creature. Our first candidate of choice was (of course), our Gnarlid Buddy. Imagine a pumped-up Fatty McFatster who happens to be unblockable AND saddled with a devastating infect ability to heap the poison counters on your oppoent - we think that for a standard budget deck, this will deliver a truckload of fun and will win you the game.

One of the more important aspects of an aura deck to keep in mind is that one should heap as much auras on the battlefield as possible with a focus to

(1) disrupting your oponent's mana base (through either Spreading Seas or Contaminated Ground),

(2) Eliminating or neutralising threats (through Quag Sickness, Brink of Disaster, or Narcolepsy- unfortunately white certainly has more to offer in this department), and

(3) Provide early blockers while still supporting our focus on auras (through the Zendikon cycle auras Wind Zendikon or Corrupted Zendikon).

One thought to take to heart is to 'always pack a parachute' - or more commonly described as having a plan 'B'. Should you be able to drive out a fist full of auras and not be able to eventually draw into an Aura Gnarlid, things will quickly get sticky. Fortunately, we have an ability to bring it out of our deck with Diabolic Tutor. Of course Green Sun's Zenith would work just as well or even better but we're waiting until the price settles a bit more. having said that though, we do have a preference for Diabolic as it would search for ANY card in your library and you do not have to reveal it (which of course would unsettle your opponent). Anywhoo, you get the idea - double your chances of being able to pull out your card.

So where do we go from here ?

Franky Scarlet, we have only a partial idea - We invite you to provide some suggestions how best to build this pile of 60 cards including a sideboard - suggestions must include Aura Gnarlid AND Phyresis. We'll take our Rabid Gnarlids for a walk during our next Friday Night Magic and get back to you.
Lastly -

A plug for a friend of ours, Ms. Sugar Vintage, purveyor of fine vintage clothing who happens to be running a contest just now. Why would the average MTG player be interested ? - because looking good while slinging cards is just good. Anywhoos - it's a scarf giveaway - just look at MTG legends Lino Burgold of Germany or Jeremy Dezani of France why scarfs are awesome.



VergilDante100 said...

Here's a possible list since a friend of mine runs this kind of rogue decks all the time

Creatures = 22
4 Aura Gnarlid
3 Birds of Paradise
3 Sacred Wolf
3 Llanowar Elf
2 Joraga Treespeaker
3 Phyrexian Vatmother [Back-up Win Con]
2 Tajuru Presever
2 Phyrexian Rager

Spells = 14
4 Phyresis
3 Bear Umbra
3 Vines of Vastwood
2 Diabolic Tutor
2 Asceticism

Lands = 24
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Marsh Flats
5 Swamp
7 Forest
2 Oran-Rief the Vastwood
3 Khalni Garden [Providing turn 1 chumpers in case of aggro]

Sideboard = 15
3 Duress
2 Doom Blade
1 Black Sun's Zenith
3 Naturalize
2 Hand of the Preators
3 Memoricide

Gonzalo said...

What about the instant wich give -2/-0 to your opponents creatures, it can be usefull for make it unblockable or for defend if it's necesary. Also you can some preordains and change some birds of paradise or llanowar elves for some plague myr. Canopy cover is good since brings pseudo shroud and because the flying or reach creatures have not a big power. If you use blue, try to use some Halimar depths too.

Good luck!

Liz MTGirl said...

Interesting contest for MTG players and casual blog hoppers. I might join. :D