Deck Skeleton – Verdeloth the Ancient

Verdeloth the Ancient

Get off my lawn!

Green card draw. That’s a funny concept, right? I mean, if there was going to be a color that was good at drawing, wouldn’t it be Blue?

Well, you’ll find out today that Green isn’t all that bad at drawing either. And when people see you pull this off, they’ll laugh and cheer you on (hopefully). I’ve got friends who see when they have a choice of EDH decks to choose from for me to play, this is the most commonly picked. It doesn’t always have the best defenses, nor does lock an opponent out of the game. As long as you don’t abuse it, nor take five minute turns (yes, that’s possible in a Mono-Green EDH deck), people will want to you play this as well.

This deck has one of the most powerful cards ever that isn’t banned in EDH; infact, this is the only deck I’ve seen it in (it’s not an artifact nor a land, discuss), and it can only really go in this deck. Thanks to the way this format is set up it’s ripe for doing whatever we want. Really, it’s absurd.

Without furter ago, let’s get cracking. The Oracle updated Verdeloth’s text box with fancy new text, including the awesome line “if it was kicked.” Let’s see the “official” text:

Kicker X (You may pay an additional X as you cast this spell.)
Other Treefolk creatures and Saproling creatures get +1/+1.
When Verdeloth the Ancient enters the battlefield, if it was kicked, put X 1/1 Saproling creature tokens onto the battlefield.

Does that mean we get to build a Treefolk/Saproling EDH deck? Of course it does. Today, we’re going to build a fun semi-casual EDH deck that people can appreciate. It isn’t as finely tuned as it could be to become really good (hint: you drop the Treefolk theme), but I decided that it wouldn’t be as fun. EDH is a fun format and I wanted to play Treefolk. Why shouldn’t I?

And if you haven’t figured out the awesome totally “hyped-up yes it’s really that good I’m not exaggerating” card by now, you’re in for a huge shock. No, it’s not a Legend that tons of people want banned as a general again (though he is in the deck, but without his weapon of choice). To the tech!

First, let’s take a look at available Treefolk. Since we’re also going to mess around with Saprolings as well, any Treefolk that mention them as well get a second look (Sadly, even though 7th Edition’s Redwood Treefolk as some of the best art in the game, it’s not going to make the cut). Luckily there are Treefolk that do different things then turning sideways and thanks to Treefolk Harbinger, we can run a “toolbox” Treefolk with what we need. Here are some Treefolk that caught my eye:

Treefolk Harbinger – Good first turn drop, but also lets me toolbox (Well, as much as a onetime card in EDH can toolbox). Biggest bonus, if Verdeloth gets shuffled in my library, he can go get him out.

Bosk Banneret – Makes the big guys cheaper. Plus a 1/3 on turn two to hold down the fort isn’t bad either.

Dauntless Dourback – Got your copy from States last year? Here’s your chance to use him. You’re playing Forests and Treefolk. Pretty daunting when suddenly you can trample over creatures.

Deadwood Treefolk – Expensive Raise Dead, but you get to use it twice (really good against Wrath effects). Never a bad thing in EDH.

Heartwood Storyteller – Great for multi-player games. If you’ve got that one player who doesn’t cast creatures, everyone else benefits from it. Good way to make friends.

Lignify – Green Pacifism. Shuts off annoying creatures. Tutorable thanks to Treefolk Harbinger.

Nemata, Grove Guardian – A treefolk that creates Saprolings and can make them bigger? Huh, I think I’ll have to find a place for this.

Reach of Branches – Surprising effective card. You’re playing enough Forests to make it worth it and once you play it, it makes people watch out for that blocker. That’s right kids, remember: This is an instant.

Rootgrapple – Also an instant. Gets rid of things. Draws a card. Green doesn’t get this much so you might as well enjoy it.

Seedguide Ash – While it’s mana acceleration, it’s not as good as some cheaper cards. Swing with him every time you’ve got the chance and let someone kill it. You want the Forests for later.

Timber ProtectorMaRo’s famous preview card from Lorywn. No harm in having another Lord, especailly when it makes your big guys indestructible.

Wickerbough Elder – Is a creature Naturalize that sits in play (And you have that one Green mana open and the -1/-1 counter on it, but it’s no different then sacrificing a creature, right?).

Woodfall Primus – It’s a Lignify when it enters the battlefield. It’s a person’s best target when they Bribery, so be forwarned.

That’s it for the Treefolk. These guys make a majority of your creature cards in your decklist. Well, the ones that don’t make Saprolings anyway. But, let’s take a look at the best of what Saprolings got to offer (Changelings also work for both of these creature types, so feel free to include them as well).

Elvish Farmer – Sacrifice Saprolings to gain life. That’s important. You’ll see why this card is on the reserved list later (Hint: Because it’s a Fallen Emipre Rare).

Mycoloth – You can actually devour Saprolings you’ve created to create more Saprolings. Doesn’t work when there’s lots of removal around but is a powerhouse if you get to untap once with it.

Psychotrope Thallid – Pay 1, sac a Saproling: Draw a card. Mini Skullclamp.

Saproling Symbiosis – Double the amount of creatures you control. If only there was a land to abuse that…

Spontaneous Generation – Even if you only have 7 cards in your hand, it’s still a pretty good deal for 3G.

Thelonite Hermit – Makes Saprolings if you unmorph it, but it makes them bigger as well. Note: don’t put just one morph in a deck, people will know what it is right away. Always have at least one other one.

Your Saproling list may differ from mine (infact, my current list doesn’t have a few of these cards, but are just place holders until I get the cards I want). Verdant Force isn’t on here (and if you play in large multiplayer games all the time, it’s a good bet to have), etc.

But you’re all here wondering what’s the big deal? Where’s all this card drawing I promised? I’ll get there, but now, let me reveal my favorite EDH combo:

FtVChannel

Finally, a use for this!

It may take some of the newer EDH players to find out why this card is so good in this deck. You start out the game at 40 life, so you don’t care if you pay a little more life then usual to get something big, like an X spell (Channel/Fireball was one of the first combos ever). Also in EDH you start with your General in the Command Zone where you can play it any time you normally could. Gee, if there was only a Green General with X mana cost somewhere on the card that would let you abuse it.

Verdeloth the Ancient

Oh, I see what you did there...

That’s right. On turn 4 you can cast your General with four forests and a Channel. Oh, and you can have 20 2/2 if you wish. But at the moment, we’ve only got 1 card that let’s you draw: Psychotrope Thallid, 1, sac a Saproling, draw a card…

Oh.

That’s not all. Take a look at Green cards that draw. What sticks out for really good card draw with a lot of creatures?

Collective Unconscious, Fecundity, Regal Force, Skullmulcher, Soul’s Majesty

Sure, you have to put a little effort into drawing cards, but it’s worth it. Suddenly that Chord of Calling in your hand after you get 20 Saprolings in play looks easy to cast (Convoke!) which lets you get Regal Force and draw 22+ cards (itself and Verdeloth). And what good is all those creatures without Gaea’s Cradle? Suddenly, you tap 1 land and you can draw 20 cards (losing all of those Saprolings). It’s ok though, you played Fecundity, so you draw 40 instead.

Man, with your life depleted from Channel, if only there was a way to get more life. Like Phosphorescent Feast perhaps (Betcha had to read that one, didn’t you)? But what to do with all this life. Maybe, if I had played Blasting Station or devoured my General with Skullmulcher, I could play him again for more creatures.

Oh, what’s that? You didn’t read Channel carefully?

Until end of turn, any time you could activate a mana ability, you may pay 1 life. If you do add 1 to your mana pool.

See that bolded text? If my General gets exiled and I have played Channel earlier in my turn, I can still use Channel to play Verdeloth and kick it. It’s really easy too if I have an Essence Warden in play gaining life from all the Saprolings entering the battlefield. And then if I have Gauntlet of Power and Earthcraft, I can generate a ton of mana, and…

Well, you get the idea…

Some of these scenarios are not “Magic Christmas Land” where you hope nobody does anything. This deck as different ways of putting Verdeloth onto the battlefield with lots of tokens. And you don’t have to do stupid things like “make alot of mana”; just tap your Oran-Rief, the Vastwood after you play your General and suddenly, you have a 3/3 army of Saprolings. Pyroclasm doesn’t work, Infest doesn’t work; a huge board clearer has to be played or you’re a force to be reckoned with.

Cards of interest in this deck:

Channel – Like I said, it says “Until end of turn” so you can keep using it to pay for colorless mana in the spells you cast or the abilities you have.

Blasting Station – Thanks to a timing rule, each creature enters the battlefiled it creates a trigger separately. If you have multiple creatures coming into play at the same time (say a kicked Verdeloth), you can use the first to sacrifice to Blasting Station, and have it trigger to untap it as well, for the next Saproling. This was commonly used in Mirrodin Block with Beacon of Creation to create a Green Fireball (Green direct damage, what will they think of next?). Naturally, I have Beacon in there as well.

Changeling Titan – Champion a “Enters the Battlefield” creature, like Regal Force or Skullmulcher, then sacrifice it. Meh, seems kinda good.

Elvish Farmer – You need several ways to gain life, and somehow I think you’ll have Saprolings around. Just a hunch.

Reap and Sow/Crop Rotation – Remember you can go get any land you want. Any land.

As you can see, there are a ton of different things that you can do with this General. Either go a full combo style with draw lots of cards with creatures, or just swing with creatures, this deck can fit a variety of play styles. I’m sure that if you wanted to make this deck more efficient you possibly could. Garruk might be a good choice (untapping and a Overrun effect), or other effects like that.

Current Deck Skeleton – Verdeloth the Ancient

General
Verdeloth the Ancient

Creatures
Bosk Banneret
Changeling Titan
Elvish Farmer
Essence Warden
Eternal Witness
Magus of the Candelabra
Mycoloth
Nemata, Grove Guardian
Psychotrope Thallid
Regal Force
Seedguide Ash
Skullmuncher
Thelonite Hermit
Tribal Foremage

Enchantments
Doubling Season
Earthcraft
Fecundity
Mana Reflection
Muraganda Petroglyphs
Spontaneous Generation
Wild Growth

Sorceries
Beacon of Creation
Channel
Harmonize
Overrun
Phosphorescent Feast
Reap and Sow
Saproling Symbiosis
Soul’s Majesty

Instants
Chord of Calling
Crop Rotation
Early Harvest
Sprout Swarm
Summoner’s Pact

Artifacts
Blasting Station
Gauntlet of Power
Skullclamp

Planeswalker
Garruk Wildspeaker

Lands
Gaea’s Cradle
Mosswart Bridge
Oran-Rief, the Vastwood
Reliquary Tower

Again, make this deck your own. I’m only suggesting some cards that could you build off. Thoughts, questions, anything, sound off below. Enjoy.

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5 responses to “Deck Skeleton – Verdeloth the Ancient

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