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Beware the Saproling Hordes

By Nigel Barham

21 July 2006


Hmmm, Guildwars. Create a guild based deck, RBC (that’s Rav. Block Constructed) without using pricey rares. Simple, Straight forward, yes?


Okay – Selesnya Guild – Green-White. Right then…


Glare of Subdual – No 

Loxoden Hierach – No

Temple Garden – No

Birds of Paradise? - No



Okay, the main Selesnya rares are out –

but I do get to play with the best of the

guild mages!! And the best (none-Guildmage) critter in the block at 2CC!


Alright, what is the guild about? And how can this be translated into a casual game? The Guildmage (and Guildhall) show this – Tokens! Saprolings – the fungus of choice. I had already done a token generating deck for casual fun (which also included Verdent Force for more token goodness) so therefore I used that as the general base. I want to beat you down with fungus, so let’s make the mushrooms quickly.


4 Guildmage                         The army-on-a-stick! (well, elf…) – He makes Saprolings.

He makes them bigger. Great! 4-of.

4 Vitu-Ghazi -                          Makes more Saprolings. Makes Mana.

4 Scatter The Seeds -               3 Saprolings, instant speed. When my 1/1 is chumping your

fatty, he’ll double duty, and help throw out 3 friends.

4 Fists of Ironwood -                Makes Saprolings, gives the Watchwolf extra bite! (well,

you can’t just chump him then)

4 Selesnya Evangel -                 Makes, you got it, Saprolings! (you see where this is



Okay – Token Generation Sorted – What else? I need some power! And a bit of defensive aid (‘cos those Saproling Hordes could take a bit of time coming around!) Well, then…


4 Watchwolf -                          Cheap, 3-power, 2-mana. He beats well – Of course, 4,

straight in.

4 Faith’s Fetters -                     It stops almost anything it hits. It gives you a life-cushion.

                                                It will buy you the time you need

4 Farseek -                              Well, Mr Guildmage is a tad mana intensive… Better

                                                help him out some…

4 Bathe in light -                       What use is 20 points-worth of damage on the table, if the

opponent has bigger stuff than you? What if he tries to blast/enchant/bounce/ping…. This helps in SO many ways.

Never leave home without it

Okay, but what about some alternate ways to kill? Or to make MORE TOKENS!!!!!


In these Wars, a little gem of a rare seems to stand out. It’s not shown it’s self in the big tourneys, but in the casual game – IT’S KING!!!

Ah, Doubling Season…


Think about it.


My Guildmage makes a token – NNOOOO!!! He makes 2!


Add a second DS…


My Guildmage makes a token – NNOOOO!!! He makes 2! Wait! No, he makes 4!!!!!


Add a third, add a fourth…


Token Madness!!!!!!!!


Do you know how scary Scatter the Seeds is when you have 2 or 3 of these babies out? An army just springs up to foil those nasty folks coming your way. Mucking around in testing, I managed to get 2 doubling seasons out. I had been holding on to 2 copies of Scatter just for this moment. With the 3 critters on the board, at the end of my opponent’s turn, they tapped for convoke, I tapped my 2 mana that I had left and basically sneezed out 24(!) Saprolings to swing with next turn! 24 guys, for 2 mana!!!! In his end-step!

These are going in!



So then, the deck presently stands at


4 Selesnya Guildmage

4 Watchwolf

4 Selesnya Evangel


4 Fists of Ironwood

4 Faith’s Fetters

4 Doubling Season


4 Farseek

4 Bathe in Light

4 Scatter the seeds


4 Vitu-Ghazi, the city Tree


40 cards, 4 of which are land.


We need a minimum of about 22-24 land. We need white sources (plains, duh!), green sources (forests) or something that provides both – Selesnya Sanctuary. 4 of those go in, they are an excellent mana source, and we should make use of them. Because the green is more prevalent, it is better to have more forests than plains, added to which, farseek is there to grab the plains if needed.


So, the last 20 cards could therefore, in my view, be


4 Selesnya Sanctuary

10 forests

6 plains


Well, 24 lands. A couple of goes with this showed me two main things – I tended to have a bit of mana flood (though the guildmage always likes excess mana) and nothing really big actually happened…


A sealed event later, with a Scion of the Wild enchanted by Fists beating me around the head, helped. The evangels didn’t do much in the deck except provide a saproling, while when the Scion joins the team, Fists of Ironwood reads “Scion of the Wild gets +2/+2 and trample – Oh yes, have 2 saprolings as well” Straight swap!! He also gets quite nutty with the ol’ doubling season (also, Scatter the Seeds becomes a pump combat trick – Scion gets +3/+3, or +6/+6, or better!).

However, one more change was required – possibly wasn’t required, but hey, casual doesn’t need to make sense. I wanted to add Tolsimir Wolfblood.

Each Guild in Rav block has a Guild-Leader (in his/her/it’s casting cost, 2 each of each guild colour [okay, simic and azorious are exceptions]) and a Guild Character (with the same exceptions, 1 of each guild colour).

Tolsimir would provide a fantastic boost to my guys – All my 1/1 saprolings are now 2/2s, a Watchwolf is a 5/5!, my Guildmages become a bit harder to deal with). 2 of him went in.


Darn it! The deck is 62 cards now. Even in casual, that’s not the best when we have no excuse no to cut it down. Out went a Vitu-Ghazi, after all, it’s colourless mana, and it’s my deck, I’ll change it how I want! The other card was harder to swap out. I chose to dump a Bathe – in the upcoming guildwars, I’ll see if that was the wrong decision.


The final decklist is here!


4 Selesnya Guildmage

4 Watchwolf

4 Scion of the Wild

2 Tolsimir Wolfblood


4 Fists of Ironwood

4 Faith’s Fetters

4 Doubling Season


4 Farseek

3 Bathe in Light

4 Scatter the seeds


3 Vitu-Ghazi, the city Tree

4 Selesnya Sanctuary

10 forests

6 plains



Hmm, sideboard? Well, how about…


1 Bathe in Light                        - in case it is needed

3 Hour of Reckoning                - Mass removal that doesn’t kill your team!

4 Sandsower                            - Okay, you can’t have Glare…almost there…

3 Nullmage Shepherd               - She’s quite good as a way to deal with troublesome items

4 Trophy Hunter                       - Flyers can cause problems, so let’s go Skeet-shooting!




Beware The Saproling Hordes!!!!!!!




Oh yes – Cost. These are budgety-style decks so let’s see…

The cost of the rares in the deck isn’t actually that high (though Doubling Season is rising). Tolsimir is currently about £1 - £1.50 (£2.50 for 2), Scion is roughly the same (about a fiver), and Doubling season is about £3 - £3.50 (£13 for 4) – Say £20 for the rares… not too bad.