This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Wild Research


Welcome to this season’s last installment of Wild Research. It has been a hell of a ride getting here, but I made it. Before I wrap up the duel deck project, I want to thank you all for taking the time to bother reading my direct and not very flavorful writing. Life has proven to be exceptionally busy this summer and fall between work, school, writing, and my other obligations. Your comments are the only thing that kept me struggling to get articles out at 11PM in a hotel room 800 miles from home. Similarly I want to bring to your attention just how much work and dedication it takes to produce content on any kind of regular basis. We are all extremely lucky to have Andy and the rest of the CommanderCast crew working diligently to make all of this possible and I am thankful for the opportunity to write for you all.┬áThat should be about enough sappy crap for a while, it is time to get to business.

This project has been awesome and I am quite happy with how the decks turned out. I have especially enjoyed the variance of the decks without tutors. This is most noticeable in Bruna since a suite of tutors would make nearly all of the auras except for Eldrazi Conscription and Diplomatic Immunity nearly worthless. Similarly my wife has enjoyed the lack of tutors because she does not have to sit and read through an entire deck of cards and assess which card would be most useful to her. Overall I think the decks are a little bit more swing-y than I would prefer them to be, but that is more a product of a hundred card singleton deck than anything else.

My largest concern with the decks is still the raw power of tucking Stonebrow. As I have already said, the deck does not play much differently without the general, but it functions better with him. If you find the tuck effects to be too much for your or your opponent, take them out for other spot removal and sweeper spells such as Saltblast or Akroma’s Vengeance. My second concern are cards like Vesuvan Shapeshifter where there is no explanation of how a keyword mechanic works. When playing with a brand new player, you should either remove these cards entirely from the deck for a few games (who cares if you only have 97 and a general) or have a keyword cheat-sheet handy for each deck. For Bruna you need to explain flying, vigilance, suspend, morph, evoke, kicker, rebound, buyback, changeling (though it is irrelevant), split Second, trample, annihilator, lifelink, landwalk, and protection and for Stonebrow you will need to explain trample, regenerate, haste, hideaway, shroud, hexproof, miracle, entwine, cycling, changeling (I do not think it is relevant here either), landfall, flying, join forces, morph, channel, and protection. Those lists are pretty long, but many of the cards do have full reminder text, especially if you make sure to use the most recent printing of the cards.

I also managed to stay completely on budget for this project, $100 per deck, as of the day I finished the lists a few months ago (an article series about a project like this requires significant effort ahead of time). As of this writing, lists the purchase price of the Bruna deck at $93.25 and the Stonebrow deck at $108.32. I usually find that their price estimates are a little bit on the high side and the total is $201.57, so I am going to say I stayed in budget. I attempted to make sure that the more expensive cards in the decks were heavily printed cards like Lightning Greaves, but a few are not. If you have any trouble getting a few of the cards, just cut them for something you already have or something cheaper.

I have often wondered if I would do anything differently if I removed the budget restriction. The answer is a slight yes. A card like Scavenging Ooze would be spectacularly useful in this matchup without significantly increasing the power level of the deck, but is prohibitively expensive. If you have some cards like that or some of the more expensive auras I would add them without hesitation. However, I would shy away from efficient high power cards like Sylvan Library, Sol Ring, and Land Tax. Without the consistency tutors add and in a one on one environment, these effects could produce too large of a swing in power for the other deck to overcome. If you do experiment with the decks, make sure to leave a comment and let me know what changes did and did not work for you.

While my wife’s favorite deck is by far┬áBruna, I do not have a preference and enjoy playing either deck. I asked her why and she said she felt like the deck was much more straightforward to play than Stonebrow. I still suspect is has something to do with her being an ass-kicking angel instead of a hairy stomping centaur, but either way she is much more willing to play EDH with me. We estimate we played about every other month with my old set of decks loaded with tutors, complicated interactions, and combos. Now we play closer to twice a month (on average I only have time to play at my LGS about that much). That might not sound like a lot, but we both keep very busy and setting aside two evenings or afternoons a month to play Magic with my wife is significant. In that regard, this project is a complete success.

I have also played the decks a little bit in larger multiplayer games. My playgroup is very competitive and high power, so anyone I lent the decks to was miserable. They constantly complained about the low power level of the decks and how they felt powerless to have any impact on the game. If you play in a very casual group where high dollar and high power cards are rarely seen, I would give one of these decks a try. Otherwise, I recommend you leave them in the box for another time.

Thank you again for making my first series feel so successful. I’ll be starting next season with an article about the tiered horde variant I talked about in S7E8. I am going to leave my main project for next season as a surprise until my second article, but I have a lot of work to do to get those articles ready for you. If you have any suggestions for future projects, I would love to hear from you below in the comments or in a PM on MTG Salvation or the official Commander forums where my username is irpotential. I will keep checking the comments below into the break as well. See you next season!

Series Navigation<< Wild Research 05 – Bruna Versus StonebrowWild Research 07 – Hug Harder >>