Home Strategy Ancient Wilds deck guide: A growing concern

I hate green.

I hate the color green, the way green things taste. I’m not a fan of Ecto Cooler or the way American money looks. And I sure as shit don’t like playing green decks in Magic the Gathering.

But Ancient Wilds is… different.

Despite my assumption it’d be an auto-pilot stompy deck, it’s actually an interesting, highly-synergistic machine. One that runs on photosynthesis, sure, but a beautiful, combolicious machine nonetheless.


(Slowly) unleashing the beast

Unlike Pack Instinct or other aggro decks in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, Ancient Wilds won’t outright tell you how to win. Victory involves combining the power of the deck’s coming-into-play abilities with its knack for flinging them back to your hand or fetching new recruits straight from your deck. As with Crosswinds, the early game will typically consist of stalling, misdirection, and setups. The late game will consist of maniacal laughter as you play your twentieth land, drop six creatures into play at once, and destroy your opponent’s most powerful permanent.

Because of this approach to winning, games will often be drawn out affairs. Would-be Wilds players should be prepared to settle in for the long haul, carefully meting out removal only for dire occasions. Most of the deck’s permanents aren’t singularly important (thank Yeva!), so you won’t have too many problems getting your side of the board hosed. As long as you can continually ramp forests and get two or three combo pieces into play, the world is your oyster.

And by oyster, I mean giant goddamn wurm.


Ancient Wilds card-by-card analysis (by cost)

Bond Beetle: 3.5

A solid first-turn creature, Bond Beetle can come into play as a 1/2 for one mana or buff an existing threat of your choice. If you need initial defense, this critter is a great option, but don’t expect him to yield many returns later on. Given the option, you’ll almost always bounce something besides this bug.

Giant Growth: 4.0

A staple beast-buffer since the first edition of Magic, Giant Growth is an important instant both for protecting your utility creatures and for generating surprise card advantage (or at least trading even). For only one mana you get better offense, defense, and anti-burn insurance. Great!

Taunting Elf: 4.0

Since Ancient Wilds is relatively light on trample and evasion, Taunting Elf can supply a free swing for massive unblockable damage. Hell, you can drop a Giant Growth on him and swing to take out key cards on the other side. And if they nuke your joking pal? They just spent removal on a 0/1! Either way, you win.

Joraga Warcaller: 2.0

While this is an A+ card in general, Joraga Warcaller just doesn’t have that much oomph in a deck that isn’t based solely on Elves. Yes, a mid-to-late game Warcaller could turn your army of chump blockers into elven bodybuilders, but it just doesn’t fit the deck’s theme.

Elvish Visionary: 5.0

Single-handedly making two-land opening hands viable, Elvish Visionary should be plentiful in your deck. Early game he/she/it boosts your draw power to “fix” spell/mana ratio problems. Late game, the Visionary is a chump blocker with a free replacement from the top of the deck. Combine with Erratic Portal for hilarity.

Fauna Shaman: 4.0

Ignore this creature’s power/toughness, because you’ll never be using her in combat. Instead, Fauna Shaman gives you the option of chucking any creature in your hand for any other one in your deck! Powerful as-is, it’s even better when you can ditch a Vengevine, then cast it for “free” afterwards.

Ring of Kaolnia: 2.5

While it grants the much-needed trample Ancient Wilds lacks, this equipment will, in most cases, slow down your deck. Yes, the +1/+1 counters are nice, but they don’t really fit into the theme of replaying creatures repeatedly. You’ll be torn between keeping a beefed up fatty on the board or getting its coming-into-play ability again.

Thornweald Archer: 3.5

If there’s one major weakness to Ancient Wilds, it’s flying creatures. If there are two weaknesses, it’s flying creatures and weenie rushes. If there are three weaknesses, they’re flying, weenies, and giant fatties. The point is Thornweald Archer protects you from all of them.

Awakener Druid: 2.0

Don’t get me wrong’ Awakener Druid is a great card outside of Duels of the Planswalkers. Hell, it’d even be good outside of Ancient Wilds. But Yeva’s deck simply doesn’t have the option to keep forests open early game. Worse still, the effect doesn’t last if and when your Druid leaves the battlefield.

Caller of the Claw: 3.0

A 2/2 that can be played as an instant for three mana? Interesting. A creature that replaces your casualties with Grizzly Bears? Even better. Unfortunately, it’s rare you’ll be losing lots of monsters and having three mana to burn in the same turn. I could go either way on this card.

Beast Within: 5.0

To a neophyte, Beast Within would seem like a bad card. Sure, you can take out any permanent at instant speed, but howwwWAIT WHAT?! A green card that destroys literally anything, instantly? Sure, there’s a drawback, but the ability is so powerful, it’s a joke by comparison. The best part? You can use Beat Within on your own cards to create a surprise 3/3 blocker or force an opponent’s spell to fizzle. Use all of them.

Manaplasm: 1.5

In theory, Manaplasm can swing for massive damage every turn. In reality, you won’t frequently have that option. And even when you do, Manaplasm still doesn’t have trample, so what’s the point? Leave this grade-F goo in your sideboard.

Carven Caryatid: 4.0

While it doesn’t have the attacking power of Elvish Visionary, this ca-wait a second… Evlish Visionary never had real attacking power. For one more mana, you get a 2/5 wall capable of withstanding beats well into the late game. Just long enough for you to set up your win conditions!

Eternal Witness: 4.5

Absolutely broken-tier in regular Magic, Eternal Witness loses half a point here if only because Ancient Wilds doesn’t have too many intentionally disposable cards or spells. That said, she makes for nasty Overrun setups, can fetch key cards back, and doubles as a Demonic Tutor if you’re playing against Jace’s Dream Puppets deck.

Yeva’s Forcemage: 2.5

Great for turn 3 aggro pressure, that’s about all Yeva’s Forcemage can do. If you’re not ready to attack, he’s basically useless, and late-game stalls won’t usually be resolved by a sorcery-speed +2/+2. Sure, he’s a good surprise if Yeva’s in play, but there’s only a ~2% chance of that!

Wood Elves: 4.5

Providing much-needed early defense and boosting your mana pool to as much as five lands by turn 4, Wood Elves are crucial to your long-term strategy. Paired with Roaring Primadox or Erratic Portal, you can easily flood the battlefield with Forests for massive mana and topdecking leverage.

Spawnwrithe: 2.5

Hindered by a low attack power, Spawnwrithe is still an interesting concept. Get two of them into play, then four, then eight, then… you’ve probably already won. Unfortunately, it doesn’t gel too well with Ancient Wild’s decklist. It could be worth playing, but only in the right conditions.

Ambassador Oak: 1.0

Wow, a 3/3 for four mana! And look, when it comes into play, you get a useless little token! Gee-willickers, this card sucks the big one.

Briarpack Alpha: 4.0

This is what Yeva’s Forcemage should have been. For four mana, you get a 3/3 body with Flash that grant’s the Forcemage’s signature +2/+2 upon arrival. Whether you use that to make the Briarpack a surprise 5/5 blocker, or dole out some hidden damage, that’s your call.

Herd Gnarr: 1.5

Basically the opposite of Briarpack Alpha and Yeva’s Forcemage, this overcosted 2/2 keeps all the power/toughness boosts to himself like a little jerk. You’ll rarely get to activate its pumping at instant speed, making the whole card a wash.

Momentous Fall: 4.0

A lot of times, you’re going to have a creature that’s just outright doomed. Momentous Fall turns tragedy into windfall (though not literally!) by granting card advantage and lifegain. Use it to stifle removal, get extra protection from blocking, or simply to cheat the scales following an all-out attack (sacrifice a creature that would have died to a bigger blocker).

Erratic Portal: 5.0

I have a special place in my heart for cards from the Exodus expansion, as it was the first set that premiered after I began playing Magic. Regardless of nostalgia, Erratic Portal is a nasty, nasty card. If your opponents fail to leave two mana untapped every turn, (one for their end step and one for your turn), they’ll lose their best creature. This Tempest-age artifact can also save anythign on your side of the battlefield for one mana, ready to replay (possibly as an instant with Yeva out) for coming-into-play effects.

Roaring Primadox: 3.0

This guy’s tough to measure. If you can play him after a strong, elf-based start, you’ve got all the pieces necessary to ramp your way to victory. But if you don’t draw the early game critters you need, you’ll be forced to replay the Primadox every turn, wating precious mana. If you do decide to include the Primadox, don’t take all four.

Wolfbriar Elemental: 3.5

The problem with Wolfbriar Elemental is that it’s almost too good at what it does. Draw this on turn 5, and you’ll find yourself waiting to play it on turn 6. Draw it on turn 10? Might as well wait for 11 lands, right? If you can avoid procrastination, this makes for an excellent offensive and defensive creature. And I guess if you have a Primadox in play, you can regenerate your canine army every turn!

Natural Order: 5.0

I’m going to say it: Natural Order is the best card in Ancient Wilds. For four mana, you can turn your recently obsolete Wood Elves into a goddamn Gaea’s Revenge. On turn fucking 4. You can literally transmorgrify anything on the board into anything you need! And if you sac a Vengevine to it, you may not even lose anything! There is absolutely no scenario that exists in which you don’t use two of these game-winning bombs.

Vengevine: 4.5

Speaking of Vengevine, this 4/3  plant is great for laying down either an early or lategame smackdown. Aside from its haste, the fact that it regrows into play whenever you cast two creatures is astonishing. With a little bounce and timing, you can quickly turn the tides. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice this resurrecting roseplant to Fauna Shaman or Natural Order. It will come back eventually.

Yeva, Nature’s Herald: 4.5

Well, the deck’s named after her, so you’d expect she’d at least be decent, right? A 4/5 with Flash for just four mana, Yeva is already a fun gal to hve around. Better still, she grants every creature in your deck Flash! As long as she’s in play, your opponents will be terrified to attack you. Plus you can pull cool tricks like chumping an attacker, bouncing your blocker with Erratic Portal, and replaying it before your enemy’s end step.

Acidic Slime: 4.5

What if Beast Within gave you the creature instead of your opponent, at the cost of an extra two mana and not being able to destroy creatures? And what if it turns out you could destroy creatures, because Acidic Slime’s 2/2 body also has deathtouch? And what if you could bounce Acidic Slime over and over an literally melt all of your opponents’ artifacts, enchantments, and (lol) land? I’ll tell you what: you’d run that card all day long.

Overrun: 4.5

There isn’t much to say about Overrun: it wins you the game when you need to punch through your enemy’s defense. Don’t be afraid to use it early on, as you can finish your foe off later, or retrieve this card with Eternal Witness shenanigans.

Stingerfling Spider: 4.0

Able to quickly eliminate troublesome Angels, Demons, Dragons, and other Scary Flying Stuff, this 5-drop can ruin your enemies illusions of grandeur. Reach helps keep the skies clear afterwars, too. It may not be necessary to run more than one Stingerfling Spider, but you wouldn’t be wrong for trying it, either.

Thragtusk: 5.0

No matter how your opponent plays, Thragtusk is going to set his or her plans back a bunch. Coming out as early as turn 4 (following Wood Elves), this 5/3 beast counters early-game damage with life gain. And, as if he weren’t annoying enough, killing him leaves behind a sizable 3/3 hassle, too. You’ll also get the token if Thragtusk gets bounced to your hand! If only you could make that happen…

Lurking Predators: 2.5

For six mana, this enchantment makes every play from your opponents into a landmine. Their next Lightning Bolt could drop a Terastrodon on their heads, for example. Unfortunately, this card will work against you just as often as it works for you. It’ll pull Stingerfling Spiders when there’s nothing to sting (or fling), and you’ll get Wolfbriar Elementals thrown into play with no tokens.

Primordial Sage: 3.5

Easily fetched into play with Wild Pair and a Yeva (at least until they patch her to the correct 4/4 stats), Primordial Sage turns your deck into a turbo-powered card drawing engine. It won’t outright win the game for you (though its girth is to be respected), but it will find what you need to smash your enemy’s face in.

Soul of the Harvest: 4.5

Remember that time I said Primordial Sage was good? Soul of the Harvest is much, much better. For the same cost you get a bigger, badder creature that also has trample. To boot, it allows you to draw cards when creatures come into play, regardless of whether or not your formally cast them. Thus it pairs great with Wild Pair, Lurking Predators, and Primal Surge.

Wild Pair: 4.0

Though it doesn’t do anything the turn it comes into play (unless you have a lot of mana), Wild Pair essentially doubles every creature you cast. Not only that, you’re free to find any monster that matches your most recent pet’s total power/toughness. Thus a Vengevine can fetch your a Stingerfling Spider, and a Briarpack Alpha can get you another Briarpack Alpha! Yes, you might set yourself up for a board wipe, but you’ll also recover from one twice as fast.

Wurmweaver Coil: 1.5

An expensive aura with no self-replacing protection doesn’t inspire confidence. Throwing this on one of your guys, only to have it Murdered, isn’t very appetizing. Sure, its ability can establish card equilibrium, but only after you’ve paid nine mana!

Elderscale Wurm: 3.0

While not quite a Platinum Angel, this beast can protect you against a completely deadly onslaught (even taking his giant body out of account). There isn’t a lot of synergy with the rest of the deck though, so you’ll rarely feel compelled to play it over Pelakka Wurm, which can be thoroughly abused by Yeva’s magic.

Gaea’s Revenge: 4.5

There is almost no deck in the game that can stop this once it hits the board (and it will hit the board). Gaea’s Revenge may not fit the theme of Ancient Wilds (other than being ancient and wild), but with costing this efficient, who the hell cares? Play him and stomp face.

Pelakka Wurm: 4.0
Expensive? Sure. Powerful? Definitely. Just as with Thragtusk, Pelakka Wurm can undo several turns of damage just by hitting the board. Subsequently, it’s a more-than-competent beat stick, trampling over enemy defense. And, should it get nuked, you’ll get a farewell present. This wurm is a wonderful way to top off Ancient Wild’s mana curve.

Gigantomancer: 3.5

Simply put, Gigantomancer wins games. Because who needs trample when every elf, wizard, and plant in your deck is a 7/7 creature? Yes, he’s a little expensive, but if you can Natural Order him into play, the game will be turning to your favor quickly.

Decree of Savagery: 3.0

Kind of like an instant version of Overrun, Decree of Savagery will often come too late to help you. Sure, it can be cycled earlier on for a smaller (and still instant) bonus, but  in those cases a Briarwood Alpha would be preferable. That said, if you resolve it, you will most likely win within one turn.

Terastodon: 2.5

If you’re going to make a 9/9 creature, shouldn’t it have trample or vigilance or something? Terastodon is an interesting card, but its huge cost and inability to punch through are problematic. Its ability can be used on your own permanents (or hilariously on your enemy’s only lands if used on turn 3/4 with Natural Order)… but it’s situational at best.

Primal Surge: 3.5

In the remotest of odds you resolve this card, be prepared to win. Your side of the battlefield will be quickly filled with tons of land, nasty enchantments and artifacts, and, of course, nearly every creature in your deck. That said, hitting an unlucky Giant Growth or Natural Order a few cards in could mean you just wasted ten friggin’ mana. You could pare all non-permanents from your deck, but is it worth it for one card you may never draw or play?


Ancient Wilds deck list

There are a lot of different ways to build Ancient Wilds, primarily because it has so much synergy and so many good cards. Some builds will focus more on bouncing, running lots of Roaring Primadoxes in addition to Erratic Portals. Others will want to win with brute force earlier on, opting for lots of small creatures, pump effects, and pressure utility cards.

My personal build (which is still seeing revision) is more of a metered approach. The mana curve is relatively even, with a mix of defensive cards and potent threats at every stage of the game. My goal was to keep rush decks off my back with cheap elvish defenders, drop a Portal or Wild Pair into play, and achieve an explosive win sometime thereafter.

Do you have an Ancient Wilds deck build you’d like to share? Why not create a thread in the T3 Forums and let everyone know? While you consider that option, here’s what I’m using:


Wizards Forum Tournament build

Several players have asked me to post the decklist I used in the recent Wizards of the Coast Duels 2013 tournament. My main changes to the deck were the removal of a lot of six mana and up cards, in the hopes of outracing aggro decks if I ran across them.



Ancient Wilds gameplay videos

68 replies to this post
  1. OK, fine! I’ll put the Briarpack Alphas back in and toss Lurking Predators! GAH! (Thanks. I needed a little push.)

  2. That last crosswinds game was awesome, haha loved it. Im sure by now you realized that you returned a clone to your hand, but its also a good thing you did b/c then Footsteps would have gone to your GY. Well played Wingspan, another game thoroughly enjoyed while on break at work. Keep em coming, and ill keep watching and spreading the word

  3. Woah, you left out Elderscale Wurm.

    That card might not have synergy with the deck but i find it buys you either 1 or 2 turns extra or its a winning card. + if all your big creatures get killed/removed and your at low hp, you can use natural order to pull it out in exchange of a 1/1 elves.

    • I agree, Elderscale is a win condition if they don’t have the removal for it. For instance against a deck like Goblins it can be unbeatable.

  4. Wow, Ecto Cooler. I haven’t even thought about that for probably 15 years. Thanks for the nostalgia.

    Magic related: I tried the demo of MTG 2012 on Xbox and had no idea what I was doing. But I do still enjoy the videos even though I’m pretty lost while watching them.

  5. You gave momentous fall a 4 but didn’t include it in your deck. I guess you ran out of room for instants/sorcery’s. Would you consider it a viable option to run in the deck? I haven’t play tested all the cards, so your deck build could be the best, but so far momentous fall has been a great card for me. I just wanted to know your reasons for not including it.

    • It’s a great card, I just felt very squeezed in the 4-5 mana range. I might put it back in, though it’s somewhat situational. I could see dropping 2x Wild Pair and using this instead.

      • im really bearish on momentous fall given that the deck’s main abilities revolves mostly around erratic portal and roaring primadox. It’s true that if one of your creature is going to die (burned or murdered) might as well get some life and cards out of it, but if its pacified you can just send it back to your hand. Worst case scenario i’d keep one wild pair and one momentous fall if you really want that card in your deck.

      • Wing my bro, great analysis.

        But let me tell you how good Momentous Fall is. It wins games.

        Momentous fall is VITAL versus control oriented decks. You just need a hand refill, no ifs or buts. All the bounce in the world won’t save you if your key threats have been wiped.

        The fact that you can sac a ‘doomed’ creature is nice and all, such as when they play a combat trick and you draw 5 cards, but it’s not why the card is there. It’s there to get you back in the game when burn or black has emptied his hand, or when aggro decks have traded with you.

        Further, instant lifegain is an amazing trick against players with a good game sense. They will overplay their hand since they know you are dead before your next turn…except you’re not, when you sac your Primordial Spirit for enough life to stay alive and draw into a Thurmatusk.

  6. Also im really unsure about gigantomancer (i have him in the deck thou). His casting cost is ridiculous. The good thing about it with this deck is you can natural order one of your 1/1 elves to go fetch him at turn 4 but cant activate his abilities until turn 5. But im always in doubt if the opponent will very highly neutralize it before i can use his ability. In that situation you’d be in a bad position since you trade 1 creature + 1 natural order for 1 kill spell. How do you guys use him? Any advice?

    I was thinking about trading him for another acidic slime

      • Terastrodon is the best expensive creature in the deck. He wins me more games than Gaea’s Revenge, by far.

        If you only play one thing above 5 mana, make it him.

        Let me give you some examples:
        1) Exploit a bad draw from your opponent to seal the game by taking out key land off of a Natural Order (bonus points for removing Exalted’s only Plains).
        2) Ruin control or lockdown by taking out 3 non-land permanents at ONCE. Or Ordric when you take out an oblivion ring, journey to nowhere and Honor of the Pure at once :)
        3) Take out one annoying enchantment and give the other two creatures to yourself…or let them fizzle (yes, it’s OPTIONAL to create the tokens. Noone seems to realise this).
        4) With Yeva, you can totally ruin his clock sense when you dump him during your opponent’s end step and put 18 damage across 4 creatures ready for action when he’s attacked into your almost empty board.

  7. Nice deck list. I am running Momentous Fall, Terastodon and no Wild Pair though. Momentous Fall because of suicide Vengevines, and Terastodon because of turn 4 Natural Order. I made a post on wizards forums with all the creatures that pairs with themselves with Wild Pair by the way: http://bit.ly/Mk4QEu . I think I’ll start recording my stats with this deck because I don’t recording losing with it. Usually they scoop once I start bouncing Acidic Slime…

  8. Wow i never imagined using terastrodon, but i guess having him turn 4 and cutting your opponent to 1 land gives a pretty bad ass advantage, but he does get 3 3/3’s. Fair trade though since he’s basicly 2 turns behind. I’m actually thinking about running warcaller + both taunting elves + spawnrithe. since its pretty much a beatdown early combo. (turn 1 taunting, turn 2 any other elf, turn 3 spawnrithe, turn 4 erratic portal, then turn 5 warcaller kicked + attack and once blockers are decided bounce the taunting back to hand. rince and repeat. so you would get a lot for your spawnrighe)

  9. i just played (tested) a new version, i added warcaller + taunting + spawnrithe. I dont usually kick high the warcaller ( total 3 or 5 so +1 or +2) just as a threat deterent early game. i did get stalled a few games where neither me nor the opponent was attacking soo now im wondering about running gigantomancer again, i had elderscale wurm + all my 1,2,3 drops elves. and the opponent had an army of goblins. Gigan would have let me swing in with my smaller creature either wipe out his army or lethal dmg.

  10. Great job so far. Really enjoying these guides and they’re working out great. It’s been hard to find good builds that are making use of the promo cards.

    Are you going to go through all of the decks? (maybe barring Celestial Light because you can almost roll your face on the keyboard and eventually win with that.)

    Can’t wait to see more!

      • I’d love to see the exalted deck. I can’t get that deck working for the life of me. The mana always messes me up.

      • You can play 64 cards since including all 4 “search your library for land” cards I’n reality makes it like a 60 card deck. This idea worked well for me mana wise. Problem I have with the deck is that I have too many 2 drops.

  11. Currently running
    2 Taunting Elf
    3 Elvish Visionary
    2 Thornweald Archer
    3 Beast Within
    1 Carven Caryatid
    1 Eternal Witness
    3 Wood Elves
    2 Briarpack Alpha
    2 Erratic Portal
    2 Roaring Primadox
    2 Natural Order
    1 Yeva
    2 Acidic Slime
    1 Overrun
    1 Stingerfling Spider
    3 Thragtusk
    1 Soul of the Harvest
    1 Elderscale Wurm
    1 Gaea’s Revenge
    1 Pelakka Wurm
    1 Terrastrodon

    I’m going to try a land destruction variant next…

  12. I have played so many games with this deck trying to get it right. So many cards can go in and out. I want to like the some of the bombs but most of them are too situational.

    I think the deck’s main problem is the lack of tutor/search. I have a land destruction version that I think would be good if I could consistently draw Acidic Slimes. Natural Order on Terastodon is hilarious. But I really need to follow up with Thragtusk after. Without search it is just inconsistent.

    My best version was been to get Vengevines online as fast as possible and using Natural order as a tutor for cards I need at that time. The only bombs I run are Wurms and Revenge.

    A mistake I see many people making is getting caught up in the bounce tricks and not just winning the game. I am quite aggressive with Primadox and he trades quite often because of the fear of such tricks.

    I want to like Wild Pair but I just do not. Yes the turn after I love it but it is just so expensive and that turn I could have played something that effected the board. Which is hard to do because of most of my cards have come in to play effects that are more relevant. For me it has been a win more card but it is hard not to include because the deck needs search.

    I really cannot wait until the DLC comes out and hopefully this gets some new cards to smooth this out.

  13. Here’s a different take on this deck. Please note the wild pairings (particularly Bond Beetle and Gigantomancer… Imagine casting it for 2 mana). Also, there are a number of potential near-guarranteed win conditions in this deck.

    61 total cards

    2 Bond Beetle *a
    2 Taunting Elf *a
    2 Elvish Visionary *b
    1 Fauna Shaman *c
    2 Thornweald Archer *d
    2 Beast Within
    1 Carven Caryatid *e
    1 Eternal Witness *d
    3 Wood Elves *b
    2 Erratic Portal
    2 Natural Order
    2 Roaring Primadox *f
    2 Vengevine *e
    2 Acidic Slime *c
    2 Stingerfling Spider *e
    1 Thragtusk *f
    1 Soul of the Harvest
    2 Wild Pair
    1 Elderscale Wurm *g
    1 Pelekka Wurm *g
    1 Gigantomancer *b
    1 Terastodon

    Terastodon is included because of the possibility of a 4th turn kill, and in a weird way it replaces a Beast Within IMO, lol.

    How to kill with this deck:
    1) 4th Terastodon… Nuke some lands – maybe even all three. They will never recover 9/10 times.
    2) Erratic Portal – Tauting Elf. Game over unless they get rid of one or the other… Probably still game over though.
    3) Nuke all of their lands with Acidic Slime – Erratic Portal/Roaring Primadox. (honestly, this is so powerful I almost think Beast Within can be removed, but not quite.)
    4) Wild Pair – if you have it out and they don’t remove it immediately, you will almost certainly win the game. Call up Gigantomancer by casting a 1/1 creature and it’s pretty much game over against most decks. Add in a Tuanting Elf and you will win this turn.

    Of course there are many other ways to skin this cat, but those 4 have happened a lot in actual play for me. BTW, I’m not at all sold on Thragtusk’s inclusion, and as soon as Yeva gets fixed, he’s out and she is in… Even though I question her value as well (only bond beetles really benefit from flash in this configuration – apart from some very rare circumstances). I just like the idea of having one more way to get my Primadoxes out if I’m in a bind and Thragtusk (Yeva is too once fixed) is their wild pair. I’m also considering taking out the Vengevines, but they get me to my spiders, and the spiders are insanely important to this deck.

  14. I’m new to Magic and really have to thank you for all the tips and videos that have gotten me up and running and holding my own against some experienced friends – thanks for all the effort, it’s appreciated.

    I came here to comment that I wasn’t really having much success using (almost) your deck list. Sure I won some games but the power and beauty of Ancient Wilds comes from bouncing all those great “when you come into play” effects and I just wasn’t managing to get that to happen at all very often.

    I really felt the need to add a couple of roaring primadox. Sure it can be a pain when your low mana creatures get removed and you have to bounce something expensive but I just had too many games where I had no weapons at all..

    Anyway, happy to come back here and see your tournament build is much closer to what I ended up using, so I didn’t really have much to say after all, other than to thank you again..

  15. I think leaving Yeva out is a mistake, as her main job is beating aggro decks. She’s not there for control decks that can just deal with her directly.

    But every turn she is out, you force your opponent into disadvantageous combat.

    Swing with her into a safe or tapped board, or use giant growth or briar back alpha, then your opponent sees tapped out opponent and he’s playing aggro? He has no choice but to go for it.

    Then the fun begins. Every attack costs him cards.

    If he doesn’t attack he buys you time to get control established. If he does he gets horrid combat trades. And until they fixed her toughness, she’s just a very solid creature for the deck’s mana curve. 4 mana doesn’t give you many decent blockers in Ancient Wilds.

    • Best Yeva trick ever; Empty board except a tapped Yeva.

      He attacks, I play Eternal Witness as instant, fetch a Terrastodon, drop him and sac 3 lands and block enough to stay alive.

      Then my turn starts and kill him with one 24 damage swing :)

  16. Manaplasm love:

    I actually really disagree with your assessment of manaplasm. It’s a constant threat early on, and a necessary block late in the game. It works very well with beast within to create instant blocking, and I love to use it to provide pressure. I had the same opinion at first, but ever since it put it in, I find that it wins me games. Yes I know its synergy isn’t that great, but it’s one of the few early turn creature cards that will continue to be usefull for the whole game.

    Also, don’t forget that although it doesn’t have trample, this deck does have Tauting Elf, and with Gaea’s revenge you could easilly swing for 14 damage by turn 4 with the right draw. This little critter can be devastating in the right moments.

    • Whoops, I meant 13, I forgot about having to sac a creature… Still, that’s some serious early game pressure.

      • You could in theory swing for 15. You could drop 2 Bond Beetles on turn 2, putting both counters on 1 bug. Then sac the 0/1 bug on turn 4, and swing for 2 + 5 + 8. If they had no blockers you could also get 21 damage by dropping both counters on the Taunting Elf from turn 1, thus netting 2, 4, and 6 total damage from him over 3 turns.

    • I realise manaplasm can be scary.

      But it forces you to play your hand, and makes your draws inconsistent. If you can’t play any spells for 2 or 3 turns, he’s a 1/1 that hasn’t helped you at all.

      I’m not saying he’s bad, but he’s competing with Elvish Visionary, Wood Elves, Carytid, etc for an early drop slot, and with Yeva, Briarpack Alpha, giant growth for a blocking combat trick.

      There is probably an aggro variant of the deck that you could make that would run him, but I doubt it’s the strongest variant of Ancients.

      • Fair enough… But if I can’t play cards for several turns with this deck, I’m in a very bad spot, no matter which cards I happened to have on the field.

        For me, this deck is constantly casting, and manaplasm rewards you for that… Heavily. IMO of course.

        Would I rather have another card on turn three? Depends on the draw.

        I’m a huge fan of getting lands out fast and early, but against half of the decks (at least), early pressure is very valuable.

  17. I’m going to try your latest build you posted in comments wing, I don’t like the inclusion of elderscale wurm but I guess he can be a win condition against some decks? Also I’m going to miss fauna shaman and I really want to try out momentous fall, the people in the comments speak so highly of it.

  18. I’m not sure how I like this deck either. It seems like all of the decks are constructed badly on purpose, except for goblins and obedient dead.

    This deck has a really terrible mana curve. Yes, if you can actually get to a point where you can play your spells, you will do well, but if you have to wait 4 turns just to play anything relevant, the game could already be done.

    What this deck needed was similar spells to Garruk’s dead. Why are there not 2-mana fetch land spells in this deck? Why try to make a deck so different that wizards was too scared to share the same cards? What about 1-mana elves that produce mana? This deck needs ramp. End of story. But it doesn’t honestly have it.

    This deck can be so bad on some draws, it can’t even win against the Suntail Hawk challenge, which is essentially gold-fishing against your opponent. That is pretty sad.

    Thragtusk is easily the best creature in the whole deck. I kind of wish I could just put that card in Garruk’s deck. It would be sick.

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  20. Really liked the guide. very helpful.
    I did find the early elven build up can really help with warcaller as was struggling a bit against quick decks like the peace keeper one and found more 1/1 and 2/2 cards helped balance it out a bit.

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