Home Strategy Magic 2014 Hunter’s Strength deck guide: By Gaea’s strength!

Hey, you. Are you tired of all that complicated talk about trading, clocks, and card advantage? Well do I have a deck for you. Hunter’s Strength, DotP14’s iteration of the classical monogreen stompy deck, promises Magic at its finest; Summon creatures, stomp face.

Sometimes, what more do you want? Ironically, the suckiness inherited from the last games in the series means that this deck is one of the hardest to build right. But hey, I’ve got this deck guide that I’ll just leave lying right there while I go do things over there. I won’t look, promised.

Deck overview: Ordering your little pet shop

Let’s be honest. This isn’t the best deck in DotP14, especially not before it’s fully unlocked. It suffers against removal-heavy opponents, such as a certain firehead they force you to defeat with it. And, well, if things aren’t going your way, such as when your opponent gets out an Eldrazi, there are basically zero “Oh crap” buttons in the deck that would allow you to reset the field or a certain thing that is on it. Especially a mana advantage can be hard to fight if you’re getting screwed, because there are no cards that reset lands in DotP14, and especially no Slivers.

Still, once it gets going, opponents will be quite unhappy to attack into it, giving you time to build up before ending it all in a surprise stampede. Don’t get me wrong, but this is a perfect starters’ deck as I’m sure everyone has built one sometimes. There’s no deep strategy, no combos, just your critters, a face, and plenty of stomp to go around.

General strategy: COMBAT!

As hinted above, this deck’s strategy can be described as simple at best. Right off the bat, cheap medium size guys will put pressure on your opponent, chipping away at her life while simultaneously assuring nothing will dare attack you back. Lots of buffs mean that your guys won’t stay small forever while plentiful use of the fight keyword ensures combat whether your opponent wants it or not.

Once your opponent has taken initial damage and waits for her bomb to turn the game around, you should take the initiative and turn the buffing up to thirteen with cards like Enlarge or Overwhelming Stampede and end the game on the spot. More or less everything comes down to stalling the board into one sticky mess, landing that crucial Overrun, and ending your opponent buried under a pile of bloodthirsting monsters.

Hunter’s Strength deck list (by mana cost)

61 cards, 24 Forests

1 CMC

  • 3 Rancor
  • 4 Prey Upon
  • 1 Green Sun’s Zenith

2 CMC

  • 3 Kalonian Tusker
  • 3 Garruk’s Companion

3 CMC

  • 1 Predator Ooze
  • 2 Eternal Witness
  • 1 Pulse of the Tangle
  • 1 Leatherback Baloth
  • 1 Elephant Guide
  • 2 Sacred Wolf
  • 1 Oakenform

4 CMC

  • 1 Master of the Wild Hunt
  • 2 Hunt the Weak
  • 1 Fangren Firstborn

5 CMC

  • 1 Bellowing Tanglewurm
  • 1 Overwhelming Stampede
  • 2 Overrun
  • 3 Enlarge
  • 1 Vorapede

6+ CMC

  • 1 Primalcrux
  • 1 Vigour

Hunter’s Strength card-by-card analysis (by mana cost)

Prey Upon: 4.0

A single green mana for an unconditional removal spell. Priceless, and that we get four of them is just delicious on top. Also enables funny interactions that involve things dealing damage to other things. What’s not to like? At risk of people interpreting this as a blatant insult, if you ever find yourself with something that needs to be removed and is bigger than anything you have, you are simply not playing green right.

Rancor: 5.0

+2/+0, Trample, and literally no way for the opponent to get rid of it short of fizzling it on the stack or making you discard it. Oh Urza, you were so silly.

Savage Summoning: 3.0

Not bad, but doesn’t exactly have much purpose here. Sure it’s nice to flash something out, eat an unaware attacker, and have a stronger dude walk away afterwards, but in practice that will never happen because a decent opponent won’t attack into you if you instapass with those conspicuous seven lands untapped. Especially as a singleton, it just doesn’t do its job as is needed.

Garruk’s Companion: 3.5

Look, I don’t like this guy. He was a major nuisance in DotP13 back when I was playing wimpy blue and his Trample is more or less irrelevant when it only means that he’ll get through a single point of damage while dying in combat because of its puny size. Still, it will put your opponent through tough choices with every swing as it can kill most things that will oppose it and its natural Trample is a handy thing to have if the buff you throw onto it doesn’t give it. Who wouldn’t love to have a turn 3 6/5 Trample?

Fauna Shaman: 2.5

Certainly useful if it survives to untap, but there are very few creatures that you’d want to pitch for her effect in this deck, and most of them should be played early on already.

Kalonian Tusker: 3.5

No fancy abilities, no tricks, just a large 3/3 body for a measly 2 mana. Although it doesn’t trample, it’s tough enough to survive most early creatures, so more often than not this will swing through once or twice without any problems as is. After that, throw Enlarge onto it and finish the job.

Revive: 2.5

Meh. Recurring things is great and all, but I’ve never found this little sorcery to do enough for me. Could do much, but probably should be left out in order to draw actual threats instead.

Nature’s Lore: 2.0

Yeah, it’s pretty good, and in Chant of Mul Daya I would have fucking worshipped this card, but this deck starts out so low that any ramp just feels like a waste of time. Spend those two mana an another body instead.

Predator Ooze: 4.5

OMNOMNOM. Sure it can still be exiled, -X/-X’d, sacrificed, countered, and bounced, but so can every other creature in Magic. This little bugger will swing at your opponent every single turn, irremovable, only becoming a bigger problem as it eats away health. Sure they can block it, but it won’t help anything and only make it bigger! Combine with Prey Upon or Hunt the Weak (post-combat, on a weakened guy that safely blocked it before) to feed it when your opponent least expects it.

Eternal Witness: 3.0

Fun fact: Many people expect this to be 1/1 as well as an Elf. It is neither. Like Revive in that it recurs stuff and isn’t exactly needed much in this deck, unlike Revive in that it gives you a nice 2/1 body to go with it. Can’t go wrong with running one.

Gloomwidow: 2.0

“But Toraka, later on you’ll complain about how this deck lacks cheap creatures, why do you advise against this now?” you might ask. Simply put, I’m asking for more midrange creatures that don’t suck. Perhaps a 3/3 with Reach is decent though not good, you know what would make it better? Actually being able to block something! It can’t block ground attackers and every single thing that would attack in the air is bigger than it, so you’re essentially you’re paying 3 mana for a 3/3 that can’t block. Worth it? Nnnope.

Leatherback Baloth: 4.5

Compare Gloomwidow to this. This wins. Even without any help, it’s an incredible threat throughout the game. If you do give it Trample and maybe +X/+X, prepare for lots of dead opponents. In paper magic, it’s balanced because it’s green as can be, but the splashability which Gloomwidow holds over it is irrelevant here.

Elephant Guide: 3.5

+3/+3 that refuse to leave when the creature does. I can’t bring myself to like this card, but it’s clear that it is quite strong. Perhaps if it had Totem Armour, or was present with more than once copy… Still, puny subjective opinions aside, there’s little reason why your deck should be without this.

Oakenform: 3.0

It just so scratches on the border of being bad, but especially in a deck like this one where buffing your creatures is essential, it still holds power. You shouldn’t put it on something that your opponent already wants dead without it, though.

Pulse of the Tangle: 3.5

As embarassing as it is, this will often net you two or more creatures. No one can complain about repeated creatures.

Sacred Wolf: 3.5

Sure it can be a major pain when it gets buffed and there won’t be a thing your opponents can do against it. If it gets buffed. Since spells are not an issue against it, the only thing it has to fear is combat, but there even a 1/1 chump will kill it. Maybe I’m just biased against this. Hexproof is very strong, meaning that few decks will be able to deal with it at all, and buffing is sort of this deck’s entire archetype, so… I guess pack a few.

Beastmaster Ascension: 2.0

Oh, the irony. Let’s do a bit of math, shall we? Let’s say you’ve got a steady stream of creatures, resulting in an effective amount of 1 attack on turn 3, 1 turn 4, 3 turn 5, and more than 2 turn 6. Assuming that everything survives, you’ll have an army of 8/7 and bigger beasts coming at your opponent, but you’ll also have dealt at least 21 damage to your opponent barring blocks. To get to the point, this deck isn’t exactly cut out for attacking very often and playing on afterwards. Being a singleton, it will never come up when it is needed and even then only slow you down through its 3 mana cost.

Staff of the Wild Magus: 1.0

Speaking of slowing you down with a wasted three mana. Do yourself a favour and replace this as soon as you can, even when first picking up the game. Yes, it’s literally better to run Forests than this. It’s a descendant of the “Lucky Charms” cycle which supposedly is created only to teach new players that lifegain sucks. No, seriously. Don’t run this, ever, even if you are in a draft and pull 45 of them.

Master of the Wild Hunt: 4.5

Onwards from a terrible thing of the wild, this antlered gentleman would be arguably playable with only his first ability. Add in killing whatever you feel like at no additional cost and often keeping a wolf or two and you get an immensely useful package. Don’t forget, however, that it taps all wolves you control, including the odd Sacred Wolf. If you don’t want it to die, be careful.

Cudgel Troll: 3.0

He does force you to keep one mana open if you suspect your opponent is up to shenanigans. Okay, that was his drawback. Aside from that, you get a nearly indestructible dude who is big enough to actually be a threat to your opponent. Better even, with three mana and a Prey Upon, he can kill literally every creature in the entire game that can die in the first place. Cheap regeneration is easy to undervalue, and this one definitely puts in work to make it worth it. Still, like Sentinel Spider, he’s in that crucial mana area where you want the game to be over already, so not usually worth running.

Fangren Firstborn: 3.5

I can see the appeal, but at the same time, it will almost certainly die on its first attack if not even before. Also, as mentioned above, this is the deck to end everything in one enormous doom swing, NOT that to keep chipping away at your opponent in lots of tiny attacks which will yield maybe one or two counters. If it had more toughness, gave everything counters rather than everything that’s attacking, and probably was more expensive, maybe. Not like that.

Brawn: 2.5

If something you have is huge, it probably already has Trample, from the Enlarge you cast on it which made it huge in the first place. Besides that, there’s no way to get this into the graveyard anyway other than playing it and having it die. If it was something like Anger in Chandra’s deck, hell yeah. Not this Hill Giant, not in this deck.

Hunt the Weak: 3.5

It does cost a fair lot, but allows you to make something a little biggerer and eat one of your opponent’s creatures in the process. Maybe there’s a link between the two. Huh. Regardless, every sort of direct killing is good, especially combined with a buff like this one’s.

Bramblecrush: 1.5

In DotP13, I would have killed to have one of these. Actually, not a bad idea. But we had to do with Acidic Slime for OP Ancient Wilds™ instead. Here, there are about two or three targets that would really be worth it, across all decks, mind you. With that in mind, pack more Prey Upons instead.

Bellowing Tanglewurm: 4.5

4/4 body that will make your entire army completely unblockable in literally 90% of cases and force bad blocks if it can be blocked for only 5 mana? Yes. Fucking. Please.

Overwhelming Stampede: 5.0

With this deck, strictly better than Overrun. There, I said it. How would you like +8/+8? How about Trample? If you order now, we’ll throw in the entire package for all of your friends too. If this resolves, you should win shortly afterwards (read: in that turn’s combat phase) or at least cripple your opponent beyond recovering.

Overrun: 3.5

Ugh, I guess you have to run some of these, too. Since it will ideally be your last spell of the game and it simply pales in comparison to Stampede, you shouldn’t need too many. One, or perhaps two. Don’t get me wrong, this can end a game too, but it requires more effort.

Vorapede: 5.0

If you think this is bad, guess again.

Sentinel Spider: 3.0

I’m open for discussion on this one. Sure it’s pretty decent, but this deck is lacking on cheap critters, so this has to compare against other expensive things, which is a comparison it doesn’t exactly win. Perhaps you can make room for one of them, but any more and you’ll crumble under the weight of costly things.

Enlarge: 5.0

It’s got a picture of a hundred-meter cat attacking merfolks. ‘Nuff said.*

Rampaging Baloths: 3.5

Oh, why couldn’t you be in Chant of Mul Daya. Still, quite a lovely monster in this deck as well. A 6/6 Trample can already fuel your victory on its own, not to mention that it literally makes its own friends to join in the Overwhelming Stampede fueled by itself.

Primalcrux: 4.5

It costs six mana. Just thought I’d clarify that since its symbols are really hard to count. For that, you get another 6/6 at its very least. Considering how undeniably green this deck is, I think 10/10 and larger is more like it. I suppose casting Overwhelming Stampede with it and some friends ready to attack would be cruel? Even without that, it has enormous power and toughness as well as Trample, so it will put on some serious pressure by itself already.

Primeval Bounty: 3.0

Takes everything you have and makes it much better. Not good when in topdeck mode, but… wait, it actually is even then, assuming that you have at least one creature. (Which this will be glad to provide.) I’d personally like to see its boni shuffled around, but it’s great enough as is. Don’t beg for more.

Garruk’s Horde: 3.5

Look! It’s Oracle of Mul Daya, except costier and suckier! Alright, I suppose I’m biased against it, considering it imitates the Oracle who is now my spouse. Once you can cast it however, you’ll have enough mana to also lay down anything off the top of your library. It’s pretty big by itself, too. But does it whisper you to sleep when dusk falls and flocks of Baneslayer Angels cruise the night sky? Keep in mind who does.

Regal Force: 3.0

Somewhat torn on this one. It won’t do a ton of things unless you’re already just winning more, but then again, when all you have is two wimpy 2-mana chumps, this already is a 5/5 for an effective 2G with a Harmonise strapped onto it. If it isn’t a topdeck coming onto an empty field (and hell, even then) it’ll give you new steam to keep going throughout the late game and finally end it. Besides, its that card which has its art animated, so I guess that means something.

Protean Hulk: 3.0

Its effect is technically strong, but it won’t fetch too many creatures out of your deck, in addition to being extremely expensive and having to die for its effect. In practice, you will often die before it does.

Wurmskin Forger: 1.0

Compare to Regal Force. Come on, I’ll give you an opportunity to use what you’ve learnt so far. Both are effectively 5/5. Regal Force draws cards, often lots of them. This might help to make your army slightly less pathetic, at the cost of coming down to a pathetic size itself. Do not use, read, think about, feed, or touch. You might catch the horrible from it.

Craterhoof Behemoth: 2.5

In Elf decks, this stomped craters out of people’s faces. However, those decks ran acceleration and often had at least six dudes out by the time this came around. If its effect was an Overwhelming Stampede, hell yes, but this thing counting creatures means you’ll often get an Overrun out of it at best. Not exactly worth it in this deck, not with all the other big stuff which is more worth it.

Living Hive: 3.0

Technically can cause serious damage to an opponent and next turn do a Stampede with the tokens it created. Practically, why did you not win three turns earlier with the same Stampede? If this ever connects, you’ll probably already have won.

Biorhythm: 1.5

Refer above to my complaints about how little this deck swarms. Sure it can take an opponent down by 19 life, for you to swing through with the things that you have. Sure you can outright kill somebody with it if something clears their side of the field while you still have something. Is either scenario likely? Nope. Even if you could consistently cast this, it will rarely be of use to you, if it doesn’t even open you up for a spontaneous burn kill. I suppose combo with Chanda in 2HG? Yay, convoluted combos with two underpowered decks! Yeah, no, don’t run this card.

Decree of Savagery: 2.5

Expensive either way, small effect for both modes considering the metagame as a whole and this deck in particular.

Crush of Worms: 1.5

If the game progresses long enough to play (and perhaps even flashback) this, do you really need more creatures without Trample to gum up the board?

 

*It’s also really frickin’ good. Think of it as an Overwhelming Stampede as can be focused on one of your critters. Sure it’s not a stampede, but it’s almost certain that your guy will annihilate at least one of their guys in addition to a really big punch in the face. Just keep in mind that “must be blocked” and “all creatures able to block it do so” are two different things, so this can be chumped by a 1/1. Of course, with a 10/10 Trample, a chump might be all you want.

12 replies to this post
  1. Surprised you kept Garruk’s Horde in and disliked the Sacred Wolf. Sacred Wolf actually works ok here with the amount of spells you can boost it up with to keep her going ;) Oakenform Rancor 8/4 trample hexproof turn 4 anyone?

    I think the Cudgel Trolls are a trap! Turn 5 you’ll probably want to play Overrun, Overwhelming Stampede, Enlarge or even Hunt the Weak turn 4-5 but you’ll also want your land open thus stopping you from doing so. Attacking wise your creatures will probably be big enough too. Fangren Firstborn works better in my opinion for a turn 5 attack thrown in with say an Overrun.

    • Yeah, that’s what I meant with cards being in that grey area. I like to consciously put it out fourth turn to tease my opponent and maybe force a regenerable kill spell. Alright, maybe I don’t care about my little pretties, sue me. I blame my horrible adolescence… either way.

      Updated the guide to include Sacred Wolves instead of that guy. This should really help the curve, too. I just have a really big dislike for Ball Lightnings that aren’t Ball Lightning, if you catch my drift. I suppose it works in this deck, though.

      @Future comment which will occur: This build is trimmed lategame-ish, so if you find yourself having trouble getting enough stuff on the board early on, I guess you can switch out a few of the high cost things for a Gloomwidow or two. For attacking, it’s a Centaur Courser, and I guess that’s still okay in some way. You’ll be relying more on bringing through that Overrun, though, and since most of what fuels a Stampede is high-cost (Primalcrux, for example) you might not get the results you expected.

      • Haha you big meanie. Sacred Wolf gives you a whole reason to consider Oakenform. =)
        I’m still torn between Revive and Eternal Witness, on one side I get cheaper revival on the other I get a 2/1 body for 1 more which isn’t so bad either. I guess my intent is just to bring something back so I use Revival and try to put something down with it (even a second Prey Upon) but I want to put cheap creatures down too, not sure which fits better though. Probably my toughest choice in the deck.

        About Sentinel Spider it’s basically just a 4/4 for 5 which makes it even worse than Cudgel Troll and probably Gloomwidow in this deck. Get a bunch of 3 powers down for a cheap 2 cost instead and save that 5 mana spot for Overrun etc. The deck seems to have most games by turn 5-6 really and if longer you have plenty of backup coming ;)

  2. Hehe, been giving 2HG a go after being put off of it with the amount of Jace/Avacyn’s I see, which I still do… Playing as random I got Garruk and my ally got Avacyn against randomers using Garruk and Slivers.
    Basically the game was won pretty much by me alone in 5 turns lol. Turn 2 3/3, turn 3 3/1, turn 4 4/2, turn 5 Overrun game over. (you can guess which creatures they are)
    Feels kinda like Beserker Rage with bigger creatures but without the instant buff.

    Eldrazi has been working pretty good for me too, very consistent and the pipers own! I have witnesses. I actually got her out pretty regularly on turn 2 last night. Made someone rage quit in 2HG by turn 3 as I Plow Under’d their lands followed by their buddy leaving shortly after as I played my first Eldrazi very early… poor Guardians of Light. A huge shame because they didn’t get to see 5 Eldrazi come out by like turn 5… =( I think only 5 people have stayed till the end so far today… =(

  3. Really disappointed that the 2 cards in sealed didn’t make in to the deck like why sentinel sliver not in the sliver deck?
    In case you haven’t guess what the 2 cards are, they are prized unicorn and garruk’s packleader…. They not even in the promoszzzz
    enlarge + unicorn can help to kill off unwanted creatures like the lords or utility creatures for the opponent.
    packleader will be a reailible draw engine in this deck. Then it will have a chance to go toe to toe with high removals deck like AG and DW, even help against dimir that clear your hand and make you can’t do anything.

    • Slivers have more overpowered plays to make, that’s why. Besides, you have to give your opponent the illusion of a chance. An army of 5/5 Double Strike doods turn 5 after a land wipe is totally fair. Giving them Vigilance isn’t. Isn’t that obvious?

      Those two, even with only two each, might serve to elevate it onto a decent Constructed level and allow it to compete with the most overpowered decks. Alas, only two decks per game are allowed to be blatantly overpowered.

  4. Garruck’s Horde should not have been left in. For 7 land this will be the last thing you play and by then and your basically showing your opponent what you will be top decking. With so few creatures and all of them costing so little I see no point to this card. I would rather run another Regal force in for an increased chance to get more cards in my hand and draw a good card to end the game.

    • Isn’t that sort of the point that the deck has many small creatures?

      Allow me to directly quote somebody on Gatherer about Future Sight, which does basically the same thing except much better.

      “Explaining the value of this card to new players is always fun.

      “You may play the top card of your library.”

      …So?

      “When you play the top card of your library, a new card becomes the top card of your library.”

      …And?

      “Effectively, Play a card: draw a card. Sound good to you?””

      Your chance to get down a creature from the top should be about equal to that of getting a land with an Oracle of Mul Daya. Is that a good card? I certainly hope so, else I bought this diamond ring for nothing.

      To stop prancing about the issue, Regal Force and Garruk’s Horde do about the same thing for you, except that the Horde will draw you more the longer the game goes on and the worse it has been going for you before it came down. At worst, Regal Force will be a cantrip, and no that’s not a rare case either in a deck like this one.
      In the same scenario, the Horde attaches a cantrip to all of your guys and allows you to play them a turn earlier, without using a turn’s draw on them.

      Your opponent sees what you’ll be drawing, but so do you! From personal experience with Future Sight and Oracle, the information of what you’ll be drawing is much more valuable to yourself than to your opponent, especially when that draw is a rabid beast that’s already on the field followed by a Stampede.

      It’s a shared knowledge psychology thing, really. If you have a Stampede on top, you can cast literally anything else; Your opponent won’t counter it. Likewise, use what your opponent knows about your draws to your advantage.

  5. Only deck in 2014 (so far) to have 11 stars rating whereas every other deck has 12. Could have been given 2 stars on card synergy to balance it out with the rest… Kinda bugs me.

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