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The Magic Chest 33: Rith's Charm
Everyone who has been around since Fallen Empires knows of the awesome power of the Saproling.
Well, maybe not.
Saprolings were really just a side product of the inevitable Thallid theme decks. Inevitable, because there really wasn't much choice. If you were playing green during the time of Fallen Empires, you were either playing Thallids or you threw all the green cards in the set that didn't mention Thallids or Saprolings and called it "The Anything-but-Thallids Deck."
Recently, Wizards of the Coast have printed a lot of new Saproling cards, so it's time to build a Saproling theme deck and hope our friends' laughter will turn to awe when they get overrun by by the mighty Saprolings!
I'll make this a type 2 deck, partly because a lot of casual players restrict themselves to type 2 and partly because it'll prevent me from rebuilding my old Thallid deck. And you wouldn't want that. Trust me.
I'll begin by going through all the cards that mention Saprolings in the current type 2, starting with the one that's easiest to overlook: Rith's Charm. Although I'm generally not that fond of the charms, Rith's Charm is an exception to that. Not only is it instant land destruction, a rarity, but it can also be a real lifesaver against huge Fireballs. The big thing is the three Saprolings it can create as an instant for a mere 3 mana, though. Although 1/1s are a lot more fragile than a single 3/3, there is strength in numbers. If your opponent uses only direct creature removal like Shock and Incinerate, it'll take him three cards to get rid of your 1/1s.
Not only that, but cards like Overrun and Glorious Anthem are much more effective on the 1/1s. Which brings us to an obvious card for a Saproling deck: Overrun. Create Saprolings on the first few turns of the game and bring your opponent to his knees with an Overrun. I'll put only two in the main deck, because it tends to finish the game more quickly than I usually like.
AEther Mutation is another Saproling card to consider. It's a bit expensive, but I like the effect of stalling your opponent while amassing your legion. It's especially nice against expensive, animated creatures like Draco. On the other hand, our deck has three colors already: green, red and white. Adding blue would make it hard to pay for massive green cards like Overrun.
Death Mutation has the same problem as AEther Mutation, with the added drawback of costing eight mana to cast. That's just too much for this deck.
Last Stand can create Saprolings as well, but since it's a five color spell, it'll be even harder to cast.
Nemata, Grove Guardian is a must for any Saproling deck. He can singlehandedly create an army of Saprolings at 2G each _and_ act as an Overrun by giving Saprolings +1/+1 for each sacrificed one. Because he's a legend and rare, I'll only use two, but I'll add four Eladamri's Calls as well. Tutors are almost always good, especially if they don't cost cardadvantage.
Artifact Mutation is a good sideboard card against Nevinyrral's Disk and the mighty Masticore. Both of these can easily wipe out most of your army. With Artifact Mutation, though, they'll just add to it. Of course it's not quite as useful against Powder Kegs, because they can be blown up in response anyway. If you're playing strictly type 2, you may want to use only one or two Artifact Mutations, because there aren't too many artifacts that can hurt you in the current type 2.
Aura Mutation is a good sideboard choice as well. It won't help against the dreaded Pernicious Deed, but there are plenty of nasty enchantments around to use it on. Enough that I'd even consider playing one or two in your main deck.
Rith, the Awakener. We already have his charm in the deck, so why not add the big man himself too? The colors fit perfectly. Because he's a legend as well, I'll add just two. With the Eladamri's Calls, that should make him easy enough to fetch when needed. It's especially fun if you get to use his ability a few turn in a row and end up with 100+ Saprolings. Charge!
Saproling Infestation gives you a Saproling each time a kicker cost is paid. It doesn't look like this deck is going to have a lot of kicker cards in it, but in type 2 casual play, there's always a chance you'll run into a mad 20 battlemages deck, so you may as well be prepared and put one in the sideboard.
Saproling Symbiosis makes very impressive kills possible. Turn one Birds of Paradise. Turn two Rith's Charm. Turn three Saproling Symbiosis for 4. Turn four Overrun and attack with seven (the birds are tapped to pay for the Overrun) 4/4 Saprolings.
Verdeloth, the Ancient is another obvious choice. Not only can he create a lot of Saprolings immediately, he also acts as a lord to them, giving them all +1/+1.
It's too bad the Mercadian Masques block isn't in type 2 anymore, because Spontaneous Generation, Saproling Burst and Saproling Cluster would have been worthwhile additions to this deck. As it is, it needs more creatures to back up the Overrun and Saproling Symbiosis.
Birds of Paradise is a cheap creature that will help speed up the deck. The same goes for Llanowar Elf.
Goblin Trenches is another good way to make token creatures. The tokens aren't Saprolings, though, and the deck needs too much mana for Verdeloth, Rith and Nemata to be able to afford sacrificing lands.
Chatter of the Squirrel is another cheap 1/1 creature with the option of a second one. It doesn't feel right to add a Squirrel card to a Saproling deck, though, so I'll keep it out.
That should be plenty of creatures and ways to generate Saprolings for the deck. The tutors will make sure you should have access to at least two different legends, all of which can create their own army of Saprolings. To round out the deck, I'll add Seconds Thoughts for creature removal. At five mana it shouldn't be too hard to cast for this deck and it's an excellent way of getting rid of Spiritmongers permanently. Sure, it only works on attacking creatures, but it makes up for that by being a cantrip.
Shivan Harvest looks like a good sideboard card against decks with a lot of non-basic lands. Rith's Charm creates three creatures, which can be sacrificed to destroy three non-basic lands. It's even more fun with Nemata in play.
It's too bad Goblin Bombardment isn't available, but Keldon Necropolis can serve a similar purpose when needed. As a bonus, the damage it deals is from a land, which makes it very hard to prevent. It's legendary, though, so I wouldn't use more than one unless you were using Harrow instead of Birds of Paradise, so you can get rid of extra copies.
One more card I'd add to the main deck is March of Souls. It may look like a strange choice, but in effect it's a splashable Wrath of God which will preserve most of your Saprolings. Plus, they'll get flying. Sure, they won't count as Saprolings anymore for Nemata or be green for optimal use with Rith, but it will put your opponent's army of creatures on even footing with your own 1/1s.
The lands should produce mostly green, but with enough red and white to make Rith's Charm reliable to cast. Because the deck is already very heavy on the rares, I might as well use a few painlands.
That only leaves four slots in the sideboard to fill. It looks like the deck would be somewhat weak against counter decks. As long as your opponent can counter the legends and Overruns, he should have plenty of time to get control. Kavu Chameleon is probably the best solution. Obliterate would be a close second, but you can't really afford to blow up your own lands like that or you'll never get a lot of Saprolings out of Verdeloth and Nemata.
Crouching Treefolk, Hidden Saproling