Welcome to the second part of my series on brewing with the tribes of Shadows Over Innistrad! If you didn’t happen to catch part one, on Mono-White Humans, you can find it here.
Now that the SOI prerelease events have concluded and I’ve been able to try some of the new cards in person, I’ve transformed into full-on deckbuilding mode. After giving the humans their head start last week, it’s time to unleash the hounds!
4x Village Messenger
4x Scourge Wolf
4x Duskwatch Recruiter
4x Geier Reach Bandit
3x Breakneck Rider
4x Fiery Impulse
2x Exquisite Firecraft
4x Howlpack Resurgence
3x Arlinn Kord
2x Chandra, Flamecaller
4x Cinder Glade
4x Game Trail
1x Westvale Abbey
There are a few major points I’d like to go over with both how this deck wants to function, and what it needs to improve upon. There are three things this deck wants to do. Firstly, it wants to get out quickly, setting up one or more werewolves ready to flip and start crashing in. Next up, is wanting our creatures being bigger than the opponent’s so as to capitalize on the pump and trample abilities gained from Howlpack Resurgence and Breakneck Rider. Last and most importantly, the deck wants to utilize it’s mana at instant speed and through activated abilities, allowing us to time when we want to transform our werewolves.
As far as those main goals, the deck does them fairly well. It gets out of the gates fast with the great new one drop, Village Messenger, and has a pair of very solid two drops in Scourge Wolf and Duskwatch Recruiter. While seemingly weak, the new Scourge Wolf will prove it’s worth when combined with our “Lord” abilities. A 3/3 or greater First Striking Trampler is definitely a solid threat, especially as early as turn 3. Duskwatch Recruiter also helps to accomplish another of our goals, which is to maximize our usage of mana, without casting spells, so we can always be transforming our creatures.
Another great way to make sure we get the most out of transformations is with the help of two of the most powerful planeswalkers in Standard, in Arlinn Kord and Chandra, Flamecaller. Arlinn serves as both an extra lord for getting through the defending army, and as great removal, or even more wolves of our own. Chandra, however, is the real star. Once we cast Chandra there should be at least one big bad wolf on our side of the board, letting us roll her down, clear the smaller field of the opponent, and swing in free of blockers. She also helps finish the game, or draw us into more creatures if needed.
The removal is slightly clunky, but if the popularity of 3 toughness creatures remains, then they are a necessary evil at the moment. With an unsolved format, and a plethora of large toughness creatures to defend against our hordes, cards like Exquisite Firecraft can’t be avoided. While it hurts to have to cast a sorcery when we want to transform, it hurts more to be completely stuck behind an opposing creature.
I had originally envisioned the deck as the premier home for Collected Company in the new format, but without more powerful creatures, and with the absolute necessary Howlpack Resurgence and removal suite, it just couldn’t happen.
While this is a good start, I think the true power of the tribe will come with the release of the next set ( fingers crossed). This will most likely be the deck that gains the most from just a few small utility creatures in Eldritch Moon, so I’m likely to return to it once that happens. Until then, try it out, or leave any comments below on how you’d build it.
Check back next time for the endless ranks of the dead, in Blue/Black Zombies!
© 2016, Jesse Jayne. All rights reserved.