Garruk’s "Pack Instinct" Decklist & Unlocks

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Michael Robles Community Manager Wizards of the Coast Twitter: @michaelrobles
Sentinel Spider (3GG)
Creature – Spider
4/4 Vigilance, reach

Primal Huntbeast (3G)
Creature – Beast
3/3 Hexproof

Boundless Realms (6G)
Sorcery
Search your library for up to X basic land cards, where X is the number of lands you control, and put them onto the battlefield tapped. Then shuffle your library.

Predatory Rampage (3GG)
Sorcery
Creatures you control get +3/+3 until end of turn. Each creature your opponents control blocks this turn if able.

Master of the Wild Hunt, yes!

Token strategy seems decent with two copies of Ant Queen and Fangren Firstborn among other things.
This is probably my least favorite deck of the bunch... but it's still very powerful. Garruk deserved this!

IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2b5wr5.jpg)

These solid green decks are just bad. They look fun, but then you start playing them and realize without ANY removal, you just get owned. I always SMILE when I see someone playing this deck because I know all of my creatures will be safe and sound.
These solid green decks are just bad. They look fun, but then you start playing them and realize without ANY removal, you just get owned. I always SMILE when I see someone playing this deck because I know all of my creatures will be safe and sound.


There are some creature removal in this deck, but green decks are seldom concerned about what creatures his/her opponent might have.

Damn the system and its hypocrites! You quit your quest and venture into the slums of the Gruul Clans!
Damn the system and its hypocrites! You quit your quest and venture into the slums of the Gruul Clans!
Take THE QUEST FOR RAVNICA today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

 

These solid green decks are just bad. They look fun, but then you start playing them and realize without ANY removal, you just get owned. I always SMILE when I see someone playing this deck because I know all of my creatures will be safe and sound.

That's why Green stompy/aggro decks don't win ever right? Just because a deck doesn't have removal (which this deck does have, see Colonel Sanders delicious selection), doesn't make them bad. What made them bad in Duels previously were terrible creatures and nothing good to ramp into. This deck can fix that putting your opponent on a serious clock. Answer the threats or die.
And I left out Master of the Wild Hunt as another way to interact with your opponent's creatures. 

@Brodo: Nothing good to ramp into or nothing good to ramp with? Unlike the past games, mono-green has some speed now.  
So many good cards. I don't know what to do with this deck (yet).

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

I think I just gotta build from the ground up here from staples until I have 60, its so hard to trim down from what I can see, etc. So many good choices late game.
I think I just gotta build from the ground up here from staples until I have 60, its so hard to trim down from what I can see, etc. So many good choices late game.

I was having trouble myself when I was thinking about a potential list. Eventually, I was like what cards can't I cut, and got myself a pretty big list of cards. Lot of good stuff available here for Garruk.
Its like, 4x Nature's Lore, Primeval Titan, 4x Garruk's Companion, Prey Upons, and then you move on to the 3 drops, im not used to have to toss aside a lot of good cards in dotp, especially in a mono green deck.
I think I just gotta build from the ground up here from staples until I have 60, its so hard to trim down from what I can see, etc. So many good choices late game.

I was having trouble myself when I was thinking about a potential list. Eventually, I was like what cards can't I cut, and got myself a pretty big list of cards. Lot of good stuff available here for Garruk.


Well, starting out is easy: -1x Bountiful Harvest -3x Brindle Boar...

  • 4 - Nature's Lore 

  • 2 - Emerald Medallion 

  • 3 - Garruk's Companion 

  • 1 - Sentinel Spider 

  • 2 - Primal Bellow 

  • 2 - Leatherback Baloth 

  • 2 - Primal Huntbeast 

  • 1 - Indrik Stomphowler  

  • 3 - Prey Upon 

  • 1 - Lightning Greaves

  • 3 - Timbermaw Larva 

  • 2 - Blanchwood Armor 

  • 2 - Primalcrux

  • 1 - Terra Stomper

  • 2 - Howl of the Night Pack



  • Khalni Hydra

  • Master of the Wild Hunt



  • Rampaging Baloths

  • Fangren Firstborn

  • Ulvenwald Tracker

  • Fangren Firstborn

  • Incremental Growth

  • Chameleon Colossus

  • Primeval Titan

  • 24 - Forest     


This is as close as i've got. Still need to cut like 4 cards.  Ant Queen might be pretty good though
What happens when we get the 10 more unlocks like Vorapede <_<

We're gonna have to remove great cards, really have no choice.
I think the only way to make this deck (and all the others too) is to playtest a lot to see wich build performs better. Here, we have some midrange possibilities, a ramp build, something with tokens that's probably not that good... We'll have to playtest, and playtest a lot!

EDIT: Here's something I noticed from my initial games (I'm unlocking this deck first, because I liked it more than BF): Khalni Hydra is not THAT great. All the token makers are expensive or slow, and without the tokens, the mana reduction on the hydra won't be a great effect. In the games I played it, normaly it was only a Terra Stomper that could be countered. Before land-drop 6, you are busy playing your early beaters and your CA engine. And Primalcrux is a star of this deck on it's own. It doesn't need the hydra to be good.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013



This is where I'm at. Haha, it's not much, but I think this accurately portrays what will act as a  foundation for most of the variations I could make for this list. The fighting cards could probably be in here too, but I think they are debatable in builds that might use more of the ramp cards.

To start, I like going with a sort of lower curve midrange build, utilizing Ant Queen. With her, I kind of want to use Fangren Firstborn as well, maybe even Incremental Growth. If I start using buffs, Primal Huntbeast can be an option, and he really likes Blanchwood Armor. Well Blanchwood Armor really likes forests, so maybe I should include Cultivate. Well if I'm ramping more, perhaps Howl of the Night Pack is a good option and works pretty awesome with Master of the Wild Hunt.

So many things work off each other that I can't figure out what I want in this list.
Isn't that an awesome feeling? I'll actually have to use some brain cells when constructing a Duels deck!

Couple more hours... I can do this...

IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2b5wr5.jpg)



This is where I'm at. Haha, it's not much, but I think this accurately portrays what will act as a  foundation for most of the variations I could make for this list. The fighting cards could probably be in here too, but I think they are debatable in builds that might use more of the ramp cards.

To start, I like going with a sort of lower curve midrange build, utilizing Ant Queen. With her, I kind of want to use Fangren Firstborn as well, maybe even Incremental Growth. If I start using buffs, Primal Huntbeast can be an option, and he really likes Blanchwood Armor. Well Blanchwood Armor really likes forests, so maybe I should include Cultivate. Well if I'm ramping more, perhaps Howl of the Night Pack is a good option and works pretty awesome with Master of the Wild Hunt.

So many things work off each other that I can't figure out what I want in this list.



The pump spells are good, but we don't have a way to give trample to our creatures. Primal Huntbeast + Blanchwood Armor won't help against PK or GG. Believe me, the armors will be at their best as a more expensive Primal Bellow. If that matters, I already cut both Primal Huntbeasts. They are too small for the cost. We all have to adapt our thoughts to this new format, because it's totally CRAZY.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

I suppose that's something to think about. I'm just pulling stuff out of my butt anyways as I think outloud my thought process.

I think I have a theoretical list I like and might aim for when I get the game. Might change when I see what other decks are capable of though.



I like the curve on this. Should offer some mean beats. Probably Terra Stomper in over a Primalcrux when second glancing it, but whatever. Performance isn't much different between the two, but the uncounterability on Terra Stomper will probably be more important than Primalcrux's scaling P/T.
I suppose that's something to think about. I'm just pulling stuff out of my butt anyways as I think outloud my thought process.

I think I have a theoretical list I like and might aim for when I get the game. Might change when I see what other decks are capable of though.



I like the curve on this. Should offer some mean beats. Probably Terra Stomper in over a Primalcrux when second glancing it, but whatever. Performance isn't much different between the two, but the uncounterability on Terra Stomper will probably be more important than Primalcrux's scaling P/T.



I really like your list. But I would include the Stomper over the Fangren Firstborn. I don't think it will be very good without HEAVY token support. And all of the token makers have higher cmc, which is a little counter-intuitive. And with the ramp, you can run one more 6 cmc card without many problems.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

Maybe. I noticed this deck is kind of lacking in powerful 4 drops though, and the Fangren Firstborn is a "5/3" for 4. I suppose that's a little vulnerable, but the opponent has to deal with it or it, and my side, are only to get bigger and bigger.
After unlocking the whole deck last night...I cut all the Garruk's Companion .  On turn two I want to ramp not play a beater and on turn three I can play a 4 mana creature. I found my curve much smoother after I dumped them.  But they are so awesome, I'll probably end up putting them back in.  




Oh, and I cut the rings for a while last nightm, but noticed that the deck is MUCH slower with them gone, so they are in again, for now.  You can have a turn 4 MONSTER out pretty consistantly.

Turn 1 - Land
Turn 2 - Land, Emerald Medallion 
Turn 3 - Land, Nature's Lore, Cultivate
Turn 4 - Land , Insert 6+ Mana cost Beast of choice.   

 
I found cutting at least 2 of the garruks champions helped a bit. I also (obviously) cut the brindle boars, but have been hung up on bountiful for some reason. I just feel like .. y'know.. "what if", but I'll probably just take it out now in favor of my second primalcrux. I'm probably just going to leave everything with 6+ mana cost in, except one. not sure which one though. either the baloths, or the terra stomper. Realistically, I'd probably lose the stomper first, but I dunno... decisions decisions.

my main strategy is to hope and pray for 3 mana to cast out a leatherback. After that, it's all up in the air. I had to nix ONE spider, but I'm thinking of trying to work all 3 in again...

got rid of 2 Packleaders, which was a REALLY tough cut, might even re-think that one, but man. it's so hard to cut stuff.

I keep the Companions in because .. well.. they are awesome. but I might just end up scrapping them as well.

I also took out both howl of the night packs, and that silly card that lets you double your mana for 7 mana. when I'm at 7+ mana, i can cast anything in my deck.. my only objection is more mana on the field = less mana being drawn = more creatures to smash face with. but thats only a theory, and I have a feeling that most of the time it would just end up sitting in my hand.

That said, I kinda want to try a token build with this deck, see how it works. I have four Master of the Wild Hunt in my paper G/R token deck, they are the flagship of the deck (I actually just recently bought the final 3, took me a while due to monetary issues). I love that card, and absolutely refuse to remove it from this deck. It's a 3/3 for 4 mana that not only creates blockers in a pinch, but also acts as early/mid game removal. Such a great card.

Man. It's so hard to trim this deck! I might just have to settle for more than 61 cards in the deck.

I am scared to think of what it's going to be like trying to trim Lilliana's deck (I've just been playing with all the unlocked cards, lol. I refuse to edit the deck until I unlock the last card. I like being surprised by my unlocks :P)
Can someone who hasn't unlocked this deck confirm the order of unlocks? I just realized that my unlocked cards are in the mana sort order and probably not in the order thatthe deck was unlocked (I have the whole deck unlocked due to having Duels 12 version).

Any thoughts on Emerald Medallion?  So far it is underperforming in my deck due to not having colorless casting costs in many of my core deck, like Prey Upon, Primal Bellow, Garruk's Companion, Leatherback Baloth and even cards like Primalcrux or Khalni Hydra.  Worse yet with such a high mana curve of 4+ it is unlikely to be able to cast multiple creatures/spells per turn anyway.  I think that I would much rather have Nature's Lore as it only costs me one land for that turn as I gain an untapped land in the process (-2 + 1 = -1).  Better yet it is much more difficult to remove land than it is an artifact!

I'm still on the fence about Cultivate though since there are often better 3-drops and although it really only costs 2 (I get one untapped land) it seems much easier to squeeze in a Nature's Lore on any given turn.  Thoughts or experiences so far from anyone else?

After unlocking the whole deck last night...I cut all the Garruk's Companion .  On turn two I want to ramp not play a beater and on turn three I can play a 4 mana creature. I found my curve much smoother after I dumped them.  But they are so awesome, I'll probably end up putting them back in.  



This was a great insight that I wouldn't have thought of, but it works because of Leatherback Baloth being so undercosted (IMO). I've played this deck successfully for the past 2 days, getting to the top 5 of the XBL leaderboards (which isn't that hard on day 1).

Here's the main version of the deck:



Basic strategy:
Early on, ramp (2-3 forests, medallion/nature's lore/cultivate)
Drop Leatherback Baloth / Timbermaw Larva
Use Prey Upon (or one of the other two "fight" cards) for removal
Drop big tramplers and make opponent cry 

The deck does really well in the mid and late game, and like any deck suffers when you get mana flooded/screwed. Otherwise, pretty solid.

Interested to hear thoughts on tweaks. 

Any thoughts on Emerald Medallion?  So far it is underperforming in my deck due to not having colorless casting costs in many of my core deck, like Prey Upon, Primal Bellow, Garruk's Companion, Leatherback Baloth and even cards like Primalcrux or Khalni Hydra.  Worse yet with such a high mana curve of 4+ it is unlikely to be able to cast multiple creatures/spells per turn anyway.  I think that I would much rather have Nature's Lore as it only costs me one land for that turn as I gain an untapped land in the process (-2 + 1 = -1).  Better yet it is much more difficult to remove land than it is an artifact!

I'm still on the fence about Cultivate though since there are often better 3-drops and although it really only costs 2 (I get one untapped land) it seems much easier to squeeze in a Nature's Lore on any given turn.  Thoughts or experiences so far from anyone else?




I'm using them all.  My goal is to get out huge monsters and all those cards help with that as well as (in the case of Nature's Lore and Cultivate) thin my library land denisity so I'm drawing more beasts and less mana.  However, I've only been playing the AI so far, so I'll have to see how much of a problem the weenie decks are in the metagame. I might need more early defense and less ramp.
After testing, here's what I'm going to play for some time:



It's very hard to choose the 5 drops in this deck. I'm still deciding between running 2 Indriks or 2 Spiders. Both are silver bullets for different problems. If you guys have some advice about this, I appreciate.

Best cards of the deck:
Garruk's Companion
You ALWAYS want to play this card turn 2, because it will be useful in every match this happens.

Garruk's Packleader
If your opponent don't remove this, you win. Simple as this. I always thought this card was bad because it never helped AP in 2012. Now I see how wrong I was.

Primalcrux
Dauntless Dourbark version 2013. Probably the best finisher of the deck.

Most disappointing cards:
Emerald Medallion
Just play Garruk's Companion or Nature's Lore on turn 2.

Blanchwood Armor
Size is nothing if your guy doesn't have evasion. Even if you put this on a creature with trample, you're ony 2 mana away of a 2-for1.

Khalni Hydra
No matter how you build this deck, the cost reduction will never be that great. And Primalcrux doesn't need this guy to be good.

Best Matchup
I have to test a little more online, but probably is AW.

Worts Matchup
That's easy: Liliana crushes Garruk (I like the touch of flavor here, WotC).

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

So far I have only played with this deck and whilst unlocking I did notice a conflict within the deck concerning Nature's Lore, Emerald Medallion and Garruk's Companion.  Quite often I would have some combination of ramp and creature and would have to make a difficult choice; ramp and hope to draw/play into bigger threats earlier or start face smashing.

Garruk's Companion is a nice card but I feel for the moment his inclusion will split the community.  I don't feel as if he has enough mid range support that out performs a ramp build.  It is possible to go companion, baloth, baloth/chameleon but if you go that route then you should probably cut some of the ramp, which might force you to include some average mid range cards such as the 3/3 hexproof to fill some slots.  

4X Garruk's Companion would have been welcome in Apex as you had Overrun to curve into and that was one of your win conditions and I'm not sure about the replacement overrun yet.  Personally I have excluded him for the moment and I'm running a ramp build, inclusive of all ramp and all threats that have stats equal to or above the curve and thus far has performed very well.  Getting the good creatures out also means you can Prey Upon without losing your own creatures.

I think the quality of the creatures at the top of the curve are that good that you just want to get into them as fast as possible and they are quite plentiful and the synergy at the top is much better and trample is a key win con here as when you attack you need to make it hurt.  Chump blocking is not an option for your opponent.  Howl of the Night Pack offers so much value at the top of the curve that all you have to do is survive until you play this and you will win unless your opponent has evasion or a sweeper.  Sometimes it just acts as icing on the cake but it's nice to include as an insurance policy.

Emerald Medallion is very useful late game when you have Garruk's Packleader out as you can start dropping multiple threats and don't get me started on how stupidly huge Primalcrux and Primordial Hydra get.Surprised

I'm not sold on Timbermaw Larva and Fangren Firstborn. They need more testing but they are both dependent on attacking to maximise their effectiveness, which is what you want to do but the trade is their flexibility on the defense should they be required if the attacking tempo isn't with you.  The larva is a 3 turn clock but easily chumped and doesn't synergise with the packleader.  I do enjoy playing Prey Upon in the second main phase though after attacking with it.

I'm also unsure about Indrik Stomphowler.  I don't really have room for another 4/4 for 5cmc with a situational ability that could potentially hurt my medallion.  Will be meta dependent I feel.  There's a number of 4/4 for 5cmc.  I think Garruk's Packleader is the best and currently have no room for Indrik's or Spider's in my current build.

The Wildheart Invoker was a bit meh in 2012 but here is a lot better as getting to 8 mana is a lot more realistic.  Having said that once you get to 8 mana you should have enough threats to win but his stats are solid at the 4cmc slot to support you to your goal.

I love Ant Queen.  The tokens give great value and flexibility.

My favourite card is Master of the Wild Hunt.  Such an amazing card that if not dealt with simply wins games.

Anyway, those are my thoughts after playing with the deck for quite a number of hours.  A few cards need testing and a whole new build with Garruk's Companion needs testing.
It's really stupid that both the main source of enchantment/artifact removal and flyer removal are both at the 5 slot in Indrik Stomphowler and Sentinel Spider. The 5 slot is already very very crowded as is. This is just poor design and really brings the deck down to lower level than it could have been.
I can't be the only one who sees the potential in Lightning Greaves right? Put him on something big with trample like... well anything late game. Better yet, put him on Master of the Wild Hunt and it's game right then and there provided they don't have both a kill card and an artifact killer. 
 
I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
I can't be the only one who sees the potential in Lightning Greaves right? Put him on something big with trample like... well anything late game. Better yet, put him on Master of the Wild Hunt and it's game right then and there provided they don't have both a kill card and an artifact killer. 
 



Do you realize that nearly every build of this deck posted here has Lightning Greaves, right? I can't see why you're asking this, since this card is completely amazing.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

Perhaps because no one was talking about it? We all knew how amazing it is though, there really wasn't any discussion to be had.
@ the two people above me

I posted that as a response to everyone's talk of certain cards being susceptable to removal. Even felbatista listed Blanchwood armor in his list of disappointing cards. Lightning Greaves is clearly in here to remedy that and keep your best creature safe from harm. 
I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Oh okay. Makes sense. I don't know how important that really is though as it's a single copy. Plus, I think the haste and 0 equip is what makes Greaves so good. Shroud is just an added bonus.
Ah, right. Now I got the question. Yeah, the Greaves are good to protect your guys, but what's great about it is the haste + the equip cost, as Brodo said. And, if you remember that you have to unequip the greaves to target your guy with Blanchwood Armor, and you can only equip as a sorcery, you still taking the risk of a 2-for-1.

WotC doesn't care about flavor. Their forum is the only place where an ORC can kill a troll...

Lost around 120 posts in the forum migration

Post #1000 on Feb 02, 2013

Post #2000 on Sep 04, 2013

But only for a second. Plus all enchantments run that risk. I fail to see why a card having the same drawback as every other card of it's type should be considered bad or "disappointing." Unless it's one of the few that adds shroud/hexproof, all enchantments can be two for oned. What you need to focus on is that this deck, unlike the other decks with enchant cards, has a way of protecting it. It's not perfect, but nothing comes without cost. 
I am Red/Green
I am Red/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I'm both instinctive and emotional. I value my own instincts and desires, and either ignore or crush anything that stands in my way; planning and foresight are unnecessary. At best, I'm determined and fierce; at worst, I'm headstrong and infantile.
Does the deck really need Blanchwood Armor? I haven't put like any testing into this deck yet, but all the late game fatties just seem scary on their own, and midgame 4/4's generally don't need it either. Given how unlikely the protection would come up, I think it's better just to rely on the massive beats the creatures provide themselves.