Selesnya Populate Deck

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I just started playing mtg and have been experimenting with decks to take to Friday Night magic. I would like to take my Selesnya Populate deck (I think it is my strongest one) and would love to get some feed back -after all one can only handle so much defeat. Also I was running Thragtusk in it, and found that they did not fit as well as Armada Wurm with the token theme.

15 Creatures
Dryad Militant x4
Arbor Elf x4
Loxodon Smiter x2
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice x2
Armada Wurm x3

23 Other Spells
Farseek x4
Call of the Conclave x4
Selesnya Charm x4
Intangible Virtue x3
Rootborn Defenses x2
Parallel Lives x3
Entreat the Angels x3

2 Planeswalkers
Garruk, Primal Hunter x2

20 Land

Grove of the Guardian x3
Temple Garden x4
Sunpetal Grove x4
Selesnya Guildgate x4
Forest x3
Plains x2


I had Growing Ranks until very recently, but replaced them with parallel lives completely. I have also tried Wayfaring Temple because I like the idea of it adding to populting but I have not had great success with him being able to actually activate this ablity. I also changed out Avacyn's Pilgrim for the Arbor Elf my thought was with farseek I would get the extra plains, although I have not run it enough yet to see if the change is worth while.

Any suggestions and thought would be great!
I had Growing Ranks until very recently, but replaced them with parallel lives completely. I have also tried Wayfaring Temple because I like the idea of it adding to populting but I have not had great success with him being able to actually activate this ablity. I also changed out Avacyn's Pilgrim for the Arbor Elf my thought was with farseek I would get the extra plains, although I have not run it enough yet to see if the change is worth while.

I have my own Selesnya deck: It's a bit different than yours in that it has more flyers and token generation is more of a bonus, but there is some overlap. Some advice:

- I've tried various combinations of Arbor Elf, Avacyn's Pilgrim, and Farseek and finally settled on 3x Arbor Elf and 3x Avacyn's Pilgrim and no Farseek. However, I still run 23 lands and I'm surprised you can get away with 20. I would think 22 would be the minimum. Also, have you tried it without the Selesnya Guildgate? It helps you mana fix a second white mana source, but it slows you down.

- Loxodon Smiter is considered by many to be good enough to warrant 4x, even though it does not support your populate theme.

- Have you considered Rancor?

- I tried a deck once that was more based on populate before deciding it was too slow. Do you get Grove of the Guardian to work for you? I now run Gavony Township instead.
Those are good suggestions. That said, I think this is one of the stronger Selesnya decks I've seen. 
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Rancor is a great idea, after all huge creatures are only good if they are not being chump blocked. Maybe they would make Wayfaring Temples worth it?

I am usually able to get an 8/8 Elemental with Grove of the Guardian but without trample they are never win factors. So maybe Gavony Township is a better solution... I will have to give it a whirl.

Thanks for the insight!
Rancor is a great idea, after all huge creatures are only good if they are not being chump blocked. Maybe they would make Wayfaring Temples worth it?

Not that user ratings are everything, but Rancor is currently the highest rated Standard-legal card in Gatherer (and that is not the same thing as saying it is the best card in Standard). But it's a good card. I think I have it in every deck with green in it.

This is one of the more solid G/W decks I've seen, and I agree with everyone else, add Rancor. I personally would take 4 of the Rootborn Defenses instead of 2, but that seems to be more a matter of opinion.

Some of the better G/W decks I've seen lately like to have a little more control (Oblivion Ring), but I don't think it would be entirely necessary to add any more. I've gotten away playing my friends' G/W token decks at FNM without worrying too much about control.

Also, I have seen Dryad Militant run as a sideboard card in decks that did fairly decent in FNM, but also is a viable maindeck option in my opinion. Although, most of those decks were played a bit more defensively.
Based on suggestions and more playtesting, I've made some changes. I took out the guildgates to speed it up, which was good. And I replaced Grove of the Guardian with Gavony Township which is working out much better. There are some other changes as well, of course. What do you think?

16 Creatures
Dryad Militant x4
Avacyn's Pilgrim x4
Loxodon Smiter x2
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice x3
Armada Wurm x3

21 Other Spells
Farseek x4
Call of the Conclave x4
Selesnya Charm x4
Intangible Virtue x3
Parallel Lives x3
Entreat the Angels x3

2 Planeswalkers
Garruk, Primal Hunter x2

21 Land

Gavony Township x3
Temple Garden x4
Sunpetal Grove x4
Forest x6
Plains x4

Thanks!
I bet Trostani + Parallel Lives + Entreat or Armada Wurms = autoscoop in many cases. Probably even without Trostani. 

Since you're running heavy on the  you might consider running Wolfir Avenger in there. I don't have suggestions for what you might take out for it off the top of my head. Rancor might also be good to test in the build. Those are both relatively low CMC that could make the deck a little quicker on its feet, though its already ahead of the curve with Call of the Conclave and Loxodon Smiter, etc.

I do think this deck looks stronger now than the earlier list you posted, though I did like the Rootborn Defense. Do you have thoughts for a sideboard? Cards like Oblivion Ring and Sundering Growth would serve you well.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
Parallel Lives is undoubtable a super-fun card for casual play. In competitive play, you can't spend four mana and a turn on something that might do something for you later. Some of your other cards are, I think, best left for casual play or for a more suitable deck.

Here's a set of recommendations that are absolutely worth what you're paying for them:
-4 Dryad Militant
-3 Armada Wurm
-4 Farseek
-3 Intangible Virtue
-3 Parallel Lives
-3 Entreat the Angels

+2 Arbor Elf
+2 Loxodon Smiter
+4 Strangleroot Geist
+4 Silverblade Paladin
+4 Rancor

If you really want to get cooking, drop all three Trostani and one of your spells for four Sublime Archangel.

An alternative is Thragtusk instead of Strangleroot and Restoration Angel instead of Sublime Archangel.
There are some other changes as well, of course. What do you think?

Looking better, but Rancor is still the go to card.
Parallel Lives is undoubtable a super-fun card for casual play. In competitive play, you can't spend four mana and a turn on something that might do something for you later. Some of your other cards are, I think, best left for casual play or for a more suitable deck.



This would help with the slow aspect of my dek, you are certainly right about it being rough for turn four banking on future plays, but it would just be a different deck with those changes. A good deck, but changing 20 cards makes it a completely diferent deck.
This would help with the slow aspect of my dek, you are certainly right about it being rough for turn four banking on future plays, but it would just be a different deck with those changes. A good deck, but changing 20 cards makes it a completely diferent deck.

I would echo the comment re. Parallel Lives, it's just too slow. Instead, +1 Intangible Virtue. Also -4 Farseek, +2 Arbor Elf, +2 basic land, +4 Rancor, -1 Entreat the Angels, -1 something else (doublecheck my math).

If you want to populate, Sundering Growth (Sideboard), Rootborn Defenses and Druid's Deliverance are available.


Since you're running heavy on the  you might consider Rancor might also be good to test in the build.


There are some other changes as well, of course. What do you think?

Looking better, but Rancor is still the go to card.



Okay it is time to try out some Rancor. I will see how that runs.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Also, I have seen Dryad Militant run as a sideboard card in decks that did fairly decent in FNM, but also is a viable maindeck option in my opinion. Although, most of those decks were played a bit more defensively.



I was thinking about side boarding Dryad Militant becuase against many decks I feel like she just sits there, maybe gets 2 damage in, but does not play well for building my deck further on down the road.

I played a deck similar to this last night at FNM. It didn't have Entreat the Angels or Armada Wurm (both things I like about your deck) but did have Rancor and Sublime Archangel. They both seem like good additions, maybe as 4-of and 2-of respectively.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
So I have made a few more tweeks and been doing much better at FNM. Last week I went to a pretty competitive FNM and came in 8th, and then tonight I went to a more laid back event and came in 2nd. The advise I have gotten has been great. I would like to play test Doomed Traveler and see if there are other suggestions to side board against Red Deck wins (I just get creamed by that deck). In general I have a weak sideboard, that could use some help. Here is my deck as it stands now:

Creatures
Dryad Militant x3
Arbor Elf x3
Avacyn's Pilgrim x3
Loxodon Smiter x3
Trostani, Selesnya's Voice x3
Armada Wurm x3

Planeswalker
Garruk, Primal Hunter x2

Spells
Call of the Conclave x4
Intangible Virtue x4
Selesnya Charm x4
Rootborn Defenses x2
Parallel Lives x3
Entreat the Angels x2

Land
Gavony Township x3
Temple Garden x4
Sunpetal Grove x4
Forest x6
Plains x4

Sideboard (as is)
Doomed Traveler x3
Dryad Militant x1
Sundering Growth x3
Rootborn Defenses x1
Druid's Deliverance x2
Rest in Peace x2
Entreat the Angels x1
Oblivion Ring x2
I think this is a really cool deck. I don't agree with the comments about Parallel Lives. It slays in this build, and with all the mana acceleration and token-oriented play, how much of a tempo hit can it create? I also love that there aren't any Thragtusks or Restoration Angels, and yet its still preforming so well. I think Doomed Traveler is an intersting idea, and may serve you well against the more aggressive decks. The RDW match-up will be improved greatly by Blind Obedience with Gatecrash. I imagine you'll want to sideboard four of them so you can play it turn 2 and shut them down. They're going to hate it.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
. . . see if there are other suggestions to side board against Red Deck wins (I just get creamed by that deck).



A few ideas - not necessarily just for the side-board - include;
More ramp - another Pilgrim plus a few Arbor Elf
Strangleroot Geist
Centaur Healer
Wolfir Avenger is a possibility
Thragtusk may not be fast enough to help, but it would be better than the five-drops you have now for the RDW match-up.

I'm not completely sold on Faith's Shield, but it would probably come in handy in this match-up.

In general, you have a really bad match-up; RDW can kill on turn four with a good draw and you haven't got much going on until after that. You need more ramp and fewer high-casting-cost cards and fewer cards that don't do anything on their own to compete with fast aggro.

A few more arbor elves and another pilgrim? There's six mana dorks as is. It doesn't look like a few more arbor elves will fit. By turn four this deck should have a couple of them, some centaurs, and a loxodon smiter, along with intangible virtue, or the life-giving wall that is Trostani. Seems fast enough.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong
[C]growing ranks[/c] is a great replacement for Lives, and with the acceleration, easy to pull out. While it can't copy as it enters the field, it populates during upkeep. Lives can't make another Trostani due to the 'legendary rule' (can only have one legendary creature with the same same name on the field). Both have their merrits though, I suppose. Sick if you had them both out at the same time. Perhaps a 2/2 split?
A few more arbor elves and another pilgrim?



I missed the Elves. Six is about right.

[C]growing ranks[/c] is a great replacement for Lives, and with the acceleration, easy to pull out. While it can't copy as it enters the field, it populates during upkeep. Lives can't make another Trostani due to the 'legendary rule' (can only have one legendary creature with the same same name on the field). Both have their merrits though, I suppose. Sick if you had them both out at the same time. Perhaps a 2/2 split?



This is a midrange build, and in that context it seems better to double up on Entreat the Angels or Armada Wurm with Parallel Lives than to slowly populate centaurs with Growing Ranks, especially running 3x Trostani, Selesnya's Voice.
"Dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave... Monsters of all kinds shall be destroyed." - Mao Zedong