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January 12, 2016

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Musings of The Madman: The Return of Obnoxiousaur

Welcome back everyone! This week we’ll be taking a look at my Karametra, God of Harvests deck, with a particular focus on improving its overall gameplay and finding a finisher for the deck.

This deck’s creation is sourced to local punmeister Nick Sirman, who had a green-white deck affectionately referred to as “Obnoxiousaur”, consisting of several “Enchantress” effects (such as Verduran Enchantress or Argothian Enchantress which let him draw an enormous amount of cards while building a pillow fort around Solitary Confinement and Karmic Justice. Time has passed though, and I am having difficulty recalling the victory condition, though some will say opponent boredom is a win in and of itself…

Why Should I Play This Deck?

  • You like grindy games, or games that feel like solitaire, with the single-minded goal of drawing all the cards, getting all the lands and obtaining all the advantage.
  • You like enchantments. In fact, you’re so fond of them you are choosing them as a win condition over creatures or a direct combinatory win. You like choosing the pace of combat and directing others away from yourself.
  • You find getting all of your lands into play essential and drawing cards to be the liquid of life.
  • You enjoy turtling in games instead of being the aggressor.

Why should I avoid this deck?

  • It’s just too slow for your play style.
  • You’d rather get into the red zone and finish others with commander damage.
  • Enchantments are not especially appealing to you except as occasional tools to win.
  • You like playing with others, and this deck does not.

Okay, okay! I’m sold, gimme a deck list!
It will be here in a moment. Please bear in mind that the deck is missing some obvious additions – which we will explore later – and is in dire need of a finisher outside Rude Awakening, which – as some can tell you – is really sub-optimal when your opponent casts Rout as an instant.

The Return of Obnoxiousaur

Commander (1)
Karametra, God of Harvests

Creatures: (14)
Argothian Enchantress
Burnished Hart
Eidolon of Blossoms
Eternal Witness
Farhaven Elf
Fleetfoot Panther
Herald of the Pantheon
Mesa Enchantress
Reclamation Sage
Spike Weaver
Verduran Enchantress
Whitemane Lion
Wood Elves
Yavimaya Granger

Enchantments: (22)
Abundance
Aluren
City of Solitude
Enchantress’s Presence
Gossamer Chains
Grasp of Fate
Karmic Justice
Martyr’s Bond
Mirari’s Wake
Nevermore
Oblivion Ring
Opalescence
Parallax Wave
Rites of Flourishing
Sacred Mesa
Seal of Cleansing
Seal of Primordium
Sigil of the Empty Throne
Solitary Confinement
Story Circle
Sylvan Library
Wild Growth

Spells: (21)
Abeyance
Arachnogenesis
Beast Within
Constant Mists
Cultivate
Final Judgment
Krosan Grip
Lull
Natural Affinity
Nature’s Claim
Oxidize
Path to Exile
Replenish
Return to Dust
Rout
Rude Awakening
Silence
Skyshround Claim
Swords to Plowshares
Tangle
Terminus

Artifacts: (5)
Cloudstone Curio
Hedron Archive
Relic of Progenitus
Selesnya Signet
Sol Ring

Planeswalkers: (1)
Gideon Jura

Lands: (36)
15   Forest
15   Plains
Boseiju, Who Shelters All
Reliquary Tower
  Slippery Karst
  Strip Mine
  Temple Garden
Windswept Heath

Ok, I have a list, but how does this play out?

It’s no understatement to say that Solitary Confinement isn’t just a great card, but a state of mind for this deck. You very much want to durdle your way to getting all your Forests and Plains out. You can do this the hard way, by simply hard-casting Fleetfoot Panther or Whitemane Lion and getting a land with Karmetra out. Ideally, you will have Aluren and can just do this for free. Yes, this is a very, very silly combo. Yes, Ben plays Natural Balance in his Atogatog build and that card is crippling for us. Please note that Karemetra does not dictate you get basic Plains or Forests, so you can get Temple Garden and other dual land variants with her. Eventually, those lands allow you to play all the enchantments in your deck, which lets you create soft locks or draw engines. Generally, you win through Rude Awakening, though Sacred Mesa (sadly, I must say) is looking like a viable option. I don’t want to do a Tooth and Nail finish because it’s not what the deck does.

You will be attacked but the fogs and the planeswalker will soak some of that. You can also bounce low cost enchantments with Aluren and replay them for more draw off the enchantresses. Do be a griefer and cast Terminus, regain priority and cast Natural Affinity. Also, Parallax Wave with Opalescence is permanent exile of all creatures you don’t like. Remove four counters from Wave, target Wave itself, it returns not having seen the other exiles and repeats the process. As is said at our table, I’m a monster.

There aren’t a lot of kill conditions…

The salient point. Rude Awakening can get countered and needs 20+ lands to kill one person. Attacking with animated enchantments is cute but ineffective. Sacred Mesa tokens aren’t getting there. So at this point I am turning to you to nudge me toward kills. I could use Squallmonger under Solitary Confinement but that seems clunky. I do want a kill that will destroy all players at once, ideally. More ideally, I’d like something that doesn’t diverge too much from the enchantment plan. Luminarch Ascension, maybe?

So your deck is super annoying, how do I counter it?

As I found out at a local event, Storm decks crush me. Rule of Law may need to come in for that. An opponent that equally durdles is pretty bad for me, since at that point I need to win which seems to be anathema to the deck at the moment.

Why aren’t you using Enlightened Tutor or…?

I will be. This is where I need help from the madding crowd. I know I will be pulling some of the fog effects for more tutors and kill conditions, but which ones? Do I need silver bullets to lessen the impact of some strategies? Should I go all in on the card draw and so on?

What are some fun interactions and what gets added with Oath of the Gatewatch?

zendikarresurgent 635872380096219083 bondsofmortality

I mentioned some of them before. Zendikar Resurgent looks like it needs to be in this deck, as it will let me draw cards whenever I “bounce-fetch” my lands with creatures. Oath of Nissa isn’t super good but it will bounce another  enchantment like Wild Growth through Cloudstone Curio and it digs a little deeper into my deck. Bonds of Mortality is just amazing, replaces itself and lets me deal with those annoying hexproof critters at a very reasonable cost. If Amulet of Vigor gets banned in Modern, I’ll grab one as it obviously makes Karametra that much sillier.

That’s it for this week! Feel free to leave your suggestions, additions, and subtractions either here or on social media. Until then, may you always play from a Privileged Position.