Pauper EDH Deck Time: Wood Sage

Someone had found his or her way into this blog by using the words “wood sage mtg pauper commander”. That got me thinking. First thought was “is that really uncommon”? I would’ve thought such an old card would be rare with its awkward build-around abilities, but apparently it was reprinted in Conspiracy, so now it’s uncommon.

Second thought: It does really have potential, so why not?

Wood Sage

As usual, how does one abuse that power? It was probably designed for Johnnies in an environment where its really, really awkward to use. The potential is great, but at the time you didn’t really have ways to either manipulate the top of your deck or to abuse your graveyard (well, some stuff for the latter, but not much). So, basically, we need three things: stuff to manipulate the top of the library, stuff to abuse the graveyard, and stuff we can get into play from either of the sources.

Manipulating the Top of the Library

Scrying is the keyword for this. In this case, the deeper, the better. Scrying for one doesn’t always help us, because we can’t have an all creature deck (we do need lands, and not all of the things we can use to manipulate the top of the deck are creatures either). There’s plenty of cards, but not all of them are good in our deck. So, from the selection, these commons are the ones I think would work best.

Aqueous FormAugury OwlCondescendFerocious ChargeForesee
OmenspeakerPreordainPrescient ChimeraSerum VisionsSigiled Starfish

Sigiled Starfish is probably the best, because its so easily repeatable. Prescient Chimera is pretty good too, especially if we have enough spells. Its a wincon (albeit a slow one) on top of being part of the library manipulation package.

Other creatures that can manipulate the top of the library in some way or another include the following:

Aven WindreaderCallous DeceiverCrystal SeerDelver of SecretsDescendant of Soramaro
Dewdrop SpyFencer CliqueFeral DeceiverGilt-Leaf SeerInformation Dealer
Ink DissolverInkfathom DiversMerfolk ObserverRootwater MysticSage Aven
Sage of EpityrSage OwlSpire OwlSurvivor of the UnseenWayward Soul

Again, the ones which can be used repeatedly are better. I’m not sure about the ones that can return themselves to the top of your library, because obviously your opponents won’t try to kill them, but you can use them to block and use the ability. This is a bit cumbersome, but in this environment it might work. Delver of Secrets is a bit of a stretch. On the other hand, a flying 3/2 in this environment can be a pretty good threat. However, I included it as a part of this package, because you can use him to check the top of your library.

Then there’s Brainstorm and all its weaker cousins. Also, there’s some recursion cards in green, that can be very useful in this deck.

BrainstormDream CacheHalimar DepthsIndexPonder
PortentReclaimSalvageTaigam’s SchemingTrickery Charm

Repeatability is of course the key, so here’s some artifacts that can be used over and over again to see what you have on top of your library. Explorer’s Scope is very strong otherwise as well.

Darksteel PendantExplorer’s ScopeLens of Clarity

Well, there might actually be a use for Lens of Clarity, which always seems to go last in Khans draft.

Recursion and Other Graveyard Shenanigans

First, there’s Flashback.

Acorn HarvestChatter of the SquirrelDeep AnalysisElephant AmbushGnaw to the Bone
Moment’s PeaceThink Twice

Apparently the flashback cards at common aren’t very good. Elephant Ambush has a way too high flashback cost, while Chatter of the Squirrel has somewhat too high. On the other hand, they are free cards. I’d play at least Acorn Harvest, Deep Analysis and Think Twice at least. Beyond that its hard to say.

Since we can get pretty much any creature into play on the cheap, here’s two cards we can abuse:

Dragon FangsDragon Wings

Of course, we need creatures. Here’s some we can use. Recursion, Dredge and Scavenge all make use of our graveyard.

ArchaeomancerScrivenerMnemonic WallHooting MandrillsDrudge Beetle
Korozda MonitorThrashing MossdogUndergrowth Scavenger

Here’s some other ways to use the graveyard.

Elven CacheEvolution CharmHaunted FengrafMonstrifyNature’s Kiss
Night SoilTreasure CruiseVineweftWildwood Rebirth

Creatures

… and finally something to get into play. All of these have a CMC of six or more. This is for the two Dragon enchantments. There’s plenty more, but these have at least some abilities. I don’t think you need quite this many. Around fifteen might be enough. Maybe 20.

AethersnipeBenthic GiantCarnivorous Moss-BeastCrash of RhinosCytospawn Shambler
Errant EphemeronGiant WarthogGlade GnarrHand of EmrakulHavenwood Wurm
Humbler of MortalsJungle WeaverKrosan TuskerMoss KamiOakgnarl Warrior
Pathbreaker WurmRootbreaker WurmScrapdiver SerpentSiege WurmUlamog’s Crusher
Vulpine GoliathWalker of the GroveWoolly LoxodonYavimaya Wurm

And then there’s these two, which I’d put in any green Pauper EDH deck:

Nessian AspRavenous Leucrocota

All in All

Well, once again I didn’t really have a list here, just a bunch of things I researched. That’s 95 card (including a couple of lands). Sure, this deck can probably work with a fewer lands than most decks, so you’ll have room, but you still have to cut 30 or so cards from the the list.

While cutting stuff, I’d keep most or even all the creatures that help you see the top of your library. Otherwise… Whatever you think is fun.

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