Modern Deck Time: RUG Quirion Dryad

I was looking at budget options for [scryfall]Tarmogoyf[/scryfall] for something completely different, but while going through the green two-drops, I just began to wonder whether someone has actually tried this in Modern.

To get some context, lets go back time to the misty early days of the millenium. Back then, someone (now Hall of Famer Alan Comer, to be precise) came up with this deck:

4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Merfolk Looter
4 Quirion Dryad
3 Gaea’s Skyfolk
4 Brainstorm
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Curiosity
4 Daze
4 Winter Orb
3 Foil
4 Force of Will
4 Gush
4 Land Grant
4 Tropical Island
6 Island

Yes, that’s 10 lands in a 60 card deck. Of course, [scryfall]Land Grant[/scryfall] is there to help and as eternal format players know, [scryfall]Gush[/scryfall] and [scryfall]Daze[/scryfall] can be used to gain mana, if needed. Besides the mana thing, the idea is to go through your deck to grow your [scryfall]Quirion Dryad[/scryfall] and to find the counterspells you need to protect it. Of course there’s the backup Merfolk plan, but that’s not that interesting right now.

The point(s) being, a) RUG Delver already has [scryfall]Young Pyromancer[/scryfall] and [scryfall]Treasure Cruise[/scryfall] and thus wants to play a bunch of spells, and b) [scryfall]Quirion Dryad[/scryfall] was reprinted twice in coresets (10th and M13) and is thus legal in Modern.

Here’s one example from a recent SCG Modern IQ (by Cody Shoemaker)

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Monastery Swiftspear
4 Tarmogoyf
1 Snapcaster Mage
4 Treasure Cruise
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Serum Visions
3 Thought Scour
3 Gitaxian Probe
2 Forked Bolt
2 Mana Leak
2 Spell Snare
2 Vapor Snag
2 Spell Pierce
1 Izzet Charm
4 Scalding Tarn
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Wooded Foothills
2 Steam Vents
2 Island
1 Mountain
1 Sulfur Falls
1 Breeding Pool
1 Stomping Ground

That’s 38 cards that trigger this guy. So, maybe Dryad isn’t just a budget option, it might be a real option.


Whereas ‘Goyf has a definite ceiling, Dryad doesn’t. It can become a 10/10 easily. Not that it matters if you can’t give it trample, but still. One turn less on your clock might be very important.

Since Dryad doesn’t care about graveyards, you can freely delve away everything and you are not quite as suspectible to something like [scryfall]Relic of Progenitus[/scryfall] which some decks play.


If you draw Dryad late, its not going to be as big immediately as a ‘Goyf would. This might leave it dead if [scryfall]Lighning Bolt[/scryfall]ed or [scryfall]Disfigure[/scryfall]d, never mind [scryfall]Fork Bolt[/scryfall].

If you flood out, ‘Goyf is probably going to be better, although I don’t think flooding out is that common with this deck.

Of course, all of this is futile if [scryfall]Treasure Cruise[/scryfall] gets banned next week…

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