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Deliciously Flavorful Werewolves - Stephen Rogers (2/12/2012)

I’ve been doing a ton of college work lately, but whenever I’m not recording or editing my recently-rebooted podcast I feel like I’m not doing enough. So I thought why not try to write a series of articles for CardShark and subversively plug my podcast, The Show of Feast and Famine
Famine
FamineSet: Portal Three Kingdoms
Cost:
5
Color:
Black
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
U
Artist:
Sun Nan
Text:
Famine deals 3 damage to each creature and player. (This includes your creatures and you.)
on MTGcast (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). So since I’ve been crazy with boredom, host a Vorthos-centric podcast, and have an amazing English professor, I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about the flavor and story of Innistrad. This has really inspired my deck building as well, and I would like to share the story decks I’ve been working on, starting with Werewolves.

Every monster spawns from a deep part of the human psyche and werewolves are no different. These Lycans, if you will, spring from a natural hatred for rules that all humans have. If someone tells you not to do something, you want to do it. Werewolves automatically try to destroy the human world without retaining any shred of their humanity, unlike zombies or vampires. Also unlike ghosts, vampires, and zombies, werewolves can change between being a monster and a human, though not willingly. This creates an amazing potential for characterization. In most cases, human werewolves are characterized as a guilty person; they feel terrible for what they do as a wolf and wish to repent, but they all know they will do it again.

Wizards actually did something pretty cool with the werewolves in this set with the idea of wantons, human werewolves who love their feral side. While the idea is painfully unexplored, the wantons in this set are pretty good. I decided to build a wanton deck because, up until Dark Ascension's release, every single werewolf was just better in its wolf form. If for some reason you did want to make a guilty wolf deck I would suggest you use cards such as Huntmaster of the Fells
Huntmaster of the Fells
Huntmaster of the FellsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
M
Number:
140
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever this creature enters the battlefield or transforms into Huntmaster of the Fells, put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield and you gain 2 life. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Huntmaster of the Fells.
and Afflicted Deserter
Afflicted Deserter
Afflicted DeserterSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
81
Artist:
David Palumbo
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Afflicted Deserter.
, and any other double-faced cards you can think of who have an effect that triggers upon flipping.

Now before I start talking about the deck I ended up making, I would like to begin by saying that this is really not a competitive deck. It is very casual and vaguely multiplayer-based. Although I do think a werewolf deck is potentially tournament viable, it’s not this one.

Back to the real point, a wanton deck needs to have some way of preventing its wolves from turning back into humans. There are two very obvious answers to this question, both of which were printed in Dark Ascension. Sadly they’re both also creatures so they’re pretty easy to destroy.

The first, and my favorite, is the Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen ShamanSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
98
Artist:
Mike Sass
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Mondronen Shaman.
. She is a 3/2 for 3R and has no abilities besides the werewolf transformation clause. When she does transform she become Tolovar’s Magehunter, which is the best werewolf name ever since she hurts you for casting spells. The Magehunter is a 5/5 who deals two damage to any opponent who casts a spell. So if an opponent wants to flip your wolves they need to give up four life, assuming you only have one on the battlefield. I like that it gives your opponents a choice: they can choose not to take four or they can choose to make all your wolves weaker.

The other creature card has less of a possible downside to it. Immerwolf
Immerwolf
ImmerwolfSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
141
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.) Other Wolf and Werewolf creatures you control get +1/+1. Non-Human Werewolves you control can't transform.
is a 2/2 for 1RG. It has intimidate, all wolves and werewolves get +1/+1 and Non-human Werewolves you control can’t transform. Now obviously this is just a pretty good card in a werewolf deck. It buffs them all and makes them stay at their best for as long as possible. Though it is still a creature and therefore a lot more easily eliminated than say, an enchantment. In a competitive deck I would advise replacing the Immerwolf
Immerwolf
ImmerwolfSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
141
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.) Other Wolf and Werewolf creatures you control get +1/+1. Non-Human Werewolves you control can't transform.
with a Huntmaster of the Fells
Huntmaster of the Fells
Huntmaster of the FellsSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
M
Number:
140
Artist:
Chris Rahn
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Whenever this creature enters the battlefield or transforms into Huntmaster of the Fells, put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield and you gain 2 life. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Huntmaster of the Fells.
.

The final card I have to prevent non-human transformation is a half set of Manabarbs
Manabarbs
ManabarbsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever mana is drawn from a land, Manabarbs does 1 damage to the land's controller.
. This is only a half set because it is a bit of a double edged sword. While you don’t want to be playing cards after a certain point, you will occasionally draw very good werewolves and want to play them. Manabarbs
Manabarbs
ManabarbsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever mana is drawn from a land, Manabarbs does 1 damage to the land's controller.
says any time a land is tapped for mana it deal one point of damage to that land’s controller. This way you dissuade players from playing spells at all, especially high casting cost ones. But, like I said, it is a double edged sword because it does the same to you.

Oh well, I digress, I should probably give you a real deck list right about now.

Creatures: 25
2x Reckless Waif
Reckless Waif
Reckless WaifSet: Innistrad
Cost:
1
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue Werewolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
159
Artist:
Michael C. Hayes
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Reckless Waif.
/ Merciless Predator
2x Wolfbitten Captive
Wolfbitten Captive
Wolfbitten CaptiveSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
1
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
R
Number:
133
Artist:
Zoltan Boros
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{1}{G}: Wolfbitten Captive gets +2/+2 until end of turn. Activate this ability only once each turn. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Wolfbitten Captive.
/ Krallenhorde Killer
3x Mayor of Avabruck
Mayor of Avabruck
Mayor of AvabruckSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Advisor Werewolf
Rarity:
R
Number:
193
Artist:
Svetlin Velinov
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
Other Human creatures you control get +1/+1. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Mayor of Avabruck.
/ Howlpack Alpha
2x Scorned Villager
Scorned Villager
Scorned VillagerSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
C
Number:
125
Artist:
Cynthia Sheppard
Power:
1
Toughness:
1
Text:
{T}: Add {G} to your mana pool. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Scorned Villager.
/ Moonscarred Werewolf
4x Immerwolf
Immerwolf
ImmerwolfSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
Multicolor
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Wolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
141
Artist:
Terese Nielsen
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
Intimidate (This creature can't be blocked except by artifact creatures and/or creatures that share a color with it.) Other Wolf and Werewolf creatures you control get +1/+1. Non-Human Werewolves you control can't transform.

2x Kruin Outlaw
Kruin Outlaw
Kruin OutlawSet: Innistrad
Cost:
3
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Rogue Werewolf
Rarity:
R
Number:
152
Artist:
David Rapoza
Power:
2
Toughness:
2
Text:
First strike At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Kruin Outlaw.
/ Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
of Kruin Pass
2x Lambholt Elder
Lambholt Elder
Lambholt ElderSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
3
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
U
Number:
122
Artist:
Matt Stewart
Power:
1
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Lambholt Elder.
/ Silverpelt Werewolf
2x Instigator Gang
Instigator Gang
Instigator GangSet: Innistrad
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
R
Number:
149
Artist:
Greg Staples
Power:
2
Toughness:
3
Text:
Attacking creatures you control get +1/+0. At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Instigator Gang.
/ Wildblood Pack
4x Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen ShamanSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
98
Artist:
Mike Sass
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Mondronen Shaman.
/ Tovolar’s Magehunter
2x Grizzled Outcasts
Grizzled Outcasts
Grizzled OutcastsSet: Innistrad
Cost:
5
Color:
Green
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf
Rarity:
C
Number:
185
Artist:
Randy Gallegos
Power:
4
Toughness:
4
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Grizzled Outcasts.
/ Krallenhorde Wantons

Spells: 11
2x Curse of Stalked Prey
Curse of Stalked Prey
Curse of Stalked PreySet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Enchant player Whenever a creature deals combat damage to enchanted player, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.

2x Full Moon’s Rise
3x Moonmist
Moonmist
MoonmistSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
195
Artist:
Ryan Yee
Text:
Transform all Humans. Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn by creatures other than Werewolves and Wolves. (Only double-faced cards can be transformed.)

2x Increasing Savagery
Increasing Savagery
Increasing SavagerySet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Text:
Put five +1/+1 counters on target creature. If Increasing Savagery was cast from a graveyard, put ten +1/+1 counters on that creature instead. Flashback {5}{G}{G} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

2x Manabarbs
Manabarbs
ManabarbsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever mana is drawn from a land, Manabarbs does 1 damage to the land's controller.


Lands: 24
12x Forest
Forest
ForestSet: Oversize Cards
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
X
Artist:
Tony Roberts
Text:
T: Add G to your mana pool.

2x Kessig Wold Run
10x Mountain
Mountain
MountainSet: Arabian Nights
Color:
Land
Type:
Land
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Douglas Shuler
Text:
Tap to add R to your mana pool.
s


So there is obviously some non-flavorful key tech in this deck. The first, which I absolutely LOVE casting, is Increasing Savagery
Increasing Savagery
Increasing SavagerySet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Text:
Put five +1/+1 counters on target creature. If Increasing Savagery was cast from a graveyard, put ten +1/+1 counters on that creature instead. Flashback {5}{G}{G} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
. It is a sorcery that costs 2GG and places five +1/+1 counters on target creature. It has flashback of 5GG and when cast from a graveyard puts ten +1/+1 counters on target creature. This is a great spell to cast when you have Wildblood Pack or Terror
Terror
TerrorSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
2
Color:
Black
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Artist:
Ron Spencer
Text:
Buries target creature. Cannot target black creatures or artifact creatures.
of Kurin Pass on the battlefield. Or better yet, in Magical Christmas Land, flashing back an Increasing Savagery
Increasing Savagery
Increasing SavagerySet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Green
Type:
Sorcery
Rarity:
R
Number:
120
Artist:
Steve Prescott
Text:
Put five +1/+1 counters on target creature. If Increasing Savagery was cast from a graveyard, put ten +1/+1 counters on that creature instead. Flashback {5}{G}{G} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)
on a Krallenhorde Wantons with a Wildblood Pack and a Full Moon’s Rise on the field, and swing for 21 trampling damage.

So in less blowout tech we have some very interesting cards. The first one I’ve already mentioned, Full Moon’s Rise. It is an enchantment for 1G. It gives all werewolves, even the human ones, +1/0 and you can sacrifice Full Moon’s Rise to regenerate all your werewolves. Also in the same line as Full Moon’s Rise, we have Moonmist
Moonmist
MoonmistSet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Green
Type:
Instant
Rarity:
C
Number:
195
Artist:
Ryan Yee
Text:
Transform all Humans. Prevent all combat damage that would be dealt this turn by creatures other than Werewolves and Wolves. (Only double-faced cards can be transformed.)
, an instant for 1G that transforms all humans and prevents all damage dealt by any creatures besides wolves and werewolves.

Last but not least is an enchantment I love for this deck that fits pretty well thematically is Curse of Stalked Prey
Curse of Stalked Prey
Curse of Stalked PreySet: Innistrad
Cost:
2
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Sub Type:
Aura Curse
Rarity:
R
Number:
136
Artist:
Christopher Moeller
Text:
Enchant player Whenever a creature deals combat damage to enchanted player, put a +1/+1 counter on that creature.
. This aura attaches to a player and any time my pretty wolves hit that player they get bigger by +1/+1 and make me cackle in flavorful delight.

This deck is extremely aggressive. Well, as aggressive as it can be when at least one turn a game I try to not cast any spells. Oddly enough, before the big transform and attack turn this deck plays kind of defensively and in a pseudo-control style. The Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen ShamanSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
98
Artist:
Mike Sass
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Mondronen Shaman.
and Manabarbs
Manabarbs
ManabarbsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever mana is drawn from a land, Manabarbs does 1 damage to the land's controller.
actually work very well in a control deck because they stop enemy players from casting whatever they want. I love this deck because it makes every spell your opponent slings a choice. Back in Magical Christmas Land, if you get all your shamans out they have to pay eight life to cast a single spell.

This deck really gets on a roll in a multiplayer game. It has been playing against the other flavorful decks I’ll be writing about soon. My fellow play testers have decided to NEVER let me go unchecked. The deck is not exactly noticeable in the early game as it is trying to set up decent werewolves along with the punishment cards, Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen Shaman
Mondronen ShamanSet: Dark Ascension
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Creature
Sub Type:
Human Werewolf Shaman
Rarity:
R
Number:
98
Artist:
Mike Sass
Power:
3
Toughness:
2
Text:
At the beginning of each upkeep, if no spells were cast last turn, transform Mondronen Shaman.
and Manabarbs
Manabarbs
ManabarbsSet: Revised Edition
Cost:
4
Color:
Red
Type:
Enchantment
Rarity:
R
Artist:
Christopher Rush
Text:
Whenever mana is drawn from a land, Manabarbs does 1 damage to the land's controller.
. As soon as one hits the field, it very quickly becomes a hate target. This also makes me a target for some very angry plays, and while this is not a griefer deck it is one needs to be shut down before it can get going, or else.

Thank you for reading my article, I hope you come back next week. And I don’t know, maybe check out a free podcast on MTGcast? Hint-hint!


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