Welcome to Wort. She’s the raidmother, and she’s here to melt some faces. Wort is a unique take for a Gruul legendary creature given that she is more of a “spellslinger” style commander in a color pairing that typically wants fat and hasty creatures. Although she’s an odd creature, don’t you dare sleep on Wort! Because when you least expect it, she’ll rain down upon you a torrent of plants and behemoths just to ruin your day.
The two most common Wort themes are generally explosive token generation or mass amounts of X-Burn spells that can be Consipred for great value (and pain). I’ve taken this deck in a slightly different direction by combining elements of token generation with specific forms of burn to create a midrange combo deck. Before diving into the deck strategies, we should probably talk about Wort’s keyword ability: Conspire.
Introduced in Shadowmoor, cards with Conspire can be copied as you cast them by tapping two creatures you control that share a color with that spell. In Wort’s case, all instants and sorceries you cast while she’s on the field have Conspire.
At first glance, Conspire seems like a very odd mechanic to have in Gruul colors. But with several sources of ramp and tutors available to this color pairing, green and red allow for some serious value-generation when paired with Conspire. It turns your removal spells into guaranteed two-for-ones. It doubles your ramp sells, and even turns your Chord of Calling into a glorified Tooth and Nail. And, yes, it turns your Tooth and Nail into an ungodly monstrosity of creature tutoring.
You will like this deck if:
- You like casting big spells in a set of colors that normally doesn’t cast several non-creature spells.
- You love playing a ridiculous amount of ramp spells.
- You like combo finishers.
You won’t like this deck if:
- You prefer playing with lots of individual nontoken creatures.
- You think killing tables with Purphoros is cheap.
- Your opponents play heavy land destruction.
Like any ramp deck, Wort wants to ramp early and often. With a whopping sixteen ramp spells in the deck, it shouldn’t be difficult to get a starting hand with a couple sources of ramp to speed up your game. Establishing early mana acceleration is also important because Wort costs six mana. She’s a lightning rod for removal, so it’s crucial to have the mana available to cast her multiple times.
There are two ideal paths in the mid game.
- Casting Harmonize with conspire to draw six cards, or
- Casting a solid midrange creature like Dragon Broodmother, Rampaging Baloths, or Dragonlair Spider.
A Conspired Harmonize can potentially seal your victory on the spot, while the three creatures mentioned above help establish your boardstate with little to no extra effort on your part. They each also set up a Craterhoof win condition by simply existing.
The deck has multiple paths to victory in the late game.
- Conspiring a Chord of Calling into Avenger of Zendikar and Purphoros, God of the Forge.
- Depending on the current size of your board, simply casting a Craterhoof Behemoth can end things on the spot.
- A value/disruption engine that includes Goblin Bombardment, Token Generation, and Impact Tremors to slowly whittle away at your opponents.
- And while I’ve only pulled this combination off on MTGO, casting a Boundless Realms (hopefully conspired) with an Omnath, Locus of Rage on the field. It gets even better if you have a sacrifice outlet as well. Be warned: this is a magical Christmasland win condition that shouldn’t be used over what’s listed above.
I’ve tried to pack as many utility cards as I could into the deck so that when things don’t go as planned, you’ll be able to stave off defeat long enough to get back into a winning position. Generally speaking, the most important cards in this category end up being Boseiju, Who Shelters All and Vexing Shusher.
This deck also runs a small package of Copy spells that includes Reverberate, Fork, Reiterate, and Wild Ricochet. These cards have done everything from copying card draw spells to giving me a copy of my opponent’s Tooth and Nail. The beauty of copying someone else’s win condition is that these copy spells will resolve before your opponents’ do, which can be the difference between a win and a loss. They are incredibly flexible cards that can solve and present problems for our opponents.
I’ve also jammed in as many of green’s most efficient artifact and enchantment removal spells as I could, because this format contains many powerful permanents of that type that can blow you out of the game entirely.
Directions one could take this deck
There are definitely other ways to build this deck. A majority of my card choices are meta-specific, so be sure to always keep in mind your opponents’ decks when making individual card choices.
Vedalken Orrery gives your deck extra flexibility but at the cost of an upfront four mana investment for an artifact that tends to scream “DESTROY ME” at the rest of the table.
Winding Canyons is the better form of flash-enabling for the deck because it’s a land, and lands are notoriously difficult to deal with. If you were to include this card, I’d argue that you should also include a couple land tutors like Sylvan Scrying or Crop Rotation.
Damage Doublers like Furnace of Rath and Dictate of the Twin Gods are great cards that could slot into the deck, but you’ll want to carefully build around them so that they don’t end up as liabilities. Probably better for a burn deck.
There is a lot to keep an eye out for in multiplayer settings. Since you aren’t in a 1v1, be sure to think carefully about how the rest of the table will react to each of the following archetypes. Sometimes other players will do the work for you, while other times you’ll end up as the focus.
Against control decks you’re going to be careful to not over commit but also know when you need to pressure. Keep your spells non-threatening until the control player is tapped out. You absolutely need either Vexing Shusher or Boseiju, Who Shelters All to protect your win condititions from counterspells. Your copy-magic package will also do a lot of work because the copy spells will allow you to copy their big draw spells or even the control player’s countermagic to proactively push you win conditions.
While aggressive creature decks are generally rare in multiplayer formats, they still exist, and can be very strong. Blasphemous act and Earthquake can keep you alive while Dragon Broodmother and Dragonlair Spider will provide you a stream of blockers to keep the heat off of you. This deck does make a tasty target for early and repetitive attacks given that it sometimes takes a bit longer than other decks to get its engines online.
Playing against Stax will be dependent on the specific hateful artifacts and enchantments they drop. If you know you’re playing against a stax deck, try to mulligan for your cheapest ramp and removal spells. Nature’s Claim and Naturalize will be your best friends. You can easily get around Winter Orb with mana dorks and other creatures with Cryptolith Rite. Tangle wire and Smokestack are cards you’ll want to remove as soon as possible. And if you’re up against mass land destruction, well, you’ll probably just want to play a different deck because MLD absolutely hoses our strategy. If you still decide to play into it, consider adding cards like Splendid Reclamation and Life from the Loam to build yourself back up.
Like stax, this matchup will be dependent on the specific combos your opponents are playing. Artifacts can generally be dealt with, although eggs-combinations are pretty resilient even against removal. Decimate can help you delay the combo from going off, while your copy spells can provide some utility as well. If your opponents rely on graveyard combos, Relic of Progenitus will do a lot of work, as would adding in a Grafdigger’s Cage. If you see a lot of hate being tossed at the combo deck you’ll probably be able to outrace them with your own combos.