Raid O’clock

Introduction: Answering the Call of the Wild might sound like widdling outdoors behind the woodshed to you, if so you’re in the right place! Now, I know what you’re thinking, Call of the Wild isn’t a modern legal card, it’s enough to make you flip that table isn’t it? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the birth of Impromptu Raid.

Impromptu Raid let’s you cheat out a big menacing fatty turns before you would ever have the ability, while at the same time giving you instant value since your creatures do things such as gain you life, find ghost quarters to fight eldrazi, completely devasate pesky shocklands or make your opponent need a swatter. The biggest thing to note here is that Impromptu Raid not only shoves out a bully that doesn’t care about the principal’s office, it also gives that bully haste!

We’ll go over the how-to’s shortly, but first here’s a basic deck for the broodish troll inside us all:

The ramp up!
Arbor Elf– By and far one of our best tools for achieving maximum velocity, grants the power to ramp as well and abuse our lands that have been tainted by an enchantment. Play four or don’t bother playing.
Utopia Sprawl– Easiest and most resilient way to ramp pair it with an arbor elf and you’re running a turn 2 Thragtusk onto the battlefield. Play minimum of four or suffer for your insolence.
Llanowar Elves– Sub par in our list with no interaction from Utopia Sprawl. Heavier ramp decks might find better use for it.
Simian Spirit Guide– Not only does this give the extra +1 from the exile, it’s also a creature that can be raided instead of burnt up. Also useful for looking tapped out and slamming a Lightning Bolt or Dismember out of nowhere. Play three to four to bury your opponent even faster.

-The deck obviously plays like a ramp deck but has a hidden gem to push it over the top and cause our opponent to fall to the wayside.

Impromptu Raid– Getting it out on turn 2 is the ideal situation, but it’s never a dead draw until you’re winning with one already. Sneaking up and bashing with an uncounterable Primeval Titan never fails to impress the girls we roll with. Play four or get raided yourself.
Courser of Kruphix– Minimizing the cost of life we pay for our fetches helps a bit, however this delightful Sandra’s true power shines in a few ways. Firstly it let’s us determine whether to draw a card or to raid in a creature. Second, while running fetches we’re able to ‘shotgun’ away the top card and shuffle, letting us then mold a draw or a raid even further than thought possible. Play four, a multi-use creature should never be ignored in valuetown.

Unfair Advantages!
-All that mana and nowhere to go, bend over baby!

Primeval Titan– Our number one meat head. This effectively turns the tide of the game towards your favor every time it hits the board and makes for a hard catch up if it can swing in the same turn. More mana means more raiding, run no less than four.
Thragtusk– Hey, at least we’re not using Restoration Angel to abuse it right? Splashing white might be a viable option just for that card! Gaining the +5 life and a 3/3 afterwards isn’t anything to scoff at, it let’s us attack (as if we weren’t going to) or raid and block while cushioning a heavier blow. Run two or three for good measure.
Wurmcoil Engine– Two for one’s are great, three for 2R/G mana sounds like you’ll have a spare one for that third arm you have growing out of your neck! Too many 6/6’s for 6 might be too much, run one or two.
Woodfall Primus– We may as well call this man Mr. Pig. A 6/6 trampler then a 5/5 trampler that blows up not-creature things gives us the reach needed to deal with artifacts, lands, planeswalkers etc…. Run two or three, they’re that good.
Hornet Queen– A sneaky unexpected wall of doom. Defensively it’s the best card in our deck that can cause a blow-out situation, offensively it’s still a grizzly bear that brings four sour little friends to party. Run one or less.
Sundering Titan– Probably the reason you kept reading this far. This card lets us change the battlefield somewhere between 1-5 lands at a time and also does it when mom yells to come home too. Very good against 2-5 color decks. Run one and maybe a second in the board.

Lands are important too!
-We live in an unfortunate world where a mono colored deck needs more than just basic land, try these!

Windswepth Heath– Allows for a splash of color and as mentioned above, works excellently with Courser of Kruphix and lands like Canopy Vista. Four is recommended.
Wooded Foothills– A second set of fetchlands lets you whittle away at how many are in your deck, increasing the odds of successfully ‘blind’ raiding into something great!
Four is recommended.
Ghost Quarter– Best option for fighting decks like the new Eldrazi and Tron, also can be used in emergency situations to ‘shotgun’ as well. With many other ways to handle such threats, three is probably the optimal number.
Dryad Arbor– When you know they’ve got the Cruel Edict in hand and you can’t afford to lose your only threat, or if you need that sneak +1 more damage to get through, also not a hard press to run a combo in the side with it either. (Examine: Freed From the Real Utopia Sprawl) Run one or more if boarding in infinite mana combo.

Nuts, bolts, tricks and the kitchen sink!
An ideal hand that is ready to raid would look similar to this: Forest Windswept Heath Arbor Elf Impromptu Raid Simian Spirit Guide Utopia Sprawl Courser of Kruphix
Turn 1 you would want to play Forest and Arbor Elf
Turn 2 you would want to play Windswept Heath finding a Forest tapping to enchant your untapped Forest with Utopia Sprawl naming a color (usually green), tapping for GG, untapping with Arbor Elf, tapping for GG, then casting Impromptu Raid.
Turn 3 you would want to tap the enchanted land and the unenchanted land for Courser of Kruphix then a land from hand or the top of your library gaining +1 life then hopefully revealing a monstrous value critter untapping the enchanted land with Arbor Elf then activating Impromptu Raid beginning the assault.

Two things that gatherer has to mention:
-If you put a creature onto the battlefield and a different player takes control of it before the end of the turn, you can’t sacrifice it at end of turn. It will remain on the battlefield. It will have haste as long as it’s on the battlefield.
-If the ability is activated after the current turn’s End step has begun, the creature won’t be sacrificed until the next turn’s End step.

-You can activate Impromptu Raid on your opponent’s turn as a blocking technique (See: Hornet Queen)
-Running this many basic lands let’s you run the ‘tango’ lands such as Cinder Glade and Canopy Vista with little to no drawback so long as you fetch for basics the first time or two.
-‘Shocklands’ like Overgrown Tomb or Breeding Pool allow a splash for sideboard or one of cards in the deck you might decide you want to join the raiding party as well.
Oracle of Mul Daya– Acts as an additional Courser of Kruphix, very good at filling that battlefield with lands without fetching.

Raiding Party Favorite Decklists!

The idea behind this deck is to not run anything that defeats efficiency. What you lose in the versatility of running Gitaxian Probe you gain back again from Street Wraith who can be both raided and cycled depending on which zone he’s in, basically turning your deck into 52 cards instead of 60.

It has the blue feeling from Keiga, the Tide Star stealing creatures and the Diluvian Primordial causing a ruckus with their things as well. Serum Visions puts in a good amount of work with Impromptu Raid and the scry. Don’t forget you can put Wurmcoil Engine back on top with Academy Ruins for more raiding!

It’s almost like the old 12-post in the fact you can copy your Eldrazi Temple with Vesuva, post board you can use Expedition Map to grind out slower games when needed.

Sideboard Choices!
As with all sideboards they’re very dependent on your playstyle but here’s more fuel for the fires!

Choke– Extremely harsh toward blue decks and very effective.
Dismember– One of the very best cards at dealing with just about everything.
Nature’s Claim– Hits early artifacts or cards like affinity’s Cranial Plating to stop them in their tracks.
Avenger of Zendikar– A beast attacker that gives you some more reach if you have yet to play a land when you raid him in, Hornet Queen is better though.
Noxious Revival– They killed your Primeval Titan? Pay two life and raid him back in! Excellent for destruction based magic matchups.
Acidic Slime– Tiny little pest that does almost as good as Woodfall Primus.
Mwonvuli Beast Tracker– Can set up a crazy good raid, finds Woodfall Primus, Primeval Titan, Hornet Queen.
Summoning Trap– Excellent in the counter-magic matchups, can also be ramped to and end of turn squeeze out a rotten totty.
Sylvan Primordial– Destroys and ramps into more raiding, few complaints except that we want a close-up of Groot.
Ground Seal– Perfect for stopping those decks that like to target and reanimate things that hit you really hard!
Scavenging Ooze– Similar to Ground Seal but requires G to respond to at the right time. Perfect for creature based strategies like Jund and Junk.
Through the Breach– Gives you that edge but is only a one time deal, use it wisely!
Surgical Extraction– For those times when you REALLY don’t want to see that card again, remember it hits non basic lands you blew up too!

I’m testing all three decks to see which one will work best for me, I’d love your thoughts and opinions about how to make it even better! Naysayers and the ilk can be on the receiving end of the raid!

(This article first appeared on MTG Salvation)

1 thought on “Raid O’clock”

  1. I love the Sundering Titan in the build that has nothing but forests for basic land types. Such value!

    I’m surprised you didn’t steal the Slayer’s Stronghold tech from the old Amulet Bloom archetype; it would go great alongside Primetime, though it’ll stretch your mana, so I wouldn’t go Sundering Titan with that strategy.

    Finally, good call on Keiga, and as long as you’re expecting your fatties to die, the other Kamigawa Legendary Dragons are worth looking into (Jugan, Kokusho, Ryusei and Yosei,) depending on what your final build’s mana supports.


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