New Player Seeking Insight On BG Value Deck


I am a new player to the game - I’m only rank 20 - but I like deck building, and I want to learn from the insight of others. So, keep in mind that many of my opinions are probably wrong. :sob:


The plan of the deck is to obtain value (favorable trades and control of the faeria wells) through utilizing stat and protection buffs, big creatures that take advantage of these buffs, and transformation effects.

Deck List

Explanation of Card Choices

Unbound Evolution

  • Unbound Evolution (UE) can create favorable trades against big creatures. For example, against a player using a green deck who buffs their Verduran Force, Grove Guardian, or Thyrian Golem, UE will most likely make their creature much worse for only 1 mana.
  • UE can remove powerful effects of opponent creatures. The most extreme example of this is probably Ruunin.
  • The reason for UE being a 2 of is for the flexibility of having Frogify as a removal option as well, and it’s not clear to me that cutting another card for a 3rd UE would make the deck function better, but I’m open to this idea.

Triton Chef

  • Triton Chef draws a Triton Banquet, which has a lot of use in the deck; the combination of protection and jump applied to big creatures gives them the versatility to threaten Faeria wells controlled by the opponent, and opponent creatures which could be traded into favorably. Plus, the +1/+1 is a breaking point for giving a lot of creatures in the deck enough power to kill opponent creatures (most notably the 4 to 5 power difference). Having the option to play Triton Banquet forces the opponent to play in a constrained and uncomfortable manner, which is a subtle advantage in board control.
  • The Triton Chef can also be used as a harvester, and, if it is the target of removal, at least it draws a card that will be useful.
  • Typically, if both players try to control the faeria wells closest to them, Triton Banquet can present a credible threat to either faeria well if a friendly Tyranax or Herald is near the wells, since a Tyranax can jump and trade up with anything that has less than 6 health, and, if the opponent doesn’t place defensive lands near their orb, allows for the offensive placement of a forest by the opponent’s faeria well, which will lead to long term problems for the opponent. (For example, in one game I played against a blue deck, I was able to kill a Herald with my Tyranax by using Triton Banquet, place a forest near the opponent’s well, then play Tethra on the following turn, making the Tyranax a 10/12 - my opponent conceded shortly after, because I was able to use the jump from Triton Banquet to deal 10 face damage and place another offensive forest nearby his orb)
  • The reason for Triton Chef being a 2 of is that drawing multiple Chefs is not desirable, because Triton Banquet is most likely too expensive to be played twice in succession, and it’s preferable to have the flexibility of using Gabrian Warden to grant the same benefit as Triton Banquet in certain situations that merit defensive action.


  • Mimic synergizes with the toughness increasing effects of Tethra, Apex Predator, and Triton Banquet, as well as the high toughness creatures, Verduran Force and the Colosi. At worst, Mimic usually becomes a 4/5 for 4 mana, which is not terrible, and it is not unusual for Mimic to obtain around 4/10 stats in a game.
  • Mimic can also be copied with Aurora’s Creation (AC), although, ideally, AC should be used on more valuable targets like Apex Predator or Tethra.
  • The 4 power of Mimic makes it harder to kill with Choking Sand, and removing Mimic with Last Nightmare is a 2 mana loss for the opponent.
  • The reason for Mimic being a 2 of is that Mimic requires another creature to be in play to use its effect, so Mimic is not desirable to draw at the start of the game, but it’s more desirable to play after friendly creatures have higher health, which means that Mimic likely gains more valuable later in the game. Having Mimic as a 2 of is a good balance between being less likely to draw it early and being able to gain enough value from Mimic to merit its inclusion.

Ancient Herald

  • Ancient Herald is able to discount the cost of a lot of creatures in the deck, and it has a low land requirement, which makes Herald an especially good creature to play in the early game.
  • The reason Ancient Herald is a 3 of is because it’s favorable to play it consistently in the early game, and it doesn’t lose that much value as the game goes on.


  • Tyranax has a good stat distribution and low land requirement, which makes it a good presence in the early game. Its 4 power can challenge a lot of creatures played in the early game, and Triton Banquet increasing Tyranax’s power to 5 increases its killing potential in a lot of cases.
  • Another potential replacement for Tyranax could be Deepwood Grizzly, which is harder to remove for BR, but the emphasis of the deck of giving creatures protection makes the higher health of Deepwood Grizzly less relevant than the higher attack of Tyranax.
  • The reason Tyranax is a 2 of is because of lack of space in the deck, but adjustments to the deck to include 3 Tyranaxes are possible.


  • Frogify is a reliable way to remove threatening creatures. Since there are a lot of ways to remove creatures in the deck, namely, through protection buffs and other transform effects, and given Frogify’s high cost of 5 mana, Frogify is a 1 of in the deck to handle extreme cases.

Aurora’s Creation

  • Aurora’s Creation is an incredibly flexible card that amplifies the buffing effects of the deck. The best uses of AC are to play it on Apex Predator, Gabrian Warden, Tethra, Mimic, Verduran Force, or Mirror Phantasm, depending on the circumstances. Since all the cards that are desirable to use with AC, with the exception of Mimic, are 3 ofs in the deck, 3 Aurora’s Creations are also used in the deck.

Gabrian Warden

  • Gabrian Warden is a flexible card that can give itself protection, which is situationally very power, for example, when used to block an aggro deck from hitting the orb, or it can give another creature protection, which could advance farther or trade with an opponent creature better than Gabrian Warden could.
  • Protection is more relevant in a deck that can buff other creatures, making Gabrian Warden more relevant for this particular list.
  • This deck lacks the taunts and life gaining effects typical of green decks that makes green good against aggro, so the defensive benefit of having a 3/5 protection creature against aggro decks is valuable for surviving the early game.
  • Because of Gabrian Warden’s flexibility, it’s useful in a variety of situations, so having it as a 3 of is better than having Tyranax as a 3 of, for example.

Mirror Phantasm

  • Mirror Phantasm is a flexible card that functions like Frogify and UE against opponent creatures, while creating a 4/4 creature.
  • Because the opponent creature is transformed into one that has 4 toughness, Triton Banquet can be used in conjunction with the many 3 power creatures in the deck to favorably trade with the transformed creature, as well as Tyranax having 4 power.
  • The flexibility and amount of value that can be obtained from Mirror Phantasm makes it a 3 of for this deck.

Primeval Colossus / Wavecrash Colossus

  • Primeval Colossus often gains stats greater than Verduran Force because of the high amount of creatures with 5 toughness or more in the deck, which makes it a great inclusion as a 1 of, since drawing it before many 5 toughness creatures are played makes it less of a threat.
  • Because these creatures can obtain a high stat amount, they can lure the opponent into playing their Magda, Feed the Forest combination on the Colossus, instead of on an Apex Predator.
  • Wavecrash Colossus also tends to gain stats around Verduran Force because Apex Predator requires 3 forest and 3 lakes to be played, which means that Wavecrash Colossus will most likely be at least a 6/8 for 6.

Verduran Force

  • Verduran Force has great stats for its cost, especially its toughness being 7, which makes it difficult for RB to remove with cards like Salamander, Groundshaker, and Garudan. It’s important to be the aggressor in the RB matchup, which makes Verduran effective at applying pressure.
  • It’s high power of 7 makes Verduran Force a good target for protection buffs, which makes it trade up with many creatures.
  • Verduran Force is also a great target for Apex Predator.
  • The reason Verduran Force is a 3 of is because it isn’t bad in the early game for challenging opponent creatures for control of faeria wells, and it’s high stats make it relevant in the later stages of the game.

Apex Predator

  • Apex Predator is able to take on the stats of the biggest creature in play, and have +4/+4 on top of that. The +4/+4 is almost as great of a buff as Tethra’s, the copied stats often are above the 6/6 of Tethra, and Apex Predator only costs 6 mana. This may be the most efficient creature at obtaining high stats for its cost in the game.
  • Aurora’s Creation works very well with Apex Predator because it can copy Apex Predator, and the copied Apex Predator can copy the high stats of the Apex Predator already in play.
  • This card is especially good against green if Apex Predator can be played on a highly buffed big creature, then UE, Frogify, or Mirror Phantasm is played on that creature. But one should be wary of playing into Magda, Feed the Forest during this line of play.

Tethra, Soul of the Wild

  • Tethra can grant creatures with protection enough stats to trade up in most cases, which could be thought of as a double application of its power stat increase, in that the protection buff enables the +5 power from Tethra to be applied twice - hopefully!
  • Tethra can also benefit from the mana cost reduction of Ancient Herald, and playing an early Tethra and making it an 11/11 can be a strong play in the early game.
  • Tethra can also be copied by Aurora’s Creation and played for 5 mana in order to gain even more value from its buffing effect.
  • Tethra itself has high enough stats for an Apex Predator to copy its stats, along with Verduran Force being another good target for Apex Predator.

Land Placement

The shape of our lands should extend towards the closest faeria wells against an opponent who takes a similar posture. The reason for this is that it’s possible to obtain favorable trades early in the game with the deck, and controlling all the faeria wells as soon as possible limits the options of the opponent making favorable trades against us. In some cases placing an offensive forest by using Triton Banquet on a creature creates a long term way to apply pressure with big creatures, which should also be a strong consideration. Since the deck mostly consists of blue cards, generally it’s better to develop lakes before forests, but this can vary depending on the starting hand draw.

Mulligan Decision Making

Generally, creatures that can harvest faeria early in the game or challenge opponent creatures should be kept, and cards that give more value if played later on should be mulliganed. For example, Ancient Herald, Tyranax, Triton Chef, and Verduran Force should definitely be kept in the starting hand, Tethra and Gabrian Warden are okay to keep but not the greatest. Everything else can be mulliganed.

Evaluation of Matchups

This deck should be favored against green, since it has ways of matching the big creatures of green, while transforming their creatures into creatures with worse stats. The only worrisome factor is playing around Magda and Feed the Forest. I think this deck should be played in a control style in this matchup.

This deck should be equal against red/blue, since it’s able to produce many threats that red removal cards can’t effectively deal with. Blue transform effects played against friendly creatures are less effective because there isn’t as much of a card investment used to give creatures buffs as is the case in green decks. UE can be used on creatures who are the victims of an opponent’s UE to transform them into a substantial threat. For example, if a threatening 6 mana creature transforms into a 7 mana creature, we can use UE and have the chance of getting Ruunin or Baeru, and Oak Father is still decent. I think this deck should be played in an aggro style in this matchup.

This deck should struggle against aggro and vicious decks. Unlike green, this deck has no taunts and no healing, so the matchup against aggro decks should come down to if big creatures can be drawn and played to protect the orb. I kind of need more experience to judge if this deck will always lose to yellow rush or not. Against vicious red, I think this deck should be played aggressively, because gaining value over time isn’t useful if the opponent reduces our life over time, and we don’t have any healing. I think this deck should be played in a defensive style against aggro, and an aggro style against vicious red.


I would appreciate any feedback on the deck or any section of the thread that you could give. Like I said in the disclaimer, I’m a new player, so a lot of my opinions are probably wrong. I would expect my evaluation of matchups to be the most wrong, and the most incomplete.

Here are some questions that could stimulate feedback about the thread: are there better reasons or more reasons for card choices? Are there better card choices? Are there better reasons for land placements, or better land placements for the deck? Are there more matchups that could be evaluated for the deck? How do you go about evaluating a matchup? Are there incorrect statements or conclusions about my evaluation of different matchups? Are there improvements to the format of the thread that you can think of?

I’ll credit any improvement to any section of the thread with your name, and you have my thanks.

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You should build a deck where cards have value even if the right circumstances are not met, you have a lot of situational cards in that deck, that alone will cost you a lot matches even with perfect play.

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Hey @Veril, thanks for the feedback. I’m curious to know what cards you’re considering to be situational in the deck. Do you have any less situational card recommendations that fit the theme of the deck? When do you know if a deck has too many situational cards?

Just think of a situation in which a card you chose to include will perform well vs. all the situations where you just spent X for a card that has X-Y value. For example the Mimic: It will only have decent value when you already have something on the board with at least 7 health and still have spare mana to use it, what do you do when you don’t?

You constructed the deck it would seem with the assumption that you have control over what card you draw each turn, this is not the case and so your synergies are not very likely. Some games things will go well and you will easily win but most others you will end up with cards you have to play which will be of significantly reduced value.

Hey @Veril, thanks for the feedback. So, one of the cards you consider situational is Mimic. You say that Mimic will only have decent value if I copy 7 toughness or more of another creature. If we accept that 4/7 worth of stats for 4 faeria is decent, then we must conclude that Tyranax having 4/6 stats for 5 faeria is below a decent amount of value. But, I think 4/6 for 5 faeria is a premium stat line, mainly because of the stat distribution. I think paying 1 less faeria for 1 less toughness than Tyranax has would also result in a premium stat line (especially because a 4/5 Mimic can trade up against a Mirror Phantasm enemy); the only creatures in the deck which have less than 6 health are the two Triton Chefs and the other Mimic. And it’s not as if I’m required to play the Mimic on the same turn as another creature with a toughness greater than 4. Ancient Herald can reduce the cost of a lot of creatures with more than 4 toughness, which would make playing them with Mimic more realistic. I only play 2 Mimics, so drawing them before I’ve played other creatures besides the Triton Chefs isn’t very likely. I thought playing only 2 Mimics would make them gain at least 5 toughness or more most of the time, but perhaps it would be better if cut one for a Tyranax, which doesn’t have the condition that another friendly creature has to be in play? What do you think about this change?

Because I made a deck that has cards which benefit each other when played together doesn’t mean I assume I control what cards I draw each turn - that is a strange conclusion to make. I’m curious to know what is required for the synergies of the deck to become more likely? Or what is required to make the deck’s synergies less of a requirement for it to perform well? From the games I’ve played, I haven’t had to make plays of significantly reduced value in a list designed to obtain value, but perhaps I’m just lucky. I’m still curious about the other questions I’ve asked as well.

Ask yourself the following questions.

  1. How hard is a combo to get off.
  2. If I get the combo off how much of an advantage do I gain.
  3. Is the card worth playing if I can’t combo it.
  4. Does the card require that I am already winning to be played.
  5. Does the card have any additional utility outside of the combo

So doing 2 basic examples of this. Gabrian Warden is reasonably heavy on the blue, it can potentially be used to gain an incredibly favourable trade and give a huge board advantage. If you can’t combat trick with it then you can still shield itself, possibly slightly overcosted but a 3/5 protection is nothing to be sniffed at. It can be played into a winning or losing situation, outside of the combat tricks and mvp protection it still provides a 3/5 body so has some utility.

Mimic requires a 6 health creature to come out equal. Successfully doing so only puts a 4/X on the board. A 4/1 for 4 is horrifically bad. You don’t have to be winning but you at least need to be ON the board. No.

Notes on the deck in general.

It’s WAY overcosted, you run a ton of fatties which are either situation or a pain in the ass to get to be cost effective. 2 collossi, 3 apex predators AND a tethra. You don’t need all of these. On the other hand you are low on early board presence, you need a lot of resource but might have issues gathering it. Also considering that you need 2/3 green to access your late game you are very light on the strong early green.

Try taking out the mimics, cutting some of the fat out of your late game and adding tiki caretaker (the strongest green card atm imo). Oakling, ancient boar and deepwood grizzly would all add some form of strong cheap board presence. That said deepwood grizzly AND tyranax both do the same thing so you can probably just add in a 3rd tyranax if you want that slot. Ancient beast master offers a very interesting choice for your deck as well since everything you are rocking has 5 life, by the same token gabrian enchantress offers both a big potential buff and another control card that gives an OK body for it’s cost. Lastly elderwood embrace seems like a large absence in the deck considering your aim, that and enchantress offer some huge potential apex predators.


@Swirling By implying draw control I just raised an example of how not to construct a deck, you do not want a deck where cards heavily depend on each other to be useful.

The message above mine sums it up nicely.

Hey @Malakree and @Veril thanks for the feedback. I’ve been learning a lot about deck building from this discussion. I’ve been playing the deck more in ranked, and the experience has revealed some weaknesses of the deck that relates to how situational some of its cards are. It’s very difficult to play from behind on the board with the original list, and Mimic contributes greatly to this difficulty. Against aggressive decks that challenge the Faeria wells, it’s hard to make Mimic worth it even with creatures in play because they are usually damaged. Despite the deck having many creatures that could work well with Mimic, I think Mimic plays too much into aggression, which is what the deck already has a bad matchup against. I can’t imagine a deck which is more suited for Mimic than mine, so I guess Mimic is just not a good card to play. I really hate how unreliable UE is, and I think Humbling Vision is a better choice, especially because it only requires 2 lakes to play. I think Tethra and the Apex Predators are too important for the concept of the deck to cut, so I tried to cut the Colossi instead, in order to make the deck less mana intensive. I think out of the alternative card choices mentioned, Ancient Boar makes the most sense, since having higher mana costing cards means less cards can be played each turn, playing discounted cards that have more of an early presence seems more essential than the alternatives. And, staying on the point about not being able to play a lot of cards, drawing Triton Banquet is not as valuable as I had originally thought, so I think Triton Chef should be replaced with Tax Collector, because it is impossible to use removal and not spend more mana in doing so, or allow the combat effect to not trigger before Tax Collector dies (evaluated for all situations :rubyfish:). It also trades well against Queen’s Favorite, which is a nice plus. So, with all those changes, this is the updated list:

Before I update the original post with these changes, tell me what you think!

Having played the deck you have identified strengths and weakness in it. You’ve then taken steps to try and correct those weaknesses. That is how all decks are made, with continual iterations and playing. I had a deck that started out at pure red and evolved over time into a green red deck. Just keep playing with it, see what problems you run into and what you feel is really nice to get off.

A friend of mine runs the green orientated variant of your deck (so green with some blue) and it works pretty well. The only advice I can give you now is to keep trying and keep going. If you do that you will eventually find the list that works well for you.

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