Ryan Grainger | 11th December 2018
Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Tribal Tuesday!
So last week we once again followed up on the Saproling tribe taking them into modern. It was an interesting experience doing the same tribe for two weeks in a row, seeing how a certain tribe converts from standard to modern was quite exciting. Now if you weren’t a fan of the Saproling tribe, fear not, because we’re taking a break from our plant friends! Well, kind of.. We’re moving onto bigger plants, trees! More specifically, Treefolk in commander!
A quick reminder for anyone new to the series, Tribal Tuesday is all about checking out some of the overlooked tribes in magic history and having some fun brewing in different formats. With that out of the way, let’s get onto the Treefolk!
Treefolk are basically living trees. They are the guardians of the forests that they inhabit and have been around far longer than the Elves, Kithkin and Giants that they share the forest with. The first Treefolk to bless the Magic: The Gathering world was Ironroot Treefolk in Alpha and since then they’ve occupied Dominaria , Innistrad and Lorwyn. Treefolks main attribute is having big butts! And what I mean by that has nothing to do with the art work. They often have higher toughness than power.
I’ve actually had this list for awhile and also have it in paper, which saved me a bit of brewing time this week whilst my computer was down. (who can blame a guy? 😉 https://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/doran-and-his-mighty-tree-army/
The Commander of this list is Doran, the Siege Tower!
There aren’t many legendary Treefolk that could run this army, but there are some, so here’s why I picked Doran. Firstly, the colours. Having access to more colours is often an upside in commander, some people play 5 colour commanders with no intention to cast them during the game. White and black have some of the best removal and green has the big creatures and card draw, which works well with the Treefolk! Plus being 3 mana means, with the right opening hand, can get some early beat down kills with Doran himself.
Timber Protector is the main lord in the deck, giving all Treefolk +1/+1 whilst also giving all other Treefolk indestructible. It also gives forest indestructible? It could come into play one day, we’ll see. Whilst it’s a shame we can’t have two of these in play to have an indestructible army, it’s still a powerhouse. Treefolk Harbringer is quite important in the deck, a lot of Treefolk have situational effects like blowing up enchantments, so being able to tutor for them is great. Also grabbing a land isn’t the worst play because forests are quite important. Black poplar shaman provides more protection for the Treefolk. Tribal decks can often get set behind quite a lot with board wipes or slow draws, so being able to keep the Treefolk we have in play alive is bound to be good. Treefolk have quite high cmc, they aren’t cheap. Bosk Banneret reduces the cost for us so we aren’t doing nothing for 4 turns.
The Card Draw/Advantage
Harmonize is the main pure card draw spell. 3 cards is often enough to keep us with options for quite a few turns. Heartwood Storyteller is are on theme card draw creature. There are a few commander decks that play many noncreature spells so we’re drawing tons of cards. Plus, we gains us a ton of political points as it’s also drawing other players cards. They’ll often let us keep it around until we’ve drawn many cards!
Leaf-Crowned Elder is another Tribal card advantage spell. Kinship is a weird mechanic, it’s essentially made for tribal decks. At the beginning of the upkeep we look at the top card of our library, if it shares a creature type with the Elder (hell yeah tribal) we can play it for free! Allowing us to cheat in some huge Treefolk is fantastic!
And of course we’ve got the usual Heralds Horn and Lifecrafter’s bestiary that go into a lot of creature based tribal decks!
Ramp and Removal
We have a boat load of removal in this deck, thanks to the colours we’re in, so it’s going to be hard list all of them, feel free to look through the deck list, but I’m gonna mention some of my favourites.
Kindred Dominance is the dream for Tribal decks, choose a creature type (Treefolk obvs..) and the rest make there way to the graveyard! Merciless Eviction deals with everything, whilst we can only choose one permanent type, being able to choose from all of them, the flexibility, definitely great in multiplayer games with loads of different deck types. Duneblast is another get them all card, if we’re all in on the Doran plan, we choose him and everything else bits the dust.
As you might have noticed, a lot of our removal and creatures cost a lot of mana, so we need a lot of mana to cost this stuff without just dying. Cultivate and Explosive Vegetation gets our lands out earlier but a true super star in the deck is Mirari’s Wake. This makes lands tap for two mana, so turn six after we’ve played this, that’s 12 mana in total. That’s pretty much enough mana to cast anything we want during that turn.
This is a section for cards that don’t fit into one of the previous categories, but are still vital to the deck in different ways.
The first stuff is the Doran effect cards. Assault Formation is basically Doran without legs, if people are scared of Doran and won’t let him stick around, we’ve got a backup with this card. These Doran effects work perfectly with Tower Defense. In this deck it gives all our creatures +5/+5, this amount of burst at instant speed will kill people straight out of nowhere. Burst damage is often hard to come by in creature based decks at instant speed so this is a card that we want in our hand for key parts.
You may have heard me mention ‘The Doran plan’ a few times in the article, and that comes into play when we have Behind the Scenes. Skulk is an unusual keyword, but in our case, unless a creature has 0 power to block Doran, its going to be hitting for 5 straight away. Whilst it’s not the most powerful commander Voltron approach, it’s under the radar enough that people won’t want to disrupt it straight away.
As you can see the deck is full of everything that we would need as well as a whole ton of things I didn’t have enough time to mention! So as always check out the decklist and have a look at all the flavour! Treefolk have always been one of my favourite tribes, I own this deck in paper! Having a tribe which such clear synergy makes for some real interesting games. Who doesn’t want to fill the board with big butt Trees that actual make a big bunch and have a surprising amount of resilience so they can stick around? That’s exactly what this deck does!
As always, thanks for taking the time to read, anything I missed? And as always, what tribe should we cover next, got any underloved favourites? Let us know!