I’m ready. To chop down the second, third, and fourth trees in whatever first forest created the first tree. Ready to stand up and sing at the top of my lungs, “Every day i’m choppin’,” “Every day i’m choppin’.”

That’s right ladies and gentlemen. It’s round two of Brewing with Mythics, and this week we’ve got two powerful Fate Reforged cards to drool upon. Well, not literally drool upon, we’ve go to wait another week or two before that mess happens. But I gotta say, I am VERY EXCITE over these two mythic rares!

The first, choppin’ down stuff, and protectin the stuff that matters — why the first tree matters I have no idea, fyi — is this gangster of a human.


Hi. I’m James Franco. You might remember me from such films as “Howl” where I attempt to be Allen Ginsberg. Check out the ax, bro, and the jewel on my forehead.

That’s right, kids, this dude looks like James Franco, and he hits just as hard as Franco might have hit had he not been chanting ‘Moloch! Moloch! Moloch!’ at a Lawrence Ferlinghetti smoking party and sleeved up this costume and axe situation. Like Gimli, or some such character from Game of Thrones, except handsomer.

Warden of the First Tree is the new Figure of Destiny blah blah blah. What is important is this: Cast him on turn one, activate him turn two. The second activation can wait, and we can wait because it’s performed at instant speed. A 3/3 body in Standard is relevant on turn 2, so he’s great in the early stages of the game. Draw him late in the game, and you’ll no doubt have the mana to swell him into the awesome final ability. Which makes him a great mana sink, especially since his third and final ability can be activated as many times as you have six mana. But let’s be real, an 8/8 creature with trample and lifelink will win you the game, no questions asked. Anything bigger is just ridiculous. But just know that the option is available to you, and you’d be a fool not to take it into consideration when running this dapper young man.

Warden of the First Tree is also amazing on defense. His instant speed activation for lifelink ability can be used if you are behind in sticky situations you need not only a blocker for, but some life gain on top of said blocker. So, at his core, Warden is a great draw at nearly any point in a game of standard, as he demands an answer on his own. That, dear friends, is nothing to sneeze at.

Right away we can look at an existing list, Abzan Aggro, where he seamlessly replaces Rakshasa Deathdealer. I’d also like to add that he requires more untapped sources, so the mana has to be reworked in light of Warden moving in on the cat demon. But that’s a minor factor here. So, when we isolate an unknown metagame, he looks awesome in an existing list. Whether or not Abzan Aggro will continue to be a dominant force in the metagame — recent history has shown how wave-like this metagame has flowed and changed all season — remains to be seen, but regardless, the power of the Warden will find its way into a deck, no questions asked.

Abzan Aggro

Creatures (22)
Warden of the First Tree
Fleecemane Lion
Heir of the Wilds
Anafenza, the Foremost
Siege Rhino
Wingmate Roc

Spells (13)
Abzan Charm
Hero’s Downfall
Bile Blight
Murderous Cut
Lands (24)
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Windswept Heath
Temple of Malady
Mana Confluence
Llanowar Wastes
Caves of Koilos

A decent place to start, given what we know of the deck so far. Small tweaks will come into play based on what Warden is good and bad against. For instance, if we need to punch through a myriad of Courser of Kruphixs and fear getting burned out, we can add Sorin, Solemn Visitor for the extra power and life gain.

Now, onto our next mythic rare, Brutal Hordechief.


I am new meaning to hill giant and upside. zug zug.

For any of you who might have been waiting for Hellrider to return to Standard, well… we got ourselves a Hellrider! This guy is strictly better, too! We sacrifice haste for a ton of upside: easier mana, drain instead of damage (short aside: yes, I know, the damage from Hellrider could be redirected to planeswalkers, so its ‘quid pro quo’ and not strictly better), and an activated ability reminiscent of False Orders and Lure, but combined into this super ability that makes combat a nightmare for your opponent. It’s difficult to interact with, and even one activation on a board that goes wide instead of tall should result in real value, and a ton of damage.

In fact, i’m starting to see an evolution of the mardu clan, and the warrior subtype. Brutal Hordecheif, in combination with Alesha, who Smiles at Death, can provide a good curve and has the potential to keep a lot of pressure on our opponent.

Let’s take a look at a sketch of what that deck would look like:

Mardu Burger King

Creatures (20)
Bloodsoaked Champion
Tymaret, the Murder King
 Alesha, who Smiles at Death
Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Brutal Hordechief
Stormbreath Dragon

Spells (16)
Hordeling Outburst
Crackling Doom
Hero’s Blade
Lightning Strike
Lands (24)
Nomad Outpost
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Mana Confluence
Bloodstained Mire
 Temple of Silence
Caves of Koilos

There are awesome synergies between Tymaret, Bloodsoaked Champion, and Alesha. This is pretty raw, but there is some real value to be extracted here. I’m not even sure I am building this correctly, as there are so many other cards we can add to this deck. But for right now, it does one thing, and one thing only. Widen the board, and hit the opponents life total with Brutal Hordechief and Tymaret. In particular, with a wide enough board state, a single activation from Brutal Hordechief can push through a lot of damage, forcing your opponents team to gang up on a token, and clearing a path for your punchers.

In building this deck I noticed a ton of viable three casting cost cards, which means a lot of consideration needs to be placed on the 2, 4, and 5 cmc slots. Oh, and the mana in this deck is a nightmare. How would you go about building this deck?

Alright guys, that’s it for the cycle of exciting new mythic rare creatures from Fate Reforged. With the prerelease coming up this weekend, all the talk will be on limited. Hopefully I can make it to a prerelease, as I love the free environment to test new cards and have a great time with the community. Otherwise, I’ll be testing out some more ideas and anxiously awaiting the banned and restricted announcement from the mothership!

Until then, lets keep an open mind.

Derek Gallen lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. 

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