This week I’m going to write about [casthaven]Aluren[/casthaven], one of the impending explosions brought to us by Conspiracy (not to forget our impending death and taxes overlords). Since the spoiling of [casthaven]Recruiter of the Guard[/casthaven], the card [casthaven]Aluren[/casthaven] has spiked to around $40-50 and it looks like people will definitely be playing it now that they don’t need $300 [casthaven]Imperial Recruiter[/casthaven]s. I can’t blame them it’s both a creature deck and a combo deck all rolled into one and it’s vastly improved by being able to use white instead of red (recruiter of the Guard v. Imperial Recruiter).

Here’s a year-old decklist for reference:


Creatures (20)
Parasitic Strix
Deathrite Shaman
Baleful Strix
Shardless Agent
Scavenging ooze
Dream Stalker
Cavern Harpy
Imperial Recruiter

Spells (18)
Dig Through Time
Cabal Therapy
Diabolic Intent
Lands (21)
Misty Rainforest
Verdant Catacombs
Polluted Delta
Underground Sea
Tropical Island

Sideboard (15)
Izzet Staticaster
Grafdigger’s Cage
Faerie Macabre
Pithing Needle
Dread of Night
Abrupt Decay
Nihil Spellbomb
Magus of the Moon
Reclamation Sage

For those of you who don’t know how [casthaven]Aluren[/casthaven] works and are worried about it, don’t worry, I got you! [casthaven]Aluren[/casthaven] is an enchantment from tempest that costs 2GG and allows any player to cast creature cards with converted mana cost three or less without paying their mana costs. They will then cast an [casthaven]Imperial Recruiter[/casthaven] or [casthaven]Recruiter of the Guard[/casthaven] which allows them to tutor up a creature to go get another Recruiter until they have multiples and then will get a [casthaven]Dream Stalker[/casthaven].

The Dream Stalker it has an ETB trigger to return a permanent to your hand so they can bounce a Recruiter which they will then use to get a [casthaven]Cavern Harpy[/casthaven] which has an ETB trigger of return a blue or black creature to your hand (it also has the ability of pay one life return [casthaven]Cavern Harpy[/casthaven] to your hand).  They will then use the Cavern Harpy to return [casthaven]Dream Stalker[/casthaven] to your hand to bounce Recruiter one more time to go get [casthaven]Parasitic Strix[/casthaven] which has an ETB trigger of if you control a black permanent, target player loses two life and you gain two life.  At this point you can bounce and recast [casthaven]Cavern Harpy[/casthaven] using its ETB to bounce [casthaven]Parasitic Strix[/casthaven] having your opponent lose two life a cycle while you gain one life per cycle.  The combo while complex is actually pretty cool overall.  As I’m sure you can tell they can also just cast lots of value creatures and go on the beatdown plan as a back up.

I’ve played against [casthaven]Aluren[/casthaven] a couple times. Someone at my shop plays it and it’s an interesting match up.  You kind of end up sitting there watching them do nothing for four turns until they cast [casthaven]Aluren[/casthaven] and then try to go off.  Most Aluren decks are currently four color (UBRG for now, soon to WUBG) and have access to [casthaven]Brainstorm[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Force of Will[/casthaven] which help them survive to turn four.  They also run things like [casthaven]Shardless Agent[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Abrupt Decay[/casthaven] for value.  Lastly they have [casthaven]Cabal Therapy[/casthaven] (and plenty of creatures to sack to it) to eat at your hand.

The deck is super intimidating to play against, if for no other reason that their combo is extremely complicated so it can be hard to figure out how to break it. I’ve only ever played against the deck with Mono-Green Post and since the deck is about to change drastically to have white instead of red (which also gives them access to things like [casthaven]Swords to Plowshares[/casthaven]) I’m going to wait to give advice on how to play against it.  I don’t expect the deck to change drastically but I expect it to change enough that it will be worth waiting to see what happens.  Who knows they might switch to a storm kill (why not, they have a way to easily infinitely storm) or someone might find something else. Either way, fear not because you now know what they’ll be doing so you can look at the cards you have to decide how you want to slow them down or stop them.

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH. 

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