Brew For Your Buck - Forests Through The Beats

Brawn | Art by Matt Cavotta

Elemental my Dear Watson

Hello, fellow brewer, and welcome back to Brew For Your Buck, where we swap out the top 10 most expensive cards in a deck with 10 budget cards that add a unique twist. We're settled into winter here in the northeast United States, and there's been at least one big snow storm by the time this article goes up. I'm already wishing the plants and trees would come back to life, and wouldn't you know it, our commander lets us do just that.

Yes, this version of Titania is another legend in our subset of Crucibles in the command zone. We already looked at one of these, and I love playing lands out of the graveyard so much that we'll probably get to Hazezon at some point in the series. Titania's $326.53 decklist sports some of the typical Lands and Landfall staples, so let's remove some of them and see where we land. (Get it? Land!)

            1. Nissa, Resurgent Animist ($18.02)
            2. Crucible of Worlds ($16.04)
            3. Roaming Throne ($15.79)
            4. Scapeshift ($12.92)
            5. Sylvan Safekeeper ($12.74)
            6. Last March of the Ents ($10.96)
            7. Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer ($10.96)
            8. Ancient Greenwarden ($10.05)
            9. Constant Mists ($10.00)
            10. Awaken the Woods ($9.22)

Total Value of Cuts: $126.70

Since we're back in the monocolor world, we only need to replace two lands from the original list: Boseiju, Who Endures and Yavimaya, Cradle of Growth. Replacing them with Forests gives us an additional $45.81 in savings, for a total of $172.51.

Titania being a Crucible of Worlds is the big reason why I wanted to showcase her today, but even with the cards we removed there are plenty of ways to take advantage of lands in the graveyard. Many of the remaining cards lean into that play pattern, so I'm not worried about getting that gameplay experience from the deck. What we aren't taking enough advantage of are the 5/3 Elemental tokens that just end the game if they're unchecked. Let's see what we can add to stomp our opponents out.



Bashing Birches

Bashing with our tokens is going to be our primary win condition, so ways to enhance their combat prowess will be the first cards to add. One thing our Elemental tokens lack is any kind of evasion. There are a million ways to grant trample in green, but my favorite is Brawn ($0.27), since we don't have to spend mana or cards if we mill it over with Titania's ability. Challenger Troll ($0.10) might not grant evasion exactly, but it certainly forces our opponents with small creatures into tough choices when facing down an army of 5/3s. Winds of Qal Sisma ($0.26) replaces the Constant Mists that we removed at the top, but this is the rare Fog that can be used on offense as well. If we swing into a board full of blockers, our opponents might feel comfortable blocking or trading until we cast this and all of a sudden we made a two-mana Plague Wind. The Fog meta is real! Finally, Mighty Emergence ($0.24) is pretty straightforward: why settle for a 5/3 when you can have a 7/5 instead?



Deciduous Draws

The next subset of cards lean into green's main way to draw cards: big giant creatures. First up, Hunter's Insight ($0.25). This card dates back to 2012, and is still a very mana-efficient way to refill our hand once the Elementals start swinging. Along the same lines, Blessing of Frost ($0.11) looks like it should only go in a Snow deck, but that only matters for the +1/+1 counters. We'll have plenty of 4+ power creatures hanging around so we'll get 95% of the value of this card, and if you really want to max it out you can throw in some Snow-Covered Forests as well. Since we can very easily make multiple land drops per turn, and Titania helps us fill the graveyard, Paleoloth ($0.60) becomes a sick card advantage engine, pulling something out of the 'yard for the low cost of a land drop, assuming our commander is alive and kicking.


Life from the Loam

I was kind of surprised that Life from the Loam wasn't in the deck when I loaded up the average list. While it's too expensive to add, we do have some other cards that we can use to take advantage of having stuff in our graveyard. One of my favorites is another Incarnation that we can mill into our graveyard, Genesis ($0.31). We should have plenty of mana to use this, and it gives us an easy way to recur Titania if we need to as well. Should you not have the desire to recur a creature in your graveyard or if you want to mess with an opponent, Selesnya Eulogist ($0.46) can pump out more 5/3s at instant speed, adding Elementals to the board right before you untap.


The last card for our budget package gets its own section because I think it is woefully underplayed in Commander as a whole. See the Unwritten ($0.76) is only in 6104 of the nearly 1.6 MILLION eligible decks on EDHREC. That is 0%, which means the card barely sees any play. In our Titania deck, it's trivial to meet the Formidable requirement, which can get us two bombs onto the battlefield for six mana, and even if we whiff we still have plenty of ways to use the cards going to the graveyard. I highly recommend this card for any green-based decks playing giant monsters like Dragons, Sea Creatures, or the like.


Wrap Up & Savings

Let's see what we saved:

Out  Price In  Price
Nissa, Resurgent Animist  $ 18.02 Brawn  $ 0.27
Crucible of Worlds  $ 16.04 Challenger Troll  $ 0.10
Roaming Throne  $ 15.79 Winds of Qal Sisma  $ 0.26
Scapeshift  $ 12.92 Mighty Emergence  $ 0.24
Sylvan Safekeeper  $ 12.74 Hunter's Insight  $ 0.25
Last March of the Ents  $ 10.96 Blessing of Frost  $ 0.11
Greensleeves, Maro-Sorcerer  $ 10.96 Paleoloth  $ 0.60
Ancient Greenwarden  $ 10.05 Genesis  $ 0.31
Constant Mists  $ 10.00 Selesnya Eulogist  $ 0.46
Awaken the Woods  $ 9.22 See the Unwritten  $ 0.76
Total  $ 126.70 Total  $ 3.36
Total (Lands)  $ 45.81
Original Deck Price  $ 326.53
    New Price  $ 157.38
    Total Savings  $ 169.15
    Savings 52%


52% savings isn't bad at all for a monocolor deck, and what we did add gives the list a bit more punching power. Green has a lot of tools for abusing everything Titania offers: big creatures, lands, and even the graveyard, so this deck can be upgraded and shifted around a lot depending on how you want it to play. That's pretty unique for a monocolor deck!

So what do you think? Did I miss anything you would have added? How much do you enjoy playing lands from the graveyard? Let me know in the comments and I'll see you next time when we brew for your buck!

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Please note: card prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of writing, but prices can vary over time and between locations.

Read more:

Brew For Your Buck - Discarding Artifacts

Do Your Worst - Mono-Green Superfriends

Brian played Magic intermittently between 2003 and 2017 when he fully embraced his love for Commander. Finding ways to maximize the value of each piece of cardboard in the deck is one of his favorite things to explore, especially if it involves putting lands in the graveyard! Outside of Magic, Brian works as a consultant in the marine industry, turning his passion for boats and ships into a career.

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