Extended GW Midrange

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Hey everyone, and welcome back to On the Hunt. This week I will be taking a look into the Extended format since we have the new Pro Tour: Philadelphia season ahead of us, as well as Grand Prix: Atlanta, Kobe, and San Diego. It's been quite a while since I've taken a peak at Extended, however I have followed up with the recent tournaments around us as well as a few local tournaments being held. I have the urge to head up to GP: Atlanta this season and quite frankly, I had no idea what I will be playing since the format has had such a dramatic change as it has.

This year Wizards decided to change the Extended format in a big way. The new Extended format has changed to the point where its current rotation is about every four years rather than the seven year schedule it had been. This means that the current format is Lorwyn, Morningtide, Shadowmoor, Eventide, Shards of Alara, Conflux, Alara Reborn, Magic 2010, Zendikar, Worldwake, Rise of the Eldrazi, Magic 2011 and Scars of Mirrodin. This is why we're here today: to take a look at a new little home brew that I thought would be interesting to try out and test against the current Extended field.

So what are we on the hunt for today? Well, we're going to be building a Green-White Midrange deck. The main reason I'm looking into this archetype is because I think it is very underrated. These colors have had so many tools for us to use in this archetype style, and it seems like a waste to pass them up. So let's get started with White:


Path to Exile - One of the best White removal spells ever, exiles creature, player gains a basic land on loss of creature
Oblivion Ring - Exiles Planeswalkers and other troublesome non-land permanents
Day of Judgment- One of the best cheap casting cost mass removal spells White, or the entire format, has at the moment
Celestial Purge- Conditional removal spell due to color restrictions, exiles permanent
Journey to Nowhere - Enchantment that exiles a target creature
Angel of Condemnation - Somewhat temporary removal, puts creature on bottom of library, player gains life to creature's toughness
Harm's Way - Combat trick, can gain you board position and tempo
Crib Swap - Exiles a creature, plus interactive creature type, downside is opponent gains a 1/1 creature afterward
Austere Command - Destroys creatures with casting cost 4 or more; destroys creatures with casting cost 3 or less
Hallowed Burial - Temporary removal, puts all creatures on bottom of owner's deck.
Martial Coup - Mass removal spell with conditional payment, doubles as utility card
Planar Cleansing - Exiles all non-land permanents
Mass Calcify - Destroys all non-White permanents
Gideon Jura - Destroys tapped creatures

So far we have a strong amount of spells we can use for the current format, most notably we have Path to Exile, Journey to Nowhere and Oblivion Ring. Other notable cards catching my eyes are Harm's Way and Hallowed Burial. I would highly note that in comparison to Standard, indestructible creatures are not that strong in the Extended format due to the massive amount of Exile effects in the format.

Wall of Omens - Card draw and 0/4 blocker
Austere Command - Destroys enchantments and/or artifacts
Elspeth, Knight Errant - Token producer, pump, and ultimate ability of an indestructibility Emblem
Revoke Existence - Exiles enchantment or artifact
War Priest of Thune - Destroys enchantments when entering the battlefield
Wispmare - Flash, evoke, destroys enchantments
Ethersworn Canonist - Hate bear, prevents players from playing multiple spells per turn that are non-artifact
A-Buy Your Silence - Prevents opponent from playing spells
Spectral Procession - Token producer
Gideon Jura - Prevents damage to you, destroys a creature, makes himself a finisher
Martial Coup - Token producer plus removal on conditional payment
Reveillark - Very interesting card, had tons of potential combos back in the old extended and now recurs two low power creatures to the field
Runed Halo - Versatile protection from an opponent's "finisher." In my opinion, a very important card in the new format
Ranger of Eos - Search enabler for two creatures with one casting cost or less
Sun Titan - Recurs cards with converted mana cost 3 or less from graveyard when entering the battlefield or attacking
Burrenton Forge-Tender - Protection from Red, sac to prevent a Red source from killing you or your creature
Stoneforge Mystic - Very good utility card at getting an equipment we need, as well as putting others into play
Baneslayer Angel - One of the best finishers White has, protection from demons and dragons, and lifelink

So far this is what I consider the basic utility White can provide us with interesting interactions with the other cards of the deck design. Most notable of these are Elspeth, Knight Errant, Gideon Jura, War Priest of Thune, Spectral Procession and Reveillark.

Reveillark - Combo enabler, recurs specific creatures
Gideon Jura - Good Planeswalker, tons of interaction
Elspeth, Knight-Errant - Good Planeswalker, tons of interaction
Ranger of Eos - Searches for creatures to stabilize board or to gain tempo
Baneslayer Angel - One of the best finishers White has, protection from demons and dragons, and lifelink
Spectral Procession -Token producer, produces three 1/1 fliers
Path to Exile - Best removal white has had in a while compared to Swords to Plowshares
Burrenton Forge-Tender - Hoses Red decks and prevents lethal from killing you
Stoneforge Mystic - Tutor for an equipment card
Emeria Angel - Token producer, flier

Mono-White Kithkin decks used Spectral Procession as an important card to get Windbrisk Heights online. Elspeth, Knight Errant was often used to get the final damage over an opponent's head, as well as creating blockers and protecting itself from lethal attacks. Ranger of Eos got the Red hoser in the form of Burrenton Forge-Tender.

Leyline of Sanctity - Protects you from being the target of spells and abilities
Kor Firewalker - Prevents Red decks from attacking through it and gains one life for every Red spell cast
Loam Lion - Kind of the surprise card everyone saw in the Doran deck from Pro Tour: Amsterdam, the White Kird Ape if you will
Squadron Hawk - A flier which fetches more of itself to thin your deck and puts creatures on board
Steppe Lynx - Powerful when in the right deck, pumps with landfall

Not many base cards being used; mostly it's all utility and staples in the format these days. I have Squadron Hawk in here after rumblings at the store but nothing further then that. I really like Leyline of Sanctity due to the Valakut match up.


Acidic Slime – Deathtouch, destroys an artifact, enchantment, or land
Oran-Rief Recluse – Destroys flier
Plummet – Destroys flier
Slingbow Trap – Destroys flier
Hornet Sting - Combat trick and low toughness removal
Turntimber Basilisk - Deathtouch
Cloudthresher - Deals two damage to each flier and each player
Gloomwidow's Feast - Four mana destroy flying creature card, conditional token if creature was Blue/Black
Lys Alana Bowmaster - Conditional removal if an Elf came into play
Master of the Wild Hunt - Deals damage when tapped to target creature by the power of each wolf on your side of the field divided, produces a 2/2 wolf per upkeep
Scattershot Archer - Tap to deal one damage to each flying creature
Windstorm - Conditional payment to deal X where X is how much mana you paid into the card

Well, compared to Standard, this is a little better for what Green gets in removal. Most notable are Cloudthresher, Master of the Wild Hunt, and Windstorm. My opinions are that Master of the Wild Hunt is the best removal spell so far for Green, exempting Cloudthresher which is more for the Faeries matchup.

Andrios, Roaming Explorer – Ramp and card draw
Momentous Fall – Life gain and card draw
Cultivate – Ramp
Harrow – Ramp
Nissa Revane – Life gain, recursion, potential finisher with the right creature type
Primeval Titan - Big body to boot and ramps us faster
Realms Uncharted – Fixes mana and thins out the deck to get to our answers and/or finishers
Sylvan Ranger – Ramp
Arbor Elf – Conditional mana producer
Elvish Archdruid – Pump, conditional mana producer
Joraga Treespeaker – Conditional explosive mana producer
Acidic Slime – Destroys artifacts, enchantments and lands
Naturalize – Destroys artifacts and enchantments
Fauna Shaman – Good tool box to get our finishers and to get rid of stuff we don’t need (or want in graveyard)
Natures Claim – Destroys artifacts and enchantments, opponent gains life
Terastodon – Destroys multiple permanent types but not creatures, leaves you or opponent good power and toughness tokens.
Nature's Spiral – Recursion
Vengevine – Recursion and Haste
Autumn's Veil – Protection: Blue and Black, alternative strategy to null counter spells for finishers
Vines of Vastwood – Versatile pump, conditional Shroud
Ant Queen - Big creature, token producer with payment
Chameleon Colossus - Valid creature type, protection from Black, pumps itself with payment
Cream of the Crop - The Green Sensei's Divine Top, fixes draw when a creature comes into play
Devoted Druid - Ramps twice with ability
Elvish Promenade - Token producing spell, conditional to number of Elves in play
Helix Pinnacle - The "win the game" combo card everyone wants to break, wins the game when 100 counters are on it during your upkeep, Shroud
Nest Invader - Body plus token producer that sacrifices the token for ramp

....Whew, thats a lot of utility, and a lot more then the typical Standard list I had. I really like Green's Extended utility because it seems to set up a lot of interaction with cards in the format that need to be dealt with, however the loss of Time Spiral's Krosan Grip was a tough blow to Green. I consider a good amount of these cards for the slots we might need. Most notable I have are Nest Invader, Vengevine, Fauna Shaman, Chameleon Colossus, Ant Queen, Natures Claim, Realms Uncharted (oh ya I went there), Autumn's Veil, and Harrow/Cultivate. My reasoning behind Realms Uncharted is that I still consider it a card that fixes our mana and thins out the deck, but it also has another position which I will get to in the multicolor list. The choice between Harrow and Cultivate is tough, most notably since there are a lot more counter spells in this format, so the edge goes more to Cultivate since I don't want to be a land down. However, with certain cards we can use have uses for having extra lands in the graveyard. Autumn's Veil seems more of an anti-Faeries metagame choice, since it protects them from countering your spells. Nest Invader provides us two bodies to block with and ramp, Vengevine and Fauna Shaman interaction should be obvious, and Natures Claim is going to be a card that going to see more light in the Extended format rather then Standard. The reasoning behind this claim is the fact it has more notable targets for us such as Bitterblossom, Oblivion Ring, and many others.

Vengevine – Awesome four casting cost creature with good power, toughness and recursion
Fauna Shaman – Good tool box to get our finishers and to get rid of stuff we don’t need (or want in graveyard)
Avenger of Zendikar – Big body to boot and mass token producer that pumps the tokens
Birds of Paradise – Early drop mana producer plus evasion. Relevant with pump options and as blocker against fliers
Lotus Cobra – Multi-purpose ramp creature. Drop two lands (as with a fetchland) to produce two mana to get our finishers faster
Primeval Titan -Big body to boot and ramps us faster
Llanowar Elves – Early drop mana producer and good creature type
Garruk Wildspeaker – Mana producer, token generator and pump effect, and it’s a permanent that’s hard to deal with in the current format
Ignoble Hierarch - Mana producer plus pumps when a creature attacks alone
Great Sable Stag - Protection from Blue and Black and cannot be countered
Chameleon Colossus - Valid creature type, protection from Black, pumps itself with payment
Primal Command - Tool box spell, gains life, bounces non-creature permanent to the top of opponent's deck, fetches a creature and shuffles graveyard into library
Scapeshift - Finisher in certain archetypes, ramp
Thornling - The Green Morphling, trample, haste, indestructibility and pumps itself with valid payment. Supposed Jund killer.

Pretty good amount of staples Green has in this format, do note I am both upset and relieved at the fact that Tarmogoyf is out of Extended. It was a pain to deal with to almost everyone facing it and a joy for those playing it. For now I notice certain cards we can use to help with mana, board position, and a host of other uses. Notables include Primeval Titan, Lotus Cobra, Ignoble Hierarch, Great Sable Stag, Chameleon Colossus, Birds of Paradise, Vengevine and Fauna Shaman...err, that's most of the staples....hmmm. Alright here is where our problem starts. We have a very good set of cards to use, however where to go now depends on the metagame, so I need to cut some of these choices. The first card I can say we can cut is Birds of Paradise due to Ignoble Hierarch, some of these othert cards can be sided out but mostly I don't need Birds.

Dramatic Entrance - Spell that puts a Green creature onto the battlefield at instant speed
Wickerbough Elder - Good body, destroys an enchantment with payment that also pumps itself
Wren's Run Vanquisher - The Elf deck's two drop enforcer, cheap alternative cost to enter the battlefield by revealing an Elf hand in hand.

Again this is something notable that most extended decks will have just the staples, removal and utility as their main deck focus. This is due to the fact that these decks have been played before and no one has either had the time to experiment with new cards in old archetypes or they simply haven't seen these cards yet. Dramatic Entrance can be a new contender with Summoning Trap to get Keeper of Progenitus out. Wren's Run Vanquisher will mostly be used in the Elfball deck. Wickerbough Elder is more of a sideboard card to get rid of staple enchantments, however I believe Natures Claim took over that slot.


Mercy Killing - Target creature is sacrificed and gives player tokens based on that creature's power
Unmake - Exiles a creature with no strings attached, Instant-speed
Novablast Wurm - When attacking, it destroys all other creatures except itself, heavy mana cost

Ya.....mostly nothing for us to use so we're going to skip the multicolored removal. Mercy Killing can be an interesting combat trick however I would mostly use it on my creatures rather than my opponents. However, I would rather not X-for-1 myself by killing my finisher and having my opponent wipe out my tokens, or give them a massive amount of tokens that I can't deal with. Unmake is going to be hard to cast, and Novablast Wurm might be something to come back to but more or less not worth it.

Behemoth Sledge - Equipment, creature gains +2/+2, plus trample and lifelink
Dauntless Escort - Sacrifice itself to give creatures you control indestructibility
Elvish Hexhunter - Payment and sacrifice itself to destroy an enchantment
Steward of Valeron - Ramp
Trace of Abundance - Aura enchantment for land, gives land shroud and taps for extra mana, ramp
Wheel of Sun and Moon - Enchantment that enchants a player, puts all cards that would be put into that player's graveyard onto the bottom of their library instead
Guttural Response The Green counterspell

Interesting utility cards we have. The three I have my eyes on are Wheel of Sun and Moon, Dauntless Escort, and Behemoth Sledge. I can see Wheel of Sun and Moon as a valid sideboard option in case Dredge pops its head somewhere in the format again, since it just messes with their plans to overwhelm us and can help us against any mill decks or even to gain our finishers back. Dauntless Escort is pretty good against mass removal so it can be a good maindeck option. The power level of Behemoth Sledge, gaining both trample and lifelink along with pumping +2/+2, is really good.

Gaddock Teeg - Prevents each player from playing any non-creature spell with converted mana cost of four or greater (or with X spells in their cost).
Kitchen Finks - Awesome low cost creature that gains life when entering the battlefield and conditional recursion if it has no -1/-1 counters on it. Reduces power by -1/-1 with counter when it recurs itself but gains us life
Knight of the Reliquary - Beater when lands are in the graveyard, low casting cost and fixes our mana
Oversoul of Dusk - Protection from every color except colorless, Green and White. Big body with a heavy mana cost
Qasali Pridemage - Pumps creatures when a creature attacks alone, low casting cost plus 1-mana activation and sacrifice to destroy an artifact or enchantment
Wilt-Leaf Liege - Pump lord for each White or Green creature, alternate cost if opponent makes you discard it to bring it into the battlefield for free

Here we go, now there's a good amount of staples again for us to use. We can actually use all of these since not many of them have a downside except for Gaddock Teeg, since it prevents us from playing high costing spells (but it also hurts our opponents as well). Could be sided out just in case for that reason. Most likely all of these will be played in one fashion or another. Also with Knight of the Reliquary, Realms Uncharted can be used as a combat trick to pump Knight and gain board position if needed.

Fracturing Gust - Spell that destroys all artifacts and enchantments and gains us two life per artifact and enchantment destroyed
Grizzled Leotau - I'll say this, this guy was a problem for me when I played jund and had no Exterminate! in hand, muds up the ground until you can deal with him
Wilt-Leaf Cavaliers - Good low cost beater

Again the sadness of Extended is that there are better cards to use besides these but Grizzled Leotau might be the exception due to my notes above.


Ratchet Bomb – Destroys all permanents with condition of number of charge counters, one time removal
Molten-Tail Masticore – Flame Javelin anyone?
All Is Dust – Good removal spell, heavy mana cost, doesn’t affect Eldrazi creatures or artifacts
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre- Destroys a permanents, expensive mana cost
Brittle Effigy - Exiles a creature

Alright onto colorless. Mostly I like Ratchet Bomb and Molten-Tail Masticore here. Masticore can discard spells we don't need as well as lands to pump Knight of the Reliquary. Ratchet Bomb will be against the weenie decks that will probably give us trouble.

Armillary Sphere - Fetches basic lands
Basilisk Collar - Equipment that gives deathtouch and lifelink
Mox Opal – Mana accelerator with Metalcraft condition, really good with the Esper colors especially
Sword of Body and Mind - Good overall equipment, pumps, token producer, protection from Green and Blue, and mills your opponent
Sword of Vengeance - +2/+0, Haste, First Strike, Trample and Vigilance all seem pretty good for a equipment
Dolmen Gate - Prevents all combat damage to our attackers
Relic of Progenitus - Exiles cards in a player's graveyard, plus able to exile all graveyards by removing itself and payment. Replaces itself
Thorn of Amethyst - Increases all noncreature spells casting costs by one

Mostly I am interested here in the equipments and relic. I really like Sword of Body and Mind but we will see.

Eldrazi Monument- Giving your creatures Flying, Indestructibility, and +1/+1 is good
Everflowing Chalice - Artificer’s mana ramp card
Lodestone Golem- Good stall card through adding mana cost to all non-artifact spells
Mimic Vat- Great card that "reanimates" creatures
Molten-Tail Masticore- 4/4 body with Flame Javelin and Regeneration
Wurmcoil Engine – Lifelink and deathtouch along with putting two 3/3′s out, one with each ability, all on a 6/6 is good in my book
Pithing Needle - Disrupts activated abilities of a named card

The only card again I really like in this list after going over it is Pithing Needle. In Standard now we have little to deal with Planeswalkers and Pithing Needle was one of the original ways for dealing with them.

Temple Bell - Lets each player draw a card
Tumble Magnet - Conditional usage, but allows user to tap a creature, artifact or land
Voltaic Key - Untaps an artifact
Trip Noose - Allows user to tap a creature with payment

I can see us using Trip Noose or Tumble Magnet as a way to deal with creatures and/or manlands. So after going through my lists and what I consider logical choices and views on the metagame, let's see what my first version looks like:

GW Midrange V.1

Reasoning behind the numbers: We have a lot of three drops including Knight of the Reliquary, Kitchen Finks, Oblivion Ring, Behemoth Sledge, and Dauntless Escort. Ignoble Hierarch helps ramp to the 3-drops on turn 2. Having 3 each of Wilt-Leaf Liege and Elspeth, Knight-Errant we can be sure to be drawing one of either early or in our opening hand. In the sideboard we have the 3 Baloths to replace any 3 cards to combine with our Lieges against any discard (notably against format staples Blightning or Cruel Ultimatum)

Thoughts on top decks so far (Rewritten along with new information from Worlds)

Scapeshift Valakut
One of the hardest matchups since it's a Combo deck. The deck's ability to deal massive amounts of damage is impressive, however playing the Standard version helps a bit in how they set up the deck. They mostly will play ramp with Primeval Titan, Khalni Heart Expedition, Harrow, and others until they have plenty of lands out then play Scapeshift to play a lethal set of their Valakut, the Molten Pinnacles and Goblin Mountaineers. What helps here is Kitchen Finks, Leyline of Sanctity, Runed Halo, and Behemoth Sledge since life gain and protection helps from Valakut.

UB Faeries
One of the original boogie man decks of the Standard format, a Control deck with its ability to counter most of your spells with creatures such as Spellstutter Sprite and counterspells such as Cryptic Command. Its most annoying feature is putting out creature tokens during each of their upkeeps with Bitterblossom. From what I know of the original decklist and the new lists, it has gained even more powerful tools. With a similar shell to its original, it gained a lot from what was released and reprinted. This list starts with Mana Leak, Rug of Smothering as well as Jace, the Mind Scuptor, and with the help of a much smoother mana base with Darkslick Shores to play a turn one Thoughtsieze, the deck is much more consistent now. The matchup isn't that bad but it is going to be one of the harder ones. Even though we also have an ability to get through the air as well as produce tokens by means of Elspeth, Knight-Errant, they can get fliers out faster and Mistbind Clique and Vendilion Clique are troublesome too. Mistbind will notably champion a token and tap out our lands during our upkeep while Vendilion takes out our removal. To get around this you have to play around the counters and try to get early threats out; Qasali Pridemage is our friend here to take out the Bitterblossoms and the Day of Judgment is to get rid of the tokens.

Fish/Merfolk MonoU/UW
Merfolk is what I consider the Aggro/Midrange deck of the format, and it can get out of hand very quickly. Most notably a hard match up for us since they can easily put out 4/4's with counterspells up and alpha strike us with Cryptic Command. What I would consider is that when we go to game 2 we side in the Oversoul of Dusk and Day of Judgment. Depending on the build, if its UW we have to worry about Reveillark and Glen Elendra Archmage.

Ooze Combo GB
Wow this deck came out of nowhere fast thanks to the deckbuilding mastermind of Conley Woods. The main card to look at here is the new combo card in almost all formats: Necrotic Ooze. I watched how the combo works and it all focuses around this guy. He can get in for lethal by the Quillspike plus Devoted Druid in the graveyard combo, infinite mana as well as wiping out our field with Grim Poppet by removing the -1/-1 counter it gets off Devoted Druid, and it can also fetch up as many creatures it wants the same way with Devoted Druid and Fauna Shaman in the graveyard. It also has the ability to go into a land destruction set up with Acidic Slime and Fulminator Mage. So how do we view this new beast of a deck? Actually looking over our list so far, it does not actually look that bad. Our main deck has Oblivion Rings and Path to Exiles, and we have Oversoul of Dusk and Runed Halo in the sideboard to deal with Quillspike and Necrotic Ooze. However more testing is needed to test against this awesome new archetype. I will say that the main focus is to exile the graveyard as often as possible, most notably the heart of the deck isn't Necrotic Ooze but Devoted Druid. If you can get rid of the Druid in the yard most of the deck falls apart since Necrotic Ooze can't go off.

Ok, Jalira, Master Polymorphist is back in the spot light in the guise of a UB Control deck. With only two creatures in the form Emrakul, the Aeons Torn you wonder how the deck can run Jalira, Master Polymorphist, well it helps when you have Bitterblossom to produce tokens, as well as Mutavault, Khalni Garden, and Creeping Tar Pit to make tokens or to create manlands for Jalira, Master Polymorphist to target. But to ignore one finisher for now opens up to another in the form of Jace, the Mind Sculptor. With Bitterblossom, the opponent can easily create blockers to stall us from destroying Jace and letting Jace get to his ultimate is a very big problem. I have faced a lot of Jalira, Master Polymorphist decks and the best way to deal with it is patience. You always let them target the creature first then deal with that in response. Mostly the deck isn't that worrisome due to the fact that our deck has multiple ways to deal with tokens with Path to Exile and Jace with Pithing Needle and Oblivion Ring.

Kellen Huber

@cavemankellen on Twitter

2 thoughts on “Extended GW Midrange

  1. I actually really like the base of this build. I had taken a similar starting point, and moved into a Countryside Crusher/KotR NayaShift build. Realms Uncharted is a house in it, but the build requires too many slots for it’s focus, reducing the opportunity for a control mode, and limiting available slots for boarding in answers. Buhao!

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