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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:35 am 
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As we all know, in EDH, one of the most popular playstyles is snowballing resource generators -especially of cards and mana- and playing more and more stuff each turn. Most EDH decks have elements of that.

Werewolf deck acts on half of it's power unless it's wolves are transformed at the beginning of it's upkeep.

For werewolves to be transformed, there has to be a turn during which nobody have casted a spell, and after that, no turns during which a player have casted two spells.

When players are sometimes ramping to 8 mana on turn 4, and routinely using Bident of Thassa, Necropotence, Skullclamp, Edric, Spymaster of Trest etc, that's highly unlikely.

Any solutions ?

(I mean, Immerwolf as commander is the best one :V , but still ?)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:22 pm 
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In my experience, as a Werewolf tribal EDH pilot, there are four solutions/mitigations to this:

1)Give your werewolves flash so you can take your own turn off to flip them. Yes that's not ideal in terms of actually attacking with them, but if you are able to keep taking your turns off you both force one of your opponents to have 2 spells to cast in a single turn on each turn cycle and force every other opponent in the rest of that turn cycle to always cast at least one spell for the rest of the turn cycle. Note that sometimes this cooperation by your opponents to keep your werewolves tame doesn't always happen for two reasons: a)Someone has an activated ability that they want to sink mana into rather than cast a spell; b)you are running an underpowered tribe and your opponents have to select other play lines in order to deal with other decks that are doing more abstractly powerful things. See things like Yeva, Nature's Herald.

2)Run cards to put werewolves into the battlefield without actually casting them so that they can transform on the next player's turn even though they just came out (assuming nobody else cast any spells that particular turn). See things like Elvish Piper (which actually also falls into category 1) and Hibernation's End.

3)In addition to werewolves, play other spells that either give you bonuses explicitly for opponents casting spells, or hurt them for doing the same. Things like Forgotten Ancient and Ruric Thar give you extra value even if your opponents aren't cooperating in letting your werewolves flip.

4)Play politics/make deals. Say to someone, "If you take your turn off casting spells I'll help you do X."

In my experience, 4) works surprisingly well if you are actually running the amusingly much maligned Ulrich of the Krallenhorde/Ulrich, Uncontested Alpha as your commander because "X" becomes "Kill that creature that's threatening you/the rest of the table." Offering up a free kill spell that the bribee doesn't have to spend mana or a card for is a powerful motivator.

If you want ideas my werewolf deck is below. It can actually do some pretty silly things, but I've been meaning to update it with more ramp and card draw to make it more consistent as it can also sometimes durdle around not doing much of anything. I mean, yeah, all EDH decks will have that to some extent due to the inherently random nature of a 100 card singleton pile, but I think I can make it better.

https://forum.nogoblinsallowed.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14194


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:56 am 
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1 and 2 could work in duel commander, but in multiplayer, they just won't.
3 isn't going to work either - most people treat effects like that as inevitabile tax you always pay and/or as an annoying threat to destroy. Basically, nobody is going to stop casting spells due to Forgotten Ancient - either they'll ignore it or kill it.
4 is flimsy - you'll have to always ally with a previous player in turn progression... and they'll have total control over your main plan.

I think there could be a Naya werewolf deck that plays Rule of Law, Eidolon of Rhetoric, and all good Naya land destuction, including stuff like Armageddon and Razia's Purification.

In theory, killing most mana sources of a previous player should be enough... but I think that in practice, it'll lead to that player scooping.

There could be a Jund werevolves version that would focus on discard and Death Cloud effects.

Basically, when playing werevolves in EDH, a sure way is to stop your opponents from casting spells. Which nobody likes. Or to convince them to stop casting spells. Which nobody likes.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:19 pm 
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If you had a reliable way to take extra turns, you could always use the extra turn to flip your wolves.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:56 pm 
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I'm not saying these strategies will work every time, I'm saying they work often enough to make the deck relevant to the table.
I'll admit, the subtle power of the deck took me by surprise too when I first started playing it. I just wanted to build werewolves and was content with the fact that it wouldn't be the strongest thing at the table. That doesn't mean I didn't try to make it as good as I could, hence the four strategies I mentioned, but I didn't expect them to work as well as they have. That's not to say the deck is necessarily a powerhouse, but the strength of the synergies in practice is more than they appear at first glance on paper.

One other key with the werewolf deck is knowing when to switch between offense and defense. This may be true for any deck, but for a werewolf deck the effect is extremely swingy.
Also, the deck isn't entirely werewolves. The werewolves provide the swing, but by sprinkling in a few solid red/green cards you raise the floor level of your board state from underpowered (for werewolves on their untransformed sides) to perfectly acceptable.

My meta's not cutthroat, but it's not complete jank either, I assure you, all of these strategies do work to a certain extent.

You have to remember that in a 4 player game there are two other enemies for other players to worry about than you.
If the werewolf deck happens to not be doing much at the moment, the opponents tend to look more at eachother in terms of threats. Sure you'll take some incidental damage if you're completely open, but this is a creature deck and it generally has some form of board presence so it shouldn't often be totally shields down during combat. Remember that the defender has the advantage in combat, so if you're not presenting a threat, but you're also not completely helpless, it's not really in anybody's interest to bother you. They can kill you later (or so they think, and sometimes they're right, but sometimes they're not...). Meanwhile, strategies 1 and 2 apply quiet pressure that can give you occasional big turns here and there to really shake up the board state. 1 and 2 are subtle in the pressure they present. It's not obvious but it's gradual and continual and it will give you openings. The concept may appear to work only in duel commander, but it does help in multiplayer too.

Regarding both 3 and 4, there are times when the table just doesn't have an answer for a huge threat, yours or someone else's. You may be tempted to say "play more removal scrub," but that's simply not paying respect to the random nature of a 99 card singleton deck. Yes decks need some amount of removal, but it's not always going to show up when you (or someone else) wants it to.

3 is admittedly not generally a way to get people to let your werewolves flip, but it does provide you with a solid body that keeps you relevant in the game no matter which face of your werewolves is up. It's a win/win situation for you (or at least you can mitigate the loss, depending on how you look at it): If they cast spells some of your critters get bigger, if they don't cast spells your other critters transform (and get bigger). Sure the goal is generally to get your werewolves to flip, but the "punisher" creatures provide a great stopgap in between those turns where you have your werewolves on their decidedly more slobbery side. Also, sometimes a Forgotten Ancient or a Taurean Mauler can just go unchecked for a few turns. Use those openings to your advantage whatever the board state dictates that might be.

For 4, let me pose this scenario: Have you ever been in a game of commander where someone drops a card that is either a serious threat or threatens to snowball into one? Trick question, that's most turns of every game in commander. How about having that happen and nobody happens to have a removal spell that turn cycle? Maybe people haven't been hitting their card draw effects to keep their hands stocked, maybe it's a follow up to a board wipe, maybe the game has turned into archenemy and one guy has a hand of 20 cards and you're all struggling to hang on for dear life. Having an on-demand kill spell on the battlefield in the form of your commander is more potent than you're giving it credit for. Just because a player has a spell they can cast doesn't mean that they flat out ignore your offer. An EDH deck is full of cards that have different purposes, and if the card that is needed right now is a kill spell for that one stupid creature that's going to make the game go pear shaped plenty of people will take you up on your offer. Remember that in making this offer you are also giving the bribee virtual card advantage in that they didn't have to spend any cards to get rid of a threat to them on the table. Yes they may be giving up some board progression, but that's not the only factor one should be cognizant of in a game of EDH.


The Naya, Jund, and Temur strategies you have suggested are all fine options if you want to go that route. Just don't be surprised if certain strategies get a deck banned by your playgroup for being unfun.



I'm not saying that my build of a werewolf deck and my description of these tactics is extremely powerful. I'm saying that it's enough to be relevant to the board and can still do its thing sometimes, which, in my opinion, is enough for a good time.


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