Howl & betray 05/03/2023

by wickeddarkman on 05 March 2023

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (15 cards)

Artifacts (1)

Enchantments (3)

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Deck Description

Just three testdecks left before the final look of the deck is registered.

A change occurred in the gruul half where cathodion unexpectedly has beaten break asunder in points and taken the lead.

While I'm happy to see cathodion in the deck I now miss break asunder already, though it might be able to beat it's way back. Odds for that are too damn small though as it is a singleton and because there is only 3 testdecks left, so it might not see play anymore and miss the opportunity of gaining points.

The three last testdecks are:
Adnauseum, Bringscape and lantern control.

Here's the current score so you can make a guess on your own:
(Keep in mind that any of the mutations can only gain a total of 3 extra points)

Some mutations also has several entries:

Acorn harvest #1: 5
Acorn harvest #2: 2
Acorn harvest #3: 1
Acorn harvest #4: 1
Blue elemental Blast #1: 2
Blue elemental Blast #2: 1
Bottle gnomes: 1
Break asunder: 3
Cathodion #1: 4
Cathodion #2: 1
Choking tethers #1: 3
Choking tethers #2: 1
Coast watcher: 1
Deep analysis #1: 7
Deep analysis #2: 4
Deep analysis #3: 1
Elvish fury: 1
Elvish pioneer: 1
Firebolt #1: 5
Firebolt #2: 1
Fog: 1
Foil #1: 9
Foil #2: 2
Foil #4: 1
Force spike 1
Forest: 1
Gorilla shaman: 1
Horned kavu: 1
Island #1: 1
Island #2: 1
Jilt: 1
Killer whale: 2
Living airship: 3
Merchant scroll #1: 4
Merchant scroll #2: 2
Plated spider: 1
Rancor: 2
Ray of command #1: 3
Ray of command #2: 1
Repopulate: 2
Repulse #1: 1
Repulse #2: 1
Rites of refusal #1: 3
Rites of refusal #2: 2
River boa: 2
Rolling thunder #1: 1
Rolling thunder #2: 1
Scrivener #1: 1
Scrivener #2: 1
Sea sprite: 1
Slow motion #1: 1
Slow motion #2: 1
Slow motion #3: 1
Snap: 1
Stone rain #1: 3
Stone rain #2: 3
Stone rain #3: 1
Tangle: 1
Tinder wall: 1
Veiled serpent: 2
Volrath's curse: 1

So what has been going on with these mutations???

Acorn harvest:
Only one out of 4 entries are going to make it into the deck. This was one of the mutations that I focused on early and massively because of the interaction with foil and rites of refusal. While it didn't become the big success that I hoped for at least one has joined the deck which means it may be a card that I try to add more of in later generations.

Blue elemental Blast:
Originally added to support tidal visionary. One has a chance of joining the deck, but the odds for it are in the miracle class.

Bottle gnomes:
The deck is at a stage where even a little lifegain can mean the difference between loosing or winning. It's too late for this mutation to win a slot.

Break asunder:
Since I got rules for how often a mutation gets trialed the only option I had left at destroying artifacts or enchantments was this. It has a really small chance of making it into the deck. If it fails I'll have to use everything else next time.

Sometimes odd mutations sneak into the project because of some unique situations. In this case the mutation was introduced because I got the opportunity of attacking with the cathodion, and if it was blocked I would be able to use the mana to flashback a firebolt, and if it wasn't blocked I'd win. This mutation has risen from being a total underdog mutation to gaining a slot in the deck and so I look forward to try adding more of it in later generations.

Choking tethers:
These were added in an attempt to exploit the single betrayal within the deck. Only one of these stands a chance to gain entry into the deck, but the odds of it are really low.

Coast watcher:
It's flying and it can stop green. It can even interact with tidal visionary. But this time the mutation didn't succeed. Maybe some day in a distant future...

Deep analysis:
Because of this cards synergy with foil and rites of refusal this was trailed with a lot of focus, and it's a success. One will join the deck with certainty, while the other can only be knocked out by a really unlikely competition. Odds are that the deck gets to feature 3 of these.

Elvish fury:
In one game I got to cast this twice every turn. However the play didn't occur again later, so this mutation is out of the competition this time.

Elvish pioneer:
In cases where I got a lot of lands in the hand, this adds to the ramp concept. But so far that event is too rare for this to really matter, so this time around it won't be joining the decklist.

The deck already has 1 of these and this mutation matters enough for the decks synergy that a second one will be joining the list. The third however, is out of the competition.

Sometimes this finds a slot within my evolved builds, but not this time.

Because the deck started out with one deep analysis I saw the possible synergy between it and foil, so I pressed on with several copies, and just one has made it into the deck, but it has done so with extreme success. The other copies will not make it this time, except maybe one more, but it will demand a small miracle for that to happen.

Force spike:
It's not going to enter the deck this time.

It seems like the gruul half has had enough forests for now.

Gorilla shaman:
I tried it out and it failed. For now...

Horned kavu:
At the time that I added this mutation I envisioned how it could bounce creatures like tinder wall or elvish pioneer to get into play fast. However, there isn't enough cheap green creatures in the deck for it to work so far. I had dreams for this card though, so I'll give it a try in future generations.

This time around the deck has been satisfied with the number of islands, but now that foil has entered the deck the need for islands may increase in the future.

I really like this card, but evolution has been rather unimpressed with it. I'll try to add it in the future though.

Killer whale:
So far this is the closest I've gotten to abuse the ramp of the deck. It will take a small miracle for this to join the deck this time, but there is a chance.

Living airship:
This has been another of those surprises that evolution serves me with, it's currently in the deck, but it is in a threatened position, with lots of competition to replace it. I'm rooting for it as it's been a fun mutation. However it's a mutation that might very well die out the second that the blue half gets coupled with something other than green. Because it needs green mana to regenerate. I'm still going to give it the chance if evolution let's it win a slot this time.

Merchant scroll:
It used to be a key part of many a combo deck in the past. On a whim I decided to try it out, and the odds for one of them gaining a slot in the deck seems good. The second may also get there but will demand a miracle. During games this has really messed with my mind as my opponent has reminded me that it can't fetch green cards for about 60 times.

Plated spider:
This could also have been abusing the ramp, but evolution didn't favor it.

I decided to try this out because of the 4 howling wolf in the deck. It will take a miracle for it to join the deck, but it could happen.

Ray of command:
At the time that I tried to add this to the mutations I had two blue blank cards in the hand and needed to remove something nasty, so I used volrath's curse on one of my own creatures, stole the nasty with the ray and attacked with whatever volrath's curse was on so that I sacrificed the nasty. Since then the mutation has actually been decent. It stands a rare chance of joining the deck, and if an insane miracle occurs both may join the deck.

Originally I have tried to add this as a mutation against graveyard themes, but since howling wolf has been part of the deck they've proven that they can die like flies, and so there might be a chance of synergy there. Odds of this mutation making it are not good, but it is there.

The deck already has one, so there was a chance that evolution wanted more of it, but it seems like it won't happen this time.

Rites of refusal:
The whole theme with deep analysis seemed to give this a chance to succeed again. One of them stands a rather low chance of joining the deck, the other needs a miracle. Combined they have an increased chance that at least one is going to make it. The odds of both joining is insane. The odds are there, but holy cow they got to be low.

River boa:
Like so many other cards it needs a miracle to join the deck, and yeah it could happen.

Rolling thunder:
I tried. Evolution hated it. Maybe if the deck gained more mountains, but this is out of the competition.

I know this is loop material in premodern from my ancient past, and I introduced it to actually replay fade away. But the deck is not ready to include any of these.

Sea sprite:
Could be used with tidal visionary and is brilliant against red. But it didn't stand a chance this time.

Slow motion:
As you can see I had high Hopes for this card. I've used it as early as turn 1 via lotus petal, and the synergy with fade away is clear, but this card failed hard to join. Bye bye for now, and I'll try you later.

I did expect to see this in action a lot more, but this apparently wasn't the time for it.

Stone rain:
Two of these still have a chance to join the deck even though odds are low for it to happen, but since there are 2 it's a higher chance than with singletons.

Has been close at joining in the past, but lost again this time.

Tinder wall:
Just checking to see if the deck wanted a re-entry but it seems like the build is satisfied at having just one. I got no idea why evolution clings to that card as a singleton, but it simply does.

Veiled serpent:
The deck already has one, but it will take a miracle for a second to be added.

Volrath's curse:
It took me a while to crack this card, but it can function as a sacrifice outlet if put on some of your own stuff. Despite its synergy with ray of command it hasn't gotten points enough to enter the deck, but it's a card that I will keep in mind.

While each individual mutation stands an abysmal chance of making it into the deck, the combined odds of all of them makes it pretty realistic that one or two might join the deck. As a young teenager I spent a long time at building simulations to study this oddity, and the lesson was simple, enough objects having absurd odds will ensure the event of at least one. This is the key to understanding what miracles really are. It might also explain why gamblers exist in our gene pool. Enough gamblers taking chances means that at least one will be very successful.

I took a small break from the game to gain some mental clarity, but now it's back in the saddle...

The game against Bringscape was lost to a bad hand. As usual I keep bad hands to let evolution work itself out of it. The only mana I had was two lotus petal and so the game was lost fast. I drew into 3 blank blue cards which opened the chance to play a lot of the cards that needed a miracle entry, but in the end I spent the two petals to cycle the veiled serpent in hope of drawing a land.

All of the mutations that needed a miracle to get on the list basically lost out in this game.

That leaves all of the other mutations that had a very low chance.

Just had an exciting game against adnauseam. I managed to cycle the mutation wanting to be a veiled serpent so this card now stands a chance to join the deck. I also cycled choking tethers which was the card I perhaps wanted to draw the least against a creatureless deck, and it now stands a chance of being added. I also managed to use merchant scroll with fewest points to fetch a foil, but I needed to draw another island to be able to play it. Adnauseam won the turn before I could have counterspelled. However, the fetch with merchant scroll gets to count. It can't be blamed for me not having an island in my hand. That's evolutions job to fix that.

Three cards are gaining a good chance of joining the deck.

Next up: lantern control...

One important aspect of this match is that my couple have a ton of shuffle effects which makes it possible to break free of the control element during the early game. My only hope is basically to delay their odds of playing a lantern, but more importantly to prevent ensnaring bridge. With some luck I might be able to use deep analysis to my advantage here.

My opponent starts out strong by playing an island and a codex shredder.
He activates it recklessly, milling a blue blank (number one) it contains the mutations living airship, rites of refusal and the big merchant scroll so the two first mutations are out of the process.

My opening hand is:
Betrayal, 2 island, lay of the land, ophidian, penumbra bobcat and tidal visionary. I play the island and the tidal visionary.

My opponent plays inventors' fair, a pyxis of pandemonium and a pithing needle. We go through some rules. Since flashback is static it cannot be chosen for pithing needle, so my opponent names lotus petal. I breathe a sigh of relief as I might be able to prosper from deep analysis. He exiles with the pyxis.

I draw river boa, play and island, attack and bring him to 19.
This is going way too slow.

My opponent gains a life from inventors fair, going to 20, draws a card, plays a pyrite spellbomb and mills with the pyxis.

I draw deep analysis. Having 6 cards in hand I decide to go for an insane move. To hoard up cards to be able to discard the deep analysis. I attack for 1.

Opponent goes back to 20 life. Draws a card. Cracks the spellbomb for another draw. Plays a glimmer void and casts thoughtseize and takes away my ophidian and the grand plan of ever discarding that deep analysis. Activate pyxis, go.

I draw a green blank (number 3) which contain only one useful mutation. Cathodion. If only I had some mana. I attack, bringing my opponent down to 17.

Opponent goes back to 18 life, draw and plays darkslick Shores which enters tapped. Activate pyxis, go.

I draw and play an island. I play cathodion. I attack the opponent down to 17.

Opponent goes back to 18. Draw and plays academy ruins. Use all 4 lands to cast whir of invention. Finding and playing that cursed lantern of insight. Shit! Since my top card is a forest, he mills it with the shredder. This reveals a second forest which he exiles with pyxis (losing a mox opal from his own top) on my top there is a lotus petal. Go.

I draw the damn petal, revealing a land grant on my top. I go face smashing with cathodion and the tidal visionary. Opponent at 14 life.

Opponent goes back up to 15 life. Draw and plays a glimmer void casting whir of invention searching for and playing an ensnaring bridge. The bastard use pyxis on my land grant revealing green blank number 4, which contains the only mutation that can break me free. He mills it with the codex shredder. That seals the game...

The final look of the deck will be revealed soon...

It's described in the generation 2.

Deck at a Glance

Social Stats


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Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Not Legal in Modern
  • Not Legal in Vintage
  • Not Legal in Legacy

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