M14: The Gladecover Scout deck

The Gladecover Scout deck involves putting Auras on a Gladecover Scout or a Witchstalker and smashing in with a large hexproof creature. I’ve been meaning to try this deck out for a while, but haven’t yet been willing to prioritize Gladecover Scouts highly enough, and this deck obviously does not work without them. A friend recently assured me that this is a strong deck, so I will try to give it a shot at some point and report back. Meanwhile, the goal of this post is to figure out what colors this deck usually is and which other cards I’ll need to prioritize when attempting to draft this archetype.

This spreadsheet lists all the Auras, global enchantments, instants, sorceries, and planeswalkers that can enhance a creature’s power/toughness or grant it additional abilities, whether temporarily or permanently. Green and white have the most cards that go in this archetype, but black also offers some key cards at uncommon, especially Mark of the Vampire, which can make it very difficult for your opponent to race.

  • Green (permanent effects): Hunt the Weak, Trollhide, Oath of the Ancient Wood (rare), Primeval Bounty (mythic)
  • Green (temporary effects): Giant Growth, Ranger’s Guile, Enlarge (uncommon)
  • White (permanent effects): Divine Favor, Blessing (uncommon), Indestructibility (rare), Path of Bravery (rare), Ajani Caller of the Pride (mythic)
  • White (temporary effects): Fortify, Show of Valor
  • Blue: Zephyr Charge, Illusionary Armor (uncommon)
  • Black: Dark Favor, Mark of the Vampire
  • Red: Lightning Talons, Shiv’s Embrace (uncommon)
  • Artifact: Accorder’s Shield (uncommon), Fireshrieker (uncommon), Door of Destinies (rare), Haunted Plate Mail (rare)

Looking more closely at the cards listed above, it seems that this deck should usually be G/B, with Trollhide and Mark of the Vampire being the key commons, as well as Ranger’s Guild if you are running several creatures without hexproof to complement your Gladecover Scouts. At other rarities, Oath of the Ancient Wood, Primeval Bounty, and the artifacts listed can also contribute to a strong deck. The deck is also happy to splash white, blue, and red for Divine Favor, Illusionary Armor, and Lightning Talons respectively.

When playing this deck, you need to be very careful to not walk into Celestial Flare when either attacking or blocking. Shrivel can also be an issue if your Gladecover Scout is enchanted only with Lightning Talons and/or Indestructibility. This, along with the fact that you won’t always draw Gladecover Scout (or be willing to try to mulligan to it) means that the deck also needs other creatures. The deck generally wants to run cheaper creatures so it can put an Aura on them and start attacking, so here are the 1-3 mana creatures in green and black that seem to be good candidates for this archetype:

  • 1cc: Elvish Mystic, Festering Newt, Tenacious Dead (uncommon)
  • 2cc: Child of Night, Corpse Hauler, Predatory Sliver, Gnawing Zombie (uncommon), Manaweft Sliver (uncommon), Voracious Wurm (uncommon), Scavenging Ooze (rare)
  • 3cc: Brindle Boar, Rootwalla, Lifebane Zombie (rare), Syphon Sliver (rare), Witchstalker (rare)

Blightcaster is also a key card since the deck already runs several Auras. If the deck has sufficient mana fixing, other cards from the enchantments and lifegain decks can also be included.

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