In the beginning I wanted to showcase Nature’s Lore. The card really do seem great to me. I ended up swtiching them for the Moxes / Birds of Paradise I would normally play in an Aggro deck and never regretted it ! (I do put Moxes and BoPs both in the same category for aggro, I have my reasons, one of them being that Birds are an excellent card too : until the busted Deathrite Shaman took its place at the top of the mana dork ladder it was played in Legacy) Three main causes for that choice : 1) it allowed me to play 5 colors and have all the fast and efficient commodities or just most of the broken cards that every color my deck plan allowed to play; 2) Armageddon, Winter Orb and other Prison strategies don’t see much play in a format full of mana acceleration and “rock mana” and 3) last but not least, it’s not as dead later on like a dumb Mox (though a BoP isn’t as dumb and can chump block once) : it combines with Sylvan Library into what you might call a +1.67 card filtering expected value or something like that, that is : it shuffles with your Sylvan Library in play.
So like I wrote in my introduction to the format, the card, while usually not playable turn 1, is still great acceleration since it effectively costs 1, considering that the forest it fetches isn’t put into play tapped. Since we have the original duals too, the card also fixes our mana in colour. For instance, a reasonable game plan for this deck would be turn 1 Savannah Lions, turn 2 land, Nature’s Lore to fetch a Taïga, Kird Ape. Turn 3 you’ve ramped and you hopefully can play a decent fattie like an Erhnam or a Su-Chi. Once you’ve got the mana you need you usually want to keep your Nature’s Lore in hand : you want to try to shuffle away two unuseful cards that you’ve put back with a Sylvan Library. This is all part of Green becoming a real old school color there people. I guess that’s the real plan, beyond the three reasons stated above. There are other Ice Age cards that make that happen, but this one is by far the more underrated and underused of the lot (also it doesn’t push you into a RG direction the way Tinder Wall, Orcish Lumberjack and Stormbind do). So let’s see how it does..
Game 2, turn 1 : Taïga, Kird Ape, Lotus for blue, Ancestral on me, Sol Ring, Time Walk. Ok that’s now 4 of the best cards ever, played in one turn. This went well, as you can imagine. 2-0
Shawn doesn’t have duals, so it’s not heroic of me to put him out of green mana by targeting his forests, but that works. But it’s his Black Vises that are the real liabilities there as the cards does close to nothing to my deck unless he’d have a Blood Moon, which he totally resolves game 2, making his lack of duals a bit less painful I guess. 2-1
Olga is playing Moxes, and of the most beautiful kind too, and she starts hard and fast with her Deadguy Ale deck to take game 1 in 5 minutes stat. Game 2 : surprise ! She plays The Abyss. I don’t understand how considering she played a hippy and a Vampire in our first game, so I’m quite puzzled and must give a lion away. I still take the lead after getting rid of it but she stablizes.. thx to a Juzám Djinn ! So I hope to let her die like that but I draw well and win by overload. Game 3 she starts with a Library of Alexandria which I don’t have an answer for so things are looking grim. But she has no other mana sources it seems. Can I race her despite her very active Ivory Tower ? By the time I get rid of the LoA, she has a lot of cards and find a Mox Pearl. Which means she can play StPs on consecutive fatties. Finally we end up on a not too dissimilar situation as the one in game 2, she stabilizes, but loses one to her djinn. What followed was too cool of a game for me to sum-up. Watch it.
I’m very happy to see a combo deck exploiting the possibilities offered by Ice Age, in this case a recursive Timetwister deck based on the Timetwister + Forgotten Lore combo (add another green Ice Age card to the roster). Unfortunately since his card drawing engine is a creature (Verduran Enchantress), that makes it quite fragile, and I’m careful to kill those asap. 2-0
That’s quite new, an Eron the Relentless deck it would seem ! No matter how new, this went out quite fast game 1, with an Orcish Lumberjack involved. Then we don’t realize he can’t have two of those since they’re legendary, but I still won the game anyways. Game 2, despite an Ancestral followed by libraries of the Alexandria and Sylvan kind, I still get killed before putting all that to profit. Game 3 he doesn’t develop ideally in terms of permanent mana sources but still puts me quite down thanks to Ball Lightnings and a Berserk. I have to contend myself with playing my Spirit Link on a disposable Kird Ape. That’s not the plan ! But that still buys me precious time. That was tight. 2-1
This deck could easily be translated into a working powerless version. While it would seem like you could put the blue aside in that case, I don’t think that’s such a good idea : Energy Flux is a crucial card (and improved a bit by the absence of any Mox and to a lesser extent of that of the Lotus). As for replacements there are many options, a BoP or two for the mana. I also like to have one Power Sink : if they see it game 1, this might alter the way they play game 2 in your favor. Serendib Efreet though, is badly positioned, since we’re ramping to 3 mana hoping to get 4 on the next turn, so not exactly our main plan to play a turn 2 or 3 efreet. That’s not a big deal, the lions and the apes have the same life swing tally than a Serendib after all. An additional Sylvan Library and an additional Demonic Consultation since they’d work very well together too, and compensate a bit for the loss of Ancestral Recall.