Magic the Gathering Event Deck: Rush of the Wild
by Stevie Wise
The Event Deck released for the Magic 2014 Core Set is “Rush of the Wild,” a ready to play 60 card deck plus a sideboard of 15 cards. “Rush of the Wild” focuses on the Red and Green Gruul Guild introduced in the Gatecrash expansion set along with several cards from the Magic 2014 release. To tell you the truth I haven’t fully played through this deck against a suitable opponent; usually with most Event Deck releases two different sets are released and you can get a real feel for each deck by playing them against each other. In M14’s case it is just one.
This deck does try to replicate some of the Green and Red decks that have floated around the Standard tournament scene since Gatecrash was released. Its power comes from a nice mana generation base provided by Elvish Mystic and a bunch of powerful one and two mana cost uncommons: Rakdos Cackler, Kalonian Tusker and Burning-Tree Emissary (perhaps one of my favorite MtG cards of the last five years) a creature that adds mana back after being cast and acts like a free creature. This Event Deck primarily focuses on the Bloodrush mechanic introduced in Gatecrash: creature cards that can be discarded for usually a cheaper mana cost to add a boost to one of your attacking creatures. Ghor-Clan Rampager forms the backbone of these cards (with four included) that can be cast as a regular 4/4 trample creature or give one of your attacking creatures +4/+4 and trample for only two mana! Discarding a creature card to activate the Bloodrush ability does not count as a spell, so it can’t be countered normally (but your creature can be destroyed or bounced to your hand before it takes effect.)
The deck advertises 10 different Rares with the “big daddy” in this set being a land: Stomping Ground from Gatecrash. This dual Forest Mountain “Shock Land” (it deals two damage to you if you allow it to enter the battlefield untapped) is a staple for any green and red deck and every tournament quality deck has its own regiment of different “Dual” lands. With this particular card selling for around $10 the majority of this Event Deck’s value is contained in one card. M14 has skipped featuring “Dual” lands
altogether so it’s certainly a card to stockpile for the next year and beyond especially if you don’t feel like opening up any more Gatecrash packs.
The next best rare in the set is a new release from M14: Ogre Battledriver. With cards like Elvish Mystic for mana generation, getting this Ogre on the Battlefield before turn four can spell certain doom for your opponents. The Battledriver gives units entering on your side a +2 to their power and Haste which allows them to attack the turn they come into play. I think this card is slightly underrated at the moment and will make a big splash in Standard play over the next year. If anything this deck could have used a second Battledriver to really drive home the hurt against your opponents with the abundance of cheap creatures.
Two Soreceries are rares as well: Mizzum Mortars which deals a cool four damage to an oppoent’s creature (or can be cast for its Overload cost to deal it to all of their creatures) and Clan Defiance which can spit out damage to three different targets. Mizzum Mortars is much more versatile than Clan Defiance and can be cast in conjunction with a Burning-Tree Emissary very easily.
The other rares included are nothing to write home about. Two utilize the Bloodrush mechanic, Pyrewild Shaman and Wrecking Ogre, and two others, Rubblebelt Raiders and Wild Beastmaster boost either themselves or your other creatures while attacking. Deadbridge Goliath from Return to Ravnica features the Scavenge mechanic (exiling it from your graveyard to add +1/+1 counters on a creature you control) but seems very out of place among a deck with so many low cost creatures. If a second Ogre Battledriver was included I wish it had taken the spot of this card.
Savaging Summoning has summoned itself into the sideboard: a “can’t be countered” instant that allows your next creature card to be cast at any time, enter with an extra counter and “can’t be countered” may seem like an alright card for now but I can see many players turning to it over the next year and experimenting with it in many different decks.
Much of the strength of this deck lies in its Uncommons: a playset of 4 Ghor-Clan Rampagers, 2 Elvish Cacklers, 2 Kalonian Tuskers and 2 Burning-Tree Emissaries. Two Dryad Militants are included as well but seem relatively out of place. I would have rather seen a few more Burning-Tree Emissaries rounding out the bunch.
The Sideboard (15 cards that you have the option of adding in-between tournament level games) is entirely Sorcery and Instant cards with much of it devoted to Red burn and damage spells.
One complaint I have with the deck is that is doesn’t really feature the 2014 Core Set. Only about a dozen of the cards are from M14 with most coming from the easrlier Gatecrash expansion. Ogre Battledriver is a nice addition, but I feel like a few other M14 creatures could have been added, perhaps Young Pyromancer. With an entire Sideboard of Instant and Sorcery Spells the Pyromancer could have been a fun addition with it pumping out a cool Elemental token with each cast. Previous Green-based
Event Decks have included a Thragtusk, a creature that dominated Standard decks for the last year. “Rush of the Wild” lacks any serious bomb creature cards; perhaps something like Scavenging Ooze could have added some serious “wow” factor to this set. Wizards released an alternate Scavenging Ooze as a promo for purchasing Duels of the Planeswalkers for the iPad, so it’s not like they’re against releasing that card outside of buying booster packs.
Each card in the deck (similar to just about all Magic cards in pre-assembled decks) has a slightly glossier
finish than the usual card pulled out of a sealed booster pack. It’s a minor difference and really only noticeable at close inspection.
Overall this Event Deck is a decent pick-up if you’re an introductory player looking to get more serious into the game or if you’re a slightly more experienced player who has taken a break from the game for the last year or two. If you’re an experienced player you likely have most of the Uncommons that power this deck so the chance to get a Stomping Ground to round out a playset is your best prospect for purchasing this deck, or want to try out Ogre Battledriver in a new deck.
Overall I would give this release a C+. It lacks the serious “bomb” cards of previous Green Event Decks and it’s kind of unfortunate there wasn’t another deck released alongside it…maybe an Event Deck featuring all the fun Sliver creatures re-introduced in M14? The value of the cards included seems to add up pretty close to the retail value of this set ($20-$25) so don’t expect it to disappear off the shelves within days like previous Event Decks that included a crazy value in Rare cards.