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Briarbridge Mysteries


Briarbridge Patrol
In this experiment, we patrol the byways, empathize with gargadons, and eat all the clues.

Let’s start with Briarbridge Patrol. Its first ability isn’t surprising for an uncommon. We have a Hill Giant–sized green Human that investigates when it hits a creature. The second ability, however, does a pretty solid Dramatic Entrance impression. That’s a 5-mana instant that only lets us drop green creatures, whereas the Patrol lets us drop any color of creature, it only costs 4, and we keep a 3/3 body around. In addition, we can trigger the ability multiple times.

One downside is that we don’t choose when the ability occurs—it has to be during an end step. In addition, we have to sacrifice three Clues, which means spending 6 mana after, you know, having gone through the trouble of making three Clues.

But what if we could avoid spending that 6 mana? If we could do that, we might even be able to trigger the ability on the same turn we cast the Briarbridge Patrol.

Suspended Greatness

So here’s the thing: We don’t actually have to sacrifice the Clues to their own ability. Sacrificing a Clue for any reason will count toward Briarbridge Patrol’s effect. That means we don’t necessarily have to spend 6 to trigger the Dramatic Entrance. In fact, with Krark-Clan Ironworks, we’d actually be generating mana instead of spending it. We won’t be playing the Ironworks, but you get the point.

Greater Gargadon
Krark-Clan Ironworks

Instead, we’ll focus on sacrificing Clues to Greater Gargadon, as one of the two large creatures we’ll be attacking with. The second one will be in a bit of flux. The main elements we’re looking for are Clue makers, Clue sacrificers, and creatures to make it all worthwhile.

Clue Makers

Thraben Inspector Being able to make a Clue for only 1 mana makes this too good an opportunity to pass up.

Weirding Wood I don’t know if these are totally worth it, especially since 3 is kind of a lot when we want to pull everything together as soon as possible, but they do make a Clue, and they also help us cast our bigger creatures if our combo doesn’t come together.

Thraben Inspector
Weirding Wood
Ulvenwald Mysteries

Ulvenwald Mysteries This is another 3-mana green spell that may or may not be worthwhile, but it has the potential to fuel the synergies of the deck and help fire out a Greater Gargadon more quickly—in sacrificing a creature, we make another Clue, which is another permanent toward the Gargadon’s coming off suspend while also helping the Briarbridge Patrol do its thing. Oh, and the 1/1s might be handy to have around as well.

Byway Courier This creature has a built-in Clue when it dies. That might not be as strong as the Thraben Inspector’s ability to bring a Clue with it to the battlefield, but it pulls off overall the same effect if we assume everything’s headed to the graveyard anyway. This doesn’t have as much potential to be powerful as Ulvenwald Mysteries, but it’s consistent, which is often what counts.

Byway Courier
Bygone Bishop

Bygone Bishop This is less consistent than Byway Courier—it doesn’t bring its own Clue and instead requires us to cast more creatures afterward. If we want to go off as quickly as possible, setting ourselves up to have to cast a few creatures after our 3-drop isn’t great, but in a longer game, the Bishop can do a lot of work.

Clue Sacrificers

Of course, we have the aforementioned Greater Gargadon, but it may not always be around to suspend. Having a 9/7 come out to complement whatever we drop off Briarbridge Patrol is nice, but when we don’t have that option, we’ll have Atog around to attack for a bit of damage while setting up the Patrol trigger.

Big Creatures

Again, Greater Gargadon is a given. Let’s take a look at the other creatures we’ll be hoping to make a Dramatic Entrance.

Fierce Empath Oops, this isn’t one of the big ones. Rather, this is yet another 3-drop we’ll want to help ensure we have a big creature to drop in the first place—and that it’s the right one for the job.

Llanowar Elves Okay, I’m losing touch with my category heading here. Llanowar Elves doesn’t fit into any of the deck’s groupings, but I tossed in four copies to further the deck’s focus on a 1-drop (Llanowar Elves, Greater Gargadon, and Thraben Inspector). Also, since I ended up with so many 3-drops, I wanted a way to start casting them as quickly as possible.

Fierce Empath
Llanowar Elves
Worldspine Wurm

Worldspine Wurm Okay, so here’s an actual big creature. Running one Worldspine Wurm will give us an option for when we need to go as big as possible to end the game quickly. It’s also resilient, following up 15 power with 15 more power if anything bad is to happen.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope If we’re afraid of a Wrath of God or similar effect, Avacyn is the way to go. She’s big, though with a Greater Gargadon, they’ll still only deal 17 damage together. But she can block even after she attacks, and the invulnerability is what we’ll be going for if we choose this route with a Fierce Empath.

Avatar of Slaughter This one just looks fun. In addition, we can drop it on our turn to make our opponent attack with everything, opening up the way for our 8/8 with double strike to barge through.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Avatar of Slaughter
Elderscale Wurm

Elderscale Wurm If we’re not in a position to end the game without losing first, this may be the best bet. While Avacyn is the choice for keeping our creatures alive, Elderscale Wurm is the choice for keeping ourselves alive.

Let’s look at what a good game might look like.

Turn one: Land, Greater Gargadon

Turn two: (Gargadon’s time at 9) Land, Thraben Inspector, Thraben Inspector

Turn three: (Gargadon’s time at 8) Land, Ulvenwald Mysteries

Turn four: (Gargadon’s time at 7) Land, Briarbridge Patrol; during the opponent’s turn (before the end step), sacrifice a Thraben Inspector to the Gargadon for a Clue (Gargadon’s time at 6), make a Clue with Ulvenwald Mysteries’s trigger, sacrifice three Clues to the Gargadon and make three 1/1s (Gargadon’s time at 3); drop Worldspine Wurm during the opponent’s end step with Briarbridge Patrol

Turn five: (Gargadon’s time at 2) Sacrifice any two creatures, lands, and/or artifacts (perhaps making more in the process) to cast the Gargadon; attack for 27

So if you are sick of drawing cards with your Clues, if you were looking to dust off your Greater Gargadons and Atogs, or if you just like the feel of making a Dramatic Entrance, give this deck a try.

Andrew Wilson


fissionessence at hotmail dot com

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