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Beastcaller Pranksters


In this experiment, with the help of a prankster and a prophet, our savants call themselves beasts.

The idea of a mana-generating creature with haste is pretty interesting. Imagine Llanowar Elves with haste immediately casting another copy of itself on turn one—repeating for as many 1-drops as your opening hand held.

Beastcaller Savant
Beastcaller Savant

Beastcaller Savant costs 2, and its mana can only spent on creatures, but it can generate mana of any color. The problem is that, since it costs 2, it can’t tap for another copy of itself. I suppose a turn-one Llanowar Elves into a turn-two Beastcaller Savant would mean we could cast a second Beastcaller Savant as well on that second turn.

But that’s not what today’s deck is about. Instead, we’ll figure out a way to make Beastcaller Savants summon each other anyway, even if it isn’t on turn one or two.

Turning 1 Mana into 2

In order for one Beastcaller Savant to summon another, we’ll need to turn its 1 mana it produces into 2, right? Well, that’s not impossible, but instead, we’ll be turning 2 mana into 1. Emerald Medallion can reduce the Savant’s cost from 1g to g, meaning the 1 mana another Savant produces will be sufficient.

Emerald Medallion
Centaur Omenreader

Centaur Omenreader is another card that can do this job as long as it’s tapped, and it can help us cast more expensive creatures as well.

Finding Infinite Savants

Casting a 2-mana mana producer as the payoff for our combo doesn’t seem worthwhile. To really go off, we’ll want to cast Savants indefinitely—unfortunately, we can only play four in our deck, and if we tried to reproduce the Savant using something like Llanowar Elves with Concordant Crossroads, we’d have a hard time ensuring we had enough mana-generating creatures in our deck to keep the flow going.

Cloudstone Curio
Tidespout Tyrant

Instead, we’ll just cast the same two Savants back and forth, but that means we’ll have to return one to our hand as we cast the other. Cloudstone Curio can help us out, but I prefer to steer clear of combo staples whenever possible (except maybe the ones I like, but I hate the Curio). Tidespout Tyrant could do the job as well, but it costs 5uuu. Maybe that becomes reasonable with Centaur Omenreader, but the Emerald Medallion won’t help, so I’ll keep the Tyrant on the sidelines.

Glen Elendra Pranksters is a card I don’t think I’ve seen used before. It costs only 4 to the Tyrant’s 8, though it does come with the downside of requiring that we perform the combo on an opponent’s turn. That means we’ll have to add an entirely new element to our combo, but fortunately, there are a couple cards that are already quite powerful that can do the trick.

Glen Elendra Pranksters
Leyline of Anticipation
Prophet of Kruphix

Leyline of Anticipation and Prophet of Kruphix are powerful enough in their own right, so it’s not too much of a downside to have to run them here, though it is unfortunate we won’t be able to perform our combo without one of them. But it is nice that neither has to be a stumbling block to slow us down—the Leyline can be put on the battlefield for free before a player’s turn even begins, and Prophet of Kruphix refunds all of its mana immediately after we pass the turn.

So when we’ve assembled our combo pieces, it performs as follows. Imagine having a turn-zero Leyline of Anticipation, a turn-two Beastcaller Savant, a turn-three Glen Elendra Pranksters, and a turn-four Emerald Medallion, leaving two untapped lands and the untapped savant. Then, during our opponent’s upkeep, we cast another Beastcaller Savant with the first Savant’s mana, triggering the Pranksters to return to our hand the Savant we tapped. We tap the new Savant to cast the one in our hand, returning the one we tapped, and so on.

How to Win

Any ability that triggers from a creature entering the battlefield can now be repeated until we somehow win the game. Purphoros, God of the Forge could work if we play some red. Interestingly, Beastcaller Savant has several relevant creature types. Wirewood Hivemaster cares that the Savant is an Elf, and we can generate infinite 1/1 Insect tokens. Oran-Rief Survivalist cares that the Savant is an Ally and can grow infinitely large. Turntimber Ranger also cares about Allies and can grow infinitely large while also giving us infinite 2/2 Wolf tokens.

Purphoros, God of the Forge
Wirewood Hivemaster
Turntimber Ranger

The cards I actually selected are Soul of the Harvest and Halimar Excavator. Soul of the Harvest will draw us cards to help us find the pieces we need, and though it costs 6, we can cast it as early as turn four with a turn-two Emerald Medallion or Beastcaller Savant and turn-three Centaur Omenreader. Even without a combo, the Soul of the Harvest will accelerate us toward the pieces we need. It’s also quite formidable in combat.

Soul of the Harvest
Halimar Excavator

Halimar Excavator follows the Ally theme, which is a cute addition to a straightforward utility card like the Savant. For only 2 mana, we can turn our infinite Savant loop into infinite mill, so when we enact our combo during an opponent’s upkeep, we can then finally pass priority and let our opponent lose during his or her draw step.

Other Synergies (and Anti-Synergies)

Beck // Call is a card I really like for when I’m planning to cast infinite creatures. For 2 mana—and with the flexibility of making Birds or making Birds and drawing cards—we can turn our infinite creatures into as many cards as we need. The anti-synergy here is that, since we’ll need to perform our combo during an opponent’s turn, thanks to Glen Elendra Pranksters, we won’t be able to cast Beck, as it’s a sorcery. Prophet of Kruphix doesn’t fix this, though Leyline of Anticipation does, so there will be circumstances when Beck // Call is far less useful for us.

Centaur Omenreader, similarly, doesn’t work very well with Prophet of Kruphix. Since the Prophet will untap the Omenreader during our opponent’s untap step, the Centaur will no longer be tapped, and its ability will cease to help us. We’ll either need to be using the Leyline or we’ll need to find a way to tap the Centaur during the opponent’s beginning phase.

Beck // Call
Chord of Calling
Sea Gate Loremaster

Chord of Calling is great because it will help us find the creatures we need at instant speed. Incidentally, it also provides to us a great method for tapping Centaur Omenreader since the Chord is an instant.

Finally, we have a single copy of Sea Gate Loremaster. It felt like a crime to run only eight Allies (though perhaps nine isn’t much better), even if those are all we’ll need to win. The Loremaster can function as an Archivist or better while we’re trying to set up. Especially in a multiplayer game, it becomes much more powerful with Prophet of Kruphix, and as a one-of, it’s great to search up situationally with Chord of Calling.

So if you love mana acceleration with haste, if Allies-light sounds good to you, or if you just like Pranksters, give this deck a try.

Andrew Wilson


fissionessence at hotmail dot com

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