MTG March of the Machine: Aftermath available now!
   Sign In
Create Account

Four Wolf-Filled Takes on Saskia the Unyielding


I've had a lot of fun building for other people the last few weeks, and I hope you've gotten something out of it. I encourage you to build for other people - and have others build for you - because you're likely to learn a lot about how people perceive your play style and get some good ideas you might not have thought of. Not every deck needs Sol Ring!

For today's, I'd like to introduce you to my friend Alex. They're a new friend to me, recently added to my Monday night play group, and asked me if I'd help them with a deck of theirs.

The deck is called "Saskia and her pups," and according to them, "the aim of the deck is to get out at least one of the pup factories and run with it. Ideally, you get out Silverfur Partisan and use instants and multiple targets to buff your own Creatures. Then you use Saskia to get around any tricky opponents in a group while aiming for the weakest opponent." They also pointed out they'd built this deck from their older brothers' collections! Let's take a look at the deck they have. (Quick aside: rather than building a deck, this is more of a deck tech. But that's fun too, and I hope helpful in explaining how to adjust any deck to function better or at least to do what you want!)

We're not going to have space to go into detail about everything for this column, so let's just touch on some of the highlights.

First, kudos for 44 Lands! This deck is going to hit its Land drops and always have the mana it needs to do basically whatever it wants to do. I intend to change some of the Lands around, but I'm going to leave the count where it is. Remember: 40 Lands is a starting point. As often as it is too much, 40 is not enough and should be increased.

Second, there are some great cards in here! Anointed Procession jumps out right away as fantastic any time we want to make tokens. Also, I'm a fan of the Akroma's Memorial; the deck makes so much mana it won't be a problem to cast, and it will often be game over when it sticks.

I like the suite of Planeswalkers. They'll attract a lot of attention, and by-in-large they help us with what we want to do, making pups and pumping them up.

We have very little meaningful ramp here, and jumping ahead would allow us to get the drop on our opponents before they have too much time to set up. We also lack any kind of real card draw or interaction; the deck can't deal with an opposing threat particularly well, definitely can't wipe the board, will probably just roll over (pun intended) to an opposing board wipe, and once we're out of cards, we're topdecking. I think we can adjust those things. The first adjusted version will offer some changes in those areas, but keep the structure of the deck largely intact.

One other thing, though. Because Alex is already running most of the on-color Guildgates, and there are so many more Gates now, I added in a Maze's End package to serve as a backdoor win condition. It's nothing to work toward, but if could be a surprise win in a stalled game.

Saskia Take Two | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

Card Display

The couple of Creature-based ramp spells have been cut, along with some of the less-effective pump spells and several Creatures (including Wren's Run Packmaster, which I like very much but will be hard to cast because of the Elves required). Instead, we have quite a few spells which get us multiple lands like Cultivate and Migration Path. We have a few which grab us Gates to aid with color fixing and push toward that Gate win-con. We got some card draw from stuff like Tocasia's Welcome, Harmonize, and Shamanic Revelation. And we get interaction with In Garruk's Wake (possibly the best Wrath for a deck like this one), Bite Down (the one-sided fights do a good job targeting for Silverfur Partisan), and Rootborn Defenses, which keep us alive through a Wrath of God. Finally, the lands are adjusted for the Maze's End package.

This is a good starting place. With some ramp, draw, and interaction, this deck should behave better while still doing what it wants to do - make pups and cause trouble.

From here, I saw two different potential options. Let's go through them both.

The first is if we want to make Silverfur Partisan the main thrust of the deck. That's a fine goal, because the Partisan is, without a doubt, a strong card. However, if we go all-in on the one-card strategy that isn't our Commander, we have to approach it carefully and specifically. We need to 1) get the card, 2) protect the card, and 3) use the card to further our goals.

We're in b and g, both of which have no problems digging a card out of a deck. So in addition to the Eladamri's Call, we're going to add several more tutors from b to make sure we can hunt down that Partisan and get it into our hand. In many cases, it's cheaper than the tutor, so we won't have any problems casting it, we just need to make sure we have it.

We also really don't want it to die, and if it does, we want to make sure we can get it back. A single unanswered Path to Exile can really ruin our day. So, we've added a number of Instants which protect our grizzled old Wolf, like Emerge Unscathed, Hapatra's Mark, and Shelter. Something like Without Weakness keeps it alive through a Wrath. And should it die, we can get it back with something like Grim Discovery or Unearth.

Finally, we've added several more targeting spells to increase the number of pups we generate. Most of our interaction now targets our own Creatures (the pseudo-fights), and many of our protection spells target as well. We shouldn't have too much trouble building a decent army.

Saskia Take Three | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

This is a fun way to go if you want to stick with the Partisan and the Instants/Sorceries thing. I can see lots of fun interactions at the table where people are desperately trying to get rid of the Silverfur Partisan and it just keeps coming back!

The final way I saw was to build a more traditional Wolves tribal deck with Saskia at the helm. This deck goes wide with tons of Wolf tokens and pumps them up so they're quite the threat. We keep several of the original pieces (the Akroma's Memorial, Assembled Alphas which I like as a finisher, Emmara Tandris to keep our tokens alive) but go in hard on pup generators (Hollowhenge Overlord, Wolfbriar Elemental) and lords (Immerwolf, Vanquisher's Banner). We cut back on some interaction to do this, but we have enough card draw to recover if the board gets wiped, and in the meantime we should be able to throw out a good amount of damage.

Saskia Take Four | Commander | Mark Wischkaemper

Card Display

We'll still do the initial plan - make a bunch of Wolves, then attack the one we can hit while dealing with the trickiest opponent with Saskia.

I hope you've enjoyed this take on Saskia! How do you help people with their decks when they ask? I'd love to hear your tips and trick. Let me know on Facebook or Instagram.

Thanks for reading.

Limited time 30% buy trade in bonus buylist