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Regeneration Nation

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Aggressive decks come in all shapes and sizes, and many of them can be quite budget-friendly. Rather than winning with powerful rares like many midrange and control decks do, aggressive decks often rely on an assortment of strong uncommons. With many control decks relying heavily on Supreme Verdict to stop the onslaught of aggressive decks, I decided to take advantage of some already effective creatures that have the ability to regenerate and survive the board wipe, including a strong uncommon from Gatecrash: Experiment One.

The Creatures

Experiment One
Experiment One seems to be an ideal 1-drop for green aggro decks. Its counter-adding ability rivals that of Champion of the Parish, and it lacks the type restriction. It can even remove counters to save itself from Supreme Verdict, making it easier to close out games against control decks.

Dryad Militant gives you another creature that can attack for 2 on turn two, starting your assault off strong. The extra power also lets it evolve Experiment One. The Dryad's ability shuts down any Snapcaster Mage tricks, and it makes Lingering Souls half as effective. Against some decks, keeping this creature alive may even be more important than pushing in a bit of extra damage.

Lotleth Troll is another creature that can shake off a Supreme Verdict and keep rumbling in for damage. The ability to discard creatures to make the Troll larger makes combat extremely difficult for your opponent, but it can create difficult decisions for you as well. Correctly weighing the value of a creature card in your hand against a +1/+1 counter on your creature isn't always easy, but some practice with the deck will help you come to the correct decision.

Strangleroot Geist
Strangleroot Geist doesn't regenerate, but undying is even better. If it hasn't been killed yet, Strangleroot Geist will come back from a Supreme Verdict even stronger than it was before. Since the Geist enters the battlefield as a 2/1 and comes back as a 3/2 when it dies, it can also potentially evolve Experiment One twice all on its own.

Dreg Mangler is a hasty threat that can surprise your opponent with some extra damage and show him that he has much less time than he thought to find an answer. Although it doesn't survive removal and sweepers as many of the other creatures do, it does give you additional value when it dies, letting you put 3 +1/+1 counters on one of your creatures with scavenge.

Wolfir Avenger can dodge counterspells thanks to flash and survive sweepers and removal with its regeneration ability. Although it costs 2 mana to regenerate, it's often not particularly difficult to leave that open with the deck's low mana curve, and flash helps shrink the Avenger's window of vulnerability.

Deadbridge Goliath gives you a large top-end threat that can crush most creatures in the format. If it does die, you can pay 6 mana to make one of your other creatures even more gigantic, turning it into a 7/6 or larger. With Rancor to add trample, this card makes you quite difficult to stop.

The Spells

Rancor
Rancor gives your creatures trample and a power boost, making them deal significantly more damage to your opponent. A 2-power creature may not seem like a big threat, but turn it into a 4-power creature with trample, and suddenly, it's a force to be reckoned with. A 4/1 trampling Strangleroot Geist is particularly dangerous since killing it off will leave your opponent with a 5/2 to deal with. Even if he has small creatures to trade off, he'll be taking a significant amount of damage from trample in the process.

Abrupt Decay is a fairly solid removal spell at the moment, thanks largely to the popularity of Boros Reckoner. As one of the few spells that can effectively deal with the Minotaur, Abrupt Decay is a very valuable tool in the current Standard environment.

Tragic Slip also deals with Boros Reckoner if you can arrange for morbid to be active. In fact, it deals with almost anything, from Griselbrand to Olivia Voldaren. Speaking of Vampires, it’s also an effective tool for taking out Falkenrath Aristocrat. The -1/-1 effect is enough to kill the 4-power creature, and sacrificing a Human will only turn on morbid, making the Aristocrat get -13/-13 instead.

The Sideboard

Golgari Charm
Illness in the Ranks prevents control decks from stalling you with Lingering Souls—for only 1 mana. Permanently shutting down one of your opponent's best defensive cards is more than worth it at that price.

Golgari Charm can also deal with tokens, but the primary mode is enchantment destruction. With extremely few artifacts in the format, it's almost a direct upgrade to Naturalize, helping you get rid of everything from Detention Sphere to Ethereal Armor.

Devour Flesh gives you another removal option, one that's particularly effective against creatures with hexproof such as Geist of Saint Traft. Like your other removal spells, it's an instant, allowing you to leave 2 mana open and be able to regenerate a creature or kill one, depending on your opponent's actions.

Knight of Infamy is a powerful threat against white decks. It's difficult, if not impossible, to kill, and it can swing in for 3 every turn unmolested while your other creatures hold the line. It can also be used as a blocker, making a very effective deterrent while your largest creature charges in with the bonus from exalted.

Tormod's Crypt gives you an out against the Angel of Glory's Rise decks, interrupting that combo for no mana and without harming your Rancors and Strangleroot Geists.

Playtesting

Jund – Game 1

Dryad Militant
My opponent won the roll, and I kept a hand of Golgari Guildgate, Swamp, Forest, Strangleroot Geist, Dreg Mangler, Rancor, and Wolfir Avenger. He played Overgrown Tomb and passed the turn. I drew Evolving Wilds, played my Guildgate, and passed back.

He played Blood Crypt and passed. I drew Dryad Militant, played my Forest, and cast Strangleroot Geist. I attacked for 2 and ended my turn.

My opponent played a Forest and cast Bonfire of the Damned for 1, killing my Geist. I drew Deadbridge Goliath, played a Swamp, and cast Dreg Mangler. I swung in for 6 and passed the turn.

My opponent played Kessig Wolf Run and cast Huntmaster of the Fells, going up to 14 and making a Wolf token. I drew Wolfir Avenger, enchanted Strangleroot Geist with Rancor, and attacked. My opponent traded Huntmaster for the Geist and chump-blocked the Mangler with the Wolf token, taking 3 trample damage. I cast Dryad Militant, played Evolving Wilds, and passed the turn.

My opponent cast another Huntmaster of the Fells, and I cracked Evolving Wilds at the end of his turn for a Forest. I drew Dryad Militant and enchanted Dreg Mangler with Rancor before attacking with both creatures. My opponent traded his Wolf token for Dryad Militant and dropped to 8 from the Mangler. I passed the turn.

My opponent killed my Dreg Mangler with Dreadbore, then cast Farseek for a Stomping Ground and ended his turn. I cast Wolfir Avenger during his end step and drew another Dryad Militant. I cast Rancor on the Avenger and dropped my opponent to 3. I passed the turn.

My opponent cast Thragtusk, going up to 8, and passed the turn. I cast my second Wolfir Avenger during his end step. I drew Golgari Guildgate, played it, and attacked with the Avengers. Thragtusk blocked the non-trampling one, and I regenerated it. My opponent dropped back to 3, making a Beast token. Not wanting Huntmaster of the Fells to transform, I cast Dryad Militant before ending my turn.

Bonfire of the Damned
Instead, I was treated to a miracled Bonfire of the Damned, and without 2 mana to regenerate my Avenger, it wiped out my army. I drew a Forest, played it, and cast Deadbridge Goliath and Dryad Militant. I passed the turn.

My opponent cast Garruk, Primal Hunter, made a Beast, and passed the turn. I drew Wolfir Avenger, put Rancor on my Deadbridge Goliath, and attacked with it. My opponent traded his two Beast tokens for it and dropped to 2. I passed the turn.

He cast Liliana of the Veil, making me sacrifice my Dryad Militant. He cast Arbor Elf, made a Beast token, then played a land and passed. I cast Wolfir Avenger at the end of his turn. I drew Lotleth Troll and put Rancor on the Avenger. I attacked, and my opponent was forced to throw his Beast token and Huntmaster in front of my creature. I regenerated the Avenger, then cast Lotleth Troll and passed the turn.

My opponent cast Olivia Voldaren and used Garruk to draw three cards. He shot Lotleth Troll, which I regenerated, then killed my Avenger with Abrupt Decay and passed the turn. I drew a Forest, played it, and put Rancor on my Troll. I scavenged my Deadbridge Goliath to make it a 9/6 and attacked for the win.

Game 2

Abrupt Decay
I kept a hand of Golgari Guildgate, Forest, Experiment One, Lotleth Troll, Dreg Mangler, Deadbridge Goliath, and Rancor. My opponent played a Blood Crypt and passed, and I drew Experiment One, played my Forest, and cast it.

He played Rootbound Crag and cast Farseek for a Stomping Ground, and I drew Lotleth Troll. I cast Experiment One, played my Guildgate, and passed the turn.

My opponent played Kessig Wolf Run, then cast Bonfire of the Damned for 1 to kill my Oozes. He cast an Arbor Elf and passed the turn. I drew Rancor, cast Lotleth Troll, and passed.

My opponent killed the Troll with Abrupt Decay, attacked for 1 with the Elf, and ended his turn. I drew Dreg Mangler, cast my other Troll, and passed the turn.

Another Abrupt Decay killed the second Troll, and the Elf hit me for 1 again. I drew Wolfir Avenger and passed. My opponent played Olivia Voldaren, cast another Arbor Elf, and passed the turn. I drew Experiment One and passed the turn.

My opponent attacked with everything, using Kessig Wolf Run for an extra damage. He ended his turn, and I drew a Forest. I played it and passed.

He played a land and attacked with everything, dropping me to 6. He passed the turn, and I cast Wolfir Avenger during his end step. He killed it with Ultimate Price, and I drew a Strangleroot Geist and conceded.

Game 3

Lotleth Troll
I took a mulligan and kept a hand of Golgari Guildgate, Forest, Lotleth Troll, Dreg Mangler, Deadbridge Goliath, and Rancor. I played the Gate and passed. My opponent played a Forest and cast Arbor Elf, and I drew another Lotleth Troll.

I played my Forest, cast the Troll, and ended my turn. My opponent played Stomping Ground tapped and passed.

I drew a Forest, played it, and cast Dreg Mangler. I attacked for 5 and passed the turn. My opponent cast Huntmaster of the Fells and ended his turn.

I drew Abrupt Decay, put Rancor on my Dreg Mangler, and attacked with both creatures. The token blocked Lotleth Troll, which I regenerated, and my opponent dropped to 12. I passed the turn. My opponent cast Farseek for an Overgrown Tomb, untapped it with Arbor Elf, and killed my Troll with Abrupt Decay. He played a Stomping Ground and passed.

I drew Evolving Wilds and attacked for 5. I played the Wilds, cast Lotleth Troll, and passed the turn. My opponent cast Olivia Voldaren, using it to kill Lotleth Troll, then passed the turn. I cracked the Wilds for a Swamp during his end step.

On my turn, I drew Dryad Militant and attacked for 5 with Dreg Mangler. My opponent blocked with Olivia and Huntmaster of the Fells, and I killed the Vampire. I cast Deadbridge Goliath and passed the turn. My opponent passed the turn with no play, transforming Huntmaster of the Fells.

Kessig Wolf Run
I drew a Forest and cast Rancor on Deadbridge Goliath before attacking for 7. He blocked with both creatures, killing the Goliath and dropping to 5. I passed the turn. He played a land and cast Thragtusk, gaining 5 life. He then cast another Arbor Elf and passed the turn.

I cast Strangleroot Geist, enchanted it with Rancor, and attacked. The Geist traded with Thragtusk, and my opponent took 1 and made a Beast token. I ended my turn. My opponent played a land and attacked with Arbor Elf, pumping it by 3 with Kessig Wolf Run. I took the damage, and he ended his turn.

I drew a Forest, played it, and put Rancor on my Geist. I scavenged Dreg Mangler to give it 3 +1/+1 counters and attacked, and my opponent killed it with Abrupt Decay. I ended my turn, and he cast Thragtusk and passed. I drew a Forest and conceded.

Wrap-Up

Although I lost to the never-ending removal of the Jund deck, this deck might still be a great choice for your local Friday Night Magic, especially if there are a lot of control decks in your area. Having the ability to laugh off a Supreme Verdict is quite valuable for an aggro deck, and the kind of longevity this deck is capable of can make things very difficult for your opponent. If you want an aggressive deck with some staying power, give this one a try.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can find me on the forums under Twinblaze, on Twitter under @MTGCannon, or simply leave a comment below.

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