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Tovolar, Dire Overlord - The Howlpack (EDH / Commander)

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> Introduction

First, this deck is not competitive or something like that at all. It is a gruul werewolf tribal deck which means we will play some fluffy wolves over some good stuff cards. Still, to make this deck playable in some stronger groups we need to play at least some gruul power cards to increase the power level of this deck. Unfortunately, WotC didn't release very many powerful werewolves, but we did get a very good commander with whom we can finally play a werewolf tribal deck. I have been waiting for a long time to build a werewolf commander deck, and before that I had an oathbreaker deck with Arlinn. This is my attempt to make werewolves playable in commander and also in rounds with slightly stronger decks.

>Mechanic

"With Innistrad Midnight Hunt, this tribe got a new mechanic. Day and Night is a new way to transform our werewolves, but there are some important things to know first.

1. Day and night do check if the active player is playing two spells or more in his own turn, where the old mechanic just checks if two spells are played in one turn or not

2. If it is night, all the nightbound creatures will enter the battlefield on their night side, where the old werewolves will still enter on their human side.

3. Bound means... bound, yeah it is pretty easy but essential to know. The new werewolves won't transform to cards like Moonmist or Geier Reach Bandit, so take care.

>Examples

Your board has the following cards, it is one of your opponents' turn, and it is night:
Tovolar, Dire Overlord
Ulrich of the Krallenhorde
Lambholt Elder
Kessig Naturalist

Scenario 1:
Your enemy played at least two spells and ends his turn. It will be day and all of your creatures will transform to their human side.

Scenario 2:
Your enemy played one spell and another enemy played a counter spell. Then the active player ends his turn. Tovolar, Dire Overlord and Kessig Naturalist will stay in their werewolf side, and it will still be night. Ulrich of the Krallenhorde and the Lambholt elder will transform into humans.

You see, kind of complicated. The same is true for cards like Moonmist, which will transform Ulrich of the Krallenhorde and Lambholt Elder but not Tovolar, Dire Overlord or Kessig Naturalist. Unnatural Moonrise will transform Tovolar, Dire Overlord and Kessig Naturalist but not Ulrich of the Krallenhorde or Lambholt Elder.

So, stay focused on the mechanics and don't waste cards or opportunities.

> Immerwolf mechanic

Can't transform is a stronger restriction than day bound. So, a werewolf on his night side can't transform to his day side if immerwolf is on the battlefield.

>Strategy

Well, this is a gruul werewolf tribal deck, so the strategy is pretty simple. Try to stomp your enemies with strong, buffed werewolves. Tovolar is the perfect commander for this kind of strategy, because we can transform our human werewolves into real beasts and we can draw cards if we damage other players. Also, we have a Kessig Wolf Run effect on him, which can give us trample and more power. Tovolar is our key card to get our humans to transform and draw cards, so take care of him.

One of the key abilities in this deck is trample. Why trample? Well, we want big stuff to make big DMG, so we need evasion. Trample fits perfectly in this tribe and makes our buffed creatures not only big, but also dangerous. And don't forget, you will draw a card if you damage a player, so evasion is not only important to win, it is also important to draw cards.

For this reason, I tried to play ramp spells with cmc 2 or less to make this deck fast.

> Key cards

  • Triumph of the Hordes: Can instantly win the game if we have enough power on board. It will also buff our creatures and give them trample, so absolutely perfect to win a game.
  • Unnatural Growth: Double our power and toughness, in each combat phase. With trample and some other buffs, we are able to make tons of DMG and win the game with it. It is also a great synergy card for The Great Henge.
  • Berserkers' Onslaught: Strong finisher card in this deck, like Unnatural Growth. It will also let you draw your cards twice if you can make combat DMG.
  • Trample enabler like Howlpack Resurgence or Breakneck Rider: Trample is our key ability to get evasion and to guarantee that we can deal combat DMG to a player to draw cards and to kill him.
  • Haste enabler like Rhythm of the Wild or Village Watch: Haste will make this deck more explosive and gives us the opportunity to surprise our enemies with attacks in the same turn.
  • "Ill-Tempered Loner // Howlpack Avenger: This boy in combination with some other creatures and Blasphemous Act is just another way to win a game. We can attack, deal some DMG and then wipe our board to deal a lot of DMG to any target.

> Synergy Cards

  • Moonmist : will protect us from combat damage and lets us transform our old werewolves. Can be used to defend, but also for attacks.
  • Unnatural Moonrise : the "new" Moonmist. Will transform the new werewolves, lets us draw a card, and gives trample to one creature
  • The Celestus: lets us filter some cards, gives life, and give us the option to switch between day and night if needed. Also, it's a mana rock.
  • The Great Henge: great card to gain life and draw cards. It will also buff our creatures and shouldn't be that hard to play for less mana. Our aim is for our creatures to be big.
  • Goblin Anarchomancer: amazing cost reduction for the whole deck.

> Strong Cards

> Single Card Discussion

> Inclusions

See some cards in the strategy section. Some cards have comments

  • Ascendant Packleader / Wolfbitten Captive // Krallenhorde Killer: One drops are just for speed. We can easily build up our board and get our three wolves/werewolves to flip Tovolar in the upkeep. Also, they're 1 mana draw engines with Tovolar.
  • Avabruck Caretaker // Hollowhenge Huntmaster: High cmc high reward. The dayside is just nice, but the night side is really strong, hexproof for all our permanents and the buff at the beginning of our combat are bonkers.
  • Bear Umbra: Untap on attack allows you to use the mana for tovolars activated ability for more DMG or just play stuff after the draw. Also portection and buff.
  • Cemetery Prowler: Grave hate and cost reduction in one card. This card can exile some annoying stuff from a graveyard and reduce the cost of our cards, and it is a wolf.
  • Cindervines: This card is a great removal spell. It will deal DMG and can get used instantly. I prefer this card over Hull Breach.
  • Decimate: Good removal for many threats and in multiplayer the condition should be met easily.
  • Exploration: With Tovolar we will draw a bunch of cards after our attack, so this card helps us play an additional land. It can also be a ramp spell for just 1 mana if you have this and 2 lands in your starting hand.
  • Howlpack Piper // Wildsong Howler: Dayside is just insanely strong. It is like an elvish piper which will untap and can be used plenty of times. Also it is not a cast! The night side is just a card advantage.
  • Lightning Greaves: a haste and protection card, which can give Tovolar the option to attack, draw, and stay safe from spot removal.
  • Return to Nature: instant removal of artifact, enchantment, or something in graveyard. Gruul doesn't have a lot of graveyard hate options, so this one is a flexible removal for a lot of situations.
  • Veil of Summer: we need some protection for our commander and cards like Triumph of the Hordes and this one is the best option.
  • Volatile Arsonist // Dire-Strain Anarchist: Haste and Menace, and just a strong pinger. Overall, just a strong card especially in this deck.
  • Village Messenger: not strong in late game but it is a one drop card with haste which can draw you a card with Tovolar and synergizes with all the other cards..
  • Lands: See comments on cards

> Exclusions

  • Beast Whisperer: We should try to draw our cards with Tovolar or the other strong draw engines. The cast trigger doesn't synergize with in search of greatness or howlpack piper and it is also on a creature body.
  • Blood Moon: Can be a nice stax piece which can disrupt enemies and help to transform our wolves, but I'm running too many non-basic lands, so this card can stop me as well.
  • Cult of the Waxing Moon: 5 mana and it will do nothing until something transforms. There are way better cards.
  • Defense of the Heart: A strong card, but limited and not necessary. There are no combos in this deck, so in best case it will just bring 2 strong werewolves.
  • Fires of Yavimaya: I decided to play Village Watch, because of the synergy and because of its creature type. We need creatures to make DMG, so why not combine haste and a creature if it is possible?
  • Harmonize: I decided to play Jeska's Will, because it will be stronger in this deck.
  • Hull Breach: I decided to play cindervines because of the DMG effect.
  • Jeska's Will: Too many green cards which can't be played with the red mana from this card.
  • Kessig Cagebreakers: can be a good card but if you have nothing in your graveyard or not enough, this card is too expensive and not a werewolf on his own.
  • Lifecrafter's Bestiary: I decided to play In Search of Greatness because we will draw enough cards with Tovolar.
  • Master of the Wild Hunt: Nice effect but too slow and his effect will tap all the wolves, so his removal potential is restricted. Also, just one wolf at the beginning of the upkeep is not strong enough.
  • Pyreheart Wolf: impressive evasion, but this deck will concentrate on trample.
  • Silverfur Partisan: The effect would be better if we ourselves played cards that target our creatures. But otherwise the card is too slow and too weak, for 3 cmc there are much better ones.
  • Sylvan Library: not enough lifelink to use this card often. Also, we have a good draw engine in our command zone.
  • Ulrich's Kindred: 4 mana to make an attacking creature indestructible is way too expensive
  • Vandalblast: an excellent artifact removal but only sorcery speed and no enchantment removal.
  • Waxing Moon: not strong enough, the transform effect is only for one creature (the old werewolves) and the trample effect is way weaker than triumph of the hordes.
  • Whirlwind: Werewolves aren't strong against flying creatures, so this removal can help out, but if there is no deck with flying creatures this card is just useless, so depends on the meta.
  • Winter Orb: this card is just annoying and will make games boring.
  • Wolfir Silverheart: 5 mana for this effect is way too weak.
  • Worldly Tutor: we have no combo piece or a Craterhoof in this deck. The best thing we can go for is a werewolf. No need to tutor, just draw cards.
  • Other werewolves: there are still a lot of werewolves which are not mentioned. This is because they are way too weak, or they can only transform by spending mana, like with Ulvenwald Captive.

> Strengths and Weaknesses

> Strengths

  • Big creatures with trample, so decks which want to swarm you have to think about the payback.
  • Strong against slow decks.
  • Draw engine in the command zone.
  • Strong again other creature based decks.
  • High come back potential because of haste and a lot of draw.

> Weaknesses

  • Problems against control decks with tons of mass removal.
  • Stax pieces like Tainted Aether or Humility can be a huge issue.
  • Not strong in combo environment.
  • Decks with flying creatures are a pain in the a**. If there are many decks with flying stuff in your meta just exchange Decimate with Whirlwind.
  • Werewolf tribal is not really strong at all, so check your playgroup and the power level if you want to have fun.

> Changelog

See revision: https://deckstats.net/decks/118014/2218583-tovolar-dire-overlord-the-howl#show__revisions

Also Check my Decks on Moxfield : https://www.moxfield.com/decks/L_fR03tAfki1-Gl6LB1c-A

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These are the all the revisions of this deck. Click on a revision to view the deck as it looked back then.
  Compare Revision Created By
» Revision 49 September 20, 2022 KingKia
Revision 48 May 24, 2022 KingKia
-1 In Search of Greatness +1 Burgeoning
Revision 47 February 14, 2022 KingKia
-1 Arlinn, the Pack's Hope // Arlinn, the Moon's Fury -1 Nightpack Ambusher +1 Bear Umbra +1 Berserkers' Onslaught
Revision 46 January 29, 2022 KingKia
+1 Boseiju, Who Endures -1 Forest
Revision 45 November 26, 2021 KingKia
-1 Realmwalker +1 Wolfbitten Captive // Krallenhorde Killer
Revision 44 November 9, 2021 KingKia
-1 Afflicted Deserter // Werewolf Ransacker -1 Daybreak Ranger // Nightfall Predator +1 Ill-Tempered Loner // Howlpack Avenger +1 Nature's Claim -1 Rishkar's Expertise +1 Avabruck Caretaker // Hollowhenge Huntmaster +1 Howlpack Piper // Wildsong Howler -1 Hermit of the Natterknolls // Lone Wolf of the Natterknolls -1 Lambholt Elder // Silverpelt Werewolf -1 Mondronen Shaman // Tovolar's Magehunter -1 Wolfbitten Captive // Krallenhorde Killer +1 Ascendant Packleader +1 Cemetery Prowler +1 Volatile Arsonist // Dire-Strain Anarchist
Revision 39 October 16, 2021 KingKia
+1 Grove of the Burnwillows -1 Forest
Revision 38 October 10, 2021 KingKia
-1 Vandalblast +1 Return to Nature
Revision 37 October 5, 2021 KingKia
-1 Rampant Growth +1 Exploration -1 Skarrg, the Rage Pits +1 Scavenger Grounds
Revision 35 September 14, 2021 KingKia
Revision 34 September 14, 2021 KingKia
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