Daily Digest: The Voice

We’re due for a return to form for this once-excellent planeswalker! Ross Merriam may have found just the right context for her at the #SCGBALT Standard Classic!

It’s been tough times for Nissa, Voice of Zendikar since Kaladesh came in. Despite her alter ego Nissa, Vastwood Seer rotating out, the loss of Hangarback Walker and Hardened Scales has been too much to overcome.

Verdurous Gearhulk is a great complement, and there are plenty of efficiently-costed green creatures to fill out a curve, but there’s still a piece or two missing. Could Animation Module be that piece? Imagine the following curve:

Turn 1: Animation Module.

Turn 2: Sylvan Advocate.

Turn 3: Nissa, Voice of Zendikar. Create a 0/1 Plant token.

Turn 4: Use Nissa’s -2 ability. Trigger Animation Module twice.

Now you have six power on the battlefield across four bodies and a Nissa, Voice of Zendikar that can send those numbers into the stratosphere next turn. Your position is resilient to creature removal spells while trumping a lot of aggressive draws in combat. Alternatively, you can play a Thriving Turtle or another two-drop before using your Nissa on turn 4 for an even more explosive turn.

Animation Module further provides you with a mana sink for late-game scenarios, letting you build a single big threat when your opponent will be prepared for a swarm. In the best case, you can do both at the same time with Undergrowth Champion as one of your creatures, which makes excellent use of any extra +1/+1 counters you can give it.

The energy theme here is a little underdeveloped, especially when you see the full four copies of a card like Empyreal Voyager, but when you think about it, a 2/3 flying, trample creature is a great recipient of +1/+1 counters. If you find you need an energy sink, then Longtusk Cub is a good option, and this deck certainly wants as many cheap creatures as possible so you can flood the battlefield consistently.

Of course, you can also take the deck in a very different direction. The core pieces here are all green, and Attune with the Aether and Servant of the Conduit will make any secondary color viable. A G/W Tokens shell with Thraben Inspector and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is definitely something to look at, especially since white has the best options for some much-needed removal.

But this build with the energy sub-theme, even if it’s a little short right now, is poised to gain more pieces when Aether Revolt is released in a couple months. Servant of the Conduit and Verdurous Gearhulk are just too good to not see play at some point.