Embracing The Chaos – Other People’s Decks: Ulasht, the Hate Seed

Friday, December 3rd – How excited are you about the new announcement by Wizards of the Coast about EDH? Or Commander, should I say? Make sure to give Sheldon your input in the forums, and check out this Ulasht EDH deck!

news about the upcoming product

is all over the EDH-scape by now, so I can say for a certainty that it’s going to be one of the coolest things to happen in the format ever. I know you’ll have comments, so I’ll head over to the forums to see what you have to say, and if there are things to be addressed, I’ll do it next week.

One of the most fun decks I’ve seen in operation is fellow L5 Judge Toby Elliott Ulasht, the Hate Seed deck. Many of you know Toby, and you know that he’s the Timmiest of all the EDH Rules Committee members. One might even say he’s Super Timmy. It reflects in this token-generating deck, which includes some cards you’ll have to do the rollovers to look up. A few times, I’ve considered sleeving this up and running it, since it seems like a load of laughs. Friend of the show Scott Larabee has in fact done so online and says that it’s a laugh riot.

This is the deck that first showed the world the power of Vicious Shadows. It’s since been cut, since Spike beat up Timmy and took it for his deck instead.

I asked Toby to ship me his list, and perhaps the way he’s listed it is some kind of insight into the workings of his brain. I’m not sure what the insights might be, but I’m sure there’s a few doctorologists out there who can help us out. I’m listing the cards in the exact order that the sent them to me.


5 Snow-Covered Forest: Snow? Is this just style, or is there some insidious plan?

3 Snow-Covered Mountain: Ditto.

Forgotten Cave: Cycles!

Fungal Reaches: Storage land, to fuel a big… um… Verdeloth the Ancient?

Gruul Turf: I’m quite fond of the bouncelands. One of you math experts can probably tell us when the optimal time to drop it is.

Highland Weald: Another snow land.

Kazandu Refuge: Sure, life gain.

Keldon Necropolis: If this is a token-generating deck, then it’s reasonable to have stuff to sacrifice the tokens to. Stylistically, I object to something called “Necropolis” that doesn’t involve black mana, but it’s a small complaint.

Khalni Garden: I smell Warp World somewhere in this thing.

Kher Keep: Warp World for sure.

Mosswort Bridge: Ten 1/1s set this baby off!

Mouth of Ronom: Aha! The snow land plan is coming to light.

Oran-Rief, the Vastwood: I assume most of the tokens are green, so this is coolio. Doubly cool with Avenger of Zendikar.

Pendelhaven:  Sure, there are lots of 1/1s generated in the deck, but +1/+2? In this format, that’s very “so what?”

Raging Ravine: Doesn’t lose counters, so this might be pretty good in an environment where there are lots of board-sweepers.

Reliquary Tower: As auto-include in EDH as any land ever will be, although in the future, I predict there will be a land with even more auto-includability.

Shivan Oasis: Toby probably forgot to take this out when he put in Kazandu Refuge.

Skarrg, the Rage Pits: The number of games this card has won for me is beyond description. With the exception of unblockability, trample is the ‘evasion’ ability that will most often wreck people. True story: Due to Skarrg (and Lord of Extinction and Tainted Strike), Armada Games owner Aaron Fortino has the World Record for Most Poison Counters at Once: 43.

Slippery Karst: I think cycling lands are a major part of Toby’s ‘card draw’ suite.

Smoldering Crater: Ditto.

Spinerock Knoll: I think sometimes players lose focus with Spinerock Knoll, forgetting that they can activate it on a turn when any opponent has taken seven—so pay attention to combats, even those you’re not involved in.

Springjack Pasture: Goats! I swear I thought Springjack Pasture was a Plane, not a regular card.

Stomping Ground: Toby is not by any stretch a poor man, but this is the poor man’s Taiga.

Temple of the False God: Also auto-include in EDH, unless maybe you’re playing Gaddock Teeg or something.

Tranquil Thicket: More card draw!

Urza’s Factory: Where’s the Mishra’s Factory as well? They were brothers, you know.

Wasteland: Yep, there are mean lands out there, and they deserve to be Wasted.

Wooded Foothills: I think this is only in the deck because he has the cool judge foil.

Yavimaya Hollow: An underrated card and one that people will constantly forget about when it comes to combats and destroying your dudes.


Ant Queen: If you want to generate tokens, Ant Queen is at the top of the list. Would be even better if he played Seedborn Muse—but I think even she’s too Spikey for Toby.

Arashi, the Sky Asunder: I’ve seen this completely blow out people, both playing with Toby and someone at Armada playing it (although I can’t for the life of me remember who). They never see it coming.

Avenger of Zendikar: Naturally. I can’t imagine a green deck not playing this guy. Late game, it’s an army worthy of Mordor.

Awakening Zone: Eldrazi Spawn just get you there faster. Side note, speaking of Spawn: In my Monday night RPG, what you might call Demons are called “Spawn” (technically, Destroyer-Spawn, but shortened for ease of use). When miniatures are called for (which isn’t often), I use Warhammer Genestealers for the vanilla Spawn, because they look pretty cool and demonic. Come to find out, nothing scares gamers like showing up for a session and seeing Genestealers on the table.

Beastmaster Ascension: Note to Aaron Forsythe: There’s more design space with Quest counters. You can do cards that do extra stuff if they have even more counters on them. Wouldn’t be awesome if the dudes got +10/+10 if Beastmaster Ascension had fourteen counters on it???

Brooding Saurian: There seems to be resurgence in Layer 1/Layer 2 decks, so Brooding Saurian is reasonably good protection against getting your stuff stolen.

Defense of the Heart: I love this card and always have since I first saw it all those years ago. Seems ironic that the deck that generates a zillion creatures would run this.

Deranged Hermit: Oh, Squirrels. There aren’t enough Squirrels in Magic.

Doubling Season: Another logical inclusion if you’re generating lots of tokens, it’s my experience that this card kind of gets dismissed until it’s too late. “Doubling Season? Meh. Avenger of Zendikar? Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!”

Eternal Witness: I would challenge that it’s nearly impossible for me to string together five or six words about this card that haven’t been already said, so I’ll say this instead: I just don’t get Taylor Swift.

Explosive Vegetation: Simplest ramp, but Skyshroud Claim is better.

Fecundity: Card draw for everyone! Too bad it’s a ‘may,’ or you might be able to Wrath and deck this deck.

Genesis Wave: This card is currently under scrutiny by the RC. I’m not suggesting it’s getting banned, but if there were still a Watch List, this would be on it. Otherwise, it seems like a fun card if you’re not playing all the abusive stuff.

Krosan Tusker: If I were to start a list of auto-include green cards, this would be on it. Three mana to get a land and draw a card is kind of busted.

Lurking Predators: Speaking of busted, there are no doubts about my love for this card. It’s a Christmas present whenever someone casts a spell! Sometimes it’s that 10-speed bike you wanted all year, and sometimes, it’s just socks, but it’s always exciting.

Master of the Wild Hunt: It actually takes a L5 judge to completely understand what this card does. I was wondering why it was in the deck and had to scroll down to Wolfbriar Elemental to understand.

Mitotic Slime: Love it, love it, love it, especially when there’s a Greater Good around (which I notice Toby is not playing).

Muraganda Petroglyphs: Confess that you had to look this one up. This one is hilarious every time it shows up, because people forget about it. “So, I’ll take twenty?” “No, that’s sixty. GGs.”

Mycoloth: I really liked this guy in my Kresh deck, but people would always kill him before I ever got to draw cards.

Nemata, Grove Guardian: Ant Queen is a fixed Nemata. That you can’t sacrifice anything to.

One Dozen Eyes: More tokens and sometimes a big dude—although if it’s truly One Dozen Eyes, shouldn’t it make six tokens instead?

Penumbra Wurm: This is a good choice because people are going to want to Wrath away the hordes of tokens that get generated with this deck. The other Penumbra creatures are okay, but this guy and his shadowy brother have trample, which we’ve already discussed is awesome.

Primeval Titan: Like with Eternal Witness, not much to be said about this guy that hasn’t been said already, so I’ll tell you that if you’re not watching Boardwalk Empire on HBO, you’re really missing out. I at first had my doubts as to whether Steve Buscemi could carry a show as the lead, but I doubt no more.

Regal Force: It’d be awesome to see someone Blink this guy and have Toby deck himself.

Restock: Looks like a small concession to ‘good’ cards, but hardly a sin.

Skullmulcher: Better than Mycoloth, since you’re sure that you’ll actually get to draw the cards.

Spawnwrithe: A disappointing card to get late game, Spawnwrithe can get out of hand if you drop it on turn 3.

Sprout Swarm: I’ve nearly always seen this cast for free at end of turn (EOT), often several times.

Squirrel Nest: More Squirrels!

Symbiotic Wurm: See Penumbra Wurm. I’d like to see him with trample, but that’s just me getting greedy.

Terastodon: The flexibility of blowing up other people’s really nasty stuff—which will rarely, if ever, have protection from green—or upgrading some of your 1/1s for 3/3s makes this a great card.

Thelonite Hermit: Morph shenanigans—although you know it’s never Willbender—and buffing the Saprolings all in one package.

Verdant Force: This has locally gained the nickname “Party Crasher,” since it shows up and brings more friends.

Verdeloth the Ancient: More Saproling buff. Like Avenger of Zendikar, late game, this guy can be huge.

Vigor: I see this card gaining some traction recently, and it makes me wonder why we haven’t seen a great deal of it before. Combine with Doubling Season for some real explosion.

Wolfbriar Elemental: The kicker cost on this is remarkably cheap. It’s easy to build up lots of dudes.

Woodfall Primus: Another green deck auto-include. In fact, there are so many great green cards that it would be work to make a list of the Top 10 automatics.

Wurmcalling: This is one I’m not really sure about. Seems like there are lots of other cool token-generating cards out there, but perhaps it’s the buyback that makes it interesting.

Yavimaya Elder: Apologies to Eternal Witness, but best green three-drop ever.


Caldera Hellion: This is a little bit of a head-scratcher, since often it’s going to wipe out Toby’s own tokens. Perhaps it’s just a little defense against other token decks.

Goblin Bombardment: No sense in having dudes if you can’t throw them at people’s heads.

Magmaw: I like this more as defense against having stuff stolen than dealing the damage.

Rakka Mar: In play, this guy was way more annoying than I thought he’d be.

Reiterate: There are so many really cool, really expensive things that other people cast that it’s definitely worth copying them. Buying it back means then that they have to really think about what they’re going to cast next.

Scourge of Kher Ridges: Control of both the ground and the skies, this guy is the US Army and Air Force rolled up into one package.

Siege-Gang Commander: More tokens!

Starstorm: Starstorm is one of those hidden gems that you don’t see getting enough play. Damage to all creatures as an instant is worth the one extra mana, and the fact that you can cycle it away if it’s not the right answer pushes it over the top. This is one of the best choices in the deck.

Warp World: I know Toby, and Warp World is there for the hilarity. Sure, he generates a bucket load of tokens, and is likely going to come out on the good side of this, but he’s not playing Allies combo or some crazy Hive Mind thing, so this seems well intended and fun.


Artifact Mutation: Absolutely love the card and the choice. Both useful and theme-fitting.

Dragon Broodmother: Had her in Kresh, took her out because of the heavy red commitment. Definitely goes well here with all the other stuff to devour.

Hull Breach: I have to remember that this is a sorcery. I’ve played it a few times myself and always hope that it was an instant.

Predatory Advantage: This fits with Toby’s token theme, and it may play well in his local environment, but I’ve mostly been disappointed with it and eventually took it out of all the decks I had it in.

Savage Twister: Maybe Toby just creates so many tokens that he doesn’t care about killing some of his own.

Wort, the Raidmother:  An obvious choice as the backup General, there are so many creatures here, I can envision a scenario in which Toby vomits a full grip onto the table with zero mana.


Duplicant: An effective way to get rid of otherwise-protected creatures, I’ll remind you that Duplicant isn’t all that good at dealing with Generals for more than a turn. Darksteel Colossus, on the other hand, seems like a fantastic target.

Eldrazi Monument: With the number of dudes he generates, it seems like this would never go away.

Mimic Vat: If there were ever a non-land card other than Sol Ring you might consider auto-include in every deck, Mimic Vat would make a pretty strong argument. Battling Mimic Vats is always fun.

Oblivion Stone: A concession to the fact that other people might have better stuff sometimes.

Pentavus: Plus Doubling Season for LOLZ?

Relic of Progenitus: Graveyard hate is a must in the format. If you’re not going to use your own yard, this is the card.

Rings of Brighthearth: I’ve liked this card all along, but I don’t think I have it in any decks, which is a complete head-scratcher.

Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII: I recently had a friendly argument with L2 Judge Michael Fortino over what this card does. Turns out we were both wrong, both on what it does and the volume number. I think Toby always chooses Saproling.

Skullclamp: Duh.

Solemn Simulacrum: Also running its way up the auto-include list, I give you Jens.

There are few decks that I’ve seen in play that have a greater “Wheeeeeeeee!” factor than this one. Toby certainly knows how to Embrace the Chaos (especially since it was him that suggested the title in the first place). I especially like the fact that he understands the balance between “lots of” and “infinite,” joyfully going for one while eschewing the other.

Once again, check out the December 2 announcement. I look forward to seeing you all in the forums and hearing what you have to say about it.