How to Make Quirion Dryad Big Really Fast
July 19, 2012 | Posted by Dee
Quirion Dryad is one of those cards that can be really good in the right circumstances. First, you need a lot of cheap spells to grow the creature quickly. Those spells should also be good on their own because you won’t draw Quirion Dryad every game.
Second, among those cheap spells, you need ones that can find other cheap spells so you can chain them together and put a bunch of +1/+1 counters on Quirion Dryad on the same turn.
Fortunately, the card pool is Standard meets both of these requirements.
You can’t get any cheaper than zero mana with the Phyrexian mana spells like Gitaxian Probe and Gut Shot.
Ponder, Thought Scour, and Gitaxian Probe are cheap card draw spells that can find other more spells to trigger Quirion Dryad. You can chain them together and have a big turn with the M13 creature.
For example, let’s say you have a 1/1 Quirion Dryad on the board from the last turn but you only have three mana and one card, Ponder. You cast Ponder and see Thought Scour, Gitaxian Probe, and a land. You order the cards this way (Gitaxian Probe, Thought Scour, and land) and choose not to shuffle.
You draw Gitaxian Probe and cast it for one mana to draw Thought Scour. You cast Thought Scour and draw a Gut Shot. You cast Gut Shot to kill something.
These plays will turn Quirion Dryad into a 5/5 creature and you can attack with it this turn. Growing it from 1/1 to 5/5 is pretty sweet, considering you only had one Ponder to begin with. Imagine if you had more than one spell.
Snapcaster Mage performs a similar role as the card draw spells. It doesn’t find other cheap spells. It actually has a better effect. It allows you to recast the cheap spells in your graveyard. For example, casting Snapcaster Mage and flashing back Gut Shot puts two +1/+1 counters on Quirion Dryad.
That’s really good because you only spend one card, two mana, and two life.
Here’s a Blue/Green (UG) deck that makes use of all the cards I mentioned.
|UG Quirion Dryad|
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I found this deck on Starcitygames. Todd Anderson wrote about it last week. I changed the sideboard by adding more counterspells because in my testing, the deck needed more anti-control cards.
My sideboard changes are:
-2 Mutagenic Growth
-1 Cavern of Souls
Negate seems better than Dissipate because it’s cheaper and most of the spells you want to counter are noncreatures. Also, Cavern of Souls is a popular card.
The best spells for triggering Quirion Dryad are mostly instants or sorceries so it makes sense to add Delver of Secrets and Talrand, Sky Summoner to the deck. These two creatures have a lot of synergy with instants and sorceries.
Cavern of Souls is a nice touch. It provides decent mana fixing because Delver, Snapcaster, and Talrand are all Wizards.
In the sideboard, Phantasmal Image is mainly there to fight Geist of Saint Traft. Thragtusk is good against Zombies and control decks.
The counterspells give you a lot of ammunition against control. Mental Misstep is the perfect card to fight Vapor Snag and Gut Shot.
Sleep is an interesting reprint in M13. It seems good against green decks with a lot of creatures like Red/Green (RG) Aggro and Naya Aggro. These decks can flood the board with a bunch of blockers and Sleep taps them all so you can alpha strike, not once but twice.