I once was told that the best part about Magic is drawing cards. You may have heard so too. Green is a color that has mostly conditional card draw, with a select few, like Harmonize, being very unrestrictive. With Beast Whisperer being a relatively new card, I wanted to shine the spotlight on a similar, but potentially more break-able card: Wirewood Savage.
Most people would tell you that Beast Whisperer is probably a better version of this card, and while they’re mostly right, he doesn’t care about beasts even though his name claims he whispers to them. Wirewood Savage is a lover of all beasts and will give you a card in their place. Sure, Beast Whisperer does that too, but he costs an extra green mana!
In all seriousness, I’d run both cards in a beast tribal deck. But what can we achieve with Wirewood Savage outside of what Beast Whisperer (and similar cards like Primordial Sage) can do? A surprising amount. The Savage cares about enter-the-battlefield effects, not the card being cast. Might seem redundant on the surface, but with the Whisperer we get to draw a singular card off of Godsire whereas we get a card when it enters the battlefield and every time we activate it with the Savage.
Woodland Bellower is great with the Savage. They like each other so much that I’m surprised they don’t share art. Well, I’m not actually surprised given the Savage was printed 12 years before the Bellower, but I digress. Casting the Bellower can let you tutor for the Savage. You won’t get the card draw trigger initially, but it guarantees you get your Savage out more often.
Stampeding Serow is a card that may deserve it’s own article at some point in the future, but consider it for our strategy currently. Worst-case scenario this is a four mana draw a card spell with the Savage. Best-case scenario we’re recurring something large, like a Craterhoof Behemoth. Talk about nasty.
Adapting to the Beast
If you search through all beasts in MTG, you would find quite the plethora of potential synergistic creatures, many of which seem to just have “beast” tagged onto them for seemingly no reason. Beast Whisperer, Primordial Sage, and Soul of the Harvest are all great with Wirewood Savage, but the Savage has them all beat for one specific reason: tokens. Soul of the Harvest doesn’t like Rampaging Baloths, but our Savage does.
Something interesting about Wirewood Savage is that it doesn’t specify “under your control.” That means if your opponent is playing random beasts (which is likely an unconscious decision), then you get to draw a card. That’s why I think the Savage fits well into decks that also have blue: your opponents can accidentally allow you to draw cards that you have the potential to cast out of turn. Oh, and more importantly because of…
Why not just make all of our creatures beasts? This way, we’re guaranteed card draw! Raise the Alarm turns into two additional cards. Murmuring Mystic turns all of your spells into cantrips. Sharding Sphinx gives you a ton of cards if you have a ton of Thopter Beasts. It simply is too awesome not to try and pull off.
Conspiracy is the original Arcane Adaptation and is definitely up for consideration. Since it’s in black, that means you’ll be in the color that loves to make a ton of zombie tokens. I think you can see where this is going.
This time, we have a really fun infinite combo with Wirewood Savage. It’s rather simple: using the Wirewood Savage and Arcane Adaption naming Beast, we can use The Locust God to draw our whole deck and make a bunch of tokens.
Since the Savage is a may ability, we won’t end up drawing our whole library. Thus we get 60-80 1/1 locusts and eat our opponents faces. That’s without any buffs (like having Beastmaster Ascension or Craterhoof Behemoth ready to go) and doesn’t seem too bad to try and pull off.
While Wirewood Savage is nowhere near the most broken card ever, it still allows for us to do some really fun stuff. Drawing cards for creatures entering the battlefield usually has a decent price tag set on it (either monetarily or mana-wise). This obscure little elf doesn’t need much to set her over the edge, and I hope you can find a place for her in your next deck. Happy brewing!