Playing the Tree in an Unsure Format

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Yggdrasil is one of those rulers that you can look at and just see the potential. He is a utility ruler that just does a lot of different things that impact how the entire game can be played. When an opponent, no matter what they are playing, sees that you are playing Yggdrasil, their entire gameplan has to change to deal with it. I like to think of the Tree deck as a Powerful Toolbox Control deck, here is what it can do!

Yggdrasil

It just seems to do it all.

  • The first thing it does is prevents all damage done to you, but for every 100 points of damage you send the top card of your deck to the Removed Pile
  • The second thing, but possibly the most important one is that “Players Cannot Gain Life”.
  • The Final effect makes the tree into a Toolbox, letting you pay GB, and tap Yggdrasil, to summon either Machina, Rezzard, Arla, or Melgis from the removed pile.

The Deck

This is the list I have been messing with for the past few weeks. The cool thing about Yggdrasil is that because of its effect to not take life damage, your life points just like hand size and card advantage, is a resource for you to use as you see fit. It also is the reason we play 60 cards, to make the game go as long as we want.

Another perk of playing 60 cards is it allows the Yggdrasil player to tech out the deck with a variety of counters to the meta and stop a variety of decks. You have the standard cards that you almost always play, such as Arla, Rezzard, and Yggdor. However, if you see yourself playing against a lot of Fox you can play cards like Alice’s World of Madness, and Soul Debt.

Card Choices and Options

Arla, Rezzard, Melgis, and Machina

These Resonators are the ones that are reborned by Yggdrasil’s 3rd effect. Each one has different matchups in which I believe they shine.

Arla is an All-star in the aggro matchups. If you get an early Arla it’s surprisingly hard to lose the game. Arla also helps against other matchups by just removing blockers so you can whittle down the opponent.

Rezzard is by far the best of the Four Kings that you can summon. His effect just makes your opponents turns much harder and more complicated. Do they wanna sacrifice the killing stone to get board position to lose it to the Rezzard? Do I try to bring back Shade, Envoy of Darkness from the graveyard?  Most of the time he just sits there and gradually gets bigger and bigger.

Machina is a great turn 2 play with energize from the tree. Playing Machina into Scorn of Dark Alice on the second turn of the game is an amazing feeling, or just having the open Will on the opponent’s turn to play our counters is never a bad thing.

Melgis is by far the weakest of our options of the Four Kings. He is a great card to mill the the out of play zone but is a dead draw without Machina. With no natural way to produce red I have considered cutting him down to two copies to make room for more techs in the deck. However, having swiftness is nothing to laugh at, I have won games by reborning a King at my opponent’s End of turn. Then following with a Melgis on my turn to finish it out.

Abdul Alhazred, Poet of Madness

This card is the MVP in the Fox matchup. If your board is this guy and Rezzard you are in the position to win the game. Not being able to just play and stack a stone to the top, or draw a card on entering, etc. They have to deal with this card asap. He is extraordinarily strong and can take a few turns to get removed from the field if you protect it with your chants and resonators.

Gill Lapis, Usurper of Madness

Gill is a card that I love. He comes into play and instantly gets value as a flyer. He comes in and searches for any one-drop chant. The targets in the deck are Heteroclite Excalibur and The Final Battle. You may also target Unseen Pressure or Scorn of Dark Alice, but I haven’t had a situation where that has come up as of yet.

Heteroclite is a powerful spot removal that the only cost is you lose 500 life, but in the Yggdrasil deck, it doesn’t matter. Your life is nothing but a resource for you to use and with Gill in play, you do not even lose this life! I search this when my opponent puts something large into play that I cannot deal with, such as Griphon, Racing Across Darkness or any of the other Chimeras.

The Final Battle is something that at first glance seems risky. But in practice, I’ve noticed that it is one of the BEST cards in the deck. Being able to remove ENTIRE boards for 1000 life is insane. Especially since it also works against J-Rulers! I have destroyed Pricia and Faerur. It’s almost impossible for those decks to come back after not only losing their ruler but their entire board as well.

Alice’s World of Madness and the Removal

These cards plus Heteroclite Excalibur and The Final Battle, are our ways to control what our opponent is allowed to have in play. The reason I pointed out World of Madness in this section is that it makes all the other removal even better. So much so that I play the full 4 copies of it.

Against things like Fox, it makes it almost impossible to make a chimera if you land 2 copies of this card in play. And our resonators have enough defense to survive this. You are doing less damage as a result but over time I believe it makes the game easier for you not dealing with chimeras. Dark Purge hitting J-Rulers has been relevant for me in the past few weeks against Pricia and Faerur. Also landing an Endless Night out of nowhere on any deck can take away entire boards and put them so far behind that you just toolbox out the win.

Soul Debt and Death at Midnight are techs that I play for the meta around me. Soul Debt is for Fox to send the Chimeras back to the deck. And the Death at Midnight is for Kaguya Robes.

Counter Spells and Control

I don’t have to talk about how great Severing Wind is as a card. The other control cards in the deck are both hand and even TURN control. Opening Scorn is the deck’s true MVP turn one play. Then there’s Final Breeze. If you get an opponent to commit after you play Severing Winds then blow them out with the Final Breeze they cannot play any more cards that turn. It’s super great to see an opponent struggle after getting hit by the breeze.

Strategy

The Tree has made me think about my plays more and more in the past few weeks of testing. The thing that was hardest for me to learn was when and how much damage to take during the game. You want to mill in the beginning to get as many Kings in the removed area as fast as possible. I find myself starting to reborn them when I have 4 stones and about 15 cards removed.

Don’t be afraid to take a few hits. And be aware that if you know that you’re not going to be reborning a King, call a stone. It will only make the deck better. I have hard casted Severing Winds more than once because my opponent just thought I was gonna reborn a King and played into it.

Conclusion

I hope this has opened you up to the possibilities that Yggdrasil brings to the current format. And with the uncertainty that the EU ban list brings to the game, if they were to be adopted here in the NA, I think Yggdrasil is poised to take the top position in the game.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article about one of my favorite rulers right now and I hope to bring you more soon. Thank you.

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I am a competitive player from Lexington NC. I am 25 years old, and have multiple State Championship and other tournament top 8’s. My favorite ruler of all time is Vlad Tepes.

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