June 12, 2020

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Daily Dose of Core Set 2021 #5 – Count ‘em up!

Welcome all to the Daily Dose of Core Set 2021. Today it’s all about those wonderful things that you use dice, tokens, and money to represent +1/+1 counters. These counters have been popular in many sets. It has been a part of Magic for a long time and it’s great to see a set have a counter subtheme and deck archetype to build around.

Before I talk about the new cards, there are some current Standard cards that will benefit from the new focus on +1/+1 counters for green and white.

Ajani, the Greathearted – Great planeswalker that can add +1/+1 counters to all your creatures.

Barkhide Troll – Two mana creature that starts with a +1/+1 counter on it.

Growth-Chamber Guardian – A great target for +1/+1 counters!

Knight of Autumn – Versatile creature that when needed can add two +1/+1 counters to itself.

Pelt Collector – Great turn 1 creature that can grow as the rest of your team grows.

Stonecoil Serpent – Great creature that can add a ton of +1/+1 counters onto the battlefield no matter what turn you cast it.

Unbreakable Formation – Spread the love and protect your creatures thanks to this spell.

Venerated Loxodon – Has the potential to add a ton of power onto the battlefield as early as turn three.

Vivien, Arkbow Ranger – Acts as a removal threat and a way to add +1/+1 counters on multiple creatures each turn.

Now that we’ve seen some of the most improved cards in Standard thanks to the focus on +1/+1 counters, there are some new payoff cards to go over. First off is a new Hydra that wants you to add a ton of +1/+1 counters to your other creatures. Here is Wildwood Scourge.

Wildwood Scourge

X mana Hydras have been a dime a dozen, but it’s nice to see one focused around the sub-theme of the set. You can cast in on any turn other than turn 1 and it can still find a way to grow thanks to its ability. It says that it only adds when a non-Hydra creature gets +1/+1 counters, but in all fairness that will usually be most other creatures you will have in your deck, so its not much of a drawback. It is a step up from Ikoria’s Ivy Elemental and is a nice uncommon to have in the set.

Finally, I want to talk about one of the best payoff cards in the set for +1/+1 counters. Here is Conclave Mentor.

Conclave Mentor

This Winding Constrictor but only for +1/+1 counters creature, seems well positioned to do some damage in Standard. Playing it on turn two after you’ve played a turn one Pelt Collector will leave you with a 3/3 creature to attack with on turn two. Once you’ve got those two on the battlefield you can play a Venerated Loxodon on turn three leaving you with 14 power on the battlefield on turn three. That’s right, 14 power on turn three. There will be plenty of different cards that will be able to add +1/+1 counters throughout Standard that can work well with Conclave Mentor. It even has a bonus dying ability to gain life equal to its power. This works well as you know it will become a lightning rod for removal once it hits the battlefield.

With these two new cards and what already exists in Standard, I think a Selesnya +1/+1 counters deck is on its way soon after the release of the new set. Thanks again for reading the Daily Dose of Core Set 2021. Join me again next week as we delve into week 2 of the new set. I can’t wait to talk more about what’s to come!