Arboria Control

Deck by James Rosenblum

Deck by James Rosenblum

Arboria is a little used Legends card with a very special ability. If you read it you immediately understand that it is a really powerful card, but also that it's hard to use in a practical way. If you want Arboria to protect you from harm you can't even play lands and develop your mana so how can you win with it in play? Actually, Arboria has two "loopholes" you can use.

The first is that it doesn't care about tokens coming into play and the second is that you can activate abilities of cards already in play. This means that you could use a card like The Hive and instead of playing spells just create wasps every turn or maybe Prodigal Sorcerer to ping your opponent to death. The most common wincon however is Millstone which lets you slowly wither away your opponent, sometimes with the help of Howling Mine as well.

If you can get one of these wincons on the table and then hide behind Arboria you should be good. The problem is of course the ever present Disenchant. Therefore, the deck should have something to protect its wincons and Arboria with, like Counterspell or Avoid Fate. The problem is that if the opponent tries to disenchant Arboria on your turn and you counter it you've played a spell and the opponent is free to attack you on their next turn. That’s why you also need other ways to protect yourself and should probably look at Arboria more as a roadblock if the opponent is playing white.

As you often will sit and do nothing Ivory Tower is a pretty good card to gain some life and if you can afford it, a Moat or two is usually quite good. Another card that may seem good is The Abyss but remember that both Arboria and The Abyss is Enchant Worlds and can't co-exist. Time Vault is another fun card to have in the deck as you can skip a turn if you know that Arboria will protect you. Then if you need to play something you can take an extra turn afterwards and do nothing to set up the shield again.

Another card that is quite similar to Arboria is the poor man’s Moat, Island Sanctuary. It protects you but you have to give something up. But with Arboria you can draw your cards when Arboria protects you and if you need to play something just skip the draw and let Island Sanctuary protect you. Also, if you have seven good cards in hand after staying protected by Arboria for a while you can skip to draw for double protection and so you won’t have to discard.

Last but not least, a couple of Fog could also be good to have as a backup if you need to do something on your turn and do not leave home without Circle of Protection: Red as Arboria won’t protect you against burn.