But with the release of the Dragon’s Maze set, Wizards of the Coast decided to only do one Event Deck per set. The Dragon's Maze Event Deck had decent value in it, with three copies of the useful Lingering Souls, two copies of the popular Enchantment Rancor, Commander favorite Parallel Lives and Godless Shrine. Now that there was only one, all the value could go into one deck.
For the Magic 2014 Core Set, the Event Deck was entitled “Rush of the Wild.” Not only did it provide the building blocks for a competitive Red/Green “Gruul” Aggro deck, but it had zero cards that rotated out of Standard in October 2013. This was very useful for newer players who were just getting into Standard at the time. With this deck, if you paid $20 or less for it, you basically made your money right back.
Let’s take a look at the creature line-up.
2 Burning-Tree Emissary
1 Deadbridge Goliath
2 Dryad Militant
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
2 Kalonian Tusker
1 Ogre Battledriver
1 Pyrewild Shaman
2 Rakdos Cackler
1 Rubblebelt Raiders
2 Skarrg Guildmage
1 Wild Beastmaster
1 Wrecking Ogre
Right off the bat, we have six rares! Also, back in 2013, Burning-Tree Emissary was a money uncommon. It’s still a good card now. Dryad Militant wasn’t money, but it’s a fantastic and playable uncommon in a wide variety of decks, and still sees play in the Modern format. Elvish Mystic is a functional reprint of Llanowar Elves, and a full playset has always been welcome to see. Ghor-Clan Rampager is another uncommon that sees Modern play, as well, and was a “money” uncommon when this deck release. There’s a full playset of them in here.
Other notable uncommons are Rakdos Cackler, Slaughterhorn, and Kalonian Tusker. Cackler and Slaughterhorn don’t really see play anymore. But Kalonian Tusker does still see play in Mono-Green Devotion decks in Modern.
We haven’t even discussed the rares yet. Frankly, they’re not at all big money cards, but worth a look. Deadbridge Goliath is a 5/5 for 2GG, which is in itself good value. Its Scavenge ability, while expensive, is also quite useful considering that you have some sweet combos with it within this pre-con. Wild Beastmaster is a very nice aggro card, and while she is fragile on her own, she can do a lot of damage if she’s big enough. She was a 3-of in top-tier mono-green decks, and was still considered a “bulk rare.” Plus, she is a great target for Deadbridge Goliath’s Scavenge ability; give the counters to Wild Beastmaster and swing out with a +6/+6 bonus to all of your creatures!
Rubblebelt Raiders is a card that I always liked, but it hasn’t seen play because it’s a 4-drop, and there’s a card called Hellrider that was strictly better than it in Standard. But Raiders is a card that can get scary in a hurry, especially if you have the ability to give it haste with a card like Ogre Battledriver.
Speaking of Ogre Battledriver, while we’re on the subject, he is a card that I've always felt was underrated. However, he himself not having haste really dissuaded aggro deck-builders from wanting to play him. Still, having the ability to give any other creature that hits the board gets +2/+0 and haste until end of turn is pretty significant. Wizards of the Coast seemed to include him in every Event Deck that they could for awhile, but he just never really caught on in Standard.
Meanwhile, Pyrewild Shaman and Wrecking Ogre are okay Bloodrush creatures that are great for casual and Limited play, but not really the best options for competitive play. (Although both creatures are playable in Commander.)
Next we’ll look at the non-creature spells:
1 Armed // Dangerous
1 Clan Defiance
2 Flames of the Firebrand
1 Gruul Charm
1 Mizzium Mortars
Armed and Dangerous is a nice little Fuse card, especially considering that the two halves can target different creatures. You can give your best attacker +1/+1 and double strike and make your opponent’s army block an Elvish Mystic for the LOLz. Mizzium Mortars is a fantastic burn spell, even if it’s sorcery speed, mainly because it does four damage for only one and a Red. Plus, Mortars has a sweet overload ability that can murder an opponent’s board.
Gruul Charm is a nice little utility charm, even if not the best of them. One of its options makes me scratch my head: gain control of all cards you own? Huh? But the other two are nice. Deal 3 damage to all flyers and make no ground forces able to block for a turn. Pretty solid card, honestly.
This is then where I get sad. Flames of the Firebrand and Shock are the best burn removal this deck has to offer. Anyway, Flames of the Firebrand, despite costing 2R, can ping up to three things, which against the right board state, is pretty devastating. Shock is only 2 damage, which doesn’t kill a lot of the things you would need to kill with it. So this is one of the places the deck can very cheaply be upgraded. Fortunately, Theros would bring back Magma Jet and also provided us with Lightning Strike that were easy replacements if you wanted to upgrade this deck right away.
Lastly, I would like to make an honorable mention for a rare that I particularly loved at the time,
Clan Defiance. It didn’t get much love because a sorcery speed burn card doesn’t really fit into an aggro deck. However, it can kill three things! The best part is, you can do just one or two of those things. In the right situation, this card can kill two of your opponent’s best creatures, AND hit them in the face! I’d play one or two of these just to win out of nowhere. It’s a very underrated card, but it's really only ever seen play in Commander, where it's actually super powerful.
Now the mana base:
4 Gruul Guildgate
1 Rogue’s Passage
1 Stomping Ground
OK, Guildgates are neat, but in aggro they are not exactly what you're looking for. Temple of Abandon from Theros, even though it comes into play tapped, at least gives you the Scry 1. The Stomping Ground is awesome value, though. This was a nice way for players to get this highly sought after land for Modern. Rogue’s Passage is also neat tech to slip one of your double striking big guys in for the kill.
2 Act of Treason
3 Annihilating Fire
2 Gruul Charm
1 Savage Summoning
The sideboard is solid, if not incredibly inspiring. The Skullcracks are obviously amazing against life-gain effects, and are pretty valuable uncommons nowadays. Annihilating Fire is extra removal. Naturalize is, well, Naturalize. Enlarge is not as good as Overrun, but played on Wild Beastmaster is pretty fun. The extra Gruul Charms may come in handy, as well, and Act of Treason can steal your opponent’s best creature to use against them in an alpha strike.
The most interesting card here is Savage Summoning, a card that received tons of hype upon its release, but has only seen some fringe play since. Still, it has a nice effect that can be useful in control match-ups. Also, flashing in a Wild Beastmaster on their turn is always useful. Flashing in, anybody, really, and it is a nice little trick… But yeah, it’s best against control decks, not really much else.
Overall, if you’re were just looking for a shell for a red/green aggro deck, or you were a newer player, it’s best to just hold onto the stuff. Even at the time, the Stomping Ground made your money back, and all of the other cards were just a bonus. At the time, this was one of the best value Event Decks Wizards has printed since Verdant Catacombs was in the Vampire Onslaught Deck!
This is a playable deck out of the box, but better if you buy a second copy to supplement the existing Dryad Militants, Burning-Tree Emissary, and additional copies of Wild Beastmaster, Ogre Battledriver, and of course, Stomping Ground.
Even now, you can find copies of the Rush of the Wild Event Deck for under $15! It's still worth buying simply for the Stomping Ground and value uncommons. It's one of the best value Event Decks around, without a doubt, and it’s still fun to play at the kitchen table!