It probably seems like everywhere you turn it's “Origins this” and “Origins that.” There's a very reasonable explanation for why everything you're reading lately is about this send-off of a Core Set:
It's pretty freaking awesome.
Last week, I talked about the harshness that some folks in the community have been piling on poor ole' Magic Origins, and I'm happy to say that in the 50+ comments on it, a really awesome discussion blossomed. Thankfully some really powerful cards were also spoiled, and the vocal supporters were rewarded for their positivity in spades.
Plenty of goodies are now at the disposal of deckbuilders everywhere, and our collective excitement is reaching a fevered pitch of anticipation.
Today I'd like to share some brews with you, and as always I welcome anyone and everyone to jump in and start talking about the decks that have them stoked for the heavily-anticipated release of Magic Origins.
Erebos's Titan Is A Real Magic Card
Erebos's Titan wasn't screwing around this week as it did backflips in price, going from $4.99 to $12.49 in the blink of an eye. Many people have made the natural connections between Titan and the reemergence of Gray Merchant of Asphodel. The two cards provide a massive swing in life, not to mention the hysterically large body provided by Erebos's Titan. Against many decks it will be a one-two punch that other midrange players simply cannot overcome, and with the correct tools it's entirely probable that a deck like this can also dominate aggressive and control matchups.
Here's the framework of something I'm interested in testing out:
- 4 Deathmist Raptor
- 4 Den Protector
- 4 Erebos's Titan
- 4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
- 4 Rakshasa Deathdealer
- 4 Satyr Wayfinder
- 3 Whisperwood Elemental
- 2 Liliana, Heretical Healer
- 3 Nissa, Vastwood Seer
As a starting point, I really dig what this deck can do. It offers fairly reasonable early game with Satyr Wayfinder to fill up your graveyard and smooth your mana, Rakshasa Deathdealer for pressure that blends in to your mid- and late-game, as well as reasonable turn three plays like Deathmist Raptor or face-down Den Protector. I also really like the offerings of the new flip planeswalkers on three, as Nissa keeps this mana-hungry deck well-fed while Liliana gives Satyr Wayfinder a new purpose for blocking and potentially flipping her, which our sideboarded Fleshbag Marauder helps out with as well! Whisperwood Elemental seems great in this deck, but might be better served as either Tasigur or something else entirely. I would hate to flip a Gray Merchant as a Manifest and lose out on that precious life drain.
The sideboard should look pretty standard to you, and is meant to cover all potential matches. Thoughtseize, Read the Bones, Tasigur, and Whisperwood Elemental are strong against control and midrange decks while we're also packing Drown in Sorrow and Ultimate Price for Mono-Red or possibly the emerging Mono-White Devotion decks we're sure to see.
Overall I expect something like this, or perhaps an Abzan cousin?
Harbinger Of The Tides Is A Real Magic Card
Remember when Tidebinder Mage rotated out and everyone was like “welp... might as well kill me now?”
Then Harbinger of the Tides was spoiled, and those same people stepped off that ledge and mumbled something along the lines of “it does what?”
For two mana, Harbinger outclasses Man-o'-War and bounces a tapped creature to the opponent's hand. This effect is insane at the rate, and for four mana it can even be cast as in instant. I'm not here to conduct the hype train, but CHOO-CHOO brothers and sisters. CHOO-CHOO.
- 4 Faerie Miscreant
- 4 Harbinger of the Tides
- 2 Icefall Regent
- 4 Master of Waves
- 1 Mizzium Meddler
- 4 Shorecrasher Elemental
- 3 Stratus Dancer
- 2 Hypnotic Siren
- 3 Dragonlord Ojutai
- 3 Thassa, God of the Sea
Aside from Harbinger of Tides, Command can do a who bunch of things that this deck wants: returning Faeries to the battlefield and triggering more card draw, keeping Siege Rhino and Silumgar, the Drifting Death from resolving, and generally helping this deck stay ahead in tempo.
Faerie Miscreant is a card my friends and I were talking about as the best one-drop in this deck, since multiples can let you cantrip and add to your devotion, and the worst rate it provides is as a Flying Man. Do we really want Hypnotic Siren? Probably not. But it does add a touch of cover against Dromoka's Command, plus it can be a very reasonable late threat.
Mizzium Meddler is one of my favorite additions to this deck since it provides safety for your best creatures while providing a 1/4 body. This creature could do some serious work saving your tapped Dragonlords or Master of Waves.
Our sideboard is still a work in progress, but offers countermagic with cards like Dissolve for heavier lifting later in the game. Prognostic Sphinx is an old Mono-Blue Devotion favorite that saw some play due to the ability to give itself hexproof while still proving a good body with evasion. I love this kind of card against midrange decks, since it can block most creatures while not dying to an Elspeth minus.
Dark Petition Is A Very Real Magic Card
This one might be a little more difficult to believe, but hear me out! I know we live in an era where Diabolic Tutor doesn't see play, and even in M14 when it was available it wasn't even glanced at. This, though... this card is much different.
There are a few shells I would love to put this card in due to the ridiculous power level it presents. At 3BB with spell mastery to Dark Ritual, for all intents and purposes this card is Demonic Tutor with a huge upside (at least speaking for Standard). This is a card that we have not seen ever. Period.
So where does it belong? Common sense says in some sort of Vintage or Legacy deck, but could it make waves in Standard?
99% Mono-Black Control is still MBC, right? Just give me a break - it was my favorite deck as a child.
This deck is meant to take full advantage of how powerful Dark Petition really is by playing a number of silver bullets along with card draw and a ton of removal. Petition can, if necessary on turn five, tutor up multiple ways to immediately kill creatures on the fly, but in the late game it lets you Demonic Tutor and drop something like a Liliana Vess or Silumgar onto the battlefield. We also are packing a modest disruption package and sweepers galore. I went with a 3/1 Languish versus Drown in Sorrow split because of how strong Languish seems against the field, but I also want something to do on turn three against Mono-Red decks and at least one copy to Petition for immediately, so at least one copy of Drown feels right. I topped it off with an Empty the Pits because an EOT Empty can be lethal with how many spells this deck wants to cast a game. The only worry I would have is against opposing Ashioks, which would probably dominate this deck if it didn't have a Hero's Downfall as an immediate answer.
The sideboard is to shore up those aggro matches further, providing more sweepers like Drown and Languish, and an extra Silumgar depending on the matchup. Palace Siege and Merciless Executioner are probably too cute, but I couldn't think of a better couple cards. I thought about shoehorning Erebos's Titan in the sideboard somewhere, but for now this felt very fluid. Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver isn't something people will readily prepare for out of a “Mono-Black Deck,” so playing her could give a pretty huge edge against certain decks like Abzan or Esper Dragons.
Magic Origins Is A Real Set
Everywhere I look on this spoiler are cards I want to shove in existing decks to see if they make them better. I want to put Woodland Bellower in See the Unwritten Green. I want Exquisite Firecraft in Atarka Red. Is there a G/B Elf deck with Shaman of the Pack and Dwynen, Guilt-Leaf Daen? I need a Sigil of the Empty Throne Abzan Constellation deck stat!
Whatever the deck may be, I think it's safe to say that Magic Origins is going to shake up things for the months leading up to the return of our Eldrazi overlords.
The only question left before the release is: what are you brewing?