The Cleric Chronicles
The occupation of planeswalker is an old one, but not a stale one. It has been around since the beginning of our reckoning of time; the year we call Alpha. Our duels have changed with the shifting multiverse around us, and we must change with it.
Friends, the multiverse is changing now.
I have come to tell you that in my wanderings of the multiverse, I have guided and shaped a powerful collection of spells that has great promise in our Convocation's next season; the season we call Onslaught Block. Boosted by trials of this repertoire on the network of mages known as Apprentice, I now present this library of spells to you, in hopes that together, we may create a winning force.
Creatures to summon to do your bidding:
2 Scion of Darkness
2 Graveborn Muse
3 Nantuko Husk
4 Doubtless One
4 Cabal Archon
4 Rotlung Reanimator
2 Weathered Wayfarer
4 Nova Cleric
4 Blood Celebrant
4 Dark Supplicant
Lands in your domain
1 Starlit Sanctum
Yes, my friends. The power of the Otarian clerics should not be underestimated. Come; let me explain how it works.
It is quite simple: Your devout worshipers attack your opponent before they can even set up their forces. When they fall for your glory, whether in battle or to your own design, their essence is transformed into undead zombies by the Rotlung Reanimator to fight again. Your life force and those zombies power the dark beauty that is the Graveborn Muse, granting you the advantage over your adversary... And when her demands on you become too great, she can be devoured by the formidable Nantuko Husk to fuel its own growth.
Finally, the two great avatars of the clerics can be summoned to end the duel quickly. The Doubtless One revels in the glory of battle, siphoning her attacks into you to increase your life force. Alternatively, she can immolate herself at your Starlit Sanctum, as discovered by your Weathered Wayfarer, devastating your opponent. The Scion of Darkness can be conjured from the sacrifice of your Dark Supplicants and other clerics out of nowhere, and has the power to turn your opponent's own dead legions against them. By hexing your graveyard with an Oversold Cemetery enchantment, your own legions can be summoned again even as their zombified essences fight next to them.
You can increase their strength with a Shared Triumph enchantment, allowing them to take down foes larger than they are. And when the battlefield gets too full, you can summon the power of Akroma's Vengeance to empty your opponent's side, while your clerics return as Zombies or come back by way of a post-Vengeance Oversold Cemetery. In summary, either an army of small creatures that don't completely die, uncounterable life loss, or giant avatars will win you the duel.
I am not the only planeswalker preparing for the coming Tournaments. I have met others in my travels, and we have engaged in friendly duels to test the strength of our respective strategies. I am glad to report that my Clerics have emerged victorious far more often than they have not, against the following tactics
What these vile creatures lack in intelligence, they make up for in brute strength. However, my smaller clerics appear much faster than their beasts; and while their life force is dwindling away, mine grows with the sacrifice of clerics to the sinister Cabal Archon or the power of the Doubtless One. They must get rid of my clerics twice with my Rotlung Reanimator - and if I have an Oversold Cemetery, the Clerics never stop. My Scion of Darkness is even larger than most beasts out there... And when it hits, I can add beasts to my side as well. Finally, Akroma's Vengeance keeps them down as well. This is by far your easiest match.
A twist on a powerful archetype in other Tournaments, this version is very strong, indeed. My clerics are taken out almost as quickly as they are summoned, and they have beasts to run over what's left. However, they must eventually run out of removal spells, and then it is time for an Akroma's Vengeance... Or to recur your clerics from the Cemetery. Life gain is important here to keep you ahead. They have their own life gain, too, so it is a constant race. So far this has been my hardest match. The version with Patriarch's Bidding helps your side as much as theirs, and is less of a problem. Adding Withered Wretch takes out their graveyard strategies, and adding Smother disrupts their early creature designs.
The return of an old favorite makes some people try them again, but the new is rarely as good as the old. After facing these people several times, my only advice is for you to never try this strategy. Ever. It loses to everything. Clerics included.
Nova Cleric and Akroma's Vengeance wreck their enchantments, but it takes crucial time to get either of them to work - so before it gets to that, Shared Triumph helps strengthen your clerics against attacks by a Lightning Rift, while Cabal Archon or Starlit Sanctum makes sure that your clerics can do damage while still summoning sick. Adding Demystify provides extra offense against their enchantments, while adding Smother or Profane Prayers will take out an Exalted Angel in one or the other of her forms.
I have met others on the quest for the best Cleric strategy. My version does not focus on the Scion of Darkness, like others have tried, and instead has many ways of winning. However, I do have two Scions instead of one as others have, so I can use them when I need to. The true key is who can have more Rotlung Reanimators out - because when their Clerics die, your Reanimators can grab their essences as well. Nantuko Husk and Graveborn Muse are not common in other Cleric strategies, and work well to beat other Clerics as well as any other tactic. Adding Misery Charm and Profane Prayers keeps the match in your favor.
I leave you with these thoughts: The sideboard is not concrete, and the inclusion of spells like Blackmail has been considered. Also, does the Graveborn Muse belong here? I know others are looking for a place for her, and she has worked well so far. I think she will stay. Should there be more than two Akroma's Vengeances? Sometimes the round comes down to whether or not I can clear away their creatures. These questions and more I hope to answer in future testing. For now, thank you for joining me in my journey. Have fun and good luck in your own Planeswalker Tournaments.