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The serious, play-to-win side of the Magic: The Gathering community.

The serious, play-to-win side of the Magic: The Gathering community.

/r/spikes is about improving your skills in competitive environments. Being a spike isn't about winning, but the desire to win and improve. This subreddit's goal is to provide players with a place that has a serious atmosphere devoid of jokes, memes and low-effort content in order to help more spikes better themselves at magic.

Who is Spike?

"Spike is the competitive player. Spike plays to win. Spike enjoys winning. To accomplish this, Spike will play whatever the best deck is. Spike does not care about deck price, spike will copy decks off the Internet. Spike will borrow other players’ decks."

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[Standard] 5c Human Legends, from the creator of Esper Legends


Hey spikes, its been over an year since I introduced Esper Legends to the world. Perhaps many of you have piloted different iterations, as well as JED taking Worlds with a version of my deck!

Today I bring you another brew that IMO is a fun and powerful tier 1 deck for Standard

here is the untapped profile of 5c Human Legends.

(I play on mobile as well so those games are not recorded)

Similar to Esper Legends an year ago, I took 5c Human Legends to Mythic with an incredible win rate of 75+%

5c Human Legends is one of the most explosive deck in Standard, often setting up for turn 5 kill with Jodah. It's also one of the best scaling decks, out scaling Dinos or Soldiers.

Our mana is great, with 12 lands that makes mana of any color untapped.

Game Plan

Drop low cost legends on turn 1,2 and [[Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea]] on 3 then

finish with uncounterable [[Jodah, the Unifier]] or

find Jodah with hasted [[Djeru and Hazoret]] or

win with value from [[Halana and Alena, Partners]]

We don't mind playing the long game with 4 Jodahs ready to make all legends giant and trample with Inti.

We are immune to non-sunfall board wipes with [[Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard]].

Our 1 and 2 drops are perfect protection for our value cards. With [[Skrelv]] , [[Melira, the Living Cure]], [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]] and Hajar, they simply cannot touch our 4 & 5 drops.

With addition of [[Inti, Seneschal of the Sun]] and [[Cavern of Souls]] from LCI, our deck is without a doubt tier 1 in standard.

Mana Base

This is what gives our deck the consistency to be a tier 1 deck.

We get to play 12 untapped lands that makes any color thx to Plaza, Courtyard and [[Cavern of Souls]]

We almost never flood. Being a legends deck we can play multiple NEO lands with 4 Plazas. That's 11 lands with another function. Don't forget the rummage from Inti to discard extra lands.

Individual Cards (Stables)

3 Skrelv

Great one drop for protection, and for turn 3 Gwenna into turn 4 Jodah untap Gwenna into 2 drop cascade into Skrelv. Sometimes breaks enemy lines by giving unblockable to one color.

3 Thalia

Probably our best 2 drop. Great disruption against most meta decks.

2 Inti

New addition from LCI, gives us much needed trample and card selection. Synergy with our NEO lands, discarding them gives us extra card to play!

3 Hajar

A 3/3 for 2 these days are not that great, but they serve as protection and another legendary body. The +1 power for your legends often surprises opponents who don't read the card.

4 Gwenna

If they cannot kill this, you most likely win the game if you have Jodah to follow. Turn 3 Gwenna into turn 4 Jodah untap Gwenna into 2 drop cascade into Skrelv is at least 4 legendary bodies with protection for Jodah. This is a very common sequence.

4 Halana

Just a powerful card to pair with any other creature. Generates value the turn played, and every later turn. Often enough to win with this card if we dont draw our 5 drops. Synergies with Hazoret and Anim.

3 Hazoret

A 5 power human legend is great with Gwenna, good chance find Jodah on attack trigger. Great top deck.

4 Jodah

This card is why we play this deck. Our mana base naturally supports casting this on curve with or without Gwenna. Makes every creature a giant threat, get used to opponent conceding when we cast him. We have so many ways to protect him, and cavern to make him uncounterable. Oh did I mention he cascades when you cast legends?

Individual Cards (Flex)


Just testing her at the moment.


Hajar is just better in the current meta, but protecting is protection.


Pretty good on curve, synergies with Halana.


Important removal, but not that powerful of a card.


Our one weakness is Sunfall, so Thalia and Invasion of Gobakhan hopefully delays that.

I like Helping Hand in theory, but have yet to feel the impact.

Other choices are pretty standard for our colors.


Hopefully you will have as much fun and success as I did with this deck! Let me know what worked for you and what didn't. Welcome with any ideas for replacing the flex cards as well.


u/Firebrand713 is currently 21-6 with this deck into D2 on the first day of season!


16:02 UTC


[Standard] Orzhov Midrange Guide by Mogged: Winning the MTGO Standard Challenge

Hello there!

As you know, Mogged won the latest MTGO Challenge with Orzhov Midrange. One of the keys to his success was anticipating the expected meta and choosing the best deck to counter it.

For those eager to learn more about the thought process behind this, in this week's article, Mogged discusses how he weighed his options on what to play and what the key factors were in choosing Orzhov Midrange as his deck to beat the metagame.

According to him, one of the keys in the current meta is Esper dominance due to having access to the perfect set of tools:
- Black contributes to stopping aggressive and creature-based strategies.
- White contributes to providing value and excels in midrange strategies
- Blue contributes to stopping strategies that go beyond your midrange deck by countering the expensive threats that mere removal can't stop.

However, Orzhov midrange might be better in the right meta!

Decklists + thought process + sideboard guide included:


Hope you like it!

15:53 UTC


[Pioneer] Greasefang Question

Hello, can Bitter Triumph be added in order to be a good removal as a replacement for Fatal Push. I currently have 2 Fatal Push in my main deck and I was wondering if I should change them with Bitter Triumph. I mean, Bitter Triumph gives the Discard effect so it helps filling the graveyard but I feel that the 1 mana removal might be better just in case I need to use Grisly Salvage or a White Targeted Spell from Sideboard. (Ray of Enfeeblement)

13:50 UTC


[Standard] Mana sink for Descend deck?

I’m looking for a mana sink to use with [[matzalantli, the great door]] / [[the core]]. Something that synergises with Descend and having permanents in the graveyard.

Preferably in dimir colours but I’m open to other suggestions too.

I’m playing standard bo1 mostly with a small amount of bo3.

I’ve been running [[evolved sleeper]] and [[surge engine]] but I feel like there are probably cards that synergies better with descending.

I find myself flipping the great door pretty easily but I don’t have any good pay offs for all that mana. I think it would be good to have something to sink all that mana into.

19:31 UTC


[Explorer] Which decks do well against appraiser combo?

For a year now I've been spamming keruga fires and easily getting mythic. Sadly the discover matchup seems very bad, so in preparation for next month I'd like to get some deck suggestions. Spirits? Rakdos midrange? What has been working for you, particularly in arena's bo1?

16:12 UTC


[Standard] Is Mono-blue tempo still a good option?

Hello! I am going to start playing Standard and because i have almost every card in mono-blue tempo, i decided to go with that because its competitive and low cost. But when i see Standard results, i dont usually see Mono blue tempo. Is the deck bad in this meta? Or is because is not very fammous? My objective was to find a good budget deck that could still win some FNMs and build a tier one after that

14:16 UTC


[Historic] Updated Enchantress is very strong against a creature combo/wizards heavy meta. Decklist and matchup discussion

17:43 UTC


[Pioneer] Mixed Data Matrix from 3 Regional Championships! 📈

Mixed Data Matrix from the 3 Regional Championships that took place over the weekend! 📈 (Canada, Japan & Korea, South America)
Discover Combo (using Geological Appraiser) emerged with a 53.8% winrate showing that it has a chance to shine in the format, but the version using Quintorius Kand only had a 38.7% winrate so it will most likely vanish from the format in a few weeks
Top Performing Decks ➡️ Izzet Phoenix and Lotus Field Control🔥
Format ➡️ Pioneer
Players Total ➡️ 730
Tournament and data link ➡️ https://mtgmeta.io/tournaments/17950?mix=17939,17934

10:03 UTC


[draft] Leaning toward playing the bad deck on day 2 of the Arena Open

Hello, I'm writing this article to share my opinion about how to augment your analysis of 17 Lands data on Day 2 of the Arena Open.A bit about me: I've played magic for around 7 or 8 years, and I've played in a couple pro tours and number of GPs over that period. I have recently had a lot of success in the Arena opens, cashing 2k in four of my last five day-twos and 7 cashes overall. This ultimately means very little as the variance in MTG is huge. I'm only sharing this so you know I have had some demonstrated success before sharing this opinion.

I just wanted to share a small tip that I think is the most valuable piece of advice I know to share for day 2 of Arena opens, which is that you should intentionally lean into archetypes that have lower winrates on 17 lands for the day two drafts.

My Assumptions

The reality is that almost everyone who makes day 2 of an arena open, esp draft 2, consumes limited strategy content of some kind and has probably looked up cards on 17 lands, if not having the data open while you draft (like me).

This is not true for the premier draft. A lot more players in the premier draft are casual and don't look up strategy content. The Arena open price tag and day one requirement weed out many of these players.

So you left with the try-hards (us) on day 2. We all want to win to brag to our friends and feel good. So we consume the strategy content and often 17 lands, directly or indirectly, through other sources.

I love 17 Lands. The data tells you how to beat premier draft. The major problem with 17 Lands is that when you move to day 2 of the arena open, the data is no longer answering the same question being asked before. Beating a bunch of try-hards like me in day two is not the same as beating the guy who plays 4 or 5 drafts per set. The correct approach to the format, and subsequent card winrates are unlikely to be the same.

My Theory

I believe underdrafted cards get inflated win rates in 17 lands, and overdrafted cards get deflated win rates, relative to their actual impact as a card in your deck. So yes, a card may be good/bad, but the data from premier draft makes it look more good/bad than it actually is. When I say "inflated" or "deflated" what I mean is that the card's winrate is lower or higher than its true impact on your deck on its own.

For example, playing a bad black card will directly cause your winrate to go down because the card isn't good. But it also correlates with you being a losing player because you're in a "bad color" and putting "bad cards in your deck," meaning you're less likely to force your way into good colours and know which cards are good. Essentially, the data is telling you two things at once: how much it impacts your win rate directly from its inherent value as a card, and what it being in your deck signals (or correlates with) regarding you as a player. And unfortunately, we get one number, and there's no clear way to separate the causation of the actual cards impact and the correlation related to what the card says about you as a player.

As a joke, I call this the "story seeker effect", I won't explain the analogy because its a long explanation with little payoff but i think OG 17 lands users will get the reference. Essentially story seeker had this inexplicably high winrate. I attribute this to the card both being pretty good (causation) and, probably more importantly, strongly correlating with tryhards like me or you who consumed strategy content agressively ending up with the card in our decks. The card wasn't causing the winrate so much as it was signaling something important about the drafter.

In my view, the abovementioned effect should encourage you to play the "bad decks" on day 2 of the arena open a lot more than you should in premier draft. The reason is that if most players rely on data where cards in specific colours have inflated or deflated winrates beyond their true impact as a card, and then everyone follows this data, the top decks will end up massively overdrafted, and the bad decks will end up massively underdrafted. I want to point out that even if you don't consume 17 lands data, the information in this data indirectly informs all sorts of limited strategy content (often without referencing the data). LR, LOL, and (especially) Twitter takes often draw on 17 lands data to confirm / generate opinions, which trickles down to the community that consumes content.

Obviously if the best deck is open, you need to end up drafting it, so you can't swing to hard in any direction. But over the past 5 arena opens, one consistent trend I've seen is that i end up in the "bad decks" a lot more than other people, who i believe have built up perceptions of cards based on the cards value that doesn't translate well to day 2.

I went into the last few arena opens wanting to draft the bad decks, and repeatedly they have been wide open. In the current set, if you just pick up a pile of black removal and some card advantage, your going to have a great deck, and if your getting dead weight 6th pick and ray of ruin close to as a push, you could quite easily control the contested jeskai aggro decks (which i think most players struggled to get the low curve they wanted) and then win using 2 for 1s.

This is just theory and based on my own personal observations and speculation, but its been what has worked for me so wanted to share!

23:08 UTC


[Standard] Boros Humans Deck & Sideboard Guide by Mogged

Hey Spikes!

As you know, Mogged is one of the top brewers in the current MTGO Standard. Last week, he achieved a Top 8 finish in the Standard Challenge with Boros Humans, and we have just published his article about the deck on MTGDecks.

In the article, he discusses the new additions from The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, along with a complete sideboard guide and 5 tips & tricks to get the most out of the deck.

For me, the most insightful part of the article was the tips and tricks that show how he thought during key moments while playing the deck.

Link to the article:


Hope you like it!

P.S.: He just won this week's Standard Challenge as well, and we will soon publish the guide too. ;)

1 Comment
22:19 UTC


[Standard] Naya Counters


I've been messing with this deck for a while and I think LCI gave it some fantastic upgrades in the form of [[Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon]] and [[Warden of the Inner Sky]].

At it's core, the deck is a +1/+1 counter deck that utilizes [[Voldaren Thrillseeker]] for reach and [[Agatha's Soul Cauldron]] and [[Ozolith, the Shattered Spire]] for synergy. The deck is very linear and aims to win the midrange and aggressive matchups by outsizing them considerably. [[Ollenbock Escort]] is a card that has overperformed significantly in preboard games. The huge lifeswing it provides turns a lot of races in our favor, especially against esper and mono red. I find myself using it for the lifegain often preboard and for protection postboard. [[Anim Pakal, Thousandth Moon]] has also felt fantastic as he demands an answer very quickly or he wins the game on his own.

I think this deck is fairly well positioned into the midrange and aggro decks of the format, but [[Sunfall]] is pretty brutal. Any advice is appreciated.

15:06 UTC


Weekly Deck Check Thread | Monday, November 27, 2023

Hello spikes!

This is the place where any and all decks can be posted for all spikes to see. The goal of this is to fit all your needs for competitive magic. Maybe it's a card consideration given an X dollar budget. Maybe you need that sweet sideboard tech that no one else thought of? Perhaps you just can't figure out the best card to beat a certain matchup. The ideas here are only limited by your imagination!

Feel free to discuss most anything here. We only ask that with any question, you also make sure to post your decklist so people have some context to answer your question. Otherwise, have at it! If you have any questions, shoot us a modmail and we'll be happy to help you out. Survive your deck check and survive your competition!

14:02 UTC


[Standard] Spelunking, Tatyova, Splendid Reclamation 'Combo' Advice

While experimenting with a more budget friendly domain list I found a fun little combo between Spelunking, Tatyova, Steward of Tides, and Splendid Reclamation. Essentially, get a bunch of lands into the graveyard, bring them back untapped with Splendid Reclamation and Spelunking, and turn them all into 3/3 flyers with haste via Tatyova, Steward of Tides. I've been able to win a good number of games out of nowhere and have had a lot of fun suddenly flooding my board with land creatures.

My current decklist (https://www.moxfield.com/decks/Y6nY1y1Au0yR5RfL_D0Jiw) uses the capenna etb sac lands for fixing and to get lands into the yard with Soul of Windgrace and Llanowar Loamspeaker for ramp and additional graveyard or land-creature support. There are also some of the top end Domain payoffs and Deeproot Wayfinder for some early game graveyarding.

It's pretty weak against disruption and aggro (which I guess is somewhat expected for combo-ish stuff). The white exile boardwipes can also destroy your game if too many of your lands are creatures when they go off.

Do you have any advice for improving the deck? I feel like focusing more on a sultai self-mill strategy rather than my current domain sac-land one might go over better. There's probably an upper limit to the 'combo', but I think the idea can also be improved/streamlined.

Additional thoughts: the Roaring Earths feel 'win more', but have been very useful with the Soul of Windgrace attack triggers. Blossoming Tortoise probably fits very well with this style of deck, I just haven't really tried it. Invasion of Zendikar and Topiary Stomper may also go in well, but have felt too slow. I've been thinking of switching some of the other two drops for Blanchwood Stalkers. The deck could also probably use more Splendid Reclamations.

20:41 UTC


[Pioneer] South America Regional Championship Data Matrix! 📈

South America Regional Championship Data Matrix! 📈
Top Performing Decks ➡️ Discover Combo, Mono-Green Devotion and Gruul Aggro 🔥
Format ➡️ Pioneer
Players ➡️ 164
🥇1st place ➡️ Discover Combo by guiyote

Tournament and data matrix link ➡️https://mtgmeta.io/tournaments/17939

19:10 UTC


[Standard] Players Convention Aichi 2023 Standard Open Data Matrix! 📈

Players Convention Aichi 2023 Standard Open Data Matrix! 📈
Top Performing Decks ➡️ Boros Aggro, Mono-Red Aggro and Domain Ramp 🔥
Format ➡️ Standard
Players ➡️ 370
🥇1st place ➡️ Esper Midrange by Kazuhiro Suzuki

Tournament Link ➡️ https://mtgmeta.io/tournaments/17935

16:59 UTC


[Standard] Deck Selection Advice

Hey yall, just an aspiring standard player here to seek some assistance regarding which standard deck to bring to a local tournament soon, as well as what to stick with for the RCQ season ahead :)
Currently, I'm split between my long time main on MTGA in Mono-Blue Tempo
(List: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/SiF9brv7BkWK1LnFebnw8A)
and a new deck that I found recently in Izzet Pirate Typal.
(List: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/uYoEEid28UepumTI\_cpOyw, credits to Ashlizzlle)
As my knowledge is relatively limited for Standard, I would appreciate any suggestions both as to the best deck to play as well as any improvements that could be made to both lists.
Thanks in advance! :)

16:30 UTC


[Pioneer] Japan & Korea Regional Championship Data Matrix! 📈

Japan & Korea Regional Championship Data Matrix! 📈
Top Performing Decks -> Azorius Control, Izzet Phoenix and Jund Transmogrify
Format -> Pioneer
Players -> 244
1st place -> Jund Transmogrify by Kenta Masukado
Tournament Link -> https://mtgmeta.io/tournaments/17934

16:02 UTC


[Standard] Domain post Ixalan

I been watching lists on untapped.gg to see how Domain adapts to the new support. What do you guys think about this list this far?

They dropped Stomper and Zendikar for 3 copies of Depop and 4 copies of Spelunking. Someone wrote a post a couple weeks ago about how Stomper and Zendikar are our weakest links. I couldn’t agree more, most of the time when I’m losing vs aggro early game it’s me with a useless Stomper, Zendikar and dick in hand with nothing to do. I’m going to guess the reasoning behind these changes is to drop the ramp package for a more control strategy. What’s better than ramping early game is actually being able to play the game. So it makes sense they shifted their priorities especially with all the white buffs for aggro/midrange.

Cavern of souls was an obvious change we all coulda seen coming a mile away. Hopefully we can land Archangel vs Azorious successfully now. Unless they start playing Tidemasters or Piranhas lol.

What do you guys think about this build?


Deck 3 Forest 3 Plains 1 Island 2 Swamp 1 Mountain 3 Cavern of Souls 1 Boseiju, Who Endures 4 Jetmir's Garden 4 Spara's Headquarters 4 Ziatora's Proving Ground

4 Archangel of Wrath 4 Leyline Binding 4 Herd Migration 3 Atraxa, Grand Unifier 3 Depopulate 4 Sunfall 4 Virtue of Persistence 4 Up the Beanstalk 4 Spelunking

Edit: not sure why list is not spacing like normal. Can’t fix while on mobile

06:35 UTC


[Standard] Rakdos Midrange

19-12 overall so far in Platinum. Have yet to lose to Gruul Dinos. Winning records against Domain, Golgari, RDW. Cannot beat Esper. Beat Esper control once but midrange is the bane of my existence... as it is for probably most decks right now. Played Golgari midrange most of last cycle with good success - 65% win rate. Loved Golgari but wanted to change things up. Initially tried a ramp”ish” shell but it was too inconsistent. Have settled on a deck that is simply midrange. If I can find a way to beat Wedding Announcement without going straight Jund…though Jund is my love…I think going 3-color would sacrifice the speed/early card advantage success this deck has over domain and gruul dinos. Give and take but it has some synergies that are fun. Looking for advice on maybe something I’m missing that’d help with beating Esper. Preacher continues to be underrated I think. Lines up well against Gruul and aggro.

1x Cut Down

4x Deep-Cavern Bat

2x Sheoldred’s Edict

1x Tenacious Underdog

2x Abrade

4x Bloodtithe Harvester

3x Molten Collapse

2x Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor

2x Liliana of the Veil

1x Lord Skitter, Sewer King

3x Preacher of the Schism

2x Gixian Puppeteer

3x Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

2x Bonehoard Dracosaur

1x Chandra, Hope’s Beacon

1x Virtue of Persistence

3x Swamp

2x Takenuma, Abandoned Mire

1x Mountain

1x Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

4x Blackcleave Cliffs

4x Haunted Ridge

4x Restless Vents

4x Sulfurous Springs

1x Cavern of Souls (enough phyrexians to make it worthwhile)

2x Mirrex


1x Cut Down 3x Duress 2x Torch the Tower 1x Anoint with Affliction 2x Bloodline Culling 3x Glistening Deluge 1x Liliana of the Veil 1x Lord Skitter, Sewer King 1x Phyrexian Arena

04:22 UTC


[Standard] RW Discover Fine-Tuning

Howdy, spikes.

A friend and I have been loving a brew in Standard lately: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/p0jbWJMz8UaFkAIcfHZS9A.

The deck has a ton of great synergies and explosive power thanks to Imodane's Recruiter. We like a lot of the cards in the main deck. The only real stumbling point has been the 3-cmc slot. We've tried: Adeline; Chandra, Dress to Kill, and are currently using Sanguine Evangelist as a way to get some extra bodies on the field for a big Imodane's Recruiter swing. We'd love any feedback on the 3-cmc slot and the sideboard. We've been doing a lot of tuning in the SB, but with Standard acting as a sort of brewer's paradise right now, it's been hard to develop a comprehensive sideboard against the field.

I'm looking to take this to my local store champs next week, so I'd love your input.

23:45 UTC


[Draft][LCI] The Ultimate Guide to The Lost Caverns of Draft

Our Limited Expert Bryan Hohns (u/Veveil_17) is back once more with his Ultimate Draft Guide to The Lost Caverns of Ixalan! You can read it for free now on Draftsim and run a few test drafts using our simulator!
In Short: "If I could sum up The Lost Caverns of Ixalan in one word, it’d be tempo."

His archetype rankings are as follows:

  1. Azorius artifacts/fliers
  2. Izzet pirates
  3. Gruul dinos
  4. Boros midrange
  5. All other archetypes
16:12 UTC


[Explorer] Amalia Combo

I gave brewing Amalia Combo a shot!


I Play a rather focused combo shell with a bit of a Switch-out sideboard to Midrange. The whole deck is still under construction. Some considerations are to increase the numbers of dinas and veterans and cut the branch walkers. Also trespasser feels like a nice way to start the combo and is a powerful card on its own. Return to ranks over extraction specialist feels amazing so far.

I’m also separately thinking about a different approach of just playing two of each combo pieces in a heavier midrange/Silver Bullet shell, and sideboarding for more combo pieces in favorable match ups. https://www.moxfield.com/decks/9hwVhDMftEeYl2ZydQJMew

As I started playing again a few days before the set came out, I just climbed to diamond this season and I’m focused on brewing a bit so I don’t know if I make it this season and can’t comment on Mythic WR.

I’m really happy to have an abzan creature combo in explorer and pioneer, as Melira pod made me interested in competitive magic for the first time.

11:52 UTC


[Discussion] How on earth are you meant to deal with Geological Appraiser+Eldritch Evolution decks?

How on earth are you meant to deal with Geological Appraiser decks?

I've never really experienced something so seemingly busted! I've versed the deck 10 or so times now in historic and if the Geological Appraiser resolves it's game over. Geological Appraiser into Eldritch Evolution into 6-8 copies of Trumpeting Carnosaur through glasspool mimic cards then a Doomskar Titan. This usually happens turn 3.

Am I missing something here? I haven't seen it whiff yet and short of running counterspells I have no idea how to deal with it.

00:02 UTC


[Standard] Wandering Emperor in Domain??

Why are we not playing her in Domain?? She literally fills every role we need. I mean Archangel is sexy and all, but we have to have 5-6 to really get real use out of her and extend our game. Emperor can also extend our game vs aggro, it's not as strong as a successful Archangel but she still helps, and aggro is likely to want to rid of Emperor sooner than later, so more life preserved.

I'm not saying we drop Archangel completely, I think we can run them together. Emperor might even be useful in mirror because giving your guy first strike (Atraxa vs Atraxa) changes things up in your advantage immensely, or simply flashing her in and Exiling their Atraxa can be a huge turn of tables. I think. And of course, simply pumping out 2/2 togens can put some pressure early game, maybe even force a Sunfall on togens instead of Atraxa for later on. That's profit.

If anyone can explain to me why we don't this baby girl, I would like to know the technical reasoning behind this. Sheeeiitt Emperor and Archangel together???

19:56 UTC


[Discussion] LCI after 1 week(ish): What’s Working and What Isn’t?

Now that the dust has settled, it's time to calmly discuss the impact of LCI in the metagame. How’s it working out for you?

Thanks for all the discussion. As always, if you’ve found something worthwhile or just can’t seem to get something to work PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR DECKLIST! It’s a great starting point for people to give feedback about inclusions/exclusions and specific card performance. Have fun guys.

15:31 UTC


[Standard] Discover 1-Card Combo for... Standard!?

Well, as if folks weren't sick of the damage to Explorer (and as if Historic, the turn 1 geist format, could get worse), there is a fully functional combo deck waiting in standard to chain discover triggers into a same-turn 1-card kill. How? Simple: Clones. And a haste source, and some chance of fizzling due to that haste source.

Presenting: Doot Dino

[[Trumpeter Carnosaur]] can hit [[Mirrorhall Mimic]] and [[Undercover Operative]]. It could hit [[See Double]] too, but that gets excessive and can fizzle against Thalia. Then after a random number of hits, 0-8 clones, you can get one of [[Nahiri's Resolve]], [[Imodane's Recruiter]] or [[Palani's Hatcher]] to give them haste. They all have minor upsides/downsides in various matchups, but in general I'd always use Nahiri's because if you fizzle its blink ensures you get all the clones the next turn. Now you have a bunch of 8/6 trample haste dinos, up to 72 evasive hasty power on the field at once.

And like discover combos in other formats, the shell is clear: A domain deck to utilize leyline binding / etc, and all the spells should be either ramp or interaction, all with 6+ mana value. Anything to help you survive to the turn 4-5 to cast Carnosaur, or a few potential redundant combo starters like breach the multiverse. I'm going to be pretty exhaustive listing the relevant spells, in descending order of priority. I'm excluding things that would just be bad, like you could run Cradle Clearcutter as a 1/3 mana dork for 3, but besides being terrible that's also just eating removal in a low creature deck:

Combo Pieces

  • Trumpeting Carnosaur

  • Mirrorhall Mimic

  • Undercover Operative

  • Nahiri's Resolve, Imodane's Recruiter or Palani's Hatcher (1-of)

  • See Double

Ramp / Fixing:

  • Greater Tanuki (the only useable ramp)

  • Herd Migration (also a backup wincon)

  • The x-cycling lands to fix mana (not really worth using even if they can get triomes)

Interaction / Control:

  • Leyline Binding

  • Virtue of Persistence

  • Horned Loch-Whale

  • Vanquish The Horde

  • Mirrorshell Crab

  • Colossal Skyturtle

  • Stormkeld Vanguard (sideboard at best)

  • Multiple copies of Eiganjo

  • Quicksand Whirlpool (getting iffy here)

  • Farewell (while you can play 6+ mana sweepers, that's when you want to cast carnosaur on curve)

Combo Redundancy / Tutors

  • Breach The Multiverse (has a chance to whiff with no carnosaurs, and a chance to mill over your haste)

  • The World Spell (higher chance to whiff when digging only 7 deep, AND taking an extra turn)

  • Thunderous Debut (just prohibitively costly at 8, and needs a leyline you can sacrifice to get carnosaur)

  • Hearth Elemental (I haven't tested this, but being able to pitch and redraw when you run out of cards, seems plausible, but terrible)

Here's a sample decklist I've used

I've been able to play a lot of the matchups in a ton of games, and I can say its outperforming everything else I've built. I'll still lose to RDW on the play with a turn 1 kumano and curving out, no matter how much removal I chain, but there's both a bunch of ways to dismantle most normal aggro decks as well as ways to grind out control decks. For example, resolving a loch-whale on their end of turn, then untapping and casting a carnosaur, so even if they kill it in response I can get a second loch-whale, which might force out a sweeper, which opens me up to roll again with a breach and win.

The combo generally kills on the spot. Its pretty easy to quantify: If there are 5/6/7/8 clones and 1 nahiri left in the deck when you cast it, then the odds of hitting at least 2 clones to get 24 power, is 60/67/71/75%. If you mulligan and hit a Nahiri in hand, you can put it on the bottom of your deck and guarantee you hit all the clones first- same if you cast it from hand first. Its still a significant fizzle rate, and while you can exile the carnosaur and have a guaranteed full damage combo the next turn, it does give your opponent an opening to react.

Overall I think the archetype of "1 shot kill in a domain discovery deck that runs a bunch of high MV interaction/ramp" is already proven across formats, and this has lived up to it, even if its not near as fast as the other formats. Turn 5 kill at the earliest. And for sideboards, it lets you morph into a full blown domain non-combo deck if you want, swap out the clones, put in beanstalks and such.

And of course, footage of what it looks like comboing off

05:25 UTC


[Standard] Advice for Standard Pia Nalaar Deck

Hello, I have been playing commander for around 2 years now and wanted to get into Standard on Arena. Currently have this decklist built in game with pretty reasonable success in best of one's and the few times I've taken it into Traditional Ranked Standard (Currently in Platinum from playing Golgari Midrange).

Current gameplan behind the deck is to leverage advantage from primarily [[Pia Nalaar]] along with the new [[Quintorious Kand]]. Deck has a token subtheme, generating tokens with [[Wedding Announcement]] and [[Virtue of Loyalty]]. Deck also leverages the advantages of Adventures more than normal decks due to being able to cast the adventure side from exile for double value from Pia and Quintorious. Removal suite is pretty broad in purpose with 4 [[Get Lost]] and 1 [[Nahiri's Warcrafting]], with the idea being to have broad removal that I hone in with the sideboard after figuring out what the opponents gameplan is. Also aim to keep removal at 3 CMC and below so I can hit it with [[Geological Appraiser]] and Quintorious. This is primarily since I'm not running much removal, so these cards can act as potential extra removal in a pinch. The decks really strong at keeping tempo going and closes games cleanly if Pia is able to stay on board while not totally relying on her.

Main issues I am having at the moment are first, the mana base. It's my first time designing a three color mana base for 60 card and it just feels kind of clunky in general. 2nd is removal/sideboard. I feel like I need maybe 1 or 2 more removal spells but have trouble finding the space. The sideboard is also primarily what I found other decks in similar color combinations playing, and it seems to have worked alright, but I'm wondering if there's any obvious contenders I'm missing.

Any and all advice even outside of what I asked is appreciated. Thanks!


03:41 UTC


[Explorer] Antidote to Discover BO1 Combo

Just wanted to share a list I've adapted in Explorer to hose the recent influx of discover combo people. Plopping down a t2 phyrexian censor feels real nice. It happens to also be a decent meta pick against a few other decks but generally it just feels nice to put the combo players in check. Happy for any input!

4 Archon of Emeria (ZNR) 4
3 Branchloft Pathway (ZNR) 258
4 Collected Company (AKR) 186
4 Elite Spellbinder (STX) 17
1 Emeria's Call (ZNR) 12
4 Forest (MIR) 347
1 Hashep Oasis (AKR) 301
1 Kazandu Mammoth (ZNR) 189
4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168
4 Lovestruck Beast (ELD) 165
4 Luminarch Aspirant (ZNR) 24
4 Plains (MIR) 331
1 Rhonas the Indomitable (AKR) 213
4 Skyclave Apparition (ZNR) 39
4 Voice of Resurgence (DGM) 114
4 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
2 The Great Henge (ELD) 161
3 Phyrexian Censor (MOM) 31
4 Razorverge Thicket (ONE) 257
2 Declaration in Stone (SOI) 12
2 Giant Killer (ELD) 14
1 Knight of Autumn (GRN) 183
1 Reidane, God of the Worthy (KHM) 21
2 Rest in Peace (AKR) 33
1 Reidane, God of the Worthy (KHM) 21
1 Rest in Peace (AKR) 33
3 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (DKA) 24

21:06 UTC


[Standard] Need help with a Bant Beanstalk mana base

Reposting because I forgot the bracket tag.

Hi everybody, my list is here: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/Qurdh34obkS5ZhXNFkvs3Q

Essentially, I'm pretty set on most of it. I'm sure you'll find some choices are a bit unorthodox so I'm happy to get your feedback and explain my choices to see if they make sense. The main thing I'm struggling with is the lands. I have no idea how to build the perfect mana base. Maybe I'm overreacting as all the test hands I've done have worked out fine (almost never flooding/screwing and never being stuck to playing a tap land when I wish I had an untapped land), but I'm new to deck building (only sometimes subbing some cards in stock lists). I am also curious as to what you guys think of the non land cards but I feel I'll be pretty comfortable with this deck against all the Tier 1 decks.

20:59 UTC


[Draft] Top Commons and Uncommons in LCI Limited

I ran a model to rank the top 5 commons/uncommons for each color. The tables (especially appendix) make the article seem far longer than it is. All data is from 17Lands, amazing website

In the article I also explored under performing and over performing cards in each color.

I published the model last week

Highlights include:

Mathematically proving that Zoetic Glyph is a mythic uncommon

Ranking each color by it's depth at common/uncommon

Adding alternative scores based on ALSA

Observing how most 1-drops are top performers or over performers in the set. Tricks are also doing quite well


I forgot to include instructions on running the model yourself in Excel.

Step 1: Get the raw data from 17 lands (copy to clipboard)

Step 2: delete excess columns

Step 3: Add formula for DV

=((GIH_WR*100-40)/(70-40))/(ATA ^ (1/3))

GIH_WR and ATA are just the cell reference to the corresponding values


If you liked this article please check out my previous publications. I normally write about RDW in constructed. My next article will be about tips and tricks (with mathematical proof) for Boros Burn

Modern Burn

Canadian Highlander RDW

Historic Brawl Torbran

Set Reviews:

LCI - Limited|Constructed

17:11 UTC

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