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Allure of the Unknown


Oathbreaker is a new multiplayer format where everyone plays fifty-eight-card decks, plus two in the command zone: a Planeswalker and a signature spell. You can cast the instant or sorcery spell as long as your Planeswalker is on the battlefield, taxed two more each time. Whereas in Commander you build around legendary creatures, Oathbreaker allows you to feature other card types. This week we're brewing three decks around a wonderful new sorcery: Allure of the Unknown.

Allure of the Unknown

I believe this is a retelling of Pandora's Box. In the original myth, a wrathful Zeus gave a girl a false gift. When she opened the box, instead of treasures it contained monstrous evil, along with a singular glowing boon of Hope. When we cast Allure of the Unknown we anticipate the gift of drawn cards, but they come with the peril of allowing an opponent to cast the best spell right away.

Or that's how it would play out in one versus one. In multiplayer, it's all upside because you can use Allure of the Unknown as a political card to forge an alliance and gang up on a stronger foe. We'll begin with a budget deck of Angrath, Captain of Chaos, move on to a whimsical pirate deck, and end on something that spares no expense to cause pain.

This deck plays cheap and inexpensive threats to pressure Planeswalkers and opposing players. In Oathbreaker, life totals start at twenty. If they were forty, then Planeswalkers would seem flimsy, like they do in Commander, in that they're always the clear choice to attack. Because of the lower life totals and need to pressure loyalty, aggressive strategies are more valuable in Oathbreaker. Once you deploy all your threats, cast Angrath, Captain of Chaos to make them harder to block. Then refill your hand with Allure of the Unknown.

Now, it wouldn't be as fun if the free spell an ally casts off Allure of the Unknown was simply another cheap creature. This deck plays five spells with a converted mana of seven or more, and whenever you cast your signature spell you'll have the excitement of hitting one and resolving something explosive, with the help of a friend.

Sorin's Vengeance
Captive Audience

Each of these big spells will cripple an opponent. With one exception they have a single target, and once you and your ally maul the table's arch villain, your friend won't have a persistent benefit with which to kill you too. True, Sorin's Vengeance gives them a bunch of life, but if your ally wins because of a spell you let them cast, well, enjoy they victory with them. The other table-shaking spells are Cruel Reality, Meteor Golem (to also give Rakdos an out to problem permanents), and Avatar of Slaughter.

Avatar of Slaughter

If Avatar of Slaughter makes a surprise entrance, the game suddenly gets exciting. It may well kill you, but that may be worth it for the story. Casual formats are all about creating memorable moments, and Allure of the Unknown is great theater, even if it turns out to be Greek tragedy.

If you flood out, you may well be able to cast these epic spells yourself. Otherwise, discard them to cards like Bloodrage Brawler or Nahiri's Wrath. Your signature spell will give you plenty of cards, and it won't kill you to spew a few. It may even kill your opponents.

I would like to point out two cards before we move on to pirates. Loyal Apprentice and Loyal Subordinate are both at their best in this aggressive Rakdos deck. And both are under a dollar. This deck should cost you around $30 and will give you everything you need to enjoy Oathbreaker. Do have fun with these inexpensive cards, and do tell the table your deck is budget. That should earn you a few political points at least.

Loyal Apprentice
Loyal Subordinate

Look, let's not overthink Pirates. If you want to say, "Arrr!" and play Magic, Oathbreaker should be a safe space to do so. Your Planeswalker, Angrath, Minotaur Pirate, is more flavorful than powerful. Use that to your political adventure by allowing other players to underestimate you.

The most important point to note here is the briny flavor. Allure of the Unknown now refers to a pirate's desire to adventure in search of booty, to follow a Treasure Map to such riches as Arcane Signet. They might even discover a Door of Destinies.

Last we'll talk about a non-budget, non-Pirate version of the deck. You could use Allure of the Unknown in multiple powerful strategies. I chose to lean into discard themes that take advantage of the raw card draw. To that end I went with Reanimator.

Remember how I said it was dangerous to include huge creatures that can give your ally a permanent advantage? It's less risky to let an opponent cast Archfiend of Despair for free if your Oathbreaker is Angrath, the Flame-Chained. First let your opponent butcher the other players with the demon. Then whip your creature back to your side, attack, and sacrifice the eight-drop to Thud.

Now, you could play with any number of finishers. Do include your own favorites. Discard them with some of the same cards from our budget deck, such as Bloodrage Brawler, along with new ones like Firestorm. Imagine filling up your hand to seven, eight, maybe even nine cards with Allure of the Unknown, then casting Firestorm. Toast all your enemies and their little Planeswalkers, too. Or, discard all the extra lands you've drawn with Land's Edge.

Land's Edge

Captain Lannery Storm has been to the edge of the map and back. I included her in all three decklists because she is just that good. Think of her as a three-power haste creature who also accelerates you to your Planeswalker.

As with my previous Oathbreaker Reanimator list, I advise against the iconic card Reanimate. I believe the life loss is too great for this aggressive multiplayer format. If you want another cheaper way to bring back monsters, play Dance of the Dead and join the Rakdos revelry.

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