God-Pharaoh's Gift in various forms has been a fixture of this Standard format. We’ve seen all manner of takes like, , and more recently and even Mono-Red. The deck picked up a few interesting cards from Dominaria that have breathed new life into the archetype and given it even more explosive potential. Let’s take a look:
U/R God-Pharaoh?s Gift - Dominaria Standard | Rithenium, 5-0 Standard League
- Creatures (32)
- 1 Vizier of Many Faces
- 3 Trophy Mage
- 4 Champion of Wits
- 4 Combat Celebrant
- 4 Fanatical Firebrand
- 4 Minister of Inquiries
- 4 Skirk Prospector
- 4 Walking Ballista
- 4 Warkite Marauder
The idea here is relatively straightforward and very powerful. You’ve got lots of looting effects in Champion of Wits and Gate to the Afterlife to get creatures into your graveyard. You can back that up with Walking Ballista and Fanatical Firebrand. Minister of Inquiries even lets you mill yourself to put cards in the graveyard. Your goal is to get God-Pharaoh's Gift active as quickly as possible.
Then you can win in one of two ways. You can grind your opponent out by rebuying Champion of Wits for a couple turns in a row, or you can chain Combat Celebrants and get a ton of God-Pharaoh's Gift triggers and combat steps in one turn, typically killing your opponent on the spot.
The big addition to this deck from Dominaria is Skirk Prospector. This innocuous card does all kinds of exciting things for this deck. Firstly, it is another creature that can kill itself at a moment’s notice, triggering Gate to the Afterlife and stocking your graveyard. Secondly, it generates mana, which is critically important. An extra mana or two is the difference between looting enough creatures into your graveyard and activating a Gate to the Afterlife or dying because you’re just a little short. It also gives you more opportunities to just hardcast God-Pharaoh's Gift by sacrificing a Prospector and a Fanatical Firebrand to get up to 7 mana.
This deck still has a ton of explosive potential and does some very powerful things. It loses to itself occasionally, but the combination of Champion of Wits and Trophy Mage gives you a ton of looks at Gate to the Afterlife. If you’re looking to do something unfair in Standard, this is probably your best bet.