Players have tried all manner of combinations of God-Pharaoh's Gift decks. has tended to be the most popular, with Angel of Invention letting you swing the game in a huge way against almost every deck in the format. is also popular, using Combat Celebrant to get extra activations of God-Pharaoh's Gift and combo opponents out. That said, we’ve also seen Mono-Red Goblins builds using Skirk Prospector, as well as Green-based builds using the explore mechanic to stock the graveyard. This week, we’ve got another new and exciting take on the archetype:
Blue-Black Gift - Dominaria Standard | ZMagic, 5-0 Standard League
- Creatures (30)
- 1 Trophy Mage
- 2 Hostage Taker
- 2 Ravenous Chupacabra
- 2 The Scarab God
- 3 Kitesail Freebooter
- 4 Champion of Wits
- 4 Gifted Aetherborn
- 4 Minister of Inquiries
- 4 Seekers' Squire
- 4 Walking Ballista
God-Pharaoh's Gift is really interesting. You have the same kind of midrange plan as the other God-Pharaoh's Gift decks, where you just cast Champion of Wits and Walking Ballistas as you work your way up to Gate to the Afterlife activations. Minister of Inquiries is still one of the best ways to stock your graveyard quickly, though it is a little less exciting without the explosiveness of the Refurbish package. Kitesail Freebooter is also an exciting pickup, giving you a little extra game against control and midrange decks by taking key removal spells like Abrade, Cast Out, or Settle the Wreckage so that you can safely get a Gift into play and smash your opponent’s face.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this deck is that it has relatively few slots dedicated to making the God-Pharaoh's Gift plan more consistent. There’s only one Trophy Mage to help tutor for Gate to the Afterlife. Champion of Wits and Seeker's Squire certainly help, but it looks like your primary gameplan is just to eventually find a Gate to the Afterlife or just cast a God-Pharaoh's Gift and take over from there.
The reason you can do this is because this deck also gets to play with The Scarab God. This is usually a nightmare card for God-Pharaoh's Gift decks to play against, since your opponent can just start taking reanimating your creature in response to your God-Pharaoh's Gift. That certainly suggests that The Scarab God would be great in this deck as a backup plan and potential countermeasure to opposing The Scarab Gods.
If you’re looking for a way to keep playing God-Pharaoh's Gift in the face of more disruption and The Scarab God, this may be one of the more resilient versions of this style of deck right now. It’s certainly less combo-tastic than most other builds we’ve seen, but you gain a lot of staying power and the average card quality in this deck is quite high, as compared to other God-Pharaoh's Gift decks which can have some very high variance draws.