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Can Allure of the Unknown Work in Standard?


In the quest to put up a video with a new Standard deck every day, I end up playing some very silly stuff. Social distancing has been taking a toll and exponentially multiplying the stir crazy. I considered myself a competitive Magic player once, and now I spend my day wondering how to get Atemsis, All-Seeing to one-shot kill my opponent. What has happened to me?

Allure of the Unknown

When it comes to passing time or escaping the troubles of the world, few things are more immersive for me than trying to make a new deck idea work. In the case of Allure of the Unknown, it was a painful process. I would put together a br list I liked, play it, and experience the agony of enabling my opponent to cast my best cards against me for free. Little by little, I narrowed the list down to cards that aren't very effective against me. At this point, the nastiest thing my opponent can hit me with is another copy of Allure of the Unknown.

Since Frozen II was released early on Disney+, I have had the song "Into the Unknown" from the film stuck in my head. Perhaps that is what led me to this deck.

Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger tries to carry this deck. The legendary Elder Giant is a wincon and recurring source of damage and card advantage that isn't too devastating if the opponent takes him with Allure of the Unknown. You just drew 5 cards, so discarding one isn't too bad. After Allure of the Unknown resolves, Kroxa heads to your graveyard along with the card you discarded so you can use Escape to bring him back and torture your opponent.

Erebos's Intervention
Purphoros's Intervention

Should Kroxa come up short, Purphoros's Intervention is your other wincon. This deck draws a lot of land thanks to Allure of the Unknown and a crazy-high 28 landcount (less things for the opponent to take!). Eventually you will be able to make a very large Elemental Token to smack your opponent with. X spells are perfect for this deck because if the opponent tries to cast them off Allure they will realize that X always equals zero. They don't get a chance to dump mana into the card.

Castle Locthwain

Castle Locthwain plays a critical role in the deck by letting you keep up with your opponent's threats. Most good threats in Standard are 2-for-1's, meaning they leave something behind when they die. Teferi, Time Raveler can be killed by numerous spells and effects, but he drew a card that you still need to answer. Nissa, Who Shakes the World may be removed, but you still have to beat the 3/3 vigilant land she animated. A deck full of 1-for-1 removal spells like Into the Unknown may kill a few things, but without a way to keep the cards flowing the deck will eventually lose to all those 2-for-1's. Allure of the Unknown is the ultimate refill, but Castle Locthwain is often needed to keep you in the game until you draw the deck's namesake card.

Pharika's Libation

Modal removal spells are the name of the game for this deck. Without them, a pile of removal would only have a good matchup against the most basic aggro decks in the format. This deck can give headaches to all manner of opponents because almost nothing they play will survive. Bedevil and Angrath's Rampage hit planeswalkers, artifacts, and creatures. Pharika's Libation hits enchantments, which is usually a blind spot for these decks. Purphoros's Intervention hits planeswalkers or creatures, while Storm's Wrath hits planeswalkers and creatures. Erebos's Intervention knocks out graveyards and gains life to outlast burn spells. Indestructible and Hexproof threats would normally be a headache for a control deck, but this list has tons of answers to both without playing Shadowspear. Blast Zone is in the mana base as well, but it is probably unnecessary to be honest. The play pattern is simple:

  1. Kill everything that gets played.
  2. Draw a bunch of cards with Allure of the Unknown.
  3. Bring Kroxa back until the opponent has no hand.
  4. Use all that mana to cast Purphoros's Intervention or attack with Kroxa a few times.

Matchup Guide

Mono Red Aggro


This matchup is pretty fun, and has been positive in my experience. One of my big rules for brewing MTG Arena decks is that you must be able to beat Mono Red at least half the time, or you will have a sad experience. Erebos's Intervention is crucial to outlast their burn spells and haste creatures, but use it early if you have to. There is no sense in taking 8 damage from a Scorch Spitter waiting to gain 5 life with Erebos's Intervention.

Anax, Hardened in the Forge

Mono Red's preferred play-pattern against board wipes like Storm's Wrath is to play 2 or 3 creatures and then drop Anax, Hardened in the Forge to make a board wipe less effective. Pharika's Libation can cut through the noise and remove Anax at instant speed by making the opponent sacrifice an enchantment. This way your Storm's Wrath on the following turn can be the AOE clear it should be. Try to hold a Bedevil for Embercleave or Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and you should be fine.

Bant Ramp

Dream Trawler

This deck loves to wreck Dream Trawler. Angrath's Rampage and Pharika's Libation cut the sphinx down easily, but you can also obliterate their hand with Kroxa to make the Trawler vulnerable to Bedevil. Use Erebos's Intervention to exile Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath and as much of their graveyard as possible since they may have Tamiyo, Collector of Tales. Hydroid Krasis is the real issue because it draws so many cards, so you need to cast Allure of the Unknown and use Castle Locthwain a lot in this battle. Try not to run a Purphoros's Intervention elemental token into a Teferi, Time Raveler's +1 ability because Shatter the Sky at instant speed is one of the only things they can do about it.

Rakdos Sacrifice

Witch's Oven

Don't let them have an oven! Bedevil is a huge card in this matchup and you should avoid using it on anything other than Witch's Oven. Don't forget that Angrath's Rampage can only hit Witch's Oven if they don't have a creature to sacrifice, otherwise they will activate the Oven in response and sacrifice a Food token. Without an oven this matchup works out well for you. Find spots to exile their graveyard with Erebos's Intervention if they play Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger as well. Be extremely wary of running your Kroxa into a Claim the Firstborn.

Temur Adventures

Lucky Clover

Our deck has ways to kill Lucky Clover, and that is a big deal. They will use Fae of Wishes to grab cards that shut off Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger like Grafdigger's Cage. This will tax our artifact removal, so try to save Bedevil and Angrath's Rampage for Lucky Clovers and sideboard cards only. Beanstalk Giant is huge, so try to use Storm's Wrath to clear all the nonsense and Pharika's Libation to get the giant. Don't turn a Purphoros's Intervention elemental token into a Brazen Borrower, make sure to empty their hand with Kroxa first.

While there are many other matchups in Standard right now, these are the ones I find the most common and the trickiest. I have been enjoying this deck in BO1 MTG Arena, and it has exceeded my expectations. If you want to develop a sideboard for the deck, please post a comment about it as I would love to see it. If you want to see some gameplay, you can find it below. See you next week!

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