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Keeping Up with the Companion Challenge


Hi there, come have a seat, let's chat. I get the impression many of you had a tough week. Yes, I know about the Agent of Treachery problem. I know how bad it feels to craft some wildcards, brew up something that looks fun, and proceed to have every single permanent stolen from you. I must admit that I have closed MTG Arena in a salty mood a few times this week. There comes a point in every Standard format where you say "Is this all there is? This isn't fun!", and you must decide if you are going to dig in or check out. My secret is that I never check out. There are always more decks to build. Even the saddest unsupported mix of colors has a brew you could play. I can't promise you that these brews will beat an endless army of Agent of Treachery, but I do know there are fun games to be played off-ladder, outside Magic's top tier. Here are my favorite brews from this week.

Building a deck with Vadrok, Apex of Thunder is tricky. The deck wants non-human creatures to mutate onto, but it also needs noncreature spells that are effective. It would be nice to fit in the always amazing Teferi, Time Raveler to protect your mutations while being a great target for Vadrok's mutation trigger. Your spells probably need to be cheap because you have to cast them early, but if they are cheap they often get outclassed later in the game. Enter Whirlwind of Thought.

Whirlwind of Thought
Vadrok, Apex of Thunder

The deck has a lot of cheap spells that don't look good on their own and are easily overpowered after turn four, so we go with sheer numbers to make them better. If every noncreature spell draws a card, you will have tons of spells to cast. Maybe the opponent can laugh at one Raise the Alarm and one Callous Dismissal, but if you are casting multiples of these every turn they have to take notice.

Jegantha, the Wellspring

I wouldn't play Jegantha, the Wellspring in my deck if it weren't free, but this elemental elk isn't just filler. The ability is a great way to cast Whirlwind of Thought without taking a turn off from casting other spells. The body is always a good mutate target, something that wily opponents will try to keep you off of. The deck has been rock solid against aggro decks. If you want more game against midrange and control you may want to add Dovin's Veto and Disdainful Stroke. Recurring these counterspells with Lore Drakkis turn after turn is a great way to lock an opponent out of the game

The next deck I am having a lot of fun with is Grixis Control featuring Lurrus of the Dream-Den as the companion.

When your opponent sees Lurrus of the Dream-Den at the start of the game, they will think you are playing something aggressive. That alone is a big advantage. This deck can play a very long game using Lurrus of the Dream-Den to recur Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Lazav, the Multifarious does double duty by impersonating Kroxa or Lurrus. What drove me to this deck was how much I loved the idea of using the Granted adventure spell from Fae of Wishes to fetch planeswalkers like Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God from the sideboard in a deck where my companion normally wouldn't allow me to play expensive planeswalkers.

Soul-Guide Lantern
Unmoored Ego

Soul-Guide Lantern keeps the opponent from having the graveyard resources you have, and later in the game you can use it to draw an extra card every turn with Lurrus of the Dream-Den. Unmoored Ego makes the cut because the deck doesn't have much to do in the early turns anyway. I would love to play Narset, Parter of Veils, but Lurrus doesn't allow it. Instead we can use that early set-up turn to answer a future threat like Agent of Treachery.

The next deck is a take on four-color Yorion Calix Fires that also tries to trap the opponent under multiple copies of Cindervines so they cannot cast spells.

This is a fun tap-out control deck that gets to use Calix, Destiny's Hand because it has such a density of enchantments. Calix is really good when you can get him on turn three thanks to Growth Spiral, possibly in addition to Fires of Invention the same turn. My favorite play this week came in a game where my opponent stole my Kiora Bests the Sea God with Agent of Treachery. I cast Calix, Destiny's Hand and used the [-3] ability to exile the Kiora Bests the Sea God attaching it to my own Omen of the Forge. I sacrificed the Omen of the Forge on my opponent's end step to scry 2, making another 8/8 hexproof Kraken token. On my turn the saga triggered for chapter two, tapping all of my opponent's permanents and I swung for the win.

Calix, Destiny's Hand

I feel like Cindervines is in a good place. The ability to destroy artifacts and enchantments seems to come up every game, and the chip damage can add up. With Calix's [+1] you can usually find multiple copies to put a squeeze on your opponent over the course of the game. I haven't tried to figure out how to play Cindervines and Lurrus of the Dream-Den together yet, but you had better believe that is on the way.

The companion cost on deck-building continues to provide me with a fun challenge week after week. To see videos for the decks I write about, check out my YouTube channel, and remember to get a discount on your CoolStuffInc.com order with the promo code CGB5. Thanks for reading.

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