Five-color decks are a sort of holy grail for new casual players. I remember opening a pack of Apocalypse back in the day and staring down the card with the largest block of text I had seen up to that point: Last Stand. The art was chaotic and brutal, the ability seemed overpowered, though difficult to achieve, and all in all it was a card that screamed, "build a deck around me!" I very much wanted to build a deck around it, but eleven-year-old me had no idea how to accomplish such a feat. Fast Forward to Kaldheim's release, and you can imagine the rush of nostalgia I got when I read Path to the World Tree. An enchantment similar to Last Stand that also searches out any color of mana that I might need? I was eleven again. With the excitement of a child opening packs on Christmas, I got right to work and threw together a five-color deck that eleven-year-old me could only dream about.
Five-Color Path Control | Casual | James Heslip
Cost: $14 at the time of publication
While there's no true core set of cards we are trying to find or combine, Path to the World Tree is the entire reason we've built the deck. Finding any basic land for us means it's much easier for us to run all five colors, and its seven-cost ability calls to the Timmy in us all. While it does have a sort of ceiling on its power (unlike Last Stand), I like that we don't have to discard the cards we draw off its activation.
Last Stand is our other big spell, if only for the nostalgia factor. Unlike Path, Stand gets bigger and better the more lands we have in play. Because of the potential for mana fixing and land ramp, we focus much more on Green in this deck than any other color. This ends up working out well for us, as arguably the best part of Last Stand's effect comes from our forest count. Filling the field with Sparolings is a respectable win condition when backed up by all the other text on the card, plus everything else we're packing.
There are other big Timmy spells we play besides Stand and Path. Obelisk of Alara is one I find to be loads of fun to cast. With so many options on one card, how could you ever get bored with it? This thing can gain us life, draw us cards, kill small threats, beef up our attackers, or even act as a win condition by burning opponents every turn. The card advantage is real, and it comes in the form of a large stone monolith.
With five colors being played, we need to be able to reliably cast our spells with the correct color of mana every game. Sylvan Ranger acts much like Path's first effect, helping us find any basic land we need and placing it into our hand. Rampant Growth brings our mana straight into play, allowing for multiple to come down in a turn. This is one of two ways we can pop Khalni Heart Expedition early - the other being Evolving Wilds. Together, each of these cards assures we will get at least one land drop every turn, and also makes it much more likely the strategy can function on all five colors.
Not playing cards with Domain in a five-color deck seems criminal, so we've got a few included. Worldly Counsel finds anything we might need on any given turn (including mana) which makes it a must-include in our list. Our other Blue Domain spell is Evasive Action. As we build our multicolored mana base, Evasive Action will make it much more difficult for other players to answer power plays like Last Stand. Tribal Flames is likely the best Domain spell ever printed, and can be aimed at a creature threat, or straight at our opponents face. Burning someone for five damage at a measly cost of two mana feels very broken, which means it's also very fun. Finally, Planar Despair gives us game against boards that get out of our control. While I used to play Matca Rioters as a cheap threat, I found that Fusion Elemental worked better in the slot, as Elemental can survive Planar Despair.
Playing the Deck
This deck has a lot going on. It's a ramp deck, but it's also a control deck, and it was built with Timmy spells in mind. So, your games should generally play out in that order. Build up and fix your mana as needed using cards like Ranger and Growth, while also keeping threats down with Flames, Counsel, and Despair. Then, when you're ready, throw your mana into Path or Stand. From there, wait patiently and try not to giggle like a school-girl while your opponent has to read whichever massive wall of text you just placed in front of them.
Khalni Heart Expedition requires you to be aware of your sequencing. Get the most out of it by casting it before placing lands and pairing it with Evolving Wilds. Don't forget that multiple copies of Heart can trigger each other, too.
I find that the most common abilities I use with Obelisk of Alara are the Black -2/-2 option to deal with small threats, and the Red Lava Spike option to slowly kill the opponent. That being said, the Green stats buff can save your creatures from some forms of removal, or create a faster clock.
- Allied Strategies
- Collapsing Borders
- Collective Restraint
- Drag Down
- Exotic Curse
- Exotic Disease
- Matca Rioters
- Ordered Migration
- Spore Burst
- Voices from the Void
- Door to Nothingness
- Etched Monstrosity
- Dragonsoul Knight
- Kenrith, the Returned King
- Legacy Weapon
- Paragon of the Amesha
- Worldheart Phoenix
Five colors means the true possibilities of the list are practically endless. We could fill the deck with all of our favorite spells, multicolored or otherwise. Staying on the five-color flavor, though, we do have some standouts. Alternative Domain cards like Allied Strategies, Collapsing Borders, Collective Restraint, and others are all plausible, though Restraint does call for a fatter wallet.
Additional Timmy card options that cost all five colors, like Cromat or Chromanticore, can be great fun too. You can also go the route of abilities that cost all colors to activate. Dragonsoul Knight and friends, for example, would likely be entertaining, though they would probably limit your effectiveness of Planar Despair, just like Matca Rioters. Etched Monstrosity is always a blast, and gives the list some card draw. Door to Nothingness and Legacy Weapon round us out with some truly ridiculous artifact power.
If you want your games to follow in Obelisk of Alara's image, keeping games fresh through versatility, Kenrith, the Returned King's got your back. I didn't include them in our additional options list, but you can also take a page from Lucky Charms decks, and run a slew of two or three cost charms. With their multiple modes you'll be much less likely to grow tired of them!