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Vito's Revenge: Splinter Twin Returns To Standard!


Core Set 2021 is here and is being heralded as a return to normalcy. The planeswalkers are all reasonable and there's nothing on the power level of Oko, Thief of Crowns or Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath. Instead we've got a set full of interesting pieces that help to power up archetypes that needed the help; it's a great support set.

However, the set does bring a pair of two-card "you win the game" combos to Standard. The other I discussed last week in my Ten New Brews article, but today we're going to focus on how Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose combines with forgotten Ravnica Allegiance rare Revival // Revenge for an instant kill.

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose

Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose is one of the many enablers for the Orzhov lifegain theme in Core Set 2021, but brings with it a very interesting use for Revival // Revenge. Revenge was a previously confused card. Six mana to gain some life and Lava Axe your opponent... what deck would want this effect?

But now let's cast Revenge with a Vito in play!

Time Stamps:

00:05:00 - Match 1

00:09:41 - Match 2

00:27:21 - Match 3

00:34:01 - Match 4

00:38:42 - Match 5

00:48:31 - Match 6

00:51:43 - Match 7

01:04:53 - Match 8

01:07:13 - Match 9

01:13:05 - Match 10

01:21:45 - Match 11

01:31:36 - Match 12

...Or not!

The bad news is that in 11 matches we weren't able to successfully resolve a Revenge with a Vito in play. The good news is that we were just short a number of times in difficult positions and matchups where it would have won the game instantly for us if we could have just drawn that sixth land. The deck has a reasonable beatdown plan as we saw, but having the ability to tap six lands and win the game no matter what the board state looks like is very impressive. We also cast Revival many times, and while a medium Unearth isn't exactly what we want it is certainly serviceable.

Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord
Ajani's Pridemate
Heliod, Sun-Crowned

The difficult part is figuring out how far down the lifegain synergy rabbit hole you want to go, of if we're just better off playing more normal cards that let us play a more reasonable game until we combo. Going esper for Teferi, Time Raveler and Elite Guardmage seems very reasonable, and grafting the combo onto a Esper Hero shell also seems possible.

There are many options, but this was a very interesting first step!

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