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Strixhaven Limited Set Review with MTG Nerd Girl
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Four-Color Yorion Deck Guide

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Hey everyone!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Sultai Ultimatum and Four-Color Yorion. At that time my main deck was Sultai Ultimatum and I was experimenting with Four-Color. Since that time Sultai Ultimatum has remained one of the top decks and there are more aggressive decks in the metagame to fight it.

Rather than fight the tide I have decided to go all-in on Four-Color Yorion. I've made some improvements to the deck over the last few weeks and it has been performing very well. It continues to be different than the stock build of the deck which I believe is weaker. This bodes well as the archetype isn't being broadly respected and remains under the radar.

Today I'm going to discuss my latest list and go over a sideboard guide.

Let's get started!


The main idea remains the same: cut Dance of the Manse and Archon of Sun's Grace to make room for more two-mana interaction.

I have cut Mythos of Nethroi and the fourth Omen of the Sun for the seventh and eighth maindeck removal spell that costs two mana. The main issue with Mythos is that two and three mana is a big difference when it comes to interacting with an early swarm of creatures. Destroying a nonland permanent can be an issue when the only threat is a Faceless Haven.

Omen of the Sun is still a powerful tool against aggressive decks, but I can trim a copy because I don't need the enchantment synergies without Dance of the Manse and Archon of Sun's Grace. Rather than play a ninth two-mana removal spell I start to lean into tokens that can pressure opponents without creatures.

Glass Casket can exile creatures so it's a nice addition. I can also exile a token to begin and then blink it with Yorion to get a second creature. Even in matchups where there aren't any small creatures I can cast Glass Casket rather than discard it to add additional fuel for Doom Foretold down the road.

Since I initially wrote about this version of Four-Color Yorion Gabriel Nassif, Corey Burkhart, and Dominic Harvey tried out the deck; Mazemind Tome is exceeding expectations. The ability to play the Tome on the second turn and then spend early turns scrying is basically free as it can go to three counters and then reset with Yorion. I added a fourth Mazemind Tome because not only does it increase your velocity, but it's much harder to flood out when it's on the battlefield.

Since Sultai Ultimatum is still a popular deck I'm keeping two Disdainful Stroke and two Negate. A few weeks ago, I had three maindeck Negate, but I moved one to the sideboard to make room for the fourth Mazemind Tome.

I see the first two Disdainful Strokes in the maindeck as largely free because it can counter expensive creature haymakers at the very least. A third copy is where things can get awkward against an unknown opponent in the first game. I want a critical mass of counters against Sultai Ultimatum, but I also need to make sure I don't run into diminishing returns issues against the rest of the field.

The third Negate can be difficult to cast against an unknown opponent, but is the best counter against Emergent Ultimatum. I can counter adventures, Alrund's Epiphany, Embercleave, and Maul of the Skyclaves against aggressive decks so I can make use of the first copy I draw in Game 1.

Mazemind Tome is solid against both creature and control decks because it gains life and draws cards. It was a way to make me feel better about trimming a card that shines against Blue decks in Negate.

The single Treacherous Blessing is basically the fifth Mazemind Tome. I sideboard it out frequently against aggressive decks as the life loss can add up quickly. It can also be awkward in post board games where you want to side out Doom Foretold or just in general when you're on the draw.

Esika's Chariot continues to overperform. I don't want a third copy because the 4-drops are already plentiful. Since I last wrote about the deck I've copied a 5/5 shark token and numerous 4/4 angels from Emeria's Call.

I haven't changed the mana base. The ideal opening hand contains a Triome and a Pathway to get all four colors. Hengegate Pathway gets your fourth color regardless of what Triome was drawn since they both make Black and Green. Now that Archon isn't even in the sideboard there isn't a single card that requires two of the same color to cast except Emeria's Call.

Despite the mana appearing simple on the surface there are a few heuristics to keep in mind when developing your lands.

I don't often use the Green side of Pathways because it's covered by the eight Triomes. If my hand doesn't have a Triome I don't need Green mana until turn four. Even if I don't find a Green mana by the fourth turn there are other 4-drops to cast.

Binding the Old Gods requires both Black and Green. Make sure you don't focus too hard getting White and Blue mana only to find both your Black and Green is covered by a single Triome.

Fabled Passage has six basic lands to fetch. I leave the Forest in the deck when possible because it's my lightest color and it can be found later with Binding the Old Gods. Searching for the Forest with the Bindings ensures more lands remain in your deck with cycling.

Most Game 1s only require a single Blue mana, but this isn't the case after sideboard when you bring in Mystical Dispute and extra Negates for control mirrors. After board I find most of my Pathways are set to Blue for those matchups.

Double-Green isn't required often in the first game, but I would like to have two Green by turn seven if I board in Polukranos. There are cases where I want to cast Polukranos and activate in the same turn.

In Game 1 the most common line is to have extra mana colors be set to White to cast Emeria's Call. For this reason, if I want a Triome from Binding the Old Gods I prefer Indatha.

There have been some changes to the sideboard in the last few weeks:

Cling to Dust has been replaced by a second Polukranos for Escape effects against Rogues. This was Dom Harvey's idea. This isn't a strict upgrade as I would prefer a single Cling against Sultai Ultimatum, but it's a high impact threat against Rogues in comparison. I'm sideboarding out Doom Foretold against Rogues so an additional midrange threat wouldn't topple the curve. I have a winning record against Rogues, but I find I'm really playing against the pilot. A top tier Rogues opponent would scare me.

By trimming an Omen of the Sun to add another removal spell to the maindeck I was able to free up space in the board for all of the cards I want against Sultai Ultimatum. Two Duress, three Mystical Dispute, up to four Negate, and three Shark Typhoon completes the flash package.

Eliminate and Glass Casket round out the sideboard. I can board up to a whopping ten two-mana removal spells against creature decks.

Sideboard

And now for the matchups...

Sultai Ultimatum

In Game 1 I'm willing to cast Glass Casket to sacrifice to Doom Foretold as there aren't many targets. The first game favors Sultai Ultimatum and the four counterspells are the best cards in the matchup. I don't fire them off willy nilly as there aren't a ton of ways to stop Emergent Ultimatum.

Elspeth's Nightmare is able to also interact with Emergent Ultimatum, but is susceptible to Binding the Old Gods. It's reasonable to cast it on turn four to blink it out with Yorion to get a second turn of Chapter Two.

The post board matchup becomes about sticking a threat and making sure you don't die tapping out. There must be pressure applied otherwise the opponent can eventually Duress your counter and resolve an Ultimatum. They will test the waters first by casting Ultimatum targets they draw. Heartless Act is able to take care of Yorion, Vorinclex, Elder Gargaroth, and the sideboard Koma.

Doom Foretold isn't great in the matchup because opposing Yorion decks have plenty of sacrifice fodder. If I want to actually stop a scary threat, the Doom Foretold will likely have to go through a Wolfwillow Haven and Omen of the Sea first. Tapping out must be done with purpose.

Polukranos can die to Binding the Old Gods after sideboard, but is passable against Heartless Act. Don't feel like you have to tap out for Polukranos on the fourth turn if the opponent can threaten something after. I see this threat on the draw as something to play while holding up a counter for their follow up.

Four-Color Yorion has more card advantage thanks to four Mazemind Tome and Treacherous Blessing. As long as you don't get cheesed out you can take the post board games.

Mono-Red

Strongly consider taking a mulligan if your opening hand doesn't kill a creature on the second turn.

Disdainful Stroke is fine as it counters Torbran and Embercleave. Negate counters Embercleave and Stomp which is less exciting. To a lesser extent it also counters Frost Bite which gets boarded out.

There are Doom Foretold and Binding the Old Gods to take care of the Roiling Vortex that are in the sideboard to deal with Emergent Ultimatum. The other card they likely bring in is Ox of Agonas.

Remember that Faceless Haven is a rogue for cards exiled by Robber of the Rich. It's also a knight to be pumped by Fervent Champion.

Cycling

Heartless Act doesn't kill Flourishing Fox on the draw which can dramatically change who wins Game 1. I board out Heartless Act for other two-mana removal that doesn't care about +1+1 counters in Eliminate and Glass Casket.

A 2/2 token created by Shark Typhoon can stop a horde of 1/1 tokens that gets around their counterspells.

Disdainful Stroke counters Zenith Flare, but nothing else. It's an easy swap for Negate as it can target opposing counterspells and Improbable Alliance.

Your ace in the hole for this matchup is Elspeth's Nightmare. Cycling isn't as popular as it was a couple weeks ago, but you will be ready with this enchantment.

Rogues

The sideboarding philosophy for this matchup is to cut Doom Foretold because Lurrus can bring back tons of permanents to sacrifice. You're also trading down on mana in the meantime. Since I don't need to worry about having random permanents to sacrifice Omen of the Sun loses its efficacy. The 1/1s can't attack safely into flash threats and the 0/3 crab is a mighty blocker as well.

Ruin Crab's milling typically isn't an issue after you have eight cards in the graveyard to turn on their creatures and Into the Story. Perks of playing eighty cards. After board it might help you find Polukranos.

As I mentioned previously, Treacherous Blessing without Doom Foretold is a serious liability. Rogues is not only trying to counter your big spells, but they also pressure your life total.

Glass Casket is sorcery speed so it gets cut for Eliminate.

Disdainful Stroke gets cut for Negate because Lurrus prevents the deck from playing expensive creatures, but it can counter Into the Story in Game 1.

In general, I try and be as proactive as I can without exposing myself to an Into the Story resolving because their spells are cheaper.

Temur (Obosh)

Overall, I like this matchup. The games you win involve trading spells one-for-one while those lost involve massive tempo bursts from Temur. For this reason, I take a no-nonsense approach to killing creatures to play around counterspells and The Great Henge. It can be tempting to jockey for position to get extra value out of Doom Foretold and Extinction Event, but just kill their threats.

Elspeth's Nightmare kills tokens from Heart's Desire and Edgewall Innkeeper, but falls short at getting spells out of the hand. Most of the instants and sorceries have foretold (Alrund's Epiphany and Saw it Coming) and early interaction comes in the form of adventures making Chapter Two weak.

Disdainful Stroke counters Alrund's Epiphany, The Great Henge, and Goldspan Dragon making it very effective. Negate misses Goldspan Dragon, but hits early adventure spells and Saw it Coming. Dispute is best at fighting the influx of counters Temur Obosh will board in. I don't want more than two of each counter because they are all pretty good, but they all have a blind spot.

Shark Typhoon tokens can be bounced by Brazen Borrower, but they don't have any threatening creatures with Flash so I feel safe tapping out at the end of their turn. A 4/4 shark can fend off a Goldspan Dragon.

That's all I have for today. Four-Color Yorion continues to impress; I hope you give it a try!

Thanks for reading!

-Kyle

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