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Sweet Kaya Brews


Hello everyone. Kaya, the planeswalker, has been a favorite of mine since she debuted in Conspiracy: Take the Crown. With her ability to become partially incorporeal, she is the perfect assassin. But she's more than a one-dimensional killer for hire. Her latest adventure sees her hunting a monstrous beast, Vorinclex, across the realms of Kaldheim. I won't spoil the rest of the story for those of you who haven't had the chance to read it, but it shows that Kaya is not just a killer; she's also a hero. This week I have a few decks that feature the latest incarnation of Kaya in them. Let's get started.

Mardu Fright

We get started this week with a deck that is focused around the power of Tergrid, God of Fright. Let's take a look at it.

Tergrid, God of Fright's ability to put into play under your control any card that your opponent sacrifices or discards is the star of the show in this deck. There are numerous ways in this deck to cause your opponent to discard a card, such as Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger. Similarly, there are multiple means of causing your opponent to sacrifice their permanents, such as Soul Shatter. There are even cards in this deck that force your opponent to do both, such as Rankle, Master of Pranks.

One great card that helps this strategy a lot is Mythos of Snapdax. This sorcery forces your opponent to sacrifice all but one of each nonland type of permanent they control. You'll end up doing the same, but with Tergrid, God of Fright on the battlefield, you'll gain control of everything your opponent sacrificed. As a bonus, if you can cast Mythos of Snapdax with a Red and a Black mana, you can choose the permanents your opponent sacrifices, giving you ultimate control over what you'll get in return.

Kaya the Inexorable plays very nicely alongside Mythos of Snapdax. With Kaya's +1 loyalty ability, you'll put a ghostform counter onto a nontoken creature. That creature will then return to your hand whenever it dies or is put into exile, plus that creature's controller will create a 1/1 Spirit creature token with flying. By targeting your own creatures, you'll be able to gain an army of Spirits in addition to being able to cast your creature spells again when Mythos of Snapdax resolves.

Esper Angels

Next up we have an Angel tribal deck in the Esper shard of colors. Let's take a look at the deck.

Righteous Valkyrie is an all-star in this deck. With a copy of it on the battlefield, you'll gain life whenever another Angel or Cleric enters the battlefield under your control. The amount of life you gain is equal to the creature's toughness, and will range from two to four points of life each time this ability activates. That amount of extra life can really add up, especially if you manage to get multiple copies of Righteous Valkyrie onto the battlefield.

Glasspool Mimic offers you the ability to potentially have more than four copies of Righteous Valkyrie in play at one time. Doing this will trigger all of the other copies of Righteous Valkyrie that you have in play, giving you a huge boost to your life total. All of that extra life will trigger the second ability Righteous Valkyrie has that gives all of your creatures a +2/+2 bonus as long as you have seven or more life than your starting life total. That +2/+2 bonus adds up to a lot of damage when you attack.

Much like the last deck we looked at, Kaya the Inexorable's +1 loyalty ability can really come in hand. While this deck doesn't play Mythos of Snapdax, it does play a couple of copies of Doomskar. Doomskar will destroy all of the creatures on the battlefield, both yours and your opponent's, so protect those creatures that are most valuable to you with ghostform counters first. Even if you can't save every creature you control from being destroyed, you can work towards Kaya's ultimate -7 loyalty ability and cast those legendary spells from your graveyard (or elsewhere) for free.

Abzan Midrange

The final deck I have for you features Kaya alongside Vorinclex in the same deck. Let's check it out.

Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider performs two functions in this deck. First, it is an incredible threat. With 6/6 stats and trample, you'll be able to take out multiple blocking creatures if your opponent decides to block. Since Vorinclex also has haste, you'll often be able to attack on the same turn Vorinclex enters the battlefield and take a huge chunk out of your opponent's life total.

Vorinclex also has a couple of other abilities that can greatly benefit you. If you would put counters on a permanent or player, you'll be able to put twice as many while you have a copy of Vorinclex in play. In a similar fashion, your opponent will only be able to put half as many counters onto a permanent or player, rounded down, while Vorinclex is in play. While you might not have any control over the amount of counters your opponent puts out, you can make sure that you'll be able to double yours a lot.

To do this, this deck features four different planeswalkers. Kaya has already been mentioned, and her ghostform ability can help you maintain card advantage. Vivien, Monsters' Advocate allows you to cast creature spells from the top of your library. She can also create a 3/3 Beast creature token with vigilance, reach, or trample. Garruk, Unleashed also has the ability to create a 3/3 Beast creature token, although it is without any abilities. He can also provide a +3/+3 bonus plus trample to one of your creatures. Finally, Nissa of Shadowed Boughs can animate one of your lands by making it into a 3/3 Elemental creature with haste and menace until the end of your turn. All of these abilities help increase the amount of creatures you have in play and can allow you to maintain supremacy on the battlefield.

Wrapping Up

Even though these decks only featured Kaya in a supporting role, it's nice to see that a five-mana planeswalker is very playable in Standard.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

-Mike Likes

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