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Ascend the Throne


Hello, everyone! Throne of Eldraine Standard keeps on chugging away and new, fun decks continue to be created. This week I have a few more that look interesting. Will any of them be able to take down the Bant Golos Decks or the decks featuring Oko, Thief of Crowns that I keep running into on Magic Arena? Let's get started by taking a look at our first deck.

Rakdos Theft

The first deck I have for you is looking to steal the opponent's creatures in order to sacrifice them for value. Let's take a look at the deck:

Witch's Oven
Mayhem Devil is one of the most important creatures in this deck, as it allows you to deal lethal damage to your opponent even when not attacking. To do so, it does need a partner that allows you to sacrifice permanents. Luckily, this deck has a couple of accomplices to help with this mayhem. The first is Witch's Oven. Since it's an Artifact, you can immediately tap it in order to sacrifice a creature to create a Food token. You can then potentially sacrifice the Food token you've created for more mayhem as well. The second accomplice is Priest of Forgotten Gods. This Human Cleric allows you to sacrifice two other creatures in order to cause your opponent some life loss and to force them to sacrifice a creature of theirs. This will end up triggering Mayhem Devil three times, dealing damage equivalent to a Lightning Bolt.

While sacrificing your own creatures for value seems all good and well, I find it better to steal my opponent's creatures to become my sacrificial lambs. This deck is running a full playset of Claim the Firstborn, which allows you to seize control of any creature with a converted mana cost (CMC) of three or less, until the end of your turn. Since it also gives the creature haste, you can use it to attack your opponent with, forcing your opponent to either take the damage or to block their own creature, potentially destroying one of their own. If they don't block it, or even if they do, you can always choose to sacrifice it with either Witch's Oven or Priest of Forgotten Gods before damage is dealt. Act of Treason does the same things as Claim the Firstborn, but without the CMC restriction, so be sure to save these for the bigger threats.

This deck is also running a few more cards that offer additional ways to profit from sacrifice. With Cauldron Familiar, you'll be able to sacrifice a Food token to return this Cat from your graveyard to the battlefield. This will cause your opponent to lose one life and you to gain one life. You can then sacrifice this Cat with the Witch's Oven for additional shenanigans. God-Eternal Bontu allows you to sacrifice any number of other permanents when it enters the battlefield. You can use this as a way to deal a massive amount of damage to end the game by sacrificing everything else in play. Finally, Rankle, Master of Pranks has the ability to make each player sacrifice a creature if it deals combat damage to a player. All that incidental damage can quickly add up to a victory for you.

Kethis's Legends

The next deck I have for you this week features Kethis, the Hidden Hand and his ability to do broken things with Legendary spells. Let's take a look at it:

Questing Beast
Kethis, the Hidden Hand allows all of your legendary spells to cost 1 mana less when you cast them. This allows you to get out bigger and better things quicker than your opponent. Since all of your creatures and planeswalkers are legendary, you'll be able to get a lot of mileage out of this ability as long as you're able to play Kethis, the Hidden Hand fairly early. His other ability allows you to exile two legendary cards from your graveyard to be able to play any other legendary cards from your graveyard for the turn. This can devastate an opponent's morale if you're able to bring back a creature or planeswalker that they had a difficult time getting rid of.

One of my favorite legendary creatures to come out of Throne of Eldraine is Questing Beast. Not only does this Beast have an absurd amount of ability words on it (vigilance, deathtouch, haste), but it also can't be blocked by creatures with 2 power or less. Did you know that the Zombie creature tokens that are created by Field of the Dead have 2 power? Well, they do. Therefore, Questing Beast is able to attack an opponent sitting behind a massive army of the dead without fear of being blocked. Plus, since it has vigilance, you'll be able to block a Zombie with it on the opponent's turn. However, the wonders of Questing Beast don't end there. If you deal combat damage to your opponent with Questing Beast, you'll deal the same amount of damage to a planeswalker they control. In other words, when given the choice of attacking an opponent directly or attacking their planeswalker, attack the opponent directly. This will give you the most value.

This deck features a bit of synergy between Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves and Garruk, Cursed Huntsman. Garruk can create two 2/2 Wolf tokens that will increase his loyalty when they die. With Tolsimir on the battlefield, whenever a Wolf enters the battlefield under your control, you'll gain three life and that Wolf will fight another creature you don't control. You can use this to fight and kill a 4/4 creature your opponent has and still increase Garruk's loyalty by two. Then, on your following turn, you can create Garruk's emblem that gives all of your creatures +3/+3 and trample. The following turn, as long as Garruk is still around, you can create a pair of 5/5 Wolves that can really fight.

Grumgully Adapt

Adapt is a neat ability, but it can sometimes take too long to utilize. The next deck I have for you is an adapt deck at its heart that cheats time with Grumgully, the Generous. Let's take a look at it.

Grumgully, the Generous
Grumgully, the Generous grants a +1/+1 counter to every other non-Human creature that enters the battlefield under your control. When you combine that effect with creatures that gain additional abilities as long as they have a +1/+1 counter on them, you get a deck that offers the chance at immediate gratification. Adapt used to be an ability that you had to wait for. You first had to cast the creature and then had to wait to have enough mana to adapt it. This deck offers the bonuses granted for using adapt without having to wait for it.

That means, you'll be able to loot (draw a card, then discard a card) when Benthic Biomancer enters the battlefield, plus you'll get a 2/2 for 1 mana. You'll also be able to search up a copy of Growth-Chamber Guardian right away instead of waiting. Incubation Druid will be able to tap for 3 mana instead of one on your next turn. Sharktocrab will immediately be able to freeze down an opponent's creature. You get the idea.

What happens if you don't have a copy of Grumgully, the Generous on the battlefield? Thankfully, this deck has a bit of redundancy built into it. Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter offers a limited way of immediately triggering adapt abilities, plus he offers a bonus ability allowing those creatures that already have a +1/+1 counter to be able to produce 1 mana of any color. Rhythm of the Wild is another way to be able to immediately gain a +1/+1 counter. However, it can also be used to close out a game quickly if you're able to cast some hasty threats.

Wrapping Up

Thank you for joining me again this week for a look at some interesting, new decks featuring cool cards from Throne of Eldraine. This new set has really shaken up Standard and even though there are some decks that are obviously at the top of the heap, there is still a lot of fun to be had in playing decks like these that are a little more under the radar.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. 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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