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Three Standard Takes on Dorothea


Hello everyone. Now that Innistrad: Crimson Vow has been released, the fun of creating new decks has begun. As has been the norm for the past few sets (at least), there are a ton of legendary creatures in Innistrad: Crimson Vow. Over the next couple of months, I expect to look at numerous decks featuring these legendary creatures. This week, I'm looking at a few decks that feature Dorothea, Vengeful Victim // Dorothea's Retribution. This Spirit has a unique ability that makes her unsuited to be a reliable attacker, but when you cast Dorothea's Retribution it's easy to see how valuable she can be. Let's get started with the first deck.

Azorius Flyers

We start with a fairly standard archetype, Azorius Fliers. Let's take a look at the deck.

Dreamshackle Geist
Nearly every creature in this deck has flying. The lone exception is Luminarch Aspirant, but this Human Cleric provides a valuable way to grow your evasive creatures over time. It does this by adding a +1/+1 counter to one of your creatures at the beginning of your combat phase. One terrific target for this +1/+1 counter is Battlefield Raptor, since it has first strike. By growing this Bird, you can make it very difficult for your opponent to sneak any attacks through, as you'll be able to block most threats and deal your damage to them before they'll deal damage to Battlefield Raptor.

Another great recipient of Luminarch Aspirant's +1/+1 counters is Dreamshackle Geist. This Spirit allows you the choice of two options that you can do at the beginning of combat on your turn. You can either tap a target creature or make it so that a tapped creature doesn't untap during its controller's untap step. This allows you to keep your opponent's biggest threat tapped down, unable to attack or defend. If you have two copies of Dreamshackle Geist in play, you can tap a creature and ensure it won't untap by ordering the timing of these triggers correctly.

Once you're able to cast Dorothea's Retribution, a great target for it to enchant is Iymrith, Desert Doom. Normally, you'll want to keep Iymrith untapped so that it can act as a blocker and retain its ward ability. However, once it's enchanted with Dorothea's Retribution, it's time to start attacking. Your opponent will then need to block a pair of beefy fliers, a 5/5 Dragon and a 4/4 Spirit creature token. Thanks to their evasion, these fliers might be difficult to block, enabling you to deal nine points of combat damage to your opponent. That amount of damage will end games quickly if it goes unblocked.

Azorius Control

Next, I have a control deck that utilizes Dorothea, Vengeful Victim // Dorothea's Retribution as both a powerful blocker and as a means of finishing off your opponent. Let's take a look at it.

Geistlight Snare
This deck isn't your usual control deck. Most control decks are packed with counterspells of one sort or another. This one is a little different. The only actual spell that you have that will counter a spell is Geistlight Snare. Since nearly every creature in this deck is a Spirit, and many of your creatures have a disturb ability that allows them to be cast as an enchantment, you'll likely be able to cast Geistlight Snare for two mana. Obviously, this spell will be more effective early in the game since it will only counter a spell if your opponent can't pay three additional mana.

Another way you'll have to counter your opponent's spells is the activated ability of Malevolent Hermit // Benevolent Geist. Much like Geistlight Snare, countering a spell with Malevolent Hermit will only happen if your opponent can't (or won't) pay an additional three mana. Unlike Geistlight Snare, Malevolent Hermit can only counter a noncreature spell, while Geistlight Snare can counter any type of spell.

One important thing that most control decks need to have is some way to mitigate life that is lost. This deck relies on Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr // Katilda's Rising Dawn to help with this. Katilda, Dawnhart Martyr has lifelink and her power and toughness are equal to the number of Spirits and/or enchantments you control. She also has protection from Vampires which can help you quite a bit against certain opponents. When Katilda dies, you can cast Katilda's Rising Dawn, which is basically an enchantment version of Katilda that boosts another creature you have in play. You'll give that creature the same benefits Katilda had, which allows you to gain even more life than you previously could.

Azorius Disturbed

The final deck I have for you this week is the most disturbing of the three (pun intended). Let's check it out.

Patrician Geist
This deck offers you a lot of value regardless of whether you're casting its creatures from your hand, or casting spells from your graveyard with their disturb costs. All but two of your creatures have a disturb ability, so you'll rarely be without a play for the turn. The two that don't have a disturb ability are Patrician Geist and Shipwreck Sifters. Patrician Geist has a static ability that causes spells that you cast from your graveyard for one mana less. Shipwreck Sifters has you discard a card from your hand when it enters the battlefield. This can be a great way to put a creature with a disturb ability into the bin where you can cast it right away.

Since many of the creatures in this deck have disturb abilities, you'll want to make sure you're familiar with each side of these cards before playing this deck. Many of the disturb sides on creatures from Innistrad: Crimson Vow are enchantments that offer the same abilities that the creature side has. Drogskol Armaments, Twinblade Invocation, and Catlike Curiosity, just to name a few, are like this.

The creatures from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt have a disturb cost that will cast them as a different creature. Chapel Shieldgeist is one of the best creatures to cast from your graveyard. It provides each creature you control ward 1. While it only requires your opponent to pay a single additional mana to target these creatures, this cost can often be too much to pay if your opponent is hoping to cast multiple spells during the turn. Dennick, Pious Apprentice // Dennick Pious Apparition is another creature from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt with a disturb ability, but you'll often want to keep Dennick alive as long as possible. Doing so can keep your graveyard intact, which is vital. If your opponent has a way of exiling your graveyard, it will be a lot more difficult for you to do well with this deck.

Wrapping Up

Even though Dorothea, Vengeful Victim can only attack or block once before being sacrificed, these decks show how powerful she can be. By using Dorothea's Retribution, you'll be able to create a 4/4 attacker each turn in addition to the creatures you currently have in play. Since Dorothea's Retribution isn't legendary, you can potentially have four copies in play during a match, which can allow you to win in a hurry.

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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