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Cleave-r Ideas


Hello, everyone! One of my favorite cards from Throne of Eldraine is Embercleave. The way it can swing the tide of a game is incredible. This week I have for you a few of my favorite decks from tournaments that took place the past few weeks that feature Embercleave. Let's get started.

Gruul Aggro

The first deck I have for you is an aggressive deck in Gruul colors. Let's take a look at the deck:

This deck utilizes Embercleave alongside some large creatures to be able to punch through quite a bit of damage in one attack. By equipping Embercleave onto Lovestruck Beast, Skarrgan Hellkite, Questing Beast, or Bonecrusher Giant, you'll be able to trample over any blockers in order to deal a ton of damage to your opponent. Even if your opponent manages to block with enough creatures so that they will take no trample damage, you've managed to destroy a huge chunk of their forces.

This deck also includes a copy of The Great Henge, which acts as both a means of ramping your mana and a way to gain extra life. By using it, you'll be able to potentially play more creatures than your opponent. This, in turn, will allow you to attack with more creatures at once, which enables you to play Embercleave easier.

Rakdos Knights

The next deck I have for you features some of the best Knights in Red and Black. Let's take a look at the deck:

Rotting Regisaur
While the previous Gruul deck wanted to maximize the effectiveness of Embercleave by equipping it to creatures that are naturally large, this Rakdos deck attempts to get the same results with creatures that are capable of increasing their power each turn. Knight of the Ebon Legion, Weaselback Redcap, and Fervent Champion all have abilities that can be used to make your creatures more powerful. This allows them to deal out extra damage when paired up with Embercleave.

Embercleave is also very useful with a couple of other creatures that have a static size. By equipping it to Rotting Regisaur, you'll be able to deal a massive amount of damage in one attack. And by massive, I mean a total of sixteen points of damage. That amount of damage can allow you to win the game from out of nowhere. You can also equip Embercleave to Murderous Rider to take advantage of its lifelink, allowing you to gain a minimum of six points of life with each attack.

Mono-Red Aggro

The final deck I have for you this week is potentially the fastest build I have for you this week. Let's take a look at it:

Runaway Steam-Kin
Runaway Steam-Kin has proven itself time and time again as a great asset to Red decks. In a deck like this, it can be easy to gain additional mana from it multiple times throughout the game. By using that additional mana, you'll be able to build up your forces so that you'll easily outnumber your opponent's creatures. Doing this allows you to attack with at least four creatures, allowing you to play Embercleave for two Red mana. Equip it to one of your unblocked creatures and begin taking down your opponent's life total.

After sideboarding, Torbran, Thane of Red Fell can help you win games quickly. Torbran allows your Red sources to deal an additional two points of damage whenever that Red source would deal damage. Since Embercleave gives the creature it's equipped to double strike, you'll be dealing an additional four points of damage when the equipped creature attacks. That's one-fifth of a player's starting life total. Torbran also works well alongside Scorch Spitter for a similar reason.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, in the right deck, Embercleave allows you to attack for crazy amounts of damage. While it can't go in every deck, it can go in a variety of different decks easily, making it an all-star artifact in my opinion.

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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