Trevor Holmes Plays MTGO Ep.4: Bant Knightfall!

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Hey guys! Welcome to Episode 4 of our Modern Nexus Video Series, where we pick a sweet list and run it through some matches on Magic Online. This week we have our very own Retreat to Coralhelm/Knight of the Reliquary combo deck; Knightfall!


We talked about this list and gave a walkthrough and some strategy in my article last week, so check that out if you missed it! Now that we’ve done our homework, let’s get to the videos!










So, we didn’t get the results I was hoping for, but I think there is a lot we can take from these videos. First, Knightfall is the real deal, and I think we’ve proven it can hang with pretty much any deck in the format. Both of our match losses were pretty close and could have gone either way, it’s just unfortunate that two of our matches broke our opponent’s way. I think it’s important to keep in mind that we are only playing a 3 game set, rather than looking at the results to determine if a deck is “good enough” we should instead be focusing on how it plays and how it’s positioned in the format. Now, if we’re still 33% after a 10 game set we know something needs to change.
I plan on playing with this deck a lot more, as it’s powerful, customizable, and a blast to play, If you’ve been working on this deck let me know in the comments any thoughts/opinions you have, and send your lists my way. I think Steppe Lynx is a good fit, but I could also see moving another direction and using those slots for something else. As always, feel free to stop by my stream at or follow me on Twitter at See you next week!
Trevor Holmes
The_Architect on MTGO

26 thoughts on “Trevor Holmes Plays MTGO Ep.4: Bant Knightfall!

  1. I managed a 4-2-1 record at States this past weekend running Knightfall Zoo. Maindeck below:

    4 Wild Nacatl
    4 Noble Hierarch
    4 Tarmogoyf
    2 Qasali Pridemage
    4 Mantis Rider
    4 Knight of the Reliquary
    2 Geist of Saint Traft
    1 Ghor-Clan Rampager

    4 Lightning Bolt
    4 Path to Exile
    2 Dromoka’s Command
    3 Retreat to Coralhelm

    4 Windswept Heath
    4 Wooded Foothills
    1 Plains
    1 Mountain
    2 Forest
    2 Breeding Pool
    2 Sacred Foundry
    2 Temple Garden
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Stomping Ground
    1 Sejiri Steppe
    1 Kessig Wolf Run

    Losses were a heartbreaker to Tron round 1 (missed my third land drop preventing me from going turn 1 noble, turn 2 stony silence + nacatl, turn 3 crumble to dust) and grixis twin. Draw was to storm, though I would have won game 3 had we had a bit more time. Overall deck was pretty decent, though no clue what best fits in the sideboard….

    1. I like a lot of what you’re doing here! Wild Nacatl is a much better upgrade to Steppe Lynx and gives us some consistency, plus the ability to play Lightning Bolt alongside Path to Exile seems awesome.

      I think your manabase wants Steam Vents, Temple Garden into Steam Vents gives us all our colors, I know you have Breeding Pool into Sacred Foundry but I think our second dual needs to provide blue, as we have no blue basics. This means we could even go Forest/Steam Vents and then fetch basic Plains on Turn 3, where as before we wouldn’t be able to go Forest/Sacred Foundry as we’d need to fetch another dual to play Retreat (assuming no mana creatures).

      I think we have to build the manabase to provide us all our colors assuming our mana guys are dying, while minimizing the amount of damage we have to take. I know Steam Vents isn’t a Forest/Plains for Knight of the Reliquary, there’s definitely some tension there. How has Mantis Rider been performing for you?

      1. Often times I was going either Breeding Pool into Sacred Foundry or Stomping Ground into Hallowed Fountain to have all of my colors. Not having the Steam Vents didn’t really seem to be a huge deal for me while playing. There were certainly a few times where I wish I could have gotten a Steam Vents because I needed another red source on top of also getting access to blue, but I’m not sure what the best fix to the mana base would be. With the number of times I had to mulligan due to no green sources (which seems absurd) I’d rather not cut any of the green lands, and I really dislike the idea of dropping below 4 basics. It’s possible to cut the Mountain for a Steam Vents, and cut a different land for either a second Plains or a third Forest.

        Mantis Rider was great all day. The biggest issue is how taxing it is on the mana base and how painful it makes it for us early on, but it’s a very aggressive card that pulls double duty against aggressive decks while also letting Zoo attack from a new angle (in the air!). In theory against a deck that’s looking to attack me fairly they’ll have to deal with it or they just can’t attack with things that don’t have 3 power. Blanking the creatures from burn, small zoo, and affinity seems pretty good here (even though 2 of those decks just end up having to point removal at it). The idea here is to tax the opponent’s removal so we can stick our best creature (Knight) and potentially combo out. Mantis Rider seemed to help a bit with that.

  2. Tough draws on the 3rd match. Not a whole lot that can be done about that. I’m thinking that the main/side should have Simic Charm and/or Dromoka’s Command in there somewhere, though. Both are underrated effects that stand to do you a lot of good in your 75.

    1. If we’re including Qasali Pridemage, access to Dromoka’s Command as well might mean we have enough answers for Twin that we could cut the Dismembers from the board. I wasn’t too impressed with those. Maybe something along the lines of 2 Pridemage, 2 Command, 1 Stony Silence in the 75?

  3. Deck could use Primeval titan , maybe as a sideboard …he fits in with helping to buff steppe lynx and gives you a better game against abzan. You are running enough mana dorks to power him out and he also combos with retreat to coralhelm… Idk maybe im a little biased toward him.

  4. Definitely not impressed with steppe lynx from what I could tell.
    One of the things I would try is just go normal naya coco style with blue for enchantment only. The rampers should help with the blue sources too.

  5. I would definitely drop the Steppe Lynx and put in Collected Company, it might be the height of the mana curve but with so many mana dorks you can produce 5 mana turn 3 with a mana dork and Retreat of Coralhelm in play with a fetch land.

      1. it technically can ramp you to four. think plains-fetch in play with a birds on the field. tap bird, crack fetch, untap bird with landfall trigger on coralhelm.

        its a temporary, one turn of ramp rather than 4 strict lands, but it does have a bit of fringe utility to hit 4 mana.

  6. I gotta say your under rating kitchen finks, its 2 creatures and 4 life for 3 mana.
    Also think about ditching the remand for collected company, and adding eternal witness and red for the land that give +x/+0 and trample and maybe bolt

    1. Did I say I didn’t like Kitchen Finks? I love that card! Great against aggro, control, and midrange, assuming we can clear the way for him to keep attacking. Eternal Witness is another good option, we really could build this deck any way we want to.

  7. So a few thought.

    I’m not sure about goyf. I mean he is good but you play no sorceries and your removal is path so i’m worried about growing them.

    I like going aggro with lynx but 7 fetches seems too few. I’m going to try vinelasher kudzu as well instead of the goyf.

    In a landfall aggro version witness can bring back fetches as well, this may be useful when we stop drawing lands.

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