Okay, okay, I know that was a clickbait-y title, but I couldn't help myself. Last week during one of my weekly Arena Twitch streams a viewer by the name of lordwillx stopped by and asked if I wanted to test out a Standard deck they'd come up with. Now, I love testing out submitted lists from my chat on stream, but sometimes they're still pretty rough or end up being an archetype I'm not a fan of. It's always a good time either way, but I was definitely not expecting a random new follower's list to become my new Standard obsession.
They sent me a deck featuring both Doom Foretold and Offspring's Revenge, and let me tell you, friends - it's a bonafide masterpiece. Playing this deck has not only been some of the most fun I've had this Standard season, but it's also resulting in some of the most wins I've had in the past few months. So first, a huge shoutout to lordwillx for sending me their list! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Let's take a look at my deck tech video for the deck (and maybe hit that subscribe button if you have the time?) and then I'll break down the list and see if we can't find any potential Standard specs while having a blast jamming games on Arena.
Okay, let's break it down. Here's the list I used in my video (and here's a link to lordwillx's list that they've been updating):
Okay, wow, that's a pile of cards, right? If you want to export it straight into Arena, feel free to grab the list I'm currently using here or use lordwillx's list I linked above. Now, let's start breaking the list down!
The enchantments are definitely the backbone of this crazy list, so that's where we'll start.
Offspring's Revenge is the namesake of this deck and having one on the table is when the deck is going to be performing at its nutty best. For five mana, you get an enchantment that, at the beginning of combat, brings back a white, black, or red creature from your graveyard as a 1/1 token that still has all of its effects and such. Basically, everything else in the deck is there to set up awesome Offspring's Revenge turns.
Tymaret Calls the Dead is one of the big Offspring's Revenge enablers in the deck. It mills cards and makes you blockers, ideally also gaining you life at step three, keeping you in the game long enough to get your Offspring's Revenge out and bringing back the creatures that it dumped in the graveyard for you. I always try to exile an enchantment with it if I can, but sometimes you're going to have to bite the bullet and exile your least useful creature from the bin to gain a blocker.
Look, I'm not sure this deck has to run Doom Foretold but it's a fun card to play and I almost never regret having it as an option. It's basically a four mana removal spell at it's worst, which is fine - but it's got several upsides. If you can get it to stick for awhile on a full board it is a huge headache for your opponent, and it can serve to put creatures back into your own graveyard to feed Offspring's Revenge. Plus, it gets rid of your one Treacherous Blessing if you happen to have it on the table. Doom Foretold is good fun.
Okay, so the whole idea behind Offspring's Revenge is to bring back good, value-generating creatures - so what's our creature package look like?
We are, of course, running a playset of Skyclave Apparation. Anyone who has been reading my articles knows how much I love this card. It is a fantastic way to slow down your opponent or even stop their gameplan in its tracks, and being able to get repeat value out of them with Offspring's Revenge is so much fun. There's a lot of creatures being played in Standard right now where replacing them with a token is a huge advantage for you. Skyclave Apparation is an all-star in this deck.
Ox of Agonas is another card I've written about recently, and even though we're only running it as a one-of right now in the deck it is still one of my favorite pieces. You don't have to feel bad about milling it or discarding it because of it's escape ability and you're actually going to want to escape it several times during a match if you can. Being able to dump creatures from your hand into your graveyard for Offspring's Revenge always feels good, and so does drawing cards when your hand is empty. I'm a huge fan of the Ox.
We have two one-of mythic creatures in Drana, the Last Bloodchief and Harmonious Archon. At the time of writing this, I've been thinking about cutting the one copy of Harmonious Archon for something else (although I notice that lordwillx is running two now...) because I've been a little underwhelmed by its performance. However, when it's good it's very good. Bringing this back with Offspring's Revenge will turn the rest of your 1/1 tokens into 3/3s, which can swing the game in your favor if your opponent doesn't also have a full board of creatures.
Drana, the Last Bloodchief is a card I'm testing at the suggestion of my friend and fellow streamer MrOceanMTG - and I've been liking it a lot. Forcing your opponent to choose a creature for you to bring back is pretty amusing and in most cases where I've had Drana on the board also pretty darn good. I don't think I'd run more than one copy, because Drana is best as a one-of threat you bring back with Offspring's Revenge, but I definitely value that one copy in the deck pretty highly.
We're running two copies of Charming Prince and one copy of Rankle, Master of Pranks, both of which bring interesting value to the table. Charming Prince is fantastic in this deck, with all three of its abilities being useful depending on where we are at in the game. Most of the time in the early game you're going to use the prince to help you dig for an Offspring's Revenge or gain life if you're falling way behind. The exile ability can be super useful for getting double value from creatures you have on the battlefield in the later game. This card is so good, I wouldn't mind running another copy (which it looks like lordwillx decided to do recently, checking their list.)
Rankle, Master of Pranks can be super useful for discarding creatures into your graveyard for your Offspring's Revenge, sacrificing creatures to put into your graveyard for Offspring's Revenge, or drawing a card in a pinch. It's not a card you need to see every game, but I'm rarely disappointed when I dump one into the bin and bring it back.
We round out our creatures with playsets of two fantastic value-packed uncommons in Mire Triton and Acquisitions Expert. Mire Triton is amazing at dumping creatures into the bin for your Offspring's Revenge and then being a fantastic blocker with deathtouch. I love bringing back Mire Tritons to keep the value train going. Acquisitions Expert is great early game for keeping your opponent low on cards and being able to recur them with Offspring's Revenge feels great. You'll only ever get your opponent to reveal one card, but most of the time one is enough!
The Instants and Sorceries
Currently, we're only running three total instants and sorceries.
Bloodchief's Thirst and Inscription of Ruin are both in the deck as decent little one-ofs to help us out if we need to remove a creature, make our opponent discard, or bring back one of our smaller, value creatures. I've been going back and forth on how useful having these as one-ofs really is, but so far they've been decent enough.
Cling to Dust however, is a one-of instant I am always stoked on in the deck. You'll be dumping enough cards in your graveyard to be able to use it frequently to draw cards or gain life in a pinch. I'm a big fan of this card.
We've got two copies of a planeswalker to keep all of our zombies company.
Liliana, Waker of the Dead really fits the flavor of this deck in a cool way. I wasn't super hyped on her right when she was spoiled, but after using her in this deck I realize I wasn't giving her a fair shake. Most of the time you'll just be using her as removal, but being able to discard creatures to Offspring's Revenge is really good too. I've only gotten the emblem once in my testing, and I doubt many games will last long enough for it to happen again, but I can attest that when it happens it's super fun.
The land base is definitely on the slower side, featuring four Savai Triome, four Temple of Silence and two Temple of Malice, but I rarely feel like the tapped lands are keeping us behind. Playing this deck is more like a marathon than a sprint, so you want to be making wise choices with your tapped lands and using your small creatures to keep your opponents at bay until you build up the mana base to get your creatures out.
I'm going to shoutout the Brightclimb Pathway // Brightclimb Pathways because I think the new Pathways are super neat and I love playing with them.
Final, Financial Thoughts
Okay, let's be honest here: this deck isn't going to revolutionize standard and skyrocket the prices of the cards in the list. If paper Magic were a thing right now (thanks, COVID) I would be pushing this deck as a fun, relatively cheap way to go have a blast at FNM. It clocks in at a little less than $150 for the main deck, which isn't super budget but still on the cheaper side for a fairly competitive Standard build. I've been playing it on Arena, and it will definitely run you a good amount of wild cards if you don't already have the cards as I did.
However, I think this deck does a great job of highlighting some of the cards I've been writing about lately: Skyclave Apparation, Ox of Agonas and the Pathways are all cards I think people should be keeping an eye on right now and have spots in my speculation box.
Well, folks, that's it for me this week! I hope you are all having a great start to your November. What do you think of this list? Would you sleeve it up? Feel free to hit me up on any of the social medias @MTGJoeD, leave a comment on the YouTube video, or come watch me play it live on Twitch and let me know what you think! As always, you can find me in the QS Discord, and I'll see you next week! Take care of yourselves out there.