Hey there! This is Brewer’s Kitchen: long time Magic player and jank enthusiast.
Here’s something we’ve all faced at one time or another: you create a Creature Token and think: “Dang, I’d really rather this were a giant boar or something”.
Well I have some good news, as today’s deck finally solves this problem that every magic player can relate to!
All jokes aside, M21 gave us an especially interesting card to build around – Transmogrify is a colorshifted version of Polymorph; both exile a creature and let their controller reveal cards from their library until they hit another creature, then they get to put that creature onto the battlefield. Played fairly, this is a terrible effect. There is no way to guarantee you hit a better creature then the one you exiled… unless you only have one creature card in your deck.
For this to work, we have to make sure we create the creatures we Polymorph away by token generation from cards that aren’t creatures themselves. Luckily there are a plethora of these cards to choose from in today’s Standard card pool, and we’ll see plenty of them soon!
The plan is pretty straightforward: make some creature tokens! Most importantly, we need to do so in the early game.
On turn 4, we Transmogrify one of them and exile cards from the top of our deck until we find another creature.
There is only one creature in our deck to hit: End-Raze Forerunners, the angry bacon. Upon entering the battlefield, it will pump up the rest of your team for a devastating attack.
We also play two copies of Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast, a card that got Agent of Treachery banned from Standard just a few months ago, for doing the same thing we’re about to! Lukka’s second ability functions as copies 5-6 of Transmogrify. Sadly, we have no use for his other abilities, and it can actually be detrimental to plus him since we can’t play anything we exile.
So, what if we draw the End-Raze Forerunners or it gets bounced to our hand by a card like Teferi or Brazen Borrower? Well, Fire Prophecy allows us to put it from our hand on the bottom of our library, so that we can Polymorph for it once more!
Sometimes, your opponent will not allow you to use a Transmogrify effect – either they’ll remove the creature in response or sweep away your board before you can even try to do the trick.
Since 20 cards in our deck create creature tokens, we have to make sure our Plan B takes advantage of them, and it sure does! With a Divine Visitation on the battlefield, every token we create becomes a 4/4 vigilant flying Angel.
While the End-Raze gameplan is fast and explosive, the Visitation plan is slow but resilient. Once you’ve got the Visitation on the board, even a Castle Ardenvale activation leaves your opponent with a scary threat to deal with. Raise the Alarm and Forbidden Friendship straight up create two Serra Angels for two mana! The one-of Satyr’s Cunning becomes a powerful lategame engine, since you get to create an Angel each time you pay its very cheap Escape cost.
If the two gameplans combine and the Forerunner joins the Angels, it is lights out for your opponent on the spot.
This deck isn’t intended to be top tier, but we at least have to try to fight the current meta, and it doesn’t have too many flex slots with which to do so, due to it’s combo(esque) gameplan.
Even though it sounds counter-intuitive, we play the full playset of Deafening Clarion – one might think wiping our own board is a no-go for a go-wide deck like ours, but in practice we can play around that pretty easily, once we know that we have to use a Clarion. Without Clarions, we would lose hilariously badly against Rakdos sacrifice and probably be too slow for Mono Red. It also destroys Nissa’s animated Lands and most of the UW flyers deck.
As previously mentioned, we also play Fire Prophecy, both as a removal option and to ensure we’re not stuck with our only copy of End-Raze Forerunners in hand.
Angelic Ascension exiles any Creature or Planeswalker, but gives it’s controller a 4/4 Angel token. We usually use this to turn our tokens into bigger threats but, if need be, we can exile big threats like Ugin… although the game is most likely over as soon as Ugin emerges. If everything goes wrong, we can Transmogrify our opponents creatures – this is a scenario you want to avoid at all costs, but sometimes it is necessary to win the game.
If our opponent plays a Containment Priest, Transmogrify will just exile the targeted creature (and the creature that would have otherwise entered the battlefield). In this case, we can just use it as hard removal.
What better way to show off a deck than just taking it for a spin in the Ranked Queue?
If you want to read more about the play patterns and every individual card first, just scroll past this section, but be sure to come back and check out the video! I put a lot of work into my editing to make them as entertaining as possible; maybe even throwing in the occasional joke or two.
- This deck can play an explosively aggressive game with early Transmogrify, as well as a grindy long game using Divine Visitation. As soon as we know what our opponent is up to, we have to adjust our gameplan accordingly.
- Against aggro decks, it is important to set up a board wipe against early aggression – don’t run out a Raise the Alarm or Forbidden Friendship if you plan on playing a Deafening Clarion. Just hold on to the cards and play The Birth of Meletis on turn two. After killing their threats on turn three, we can spend turn four to create tokens and set up a Transmogrify on turn five.
- If you expect your opponents to have removal to fizzle your Transmogrify, you have to switch to plan B – hold on to some token producers until you untap with a Divine Visitation. Even a Castle Ardenvale will get the job done once you’re making Angels instead of Humans
- These two gameplans go hand in hand with each other. Let’s say we created some Tokens on turn two and three and Transmogrify on turn four; this might not kill the opponent, but it provides a great deal of aggression for them to deal with. On turn five we play a Divine Visitation, and now we’ve entered the second part of the game – from this point onwards, all our small tokens now become huge threats, and hopefully our opponents have already expended a bunch of resources dealing with our early aggression and so won’t be able to keep up.
- One advantage of having both strategies is that they each require diferent answers. While a Teferi, Time Raveler would be good against Divine Visitation, it is ineffective against a lot of small tokens, and we can effectively keep it off the board. Spot removal might stop a Transmogrify but, once you have a constant flow of Angels hitting the board, it doesn’t bother us anymore.
- The most important factor in playing this deck successfully is to determine when to Transmogrify. It’s often great to get the End-Raze Forerunners as quick as possible, but sometimes you will want hold on to it until you have a big enough board to end the game in one swing.
Full Decklist Breakdown
Satyr’s Cunning: This one only a one-of, since a 1/1 that can’t block is pretty useless on its own. Due to the Escape, we can get some sweet value in the late game once Divine Visitation is on the battlefield.
Raise the Alarm: This is one of, if not the best way to assemble creature tokens in the early turns. Since it is an instant, we can create tokens at the end of our opponents turn to surprise them with a Transmogrify on our turn. Sometimes it is worth it to flash in the tokens as blockers against attacking X/1 creatures. Later in the game, we get to make two Angels at instant speed!
Forbidden Friendship: This one is similar to Raise the Alarm, but has some advantages and disadvantages.
It is a Sorcery which takes away the blowout potential, but notably one of the tokens has haste. Later in the game, you can play this and follow up with a Transmogrify (on the Human) to swing for 8 out of nowhere, since the Dino becomes a 3/3 with the End-Raze Forerunners buff.
The Birth of Meletis: This is our defensive option for turn two. The Plains makes sure we get to hit our land drops, and the Wall token keeps off early aggression and enables our Transmogrifies.
Fire Prophecy: This is the only way to get an End-Raze Forerunners from our hand back into our library. We have to be careful on how to use it, since the Forerunners are completely useless in hand.
Angelic Ascension: Only a one-of but an interesting one at that. We usually use this to turn a token into an Angel for a surprise block, but sometimes we need to remove an opponent’s threat (like Anax with Embercleave) to not die.
Deafening Clarion: A lot of decks in today’s meta get blown out by a Clarion on turn three, especially mono red and Rakdos Sacrifice. Once we turn our tokens into Angels, the second mode (lifelink) becomes relevant – our tokens will survive the damage and can attack for a devastating life swing, taking us far out of burn and race range immediately. A lot of games start up with a turn two Birth of Meletis into turn three Deafening Clarion, which gives us more than enough breathing room to set up our own gameplan.
Outlaws’ Merriment: If it weren’t for Teferi and Elspeth Conquers Death, we would probably play more of these. Once the Merriment sits on the battlefield for a couple of turns, it will generate an army of tokens, and in conjunction with Divine Visitation, it will be nearly unbeatable for fair decks.
Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis: Elspeth and Outlaws’ Merriment are our lategame engines to keep the tokens coming. She is absurd with a Divine Visitation, but her most important feature is Escape which ensures we don’t run out of action (always a concern in Boros Decks).
Transmogrify: Key card for the deck. Be wary of instant speed removal.
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast: Lukka’s only use is to -2 on our own tokens; it costs more than Transmogrify but can be used twice. If you want to test your luck, you can plus him to get a third activation, but if you exile the last End-Raze Forerunners, it is exiled forever and our Transmogrify effects are turned off for the rest of the game.
Divine Visitation: Once you get this on the battlefield, every token producer becomes nuts. Best case is to have an Elspeth already on the battlefield to minus her for two Angels right away. Satyr’s Cunning and Castle Ardenvale suddenly turn into powerful repeatable engines after the Visitation hits the board.
End-Raze Forerunners: We have no way to cast these from our hand. Always keep in mind how many Forerunners are in your deck before you cast a Transmogrify effect.
Castle Ardenvale: This is a continuous source of tokens with low opportunity cost. If the game goes long, we can create a token every turn until we draw a Transmogrify.
Mobilized District: A lot of control decks struggle with this as a threat; there are niche situations where you might want to turn this into a creature to exile with Lukka or Transmogrify for a game-ending final swing.
Fabled Passage: We often don’t play both a one and three-drop in the early game, which would punish a tapped land. Later in the game, it fuels our graveyard for Escaping Elspeth or Satyr’s Cunning.
The combination of the two gameplans makes for many interesting and memorable games. Unlike a lot of value/ramp decks nowadays, you have to be mindful on how to spend your resources, as there is no Hydroid Krasis to draw a bunch of cards or Ugin to blow up the entire board.
This deck is not the best choice for competitive play, but calculating turns ahead to win out of nowhere is a fun and rewarding gameplan!
Until next time and keep on brewing!