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IV: Commence the Endgame - Counters

Guide to Part IV: Commence the Endgame – Counters

The MTG Arena War of the Spark Chronicles event continues on to its fourth week this Friday, with a new format called Counters. We will look into how to format will work and look into some decklists that might work well for this event.

The MTG Arena War of the Spark Chronicles event continues on to its fourth week this Friday, with a new format called Counters. We will look into how to navigate through this event and look into some decklists that might work well for this event.

Event Information

Duration: June 14 2019 to June 21 2019
Format: Counters
Cost: Free
Rewards: 200 Gold and Glass Card Styles for cumulative wins (up to 10) throughout the event duration

The key thing to note is that the amount of wins required to obtain the rewards have been reduced from 15 wins to 10 wins! Of course, you can keep playing after that if you are enjoying the event.

What is Counters?

Below is the description of the event from the official source.

The Elderspell has been cast. With every Planeswalkers’ death, the core of their being soars toward Bolas, fueling his ascension to godhood. Ravnicans and Planeswalkers alike must mount a new counter-attack before it’s too late.

Bring a 60 card deck that loves counters! At the end of each turn, Planeswalkers you control get an additional loyalty counter and creatures you control with a +1/+1 counter on it get an additional +1/+1 counter. If you control no creatures with a +1/+1 counter on them and no planeswalkers, amass 1.

Wizards of the Coast Official Website

Each player will have the effect of the Overflowing Counters emblem.

Note that other types of counters (e.g. charge counters) are not affected.

Building Your Counters Deck

As this is a brand new format specific for this event, we do not yet know what deck will perform the best. Of course, you can bring your best Standard deck and see how that performs. That may even be the best option as all decks get some sort of an advantage. Mono White Aggro seems to be a solid choice with a few modifications as there is a wealth of options to put counters on your creatures, Command the Dreadhorde decks with explore creatures, or any deck that runs Nissa, Who Shakes the World as her lands get counters and get to ultimate faster.

What’s the fun in that though? Let’s have a look at some cards that could shine in this event if your deck around it.

For this format, creatures that can get a +1/+1 counter early on its own or as it enters the battlefield are good as they will benefit from the emblem each turn. Spells that put counters on all your creatures would exponentially grow your army as well. For this reason, going first will give you a significant advantage. Therefore, a deck should have the ideal combination of:

  • Creatures that have +1/+1 counters
  • Spells to put counters on your creatures (e.g. Courage in Crisis)
  • Spells to go over the top and break board stalls (e.g. Simic Ascendancy)

Naturally, a Blue Green Simic deck would be able to satisfy these conditions quite well – you can conjure a deadly combination of Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Simic Ascendancy and Wilderness Reclamation.

On the flipside, you could build a control deck targeting players that might leave themselves open to board wipes such as Kaya’s Wrath and Cleansing Nova.

Our Top Decklist Choices

There are tonnes of different options you can explore here, and while players get to explore this event we might come up with some more homogeneous decklists. Be sure to check out our (work in progress) decks section for more decklists to come in the coming days. We will also be updating the decklists here as we refine them.

Gruul Counters

The Gruul guild mechanic, Riot, synergizes well with this event. All creatures end this deck come into play with a +1/+1 counter on it, and is blazing fast. Even if you do happen to take the second turn, Chamber Sentry and Ugin’s Conjurant allows you catch up if you play them on the first turn. Credit to /u/Jace_TheFreshmaker for the deck.

[d style=”embedded”]
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Ugin’s Conjurant
4 Pelt Collector
4 Chamber Sentry
4 Zhur-Taa Goblin
4 Gruul Spellbreaker
4 Pollenbright Druid

4 Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter
2 Domri, Anarch of Bolas

4 Domri’s Ambush

6 Mountain
8 Forest
4 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground

4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168
6 Mountain (RIX) 195
4 Ugin's Conjurant (WAR) 3
4 Jiang Yanggu, Wildcrafter (WAR) 164
2 Domri, Anarch of Bolas (WAR) 191
4 Pelt Collector (GRN) 141
4 Chamber Sentry (GRN) 232
4 Zhur-Taa Goblin (RNA) 215
8 Forest (RIX) 196
4 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179
4 Pollenbright Druid (WAR) 173
4 Domri's Ambush (WAR) 192
4 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259 

Feather Counters

Try this modified Boros Feather deck, which has some impressive +1/+1 counter strategy as well. Runaway Steam-Kin, Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin are perfect fit for this format. This will be the deck I will be trying to get 10 wins with.

[d style=”embedded”]
4 Shock
4 Reckless Rage
2 Gideon Blackblade
4 Defiant Strike

4 Tenth District Legionnaire
4 Dreadhorde Arcanist
3 Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin
4 Feather, the Redeemed
4 Runaway Steam-Kin

2 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants

3 Gird for Battle

4 Sacred Foundry
4 Clifftop Retreat
6 Mountain
8 Plains

4 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
4 Clifftop Retreat (DAR) 239
6 Mountain (XLN) 273
8 Plains (XLN) 261
3 Gird for Battle (GRN) 12
4 Tenth District Legionnaire (WAR) 222
4 Dreadhorde Arcanist (WAR) 125
3 Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin (WAR) 137
4 Feather, the Redeemed (WAR) 197
4 Runaway Steam-Kin (GRN) 115
2 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants (M19) 3
4 Shock (M19) 156
4 Reckless Rage (RIX) 110
2 Gideon Blackblade (WAR) 13
4 Defiant Strike (WAR) 9

Merfolk Counters

This deck was built to be more aggressive than the standard merfolk deck. Ugin’s Conjurant can be played on turn 1 and Merfolk Skybinder is excellent for putting counters on creatures that don’t have them already. Benthic Biomancer allows you to filter cards each turn as well.

[d title=”” style=”embedded”]
4 Pollenbright Druid
4 Deeproot Elite
4 Silvergill Adept
4 Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca
4 Merfolk Mistbinder
4 Jade Bearer
4 Benthic Biomancer
4 Merfolk Skydiver

2 Simic Ascendancy

4 Courage in Crisis

4 Breeding Pool
4 Hinterland Harbor
4 Unclaimed Territory
5 Island
5 Forest[/d]

4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246
4 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240
4 Unclaimed Territory (XLN) 258
5 Island (WAR) 253
5 Forest (WAR) 262
4 Courage in Crisis (WAR) 158
4 Deeproot Elite (RIX) 127
4 Silvergill Adept (RIX) 53
4 Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca (RIX) 162
4 Merfolk Mistbinder (RIX) 164
4 Pollenbright Druid (WAR) 173
4 Jade Bearer (RIX) 134
2 Simic Ascendancy (RNA) 207
4 Benthic Biomancer (RNA) 32
4 Merfolk Skydiver (WAR) 205

Selensya Counters

White also has some good ways of going wide and putting counters on all your creatures too.

[d title=”” style=”embedded”]
4 Wildgrowth Walker
4 Venerated Loxodon
4 Merfolk Branchwalker
4 Pelt Collector
4 Pollenbright Druid
4 Jadelight Ranger
2 Huatli’s Raptor
4 Chamber Sentry
4 Ugin’s Conjurant

3 Unbreakable Formation

3 Ajani, the Greathearted

6 Forest
6 Plains
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden

3 Unbreakable Formation (RNA) 29
4 Wildgrowth Walker (XLN) 216
4 Venerated Loxodon (GRN) 30
4 Merfolk Branchwalker (XLN) 197
4 Pelt Collector (GRN) 141
3 Ajani, the Greathearted (WAR) 184
6 Forest (XLN) 277
6 Plains (XLN) 261
4 Sunpetal Grove (XLN) 257
4 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
4 Pollenbright Druid (WAR) 173
4 Jadelight Ranger (RIX) 136
2 Huatli's Raptor (WAR) 200
4 Chamber Sentry (GRN) 232
4 Ugin's Conjurant (WAR) 3

Wrapping Up

I think this format could be really fun if your deck supports the theme. We could see some crazy board states, with lots of counters being added each turn. If the community gives good feedback, Wizards may choose to return this event again regularly in the future. Remember that this is meant to be a fun casual format!

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