So, what is the most hated deck in Historic? Phoenix must be up high on the list. At the moment though, I think Dragonstorm feels like the most degenerate thing you can be doing. It is basically a 2-card “insta-win” combo. I get asked all the time “what deck should I play to reach Mythic?”
Well, all my friends and I have made Mythic this season by casting Dragonstorm, into Terror of the Peaks and endlessly looping Bladewing the Risen for infinite damage. Even my friends who have never seen Diamond made it to Mythic with this broken strategy and you can too!
Let me start off by saying we mostly played this deck in Bo1. This is when the deck is at its strongest since it avoids most graveyard hate as few decks main board it, and the occasional Grafdigger’s Cage is checked to some degree by Prismari Command.
Without further ado, this is the list we used:
This particular build looked better than other builds that I have seen. There is no fat, and just has what it needs to win – which long time followers know I love.
Playing the Deck in Bo1
If you have not figured it out yet, the “instant win” I have been referring to is playing Dragonstorm or Emergent Ultimatum with a Mizzix's Mastery or Scholar of the Lost Trove depending on what is in your hand, field and graveyard until you resolve a Terror of the Peaks and two Bladewings, then loop the Bladewings to the legend rule while their abilities trigger bringing each other back triggering Terror of the Peaks for infinite damage.
There is a ton of ways to do the combo with this deck and winning is often just finding the correct line for what is in your graveyard and hand. This does make the deck slightly harder than most to pick up. But once you learn all the lines, it is incredibly hard to beat.
Listing all the ways that lead to victory in all the possible scenarios would take forever and there is no way I could do that, but what I can do is list some lines out that I find to be the most common:
- With a Bladewing and Dragonstorm in the graveyard, you bring back a Scholar with Unburial Rites or cast Mizzix’s Mastery. Grab a Terror of the Peaks and a Bladewing and you win.
- If you draw your Terror of the Peaks, get it into the graveyard and do the same combo listed above, but grab two Bladewings with Dragonstorm.
- What I refer to as “comboing the hard way” is with Ultimatum. If you have a Dragonstorm in your graveyard but do not have any of your dragons in the yard, you can go for Ultimatum. Grab Terror, Scholar, and Mastery. This way, no matter what they pick you can combo off if you stack your spells correctly depending on what they chose to shuffle back in the deck.
- If you do not have Dragonstorm in the hand while having one of your dragons in the yard, you can go for Ultimatum grabbing Dragonstrom, Faithless Looting and Scholar. Your opponent will not give you Dragonstorm since they auto lose, just put Scholar on the Stack, then cast Looting first, pitching Dragonstorm, then cast it with Scholar.
Playing the deck in Bo3
Again, I do not think this deck is as strong in Bo3. I know some of you would love a comprehensive analysis of each matchup in Bo3, but any claims I make would be speculation.
I should also note that since this is such a linear combo deck, taking anything away from the main deck hurts consistency. So do not overdo it, only bring in what you need and do not take too much out of what makes the deck run.
This would be the sideboard I would start with:
4 Anger of the Gods: This is probably the best sweeper we have access to. Wrath of Gods might look better, but often we are looking to win on turn 4, not sweep the board. So, our issue is decks that can kill us before our turn 4. Anger is on curve for that.
4 Mystical Dispute: This deck does not play well as a reactive deck. This deck wants to be as proactive as possible. I would use Dispute to counter blue spells that would look to interrupt our combo.
4 Rip Apart: This is solid removal that can also remove any graveyard hate. Flexibility is key.
With this deck you want to mulligan any hand that does not have a loot effect or no red mana PERIOD. There is an order to how much I value each looting effect. The order is:
Faithless Looting is certainly the best looting effect since we draw first and can make a more intelligent discard decision. The Flashback ability for 3 is also game changing. I cannot count how many games I would have lost with out it! This is also relevant in some situations since you can pitch it to your other looting effects and have access to it later.
The second is Prismari Command. The flexibility and being able to cast it at instant speed are fantastic traits. I only run two copies because sometimes a 3-mana card can be clunky and blue mana is the weakest color in our deck since this is the only blue spell in the main. It is however, an out to Grafdigger’s Cage and can force our opponent to pop a Tormod’s Crypt so we can continue to set up. I also use the Treasure ability to act as my 4th land to go off.
Next most powerful is Thrilling Discovery since it gains us life and can buy us an extra turn in a pinch. It is also worth noting that you can cast this and not pitch anything just to gain some life against aggro and you are running low on cards or have a hand consisting of cards that you do not want to lose.
Finally, we have Cathartic Reunion. This might be the weakest since discarding is mandatory to casting it, but this is also its strength. If you really need to put cards in the graveyard to go off, this guarantees they get there through a counterspell, and yes, I have had people counter looting effects. Memory Lapse is especially powerful against our looting strategy.
I will mulligan if my only looting effect is Prismari Command as I find it to be far too slow unless I have a perfect hand of Bladewing, Dragonstorm, Prismari Command, three lands and Mizzix’s Mastery. Faithless looting and/or any of the 2-mana looting effects with the ability to cast them is acceptable.
Tips and Tricks
- Generally, you just want to pitch anything that is not a Mizzix’s Mastery and look to go off unless there are situations where you should prioritize getting some cards into the graveyard over others. For instance, if I have a Bladewing or Terror of the Peaks and a Dragonstrom in my hand then those are no brainers to discard, since that is the fastest way to achieve the combo. This is also the case of a hand with Scholar and Unburial Rites.
- When you are going off, it does not matter which Bladewing you choose to keep. The loop will always happen since the ability is on the stack.
- Playing Mastery off an Ultimatum immediately needs a target. This means that you cannot put it first on the stack, look to cast a Final Parting to put what you really want to target in the grave then cast it with Mastery.
- You can use Prismari Command to make a Treasure in the event of missing your 4th land.
- When you cast a two-mana loot effect, try to hold off on playing your land first if you find a Faithless Looting and can cast it. This is also applicable to casting Prismari Command on your 3rd turn to loot, you should make a tTreasure token incase you find a Faithless Looting as well.
This deck is insanely powerful and the best deck that I have found to climb with. It is very reminiscent of the Tibalt’s Trickery Combo deck that I wrote a guide on previously, but far more consistent. This will be the deck that I use to reach Mythic next month as well until something better comes along in Forgotten Realms. My advice is to take advantage of it while you can and climb to the promise land.
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