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Displacer Kitten Art by Campbell White

Historic Four-Color Kethis Displacer Kitten Combo Deck Guide: The Most Skill Intensive Deck in Historic

Want to flex on your opponents when winning? Want to prove to the world how wrinkled your brain is? Well, you're in luck! Omri breaks down 4C Kethis Kitten, why the deck is so powerful, and how you'll be rewarded with wins once you master it's lines!

Hello everyone! Today I’ll be going over Four-Color Kethis Kitten Combo. As many others did, I started brewing Displacer Kitten decks as soon as it was spoiled in Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate, but I took a different approach than most; I looked for decks that already wanted to run Teferi, Time Raveler and Mox Amber, the two main combo pieces with Kitten (more on that later).

Displacer Kitten has a lot of raw power, but a three-card combo is risky to fully rely on, especially when the cards alone don’t do much. However, Displacer Kitten slots right into 4C Kethis without completely warping the deck around it, making the inclusion of Kitten low-cost and high-reward, exactly what I was looking for. This deck is built for best-of-three, but I’ll include a section about how this deck fits into best-of-one for all you Bo1 gamers.

Disclaimer: This deck isn’t too hard to pick up once you learn how the combos work, but it’s hard to play well, and it has a high skill ceiling. Now that I’ve learned the deck well, I’ve been able to maintain a high win rate in Mythic, and while this deck is by no means tier one, (maybe it would be if Teferi, Time Raveler was still 3 mana), I believe that this deck is quite strong when piloted well. However, it took me a lot of games (and avoidable losses) to get good with the deck, so don’t be discouraged if you lose your first couple of matches.

Before I get into the article, I would like to shout out Altheriax for helping me come up with and build this deck. I highly recommend checking out Alth’s content, he’s a really good deck builder and player.

Kethis Kitten Combo
by Omrithopter
Buy on TCGplayer $655.52
Historic
best of 3
12 mythic
40 rare
4 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
60 Cards
$538.56
15 Cards
$100.21

THE DECK:

Kethis, the Hidden Hand: The centerpiece of this deck, Kethis is an extremely powerful card that is the main enabler of many of this deck’s combos. Kethis lets you play legendary cards from your graveyard, but this deck isn’t just using Kethis as a value engine to recur efficient creatures or planeswalkers or whatever. Instead, this deck uses Kethis to combo off. When combined with Mox Amber to make mana, and Diligent Excavator or Emry, Lurker of the Loch for self-mill, this deck can use Kethis’s activated ability to storm off, making pseudo-infinite mana and winning by either decking the opponent, or with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Emry, Lurker of the Loch: Another extremely important card for this deck, Emry can come down on turn two with Mox Amber or Chromatic Sphere, and has many different uses in this deck. Firstly, Emry can recur Sphere for extra cards or Mox Amber for extra mana, and it’s another legend for Kethis. But most importantly, Emry’s enters-the-battlefield trigger helps to fuel Kethis. By casting Emry for a single blue and legend-ruling it to get Emry back in the graveyard, Emry can act as a self-mill engine with Kethis, the Hidden Hand, which is extremely important for comboing off. 

Diligent Excavator: One of the few non-legendaries in this deck, Diligent Excavator is crucial for the combo, acting as both a way to fuel Kethis or any of this deck’s other graveyard synergies and as a win condition through milling the opponent. 

Lazav, the Multifarious: An important piece of redundancy, Lazav acts as a backup copy of whatever combo piece this deck needs, be it Kethis, Diligent Excavator, or Displacer Kitten

Mox Amber: Amber is another crucial card for this deck, primarily for the actual combo itself, whereby legend ruling it and recasting it this deck gets the mana to combo off. Amber also synergizes with Emry, and speeds this deck up a lot (it is a mox, after all). If that wasn’t enough, Mox Amber is also part of the Teferi-Mox-Kitten combo that inspired me to make this new version of Kethis combo in the first place.

Teferi, Time Raveler: If it weren’t for Displacer Kitten this deck would probably only play a copy or two of Teferi, but this isn’t to say that Teferi is bad on his own. This deck can protect Teferi from attacks pretty well with its 1/3s and 3/4s, and Teferi does a great job buying this deck time. Additionally, Tef is great against control, and when you combo off with him. 

Displacer Kitten: The newest card in this deck, Kitten is primarily in the deck to win the game with Teferi, Time Raveler, and Mox Amber. That being said, Kitten has many more uses than this, Kitten can do a Diligent Excavator impression by flickering Emry, Lurker of the Loch, Tamiyo, or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries during the combo turn to mill more cards for Kethis, or can flicker Fblthp, the Lost to draw cards. And Teferi isn’t the only planeswalker that Kitten goes infinite with, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales can also go infinite with Kitten, albeit with a little more setup.

Chromatic Sphere: Chromatic Sphere is the grease for this deck’s wheels. It makes Emry a lot better, cycles, fixes mana, triggers Diligent Excavator, and triggers Displacer Kitten. Chromatic Sphere may seem innocuous, but this card deserves respect, it makes this deck a lot better and more consistent. 

Fblthp, the Lost: Fblthp is mostly just Chromatic Spheres 5 and 6. It’s in the deck to cycle, be flickered by Displacer Kitten, and as another legend to exile to Kethis, and it can chump block in close games. 

Wishclaw Talisman: Talisman is a flex slot, and I’m not sure if it’s better than another land, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, or even a Tormod's Crypt, which can replace Mox Amber in the Teferi-Kitten combo. That being said, Talisman has been solid, it gives this deck a little bit of extra redundancy. Furthermore, you can activate Talisman and then bounce it back to your hand with Teferi, Time Raveler for some sweet synergy (bonus points if the card you fetched is the Teferi). 

Tamiyo, Collector of Tales: Tamiyo does a lot of work for this deck, it’s both an excellent source of self-mill, recursion, and combos with ”Displacer. The only issue is Tamiyo is a bit slow, and this deck already has a ton of four-drops, so it’s only a one-of. 

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries: I fought very hard to not include Jace in this deck because it’s not a card you ever want to draw. He’s low-impact and difficult to cast, and this deck doesn’t have room for dead weight. The reason I initially tried to get away with not including Jace is that in 90% of games, this deck doesn’t actually need Jace to win, you can just deck the opponent with Diligent Excavator instead.

Ultimately, the fact that in some games you do end up needing Jace to win finally swayed me to conclude that Jace is worth including. Furthermore, Jace makes winning much faster since you only need to mill out one player instead of two, which is another big upside to Jace because he reduces the risk of timing out.

Legendary Lands: It’s hard for me to stress just how good the legendary lands from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty are for this deck. This deck needs a high concentration of legendary cards to ensure you don’t run out of cards to exile to Kethis, the Hidden Hand, so without them, I doubt there would even be room for Kitten in the deck in the first place. Not only are these lands great because they are legendary, but they also have really strong channel abilities that are almost always discounted in this deck. Boseiju, Who Endures and Otawara, Soaring City are really helpful for beating graveyard hate, and Takenuma, Abandoned Mire is another way to recur combo pieces, as well as do some self-milling, and while Eiganjo, Seat of the Empire has a channel ability that’s a little less impressive, it still can be helpful.

I’m only running two of each at most because drawing multiples can be quite clunky, and only one Otawara because playing Otawara on two means you can’t cast Kethis on turn three unless you have a Chromatic Sphere or Mox Amber and Lazav, the Multifarious in play. Additionally, this deck can’t run too many of these because they only tap for a single color of mana, and this deck has very stringent mana cost requirements.

MANA BASE:

This deck’s mana base is its greatest weakness. A four-color deck is already hard to pull off, and running seven mono-colored lands only makes that worse. While the legendary lands from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty add a lot to this deck, they do make casting spells a little harder.

This deck runs six triomes, which helps to meet color requirements, but it can’t afford to run any more tapped lands. Even having just six triomes disrupts the curve a lot and makes lines like Chromatic Sphere on turn-one into Emry, Lurker of the Loch on turn two a lot less likely.

The rest of the deck is dual lands by necessity, which gets the deck to thirteen blue sources, twelve black sources, eleven white sources, and eleven green sources, which is less than ideal but the absolute maximum I could squeeze into the deck. 

SIDEBOARD:

2 Tormod's Crypt, 1 Soul-Guide Lantern: Both act as graveyard hate, but have some key differences. Tormod’s can be used as a combo piece with Displacer Kitten, whereas Soul-Guide Lantern can be used as a value engine with Emry, Lurker in the Loch.

2 Oath of Kaya: Removal against aggro, it’s more inefficient than Fatal Push, but it’s both legendary and can be flickered by Displacer Kitten

2 Urza's Ruinous Blast: One of this deck’s best sideboard cards, bring in Urza's Ruinous Blast against all aggro decks. This could even be a three-of, but in my experience two has been enough because you can also cast it from the graveyard with Kethis, the Hidden Hand if you mill it. This card also hits all of the opponent’s graveyard hate effects, if being a one-sided wrath wasn’t enough.

1 God-Eternal Oketra: A big, beefy creature that can stonewall any creature deck by itself, and then win the game once it starts pumping out 4/4s. Most aggro decks don’t have a good way to kill Oketra, especially after the Unholy Heat nerf, and if unanswered Oketra will take over the game. 

2 Lyra Dawnbringer: Similar to Oketra, Lyra is another huge creature that’s extremely difficult to break through.

2 Malevolent Hermit: A counterspell against control that can also pressure planeswalkers and gives some value when milled. This slot could also be a pair of Kaito Shizukis if control decks stop running so many copies of Narset, Parter of the Veil

1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales: The second Tamiyo is in the sideboard both for control, just as another way to get some grindy value It’s particular good against Rakdos Arcanist as Tamiyo shuts off their hand disruption.

1 Thoughtseize: There’s no room for more than one, but Thoughtseize is a good way to proactively snipe graveyard hate, a wrath, or any other problematic card against control and combo decks.

1 Boseiju, Who Endures: Board a third Boseiju in if you’re expecting graveyard hate like Rest in Peace or Grafdigger’s Cage. Generally, you want to cut a green dual land of whichever color you’re boarding out cards of, but against control, or if you’re boarding out Chromatic Sphere, you might want to actually go up a land, and board out a spell instead.

BEST-OF-ONE:

The Displacer Kitten combo adds a lot to this deck in best-of-three because it’s a way to beat graveyard hate and disruption, but in the faster, more proactive best-of-one metagame Displacer Kitten is much less impactful.

If you are determined to play this version of the deck in best-of-one I would replace Wishclaw Talisman and Tamiyo, Collector of Tales with two Oath of Kaya, but I think that overall Kethis Combo without Displacer Kitten is probably better in best-of-one.

I didn’t spend as much time on best-of-one as best-of-three so this list probably isn’t perfect, but it’s a good place to start:

Bo1 Kethis Combo
by Omrithopter
Buy on TCGplayer $578.42
Historic
best of 3
14 mythic
38 rare
4 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Sorceries (2)
Artifacts (8)
4
Mox Amber
$131.96
Enchantments (2)
2
Oath of Kaya
$0.70
60 Cards
$516.83

COMBOS:

Kethis, the Hidden Hand Art by Yongjae Choi
Kethis, the Hidden Hand Art by Yongjae Choi

This deck has two different types of infinite or semi-infinite combos: Kethis combos, and Displacer Kitten Combos.

Combos with Kethis involve using Mox Amber to generate mana, and Diligent Excavator and/or Emry, Lurker of the Loch to self-mill to fuel Kethis. This combo works because Mox Amber and Emry are legendary, meaning you can play an Amber, tap it for mana, play another Amber, sacrifice the tapped one, and then activate Kethis and recast the first Mox Amber for even more mana, and you can do the same thing with Emry to convert that extra mana into milled cards.

Combos with Displacer Kitten involve using Kitten to flicker Teferi, Time Raveler, or Tamiyo, Collector of Tales so that you can reuse their -3 loyalty abilities to either bounce Mox Amber back to your hand from the battlefield or recur it from the graveyard to your hand. Then you can replay the Amber, flicker the planeswalker again, make infinite mana, and in Teferi’s case, draw infinite cards as well.

I’ll highlight the main combos, but one of the most important things to know about this deck is that there are many different variations of the combos, some of which aren’t deterministic but can get to the point of being deterministic if you mill over the right cards, and you can even combine Kethis and Kitten combos, or use one combo to set up the other to ensure you don’t fizzle.

I made a video going over the basic combos of this deck to help you visualize and understand how the combos work, and I recommend you check it out either before or after reading the following section. Here it is:

KETHIS COMBOS:

1 Kethis, the Hidden Hand + 2 Emry, Lurker of the Loch in hand, play, or graveyard + 2 Mox Amber in hand, play, or graveyard:

This is the skeleton of the combo, the absolute minimum required, and here’s how it works: 

  1. Cast all your Emrys and Mox Ambers, (make sure to tap the Mox in play before playing the second one, and sacrifice the tapped one to the legend rule), until you have one of each in play, and in the graveyard. This step is always the first step, so I won’t keep including it. 
  2. Activate Kethis, the Hidden Hand exiling two other legendary cards from your graveyard. 
  3. Cast Mox Amber from the graveyard. 
  4. Cast Emry from the graveyard using the mana from Mox Amber
  5. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum. 

This combo lets you repeatedly mill four cards at the cost of exiling two legendary cards from your graveyard. Unfortunately, this combo by itself doesn’t win the game, for it to do so this deck would need to run forty-something legendaries, this deck only runs 31. But, you can repeat this combo (unless you get unlucky and hit a streak of non-legendaries) until you mill over a third Mox Amber and a third Emry, Lurker of the Loch. Then, the combo will look like this:

1 Kethis, the Hidden Hand + 3 Emry, Lurker of the Loch in hand, play, or graveyard + 3 Mox Amber in hand, play, or graveyard: 

  1. Activate Kethis, the Hidden Hand exiling two other legendary cards from your graveyard. 
  2. Cast Mox Amber from the graveyard. 
  3. Cast Emry from the graveyard using the mana from Mox Amber
  4. Cast Mox Amber from the graveyard.
  5. Cast Emry from the graveyard using the mana from Mox Amber
  6. Activate Kethis again. 
  7. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum. 

Now, you’re milling 8 cards each time, which means you’re going positive on legendary cards in the graveyard. Once you mill your entire deck you can then use these excess legends to keep casting Mox Ambers from the graveyard without casting Emry, until you have three blue mana, at which point you can cast Jace, Wielder of Mysteries from the graveyard and win.

If for some reason you don’t have access to Jace, you can always use four mana to play a Lazav, the Multifarious and transform it into a Diligent Excavator, then mill your opponent out by triggering the excavator repeatedly. The issue with this is sometimes you won’t have enough mana or enough cards in deck to fully deck the opponent, which is why despite already having Excavator as a win condition, this deck still runs Jace.

This combo gets a lot easier if you have a Diligent Excavator in play from the start:

1 Kethis, the Hidden Hand + 2 Emry, Lurker of the Loch in hand, play, or graveyard + 2 Mox Amber in hand, play, or graveyard + 1 Diligent Excavator in play:

  1. Activate Kethis, the Hidden Hand exiling two other legendary cards from your graveyard. 
  2. Cast Mox Amber from the graveyard, mill yourself for two with the Diligent Excavator trigger. 
  3. Cast Emry from the graveyard using the mana from Mox Amber, mill yourself for two with the Diligent Excavator trigger. 
  4. Activate Kethis again
  5. Rinse and repeat.  

Now you’re netting four cards in graveyard with just two Emrys and two Ambers, meaning you can go straight to casting Ambers and not spending the mana on Emry once you’ve decked out (or are close to decking out, since you can mill the rest with Diligent Excavator), and winning with Jace. Additionally, with a Diligent Excavator from the start, it’s much easier to deck the opponent because you can use Emry to mill yourself and Excavator to mill your opponent while you’re comboing off. I recommend netting four mana by milling yourself and getting a second Excavator with Lazav, just to speed the process up.

This combo is also possible without Emry, all you need is two or more Diligent Excavator

1 Kethis, the Hidden Hand + 2 Mox Amber in hand, play, or graveyard + 2 Diligent Excavator in play:

  1. Activate Kethis, the Hidden Hand exiling two other legendary cards from your graveyard. 
  2. Cast Mox Amber from the graveyard, mill yourself for four with the two Diligent Excavator triggers.
  3. Activate Kethis again. 
  4. Rinse and repeat. 

Here you’re not netting cards in graveyard, but you are netting mana, which you can convert into cards in graveyard once you eventually mill over Emry, or if you just cast other legends, like Fblthp, the Lost from the graveyard to trigger Excavator and mill yourself. 

Displacer Kitten can also act as a Diligent Excavator. I’m using Emry in this example because it’s the one that comes up most often, but this combo also works with Tamiyo, Collector of Tales or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

1 Kethis, the Hidden Hand + 2 Emry, Lurker of the Loch in hand, play, or graveyard + 2 Mox Amber in hand, play, or graveyard + 1 Displacer Kitten:

  1. Activate Kethis, the Hidden Hand exiling two other legendary cards from your graveyard. 
  2. Cast Mox Amber from your graveyard, use the Displacer Kitten to flicker Emry, Lurker of the Loch to mill yourself for four. 
  3. Cast Emry, Lurker of the Loch using the Mana from Mox Amber
  4. Rinse and repeat. 

Here you’re netting cards in graveyard, which as usual you can convert into mana to cast Jace and win. 

KITTEN COMBOS:

These tend to be a lot simpler, and the hardest part about them tends to be deciding whether to play Displacer Kitten or Teferi, Time Raveler first for the greatest odds that your combo piece will survive until you untap.

1 Displacer Kitten + 1 Teferi, Time Raveler, + 1 Mox Amber:

  1. Have all three cards in play, and tap Mox Amber for mana. 
  2. Use Teferi’s -3 to bounce Mox Amber back to your hand and draw a card. 
  3. Recast Mox Amber, use Displacer Kitten’s triggered ability to flicker Teferi. 
  4. Tap Mox Amber for mana, use Teferi’s -3 to bounce it. 
  5. Rinse and repeat. 

This combo makes infinite mana and infinite cards. Just make sure you can actually start the loop, if you played Teferi the previous turn and ticked it down, you’ll need to cast your Mox Amber (or have another non-creature spell like Chromatic Sphere) till after you cast Displacer Kitten, so that you can flicker Teferi and he’ll have enough loyalty to bounce Mox and start the loop. However, if you have a Teferi on four or more loyalty you don’t need to worry about this, you can just bounce Mox and go off. 

1 Displacer Kitten + 1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales, + 2 Mox Amber:

  1. Play and legend rule Mox Ambers as necessary so that you have one in play and one in graveyard. 
  2. Tick down Tamiyo, Collector of Tales to get back Mox Amber from your graveyard. Tap the Mox in play for mana if you haven’t already. 
  3. Cast Mox Amber, flickering Tamiyo with the Displacer Kitten trigger. Sacrifice the tapped Mox Amber to the legend rule. 
  4. Tick down Tamiyo to get Mox Amber back from your graveyard. 
  5. Etc.

This combo nets you infinite mana, as well as infinite Diligent Excavator triggers, and you have a couple of chances before you start comboing to flicker Tamiyo and look for a win condition. You can also tick down Tamiyo once you already have infinite mana to get back something that might help you win. This combo is admittedly harder to set up than the combo with Teferi, but it’s still worth keeping in mind. Also, one thing to note is that if you board in Tormod's Crypt, you can loop it with Tamiyo in the same way, and you only need one since it gets itself in the graveyard (my first draft of the deck had a Crypt in the main in part for this reason). You don’t get infinite mana, but you win if you have a Diligent Excavator.

This list of different ways to combo I’ve compiled doesn’t cover every variant of the combo possible, there are simply too many different combinations of cards that together will win you the game, but these are the most common ones. The thing about this deck is unless you’ve got a deterministic combo, your plan during your combo turn will be constantly evolving. For example, you could start trying to combo without a second Mox or Emry, and just try to mill into whatever you’re missing. Say if you don’t mill into a second Emry, you can backdoor into repeatedly recasting Fblthp, the Lost, for example, it’ll work just fine for milling yourself if you’ve got a Diligent Excavator.

The amount of different possible lines this deck has, and the fact that your decision on which to take will often decide the game, is one of the things that makes this deck so hard to play. There’s no hard and fast rule for deciding when to try to go off, or what to do first, and your decisions will mostly come down to a mix of math and intuition. That being said, most decisions you can think through similarly: what can you do to mill yourself the most efficiently, and from there, how likely is it to work, and how likely are you to die or be disrupted and not be able to combo if you try to set up to combo next turn instead. The best way to get better at these kinds of decisions is to just play the deck, as over time you’ll be able to plan ahead more easily, and you will understand more intuitively what the odds of you comboing off are from any given starting point.

GAMEPLAY:

Emry, Lurker of the Loch Art by Livia Prima
Emry, Lurker of the Loch Art by Livia Prima

This deck has a very unique style of gameplay, with lots of little sequencing decisions, and a very click-intensive combo. A big thing to learn when playing this deck is the correct order to play your cards because every minute decision you make in the early turns in the game can decide whether you go off on turn four, or end up just a card or two short and fizzle.

I can’t cover every situation possible, but one important sequencing decision that comes up often is whether to play Emry, Lurker of the Loch or Diligent Excavator on turn two, and this decision comes down to whether you know you’ll be able to activate Emry the next turn, in which case it’s the better play, or if you’re desperate for another mana source, and need to try and hit one with Emry to have a chance. Otherwise, you should play Diligent Excavator because then you’ll be able to mill yourself for two when you cast Emry.

Another one that comes up often is whether or not to cast Kethis, the Hidden Hand on turn three, which increases the odds of you comboing off early, but also risks a lot by exposing Kethis to removal. This decision will come down to whether you have something else to spend your mana on, how likely Kethis is to die or get countered, and if you have a backup Kethis or a Lazav, the Multifarious.

Another thing that makes this deck tricky to play is that it can play like a midrange deck or a hyper-focused combo deck depending on how your draw pans out. For example, in some games, you have to throw your value-maximizing heuristics out of the window and make conventionally bad plays because all that matters is whether you live to combo. This means doing things like making aggressive chump-blocks, legend-ruling your creatures just to mill a couple of cards, or giving your opponent infinite cards off of their Esper Sentinel because they’ll die to your combo regardless. Sometimes, the best course of action is to do the exact opposite. For example, if you’re not that close to comboing, milling yourself for six is often worse than playing Teferi, Time Raveler and bouncing your opponent’s only creature because you’re setting them back a full turn or more. While they’re rebuilding their board and spending resources answering Teferi, you’re drawing cards and developing your mana and getting closer to comboing slowly, but surely.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARD GUIDE:

Displacer Kitten Art by Campbell White
Displacer Kitten Art by Campbell White

Izzet Phoenix:

INOUT
+2 Tormod's Crypt-2 “Fblthp
+1 Soul-Guide Lantern-1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
+2 Lyra Dawnbringer-1 Wishclaw Talisman
+2 Oath of Kaya-3 Teferi, Time Raveler
+2 Urza's Ruinous Blast-2 Displacer Kitten

This matchup is tricky because Phoenix has pressure and disruption, the best way to beat combo decks like these. That being said, this deck has a lot of outs, especially post-board, so this matchup is very much winnable. When deciding whether to try to combo this turn or wait till the next, err on the side of just going for it because Phoenix can kill out of nowhere (especially if they’ve already got Arclight Phoenix in the graveyard).

The recent A-Unholy Heat nerf makes this matchup much better because now your opponent can’t easily kill your Lyra Dawnbringer. If you really want to beat this matchup, you can even add Elder Gargaroth to the sideboard, which is also really good against Phoenix.

Selesnya Humans:

INOUT
+2 Lyra Dawnbringer-1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
+2 Oath of Kaya-1 Wishclaw Talisman
+2 Urza's Ruinous Blast-2 Teferi, Time Raveler
+1 God-Eternal Oketra-3 Displacer Kitten

This may surprise you, but this matchup is actually good. This deck can usually outrace the beat down, and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, while annoying, doesn’t stop the combo because Kethis, the Hidden Hand discounts Mox Amber back down to 0 mana.

Post-board, Urza's Ruinous Blast and Lyra Dawnbringer are very difficult for the opponent to beat. I board out all the  Displacer Kittens in this matchup because Thalia, Guardian of Thraben makes the combo harder to pull off and it’s somewhat unnecessary.

Rakdos Arcanist: 

INOUT
1 God-Eternal Oketra1 Wishclaw Talisman
1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales1 Fblthp, the Lost
1 Boseiju, Who Endures1 Overgrown Tomb

This matchup is quite bad. Rakdos Arcanist simply has too much disruption between all their hand-hate and removal, and they have a decent clock as well. The best way to win this matchup is to hope your opponent stumbles and you can capitalize on it, and especially when you’re on the play it’s possible to snowball with Teferi, Time Raveler or Tamiyo, Collector of Tales

Azorius Control: 

INOUT
+1 Thoughtseize-1 Wishclaw Talisman
+1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales-2 Fblthp, the Lost
+2 Lyra Dawnbringer-2 Chromatic Sphere
+1 Boseiju, Who Endures

This matchup tends to be pretty even, but can be worse or better depending on how many Farewells and Divine Purges the opponent is packing. In this matchup, Teferi, Time Raveler is your best card, and remember, if you have enough mana and cards in graveyard, a single resolved Kethis, the Hidden Hand can win you the game, so don’t scoop too early.

In this matchup, make sure not to overextend into a wrath as a Mox Amber or Emry, Lurker of the Loch that has been hit by a Divine Purge can’t be used in the combo anymore, and make sure not to leave any uncracked Chromatic Sphere in play without the mana to sacrifice them in response.

Post-board, make sure not to overextend by milling yourself too much till you’re close to comboing, because if your opponent plays a Rest in Peace, even if you remove it, you might not be able to restock your graveyard enough to combo if you already spent all your self-mill.

Azorius Auras:

INOUT
+2 Oath of Kaya-1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
+2 Urza's Ruinous Blast-1 Wishclaw Talisman
+1 Boseiju, Who Endures-1 Displacer Kitten
-1 Chromatic Sphere
-1 Botanical Sanctum

This matchup is pretty good, you’re usually able to outrace their creature, and Teferi, Time Raveler bouncing their huge creature buys you a lot more time. Make sure to chump block if given the opportunity, as you don’t want to procrastinate on chump-blocking and fall to a low life total, only for your opponent to give their creature flying.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

Lazav, the Multifarious Art by Yongjae Choi
Lazav, the Multifarious Art by Yongjae Choi
  • Sometimes with this deck, you just have to keep hands that are missing a color of mana, you can’t afford to mulligan too aggressively because you need a lot of cards to combo early. Also, this deck does have a lot of ways of fixing its mana or getting around not having a certain color, such as Lazav giving you access to Kethis without green and white mana, or Chromatic Sphere fixing for whatever color you need.
  • Make sure to mill yourself for as much as possible before activating Kethis, the Hidden Hand so you don’t miss out on value or have to reactivate to cast a card you milled over later that you could have milled before activating the first time.
  • You can a discounted Emry, Lurker of the Loch off of off-color lands and a Chromatic Sphere, just put Emry on the stack and auto-tapper will do the rest for you.
  • Lazav, the Multifarious can transform into Emry, Lurker of the Loch and tap to get an artifact back. You can also use Lazav multiple times in a turn, for example first as a Kethis, then once you cast another Kethis from the graveyard, into a Diligent Excavator.
  • You can’t have two Lazav, the Multifarious in play even if one is transformed into another creature, but you can have a Lazav and the creature Lazav is transformed into in play at the same time.
  • Post-board, legend-ruling and recasting Oath of Kaya is another win condition this deck can utilize.
  • You can bounce your own permanents with Otawara, Soaring City to mill yourself for more or save them from removal.
  • Urza's Ruinous Blast doesn’t just exile most or all of your opponent’s creatures, it also exiles their hate pieces like Rest in Peace, Grafdigger’s Cage, etc. That being said, it also exiles your non-legendary cards like Diligent Excavator and Chromatic Sphere.
  • It isn’t always optimal to crack Chromatic Sphere as soon as you have the mana to, sometimes you want to save it to discount Emry later, or if you need to fix your mana, or even so that you can dodge a Thoughtseize or Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger on whatever card you might draw until you have the mana to cast it.
  • Teferi, Time Raveler no longer shuts off Dreadhorde Arcanist as part of its rebalancing, and even if you’ve got a Teferi on board, your opponent can interact with your combo with their own Boseiju, Who Endures, or Otawara, Soaring City.
  • Tamiyo, Collector of Tales shuts off your opponent’s discard spells and forced sacrifice effects, but this also means that you can’t avoid taking the three damage from “Kroxa,’s trigger.
  • During the combo turn, if you need to play a land from the graveyard, play one you already have in play so that you can legend rule the tapped one into the graveyard, thereby giving you an extra legend to exile to Kethis, the Hidden Hand.

CONCLUSION:

This deck is really fun to play and has a lot of good matchups in the metagame. It’s hard to learn, but once I learned to play the deck well I had a lot of success with it, even in high mythic, and I’m sure you will too! 

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to let me know through the MTG Arena Zone Discord, or message me on Twitter. Thank you so much for reading, good luck in your games, and may your turn-three kills be plentiful.

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Omrithopter
Omrithopter

Omri Khaykovich is a 17-year-old MTGA grinder whose competitive interest in Magic sparked in 2019. He's played every format on Arena competitively, and is getting into Pioneer and Modern so he can play in RCQs. Omri is one of the youngest players ever to hit #1 Mythic, and loves to share his knowledge about his favorite decks with others.

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