Hello everyone! Today we’re going to review a subset of the extremely popular Temur Adventures archetype: Temur Lukka. Before I continue, I’ll show both a stock version of Obosh Adventures (the most popular form of Temur), then I’ll show Temur Lukka.
Temur Lukka would seemingly operate very similarly to the stock Obosh version considering most of the cards overlap, but surprisingly the game plan tends to work out quite differently. While Temur Obosh is firmly a midrange deck, Temur Lukka is a hybrid between midrange and control, looking more so to stall the game until you hit Lukka rather than try to outmuscle the opponent in a midrange slugfest (thought the deck is more than capable of doing that as well). This is a huge boon to the deck as instead of needing an overwhelming board position to win, you can actually come back from really far behind if you manage to stick a Koma, Cosmos Serpent onto the board. Koma can pull you out of insanely tough spots especially against other creature based decks and it’s still excellent against other decks that look to go over the top of opponents (Cycling, Sultai Ult, Mirror).
Although this deck didn’t gain much from Strixhaven, getting the very innocuous Decisive Denial was a huge boon for the deck. I spoke about this before, but having a card this flexible in a deck that can make good use out of either mode is insanely powerful. Against the aggro decks you have a Prey Upon or a Mana Leak for their non-creature payoffs. Against the slow decks, you have a Mana Leak for almost all their relevant spells. The main issue with 2 mana answers in the past is generally that they’re narrow, but Denial doesn’t make you choose on what decks you want to tech for!
With all that out of the way, let’s address the elephant in the room.
WHY PLAY TEMUR LUKKA OVER TEMUR OBOSH?
This is honestly a great question and begs if there an objectively correct choice. Personally, I prefer the Lukka version, but I believe both versions to be equally viable. For why to play Lukka over Obosh, I think the big draw is the access to the 2 mana spells. As I previously stated, Decisive Denial is a huge draw to the Lukka version as it gives the deck a lot of flexibility it didn’t have in the past. Beyond that, getting access to Fire Prophecy, Negate, and Test of Talents is also a great draw to this version as those are all excellent board options to have. I always had issue with Obosh decks as you lose so much value from your sideboard as the crux of good interaction is at the 2 mana mark (or you’re forced to decompanion Obosh).
On top of having access to relevant even cast spells, the Lukka version I find to be a lot easier to play than the Obosh version. A lot of players pride themselves in being able to play complicated decks well which is an invaluable skill to have, but playing easier decks minimizes the chance of misplay as well.
Beyond these two advantages, I think the decks are quite evenly matched. I believe Lukka is a bit better in the mirror while Obosh is better against Sultai Ultimatum. The matchup spread for each deck otherwise is quite similar so you can’t really go wrong no matter which you choose.
MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING
Since this is still the very beginning of the season, I’ll mostly go over decks I’ve been seeing the most of which happens to be a lot of the previously good decks. Use this as a baseline to figure out boarding for matchups not covered here.
|+1 Disdainful Stroke||-4 Brazen Borrower|
|+2 Mystical Dispute||-1 Fire Prophecy|
|+1 Soul Sear|
|+1 The Akroan War|
I specify this boarding is for Obosh Adventures, but this could work for the pure mirror as well. Brazen Borrower is extremely bad in the matchup as all their permanents generate value for them naturally which makes bouncing them really bad. Counterspells are paramount in this matchup as you need to stop the large payoff cards when possible (The Great Henge and
Koma is a really tough threat for Obosh to deal with unless they happen to play The Akroan War in the sideboard (you would notice if they did as they would de-companion Obosh). Do everything you can to get a Koma on the board as you can win very quickly from that point.
|+2 Fire Prophecy||-4 Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast|
|+2 Klothys, God of Destiny||-4 Brazen Borrower|
|+2 Mystical Dispute||-2 The Akroan War|
|+2 Phoenix of Ash|
|+2 Ox of Agonas|
Rogues has been a historically hard matchup for Temur Adventures, but you can’t say we aren’t trying here! We take out all the bad cards and put in a lot of heavy hitters. 6 dedicated Rogues cards is realistically the ceiling on what we can afford and of course cards like Fire Prophecy and Mystical Dispute are solid options as well. With this boarding, you should be at a minimum even in the boarded games. Like with any deck, do everything in your power to keep them off Into the Story as that’s how they’re going to refuel and pull ahead.
|+1 Disdainful Stroke||-2 Llanowar Visionary|
|+1 Test of Talents||-2 Fire Prophecy|
|+2 Klothys, God of Destiny||-2 The Akroan War|
|+2 Mystical Dispute|
Sultai Ultimatum is going to be all about putting you the to test. Can you race their Ultimatum? Can you beat a wrath? Can you beat a random big spell? Sometimes the answer will be no, but we have a lot of tools to disrupt their gameplan (thanks Decisive Denial!) Try not to play too hard into their disruption and make sure you stop them from resolving an Ultimatum when possible. With 8 counterspells, holding one up for their Ultimatum shouldn’t be an impossible task most of the time.
|+1 Redcap Melee||-1 Brazen Borrower|
|+2 Fire Prophecy||-3 Llanowar Visionary|
|+1 The Akroan War|
Both in the pre and post boarded games, treat this matchup like a control matchup. Your plan is to keep disrupting them until you can get a Koma on board as they’ll have an extremely difficult time winning from there. When you have a game plan like this, prioritize your life total over everything else. A big mistake I see a lot of players make here is that they’ll make a value play at the cost of life and that just creeps them closer to dying to Embercleave. I’m not recommending you don’t add to the board so you can hold up removal every turn, but use your life total as a resource as sparingly as possible.
|+1 Soul Sear||-1 Brazen Borrower|
|+2 Fire Prophecy||-3 Llanowar Visionary|
|+1 The Akroan War|
The boarding and the matchup dynamic with Monowhite and Monored are quite similarly, but the games play out quite differently. Where Monored feels like a traditional aggro deck where you have to prioritize life total, Monowhite you need to care more about grinding them out. Giant Killer makes this matchup a lot more complicated as it’s very good at stopping you from getting a Koma on board and also severely messes up combat math.
On top of that, they have a good amount of exile based removal that can disrupt this plan as well. You don’t have to worry as much with preserving your life total as the games tend to go longer, but you obviously can’t ignore it either as Monowhite is still an aggressive deck at the end of the day. Play as if you expect the game to go long, because everytime I’ve seen this matchup, it has.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Generally you’re looking to use Lukka as a means to find Koma, but he does have a relevant plus as well! There will be board states that are so clogged that even a Koma isn’t the most helpful where Lukka’s ultimate can be. Furthermore, if you want to deploy a Lukka and the opponent is potentially holding a kill spell, plussing up can also be a great idea.
- We’re playing a more controlling iteration of Adventures so Edgewall Innkeeper is more relevant than ever. Try not to play him out unless you can guarantee a card draw off of him.
- If someone is trying to Stomp one of your creatures, you can consider killing the creature in response to fizzle the Bonecrusher Giant. Do this play when you’re trying to deprive the opponent of resources.
- This may seem obvious, but if you’re intending on exiling Llanowar Visionary to Lukka, make sure you tap Visionary to get the extra mana. It’s small, but its very easy to overlook.
- You can save your Fire Prophecy to potentially put away a Koma you naturally drew. This is why we play Prophecy over Scorching Dragonfire even though the latter is better against Rogues
- There’s a few neat tricks you can do with Akroan War. When you’re about to give the creature back, you could Decisive Denial to fight it with something else to get even more value from the card. The second trick is if you have a Koma out, with the War trigger on the stack you can sacrifice a Snake to tap down the creature you stole with Akroan War so it dies. This also works if you stole a Koma with Akroan War!
- Unlike the Obosh version which generally runs out their creatures whenever possible, sandbagging them for longer to try and make their removal awkward can be a great play especially if you’re looking to turn them into a Koma. Don’t give the opponent good openings to take out your 3 drops!
- If you ever plan to bring Ox of Agonas in but not take Lukka out, remember the Lukka will no longer consistently hit Koma anymore. This may be obvious, but it’s easy to overlook in the moment.
Thank you for reading!