Hello everyone. Hope you are all enjoying the FNM events on MTGA. This week's FNM event is Artisan and the deck to beat is the Cycling deck (surprise, surprise). I have here a deck that is built to beat it while having good matchups against other Artisan decks.
Main 60 cards (13 distinct)
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (21)|
(Simplified, true algorithm in MTGA not revealed by Wizards yet)
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Let's go over the list
We're running playsets of all of these removal pieces except for Mogis's Favor, which you can use repeatedly. Dead Weight and Mire's Grasp will hit everything in the Cycling deck and stops early aggro. Mogis's Favor, while also being repeatable, also gets rid ofand a Turn One . Drag to the Underworld is used to remove bigger threats, such as a big Flourishing Fox.
We are running a lot of Aura-based removal, so it makes sense to include a full playset of Hateful Eidolons. This will let us keep our hand full and the Lifelink on Eidolon is an added bonus
These are our hate cards. Yarok's Fenlurker will exile a card from their hand while Tymaret will exile cards from their graveyard so that you will not need to worry about a pumped. Tymaret will also gain you a bit of life so you can go long in games.
The real hate cards are Underworld Dreams and Ob Nixilis. The Cycling deck really loves to draw cards, so let's punish them for doing so. If your opponent wants to pitch their entire hand, then they will pay a bunch of life to do so. If you are still building your board, don't get greedy and play multiple Underworld Dreams; focus on keeping the board clear. You can start stacking Underworld Dreams once you have stabilized the board.
With all the black pips we have in our mana cost, why would we exclude one of the funnest black cards ever made? We are running a full playset. Stick just one Underworld Dreams and play this on an open board and that's already 5 life swing in both directions. Resolving just one of these with an Underworld Dreams should shut the door on your opponent and swing races in your favor.
In case your opponent doesn't die from all the effects we have, we are playing these cards so we can recur our Gray Merchants to keep up the damage. Omen also helps increase our devotion count and we can always use it to Scry 2 so we can find what we need.
Try to keep a hand with 3 lands, but no more than 4. We need to make sure we can have the option of a T3 Underworld Dreams.
First two turns, I'd focus on playing some creatures so we can get some blockers or we can start attacking if they spend their first few turns playing taplands. A T1 Hateful Eidolon with 2 or 3 Aura-based removals in hand will win you games.
If your opponent doesn't have a board presence, play a T3 Underworld Dreams. Otherwise, begin removing key threats off the board. Against the cycling deck, it's important to remove the Foxes and thes so they cannot race you. s are annoying, but once you start stacking multiple Underworld Dreams, they aren't a problem.
Only use Ob Nix's -2 if the opponent has a big creature that you cannot deal with. It's not a good idea to give your opponent free cards, even if they are paying life for them.
Slamming Gary's and using them as chump blockers is a valid line of play, especially if you draw a lot of the graveyard recursion.
Big Green decks are probably the only bad match up we have, but it's still winnable. A lot of their creatures will grow too big to be dealt with by our Auras, but you can still play the Auras to shrink them so they can be eaten by Gray Merchant.
If you run across a mirror matchup, stick Underworld Dreams as fast as you can and start the clock. The one who starts the clock and speeds it up usually wins. Focus removal on their creatures with the most black pips to lessen their Gray Merchant triggers and use Tymaret to eat their Gray Merchants once they hit the graveyard.
Hope you all enjoyed the deck! The original deck can be found here. I've tweaked it a bit, but you can see a lot of further discussion about the deck there.
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