-Updated for v2-
This deck is built around the powerful first triggered ability of [[God-Eternal Oketra]]. She's everything I want as a bomb - aggressively costed, extremely resilient, and she comes with an effect that just downright runs away with the game unless she's immediately taken off the field. Being able to pump out an untapped 4/4 by just casting a creature means that our one- and two-drop dorks and early utility creatures aren't dead draws later in the game. Oketra also serves as a two-card combo with herself in a pinch by allowing you to cast another copy to trigger the on-board Oketra's ability and then sacrifice one to the legend rule, triggering the recursion.
There's one copy of [[God-Eternal Rhonas]] for help closing out games, and he serves as a great drop on-curve as well due to his good stat line, deathtouch, and his recursion effect to soak up removal. We're also running two copies of [[Carnage Tyrant]] to round out the top-end threats for the deck and for their flexibility against control matchups of any variation.
The deck runs a small and straightforward ramp package, with our one-drops split between 2 copies of [[Llanowar Elves]] and 2 copies of [[Arboreal Grazer]]. I'm sure it would be easier to keep an aggressive starting hand with 4 copies of Elves, but Grazer is much safer in blind matches and game ones so I opted to split the difference here. Moving into the two-drop dorks, I'm using 3 copies of my new favorite ramp card, [[Paradise Druid]]. As a dork, it's just about perfect - it dodges removal, makes mana of any color, and it can trade with a surprising amount of cards due to its 2 power. The 1 toughness is unfortunate and it can get hit by every sweeper in the format, but during the turns we need it those two drawbacks don't really matter too much.
Alongside the ramp we have some cards for drawing and digging through the deck to find our threats: 3 copies of [[Divination]], 3 copies of [[Tamiyo's Epiphany]], 2 copies of [[Chart a Course]], and a single copy of [[Narset, Parter of Veils]]. Narset could likely be substituted out for another copy of Tamiyo's Epiphany, but I like keeping her in as a one-of for her utility.
I made the decision to cut the two copies of [[Gideon Blackblade]] and [[History of Benalia]] in favor of 4 copies of [[Inspiring Cleric]]. The cleric's ETB helps keep us in the game against aggro and burn matchups, provides triggers for Oketra later in the game, and has a decent stat line that allows it to trade favorably with a lot of early drops.
There's a small suite of removal and disruption worked in, consisting of 2 copies of [[Callous Dismissal]] to strip counters, bounce high-loyalty planeswalkers, slow down the tempo of creature-reliant ramp decks, and provide additional Oketra triggers late in the game by bouncing our dorks and chumps so we can recast them. We're also running 3 copies of [[Ixalan's Binding]] as single-target removal and 3 sweepers split between two copies of [[Time Wipe]] and a single copy of [[Settle the Wreckage]].
[[Narset, Parter of Veils]] is mainly here for the utility she provides against popular cards like [[Chemister's Insight]], [[Risk Factor]], and [[Commence the Endgame]]. I might try replacing her with a one-of copy of [[Ajani, the Greathearted]], a fourth copy of [[Tamiyo's Epiphany]], or a single copy of [[Vivien, Champion of the Wilds]].
The land base for this build is pretty hard to get on Arena without opening a bunch of packs or having wild cards sitting around, but the amount of double-costed cards means we really need those duals to prevent constant mulligans or having dead cards in hand. The deck will function with Gates or other tap lands instead of the shocklands and checklands, but the tempo will be much slower and will in turn affect the difficulty of each matchup.
-Notes, Maybeboard, etc.-
v2 is much more resilient in comparison to the first posted list, with the only really awful matchups being draw-go control variants. Even then, with a solid starting hand and good sequencing we can make a fight out of it at least. Narset might not be the best one-of planeswalker to include, as [[Vivien, Champion of the Wilds]] does pretty much everything we need in this deck: she digs with her -2, closes out games and sort-of protects herself with the +1, and pressures draw-go matchups with her static ability. Her -2 also has the double utility of providing cards that are essentially in our hand but immune to discard and hand disruption effects due to them technically being exiled.
Another change I'd like to try is substituting in 2 copies of [[Vivien's Arkbow]] in exchange for both copies of [[Chart a Course]]. The bow has a lot of benefits: cheap enough to land before draw-go can set its lock, its effect populates the board at instant speed without the threat of counterspells, it's good insurance to have in hand against a turn two [[Thought Erasure]], it can put Oketra and Rhonas back on the field immediately after their tuck effect resolves...the list goes on. The Arkbow's ability is a non-bo with Oketra, as we don't cast the creature it places on the battlefield, but then again, the only time we'd be activating it with her on the board is if we had no creatures and/or no draw in hand anyway so that might be a moot point. Ideally I'd want a creature with some draw or dig effect to be used here instead of either the Arkbow or another 2-mana non-creature draw spell for some added synergy with Oketra, but nothing comes to mind at the moment in these colors so feedback is definitely welcome.
The single [[Leonin Warleader]] left over from v1 is hanging on by the skin of his teeth. His ability is very good if he sticks around long enough to get an attack or two in, but im not sure if that possibility is worth the very frequent worst-case scenario of getting nuked as soon as he hits the board, and as a one-of we can't really rely on seeing him when his ability would be useful. The deck might be better served by replacing him with at least one copy of [[Beast Whisperer]], which has the same worst-case scenario but is much more likely to stick around because of its less overtly threatening ability and it synergizes well with Oketra as it's both a creature for the purposes of her ability as well as a means to reload our hand. I think it'll depend on whether [[Vivien's Arkbow]] makes the cut and how much it affects the tempo of the deck, but it's food for thought at least.
|Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (16)|
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