MTGA Events - GRN/RNA Block Orzhov Tokens

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Ah, joy of joys, my favorite format ever is back in play! I actually whetted my first real tourneys playing OG Ravnica block constructed - and now we've come full circle! So onto the decklist!

I've always been an Orzhov man. Something about unrestrained capitalism and ghost wage-slavery really appealed to me, I guess. Plus, I loved the Obzedat blink and lose health ability, so it was pretty much a win-win. Of course, today's Orzhov ain't your daddies deck. (Literally, since Ghost Daddies, aka the Obzedat, are dead. Like ghost-dead. Real hard dead. Un-undead.) Instead, we're all in on entering those Pearly Gates, only to find out we should've read the TOS and now our immortal soul belongs to some slick suit on the 40th floor. In normal terms, we're all about (ab)using that Afterlife mechanic and swarming our opponent with tokens of various sorts.

Seraph of the Scales

{{Seraph of the Scales}}

This is probably the by-and-far standout winner in this list. Play on-curve turn 4, plop down a 4/3 body - nothing to write home about, but nothing to sneeze either - and the clincher, leave behind two 1/1 fliers on death. Once you get a bit more mana to play with, suddenly your Seraph can punch for 4 each turn without sacrificing any defense. Great against [[Gate Colossus]], but watch out for [[Lava Coil]]; the exile means your Afterlife 2 doesn't kick in.

Teysa Karlov

{{Teysa Karlov}}

Everyone's favorite fantasy corporate lawyer makes her return, and while she's alright in Standard, here in Block Constructed is where she really shines. The CMC and stats are a bit punishing - 2BW for a 2/4 isn't really what anyone would call impressive. But where she really shines is her interaction with tokens. Giving your tokens lifelink is essential, especially against those burn-happy Rakdos maniacs, and keeping up blockers with vigilance really helps against those Gruul lists. Ideally, you'll want to wait until you've got nothing but a bunch of spirits, then pop in a Teysa and swing for the fences. The first part of the text also helps, especially if you already have a Seraph in play - four spirits (that can have vigilance and lifelink) is 4/4 in stats, replacing the Seraph quite handily. 



Hands down the best single target removal in the format. With the amount of enchantments in the format, things like [[Rhythm of the Wild]], [[Guild Summit]], and [[Conclave Tribunal]] can put a dent in your gameplan. Being able to hit a bomb (like say, [[Spawn of Mayhem]])) or any enchantment of your choice for just 1BW will straight up win you games. You want as many of these as you can pack (so 4) and ideally, you want them on curve.

Kaya's Wrath

{{Kaya's Wrath}}

"Don't we play a bunch of creatures? Why the fuck would I kill my own board? Idiot." Wrath for BBWW at sorcery speed. You'll be shocked at how much this card saves your bacon. And we've got Afterlife synergy - who cares if you're clearing your board if all you got are [[Hunted Witness]], [[Orzhov Enforcer]], or [[Tithe Taker]]? The flying 1/1 Spirits are likely to be far more relevant on the swing back, especially if you've got a Teysa backing them up. The lifegain matters pretty often against those Boros aggro and Rakdos decks, too.

Divine Visitation

{{Divine Visitation}}

I'll be honest. You probably don't want this card. I ran it at 3 copies, then down to 2, and now I've just left a single copy - so you can probably tell that this isn't the most useful of tools. A 5-drop that does nothing when it hits the board is not ideal. But at the same time - 4/4 vigilant Angels are just so tight. There's nothing better than swinging into a block with a Seraph and a Teysa up, and DV on the board, and watching four Angels spawn out of one. But it could (and should) probably be replaced by something more useful. My guess - more copies of [[Unbreakable Formation]].

Dawn of Hope

{{Dawn of Hope}}

Another one of those one-ofs, this is mostly as a supplementary card draw engine (if you really need), on-call blockers, and, if you've managed to get [[Divine Visitation]] on the board, a win condition. It's unassuming enough that your opponent will usually not waste removal on it - Seraphs, Teysa's, and so on are quite a bit more threatening. But if you're flooded on land, and you've got nothing better to do, you can do worse than making a ton of 1/1 lifelinkers.

Venerated Loxodon

{{Venerated Loxodon}}

An underappreciated powerhouse in the deck. Can come down at early as T3, and turn a bunch of weenies into something really threatening. But it's usually better to wait for an opponent to drop a sweeper, then convoke all the sweet tokens that drop out. Three or four 1/1 fliers isn't going to cause your opponent to lose any sleep. Three or four 2/2 fliers, on the other hand, suddenly represent a not-very-long clock. The 4/4 body matters a lot, as well, giving you the ability to block most of the top end of the format, at least provisionally. And of course, it packs one hell of a punch on its own, if you really need a body.

Unbreakable Formation

{{Unbreakable Formation}}

Another token payoff card, this can save your guys from a follow-up AOE or work as a finisher if you've already built yourself a pretty nice board. To be honest, you should probably cut [[Divine Visitation]] for another copy of this. Maybe even cut a [[Kaya's Wrath]] for a third. It's that good. But wildcards don't grow on trees, so there's only one in my list.

Vindictive Vampire

{{Vindictive Vampire}}

I'll be honest. Your dudes are gonna die. With [[Gates Ablaze]] and [[Deafening Clarion]] everywhere, your board'll be wiped by your opponent almost as often as you lob a [[Kaya's Wrath]] yourself. Luckily, your creature's lives aren't being spent entirely in vain, even on top of the Afterlife. This friendly vampire will take the lives of your weenies and turn them into hurt for your opponent - and life for you.

Tithe Taker

{{Tithe Taker}}

People hate this card. I've literally had more opponents go out of their way to kill this thing than the Seraph. Apparently, slowing down reactive decks by a single turn breeds a sort of spite in your opponent. Not that you care, because you've got a really annoying 2/1 that leaves behind a 1/1 flier, and laughs at instant speed removal. 

Orzhov Enforcer

{{Orzhov Enforcer}}

Another annoying weenie with Afterlife stapled on. Great for taking down landbased bombs, though it doesn't do anything against [[Gate Colossus]] and [[Hydroid Krasus]]. Maybe save a [[Mortify]] for those. It will straight up win you games vs Boros, though, as long as you use something else for their [[Swiftblade Vindicator]].



To be honest, I haven't run into a whole lot of planeswalkers, but this little guy in there just in case. Takes care of standalone [[Gatebreaker Ram]], which is enough for me to run it. Plus, saccing a [[Hunted Witness]] to this guy is barely even a cost. Forcing the discard on an empty board is just icing, really.

Hunted Witness

{{Hunted Witness}}

OG weenie. 1/1 for W that drops a 1/1 lifelinker. It literally gets upgraded when it dies. Annoys the living hell out of [[Footlight Fiend]].



Mostly, you want to be able to hit Mortify on curve with a Seraph follow-up. That's your ideal opening. Don't keep 1 landers or 5 landers. Otherwise, standard midrange suggestions apply.


The Bad

Izzet Phoenix wrecks. You can't keep up with their draw, recycle, and constant phoenixes. At some point, you'll get overwhelmed. My best advice is to hit fast and hard, keep up the pressure, and keep the opponent reactive. Save [[Mortify]] for [[Niv-Mizzet]] and [[Crackling Drake]], wipe phoenixes with either spirits or [[Kaya's Wrath]]. Still, this is a hard one.

Gates Matter is just a good deck in this format. There are enough high-impact payoffs like [[Gate Colossus]] and [[Gatebreaker Ram]] that make it difficult to keep their board clear, and you have no way to address their ramp. Your best shot is, just as Izzet Phoenix, to keep the opponent on the back foot and try to close as quickly as possible. Try not to leave spirits up to a [[Gates Ablaze]], and remember that weenies cannot block [[Gate Colossus]].

The Good

Boros Aggro usually can't keep up with your removal, board clears, and tokens. They run out of steam pretty quick if you can keep matching their creatures with your weenies and Seraphs.

Rakdos Aggro/Burn can be managed. Same general strategy as going against Boros - you want them to run out of resources. Remember to make use of the lifegain from [[Dawn of Hope]], [[Teysa Karlov]], and [[Kaya's Wrath]]. The only real thing you need to watch out for is [[Spawn of Mayhem]], since that can quickly grow out of control if you don't have removal up for it.

Dimir Control can't keep up their life total. Since your biggest threat - Seraph - is a 4-of, and tops at 4 CMC, hand destruction doesn't bother you too much. Keep a [[Mortify]] for [[Thief of Sanity]], but this is probably one of the easier matchups.

The Ugly

Gruul Midrange can get out of hand. [[Ravager Wurm]] will straight up eat a Seraph, while [[Gruul Spellbreaker]] doesn't even blink at a [[Mortify]]. Save those for [[Rhythm of the Wild]] and pray to the Almighty Dollar that your curve is better than theirs.





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Last Updated: 26 Jan 2019
Created: 26 Jan 2019
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Mainboard - 60 cards (17 distinct)

Creature (26)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (10)
Land (24)

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