It’s Tuesday O’Clock! Time for a deck tech!
If you would like to see this deck in action, be sure to check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gr76SeYwQo&t=.
It’s almost the end of Dominaria Standard, and it has been quite the ride. Dominaria has been a very fun set for brewers, introducing a lot of powerful cards into the format, with a lot of the awesome build around cards costing less than a dollar. This led to some very interesting decks such as Voltron, Saprolings, and my personal favorite Hailfire Engine. At the end of this season though, I want to go back and explore a deck that has not seen any action for quite a while. We are nearing rotation, and I want to have some fun with a few cards before they leave Standard. Today I want to play with Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons.
Hapatra is a card that just oozes value. Creating deathtouch snakes just for executing the gameplan of this deck is incredibly powerful, and if left unchecked, Hapatra will amass a board that is impossible to get through, and will eventually kill you. Being a 2 mana 2/2 ain’t half bad either, and in a pinch she can target herself with her own ability in order to create another snake. Hapatra is a sweet card, and I want to see what else can support her.
Looking at all the cards available for the -1/-1 counters strategy, a neat enchantment caught my eye. Nest of Scarabs is a powerful enchantment in the right deck, and given that we want to play all of the -1/-1 effects that we can, it is very easy to trigger this on every single turn. Having both Hapatra and this on the battlefield is a powerful value engine that is very difficult to deal with.
How exactly do we enable these cards though? -1/-1 counters is the name of the game, and cards like Channeler Initiate do exactly what this deck wants to do. It is a powerful card in both the early and late game, ramping us to 4 mana on turn 3, or trading one scarab for three if a Nest of Scarabs is on the battlefield.
Being able to accelerate to four mana on turn 3 is crucial, with powerful plays such as Crocodile of the Crossing and Tenacious Hunter. These nasty crocs synergize beautifully with Channeler Initiate, either letting you crack in for 5 ahead of schedule, or set up a vigilance and deathtouch creature that nobody wants anything to do with.
One of my favorite cards in this deck is Ammit Eternal. This card sees play in my zombie decks and has always been quite the performer. For such a big body for a low mana cost, you would expect a pretty significant downside. In this deck, that negative is one of it’s most powerful abilities, allowing us to trade each spell from our opponent into a creature. This is a card that must be dealt with, and almost anything your opponent does to address it will simply generate value.
At a first glance, it can be easy to assume that this deck is light on interaction. With only 2 Vicious Offerings, and 4 Splendid Agony how is this deck supposed to deal with problematic creatures? The answer lies in the manabase. With 4 Ifnir Deadlands and 4 Grasping Dunes, interacting is as easy as playing your land for turn. Swing in with a 1/1 scarab that will get chumped, only to play a Grasping Dunes and eliminate their 2/2 creature and create another scarab.
If you are interested in playing a game all about value, then this is the deck for you. And value doesn’t have to come at a steep price tag either with this deck only costing 40 dollars. (And only 6 tix!) This deck is a blast to play, and budget to boot. If you would like to watch this deck in action, be sure to check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gr76SeYwQo&t=. Thank you for reading, have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!