Irencrag War Cry: Minotaur Tribal in Pioneer

Theros spoilers are underway, and one of the most interesting cards of the bunch has to be Deathbellow War Cry. This 8 mana tribal sorcery seems to be EDH fodder, but what I saw was a potent combo card that just so happens to use minotaurs. What kind of combos can this card enable?

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TCGPlayer

Let’s assume an empty board when resolving the War Cry. The first minotaur that we want to grab should be Rageblood Shaman. Giving all of the bulls +1/+1 and trample will be helpful when we give them haste. To enable that we have to grab Kragma Warcaller, which is the only black card in the deck. Not only does Warcaller give haste, but he also gives +2/+0 to attacking minotaurs which can provide a huge alphastrike out of nowhere. Next, we can fetch Boros Reckoner who can provide three pips for our next card Fanatic of Mogis.

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When all of these enter the battlefield Fanatic will immediately deal 7 damage with all of the pips on the battlefield. When the minotaurs get into the red zone, we will have a 4/3, 5/4, 6/4, and 7/3 all crashing in at once for a total of 29 damage dealt in one turn. If we’re casting an 8 mana card I would hope that we would win the game and this does not disappoint. To crack the puzzle of this combo we need another card to enable the War Cry and thanks to Throne of Eldraine we have a ritual powerful enough to put out what we need in Irencrag Feat.

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Now, all that we need to win the game is 5 mana, Irencrag Feat and Deathbellow War Cry. What does the deck do when it can’t assemble this combo? As any good red mage would say it can “smash face.” The minotaur tribal is here for more than just its ruggedly handsome looks and can fill this role nicely. Curving Bloodrage Brawler into Rageblood Shaman means you’ll be beating down for 5 on turn three if they don’t have removal spells handy. Build up a board of minotaurs and bull them over with Fanatic of Mogis. If you feel that the combo is too easily disruptable, you can switch it out in your sideboard for cards like Goblin Chainwhirler and Shock to play a more aggressive gameplan. (Or Wild Slash if you’re feeling fancy).

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When you play Wild Slash instead of Shock

If you love steering a combo deck with an aggressive element this pile of cards can provide lots of fun relatively cheaply. With a mono-red devotion theme, you can play cards like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx to great effect although if you want to play the deck for less than 50 bucks (Deathbellow War Cry price still pending) Nykthos is not necessary. Who knows what other minotaurs will be printed in Theros: Beyond Death, but this card signals good things on the horizon.

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