Faithless Brewing
Raging Bull: Thinking Outside the Ox

Raging Bull: Thinking Outside the Ox

February 27, 2020

Faithless Brewing, Episode 43: Ox of Agonas

 

Bedlam Reveler is a gem of a Magic card. When it is fully powered, you get an above-rate creature (3/4 prowess for RR) that also draws three new cards. That's a straight up 4-for-1, a better rate than Ancestral Recall. Are there hoops to jump through? Sure, but that hasn't stopped Reveler from finding a home in Mardu Pyromancer (may it rest in peace) and more recently in Red Prowess. When surrounded by the right pieces, Reveler provides a powerful endgame that thrives on what red decks are already interested in doing.

 

If a 4-for-1 off Reveler sounds attractive, can we interest you in a 4-for-0? That's right, no cock and bull: how about an above-rate creature (5/3 for RR) that you can cast directly from your graveyard, and still draw three new cards to boot. We're entering Niv-Mizzet territory in terms of raw card advantage, but with an efficiency and built-in recursion that is in a class by itself. Why buy the cow when you can escape it for free?

 

This week, we're grabbing the horns of Ox of Agonas, the most exciting creature to break loose from the underworld of Theros. This won't be our first rodeo with the escape mechanic, but there are no sacred cows in brewing. The Titans may have more pedigree, and Breach may steal headlines, but it would be a terribull misteak to leave this mad cow in the bullpen. Unlike Reveler, the Raging Bull is agnoxtic about what card types it will eat: spells, creatures, fetch lands, everything is fuel to a four-chambered stomach. Modern Dredge has already been beefed up by the Red Bull, but can it also give wings to other strategies? We're feeling bullish on Ox of Agonas, and we've got brews til the cows come home in both Modern and Pioneer. Plenty to ruminate on, but we'll steer you in the right direction!

 

 

Roundup: Tournament Reports

 

Modern 5c Niv (Dan): Top 32, Modern Challenge

 

Legacy Maverick (Damon): 0-2, Mox Boarding House 1k

 

Pioneer Sultai Delirium (Dan): Top 8, SCG IQ Newington

 

 

Flashback: Storm Herald

 

 

Pioneer

 

Mono-Red HammerHerald 1.0: 3-2 league

 

Mono-Red HammerHerald 1.1: 2-3 league

 

Mardu Siege Herald: 3-2 league

 

 

Modern

 

Jund Storm Conscription: 3-2 league

 

Jund Traverse Conscription: 4-1 league

 

Temur Uro Conscription: 2-3 league

 

 

Brew Session: Ox of Agonas

 

 

Modern

 

Reference: Stock Dredge

 

Sketch 1: Gruul KiorOx

 

Reference: Kiora Escape (by cavedan, 5-0 league)

 

Sketch 2a: Hollow Ox  (Kanm_H, 5-0 league; rodebo, 5-0 league)

 

Sketch 2b: Hollow OxVine

 

Sketch 3a: Mardu AshiOx

 

Sketch 3b: Jund AshiOx

 

Reference: Mardu “Oxtomancer” (by foggmanatic, 5-0 league)

 

 

Pioneer

 

Sketch 1: Izzet PhoenOx

 

Bonus Sketch: Izzet Flooding

 

Reference: Izzet Phoenix (1 Ox / 4 Cruise split)

 

 

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Storm Herald’s a-Brewin’

Storm Herald’s a-Brewin’

February 20, 2020

Faithless Brewing, Episode 42: Storm Herald

 

The last time we brewed around a flashy Simic mythic from the latest set release, the 5-0 finishes just piled up like candy. Our testing with Uro yielded similar results: no trophies this time, but a giant pile of 4-1s across multiple decks and multiple formats (Pioneer, Modern, and even Standard), from established meta decks to off-the-wall wild brews. Uro is here to stay, even making appearances in Legacy, so pick up your playset now and get ready to start drawing cards, gaining life, and exiling your graveyard in neat stacks of five cards.

 

This week, we pivot to a Theros card with a much less impressive pedigree: the curious rare Storm Herald. The effect on this hasty Shaman is so unique in Magic that the closest comparisons are... Retether? Iridescent Drake? Boonweaver Giant?? When our first pass at the card has us debating the merits of Shape of the Wiitigo, you know you are in for some deep cuts. Whether imitating Goryo's Vengenace by bringing back an Eldrazi Conscription, or playing the role of the pied piper calling a host of tiny auras all at once, Storm Herald is playing by its own rules in the strange and bizarre world of creature-boosting enchantments. Can this exciting new tool breathe life into the historically underpowered Aura subtype? And will the juice be worth the squeeze? There's only one way to find out!

 

Flashback: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

 

Standard

 

Bant Uro Ramp (by Danny Salvatore): 6-2, SCG Philadelphia

 

Pioneer

 

Swedish Delirium (Dan): 6-2, SCG Philadelphia

 

 

4c Uro Reanimator (David/Damon): 8-2 leagues

 

Modern

 

Uro's Weirding (by Nephtyz, 5-0 league)

 

Temur Uro and Six (by MrRaeb, 5-0 league x2)

 

Turbo Lazav (by lannynyny, 5-0 league)

 

Turbo Lazav 1.1 (Dan): 4-1 league

 

Turbo Lazav 1.2 (Dan): 4-1 league

 

5c Niv Uro (Dan): 4-1 league

 

 

Brew Session: Storm Herald

 

 

Modern

 

Reference list: Jund Storm Conscription (Caleb Durward)

 

Sketch 1: Jund Storm Conscription

 

 

Pioneer

 

Reference list: BW Auras (Ken Yukuhiro)

 

Sketch 1: Mardu Sram Herald

 

Sketch 2: Boros Sram Herald

 

Sketch 3: Jeskai Curious Herald

  

 

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Uro vs. Kroxa: Clash of the Titans

Uro vs. Kroxa: Clash of the Titans

February 13, 2020

Faithless Brewing, Episode 41: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

 

Kroxa made his case last week for early release from the underworld of Theros, taking a bite out of the competition in both Modern and Pioneer. The hungry fellow has been making inroads into 5-0 lists, but has yet to enjoy the success of his greener, bluer, more wrathful sibling. This week, the clash of the titans comes to a head, as we pit our results with Kroxa against new lists featuring Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath.

 

Already boasting a Players Tour championship, Uro seems to have all the makings of a multi-format star. Simic colors? Check. Useful in many strategies? Check. Mythic rare, costs 1UG, rapidly increasing in price? Check, check, and check. Three letter name, two of which are vowels, followed by a title description? Welcome to my decklist, Oko left the seat warm for you.

 

There's no denying that Uro is a powerful and wildly successful card. Unlike Kroxa, Uro's draw and lifegain abilities create both time and resources to play a longer game, while also giving you land drops to go nuts with all of your extra material. Uro has so many abilities that even now players have only begun to scratch the surface of what it can do. A repeatable Growth Spiral is great. A repeatable Reviving Dose is also great. A giant creature that comes out of the graveyard without costing you a card, and generates value turn after turn, is starting to get a little crazy. This is a card that we are going to be seeing a lot of for the foreseeable future, so let's see what else Uro can do!

 

Roundup: Pioneer Between the PTs

 

Czech House Niv-Mizzet (Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa)

 

BW Auras (Ken Yukuhiro)

 

Sultai Delirium (Joel Larsson)

 

Lotus Breach (Brent Vos)

 

Dimir Inverter (kanister)

 

Flashback: Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

 

Pioneer

 

Grixis Kroxa Midrange (Damon): 7-8 leagues

 

Grixis Kroxa Midrange (David): 2-3 league

 

Rakdos Kroxa Cat (David): 3-2 league

 

Modern

 

Jund Hungry Zoo (Dan): 3-2 league

 

Grixis Renegade Kroxa (Dan): 2-3 league

 

T-Rex on the Titanic (test deck): not recommended for league play

 

 

Brew Session: Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath

 

Pioneer

 

Blood for Bones Reanimator: 8-2 leagues

 

Simic Ramp (Sketch)

 

Sultai Uro Oven (Sketch)

 

Modern

 

Wrenn and Uro (by MrRaeb, 5-0 league)

 

Uro's Weirding (by Nephtyz, 5-0 league)
 

 

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Still Hungry: Kroxa in Modern and Pioneer

Still Hungry: Kroxa in Modern and Pioneer

February 6, 2020

Faithless Brewing #40: Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

 

Freshly escaped from the underworld of Theros, Kroxa is at the peak of his powers. 6/6 is nearly as big as it gets. Two mana is nearly as lean as it gets. A true titan of the game, Kroxa packs a punch and delivers value coming and going, but he's not resting on his laurels. No, King Kroxa is still hungry, and he's coming for that 5-0 in Modern and Pioneer. 

 

Mechanically speaking, Theros's titans are fairly complicated under the hood. As pseudo spell effects, they are somewhat reminiscent of the Evoke and Adventure mechanics, but the similarities only go so far. The upshot is that the turn you spend two mana for a Raven's Crime is a very bad turn. The turn you spend four mana for a 6/6 with a positive ETB and attack trigger is a very good turn, and you can have that turn multiple times in a game. Kroxa's power level seems to lie somewhere in the middle, if we are just taking the card at face value. But what if we break the mold and cheat on Kroxa's hidden costs? Can we skip the Raven's Crime turn by putting Kroxa directly into the graveyard? Or how about the two mana 6/6 body that is briefly on the battlefield, what if we make extra use of that? The possibilities are as endless as Kroxa's appetite, so let's start brewing!

 

Roundup: Modern Brews + Pioneer PTs

 

Modern

 

Turbo Elesh Norn: 4-0* league. Move 4th Leyline to main deck, cut green splash, add SB Burrenton Forge-Tender.
 
 
RG Kiora Ox: 5-0 league. New card grades: Ox of Agonas (B), Phoenix of Ash (B-), Klothys, God of Destiny (C)
 

 

Flashback: Enigmatic Incarnation

 

Pioneer

 

 
 
 
Rhino Incarnation 1.2: proposed update
 
 

Enigmatic Uro: 0-5 league. Needed more removal. Rebuild as Chronic Flooding delve/self-mill Oracle deck.

 

Modern

 

Enigmatic Doom: 2-3 league. Add Leylines to the main deck, increase land count, clean up 2-3 mana plays.

 

Brew Session: Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

 

Sketch 1: Grixis Kroxa

 

Sketch 2: Rakdos Sacrifice

 

Reference lists:

 

"Mardu Yacht Club" (by @shakegently)
 
 
Jund Traverse Kroxa (5-1-1, by kaberb)

 

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