27, Apr, 24

Incredible MTG Mount Combo Deck Has Breakout Pro Tour Performance!

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Article at a Glance

Pro Tour Outlaws of Thunder Junction is underway, and the dominance of Esper is a bit concerning. Esper midrange represented over 31% of the field, which is a rather alarming number. Meanwhile, a large portion of the rest of the field was made up of other well-established tier one archetypes, such as Boros Convoke and Temur Lands. There were a few innovative decklists to speak of, but not as many as players might’ve hopes for.

The good news, though, is that one of these intriguing brews had a breakout performance in day one. A unique Orzhov deck focused on maximizing the power of Caustic Bronco of all cards managed to spike an undefeated Constructed record on the first day. The deck beat Esper midrange, Temur Lands, Domain ramp, and Boros Convoke along the way, showcasing its versatility in a wide range of matchups. Orzhov Bronco looks like the real deal, so let’s break down exactly what the archetype is trying to accomplish.

Caustic Bronco Synergies

Insatiable Avarice

In many games, this deck will function like a general Orzhov midrange shell. There’s a nice mix of disruption, hard-hitting Creatures, and card advantage. However, this isn’t your typical black-based midrange deck. There are no copies of Deep-Cavern Bat to be found here. Instead, the two-drop slot is made up of a playset of Caustic Bronco and multiple Creatures with the capability of Saddling up Caustic Bronco.

Cards like Tenacious Underdog and Raffine’s Informant naturally hit hard, and three-power is the magic number when it comes to maximizing Caustic Bronco. See, at first glance, Caustic Bronco might look like a worse and less reliable Dark Confidant. After all, you have to attack with it to get your card advantage, which can put it in harms way. However, if you put in the work to Saddle up Caustic Bronco, not only do you get to generate card advantage, but the opponent loses life in the process.

With this in mind, this deck’s main gimmick is to set up a brutal Caustic Bronco attack thanks to the power of Insatiable Avarice. For three mana, you can use Insatiable Avarice to tutor for Shadow of Mortality and put it on top of your deck. Then, when you Saddle up Caustic Bronco and attack, you get to dome your opponent for 15!

What’s nice about this combo is that both combo cards involved are totally fine draws on their own. Caustic Bronco threatens to take over the game if your opponent can’t remove it. Meanwhile Insatiable Avarice does a strong Painful Truths impression in attrition battles. Given how aggressive this deck can be in nature, using Insatiable Avarice as a Lava Spike to finish off the opponent is a nice option to have, too.

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Supporting Cast

Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

From there, almost every other card in this deck is designed to make Caustic Bronco better and pressure the opponent. Cut Down and Go for the Throat can help pave the way for Caustic Bronco to attack past pesky blockers. Likewise, Steel Seraph is the ultimate Caustic Bronco enabler. For three mana via its Prototype ability, you get a three-power Creature that both Saddles up Caustic Bronco and immediately grants it evasion. At the same time, if you ever blindly reveal Steel Seraph to Caustic Bronco’s ability, the opponent will lose six life.

To round out the three-drop slot, this deck makes great use of Annointed Peacekeeper. Annointed Peacekeeper ensures that the coast is clear if you want to set up an Insatiable Avarice kill. One of the dangers of tutoring for Shadow of Mortality is that if your opponent then kills Caustic Bronco before you get to attack, you’re now drawing a dud in most scenarios. Annointed Peacekeeper acts as a solid insurance measure, while providing some decent interaction overall.

Finally, this deck utilizes a full playset of Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Sheoldred and Steel Seraph make this deck incredibly difficult to race. Sheoldred also gives this deck a strong backup plan in games where you don’t draw Caustic Bronco. Annointed Peacekeeper can pave the way for it. Additionally, if your opponent can’t kill Sheoldred right away, targeting the opponent with Insatiable Avarice becomes even more appealing.

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Using Insatiable Avarice as a Toolbox Element

Pest Control

In most instances, if you don’t have Caustic Bronco ready to attack, your best bet is likely to use the second mode on Insatiable Avarice. Spending three mana at Sorcery speed and burning a card just to strengthen your topdeck next turn isn’t exactly a great deal. Frankly, this is part of the reason the card didn’t receive a ton of hype during spoiler season.

That being said, there are a couple notable matchups where tutoring for a hoser even in an inefficient manner is totally reasonable. Against Temur Lands, for example, searching for Rest in Peace can completely take the wind out of your opponent’s sails. In a similar manner, Pest Control and Shrouded Shepherd can completely devastate a Boros Convoke players’ board state. Insatiable Avarice does more than you might think at first glance, and certainly deserves some respect.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Slogurk, the Overslime

All things considered, this Orzhov Caustic Bronco archetype lines up well against a lot of tier one strategies. Against Esper midrange, Sheoldred is a huge boon that can help keep Raffine, Scheming Seer in check. Notably, Steel Seraph dodges both Cut Down and Go for the Throat, making it a house in the matchup. Assuming you can avoid getting run over by Convoke or mono-red aggro in the early turns, both these cards make stabilizing easy.

Against Temur Lands and Domain Ramp, your midrange elements do lose some of their luster. Luckily, the Caustic Bronco combo can win the game in short order while your opponent spends time setting up their mana. Ill-Timed Explosion and Sunfall are backbreaking if they resolve, but Annointed Peacekeeper or Aven Interrupter can usually delay these board wipes just long enough to cross the finish line.

One matchup that is a bit concerning, though, is four-color legends. Between Inti, Seneschal of the Sun and Slogurk, the Overslime, this deck can produce a lot of value. At the same time, Relic of Legends can provide large bursts of mana, and the Honest Rutstein combo gives the four-color legends deck lots of inevitability.

Still, the Caustic Bronco combo is more than capable of stealing games. If your opponent can’t kill Caustic Bronco on the spot, they’re in for a world of trouble. If they can, they still have to contend with Sheoldred, Steel Seraph, and beyond. This deck is simply awesome, and I’m excited to see how it performs in the coming weeks.

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