2, Nov, 23

New Archetype Utilizes Forgotten Gems from Old Broken Standard Deck!

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Article at a Glance

Since the release of Wilds of Eldraine, the Pioneer metagame has shifted drastically. What used to be a format heavily dominated by mono-green Devotion and Rakdos midrange now features a handful of other decks near the top of the metagame. Both Izzet Phoenix and Boros Convoke have gotten significantly better, in large part due to specific additions from Wilds of Eldraine. Both Sleight of Hand and Picklock Prankster were solid upgrades for Izzet Phoenix, while Imodane’s Recruiter and Regal Bunnicorn helped elevate Convoke.

Beyond simply helping some well-established archetypes thrive in the current metagame, the release of Wilds of Eldraine also gave rise to some rather interesting brews. One of these innovative archetypes is a cool take on an Adventures shell, which put up a solid performance in a Magic Online Pioneer Preliminary event, facing off against other top tier decks. This deck meshes ideas from an old Throne of Eldraine Standard deck with new Adventure cards and unique payoffs. If you’re looking for a unique subset of cards that are capable of generating a ton of value, look no further.

Adventure Payoffs

Edgewall Innkeeper

The reason this deck is more than capable of winning grindy games is because of a few key payoffs that all work very well with Adventure cards. The first of these cards in Edgewall Innkeeper. Edgewall Innkeeper is much more threatening than it might look on the surface when built around. In some matchups, you will simply play this card on turn one. Against decks with lots of removal, it’s very common to wait until you have three mana so that you can cast Innkeeper and immediately follow it up with an Adventure Creature, drawing a card. If left unchecked, the card advantage will continue to flow.

Perhaps the scariest Adventure payoff is none other than Lucky Clover. This card can pull you super far ahead, copying every Adventure Instant or Sorcery you play. There’s a reason this card was banned in Standard, and it may finally have a home in Pioneer. Let’s take a closer look at all the Adventure cards that pair nicely with it.

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Adventure Cards: Old and New

Questing Druid

Alongside Lucky Clover and Edgewall Innkeeper, there are a handful of Adventure staples that are not surprising to see in the deck. Both Bonecrusher Giant and Lovestruck Beast have been Adventure staples for as long as they’ve been around. Using Lucky Clover to copy the two damage from Bonecrusher Giant’s Adventure can be quite strong, either removing two small Creatures at once or helping to take down a bigger threat.

Likely the absolute best Adventure to copy in this deck, however, is the Instant stapled to Questing Druid. Getting to exile four cards on your opponent’s end step instead of two provides some real flexibility in how you play your turn.

The last Adventure card in the deck is Pollen-Shield Hare, which can be used as a big pump spell, and then as a Glorious Anthem effect for your tokens. This leads us to the last value-oriented card in the deck, one that really ties everything together.

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The Pia Package

Pia Nalaar, Consul of Revival

The biggest reason why this strategy can be successful is because of how strong Pia Nalaar’s synergy with Adventure cards is. Every time you play an Adventure Creature from exile, you get a Hasty Thopter token. We already mentioned how strong Questing Druid’s Adventure is with Lucky Clover, but it gets even more out of hand with Pia Nalaar in play. Between Questing Druid, other Adventure Creatures, and Showdown of the Skalds, it’s easy to churn through your library and generate a ton of Thopters along the way.

This also makes Pollen-Shield Hare a very scary card. Not only does the Creature itself make each Thopter bigger, but the buff provided from the Adventure can make a single Thopter into a massive, evasive threat. With Lucky Clover in play, you can even buff multiple Thopters, presenting a quick kill out of nowhere.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Damping Sphere

Where this deck seems to be the strongest is against opposing midrange decks. This deck looks at A LOT of cards, giving it incredible potential to out-grind decks like Rakdos Midrange. Chained to the Rocks helps answer problematic threats like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse, and both Lucky Clover and Showdown of the Skalds are value engines that are tough for Rakdos to deal with.

Against aggressive Creature-heavy decks, Bonecrusher Giant and Chained to the Rocks act as solid removal spells, while Lovestruck Beast can function like a brick wall. Pia’s ability to produce Thopters can help versus evasive threats from Spirits-style decks. As long as you can stabilize, Lucky Clover, Questing Druid and Edgewall Innkeeper will pull you ahead.

Where this archetype likely struggles the most is against opposing combo decks. Pia Nalaar is the best card in the deck at helping you close out games quickly, which can be very important against combo decks. The problem is, even still, this deck’s clock can be pretty slow. This deck has almost no chance of racing Lotus Field combo in a traditional game, for example.

There’s a reason that this deck utilizes multiple copies of Reidane, God of the Worthy and Damping Sphere in the sideboard. Rest in Peace also appears here to keep Izzet Phoenix and Abzan Greasefang in check. Fortunately, these sideboard cards help, and the deck’s overall grinding power is undeniable. It’s unlikely that this archetype will skyrocket to being top tier, but if you’re sick of losing to Rakdos Midrange, this deck could be a great choice.

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