Now that Born of the Gods is legal I have a lot of exploring to do. I’m going to start with updating the Green-Blue-Red deck I’ve been playing with these last few weeks. Here is my first draft for an update with Born of the Gods.
I’ll start by going over the new cards I’m interested in playing.
First up is Courser of Kruphix. There are a lot of things I like about this card in devotion strategies. It is on par with it’s competition of Boon Satyr and Witchstalker for colored mana symbols. Being able to “draw” cards by playing lands from the top of your library is also very powerful in ramping strategies, which usually do not have ways to keep up on cards. Being able to see more lands is also helpful when trying to make sure you have access to all the colors of mana your decks wants to produce.
Although omitted from this list, the interaction between Courser and Domri Rade is also very powerful. I should also mention that there were a lot of times I was looking for something with a bit more toughness to use for fightning when considering Domri Radein my decks. Gaining life from playing lands is not very important, but I’m sure there are times that it will be relevant.
Next up is Xenagos, God of Revels. In the green-blue variant I was playing awhile ago, Nylea was often one of my favorite threats because it was so difficult to remove. Being a god, Xenagos also fills that role by being indestructible. Reaching seven devotion is not difficult in a deck like this. It is also fairly nice that you can keep a lot of devotion in play through permanents that aren’t removed by cards like Supreme Verdict. Xenagos’ ability to power up a threat and give it haste is also pretty fantastic. One of the biggest reasons I had been playing Stormbreath Dragon instead of Arbor Colossus in previous builds was because of the haste. It was far easier to win games when you could get in some damage with your monster before they got a chance to remove it.
The last card I’m trying in my new iteration of the deck is Kiora, the Crashing Wave. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to play with the card so far, so I only have theory to justify it. On an even board, the threat of powering up and making Krakens seems very good. It forces your opponent to try answering that card instead of something like Polukranos. In some situations I can see you using it to just accelerate yourself into something big like Sylvan Primordial or Garruk, Caller of Beasts. The ability to turn of a single threat is also something I am a big fan of. There are a great many games I have wanted something to help me ignore my opponents Nightveil Specter or Desecration Demon, and this card is quite good for that. I am excited to see how Kiora fits into the deck.
Unravel the Aether fits well into the sideboard of the deck. I had decided to cut Destructive Revelry because I was unable to remove as many things as I would like, specifically gods. Thassa and Purphoros are both fairly obnoxious cards and having a few extra answers to them seems great.
Before I move on to other archetypes, I have a fairly greedy decklist I want to show you.
Because we are less focused on playing something that costs three on turn two, I have changed Elvish Mystic into Kiora’s Follower. Follower has the benefit of providing more devotion to blue, as well as providing vigilance to large threats like Polukranos. You also get to use Follower to untap your Nykthos like previous versions of the deck.
I am just looking to live the dream of casting a Prime Speaker Zegana to fill up on cards and following that up with a Prophet quickening a Master of Waves. I’m sure that it would be fun to use Xenagos after getting tokens from Master as well.
Here is the other deck I wanted to display.
Prime Speaker Bant
This deck is trying to take advantage of Ephara, God of the Polis.
Once again I have selected Kiora’s Follower instead of Elvish Mystic for the devotion it provides. Turning Ephara into a creature can be a little difficult with this deck, but using it as a card drawing engine was my intention.
One of the things I’ve considered changing in the deck is including some combination of countermagic. Most of the games you will find yourself untapped on their turn waiting to either cast Advent of the Wurm or flash in a creature because of Prophet of Kruphix. Having access to more cards that interact seems valuable in that situation.
This deck is built in a similar fashion to most of my green devotion decks. Early mana accelerants to reach a bunch of powerful midgame cards.
Brimaz, King of Oreskos is one of the few new cards in the deck from Born of the Gods. He interacts very well with Ephara. Allowing you to generate a creature the same turn that you cast her. I’ve found that my opponents are rarely willing to attack into Brimaz, it seems even more likely they avoid it if attacking will draw you cards.
Prophet of Kruphix is one of the cards that makes this strategy appeal to me. With Ephara, you are essentially cantripping all of your cards. It also gives you opportunities to ambush your opponent with cards like Archangel of Thune and Progenitor Mimic. It is also fairly powerful for all of your cards to effectively gain vigilance.
I played a moderate amount of games with the deck so far, and have built my sideboard with regard to my initial results.
The blue-white control decks were the most challenging deck for me to beat. I devoted pretty significant portion of my sideboard to that deck. Voice of Resurgence makes their countermagic less appealing, especially when you have Ephara. It adds additional things they would want to spend Detention Spheres on, which helps keep your god in play. It also gives you the chance to commit slightly more to the board into Supreme Verdict.
Gainsay will give you a chance to fight their Sphinx’s Revelations, or force through your important cards. In some cases you can use it to prevent Detention Spheres and Jaces. Detention Sphere is a less appealing target for Gainsay if you’ve brought in your Glare of Heresy and/or Revoke Existence. Gainsay also does good work against the blue devotion decks, protecting you from whatever card you find to be a problem in their deck.
Jace, Memory Adept is something I am a fan of against decks like black devotion and blue-white control. The +1 ability can allow you to just keep up on cards against black decks, and the 0 ability is a powerful way to fight against the blue-white decks. Jace also has the added benefit of being devotion that doesn’t die to Supreme Verdict for Ephara.
I have Trostani and Archangel of Thune for the the combat focused decks. They are both capable of keeping your life total high. Trostani has a fairly fun interaction with Ephara. Allowing you to draw cards in addition to gaining life and making creatures.
New sets will generally lead to a lot of questions about the development of the metagame. Born of the Gods has yet to show much of an impact on this standard. New archetypes are always a work in progress though, and I believe there is a lot of potential for new strategies with cards from this set. I encourage you to explore these archetypes for yourself. I’d be happy to hear your feedback in the comments.
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