Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Making Magic in the Arena - Mardu Aristocrats

I've been playing Magic the Gathering: Arena on and off for quite a long time now, but it only recently occurred to me to post the matches to YouTube. I want to try to start showing off some of the decks I'm building. Even if they aren't the best, I think there's some good fun to be had there.

First off, a deck I've wanted to try for a long time, but never had the pieces for it in one Standard environment until now: Mardu Aristocrats.

This is an usual deck for me to pilot, because I'm much more used to a control strategy, which wants to delay the game as long as possible so that I can play a strong bomb and win the game through long-term value.

This deck is more of a midrange deck. It's aims are to outlast more aggressive decks, and finish up a control player more quickly so they they don't have time to set themselves up for late-game success.

The real stars of the show is Judith (naturally) and Elenda. They allow me to make extremely aggressive swings with relatively little risk. With Judith out, combat can quickly turn deadly with low cost creatures swinging in for high damage and pinging their injured opponent's creatures to death if the choose to trade with them in the block step.

Likewise, Elenda grows stronger with each death, allowing her to keep her owner healthy with Lifelink, or else be sacrificed at just the right moment for a ton of tokens to go wide. Though none of them happened on stream, I have matches where Elenda grows to 30/30 or higher, and then I sacrifice her when the opponent attempts to exile her and win the match by swinging with more tokens than they could reasonably block.

And speaking of sacrifices, Priest of the Forgotten Gods and Pitiless Pontiff are excellent sacrifice outlets. The Pontiff also makes for a great blocker, since enemies can rarely attack when one is one the board. And the priest can be used to sacrifice fodder to slowly whittle away at a stalled board with providing much needed mana and card draw.

This package is bolstered by cards like Gutterbones, Footlight Fiend, and Hero of Precinct One who are either good sacrifice options, or generate disposal tokens that can also act as sacrifice options.

I don't know if I'll keep playing this, but I like it. It's a fun strategy.

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