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Against the Odds: 34 Rhinos


Hello everyone and welcome to episode six of Against the Odds. I mentioned last week that we would be suspending the Against the Odds poll for one week because I had a very special Battle for Zendikar edition of Against the Odds. Today is the big day! If you're a fan of the weekly voting, don't worry, we have a brand new Battle for Zendikar poll at the end of the article. Just make sure to vote as soon as possible; the poll closes at 11 AM EST on Friday!

Before we begin, first enjoy this musical interlude:

Siege Rhino has been the talk of Standard for a long time, and the first week of Battle for Zendikar Standard asked (and answered) a simple question: if four copies of Siege Rhino is good, what happens when a deck gets to play eight copies of Siege Rhino thanks to Bring to Light? The answer? Eight is great. This got me thinking, why stop at eight? What would happen if we played a deck with even more copies of Siege Rhino. How about thirty-four copies of Siege Rhino? We'll be testing out this theory on this week's Against the Odds. What are the odds of winning with a deck that contains 34 copies of Siege Rhino?

Let's get to the videos, and then we'll talk more about the deck in a few minutes. First a quick reminder: If you enjoy Against the Odds and other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Against the Odds: 34 Rhinos Intro

Against the Odds: 34 Rhinos Games

The Deck

There really isn't much to say about how the deck plays. We cast, copy, tutor for, dig for, duplicate, bounce, and attack with Siege Rhinos. Many, many Siege Rhinos. Pretty simple, right? Looking over the decklist you might be wondering how some cards qualify as honorary Siege Rhinos. Let's count down our 34 Rhinos, along with a brief justification of why they should be considered Rhinos in our deck. 

Rhino 34: Mortuary Mire

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Puts a Rhino from our graveyard on top of our deck.

 

Rhinos 30-34: Dig Through Time

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Digs for not one, but two Rhinos.

 

Rhinos 26-29: Den Protector

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Returns a Rhino from our graveyard to our hand.

 

Rhinos 22-25: Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Loots to find more Rhinos. Also flashes back Bring to Light to get a Rhino.

 

Rhino 21: Flameshadow Conjuring

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Makes a hasty Rhino token whenever a Rhino enters the battlefield for only one red mana. 

 

Rhino 17-20: Clever Impersonator

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Enters the battlefield as a copy of Siege Rhino.

 

Rhinos 13-16: Mirror Mockery

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Enchants a Rhino and also make a copy of the Rhino whenever it attacks.

 

Rhinos 9-12: Bring to Light

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Tutors for a Rhino and allows us to cast it immediately.

 

Rhinos 5-8: Supplant Form

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Returns a Rhino to our hand (to cast the following turn) while also creating a Rhino token.

 

Rhinos 1-4: Siege Rhino

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The original.

Matchups

Simply drawing a copy of Siege Rhino every turn is typically good enough against midrange and control decks. While they are wasting their time with non-Siege Rhino cards, we are applying endless pressure, infinite Lightning Helixs, and a crash of big bodies. Where things get sticky is against a dedicated aggro deck. If they kill us before we start the Rhino parade, all the copies of Siege Rhino in the world won't save us. As such, I think the optimal number of Rhinos is somewhere in the mid-20's, allowing for a few more answers to early game threats. Even just four copies of Radiant Flames would go a long way. Oh, and a couple cards that kill planeswalkers would be nice too, since a flipped Jace, Vryn's Prodigy or Ugin, the Spirit Dragon can ruin otherwise good matchups. 

The Odds

Unsurprisingly, the odds of winning with a deck that contains 34 copies of Siege Rhino is pretty high. We won three out of four matches, and the games we did lose we often lost to ourself , either mulliganing into oblivion or having mana issues. We even won a couple of mull-to-fives; that's how good an endless string of Siege Rhinos can be. 

To me, what this goes to show is that the true power behind everything from Abzan to Five-Color Bring to Light is Siege Rhino. Sure, removal is nice, sweepers are effective, and other creatures are fine, but all it really takes to be a good Standard deck is a copy Siege Rhino every turn.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. What do you think? What's the perfect number of Siege Rhinos? Did I miss any honorary Rhinos that could have been included in the deck? As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive.


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