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Against the Odds: All Will Be Ichor (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 366 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had our first Phyrexia: All Will Be One Against the Odds poll, and in the end, Ichormoon Gauntlet beat out All Will Be One and a couple of other options. As such, we're heading to Standard today to add some counters to things with Ichormoon Gauntlet. But don't worry: if you voted for runner-up All Will Be One, you are sort of a winner as well since our deck is looking to combine those two cards together (along with a bunch of planeswalkers and permanents that get counters) to deal an absurd amount of damage! What are the odds of winning with Ichormoon Gauntlet and All Will Be One in Phyrexia Standard? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: All Will Be Ichor

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The Deck

Building around Ichormoon Gauntlet was way, way harder than I expected. I went through six different builds of today's deck before finally figuring out that the best way to abuse the extra counters Ichormoon Gauntlet offers is All Will Be One, which eventually lead us to the Izzet deck we're playing today!

The Combo

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Ichormoon Gauntlet is really, really good at adding counters to other permanents. Not only does it let our planeswalkers proliferate, adding additional counters to anything that already has a counter on it, but whenever we cast a non-creature spell, we can add another counter to a permanent. While these abilities offer a bunch of sneaky and sometimes powerful synergies, the big payoff for Ichormoon Gauntlet in our deck is All Will Be One, which offers damage whenever we add a counter to something. If we can get both on the battlefield things get pretty exciting. Every noncreature spell we cast give us a counter, which will trigger All Will Be One to deal a damage, which lets us shoot down our opponent's creatures or burn their face directly. Things get even crazier if we can get some planeswalkers on the battlefield and start proliferating since we can potentially be adding counters to a bunch of permanents, which gives us a ton of damage with All Will Be One. Basically, if we can get Ichormoon Gauntlet and All Will Be One on the battlefield together, there's a pretty good chance we are going to win the game within a turn or two!

Planeswalkers

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When it comes to permanents with counters, we've got a bunch of options, but the best of the bunch are our planeswalkers, which are absurd with both Ichormoon Gauntlet and All Will Be One. We kick things off with two planeswalkers I mostly mocked during spoiler season but that are actually great in our deck, in Jace and Koth. Jace offers card draw and a way to slow opposing creatures, while Koth has a lot of loyalty and helps make sure we hit our land drops. Backing them up are Jaya and Teferi, which gives us some chump blockers and even more card advantage.

While all of our planeswalkers are sweet in our deck, we don't really care what our planeswalkers do in some sense because, regardless of their abilities, they are really strong with Ichormoon Gauntlet and All Will Be One. Ichormoon Gauntlet lets us add counters to our planeswalkers, rushing toward their ultimates or an extra turn. Meanwhile, if we have All Will Be One on the battlefield, each planeswalker we play will deal damage equal to their loyalty when they enter the battlefield, turning our planeswalkers into burn spells. And then we'll get even more damage as we add more loyalty counters to our planeswalkers, either with their abilities or with Ichormoon Gauntlet.

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One thing I learned while building and testing seven different Ichormoon Gauntlet decks is that Ichormoon Gauntlet wants as many permanents that can get counters as possible because Ichormoon Gauntlet does literally nothing if we don't have any permanents with counters. As such, alongside our planeswalkers, we have cards like Reckoner Bankbuster and Tablet of Compleation for card draw and The Filigree Sylex and Blast Zone for removal. While all of these cards are solid enough on their own, they are incredibly synergistic in our deck since we can use Ichormoon Gauntlet or a planeswalker's proliferating to add extra counters to them, which in turn triggers our All Will Be One to deal even more damage. Of course, this also helps power up these permanents. For example, Tablet of Compleation is too slow to be really competitive in most decks, but our deck is really good at adding extra counters to it, which means we can quickly turn it into a card-advantage engine. We can use the same trick to add counters to The Filigree Sylex and Blast Zone to blow up more expensive permanents, or to make sure Reckoner Bankbuster doesn't run out of counters so we can keep drawing cards.

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Finally, we have Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, which is a busted card but also shows off another Ichormoon Gauntlet trick: we can use our namesake artifact to turbo through Sagas by adding extra loyalty counters. With Gauntlet on the battlefield, we can cast a couple of non-creature spells, get all of Fable's abilities, and flip it into Reflection of Kiki-Jiki all in one turn! While Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is one of the strongest cards in all of Standard, it is somehow even stronger in our deck than most because of Ichormoon Gauntlet's power!

The Matchups

Honestly, I don't really know what to say about the matchups of All Will Be Ichor. It seemed like every single match we played was super close, long, and grindy, whether we ended up winning or losing in the end. Decks that can easily deal with Ichormoon Gauntlet or All Will Be One are annoying because we really want our namesake permanents to stick on the battlefield for a few turns. But overall, All Will Be Ichor feels like it has close to a 50/50 matchup against a lot of the most popular decks in Standard. While we probably aren't favored against many of them, we have a chance against them all!

The Odds

Record-wise, we ended up with just about a 40% match win percentage with All Will Be Ichor, but as I said before, pretty much all of our games were incredibly long, interesting, and close. With a bit of better luck, we could have had several more wins, but with worse luck, several of our wins could have easily moved to the loss column. Somehow, the five matchups in the video ended up taking nearly three hours to complete, which means this isn't the deck for you if you're looking for fast matches or wins, but we also got to see some really cool things with the deck! We ultimated planeswalkers with Ichormoon Gauntlet to take extra turns, we got absurd All Will Be One wins, we stole victories by adding counters to things like Blast Zone to remove our opponent's threats, and we even got a Jace, the Perfected Mind mill-ultimate win by using Ichormoon Gauntlet to add extra counters to the blue planeswalker! All in all, I think All Will Be Ichor is only okay in terms of how competitive it is, but I love the deck. It's unique, does really cool things, has tons of synergies, and is surprisingly hard to play correctly! It's almost like a weird machine where you are trying to assemble the pieces and then oil it up with counters to get it running. Sometimes, it breaks (or our opponent breaks it) and things fall apart, but the deck does some really interesting, fun, and unique things when it works!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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