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Against the Odds: Annie Joins Up (Standard)


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds. One of the rules of Against the Odds is that whenever we get a new Panharmonicon, we need to give it a try. As such, we're heading to Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard today to check our our new legendary Panharmonicon, Annie Joins Up! While Annie Joins Up is a bit narrow, only working with legendary creatures, it does have the upside of being a removal spell, which solves one of OG Panharmonicon's biggest problems, which is needing to take Turn 4 off to get it on the battlefield! How good is Annie Joins Up in Standard? Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Against the Odds: Annie Joins Up

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The Deck

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Annie Joins Up is interesting. As I mentioned in the intro, it's basically a Panharmonicon (or maybe, more correctly, a Roaming Throne since it works with any triggered ability and not just enters-the-battlefield abilities) for legendary creatures. While only working with legends is a drawback, in reality, so many legends are printed today that this isn't really a major problem. Perhaps the biggest upside of Annie Joins Up is that, along with being a Panharmonicon, it's also a removal spell. While four mana for five damage isn't efficient, it does kill pretty much all the important threats in Standard. 

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One of the weird aspects of Annie Joins Up is that it doesn't work with some of the best traditional Panharmonicon creatures: creatures with an enters-the-battlefield trigger that draw cards. None of these cards are legendary. As such, we need to get creative to draw extra cards with Annie Joins Up. Our best card-advantage engine is Inti, Seneschal of the Sun. With an Annie Joins Up on the battlefield, we can attack, pump two creatures and give them trample, and discard two cards to impulse-draw four cards, which basically makes it a much more aggressive Spirited Companion. Backup up Inti are Aurelia, the Law Above and Voja, Jaws of the Conclave, which draw us cards when they attack (or two cards with Annie Joins Up).

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While drawing extra cards is great, it doesn't directly win us the game. For this, we turn to some legendary +1/+1 counter synergies. Along with Inti's counters, Bristly Bill lets us put +1/+1 counters on things as we make land drops. This modifies the creatures for Kodama of the West Tree to ramp out even more lands when we deal combat damage, which will give us even more counters with Bristly Bill, Spine Sower. Meanwhile, Halana and Alena, Partners is partly a +1/+1 counter generator and partly a +1/+1 counter payoff since we can load it up with counters from cards like Inti and Bristly Bill to add even more counters with its ability. Plus, all these cards double up with Annie Joins Up

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Finally, we have a couple of additional payoffs for the counters. Anim Pakal is one of our best creatures to load up with counters; the bigger we grow it, the more Gnomes it makes when it attacks. Meanwhile, Sovereign Okinec Ahau essentially doubles up the counters on all of our creatures when it attacks, which, combined with Bristly Bill, Spine Sower's ability to double counters, can make our creatures absolutely huge!

Wrap-Up and Odds

Record-wise, we finished 5-3 with Annie Joins Up, which is pretty solid. More importantly, we got to see the power of our namesake enchantment. It turns out that the removal aspect of Annie Joins Up really changes the equation compared to past Panharmonicons. Being able to snipe something like Sheoldred and add a Panharmonicon to the battlefield is huge! Once Annie Joins Up hits the battlefield, things get out of control pretty quickly, with our creatures quickly growing into massive game-ending threats and swiftly getting our opponent's life total to zero. If you like aggressive Panharmonicons or just playing lots of legends, Annie Joins Up might just be one of the strongest Panharmonicons yet, and it is definitely a super-fun and worthy build-around!

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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