MTGGoldfish is supported by its audience. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Against the Odds: Dollhouse of Horrors (Crimson Vow Standard)

Against the Odds: Dollhouse of Horrors (Crimson Vow Standard)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 314 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had our first Innistrad: Crimson Vow Standard Against the Odds poll, and in the end, Dollhouse of Horrors took down an easy win. As such, we're heading to our new Standard format today to see if we can win some games with a weird reanimation-chain combo deck built around the artifact. The main goal is to use Dollhouse of Horrors to reanimate Olivia, Crimson Bride, which can reanimate Moraug, Fury of Akoum when it attacks. Post-combat, we can play a land to get an extra combat step, which allows us to reanimate something else with Olivia, Crimson Bride and hopefully win the game on the spot. How good is Dollhouse of Horrors in Standard? What about Olivia, Crimson Bride? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

A quick reminder: if you haven't already, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel.

Against the Odds: Jund Dollhouse

Loading Indicator

The Deck

With Against the Odds cards, the challenge sometimes is finding a single way to make a really janky card work. Dollhouse of Horrors has the exact opposite problem—it can do so many cool things and fit into so many different shells that it was really tough to settle on a build. I made at least six Dollhouse of Horrors lists along the way, and a lot of them did really cool things, to the point that I'm hopeful we'll see some more of them show up on video or for streams soon. One thing I wanted to avoid was the synergy of Dollhouse of Horrors and Scute Swarm, mostly because several videos on YouTube are already built around it. (If you haven't seen it, the idea is that you can reanimate Scute Swarm as a Construct; then, when you play a land to make copies of Scute Swarm, the copies will also be Constructs, so they will quickly grow each other into massive threats, somewhat similar to the old mutate decks that looked to turn Scute Swarm into a huge mutate creature and then make copies of it, but with a reanimation twist.) Eventually, I decided to go with a very combo-y Jund build of Dollhouse of Horrors. Here's the plan.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The power of Dollhouse of Horrors is that it can essentially reanimate any creature from our graveyard with haste for just a single mana once it's on the battlefield, which is quite powerful, making it somewhat similar to God-Pharaoh's Gift. The drawback is that unless we have some Constructs on the battlefield (which, in our deck, means other creatures reanimated by Dollhouse of Horrors since we don't play any real Constructs), the creature is just a 1/1.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The main goal of our deck is to use Dollhouse of Horrors to reanimate Olivia, Crimson Bride. Since Olivia's main power is that it gets to reanimate something when it attacks, it doesn't really matter much that it's just a 1/1. Reanimating Olivia with Dollhouse essentially doubles up our reanimation. We can attack with Olivia and immediately reanimate something else, not as a 1/1 but as a fully powered creature. We have a few options, but our best is Moraug, Fury of Akoum. If we can reanimate Moraug with Olivia (which we reanimate with Dollhouse of Horrors), we can play a land on our second main phase, get an extra combat step, and attack again with Olivia, Crimson Bride to reanimate something else, all in the same turn! It's very possible that this reanimation chain will end with us dealing 20 or more damage to our opponent and winning the game on the spot!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

Our other big reanimation targets are Old Gnawbone and Toxrill, the Corrosive. Old Gnawbone isn't great with Dollhouse of Horrors since it's not all that strong as a 1/1, but it is great with Olivia, Crimson Bride. We can reanimate it, hit our opponent for 11-ish damage, make a bunch of Treasures, and empty our hand with the mana they offer. This sometimes lets us play things like Moraug, Fury of Akoum from our hand to get another combat and reanimate something else with Olivia. Meanwhile, Toxrill, the Corrosive is great against creature decks, slowly eating away the opponent's board with slime counters, which makes it a solid reanimation target for either Olivia, Crimson Bride or Dollhouse of Horrors.

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

If our graveyard gets shut down, our backup plan is Howlpack Piper cheating our big threats into play from our hand for just two mana. Thanks to Tangled Florahedron and Prosperous Innkeeper, we often can play Howlpack Piper on Turn 3 and, if our opponent can't kill it, put a Toxrill, Old Gnawbone, or Moraug, Fury of Akoum into play for just two mana on Turn 4. Howlpack Piper is also a sneakily good reanimation target for Dollhouse of Horrors since the token copy has haste, which allows us to reanimate Howlpack Piper and immediately use it to dump a bomb into play from our hand!

$ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00

The last piece of the puzzle is filling our graveyard. We have a bunch of options for this. Mulch and Eccentric Farmer make sure we hit our land drops while also self-milling. Cathartic Pyre is good removal against aggro that can also be a bad Cathartic Reunion. Finally, The Celestus ramps us so we can hard-cast our big threats while also looting cards into our graveyard.

The Matchups

The biggest issue we ran into with Jund Dollhouse is getting run over against aggro. While the deck is super powerful and can pull off some insane combo turns, we also have a lot of expensive cards. Against Mono-White and Mono-Green, we sometimes get slow hands full of six- and seven-mana threats and do close to nothing as our opponent curves out. It's not that these matchups aren't winnable—especially after we sideboard in removal—but that super-fast decks are our hardest matchups. On the other hand, control and midrange felt like solid matchups since we have a little bit more time to fill our graveyard and get our powerful midrange reanimation plays online, like Dollhouse of Horrors and Olivia, Crimson Bride.

The Odds

All in all, we finished 3-2 with Jund Dollhouse, which is a solid if unspectacular record. We got run over by aggro a couple of times (although we did manage to beat Mono-Red) while stomping midrange and control. Maybe the weirdest part of the episode is that it ended up feeling sort of like Against the Odds: Olivia. For some reason, we didn't draw Dollhouse of Horrors all that often, but we drew Olivia, Crimson Bride a ton, and most of our combo kills involved using Olivia to reanimate our big threats, which is fine. Our goal was to use Dollhouse of Horrors to cheat Olivia into play on the cheap, but it seems like hard-casting Olivia is good enough in a lot of matchups! As far as Dollhouse of Horrors, don't worry—I'm sure we'll be seeing it again soon...

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week because of the holiday. Don't worry, the poll will be back next episode and better than ever!


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

More in this Series

Show more ...

More on MTGGoldfish ...

Image for I Made Them Sacrifice Every Permanent, Every Turn | Brewer's Kitchen brewer's kitchen
I Made Them Sacrifice Every Permanent, Every Turn | Brewer's Kitchen

Brewer's Kitchen makes his opponents sacrifice everything, every turn.

Jun 23 | by Brewer's Kitchen
Image for Ranking All Assassin's Creed Cards In Commander commander
Ranking All Assassin's Creed Cards In Commander

Tomer goes over all the Assassin's Creed cards and ranks them for Commander!

Jun 22 | by Tomer Abramovici
Image for Single Scoop: Siege Rhino Welcomes Modern Horizons 3 single scoop
Single Scoop: Siege Rhino Welcomes Modern Horizons 3

With Modern Horizons 3 being legal on Arena, it's time to welcome midrange into the format and with it, we have to bring Abzan midrange with Siege Rhino to go with all the Ephemerates and Phelias >:)

Jun 22 | by TheAsianAvenger
Image for Much Abrew: Turbo Necro Mill (Timeless) much abrew about nothing
Much Abrew: Turbo Necro Mill (Timeless)

How quickly can we mill our opponent's entire deck with Teferi's Tutelage and Necrodominance? Let's find out!

Jun 21 | by SaffronOlive

Layout Footer

Never miss important MTG news again!

All emails include an unsubscribe link. You may opt-out at any time. See our privacy policy.

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Twitch
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • RSS
  • Email
  • Discord
  • YouTube

Price Preference

Default Price Switcher