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Against the Odds: Five-Color Panharmonicon


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode fifty-five of Against the Odds! As I'm sure you know, we didn't have an Against the Odds poll last week because this week marks the first week of Kaladesh on Magic Online, which means that it's time for a very special Kaladesh episode! Choosing which Kaladesh card to tackle first was actually pretty challenging. I considered a bunch of options (which will be on this week's all-Kaladesh poll, so make sure to vote!) and finally decided to go with one of the dark horse candidates: Panharmonicon! As such, today we are playing all of the best enters-the-battlefield abilities in Standard, spread across five colors, and looking to double, triple, or even quadruple up these triggers with the help of Panharmonicon!

Anyway, let's get to the videos, but first a quick reminder. If you enjoy the Against the Odds series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel.

Against the Odds: Five-Color Panharmonicon Deck Tech

Against the Odds: Five-Color Panharmonicon Games

The Deck

The basic idea of the deck is pretty simple: we get a Panharmonicon on the battlefield to double our enters-the-battlefield triggers; then, we play all of the sweetest creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers in Standard, regardless of their color. Thanks to Servant of the Conduit and Prophetic Prism, we can get away with playing the full five colors and still cast all of our stuff with regularity. Sooner or later, the insane amount of value we get from the enters-the-battlefield triggers will (hopefully) win us the game. 

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Panharmonicon is an odd card. It does literally nothing by itself, but then it can be insanely powerful in conjunction with other cards. Artifacts and creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers are typically balanced under the assumption that you only get the trigger once, so when you can get that trigger two, three, or four times, things can get out of hand very quickly. It's also important to remember that Panharmonicon isn't legendary, and the way it is worded means it works in multiples, so the more copies we get on the battlefield, the better! Just what are we doubling up with Panharmonicon?

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Glint-Nest Crane and Prophetic Prism do double duty in our deck. In the early turns, they help us dig through our deck to find our Panharmonicons, and in the late game (after we have a Panharmonicon or two), they generate insane amounts of card advantage. Prophetic Prism can sometimes draw us three or more cards for only two generic mana, and Glint-Nest Crane takes advantage of the fact that we have 18 artifacts in our deck to draw us not only more cards but also more relevant cards. 

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Servant of the Conduit and Pilgrim's Eye do two things for our deck. First, they help make sure we have enough mana to cast our Panharmonicon on Turn 3 or 4, either by ramping us or by making sure we hit all our land drops. Second, they fix our mana, which is extremely important, considering we are playing five colors and have double-colored mana costs in almost every color. 

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Filigree Familiar and Reflector Mage help keep us alive until we get a Panharmonicon on the battlefield. Filigree Familiar gains us some life and chumps for a turn in the early game; then, in the late game, it gains us a ton of life to keep us out of the danger zone while we are looking to draw our big finishers. Plus, it draws us a card when it dies. Meanwhile, Reflector Mage bounces a creature on Turn 3 to slow our opponent down and can turn into a one-sided Evacuation in the late game, bouncing two, three, or four of our opponent's creatures!

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Thragtusk and Mulldrifter—I mean, Arborback Stomper and Cloudblazer—are two of our best stabilization cards after we play a Panharmonicon. Since we can be a bit slow and clunky in the early game thanks to our mana base, we need some ways to get back from the brink after we get a Panharmonicon down, and these cards do an amazing job of increasing our life total. With a Panharmonicon on the battlefield, Arborback Stomper gains us 10 life while also leaving behind a big body, while Cloudblazer not only gains us four life but also draws us four cards to make sure we have more relevant plays the following turn. 

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The biggest payoff for our Panharmonicon plan is the Gearhulks. Verdurous Gearhulk comes down and puts a ton of counters on our creatures, which either allows us to close out the game by attacking or to play solid defense while we are waiting to take over the game with an endless stream of card advantage and big threats. Combustible Gearhulk almost always draws us six cards because opponents are too scared to take the damage, while leaving behind a massive, first striking body. Last but not least, we have Noxious Gearhulk, which can turn itself into a Plague Wind (with enough copies of Panharmonicon) that also gains us a bunch of life.

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Cataclysmic Gearhulk doesn't actually work with Panharmonicon, since the second "sac everything but one" trigger doesn't do any more than the first; however, it does work very well as a one-of tutor target with Bring to Light to get us out of some sticky situations where we are way behind on the battlefield. Bring to Light, on the other hand, can not only search up a Cataclysmic Gearhulk but also a ton of other powerful options like our Mulldrifter and our Thragtusk, along with Reflector Mage, Filigree Familiar, and Verdurous Gearhulk

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What's better than triggering enters-the-battlefield triggers multiple times with Panharmonicon? Triggering them all again with Eerie Interlude! Actually, Eerie Interlude usually just reads "you win the game," since our opponents almost always scoop when they see the massive pile of triggers going on the stack as all of our creatures re-enter the battlefield. If this isn't enough to bring on the concession, Greenwarden of Murasa lets us get back our Eerie Interlude and repeat the process every turn until our opponent finally gives up. 

The Matchups

This sounds weird to say about an Against the Odds deck, but I'm not sure Five-Color Panharmonicon actually has any bad matchups. During the course of our five games, we played against aggro, control, and midrange, and when our deck is doing its thing, none of our opponents could keep up. While we do occasionally lose to ourselves, it's actually pretty rare that our opponent's decks beat us, because once Panharmonicon gets going, it's really hard to stop. Better yet, we really only need one or two turns with Panharmonicon to pull so far ahead that our opponent has little chance of getting back in the game, so even if they eventually draw an answer to Panharmonicon, the damage is already done. 

Against aggro decks, we have a ton of early game blockers like Glint-Nest Crane, Reflector Mage, and Filigree Familiar; plus, we gain a lot of incidental life thanks to Filigree Familiar, Arborback Stomper, and Cloudblazer. Against midrange, their plan to one-for-one us to death with removal simply doesn't work because all of our creatures generate value when they enter the battlefield, even without a Panharmonicon; with a Panharmonicon, it's like every single one of our cards is the best card in Standard. Against control, we can sometimes get into trouble if our opponent can counter all of our relevant spells, but much like against midrange decks, all of our enters-the-battlefield triggers means that if even a couple of our creatures resolve, we pull ahead, and if we have a Panharmonicon on the battlefield, the advantage we generate is insurmountable. 

The Odds

Speaking of things that feel weird to write about an Against the Odds deck, the odds of winning with Five-Color Panharmonicon is absolutely insane. In fact, Five-Color Panharmonicon is—by far—the most successful deck we've ever played on Against the Odds. We won 5 of our 5 matches (100% match win percentage) and 10 of 12 games (83.33% game win percentage). Almost every game played out the same; we'd get behind in the early game, but then once we resolve a Panharmonicon, we'd generate too much value for our opponent to keep up. Going into the games, I guessed that our deck would be about average, winning around 40% of the time, I would never have thought that a do-nothing artifact like Panharmonicon would win every single match and do some crazy things along the way!

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Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. I can't believe I'm writing this, but if you want to play Five-Color Panharmonicon at FNM, go for it! 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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com. 


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