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Against the Odds: Four-Color Codie (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 287 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had an all-Strixhaven Against the Odds poll, and everyone's favorite book, Codie, Vociferous Codex, came out on top. As such, we're heading to Strixhaven Standard today to sling some spells and hopefully cascade into even more sweet spells! As a backup to Codie, we have one other non-land permanent in our deck: Efreet Flamepainter, another new Strixhaven card that can be super powerful in a deck full of spells if it sticks on the battlefield, potentially allowing us to cast two instants or sorceries for free each turn from our graveyard if it can get combat damage in. What can Codie, Vociferous Codex do in Standard? How practical is it to get in an attack or two with Efreet Flamepainter? What are the best spells in Standard to cascade into? 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: Four-Color Codie

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The Deck

Codie, Vociferous Codex is a weird card to build around. My first thought was to try to find a way to build a combo deck that somehow used Codie, Vociferous Codex to assemble the combo, but I quickly realized this wasn't really possible. In theory, you could build a deck with one spell to cast and one other spell to cascade into (for example, cast an Alrund's Epiphany and have Body of Research be the only other spell in the deck so we'd be 100% to hit it and hopefully win with the Fractal in our extra turn). But because Codie, Vociferous Codex keep us from casting other permanents, this plan wouldn't really work in practice because the rest of our deck would have to be permanents that we couldn't cast with Codie, Vociferous Codex on the battlefield. While our deck can still sort of combo, it involves getting lucky with what we cascade into with Codie, Vociferous Codex since we can't control it. The good news is that Codie, Vociferous Codex is also an absurd value card if we can keep it on the battlefield, essentially doubling up every spell that we cast for free!

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While we can't really afford to play many non-land permanents with Codie, Vociferous Codex because of its "you can't cast permanent spells" drawback, we do have one other creature in our deck to back up Codie: Efreet Flamepainter. Since our deck is overflowing with big, powerful spells (along with ways to get them into our graveyard), Efreet Flamepainter offers a ton of value if we can keep it on the battlefield and get in an attack or two, potentially snowballing into a win almost by itself. Of course, this requires untapping and getting in combat damage with a four-mana 1/4, which is far from a guarantee, but we do have some way to get blockers out of the way, which helps. While there is a risk we'll end up in a situation where we can't cast Efreet Flamepainter, we can always discard it to something like Thrilling Discovery, and the upside is enough that we're willing to take the risk.

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The closest thing we have to a legitimate combo kill in our deck involves getting a Codie, Vociferous Codex on the battlefield, casting Alrund's Epiphany, and (hopefully) cascading into Body of Research to make a massive Fractal token. Of course, when we cast Alrund's Epiphany, we could also cascade into something else like a random ramp or card-draw spell. So the odds that we hit Body of Research aren't great, but when it happens, there's a decent chance we can win the game during our extra turn by giving the Fractal trample...

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...with the help of Crash Through. While we only have two copies of Crash Through in our deck, Codie can help us find it if we cast a two-mana value instant or sorcery like Scorching Dragonfire or Thrilling Discovery. Since Crash Through is the only instant or sorcery in our deck with mana value less than two, we know that we'll hit it 100% of the time with Codie, Vociferous Codex's ability to give our massive Fractal trample. This should allow us to win the game on the spot, even through a bunch of blockers on our opponent's side of the battlefield. 

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While the combo is great when it randomly happens, most of the time, Codie, Vociferous Codex is just an absurd value card, allowing us to do things like cast a Magma Opus and cascade into something like Inspired Ultimatum, Alrund's Epiphany, or Sea Gate Restoration. While this value doesn't directly win the game, it should pull us far enough on cards that our opponent will have a hard time getting back into the game.

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Because our deck has so many expensive spells, some ramp is also essential. Cultivate and Eureka Moment help us get to our big plays quickly, while Eureka Moment also offers some card advantage. One word of warning: Codie, Vociferous Codex doesn't allow us to cast sorceries at instant speed, which means if we have a Codie on the battlefield, it's usually better to cast things like Magma Opus or Eureka Moment during our turn. Nothing is worse than using Codie, Vociferous Codex to cast a Magma Opus, hitting something busted like Alrund's Epiphany or Inspired Ultimatum, and not being able to cast it. 

The Matchups

In all honesty, I'm not sure Four-Color Codie has any truly good matchups. Against aggressive decks, we tend to be a little bit too slow, while control decks usually have removal for Codie, Vociferous Codex and Efreet Flamepainter and counters to deal with our big sorceries. This doesn't mean the deck can't win. We did some absurd things with both Codie and Flamepainter, but it didn't really feel like we were favored against anyone, with our wins coming mostly because we had good draws or because our opponent stumbled a bit.

The Odds

Video-wise, we finished 3-2 with Codie, although in reality, I played a bunch of matches with the deck (eight or nine) and only won three times, giving the deck a 33.3% match win percentage overall. While the deck doesn't seem to be all that competitive, the good games are really, really good. While it isn't all that easy to untap with a Codie, Vociferous Codex, if we do, we can have a really good turn where we chain together multiple spells, potentially take some extra turns, and kill our opponent before they get a chance to untap. If you like slinging spells and having big, explosive turns, Four-Color Codie is super fun, although I wouldn't expect to have a great record with the deck against the top tier of the meta. It just so happens that most of the cards people play to fight Sultai Ultimatum are also good against our deck, so there are a lot of counterspells and hate. Basically, Codie, Vociferous Codex is a super-fun card and can do some crazy things, but it's probably not consistent enough to be a real force in Strixhaven Standard.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week! Don't worry, it will return next week and be better than ever!

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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