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Against the Odds: Get Yargled (Standard)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 373 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had our first March of the Machine Against the Odds poll, and in the end, Yargle and Multani crushed the competition.  As such, we're heading to our new March of the Machine Standard format today to see if we can win by throwing a Yargle and Multani at our opponent's face with Voldaren Thrillseeker to deal 20 direct damage and win the game on the spot! What are the odds of the plan working? Let's get to the video and find out!

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Against the Odds: Get Yargled

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The Deck

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The plan of today's deck is simple: First, we play Yargle and Multani, the biggest vanilla creature of all time, as an 18/6 for six mana. Next, we play Voldaren Thrillseeker to back up Yargle, putting two +1/+1 counters on it and giving it Thrillseeker's ability, which will let us sacrifice Yargle and Multani to deal damage to our opponent equal to its power—which will now be 20—winning the game on the spot!

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Of course, we need two things for this plan to work. Most importantly, we need to find Yargle and Multani and Voldaren Thrillseeker. For this, we have Invasion of Ikoria, which can tutor up either combo pieces along with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Reckoner Bankbuster to keep us churning through our deck to find our payoffs.

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The other thing we need to pull off our combo kill is a lot of mana. While Yargle and Multani is huge, it does have a drawback: it's a vanilla creature that dies to removal. If we run out Yargle and Multani in the hopes of comboing off the following turn, there's a pretty good chance it will die before we can throw it at our opponent's face for lethal, thanks to our removal-heavy Standard format. As such, in our ideal world, we'll be able to play our entire combo in one turn to dodge sorcery-speed removal, which requires 10 mana. To ramp up to 10, we turn to Topiary Stomper and Invasion of Zendikar. While both are good ramp spells on their own, they are even better together. If we play Topiary Stomper on Turn 3, we'll ramp up to four lands, which means we can play Invasion of Zendikar on Turn 4, tutor up two more lands, make our land drop for the turn (which will give us seven lands to let Stomper attack), swing at the battle with Topiary Stomper, flip it into yet another land, and finish Turn 4 with a massive eight mana!

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Since we're ramping so aggressively, we have Etali, Primal Conqueror as a backup plan that can also help us find our combo pieces with its enters-the-battlefield ability. Plus, I just love playing Etali. The ability to play a random card from each player's deck is super sweet, making Etali, Primal Conqueror one of the most fun cards in the new Standard.

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Last but not least, we have some removal to help us stay alive long enough to set up our Yargle Fling combo kill. Alongside Go for the Throat and Abrade, we get a couple copies of Unleash the Inferno, which is super underrated in Standard. While four mana is a lot, Unleash the Inferno is one of the only cards in the format that cleanly answers Fable of the Mirror-Breaker; plus, there are a ton of other powerful artifacts and enchantments worth blowing up, like Wedding Announcement and Reckoner Bankbuster.

The Matchups

The main thing we are worried about is instant-speed removal that can kill Yargle and Multani. The absolute blowout is that we get Yargle on the battlefield, play Voldaren Thrillseeker, and with its backup trigger on the stack, our opponent kills Yargle and Multani and fizzles our combo. The good news is that there isn't a ton of instant-speed Yargle removal that sees heavy play in Standard outside of Go for the Throat since decks like Mono-White rely on Lay Down Arms and Ossification, and various red decks struggle to kill a creature with six toughness, which mostly means various black midrange decks like Grixis and Esper are our toughest matchups. On the other hand, one thing we learned by playing the deck is that Yargle and Multani is hilariously good in some matchups, even without the combo. Take Mono-Red, for example. If we can get Yargle and Multani on the battlefield, it's almost impossible for our opponent to kill, which means there's a pretty good chance we can win the game by attacking with Yargle and Multani—no Flings necessary. 

The Odds

Record-wise, we ended up 7-6 with Get Yargled, giving us a 54% match-win percentage, which is pretty solid for an Against the Odds deck in general, and doubly so for one built around an infamous meme card like Yargle. Even better, most of our wins came from Yargle and Multani, either with the Voldaren Thrillseeker Fling plan or, a couple of times, by attacking. All in all, I came away feeling like both of our main combo pieces—Yargle and Multani and Voldaren Thrillseeker—might be sleepers in Standard. The sheer size of Yargle and Multani makes it a real threat, assuming we can play around removal, and Voldaren Thrillseeker is actually just a solid creature. If it backs up itself, it's a 3/3 for three that can sacrifice itself to Lightning Bolt, and we picked up a couple of strange wins by using Voldaren Thrillseeker to throw Reckoner Bankbusters or Topiary Stompers at our opponent's face. I wouldn't be surprised to see Thrillseeker sneaking into decks like Mono-Red and Gruul once players start to realize its power!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Next week we're trying some more sweet March of the Machine Standard jank. Which card should we build around? Click here to vote!


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

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