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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Against the Odds: I Explode Yargle's Corpse on an Ill-Tempered Loner

Against the Odds: I Explode Yargle's Corpse on an Ill-Tempered Loner

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds! I love Stuffy Doll effects. The idea of trying to damage your own creatures to kill your opponent is just such a weird and unique way to play the game. Recently, I realized we have not just one but two Stuffy Dolls in Standard, in Barbed Servitor and Ill-Tempered Loner, which means it's more than possible to go all-in on building a deck based around damaging your own creature for value. The big question was how best to deal the biggest amount of damage possible to our own creature, but after digging around a bit, I realized the perfect card exists for this job in Corpse Explosion. For just three mana, we can exile a creature from our graveyard and deal that much damage to each creature and planeswalker, including our Barbed Servitors and Ill-Tempered Loners. Lastly, we just need a high-power creature in our graveyard to exile, like Yargle and Multani! With just a single Stuffy Doll creature on the battlefield, exploding Yargle's corpse will deal 18 damage to each creature (and also to our opponent, which should be enough to win the game on the spot). And if we ever manage to get two Stuffy Dolls on the battlefield, we deal a massive 36 damage! What are the odds of winning by exploding Yargle's corpse on an Ill-Tempered Loner? Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Against the Odds: Exploding Yargle

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The Deck

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As I mentioned in the intro, the two key cards in our deck are our Stuffy Dolls, Barbed Servitor and Ill-Tempered Loner. When either of these creatures takes damage, they deal that much damage to our opponent. In theory, Barbed Servitor is the better of the two since it's indestructible, but it awkwardly suspects itself when it enters the battlefield, so it can't block. While we do have a super-janky trick to get around this (using Deadly Complication to unsuspect it), Barbed Servitor is pretty bad on defense in general, although it can occasionally draw us some extra cards. Ill-Tempered Loner isn't indestructible, but it can play defense, which often makes it a two-for-one against creature decks. Either way, to execute our combo, we need at least one of these creatures on the battlefield, and having two is even better.

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Once we get a Stuffy Doll on the battlefield, the goal is to use Corpse Explosion to deal an absurd amount of damage to our creatures, redirect that damage to our opponent, and win the game. I was pretty high on Corpse Explosion when it was spoiled, as a three-mana wrath for graveyard decks, but so far, it has more or less flopped. That said, it's perfect for our deck since it has the potential to deal the most damage to our creatures.

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Lastly, we need to get the highest-power creature in Standard—Yargle and Multani—in the graveyard to exile to Corpse Explosion. Charming Scoundrel and Bitter Triumph give us ways to discard Yargle and Multani so we don't need to cast the six-drop and wait for it to die to combo off. Once we get the full setup, we simply explode Yargle's corpse on our Ill-Tempered Loners and Barbed Servitors and burn our opponent out of the game on the spot!

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We also have a backup Yargle combo: simply playing the six-drop and using Callous Sell-Sword to throw it at our opponent for 18 damage! All in all, it's a rough week for Yargle; no matter what combo we end up with, it involves exploding or burning Magic's most infamous meme creature.

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The rest of our deck is pretty much just some removal to help us stay alive while we get things set up. The one notable removal spell is Deadly Complication, which is a bit slow and expensive, as a three-mana sorcery-speed Murder. But it comes with the upside of unsuspecting a creature, which means it can also turn Barbed Servitor into a real Stuffy Doll that can block our opponent's biggest threats while also dealing a bunch of damage along the way!

Matchups and Odds

Matchup-wise, our deck is odd. It's at its best against creature decks, where our Stuffy Dolls can get some incidental damage by blocking, although we can struggle against super-fast aggro. Control is also tricky because it often has exile-based removal that gets around Barbed Servitor's indestructibility. Record-wise, I started off 3-3 with the deck before making the mistake of playing some more games, which were mostly losses, dropping our overall win rate down around 40%. 

The good news is that we got to see both of our combos win games in hilarious fashion. Corpse Explosion really impressed me. While it can be inconsistent (it doesn't do anything if we can't get a creature in the graveyard), it also stole us some wins, both by comboing with our Stuffy Dolls and just by being a surprise cheap wrath. Yargle and Multani was also oddly effective. While it does a lot, this isn't always a bad thing in our deck because of Corpse Explosion. Plus, there are randomly games where we run our opponent out of action and win by beating down with the six-mana 18/6!

All in all, I'd say that Exploding Yargle combo is more semi-competitive than truly competitive, but it can pick up a lot of wins. Plus, it's just funny, because who expects to die because Yargle's corpse exploded on them? 


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

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