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Against the Odds: Jodah (Standard, Magic Online)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 167 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had one of the closest Against the Odds polls in a long time. Eventually, Jodah, Archmage Eternal edged out Din of the Fireherd by 14 votes out of the nearly 6,000 cast! As such, we're heading to Standard today to see what crazy things we can do if we can cast all of our cards for WUBRG rather than their normal mana cost. While there are a bunch of huge things we can cast with Jodah, Archmage Eternal, the most important is Omniscience, which then lets us cast everything else for free. After we get Omniscience on the battlefield, we can do some absurd things, mostly by tutoring various combo pieces out of our sideboard with the help of Mastermind's Acquisition. What crazy combos does Jodah, Archmage Eternal enable, and what are the odds of winning with Jodah in Standard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Jodah (Standard)

The Deck

Building around Jodah, Archmage Eternal was weird. Initially, I was worried that the deck would be too slow and not very competitive, so I kept trying to find a way to make Jodah more competitive. Eventually, I gave up and decided to build the version of Jodah, Archmage Eternal that I wanted to play the most—one overflowing with ramp, card draw, and some crazy combos—and a strange thing happened: not only was this version of Jodah fun, but it also actually managed to win a surprising amount of the time! To really understand the deck, we need to walk step by step through our plan.

Step 1: Jodah

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Jodah, Archmage Eternal is basically a Fist of Suns with the downside of being on a creature, which makes it easier for our opponent to kill. The upside is that with a Jodah on the battlefield (and the proper mana), we can cast seven-, eight-, or even 10-mana spells for just five mana. While in theory we can win games by beating down with Jodah, Archmage Eternal, the reason it's in our deck is to be a crazy ramp spell, allowing us to play massive things for a low, low mana cost.

Step 2: Ramp

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Apart from Jodah, Archmage Eternal, the next most important part of our deck is our ramp spells, which do two important things: first, these cards—especially Chromatic Lantern—help to make sure we have the right colors of mana to use Jodah's alternate casting cost. Having all five colors of mana is extremely important to our deck, and having a bunch of ramp / fixing spells makes sure we achieve this as consistently as possible. Second, our ramp cards give us a backup plan for the games when we don't draw Jodah, Archmage Eternal, since we can simply ramp into our big finishers and combo pieces.

Step 3: Omniscience

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The primary goal of our deck is to get an Omniscience into play. Our best way of doing this is with the help of Jodah, Archmage Eternal making the 10-mana enchantment just five mana, but in a pinch, we can try to ramp into it as well. Once we have all of our Omnisciences on the battlefield, all of our spells are free, and then we can not only win the game but win the game in some really fun and interesting ways!

Step 4: The Combos

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When it comes to actually winning the game, we have a few different plans. In the main deck, we only have one real win condition (apart from attacking with Jodah, Archmage Eternal, which is sort of a long shot). Once we have Omniscience on the battlefield, our plan is to use Overflowing Insight to draw a bunch of cards until we find our two copies of Recollect and our one Niv-Mizzet, Parun (finding one Recollect is also good, since we can use it to get back Overflowing Insight to draw seven more cards and keep digging for our other combo pieces). Once we find Niv-Mizzet, Parun and our two Recollects, we simply cast Niv-Mizzet for free and then loop the two Recollects (with one returning the other from the graveyard), dealing one damage with Niv-Mizzet, Parun each time, giving us a weird sort of Storm-style kill!

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Our second combo kill involves using Mastermind's Acquisition to get some important pieces from our sideboard. Here, our main target is Thousand-Year Storm. Once we tutor and play Thousand-Year Storm (for free) from our sideboard, we use Recollect to get Mastermind's Acquisition (and some other cards, thanks to Thousand-Year Storm). Then, we can Mastermind's Acquisition again, getting basically our entire sideboard, which turns on a second combo kill...

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The second Mastermind's Acquisition (with a bunch of copies) allows us to tutor up Truefire Captain and Star of Extinction. We then cast Truefire Captain for free and then Star of Extinction (also for free) to 20 our opponent. If that isn't enough, then we can Recollect (we also have a copy in the sideboard to tutor up) to get back both combo pieces (and another Recollect) to repeat the process for 20 more damage. We can do this an infinite number of times. 

Even discounting the combo kill, we can simply play a Thousand-Year Storm and a Star of Extinction with five or 10 copies to blow up all of our opponent's lands, which should buy us a bunch of turns to figure out a way to kill our opponent and maybe even pick up the flawless victory!

Other Stuff

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Last but not least, we have a couple of sweepers to help make sure we stay alive long enough to assemble our combo and win the game. Deafening Clarion cleans the board against aggro and then also gives us a way to gain life when we have a Niv-Mizzet, Parun on the battlefield. Finally, Cleansing Nova gets rid of creatures but can also hit artifacts and enchantments in a pinch.

The Matchups

The matchups for Jodah are pretty simple: we love playing against various midrange decks but can struggle against super-fast or super-slow (counter-heavy) decks. We can win against hardcore aggro like Mono-Red, but if we don't hit a sweeper like Deafening Clarion in the early game, it's possible that we get run over before we do anything relevant. Meanwhile, against control, it's hard to ever resolve a big finisher like Omniscience if our opponent can always leave up a counterspell. While we can beat control as well, we are mostly hoping that our opponent puts the shield down for a turn and allows us to steal the win. Thankfully, we have a ton of sideboard cards for the control matchup, with a bunch of big, uncounterable creatures, so the matchup improves in games two and three.

The Odds

All in all, we played six matches with Jodah and won four, giving us a 66.7% match win percentage, along with winning nine of 15 games, giving us a 60% game win percentage, making Jodah above average for an Against the Odds deck! Heading into our matches, I was really worried we wouldn't win a match at all, so posting a winning record was a nice surprise. More importantly, Jodah gave us some of the sweetest turns and combos we've pulled off in Guilds of Ravnica Standard, with Niv-Mizzet Storm kills, 40 damage in one turn with Truefire Captain, and 12 copies of Star of Extinction on the stack! 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Will Din of the Fireherd finally come in first after a month-long run in second, or will one of our new options sneak out the victory? What should we build around next week? Let us know by voting below!

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Conclusion

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 SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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