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Against the Odds: Kiora's Will


Hello everyone and welcome to episode fourteen of Against the Odds. First off, thanks to all of you for voting in last week's poll. After nearly seven thousands votes cast, it was Kiora, Master of the Depths that came out the clear-cut winner!

As you can see, our two Modern options Shadowborn Apostle and Eater of Days came in second and third, so they'll be back on next week's poll. Dragon Tempest and Celestial Convergence come in at the bottom and drop from the poll altogether. Speaking of the Against the Odds poll, we aren't having one this week. Instead, next week we will have a special holiday edition of Against the Odds. Don't worry, the poll will return the following week for your voting pleasure!

We'll talk more about Kiora's Will in a minute. First let's get to the videos. A quick reminder. If you enjoy Against the Odds and other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up with the latest and greatest.

Against the Odds: Kiora's Will

Against the Odds: Kiora's Will Games

Before we talk about the deck itself, I wanted to briefly discuss one of the rules we've set for the Against the Odds series. Since Against the Odds is about trying out new cards, combos, and synergies, the first and most important rule of the series is not to stick our Against the Odds card in a preexisting deck. I mean, the best way to play Helix Pinnacle would be to stick it in Modern Jund and hope you never draw it, but what's the fun in that? 

I bring this rule up because I was really tempted to play [[Kiora, Master of the Depths] in a Dragon control deck. I really think that is the most competitive home for the card. The problem is, Dragon control isn't Against the Odds. In fact, some form of Dragon control has been tier one in Standard for nearly a year. While Kiora, Master of the Depths would be fine in the deck, she wouldn't be the centerpiece. I decided that version of Kiora was off the table for the series. However, after I recorded the Against the Odds videos, I decided I still wanted to test out Kiora, Master of the Depths in a Dragon control build. That deck ended up pretty sweet, so I've included a couple of bonus matches of the deck at the end of the article. 

The Deck

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In some ways, this week's Against the Odds deck is a double feature. While we definitely built around Kiora, Master of the Depths, Willbreaker is also one of the key cards in the deck. I started down this path because the two cards work so well together. With Willbreaker on the battlefield, Kiora, Master of the Depths's +1 ability becomes "Gain control of target creature." The rest of the cards in the deck interact well with our two key cards, or keep us alive long enough to do some cool things with Kiora, Master of the Depths and Willbreaker

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Both of our mana dorks have a ton of synergy with Kiora, Master of the Depths's +1 ability, allowing the planeswalker to produce two mana a turn (untapping a mana dork and a land). These cards allows for some really explosive starts. When we have a Rattleclaw Mystic or Whisperer of the Wilds on turn two, we can play a Kiora, Master of the Depths on turn three, use Kiora's +1 to untap a creature and land, and immediately Silkwrap or leave up Negate. Then on turn four, we can untap and play a Dragonlord Ojutai and use Kiora's +1 ability to leave up Negate once again. 

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Dragonlord Ojutai is also very synergistic with Kiora, Master of the Depths' +1. We can attack with Dragonlord Ojutai, get the Anticipate trigger, then use Kiora to untap Dragonlord Ojutai, which means he retains hexproof

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Whirler Rogue doesn't do much with Kiora, Master of the Depths, but she is amazing with Willbreaker. We can use her "target creature can't be blocked" ability to target our opponent's creatures, which allows us to gain control of the creature. Icy Blast serves a similar purpose, allowing us to steal all of our opponent's creature with just one spell. Citadel Siege is a repeatable way to steal an opponent's creature each turn. 

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While it might not be obvious at first glance, Dig Through Time works really well with Kiora, Master of the Depths. We fill up our graveyard with Kiora, Master of the Depths' -2 ability and use those cards to fuel the delve cost on Dig Through Time. Dig also helps us find a Kiora, Master of the Depths, Willbreaker, or whatever else we need in any given situation. 

The Matchups

The matchups are a weird one to figure out. The combo of Kiora, Master of the Depths and Willbreaker doesn't have many good matchups. Willbreaker dies to everything, so it's really hard to take over the game by stealing our opponent's creature. However, the combo of Kiora, Master of the Depths and Dragonlord Ojutai can win a lot of games on its own, unless we are playing against a opponent that has Crackling Doom.

I think the best matchups are against midrange creature decks that don't play Crackling Doom, such as the non-splash versions of Abzan and Jeskai. Aggro is typically too fast for us, unless we have the nut draw of a turn four Dragonlord DromokaWhirler Rogue is solid and offers a lot of blockers for the aggro matchup. True control decks can usually answer our haymakers with removal and counterspells. 

The Odds

Technically we went 3-8 in games, which would put the odds at 27%. However, one of our wins came against an opponent who got stuck on two lands in game one and proceeded to concede the entire match. If we discount that match, the odds fall to 20%, which feels about right. The biggest problem is Willbreaker isn't very good. While the combo was really cool the few times we pulled it off, what typically happened is we would tap out for Willbreaker and try to steal a creature with Kiora, only to see our Willbreaker die to a two-mana removal spell. 

That said, I was really impressed with Kiora, Master of the Depths. While I don't think she has the power to be the centerpiece of a deck, I do think she is good enough to see play in Standard as a secondary option. 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week. Next week we'll have a very special holiday edition of Against the Odds. The poll will return the following week and both Eater of Days and Shadowborn Apostle will be there. 

Bonus Videos: Kiora Bant Dragons

As promised, here are a couple of matches with the Kiora Bant Dragons list I've been testing. While it isn't an Against the Odds deck, it does show the power of Kiora, Master of the Depths in another context. 

Bonus Video: Kiora Bant Dragons vs UB Aristocrats

Bonus Video: Kiora Bant Dragons vs Abzan

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. You can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 


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