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Against the Odds: Marit Lage's Slumber (Historic)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 364 of Against the Odds. We had a Historic Against the Odds poll last week, and Marit Lage's Slumber took home a super-easy win. As such, we're heading to Magic Arena today to see if we can awaken a 20/20 flying, indestructible Marit Lage from its snowy slumber and beat opponents down with one massive attack. What are the odds of winning with Marit Lage's Slumber in Historic? 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: Marit Lage's Slumber

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The Deck

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Two cards in Magic can create Marit Lage: Dark Depths, which isn't on Magic Arena and is so strong it's banned in Modern, and Marit Lage's Slumber, which we're playing today. While scrying as we play snow permanents is a nice upside, the real payoff of Marit Lage's Slumber is that, if we can get 10 snow permanents on the battlefield, it sacrifices itself and turns into Marit Lage, a 20/20 flying, indestructible Avatar! Our deck's goal is simple: find Marit Lage's Slumber, get 10 snow permanents onto the battlefield as quickly as possible, and then smash our opponent for lethal with one attack.

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Before we talk about how we get 10 snow permanents on the battlefield, we have to talk about Footfall Crater. While Marit Lage is pretty good, it does have one big problem: Marit Lage's Slumber makes Marit Lage on our upkeep, which means we have to wait an entire turn before it can attack and close out the game. While being indestructible helps Marit Lage dodge removal, we'd still like to avoid some sorcery-speed answers, like Farewell, Brutal Cathar, and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria. Footfall Crater is our solution to this problem. For just one mana, we can use it to give Marit Lage haste, allowing us to kill our opponent immediately instead of waiting a turn. Plus, if we ever end up in a situation where Footfall Crater is bad, we can always just cycle it away for one mana. The card is super underrated!

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So, back to getting 10 snow permanents on the battlefield. Our main plan is our lands. Discounting a couple of Fabled Passages to help fix our mana, every single land in our deck is a snow land, which means we'll turn on Marit Lage's Slumber if we can get 10 lands on the battlefield, make Marit Lage, and (hopefully) win the game.

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Of course, just making 10 land drops is way, way too slow, so we have some ramp to speed things up in Into the North, Topiary Stomper, and Spirit of the Aldergard, which isn't technically a ramp spell because it puts the land it tutors up in our hand. But, it makes up for this by being a snow creature, so it counts toward the 10 permanents we need to get Marit Lage. 

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But that's not all—we also have a ramp spell I've been wanting to try for a while: Traverse the Outlands. Traverse the Outlands is an interesting card. For five mana, it lets us tutor out a number of basic lands equal to the greatest power among creatures we control. This means that Traverse the Outlands can be one of the most powerful ramp spells in all of Magic. If we play a Topiary Stomper on Turn 3 or a Spirit of the Aldergard on Turn 4, we can follow up the next turn with Traverse the Outlands and add four or five snow-covered basics on the battlefield, which should be enough to get us to 10 snow permanents for Marit Lage's Slumber. The downside of Traverse the Outlands is that it does literally nothing if we don't have a creature on the battlefield (or, even worse, if we have a creature but it dies with Traverse the Outlands on the stack). Basically, Traverse the Outlands is a super high-risk, high-reward card. It's busted when it works, but when it doesn't work, it does nothing at all and gets stuck in our hand.

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Otherwise, we have Icebreaker Kraken as our backup snow payoff. If we can get enough snow lands on the battlefield, we can get the 8/8's cost all the way down to two mana, which is great, although we're more often casting it for four, five, or six mana. While it's not great, it does work well with the theme of our deck and—with the help of Footfall Crater giving it trample and haste—can be a decent way to close out the game in a pinch.

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Last but not least, we have Escape to the Wilds and Hydroid Krasis for card draw to help keep us churning through our deck to find Marit Lage's Slumber and our ramp and removal. Escape to the Wilds also works as a ramp spell by giving us an extra land drop, making it another way to turbo out 10 snow lands as quickly as possible.

The Matchups

A 20/20 flying, indestructible is good against pretty much any deck. Sure, some decks have answers, which is annoying, but there are very few situations where a Marit Lage is bad. As such, Marit Lage's Slumber doesn't really care all that much about the matchup—we managed to beat aggro, midrange, and control throughout our matches. The bigger issue for the deck is that we lose to ourselves sometimes, in part because of our snow-heavy mana base with a ton of basic lands causing color screw issues and in part because we sometimes get really slow draws. Basically, the main way Marit Lage loses is to itself.

The Odds

All in all, we played eight matches with the deck and went 4-4, giving us a 50% match win percentage, which is actually pretty solid considering our deck's jank level. More importantly, almost all of our wins came from Marit Lage's Slumber! Apparently, a 20/20 flying indestructible is pretty good, even in 2023, even on Magic Arena, and even when you have to summon it with the help of a somewhat slow, janky enchantment like Marit Lage's Slumber rather than with Dark Depths!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week! Next week, we'll have some Phyrexia: All Will Be One action. Don't worry, the poll will be back next week and will be overflowing with sweet Phyrexian options!

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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