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Against the Odds: Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator (Historic)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 311 of Against the Odds. Normally, how Against the Odds works is that I put up a poll with some janky cards, all of you vote on which card we should build around, and then I brew a deck around the winning card. Well, today's episode is a bit different. Something miraculous happened this past week: one of my all-time favorite players— Platinum-Mythic Ranked Player of Magic Arena fame—got a Historic decklist published on Magic.gg that was all-in on trying to win the game on Turn 2 by pumping Minion of the Mighty up to six power and slamming a massive Dragon into play for free. When one of your favorite players posts a winning record with an incredibly janky deck, you just have to play it, and that's what we're doing today! Normally, I'd feature the deck on Meme or Dream? but since we're in spoiler season, I didn't have the time to record an extra gameplay video, so we're playing it for Against the Odds instead. This is probably fine because the deck I'm lovingly calling Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator certainly looks Against the Odds! What are the odds of winning (hopefully on Turn 2) in Historic with Minion of the Mighty, pump spells, and a big Dragon?   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: Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator 

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The Deck

Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator is an all-in glass cannon combo deck. It really only does one thing: try to win the game (hopefully on Turn 2) by pumping Minion of the Mighty and putting a huge Dragon into play. 

Step 1: Mulligan into Minion

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For our main deck to do anything, we need Minion of the Mighty on the battlefield, which is where the mulligan simulator comes into play. Our main deck is extremely unlikely to win without Minion of the Mighty, so we'll mulligan down to two or three cards to find one. 

Step 2: Pump Minion

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Of course, a Minion of the Mighty by itself doesn't really do anything—it's just a 0/1—so step two is pumping Minion of the Memes up to six power. The easiest way to do this is Scale Up, which gets the job done all by itself, although we also have Giant Growth, Infuriate, Reckless Charge, and Wild Shape as backup pump spells, two of which will get our Minion up to six power and allow us to put a Dragon into play for free.

A couple of quick notes on our pump spells: Reckless Charge can get Minion of the Mighty up to six power all by itself if we can play it and flash it back in the same turn, although this requires four mana, which is pretty slow. Reckless Charge giving haste can also be relevant since we can play Minion of the Mighty and attack with it in the same turn, getting around sorcery-speed removal. Meanwhile, Wild Shape can give Minion of the Mighty hexproof. Unfortunately, it also turns Minion into a 1/3, which makes it hard to pump up to six power in the same turn. But if we have extra pump spells in hand, then using Wild Shape as Blossoming Defense is very worthwhile.

Step 3: A Dragon

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So, let's assume we manage to mulligan into Minion of the Memes and have enough pump spells to get it up to six power. What Dragons are we putting into play with its attack trigger? While we have a few options, the best is Terror of Mount Velus, which enables our Turn 2 kill. Since Terror of Mount Velus gives our creatures double strike when it comes into play, we can deal 12 damage with our six-power, menacing, double-striking Minion of the Mighty and another 10 with our 5/5 flying, double-striking Terror of Mount Velus, giving us 22 damage—more than enough to win the game—potentially as early as Turn 2!

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In a perfect world, we'd always be putting Terror of Mount Velus into play with Minion of the Mighty, but that isn't practical, considering how often and much we need to mulligan to find Minion of the Mighty—we need to take whatever Dragon the Magic gods give us. Our best backup Dragon is Old Gnawbone, which makes 13 Treasures if we manage to put it into play with Minion of the Mighty. This should allow us to dump the rest of our hand (hopefully including another Dragon) and win the game on the next turn. Drakuseth, Maw of Flames is a bit awkward because it triggers when it attacks, and it's already attacking if we put it into play with Minion of the Mighty, so we don't get the trigger, although it's still a 7/7 flier, and we'll get to throw a bunch of damage at our opponent and their things the next turn. Finally, we have Darigaaz Reincarnated, which is probably our worst Dragon, although it's still a fast, flying clock that is somewhat resilient to removal. While the Turn 2 Terror of Mount Velus kill is the most exciting thing Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator can do, in reality, we're very likely to win the game if we manage to put any of these Dragons into play with Minion on Turn 2.

The Sideboard

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We don't usually spend much time discussing the sideboard of Against the Odds decks, but Minion of Memes Mulligan Simulator has a unique transformational plan that deserves mention. The biggest challenge in winning with Minion of the Mighty (other than mulliganning into a hand with the right mixture of Minion, pump spells, and Dragons) is that Minion of the Mighty dies to basically every removal spell ever printed. Once our opponent figures out what our deck is up to, they are likely to bring in all of the cheap removal they have in their sideboard, making it much harder to pick up the Minion combo kill. To counter this, our sideboard (outside of our companion, Obosh, the Preypiercer) is 14 ramp spells. The idea is that we can sideboard out a bunch of pump spells and maybe Minion of the Mighty itself, replace them with ramp spells that don't care about our opponent's removal, and try to win by hard-casting our huge Dragons, invalidating our opponent's sideboard plan along the way!

The Matchups

Figuring out the matchups for Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator is weird, mostly because it feels like the most common way we lose is mulliganning into oblivion trying to find a hand that has Minion of the Mighty and the rest of our combo pieces. When things go well, our deck is so fast—potentially killing on Turn 2—that it can beat any deck in the format. When things go poorly, we mulligan to two or three cards, and the game usually ends without us casting a single spell. That said, we'd rather play against decks that are light on removal because the most painful losses are ones where we manage to mulligan into Minion of the Memes and set up the combo kill, only to have it fizzled by a Fatal Push or Unholy Heat

The Odds

Shockingly, we ended up going 3-2 with Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator, which is a lot better than I expected. While we probably got a bit lucky with our matchups (we didn't play against many removal-heavy control decks), the deck actually functioned surprisingly well and felt oddly competitive. The idea of mulliganning into a three-piece combo sounds crazy, but thanks to our redundancy (with 20 pump spells and 16 Dragons), if we can find the Minion of the Mighty while we still have a few cards in hand, the odds are decent that we'll have the rest of what we need to combo off and win the game. If you're a Tibalt's Trickery fan looking for another deck that plays incredibly quick games to grind out your daily wins on the ladder, Minion of the Memes Mulligan Simulator might be it. While it is certainly inconsistent, it might also be the fastest deck in Historic and wins way more often than I expected.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Next week, as we wait for Innistrad: Crimson Vow to release, we're going to revisit another classic Against the Odds cards in Modern, but which one? Vote here!.

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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