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Against the Odds: One-Shot Charix (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 262 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had a Standard Against the Odds poll, and in the end, the biggest Crab in MagicCharix, the Raging Isle—came out on top. As such, we're heading to Zendikar Rising Standard 3.0 today to play a deck that's looking to turn the zero-power four-drop into a one-shot-kill attacker by using some tricky, flashy enchantments to allow it to deal damage equal to its toughness rather than its power! What are the odds of one-shotting someone with Charix, the Raging Isle in Standard? 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: One-Shot Charix

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The Deck

When Charix, the Raging Isle won last week's poll, I was actually a little bit worried. While it was obviously possible to just play the Crab Leviathan in an Island-heavy deck and hope for the best, this didn't seem especially entertaining or in the spirit of Against the Odds. Most of the obvious Charix synergy pieces—cards that take advantage of its massive toughness—left Standard at rotation. Thankfully, a couple of janky cards that work extremely well with Charix, the Raging Isle are still legal in Standard, and with a bit of luck and some careful deck building, we can make it so a single attack from Charix, the Raging Isle can 20 our opponent!

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The downside of Charix, the Raging Isle is that it has zero power, which makes turning it into anything more than a really good blocker tricky. The upside is that Charix has an absurd amount of toughness as a 0/17. While we don't have Assault Formation, High Alert, or Doran, the Siege Tower in Standard at the moment, there is one card that, with help, can take advantage of Charix, the Raging Isle's toughness...

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So, how do we turn our zero-power Crab into a one-shot-kill attacker? The answer is that we turn to two one-mana auras: Solid Footing and Sentinel's Eyes. Solid Footing is the one card in Standard that can allow a creature to deal damage equal to its toughness rather than its power. While flash is a nice bonus (allowing us to potentially sneak it into play on a Charix after our opponent chooses not to block), the downside is that, by itself, putting a Solid Footing on a Charix, the Raging Isle doesn't do much of anything since to have the enchanted creature deal damage equal to its toughness rather than its power, the creature has to have vigilance. Thankfully, Sentinel's Eyes is the perfect way to build a vigilant Crab. Not only does it cost just one mana, but thanks to escape, we can often cast it from our graveyard once our opponent mills it over. Together, a Charix, the Raging Isle, a Sentinel's Eyes, and a Solid Footing equal a Charix that can attack for 19 damage. If our opponent takes a bit of damage earlier in the game (or we can get one more aura on Charix), a single attack from our namesake Crab should be able to kill our opponent!

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Apart from our main combo pieces, we have a couple of other auras to strengthen our one-shot Charix plan. Setessan Training, while somewhat awkward with Solid Footing since it boosts power rather than toughness, gives Charix trample, allowing us to smash in for damage even through blockers. Meanwhile, Staggering Insight offers lifelink (and possibly some card draw), which is absurd against aggro decks. If we can get a Staggering Insight on our Solidly Footed Charix, the Raging Isle, we should be gaining somewhere around 20 life a turn, which is almost impossible for most aggro decks to race.

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Of course, for our Charix plan to work, we need to be able to find Sentinel's Eyes, Solid Footing, and possibly additional auras as well. To help make sure we find all of our combo pieces, we have Setessan Champion to draw us extra cards as we cast our enchantments and Heliod's Pilgrim to directly tutor up whatever combo-piece aura we are missing. Setessan Champion can also be a good backup attacker if we don't happen to find a Charix, the Raging Isle. While we'd prefer to one-shot opponents with our Crab, we aren't above going aggro with Setessan Champion in a pinch.

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Finally, we have a couple of cards to protect our Charix, the Raging Isle from our opponent's removal in Alseid of Life's Bounty and Karametra's Blessing. Nothing is more painful than finding all of the enchantments we need to one-shot our opponent with Charix, the Raging Isle only to have a removal spell ruin our day. Alseid of Life's Bounty offer a way to protect our Charix from targeted removal, by giving it protection from a color (which can also be helpful in attacking through blockers), while Karametra's Blessing not only fizzles targeted removal but also, thanks to giving indestructible along with hexproof, wraths as well.

The Matchups

While it felt like One-Shot Charix had a chance in most matchups, whether we ended up winning or losing, in general, control decks were tough. While we do have ways to try to protect Charix, the Raging Isle, if we don't draw them or leave up mana for them at the right time, a single removal spell can often be a two- or three-for-one since we're loading up our creatures with auras. Plus, control can often just counter Charix on the stack, which, combined with the fact that our deck is relatively light on threats outside of Charix, makes it tough to win. On the other hand, creature-based aggro and midrange decks are usually good matchups, in part because these decks have fewer ways to kill Charix and in part because Charix is a really good blocker, which usually buys us a few turns to find the auras we need to go aggro with the Crab.

The Odds

Record-wise, we went 3-2 with One-Shot Charix, giving us a 60% match win percentage, which is solid for an Against the Odds deck. More importantly, our one-shot Charix plan worked! We got multiple kills by attacking with a seemingly low-powered Charix only to flash in Solid Footing after our opponent (probably rightly) chose not to block, to smash our opponent for lethal! 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Next week we're giving a second chance to some cards that recently just missed winning an Against the Odds poll! Which second chance card should be build around? Click here to vote!

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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