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Against the Odds: One-Shot Green God Combo (Standard)


A few days ago, we played a deck that looked to break the red God from Lost Caverns of IxalanOjer Axonil, Deepest Might—with the help of Sunshot Militia. Well, it's the green God's turn today! Our goal is to build a deck where we can kill our opponent in a single (hopefully hasty) attack from Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth! How is that even possible? What are the odds of winning with the deck in Standard?  Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Against the Odds: One-Shot Green God Combo

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The Deck

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When Lost Caverns of Ixalan was first spoiled, Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth—probably better known as the green God—was my pick for strongest in the God cycle, although it hasn't really seen any play so far (in part because green is still considered to be the weakest color in Standard). The goal of today's deck is simple: find a way to break the green God by turning it into a one-shot-kill threat! Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth has an interesting ability: if we can get in combat damage, we get to look at that many cards and put a creature and / or land onto the battlefield from among them. This ability, combined with some interesting support cards, allows us to turn the green God into a one-shot-kill threat, although in a way that you probably don't expect. When I first saw the green God, my initial thought was to try to use it to cheat something massive into play, but there's actually an even better way to turn Ojer Kaslem into a one-shot game-ending combo piece. Let me explain the plan!

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First, since Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth costs five mana, we need some ramp to speed it up by getting it on the battlefield early. For this, we turn to a couple of mana dorks in Armored Scrapgorger, which doubles as graveyard hate, and Bramble Familiar, which has the upside of potentially being able to adventure our God into play in the late game if we get up to seven mana.

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Next, we need to give Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth haste. While this step isn't technically necessary—we can just play the green God and hope that it survive a turn to attack—by far the biggest drawback of Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth is that it doesn't do anything the turn it enters the battlefield and has a very scary-looking combat-damage trigger, which means our opponent is going to try their best to kill it before we can get in and attack. Cards like Bitter Reunion and Invigorating Hot Spring allow us to avoid this mess. If we can play them early in the game, we can use them to give Ojer Kaslem haste and attack with the God the turn we play it in order to combo off!

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Next, we need to double Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth's power. Much like haste, this isn't 100% necessary—we can just attack with the God as a 6/5 trampler. But if we want to win the game in a single attack, doubling its power to 12 makes it much easier. While sadly The Skullspore Nexus doesn't line up all that well with the popular exile wraths in Standard, it's a pretty absurd card. With Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth on the battlefield, it costs just two mana, and for two more mana, we can double a creature's power. Oh yeah, we make a massive Dinosaur token if our creatures die, which is a nice bonus.

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So, let's say we pull this off—we get Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth on the battlefield, haste it up, and double its power to make it a 12/5. How does this one-shot kill our opponent? The idea is actually super simple: we attack with the green God, theoretically hitting our opponent for 12 damage and letting us dig 12 cards deep in our deck to find a creature and a land. Rather than trying to find some massive finisher to put into play, what we are really looking for is a lowly little three-drop in Voldaren Thrillseeker. If we find Thrillseeker, we can put it into play for free with Ojer Kaslem's ability and backup Ojer Kaslem. Then, using the land that we get from Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth's combat-damage trigger (which is actually pretty important since it allows us to combo off even while tapped out), we can sacrifice Ojer Kaslem to Voldaren Thrillseeker's ability in order to deal 14 more damage directly at our opponent's face, giving us a total of 26 damage with one attack! 

One of the sneaky upsides of the combo is that even if it isn't enough to finish the game (let's say our opponent blocks Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth to soak up some damage), that's still fine because we'll get a massive Dinosaur token from The Skullspore Nexus, which we can either throw at our opponent with Voldaren Thrillseeker or beat our opponent down with fairly in combat. This also means that our opponent killing Ojer Kaslem in combat doesn't stop the combo. (This actually happens somewhat often because The Skullspore Nexus only doubles power, not toughness.) We'll still get the God's combat damage trigger and will make a huge Dinosaur token, which lets us complete the combo even if our God dies!

Wrap-Up

Record-wise, I played a bunch of games with the deck and ended up with a 52% win percentage in something like 25 matches, which isn't absurd or anything but is pretty decent for a janky brew. More importantly, the combo was hilariously effective. There is some risk that when we trigger Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth, we will whiff on finding Voldaren Thrillseeker to complete the combo kill, but in practice, this only happened to us once. It turns out that if you get to dig 12-ish cards deep in your deck, your odds of finding the card you want are pretty decent!

The deck's biggest drawback is that it can be clunky if our mana dorks die—sometimes, we get stuck with a bunch of Gods, Trumpeting Carnosaurs, and The Skullspore Nexuses in hand. But, the deck makes up for this by having a ton of one-shot-kill potential. Having an Ojer Kaslem, Deepest Growth is actually very effective. Opponents can't play around it very easily because if they leave up removal, we can always just wait another turn to try to combo off. We had a bunch of games with the deck where things were looking grim, like we would die in one or two more turns, only for the green God to come down and steal a win out of nowhere with our opponent still at 20 health! It was spectacular!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. We still have three more gods to break. Which one should we play next? Let me know in the comments! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.



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