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Against the Odds: Revel in Riches (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 106 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had an all-Ixalan Against the Odds poll, and in the end, the results were unsurprising, with Revel in Riches coming out on top! As such, this week we are heading to Ixalan Standard to see if we can win on our upkeep by getting 10 Treasure tokens on the battlefield alongside our namesake enchantment. The problem is that 10 Treasure tokens is a lot, even with Revel in Riches helping us to achieve the goal by giving us a Treasure token whenever one of our opponent's creatures dies. Is it really possible to hoard enough Treasure to win with Revel in Riches in Standard? Let's get to the videos and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Revel in Riches (Deck Tech)

Against the Odds: Revel in Riches (Games)

The Deck

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Thanks to the fact that not many cards produce Treasure tokens in Standard right now and that even fewer that are playable, building around Revel in Riches was more straightforward than I thought it would be heading into the process. While we can lean on Revel in Riches itself to help us make Treasures, we also need to make sure that we have some ways to make Treasures that don't rely on our opponent playing creatures because there are some creature-light (and even creature-free) decks in Ixalan Standard. As such, the goal of the deck was to have a good mix of removal to make Treasures with Revel in Riches and straightforward Treasure makers so we'd at least have some chance of getting to 10 Treasure tokens against decks like UW Approach. 

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Before talking about the rest of the cards in the deck, I should briefly mention one card that's not in the deck, because I'm sure there will be a bunch of questions about it: Mechanized Production. In theory, Mechanized Production seems sweet, since it gives us another card that allows us to win the game by getting a certain number (in this case, eight) of Treasure tokens on the battlefield. The problem is that unlike Revel in Riches, which just sits on the battlefield, Mechanized Production actually needs to enchant an artifact, and just about every deck in Standard has some form of artifact hate, often in the main deck thanks to Abrade. Because of this, I decided it would be better to use a different four-mana Treasure payoff as our backup finisher, but we'll talk about how awesome Tezzeret the Schemer is in a minute. 

Making Treasure

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Spell Swindle is our best way to plunder a bunch of treasure at once, often making four or five Treasure tokens by itself, which is sometimes enough that we can untap and immediately win the game with Revel in Riches. It also has the upside of working against any deck because even if our opponent doesn't play any creatures, they will be casting spells to try to win the game.

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Beyond Spell Swindle, Treasure Map makes more Treasure tokens than any other card in our deck. While it's a bit slow, being able to scry every turn for just one mana helps us find our Revel in Riches, and then once we flip Treasure Map, we can spend some of our Treasure tokens to draw extra cards if we aren't ready to win the game. Pirate's Prize is basically our Divination, and while it costs more upfront, making a Treasure token makes it worth paying the higher price. Finally, Vraska, Relic Seeker works amazingly well with Revel in Riches, since we actually get two Treasures (one from Vraska, Relic Seeker, one from Revel in Riches) when it blows up a creature. Plus, the planeswalker helps us stay alive while we are waiting to get 10 Treasure tokens by making a steady stream of menacing Pirate tokens. 

The Mana

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Inspiring Statuary is another key piece of our deck, allowing us to use all of the Treasure tokens we make to produce mana without actually sacrificing them, which means they remain on the battlefield for the Revel in Riches win. As the game goes along, Inspiring Statuary helps us to cast a bunch of spells in the same turn and sort of combo off by making a bunch of Treasure tokens to win on our next turn. While it's good with everything in our deck, it's especially good with Spell Swindle, turning it into a literal Mana Drain that also helps us build a treasure trove worthy of winning the game with Revel in Riches

Removal

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The second part of our treasure-making plan is killing our opponent's stuff to make Treasure tokens with Revel in Riches itself. All of our removal not only makes Treasure tokens in the late game but also helps us stay alive in the early game while we are looking to find our Revel in Riches. Fatal Push is better in our deck than most, since our Treasure tokens give us a steady, consistent, instant-speed source of revolt, allowing us to kill bigger creatures for just a single mana. Essence Extraction is key for staying alive against decks like Ramunap Red. Never // Return is mostly worse than Vraska's Contempt, but Vraska's Contempt exiles, which means it doesn't trigger Revel in Riches, so in our deck, the slightly less powerful option is actually more synergistic. Finally, Bontu's Last Reckoning is extremely high variance. Against a lot of decks, we never want to cast it, while against others (like Token decks, for example), we can often kill 10 creatures, make 10 Treasure tokens with Revel in Riches, and win the game with just a single copy of the sorcery.

The Backup Plan

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Tezzeret the Schemer is our backup plan for winning the game with our Treasure tokens, and it's amazing in our deck. While the +1 doesn't make Treasure (instead making Etherium Cells, which are exactly Treasures but with a different name), we can sometimes trade them into Treasure by spending them on removal spells. The 2 helps us make Treasure by killing our opponent's creatures and gives us a way to deal with annoying creatures like Hazoret the Fervent, while also taking advantage of the fact that we have so many artifacts sitting around on the battlefield. However, the big payoff is the ultimate. If we can use our removal to protect Tezzeret the Schemer for a couple of turns, we can ultimate, start turning all of our Treasures into 5/5 creatures, and go Treasure beatdown, which is almost always enough to win us the game over the course of a few turns. 

The Matchups

While we ran into some strange brews during our videos—which makes it a bit harder than usual to break down the matchups—generally speaking, Revel in Riches is at its best against creature-based decks where we can leverage our ample removal to stay ahead and eventually make tokens. On the other hand, control decks tend to be more challenging, especially before sideboarding, since they blank all of our removal spells and make it a lot harder to win the game with Revel in Riches (although we can still win by sticking a planeswalker or by drawing a lot of Treasure Maps and Spell Swindles to fuel our Revel in Riches). Aggro can also be difficult. While we did manage to beat Ramunap Red, we don't have that many ways to deal with Hazoret the Fervent, and a lot of our best cards are pretty slow against hyper-aggressive strategies, so even though we won, I'm still not sure it actually counts as a good matchup. Oh, and apparently we can't beat Merfolk, of all things. 

The Odds

All in all, we played six matches and won four, good for a 66% match win percentage, while playing 14 games and winning eight (giving us a 57% game win percentage), both of which are a bit above average for an Against the Odds deck. While it is true that we ran into some strange matchups (Merfolk, Treasure Revel, Grixis Revel in Riches), it's also true that both of our match losses came against the rogue decks, while we managed to beat Ramunap Red, UB Control, and Esper Tokens. 

As for Revel in Riches itself, the enchantment did account for a lot of our wins and was actually fairly powerful once it got going, but at the same time, it suffers from being a slower version of Marionette Master (which only needs five treasures to win the game and triggers off other artifacts as well). While the fact that Revel in Riches can also make Treasures is helpful, I'm still not sure if it's better than Marionette Master in most Standard decks, which might keep Revel in Riches from breaking outside the Against the Odds world and into the wider world of Standard, at least before Marionette Master rotates next fall. 

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Ixalan is still new, and there are a lot of sweet cards to explore from the set. Which of these Ixalan options should we play next week? 

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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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