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Against the Odds: Sethron Minotaurs (Historic)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 252 of Against the Odds. Last week, Amonkhet Remastered was released on Magic Arena, dumping a bunch of new cards into the Historic format. In celebration, we had an all–Amonkhet Remastered Against the Odds poll, and in the end, our old friend Minotaur Tribal came out with a dominating victory. As such, we're heading into the Historic format today to play my namesake Sethron, probably better known as the Hurloon General, with a bunch of his Minotaur friends! What are the odds of winning with Minotaurs in Historic with the help of some sweet new Jumpstart and Amonkhet Remastered additions? 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: Sethron Minotaurs

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The Deck

If you've been following Against the Odds for a while now, you'll probably remember the glorious history of the Minotaur tribe. Back in 2016, we were minding our own business playing Modern when we got crushed by a very janky Minotaur tribal deck. By popular request, we ended up playing Minotaur Tribal a couple of weeks later, only to find that the tribe was as janky and underpowered as it seemed. Thankfully, a lot has changed since 2016, and we've got a bunch of more powerful Minotaurs to work with today, including the best Minotaur of all time in Sethron, Hurloon General, along with a brand new format to try them in!

The Combo

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Sethron, Hurloon General is the best and most important card in our deck. As a five-mana 4/4 that comes with a 2/3 Minotaur token and extra upside (pumping our team and giving them menace plus haste), it's a solid card on its own but especially scary in a deck like ours where every creature is a Minotaur, essentially giving all of our creatures the kicker of a 2/3 Minotaur token when the enter the battlefield. While simply casting Sethron and following it up with a bunch of Minotaurs is great, the most exciting thing our deck can do is to cheat Sethron, Hurloon General and three other Minotaurs into play all at once, with the help of Deathbellow War Cry...

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While Sethron Minotaurs is very much a tribal deck, it's also a combo deck in a weird way, with our combo being using cards like Irencrag Feat and Mind Stone to ramp into Deathbellow War Cry on Turn 4 or 5. While Sethron, Hurloon General is the best Minotaur ever printed, Deathbellow War Cry is very likely the best Minotaur card ever printed, putting four different Minotaurs into play from our library for just eight mana, which makes it both an absurdly powerful tutor and an absurdly powerful ramp spell, considering that we usually get somewhere around 18 mana worth of Minotaurs when it resolves. So, what are we cheating into play with Deathbellow War Cry?

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While we sometimes go with other Minotaurs depending on the situation, our primary Deathbellow War Cry pile is Sethron, Hurloon General (we choose Sethron about 100% of the time if we don't have a copy on the battlefield already; it's by far the most important of our Minotaurs), Neheb, the Eternal, Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion (which is sometimes replaced by Rageblood Shaman), and Fanatic of Mogis

Assuming we choose this group of Minotaurs, here's what happens when Deathbellow War Cry resolves. Fanatic of Mogis hits our opponent for at least seven damage, which in turn triggers Neheb, the Eternal during our post-combat mana phase to give us at least seven more mana, which we can use to empty our hands of Minotaurs or potentially even cast another copy of Deathbellow War Cry. Meanwhile, since Sethron, Hurloon General triggers whenever a non-token Minotaur enters the battlefield, we also get four 2/3 Minotaur tokens. The end result is that for eight mana, we get 25 power across eight bodies, at least seven direct damage, and seven mana. If we happen to have enough mana left over to active Sethron, Hurloon General, we can give our team haste and win the game immediately by attacking. But even if we don't, we're very likely to win the game the following turn unless our opponent can wrath our board. Basically, Deathbellow War Cry, in conjunction with Sethron, Hurloon General, just wins the game all by itself!

Minotaurs

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While Deathbellow War Cry is the most spectacular thing our deck can do, one of the upsides of Sethron Minotaurs is that we can also win fairly just by casting our Minotaurs, thanks to our powerful top-end threats and our Minotaur lords. Rageblood Shaman is a solid three-mana lord, not only offering +1/+1 to our team but also trample to get through annoying blockers. Meanwhile, Neheb, the Worthy completes Neheb Tron and can we surprisingly powerful as a pseudo-lord once we get down to one or fewer cards in hand. It also has its strange symmetrical discard ability, making both players discard when it deals combat damage, which can sometimes be beneficial, especially against slower control and midrange decks, and sometimes be a drawback if we don't have anything in hand we are willing to discard. Meanwhile, Bloodrage Brawler is the worst Minotaur in our deck. Even though a 4/3 for two is a good deal, because we have to discard a card when it comes into play, it often leads to us getting two-for-one'd by a removal spell. However, it is necessary for curve purposes. One thing I learned while building this deck is that the biggest weakness for Minotaurs in Historic is the early drops. While Bloodrage Brawler is pretty bad, it's also far better than any other Minotaur two-drop in the format. Plus, we do have a couple of tricks to take advantage of the self-discard from Neheb, the Worthy and Bloodrage Brawler...

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Cut // Ribbons is in our deck because it's a reasonable removal spell that we can also discard to Bloodrage Brawler or Neheb, the Worthy for value. Thanks to the mana that cards like Neheb, the Eternal, Neheb, Dreadhorde Champion, and Irencrag Feat can produce, in the late game, we can cast the Ribbons side of Cut // Ribbons for a ton of mana, potentially draining our opponent of the game. Meanwhile, Castle Locthwain gives us a way to refuel and replace the cards that we have to discard to our various Minotaurs, while also helping us draw through our deck to find Sethron, Hurloon General and Deathbellow War Cry

The Matchups

Oddly, Sethron Minotaurs seems like it has a chance in most matchups, in part because no matter what we are playing against, we should win the game if we ever manage to resolve [[Deathbellow War Cry]. Against aggro, we have big Minotaurs for blocking and decent removal, especially after sideboarding. Meanwhile, against control, we can get off to some aggressive starts with our Minotaur lords, and Deathbellow War Cry and Sethron, Hurloon General allow us to rebuild quickly if our opponent manages to wrath our board.

The Odds

Somehow, Sethron Minotaurs was great. We ended up going 5-0 across our five matches, giving us the rare, perfect 100% match win percentage. The combo of Sethron, Hurloon General and Deathbellow War Cry is so good that I'm not sure that Minotaurs is really an Against the Odds deck in Historic. As strange as it sounds, the might be a legitimate competitive (or at least semi-competitive) option. It seems that the tribe has come full circle, from being extremely janky five years ago in Modern to being strangely competitive in Historic today. Most importantly, the deck is unique and super fun to play, with tons of tricky card advantage, tribal synergies, and a huge combo finish!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

No poll this week. Next week we're having a special episode featuring a new Historic combo that I've been dying to play! Don't worry, the poll will return next week.

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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