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Against the Odds: Teaching Arena Zoomers about Blood Moon


This week, we are handing out some more life lessons for Arena Zoomers, this time by teaching the new generation of Magic players what it's like to not be able to play Magic because all of their non-basic lands are Mountains thanks to Blood Moon! While I was hoping to hand out this lesson in Historic, unfortunately, Wizards decided that Blood Moon would offend the delicate sensibilities of 60-card players on Aren and added Blood Moon to the ban list as soon as it was previewed alongside other broken Enchanted Tales enchantments like... umm... Spreading Seas. As such, we have no choice but to hand out this life lesson in Historic Brawl. (I apologize if I Blood Moon you in Historic Brawl, but really, blame Wizards. I'd rather be playing four copies of Blood Moon in Historic.) Hilariously, though, the switch to Historic Brawl actually ended up working out for the best because it also lets us hand out some lessons about another notoriously salty enchantment in Grave Pact, but more on that in a minute. How many salty ropes will we get as we hand out some life lessons to a new generation of players? Let's find out on today's Against the Odds!

Teaching Arena Zoomers about Blood Moon

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The Deck

Our goal today is simple: play Blood Moon as early and as often as possible, although doing this in Historic Brawl does offer a big challenge since we're a 100-card deck that only has a single copy of Blood Moon. Having a plan for finding Blood Moon as often as possible is essential. Plus, since Blood Moon is a symmetrical hate card and turns all of our non-basic lands into Mountains as well, we need to make sure that we can still function with Blood Moon on the battlefield, which means we really need to be a mono-colored or, at most, a two-color deck. Adding both of those things together, I pretty quickly realized we needed to be mono-red, Rakdos, or Boros. 

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While mono-red is a classic Blood Moon color, the problem I found is that mono-red has essentially zero ways of tutoring up Blood Moon, so I quickly crossed it off the list. Adding black or white to the deck would give us access to tutors. So, I started browsing through commanders that could potentially support Blood Moon and eventually realized that the only commander that really made sense was Lagomos, Hand of Hatred

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If we can have five creatures die, Lagomos is a three-mana commander that can find our Blood Moon. While we're playing a bunch of other tutors, having one in the command zone can't hurt. This lead us down the path of being a sacrifice-style deck to turn on Lagomos's ability with a bunch of cheap sac fodder and sac outlets in order to help make sure five creatures are dying as often as possible. While building the deck, I realized that there was another sneaky upside to this plan: it would also allow us to hand out some life lessons about another notoriously salty old enchantment in Grave Pact

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If you look at the EDHRec salt score, you'll, perhaps surprisingly, find that Grave Pact doesn't rank that far behind Blood Moon in terms of saltiness. Making opponents sacrifice a creature whenever one of your creatures die is brutal, especially in a sacrifice deck likes ours that is regularly going to have creatures dying. While a wrath can come down and sweep away all the creatures on the battlefield once, Grave Pact is often a repeatable wrath, not only killing all of our opponent's current creatures but also any future creatures as well. With just Lagomos, Hand of Hatred on the battlefield, our opponent will have to sac a creature each turn thanks to the Elemental token Lagomos makes dying. But thanks to cards like Bitterblossom, Ophiomancer, and Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia that make useless creatures each turn and sacirifce outlets like Goblin Bombardment, it's pretty easy that we can use Grave Pact to hard lock our opponent's creatures out of the game!

The Grave Pact revelation ended up being huge for our deck. The problem with Blood Moon is that it doesn't really do anything in some matchups. If our opponent is a mono-colored deck or even a two-color deck, there's a pretty good chance they'll have enough basics to keep playing Magic even once we get Blood Moon on the battlefield. On the other hand, against three-, four-, or five-color decks, Blood Moon, backed by artifact destruction for mana rocks and Sundering Titan to clean up basics, can essentially be a free win. Meanwhile, Grave Pact is good in the matchups where Blood Moon is bad, giving us a way to keep creatures off the battlefield against aggressive one- and two-color decks!

In the end, our deck ended up crushing it. While record doesn't really matter in Historic Brawl since it's an unranked for-fun format, we only lost a couple of times with the deck. Along the way, we managed to hard lock opponents with both Blood Moon and Grave Pact multiple times, handing out some harsh but needed life lessons to Arena Zoomers. If you're looking for something different to try in Historic Brawl, keep Lagomos, Hand of Hatred in mind. While it might look like a lowly uncommon legend, it's actually super powerful, and the deck was both fun and surprisingly strong!

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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