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Against the Odds: There Are Repercussions for Playing Creatures (Historic)


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds This week, we're heading to Historic to show Arena players that there are Repercussions for playing creatures! The idea of our deck is as hilarious as it is simple: we're built around Repercussion, an enchantment that makes it so if a creature is dealt damage, it deals that much damage to the creature's controller. The idea is that our opponent will play some creatures; then, we'll stick a Repercussion and use something like Burn Down the House or Star of Extinction to deal a bunch of damage to each of our opponent's creatures, which should also kill our opponent on the spot thanks to Repercussion! Of course, this plan's drawback is that it costs a lot of mana, which is where our Leylines come into play. Thanks to Wilds of Eldraine, we now have two red Leylines on Arena, with Leyline of Lightning joining Leyline of Combustion. Ideally, we'll have a couple of these in our opening hand, which will let us make a ton of mana with Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx early in the game! My favorite part of the deck is that all our opponent needs to do to shut down our game plan is to choose to not play creatures. If they simply choose to do nothing, our plan falls apart, and most of our cards do nothing. Will any of our Arena opponents figure our that all they need to do to win the game is...nothing, or will they flood the board with creatures and face the Repercussions? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Against the Odds!

Much Abrew: There Are Repercussions

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Discussion

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  • Record-wise, I played a ton of matches with the deck and ended up going 6-7 overall, coming in just below 50% in terms of match-win percentage, which makes a lot of sense. Our deck is super-high variance. When our Leyline plan works, we make a ton of mana and run away with the game, but we also have games where we play a bunch of Leylines, never find a Nykthos, and don't do much of anything. Of course, as we talked about before, our plan becomes much, much worse if our opponent isn't playing creatures. While we do have one backup plan to win the game (involving a Leyline, of all things), we'd really rather not play against creature-free control or combo. All this is to say, winning about half the time seems about right for the deck, all things considered.

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  • Our primary plan is simple: play Repercussion, wait for our opponent to get a few creatures on the battlefield, and then use a mass-damage sweeper like Burn Down the House, Star of Extinction, or Spiteful Banditry to deal a bunch of damage to our opponent's creatures and ideally win the game on the spot thanks to Repercussion throwing all that damage at our opponent's face. For Burn Down the House to be lethal, we need our opponent to have four creatures (since each will take five damage, giving us a total of 20 thanks to Repercussion), while Star of Extinction only needs one creature on our opponent's side of the battlefield to close out the game with Repercussion. Spiteful Banditry is our worst sweeper as far as mana-to-damage ratio, but it helps make up for this by being an enchantment that sits on the battlefield and generates mana with the help of Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx or by making Treasure tokens.

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  • Speaking of mana, our primary plan is to dump a bunch of Leylines on the battlefield to power up Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Leyline of Combustion is actually pretty powerful. Forcing our opponent to take two whenever they target us or our permanents adds up quickly, especially in our current Thoughtseize-heavy meta. Meanwhile, Leyline of Lightning is more situational—when we cast a spell, we can pay a mana to deal a damage to our opponent. Leyline of Lightning doesn't do much of anything in the early game (other than add red mana symbols to the battlefield), but in the late game, the Leyline is our primary plan for closing out the game if our opponent chooses to not play creatures in order to fizzle our Repercussion plan. 

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  • So, how do we win if our opponent avoids playing creatures so they won't feel the Repercussions? Leyline of Lightning with Fiery Emancipation to triple up the damage! With a Fiery Emancipation out, every Leyline of Lightning trigger is essentially a Lava Spike dealing three damage to our opponent. So, we make a bunch of mana, cast a bunch of random spells, and burn our opponent out of the game three damage at a time! Thankfully, most opponents are playing creatures so this isn't necessary, but we did manage to pick up a few Leyline of Lightning wins throughout our matches.
  • Oh yeah, it's worth mentioning that if you decide to play the deck, you should be careful about making creatures with Burn Down the House. Remember, Repercussion is symmetrical, so part of our deck's gimmick is that we aren't playing any creatures, so we won't take Repercussion damage. If we make Devil tokens, it's possible that we could end up dying to our own Repercussion if our opponent has a way to damage our creatures or if they end up tangling with a massive creature in combat. 

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  • Otherwise, we're playing The One Ring because its pretty busted and we need card draw. One of the awkward aspects of stuffing our deck full of Leylines is that we often empty our hand early in the game. The One Ring is the perfect way to refuel. Oh yeah, and did I mention it's busted?
  • So, should you play Repercussions in Historic? I think the answer is yes but mostly for fun. The deck is medium in terms of how competitive it is, but it's pretty hilarious. All our opponents need to do is choose to not play creatures, and they are super likely to win the game. But very few opponents actually do this in practice. Instead, they just keeping running threats onto the battlefield and end up facing some huge Repercussions. If you like super-janky win conditions and throwing massive piles of damage at your opponent by surprise, Mono-Red Leyline Control is a funny option that wins way more than it should, although I would call the deck more semi-competitive than truly competitive.

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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