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Against the Odds: Wanderer Tribal Combo (Historic)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 369 of Against the Odds. Last week's Against the Odds poll featured the return of planeswalker tribal, and The Wanderer took home a pretty easy victory. As such, we're heading to Historic today to see if we can use the power of The Wanderer, The Eternal Wanderer, and The Wandering Emperor to combo off with the help of Command the Dreadhorde and Sundering Titan! The idea of the deck is pretty janky, but it should be spectacular when it works! What are the odds of winning with all the Wanderers? 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: Wanderer Tribal Combo

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The Deck

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Wanderer Tribal is one of the weirdest Against the Odds decks I've ever built. Normally, with Against the Odds, the challenge of building the deck is that the cards we're building around are pretty janky, which can make it difficult to build a deck that works. The Wanderer has the opposite problem. While OG The Wanderer is pretty janky, both The Wandering Emperor and The Eternal Wanderer are legit constructed staples. As such, the challenge of building Wanderer Tribal was making sure that the deck wasn't too boring. In theory, you could just jam all of the Wanderers together into some sort of mono-white midrange or control shell and end up with a decent deck. I mean, one of the best decks in Standard right now is mono-white featuring both planeswalkers. But that's not really what Against the Odds is about. Thankfully, with a bit of brewing, I realized it is possible to make a pretty hilarious and very Against the Odds–worthy Wanderer Tribal deck. Here's the plan.

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Step one, for reasons that will become clear in a moment, is to fill our graveyard aggressively. For this, we have a bunch of cheap creatures like Stitcher's Supplier, Mire Triton, Raffine's Informant, and Champion of Wits (which, along with looting or self-milling, are also good chump blockers to protect our Wanderers) and Jace, the Perfected Mind, which can mill up to 15 cards if our graveyard is empty or draw us three cards to find our Wanderers and other combo pieces if our graveyard is full.

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The reason we're milling ourselves so aggressively is that our deck's main goal is to combine The Wanderer with Command the Dreadhorde. Thanks to The Wanderer's static ability preventing all noncombat damage that would be dealt to us, if we can play The Wanderer first and then Command the Dreadhorde, we can reanimate every creature and planeswalker in both graveyards and not take any damage at all! 

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While reanimating 10 or 20 creatures and planeswalkers is pretty sweet, we're taking things a step further. As we self-mill, we'll ideally get at least one copy of The Eternal Wanderer and Sundering Titan in our graveyard. When we Command the Dreadhorde, we'll put them both into play (hopefully along with a bunch of other stuff) and use Sundering Titan's enters-the-battlefield trigger to blow up a bunch of our opponent's lands. (We're playing a unique mana base that doesn't play dual lands with basic land types. In fact, we only have a single Plains that Sundering Titan can blow up, so we shouldn't hurt ourselves much at all with Sundering Titan.) After Sundering Titans trigger resolves, we can blink it with The Eternal Wanderer, which will trigger it again (since Sundering Titan's ability happens when it enters or leaves the battlefield) to blow up even more of our opponent's land. Then, Sundering Titan will come back into play on our end step, giving us its land-destruction trigger a third time. At this point, hopefully, all (or at least most) of our opponent's mana base will be in the graveyard while we'll have a massive board thanks to Command the Dreadhorde, which should allow us to pick up an easy win!

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As for our last Wanderer The Wandering Emperor, it's mostly just a removal spell. One of the upsides of our deck is that we don't need to play any other removal in the main deck since all of the Wanderers act as removal, which gives us more room for combo pieces and self-mill. Sadly, The Wandering Emperor isn't all that synergistic with our combo, although it does have some sweet fringe synergy with the original The Wanderer, which came up a few times in our matches. The Wanderer can exile creatures with power four or greater, which is fine against big threats but doesn't do anything against smaller creatures. But The Wandering Emperor can put +1/+1 counters on creatures (notice it doesn't say "a creature you control"). So, occasionally, we can use The Wandering Emperor to grow a smaller creature big enough that The Wanderer can exile it!

Matchups

Honestly, I'm not sure Wanderer Tribal Combo has any truly good matchups. While we can beat just about anyone either with the combo or simply by casting a bunch of Wanderers, we also get pretty wrecked by graveyard hate (which shuts down our combo) and can struggle against aggro since all of our removal is attached to planeswalkers that cost four or more mana. While it rarely felt like we had zero chance to win, I would say that we are slightly unfavored in most matchups.

The Odds

All in all, we went 3-7 with Wanderer Tribal, giving us a 30% match-win percentage. Overall, the deck isn't especially competitive, but that's fine. The combo wins we did get were super epic, which made up for all the losses! Considering that we're playing Against the Odds, I'd much rather go 3-7 and have a few sweet Command the Dreadhorde combo wins than go 7-3 with a mono-white midrange build of Wanderer Tribal that looked an awful lot like one of the best decks in Standard.

A couple of notes on the deck. It turns out that Sundering Titan is pretty hit or miss. It doesn't do much against decks like Mono-Green or Mono-Red that only play one land type, and some decks play a lot of nonbasics without land types (like fastlands), which is annoying. That said, we had a couple of matches where it worked just like we hoped, blowing up most of our opponent's mana base on our big combo turn. We also had a couple of Command the Dreadhorde wins that didn't involve The Wanderer, with our epic match against Death's Shadow being the best example, where, even though we only had five life, we were able to reanimate a huge Death's Shadow to steal a win. While it is six mana and does get blown out by graveyard hate, I came away from our matches feeling like Command the Dreadhorde is a bit of a sleeper and probably a bit better than most people think.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Shadows Over Innistrad Remastered is here! Next week let's try some sweet new-to-Arena jank in Historic or Explorer. Which card should we play? Click here to vote on Youtube!

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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