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Against the Odds: World Tree Nexus Combo (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 274 of Against the Odds. Kaldheim is here, which means we're kicking off our exploration of our new Standard format with a special episode! What are we trying to accomplish? The elusive The World Tree / Maskwood Nexus combo, of course! The idea is that if we can get a Maskwood Nexus on the battlefield and get up to 10 mana, we can sacrifice The World Tree to put every creature in our deck onto the battlefield (since they are all Gods, thanks to Maskwood Nexus), which either lets us win the game by attacking our opponent or win immediately if we have a couple of Terror of the Peaks in our deck still that we can sneak into play to burn our opponent out of the game! What are the odds of pulling off the combo of The World Tree and Maskwood Nexus? 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: World Tree Nexus Combo

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The Deck

World Tree Nexus Combo is essentially a midrange combo deck built off of some interesting legendary synergies and, of course, the combo of Maskwood Nexus and The World Tree putting all of the creatures in our deck onto the battlefield. To achieve our combo, we need to do three things: play Maskwood Nexus, play The World Tree, and get to 11 mana (10; plus, we need to tap The World Tree itself to sacrifice it). Our reward? Winning the game on the spot but putting up to 24 creatures onto the battlefield alongside some number of Terror of the Peaks to burn our opponent out of the game with direct Dragon damage!

The Combo

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While putting some Gods into play with The World Tree is fun, it's even more fun to put all our creatures into play with The World Tree by using Maskwood Nexus to God-ify everything in our deck! Of course, this requires a massive 11 mana on the battlefield (along with finding both combo pieces), which is a lot. Thankfully, we have a bunch of strange legendary ways to ramp into our big combo finish!

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Rather than leaning into more traditional ramp like Cultivate, we're playing a ramp package built around a God and a bunch of legendary creatures. (One of the ways to improve The World Tree is to play some number of actual Gods in our deck so that if we get to 11 mana but don't find Maskwood Nexus, we can still activate The World Tree and get some value from it.) Our best ramp synergy is the combo of Magda, Brazen Outlaw and Esika, God of the Tree. Magda makes a creature whenever it is tapped, and Esika lets us tap our legends for mana like they are a Birds of Paradise. Together, this means we can essentially tap Magda, Brazen Outlaw for two mana (getting one from its Birds of Paradise ability and another in the form of a Treasure token). We can pull off the same trick with our one Ashaya, Soul of the Wild by turning all of our creatures into Forests. We've also got a bunch of other legendary creatures in the deck to work with Esika, God of the Tree's ability. Oh yeah, and things become even crazier if we can get Maskwood Nexus on the battlefield since all of our creatures will be Dwarves (among other things), and Magda, Brazen Outlaw's ability affects all Dwarves, so every creature we tap (either by attacking or with the help of things like Esika  /Ashaya) will be making Treasure tokens, which will get us up to 11 mana quickly to activate The World Tree.

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We also have a couple of what I would consider double-duty ramp creatures. Goldspan Dragon doubles up our Treasure mana, which basically makes it Nissa, Who Shakes the World with our Magda / Esika Treasure-ramp plan. Meanwhile, Beanstalk Giant just ramps us directly by putting a land into play from our library with its adventure half. The other upside of these creatures is that they give us some big game-ending threats to put into play once we pull off the combo and empty our deck of creatures with The World Tree and Maskwood Nexus

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Let's say we actually pull off the combo—we stick Maskwood Nexus, and we have The World Tree and 11 mana. How do we win the game? We have two plans. First, we can just wait until our opponent's end step, activate The World Tree, put all of our creatures onto the battlefield, untap, attack, and likely win the game. Second, we can just win the game immediately thanks to Terror of the Peaks. If we can put all three copies of Terror of the Peaks into play with The World Tree along with the rest of the creatures in our deck, we should be dealing hundreds of direct damage thanks to Terror, which should be more than enough to finish off our opponent and win the game without attacking at all!

The Matchups

The matchups for World Tree Nexus combo are weird, and it really depends on if we're talking about winning a match by any means necessary or winning with the combo itself. In terms of just winning, we'd rather avoid super-aggressive and super-control decks and try to out-midrange our opponent with our sneaky synergies. In terms of winning with the combo, it mostly comes down to how many answers our opponent has for Maskwood Nexus itself. With Binding the Old Gods, Skyclave Apparition, and Elspeth Conquers Death (and also things like Brazen Borrower) being popular removal spells in the format that can answer Maskwood Nexus naturally, we'd rather avoid decks playing these cards, if possible. While we can beat them, we're unlikely to actually pull off the combo, which is the main goal of the deck!

The Odds

All in all, we went 4-4 with World Tree Nexus Combo, giving us a 50% win rate, which is fine, if unexciting. On the other hand, actually pulling off the entire combo proved to be challenging. It took all eight matches to finally pull it off. We had several games where we activated The World Tree to snag some literal Gods, but sticking a Maskwood Nexus and getting up to 11 mana proved to be tricky. We had a bunch of near-misses, being a couple of mana short or having everything assembled only for our opponent to answer Maskwood Nexus before we could activate The World Tree. But with some persistence, we finally pulled it off, and it was spectacular!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Now that we've had our special Kaldheim episode of Against the Odds, it's your turn to pick what Kaldheim cards we'll build around next in Standard! Click here to vote!

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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