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Historic 101: Devotee's Cycling


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Gameplan

Cycling has mostly been a Boros-colored deck, but Historic Anthology gives us access to a pretty sweet cycling tool in the event our creatures and graveyard for Zenith Flare aren't available to us.  

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I've been wanting to play with the card mostly as a way to keep damage going against our opponents and because it kind of reminded me of an old standard favorite in Lightning Rift. The card itself is a bit pricier than what we'd like and requires us to splash a third color but it could be what we need to close out the midrange/control matchups. Against the mentioned matchups, they usually find ways to hate out our graveyard thus cutting us off Zenith Flare so this gives us another way to close. The life gain this card provides is also nice. Unfortunately, this card is just too slow for the aggressive matchups as it does nothing when entering the board so I can totally see us boarding out a few copies for more interaction. 

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Otherwise, the black mana is for some post boarded answers as Narset, Parter of Veils can be problematic and Eliminate is a good clean answer to that and numerous creatures. A card that used black mana that didn't make the cut was Archfiend of Ifnir as the card is just too slow and not really worth the valuable deck slots as we rarely want to be casting a five-drop unless it actually ends the game. 

Conclusion

The inconsistencies at mana can be off-putting but Faith of the Devoted did what we wanted it to do against the midrange/control opponents. The splash for the third color is really just there to spice up your cycling life. The Boros variant gives you way more consistency but can be a little bit easier to hate out. I'm also not sure Hollow One is all that great without a ton of cheap enablers. This will all change after the Mystical Archives arrive as I think this deck will greatly benefit from cards like Faithless Looting. Until then, we'll just have to wait and see how much of a shake-up happens to the meta after the arrival of Strixhaven!

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