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I Won on a Mulligan to One | Brewer's Kitchen


Well, hello there! Brewer’s Kitchen here, with the most one-tick-pony Magic deck you have ever seen. In fact, this deck is so focused on pulling off a two-card combo that it’s literally these two cards and 58 lands. As usual, check out my video to see everything explained in action. If you’re just curious to know the combo, I guess you could just scroll down once to see it. But I promise the video is worth the click.  

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The Gameplan 

It’s actually quite simple, the first thing you need to do is mulligan until you find a Treasure Hunt.
This will find a Ruination Rioter and all the lands that were between the top of your library. Since these are likely to be way more than your maximum hand size, you will fill your graveyard with lands when discarding to hand size. The next turn, you play a Phyrexian Tower, use it to sacrifice the Ruination Rioter and blast the opponent with damage equal to the lands in your graveyard, which is likely to be lethal. And that’s game. 

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Now in practice, this gameplan has a lot of fail cases. Starting with the mulligan to find the Treasure Hunt. A 7-card starting hand in a 60 card deck has a 11% chance of containing a specific one-off in the deck. The biggest advantage of this deck is the rules change to the London Mulligan rule a couple of years ago. Since the deck functions with only the Treasure Hunt in our starting hand, we have six attempts of hitting the 11% chance. This adds up to a 58.04% chance of ending up with a Treasure Hunt in your opening hand. While the deck technically functions on a mulligan to one, this will make other fail cases more likely like hitting the right colors lands. 
While you are 100% to hit the Rioter with the Treasure Hunt, you also need to have it be deep enough in the deck to have enough lands to discard to hand size. I’m not going to go too deep into the numbers, mainly because my expertise lies in making entertaining Magic content and not calculation. You usually need to get around 25 lands into your hand, which would be about half of the library. This puts the chances of success to a rough 50% on this one. 


The next chance of failure is hitting a Phyrexian Tower or Hostile Hostel in these lands so we can sacrifice the Rioter. In all my attempts of pulling off the combo, this never failed. Just make sure you don’t accidentally discard it to hand size. 

The other factors are hitting the right colors of lands. You’ll need Blue, Green and Red in two lands so make sure to play as many dual lands as possible.
And to round it all out, pray to the magic gods that your opponent doesn’t blow you out with removal, graveyard hate, or counter spells. But then again, this deck scoops to a turn one Thoughtseize so you’ll get used to losing very anticlimactically anyways. 

Is the Arena Shuffler rigged?

For some reason, a lot of people think that the Arena shuffler is rigged against the player. Funnily enough, it could actually be considered rigged in favor of the player if you play Best-of-One. According archived forum posts of Wizards employees, there is a so-called “Hand Smoother”. It will draw you two hands from two copies of your deck for the first starting hand of the game. Then it compares the spell/land ratio of these hands with the ratio of your deck. While there will always be a randomized choice between the two, hands with a highly divergent ratio will be less likely to be given to the player. This actually works in favor of the player if they play a reasonable mana base. But we don’t.
Of the 286 hands I saw in recording this video, only 24 of them had a Treasure Hunt. This equates to 8.39%, which is lower then the expected 11% without the hand smoother. Now while I first assumed that this was just because of the small sample size, the hand smoother algorithm will likely get confused by the deck list. With a 58-2 land-spell ratio, the system might actually filter out hands with spells since they have a way higher land-spell ratio than our entire deck. To put it in numbers, a deck with two spells and 58 lands has a 1/30 ratio (3.33% spells). A hand with 6 lands and one spell has a 1/7 ratio (14.28%). The hand smoother might interpret this as an outlier and show you the all-land hand. I also never had a hand with both spells in it. This one would have a ratio of 2/7 (28.57%).
But then again, I only saw 286 hands and most of them were not opening hands but mulligans which would not be affected by the smoother. All of this could easily be due to small sample size.
But yeah, if you only play with this deck, you are allowed to go on Facebook and leave an angry post about the shuffler being rigged against you. 

Optimizing the Odds

The original list for this deck was sent to me by a viewer named Jeff. When I saw it, I knew I had to share it with the world. It’s just such an amazingly unique decklist. But after some testing I made some tweaks to the deck to increase the chances of getting away with it. 
The easiest addition is Lurrus of the Dream-Den. It’s a free inclusion in the deck since it passes the companion restriction by default. It also gives us a second chance of pulling off the combo by recasting the Rioter from the graveyard in case it gets countered or the first hit wasn’t lethal. 
To play Lurrus we need black mana. This is easily done with some Triomes and duals. But be careful to still have all the colors of mana you need to pull off the combo first. I usually tried to fucus on Lurrus mana after the Treasure Hunt since it will fill our hand with all kinds of lands.
The next piece of tech is the Kamigawa Channel lands. While they’re great in every deck, Takenuma, Abandoned Mire fits this deck like a glove. It can return the Rioter or Lurrus from our graveyard and puts itself and three more lands from our library into our graveyard to increase the damage of the combo.
The original list had cards like Gate to Seatower. And while their inclusion sounds good on paper, they will slow down your mana and color base more then they would ever help you. They are very close to being a great utility land for this deck but in the end I try to avoid digital-only cards in my videos anyways. 


Wrap up

Well, that’s it for this one. Short deck list, short video, short article. There is really not much more to say about this one. Don’t spend wild cards on this deck! I obviously showed you the games where something cool happened, most of them were lost to conceding before the game even began or a turn one Thoughtseize. Thanks again to Jeff for sending in this absolute spice ball of a decklist.
If you have questions or ideas for this or any other deck, you can reach me on Twitter @Brewers_Kitchen or at brewerskitchen@mtggoldfish.com.
 



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