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Much Abrew: Clone Wars (Historic)


Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. A little over a week ago, we played a really weird ramp deck from the Arena decklist dump on stream. While the deck itself was horrible, to the point where we couldn't win a match with it, it did have some intriguing synergies, especially Powerstone Shard with Anointed Procession and Mythos of Illuna to make tons of mana and pull off some crazy token shenanigans. Rather than giving up on the deck altogether, we decided to rebuild the archetype, focusing on the fun parts and cutting the chaff. Eventually, after a bunch of testing and brewing, this led to the Clone Wars deck we are playing today. What crazy things can we do with Mythos of Illuna and Anointed Procession? How much mana can we make with Powerstone Shard? What crazy combo pieces can Karn, the Great Creator snag from our sideboard? Let's get to the video and find out; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Much Abrew: Clone Wars

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, things are...complicated. I worked on Clone Wars for about a week, cycling through different builds, and when I finally got to the point of recording the video, I ended up having a weird audio problem that made several matches unusable. After fixing the problem, we technically went 4-1 in our recorded matches, although our overall record was worse, mostly because aggro (especially if we end up on the draw) is a tough matchup. I think at one point, I played some Bomat Courier deck three times in a row and lost all three pretty convincingly. Thankfully, things go much better against control and midrange, where we have more time to get our combo set up.
  • Clone Wars is built around two cards, with a sweet combo thrown in as a backup. The primary plan is to generate absurd amounts of value with Mythos of Illuna (which is quickly rising on my list of favorite Magic cards) and Anointed Procession. Mythos of Illuna is criminally underrated. Since it can copy any permanent, its floor is a four-mana Rampant Growth (since it can copy a land), while its ceiling is making a busted planeswalker or creature for just four mana. Add Anointed Procession to the mix to double (or even more, with multiple copies) our token production, and things will get out of hand quickly.
  • Speaking of Anointed Procession, it is a great copy target for Mythos of Illuna. Jumping up from one copy of Anointed Procession to three is quite strong. It's pretty easy to get to the point where every token we make is actually eight or even 16 copies of that token! Just be warned: if you go too deep copying Anointed Procession (like by getting 10 or more copies on the battlefield), Arena will crash, and the game will end in a draw. Three or four copies is more than enough to do the crazy things our deck is trying to do. 
  • Outside of Mythos of Illuna, we have a couple of other token producers in the main deck in Shark Typhoon and Champion of Wits. Champion of Wits filters through our deck to find our combo pieces in the early game and then eventually eternalizes back into play in token form to refill our hand in the late game. Meanwhile, Shark Typhoon does double duty in our deck. If we have a bunch of Anointed Processions we usually just cycle the enchantment to make a board full of flying Sharks on our opponent's end step, which typically allows us to untap, attack and win the game. If we only have one Anointed Processions, we can also cast Shark Typhoon and get two Sharks every time we cast a non-creature spell, which offers a lot of value considering that 41 of the 60 cards in our main deck are technically non-creature spells that trigger Shark Typhoon once it is on the battlefield.
  • While the value-token plan is great, the most exciting thing our deck can do is to use Karn, the Great Creator to tutor a couple of specific combo pieces from our sideboard: Paradox Engine and Lithoform Engine. In conjunction with the 13 mana rocks in our deck (Guardian Idol, Mind Stone, Powerstone Shard and Skyclave Relic) the combo of Paradox Engine and Lithoform Engine can do some absurd things. First, we can use Lithoform Engine to make copy of any spell we cast, with the mana rocks providing the mana to activate the artifact and Paradox Engine untapping it. Second, we can also use the combo to generate infinite mana by casting a spell to put a Paradox Engine trigger on the stack, float all of our mana-rock mana, use Lithoform Engine to copy the trigger, and untap all of our permanents and then repeat this process over and over. As long as we have more than two mana worth of mana rocks, the end result is that each time we go through the loop, we are gaining more mana than we are spending on Lithoform Engine, giving us infinite mana to cast or copy whatever we want!
  •  Forsaken Monument was a late addition to the deck. After playing against the colorless ramp deck and realizing that having double mana is powerful, it wasn't that hard to warp the mana base in a way that we could have enough colorless lands to make it work (especially since nearly all of our mana rocks also make colorless mana). Apart from giving us even more mana to play with the artifact, it's also surprisingly helpful against aggro, where gaining two or four life a turn from casting colorless spells is sometimes the difference between dying and stabilizing the game so that we can combo off and win.
  • The other interesting part of the deck is the mana base. We're playing the full four copies of Emeria's Call and Sea Gate Restoration because both work really well with the deck's ramp theme. Emeria's Call gives us another token producer to work with Anointed Procession, while Sea Gate Restoration refills our hand and keeps the big combo turns going. The rest of the mana looks weird, but the main goal is to play as many colorless lands as possible (which is why we have cards like Ipnu Rivulet and Shefet Dunes as colorless / colored dual lands) to support Forsaken Monument. If you decide to play the deck, make sure to remember to put counters on Mirrodin's Core! In the late game, having the ability to make white or blue mana is pretty important for resolving cards like Emeria's Call and Sea Gate Restoration that have heavy colored-mana requirements.
  • As I mentioned before, the biggest drawback of the deck is that it can really struggle against aggro. We have a bit of removal in the main deck and some sweepers in the sideboard, but it's really hard to take a turn off to play things like Anointed Procession against decks like Mono-Red or Gruul aggro without dying on the backswing. Plus, aggro decks don't usually have good things to copy with Mythos of Illuna, and copying our opponent's bombs with Mythos is one of the deck's strengths.
  • All in all, I think that Clone Wars is sort of medium in terms of how competitive it is. I spent most of my testing and recording with the deck bouncing back and forth at low diamond on Arena, beating control and midrange and losing to aggro, but it can do some really absurd, fun, explosive things when we have enough time to get our engines online. Clone Wars is a great option if you like the idea of copying your opponent's best stuff (sometimes many, many times) or weird, janky infinite combos, although if your main concern is hitting mythic, I'm sure there are better ways to go about it.

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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