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Much Abrew: Five-Color Yorion Battle Blink (Explorer)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. Over the past few weeks, we've been experimenting with the new battle card type, by flipping them with Aether Snap in Modern and playing them for value in Standard. But today, we're trying something different, with battles with a deck that doesn't really care about flipping them at all! The goal of today's deck is to take advantage of the enters-the-battlefield triggers on the front side of battles by doubling them up with Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines and blinking them with our companion Yorion, Sky Nomad to create a hopefully overwhelming amount of battle value! Can the plan work? How large of a stack of battle triggers can we build in Explorer? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: Five-Color Yorion Battle Blink

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  • Record-wise, we ended up with a 50% win rate with the deck, which is solid enough, especially considering just how awesome the deck plays! By far the biggest challenge of the deck is aggro. While our deck has a ton of power, it can be slow, which means if our opponent is curving out starting from Turn 1, we sometimes get overrun before we manage to do anything fun or powerful. On the other hand, Yorion Battles has an absurd amount of late-game power, and if we get a few turns to flood the board with battles, we can outgrind pretty much any deck in the format.
  • As I mentioned in the intro, our deck's goal is simple: play as many battles as possible, stick an Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines to double up their triggers, and then play Yorion, Sky Nomad to create a massive pile of battle-based enters-the-battlefield triggers. While we do occasionally flip battles once the opportunity presents itself (Yorion is actually a decent battle flipper as a 4/5 flier), this isn't really an essential part of our plan. Instead, we're trusting that we'll simply out-value our opponent if we can reuse the front side of the battles enough times.
  • One of the upsides of being a battle deck is that battles can do pretty much everything we need. We have eight different battles in our deck and a massive 25 total battles. Invasion of Ergamon, Invasion of Zendikar, and Invasion of Ixalan offer fixing, cantrips, and ramp. Invasion of Tarkir and Invasion of Ravnica give us removal. Invasion of Alara offers card advantage, while Invasion of Ikoria and Invasion of Tolvada help us find Yorion and Elesh Norn and keep them on the battlefield. 
  • When I first built the deck, I wasn't playing any creatures outside of Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines and Yorion as a companion, but I realized that we really needed a couple more options to make Invasion of Ikoria work. So now, we have a couple of lower-mana-value creatures we can tutor up, like Skyclave Apparition for more removal and Omnath, Locus of Creation because it's busted, to let us get value out of Invasion of Ikoria earlier in the game. While our main goal for the deck was to abuse as many battles as possible, it could be worth considering a more creature-heavy toolbox built to further power up Invasion of Ikoria—the card felt really solid.
  • Outside of our battles and creatures, we have a bit of blinkable removal in Ossification and Leyline Binding, Omen of the Sea for more early game card filtering, and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker because we are playing a Magic: the Gathering deck that contains red mana.
  • In some ways, the deck plays a little bit like some other five-color Yorion-fueled decks in Pioneer but with battles rather than creatures as our Yorion blink targets. By far one of the biggest upsides of the battle plan is that battles are actually shockingly hard for many decks to kill. Out of all the games we played with the deck, I don't think we had a single battle destroyed, which allowed for some huge Yorion turns. We can spend the first few turns of the game loading up the battlefield with battles and, once we get enough mana, snag Yorion and blink them all for a pretty epic turn.
  • Overall, I found the deck to be a blast to play. When we lose, we get run over quickly by aggro and move on to the next game. When we win, it is spectacular; plus, we get to Panharmonicon with Elesh Norn. If you're a fan of value and don't mind getting run over by aggro, I'd recommend taking Yorion Battles out for a spin. While it's more semi-competitive than broken, it is hilariously fun to play!


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

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