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Much Abrew: I Reanimate a Hilariously Lethal Pile of Jank (Standard)


Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Much Abrew About Nothing! I've been intrigued by Lich-Knights' Conquest ever since it was first previewed. In the right deck, it can reanimate literally our entire graveyard for just five mana, which seems like a great deal. The question is how best to harness the sorcery's power. We've seen reanimation decks in Standard before, but they are usually trying to sneak one big finisher like Etali or Atraxa into play, which is a pretty boring way to close out the game. Plus, reanimating one big thing doesn't really do Lich-Knights' Conquest justice because the card's real power is that it can reanimate a whole bunch of creatures at once. If we only want to reanimate a single big thing, we may as well use something like The Cruelty of Gix, which is strictly better at the job. Thankfully, I figured out a pretty spicy way to use Lich-Knights' Conquest: rather than reanimating one thing, we're trying to reanimate a lethal combination of enters-the-battlefield triggers that should win us the game on the spot without needing to attack at all! What's the best way to use Lich-Knights' Conquest in Standard? What combination of creatures offers the no-attacks instant kill? Let's get to the video and find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

Much Abrew: Lich-Knight's Conquest ETB Combo Reanimator

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, we kind of crushed it, going 5-1 with our Lich-Knights' Conquest deck. It turns out that our value-heavy game plan can go over the top of just about any deck in Standard, which is a good place to be in our current grindy, midrange-focused format. 
  • Our deck's game plan is interesting. While our big finisher is Lich-Knights' Conquest, one upside of our deck is that all of our reanimation targets are very castable, which allows us to play a pretty effective fair game until we eventually win the game with our huge reanimation turn. As I mentioned before, rather than trying to reanimate one huge finisher, we are instead looking to reanimate a bunch of value-y creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers, like Charming Scoundrel, Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, Twinshot Sniper, and Tyrant of Kher Ridges
  • In the early game, our plan is to generate value, fill our graveyard, and flood our board with tokens we can sacrifice to Lich-Knights' Conquest later in the game. Our primary plan for this is to take advantage of some two-mana artifacts and enchantments. Up the Beanstalk draws us a card (and maybe some extra cards as we cast things like Leyline Binding); later, it is an enchantment to sacrifice to Lich-Knights' Conquest. Collector's Vault is almost built to power up Lich-Knights' Conquest by letting us loot to fill our graveyard while also adding Treasures to the battlefield. Finally, Courier's Briefcase adds an artifact to the battlefield along with a 1/1 creature token, giving us two types we can sacrifice to Lich-Knights' Conquest in one card. Plus, with our five-color mana base, we do occasionally sacrifice it to draw three cards. 
  • Backing up our artifacts and enchantments is Charming Scoundrel, which is almost too perfect for our deck. Its enters-the-battlefield trigger either rummages (to fill our graveyard with reanimation targets) or makes a Treasure token or role aura, either of which can be sacrificed to Lich-Knights' Conquest
  • Once we move past the early game, our plan is twofold. First, we can simply cast Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines and hopefully follow it up with Tyrant of Kher Ridges, which throws a massive eight damage at our opponent's face if we have Mom on the battlefield. Second, we can head toward the Lich-Knights' Conquest reanimation kill...
  • So, how do we actually kill our opponent with a single Lich-Knights' Conquest without needing to attack? The primary goal is to stock our graveyard with an Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, a couple of Tyrant of Kher Ridges, and some Charming Scoundrels or Twinshot Snipers. Thanks to all of our token production, we can typically reanimate our entire graveyard with a single Lich-Knights' Conquest. If we get back Elesh Norn along with two Tyrant of Kher Ridges, we'll get 16 direct damage, which might be enough to win the game on the spot if our opponent took some random damage early in the game. If not, Twinshot Sniper is four more damage, giving us 20 total for the insta-win. Charming Scoundrel can also turn into a burn spell from our graveyard if we have multiples thanks to the Wicked Role it makes. The trick here is that you can only ever have one role on a creature, so when our Charming Scoundrels enter the battlefield (doubled by Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, of course), we load up all the Wicked Roles on the same creature, they will pseudo-legend rule themselves away, and each one hitting the graveyard will cause our opponent to lose a life. So, two Charming Scoundrels plus Mom gives us three direct damage if we need it; plus, we can attack with a hasty Charming Scoundrel wearing a Wicked Role, which will give us at least one more damage. Basically, with a full graveyard, there are a bunch of different game-ending Lich-Knights' Conquest piles.
  • It's also worth mentioning that if our first Lich-Knights' Conquest isn't enough, we can use Charming Scoundrel to make a bunch of Treasure tokens to power up a second Lich-Knights' Conquest in the future in order to add even more damage and close out the game!
  • And that's basically the deck. I found it a blast to play. It draws a ton of cards, plays a bunch of unique stuff, and has a surprising combo kill that is shockingly effective! If you like the idea of generating oodles of value, drawing through your deck, and then winning by reanimating everything all at once, give the deck a try! It's way more competitive than I expected and super fun to play!

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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