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Much Abrew: Land Destruction but in Standard!


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Much Abrew About Nothing! This week, we're heading to our new Standard format to do one of my favorite things in Magic: blow up our opponents' lands! Somehow, Outlaws of Thunder Junction has not just one but two new Standard-playable land-destruction spells in Boom Box and Territory Forge. Even better, we can use cards like Esoteric Duplicator and Fabrication Foundry to loop Boom Box every turn in the late game, to essentially hard lock our opponent and maybe even pick up a flawless victory! Worst case, if we actually have to kill our opponent rather than just waiting for them to scoop as we destroy all their mana, we can make a bunch of massive Constructs with Simulacrum Synthesizer and Thousand Moons Smithy! Is land destruction back? Can we actually get a flawless victory in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard? Let's find out on today's Much Abrew About Nothing!

Much Abrew: Artifact Land Destruction

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Wrap-Up

Since we played the deck during early-access day, our record isn't super relevant, although overall, we went 8-4 with the deck. More importantly, a lot of the new Outlaws of Thunder Junction cards were super impressive! Here's a quick rundown.

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Boom Box is pretty janky—costing eight total mana to activate—although blowing up three permanents, including a land, is nice. More importantly, the ability to loop Boom Box with Esoteric Duplicator or even Fabrication Foundry can be super devastating in the late game as a virtual hard lock. While Boom Box isn't a Standard all-star or anything, it's not quite as bad as it looks at first glance.

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Territory Forge is stronger than it looks. It looks like a five-mana land destruction spell, which technically it is, although taking the activated ability of the card it exiles also means it's typically a mana rock as well, which is pretty powerful. Plus, hitting artifacts is a nice upside in some matchups. While I'm not sure it's quite good enough to play in a generic deck (although I hope it is), the combination of putting the opponent down a mana while putting you up a mana makes it work a lot like Mwonvuli Acid-Moss or Annex, both of which have seen play in the past. 

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Esoteric Duplicator is weird. It doesn't do much of anything in a lot of games, but it can be insane in the games where it works—where we're sacrificing artifacts to things like Legion Extruder or looping Boom Box. If it weren't for the Boom Box loop, it probably wouldn't be in the deck at all, although being able to blow up a land every single turn in the late game makes it worth a couple of slots in the deck.

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Legion Extruder is insane. People have called it Bonecrusher Giant at home, and while this is probably true in most decks, in a deck like ours that has a ton of sacrificeable artifacts, Legion Extruder is a better Bonecrusher Giant. The two damage we get when it enters the battlefield is enough to kill a lot of early-game creatures, and then being able to repeatedly make 3/3s by sacrificing artifacts can take over the game. Toss in Esoteric Duplicator, and we can make a 3/3 each turn without going down any artifacts. I wouldn't be surprised to see Legion Extruder end up a Standard staple, and it is very likely good enough to see play outside of Standard in artifact decks as well. Basically, I thought that Legion Extruder would be good, but it's even better than I expected.

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Last but certainly not least, we have Simulacrum Synthesizer, which is an absurd card in an artifact deck. At first, I was a bit worried that the "mana value three or greater" restriction would be too much for the card to shine, but that doesn't really matter in practice. The ability to make a Karnstruct for free whenever we cast a 3MV+ artifact quickly takes over the game. Plus, the card offers some weird free wins if you draw multiples in your opening hand, which is almost unbeatable for a lot of decks.

Conclusion

Overall, the deck felt really solid, although I do have one worry about it moving forward: sweepers like Farewell and Brotherhood's End seem brutal for the deck. Overloading the sideboard with counters to stop these artifact sweepers might be enough, but it is depressing that we can build up a massive board of artifacts and lose them all to a single card from our opponent. Still, the new artifacts from Outlaws of Thunder Junction are so strong that I think there will be a competitive artifact deck in Standard. More importantly, the land-destruction plan is more realistic than it has been in many, many years!

Anyway, that's all for today. As always, put 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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