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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Opponents Hate this Deck | Brewer's Kitchen

Opponents Hate this Deck | Brewer's Kitchen

Well, hello there! Brewer’s Kitchen here, finally bringing you another gameplay video and decktech article. Today, we are playing with one of the gnarliest text boxes in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty:
Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant.

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The Gameplan

To play Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant we need ramp. Explore and Growth Spiral are great early plays that both draw a card and allow us to put a land from our hand onto the battlefield. For turn three and four we got Midnight Clock and Key to the Archive. All these spells can be copied with Jin-Gitaxias’ ability and generate value besides just ramp. If the coast is clear, we slam Jin-Gitaxias onto the battlefield as soon as possible since its ability gives it a natural protection.

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Once we untap with it, our deck will go into overdrive and will probably force our opponent into concession or make them watch us turn our library into an ungodly pile of extra turn spells.
Before I go over how to actually win the game, I’ll go over the cards in the deck to give some more context, since it will get a bit complicated:

Explore / Growth Spiral
These very similar cards with slightly different wording. Explore will allow us to put MDFC lands like Sea Gate Restoration onto the battlefield. Growth Spiral will not allow that but makes up for it by being an instant.

Midnight Clock
If you ever want to trigger the final hour on Midnight Clock this is the deck to do it. Since our late game involves taking extra turns and producing lots of mana, it’s not too rare to see multiple draw-7 with the clocks in a single game.

Key to the Archive
The Key builds the perfect bridge between ramping and the rest of the gameplan. When it enters the battlefield, we get to draft one out of three cards from a selection of cards from the Strixhaven Mystical Archives. While most of the cards are quite useful, most noteworthy are: Day of Judgment, Time Warp, and Approach of the Second Sun. The Key, as well as the spells from its spellbook can be copied with Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant.

Archmage's Charm
A very flexible counter/draw spell. It’s never a dead card and become a three-mana draw-four with Jin-Gitaxias. The third mode is very situational but can lead to some brutal plays in the right situation.

Baral's Expertise
This is what keeps us alive in aggro matchups. Bouncing three threats and playing one for free is a huge tempo swing and often times the tipping point for the outcome of the game.
Later, when we combo off, we can use it to bounce and recast our Key to the Archive and Fae of Wishes

Primal Command
We usually use this to slow down out opponent (putting a non-creature permanent on to of their library) and tutor up a creature from our library. But all of the modes are very useful. Gaining 7 life is no joke against mono red. And shuffling our graveyard back into our library prevents us from milling out when we go infinite. As for the creatures to tutor out of our library, we don’t have much of a choice. We get Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant or Fae of Wishes, but that’s some good choices if you ask me.

Fae of Wishes and Sideboard

Fae of Wishes grants us access to our sideboard. You’d probably think this is full of combo pieces and ways to finish the game. Nope. Winning the game is not the hard part of this deck, it is getting to that point (untapping with Jin) that is the tricky part. At this point I’ve cut the cool finishers from the board and kept the silver bullets and interaction:

  • Tormod's Crypt: 0 mana -> 0 Graveyard. Against Reanimator/Phoenix/etc. it’s important to blow up their graveyard as quick as possible.
  • Pact of Negation: Sure, once we tutor it up, our opponent knows we have it. But it’s great to force through or protect a Jin-Gitaxias against control decks.
  • River's Rebuke: Resetting the opponent’s board to give us time to set up our combo. If the opponent is trying to lock us out with Nine Lives, they loose the game to this.
  • Thought Distortion: Control players will usually let the Granted side of Fae of Wishes resolve, in hopes of countering what we tutor for. Well… too bad. The spell is so devastating that we accept the downside of needing a Key to the Archive to cast it.
  • Discover the Formula: Very good card advantage at instant speed. If we don’t have anything else going on, this is usually what we tutor for. Copy it with Jin-Gitaxias for some insane card advantage and cost reduction.
  • Sea Gate Restoration: Good card advantage spell to copy. The reason why it’s in the board is kinda boring though… It’s a land. Don’t be ashamed to use your wish to hit a crucial land drop, I’ve done it many times.
  • Alrund's Epiphany: Extra turn spells are obviously quite powerful when you copy them. Too bad it got nerfed in historic… thanks for that Wizards…
  • Invoke the Winds: Only a one-off because it’s a dead card sometimes. But if we steal an opponent’s big creature or artifact, the game quickly swings in our favor.
  • Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant: The star of the show. We play a full playset so you can imagine how important it is to the game plan.
  • Sea Gate Restoration: Land and card advantage. I’d not fault you for putting a third copy in here. But watch out, you can not put it onto the battlefield with Growth Spiral, so play it first if you know you need the extra lands.
  • Alrund's Epiphany: I know… Extra turn decks are boring (for some people). The Alchemy nerf hit this deck pretty hard, otherwise we’d play the whole playset. When we copy it with Jin-Gitaxias, the game is usually over… in about 30 more extra turns.
  • Boseiju, Who Endures and Otawara, Soaring City: These channel lands are the best cards printed since Urza's Saga. Pretty sure they will forever be a staple in every format, so they naturally make their way into this deck as well.  

Actually Winning the Game

If you haven’t seen the video, you might be wondering how we actually win the game besides boring our opponents into concession. I explain it visually in my video but here’s the text version:
Once we got Jin-Gitaxias, Progress Tyrant on the battlefield, as long as we cast an extra turn spell every two turns, we will never pass the turn to our opponent again. Alrund's Epiphany will exile itself , but Time Warp will go to the graveyard, waiting to get recovered by Regrowth out of the Key to the Archive. Midnight Clock and Primal Command shuffle our graveyard back into our library, preventing us from milling out and allowing us to Demonic Tutor Time Walks out of our deck. Baral's Expertise can bounce our Keys to trigger them again, giving us infinite access to its spellbook. The longer we do this, the more our library becomes a pile of Time Warp and Regrowth, which comes in handy if you want to take infinite turns.

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If we can’t win the game with combat damage or boring the opponent to death, we will, at some point, find an Approach of the Second Sun in the Archive to win the game.

Cards that Didn’t Make the Cut

Space is very limited in this deck. Here are some cards that didn’t make the cut or got cut in playtesting:


  • Bala Ged Recovery: I know, it’s kinda wild that this card isn’t in here. I’d love to find room for one but I feel like, once we need a recovery spell, we usually already have Regrowth from the Archive.
  • Mana Rocks: Originally, the deck started mono-blue and played Coldsteel Heart and Mind Stone as turn two acceleration. They are more reliable ramp in the early game but don’t draw cards to refuel our hand later in the game.
  • Mass Manipulation: We are already ramping with a lot of blue mana symbols, might as well throw in a big splashy spell like this. I wanted to focus on the main gameplan, though.


  • Karn's Temporal Sundering: On paper, this is the perfect spell to cast with Jin-Gitaxias: Get two extra turns, bounce two permanents? That’s exactly what we’re looking for! We could even use it to return our Fae of Wishes or Key to the Archive to our hand. But if we get to tutor a spell from our sideboard to cast with Jin, the game is probably already heavily in our favour. It really hurts to cut this, but it’s just “win more”.
  • Whelming Wave: I played this before I switched over to [[River's Rebuke]. It’s cheaper and bounces our Fae of Wishes back to our hand. The upside of Rebuke turned out to be way more important, though. Bouncing everything will deal with hate/stax pieces, especially if our opponent has a Nine Lives, in which case they die on the spot.
  • Explosive Singularity: I played so many games with this card in the sideboard. The only game I ever had to chance to pull off the 1-2 punch was the first game after I took it out of the sideboard (the classic..). Theoretically, it would be neat to copy it with Jin-Gitaxias to dome our opponent for 20. It just never happened in an actual game. 
  • Ugin, the Spirit Dragon: This would probably close out a lot of games. I hate the card too much to include it, though.

Wrap Up

This deck is pretty much the classic “Brewer’s Kitchen combo pile”: Try to survive until you can go off like crazy. I’m not sure if it’s even necessary at this point, but just a reminder: This deck is not strong. I played it in ranked so opponents are less likely to scoop, but my win rate is at about 48%. But these 48% of games are a blast to play. If you have the cards for it, I'd suggest taking it for a spin. Prepare yourself to get beaten intro the ground against Elves and Goblins, though.

If you have questions or ideas for this or any other deck, you can reach me on Twitter @Brewers_Kitchen or at

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