Hi everyone! Welcome back to another edition of The Magic Hole. This week, we’re sticking to one of my favorite formats right now, Explorer. I’ve had a ton of fun the past few weeks cheating out Agent of Treachery and Titan of Industry, but this time we’re focusing on a new way to make our opponents rage quit. Get ready to pop, LOCK, and drop your opponents to zero. Emphasis on the lock…because…ya know, we’re locking our opponents out of dealing any damage to us. Very clever if I do say so myself.
So how will we go about locking our opponents out from dealing damage? Well, the deck revolves around a pretty common interaction between Solemnity and Nine Lives. If you’re not familiar with this combo, whenever a source would deal damage to you, Nine Lives will prevent that damage and put an incarnation counter on itself. Once it gets to nine counters, you exile it and lose the game. Under normal circumstances, it might save you a bit of time if you were getting attacked by some huge creatures. With Solemnity in play, it cannot have said incarnation counters placed on it, meaning the damage is still prevented, but Nine Lives will never get enough counters to exile itself and thus make you lose the game. Essentially, you can’t lose the game due to damage taking you to zero life. We have a lot of help finding our combo pieces with Commune with Spirits and our multiple enchantress effects in Setessan Champion and Satyr Enchanter.
Also, just an FYI, loss of life is different than damage. Meaning that the Cat-Oven combo can definitely still drain you out even if you have this lock on the board. You will see in the gameplay footage that we have a pretty rough time with Cat-Oven.
So our main goal is to assemble the Solemnity-Nine Lives combo. How do we win the game? It's easy to forget that you still have to actually win the game after assembling a hard lock on your opponent…or maybe that's just me. Either way, the main plan for actually winning is to run a bunch of enchantments into Hallowed Haunting, making a bunch of spirits to assault your opponent with. Another option is to beef up your Setessan Champion with a few Rune’s of Might and just its own counters. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Solemnity negates the counters on Setessan Champion Rob! How could you be so stupid!?!?”. And my answer to that is…I don’t know, please help me!
No but really, it is kind of a non-bo having Solemnity and Setessan Champion together. There are times where you have to decide to hold Solemnity to build some counters on the Champion to make sure you can close out the game, and sometimes where you just have to bite the bullet and slam Solemnity with a ⅓ Champion because your opponent is coming at you like a spider monkey. Ultimately this deck does have a decent amount of decisions to make, as much as it seems like you would just assemble the combo as fast as possible, sometimes it's better to wait.
The beatdown plan of this deck can work exceptionally well, as we see in the video. There are times where you just ignore lock pieces in favor of playing into your Champion of Hallowed Haunting. Nothing feels quite as good as attacking an opponent with 5 10/10 flying vigilant spirits. Or your opponent decking themselves because they copied their Agent of Treachery too many times and they’re drawing 15 cards a turn and can’t deal you any damage because of the lock. You might be thinking to yourself now that I just made that scenario up. That's reasonable. I make a lot of stuff up. But that is 100% a real thing that happened. And if you want to watch that hilarity unfold, make sure you check out my YouTube page! Also don’t forget to follow on Instagram and TikTok!
Thank you all again for hanging out here in The Magic Hole. If you have any suggestions for decks that you would like to see, in any format on Arena, let me know and I’ll do my best to give it a try. See you all next time!