Sometimes when preview season rolls around, you see a card or two that makes you think “I could build a deck around that”. Most of the time these are just passing thoughts and are quickly forgotten when the next card is revealed by your favourite content creator. Sometimes however, the thought persists and continues nagging in the back of your mind until you finally drop what you were working on and write down the deck list. That’s what happen to me last week when I saw the preview for Hooded Blightfang.
As many of you will know, I am a huge fan of tribal decks and love nothing better than throwing a bunch of creatures with the same creature type together until I have a viable brew. However, there is a subdivision of tribal decks that doesn’t get the same kind of love as their subtype cousins. Keyword Tribal.
Occasionally, Wizards of the Coast will release pseudo “lords” that don’t care about creature types, but rather what keywords are on said creatures. Most of these have little to no effect on constructed formats, and just exist to make certain draft archetypes more viable. However, some (like Hooded Blightfang) have enough going on to be worthy of consideration for constructed play.
For three mana, Hooded Blightfang gives us a 1/4 with Deathtouch that has the following abilities. “Whenever a creature you control with deathtouch attacks, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life”. Additionally, “Whenever a creature you control with deathtouch deals damage to a planeswalker, destroy that planeswalker”.
Considering that Deathtouch makes most players skin crawl when it comes to blocks, this addition drain and gain trigger adds a whole new layer to combat math that will often swing in our favour. Since most players are unwilling to trade creatures with one power creatures that can instant kill their bigger threats, you can basically get in for multiple rounds of combat for basically double damage.
Now on its own, this doesn’t seem like it would make a winning strategy. But consider the fact that quite a lot of creatures with Deathtouch have only one power. Now remember there is an enchantment that pings our opponent whenever you attack with a creature with one power called Cavalcade of Calamity. Now consider having both a Hooded Blightfang and a Cavalcade of Calamity on the field, with a bunch of 1/1 deathtouchers that your opponent really doesn’t want to block. At that point you have a recipe for a spice little deck.
For this build of the deck I’ll be sticking to a two colour Rakdos build, but with a few decent creatures in Green you could easily decide to splash for some addition options should you wish to do so. First up let’s add our package of deathtouchers. Foulmire Knight, Hired Poisoner and Vampire of the Dire Moon join Hooded Blightfang as our dedicated Deathtouch creatures, with the honourable addition of Knight of the Ebon Legion to give us some addition value. While we have to pay to give our knight Deathtouch, it is a threat that if left unchecked can become a real pain for our opponents to deal with.
For more Deathtouch, we will run a playset of Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence to give us creatures on tap should we be hit by a sweeper. Of course, we will be running a playset of Cavalcade of Calamity, but I also like to run a couple of Tibalt, Rakish Instigator to prevent life gain as well as give us some more bodies. Additionally, a playset of Heartfire in order to help get in those last few points of damage when we have got our opponent low enough.
Finally, since we don’t want to have to dig through our deck for our win conditions we will be playing with four copies of Grim Tutor. This can allow us to build our board (while holding our opponent at bay) and then grab a key Hooded Blightfang or Cavalcade of Calamity when the time is right to strike. Since we are in two colour our mana is fairly simple, with four copies of Blood Crypt alongside a whole bunch of basics.
4 Foulmire Knight
4 Hired Poisoner
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion
4 Vampire of the Dire Moon
4 Hooded Blightfang
2 Tibalt, Rakish Instigator
4 Vraska, Swarm’s Eminence
4 Grim Tutor
4 Cavalcade of Calamity
4 Blood Crypt
2 Agonizing Remorse
2 Drag to the Underworld
2 Tormod’s Crypt
When it comes to a sideboard for the new season, I wanted to keep my option open. Control and sweepers will be our biggest threat, so a hand disruption pack is a must. Duress, Agonizing Remorse and Necromentia all work great, the only question how many of each you wish to run. For addition removal a few copies of Eliminate and Drag to the Underworld should cover most bases, and when it comes to graveyard hate the reprinted Tormod’s Crypt is always a great choice.
And that is Blightfang Cavalcade for upcoming Standard. Is the deck any good? Well I guess we will have to wait for Core Set 2021 to come out. How are you liking M21 so far? Why not let us know what you are looking forward to brewing in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
We also have a Patreon so if you want to support future content for the site consider becoming one of our Patrons. Just a $1 a month would do so much to help us create more of the content you enjoy. If you have any ideas for new and exciting decks you want me to look at you can contact me directly @MTGTengu over on Twitter. But until next time remember no matter the game you play or where you play it, Good Luck and Have Fun.