Peer Devotion

At long last, Core Set 2021 is out and available for us budding brewers to try out. Whether you are a Standard, Pioneer, Modern, Legacy or Commander player, there is bound to be something that will tickle your fancy from Magics latest set. As I’ve said many times before, I absolutely love Core Sets. It the time of year Wizards of the Coast are free to print whatever they feel like for Standard, without having to worry about flavour or the lore of the plane we are currently visiting. What’s more, I find Core Set drafting to be one of the greatest limited environments, where we can just get back to the basics of what makes Magic great.

Last week I got to have an early look at the future of Standard, with the Early Access Streamer Event for Core Set 2021. Every time I get to play in one of these events, I have an absolute blast and this time was no exception. I’m very luckily that Wizards provides me with the free preview account so I can test out new brews and strategies, giving me loads of ideas for decks to create for you wonderful people.

It was during the event that I came across the subject of todays deck tech. A new combo that I didn’t just lose once to, but a whole bunch of times. It was a combo that I thought would be fun, but I had no idea it would be so effective. What’s more, the linchpin card of this strategy has some of the creepiest art I’ve seen on a Magic card in a while. That’s right. Today we look at Peer into the Abyss combo for Standard.


Peer into the Abyss is a Magic card that I talked about back during my Magic 2021 Preview article, and I stated I would be brewing with this card in the very near future. A sorcery for a whopping seven mana, Peer into the Abyss forces a target player to draw half their deck and lose half their life. Note that it says “target player” and not you specify. This means that you can hit your opponent for half their life total in a single shot. “But they are getting half their deck” I hear you cry into the cold void of the aether. “Isn’t that bad for us?” Well it would be, if they were alive to take advantage of it.

You see, the other half of this combo is the Enchantment Underworld Dreams, a card that “pings” our opponent every time they draw a card. And now you see the game plan. Given that our opponent will probably be drawing around twenty cards at a minimum, and they will have already lost half their life total, it’s easy to assume that they will just be dead on the spot once Peer into the Abyss resolves. Feel free to add in your own “headshot” meme here for effect.

So that’s the plan, but two cards a deck does not make. So, we are going to need a few more piece to make this work. Since we are very reliant on black mana to make our plan work it only seems fitting that we base the majority of the deck on the already well established Mono Black Devotion shell. This not only make the high mana demands of Underworld Dreams and Peer into the Abyss easier, but also gives us a backup win condition with card like Gray Merchant of Asphodel benefiting off the above-mentioned Underworld Dreams.

For aggressive threat we will run a playset of Knight of the Ebon Legion and Gray Merchant of Asphodel, three copies of Tymaret, Chosen from Death and Ayara, First of Locthwain, as well as a pair of Rankle, Master of Pranks. Next up we will put together a decent hand disruption package with a full playset of Yarok’s Fenlurker and three copies of Agonizing Remorse, followed up by a remove suet of Murderous Rider and Drag to the Underworld. Round of the main deck will be twenty-four lands, including three copies of Castle Locthwain and Witch’s Cottage, and finally the Underworld Dreams and Peer into the Abyss combo itself.

Creatures (24)
Knight of the Ebon Legion
Yarok’s Fenlurker
Tymaret, Chosen from Death
Ayara, First of Locthwain
Murderous Rider
Rankle, Master of Pranks
Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Spells (8)
Agonizing Remorse
Drag to the Underworld
Peer into the Abyss

Enchantments (4)
Underworld Dreams
Lands (24)
18 Swamp
Castle Locthwain
Witch’s Cottage

Sideboard (15)
Cry of the Carnarium
The Elderspell
Legion’s End
Leyline of the Void

When it comes to a sideboard, I’m a big fan of a more controlling game plan. More hand disruption with a playset of Duress is great when we come across the mirror and other control decks, while Cry of the Carnarium, The Elderspell and Legion’s End gives us more options for removal effects. Shadowspear is useful if our opponent is running gods or hexproof creatures, and finally Leyline of the Void puts an end to graveyard decks while also boosting our devotion count.

And that is the deck I like to call Peer Devotion. I’ve been enjoying playing the deck on Arena ladder over the last couple of days, and I think it has a real shot at been a competitive brew in the new Standard season. But what do you think about the deck? is this what you want to play, or have you a different brew you want to try out? Please let me know 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.

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2 thoughts on “Peer Devotion

  1. Look at adding in nyx lotus, it enables the combo much faster. I am surprised how often I can Underworld dreams on turn 3, nyx lotus, turn 4, and then peer into the abyss on turn 5 for the win.

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