Every preview season, we come across at least one weird/wonderful card that makes us scratch our heads in bemusement. It will be a wall of text than makes us stop in our assessment of the new set and ask the question, “Ok. So how does this work and how is it broken”. Most of the time the card will allow a niche strategy to take shape, but occasionally these cards will result in a deck that can break the format wide open and makes us wonder how Wizards let it past the playtest stage of development.
Today we look at one such card from Kaldheim, and how it has led to a new combo brew that can put you on the fast track to victory as soon as turn two. That’s right, it’s time to make a deal with a devil and look at Tibalt’s Trickery Combo for Standard.
Tibalt’s Trickery is an unusual card for a lot of reasons. First of all, it’s a counter spell in red, which while not a completely new thing in Magic is certainly very rare. Second and most importantly, it has the potential to sneak out a super powerful treat in the right deck. You see, after countering a spell, you first mill that spells controller for one, two or three cards (chosen at random) then they exile cards from the top of their library until they hit a non-land card that has a different name than the original countered spell. That player can then cast that spell, FOR FREE, before putting the exiled cards on the bottom of their library.
Now, if you were to cast this to stop your opponent casting a spell, it basically gives them another random spell from their deck, which could be worse /or better for you than the original. But if you were to build your deck right, you could use Tibalt’s Trickery to get a powerful win condition like Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, by countering one of our own spells as early as turn two!
What cards do we counter this early I hear you ask? Why, Stonecoil Serpent and Tormod’s Crypt of course. Both are spells that either are, or could be cast for zero mana, leaving us enough mana to counter it on turn two. We then dig through our deck for a win-con and ride it all the way to the finishing line. Know it is possible to “brick” by hitting either another copy of Tibalt’s Trickery or the other zero mana spell. But we can minimise the chances of this from happening by filling the top end of our deck with a ton of powerful win conditions in order to increase the chances of hitting something useful.
But what do we use as our win-cons? Anything you want. It’s really up to you. Dig through you binder and pick the best cards you have available and go nuts. But, if you are looking for suggestion then I have a few. Obviously the above mentioned Ugin, the Spirit Dragon is a great choice, as is Koma, Cosmos Serpent and Dream Trawler for difficult to remove bombs. Kiora Bests the Sea God is a really underrated card that can quickly win games, while both The Prismatic Bridge and Genesis Ultimatum can get us multiple threat on the board. But again, these are only suggestion and you should go for what you want to play.
For a mana base we want to walk the fine line between have untapped mana to cast Tibalt’s Trickery as early as possible and been able to hard cast our other spells should our primary plan fail. For basics we are going to run four Mountains, three Forests and two Islands, while we also run full playsets of Cragcrown Pathway and Riverglide Pathway. Three copies of Ketria Triome are a decent choice, while a playset of The World Tree gives us great mana fixing in the late game.
4 Stonecoil Serpent
4 Esika, God of the Tree // The Prismatic Bridge
4 Dream Trawler
4 Koma, Cosmos Serpent
4 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
4 Tibalt’s Trickery
4 Genesis Ultimatum
4 Tormod’s Crypt
4 Kiora Bests the Sea God
4 Cragcrown Pathway
3 Ketria Triome
4 Riverglide Pathway
4 The World Tree
3 Demon Bolt
4 Lotus Cobra
When it comes to sideboarding, we don’t want to mess too much with the deck as it will dilute the decks potency. But if we do need the change up our game plan (due to having our opponent having an answer to our combo) we can go for a ramp strategy by adding in some playsets of Lotus Cobra and Cultivate, if we need some counter magic, we can bring in some Negates. And finally, if we need some removal of our own, we can throw in a few Demon Bolts.
And that is Tibalt’s Trickery Combo for Standard. The deck is a blast to play (and a nightmare to play against). Just remember that its ok to aggressively mulligan in order to have our combo pieces in hand at the start of the game, or even abandon to combo if you have a decent non-combo starting hand. You can also make the deck a lot more budget by cutting back on the mana base or changing up what bombs you want to run. Just remember to enable full control if you play this deck on Arena.
But what do you think about today’s deck? Is this what you want to play in Standard? 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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