U/R God-Pharaoh’s Gift by manaclerend on MtGO

Creatures (28)
4 Angel of Invention
4 Champion of Wits
4 Glint-Nest Crane
4 Hollow One
4 Insolent Neonate
4 Minister of Inquiries
4 Walking Ballista

Non-Creature Spells (11)
4 Cathartic Reunion
1 Aethersphere Harvester
4 Gate to the Afterlife
2 God-Pharaoh’s Gift

Lands (21)
4 Aether Hub
1 Ipnu Rivulet
5 Island
5 Mountain
4 Spirebluff Canal
2 Wandering Fumarole

Sideboard (15)
1 Wandering Fumarole
1 Aethersphere Harvester
1 Abrade
3 Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1 Essence Scatter
2 Glorybringer
1 Jace’s Defeat
2 Negate
1 Oath of Jace
2 Sweltering Suns

Summary

The innovative God-Pharaoh’s Gift deck that popped up before and during Pro Tour Hour of Devastation got a lot of players interested in armies of 4/4’s. It overpowered almost anything thrown at it, but tended to struggle against the Ramunap Red decks that were predicted to dominate the Pro Tour. Since then, we’ve seen some of it here and there, but a new color combination may be required to reinvent the powerful engine for this metagame.

Like all decks in this archetype, the main goal is to put cards into its graveyard, and then get God-Pharaoh’s Gift into play and reanimate creatures turn after turn until the opponent can’t keep up. For this deck, Gate to the Afterlife provides an additional way of getting the 7 mana artifact into play. While it requires 6 creatures in the graveyard, that’s very close to not being a drawback, as this deck easily gets cards into its graveyard and wants them there for God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

To get cards into the graveyard, this deck plays Champion of Wits, Insolent Neonate, Minister of Inquiries, and Cathartic Reunion. Champion of Wits is an incredibly strong card for this strategy, as it wants to dig through cards, put cards into the graveyard, and fill up on gas later in the game. Insolent Neonate and Cathartic Reunion demand that you have cards you want to discard initially, but they are both good rates for their mana cost. Minister of Inquiries doesn’t do anything outside of milling, but it gets enough cards into the graveyard for its mana cost that it demands a removal spell most time it’s played.

The turn to red has given more loot spells, making Hollow One a very powerful option in the early game as a way of blunting the Ramunap Red assault. It usually costs 1 mana, making it a great use of mana and a card. Glint-Nest Crane also adds some much-needed consistency to this deck, and is an excellent reanimation target.

Angel of Invention is the best card to reanimate, as it brings multiple creatures along with it, or additional life gain that can claw you back into most games. Reanimating multiple is usually a game-ender. While Walking Ballista isn’t the best card to reanimate, it uses up mana very well both in the early game and the late game, and does good work against aggressive decks.

Here are the changes I would make going forward:

Mainboard

-1 Glint-Nest Crane

-1 Walking Ballista

-1 Aethersphere Harvester

+3 Cataclysmic Gearhulk

Sideboard

-1 Wandering Fumarole

-1 Abrade

-1 Essence Scatter

+2 Glorybringer

+1 Jace’s Defeat

This is day 233 of Spellsnare.com’s 2017 Deck of the Day column, where each day we’ll feature a different Standard, Modern, or Legacy deck that caught our eye. You can read day 232 here, where we featured a Legacy midrange deck that’s looking to make a big splash in this reinvented format.

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