In the Arena Decklists discord this week, a question was posed: “what can we do with four mana on turn two?” The recent addition of Phyrexian Tower to Historic, combined with either Llanowar Elves or Gilded Goose, is the Arbor Elf + Utopia Sprawl of Modern. We didn’t go the land destruction route of Ponza, but getting out beefy creatures ahead of schedule seemed like a good plan in a format full of Temur Reclamation and goblins.
After a quick search for the most powerful 4-drops in Historic, I came up with the idea to use cost-reducing effects to let us keep deploying threats after ritualling out a creature on turn two. Umori, the Collector seemed like a perfect fit as a companion, since we were already in Golgari colors and playing lots of creatures. Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma provides cost reduction for 4-power creatures and grants trample to creatures like Rotting Regisaur that might be chump-blocked otherwise. With Goreclaw in play, Reggie only costs a single black mana, a pretty good rate for a 7/6!
Another hidden gem was added in Jumpstart with Bone Picker. A 3/2 deathtouch flyer for four mana would not be exciting, but if a creature has died that turn, it also only costs a single black mana. Since we’re in the market for sacrificing our mana dorks, it’s a perfect fit.
I queued up the deck for a test run, and in the very first match, had the nuts hand. Turn 1 Gilded Goose, turn 2 Phyrexian Tower, Rotting Regisaur, Bone Picker. 10 power across two bodies, one flying.
Nightmare Shepherd and Spawn of Mayhem add more strong, evasive threats to the deck. With Temur Reclamation as one of the most played decks, both creatures blank Aether Gust and Magmaquake, and they are able to fly over zombies from the decks playing Field of the Dead. Massacre Wurm also excels at cleaning up those zombies, not to mention pinging for a 2 for each one, often enough to end the game on the spot.
After playing the deck all day, it had put up impressive numbers and felt like it had game against almost anything in the format. I finished 6-0 versus Temur Reclamation and 3-1 against Goblins, which is exactly where I want to be going into the Arena Open this weekend.