Sometimes we get to thinking of fun as an oppositional force. Fun opposes productivity. Fun opposes hard work. Fun opposes serious. Fun opposes discipline. Fun opposes pain. Fun opposes winning.
I don’t think this is a good interpretation of fun. I believe that fun is a guide.
Productivity is fun. Hard work is fun. Serious is fun. Discipline is fun. Pain is fun. Winning is fun.
In Magic Winning IS Fun
These cards are fun… but that doesn’t mean playing them makes you not serious, not disciplined, not hard working, not ready to take tomorrow’s pain today, and not about to win this tournament.
Things were different in the past. But in Magic: the Gathering today, I believe that playing these kinds of cards gives you the best chance of winning. Omnidoor Thragfire is the REAL DEAL.
Omnidoor Thragfire is the Real Deal
Sphinx's Revelation is the most powerful card in Standard. Omnidoor is the deck built to use Sphinx's Revelation the best. We play 4. We play Increasing Ambition to find more. We ramp harder than anyone. We have 25 lands, 4 Farseek, 4 Ranger's Path, 3 Chromatic Lantern, 2 Gilded Lotus. We are casting Revelations for x = A LOT.
We also play Fog. Why is Fog good? Is this card for real? The card is very, very good in a focused Sphinx's Revelation deck. When we have a lot of mana and our opponent has a bunch of creatures, the most powerful thing we can be doing is chaining Sphinx's Revelations and Fogs. That’s what we do.
So we play “silly” cards like Door to Nothingness, Temporal Mastery, Griselbrand, Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, and Omniscience. Are these cards really necessary? Well, they make the game very easy to win. I don’t believe you should make winning hard. The easier it is, the more likely it is to happen.
Door is an extremely powerful play in Standard right now. It gets around all the life gain in the world. It gets around all the creature removal in existence. Simply put, it ends the game more easily than anything out there. There are many opportunities to sneak it into play, and opportunities to end the game out of nowhere with Temporal Mastery.
This card kills important noncreature permanents. It steals important creatures. It also ends the game without the need to commit a creature to the board. If we follow up a sweeper against many decks with this card, the game is pretty much over.
It also works well with the Temporal Masterys. If we are able to set up a situation where we can play Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker and chain several Temporal Masterys, that is a Nicol Bolas ultimate. BOOM.
Griselbrand is an extremely powerful creature. It lets us turn all that life gained from Revelations back into more cards. We can sneak it through with Cavern of Souls against control decks. And, in combination with Omniscience, we are allowed to do whatever the hell we want.
Yes, Omniscience is real. Read the card. Read it again. Read it with Increasing Ambition. Read it with Griselbrand. Is all this really necessary? Yes! In a format where lots of people are TRYING to go over the top, LET’S GO OVER THE TOP.
This is how we actually close games out of nowhere. If all we draw is ramp, Omnisicience, and an Increasing Ambition, the game ends the turn we hit 10 mana. 10 mana is a lot, but in a Sphinx's Revelation world, and a deck that ramps as hard as this one, 10 mana is really not that much. That’s the mid-game. Omniscience looks fun. IS fun. Also serious.
Taking Notes From LSV
LSV recently picked up the deck and went 4-0 in a Daily Event with it. “But he’s LSV, he could 4-0 with a ham sandwich!” No, no he couldn’t. He would 0-4 with a ham sandwich. LSV and players of his caliber are good because they play good decks well. I think this is obvious but it’s not obvious to a lot of people.
Playing with bad decks handicaps you badly. Playing good decks gives a massive advantage. Players like LSV take the massive advantage, and then they play brilliant Magic. So to me, seeing LSV play with the deck AND 4-0 with it gives me immense confidence.
FOUR! This should obviously be four, and I’m happy that LSV made that change. I’m unhappy to cut any Increasing Ambitions, but if I’m usually getting Revelation anyways, it makes sense. I have the fourth Ambition in the board because it is SO crazy against the slower decks.
LSV played two of these, and I already have one in my deck. Forcing through a Griselbrand is a pretty reasonable way to beat counterspell decks. Forcing through an army of Thragtusks is a pretty reasonable way to beat Flash decks.
LSV played four of these, but I think that’s overkill. I only have one Griselbrand, and yes we can’t cast it without a Gilded Lotus, Chromatic Lantern, or Omniscience, but that’s fine. I don’t want to sacrifice the mana base so that we can do it. However, I do have an Island still, which I can’t really explain, so I’m not saying we can’t improve the mana base. I don’t like maxing on Overgrown Tombs though.
LSV did not play this card and I think that was a mistake. The card will randomly kill control opponents out of nowhere. It’s also the best closer against Rakdos and Burn decks when we board in all of our life gain dorks and board out all of our actual kill conditions.
Wolf Run just makes games easier to win, and as I said before, making games easier to win means more wins.
I like Terminus quite a lot in this format. It’s great against Rakdos. It’s great against decks that build with Supreme Verdict in mind. It’s great against a lot of reanimator decks. It’s great against a lot of white- and green-based decks. I just love the card and think it’s one of the easiest ways to win creature matchups.
If you saw the video, you know how crazy this card is. With Rakdos such a big metagame player right now, I thought, why not? The card makes the matchup much easier. It plays well with Centaur Healer, Thragtusk, and Sphinx's Revelation. It blocks all day and it gains life all day. I’m fine with cutting cards in the board to fit this.
Luis played this card in his board. I think the card is fine against control, but I would rather just jam more Increasing Ambitions and more Cavern of Souls. If you want Dispel to fight Sphinx's Revelation battles, that’s fine by me. But I think you can win without it and I would rather skew my build towards aggro decks.
I am still playing Worldfire. This card is such a powerful haymaker against decks with Oblivion Ring and Detention Sphere. Against these decks we usually board up to 4 Thragtusk as well. Setting up a game winning Worldfire is not difficult. The card makes certain matchups and certain situations really easy to win. The easier it is to win, the better!
Mulliganing with Omnidoor
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with this deck is that they mulligan.
DO NOT MULLIGAN! I said it. Seriously. DON’T MULLIGAN! If you mulligan you will have one less mana in the mid-game, which means 1 less card off of the first Sphinx's Revelation, and 2 fewer cards off the second Sphinx's Revelation. Missing even a single card in your opening hand can snowball.
Starting hands are going to have cards like Omniscience in them. This does NOT mean you have “virtually mulliganned to six”. It’s like you have “virtually mulliganned to six—but then get an Omniscience”. And we are going to live to cast that Omniscience, because we are planning for the long term.
Obviously some hands you need to mulligan. Some hands just don’t have enough mana to function, and are unlikely to draw the mana to function. These are the kinds of hands that might need to be thrown back. But REMEMBER, you get to draw a card EVERY SINGLE TURN. Hands are not going to win the game with just 7 cards. They aren’t going to have everything they need with just 7 cards. So if something is missing, that’s fine. You will draw a card every single turn.
When sideboarding, you usually cut the high-end for life gain creatures, cut the sweepers for more bombs, or do nothing.
Doing nothing during sideboarding (or close to it) is actually pretty common, even against a lot of aggro decks. I see people incorrectly boarding in Centaur Healer sometimes. Boarding Centaur Healer correctly is one of the biggest difference makers in winning and losing with the deck.
If they have Gavony Township, don’t board this card. If they have Loxodon Smiter, don’t board this card. If they have Silverblade Paladin, don’t board this card. If they have Restoration Angel, don’t board this card.
In general, this card is to be boarded against Rakdos and Mono-Red, and rarely anything else. If you need more early game against Naya aggro decks, we’ve got 3 more sweeps in the board. Seven or eight sweepers is going to be enough to survive these decks, and bringing in Centaur Healer just makes our deck worse.
Enemies of the Deck
I actually don’t mind this card. I’m even excited when my opponent plays this. Why? Well, Farseek costs 3, Chromatic Lantern costs 4, and Supreme Verdict now costs 5. Will we survive to get to 5 mana against Thalia? Probably.
Thalia is a pretty poor aggressive play. It’s not very much pressure on the second turn. It’s only 2 damage a turn. It doesn’t pair well with many 3-mana plays either. So if the opponent plays Thalia on turn 2, yeah that will slow us down—but we’re still a favorite to live to Supreme Verdict, at which point the ball is in our court.
Both these planeswalkers are quite good against us, and I’ve lost to both. We only have Planar Cleansing and Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker to actually kill them. Jace does dig us into Increasing Ambitions though, which is surprisingly relevant. Do we need more answers to these cards? Maybe. Playing a couple Oblivion Rings in the board wouldn’t be horrible, but I would say just don’t worry about it. The cards don’t kill super fast and we do have some game, although I admit there is a soft spot there.
People ask me how to beat counterspells with this deck. I tell them to jam haymakers. Decks usually don’t play more than 4 hard counters in the main. We have much more than 4 must-counter threats, so we can usually just keep playing them until the opponent stops breathing.
Slaughter Games on our Sphinx's Revelations is kind of brutal, but that will leave us with four Increasing Ambitions. We can still get the job done with those, and our opponent just used an entire turn without affecting the board. So Slaughter Games is annoying, but it’s fine.
Rakdos's Return is like the opposite of Sphinx's Revelation. There are times when we are caught naked, but those times are few and far between. Usually it just counters our Sphinx's Revelation. If they do get our entire hand, at least we can flash back those Increasing Ambitions.
Hilariously Bad Maindeck Cards Against Us
The metagame has a lot of cards in main decks that are just plain horrible against us. Let’s take a look at some of them so that we can laugh at them.
These cards are so bad against us, and they are common!
Omnidoor is the REAL DEAL
Have fun winning!
Questions! Comments! Think there’s something I forgot??