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Aintrazi Subscription – Kiora’s Home

Crashing through the ocean
In a no-horse open wave
O’er the tides we go
Playing extra lands all day, HEY!

Nothing says Merry Christmas like drawing extra cards and playing extra lands. She’s the hero we’ve been looking for, the champion of Krakens, and she guides us on how to [card]Explore[/card] twice legally. I’m here to talk about Kiora and try to see if we can find a home for our fishy friend. While I think her best role is in a Bant control deck, I have to put her in a [card]Maze’s End[/card] deck as well.

Before we start though, I’d like to talk about Kiora a little. If you just take away one thing from this article, take this-

-Kiora is the best planeswalker ever printed, next to lord Nicol Bolas. Yes, even better than [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card].

That is all.

Firstly let’s talk about Brian Braun-Duin’s list.

[deck]Main Deck
3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
3 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
5 Island
4 Plains
1 Breeding Pool
4 Hallowed Fountain
2 Mutavault
1 Temple Garden
4 Temple of Enlightenment
3 Temple of Mystery
3 Temple of Plenty
4 Detention Sphere
4 Azorius Charm
4 Dissolve
2 Last Breath
4 Sphinx’s Revelation
1 Syncopate
4 Supreme Verdict
Sideboard
1 Pithing Needle
4 Archangel of Thune
3 Mistcutter Hydra
2 Negate
3 Brimaz, King of Oreskos
2 Revoke Existence[/deck]

With this list we are not trying to ramp with Kiora. She is just another planeswalker to win with, so there’s no need for [card]Sylvan Caryatid[/card] since we are going the full control route. It’s basically just U/W Control splashing for Kiora. The best thing about these ‘walkers is that they all protect each other with their +1 abilities, making it much easier to ultimate all of them. And Kiora has one of the best ultimates for a four-mana planeswalker that also happens to come out quickly, doesn’t force you to play a certain style of deck like [card]Koth of the Hammer[/card] (Koth also can’t protect himself), and her emblem is extremely difficult to beat. Just make sure to yell, “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” when you ultimate her.

Scry lands were very underrated when first spoiled, but people were quickly proven wrong about them when single- or two-colored decks started playing them just for the scry ability. Born of the Gods gave us new scry lands, and Brian’s list runs a whopping 10 scry lands! They may slow you down a little, but they allow you to go through your deck much more quickly or set up a key turn with a certain card that also has protection from [card]Thoughtseize[/card]. Kiora is just a catalyst for all of this.

The sideboard is transformational for when people board out their removal, but these kinds of sideboards only work when your opponent isn’t expecting it. When people know you’re bringing creatures into your creatureless deck, the surprise factor is lost and not worth the slots. I would keep the Archangels and just play normal control cards like [card]Gainsay[/card], [card]Jace, Memory Adept[/card], and [card]Soldier of Pantheon[/card] over [ccProd]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/ccProd]. You want Brimaz in against control and aggro decks. But he doesn’t have quite the impact as [card]Hero of Bladehold[/card] against the control decks—he’s actually a little slow against them. [card]Soldier of Pantheon[/card] protects you early against the hyper aggressive decks.

Overall, I really love this control list. It’s pretty solid!

Safe with Kiora

[deck]Main Deck
2 Azorius Guildgate
2 Boros Guildgate
1 Dimir Guildgate
1 Golgari Guildgate
2 Gruul Guildgate
2 Izzet Guildgate
4 Maze’s End
1 Orzhov Guildgate
3 Forest
3 Plains
1 Rakdos Guildgate
3 Selesnya Guildgate
2 Simic Guildgate
1 Assemble the Legion
4 Detention Sphere
1 Blind Obedience
2 Verdant Haven
2 Supreme Verdict
4 Pacifism
2 Sphinx’s Revelation
4 Sphere of Safety
1 Heliod, God of the Sun
4 Mana Bloom
2 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
4 Saruli Gatekeepers
2 Courser of Kruphix[/deck]

This is obviously a rough sketch, but it’s a fine starting point. Once I get all the cards on MTGO, I’ll try to give you guys a video on it with a refined list. The point of this deck is to stall as long as you can with [card]Pacifism[/card], [card]Detention Sphere[/card], [card]Saruli Gatekeepers[/card], and [card]Sphere of Safety[/card] until you can win with [card]Maze’s End[/card], [card]Heliod, God of the Sun[/card], [ccProd]Kiora[/ccProd], or [card]Assemble the Legion[/card]. Keep in mind that Heliod makes enchantment Clerics, so they count toward [card]Sphere of Safety[/card]. [card]Blind Obedience[/card] is also a mini-combo with [card]Mana Bloom[/card] that I wanted to try out. It may honestly just not be worth it, and we may want a [card]Crackling Perimeter[/card], Assemble, or another Heliod instead.

It’s hard to run spells that have cost double of the same mana in a Maze’s End deck, like [card]Courser of Kruphix[/card], so I just want to try out 2 for now and see how they play out. Same can be said about Sphinx’s Revelation, but you honestly just want to cast that spell late in the game and hopefully by then color isn’t really an issue.

I’ve opted to play no wrath effects to get as much use out of [card]Sphere of Safety[/card] as possible. I’m hoping Sphere of Safety acts as a wrath effect by keeping all their creatures at bay while we sphere or pacify the stronger ones.

In the sideboard, I’d run some number of [card]Pithing Needle[/card]s, [card]Revoke Existence[/card], [card]Crackling Perimeter[/card], [card]Fated Retribution[/card], and probably some [card]Slaughter Games[/card]. Again, though, I’m not sure what I’d want without getting a feel for the new metagame and what I need to answer. I’ll get back to you guys after I grind some games with it.

BUG Midrange

[deck]Main Deck
2 Prognostic Sphinx
2 Master of Waves
4 Nightveil Specter
4 Jace, Architect of Thought
2 Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver
3 Kiora, the Crashing Wave
1 Vraska the Unseen
2 Abrupt Decay
1 Dimir Charm
2 Dissolve
1 Far Away
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Devour Flesh
2 Hero’s Downfall
2 Opportunity
4 Thoughtseize
4 Breeding Pool
2 Island
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Swamp
4 Temple of Deceit
4 Temple of Mystery
4 Watery Grave
Sideboard
1 Pithing Needle
1 Far Away
2 Drown in Sorrow
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Unravel the Aether
2 Gainsay
2 Notion Thief
1 Jace, Memory Adept
2 Golgari Charm
2 Underworld Connections[/deck]

Here’s another deck that Kiora could potentially fit into. We lack [card]Sphinx’s Revelation[/card], but that doesn’t mean we lack card advantage. We still have it in [card]Nightveil Specter[/card], [card]Jace, Architect of Thought[/card], [ccProd]Ashiok[/ccProd], [ccProd]Kiora[/ccProd], and [card]Opportunity[/card]. I like having a wide variety of removal because I want to have a way to answer any threat thrown at us. I like knowing that my deck has a way out against most scenarios.

We have a mini-mono-blue theme going on here with Specters, Jace, and [card]Prognostic Sphinx[/card]. That’s why I’ve included [card]Master of Waves[/card]. I don’t think you need to build your deck completely around Master of Waves for it to be good. Making two or three guys is usually good enough. Master of Waves does a lot in this deck by giving us a win condition or a way to defend our planeswalkers. Attacking into 6 power worth of guys usually isn’t very good for the opponent, but sometimes they will have to for fear of a planeswalker ultimate.

The sideboard isn’t anything fancy, just a wide array of answers to possible threats our opponents may have. Right now the meta is very control heavy with a dash of R/G Monsters, but everything is still new. We just need to give it time to mature. This deck is another one I’ll be playing on Magic Online, and I’ll try to give you guys a video and/or an update on the deck!

The last deck I want to talk about doesn’t involve Kiora, but it’s worth exploring. I believe the best way to win with your mono-white deck against all the new removal is to splash blue for card advantage and universal removal in the form of [card]Detention Sphere[/card]. This list is from Ryan Stampke.

U/W Ephara

[deck]4 Soldier of the Pantheon
2 Daring Skyjek
4 Precinct Captain
4 Brimaz ,King of Oreskos
4 Lyev Skyknight
3 Banisher Priest
4 Ephara, God of the Polis
1 Heliod, God of the Sun
4 Detention Sphere
2 Spear of Heliod
4 Brave the Elements
2 Azorius Guildgate
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Temple of Enlightenment
1 Island
3 Mutavault
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
9 Plains[/deck]

I’m not usually a huge fan of aggressive strategies, but this one I could easily get behind.

The blue splash gives us access to [card]Detention Sphere[/card], [card]Lyev Skynight[/card], and [ccProd]Ephara[/ccProd]. Detention Sphere is one of if not the best removal spell in Standard. [card]Lyev Skynight[/card] is a fantastic threat with evasion that allows us to hold off a blocker, potential attacker, or planeswalker. He also adds 2 devotion for Ephara. Ephara is our engine. We try to abuse her by running the full number of Precinct Captains, Heliod, and Brimaz. With Ephara on the board, we don’t need to risk the game by extending into a wrath. As long as we hold a couple of creatures or a [card]Precinct Captain[/card]/[ccProd]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/ccProd] for after a wrath, we can refill our hand easily.

This deck is pretty linear, but it has a lot of synergy. If you enjoy aggressive decks or white weenie decks. I highly recommend giving this deck a go.

I think Kiora will have an impact on Standard, she just needs time to catch on. [card]Ajani Vengeant[/card] was also a hybrid planeswalker that didn’t catch on quickly, but once it did, people really saw his potential. I believe the same is true for Kiora.

Ride the wave or get swept in the tide,
Ali Aintrazi

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