Deck of the Day: Orzhov Vehicles

The B/W-based shell that relies on Vehicles and artifact synergies continues to get powerful tools. So many, in fact, that red is no longer necessary. With aggressive creatures up the curve, a 4-mana planeswalker and 5-mana game-ending creature, and a suite of cheap removal, this could be a top contender in Standard.

History of Benalia may be the biggest addition. A 3-mana 2/2 vigilance creature is nothing to write home about, but the 2nd copy you get for free on the next turn is some real power for 3 mana. Pumping all your Knights +2/+1 the following turn is a massive damage swing, as you’ve now attacked for 10 on turn 5 with no other assistance. With more copies of History of Benalia that will pump previous versions’ Knights, and a slew of 2-drops, this is a game changer.

Dominaria brought Knight of Malice to pair with our Saga. A 2/2 first strike for 2 is decent, but a 3/2 first strike is going to win in combat almost all the time. With more and more white removal spells in Standard thanks to Cast Out, Ixalan’s Binding, and now Seal Away, hexproof from white is valuable. Curving Knight of Malice into History of Benalia into anything at all can get you all the way to 20 damage on turn 5 rather easily.

Your curve, however, still starts at 1. You have Toolcraft Exemplar and it’s as good as it has ever been. A 1-mana 3/2 creature is still ridiculous and you have plenty of artifacts to make it happen.

Scrapheap Scrounger actually doesn’t have a ton of creatures to exile, but it doesn’t need them. The threat is often enough for your opponent to avoid a trade, and you’re getting a 3/2 creature for 2 mana as the floor. Bringing it back even a single time is often more than enough,——— and this makes sure you can stay aggressive.

You still have your Vehicles that originally put this deck on the map. Heart of Kiran is the best of the bunch and you’re going to play four despite it being legendary. With plenty of 3-power creatures for 1 or 2, as well as planeswalkers to crew the Heart, this demands an answer and rarely cares if one is stuck in hand while hitting for 4 turn after turn. Aethersphere Harvester provides another evasive threat, some life gain for the races, and more artifacts for Exemplar.

Karn, Scion of Urza gives this deck a way to fight on multiple fronts. You’re often going to get to draw the second card when you want it thanks to Karn’s high loyalty and the aggressive nature of this deck, making it tough to ever attack Karn. This deck also takes great advantage of Karn’s ability to make artifact creatures as you already have a dozen other artifacts in the deck. If Karn is making multiple threats, it’s even harder for the opponent to win. You also have a Gideon of the Trials to shut down an opposing threat or as a 3-mana 4/4 to start getting aggressive.

Walking Ballista provides a “split card” of sorts as you can play it early when you need an artifact or cheap removal spell, and you can play it late as a finisher. You don’t need too many of those, however, thanks to Karn and the additional of Lyra Dawnbringer. The new Baneslayer Angel shuts down the board and swings the race completely in your favor if you get just one hit in.

 

Orzhov has some nice removal options. Fatal Push we all know and love, and Cast Out can be cycled or cast to remove any problems. Seal Away is the new kid on the block to help win races and gives you more instant-speed interaction.

Losing red hasn’t cut down on the power level of this deck as Dominaria has added so many powerful weapons. Instead, you get better mana that’s only improved with Isolated Chapel, and this is going to be a top deck in Standard going forward!

Orzhov Vehicles

MYYAMAGAT, 2nd place in the MTGO PTQ

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