With convoke coming back to Standard, it seemed like a given that we would get some new token generators or cards that ramped up in power if you could spam the board early. Well, we’ve now seen enough to confirm those suspicions and while Goblin Chainwhirler is still your main adversary, the concepts remain workable. If nothing else, it’s worth building with these shells to see which convoke cards shine regardless of the exact circumstances.
March of the Multitudes is a confusing convoke card at a glance. Build a board! Tap all of your lands and creatures to make… a bigger board! Lose the entire board to one whirly boi! Jokes aside, the one saving grace about this card is that you can cast it at instant speed, giving a typically inflexible deck a powerful option when things aren’t going well. It also represents a useful mana sink against Settle the Wreckage decks, giving you something threatening to do later in the game.
Venerated Loxodon is actually one of the most interesting cards spoiled so far, and one that really hasn’t gotten much press. Loxodon not only lets you plop down a 4/4 on curve, but it pumps all of your supporting creatures and pushes them out of Goblin Chainwhirler range. If you’re on the play, your red opponent may not even have the opportunity to set it up effectively. All you need is a turn-1 and a turn-2 play. Almost any combination gets there, even through a removal spell, and you turn-3 the Loxodon to end up with anywhere from 8-10 power on the table. That seems reasonable in any aggro deck, let alone ones where you build around the potential of pumping 3-4 creatures on the regular.
It also makes end-step March of the Multitudes into Venerated Loxodon to set up a brand new lifelink army of 2/2s possible. March into pump makes for some really interesting lines the go wide strategies were incapable of before. Not to mention, with Walking Ballista out of the format, you aren’t going to be punished for pumping out a handful of 1/1s nearly as often.
March of Loxodons
Like I was saying earlier, with cards like Hunted Witness and Saproling Migration, you’ll often guarantee the two creatures to convoke a Venerated Loxodon on turn 3. While a 4/4 may not hold the high regard it once did, it remains a relevant threat and is big enough to block effectively in many matchups. If your opponent stumbles at all or plays a smaller creature deck, you’ve got a 4/4, 2/2, and 2/2 on the board on turn 3 and that sets you up nicely for a turn-4 Benalish Marshal or to simply remove a blocker and attack. Later in the game, it isn’t difficult to set up the dream of a four-creature pump and a 1-mana Loxodon.
You can also kill people out of nowhere with the March/Pride combination, even with a seemingly normal land and creature count. Just having two creatures and four lands means a March for three tokens. At that point, if you play a land, you’ll have enough for City’s Blessing and can play Pride of Conquerors with ascend and go for lethal. If you’re playing against a midrange deck and are able to build a board but unable to attack through blockers, then it’s the same concept: wait until they tap out for a large threat or planeswalker, tap all of your creatures and lands to generate 5-7 tokens, and then swing for lethal right into them.
If you want a white aggro deck instead, I’ve got you covered.
The loss of Shefet Dunes hurts, but Pride of Conquerors is still a very powerful card, and with the format likely getting slower and less efficient, it opens up space for History of Benalia once again. Without all of the Vehicles or Servo Exhibition we can’t go back to the Karn, Scion of Urza plan, but there’s plenty of room to experiment with other midrange options, especially if you go Golgari or Selesnya.
While March of the Multitudes may not be the new Decree of Justice or even Secure the Wastes, it has a fairly unique effect in the format, and instant-speed threats are often underrated at first glance. Meanwhile, Venerated Loxodon may be too slow in a fully established format or a little too situational if we see a format based solely around board control. But because it only needs a handful of enablers and isn’t as all-in on a theme as March, I think that it’ll be a player.