Also known as Czech Cavalry, this is the deck I submitted for this week’s MPL matches.
Throne of Eldraine Standard
2 Sacred Foundry 4 Steam Vents 4 Hallowed Fountain 1 Plains (331) 2 Mountain (343) 2 Temple of Epiphany 4 Temple of Triumph 2 Island (335) 4 Castle Vantress 4 Fabled Passage 4 Bonecrusher Giant/Stomp 4 Cavalier of Gales 4 Cavalier of Flame 1 Niv-Mizzet, Parun 4 Teferi, Time Raveler 4 Deafening Clarion 3 Aether Gust 3 Drawn from Dreams 4 Fires of Invention Sideboard 2 Disdainful Stroke 3 Ashiok, Dream Render 3 Devout Decree 3 Realm-Cloaked Giant/Cast Off 4 Mystical Dispute
4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221
4 Temple of Triumph (M20) 257
4 Steam Vents (GRN) 257
3 Drawn from Dreams (M20) 56
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
4 Cavalier of Flame (M20) 125
2 Temple of Epiphany (M20) 253
4 Cavalier of Gales (M20) 52
4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125
2 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
3 Aether Gust (M20) 42
4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
4 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242
2 Island (ELD) 255
2 Mountain (WAR) 260
4 Deafening Clarion (GRN) 165
4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
1 Plains (RNA) 260
1 Niv-Mizzet, Parun (GRN) 192
3 Realm-Cloaked Giant (ELD) 26
4 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58
3 Devout Decree (M20) 13
3 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
2 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37
There are a lot of interesting things about this deck, so let me explain. First of all, the card that makes this deck possible:
Fires of Invention
Every time they print a card that lets you cheat on mana, it ends up being broken in one way or another. Fires of Invention is no different and it basically lets you spend double your mana every turn without ever tapping your lands. The downside is that you are limited to only playing 2 spells and only on your turn.
The first time I saw Fires of Invention with Cavalier of Flame was one of VTCLA’s brews. It looked really good with Fires because you can use all your mana for the +1/+0 ability and it gives haste to all your creatures, itself included, which is really important because you can just add two creatures to the board every turn and immediately turn them sideways. This red/green list also uses Wildborn Preserver very nicely because you can use all your mana every turn to add a bunch of extra counters on it. The only problem is that you have no card selection to find Fires more consistently, but on the other hand, your deck can just function as a normal R/G midrange deck without it.
Early on, I also saw a few Jeskai Fires decklists with planeswalkers, but Sarkhan looks a lot less appealing now that Brazen Borrower can just bounce your token for free at instant speed. There are also a lot of aggressive decks right now so cards like Narset or Saheeli usually get killed the turn you play them.
Fae of Wishes is another interesting card that pairs really well with Fires of Invention. It gives you access to a lot of great silver bullets from all colors (Casualties of War, Kaya’s Wrath or Time Wipe, Elderspell, Chandra, Awakened Inferno…). Basically, you have the entire Standard format at your disposal. The downside is that you have much less space in the sideboard and it makes the deck a bit slower.
In the end, we thought that this version with Cavaliers looked the most promising because you are very proactive rather than having a bunch of defensive cards that aren’t good without Fires and the Cavaliers work really well in the deck.
How does the deck work?
There are 29 lands in the deck because you absolutely need to make the first 5-6 land drops and Cavalier of Flames lets you trade useless cards in hand for new ones. Castle Vantress is amazing and very powerful in this deck because with Fires in play you never have to tap out, so you use your mana to scry 2 every turn, making sure you don’t flood out.
Here are some tips and tricks you should know:
- With Castle Vantress, make sure to set a stop in your upkeep, as often you will want to use it before your draw step, especially if you are looking for something specific.
- Don’t forget that you can choose both modes with Deafening Clarion, which is a great way to both sweep your opponent’s board and gain a bunch of life with 2 attacking Cavaliers.
- Cavalier of Flame’s death trigger can be important in two different ways. Firstly, sometimes it just kills your opponent. Remember that when sequencing how to scry and what are you going to discard to its ability. Sometimes it can be a little unintuitive what to do, especially when you play Cavalier of Gales first in the same turn–you will want to keep the “bad cards” in your hand, so that you then discard them to Cavalier of Flames and get deeper into your deck. Secondly, after playing Deafening Clarion, the Cavalier of Flames dying trigger gives you life as well, which is important in some racing situations.
- Be careful with which 2 cards you put back on top with Cavalier of Gales because it also has a death trigger that shuffles your library. I found this out the hard way when I put a key Fires of Invention with it on the top of my deck, feeling smart, intending to protect it from my opponents Duress, only to have the Cavalier die to Murderous Rider, shuffling my library a me drawing a random land next turn instead… It does work nicely with Fabled Passage though, essentially mimicking the Brainstorm + fetchland sequence that we can often see in Legacy.
- You don’t always want to play a scryland on turn 1. Sometimes you want to draw both lands and spells and it’s better to wait a turn or two when you have more information.
- There is currently 3x maindeck Aether Gust, which will likely change as the format evolves. Right now, the best decks seem to be playing green, whether it is for Gilded Goose, Oko and Nissa in ramp or Questing Beast in aggro or Circuitous Route in Golos decks.
- Don’t forget that Teferi cannot “overrule” Fires of Invention. Even if you activate the +1 ability, you still won’t be able to play spells at instant speed.
- Teferi’s +1 ability with Deafening Clarion in hand is excellent against Simic Ramp, which is capable of producing a lot of 3/3 of haste creatures with Nissa and Oko.
This deck is really powerful and shines especially in matchups where Deafening Clarion is good. Teferi can win you the game on its own against something like U/G Flash and you also have a great sideboard. Unfortunately, one day before our MPL deck submission deadline, Bryan Gottlieb won the Sunday Fandom Legends Caster Cup #2 with Bant Golos Ramp, which can be a tough matchup for this deck and it also means that you greatly suffer from splash damage as the cards that are good against Bant Golos, namely Disdainful Stroke and Agent of Treachery, are both excellent against this deck and are starting to show up in big numbers in other sideboards.
3 Devout Decree come against Mono-Black and Mono-Red aggro. 2 Disdainful Stroke come in against Bant Golos Ramp, Esper Doom Foretold and other Fires of Invention decks. 4 Mystical Dispute is also good against Bant Golos, because it can counter Teferi, Circuitous Route, Golos or Agent of Treachery really well. Don’t be afraid to use it aggressively on a Growth Spiral though, as you won’t be able to use it later with Fires in play. 3 Realm-Cloaked Giant come in against creature decks, especially those that have creatures that survive Clarion.
Out: 3 Teferi, Time Raveler
In: 3 Devout Decree
In: 2 Realm-Cloaked Giant