Your opponent

The general strategy of this deck is having advantage regarding the decisions you can make during the Combat Phases. Usually, blocking your deathtouch creatures is something your opponent wants to avoid, since he'd have to sacrifice a creature. Using Throne of the God-Pharaoh and a constant supply of snakes from Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, the (former) chip damage you'll do gets devastating pretty fast. But since this deck has a lot more synergies than the one I just mentioned, I'll describe the use of every spell, arranged according to CMC.

  • Festering Mummy functions as our early blocker. Since we can put a counter on a target creature if Festering Mummy dies, it can block and kill a 2/2 attacker. If Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons is on the battlefield, a dying Festering Mummy will net us a snake, too.

  • Bone Picker should always be played for only one mana. Since we're playing aggressivly, a Bone Picker in our hand allows some riskier combat decisions, because the trade will involve us getting a 3/2 creature with flying and deathtouch. Though Bone Picker supports our poking strategy perfectly, we have to be more careful, since it is our only defense against flying creatures, too. Also, I experienced that an opponent is more willing to sacrifice a creature for blocking Bone Picker than it'd would be the case regarding our other deathtouch creatures without further evasion.

  • Hapatra's Mark: The primary use of Hapatra's Mark is to save Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons from removal spells. The secondary, but game-winning use is as a battle-trick in combination with Ammit Eternal, which can be reset to 5/5 after blockers are declared (you'll find further information regarding this in the CMC-3 panel). Even if you don't have Hapatra's Mark in your hand, try to keep one Forest untapped, so that your opponent always thinks he's in risk to waste a removal spell because of Hapatra's Mark.

  • Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons is one of our key cards in this deck, the other being Ammit Eternal. You'll want to get out Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons as soon as possible, though it is advised to wait until turn 3 if you also have Hapatra's Mark and a third mana in your hand. If you play Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and your opponent still hasn't any creatures on the battlefield, don't be shy to attack with Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and put the single -1/-1 counter on herself to gain a snake, we won't use her for blocking anyway!

  • Channeler Initiate enlarges our mana pool in the early game. It will eventually run dry, but that only means we'll have a 3/4 creature which is an excellent blocker and can do some good damage if it comes through because of Destined / Lead (Lead). Also, it's mana ability triggers Throne of the God-Pharaoh. Keep in mind that you can put counters generated by Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons and Festering Mummy on the Channeler Initiate if you think it's more worth it than putting it on an opponent's creature.

  • Gifted Aetherborn: Since it has 3 toughness, your opponent has to sacrifice a creature with 3 or more power to block and kill Gifted Aetherborn. This makes Gifted Aetherborn remarkably good for poking, because no matter how your opponent decides (taking 2 damage while we get 2 vs. sacrificing a strong creature), it'll hurt. If you cast Nature's Way while Gifted Aetherborn is on the battlefield, be sure to use Gifted Aetherborn for dealing the damage, since lifelink will trigger this way, too.

  • Nature's Way is our main removal spell. I chose Nature's Way over Fatal Push because Nature's Way, in combination with our creatures having deathtouch, enables us to kill any creature, no matter how many mana it costs to cast. You should cast this on Gifted Aetherborn because of it's lifelink, though there are some cases where the vigilance it gives is more advantageous on another creature (e.g. Bone Picker).

  • Throne of the God-Pharaoh: Having many creatures with deathtouch usually means we prolong the game by some turns, so chances are good we'll draw Throne of the God-Pharaoh, even if only three copies are included. Throne of the God-Pharaoh makes up for not playing big creatures in this deck, since it'll buff the chip-damage we'll do by a decent amount. But there's an even bigger advantage: Throne of the God-Pharaoh forces your opponent to eventually block and kill some of your creatures, so he steadily sacrifices his creatures, which may be pretty big at this point of the game. It is advised to ease up a bit and attack only with your snakes, which are more expendable than a Gifted Aetherborn or a Bone Picker, since your opponent will kill those first if he finally decides to block some of your creatures.

  • Ammit Eternal is our second key card alongside Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons. The best case scenario is playing Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons on turn 2 and Ammit Eternal on turn 3. From then on you'll get board control pretty fast. Make sure you'll attack with Ammit Eternal when it gets weak (e.g. 2/2 or lower), because your opponent definitely will block Ammit Eternal to keep his counters from resetting. If you're doing just that and nothing more, you'll get at least 3 snakes and 3 damage out of your mana investment, which is pretty good in itself. However, Ammit Eternal can get pretty annoying if you use Hapatra's Mark after blockers are declared, because as long as your opponent does not cast a creature with flash, Ammit Eternal will enter the Combat Damage Step as a 5/5 creature. From there, Ammit Eternal will be happily producing some more snakes again. Ammit Eternal also spares us the necessity of saving Destined / Lead (Lead) as finisher, because (Lead) gets way more impactful if we not only do some serious damage, but also reset the counters on our Ammit Eternal.

  • Destined / Lead Destined allows for some minor battle tricks, though it's primary use is to save our creatures (especially Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons) from destruction. Throne of the God-Pharaoh accelerated the opportunity to use Destined / Lead Lead as a finisher by a huge amount, though you shouldn't be shy to play Destined / Lead Lead the way mentioned in my description of Ammit Eternal's use. Keep in mind that you can play both halves of Destined / Lead in a single turn to kill two (snake), three (Gifted Aetherborn) or even four Bone Picker creatures of your choice without sacrificing any of yours. To clarify how this works: If a creature has Deathtouch and doesn't get killed during the Combat Damage step, it will always inflict only one damage (since that is the lethal amount) and move on to the next blocker, until it used it's maximum amount of power.

  • Supernatural Stamina instead of Hapatra's Mark: Supernatural Stamina allows us to harness all of Ammit Eternal's 5 toughness to produce snakes. But since you'll be casting it on your opponents main phase (when he casts the creature which would give Ammit Eternal the final counter), you won't be able to make use of it Ammit Eternal afflict ability.
  • Obelisk Spider instead of Bone Picker: Use this if you need a bit more defense, but don't count too much on Obelisk Spider to make an impact, since this deck isn't appropriate for utilizing the win-condition Obelisk Spider allows for.
  • Narnam Renegade instead of Gifted Aetherborn: If you feel like you're not getting out as fast as you should, put in the Narnam Renegade. Don't buther too much about triggering it's revolt ability early, Narnam Renegade's still worth it without triggering it.

If you put in the Obelisk Spider , you should also put in Narnam Renegade, because otherwise your average CMC would be above 2, which isn't advised.

If you like this deck, I'd appreciate you checking out my other standard decks, all of which are being updated until Amonkhet drops out of Standard:

Kojima likes this deck!

PS: Since Bone Picker should always be played as a CMC-1 creature, and Destined / Lead should be seen as a CMC-3 spell [(2+4)/3], the average CMC of this deck is just 1.90 (not 2.51).



rockingcheerio says... #1

this was a SUUUUPER fun deck to play test against. +1 from me!

June 12, 2017 9:33 a.m.

Wow... Lead is incredible. You may enjoy the card Pathway Arrows to take out creatures that find a way around deathtouch (ie first strike creatures).

June 14, 2017 4:38 p.m.

Hey silastheguardian, unfortunately I already ignored the blocks "Zendikar" and "Shadows Over Innistrad", since they get kicked out in a few months. But if I didn't, I'd put in Pathway Arrows the moment I read your comment! Thanks for your help!

June 14, 2017 5:01 p.m.

Seifer267 says... #4

After rotation I'm so turning my hapatra counter deck into this. Just awesome!Gonna try destined to lead in my deck now!

June 15, 2017 9:33 a.m.

bluechandra says... #5

Nice deck MrGameAndScotch. +1 from me

June 22, 2017 7:34 a.m.

clayperce says... #6

Looks sweet!

Looking at your sideboard ...

  • I'm wondering if you need faster answers for Solemnity, especially if you're on the draw Game 2 (since Lost Legacy is useless if one is already on the board). Natural State was of course lousy against Marvel, but it might be exactly what the deck wants for HOU Standard.
  • Hour of Glory over Final Reward?

Draw well!

June 22, 2017 10:01 a.m.

It might be worth adding Driven to Despair. It can provide some much-needed card advantage for however many mana your deck has open and it keeps your average cmc low :)

June 22, 2017 2:10 p.m.

Side note: that isn't a t/o linked card so you need to click on the link to see it.

June 22, 2017 2:10 p.m.

Thank you jparker-sartori21, I'll definitely check that card out in some friendlies!

June 22, 2017 2:45 p.m.

Rifthunter says... #10

I can see why you wouldn't invest time in searching through the blocks about to rotate out but if theres a ready-made suggestion that works like Pathway Arrows its not hard to put it in and take it out for the replacement when it rotates or you find something better before that. I'm just going off your comment and it doesn't make sense to me to just ignore cards that are still legal without real reason

June 28, 2017 7:12 p.m.

Rifthunter says... #11

lol nvm i thought you meant to use this when the next set releases not September. Welp

June 28, 2017 7:13 p.m.

Hey Rifthunter, you're totally right. I might even buy Pathway Arrows and play that until September.But I really want to have this deck fleshed out and "everything considered", and I feel like I'd have to get myself comfortable with other Innistrad/Zendikar cards if I start including one.

I just hope this could be a base for other people who want to throw themselves into the next Standard rotation!

June 28, 2017 7:38 p.m.

bluechandra says... #13

Nice deck, +1 from me. Check out my new standard deck, UNESH, THE SUICIDAL there. lol

June 28, 2017 9:49 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #14

I have a similar idea deck that may give you some ideas. I had quite a bit of success with it. B/G Fun with deathtouch (3-1 at FNM) Some of the cards will rotate out in September, but most of the core remains. I like Clear Shot and Nature's Way more because then my creatures don't have to die. Yeah, they cost more to cast but I get to keep my creatures while killing those of my opponent. Also, trample and deathtouch together are amazing, so I do recommend Larger Than Life.

Bone Picker is not quite as consistent as you would think, particularly if your removal doesn't show up. Might want to consider 2x and moving 2x to the sideboard. Narnam Renegade is a solid creature that will rotate out at the same time as Amonkhet, and it is a solid 1 drop with deathtouch. Don't worry about trying to trigger revolt-- just be happy if you get it and be satisfied with a 1/2 deathtoucher for only .

Cool deck-- +1 from me!

June 29, 2017 12:14 a.m.

Rifthunter says... #15

I agree with the Professor, a couple Narnam Renegade would definitely slot in well with the couple bone pickers going into your side board. A one cost Bone Picker does make for some really awesome plays tho...

June 29, 2017 1:19 a.m.

Thank you BioProfDude, I really overlooked Nature's Way and Narnam Renegade.The hour I read your comment I replaced Prey Upon with Nature's Way, because the former doesn't help with creatures having First Strike. Regarding Narnam Renegade: I'll keep an eye on my Bone Picker-play, which wasn't problematic yet. But if I'll have to swap some of them out, I'll definitely remember Narnam Renegade!

June 29, 2017 4:43 a.m.

DankPotato says... #17

eyy... Love this deck! Just one little thing I would like to point out about it:Natures way doesn't apply deathtouch effects. But, aside from that, I Love this deck!

June 30, 2017 9:29 a.m.

James66NM says... #18

I've never been particularly fond of Planeswalkers, but Amonkhet's intro pack PW Liliana, Death Wielder seems to be of use here for creature removal with her -3 ability as well as her +2 being used to either set up a creature for destruction, or to provide more mana for Channeler Initiate all while creating more Snake Tokens. She's also pretty well guarded in a deathtouch deck. Just a thought though, as I said, Planeswalkers aren't necessarily for me.

June 30, 2017 9:39 a.m.

I'm glad you like it DankPotato! And sorry for the confusion: I meant to cast Nature's Way on a creature with deathtouch. In an earlier revision I used Prey Upon, which usually got my creature killed as well.

Thanks James66NM for pointing out the synergy between Channeler Initiate and Liliana, Death Wielder. Even though I had my eye on Liliana, Death Wielder, I never saw this. What kept me from playing her was her high mana cost, but I think I'll buy two of those and just try. But I'm currently hoping for another Vraska-Planeswalker in the Ixalan block!

June 30, 2017 9:50 a.m.

James66NM says... #20

That same intro deck also has Baleful Ammit which is a great card to substitute Ammit Eternal until its release. (I prefer to keep cards in the same family) A 4/3 for 3 with Lifelink if you happen to have a Channeler Initiate and Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons in play is a fun move. Thank you for the deck idea by the way. I've purchased this deck and I'm really liking how it plays. +1 from me.

June 30, 2017 10:10 a.m.

Hey James66NM, I hope you have a lot of fun with this deck! Baleful Ammit is exactly what I currently run until I get my hands on the Ammit Eternal. Keep me updated if you have some new, cool ideas for this deck.

June 30, 2017 10:20 a.m.

James66NM says... #22

I definitely will. And I'll let you know of any weaknesses I run into. I look forward to seeing more decks from you in the upcoming blocks. Keep it up my friend.

June 30, 2017 10:32 a.m.

I hate Standard but this is very intuitive. Nice work

July 1, 2017 7:28 p.m.

Variux says... #24

I love this deck! I have loved Hapatra ever since her release, but haven't been able to find the right -1/-1 deck for her until this one. Budget, fun, and I love low CMC decks so much. Really glad I found this! Have you considered adding in Plague Belcher at all by chance? 3CMC 5/4 with Menace seems like it could be devastating in these decks.

July 1, 2017 9:27 p.m.

Hey Variux! I exactly now how you feel. I'm a fairly new player (started with Amonkhet) and when I learned about Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons, I instantaneously thought "Oh boy this is it!". Currently saving money for a Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons-Commander deck.

Regarding Plague Belcher: I borrowed a playset from a friend and there we're some good plays you can do with it, but usually the opponent will find a way to get more worth out of his blockers than you will find in attacking with Plague Belcher. But Plague Belcher can be a huge beast if you support it with instants like Rush of Vitality, Shed Weakness or Without Weakness. Sorceries like Larger Than Life can work well, too, but regarding those, it's easier for your opponent to act accordingly.

July 2, 2017 4:53 a.m.

Variux says... #26

MrGameAndScotch interesting, thank you. Amonkhet was my first block as well. :) Have you also considered Splendid Agony for more counters, or Second Harvest for double tokens? I know the 4CMC of Second Harvest is a higher than everything else for this deck, but it could turn 5 snake tokens into 10 snake tokens which is more than it's worth in cost in my opinion. However if you can't pull it off, it's just a dead card in your hand, which is a major downfall.

July 2, 2017 11:43 a.m.

Variux in fact I played Splendid Agony until the Ammit Eternal got spoiled. The Mana:Snakes-ratio made it a no-brainer to kick out Splendid Agony and synergy-wise Ammit Eternal should be a better pick, too. Going from there, the cost-benefit ratio of Splendid Agony can't compete with any of the CMC-2 spells.

Regarding Second Harvest: That's a really good spell for this deck and casting 4 mana is very managable, but I already ignored the blocks which are going out of rotation in September.

July 2, 2017 12:20 p.m.

Variux says... #28

MrGameAndScotch I see, thank you. I'm definitely gonna buy this with some of my own alterations and see how it performs. How has it been for you over the past few months?

July 2, 2017 1:07 p.m.

Glad to hear that Variux, keep me update if you have some ideas and/or problems!Last few months since I started Magic were very good, because a lot of friends were already playing Magic for a long time before I started. We're all currently brewing and practicing for the Standard-rotation starting September at least once a week. Love it!

July 2, 2017 1:21 p.m.

Variux says... #30

MrGameAndScotch how has Nature's Way been functioning as removal? Would you consider Fatal Push at all over this? Also what are you opinions on Cartouche of Ambition for the counter and the life link on a creature, Wander in Death to get Hapatra back if necessary, Wildest Dreams to get all of our things back if our board is wiped, and finally Obelisk Spider in HOU. I feel like Obelisk Spider needs a spot in here.

July 2, 2017 4:43 p.m.

Variux Since we have creatures with deathtouch, Nature's Way will force an opponent's creature to get damaged and therefore killed. Because of deathtouch, Nature's Way is superior to Fatal Push, since Nature's Way can get rid of any creature which isn't indestructible. Cartouche of Ambition is a nice card, but it's support for our win-condition is very limited. Wander in Death and Wildest Dreams both sound nice and Wander in Death might be good for your sideboard, but in general you'll want something in your deck that primarily supports your win-condition and secondarily saves your butt. Like Hapatra's Mark does in this deck.

Obelisk Spider was a very huge topic for me, comparable to the problem I had with Majestic Myriarch. Obelisk Spider is a win-condition in itself, which has to be supported to have an impact. I didn't feel like I could guarantee that with this deck. I might update the topic regarding Majestic Myriarch, since I made another -1/-1 counter-deck utilising Obelisk Spider. If you're interested check it out: BG Cycling

July 2, 2017 5:28 p.m.

Pandaka says... #32

This deck is not STANDARD!!! Anyway I like it.

July 2, 2017 8:38 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #33

Pandaka, the only card that is "illegal" is a card about to be released as part of Hour of Devastation in a couple of weeks, so it is indeed standard format legal for all intents and purposes.

July 2, 2017 9:36 p.m.

Pandaka says... #34

I know that but i'd put it on sideboard or maybeboard

July 2, 2017 9:39 p.m.

Variux says... #35

MrGameAndScotch What did you replace Splendid Agony with? What did your decklist used to be before Ammit Eternal was spoiled? Did you run Baleful Ammit and Splendid Agony?

July 2, 2017 11:48 p.m.

Variux I'm sorry but I really don't remember it this exactly, but I know that I ran Baleful Ammit and Splendid Agony together. But both of those appeared to be one of the weaker cards of this deck.

Some cards that were in the deck, but not anymore:- Nest of Scarabs- Shed Weakness- Splendid Agony- Baleful Ammit- Crocodile of the Crossing- Exemplar of Strength

But maybe you can make them work, I'm thinking about stuff like attacking with a 4/3 Crocodile of the Crossing, buffing it to 7/5 with Shed Weakness, after blockers are declared. There are currently many instants that give you indestructible, too: Rush of Vitality, card:Without Weakness, Destined / Lead (Destined) and Heroic Intervention

July 3, 2017 3:50 a.m.

Variux says... #37

MrGameAndScotch I've been playing it on MTGO with very mixed results. Splendid Agony would be a great card if it weren't 3CMC. Baleful Ammit is kind of junk from what I've seen so far. I'm having such a difficult time getting Hapatra out on the field and the times that I do, she gets removed and I never have any of Hapatra's Mark in hand when this happens it seems. I've had more success running Nest of Scarabs than I have Hapatra, which I'm a little disappointed in. I love the deck premise, but it seems so fragile, especially with the amount of control and removal in Standard right now. :(

July 3, 2017 4:29 p.m.

Hey Variux, said to hear that. :(

If you feel like you'll need more time, try to swap Gifted Aetherborn with Narnam Renegade, this'll make it a bit easier to stall until you're ready to go.

July 4, 2017 5:24 a.m.

Suhbruh says... #39

MrGameAndScotch would heroic intervention help you against the new hour of devastation board wipe ? Seems like grixis control is going to be a pain in the arse with all that spot removal and board removal. Really like your deck !!!

July 10, 2017 5:07 p.m.

Hey Suhbruh, unfortunately Heroic Intervention won't help against Hour of Devastation , you'll need some kind of (blue) counter-spell against that. :(

July 11, 2017 11:03 a.m.

darcm00se says... #41

Had a similar idea but you beat me to it. I might borrow this build with a few alterations. Maybe I'll put in some Winding Constrictor and more -1/-1 suppliers.

When this comment enters the website, put an upvote counter on target deck.

July 15, 2017 3:31 a.m.

Be sure to show me those alterations when you're done darcm00se, they sound really interesting!

July 15, 2017 4:46 a.m.

James66NM says... #43

I threw in 2 Soulstinger in place of 2 of the Festering Mummy and so far it has worked out pretty well. I'm still running Nest of Scarabs so with 1-2 of those and a Hapatra on the field, all I do is throw out a Channeler and pull an easy 6-11 Tokens.

July 19, 2017 7:32 p.m.

BioProfDude says... #44

A little late to reply to Suhbruh and MrGameAndScotch, but Warping Wail is still standard legal and would work to counter Hour of Devastation.

July 19, 2017 9:09 p.m.

furrynacho says... #45

MrGameAndScotch How about alternatives for the use of sideboard? Mainly what cards to swap and perhaps strategies to consider?

July 21, 2017 8:54 p.m.

Since the sideboard is pretty reactive and doesn't introduce a new win-condition, I always ask me the questions "what doesn't change the average CMC too much?" and "What will I need less than [sideboard card]". Usually, I'll switch out two to three creatures, depending on how fast my opponent's deck is.

July 22, 2017 5:16 a.m.

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