Why do something once if you can do it twice? Why have one if you can have two? Life’s just better with more of everything (except mana screws). I was fascinated how the Grixis Thopter deck got a top 4 finish in GP Shanghai
Today I’m here to build on the two-card combo that took Shaghai by surprise.
Basically if you have 3 copies of Decoction Module and you play a single copy of Whirler Virtuoso, you can go infinite thopters. I know drawing 3 out of 4 copies of any one card in your deck, let alone having them survive long enough to assemble all 3 copies is impossible in a world with Abrade, Appetite for the Unnatural and Ixalan’s Binding but hear me out first. I think the deck that Okada Naoya (this japanese people really know their jank) didn’t usually win with thopthers but won with sheer value, and great top end plays thanks to Scarab God.
I think it was not necessary to have multiples of Decoction Module for Okada to win. However my take on this alternative token deck is to go infinite as often as I possibly can. In most infinite combo piece, we can actually double the other side of the equation and get the same result.
So why not double the amount of tokens you make instead? Instead of using 3 energy to create 1 thopter, and bag 1 energy back, why not pay 3 to get 2 thopers and 2 energy back? Anointed Procession has been the recent breakout card that is better known for generating vampire and servo tokens, and the occasional pirate tokens with Abzan Tokens. Let’s try to put it in a Jeskai Tokens Shell and this time producing thopters among others.
Adding another redudance combo pirce basically allows us to reduce the copies of each card we need on the battlefield to assemble the combo and win. Let’s look at all the combination we can do to go infinite. I’ll use ‘E’ to symbolize energy in our equation.
Spend EEE: Get 1 thopter and EEE = infinite
Spend EEE: Get 2 thopters, and EEEE = infinite
Spend EEE: Get 3 thopters and EEE = infinite
We have greatly increased our chances of drawing into our combo pieces. Now, how do we live long enough to draw into them?
Let’s build on top of our energy theme and use them to our advantage. Harnessed Lightning is a no-brainer inclusion in the deck. It remains one of the best red removal in the format hand’s down. Aether Meltdown has been overshadowed by permanent ways to killing creatures but its power to shut down threats early is still pretty relevant. Especially if you slap it on a Heart of Kiran turning it into an expensive Ornithopter. It’s also great on a Longtusk Cub, forcing your opponent to spend energy to make the cub deal damage on its own. Let’s not forget to mention that it turns Hazoret to a 1/4 which tremendously increases our clock against Ramunap Red.
Since we’re splashing White for Anointed Procession, why not splash another enchantment that shuts down a ‘source’ regardless if its hexproof, a creature, a spell, or even a land. I have featured Consulate Surveillance in my deck here and discussed how good this card actually is in the right shell. 2 energy to fog anything is extremely strong, especially in a deck that has the capacity to produce a steady stream of energy.
We will play other creatures that work well with Anointed Procession and at the same time help us draw the cards we need, help us gain back some life and stabilize.
Sunscourge Champion is the bane of Ramunap Red on turns 3 and 4. With one copy of this card we gain back 6 life, block twice and kill a 2 and 4 toughness creature. Apart from Glorybringer, this card can slow down the aggression of Red based decks.
Champion of Wits helps us draw the pieces, or lands we need. It’s the best blocker we have in the deck because we want it to die so we can draw 4-8 cards later on.
Anointer Priest is another card we saw got cut from Abzan Tokens deck but in our shell, she has the potential of gaining us infinite life because our thopters are tokens that triggers her ability too!
Lastly we will also play Regal Caracal because getting 7 power across 3 bodies with life link is insane. With Anointed Procession out, that’s 11 power across 5 creatures all for 5 mana! Just freakishly insane!
Coming back to Decoction Module, we must not forget that there is still some rules text at the bottom half of this card which can be relevant sometimes. The ability to bounce a creature back to our hand can save our creatures from removal if needed. It also allows us to re-play our creatures which nets us their ETB triggers one more time. Gain 2 more life, draw 2 more cards, get 3 more energy, or 2 more cats can sometimes help us get back into the game, or turn the corner and win the game.
So here’s my Jeskai Tokens list.
2 Anointer Priest
4 Sunscourge Champion
4 Champion of Wits
4 Whirler Virtuoso
3 Regal Caracal
4 Decoction Module
4 Anointed Procession
4 Harnessed Lightning
3 Aether Meltdown
1 Consulate Surveillance
2 Settle the Wreckage
4 Aether Hub
3 Inspiring Vantage
3 Spirebluff Canal
2 Glacial Fortress
1 Irrigated Farmland
2 Ixalan’s Binding
3 Spell Pierce
2 Crook of Condemnation
I read about several guides on how to better sideboard when using a combo deck and the common role of thumb is not to dilute the deck too much and risk not drawing the needed pieces. The suggestion was to only replace 3-4 cards against certain decks and preserve the behavior of the deck as much as we can.
2 copies each of Abrade and Fumigate comes in against very aggressive decks, or against decks that play huge threats our early blockers or removal can’t deal with. Settle the Wreckage is in the main but sometimes having a non-conditional mass removal is preferred.
Depending on how controlling our opponent is, I wanted to have a surplus number of counter magic against them since I’m not playing any in the main board. Cards we aim to counter are opposing Ixalan’s Binding, discard spells, Lost Legacy, and Planeswalkers.
We’re playing eternalize/embalm creatures ourselves so I am not so keen on using Scavenger Ground but I do want something to negate an opposing Scarab God from taking my stuff and using them against me. Crook is cheap, targeted answer to graveyard spells which can be relevant against Scrapheap Scrounger, Cut//Ribbons, Dread Wanderer, and the likes.
Ixalan’s Binding comes in against decks that have little to no answer to enchantment like UB decks and RB/Mono Red decks. Shutting down a Glorybringer, Hazoret, Torrential Gearhulk for the rest of the game can win you the game out of nowhere.
That’s all for now, stay tuned for more crazy decks inspired by the world’s pros only here at The Forbidden Alchemy!