[PIO]Markov Midrange

Hello Brewers,

If you’re like me, you love Magic lore and one particular character has a very colorful story. Unlike the more prominent storylines of Jace and Liliana’s love affair, to Bolas and Ugin’s sibling rivalry, all the way to Chandra and Nissa’s unique affection towards each other, the Markov family represented by Edgar and his only grandson, Sorin. They never saw eye to eye and at one point out to kill each other. But in today’s brew, we want to bring them closer together and see if they can work together.

As we talk about the Markov family, let’s also recognize that this deck will never be without vampires. Across the multiverse are thousands of races but the vampires have been immortalized throughout generations as a race known for their power, transformative powers, youth, and fighting abilities.

Edgar is the inspiration of the deck and I tried to build around his ability to stay on the battlefield and continue to add value, dead or alive (pun intended). As a creature, he serves as an anthem (for younger players, anthems are effects that give a certain creature type a boost in power and/or toughness), and as an artifact generates the vampires that benefit from his anthem effects.

But having him do all the work is hard. Taking advantage of the Legend rule, playing two Edgar may not actually be a bad thing. When you play a second copy of Edgar, Charmed Groom while already having one on the battlefield forces you to put one into the graveyard. The game would still see this as a “die” instance and Edgar’s die trigger will fire off turning the one that died into a coffin. This means that you can have both sides of the card active at one time. Should the coffin turn into Edgar once again, the Legend rule will flip him back over giving you a constant stream of 1/1 lifelink vampires.

Most of Sorin’s iterations as a Planeswalker have the ability to make vampire tokens. We want to play as many of them as possible so we have another source of vampires for Edgar to pump. Sorin, Solemn Visitor, and Sorin the Mirthless both do what we want and more.

Sorin, Solemn Visitor can also buff your army’s power even more and his emblem is not too shabby. While Sorin the Mirthless gives you a card advantage for a price but at least he creates lifelink vampire tokens to let you gain back any life lost from his plus ability.

Before we go to the other sections of the deck, we are also playing Elspeth, Sun’s Champion in the deck. She is the mother of token generation and her minus ability can come in handy because she doesn’t kill our stuff but can definitely wreak havoc on your opponent’s side if they chose to play very large creatures. Her emblem, if you get there, can be a game-finisher so I’m adding a single copy of her as our top-end bomb.

I wrote in my previous article how powerful Wedding Announcement is so we’re adding it to this deck as well. Mind you, despite the fact it creates human tokens, Sorin, Solemn Visitor’s plus ability also grants them +1/+0 and lifelink so they too can pack some punch and give you a bit of life back to keep activating Sorin the Mirthless’s plus ability.

Since we’re playing Orzhov, we have access to the game’s best removal and discard spells. Fatal Push, Thoughtseize, Fateful Absence, March of Otherworldly Light, and March of Wretched Sorry among others are all in the deck. There should be no permanent we can’t deal with.

In the sweeper department, we play Shadows’ Verdict to get rid of Kroxa, Cats, and other irritating and resilient threats forever. Path of Peril for those aggressive decks like mono-Red and mono-White. Invoke Despair as another top-end game changer that takes out 2-3 problematic permanents all in one spell and can occasionally draw you a card or two.

In the sideboard we have a myriad of tools for whatever meta you are preparing for. In my local meta, we got Ashiok who comes in against decks that play Enigmatic Incarnations and Bring to Light. With Brother’s War introducing Diabolic Intent, Ashiok stops that too. She also hoses reanimator and graveyard shenanigans, which is great against Greasefang, Hidden Strings, Delve, and Phoenix decks.

We also play Epic Downfall to get rid of larger-than-life threats like Sheoldred, Titan of Industry, The Scarab God, Ulamog, etc. Go Blank and Thought Distortion are additional discard spells for the control match-up.

Damping Sphere for added hate against Mono Green and UR decks that chain Opts and Considers.

Authority of the Consuls is a niche card that I really like to bring in against very aggressive decks like elves, goblins, humans, and spirits, and is particularly hilarious against Greasefang forcing her to enter the battlefield tapped unable to crew the vehicle she reanimates. The incidental life gain can be crucial sometimes if you’re having a hard time digging for your sweeper to stabilize.

On the sideboard is also two copies of Liliana of the Veil. She’s good against matchups that rely on a few creatures and can also screw decks that need certain cards to achieve their game plan. Of course, her ultimate is the dread of many players but together with your Sorin’s and Wedding Announcement that clutter the board and Edgar providing a bit of pressure, your Liliana can safely tick up and help you score the win in 4 turns.

I took this list to an FNM and got 2nd place, losing only to an obnoxious BG Fight Rigging. But it did hold its ground against Elves, RG Stompy, and Bant Spirits.

That’s it for today’s decktech. See you again!

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