A Tale of Four WAR Oathbreakers
Do you play Oathbreaker? Here are four deck techs featuring planeswalkers from the new set War of the Sparks. Ryan Scicluna breaks down four decks for this exciting new format. The decks include: Vraska and her deathtouch squad, all the Ajani’s we can fit, hand disruption with Davriel and spell slinging with Ral Zarek.
Have you heard about the new Oathbreaker format? Do you want in on the fun? Well look no further than this article, where I'll discuss two potential Oathbreaker decks that might tickle your fancy – but led by walkers from the recent War of the Spark.
For this deck, I took inspiration from one of my friend's builds. He built a Liliana of the Veil Oathbreaker with Liliana's Triumph as the Signature Spell. When playing the deck, however, I noticed that people identified me as a target before the game even started. Because the deck seemed to fold to this pressure, I wanted to make a discard deck that wouldn't be seen as threatening but was still focused and capable of maximizing the power of discard. My Oathbreaker for this deck is Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage with Arterial Flow as signature spell.
This deck makes opponents discard cards from their hands and punishes them for it. It tends to draw less focus because the planeswalker heading it isn't as iconic or devastating as Liliana. Cards like Liliana's Caress, Megrim, and Raiders' Wake offer a powerful support package for your discard shell, while you have strong discard options like Burglar Rat, Arterial Flow and Syphon Mind.
You can also gain some card advantage from these effects thanks to cards like Geth's Grimoire and Waste Not. The deck focuses more on making all the opponents discard rather then utilizing cards like Thoughtseize that only make one opponent discard. Since the format is multiplayer, gaining an advantage over all players is a priority. The deck is pretty slow and grindy, but is very effective if your opponents are more threatened by others at the table, letting you chip away them and get them into a position they can't escape from.
|1 Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage|
|1 Arterial Flow|
|22Lands||22Other Permanents||14Instants and Sorceries|
|17Swamp||1Burglar Rat||1Capital Punishment|
|1Ghost Quarter||1Crypt Ghast||1Damnation|
|1Field of Ruin||1Herald of Anguish||1Fraying Omnipotence|
|1Dakmor Salvage||1Hypnotic Specter||1Mutilate|
|1Cabal Stronghold||1Liliana's Specter||1Raven's Crime|
|1Cabal Coffers||1Rackling||1Read the Bones|
|1Urgoros, the Empty One||1Settle the Score|
|1Liliana of the Veil||1Syphon Mind|
|1Creeping Dread||1Tasigur's Cruelty|
|1Liliana's Caress||1Yahenni's Expertise|
|1Megrim||1Yawgmoth's Vile Offering|
|1Painful Quandary||1Hero's Downfall|
|1Quest for the Nihil Stone||1Liliana's Triumph|
|1Raiders' Wake||1Vraska's Contempt|
|1The Eldest Reborn|
|1Skull of Ramos|
|1Wheel of Torture|
Vraska's Death Squad
Have you ever wanted to build a deathtouch tribal commander deck but never found a way to make it work? In Oathbreaker, this strategy might just work, thanks to the new Vraska planeswalker from War of the Spark. Vraska, Swarm's Eminence gives our deathtouch creatures a +1/+1 counter if they manage to deal damage to a player or planeswalker.
This makes it possible to only run creatures with deathtouch in our deck and with Rabid Bite as our signature spell, we can easily use our creatures as removal spells, while pumping them up. The strategy for this deck is simple. Attack with our creatures and either our opponents block and lose their creatures or take the damage. As a result we can run Beastmaster Ascension since we are attacking most of the time and it will make for easy wins once it's active. We can even use our small creatures defensively making our opponents think twice about attacking us before attacking into deathtouch creatures.
Viridian Longbow is a powerful equipment spell that gives our deathtouch creatures the ability to tap and kill target not-indestructible creature. The new God-Eternal Rhonas can double the power of our team for when we want to attack in mass, while the old Rhonas the Indomitable can pump any creature for a little bit more damage. Since we plan to kill a lot of our opponents creatures I included Revel in Riches, which can serve as an easy win condition.
Who doesn't like MTG's big albino cat from Alara? What if you wanted to play all the Ajani's you could in a single deck? Ajani, the Greathearted is the lastest card representing MTG's most famous cat. The planeswalker seems to like gaining life and giving counters to other creatures and/or planeswalkers, so I figured we can build an Oathbreaker deck focusing on life gain and proliferate. We can use Courage in Crisis as the signature spell which is an easy way to get the proliferate engine going while Evolution Sage proliferates each time a land enters the battlefield.
Since we want to gain life I included the Soul's package (Soul Warden, Soul's Attendant and Suture Priest) which gain us life each time a creature hits the board. This pairs up well with Ajani's Pridemate who gets counters when we gain life. See where this is going? Since Ajani also likes to give loyalty counters to planeswalkers we can include some other Ajani walkers that also want to put counters on other permanents. The fact that Ajani, the Greathearted gives vigilance to our creatures make it easier to defend our planeswalkers while still being able to attack with them.
Ral the Spellslinger
If you like casting instant and sorceries, you'll love Ral, Storm Conduit. This Oathbreaker is all about casting instants or sorceries to generate advantage and chip away at our opponents life bit by bit. Cards like Guttersnipe, Young Pyromancer and Talrand, Sky Summoner trigger effects upon casting spells. Goblin Electromancer, Jace's Sanctum and Primal Amulet all reduce the cost of our instants and sorceries, allowing us to cast many more in a single turn. For this Oathbreaker I decided to go with Electrodominance as the signature spell, which can help us deal a lot of damage to any target and lets us cast another spell from our hand for free. The more instants and sorceries we cast, the stronger Enigma Drake, Crackling Drake and Spellheart Chimera become. God-Eternal Kefnet copies any instants and sorceries we draw each turn, making it hard for opponents to keep up with our card advantage. The deck also includes an “infinite” combo (until we run out of cards to draw from your library), with the combination of Ophidian Eye attached to Niv-Mizzet, Parun.
To trigger the infinite loop, all we need is to draw a card or deal damage with Niv, while enchanted with Ophidian Eye. This will make it possible to draw a card and thus deal 1 damage to any target, which will trigger the Eye and make us draw again, which in turn makes us ping a target for 1 again, and so on.
What do you think of these decks? Have you tried building your own Oathbreaker decks? What do you think of the format? Comment below and let us know.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.
Check out our War of the Spark page if you're interested in picking these up before everyone else catches on!