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The Return of Swagtusk (and Friends)

gatewatch

Hey everyone! Josh here after what has been a LONG hiatus of content production. It isn’t that I don’t love all of you but rather, that I haven’t seen the need to talk about the predictable. I could be making videos of my current RPTQ selection, Abzan Aggro, but what is the point? You’ve seen Siege Rhino, Mantis Rider, Jace, Telepath Unbound, and all of the usual contenders tearing up standard since day one of the new rotation. Draft is more than solved at this point, regardless of how many pros try to proclaim the format is evolving, so why even bother?

Today, I saw something that reignited my fire! A card was spoiled sometime Monday morning that blew me away. It wasn’t even that this card by itself was insane (which it is) but that there were already other spoilers that made this card even more insane, which I don’t even think should be possible. The card I am so excited about is Eldrazi Displacer. (My apologies for the deck formatting in here, tappedout.net hasn’t updated their database yet which has led to a sloppy looking deck format in this article)

eldraziDisplacer

Let me take you back to 2013. Thragtusk and his oddly chummy protector and companion Restoration Angel were tearing up the top tables in standard. At large events you couldn’t spit farther than the distance you were always away from a player with these cards sleeved up. Players were in love or enraged and I am convinced we are still missing players in the game due to this tragic lineup for standard. Wizards R&D thinks that they have corrected any potential issues this time around because both are back in Thragtusk reincarnated, Linvala, the Preserver and Restoration Angel’s evil form, Eldrazi Displacer.

linvalathepreserver swagtusk
eldraziDisplacer

I would like to share some of my ideas on where Eldrazi Displacer could find a home, I’ll also post a list for what Abzan could look like in the coming months below. The first deck that I feel Eldrazi Displacer can be most abused is Abzan. Abzan will shift to a more midrange approach with the tools Oath of the Gatewatch brings which is alright considering most other decks should be pumping the brakes as well. The obvious interaction is Eldrazi Displacer and Siege Rhino as what’s better than casting Siege Rhino? Protecting him and getting his sweet ETB trigger each time you do. Not only does the protection lead to a headache for anyone sitting on the other side of the table from you, but moreover, the ability to blink their creatures prior to attacking will ensure that you are in complete control of the board. Another great target for Eldrazi Displacer is Wingmate Roc. If you attack with Wingmate Roc and the team, and your opponent attempts to kill Wingmate Roc with your gain life ability on the stack simply activate Eldrazi Displacer and save the original Wingmate Roc and get another Bird token to boot! Abzan will certainly benefit from this card and I am excited to test the possibilities!

This deck is very similar to the Abzan that is running around currently in standard. The biggest difference is in the mana base, which I believe will be the biggest test for Abzan’s addition of Eldrazi Displacer. We had to trim on our fetch count and I have even gone as far as playing an additional land so that we can hit the colorless mana for the activation cost on Displacer. Testing will most likely prove the new toy to be a three of instead of four but only time will tell.

I’d like to move on to another deck that can benefit from the addition of Eldrazi Displacer, Jeskai. While it may not seem that there is a need for this card in the current build, there is huge benefit to be had in other cards coming in Oath of the Gatewatch. I’ve seen it be compared to Man O’ War, which is a solid card and solid comparison, I’m talking, of course, about Reflector Mage. In conjunction with Eldrazi Devastator you have a solid engine that will provide all the tempo necessary to win any race. I also believe the deck could learn a lesson from the next archetype I’ll be talking about, with the inclusion of Kia and Piran Nalaar. Here’s a list of what Jeskai could evolve into.

I won’t go into making a list for this next archetype but I think it is obvious that even Mardu will benefit from Eldrazi Displacer. As can be seen with the Jeskai deck Pia and Kiran Nalaar is a great target for Eldrazi Displacer. Not only are there good targets on your side of the board to flicker, but combined with the superb removal available in these colors and you find that having the ability to blink an opponent’s creature when you are short on removal makes it nearly impossible for a creature to ever attack you.

The last thing I would like to point out about this set and really the block as a whole is the new infinite damage combo that, while difficult to achieve, is very real. The combo is Brood Monitor, Flayer Drone, and of course, Eldrazi Displacer. Once you have a Flayer Drone on the board, you can use the tokens created by Brood Monitor to immediately reactivate Eldrazi Displacer to bounce Brood Monitor, create three Eldrazi Scion tokens which will deal a total of 4 damage to your opponent due to the Devoid text on Brood Monitor. From here it is rinse wash repeat until you win the game (Zulaport Cutthroat can also be interchanged with Flayer Drone to avoid mana consistency issues). I’m not entirely sure what would be included in this deck as it would need to be at least 4 colors. There is the possibility of this being a five color deck that utilizes Bring to Light to cast your combo piece. I’m excited by the possibility of this combo and can’t wait to see what all of you brewers come up with to take advantage of it!!

Brood Monitor

 

I know we didn’t talk too much about the Linvala, the Preserver/ Eldrazi Displacer combo but it does exist and it is very real. Standard will change a lot with the release of Oath of the Gatewatch. I believe Eldrazi Displacer will be the big winner of the set as far as warping the format goes but there are many cards left that need to be spoiled. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Eldrazi Displacer and the decks I mentioned today so drop some comments on how you plan to abuse Eldrazi Displacer.

Happy Battles,

Josh

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