I have always had a certain fondness for Guy Fawkes Day. Being an American and a millennial, I'm pretty sure the closest I'm going to get to fathoming its importance is either through remembering September 11th, 2001 (something I witnessed as a young New Yorker), or through reading Alan Moore's graphic novel V for Vendetta (or watching the movie, something I'm planning on doing tonight). So to that end, I saw all of the love for this day on Bleeding Cool's queue and thought, "I should do something to celebrate!"
So here we are, with me crafting a Magic: The Gathering Oathbreaker deck to commemorate this day. Oathbreaker, for those who are just tuning into my articles on it today, is a format created by the WeirdCards Charitable Organization, and you can go to their website, Weirdcards.org, for more information on the rules of the format as a whole.
Anyway, once I realized I wanted to do this I had to think to myself, "what is the best representation of a protest in Magic?" The answer was, to me, obvious: the plot of the Kaladesh block. And as for who the best representation of a leader of that protest, we have Chandra Nalaar. So, we are using her Kaladeshi incarnation, Chandra, Torch of Defiance.
Now, as for the Signature Spell for Chandra, I didn't want to go all technical this time with cards like Price of Progress or Lightning Bolt. I wanted something that could encapsulate the goal of the (failed, in real life) Gunpowder Plot. I wanted… Kaboom!
So, first things first: Our goal is to cast Kaboom! quickly, successfully, and often. For this, we need Chandra out and to have the mana to keep Kaboom!ing over and over again thereafter. But how…?
Bonecrusher Giant – The Adventure on this card, Stomp, prevents damage prevention. This should be enough alone to cast this card, but it also Shocks a target… And it makes a big body on the actual casting of the Giant. This seems pretty amazing here.
Torbran, Thane of Red Fell – I wrote a Commander decklist featuring Torbran not long ago – he seems great when we want or need to sneak a little bit more damage into the game, be it by Kaboom! or by other means.
Spell Replication – With the ability to continuously cast Kaboom!, sometimes we can cast it at a discount by copying it a few times. Fork, Reverberate, Doublecast, Repeated Reverberation, and Bonus Round all function ideally as extra copies of Kaboom!.
Lifegain Prevention – Lifegain is pretty rampant within certain metas in Oathbreaker, especially those with a balanced color pie and those with a focus in white. To this end, we need to stifle that. For this, we have Tibalt, Rakish Instigator and Sulfuric Vortex.
Surprise Conditional Draw – Browbeat and Risk Factor serve as draw for our deck unless the opponent would rather take damage. Usually, they are apt not to, unless perchance you're tapped out. Sometimes that doesn't matter. You'll still get there one way or another. It's better to cast these when you don't care what happens immediately afterward.
I see no reason why this deck should ever be forgot (sorry, it had to be said!). I haven't gotten to test it out yet but I feel like while meme-worthy, it also serves as a strong deck that will surprise your friends and opponents this Guy Fawkes Day. Enjoy it!