Rev Your Engines
Offspring's Revenge (Standard)
15 May 2020 - 15 min read
Last week, we explored our new wedge standard with Titan’s Nest . Messing with the graveyard, self-milling, and being generally tricksy is right up Sultai’s alley. Now we swing to the opposite end of the spectrum with the most straight forward wedge, Mardu: lovers of bloodshed, conflict, and the thrill of the kill. And what’s even better than a bunch of bloodthirsty berserkers charging their foes? A bunch of bloodthirsty berserkers riding into battle on spike-studded motorcycles, Mad Max style! Rev Your Engines my brethren, for we’ll be riding into the Standard battlefield eternal, shiny, and chrome with the might of Offspring’s Revenge .
Offspring’s Revenge illustrates a tale as old as time: the maturation of an orphan into a bloodthirsty killing machine swearing to avenge their fallen parent. It reminds me of what Bambi could have been if Disney weren’t cowards, or maybe more accurately, a little known Japanese animation called Ringing Bell. It’s the tale of a sheep who goes on a quest to avenge his mother who was killed by a wolf, becoming a savage ram who has horns like spears and actually duels the wolf in the end. Highly recommended, but I digress.
You know what could’ve helped out our woodland friends? An enter-the-battlefield trigger. Which is precisely what we’re looking for. Offspring’s Revenge is an excellent way to rebuy ETBs and attack triggers since it gives our vengeful babies haste. The glaring downside of the tokens being 1/1’s is no longer so much of an issue if we can maximize these two types of triggers to our advantage.
I did a LOT of research for this article and let’s just say that there is a ridiculous number of creatures in standard with ETBs (and a fair amount with attack triggers too). Overcome with options and ideas, I figured we would have our cake and eat it too and I prepare a buffet of decks to choose from:
A dedicated Offspring’s Revenge deck that’s extra hateful A take on a known standard deck, Mono-Black, utilizing Offspring’s Revenge , and A five color pile that pushes the boundaries of what we can reanimate (and the boundaries of functional deck building)
Revenge is a Dish Best Served …
Not cold. No, we want it flaming hot, so we’re serving up some burn. And the king of burn in this Standard format is the big three-headed dragon himself Drakuseth, Maw of flames .
Drakuseth costs a fat seven mana, so instead of paying mana like an honest spellslinger let’s reanimate the big scaly bastard. Oh, and he has haste, so we’ll be dealing three and three and four, immediately. Drakuseth is great for gunning down our opponents creatures, whether that’s blockers, utility, or ones who’ll crack back at us.
Drakuseth’s molten buddy tectonic giant is also joining the fray. It can go to our opponents dome on attack and is fine to be played out normally. Then, it can be recycled later after biting the dust for maximum value. Plus, the card advantage on tectonic giant ’s other attack trigger is underrated and recommended in games where your momentum is slowing.
Like I mentioned earlier, the creatures we’re “reanimating” with Offspring’s Revenge are 1/1’s so we need a way to limit our opponents ability to go over us. One way to do that is if they don’t have any cards to play! (Yup, that math checks out - Chev) Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger and Basilica Bell Haunt both strip resources from our opponent and put us ahead on life totals. Like Tectonic Giant , both want to be run out early and then re-utilized later in the game. Kroxa especially, as it’ll put itself right in the graveyard for us. Keep in mind Kroxa will sacrifice itself if we get it with Offspring’s Revenge so escaping it can be favorable as well.
Another way to maintain our onslaught is by blowing up our opponent’s stuff (duh, that’s like magic 101 Jules). Cavalier of Dawn and his friend Cavalier of Night are both happy to help. Dawn will pop any problematic noncreature permanents (say, a Teferi, Time Raveler ) and can easily tangle with the 3/3 left behind. Night will smite down any opposing fatties at the cost of one of our creatures, which we either want to recur anyway, or…. Is a 1/1 token that we already got a trigger off. Acceptable losses. Finally comes Plaguecrafter , a catch-all answer that can pick off a creature, planeswalker, or take another card out of our opponents hand. Also, since we’ll usually be sacrificing Plaguecrafter to his own trigger, he’s immediately ready for us to use again from the grave, similar to Kroxa.
These are all great targets for our centerpiece enchantment, but most of these cards won’t get to the graveyard on their own! The gasoline to fuel our revengine (see what I did there?) comes in the form of classic red rummaging.
Cathartic Reunion and Thrill of Possibility are both instant includes, filling our graveyard with targets and improving the consistency of our draws. Heartwarming Redemption is a one-sided pseudo- Windfall that I’ve been dying to try out (oh, that’s darkly ironic if you know the lore). Ox of Agonas is similar to redemption, just stapled to a body that can recur itself to provide extra gas late-game if we don’t have an Offspring’s Revenge . And you know what they say, you mess with the ox-spring, you get the flaming horns.
And that’s pretty much the first version of this deck! Play card-draw spells to fill our yard and find revenges while stalling. Deal incidental damage with our smaller creatures until our more impactful ones touch down or their babies come for revenge.
I’ve added some sweepers to ensure we don’t get totally run over with awkward draws. Some potential inclusions that caught my eye while building were Lotleth Giant , Angelic Guardian , and Underworld Sentinel . These can obviously be tweaked a bit depending on playstyle and this deck could probably use a bit more recursion, maybe something like a Corpse Churn just to provide more longevity. The build also doesn’t particularly like graveyard hate, but I haven’t seen Ashiok, Dream Render in a while and General Kudro of Drannith doesn’t seem to be seeing much play.
The only drink that can pair perfectly with this manifestation of revenge is something that has aged just as finely. I recommend a barrel-aged beer such as Founders’ Dirty Bastard, a scotch style ale.
Vroom Vroom, the Revengine Comes
All Black E’rythang
Mono-Black has been a fairly powerful deck over the past few standard formats undergoing various transformations, but it’s recently fallen to the wayside. I think a little splash of blood and thunder is exactly what the deck needs to come back with a vengeance.
Mono-Black is not a complicated deck. It wants to curve out; one-drop, two-drop, red-fish, blue-fish, Gray Merchant of Asphodel . My personal favorite sequence is Knight of the Ebon Legion , Yarok’s Fenlurker , Ayara, First of Locthwain , Nightmare Shepherd , and then of course… Gary. Gary is often the final nail in the coffin for opposing decks and mono-black likes to leverage him as much as possible. With the release of Theros Beyond Death, Nightmare shepherd was immediately slotted in to get additional Gary triggers. And now with Ikoria, we get Nightmare Shepherd copies five through eight with lots of upside in Offspring’s Revenge .
Revenge give this linear deck options. Things are never truly dead and everything serves double duty. We’re running Cauldron Familiar / Witch’s Oven , because why not, and also Woe Strider . Both sac outlets just fuel our revenge when we need a boost. Besides getting a mini Gary to drain for a million, my personal favorite interaction is with Ayara, First of Locthwain . Every turn with offspring’s revenge out is a drain for one, a free block, and an extra card drawn.
This deck’s shell is already pretty set, so after adding Offspring’s Revenge , the only real flex slots I had I gave to Lurrus of the Dream-Den because he gives us even more redundancy and he’s so prominent in every format nowadays. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Some other potential choices are Rankle, Master of Pranks , Tymaret, Chosen From Death , or removal a la Murderous Rider .
I recommend pairing something dark to drink with this deck. An Imperial stout such as Victory’s Storm King has a hefty weight to it and will warm up your icy soul. Or you could take a page out of our Queen Ayara’s playbook and settle with a dark, dry, red wine… or is that blood? Uh … n-nevermind.
Not Even Light Can Escape the Blackhole of My Revenge
50 Shades of Revenge
Standard right now is an absolute wonderland when it comes to mana. We have ridiculous color pair support from Return to Return to Ravnica block, complimented by the full set of temples finished in Theros Beyond Death. And we also have shard support and the triomes from Ikoria. Even Throne of Eldraine gave us a crucial mana fixer in Fabled Passage ! So, when the world is our oyster, why would we limit our revenge to merely three colors? Yes. I’m talking a full rainbow of revenge.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, when I was researching for this article, I looked at any creature that we could recur, so any creature that has red, white, or black in it, but including any of the other colors. There are a lot of interesting and powerful creatures once you open up your color combos, and since I want to play all of them, this deck has a toolbox sensibility. We’re even using Yorion, Sky Nomad as our companion for value and as an excuse to run even more spice. It also means the mana is ridiculous, but we’ll take it for the few times we really go off. You probably get the gist of what’s up regarding Offspring’s Revenge by now, so I’ll just give you the decklist and you can see this monstrosity unfold for yourself. Also, drink whatever you want with this one, all rules and allegiances have been thrown out the window. Please forgive me for my sins.
Vengeance in Technicolor
Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths
2x Deputy of Detention
1x Drakuseth, Maw of Flames
4x Dream Trawler
3x Elite Guardmage
1x God-Eternal Bontu
2x Golgari Findbroker
4x Gravebreaker Lamia
1x Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
2x Knight of Autumn
2x Massacre Girl
2x Polukranos, Unchained
2x Rakdos, the Showstopper
That’s all for now folks! I had stupid amounts of fun brewing these deck and I think we’re only scratching the surface on Offspring’s Revenge ! During the brewing process I had ideas for a mono-red deck with a goblin theme, think Krenko, Tinstreet Kingpin , Goblin Ringleader , etc. or a Boros deck utilizing the life gain cores of past Standards ( Alseid of Life’s Bounty , Ajani’s Pridemate , Linden, the Steadfast Queen ) with beaters like Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice . Okay, I need to stop, y’all already got three lists in this article. But that’s the greatness of finding a sweet card to brew around; the possibilities are endless, but you want to find them all.!
So, until next week, kick back, pop a cold one, and stay brewing y’all!
More Entries in Rev Your Engines:
- 10 Jul 2020: Griffin Aerie (Standard)
- 11 Jun 2020: Outlaws' Merriment (Standard)
- 11 May 2020: Titan's Nest (Standard)