Wallet Warriors: Khorvath Brightflame and Sylvia Brightspear
Welcome back Wallet Warriors! Today we’re taking a trip to the new plane of Kylem on the back of our brand new dragon friend Khorvath with Sylvia being our tour guide.
What we have here is a tribal deck with an interesting twist. This deck is aiming to take advantage of both our commanders tribal abilities which means our creature-base is almost split down the middle with knights at the low end of the curve and dragons topping things off.
Without further ado, let’s see the deck list
If you would like to see the deck separated by the groupings I talk about click here.
Some of the most exciting toys we’ve got on Kylem are new partners. These cards can allow you to have two commanders however they must be partnered with the specific card they reference in their rules text.
Boros is the color pair that likely benefits the most from having access to two cards in the command zone. This is because it means we effectively begin the game with an extra card in hand and we desperately need any extra card advantage we can find.
What Khorvath and Sylvia bring to the table are two very powerful tribal payoffs. Sylvia makes our big creatures doubly as powerful and Khorvath gives our smaller creatures some evasion so they can swing in later in the game.
However there is a serious drawback to building a deck focusing on two separate tribes. We do not have the same critical mass that a vampire or saproling deck might have. This means we have to be mindful of the types of tribal payoff cards we put in our deck.
The glue holding these two tribes together is our equipment sub-theme. We have a suite of equipment focused on providing us card advantage and ramp that Boros is always looking for while incidentally coming with lots of extra power for our evasive double striking creatures.
One of my favorite things about the Knight tribe is you get tons of weird looks when you play a naturally powerful card like Adriana or Benalish Marshal and the rest of the table goes “Wait, that’s a knight?”
As I mentioned earlier, because we do not have the critical mass of a single tribe we want to avoid specific tribal support cards. This means Adriana, Benalish Marshal, Silverblade Paladin, Bloodsworn Steward and Dauntless Bodyguard are all great since they do not need to have other knights in play to be effective.
Knight Exemplar does require other knights in play however indestructibility is so important in an aggressive deck in this format that the exemplar earns her spot.
Balan, Danitha Capashen and Puresteel Paladin give us a nice little equipment support package within our knights category. Danitha and Puresteel Paladin are especially important since they help out with the two aspects Boros has issues with: ramp and card draw.
There are naturally plenty more dragons to choose from than knights since it is a tribe that has had much more support throughout Magic’s history. This means we have to be much pickier with our dragons.
The aspects we’re looking for in a dragon are high power/the ability to firebreath (paying mana to boost power temporarily), and low mana cost.
Moltensteel Dragon, Moonveil Dragon, Steel Hellkite, Scourge of Valkas, and Skyship Stalker all have the capability of getting very high power. Combined with Sylvia in play this can translate to tons of damage.
Verix Bladewing, Thunderbreak Regent and Territorial Hellkite are all able to follow up a turn three Sylvia which is a powerful sequence.
The rest of our dragons are aimed at filling multiple roles. Glorybringer, Thunder Dragon and Tyrant’s Familiar give us some additional removal attached to our big flyers. Dream Pillager and Skyline Despot provide some card advantage while Hellkite Charger, Sunscorch Regent and Lava-field Overlord are just looking to get in big damage.
A Bit of Both
This section is very small but has some important pieces to the puzzle so I wanted to quickly go over the card choices here.
Mirror Entity and Taurean Mauler are both fantastic in this deck because they carry both the knight and dragon creature types (as well as every other type). Mirror Entity acts as a very scary lord since we can activate its ability at instant speed after blockers are declared and with Sylvia in play that can get dangerous. Taurean Mauler is a cheap threat at only three mana that can get big in a hurry and because it gets all of our tribal benefits it can easily be the scariest permanent on the battlefield.
Adaptive Automaton is a contextual lord since we need to assess which creature type is more important at the time of casting however, being only three mana, it’s definitely worth a spot.
Finally, Odric Lunarch Marshal is great since it spreads our tribal benefits to our other creatures that might not be receiving them while incidentally spreading around other keywords.
Our equipment package pulls a lot of weight for us. The most important things we’re looking for from our armory are extra mana and cards.
Dowsing Dagger, Prying Blade and Sword of the Animist give us some ramp combined with a bit of power. Heirloom Blade, Mask of Memory and Skullclamp give us extra cards when our creatures either die or connect with an opponent (this is especially relevant when equipped to a double-striker).
Then we have Sunforger, Hammer of Nazahn and Bloodforged Battle-Axe which are all just generically powerful. I will get to our Sunforger package in the next section but the card itself provides a form of pseudo card advantage since it allows us to use cards from our library rather than our hand.
Hammer of Nazahn is a great way to save on mana by allowing us to attach our equipment for free while also providing very valuable protection and a couple of extra power on top of all that. An interesting interaction with the hammer and the Bloodforged Battle-Axe is if you have the axe on a double-striker, the creature will deal it’s damage in the first strike step, create an additional axe which will attach to a creature for free before the normal damage step then deal a bit of extra damage and create another axe.
Finally in this section we have our equipment support cards in Godo, Bandit Warlord, Sigarda’s Aid and Open the Armory. Godo and Open the Armory are great since they allow us to find the specific piece of equipment we need at the time while Sigarda’s Aid is incredibly efficient on mana since it only costs one and allows us to attach equipment for free while additionally letting us play our equipment at instant speed.
Here we have a tight suite of instant speed interaction that is all searchable with Sunforger. Boros Charm, Eerie Interlude and Make a Stand give us some outs to protect our board from a wipe while Swords to Plowshares, Chaos Warp and Wear and Tear help us deal with annoying permanents. Lapse of Certainty gives us a temporary way to answer any threat on the stack and comes with a lot of tilted heads for extra value.
Our equipment package could use a lot of tuning and the swords are the first place I would look. One of our commander already has double strike and gives a lot of our other creatures double strike so the swords are a perfect fit for this deck.
The next place I would look to upgrade is our creature package. History of Benalia provides a lot of value for only three mana and can be game-ending on certain boards. Bastion Protector is fantastic when we have two commanders since it provides a lot of power and toughness combined with protection, unfortunately the one drawback is that it is not a knight. Metallic Mimic is similar to Adaptive Automaton which we are already running so it is a pretty easy addition.
Teferi’s Protection is almost strictly better than our other protection spells and is useful in a large swathe of situations. Enlightened Tutor is another great way to access our equipment toolbox. Tithe and Mistveil Plains are a cool combo with Sunforger as the equipment can search out Tithe which can search out the plains which allows us to replay our instants with the equipment.
And that’s it for this time around. This was a very interesting deck to put together since Sylvia and Khorvath provide some tension when deck building. The most important revelation for me was realizing I did not need to include the typical tribal payoffs since they would be turned off for half of our creature-base. Instead we can use more inherently powerful cards that will buff any creature we have in play.
I hope you enjoyed the article and let me know what you thought about the deck in the comments!
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