5 Devastating Duos: Misery Loves Company

Have you ever wanted to play a game knowing that you have a win condition in your Signature Spell slot? How about having the safety and sinister warmth of knowing that at any minute you could cast a spell and warp the game? Are you a sadistic monster and want to make the game as miserable as you can for your opponents? Well,  MOVE OVER ELDERSPELL, BACK UP WINDFALL. There’s some new jerks in town!

These are Devastating Duos.

Each of these Planeswalker and Signature Spell pairs are guaranteed to make your opponents throw their hands in the air in frustration and start shuffling up for next game!

Ob-Nixilis, the Hate Twisted [] and Dark Deal []

Ob Nixilis, the Hate Twisted [] is a card that, originally,  made me scratch my head. In a way he’s reminiscent of Nekusar, the Mindrazer [], just without access to blue and red (the best colors for Wheel of Fortune [] effects). How are we possibly going to make a deck that forces everyone to cycle through their hands if all the Wheel of Fortune effects are in blue and red?

Some players don’t realize that mono black has its own Wheel of Fortune! Dark Deal [] forces everyone to discard their hands and draw that many cards minus 1. When someone makes you discard your hand and draw a bunch of new cards, it can ruin your well-crafted plans for the following turn.  If Dark Deal disorienting you wasn’t enough, Ob Nixilis tortures your opponents for each and every card they draw. The ideal deck for this is a ramp heavy shell that can allow a player to power out Ob-Nixilis and follow him up with multiple Dark Deals. Throw in cards like Underworld Dreams [], Lilianas Caress [], or Waste Not [], and you can make the normally unwieldy Ob-Nixilis break more than just Oaths!

Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage [] and Delirium Skeins []

“Look MA! No Hands!” Everyone out there complains about Narset, Parter of Veils [] erasing hands. But Davriel, Rogue Shadowmage [] scoffs and continues to deal damage, all while sipping on his cup of Earl Grey tea. When I was designing a Davriel deck, I came to the conclusion that Syphon Mind [] was the most efficient and useful card to have in the Signature Spell slot. But another, more sinister card beguiled me into it’s clutches. While Syphon Mind is a well-rounded card, Delirium Skeins [] is a truly malicious way to make everyone suffer.
The Skeins is a card that noone is happy to see resolve.  It is quite simple: each player discards three cards. When this resolves early in the game, it fundamentally changes how players play the game going forward.

The best shell for this combination is a Rack deck that can utilize it’s graveyard as a resource. Fill it with creatures that can unearth or with spells that can recur from the graveyard.

As each of your opponent’s scramble to put their hands back together, Davriel revels in the absolution, handing out passive damage like it is going out of style.  After all, ‘It is better for us all to suffer than for my enemy to succeed.’

Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord [] and Command the Dreadhorde []

Unlike other pairings, this combination doesn’t outright win the game. Rather, Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord []’s static abiltity mitigates the drawback for arguably one of the most powerful yet underplayed spells in the format.

The deck should be built around killing creatures and walkers with combat damage as well as a minor mill sub theme, so Sorin has minions worth commanding. While not as game ending as other combinations, by the time you resolve Command the Dreadhorde [], you should be so far ahead on board and card advantage that your opponent’s might as well concede.

Teferi, Time Raveler [] and Whir of Invention []

We’ve seen Teferi Mage of Zhalfir [] warp commander games with his ability slow down your opponents and lock them out from playing the game. Similarly, Teferi, Time Raveler [] can be utilized in conjunction with Whir of Invention [] to lock opponents out of the game. How?

Whir allows you to search your library for mana rocks or specific hate pieces ( Pithing Needle [], for example) and put them directly onto the battlefield. More importantly,  it’s a means to an end. By tutoring for cards (Knowledge Pool []) which alter the way spells resolve, you force your opponents to cast spells as part of a trigger, which is not casting spells “any time they could cast a sorcery.” Therefore Teferi, Time Raveler can help lock your opponent’s from being able to cast them.

The shell for this combination is a an artifact heavy prison deck with our winning Whir of Invention target being Knowledge Pool. Knowledge Pool will lock our opponents out from being able to cast any further spells and ideally allow us to slowly kill them. The best way for us to kill them slowly is with an alternate win condition like Azors Elocutors [] or Darksteel Reactor [].

Teferi is like a Bizarro Sonic, “Got…to….go….slow….”.

Ral, Storm Conduit [] and Fury Storm []

Fury Storm [] was a card that I chatted up on Twitter after Ral, Storm Conduit [] was spoiled. At the time I was not aware of Oathbreaker, so the possibility of having Ral as your commander never crossed my mind. Now that I’m part of the fastest growing format, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that these two go together like peanut butter and more peanut butter.

In case you were curious, as all Izzet mages are, about how this combo works, allow me to elucidate you on the intricacies of the stack with this combo.

  1. Cast Ral, Storm Conduit [] or have Ral, Storm Conduit on the field
  2. Wait for an instant or sorcery spell to be cast, or simply cast your own.
  3. Cast your Signature Spell: Fury Storm [].
  4. Fury Storm triggers on cast, copying it for each time your Oathbreaker has been cast this game. As you can’t cast your Signature Spell until Ral is out, the “Oathbreaker storm” count for this spell is a minimum of 1. Luckily for us, 1 copy is all we need to get going.
  5. With the First Copy (We’ll call Copy A) of Fury Storm, we copy the original spell which still hasn’t resolved. When Copy A resolves it creates another copy of Fury Storm (Copy B), you then use Copy B to again copy the original Fury Storm.  You then repeat this ad infinitum. Ral’s Static ability will do 1 damage to target opponent or Planeswalker each time a spell is cast or copied.
  6. Your opponents are now fried like an Izzet Electromancer experimenting with a lightning rod.

Assuming no interaction, Ral, Storm Conduit kills your opponents out of nowhere. You’re probably asking, how can you make this storm of Izzet Ingenuity happen? The best shell for this combo is one that has a heavy emphasis on counter-burn. Lots of counterspells so people can’t mess with your combo and some burn spells to act as removal. The deck itself will end up playing a lot like Splinter Twin, where it feels like you control the game until you suddenly win. This is easily the deadliest and most consistent combo, yet I currently see no one running it.

Signing Out

A wonderful upside for each of these Signature Spells is that they’re all relatively cheap and affordable. If you want to take them for a spin, you won’t have to commit a lot of $ to try them out.

That’s all from me today! It’s your turn. What do you consider to be the most deadly or brutal Planeswalker and Signature Spell pair in Oathbreaker? Why?

Are you going to sleeve up one of these Deadly Duos? Share your decklist with me in the comments.

Roll safe. And remember, break oaths and not your bank!