By Yolanda Stopforth (aka RunRabbit)

This deck was a surprisingly fun deck to play. Thank you to Unplug Yourself for supplying the deck for me to try out and review. 

The breakdown: Or What’s in the Box? 

This deck is surprisingly cool and on theme. Every creature in the deck is a knight which is great since everything depends on this deck being tribal. There are plenty of things to do and Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir is a looting machine who doesn’t even have to be on the board to give you that perk. Yay for Eminence. 

The Stats

Let’s take a look at what you get for your moola. 

There are a whopping 39 lands in this deck. That includes three fetch lands. There are also a whole lot of mana rocks and so the deck won’t leave you praying for mana, but it might flood. 

There are 7 pieces of targeted removal, and three board wipes. There is also some protection and some recursion. 

There is a lot of card draw. 

And thirty-three creatures including your commander which is a good number and they’re all knights.

How does it play?

This deck is a lot of fun to play. You definitely want to be playing Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir as your commander for this deck. The synergy between the cards is too strong to go with Elenda and Azor. The deck just isn’t geared enough towards them since they care about card draw and tokens when Sidar cares about Knights and every creature in the deck is a knight.

With the protection provided by cards like Knight Exemplar; and Wintermoor Commander you can make your knights that little bit harder to get rid of. I did feel that more protection was needed though. This is a tribal deck and so keeping your creatures on the board is important to your win strategy.

With cards like Herald of hoofbeats all your knights can be unblockable too which is a nice perk. Getting that out early and sending some of the cheaper, and so easier to play early, knights at your opponents might be a good strategy for the early game. 

There is nothing in the deck at the moment that pushes the knights over the top for the win. There isn’t enough token generation to go wide and swamp the board for a decisive win and the deck is vulnerable to board wipes which it struggles to come back from. 

Losing your graveyard can be also be a nasty blow to the deck. Since a major strategy in the deck is to be able to loot your knights into the graveyard, bring them back with either Sidar Jabari of Zhalfir second ability, or with Haakon, Stromgald Scourge, losing it can leave you with few options to help rebuild after a board wipe.

But that being said, the deck does work beautifully once you get it going. It takes a few turns, and the looting sure does help. It’s just imperative to keep a steady supply of knights on the board.

The upgrade: 

To upgrade this deck, I would take out the following cards:  

Temple of the False God. This land doesn’t provide enough value. In a three-colour deck you need lands that provide colour pips more than colourless mana.  

Elenda and Azor is expensive for what you get in terms of this deck. I’m sure this card is amazing in other decks but in this one it feels out of place and clunky. How many hoops would you like to jump through to achieve anything? 

Josu Vess, Lich Knight is expensive and not enough value in this deck. 

Knight of the last Breath expensive and not enough value in this deck.

Arvad the Cursed this deck doesn’t run enough legendary creatures for this card to be of full value. 

Lilliana’s Standard Bearer I don’t want my creatures to die if I can help it in this deck. 

Syr Elenora, the Discerning just doesn’t feel like a good fit. 

Maul of the Skyclaves and Sigiled Sword of Valeron. This deck doesn’t care about equipment at all. There are no perks, no easy equip tricks in this deck as there are three equipment cards. So not really worth the space that could be given to something far better.

Time Wipe Three board wipes in a creature deck feels excessive. So, one had to go. 

I would also take out two lands to make 36 lands in the deck. With the eight mana rocks and three fetch lands there shouldn’t be a problem getting the lands you need.

Then the cards I would add:

I would add Intruder Alarm to create an infinite loop with Xerex Strobe-Knight. This combination allows you to make an infinite number of knights. And if you have the mana then casting two spells just that once to get it going won’t be a problem.

I would also add some cheap knights. The deck has one one drop and it could do with more to get the looting engine going. So, the knights I would add are: Forsworn Paladin; Dauntless Bodyguard; Changeling Outcast; Knight of the Ebon Legion and Silverblade Paladin.

Then I saw these cards and thought what a wonderful idea. With Wonder in my graveyard and Mirror Entity things could get really interesting with large flyers. I also thought of adding Odric Lunarch Marshal as a way to give all the knights some sort of evasion.

Other cards that would go well in the deck are: Skyhunter Strike Force; Guardian of Faith; Cavalier of Night; Dark Withering; Breathless Knight; Battle Angels of Tyr; Kinsbaile Cavalier.

Lastly, I thought the deck needed some way to stop your opponents from casting their big pieces and protect the board that way. So, adding the following cards would help with protecting your board. Counterspell; Dovin’s Veto; Teferi’s Protection; Unbreakable Formation.

To sum up: 

This deck is a great build as it is. It just needs a little tweaking. With the changes I think it could take the win.

Well until next time. Keep playing and I’ll see you on the battlefield.


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