As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m a long-time Magic player but relatively new to Arena. And Magic-in-the-last-7-years, too. So, Ikoria is a brand new set for me, though I’ve seen some cards through playing Standard.
And this set is quite the challenge to fully understand. Mutate is such a unique ability that changes how creatures are used. And I’m still not sure I fully know how to properly construct a mutate-heavy deck, though I’ve definitely used the mechanic to some success (e.g., the deck being presented here).
I forgot to save the deck before claiming prizes, but pretty sure this is the list that took down a draft. And, yes, there are 41 cards if you count. That was on purpose, but perhaps not correct. The thinking was that the deck had a low overall CMC and multiple cycling cards, as well as Whisper Squad to thin the deck. I don’t like to be results-oriented, but the deck never had mana issues throughout except for sometimes stalling out on 5 lands waiting to drop a hasty 5/5 dinosaur.
Not drafting Ikoria when it was a new set, I’m not sure all of the strategies/archetypes. And also not sure if this is a common build. But this felt like the closest I’ve come to drafting a Combo deck in limited.
The Combo (a.k.a. Machine Gun Porcuparrot)
I imagine this was fairly well-discussed when the set was new (and a quick peruse via Google reveals that, yes, the combo was beloved during Ikoria’s Limited heyday). But this combination can single-handedly take down a match.
For anyone not recognizing the combo: Porcuparrot + Deathtouch (in this deck, via either Boot Nipper or Insatiable Hemophage). Once you mutate Porcuparrot onto either (or Hemophage onto Parrot), then the combination becomes: Tap, destroy target enemy creature. The sheer power of this combination took down 3-4 games on its own. Eventually, the opponent would find removal in those games, but losing several creatures or being stalled out waiting on removal is too much to overcome.
Whisper Squad (a.k.a. The Backup Plan)
The Whisper Squad gang was my backup plan if I could not take over the game with the Machine Gun Porcuparrot. Of course, it’s not just them alone, but they along with other small dudes (and solid removal) were enough to take down 2 games by just overwhelming the opponent.