When I saw Masahiko Mihara playing a similar deck at the Super Sunday Series in Seattle, I thought he might have the best deck in the format. Since then, the deck has been relatively quiet… but it pops up now and again on Magic Online.
The secret to this list is cutting the Precinct Captains. I thought it was one of the best cards in the deck, which might be true, but there are no sacred cows. Eliminating Precinct Captain also eliminates an enormous strain on the manabase, allowing you to play Watery Grave to fix your mana. Notice the absence of another heavy hitter: Brimaz, King of Oreskos. Lyev Skyknight, while a fine card, is typically weaker than Brimaz on average – but the removal of early WW cards makes the deck better as a whole.
Easily the best part of this deck is the Cartel Aristocrat / Soul Ransom combo. If they want their creature back, they have to discard two cards. With the Soul Ransom trigger on the stack, you can sacrifice their creature to the Aristocrat and still draw two cards. Unless they want to get beaten down by their own creature, they’re going to have to discard two cards and allow you to draw two cards, all while you still get to kill their creature!
Again, I’m shocked that this deck hasn’t been doing as well as I thought it would, but the removal of Precinct Captain might be what it needed.
- 4 Lyev Skyknight
- 3 Obzedat, Ghost Council
- 4 Cartel Aristocrat
- 2 Imposing Sovereign
- 4 Xathrid Necromancer
- 4 Soldier of the Pantheon