Why God-Eternal Kefnet Is The Card To Play At SCG Richmond

“Dear God-Eternal, what have they done?” Patrick Chapin thinks the Zombie God has Standard superstar potential, and he’s here to show you how to break it in time for SCG Richmond!

Dear God-Eternal, what have they done?

God-Eternal Kefnet is one of the cards I most want to work with. The first time Gerry Thompson pointed out to me that it triggers the first time you draw a card on either turn, my eyes were open.

You don’t have to go overboard, but if you’ve got some cheap cantrips in your deck, you can really push Kefnet through the roof. If you have 24 “hits” in your deck, Kefnet is already “drawing” you an extra card 40% of the time anyway (and when it does, the two-mana savings will hopefully matter more than needing to play the copy immediately).

If you play an Opt on your opponent’s turn, however, not only do you get another chance at an additional extra card, you actually get to scry first, meaning you are actually 64% to find a hit. Not only does this turn Opt into a virtual draw-two, the copy can be cast for two less, meaning there will be times where the Opt effectively costs negative one mana(!).

The extra cards Kefnet draws add up, and the mana advantage can be tactically devastating; however, it’s not like we’re even paying all that much for this ability. A 4/5 flier for four is already in the conversation, and the God-Eternal ability is incredible when viewed in the context of just how “must-kill” Kefnet is. That it can even beat exile effects like Vraska’s Contempt, Hostage Taker, and Conclave Tribunal makes the card much harder to actually deal with long-term (making opponents need to fight for tempo instead).

Tyrant’s Scorn looks excellent to me. Smother would already be a fairly attractive option to consider, and the Unsummon is much appreciated on multiple levels.

First, the ability to hit something big complements the Smother mode’s ability to kill small things. Bouncing a big creature is particularly strong in a world with cards like Thought Erasure; Disinformation Campaign; Nicol Bolas, the Ravager; and The Eldest Reborn.

The other massive upside to Tyrant’s Scorn is the Unsummon mode’s ability to target your own stuff. While cards like Cast Down might be completely dead against some opponents, Tyrant’s Scorn can be used to save important threats, like Thief of Sanity, or re-use powerful enters-the-battlefield abilities, like those of Augur of Bolas; Hostage Taker; Ravenous Chupacabra; and Nicol Bolas, the Ravager.

Maybe something along the lines of:

Thought Erasure is particularly attractive in a Kefnet deck, compared to countermagic. The ability to use it proactively when revealed by Kefnet is great, and it can be used before the God-Eternal, ensuring a path clear of opposing permission.

I’m not sure it’s out of the question at all to play some Duress maindeck alongside the Thought Erasures. You can only play so much of this stuff, but playing six or seven of these effects could be a great way to kick things off for a Dimir deck making greater use of must-kill threats, like Thief of Sanity and Hostage Taker.

While it is tempting to play a Fblthp, the Lost as a fifth “Augur of Bolas,” giving us an extra chump-blocker from time to time, I’m concerned about its mandatory shuffling. The last thing we want is to give our opponents the option to shuffle our God-Eternal Kefnet away. If they kill Kefnet and then target Fblthp, things are gonna get real awkward.

Blast Zone looks solid. It helps make sure we’ve got enough land early on, and later it can be turned into a versatile answer to most threats.

I could imagine using more Blast Zones. It sure seems like everyone else is. I guess I’m just a little reluctant to mess up our silky-smooth colors with so many colorless lands. Maybe if we up our total land count, it won’t be that big a deal. I’m just not sure we can afford to go much higher with how much air we’re already packing, thanks to the cantrips and discard. I could imagine this deck’s topdecks being somewhat medium at times.

Liliana costs a ton, so it’s hard to play many, but I think some decks could make good use of her as a one-of curve topper. She sort of works as a sweeper, she’s a fine alternative victory condition, and she can take over some games purely from a card advantage standpoint. From a card power standpoint, I generally prefer her to Commence the Endgame. From a synergy standpoint, however, there are going to be plenty of spots where she doesn’t fit, thanks to her demanding valuable non-Augur of Bolas-compatible spots.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m into Commence the Endgame; it’s just I feel like the bar is so high for fives and sixes, we’ve got to be super-sure they’re all pulling their weight. I do appreciate Commence the Endgame’s strength against planeswalkers. It’s also super-convenient that it works so well with Augur of Bolas and God-Eternal Kefnet. It just seems I am less enamored with five- and six-cost three-for-ones that leave you with a generic body than most.

This is another one that most people seem to like more than I do. It’s not that I don’t like it. It seems fine. I mean, Enter the God-Eternals does do a lot of stuff, like milling opposing Kefnets, if you try really hard, but if you can’t kill something with it, it’s generally pretty bad. Like, why are we trying so hard when Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God is a three-for-one on the way in, plus nets multiple cards a turn from here on out. He’s also incredibly flexible and, if you can cast him, far more powerful.

The big “cost” to Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God is that you’ve got to reliably be able to produce UBBBR on Turn 5…

…as if that was a cost.

While this looks like an excellent Tyrant’s Scorn deck, we could be in the market for more cheap removal, and Angrath’s Rampage is pretty flexible itself.

Playing a mix of Angrath’s Rampage and Bedevil gives us more flexibility in spending our mana efficiently from turn to turn. I could imagine that sometimes we’ll be a little short on mana; other times, we’ll really appreciate the instant speed. Sometimes we’ll need the reliability of Bedevil; other times, we’ll be able to make use of Angrath’s Rampage against Hexproof.

It’s kind of interesting, seeing such a glut of two-cost and four-cost cards, while three-cost so frequently has all the room in the world.

While my first thought was to use Notion Rain, it’s possible that it’s fancier than we really need.

Okay, admittedly, Jace’s Triumph is a pretty fancy Divination. Really, it’s the same here, but we shouldn’t let them know we don’t have Jaces in our deck.

Why use a glorified Divination at all? Well, obviously not paying two life is part of the equation; however, maybe the mana we save from God-Eternal Kefnet matters. Besides, paying two life twice might start to add up, whereas just playing Jace’s Triumph twice is a bit easier to manage.

Narset is another option for three-cost card draw. She’s not as good at fixing our mana but being able to find cantrips like Opt is at least something. Besides, her passive might be seriously disruptive, depending on who we’re facing.

It’s not the same thing as a card drawer, sure, but the cantrips and card draw that work well with Kefnet sure would pair nicely with Saheeli. Hell, we could even Treasure Map it up and get a little more bang for our buck.

Of course, once we’re talking about three-cost planeswalkers…

While Azorius doesn’t have as cheap of a sweeper as Esper, Time Wipe does have its advantages.

Time Wipe does everything you normally ask of a five-mana sweeper, but also can bounce one of our own creatures. Most notably, this lets us turn it into a real card when we bounce Augur of Bolas. It also makes for an extremely powerful Kefnet flip, since we can clear the battlefield while keeping Kefnet (and still having another copy of the sweeper in our hand).

Revitalize is excellent as far as cheap cantrips go. It would be nice to make better use of our two-cost removal, however. Gideon’s Triumph is a fine card, as is Gideon Blackblade, but they aren’t perfect fits here.

What we’d really like is a two-cost removal spell we can use proactively, for when we flip it to Kefnet. Gideon’s Triumph only works half the time, leading us to cast our Opts and Revitalizes after our opponent has declared an attack.

Azorius actually has quite a number of interesting options that can potentially be made to work with Kefnet. Maybe we’re supposed to look even more like traditional Azorius control.

Another possibility would be to add red, giving us access to proactive removal spells like Lightning Strike and Deafening Clarion.

But I guess it’s also worth trying straight Izzet, isn’t it?

Ral’s Outburst is definitely a sweet reveal to Kefnet, but all the four-cost options are already so good.

I do wonder if we’re supposed to be looking at more stuff like Expansion // Explosion that can be put to good use with Kefnet, while still having the flexibility to be played for cheaper anyway.

Maybe it could be alongside Expansion // Explosion, maybe separately, but we’ve got to try Nexus of Fate with the God-Eternal, right?

Now, that is a card to reveal with God-Eternal Kefnet!

Nexus of Fate makes for an absolutely fantastic spell to reduce the cost of by two, let alone making a copy of it, and God-Eternal Kefnet is an extremely powerful permanent to have on the battlefield when taking an extra turn.

Growth Spiral is even an instant-speed cantrip for triggering Kefnet on the opponent’s turn!

Whatever sorceries and instants you choose to put alongside God-Eternal Kefnet, just make sure you include plenty of cantrips, card draw, and proactive disruption and interaction. Kefnet is going to be underestimated very briefly, but I don’t think it will take much time at all for everyone to catch up. It’s just so durable, so robust, and yet so explosive.