Is Song Of Creation Standard’s Next Broken Engine?

How many potentially broken cards does one Standard need? GerryT gets to brewing with Temur’s latest engine enchantment, Song of Creation!

Song of Creation, illustrated by Noah Bradley

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In a Standard format that is largely defined by who can generate the most mana, it’s a tall order for anything new to break into the format. Sure, there will be upgrades here and there, but unless you can compete with those big mana decks, you might as well not even bother. You want something fast and aggressive, something disruptive, or some other mana engine. 

Thankfully, there are some aggressive options in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, but we also have yet another mana engine to play with. 

Song of Creation

If things are going as planned, this type of card is powerful in almost any kind of deck. However, there are going to be times when you’re able to draw cards and still can’t get past your opponent’s defenses. You could also discard your hand and then topdeck a land, or Song of Creation could get destroyed.

With you having to discard your hand every turn, you need to be able to start each turn by casting a spell. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate those disasters. There are a few cards that allow you to do that and they happen to be quite good already.

Cards That Break the Drawback

Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath Ox of Agonas Chemister's Insight Brazen Borrower

Bonecrusher Giant Beanstalk Giant Escape to the Wilds

Anything you can cast that lives in your graveyard or exile is excellent with Song of Creation because it ensures you will start your next turn by casting a spell. 

If you cast Song of Creation on Turn 3 or Turn 4 and your opponent removes it after you’ve discarded your hand, obviously you’re in bad shape. Having Uro at the ready can help you rebuild and that’s about as good as you can ask for. The plan when facing disruption should be to assemble a strong battlefield first and cast Song of Creation later. 

Alternatively, you could try to slip something like a Tamiyo, Collector of Tales onto the battlefield first. Even if Song gets destroyed, you can have another one at the ready. Trail of Crumbs is another possibility but adding Cauldron Familiar might be too harsh on the manabase. You could plan to always discard it to Song or something like Thirst for Meaning, though.

Obviously, if you’re working Song of Creation, you’re going to be very far ahead, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some decks that would be able to deal with your threats. How do we actually win the game before we get decked in those situations? Thassa’s Oracle isn’t very reliable because of the discarding, so we have to look elsewhere.

Win Conditions

Cavalier of Flame Improbable Alliance Niv-Mizzet, Parun Yidaro, Wandering Monster

There are also some smaller win conditions like Irencrag Pyromancer, Arclight Phoenix, and Nadir Kraken. You could also play the card as an Experimental Frenzy in an aggressive deck, ensuring you’ll have plenty of threats.

Of these, I’m a big fan of Yidaro, Wandering Monster. It’s big enough that you should be able to take huge chunks out of your opponent’s life total. With incidental damage from the Adventure creatures or some direct damage, closing games should be easy enough. Cavalier of Flame can also provide some of the finishing damage.

Uro is a solid win condition but it typically won’t win games without help. For the most part, I’m interested in it as a spell that lives in the graveyard, helps you ramp, and keeps you alive, but you’re likely going to need something else to actually win the game.

Temur Elementals has always been on the fringe of playable and Song of Creation could put it over the top. The deck didn’t necessarily need an engine but Song of Creation plus Yidaro, Wandering Monster gives it staying power and a finisher, which could be enough.

Arboreal Grazer is one of the strongest cards with Song of Creation. It allows you to empty your hand early and is a cheap spell to cast post-Song. With the extra cards, you should be able to ensure that Grazer will often be doing its job of accelerating you. If you wanted to, it’s also a fine body to mutate. Illuna, Apex of Wishes is the prime candidate but I’d rather play Illuna in a deck that had very few hits that are all very impactful, whereas Elementals has more hits that are mediocre. 

Another ramp option is Wolfwillow Haven, but with Leafkin Druid, Arboreal Grazer, and Growth Spiral, we should be all set. It’s worthy of consideration in a different version of the deck, though. 

Arboreal Grazer Dryad of the Ilysian Grove

When Song of Creation is online, having another way to play extra lands could be sweet, so maybe Dryad of the Ilysian Grove is worth it, at least in small numbers. For the most part, I would imagine you don’t exactly need the help once Song is online but you might only get a turn or two before they draw into an answer, so maybe you want to be able to pull as far ahead as possible.

If we wanted to lean harder on Cavalier of Flame to kill our opponents, we could cut Yidaro and play a copy or two of Escape to the Wilds. Those cards don’t work particularly well together, so I wouldn’t want them in my deck at the same time.

Another way to get around Song of Creation’s drawback is through the companion mechanic. Kaheera, the Orphanguard allows you to play Elementals and still play Arboreal Grazer because it’s a Beast, but it also means you can’t play the other creatures that help with Song of Creation like Uro and Brazen Borrower. I’m not sure which is correct but Kaheera doesn’t seem particularly helpful for what the deck is trying to accomplish. You could always play more Quasiduplicates and still have enough cards to mitigate the drawback.

Rather than play a pile of Elemental creatures, I wanted to try something that was more similar to Temur Reclamation. The downside to playing a deck like this is that you might get stuck with only reactive cards but I tried to mitigate that as much as I could. Overall, being proactive is a better choice with Song of Creation because it forces your opponent to decide whether they want to spend their mana dealing with your threats or your Song of Creation, neither of which bodes well for them.

If we’re looking for more mana to cast multiple spells with Song, Nissa, Who Shakes the World is the most obvious card to turn to. 

This deck is going to be very good at making a bunch of mana. You just have to hope you have something to do with it. It’s entirely possible this deck runs out of gas without Song, so maybe we need to play Hydroid Krasis or Gadwick, the Wizened maindeck.

This is probably one of the strongest homes, even though you can’t jam Song of Creation on Turn 3 in most instances. Once it gets going, I imagine you’re going to be creating an insurmountable advantage within a turn or two. 

Can we play a blue aggressive deck without counterspells? If the payoff is worth it, absolutely! 

Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor is a solid pickup, giving Izzet decks a Hero’s Downfall of sorts. Assuming you wanted to ditch Song of Creation and play counterspells, it would get even stronger. You likely can’t play four in most decks, but by Turn 4 or 5, it’s going to be powered up and able to kill most things in the format. 

Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor

Having some more direct damage would be helpful at allowing you to end games but the only things close to making the cut are Skewer the Critics and Bonecrusher Giant. If Uro poses a problem for that strategy, you could play Tibalt, Rakish Instigator in the sideboard, which is a nice source of tokens to mutate.

This deck is light on ways to ensure you have a spell to cast once you untap with Song, but I didn’t want to play Uro and Pteramander in the same deck. Maybe more Bonecrusher Giants are in order. Radical Idea isn’t impressive but could also do the trick.

I’m not quite as all-in on Lore Drakkis as Bryan is but that’s because I have a different engine in mind for this deck. Song of Creation seems like it could be powerful as the top end in an aggressive deck. A green-based aggro version will be something I try in the future.

Lastly, for fun.

Oh, look, another card that works well with Nexus of Fate.

I lamented the fact that I had to play Circuitous Route in my last version of Historic Golos and now we get an upgrade in Migration Path. Maybe having to search for basics isn’t ideal, but we get to cut Guildgates and also end up with a bunch of differently named lands to fetch with Fabled Passage. Cycling is huge in games where you’re flooded on acceleration or are looking for something specific like a fourth land, Storm’s Wrath, or Nexus of Fate.

Nexus of Fate Migration Path

Coincidentally, Nexus of Fate happens to be the ideal win condition for Song of Creation since it stops you from ever being decked. You could, in theory, run out of threats, but that’s unlikely when your main threat comes from one of your lands. 

If you want a sideboard plan that gets around land hate, you could sideboard four copies of Yidaro. Sadly, I don’t think the game will last long enough in the face of hate for Yidaro to matter. By then, Field of the Dead should be dominating, even in the face of hate.

Overall, I find it kind of silly that there’s another engine in Standard, especially one that works well with frequently played cards like Brazen Borrower or Uro. Still, Song of Creation is powerful and worthy of exploration, and could potentially topple Standard’s best archetypes.

We could use some change, even if it’s more of the same.

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