fbpx

Temur Adventures (Obosh) Isn’t Getting Nearly Enough Respect In Kaldheim Standard

GerryT finds Temur Adventures (Obosh) underrated in Kaldheim Standard. But why does his latest list drop Obosh as a companion?

Alrund’s Epiphany, illustrated by Kieran Yanner

Somehow, Temur Adventures (Obosh) has flown under the radar. It has the Adventures package that’s a necessity for a successful green deck, interaction for every matchup in the format, and Alrund’s Epiphany to steal games and go over the top of other midrange decks. 

Bryan Gottlieb and I have been very high on Alrund’s Epiphany decks in general and it’s easy to see what this version has going for it. You have built-in card advantage, Bonecrusher Giant and Lovestruck Beast for aggro, counterspells for Emergent Ultimatum, and an end-game that’s difficult to interact with.

During the February Kaldheim League Weekend, Temur Adventures won 65% of its matches, which was the highest of any archetype. Granted, only five players played it, so it’s a small sample size overall, but it’s still indicative of its place in the format. 



As I mentioned, Temur Adventures had the best weekend, at least in terms of win-rate. However, Kaldheim Standard is going to evolve. 

Naya Adventures, including the Naya Fury variants, was the most-played deck and also had a respectable win rate, so you can expect that deck to stick around. Both Mono-White Aggro❄ and Mono-Red Aggro❄ did poorly, so those numbers will drop off. However, I’d expect them to remain popular and they are certainly decks you have to prepare for.

Predicting exactly where the Kaldheim Standard metagame is headed is difficult. Jeskai Cycling (Lurrus) had a great weekend and aggressive decks performed poorly, so I’d expect those numbers to shift. Temur Adventures also did well but it’s hard to say whether it will continue to fly under the radar. 

Approaching the Jeskai Cycling matchup is the trickiest by a large margin. They have Flourishing Fox as a fast clock, Improbable Alliance to go wide, and Zenith Flare as a powerful finisher. Grzegorz Kowalski went a step further and added Irencrag Pyromancer to the mix.

Graveyard hate is fine at stopping one Zenith Flare but it’s not difficult for them to reload their graveyard. That issue is further exacerbated if your graveyard hate is Klothys, God of Destiny because of how slow it is. Zenith Flare can easily outpace it. 

The best plan likely involves some way to punch through the tokens created by Improbable Alliance. Embercleave seems like the strongest option by far and is the main argument for cutting Obosh. Things like Shadowspear can get the job done and even gains you life to put you out of reach of Zenith Flare but it’s not enough. Shadowspear is good against a single token whereas Embercleave is good against any number.

Most of the companions are unwieldy after the rules update. Paying five mana for an Obosh was fine, even with the deckbuilding drawback. Eight mana is a tad steep, even if you can split it over two turns. Thankfully, a couple of Goldspan Dragon attacks can alleviate any mana concerns. Using Alrund’s Epiphany as a way to ramp into the eighth mana to put Obosh into your hand and cast it can be incredible, especially if you have some semblance of a clock already. 

That said, Obosh isn’t directly responsible for Temur’s win rate. It’s a bonus that doesn’t have much of an opportunity cost. New problems require new answers and they aren’t necessarily solved by having access to only half the cards in Standard. If you see some cards with even mana values, keep in mind that you can unlock them by cutting Obosh.

I did my due diligence while researching the archetype and what other players were doing in order to give myself ideas. Naturally, I was happy to take a look at this sideboard guide from the aforementioned Chris Botelho. If you want to copy and paste Chris’s decklist and sideboarding guide, I’d understand. His deck was very good last week but we need to look forward to the future.

Here’s my version:


To solve my problems, I added Scorching Dragonfire, Disdainful Stroke, Shatterskull Smashing, Behold the Multiverse, Shredded Sails, and Embercleave. Admittedly, you can find slightly weaker replacements for most of those in the odd-mana-value cards. The exception is Embercleave. Nothing pressures Jeskai Cycling quite like it. 

I removed the awkward Kazandu Mammoths, gained more clean two-for-ones, and have more utility in my manabase. Scorching Dragonfire cleanly answers Anax, Hardened in the Forge and kills the increasingly popular Drannith Magistrate. 

The counterspell I’ve wanted in most matchups has been Disdainful Stroke, especially when some decks are splitting their creature and noncreature threats; for example, any Naya Adventures deck has Goldspan Dragon and either Showdown of the Skalds, The Great Henge, or Embercleave. Saw It Coming and Mystical Dispute are passable but neither can compare to the efficiency of Disdainful Stroke. Naya might have more card advantage or more removal but Temur has Alrund’s Epiphany and Disdainful Stroke as ways to gain an edge. 

Against Mono-Red Aggro, Disdainful Stroke hits all of their expensive cards. It might get sideboarded out for more efficient answers but I’m much happier having that in my deck against them compared to the three-mana counterspells. 

The Great Henge is obviously incredible when it works, but do we really need or want The Great Henge? The real question is secretly, “Do we really want Kazandu Mammoth?” A manabase full of Pathways and Fabled Passages tends to lead you to have green, red, and blue on Turn 3 unless you’re fortunate enough to draw a Ketria Triome. With Saw It Coming and Kazandu Mammoth, Temur’s manabase can be awkward. My changes take massive steps toward improving that.

The Great Henge provided a secondary card advantage engine to Edgewall Innkeeper but it’s not consistent. Instead, you get some quick two-for-ones like Behold the Multiverse and Cultivate. Both contribute toward having enough resources to cast Alrund’s Epiphany while also being more difficult to disrupt. Both play better in sideboard games as well.

Against both aggro decks, I’m cutting the things that set my deck apart from the rest, which might bring into question their validity in the first place. However, Disdainful Stroke is far less awkward than Saw It Coming or Mystical Dispute in the Mono-Red Aggro❄ matchup and much stronger against Naya Fury. 

In the maindeck games, you have fewer interactive elements, which means your main gameplan involves Alrund’s Epiphany. Cultivate isn’t the worst in those scenarios, especially if it means you’re ramping into Goldspan Dragon and potentially entering into a racing situation. After sideboarding, you can configure your deck in a more cohesive way.

Toski, Bearer of Secrets seems like a great addition. We have tokens, flyers, Time Walks, and counterspells, each of which make it incredibly dangerous. That said, I’m less excited about the card when all the Sultai decks are playing Esika’s Chariot. Their 2/2 blockers mean Toski is more of an enchantment than a threat itself, which weakens it significantly. I’ll revisit Toski later. 

With each passing week, the reason to sideboard heavily against Dimir Rogues dissipates. Instead of grindy decks, we have Sultai Ramp (Yorion), so Ox of Agonas doesn’t have many matchups where you’re happy bringing it in. Even the Rakdos decks are playing fewer Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hungers. Dimir Rogues did put up some solid numbers last weekend but I fully expect its supporters to dwindle.

Phoenix of Ash has more utility than Ox of Agonas at this point, except it’s not enough to be worth playing. 

VS Mono-White Aggro❄

Out:

Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke Cultivate Cultivate Behold the Multiverse Behold the Multiverse Goldspan Dragon

In:

Scorching Dragonfire Scorching Dragonfire Soul Sear Soul Sear Shredded Sails Elder Gargaroth Elder Gargaroth

I’m slightly interested in having another cheap removal spell in the sideboard, which would allow me to trim the top-end and have a lean deck that could keep in Behold the Multiverse. That’s likely not necessary because early removal into big creatures or Alrund’s Epiphany is often good enough.

VS Mono-Red Aggro❄

Out:

Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke Goldspan Dragon Alrund's Epiphany Alrund's Epiphany Cultivate Cultivate

In:

Scorching Dragonfire Scorching Dragonfire Soul Sear Soul Sear Shredded Sails Elder Gargaroth Elder Gargaroth

This matchup isn’t much different from Mono-White Aggro❄. Instead of dodging their Equipment and sources of protection, you need to look out for their top-end. Somehow, that’s much easier to accomplish.

VS Naya Fury

Out:

Goldspan Dragon Goldspan Dragon Brazen Borrower Brazen Borrower Behold the Multiverse

In:

Soul Sear Soul Sear Elder Gargaroth Elder Gargaroth Disdainful Stroke

As I mentioned earlier, Naya can win out of nowhere and has a fast clock, card advantage, and removal. That said, the blue cards give you an edge, which is one of the big reasons to be playing Temur. 

VS Sultai Ramp (Yorion)

Out:

Goldspan Dragon Spikefield Hazard Alrund's Epiphany Lovestruck Beast

In:

Mystical Dispute Mystical Dispute Disdainful Stroke Behold the Multiverse

You could bring in Embercleave here but it’s not necessary. You’ll win most games by gaining some card advantage and sitting on a counterspell against their seven-mana cards. They’ll have to make a move at some point, which you can easily capitalize on. 

VS Jeskai Cycling (Lurrus)

Out:

Disdainful Stroke Disdainful Stroke Alrund's Epiphany Alrund's Epiphany

In:

Soul-Guide Lantern Soul-Guide Lantern Embercleave Embercleave

Soul-Guide Lantern is almost strictly for this matchup, although it does give you some insurance against Kroxa decks. Klothys, God of Destiny wasn’t something I wanted against many people and it failed to perform in this matchup. Scavenging Ooze is another option that could have massive crossover applications against the aggro decks. Sadly, it has many of the same problems that Klothys does in this matchup.

We have graveyard disruption, we don’t have to rely on awkward counterspells, and we have an excellent end-game. Depending on their setup and how their draw plays out, this matchup can still be difficult, but at least we have all the tools we need. 

VS Temur Adventures (Obosh)

Out:

Brazen Borrower Alrund's Epiphany Alrund's Epiphany

In:

Soul Sear Soul Sear Disdainful Stroke

You could make the argument for bringing in more answers for Edgewall Innkeeper but it doesn’t seem worth it. An active Innkeeper can be beaten by having your own or by gaining a sizable tempo advantage. We have Spikefield Hazard and Shatterskull Smashing, plus Scorching Dragonfire is medium against the rest of their deck.

I like shaving Alrund’s Epiphany in anticipation of Mystical Dispute, although I don’t bother bringing in my own because I assume they’ll do the same. That configuration does set them up to potentially win counter-wars, so be aware of those situations.

How does this version of Temur Adventures compare to the Gruul Adventures deck splashing counterspells I wrote about a few weeks ago? Based on the expected metagame of last weekend, I like the Alrund’s Epiphany package more. If Jeskai Cycling gets more popular, Brushfire Elemental, Questing Beast, and Embercleave all start to look appealing. 

It mostly comes down to a matter of preference. Temur has more powerful cards overall and more interaction, whereas Gruul has aggression. Either is a fine choice, although Temur is stronger against the field as a whole. There’s nothing else I’d rather be playing.