One of the obviously pushed mechanics in Throne of Eldraine is the addition of several new powerful Knights. These creatures appear in the Mardu colors and have an "equipment matters" subtheme. In this article we investigate how to build various versions of this aggressive strategy.
First off, let's take a look at the options we have available to play with at the low end of the curve:
Equipment and other toys to consider:
At first glance, red seems to be the sparsest color among the cards that we've selected, so let's try brewing an Orzhov version. This version draws us to a go-wide strategy to take advantage of the natural synergies between cards like Worthy Knight, Corpse Knight, and Smitten Swordmaster. We've already seen the impact a card like Hero of Precinct One can have on the Standard format, so let's see what we can do with this version!
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion 4 Foulmire Knight 4 Venerable Knight 4 Smitten Swordmaster 4 Wintermoor Commander 4 Worthy Knight 4 Corpse Knight 4 Murderous Rider 1 Belle of the Brawl 3 Midnight Reaper 1 The Circle of Loyalty 4 Tournament Grounds 4 Temple of Silence 4 Godless Shrine 5 Plains (331) 6 Swamp (339)
Despite how easy it was to build, this deck actually looks pretty sweet! For a white-weenie style swarm deck, it actually has a ton of reach due to Smitten Swordmaster and Corpse Knight. We are also able to run an incredibly high number of actual Knight spells for Worthy Knight since Murderous Rider lets us pack 4 flexible removal spells. This color combination benefits from being able to run 12 1-drops with the mana to cast them on time. We already know the power level of Knight of the Ebon Legion, and Venerable Knight seems high on the power curve as well. Foulmire Knight is weaker as an aggressive attacking creature, but it helps out the curve and provides value in the late game. Deathtouch also works well in this deck, whether it's being able to trade up or being able to poke damage through in combination with Wintermoor Commander. Side note: imagine how good would this deck be if History of Benalia wasn't rotating!
We'll be continuing to brew with the different versions of Knights. Big questions include whether or not the mana is good enough to support the fully powered 3-color version of this deck (Tournament Grounds certainly helps), and whether or not Embercleave is worth building around. We can also consider more midrange builds that take advantage of Acclaimed Contender and the flexible nature of the adventure creatures.
Orzhov Knights seems like a good place to start once this format debuts on MTG Arena on September 26 (October 4 in paper), so be sure to check out the videos we make with it on release day!