Combo off with Kethis, the Hidden Hand

Meet Kethis, the Hidden Hand

Kethis, the Hidden Hand is the center of Standar’s most exciting strategy
  • Effect of Card: Legendary spells you cast cost (1) less to cast. Exile two legendary cards from your graveyard: Until end of turn, each legendary card in your graveyard gains “You may play this card from your graveyard.”
  • Converted Mana Cost: 3
  • Type: Legendary Creature – Elf Advisor
  • Sets: Core Set 2020

Okay… There is a ton to unpack here. Kethis, the Hidden Hand is, first and foremost, a nice creature. For three mana (albeit of three different colors) it provides a 3/4 body. Not insane by itself, but no slouch, and more than big enough to defend the battlefield while you’re setting the game up.

More importantly come the Hidden Hand’s two lines of text:

  1. The first makes Legendary spells — including not only creatures by Planeswalkers and big endgame stuff like Urza’s Ruinous Blast cheaper.
  2. The second is a kind of card drawing engine, provided you have sufficient Legendary cards and a way to stock your graveyard.

Diligent Excavator + Kethis, the Hidden Hand

By itself, Kethis, the Hidden Hand might have been able to drive a serviceable midrange deck. After all, its power and toughness are full-on “okay” for its casting cost, and if you have enough Legendary cards… It can do some good grinding.

But combined with Diligent Excavator and Mox Amber, this Elf Advisor can weave some legen — wait for it — dary game states.

Diligent Excavator sets up Kethis.

Unassuming in the abstract, Diligent Excavator makes for an extremely cost-efficient source of self-Mill. If you have this card in play, you can Mill yourself for zero — zero mana — using a [Legendary] Mox Amber. Go ahead and tap that Mox for a mana.

When you play another one, you will not only Mill yourself again, but the Legend Rule will put your original Mox Amber into the graveyard; you know, where you can cast it again using the Hidden Hand’s shenanigans.

Between these cards and a discount on Oath of Kaya, the Standard Kethis Combo deck can play for a Storm-like recurring Fireball plan, grind the opponent out with card advantage, or mold a plan to the other mage’s specific configuration.

Sure, there are ways to nerf the graveyard, but this deck plays Teferi, Time Raveler to bounce a Leyline of the Void, and conventional disruption like Duress is a little blunted (most of the combo pieces being creatures); as is creature removal (stuff like Cast Down is rather poor against all the Legends).

In sum: Awesome!

Stay Tuned for…

The best of the rest. We talk everything from Grixis Control to innovations in Golos for Field of the Dead. Standard is so dynamic nowadays! Enjoy!

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