Fifty Percent Kytheon, Hero of Akros

Kytheon, Hero of Akros
This podcast is half about Kytheon, Hero of Akros

Going in, podcast un-listened-to… You probably figure this is a podcast half about Kytheon, Hero of Akros… and half about Gideon, Battle-Forged.

But you’d be wrong!

It’s half about one of the fastest new Planeswalkers from Magic Origins… But the other half is about Patrick’s performance with Grixis Control at Grand Prix Charlotte last weekend.

“Congratulations and condolences.”

You see, Patrick tore through the tournament and finished with only two losses when the Swiss rounds finished… But “only” finished in ninth place! Oh no!

But “no condolences necessary” says our resident Pro Tour Champion. He had a great time and spends the first long stretch of “Fifty Percent Kytheon, Hero of Akros” teaching a master class on Modern Grixis Control.

Patrick’s Ninth-Place deck:

3 Gurmag Angler
2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang

4 Cryptic Command
1 Dispel
2 Mana Leak
1 Remand
4 Serum Visions
4 Snapcaster Mage
2 Spell Snare
4 Thought Scour

1 Electrolyze
2 Kolaghan’s Command
1 Shadow of Doubt
4 Terminate

4 Lightning Bolt

2 Creeping Tar Pit
3 Island
1 Mountain
4 Polluted Delta
4 Scalding Tarn
2 Sulfur Falls
2 Steam Vents
1 Swamp
2 Watery Grave

1 Batterskull
1 Spellskite
1 Damnation
1 Shriekmaw
1 Slay
2 Dispel
1 Flashfreeze
1 Countersquall
4 Fulminator Mage
1 Izzet Staticaster
1 Keranos, God of Storms

“Grixis with four Cryptic Commands… It’s what I was born to do.”

“Fifty Percent Kytheon, Hero of Akros” has a stack of lessons for the prospective Grixis player; here are just a few…

  • Patrick played against three Burn decks and went 6-2 against them in games… With no Sun Droplets or Dragon’s Claws! He eventually didn’t side in Batterskull or Spellskite, either. The trick is… “Every single Burn player is sitting there with a Destructive Revelry in hand. The problem is that every single Burn player expects you to have 3-4 Dragon’s Claws.” Because of this artifact sideboard cards like Batterskull, Spellskite (or more traditional ones) lose value.
  • A different paradigm is just to drop a 5/5 and defend it with “a bazillion Dispels”
  • Tarmogoyf and Siege Rhino define size in Modern at 4/5… Making the 5/5 Gurmag Angler king.

“Once you have a Zombie Fish on your side, all bets are off!”

Patrick finished in 9th place… But all props to his fellow Pro Tour Champion, fellow Hall of Famer, and fellow member of Team Ultra PRO Paul Rietzl who came in 10th place with a Naya Collected Company build:

Paul’s 10th Place Deck:

4 Loxodon Smiter
4 Knight of the Reliquary
3 Qasali Pridemage

1 Birds of Paradise
3 Collected Company
4 Noble Hierarch
3 Scavenging Ooze
4 Tarmogoyf
4 Wild Nacatl

4 Lightning Bolt

4 Path to Exile

4 Arid Mesa
2 Forest
1 Kessig Wolf Run
1 Horizon Canopy
1 Mountain
1 Plains
1 Sacred Foundry
2 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Windswept Heath

1 Choke
1 Blood Moon
1 Bonfire of the Damned
2 Grim Lavamancer
2 Magus of the Moon
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
3 Kor Firewalker
2 Stony Silence
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

If you are in the market for a fair deck in Modern… This is probably the deck!

Paul’s Naya has a good clock, tons of hateful creatures to generate discrete advantages, and can punish ostensibly more powerful decks with Collected Company.

Finally, Mike and Patrick highlight Zac Elsik’s Lantern Control Prison:

Lantern Control, by Zac Elsik

4 Codex Shredder
4 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Ghoulcaller’s Bell
4 Lantern Of Insight
3 Mox Opal
3 Pithing Needle
2 Pyrite Spellbomb
3 Spellskite

2 Duress
3 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Surgical Extraction

3 Gitaxian Probe

2 Abrupt Decay

4 Ancient Stirrings

2 Academy Ruins
2 Blackcleave Cliffs
2 Copperline Gorge
2 Ghost Quarter
4 Glimmervoid
4 Llanowar Wastes
1 Tendo Ice Bridge

1 Grafdigger’s Cage
4 Sun Droplet
2 Welding Jar
1 Bow of Nylea
3 Nature’s Claim
1 Ancient Grudge
3 Pyroclasm

Elsik’s deck is one of the coolest, most elegant, decks we’ve seen in years!

Patrick in particular loves it because it’s so rare we see Prison decks any more. This is a deck that locks down the opponent’s draw steps with Lantern of Insight combined with either Codex Shredder or Ghoulcaller’s Bell. Zac can see the opponent’s top card (generally letting him draw a land) while getting rid of any actually relevant spells… While actually killing the opponent! (if slowly).

The low casting costs in Elsik’s deck combine with Ensnaring Bridge to cut off the attack phase as the elegant elements start coming together.

It’s the SECOND half of this podcast that is about Kytheon, Hero of Akros (and his opposite number, Gideon, Battle-Forged). Michael and Patrick detail the fast rate on the front side and spitball ways you can flip Kytheon on or ahead of schedule.

“Kytheon is sweet /
“Grixis is sweet /
“Team Ultra PRO is taking all the sugar in the world and pouring it into one single cup of coffee.”

Give “Fifty Percent Kytheon, Hero of Akros” a listen now!

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  1. Pingback: Top Level Podcast on Gideon, Battle-Forged - Fetchland

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