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Deck Tech: Ivy Rotpriest Combo (Standard)

Phyrexia: All Will Be One is here and that means we have the chance to play some new and fun decks! In this Deck Tech, I am going to show you a fun combo involving Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief and Venerated Rotpriest. I have been playing this deck on our Wednesday Night and Friday Night Magic events and it has been nothing but fun for me. Let’s dive in!

The Deck

The entire point of this deck is to kill our opponent with poison counters. In Magic, whenever a player has 10 or more poison counters at any time during the game, they lose the game. With Phyrexia: All Will Be One, the main focus of this set is centered around the Toxic ability and giving poison counters to players

Ivy Rotpriest Combo Decklist

The first piece of this combo is Venerated Rotpriest. This is an amazing one-mana rare with all the value in the world. Not only is it a one-mana 1/2 with Toxic 1, it’s ability is the big winner for this. Whenever a player, including yourself, targets one of your creatures with a spell, target opponent gets a poison counter. Let’s say you have a Rotpriest out and someone tries to use Shock on it to kill it, before the Shock resolves, that opponent will get a poison counter because they targeted it with a spell.

Venerated Rotpriest – Phyrexia: All Will Be One
Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief – Dominaria United

Venerated Rotpriest is the key piece of this combo but, what else goes with it? How can we potentially kill someone on turn three or four with this card? Enter Ivy, Gleeful Spellthief. Now this has been primarily used in Commander until now. Ivy has a very unique ability that states whenever a spell targets a single target other than Ivy, you may copy that spell and the copy must target Ivy. With one Venerated Rotpriest out with Ivy, you are doubling the amount of poison counters your opponent gets.

Instants and Sorceries

In the deck we have a bunch of cards that target our creatures to protect and even find more creatures. Other then Consider, the instant and sorcery spells in our main deck target creatures. For the most part, the cards like Slip Out the Back, Tyvar’s Stand, and Shore Up help protect our creatures from spells or abilities that would destroy our creatures. Croaking Counterpart is a really fun addition I put in because having multiple copies of Venerated Rotpriest is great and really adds those poison counters to your opponent.

Tyvar’s Stand – Phyrexia: All Will Be One | Slip Out the Back – Streets of New Capenna | Shore Up – Dominaria United

March of Burgeoning Life has been known to be one of the worst cards from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty but, it finally has some use for a deck like this. One of the hardest things to do in this deck is to find multiple copies of Venerated Rotpriest. With March of Burgeoning Life, it not only targets your creature but, it allows you to search your deck for a card with the same name as the target creature and put it into play tapped. It is also important to note that this is an instant card so, you can use this on your opponent’s turn. Another important note: if you have a green card in your hand, you don’t need or can’t use, you can choose to exile that card to help pay for March of Burgeoning Life. This can help out if you need to keep a mana or two open to protect your board state.

March of Burgeoning Life – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Support Creatures

This deck also has some support creatures for instances where your opponent knows what is going on and is deciding to not let you have fun and keeps getting rid of your Venerated Rotpriests. Stormchaser Drake can be a nice flying pressure piece to make your opponent’s worry about it and it helps you draw cards whenever you target it with a spell. It can also help pay for you March of Swirling Mists but, we will talk about that card in a moment. Bloated Contaminator can help pay the cost of your March of Burgeoning Life or be a big 4/4 creature with Trample, Toxic 1, and when it deals combat damage to a player, you proliferate for three mana. It’s a complete value creature that can’t be ignored.

Bloated Contaminator – Phyrexia: All Will Be One | Stormchaser Drake – Crimson Vow
March of Swirling Mist – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Most decks have a big finisher, and this deck has that as well. March of Swirling Mist is the big finisher for this deck. Not only does it let you pay the X cost by exiling blue cards from your hand, but it targets multiple creatures. If you have a total of 4 creatures and two of them are Venerated Rotpriest and you target each of them with March of Swirling Mists, that is 8 poison counters in one turn. It is also an instant card so you can play this on your opponent’s turn.

The Sideboard

The sideboard of this deck is pretty self-explanatory. We have extra cards in there that can target and protect your creatures. I usually board those in against decks that have a lot of single target removal or board wipes since cards like Tamiyo’s Safekeeping and Tyvar’s Stand makes your creatures indestructible. There is some counter magic with Make Disappear and Negate for the more control and midrange decks.

Tamiyo’s Safekeeping – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Tips and Wrap-Up

When you play this deck, the first thing you need to realize is that its glaring weakness is that if you shut down Venerated Rotpriest, your deck quickly becomes an aggro deck that is trying to win with your other creatures. While the goal is to win as fast as possible, don’t be afraid to wait a turn or two before playing one of the main combo pieces so you can properly protect them. March of Swirling Mist and Slip Out the Back can help protect against board wipes by phasing your cards out while a board wipe card is on the stack.

I hope you all enjoy the deck and give your opponents all of the poison counters. Our next Deck Tech will cover the joys of Green and White Aggro for Standard!

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