If you’ve been following the Australia Grand Prix, the main buzz going into the tournament was the Yggdrasil OTK combo. Admittedly, I wasn’t aware that there’s already a list circulating around by the time I made this deck – I thought it was only mentioned in hush whispers within the US Facebook group. Regardless, I thought the upcoming Masters Cup Qualifier tournament during the weekend was a good field to test it on – it’s the first New Frontiers tournament we’ve had in a while, and it might catch a few players unawares.
Here’s what I made:
Ruler: Yggdrasil, the World Tree
4 Interdimensional Vessel, Apollo
4 Artemis, the God’s Bow
1 Horn of Sacred Beasts
1 Blade of the Seven Lands, Excalibur X
4 Elvish Priest
4 Morgiana, the Wise Servant
4 Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant
4 Yggdor, Beast of the World
1 Pumpkin Witch
1 Avatar of the Seven Lands, Alice
4 Pricia’s Call to Action
4 Whisper from the Abyss
4 Rewriting Laws
4 Ruler’s Memoria
4 Magic Stone of Black Silence
2 Magic Stone of Moon Shade
4 Wall of Wind
4 Seal of Wind and Light
4 Ratatoskr, the Spirit Beast of Yggdrasil
3 Law of Silence
The idea here is to trim any unwanted fat from the deck. Before arriving at this list, I’ve put in Adrombalis, Hydromonicas, Gwibers, and Familiar of Winds before deciding that they’re too slow for what the deck tries to do.
Here’s a quick rundown of each card and why it’s there:
Interdimensional Vessel, Apollo
Apollo saves your Resonators in a pinch (e.g. in response to Interdimensional Escape), but more importantly, it provides an alternate way to kill even while only seeing one copy of Yggdor! More on this explained below.
Artemis, the God’s Bow
This used to be Hydromonica, but it’s too slow to search for anything. Artemis is a great solution for would-be blockers that would have prevented that lethal Yggdor attack (and thus wasting the 1400 damage that would have gone to the opponent). It’s free, and you only need a copy, as turn 1 Resonators rarely have more than 400 health.
Horn of Sacred Beasts
In addition to improving our chances of Ruler’s Memoria entering recovered, it also allows us to shuffle back the important parts of the deck that were either used, discarded, or cancelled.
Blade of the Seven Lands, Excalibur X
We’re using Tree so we gotta have this.
My idea behind Elvish Priest is that we cast him on turn 1 and represent Wall of Wind to try to scare of the opponent. In the worst case, he’ll eat a Thunder or Soulhunt. In the best case, he’ll survive the opponent’s turn and we’ll be able to cast both Morgiana and Whisper on turn 2.
Morgiana, the Wise Servant
To be brutally honest, I’m on the side that calls for Morgiana’s ban instead of Whisper. Not only does her ability take a lot of time to resolve, she supercharges any kind of draw engine, which makes decks in turn too consistent. The worst I’ve seen was playing her on turn 1 then 3 Rewriting Laws and 1 Whisper on turn 2. That’s seeing 30 cards in your deck on turn 2, not including any additional draws from Pricia’s Call to Action after that.
Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant
The ever-reliable Cheshire Cat can stall aggressive decks long enough for us to find the pieces we need with her draw. Best paired with Morgiana.
Yggdor, Beast of the World
The deck’s finisher and win condition. It’s interesting that had his ATK been 200 less, the deck would have a significantly harder time to win.
I treat Pumpkin Witch as Pricia’s Call to Action number 5, and is a reliable way to get damage through. Really great when paired with Apollo and free Yggdors for an alternate turn 3 kill.
Avatar of the Seven Lands, Alice
Again, because we’re using tree. Against aggressive decks, we might want to pop the tree early in the game (on their attack, use Whisper from the Abyss before damage is dealt to get you to lethal) to bring her out, thus lessening the pieces needed to go for lethal next turn.
Pricia’s Call to Action
This card is the deck’s enabler. Without it, it’s better off to use the Puss in Boots combo deck rather than Yggdrasil. It does so much for the deck for free, and I won’t hesitate to use it on Morgiana on turn 2 to find the combo pieces if necessary.
Whisper from the Abyss
The greater half of the deck’s engine. You mulligan for this card along with Morgiana, plain and simple. With the two combined, it’s nearly impossible not to find the combo. Personally, even without Morgiana, I’d use this on turn 2 and just YOLO the whole thing.
This spell essentially turns the whole thing into a 36-card deck. Free draw in addition to Will-fixing helps a lot in making the deck more consistent. Remember to cast all copies of this card in your hand before playing Whisper from the Abyss.
Because the deck is considered non-interactive (meaning we don’t respond to the opponent’s strategy, but rather just focus on executing our own), I trimmed out all forms of “tech” to focus simply on one matchup: the mirror match.
Wall of Wind
With the combo going off as early as turn 2, Wall of Wind is the perfect foil for it regardless if we’re on play or draw. That one-turn delay could mean the difference between our combo going off rather than theirs. Also delays aggro decks should we plan on playing defensively.
Seal of Wind and Light
Is our catch-all spell, especially against things like Adombrali.
Law of Silence
Great for both the control and mirror matchup. Against control it guarantees that our combo will go off if they don’t respond to it and even if they do, they still have to allocate more resources to stopping the combo itself. In the mirror match, it’s a great response to the first spell the opponent plays after they do a Whisper for 3900 – it stops their game plan and brings the initiative back to our side.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough cards to create another copy, so I just let the pressure of making the deck win fall on my fellow writer and teammate Paxi. He was sold on the deck’s idea almost immediately when I told him about it (we’re both lacking in research, I know), and more so when we met after work and I solitaire’d it for him to see the interactions of the different cards.
It works like this. You play Morgiana on turn 1, and Whisper from the Abyss on turn 2, leaving only 100 life and sifting through 21 cards thanks to Morgiana’s ability. You then look for the following pieces, in order of priority:
- The first copy of Yggdor, Beast of the World (unless the other two cards you drew are Pricia’s Call to Action)
- As many copies of Pricia’s Call to Action as you can find.
- Additional copies of Yggdor.
- Interdimensional Vessel, Apollo
- Artemis, the God’s Bow (for shooting small would-be blockers)
- Pumpkin Witch
- Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant
The rule of the thumb here is to be able to attack the opponent with Yggdor thrice, and that can be accomplished in two ways: either by searching for 3 copies of it and 3 more copies of Pricia’s Call to Action, or “looping” one or more copies of Yggdor with Apollo – we attack with it, return it to hand using the Regalia, play it again for free, use another copy of Pricia’s Call to Action, attack with it again, rinse and repeat.
Ultimately, Paxi won the whole thing, facing off another Yggdrasil concoction made by JDJ and used by his son Josh. However, the road wasn’t easy – he was 2-1-1 during the four rounds of Swiss, and made it to the top 4 thanks to really good tiebreaks and some clutch decision-making during his matches.
We’ve discussed the deck post-tournament and our main takeaway was that despite the deck’s simple premise (turn 2 kill), the mastery of the deck lies in adapting to the matchup when the combo isn’t present. Paxi recalled going off on turn 2 only around 7 games during the course of the tournament, and while it’s still a good ratio, it’s not enough to get a player into the top cut.
The remainder of his games were won by finding solutions to different board states, playing to buy enough time to search for the combo pieces, and sometimes learning to go around certain spells and obstacles. In fact, some lines of play were so hidden that he didn’t recognize it until we’re reviewing his matches after the tournament – there were games where he could have snatched the win without Whisper or Morgianna from a losing position.
It doesn’t help that some players are packing Adombralis, discard, and other form of interruptions that can potentially spell doom for a combo-centric deck such as this.
But of course, it’s a thing of beauty when it goes off.
That said, Paxi and I agreed that the list was far from perfect, but we’re probably just a couple more cards away. Personally, I’d do:
-4 Elvish Priest
+4 Foment of the World Tree
Admittedly, I forgot about this spell, which would have worked wonders for the deck. It’s essentially an additional mulligan, with the added bonus of giving us more life for Whisper next turn. While it won’t be needed for a turn 2 kill, it helps a lot in setting up a turn 3 one.
-1 Seal of Wind and Light
+4 Hyde, the Chaos
+1 Pumpkin Witch
Ratatoskr was more of an experiment, but his slots originally belonged to Hyde. Hyde is the key to winning the mirror – it’s unlikely that you’ll get killed on turn 2 even with the combo going off, and now they’ve put themselves within killing range for doing so.
The second copy of Pumpkin Witch helps break stalemates that are caused when the combo goes off late in the game, and the opponent has a field that can defend against it.
You can find the deck in action (and even losing!) during our recent tournament HERE:
The New Frontiers as we know it will be over in a few more months, and until then I think this is the deck to beat. I doubt we’ll be seeing anything like it when the Wanderer format arrives along (supposedly) with a ban list that’s likely to hit the key components of the deck. But that’s looking far ahead.
For now, we’ll have to settle with the huge tree that’s blocking our way.
Card images from db.fowtcg.us