Deck Rarity Breakdown
16 Basic Lands
8 Rare Lands
8 Common Non-Lands
8 Uncommon Non-Lands
16 Rare Non-Lands
4 Mythic Non-Lands
Today’s deck is something a little different from all of the past ones. Usually I pick a card and build a deck to show the card’s potential in a janky casual deck, but today rather than a build-around card I’ve got a build-around combo. This is certainly the best infinite combo currently available in standard and when it goes off it mills your opponent to death in a single turn. No doubt some readers will be familiar with the concept already. I’m talking about the combo using Drowned Secrets, Release to the Wind and Naru Meha, Master Wizard.
For those not already familiar, this is how the combo works:
1) Have Drowned Secrets on the Field
2) Cast Release to the Wind with any target and hold priority (Drowned Secrets triggers)
3) Respond to Release to the Wind with Naru Meha (Drowned Secrets triggers)
4) Use Naru Meha’s enter the battlefield trigger to copy Release to the Wind, targetting Naru Meha
5) Resolve the copy of Release to the Wind, exiling Naru Meha
6) Respond to the original Release to the Wind, still on the stack, with your free cast of Naru Meha (Drowned Secrets Triggers)
7) Repeat steps 4-6, creating an arbitrarily large number of Drowned Secrets triggers, milling your opponent to 0 cards
8) Pass the turn
Fortunately, each of our combo pieces has at least a little bit of utility outside of the combo, though they’re not the greatest. Most useful is Drowned Secrets. It can come down on turn 2, which is often early enough to avoid being countered in the control matchup, and once it’s on the field it provides us an alternate way to win in those long and grindy matches. More than once this ended up being our win condition.
Naru Meha also has a little bit of utility. She copies counterspells and draw spells, and is sometimes just a 3-toughness blocker.
Release to the Wind is the narrowest of the combo pieces, sometimes just acting as a worse bounce spell to delay the opponent’s attack by one turn, though because it makes the recast free it’s actually just worse than other bounce spells in that respect.
All of our combo pieces for the deck are blue. This is nice because it means it gives us a lot of choices for the remainder of the deck. After trying Izzet and Azorius builds I settled on Dimir as the best option at the moment, largely due to the many all-too-familiar ways Black has of killing all of our opponent’s creatures. The black cards in the deck are:
4 Copies of Moment of Craving for dealing with Adanto Vanguard and slowing down aggro,
1 Copy of Cast Down because I wanted just a little more 2-mana killing power,
3 Copies of Ritual of Soot for dealing with tokens and making big value plays against Mono-U and most aggro variants,
And finally 3 copies of Vraska’s Contempt for exiling phoenixes of all kinds, as well as planeswalkers.
The biggest threat to our combo is a counterspell or spot removal taking Naru Meha away from us in the middle of it, and it happens with some regularity. The good news, though, is that we’re in blue! This means we can afford to run a couple of counterspells to help protect the combo as it’s going off. A couple of different configurations were tried, but this one ended up being best:
4 copies of Syncopate. This is a flexible counterspell that can help prevent early pressure as early as turn 2, and the exiling effect is relevant in a lot of matchups.
The only other included counterspells were 3 copies of Sinister Sabotage. This is a little less flexible but protects the combo no matter how much mana the opponent has. I tried Wizard’s Retort in the deck, and it’s definitely better for protecting Naru Meha since she is a wizard, but the surveil ends up being relevant a lot of the time when trying to find combo pieces.
The Rest of the Deck
The remaining 6 slots in the deck are reserved for cards that help us find the combo pieces. Filling those slots we have:
4 copies of Chemister’s Insight for repeatable instant-speed card draw,
And 2 copies of Search for Azcanta because the enchantment side lets us smooth out our draws and the land side helps find any card in our deck that isn’t a land or Naru Meha herself.
So that’s the deck! Here’s the full decklist:
Or you can find it by clicking this link!
This looks to be one of the more reasonable decklists I’ve ever put together, but how did it do? Well, before we can talk about the performance we have to talk about the field. Deck strength matchmaking puts us up against decks that it feels are of relatively even power so the field varies deck to deck.
This deck, like with most of our decks, saw a reasonable mix of jank and upgraded starter decks with a splash of Tier 1 meta decks. It faced off against Mono-R aggro, Chromatic Black, Izzet Phoenix, Selesnya Tokens and Mono-U tempo, as well as a smattering of other opponents. Dimir control decks were the most common opponent but the field really was varied. With that said, here’s the data dump:
At first glance it’s very easy to see why I’m so excited for this deck! It won. A lot. A whole lot. It went 13-7, to be exact! Any opponent marked with a star was, as far as I could tell based on my match, the meta version of the deck.
The very first thing I’d like to point out is that this deck faced Dimir Control 5 times, including a cool reanimator variant of the deck, and won out all 5 times. This deck feels wonderful against Dimir because even if the combo is thwarted (and it probably will be), drowned secrets wins the mirror matchup no problem.
The deck needs a little bit of luck to get through the aggro matchups, since it has only three sweepers. You have to find all three pieces of the combo and get to 7 lands and unless you get a couple of board wipes and a lot of spot removal along the way it just doesn’t work out. 5 of the deck’s 7 losses were to aggro, and two of them felt entirely hopeless.
Another thing to note is that the Izzet Phoenix matchup feels like the worst matchup by a mile. Drowned Secrets hurts you if you play blue spells before the combo, forcing you to target yourself. It feels awful to mill the combo pieces you still need. That matchup must be 25-75 or worse.
But enough about what the deck can’t do! What it can do is absolutely destroy control matchups. You straight-up win out of nowhere against controlly builds. Even if you can’t play out the combo they have to stick a threat that you can’t deal with or they’ll still mill out, only more slowly.
So how janky is it?
A lot less janky than I thought it would be. The core control components of the deck are really strong, and the infinite combo ends up being a wonderful little surprise win condition that comes out of nowhere. Beyond that, the deck is just super fun and satisfying to play. If I were to re-imagine the deck as a Best-of-3 deck the combo pieces would likely be a sneaky sideboard plan rather than the main plan of the deck since holding up countermagic or spot removal just hoses the combo.
That said, if you happen to have a few copies of Naru Meha and Release to the Wind lying around I recommend giving it a try. This deck is one of the more fun and satisfying decks I’ve made thus far, and was also the most successful during testing.