The ways an Oathbreaker deck can be built are far and wide. You want to have a little fun and at least compete to win? Sure, no problem. Want to make sure you’re never invited back to game night? Totally possible as well. In my deck break downs I’m going to look at both sides of that spectrum. From “Let’s have fun but I wouldn’t mind winning.” to “My sole purpose in life is to make you question why you ever started playing this game in the first place.” And with that, let's look at a possible Commander, whose ultimate ability will definitely raise some eyebrows when you pull this out of the deck box.
Yeah, you see that last ability there. Needless to say, that’s a bit spicy and for sure will put a target on you from Turn 1. But we’ll ensure that it’s not all doom and gloom. Then we’ll make it all doom and gloom!
Ajani Vengeant is in Boros colors which means we could build this to be pretty oppressive if we wanted. I’m not going to do a full “other 58” list, I’ll leave that to you, and your creativity. And at the end, we’ll talk about the Signature Spell which I hope you enjoy. Let’s look at a few key creatures, enchantments and win-cons.
Let's have some fun, shall we?
We’re having fun here, so what’s better than beating up your friends with a whole bunch of cats? I prefer to stick to low CMC for the early game, building up to bigger threats in the late game. If we rely too heavily on Ajani to get us to the finish line, we’ll be the first player dead before you can say meow. Who better to start with than our Oathbreaker’s bff:
Every time we gain life, Ajani’s Pridemate gets a +1/+1 counter. In lifelink decks, this card goes bananas. When we add a bit more life-gain, Pridemate can get out of control, quick!
Next, we have:
Magecraft, in my opinion, is an underrated mechanic. Since we have Red at our disposal, we’ll definitely be slinging spells, pumping up our Lightscribe to wreak havoc on our opponents.
In order to keep the cat parade going, we need a token engine of some sort. Staying on flavor, we don’t have access to things like Skrelv’s Hive or Urabrask’s Forge. That’s where Brimaz, King of Oreskos helps us establish a board state that’d make a crazy cat person, jealous. Brimaz isn’t cheap. Probably our most expensive card, coming in at $24 USD. But, if you can swing it, it provides big value; producing a cat token every time he attacks or blocks. And with 3/4 in the bottom right corner of the card, it may cause opponents to think twice before swinging at your face.
Glorious Anthem will pump our team a bit, offering us an additional +1/+1 for the team. And with Ajani’s +1 ability to tap down the biggest threat every turn, we’re bound to do some serious damage each Combat Phase. Eventually we’re going to want to get to a point where we use that ultimate ability. And waiting 4, possibly 5 turns, to get there just isn’t going to cut it once the table sees what we’re up to. So, we’re going to have to venture outside of our cat-tribe, for these Proliferate gems:
Contagion Clasp allows us to pay 4 and grow our board a bit, as does Staff of Compleation. Now, Staff is a bit on the pricey side, sitting around $5. But if you can afford it, get it. This card will more than likely continue to increase in value. Volt Charge is a cantrip, that hopefully kills something, while we swell. And lastly Grateful Apparition is a flier, that proliferates every time she deals damage to a player or Planeswalker! Under the right set of circumstances, you can have Ajani to Ultimate in two turns! If we’re having fun but blowing up lands (which is ironic) how can we limit the hurt? With our “fun” Signature Spell:
Well, you just blow ’em up, to give ’em back! How else do we make land destruction marginally acceptable? Sudden Salvation allows you to select three permanents that left the battlefield that turn and put them back on the battlefield tapped. Oh, and then we draw a card for each of those permanents. Hey, White has very little card draw! We need it, alright? Your opponents are less likely to slash your tires if they at least get some of those lands back. It acts as a card draw opportunity for us, all while letting you sleep easy at night. See, told you we can make land destruction fun.
Our win-con is similar to every Boros stack, ever. Use white to tax and politic the game, use Red to manage the board, and then beat-face. Simple enough. Now, let's make real enemies.
Public Enemy Number 1
These are just a few more controlling options. Archon lets our opponents' non-basic lands hit the battlefield tapped. Eidolon taxes their planeswalkers and Elspeth’s Talent enchants Ajani so that our stuff stays upright after attacking. Now, of course, we can add Smothering Tithe but that’s a bit out of budget. If you have one, feel free. Blow up their mana base, and tax them when they can’t pay for your spells? Sounds right on theme with losing all our friends. Adding this:
Is almost doubling our land destruction, just in case our opponents get too far ahead in re-establishing a mana base. And our win-con comes in the form of this long-forgotten artifact:
2 damage whenever a land leaves the battlefield is just too good. Especially when you include our punishing Signature Spell:
This allows us to double the triggered ability of Dingus Egg, counter spells or choose new targets for other pesky opponent shenanigans. We wipe the land base of a player, cast our Signature Spell, hopefully roll 15+, and dish the damage out to another player. If we don’t, no harm no foul, we just play politics. “Sure, I wiped out all your lands, but I’ll send that damage to another player if you’ll…” you catch my drift?
Ajani Vengeant can get out of control and is definitely an Oathbreaker you want to discuss with your play group. Whether you want to have a little fun or be an absolute monster, Ajani can fit the bill. What cards did I miss? Do you have a better Signature Spell in mind? What creatures would you like to see to keep it fair(er) or more punishing? Let me know down below, on Twitter or in the r/oathbreaker_mtg subreddit where I should have posted this. Until next time, my fellow backstabbers!