Chandra, Hope’s Beacon is a new card from March of Machines that has an insane static ability: “Whenever you cast an instant or sorcery spell, copy it. You may choose new targets for the copy. This ability triggers only once each turn.” I know, copy abilities aren’t all that new. But let’s see if we can’t build an Oathbreaker deck with Chandra that can burnout our opponents in one shot.
The first thing that you’re probably going to notice is, this Planeswalker’s CMC is high. That juicy static ability is only available when we can spend 4RR to cast it. This is a steep price to pay, especially in this format, as all the “good” fast mana isn’t legal. But fear not friends! There are ways to make this work to our advantage: Treasure generation. Each creature in the deck is capable of creating us treasure, helping to mitigate Chandra’s cost and paying off big, late game, with our signature spell or our other win conditions. We’re going to want to run a higher-than-usual for a mono-red stack, 24 lands. We’re casting big spells, and being mana screwed will result in our flame being snuffed out, really quickly.
Our creature base is going to net us extra mana either upon entry, death or trigger. Starting with Pain Distributor. For 2R: “Whenever a player casts their first spell each turn, they create a treasure token.” While this helps our opponents initially, it comes back to bite them. The second part of the oracle text says “whenever an artifact an opponent controls is put into the graveyard, Pain Distributor deals 1 damage to that player” So, there is a slight draw back.
Another key creature is Professional Face-Breaker, who says, “Whenever one or more creatures you control deal combat damage to a player, create a Treasure token.” With a second ability that allows us to dig a little, if necessary. It reads “Sacrifice a Treasure: Exile the top card of library. You may play that card this turn.” Face-Breaker also has menace, which can aide in getting into the red zone to earn us the treasure we need. I will note, Face-Breaker is a bit pricey, coming in around $5.
A few other notable bodies are Plundering Barbarian, Riveteers Requisitioner, Impulsive Pilferer, Hoarding Ogre, Captain Lannery Storm, Marching Duodrone, Storm-Kiln Artist, Tavern Scoundrel and Xorn, just to name a few. All of which create treasure tokens in some way or another. Which leads us to our secondary win-con: Hellkite Tyrant. Hellkite says “Whenever Hellkite Tyrant deals combat damage to a player, gain control of all artifacts that player controls.” And “At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control twenty or more artifacts, you win the game.” If we can’t keep Chandra on board long enough to “Do the thing”, then we need another way to possibly close out the game. Again, almost every card in this deck produces treasure. Let's look at some spells to keep the gold rolling in.
Firstly, cheap treasure creation will come from Sudden Breakthrough. For 1R we pump a creature and create a treasure. Let’s not forget, if we have Chandra on the battlefield, this spell will copy itself, doubling all of our spoils. With cards like Big Score and Unexpected Windfall that’s four treasure and four cards drawn. We’re playing red, so card draw is hard to come by. Reckless Impulse, Wrenn’s Resolve and Rob the Archive gives the ability to dig a bit deeper into our deck as we search for that answer we may be looking for. If it doubles up, even better! Giving us 4 cards to play until the end of our next turn. If Storm-Kiln Artist is on the battlefield, we’re creating more of that sweet, sweet treasure all so we can pay for our primary win-con. The signature spell, Crackle with Power.
For XXXRR we deal 5 times X to X targets. And once again, it’ll copy! With enough mana we have the ability to wipe out two opponents in one shot. Hopefully we go into the combat phase and finish off the last shlub taking up table space. The XXX RR is a bit confusing, but it basically means if X = 1, then the total cost of the spell is 3RR. That’s 1 for each X. Meaning you’d deal 5 damage to one target. If X = 2, then total cost is 6RR, dealing 10 damage to two targets. If that spell copies, that’s 20 damage to two targets, or… you get the point.
Chandra, Hope’s Beacon may be our only hope in some tougher pods. Truth is, you need big mana to get there. Treasure generation is pivitol to making this thing “go”. But once we get going, we have the ability to dole out damage to the whole table and some left over for another guy who wants to try us.
What would you add? Is there another way to burn out the table in one shot that I missed? Maybe a better way to generate faster mana for red? Let me know. Until next time, backstabbers.