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Deck Tech: Oath of Beasts

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Oath of Beasts, or Black/Green Oath comes as a brainchild of the Kibler/Rubin think tank. Initially, Ben Rubin designed the deck—he sent Brian Kibler a rough copy of the deck about a month before Grand Prix New Orleans. This was similar to their development of Super Gro deck in last year's extended environment. Kibler got a rough copy of the deck based on Rubin's skeleton. Up to the very last minute, the duo were tweaking the deck little by little.

The biggest addition to the deck was Krosan Tusker. This allowed the deck to effectively have an uncounterable Yavimaya Elder, one which can be recurred easily via Volrath's Stronghold. player to cycle to get lands through counterspells (as Yavimaya Elder can be countered). It also gives the deck additional monsters to Oath up.

The deck is designed to beat a field U/G, The Rock, and red (both Red Deck Wins and Sligh). Pretty much any deck with creatures fares poorly against this collection of cards, with Kibler boasting a 90% win ratio against the Madness deck before sideboarding.

Ben and Brian decided that counterspells aren't that effective in this environment, opting instead to run several cheap black cards such as Duress and Smother. These were decided upon over the evolution of the deck, with Faceless Butcher and Avatar of Woe barely missing the cut.

Terror ended up in the deck as an interesting answer to the metagame. Red decks might be able to get a quick start, and then finish the game off with Blistering Firecat—and neither Diabolic Edict nor Smother can usually deal with this threat. The Terror originally was Faceless Butcher as a way to deal with Verdant Force when Reanimator ruled, but Terror was deemed equally able to handle that particular threat.

Another one-of card of interest is the Haunting Echoes. It's mainly in the deck to combat The Rock. It gives a significant edge in the Living Death wars as multiple Ravenous Baloths on the other side of the board can negate a Living Death entirely otherwise. The Haunting Echoes tips this match far more in the favor of the B/G Oath deck . Against Psychatog, a resolved Haunting Echoes mid-game can often leave an opponent with too few cards left in their deck to power the tog to 20.

Kamahl came as a last minute addition on Friday night before the Grand Prix. The backup plan for the deck was to use Living Wish with the most versatile possible sideboard. With the addition of Living Wish main deck, not only could Kibler and Rubin tutor up important lands such as Dust Bowl and Volrath's Stronghold, but they could have a near instant win by breaking open a creature stalemate through Kamahl. Even more nastily, Oath of Beasts can throw a one sided Armageddon their opponent's way via Kamahl and Pernicious Deed.


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