Email a friend Printer Friendly

Oath is Not Dead

 

Along with Force of Will, Gaea's Blessing was a card many players lamented leaving the Extended format, saying that it would take the Oath of Druids deck with it on its way out the door.

While it did take the traditional Maher-Oath toolbox version with it, the card Oath of Druids produces far too powerful of an effect to be ignored. In the words of YMG's Justin Gary, "It's a two-mana card that invalidates creature strategies."

Gary, a proponent of Oath in any form (he finished second in the Nice Masters with the last popular version of Oath), is currently near the top of the standings with a "Turbo Oath" deck that tries to Oath up one giant creature to win the game with quickly: Cognivore.

Turbo Oath
Justin Gary
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

Forest
Island
Polluted Delta
Swamp
Treetop Village
Underground River
Yavimaya Coast

24 lands


Cognivore

2 creatures
Accumulated Knowledge
Brainstorm
Counterspell
Fact or Fiction
Foil
Forbid
Force Spike
Intuition
Krosan Reclamation
Living Wish
Mana Leak
Oath of Druids
Pernicious Deed

34 other spells

The "Turbo Oath" strategy was dabbled with before when Thorn Elemental was first released; the goal was to get the "unblockable" 7/7 into play and win in three attacks. But once the Gaea's Blessing/Enlightened Tutor/Sylvan Library/Very Slow versions were perfected, Turbo Oath was abandoned.

Now it's back. The deck runs eleven permission spells and a bunch of card-drawing to find and protect the Oaths. It contains one Krosan Reclamation in case the Cognivores both die, but other than that, it can't reuse its cards, which was one of the hallmarks of old Oath.

Gary said the deck wasn't that great at first, but after playtesting a lot with his YMG teammates, they came up with fixes. The first was Pernicious Deed, which solves a lot of problem the deck has. The Deeds are the only black spells in the main deck, and the black mana allows for Engineered Plague—great against Aluren and Sligh—in the sideboard. The second big addition to the deck was Living Wish, which gives the deck access to Masticore, Gilded Drake, Palinchron, and Dust Bowl from the board.

Palinchron is not used in this deck as a combo piece, but rather as a replacement for Morphling as the unkillable creature of choice. With all the Edicts and Deeds running around, Morphling—considered the best creature ever—is actually a bad choice for this field. So Palinchron, with its ability to return to its owners hand, is filling in.

The new Turbo Oath deck has trouble with super-aggressive decks like Sligh; Gary's one loss to this point was to an aggro red/green deck. But other than that, it has game against all the popular decks: Reanimator, the Rock, Aluren, and Psychatog.

Oath is not dead, but is instead reborn.

Below are two other decks using Oath of Druids. One is an Enchantress Combo deck with Turnabout and Frantic Search, the other is a Turbo-Land variant that Oaths up Battlefield Scroungers, which enable it to go infinite with Time Warp.

Enchantress
Carlos Chadha
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

11  Forest
Island
Serra's Sanctum
Yavimaya Coast

21 lands


Argothian Enchantress
Palinchron
Verduran Enchantress

6 creatures
Enchantress's Presence
Exploration
Fertile Ground
Frantic Search
Nostalgic Dreams
Oath of Druids
Seal of Removal
Stroke of Genius
Turnabout
Wild Growth

33 other spells
Turboland
Jason Howden
View a sample hand of this deck

Main Deck

60 cards

Forest
13  Island
Yavimaya Coast

23 lands


Battlefield Scrounger

2 creatures
Counterspell
Exploration
Gush
Horn of Green
Mana Leak
Moment's Peace
Oath of Druids
Rescind
Scroll Rack
Thwart
Time Warp

35 other spells


Aaron Forsythe was a professional Magic player and Internet columnist prior to leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to join Wizards of the Coast. His first duty here was Content Manager of this very website, a job that required him to do actual work as opposed to playing games all the time. So when a position opened in R&D, he jumped at the chance. He is now director of Magic R&D, and still plays Magic in his free time when he's not busy playing Magic.



Respond to Aaron Forsythe via email Respond via email Aaron Forsythe archive Aaron Forsythe archive

What is Magic?
PRODUCTS
 
MAGIC ONLINE
 
2008 Regionals
MESSAGE BOARDS
RULES