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Orzhov

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The letter T!his weekend, Gatecrash releases, so it's time for everyone to look to build some new Standard decks. Ordinarily, I try to focus on a variety of formats each week, but this week, I'm going to do things a little differently.

Instead of featuring primarily decks other people have had success with in a variety of formats, I'm going to build a Standard deck for each Gatecrash guild that focuses on pushing some element of what I see that guild is trying to do. The first objective of these decks will be to push new cards, mechanics, and synergies to explore new options, rather than to conservatively build the most reliable deck I can for the first tournaments. This is to say that these decks are likely to skew somewhat more casual in nature—they'll be fun ways to use new elements of the new guilds, not necessarily decks I'm likely to play in Pro Tour Gatecrash.

That said, I expect there will still be interactions and synergies worth considering even for the most competitive players.

(And that was more than I'll usually discuss things other than the deck at hand. Sorry if this installment is getting long-winded for what it is.)

Today, Orzhov.

The most exciting Orzhov card to me is Obzedat, Ghost Council, which is a very aggressive card, so I'm going to focus on building an aggressive deck. It feels wrong to play an Orzhov deck that's just mindlessly attacking, though, so instead I'm going to build around Vizkopa Guildmage. Vizkopa Guildmage's second ability is extremely potent, since gaining large amounts of life is generally pretty easy to do, as it usually doesn't win a game by itself.

However, with Vizkopa Guildmage and Exquisite Blood, gaining a single life actually does create an infinite loop that will win the game by itself. Exquisite Blood isn't a great card by itself, so I don't want to draw a lot of it, but I want my Vizkopa Guildmage to be good even without it. Fortunately, with other lifegain (importantly, lifegain that doesn't cost mana the turn I'm gaining life, so I have mana to use the Guildmage's ability), I can just use the Guildmage to make my opponent lose a huge amount of life. Rhox Faithmender combines with Blood Artist and lifelink to get completely out of control pretty easily—and all the life I'll gain means I'll have plenty of time to find my combo!

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