Deck Doctors: Etrata, The Silencer


How many times has it happened to you?
You come across this AWESOME card in Magic: The Gathering.
One you want to play with. One you want to build a deck around.
But, you’re not quite sure how to build a deck off of it…
Well, that’s where the Deck Doctors come in!
In each episode of our new series, Kevin and Aryeh will put a deck under the knife and recommend card and strategy adjustments to make it a force to be reckoned with.
And for the first episode, they’re taking a look at a blue/black deck built around Etrata, The Silencer.

The full deck list includes:

Instants (13)

2 Blink of an Eye
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Disperse
2 Mausoleum Secrets
3 Sinister Sabotage
1 Siren’s Ruse
2 Unexplained Disappearance
1 Vraska’s Contempt

Creatures (20)

3 Darkblade Agent
3 Dimir Informant
2 Dimir Spybug
4 Etrata, the Silencer
2 Lazav, the Multifarious
2 Thoughtbound Phantasm
2 Wall of Mist
2 Whisper Agent

Lands (23)

4 Drowned Catacomb
12 Island
3 Swamp
4 Watery Grave

Sorceries (2)

2 Ritual of Soot

Artifacts (2)

2 Helm of the Host

Etrata’s alternate win condition, activated essentially by 3 attacks, is extremely powerful, though is mitigated somewhat by the fact that Etrata is reshuffled back into the deck each time can make it difficult to bring back onto the field.

In order to get around the shuffle trigger, the player has included cards such as Siren’s Ruse, allowing for a clever sidestep that will allow Etrata to stay on the field. Despite this, the player is STILL having trouble getting those three vital hits to win the game. So, the Deck Doctors got to work on making this deck a powerhouse!
The first concern of this deck is the need to hold off the opponent long enough to bring Etrata into play. To help with this, the player included a number of cheap creatures and clearing spells, such as Ritual Of Soot.

The issue is that, while Ritual of Soot can take out many of the opponent’s creatures, it will also rid the player’s side of the field of defenders as well.
Instead of simply holding off the opponent, Aryeh recommended one of two strategies: either reframe the deck as a control deck that has Etrata as a supplement, or go all-in and make everything about the deck geared toward bringing out Etrata as fast as possible.
However, in order to shake up the competition, Aryeh made the decision to do neither!
To see exactly what Kevin and Aryeh did to make this deck a force to be reckoned with, check out the episode below!

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