Thursday, June 1, 2023

Much Abrew: EphemeRATS (Historic)

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Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, we’re heading to Historic to check out one of the best Rats ever printed: Karumonix, the Rat King! The goal of today’s deck is simple: play Karumonix and blink it a bunch of times with Ephemerate to generate an overwhelming amount of Rat value. If that doesn’t work, we can blink our old friend Burglar Rat to make our opponent discard a bunch of cards or go aggro with the help of massive Pack Rats or Rat Colonys! Are Rats competitive now thanks to Phyrexia: All Will Be One? Let’s get to the video and find out on today’s Much Abrew About Nothing!

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Much Abrew: EphemeRATS

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Discussion

  • Record-wise, Rats actually worked a lot better than I expected, going 5-2 overall, which is pretty impressive considering how janky some of the tribe members are!
  • As for our new payoff Karumonix, the Rat King, we got pretty unlucky with it overall, whiffing several times across our matches, which I guess makes the fact that we posted a solid record even more impressive. I ran the math on Karumonix, and with 23 other Rats in our deck, we’ll hit at least one Rat 92% of the time, two or more Rats 65% of the time, and three or more Rats 26% of the time. So, odds are we’ll get two-ish Rats every time Karumonix, the Rat King enters the battlefield, which means all of the times we got zero Rats were basically just bad luck.
  • As far as Ephemerate, it does double duty in our deck. Its main purpose is to blink our ETB Rats like Karumonix and Burglar Rat, although it’s also a great way to protect a creature from targeted removal. The problem with Rats is that the tribe’s overall power level isn’t that high, which means we need a lot of Rats on the battlefield to win the game. Being able to blink Karumonix, the Rat King two times for one mana is absurd, on average refilling our hand with Rats to help flood the battlefield and eventually win the game!
  • While Karumonix is solid, perhaps the most impressive Rat in our deck was Pack Rat. Even in 2023, the card has the potential to snowball out of control, and it is especially good in our deck because it grows based on the total number of Rats on the battlefield, so we’re not dependent on discarding cards to make more Pack Rats to grow its power. The card really should see more play.Β 
  • Nashi, Moon Sage’s Scion was also better than I expected, although it can be hit or miss based on the matchup. Against decks with lots of cheap creatures, it can be hard to get an attack in with Nashi, but it’s absurd in other matchups. I had one game while I was testing the deck where I hit an Emergent Ultimatum and another where I hit a Key to the Archive, which is a ton of free value for a mostly on-curve tribe member.
  • On the other hand, Rat Colony was pretty bad. While we can give it a ton of power, the fact that it is always stuck with just one toughness means it often ends up trading down with a random token or a Thraben Inspector style of card. Sadly, there just aren’t a lot of good Rat options available, so it still might be the best of the lackluster options, but it didn’t feel great.
  • So, should you play Rats in Historic? While I think we ran a bit hot, and I wouldn’t expect to post a 70%+ win percentage with the deck consistently, it did feel surprisingly competitive. Being able to blink our Rats for value (and also protect them from removal) with Ephemerate is actually quite powerful. If you’re looking for something spicy to play that is oddly competitive, give the Rat tribe a shot. They are a lot better than you think!

Conclusion

Anyway, that’s all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

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