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Article Top > Hareruya Pros Blog > How to Break 《Mox Amber》 in Standard

How to Break 《Mox Amber》 in Standard

2018/05/10 00:00 

    • Marc Tobiasch
    • Hareruya Pros Blog
Mox Amber

《Mox Amber》 is the card in Dominaria that has the highest ceiling in terms of power level. It is a throwback to Modern and even Vintage staples such as 《Mox Opal》 or the Power 9.

Mox OpalMox Sapphire

A 0 mana artifact that, without summoning sickness taps for a mana is one of the most broken things in the game, letting you cheat on mana and making anything possible.

Now 《Mox Amber》 has two constain clauses to prevent this.

The less prohibitive one is that it is legendary. This is more of a minor drawback since additional copies become at the worst 《Lotus Petal》 since the legend rule change. 《Mox Opal》, one of the strongest cards in Modern has the same drawback and that hasn't held anyone back. It is, however, possible that some decks will run less then the full 4 copies to circumvent this drawback somewhat, especially if it is used in more grindy decks that want to hit certain mana thresholds with it I can see that being the case.

The second drawback is that it only taps for mana if you control a legendary creature or planeswalker (all of which are now legendary) and only for a color of that permanent. Sadly this excludes both 《Hope of Ghirapur》, 《Heart of Kiran》 and 《Karn, Scion of Urza》.

Hope of GhirapurHeart of KiranKarn, Scion of Urza

This is a much larger drawback that makes the card interesting though otherwise, everyone would just jam 4 in their deck. Now we have to build around it and really get our deckdesigner juices flowing.

Three Effects

There are three general categories of effects that 《Mox Amber》 gives us access to. First and most obvious is that it ramps our mana, essentially letting us skip a turn of land drops. This is mostly relevant if we have a cheap legend, so we can ramp into a powerful spell a turn earlier. Since most curves in Standard end at 5 or maybe 6 mana this makes legends more-interesting that cost up to 3 mana since we can go legend on 3, and cast our powerful 5-drop on turn 4 with the 《Mox》 and another land. The cheaper the better, since if it costs 2 or even 1 mana we can skip more spots on the curve.

Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter

The only 1 mana legend in Standard is 《Oviya Pashiri, Sage Lifecrafter》 whose name is not only a mouthful but her abilities, as well as the second point of toughness in a world of 《Bomat Courier》 and 《Fanatical Firebrand》, make this card interesting.

On 2 mana there is a decent amount more, the ones that might be playable in Standard are:

Naban, Dean of IterationKari Zev, Skyship RaiderShanna, Sisay's Legacy

On 3 mana the options widen even further with planeswalkers joining the mix as well. The more interesting ones include:

Gideon of the TrialsSaheeli RaiPia Nalaar Nissa, Steward of ElementsJace, Cunning Castaway

The reason why I find these specific ones, especially the creatures the most interesting is that they fit together with others on the list. Having one legend in play is enough to turn on the 《Mox》, but having only one kind in the deck makes it very unreliable. Therefore, you should have multiple legends that fit into the same deck is a priority.

Naban, Dean of IterationBaral, Chief of ComplianceAdeliz, the Cinder Wind

For example, 《Naban, Dean of Iteration》, 《Baral, Chief of Compliance》 and 《Adeliz, the Cinder Wind》 are all wizards and might be the base of a wizard tempo style deck. 《Mox》 is the best possible tempo play in the game, so that might be an interesting direction to explore.

Sram, Senior EdificerValduk, Keeper of the FlameDanitha Capashen, Paragon

《Sram, Senior Edificer》, 《Valduk, Keeper of the Flame》, and 《Danitha Capashen, Paragon》 all interact well with auras or equipments.

Marwyn, the NurturerRishkar, Peema RenegadeRhonas the Indomitable

《Marwyn, the Nurturer》, and 《Rishkar, Peema Renegade》 are both elves, work with +1/+1 counters and produce mana by themselves making for some kind of ramp deck with 《Rhonas the Indomitable》 being a good mana sink.

Jace, Cunning CastawayPia Nalaar

Some other notable things are that 《Baral》, 《Jace》, and 《Pia》 all make additional copies of the 《Mox》 useful which is relevant.

Aside from ramping on the following turn 《Mox Amber》 gives us the ability to gain an additional mana on the turn we play our legend. For example, imagine:

Or :

As a reminder in these cases, it is always correct to play the 《Mox》 first if they have mana up so they cannot kill your legend in response and turn it off.

The third benefit of the 《Mox》 is that it is not a land, therefore it triggers Prowess for example and counts as a Historic spell. Especially, the Historic part is nice since having 《Mox》 in your deck incentivizes you to put more Historic cards in your deck anyway.

Jhoira, Weatherlight CaptainTeshar, Ancestor's Apostle

Payoffs are for example 《Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain》 or 《Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle》. Having 《Mox》 lets you get value of these cards immediately on the turn you play them. Otherwise, investing 4 mana into a creature that may just die to any removal spell without getting ahead in any way is rough even when the payoff is high. With 《Mox》, you can entirely circumvent this problem. The fact that it is an artifact can also benefit cards like 《Karn, Scion of Urza》 or 《Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp》 for example.

The Prowess part might lead to starts like this:

Or, like a Magical Christmasland, you can win in Turn 3:

This deck might be like this:

The deck I touched on with 《Sram》 and the other "equipments and auras matter" legends might be like this:

Note that both decks have from 8 to 10 cheap legendary creatures, where the number is that I consider to be enough to turn 《Mox》 on reliably. The first deck can also use additional copies as a 《Lotus Petal》 or a free Prowess trigger as well as fodder for 《Pia Nalaar》. The second deck can only use additionals as a 《Lotus Petal》, but the deck is very mana hungry so that isn't an issue. Also, both decks have a lot of 1-mana spells that you can cast with 《Mox》 on the turn you play the legend in order to waste a mana.

Conclusion -Let's Brew!-

You should consider these points as well as some of the ones I touched on earlier when brewing with 《Mox Amber》. I for one have some more brews that I am working on for the Pro Tour Dominaria with 《Mox》 and I believe there are a lot of room to innovate.

So don your deckbuilder hats and happy brewing!

Marc Tobiasch

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