Kykar, Wind’s Fury

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Post by WizardMN » 8 months ago

I built this deck based on some "rules" my group came up with. We wanted to do something where people could build a deck but that the individual cards could not be over $50 each. It was obviously an arbitrary number but we felt this made things a little more fair for those in the group who might not have the budget for some of the super expensive cards and it gave us an interesting restriction to build around.

Now, for the deck I decided to go with Kykar for a few reasons. The main one is that I have tried a few "spellslinger" decks in the past and I never felt that they were as fun or as good as I wanted them to be. Shu Yun, the Silent Tempest ended up being more Voltron-y since I really just wanted him to get in for damage, Niv-Mizzet, Parun was about drawing cards and dealing massive amounts of damage in one go so the focus was just around him sticking around, and Kess, Dissident Mage just never clicked with me.

I liked the idea of Jeskai being my spellslinger colors as I liked a lot of what Shu Yun brought to the table in terms of support and answers. I found that some of the more fun interactions in that deck were getting tokens off of Metallurgic Summonings, Talrand, Sky Smmoner, and Docent of Perfection which allowed me to go wide. But, at the same time, I didn't like having creatures in the deck since I preferred trying to all in with non-creature spells which Shu-Yun really couldn't do. It is an odd restriction on my part but I have plenty of decks that are creature heavy so I wanted something different.

Enter Kykar. Kykar allows for the token production on his own and gives me a very useful mana ability on top of it. Kykar just wants cheap spells that can be anything basically so I can mold it how I want.

I have chosen to go the route of "aggro-control" (for lack of a better descriptor). I am very much on the control side of things, but Kykar spitting out tokens does allow me to get a few shots in here or there and even lets me try to win with Commander Damage while also allowing for blockers to remain so I am not completely shields down.

Because I want to be a "true" spellslinger deck, I have only 2 creatures and both are Gods. Ephara and Purphoros are here because of how well they work with tokens. And Purphoros can never become a creature (my max devotion to red is 4) and may max devotion to blue and white is 7 so I need every white permanent on the field to make her a creature. So, for the most part, they are noncreatures that just don't trigger Kykar.

So, here is the list I am running for now:
Kykar, Wind's Fury

General (1)


1 Kykar, Wind's Fury
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I am still tuning the deck to be where I want it to be. I have a ton of card draw to make sure I always have spells to cast and I have a few X spells which work really well with the mana I can get from Kykar.

I have had the deck built for a couple months now and it has been pretty fun to play so far. One of my more recent changes was to remove all the extra creatures I had. I used to have Monastery Mentor and Talrand and I decided to get rid of them and focus mostly on Kykar. There are spells in here that are for the express purpose of protecting Kykar due to the decks reliance on him.
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MTGO Recordings

This section just references Magic Online games played with this deck. It might be fun to keep a tally of different games and the text summaries are elsewhere in the thread.
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06/24/20 Game
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06/25/20 Game
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07/07/20 Game
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03/13/20
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06/30/20
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Post by WizardMN » 8 months ago

I played this deck the other day against Etrata, the Silencer, Thraximundar, and Arixmethes, Slumbering Isle. So, we had 4 blue decks at the table :)

I was able to get Kykar down on turn 4. Not as fast as I would like, but on curve. I was able to leave up 1 white mana for protection in case I needed it for the turn cycle since I was worried about Etrata swinging at me and exiling him. That didn't happen so I was able to cast a few spells here and there to get some tokens and build my hand. At the same time, I was able to keep swinging Kykar at Thraximundar. I started off that way since they just happened to be the first one it made sense to swing at since they got in a couple early threats. From there, it didn't make sense to divide the damage up so I just swung at them for 7 turns so I killed them with Commander Damage.

One thing they did keep doing was casting Show and Tell. They cast it twice and I countered it the first time and Etrata countered it the second. Neither of us had permanents to put into play and it probably would have benefited Arixmethes the most had it resolved.

After they were out, I was able to land a Purphoros, God of the Forge. Now, every time I cast a spell each opponent took 2 damage. This was only doing so much though as Arixmethes had a Tromokratis in play. Since I could either not attack with anything or just take my beats if they swung at me, I chose the latter. And they did swing at me a couple times. I let it go since I had a Swords to Plowshares in hand if I ever needed it.

Etrata wasn't really able to get their stuff set up while this was going on. They had Etrata but never got any of their pieces that allowed them to bounce her in response to her trigger. So, they weren't doing as much as they normally would be. However, at one point, they cast Fraying Omnipotence. I was at 23 life, Arixmethes was at 27 life, and Etrata was in the 20's as well. Omnipotence resolved and then Arixmethes started their turn.

They decided to swing out at me with Tromokratis. I was at 11 so I didn't block the 8 damage. After that, they decided to try to pump up the Kraken. In response, I was able to cast White Sun's Zenith for X=6 thanks to the tokens I had. I then got an additional token from Kykar. This caused my 2 opponents to take 14 damage which, thanks to the Omnipotence, was enough to kill them both.

The deck performed very well, though there were a couple of situations that might have been a little sketchy early on if I had been attacked but I wasn't much of a threat at that time.

I did make good use out of Sensei's Divining Top early as well since I was struggling to hit my land drops. The best thing that got me out of this though was Thrax attacking me with a Thief of Sanity so I could dig deeper. After that, I was able to ensure a land drop every turn.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 8 months ago

Woot! Creatureless Kykar is cool. The risk of course is being overly reliant on the commander, but you've clearly built with that in mind. With the abundance of protection spells, maybe Feather, the Redeemed is worth it?

I have a personal "no Purphoros" rule, but he's clearly powerful alongside Kykar.

I look forward to more game reports from this one!
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Post by WizardMN » 8 months ago

Feather might be worth it in the deck and I will have to see if I want her. Being a creature is a big drawback but I am not opposed to having a couple really good ones.

Yeah, Purphoros tends to just end games and is hard to interact with so I can understand why you might avoid him. I don't really like sitting across from him. But, he does a lot of good work here and the deck still needs a way to end the game. If I didn't have him, I would probably go with something like Cathars' Crusade but I didn't like that as much.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 8 months ago

I do run Crusade, and it is magnificent. If it's not your speed and you ever get sick of Purphoros, you could run Impact Tremors and Goblin Bombardment as "fair" Purphoros's, which is where I landed for my list.

There's a kabillion ways to build around Kykar, of course, but other win-cons (more on the fun/cool end of the scale than the powerful/broken end) in a creatureless build are Angelic Exaltation and Sigil of Valor. Both are obviously better with additional voltron nonsense, Jeskai Ascendancy, and extra combat effects. (Speaking of Ascendancy, I'm quite surprised you aren't running it here. I think it would be a huge upgrade over Serra.)

Then on the more busted end there's Opposition, which you can build a whole package around and be reaaaaally controlling.

Edit: I always forget that Terrain Generator exists, then I see it in a decklist and think "oooh, I really need to get that", and then forget to pick one up. Great additional source of ramp if your basic heavy.
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Post by WizardMN » 8 months ago

If I ever feel Purphoros is overperforming, I will look into Impact Tremors. I actually like Purphoros for his activated ability as well since he can help push through some extra damage, but Impact Tremors actually fits the "Creatureless" idea a little better (even if Purphoros never will be a creature anyway). I actually love Goblin Bombardment as a card, and I am kind of sad I don't have a deck for it and this deck really doesn't want it since I want to sac them for mana more often than not.

Sigil of Valor isn't too bad due to the low cost. 4 mana for Exaltation isn't as enticing, but could still be worth something. I am not sure I really want the effect at all, but if I find I really need to be more aggressive, I might need to try those out.

As for Ascendancy, I had it in the list right before I posted it here. Maybe I went the wrong way with Serra over Ascendancy but since I am not all that aggressive to begin with, I liked Serra's Emblem as a defensive measure. I realize Ascendancy would allow for a more aggressive game plan, but I went with card draw over it for now. I might revisit it later.

I agree on Terrain Generator though your comment actually leads me to the question of "why am I running it here". I think an early build might have had a few more basics, but 11 basics isn't worth the risk of losing out on colored mana. Especially early. I will likely swap that out for something. Perhaps just a basic or Mana Confluence or City of Brass. City works better with Serra's Emblem so I might go with that over Confluence.

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Post by WizardMN » 7 months ago

I played this deck last night. I can't seem to remember who the opposing decks were since I managed to get a lot of games in. God-Eternal Rhonas was one.

I was able to land Kykar on turn 3 thanks to a Talisman. From there, I was able to swing with Kykar with Sword of the Animist attached to get me my lands and then just hold up mana for whatever. I even got Teferi, Hero of Dominaria on board to help draw into lands since I did miss a couple land drops.

I was able to build up a pretty good army of tokens though God-Eternal Rhonas had a green Intimidate creature I couldn't block so I just had to bounce it once to keep Teferi alive. I was able to use things like Frantic Search to dig and, at one point, I cast White Sun's Zenith to convert all my Spirits into Cats and then I used this army to overwhelm the opponents. Before that, Absorb and Ionize made appearances to counter important stuff and I ended up casting Arcane Denial twice thanks to Mission Briefing to be able to slow my opponents down. They did get cards but so did I which were important at the time.

White Sun's basically wrapped up the game for me. Though, usingKeep Watch to draw 12 cards when I attacked with them didn't hurt either :)

This game went exactly how I want games to go with this deck. I got Kykar down early, was able to protect him with a variety of spells while also stopping my opponents, only to finish off with a massive X spell thanks to the tokens. Nothing really came up that I was disappointed in so I have no real thoughts on changes. I am going to keep running the list I have for a while to see where things lead.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

Oooh, keep watch looks fun. Half a kindred discovery (sort of) at instant speed that you could also use to draw off an opponent's big attack. I like it.
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Post by WizardMN » 7 months ago

MeowZeDung wrote:
7 months ago
Oooh, keep watch looks fun. Half a kindred discovery (sort of) at instant speed that you could also use to draw off an opponent's big attack. I like it.
Yeah. I am still kind of holding off on Kindred Discovery due to the mana cost, but Keep Watch is a good way to get a surprise blocker if needed while also drawing a bunch of cards from Kykar's army. I used to have it in Niv-Mizzet when that deck was around, but it makes more sense here since we are already building an army anyway. Even just being able to draw 3 cards off it already puts it above the curve of almost every other Instant draw card spell for 3 mana.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
7 months ago
Yeah. I am still kind of holding off on Kindred Discovery due to the mana cost, but Keep Watch is a good way to get a surprise blocker if needed while also drawing a bunch of cards from Kykar's army. I used to have it in Niv-Mizzet when that deck was around, but it makes more sense here since we are already building an army anyway. Even just being able to draw 3 cards off it already puts it above the curve of almost every other Instant draw card spell for 3 mana.
I feel similarly about discovery. When it lasts a turn cycle it will be nuts, but it can also be an expensive do nothing some of the time. The thing that I like about keep watch on top of all you said is that it's an instant, and my list has lots of stuff that triggers specifically on instants and sorceries. I'll have to test it out.

It's cool that you won off of white suns zenith. Any thoughts on decree of justice to get you evasion and down from triple white, orentreat the angels maybe? The spirit into x/x body conversion is a sweet gameplan, but I'm wondering if evasion isn't worth some more setup (potentially). Hard to argue with something that won for you though.
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Post by WizardMN » 7 months ago

I think the idea for me is that I want a way to amass an army at Instant timing which Decree doesn't do as well. Granted, Decree doing it as an Instant is (mostly) uncounterable and draws me a card, but then they are still really small.

I like the idea of being able to just upgrade every 2 spirits into 1 Angel, but I don't like that I would likely get close to tapping out to do so and then they just wrathed away.

Entreat might be reasonable as I do have a couple ways to set it up and cast it on other player's turns. It does take a bit more work to do, but the payoff is considerably larger. I will have to think on that one.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
7 months ago
I want a way to amass an army at Instant timing
Yeah, my only concern is that White Sun's Zenith can be a dead card unless two conditions are met: 1. You've got triple white sources and 2. You've either got tons of spirits to sac, or mass mana (a la your recent game with Sword of the Animist. It just always make me tense up including such conditional cards in my decks, though I've absolutely done it before. When it works, it's great no doubt. I can just also see scenarios where you don't want a herd of 2/2 kitties because the rest of the table has plenty of blockers on the ground and the 1/1 spirits are therefore stronger on offense, which is what made me think of entreat/decree to begin with.
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Post by WizardMN » 7 months ago

That might be a reasonable point, though I am not entirely convinced. Even casting it for 6 mana can be reasonable to get some power on the board in a pinch. I understand that Decree can simply cycle itself away, but if I look at the benefit of it, I don't see much. That is, if I didn't sacrifice tokens to cast either one, Zenith gives me more power for the same mana at the expense of a card. If I am sacrificing spirits, the Soldiers are worse than the Spirits or the Cats. And yes, there is still the option of creating Angels but I find it unlikely I would ever exercise that option.

I see the upside of Zenith being far higher than that of Decree as Zenith doesn't require that I tap out. Your point may still stand though which would likely lead to me cutting Zenith for Entreat the Angels as you mentioned. The normal cost is the cheaper than Decree and the Miracle cost is far better than either Decree or Zenith. I have a couple ways to set it up and I might be willing to try it out.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

Yeah, with instant speed draw and topdeck effects entreat could be a beating
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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

secure the wastes is generally the most efficient token spell. It only makes 1/1s but man there are a lot of them. Decree of Justice is nice for its flexibility but with 16 mana we're talking 15 1/1s or 6 4/4s which is not that huge of a difference (or +1 card and 13 1/1s).

The nice part about secure is it's efficient even in the mid game.

Another pretty powerful instant speed option you could consider is Hour of Need but that's very niche and assumes you have a few tokens on board. The nice part is it's fairly mana efficient, costing virtual 13 mana to make 4 4/4s at instant speed assuming it's eating 4 tokens to get there. I generally like it a little better than Entreat just because it's not entreat and it's something I was thinking about trying for Kykar that's cute and different.
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Post by OCPunisher » 7 months ago

I've said this on other Kykar threads, but if you are basically creature-less, then you need to find a copy of Overburden. It's hilarious, especially on turn 2.
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Post by WizardMN » 7 months ago

pokken wrote:
7 months ago
secure the wastes is generally the most efficient token spell. It only makes 1/1s but man there are a lot of them. Decree of Justice is nice for its flexibility but with 16 mana we're talking 15 1/1s or 6 4/4s which is not that huge of a difference (or +1 card and 13 1/1s).

The nice part about secure is it's efficient even in the mid game.
During the back and forth above, I had thought of Secure the Wastes because it is more efficient. But, then, I am basically stuck with only the "bad" part of Decree (trading in my tokens for worse tokens) and none of the good parts. Not to say it is bad overall as being able to spend 6 mana (or whatever) for 5 tokens is obviously better than spending that for 3. Though, in the case of Zenith, it is still 1 less power on board.
Another pretty powerful instant speed option you could consider is Hour of Need but that's very niche and assumes you have a few tokens on board. The nice part is it's fairly mana efficient, costing virtual 13 mana to make 4 4/4s at instant speed assuming it's eating 4 tokens to get there. I generally like it a little better than Entreat just because it's not entreat and it's something I was thinking about trying for Kykar that's cute and different.
That is a card I didn't know existed. It kind of sits in the middle of everything above. It is more efficient, at a better timing, than just hard casting Decree or Entreat. But, it does nothing on an empty board which is where I have a concern. Trading up tokens is great, but if I am really far behind it doesn't really help. I am not entirely sure what to think of it to be honest.
OCPunisher wrote:
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I've said this on other Kykar threads, but if you are basically creature-less, then you need to find a copy of Overburden. It's hilarious, especially on turn 2.
Interesting :) I don't really enjoy "stax" elements, but this card just fits in so well with the deck while also triggering Kykar. Plus, it lets me use my foil I picked up for Alela that I never ended up using.

I like it and I am tempted to throw it in just to see what happens. It can trigger from, at most, 2 cards in my deck with Kykar being one of them so it should never hurt me but it can slow others down pretty well.

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Post by pokken » 7 months ago

Overburden was way, way too good in my alela, artful saboteur deck and I wound up cutting it because it made the game so miserable for everyone else.
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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

Overburden seems grief inducing, albeit very effective.

Since we're talking about upgrading tokens at instant speed, let's not forget about our dear friends mirrorweave and polymorphous rush. Great for attacking with shrimpy flyers then morphing them into fatties after no blocks declared. Rush can be a huge mana dump like any other strive spell, but possibly game ending with massive tokens. Drawback is that they're temporary.
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Post by WizardMN » 7 months ago

The comments about Overburden seem fair. I might have been underestimating its effectiveness and how annoying it is. Like I said, I don't really go with too much stax since they tend not to be fun to play against and Overburden, even on its own, might still be bad enough. I really like the idea, but I might hold off on it for now.

Mirrorweave seems really fun though :) I have seen it pop up in @toctheyounger's Varina Primer and, while I didn't really like it there, I thought was one of those cards I never really had a good place for. It also acts as a pseudo board wipe in certain circumstances. Not enough to count it as one, but it seems like a great way to blow someone out. I think I am going to give that a try just because it seems interesting.

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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

I'm a recent convert to Mirrorweave myself, but it was pretty aggressively sold to me from multiple angles on these forums. I resolved it for the first time, won the game in hilarious fashion, and haven't looked back since. It's a bananas card. @WolfWhoWanders has a Kykar thread around here that's built specifically around mirrorweave.
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Post by boer0829 » 7 months ago

OCPunisher wrote:
7 months ago
I've said this on other Kykar threads, but if you are basically creature-less, then you need to find a copy of Overburden. It's hilarious, especially on turn 2.
Sadly Overburden doesn't work with tokens, the errata says: Whenever a player puts a nontoken creature onto the battlefield, that player returns a land they control to its owner's hand. (https://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card ... seid=24597)

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Post by MeowZeDung » 7 months ago

boer0829 wrote:
7 months ago
OCPunisher wrote:
7 months ago
I've said this on other Kykar threads, but if you are basically creature-less, then you need to find a copy of Overburden. It's hilarious, especially on turn 2.
Sadly Overburden doesn't work with tokens, the errata says: Whenever a player puts a nontoken creature onto the battlefield, that player returns a land they control to its owner's hand. (https://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/card ... seid=24597)
That's the point though, right? Since creatureless Kykar is never putting nontoken creatures onto the battlefield, this only bounces your opponents' lands, thus creating an asymmetrical stax effect in your favor.
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Post by boer0829 » 7 months ago

Ah yes, I see. In that case it's hilarious indeed:D

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Post by toctheyounger » 7 months ago

WizardMN wrote:
7 months ago
The comments about Overburden seem fair. I might have been underestimating its effectiveness and how annoying it is. Like I said, I don't really go with too much stax since they tend not to be fun to play against and Overburden, even on its own, might still be bad enough. I really like the idea, but I might hold off on it for now.

Mirrorweave seems really fun though :) I have seen it pop up in toctheyounger's Varina Primer and, while I didn't really like it there, I thought was one of those cards I never really had a good place for. It also acts as a pseudo board wipe in certain circumstances. Not enough to count it as one, but it seems like a great way to blow someone out. I think I am going to give that a try just because it seems interesting.
In Varina it's kind of cover for the fact that our zombies don't have evasion or anything special about them innately. Mostly that doesn't matter because they just need to attack so we can dig, but occasionally there's a combat based deck we've gotta go toe to toe with and this helps level the playing field. So mostly I save it as a reactive combat trick to chew up some numbers, and it does that quite well really. There's other neat things you can do reactively too - turn someone's goblin or elf army into Graveborn Muse and watch them deck themselves or bleed out...there's just so many applications for it, and that's why I run it.

But occasionally there's some neat stuff you can do with it proactively too. Turning the board into Bone Misers to generate a ton of mana, draw a ton of cards or make a freaking army is great, as is Archfiend of Ifnir shredding literally everything. Zombie Infestation means you can do all of this at instant speed, so it's a little more versatile, but Mirrorweave is already instant so it's pretty versatile. These are just two examples of many as well - it gets nasty when you've got aristocrats on board. Or Tombstone Stairwell.

In a Kykar deck I see it as a next level straight up bomb that can win games out of nowhere, honestly. It's so much easier to make a damn army here, turning them into almost anything could make things go crazy. Here, the nature of your deck means it's going to depend on what you're up against, but it could still do insane things.
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