Courtesy Wizards of the Coast

It was with a heavy heart that I decided to retire my House of Markov deck. It simply wasn’t performing up to my standards. There wasn’t much good news following the Avacyn Restored release events, either. My notion for a white-green Humans deck had little to distinguish it or make it truly competitive, and other than [mtg_card]Elspeth Tirel[/mtg_card] had few major threats to speak of. Things started to come together, though, when I paired Elspeth with [mtg_card]Sorin, Lord of Innistrad[/mtg_card].

At first glance, it may be difficult to understand why two such disparate personalities would work together. Elspeth is a driven and skilled warrior with righteousness in her heart and little tolerance for the corrupt, and Sorin is something of a hedonist who’s only concerned about Innistrad because it was his plane first, and the vampires he once fostered have gone a little bonkers in his absence. However, as fun as it would be to play out this dynamic, in terms of the card game they have an incredible amount of synergy.

Both planeswalkers produce tokens, provide intangible benefits (life and emblems), and have powerful ultimate abilities that can turn the tide of battle. Plus, their colors, white and black, also meet in one of the best token-generating spells in Standard: [mtg_card]Lingering Souls[/mtg_card]. Combined with enhancing cards like [mtg_card]Intangible Virtue[/mtg_card], removal such as [mtg_card]Go for the Throat[/mtg_card], and the deceptively powerful [mtg_card]Vault of the Archangel[/mtg_card], these two form the core of a very solid, very competitive, and very frightening weapon.

[mtg_deck title=”Vengeance at Dawn”]
4 Doomed Traveler
3 Hero of Bladehold
2 Bloodline Keeper

4 Gather the Townsfolk
4 Lingering Souls
4 Intangible Virtue
3 Midnight Haunting
3 Go for the Throat
3 Oblivion Ring
2 Day of Judgment

2 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
2 Elspeth Tirel

11 Plains
7 Swamp
4 Isolated Chapel
2 Vault of the Archangel

3 Revoke Existence
3 Celestial Purge
3 Doom Blade
2 Terminus
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Banishing Stroke

The most important part is, of course, that I love playing this deck. It’s very rare for me to be in a position where I feel helpless. It has not won every match, but every loss was a close game that left both me and my opponent smiling. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

As much as I like Vengeance at Dawn, I do have another idea for a deck that has nothing to do with tokens, plays to my colors of choice, includes perhaps my favorite planeswalker, and may give my opponents nightmares instead of smiles.