Coppercoat Vanguard Really, Really Matters

Coppercoat Vanguard

Coppercoat Vanguard from March of the Machine: Aftermath

  • Card Name: Coppercoat Vanguard
  • Mana Cost: 1W
  • Card Type: Creature – Human Soldier
  • Rules Text: Each other Human you control gets +1/+0 and has ward {1}. (Whenever it becomes the target of a spell or ability an opponent controls, counter it unless that player pays {1}.)
  • Flavor Text: It was a time for rebuilding, but first Ikoria’s wrecked cities had to be cleared of monsters.
  • Illustrated by: Bruno Biazotto

Rakdos Story Time

Last week over on CoolStuffInc, YT penned the tale of how World Champion — and now Pro Tour Champion — Nathan Steuer won with a deck built for a particular metagame.

The “Winners'” metagame!

Nathan and team played main deck Duress, more land than you’lll typically see on the Arena ladder — and in a reversal of every recent trend — added Invoke Despair back into their top end.

“This deck is too good for the ladder,” I surmised. I of course loaded it up and went about my Diamond-rated business.

First match out, I kept; my opponent went first; and played Mountain into beloved Monastery Swiftspear.

“This deck really is too good for the ladder.” I went down quickly.

Over the course of the next week, it was all Rakdos, all the time. I eventually switched to a Breach the Multiverse build, to go bigger than the Handshake wannabes… But it was still all Rakdos variants. I would estimate that on the way to Mythic, I played 75% Rakdos mirrors and quasi-mirrors.

This wasn’t the worst-worst thing. I mean, I was winning more than I was losing at least!

Enter Coppercoat Vanguard from March of the Machine: Aftermath

Pinkertons jokes aside, a new set came out fast on the heels of Steuer’s Pro Tour win. March of the Machine: Aftermath is a tiny set… 50 cards to real March of the Machine‘s 281. But some of the cards have high impact!

At least, enough to break up the monotony of mono-Rakdos mirrors I had been facing.

One of the most important cards is probably Coppercoat Vanguard.

This card first hit my radar as a potential addition to Pioneer White Weenie (as the summer RCQs in New York City are largely Pioneer). But as many of the Pioneer White Weenie cards are Standard-legal, I figured it might be worth some testing on Arena as well.

Coppercoat Vanguard does two things in a properly built deck:

The first is that it is a Crusade-like effect. Your guys get bigger. Your cheap one- (or even zero-) mana creatures can come out with two power, making them more dangerous and shortening the clock.

The second is that it makes your creatures more difficult to kill or interact with. This is important for a number of reasons. First, it doubles down on the incentive to White Weenie already present as a result of Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Thalia is the worst balanced creature since Winota, Joiner of Forces… So I guess we should play her if she’s any good.

Secondly, although Thalia and Coppercoat Vanguard are both “general”-type disruptive creatures, combined with a card like Skrelv, Defector Mite, you can create strategic board positions that put pressure on the opponent’s mana or force a key attacker through unexpectedly.

In a deck that is balanced more towards Humans (thanks Coppercoat Vanguard), good old Adeline, Resplendent Cathar becomes a premier threat again. Adeline is one of the best, fastest-growing, creatures you can force through with Skrelv; and her token creature add-ons are boosted individually by Coppercoat Vanguard.

Peanut Butter.


Here’s a White Weenie Deck for “Idiotic Morons”

I grossly dislike White Weenie decks in general; especially anything with Thalia, Guardian of Thraben…

But too many incentives lined up for me to not at least try playing some of the cards together.

Here’s a swing I took into a recent Standard Event:

This version is biased for Best-of-One play, even though there is a sideboard. I would not have started 4x Brutal Cathar in a paper / Best-of-Three version; but Best-of-One features a lot of aggressive opponents, so Brutal Cathar can look pretty good there. Of course, it has some extra value with Recruitment Officer where more copies of Ossification and Lay Down Arms wouldn’t.

Here’s some footage of the aforementioned Standard Event:

Please watch it and then like, subscribe, etc. so that the nice people at YouTube think you, you know, love Mike.


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