Praxis has a new top-end, and he's really impressive - if you can play him. I'm excited to see what Kairos, Grand Champion
is capable of in 3-faction decks like Jennev or FTJ, but there's no more natural place for a 9-cost unit that needs a big threat on board than his own 2-faction home, Praxis - the faction of ramping to fatties and sticking them by overloading removal. I've been working on this deck with teammates Marvin_the_Imp and Vaylin, and together we've come up with something that's working very well for me.
Kairos works well with the strengths of a Praxis midrange/ramp deck (power acceleration, lots of high strength units to trigger draw), but also helps address its weaknesses. Running out of steam has typically been a dead end, but Kairos gives the opportunity to completely restock by drawing as many as 12 cards, and usually 5 or 6. If Kairos sticks - which he usually does if you get to him, since you typically don't play him until your opponent can't remove your threats anyway - then you will almost certainly end the game that turn by blasting away their units or remaining life as you dump more threats from your hand. This is great for busting board stalls, another trap Praxis decks can fall into, as you simultaneously develop your board further and clear the opponent's - or just bypass it for lethal face damage. Even if he doesn't stick, the raw card advantage should still lead you to a win.
This deck has a ton of units to beat down/block the opponent and generate power along the way. Initiate of the Sands
and Trail Maker
are early acceleration that help consistently hit your first fatty ahead of curve. Trail Maker recently replaced Devotee of the Sands
, because power kept outpacing influence with so many ramp units. These cards are power sources; don't be afraid to treat them as such in mulligan decisions. You need to be aware of their vulnerability, but you will often need to rely on them anyway to avoid going to 6 too often. Tocas, Waystone Harvester
and Auralian Merchant
are great early blockers that ramp further. These are important because they tend to stick reliably, or at least eat better removal your opponent will want later. Yushkov, the Usurper
and Worldbearer Behemoth
are midgame threats that also help push your power upwards in different ways; they wouldn't always be the first choices in a Praxis deck, but really deliver with Kairos.
They are joined by non-ramping staples Sandstorm Titan
and Praxis poster-child Heart of the Vault
(which does help draw into more power, or even reduce the cost of Kairos if you're lucky). Xo of the Endless Hoard
is here as a guaranteed two cards to help offset the aforementioned tendency to run out of steam (credit to Vaylin). The extra card early is really valuable with no other draw until HotV. He can serve as market fodder as usual, but can also be played pretty reliably later in the game along the chain of threats. While Xo's 8-cost body is usually not desirable, it performs more than usual in a deck that exhausts removal like this, providing another window to resupply late in the game. A good alternative to Xo is Thundering Kerasaur
, which is relevant on board much earlier and also generates card advantage, but can't work with the merchant or get an extra card early in the game.
Removal isn't a big topic in Praxis decks, but we do have a functional package here. Torch
is obvious. Flame Blast
is highly flexible and can kill small stuff for cheap, big stuff for a lot, or burn face with your pumped-up power. Conflagrate
are other options, but small units don't tend to trip us up like big ones can, and I have preferred FB since Marvin/Vaylin steered me that way. Xenan Initiation
is the other removal option for bigger units. It takes advantage of our big bodies to give us a form of the 2-cost kill spell these colors so desperately lack. It's especially great with Behemoth if you can play them together. Be careful how you use your removal - there isn't a ton of it and it's a little limited or inefficient, so try to leverage bodies into board dominance, don't expect to remove everything that challenges you.
All that's left to discuss is the market. Splitting Kairos up 3+1 feels great to maximize access when you have the power while avoiding drawing too many early. As a bonus, playing a merchant late to get Kairos also bumps up your power one more to help hit 9. Twilight Hunt
is a cheap removal tool in the market. Vaylin and Marvin like running it maindeck with Initiation market; both have strengths and weaknesses. Other options for a removal tool include Purify, Phase Out
, or Temple Standard
is mainly for Harsh Rule
, but is our only tech against attachments or spells in general. Xenan Obelisk
is for winning board stalls against other midrange, particularly Time, decks; try to anticipate the matchups you'll need this in and get it when possible.
The Praxis Arcanum
is pretty poor for a site, but it's here for more than just flavor. Unit cost reduction is really relevant in this deck (basically another form of ramp). Both it and its payoff, Talir, Unbound
, are great for getting Kairos into play. I grab this as a sort of default when nothing else is needed in the matchup, or when I am specifically working toward Kairos. It's a great fetch with Behemoth in hand, as Behemoth is the best target for Accelerate
. The other spells have some utility, particularly for helping defend the site, which helps the card deliver a lot of value. Eternity Core
is an alternative 4-cost ramp option if you don't like the site. It's more helpful for playing Kairos specifically but is a 4-cost do-nothing, whereas the Arcanum is full of on-board utility, even if only at the margins.
That wraps up a whole lot of words about a rather simple deck. Most of the card choices and strategies are fairly obvious, but hopefully the text has been helpful for highlighting some of the interactions that make the whole thing tick. This isn't my usual style of deck, but I've been having a ton of fun slamming Kairos and proclaiming myself Timmy. And so far, it really feels the card has brought something meaningful to the Praxis faction. Give it a try and share your thoughts!
Updated with Flame of Xulta's release to include Ramba, Arena Showman
over Xo (also bouncing an Initiation to the market). As as aggressive midrange threat which is powerful late in the game and accelerates expensive cards, Ramba fits neatly into our dual gameplan, playing midrange fatties and ramping to Kairos. The ability is a nice mana sink to help grind out games after ramping up, and the cost reduction is another tool to get to Behemoth and Heart ahead of curve and eventually reach Kairos.
Update FoX day 2: This list was very aggressive on its power total to begin with. Harsh Rule
is popular right now, making ramp units less reliable, so more power was appropriate. Initiation is especially strong in the mirror and sometimes against aggro, but Flame Blast can also bust a board stall and is amazing against otherwise challenging Harsh Rule decks, too. Removal was most expendable, so Initiation has been taken out of the maindeck to accommodate Seek Power
for more consistent power totals, influence, and especially opening hands. With sigil fetchers on hand I felt better including some Granite Waystone
without hurting the Seats. The extra fixing also eases the burden on influence when ramping aggressively, so Devotee gets the call again over Trail Maker.
I found myself wanting to market for power frequently, so I put a Praxis Banner
in the market. Maybe this won't be necessary with seeks in the deck. To fit it I removed the Obelisk, as I hadn't marketed for it in a long time and Initiation is an alternative mirror-buster.