Going Brokkos – Celestial Kirin Barren Glory Sweep Tribal

Naomi Krause • June 30, 2021

Celestial Kirin by Adam Rex

“Neigh” is Kirin for “You’re gonna have a bad time there, buckaroo.”

 

That last Cephalid deck was far too competent and powerful. Let’s get back to our ancient four-month old roots and force a god-awful Kamigawa EDH legend to compete on the level of precons.

Celestial Kirin joins the prestigious league of cards I googled in high school that looked really dumb. Thankfully, Ugin’s Conjurant was printed as the beautiful missing puzzle piece that slots right into these god-awful Kamigawa legends and makes them sort of resemble the picture on the box. Being able to drop a Spirit for zero mana turns this underwhelming Blast Zone into an Armageddon you can recur and tutor out to your heart’s content.

A note on Mass Land Destruction and not being a tool.

Land dickery is heavily frowned upon, both in EDH and just in general when you’re playing casually with friends. When you sit down to play Magic, it kinda sucks when you have to sit there unable to play Magic. I’m in the weird camp of really liking Balance effects  since green ramp has gotten absolutely f#$%ing absurd, and I think keeping everyone on a level playing field can make for more enjoyable games. I also think that playing MLD when you have a powerful creature or other wincon ready to go is perfectly fine since, in a way, you’re just using a preemptive counterspell. Basically, if it’s going to end the game more quickly and not leave your opponents barely able to do anything for half an hour, I’m all for it.  With that out of the way, let me make something perfectly clear:

 

If you destroy everyone’s lands with no way to win afterwards,

 

 

 

 

You’re an asshole.

 

Don’t play Ugin’s Conjurant when all you have is a 3/3 horse ghost. Don’t Armageddon with an empty board. Don’t blow up everyone’s lands right before you’re about to lose just to make them miserable, come on now.

I’ve tried a solid half dozen builds of the deck at this point, and what I’ve settled on as the most consistent is the classic Mono-White Ugin’s Conjurant MLD Sweep Tribal. Also I decided halfway through writing this article that it’s a Barren Glory deck now, yeah that sounds about right for one of these.

This deck ended up being very similar to my last Conjurant deck, in that it uses a god awful mechanic and makes it only sort of terrible. Last time I praised the true god pharaoh, we were pretty straightforward with Soulshift recursion, now we’re saving our lands with Sweep.

Sweep returns as many lands as you want of a certain type you control to your hand to grant some pitiful effect, in our case giving one or all of our creatures +X/+X for a turn. Think of it like Gush if Gush gained you 2 life instead of drawing haha mono white bad gottem.

Thankfully with this deck, we don’t give a rack pat’s ass about what it actually does, just that it picks up our lands. Ideally we can have our horsey sauce on the field, drop Ugin’s Enby for 0 to nuke everyone’s lands, and save ours in response. Now everyone gets to painstakingly rebuild, but you’re not relying on topdecking new mana.

The usual issue with Barren Glory is that having 0 permanents on the battlefield is a tall order, and wiping your stuff away to windmill slam a six-mana enchantment that doesn’t do anything is gonna strain you and your mana’s relationship.

Wait, what’s that – oh my god here comes Leonin Relic Warder with a steel Oblivion Ring from the top rope!

Exiling the big bad with one of these wild and crazy guys is far and away the most consistent way to actually pull the combo out. We just need to perform the simple recipe of:

  1. Drop Barren Glory with whatever other stuff we have on the board.
  2. Exile it with one of our non-exploitable Fiend Hunters.
  3. Exploit the crap out of Ugin’s Conjurant for 0 with Celestial Kirin out to get rid of those pesky lands, or alternatively pick them up with Sweep. Always remember kids, be sure to float your mana first!
  4. You’re probably out of cards at this point because haha mono white bad but no seriously wizards what lesbian couple bullied you as a child to inspire the awful symmetry of Secret Rendezvous. Anyways, discard your remainders that aren’t Planar Cleansing with Trained Pronghorn.
  5. Use a Planar Cleansing effect to get rid of everything else, bringing back our Barren Glory safe and sound.

Very easy and straightforward, suck it Thassa’s Oracle.

The best part of our Barren Glory combo is that it also sets our opponents up for their own Barren Glory combos! Friendship is fun!

For the deck to function, we really need to find our secret conjurant commander. To that end, we have both Ranger of Eos and his big brother, along with that dollar store Citanul Flute recorder their mom regrets ever buying them. A “fun” trick is using Junktroller to put Ugin’s Conjurant back in the deck from the graveyard since they’re gonna be a 0/0 that dies instantly most of the time, then playing the Titanic theme on your flute to fetch them back to your hand for no mana.

As far as lands go, we really need our Sweeps to run at max capacity, so it’s all basic Plains. We have the Extraplanar Lens trick like the dirty little snow-users we are, as well as your usual suite of artifact ramp. Notably, we aren’t running any always indestructible stuff since the combo relies on us having a completely empty board.

Oh and at this point the deck doesn’t flow too well, so I jammed every card advantage equipment I could find in there with Sram and pals. Now if the lightly stained but still good for another day or two underwear of a combo doesn’t pan out, you can always fall back on fracking everyone’s’ lands and bashing face with a souped-up Balan, Wandering Knight.

Conclusion

Celestial Kirin isn’t the prettiest girl at the dance, but when she takes off her glasses, she can’t see anything.

Out of all the scrappy combo decks I’ve thrown together, they’ve got to be the worst. That being said, it’s a Barren Glory deck, come on how much cooler can you be. Even if it only pops off once every 10 games, it’s gonna be one damn delicious once.

I do want to point out that I rebuilt this deck several times, way more than usual for the hardcore cEDH shells I throw together. I found the current equipment build to be the most consistent, but I could easily be proven wrong. The deck got a huge boost from Modern Horizons 2 while I was in the middle of writing it up, so maybe the D&D set will have another uncommon nobody plays that randomly makes a 16 year old horse viable. That’s the beauty of Magic: the Gathering that keeps me coming back despite all the dumb crap Wizards pulls, so fingers crossed.

Author’s Note: As I was cropping the banner image for this article, which is literally the last thing I do, I noticed Celestial Kirin‘s face up close for the first time and it shook me to my f&$%cking core. I always just thought it was a weird curling thing that sort of resembled a horse, not some eldritch monstrosity. Please don’t build this deck, I don’t want them coming for me in my dreams.

 

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I write jokes about videogames and sometimes card games too okay?? Aboshan is my best friend, Verazol is my s.o. and Pira is my side piece. follow me @growboobsownno1 to see when I write thoughtful strategic journalism.