Have you ever felt like you're being watched?
Think about it. The mailman, the jogger, the protester being beaten up by cops — you see them every morning; are they on a loop? Do events feel scripted, like nothing you do matters and your choices are pointless? Are you "stuck at home" and "afraid to go out?" It's not an accident. Welcome to the show; you're our main character.
No Business Like Show Business
Hello, my name is Michael Celani, C.E.O of Hilarious Entertainment Creators, Co. and executive producer of such television classics as Finding Sol'kanar and Access Ravnica: Drain Me More Obzedaddy. Today, I'm taking you on a little behind the scenes tour of our newest smash hit The Araumi Show. The premise is simple: we've kidnapped a single human being and put them in a complete facsimile of their normal life, except hidden cameras broadcast it all live! It's fun for the whole family, except for when ██████████████████ and we're forced by the FCC to cut to commercial.
Some of you might be wondering how The Araumi Show is made. Well, it takes a village — literally! — to cater to a single person to such an extent, and for that we need cheap non-union labor. That's why we have hordes and hordes of zombified workers on hand ready to impersonate anyone and everyone!
Corpsing More Than Bill Hader Playing Stefon
Here in our production factories, the dead painstakingly create period-accurate furniture and clothing by hand for under a dollar a day, but they didn't get that way overnight! If Abe Vigoda has taught us anything, it's that sometimes death takes a really long time, so Hollywood's invented some pretty cool and plausibly-deniable ways to put people in the ground.
- Start with some Strategic Planning. Ask the important questions, like "how much do I need to pay the guards to fall asleep, and what can I do about those cameras outside Epstein's cell?"
- Do the research and make sure you know what's really Fact or Fiction before you commit.
- Remember, the side you don't pick goes to the graveyard, so choose wisely.
- Knock out any opposition to your "legitimate business activities" with some Sinister Sabotage.
- Communicate the plan to your underlings with a Mission Briefing, preferably at six in the morning to assert your managerial dominance. No, I'm not falling asleep, boss.
- If you've got cards in hand you'd prefer be in the graveyard, switch them out with Merfolk Looter and Thought Courier, or use Ancient Excavation to selectively wheel yourself.
- If you've got cards on the battlefield you'd prefer be in the graveyard, scry them a river with Viscera Seer and Woe Strider.
- Sometimes you're too excited to wait until your target's stopped breathing, leaving them Buried Alive. Ah, reminds me of my parents on Christmas morning!
- Speaking of things that abruptly died in 2019, relive Game of Thrones' disappointing finale with King Narfi's Betrayal, Mirrodin Besieged and Monastery Siege!
- Do you prefer your creatures to the burying for you? Corpse Connoisseur and Gravebreaker Lamia make great undertakers, and you can eventually bring them back to add some more fresh meat.
- Finish up your graveyard stock work like clockwork with a Perpetual Timepiece.
- If your graveyard is about to be exiled or you really need a spell back, don't forget that you can exile it to shuffle key cards back into your library.
- Gyruda, Doom of Depths is a tough 6/6 creature that can really go for the mill.
- You can always revive an opponent's creature if you don't find any targets you like.
- And if you're worried about people knocking on your door asking for their missing grandmothers, call off the search with Ashiok, Dream Render.
That's An Extreme Definition Of "Overtime"
Of course, not everybody is cut out for the world of show business. Some outdated losers (like Uncle Istvan and William Shatner) really shouldn't be seeing much play these days. But a few creatures lived fast and left a pretty corpse, and those are the guys we'll be digging up.
- Our consummate kidnappers, Dimir Infiltrator and Invisible Stalker, can each swing without being accosted by blockers.
- When multiple Zulaport Cutthroat die simultaneously, they each see their identical twin brethren bite it, which makes them all extra depressed. Encoring their tragedy drains your opponents for nine.
- If nine is six too few for you, then make a wish on Kokusho, the Evening Star, who can drain them all for fifteen.
- And speaking of extra depressing things,
the amount of frozen hot dogs I've eaten in the last three daysSolemn Simulacrum can ramp you and refill your hand when you're running low on gas which I am not thanks to the amount of frozen hot dogs I've eaten in the last three days
- If you just need things to be as dead as you are inside, then consider reanimating Elvish Dreadlord or Night Incarnate.
- The Dreadlord has the added bonus of being able to encore itself even if you haven't drawn Araumi yet, so you can give all creatures -9/-9.
- Need to get back some spells you've cast, like the definitely-not-how-I-responded-to-the-end-of-Titanic card Flood of Tears? Look no further than Archaeomancer to put them back in your hand.
- Fun fact: Did you know "chupacabra" literally means "goat-sucker?" It seems like Ravenous Chupacabra and our star's internet search history have a lot in common, including being so horrifying that it obliterates enemy threats.
- Like the 2018 season of Roseanne, your creatures will only have a short-lived revival before embarrassingly crashing down on themselves. That's why cards like Reef Worm, Whirler Rogue, and Myr Battlesphere are great targets, as they come with their own army of creatures that persist after combat.
- Or, for creatures that literally are their own army, Banshee of the Dread Choir and Broodbirth Viper can each make additional token copies of themselves when they swing. Encore them and get nine attacking creatures!
A Rat Among Us
We hope you enjoyed our tour! We here at H.E.C.C pride ourselves on our shows and our ability to surprise you, which is why we're proud to announce that we never said your commander was Araumi of the Dead Tide. It's actually been Lazav, the Multifarious in disguise this whole time!
You might be asking me how this could possibly be true. After all, isn't that deck tailor-made for Araumi? Well, let's go through it again:
- Turn Lazav into a Banshee of the Dread Choir and then attack with him. You can respond to the Myriad trigger by changing Lazav into another creature, like Whirler Rogue, netting you token copies of the new creature.
- They'll die immediately - they are legendary Lazavs after all - but you still get the benefit of their zone-change triggers. Make a lot of Thopter tokens, tutor for multiple artifacts, or put multiple lands into play and draw cards to boot!
- One Myriad not enough for you? Duplicate that trigger with Strionic Resonator, or just double up on those effects entirely with a Panharmonicon.
- Mirror Mockery can give Lazav another pseudo-Myriad for just two mana.
- If Lazav is getting targeted or blocked, transform into Invisible Stalker to shrug off any opposition to your plans.
- Change Lazav into a Thopter Assembly at your opponent's end step for five Thopters, and get back a commander that only costs two to cast with a relevant trigger.
- And once you have a lot of Myr tokens, Lazav makes a perfect Myr Battlesphere and he can swing in for large chunks of damage!
But the crown jewel of our strategy?
Once you have enough tokens, put Zulaport Cutthroat into the yard and transform Lazav into it. Cast Sakashima's Will and turn all your tokens into clones of Lazav-Zulaport Cutthroat. As they're all legendary creatures named Lazav, the Multifarious, all but one of them will die as a state-based action because of the legend rule. If you have at least five other creatures in addition to Lazav, you can use Sakashima's Will to steal a sixth, and then seven Zulaport Cutthroats will see six die, draining each of your opponents for 42 life. If you can't find Zulaport Cutthroat, you can use Falkenrath Noble instead, but you'll need 11 total creatures before you can win with Sakashima's Will.
End of the Tour
Thank you for visiting H.E.C.C headquarters in Pyongyang, North Korea! Please visit our gift shop, where we have Wizards of the Coast-themed gas lights for you to purchase, as well as many copies of the recently-spiked Suleiman's Legacy that I'm unable to sell. Come visit us next year, when we'll be celebrating our 30th anniversary of saying barely fact-checked things and then failing to retract them when we get the details wrong. Now get out! I have to post a Magic: The Gathering article on this website we made for the show, because that's apparently what our kidnapped star reads...
Everyone You Love Is Lazav
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