Recently I came across an interesting deck involving the Throne of Eldraine Food mechanic. It’s a bit of a combo deck, and it offers some opportunities to use some random cool cards that work around sacrificing things. The base combo works with Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven. These work together in a kind of sacrifice loop, slowly draining opponent’s life.
You can sacrifice the cat to the oven, get a food, and sacrifice that food to get back the cat, then drain a little life each turn. This in itself works great, and you’ll always have a little ground blocker, buying some extra time. It’s great that this works at instant speed, and doesn’t require mana. The real trick, however, is using these sacrifices as a trigger to deal lots of damage and maybe draw some extra cards.
So, lets take a look at the sequence: You sacrifice Cauldron Familiar to Witch’s Oven, Mayhem Devil triggers. Then you sacrifice the food to get back the familiar. Mayhem Devil triggers again. That’s already 3 damage and an extra life.
Korvold, Fae-cursed king is similar. On entering the battlefield he eats a cat or food, draws you a card and grows bigger, then you sacrifice a food to get back a cat and before you know it he’s a huge dragon that already drew you a bunch of cards, even before anyone can remove him.
The rest of the deck is food production and mana ramp and mana fixing, as well as some other haymakers that play into the food/sacrifice theme. I made the following prototype for testing the archetype, and it already works well, although there is a lot of room for improvement:
~ Jund Food ~
4 Cauldron Familiar
3 Gilded Goose
2 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
2 Mayhem Devil
3 Murderous Rider
3 Paradise Druid
1 Rankle, Master of Pranks
1 Savvy Hunter
1 Syr Konrad, the Grim
2 Tempting Witch
1 Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
1 Vraska, Golgari Queen
1 Blood Crypt
1 Castle Locthwain
3 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Ground
1 Temple of Malady
2 Assassin’s Trophy
4 Golden Egg
1 Status // Statue
1 Trail of Crumbs
4 Witch’s Oven
Even though the list is suboptimal, it works really well. Generally, the mana is pretty good, but sometimes I had an egg countered or a goose killed, and then I ran into some colour screw. Well, it happened once in testing, and the game went on for a while, and I had an improbable amount of bad luck finding my third colour. I must craft some Fabled Passages, for further colour fixing. Also some Once Upon a Times will make the deck and the mana more consistent.
Some other thoughts:
- I noticed that once Murderous Rider dies, this will trigger Syr Konrad, the Grim twice, due to changing zones twice. Sure, it makes sense, but it’s an interaction that’s easy to miss in a paper game.
- One of the cards I’m debating is Woodland Champion. With all the food tokens coming down, he should grow quickly. But then;
- I want to include an extra Trail of Crumbs. The card is similar to Golden Egg in function, minus the mana fixing, but with more long-term upside in grindy matches. Most of my cards are permanents anyway.
- Gilded Goose turns food into mana, and mana into food. And it works well with Trail of Crumbs, because it provides both the mana and the sacrifice (and given long enough, the food tokens) for the card selection to work.
- Judith, the Scourge Diva is being considered, although generally she is a worse Mayhem Devil in this deck.
- I want to have some extra, free sacrifice effects, maybe. An additional Savvy Hunter might be the key.
- Gingerbread Cabin is a trap. 3 other forests isn’t likely to happen in a 2 or 3 colour deck.
- Status // Statue is something I’m on the fence about. I first included it as an extra removal spell, but it might not have been the best choice. However, the hidden trick is also that it grants Deathtouch, and that’s savage with Mayhem Devil, and a couple of sacrifices.
All in all I’m having fun with this deck, and all the moving parts. There is a potential for lots of card selection, and the food means you can keep a high life total if needed. Mill is popular right now, and it doesn’t interact with that at all, but the damage output is real, and most of the time control decks have a hard time disrupting everything. I’m really looking forward to testing some more and make some improvements. It’s delicious!