Faeries, creatures of beauty and trickery. Originating from European folklore, you’ll often find these mythical beings in most fantasy stories. This is no exception to Magic: the Gathering.
The one iconic and infamous Faerie of them all is Oona, Queen of the Fae. Story-wise, she’s a power hunger villain that will do anything to keep what she has. Gameplay-wise, she is an EDH general that is to be feared and will get you yelled at by another player if they REALLY hate mill strategies (emptying your opponent’s deck of cards).
Strap in as we delve into her story and how we translate her raw power over on the table top. This is Oona, Queen of the Fae.
Faeries are a common sight in Magic: the Gathering, but take on a more significant role in the plane of Lorwyn. This world has an Irish/Celtic mythology-inspired environment full of magical creatures such as Treefolk, Elves, Kithkin (think Hobbits but goofier looking), and of course Faeries.
Much like any other hive-based insects, Faeries have a ruling queen that is in charge of the entire swarm. That queen is Oona, who literally created all of the Faeries on Lorwyn. If you look at her art (top of the article), you can see that she is a humanoid that has hives attached to her. Out from those hives, Faeries fly out and do their queen’s bidding.
Frequently, Oona was able to control when day and night arrive just to show off her prowess. When the realm is exposed to the night sky for too long, an event called The Great Aurora happens where the entire plane of Lorwyn transforms into the nightmarish hell that is known as Shadowmoor.
This transition would wipe away the existence of certain creatures and bring about new monsters. Any living being from Lorwyn that transitioned to Shadowmoor through The Great Aurora had their memories erased and took on new characteristic traits (imagine everyone having Jekyll and Hyde syndrome). Oona had always known about this event and would love to put Lorwyn through this crisis on a regular basis since she always managed to keep her memories intact every time it happened.
There eventually came a time where The Great Aurora was happening early because of ANOTHER event called The Mending, where mana flowed through the Multiverse from the just-then restored world of Dominaria. Oona naturally freaked out and knew she needed a way to keep her memories since she did not prepare herself this time, putting her mind at risk.
Oona’s solution was to create a clone of herself… well, kinda. She killed an elf known as Maralen of the Mornsong and put all her memories in her head. This SOMEHOW kept Oona’s memories intact, and all of Faerie kind resumed their lives as usual.
Oona had big plans for Shadowmoor after surviving The Great Aurora this time around. She wanted to drain the powers of other races so that she could grow more powerful. She tried this on the elementals and almost succeeded… except for one thing.
You see, Oona’s “clone” Maralen had her own conscious, meaning she was able to make her own decisions. With Oona’s memories implanted in her, Maralen halted Oona from killing off the elementals, then part ways afterward.
Angered, Oona went on to commit mass genocide on a group of elves known as the Wilt-Leaf. She took control of their leadership and made them instruct their kin to go to one central part of their city. Oona proceeded to murder every elf in that location. She proceeded to absorb their magical energy and grew to be even more powerful than she was on Lorwyn.
Unfortunately for her, Oona’s clone Maralen rallied up an army of her own and confronted Oona. Oona rallied up her loyalists and clashed with Maralen on the battlefield.
Oona was able to repel the invaders and keep her tight grip over Shadowmoor. She would forever be- I’m just kidding, Maralen’s allies managed to sever the connection between Oona and the elves, resulting in the Queen’s loss of power and her death afterward… oops.
After Oona’s death, Shadowmoor transformed back into Lorwyn with Oona’s reign finally ended. Since Maralen had all the memories of Oona and was technically her clone, she became the new queen of the Faeries. Talk about a backfire.
Oona as our General
Oona’s ability suggests that we mill our opponents out of the game to win.
This wouldn’t be a problem in a casual scene with 60-card decks, except we have to mill out 2-3+ other NINTY NINE CARD DECKS! This is nearly impossible without the other players banding together and kicking your life total in.
Instead of using Oona’s ability as the win-con, we’re going to use her like an engine to power some of our other cards.
As stated before, milling out our opponents isn’t going to be as viable as someone would think. However, with the cards below, milling becomes the apparent weapon of choice.
Veteran EDH players know this combo by heart. For those who are new, these two cards create infinite mana. Grand Architect’s second ability turns Pili-Pala blue, which allows it to be tapped by Architect’s third ability. With that two colorless mana floating, you use it to activate Pili-Pala’s ability which untaps itself and adds one colored mana of your choice. You are able to repeat this process an infinite amount of times, granting you any amount of mana that you want. With this combo, you can use Oona’s ability to knock an opponent out of the game as long as you can target them.
I’ve talked about this card in my last EDH article, but I’ll go over it again. Consecrated Sphinx is a creature that will bury your opponents in card advantage if they don’t answer it immediately. This increases your chance of acquiring your other win-cons, counterspells, removal cards, and so on. Pair this with cards like Reliquary Tower and Thought Vessel will garuntee a full hand of answers to your opponent’s strategies.
Oh MAN is Razaketh powerful in this deck?! We’re able to get whatever we want any time at the small cost of life and a creature. If we have a healthy amount of Faeries and we’re about to win with this guy on the battlefield, we are able to tutor up all of our answer cards to stop our opponents’ responses to our march to victory.
This is a Consecrated Sphinx-like card, meaning if you do not answer Razaketh he is going to steal the game from you. The only difference is if he hits the battlefield, your opponents already lost.
Okay, if you have Sudden Spoiling and a follow up you’ll be fine.
I’m putting these three cards next to each other because they follow the same concept: X cost spells that can end the game by killing all your opponents at the same time. This is done more efficiently with the Grand Arbiter/Pili-Pala combo. The weakest card out of the three is definitely Mind Grind because there are effects that can shuffle cards from graveyards back into their decks, such as Elixir of Immortality. Be aware of those cards if you plan on using Mind Grind.
You know what’s scarier than an army of Faeries? An army of Faeries that get beefy when there are other Faeries on the battlefield. Placing this onto the battlefield has the potential to end the game right there and then. Just be wary if you are playing against another tribal deck that would also benefit off of Coat of Arms.
Every card in this category is pretty much your stock cards for EDH non-green mana ramp.
- Basalt Monolith
- Dimir Keyrune
- Dimir Signet
- Grim Monolith
- Mana Crypt
- Mana Vault
- Sol Ring (of course)
- Talisman of Dominance
- Thought Vessel
- Thran Dynamo
- Ashnod’s Altar
However, there’s one that I want to talk more about, and that’s Ashnod’s Altar.
Any token deck that you see will more than likely run this card. Oona is no exception to this idea, because not only are we getting a bunch of tiny creatures for mana but you are able to dump all that colorless mana BACK into Oona’s ability and do it all over again. This allows us to make a nearly infinite combo where you are repeatedly milling your opponent and possibly getting more creatures out of it as many times equal to the amount of colored mana you have access to.
Keeping cards out of the game is a potent effect. Putting an exile effect on a counterspell is even better. This card is included only to fit the theme of the deck.
A card that’s usually “meh” in EDH but slides into our deck nicely. It’s nothing special after it hits the field, but this will more than likely counter anything that is being played as long as you have your army of Faeries on the field.
Now, THIS is insane removal. This Faerie sees play in almost every blue colored EDH deck, but of course, it’s a Faerie, so it goes better in our deck. Getting two Negate abilities that is ready to fire at your whim will force your opponents to play around it, making them sacrifice cards from their hand to Archmage’s ability.
The rest of our removal package is as follows:
- Cryptic Command
- Doom Blade
- Force of Will
- Go for the Throat
- Hero’s Downfall
- Mystic Confluence
- Pact of Negation
While we do run field wipe cards, they do set us back with everyone else. Kindred Dominance is an exception. You choose Faeries, and everything that isn’t one is going to die. There are some non-Faerie cards in our deck, but it is of no concern to Oona.
I debated about which section to put this card in. I ultimately decided this to be a field wipe card in our deck for a few reasons. The first being is Ashnod’s Altar, which combined with Grave Pact wipes out everyone’s creatures equal to the number of Faeries you sacrifice. The other reason is that this a way to our deck to get around indestructible creatures. If another field wipe effect occurs, Grave Pact adds onto it and takes down the indestructible creatures that the other card couldn’t take care of.
As to our other field wipe cards, we run these:
- Cyclonic Rift
- Decree of Pain
- Toxic Deluge
Tutors and Card Draw
Considering that we are out to create an army of Faeries that happen to be both blue and black, it feels like Dire Undercurrents was made for this deck. Sometimes, this enchantment will draw you more cards than Consecrated Sphinx while emptying everyone else’s hand.
- Yes, I am aware that Kindred Discovery exists. This deck wants to be amassing a large number of Faerie tokens, so we don’t want to accidentally empty our deck out. Dire Undercurrents gives us the choice to draw a card while Kindred Discovery forces us to.
The rest of our tutors and card draw is essentially a stock list:
- Sensei’s Divining Top
- Rhystic Studies
- Blue Sun’s Zenith
- Dig Through Time
- Mystical Tutor
- Vampiric Tutor
- Beseech the Queen
- Demonic Tutor
These two cards do the exact same thing: being able to activate Oona’s ability twice for a one time cost. I personally prefer Bracers over Rings in this deck because you are only going to be putting it on Oona herself.
- If you have Razaketh out as well, then Rings become the better choice since it isn’t an equipment.
These two do the EXACT same thing as well, except you can cheat Leyline at the start of the game. Casting your cards at any time you want is an effect that should never be underestimated.
A lot of our cards require us to pay life. When we have our large army of Faeries paired with Whip of Erebos, they will be able to stabilize our life total and allow us to keep paying life for specific abilities. Whip’s second ability doesn’t matter as much as the lifelink ability but could be useful if you have Glen Elendra Archmage in the graveyard and need an emergency answer to something your opponent is doing.
This is a personal favorite of mine because it’s able to generate more mana out of our mana rocks (artifacts that make mana), untap lands, tap down a scary creature an opponent controls, and so on. If you have a deck that uses abilities that requires tapping the permanent the ability comes from, play this card. It doesn’t look like much at first, but you’ll realize how busted it is once you play with it.
The Faeries that you generate from Oona get even scarier if you pump up their power and toughness, even if it’s just by 1 point. However, 1 point can mean the difference between killing your opponent in one swing or not if you have a swarm of these little guys. These cards by themselves can act as pseudo win-cons for the deck if you plan to lower everyone’s life total to zero.
Oona, Queen of the Fae is a general full of mischief and villainy (and possible aggravation from your opponents as their decks slowly empty out). You should play this deck if you like Faeries, milling, and Tribal synergies.
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Article question: how would you build an Oona, Queen of the Fae EDH deck. Leave a comment!
I’ll catch you guys next time!