Under Siege 2: The Siegening

Posted in Top Decks on January 2, 2015

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

At this point, I assume I am going to preview whatever the best siege-related card is in each set. I got Siege Rhino when Khans came out, and now that Fate Reforged previews have started, it's time for Citadel Siege. Here, the siege itself is what I'm looking at, instead of the thing doing the sieging, which is what Siege Rhino was.

Have I said "siege" enough times yet? There will be a few more instances this article, I can promise you that, but the least I can do is show you the card itself:

This card has a lot of the qualities I look for in a card. It's powerful, flexible, has an effect right away, and has the word "siege" on it (the last one is a relatively recent requirement, but I'm sticking to it).

I think you choose Dragons more often than Khans with this card, which isn't a huge surprise given that Dragons are awesome. By choosing Dragons, you get to blank your opponent's best attacker each turn, and it even works if you are on the offensive by preventing blocking. Assuming this sticks around, which is a safe assumption given that it's an enchantment, it will trade for a card even if your opponent has a bunch of removal spells. It also synergizes quite nicely with End Hostilities or Anger of the Gods, forcing the opponent to overcommit into your sweeper, which has been a combo in Magic since the dawn of time:

Signing up for a removal spell every turn is a very safe way to go, but there is merit in choosing Khans as well. The main advantage in choosing Khans is that you get the effect right away. Playing Citadel Siege to make your Siege Rhino (because why not) attack past your opponent's is a solid life swing and gets out of control very quickly. Making one of your creatures bigger each turn requires more from your draw, as you need both creatures to pump and ways to deal with opponents' creatures, but in a good draw it will end the game much faster than if you chose Dragons. It's vulnerable to your opponent stringing a bunch of removal spells together and leaving you with a solitary Siege, but it has a higher reward if your opponent isn't able to do so. Plus, you opted in to that scenario, and playing this for the Dragons side is always the answer if it isn't clear which is going to turn out best.

The four-drop slot has a lot of competition in Standard right now, with Siege Rhinos, Sidisis, Whip of Ereboses, and Butcher of the Hordes all running (or flying) around, but Citadel Siege dodges almost every removal spell and can trade for whatever your opponent's best creature is. It has an aggressive element to it as well, which makes me want to add it to a deck that plays both offense and defense—a deck like Mardu Midrange:

Mardu Midrange

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Imagine playing a turn-three Goblin Rabblemaster, after which your Abzan opponent plays a turn-three Siege Rhino. You then play Citadel Siege, choose Khans, make your Rabblemaster a 4/4, and attack with a now-6/4 Rabblemaster and two 1/1 Goblin tokens. Your opponent either has to trade Rhino for Rabblemaster or take a ton of damage and have to deal with a giant Rabblemaster the turn after. If he or she does trade, you then threaten to grow your tokens each turn, and if you have a Chained to the Rocks or Murderous Cut for the follow-up Rhino (because there always is a follow-up Rhino), you will be in great shape. Playing Siege with a Seeker of the Way out also sounds great just by itself, and the card can do much more than that.

Citadel Siege | Art by Steve Belledin

In games where you don't curve out, Citadel Siege can lock down the opponent's best creature while you get your Planeswalkers going or find the proper removal spells. This deck transitions into the control role easily, and Citadel Siege only helps that transition.

This isn't the only deck that could play Citadel Siege, and regardless of whether you choose Khans or Dragons, this is a card that provides a lot of value.


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