What’s up all you cool cats and kittens? Ikoria is live online and right around the corner for in store play. I have been taking in the set and have been inspired by all of the Kaiju and other fun goodies that are coming with it. Today isn’t about Godzilla and friends though. Today I want to look at one of our new mythics. Lukka the Tiger King is our newest participant to join the planeswalker party.

Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
Legendary Planeswalker – Lukka
[+1]: Exile the top three cards of your library. Creature cards exiled this way gain “You may cast from exile as long as you control a Lukka planeswalker.”

[-2]: Exile target creature you control, then reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a creature card with higher converted mana cost. Put that card onto the battlefield and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

[-7]: Each creature you control deals damage equal to its power to each opponent.
Starting Loyalty 5

The Coppercoat Outcast has 2 abilities very similar to some other cards we have seen already, but modified just enough to make him stand out. Our +1 is able to hit multiple targets in a single use and thanks to the condition of being able to cast the creatures as long as this Lukka or another Lukka is in play. You get to build a second hard of cards to use the longer he stays in play, working similar to Adventure creatures or Light Up the Stage. His -2 is where things really get interesting. We have seen a lot of decks toy with Polymorph over the years, but one of the biggest drawbacks of polymorph was that it required you to play only spells and creature tokens/creature lands in order to hit your Polymorph target. We also have the condition seen on older powerhouses like Birthing Pod and Vanifar to only select a creature with a slightly higher CMC. Now, with Lukka, we can play low cost creatures that can provide extra utility to the deck.

The Tiger King - Standard

Main Deck (60)
Steam Vents
Stomping Ground
Breeding Pool
Growth Spiral
Arboreal Grazer
Stonecoil Serpent
Hydroid Krasis
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
Voracious Hydra
Nissa, Who Shakes the World
Paradise Druid
Raugrin Triome
End-Raze Forerunners
Zhur-Taa Goblin
Growth-Chamber Guardian

For Standard I was tempted to try something along the lines of the Nissa shells we saw at Mythic Invitationals over the past year. We have creature based mana ramp and Nissa Who Shakes the World. End-Raze Forerunners goes from an eventual “we will get there” backup card into a card you can now put into play for 5 mana whenever needed.

Since we can play creatures it’s important that our highest converted mana cost has a large enough quantity to reliably have one in play for Lukka. In standard I felt this number best to be 2 mana. We have some 1 mana dorks and ramp, but not the same quality in older formats to reliably go from 1-mana creature to 3-mana creature. In Pioneer or Modern this is much more likely to be the plan, but what if we lower the curve?

The Tiger King - Pioneer

Main Deck (60)
Arboreal Grazer
Atarka’s Command
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
Dragonmaster Outcast
Elvish Mystic
End-Raze Forerunners
Fire Prophecy
Frenzied Goblin
Legion Loyalist
Llanowar Elves
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
Mistcutter Hydra
Rootbound Crag
Stomping Ground
Temple of Abandon
Sideboard (15)
Dragonlord Atarka
Heroic Intervention
Hornet Queen
Leyline of Combustion
Pithing Needle
Soul-Guide Lantern
Vivien Reid

First stop is seeing how hard we can push the 1 mana creatures. Pioneer provides us with the 8-elf package and some other choice pieces for ramp. I kept Arboreal Grazer because it gets some added backup from Atarka’s Command and the hidden 4th mode that is oft forgotten. We have Mistcutter Hydra over Stonecoil Serprent for some haste in our mana sink and the nice “can’t be countered” clause. 3 Mana Chandra let’s us get more bodies for Pain Bacon, and the pair of goblins, Frenzied and Loyalist, help to reduce any good blocks your opponent may have had.

Tiger King - Modern

Main Deck (60)
Arbor Elf
Blood Moon
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Goblin Rabblemaster
Karplusan Forest
Legion Warboss
Lightning Bolt
Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast
Magus of the Moon
Raging Ravine
Simian Spirit Guide
Stomping Ground
Utopia Sprawl
Windswept Heath
Wooded Foothills
Sideboard (15)
Dragon’s Claw
Eidolon of the Great Revel
Guttural Response
Scavenging Ooze

In Modern we can really push for a good set of quality 3 drops to ramp into and then Lukka minus. Here we have the 8-Rabble package along with a full playset of Magus of the Moon. Can you blame me though? Modern is still in an interesting place and I love a good Blood Moon effect against most decks without Astrolabe. For Lukka we have 2 choices in Modern. Craterhoof Behemoth is a strict upgrade to End-Raze Runners for a go wide plan. I want to try that as well, but to start we are going with Mom-Spaghetti herself. Emrakul, the Aeons Torn can come into play as early as turn 2 in this list.

I’m looking forward to seeing how our new Tiger King will find his footing in the coming months.