4C Yorion: Raw value, maximum efficiency

Midrange deck designed for the MTG Arena Timeless format.

Posted by on December 15, 2023 4C Yorion: Raw value, maximum efficiency

4C Yorion: Raw value, maximum efficiency

The timeless 4C Yorion is inspired by the modern 4C Yorion. The deck is designed for Best-Of-3 and is best described as a midrange deck. The deck is built around Teferi, Time Raveler, Expressive Iteration, Brainstorm, Lightning Bolt, and Counterspell. In addition, Timeless 4C Yorion plays pure value engines in the form of Deathrite Shaman, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, Oko, Thief of Crowns, Omnath, Ragavan, and The One Ring. All in all, Timeless 4C Yorion is completely trimmed for efficiency and value.

Game Plan

In the early game, the deck has a two-pronged strategy. One is to ramp with Deathrite Shaman, Utopia Sprawl, Ragavan, Nimble Pirate, or Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath. On the other hand, Expressive Iteration and Brainstorm should be used to look for turn 3 and 4 plays with appropriate protection in the form of Oko, Teferi, Omnath. After that, the game plan is to control the board and resources until the opponent’s Life Points are reduced to zero.

The deck plays differently depending on the opponent’s deck. Post-board games can be very different from pre-board games due to the information gained from the other deck in pre-board games. Good anticipation in pre-board games could reward game plan adjustments, but comes with the risk of being too slow.

Against aggro, defense is the focus for the first few turns until appropriate responses take over. Especially early on, you need to pay attention to the proper sequencing of your lands. It is better to play removal and creatures than card advantage for the first three turns. It can be beneficial to fetch basic lands for untapped mana without paying life. Ragavan, Nimble Pirate, and Deathrite Shaman can be used as blockers. While life is a resource, it is also finite.

Against midrange and Tempo, it’s more of a battle for board presence and resources, which can be fought with Ragavan, Deathrite Shaman, Lightning Bolt, Counterspell, and Leyline Binding, and won with Oko and Teferi.

Against Control, on the other hand, the game plan is overrun with value. Control plays a limited arsenal of counters and removals that should never be underestimated. Any permissive spells or removal forced early on will give later answers breathing room to stay on the board for several turns and play to their strengths. An early Teferi nullifies opponent’s Approval spells and slows the game, and is usually the best play against Control.

The game plan against combo is as variable as the combo decks themselves. But you should always focus on the combo enablers. If you can eliminate them, a combo deck’s Plan B is usually easy to defeat - but should never be considered an easy or automatic win.

Temur Creativity at Moxfield

Cards That Did Not Make the Cut (Yet)

In the first version of the deck, I decided against a few supposed auto-includes.

Swords to Plowshares is one of the best spot removals against creatures on its own. However, Swords to Plowshares has to give way to Lightning Bolt because of its versatility. Lightning Bolt just has a lot more targets. At this point, I am not opposed to Swords to Plowshares in general, but in the current chaotic Timeless meta, I think Lightning Bolt is the better choice.

The choice of Mana Acceleration is a bit different. This deck would actually be a good place for Delighted Halfling or Gilded Goose, but the deck should be as effective and efficient as possible in every phase. A late Mana Dork brings no real advantage. Especially in the later stages of the game, the deck should be defending its board position, and Delighted Halfling and Gilded Goose just simply are unable to do that in this deck right now. That’s why I decided against them.

No Risen Reef. In Historic and Modern, the synergies of Elemental-based decks were amazing contenders. In Timeless, there are too few very good Elements at the moment, and there are also far too many good alternatives in the same slots. That being said, an Elemental version without Yorion is a possibility, but how well it can position itself in the meta is a different question.


Timeless 4C Yorion has the potential to dominate a game early on. It brings a lot of versatile pre- and post-board tools. 4C Yorion can adapt to the meta in the long run. However, it needs to have the right answers for the matchup or things can get dicey. Early hand disruption from Rakdos Arcanist, an early Blood Moon, or an efficient Izzet tempo can mean game over very quickly.