The big hippo is winning big right now

Keruga Jeskai Fires is MTGA's most popular deck

Keruga Jeskai Fires

The old Jeskai Fires deck benefits greatly from Keruga. (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

The first MagicFest Online is over and the results are in. Day 1 featured 466 of some of the best that the game has to offer, and 23.4% used Keruga the Macrosage in a Jeskai Fires build.

How Keruga Jeskai Fires works

Before the release of Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths, Jeskai Fires was already a dominant build inside MTG Arena. It takes advantage of Fires of Invention to cheat Cavalier of Flame or Kenrith, the Returned King on the battlefield, ideally on turn five, and have the mana available to activate their abilities right away.

What the results of MagicFest Online show, though, is that this deck is now significantly stronger with the introduction of Companions to the game, namely Keruga, the Macrosage. The big hippo’s deck-building restriction of only including cards with converted mana cost (CMC) 3 or higher is extremely easy to achieve and the payoff is massive, pun intended. The big guys guarantee a solid play on turn five – something the deck thrives on – and the card draw he brings is a welcome addition. The best advantage is that playing Bonecrusher Giant early allows for a good early game (hehe!) despite the deck’s heavier mana curve.

Deck composition

By this point, you probably don’t need much convincing to trying the deck out. If it works for a quarter of the pro players, it will surely work for the Planeswalkers at home. Here’s what you need:


3x Bonecrusher Giant
3x Cavalier Of Flame
2x Kenrith, The Returned King
4x Teferi, Time Raveler
4x Narset, Parter Of Veils
3x Narset Of The Ancient Way
3x Deafening Clarion
3x Elspeth Conquers Death
4x Shark Typhoon
4x Fires Of Invention

2x Castle Vantress
4x Fabled Passage
4x Hallowed Fountain
2x Island
2x Mountain
1x Plains
4x Raugrin Triome
4x Steam Vents
4x Sacred Foundry


1x Bonecrusher Giant
1x Elspeth Conquers Death
4x Mystical Dispute
1x Deafening Clarion
2x Flame Sweep
1x Neutralize
1x Keruga, The Macrosage
3x Mythos Of Illuna
1x Blast Zone

Other notable decks from the MagicFest Online include Yorion, Sky Nomad, Temur Reclamation, and Rakdos Sacrifice. For more info on these, as well as deck techs, stay tuned to the MTGA section right here, on EarlyGame!

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