The Case of the Damnable Pact Discard’ by Tobiwan Decobi
CORNER CASE #2
Long ago… well, about a year ago… in the mists of time mono black was not just a thing, it was ‘the’ thing. Fleeting visions of that dark time still haunt my memory – Whip back Gary for seven, Demons flying around as 5/5’s for three, [card]Nightveil Specters[/card] that went from forgotten, decrepit, dusty trading folder fodder to nightmares that created enemies in your own deck.
After a brief early flirtation with this is an Enchantment heavy Gary devotion deck my soul soon succumbed to its charms, just in time for it to go out of fashion. Then the infatuation twisted, like some infernally humongous [card]Consuming Aberration[/card], into a deep rooted dark love of Discard. It occupies the same shadowy realm of my heart that loves Eva Green, The Cramps and telling my kids stories about Vampires in their attic.
In recent months Magic had evolved into a battle against monsters of unholy power and cost. Maddened by the decadence and luxury of 4/4 flyers for 4 mana with only upsides I had tried meet these challenges stoically, with unwavering conviction. Slowly this extravagance began to erode at my hope. Concoctions of the creature few variety were scarce among the denizens of the local gaming establishment.
Even I had tried my hand at making [card]Myth Realised[/card] with nothing but an never ending array of counterspells, wraths and draw spells but alas even [card]Narset, Transcendent[/card] drawing me six cards with rebounded [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]s could not save me. Milling had been forgotten, idly it had skulked off and been forgotten. ‘How could I amuse myself thusly?’ I though. Prospects were dark. Then I remembered my dark and unfathomable power of the discard.
Funds were low, I had sold a large portion of my soul for some [card]Waste Not[/card]’s yet these would not be the engine of the misery I was to evoke. Then came [card]The Damnable Pact[/card]. Proving to be a quick favourite of myself due to it‘s habit of winning me games in Limited. ‘How can I abuse this treasure of darkness?’ I pondered. Then it came to me one dusky night as the moon brushed the clouds… Offered in a combination with [card]Fate Unraveler[/card] it seemed a portal of demonic evil that my enshrouded heart was unable to resist.
A plan was forged, Discard being a legitimate way to deny your opponent their multitude of high priced bombs through their quick entry to the graveyard from their hand. I would need creatures to keep the evil hoards at bay. [card]Black Cat[/card]s and [card]Mardu Skullhunter[/card]s were quickly commandeered, cheap lackies, sworthy workmen that can cause confusion and mayhem in my opponents ranks while clogging up the ground.
Once a heroic deck using [card]Ashiok’s Adept[/card] some of this incarnation was maintained with Agent of the Fates for some removal. Other sacrifices would no doubt have to be made with [card]Merciless Executioner[/card] and [card]Foul Tongued Invocation[/card]. Then, once The Hag has been unleashed, and their life total is low, we allow them the cards they sorely desire for the price of death. The [card]Damnable Pact[/card] and [card]Sign in Blood[/card], which is also useful as a draw for myself, would be used to compete the deal.
In the board I hoped their Rabblemasters and weenies would [card]Drown in Sorrow[/card]. [card]Agent of Erebos[/card] proved a fine bomb against graveyard based strategies in my early experiments in the lab.
What I came up with was as follows:
2 Radiant Fountain
4 Black Cat
2 Mardu Skullhunter
3 Agent of the Fates
2 Merciless Excectioner
3 Fate Unraveller
2 Boon of Erebos
2 Molten Snakeskin
4 Waste Not
3 Sign in Blood
4 Mind Rot
2 Foul Tongued Invocation
1 Palace Siege
2 Murderous Cut
2 Damnable Pact[/deck]
[deck]3 Typhoid Rats
3 Ultimate Price
3 Drown in Sorrow
2 Agent of Erebos
2 Dark Deal
2 Gurmag Angler[/deck]
Match 1 – Dromoka Ramp
An early flurry of [card]Elvish Mystic[/card]s and [card]Whisperer of the Wild[/card]s, along with some sturdy early support ebb away at my life total. My turn 4 [card]Fate Unraveller[/card]s holds down the fort though and I am presented with a Pact and Sign in Blood. My hand is full when [card]Dromoka, the Eternal[/card] lands. After several cheeky attacks leave my opponent ripe for the double whammy of Sign in Blood and Damnable Pact with Fate Unraveller on the table and he ends up dead being from nowhere.
Game 2 is much more simple, I remove my opponents hand with two early [card]Mind Rot[/card]s, then his board by enchanting an unresolved Agent of the Fates with [card]Scourgemark[/card]s and [card]Molten Snakeskin[/card]s, then his life total. 1-0.
Match 2 – Mono red Dragon burn
Seeking revenge for last weeks defeat there is a chill of foreboding as I sit down for my second match. My fears seem to be founded as my opponents relentless burn combined with cheap creatures gets me down to 4. A timely [card]Palace Siege[/card] saves my behind though and when I begin drawing into my sacrifice cards the tables are quickly turned as opponent is out of gas and leaving his [card]Chandra, the Firebrand[/card] exposed. A superfluous amount of mana in the late game allows me to Damnable Pact for 9 and the win. I have four Waste Not’s, wasting a lot, in play.
Game 2 takes much the same tone as game 2 in match one. I am able to protect my [card]Agent of the Fates[/card] with a [card]Boon of Erebos[/card] for a timely two for one getting rid of his [card]Monestary Swiftspear[/card]. 2-0
Match 3 – Atarka Rabble
An agreeable opponent soon turns into a harbinger of terrible things the Rabble eats away at any early foothold I am able to get and then one after another Thunder (..break Regent) and Storm (…breath Dragon) descend. The night sky has gone dark and not just outside. My soul shudders at the oncoming wrath of flyers blotting out the moon. Despite creating an army of Zombies via x2 Waste Nots, my dark hoards are unable to stem the bleeding and a painful (due to the Regent) [card]Murderous Cut[/card] to my opponents [card]Stormbreath Dragon[/card] just leads to another being played next turn.
Liliana and The Swampy Gods are not smiling on me in game 2. Due to lack of land I have to mull to 5 – 3 land, 2 spells – then draw four straight land and flood out, capitulating meekly. I scurry into the night, my deathless run abandoned. 2-1
Match 4 – Coco Deathmo Aggro Combo
My early Mind Rot releases two [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card]’s into my opponents bin. [card]Den Protector[/card] flips and gets them back, naturally I lose. My mood blackens. I forget to side in the Drown in Sorrows I have added to the sideboard.
In game 2 I am able to put up more of a fight, getting rid of my opponents hand and holding down the ground nicely. Alas, my unconscious wish for further torment is quickly answered and a timely [card]Dromoka’s Command[/card] removes both my Agent of Fates and Waste Not and despite an Agent of Erebos exiling a few Deathmist Raptors from his graveyard I can do little to resist. A malady of the night encompasses my vision and I make swiftly for the nearest late night inn of the damned. 2-2
I retire back to my abode asking Liliana for her mercy and forgiveness, promising I will add her, along with [card]Thunderbreak Regent[/card]s and [card]Kologhan’s Command[/card]s to my next incarnation of this horror. She smiles from the top shelf of DVD’s, thanks me for the kebab I have provided and says ‘Do not trouble yourself with reflection consort, we are bound now. I shall return and I shall be destined for you specifically, and shall forever be in you pull whenever you are in sealed or draft…’. I heed her call and with little trepidation I wait to see what Origins brings. Lo and behold, it was glorious….
If there are any corner case rares you’d like to see (attempt to) be played, please feel free to send me some suggestions. I shall take them under advisement, ponder them in a darkened room, have a needed large dose of Absinthe and then possibly subject myself to the inevitable losses and scorn of my fellow FNM-ers.
Community Question: What is your go-to deck archetype?
Till next time.