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Thread: Cat Pact Fever

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    Cat Pact Fever

    'Cat Pact' was the name given to a combo/control deck that was briefly in Standard, from when Eldritch Moon was released until Origins rotated when Kaladesh was printed. The deck used Demonic Pact to control the board and generate advantage, and then when it only had the final option remaining you either bounce it with some sort of Echoing Truth effect to replay it again later for more value, or use Harmless Offering (hence the 'Cat' in the deck name) to donate it to the opponent - at which point they are forced to choose the 4th option in their upkeep and lose the game.

    In modern I want to try this in a shell built around Bring to Light, similar to the BTL Scapeshift decks. Playing many Donate in your deck is not very good and you aren't sad about using BTL to play a 3 drop spell because it wins the game anyway

    Pros compared to Scapeshift:
    - "Play a bunch of ramp then play BTL to win the game" is not as good as "Play Pact then play BTL to win the game" in the sense that Divination + Warleaders Helix + Mind Rot is much better value for 4 mana than Hunting Wilds or whatever (it actually helps you draw cards to find the Bring to Light, for starters, then shoot down a creature to live longer, mind rot to disrupt the opponent and help your key spell resolve).
    Cons compared to Scapeshift:
    - The deck is not as threat dense (or not as 'redundant', however you want to think about it) because once you ramp into 7 lands playing BTL is GG, or playing Scapeshift is GG, but with Pact you have to actually draw the Pact and then find BTL/donate as well

    List:

    // 60 Maindeck
    // 2 Creature
    1 Snapcaster Mage
    1 Elusive Tormentor

    // 4 Enchantment
    4 Demonic Pact

    // 17 Instant
    4 Cryptic Command
    4 Remand
    2 Abrupt Decay
    1 Electrolyze
    2 Worldly Counsel
    2 Fatal Push
    1 Wipe Away
    1 Careful Consideration

    // 24 Land
    3 Island
    2 Swamp
    1 Forest
    1 Mountain
    1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
    4 Misty Rainforest
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Stomping Ground
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Blood Crypt
    1 Steam Vents
    4 Verdant Catacombs
    1 Lumbering Falls
    1 Sunken Ruins

    // 13 Sorcery
    4 Bring to Light
    1 Harmless Offering
    1 Damnation
    1 Maelstrom Pulse
    2 Thoughtseize
    2 Search for Tomorrow
    2 Inquisition of Kozilek


    // 7 Sideboard

    // 2 Creature
    SB: 1 Obstinate Baloth
    SB: 1 Platinum Emperion

    // 5 Sorcery
    SB: 1 Shatterstorm
    SB: 1 Crumble to Dust
    SB: 1 Slaughter Games
    SB: 1 Madcap Experiment
    SB: 1 Persecute

    The main shell of the deck was borrowed from Devon Smith's BTL Scapeshift deck from GP Brisbane because I know that he plays that deck religiously and I think he should have a reasonable idea of how the deck is supposed to look

    Remand and Cryptic are very good with Pact. Remand delaying the game is great because in the meantime you will get upkeep triggers. In addition to Cryptic being generally very strong it also can bounce Pact back to your hand (and the fog mode does the same thing in terms of accumulating upkeep triggers).

    I am only playing 2 Search for Tomorrow as ramp because while having some assistance to fix colors and get to 4 mana is good, unlike the Scapeshift version there's no real reason to want 7+ lands in play. I still play 2 Worldly Counsel because Impulse is a pretty strong card that these 4 color control decks are uniquely positioned to take advantage of (digs deep to help assemble the 'combo').

    I wanted 1 Slot as a "BTL for Card Advantage" option, hence Careful Consideration. Concentrate or Ancestral Vision would also be ok (I think these are probably better than Compulsive Research or Steam Augury but let me know if you think of something else)

    I also wanted 1 slot as a "BTL for some kind of game-winning threat" option, and I went with Elusive Tormentor. All the Hexproof/Indestructible/Evasion seems like exactly what I am looking for (the other choice could be something like Reaper of the Wilds or Thrun, or maybe Kalitas, but the shroud is really important when you have no other creatures because without it whatever you put into play will probably just die immediately). I don't think there is an instant or sorcery option that functions as a similar game-ending threat for 4 mana or less. (Startled Awake is a cute idea but suffers from the same problem of being a path to exile magnet).

    One Wipe Away just to have an un-interactable way to save yourself from your own Pact (especially important as while BTL is certainly counterable, going BTL into Wipe Away dodges Spell Queller which has been gaining popularity lately).

    I thought about playing Madcap Experiment maindeck with Platinum Angel as the target as a 4/4 flying threat that protects you from Pacts, but again, it suffers from the same problem of being the only creature and therefore a huge removal magnet. It or Emperion could still be a good consideration for the sideboard.

    The rest of the deck is just generic interactive cards. A selection of BTL bullets are shown as possible sideboard options. The mana is okay but getting more than UUUBBRG is probably too hard hence why nothing with double red or green (e.g. I probably wouldn't want to play Anger of the Gods or Eternal Witness because I think the mana just isn't good enough). I don't normally play decks with very complex manabases so feel free to make any suggestions here.

    Edit: Spring // Mind might be better than search for tomorrow if we instead plan to play a Discard spell on turn 1 as the aftermath half is very powerful as insurance against flooding out.
    Last edited by kombatkiwi; 08-22-2017 at 12:18 PM.

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