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Thread: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

  1. #1

    BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    I had previously made a 4-colour control deck featuring the card [card]Demonic Pact[/card], which acts as both a value engine and as a wincondition when donated to the opponent with [card]Harmless Offering[/card]. War of the Spark and Modern Horizons both provide what I think are significant upgrades to the deck:


    4 Ice-Fang Coatl
    1 Blizzard Strix
    1 Genesis
    1 Eternal Witness

    4 Arcum's Astrolabe

    4 Thoughtseize
    1 Collective Brutality
    1 Maelstrom Pulse
    2 Spring // Mind
    1 Dead of Winter
    1 Mastermind's Acquisition
    4 Bring to Light

    1 Fatal Push
    1 Abrupt Decay
    1 Assassin's Trophy
    1 Pulse of Murasa
    1 Gifts Ungiven
    2 Cryptic Command

    2 Teferi, Time Raveler

    4 Demonic Pact

    4 Prismatic Vista
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Snow-Covered Island
    2 Snow-Covered Swamp
    1 Snow-Covered Forest
    1 Snow-Covered Plains
    1 Watery Grave
    1 Hallowed Fountain
    1 Breeding Pool
    1 Overgrown Tomb
    1 Godless Shrine
    1 Temple Garden
    1 Lumbering Falls

    Sideboard
    1 Harmless Offering
    1 Knowledge Pool



    Significant changes from the previous build are the removal of some land, removal, and the Worldly Counsel for 4 Coatl and 4 Astrolabe. Astrolabe provides helpful manafixing and cycles for a cheap cost, and also helps to enable fast deathtouch on the coatl, which seems like a pretty good "fair magic" card to be playing. All these new things cantrip so we should still have enough velocity to find lands and the combo even without some copies of Worldly Counsel.

    Another change is the shift in splash colour from red to white and cutting 2 Cryptic for 2 Teferi. Teferi can reset the Demonic Pact by itself and it also protects the donate combo from counters. You can bounce your own Coatl or Astrolabe if you need to. It also lets thoughtseize/BTL be played at instant speed and enables a new combo out of the sideboard ([BTL ->] masterminds acquisition -> Knowledge Pool).

    Genesis seems great in fair matchups with Coatl, you can set it up in your graveyard using Gifts Piles with Collective Brutality and lets you recursively return anything with Eternal Witness. Witness -> return Teferi -> Bounce Witness also seems like a decent combo.

    Blizzard Strix is a fun-of, flash-Flickerwisp can reset Demonic Pact or protect Teferi or just cantrip, can attack a PW or do a lot of different things.

    Feel free to make any suggestions (especially if you have any interesting Wish Targets)

  2. #2
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    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    First of all, I fucking LOVE it.
    Second, I don't care what anyone else says, this is the best use of Prismatic Vista ever.
    Third, I think you may need to cut Cryptic for more early interaction. Cryptic is great and all but it doesn't matter if you don't live that long. And your current list will not live that long against most of the format.
    Last, your only access to your primary wincon (Harmless Offering) is via 1 card and your only access to red mana to cast said wincon is via Arcum's Astrolabe? Both of these decisions seem a little shaky IMO. Still, I suppose that's the price you pay for incredible shenanigans. A reliable backup wincon would be nice. Maybe a 1-of Grave Titan?
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  3. #3

    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirrislegend View Post
    First of all, I fucking LOVE it.
    Second, I don't care what anyone else says, this is the best use of Prismatic Vista ever.
    Third, I think you may need to cut Cryptic for more early interaction. Cryptic is great and all but it doesn't matter if you don't live that long. And your current list will not live that long against most of the format.
    Last, your only access to your primary wincon (Harmless Offering) is via 1 card and your only access to red mana to cast said wincon is via Arcum's Astrolabe? Both of these decisions seem a little shaky IMO. Still, I suppose that's the price you pay for incredible shenanigans. A reliable backup wincon would be nice. Maybe a 1-of Grave Titan?
    Yeah the only way to play Harmless Offering is through Astrolabe + Mastermind (you have BTL to find it), but you can also grind out the opponent and win with random beats (Strix/Coatl/Manland) + repeatedly shooting your opponent with pact for 4
    I still want to have at least 1 Cryptic because
    1) Good with witness
    2) Bounces pact
    3) Having some counters seems like good insurance against opponent's topdecks

    But I could see trimming down to 1? With Teferi giving BTL flash you arguably have 5 virtual copies of it anyway.
    I agree the deck doesn't have too much early interaction but 4 Coatl 4 Thoughtseize (plus brutality and a smattering of removal) seem ok
    As long as you can survive the first few turns then Demonic Pact does a lot of work in terms of disruption.
    I agree the deck wants some kind of finisher creature for the SB, maybe Lyra? The old version of the deck had the Experiment/Plat Emperion combo but it was pretty clunky (and doesn't work with Astrolabe at all). Maybe this kind of card would be better maindeck than BlizzardStrix/Genesis but I like focusing on the attrition plan and having ways to interact with Pact.

    Is Blizzard Strix just worse than God Eternal Bontu then? Maybe
    Last edited by kombatkiwi; 06-27-2019 at 04:13 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    Is Blizzard Strix just worse than God Eternal Bontu then? Maybe
    Pauper all-star Ghostly Flicker is an option, but if you want a creature I think you are stuck with Flickerwisp and its double-white demand.

    Your biggest issue is the current metagame really, Hogaak Bridgevine is warping the format currently and demands fast graveyard hate/incidental answers to Bridge from Below to stand a chance against it.

  5. #5
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    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    I've been running a Bring to Light Gifts control list with Unburial Rites combo, so somewhat different than this list, but the one thing that you should also have is Niv-Mizzet Reborn. Hitting 5 colors isn't too hard for your Bring to Light with the Astrolabes and just being a 6/6 flier is going to be enough in most cases to find him (potentially grabbing 3 cards isn't bad either!). I'd also run 1 more Damnation-style card so you can Gifts for Eternal Witness + Dead of Winter + Damnation + X and always guarantee you'd be able to get your Wrath effect back. It's a lot of mana to E Wit into Damnation but it's a surprisingly relevant top deck play I have to make. That's more of a concern with multiple Gifts but I think it's still worth it, especially in the current metagame.

    I'm guessing by July 8th we're going to see something in Hogaak banned, that deck is so absurdly powerful and can easily blast its way through even a couple sideboard cards. My guess is they don't want to ban Hogaak or any other new toy from Modern Horizons, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Faithless Looting taking the hit. It enables every currently absurdly powerful starting turn in Modern.

  6. #6

    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    Ghostly Flicker is out of the question because it can't target enchantments.

    Unburial Rites could be a SB option maybe, or it could replace Genesis.

    I looked at the Izzet Reborn decks but I think the decklist needs to be warped way too much to accommodate it
    Here I have
    UW: 2 Teferi
    UG: 4 BTL 4 Coatl 2 Spring//Mind
    BG: 1 Maelstrom Pulse 1 Decay 1 Trophy
    And that's it
    So at most we can hit 3 cards
    If you want to add Niv Reborn then you're adding a WUBRG card which is difficult to cast, and to make it worth it you would probably need to replace thoughtseize with castigates/thought erasure and swap out some of the removal and other spells for other cards that are a) harder to cast and/or b) worse. If I want to BTL for some generic card advantage that also helps to put something on the board then I can BTL for Gifts and get Brutality/Genesis/Witness/Coatl or something along those lines.

    If I want to gifts for exactly Dead of Winter I can get Witness/Dead of Winter/Pulse of Murasa/X
    Also I'm much more likely to draw BTL than Gifts with the 4/1 split so can BTL for DOW directly most of the time (or BTL -> Mastermind -> Damnation out of the sideboard if that's needed)

    Idk if they will ban looting due to its role in so many other decks, if Hogaak is too good (which it almost seems to be) then I think they will ban Bridge from Below

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    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    Quote Originally Posted by kombatkiwi View Post
    So at most we can hit 3 cards
    If you want to add Niv Reborn then you're adding a WUBRG card which is difficult to cast, and to make it worth it you would probably need to replace thoughtseize with castigates/thought erasure and swap out some of the removal and other spells for other cards that are a) harder to cast and/or b) worse. If I want to BTL for some generic card advantage that also helps to put something on the board then I can BTL for Gifts and get Brutality/Genesis/Witness/Coatl or something along those lines.
    My deck can only hit 3 cards off of Niv as well, but "only hit 3 cards" is kind of an insanely advantageous phrase when you're just casting a Bring to Light that gives you a 6/6 flier in addition to those cards. I understand everyone wants to get super mega 8+ card advantage off of Niv, but you don't need to warp your deck around him for him to be good (a common mistake decks are currently making). You don't have to change your deck at all to make your BtL giving you +2 cards and a 6/6 flier "worth it". BtL for an incredibly slow clock like Witness/Coatl/Genesis/Brutality isn't nearly the same. At best you take a couple turns to assemble 3 power with that, whereas for a single card added Niv gives you a substantial clock. Modern as a format right now has way too powerful top decks to allow control decks to sit back and coast on card advantage.

  8. #8

    Re: BTL Gifts Pact Updated for WAR/MH1

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix Ignition View Post
    My deck can only hit 3 cards off of Niv as well, but "only hit 3 cards" is kind of an insanely advantageous phrase when you're just casting a Bring to Light that gives you a 6/6 flier in addition to those cards. I understand everyone wants to get super mega 8+ card advantage off of Niv, but you don't need to warp your deck around him for him to be good (a common mistake decks are currently making). You don't have to change your deck at all to make your BtL giving you +2 cards and a 6/6 flier "worth it". BtL for an incredibly slow clock like Witness/Coatl/Genesis/Brutality isn't nearly the same. At best you take a couple turns to assemble 3 power with that, whereas for a single card added Niv gives you a substantial clock. Modern as a format right now has way too powerful top decks to allow control decks to sit back and coast on card advantage.
    I get what you're saying but I don't think a 6/6 on turn 4 or 5 tips the scales in your favour against these decks

    After testing this deck it was overall way too clunky.
    The mana is very bad and the deck is too slow with not enough early interaction.
    I don't think BTL is playable unless you have a powerplay off it that requires minimal/no setup (and Niv by itself doesn't really count, you need some kind of scapeshift-style or kiki-combo instawin).
    Demonic Pact is close to playable but it's probably too slow for modern.
    I think I'm going to abandon this deck and look at the BUG Nexus/Reclamation lists.

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