I don’t know why or when I started breaking conventions. Maybe I was a troublemaker as a kid. Maybe I was rebellious as a teenager. Maybe I am a wild man. Maybe it started as an excuse to be alone.
I have always felt that if I copy the group, I will only get as far as the group. I don’t necessarily want to pass the group, or think I can do things better than the group, but I always want to at least explore the alternatives. Sometimes I come back, but sometimes I find that it’s nice out here, and the only reason the group hasn’t been out here is because nobody knows about it.
Obviously this has been my thing in Magic. Going rogue. Doing things different for the sake of being different. That’s how it starts. But a surprising amount of time, it ends with WINNING.
This past week I have been rocking a wild [card]Omniscience[/card] deck online that came to me through reader Derek Adams. It started for fun. It started as a way to do something different. But along the way, there has been a whole lot of WINNING.
[card]Epic Experiment[/card] was just that, an [card]Epic Experiment[/card]. This deck is similarly outlandish, but the main difference is that this deck wins. My Magic Online rating is almost 300 points higher with this deck.
As far as I can tell, the main reason that this deck has not seen play is… it has not yet EXISTED! If the group doesn’t know about it, the group can’t work with it. Well, the group has now found it. Outlandish diversion is becoming mainstream.
OMNIDOOR THRAGFIRE Picture Gallery
The pictures you are about to see are hard to believe, but they are part of an average week in the office of Travis Woo. Let’s begin!
Now that everybody’s mouth is watering, let’s take a look at the deck list:
2 Glacial Fortress
3 Hallowed Fountain
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
2 Overgrown Tomb
4 Hinterland Harbor
1 Steam Vents
1 Alchemist's Refuge
1 Kessig Wolf Run
3 Chromatic Lantern
4 Ranger's Path
4 Supreme Verdict
1 Door to Nothingness
2 Gilded Lotus
4 Increasing Ambition
2 Sphinx's Revelation
2 Temporal Mastery
1 Angel of Serenity
1 Nicol Bolas, planeswalker
4 Centaur Healer
1 Planar Cleansing
1 Temporal Mastery
2 Sphinx's Revelation[/deck]
The deck stalls with [card]Fog[/card], [card]Supreme Verdict[/card], [card]Thragtusk[/card], and [card]Terminus[/card]. It ramps hard with [card]Farseek[/card], [card]Chromatic Lantern[/card], [card]Ranger's Path[/card], and [card]Gilded Lotus[/card]. It refuels with [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card]. It finds the missing pieces with [card]Increasing Ambition[/card]. And then—all hell breaks loose.
[card]Omniscience[/card] hits play. [card nicol bolas, planeswalker]Nicol Bolas[/card] hits play. [card]Griselbrand[/card] hits play. Cards are drawn. [card]Increasing Ambition[/card] finds [card]Temporal Mastery[/card]. An extra turn begins. A massive [card]Griselbrand[/card] swings with a [card]Kessig Wolf Run[/card] pump. [card]Increasing Ambition[/card] is flashed back to find another [card]Temporal Mastery[/card] and a [card]Door to Nothingness[/card]. Another extra turn begins. [card nicol bolas, planeswalker]Nicol Bolas[/card] ultimates. “Really?” The opponent asks. “Really?”
And then we shut the door in our opponent’s face.
That is the game 1 script. Let’s talk about specific matchups and how to sideboard for them:
Vs. Dirty Red/Rakdos Aggro
Fast red and black aggressive decks can be really scary, especially if we lose the die roll. We do have a lot of ramp and wraths that can come into play soon enough to allow us to start to take over the game. [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card] and [card]Thragtusk[/card] can buffer our life total. In this type of matchup we are very much a control deck and our sideboard plans reflect that.
After sideboard, we are close to a Bant control deck. We are maxed on blockers, life gain, and sweepers. A flurry of wraths and [card]Centaur Healer[/card]s can buy enough time for a big [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card] to pull us way ahead.
Our post-sideboard strategy isn’t flashy, but it works.
Vs. GW Aggro
Green/white aggro’s main hope is to kill us on their turn 4 on the play. We have a chance at a [card]Fog[/card] or a turn 3 [card]Supreme Verdict[/card] to break that up. If they don’t have it, they are usually too slow. It’s pretty hard for them to follow up and actually kill us through our mid- and late game haymakers.
I’ve found that [card]Worldfire[/card] is the easiest way to actually kill in this matchup. We have 4 [card]Thragtusk[/card]s and they usually don’t have a whole lot of answers for it. They also usually board in some [card]Oblivion Ring[/card] effects. A [card]Worldfire[/card] in either of these situations is a game win.
We also have [card]Angel of Serenity[/card] and [card nicol bolas, planeswalker]Nicol Bolas[/card] as pretty reasonable kills here. We can usually get to this point with our many sweepers and [card]Thragtusk[/card]s.
We are extremely well positioned in most midrange matchups. Their removal is useless. They usually aren’t fast enough to kill us very quickly. Their late game is generally feebler than ours. This is a recipe for victory. I often don’t sideboard much or anything in this kind of a matchup.
Some midrange decks don’t require all 6 wraths, some don’t require [card]Fog[/card], some don’t require [card]Door to Nothingness[/card]. Some of them are weak to [card]Thragtusk[/card], some of them are weak to additional draw, and some of them are weak to a [card]Planar Cleansing[/card] which will clear their planeswalkers and creatures off the table.
Our matchup against control generally depends on how many counters they have main, and right now most control decks don’t run a ton. Our late game is absurd. We have TONS of mana and we have [card]Increasing Ambition[/card], which is a massive beating if they can’t exile it the first time.
We also have a couple of awesome colorless lands. [card]Kessig Wolf Run[/card] can make even our [card]Thragtusk[/card] a game-winning threat. [card]Alchemist's Refuge[/card] can make life a nightmare for the control opponent. We can overload their mana by flashing in things at the end of their turn. If they tap out, we might flash in a [card]Door to Nothingness[/card]. If they go for a big [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card] at the end of our turn, we might be able to flash in a [card]Temporal Mastery[/card] and win on the spot.
After sideboard we cut down on removal for more draw and more game winners. We have quite a bit more mana than most control decks, which means our [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card]s have higher potential. We also have [card]Worldfire[/card] after board which is really good against these [card]Detention Sphere[/card]-heavy decks.
All in all, I like the control matchups quite a bit. Our deck pursues a similar plan, but on a much larger scale. They do generally have counterspells, but we have more threats and more mana.
Vs. UW Flash
UW Flash has seen a severe decline in popularity with the rise of [card]Cavern of Souls[/card] aggro decks. I don’t have too much to say about the matchup because it’s not particularly relevant right now. I haven’t seen any of it online in the past week, so I don’t have too many tips either. I can’t imagine it is too good or too bad, but I haven’t really thought about the key plays to get a big edge either.
[card]Rakdos's Return[/card] is quite a beating against us. [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card] is a pretty decent way to keep up with it though. We don’t have anything cheap to directly counter it right now, but the card isn’t super popular, so I don’t think we need it either.
Dissipate is one of the best cards against us, because it costs less than most of our spells and can answer any of them 1-for-1. I don’t think we need direct answers in the board. I’ve been okay just pushing through it by jamming more and more threats. If the metagame is for some reason full of 4 [card]Dissipate[/card] decks, I would probably look to directly answer it in the sideboard.
Cards You Might Question
[card]Fog[/card] is a funky-looking one, but it’s really good right now. Most decks operate against us by attacking, and under the right circumstances, Fog is a 1-mana [card]Temporal Mastery[/card]. We can use it to survive after casting expensive spells like [card]Gilded Lotus[/card] or [card]Increasing Ambition[/card] in the mid-game. I have been extremely happy with 2 in the main.
[card]Planar Cleansing[/card] looks weird when you consider that we have a fair amount of awesome non-creature permanents. The card is for use against an abundance of planeswalkers, and most of these decks rock [card]Oblivion Ring[/card]s or [card]Detention Sphere[/card]s to exile our artifact mana. [card]Planar Cleansing[/card] is a huge bomb in these matchups.
[draft]Door to Nothingness[/draft]
Is this card really necessary? No, but it also makes it much easier to win. If it’s not in the main, it’s definitely in the 'board. It attacks at an angle few decks can defend from in an extremely long drawn out game. Creature removal doesn't work. A high life total isn't enough. When combined with [card]Temporal Mastery[/card] or [card]Alchemist's Refuge[/card], sorcery speed removal won’t do anything. There is no stopping the Door!
Cards Worth Consideration
[draft]Curse of Echoes[/draft]
I’ve been hearing about how ridiculous this card is against any kind of control deck, and I believe it. It makes all their counterspells useless and pretty much neuters their [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card]s. Right now I don’t know how I would fit it into the board, but if your meta is full of control decks, I say go nuts.
[card]Dispel[/card] is a nice 1-mana answer to other counterspells or a big [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card]. If you want to fight against these decks, the Curse is a better option, but I do like me some [card]Dispel[/card].
Rhox Faithmender is solid against the red and black aggro decks for sure. I don’t know that we need additional cards on top of our [card]Centaur Healer[/card]s, [card]Thragtusk[/card]s, and [card]Sphinx's Revelation[/card]s. However, if your meta is filled to the gills with super aggressive decks, I could get behind [card]Rhox Faithmender[/card] in the board.
The deck is an absolute wonderland. It’s competitive, and it does the most outrageous things of any deck on the market. If you want to have fun, and you want to win, I recommend OMNIDOOR THRAGFIRE. It is a BLAST!
P.S. special thanks to Derek Adams!
Questions! Comments! Think there’s something I forgot?