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 Omniscience 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.
Epic Experiment was just that, an Epic Experiment. 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:
The deck stalls with Fog, Supreme Verdict, Thragtusk, and Terminus. It ramps hard with Farseek, Chromatic Lantern, Ranger's Path, and Gilded Lotus. It refuels with Sphinx's Revelation. It finds the missing pieces with Increasing Ambition. And then—all hell breaks loose.
Omniscience hits play. Nicol Bolas hits play. Griselbrand hits play. Cards are drawn. Increasing Ambition finds Temporal Mastery. An extra turn begins. A massive Griselbrand swings with a Kessig Wolf Run pump. Increasing Ambition is flashed back to find another Temporal Mastery and a Door to Nothingness. Another extra turn begins. Nicol Bolas 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. Sphinx's Revelation and Thragtusk 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 Centaur Healers can buy enough time for a big Sphinx's Revelation 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 Fog or a turn 3 Supreme Verdict 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 Worldfire is the easiest way to actually kill in this matchup. We have 4 Thragtusks and they usually don’t have a whole lot of answers for it. They also usually board in some Oblivion Ring effects. A Worldfire in either of these situations is a game win.
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 Fog, some don’t require Door to Nothingness. Some of them are weak to Thragtusk, some of them are weak to additional draw, and some of them are weak to a Planar Cleansing 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 Increasing Ambition, which is a massive beating if they can’t exile it the first time.
We also have a couple of awesome colorless lands. Kessig Wolf Run can make even our Thragtusk a game-winning threat. Alchemist's Refuge 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 Door to Nothingness. If they go for a big Sphinx's Revelation at the end of our turn, we might be able to flash in a Temporal Mastery 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 Sphinx's Revelations have higher potential. We also have Worldfire after board which is really good against these Detention Sphere-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 Cavern of Souls 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.
Rakdos's Return is quite a beating against us. Sphinx's Revelation 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 Dissipate decks, I would probably look to directly answer it in the sideboard.
Cards You Might Question
Fog 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 Temporal Mastery. We can use it to survive after casting expensive spells like Gilded Lotus or Increasing Ambition in the mid-game. I have been extremely happy with 2 in the main.
Planar Cleansing 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 Oblivion Rings or Detention Spheres to exile our artifact mana. Planar Cleansing is a huge bomb in these matchups.
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 Temporal Mastery or Alchemist's Refuge, sorcery speed removal won’t do anything. There is no stopping the Door!
Cards Worth Consideration
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 Sphinx's Revelations. 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.
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 Centaur Healers, Thragtusks, and Sphinx's Revelations. However, if your meta is filled to the gills with super aggressive decks, I could get behind Rhox Faithmender 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?