How to Defeat Miracles

In my last article I covered Miracles’ strengths, and today I’ll show you its weaknesses and how to beat it.

To have a favorable matchup against Miracles, you have to have a plan against Counterbalance + Sensei’s Divining Top—either Abrupt Decay or a deck built to get around Counterbalance.

I’ll start with the second class, and talk to you about 3 decks:


A couple of months ago, I wrote an article on how to beat Eldrazi as it was conquering Legacy and Modern. Its advance slowed a little, but it’s still the second-most played deck on Magic Online and its strength is a favorable matchup against Miracles.

Miracle is a slow deck that is able to answer all your creatures, but once you reach 7 mana + Eye of Ugin, it’s almost impossible for them to fight it.

Your best card is Chalice of Void, which shuts off 16-18 cards in their deck, making them unable to filter their draws.

Your only weakness is Monastery Mentor, so be mindful and don’t board out Dismember.


This is not a popular deck, and definitely not the best choice, but one thing is for sure—it beats Miracles.

Cavern of Souls and Aether Vial get around Counterspells and Goblin Ringleader produces an endless source of card advantage that is hard to keep up with.

In order to win this matchup, you don’t have to overextend into a Terminus, and you can keep the card advantage flowing with Goblin Matron for more Ringleaders.

I’ll show you the deck list that a friend of mine used to Top 8 a local tournament. He defeated me playing Miracles in round 6.

Daniele Terra – Top 8 at 4 Seasons Bologna

Manaless Dredge

If you love Magic, then you hate Manaless Dredge—I will be the last person ever to advise you to play this deck. But if you are in an 8-person queue with 7 Miracles players, then this is hands down the best choice.

You can’t lose game 1 as this is perhaps the only pure 100-0 matchup in history—you can’t even mana screw or mana flood!

Your plan is always to let your opponent play first, go into discard phase, and start dredging.

Creatures like Narcomoeba, Nether Shadow, Ichorid, and Prized Amalgam will jump into the battlefield for free, then Bridge from Below, Cabal Therapy and Dread Return will do the rest.

This deck is maybe the most budget competitive Legacy deck, but it has a very big weakness: any Grafdigger’s Cage or Rest in Peace force you to concede the game on the spot.

On the other hand, cards like Surgical Extraction aren’t as annoying for this deck as it is for versions with lands. I lost playing Miracles after I played Surgical Extraction because Snapcaster Mage + Surgical Extraction exiling Narcomoeba and Ichorid isn’t going to be enough—they have more creatures that can enter the battlefield from the graveyard, which makes it impossible for any fair deck to keep up.

Shako, 5-0 in an MTGO League

After showing you 3 non-Abrupt Decay decks that have a shot against Miracles, I’m going to show you 3 which do play Abrupt Decay and that are historically nightmares for it:

  • Shardless Sultai
  • Punishing Jund
  • Punishing Knight

These 3 decks are able to defeat Miracles because of their card advantage.

BUG Shardless

Shardless Sultai plays 4 copies of Ancestral Visions, which is a great card even aside from a Shardless Agent cascade. Against slow decks, it’s also great to suspend it on turn 1.

I remember seeing Butakov suspend turn-1 Ancestral Visions over Deathrite Shaman against Miracles.


Punishing Fire + Grove of the Burnwillows is another combo that Miracle can’t answer game 1 (aside from Sensei’s Divining Top + Counterbalance with a 2-drop on top) which can take down all the win conditions but Entreat the Angels.

Jace is a big game against BUG Shardless, but not so much against these decks, which also have Red Elemental Blast.

For more card advantage, they have annoying permanents like Sylvan Library, Choke, and Liliana of the Veil. Punishing Knight even plays Chalice of the Void, which is one of the biggest turn-1 plays you can have against Miracles.

On top of that, hating out Miracles isn’t the most difficult thing to do post-sideboard—some Pithing Needles or Null Rods will do the trick.

Some people have asked me which is the better of the 2 cards, and I would answer that a split is probably best since Pithing Needle is able to answer Jace, the Mind Sculptor and it’s versatile against Elves and Sneak and Show—Null Rod is great against Ad Nauseam Tendrils.

When playing against Miracles with a deck with very few basics, fetch for those as early as possible in order to play around Blood Moon and be able to Abrupt Decay that whenever you want. If you happened to open a hand with no fetchlands, then you have to play around it and you can’t tap out if they play Blood Moon to lock you out of the game.

Punishing Knight

Alexander Ivanov, 2nd place

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