A Clean Slate
Welcome to Conditions Allow, and to the new year! For this first article of 2023, I wanted to pick a particular kind of card to build around. Something that represents the potential of something resetting and restarting from a fresh beginning, and no Magic card fits that bill better than.
Most alternate win conditions want you to have a lot of things.needs ten Gates, needs a hundred counters, and needs at least two-hundred cards. Only encourages you to pare all the way back to the where you were at the beginning of the game, with nothing, which is a surprisingly difficult place to get to. There are several ways to sacrifice all of your permanents, and discarding your hand isn't especially difficult, but triggers on your upkeep. Specifically, it only triggers if you already meet all of its conditions at the beginning of your upkeep. You have to start your turn with no permanents other than in play and no cards in hand.
Behold My Fields, For They Are Barren
To get an idea for what colors I need for this deck, let's start by figuring out how to sacrifice all permanents, then we'll look at discarding cards.is the top commander for decks, thanks to the Atog's predilection for sacrificing all kinds of permanents. for enchantments, for artifacts, and for lands. Then, gets to eat all of your Atogs, including itself, leaving you with a clean battlefield. This still feels like a lot of work, however. If needs you to have as few permanents as possible, let's include as few permanents as possible. Then, all we have to worry about getting rid of is lands.
The simplest way to get every permanent exceptoff your battlefield is , followed closely by . For two mana you can get rid of anything on your board. is similarly efficient. By targeting your own nonland permanents, you can keep sacrificing lands to wipe your own board. also works, but only if you really only have lands in play. I am including one creature in the deck, so you will need some way to get rid of it (and any tokens) if is your method of sacrificing lands.
Luckily,helps clean up any pesky creatures you may have been given, and a few of our lands help with creatures as well. I'm not going as far as making this a Lands-style deck, but having and makes it much easier to meet the conditions for . also makes the cut for helping play defense, since we won't have any blockers for most of the game.
Once you resolve, you'll need to get all those cards out of your hand. The fastest way is to become . and are also one-mana instants that let you discard your hand. Usually, you need these spells to act at instant speed, because the best time to cast them is the end step before your turn. suffers for being a sorcery, but if you have enough cards in hand, it can clean up your battlefield and hand while leaving your opponents struggling to cast spells during their turns. Land Destruction is a controversial issue, but if you're winning the game right afterwards, it should be manageable.
This does bring up the difficulty of protectingwhen you attempt to win. Without something as drastic as land destruction, there's really no way to do it. 's effect won't go onto the stack unless you have no permanents in play at the beginning of your upkeep. This means you won't gain priority before needing nothing in play and an empty hand. No opportunity to float mana or cast spells. And, of course, you can't have a in hand just in case someone has .
But what if you had two upkeeps? Then you could protect your win withor , and set yourself up to win in the second upkeep. does this in a one-two punch, but I like even more. It lets you use on your combo turn, and is much easier to get rid of than . I can even think of the perfect commander to bring this all together.
Together at the End
Withas your commander, you can cast to pull out of your deck for free. Then, you can back into your deck to pull out of your deck. This leaves you with two main phases to get everything cleaned up before your upkeep.
Holding all of this together, I'm including as many draw spells as possible. As a combo deck, your only goal is to put together all the pieces you need to win the game. That meansand some combination of cards to clear your board and empty your hand. and are particularly important because they put and back into your hand in case you draw them too early.
This isn't a fast combo deck, however. Board wipes and interaction play an important role in keeping you alive long enough to assemble the pieces, and they create a window to go for the win. Plus, because we're not relying on permanents of our own, we can make use of powerful spells likeand to make sure we survive long enough to find all the pieces we need.
With a little ramp to color fix and help get to six mana quickly, this is the final decklist.
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer
I was a little nervous when I sat down to build around, but I'm really happy with where this deck ended up. I personally enjoy decks that don't rely on many permanents, and is the perfect excuse to lean into that. It's also a really unique win condition, and even if it won't win often it will create memorable game states all the time.
If you've built around, what was your approach? Are there any cards I overlooked, and did you include a backup plan? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!