Tainted Pact

January 18, 2022

4 minute read

Max Gilmore
Tainted Pact League Thumbnail

It's no secret that I love putting on the stack, and it's also no secret that is the best way to do it. But somehow, it's not the sweetest way. That title belongs to , and today I'm giving you a small rundown followed by a recorded league with it!

is one hell of a card. For 1B, at instant speed, it can find any card in your deck! There's only one little catch - your deck has to be essentially singleton. Your entire deck, mind you, including lands, basics and all. You can skirt this by playing equivalent effects, of course, e.g. and , but this basically means that your manabase is not going to be up to Legacy standards.

There's are two important exceptions to this Singleton deckbuilding rule: you can play two copies of and two copies itself. With , you win by exiling your library with and putting into play with the empty library. Since the combo requires already having one copy of and one copy of , the redundant copies of these cards are already accounted for, and therefore your spells will work as intended. The rest of the deck is a control shell, intended to remove threats and obstacles until you're ready to commit to the combo.

Here's a quick rundown of the primary ways that this deck wins:

  • In one turn, cast , exile your library, and cast a . The cards you're looking to play around and what could happen when things go wrong will help guide the order to cast these two cards. Sometimes it's right to cast , and with the trigger on the stack, cast . The Oracle has already resolved, and if the Pact gets countered, at least you still have another copy of each piece remaining in your deck. If you were to reverse order here, you'd commit to an empty library and then lose to a on . However, a sandbagged would suggest going for the first, before your opponent knows they won't be able to counter the .

  • On your opponent's end step, cast and exile cards down to your second-to-last card (and put that one into your hand). You untap, draw your last card, and cast with an empty library. It's a lot like the "Tainted Pact First" version in the above paragraph, but split over two untap steps in order to get more mileage out of your mana. Note that you need to already have in your hand for this to work, unless you are truly desperate, in which case you can yolo a in the opponent's end step and hope that any remaining copies of are in your bottom couple of cards.

  • ! This card is a on a stick- a card that's banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage. The idea here is that you activate on your opponent's end step, name , pray that both copies aren't in the top six cards of your library, and Divining Witch gives you the Oracle. At this point, you untap, cast , and if it resolves, activate again and name a card that isn't in your deck! The options here are endless: is a classic, but you can also go with sillier options like or . This is a great place to flex your creativitiy, and with your empty library, you presumably win!

As a fringe singleton deck, there's obviously not an established decklist. Some people build in Esper, some straight Dimir, and some, like me, are playing Grixis. The main draws to red are the effects and additional pieces of 1-mana removal, but you also get access to things like and .

Here's the list I threw together. I'm sure there are good cards I forgot to include, so if you can think of them, more power to you! Also, your guess is as good as mine as to why is hanging out with the lands. At least has a mana value of zero.

Grixis Tainted Pact Screenshot

Here's a downloadable link for the text file: Grixis Tainted Pact via MTGGoldfish