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Tainted Pact

Tainted Pact
Written by:
  • Max Gilmore

📅 January 18, 2022

⏱️3 min read

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

Tainted Pact 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. Island and Snow-Covered Island, 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 Thassa's Oracle and two copies Tainted Pact itself. With Tainted Pact, you win by exiling your library with Tainted Pact and putting Thassa's Oracle into play with the empty library. Since the combo requires already having one copy of Thassa's Oracle and one copy of Tainted Pact, 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 Tainted Pact, exile your library, and cast a Thassa's Oracle. 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 Thassa's Oracle, and with the trigger on the stack, cast Tainted Pact. 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 Counterspell on Thassa's Oracle. However, a sandbagged Cavern of Souls would suggest going for the Tainted Pact first, before your opponent knows they won't be able to counter the Thassa's Oracle.
  • On your opponent's end step, cast Tainted Pact 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 Thassa's Oracle 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 Thassa's Oracle in your hand for this to work, unless you are truly desperate, in which case you can yolo a Tainted Pact in the opponent's end step and hope that any remaining copies of Thassa's Oracle are in your bottom couple of cards.
  • Divining Witch! This card is a Demonic Consultation on a stick- a card that's banned in Legacy and restricted in Vintage. The idea here is that you activate Divining Witch on your opponent's end step, name Thassa's Oracle, 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 Thassa's Oracle, and if it resolves, activate Divining Witch again and name a card that isn't in your deck! The options here are endless: Abandon Hope is a classic, but you can also go with sillier options like Goblin Charbelcher or Damn. 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 Tainted Pact in Esper, some straight Dimir, and some, like me, are playing Grixis. The main draws to red are the Pyroblast effects and additional pieces of 1-mana removal, but you also get access to things like Expressive Iteration and Kolaghan's Command.

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 Fire // Ice is hanging out with the lands. At least Profane Tutor has a mana value of zero.

Grixis Tainted Pact Screenshot

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

Video

  • Tags:
  • Tainted Pact
  • Grixis
  • Legacy
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