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//CASUAL TRYHARD DECK//

Only make deals with demons if you have the utmost intention of never holding up your end of the bargain.

The old Delver of Secrets   furiously leafed through the tome, eager to finish it before the candle would perish. It had to be in one of these, he was sure of it. Another way, a loophole. In his dreams, his opium-fueled Serum Visions , he could see it so clearly: the exquisite clarity and wisdom he longed for, he would do anything for. It flew away from him on two great wings, posing riddles as the great Prognostic Sphinx es of old. He needed more knowledge, more power. One more deal, one more Demonic Pact . His soul was already damned, Bedevil ed, but perhaps, if he could obtain such enlightenment, he could banish his ill fate with an Echoing Truth , or dissolve his debt through another Dark Petition . He might find a way to beat the devil, that watcher in the dark, the Tombstalker at his own game. Or at least Delay the inevitable. For he knew, if his last mortal hour came, endless torment awaited him in the next life...

v4.0, currently. (Budget version found here: Budget-FAUST)

Scry and draw or tutor towards the main win cons in the deck: Demonic Pact + Harmless Offering , Tombstalker and The Scarab God . Sometimes beat opponent to death with Delver of Secrets  .

Basically, you want to play Demonic Pact , hold out three turns by choosing the good options for yourself, and then cast Harmless Offering on it for the win, or Grixis Charm it (or Echoing Truth multiple) to return them to your hand before they expire.

THE ENCHANTMENT

Demonic Pact is honestly the coolest card in the game, folks. The flavour is so real. Sure, it's a do-nothing enchantment that costs 2BB and has to wait till your next upkeep to come online, but damnit, we're not here to win, we're here to play some gorram Magic. And to win. By playing a card that blatantly says 'You lose the game'. If your opponent lets it stick on the field though, hoo boy does this thing create some value. 4 mana for draw 2, deal 4/gain 4, discard 2? It's pretty great. This is where the deck started for me, once I saw it I immediately wanted to make a deck that's all about making shady deals for power and knowledge and having no intention to pay for it all.

(THE OTHER ENCHANTMENT)

Search for Azcanta   signifies our old mage's search for forbidden knowledge. In more practical terms, it helps us find the spells we need just in time to pay the piper. Sometimes you really need that kill spell next turn, or you need to get rid of that Pact, but you don't have the means to do so in hand. Search for Azcanta gets you there.

INSTANTS

The deck features several counterspells, removal spells and modal spells to control the board.

Bedevil kills most anything you want dead.

Delay can, well, delay any dangerous creature long enough to find removal, and will delay any other spell long enough for it to not arrive in time to matter.

Echoing Truth will usually function as removal and occasionally bounce 2 or even 3 creatures at that. It can also get you out of a bind with your own Demonic Pact though, and can save your board of Delver of Secrets   from board wipes and removal.

Grixis Charm kills most creatures. It also returns an expiring Pact to your hand and is an absolute beating with a few of your flyers out. Bounce someone's 'comes into play tapped' lands on end step or whatever. Very versatile spell.

Lightning Bolt removes critters and burns faces. It can close out those final few life points after the Delvers ands Pacts have gotten in there, or it can pick off threats after blocking. I really don't need to tell you how good Lightning Bolt is.

Mana Leak will hard-counter most spells that are cast on curve, but can prove problematic in interaction wars in the late game. Don't be shy about using this early, save your Delay for later if possible.

SORCERIES

Damnation was a flavour auto-include. It also happens to be bonkers.

Dark Petition is as close as we're gonna get to a Demonic Tutor these days. Getting spell mastery by turn 5 is absolute peanuts, so don't let the printed CMC bother you. Get whatever you want out of your deck my dudes and dudettes. We're in Black, we get to play whatever the hell we want whenever the hell we want.

Harmless Offering is a mean card for mean people. Never accept gifts. Trust no one. (But seriously, give someone an expiring Demonic Pact with this, it feels so nice.)

Serum Visions is the best friend of your Delver of Secrets  . It's also nice in the late game, where it combos well with Demonic Pact (or Prognostic Sphinx ) to sculpt your hand.

Thoughtseize just fits the flavour of the deck so well. It's plain good. 1 mana and 2 life for your opponent's best card. You can T1 this confidently, or save one for your game winning turn to strip your opponent of any disruption they might be sandbanking.

Yahenni's Expertise is our other wrath. It kills most things and gives you a free cast to either drop another Delver or to Grixis Charm your opponent's biggest creature/tapland.

CREATURES

Delver of Secrets   is our mad mage desperate for power and knowledge. A turn 1 Delver, flipped turn 2 is a realistic expectation, given that half the deck is instants and sorceries, but sometimes it takes some scrying to transform the guy. Two or three of these out can end the game right quick, especially when pumped by Grixis Charm .

The Scarab God is an ancient source of black knowledge, one of the key focus points of study for our old mage. He's also very, very good at killing opponents by swarming them with the risen dead, either yours or their own.

Tombstalker plays the role of the demon that holds the contract. It's also frequently a 5/5 flyer for BB, which keeps our curve low. Hella swole yet affordable.


STRATEGY

Use your Demonic Pact s aggressively. Sure, you can wait to drop one until you have an answer for it in your hand, but they're slow to get started and you'll most likely draw into an answer while enjoying the perks of your deal with the devil. It's also a lot of fun to play one and not know for sure if you can get rid of it in time. It makes for exciting games! You'll lose some, sure, but it's all about the fun anyway.

A good starting hand is generally three lands (a Swamp being one of them to bring all your Drowned Catacomb s and Dragonskull Summit s online), a kill spell, a counterspell, a draw/selection spell and a win con.

The game ain't over till you're dead. This deck plays it real risky and quite often, you'll be pulling off comebacks from as low as 1 life. Don't be afraid to use your life total as a resource, you can get a lot of it back with your Pacts. Let some damage through if it means you can wipe the entire board next turn and save a kill spell for a rainy day. Live fast, die a cheating old bastard.


THE SIDEBOARD

Boomerang bounces any target permanent. That means lands too, so if you're ever unlucky enough to run into Tron you will get annihilated in Game 1, side in 3 of these and 3 of Unmoored Ego , mulligan and pray aggressively, and hope to bounce and dumpster one of their Tron lands. It'll also work for returning your Demonic Pact s to your hand, and can be sided in if your opponent has ways of disrupting your Harmless Offering .

Hour of Devastation is the third wrath in the deck. The important parts are removing indestructible and hitting planeswalkers, making it more versatile than the other two. It's more expensive to cast though, so it's in the sideboard.

Pact of Negation is the ultimate counterspell for a deck that's about not paying your dues. You side this in when you're up against a control deck, then you tap out to do your Harmless Offering combo, then they put something cute like Spell Pierce on the stack, then you take out a loan with whichever demon has 3UU lying around and counter them right the hell back. And then you pay jack shit because the game is over on their upkeep.

Prognostic Sphinx is immortal. It has a big butt, it flies, any card in your hand gives it hexproof whenever. Oh, yeah, and IT SCRIES 3 EVERY TIME IT SWINGS. This guys ends games. Get you that cool Clash Pack promo version. He deserves it. You deserve it. Slot it in if your opponent likes their kill spells a bit too much or if they have bigger flyers than you do. Ol’ Prognostic eats ‘em for breakfast.

Rakdos Charm is our artifact removal, as well as our 'oh shit'-button against token swarms. The graveyard hate option seems real handy as well, but no one in my playgroup plays with their yard so YMMV.

Spell Pierce is an easy slot-in for the control matchup, which is dangerous for us if we plan to win through our Harmless Offering combo. You're often strapped for time and mana, and cheap interaction is key when someone tries to doom you midway through your stacking of dark deals.

Yahenni's Expertise . An extra copy in the sideboard, sometimes you just need to get rid of creatures again and again and again.

Unmoored Ego is a useful side-in for when you know the exact hate people will pack against you, or if you know the win condition of your opponent. Hard-to-remove control finishers, combo pieces, hosers, this card can take care of them before they become a problem. Just need to know which shot to call.


Well, that's the deck. It won't win you a GP anytime soon but it sure is a lot of fun to pilot. I hope that you either want to play it, or brew a variation on it, or that it inspired you to just build something fun instead of optimal but flavourless. Have fun with it.

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33% Casual

67% Competitive