Description

This is a deck revolving around blinking your creatures in and out of battle both to dodge threats and create them. Bant Interlude is the most enjoyable deck that I have ever had the privilege of piloting, and I seem to find new interactions each time I play it.

Playstyle

It has two win conditions: Thragtusk (swinging wide) and Wall of Resurgence (swinging narrow). Either way you blink them and swing for unblockable (Venser -1) damage with 3/3s or a gigantic land elemental.

Eerie Interlude + Eternal Witness is an engine that quickly snowballs, burying your opponent under an avalanche of value. Cast Eerie Interlude on your opponent's turn, while using Venser on your turn. Return Chord of Calling, remove Glen Elendra Archmage's -1/-1 counter, or reproc Thought-Knot Seer on your turn with Venser, then return a resolved Interlude on your opponent's. The result is difficult to interrupt and stalls to an unorthodox win condition consistently.

Eerie Interlude is kind of a catchall when it comes to protecting your board. It evades board wipes and dodges spot removal, but it also acts as a Fog. Against Zoo, Affinity, anything that lacks trample: you can cast Interlude after declaring blockers to further stall the game. Oh, you can also cast it during your end step, which prevents the exiled creatures from reappearing until the end of your opponent's turn. If your opponent has enough mana to wipe the board and counter your attempted blink, then do this.

Venser's -1 is just as devastating as his ultimate, sometimes more so. You can knock down walkers or end the game regardless of the opponent's board state. The ability to ignore board stalls makes this ability stand out from among other walkers.

Enter the battlefield effects will occur even if the permanent that created them has left the field. Most likely this will only be argued if you try to play Thought-Knot and they Path it or something, but it's still worth noting.

If you want to overwhelm your opponent with value, Chord for Witness, return Chord, Chord for Restoration Angel, displace Witness, return Chord, then Chord for Thragtusk.

The trinity of Thought-Knot Seer, Restoration Angel, and Glen Elendra Archmage provide good targets to Chord for in specific matchups. They're basically a miniature game one sideboard.

Thought-Knot Seer: A Thoughtsieze on a stick, well, actually a flame-retardant stick. Quite often I find myself leaving it in post-game one. Fetch for it if you are ahead in board-state and want to stay that way or you need to know if the coast is clear to resolve something good.

Restoration Angel is a Swiss Army Knife. Chord for her if your opponent casts a removal spell or just use her to reproc EtB effects as a selfish Panharmonicon.

Glen Elendra Archmage: I usually Chord for this when I'm behind and want to ensure that a win-condition will stick. Usually I try to blink the -1/-1 counters off her, but don't be afraid to let her die if it will save you in the long run.

Sideboard

  • Auriok Champion: I was running Kor Firewalker, and she'd definitely be a good budget pick. This is a bit slower than she is, but the value is infinitely higher. You're a blink deck, which makes proccing this 10 times in a game a regular occurrence.
  • Aven Mindcensor: Is your opponent running a greedy manabase with a lot of fetches? Aven Mindcensor. Are they potentially looking for silver bullets with Chord and Eldritch Evolution? Aven Mindcensor. Are they playing a combo deck like Bring to Light Scapeshift that digs through their library? Aven Mindcensor. He censors your opponent's library so you don't have to censor yourself. Aven Mindcensor.
  • Dispel: Hits spell-heavy burn, control, or combo decks; all of which can give this deck some trouble.
  • Eidolon of Rhetoric: Helps you win races, since Venser and Interlude kind of cheat out extra spell casts (with EtB effects). It's great against Storm, Ad Nauseam, or infect.
  • Kataki, War's Wage: Bogs down affinity by forcing them to choose between what they need to win and what sets up their win condition. It's also great against Lantern Control!
  • Linvala, Keeper of Silence: Locks out affinity, Abzan Company (their infinite combo), Kiki-Chord, Elves, Emeria Sacrifice, and Eldrazi Tron. Not only does it also stop mana abilities (blanking mana dorks and Wall of Roots, but it's also a fairly good clock. Oh, and the art is pretty.
  • Magus of the Disk: I usually don't like putting board wipes in this deck. It costs seven mana to cast the cheapest of Wraths and Interlude out of the devastation, and you can't Chord for them. However, Magus of the Disk solves both of those conundrums! You can chord for him as early as turn three, opting to do so on your opponent's endstep. You then untap, float your mana, pop Magus, and Interlude IN RESPONSE to his ability. You clear your opponent's board, getting Magus BACK at the end of the turn! The Eerie Interlude + Magus of the Disk combo locks most creature-based decks and even some edge cases like Bogles and Lantern Control. Interlude first if you suspect counterspells. The card is great in most matchups.
  • Negate: An instant speed answer to combo, once again, however this also stops Nahiri, the Harbinger, Blood Moon, or Karn Liberated.
  • Reclamation Sage: Artifact/Enchantment removal that can be repeated or Chorded for.
  • Reflector Mage: Answers Primeval Titan, Death's Shadow, Goyf, ect. A good ally to have if you're facing any creature-dependent deck.
  • Scavenging Ooze: A staple form of graveyard hate that is all the more relevant thanks Death's Shadow. Loaming Shaman is better if Dredge or Storm is meta.
  • Stonehorn Dignitary: An answer to any aggro deck that also happens to be immune to Lightning Bolt.
  • Tamiyo, Field Researcher: In grindier games (midrange mirrors), sometimes the additional board pressure of an ult can be needed to turn the tide in your favor. Tamiyo does that by providing large tempo swings along the way. Play Cloud, charge limit, and pressure the enemy by playing a proactive game.
  • Venser, Shaper Savant: Useful against Tron, Ad Nauseam, and Scapeshift. This card turns every Chord into a counterspell (if there isn't enough mana to activate Glen Eledra's ability. It also can permanently lock your opponent out of Tron by repeatedly bouncing their pieces.

Wrap Up

The introduction of Eerie Interlude caused a janky, niche mechanic to become a full fledged archetype (even if no one is running it). Its predecessor, Ghostway, limited the deck's options due to its unconditional AoE blink effect. Thragtusk, Wall of Resurgence, or cards like Blade Splicer were effectively blacklisted from the Ghostway archetype because the tokens or counters were erased. While I have gone through a wild array of iterations, I was surprised by how quickly and safely this one can spiral out of control. If you are looking for something that's fairly cheap and unique enough to take people by surprise, go no further. What began as the attempt at building a deck around Venser, the Sojourner ended up in the discovery of my favorite mechanic to date. Below this section is a list that reflects my thoughts on different cards that fit the archetype, from win conditions to flicker engines. As I receive feedback and discover new combinations myself, the list will continue to evolve into a compendium or reference for those who want to delve into the world of enter the battlefield effects. Have fun with it, and enjoy your opponents' puzzled reactions!

Maybeboard

  • Angel of Invention + Call for Unity: Normally, the Angel is worse than Thragtusk...but pairing these two adds 6, 8, 10 power to the board with each blink!
  • Acidic Slime: Adds land destruction to your list of win conditions. My only qualm is that it's quite slow and extremely dependent on having blink spells resolve. At least with Rec Sage you know that it's not at the top end of your curve.
  • Trostani, Selesnya's Voice: DESTROYS aggro and burn if your meta is flooded with them.
  • Siege Rhino: Why stay locked to Bant? Every color offers a plethora of entertaining options. Black offers a former all-star of standard to pressure your opponent on board and by directly manipulating life totals. Four-color Blink is probably the most optimal spot for Rhino.
  • Venser, Shaper Savant: Not for this deck, but works for competitive. You need displacement effects to make this work.
  • Purphoros, God of the Forge: A fantastic win-con for those running red. In a scenario where you have the Eternal Interlude combo, Purphoros can potentially be dealing around 10-12 untargetted burn damage per turn. It's actually quite scary.
  • Panharmonicon: Every EtB trigger is DOUBLED! It just doesn't fit in any slot (great in a list with Purphoros and Siege Rhino).
  • Flameshadow Conjuring: Used as a Swiss Army knife, you may pay one to get a free copy of any EtB effect you choose. It can be quite useful, and should NOT be overlooked in favor of Panharmonicon. You get a body with this creature, which can combo with Inferno Titan (flicker Titan with Eldrazi Displacer, activate Conjuring, swing with the token = 9 burn and 6 direct damage). It is an aggressive EtB engine than Panharmonicon.
  • Archangel of Thune + Spike Feeder : A useful combo if you're running Chord of Calling which gives infinite life and +1/+1 counters on all your creatures. Fantastic inevitability if you're not running Kiki-Jiki.
  • Vendilion Clique: Better mana cost, worse body, dies to bolt. I prefer Thought-Knot Seer.
  • Eldrazi Displacer: Displacer earns its name by offering a Cloudshift effect that can be used on your opponent's creatures too (take THAT, infect!). You can put it in Venser's slot, but I value his -1 too much.
  • Meddling Mage: Used in combination with Vendilion Clique or Thought-Knot Seer.
  • Coiling Oracle: Fantastic ramp, great draw, TERRIBLE body. To quote WotC R&D, this card embodies all that is Simic and is one of the most flavorful designs to date. I'd love to put it in, but it simply doesn't beat Wall of Omens/Wall of Roots.
  • Ghostly Flicker/Displace: Used to combo with Eternal Witness plus Mystic Snake, Venser, Shaper Savant, or Vendilion Clique for a more control-oriented build.

Terminology:

Blink/Flicker: Exiled until end of turn.

Displace: Exiled and immediately returned.

Bounce: Returned to hand.

Ghosting: Exiled until your next UPKEEP. This is found on Kaya, Ghost Assassin, a card that I hope finds its way to modern-legality. One could ditch blue to run Siege Rhino and Demonic Pact.

Updates

Comments

cthompson says... #1

Loving this! You might dig my deck with similar sensibilities, flicker effects and etb abilities and the like.

Tap and Flicker? I Hardly Know Her!

+1 from me!

June 17, 2016 1:13 a.m.

krakenboss says... #2

Have you considered Cloudshift as a cheaper alternative to Eerie Interlude? I know it only blinks 1 creature, but earlier on it could allow you to keep more open mana for protection while assembling your Eternal Witness combo.

+1 for Blink and Venser

August 4, 2016 1:43 p.m.

DarkStarStorm says... #3

krakenboss

I was using Momentary Blink, as in my opinion, it's strictly better than Cloudshift. However, Eerie Interlude just does more. When calculating the mana value of each EtB trigger, it became apparent that lategame Interludes can cause tempo swings of up to NINE MANA'S WORTH OF EFFECTS! Not only is that insane, but Eerie Interlude also grants evasion from sweepers (mine and my opponent's).

Cloudshift on the other hand disables the Eternal Witness combo. The point of having Witness in the deck is to be able to +2 it on your turn to recur Mana Leak, then Interlude on your opponent's turn and recur Interlude. Cloudshift doesn't have that option (it would be blinking Witness to return...itself?). In other words, Cloudshift limits resources and doesn't provide the protection that Eerie Interlude does.

I see that you did mention that it's better earlier on, and you'd be right about that. However, I feel like the un-enhanced EtB triggers of the creatures themselves are more than enough to sustain turns 1-4 without a need for supplementary blink. After that, the combo pieces start assembling to swing the tempo further in your favor. If I ever wanted to make the deck super competitive, then I'd go for the Cloudshift effect in the form of Displace to combo with Venser, Shaper Savant and Eternal Witness.

Now, since you're here and I do appreciate input; what do you think of me replacing Restoration Angel with Brago, King Eternal? He offers pretty much the same flying body, so I'm not losing out on anything there. The important decision is whether it's worth missing out on the protection that Restoration Angel grants to gain a free AoE Cloudshift every turn... I before giving up the floor, I would like to note a cool thing that Brago can do. On turn 4, having brought out Brago turn 3, you cast Venser, the Sojourner, -1, swing with Brago, blink everything PLUS Venser, then +2 him that same turn. But still the question lingers, is he worth it?

August 4, 2016 3:30 p.m.

krakenboss says... #4

DarkStarStorm I've playtested your deck a couple of times and think you are on to something.

I understand the Eerie Interlude over Cloudshift argument and agree with you. especially considering how many walls you are running.

I think that Restoration Angel versus Brago, King Eternal depends on your playstyle. You have more interactions with Brago since he can blink multiple PERMANENTS, as opposed to only creatures. So you can reset your Venser, the Sojourners and Detention Spheres. but opponents can see it coming since it doesn't have haste, and you have to deal damage (evasion helps).

I'd probably recommend mainboarding the Restoration Angel and boarding in the Brago, King Eternal game 2 with more detention spheres, when you know better what to exile from their deck. You could also board them in on opponents that don't run much removal. But the Resto angel is better to get the jump on them game 1.

August 5, 2016 9:24 a.m.

DarkStarStorm says... #5

krakenboss There, I've adjusted the sideboard accordingly and found a place to fit in Brago, King Eternal. Thanks for the input, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night/evening!

August 9, 2016 12:15 a.m.

Hey, nice deck :) i have a similar deck: Eternal Displaceness. I do like Battlefield Thaumaturge a lot as he reduces the cost of "multiflickers" quite a bit.

November 25, 2016 12:12 p.m.

DarkStarStorm says... #7

seshiro_of_the_orochi That's actually pretty innovative to include Battlefield Thaumaturge in the deck. I like the idea! I have Wall of Roots in the deck to perform a similar function.

It looks like your deck is kind of crossing the gap between my deck, which is a fairly uninteractive, and the interative Mystic Snake, Venser, Shaper Savant, and Ghostly Flicker build. Do you play in a multiplayer dominant meta, or a one-vs-one meta?

November 25, 2016 5:34 p.m.

Due to time issues, most of my "matches" in the last year or so have been against myself, so my "data" is semi-realistic. But besides this, i usually i play one-on-one. It shoulb be possible to deal with multiple players though.

November 26, 2016 5:59 a.m.

DarkStarStorm says... #9

seshiro_of_the_orochi: I assume that you're going to invest some more into your land base?

November 26, 2016 12:44 p.m.

The landbase is what i can run considering the lands i have and don't play in other decks. So yeah, if i get the cance, i'll improve it.

November 26, 2016 3:23 p.m.

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