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 our main value engine. 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 Vendilion Clique 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 more devastating than his ultimate. You can knock down walkers or end the game regardless of the opponent's board state. The ult acts as an ex machina to win games that we shouldn't. It's slow inevitability, but inevitability nonetheless.

To squeeze as much toothpaste as we can get from the Chord of Calling tube, Chord for Witness, return Chord, Chord for Restoration Angel, displace Witness, return Chord, then Chord for either a silver bullet or a finisher.

Speaking of silver bullets, the maindeck is equipped with some general tutor targets that are decently good at covering the deck's weaknesses in game one.

Jadelight Ranger: Currently in testing, I'm interested to see how much card advantage this can accrue on a blink. Whether it's filtering out lands or dumping Interlude into the graveyard for Eternal Witness to pick up, I think that this can serve as an alternate version of Kitchen Finks that lines up better against attrition decks and control. We'll see.

Reflector Mage: While the nature of defenders we're running lends itself towards matching up rather favorably against aggro decks. There are also certain creatures that threaten the board without attacking. Dark Confidant, Scavenging Ooze, Young Pyromancer, ect. This is tech that you won't draw into but can Chord for when you need it.

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.

Shalai, Voice of Plenty: I usually Chord for her to protect one of my creatures similar to Resto. The main reason why you would want Shalai over Restoration Angel is when you're facing burn, Jund, any deck that packs a lot of removal/discard or a combo deck. She also grants a win condition that can pressure control to wipe the board unfavorably because you've been drawing cards and only using mana to activate Shalai.

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

  • 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!
  • Loaming Shaman is the best option for when Scavenging Ooze isn't fast enough. Dredge, Storm, Snapcaster are set behind when their graveyard is reset.
  • 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.
  • Phyrexian Revoker: It can be hard to pressure a planeswalker without using Venser's -1. Chording for this will hopefully hold off the walker long enough to knock it down.
  • 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 all of the G/B/x decks running around.
  • Spellskite: Infect, burn, anything with the word "target" on it is more than welcome to kill this. Also? Goodbye infect!
  • 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.
  • Vendilion Clique: A Thoughtsieze on a stici. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Vendilion Clique.
  • 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.

Suggestions

Updates Add

I love the card, and if I could stick it on a Cascading Cataracts every time I cast it then there wouldn't be an issue. However, Sinkhole is already a busted magic card, and thus the hidden text on Wall of Resurgence that turns every Lightning Bolt or Fatal Push into a strictly better Sinkhole is truly a curse for the deck. I know the solution to, it just costs a lot of money. Going "Witch," or "Bant Black" for everyon'e favorite warbeast, Siege Rhino is the best iteration of blink I can think of. The issue, as I said, is the monetary cost of Verdant Catacombs and Misty Rainforest.

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Revision 14 See all

4 days ago)

+1 Knight of Autumn main
-3 Wall of Resurgence main
-1 Restoration Angel main
-4 Eerie Interlude main
-1 Glen Elendra Archmage main
-2 Breeding Pool main
+1 Island main
-3 Plains main
-2 Kitchen Finks main
-4 Forest main
+2 Breeding Pool main
-4 Chord of Calling main
-2 Wall of Roots main
+2 Wall of Roots main
+1 Hallowed Fountain main
+1 Restoration Angel main
-2 Temple Garden main
-1 Reflector Mage main
-4 Birds of Paradise main
-1 Island main
and 53 other change(s)