Tainted Pact

Tainted Pact

Instant

Remove the top card of your library from the game. You may put that card into your hand unless it has the same name as another card removed this way. Repeat this process until you put a card into your hand or you remove two cards with the same name, whichever comes first.

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Set Rarity
Odyssey (ODY) Rare

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Legality

Format Legality
Tiny Leaders Legal
Noble Legal
Leviathan Legal
Magic Duels Legal
Canadian Highlander Legal
Vintage Legal
Vanguard Legal
Legacy Legal
Archenemy Legal
Planechase Legal
1v1 Commander Legal
Duel Commander Legal
Oathbreaker Legal
Unformat Legal
Casual Legal
Commander / EDH Legal

Tainted Pact occurrence in decks from the last year

Commander / EDH:

All decks: 0.01%

Tainted Pact Discussion

ShaDoWz_6677 on Kess Storm, Now Without Lab Man

1 day ago

Flash Spellseeker Both these cards are almost mandatory at this point. Flash hits Oracle, respond to Oracle with Demonic Consultation win the game. This is the new meta of cEDH currently. Where Flash Oracle and Consultation Oracle exist. Especially in a deck like Kess, where Consultation is already in the deck. Also Tainted Pact needs to be in your deck as soon as you cut down on all of the basics you have in the deck. Its another way to mill your entire deck out for Oracle.

dingusdingo on You Are Now a Member ...

3 days ago

Alright, in hypothetical Larryland where I am now in charge of making decisions, here is what I would do

First, establish criteria for the format

Shouldn't be too complicated, as there has already been lots of time spent discussing the format

  • Bans should serve to stop certain combos or deckbuilding approaches from swallowing the meta.
  • Bans should be justified off of power level for winning, not how fun or unfun the combo or style of deck is to play or play against
  • General rules changes about the format should serve to open deckbuilding and allow for more interesting approaches to the meta and winning.

Rules Changes

I think a couple rules changes should take place to open deckbuilding and allow more options, and allow cards to work as intended with the commander specific ruleset

  • Commanders should hit the graveyard before returning to the command zone. This allows commanders like Child of Alara or other death triggers to actually function as intended while maintaining the command zone. Commanders should have the option of returning to the CZ at will from exile, the graveyard, the library, or a player's hand as an ability that doesn't use the stack, similar to mana abilities.
  • Hybrid mana symbols should be perfectly legal as long as the hybrid symbols fulfill a color identity of your commander. For example, Boros Recruit should be legal in a mono-red deck. If a hybrid mana card has a mana symbol in the text box that it outside the color identity, it should still be excluded. For example, if Boros Recruit had a firebreathing ability for in the text box, it would no longer be legal in a mono-white deck.
  • Restriction of the command zone to a single card. Partner commanders are still legal, but not legal to run them as partners in the command zone. Having a mix and match color identity and having guaranteed access to two cards at all times over one card is too strong. Bigger color identity means wider pool of cards to pull from, and the partner players are effectively starting with a 9 card hand as opposed to non-partner commanders starting with an 8 card hand.

Bans and Unbans

First, I would unban cards that the RC has banned because they are "unfun" or don't fit the spirit of the format

  • Coalition Victory - If you can pull this off and cast the cost, go ahead and win
  • Emrakul, the Aeons Torn - This costs 15 mana and channel is banned, this isn't going to break decks at all and most likely will only see play as an Ulamog alternate in Gitrog decks
  • Erayo, Soratami Ascendant - This can be countered or removed or smart opponents can avoid triggering it. Once it has flipped, it is still removable although somewhat toxic. It definitely gets good mileage in EDH but people can play around this if they have even half a brain, which is what I would expect from competitive.
  • Iona, Shield of Emeria - This is only banned now because Painter's Servant was unbanned. Certainly reanimator Iona strategies can cause problems, but hitting a 2 card combo for a soft lock isn't game shattering unless you are on a mono-colored deck, at which point it just becomes one of the things you must worry about. If Back to Basics and Blood Moon are totally fine for shitting on 3-5 color mana bases, I'm 100% fine with Iona for shitting on mono color decks.
  • Library of Alexandria - I have no idea why this is banned in the first place. Most competitive decks are so tight on their land base and won't have a slot for this. Also most competitive decks wish to play spells on turn 1 and 2, which makes it harder to get the 7 in hand for the Library draw.
  • Panoptic Mirror - If someone can assemble the ultra fragile Mirror + Free turn spell, and then gets an ENTIRE ROTATION of no one destroying it, I'm 100% fine with them taking infinite turns. Also consider that this combo basically costs to start, 5 for cast and 5 for the free turn. This card is banned because casuals absolutely loathe combos. Its unbanning could make Pox decks somewhat viable in competitive, and would be a boon to stax decks as well
  • Primeval Titan - This card is a double tutor on ETB or attack, but its a double tutor for lands. If someone really wants to set up Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth + Cabal Coffers + Deserted Temple + Inventors' Fair (which fetches Rings of Brighthearth) then more power to them, as it requires either a blink effect or an entire rotation to THEN get the second set of tutors from attacking. Its big value, but honestly no reason for this card to be banned. It costs to cast
  • Paradox Engine - the banning of this card made the format worse, as it knocked out tons of viable decks simply because "Too many casuals put down rocks and PE and oops into an infinite". The unbanning of this card opens up the format significantly, and allows weird decks like Hannah, Ship's Navigator or Dralnu, Lich Lord to be viable commanders, although definitely not tier 0 picks.
  • Recurring Nightmare - Banned because of griefing almost 100%. Nobody likes being hit by some ETB creature that involves saccing or losing permanents, but it isn't fast enough to warrant a ban. It requires mana, AND a creature on the field, AND a creature in the GY.
  • Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary - Selvala is basically a more powerful version of this because of the cantrips and you can play non-basic lands. This would probably become a tier 1 deck by basically copying the Selvala list, but I think the meta would be enriched from adding this as an alternate, similar to how Marwen has added instead of detracted from the meta.
  • Sundering Titan - Banned because attacking a player's resources is seen as an unfun way to win. Its expensive to cast and not exactly game shattering when it enters.
  • Sway of the Stars - This costs to cast for a weird Timetwister that sets life totals to 7. Sure there is potential for abuse with Suspend cards, but this costs 10 mana. Nobody is going to play this if it gets unbanned.
  • Sylvan Primordial - Another board state changer that isn't really going to do as much as it looks when it lands. Sure, -3 permanents on board for opponents and +3 lands is neat, but it costs . Decks would rather win than assemble some blink or recursion loop for this card.
  • Upheaval - This is banned almost entirely from a casual and time perspective. It makes games take longer. In competitive though, this card would be used with excess floating mana to THEN rip your combo. Almost definitely wouldn't see competitive play though, and the banning seems silly to me.
  • Worldfire - If you can run a wacky suspend deck that abuses this to win, you have my blessing. It also costs to cast so someone will probably just win before you
  • Yawgmoth's Bargain - This is a Necropotence that costs with the benefit of no-delay on the draws. If necro is legal, this should be legal.

Bans

My biggest reasoning for bans is that some combos are so strong and so hard to interact with that they become the go-to builds for certain color identities. When the optimal way to build 30 different commanders in the same color pairing is Flash Hulk, you have run into a problem.

  • Flash - Arguably the worse part of Flash Hulk. Potential for abuse in a post-Hulk world with Academy Rector. This card has the potential for abuse with every single new creature printed. I don't think this card makes the meta more interesting, and I think it pigeonholes deckbuilding into "well why don't you run Flash Hulk, or Flash _". Flash combos are also difficult for other decks to interact with outside of Counterspell, which means when you're building for playing in a competitive meta, you are almost expected to play Blue due to how strong and warping this card is.
  • Protean Hulk - Even with a flash banning I still wand this turd of a card gone. Finding hulk, reanimating hulk, and sacrificing hulk isn't interesting. There isn't very much skill there. The decks aren't interesting. There is a combo in practically every color combination for winning immediately after you get a Hulk trigger. It can be viewed as a 6-card into-play tutor, or a 5-card into-play tutor, etc. etc. I don't think the meta is more interesting or better for having this card be legal.
  • Demonic Consultation and Tainted Pact - More boring and tired combo archetypes. Once again, tutoring for 2 cards and ripping the Consultation + Oracle combo doesn't really require much pilot skill, and it doesn't make decks more interesting to build. These cards are simply too efficient at what they do, and they are hard for non-blue decks to interact with meaningfully. The presence of this combo and Flash Hulk has basically relegated all stax decks to being tier 2 builds, as they have such an impossible time locking down these combos. The banning of these two cards and Flash Hulk would bust the competitive meta wide open. Also, between these cards or the Laboratory Maniac + variants in the combo, these are the cards that are way way way more degenerate than the other part of the combo.
  • Rhystic Study and Mystic Remora - These are annoying and burdensome mono-blue staples that slow gameplay, and are auto-includes in practically any deck that includes blue. They function much better than intended due to the multiplayer nature of the format, and deckbuilding is less interesting and diverse because these cards are legal. They can singlehandedly run away with games when you have a single player in the pod who ignores them, and having your combo shut down because someone draw a Force of Will after getting 6 free draws is frustrating and extremely obnoxious. They also prop up extremely mediocre mono blue decks like Urza, Lord High Artificer and Baral, Chief of Compliance. Once again, I don't really think there is any skill in playing or building around this card, and the power level of "auto-include for any deck with blue" stifles deck building. Blue really doesn't need any help being good in EDH, let alone cEDH.
  • Nature's Will and Druids' Repository - Targeted bans for Najeela, the other obnoxious tier 0 commander deck in the current meta. I'm not a huge fan of 1 card combos with commanders, because you always have one of the cards available at all stages of the game, and tutoring + playing a single card once again doesn't really speak to high skill or interesting deck building. The banning of these cards will peripherally splash and hit other decks, such as Edric, Spymaster of Trest, but I'm fine with that. Najeela and Edric will still have other options for executing these combos, such as Sword of Feast and Famine or Bear Umbra, but these are more mana intensive or more fragile combos with lower utility outside the combo.
  • Tymna the Weaver - I have already advocated for removing partners from the command zone, but this card is so dummy strong as to be included in the 99 of other decks with some frequency. You can get the draws even if Tymna didn't attack (i.e. it just came in). You can get 3 draws a turn for the same mana cost as Phyrexian Arena, except that if done correctly you'll get the draws before you would get the Arena draws. This card is meta warping, this and Najeela are a big part of the reason the meta is so creature heavy right now. Decks either run this card, or they run ways to handle this card because a Tymna sitting on the board for 1-3 rotations gives such a fat advantage the pilot runs away with the game.
  • Timetwister - A card that sees play because you save slot efficiency by spamming TT to create a loop of infinitely recasting spells, plus its a wheel effect for 3 mana that shits on decks assembling combos through the GY with cards. I'm totally hunky dory with high efficiency combos, but losing to a timetwister loop is boring, cumbersome, and takes the pilot 30 years to demonstrate and explain the loop to those who haven't seen it. Combined with the ridiculous price of the card, and the ridiculous powerlevel even outside the combo, this card should go. This is also another card that makes fast mana extremely degenerate, as someone going first and sticking Mana Crypt into Sol Ring into Chrome Mox into Timetwister feels extremely bad, and opponents don't even have the benefit of recurring their starting hand from the GY later on.
  • Sylvan Library - The green Rhystic Study. Doesn't make decks more interesting. Doesn't make games more interesting. Its just cheap ways to get cards that becomes more ridiculous in the context of a format where you have double the starting life of the format this was printed for. The auto-include nature of this card means decks open up more when this card is removed.
  • Lion's Eye Diamond - No, Razakats is not an interesting combo. No, bomberman is not an interesting combo. These are both degenerate and more shoe-horn "oh I need a combo to win" style combos. Bomberman is extremely degenerate as LED can be recovered in the face of targeted GY removal by simply stacking the Salvager trigger on top of the removal if you have extra floating mana, and pretty much the only way to really stop it is a replacement effect like Rest in Peace. Seeing someone play a bomberman combo then dump mana into their outlet from the CZ (whether it be Thrasios, Triton Hero or Breya, Etherium Shaper) isn't interesting, although I will admit it is fast. This card is much lower on my list of requested bans, but it is still there for how annoying Bomberman and razakats are, plus how easy this makes Doomsday piles.
  • Hermit Druid - I want this gone for the same reason Consultation and Pact should go. Boring deckbuilding that becomes "UGx deck can run Hermit and Oracle to win", and thus you end up with twenty different UGx decks that look the same. Once you have seen this combo once, there isn't much merit to seeing it again. This card isn't as bad as Consult or Pact in my opinion, and once again it is a much lower priority for banning than those cards, as it requires a haste enabler to make it truly degenerate, or a way to flash it in at EOT before your untap step.

Cards I would avoid banning

As the title reads, things I think aren't a problem but usually draw comments for bans.

  • Cheap tutors like Vampiric Tutor and Imperial Seal - Every single 1 CMC tutor goes to top of deck (besides Gamble and Steelshaper's Gift), which means you're -1 card advantage for casting them. Having the ability to assemble combos or seek a problem solving card doesn't blow the format out of proportion. Having players be able to assemble threats in a timely manner makes the format faster and more interactive. If you see an opponent tutoring, you know to hold up interaction or try to race them. I'm more interested in removing hyper degenerate combos that are hard to interact with or are resilient enough to win through interaction.
  • Fast mana like Mana Crypt or Mox Diamond - If fast mana is banned, all decks will require Green for speed purposes from the high amount of turn 1 dorks (read: accelerators) available. Stax would become 100% dead as an archetype with these bans outside of Hatebear builds that include Green.
  • Free counterspells like FoW or Pact of Negation - Keeps combo decks in check. Similar to how Force of Will keeps Legacy from being overrun by super speed combos, these cards also keep Commander in check.

Specter_Of_Communism on Бюджетная Кесс

6 days ago

Я не играю через Thassa's Oracle + Demonic Consultation по причине иррациональной перфекционизма, т.к. нужено будет переделать колоду под Tainted Pact. т.е. вкладываться в манабазу. А также пока тир-2 мета позволяет халявить.

Dark Deal лежит в основном потому что нарсет/вор, по своему прямому применению карта имеет порог полезности, после которого она скорее плоха чем хороша. К примеру, когда у тебя всего три карты на руке, но в этом случае скорее у тебя уже всё не очень, если ты не закрутился. Whispering Madness лежит как бюджетная замена Wheel of Fortune. Underworld Breach лежит под комбу с колёсами и Dramatic Reversal. Это бюджетная замена комбы с Lion's Eye Diamond и просто хорошая дешёвая реанимация кладбища, может достать тот же Isochron Scepter и Bolas's Citadel.

Различного рода контрспеллов у меня 15 штук, не уверен, что этого мало, а начинать игру без манакамня или Ancient Tomb - как правило плохой план, т.к. ты будешь медленнее оппонентов. Dockside Extortionist, Spellseeker - пока просто не позволял бюджет забрать, вполне очевидно, что он нужен как и некоторые другие стейплы в пределах 20 долларов. Underworld Breach намного лучше Past in Flames, последняя слишком медленная.

Реанимацию кесс как идея мне не очень нравится по причине личных вкусов. Учитывая, что туту таких листов очень мало, то наверняка есть и ещё причины, на вроде дополнительной уязвимости к таким картам как Pongify. + Игра через изохрон, цитадель или нарсет/вора с руки дешевле по мане.

Bolas's Citadel + Sensei's Divining Top + Aetherflux Reservoir - весьма неплохая комба, иногда встречается даже в тир-1 листах. Это чисто шторм, ты быстро ставишь через ритуал цитадель и дальше смотришь что у тебя выпало. Закручивался на 3-4-й ход так, к примеру.

Seat of the Synod - просто нулевой артефактный манаразгон, которых должно быть хотя бы два в колоде чтобы доставать в случае чего с артефактных тюторов. Иногда это очень помогает. Lotus Petal нужен, просто не успел достать. Chrome Mox тащит игры, потому что быстрая мана. Убыль карт в руке восполняется колёсами, такие колоды про то как мы умеем лучше использовать ресурсы на руке и на кладбище чем оппоненты.

Если собираешься собрать тир-1 Кесс шторм, то ты должен стремиться находить быстро Thassa's Oracle + Demonic Consultation и очень часто ты будешь это делать при помощи Ad Nauseam(её вообще при любой возможности надо играть), поэтому в идеале ты должен убрать всё что не способствует этой стратегии, либо не помогает её реализовать.

Aiding on Muldrotha EDH

1 week ago

The specific Flash line in this deck is Spellseeker, Thassa's Oracle, and Bloodpet. Seeker gets Demonic Consultation and you cast it by sacrificing the pet for black mana.

For personal preference, if you want a more "Competitive" deck, I suggest cutting Karn and Tamiyo and replacing them with Jace, Wielder of Mysteries and Tainted Pact for more redundancy. If you run the pact, you would have to cut one island (maybe make it a City of Brass) and then change the basics from 2x of each to 1x of regular, 1x of snow-covered.

GhostChieftain on User Introductions

1 week ago
  • Favorite Formats: Commander, Two-Headed Giant draft

  • Favorite Deck: Bloodstone Circle This is the first deck I have made with any cEDH viability, and Karador will always hold a special place in my heart.

  • Favorite Color: I love creature based decks, and especially love the ability to grab utility creatures from my library via effects like Birthing Pod and Finale of Devastation

  • Favorite Guild: I enjoy orzhov because I like tax effects and the colors can make for some crazy fun graveyard strategies.

  • Favorite Shard: Jund A good aristocrats strategy is one of my favorite things. We have removal for days. I mostly see jund as golgari++

  • Favorite Wedge: Abzan I get to use all of the best parts of my favorite 3 colors, but they are all improved by the addition of both the other colors.

  • Card that best represents you: Collector Ouphe

  • Hobbies Outside of Magic: I enjoy a lot of hobbies, but instead of a laundry list of hobbies I will just say binge watching T.V. series with my wife and playing with our pup.

  • Tell us about your life outside of TappedOut: I'm a 27 year old man living with my wife of almost 2 years now in the big city of Lincoln, NE. I work for a telecommunications company as a locator (damage prevention). We have a 1 year old australian shepherd/border collie mix named Kaya. In roughly a month our little family is getting 1 bigger.

  • How did you come up with your username? Karador, Ghost Chieftain is the first single card I bought with the purpose of making a commander deck. I have played some version of that deck off and on since 2012ish.

  • What first appealed to you about Magic? Not sure, I just saw a deck at a local board game event and decided to get it. It was an infect deck and I pulled a Skithiryx, the Blight Dragon in the pack that came with it.

  • Why is Magic important to you now? It is a way for me to flex my mental game and keep myself practicing problem solving.

  • What are your thoughts on the current metagame (any format)? The current competitive EDH format has a boogeyman in the form of sushi hulk. I think that a 2 card 0 boardstate instant speed win is something that needs to be removed from the format.

  • Are there any cards or strategies you feel overcentralize the metagame? Sushi hulk strats are very very strong right now. Apart from that, consultation decks are in an amazing spot with the new Thassa's Oracle slotting in instead of labman. Funny enough, sushi hulk is a consultation deck. I truly believe that Flash and either Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact should get a ban and we should get a couple unbans to even it out.

  • How do you deal with a dominant new deck, card, and/or player in your pod? Learn how to best affect their strategy. Full stop.

  • What is your approach to deckbuilding? Come up with a strat that I want to win with and only put in things that work with it or that prevent me from losing.

  • Share with us some of your favorite decks by others on TappedOut you feel are underappreciated/underrated.

Weatherlight Consultation Primer This deck is by one of the guys in my meta and it is a solid deck. Yall should check it out. Boys support boys CallahanIsHere

  • Are there any future releases you’re looking forward to? Why or why not? I just look forward to more magic.

dingusdingo on Fish, Kess, and Consultation [Competitive]

1 week ago

Insightful comments!

GhostChieftain I would agree that being able to win at instant speed is superior to being able to win at sorcery speed. Do you think the difference is large enough to make a noticeable power level difference between decks? The largest benefit of being able to win at instant speed is to win in response to someone else's win attempt, or when the blue players fully tap out on someone else's turn. While Kess can't win at instant speed, it can still capitalize on these opportunities with big flashy instant speed draw spells, either to shut a win attempt or set up your own. Specifically, I'm looking at Tainted Pact Demonic Consultation Ad Nauseam and Plunge into Darkness and Intuition, all of which allow blow-out plays against Flash Hulk nerds or allow you to set up for your own combo.

ToffMcSoft I would agree that power levels are rather subjective. If anything, draws and match ups are the biggest indicators of success after you've reached "competitive" level commanders and deck builds in my opinion. The popularity of TnT Flash Hulk and also Layered Najeela were rather annoying before the release of Thassa's Oracle, but the lists definitely gained in strength after its release. Calling them "Tier 0" builds is more thinking of them as decks you WILL play against, or decks you MUST consider when building and slotting your flex spots.

I also agree that the meta has stagnated, but honestly I think the largest problem was the unbanning of Protean Hulk. Flash into Academy Rector into Omniscience certainly saw play, and would see play again if Hulk were banned, but a very large amount of decks exist either to assemble the Flash Hulk or to pitch + reanimate + sac the Hulk. I think it is uninspiring deck building, and once you've seen one Hulk deck you have truly seen them all. Flash is a reasonable ban, but I would prefer the Protean Hulk ban, if not a ban on both cards. Arguably the forbidden tutors should be banned as well, seeing how well they work inside Labman builds and also Food Chain decks. Forbidden tutors are very good, but I also think they create uninspiring deck building situations, it is just so much more efficient to slot them over other combos. Both of these combos being so prevalent in the format has basically relegated Stax builds to tier 2 as well, since they don't really interact very well on the combos and are usually detrimental to the table being able to stop these combos.

GhostChieftain on Fish, Kess, and Consultation [Competitive]

1 week ago

Another note for Tainted Pact, if you are ballin on a budget, you can have a Snow-Covered Island along with your regular Island (same goes for other basic land types) because while they are both basic lands of the same basic land type they are a different name so it works with pact.

dingusdingo on Fish, Kess, and Consultation [Competitive]

1 week ago

With the recent addition of everybody's/nobody's favorite fish Thassa's Oracle, the competitive scene has been in a tizzy trying to figure out how to adapt and react. Most brewers have been fixated on adapting two lists to fish, specifically TnT Flash Hulk and Najeela Consultation Hulk, which are arguably tier 0 deck builds and are head and shoulders ahead of other tier 1 competitive decks because of the printing of Oracle. I think most people have missed a third well known commander who benefits massively from the printing.

Kess, Dissident Mage is very promising in this new meta, and I would like to present the argument that Kess is a tier 0 build in par with TnT Fish Hulk and Layered Najeela.

For those unaware of how the combo works, here we go.

DO NOTE: We must have no duplicates of basic lands in our mana base to use Tainted Pact. While competitive pact players may know this, it is worth restating for the purposes of education and discussion in the thread.

If we are holding Oracle + Pact in hand, we don't need Kess to reuse. We can simply Oracle, then in response to ETB use the pact.

This combo has gained a lot of resiliency over previous Laboratory Maniac or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries lines.

  • Thassa's Oracle is cheaper to cast by .
  • We do not need to run a draw spell with Oracle in order to win, while we do with Labman. This most likely saves us another mana, and it definitely saves us being required to hold another card to cantrip to win.
  • The combo is safer to resolve if we face interaction. We resolve Oracle first, the trigger goes on the stack. A trigger is much harder to counter than a spell. Once the trigger is stacked, anything that happens to Oracle we don't really care about, since we can win with 0 devotion assuming 0 cards in library. Previously, a Laboratory Maniac could be removed in response to whatever draw would cause you to win, meaning you would lose instead.
  • Fish Consultation allows you to attempt another win if stopped. Lets say we are on Labman + Pact. If our Tainted Pact resolves, but our labman is countered, we are most likely going to lose. While using Oracle + Pact, if our Pact is countered, we still have our library and can attempt another win. Similarly, because we resolve the Oracle first to get the ETB trigger stacked, we aren't in danger of Oracle getting countered and then us using Pact and being left with no library.
  • If you have Kess in play, you can execute the entire combo for 4 mana. If you already have both pieces, you can execute the entire combo for 3 mana and ignore graveyard hate.

So how is this any different than Fish Hulk? Simple. Kess, Dissident Mage can turn a single tutor into a winning line. The ability to use Demonic Consultation or Tainted Pact allows us to assemble and execute the entire combo from a single tutor, as the component that exiles for us also tutors the second card needed for the combo. This means that Kess + Forbidden Tutor is a winning line, similar to how Najeela has a few different one card combos with the commander for winning. Before the Oracle printing, a Kess deck would also have to stock up on cheap "draw a card" spells to supplement the Consultation strategy. Now that need is gone, and the overall strategy can be executed much faster due to the lower mana cost requirements and also card requirements. This means that you have more ability to simply race other decks if that is the best gameplan. The value nature of Kess allows you to go longer in grindier games or match ups. Most decks are pigeonholed into all-in combo or grindier control, but the speed and resilience of the combo paired with being able to reuse our GY really gives Kess the best of both worlds.

I would also argue that new printings have added resilience and more consistency to the build as well. Spellseeker is another way to find the 1 card wincon. Dark Petition is certainly more fringe but could very well see play, especially in lists that skew Ad Nauseam for Bonus Round. Scheming Symmetry is another new topdeck tutor, and the symmetry can be broken on it by cantripping, then immediately starting the winning line. The deck will continue to benefit from any new usable tutors, removal, or card draw that is printed, and these new prints won't invalidate lines or cause grief when making changes for them.

The final piece of the puzzle is the large amount of flex slots in a Kess deck. If you want an additional combo, you can slot it pretty easy and there are good choices. If you want more hate pieces because you see Fish Hulk every pod, you can grab things like Cursed Totem very easily. Lots of green dorks or creature heavy boards you can get Pyroclasm and friends. Kess is blue, and already slots a good amount of counterspells and interaction. On top of protecting the combo, you can also choose to play a more midrange game and stop win attempts early, and grind value before comboing out later. Alternatively, you can just jam the combo if you have the tutors and mana to make it work. While Flash is easier to cast, Flash Hulk does require two pieces in hand to get the combo rolling, making it easier to see coming and harder to assemble.

Of course, Fish has other applications. Hermit Druid spiked in price for a reason, as did Sacred Guide. A card like Hermit Druid also requires haste enablers to make it go, which lowers your overall card quality and puts the pilot into awkward binds of either jamming the Druid and passing a rotation, or holding Druid in hand and trying to assemble Greaves + Druid or Banditland + Druid. Sacred Guide similarly hurts deckbuilding, mostly by requiring that a color in the identity be completely ignored for the sake of the combo. They are also basically worthless outside of the combo. Tainted Pact is an enabler and a tutor at instant speed, as is Demonic Consultation. You can always use them to fetch Pact of Negation or Force of Will in a pinch, should you have no other options to stop an opponent from winning. While it is unlikely you are going to win after exiling 0-99 cards in order to find whatever you name, you are being improved from "losing" to "most likely losing". The most important part of it is though that the forbidden tutors are actually tutoring while exiling, serving a dual purpose in the deck and improving slot efficiency. This even has a leg up over other Consultation builds, where the forbidden tutors are seen mostly as dead-draws for A + B for winning.

TL;DR Consultation Kess is also arguably a tier 0 build and was a big winner from the Fish printing.

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