The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right and who is dead. - The Man in Black

I've always been a fan of alternate win conditions, and Battle of Wits was the first I ever tried to build a deck around. Granted, that was back in 2001 when Odyssey came out, and my childish "deck" was merely every card I owned thrown into a big stack, hoping I would pull the one copy of Battle of Wits I owned. It worked... once. Now some sixteen years have passed, and I have decided to recapture that childhood joy, and build a modern-legal Battle of Wits Deck. With 240 cards in this deck, it relies heavily on tutors to fetch all necessary pieces.

Currently, I am looking to improve efficiency and the deck's ability to survive, particularly against fast, aggressive decks.

When playing this deck, you have to change your mindset some. While this is technically a modern deck, it feels a bit like playing Commander. This deck is the size of four 60-card decks, so every single card is effectively singleton. You cannot expect to draw the combo pieces you need, and must adjust on the fly based on what cards the Fates have seen fit to bestow.
Battle of Wits is our primary win condition, but, even with tutors, is not effective on its own. To add additional options, there are several infinite sacrifice outlets, using Viscera Seer (which also allows us to infinitely scry a copy of Battle of Wits to the top of our deck) or Blasting Station (for infinite damage).

Our sacrifices are Kitchen Finks , providing infinite life, Murderous Redcap , providing infinite damage, and Safehold Elite , which, while it provides no boon in and of itself, has a lower converted mana cost, and can thus be more easily fetched with Chord of Calling .

To enable the persist combo, Melira, Sylvok Outcast and Solemnity are run, preventing -1/-1 counters, and thus allowing infinite rebirths through persist.

  • Wargate can be used to put Battle of Wits onto the battlefield or fetch pieces for an combo victory. Chord of Calling can be used to fetch you combo pieces, and Congregation at Dawn can be used to place all three necessary combo pieces on top of your deck.

  • Assorted Fog effects are used to buy us additional terms, and survive to the winning upkeep.

  • Various creatures add mana ramp to enable cards such as Wargate .

I considered several other options when building this deck, which I figured I would place here in case anyone was interested. If anyone does give these options a test, please let me know how they work.

A 60-card Simic elves mana ramp deck, designed to activate Spawnsire of Ulamog as quickly as possible. This would summon two copies of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn , and 198 other legendary Eldrazi. The legend rule would put all into the graveyard; Emrakul would shuffle your graveyard into your library, and you would win on the upkeep of the extra turn Emrakul granted. This method was discarded because (a) Battle of Wits is frankly unnecessary--if you are already activating Spawnsire, you might as well cast All Is Dust , wipe their board, and then sweep on the additional turn Emrakul grants. Further, a 60-card deck for a Battle of Wits victory seems like you are missing the point.

  • A massive deck containing numerous Shadowborn Apostles , to sacrifice and tutor Rune-Scared Demon, which in turn would tutor Battle of Wits. This deck was idea was dismissed because it simply felt dull, and did not really feel it fit with Battle of Wits' flavour.

  • A 60-card combo deck which would rely on Isochron Scepter , mana rocks, and Paradox Engine to infinitely cast Glittering Wish , and then using some method of shuffling your hand into your library. Again, Battle of Wits is a tad superfluous at that point--if you have already gone infinite, you can simply win via some other method. Further, it is clunky, involving lots of moving parts; even after your infinite combo, there are more pieces to assemble.

If you enjoyed this deck, and want to check out other poorly contrived ideas based around terrible cards, please feel free to check out my other decks:

Pinball Wizard - Karona, False God EDH

Commander / EDH Caerwyn


Mr. Smith Goes to Ravnica

Modern Caerwyn



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  • Achieved #20 position overall 1 year ago
Date added 1 year
Last updated 4 weeks

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 240
Avg. CMC 2.40
Folders I dig it, Gimmick Decks, Possibili mazzi, bow, Interesting Modern Decks, Modern, Want to try, cool, Favorites
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