Rebooting an old standard favorite for Pioneer

A deck based on maximizing the amount of utility that you get out of any given card. Some call this results-oriented thinking, but I prefer to call it "synergy".

I'm looking for any suggestions for making the list more competitive. Right now, it can handle a surprising number of matchups, but only when you grab the right answers. Finding more consistency is the key part here.

Note: This is less of a Waste Not deck than it appears at first. Moreso, Waste Not lets me control the opponent early and stall into late game when I can delve some beatsticks out. It's a weird dynamic, but I think it falls into combo-control more than anything else.

The Deck:

The deck runs a full complement of discard effects to make the most out of Waste Not . Wrecking the opponent's hand while giving yourself an advantage is quite effective, whether it is card, board, or ramp. Tasigur, the Golden Fang and a slew of delve cards make sure that every card gets used for something at least twice, whether it's a second cast or using it for mana. Win condition comes from attacking with delve fatties or the army of zombies generated by Waste Not and Empty the Pits .

I'll now get into some specific cards to flesh out the reasoning a little more...

Waste Not : As I discussed above, this is a really good card for improving utility.

Dark Deal : Really effective when Waste Not is on the board. Destroys whatever decent mulligan they took on turn three, gives you delve fuel and some new options, and turns into mega value with Waste Not.

Thoughtseize : Do I really need to talk about this card? Remove a threat or answer and profit from all the synergy.

Rakshasa's Secret : An underwhelming card on it's own, but in this deck, it should perform admirably. While it's up to your opponent to decide, discarding two cards is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it also gets three delve mana into the graveyard.

Treasure Cruise : An obvious include. With delve and a hankering for more cards, this is an automatic 4-of.

Sign in Blood : Decent enough card. Gives me gas, or damages the opponent and gives them things for me to make them discard. Can also be used to close out a game with damage.

Damnable Pact : See Sign in Blood

Tasigur, the Golden Fang : One of the all-stars from Fate Reforged, and half of the core of this deck. His ability makes for a great mana sink, considering I don't run any countermagic, and he gets us something back, which means we either draw more cards, get a threat, or make more discard happen. On top of that, he has delve and enables delve. Rock-solid card that I am more than happy to invest in.

Tasigur, the Golden Fang : Discussed above. Pretty decent delve fatty.

Gurmag Angler : Ditto delve fatty. I foresee this card being quite good.

Chasm Skulker : With all the cards I'm drawing, this guy does really well. One turn with Cruise or Sign in Blood and he's nasty already. They have to kill him quick, or he becomes really hard to remove with all those squids as well.

Empty the Pits : This will come hopefully as a blowout finisher. Ideally, I would cast Dark Deal + Waste Not when the opponent is full on land and creatures, and each card discarded becomes a zombie, in addition to all the delve power I just got. 1-of for now, will play with the quantity after more testing. Casting this late-game for 10+ zombies is entirely possible.

I'm also running a pretty standard removal suite. Hero's Downfall does well against everything, and I'll be really sad to see it go. Languish is a rock-star addition, and it found a home pretty quickly in the deck. Might bump it up to 3, depending on how it plays out.

Crux of Fate is really useful, especially against the faster aggro decks.

Duress is an obvious choice, and against control and spell heavy decks, it lets me take away their answers.

Disdainful Stroke fits in against a number of things. Comes in against control when I don't need as much removal.

Dragonlord Silumgar can close out a lot of games, especially against Esper and Temur dragons. Stealing an Ugin, the Spirit Dragon with enough loyalty to sweep their board can make this backbreaking.

Torrent Elemental : I like it for the tech, but it needs more testing before it lands a place in my heart. I definitely need big flyers for some matchups. Alternatively, Archfiend of Depravity , Dragonlord Silumgar , and Prognostic Sphinx can fill this role.

I want to find home for Liliana Vess . She does a lot of what this deck wants to do, but I feel bad leaving a spot for a walker that is so conditional. Maybe sideboard tech if I can find a hole.

Master of the Feast is in the same boat. I want to get two of him in the mainboard, but I really don't know what to cut. 1x Gurmag Angler is an obvious choice, but where does the other come from?

And finally, Liliana, Heretical Healer   is an auto-include when Origins rolls around. I love her character, the art is phenomenal, and everything she does works with this deck.

Source for the original deck here.


Updates Add

Dusted off the deck and tried it at my LGS. Did surprisingly well against most things, lost to mono-white heroic, which is notoriously hard to control and ended up taking first. I've realized that this deck is trying much harder to be a delve deck than a Waste Not, and the ideal play is usually Rakshasa's Secret into a delve fatty with protection mana up. Gonna tweak the list a bit to meet that end. Might take it to Game Day next weekend, we'll see. Cleaned up the comments as well.

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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #22 position overall 5 years ago
Date added 5 years
Last updated 8 months
Key combos

This deck is Pioneer legal.

Rarity (main - side)

0 - 1 Mythic Rares

30 - 4 Rares

4 - 5 Uncommons

15 - 5 Commons

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 3.62
Tokens 2/2 Zombie, 1/1 Squid
Folders Standard, Dragons of Tarkir decks, Control, standard, want to try, Liked Decks, Decks, cool ideas, Trials, Cool decks, See all 23
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Revision 27 See all

8 months ago)

-3 Bloodstained Mire main
+3 Choked Estuary main
+2 Collective Brutality maybe
+4 Fatal Push maybe
+1 Harsh Scrutiny maybe
-4 Polluted Delta main
+1 Shadow of the Grave maybe
+2 Vraska's Contempt maybe
+4 Watery Grave main