Annnnnnd we’re back! Last time I promised you guys that I would continue to give you a look at each of the decks that I personally own and will be covering in my “Changes” article each new set. This week’s deck is Mono-Blue Omniscience, led by Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir. I chose to build around Omniscience for a few very specific reasons:
1) It’s a really cool card.
2) The card warps your deck construction process. Your entire deck has to be built to facilitate the card in order to work. That gives me firm deck building direction.
3) It’s a combo card that doesn’t involve me building Storm since I already have a Mono-Black Storm deck. I initially tried to build Mono-Blue Control that didn’t use any combos for win conditions. The deck took a really long time to win after establishing full control of the game and led to an undesirable play environment.
With those thoughts in mind let us delve into the list itself!
Commander: [card]Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir[/card]
1 [card]Laboratory Maniac[/card]
1 [card]Enter the Infinite[/card]
1 [card]Time Reversal[/card]
1 [card]Commit // Memory[/card]
1 [card]Time Spiral[/card]
1 [card]Temporal Cascade[/card]
1 [card]Ancestral Vision[/card]
1 [card]Treasure Cruise[/card]
1 [card]Dig Through Time[/card]
1 [card]Rhystic Study[/card]
1 [card]Jace, the Mind Sculptor[/card]
1 [card]Consecrated Sphinx[/card]
1 [card]Recurring Insight[/card]
1 [card]Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur[/card]
1 [card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/card]
1 [card]Serum Visions[/card]
1 [card]Frantic Search[/card]
1 [card]Mystical Tutor[/card]
1 [card]Merchant Scroll[/card]
1 [card]Long-Term Plans[/card]
1 [card]Force of Will[/card]
1 [card]Pact of Negation[/card]
1 [card]Swan Song[/card]
1 [card]Arcane Denial[/card]
1 [card]Mana Drain[/card]
1 [card]Cryptic Command[/card]
1 [card]Mindbreak Trap[/card]
1 [card]Venser, Shaper Savant[/card]
1 [card]Confirm Suspicions[/card]
1 [card]Mystic Confluence[/card]
1 [card]High Tide[/card]
1 [card]Sol Ring[/card]
1 [card]Thought Vessel[/card]
1 [card]Devastation Tide[/card]
1 [card]All Is Dust[/card]
1 [card]Cyclonic Rift[/card]
1 [card]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card]
1 [card]Rapid Hybridization[/card]
1 [card]Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy[/card]
1 [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card]
1 [card]Mnemonic Wall[/card]
1 [card]Torrential Gearhulk[/card]
1 [card]Mana Severance[/card]
1 [card]Ghostly Flicker[/card]
1 [card]Lonely Sandbar[/card]
1 [card]Remote Isle[/card]
1 [card]Desert of the Mindful[/card]
1 [card]Maze of Ith[/card]
1 [card]Myriad Landscape[/card]
1 [card]Sunscorched Desert[/card]
1 [card]Reliquary Tower[/card]
1 [card]Flooded Strand[/card]
1 [card]Misty Rainforest[/card]
1 [card]Polluted Delta[/card]
1 [card]Scalding Tarn[/card]
Okay, not the most original Omniscience combo, I’ll admit, but I chose this combination of cards specifically because I think that Omniscience and Enter the Infinite are both incredibly neat cards. For those unaware, the way it works is that after you have resolved Omniscience, you may cast Enter the Infinite from your hand for free allowing you to draw your entire deck. Once you have done that you cast Laboratory Maniac from your freshly drawn library-sized hand (minus one) and then cast a draw spell to win the game.
I’m going to come clean here. I missed an addition to this deck during my Hour of Devastation changes article. Radiant Fountain came out in exchange for Sunscorched Desert because dealing infinite damage is better than gaining infinite life. Usually, I would just address this in the following Changes article, but since we’re breaking the deck down now, I figured we’d go ahead and cover it. For this combo to work you need to have already resolved Omniscience. After Omniscience is on the battlefield, you can cast Ghostly Flicker targeting Archaeomancer (or Mnemonic Wall) and Sunscorched Desert. This will cause both permanents to leave and re-enter the battlefield. Use your Archaeomancer trigger to return the Ghostly Flicker to your hand and use your Sunscorched Desert to deal one damage to one of your opponents. Do this ad nauseam until all of your opponents are dead.
Now, not every time that you cast Omniscience are you going to have the game winning combo in your hand. For the times that you don’t, we have a suite of draw 7s that will help us dig and chain together draw spells so that we may find the cards we need. Mana Severance is a pretty dead card up until you either A) Resolve Omniscience or B) Have made enough land drops that you’re confident you don’t need to make any more. Its crucial function is thinning your deck of nearly every dead draw (land) after resolving Omniscience. This makes chaining your card draw, and card selections spells much easier.
Unlike the Mono-Black Storm deck that we covered, this deck is not trying to ignore its opponents. The deck is chalked full of countermagic and sweepers. Despite the abundance of countermagic understand that you’re not trying to counter every spell cast by your opponents. Trying to continually trade 1-for-1 with three opponents is not a recipe for success. Understand exactly which spells your opponents are casting matter to you and are a threat to you. If it’s not a card that is going to cause you to lose the game, let it go. If you leverage your counterspells correctly, then you should be able to buy yourself plenty of time to find your combo.
You’re not always going to have the counterspell you need when you need it, and sometimes enough non-threatening cards add up to more than their sum. These are the cards that help clean up the mess or answer the permanents that slip through the countermagic.
Making land drops early is especially important to this deck because it plays next to no mana rocks. These famous cantrips help smooth our draws so that we are making all of our land drops on time early and are digging for action late.
Drawing a lot of cards is important to this strategy not only because we’re trying to assemble a specific combination of cards to win, but because we’re also a control deck. Keeping a full hand allows us to have answers to problems as they happen and not after the fact. The deck has some interaction with the board, but not a lot. The deck is mono-blue, after all. Most of our interaction will happen on opposing turns and on the stack.
These are our forms of acceleration. Omniscience costs ten mana. The easiest way to achieve ten mana in Blue is mana rocks and doublers, but if you’re playing those then ramping to Palinchron is strictly better. Palinchron gives you infinite mana meaning that you can play X spells, Buyback spells, and activated abilities, all of which don’t work with Omniscience. Plus if you’re using rocks and doublers to ramp to Omniscience then once you resolve the enchantment those cards are all effectively dead. With Omniscience, you’re casting things for free, so now those cards effectively don’t do anything anymore. This is part of what I meant when I said “The card warps your deck construction process. Your entire deck has to be built to facilitate the card in order to work. That gives me firm deck building direction.” High Tide, Turnabout, and Mana Drain can all be found with Merchant Scroll and Mystical Tutor. Having your acceleration spells work with your tutors helps the deck’s consistency by a fair amount and all of those cards work well with our Timetwister/Draw 7 effects. We do play Sol Ring because it’s, well, Sol Ring and Thought Vessel because it’s a mana rock that also serves as a Spellbook. Those are the deck’s only mana rocks. We want our 99 to support Omniscience as much as possible which means a slower, but more synergistic build.
These are our forms of spell recursion. Being able to take a creature and turn it into a previously cast spell is often important. Your hand may tend to have one or two of the primary spell categories in it (card draw, card selection, countermagic), but these creatures’ flexibility helps you fill in whichever hole is required at the time.
That’s it for this week’s Big Daddy Brews! We’ve covered three of my four decks! Next time we’ll be going over the final one, Feldon of the Third Path! I hope to see you there and as always, feel free to leave a comment below.