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Against the Odds: Coalition Victory


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode thirty-eight of Against the Odds. Last week on our Against the Odds poll, Coalition Victory snuck out a win by a couple of percentage points over Werewolves in Modern, with about 4,000 votes cast! Coming in third and returning to this week's poll alongside Werewolves was Odric, Lunarch Marshal in Standard, while Fleeting Memories and Orim's Chant came in at the bottom of the pile and will drop off of this week's poll. Anyway, what this means is that this week, we are trying to win with a five-color, 8-mana sorcery in Modern, so it looks like we'll have our work cut out for us!

We'll talk more about Coalition Victory in a minute, but first a quick reminder. If you enjoy the Against the Odds series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel.

Against the Odds: Coalition Victory Deck Tech

Against the Odds: Coalition Victory Games

The Deck

Coalition Victory has to be one of the most difficult build-arounds we've ever attempted on Against the Odds. While getting a land of each basic land type is fairly simple, getting a creature of each color to stick around is pretty difficult. Plus, even if we manage to meet both conditions, we still need to live long enough to resolve an 8-mana sorcery. As a result, our deck is pretty complicated and contains a ton of one-ofs. 

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Instead of trying to play creatures of every color (essentially making Coalition Relic a six-card combo, assuming we have the right lands), it seemed easier just to play a couple of five-color creatures. Transguild Courier is nice because it's a five-color creature that costs less than 5 mana, although the downside is that it's just a Hill Giant (that manages to die to both Pyroblast and Hydroblast), and Hill Giants aren't really Modern playable. Meanwhile, we also have a Sliver Hivelord, which might seem strange, since it's the only Sliver in our deck, but it is a five-color creature, and unlike Transguild Courier, it doesn't die to Terminate or Lightning Bolt (although Path to Exile and Dismember are still problematic). 

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As far as getting a land of each basic land type, we're doing it the old-fashioned way. We're playing some number of every basic land, every Blue or Green / x shockland, and a handful of fetches to help make sure we have access to the right mana at the right time. 

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Search for Tomorrow and Sakura-Tribe Elder allow us to search out our basics, so we have one of each color (which is especially important when we run into Blood Moon), while also ramping us up to the 8 mana necessary to cast Coalition Victory. Sakura-Tribe Elder also lets us chump for a turn, which is nice because our deck is super slow, while Search for Tomorrow gives us something to do with our mana on Turn 1. 

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Bring to Light is the card that ties the deck together. Most importantly, Bring to Light can search out either of our five-color creatures, so even though we're only playing one copy of Sliver Hivelord and two copies of Transguild Courier, it's actually like we have seven five-color creatures in our deck. Since we are playing Bring to Lights, we also have the ability to play a bunch of one-of silver bullets to help us stay alive. On the list are Thragtusk (to keep us alive against aggro), Keranos, God of Storms (as a Plan B against control), and some wraths to help us stabilize. 

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We also have a pretty sweet Gifts Ungiven package that allows us to tutor up any card we need in our deck. Say we really need a Coalition Victory (which we can't get with Bring to Light directly, because its CMC is too high). We can Bring to Light for Gifts Ungiven, and use Gifts to find some combination of Snapcaster Mage, Eternal Witness, and Noxious Revival (any two will do) along with the Coalition Victory. In this scenario, no matter what cards our opponent chooses to put in the graveyard, we are guaranteed to end up with a Coalition Victory one way or another, whether by flashing it back with Snapcaster Mage, putting it on top of our library with Noxious Revival, or returning it to our hand with Eternal Witness!

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Dark Petition is our other way of casting a Bring to Light for a Coalition Victory, since we can Bring to Light for the tutor, cast the tutor, and get the Coalition Victory. With enough lands, we might even be able to do everything on the same turn, since we should almost always have spell mastery to get the Dark Ritual half of Dark Petition

The Matchups

Apparently, Coalition Victory is pretty good against Restore Balance, but that's about it. Essentially, we want to play against a deck that is light on both removal and counterspells, and is relatively slow, so we have time to get up to 8 mana, which is a pretty good description of Restore Balance, especially against a deck like ours that has access to counterspells. 

The downside is that I'm not sure we have any other good matchups in all of Modern. We're way too slow against aggro and don't have enough disruption to reliably combo off against slower controlling decks. Maybe the biggest problem is that our plan of winning with Coalition Victory is so easily disrupted. It's really hard to protect a creature when you have to tap our for an 8-mana sorcery, so even when it feels like things are going well and we are about to win, we are always one Path to Exile or Dismember away from getting blown out. 

The Odds

Technically, we won 5 of 15 games (good for a 33.33% game win percentage) and 2 out of 6 matches (also 33.33%). However, we only really won with Coalition Victory twice, in games two and three against Restore Balance. Of our other wins, the one against Goblins came from a huge Sphinx's Revelation (although we may have been able to pull off the combo the following turn if our opponent had not scooped), and the two wins against Tron were 100% attributable to having six copies of Bribery after sideboarding (counting our four Bring to Lights, of course). 

Honestly, before we ran into Restore Balance, I was getting worried that this would be one of the rare Against the Odds where we weren't able to pull off the combo. Coalition Victory is simply not a playable card in Modern; it's too expensive and slow, and the conditions for winning the game are too easy for the opponent to disrupt for only 1 or 2 mana. That said, the matches were still super fun to play, and actually winning with Coalition Victory was extremely satisfying!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.


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