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Against the Odds: Coalition Victory (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 343 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had a Modern Against the Odds poll, and Coalition Victory took home the victory in the end. So today, we're heading to Modern to see if we can get the Coalition Victory victory! Even though it's banned in Commander for some reason, Coalition Victory is considered one of the hardest alt win-cons to pull off in 60-card formats. We tried it once in the early years of Against the Odds, but we've gotten a bunch of sweet new support pieces since then, which hopefully will make it a bit more possible. What's the best way to win with Coalition Victory in Modern? What are the odds of pulling it off? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Coalition Victory

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The Deck

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Coalition Victory was one of the hardest Against the Odds builds in a while but maybe not for the reason you'd expect. When it won the poll, I had two main ideas of how to pull it off. One was an incredibly janky Tron deck looking to use Tron to ramp into Chromatic Orrery so we could cast Coalition Victory, play five-color colorless creatures like Sphinx of the Guildpact and Transguild Courier, and give a land (or all of our lands) all the basic land types with Dryad of the Ilysian Grove or Nylea's Presence, which, in turn, would let us win by resolving Coalition Victory. The other plan was to use Niv-Mizzet Reborn (which happens to be a five-color creature) to find Glittering Wish, tutor Coalition Victory from the sideboard (assuming we didn't draw one of our main-deck copies), and win that way.

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The decks had two very different issues. The Tron deck was just flat-out bad. We'd have to get incredibly lucky to win with Coalition Victory even a single time. The Niv deck, on the other hand, had a relatively good chance of winning with Coalition Victory, but it also played a lot of good cards (Wrenn and Six to help us get all of the basic lands types, Teferi, Time Raveler to protect the combo, and Omnath, Locus of Creation to ramp into Coalition Victory) that didn't feel especially Against the Odds

I really wasn't sure which deck to play. If the goal was to actually see Coalition Victory win the game, the Niv deck would probably get the job done, On the other hand, is a deck still Against the Odds if it has staples like Teferi, Wrenn, and Omnath, even if they were there to help us pull off an incredibly Against the Odds win condition? I still don't really know the answer, but I'd love your feedback in the comments!

Eventually I decided that I'd start with the ultra-jank Tron deck in the hopes that maybe we'd get lucky and it would work at least once, and then the Niv deck would be the fallback in case the Tron deck just couldn't make it happen. After going 0-10 with the Tron build and not coming especially close to winning with Coalition Victory (or winning at all), it was time for Niv Coalition Victory to shine!

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The good news is that a Niv-Mizzet Reborn shell is the perfect way to actually pull off the Coalition Victory victory. Since Niv is five colors, we'll naturally hit the "a land of each basic land type" criterion from Coalition Victory just by playing a bunch of fetch lands, Triomes, and shock lands. We can then use Niv-Mizzet Reborn (which we can find with Bring to Light) to find Glittering Wish and perhaps Galvanic Iteration, hopefully along with some other cards that can help keep us alive while we are setting up the Coalition Victory win.

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Then, we can use Glittering Wish to snag Coalition Victory from our sideboard (assuming we don't draw a copy naturally). If we have Galvanic Iteration to copy Glittering Wish, we can also grab the cheapest five-color creature in the game (Transguild Courier_ to back up Niv-Mizzet Reborn. (The nightmare with Coalition Victory is if we only have one five-color creature on the battlefield when we cast it and it dies with Coalition Victory on the stack, fizzling our win.) At this point, all we need to do it get up to eight mana, and we can cast Coalition Victory to win the game.

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Supporting Niv and Coalition Victory are what I assume are the three most controversial cards in the deck: Wrenn and Six, Teferi, Time Raveler, and Omnath, Locus of Creation. As I was building the deck, my first instinct was to exclude these cards because they are Modern staples. But they are so perfect with Niv-Mizzet Reborn and do such a good job of supporting the Coalition Victory win that I ended up putting them in the deck. Wrenn and Six helps make sure that we have all the basic land types we need to win with Coalition Victory by getting fetch lands from our graveyard, which, along with Triomes and shock lands, means that it is almost impossible for us not to have all five basic land types on the battlefield by the time we have enough mana to cast Coalition Victory. As for Teferi, the nightmare for Coalition Victory is if we get everything set up to win the game only to have our opponent interact at instant speed by countering Coalition Victory or killing our five-color creature. Teferi, Time Raveler's static ability ensures this can't happen. Finally, Omnath, Locus of Creation does two things for the deck. First, its lifegain helps us stay alive until we can find and resolve Coalition Victory. Second, its ramp ability helps make sure we actually have enough mana to cast it. 

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As for the rest of the deck, it's mostly a bunch of multicolor removal spells that we can find with Niv-Mizzet Reborn to help us stabilize and stay alive long enough to win with Coalition Victory. Even with some ramp in the deck, like Omnath and Utopia Sprawl, eight mana is a lot in Modern, so being able to slow down our opponent a bit is essential. We also have Nylea's Presence, which is really sweet in the deck by not only fixing our mana but also turning the land it enchants into all basic land types, which makes sure that we'll still be able to win the game if we are somehow missing a land type when we resolve Coalition Victory!

The Matchups

By far the hardest matchups for Coalition Victory are aggro decks. Coalition Victory is expensive and slow, and it's also five colors, which means we need to play a bunch of Triomes and shock lands to make the mana work. This ends up costing us life and / or slowing down the deck even more. While we could stabilize with lifegain from cards like Lightning Helix or Omnath, Locus of Creation, more often than not, we get run over before we can get the Coalition Victory assembled. On the other hand, control and midrange are better matchups since we have more setup time, and cards like Teferi, Time Raveler help make sure we can resolve our Coalition Victory even if our opponent has counters or other instant-speed interaction.

The Odds

After not even coming close to winning with the Tron build of Coalition Victory, the Niv-Mizzet Reborn build worked pretty well! We ended up going 3-3 with the deck, which is solid. More importantly, nearly all of our wins came from Coalition Victory directly or from our opponent scooping because they knew they would be dying to Coalition Victory the next turn. I was a little worried that we might end up winning some games with Omnath, Niv, or Yorion rather than our namesake Coalition Victory, but in practice, Coalition Victory stole the show.

Hilariously, I think that Coalition Victory might actually be a good card in a Niv-Mizzet Reborn deck. While I don't think a competitive build of Niv would be playing four copies in the main deck, a one-of in the sideboard to snag with Glittering Wish could be worth it. While it takes some setup, it's an oddly effective way of winning the game once you have a Niv on the battlefield!

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. 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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