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Against the Odds: Demigod's End (Modern)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode sixty-nine of Against the Odds. Last week on our poll, we had half of the Spirit Avatar cycle battling it out, and in the end, it was Demigod of Revenge coming out on top over Godhead of Awe by a single percent! As a result, this week, we are heading to Modern to see if we can win some games with a hasty, self-reanimating flier. We've seen Demigod of Revenge pop up in some fringe decks before, so the biggest challenge of the week was figuring out a new way to abuse the card. After sorting through the options, we ended up with a sweet reanimator / combo build that can win by beating down with Demigod of Revenge or use it to fuel a combo kill, with no attacking necessary!

Oh yeah, technically I'm on vacation this week, but I didn't want to miss an episode of Against the Odds, so as a compromise, I'm going to try to keep the article itself a little shorter than normal. 

Anyway, let's get to the videos, 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: Demigod's End (Deck Tech)

Against the Odds: Demigod's End (Games)

 

The Deck

As I mentioned in the intro, the biggest challenge of building around Demigod of Revenge was figuring out a fun and also new way of using the card. The most competitive build of Demigod of Revenge might be Mono-Red Devotion, but we've been playing a lot of devotion lists lately, and we even played Mono-Red Devotion with Demigod of Revenge a while ago on Much Abrew. Another possibility is a Blood Moon deck, almost like Free-Win Red using Demigod of Revenge as a finisher, but this too has been done. After thinking a while, I decided we needed a deck that could take advantage of the fact that Demigod of Revenge likes to be in the graveyard, which led me to Living End.

The Combo

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The basic idea of our deck is simple. We stock our graveyard using cards like Satyr Wayfinder and Grisly Salvage; then, we reanimate everything with the help of Living End. Ideally, this will include multiple copies of Demigod of Revenge along with a few Fanatic of Mogises. Since each Demigod of Revenge adds five red mana symbols, ideally we'd be able to kill our opponent with devotion-based burn from Fanatic of Mogis. If this doesn't quite finish the job, we can always finish our opponent off by attacking with our hasty Demigod of Revenges. 

The benefit of this plan is it also naturally fuels Demigod of Revenge. If we don't have the combo kill, we can also just cast a Demigod of Revenge from our hand, reanimate all the copies in our graveyard, and go on the beatdown plan!

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Since Living End has no mana cost, we can't cast it normally, and while we can potentially suspend it and wait three turns, this plan is often too slow and our opponent can prepare, since they see it coming. Bring to Light allows us to tutor a Living End from our deck and cast it right away to get the combo kill. As an added bonus, Bring to Light can also tutor (and let us cast) our Demigod of Revenge itself, reanimating all the copies in our graveyard and allowing us to beat our opponent down in the air.

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While I'm not going to talk about every single card in our deck, it is built in a way to make sure we consistently have delirium, which means Traverse the Ulvenwald gives us another way to tutor up copies of Demigod of Revenge while also helping fix our mana or tutor up the graveyard-stocking Satyr Wayfinder or an Eternal Witness to get back an important card from the graveyard. Traverse the Ulvenwald can also tutor up Goblin Dark-Dwellers, which is another key piece to our deck.

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Goblin Dark-Dwellers gives us a way to cast a Living End for free from our graveyard, and it's pretty easy for our deck to get a copy in the graveyard thanks to our self-mill cards. So, counting our copies of Traverse the Ulvenwald, we have nine different cards that can help us cast Living End right away and hopefully win the game with Demigod of Revenge!

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Finally, we have Lingering Souls, which helps us gum up the board with a bunch of chump blockers while we are waiting to get our combo set up. It has the added benefit of flashback, which means that every time we mill a copy with Satyr Wayfinder or Grisly Salvage, we are essentially drawing half of a card. 

The Matchups

This is one of those Against the Odds decks where I'm really not sure we have good matchups. While graveyard-based combo decks might be a little bit better now that Golgari Grave-Troll is banned, there's still a lot of graveyard hate in sideboards that can stop our plan. That said, the bigger problem is we just felt a turn or so too slow. We don't really have ramp, so we are basically a combo deck that should be able to consistently win the game at about Turn 5 with either Demigod of Revenge or Bring to Light / Goblin Dark-Dwellers for Living End, but in a lot of matchups, killing on Turn 5 simply isn't good enough, especially since we don't have much interaction beyond chump blockers. 

Against aggressive creature-based decks, we have a shot because Lingering Souls does a good job of keeping us alive, but we still aren't favored in these matchups. Combo decks are probably our hardest matchups because we simply don't have enough interaction in the main deck and we aren't fast enough to win the goldfish race. Meanwhile, slower, more controlling decks are probably our best matchups, although these decks often have counterspells, and while Demigod of Revenge itself is fairly resistant to countermagic (since it triggers when cast), Living End, Bring to Light, and Goblin Dark-Dwellers all struggle against counterspells.

The Odds

All in all, we won 3 of 12 games (good for a 25% game win percentage) and 1 of 5 matches, good for a 20% match win percentage, putting Demigod's End at below average for an Against the Odds deck, at least by the numbers. Making matters even worse, the only match we managed to win was against a Notion Thief / Day's Undoing deck (which, while super sweet, definitely isn't tier one) that got a bit stuck on lands during game two.

Vote for Next Week's Deck

We're only a week away from the start of Aether Revolt on Magic Online, which will likely mean a string of sweet Standard decks, so let's delve into older formats one more time, this week with the help of some forgotten planeswalkers! Planeswalkers are one of the most popular creature types in all of Magic, but there have been some pretty bad ones over the years, so which of these less-beloved planeswalkers should we play next week? (Note: Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded isn't eligible because we already played Tibalt on Against the Odds). 

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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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