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Against the Odds: Discontinuity March (Standard)


Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 248 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had another Core Set 2021 Against the Odds poll, and Discontinuity was a clear winner over Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose. Initially, my plan was to play the winning card in Standard, but the banned-and-restricted announcement on Monday changed things. Normally, I record Against the Odds over the weekend so there are a couple of days for editing and writing the article. But I really didn't want to play a bunch of matches against Modern decks that might end up getting banned by the time the video went live, so I ended up switching the format to Standard (although I promise we'll play some Modern soon!).

The good news is that switching to Standard means we get to try out two synergies that I've been wanting to play for a while. The first is Discontinuity with Mirror March. Normally, Mirror March tokens go away at the end of our turn, but with the help of Discontinuity, we can end the turn with the "exile" triggers on the stack and keep our tokens around forever, which can be pretty powerful (if we are lucky enough to win some coin flips). Since we're playing Mirror March for Discontinuity purposes, we also get to try out the combo kill of Terror of the Peaks and Mirror March. If we can cast a Terror of the Peaks with Mirror March on the battlefield and get lucky enough to win a few coin flips, we can potentially just kill our opponent on the spot with Terror of the Peaks triggers. Will we be lucky enough to win some coin flips? How good is Discontinuity in Standard backed by Mirror March and Terror of the Peaks? 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: Discontinuity March

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The Deck

After Discontinuity won the poll (and I decided to switch to Standard because of the banned-list update), I was pretty sure that I wanted to build a Mirror March / Discontinuity deck since it seemed like the most spectacular thing that Discontinuity could do in Standard. I briefly considered a Mono-Blue Troll deck with Discontinuity and Sublime Epiphany, but it ended up looking a lot like the Blugin deck that we've already played a few times on stream. Eventually, we ended up with Discontinuity March, a slightly Elemental, ramp-esque Mirror March / Discontinuity combo deck that's designed to set up the best Mirror March / Discontinuity turns possible!

The Combo

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In some ways, Discontinuity serves two roles in our deck. We can just cast it during our opponent's turn as a weird extra-turn spell (potentially with a spell or some triggers on the stack to get even more value), but its primary purpose is to combo with Mirror March by being cast on our end step with Mirror March's "exile" trigger on the stack. Our deck is overflowing with creatures that ramp, so the goal is to get as much mana as possible on the battlefield, stick a Mirror March, cast as many creatures as possible (while crossing our fingers and praying to the Magic gods that we will win some coin flips), and then, at the end of our turn, cast Discontinuity for just two mana, exiling the "exile these creatures" trigger from Mirror March to keep a massive board full of creature tokens around forever!

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Outside of just making a massive board full of random creatures with Mirror March and Discontinuity, our plan for winning the game is Terror of the Peaks, which works on two different levels in our deck. First, we can simply cast Terror of the Peaks and then, when we start making tokens with Mirror March, use those tokens to throw a ton of damage at our opponent's face. Second, if we can get a bit lucky, Terror of the Peaks can win the game all by itself if we cast it after Mirror March. Let's say we have Mirror March, and we cast Terror of the Peaks and win two coin flips. The two token copies will both trigger the original Terror of the Peaks to deal 10 damage; then, each of the token copies will trigger each other, giving us another 10 damage, which adds up to a dead opponent!

The Ramp

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The rest of our deck is mostly creatures that ramp in one way or another to help us get as much mana as possible onto the battlefield, both to ramp into Discontinuity and Mirror March and to set up our big combo turn when we will cast as many creatures as possible once we have Mirror March on the battlefield. Because Mirror March wants us to have a lot of creatures in our deck (the more creatures we have, the more Mirror March triggers we can get), the main goal of our ramp is to avoid spells like Cultivate and Circuitous Route and instead rely on creatures, which, in the early game, will help us ramp into our combo and then later in the game, once we have Mirror March on the battlefield, will turn into combo pieces since we can cast them to trigger Mirror March and Terror of the Peaks and (hopefully) keep the tokens around forever with the help of Discontinuity.

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Leafkin Druid and Leafkin Avenger help us achieve our goal by tapping to add mana (while Leafkin Avenger can also potentially burn our opponent out of the game if we have enough mana on the battlefield). Meanwhile, Solemn Simulacrum and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim ramp us by tutoring a land from our deck directly into play.

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The ramp spell that really pushed our combo into overdrive, however, is Nyxbloom Ancient. Once Nyxbloom Ancient hits the battlefield, all of our lands tap for three mana, and creatures like Leafkin Druid and Leafkin Avenger tap for absurd amounts of mana. This mana will allow us to cast our entire hand (or maybe our entire deck, but more on this in a minute) in one turn to trigger Mirror March and set up Discontinuity. Things get especially crazy if we happen to win a Mirror March flip when we cast Nyxbloom Ancient, with two Nyxbloom Ancients making each of our lands tap for nine, Leafkin Druid tap for 18, and Leafkin Avenger tap for some ungodly amount of mana based on how many creatures with power four or greater we happen to have on the battlefield.

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Once we have all of the mana we'll ever need, the pinch becomes cards. The more cards we can draw, the more creatures we can cast and the more Mirror March coin flips we can potentially win. While we do have a couple of Uro, Titan of Nature's Wraths as ramp that also draw us a card, our primary card-draw engine is Risen Reef. In the early game, Risen Reef can draw us into our Discontinuity and Mirror March while also potentially ramping us if we happen to hit lands from the top of our deck. After we have Mirror March, Risen Reef becomes even more powerful. If we can win some coin flips and get multiple copies on the battlefield, we can draw through most (or even all) of our deck during our combo turn as we cast additional copies of Risen Reef, Leafkin Druid, and Leafkin Avenger, which will trigger Risen Reef and also Mirror March, to make us even more Elementals to trigger Risen Reef again and draw us even more cards!

The Matchups

Probably the biggest problem with Discontinuity March matchup-wise is how it lines up with the ramp decks at the top of the meta. Bant Ramp has Teferi, Time Raveler to shut down Discontinuity (not just on our opponent's turn but also during our end step for our Mirror March combo) as well as cards like Teferi and Elspeth Conquers Death to easily deal with Mirror March. Meanwhile, Sultai Ramp has Casualties of War, which is a huge blowout for our deck. On the other hand, our deck can do extremely powerful things if we can cast Discontinuity at instant speed and Mirror March sticks around on the battlefield for a couple of turns. While I wouldn't say we are necessarily favored against the other decks in the format, we at least have a decent chance against the rest of the meta, outside of possibly Temur Reclamation. Against aggro, we have good blockers, and Terror of the Peaks is solid removal, and against non-Teferi control decks, we can draw enough cards that our opponent's plan of one-for-one'ing us into oblivion will eventually fall apart and we will start resolving spells.

The Odds

All in all, we played five matches with Discontinuity March and ended up winning three, giving us a reasonable 60% win percentage with the deck. As far as our combos themselves, perhaps the most disappointing thing was that we never actually managed to use Discontinuity to keep around our Mirror March tokens. The good news is that we had some spectacular Discontinuity wins and some equally spectacular Mirror March / Terror of the Peaks wins!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

The Against the Odds poll is now on Youtube. Click here to vote for next week's deck.

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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