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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Against the Odds: Greed's Gambit (Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard)

Against the Odds: Greed's Gambit (Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard)


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of Against the Odds! Outlaws of Thunder Junction is here, and we're kicking off our Against the Odds exploration of our new Standard format with the greediest deck possible—literally! The goal of our deck today is simple: play Greed's Gambit to make a bunch of Bats; draw some cards and gain some life; and then use Coveted Falcon to give our opponent Greed's Gambit and watch it slowly eat away their creatures, cards, and life! Remember Demonic Pact? Greed's Gambit is similar but much more hilarious since, rather than immediately killing the opponent, it slowly and painfully eats away their resources until there's nothing left! Play a creature? Greed's Gambit will make you sacrifice it. Hold the creature in hand? Greed's Gambit will make you discard it, all while slowly ticking your life total down toward zero. What are the odds of winning by giving the opponent a Greed's Gambit in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard? Let's get to the video and find out!

Against the Odds: Greed's Gambit

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The Deck

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Greed's Gambit is a super-interesting card. For just four mana, the enchantment offers three 2/1 flying Bats, three cards, and six life, which is a great deal. The problem is that on our end step, it makes us lose two life, sacrifice a creature, and discard a card, which means it will take back everything that it gave us in just three turns. And if it leaves the battlefield, we discard three cards, lose six life, and sacrifice three creatures, which means simply sacrificing it to end the pain isn't an option. Thankfully, we have a plan to get the upside from Greed's Gambit but avoid the downside...

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When Coveted Falcon flips face up, we can use it to give our opponent any number of our permanents, and as a bonus, we get to draw a card for each thing we give away. This essentially makes it a two-card combo with Greed's Gambit. We can play the enchantment to make a bunch of fliers, gain a bunch of life, and draw a bunch of cards, and then use the Bird to give our opponent Greed's Gambit so they have to deal with the downside of sacrificing a creature, discarding a card, and losing two life each turn. 

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In a lot of ways, this makes Greed's Gambit like Demonic Pact, except you don't win the game immediately, which is an upside and a drawback. Of course, from a competitive perspective, winning right away is better than winning a few turns in the future. But Greed's Gambit is far more brutal since, once the opponent ends up with the enchantment, they have to sit there for a bunch of turns as their life and resources are drained away. Oddly, Greed's Gambit is also a better fair card since it makes an immediate impact on the battlefield, unlike Demonic Pact, which requires you to wait until your next upkeep to get value. While not ideal, we had several games where we ran out Greed's Gambit without Coveted Falcon in hand, in the hopes of drawing into the Bird, and it mostly worked out.

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While most of the rest of our deck is typical stuff—card draw, tutors like Insatiable Avarice to find our combo pieces, removal, and the like—two other cards are worth mentioning. First is Archfiend of the Dross, which is basically a backup version of Greed's Gambit with Coveted Falcon. We can play the four-drop, wait for its oil counters to run low, and then use Coveted Falcon to give our opponent the Demon, making them lose on their upkeep. The other notable card is Torch the Tower, which is our backup way to combo with Greed's Gambit. The trick here is that we can use Torch the Tower's bargain ability to sacrifice Greed's Gambit with it enters-the-battlefield trigger on the stack, so its leaves-the-battlefield trigger resolves first to make us sac three creatures, discard three cards, and lose six life, and then the enters-the-battlefield trigger will resolve to give us three 2/1 Bats, gain us six life, and draw three cards. If we can do this while we are empty handed, we'll end up generating card advantage. (Worst case, we can use it like a weird triple-looting effect.) If we have no creatures on the battlefield, we end up plus three 2/1 fliers, and our life total will end up the same no matter what! Obviously, we probably don't want to do this if we have a board full of creatures or a bunch of important cards in hand, but this can be pretty powerful in the right situation. Plus, Torch the Tower is a fine early-game removal spell anyway.

Wrap-Up and Odds

Record-wise, we ended up somewhere around 50/50 with the deck. (We were playing during early access, so the record isn't super important anyway.) More importantly, we had some absolutely brutal games with Greed's Gambit more or less locking our opponent out playing Magic. Yes, there are some games where we are too far behind on board when the combo comes down and Greed's Gambit's "sac one creature a turn" isn't enough for us to catch back up. But on an empty board, giving our opponent Greed's Gambit is absurd. It puts our opponent in an almost impossible position: if they play things, they end up sacrificing them, but if they don't play things, they end up discarding them—a true damned if you do, damned if you don't situation! If you are a fan of Demonic Pact–style Donate decks, give Greed's Gambit a shot in Outlaws of Thunder Junction Standard. It looks janky, but it's actually pretty powerful in the right deck, and the way it wins the game is both brutal and hilarious!

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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