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Against the Odds: Holiday Gift Exchange

Hello everyone and welcome to episode fifteen of Against the Odds. This week we have a special holiday edition of Against the Odds. We are looking to give our opponents some gifts in Modern, and they might give us some gifts as well — we're playing Holiday Gift Exchange! 

We'll talk more about Holiday Gift Exchange in a minute. First let's get to the videos. A quick reminder. If you enjoy Against the Odds and other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to keep up with the latest and greatest.

Against the Odds: Holiday Gift Exchange Intro

Against the Odds: Holiday Gift Exchange Games

The Deck

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The basic idea of the deck is to give our opponent gifts in celebration of the holidays with the help of Puca's Mischief, Conjured Currency, and Avarice Totem. All of these cards, in one way or another, let us give our opponent a gift of one of our permanents and allows us to force our opponent to give us a gift of one of their permanents in return. Ideally, the gift exchange is in our benefit, but in reality a lot of random things happen as soon as we give each other gifts. Instead of being a peaceful holiday dinner with family, this deck ends up playing much more like a drunken holiday party!

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Leyline of the Void and Leyline of Anticipation serve two different purposes in our deck. First off, they make great gifts for our opponents because they don't do all that much. They cost four-mana (which matters with Puca's Mischief), so we can trade them for just about any commonly played permanent in Modern. Secondly, they help with our instant win combo, Immortal CoilLeyline of the Void keeps our opponent's graveyard empty and Leyline of Anticipation helps us play around counters by flashing in our enchantments at instant speed. 

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Immortal Coil is the lump of coal in your stocking if you've been naughty all year. It's the key card of our instant win combo. First off, we need to get a Leyline of the Void on the battlefield to keep our opponent's graveyard free of cards. Second, we need a Puca's Mischief so we can give our opponent a holiday gift. If we give our opponent an Immortal Coil, they lose the game on the spot thanks to the "when there are no cards in your graveyard, you lose the game" trigger. If we don't have a Leyline of the Void on turn zero, things get tricky. Since we don't have ways to deal our opponents damage, we need to assemble the combo, give our opponent control of Immortal Coiland then steal one of our opponent's creatures to attack and force through enough damage for our opponent to exile all the cards in their graveyard.

The Matchups

I'm not sure Holiday Gift Exchange has any good matchups. The good news is we have an instant win combo that can beat any deck in the format, if things go right. The bad new is we are slow even with four copies of Dimir Signet and our draws are extremely clunky. While Remand and Thoughtseize can buy us some time, they usually can't buy us enough time to pull off the combo. Our best bet is to be matched up against a deck that has little interaction and is also slow. I'm not sure such a deck exists in Modern. Our other hope is to run into another combo deck, like Ad Nauseam, and hope that we can assemble our combo faster. While this probably won't happen often, it should occur some small percentage of the time.

The Odds

We won one out of fifteen games, which would put the odds at 6.67%. That number is pretty close to the 5% I predicted in the intro. Even worse, we didn't manage to pull off the Immortal Coil kill a single time! I'm pretty sure we'd still be trying until next year trying to accomplish it. Overall, the odds of winning with Holiday Gift Exchange are not very high. On the other hand, the holidays are not about winning. They're about giving. Our odds of giving away free Play Points to our opponents was extremely high, so we were able to spread some holiday cheer.

Vote For Next Week's Deck


Anyway, that's all for today. Leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments. Have a very happy holidays! As always, you can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive.

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